MY LIFE STORY, from beginning to end

MY LIFE STORY, from beginning to end

In the year 2050, I became this meme on Spacebook.  Here’s why.

Age 0. I was born.

Age 7. My dad died. His heart stopped. My heart broke. My family broke.

Age 8-17. Survival mode training 101, Part 1. 

Just add tequila.

Age 18-25. Survival mode training 101, Part 2. 

Had husband. Had miscarriage. Had lots of tequila.

Age 25-41. Got rid of tequila. Got new husband.

I got a  starter survival toolbox.  Some items included: 1-family of choice, 1-Blue Book, 1-Higher Power.

Read some tools, practiced some tools, lost some tools, misused some tools, lacked some tools.

Age 42-55. Put main toolbox in the garage. Got some tools out on occasion. Usually between kid’s events, bouts with cancer, mother’s funeral and Modern Family episodes.

Added second toolbox. Included brightly colored paint, some joy, furniture, brushes. Kept this one in the house.

Age 55. Life and my immediate family, as I knew it for 26 years, blew up all over the living room. 

Main toolbox found, under the rubble. Second toolbox proved to be a lifesaver.

Age 56-60. Did not die. Learned how to live. Took a minute. Got out the main toolbox. Added more books, more family of choice. Upgraded Higher Power. Added the Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of to my second toolbox. Used frequently.

Age 60-62. Got a wake-up call that I am gonna die. Don’t know how long I have. Estimate just under 30 years.

Found open door to a road less traveled. Walked through the door. Drove down the road. Led me to the beach. Brought both toolboxes. Put in the front seat for safety, like eggs and bread.

The main toolbox got upgrade. New Red Book added. New family adopted. Higher Power got another upgrade.  

Realized Higher Power has their shit together. And I am not far behind.

(Coming up)

Age 62-64 Continued using toolboxes. Got rid of tools that no longer worked. Upgraded to new and improved tools as more was revealed. Leaned into love. Burned fear in effigy. Surprised myself.

Age 64-90 Continued waking up with direct access to salt water and sunshine. Adapted toolbox and lifestyle to fit each other. Continued to upgrade and maintain Higher Power connection. Like electricity. Paying the bill by fully expressing my gifts and sharing. Wrote one kickass book. Or twelve. Won award for most fun grandmother in the history of time. Lost award for most humble grandmother of all time.

Let myself be love. 

Let myself be loved. 

Let myself be.

Hashbrowns and Hurricanes-Sunday Brunch and Parking Lot Church

Hashbrowns and Hurricanes-Sunday Brunch and Parking Lot Church

(The edge of Hurricane Ida-Miramar Beach, Florida)

It was Saturday, August, 30th, 2021. 16 years to the day since Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana.  New Orleans was bracing and preparing for another weather event. The onslaught of Hurricane Ida and all of her wrath, bringing record breaking 174 mile per hour winds as she made landfall in the Big Easy over Sunday Jazz brunch. 

Four hours east, I was in my happy place-Miramar Beach, Florida, bracing and preparing for a second day to put in extra hours as a volunteer at the beach that I love, looking out over the stunning waters of the Emerald Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Ida had something to say to us too. And I was all ears.

When I volunteer, I wear my blue shirt, nametag and whistle. I proudly serve Walton County on Miramar Beach, one of the busiest stretches on the 26 mile strip protected and served by the county personnel. At the height of the season, it is not unusual to see 3000 plus in a space less than a mile wide.

I feel led to volunteer on the days when they fly two red flags signifying water closed to the public. Sadly, there have been people who go in the water anyway on these days and some of them go home leaving something behind-their life.

When I see a person heading into the water, it is my training to blow a whistle, wave them out and when I am able, tell them why. I follow the lifeguards who ride their ATV’s ahead of me, telling people to get out of the water. Often, the people get right back in once the lifeguard drives on. I want to support these brave first responders, hoping that my efforts may help to keep them from having to risk their young lives unnecessarily to save someone who has no respect for their own. “The water is closed. The county policy is that you must be on dry sand.” I have said this hundreds of times. Some adhere. Some get angry. In all cases, I do what I can to educate, sharing that it is for their safety and that I appreciate that they came to go in the water, but that it is unsafe. This beach saw over a dozen drownings in spring and summer of this year alone. 

