When it rains, it pours
The Perins Peak Fire in May appeared to be a glimpse toward a tinderbox kind of summer. My house was surrounded by dust that would creep inside every time I opened the windows and doors, and I decided not to plant a garden out of fear of a prolonged drought. This was also the first time I put together a plan if my neighborhood should catch fire.
Then, we started getting rain. While it was not a daily deluge, the weather conditions dampened afternoon plans and made for muddy evening bike rides. Then – more heat and more fires. Though the rain is a blessing for so many reasons, this year-round feast or famine leaves much to be desired. I prefer some consistency.
Strangely, my dating life also follows this pattern. For months, I could only find a few dates here and there, but nothing that really sparked my interest, and not for lack of trying. I could hardly find anyone to go on a date with. Then, about a month ago, things shifted.
It reminded me of an old adage from my younger years: when it rains it pours, when it’s dry, use lotion. If I met someone cool, within a week, I would meet two more. If I was lonely and couldn’t find a date, it would last for many months, and I would feel helpless, ready to gather a proverbial bug-out bag and reach out to an ex or a friend for some companionship.
I was a late bloomer. I was the guy in high school and college who had many attractive female friends but never a girlfriend. Of course, I wished these girls were more than friends, but I was only the break glass in case of emergency guy for them, and they never had an emergency. I couldn’t get anyone to go out with me until my 20s.
Since then, and for most of my 20s and 30s, I made sure that I slept with all my female friends and roommates at some point, just in case of drought. I wanted an emergency back-up partner instead of being one. Also, I was tired of being the guy who heard about their experiences with other guys instead of being one of them. And once I found success, suddenly there were women interested in me.
Over beers at Anarchy Brewing recently, a married female friend was lamenting how all her male friends eventually hit on her and she didn’t seem to understand why. I had to explain to her how we straight men constantly have a Sisyphean battle when it comes to finding a partner. Basically, we have to exhaust every option or else we end up wandering the desert like Chevy Chase in “Vacation.”
For attractive women like her, it seems to be more of a “Space Invaders” scenario: constantly shooting down the barrage of interested men until one gets through. I was told recently by another single lady that most local women on Tinder don’t have enough time in the day to respond to all the messages and likes, while I am lucky to get a couple a week.
This has always been my history, and now it is repeating itself. I meet someone I like and want to make an effort with her, then suddenly I get more attention from women than ever. As Chris Rock put it, it wasn’t until he got married that he started getting calls to be a judge in a, uh, fellatio contest. It must be some kind of musk that lets women know we are getting attention from other women. It seems to work virtually, too.
Last month, a friend gave me his coworker’s number, then a coworker gave me his friend’s number, then I got over 20 (!) matches on Tinder in a week, then a hot, single friend of a friend asked to stay over while on a road trip, then I met someone else at a bar, and then I ran into an old crush at Maria’s Bookshop! It was starting to get muddy, and I wasn’t feeling the joy I should have with my new musk.
After deflecting the deluge by first simply avoiding everyone, then getting COVID, I have tried to focus on one woman of promise. She has many traits I admire: attractive, financially stable, a large cache of friends and family who care for her, a solid sense of humor and a great sense of adventure. We have already had a few dates and a boat-shaking tryst on Navajo Lake, but it turns out she is doing so well on her own, that there is not much time left for me.
It seems I am not quite done dating yet; I suppose I will just have to welcome the monsoonal flow when it returns.