Mommy needs a play date

I was informed by my friend and local celebrity Mike Morin that Jan. 5 is the number one online dating day of the year.

It was hilariously coincidental because I had already decided on that very day my column would focus on the travails of being a single parent. February marks my own completion of another rotation around the sun, and it also heralds Valentine’s Day.

When I made the commitment to bring a life into the world “on my own” (I have family and friends who have been invaluable in the care and feeding of said life) I put the pursuit of a mate on hold for a while.

Part of the reason I felt confident enough to do this was that I was convinced finding a man to help me raise my child would be no more difficult than finding the previously endless string of suitors in my past.

Pardon me while I double over with laughter.

OK, I’m done.

My delightfully delusional childless self failed to factor in my new level of exhaustion, apathy in my changing appearance, lack of free time, and a significant dearth of eligible bachelors in my age range who fulfilled my desired, and, I like to think, reasonable requirements.

I can’t say I have tried too hard to meet anybody. I dipped a toe a few times into the online dating pool, only to recoil pretty quickly. As a journalist, I interviewed matchmakers who offered meetings with their clients; no sparks were ignited.

I’ve done the ol’ “Do what you love and you’ll surely meet someone like-minded!” thing but at many museums, art galleries, live theater and music shows that I’ve attended, I’m always the soloist among couples.

I’m glad that I have been able to raise my tween daughter in a way that she (hopefully) sees that despite personal, professional and financial struggles we always have a roof over our heads, electricity and food in the fridge. It’s not easy, and I need help sometimes, but I’m still making it happen — on my own.

I hope that she sees me less as a damsel needing rescuing, although those days do exist, and more as a hard-working woman who would enhance a partner, not rely upon him. I hope she sees that instead of “needing” a man that I would simply enjoy having one around, occasionally, to ya know, fix the toilet and stuff.

So maybe this leap year, I will take a leap of faith and make another foray into the dating pool.

But I am not wearing a swimsuit.

Kathleen Palmer is an award-winning editor and journalist, marketing/communications content writer and occasional comedic actress. Nothing makes her happier than making people laugh. She is a single mom to a teenager, so naturally she enjoys a glass of wine, or two.

Categories: Never A Dull Moment