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Lacquer

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Through my blogging, I get to share my experiences as a single gal dating in Atlanta.  I project an image of a bravado and spitfire, which is true to form 99.9% of the time. But this is where I tell you, without apology or disclaimer, I feel like I am losing hope of ever finding love.

I have grown to understand the very real possibility that I may never marry or have kids.  Yet no matter how much I try to force-feed my own acceptance of that scenario, something inside me protests violently.

This inner rebellion makes me feel guilty for betraying the feminist viewpoint that every woman should be confident enough with herself to live a life of Forever-Alone.  But then there are times when my phone doesn’t ring for days at a time, and I no longer give a shit.  I think of when I could remember how it felt to sleep next to another living, breathing body.  How it was to be needed, wanted and treasured. And I damn the tears that fall.

I do not seek compassion or empathy.  Instead, I want to scream at the marrieds. Tell them to be glad that at the age of 34, they never have to place the names of their parents/siblings in the Emergency Contact field because there is no one else.  Tell them to never take for granted something as seemingly insignificant as a touch.  To remember that this very basic element of contact is a wickedly potent drug placed just out of reach while I agonize in withdrawal.  To bathe often in the comfort of your person’s arms surrounding you when you need a safe place.

But I don’t scream.  All my effort is spent covering up the truth.

I don’t want to be alone.

This heart has enormous amounts of love to give.  I want to be loved in return; equally and powerfully, for all that I am and am not. For all my imperfections and complexities. For my overactive brain and my lack of a filter.  For my muscles and green eyes and slightly crooked tooth.

So now the secret is out. There is a real person under here, beneath the impenetrable lacquer of my words.

The woman behind the unassuming name is one who feels too deeply and trusts too soon.  She is the one who hides behind humor and sarcasm.  She is the one who has been broken time and again, but stubbornly lifts her chin in defiance and asks for more. She willingly seeks the bumps and bruises because she is romantic enough to believe that there is a capital-L-Love for her in this great big wonderful world.  Someone who can see through the protective armor of sass and into the person she is.  Someone who dares to challenge her head-on, but with panache.

Please tell her battered heart to hang on long enough to find it.

______________________________________________________________________

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

48 responses »

  1. What a heart-wrenchingly beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your story. What real and honest emotions that I know I have personally felt as well in different yet similar ways. There IS capital-L-love for you and when you find it, that will be one very lucky soul.

    Reply
  2. your post reminds us all that despite all the flaws and difficulties in what we ourselves have, it looks differently to someone who doesn’t have it. i think about how nice it would be to come home to only my mess; to do what i want when i want; to think “next year I will do this, that, the other thing” without having to factor in the schedules/needs of anyone else; i think about the ability to re-invent myself, which gets lost when you have attachments. But. But. Your post poignantly reminds me that having receptacles for my love matters a great deal. And while I can’t predict what’s out there for you, I will say that I didn’t meet the man who is now my 14-years husband until I was…35? 36? Didn’t have baby #1 until I was…37? and baby #2 at 40 1/2. Which is all to say that it’s a long life….so don’t give up on your romantic heart.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Worrell

    Good for you for being brave enough not to settle for less than the best possible match for you!

    Reply
  4. I want you to know that I left my ex husband with a biracial child and weighing well over 200 pounds when at the age of 36 I met the hottest guy in the world in a totally random way. We are married, he has adopted my child, we have 2 dogs and a cat and I have never ever been as happy as I am.

    He’s there.

    Terrific post.

    Reply
  5. You are wonderfully delicate and real in this post. Thank you for being so heartfelt in your writing.
    FYI- I didn’t meet my husband until I was completely at peace and accepting of the idea of being on my own for the remainder of my life. Then he just sauntering in one day.

    Reply
  6. I love love love your honesty. My favorite sentence was this one: But I don’t scream. All my effort is spent covering up the truth. I don’t want to be alone.

    I have a secret I’m sure some other marrieds have shared with you: sometimes it can be even lonelier in a relationship than out of one. (-: I know that doesn’t help, so…on to my 2nd piece of advice:

    Go to Ireland. Husbands galore. It’s where I got mine. (-:

    Reply
  7. I love the sass and relate to hiding behind it. I understand the despair around love. I believe in your process and love how you captured it here.

