Both yesterday and today I woke before sunrise, seeing the faint rays of the sun slipping into the atrium. Insisting that I was going to "sleep in" on my days off, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Both mornings, I slept until 8:45 am. The problem with that, is, that by 9 and 10:00 AM, it's already getting too hot to do much outdoors except pool, beach or boating. I sit looking out over the lawn, lush and green despite the lack of rain, anxious to finish some gardening I'd started weeks ago. The thought of working in this heat, well, makes me procrastinate.
What about this heat. I have lived in South Florida over 30 years - I am well acclimated. So why is this summer so much hotter? I wonder if having moved off the beach is part of it - not having the benefit of the gulf breezes. Or it may be that when on the beach, you go outside to either go to the beach or ...go in to town! Or it could just mean that this summer is hotter. It is hot.
I joined a friend and fellow clerk for happy hour the other night. We had chardonnay and oysters and shrimp and good, lively conversation. I first met Dianne about 4 years ago, although I had spoken with her on the phone times prior. She's a delightful lady and I truly enjoy her company. We met after work, and I was in khakis and sandals, and she was in a dress with heels. "Do you always dress for work?" I asked her. "Pretty much," she said, "when we have council meetings I usually wear a jacket". When I have a council meeting, I usually wear a suit or jacket or something more "professional", but other days I'm pretty casual. Lately I've been noticing others' wardrobes, and recalling a comment made by Florida Senator Richter: "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" I've been gradually upgrading my work wardrobe to be less casual beach and just a little more professional. Oh we're a far cry from the suits in town, but trying to move away from shorts and flip flops! With that in mind, I went to Tanger Factory Outlets yesterday: the Liz Claiborne shop had 50% off sale. I bought a pair of white linen slacks, a pair of white sateen capris, a black knit top and a navy cotton summer dress. I then went to Rack Room shoes and bought three pair: one navy, one white and one brown. Next stop was Walgreens for some new makeup, walgreens liquor for some margarita mixers, and then Publix for groceries.
While in Publix, I was reading the label on a package of corn tortillas, when I heard another shopper speak to me. "Excuse me?" I asked, as I turned to see a tall, tanned gentleman walking up to me. "Do you shop this store often?" he asked. I smiled, "Probably too often!" I answered. "Do you know where I could find the honey? I thought it would be with the jellies and jams, but...." I looked up at the guides above the aisles (where they say CONDIMENTS, CRACKERS, PET SUPPLIES) but knew that was futile. "Often times the carts have directories on them" i said, but quickly realized that this store didn't. Heck, I didn't know..."The staff is usually pretty good at helping..." I answered. "...well, but I can't find anyone..." he answered as he walked away. Y'know, I just hate it when I can't find something: whether at work or at home - it's just my nature - and not knowing where the honey was bugged me! I figured if I was looking for the honey, I'd look where the corn syrup, maple syrup etc. would be. As I left that aisle and rounded to the next, I saw this man standing at the end of the aisle. "Did you find the honey?" I asked. "Yes" he responded, "It was with the coffee." Funny how we see the aisles: the same aisle that has the corn syrup, maple syrup and honey is the same aisle that has the coffee.
Shortly after, I ran into him again in the produce. He had a small, hand-held shopping basket (instead of a cart) and I noticed that there was no ring on the left hand. I finished my grocery shopping and casually pondered the exchange. He was handsome. In hindsight, I mused at the question: "Do you come here often?" Gawd... am I dumb? Should I have acted / responded differently? We hear talk about meeting "other singles" in grocery stores - did I miss an opportunity?
I then recalled a dinner a few weeks ago: It was a conference put on by one of the Town's advisory committees, titled FMBeach Leadership Conference. It was a three-day event, culminating with an awards dinner. I was one of the speakers at the conference, so attended the final dinner. Many attendees brought a spouse or guest, but I attended solo. I sat at a table with two other couples - both business owners on the island who I knew. Just as dinner began, another speaker at the conference took the sixth seat at the table next to me. He was the regional director of a company that turns waste into energy. Very good dinner company, very intelligent, very friendly and rather handsome. (and no wedding ring). I quite enjoyed my evening, and I would venture to say that his company was a major contributing factor.
I have been divorced for 5 years, and, I guess I just don't know how to "get back into" the dating scene. After 20 years of marriage, things are quite different from when I was young and single. Then, I had no hesitations about meeting people. Then, I was probably thought of as "forward." It seems now, all the good ones are taken. Or so it seems.
I practice creative visualization, and have just recently been focusing on my desire to meet someone with whom I can have a relationship (my fingers stumble over those words!). Sometimes, when I think about the constraints of "relationships" I get a little doubtful. But then I see couples together and am envious. When I experience things - be it a movie or a kayak trip or a new recipe - I think how nice it would be to have someone to share in these experiences. You could say that the universe has placed both of these men in my path, as a result of my creative visualization, but I failed to act. So I ask you, my friends: what should I have done? or, when the opportunity arises again, what should I do? Is it OK to come right out and say, "Are you married?" I guess I just don't know how to "flirt" anymore, if that's even an appropriate term. I think I see a little of what men have complained about for years: the fear of rejection.
I guess I just don't get it.