As I continue along the path of life, I also continue to try to find a metaphorical travelling companion. In terms of Plato’s Symposium, (on the Origins of Love) I am very distinctly a child of the moon, part sun (male) and part earth (female). As the male half of a child of the moon, it predisposes me to seek my female counterpart with whom to reunite. (See blog-post Single Again for further explanation.)
As I journey alone, I still take time to notice beauty around me, and my appreciation of such beauty is often influenced by the Japanese aesthetic called wabi-sabi. It is an aesthetic that rejects ostentatious materialism while embracing, often flawed, organic, asymmetrical beauty. I’m no mystic however. No ascetic am I. I can appreciate my pal’s enthusiasm as he upgrades to the latest iteration of BMW, and I do enjoy getting myself outside a good cut of steak. But I can still notice beauty in simply seeing a dried, curled leaf that has somehow escaped the crush of snow and is instead skittering in the breeze, moving like a living thing across the surface crust. That’s wabi-sabi – I think.
All the above rambling is as background to my present journey of discovery. My search for a woman companion has been frustrating at times. Though I once laughed in Fellini’s movie, “Amarcord,” as the crazy uncle climbed a tree in an otherwise barren Sicilian landscape and shouted to the void, “I need a woman!” I now feel some identification with his plight that leaves me feeling uncomfortably close to him. But I’m not up a tree just yet, and I doubt that I shall ever go there.
I have been looking on the on-line dating site, “Plenty of Fish” (PoF) to see if I can find a woman who might be looking for her opposite, namely, me. It’s tricky business. You have to post pictures of yourself if you ever expect to attract a mate and you’re expected to write a profile about what you’re like and list the things that interest you. Some people have trouble doing that. I didn’t.
My trouble surfaces with the realization that one can only reveal a very superficial layer of oneself even with pictures and writing and interests. If that combination of things doesn’t interest a woman or if she sees something even slightly off-putting in one’s description and interests, she will not give it further consideration. Unfair? Not really. Would there really be much point of me getting together with a gal who loves to go line-dancing at country music jamborees? Would there be much point in her engaging me in an in-depth conversation about social injustice in the world as a Rachmaninoff piano concerto plays energetic background pathos in my den?
I have listed skiing as one of my interests for example. A gal my age might encounter that and say to herself, “Oh, I don’t ski. He’s not for me,” and dismiss me out-of-hand. Sure, it would be great to find a compatible female ski partner with whom to retire for aprés ski activities like showering, changing into warm, dry clothes and heating a pot of chilli or beef stew. But skiing occupies about 20 hours out of my whole year, if I’m lucky. That figure is about 2/100 of 1% of my annual time. Yet I fear that too often I will be judged on that, perhaps written off as any kind of love interest, simply because she does not ski.
PoF pictures and profiles can only be regarded as introductions, nothing more. Yet people use them to project their own thoughts upon others, justified or not. I’m glad that on-line dating is there. I do believe that it shortens what might otherwise be a long, possibly fruitless search. But some people become addicted to the search itself. They believe that sooner or later they’re bound to find Mr. or Ms. Perfect if only they are patient, if only they just keep searching. I urge those people to accept that they will never find a perfect maid-to-order or a male-order in PoF’s “Meet Market.”
All people come with flaws and baggage of one kind or another. There are no perfect princesses, nor prince-charmings to be had. But there are good people of both sexes waiting to be discovered and searching for compatible mates, if only they will allow themselves to meet.