Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marching Forward

Photo: Courtesy of Photobucket

With my first official Match date behind me, I was still optimistic about additional prospects. After all, I strategically set myself up with a few eggs in my basket to keep the pressure off and not make Bill into “the one”. What is it anyway about “the one”? It’s such pressure. Growing up, I truly believed in love at first sight and true love in one date – thanks to the movies. Maybe that’s possible when you’re 22, but at 39, I suppose the stakes are higher and I’m okay with flying solo, so I’m not just going to fall for a guy who’s got a pulse and a heartbeat.

As expected, I never heard from Bill. However, to my surprise, I didn’t hear from any of the other guys either. I wanted to be bold and email these guys – winking is for pussies. Or so I thought! After a week of not one response back from my emails, I decided to take a different approach and give my face a little workout, winking at any guy I thought to be mildly interesting. But here’s the thing: there weren’t that many interesting guys! Plus, this online dating stuff takes up a helluva lot of time. I spend more time pouring over profiles of potential suitors than on things I should be doing, like cleaning my apartment or writing. The good news is that Match makes it easy for you by sending an email with a list of potential matches based on what, I’m not quite sure, but I don’t care. It makes the hunt a lot easier.

As I read through the profiles of the men I think to be aesthetically pleasing – Match sends you the list of guys with their handle and a thumbnail picture link to their profile – my heart starts to slowly sink. How is it possible to read 20 or so profiles and not feel any interest whatsoever? Cue hecklers and their continuous critical commentary on my being too picky. Picky or not, I have to say that some of the profiles were surprisingly sappy. “I’m looking for the yin to my yang” or “I’d like to pour the milk in your coffee”. Maybe more corny than sappy, but not quite inspiring me to read more.

Then, there are the direct, ahem, angry ones. “I don’t participate in any games whatsoever and if you do, please move on.” Wow! “What I like: someone who’s open to new things and adventurous. What I don’t like: Someone who pretends to busier than they are. If you don’t want to go out with me, please SAY so! I think a person who’s truly INTERESTED in someone can MAKE the time to SEE him.”

Oh boy. I think I’ve had enough for today. 20 profiles read and 2 winks sent….we’ll see.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Imperfect Ramble

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I watched Alicia Keys’ performance at the Hope for Haiti Telethon last night and at first, I judged her, thinking, “Wow. She sounds terrible. Her voice is straining and she’s not hitting her notes well.” After awhile, it occurred to me that her performance wasn’t about perfection. It was was about singing from the deepest part of the soul where things are raw and drenched in truth. As I sat there watching, I dropped the expectation of perfection. I got out of the way and just listened. Pretty soon, my disdain turned to inspiration because this woman was singing from here heart – a place where I’ve been longing to sing from for years. But, each time, I make my way up to the edge of the cliff, ready to fling myself off with abandon, I chicken out. The distrust of my truest voice winning out and snatching me back from the edge, hurling me back to safe and “perfect”.

One of the storylines on Grey’s Anatomy this week was an opera singer with a spot on his lung. When told a piece of his lung had to be removed, he freaked out and said something like this:

“Singing is my life. When I go to a restaurant and the food I order comes out wrong, I want to scream at the waiter and choke him. But, I don’t. I kindly ask him to take it back, knowing that it’s best for me to keep my emotions under control. But, when I sing, I don’t have to play small. I get to storm the waiter and dance on his grave. And I get to do that every night. Because of this, I can play small when I have to. If you take my lung, I will have to play small every moment of every day, and if that’s the case, I’d rather die. Singing is my life.”

The good news is that it’s a television show and this guy gets to walk off set and resume his normal life – cancer free. However, it left me thinking about perfection and playing small. I’m tired of playing small – I am. But the very thing that keeps me from dancing on my waiter’s grave is perfection. Or, perhaps more accurately – the fear of being seen as imperfect. Alecia Keyes was perfect last night and it’s not because she hit all the right notes, but because she was singing from her heart with truth and honor. She rose to the need of the moment without censorship or measure – and in my opinion, that’s perfection.

You can't lead a cavalry if you think that you look funny riding a horse.
- John Peers