Tuesday, June 20, 2006



I've learned more about myself in the past week than I have in the three months that I dated S. previous to my "on-line experimentation" (almost makes it sound illegal! I knew that E-Harmony was a gateway drug. It could only lead to faster, higher highs and crashing lows. That bastard, Dr Neil Warren!!)

Basically, I've learned that the beauty of "dating", in the most classic sense, is that people aren't all up in your shit. I was bathing Zac last night on the second floor of my apartment and I yelled down to P. to see if he could find me any bath toys in the living room. He couldn't and he came upstairs to tell me that. He stood at the door and watched me bathe Zac. It was a loving, "Family Ties" type of moment, which he promptly ruined by asking me if I could bathe him next. I looked at him, and meaningfully (at least in my own mind) poured water over Zac's head and said, "No way in hell. Big boys bathe themselves". Then wrapped Z. up in his hooded towel and trundled him off to lasso him into a diaper and pajamas (he hates to get dressed and a greased pig would probably envy his mobility)

Then it struck me: I wasn't annoyed by the lame sexual inneundo or even the thought of bathing a partner, it was that I already have so much to do on a daily basis that the thought of adding in another responsibility (even temporarily...even voluntarily) was enough to turn my stomach. When P. is at my place, I have to run around and make dinner, clean up afterwards, take out the garbage (which I've asked him to do a couple of times. I don't want to turn this into a bash P. post), bathe Zac, dress him, give him a bottle, clean up the living room, and then possibly sit down to watch the last twenty minutes of CSI. The whole time, he's just sitting there, probably feeling as uncomfortable as I do. He doesn't know what to do and I don't know what I can ask him to do. Instead of a date being fun and relaxing, it is double the amount of work for me.

I realized, in striking clarity last night, that I want to D-A-T-E. I want to go out. Go for a walk in the park. Go to a movie. I don't want someone to move in and then sit on the couch. I could fly the FOB down here if I wanted that. I also don't want to date exclusively for the purpose of finding a Daddy for Zac. That seems strange and utterly foreign to me. P. volunteered to babysit for me tonight, instead of me paying my next door neighbor and I realized how differently we were viewing dating. I had to say no. There is no way that I would let a man who I've known for less than two weeks watch my son, no matter how much of a Daddy he wanted to be.


p said...

B, did you know E-Harmony is a Christian dating site that doesn't allow gay people to use their site? I prefer match, where they don't impose their values on you just for trying to find a date :)

Re: your date. Sounds annoying, maybe your first instincts were correct and there's nothing there. Next date you have--with anyone--insist on dinner and drinks! OUT! :-D

p.s. love your 'big boys bathe themselves' line

Ali said...

Word up! It is definitely not something you realize about being a single parent, letting someone date you. They add to your work load. And while they don't mean to and do offer to help, it makes it harder. You know your routine. You know how to bathe your child, put your child to bed, what needs to be made for dinner, where the stuff is in the kitchen, etc. Not to mention, you don't really want someone you have only known a short period doing that stuff anyway, even if they do know how.

I takes time for all of that to feel at ease. Maybe you just need to hang out with P elsewhere, or after dinner is over and Zac is in bed. Then he could come over and chill with you on the couch. That is what I did all the time with every guy I dated. I didn't want my daughter to be exposed to the guys I dated though. It works if you feel comfortable having them in your place and it takes away from the extra work you feel you are doing. I know that feeling well.

I've been dating my boyfriend for 3 months now and I can say that the feeling wears off with time. It used to annoy the crap out of me. I think that is the hardest thing aobut dating as a single parent. Letting someone else in and getting used to dealing with someone else again. You have a system, so when someone invades, you can feel stifled.

Pregnant In Texas said...

Two thoughts: Is it a system so much as survival? Do I do things I do because I LIKE to do them that way, or because I have to?

Heather said...

I think you are very right. You need to go OUT with this man and not continue to stay in. I know that sitters can be expensive, but I think you are going to have a much more enjoyable, relaxing time if you don't have to do everything.

Ali said...

Good point. Of course you may not like to do them, but you HAVE to. Such is life. All the same though, when you bring a child into the world and you don't have a partner to help, you figure out how to do all those things on your own. So, when someone does come in and takes up more of your time, it is harder to do those fun fun things, like clean, wash clothes, give the kid a bath, etc.

And I know for me, the thought of having someone help and for me to get used to that help, is very very hard. Because I don't want to get used to having help and poof, it is gone and I am left to get used to doing it all on my own again. If that makes sense?

Not to mention, adding another person to the cooking mix or just hanging out at your house a lot mix, it creates more work. More to cook, more dishes to clean, and more straightening up after. Sure, they could help and would be willing to help. But when you are used to doing it all the time anyway, it takes more time to tell them or explain than it would if you just did it.

I hope I'm making sense. All in all, I just want to state I understand what you are feeling. So been there and for me, obviously after 4 1/2 years of it being all on me, it is so hard to switch gears, so I really understand. hahaha.