How Do I Find You?
My mother used to say some things that were interesting when she told them to me as a child, but now, after her passing nearly a decade ago, I find them to be perceptive beyond belief. One of her favorite axioms was, “Most of life is boring.” She would usually say this in response to one of us kids declaring our boredom. She was unphased. “It’s life,” she’d say. “Only boring people get bored. Learn to entertain yourself, instead of relying on others to do it for you.”
My mother was right. So much of life is wash, rinse, repeat.
I get up, drag myself out of bed, and fumble my way to the shower. I go through my days doing mostly stuff that pertains to making sure my kids and I have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, electricity and heat, and a vehicle to get us to and fro. My weekend activities don’t vary much. I’m a bit of a cyclist and spend lots of time out on my bike. I tend to go to the same places to eat and socialize. I have fun, but it isn’t a constantly changing menu of activities and events.
Today, or rather, yesterday, I got up and decided I would drive my fancy new-to-me car to a small trendy town nearby and have breakfast at a lovely little place that is always packed and has delicious, melt-in-your-mouth menu items. I went alone. I usually go alone. I like to go alone. I’m really okay with this most of the time, but lately, maybe due to the car wreck with my kid, maybe due to the fact that everyone else around me seems to be having success in the relational field, maybe because I’m just tired of being alone all.the.time. Most of the time I don’t mind being alone, but lately I’ve stopped going out and doing things, because I was getting tired of doing the alone thing. Today, I didn’t care. I wanted to have breakfast at a nice place. I wanted to drive in my car. I didn’t necessarily want to have to be responsible for holding up my end of a conversation, but I somehow, strangely wanted to immerse myself in a crowd of people and noise, and fragrances and life. So, I went out to breakfast.
Being single has it’s advantages. While everyone else is waiting for thirty minutes for a table, I got seated immediately at the crowded counter. There was one space left. I took it. I didn’t care. As I sat down, the guy next to me smiled. He looked to be about my age. He was attractive, but not overwhelmingly so. He was writing on a yellow legal pad and had filled most of the page. He had a language of Puerto Rico book out on the counter, but he didn’t refer to it. Out of respect, I did not try to read what he was writing, though admittedly I was tempted.
As I sat down, he pulled out a little machine, held it to his throat, and greeted me. I don’t remember his exact words. He was nice. He mentioned that he is usually quite talkative, but not in noisy places so he’d leave me to myself. I smiled, said something that I’d hoped was appropriate and didn’t reveal that my biggest thought at the moment was, Okay, this is a new experience for me. How do I handle it? How do people who’ve had throat cancer want to be treated?
I went with the idea that they want to be treated respectfully, just like everyone else.
He continued to write.
I sipped my coffee, ordered, checked in on 4Square, started reading a digital book, got my meal and began eating it. I was nearly done, when he began packing up and started to leave. As he did so, I smiled, looked up at him and said, “Happy Easter!”
Really? Sometimes I say the silliest things. But it worked. He started talking to me.
Turns out, he is in town for a cycling clinic that is going on this week. It’s a big deal. People who are into bikes (the pedal-powered kind) know about this clinic. I want to go, myself, one day but the cost and timing have been prohibitive.
I casually mention that I live in a little city about 30 minutes up the road and that I specifically picked that place due to access to the bike path and good cycling roads. I mentioned that I often cycle from there to this town. This began a conversation that ended with him saying these words,
“So, how do I find you?”
That, my friends, is how it is done.
He gave me his number. I texted him back about an hour and a half later with a brief, “Hi, it’s me. I gave my name. We met this morning at breakfast.” Nothing more, nothing less. The ball is all in his court. He is from out of town, so I’m not expecting anything, but maybe an interesting bike ride sometime this week, if even that. He did mention that he’s going through a divorce and I am so not willing to be the transition relationship. So, I’m definitely not holding my breath here.
I tell the story only because, it is interesting, and unusual and different. In a day and a life when so much of what I do is rinse, wash, and repeat, that was a fun and interesting exchange. Plus, I was impressed with the originality of his approach.
How do I find you?
Beats the standard, boring, “Can I get your number?” And, somehow, at some level it resonates with me. There’s all this looking for a companion by so many. Online, Meetup Groups, even Craigslist, and it seems the question everyone is asking is, “How do I find you?” How do I find that companion that I can struggle through life with? How do I find that partner that makes the fun times so much better and the hard times easier?
It’s a great question. Obviously, I don’t know the answer. If you do, let me know.
How do I find you?