Friday, January 08, 2010

Jo Makes A Public Announcement; or, Dude, I'm Baggin' It.

I am done.

Absolutely done.

Kat and Denise and Marcie and I were sitting around during down-time yesterday, talking about how difficult it is to date these days. Kat's recently engaged, Denise is happily single, Marcie is in a happy partnership with another woman, and I...well.

Dr. Dweebo walked past and cocked an ear. Later, he pulled me aside.

"Your problem," he began, "is that you seem too smart. That's intimidating."

*blink* *blink*

The person who is intimidated by me, in the words of a Jezebel commenter, is probably also intimidated by loud gusts of wind and squirrels. In high school, I was voted "Most Likely To Become A Muppet". I am clumsy, silly, and have big eyes that tend to google around in circles during serious moments. Most of the time I'm unaware of what my face is doing. I trip over things. I drop food down my front. If I'm intimidating, so is a teacup poodle puppy.

Besides that, Dr. Dweebo, *you,* the critical care attending, telling *me* that I "seem too smart" is making me want to prove to you just how smart I am.

For instance, you should pick one: expensive, fashion-forward Italian sunglasses, Velcro-fastened shoes my seventy-four-year-old father would not be caught dead in, or a badly-groomed moustache. You can't have all three and expect to be taken seriously. Oh, and wash your lab coat. It's grimy.

And "seem too smart"? Seem? Seem?

(Y'know, the more you type the word "seem", the less like a word it looks. But anyway.)

So I should "seem" dumb? I should let you make all the jokes, even when you lob a ball so gently over the plate that I can count the stitches as it glides past?

Looking around at myself today, after I rewired an outlet and fixed the toilet and dug up a couple of garden beds in the twenty degree weather, I decided to bag dating. Frankly, I'm not sure dating at nearly-forty is a good idea. I'm certain that if an accomplished, intelligent person who has a good grasp of one of the most complex subjects on the fucking planet thinks I "seem" too smart to land a man, I don't want a man.

The alternative is just too depressing. If I lose X amount of weight, grow my hair to Y length and keep the grays under control, wear Z brand of makeup and perfume, then I can land a man.

A man who, to be blunt, prefers childish bullshit and emotional back-and-forthing with somebody who *seems* feminine and delicate, but who's actually a passive-aggressive leech who will suck the joy out of life. Men in their late thirties and early forties seem to want women who either love Teh Dramz or who are glorified trophy wives. I don't need that. If you want somebody too weak to stand on her own two when presented with the perfect opportunity, then to hell with you.

People who are afraid of egalitarian, reciprocal, *intelligent* relationships need not apply, and they're not. So the subject is tabled until I hit my fifties, or until some miracle occurs and the Universe works a change in everybody involved, including me.

I can and do kill my own bugs and mice. I can and will rewire a lamp, put up a ceiling fan, and fix a hinky outlet. I can and will replace my own car battery. Although I've never changed a tire, I know who to call when the *^$&*( lugnuts are too tight for me to loosen by myself. I make my own money, am planning for my own retirement (with Airstream trailer, outfitted in the latest retro fabrics and cabinetry!), and pay my own bills. I use subjunctive case correctly. I have close friends of both sexes and all ages from fourteen to eighty. I think I'm doing okay.

Actually, I'm disappointed and bitter just at the moment. But that will change. And, at the end of the day, when I'm less disappointed and no longer bitter, I will still not be dating somebody like Dr. Dweebo, so it's a win all around.


Christine said...

The title of this post almost made me panic, as I thought you were baggin' your BLOG.

And I empathize. Mid-30's singleton here.

pelican said...

I'm of a similar age and persuasion, and I've gotten the "too smart" before as well.

So, I embraced my inner cougar and started dating men in their late twenties & early thirties. My rule is if I could have babysat you, we're cool ... but if I could be your mama, you're too young.

Anyhoo, I'm having a *great* time and these "too smart, too fat, too independent" issues just aren't coming up. The next generation seems to have been raised to appreciate actual, real, live women, not fairy tale princesses. Rrowr!

Anonymous said...

You're amazing. And any smart, confident, egalitarian-minded guy should be so damn lucky. That said, what you're saying makes total sense. Just be careful now--this is exactly the kind of moment when Mr. Right shows up and the amazing woman falls hard...

Jo said...

