The other day I met a woman I really liked and I asked her out. I have been out a couple of times since my wife passed away. Once with a long time friend and once with a woman I met on the Internet. This one I asked out, out of the blue.
That first date (with my old friend) was great, but, that is where it stayed. She
is an amazing woman, single mother who put herself through school to
earn a Masters in Accounting. Now she is helping to raise her
first grandchild. I like amazing women, women who are strong
and smart. I have loved this one a long time and I'll keep
loving her. I just don't see a future for the two of us.
second date sucked. She was about as responsive as a brick.
When I was younger and I dated a lot I used to make women laugh.
I tried to draw her out, but, since my wife passed laughing and
making people laugh is not a big part of my repertoire.
I blame me, but, it was both of us really. If I had been my
old self I could have made her laugh and she would have enjoyed
herself, but, it would have been one of those meaningless affairs.
An affair without a moment. She'd be an "oh yeah, I
vaguely remember her....." and had I not met her during such a
pivotal moment in my life I would have forgotten her already.
is really comprised of these tiny individual moments that we remember
forever. Sometimes we know when they happen, sometimes we
don't. They are moments with people we love and people we know
and strangers we have never met. They are pictures our minds
take and file away without our even knowing them.
This last date, the woman
and I met for coffee and we hung out for three and a half hours.
I wouldn't have guessed it was that long. She is another
amazing woman, smart, capable, strong. The kind of woman I
consider myself very fortunate to have even met, much less gone out
I don't put people up on pedestals, but, I recognize
that some are amazing in some ways. Some people exist on
charisma and others think they are amazing, not for their
accomplishments, but, for their charisma. Actors and
politicians and talking head journalists who probably don't wear
pants and have bunny slippers on as they blather on about subjects
they don't really know anything about. (are examples of people
known for charisma rather than accomplishment, as if attracting
people makes someone capable)
Then these different, opinionated, people encourage conflict
between people of different opinions. Its dumb. I think
some people have done some amazing things, Matt Damon for example in
partnering to write and produce "Good Will Hunting".
Just because Matt Damon does something amazing, should I let him tell
me what to think? Should I put him up on a pedestal and adopt
his opinions on something other than entertainment as even
My answer is maybe, people who have done something
others have failed at are usually worth listening to. Not
because of charisma, but, because they have accomplished something.
Has Obama accomplished anything? Not that I know of, except to
get a lot of people to believe in him. I see that motto,
"change you can believe in" and it makes me want to laugh.
All belief, all charisma.
So no pedestals, just people who have actually done stuff,
factory workers and doctors, nurses, engineers, accountants,
laborers, skilled trades, professionals, the millions of people who
actually do amazing things within the billions on Earth, and then
people who talk a good game. Maybe the talkers are trying,
maybe not. Trying doesn't cut it, talking doesn't cut it,
amazing people do stuff.
So here I am, in this coffee shop,
listening to this woman tell me about herself and I can feel my mind
take one of those snapshots, those memories that last forever.
This is a woman I can listen to, a woman I can disagree with about
somethings, agree with about others, this is a woman who has done
some really amazing things and I find myself in awe of her. My
late wife was pretty amazing (almost anyone who knew her could tell
you that), even my first wife was amazing, in a psychotic kind of
way. The older I get the more I want to spend time with amazing
I think we will date (my step daughter has ideas about
that, she is insecure about losing her last parent) and I hope at
least we stay friends a long time. But, what we want isn't what
life is about.
Life is about these tiny moments that come and
go and we remember forever whether we want to or not. Life
intervenes in these moments, these snap shots in time, that make up
our lives. These moments come and go, they become a part of how
we think, our decision making process. The slow motion of a car
rear window starring when a bullet hit it and the screams of a girl
and her friend when they realize she was shot. The sight of my
oldest picking up a wine cooler and trying to drink it when he was
about a year old (note to new fathers, don't put bottles on tables
toddlers can reach), a guy smoking a cigarette waiting for formation
in the Army, a teacher in elementary school, the girl at the desk
next to me in third grade, my late wife walking down a hallway at
church, my son sitting on a curb. All these moments that we can
smell, taste, feel, that make up our real lives. Our forever
So here this woman that I don't really know, this
amazing woman who has done so much just being a normal person, is
part of my forever life. She is now one of those moments that,
no matter how life intervenes, is going to live with me forever.