A friend of mine has recently dived into the dating pool after ten dry years. According to him, dating at this time of life is a task more terrifying than surviving a Halloween corn maze or spending a dark night in a haunted mansion. According to his testimony it is an endeavor fraught with far more zombies and unspeakable ghouls. Let’s face it, men are at a premium as we age. Statistically they leave us earlier than women do, leaving less of them to go around.
I must admit I have always questioned the perception we women are predatory beings circling the human pond hungrily trolling for the catch of the day. It is perceived by some we should view our men as some sort of prize and ourselves as incredibly clever for being able to trick them into accepting the heavy yoke of commitment. I for one have thrown several back, and am here to say prize is not the descriptive word I would choose if asked to describe them.
Words cannot express how delighted I am not to be in his shoes. The very thought of starting at A again, leaves me shimmering with sweat. Having to meet for the first time and endure awkward conversation and uncomfortable shoes only to be left to wonder if he liked me enough to dial my number again or if who I met sitting across from me bore any resemblance to who he was when I was not in the room. Scary business that. Not to mention if you do progress forward and down the road the business of either him meeting your children or, if both parties have offspring, you meeting his comes to the table. That’s always a defining moment. I felt a bit sorry for men who came up against my two. They lost their dad when they were seven and eight and in their mind if you weren’t a super hero or didn’t own a candy factory don’t bother applying for the job. To me this is the most difficult hurdle when attempting to have a personal life as a single parent, getting that link to connect. At the time I was doing it, I never introduced anybody I was involved with to my children unless the game was in the fourth quarter and my team was up by 21 points and we were first and goal. Anything more would have been confusing for them, and certainly confusing for me. If it hadn’t been for the fact my parents insisted on spoiling my children at least one weekend a month I would have been an acceptable candidate for the sisterhood.
Over the years I’ve had some strange dating experiences. On one occasion I actually made two dates for the same evening. While getting ready to go out for the evening with one man, I opened the door to find a second one standing there with a lovely bouquet of wildflowers in his hands. Whoops. That was extremely awkward and resulted in basically ending the need for any further involvement with the gentlemen with the flowers, as he did not find the humor the situation.
In my late twenties I went to dinner with a group of friends. It was a first date with an engineer from work so I felt safer surrounded by allies. We decided on a Polynesian restaurant in Hollywood famous for their flaming drinks and excellent cuisine. Whether he was nervous or simply a totally sot, my date went through the Mai Tai’s like he’d just been told he had twenty-four hours to live. At one point he became so inebriated he slithered like a reptile down the seat and puddled under the table. After we looked under the table to ensure he wasn’t damaged, we tried to help him up. At this point he became somewhat belligerent, then curled up and went to sleep. It was unspoken but unanimously decided by the group to allow him to remain there.
Another man I dated, with the unlikely job of professional barefoot water skier, was the tighest man I ever met. By this I do not mean he had an impressive six-pack, but rather he still had the first $.50 the tooth fairy put under his pillow when he was four. He believed in sharing everything. Again, I do not mean he offered you half his burger and fries, but that he expected you to pay for yours. If the restaurant didn’t have a coupon or promotion going on, you wouldn’t find him sitting at their table. From what I understand he was quite well heeled due to all this thrift, but it was a bit too much for me. Once I invited him over to dinner. I kept the receipt for the meal and when he’d had dessert I left a bill on the table for $11.50, his half of the food cost leaving room for a tip. He did not find this amusing. Hmmmm.
I shall continue to watch my friend’s pursuit of happiness from the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn and a smile. I am proud of him for diving back in and giving it a try, and wish him much success in his efforts. A really nice man with a ready smile, I’m sure he won’t have any trouble finding what he’s looking for. No, I cannot divulge his number.
My other half does not like peas. Of all the veggies, peas simply don’t tempt him. These, however, he will ask for.
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced orange bell pepper
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1-2 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 Roma tomatoes
2 cups cooked peas (fresh, frozen, or canned)
2 Tbsp. water
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives for garnish
Cut a cross in the base of each tomato. Submerge in boiling water for 3 mins. Immediately drop in ice bath. Drain and peel. Cut into halves and remove seeds with spoon. Dice.
Melt butter in skillet until frothy. Add garlic and cook and stir until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon.
Add onions, orange peppers, and jalapeno to pan. Cook for 6 mins. until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes and water to pan. Lower heat to simmer and cover tightly. Cook for 10 mins.
Mix peas in with onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 mins. or until peas are heated. Garnish with chives.