Building Mr. Right

I have been thinking for a while about diving into the waters of the dating world again and as always, I ask myself what kind of man is it that I’m looking for? If I could build Mr. Right what parts and pieces would go into his creation? Kind of like a puzzle but with body parts, personality, moral and ethical laws and whatever form of spirituality he may possess. That led me to thinking about the men in my life; past, present, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, sad, bad & everything in between. What was it about the Bad Boy that made me so weak in the knees? What was it about the Desperate to Please that made me so irritated? Why did I immediately like that guy, only to find out that he was a liar, (note to cheating married men – we can go online to see if your “divorce” actually happened, so quit being dumb asses and telling such pathetic, easily verifiable lies) why is it that the perfectly available, ready to settle down, single guy makes me want to jab my eyes out to break the monotony of listening to this safe, clinically sane man who is more in love with himself than he will ever be with any other human being bore me to tears with his painfully dull monologue about how great he is? All these things considered I came up with the following:

My dad, was of course, the first man in my life and to say that we had a complicated relationship would be akin to saying the sinking of the Titanic was an unimportant event in history or that the parting of the Red Seas was a neat trick (ok atheists – settle down over there) neither does them justice or tells the whole truth. At any rate, my dad had some outstanding traits such as he was a “thinking man” who loved the Greek philosophers, debating pretty much anything and had a thirst for knowledge that was unquenchable. He spoke to me as an adult, even when I was a child. He gave me the belief that I had something to offer in any conversation, regardless of content or who the participants were. He never treated me like I was “just a girl” or “little Princess” (thank God!!!!) so I grew up a tomboy, blissfully unaware about gender roles, as they applied to me. I was able to hit the speed bag just as well as my brothers when I needed to blow off some steam; Dad knew that my temper would be my downfall and tried to give me healthy ways to deal with it. However, Dad was also an alcoholic for the first 20-some odd years of my life, was an unhappily married man for most of those years (yeah, my poor choices in men are no longer a mystery) and I’ve been there, done that and have no desire to return. So married would go to the top of my “Non-Desirable/Deal-Breaker Traits” list.

All of my five brothers were the next important men in my life and I could fill a book with what they taught me. But the traits I admire the most are their very unique and individual senses of humor, their tenaciousness and ferocity in protecting those they love. They are good husbands, fathers, uncles, friends and of course, brothers.

My first husband, who taught me that I was worth loving, that there was a man in the world who could look past all the Crazy and see something worthy of love; that man had patience beyond saintly. He was the first man who would have stuck by me through better or worse, in sickness and in health; truly until death do you part. So naturally, I was terrified that I was responsible for yet another person’s happiness and blew that relationship to smithereens. However, all I need to do is look into our son’s eyes to know that it happened for a beautiful reason, a wonderful gift of life and love. He has since remarried and is living happily, hopefully drama-free and enjoying the life he chose to live.

Along with my brothers, my dear friend JJ would be the next hugely important man in my life; because of him I found the courage to seek out sobriety, to see myself in an entirely different way and to appreciate the small, beautiful, everyday things that I’d always taken for granted before meeting him. His friendship was solid gold, true blue and forever; no false platitudes or sugar-coating from him. You never had to ask him what he thought because he would just tell it like it was, the good, the bad and the painful to hear because it was true.

The other men I’m just going to let them remain nameless, to protect the guilty and the innocent alike. One of them, let’s call him Walt, always loved taking off on spontaneous trips (which I would never even consider) to places nearby for a weekend or even just a day. On the down side, he was a freak off his leash, meaning he couldn’t keep “It” in his pants. Another man, who we will call Tom, taught me about living life Post Divorce, how to survive when your kid is in another state, with another woman raising him, who is a complete stranger. This man had infinite patience with me and more love and kindness than I could have ever hoped for. On the down side, he was married, so yeah. You see the pattern, right? Good stuff, not so good stuff. There are more men who taught me to enjoy fine wine, music I had never listened to, books I’d never read, movies I’d never seen. The varied and infinite degrees of love, the different chemistry, the short or long lasting fascination with each other; all different, but all playing important roles in the Story of My Life.

So, to sum it up, I would love to meet a man who is patient, fearless, loyal, kind, generous, not married, hopefully sober with a great sense of humor but doesn’t take himself too seriously, is forgiving, loves and appreciates the small things in life, has some battle scars and war wounds but is a survivor, a fighter fighting the good fight. Of course, he can’t be perfect, so he’ll have some flaws or some issues he’s working on, as we all do. Or he snores, leaves the toilet seat up, turns the toilet paper roll the opposite way I do or doesn’t put a new roll in when the old one runs out and instead sets the new one on top of the empty one? Maybe he has a Man Cave that no cleaning products or vacuum cleaners are allowed in. Maybe he likes gangster rap (hold on; that may be a deal-breaker) or listens to Fox News (ok – maybe another deal-breaker) or maybe he cross-dresses. Who knows? The point is that there is no Mr. Right; there certainly is Mr. Right Now but we’ve met and he’s not for me.

I guess I’m looking for Mr. Right for Me.

(Reality) Check Please!

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long (or at all) you have probably gotten a fairly good grasp of how my little brain works. Sometimes it tends to get stuck on a particular thought or something (some would call this an obsession or fixation, I just call it serious thought) and I just can’t shake it. Thank God for my best friend in times such as these. This woman should get the Purple Heart, Medal of Honor and a host of other symbols in recognition of her friendship and for walking beside me through the minefield that is my world. For someone who is blessedly free of mental health issues, she is unfailingly supportive of my “special wiring” and even though I’m certain she’d love nothing more than me to be free of such burdens, she has never made me feel like less of a person because of it. I can’t use it as a get-out-of-jail-free card, though. She will call me on my shit faster than anyone I know and always with good reason. I seriously don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for her friendship and her bravery in the face of Manic Michelle – something no one should have to endure. I know there are things that some people feel that a mental health disorders are deal-breakers, usual somewhere in the Top Five. To find a friend that accepts you, warts and all, is a wonderful thing and a rarity, from what I’ve experienced.

Today I had something happen that really “got my Irish up” and before I opened my mouth or let my fingers fly in a flurry of e-mails and insults, I had the foresight (thank God) to check in with my friend. She didn’t say I was being stupid or blowing stuff out of proportion, but she did give me what she always gives me when I ask; an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on and some really good, sensible advice. It may seem like a really small thing to do, but when I’m feeling like tearing the walls down with my bare hands to get to someone’s neck, it’s a big deal to get some perspective from someone who is walking more on the sane side of the street. My friend is usually on that side of the street, even though she’s got a full life, complete with kids, sporting events, practices, proms, a hubby & the whole career thing going on. She manages to do all the things her life demands and still have time to listen to my cries for help, heartfelt tears because someone has (in my mind) been mean or hurtful, pick me up off the floor when I’ve given up and administer a serious dose of tough love when all else fails. I admire her more than I could ever say and I wish to have her in my world as long as humanly possible. At least long enough for me to return the favor of being a real and true friend all these years…..decades actually, but who’s counting?

So, I asked for and recieved my reality check and while my day is still not fluttering butterflies and serenading knights, I feel like I’m closer to joining my friend on the sane side of the street. That, my friends, is truly priceless.

Happy Friday!!