I had an Aha! moment this weekend, while cleaning out the umpteen shoe boxes buried under ¾” of dust under my bed. I don’t mean A-ha, like “Take on Me”, which was a totally awesome music video, even though I was listening to my 80s playlist at the time. If you now have that song stuck in your head, I’m not sorry. I liked the Norwegian Patrick Swayze mulleted lead singer. I’m not ashamed. (Dance break…)
Back to my shoes. I found five pairs of stilettos I’ve never worn. I bought them to wear on dates. Dates I’ve never gone on. No matter how hard I try, black and grey zebra stripes are not work appropriate. I haven’t been there long enough to be deemed the office ho, and they are too expensive to wear if I have to get a second job as a street prostitute. It’s been so long, I forgot I even bought the shoes. Suddenly I was thrust into a pit of despair at what the hell I’ve wasted the last five years on that I couldn’t wear sexy shoes. I tried to rationalize it, telling myself that with my weak ankles and a fallen arch they wouldn’t be comfortable anyway. But I knew that wasn’t the case.
It doesn’t make me feel any less pathetic that my mom, Miss Daisy, has been randomly bringing up my ex every other day this month.
MD: “You know, I was watching the new neighbor doing yard work, and his mannerisms really remind me of Dick” (*not his real name, but it should be.)
Me: “Oh, he looks gay to you, Mom?”
MD: “Didn’t Dick used to add butter to his wing sauce?”
Me: “I don’t recall. All the heavy drinking to forget the bastard has killed off my brain cells.”
MD: “I wonder if he’s married again.”
Me: “I wonder who’s going to visit you in the nursing home if you keep this up.”
I can go for months without the hostility toward Dick bubbling back up, as long as she doesn’t mention him. She’s the only one who does. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that she would rather see me in a miserable, phony marriage than alone. Never mind the fact that ship sailed, sank, and is been eating by worms. More than once she’s wondered out loud who’s going to take care of me when I get old. She doesn’t like it when I say I plan to drink myself to death long before we get to that point. Sometimes I mix it up and tell her that I plan to get more tattoos, and either Hepatitis C or cirrhosis will kill me.
My shoe revelation has only reinforced a notion that has crept into my mind in recent weeks. I’m beginning to occasionally wonder if I’ve developed severe social anxiety. I alternate between that WebMD diagnosis and the conclusion that it’s not really me, people just suck. I don’t really have a fear of public places. I have a fear of dating.
I keep telling myself that one day my Ryan Reynolds (tall, hot, funny and Canadian) will show up and will be so overwhelmingly perfect that I’ll want to climb him like a rock wall. No hesitation. No insecurity. That’s what Spanx are for.
But man, looking at the sad shoes I can’t help but wonder if the Ryan Reynolds dream is just me making excuses. If I’m 100% honest, I was totally fucked over and don’t trust anyone to be who they say they are. If I couldn’t spot a fraud and a liar in 10 years of living together, how could I expect to make the right decision now? I could get arrested for slipping truth serum in someone’s drink. Can one even buy truth serum on Amazon?
Since my divorce my modus operandi [I like tossing out Latin phrases…makes me think law school wasn’t a total waste] has been to take my mind out of the equation completely. No more pro-con lists and settling for guys who might be ok on paper, but don’t set my heart on fire. Nope. Now I’m trusting my heart/soul/past lives/Karma/psychic/dog/Magic 8 Ball to tell me who is right for me. Maybe that answer is no one. And then Miss Daisy’s great fear will come true.
But you know what? If I’m in a nursing home with no visitors, I’ll just form a posse and break out of that joint to go see some male strippers. Maybe organize a strip bingo game. I was dead for 10+ years. Fear of dying alone scares me less than going back to a loveless, sparkless, lustless, respectless, bland vanilla sugar-free yogurt relationship.
I can always buy new shoes if Ryan comes along.