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January 28, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-changes

A few weeks ago I discovered that I have VH1 Classics, and they play a one-hour block of videos called "We Are The 80s" several times a day. We Are The 80s! I started Tivo-ing this video show, and in the mornings when I wake up ungodly early and it's so, so cold it my little house, I turn up the heat and get under a blanket on the sofa with a cat or three and watch music videos from the 1980s. Because that's how I roll, can I get a what what.

So. Addicted. To. This. Show.

Which isn't a show at all, just a ton of the videos I watched obsessively as a little crunchy-bang pre-teen and teenager. David Lee Roth back before he became Skeletor! Pat Benetar! Til Tuesday! Madonna ... back when she scared our parents. Adam Ant! 99 Luftballons in German. Ahd oh, the Bowie. Time may change me, but I can't trace time

Love. True love.

And I watch these videos and listen to these old songs and it kind of takes me back to when I hadn't even started dating and meeting guys (or driving!) and before college and work and relationships and marriage and all of it.

And I was so burned by his leaving, by the whole wretched past year, I never even considered dating or what life would be like "after." I just couldn't see that far ahead, because it took all my energy to stay focused on one day, one hour, one moment.

But now that the actual final divorce is over, and the holidays are over, and I have relaxed a teeny bit about all of the pressure and expectations and sadness, I'm beginning to see that this new life of mine has its really good points. And one of those good points is freedom. Freedom to experiment. Try new flavors, so to speak. Until now, I've been incapable of even thinking about dating. Too much. Too stressful. So. Not. Ready.

But in the past few weeks I have thought about it.
A little.

And while I was doing this thinking, something occurred to me that I had not considered maybe EVER.

Dating now will be REALLY DIFFERENT than dating was before I got married. Mostly because this will be the fist time I have ever dated just... for fun. Companionship. A nice evening.

Maybe I am a little relationship-phobic, yes. I admit it. I'm not interested in long-term anything or marriage, not now. I was married a pretty long time. And I already played wifey and set up house and did his laundry and dishes and cooked the dinners and made the beds... I did enough of that. NOW I AM FREE. Free to dabble. To date without strings. To... philander, should philandering be called for. Just like guys do! I had never considered this. In my entire dating life pre-marriage, everything was all about Finding The One, meeting Mr. Right. Does he have compatible values? Compatible family background? Similar views on politics/family/religion/money/blah blah blah?

But now, NOW, I have the option to go out with any one I want, anyone. Even if he is all wrong for me. Even if we have completely opposite views on life, or if our backgrounds only mesh at salsa clubs, or if we have one thing in common and that one thing is that we both live in the same city.

I don't have to date men that are appropriate to introduce to my family. I don't have to pick guys that would mesh well with my friends. He doesn't have to have income earning potential, or like children, or want to get married, or have long-term goals. Or if he does, they don't have to match my long-term goals.

This is the most liberating feeling... maybe ever. Imagine a whole world of strings-free dating. I can go out with someone just because I like the way they smile, or laugh, or whatever. Ok, no, I'm still maybe not ready to actually GO ON A DATE, and also, HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED, and also, no, this is not an invitation to ask me out on the internets, but I think it's a good sign that I'm even thinking these things.

Because, like my man Mr. Bowie says, you have to turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes.

Oh, look out, you rock and rollers.

Posted by laurie at January 28, 2006 7:33 PM