Misleading Connotations of the word “Date”

Let me just start out by telling you that I am single and I like being single.  My friends have finally gotten the message and no longer attempt to set me up.  Though this may be a bit long for a blog post, I wanted to start out by posting something that not only gives you a sense of my writing ability but also my quirky sense of humor.  I wrote it back in 2011 when I was participating in the Tidewater Writing Project.  I hope you enjoy it!

Misleading Connotation

Call me odd, but the word “date” is usually thought upon with horrible connotations. It is despised like the plague. Those who know me well have grown accustomed to my unusual bitterness to the word, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily understand my reaction. Every now and then, someone will ask “When is the last time you went out on a date?” or “Isn’t it about time you started dating?”. The bravest of the brave, or those that just don’t care about the consequences, throw all caution to the wind and inform me that “they know a great guy they could set me up with”. These are typically met with a few choice expletives and a glare meant to question whether or not they have indeed lost their minds.

That isn’t to imply that I have never dated. I have, but from the very first date I found it to be an extremely stressful situation. I never had good luck “dating”. My “dates” usually meant that someone took me to places they enjoyed, but I didn’t, to convince me to do things I had no desire to do. These guys seemed to think they were the greatest thing since sliced bread and surely I should have loved spending time with them. They became clingy, something an independent person such as myself abhors, and the dumbest of the dumb would start talking marriage. That, above all, is a sure fire way to make me run for the hills.

Only once was I slow to run. My feet were apparently immersed in quicksand even while my mind was galloping off at the speed of light. Thankfully before it was too late, my feet caught up to the rest of me. That was a long time ago, almost twenty years. I’ve never regretted my decision, and I’ve never been that intoxicated since.

Well, my friends are about to be let in on a little secret. I met someone. Surprisingly, this person was there all along, hiding in the shadows, waiting for the perfect opportunity to be noticed and appreciated. My best friend, a part of me. And, it happened in a flash.

The first time we went out, it was on a double date. We went for a drive. Then we found a beautiful place to stop and stretch our legs. We walked separately from the other two, eventually sitting in the fresh cut grass alongside a gurgling fountain. For a few minutes there was absolutely no need for conversation. We just closed our eyes and let our senses completely absorb our surroundings. We became one, with each other, and with the landscape. I felt myself opening up. I became expressive and self-confident. I realized that the person with me would never judge me based on my outward physical attributes. This person could care less about the fact that I never do much to my hair, that I never wear makeup, and that I rarely put much thought into what I wear. Who cares that my favorite outfit is a pair of comfy pajamas and that I could stay in them all weekend if I had nowhere to go? This person cared about what I thought. My ideas were important. Rather than judge, this person challenged me to further expound on those thoughts, to more eloquently express them, and finally to write them down. I had something important to say and I shouldn’t let others stand in my way. I should also stop making excuses about my huge workload and my limited time.

We met again the next day, just the two of us. It was still a tad hesitant, but comfortable at the same time. For almost two hours we communicated our past fears and our future desires. It was so easy. There was no stress involved with this “date”. I really feel that there will be many more “dates” in my future. Maybe we will even plan a vacation together. That would be nice.

Now my friends don’t have to worry about me anymore. I will always have my “date”. This person will never leave me. Who would have ever thought that I would get excited about a “date”? All I needed was the inspiration offered by a wonderful, if fleeting, role model. All I needed was Lois Allen’s instructions to make an artist’s “date” with none other than myself. Her encouragement to set a play date and keep it was the best psychotherapy I’ve ever had. I truly believe that me, myself, and I will be very happy together for years to come.

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