When I moved home, I expected that being a grown-ass woman rooming with her parents was going to be putting a HUGE dent in my dating game, were I to choose to play it again. I forgot to factor in the atmosphere of where, exactly, I was moving back to, literally and metaphorically.
The one thing I'd forgotten about starting new jobs was the fact that working in a mall is kind of like being thrown A.) Back into high school, and B.) To the sharks. Since breaking up, moving back home, and becoming employed elsewhere after years of working for the college, I'd somehow forgotten that when you're a mall-rat employee, you meet LOTS of new people. Not because you're just that cool or that popular...but because everyone wants to find out what the new girl's like.
Well, when the new girl's under the age of 30, single, and is willing to wear 5-inch heels to climb the ladder at work to hang new company posters...well, being the new girl turns some heads. The fact that she doesn't pay rent and eats home-cooked meals isn't considered a deterrent, at all. Unfortunately.
By my second shift, I already had a coworker trying to play matchmaker with me and one of his friends. I had a slew of new Facebook friend requests...all male. I literally had to make the "turn around" hand motion to get some poor young dude working across the hall to go back to his shirt folding when I clicked by on a candy bar run to Kmart before his manager yelled at him. I have gotten more store card apps in the last two weeks from eager, young, impressionable men with birth dates in the '90s than...well, more than I should feel morally ok with.
...Have I mentioned the fact that in my hometown, having all your teeth is a sign of natural beauty? While I may not be a top-model prize in Burlington or, say, Milan-- in Vegas, baby, (all) my straight teeth and 4-pack abs are pulling out all the stops.
But here's the thing-- I'm enjoying being single. After two and a half years of always having some guy around, I actually like being on my own. I mean, sure, the fact that it's getting cold at night without someone else to leech body-heat from is becoming a pain in the ass, and I really miss the company, but as I told a coworker today when she asked me how I was getting by without having sex, considering the fact that I lived with my last boyfriend and consider sex to be a daily-- if not twice or thrice daily-- duty when in relationships, I'm taking a little bit of a respite from it now, thanks. It's nice to not have to shave every other day. My body is thanking me more than it's yelling at me every time a tall, muscular dude who looks like Jason Statham's nephew walks by the storefront. For real. I'm not kidding. And my leg hair has never kept me warmer. Which is good for all those cold nights spent cuddling with my cat at home while watching Netflix and having to keep turning the volume out to drown my parents out.
So, despite all the things that nature and our 21st century society state I should have working against me right now, I've started waving at one of my sweeter admirers every time he passes by, even though I've made it clear to all that NOBODY gets a "friend" request accepted until I've met and talked with you at least twice for a decent amount of time (it helps suss out the creepers from the genuine nice people), no matter how many times you walk by or how many times I wave hello. One of my managers noticed, and asked me how I felt about jumping back into the dating pool. I pulled a face and told her my master plan.
"I figure, if I say to them, 'my last relationship involved living together, him doing the laundry, and talking about weddings; are you ready to jump right in there?' it will scare them away."
So far, the master plan is working. The only thing scarier than a woman with missing teeth in this town is a 22 year old single girl who's looking to play Mr. and Mrs. Buy A House. I mean, I didn't give an underwear model my info. And he looked like this:
What in the unholy Universe would convince me to start dating again NOW?
So who's the smart one now? This (happily single) girl.