I’ve been wondering lately how the hell I’m ever going to attract a decent guy into my life. I mean, I’ve dated a bit, but it’s been quite a parade of misfits I’ve wasted my precious nights off with.
So, I’ve resolved that no sane man will enter into a serious relationship with a forty-ish, single-ish mother of two who’s technically still married.
I hate to admit that for all of my toiling and deliberating as to when to finally end this limbo and file for divorce, the final straw has been looking in the mirror that my hapless suitors have held up for me. This is what I’m attracting? And while I’d like to blame the guys, I can’t. I’m a decent catch without all of this chaos, but with it, I’m an adventure of sorts (translation- huge liability).
Despite my desperate state, I did have the wherewithal to turn down one of the most asinine offers I’ve ever received. I’d been cautiously dating a demonstratively affectionate but flaky actor over the span of a year (it took me a loooong time to agree to go out with him for obvious reasons). Basically, he’s pretty wounded from his own divorce and doesn’t think he can be in a monogamous relationship. BUT, he loves me, wants to be with me, is attracted to me. I explain multiple times that I am not into open relationships. So, after about a month of ruminating, this poor sap calls me to makes me an offer … what if he “takes care of” me? “Like really really well?” No kidding. I’m in my early forties and I’m getting an offer to be kept? By a man who’s a few years older than me and suitable dating material in every discernible way? What the hell? I calmly explained in explicit detail precisely what does not work for me about being part of his harem. After that surreal phone call, I laughed by myself for a few minutes and wondered if I should spin this into the ultimate compliment or another humiliating smack down.
It shouldn’t matter. I knew from the start this dude was not my guy. But it did matter. It was one more man who had managed to baffle me into total confusion and paranoia.
So, I’ve taken a break. Off of men. I’m focusing exclusively on my kids and my divorce and my future. No men. No men. No men.
But, I’ve been looking. I can’t help it.
Tonight, I was at Whole Foods and brought my younger son along with me to get him out of his older brother’s hair. This young son happens to be super tall and as we stood in the meat section, I said to him, “could you please stop growing, you’re making me look short?” He answered, “you are short.” Just beyond his cute little mug a grey haired, good looking guy came into focus. He had clearly overheard our banter and was cracking a mild grin. Alarm bells rang and my inner slut cried, “Get your flirt on!! Now, do iiiiiiit!” I wrapped my arm around my boy and thought, “there’s no fucking way. I have to let this one go, dammit.” The guy shot me a few flirtatious looks. Why?? Wasn’t he turned OFF by my being a mother? Was he a pedophile? WTF? I was glad I was at least wearing clean clothes and mascara. But why? What the hell was I gonna do with this guy? I moved along and went on to argue with my boy over whether cookies and kettle corn are both desserts.
Finally, at the check out, who saunters up and lands right behind us in line? Mr. Cute, Apparently Available, Overtly Interested, Potential Pedophile (but probably not). I engaged in my usual playful repartee with the check out guy, but with an extra dose of wit for my prospective future husband’s amusement. And he did smile. But with my boy smack in between us, what move could he make? I sure as shit couldn’t come on to some guy in the market with my kid in tow (not that I make a habit of picking up guys anyway).
Yeah, it went kind of like this, except my kid was with me and I never actually interacted with the guy.
Once we’d loaded our groceries into the car, I glanced to my left and saw my lost love heading toward his Lexus. And that was it. As I drove, I pretended to listen to my son as he rattled off the latest school gossip. We were on our way home. Home, where I would make dinner and where the ex would be stopping by to visit with his kids and as it turned out, eat the food I cooked while sitting at the table I’d set.
And, as I watched my boys eat a proper supper with their father at home at the dinner table (this was a rare occurrence even when we were “together”), I remembered my station in life at the moment. And I remembered that the guy at Whole Foods is still out there. And he noticed me. And assuming he wasn’t a pedophile, he appeared to be a decent catch. And there are probably more decent catches who will notice me and go a further step in asking me out when I don’t have my kid(s) with me.
So, I’m back on track. Divorce. Get divorced. Do the nitty gritty icky brutal work of getting divorced and then … maybe then, I can step out in the world and attract someone who reflects the me that I’m hopefully en route to becoming.
Damn, I love Whole Foods.
Do your thing. Protect yourself and your kids. Be honorable. And flirt-the-fun-fantastic and enjoy it, I say.
As for being kept, I’m smiling my own little Mona Lisa smile. When I was 26, a gentleman in NY wanted to “keep” me. He was a very nice man, very smart, and I liked him. He was also 76 at the time, best I recall.
As I find I have more conventional inklings in some areas than I thought, I politely declined.
To my surprise, another gentleman offered to keep me (he used different words) – but only “occasionally” and on his own very odd terms. I was in my late 40s as was he. Smart as hell (I like that), but a strange bird. Again, I declined.
There was another instance about a year later (50! Go figure!), and the man was delightful, but again, in his 70s and with a few medical issues. He was quite persistent which ultimately was extremely irritating. Some of us just aren’t the “keeping” kind.
Of course, I often look at the hours I work and the pay I bring home, the credit card bills and the furrow between my brows, and like any good French courtisane, I recognize that eventually I’m unlikely to get any offers of this sort. And then I think I ought to have my head examined.
But I rather like owning myself. I suspect you do, too.
Whole Foods is kiiiiiling me…I’m going to have buy a farm and grow my own food (would cost me less to do so).
As for the offers to be kept, when I was young it kind of made sense when a seventy-something year old would consider going to such lengths. But a contemporary? That’s just…flattering? Insulting? Odd?…I don’t know what.
Despite the impending financial and emotional strain, I’m not the “keeping” kind either.
Thanks again for your input!! So happy to have you here.
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