I’ve met a man. I know, that’s how all my stories begin, but this time it’s different. I met a man online, as I’ve done many, many times before. He lives on four acres on the other side of the pass, 300 miles away, 12 miles outside of a town with a population of 9,000. I live in the valley in Weird Town with a metropolitan area population of approximately 220,000, which after life in DC, London and NYC often seems far too small.
There was nothing about this man’s pictures or profile that told me he had much potential to be the life partner I was looking for. In fact, we began talking only because when he flirted with me I critiqued some of his pictures of dead fish and told him if he wanted to attract women…pictures of dead animals weren’t the best way. I never expected to hear from him again but, rather than taking offense, he thanked me for giving him a woman’s perspective. Self- assured enough to withstand a little criticism was my only thought.
We began corresponding regularly, and we talked on the phone a few times, and then one day he said he would like to stop by and meet me for dinner on his way back from a clamming trip up north. (I didn’t realize until much later that this wasn’t “on his way” but actually 3 hours out of his way!) When I drove to the restaurant to meet him that Monday afternoon I went to meet a friend with no sense that this could ever turn into anything more. After all, what would our options be, perhaps a remake of Green Acres?
I felt I already knew him somewhat from our email and phone conversations and thought him to be a decent human being with strong character and values. I also love meeting all kinds of people and the more different their lives are from mine, the more intriguing I find them. So off I went in the hope we would strike up a lasting friendship and I’d have a pen pal for life.
We met in the lobby of a restaurant, him in his sweats from his clamming trip, and me in my heels and make-up and from the moment we sat down our eyes were magnets for each other. He not only listened to what I said, but he actually “heard” everything I said. Not only that, but he heard everything I didn’t say. Later he would write me when he returned home, “I could see in your face and the way you moved you are strong person but yet I could feel the wanting to be fragile on the inside, the wanting to be held close, to be pampered like a lady should be, to share your heart and your feelings with another”. When I read that line was the moment that I knew I had finally met a man who understands me and who (“If God’s willing and the creek don’t rise” as my mother used to say) I will marry one day.
It’s remarkable to me that just a couple of months ago I said to a different man “I want to be with a man that thinks I’m amazing. I do not want to be the woman you sleep with until you meet the one you think is amazing.” Only a short time later I find myself lucky enough to be with a man who knows exactly what he wants, owns his emotions and shares them freely. A man who is capable of looking me square in the eye and saying, “You’re an amazing woman!”
Last month I was asking myself “Who are these women men obsess over and write poetry about”. This month I am a woman a man writes poetry to. Once again, my theory regarding living life to the fullest, not pre-judging people, never turning down an opportunity to meet a new person or learn something new, has proven itself.
None of us know what the future will bring. I certainly never imagined as I got out of the car to meet this man that a short time later I would have someone to share my every thought with; someone who I enjoy talking to, someone who I enjoy sitting quietly with. Every day truly is a new beginning and there is hope around every corner. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us….but I am certain it will find us facing each new day together.
The other thing I’m certain of is that our new age way of meeting, all of these dating sites (which I’m not knocking because without them I would never have found this man who lives 300 miles away from me) are meant to be only the conduit…not an end to themselves. You can’t order up a life partner off a menu. You can look at pictures and read profiles all day long, but if you don’t actually go out and meet people in person, nothing will come of it. So, yes, I have spent seven years, met more men and drank more tea at Starbucks than the average woman, but I believe the willingness to give those men a chance has finally paid off.
My Love’s First Poem to Me
I will give you love when you shed a tear.
I will give you kindness to show my love.
I will give you warmth when you are cold.
I will give you strength when you are weak.
I will give you happiness each day of your life.
I will give you understanding when you’re blue.
I will give you my shoulder to cry on when sadness comes.
I will give you my arm to walk beside me as we travel this life.
I will give you my hand to hold to give you hope.
I will give you comfort when bad news arrives.
I will give you me for the rest of your life.