Love. Actually, nevermind.

“Meagan! There you are. How wonderful. Come here, there’s someone I’d like you to meet,” are the words every single woman in her mid-30s dreads. Especially while at a wedding. And most especially at a wedding when those words are coming from the bride’s sixty-something year old dad. 

I take a deep breath, put on my best parent-pleasing smile, and turn around to face the small group of people hovering near the cheese table. While I’m not entirely sure what is about to go down, I am certain it lies somewhere on the spectrum between probably not very good, and the absolute worst case scenario. As I prepare myself for the inevitable, I glance over at the person I imagine is the someone I’ve been beckoned over to meet: 

Oh look. A human. Who is a man. What a surprise. 

My friend’s father carries on, singularly focused on this matchmaking mission which is now making my stomach flip, and not in a good way: 

“Meagan, I’m so glad you’re here…because I’ve been meaning to ask you…AND my [at least 47 year old] brother Bob here…why…neither one of you…is married?” 

Yeah. So just to be clear? My friend’s dad has just tried to set me up with his brother. Aka, her uncle. I mean, I guess I’ve always wanted to be an auntie? 

In total, I attended 5 weddings this year. Five. Five receptions. Five bizarre conversations with mostly total or near strangers needing to understand how…you’re here alone…? But you are dating someone, right? No? You’re single? Oh, well, let me give you some advice. Or ask you more questions. Are you SURE you’re not married? How old are you? Haven’t you thought about kids? What about online dating? Or maybe just that guy over there by the punch? 

At a wedding in August, I was asked by drunk cousin Bertha “whhhhhhhyyyyyyYYYYYyyyyy” I wasn’t dating the groom’s 27 year-old brother, who at the time of this cross-eyed inquiry, was standing next to me with a look of ‘please let this be the end of this conversation’ plastered in terror across his face. The month before in July, an old lady I’ve never seen in my life told me I had ‘too beautiful a neck not to have a man’. Ummm, thanks, I guess? In October, it was the slurry short guy at the family wedding who noted that I was “real tall”…before launching into a diatribe about how ‘time is running out’ and I really should think about getting married. A week later, it was the friend-to-friend pep talk on how I should figure my shit out before my ovaries permanently go on strike. And finally we have Uncle Bob and what I like to think of as the formative basis for Father of the Bride Part III: The Most Awkward Family Affair EVER – Reasons Why Meagan Will Definitely Be Drunk At Your Wedding. (Touchstone Pictures, we can discuss royalties later). 

And yet, in the grand scheme of things, all of these utterly absurd wedding encounters were merely tame, laughable microcosms of my actual romantic life circa 2014.

This year has been a real doozey in the relationship/finding love/chivalry is definitely dead department. At some point along the line of my general existence, I apparently managed to deeply (and I mean DEEPLY) anger the gods of romance. In response, it seems they have chosen this past year – 2014 – to enact their sweet revenge and wreck continuous and utter havoc on my so-called love life. As we speak, somewhere out there in the universe, there is an army of vindictive little cupids flame-throwing arrows at my head and watching with delight as every romantic encounter I’ve had over the last 12 months spontaneously combusts upon impact. Over. And over. And over again.

First, it was the Match.com phase around January of this year, which included the weird surgeon who smelled creepily of antiseptic and parted his hair down the middle a la 1902. Then there was the super tall wine marketer who was so promising! Until he proceeded to talk for 25 minutes on our second date about why he exclusively drinks bottled water from Whole Foods. Because “other water tastes weird” out of the tap, through a Brita filter, and even when delivered in large water coolers. I can’t believe he wasn’t “the one.” 

February and March gave way to the “I’m going to have an open mind about men” period, whereby I agreed to go out with a bartender who works at my favorite bar in Oakland. The bartender who was also – wait for it – a musician in a band who was also – wait for it – a tax accountant during tax season. I thought things were going pretty well until he vanished two weeks before taxes were due, resurfacing just long enough to let me know by text that, and I quote: 

“It’s not you. It’s Uncle Sam.” 

Can I get a slow clap for the best worst break-up text in the history of texting? Thanks a lot, Uncle Sam. Not only are you an asshole, you’re an asshole who just ruined my access to the best vodka martinis in town on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights. 

There were the 4 or 5 droning dates I went on through OKCupid in the late spring. A Canadian pharmacist. A painfully awkward software engineer. The Republican with the Lego helmet hair. Also the guy from the gym who while nice, was so socially and politically oblivious that talking to him filled me with debilitating levels of irrational rage. Also, he was a grown man living alone with a pet chinchilla. The end. 

But why stop there! In April I met a lovely man from the UK who I thought was the most normal human I had encountered in months, right? WRONG. After nearly 12 weeks of dating, it became clear that this dude had major, borderline very scary life issues that I quite frankly, had no desire to handle. Aside from the creepy drive-by he later did past my apartment on a motorcycle late one night (yes that happened), my favorite part of our break-up was the time he sent all the stuff I left at his house back via UPS. I’m still not entirely sure who “Megan Demilde” in apartment 102 is, but shit! We’re like the same size AND have the same set of beach towels? What a coincidence! Oh, and thank you for the extra women’s sun hat – that was definitely NOT mine but it should come in super handy during my trip to Mexico in December. 

