About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dances -- and Flirts -- with [Geriatric] Wolves

The ladies in my knitting group wanted an update. This is easier than telling the same sad story three times at knit night next Tuesday. And it will all be "old news" for those of you on the Grats List.

The knitting mojo must have worn off, or maybe I just took the wrong project. Saturday the 5th was an activity erroneously labeled a dance. Am I glad that I went? Absolutely; it was very instructive. Did I have fun? Yes, mostly. Did I dance? No, not particularly, though my dear friend the Yumster came through as usual.

I took Swatching Louisa, and I worked on it for a few rows, and I visited with friends, and I kept half an eye on the two guys who have captured my attention recently as dancing partners. Apparently the menfolk have become yarn-deaf, and I might need to resort to sculpture or arc-welding, though I think that marble chips would be a hazard on the dance floor, and a welding helmet would definitely inhibit conversation while dancing check to cheek!

I’d also briefed my friend BrotherSushi, whose Nonsense Detector is calibrated differently than mine simply because he has one of those pesky Y chromosomes instead of the lovely symmetrical X’s that I have, and so he notices different things about guys (and yes, obviously, different things about women) than I do, to watch the behaviors of said recent dancing partners. Both of whom have been charming but not particularly flirtatious, and I have a horror of making an idiot of myself by flirting when the gentleman in question has only been civil.

You know the old joke about the co-dependent who knows what everybody else in the room is feeling, except himself/herself? Well, I am very good at reading men I’m not interested in romantically. But if there seems to be a mutual spark, or if I even think I might be interested someday, my compass starts spinning as erratically as Jack Sparrow’s in the second “Pirates” movie. Hence the need for backup.

BrotherEh (he's Canadian) apparently walked into the dance with a date. The nerve! He had the grace to dance with a lot of other ladies but didn’t make it quite as far as the table where I was lurking. BrotherOhMy came in solo but spent the evening orbiting a lovely sister (or perhaps being orbited by her). After awhile I leaned over and said to my friend, “I don’t believe that your sleuthing services are required tonight.”

[Thought for the day, most pertinent after Friday night’s experiences and taken from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Romancing the Ordinary: “One should know the value of Life better than to pout any part of it away.” Hester-Lynch Priozzi (1789)]

I am not *quite* pouting, though I do get fed up with the local Churchboys from time to time. I know that they are visual creatures, and that they gravitate toward the lissome. But I have gone hungry in the past so that my kids would have enough to eat, and I’ll be blessed if I’ll go hungry to satisfy some man’s vanity. And there are a number of good men out there who see me very clearly, thank you; unfortunately they tend to be evenly divided between well-seasoned redneck bubbas who “ma’am” me to death, and Latinos young enough that I could have given birth to them. None of them able marry me in the temple.

Quite obviously, the answer to my occasional question “When?” continues to be “Not now.” It makes no sense to me to ask God to send me a man I can love forever if it would mean a good woman had to die, or a marriage would have to break up, so that I could be suitably partnered. No thanks, I don’t want that on my conscience. So I have learned to be very careful what I pray for.

Most of the time, perhaps 98%? I am so thankful to not be unhappily married, that there is no room in me to be sad that I’m single. And much of the time I am frankly too busy to care, though I freely confess that this is one of those rare times when I *do*. It will pass. I will go to church and have the empty places filled in for another week, and I will go to work, and I will create, and life will be sweet.

Fast Forward to Monday the 7th:

We take you back to the thrilling days of yesteryear — somebody cue the “Lone Ranger Theme” —when I was whining about the dearth of interesting [and more to the point, interested] menfolk in the vicinity. My friend MsBallroom responded that we may have to import one.

What to my wondering eyes should appear, but an email from what I shall call the Churchboy Dating Service. A guy. Interested in me. What is wrong with this picture?

Well, he’s 14 years younger, not quite young enough to set off the “I could have given birth to this man” alarm bells, but rather closer than I like.
PRO: If I like him, there’s a good chance I’d get to keep him for a few decades.
CON: He could get bored in 20 years and want to trade me in for two 35’s.

And he’s tall, unless he’s fudging his height the way we fudge our weight.
PRO: I wouldn’t have to wait for a son-in-law to come over, to change the light bulbs in the kitchen or the AC filter in the hall.
CON: I might need a stepstool to kiss him.

He likes sports, plays basketball, and thinks jogging is fun.
PRO: If I like him, there’s a good chance I’d get to keep him for a few decades. (Where have we heard this before?)
CON: He might want me to watch him play basketball.

He’s never been married.
PRO: No alimony.
CON: A major red flag for me. Never-been-married makes me every bit as jumpy as multiply-divorced.

He has a son.
PRO: Somebody new to love.
CON: Another major red flag. I fired off a whole lot of questions about this little detail. Child support, co-parenting, why not marry the mother, etc.?

He’s better-looking than me.
PRO: If I were still in the baby business, the kids would be gorgeous.
CON: Why isn’t he looking for somebody young and fertile and equally gorgeous?

He lives in Utah.
PRO: If he turns out to be a loon, he’s far, far away.
CON: I have already done the whither-thou-goest thing and have sold my BTDT (been there, done that) T-shirt at a yard sale. Most of my kids are here. Most of my grandkids are here. As the old gospel song has it, “I shall not be moved” except, perhaps, to serve a senior mission someday.

