That one person you realize in hindsight, whom you should have hung on to for dear life, and never ever let them go a day without telling them how amazing they are.
Usually I like to take someone for a thorough test drive before I decide whether or not I like them well enough to spend significant time together, so this Mr. Whatif took me quite by surprise with his persistent entry into my thoughts.
The others I’m quite certain about; the floppy phallus, the not in touch with his sexuality, the not in touch with reality, the rebound, the narcissist, the too young, the way too young, the-cute-but-utterly-too-stupid…you get the picture.
Today as I finished off some tax spreadsheets for my accountant, my thoughts were with a gal-pal, who, braver than I, is going out on a blind date. I hope that he’s interesting enough to pique her curiosity and spur her on to a second date, and dare I hope, perhaps even a loving relationship.
Decidedly among my single gal-peers, we no longer have expectations of fireworks or romance, even though I know they secretly hope for it just like I do. Old-fashioned romance never goes out of style, we just get tired of being disappointed.
Secretly, at one time or another, we’ve all checked Craigslist’s Missed Connections, hoping that maybe, just maybe, someone out there noticed us and fell truly, madly, deeply in love at first sight.
I don’t fall in love at first sight. Ever. I fall in lust and become a huntress at first sight, but that’s common knowledge.
I fall in love over time. A long, long time. Love is kind of like alcohol. I like lust like a strong and fast bourbon or double martini. Love takes time – it’s like a really great bottle of wine. You have a sip, and it knocks you over. You savour it, and never, ever want the bottle to end.
You can’t just spring undying devotion on me. It grates against my emotional unavailability and scares me away like a wild rabbit. This is what happened with my Mr. What if.
After letting him know that he had been inappropriate, I thought about it. For a long time. And I realized I’d made a stupid mistake. This is my late 30’s mid-life (for now) Mr. Whatif.
Life never makes things simple, so I bumped into my Mr. Whatif this summer after a few years of not seeing one another. It was a re-acquaintance in a formal setting, and by then too much water had passed under the bridge to mention it without making either of us wriggle with discomfort.
The entire time he spoke to me, I was thinking to myself, “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”. Me, not him. I was also getting a little hot under my skirt, and hoped like hell my blush was not giving me away.
The tipping point of relationship stability for my generation tottered sometime in the past few years, throwing a new batch of newly single middle aged men and women back into the dating scene.
I happen to be a one man kind of woman. When I actually do make a commitment that is. I’m not quick to commit, and I’m definitely not quick to re-enter the land of relationshipdom too quickly after a long-term relationship.
After my last relationship, I swore off anything other than a once-in-a-lifetime-tour-of-the-fun-bags for a solid year. It was a fantastic year.
So, when I met Mr. Whatif again, my heart did a little pitter-patter, and I felt that wonderful feeling of falling just a little bit head over heels for a man who deserved it.
“Why don’t you tell him?“, a friend asked me over coffee one lazy Saturday afternoon.
“Because he’s with someone else now.”
“That doesn’t matter. Just look at so-and-so, his situation changed overnight.” She challenged. She’s right. Things change, and often we only have one shot, but I can’t imagine coming between a couple; dating, engaged or married. Damn morals!
So, Mr. Whatif, if you’re out there reading this ( and you likely are), know that I’m thinking of you tonight as I relax with a bottle of wine I wish we could share together. I hope she deserves you.
You’re the one who got away.