kissing is gross! previous entry was about programming: here.
ive been a romantic all my life– from age 5 to 15 i was simply wild about this girl (also shes half a year older, which is pretty impressive when youre 5.) we never dated or “went out,” but we did hang out together sometimes as kids. her mother was a teacher.
we are almost 40 now, but i dont know how old the picture is– maybe shes 30 in it; i know she would get carded if she walked into a bar looking like this.
i wasnt always hopeless, either– depending on your definition of course. my marriage didnt work out, but its only a 50% success rate for everyone else; and i met a woman who was soulmate material until she dumped me a little over a year ago, but we had the better part of 3 years together. fair enough if you say “3 years, and ‘soulmate’?” but we were exceptionally close. i wrote fig while i was with her, and she helped inspire many of the things i now do.
throughout 2016, i was very depressed… i missed my girlfriend, i was (am) in a town where practically everyone was married and doing everything as a couple– an absolute nightmare for a lonely fellow– and i had to make new friends. ive made great ones, which is partly why i havent moved.
i even had a girlfriend briefly– word of advice for passionate romantic types: the people who are quickest to date you are sometimes the quickest to dump you for whatever reason tickles their fancy. we got back together once and broke up again, and that was that.
before i move to the point of this post, a note: the vast majority of my friends (until about 30 or so) were female, and my best man was an older guy i met at a peace vigil. we started hanging out there and when he played guitar at open mic events. these days a good portion of my friends are male, which is great for me– you appreciate men a lot more when you have them as friends.
considering that i lost who i thought was the love of my life– more like a second marriage– only a year or two ago, i really had to find a way for my hope to survive. the following is the system i came up with; i didnt intend it as a system you know, it just sort of came into being as i scrambled to put my life and happiness together again. it will sound convoluted (im sorry for that i guess) and at its most cynical and superficial it will appear to be a rating system for people–
that isnt the point at all, but it may be tempting to look at as one. also i dont encourage developing such a thing; it would make you a more cynical and probably unhappier person, and this has had the opposite effect.
ive spent my life looking for inspiring, intelligent and uplifting people– either to date or befriend, and this is how i do that in a town low on real prospects. i dont like “hooking up” (never did) and i refuse to start using 21st century dating apps like tinder (google dating, seriously? id rather be alone) even though i tried online dating a few times, over a decade ago.
apart from being romantic im also pretty eccentric, as are many of the people im most attracted to. and here is how i did things in survival-mode, in 2016:
it is a list— it wasnt intended to be, but im practical enough to not simply pine away for one person that isnt available or entirely interested. on the one hand, its similar to a list of prospects, but most of the people on it are unrealistic in that regard. a lot of the people on it are, or become friends. some people would find the whole thing creepy– it really shouldnt be, but people that think it is probably wouldnt end up on it in the first place. these are very special people to me.
the list has 3 people on it– unofficially there could be more, and unofficially it isnt only 3 people. its simply too nutty to keep track of more than 3, and keeping track of fewer would somewhat defeat the purpose. note again this isnt a system i devised; its something i noticed i was doing and became conscious of until i realized how it worked. and im totally fine with it. i explain it because perhaps it will help someone (some peculiar person like myself) in some way.
the list looks like a ranking system– its not; i dont have a table or a scorecard, being in the #1 spot isnt “the point” for anyone else, and most people wouldnt want to be in it anyway– its kind of intimate.
who is on this list? the people in my life who are the most inspiring, sweet, intelligent, and in most cases adorable people i know. everyone on the list is human after all, and no one on it is perfect. the “ranking”– its only a ranking system in the most technical and superficial way– has nothing to do with looks, although everyone on it happens to be beautiful; at least i think so.
the person who spent the longest at the top is a friend of mine that quite honestly looks like a latin supermodel, but thats not why shes there. (the person in the second spot reminds me of audrey hepburn, although that is too extraordinary to have much of anything to do with it.)
now to explain what theyre doing there:
these are the people in my life that i most adore– some are crushes, and/or friends, and some began as unlikely (but welcome) prospects for dating– you never know, and shouldnt sell yourself short. all my best relationships began as a long shot, in my opinion. what relationship really begins as a “sure thing” anyway?
for obvious and practical reasons, i try to keep married women off the list. its dangerous and mostly futile to adore a married woman, though most of my friends are both adorable and married. i kept #2 off the list as long as i could, by trying to ignore how much i liked her. except we always have wonderful conversations, it almost always improves my day when we talk to each other, and i found out last year that i was simply in love with her– dont worry, she will move off the list when i meet enough single people that are truly wonderful.
theres nothing wrong with moving off the list– people have gone from crushes to actual friends, once their status was no longer at the top. i find at any given time, i have actually fallen in love with the people who are in the top 2 (this is a discovery, not an intention or purpose of the thing) and the only way to be at the top is to be totally alright with that–
the person who has spent the longest at the top is a dear friend; she knows i truly love her and i know she loves me, because she says so (plus, it shows.) she gives the best hugs in the world, buys me drinks and even got me dinner a couple times, but we never dated and she will absolutely never be my girlfriend. well, thats life.
call me a liar if you like, but the fact that she looks like a supermodel– and thats no exaggeration– is more of an amusing coincidence. i would say which one, but i want to give her a little more anonymity than that. and i really would love her just as much if she were ugly, because she has– truly– the most beautiful soul of any human ive ever met in my life. thats why i love her, and i know i always will.
does that mean i couldnt date someone if i met them tomorrow? absolutely i could! because if i already love you nearly as much as my favorite person, and then on top of that you love me and kiss me and hold me and spend more time with me, youre going to be much more important than this list of friends! someday i will find someone who is my sun, and my moon, and my stars. for the time being, they are 3 separate people who happen to bring the most light into my life.
