A rather expensive psychic told me in February that I would experience a “great shift in my thinking and perception” in 2011. Turns out she was right. I’ve just had an epiphany that my approach to dating is certain to lead to cataclysmic failure and doom—and now I get why it’s no damn wonder that every single one of my quasi- and pseudo-relationships has crashed and burned.
My (massively flawed) approach to men over the course of the last three years goes something like this: find acceptable man, marry him, and bear his children as soon as humanly possible so I can retire from the practice of law. Which means I’ve been approaching guys as if they were life preservers—as if each one constitutes a flotation device imbued with the unique ability to rescue me from drowning in the misery of my profession.
No wonder I have such a knack for repelling guys. I positively reek of desperation.
In my defense, the desperation isn’t because I’m ugly or have self-esteem or daddy issues. It’s because I’ve given up hope when it comes to finding a fulfilling career. And rather than embrace change, take risks, and make difficult decisions, I’ve decided the only realistic option is to drop my career altogether and board the express train to housewifery and stay-at-home motherhood.
The trouble with this logic (other than the fact that its indirect effect renders me repulsive to most men) is that it’s based on a completely faulty assumption, i.e. that being a stay-at-home mom would be better and more enjoyable than practicing law or switching careers. And I’ve come to realize the falsity of that premise, which, in turn triggered all of the newfound wisdom set forth above.
Sadly, though, I can’t attribute these realizations to anything deep and profound. Instead, I happened upon my current state of enlightenment in an utterly ridiculous way.
On Sunday morning, I attended an insufferably long, alcohol-free baby shower in the suburbs, where I was one of only two childless guests. So for six long, stone-cold sober hours, I was treated to an excruciating sneak peek of a post-career life at home with a baby or two. From what I was able to gather, motherhood has all the same shitty attributes of BigLaw—it’s monotonous, regimented, exhausting, demanding, and thankless—but it’s even worse because it takes place in the suburbs and you literally cannot ever quit.
It’s fair to say that I left the baby shower feeling pretty shattered and deflated. That is, until I realized that I could use this as an opportunity to approach my career and men in an entirely new way. From now on, I’m actually going to date guys because I’m attracted to them and want to have fun with them—not because I want them to walk me down an aisle and impregnate me ASAP. Overall, I need to loosen up, have fun, and enjoy myself right now, because these are the last few years of carefree freedom I have left before my whole life becomes baby food and naps and folding laundry and calling my husband at the office 11 times a day to find out when he’ll be home. Not to mention, it would probably be pretty great to find a job I like before I have babies. That way, I would have something to actually look forward to going back to once they’re a little older.
Which, of course, brings me to the harder part: finding a job I don’t hate. Hopefully the headhunters that keep calling me can help with that. If not, I suppose I could always make another appointment with the expensive psychic.