Cultivating a Herd
In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m single. I would love to find the man of my dreams, but I don’t spend that much time dreaming about him – I’m too busy out here being me. Oprah would probably tell me to ideate a version of who/where/how that guy is so that I can make love manifest when he is in the vicinity, but I’d rather go to LACMA. I feel a vision board coming on.
Unlike a number of single women I know, I do no reading or research about dating. That comes to me unsolicited and for free (minus the psychological cost) from friends who take a much more organized approach to these things. From what they’ve told me, I understand I’m to be “cultivating a herd,” of options, from which one will be right. It’s a fancy way of saying the whole thing is a numbers game over which I have about as much control as I do a roulette wheel.
I was thinking about this yesterday while walking down the street in Washington DC, where I’ve come to visit a friend recovering from a significant and unforeseen health event. It occurred to me that, though I’ve failed to cultivate a dating herd, I managed to cultivate a fantastic herd of friends in the less than 12 months I lived in DC. And they have more than risen to the occasion during this most recent event.
When I mentioned I may be coming to town, I was immediately offered a couch to stay on. I flew overnight and went straight from the airport to spend a day at the hospital. That evening, I was welcomed by friends with delicious dinner and a glass of wine, given clean sheets and towels and pillows and snacks, house keys and a ‘guest’ metro card, a laundry card so I could wash the patient’s laundry, and a cocktail when I returned home at night. One friend made big dutch baby for breakfast, gave me tea and helped me find games to bring to the hospital for entertainment and cerebral stimulation. I was lent a car. An impromptu drinks gathering was arranged during my stay. A not-yet-three year-old delivered home-made banana bread to the door. Friends took breaks from work to meet up with me at odd times to accommodate my being at the hospital for visiting hours. My hosts made me laugh at least once each morning and twice before bed.
This is only one city, one group of friends, with whom I’ve been lucky enough to spend time. And certainly, this is a remarkable event. While pondering how fantastic this herd is, I realized that, while fumbling dating for decades, I’ve successfully cultivated a variety of herds, flocks, gaggles and prides across time and geography. Rather than one partner, my efforts have yielded a community of strength and laughter and insightful conversation and delicious unsolicited opinions and adventurous travel partners. I do hope that someday, one of these groupings will yield the man of my dreams. Until then, I’m going to be vastly fulfilled, entertained, challenged and supported by these amazing people I’m grateful to call my friends. Mr. Right would be lucky to join us.