Recently, I was catching up with a friend. I have to imagine catching up with me is a miserable experience, as it mainly involves a list of weird health problems delivered in a practiced yet grumpy matter. After I finished the spiel, my friend paused, then asked, “So, are you seeing anybody?”
To say I was not expecting this question is an understatement. She may as well have asked “So, are you currently orbiting Jupiter?”
Dating is a miserable experience at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. I don’t want another person expecting me to do things when I can’t do things. I don’t want another person to worry about offending with my general crankiness. I don’t want to love any new people; I want to hold on to the few I tricked into caring about me back when I was a functioning human, but I want to do it in a text-messages and g-chats kind of way. Do not touch me; I am a porcupine.
But back to lunch with my friend. “No” didn’t seem like a thorough enough answer, but what could I say? “Yes, I met someone in the waiting room of one of my many medical appointments. We have so much in common. He is 84 years old.”
Before I could say anything, my friend took in my nonplussed reaction and clarified.
“I mean like a therapist,” she said.
This made so much more sense that I immediately started laughing at myself for ever thinking she meant something different. Because she’s met me; she knows that even before I became a prickly pear, I would rather talk about 90s boy bands than actual boy problems. All of my friends seem to get this about me, and I love them for it in my cold, distant way.
(And yes, I have a therapist. Are you kidding me? Of course I have a therapist.)