An Open Letter

Dear [List of all the men I will meet while in my current Easily Infatuated Stage],

This is how it works:

I fall hard and fast for the dream of loving and living with a mountain man in a little quiet cabin in the woods – a ridiculously simple fantasy for someone so indelibly complex, I know. Note how I fall for the dream and not necessarily the man (a point which has frequently overwhelmed the objects of my infatuations). The dream is always there, like the sun even after it has set; but the man, well, only time reveals if he can fill the role. (How ridiculously unfair! you might exclaim…Okay, okay, okay, I know.)

In my daily life I meet men every week, like most people I know. But without fail, when I meet a man who could be a potential partner something resonates in me. This has been true all of my life. I offer an incomplete list in chronological order: Matt, Aaron, Dave, Gavin, MGL. And even the infatuations: AK, Evan, KM, VE, Keller, most recently, Riley.

My friend Sara thinks I have ridiculous luck. We talk on the phone and I can tell her about a man I spent just ten minutes with and without fail, some sort of romantic relationship forms. It is literally a biological experience for me both physically and mentally. It has as much to do with pheromones and hormones as it does intelligence and common interests.

It often works like this: Standing next to him, I can feel it in me. With some men it only takes an instant, a look; with others it takes a shared experience like hiking or a near car accident or making a double-tall-latte-to-go-please. And all of this is usually confirmed by a choice phrase or bodily gesture that seals the deal. Take, for example, the night AK (a total stranger to me at the time) added logs to a campfire and said out loud, “I just want to own five hundred acres, farm about one hundred of them, and live off the land.” Or take the time MGL handed me a pint of homebrew under the dim light of the Herb Shop and wouldn’t let go while our hands overlapped on the jar.

The reason all of this matters is because I fall for the dream, but if he meets me at every (or most) turn(s) then I fall for the man too. It is a treacherous and thrilling sort of existence and not one that I feel like I have control over, if you can believe that. But it takes emotional endurance, which means that you shouldn’t meet me at every turn unless you mean it. Seriously. It messes with my head and ruins a day of writing and makes sleep slow in coming. But if you mean it, if you really mean it, then I will join you in heart and hand for a switchback hike through the mountains, ending at a little cabin in the woods, just like someplace I’d eventually like to call home.

You should read this letter more than once. Refer to it often. Keep it in your wallet or better yet, in the back pocket of your Carhartt’s (a must). And there’s no need to write back. I usually fall for men who don’t do that sort of stuff anyway so don’t sweat it.


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