“I didn’t mean to steal your heart,” he said with a smile, gazing into my eyes.
Which is when the checkout clerk said, “That’s not her heart. It’s yours. It comes free with the flowers.”
Yes, dear reader, if this was a romance novel rather than my blog, he would have uttered that phrase to me while I tearily told him, “But you did steal my heart. Forever, my love.”
Instead, this man took his box of chocolate hearts and the lily he was buying, said: “I couldn’t resist” with a grin, and exited the grocery store on his way to the rest of his day.
And me? Well, I bought my jar of blue cheese dressing. I’m not sure blue cheese dressing is really a good cue for any kind of music, especially not the romantic kind.
I used to date a man I met online. And I would tell him, “I hate this online thing. I just want to meet the man of my dreams somewhere like the grocery store. Our carts will collide and our eyes will meet over the fallen blueberries.”
After that, I got texts from time to time that said, “Are you at the grocery store? I’m showing up for bumper carts. Meet you near the blueberries.”
His quick wit did not make up for his cheatin’ heart. But it was a great wit.
Today is Valentine’s Day. There’s that. Every Valentine’s Day I am reminded that I love men. As a species. Except for the smarmy ones who populate online dating sites. And the inconsiderate husbands. And the sexist pigs.
Ok, so maybe I love a certain subset of the male species. The good guys. And on Valentine’s Day, I am reminded they are out there. I see them looking bewildered in the floral aisle. I can almost picture the thought bubbles over their heads: “Roses? Is it too soon for roses? But lilies—do women like lilies? Or is that just something you get your mother?”
I see the men who race frantically to catch the train before it leaves the station because they stopped at the florist, knowing their wife can spot grocery store flowers a mile away.
I see those scratching their heads in the card aisle, trying to find just the right sentiment. And attempting to look manly while they do it.
Sure, there are the guys who rush in—choose the first bouquet they see and race out in a flurry. There are men who don’t help their sons get Mom a V-day card or memento (No names mentioned, of course. But he does the same disappearing act on Mother’s Day and my birthday.) And there are men like the one my friend was supposed to meet tonight for a first date, who just never get back to women instead of telling them they have had a change of heart. Ugh.
But, for the most part, I see a lot of normal, nice guys doing their best out there. Many of you have asked if I’m still online dating. I’m not. I’ve been taking a long break. When people ask, “Well then, what are you doing?” I tell them I’m living my life. Happily, for the most part. And when one of my male friends calls and says, “You know, you better get back out there. You’re not getting any younger,” I actually grin. Because I know I’m not going to be happy with the guy who doesn’t appreciate fine lines. The guy who buys the first bouquet he sees.
No. If you ask me what I love about a man, so many things come to mind. The shape of his hand. The sheer strength in it. His bewilderment at why one pair of black pumps are not enough. His love of a good scotch or bourbon. Strong arms. A sharp wit. A command of wines that allows him to confidently order a bottle for the table. Or the self-assurance to pass the duty on to someone who can. The way he opens a door and puts his hand on the small of my back as I enter. The way he looks, reading glasses on, when he is absorbed in something that flirts with his mind. That deep voice. Soulful eyes and a belly laugh.
I have a feeling this man and I will just collide. Somehow, someway. I am certainly not chasing love. I am upping my happiness quotient with each day—and have plenty to work on within myself before we meet.
Perhaps in the grocery store line. But this time, he really will steal my heart.