• neil

Day 69 (25 May): You snooze you lose

Sometimes timing sucks.

I met somebody very special recently but I wasn’t feeling sure of myself. I had been badly hurt for a long time by the break up of an important relationship and this time round I wanted cast iron guarantees. Ideally a contract with lots of sub-clauses and big red wax seals, witnessed by the King with clause 1 stating: "I promise to love you unreservedly for ever and ever and never break your heart."

I used lockdown as an excuse. I was nervous and unsure. I vacillated. And while I was vacillating a man who she had met around the same time swept down on her like an eagle on a lamb. And the lamb was aware of the eagle and knew the eagle for what it was but the lamb was in need of the eagle regardless. Because scary can be exciting and at the very least it beats introspective dithering.

The man might or might not be a ‘A Player’ (she thinks he is) but he certainly is not a ditherer and sometimes, I suppose, a woman just wants bad and sexy rather than hesitation and doubt - the speciality of would-be cyborg Neil. Dangerous and daring is just what the doctor ordered when you are a woman who has been serious all her life, who has fought her way up professionally while surrounded by machos, who has raised the kids by herself and done everything 'just so' year after year. When fifty is behind you and you are lying in a cold bed in an empty house it is not surprising to ask yourself:

'Don't I deserve something thrilling, maybe something edgy, something new and sexy to happen in my life? Yes I am scared, but yes I am excited and yes I am going to do it!'

Don’t expect anything in the way of humour today folks . I’m feeling more than a smidgen deflated.

It seems that when I was young I slipped into relationships; they just happened without questions or answers. Perhaps I didn't know the questions I should have been asking and perhaps that lack of responsibility was a huge blessing. Stuff happened of its own volition. As I progressed through life I acquired some wisdom, but also picked up my share of burns and so today, while appreciating the beauty of the candle, I gave into the fear of the flame.

There are times when I wish life would take a break from teaching me lessons. There are days when I would fain shout ‘My knowledge is shallow and partial but I’ll make do with it as it is! Could I please have a little more derring-do and a little less reflection?'

When informed she was seeing the other gentleman I blurted ‘Of course we will stay friends!’ but I quickly realised what a no no that is.

For my own pride and sanity I cannot be the go-to person for heart massages if she is hurt or, harder still, listen to stories of blooming love and connubial bliss. I would diminish myself both in my eyes and in her eyes. Her Player would be the stage strutting star.

And I would be the monkey sweeping the boards for peanuts as the the curtain goes down.

The end result? I have achieved the fond respect and affection of the lady in the complete absence of the lady herself. It seems something of a Pyrrhic victory.

But I have learned something. The next time I feel something for somebody I will take my brain out, give it a good talking to and say, StarTrek like:

'Mr. Gut, you have the helm!'

Sweet lady, I wish you every joy and happiness.



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