I’ve been complaining to my close friends a lot lately about the misery of dating in your late 30’s. I find that most people have settled down (or let’s face it, settled for less than they deserve) by this age so much of what is left on the dating scene is some severely bruised fruit. I’m in that lot, so I will admit I probably have some unattractive baggage as well. However, as they say, it’s ok to have baggage as long as you meet someone who has a set that matches yours. Admittedly, it’s certainly not fair to lump them all into that phylum, and I imagine there are some diamonds in this clogged toilet of a dating scene – I just don’t relish the idea of putting my hand in there.
Anyway, I’ve discovered that my friends (bless their hearts) have finally run out of encouraging words, or at the very least – creativity, when it comes to advice. Here are my most hated words of dating wisdom and my passive-aggressive rebuttals to them:
Friend: “It’s going to happen when you’re not looking! It always happens when you least expect it!”
Me: “Oh thank you for that. I could use that very same sentence to comfort a family whose mother was shot by a sniper hiding on the roof of a local library.”
Friend: “You should use this time to really embrace being alone. Time to yourself is truly a gift.”
Me: “You’re right. You know, I think I will start advocating that they write those very words on every single life preserver on every single sailboat. That way when people get lost at sea and are being circled by sharks, they can be grateful for that time alone.”
Friend: “God’s just making you wait for the right person because he wants you to be grateful when it finally arrives.”
Me: “If God exists, I seriously doubt he or she has time to play the part of Chuck Woolery for me on Love Connection. Have you seen the news footage from Sudan lately? I’m pretty sure any potential higher power is shitting its pants over a mass genocide…and not my dating life.”
I am mostly just kidding here. I know my friends are just trying to help make me feel better, and often times I close my eyes and try to “hear between the lines” the real advice when they say these things:
“I don’t know what to do to help you. I don’t have any answers, but I love you and I really hope you find somebody. I’m just trying to give you a gallon of gasoline that might get you another few miles down the road, and then maybe someone else can get you through a few more after that. Eventually, I hope that guy that makes you laugh so hard that your teeth explode will intersect your path and make this long knife of waiting worth it. However, I don’t know when or if that day will come. I’m just trying to get through this life as best I can, just like you.”
So, to all my friends, I appreciate your sincere (but canned) advice, but there’s no need to sugar coat with this old goat.