Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Pal Wanted

I am completely freaked out by the idea of marriage. Truly. Just looking at the word, I am beginning to feel a panic attack coming on. I love being in love, I love the idea of finding that one terrific guy who’s so fantastic that I could never imagine wanting to be with anyone else. I love imagining having a partner in life who’s supportive of even my wackiest ideas. I just can’t imagine that my sense of judgment is so amazing that I could pick, right now, the one person I’ll be happy with forever. And actually what I’m more worried about is how will he know that I’m the one he’ll be happy with forever. I’ve had relationships when I thought I found the right one, and then it seemed to fall apart for no reason at all. And it was heart-breaking, and awful, and I just don’t want to go through that again. I don’t think I can go through that again and come out of it a sane person. Or, at least these were all my fears until today when I read something that helped me start to turn the corner. Something that helped me to look at this fear with a little more courage, and say, “well, maybe you aren’t so scary after all….”

One of the columnists in the New York Times went shopping with Alice Waters at the Union Square Farmers Market. Waters is a restaurateur, chef, and advocated for supporting locally-grown agriculture. In the world of foodies, she’s legendary. She’s 63, and as the article points out, currently not in love. And then she added a really lovely comment that helped me see that marriage, or at least being in love a committed long-term relationship may not be so bad. “While not in love, she does wish she had a good pal to be in the world with.” And if in my mind I define “husband” in that way, it doesn’t seem quite so scary.

Truthfully, that is exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t need a husband to support me financially. I don’t need him to be my everything, and quite frankly, I would prefer he not be since I have many wonderful people in my life that fill a variety of roles quite well. And since I’m laying the honesty on thick in this post, I’m not 100% sure that I want children. I’m a good 50 / 50 on that one, so I’m not even looking for someone to be the ideal father-figure.

What I really want is someone I laugh with, someone who’s smart and helps me think clearly, someone who supports my crazy ideas and has fun in the process. A creative-bent would be nice. Ambitious, though doesn’t devote his entire being to his profession. It would help if he liked dogs. Scratch that – he has to like dogs. Cooking, or an interest in learning to cook would just be fantastic. And travel – I want someone who is in this world to be an adventurer. And yes, I need him to be good-looking. Sorry. I figured if I’m really going to send this wish out into the world, I might as well ask for everything I want. At the heart of it, Alice Waters is right – he needs to be a good friend to me as we figure out how to navigate this crazy world around us.

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