Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Baggage Theory

No one gets to thirty without some baggage.  Even those among us who have had less than a thousand first dates.

I've narrowed my philosophy on this one this:

I'm looking for someone who has carry on baggage, not checked.
I've traveled quite a bit so the analogy speaks to that experience.
Carry on baggage means:
you know how to travel light. Work with what you've got.  You're willing to do laundry instead of carry extra clothes. You prefer to fly through the airport, only arriving an hour before your flight, and know how to get through security without setting off a metal detector.

Checked baggage means:
You favor stuff over the mobility to do stuff.  You are potentially inexperienced, taking everything with you, instead of making do and letting go. You have to spend lots of time waiting both to check and retrieve your stuff.
I'm divorced.  That's a phrase I don't say often.  I'm not embarrassed by it.  I'm not proud of it.  But it honestly doesn't come up often in my life.  I usually make a point of mentioning it to people I'm dating/friends at some point.  It has to be a conscientious mention because it never comes up otherwise. He's not in my life, at all.  That's not hyperbole.  When I left, after the paperwork was done, the house was sold, the things divided, I left. I believe when you split from someone, there's usually a very good reason.  I had my reasons.  I still believe they were the right ones, that I was justified. Few people get to know the whole story.

I'm proud of the fact that my baggage is carry on. Maybe it's because I've evolved as I've traveled.  I take less stuff.  I won't break my back to have an extra change of clothes.  I know that if I forget my ________ (toothbrush, flip flops, etc) I can buy them there.  I know it's easier to buy liquids like shampoo wherever I'm going. I like not waiting in line to hand over my bag only to worry if it will show up at the same place and at the same time that I do. I like flinging my bag on my back and being boat/bus/hike ready.  All of that is true when I travel.  Most of it is also true for my emotional baggage.  I like that I'm not being crushed under the weight of past hurts. I feel that I've learned from past mistakes, I acknowledge their role in shaping who I am now, and importantly who I date now..

I usually say that I got out of a marriage about as well as anyone could. No kids, we sold or split the rest of the "things" we had together.  I went to see a psychiatrist even when he wouldn't.  I made peace with my decisions, let myself off the hook for some of the bad ones, resolved to make fewer bad ones in the future and enjoy my life.

Right now, most of my dates are from online sites.  For better or worse, that means I can filter who I date with a simple check box.  While there currently isn't a "beard" or "no beard" box to check, I do filter out men with kids.  Kids is a level of baggage that some with staff and ex's and and and  . . . .WHOA. I don't even know if I want my own yet but I'm sure that at this point, I don't want someone else's.  They may be great kids (because doesn't everyone think their own kids are great?) but they come with an ex-wife or ex-gf who is permanently attached to them.

I'll have you know I had some great visuals, but for the second post in a row, I can't upload pictures again!  ARGH, damn you Blogger!  --UPDATE: HAH! I found a work around!

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