IS IT REALLY A GOOD THING..? HONESTLY, IT ISN'T, AND IF YOU SAY IT IS, THEN WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS JUST CAMPIN'
Silva, a homegirl from the Motor who is ‘shotgun’ with Julia on the ‘Highway to a Husband’, wrote a recent entry about her new habit of taking herself out on a date once a week. Because this is something that I am familiar with, the ‘dating yourself’ concept, I was more interested in her opinion that usual.
While she tried to make her ‘date night’ an affirming, positive event, one where she celebrated being ‘herself’, I did not read it that way. Some of the comments that were left we more of the cheerleading, ‘you go, girl’, variety. I gave my two cents, but for what it was worth, I could have gotten change back for my thoughts. The reason that I did not comment with my normal candor was I know exactly how I feel about the situation that she, and many other women like her are in, and I understand where they are coming from but I can’t be super thoughtful or kind in a response. Not that I want to be rude or mean but I find that when I respond to this kind of lament, that ‘firm but fair’ is always regarded as unkind and harsh.
I have never really thought about what kind of metric I could use that would define why beautiful, professional, and available women are not able to secure the kind of fulfilling relationships that they desire. What I do know is that this was something that I foresaw and had mentally and spiritually prepared myself for.
First, dating yourself is NOT fun and it is NOT a choice. You can tell yourself that but there are very few situations where you will accept and believe that you are ‘okay’ being out alone. Example of where you may ask if someone would accompany you but you really don’t expect anyone to say ‘yes’ is when I went to the Film Theatre at the DIA to see “The Sorrow and the Pity”, by legendary documentary film-maker Marcel Orphuls. Went I went to see it while I was in the Motor prior to my injury being diagnosed and I was living on my own, I stopped at the Whitney, got full, then went over to the Film Theatre and ‘digested’ something I had a great interest in. Maybe I someone would have been down to have a super cool brunch, a brisk walk on a nice, early spring Sunday afternoon, and committed to 9-10 hours of watching a subtitled documentary about life in occupied France during WW II, but that is highly unlikely unless the date had a specific interest in the subject. I think that you need to expect to go to that alone, and if someone does bite, maybe that is a bonus.
Second, I am going to put the truth to the lie that when you date yourself, you are celebrating and treating yourself as you deserve. In her entry, Silva would speak to what REALLY lies at the crux of a ‘BCS Bowl eligible’ woman and going out on a nice evening alone. She admits to the fear of being rejected and gives a harrowing example of a birthday where she and a male friend planned to share the event and the cat did not even call OR text. Vainglorious!!
Now truth in blogging compels me to share an event where I behaved poorly celebrating a birthday with a woman. It wasn’t that I stood her up or anything like that but, the night of her celebration, her original plans fell apart and she ended up calling me and we had a nice time hanging out. So what was the issue? The issue was I felt like I should have at least been thought of prior to everyone else ‘canceling Christmas’, because knowing how big an event this was to my friend, had she told me beforehand, I DEFINITELY would have done my best. A few days after the glow of seeing her happy and enjoying our time together, it occurred to me that I was not part of ‘the first team’ when it came to celebrating her birthday. I shared my ‘misgivings’ and I felt bad for doing so, because we DID have a really nice time.
In exiting this segue, I still think that it exemplifies that I would not have let Sliva down like that, just as I did not leave my sister, Mookie Dee, or my friend down when they had to call on me. And that is that with that! Back to Silva and what happened to her on her birthday and why it happened…
Not knowing any of the particulars with Silva, I think that a lot of the issues between professional men and women are occurring because the traditional roles no longer exist but the model hasn’t changed. In the mid- 90’s the same issues that faced women then pretty much are similar to the underlying reasons, IMO, that women are having problem finding men that they are willing to date.
Since it is time for the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament, I am going to use the basketball to illustrate the problems that most women face. Unlike in college football, where nearly half of the teams get to play in a bowl game, it is still super difficult for a basketball team from one of the ‘power 6’ conferences to get into the tournament, let alone a mid-major or small school to ‘go dancing’. Also, the names that the rounds have when as a school advances in the tournament, from the field of 68 (out of 345!!), to the ‘sweet sixteen’, the ‘elite eight’ and the ‘final four’, could also be indicative of how rare and difficult it is to do so in the ‘big dance’ that is love.
This year there were several schools that did not make the tournament, like Drexel and Oral Roberts, schools whose records and in-season accomplishments arguably merited a berth, but did not receive one. The argument against their getting their chance is that they did not have the strength-of-schedule, meaning that they did not play anyone else of any note, did not mitigate their losing in their conference tournament. Translation: Go to school and get and degree ladies, put off dating as a distraction and be motivated as you climb the corporate/professional ladder. Hold off on having children until you are in your mid-30’s and then when you are in the big office, get married and do… what? So ladies, you can do everything that can be expected of you during ‘the season’ and still when the bids go out, there is something that keeps you out of the tournament.
Now maybe you feel a little insecure about how you look or that maybe you feel like being a ‘small school or mid-major’ that you are getting overlooked. Whatever it is, it happens to ‘big schools’ too. This year, the University of Washington has the dubious distinction of being the only school to win the regular season title to not get a chance to play in the tournament. That this could happen reinforces the idea that the criteria for being in a relationship, like that for getting a tournament bid, is not the obvious things that you may be assuming they are.
*ding!* To be sure, I will be picking things up from here! Later, gators!!