Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stealing a Piece of Time ~ My Favorite Dates

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, 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. Stepping stones to the woman I've become - who at first had a hard time with this dating nonsense - but learned pithy lessons to avoid future pitfalls, from my male suitors. Remarkably, none of my relationships ended bitterly. Some have ended sadly. Even dubiously. 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, 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 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!

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.



Linda said...

At least you've learned lots of good lessons from your adventures and have some lovely memories to boot ... er, cart ... er, rose garden ... er, never mind!

My answers for this week's Comeback Challenge have been sent off to you; let's see how this thing goes down this week!

Matt-Man said...

My favorite date was the time I went with a girl to the Funhouse...The wacky mirrors made her ass look much better. Cheers!!

One Wacky Mom said...

That my dear, was simply amazing writing...

What an incredible story and told beautifully. I"m sure you got my email...time for me retire!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

You have such a crazily good attitude, Mimi. If I were a man, I would be hard pressed not to propose on the spot:-)

Okay, but I just don't get the red headed kisser. What happened?

Shelia said...

Absolutely wonderful post Mimi! That is truly worthy of being a short story, photos and all. You're teaching me a lot since I'm on the verge of the big D, and not sad or ambivalent about it one bit.

Anonymous said...

This actually made me re-think the whole dating thing. :-) You are one heck of a woman Miss Mimi. Beautifully told. This belongs in a womens magazine. My dates have all been pretty crummy and/or weird or disappointing, but then again they were all mostly when I was in my late teens/early twenties. So the guys were all young too. Ok, there were a couple memorable dates. Not too many though. May you have many more wonderful dates and then get taken off the market completely when the King finds you.

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