#2 snuck onto the list while i was trying to keep her off it (by trying to ignore that i liked her so much) as shes married. i dont know her husband and i have no ill intentions, yet she moved up as high as she could go– you cant be at the top unless you know and are ok with the fact that i adore you– and i dont want any married person at the top. in late 2016 she was my second-favorite person on earth– i saw her today, and every time i see her i fall in love again– im only human.
#3 can just be a person with the third-nicest personality i know. if i go somewhere and theyre there, it usually makes my day nicer. i might have a crush on them and they might know it– im pretty obvious anyway.
if they know or i want them to, i simply tell them “you know, youre one of my three favorite people in the entire world.” no one has taken insult to this yet!
all of this is largely a 2016 thing– i had no resolutions but im determined to distance myself from #2 because i still dont want her on the list at all. if youre married, im trying to meet someone that moves up to replace you as soon as possible– of course i will always think youre great, i just dont want you to be one of my 2 favorite people on the whole planet.
the list changed throughout the year– it included people that i might have ended up dating and included people i actually went places with, as friends.
until a real prospect comes along, dont knock the list– today, i was talking to one of my best friends, who ive known for more than a year. i never was in love with her, and thats only because i dedicated myself to getting distracted from any feelings i might develop. i said the other day, “you know if i hadnt tried really hard all year, i wouldve fallen in love with you.” she already knew this, but id never said it and she took the compliment just fine. shes married and her husband and i get along fine, and i keep her up to speed with whomever i admire.
“i dunno,” she says with regards to my latest interest, in another conversation entirely: “you were in love with b._____ and then you were in love with r.______ and now you tell me youre in love with this person you met this week.”
“im still in love with b._____!” i said. “i will always love b._____ but shes been with the same guy for 8 years, and thats practically married!” like i said before, i dont bother pining for someone that will never be available. as a coincidence, b._____ and my friend im talking to about her were/are friends for many years now.
the second time b._____ and i met, she was leaving town and asked if i wanted to come along. we went to a museum and various shops, searched for an unmarked grave of an ancestor of hers, and had fish and chips in a restaurant near the coast. “this would be a nice date, if it were one.” “yeah, it would!” she replied. we always have a nice time together.
so after my friend and i finish talking about b._____ i walk outside, and (none of what ive told you is either fiction, or exaggerated– but you dont have to believe it) b.______ pulls up. she always does that, when i havent seen her in weeks or even months– she doesnt live in town. i laugh. she smiles. she asks me if i want to get in the car, and we go to run errands; she says shes hungry– do i want to go to ______?”
“oh, anywhere but _____ or _____” i reply. “how about [a local bar that doesnt have much for food anyway]?” she offers instead– “sure!” weve been before and i love the place even twice as much with her for company.
we catch up on the beginning of 2017, and i tell her everything ive been up to. “are you still working on [fig]?” she asks me. “sometimes– that woman/friend i told you about [the one at the top of the list] even helped me come up with another version of it.”
why talk about all this now, anyway? well b._____ says, “you have to write a book about these encounters you have with women!” i dunno about that, but the thing about my favorite person in the entire world is, shes going to move again– shes not from the usa, and she isnt staying here forever. her last visa will expire, and (anything is possible) we will probably never meet again.
well ive loved her since the day we met, and she knows that. we didnt get together for christmas, we didnt get together for new years, and i met her the other day and we hung out for hours. the last time we did this, was one of the best days of my life.
“im going back to ______” she tells me as we stand outside in the snow (she smokes, but i never have.) “why dont you kiss me then?” i tell her. she never has, and i never presumed she would.
“i can only do a little one, like this” and she gives the air a little smooch. “i’ll take it.” she gives me a little kiss on the lips.
we talk about a few other things i wont repeat here. none of it is super-private or anything to worry about– its not some dramatic news about an illness or how shes entering a convent when she gets home– still i tell her “in that case, you should give me a real kiss.” …she did.
anyway, i kissed the woman of my dreams– it was everything i ever hoped it would be. by this time next year, she will be long gone and one of my lifes happiest memories. i promise you, im fine with that; i couldnt ask her for more.
someday i will find someone who is my sun, and my moon, and my stars; but the other night, i kissed the sun.
to heck with 2016, naturally. 2017 (finally) started with a handful of small miracles, and all that really matters in life… is pretty amazing stuff.
- photo is under copyright, all rights reserved (id change that if i could.)