Thursday, November 18, 2010

*Brussels Sprouts, Beauty, Blooming, Attraction, and Other Musings Which I Can't Quite Make Sense Of

Last week, I caught the end of Marie Osmond's appearance on Oprah. She'd been talking about her son's suicide, but then proceeded to talk about her second marriage. She said something really insightful: "You marry at the level your self confidence is at."


Today I received an email from a friend with a link to a youtube version of "It's Raining Men." She was half-teasing/half-celebrating with me about my recent uptick in the dating/interested male department. But, oh. How I preferred the nonexistent dating life, the invisibility factor. If only because I was comfortable there. If only because my girlfriends are these incredible, accomplished, brilliant individuals. My dates and the boys who show interest are lost and wandering. Too frequently undereducated, "in between things," goal-less, directionless, without a place. Their potential, be it because of the economy or society or expectations or the subculture or the new iffy definition of "man," has been thwarted, misdirected, not achieved.


I have discovered recently that I'm not half bad looking. At 29 I've figured out this new layer of myself that feels simultaneously empowering and weakening. This was supposed to happen 15 years ago. But it is happening now. It is a gift, in a sense. At 29 I have a greater ability to process this phenomenon than my 15 year old self would have. It is also, at times, embarrassing. It is clumsy. Most women my age have this sense of self mastered. Most women my age figured this out long ago and have moved on to mastering motherhood. I'm blooming late.


My date--that date I told you about--he (teasingly, but that doesn't excuse it) called me a snob. And he was cheap. So cheap it was uncomfortable for me, for the waitress. He didn't perceive things the way I did--he didn't see that it was simply a not-so-good date. He called me back later that weekend. And texted. And it was so very awful and uncomfortable. And I couldn't help but wonder how one gets to 33 and still behaves as he does. I couldn't wonder how I've gotten to 29 and am still unsure how to let a guy down gently.


Sunday, a family came to hear one of the speakers in sacrament with their sweet new baby. The squishy, soft, fresh kind of baby. The kind of baby that makes you question why they're bringing him into public at this time of year when he is so new. They sat right in front of me. I ached.


My mother thinks I'm picky. She doesn't say it out loud, but when men come up in conversation she says things that let me know she thinks I'm too hard on them. I think she wants more babies in her life. All my siblings' children are grown past toddlerhood. No more babies. I'm her last hope. She once said she and my father don't worry as much because I have a career. But she does worry.


Last night at a Relief Society function, a member of our bishopric, an incredibly funny and clever dentist, talked about the parable of the talents. About how amazing we women are. About how men need women like us because they wander aimlessly, cluelessly without us. We are what they need to become men, not boys. It was a joke, but funny in its honesty.


I'm feeling my way through this new path that is also so old. It is strange and saddening. Exciting. Discouraging. It is wrought with sub-cultural quirks and expectations. I am convinced that it is, in so many ways, a gift that I've made it to this place in my life without marrying. I am more aware of who I am as a person. My priorities are more focused. I know what I want, which traits are deal breakers, which characteristics and baggage I am willing to let slide. I feel so blessed in a life rich with friends and family and lovely, lovely students (sans 9th grade boys). That fact alone means I am not panicked or rushed or willing to settle.


I am patient in so many ways, but far more impatient. The roommate spoke in sacrament recently all about having faith and that faith bringing us joy each day of our journey. She is my best friend for a reason--so much more wise and humble than I am. I am trying, always, to have faith that the Father in Heaven I so completely believe in is far more aware of what my life needs than I am. I am quite certain of that because I see this person I've become and she is beautiful, intelligent, kind, loving, open-hearted. She is nowhere near where I thought she'd be at this point in time. But she possesses so many of the qualities my young self wished her to have. She is surrounded by people she cares about. She is blessed. My little life thus far is nothing I would have designed once upon a time, and yet it is so correct, so right for me.

*For the definition of this reference, go here.


Lildonbro said...

Great post!
Dating is bothersome if you ask me, a necessary evil :( le sigh.
I agree about having the time to find yourself. So many people I know right now who got married young are going through divorces and have no idea who they are or what they want of their future. I'm glad I have had the opportunity to get to know me a little better.

Stephanie said...

I adore you. I read this right after I posted my maudlin rant, and it was just what I needed. You're lovely, dating sucks, and there is never a reason to settle.

Oh, and for the record, the email was more like 90% celebratory, 10% teasing. :)

Amber said...

You go girl! I love who you are too!

Libby said...

I think if more people had such a clear vision of themselves, this world would be a better place.

Muchos kudos!