So I've been feeling kind of wanting lately. Not horny, not desperately lonely or anything like that.
Over the past couple of years, I haven't really felt any desire for companionship. I've been so preoccupied with all of the work, all of the repairing, mending, fire-putting-out-ing of my life and my children's lives that any of those feelings have either been squashed or else put on the back burner. The way far back burner.
There was my very brief reigniting of the John McCain flames earlier this year, and an even more brief revisit with The Artiste just prior to that (I still haven't done my victim profile on him, have I? I need to think about that one.). Neither of those led anywhere except back to square one. There were fleeting moments of excitement, the butterflies, but even as I sat next to each of them, looking into their eyes, I knew they weren't what I was looking for. There was no flurry of neurons, snapping and crackling, no moment of realization or that satisfying click you feel when long-lost pieces slide back into place.
But lately, there have been twinges. Little exchanges with people, small gestures that strike me just so...moments where I've caught myself wishing I had something that I don't have.
Moments of wanting. Again, to clarify, I don't mean wanting in the lusty way. Hey..don't get me wrong..I'd still enjoy that kind of wanting. I'm not dead. But these feelings I've been getting lately are more of the soul-yearning variety vs. the nether-region yearning ones.
95% of my male acquaintances are the husbands of my friends. The other 5% are made up of random men in my life, from my sweet landlord Dan to guys I know from the neighborhood. All wonderful men in their own right, but of course, none that are even remotely close to available. And more importantly, none that I would consider in that way. You know, THAT way. As I've explained before, my friend's husbands are many things, but objects of desire? No. If you're married to one of my friends, and I don't care how hot you are, how charming, how funny you are...you are essentially a eunuch. It's as if that gleaming band on your ring finger forms a sort of protective barrier around you, a bubble...a shiny force-field that neutralizes any feelings above or beyond those of friendship.
But every once in a while, one of them will say or do something, and I'll feel a little whimper from that place where my heart sits. That place where I used to wish and dream and plan for dates, for handsome and sweet boys and the places they'd take me. That place where I used to get a tingle, a leap of joy or sometimes just a tiny shiver whenever I'd think about the one I loved.
My friend Danielle and her husband watch t.v. together. At night, in bed, sometimes while eating ice cream. They talk about the shows they watch, both with the same excitement. Her husband and I were talking about the 80's series "Quantum Leap" the other day. He was just as psyched as I was when we discovered that it's on Netflix instant streaming. That's when I felt a pang. A pang that said, "Damn. I need a guy who would be this thrilled about a stupid show on Netflix."
As I've mentioned a few thousand times, I play trivia with a very special group of nerds. The core group is made up of the aforementioned duo, Danielle and hubby, plus me and our awesome friend Alex (we took him in as a foster-trivia person when the other half of his team went to Alaska for the summer. We want to keep him.). There are a few others who join when they can. The trivia we play is a pop culture game, it's live rather than via computer as most bars will conduct it. Ours is hosted by two guys, one who is in his 40's, the other a bit younger, both funny gingers. Sometimes they'll come talk with us before or after the show. One night, we were all discussing the latest heated battle, questions that had been asked and different answers that were given. I looked around the table, and here were these men, these grown ups, laughing and talking about this seemingly trivial game. Again with the pang, only this time it said, "Damn. I need a guy who would sit around and willingly admit he knows all about 80's music and Marvel comic characters."
Another friend off-handedly mentioned her husband taking his son camping. Just the two of them, off together for a weekend of fishing, hiking and sleeping in a tent. The pang was louder this time. "Damn, I need a guy who would carve time out of his life for my kids."
I see men at church, men who no doubt work hard all day and have a million other things on their To Do lists, volunteering to lead confirmation groups or teach Sunday School.
Men in our community volunteer to coach Little League teams, football teams, soccer teams. They arrange practices, uniform drop offs and stand out on a baseball field in 99 degree weather, encouraging kids to do their best.
A friend of mine from eBay, who lives in another state, a friend I've never met face to face; her husband has reached out and given me feedback, high fives when I need them and consolation when I need that too. He just sent a big box of fantastic comic books with strict instructions to "keep them". They arrived on the day when I felt the first tiny urges to run away from home, that day in August when the wheels of the Crazy Train start wobbling and threatening to come off completely. The boys were lost in those comic books for hours. What kind of man does that? Does something completely random and kind, something to help out a woman and her kids...without any strings attached, without any repayment expected?
I think back to all of the instances over the past few years, when men who have absolutely no ties to me or my kids have contributed to our well being, to our lives. Contributed time, skills, a helping hand when we needed one, not out of any sense of duty or obligation, but just because.
Because that's the kind of men they are. Sometimes I think how wonderful it would be if I could make my own Mr. Right, concocted from bits and pieces of all the amazing men who have touched our lives. Mr. Right would sit in bed with me, pillows bunched up behind us, remotes in the middle of us and watch Scott Bakula solve the world's troubles as he leaps through time. Mr. Right would be a father to my kids, give them the attention they deserve, the love they so desperately need. Mr. Right would accompany me to my beloved trivia night, and would still love me even when I blurt out the wrong answer to "What holiday was being celebrated during Die Hard 2: Die Harder?" (answer: Christmas. Not 4th of July. That's Die Hard 4, Live Free or Die Hard. Dammit.). Mr. Right would understand that even if I get kind of fat, I'm still worthy of his love, and not lazy or ugly or pathetic (like Big Daddy told me, so many times).
He'd talk to me instead of turning to Happy Hour and co-workers, he'd work hard with me to make sure our relationship was chugging along and most of all, so most importantly of all:
I know Mr. Right is just as fictional as Frankenstein's monster, and I know that just like that poor doomed creature he'd have his own arsenal of faults and flaws (and believe me, I'm no Bride of Frankenstein myself..). But I also know that he's out there, somewhere. Maybe he's been hurt like me, and is terrified about ever being hurt that way again. Maybe he's decided, also like me, to focus on his kids right now, making sure that they are whole again before pausing to repair his own damage.
But these pangs, these feelings, that wanting. I've learned to trust my hunches, to give credence to those gut feelings we all get now and then. These feelings, like that little itch in the dandruff commercials...
They may be telling me something. What is it, though? Is he real? Is he nearby? Is it time?
I don't know. But rest assured...when I know, you'll know.