On the night of my 21st birthday my best friend Matthew made sure it was a night I wouldn’t forget. After consuming shots of 151 in a parked car, being lifted off the dance floor and spun in circles by a 350lb man, and snapping photos with anyone willing to stand next to an obliterated birthday girl, I crawled through my apartment window, stripped down to my underwear and made Matthew promise that come my 30th birthday, if he and I were both still single, he would marry me. (It is quite possible I watched My Best Friend’s Wedding in the days leading up to this night). Now, we have revisited this topic twice since this drunken debauchery ensured on September 25th, 2009 — once when he attempted to persuade me to change the age to 29 and again last night after I pathetically informed him my that I am both unemployed, unattached and convinced that my future is beginning to look utterly bleak.
While I am still a young 24-year-old woman living in the throws of a big US city, in the course of the past 18 months I have only flirted with the idea of dating… or dating has only flirted with the idea of me. Let me explain. My most recent interactions with men consist of a brief exchange of emails with an absolutely adorable Irish-born Australian after a short trip to Sydney this past April and an even more fleeting two-date stint with an attractive lawyer in Boston. While I’m not sure I have an ingrained belief in soul mates, this particular eye-locking encounter with my Australian tour guide in the Blue Mountains left me entirely smitten with a feeling of overpowering optimism that there was a slight possibility of a future with a guy living over 16,000 miles away. Tough luck. The emails have stopped filtering into my inbox. But not to worry, my dad has lightened the mood by making countless pointed jokes at my naïve hopefulness, and has informed me several times that there are ‘plenty of fish in the sea’ — I can only infer that he means the one bordering the eastern coast of the United States.
Secondly, upon returning home love struck at the end of April, I grounded myself in the reality that I am unfortunately a US citizen with no intention of relocating abroad and therefore, I accompanied this lawyer to a Gatsby Inspired Party benefiting the City Tavern Club. What a fantastic evening! Well, until I was utterly taken aback by being coined an enigma. A what? It has been two and a half weeks since this evening of ice sculptures and dancing, and I’ve yet to decided if I am flattered or merely confused that someone 4 years my senior, and likely 4 times my IQ, finds me that puzzling. But coming to a conclusion seems pointless because again, communication ended shortly after this date.
It is as if I have a mutant gene that repels men faster than it takes to braid my hair. In 18 months I have managed to grab the attention of exactly two men — both taking place within weeks of each other. I’m officially doomed. Well, aside from Matthew, who I have no doubt will come to rescue given he revealed last night that he was still down to get married in 5 years. Although I spent two of my four years in college pining over Matthew I do not believe we could ever be married, after all this particular anecdote has already been taken. And I have read too many books and watched too many movies that I am determined the story I tell my grandkids about how their adorable grandfather and I first struck up a relationship will put Hollywood and the literary world to shame.
So, until then…