I am talking to my goldfish.Posted: July 27, 2012
Photo: Lily sitting in the dark.
I have been babysitting, well–fishsitting– for a fish that one of my children won at a fair eight years ago. Eight years. So, Fishie (not his real name, just my nickname for him) and I are well acquainted and of course he is well cared for. I spent yesterday evening scrubbing his abode and replenishing it with aged and de-chlorinated fresh water.
I don’t talk to Fishie as in telling him about my day or pouring out my woes. I just say things like, “I’m going to feed you Fishie, don’t worry,” when he comes to the side of the glass to greet me, or I wave with my index finger and say, “How are you doing, Fishie?”
It occurred to me last night that he is the only living being I talk to some days with whom I have any acquaintance, and that I actually felt happy to see *A Fish* when I came home last night.
Last night I went to the grocery store. I needed groceries. I bought nothing. Why? Because, as serendipity would happen (as you regular readers know), I walked into the store and directly into the man I had been (past tense) dating on and off for a year. He was overjoyed to see me. He told me that he Cared about me. (Cared? Two days ago it was Adored and Love You So Much. But, upon reflection, maybe Care was actually a progression of thought as his idea of love didn’t exhibit much of the caring that should go along with actual love. He should have Cared.)
“Do you want to shop with me?” he asked.
No. Thank you.
“You know I care about you,” he said.
I paused. “Your words say so.”
“And I show it too,” he replied.
I raised my eyebrows.
“Sometimes!” he amended. “Sometimes I show it!”
Heh. Give him a medal for the sometimes.
I nodded and smiled.
I wondered if he’d think about what he had just said.
I left feeling very wistful, at first because I had wasted so much time on someone who would never really be able to love me. I had given him–us–so many chances, and listened to so many pleas for forgiveness and second chances. And twentieth and thirty-fifth chances. I was sad because we had such fun times, given our many common interests.
There must be a lesson: the place that your heart, mind, spirit, and soul are in is more important than any interests or worldliness. I realize that I had more or less outgrown him, grew strong enough to move away from his selfishness.
But, my strength has left a gaping hole in my social life. An affectionate, loving, giving person needs someone to love, or wants someone. Life feels so much better with companionship: sharing good times and sad, conversations and laughter, walks and dinners and hugs.
I suppose this sense of loss was compounded because I waited until my children were grown and doing well on their own before getting a divorce, so I had empty-nest syndrome on top of divorce guilt and upheaval. I *should* be used to Alone from my marriage. One of the reasons I decided not to endure that forever was so that I could Perhaps find love someday…
Not too much of a romantic idealist, am I??
All around me I read of strong, beautiful, giving, intelligent and amazing women who are Single. Why??? OK, some may be happy as they are, and we always have God to talk to (or at least I do) and then there is Fishie… and I have friends, neighbors, colleagues, and relatives. It may seem as if there are a lot of people in my life, but they all have significant others. All of them. Where are the good men? Or, let’s back up a bit: where are the single men? Good, loving, caring, single men?
Do I sound anxious? Over zealous or overwrought? Hmm, tone is difficult to discern sometimes. I am happy, busy, healthy, into my hobbies and my community and busy with my life. But, I did wait a long time–decades–to be single. I am about as patient and contained as humanly possible, or was. All I did recently was to (finally and with finality) remove one undeserving self-serving guy from my life and now I feel at such loose ends: do I move? Do I stay? Do I just keep keeping on, going to films and concerts by myself? Joining more groups, meet-ups, more volunteering? Having dinner with married friends?
Talking to goldfish?
This has been a vent. Thank you for listening.
Have a good weekend!