Burner

The problem with being single for 14 years

There’s a teeny tiny problem with having been single for 14 years.

I haven’t really had to compromise for 14 years.

I haven’t taken anyone else’s opinion into consideration because it’s just been me.

For 14 years!

That’s a long time to develop habits:

And not all those habits are good.

  • Like not soliciting feedback from others before making important decisions.
  • Or making choices based on impulse instead of reason.
  • Sleeping with my dates on a whim instead of basing it on compatibility.

I’m shit at resisting my impulses.

So it’s unusual for me to be with someone who reminds me to FUCKING PACE MYSELF.

There’s no rush.

Take your time and think things through.

On the other hand, I’ve developed some really stellar habits:

  • Like self-reliance.
  • And an unwillingness to sacrifice my happiness for another (a bad co-dependent habit).
  • A willingness to experiment with my life in non-mainstream ways.

Some of my life experimentations were bound to resonate with me and now I struggle to find the right man for me.

  • One who will help me compromise for the right reasons.
  • Fight impulse with logic and reasoning, but without losing my spontaneity.
  • And respect my decisions as leading to my happiness.

Gone are the days where your standard vanilla man could complete me.

Right now, it’s gonna take a burner – past, present, or future.

Stressed

The first thing you need to know about producing a “burner-esque” event in the Santa Cruz Mountains is that IT IS A LOT OF WORK!

It would be ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE without the help of a team of talented people helping to organize it.

I spent the better part of Wednesday pouring through emails, creating spreadsheets, picking up checks, and putting out fires.

It’s the last minute details that will get you.

The thing about burner events, is that nothing goes as planned.

Everything has a kink in it.

Which is STRESSFUL for someone who PLANS THINGS OUT for a living.

But yes, I must agree.

In my experience Burning Man is what happens when you plan something wonderful, and something extraordinary happens.

So TECHNICALLY, I shouldn’t be stressed.

Because no matter what I do, things will be EXTRAORDINARY!

But I’m stressed.

So stressed, I’m reduced to self medicating with alcohol.

Vodka lemonade, to be exact.

I’ll survive, I know I will.

It’s just being at the forefront of an event designed to entertain and enthrall guests that has me SUPER STRESSED OUT.

Do you think it’ll be easier next year????

 

Hooked

Each time I’ve gone to Burning Man – all two times – I’ve sworn that I’m never going back.

In 2016 I was motivated by a desire to improve on my 2015 experience.

In 2017, I’m motivated by the friendships I’ve established.

I didn’t know it at the time, but when I bought my first Burning Man ticket, I was baptized into a community of creatives, crazies, talents, artists, musicians, dancers, athletes and weirdos.

A large part of my social life is now dedicated to Burning Man events and people.

So much so, that I feel like a broken record when I go on dates or write The Swede emails.

Eventually, I always talk about Burning Man.

I can practically see some people in my family roll their eyes in their heads when I bring it up.

But I can’t help it.

It’s so much a part of my life that I wonder, “Can I actually establish a relationship with a man who ISN’T a burner?”

Well, there are lots of couples out there with mixed burner-affiliation – one is a burner, the other is a non-burner.

So the answer to that question is YES.

But there has to be a level of understanding and support for the burner.

I think it’s possible to be an honorary burner – to have never set foot on the playa and yet be a loyal supporter of Burning Man.

I know a woman who was integral in helping her husband develop a spinning teeter totter for the burn.

I know another woman who crocheted all sorts of cool outfits for her husband’s burn.

Going to Burning Man is like becoming a parent – there’s no way to fully understand it until it happens to you.

I don’t expect potential dates to understand what I’m talking about when I mention my Burning Man experiences, but I do hope it makes them curious.

And of course, I hope that given my passion for the event, that their curiosity translates into support for all my Burning Man activities and adventures.

Because somewhere between “I’m never going again” and “I could give it another go,” I’ve gotten hooked.

Totally, 100%, completely hooked.

Single on the Playa

I have no idea what it’s going to be like to be single on the playa but I’m hoping it goes a little something like this:

  • Michelle meets interesting man
  • Michelle and interesting man fool around
  • Michelle meets another interesting man
  • Michelle and another interesting man fool around.

Or:

  • Michelle meets extraordinary man
  • Michelle and extraordinary man spend all of Burning Man together.

Personally, I’m hoping for the latter but I won’t turn my nose up at the former.

Problem is, all the men I meet seem to have wives or girlfriends.

Take, for instance, Eddie.

I met Eddie at a Build party. Tall and handsome with just the right amount of lumberjack and Renaissance man rolled into one. I was instantly attracted.

Fast forward a week and we’re at a Burner Meet and Greet in San Jose.

We’ve been chatting up a storm when I look down and see a ring on his wedding finger.

Drat.

Oh well.

Easy come, easy go.

There’s a part of me that lights up when I’m around someone I’m attracted to. It feels so good. That part of me hasn’t been lit in quite some time. So I’m thankful for the brief moment of illumination with Eddie and hopeful it’ll happen with someone else.

Preferably with a burner who’ll be at Burning Man to have adventures with me.

Because as much as I appreciate the interesting men who cross my path, I’m looking for that one extraordinary man to share the path with.

Oh God, is that hopelessly romantic or what?!