My first attempt came out way too serious. The focus of my life sounded like Contemplation of Mankind. You could have mistaken me for the identical twin of Mother Theresa. But my second attempt went too far in the other direction. I sounded like a K-Mart shopper, dazed and confused by the wall of flatscreens all tuned into The Price Is Right.
Not that I wouldn't be perfectly content to snuggle up with a special someone on the couch and watch Drew Carey. Or talk about the actual retail price of a brand name product. Or just silently snuggle. (Okay, 70% silently.) I would love to be in those situations! But there is also heading up on Amtrak for an overnight on English Bay in Vancouver, or helping as volunteers in a community event.
A lot of my backspacing, I think, is related to one Big Discrepancy about my life. How it looks from the outside and how I experience it from the inside are very different. From the outside, my life looks quite ordinary. I am a hard-working single dad who tries to keep in close touch with my family and a small group of friends; who works out at the gym; who does a lot of work on the house and garden; who tries to be helpful to whomever; and that's about it. But from the inside, my life feels extraordinary. I can't believe that I get to be my son's dad. Or that all of my academic training has blended together in a way that makes the world seem so amazing, and that allows me earn my living by researching and writing and teaching about it. Or that parsley winters over. A lot of energy can rush through me in the most simple of everyday circumstances. And if that energy was to be multiplied by the presence of a special someone .. (feel free to let you mind wander).
My best chances out here are with someone who is happy in the here and now, who looks forward to many things, who feels a sense of purpose in her life, and who measures a good day by how helpful she’s been to other people. At the same time, I imagine her as being sometimes unpredictable, goofy, age-inappropriate, spacey, playful, moody, and whatever else I failed to mention. As for me, I'm as poisoned as ever by the idea of falling in love (where "poisoned" is a good thing, and partly stolen from a song by Bruce Hornsby); rubbed the wrong way by anything fake; addicted to fresh food, ample sleep, and pushing myself in terms of exercise. I am also: perfectly happy vacuuming, washing dishes, and folding clothes; addicted to the outdoors; suicidal without music; less and less willing to use fossil fuel to lift my body up 30,000 feet against gravity for nothing more than personal pleasure; very bad at telling good jokes; yet equally good at telling bad jokes. (Example: what did one cannibal say to the other cannibal after they started eating the clown?)
Let's see. What did I forget. Oh right. My definition of "falling in love": when you feel like the other person is to-die for; with whom you can totally let go; and around whom you have trouble not reaching over and touching. Hmmm. What else. Oh, right. I wondered if they would ever catch Red John. And finally (in the "last but not least" category): if you addictively listen to one song over and over AND OVER, or even worse, if you addictively *sing* it over and over AND OVER while repeatedly insisting, "No! I already told you that I am not ruining it!" - it will just add to your attractiveness,
Minor Caveat: You will find it just as loveable when I do it :)