12:41 p.m. -"Benedick", Shakespeareís Much Ado About Nothing
[...] One woman
is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am
well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all
graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in
my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise,
or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her;
fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not
near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good
discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall
be of what colour it please God.
Of What Colour It Please God
12:41 p.m. -"Benedick", Shakespeareís Much Ado About Nothing
-"Benedick", Shakespeareís Much Ado About Nothing
|My tulpa is a robin. What of it?|
I am not dedicated to romantic comedy tropes. I am aware of them, of course, but tend to feel they more or less would come off as codependent stalking in the real world. That being said, I recognize the long journey I see before me, to find Love again. Even action adventure movies throw in a "getting the girl" subplot if they want to sell more tickets, though I am fairly sure my story is closer to Bridget Jones than Indiana Jones.
The exemplar that keeps being thrust at me is Ted Mosby in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The premise of the show - growing a bit thin having finished its sixth season - is that Ted, a romantic in the city spurred on by his best friends getting engaged, is tired of the artificiality of the dating world and want to find the one woman with whom he eventually settles down (as he narrates the show to his children in 2030). Of course, this is largely demonstrated through lots of artificial dating shenanigans. (Journey or no, this is still a sitcom and shenanigans must be had.)
The example that strikes me, though it is a bit more obscure, is Richard Bach in A Bridge Across Forever. Richard, an author, decides he is tired of roaming, tired of pretty yet vacant faces, and sets off to find the soul mate he knows must be out there. Struggling to find her, he ends up deciding his perfect woman exists in many bodies and he should be able to have sex with them all because his freedom is more important than love. This is a shame, as his perfect woman does exist in the form of his best friend, actress Leslie Parrish, who gives him an ultimatum he nearly rejects because he is so in love with the cage of his "freedom" that he can't being pinned down by getting exactly what he said he wanted. He realizes what he could lose by giving her up for wanderlust and repents through much hard work.
In this spirit, and out of necessity to keep my fingers moving, I have compiled list after list of what I will require in the next woman I love. At the very least, these will keep me from what I do not, empty rutting with comely strangers. I had been making these lists on bit of lined paper that I managed to keep losing. The attributes I recall most readily now are rephrased deficits in my previous relationships, mistakes I will try not to make again, but they are worth transcribing.
What must she be:
I can think of dozens of other qualities that I would find attractive (musical or literary ability, interest in the hard and social sciences, non-dogmatic spirituality), but can imagine loving someone without these. Anyone who can initially interest me, who doesnít fall into one of the above warnings/requirements, I can love.
As George Bernard Shaw put it, "I want my rapscallionly fellow vagabond. I want my dark lady. I want my angel. I want my tempter." And I worry that, in the three and a half years I cuddled Melanie out of her nymphancy, thousand of potential commitment-minded fellow vagabonds bonded inextricably to other men.
I have a great deal to offer the right woman. Aside from being obviously commitment-philic (which media inform me, perhaps erroneously, continues to be a rarity), I am now capable of giving myself completely to another person. Love is an important part of my life. I am an author whose publisher is eager for more, which I am given to understand is - and I am quoting here, mind you - something of a "panty-melter" in the proper circles. I have an established life, a job (or several...), a car, a social circle. I donít miss bills, I have savings. Perhaps I cannot yet jet to far away locales at a whim, but I am not without comfort and freedom. I am fit, if not precisely athletic, given to long run in cemeteries (really, the best place to work out story threads into a voice recorder). I am open with my feelings. I am endlessly curious about my lovers. I enjoy parties as much as sitting at home cuddling as much as plays as much as lectures. I fall in love fast, but not idly. Once I love someone, I always love them in some way. I genuinely want to be and make effort toward being a good person and live in a compassionate way with the world.
I do think of She Who Will Be My Lover as a concrete abstract, envisioning small moments from our life together. She will rest her head on my chest as we fall asleep. We will have inside jokes and pet names by the dozen. She will giggle through The Room with me, cringe and cry at the end of The Orphanage, argue with me about the objective reality in Pan's Labyrinth, squeeze my hand as the screen goes black at the end of American Beauty, watch Up and say she wants to be my Ellie (less the death). She will kiss me when I quote Lolita at her, will quote back Pablo Neruda. We will share music without judgment, hearing for the first time songs we had ignored previously. We will have a "song". We will sit at the waterfront as the day turns to night, sighing over lost loves and awkward teenage crushes.
She will be, but I cannot imagine when. Perhaps she won't be the next woman I kiss or the tenth - though I would prefer the former. I am not out to waste my time or hers. I don't think it is unhealthy to do my best to wait for her, but I know I cannot wait properly with the wrong woman keeping my bed warm. Melanie left, in minor part, because she decided I knew what I wanted out of life and she did not.
I don't think this is unhealthy, as I keep hearing from those who otherwise advise to "explore being single" when they really mean "lap me in bed hopping" or, more simply, "lap me". She will exist, I have no doubt. Until then, I will refrain. I am not looking for what most are. I am not what most are looking for. So I will wait with this tulpa, like attracting like. It seems a great deal safer than venturing crotch-first into the world believing I can find what I need in just any woman.
I need the thought of her to keep me strong in my waiting. If a part of the reason I go out with friends or go dancing is because of a woman I have yet to meet, if I work and write sometimes because I do not think she would be fond of a shiftless loser, what is the issue? I still enjoy friends, dancing, work, and writing. They are their own reward, but I like the added spice of continuing to build the foundation of the life we will have together.
I am not without feminine attention at present. Presenting oneself as an eligible young bachelor on the internet instantly brings those who believe that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a torrid fling. But they are not Her and (I think) we both know it. I am not inclined to settling, nor can I imagine these women would like to be thought of as something to be settled for. Likewise, I have had a few prior friends and acquaintances tentatively sniffing around to see if I am healed enough to pursue. I say to them plainly, if I wanted to be with you, you would absolutely know. I am brutally unsubtle and inclined toward telling people, "So, I am attracted to you. Is this the sort of thing we ought to discuss?" My only subtlety is in ignoring what I perceive to be advances in a cloud of feigned obliviousness. My emotional state in reference to this breakup is a completely different mental thread than my wish for Her to appear; I can continue healing and very healthily love someone else, when there is someone to healthily love. I had over seven months to prepare the schema I would need.
I've met those who cling to breakups (more than they ever did to the partners themselves) and find them distinctly unattractive. If you can't get over someone who left you years ago, if you dedicate your life to moping and looking over your shoulder at someone who vanished over the horizon a lifetime ago, then you aren't living. So I do the work necessary to conquer my feelings for Melanie in the breakup, something I need to do anyway, because it means I will be more ready for the right woman when I find her.
All this is hopeful, but, in the end, Ted Mosby has yet to meet the Mother (only her ankle, once) and has slept with dozens of faceless women who are little more than anecdotes for continuity hounds. Richard Bach divorced Leslie Parrish after twenty-five years together, reportedly because he felt the need to re-sow wild oats that made him seem so unsympathetic in the beginning of the book (if they start wanting flings, they go back to wanting flings). Maybe outside of media, these journeys work out better, when they happen in the quiet and the dark I fear right now.
Soon in Xenology: More dancing. Coping.