February 9, 2009

Damn the Valentine's Day mindset

Should be doing instead of blogging: So many things. Screw it.

It's not something I tend to write about, but I won't write too many of these. Scribe, if you're checking this still, don't kill me for my obsessing. ;-)

Quirkyalones are militant Romantics. It takes courage to keep holding out when you are told that you are holding out for an ideal that does not exist.. -Sasha Cagen

I picked up Cagen's book Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics from the library booksale a couple of years ago. It was going to be altered book fodder, but I started reading it, and liked it well enough to keep it in my library. So much of it sounds so much like me. It's nice to know there are other people with my views on relationships and singleness. Before I read the book, I felt like I was living a great oxymoron: I'm generally a contentedly single romantic.

Being (usually) contentedly single makes me very different from my sister, who never seems to be happy unless she has a boyfriend. Between boyfriends, she'll date nearly any guy who looks interested in her. When she's in a relationship, she mocks my decidedly single life. Unlike her, I have never been in a romantic relationship, and in a bit short of twenty-five years, have only had two major crushes/attractions/what the hell do you call them when they're more than just nice eyes and sweet personalities? It doesn't make me better than her, but I'm very happy I don't feel a need to have a man at my side the way she seems to.

Because I'm obviously not typical relationship material, I probably give the impression that I'm not a romantic and want to be alone for the rest of my life. Not true. I am such a terrible, hopeless, undying romantic, and would very much like someone else to share my life with. My view of romance, though, is not clichè.

I don't like diamonds, am not incredibly keen on chocolate, and have a very aggressive defense mechanism towards greeting card-style sentimentality. Show me you love me — don't just give me a card. I am also extraordinarily picky, with a mental list of mate criteria that ranges from important things like his personality, his interests, and an ability to spark in me the desire to be a better person (and for me to do the same for him), to the more superficial characteristics of age range, height and build, and whether he's likely to grey nicely and keep at least most of his hair. I suppose that strong instincts and a love of the fantastic contributes to my unconventional romanticism as well.

Sometimes, though, unconventional romanticism gets a bit lonely. I have to be careful not to fall into depression during the lonely times. I'm also notorious for making excessive efforts to "snap myself back to reality," which leads me to unconsciously sabotage myself and/or excessively analyze and criticize myself the moment I find myself noticing a guy I might be interested in. Know The White Stripes' song "A Martyr for My Love for You"? Much of it sounds like something I would say. I can see myself very easily getting scared and running in fear that I'm letting my active, romantic imagination get the best of me.

So, where's that fine line between romantic obsession/infatuation/overactive imagination, and something solid to hold on to? There has to be something solid out there, right? Am I pushing it away, fearing it might be instability that I'm mistaking for stability? I feel too often like I'm afraid of screwing up, so I don't live.

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