February 14th is right around the corner. Gentlemen…it’s time to put on your big boy pants and get in the game. If a lady says that Valentine’s Day means nothing to her, then she has never had a Valentine. It is a chick’s holiday. If you say it is just commercial manipulation and exploitation, you have a point…enjoy making this point to the rest of the unromantic lazy cheapskates WITHOUT A DATE.
Valentine’s Day founds its origins in Christianity with the celebration of the martyr St. Valentine. Turning martyrdom into a holiday that celebrates love and romance is a curious juxtaposition…and yet there is something right about that, since we all seem to be suffering if we’re falling in love and suffering if we’re falling out of love.
Still…Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be difficult…you can consider it an annoyance or an opportunity. It is all up to you.
If you use a little imagination, minimal effort can bring a maximum result. I’ll let you in on a little secret of the sisterhood…women are not that hard to please…and if you think I’m off base, go strip naked and take a look at yourself in the mirror. Women will overlook your love handles, moobs and landing area on the top of your head…we’re not as visually demanding as you are. Toss us a compliment or two and a kiss for no reason, throw in a little candy or a romantic dinner and we feel like we’ve won the lottery.
The younger guys have to work a little harder…because they have way more competition…hate it for ya…before you laugh it off and say you don’t need to work for it…go stand next to the naked older guy in the mirror. That’s why it’s called a reflection.
When I was in my early thirties and living in Manhattan, I was chased all the time by older married men…and I allowed myself to be caught a few times. I’m not making excuses…it’s part of my history.
I got my comeuppance. I am now the age that those wives were then, and I have gotten a taste of being rejected for someone younger. It is a bitter kiss off.
I’m single. I’ve been married and divorced…twice. I don’t call myself divorced…I consider that the process I went through to become single again.
I have not had a Valentine since my marriage went pear-shaped. Don’t toss me a hanky…part of it is my own fault. I like a tad “bad” in a boy…always have…and while that is a fast take-off, it rarely has a smooth landing.
I would like to be a girlfriend. I’ve already tried wife and best buddy. Those pants fit all right in the beginning…but once someone else borrows the pants and wears them without asking, it changes the way they fit…if you know what I mean…and sadly, I know that most of you do.
Romantic love is complicated, which keeps it interesting. If we could put as much effort into nurturing it as we do destroying it, it might not be so elusive.
In honor of Valentine’s Day…and the very real possibility that I will, once again this year, be my own…boo hoo….I am going to share some of my forays into romance.
Buckle yourself in…you can get seriously hurt falling out of your chair laughing.
My second marriage was two decades long. Decades…
That’s a long time to be out of the dating game…and make no mistake, it is a game. If you hear someone, male or female, say they are not into playing games…watch out…they are masters at it…they have their finger on the hot button. Proceed with caution.
Six years out and I am a veteran of dating…officer status…hall of famer.
Of course, I can only speak from a chick’s point of view…and offer my observations based on my experiences. I call them horror-comics.
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to open my hope chest and pull at the frayed edges of my life’s tapestry…learn from my mistakes…because we all know…those who can’t do…teach. Let’s bang a few erasers.
Lesson Number One: The Blind Date
When it comes to guys and looks, I’ve never been particularly picky. Frankly, I would prefer to be the pretty one. Straight up, I can tell you that I had my days when all I needed was a little lip gloss and a shake of the hair and I was out the door. These days a lot of my “cute” depends on how much water I’ve had to drink and how little cheesecake I’ve had to eat.
Smart attracts me…smart ass attracts me more. I’m just built that way.
After my divorce I finally unfolded from the fetal position and went through salt and vinegar chip/M&M’s rehab.
I buffed and fluffed and washed and waxed and rolled myself out of the showroom ready to be test driven…and I GOT NO OFFERS on my used, but certified, ride.
My married girlfriends weren’t about to fix me up…the truth is, they didn’t want THEIR husbands getting any ideas watching their single buddies having a blast dating again. I don’t blame them. It’s a war zone out there and defense is the best offense.
