My Big, Fat, Belly-Flop of Fate
So, here we are…day one. I’m writing this as if no one will read it, which may be the case, but it will keep me honest. This is just a funny little blog about weird observations and anecdotes, the absolute horror of mid-life dating, and my slips, falls, and triumphs in this new chapter of my brave new world. I’m a recovering cougar – I’ve dated and/or married men in their 20’s in my 20’s, 30’s, and (gulp) 40’s. This is the time of change. Go forth and conquer.
So, as you know, the first step in mid-life dating is joining E-Harmony. Duh. After a couple of days of receiving some alleged compatible matches that had me contemplating lesbianism, I found a man of potential. We chatted. We Skyped. P-O-T-E-N-T-I-A-L. He is a 55 year-old Australian adrenaline junkie. Athlete. Not boring. He looks like Anthony Bourdain. For the purpose of this blog, we shall call him Tony Oz. Tony Oz is intense, but truth be told, my damage is drawn to darkness. Voila.
He was only in the States for ten more days. I stayed up WAY past my bedtime talking to him. Hours of easy conversation. A seed was planted. If we didn’t meet before he left for the land down under, would I be missing out on the man I’m meant to be with? What if this is fate? Fuck.
So what else does a fate eater, soul searcher, girl wanting change, recovering cougar do? She books a ticket to Birmingham to meet him. Hard core meet. Make or break.
That’s exactly what happens. We meet. We talk, we make out a little, we have cocktails the first night. We get up the next morning and tour the civil rights museums and memorials in Montgomery. Deep in history. Thought provoking. Gravitas. We do that first date dance of sharing our histories – break-ups, divorces, the failed relationships that have brought us here. Tony Oz has never been married and has no children, only two engagements that imploded. We have a good time together. We are still on first date behavior, but good conversation can build a bridge. I’m feeling it. There are flashes of a connection. A possible spark. We are circling each other, getting a read on the other.
I had read online about a bar in Bham that has no menu. You’re asked three questions, and a cocktail is created uniquely for you. Sign me up. We walked there from the hotel. I need to say, it started great. I don’t remember everything we talked about as we made our way there, but I do remember feeling more comfortable – staying in touch, seeing each other again, the beginnings of a future. I told him that he was hard to read, it was hard for me to tell if he was into me. He said, “Are you into me?” I was, indeed, Tony Oz. I was willing to take leap of faith. He said he was too.
We sit and the waiter chats with us long enough to determine our poison. While we wait, we talk about nothing important, more than small talk, less than deep. Our custom drinks come, and they are spectacular. Somewhere between sipping and not quite small talk, there is a detour in our conversation and he says to me, hand to God – he says, “You’re big”. Pardon the fuck out of me? “I’m big??” He says, “buxom”. Well, hell.
“Yours is the kind of body I masturbate to.” Wait. What? Is that a compliment? Give me a minute. As the title of this blog suggests, I tend to fill in the empty spaces with babble. And, I don’t disappoint.
After a volley of nervous chatter on my part, we land conversationally in dangerous territory. If you want to kill romance quick, speak of nipple clamps (a blog for another day), religion, my momma, or politics. Tony Oz hit every mark. He was patronizing while talking about his being pro-feminism. Irony, I know. He was condescending and his manner was bullish. The conversation trajectory went to hell and it was on express. At the end of the debate, he didn’t speak another word to me that night. Tony Oz could not agree to disagree. We didn’t even make 48 hours. And I was fine with it.
Birmingham was full of lovely people, if the compliments, kind words, and positive energy were pebbles, along with the whole, I collected them in my pocket. Despite that, the one that comes out most often, and I rub like a worry stone, reads “You’re big.” This is my time of change. For the first time, for me, I won’t hand over power to someone else to define me, to determine my value. Maybe I’m big. Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m a juicy peach. Maybe I’m perfect right now. Maybe I’m not. I’ll decide and Tony Oz can fuck himself. I’m grinding the “I’m big” pebble to dust and setting it on fire. As the grains meld together and make a glassy surface, I see myself, my real self. Hello, gorgeous. Go forth and conquer.