In many cases, people protest. But when I say to them that the sheriff writes tickets for anyone in wet sand on these days to the tune of $500 a head, that often gets their attention. When the idea of dying does not.

It is also my training that once I have informed them, should they turn and go into the water, I must take their picture, note their description, the time and the place they went in to submit to the authorities and send it in so that if they wash up later, they will know where they went in.

I say that I prepared and braced myself for my days because when I do not and people get angry, I sometimes react with the same. Or allow my feelings to be hurt. And that makes my soul hurt. So this weekend, I made an intentional effort to handle myself differently because I have control of my response. Each day, I did my usual prayer and mediation. I  saw myself wearing a virtual teflon suit and added that I was going to look for the good in everyone and be mindful that hurting people hurt people and none of it was about me. It was and is ALWAYS about them. Kids wanna swim. Dad paid good money. The family is disappointed. I was determined to have a great time.  

The extreme weather energizes me. I spent most of my life in tornado seasons, going out to lay in the grass and watch the green Oklahoma skies, in their eerie dead silence before I would take shelter. There is an energy in that silence that is magnificent and palpable. 

On this hurricane weekend, if they could have flown four red flags, it would have been fitting. Because these were angry storm surge waters. Part of the hurricane. These were Ida’s outer bands. Sunday was like an all day concert. Only the headliner played first. At our venue, one band would rain for a few minutes, then take a break while the next band set up their 30 mph horizontal wind gusts and lightning and thunder machines. Not the kind of festival you would scream for an encore, but for me, it was just as exhilarating. Nature at its most spectacular. Showing its prowess in the form of eight foot storm surge and winds that blew wet sand so hard that my lips were chapped and swollen. Slapping the beach all the way to the dunes. Saying no to the offering of a place for a beach goer to rest their head in the sand.

The parking lots are above the beach. There are stairs that lead down to the sand. I migrated up and down the stairs, blowing my whistle from above the beach, making hand signals to those in the water, waving them out, giving thumbs up to those who heeded me. The rails up top were crowded. A few dozen families looked on as the waters beat up the sand. Several cars had Louisiana plates driven by people who looked vacant and shell shocked when I spoke to them. “I have no idea what I am going home to. Or if I will even have one.” Some were sleeping in their vans. Changing babies in the parking lot. My heart broke for them. I made my way up and down through the crowd, connecting with those who were receptive. It was a great sense of community. No one cared about politics, religion or world events. We were all fully present. Like kids in the bodies of kids and adults, sharing the bond of shock and awe to the spectacle before us.

I was feeling joy in the midst of it when I walked by a beautiful late model sapphire blue Mercedes Coupe. It was loaded. Top open to a brown buckskin leather interior and its driver as the bands were breaking from their showers.   “Can I valet park that for you?” I said playfully. The driver smiled big, as if he was excited to have someone engage him. He had other things on his mind I would soon learn. “This is my blessing!” He exclaimed, referring to his car. I replied with equal enthusiasm. “You know it’s funny. We could all enjoy this kind of abundance if we just allow ourselves to receive it.” It was as if he was deep in his thoughts and me showing up was such a reprieve.

Again, the look on his face, while he said little, spoke volumes. We were connecting. My soul and his.  Like that intention I had set to see the good in everyone was happening. I continued. “My affirmation today was that I was thankful for my abundance. And that there is enough money, enough time and enough love.” Again, he appeared to be moved.  I added, “And I notice that the birds don’t have 401 K plans.” My way of saying,  “If the birds needs are met, who are we to think ours won’t be?” He got me. It was like church. He said, “I am from New Orleans and I came here to shelter for a couple of days before I know what to do next.” He sounded a little defeated.  It struck me at that moment that we are all the same. That nature respects no person. No demographic. We may look different. Have different gifts. Different containers. Different beliefs. But in that moment, I saw the sameness in all of us. “I am a rapper. Would you please share that affirmation with my followers on my instagram LIVE?” “Sure.” With hair standing straight up like metal shavings to a magnet from the winds, I looked into his phone and said, “There is enough money, enough time, enough love.” And then our part of church let out and I moved on with my whistle. 

