“If you are looking for love, you can find it, dear Virgo,” astrologer Susan Miller promises chirpily (I imagine) in her forecast for January 2014.
Am I, though? I am a great fan of love and being in love has been my default state since I was a teenager. Why, just recently, I felt extremely fond of someone for telling me she loved Weezer* and for beating me at this arcade game where you shoot balls into a basket**, so I know that I am still capable of feeling.***
But lately, it’s like feelings are often more trouble than they are worth. I’m watching marriages flounder because of 2 a.m. feelings and for someone who holds marriage as one of the few institutions that are still sacred, it is a terrible thing to see.
I have done a lot of things that I’m not proud of, including running an Anna Paquin fan website in high school, but that was one line I never crossed.
“I think marriage was a bad idea,” one friend told me and, I don’t know, man, but maybe it is. Maybe betrayal (or worse, a simmering resentment) is just the way of things.
That’s neither her nor there right now, though. I am now a year older than my father was when he got married and my parents had a kid (or, rather, got married because of said kid) and I neither burst into flame nor die when I turned 32. So I guess God, my father’s ghost, and I can agree that the marriage thing will keep.
There was someone for a while, but that didn’t happen and she has since moved on. When we started going out, I was between jobs and working some stuff out. I wasn’t ready, essentially, and never got around to being ready****. It’s a shame, really.
That was a terrible lesson (and experience), and something that I never want to have to learn again. I have gotten better at learning from my mistakes, though, and have promised myself that I won’t ever be unready the next time someone comes around.
And so this almost obsessive focus on becoming the best version of myself. A lot of it is basic stuff that I should be doing anyway, like exercise and watching what I eat, upgrading my skills and not being a crackhead.
Some of it is more subtle, though, like keeping my emotions in check and being okay with putting myself first. And chores. Those are the worst.
That probably means being alone for a while yet, but that’s okay. That’s still better than the idea of someone just settling for me because I’m all right and decent and employed*****. Still better than having my identity defined as someone’s boyfriend or, worse, someone’s “leftovers”.
It’s February now, and it seems Susan Miller was wrong. Unless-plot twist!-she meant finding love for myself. Which is, you know, pretty corny even for an astrologer who addresses me as Dear Virgo.
* Not just for saying that, obviously, but I wore a shit-eating grin for at least 10 minutes after that. It is possible that I blushed.
** It is probably called basketball or something similarly simple.
*** It comes in waves and it takes a lot of self control to not be all, “HERE ARE MY FEELINGS FOR YOU! THEY ARE: SOMETHING LIKE LOVE AND, ALSO, SOME JEALOUSY THAT IS VALID BUT UNWARRANTED!” I slip up sometimes but not as often as before.
****It is also equally possible that she was not interested. But people like who they like and that’s out of my hands.
***** These are, of course, good things to be too.