Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Don't let your soul get lonely, it's only time, it will go by. Don't look for love in faces, places. It's in you . . . "

I've been reading The Pioneer Woman's story about how she met her husband and moved from the city to a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere America. I love her site - vintage cowboy and cowgirl images, down-home recipes, amazing photography - it's all brilliant. And her documented daily life is absolutely enthralling to me. Most people may not know that living on a ranch with horses and barns and cast iron skillets is secretly my dream life.
I just started reading the story about how she met her "Marlboro Man," fell in love, and ended up on a cattle ranch. And as I was reading, I started to feel a little twitchy and uncomfortable. Suddenly, I realized that her life sounded a little too familiar. Somehow, it brought back some bitter sweet memories from my past.
At the risk of sounding ridiculously, well ridiculous, I want to write the story about my own "Marlboro" man. I wonder how many women have one of those. I am not sure who exactly reads my blog, or if there is any chance I might be embarrassing myself by writing about this guy, but I want to write this story, so here it goes.
I'm what you call a late bloomer. Most of my dating experiences through the years after my late start were fairly disasterous. Then, at the place where you are least likely to actually meet someone - a single's ward activity - there he was. I noticed him right away with his plaid cowboy shirt, Dodgers baseball hat, square rimmed glasses and beard. That's right, I said beard. From a distance, this kid made me weak in the knees, and I couldn't even see his face. Now, this time in my life was the beginning of my cake baking era - and I had made the strawberry yogurt cake that night, my specialty. Out of nowhere, a friend said that her cousin wanted to meet me because he wanted to know who had made that cake. And it was him - the tall, lanky, bearded, dodger capped cowboy. At the moment she told me this, I was trying pathetically to rope a plastic calf-head stuck into a bale of hay. He sauntered over and offered to show me how. Did I mention he was a roper in high school? Seriously, I think I melted right then and there (I used to do a bit of rodeo myself back in the day and I'll tell you, a man who can really ride a horse is one of the most spectacular sights on God's green earth). As he was showing me how to hold the rope, I looked down at his hands - large, strong, calloused, tan - the veins standing out on his smooth skin. I couldn't breathe. Then, he reached over and held my hands around the rope. I couldn't even look at him. As soon as he touched my hands I felt an electric jolt go through me. I wonder if he felt it too. He asked his cousin about me after that night, and we starting getting to know each other. But somehow life got in the way and he was moving two hours away for school in a matter of weeks, so, much to my dismay, nothing ever really happened between us.
I barely knew him, but for some reason, I think about him sometimes. Random times. Usually when I'm frustrated that I never meet anyone that I am really interested in, or how no one seems to make me laugh, or feel the way I felt when I met him. I can't tell if it was all in my head or if that level of chemistry/sparks actually exists in real life. And that's where my story ends. I lost track of him after that. I wonder what happened to him, why nothing ever happened between us, why he never called me up out of the blue, why timing seems to control relationships more than attraction, and if he is living my dream life without me; somewhere with horses and pastures and barns. When I read the Pioneer Woman's story about how she felt when she met her husband, I started to remember bitter sweet memories of meeting someone I'll never forget.

But what I really want to know is, does that feeling happen twice in a lifetime?
Title: lyrics to Be here now by Ray LaMontagne