A couple of weeks ago, I went to my cousin Delia to get my hair done. I’d been visiting a stylist at Ulta until recently, due to a… “mishap” about a year and a half ago. Now, I am not a gal who particularly stresses over her hair. Delia’s cut it shorter than I intended, done the bangs in a different style, made the highlights too bright, and so has her sister Emily. They’re both professionals, but sometimes the message isn’t clear, because I don’t know anything about hair. Either way, it looks fine, even if it’s not what I originally pictured… until a month before my 25th birthday.
Delia realized her mistake (how could she not?) and apologized profusely for my uneven, way too short bangs. I waved her off and declared “It’s just hair,” because there was nothing to be done about it.
Delia: “I could like… try to do something edgy and cut them at a diagonal.”
Me: “NO! I mean, no this is fine. My hair grows fast. It’ll look fine in a couple weeks and I won’t have to cut them for awhile!”
She felt terrible. An Epic Tantrum was not going to suddenly give me Zooey Deschanel bangs. So, I left with a smile on my face and called my Gramma… crying.
Coworker: “What did you do to your hair?!?”
Customer: ::after it grew out:: “You look better with your hair like that.”
So, naturally, I took a break from Delia’s salon for awhile. Perhaps that’s why I forgot that Delia, God bless her, is the absolute worst with the Time’s A Wastin’ speeches, when it comes to my dating life. I’m not entirely sure why, since we do live in the suburbs and we’ve multiple aunts who married when they were in their late 20’s and early 30’s and have functional, happy relationships, children, and fulfilling careers. We’re not that country, y’all. Regardless, every time I get my hair done, Delia’s first questions are about whether or not I’ve been on any dates, if I’ve gone trolling for dick with any girlfriends recently, what online dating websites I’m using, if I’ve considered a
rape cruise singles cruise, when I’ll get a full time librarian position, why I haven’t bought a house…
I. Am. 26. I have a master’s degree and a professional career I love. I somehow managed to get both while married to a man Lord Voldemort looks at and says “Dude, that’s fucked up.” I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. On an average day, I don’t feel behind at all. Then Delia tells me that my cousin Kayla, who’s two years younger than I am, has met a nice man online.
Delia: “It’s about time, too. I mean she’s 24.”
That’s right. My baby cousin, who tried online dating as an afterthought (she wasn’t considering it at Thanksgiving) has apparently found a man she’s “never felt like this about, before.” Never mind that I haven’t put any real effort into dating until… well, like this month, because I’ve been busy and just generally happy single. Forget that while she’s been without her ex-boyfriend for far less time than I’ve been divorced, she wasn’t working two jobs and in grad school during that time. Disregard the fact that she’s a different person, with different life goals, and a different plan. I still felt behind 24-year-old Kayla. So I did it. Although I was fully aware that Delia is the family megaphone and every single one of my aunts would hear about it within the hour, I told her about my one good date with Air Force.
As you’ll recall, Air Force was the last installment in my latest series “Three and Half Men.” He was polite and gentlemanly and he asked me on a second date as we walked to our cars. So, that weekend, we arranged to meet at the Springfield theater, which was nowhere near him, but more convenient for me.
As for the date? Well, it went great. Air Force was polite and just as gentlemanly as before, even offering to get my water for me after we’d been seated. Captain America was good and we went to lunch afterward. The conversation flowed well enough, until…
Me: “You said you can pretty much stay in the state as long as you like?”
Air Force: “Yeah. I’m thinking like 5-8 years, then maybe I’ll move on… is that like a deal breaker for you? The moving around thing?”
Me: ::slight nod:: “I pretty much want to stay here.”
Aaaaand… it was over. The conversational flow just completely stopped. I finished up my meal, tried to continue being friendly, but could tell it was done. AIr Force drove me back to my car, and told me to drive safe. There was no mention of meeting again, though he was still polite. I got in my car, called my Gramma and told her I wouldn’t be seeing him again. She didn’t even argue, knowing what a deal breaker it was for me to leave my family and career. She was just disappointed, hoping she’d finally married off her little girl. Gail was the balm I needed, once I’d relayed what happened.
Gail: You were clear. That was kind of inconsiderate of him.
Me: Yeah. Maybe a little. I think we probably both heard what we wanted to hear, to an extent. I’m so genuinely disappointed. I can’t imagine how I’d have felt after three months. Ugh. Emotions belong with the last fucking Horcrux.
Gail: What’s a Horcrux, again?
Me: It’s where Voldemort stored each of the seven parts of his soul and hid them at the ends of the earth, you loser.
Gail: Yes. I’m the loser.
Me: I’m going to die alone.
Gail: No. You’re going to die HERE, which is exactly what you want.
We tease each other, but I am so truly blessed to have the bond I have with Gail. There’s nothing I can’t tell her, no time she won’t be there for me, and vice versa.
As I’ve always said, I’ve learned something from each and every man I’ve dated. I learned that “we were just better friends than husband and wife” isn’t a good enough reason for a divorce, from the furry pawed analyst. I learned that I have to be with a man who takes my degree and profession seriously, from Engineer. I learned that attraction is a must, on even the slightest level, from Geologist. I learned that I won’t be dating men younger than I, from Civil Engineer. From Air Force? Well, I’m reminded why I don’t date current military. I’m also recalling the fact that I’m not willing to date someone with whom I have no future. Most importantly, I’m willing to concede that maybe I’m not doing a great job of choosing matches for myself. I’ve always “joked” that I wish I’d lived in a time of arranged marriages, because my daddy would do a much better job than I did the first time. Obviously, that’s not a feasible option. Oh, to be a Duggar. In lieu, though, I’ve decided to try eHarmony, once again.
The thing about eHarmony, is that it’s really not a dating service. It’s a matchmaking service. You’re only able to view the profiles of those who are compatible, making the options limited. I tried it two years ago, when I was just looking for casual dating and it was a terrible idea. I only met one man (because of the limited choices) and he was clearly ready to settle down, while I was realizing that I wasn’t, in fact, ready to date after my divorce. Today? Well, today I’m done wasting my time with drunken 25-year-olds.
Speaking of immature men, Producer, who pretended he didn’t remember our correspondence when I met him at The Last Match Event… Ever, has been messaging me on Match. When I responded and tried to get a conversation going, he told me he was busy with work. When I didn’t, he seemed fascinated and after a week of ignoring him, he’s finally asked me to dinner. I thought about it. “Give him a chance” and all those delightful Jane-isms, but… no. Just no. I’m ready to put quality above quantity. The next time I get my hair cut, I may decide that I need to meet someone a year ago if I want to be on the required path for a Southern 26-year-old, especially when Delia asks about Air Force. Today, though, I quit. eHarmony can take the reins and Delia, as much as I love her, can just stick to hair.