I may (or may not) go on a date

"If you get a phone call from an unknown number today, it's probably that friend I told you about..." 

Oh Lord.
Just last week I opened up my mind not so much to the possibility but to even the concept of, what? (I can't even hardly say it)...romance?

As in romance and me in the same sentence.
I blame author Silas House for creating male characters that are simply good men. I like goodness. Maybe even men. I found myself entertaining the possibility of me being willing to be willing to entertain the possibility. I then came to terms with a few facts. I am unwilling to actively seek out such a thing. I don't go to bars and I won't market myself on the Internet. Won't. So, if God wanted me to have a...what? ( Whatever.) Then God would have to be in charge of hooking me up.
Silas House came to our local library to read. I had just finished reading his first book when I learned he would be coming and it felt like some sort of kitchen magic that he was coming here now. Cool. I read two more of his books featuring some of the same characters at various stages of their lives. I was smitten by the concept of having someone dear to me in my daily life. I had also just spent time with a lovely couple I know that have been married for 26 years and are BFFs. Life is better on the buddy system.
I opened my mind to the possibility of me being willing to...date, I guess. I have never really dated before. I married the first boy I knew that was not related to me when I was not quite 16-years old. It was a church wedding with a wedding dress and rented tuxedos and a cake and all. I was so young I insisted the groom walk down the aisle with me for the ceremony just like kids did on the playground just a few years before.
I was divorced three years later because I wanted to date, I guess. I married twice more after that, both times to men I met in bars. Each marriage lasted more than a decade and did not end well.
It has only been in the last couple of years that I have actually grown up in any meaningful way.
Now? Really? I don't even know how to have a grown-up...whatever. Date? Relationship? Whatever. I handed the concept over to the God of lost causes and added a few impossible conditions such as "good" and sober and sane and stable. Now that I was (sort of) looking around in that direction, I had noticed a few fellas on TV and around town I found attractive and noticed they sort of favored each other. Since when was I attracted to a man with a beard? What the hell, I threw this in as a condition too.
After the reading at the library, I had a talk with a woman I know and said I had started to consider the possibility of a fella in my life if I could find someone good like in House's books. Told her that the fact that I have not had a date one in four years spoke to my quality as a catch because none of my friends had thought of me when fixing up one of their friends. We laughed about this because the truth is often funny as hell.
Two days later a friend said she wanted to give my number to a friend of hers. He was so good, she said, that if she wasn't married he would be for her. I told her about the funny coincidence of the conversation at the library about just this thing and said, yes, I would be okay with that. She told me he was a handsome fella if you like fellas with a beard.
Now is the part where I freak out. I am too old and ugly and fat and damaged and stupid and stupid and stupid. I don't know how to date, even.
Willing. That's all I have to be at this place. Even if he doesn't call, the fact that I may (or may not depending on my mood) want him to call is perhaps progress. I might be human after all and want the same thing as others. I may be entitled to the very thing I myself ordered up. If not this fella, then maybe just a opened consciousness to receive is a good thing is a good thing.
My 13-year old daughter asked if she could go to the movies with a friend. He is her age, she said. She would meet him there, she said. Pay her own way. I said "yes" and dropped her off at the theater. (Maybe this simple permission to meet a boy for a movie will spare her from marrying young to the first boy that comes along.) She didn't change out of the clothes she had worn all day or put on makeup or any such nonsense. Just a movie with a friend that happened to be a boy. I picked her up after. The movie was alright, she said.
This. This is what That looks like.
I can do that.


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