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Missed Connections

annulledThere’s always that certain someone isn’t there?

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.

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Popping the Question Again: Marriage At Middle-Age

I don't think I ever actually took a photo of ...
I don’t think I ever actually took a photo of them together since getting married last fall. Here they are. It’s a matched set from Diana Classic in platinum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where to start with this minefield of possible opinions? Likely a bourbon on the rocks and a direct prayer to the universe.

My first thought, when I look deeply into my sensitive feminine intuition is, “Why bother?”.

My obvious second thought darlings, is, “Why not?”.

A recent article in the Style section of the Globe gave a no-brainer instruction sequence to the young lad preparing to wow his girl with a surprise proposal.

I cant’ criticize the article, however, being a woman of a certain age, I got a  kick out of it. First of all, most marriages at middle-age are either a second marriage (or third, or….). Secondly a surprise proposal at middle-age, as romantic as it may seem, really wouldn’t be that surprising.

I mean, come on my cute little rhubarb custard pies, at this stage of the game no one jumps into a life-long commitment without doing their research and talking it into the ground. Nobody with an ounce of common sense anyway.  By middle age, we’ve all taken stock of our resources, have kids, or parents with failing health, and quite frankly, enough attitude to take a round out of a biker bar.

The article went on to discuss permission from parents. Not necessary at middle age. Permission from young adult children – absolutely not, but perhaps a courtesy call, as in , “Heads up dude.”

The Globe article discussed the importance of dressing appropriately. Quite frankly, I hope that by the time I meet a man with enough character to get down on one knee to pop the question that we’re somewhere that fashion doesn’t really matter.  Perhaps in bed. Maybe in the backyard reading the paper. At the beach.  Out for a walk. I’m assuming I will have the good taste to choose s gentleman who is aware of the no socks with sandals rule.

Planning the ceremony? Not such a big deal at middle age. Catered in the backyard. A short beach holiday with our besties. Perhaps at the park under a full moon.

The bottom line is, that by the time you’re middle-aged, you likely have the good common sense to have given your relationship the ‘live-in’ test drive it deserves, complete with flannel, flatulence, flu-bugs and sports vs. chick-flicks on the tube.  Well adjusted men and women  are pretty content with their own company by this stage of the game, so having another person around full-time is testament to their solid character anyways.

If a middle-aged (ok, maybe past middle-aged) man has the kahonas to pop the question, who really cares if he’s sporting the latest style, rehearsed in front of a mirror, or exhumed your father’s body to get permission.  He’s made an attempt at romance, even after the reality of a prince-not-so-charming has taken root.

My advice for popping the question to middle-aged gals;

1) If she criticizes you for your cutesy efforts take the ring back. Real women appreciate your effort, or at least a good laugh.

2) Size doesn’t matter. It matters that you know what style of ring she will look at and know you thought of her.

3) Make sure you two are solid, have talked it to death, and are committed before you pop the question. Don’t scare the hell out of her.

4) Keep it to yourself. No jumbotrons, no popping the question in front of a crowd, no telling the world. Tell your best pal if you need to shake off some of the nervous energy, but other than that keep your trap shut. Announce the wonderful news together.

5) Be near a phone. I know that my friends have a running bet that I will never get married again. If it ever happens, I will be on the horn faster than a mustang on a mare.

6) Be scrubbed and ready to go. Women of a certain age have an, um, er…..well, insatiable appetite. Be prepared, that’s all I’m sayin’.

7) Ignore #2. Go big or go home.

8) Do it on a day when she needs to remember how lucky she is. Crappy day at work – voila. Fixed!

9) Don’t tell her what you spent on the ring. Middle aged women don’t want a show piece that’s going to take you a year to pay off, we want you to have the deal sealed and be a gentleman about it. Shh!

10)  Smile. You’re about to wander into a lovely part of life with a woman who knows what she wants, and you’re him. Congrats!