I have been going through an eternally long dating drought for about half the year. Fortunately, this horrific revelation didn’t even become a reality until this very moment when I saw it written out on my computer screen. Otherwise, I would have given up and joined a convent a few months ago.
While my observations of the New Orleans dating scene have continued to fascinate me – the reason being that I am somehow still single – I find myself overwhelmingly lost with nothing to write about. For a second, I even googled “dating blogs” to see what was out there. The results, in case you were wondering, were about as obsolete as my love life. In fact, no one had updated their blogs in at least a year, most probably because even those girls found husbands. Either that, or they died of loneliness. Or they realized that writing about their relationship failures was no longer cool after Sex and the City went off the air.
Yet, here I am. Still writing about failures, observations, and confusion, apparently.
So, then I turned to Facebook for advice.
Seeing as I fled to Miami to visit my mother for the holidays, I had almost forgotten it was Christmas (apparently, it’s not celebrated here). I was overwhelmed by the amount of Christmas updates – reunions with old friends, drinks at the Columns, that crazy ex-girlfriend that keeps sending flowers for the holidays 8 years after the breakup.
I immediately scrolled back up to re-read that last one. Coincidentally, an ex-boy “thing” of mine had written it, but I wasn’t the crazy ex he was referring to in this scenario. (Thank God…not that I would ever do such an insane thing).
This rather uncomfortable status update made me remember some of the reasons I typically flee New Orleans during the holidays is to escape the-run ins with the exes, the “what could have been” conversations, the even more terrifying internal “what could have been” debates, and the high school reunion specials where each girl just fights over who’s baby “did the cutest thing.”
Our tiny town of New Orleans is congested enough with my more recent exes, I found it best to stay away with the overcrowding of the older exes during the holiday season.
While I may have brilliantly escaped the tragic lineup of my ghosts of boyfriends past, I still find myself faced with the inevitable interrogation by my family. But, we can’t choose our battles, can we?
The trip always starts with a very enthusiastic and hopeful inquisition about my latest prospects – Who are you dating? Who have you met? Who do you like? The questions go on and on, consistently asking about the imaginary who in my life. Eventually, Family gives up on this.
After this horrific set of questions, we move on to phase 2 of what I will endearingly call the encouragement phase. During this portion of the trip, my grandmother and mother shower me with compliments (all true) and some of their words of wisdom. These “words” are typically…the right one is out there; better to take your time than rush into an unhappy marriage; just focus on yourself right now; and he’ll show up when you least expect it. I am convinced that there is a book out there on how to speak to single women. If there isn’t, I’m writing it, only it’s going to be called What You Shouldn’t Tell Single Women.
I know they mean well when they say this, but these words aren’t exactly manifesting a man into my life.
After the encouragement, come more questions. This round, however, is more like a therapy session than a Gossip Girl episode. This is when Family tries to dig deeper into my solitude and starts asking me if I ever even want to get married, because marriage isn’t for everyone.
And of course I do. However, if I knew what the problem was, I probably wouldn’t be this single, now would I?
When I confirm I do not want to be a spinster, I am led to the second and final round of encouragement, and introduced to my mother’s friend’s sons. While this last phase typically makes me embarrassed and uncomfortable in the past, I am starting to think that I should probably start to embrace it. Clearly, I have been doing a horrible job at picking out my own boyfriends, so maybe it was time to give my mother’s advice a chance. And what’s the worst that could happen? Either I meet the man of my dreams, or it fails and my mother will never again meddle in my romantic life. It is a win-win situation and at the very least, will provide for some more life lessons, amusing stories, and advice for my reader(s).
Pookie Lola writes Crescent City (Mis)Connection weekly for NolaVie.