Monday, December 16, 2013

Life intervenes

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.

The 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.

Life 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 with.

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 useful?

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 people.

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 lives.

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.

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