Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reflections on "Ex Week"

Well, I'm sure most of you are glad that week of catharsis is finished. If you got the impression that I didn't have much fun floundering in the dating pool, that's pretty accurate. At least I collected a lot of stories to tell, most of them humorous and self-deprecating (I only scraped the surface last week).

For anyone still on the dating scene, I have two bits of advice. First, don't take it all too seriously. If it's "meant to be," then it will happen. If not, you can't make it happen. When someone rips out your heart and stomps on it, try to remember there's always someone else out there who might not (one corollary being that if you don't let go of the former, you won't be open to the latter). Second, realize that the people you date are just a subset of the rest of the world. I always assumed women were nice, and they took advantage of that. The chances of the person you date being a jerk are just the same as the chances of any random stranger on the street being a jerk. The fact that he/she has shown some interest in you doesn't change who he/she is.

I hope that last advice didn't come across as too cynical or, heaven forbid, misogynist. I went out with plenty of nice women, including one that I mentioned during "Ex Week" (which was not a representative sample). I'm just saying that if I hadn't naively (and subconsciously) presumed kindness in every woman I met, especially as evidence mounted to the contrary, I would have been much better off.

Last week shouldn't be construed as a yearning for the past -- more like relief that those days are behind me. I had so much anxiety back then. I wish I had known the saga would have a happy ending; then I might have enjoyed it more. I met my wife ten years ago, so all the women I've written about are in the distant past now. The memories dredged up last week just make me happy to be married, happy that my dating days are over. My wife says that if something happens to her, she wants me to get remarried. I tell her, "No way, I'm not going through all that again." I'm going to live in a cabin in the woods like the Unabomber. Except I'll need DSL.

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