Hi, my name is Selena, and I am romantically challenged.
I am one of those people who has a heavy tome of relationship stories and yet I remain sans boyfriend. My story of romance reads like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure where I keep coming to dead ends, start the story over, and continue to make the same choices that lead me to the same dead ends.
Last week I purchased my fourth DVD player in eight years. Like its two predecessors, the third one suddenly died. In its final hour, the disc tray opened and closed relentlessly and nothing I did—hit stop, hit the power, hit the machine—could stop it.
So I stealthily snatched the DVD from the psychotic tray on one of its rapid open movements, yanked the plug out of the wall, and heave-hoed it into the dumpster on my way out to purchase a new one. My fourth one. The problem is, I always wind up buying an equally lousy model.
On my way to Best Buy I couldn’t help but wonder: is it the DVD players or is it me?
It may just be the machine, but on the other hand, what is it about me that I keep bringing faulty DVD players into my life? And suddenly, I found it hard not to see the parallels between them and my relationships:
- The buttons on the remote are in places that are illogical. For example, the audio track button is next to the play button, so I frequently find myself watching a movie that I can’t understand.
- They are hard to figure out, aren’t compatible with my TV, and occasionally destroy my discs.
- The remote control isn’t responsive unless I angle myself at the machine just right.
- I go through them faster than most people, and when I don’t have one I become bored, restless and anxious.
- After all this, when it finally breaks down irreparably, I don’t bother to take it in to be fixed, I just trash it and run out to purchase a new one.
I am doomed to make the same mistake unless I try something different.
My technological adventures made me see that I operate my romantic life the same way, and so I decided to press pause on my dating life for a while. My purpose for this decision is not to implement unbearable torture on myself (intentionally, that is; stay tuned for my tales of torment…), but rather to take myself out of the equation in order to become more conscious of my actions and my choices. Let me put it this way: if my dating record were my driving record, the DMV would have taken away my license long ago.
As ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu observed, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” And believe me, my turn signal is on.