Friday, April 20, 2012

Growing a crop of men

Online dating is a lot like gardening. You start by planting your seedlings by writing messages to several men or responding to messages you've received. Some of them sprout, others never do, still others sprout a teeny-tiny little stem but then wither and flop over (this happens if you get a lame message in reply to your witty epistle, or if they suddenly stop replying). You correspond for a while with the ones that sprouted, and write off the others with a shrug. Eventually, the corresponding leads to some dates. Suddenly, you realize that a bunch of your seedlings are about to become real plants, and you need to stop planting more seeds or your garden will become overcrowded. So, you take a break and concentrate on fertilizing your existing plantlets rather than growing new ones. You meet the little plants; some of them seem promising and worthy of second and third dates, others you can tell are the kinds of plants that are just never going to produce, and you stop watering them. Sometimes you get really excited about a plant and think that someday, down the road, it just might give you a bunch of beautiful, juicy heirloom tomatoes. Others are kinda spindly, but you want to give them a chance, too. You keep hoping one of them will really take off, but often, you end up being back at square one, with an empty garden ready to be planted again.

Right now, in both my vegetable garden and my man garden, I am in the phase where I have a bunch of little seeds planted and am giving them all the love and nurturing and fertilizer I can in the hopes that my tiny little sprouts will grow big and strong one day. I got a hopeful sign from one of my seedlings yesterday, in the form of a message that contained the following: "I'm interested in educational policy, so I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on the state of education. Have you read anything by Diane Ravitch?"

This little sprout really knows how to make a teacher swoon.

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