He was my blessing.

Anti Social Media-My Recent Experience with Facebook and Online Dating

Anti Social Media-My Recent Experience with Facebook and Online Dating

Destin, Florida February 2021

I am sitting on my couch on a Monday afternoon. It is raining outside here in Florida. 70 degrees.  It is March 1st. I don’t know why I am writing but I am. I am binge watching the same Netflix show of seven seasons that I first began in October as a way to cope with so much alone time during this pandemic isolation. I am at the end of season seven for the fourth or fifth time, I have lost track. It is called Offspring, a show complete with hot Aussie men, a dysfunctional family, sunshine, laughter and tears and quite alot of wit and poignancy, but I got bored after sleeping through an episode or so, so here I am typing away. 

I was feeling lonely and started to do what I used to do which was look to social media to fill the void. I got as far as my Facebook page, where I updated my profile picture, knowing that by so doing, I could get some likes and loves and maybe if I am lucky, some comments. Those are the brass ring you know. I mean, anyone can hit a like or a love but an actual comment. Someone actually ambulating their fingers and going to the trouble to make words out of letters, well, that just feels so…empty really. In the long run. Because this is what happens next, for me, and this is the reason that I have abstained almost entirely from Facebook since the middle of December.

Now, I have set myself up for more loneliness, not less. Because now, I have a choice to make. I can go back to my Facebook to see if anyone has seen my new picture and then see if I have had any likes or comments. And then I can spend time living in my head wondering if certain people I find attractive have seen my picture. Or, whether friends have missed me or not. In the past, it inevitably ended up with entire evenings lost in scrolling, reading posts, being outraged at some, tickled at others, touched by a couple of memes, but ultimately coming away feeling spent, tired and MORE lonely than when I signed on and those hours spent scrolling are never coming back to me. Because I have used something outside of me to try and fill me up, when what I am actually doing is abandoning myself in the process.

Social media!?! It really isn’t social at all. At least not in my “I live alone in Pandemia and I am single” experience. Because since the time I have left Facebook, I have only heard from a small handful of the over 1400 friends on my account. Admittedly, there are probably about half of those who are only friends for business reasons. We have a code where we friend each other and then like each other’s business pages to grow those business pages and hopefully grow those businesses. Facebook algorithms give business pages more exposure when they show a higher number of followers and fans.

I am not judging or criticizing any of those people who I have not heard from. It is a two way street. Just observing my behavior that leads nowhere good.

The view from my window

Today, I decided to do something different. I know people who say that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insane behavior. And I want to feel better, not worse. So that is why I am telling on myself here because who knows, maybe I am not alone in my behavior. Wouldn’t it be ironic if by posting this story on the social media apparatus of my WordPress blog page people relate and take some kind of comfort in knowing that they are not weak or flawed or unloveable, all feelings I have had today backed by the gray rainy sky that blocks my solar mood altering sun from me. 

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of Covid 19 taking life as we knew it, and hermetically sealing it, or in some cases, us in, leaving REAL social interaction in some cases potentially dangerous to our health. I am so thankful that I have remained well from that sickness. 

The sickness I have had has been loneliness. Actually, loneliness is not a sickness, but I have some shame admitting mine. My response to my loneliness at times, is seen by some as sick behavior. I am just going to call it learned behavior. The other social media that I have gone to at times looking for something outside of me to make me feel less lonely is online dating sites. While I do have a valid desire for a loving romantic partnership, I have a pattern there. I start out telling myself that I can do so in moderation. Just sign up for one app, only check it every so often, maintain balance in the rest of my life and before I know it, weeks go by, four dating sites are downloaded on my phone, hours of my nights spent scrolling through pictures of men looking for…something outside of myself to fill my void, entertain me or take away my pain. There have been several dates. First and last, all in ones. I can’t believe I am admitting this on paper, but truth is the only way for me. And the truth is that I don’t want to feel discomfort or grief or loss or boredom for that matter and these are things in me asking to be felt.

I have a support network in place set to catch me when I need to be comforted as I purge losses that I have distracted from in any number of ways. TV, food, shopping, men, women, your life, world news. It is far more exhausting to distract at this point than it is to just sit with the feelings and let them come out. But I still fight just holding still.

