By any reasonable standards, I am retired from the realm of romance — I am now at a point in my life where I have more surgery than dates. What this says about my health, physical or mental, is probably not particularly complimentary, but nonetheless, that's what you get when you do the math. And, at least in some circles, it is considered bad form to say such things. I stuck this into a blog post last week:

There is no one for me, and there is never going to be. I accept this situation with approximately the same composure, even complacency, with which I accept my utility bills; I may complain once in a while, but the only rational response is to write the checks and live another month.

This prompted a reader comment about self-fulfilling prophecies, to which I responded with a one-liner. I suppose I could have mentioned that women can detect desperation seemingly at the molecular level, a prospect which all by itself might, perhaps should, discourage some of us. As for Empty Bed Syndrome: well, Glamour (January '06) asked some guys "What's the longest you've ever gone without sex?" The responses ranged from "about a month" to "one and a half years." [Insert ironic laughter here.]

Given my modest portfolio of virtues and my comparatively huge volume of faults, I think it's a waste of emotional energy to come up with anything more than a dismissive one-liner; as Dusty Springfield might have told you, wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, even planning and dreaming, cannot be expected to have any substantial effect.

But there's always an ulterior motive, and here's mine: unless I make it abundantly clear that I'm not looking, there's no way to take advantage of that oft-rumored but never-quite-proven notion that "it will happen the way unique and perfect things in life happen, when you are ready, when you least expect it, when it is time." Were this actually true, the percentage play would be to write it off entirely, to expect it not at all, thereby expanding the window of opportunity. Which, of course, is ridiculous, since the Fates (Bob and Wendy Fate, from Great Neck, New York) will immediately spot this little subterfuge and sabotage it.

Not that I'm inclined to discount the value of the element of surprise. While putting together a mix CD this past week, I discovered I actually own (as in "I paid for a disc containing it") a Jessica Simpson recording: it's this one, and while it's seriously oversung — too many vocal effects for such a slight tune — it's otherwise not bad. And I have to conclude that this must be a Sign: if one of today's most noxious (if shapely) celebrities can make a record that I don't actually hate, it must be at least theoretically possible that ... no, I'd better not say it out loud. Bob and Wendy might hear me.

The Vent

  22 January 2006

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