“Recycling Old Flames” (Post #17) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
I don’t know how your community handles recycling, but our borough sends a specially constructed truck through town weekly to pick up recyclables (cardboard, glass, plastics, cans, newspapers, etc.). Recycling has become a way of life. I throw very little away – and attempt to just discard what is biodegradable (even keeping that sometimes to compost my garden).
I recycle printer cartridges, egg boxes, saw dust . . . hm-m-m-m. I wonder . . . I’ve never tried recycling an old flame before.
I dated an interesting woman some time ago (That’s vague enough, isn’t it? That really could describe EVERY woman I dated.) On paper and in reality, she was everything that I was looking for in a woman. She also was a widower, financially independent, intelligent, attractive, articulate, physically fit, (OK, OK, everything that I wasn’t!) Her interests were also similar to mine. I found that refreshing and exciting.
Without going into the boring details of how it happened, let me just say that after two months of dating, I terminated the relationship. Maybe it was getting too serious – too fast; maybe I was still feeling pangs of pain from my wife’s passing; maybe I was still grieving the annulment of the 2nd marriage; maybe I was just being a jerk (probably a little bit of all the above reasons). I said “goodbye” for the last time . . . at least that’s what I thought.
About 9 months after we parted, I began to have second thoughts. Could relationships actually be resurrected? Could a heterosexual couple begin seeing each other again after saying “goodbye” – merely to enjoy the friendship component – without becoming too serious – too fast?
Unfortunately, when I contacted ‘Sabrina’, and asked to see her again – to “get caught up with each other’s life”, I didn’t get an automatic ‘yes’ like I was hoping. In fact, I didn’t get an automatic ANYTHING. Instead, I was barraged by multiple questions: like, “…why are you contacting me NOW?”; and “…where are you in your life?”; and “…what has God taught you in the last 9 months?” !!!!!!!
HOLY COW ‘SABRINA’! I’m getting a migraine just READING these questions. And do I REALLY have to answer them? . . . just to see you again? Each question is like you wanna teach me a lesson or something!! Cut me a break!! I just wanted to talk with you for a couple of hours over dinner, then maybe take in a show. I didn’t want to have to unzip my ‘braincoat’. I just wanted to see you again. I just wanted to know if, if, if . . . (OK, guess I need to be honest here . . . I just wanted to know if either of us had feelings for each other. I just may have made a mistake when I said goodbye to you 9 months ago??!!)
In a phone call with my adult daughter (who has more common sense than her father), I happened to share that I was hoping to see ‘Sabrina’ again, and told her about the interrogation. Couldn’t believe it, my daughter sided with ‘Sabrina’! How could she? She’s MY daughter! She should understand how her own father feels!
Then she started to explain, “Dad, I have a lot of respect for her for asking those questions. No self respecting woman wants to be hurt. She needs to know where you’re coming from; what are your intentions; why now and why again.” She explained (with irrefutable logic) that ‘Sabrina’ SHOULD know the answers to those questions before just seeing me ‘recreationally’. (Why does my daughter have to think like a woman?! And why does she have to be right?! Guess that’s because she is her MOTHER’S daughter!) There are entirely too many “!’s” in this post.
What have I learned? 1) If I’ve behaved like a jerk, there WILL be consequences! 2) If I DON’T have the answers, there WILL be consequences! 3) My daughter is brilliant. 4) I’m just a man, not GOD. 5) After dating the field, you eventually realize that you are capable of loving someone else!
“Heavenly Father, not my will, but thine be done.”
TO BE CONTINUED . . . but don’t expect it to be in the next post