Monday, October 24, 2011

From Sea to Shining Sea

So my comments today are a little off-topic, but may actually appeal to a broader audience of readers than just the few hundred thousand of us who are actors.


Now, I'm a career-oriented girl and have little interest in serious romance at the moment.  Mostly because I'm incredibly independent and there are few men who genuinely interest me, but when they do, relationships are distracting, and lord knows I've already wasted too much valuable time in my life on boys (some worth it, some not so much).  But... I am young and single in Los Angeles, the world is my oyster, and boy do I love seafood.

Speaking of... I went deep sea fishing yesterday.  It was a generally fun adventure and a nice change of pace from the grimy concrete jungle that is Los Angeles.  But I left the boat after nine hours of fishing utterly disappointed.  You see, I have been talking for two weeks about how I was going to waltz out on that boat and catch me a marlin.  As the boat left the dock at 6 am, one of the other fishermen alerted me of a serious flaw in my plan... There are no marlins in the Pacific Ocean.  If I wanted to catch one of these beautiful and elusive fish, I was not going to do it off the coast of Southern California.  (Now before you judge my ignorance, I grew up in a state that is about as far from any ocean as you can get and have little experience with the specifics of population patterns in oceanic life.)

So I settled for catch-and-release of a few mackerels, which were kind of fun to reel in, but ultimately unsatisfying because I really wanted to take home a marlin at the end of the day.  Which is a perfect allegory for my dating life.

Now, I've had some serious relationships, but have been living happily single now for about a year and a half and wouldn't have it any other way.  I have the blessing of never really having a shortage of dinner offers and usually the luxury of calling the shots.  Generally, they're all pretty much mackerels so I throw them back after a few dates because I'm really not looking for anything more substantial than that.

But we all have that one, don't we?  That one fish that we talk about catching before we're even on the boat.  The one who, even though you're holding the fishing pole, you wonder if you're actually the one in control.  That marlin who would be mounted on your wall above the fireplace if you could just land the damn thing.

Mine was in town this weekend, because he, true to his breed, calls another ocean home.  He used to live here, but after we went on just two dates last year, he called me with the bittersweet news that a promotion was going to take him back to New York permanently.  Since then, we've exchanged a few "this made me think of you" text messages and shared a handful of electrifying nights when work brings him to LA for a couple days.  Then we just forget about each other and move on with our separate lives, until we meet again some months down the road.  Though we never once talked about it, the country between us stamped out any hope of potential, so why not just have the fun and not worry about the messy stuff.

But I realized something this time: Even though these things don't have strings, they have rules.  And I broke the rules.  I committed the cardinal sin against the I'm-too-focused-on-my-career-to-have-time-for-a-relationship-woman's holy grail.  It was perfect in it's simplicity and passion, but then I had to go and fall for the man.  He's a marlin, and I want to catch him and keep him to myself.  I want to have him for more than one night every few months, despite the fact that I really don't want to give that kind of time to anyone right now.  I realized that when it comes to this guy, I'd be willing break my own rules and actually somehow find a way to make space for him in my life.  I realized this weekend that the damn marlin hooked me instead of the other way around.

Still... he's a marlin, and they don't swim in the Pacific Ocean.  And I'm a California Flying Fish, and those don't swim the Atlantic.  We live on opposite seaboards and I certainly won't make a transcontinental space in my life for anyone, even if he came right out and asked me to.  And what's more, I don't know that he would ask me to.  In fact, part of me is unsure if he would even ask me to make space for him if he lived down the street. Which used to be fine with me because it didn't matter.  There wasn't a future; we just enjoyed each others' company.  And I was perfectly content with those rules... before I went and broke 'em.

So I leave this weekend feeling a bit unsatisfied.  And as much as, at this point in my life, I really only have time to play catch-and-release with a few mackerels anyway, I'll admit... just this once... I still want to catch a marlin someday.

Wow, that was a lot of metaphors.

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