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Monday, October 25, 2010

Long Term Girl

Anyone that knows anything about me, knows that I'm what I can only describe as a "long-term" girl.   It boils down to this: at twenty-five, while many of my peers have dabbled in double digits when it comes to sexual partners, jobs, apartments, I have had two jobs and two (that's right two) sexual partners (or boyfriends if you will). One job I held for five years and I detached from so slowly that I still worked the first year as I eased into my new one. As for boyfriends, the first one I was with for six years and the second for close to one year (I should mention the second one I knew for twelve years prior).   So there you have it, I'm a long term girl. I choose not to say stable, because that would be misleading.  My relationships have had all the fights, breakups, drama just at a much higher ratio per boy.

There are a few key perks to being a long term girl, mainly comfort level. Being a long term girl means the world is your old pair of sweats and t-shirt.  Other girls enjoy putting on makeup for the evening and that new dress; they go out into the night in search of a new adventure. Us, long term girls, we enjoy slipping into the familiar, barefaced and barefoot.  So the boys in my life have been the old jersey shirts I wake up with and wear through the day, to clean my bathroom, do laundry with and run out and pick up take out with.

You can imagine my horror then, when my second relationship ended and I found I could no longer afford to be a long term girl (at least where men are involved).  Twenty-five flips a switch in most of us.  I think it is often misrepresented by a biological clock (a desperate insatiable need to pop out spawn), when it is actually more of a reality check. For me it was a realization that I was twenty five and had never dated. Two men is a mighty small pool from which to derive or identify characteristics/ likes or dislikes that will help me to identify the man that will make me so insanely happy that  I might begin to consider spending the rest of my life with him.  In other words, how will I identify cashmere if I have been swearing by two polyester blend fabrics? It leaves me susceptible to thinking the first 100% cotton shirt I have a fling with is the one!

So, I am putting on makeup. I am straightening my hair and playing dress up.  I will put long term girl on the shelf and begin a dating experiment, where I date several men without allowing any of them to become long term anything. And this is something I will soon as I figure out where to start.


  1. Wear yourself.

    “Perfect Dress” by Marisa de los Santos

    It’s here in a student’s journal, a blue confession
    in smudged, erasable ink: “I can’t stop hoping
    I’ll wake up, suddenly beautiful,” and isn’t it strange
    how we want it, despite all we know? To be at last

    the girl in the photography, cobalt-eyed, hair puddling
    like cognac, or the one stretched at the ocean’s edge,
    curved and light-drenched, more like a beach than
    the beach. I confess I have longed to stalk runways,

    leggy, otherworldly as a mantis, to balance a head
    like a Fabergé egg on the longest, most elegant neck.
    Today in the checkout line, I saw a magazine
    claiming to know “How to Find the Perfect Dress

    for that Perfect Evening,” and I felt the old pull, flare
    of the pilgrim’s twin flames, desire and faith. At fifteen,
    I spent weeks at the search. Going from store to store,
    hands thirsty for shine, I reached for polyester satin,

    machine-made lace, petunia- and Easter egg-colored,
    brilliant and flammable. Nothing haute about this
    couture but my hopes for it, as I tugged it on
    and waited for my one, true body to emerge.

    (Picture the angel inside uncut marble, articulation
    of wings and robes poised in expectation of release.)
    What I wanted was ordinary miracle, the falling away
    of everything wrong. Silly maybe or maybe

    I was right, that there’s no limit to the ways eternity
    suggests itself, that one day I’ll slip into it, say
    floor-length plum charmeuse. Someone will murmur,
    “She is sublime,” will be precisely right, and I will step,

    with incandescent shoulders, into my perfect evening.

  2. What about if you're twenty five, single, with no prospects and still prefer sweats?