I sailed the high seas this weekend – literally. I spent 3 days sharing space with my crew before making a big crossing. The best part was the appearance of a new crew member. He is an older gentleman from my home state, and he is as old as my father. He is strong and wiry, friendly and patient, an obviously good project manager, an educated star in an otherwise drunken sailor-filled weekend in a vacation town.
A single friend of mine was trying very hard, while very drunk, to attract the interest of one of our fellow sailors (thankfully someone on another crew). She was glowing as she spoke to him late at night. The acquaintance I was hanging out with commented on how beautiful she was when she was talking to her target. The music was playing, the beer was cheap, and people were out and about on a lovely palm-tree swaying evening with a big moon. As I left, she was down smoking a cigarette in the courtyard with her interest.
My Gentleman crew member commented the next day that her heard her tell a bizarre story. In tears, she talked wtih him after her target left. She had proposed they hook up for the next month – no strings attached. And he still rejected her. Gentleman could not possibly understand how a man could turn this down.
Gentleman did not understand that times have changed. He spoke all weekend about his wife. He was adorable. They did not have a child until they were both 40. They had met in college, and lived together for almost two decades before getting married. Today, she stays at home most of the day while he works in a technical job. Their daughter is grown.
He had never had to play the field. Never had a bad date. Never had to have his heart broken as an adult. Never had the embarrassment of bad sex. Searching for a mate once you are an emotionally grown human being is difficult at best. The compromises are much bigger and more drastic. You are like a puzzle piece with all kinds of funny indentations, extreme curves – it is just a lot harder to find a match than when you were a relatively unformed piece when you younger.
I hope *I* can soften enough, become malleable enough, to find someone to be with.