I’ve always said that when I’m 34, that’s going to be my year. And as of a month from today, that’s two years away (*barf*), so I’d better get myself in gear for that wondrous time.

I am not one to read books or sites for dating and relating advice, but I couldn’t help it when I got my Comcast installed on Sunday and my home page miraculously showed me this article called “Too Busy to Date?” I couldn’t help but read it.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s pretty much up there with all the other crap at which I turn up my nose. But then again, when it ever came to prioritizing my life, it always went work, then friends, then nothing left over for me. And most recently, I phased out friends because “commuting to work” suddenly began to eat away at my time and thus my energy. And while I do love my job and all, it can’t be the only reason I get out of bed in the morning.

The article tells singletons to calculate how much time per week we would invest in a relationship, then use that same amount of time being hot to trot.

How much time for dating do you really have? How many minutes or hours a week? The right way to find your number is to ask yourself this: If you were in a serious relationship with a great man or woman, how much time would you spend together talking on the phone, e-mailing, having lunch or dinner, driving to his/her house, going to movies, having sex, etc.? Add it all up: Maybe it’s 20 hours per week? Then that’s the amount of time you could–and should!–carve out for searching for someone. Most people just don’t create the time for searching, but surprise, surprise: They suddenly find that time when they meet the right person.

OK, so let’s pretend I have 20 hours a week to embark on this odyssey. Am I supposed to park my ass in bars? Surf Match.com and its counterparts? Stalk cute guys down the street and beg them to talk to me?

Oh, and sidenote: I wouldn’t be opposed to 20 hours a week of *just* sex. 😉

How much time, then, should we allot to licking our wounds if the day per week we dedicate to mate-shopping should yield less-than-stellar results?

Is it me or isn’t 20 hours, oh, A PART-TIME JOB?!?! Cripes, I was exhausted when I spent 10 hours a week driving!

I’m not rejecting the idea, however, of mind over matter. Hiding in a dark office for the better part of a week’s daylight hours (and beyond) doesn’t exactly lend itself to feeling pretty and social and deserving of anything more than bigger and better (and thus, time-consuming) projects that will sharpen your money-making ability. And I’m sorry, but pantyhose is inappropriate office-wear — it’s much better paired with garters and hooker heels. 😉


The article goes on to say that you should refuse the next big project at work because the next project SHOULD be the disaster otherwise known as our love life.

Gee, that’s funny, but I always met the most people when I felt the most secure about my career. When I knew I had money in my wallet if a date turned south and I wanted to not owe the boy a dime if it meant I would owe him another minute of my time. I would think that dating would come more easily, the more secure you are in your vocation. Confidence and self-worth and all that crap that unfortunately doesn’t always come so easily. Hence, too much time wasted on “friends” who stomped all over your energy and availability and thus siphoned your will to meet anyone else who would place even more demands on you.

But I digress. Because it was just a matter of finding better friends. And thus, the same process should apply to finding more quality people to date. The less time you have to spend, the more you want to find someone who makes those playtime hours just fly by with fun and lightness and laughter.

Of course, where/when did I meet people most? At work. And now that I don’t really interact with anyone beyond my immediate team, I realized today that I can’t put a face on 80 percent of the staff directory. There was a happy hour tonight — RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my new place — and I passed. Truth was, I knew one person on the list, and while I need to network, there’s a part of me who said, “No eligible bachelors? Then no thanks.” 😉

See? Prioritizing one’s time. I think I’m on my way! LOL

In all seriousness, though, I’m staring hard at 32 right now. A month to the day away.

I’m different, though. Just moving out of Virginia has changed me. My dangerously high blood pressure has gone away. I had it checked today — it’s more normal than it’s ever been. I’m actually healthy and — *gasp!* — happy.

And that’s a place I haven’t seen in awhile.

It’s a place from which I am finally ready to launch into a different, better dimension.

It’s the point where the little black cloud goes *poof* and I will start expecting sunshine more frequently — and demanding it.

My best friend always asks me to not post my hard-luck stories up here. She knows that there are eyes on this page that want to see me fail — eyes that search for the slightest sign of strife and unhappiness. Intentions that might not be honest, that await any weakness on my part as an excuse to tear me asunder. Forces that I believe with all my heart intentionally cost me everything I ever had and perpetuated my free-fall into despair.


