Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stealing A Piece of Time~ My Favorite Dates (Updated!)

My marriage lasted longer than it took the earth to form glaciers. Notice the icy comparison? Since I was a mere child when it began and a midlife child when it ended, I somehow understand the concept of slow-moving trains and the particular science of slow-dripping molasses onto waiting pancakes. It was a long moment. But I've had my share of patience lessons and refuse to ask for another one. Do you think God must have felt the same way while he labored and built the world from scratch, top to bottom, nurtured it, designed it, watered it....and then watched it fall apart with one swift bite of the proverbial apple?

That's what divorce feels like.

Mimi the Iceberg floated back into the dating scene at just the right time.

No more drippy syrup for me. Life has finally arrived and it is good. The last few years since my divorce I've met some fascinating people, some crazy people, and a few 'tweeners. I usually tell the guy upfront that I'm not sane to save him time. He always appreciates it in the end. Softens the blow when he discovers I'm a pretend Queen, own a dungeon, host online chat parties, my pseudonym is a pencil skirt and I really expect to save the world with little blue spinning globes.

I used to have a dating site profile which read "I'm not complicated."
I've since re-thought that theory.

Every person you meet, every relationship, good or bad, leaves an imprint on your life and psyche. I have been fortunate enough to have met some wonderful people in the past several years. In one way or another, they touched my life and helped me discover who I am and what I desire in a relationship. Even the painful departures held merit, pithy lessons they were, reasons to search out the sinew and fibre of Mimi Lenox, stepping stones, pitfalls, pyramids. Remarkably, none of my relationships ended bitterly. A couple started out that way but morphed into something else with time and care to my own soul. Some have ended sadly. Even dubiously. Some ended too soon. Others, not soon enough. But I have found that every man I chose to spend time with left a little something of himself in my heart that I'll always be grateful for.
For posterity, here are a few of my favorite dates and what I learned from them.

Charleston, South Carolina

We were there for the weekend as "friends" for his best friend's wedding. The night before the ceremony we found ourselves unexpectedly on a yacht in Charleston Harbor at a pre-nuptial party - in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Sunset. Wine. Love in the air and a spectacular sky. It was the oddest weekend I'd ever spent. Every single moment seemed to slow to a crawl. We were in a time warp. Needless to say, what started as friends became so much more and we dated for awhile after that. The whole weekend was oddly ordained really. The Art Museum, the Plantation tour, a carriage ride, a midnight swim, the wedding in a quaint white chapel, my first Tequila shot (never again) roaring laughter at my face after the Tequila, nine hours of non-stop conversation in the car, and the haunted graveyard. On the way home, we stopped at an outside cafe with a cobblestone terrace for lunch. We were sitting at a small round wrought iron table beside a trellis of flowers and twinkling white lights when suddenly, my date stopped in mid-sentence. "Look," he said. Within our reach, at eye-level, was a small blue bird that had decided to land on the trellis and simply watch us. To this day we are friends and he has gone on to a more serious connection with someone else. (The guy, not the bird)

There is a picture of us on the piazza below. I'm wearing a floppy white hat and a healthy respect for Tequila.

What did I learn from him?

Unexpected romance is the best kind.

It was lovely.

A Formal Rose Garden and a redheaded kisser

Our first date. Blind date. Our last date. But a memorable one. Summertime. Kissing in a gazebo to hide from a rain shower. Lunch at an outside cafe overlooking a beautifully maintained rose garden. Flirting through the thorns. Ouch! I never saw him again but it was a like stepping into a sacred place that afternoon.

What did I learn from him?

Thorns only hurt for a second; which was longer than we lasted. And kisses make up for thorns.

The Night We Took Our Cue From a Rock Star

A black leather couch.

A man I loved.

And Bon Jovi.

"You wanna make a memory. You wanna steal a piece of time. You could sing the melody. And I could write a couple of lines."

We did.

What did I learn from him?

That unbloggable memories that good - survive.

The Bungled Boots Caper
One cold January night I drove to meet him for shenanigans a late dinner. I was having a pencil skirt moment. Knee-high suede brown boots and a cute little skirt that was tailor-made for trouble. I remember his fireplace, the way he poured the wine, the

color of his tie, the smell of his cologne, intoxicating anticipation and the distinct knowledge that two of his small children were upstairs sleeping!

It kept us honest - and my boots on.

But I sure do miss that skirt.

He was handsome, kind, and treated me well - but we were just not made for a long-term relationship. We, again, remain friends. After our breakup we both began to wonder if we'd ever find the right one. He went on to marry the very next woman he dated. It was his last subscription day on and he was planning to cancel when he answered her email. They now have six sleeping children in their beautifully blended family. I am so happy for him.

What did I learn from him?

How thankful I am for sleeping children upstairs and boots with noisy zippers!
(Update: He contacted me this year. He is divorced. Again. I think he has some figuring out to do.....definitely not with me. I'll just keep the boot memory.)

Lights, Camera, Missing In Action

Italian born, too cute for his own good and certifiably confused. A Hollywood type (really) and a smooth talker, the likes of which this reformed glacier had never seen. The kind women fight over (not me), swoon over (not me) and ponder over as soon as it's over. And it's usually over soon. My best memory of this short and lethal quasi-relationship was putting him back on the plane to go home.
Can someone say naive?
What did I learn from him?

