Up until a few years ago, in every relationship I’ve had — both long-term and after a surprisingly good first date — I’ve considered what my name would sound like if I married whoever I was seeing. Some of my boyfriends had uninteresting surnames, others humorous, many quite plain. While I won’t oust them here, I never felt like my first would match their last.
Now, I understand a few things here: A. I’m single, and B. changing your last name has little to do with how it sounds. But as an independent, hard-working, successful and devoted 26-year-old, I’ve worked really hard to build a name for myself.
And though it might not seem like such a big deal to forgo ‘Tigar’ in favor of some last name I don’t even know yet, when I meet this mysterious future husband … it feels like one to me.
So, I’m not changing my last name for marriage.
I know you exist.
Somewhere out in this mad city, or this crazy country or this beautifully ridiculous world, I know you exist. You have hopes that I’ve never heard, that I don’t know about yet, but these dreams paired with my wild ambitions will create our future. You have been walking on this planet, doing things and making things and being things that mean something to you. I know you are working that 9-6 (or 7 or 8) just like me, wondering when you’ll get where you’re going, even if you’re not sure where that is, exactly, just yet. I know you wake up every morning and you go to sleep every night, and in those hours, those minutes, those seconds in between, you make hundreds of decisions that have yet to lead you to me.
I know you are loved.
There is this family, these friends, these people that have the privilege to talk to you daily. These people have heard your laugh and felt your embrace, they know your voice when you speak and they have memories that go back to the decades I’ve never known you. There are people who think of you because you’ve actually spent time with them, there are women who have shared your heart and your hands, your bed and been stuck in your head. There are people who know your favorite dish, how you take your whiskey and what team you cheer for on Sundays and Mondays at the pub near your apartment, on some street in some place in some city. There are people who love you because you are already so wonderful.
So here’s the honest truth: I haven’t had sex since July.
I know, I know—you would think for someone who dates as much as I do and is so open about her personal life, I’d be getting a little more nooky. But since I ended that kind-of-relationship with Patrick right after the Fourth of July, I haven’t been laid. Sadly, I haven’t even been touched more than a drunken ass grab outside some crummy bar downtown.
I try my best not to cringe when my friends and family give me advice about finding love. I know more often than not, they’re just trying to be encouraging and keep me from becoming a bitter cat lady reading romance novels alone in New York City (gulp)—but sometimes, it can be a little irritating to hear what someone else thinks about my dating life.
Or even worse—when my friends make offhand comments that I’m sure they mean well by (but irk me more than anything else). To name a few: “You know, maybe you should go out more,” “You maybe should go out less, no one meets people at bars these days,” “Have you tried online dating? My friend’s brother’s cousin met her husband that way,” “Maybe it’s because you online date, those guys are just strange. Why are they online anyway?”
Sometimes you go on an amazing first date and all of the “signs” seem to point to a second. And then, he disappears into the land of guys-of-great-first-dates-past, never to be seen again. Or what about those times you flirt endlessly with one of your vendors at work—and he gives the signal that he’s interested too—only to mention his wife (WTF?!) the next week.
I often find myself looking for “signs” on dates (or let’s be real: all the time) that they’re interested. He places his hand on the small of my back, he casually mentions seeing me again, we happen to like the same kind of cheese when ordering the platter, whatever. But more often than not, when it comes to reading signals…I kind of suck at it.
Such was the case with Matt.