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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Day 7 - The Botany of Collecting Men

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

I am still trying to extricate myself from the men I have collected. Why is it so hard for me to tell them "I am taking a year off."? It is like I am hanging onto some sort of flimsy reed thinking it will save me from the flood. It is a little desperate, I think.

An even better question is why did I need so many men for validation in the first place? That isn't completely true...but it is not not true either. Most people I know are dating and they quickly relegate a prospect to the "I would see him again" category or the "fuck no" category. I seem to have developed the ever illusive "you don't immediately offend me or really excite me so I will let you hang around for awhile" category. What a dubious honor this category is!

So I have enmassed this collection of men that I have categorized like some botanist might categorize plants...

"leafy, green, delicate, likes shade"

"hardy, tough, enjoys full sun"

"wiry, invasive, a climber"

"variegated, diverse, unusual, likes partial sun"

Now I am in need of a plant sale but I am finding it hard to say goodbye because each of them added something to my life. Potential, activity, intensity, relief from boredom, a feeling of desirability, distraction and good old fun.

Saying so long has been harder for some than others. There were several that I seriously considered dating but then when I would play that out in my head, I just couldn't see it. It wasn't the men and their individual properties. It was me. I couldn't see me being with any of them. Nice and kind and interested as they were, it was me that could not imagine spending more than a couple of hours with any of them without wanting to run away.

My last love relationship broke something within me, I will own that. Something that I still cannot identify. The romantic part of me believes that he broke my heart and it forever belongs to him. But I am way too practical and logical for that to be true. This more rational and reasoned part of me believes that he shattered the dream and illusion that I am a good partner. I mean, I gave that guy all that I had and he left! What the fuck could I possibly offer now?

I am still sorting that out...part of the reason that I think I need a year off of dating. I have no idea what I am doing and I do not think that mankind should really drug along for the ride. I like men. I like the way they look, smell (sometimes), think, feel...why would I want to make them suffer along with me?

So I vow to end the collecting and categorizing today. I will tell the last remaining men that I am out and let them move on sans Erin. Perhaps a few will remain as friends. That is new for me too. I usually so ruin things that the men I have been involved with never want to speak to me or see me again. While I am a great at leaving, I am not so great at preserving any kind of feeling of kindness or empathy. I am pretty much a cutter and a runner. It goes like this "HI!, FUN!, OH NO!, BYE!" I am not giving myself credit here because while that was my younger pattern, I have gotten better as I have aged. The feelings of others has become more important over the decades and I am not quite as brutal as I used to be.

I think I have to look at why I feel the need to collect and then categorize in the first place. Why am I not enough on my own? What am I trying to add and why? It isn't the most exciting line of inquiry I can come up with but it resonates so I guess that is where I am today. I am going to stop moving on and letting them know later. I will tell the remaining few today...I promise. Then I will get on with the business of living my life for me with no organic, botanical male support...

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