Once Upon A Time

Ever since Carrie Bradshaw typed “Once upon a time…” in 1998 Microsoft Word-esque file format, women everywhere dreamed of living the life of a love and relationship columnist. As if all those years of practice in junior high scrawling our study hall romance and Stairway to Heaven heartbreak into our Lisa Frank diaries would parlay themselves into a life of big city dwelling and made-for-the-movies love. The woman single-handedly launched the Cosmo craze (the drink, not the magazine) and gazed longingly through a store window at the newest style of Manolo Blahnik’s and breathily stated “Hello Lover.” And let’s not forget the flower pins larger than our actual heads that we wore on dresses, sweaters and any other clothing item available.

If you are looking for a column from someone like that, you are unfortunately in the wrong place.

Where Carrie had sushi and Cosmo’s, I’m the girl who meets up with her friends for a slice of pizza and beer. Where Carrie abhorred a cabin in the country I could spend a day hiking through the woods and sitting on a mountaintop looking out over the beauty. Where Carrie spends Thursday through Sunday clubbing and partying I’m at a Pirates/Seadogs game or dinner partying with friends. Where Carrie has hangover brunches at posh stark white establishments, I prefer the breakfast sandwich at Uncle Andy’s just over the bridge.

Elisa at the Shipyard Brewery tour
(At the Shipyard Brewery Tour)

Most importantly while Carrie dated (or hooked up) with a new guy every week for all the viewing audience to see, I am so not good at dating.

I mean, we do have some similarities. Carrie was dumped on a Post-It, I was dumped over AOL Instant Messenger. Carrie dated a man in a mental hospital, I had to end abruptly a beautiful night on the Eastern Prom sitting on a bench chatting about anything and everything because my date became convinced the mosquitoes were going to give him West Nile Virus.

And most importantly in a city full of people bumbling through their young adult lives and slowly (well, at my age it’s a bit more quickly) pairing off like there’s an ark parked beside Dimillo’s, I figure it’s time to get serious about this dating thing. There are over 10,000 single people in Portland ALONE, and that’s not counting any of the suburbs. Which leads me to believe I am not alone in trying to figure this dating thing out.

The folks here at MaineToday.com heard about me and my crazy quest for love and relationship anthropology and agreed that we the people of Greater Portland need a voice. And that voice is coming in the form of a girl once referenced as a “not-so-average girl next door.” I’m not the girl who settled down and married the boy next door like typical girl next door. I’m the girl who’s always a friend but never a girlfriend. I’m the girl in pigtails who plays pickup football and yet continues to strive and push for success and a career all her own.

I can’t guarantee the stories will be glamorous, or trendy, or worthy of 26 minutes on HBO. But they’ll be real and they’ll be the same things that you experience cause while Carrie led an amazing life it was nothing like reality.

Who’s with me?

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