Love and Other Fairy Tales

A real-life fairytale castle II: A broader view
Credit: flickr / o palsson

It’s weird being single again. When things weren’t great, when I wasn’t happy – when I didn’t think things would work out, I never thought ahead to this point. Saturday night with nothing to do. Putting a friend down as my emergency contact on a form.

It’s good. I’m not down about it. I was at peace with the outcome before it even happened, but the process left much to be desired. The process, that was upsetting.

Really, I feel like we broke up three weeks before we actually did, as that was when we had that (final) argument, and my ex stopped speaking to me. And since then, I’ve been in California, New York (twice), Sydney, and Ottawa. Flitting around by myself is not new, and in many ways not much had changed. It was when I stopped rushing around that things seemed different. Having my wisdom teeth out my friends were awesome, and took care of me, but then I spent the weekend alone in the kind of state where making it out to the store to pick up some (soft) food was an achievement.

I spent about 48 hours off my head on narcotics post-surgery. The most relaxed I have been in… a long time. And during this, I contemplated having a nose job (possibly due to my dropping my ipad on my nose, a fact that I had forgotten until I noticed the bruise, Monday morning). And I also contemplated dating women, as in, why am I not doing that instead? Sober, there is, of course, a pretty simple answer to this! But I’m burned out on the drama, and the anger, and the stress of untangling two lives that used to be entwined. I always thought the downside of dating women would be the emotional drama. The latest breakup had enough emotional drama to fuel the breakup of two teenage girls.

But I was OK, until I ended up back at the dentist in so much pain I was nearly in tears, and he gave me a syringe to clean out the holes where my wisdom teeth used to be and told me to “have your hubby do it”. I said, “I don’t have a husband”, a fact so surprising the nurse had to repeat it, and he said, “oh, your parents then”. My parents are in Europe. “It’s easier if you have someone else”. Well I don’t! That day, I did not feel quite so great about being single. He also told me that I was fine to work, but try debugging with a minimum of a constant low level pain (and often much worse) whilst feeling nauseous from consuming more painkillers in a couple of days than I’ve taken in the entire last year.

The plan is, I’m moving. The move is a story for it’s own blog post, once it is definite. I’m currently operating on the basis that it is happening, but don’t really believe it will. My friend where I’m going says, “we can go to these singles meetups if you want”, and I say, “I spend all day surrounded by dudes. The last thing I want to do in the evening is meet more dudes”. Another friend, with no knowledge of this conversation, suggests I go on OKCupid to meet some people pre-move. They both have a point, but currently, I feel like, what’s the point? So I can spend time on another man, who will eventually be an ex I don’t speak to? Why bother?

I met my dad in Ottawa, he was on his way to DC (he travels at least as much as I do), and he says to me that he worries about me seeming untethered to anything.

I am untethered. That’s why I can pack up my life and relocate to another continent next month. And I’m excited for that adventure, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who I think would be worth giving that freedom up for. It’s possible that there are people who have that kind of hankering for adventure too, but I haven’t found that either.

In a world where we didn’t have the options that we do, there might not have been the moment where I looked at my ex and realized, we are just too different. But I do have those options. It’s been the case for a while that men have chosen the kind of weird nomadic life that I have and had wives go along for the ride. But statistics show that a professional women’s partner will tend to be another professional, and that is a constraint. I don’t want someone to keep house and raise the 2.4 children, I want another adventurer who chooses the same adventures that I do. Or I’ll have my adventures alone, or with more transient company. And that is okay.

I had a fling. It ended, and I missed it. And then, I saw the alternative reality, the ending of it where it was more than a fling – a dramatic, heartbreaking, mess, of compromises too big to make, because there are limits to how much people can really change (not much). And I was just so grateful that it had happened, to remind me that it does – sometimes boy meets girl, boy and girl have fun. I needed it, but I didn’t need it to last forever. That ending was OK. Given the choice, it’s the one I want.

Not sure where I’m going with this other than, romance – it’s at least NP-hard.

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