Sunday, April 5, 2009

The (Love) Life of Brian--Part I

One topic I've rarely discussed on this blog is my love-life, mostly because there ain’t a whole lot to discuss.  I actually don’t mind being open about it, even though it’s a facet of my life that I’m not overly-proud of.  In my view, my history with the opposite sex is checkered at best, and rather pathetic at worst.  To give you an idea of exactly how pathetic, I’ll turn 45 in June, and to date, I’ve spent a cumulative total of a year-and-a-half in serious relationships with women.  That’s 18 months out of 45 years—barely 3% of my lifetime!  Now, I do realize there are lots of poor schlubs out there who’ve had even less experience than I have, but it still doesn’t sit well with me that this is all I have to hang my hat on.  I’ve only had three real relationships with women-folk in my life, each one lasting no more than six months, and each preceded and followed by lengthy dry spells without a significant other, including the current drought that’s approaching ten years, which just surpassed my previous personal record of nine.  And of those three relationships, the best one involved a beautiful woman who lived 1,800 miles and two time zones away from me, so even then I had to really go out of my way just to enjoy a brief spate of happiness with a female human being.

It’s certainly NOT that I don’t love women—I love women every bit as much as I love Rock ‘N’ Roll, T-bone steak, “Sanford And Son” reruns, beer and hockey—but I’ve either been too shy, too awkward, too short, too unattractive, too scared, too agnostic or too unlucky (or any combination of the above) to really get anywhere with a woman on a long-term basis.  I haven’t even been on a freakin’ date—let alone kissed a woman on the lips—in damn near ten years, so as you might imagine, I’m a tad rusty and I have a fairly big itch to scratch!  I also can’t help but wonder if all of the good women are already taken anyway and/or what the hell is wrong with me sometimes.  I don’t mean for this to be a pity-party here for yours truly—trust me, this series isn't all gloom-and-doom—but I really need to take this mental garbage out, so I appreciate your indulgence if you choose to read onward about what I think is a very unorthodox love-life…

I realize I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but it frustrates me no end when I see other people who seem to never want for a companion, like a good friend of mine who’s never been alone in the nearly 18 years I’ve known him—one relationship would end for him, and he’d find someone else seemingly without even missing a beat, kinda like those lizards that lose a leg and grow one back right away.  Am I jealous?  A little, but after years and years of dating services, personals ads, failed set-ups, complete whiffs on my part on secret admirer attempts, dashed hopes, numerous other dead-ends and disappointments and sheer indifference on the part of women I‘ve pursued, can you blame me?

Want a few examples?  At least twice, I pursued women whom I was unaware were lesbians...I once had a co-worker girl turn me down for a lunch date by saying, “I don’t really eat lunch.”...I was even desperate enough to pursue another co-worker chick who had hairier arms than I do, and still, I even struck out with her!...A cute girl in college once turned me down for a date because she was seeing a blind guy.  I repeat—a blind guy—D’oh!...I’ve also been blown off by women who deemed me too short (I’m 5’8”) and not cowboy enough for them.  Hey, I rode a horse once—Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker!...And I couldn’t begin to tell you how many women I’ve had my eye on who were hell-bent on getting married and having kids (not my scene—read on, folks), and one personals ad respondent even specifically wanted me to impregnate her with no strings attached!  Peter Wolf and J. Geils Band really nailed it for my love-life:  “I’ve had the blues, the reds and the pinks…I’ve been through it all—love stinks!”  Damn straight!

What sucks most of all is at this stage in my life, I find the window of opportunity rapidly closing on me to find someone new.  I know, I know:  never say never—but the odds of finding the woman of my dreams (or even a reasonable facsimile) are really stacked against me as I move through middle age.  I absolutely do not want kids (mine or anyone else’s), and the majority of the unattached women in my age group are divorcees with children.  While I realize that not wanting kids greatly reduces the playing field for me, it’s something that I am absolutely adamant about.  I’m not very good with kids (regardless of their age) and I don’t care to be around them, let alone take on the responsibility of raising them.  Call me selfish if you want, but give me credit for knowing my limitations when it comes to an important issue like this.

I ain’t really looking for marriage, either, which also hinders my chances.  I’ve seen too many friends, family members and co-workers get married and wind up miserable and/or bitter, to the point where I have to question is it really worth it?  Shit, I've watched my own parents merely put up with each other for the last 40 years, so If it comes down to a choice between being trapped in a loveless marriage or being alone, I’d much rather be alone—I’m already used to that, anyway.  I suppose I miss out on the bonuses in life thinking this way, but I also miss out on the pain and heartache that can suck the life right out of you.  Anyway, I can count on one hand the married people I know who are truly happy (Rose, Tom, Phil, and…um, well I guess that‘s it).  Even the thought of living together with someone scares me a bit.  You see, I’ve always been your basic loner, and I would have a difficult time adjusting to sharing my abode with another person, even say, a male roommate, let alone a significant female other.  When I “played house” with my long-distance girlfriend for ten days about ten years ago, it felt weird having someone else around all the time.  Don’t get me wrong—I absolutely LOVED her being here, but not having my own place all to myself felt very odd to me.

I’ve also come to the sobering realization that now that I’m in my mid-‘40s, I probably don’t have any business dating anyone under 30 anymore, so that narrows my options even further.  I’d prefer to be with someone who at least, as Col. Potter on “MASH” once said, “remembers the same Presidents”, thus anyone born during or after the Reagan Administration is pretty much off my radar scope now.  Just as well—I find the majority of today’s under-30 tattooed, cell phone-obsessed, overly-pierced, skanky Paris Hilton wanna-be generation of females to be shallower than shit anyhow.  Even worse, I rarely even meet anyone nowadays who remotely interests me personality-wise or attracts me physically.  I’m to blame for a lot of that because I don’t get out as much as I should, but it’s been years since I’ve even met someone who I’d even want to have a drink with, let alone who honked my proverbial hooter and made me want to ask her out.  Dating services/websites are a joke, singles events are demeaning, bars are a dead-end to me (including even my friend Phil’s band gigs), dating a co-worker is almost always a no-win situation, and the Internet is full of phonies and playas.  Ironically, the only truly-satisfying relationship I ever had was a chance on-line encounter, but I consider that to be just pure dumb luck more than anything else.  Lightning doesn’t strike twice, you know…

Stay tuned for Part II, where I trace the origins of my social dysfunction and initial failures with girls during Bob Seger's "awkward teenage blues"...

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