Two weeks ago…
The other night, I went out for a cocktail with…drumroll, please…more-like-it, a man who genuinely interests me: I mean he interests me as a human, he interests me as a potential date, I am intrigued by the thought of spending time with him, getting to know him a little better and determining whether we share relationship potential …and I am interested in wild, randy, raunchy, dirty bedroom sorts of things with him. Wildly interested.
We started at a networking event, running in to people he knew before we’d even reached the bar. They looked me up and down while asking him about his divorce. And then we found my people, who gave him pretty much the equivalent treatment. And when the requisite connections were made, we found our way to another bar, sitting side by side, laughing and flirting. We shared stories and he touched my knee. We talked, confessed and went off on tangents. Every cell in my body felt awake, present and ready for whatever might happen. There was no intense or burning passion, no urgency, what I felt when with him was more like a rhythm bass, a low thrumming, or the deep, throaty idle of a powerful engine. Finally, we walked back to my car and he kissed me goodnight.
He seems not ready, in my estimation, for the things that I might be interested in doing with him. Or, if he is, he doesn’t appear to be interested in me, particularly. We came about this cocktail in a sort of very roundabout way, and he has not directly asked me out. Nor has he ever paid me any compliments about my appearance. He initiates communication with me sometimes, which suggests some level of desire to stay connected, but… Oh well, I’m not going to analyze. My ways of understanding a man’s interest are 1) that he finds a way to let me know that he finds me attractive and 2) he asks me out. So, unless or until these items are met, I have little to work with.
So there’s me, probably in the friend zone again, because I am understanding and accepting of others and I genuinely believe it’s okay to be where you are. And if not ready is where he is…well, then, there’s not a lot I can do about that. No matter how freakin’ fabulous I am — and regardless of how fun that naughtiness I have in mind is gonna be!
I think the “current state” thing about me that excites me most is a little incident that occurred at a party last weekend. I was out with friends I rarely see, all of whom went to college together. (We do not share this alma mater.) I sat next to the usual guy, whose wife was otherwise engaged, and we caught up while chatting with another couple. After it had been established that we were not “together” (no funny business here, folks), we chatted about the last year of my life — divorce, turning forty, quitting my job.
After a while, the wife (of the other couple) observed, “You seem like you’re in a very good place. You’re not completely healed, there’s still a little bit of something there…but you’re doing well.”
Why a complete stranger would say something like this to me, and why it would mean something, is a mystery. Yet it was a gift. I needed to hear that, yeah, I’m still a bit of a freak show (or hot mess, however you prefer to put it), but healing is a journey and it’s nice to hear that, at least by appearance, I’m nearly there.
And I guess maybe that it’s because I’m not fully, completely ready to meet someone special that I can be okay with an intriguing guy being unready and just leave things alone. As much as I’d like to go out and play, I don’t want to mess things up. And if he gets ready and still has no interest in me…well, I’ll have to get okay with that, too. But I’m strong enough to manage. After all, I’m nearly healed.