I love getting mail.
This week I've come home to find lots of richly embossed wedding invitations, save the dates in addition to the other bridal and bachelorette-related messages that my lovebird friends are sending out these days. Wedding Season 2009 is filling up rather quickly. I'm hopeful that this upcoming year, like the last two, will be one where I can still ignore the "and guest" on my invitations and go enjoy fun weekends with my friends, sans-date.
I also joined the 20-Something Bloggers network this week, meaning I now have access to thousands of strangers and their Internet musings. It's so addicting. Thought topics and opinions range widely, and I'm continually amazed at how honest people are online.
The combination of all the love-mail with the reading I've followed of my fellow 20-somethings has gotten me thinking that I don't put myself out there that much when it comes to dating. I'm available, and not.
My friend CT, who I studied abroad with, is studying abroad again, this time in Toulouse for grad school. (Who knew you could do that twice?) She emailed me recently to shoot the breeze and catch me up on the interesting life she's got going on in France, not the least of which notable facts was that she's living with a family who has not one, not two, but THREE attractive sons in our age-range. I know: when can I come visit? Even though, knowing me, I would smile, introduce myself and admire them from a distance.
Anyway, she asked me about my life and told me not to give her the "generic" version she reads about on my blog. Ouch. Me, vague? Never.
I put on a good song and dance when dealing with guys (or at least, I like to think I do). A product of my generation, I can carry on the witty banter of texting back and forth and the clever emails with the best of them. If desirability was determined by success as a pen pal, I would be highly sought after. The problem is face time. Actually spending time with someone when there's interest can get a little unnerving. Or a lot unnerving. I have rarely been around a guy, when there has been the "what-if" possibility looming overhead, when I haven't wanted to run for the door.
Why am I afraid of boys? (No really, I'm asking).
I remember hanging out with a guy friend in college, while we were both home for Christmas break, watching a basketball game together at my house, talking sports and life and whatnot, then driving him home. When I pulled up in front of his house I leaned over and gave him a hug, pulled away after an appropriately long friend-embrace and found myself really close to his face. We had the same look in our eyes but both hesitated just a bit too long and the moment was lost. I turned back to my steering wheel and he got out of the car, and though we spent more time together after that, we could never really recover that moment back.
So why do some people fall head over heels so quickly? Why do others have such a hard time being vulnerable?
I come from loving parents who have been happily married for almost 27 years. I have no reason not to believe in relationships, I DO believe in relationships, and I've never been seriously scarred by a guy, but it's really only because I have never let anyone get close enough to really hurt me.
I told one of my friends once that I thought my biggest misconception of love was that I thought, subconsciously, that it should make sense, when in fact the kind of guys I have found myself to be attracted to over the years have run the gamut of different backgrounds, ages and personalities... shy, loud, mysterious, conventional, rugged, clean-cut. The common denominator I have found is humor: they all made me laugh.
They also made me nervous.
A few of my good friends in Dallas are nicely settled into relationships, and every time someone gets engaged, as happy as I am, I'm still left wondering where the gap was bridged between awkward first embraces to being someones standing plus one everywhere.
Part of the greatness of living in New York was that, at 23, no one expected you to be considering marriage, or even a relationship. You should just be "having fun," which, don't even get me started on what that's supposed to mean. An unwritten societal expectation of growing up in Texas, however, is getting married young, somewhere in the early/mid-twenties range, buying a house and "starting your life", so to speak. I feel like there should be some happy medium between one night stands and happily ever after. I just have no idea where to find it.
I'm still not buying the whole "dating" thing either.
"If you would be loved... be lovable."