Tuesday, January 24, 2006

keepsake bubbles

yeah, okay, so maybe i don't want this blog to be my stereotypical black woman waiting for her tall dark and handsome black knight blog. nor do i want it to be my aspiring writer blog. nor do i want it to be my stuff-nobody-cares about blog. but that pretty much is what this is, whether or not i want it to be. sometimes i think of a topic, and think, "didn't i just write about that?" i hate the idea that what i generally have to say could be so easily categorized. it would be nice if this could be the i-can't-wait-to-see-what-new-and-interesting-thing-is-going-on-in-glory's-mind blog, but it can't be that. my life is not full of new and interesting things all the time. i'm not in the mood for political commentary, since i believe that i can blog until i'm blue in the face, but it won't do anything to provide affordable housing and health care and quality education and jobs with living wages and an end to the trade deficit, peace in the middle east, an end of terrorism, racism, sexism, classism and/or any other miscellaneous -ism. i don't intend to be particularly educational, or even have a point at all on some days. this blog just reflects what's happening in my mind when i sit facing a keyboard, challenging myself to have something to say about something that i figure perhaps someone can relate to, or at least get something out of reading.

with that said, let me get into one of my most often revisited topics, cause this is

i am that stereotypical

single black woman

what's on my mind right now... i guess i could say that i am indeed that stereotypical single black woman. the one who has it together. the one who is, at minimum, covering all the bases of what's expected in adult life. education. job. some modicum of comfort and recreation. financial plans. spiritually grounded. bla, bla, bla. and who secretly, in her heart of hearts, in the dark, in her place, when alone, ponders the question of companionship. the wind is changing.

i can't remember a time since i was twelve that it didn't matter to me to some degree whether or not i was attached. that was about the time

i had wisdom

beyond my years.

i wasn't pressed

that all my girlfriends started getting boyfriends and kissing and exchanging telephone numbers, getting felt up and drawing their names with his in hearts all scribbled on the back page of spiral notebooks in purple or green or pink ink. but at the time, i had a wisdom beyond my years. i wasn't pressed. i didn't think i was ugly, but i certainly didn't think i was cute. i was short, i wore glasses, my acne was having fun with my complexion, and i was skinny, flat-chested, and not used to hanging out with boys. so i figured at that time that boys were for later, even though i felt a little left out.

i was right. "later" came when i was fourteen, and i snuck a "date" with a boy at the library under the guise of research for a school project (as if my mom didn't know what she was really dropping me off for). we walked to the waterfront holding

i am still that girl

hands, and then we kissed under a night sky in front of the lights of the philly skyline and the bright blue lights of the ben franklin bridge. it was a sloppy, spitty, amateur mess of a kiss, but it's one of the most romantic i've ever received. that was the beginning. through my teenage years, i had a few boyfriends. hardly any of them lasted for any longer than four months. but i had fun learning the ropes of how to hang out with them in settings other than dodgeball games and freeze tag, watching them play football or cheerleading for them while they played basketball. all my closest friends in high school were boys. i loved each of them for letting me hang around - the girl mascot, the kid sister, the one none of them would date, but the one who could help with homework or who would let you have some of her french fries at lunch. in many ways, i am still that girl.

i had to leave my first love to go to college. it didn't seem right to stay loyal to a guy who couldn't be found at prom time, who wasn't working or in school, while i was learning about syllabi and credits, paychecks and credit cards, midterms and finals... my first adult relationship, with an older guy, molded me and sustained me through the rest of college. some of my dorm neighbors thought that i was the kind of girl who couldn't be without a man. i find that funny since most of the time i was with my college sweetheart, i was really more alone than i was with him. we loved each other, but most of the time i loved him, we were either on hiatus, or we were in the mild and timid reconciliation phases that followed each hiatus. he had my heart for the first five years of my adult life. in my heart, he was my husband. though the love was intense, i think of that period as one of uncertainty and insecurity, even though i thought that we would ultimately marry.

