September 13, 2011
My single peeps: Michael C.
Michael was born in Michigan. He went to Columbia University, where he studied political science and wrote his thesis on nuclear deterrence theory. He went on to Berkeley Law School with the intention of running for political office. “Law school was more about strategy than justice, as I experienced it.” He was offered a great job, but deferred for a yearlong creative writing program in Iowa. “I ended up at a prestigious Wall Street law firm. I worked on complex matters that had no emotional content. How many deal binders can you amass?” He laughs. “I’m giving you quotable quotes here.” He speaks quietly, but with confidence.
“I started transcendental meditation and yoga. One thing led to another, and suddenly I had a whole new set of interests that were very hard to fit with the Wall Street life at the time, so I made a career move and became a law school professor. And that gave me a chance to combine healing, spirituality and law. And I discovered bioethics and health-care law.” He taught at Harvard Medical School, where “at the time they were creating a program in research in complementary medicine, and legal issues were at the forefront.” After working there for about a decade, he moved out to Los Angeles to open his practice. He also writes books. “They’re about integrating mind/body through medicine and all the legal rules that shape that shift.”
He got divorced three years ago. “But I like marriage. I think it’s great.” I ask him what he’s looking for in a woman, and suddenly there’s a chink in his armor. I can’t get him to say anything definitive. I push him a bit and find out he wants a girl in her mid-30s. I ask him why he’s so unsure of what he wants. He says, “I actually have a precise description, but I’m a bit shy about it.” I tell him to be honest. He begins, “Beautiful inside and out,” and then sits in silence for a bit. He continues, “Emotionally healthy.” Again more silence. “All these things lend themselves to interpretation,” he says. As a lawyer, he’s so acutely aware of interpretation that he can’t make any choices. I push him some more, and then he says, “Someone who’s capable of outrageous fun and courageous intimacy.” It’s a vague statement, so I have to ask, “Does courageous intimacy mean she’s shackled to the ceiling while you don a leather mask and crack a whip?” He gives me a strange look. “No.” He explains, “I definitely want someone who has an inner life that’s visible. Someone who’s empathetic, someone who knows how to love and be loved. There are no fixed requirements for that. I look for someone where the inner doorways are open and a breeze comes through.”
His confidence starts to come back, and suddenly he’s a professor again. “If you want the three C’s, [they’re] Chemistry, Communication and Compatibility. I want a powerful, intelligent woman. There are people who love themselves and people who don’t. When I say powerful, she doesn’t need to be the head of MGM. Power’s an inner quality. It’s more about the feeling of being rooted. If the leaves are reaching for the sun, you’ve got to have strong roots.” I ask him if that was Confucius. “No, it’s me.”
He continues, “People who are only on the surface … it’s like a dry lake. I want the ocean with all its diversity. That’s the best I can define it, and she can come in all shapes and sizes.” “Any size?” I ask. He thinks for a moment. “Well, fit.”
If you’re interested in anyone you see on My Single Peeps, send an e-mail and a picture, including the person’s name in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll forward it to your favorite peep.
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.