Monday, August 14, 2006

Give Me Some Men. Stout-hearted Men.

It has come to the attention of my sub-conscious that I am not married. It’s taken a while to sink in, despite the fact that I’m only weeks away from the third anniversary of The Worst Day of My Life, the day—after a family reunion with his dad’s side of the family—my then-husband came out of the closet.

I’ve been over the end of the marriage for a while. I just mentioned to a friend who’s having marriage troubles of his own that I can finally think of that coming-out-day without feeling an actual, physical pain in my chest. I no longer feel like a failure because I got divorced (while I never thought of other divorced people as failures, I found myself feeling like a huge loser when it became apparent that we would divorce. Maybe it was because I’d been so smug in what I thought was a good marriage. Alas.).

Anyway, while I adapted handily to living without another adult in the house, and have been working the single mom gig with aplomb, have held down the full-time job and nearly finished the master’s degree, lost and re-gained a lot of weight, quit smoking (aside from the occasional social smoke), tried some new things and made some new friends, and adopted two pets, there has been one area of my life that has been completely ignored: I am a single woman. Single. Woman. WHOA-man, as Mike Meyers says in So I Married an Axe-Murderer.

We don’t need to talk about how long it’s been since I’ve been with a man, but when you take into account the fact that I was married to a man who wanted to have sex with other men instead of with me, and that I haven’t been on a date since I moved in with said man in 1994, it’s not a huge leap to the conclusion that it’s been a while. A Born Again Virgin while.

I’m going to guess that the reason for this abstinence has had a lot to do with the fact that I have zero self-esteem, and can’t imagine any man wanting to sleep with me. Another reason is that I don’t really want an officially boyfriend, or Man in My Life, so I avoid anything that might facilitate my finding one. I have enough on my plate, you know? Plus, it’s hard to get used to the idea that you aren’t married. The part of your brain that stops assessing men as dates/partners/MEN and starts thinking of them women with penises and ugly feet that develops when you marry or enter a long-term relationship is really hard to shut off. Or it is for me, at least.

But suddenly, the hills are alive with the sound of music. I still don’t want a boyfriend or whatever, but I’m noticing men everywhere. And you know what? I LIKE THEM! I like everything about them! Hello there, jogging guy with no shirt! Mind if I sample your six pack? Hubba, hubba, Mr. Construction guy! Why don’t you bring those shoulders over here and set MY forms?

I don’t think I’ll do anything about it right away (I think that at my present weight my only option would be to—ahem—hire someone, anyway), but it’s nice to know that the pilot light has been relit, and the boiler is now aflame. It’s rainin’ men, hallelujah!


BabelBabe said...

I don't care how heavy you think you are, or are, any man in his right mind - and even those in their left - would be LUCKY to have you.

I have NEVER thought of a man as a woman with a penis, however; what a waste of a perfecty nice woman.

Gina said...

Or a waste of a perfectly nice penis. (I'm sorry, I had to say it.)

Katya said...

Gina: Any man who REALLY loved you wouldn't care about the weight -- he'd care about you. I'm glad the pilot light has been re-lit for you. :)

Gina said...

Love-schmove--that's way more trouble than I want for now. I'm more interested in long legs and broad backs and big hands and five o'clock shadow. Mee-yow! :-)

Badger said...

Woo! Is it warm in here, or is it just me?

I'm still getting used to the idea that I AM married, and it'll be 13 years this fall.

BabelBabe said...

i think Katya needs to have a little chat with Mr. "You need to lose forty pounds" H.

Katya said...

Katya would have to smack Mr. "You need to lose forty pounds" H! :)I'm still annoyed at him for saying that to you.

Joke said...

We're not a bad gender. Really we're not.

It took me until about Year 10 for me to think of myself as married without that coming as some sort of surprise.


Gina said...

I know it took a while for me to get used to saying, "my husband," but aside from that I think there was a switch in my head that immediately neutered all men who weren't either A.) George Clooney B.) Eddie Vedder C.) John Cusack or D.) my husband.

There was a time after the divorce when I found myself attracted to married men. Not because I wanted them, really, but because I couldn't have them (and so they were safe).

