The Therapist

Here is what you say when your good friend, (a woman you glommed onto like a life raft at church years ago because she, too, was a divorced mom in the sea of happy (?) families) offers to fix you up with her long ago love, a handsome therapist, who broke up with her, ever so kindly, in order to save her from one day having to care for him due to their extreme age difference. You say YES!

This is a man who seemed so wonderful it was all I could do not to beg her to fix me up back then when her heart was still bruised. “He sounds perfect for ME and age-appropriate to boot” I thought but mercifully, for once, had the good sense not to say as I consoled her with “He’s probably right, honey. There are SO many men out there your age. You really don’t want to spend your healthy middle age years being a nurse maid.” And she moved on and on and on (she claims she went on 50 + dates with on-line finds and various fix-ups—truly a woman younger, stronger and even more determined than I to find true love) before finding a very steady, kind, reliable engineer who loves her spontaneous, friendly personality in the ultimate opposites-attract sweepstakes. He calls when he says he’ll call, they’re attracted to each other, they have fun together and the fact that he has a passel of young children with him every other week seems ok too as she uses that time to live the rest of her life with her own kids and friends and job. And meanwhile the true love of her life, the one who got away decades ago in another state, has just e-popped back in with news of his divorce. Methinks this is the happy ending she really deserves—the whole package that she can open one Christmas not too far away.

But in the meantime—her “cast off” might be just my speed. Or not. It doesn’t really matter to me. I feel like I am on my way to Nordstrom where a personal shopper who has known me forever has preselected a dress for me to try on. It might not be the perfect one, but it is wonderful knowing that I won’t have to walk up and down the aisles weeding out the orange floral prints. Somebody I know and respect has already identified this one as a winner. A winner with his own life and need for space and maybe (please God) a select few of his own old-age aches and pains. Perfect.

On the other hand, I admired this same friend’s lipstick once, a stunningly perfect shade of burgundy, and she snip-snap ordered me one from her source. I still have it. Looks like crap on me. Ok, not crap but just so-so la-la with none of the pow and sparkle it has on her lips. Maybe it’s the wrinkles. Maybe lip wrinkles absorb all the wow. Maybe the therapist will have some wrinkles too. When I told him via text that our mutual friend thought he hung the moon, he said she knew him 50 pounds ago when he still had hair. I said I’d meet him at the restaurant and keep my eyes peeled for the fat bald guy. In your 60s, trust me, the immortal words of Rosanne Rosannadanna ring true …..it’s always something!

And yes, I do remember the implied suggestion from my own therapist that maybe dating right now was not the cleverest idea I’ve ever had. But this date pre-dates that non-suggestion and cancelling would be rude and my mama didn’t raise no rude children! And ignoring my therapist to go on a date with another therapist tickles my wide defiant streak. Besides, I want to know if he actually looks like Richard Gere (#1 in my Hollywood heartthrob Hall of Fame) or if my friend was seeing him through the gauzy eyes of love. Either way, my polka dot skirt and I are going.

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