Yes! Another great prompt from WordPress to release the writer in me; she who hides from sunlight that IS liberation enwrapped in writing! This daily prompt is about the experience of coming really close to something, and it unraveling, at the very end. It’s about the stories that can be summed up as ‘Almost’. Some say almost doesn’t count, but as a part of the experience-collective that life is, I think ‘almost’ counts. Sure, you may not end up getting the cigar, clipping it, lighting it, and smoking it, but the journey to the cigar AND the mere factor that you now KNOW of this cigar, can definitely be a learning experience. A learning experience, I say. Well, this ‘Close but No Cigar’ situation presented one of these experiences I am talking about. It actually was a very unpleasant lesson at first, and I sat down in my car asking God, in a very disappointed tone with my eyes rolling once or twice, “Really?”
I know, I probably shouldn’t speak to the Almighty Creator this way, but as I present you with the story, I think you will feel for me. Just…you know… you don’t have to jump on Boat ‘Really?‘ with me; but you can.
About ten years ago, I had been divorced for about two years and was looking into meeting a man with whom to continue my life journey. Mine and my daughter’s. I mention this second part, because it was imperative I be careful of who I let in my daughter’s life as a father figure. I had to KNOW she would be safe with him in my absence. I wasn’t actively looking for this man, but I played with the idea here and there. One day, a friend and I decided to have some fun with online dating. Hey, for $10 bucks we would be online for one month, check out the online scene, and then cut the service off and go back to meeting people face-to-face. I must say that although I don’t have an overall judgement of online dating, I did go into this venture with the mentality that I would treat it as a classroom assignment, or like a TV show that was just for my amusement. I knew of a lot of people who met someone online and that someone was crazy, or not who he/she advertised to be in the profile picture.
After about two weeks, having e-messaged two guys who were extremely offended that I told them I wasn’t looking to have a relationship (committed nor sexual), and having received a message from a man who said he wanted to marry me, I came across this ‘No Cigar’ guy, Victor. His picture portrayed a handsome guy, who dressed nicely, and it accompanied a decent and well-written bio. Yes, the man had good grammar skills! You may appreciate even further now, why I rolled my eyes at God. (Smile)
So it was that at the end of that week we decided to exchange personal email addresses & at the end of that month I ended the online dating service. Victor and I emailed a lot, and eventually decided to speak on the phone. He always seemed happy to speak with me, and there was never an awkward silent moment on the phone. We lived in different states, which was something I liked as it gave me a protective shield…a reason as to why we couldn’t meet yet. Not yet, at least.
Victor spoke well, with a little slang here and there. His verbs and nouns agreed, and he had a nice voice. We spoke for hours and hours. We shared similar beliefs and openness about spiritual matters. We exchanged old poetry and one day we wrote poetry for each other. It all really felt wonderful. He had a very good job, was heterosexual, had an older child whom he cared for very well and cared about deeply. Oh, he also owned a home, a car, and a successful business.
After a few months of long, easy conversations, we decided to meet. As I mentioned above, we lived in different states, but we wanted to see if we actually vibed in person and the only way to find out was to meet. So we did. I remember as clear as day when we met. I drove to pick him up from the station. I saw a well-dressed man standing by the curb of the road and I knew it was him. Immediately I saw something that shot all my hopes down like…like when you finally get to a store that’s far from where you live, and they finally have that one thing you want, and you go to grab your wallet and realize you left it in the diaper bag at home!! You know you can take this trip again, but you also know, more intuitively, that you most likely won’t….not for a long time, at least.
He got in the car as I was processing what just happened. I hadn’t rolled my eyes at God yet, but I was dumbfounded by a few things I was feeling. Yet, I had to keep my composure and welcome my guest to my city. I had to show him the excitement I expressed over the many conversations leading up to that moment.
Long story short, we visited, hung out with some friends, and realized we didn’t vibe in person as we did over the phone & in writing. He left and that was the end of that.
I haven’t yet shared what it was that shot my hopes down, which is also the reason for this blog’s name. When I drove up and saw him standing there. the VERY first thing I saw was his stance. Someone’s stance was not something I had consciously thought about before, and yet it presented itself powerfully and with decisive impact. I couldn’t be with Victor. I mean, I couldn’t be his woman and I knew this just by his stance. He had sounded confident, yet his stance said ‘I apologize’; he had sounded strong, yet his stance said ‘I can’t really protect you’.
“There is no way I’m disliking Victor because of his stance!” I told myself in disbelief of my judgements. What was wrong with me? This man was nice and he seemed to genuinely care about me. He hadn’t been over-zealous, nor too proud to say how he felt. Yet, I already knew this journey had ended.
After Victor left, I sat down and rolled my eyes at God. I asked Him, “Really?” I stopped rolling my eyes, and kept asking, “After all the fake guys I have met, the crazy ones who didn’t know me and wanted to marry me, the ones I really liked and didn’t reciprocate that feeling, the ones who can’t spell, the ones who don’t have a job, the ones who were undercover homosexual… after allll-o-dat, I dislike this guy ’cause of his stance? Really?”
Well, God didn’t really answer, thus I began asking myself the same question. What about his stance threw me off so? The reality of it was that I didn’t feel that I would feel secure with him. I felt that I would overpower him, energy-wise, and wouldn’t feel as much like a woman as I want to feel. I am not a woman of small stature and I was taught to stand tall & look the world in the eye. I realized that I needed a man who also looked the world in the eye. I realized that I needed a man who didn’t walk around with a default-stance that apologized to all for his success & achievements. The man I needed would need to have humility, but feel and show confidence in who he is. I would need to feel and see these things in the man I would spend my life with.
My questioning led me to see that although I am a strong woman in my own right, I still want to feel like…the girl in the relationship. I want to be hugged with my head pressed against my man’s chest as I stand tall in the face of the world and its trials. I didn’t want to romanticize this feeling, though. I wanted it to be real! The security that I was looking for, didn’t necessarily come in physical height, but in the way my man would carry himself. Don’t get me wrong, if he would also be tall, then that’d be pretty perfect!
Ah! So this is one of the lessons I was to learn from this experience. I was SO close….so close it was aggravating for a while. In fact, I would shake my head at God often, at the turn of events with Victor.
The WordPress Daily Prompt: But No Cigar, asked to share what, if anything, was positive about not getting ‘the cigar’ . Well, in 2007 I met my current husband at a party. I actually don’t remember meeting him, except for the memory of a tall figure, standing tall with his shoulders back, and wearing a black coat. I actually was dating someone at the time, and paid this ‘tall figure’ no attention, other than quickly saying hello in passing. Over two years later we met again and one of the very first things I noticed about him (having forgotten the first meeting in 2007) was his stance. He stood with regality. His vibe was very chilled out, fun, loving, and inviting. His stance said he was confident and non-apologetic of who he was. It all worked together well.
It wasn’t until almost two years later that we realized we wanted to be more than friends, but isn’t it interesting that once again the man’s stance stood out so significantly?
Victor not working out is one of the many life experiences that made is possible for my husband and I to be together. I really can’t think of a better positive outcome than this. In this case, I definitely got close AND got the cigar!