I am having to unlearn some bad advice, or better described, “programming” I have subjected myself to for a very long time and took to be gospel truth.  For many years, I have heard the terms, “fake it til you make it,” and “act as if”- two of the worst bits of advice given by people who don’t know what else to say when someone is really in need of dealing with some really uncomfortable feelings. Advice typically given by people who can’t be with their own uncomfortable feelings, so it just trickles down like a bad infection to many unwitting eager for relief listeners. I tried it. It doesn’t work.

For me, it only caused me to believe that I was somehow flawed for having anger or fear or grief or loneliness. And I have them all. At some point or another. Because I am human. I still have shame even writing this here. But I want to be over this. 

So as of this moment, I am not cruising Match.com or Bumble or Tinder or Hinge or Plenty Of Fish, which, by the way goes by POF.com and would be better named POFFOT.com, (plenty of fish floating on top.com), and yet I go there. Desperate. But I want to bring a more whole me to whatever relationship I have coming, which I sometimes trust the Universe is preparing for me.

To be fair to me, and to anyone out there, I don’t bring a healed person to the table, so I am going to do some more of that before I get out there again and I really hope that I allow my daily walk of life to be the source of people I date because online dating leaves me spent. And not in the sweaty, fun way. I rationalize going there by saying “It is hard to meet people out in the world” which I find to be true, but I also find meeting people who I have anything in common with online to be difficult as well. Maybe more so than if I just give it up and see what happens. At the store. At the beach. Who knows. Clearly, I don’t and my way certainly isn’t working.

Honestly, I don’t feel like I am very available right now. I tell myself and others that I want a meaningful relationship and I do. But if I am completely honest with myself, I don’t have a lot to bring to the table right now and I don’t want to lose myself in someone else or use their attention as a distraction for feelings that I am trying to avoid. That is not fair to them. And not good for anyone. Just writing that here is scary because it means getting more intimate with me.

So that is where I will be. Hanging out with friends, open to timing other than mine to fulfill that heart’s desire because I have done nothing but wear myself out, lead people on, lie to myself and spin my wheels. I have caught myself saying “he’s a game player.” “He’s unavailable.” “He’s all talk.” That all may be true, but guess what? I am the common denominator. The laws of attraction are at play here and that tells me that these things are all true of me too, or else why am I attracting this type of man, so I am stepping back.

In the meantime, I have art to create, words to write, a one eyed cat who needs and gives love, a beach to comb, sun to soak up and being to do.

Eclipse-Pandemic Passion Requited (Almost)

Eclipse-Pandemic Passion Requited (Almost)

“ECLIPSE”

verb

 1.

(of a celestial body) obscure the light from or to (another celestial body).

noun

1.
an obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer or between it and its source of illumination.
“an eclipse of the sun”

2.
a brand of chewing gum.

I met him on a Saturday night. I was home watching a movie when I swiped right and so did he.

I was stunned by him because he was 20 years my junior and while I have often found men in their forties attractive, this was the first time one had indicated they were attracted to me. I have to say, that while I get more years as I breathe more days in a row, my spirit is getting younger and my libido is one of a teenager who had unrequited hormonal expression because that is my reality.

Most of my friends were having sex in high school and I was off somewhere wondering what that was all about. No one was endorsing me to explore my sexuality when I was younger. And what was modeled for me was done by my mother, a widow who got her sexual needs met inappropriately with strangers and married men.

From high school forward, I struggled to find a way to show up for a sex life. It was excruciatingly frustrating. I had to get good and drunk the first time I had sex at 21 and got pregnant right out of the gate. I had a brief marriage to him, while the child was lost to miscarriage.

From that point on, I was very attractive and painfully shy, a lethal combination which presents itself at 5’10” to some as being disinterested or unavailable, both of which could not have been further from the truth. There was one brief fling with a man 10 years my senior that took care of a long dry spell sexually, but it was not unusual for me to go years at a time with no sex life.

For my adult prime years from age 30 to 55, I prostituted myself for the house and the yard to someone I never had any sexual chemistry with. Ever. We didn’t even consummate our marriage on our wedding night and for the last six years of our marriage, we slept in separate bedrooms.

