I’ve talked a lot about break up strategies over the years. How to make the pain go away. How to hold on to it, wallow in it, set your clock by it. The best things to do. What not to do. Break-ups are always different: the tone, the length of suffering, the particular variety of misery (acute, aching, suffocating, slight). But, also, break-ups are always the same. They suck.
Then, weeks later, a month, a couple, and inevitably it starts to fade – the worry, the hurt, the anger. Your first thought in the morning as you wake isn’t about him anymore. You forget his birthday, the date of your first date. The way he said your name. The smell of him no longer lingers in your memory. A friend texts you “I liked him ok, but you’ll do better.” And you realize he is right. And that’s kind of exciting.
Another friend sets you up. Get back on that horse! Go have fun, a drink, a meal, a conversation. You wear a new dress, perfume. Your hair looks cute. You smile a lot. He thinks you’re funny and smart. You are. It’s not a love connection. But, it’s a date, a first date back in the saddle. There will be other first dates. And a few second or third. And then, at some point, you will have a boyfriend again.
Maybe he’ll be tall. Tall enough that you’ll have to stand on tip toe to kiss him. Or maybe you’ll see eye-to-eye when you’re toe-to-toe. Maybe he’ll have curly jet black hair with silver dusting his temples. Or be flaxen haired, or bald. Maybe he’ll be a historian or an amateur archaeologist. Maybe he’ll be a butcher. Or a chemist, an engineer, a podiatrist, a nurse, a contractor, a bartender, a cop, a suit salesman. Maybe he’ll like to paint, or garden, or spend his Saturdays perfecting his bread recipe or his homemade BBQ sauce. Maybe he’ll be a whiskey connoisseur, or make a mean Mojito. Maybe he’ll have an accent. A Southern accent. Or a British accent. Or speak more than one romantic language. Maybe he’ll be a Taurus or a Cancer. Maybe he’ll be an Army brat or a child of divorce, a twin, one of five brothers. Maybe he was an only child raised by his grandmother in her apartment in a high rise in Chicago. Maybe he'll be German. Or Chinese. Maybe he’ll live one block over or close enough you can ride your bike to his house. Maybe his house has a view. A view of the mountains. Or the river. Maybe he’ll have a shop in his garage with the tools hanging, outlined on a pegboard. Maybe he’ll have a pool table in his basement. Or a pool in his back yard. Or eyes as deep blue as a tropical sea. Or not. Maybe he’ll be a philosopher. A reader. A film buff. Or a dancer. Or an artist. Maybe he'll like to listen to hip hop. Or classic rock, or indie pop. Play trumpet in a trio. Bass guitar. Or maybe he’ll like to sing Frank Sinatra songs in the shower. Or Frank Black songs in the car. Maybe he’ll be a leg man, or a boob man, or tell you you have the most beautiful lips he’s ever seen. Maybe he’ll be a dog person, or a cat person, or have an old horse. Maybe he’ll be a night owl or an early bird. Maybe he’ll be hilarious. Or serious. A reader. An adventurer. A traveler. Maybe he’ll like to hunt, or fish, or snowboard, or snorkel. Maybe he’ll have an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball statistics. Maybe he got an A in statistics. Maybe he’ll wear white suede bucks with his linen suit. Or gabardine. Or novelty socks with Nikes. Maybe he’ll wear board shorts slung over his skinny hips. Or his favorite old t-shirt to play basketball with his buddies. Maybe he'll loan you his favorite old t-shirt to wear to bed.
Maybe he’ll be many of these things, or a few of these things or none of these things.
Maybe he’ll be everything, instead of just something. And that would really be something, wouldn't it?