On a Friday night, sometime in the future, I’ll curl up next to a man and feel content, at peace, free to share myself fully, and feel loved and cherished for exactly who I am. I’m not curled up with a man right now, but I feel all those things. Because of you. And you know I love you to the moon for that.
But some day, I want to feel like that with a man. My Mom would say that ‘some day’ is one year from the date of my divorce. How much do you want to bet that’s how it plays out? That on the one year anniversary of my divorce I will be walking along Stinson Beach at the line in the sand where wet meets dry and bump into That Man.
I hope he’s clothed.
At least initially.
Over the last few months I’ve stolen moments of time during swims and hikes, walks on the beach and long drives through the west Marin hills, to ponder Who is That Man. The one who makes me think, Now I know why people get married again after divorce.
Only I hope he doesn’t need to get married, because that’s not in the cards for me. I’m game to multiple interpretations of a lifetime partnership, but I’m thinking it’s got to factor in side-by-side beach houses. The idea of cohabitation has definitely taken a hit since the Pocket Call. I’m conscious of the fact that my aversion to living with someone may actually be fallout from betrayal. But I also really do like having my own space. A place where I can be myself without reservation.
But before I even entertain setting up house, I would need to meet someone who looked like this:
He plays like a kid, but lives like a man. And by plays, I don’t mean ‘player’. I mean plays. As in runs to the beach to start building a sand castle at 10AM, taking breaks to surf and climb rocks with me and the dudes. He may have never colored a street with sidewalk chalk before, but if presented with a box he says, C’mon Ginger, grab the dudes, let’s go all Rembrandt on Calle del Mar.
He can play like a kid because he is chill. Just happy. S…tuff may not always go as planned, bad things may happen, unexpected events may disrupt a schedule, someone may blow a stop sign and cut him off, but he’s chill. Because he’s happy. So, he marvels at those who may not be as considerate or conscious, but he doesn’t judge or allow his day to be thrown off. He wishes them well and is simply grateful to be alive.
He’s just a happy guy.
And kids play well with him.
He’s experienced and smart. He sees why ideas may be great but doomed, skims off the promising parts and whips them into another idea to create magic. He thinks with his mind, but not with his ego leading the way, allowing him to be objective. As a thinker, he ponders his successes and failures and learns from both equally.
He’s comfortable being vulnerable around those he trusts, and he’s comfortable being a warrior when circumstances call for it.
He reads people, situations, the weather, the tides. And gets it right more often than not.
He really likes to play board games and will weave them into our world. I miss that old-fashioned fun.
He loves that he doesn’t know it all, because he loves learning new things.
He sees the connection between how we treat the earth and our bodies, and how the health and well-being of both are the greatest contributing factors to the overall health of our world. He cares for his body, and he cares for the planet.
He wants to climb mountains. Big ones. While not a deal breaker, he’s intrigued enough by the idea of climbing Everest to at least give it serious consideration. Anything 20,000 and under is a must do. And he thinks that it’s really cool that I want to climb them, too.
He’s witty. Which means he’s smart. And clever. Witty is key. Witty is weally, weally, impowtant. (Sorry.) Not witty? Deal breaker.
He’s a dreamer who sets goals and executes plans to achieve them.
He’s probably had a near-death experience. That way I would know for sure that he takes nothing for granted.
He knows how to pack a picnic basket without spending a fortune.
He’s okay with using recipes. And asking for directions. Or help in general.
He’s a goof ball.
He leads with his heart.
And That Man is a really, really good kisser. Who absolutely loves to kiss.
When I meet a man that is clearly single, the first thing I ponder is what it would feel like to kiss him. I fear I am the only one who does this. It occurred to me just this week that I think kiss before anything else. I evaluate the make-out potential before I gain friendship. I was surprised that I hadn’t realized this tendency before. Becoming aware of it is probably because it doesn’t work for me now. It did in my 20s, for sure. Most favorite pastime, and one I hope to rekindle with That Man.
I imagine my make-out once over doesn’t always go unnoticed, and likely never ‘unfelt’. Which sets an encounter off in a direction, neither good nor bad, but one that reflects the choice to send out those kind of vibes at Hello, nice to meet you. It must send a message, one I don’t intend to send. My intuition tells me That Man will be a friend before he is anything else. And never confused by my signals. Whereas, I’m accustomed to love interests over here in this corner and friends over here in this one, I’m excited to experience a slow-breaking wave of a relationship curling from friendship to love. It feels most comfortable to me to experience love in that way – the opposite of the way I fell in love with The Genius.
While comfortable now, it’s not natural for me to put chemistry aside and focus on friendship. I’m not a ‘slow it down’ kind of girl, so this is going to take some retraining. I sense encounters in the near future to assist me, because this is a crucial lesson. That Man and I will absolutely be friends first and foremost. My aim is to not over-think it, not fight the speed of snail progression.
I love snails. I’m going to stop moving like Jagger and move like a garden snail.
That Man loves himself and others, with a conscious desire to never harm another being.
He’s very curious about life, the Universe, and me.
He loves the stars. And the moon and planets. The Milky Way. He’s a stargazer.
Who is That Man?
He hung the moon.
I have no idea where he is now.
Do you? Tell me in 200 words or less.
Who is That Man and where is he? I leave it in your hands, kittens.