My amish boyfriend is neither Amish, nor my boyfriend.
Earlier, in another blog, I alluded to a certain resuscitation of broken Mojo after a long illness.
It doesn’t matter how long, so don’t ask.
Yeah, it’s actually shocking to me, too.
So, there was a Mojo Revival Episode before I left TZ.
And then, there was the realization that though I remain sad, there are other parts of me that were just – well – neglected.
Upon my return to my Ozarkian home, I ran into a man that I know from before I left.
I do not know this man well.
I suppose because I am a total dork, and because i’ve recently embarked upon a new campaign of improved grooming, in a rather awkward way, he asked me out. To dinner, I think, but that part was unclear. I wasn’t sure – should I eat before we go? Am I going to get hypoglycemic if I don’t stash a granola bar in my handbag? Additionally, I was a little puzzled as to whether it was a “date.” Will there be others? Should I wear underpants?
Since I hadn’t visited with my next door neighbors, Tracy & Shane, in a while – i thought, hey, they’re grown ups, and they have teenage kids. Let me go over there and tell them about my afternoon. So we hung out for a while, and then, when it was appropriate, I said, “So hey, I think this man asked me out today.” And Shane was like, “You don’t know?” and I was like, “Not really.” And then, I think he was alarmed, because more than once he has removed sleeping homeless guys from my front porch. So after he’s reassured that this is not – to my knowledge – a potential date with a homeless meth addict – which, trust me, could happen – he gets very serious and asks, “So what are you going to do? Just get dressed up and wait for him to show up?”
The alarming thing here is that I was fine with just waiting for him to show up – – having recently lived on African time – and actually having been married to African time for many years – – but that I had COMPLETELY not considered the “dressing up” part.
Which possibly explains why I don’t date and why, as i mentioned, I have spent so much time recently trying to recall the value of “grooming” before leaving my home. It does seem like people notice this. People keep asking if I’ve lost weight, but I think it’s just that my hair is brushed. (Also, wearing sparkly eyeshadow. Winky face.)
As it turned out, he DID show up, and we had a lovely meal.
It was also First Friday, so we took a spin around downtown and happy-faced around to dozens of people. The thing here that was a bit odd for me was he was actually INTRODUCING me to people, with his arm kind of on me, and it was like, Oh. I am a girl.
Which is weird because you know how I was married to a guy who came from a polygynous country where there was no real dating?
The other thing to own up to – – as many of my readers will attest – – is that the actual DATING thing? Not so much a part of my world. Prior to my marriage – and after the long monogamous relationship I had in Wichita with a truly lovely man – my “dating” life really comprised meeting in a bar, establishing that the person had progressive politics, and then getting my legs up over my head.
Sometimes there was breakfast afterwards.
Which is, frankly, why it was time to get married to K’s dad. It was all a little bit sad, and I wanted something real. K’s dad has a lot of good qualities. I will write about them, too; but let me get back to my date.
At the conclusion of our date, we returned to his house, let’s call him Doug, and we sat on his porch swing, waiting for one of his daughters to come home. I said, hey, how about I just head out, and he says, no, no: I really want you to meet my daughter.
We sat in the stillness of the hot hot August night and I commented on nearly deafening noise of the cicadas, the swell of their collective noise in the airless night.
I said, swinging gently, “I heard a lot of night sounds in the Uluguru Mountains this past year, but not cicadas.” pause “I’ve missed them.“
Quiet. Kick kick kick, the swing rocked. The cicadas swelled.
“I guess you’ve seen a lot of things,” he says, after a long long pause.
Rock, rock, rock.
His daughter came home, and he introduced us. We smiled. We made pleasantries. She did this odd smile at her dad. Disappeared into the house. We heard the television. We continued to rock. The cicadas carried on their night song. That week it was well over 100 degrees every day – and even in the evening, the heat was unrelenting. I felt like standing up and doing a bunch of downdogs.
Then his son came home. His son is a student at the university where I work. He was clearly in shock to see me there. “Dr. XXXX?” incredulous voice, seriously shaken. “what are you doing here?”
Well, I think, I’m trying to make out with your dad.
But, I just smile.
I hoped there was nothing stuck in my teeth. Good grooming is key.
We go back to rocking.
After some more time, mostly quiet except for the cicadas, he walks me home. We hold hands. He kisses me, gently, in front of my house.
I go inside and think, how lovely. Then I think, that’s it? Because, Hello Mojo.
And then I think, be a grown up.
The next morning, I head to another state to see K, and get her enrolled in school there, instead of coming home with me. (That’s another long story in the other blog.)
So when I return, Doug has a series of deadlines he’s trying to meet at work – and so he can’t see me. For five days.
I figure, wow. This isn’t going to work out. Let me just let him off the hook gently.
But no, he keeps calling me, texting with nominal regularity. Actually doing the things he says he is going to do. Finally, after what feels like an epic separation worthy of a Daniel Day Lewis film, we do get together again, at my house, for dinner.
And we sit on my front porch. And talk about a lot of tired grown up things like jobs that we didn’t really want and houses that steal our energy and idealism that is burnt around the edges. (He’s a do-gooder guy with a kind of hard and thankless job.)
Then, he says, gotta go. Kisses me. Leaves. (Eats shoots and leaves. Not really. I just think that’s funny.)
(And yes, i also wondered if it was the kind of boring stir fry that was the cause of his departure. We can all agree that Luxury Ho is not much of a cook.)
I think, hmm. This bifocal dating thing is really tricky. This is not going so well. I wonder if he’s aware of how powerful my Mojo is. I wonder why he is eluding my powerful Mojo trap.
But you know, friends, my Mojo has only had the shortest little test drive in recent years, and so there is vulnerability and there is apprehension about putting myself out there.
And, plus. I’m leaving town in ten days.
So on our NEXT date, we return to our porch swing. And we do this again. And again. A number of times thoughout last week.
And then there is some kissing. Sometimes even a kind of a lot of kissing. (But never more than you could see in a movie that you wouldn’t feel comfortable watching with say, your students.)
And then, every time, there is this sudden, abrupt end. Departure. Or the walk home. Always on his terms.
It’s like we’re in a Mormon film about sex education.
Or possibly Amish. I sort of suspect that the Amish get more funky than Mormons, but I can’t really be sure and there is that whole creepy incest thing.
Last week, I tried to advocate for more immediate intimacy. And got shot down with the old, “Oh, it’s so late, and I have to work in the morning.” Another time: “listen, I’d love to stay, but I’ve got to get back to my daughter.” Frankly, I think this is lame. But, the bad boy thing – the irresponsible thing – the impulsive – these have not been good decisions for your favorite Luxury Ho. (well, except for that one time in Galway – – – but wow, that will have to be on a rated R site. . . . )
And I’ve gone to hot yoga over and over, trying to work out the Mojo. Be serene. Not take this personally.
That is where it stood, after three weeks, this weekend.
Last night, we were meant to get together. Our first bona fide child-free evening when no one had to work the next morning.
Two hours before the time we were to meet.
He says, “Maybe we can get together Tuesday?”
I think, really, I’ve given this a fair chance.
Because I’m not, actually, Amish.
And here’s the healthy news: I feel like I need to withdraw with my dignity intact.
Betcha didn’t see that coming.