Too Few to Mention
Shoulda done it sooner.
I would like a boyfriend, I really, really would. Dating has been — for me, hopefully not for you — a terrible experience. When it has not been aggravating, it has been disappointing.
If I divorce (heh) the dating parts of my life from everything else, it’s amazing the way my life has come together.
Yesterday I had a long talk with a friend. She’s my age, single for at least a decade now.
“I’m no longer holding my breath for some contingency, the only one affected by my choices is me. I get to do all the things I want and my life is so much easier. I didn’t want to get divorced, I wanted my marriage to work. But I’m not sorry at all.”
“Yeah, nothing you just said is surprising to me.”
Yay for old friends.
Your man walks out on you, it’s your fault. You should be ashamed of yourself, that’s the trope.
Fuck that. Some day when I’m 100% over it, I may send him a Thank You note.
It had been some time coming, but the day my ex left I stopped planning anything around him. Since then I have:
Signed a book deal and published a memoir.
Launched a screenplay project with a skilled and ambitious producer.
Got a job with excellent benefits — on my terms.
Completed a number of endlessly delayed home renovations.
Replaced my front lawn with native and food plants.
I experienced a long season of loss after loss after loss. I count my marriage as one of those losses, though the divorce was the cure for, not the cause of, my grief. It stopped the bleeding. It allowed me to retake control of my life.
While there are risks to living alone — depression, ignored illness, a general tax on singleness — there’s also a lot of data stating (hetero) women are happier and live longer when they are single. Even with decades of shifting gender roles, straight men benefit more from marriage than women. I could fall down a rabbit hole pulling research to validate this, but I’m going to look in the mirror instead.
Until the late 90s, I was a working artist. I exhibited my work and sold it now and again. It doesn’t suck. But I gave up renting a studio to buy a home. I turned to other creative pursuits — writing, music, photography, things that took up less physical space. Last spring I started to paint again, just small watercolor sketches, but it pleases me to work on them.
There is an unfortunate pattern of women artists being overlooked until later in life until some enthusiastic young dealer plucks them from obscurity.
About a month ago, I met an enthusiastic young dealer.
No, really. It seems likely I will have an exhibit this fall. When the dealer and I met for coffee the other day I showed her a specific body of work.
“Are there more of these? Can you make more? Can you make them bigger? This work is so cool, so relevant, why haven’t you been making art?”
The answer to why I wasn’t making art feels like it could be “Well, I was married …”
I am experienced enough to know that one exhibit doesn’t make an artist famous. It could be I show some work and put it right back into my basement. That could happen.
Still. It’s one more thing on the “pro” side of the list.
If you see my life only through the window of my dating experiences you might think things are not going well. This is simply not true.
Dating continues to go very badly.
There are factors I don’t control. Politics, the plague come to mind. Time has taken some of my family, as it inevitably does.
But everything else is fucking awesome.
There’s a lot of data that shows (hetero) women are happier after divorce.
I could fall down a rabbit hole pulling research to validate this, but I’m going to look in the mirror instead.