Monday, July 14, 2008

Show me the way to go home.

It’s an unfortunate aspect of my personality that I think way, way, way too much about various things. I think about things that have been said to me, experiences that I’ve had (more often the missteps and humiliations than anything that’s pleasant), and I chew on it all like I’m chewing on my own cud consisting of bitterness and bafflement. It’s an irksome tendency because I feel like I’m being childish because so much of what I chew on revolves around my being alone. I feel ashamed because I should be dedicating that brainspace to something more…important, like issues in the FA movement or politics or philosophy or working on an actual creative writing-type project or any number of things, but instead I walk around in a state of almost perpetual irritation with the entirety of the universe because I just DON’T GET IT. I don’t get why I’m alone and I don’t get WHY I CAN’T STOP CARING ABOUT IT.

I bagged my profile about a month and a half ago, because that was just dumb. Gave a fat-centric dating site a whirl, and that was even dopier. I actually pinged a guy and never got a response. So that certainly did wonders for the bountiful wonderland that is my stupid head. Today, I peeked at a place that someone had touted somewhere and I had to physically back away from the screen in a bit of horror, as it does not seem to be, uh, my kind of place (that is, a festival of people wanting “intimate relations” and that’s…about…it). The thing is, I know what I want. I also know that at the end of the day, I’m not about to change fuck-all about me. I am fat. I will not diet. I am plain. I rarely, if ever, wear make-up because I don’t like how I look in it. I dress like a fucking 14-year-old boy (well, one that occasionally does drag). I am smart, I am cynical, I am funny, and I will not play stupid in order to soothe someone’s ego. I would rather be alone for the next 40 years than compromise anything I believe in just so I can say “well, I had a boyfriend once upon a time”.


It is kind of a blow to the ego (and mine is decidedly healthy in certain areas, believe me) to think that-—rather, to pretty much KNOW-—I am nobody’s bag. I am not anyone’s idea of a good time, unless it’s within the realm of “wacky fat girl sidekick”. I am not the girl that gets the happy endings I used to write so fervently. I’m not walking out of the church to see Jake across the street, leaning up against his red Porsche. Edward Ferrars ain’t showing up at my door to FYI me that his heart is mine. Two words: MR. DARCY. (Sorry, I’ve been on a Jane Austen novel kick over the last few months. And my Colin Firth kick is eternal.) Not that I think life should be one gigantic romantic comedy/dramedy or that it’s any way to live a realistic life, but for CHRIST’S SAKE. Could I have at least ONE moment in my life? One moment with a male human person that, when I look back way too many years from now, I could nod and say, “hot shit, now that was something else”? I’ve done a lot of stuff in my time, stuff that was pretty cool, seen some amazing things. I know how to eat fire, for example. Okay, pull up a chair, it’s tangent time:

Back in...oh, let’s say, 1991, I was rather enthusiastic about Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame (as you can see here). One of Penn’s skills is fire-eating. Because I have a few synapses that tend to misfire, I decided I wanted to learn how to eat fire as well.’s not something on which you can pick up a how-to book. Perhaps it’s due to that whole risk of burning your fucking face off thing. After much research that went nowhere, I resigned myself to the belief that I would never learn (short of becoming BFFs with Penn). Then, one day, a flier appeared on the bulletin board at my fine arts college from a guy who would teach juggling...and/OR HOW TO EAT FIRE. I was so mega-stoked. I called the cat, he happened to live in a suburb near mine, and I arranged to meet him at his house. He wore a very jaunty knitted beret and, of course, worked weekend at the renaissance faire in Wisconsin. Of course. For liability purposes, I can’t go into specifics regarding what I was taught (though I’m sure at this stage of the game, you can google “fire-eating” and get the general mechanics of it), but within an afternoon, I was eating fire. I was sticking fucking flaming torches into my mouth on purpose. I’ve got scars on the back of my right hand from learning the lesson that polyester doesn’t burn, it melts (kids, no matter how tempting, don’t practice eating fire in your bedroom). I mean, I’m sorry, not to toot my own, but that has to earn me some cool points, right? I can light a torch off my tongue!! Shouldn’t that entrance some male on some planet?? I just found this disclaimer on an old website somewhere, for Christ's sake--how does this NOT MAKE ME COOL?!?!

Fire Eating and particularly Fire-Breathing is possibly the most dangerous and potentially injurious art to be found in circus, theatre and street performing.

DAMN RIGHT! Sheesh. Anyway.

