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.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Passivists and pre-prenatal anxieties

Sometimes a cold beer just tasts so good, but this one came at more than the usual cost. You see, on account of the considerable snowfall dumped on New York City today, I had to wade through considerable snow to get to the more-cleared street — where I got the thrill of dodging flying snow from zealous sidewalk shovelers, and bounding over snow piles in places where I had to leave the street for less-cleared sidewalk.

Once I reached home, it was nearly 11 p.m. (My sleep/work habits seem to be creeping back to West Coast time again.) I realized I had yet to return a call from the Hapless Hesitator, but knowing what I do about his call routines, I felt fairly comfortable ringing.

The urgency was the need to confirm our lunch tomorrow, with sufficient warning for him to gather any needed materials before departing for church. You see, the subject of his “Can I call you today” email last week was a plan for having me do some freelance work for him. To advise him on his resume, and so forth. He offered to pay, but it was clear he hoped I’d take his offer over a meal instead of cash.

Passivities in contrast
Yes, you read that right. Hesitator has somehow tried to leverage me into working in exchange for a date with him. It’s practically a pseudo-date! At least I’ve already met his mom. One time when the King of Pseudo Dates and I spent a Saturday morning cheerfully prowling round some Phoenix bookfair, it was not until we mysteriously encountered his mother that I suspected the pseudo-date. But then things got rather fishy: the day may have even included a visit to the family home! I can only imagine the debrief later ...

You see, the pseudo-date too entails a kind of passivity. As opposed to the Mr. Flirty Pants type, however, a pseuo-dater resorts to passivity as a means of feeling out women without having to boldly declare his interest. He is unlikely to be a Mr. Flirty Pants, in fact, as he has probably experienced quite the opposite: a scarcity of female interest as opposed to the surplus from which the Flirty Pants of this world back away. The similarity is that both would doubtless claim total innocence and manifestation of “mere friendly” behavior that probably encompasses significant one-on-one time with the female in question.

But let me think about that for a minute ... the Mr. Flirty Pants really is trying to feel out the woman as well, he’s just in denial about it. And for some reason the “bites” he gets from this subtly jiggled hook mostly come from the women he’s already rejected. Or else, the interest he provokes actually causes him to reject them because of a peculiar martyrdom in which mutual attraction is somehow loathed or at least very scary.

There’s your Freud for the day. ;) In somewhat less-complicated and happier news, I am able to report that the King of Pseudo Dates is now engaged as of October. But of course he didn’t bother to tell me this, good friend that I sometimes was. No, I had to hear it from mutual friends, a married couple living in Berkeley. They were also very helpful about reporting on the children born to various married friends of ours, in some cases even supplying photos.

When your fountain of youth approaches the Drought
Mighty cheering news for a gal who was just then approaching her half-birthday, well on the way to 27. I mean, it’s not as if I’m having that infamous Freak-out of the Ovaries, but I am a practical woman. And when women like the boss-lady try to reassure me I’ve got years left, years to have children, I don’t find that reassuring.

Why? Because I don’t plan (at least, don’t want) to be a geriatric mommy case. That’s what they call it, you know. Having a baby in mid- to late-30s is akin to being in retirement. Because that’s what your ovaries are approaching!!!

And frankly, when I look at my recently re-besotted, young-50s parents, I think their plan has worked out well. They had their kids young, and now they’re approaching a mere 53 and we’re all grown up! And not just out of the house, but able to legally drink. And they were 26 when I came along.

So that’s another item on the regular-talks-with-God agenda. But I get scared by these biblical stories sometimes. The guy who waited seven years to be with his woman — and then her father said, “Oh, now, whoops! You married the wrong sister. But in seven more years ... you can have your woman.” I remember hearing once of a girl who waited seven years for her man to come around.

Love, joy, peace, patience ... open lines of communication?
And I think, Lord, I know that patience is a virtue. And I know that I ain’t got much. But you’re not too attached to that number, right? Seven? I mean ... You wouldn’t make me wait that long for love, would you? Seven years from now I’ll be nearly 34!!! How many babies can I expect to have then?!! You did say, “Be fruitful and multiply”! I’m just tryin’ to obey here. And there will be at least two of us to replace. I’m just sayin’.

But then it gets worse. Because there’s also Sarah. The one who had a kid when practically Granny Broadway’s age. By now I’m rather desperate. Look, Lord, I know You can do mighty things. And I’ll concede ... age probably isn’t what You worry most about where I’m concerned. But really ... we don’t have to go for that miracle in my life, do we? I mean, I think finding me a good husband — pretty soon — would be amazing ... don’t You? Wouldn’t that be pretty dramatic too?

... All of which I’m sure demonstrates character growth in something — communication, perhaps. That’s one of the “fruits of the Spirit,” right?