Armed with his shopping list, Goose was a determined man. He wanted me to feel comfortable in his home. On our way out the door, at the far end of the garage, Goose lead me to a tall freezer in the corner. Opening the freezer door he went through the inventory inside telling me to feel free to use anything I wanted. I felt a little bit perplexed, but it only got more confusing for a moment when he reached up into a small box on top of the freezer. (Now mind you, I’m shorter than the average bear.. I had no idea there was a little box up there.) “Inside this box,” Goose explained, “there is a key for the door and one for the shop. You are welcome to be here anytime you want to be here.” I did feel very welcomed into his world. It felt as if I’d always known him and was just back from a trip or something.
We headed west on the county black top with Goose giving me tidbits and pointers about the landscape, the roads, and where the deer were likely to come dashing out into the road at night. All of these comments were adding up to ‘You’re gonna be around here for a while, so you should know these things.’ I didn’t mind the feeling of security it gave me. This man cares about me and wants me in his life. Oh my gosh.. this feels sooo good. Being wanted and noticed and cared for… Wow, so this is how it feels. I like it very much.
I’ve always been of the belief that if one person in a relationship is generally a giver then the other will generally be a taker. And that a balance is created that works for both people. But here are two givers… Goose and I, just how does that work? Seems as if I’m about to find out. We pulled into the parking lot of the department store and Goose found an open parking space. He took my hand as we crossed the lot to the front doors of the store. I gave his hand a squeeze and couldn’t stop smiling. This is how happy feels. No fancy dates… no expensive gifts.. just ordinary, everyday activities that we’re sharing together.
Goose got a shopping cart and I placed my purse in the child seat, and off we went. He pushed the cart and we chattered about this and that. Then we reached the personal care department of the store. He went down the row with the hairdryers stacked on the shelves. He began looking over the different brands, some with diffusers, some with extra power and heat. He looked at me, and I smiled. He had no idea which one to get. You see, middle-aged men often times have thinning hair and as in Goose’s case, there wasn’t much left on top. A hair dryer seemed like alien territory. “You know, I brought my hair dryer with me.. you really don’t need to buy one.” He replied, ‘I should have one at the house.” I told him to choose a simple variety, no bells or whistles were necessary. Then he put one in the cart, and we were off to the next item on his list. Waaaaaay across the store in the grocery section.. we walked up and down the aisles, Goose threw peanut butter cups in the cart… like ten packages of them. I asked if he was having a party, he assured me he likes them, a lot. “Are you a ‘pack-a-day’ eater?” Goose laughed.
Next we chose a coffee maker and I chose coffee. He told me his wife had liked coffee in the mornings too. She carried a silver coffee mug similar to the one I carry. I guess there were things about me that reminded him of his wife too. I was realizing that people are more the same than they are different. “Let’s get out of here and go have some fun!” was Goose’s next announcement.
I didn’t care where we were going or what his ‘fun’ agenda included. I was having so much fun already just being in this day with him. He found a highway, one I hadn’t been on before. He explained where it goes, obviously I wasn’t paying attention because I still don’t remember. But we ended up in Red Wing, known for beautiful handmade pottery. We found a pottery shop and meandered through the rows of canisters, plates and serving dishes. Toward the back of the store, Christmas was beckoning. Decorated trees, twinkling lights and Christmas Carols singing the tidings of the weeks to come. Every now and then I’d admire a particular piece and Goose would offer to get it for me. I explained that just because things were beautiful, or the craftsmanship was amazing, didn’t mean that I wanted to have those things.
It was getting toward evening by the time we headed back, and the dusky sky was creating a soft ambiance in the car. The radio was playing old rock songs and Goose and I sat quietly as he drove. Music always carries me off to different times and places and memories. I think Goose was carried off to some other place as well, because when he next spoke, his words didn’t quite fit into the day. He was holding my hand, when he put out this disclaimer: “I don’t want to get married again.” I think it was an anti-proposal… he wasn’t on one knee, and he wasn’t holding a ring in a little black velvet box. There were no roses or candlelight. Simply his statement.
We’d known each other all of about six weeks. We were having a great time, just as things were. There hadn’t been any emotional proclamations on either side. There had been no mention of the “M” word. All I could surmise was that Goose’s music mind trip took him to a place that scared him. Was he having feelings he wasn’t prepared to deal with? Did he think I was? Was he feeling safe and comfortable too?
I replied, “I’m having a great time with you.. in fact, I really enjoy you. But I’m not divorced yet and I’m in no hurry to get married again either. What I’d like to find is a loving companionship. And I think we have potential for that. Let’s just see where it goes.” Then as the sun set behind the trees, I gave his hand a squeeze.