K. Mennem 2:55 p.m., June 18
No one has ever asked me to marry them. No one, nada, I’ve been telling people for years I’ve been engaged twice but that is really to escape the long discussions, suggestions on how to catch a man, analyzing my personality to try to figure out why it hasn’t happened.
I’ve met maybe 2 guys that I was really seriously thinking would make good husbands, the kind of husband I grew up envisioning. And there were at least four others that I have no doubt were going to put me on the spot and ask me, but I managed to scoot out the door before it happened. Don’t feel sorry for me, you old married people. I’m not.
At a very cool free event, that I heard about on facebook, in the middle of an organic farm, at a potluck with one old friend and 200 strangers of all descriptions, a woman asked my friend and I if either one of us was married. My response as always “Not yet- my prince will come”
Hers was a simple yes. I did a double take. She was with a guy from age 20 to 44 and then she left. No ceremony ever took place and as far as I know he was the only guy she ever slept with, but I also know that these days the question is not really about the ceremony. It’s about the ability to make a long term commitment of any sort. She was with him for over 2 decades and she’s been teaching over three. To me that’s an awesome demonstration of commitment.
Me? Relationships – at least continuous- with a man who is not a relative or married to a friend? Romantic- max. 2-3 years, and that is putting it on the high side, six months- easy peasy. I can’t even imagine more than that unless of course you count the great dramas going on inside my head from the first minute after the first date, until the inevitable end.
When I read this far in my writing group, the men assumed I meant I was in love and ready to marry them after the first date, and that isn’t it. I am always hopeful and optimistic, unless the date bored the hell out of me, or in retrospect, was preceded by a dedicated campaign by the guy wearing down my first instincts, until I agreed to meet them with a heavy heart and misgivings.
I must say that the guys I picked for my romantic involvements were probably not the best choices for whatever reason. But, they were fun. Most of them, most of the time. No regrets here- • The only guy with long hair at my 1973 high school reunion who drove a truck hooked up with a tank of helium for laughter on the run
• The guy who was popular in high school who dated tiny cheerleaders with wholesome faces and killer bodies, handsome but kind of wishy washy . • The brother of a guy I knew at an 18-21 place who was a sheriff of 28, a bar called Itchey Foot Mose
• Guys met at fraternity parties near Cal State LA from 1968-71: There’s only a few I remember well enough to name but I have lots of stories
• Guys met cruising Bob’s Big Boy in Pasadena, or Toohey’s Drive in off Huntington Drive.
• Hanging out in Old Town Pasadena at 17
• The QC(Queens Council) from Sydney who wore a wig to work, just like in the history books. He wouldn’t let me try it on.
• The tennis pro who worked at his family’s club and harbored dreams of stardom.
• The CEO of a big chemical company who was a perfect gentleman, spent money on me, played guitar and sang, lived in an amazing unit that overlooked the harbor bridge, but who I was not attracted to. He’s the one, however, that told me about the book “A Fortunate Life”, and said if I want to understand Australians, that’s the book. He was right .
• The nicest man in the world who bought me dinners, paid for hotel rooms, and bought me lots of expensive champagne and never really demanded anything in return. We are still in touch by phone a couple times a year, but when I visit, he is unavailable.
• The air traffic controller who partied heavily on his days off, all night long, and mostly forgot our time together, even when he was with me. I’m thinking he’s still in Asia, still working.
• My toy boy, Ian, the bricky from England, 23 to my 40, great in the sack, and when we were alone, but it never worked in public. He went back to England, then returned to Sydney and looked for me after I’d come home. Wonder how he’s grown up?
• The guy that was twice my age, and I never guessed he thought of our going to a party as a date. We made it through that misunderstanding and are still friends. I hope he is well.
• The guy who was twice my age plus 10 years who used to be wealthy and very generous with his girlfriends who had lost everything ,including his ability to have a two way conversation, to walk fast, and pay the tab for dinner.
• The multi-millionaire architect who was mean, and treated me poorly. But he was a multi, and it impressed my friends. I think he was a friend of Graeme’s, the ad guy from my pub
• The alcoholic, irresponsible, very handsome young guitarist of 32 who was the father of my never born child at 40.
• A charming gorgeous Moroccan playah in a foreign city Omar who was a great cook and a great lover, but didn’t like condoms or monogamy. We are still friends
• A really nice man who was a salesman and a sort of dorky kind of jazz musician and was too nice, but made me a mix tape with different artists singing one of my favorite songs “That’s all”.
• A really sexy music magazine publisher that I can still lust after, who had a slight addiction issue. One of the bad boys.
• The pediatrician that played volleyball on the beach but couldn’t go to parties because he was always on call.
• A teacher I met in the parking lot of a dance club in the 70s who was tall and handsome and had large feet and a name that matched his most outstanding feature.
• A great dancer I met at a club in La Jolla, whose home was barren, damp dark and littered with graphic girlie magazines, who reappeared on a dance floor many years later, with my former phone number apparently tattooed on his brain (creepy).
• The widower with 10 kids that wasn’t ready to move on (thank God! What was I thinking?)
• The schizophrenic tall surfer, construction guy that appeared at 5 in the morning and questioned various aspects of my appearance when I was feeling particularly vulnerable, but who somehow had the ability to make my knees weak.
• The crazy charming guy from the midwest who slept with a gun under his pillow and crawled over me, behind the headboard, and peed out the window in his sleep.
• The rich guy whose family owned an island in Texas, who sold antiques to launder his questionable income. I tracked him down in my late 40s and we met up. Wow, people change, and what was I thinking?
• The guy with the masters degree who was so handsome, at least back then, and sold illegal substances half the year, and travelled the other half. He also cheated on me with a roommate- but came to my 50th Birthday party (and I didn’t recognize him until he said his name- ha).
• The great first date, who then called me daily to talk but never asked me out again.
• A sweet man I went to high school with, who was a baseball star, threw me a surprise party, and introduced me to ESPN. Great (sigh) sports all night after the sports bar closes.
My first step towards a mature committed relationship was my second “pet adoption” era which began in approximately 1998 at age 48, after my mother passed away, when I found a 16 year old dog, moments off the street, and adopted it 3 days later, when I was conscious of her age and dubious medical condition. Since her passing, I have gone through several more.
Dogs and men.... Still waiting for my prince.