The Similarities of Bingo and My Love Life...
I went to a fundraiser Bingo night Saturday night. And while fun, it did have eerie similarities to how I feel about my love life right now...
Yes, you can brace, this is going to be weird...
First of all, the night started with anticipation. A happiness, a hopefulness. Would I win? Same exact feeling every time I have gone on a date...same, exact feeling. This feeling of excitement mixed up with a little nervousness. I do not like being the center of attention, so having to call out BINGO, makes me a little fearful. I know, I am weird. I am the person who buys a raffle ticket then prays not to win so I won’t have to raise my hand and stand up and claim the prize. No lie. I usually make a deal with other people around me that if I win, they have to collect, and I will split it with them. It is worth giving up money, just not to have to stand up in a room full of people.
But like most of my dates, my interest quickly flagged after the first couple of rounds. What started out as hopeful, began to be tedious. This is why I do not online date. I start off so hopeful and then am quickly so disillusioned that I hate myself and all of humanity within a week. Now, Bingo was a little less so, I did not hate myself or humankind, but the underlying feeling of being disappointed was there and palpable.
I also felt like as the caller yelled out letters and numbers that same feeling of “this time!” But nope, every time, it was a near miss and then onto the next near miss. Never once landing on a winning card.
I found myself daubing the wrong number sometimes just like how often I have dated the wrong man. I mean totally wrong and then other times, just a one off. Like the guy was amazing on many levels but just wrong on one very important one. I, with my over exuberance, daubed B6 when what was called was B9. Now my whole card was messed up, but as the universe usually does, it was no big deal because I never got closer than three numbers to a winning card. So my error wasn’t really a big deal. I wish that was true in the dating department...
What I related to most of all was the feeling of hopefulness that quickly eroded into despair. Which is how I feel about most of dating lately. There are a lot of good guys out there but I feel almost irretrievably broken. I am just not interested. I want to play and win, but in the end, I just don’t want to play. I can rally for a night but sustaining the interest and desire for more than one night, I just don’t have it in me. Like at all.
And unlike Bingo, it isn’t just one night in thousands. Dating, loving, relationshiping takes an ongoing commitment to be present, available and willing to work. And I seem to have lost the desire. Sure, I can fantasize about what “he” might be like, the mythical creature man that exists in my head. Right now, he has embodied Mr. Stetson Hat Man from Yucca Valley. A man that I met in passing, that has taken up residence in my dating fantasy life. He could have been a serial killer, a hopeless drunk, but that is not what I think about when I think about him (and I think about him daily), I think of how attracted I was to him, how much I wanted to spend time with him, to be in the same room with him, to be near him. And I long for that feeling. Maybe not him so much but that feeling of wanting someone. That is what I miss most about dating. The buzz of connection that is pervasive and reciprocated.
It has been so long since I felt that. And the times that I have felt the electrifying feeling of chemistry alit with interest, curiosity and lust, those have all ended so badly. Like a fucking house fire (which is way worse than a dumpster fire...)
I miss that pull towards, that mutual feeling of interest and being lit up in that way. It is a heady feeling that scares me and excites me at the same time. Which is exactly what I felt on Saturday evening with the purchase of my Bingo cards...the excitement of something new happening. Of a victory, of a win. I did not lust after the winning of Bingo in the same way, (I am weird but not THAT weird) but the feelings, or rather the road map of the feelings inside my head were familiar. I wanted something illusive and just out of reach but still I reached. And I don’t get to feel that very often.
That feeling of being ignited. Where your head, heart and body become a singular vessel, a one track groove, where you just want to be in a particular person’s presence...forever. And you will twist yourself up pretty good to get there. I miss that. I miss feeling that way about someone who feels that way about me.
I guess my night of Bingo was reminiscent of my love life because it felt hopeful and devastating at the same time. I so wish I could just give up dating altogether because it would be easier to not have hope. To just resign myself to my aloneness and be happy and content with it. I like being alone. I prefer it actually. So much easier to take care of me. To be solitary. I know exactly what to expect from myself. To not want to partner, to match up. To blend. That would be so much easier than feeling unable to connect and still have the desire for that connection.
I know that I am not alone. I see all your Facebook posts. I see that there are many others who are single and wish for the same. I see a great many who are partnered and wish they were partnered to someone else, literally anyone else. And I will say that is the loneliest thing I have ever experienced in my life...being partnered to a person who made you feel alone. Climbing into bed with them every night, wishing that you were actually alone so that your insides and outsides would actually be congruent.
And it is that fear right there that keeps me single. I don’t think I could do that again. And I do not trust myself, given my incredible track record of picking the worse Bingo cards (and by that I mean men, not really Bingo cards) and that is the worst feeling ever. Knowing that I am at the center of the dysfunction but having little to no idea how to be different. Like none.
So like dating, I dipped my foot into the Bingo pool, only to decide it just isn’t for me. I do not want to spend the emotional currency or the actual currency. I would rather sit it out and write about it, watching others take turns on the dating merry-go-round. I wish them all luck. Really. If I can’t have it, I so hope that others can.
I have put my dauber down. Screwed the cap back on and pushed away from the Bingo table. A little lighter in my wallet, and a lot lighter in being. I do not want what I haven’t got mostly because I do not have the power to change it. So I have to do the only thing I have ever found that works, surrender. Allow for the life that is currently here, present and in front of me to unfold in whatever magical way it will. Trusting and believing that my life is unfolding exactly as it should be and the best, the very best way to live it is to be grateful for all that I have and not covet the things I do not.
Dating and Bingo are so much more enjoyable when you don’t care about the outcome. And I am apparently not a person who can not care, so I persist in my stance of singleness, and now apparently a no Bingo policy as well. For both it can be said, “It was fun, until it wasn’t.”