Friday, April 13, 2012

Life Listens


Last week, while sitting around in hospital waiting rooms constantly, I talked to a lot of strangers. I tend to chat people up that way.

One theme that continually repeated itself was "where can I meet a great guy?" There were variations. “Where can my daughter/son meet someone nice?” There were grandparents wondering why their grandchildren seem to have trouble staying married, getting married, or just finding good friends. It seems to be a mystery to everyone.

I can’t imagine why. Actually, my personal belief is that all of these people— like most of twitter and facebook— are more interested in whining and complaining than actually finding solutions.  It’s not hard to find good people. It’s hard to find good people in a bar, dressed like a bimbo or himbo, pounding back cocktails. It’s hard to meet a wonderful girl who wants to settle down at a wet t-shirt contest. It’s hard to find a guy who prefers a family life to boozing it up with the boys at a dive bar. It’s hard to find decent friends you can count on if you hang out with people with whom you share a fondness for alcohol and little else.

In short: it’s you.

My friends are the best people I know. That’s why they are my friends. We share values, interests, and a quality of humanity. I didn’t pick them because we both ordered fuzzy navels at the same bar, and discovered we all thought Robin Williams was HI-Larious! Most of my old friends were friends in school— from nursery school through college. We’ve grown together. Friendships built during my adulthood have come to me through work, and in almost all other cases, through faith and/or volunteerism. We attend the same charity events; we work for the same causes; we care about the same issues. Sometimes we even have a drink.

I’ll be 47 the end of next month and I have never, once, in my entire history, gone to a bar to find a man. I’ve had one tragically, criminally, nearly deadly-bad relationship. All others have been great. My ex-boyfriends are still my friends. The forever-man in my life is perfection— at least for me.

I found Ahmed because he contacted me about an article I’d written. He cared enough about women to read the article, write to me, and ask for resources so he could be a better care-giver. In the course of a year and a half of emailing, flirting online, putting off “the date,” I also learned that he worked with and for Doctors Without Borders, volunteered at a free clinic, was a good, caring man. Knowing that, I DID agree to go out with him.  As a couple we have met amazing people through charity work. Most of our close friends came to us through channels of caring.

So… when I see people bitch about religions to which they are not obligated to belong, I think “find a faith you admire, and pitch in— or become an atheist and volunteer in the community.” When I see people complaining about their schools being cap, I think “are you giving your time as a parent advocate?” When I see the same women complain about how terrible love is, that there are no good men out there, that the dating scene sucks? I take note of the fact that they are the same women posting photographs of themselves, drunk and barely dressed, with several drunk and barely dressed friends. I know a LOT of good men.

They are not interested in you. It’s not them. It’s YOU.

Life doesn’t suck. Life gives you back EXACTLY what you give in. When you bitch, whine, and puke up the last four gin and tonics in the club washroom? Life is listening. Your order has been placed.

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