Well, Valentine's Day is here once again, and while people are celebrating love everywhere, I will be sitting at home watching the Winter Olympics. No, I don't have a date for this weekend. I'm often asked why I won't date. But it's not so much that I won't date. It's just that I don't. Why? Because nobody asks me out. I'm not exactly sure why, but I do have my theories. It goes way back...
Before I went into the Navy, I worked a couple of years at Wal-mart. For part of that time, there was this guy who also worked there. His name was Tony. I liked him, and for a while I thought he liked me. Looking back now, though, I'm not so sure.
Anyway, one afternoon some of my cousins got to jawing about who could out hunt who. Naturally, this led to a "prove it" moment, so that night three of my cousins and I went hunting. Now, at that time, and in that state, spotlighting for rabbits was legal. Make sure you check your state and local hunting laws before hunting anything. There was a bumper crop of rabbits that year, and between the 4 of us, we killed 9 of them.
The next day, when I went back to work, Tony asked me what I had done on my day off. I told him, and he said, "Oh, I went rabbit hunting, too. How many did you kill?" I told him, and "NINE???? I've never killed nine rabbits in one night in my life!!!" I pointed out that there were 4 of us hunting, and he said, "Yeah, but NINE!" I said that it wasn't like I'd killed all nine by myself. I'd only killed three. "Yeah, but NINE!" Things got very cool between us for a while.
A few weeks later, my cousin's husband told me that when he was a little boy, he used to kill robins, cook them with rice, and eat them. In retrospect, I think he was pulling my leg, but at the time, I was young enough and naive enough--and let's face it, I didn't want to think he would lie to me like that--so I believed him.
Over the course of a several days, I went out and killed a couple dozen robins, the amount I had been told was needed to make up a good pot of robin and rice. I cleaned them, then carried them over to my Aunt Martha's and asked her to cook them for me. She did, and I ate them. I decided I didn't like robin and rice, and haven't killed any since then. But I'm getting off track...
I had another day off of work, so I decided I'd just stay out in the woods until I'd gotten enough robins to make up my 24. The next day, I went back to work and Tony--who was finally talking to me again--asked me what I'd done on my day off. When I told him, he said, "I went robin hunting, too. How many did you kill?" I told him, and "FIFTEEN?????" he exclaimed. "I've never killed 15 robins in my life!"
"What kind of gun did you use?" I asked, though I'm not sure why.
"A .22 with scope," was his reply.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert on men, and back then I knew even less than I do now, but one thing I do know is when to shut up. I knew then that that was a good moment to shut up. (In the intervening 20 some odd years since this happened, I now know that I probably should have shut up about 2 minutes earlier, but I didn't.) "Oh," was all I said.
"Why?" Tony asked. "What kind of gun did you use?" I didn't want to answer, but Tony was insistent. Finally, I rather reluctantly told him,
"A BB gun."
Do you know, that boy never spoke to me again.
I lost a friend that day, but I gained something more important. I gained knowledge, and what I learned from my encounter with Tony was that men don't want me the way that I am. So for years, I tried to be what I thought a man wanted in a woman. And I never wanted for a boyfriend. Even after I got out of the Navy, the men were still there. The offers were still plentiful.
But then, about 10 years ago, I decided I was tired. Tired of pretending to be someone I'm not. Tired of acting like the bubble-headed, big-boobed bimbo. And let's face it, I wasn't fooling anyone with the boob thing anyway. But most of all, I was tired of dumbing myself down to meet men's expectations. So I quit. I dropped all pretense, and went back to just being me.
In an instant, the dates, the phone calls, the interest just stopped, as quickly and completely as if someone had flipped a switch. I haven't had a date since. But you know what? I'm OK with that. If someone doesn't want me the way I am, then he doesn't deserve to have me.
Maybe, someday, someone will come along and want me. ME. But if that never happens, I'm content with who I am.
And that's all that matters.