Every year, I am aware of Valentine’s Day in all it’s candy coated stickiness.
I lost interest in this “special day” sometime around grade 4 when we had to go around the classroom depositing our store-bought Bugs Bunny or Scooby Doo valentine cards into cut-out heart shaped envelopes lining the room. I remember a vast sea of red hearts and shaped doilies with our names plastered in front in large magic marker letters. It was always so contrived and mean. Some envelopes were full to overflowing and others were empty – well, empty except for my contributions as I always made sure I had enough Valentine’s Cards for everyone in the class. Beyond that, I found the idea that someone my age would love someone else my age “that way” ridiculous! I admit, I did enjoy the break from the monotony that was class time.
Not much has changed! Though now the kids pay for singing telegrams and more expressive displays of undying adolescent love and affection.
Am I a cynic? No. A cynic doesn’t believe. I do. I believe there is a Valentine out there for me, he simply hasn’t revealed himself. Yet.
I have been asked by no less than THREE people this week to write out what I want in a partner AND release my desires to the universe. So, here, the most “romantic” day of the year, are my hopes for my forever-man:
MY FOREVER MAN LIST
My only physical request: tall and wide. Tall enough and wide enough to make me feel small-ish. Specifically, that means over 6’1″ and broad shouldered. Though, if allowed, I’d appreciate dark hair, or once dark hair, even if it is now thinning or gray or gone and light eyes. Just cuz.
Someone who is smart enough to be self-depreciating but knows his own self worth, and recognizes mine.
Someone who loves his children, appreciates their mother; and, still has room in his heart for me and my children.
Someone who enjoys cooking, or cleaning. One or the other would be wonderful. Both? Spectacular!
Someone who does not smoke, drink to excess or engage in roving. Okay, the occasional drink and cigar – with buddies, on the deck … roving is a deal breaker.
Someone who will hold me through tears and not think me weak or manipulative; I am neither.
Someone who will encourage me to be the best me I can be and appreciate when I cheerlead for him.
Someone who is well-read but not pretentious, who can be impressive with his ability to pull a quote out of his nether regions without looking like a complete dickwad. Smarter than me would be a plus. I appreciate anyone who is my intellectual equal or superior, in a gentle way. Luckily, it’s been my experience that with great smarts comes great humour. He must have a quick and dry sense of humour.
Someone with a deep, rich, melodic voice and genuine laugh. Resonance is good.
Someone who is as comfortable at the neighbourhood hang-out as an uptight holiday dinner with my family.
Someone who has an independent income.
Someone who is tidy – not a slob, not fastidious, just someone AWARE of where he put his things – and then puts them away.
Someone who is more of an extrovert to balance my introvert tendencies. Drag me out of the house man, please!
Someone who is happy to spend a weekend watching The Masters or the Wimbledon Finals or Stanley Cup or the weekend before Superbowl (it’s really the weekend before the weekend before that has the good games!)
Someone who is aware of his sexual interests, proclivities, fantasies, desires AND fully able to express them. Got it. My wheelhouse, baby.
Someone who is handy around the house. Light not working? Fixed. Faucet leaks? Fixed.
Someone who is comfortable in his own skin, he’s done the hard work needed to know and accept who he is and why he is and is happy with the result. Someone done with the drama and games. He needs to be authentic and willing to be vulnerable.
Someone who is aware that the world does not revolve around him. Love and respect is earned not demanded. And goes out of his way, in a confident manner, to earn the love and respect of those I love an respect.
Someone who will accept, respect, enjoy and love me at my essence. My messy, high-strung, story-filled, independent, needy, tear-stained, snorting with laughter, authentic, honest, irreverent, swearing, love-filled self.
What goes without saying, so I’m saying it: I will meet someone half way. I just want a someone to be here.
(Thanks to my friend, technically my 5th cousin, Bill, who read over my list and contributed one brilliant change – then two, and three! I am blessed and grateful to have him back in my life.)
What precipitated this post?
A few weeks back, I was given a golden opportunity to fill the “man” hole in my life (ha ha!). The price was too high – or low – depending on your perspective.
Out of the blue, one of the boys I dated in university sent me a note to give him a call. Over the next couple of days, I mulled it over and finally decided it wouldn’t hurt to give him a call. I sent him a note asking a good time and he declared “NOW”. It was a Friday evening, I was sitting in the family room with teens and pup. Once fortified with a glass of wine, I called. Three hours later I put down the phone.
To sum it up: he finds himself in an unhappy marriage and I was the one that got away. More than a few times he repeated how I would have been so good for him. He was full of flattery and fond memories of my sexy sassy self of 1983. Enough to make my head spin a bit. He is coming to town next month and would I meet him?
Let me think about it.
And I did. I thought about it a lot.
Over the next few days there were emails that started of as titillating and ended up being plain immature. I believe at one point he made a particular request and my response was to suggest he look up a 1-800 number that provided that particular service. It’s not that I’m unable to do that, but to me that it an intimacy shared between two people in a relationship – we are not.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no prude, not by any stretch. Probably the one thing I excelled at in my youth was sex: adventurous, fun, exploratory, hot, flexible, unbridled lust followed by satisfied exhaustion. There was no time or space for patience or longing. Then I realized, he is still the boy of that time. He is still that boy and I am simply not that girl anymore. In fact, I am that girl now with layers and layers of life experience who is no longer willing to settle.
Combine that reality with my new position at the top of my list and BOOM. New perspective. Within this little detour, I found myself. My truth. My worth. Courage to find and use my voice:
“I’m glad you’re coming up to Toronto and I’d love to see you! If you weren’t married I’d probably screw your brains out. And then do it again. But, I am not ready to be a soft place to land, an excuse, a delay tactic. I lived in a miserable marriage and never stepped out of it even with plenty of opportunity – I’ll not be the “other person” on the end of that equation either. I haven’t been single and modelling stellar behaviour for my four kids only to be a bit player in your life – anyone’s life. Nor can I provide any guarantees. I do know I’m worth more than what I’ve had and I’m willing to wait for the big honest authentic love that has eluded me. Who knows, I may find it when I’m 98, but I know it’s there and I’m willing to wait – more, longer, still.”
This got me to thinking.
What do I want?
Funnily enough, my life coach (yes, life coaches have life coaches) had the same question and suggested I use my blog as a good opportunity to send a list out to the universe, a la Sally Owen’s list in Practical Magic. I had done this once before, but I wasn’t in the right space. I didn’t have the time or interest in inviting any more chaos and complication in my life. Time changes many things! I would welcome this kind of complication.