Finally, I think the switch has flipped. Huzzah!

Lazy cow said...

Wow Gina. Here's to finding a good guy - for whatever reason :-)
and BB - WHERE would you lose that 40 pounds??!!

Anonymous said...

As a woman who came out to her husband after years of marriage and two children, I speak to you from the other side of the fence, so to speak. I can truly relate to your pain and I know firsthand that divorce really SUCKS. I do not wish to belittle the anguish that you must have gone through when your husband came out to you and the subsequent pain and grief that comes with divorce, especially when children are involved.

I would like to say: Gina, you could have been Catherine Zeta Jones or Christie Brinkley, and it wouldn't have mattered. No matter what you looked like or didn't look like; no matter what you said or didn't say; no matter what you did or didn't do, your ex-husband would still have been gay.

You cannot compete against another man, just as my ex-husband could not compete against another woman. Not that there was any competition involved. But you have to understand, it is like apples and oranges. It was not about YOU, as a person. It was about your ex-husband being honest about who he is.

I believe strongly that honesty is usually the best path to follow in life. Even though it can at times be very painful to all the parties involved. In the end, though, if we cannot be who we are, then who can we be? As a mother, I felt that if I could not be who I was, how could I possibly be a good mother to my children? How could I teach them to stand up for themselves, to stand up for what they believe is right, and to be who they ARE if I myself couldn't do those very things?

I hope that you still have a good parenting relationship with your ex-husband, and I am sure that you both rejoice in your beautiful, wonderful son.

We cannot gain self-esteem or self worth from how others perceive us. It can only come from within. And it is within that we find what is truly special in each of us, regardless of our sexuality. It is within our hearts and our minds and our souls that we find who we really are as human beings. And I have no doubt that there are plenty of heterosexual men out there who believe that, too, and would love to know a woman like you. Hopefully, you will meet some of them soon. And they will all have penises!

Sarah Louise said...

Well, comments were wonky before, so I'm commenting now.

Woo hoo! That is very exciting, Gina.

Also, kind of an interesting thing to think about, that one is sort of dead to the outside of life and then a switch is flipped and the lights are on and the hills are alive!!

Going through a similar sort of metamorphosis--it's kind of like coming out of the cocoon and discovering you're a monarch and you have to figure out what Mexico is and how the heck to get there.

Okay--a flip has switched--I'm back to writing novels on other people's comment boxes.

Amy said...

I had no idea we had such similar pasts, I, too, am divorced from a man who is gay. And I feel the same way about "getting back out there" now that I'm not 19 and a size 2. I guess I've tried the dating thing and didn't find myself passionate about it so I've just been happy being single. Perhaps I'm just too scared that it'll all happen all over again (and my fragile ego can't take it!!) Thanks for sharing and reminding me I'm not alone!

Gina said...

Thanks to everyone for the votes of confidence, and for reminding me that I am neither alone nor unique to suffering. (And now I have a confession: As soon as I had that last thought, Olivia Newton-John popped into my head singing, "Guess mine is not the first heart broken . . . " Because I spent hours upon hours of my childhood lip-synching to the Grease soundtrack. What?)

Carolyn said...

Ah that internal switch.

How does one flip it on?

Mine has been off for years much to my spouse's dismay.

The last paragraph of your post had me laughing out loud.

What about Mr. UPS man with his firm calves? Mmmmmm.

MsCellania said...

Comments weren't allowed for awhile?

Divorce is one of the most painful aspects of life, in a normal divorce situation. Yours was an extreme situation, and it reckons that you would be longer recovering. All things in their own time.

But it's a sign of emotional security that you are casting eyes towards men again. And your weight? Phffft! Concentrate on doing the stuff that brings you joy. Your beautiful smile and laugh are what make you attractive.

I am loving reading your posts about your son!

yt said...

Hooray for Gina!

And a high-five to all the other commentators.

Lynda said...

Single is good. A single woman leads a less complicated life, enjoys more independence, has more control over finances, home, and time, doesn't worry about shaving legs if she doesn't feel like it. Now, about that penis...