sorry, I’m infertile

For someone with my experiences I am tragically naive and trusting to a fault. Though I border on being completely dense, I say exactly what I mean and mean exactly what I say. Unfortunately I expect others to interpret my openness and honesty quite literally. Ladies pick up on it and appreciate my candor, but some dudes refuse to hear what I’m spitting at them. Misogyny runs rampant and even though I expressly repeat (and must defend), yes I’m single, no I don’t want to get married, no I don’t want kids some dimwits just don’t get it. I’m not being coy, I’m actually being upfront with you and you don’t respect me enough to listen.

Recently I visited a couple of friends in Portland OR and wanted to get to know some people in the city. It’s possible that I’ll move out there this summer and would like to have a circle of friends established so I can make a smooth adjustment. One evening I found myself without dinner plans and decided to call a friend of a friend with the hopes of getting to know him on a strictly platonic level. Later that night a group was going to a late show of No Country for Old Men and to me it was just rational to grab a bite prior to the movie, and this fellow seemed nice enough – I could see myself playing scrabble with Dude on facebook, maybe going out for happy hour, nothing more. We went in with different expectations and I was put on the defense all night.

Dude shows up at J’s doorstep dressed as swanky as a man his size can be and I’m unkempt – hair sloppily pulled back in a clip, glasses, baggy jeans and a hoodie. Since Dude knows I’ve no interest in dating anyone right now (during an earlier outing I extolled the virtues of being single and completely self-centered) I assumed he knew I just wanted to hang out. I live four states away and am only visiting for a week. Clearly I am not trolling. During the most uncomfortable evening of recent memory, he searched for compliments and I felt he was so insecure and self-loathing I tried my best to boost his self-esteem without coming across as invested. Dude tried to sell himself to me – he’s in law school, wants nothing more than to be married with child and is close to his family (far too socially-dependent on his parents for a 27-year old) – but he didn’t listen to a word I said all night.

Anytime I opened my mouth he cut me off with an irrelevant anecdote. If I tell you I’ve never seen ‘Farscape’ because sci-fi is not my thing, drop that thought-train right then and there so we can discuss something less polarizing. I’m sorry, but I’m not flattered that you think I’m reminiscent of a character on the show. That means nothing to me. And for fuck’s sake, don’t bring up Buffy. If I tell you what I hope to accomplish with my life, don’t trivialize it because it differs from your dreams. Actually, I can’t have kids and I’m okay with it. Maybe one day I’ll get married but right now I can’t even fathom the commitment. If you tell me you can’t get a good read on me, well shit. You aren’t listening.

During No Country for Old Men, Dude insisted on sitting next to me. Because of his sheer girth he was spilling over into my seat and I inched as far right as I could, practically sitting in A’s lap. No Country for Old Men is a rare movie that shook me to my core and I jump at the chance to get interpretations from others and share my thoughts. On the horrifically long ride home, Dude lectured me on why my take is flawed and wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. Having spent three years with a man who stifled me, anytime someone, male or female, makes me feel I don’t have a voice, I’m brought back to 2003. People like that bring out the worst in me: I become sullen and withdrawn and detached and search desperately for an out. For a spell I contemplated jumping out of the car but thought that too dramatic. Instead I stopped talking about anything topical, commenting only on what was directly in front of me (check out those lawn ornaments), wishing J’s house was more centrally located.

How sad that women who choose to be single must reaffirm their decisions to people who aren’t worthy of their attention. Why did Dude try to cut me down because I’m not the Donna Reed type? I’m sure there’s plenty of women who would be thrilled at the comfort a marriage with an established lawyer can provide, and I’m not knocking it. If you aspire to be someone’s mother and wife, more power to you. If you differ from that norm (and FYI, that was never the norm), some people feel it’s within their right to question your decisions and ridicule your dreams. That is arrogant and judgmental and no way to live life. Even writing this blog, I feel I’m defending my decisions, though I wonder to whom. I’m lucky to have supportive family and like-minded friends, so fuck all the Dudes in the world.

March 10, 2008 Posted by | by kellyjeanjellybean | | 1 Comment

the end of an era

After too many bad experiences, I’m hanging up my hat – I will never donate blood again. The only healthy and helpful addiction I’ve had just hasn’t been good to me. Perhaps the altitude is too much for my thin blood, as every time I’ve donated in Bozeman I’ve gotten incredibly dizzy and expect to be out of commission for at least three days. Today I actually fainted. In Borders. At the checkout. Mid-sentence.

It sucked. And I needed my mommy to make me feel better.

Recounting my spell with my mom, the first pop-culture reference that came to me was, of course, Sex and the City. Miranda has recently moved into swanky new digs and nearly chokes on Chinese takeout, heimliching herself. She calls up Carrie in panic, terrified that she’s going to die alone in her apartment with only her super to discover cats feasting on her decomposing body. Fainting isn’t on the same level as choking but both leave you shaken, and more importantly, Miranda and I were both overwhelmed by loneliness.

Overall I don’t feel lonely. I really don’t. Sometimes I miss the familiarity and comfort a relationship brings but I like being single. Too many people, women especially, jump from one relationship to the next without taking any time to figure out who they are, what they want out of life and all the existential bullshit we must plow through. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to be completely self-centered. But at that exact moment it would have been SO NICE to have someone with me.

Maybe I was so shocked because I’ve never fainted before, but I imagine the experience is surreal to everyone. I blearily opened my eyes to discover two strange faces gazing down at me. The guy waiting in line behind me was nice enough to catch my head so I didn’t get a concussion – aww – and my cashier pilfered some orange juice from the cafe. For a moment I got a taste of what alzheimers must feel like: I was terribly disoriented and seemed to have forgotten how to move and speak. As I struggled to sit up, two nurses from the Red Cross came to my aid with a 10-pound bag of ice and cookies. For 15 minutes I laid on the floor of Borders with ice on my chest and my feet elevated on a chair, exchanging decorating tips with the nurses. When they were satisfied that I had regained enough color (until this afternoon I wasn’t aware that I had ANY melanin) I was set free.

Giving back to others is so important to me, which is why I’m on my way to a third AmeriCorps term. Donating blood is quick and easy and it actually saves lives.

Okay, I’ll try donating one more time and if I faint again, I’m really done.

February 1, 2008 Posted by | by kellyjeanjellybean | , | 1 Comment