A funny thing happened right after New Years, I received at least ten email from guys that I had talked with over the year and even some I had gone on a dates with. All of them were wishing me a Happy New Year and wondering if I was still single. The funny part is, most of them had shown very little interest earlier on, had been hesitant, and lacking in courage.
“They must have been missing someone to kiss on New Year’s,” my friend said. I suspect they are feeling concerned that they might not have enough time between now an February 14th to up their prospects.
But there was one email that I received from a friend I haven’t heard from in quite a while. He had to move rather quickly a few years back because of custody issues with his daughter. Somehow he stumbled across my blog and sent me an email. He said he felt bad that he didn’t get to give proper goodbyes and would like to come down to Oly and take me to dinner.
There are four dates that rank highest on my list of best-ever:
One was with my High School Sweetheart who called me out of the blue about 6 years after we broke things off. He wanted to meet for dinner in Portland. It ranked high, not because of the food, or the fact that he felt like he made a mistake in breaking things off, but because he spoke openly and genuinely with me. We talked for hours about everything from the mathematical shape of waves to the best dive bars we’d been too. I felt privileged that he allowed me back in. So many people simply walk away, never to return, never to re-assess, never to learn.
One was with B. He showed up at my house one day when we were only friends. He was dressed to the nines – I was digging in my garden. “Where are you going?” I asked him.
“My parents sent me some money for my birthday. I was planning to take out the girl I’ve been seeing, but I decided I’d rather spend time with you,” he answered. He always had a way of surprising me. He had made reservations at a very romantic restaurant for him and his lady friend. “Don’t you think you should have brought her?” I asked, “you are dating.”
“I’m not sure I’m dating the right person,” was his answer,”she seems so good on paper. Professional, smart, pretty, has a good job….but you are my best friend.” He said it softly, almost apologetically. I don’t ever remember I time I felt more appreciated for just being me.
One was with JJ. There was nothing really extraordinary at all about it…except one kiss. Maybe it was the look in his eyes or our talks afterward or his sincerity. I think it was Rousseau who said that we do not value immaturity as much as we should. It is the springboard for our future and everyone is immature in their own right. I’m sure you remember those days when your parents shook their heads at you and said, “one day you’ll understand”. We’ve all been young. That date was a moment when I had to ask myself, how was I going to value this person? What kind of person did I want to be? We can pretend to assess people’s fitness for a relationship quantitatively all we want, but, in the end, I don’t think it matters. The question isn’t if we are ready, the only real question is if the person you are with provides you with a safe place to grow.
One was with the guy who recently sent me an email. It was also not an extraordinary date, we drove up to Seattle and went to dinner at a nice restaurant. But, in the midst of my own separation and pending divorce, he talked to me about his daughter and his hurt over being so far away from her. Even though I was disgusted with my ex-husband, in this man I found a place to maintain compassion for fatherhood. I had the power to either help or destroy those ties between father and son. Did I want to be like this mans ex-wife? My ex-husband may never know, how hard I try, how many opportunities I have had to take things away from him, how many times I was quite in spite of his insults and insinuations. I don’t always do well, in fact, often I fail miserably. But I remember this man’s kindness and love for his child and I find a bit more compassion in myself each time I think of him.
The final question is this: what restaurant do you chose when a guy drives all the way down from Canada to go to dinner with you?
We decided on Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill. Not so much for the food or the uniqueness. I find Anthony’s to be generally reliable and consistent, they have a good selection and average prices. The real reason to eat here is mostly for the stunning views.
Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill
1675 Marine Drive Northeast Olympia, Washington 98501