Enough to cure my naivete disease.

Golf In a Cart

I tried not to laugh. Really I did. But every time he started to swing that silly golf club I got tickled. He was too polite to be angry with me but he did swear he'd never take me again. It was fourth of July. After goofy golf with the woman who wouldn't shut up and a pool party, we spent the evening on a blanket under a sky of fireworks in the middle of town.
He brought two glasses of wine, a pillow for my giggly head, a Bonnie Raitt CD, and made a beach party right in the middle of the celebratory chaos. He didn't care who was watching our silliness. We had a blast.

My best memories involve music. Always.
What did I learn from him?

What happens in the golf cart, stays in the golf cart.

A Wannabe Singer and A Guitar

The guy had great rhythm. We met for dinner, shared a Mexican plate of assorted spicy giggles enchiladas and found ourselves back at his place for wine and conversation. Ummm.....well....we DID have wine and conversation. And the smooching wouldn't have started had he not decided to accost me with a kiss as soon as the door closed behind us. I tried. I TRIED to resist. Really I did a little and all would have been "just another second date" had he not decided to further complicate things by placing his fingers in my hair at the same time.
The lovely part? (besides that) He played acoustic guitar. Well. And sang. Well. I kicked off my shoes, he threw me a pillow, and I sat cross-legged on his couch while he sang a few love songs to me, smiling sparkly wanna-kiss-you-again vibes across the six-string.

Although it was a great date and one I remember fondly, our timing for a relationship was just off. He still calls occasionally, especially during American Idol season which was background music to the smooching that happened on the couch after the guitar music stopped. Oh. I didn't tell you that part did I....never mind.
What did I learn from him?

That I have a ridiculous weakness for guitar players.

I wonder what Bon Jovi is doing tonight.....


Copyright © 2006-2011 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Finding Pam said...

That was quite a walk down memory lane. Sounds like you have met some interesting men and had a lot of fun!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

This is a delightful and fun-filled post, Mimi! I've bookmarked it so I may return and reread the stories.

As one who was married for 30 years before divorcing (I am not only insane but also a masochist) returning to the "dating game" was not easy. Actually, I never did return. So, I enjoy your reflections.

Mimi Lenox said...

Pam - Ahem...Well....I did leave out a few parts in case my mother ever reads my blog.....

But yes, fascinating men. Conundrums.
Tailor made for a conundrum like me.

Mimi Lenox said...

Nick - Thirty years...I feel your pain. But I don't believe you were a masochist or insane. We all did what we did for many reasons. Knowing you, as I've read your blog, I know what an honorable and thoughtful man you are. You never returned to the scene? Oh. Please. Live vicariously through me if you wish(!) but I'm warnin' ya....I've met some looney tunes out there too.

A post for another day.

Mark said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences and lessons learned. You have done well navigating the dating land mine.

Anonymous said...

I got married pretty young so my dates aren't as memorable.

It was a very interesting trip down memory lane.

Thanks for sharing.

(I like anybody who thinks they can save the world.)

carol g said...

Again, you have a marvelous way with words. Thank you... I really enjoy your insights :o)

The Gal Herself said...

I loved the unexpected wedding romance story. So sweet and tender. The boot caper -- no wonder you remember that one! Romance. Sigh ...

Akelamalu said...

I've been married to MWM for 35 years (this year) so I haven't dated in quite some time! I enjoyed reading about your dates though Mimi, thanks for giving me an insight. :)

Anonymous said...

Mahalo for your walk down memory land and sharing this. Really enjoyed it :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Mark - And a landmine it is.....

Mimi Lenox said...

K - Do you have a peace globe??

Mimi Lenox said...

Carol - That is much appreciated! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - Those infamous boots. I still wear them sometimes. What a night that was! Oh! And I got stopped by the police for "bright headlights" on the way home. I batted my eyelashes and got out of the ticket. Go figure....

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - Insight?!! More like a little bit of insanity. Well,maybe some insight too....

Thirty-five years. Now that's love.

Mimi Lenox said...

Thom - Thank you!

Travis said...

Oddly enough, there's just one date that seems to dominate my memory. Next month is the third anniversary of the best and last first date ever.

Fragrant Liar said...

That was fun. Thanks for the vicarious romp. :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - sweet. That wasn't odd at all. You better blog that anniversary!

Mimi Lenox said...

Fragrant - You are welcome. Which date did you like the most?

Julie said...

But you've learned SO much from these experiences. And you write with e smile. That's a good thing.

Mimi Lenox said...

Julie - Oh, I meant it with a smile....that's for sure.

Mojo said...

*furiously taking notes*

Hahn at Home said...

I love this concept and would like to steal it if your Highness would not mind.

katherine. said...

did you have salt and lime with the tequila? Was it good tequila? Sigh. You and I need to spend some time together girl.

the "what did I learn from him" concept would be interesting...but not something I would post...

"ponder over as soon as it's over"
that is good.

yes...guitar players and dangerous...and the hand in my hair thing while kissing totally curls my toes...

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - Ha!

Hahn - I read your dates post. It was beautifully written.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - You and I together would be dangerous indeed. Add tequila to the mix and I'd be dead.....not fun!

Oh. And "pondering" is something I do so well.

Guitar players.

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