I managed to walk with composure back to the table. I didn’t trip on the imaginary line on the floor. I didn’t run into the waitress who was busily serving lunch to other tables. I wasn’t drooling or dragging toilet tissue stuck on my shoe. I felt rather proud of myself as I sat back in the booth with my Teddy Bear. He greeted me with that charming sexy smile of his.
I smiled back and asked, “How do you feel about being interviewed?”
“What are you going to do with the information I give you? Will it be confidential? Will I be anonymous?”
I assured him that I would use great discretion with each person’s privacy. That its my intent to write a book about my experiences with online dating. The purpose isn’t to cause anyone harm or embarrassment. Teddy nodded in acceptance of my purpose.
“I have to admit, it would be an honor to be a part of your project. That you chose me to include in it.”
But then Teddy continued with a more serious tone in his voice.
“Is that the only reason you’re here meeting with me today? To interview me?”
It was then I realized that Teddy has a filling of substance. He’s interested in me. That’s a little piece of information that I’ll tuck safely in my head for further consideration. I looked Teddy straight in the eye and explained.
“I left my 16 year marriage because over time I realized that there were important pieces of myself that were stagnating. My ex and I had allowed our imperfections and issues form a wedge between us. To the point that I was unable to reach any of my goals. We grew so far apart that we lost sight of ourselves and of each other. Even after alot of work, marriage workshops, counseling, etc. we were unable to meet each other in the middle. When I became single again, I had to sort through what I want next in my life. I have always enjoyed being a part of a couple. And I know I want that in my life again. Even though a person is married, it doesn’t mean that they are coupled.”
Teddy is looking intently at me as I speak. Every once in a while I say something that must ring true for him, as he nods in agreement. The waitress came with another pot of coffee. She smiled and refilled our cups.
I continued, “This online dating is like shopping for a new sweater. You know you want a sweater and you know where to find a sweater. You look them over, just like reading the profiles on a dating site. Then you reach out and pick one up. You choose the color and style you like. You touch the fabric to see how it feels. Then you decide to try it on. But not every sweater you try on fits the way you want it to. And so you try another. Dating for me has been the same way. I’m still shopping. Still trying to find the right fit for me. I thought I’d gotten close a couple of times, only to discover that there were patterns in that sweater that just wouldn’t work for me.”
“It makes sense” he said. “So you’re here trying me on?”
I smiled. “Yes, we’re both here ‘shopping’.
“So have you tried on many sweaters?” he asked smiling.
I shared about Winkin, Blinkin and Nod. He laughed, I laughed, and we both nodded our heads a lot.
Sometimes you can absolutely love a particular sweater but something tells you it just isn’t quite right. And you keep shopping.