You're Never Alone, Really, Sort Of
This morning as I was purchasing all-important underwear with monkeys on it for my daughter, I got a call from one of my cousins, who recently had fairly serious surgery, as did her mother, my aunt. We'd been talking about getting together when they felt better, and she was calling to tell me that my cousins who formerly lived in WV were in town. So I called my sister in law and we threw together a gathering at my brother's place out in the country. Unfortunately I didn't have my kids along but in some ways that made it easier to really visit.
It's almost 11 p.m. and my sister in law called to make sure I made it home (eek, I forgot to call!). As independent as I am, I forget that something could actually happen to me and that I could find myself in trouble, sick, or hurt, or worse, and that not having a partner means that it could be a while before someone found out. My boss will sometimes call in the morning if I'm running a bit behind schedule, to make sure I'm ok. They know I'm typically in the office no later than a few minutes after 8, and if they call at 8:15 and I don't pick up, they worry. I've decided it's not that silly. It's his way of extending the way he takes care of damn near everybody (he's the oldest of 8 kids and the only son) to me and my kids. His wife does the same. I feel very lucky.
I've begun lately to entertain the question of whether I really want a relationship or if I have room for it. I would definitely, at this point, have to make room for it, which means that I'm far pickier than I used to be. That comes at an age when most men and women decide they need to be less picky. But I think that, as much as I love my freedom, there are times when being "it" feels a little old. It's all on me, all the time, and if something happens to me, oh well.
I'm not sure what exactly I should do about this beyond just acknowledge it for now. I've started down the road of online dating, with results I've described here and there on the blog as just this side of tragic. At best, I was introduced to a few nice men who realized they weren't over their last girlfriends/wives/whatever. At worst, either I was being set up to be "corrected" or setting myself up to take on burdens I just don't want to take on at this point in my life. Maybe a few folks have had better results, but, evidently it's no way for me to meet an environmental lawyer who plays the banjo and whose kids, if he has them, are already in college.
Like I said, picky. The Nonexistent Mr. Right has to be smart, treat me with the respect that I deserve because I am also smart, probably plays an instrument, is somewhat driven and enjoys working at SOMETHING at least as much as I do, and hopefully he's passionate about it. And, he doesn't have attached to him some complex co-parenting situation into which I refuse to introduce my own kids (they've been there, are there, done that). The list is actually longer than that, but why even think about it? I'm not, really, just toying.
In the end, I suspect the reason it's even on my mind is that my family and maybe even my kids feel sorry for me that I haven't mated up already. But the longer I stay single, the more I have to do on my own, and chances are I'll still end up alone outside of a sudden illness or freak death that precedes that of any eventual partner. So at least I know I can do it. I just feel a bit guilty for my family worrying about it, even though they are universally pleased for me to be out from under the vapors of a toxic marriage.
One things for sure, I do love the freedom to enjoy, explore, expound on, and expose others to this great music that I've completely fallen in love with. One of my favorite songs from Donna Hughes release, "Gaining Wisdom", is this tune, "Find Me Out On A Mountaintop", because it's so often how I feel. Here it's performed by the fabulous Blue Highway, who will make their way to The Kent Stage on July 11 along with the hottest buzz in bluegrass, the Dixie Bee Liners. Whether I can convince my friends to come along or I go alone, I'll have that night to celebrate the music and savor a little real joy.
Find Me Out on the Mountaintop