Thursday, January 31, 2008

Giving Valentine's Day the finger

In my 42 years I have experienced very few palatable or romantic Valentine's Day. Looking at the calendar and seeing its approach has always given me a slight case of hives. I nauseatingly gaze upon the beautifully wrapped, scarlet, heartshaped boxes at Fannie May. My eyes fixate with cynicism at Hallmark's windows adorned with cherubs and stuffed animals. My acid reflux nags at my gut to see Victoria's Secrets showing off the boudoir delights. Miss Vickie seduces us with the illusion that she has what we need for a perfect romantic romp in the satin sheets. Quite frankly, if I don't already possess that which would make it a perfect boudoir bonanza, then all the lace and underwires in the world won't be of much service. As my former husband always told me (when he couldn't bring himself to spend the money on lingerie), "it's all going to end up in a heap on the floor anyway. What's the point?"

I'm attempting to keep a positive attitude about the most romantic day of the year. My brother was married on St. Valentine's Day. In that, it is quite romantic. Not so much for me, but the idea that he and his wife exchanged vows on that day does, at the very least, show that romance and love can be enduring.

I've had more dates than I can dare count. None of those have been recent, but in my post-divorce life, I never seemed to be without a male companion. I learned a lot about myself during that dating extravaganza. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with men between ages 22 and 46. I really pushed the envelope when I dated someone 12 years my junior. I found it hard to resist his persistent wooing. He offered up the sense of worship I was dreadfully needing at the time. That relationship was short lived because it ran its course. I had no idea what kind of future I could offer. The last time I spoke with him was a year or so ago. He insisted that I broke his heart. I truly believed I was a flight of fancy. You know, part of his Mrs. Robinson fantasy. He's recovered. Honestly, I just think he was trying to make an old gal feel more like a purring cougar.

I slightly derailed with that walk down memory lane. I'd apologize, but it brought a smile to my face and that's never a bad thing.

There's no doubt in my mind that I have relationship issues. That's a pretty broad scope, but I hyper-analyze everything in my life. Color me spastic! It is, what it is. With that in mind, I recall such a self-shrink session that I wrote about a few months ago. If I might indulge, I would like to share it.

When we're school children, we develop likes for boys or girls. When it's unrequited these likes are referred to as crushes. Or, when the other person is unaware of your affections it's a crush or secret crush. Unfortunately as we age the premise doesn't change.
When I was married I'd get crushes on male acquaintances or co-workers. Naturally, the lines were never crossed and I didn't express my inner emotions toward this person. Afterall, what would the point be? It would create a seriously disturbing situation. What would be worse is the fact that it would be reciprocated and that would open up a giant can of worms, of which, no one was bargaining.
I'm single and I am free to pursue whomever might strike my fancy. Naturally, I do realize that chasing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson or John Cusack is totally out of the question. Those crushes are harmless and painlessly unrequited. I can easily deal with that. My query is this: What do I do when I get a crush on someone and it's expressed as being mutual? I know, you're saying, "YOU GO FOR IT MARISSA!" Ah, but here is the issue: He doesn't live in the same area where I reside. Keep in mind this is simply at crush status. It is in the 'getting to know you' phase. Round and round and round we go.... where it'll stop nobody knows! I like the giddiness that this evokes. I suppose the rest shouldn't really matter.
In the past, I've had countless crushes. Eventually, they've evolved into friendships because the object of my affection found a woman nearby who aptly suited his needs. The emails and/or phone calls would subside and we'd ease into acquainted pen-pals. The sexual undertones of the correspondence would be replaced with tales of children, pets, jobs and mortgages.
I wonder if my penchant for long distant infatuations doesn't really say more about me than mere whimsy. I've often questioned my ability to commit. I'm not saying that I don't put my all into a relationship. I do. When I'm in it, I sincerely and wholeheartedly give myself to him/us/it. Yet, I've never had one remarkable, long-term relationship other than my marriage. I am a serial dater/serial crusher. I think it says a lot less about them (the men) and a lot about me. What's possibly worse is that I'm fine with this emotional defect. Despite my longing for that special someone, I have concluded that I am a committmentaholiphobic. I want monogomous love. I crave it. I fear it. Committment-aholi-phobic.
For many, they'd declare that I'm a pessimist. I prefer to say I'm incredibly realistic. I'm quite positive about that.


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