I do take pride in the fact that I’m independent, so much of the stuff I’ve done has been done on my own, completely self-sufficient, not needing anyone. So it riles me, it makes me downright scrappy, to be so immensely bothered by my state of being. I would like a list of things that are wrong with me so that I could work on them. Maybe I chew too loudly. That’s something I could actually improve. I’m kind of sucky with details. I tend to miss details in conversations so that when I have to report information back to someone, I blank out a bit unless I take copious notes. That’s something I could work on. A bit of a procrastinator, most certainly (as evidenced by how often I update this bleedin’ blog). You know, all sorts of things are probably wrong with me...THAT ARE WRONG WITH 99.9999 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION (except George Clooney. Or Colin Firth. NOTHING is wrong with either of them...especially when they are shirtless, and I will not have Clooney-Colin negativity here).

I want to not care that I’m alone. I want to not be irritated by the platitudes I mentioned in my far-too-willing-to-be-honest post (perhaps another failing of mine—my tendency to overshare). I want to get to the point where the thought of being the 35th wheel doesn’t make me take to my bed and cry for an hour and I can ably pretend that I’m having a good time while the couple-conversations whirl around me at a social event or wherever I happen to be. I want to feel like I’m not being ripped off.

Just one moment. Just one that makes my heart stop and tears come to my eyes...out of happiness. Just one.


Cassandra said...

For what it's worth, you might try OkCupid (if you haven't already). There's a lot of trash, but 5 months and numerous dates later, I've got one hell of an awesome boyfriend.

Gene said...

Maybe you don't need to change anything about yourself. Maybe you just need to spend more time actively trying to meet people. It's like looking for a job- some rejection is inevitable.

Piffle said...

You don't want to be alone because humans are social creatures. You chew over it because you are intelligent and introverted, both perfectly fine things to be--know yourself and all that jazz.

Regarding writing about relationships, well Miss Austen did some damn fine writing about relationships, yet, given her milieu, I suspect she was a virgin too. A caustic eye on those around you and careful thought will get you further than a bang in a bar.

I don't have any magic words to make it all better or snag you a wonderful guy. Wish I did.

genevieve said...

I was totally there. I hated it...I hated feeling like I wasn't complete without a man, yet felt brokenhearted that I wasn't what the menz go for. And there were certainly things about single life that I dug...yet there was something missing. I don't know how long you've been online dating, but I did it off and on for 6 years, until finally subscribing to a couple of "BBW" dating sites--I was so sick of meeting men who I was afraid might be disappointed in me, and I knew I'd be confident meeting men who would already be attracted to my shape--no, that isn't the only thing, but the confidence I got from that made me all the more charming and fabulous. It was NOT an easy road, and I encountered dozens of asshats, but when I found the man I'll be marrying this October, I knew I'd taken the right path. It's been such a load off knowing he'll be attracted to me at any size--I never realized how stressed I was, in past relationships, worrying the attraction would fade because I may gain weight here or there.

I know this has been said before...but please keep at's a goddamned hard and frustrating process, but the reward is worth it all.

Daphne said...

I just wanted to say, I have way more personality/physical flaws than you mentioned, and I met my awesome far-too-good-for-me husband online. It wasn't on a dating site (I don't know anything about those) but instead on Usenet, in a group devoted to a mutual hobby. True, it wasn't the direct method (neither of us were specifically looking for dates) but it worked for us. The drawback of Usenet for dating is a long distance relationship, which either drags on painfully or forces someone to move.

Anonymous said...

i've got to second okcupid. i've been a member for a couple years, and i met my husband there. ^_^

but definitely avoid the forums. they're full of entirely stupid.

Erin said...

I'm with Casssandra on OK, for some reason I've talked to a lot of really terrific men on that site.

Also oversharing might be a problem. Men get scared off by that whole deal. It's something I work on too and the reason I have omg loads of male friends and very few boyfriends lol

dazzleland said...

God Jane, I really really wish I knew what I could say to make you feel better about yourself.

I'm shitty at giving out advice, but I think I'm a good listener.

Just know I love you, and you don't have to change or compromise for anything or anybody. I love you just the way you are.


BrendoMan said...

I feel you, Jane, for sure. I wish I had the answers. Let me know if you figure any out.

Furious Buddha said...

So, like, I'm hanging with some friends and we were talking about the stupid things Alton Brown said and so I googled and found your site a little while ago. We're watching tv and chatting and I'm finding myself just sort of reading through your pages. I saw your Lollapalooza pictures and I think you're cute. I read your stuff and I think you're smart and funny. I'm not trying to be creepy or anything, and in fact I've been seeing somebody for a while now so I'm not trying to... whatever. I guess I'm saying, don't worry, I'm not a stalker or a freak. But I want you to know that I think you're intriguing. I don't have any platitudes or whatever, but I know that sometimes to get what you want you have to stop wanting it.

-Winston Delgado