Strange Interlude

07 Jun

I wait longer to update here when I bump up against the edges of things I don’t want to talk about very much. Two things—er, people—who I don’t want to talk about very much are Rachel and Polly. These are fake names. I came up with them using a random name generator I found on the internet. The internet is good for that sort of thing. A few days ago Rachel yelled at me because she’d thought I named her Polly. People end up with names that suit them.

Rachel and Polly both (I think) wanted to marry me, and in order to avoid that decision, I fled to a different hemisphere. As far as buffer zones go, I think the Pacific Ocean works well. It’s big and deep and intimidating. Generally you need a navy if you want to cause serious problems for someone on the other side of it.

Of course, this assumption screams arrogance. For her part, Rachel never mentioned the word marriage. We’d just been together off and on for years, and my internal sense of purpose (personified as a drunken, leering dwarf with an evangelical scowl and a cavalry uniform) reasoned with me thusly: Marriage is what people do after they’ve been together for a long time. The other thing they do instead of marry is break up. Therefore, I should do one of those two things. Rachel and I broke up. My internal sense of purpose is an asshole.

Polly mentioned marriage. A lot. Insistently. In retrospect, I don’t think she wanted to marry me so much as she wanted to marry someone, as she required a father figure for her daughter and a supplementary income to fund the picket-fenced bungalow she dreamed of. At that time, I remained an acceptable prospect.

I left the country, disappointing Polly and breaking Rachel’s heart. In the meantime, Rachel went to graduate school and became a librarian. Polly hung on to her old school, teaching a few classes, and married someone from the reference library. She sent me a wedding invitation, mostly, I think, because I wouldn’t be able to go. By the time I came back to the country, Rachel had moved to a different city and Polly had married.

My internet dating began in large part to cope with these things. My perception of time seems different from other people’s. Everything moves more slowly for me, and I have a constant and incorrect assumption that I’ll always have more time to fix things, or maybe to undo decisions I regret. Such were my beliefs concerning Rachel and Polly. People call this sort of thing baggage.

Here is another rule of internet dating: Everyone on a dating site has baggage. (Possibly that sentence could be amended to “Everyone has baggage,” but I’ll leave it). The attainable goal here is not to find someone without baggage; rather, the best you can hope for is to find someone with matching luggage.

After Beth and Ann, I started to realize some ugly things about myself. I became aware that although Beth was shallow, boring, and utterly self-absorbed, I’d still be happier to see a new email from her than I would from Ann. This happiness had as its entire source the comparative hotness of Beth’s ass, and in privately admitting the truth of this, I also admitted that possibly I was someone that other people should not date. I decided I would make an effort to broaden my horizons. Indifferently, I answered an email from a smiling woman named Missy.


Leave a Reply


  1. Brandon

    June 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    keep writing. I just read from beginning to end and really dig this.

  2. BBKF

    June 9, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    You, sir, are very entertaining. Now I’m addicted and must pass your blog onto others. HA!

  3. Dan

    June 9, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you. I plan to.

  4. Dan

    June 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thank you. Please do. I was kind of blown away by all the traffic I got today, but then I figured out that someone had posted the blog to reddit. Who knew?

  5. Mathias

    June 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Great blog! I also found it via Reddit and just read the whole bit.

    I’m married now with my first child on the way, but I can completely relate to your situation. In my own experience, it seems that finding the person for you is a matter of blind luck. I met my wife at a ridiculous kegger (the frat kind of kegger at which I normally wouldn’t be caught dead) while on a blind, double date with another girl. We’ve been together for ten years now and married for almost one!

    Keep fighting the good fight! I’ll be pulling for you.

  6. Brandon

    June 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I’m the guilty reddit poster.