Saturday, March 24, 2012

There Is No Pleasing Me

This year, I'm making an effort to spend more time with Jesus.
Every Thursday, I go to Eucharistic Adoration and just sit with the Lord.

It's an interesting experience, and being that I'm lousy at prayer, I sometimes sit and read a devotional (there are some lovely writings out there to reflect on) and sometimes I just sit and go through my stream of consciousness with my Jesus. I let Him know what is on my mind, who I'm thinking of, and prayers I want to share but honestly don't make time for throughout the rest of the week.

So at last week's visit, as I shared my stream of consciousness with my savior, I asked Him why there weren't more Godly men in the world, in MY world. Why, Dear Jesus, can't there be a man for me who just turns up at Mass or even Eucharistic Adoration, and is brave enough to talk to me as I walk out?

This expectation is similar to my consternation that the airlines can't arrange for an attractive, available single man to be my seat mate every time I get on a plane! Never happens. It's always some old dude, or someone with a wedding ring! Then I'm perplexed that the man next to me wearing a wedding ring doesn't start thinking of the loads of single men he knows to introduce to me! Why, he ought to be texting an eligible friend to meet him at baggage claim at our destination, to meet me, before our plane even takes off!

But I digress.

As I finish my time with the Lord, I get up, genuflect, and walk to the back of the chapel to leave.  As I do, the man that I saw in the back gets up to leave too.
He stops me in the entryway (outside of the chapel) and asks me in very broken English where I work. That's an odd opener, but I give him a vague answer. I have an even harder time understanding him ask if I've ever had a stone massage. Again, a very odd segue but massage is one of my favorite things, so I engage.
All the while he is struggling to make conversation, I'm growing increasingly uncomfortable. Turns out he's a massage therapist and he hands me his card. I use the opportunity to rave about my current massage therapist so that he gets the idea that I'm not going to call him.

We walk outside together and I hustle to my car, tossing a 'nice to meet you' over my shoulder.

Then I think, "God, You're not really putting an odd, hairy, little guy that I can't even understand in my path when I ask why You can't just place a good eligible, faithful man in the same church I'm asking the question... are You?"

If so, I guess there just is no pleasing me!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Man With A Plan

I have a second date. Doesn't seem like that should warrant an announcement... but let's face it. It does.

Too soon to know how I feel about this guy except for the fact that I most certainly had fun with him when I first met him.

What I do like, REALLY like, is that he's a man with a plan.  As we were planning our first meeting, he told me when we should meet and presented me with three options for our date.  Three options! Not just options... but three very active, very fun options. All I had to do was pick!

For our second date, he told me where he wanted to take me and once we could agree on a schedule he told me which movie we were going to see.

I was a bit surprised to realize that I loved that!
On one hand, we might like to think that we don't a man to make decisions for us. That's true in some cases. But on the other hand, the take-charge element is very attractive.

Considering the reasoning for some time, I eventually realized that I appreciate it because...  as a woman who has been single My. Whole. Life., every decision that has ever needed to be made has been made by me and by only me for the past 20+ years! How refreshing to have someone make a decision and all I have to do is show up!!

It also reminded me of a past relationship in which my guy was always asking me to plan what to do and where to go.
On the surface, it seems thoughtful that he wants my opinion.  In reality, it was simply more proof that he couldn't commit to anything! Worse yet, it relieved him of any responsibility. If we didn't enjoy it, if we didn't like the food.... he was off the hook and if blame were to be assigned... well, guess who he can blame?

Upon further consideration, it was a bit of a manipulation. Not only was he not responsible for any plans, and relieved of culpability... it was a ruse for acting like my opinion was valued - but  became transparent when my suggestion was dismissed as something we would not both enjoy.

As that relationship ended, I became more vocal about my displeasure.
Me: "Geez, I wish you could make a decision once in a while!"
Him (defensively) : "I didn't know I was failing so badly at that."
Me: "Why would I care where we eat?! Due my food restrictions, there's only two dishes at any given restaurant that I can have. What the heck do I care? A salad is a salad anywhere! When I DO state a preference, you shoot it down."

So, this new guy, who makes plans with the intention of just getting know me, and to delight me? Yeah, that's pretty cool.  And I told him so.

(Among other things revealed on our second date, was that he hasn't dated much in quite a while. I think that actually plays a part in it. It males him a little more old-fashioned about it.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Life As A Baggage Handler

One of the most unfortunate things about dating as an adult (obviously our 20s don't count) is dealing with baggage.

His baggage. Her baggage. Single for 40 years baggage. Recently divorced baggage.

It's particularly difficult when the people involved want to be honest and forthright. I mean, let's be real, it comes up. What's the best way to handle it?

I think the easy answer is, "Not on the first date!"

I recently met a nice man, exactly my age, whom I got to know on a dating site. He's divorced with a child in grade school.  I was excited that he's a serious Catholic and a family man.

We met for coffee, and conversation flowed naturally. But, before I knew it he was telling me about the difficulties, nay complications, of his divorce! Horrible accusations made by his wife regarding the well-being of their child. The sort of thing that you hope no man is capable of.  And although he asserted his innocence and told me that he had been cleared of the accusations... I am still left to wonder what the truth is. Was he innocent or did he just have the better attorney?

See. The thing is, I don't know him well enough to judge his character or determine his honesty. At this point, he had even robbed me of that luxury.

In addition, he told me about something he had engaged in while in the military. Something I am sure many of our troops engage in, when they find themselves in countries where it's common. Something I would hope my husband would never participate in, before or after me. But there it is.

Would I have accepted this as part of his past if I had been given a chance to grow to love him?
Maybe. Maybe not.

In his defense, he said he felt he should put all this upfront, rather than date for a few months and find out it's a deal breaker.
I see his point.  But my point is - give me a chance to get to know you and like you before you ask me to carry your baggage.

At the airport, once you've passed security - they remind you not to leave your bag with anyone you don't know - and not to accept items from people you don't know.  They have your safety and security in mind.
Quite frankly, upon a first meeting we don't know one another well enough to even watch the other's bags while they go to the restroom!

What he did was like asking me to take his baggage before even clearing security.
At least then I could be confident there were no explosives or weapons.