My swipe right connection struck me as different when in his exchange he actually used the words “I’m lonely.” 

That was so refreshing to me. A man who can own his feelings. Not something I have seen much in my time of latent dating which began at divorce and age 55. 

I have been shamed after telling some of the people in my life when I am feeling lonely. “You just need to love yourself.” “When you truly love yourself, you will no longer feel lonely.” “You just need to get good at being with you.” These comments, usually uninvited, come from people who are not alone. They have a relationship with a significant other-a husband, a wife, a partner, a lover.  Here’s what I say. Fuck them. And their unsolicited input.  

So I find myself living alone with this amazing woman. Tall, pretty, sexy, sensual and funny as hell and she wants to have a relationship with something that’s not purple and doesn’t require batteries.

We talked back and forth and the conversation was flowing nicely. Not once did he “go there.” There being where amateurs go getting graphically sexual before really knowing about each other. I had a friend once who said the ones who go to sex right out of the gate are princes and that it takes a king to know when that should be a part of the conversation. Personally, I prefer  the terms used by Javier Bardem’s character in the movie Eat Pray Love when Liz says she is sick of people telling her that she needs a man. “My dear, what you need is a champion.” Exactly.

The chat flowed nicely, when sometimes they don’t go past “Hi.”  “Hi.” He was fully present for getting to know you chit chat which went on for most of an hour until I told him I was calling it a day. He said goodnight back to my goodnight and I went to bed. 

When I woke up, he had messaged me saying it was his birthday. He then said, “May I call you?” A little thing, but the chivalry in that small gesture was so sweet to me. Especially from someone just 41 years old. When I answered the phone, he said “Hello Lucinda” in a voice that made me bend over silently saying to myself “oh my God” because it was so sexy. And I kept doing that throughout our short conversation. He asked me if I would like to go to lunch. I said yes, but I did not feel like travelling. His home is just over an hour from me so when I asked if he would come to me, he said sure. He also asked if I would be willing to travel to him if we decided to see each other. I said yes. I picked a beautiful restaurant with outdoor seating right on the beach of the Emerald green water on the Gulf of Mexico. The only thing between us and the water would be white crystal sands. It is stunning.

I made him a little birthday gift from the things I have to make art with. An old vintage military metal toy plane with the paint chipped off except it still had red, white and blue stars, one on each wing, and wheels that turned. He was a flight instructor for the Coast Guard and had shared that he had ambition to become a commercial airline pilot. (I didn’t have a commercial toy plane, so this one would have to do.) With that, I placed a red drink umbrella and a small glow in the dark star. I wrapped it up in crumpled silver tissue paper and tied it with a bow of plain string. I was really excited about this date with this guy. That was on a Sunday. 

Sadly, that lunch did not happen because his kids got dropped off a day early with no notice, so we had to delay our first meeting. 

On Monday, we planned a do over date. Same beachfront restaurant for lunch for a week from Monday, provided he was able to take the day off. He was travelling an hour to honor my request that we meet on my turf and frankly, I wanted to be close to home in the event that the passion and excitement we shared talking to each other proved to be there in person so that I could bring him home with me.That, and the scenery where I live is considered to be some of the prettiest beach in the world. What woman would not want that to be the background for a tryst with a young, healthy hot man!?!

On Wednesday I got a text asking me what I was doing. He said that he was rained out at work and would be off for the day until his kids came home from school. He asked if I’d like to meet for coffee which ended up becoming lunch and of course I said yes, excited that we had an opportunity to meet sooner. In the flesh.

We were both eager with excitement. So we decided on a halfway point, about 40 minutes drive for each of us, as he only had a few hours. We met at a restaurant. As I pulled in, I knew I was right behind his truck. Just being that close made me really excited. And we hadn’t even gotten out of our cars yet.

I was nervous, but I had already expressed that prior to meeting, telling him that I had not had a date in several months. “Don’t worry.” His words to me. And worry was not anywhere near me, as we hugged hello. He, in an oatmeal colored wool sweater, typical attire for someone in New England. None of that polyester knit. Just real sturdy wool. And he was that.

