Saturday was my laundry day and after sleeping late but well, I headed over to Michelle’s house a little after noon. We were both starving as neither of us had eaten anything so I tricked Michelle into offered to buying lunch at Applebee’s. Afterward, we did a small amount of grocery shopping and picked up a take and bake pizza for dinner and headed back to her apartment. Michelle’s sister had asked her to make some Macaroni and Cheese, so I hung out in the kitchen with her while she made it.
I’m not sure how we got there, but conversation turned to the subject of winning the lottery and I pointed out that Michelle had a scratcher sitting on the table that won two whole dollars. She said she needed to cash it in and I pointed out that it expires 180 days after the game ends (I have no idea when that is/was.) Then we discussed winning the multi-million dollar jackpot.
“Oh please,” she said, “You just want to ogle the pool boy.”
“Yeah, well, pretty much all I do is ogle anyway, so big deal.”
“For now,” she answered. “Sooner or later, you’ll… join the work force.”
Now I have no idea what “join the work force” even means, but I don’t think I like it. The truth of the matter is, I think I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. I know right this second all one of you who still reads this blog is saying that it’s not true, that I’ll meet somebody, that I’m worthy, or that I deserve it or some other hoo haw like that. And you may be right, you may not be. I’m not writing this so that people can feel sorry for me, or try to bolster my confidence or whatever. (Honestly, I’m having second thoughts about writing this even now, but whatever.)
She asked me, “Don’t you want to have a relationship? Don’t you want to get married?”
I responded with “Do you?” Michelle is six years older than I. I’ve known her for 12 years and she hasn’t had a single date in that time, or long before that from my understanding. I don’t know why. I think she’s perfectly entitled to be loved and to have a relationship, but she doesn’t make herself available for it and for whatever reason people don’t ask her out. Her answer was that she does want to have a relationship and to get married. She said she believes she will. I don’t see how. I’m not being mean when I say that, I’m just stating fact. If she’s not available, she’s not going to have a relationship and she’s not going to get married and at this point, she’s not available. Not that I know what she needs to do to make herself available.
But see I can see this, because I’m the same. The difference is, I don’t believe that by some miracle I’m going to meet the man of my dreams and fall in love by accident. I know that I’m going to spend the rest of my life alone and while I may not be happy about it, there is some solace in knowing what to expect in that regard.
When I was in Tulsa last year, caring for my mother after her bypass surgery, we had a conversation one day in the car (sorry if this is something I’ve already written, but it’s topical.) She said something about how she was disappointed that I was determined not to get married. (Of course she couldn’t appreciate the irony of that.) I corrected her, saying I never said I was determined not to get married. I have said that I don’t plan on having children. I also told her that marriage didn’t seem likely to happen, however. And then I asked her, “What about you? You’ve never dated since you divorced Dad. Do you plan on getting married again?” Her response was, “Who would have me?” I can relate.
I turned 35 years old last week. My life is officially half over, or at least I hope it is. The truth is, three out of four of my grandparents lived well into their 80s and 90s. The fourth one was killed in a plane crash when he was 39, but who knows how long he might have made it otherwise. So while there’s reason to believe I’ll live to be older than 70, I’ve also seen lots of evidence of how unpleasant life gets when you’re that old. I’d much rather live the best life I can manage in the remaining years of my “youth” and die young, than live to a “ripe old age” filled with pain and sickness and medical bills and struggles.
So yes, I hope my life is half over. But that being said, there’s a lot I didn’t get to experience in that first half of my life. There’s a lot I didn’t learn, and I’m too old to learn those things now. I’m not talking about academics, though some days I feel that way about academics as well. I’m talking about life lessons and experiences. How to approach things in life and how to feel about them, how to view them. Some of it is just too hard to do now. Some of it is just too scary. The deck is stacked against me.