Tonight I'm attending a support group tonight for bariatric surgery patients on "Changing Relationships", and it can't come a moment too soon.
I've just entered the "Visibility Zone". By which I mean I am no longer completely invisible to all men, everywhere. Some men -- admittedly a small percentage -- are actually starting to regard me as worth a second look, a checking out, a lingering glance.
At some point, some men might actually pick up the phone and call me. Haley's Comet comes around more frequently than men calling me (if you don't count the telemarketers).
Now, if it were the young Elvis -- and he was a perfect gentleman (ha!) -- I wouldn't mind. But the net drags in a lot of interesting catches, none of whom have ever been remotely Elvis-like. Well, maybe they fanced themselves as Elvis-like, but really ... delusional.
I'm not saying looks are what it's all about, though of course they do matter. It's my own looks are the game changer, here. As my looks change for the better, the invisibility cloak begins to fade and I feel ... vulnerable. Even though I could still give the Pillsbury Doughboy a run for his money, I feel the change afoot.
How many times have I sat by the phone wondering, waiting, asking why?
Why isn't he calling?
Why can't I call him?
Nice girls don't call ... do they?
"Is the phone working? Because ____ might've tried and couldn't get through!"
It's been more than 15 years since anybody with a male chromosome has asked me out on anything but a friendly date. "Friendly" meaning no kissin', no huggin', no nuthin' at the end of the night. Which I settled for because I was a B.F.G. (Big Fat Girl), and I believed with all my heart that this meant nobody would want even a casual kiss and cuddle with me, unless they were kids below the age of five, or my cats.
I was married for a while. But after a too-short time there was precious little carnal knowledge, most of which I had to pursue. Wait for it ... can you hear the far-off sound of self-esteem ratching down another few notches?
My point -- and I do have one -- is that the tides are changing beneath my feet, and unless I keep myself on social mothballs, as I've been doing for over a decade, I will have to brave the sticky wicket of men and How Men Are.
There is always staying at home frisking about with my fabulous hair dryer!
They ask out, they put themselves on the line, they express interest (even when they already have someone else they are supposedly very interested in ... as in married, co-habitating, or leaving their toothbrush, toenail clippers and clean skivvies at their girlfriend's place). How am I supposed to figure out who's safe and sane and who isn't?
I need advice.
I need to learn how to judge and fend for myself.
But most of all, perhaps I need to learn to trust myself and my own instincts, so that I can drop the scaredy-cat armor and actually ENJOY the attention, the opportunity, the fun of being desirable again. At least to some.
Which is better than none.
Like my blog banner says, this space is all about my "misadventures". If I can laugh and share them and connect with others around them, I have to believe I'll be OK. That, and the obligatory visits to the shrinker, will see me through.
Can anybody else relate?
I'd love to hear from you!