I carefully chose what I wore. A soft fitted olive heather green long sleeve tee shirt with a boat neck that showed my pretty neck and shoulders. That and some nicely fitting jeggings, open toed sandals revealing my multi colored mermaid manicure on my tanned pretty feet. They are magic so that when I get in the water, they allow me to swim for miles without coming up for air.

When he hugged me hello, I practically shoved his present into his hand. “Here, take this.” I was nervous. We walked into the restaurant and after surveying the place for a social distanced table where I felt comfortable with a lunch date during a pandemic, we parked our stuff at a table near the window where there were no people within well over the six foot guideline and went straight up to the counter to order. 

We stood there in line, and I felt like an adolescent, excited and stimulated to be standing next to him. If we had been magnets, we would have been stuck shoulder to shoulder, the attraction was that strong. I felt him scan my body up and down with those great big gorgeous green eyes as I looked on to order, sneaking a peek with my peripheral vision. And oh my God, did I hope he liked what he saw because for me the attraction was palpable. My next thought was “Please God, let this be mutual,” followed by, “and if it is, we may blow the top of the building of my third floor apartment on our upcoming date.”

I learned that his mother was from South America, his father from New England and that he himself had lived much of his life abroad, including much of his education prior to joining the Coast Guard for his career there. And let me tell you, this man was refreshing to me.  I could sense something in him that I am guessing came from his mother. A softness without shame or false bravado. And a passion that exuded from his saucer like big green eyes and face full of dimples that lit up when he smiled.

First, he opened his birthday present and as is my practice, I had to narrate and explain. I love to give gifts. “The plane is the best I could do to represent your ambition to be a commercial pilot. The umbrella is so that you won’t get a sunburn at the beach and the glow in the dark star is meant to serve as the symbol that all of the difficult things that are going on in your life right now will one day be in the rear view mirror. (He was about to finalize a difficult divorce, something I knew about first hand.) He thanked me, then devoured his lunch.

He leaned all the way across the table towards me, his broad, sexy shoulders all in, as he asked me about my art. I was literally taken aback, and I leaned back at this body language that seemed to indicate an interest in my answers and the one who was giving them. 

It bears mention at this point to say that this experience was happening in the midst of a pandemic that had a year under its belt which for me, as an extrovert, has been something of a challenge with the forced isolation that comes with prudent concern for health. I had just begun to add back certain things to my life that pre covid didn’t seem like a luxury. I went to my first movie in nearly a year. The theatre only had about seven people in it, yet the experience was almost a sensory overload as I have adapted to all of my movies at home with my one eyed cat Atlas. And as for eating at restaurants, that was newly added back too so just seeing people out, albeit in sparce numbers as if picking up the pieces of a social life after an apocalypse seemed new and strange.

Distracted by his everything, I suddenly forgot how to talk, and as I fumbled for words like “paint” and “pictures” and “I like to,” I told him I didn’t think I was describing my art very well. “You are doing fine.” His words to me as the thoughts I wasn’t sharing were the fact that his strong folded hands that led to his wrists with dark and gray hair that led up his sleeves to his broad forearms that went up his sleeves to his broad shoulders, which were aimed right at me made it hard for me to think.

He was done with his food, smiling at how good his steak sandwich and french onion soup was. He had boasted “I’m hungry!” upon meeting and all I could think was me too. Famished for human touch. Specific to that of a man. I had hardly touched my food. I struggled with how to manage all of the sensations. Hunger, lust, chemical explosion and the sound of his voice. “How do I work the straw in my drink?” was just one of my concerns at that moment.

I wondered, did he feel what I felt, so in the middle of someone’s sentence, I have no idea whose, I said, “So how do you think this date is going?” followed by, “I think you are really cute and I am very attracted to you.”

His response at first was to smile simultaneously with his big eyes and his pretty mouth, as if I had tickled him. Then, he leaned in, looked at me and softly said in that bend me over voice, (wait, I almost forgot where I was, because I was reliving the moment-sorry.) He was looking at me so I was looking back and his big green eyes and my big blue eyes were making some serious big turquoise when he spoke the words “You are a very pretty woman and I find you very attractive.” I had no options but to be with that feeling of being washed over by the sound of him.  That loses something in black and white, so I will describe the experience or the feeling that I had when he spoke. It was as if we were the only ones there and if my side of the mutual chemistry that had just been confirmed could have spoken, it would have said, “Crawl across this damn table and ravage me right now.”

