Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Show Stopper

A Show Stopper

Well, I have put myself out there in the “dating” world and added my profile to at least two internet dating sites for senior singles. I also have a profile on a left-wing “green” site that has a singles-seeking option. I have met two interesting men on the green site. One who is originally from Bangladesh, but is a US citizen and lives in the DC area; and another who is a Jewish transplant to NC from NYC.

I only recently met singles from the other sites. One man is ten years younger, lives near Charlotte, and restores windows in historic houses.  We met and he is going to do some work for me on my windows in exchange for some antique casement windows I recently had replaced.  The other gentleman lives nearby, is a 69-year-old widower whose wife of 39 years died only six months ago.

The widower and I e-chatted on the dating site and then exchanged phone numbers. On the dating site, you have a “user name” and so, when we spoke on the phone, “Sam” asked me my name and I told him.  Then he emailed me specifics for the dinner date, but he called me “Amanda” which is NOT my name, but over the phone, you could possibly hear it that way. I kindly corrected him and then suggested that I call him “Sam” rather than his given name since I had a psychic reading about a year ago and she told me I was going to meet “Sam” who would be the love of my life.  This became our little joke and we began referring to each other as Amanda and Sam.

The plans for dinner were that we go ‘dutch’ because so many men on the site whine about having to pay for dinner and getting nothing in return OR of not being satisfied if they do not meet up with a swimsuit model. Sam reluctantly agreed. We decided to meet in the parking lot of the restaurant at 7PM. He said he would be driving a Corvet.

When I called Sam to let him know I was running late, he was having problems finding the restaurant, so I told him to meet me in the Hobby Lobby parking lot.  He agreed.  I could see the brand new white Corvet as I pulled into the lot and I sped right up to it and pretended I was going to crash into it.   Sam laughed, rolled down his window and I pointed to the restaurant right across the little side street. The Thai Lotus. It is under new management and it is absolutely WONDERFUL!!!!!

We parked our cars and got out.  Sam was at least six feet tall.  He had white hair and gray/blue eyes.  He was “fluffy” but not “fat.”  (like me)….so I felt quite relaxed. What I noticed right off was his manners.  He opened the door to the restaurant, held out my chair for me to sit, waited for me to order first, and tried to keep the conversation on me. 

As the evening wore on, I think we both became quite relaxed with each other.  We had wine, a Reisling which I suggested, and he liked it. He asked if I liked his shirt and I said I did.  Then he told me he had gone shopping that afternoon for something to wear.  He also volunteered that this evening was the first time he ever took off his wedding ring.  I noticed the indentation on his finger. Knowing that he was married for over 30 years and that he had been the caregiver to his wife in her last days really made me feel such respect and admiration for him and I told him so. 

He also found himself talking about his wife and apologized to me.  I told him there was no need to apologize. He must need to speak of her to keep the memories alive and begin to heal. He seemed like a very sweet man. I was not feeling any fireworks, but I decided I would really like to see him again and develop a friendship and at least share some music together, since he said he really loves to sing.

We found plenty to talk about and we even shared a dessert tray together.  When the check came, he would NOT let me share it, but insisted on paying for the evening. It made the independent side of me bristle a bit, but the feminine side was smiling.

When we left, he asked if I would like to ride in the Corvet.  I was excited to go for a little spin.  I had never been in a Corvet before.  He opened my door and got me settled, then he went over to his side and started to get in….and it was no small feat, cramming a six-foot teddy bear into a little Corvet.  We had a lovely ride up 127 North to the marina where we turned around and saw the most beautiful sunset display I have ever seen!  It was a gift for sure.

We headed back to the parking lot and said our goodbyes. As I drove home, he drove beside me and at a stop light, he rolled down his window and said he missed me already.  Now, that made me feel nice!

Well, that was Sunday.  It is now Wednesday and I have not heard from him.  I am not “needy” but I really thought he would email or call by now and I got worried, so I sent a short email to ask if he was okay.  His reply was: “I didn’t notice on your profile that you were not a Christian and that is a show-stopper for me.”

Now, I would have been prepared for “I just don’t think we have anything in common” but to refuse friendship because I am not a Christian really hurts.  I do not partake in human sacrifice. I do not worship the devil. I just cannot limit my spirituality to the Christian tenet that unless you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and unless and you confess Him as your Lord and Savior, you are going to Hell….along with all of the other people who believe differently.

Now, I used to be a Christian and a very devout one. And if you told me back then that I would ever NOT be a Christian, I would have thought you were a heretic. I am not sure how I got to where I am, but I have read and studied all of the “holy” texts, including the Bible. I want to know everything there is to know about faith and spirituality. I have come to love the teachings of Buddah; of the Hindu faith; the beautiful poetry of the Koran and its teachings of peace and equality; the earth-based narratives of the Native American Indians; and the pure teachings of Jesus Christ.  I have also read how, when any of these beautiful spiritual teachings become corrupted by fundamental interpretation, holy wars ensue and innocents are slaughtered in the name of one of the many “Gods.”

Now, if Sam and I had really made a connection and were going to become serious about each other, then I would understand, I guess. It just pains me that I am being rejected as a friend because I  choose to follow a different spiritual path. I am a good person. I love my neighbors. I love the earth, and I do my best to keep her clean and green. I pray and practice mindfulness and offer thanksgiving for all the gifts, worldly, spiritual, and earthly that I have been blessed with. I do not smoke. I do not drink to excess. I do not engage in lewdness or any deviant sexual behavior. I just cannot limit my spirituality to a single dogma that excludes and celebrates separate-ness.