we didn't. for the right reasons, which i don't regret at all. but there were five years of my life spent monogamously. i stood suddenly liberated, having been loved, but unsure of how to get love again - unsure if i wanted love again. i had never

just the normal

ups and downs

really dated as an adult. the whole experience of moving on and starting over was frightening - it was like being fourteen all over again. from that experience, i can't imagine what divorcees go through. i was in grad school, and very busy, but i met men here and there. no big problems, but no major love affairs, either. still, having been an only child, i contented myself with my own company when i wasn't dating, and forced myself to face my fears of learning to trust a new person when i did have opportunities to date. nothing major. nothing traumatic or out of the ordinary. no pressure. just the normal ups and downs of meeting and dating and breaking up.

but then, one day i looked up and did the worst thing imaginable. i started to count. i started thinking about how many weddings i've been in. how many

worst thing imaginable -

i started to count.

weddings i've gone to. how many times i've avoided catching the bouquet. how many of my college friends are married or coupled. how many of my childhood friends are married or coupled. how many of my cousins are married or coupled. the effect was something like that well known camera effect, where a person experiences a sudden realization, and at the same time that the camera zooms in on their shock tinged face in the foreground, their surroundings shrink back from them in the background, as if they are inhaling and sucking themselves back like one of those little blue baby aspirators (sorry for that simile - i just hosted a baby shower over the weekend and my friend and i were trying to figure out why every snot sucker we've ever seen is blue).

which brings me to what inspired this blog entry in the first place. as i sat in front of my blank screen, wondering what to write about, my eyes landed on one of the bookshelves, one corner of which has, by chance, become the depository for all things keepsake. there is a picture of me as a bridesmaid with the bride in the last

it's just me now...

wedding i was in. there are favors from my best friend's baby shower, my little cousin's wedding, my big cousin's wedding... it's all piling up. i started thinking - i can, without hesitation, think of at least three weddings coming up within the next year or so. there will be more clear tubes of bubbles with ribbons on them bearing the names of my loved ones with people who will now monopolize their attention. there will be more baby shower party favors. as i look around, precious few of us are left without wedding scrapbooks or childbirth war stories. i did not want to be one of the precious few. am i happy that i'm not in some relationship that i shouldn't have stayed in, just to get my m.r.s. degree? of course. am i sure that i'll still feel this way five or ten years from now? of course not. the difference is that i don't want to be the single one, consoling myself like i did when i was twelve, saying that "love is for later." nor do i want to be the foolish one who marries just to be married. that is soooo not a good move. but the wind has changed. it is like the first fall wind you feel - that early wind that happens even before the leaves change and fall - the one that reminds you that cooler weather is coming. the kind that reminds you to make vacation plans for the holidays and go pull that hat out of storage. it was fine when me and my girls could go play and talk about boys and we were all in the same boat. but it's just me now.

i feel that this is an appropriate place for me to remind you all that this is just my blog. these are not the thoughts that dominate my mind throughout the days - i am not preoccupied. i will not be husband hunting. nor will i be gratuitously flirting

i am a longsuffering


with anything with a y-chromosome. i will not be batting my eyes shamelessly. i do not consider myself an old maid. and i already know about the "grass is greener" stuff - in fact, i blogged about that fallacy some months back. i understand the value of patience. these are just ruminations "on paper." "knowing better" doesn't make the thoughts and feelings any less real or compelling - it just keeps them from controlling you. and to that end, i'd rather not receive comments in the vein of patience or the color of grass. trust me, i know. i am a longsuffering pisces. i know that it is my lot to go through the spiritual journey of staying true to myself, refusing to settle for less than the love i seek, even if it means becoming a martyr in my own mind for the cause - even if it means never making it to his arms because "he" just wasn't meant to be.

i'm okay. but i think i might dismantle my depository of keepsakes, just for good measure.