I’m starting to wonder if there’s such a thing as “Him.” Not as in the divine, one man upstairs sort of Him, but a made just for me, soul mate, life partner, eternal lover, love of my life, father of my children, best friend, finally figured out just where I’m ticklish and frequently tortures me in light of this new knowledge, my … man … Him.
I’ve been dating for a little while, perhaps six years (yes, it really took me a longer time than most other people to get started with this business) and I’ve mistakenly thought that I had come close, but each time I’ve been incredibly mistaken. Each of the separate times that I thought that he had found me and I Him, the men were all incredibly different. Which leads me to believe that the list of what I want/hope to find is an incredibly schizophrenic list or that I am open and willing to be surprised by the particularities that abound in the multitudinous manifestations of manhood on earth. Whatever the case may be, my radar has gotten tired and I don’t know if I have the energy to keep up the search for the one true Him. I think that I must not be the only woman to have reached this conclusion and thus latched onto the very next him that crossed her path after her epiphanic loss of hope. Still, though this seems logical and the thoughts in my mind have changed from “Is he the one” and “Was this meant to be” to “Is his career stable enough for us to acquire a mortgage” and “Would he be willing to seek counseling if it turns out, as I anticipate, that he is reliable and financially viable but extremely comatose and bumbling in bed,” I am disquieted by my new mind on this.
I do know that it is possible that the world has handicapped me by teaching me that it is a feminine preoccupation or goal to meet and live as happily as happily can be with one man for the rest of my life. Intellectually, I can understand that it may be irrational to imagine that one man could be the answer to all things romantic, secure, and companionable; no one person can be all things to or for you. And yet … I’ve always liked fairy tales. There is something in me that really stands up to listen when the stories romance novels tell of electric physical attraction between irreconcilably different personalities encountering one another only to reluctantly fall into bed and be forced to acknowledge that the chemistry that exists between them is like nothing they’ve ever experienced before and perhaps they should try to be together just as some force in the universe rises up and causes one of the parties to realize that the person they thought they were falling in love with after that great sex they had is not, in fact, the entire image of the person they’d fleshed out in their heads post-orgasm, until the one who lost their love realizes that the awfulness that the universe sent down was just a misunderstanding and that they really should be together, and forever at that, so they jump through hoops of fire and crawl through fields of briar to prove their love and they live happily ever such and such way we’re all familiar with. I live for stories like this. They fill my heart and jumpstart my loins and I itch for my own story to start in its own particular way. Though I’ve known the folly of my desire—that these experiences do not actually occur in nature—almost since I began to purchase my first Johanna Lindseys, I can’t help but to ache just for them rather more passionately than I ache for things like world peace or clean drinking water or a multi-party political system. I’ve wanted what I wanted. Until now. Until these days. I think.
There is this African man whom I met at the mailboxes in my apartment complex that I gave my phone number to somewhat absentmindedly who keeps calling me to tell me about the different types of cunnilingus and for how long he’d like to perform them on me. And though I am on all other days than the days when he calls an avid fan of this practice, when he talks of it, I am unmoved. He doesn’t even try to pretend that he’s interested in the kind of person I am in order to woo me like all other men do. He says we’re not children—indeed, he really isn’t. He is, in fact, fifteen years my senior. And yet I keep answering the phone every third or so call because he works as a financial analyst for one of the major research universities in the city. He is also a part-time Economics professor at a few community colleges in the city. He won an academic scholarship to attend high school in the United States. He attended university back home in Ghana and then earned Masters degrees in India and Africa. He did tell me I was beautiful. He dresses nicely. Wears glasses. And so I found yesterday that I had conjured up ridiculous questions like “Would he want to father more children at his age” and “Would he marry again after having a bitter divorce” and “Will he really be as controlling and misogynistic as he seems to already be once he realizes that I am a strong, intelligent woman?” Even one year ago, I would not have entertained him at all. Yes, it could have been the wine I was drinking as I lamented springtime finding me with no prospects. Could be that I’m in serious estrus with no randy and sensible males strutting near enough me to recognize my state of need. Could be my mommy-o-meter tick ticking away letting me know that my conceiving days are numbered. Could be.
But this time I’m really not sure if taking what I can get isn’t the way to go. Afterall, lots of other women do. (Not that it could ever, ever be this Ghanaian.) Still. Who do I think I am? What makes me think I should be so special as to think I deserve better than a middle-aged, intellectually unstimulating, clinical, sex-obsessed, inarticulate, politically and culturally unversed, divorced, stalkish, gray-haired, sexist man? The next one who is even slightly better than this may just have found a sucker freed of all illusions who’d treat him like he is her lucky day.
Damn. If this be maturity, I may begin to purposely regress quite soon.