And one final point, about which I thankfully see no CONs. He is neither a Good Old Boy nor a Latin Lover. He *could* be Danny Glover’s younger brother. I have done some thinking about this and how it could affect various aspects of my life. My kids would be far more concerned about his character than his color. It would not be a problem at work; one of my co-workers is part of an interracial marriage. It would not be a problem at church; my ward is very inclusive. The only person there who might be uncomfortable could be my former husband, also [alas] in my ward. And possibly one or two of my friends. Though one of my girlfriends would be positively green-eyed if after all this patient waiting, I bagged a BoyToy.

As Mark Twain said, “I look on this with love and suspicion.” There will be no IM’ing, no late-night phone calls, none of the usual nonsense involved in online dating. There will, instead, be long letters discussing one thing and another, and more quests for him to perform than the average prince in a Grimm’s Fairy Tale.

There will also be background checks of extraordinary thoroughness. My experience last summer with theBrother Formerly Known as Lucid taught me that“apostasy” does not show up on any readily available screening systems, nor does “tax protestor”.

Forward again to Tuesday the 8th:

New movie title: “How to Lose a Guy in Three Emails”. I wrote the above when I was home on Tuesday. I also sent BrMocha what appears to be the last volley in our exchange. Excerpt follows:

“Let me return to the subject of the age of your son. I’m glad that he is doing well, and that’s not what I asked. The age of your son, the circumstances of his birth (since your profile says that you’ve never been married), together with how long you’ve been a memberof the Church, will tell me a lot about your character.

“If your son is the result of an indiscretion when you were a kid, either in or out of the Church, and he’s grown or mostly-grown, that’s one thing. Long-distance parenting works quite well in that situation. I have one kid in FL and another in VA, both married to fine men, so I have some experience with that. So if our correspondence becomes something more, I would not have a problem with your moving toTX, away from your son, assuming that was something you wanted to do.

“If your son is younger, then in my opinion he needs your good example there, where he can see you often. [Another pair of questions: is his mother LDS as well? Is he being trained up in the Church?]. And now for something about *my* character. I have reared or mostly-reared five children. I have no experience with brothers, or sons. Little boys, quite frankly, make me twitch, which if I have grandsons someday will be something I have to get over.

“I would quite cheerfully welcome another adult child to the tribe. I have absolutely no interest in rearing another human being to maturity, unless something happens to one of the kids, and I have to raise a grandchild. I have approximately two more years of 24/7, and then a new phase of my life begins.

“This could very well be a deal-buster for you, and I recognize that. Best to get it out on the table at the very beginning.”

The silence from Utah is deafening, LOL. I may very well have fried his monitor. What I *think* happened is this: he saw my profile, saw my photos, saw the opportunity to engage in some virtual whoopee with some plump middle-aged white chick who hasn’t had a date in forever and must therefore be bored and unutterably lonely. He kept bugging me to contact him via IM, and I have had one too many “what are you wearing?” experiences to go there. Silly man, I haven’t been bored in decades, and I intentionally keep myself overbooked and exhausted and prolifically productive to keep loneliness far, far away. Boy was*he* ever barking up the wrong tree.

Yes, I have a lifetime membership on the Churchboy Dating Service [not that I have any real faith that I’ll find BrotherRight there, but if you always do whatyou’ve always done, you can’t expect a different outcome. When I met hubby #1, I was at a party, gloriously drunk on one beer and shimmying to“WipeOut” while standing on the coffee table. After the divorce, I joined the Church. Hubby#2 was a blind date arranged by my Relief Society [women's group] president in my student branch. I love and trust my current RS president and my stake RS president, *and* I’m taking no chances, LOL].

My profile and persona on the Churchboy Dating Service are set about midway between “phasers on stun” and “shoot to kill”. My screen name is that of the most successful and most under-appreciated female assassin in the OT. Deborah gets to lead the army with Barak, and she gets her own psalm. Jael gets to be a tent peg in the hands of the Almighty, and then she gets to clean up the tent. I have spent the greater part of my life cleaning up after other people’s messes, when mostly I just want to kill something. [I’m wondering if the original Jael had a “Marsha Marsha Marsha” meltdown after they hauled Sisera's body out of the tent: “Fine, I’m here scraping ‘dirt’ off all the rugs, and you’re out there dancing and singing with Barak. See if I kill anymore enemy generals for the likes of you!”]

I’ve been wrestling with some long-term issues in the extended family, and some personal issues, plus the higher than usual stress level at work, and then I get the email from Utah, and my initial reaction is, “Sick joke, Father, lousy timing, I really don’t appreciate Your sense of humor right now but I promise to laugh later, OK?” There are times in my life when a resident male seems like a great idea, and far more times when I feel that a spouse would be just One More Thing I Gotta Deal With.

The whole past horrendous three weeks or so was mostly-redeemed by dinner at Chez FooFoo on Friday night with BrotherSushi [one of three precious Acquired Brothers who came into my life after some other woman stomped them and left them to ferment until they became worth having dinner with]. Good atmosphere, *amazing* food, and another soul who understands the validity of the "he needed killing" defense.

Not that I would, or he would, but it was great fun to verbally "dig a pit for my neighbor" and push said neighbor in and make sure that fire ants were on the welcoming committee. I've also pulled the Dixie Chicks from timeout, and "Goodbye Earl" is getting a lot of play, chez moi, and each time I sing along, my smile is less crocodilish and more sincere.

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