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Archive for the month “August, 2022”

You Sir, Are No Gentleman

I met him about 40 years ago. He was a funny, handsome (by some/many standards), charismatic young man. He was my friend, AND I kept him at-arms-length. I was married but even if I had not been he could not have ever been more than my friend. He was involved in a serious relationship and then there were the others. Oh, how he enjoyed the others. His horrible mantra was “8 to 80 blind, crippled, or crazy…” Now I know one might read this and already think they know my friend. One might wonder how/why I would call him my friend. One might wonder why I am even bothering to write about him. Well, the first thing that must be conveyed is my friend is merely a metaphor for a particular type of man and this is the story of how we can all find ourselves involved with this guy in a fashion one would have been willing to wager, would not/could not happen.

He walked onto the workroom floor in a way that let you know he was trouble. Then he’d flash his smile or pick up a heavy package or hold the door. You’d find yourself thinking and or saying, “You are so sweet”. I laughed as I saw my co-workers fall for him one by one. He had his pick, and he was by no stretch selective. He was an opportunist’s opportunist. Due to his nature, he did try his tactics with me. He did find I was a person of my word. He did not have time to alter who/what he was. There was a plethora of opportunity around, AND they were FAR less trouble. Thus, we became friends. He and I had philosophical discussions of the ills of his behavior, treatment of women, and his disregard of relationships. In my 20’s I pegged him, I also pegged his kinder, more subtle counterpart (the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing). Yet, through-it-all the reality of the situation, was we were all friends.

Years later, miles apart I discovered my friend had passed away from a heart attack. I found out from his counterpart, who continuously denied being anything like his buddy, all the while demonstrating he was exactly the same guy. It was no surprise (to me) that I did end up being personally involved with the “wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing” once I was widowed. I walked into it with my eyes wide open. I did fortunately escape. Even though I did not really want to escape. Nothing would have pleased me more than to be the one that captured the “wolf”. However, because I had been so “close ” to him, I could NOT ignore the signs.

As I fast forward, as I look at yet another archetype…I do wonder HOW I found myself involved with a new “wolf”! Too old, too smart, too sophisticated, too experienced for such nonsense to take place…yet it did. I can happily and not so happily say, I got out with minimal damage. I cannot help but send out the warning. It is as in all situations, someone doing something bad makes it hard for a righteous person or one trying to do the right thing. Somewhere out there a true gentleman, a true romantic, a truly good guy will have to be subject to scrutiny and suspicion Additionally, possible good relationships will be jeopardized and ultimately fail because of these bad actors and the need to protect our hearts, souls and purses. Be safe out there ladies, the wolves walk among us. They can appear to be sweet, chivalrous, good, kind, and yes church-going-fellows…BUT they are by no stretch GENTLEMEN.

Parting Gifts

There you are, standing waiting for the results. You hear those infamous words, “and the winner is…” Your name is not called. You get an accommodating smile, kind words as a testament to what a great job/effort you made. All you hear is, “I did NOT win. A game show tactic, a way to make all participants feel ok with where they ended up. Perhaps this is short-sighted, perhaps it is ungrateful, however, allinall, no one plays for second.

I recall vividly when Tiger Woods was at his peak, he was all the sports magazines and writers could talk about. Whatever tournament he was in, he was projected to win. He was in the number one spot without competing for YEARS. Disgruntled, disappointed players spoke of NOT being counted out, but they fell, one by one. Others, who included champions spoke of him and looked upon him in pure simple “awe”.

Then he met with his “fall from grace”. No one stays on top forever, but the abruptness of the ending is what bothers us the most.

All beginnings are or should be with hopeful expectation, this one was no exception. Not what was the norm, there was a degree of cynicism. You move forward anyway, nothing else of significance is happening…”why not” To your surprise it starts off good and gets better. RAPIDLY. Before you know it there are flickers of hope, they soon turn to stars in your eyes. The fact that he says and does the right things at the right time is no coincident or happenstance. You will later discover or deduce it was a plan, his “M.O.” Nonetheless for now it is all good! You make time for one another. There are countless reasons for communication you both seem to seize each and every one of them too. There seems to be a meeting of the minds and therefore why shouldn’t you endeavor a physical connection.

One of the biggest challenges of online connections and long-distance relationships is a time factor. When you are in close proximity, you figure out early on whether or not you want this to move forward, and it is as simple as selecting a middle ground location. The couple that has to face the fact they are miles and miles apart have to be cautious as well as factoring in timing. How long do we wait to see one another in person, where do we meet, if we like one another how far do we take this on an initial meeting? For one wrong move, one miscalculation or misinterpretation can destroy the potential relationship before it gets out the gate. Moving too fast may give the impression of desperation or promiscuity ( imagine that at our age). While moving too slow make for more competition to enter into the equation.

Therefore, you play it by ear, you go with your gut. At first seemingly you are on the right track. Then out-of-the-blue everything changes. You ask what happened, what is wrong with the other person, what did you do wrong. These questions asked separately or in conjunction with one another still call for expert interpretation and still you have a massive margin for error. One might think well go straight to the source. While that seems to make sense what gives you the expectation that any truth will come from the direct approach. Then you are left to your own devices. You figure, guess, surmise numerous scenarios and each of them gives you solace, until you entertain another possibility.

Nothing is feeling right at this point in time, and nothing makes sense. In my humble opinion it, all boils down to this, you were NOT playing for a consolation prize, you were in this to win. Somehow you fell short and for whatever the reason, nothing makes it better. In the end you realize that no matter what you obtained from this experience, there is virtually nothing to keep this from happening again. Yet you find yourself right back in the arena, playing for the win. Again

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