Captain Suave

Will you tell me where you stand?

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Where do you stand in the grand scheme of things, and where do you stand on the subject that has kept my mom and I entertained all week long.

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Side note: when was the last time you really laughed? At yourself, at the sheer ridiculousness of something, or at the human race as a whole. (Not unkindly.)

One of us is online dating, and it’s not me. It could be me at some point, I suppose, but for now it’s enough for me to look over and see her secret-smiling down at her iPad. And — okay — occasionally looking absolutely horrified, before giving into the hilarity of the whole thing. It shaves 10 years off of her age, when she gets the giggles. Sometimes I’ll catch her flipping the flimsy cover closed, muttering OkStupid. (Still smiling.) I’ll ask her what his name was, and she’ll barely be able to get it out. Captain Suave, she’ll manage eventually. Captain Suave is 26, in case you were wondering. A year and a half older than me.

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I might tease her mercilessly, but the truth is, I admire her for trying. It’s really hard to, A, admit you want to be with someone, and B, take steps to make that happen. I have a fair amount of respect for the come hell or high water approach.

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We’re in different stages, she and I. I still haven’t drummed up the courage to ask anyone to meet me for coffee on purpose.

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I know I could join a dating site and get some practice, if nothing else…but I don’t seem to want to go down that road.

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I can’t pinpoint what the issue is, exactly. My issue, although I can’t be the only one with reservations about getting to know someone online.

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It’s not about the picture you have to post anymore. It’s not about trying to condense my best self into a blurb a lot of people won’t ever read, because they never made it past said picture. It’s not about it feeling somehow cruel to thumbs up/thumbs down a person, so casually.

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I do like my mom’s approach in that whenever she does connect with someone, she aims to meet him in person as soon as possible. That way her imagination can’t run too wild — she can’t preemptively fill in the gaps and fall for someone she hasn’t even met yet, and she can figure out relatively early on whether there is any chemistry or not.

It’s entirely possible that my bedside table is home to a few too many romances right now, but I can’t help it. I don’t want the beginning to be about checklists and compatibility percentages. I don’t know what I want, but I do know I don’t want it to be primarily about good and bad photos.

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I guess I want it to feel natural, easy. The opposite of cold. I want him to slip into my life like the milk in my morning coffee. I want to bump into him once, twice, a third time. I want to believe people still meet each other by quirky twists of fate. I want to believe there are people who aren’t so interested in the perfect personal ad parts. I want to believe there are people who would say tell me everything, and let me love you anyway. I want to believe it’s possible to fall in love and stay in love, even as everything around you changes.

Do people meet people just by doing the things they like to do? Does that happen anymore?

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Do they still meet each other by going places they like to go? I’d really like to think they do.

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Sometimes, when the shadows grow long and my eyes get suspiciously bright, I think it’s a miracle anyone ever finds anyone. It’s a miracle people ever succeed at merging their complicated lives. It’s a miracle people ever overlook the red flags, the deal breakers, the fatal flaws — and don’t even need to be coaxed much, sometimes.

It’s too easy to write things down; too hard to say them aloud. I want. I want, I want, I want. I want the warmth of a cheek pressed against mine. The goosebumps made by fingertips tracing careful circles across my skin.

I’m shy with my hope. It’s too easy to feel foolish, overeager, completely idiotic.

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“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently. When you look into infinity, you realize there are more important things.” -Calvin and Hobbes

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“You needn’t speak. Just listen. Not even. Be with me.” -Samuel Beckett

“The best thing is to be alone but not quite alone.” -Charles Bukowski

“We are meant to discover our authentic nature — the state of being in which we are inspired by ourselves, turned on, lit up, and excited about who we are.” -Debbie Ford

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“Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for?” -George Balanchine

“If you ask an introvert a question, wait until she thinks about it. Introverts think before speaking, not through speaking. If you want to get to the good stuff, you need to slow down.” -Laurie Helgoe

“To my daughter I will say, ‘See your beauty without a compliment or a mirror.’” -Della Hicks-Wilson

“Being happy is a very personal thing — and it really has nothing to do with anyone else.“ -Abraham Hick

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“Everybody isn’t going to love you. Most people don’t even love themselves.” -Unknown

“Often, when we have a crush, when we lust for a person, we see only a small percentage of who they really are. The rest we make up for ourselves. Rather than listen or learn, we smother them in who we imagine them to be and what we desire for ourselves. We create little fantasies of people and let them grow in our hearts. This is where relationships fail — when the fiction we’ve scribbled onto a person falls away. My advice: pay attention to the small details of people, you will learn that the universe is far more spectacular an author than we could ever hope to be.” -Beau Taplin

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“Are you one of those people who says on a first date, ‘I’m really not in a hurry to meet somebody, I figure if it happens, it happens’? Because those are the most desperate people of all. I’m just saying this so that if you are this person, you aren’t hiding it from anybody. There is no shame in being hungry for another person. There is no shame in wanting very much to share your life with somebody.” -Augusten Burroughs

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“As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I’ve found that to be absolutely axiomatic.” -Andy Warhol

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{Historic highway via @ioegreer; Mt. Hood & Portland at sunset both via @justin.watts; A-frame of dreams via @tyehaus.}

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3 thoughts on “Captain Suave

  1. I met my husband of 7 years online. Because, exactly, how does someone meet someone doing normal things these days? It can work, but there’s also a lot of weirdos out there..both on and offline. 🙂 Go, Mom!

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