Matthew Simmons wrote an hilarious post over at HTMLGIANT about the “Five Stages of Publishing“: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I’m not sure it’s a linear path, but I can definitely attest to the grim reality of each stage. Right now I’m hovering somewhere between Depression and Denial, though some of my actions certainly amount to Acceptance, and I’m no stranger to bursts of uncontrollable Anger.

When does this damn game get easier?

Single girls – especially independent single girls – are not supposed to want a significant other.

It’s written somewhere in the Independent Single Girls’ Handbook – “thou shalt be self-sufficient”.

I have rationalized this by repeatedly stating to myself the following mantra: If I can catch a fish by myself, then I obviously don’t need a man in my life.

There’s a serious flaw in this logic, by the way, and I’m not just talking about the fact that I’ve been fishing for close to six years now and I’ve only managed to catch 2 fish.

No, the flaw is much simpler than not catching fish.

It’s about human contact.

Practically every human being on this planet craves touch, affection, tenderness. Even the Maslow baby monkeys needed affection and touch to develop into adult monkeys.

Unfortunately, these are not things that come easily if it’s just you and your cat, Gunther.

Gunther is nice and all, but he’s just not your type.

Why, you ask?

Well, for one thing, his name is Gunther.

For another, he’s a different species and I’m not even going to get into how wrong that is.

So let’s move on to the point of all this rambling, shall we?

I’m falling for a guy.

Gasp!

Shock and awe!

The self-sufficient, happily independent girl is falling for a guy.

What’s his name, you ask?

His name isn’t important, mostly because I think that names can ruin a good story.

Like a sappy love story with a guy named Hansel.

It’s just plain ridiculous.

Or, better yet, who’s going to believe that a guy named Buster is the hero of some madcap, international spy adventure?

Names are just nonsense, anyway.

It’s not like you’re going to remember it or even know who he is, so what’s the point?

Anyway, I’m falling for him.

I have been for what seems like years, mostly because we’ve been really good at ignoring the Pink Elephant that moved into the living room when we met.

I don’t even notice the trumpeting anymore.

I’ve forgotten what a real relationship looks like.

I’ve also forgotten how to seek out a real relationship, which is, I think, even more sad.

It’s all as elusive as Bigfoot – I have a feeling it’s there, but I just can’t see it.

He’s not as hairy as Bigfoot, in case you were wondering.

I didn’t want you to get the wrong impression, that I might have fallen for the Wolfman, because I didn’t…and now I’m rambling.

Right.

Moving on.

The problem with all of this, though, is that this is falling in the good sense.

At least if you compare it to falling in the bad sense then it’s falling in the good sense.

I know it isn’t falling in the bad sense – the “Oh my god, my parachute won’t open and I’m going to – SPLAT!” sense.

And, in all honesty, it could be worse.

He could actually know that I’m falling for him.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I haven’t told him.

Maybe it’s self-preservation, a just-in-case scenario.

Like carrying around my galoshes, an umbrella, and a baseball cap – just in case the skies open and the next apocalyptic flood rains down upon us all.

I’m not a fan of full blown, in-your-face rejection.

You know, the kind of rejection where the guy doesn’t even have to say anything; he just looks at you and you feel like you’ve been sucker-punched in the gut by Andre the Giant.

I’ve been there before, when I was younger.

I’d rather not go back, thank you very much.

So, for right now, I’m content to stay in the holding pattern we’ve so quaintly established and maneuver my way around the Pink Elephant.

Of course, I’m hoping the elephant doesn’t decide to stampede and run me into the ground.

Then again, if it did, I wouldn’t have to tell him how I feel so it might be nice all around.

“I hear they’re selling houses in Denial and I think I’d like to sign up for a nice 2-bedroom with a garage where I can store my guilt when I’m not using it.”

Right, holding pattern it is, then.

I’d order a drink but I’m afraid the Elephant might resent the implication…