I apologize in advance at the jumping around this post will do. But to tell this story, I am going to have to go all Tarantino on you folks. And because it is so long, I am going to break it up in two volumes.
A couple of weeks ago, on a deck in the middle of nowhere, the Duke (the Duchess’s beau) was asking me (as he always does) if there were any men in my life. I smiled and shook my head. After the typical notes of disbelief, the Duke then starts telling me about his cousin. I stopped listening until Bridie came out onto the deck and asked, “Are you really trying to set her up with a 50 year old that still lives at home with his parents?”
The Duke shrugged his shoulders innocently. The Duchess pointed out that the 50 year old is a really nice guy. I just laughed.
While, laughter was my normal go to response in these sort of situations, it was then followed my hours of self-doubt, wondering what it says about me that my friends want to set me up with a 50 year old guy that still lives in the suburbs with his parents. Followed by more doubts about whether there is anyone good left. That inevitably led to the plummet of desperation and sadness that I was never going to meet anyone and I would be alone forever which only ever led to the inexplicable resolve to move out of Philadelphia because life would be better in New York City, or Chicago, or Washington, D.C., or San Francisco.
But this time I just laughed and meant it.
See, a couple of weeks before that, on another deck just north of nowhere, I was sitting with my father. He was smoking a cigar, drinking a beer. I was drinking a beer, craving a cigarette. We were both silent, trying to think of something to talk about.
After several failed attempts to engage me in a political debate, he finally asked, “So, is there anything else going on in your life?”
I shrugged my shoulder. “Not really?”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
Then my father shocked me. Instead of retreating back into silence he continued “I know you have really high standards, kid. But do me a favor, don’t wait until I’m dead to introduce me to the guy you finally fall in love with. Because I swear, if the first time I meet your boyfriend is at my funeral, I will haunt your honeymoon.”
What a lovely thought.
I attempt to assure my father that my intention is not to wait until he is dead and that I really am trying to find someone. As I say it out loud the truth of it hits me. Recently I have become consumed with meeting someone. I've told friends that I was open to meeting any single guys they know. I never left my apartment without make-up, even when I was leaving to ride my bike for 80 miles. I went on dates with other single girls so that I would have single girlfriends with whom I could go out and meet guys, I hopefully bought pretty underwear, and I agonized over what to wear to the gym. My every free thought is focused on what I can do next to find a boyfriend, which is exactly what I am about to say to him when I taste the bile in my mouth.
I force a smile and instead, off my father the platitudes I typically give him, ending with “Daddy, I am trying, but you know it is hard to find someone good enough for your little princess.”
It’s tough for a father to argue with that sort of logic. But while that answer was enough for my dad, it wasn’t enough for me.
To be continued Monday.