I tell her that while I know I should be all shiny and happy and shit, I’m on a journey where I need to process my steps, even if only in convoluted, detail-less prose. Because I am becoming a better person throughout it all — stronger and more resilient and immune to idiocentricity.

Of course, on the other hand, the love of my life might stumble upon this blog and go, “CRAZY! She’s NUTS! Run in the opposite direction!” And I so wouldn’t blame him. However, I am my own best character sketch. And I will publish my novels someday. So if he doesn’t want to live in my oceanfront mansion with me from the proceeds of my book sales, well then *pfft* on him! 😉


I’m in my happy place right now. And sure, that refers to my new dwelling, as I do love it so. But I’m sensing such a change in me right now, too. I’m not rushed anymore. (What a difference literally two days makes!) I’m not embarrassed and upset by where I live. (It wasn’t such a bad home, but between a horrible depression followed by never being home for a year made for severe neglect of the place I used to love most.)

I’ve lost a lot of good people along the way, but the good ones never really left and are sending such wonderfully supportive e-mails and comments. And even the ones who aren’t, I thank you anyway for respecting my space during this time of personal evolution. And some of the rest can just stay lost. 😉

In any event, while I poke fun at that Comcast article and even at pretty much every article intended to help a girl catch a man that I see in Cosmo, well, I still subscribe. Because while my friend doesn’t want me to admit it, I did my move alone. I reach practically every major milestone in my life alone. And now I have a TV sitting on my floor that I can’t even fucking pick up to put it on a goddamned table because it’s too much for me.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m as strong as I can be, and I achieve what I need to within my limits. But something has happened to me throughout all of my recent challenges — I’ve learned to love me. Flaws, shortcomings, eccentricities and all. Now THAT’S something I used to believe was impossible to do.

But if I can do it, I know someone else can. And I’d like to see them try. Whoever they might be.

So, while I might not spend 20 hours a week going on a man-hunt, I am going to condition myself to not resort to self-loathing in the aftermath of what I’ve viewed as anywhere from ill-fated attempts to outright failures along the way. Instead, I’m going to look at their endings — and even their outright absences, as evidenced of late — as keeping my schedule wide open for someone who’s worth my very valuable time, and maybe even more of it at some future undisclosed date.

Maybe 34 is the year I find that person, although I’m hoping to find him at 32 and make an honest man out of him by then. 😉 Because the overarching message that’s resounding in my head is that when it comes to interpersonal relations, we always want to be “ready” for when something great comes along. But maybe while we’re primping and preening and waiting for that shining moment to appear out of nowhere, it might be walking up to us while we’re too busy practicing our pouts in our rearview mirrors to notice. And I, for one, WOULD like to know a good thing if it came up and introduced itself!

So … all right Universe, I’m throwing it out there. You’ve given me great work, a great apartment, two entertaining fur-children. Can we step it up a notch or 10 and give me some magic, too?

3 Responses to 34

  1. Valbee :

    I, for one, am glad that you post things when you’re not necessarily in your happy place AND when you are, because hey – you sound, oh I don’t know… normal?

    If you only posted the fantastic things in your life, pretty much anyone who visited here would know you were full of shit. Because into everyone’s life a little rain must fall, blah blah blah.

    Ok, so there might be a few eyes wanting to see you fail. But you also likely have a lot of them wanting to see you succeed. F**k the rest of ’em. 🙂

    And on the “dating” thing? Well, I would have gone to the Happy Hour because even if there weren’t any eligible bachelors there, you never know who might know an EB that’s just waiting to meet someone like you. I’m not suggesting that you actively network for the sake of hooking up. But I met my current boyfriend through one of the guys in the band I was working for. And it was several months before I gave him any of my time and attention. You just never know…

  2. trouble :

    Real is way better than shiny happy.

    I am happy for you, Dawn, that you have reached that place. And I am sending all my best wishes your way that you will meet someone.

    (and a little plug for nerve.com,which is where I met my boyfriend).

  3. Caterwauling :

    […] Besides, I always said 34 will be my year, so hey, I’m a year away from the blissful delight I’m anticipating. Of course, what’s wrong with enjoying the here and now? […]