The Universe Is Not Against Me

February 25, 2010

It  just seems that way sometimes.

So, some background.  With the exception of a couple one night stands in ’05, ’06 and ’08, the entirety of my romantic successes occurred in 2007.  I’m sure astrologers would have some fruitcake explanation about my This being in retrograde or my That being in full moon or something. For whatever reason, 2007 was my year.

On the stage of The Chosen Year, I played three major parts: The Other Woman, The Untouchable and The Rebound.

The roles of The Other Woman and The Rebound are probably self-explanatory.  As The Untouchable, I met the only  man I’ve ever truly fallen in love with, who, unfortunately, was in a serious long term relationship.  Conveniently, we were cast opposite one another as husband and wife, so I got to pretend for a while. The problem was we kept forgetting to “get divorced” when the curtain fell each night, which resulted in an intensely emotionally intimate relationship, which could never be consummated.  It made for great sexual tension on stage, made for incredible heartache offstage.

So about two weeks ago, I’m not really even sure what possessed me, I decided to look at the profile of the man for whom I played The Rebound. We are not “FB friends,” or friends of any kind for that matter. Before I clicked on his name in the search results, I had this gut feeling that I was going to open the page, and it was going to say he was married. And, sure enough, up pops the profile and he is “…Married To…..”

This wasn’t easy to swallow.  When he told me he “just wasn’t ready to be in a relationship again,” I took him at his word, until he was with someone else – I believe this same woman he’s now married to – a month or so after we went our separate ways. So, yeah, I was hurt, and I’m still hurting. It happens. And to see him married to this person was salt in the wound.

Then, two days later, I had to go onto the page of my counterpart as The Untouchable (we are, in fact, still friends of the general and FB variety) to look for contact information for a mutual friend of ours, and, lo and behold, I get to his page and HE is also now married.


I won’t go into details, but you can imagine the scene wasn’t pretty.

Then, about a week later, at a party at the home of my costar in The Other Woman, I learn that he, too, is married.

Fuck you, too, Universe.

As my therapist said, it’s gotta stop there, right? Things happen in threes?

Now, I’m not saying I want to be married to, or even be dating any of these men. It just puts a big white wall up behind the big black hole of my romantic life, outlining a crisp, sharp contrast.

My superego is eating it up.  The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee is having a field day, reminding me over and over how this just illustrates that love is a game everyone else gets to play and I’m just not good enough to get on a team.

I shudder to admit this, but there’s this odd feeling of sadistic pleasure my body feels just typing that. Not that it actually feels good to tell myself that – in fact it feels acidic, demeaning and incredibly painful – but there’s this comfort to it. It’s the story I know, the one that particular voice has been telling me over and over and over since I was in middle school, and kids started pairing up all around me.

A good friend of mine recently made the incredibly brave and courageous decision to finally seek therapy, and come out as a parental domestic abuse victim.  When we were talking about therapy, I mentioned how storytelling – the ability to claim your path as your own and talk about it – is a uniquely human gift.  Animals don’t get to tell stories, but we have this bizarre frontal lobe and language processing center for some Darwinian reason that allows us to speak of our past, extrapolate on our present, and fantasize about the future, which can be used for any intention, but I think the most noble of which is investigating one’s own life, and being willing to talk about it.

However, this invention can also be co-opted by the parts of us that have been patterned to self-loathe, self-demean and harm, and storytelling can be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands.  This story I keep telling myself – you’re not ever going to find someone to love you, it’s going to be the life-long wrench in your otherwise functioning machine – is a hard one to turn off after years and years of hearing it.

If you started reading Babar the Elephant to me right now, I’ll probably recognize it immediately, and feel comforted by the story I recognize, having heard it repeated numerous times. In the same way, even the most painful stories we repeat to ourselves about our inadequacies bear an insidious level of comfort in their presence, and wallowing is often far easier than standing up out of the mire.

I’m trying to write a new story; trying to recognize my field as fundamentally narrow – there just aren’t a ton of single straight men in New York who don’t really drink – and recognize that it’s a choice to stick to that field, and, as my therapist says, it only takes one.  Writing a new story is proving to take a colossal effort, but until that time, I’m trying to stop seeing my situation as some omnipotent practical joke, and instead just a function of Right Now.



  1. Chica, I totally empathize with you. I think so many women out there can relate to your experience of being with a guy who says he doesn’t want a commitment – it’s not you, it’s me – and then he up and moves in with/commits to/marries the next girl who comes along. I know I’ve been there. It’s one of those mysterious things about the opposite sex that I guess we’ll never figure out. But don’t let it get you down, and please don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what motivated those guys! You WILL find happiness, and you really deserve it. At least in my experience, people meet the “right” person (not that there’s one “right” person, but I mean someone with whom they can have a loving, healthy relationship) when they’re least expecting it.

  2. How is it that you consider those three relationships romantic successes?

    • Valid question. In that they were something happening in my dating life more than just one night stands. Successes in their substantiation rather than their positive outcome.

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