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  • The Archer

I'm Feeling Twenty Two

This year happened! Let's do some stats:

I dated 8 different guys.

Dated means put enough emotional energy into our relationship that it qualified as a first date. There may have been other meetings/Zooms/phone calls that slipped below my radar.

I met six of these guys in person and two on Zoom.

I made it to a sixth date with one of them, a second date with one, and one and done'd the remaining six.

3 broke up with me, 3 were mutual breakups and I dumped two of them.

In a year where I was focusing on giving people more of a shot this is excellent: I may not be able to improve my terrible personality but I can improve my tolerance.

One was wayyyyy to frum for me and made me reconsider whether the people I trust have bothered to listen to a word I say.

4 were hashkafically great, two were less frum than I but I was willing to make it work, and one I really couldn't get a read on.

There were four consultants, truly the year of the consultant. One was a nurse, two were in real estate and one was in education.

And still zero surgeons.

I dated zero people in January and February, probably because I spent those months out of town. I was not one of those girls who moved out of town and immediately found someone though that was my intent. Hallmark Christmas movies lied to me.

I also didn't date anyone during April, June, or August which is a shame because my tan was great during those months.

October was also dry, due to the holidays.

In the last two months of the year in a last ditch effort to file my taxes jointly I dated four people.

I went to one singles' event and one Shabbaton. I have received one date each from both of those (so far.)

This year I learned to enjoy myself rather than interview men as candidates for the job of husband. I learned to be a bit more of myself while not using crazy Archer to scare people away. I learned to give things a chance to develop and I learned that even as I learn these things I will set myself back much of the time.

I learned there are a startling amount of guys reading this blog and I welcome their feedback on how girls suck. I learned that my ideal husband is probably an entire baseball team and that baseball players are oddly unresponsive to Instagram DMs, no matter how risque.

I achieved some long held dreams and experienced some horrible fears coming true.

I finished a book this morning called Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness. In this book writer/illustrator Kristen Radtke explores the real physical dangers of loneliness. Scientists have known for years that people who identify as lonely are at much greater risk for disease and ailments that cause early death. For awhile, scientists surmised that this is because people who live alone don't have social pressures to be healthy: ie it is harder to binge eat when someone is watching. You might not smoke in bed if your partner is there, you'll spend less time binging TV if you feel judged. But scientists have had to conclude that the levels of diseases among the lonely is too high to only be attributed to less healthy living. Loneliness itself erodes our bodies and makes us less healthy and more susceptible to death.

Which could be why I often feel 82 instead of 28.

I'm lonely: I miss the dorm life of college or the tight, uncomfortable intimacy of high school where I couldn't sneeze without half the school knowing and when my period synced up with half of my class and exploded in intensity.

I miss driving aimlessly with friends when we didn't pay for our own gas, and I miss yelling at my sister through the shared wall of our showers. I don't miss quarantine, but I do miss the occasional afternoon Boggle game with my brothers and sister when we were so bored that our restlessness became aggression.

Radtke outlines a phenomenon that I have felt for years: watching people through their apartment windows or outside a bus window as they wander down the sidewalk. As I experience my own loneliness these tableaus of other lives make me feel lonely: because others must have someone and I must be the only one alone.

Of course, most of us feel profoundly alone in some way but loneliness tells us that we are alone in our feelings.

She talks about the loneliness of the internet and how a woman unknowingly live tweeted her husband's death. When she discovered the car accident that she was live tweeting was a personal tragedy and not one of a passerby, she immediately went back on twitter, rather than face her new loneliness. Callous perhaps, but I understand. I'd rather get the sympathy of strangers than face my feelings and I'd rather argue movies with empty robots than beg a friend to understand and risk that they may not.

At the end she talks about services where you can pay a "touch therapist" to cuddle with you and how this seems more and more tempting to her. Not going to lie, I immediately googled several of these to find out if you can get the touch therapist to wear a baseball uniform.

But my goal for next year isn't marriage. It's marriage or friendship that frees me from some of this. I want friends who like to be touched and who don't, who like to go out and stay in. I'm moving in the hope of finding new groups of people to whom I can connect and release some of this tension of being lonely.

So i have goals. I have a plan. And I have hope. It's more than I entered twenty twenty two with.

And, as always, I have me. And for now that's enough.

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