Then wedding season started. Flirtations with an adorable best man at a wedding in July. Congratulations: He lives in England. The nice, but overly eager dude at the wedding in August who asked the bride what his odds were with me that weekend: “I mean, I don’t want to say zero but yeah. Somewhere close to zero.” The funny, handsome (god, so handsome) friend of a friend who – because the universe hates me – of course has a girlfriend. And then there’s Uncle Bob, the father of the bride, and their merry band of complicit crazies. 

The final straw came last week, when one of my coworkers tried to set me up with her friend’s son…who in a small world twist of fate, turned out to be my ex-boyfriend’s best friend. The discovery of this of course prompted a somewhat angsty email from my ex, which he sent me this past Sunday, aka on my 34th birthday. The best part? No mention of my birthday AT ALL. Why? Because he clearly didn’t remember. Thanks for that lovely metaphoric reminder of why we are no longer together. 

So, when people ask me that awful question, “why are you single?” that’s my explanation. Everything you just read. Because most humans are terrible. Because the Internet is full of creeptards. Because meeting people in real life who aren’t the worst is nearly impossible. Because life – like your grandma always said – isn’t always fair. Because sometimes you have to get set-up with your friend’s uncle or your ex’s BFF to realize that as hard as it feels (a lot of the time) to be alone, there is a silver lining of unbeatable comedy to all of this. Which makes you realize that your life might actually be ok right now. Sometimes it’s borderline great, even if you don’t have a person. Or you simply get to the point where you can accept that for this moment at least, the most important person in your life is actually you. And you’re some kind of wonderful. (Suck it, Uncle Sam).

Or, maybe the reason I’m single really is because there’s some punk-ass winged cherub motherf**ker up there, looking down on my would-be relationships all up in flames, and doing a happy dance every time he scores a fiery hole-in-one through the ridiculous, disastrous rom-com that is my love life. 

So, if you’re listening, you little jerk, I CONCEDE. You WIN. I fold, give up, throw in the towel. I know when to take a hint. I officially give up on dating in the year of our Lord 2014. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have important single girl life things to take care of. Like washing my hair. Maybe (probably not) shaving my legs. Netflix binging on every episode of Gilmore Girls ever created. Right after I finish googling “cat adoption near you…”

Everything old is new again

Well, hello there…Newman. Fancy meeting you here. It’s been awhile, my fat little friend.

Without going into a tremendous amount of detail, let’s summarize briefly what’s been happening in the last 2 years or so since I vanished into self-induced blogger obscurity, presumably never to be heard from again:

I got a new job. I moved to Oakland. I traveled to England – Albania – Oregon – Ireland – Louisiana – New York – Las Vegas – South Africa although not necessarily in that order. I reignited my love affair with burritos. I continued my totally un-clandestine love affair with Jean Luc Picard. (Shh, don’t tell Commander Riker). I saw Patrick Stewart in a play. I learned how to paddleboard. I got a promotion. I had a run in with the CHP. I had two fillings replaced. I went to a Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony concert. I saw Lionel Richie. I landed a huge grant. I lost a huge grant. I made a quilt. I read Catch 22. I voted. I had approximately 4,268 transatlantic FaceTime calls with Claire Walsh. I attended my first Bay to Breakers race. I learned I like watching football. I learned I still hate baseball. I signed up for online dating. I went on countless dates. I ended up with a boyfriend. I broke up with said boyfriend. I online dated again. I went on countless dates. Again. I got dumped by Uncle Sam. I got into a fight with a bartender. I won. I made some bad decisions. I went to 9 weddings. I got invited to 4 more. I gave a kick-ass maid of honor speech. I had my first concussion. I got called for jury duty. I made some good decisions. I learned how to cut myself some slack. And how to say “thank you” in Ethiopian. I took my first RV trip. I got the best piece of mail ever. I made new friends. I fell in love with old friends all over again. I cried a lot. But I laughed so much more.

And somewhere in all of this, I stumbled my way into an awesome little life. A rooted, grounded California-knows-how-to-party kind of life that 2 years ago seemed like the most preposterous possibility in the history of all things possible.  

Which is where this blog comes in: I had a conversation with someone last night that somehow ended up winding its way into a brief discussion about the fact that I used to write – a lot. I spent the morning re-reading some of my old posts, mulling over things I’ve said, people I’ve known, and places I’ve been…it reminded me of the fact that even though I haven’t so much as tapped a keyboard as it relates to this virtual soapbox of mine in a coon’s age, I actually maybe sort of still have a lot of things to say. There is still shit to be talked. Absurd circumstances to be agonized over. So SO many (so many) ridiculous stories just floating about in space, all dressed up with nowhere to go, just waiting for someone to invite them to an Internet-themed party and I don’t mean San Francisco.

While I can’t make any promises on the frequency or philosophical depth of my internal commentary — if anyone was holding out for poetry in motion let’s just remind ourselves that Prince, I am not, so let’s get our expectations straight — me and ol’ Totes McGee here are going to try and say something (anything? Many things) every once and awhile.

So, that’s all. Oh, and you’re welcome. In advance. 

With the caveat of ‘sorry I’m not sorry’ about what happens after this in 3…2…1…