Instead, since there were other people there and getting naked in public is frowned upon here in Florida, we reviewed how much time we had left before he had to be home for his kids to come home from school,  so I suggested we go for a walk.  

We went to a nearby park and walked along a path in the woods. We were shoulder to shoulder, I had borrowed a warmer jacket from him that he had in his truck and I was cozy next to him. He shared about his family, much like a young teenager on a date with raging hormones. He would be a freshman and I would be a senior, but as far as desire we were both honor students. We talked about playing tennis together. His voice even smiled when he shared about his plans to live on a lake in Maine, where his great great grandfather had worked in a lighthouse. Such a sweet man.

When we got back in his truck, he said “Should I take you back to your car?” I said, “I don’t know, how much time do you have before your sons get home?” He said he had about two hours. Taking me sounded good. However, to my car was not how I would complete that phrase.

At this point, the only contact we had had beyond the hug hello was brushing up against each other as we walked. Now, it was intentional. He reached over and gently took my hand, massaging one finger at a time. He had said he liked giving massages and he knew that my shoulder had been bothering me, so as awkward as it was with the console between us, he worked his way slowly up my arm. Then, he leaned in. And kissed the back of my neck. All of it. From one ear to the other. Just writing this makes me feel something. He asked if I would like to come to his house. I told him I wanted to have more time together the first time after which he said he had wanted to get a room with me. If only he had said that earlier.

We sat back in our seats as he asked me what I liked with a man as if to say what is your favorite color, intent in his listening to my reply. And I gave it. He told me what mattered to him. About how he liked to touch. And be touched. It was innocent and sweet and sensual and a bit erotic. “I think you should kiss me” I said, as he sat up in his seat. He was reaching for the gum in the console. Eclipse. I giggled nervously as he did so. He said he wanted a first kiss to be remembered as tasting good. So I grabbed some gum for me. And we kissed. His gum and mine were eclipsed by what was happening in the middle. And I wanted more of that. 

When he took me back to my car, a difficult conversation was had. I kissed him goodbye and I got in my car. I could feel his eyes watching me as I walked across to get in. We exchanged a wave and he drove off.

Two more days before what was to be the official first date. The one I so looked forward to as holding the possibility of an entire day enjoying each other publicly and privately. Instead, that difficult conversation continued and that date never happened because of it. There would be no next date from there.

And while I was sad, I was also rewarded by the entire experience. There was communication from the word go, honesty and thoughtfulness too. There was sexual tension fed by pandemic imposed touch starvation. And there was a younger man desiring an older woman who desired a younger man.

You see, while I have confidence, it is not constant and when it comes to affairs of the heart, I can sometimes be the last one to know that when I walk into a room, I am seen.  

I gave 26 years in the prime of my life to a man my age who I did not love that way and who did not love me that way. And now, I am ready to claim some of the sensuality and passion that never got expressed when it was meant to.

I work to trust the universe and my instincts and the laws of attraction with my heart to bring me the lover or lovers I am meant to have when I am meant to have them.  Since my marriage ended six years ago, I have had several experiences in relationships and in each case the relationship was more loving than the one before and if this progression is any indicator, I really have much to look forward to. In the meantime, I’ll just buy more batteries.

Out Of My Own Way

Out Of My Own Way

“Cindy” aka me

I woke up this morning from a dream. I don’t have them very often. At least I don’t remember them.

I was caring for someone’s child, about the age of two or three. The child, not me. Or was it? She bore a strong resemblance to me at that age.

In the dream, I was fully focused on my work. Nothing else. The task at hand to care for this child was my only focus. 

I was in a house. That felt like home. It had a bright living room with tall pane glass windows on both sides of a big white stucco fireplace. There were windows on all of the bright white walls.  With lots of sunlight filling the living room with warmth. I was alone with the child. Fully attentive to her needs. She had cherubic blond curls and big blue eyes.  

My heart desires romantic love, but my focus was no longer that. I was not thinking about a man. Of attracting a man. Of having a man. Of loving a man. Of a man loving me. Caring for this child was both fulfilling and enough.