I was helping a friend move her office to another location. She had an intern helping her. It was her 21st birthday and her very cute, very single dad came to pick her up and take her to one of the casino boats to gamble for the first time. He took a liking to me…there was really good lighting in that office…and wanted me to join them. I didn’t want to infringe on her birthday, but she insisted, and I agreed to go.
We rode up in a limo…had a fantastic time. The dad was leaving for business the next day, but wanted to have dinner when he got back. I wasn’t really feeling any CHEMISTRY…but I needed to practice my take-offs and landings, so I agreed.
That Monday when I went into the office, the intern told me that her father wanted me to do him a favor. Remember…I was out of the loop for a long time and was still using an antennae to catch the signals…if I had DOPLAR the next sequence of events would have never happened.
He had a friend who was in town from Australia. He wondered if I would consider going to dinner with his friend, as he knew no one here and he thought the Aussie would find me CHARMING.
All puffed up with charm, I agreed and told the intern to give the Aussie my phone number.
I have always been a sucker for an accent…it’s a personality flaw. Any guy I’ve ever known with an accent has also been a tad bad…I am a slow learner.
“Tony” from Australia gave me a call…he was funny and quick to laugh and he had an AMAAAAZZZING accent. He owned an opal mine back in Australia and was in town to meet with some business associates. Hmmmm.
He had a driver and made plans to come and pick me up. They drive on the other side of the road in Australia, so this made perfect sense to me.
I was excited…because of my recent stint in food rehab I was able to go Spanxless…and I looked pretty fetching. The doorbell rang and I looked out of the peephole. All I saw was white fuzz.
Did he bring a dog with him?
I opened the door…and looked down. Oh, he was Australian. He was also an albino…and a little person. He was an Australian albino midget.
He looked like a miniature Albert Einstein and was dressed like Johnny Cash all in black…down to the tiny cowboy boots with silver tips and three inch heels which brought him up to about two inches under the bottom of my bra.
His shirt was open to the waist and he was covered in white fur. Around his neck was a thick gold chain off of which hung a softball sized opal.
There was a limo waiting at the curb. Of course he didn’t drive…he couldn’t reach the pedals.
Still…he was delightful…and even though his boots stuck off the edge of the car seat with the little silver tips pointed skyward, I kept an open mind.
The car was well stocked with booze, which was a good thing…because Tony was quite a gifted drinker. Of course, given his stature, a thimble full of Macallan, and he was on his ass.
We paraded from bar to bar like a circus sideshow. For a tiny guy, Tony had a big mouth and made friends wherever we went.
We finally made our way over to a saloon that was packed with young girls who thought he was a stuffed toy.
They dragged him, with my blessing, out onto the floor, where he proceeded to attach himself like a horny Maltese and dirty dance his way around the room. I went to the ladies room praying for a window to climb out of.
When I came back out, some young bucks had picked him up and put him up on the bar and he was doing a jig like the Lucky Charms guy on acid, his softball sized opal swinging back and forth like a mace.
I went out and got the driver and had him pluck my pint sized partner off of the bar. We exited amidst applause and horrified looks.
Tony passed out on the floor of the car. I told the driver that I had professional experience jumping out of moving vehicles, and begged him to just slow down when he got to the house and let me take my chances. I didn’t want Tony to come back to life.
Unfortunately safety rules preclude emergency date escapes and the driver slowly pulled to a stop. Tony’s eyes snapped open. He insisted on weaving me to the door.
I turned to say good night…and that little electrified monkey jumped up and wrapped his legs around me like a koala bear and bit down on my neck. UGH.
The driver plucked him from me…tucked him under his arm and carried him off to the car….with arms and legs waving wildly…Tony promised to call me soon.
The intern never showed up again for work. I never heard from her father either…and I had a hickey the size of a plum that took two weeks to fade away…courtesy my saucy Aussie.
Afterward, I did what I always do…dusted myself off and put myself back in the game. I have no delusions…I know that at my age I’m carbon dating…but I remain hopeful and don’t keep too much comfort food around so I can stay at the top of MY game…just in case.
If you’re lucky in love…you have a trophy…don’t let it get dusty…keep it polished and in a place of distinction where everyone can see it. Take your trophy out and show it off…and don’t let anyone steal or borrow it from you.
Day Three hundred and twenty four…g’day and good night.