The 70’s song Come Saturday Morning could have been playing in the background, as I hugged my friend goodbye. We’d spent a glorious Saturday walking, talking, shopping and eating our way through Boston, as only one does with certain female friends. I basked in the fortune of good friendship and in the knowledge that Come Saturday Evening, I was to be alone.
I had recently left my marriage of 29 years and was living in a small, transition apartment, and was mostly happy, with only small bouts of loneliness. Tonight, I was especially looking forward to cranking the AC and settling in with my cat and a good book. My phone showed almost 20,000 steps, which is why I’d stopped at the trendy Newbury Street furniture store to cool off and call an Uber to take me back to my car.
At first it was fun, poking around the ultra modern furniture store, waiting for my Uber, thinking that the hard angles and bright colors really weren’t my style, even if I could afford the ridiculous price tag. I quickly got bored and sat in an orange loveseat that was more comfortable than it looked. My Uber was 4 minutes away.
That’s when I saw him testing out the recliner to my left. Salt and pepper hair, trendy silver frames, Levis, sexy. “A man with gray hair is now my type? When did that happen?” I thought to myself. “When did I start getting turned on by old guys?” I had a big LOL moment and checked him out for ring status, of which he wore none. My Uber was 3 minutes away.
I briefly fantasized about how nice it would be to meet a man who thought gray hair was sexy too, so I would have the confidence to stop coloring mine. I wasn’t sure, but it felt like I would be narrowing the dating pool even further if I went au naturel. He was definitely my age and it was not fair that he could look so sexy with so little work. My Uber was 2 minutes away.
Just as I was about to ask him if the chair was comfortable, a blond woman in a feminine blue sundress, birkenstocks and shapely calves grabbed his hand. She didn’t have a ring either, but they were clearly decorating together. For overpriced furniture. At a closer look, her blond hair looked like she too was going gray. Damn I was jealous.
Within seconds, my content turned to chest pressure and sadness. At lightning speed, negative thoughts invaded my brain, “I will never live in a home that will have beautiful furniture, I will never meet a sexy gray-haired man, and I will never have shapely calves because no matter how hard I try, mine will always be solid, shtetl-like calves, handed down to me from generations of Jewish women.”
I even spun a tale about their meet-cute and imagined their fabulous sex on an assymetrical bed. I wanted their life and I didn’t even know them or like their taste in furniture.
“What was wrong with me and where the f*%k were my happy brain chemicals, like endorphins, dopamine or serotonin and why weren’t they working?” I angrily thought. After 20,000 steps, they were letting me down and so was my daily dose of Lexapro. My Uber was 1 minute away, thank God.
“STOP IT! ” I silently yelled to myself, as if slapping both cheeks into consciousness. However I still felt a “nameless need” that surprised me, so I walked outside for oxygen.
When I first moved into my apartment after selling the marital home I had lived in for 27 years, I bought an oversized coffee mug at Marshall’s that said “Choose Joy”. As if the bold, cheugy words were going to change me. I’ve only held onto this mug because neither of us has broken. The joy that I have found, and there has been lots of it, has had little to do with a reminder from a coffee cup and much more to do with the passage of time. So I remind myself of this, and think that my time for new furniture and sexy old guys will happen when it is meant to. My phone dings, I look up, see my Uber and get in.
As we pull into traffic, I think about filling my cheugy mug with a large amount of wine and settling in for the night. I am happy to be leaving the furniture store and Ubering back to my real life, with a comfy queen bed, crisp, clean linens and soft colors, which is where I know I am supposed to be. For now.