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Day 18 - Fantasy, Love Stories & Car Auctions

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

So I went to this event last night. It was a work networking thing. I met some new people and saw some people I have known for awhile. Someone new that I met was a man. I mean an attractive, age appropriate MAN! I haven’t met anyone organically that I was interested in forever. But there he was. Just standing there. He was funny, handsome and engaging. Smart and single. I cannot tell you how rare this is today. To meet someone at a real life event that is actually single! This is shocking. He was also not just separated which is usually the case. There was actually some space in this guy’s life. He left one relationship and didn’t appear to have completely filled it up with another one immediately. Now, he could be online dating himself to death...I don’t know.

What happened though as I spent the better part of the night talking to this man was that I realized how much this interaction was an anomaly. I go to a lot of these events and I NEVER meet anyone interesting that is also single. I mean EVER. Like for years. From my perspective, this very normal situation which used to be commonplace has become a rarity. Twenty years ago, most people met in the real world. Now almost everyone meets online. The organic interaction seems to be a thing of the past. I love technology but it has its limits. I believe in Audible books, online banking, remote work environments but when it comes to intimate relationships I am somewhat old fashion and, though I hate to admit it, romantic.

I love meeting couples and hearing how they met. I am a sucker for a good love story. My favorites are the ones that go like this:

“I was traveling from Denver to St. Louis and I sat down in my seat on the plane and there was this beautiful woman sitting next to me” This has never, ever happened to me by the way. All the flying I have done in my life and not one time did someone hot and single sit next to me...not even once! I always get the business man who sits with his legs spread wide so that they touch mine and I have to engage in seat yoga to create some space for myself. Or the elderly woman that will not stop talking to me about her knitting project...

“I walked into this bar and there he was. Sitting there talking to someone. Our eyes locked and I knew” This one kills me. Seriously, this one in particular has fucked me up more than a little. I want that. I really, really want to be blown away by someone like that. I, likewise, want to rock someone’s world in this manner. But nope, never happened.

“I was walking down the street and she bumped into me. She dropped all of the stuff she was carrying and then had trouble picking it all up because she was so flustered. I knew that I had to get to know her right then” I like stories where I get to be cast in a role that allows me to be less than perfect. I get to drop shit and be a little bit of a mess. Those are the best because I am so down for that role. I have literally been practicing for the awkward encounter all my life. I kill awkward social engagements!

I don’t know why my fantasy dating life involves this real life component. I guess it is just what does it for me. I like the idea of two people having an energetic connection from the word go. I like the idea in lust at first site. I like the chemistry and alchemy that happens when one combustible human literally runs into another. Chemical reaction is what it is really all about...well, at least in the beginning.

So, needless to say that my mind has gone into hyper overdrive with the chance encounter from last night. I have played this through in my head over and over again. Meeting him has become like a song lyric that I can’t stop singing. Now, the romantic part of me thinks this is sweet and harmless. The more practical side of me knows this is where thoughts get morphed into obsession. Not fatal attraction obsession. I like to keep my obsession to myself, not tell anyone else about it. Just run it through my mind repeatedly - on some circuitous route that only I know about.

In reality, I will do nothing. I will say nothing. In part, because I am on a man ban. So there is nothing to be done. But if I were dating, I would still do nothing because part of my fantasy is that he seek me. Now that can’t happen if I seek him. My role in the above scenarios is always passive. I am just living my life and then BAM there he is wanting me.

So I am not really talking about results here. I am just getting to watch how my mind just needs this tiny morsel of interest, a small inkling to get it going and then Erin has left the building. I have thrown away writing (no time to do that when you are trying to maintain a committed relationship), I have thrown away meditation (why would I need to do that anymore - I now have it all), yoga (maybe with the new guy...), all the things that I have made a part of my everyday become up for grabs like at a car auction. “Who wants this well worn sweater that she used to wear during meditation? She won’t be needing it now that she has become completely unmoored to herself and is on her way to man city. Let’s start the bidding at $1.”

Ok, I know that seems far fetched but that is what I do. I really do offer some of the best parts of myself up to the altar of relationships only to spend the rest of the relationship trying to get them back, resenting myself and the guy for ever giving them up in the first place and berating myself for not being stronger in my resolve to have my own back.

I do not like this part of myself all that much. I want to be so much stronger and independent. I do not want the idea of a love story to completely derail me and cause me to wholly abandon my own life. But, if I am honest, that is what I have always done. If I am being real here, and I am really trying, I have really only done these things so that I can say that I did them. They were like man bait...let me add things that I think a man would find attractive: love of sports, exercise, introspection, reading, yoga - these were all accouterments to Erin that I thought would make me more well rounded and desirable although now that I am writing them out I can see that, no, none of the above (save the love of sports) are really things that men there’s that. I am off course again! But these same things were the first things that I gave away. They were never really me. They were add ons designed to attract, catch and get a man who was probably looking for a woman that can belch jingle bells, make a killer lasagna and discuss the fumble on the 15 yard line for three hours. (I can do two out of the three...just by the way).

Today, I am happy to report though that something has happened to morph these ideas into a more fully integrated person. I can see the fantasy as alluring and seductive but not likely to lead to anything with depth and weight. It is just a fantasy...that is all. Fantasy has an important role and a proper place in our lives, it only becomes problematic when one loses sight of the fact that fantasy is not reality. Something I did for a really long time.

So today, I am allowing my ridiculous fantasy life to just fly all around me but with a new twist: that no matter the man, situation or fantasy, I can still be me regardless. I can still do all the things that started off as man fodder but have become a part of who I am and what I do. I would not give up my early mornings, meditation, yoga and writing. I would not throw myself out into a relationship just because it looked good or felt right. The twist in this tale is that I would still do me. Man be damned. Because me having my own back is the most important thing that I can do and the only way that, should Mr. Wonderful ever really come along, I could possibly show up for him in a real and meaningful way. I have to take the time to get to know me so that there is something of substance I can share with another. Today, I can enjoy the fantasy and not worry about the fruition. Today, I rest in the fundamental belief that I am loved, cared for and fine just as I am. Nothing more is required or needed for me to be whole and complete. Now that is some fucking growth right there!

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