At the advice of a friend, I decided to try OKCupid, and so far, it’s been a mixed bag. I talked to a woman on the phone (look at ME!) for about an hour that was in seminary as a UU student, and as we jumped around to different topics, she told me that she saw on my profile the line that said, “you should contact me if you’re a veteran.” Now, I put that line in there because there’s no OKCupid option where you can click if you’ve ever been in the military. I was thinking of Volfe, Notorious, and the L___nator when I wrote it, because they’re the people that have consistently made me laugh over the years. At first, when I picked up the phone, she was worried that I had some sort of fetish. Once I explained myself, especially that I’d done lots of reading at Bridgeport on how to serve veterans in a church once they’re trying to re-enter society, because I was then a member of a group on taking care of all parishioners, and we had some veterans in our congregation- all hilarious, too, I might add. I also told her that I’d heard scary stories, and she asked me how I responded to that. I said, “I generally don’t say anything at all, because they just want to be heard, and there’s nothing in my experience that can say “I sympathize,” but I always say “thank you for your service, and thank you for your sacrifice,” because you never know what the soldier feels about why (s)he was deployed, or about their government, or about anything that’s happened to them during deployment or re-entry…. but EVERYONE has served, and EVERYONE has sacrificed.”
She was satisfied with my answer, more than so, but it opened up a can of worms in my own mind. I mean, what veteran or active-duty soldier would be apt to contact you if they think you want to meet them because they look hot in a uniform? Well, the truth is, they do. But to say that’s the only reason I’d ever want to date anyone who’s active duty/reservist/retired is crazy. I’ve been through too much with my friends to think that the uniform is all there is to their magnificence. For instance, working with cars with Volfe and learning to shoot rifles and shotguns with him were some of the best days of my life. Soldiers are just a different breed of people, because they’ve seen more, done more in their lifetimes than I could ever hope to achieve… the root is not the uniform, because there’s too much more to the story.
So then said woman drops it on me that she wants to be a military chaplain in the Army, because most of the liberal chaplains have dropped off in the wake of being anti-war… which is why most of the chaplains are now very conservative. It wasn’t a bomb of any means, I just realized that she was testing me. My first question was “how?” I thought the age requirements to join were really low. She said that the chaplaincy program will take people up until they’re 42 (which was oddly funny because that’s the meaning of life in the Adams-verse).
She also said that she had two little girls, 10 and seven, and that it made her think dating anyone was impossible. I thought she was being too hard on herself, and perhaps I should have said so. There are plenty of people my age who realize that when you get to our age, there’s lots of women who have children. Dating in your late 30’s, it just comes with the territory. Now, I’m not the sort of person who’d get invested over one phone call, but at the same time, it was still selling herself short.
At our age, we all have baggage. We all have quirks. We all have these life experiences that make us who we are. Who in their right minds thinks otherwise?
Then she blew my hair back with all the feminist theory she’d read and I sort of felt like a moron… but in a good way, like asking her which authors I should be reading.
All in all, it was a good first attempt at getting out of my comfort zone, and I’ll carry that with me whether we meet in person or not. I mean, I calld someone. That has to be something… and in fact, I said in my message, “I’m deathly afraid of phone calls, but I’d do it for you. :)”
And then there was this other woman that made me test everything I’d learned with Argo, and I was so proud of myself I kvelled.
She sent me this message that said, “I was going to ask if you wanted to hang out sometime, but being an omnivore is gross.” I sent a message back that said, “so is being obnoxiously judgmental.” She fired back, “that’s what a slave owner would say to an abolitionist.” So, instead of flipping my shit and tearing her apart, I blocked her and walked away.
And then there was this other woman who read my line about veterans, and she sent me the most beautifully crafted message in return. She said, “I see that you are looking for veterans. I am not a veteran in the literal sense, but I’ve fought a lot of wars with myself, and I’ve lost most of them… my opponent was just too fierce.” It touched my heart in a major way, and we are going on a date sometime soon. She said, “I’m sure that you could help me with spliced commas and how to use a semicolon, but I think those conversations are best had over vino.”
I thought about it, and said, “Why not?”
Even if she turns out to be a basket of crazy, it’s better than sitting at home all the time, afraid to branch out in the slightest.
Tomorrow is also going to be promising, because Scales and I are going out to dinner and possibly a movie. God, I’ve missed her. She’s spending a lot of time with the colonel, and I get it… but at the same time, it doesn’t stop me from wishing she was still making me laugh on a regular basis. And if the colonel wants to come along, all the better. I’ve met her online, and she’s just as funny as every soldier I’ve ever met.
I have come to the realization that even though I have trouble envisioning the future, it doesn’t have trouble envisioning me.