Monday, April 12, 2004
( 10:01 AM ) Rebecca
In high school, I was not cute. I was not popular. Until my senior year, I had a bad haircut and bad clothes and the boys on whom I developed monumental, Air-Supply-fueled crushes showed not a whit of interest in me. I went to parties and prayed for boys to swoon over me, but it never happened. I didn't have a date for the prom.
But now, at the ripe old age of 35, I'm finally living out my high school fantasies. Going to glamorous parties in big cities wearing slinky dresses where a gorgeous man (Sporty Architect Boy) wants nothing more than to make out with me every half hour, fighting off the other boys who are buzzing around as if I were a hot pink flower in full bloom.
I tell you, even in sixth grade, I was dreaming about such things. My best friend Jill and I would spend hours acting out scenarios, where we, famous singers/writers/photgraphers and/or supermodels lived together in a chic apartment in New York or San Francisco, where we performed/accepted awards/partied with the best-looking and most successful men on Earth, all the while wearing fabulous outfits yet retaining our essential innocence and high moral character.
In these fantasies, though, I was always about age 22. Because at 12, I could not possibly imagine being older than that. To me, 22 seemed the pinnacle of young womanhood, the age to which I aspired. At age 22, college degree in hand, my destiny would unfurl in the bright, bold colors of fame, fortune, and romance.
I never thought about my thirties back then. I assumed all the fun would end in my mid twenties, when I would inevitably marry another singer/writer/photographer/supermodel, settle down, and have kids - just like my parents (only with a more glamorous life than they).
Instead I spent my early twenties having bad jobs, going to grad school, and dating nice, but unexciting men. I spent my late twenties doing semi-glamorous jobs and dating semi-glamorous but inappropriate men. My writing career was happening, at least, but it was taking its time.
Marriage? I didn't stress about that til I hit 30. But at 32, I met The Big L. and thought I had it made. I had a book on the way, a handsome, devoted man at my side, and it looked like life was about to slide into place - if just a few years behind schedule.
Then, of course, it all went to hell. There was a breakup in which I was betrayed, lied to, and saddled with a piece of emotional baggage too big to fit into any overhead bin. Not to mention, I was 34 and single, with a shattered sense of self-esteem and no prospects in sight. Let's not forget, I also had an ex who worked right down the hall, and who shacked up with my manager as soon as he tossed me from his condo into the street.
But you all know the story. I fought my way back and became a better writer than ever before by churning out stories of heartbreak and noncommital men. I make money than ever before. I can afford late nights, fancy restaurants, and as many mixed drinks as I want without even balancing my checkbook. I dropped 15 pounds and can suddenly fit into any sexy piece of clothing I desire.
Men now appear out of the woodwork. Handsome men. Sexy men. Smart men. Dumb men. Successful men. Slacker men. Artistic men. Intellectual men. Crazy men. And I date them all. Whether or not they're good husband material. I go to parties, I sing karaoke, I drink pink cocktails, I dance, I make my married friends swoon in jealousy. Meanwhile, I inch towards some kind of breakthrough with my writing.
It's time, I know, to get more serious about the men I date. It's time for me to tell Sporty Architect Boy - who, by the way, is an ex-runway model (straight, thank you) - that we have no future, so maybe he doesn't need to come visit me, and maybe I don't need to have my birthday in San Francisco - but you know what? It's hard for me to resist the bubbly intoxication of it all.
Especially when I'm afraid to love someone again. I'm ready, I really am, but I'm afraid. Because look what happened last time. Someone who I thought was more loyal, more loving than it was possible to be - disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Hell, maybe it's just an excuse. Maybe I'm too busy having fun to having to settle down, and that's why I flit around to the most glamorous, the most inappropriate guys. I mean, how often do you get to live out fantasies of any sort? So what if my
fantasies are those of a 12-year old girl?
Did I ever say I wanted to grow up?
It's just that I'm 35 years old. And I'm torn between letting those fantasies go so I can "settle down" or milking them until I'm old and pathetic.
And what I want to know is this - is there any sort of middle road?
E-mail Breakup Babe