I was minding my business and the door opened. And he walked in. I was surprised. Not expecting him. I was trying to process his arrival on the scene. I was thinking, “ Who is he? Why is he here? Should I be alarmed?” No one had informed me that he would be arriving to do his part of the work that there was to be done. In this home. Where I was a part of caring for the child that lived there.

In fact, I don’t really know who I was working for. There was never a person that represented that in the dream. But it was understood that both he and I had jobs to do for someone or something in the same home where I was caring for this child.

The man was earthy. Slightly taller than my frame of 5’10”. Raw, edgy, and real. Honest, too. There was no effort on my part. He just showed up. “You are a slim woman.” His first words to me. I felt immediately vulnerable. Apprehensive to hear the next words. Would he be objectifying me? Is he just about what he sees? He continues. “I like a slender woman.” As if to say, “I like pizza.” 

His frame was slender, and I could tell he had been through some storms in his life.  It was a feeling. And a knowing. And an edge. And a magnetism. “Good God.” Exactly that. The attraction was strong.

“Where are you from?” I asked. Observing him doing the task at his hand. Checking out his form. His arms. His hair. His shape. It was hard to see his face at this point. It appeared he had taken on a job for the same employer I had. Work of a handyman nature. I think he was working on the bottom step of the stairway to the upstairs. “Virginia.” Is what I heard in a voice that sounded older than he looked. It had a richness in its tone coupled with a rough edge. In the center it was deeper. Just like I was getting in by listening.

I was not able to get a good look at him all at once. Partly because I am shy at first and was afraid to look at him for very long. And partly because the dream only revealed his image to me a little bit at a time. And with that revelation, I really liked what I saw. He had the most beautiful black hair. The attraction was strong. Undeniable. And oh so mutual. 

I did nothing for his attention. And I had all of it anyway. He was fully in the moment. And so was I. It was electric. He wore a white t-shirt and jeans. The container of his body was attractive because he was in it. There was a magnetic thing happening. Hard to put into words. But it was strong. And unavoidable.

He began to ask about me. I don’t know what he said, because I was on sensory overload as the blur that had entered the door was starting to come into focus, his features gradually defining themselves. What he said was almost irrelevant because I felt as though he already knew everything about me anyway and was just making conversation because that is how we do it. 

His eyes were beginning to show themselves to me. They were piercing. Brown, very dark, with a glint that was in the shape of a smile. I just had to pause as I wrote to utter to myself, “Oh God.”  

The closer he got to me physically, I would say I knew I was in trouble. But I was not. It was right. And right on time. And I had nothing to do with it happening. I was completely out of the way. Which, historically, in romantic relationships, I had been a 100% initiator with 100% failure rate. Some call that kind of behavior insanity. Defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

He had something in his hands that played music I think. I’m not sure, because by now, he was in my space. And I was good with that. I had a sense of abandonment. Not concerned about boundaries. Or hula hoops. Or rules. “You don’t know him. You only just met. Are you crazy?” 

But I did know him. On a deep level. At my core. Almost instantly. Besides, when you are really crazy, you don’t know it. 

I had a hole in my sock. And I was embarrassed for a minute. That feeling was quickly replaced by the attention I was being showered with. Showers are good. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Oh my God.

This was not about sex. This was about love on a deep and spiritual level. And in spite of the many words in many languages that I have to choose from, there are none that would adequately describe the feeling of simply being in the room with him. When he touched me, all four of my other senses all but shut down. Without permission, I touched his gorgeous, thick black hair. It had only a few flecks of gray. It was rough to the touch. 

Coarse, but he was not. 

He was gentle. 

I am pausing again. Not sure if I want to share. 

I was no longer trying to attract a man. And one came anyway. Not because of me or anything I did. Or how good my hair looked. Or if I had on makeup. Or wore that cute polka dot sundress. Or if I was witty. Or articulate. Or said the right thing on my Match.com profile. I had nothing to do with it. 

When I get lonely, my friend tells me that I’m easy to love and that makes me happy and gives me hope.

This was a hard one to wake up from. But it strengthens my faith that there will be romantic love in my life again. And that I don’t have to do anything to earn it. 

I’ll just make caring for that little girl my full time job and leave the rest to God.