A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

When it Does Not Choose Me

“Joe, if you get married before me, will you promise to adopt me so I don’t die alone?”
Lmfao. What?
We negotiated: I can live in the guesthouse with a cat that I will train to get along with dogs, while Joe marries for money and lives out his Elizabeth Taylor fantasies.

On Facebook I declared my commitment to becoming the “cool aunt/godmother” to my friends children: “I won’t be your bridesmaid, but I will bring your children gifts from around the world, get them drunk before I am supposed to, teach them French, and take them on adventures around the world...I’ll be lonely whenever I’m not with you and your growing family, but you’ll have me over for Thanksgiving and I’ll earn my place at the table with wine and storytelling.” The status was a hit, which I can only take to mean, yeah, this is probably the fate that destiny has chosen for me.

I mean, it sounds snazzy in theory; to live out a more mild (and culturally aware) Samantha Jones existence; carefree, independently wealthy, and answering to no man, or loosing sleep because of him, or hounding for child support, but... but...

Mama always said I was the type of woman that “men chose to marry, not date”. Growing up I didn’t understand what that meant - and was as equally frustrated by it, because I really really wanted the experience of dating. And now...well, I am of ‘marrying age’ and uh...all the men are married. Just not to me. Instead, I am a cheerleader on the sidelines to other peoples relationships.

Joe says this is fine. Joe says it’s because I am meant to travel the world and be fabulous and not tied down to a relationship that would probably only hinder me...But truthfully, I feel robbed. Robbed because no one wants the marriages anymore; robbed because I have played the housewife, but have no home or partner. I am a scavenger playing hide and seek with relationships, gathering them up in my basket, knowing that the weave is far too large to hold them.

The men - some have already been married, and no longer have a real desire to "do it again", or they are so riddled with insecurities that I must coddle or apologize for the success of my career and/or this blog. And they are always, always more than willing to use me as a glue to help piece themselves back together...While bragging to others that I "meet expectations" like a redwood lumber grade, or some type of prepackaged meat in a grocery store refrigerator, but not worthy of their respect.

I take responsibility for some of my unhappiness; I too have "expectations" - a list of them, actually. It contains things like "someone who will not withhold affection as punishment" and "someone who will not hit me" and "someone who doesn't drink excessively". I have to acknowledge that while I know what I want, I often find myself with a person who barely resembles that. And, when things fall apart, I find myself crying over a relationship that perhaps never should have happened. But the truth is I do not know how to point myself in the right direction. I do not know how to make better choices. When in a relationship and facing criticism, I do my best to adapt to make the other person happy. But what I have learned time and time again, is that never works: I will twist and mold myself into what my partner wants, only to end up resentful when they are not able to do the same for me.

As a teenager, when I would come home from school and cry to my mother about the boys who didn't like me but dated my best friends instead, she would reassure me: just wait, she'd say. But I have waited. And in my waiting I have found myself inconsolable; I can no longer remember what I am waiting for. And if my own father and mother made mistakes that was I so hellbent on not repeating, and still feel that I have in fact made them...then what does that say?

In junior high, I used to call and page my father repeatedly until he would call me back. "I'm going to Kona" he'd say, and I would beg for him to take me along. Finally in exhausted agreement, he'd tell me to wait for him along the Māmalahoa Highway - a two-lane road just a stones-throw from my front door. I'd run out to the corner, and wait. And wait. Until eventually I'd return home in tears because I had watched him drive by pretending not to see me as he flew past.

And the time has come for me to finally acknowledge that love has done the same. I have dressed up for it: attempting to flag it down as it has sped by, pretending not to see me. And so, how can I  continue to choose love, when it does not choose me?

Photography: Sosatography
© A•Mused

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog