Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Might not be ringin’ in the New Year ...

You ever have one of those days where you feel like your brain is just so much mushy, ill-cooked spaghetti, and you’d like nothing better than the nerve to throw it all out and buy fish tacos and Coronas for dinner? Oy.

Let’s just say today was one of those days. Been driving strange cars on strange roads, navigating on oral directions with no map, and figuring out strange-car defrost systems in the midst of heavy downpours, bad visibility, sometimes-flooded freeways and ... well, you get the idea.

At least I’m finally sitcheated (for a few days) at my friends’ apartment in Berkeley where I’ve only their crazy, love-starved cat for company and some blessed space to sort out my head. Make that crazy, love-starved, fond-of-biting cat. Dang mongrel. Of course I may soon find myself ambling down to the local bar in search of a solitary beer with book to fend off men ... but we’ll see.

‘I saw the sign...’
I have after all, as of today, officially lost my purity ring, so I’m not sure I trust myself in any potential leading-to-date situations. Technically the ring vanished sometime last Monday, when I took it off to apply a little hand salve, but I assumed it was one of the rings found by my friend when I left their car (she called five minutes later). As of arrival today in Berkeley, however, I found that my reminder-that-God-is-faithful ring had been found, along with a funky-shaped but otherwise meaningless adornment. The more-significant purity ring however ... gone.

I’m trying not to take it as a sign. After all, when the first version of said ring acquired a most distressing crack shortly after my fever-inducing dance with Swinger #1, I took it as a portend of the very worst kind. Remarkably, however, my virtue largely survived that disaster (although the ring did not).

At some point I must have been conscience-stricken for I later acquired a cheaper but larger replacement. Besides, the first had been bought by my parents, in my adolescence. In time, it seemed to me to represent their own expectations and hopes rather than my personal commitment - to virtue, piety, patience, what-have-you. With the crack of the first ring came personal investment in the cause, whatever its aim might be.

All hail cynicism
However by grad-school days (circa heart-wrenching drama with the Married Man) that goal had sufficiently deteriorated to ambiguity that one night full of resolve I took it off. It had become, I decided, a symbol of living my life defined by the expectation that someday I would marry. And seeing as how so many of my dreams were apparently manifest and dashed - simultaneously - in the person of the Married Man, I decided I’d better accept the fact that that fate (marriage) was less than certain to happen. Did I really want to live my life as a presently single woman defined by the possible existence of some man I did not know and who might not really exist at all? Did such a person deserve to so heavily overshadow my life that I wore a ring for him every day?!!

HELL no, I decided. And hence the journey into the land of the naked ring finger.

Except that, with time, I think this lack of expectation lead to a short-term (but ongoing) lowering of my standards rather than face the absolute despair of a long-term dream I doubted God would ever fulfill.

And then at some point this summer, after I’d returned from my brother’s depression-inducing nuptials, I came across that abandoned ring in a box of stuff I’d finally shipped East from Arizona. And with a small sigh that stood for I-knew-not-what, I slowly slipped it back onto my hand again.

This time it wasn’t so much about hope-for-marriage renewed (that I’m convinced will take nothing short of a real, honest miracle - quite probably the sort that makes that drama with The Winner blanch to palest of pale). Instead it was about a reluctant realization that come a marriage-worthy man or not, it was time I sucked it up and did things God’s way. And if it took a ring reminding me that ultimately the way I lived my life was out of accountability to Him, so be it.

What the disappearance of this ring means now, I’ve no idea. Maybe it’s God’s little hint to my silly, superstitious self not to think of venturing out on Craigslist for a New Year’s Eve adventure. Sniff.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, she ain’t no catch
And while I’m at it, to forget trying to be anything besides some friends’ inadvertant pimp. I mean, let’s face it: the date with Granny Broadway was never gonna work. Sorry, Fraz, I know ya had your heart set on it as prize fare, should ya win ... but honestly. She’s single and likes her salt, to be sure, but she also tends to sleep a lot and ain’t been very mobile for a while. And if you think, on my account, the Broadway gels run klutzy ... well you should see us at one-oh-five!

So, sorry my dears, but I’m takin’ that possible prize clear off the table. PB, you’ll just have to drop better hints as to what you consider worth competing for. I for one am out of the matchmaking bizness, even if Granny be a worthy cause. And hell, the way my brain’s all scrambled lately, I may resign myself to blogging ’bout other people’s sex- and dating-related conversations. It’s just too darn exhausting maintaining an endlessly ill-fated love life. Besides, that’s really why ya’ll come here, isn’t it? ;) The entertaining, car-crash value of it all? I’ve even had readers confess it: a secret hope I’m always unlucky in love, so as to guarantee an endless store of blog material.

Ah, well. Come morning and warmer apartment (can’t figure out the heat in this darn, freakin’ chilly place!) perhaps I’ll manage to blog a little less grimly. Don’t forget about the contest! And feel free to suggest a great-big, wham-bam concluding prize for the Blog Reader World Series winner.