Sadly, Anon and others, the person who can cap my quotes has already shown up and doesn't want much to do with I'm baggin' it. It seems safer that way.

Pam said...

True, you don't need a man. And life can be plenty good without one. I say enjoy your singleness, and if your singleness changes then enjoy that!

An Open Heart said...

I hear ya, Sista'.


Anonymous said...

This is my first post to your blog, but I've been reading it for a while (do't even remember when I came across it now.)

From what I've read here, you are a real catch, and if I go into the hospital again, I'd want to see you zipping around the halls.

(I'm male, mid-sixtys now and it took me three tries to find a smart, energetic independent woman who can put up with me. Somewhat like you, I had had it with dating and looking for the right person. Then she moved in above me.)

Bottom line: Give up trying for a bit and let life come to you. Don't get the feeling, "Dear God, I want patience and I want it NOW!"

Anonymous said...

Listen, honey. I'm 52 and I know a couple of things: #1 is that Love is as perennial as the grass. It'll come up again. No baggin' it. I've been married 3 times and 2 of them have been very good. Have that "smart" problem, too, so twice I married professors. They actually like it that I'm "smart." And they don't try to be smarter than me because well, you know, we women do the yeowman's share of the work in life. And they depend on it. My free advice: be gentle with yourself. You are entirely loveable and then some. Kiss your boo-boo-s and go on about life as you were. You can't help it that some people are lower on the totem pole, mentally, than you are.

I, Goddess said...

I've also had the 'too smart' comment. Also, I'm 'too picky'. Just because I won't go out with someone who has no respect for me. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

Sex. It's important for men, but everyone pretends it's not part of the equation (or worse that it's disgusting that it's so important). Because sex is the main thing that distinguishes a close friendship from something more (maybe add kids, but most people acquire their kids the old-fashioned way).

Jenn Jilks said...

I can empathise. Dating in my 40's I met a lot of 40-year old single men who knew they weren't as smart but were looking for a dumb bimbo.
I remember one philosophy prof who used to hang out with his students. I was good for a laugh. (I wasn't blogging then, or I would have shared the laugh!)
Thanks for sharing Dr. Dweebo!

woolywoman said...

You know, it seems to me that the best way to have someone who likes you as you are is to BE as you are. Why "fix up" as they say in my hood to be someone other than who you are- it would attract someone who liked the fake you, and not the real you. I happen to be married, but if that were to end I would not be out there looking, either. Seems to take up a lot of time that could be spent doing more interesting things, like re-wiring stuff.

Now after all the recipe stuff, I need to go make rice and beans.

Maha said...

I'm almost in my 30s, not married and I get the same damn comments - too smart, too picky, be gentler etc. It's so disheartening. Why is it that I have to silence myself to attract someone who's obsessed with following archaic gender roles? I'm well on my way to single cat lady ville but if my options are to shut up, dress up and constantly put up with a guy's insecurities, then I'm on my way to the grocery store to buy a bag of kibble.

tireegal68 said...

Great post! I found you via Cats with Passports. I agree with the pp - the only way to hook up with the real thing is to be yourself on all your smart, funky, quirky glory! I hope someone wonderful pops up when you're not looking and begs for your attention:)

Anonymous said...

I made the same decision 7 yrs ago - then went to work in the Middle East (Nurse Administrator) and had a fab time - then on a trip to home town in Europe I hooked up with my old HS boyfriend - out of the blue. Hadn't seen him for 30 yrs. We are now married (6 yrs) v happy and living in USA again. My girlfriends who were all dying to get married were FURIOUS - as I was the one who had no interest in meeting men, marriage, wouldnt go to parties etc. It was highly amusing.
So go ahead and withdraw yourself... but let me tell you - shit happens when you least expect.

Alpine, R.N. said...

I, like Maha and others, have gotten the "too smart" comment, as well as the "scary when you're angry" and "dont tolerate fools gladly" comment. I stand MAYBE 5'3" tall, and smack into doorways through inattention. I'm mid 20s, engaged once (it didn't take) and havent dated in FIVE YEARS. :-D

I really wonder where all the BRAVE single men are :-p

Leaf-Nosed Bat said...

"Most of the time I'm unaware of what my face is doing."
Glad to know this is an inherited condition, cousin, this is one of my tragic flaws as well.. best of luck to you.

Unknown said...

Too smart ehh??
Hogwash I say.
It's someone else excuse for their inferiority.