No one has time to write, or paint, or do anything frivolous. I get it.
For me, the 7-Minute Workout has become the two-minute plank. In an effort to make dinner faster, I was microwaving so much plastic I had to put all the old dishes away and buy new ones, so as not to give us all cancer.
In the late summer of 2013, I decided it was time to "get back out there." Everywhere I looked, people were having barbeques, reunions, anniversary parties, and vacations with their large -- or at least, intact nuclear -- families. Meanwhile, I had two young children and a love-hate relationship with Netflix. It felt thin.
Of course, I had no time to "date." The Onion nails it, as usual.
Still, I had the distinct sense that the Universe was telling me to give it a try, right now. The Universe was like Jerry Maguire, cornering me in a bathroom and repeating urgently: "Help me help you."
Creative endeavor is like online dating in the following way: If maintaining your dignity is super-important to you, you should just stay home, turn on the TV, and forget the whole thing.
Personally -- having absorbed its mannerisms from countless BBC productions -- I have always found dignity easy to come by. It is an inexhaustible resource: If some is lost, you simply square your shoulders, raise an eyebrow, and say, "Well, that was interesting." And presto! It's back.
So I swung the bucket, and a bit sloshed out.
Two weeks later, I met a man who lived less than a mile away. (We were practically neighbors, so why not?) After two more dates, I couldn't tell whether we "liked" each other or whether it was all just a polite misunderstanding.
On the fourth date, we went to a movie I chose, but which, over the course of two hours, I came to intensely dislike. On top of this unpleasantness, my date didn't even try to hold my hand! He seemed to like the movie fine, so what could we possibly have in common?
Back home, I sat alone in my parked car in the driveway for fifteen minutes. I had done this on all four dates, since I could not quite figure out what was occurring.
I knew this much: Dating was difficult. It made me feel nervous and off-balance. Quite possibly it was stupidest idea I'd had in years. ("Well, that was interesting!") I didn't have time to do it properly. I didn't have time, period.
The next morning, he sent me a sweet email: a little bit shy, and a little not. We've been very happy together ever since.