Friday, November 6, 2009
I'm so happy it's Friday, all I can think about it going home, plopping down on the couch and relaxing all weekend. It's been a long week!
So, as I'm smushed between all the Yankees fans attending the parade this morning, I overheard an interesting and thought provoking conversation between 2 women who appeared to be strangers. One was probably in her mid-30's, attractive, professional looking. The other woman looked to be about 50 years old, wearing a mink, diamond earrings, carrying a designer bag and dripped in money. But she had a down-to-earth and matter-of-fact way about her as she spoke - nothing pretentious.
They were discussing love and marriage, and the elder woman seemed like she was about to drop some knowledge - so of course I honed in on the discussion.
The younger woman said she was tired of dating, tired of simple ass men and tired of trying. At her age, she asked if she should just settle for "Mr. Good Enough." She said she was seeing a guy who was nice and seemed to be really taken with her, and she knows he'd treat her well.
The older woman asked her if she loved him, and the younger one said, "I like him. He's nice. I care for him."
Then the older woman asked if she respected him. The younger one said yes.
So, now I'm expecting the older woman to sing a song about waiting to find love and marry your soulmate. But to my and the younger woman's surprise, she said, "Marry him."
Hmmm...are you sure?
The younger one, even though she seemed to have made up her mind to "settle," seemed to protest a bit.
"So you're saying I should marry him, even if there's no 'spark'?"
"If he loves you, he's a good man, treats you well and will provide a great home for the both of you, then yes. Absolutely."
The younger woman sat there stunned for a moment, as if she'd just be handed the keys to the kingdom and was just standing there waiting to go inside. Noticing her reaction, the seemingly wiser woman continued.
"I once dated a man in my 30's who was the love of my life. He was gorgeous, he made me laugh, we had fun. The chemistry between us was great. But he didn't have any ambition, and he could never stay loyal to me. I loved him, but I had to let him go. Now I'm married to a man I respect, who treats me well, who provides a great life for the both of us and I know he'd never cheat on me. Is there that 'spark'? No. But do I love and respect him? Yes."
Now, I cringe at the thought of settling. The super independent, self-reliant, wanna-be-happy in love part of me thought to myself, "I'd rather be alone than settle for ANY man who wasn't my soulmate." But I had to really sit and think about that for a second. Is my idea of love and romanticism realistic? Is it mature even? Do I need to get my head out of the clouds?
I've dated men that I loved...and then I dated men that I LOVED! I mean, head over heels, fireworks, electric chemistry, knock-my-socks off LOVE. I've been in "safe" relationships where I knew the men were good guys, they loved me, respected me and worshipped the ground I walked on. But we were missing that "thing."
You know...that indescribable "thing" - it can't be put into words. You just know it's there. That "thing" where you get butterflies every time you know you're going to see him. That "thing" where you're content just to watch him sleep. That "thing" where the sex is crazy off the hook!
But usually, those relationships ended. When I came up for air, that person wound up not being the person I should settle down with. He wound up being the person who wanted something totally different than what I wanted. The person who married the next person he dated. And sometimes, the person I was still in love with, even though I knew he wasn't the one for me.
The safe ones are there. The good guys. The responsible ones. Sure, they may lack that "thing" - but you'd feel secure. You'd feel safe. There would be no drama.
The younger woman thanked her for her advice and asked her one last question. "Do you ever feel lonely? Do you feel regret?" (I guess that's two questions...ha!)
The older woman's response?
"I feel happy."
I have to say, that conversation had me thinking all morning. At 36, time is going by. Is it RUSHING BY me at warp speed to the point where I feel I need to do something about love and happiness NOW?
No, it's not.
But there are some women who are in their 40's and 50's who WANT to be married and have someone to live their life with. Instead of chasing some mythical notion of "love," they're using their minds instead of their hearts when choosing a mate who will be their companion in life. Some may think that sounds sad, but maybe romanticism has its limits.
Maybe "Mr. Good Enough" has just enough to make us feel...happy.