Friday 16 May 2014

Dog Drugs, Singlehood, and the Joys of Solo Time


Yesterday while I was doing my hair, Corben left the bathroom and ten minutes later I found him spread out on my couch with an empty pill bottle tilted down his throat. He’d slobbered the label completely off the thing, so I had to retrace his steps until I found some tablets on the ground and could determine what he’d taken. It turned out to be a sedative used by both humans and animals (small blessings), so when I called the vet I was simply put on ‘dog watch’—a minimum six hour monitoring of a nine month-old puppy for ‘signs of anything unusual’. Y’know, because 9 month old puppies never do anything unusual. Anyway, he spent the rest of the morning getting really fascinated with anything I touched. At one point he buried his head in the laundry and just inhaled, slow and deep.


Oh, and I’m single again. Yeah, I thought I’d write a big emotional thing here, but I’m fine. I mean it: I’m FINE. Truly fine. I don’t know if breakups are different the older you get, or if it’s because after divorce, everything feels a little less catastrophic…like if you had a leg eaten off by a shark, and then later a dog bit you at the park, and you’d just be like, “That’s nothing. Have you seen my peg leg?” The actual breakup happened a few months back, and I spent some time processing, and now I’m at the point where I’m not exactly single ready to mingle, but I’m also lightyears away from crying in the dark.

I think what’s surprised me the most is that I’m totally okay with being alone. I’m looking forward to it, in a way. If I want to eat cereal for dinner while standing in the bathroom because I’m doing my makeup before heading out to a movie, that’s ok. If I want to play Call of Duty for an hour instead of buying groceries, that’s ok. When I do buy groceries, I only have one insane set of dietary needs to consider, and that’s glorious.


Today my friend Pepper and I were discussing dating. Pepper is awesome. Her romantic experiences are within the realm of girl-boy things, whereas mine (as you know) meanders back and forth over the gender line. We were conferring on the complexities of trying to get men to talk about their feelings in an upfront and direct way. I told Pepper, “If I knew how to get guys to just talk about their feelings and practice appropriate self reflection and introspective observation, I maybe wouldn’t have ended up spending half my adult life dating women.”

Pepper pointed out that this means I have options, but it’s not that simple. I explained, “Yeah but then you get into the world of 'mental ninjitsu mixed with verbal acrobatics with a smidgen of passive aggressive assasination attempts', and then you'll find yourself seeking out the refuge of a strong hairy chest and monosyllabic conversations.”

“So, pros and cons to both,” said Pepper.

“Yep. At the same time, it's like choosing between two equally awesome tropical beaches, but also being stuck on two tropical beaches without an umbrella or sunscreen...eventually, it burns...”

Obviously, I’m not coming at the dating scene with the same wide-eyed na├»ve vigor with which I approached it as a younger woman. I think this means I’ll be a lot more committed to my mental ‘checklist’ of things that I will and won’t tolerate. As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that time is precious, and I’m wary of wasting it.

Unless, of course, we’re talking about laying on my bed, alone, playing Call of Duty for an hour wearing a sexy nightgown for no reason and eating Easter chocolate I keep hidden in the freezer. That…that is time well wasted.

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