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  8. Anon out West

    I think there is a bit of this in all of us… It is just a rare few who are willing to admit it.

    Great post. I love that you are writing again. It is a talent that needs to be shared.

    Reply
  9. I know how lucky I am to have my hubby and kids. They are everything to me. It’s not always sunshine and roses over here, believe me, but you are right. The struggle isn’t quite as terrifiyng when you have someone in the trenches with you.

    I hope you find your partner and every dream you have comes true!

    Reply
  10. I worried and worried for my baby brother because he came out of college without a mate — I just know how hard it is to be alone and I didn’t want that for him. But it happened for him — finally, at 34. You are not too old to find your spouse and start your family, with a heart as big as yours, you will find the right person. Hang in there!

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  11. I would say to you exactly what you ask “hang on long enough to find it”. And whatever you do, do not settle for less in order to not be alone. Clearly, this is information you already know and you are doing a wonderful job of holding out for what you want. Even though you already know that, I know sometimes it helps to have someone say it back to you, right? It’s better to have not chosen your mate yet than to have chosen poorly and be stuck…

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  12. I think it is okay to be the feminist, face the world alone woman if that is what you desire, but it is also to want to be partnered with someone for life. I hope you find that someone.

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  13. Great title, Lacquer, for what you write about. I think you give voice to what we all fear, being alone. I didn’t get married until I was 38. I have a friend who even though she was married forever didn’t have her first child until she was 39 and her second at 41. Don’t be discouraged. It’ll happen!

    Reply
    • oooh, you win, Stephanie. Lacquer was one of the things I liked most, for myself. I hope I’m not the only weird one who is proud of certain lines/words in their work…

      regardless, thank you.

      Reply
  14. I don’t think it goes against any feminist grain to want love. Everyone. Every man, every woman, wants love. And I promise not to take mine for granted, even as I hope that you’ll find yours.

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  15. oh my goodness, honey, please please please hang on. it’s going to happen, i promise. and man oh man will it be so incredibly beautiful and WELL worth the wait. #pinkyswear

    Reply
    • Christina, I must confess… I teared up when I read your comment. It’s like you were giving me a big hug. Thank you. #pinkyswear you back.

      Reply
  16. When you find each other it will have been worth the wait. I know that doesn’t help with loneliness now but love is out there. You might find it where and when you least expect it.

    Reply
  17. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Honesty and vulnerability invite relationships. This piece—your piece—has it in spades.Best wishes for all you want, Erin

    Reply
  18. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Hang in there. We all have our own love stories that play out in their own time. Ellen

    Reply
  19. Forwarding this to a few people I know. I know their inner monologues sound an awful lot like this. There is so much commiseration about how hard marriage and parenting is; thanks for sharing the difficulty of what some of us (think we) yearn for at times.

    Reply
    • Wow, you shared? I’m tickled. And I must confess, your comment struck me. I was so concerned writing this piece that it would project as a whiny single girl being unappreciative of what she does have. (so not the case!) It was meant to tell the other side of the story. Thank you for getting it.

      ps – Montclair is beautiful. We should chat. 😉

      Reply
  20. As long as you keep turning down the ones you know aren’t right for you, you’re doing as much acceptance as you need to do. We all fight for what we want and need and are afraid we’ll fail. I hear so much strength even in your admission of “weakness.”

    Reply
    • My strength may be a little stuck in the closet, hiding under her stuffed animals right now, but yes, it’s definitely still in there. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Ah, you’re the perfect age for meeting the right one. Enjoy your solitude; I’m betting it will be short-lived.

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  22. Brave and honest. Loved it. And hang on.

    Reply
  23. Beautiful. Honest. Raw.
    I have been in a similar place, and the pain in your words resonated within me.

    Reply
  24. Love will come again; it will surprise you.

    Reply
  25. Thank you for really sharing yourself. Love will show up. I found the real thing at 44 and appreciated it at 46 and now I’m never letting him go.

    Reply

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