My good gal pal Big T joined me for yoga this morning. As we rolled our mats out and sat cross-legged before class began, she spotted a tall, slender, sliver-haired, pleasant faced man in the row ahead of us wearing a trendy LuluLemon zip top and shorts. “Wow, who’s that?” she asked in the way one does when they spot a rare bird on the plains of the high desert.
Now let me begin by saying that there are plenty of nice looking, well dressed and beautifully coifed men in our town–but the vast majority don’t play for our team as they say. Big T’s eyes sparkled at having spotted a potential suitor; it almost made me laugh.
“Oh, that’s Dr. Ben,” I said. “When he first came to yoga, the teacher tried to fix me up–she talked to him about his kids and grandkids, all the while telling me that I had to get to class and see this guy. So the week before the big meet and greet, Dr. Ben says to the teacher during a casual conversation, “Oh, that happened after I came out.”
Stunned, the teacher asked, “Like, came out west to live?” He smiled. Clearly there had been a misunderstanding. “After I divorced and came out as a gay man,” he said with a laugh.
Big T’s eyes lost a little sparkle. “Damn,” she said. “Yep,” I answered. “And to make it hurt even worse, he’s a retired OB/GYN, and knows his way around the block–even wrote a book on menopause!!” Double damn.
In reality, every one of my single peeps and I talk a good game about dating, having a fling or just going out to dinner with a guy who’s not looking over our shoulder at the young, pouty-mouthed waiter at the next table. But if each of us ever found one, how would these men really fit into our very full and fulfilled lives? The answer is that it’s complicated.
For me, having married and raised a family while taking someone else’s wants and desires into account daily, it is absolutely freeing to answer to–no one. I’m not alone in that feeling–every woman I know who loves her family also loves an occasional vacay away from them. Now when I think about what I want for dinner, it may be a bowl of cereal and a perfectly chilled glass of Sauvignon blanc on the side if it’s been a long day. No dog to walk, no plants to water (my HOA does that for me, thank god), no negotiation over Chinese or Italian take out, no push and pull over the tv remote. Do I occasionally feel lonely? Of course I do, and as I’ve said before, sometimes that longing for a partner is palpable. But would I give up my current world just to be in a relationship? Never.
A beautiful redhead recently moved to my neighborhood, and she has the best of both worlds–living apart together, she calls it. Her monogamous beau lives on the coast in his own home, and at least a week or two a month, he either comes to the desert to her home, or she drives over to his. What’s not to like about that? When he’s not here, she’s busy on a tennis court, or going to concerts with girlfriends or doing whatever, whenever the mood strikes.
I think of my friend PR who says, “How can I miss you if you never go away?” There’s something to that in my book.
So my plan is to keep living my fabulous life, filled with a new board obligation that supports the arts and culture in my town, to keep sipping margaritas with the boys, and having chat-filled, leisurely dinners with my girls. Travel plans are forming to escape the intensity of summer’s wrath, and I continue to add touches to my new home that say, “Linda lives here.”
She sure does.
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