Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Maze Theory

Something is bugging me, and I'm bugging my friends. Solution? Blog about it! Get it out of my head and onto the interwebz and hope that lets my brain calm down (being an obsessive type is pretty exhausting) and move on and not fuck me over.

I'm going to paint you a picture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, does that mean it's going to take me a thousand words to describe this? Jeez, I hope not.

Have you seen Labyrinth? If not, you should probably just stop reading right now and go watch it, because WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? If you are old enough to be reading this blog, you are old enough to have Labyrinth be part of your required childhood movie-watching curriculum! I mean, COME ON. You totally get to see David Bowie's junk (through spandex), and it's sort of amazing. Plus there are bits of the movie (not THOSE bits) that are completely terrifying to a young child and they just don't do that to kids anymore (seriously, remember The Dark Crystal? Holy fuck).

Okay, you've seen the movie now? You're ready? The whole premise of the movie - and if you're lazy or stubborn and still haven't seen it, don't worry, I'm pretty sure this is not a spoiler - is that a young girl is trapped in a giant maze. It's been a while, but I remember it being made largely of huge hedges. This is important. This is the picture I want you to have in your head: a massive maze made of huge hedges. (Let's take a second to appreciate that alliteration.)

Last night I realized that I am wigging right the fuck out about this guy I just met (maybe okcupid got it right for once?) and have had all of one (really fucking amazing) date with so far. The friends to whom I have shared my freak-outs are all saying, HOLY CRAP WOMAN just calm down already!! Like I am 12. And I realized: I am really annoying right now with this shit. Why am I so worked up?

I couldn't sleep anyway, what with being worked up and all over what is to be our second date tonight, so I gave it considerable consideration. And it came to me: mazes.

There are a couple of giant mazes in life. There might be more, actually, if you want to really get involved in this metaphor, but I only care about two of them: the Dating Maze, and the Relationship Maze. It's been so long for me that I'm only aware of the Relationship Maze by proxy. The idea is that you navigate the Dating Maze, and when you find the exit, you go into the Relationship Maze. I'm hopeful that my RM is still there, waiting patiently at the end of my DM, but it's been so long since I've glimpsed it that I can't be certain.

I've been in the Dating Maze somewhat steadily since I was 13. I've made it to the Relationship Maze a couple of times, but was ejected back into the DM. Sometimes I thought I was in the RM, but it turns out that stupid DM can be awfully deceptive sometimes.

In the Dating Maze, you're wandering around in these giant hedge hallways, and sometimes there are exits off the hallways. If you take a wrong turn, you get punched in the shoulder, kicked in the shin, pinched or poked or otherwise whacked. Sometimes it's immediate; other times the offense doesn't occur until you've meandered down this new hallway a ways, thinking you see the end of the maze up ahead. Sometimes something pops out of the hedges and scares the shit out of you. There's just no way to know until it happens.

Imagine you're navigating this maze, and you've made a few wrong turns. Now when you turn a new corner, you flinch a little. You're a bit jumpy. Is something going to pop out? Will it be a minor pinch on the arm, or a kick in the groin?

If you're like me, no matter how beat up and bruised you get, you still find it difficult to walk past a potential exit without exploring. What if that was the one that led out?? And you walked past it?? My maze, unfortunately, is rife with wrong turns. Some people are lucky and life gives them a maze that looks like this. Others of us get mazes more like this.

At this point, when I take a turn, two things happen:

1. I'm cringing. I'm terrified. Enough jabs and uppercuts and socks to the belly, and you're not exactly feeling great about your chances. Everything hurts, and you're terrified of what's going to come at you. It's pretty much impossible not to be, at this point.

2. I'm fighting the urge to just close my eyes and motherfucking SPRINT to the end of this particular hallway, just to see if it's really the exit or if it's another fake. It takes all my willpower to take deep breaths and measured steps, to get to know my path and try to enjoy my stroll for as long as it's booby-trap-free. Because sometimes you can wander along for quite a bit without anything whacking you in the face, and if you're not spending the whole time flinching and darting about like a hamster and screaming at the hedges "OKAY WHAT HAVE YOU GOT? JUST DO IT ALREADY!" then it can be quite a pleasant experience.

If you can imagine all of that, then you can imagine what's in my head right now. I've had one date with this guy. He was pretty much awesome and I can definitely see it being a wonderful long stroll together. HOWEVER

(there's always a "however" - not as fun to say as "there's always a but" is it?)

I'm feeling the bruises and gashes from all the wrong turns I've made - many of them just in the last couple of years - and it's taking everything I have to slow my walk, even out my breathing, and not stare into the bushes.

I guess what I'm saying is, guys? If I'm annoying the fuck out of you by freaking out at you about this guy, please forgive me. I'm annoying myself, if that helps. But yammering about all this idiocy at all of you helps me get it out of my system so when I'm with him, I can relax and enjoy it. The more I scream at my friends, "OH MY GOD WHAT IF HE DOESN'T WANT ME," the less likely I am to blurt at him, "You just like me for my BOOBS, don't you?" and causing a huge scene that of COURSE will make him run away. And I have to bear in mind that if I haven't broken after all the things this stupid labyrinth has thrown at me so far, it's not likely I will break if this is another wrong turn, too. Might as well not go sticking my hands into the hedges, getting myself all torn up trying to find the booby traps, right?


  1. Hope this current dating maze leads to a nice serene relationship maze.
    (My current relationship maze is absolutely wonderful, but I've also experienced ones that were more like the labyrinth from Goblet of Fire with Jack Torrance in the mix as well.)

  2. You can't please all of the people all of the time. If it doesn't work out it wasn't meant to be. I had to accept that after so many failed starts. Don't fight the universe. If it works out great. If not then there was a reason for it.

    Sorry if that was a little zen

  3. I agree with metric. I've had a mantra that has done me well for a while - If I'm not right for him, then he's not right for me. No matter how awesomelyamazinglysuperdupersexysmartfunnyperfect the guy is, unless he thinks the same about me, then everything else is moot.

  4. Well yeah, but that wasn't the point. The point was that I keep putting myself out into the dating world, and things don't work out, and as a result, now I'm a little jumpy with new starts. I'm totally okay/at peace/whatever with my past situations/relationships not having worked out, because they shouldn't have. I understand that. I'm just at a place in my life where I'm ready for the right guy to come along, and I'm tired of the wrong guys.

    Sooo I'm kind of annoying when I start dating someone I really like - getting anxious and worked up when I shouldn't. NewGuy likes me so far, but it's SO much the beginning that there's no reason at all for me to be fretting about any of the things I'm fretting about... all that worry is a result of my past. That's what I meant. :)