I saw this question on the interwebs, and thought I’d write a little about it, because I have a weird answer. This question could be answered in about a million different ways, but I’m gonna go with one that goes with one of the basic themes of my blog, namely, ‘I’m in love with J and everybody knows it.’
So this is a book that became a movie, both of which changed my life in a big way, and it’s going to probably sound odd, but that’s what wordy explanations are for…Seabiscuit (book by Laura Hillenbrand; movie staring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Cooper).
No, really. Here’s how Seabiscuit changed my life.
In the late summer of 2003, I bought my first condo alone, and while I’ve never felt afraid to be alone, and actually LIKE being alone a lot of the time, all (ALL!) of my friends were in committed romantic relationships, and I wanted that for myself. I had terrible luck/skill/combination of those things with dating, so my best friend at the time suggested online dating to me. I’m sure all of my blog followers will be shocked to learn that I communicate better in writing than I do verbally/in person <sarcasm>, so this, he thought (correctly) would be a great way for potential suitors to know more about me without me having to actually talk about myself to them. I spent a lot of time on my profile (I’m a writer…that’s kind of my thing). It was pretty detailed about who I was, how I saw myself, and what I wanted out of life and a relationship with a partner. For three months and change, I went on a few bland to bad dates with a few bland to bad men. It was clear none of them paid much attention to the vast majority of the things I’d painstakingly written about myself, and they were pretty much going solely off of the survey question answers; a couple of them apparently went off nothing more than ‘woman seeking man.’
By the time Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I’d all but given up. I finally took my best friend’s advice and began searching for men myself instead of just accepting the attention paid to me. I contacted J (I obviously didn’t know he was J at the time, but…I did know he was special enough to be the only man I ever contacted first). I decided before I even clicked ‘send’ that he would be my last attempt at romance, and then I was resigning myself to spinsterhood, because my tolerance for dating nonsense is admittedly ridiculously low and I mean damn…I had already had enough of men who obviously didn’t care to know me when I had literally written them an instruction manual up front.
I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about when/how I met J here earlier in December, so I mean…it definitely worked out. For countless reasons. Timing and compatibility and all the fireworks and angels singing and all those lovey, goofy, sappy things I previously thought were a giant load of horseshit. But one reason it worked out was because J sought to know me. He paid attention. And I knew it right from the very beginning.
See, in the short novella I wrote about myself on that dating profile, I had mentioned that I liked reading, and sports, among other things. Zero of the other men I saw mentioned books or even baseball or football or basketball, on any date with me. I know, while major sports aren’t universal interests with men who are into women, they are common, and probably if the guy DIDN’T like sports, he’d be more inclined to talk about literature, but…none of them did…because none of them took the time to read the things I wrote. J did. We had our first date on December 14, eleven days before Christmas.
We were brand new on Christmas, 2003. I’d been told by family, friends, acquaintances, and even a couple of exes in the past that I was too giving and focused in relationships. So much it was ‘intimidating,’ or, ‘too intense,’ or even ‘creepy.’ So although I wanted to shower J with holiday gifts already, I didn’t. I didn’t want to scare him away with a bunch of commitment implication…to let him know I liked him so much already. But he bought me a gift. It wasn’t anything extravagant…it was a combo pack of the book and DVD of Seabiscuit. “I saw on your profile that you’ve followed horse racing since you were a little girl, and…”
So yeah…there’s a book and movie that changed my life.