What is More?

A funny thing happened on the way back into divorce-induced bachelorhood. Having been married for almost a decade, I figured that I would be better prepared for the socializing/dating rat race because of my extensive knowledge of at least one female’s habits. It didn’t take long to discover that I am still totally clueless.

Case in point. . . .

After living in a totally Eligible-Female-Free Zone for over seven months, I finally decided to invite this single woman (I’d known her for a while) out to dinner. While we knew who each other were, we hadn’t socialized alone before, so I posed the invitation as a harmless get-together. To my terror, she accepted.

When the chosen evening approached, I called to make final arrangements. She had not had a good day, but was still game for a quiet outing. I foolishly suggested that we prepare dinner at my house. After we summed the combined contents of our kitchen pantries, we determined an approximate menu for the evening. She would stop for beer (make a note, that’s worth points), and come over directly.

As it turned out, the evening was rather pleasant. We had dinner, drank the beer she so graciously provided, played some ping-pong, looked at a few photos of a recent motorcycle tour, and parted ways. I was happy that I hadn’t made a total fool of myself. I was also happy that the evening hadn’t become complicated, in any way.

Figuring that this was someone that might accompany me on the occasional harmless outing, I called her a couple of weeks later. Her weekend was booked, but before I could even change the subject, she started a sentence with the words:

“About us seeing each other . . . .”

Now I know I’ve been out of the singles scene for a long time, but I figured I knew an impending blowoff when I heard one. As I waited for the lame details, I noticed that her explanation wasn’t taking the expected course. She explained, in fairly uncertain terms, that while she was over for dinner, she had experienced a fleeting desire for something she described as “more”. She then confessed that she had recently ended a long-term relationship, and was worried about such issues as “flings” and “rebound”. Naturally, being a stupid male, I listened to her explanation without asking for further details. Soon thereafter, the subject changed, and we talked for a couple of hours about several topics totally unrelated to the concept of “more”.

After we finally hung up, I moved about the house, preparing myself and the pets for the night. Slowly, I became aware of a certain level of confusion growing in my mind. The problem was that I couldn’t identify the exact source of the confusion.

That was when the vision came . . . unbidden, and clear as crystal.

The vision was a recollection; a memory from years past. It was a warm summer’s night in Milwaukee, WI, and I was driving our VW Cabriolet convertible with the top down. My wife, Michelle, sat in the passenger seat, while our friend Brian rode in the back seat. The hour was late, and we had the road to ourselves. We were slowing for a red traffic signal when something unusual happened. While the red lights on the traffic signal stayed on, the green lights illuminated, resulting in solid green and red showing at the same time. In response to this perplexing conundrum, Brian grabbed the convertible’s rollbar, lifted his barrel-chested 6′ 2″ frame to a standing position, pointed a wavering finger at the apparition before us, and screamed at the top of his lungs, “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?”

The vision ended with a feeling of revelation. I had seen the enemy, and it was this concept of “more”. Indeed! What does this mean? Is this a red light, a green light, or an engineering problem. Is this good news, bad news, or just news? I realized, with a certain amount of reluctance, that I didn’t have a bloody clue.

As I fell asleep that evening, my mind dwelled on a few thoughts. First, I was probably blowing this “more” issue out of proportion. Second, you can never truly know what’s on any woman’s mind. And lastly, after a total of 12 years (dating and marriage) of monogamy, I had invited a grand total of one (1) new woman out for one (1) harmless dinner, and my social life was already complicated.

How’s that for being born under a bad sign?

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