I am not old, but then again, I am no longer what one could call a young man. When I was younger, I was fortunate to spend time with some terrific women – intelligent, energetic, lovely to behold. I was lucky to marry the last one. Who eventually came out, and we separated about a decade ago, and later divorced. That was my last romantic relationship, though not through lack of trying. Some might say I am very particular about the people I choose to spend time with, and me, well, perhaps I am a bit of an “acquired taste”.
I am involved in amateur theatre – got back into it to keep me occupied, and to keep me somewhat socialized. It’s a nice and sometimes challenging contrast to my daytime work keeping computers running.
And there is a younger woman, who has been in, or part of several of the same shows I have been in, or around.
When I first met her a year or so ago, I noticed she was quite attractive, and seemed quite engaging. But she was younger than I, and in a committed relationship. So of her I thought only how glad I was that there were interesting women in this world.
Recently, however, her relationship has seemingly come to an end. We got to talking at the closing night party of a show, and she said she had always assumed I was a decade or so younger than I am. And I was reminded that I do enjoy the company of intelligent, interesting, and well, yeah, attractive women. And over the past week or two, she has said or done things that, had they come from a woman closer in age to my own, might reasonably be construed as “flirting”, or at least an “expression of interest”. She invited me for a drink last Saturday after I came to see the show she was in, and of course I accepted. It was really nice to sit and talk with her. I don’t have the opportunity to do that sort of thing as often as I would like to, and, in fact, it had been quite a while since the last time. And I quite enjoyed it.
Saying goodnight, there was again something that could be construed as an “expression of interest”. And, had I been younger, or at least, closer to her age, I certainly would have made sure that I clearly returned a similar expression.
But, and here’s the point: I have really been enjoying interpreting the things she has said as more than just the friendly conversation of someone with shared interests.
As I have examined life and myself since being single again, post-separation, I have learned, or perhaps concluded, that one of the things that people need is hope. I had the good fortune to have romantic relationships in the past, and that is something that I have missed in my life over the past decade, sometimes quite keenly.
So now, while I have the chance to continue to interpret, or more likely mis-interpret, her words and actions as “expressions of interest”, I have been revelling in the idea of the possibilities of a relationship. I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about spending time with her, perhaps holding hands, or even (gasp!) kissing.
I sometimes buy a lottery ticket. When I do, I delay checking the winning numbers just about as long as is possible. That gives me lots of time to think about all the good things that could be done with a win – get a modestly larger house, support some local arts groups, share some with my ex-wife and take my kids on a nice vacation. I absolutely make sure I get my money’s worth on that lottery ticket, by making the most of my daydreaming time. It’s not quite like “hope”, but it’s a way of thinking of what could happen, of the possibilities for good fortune in this world.
So, for the next week or so, while I can, I’m going to make the most out of daydreaming about spending more time with this interesting and appealing woman. To reinforce the idea that there really are interesting, attractive, and unattached women out there, and that maybe, just maybe, there might be one who might “acquire a taste” for someone like me.
Hope is important to help you keep moving forward. And even if hope is sometimes a delusion, and sometimes a willful and intentional delusion, you can still use it as a propellant.