When my eyes partially opened yesterday morning, due to the bright sunlight causing me to squint, I asked myself what would make my Father’s Day special. A woman immediately popped into my mind without any prompting or forethought.
She’s a person who I’ve shared sporadic and trivial conversation with over the past six months. Nothing notable about any dialogue would suggest an interest on her part to learn more about me, but I found a great deal of curiosity on my part.
There was one thing about her that captivated me and I wanted to find out what made her shine in the presence of those she met.
Watching her interact with others from afar fueled my curiosity. At the end of each conversation, everyone she walked away from was left with a big smile reflecting the interaction. She clearly had the ability to listen, care and inspire.
I thought Father’s Day might make her childless for the afternoon and considered that my opportunity to learn about her might be a possibility. My mind went through a dozen scenarios in what I might say to entice a meaningful conversation over lunch. But our paths didn’t cross.
My wondering mind found deep feelings of self-rejection surfacing as I got in my car and started to drive away. I had failed myself and might have to live with the painful feelings of regret for some time. I just didn’t have what it took to attract a woman of integrity long enough to learn about what made her special.
I turned and headed toward the exit of the parking lot. Glancing into each mirror to make sure everything was properly positioned, I noticed the beautiful woman in the summer dress walking toward me. Well, she was walking toward her car that was in the same direction that I was headed.
Instinctively I took my foot off of the gas and slowed the car. I could see her radiance as she walked my direction. Her dress was perfectly suited for the day, both classy and fun in its appearance. Her joyful demeanor caused me to take pause and wonder if my dream about chatting over lunch was viable.
My mind raced with ideas to pull over, park the car and walk toward her, versus appearing like a stalker spotting his prey. Argh!!! I had nothing to offer her except for time and interest, but it couldn’t be enough for someone as energizing as her.
Certainly she required time with only men that could bring great value to her life.
The value a man brings into the life of a woman varies greatly and a man’s viewpoint of it is typically short of reality. Dad used to work extra hours so he could buy the wonderful things mom dreamt about, yet when she bragged about her husband she always talked about the safety and kindness he provided our family.
There was a disconnect between the two.
Dad only needed one simple thing in his life: freedom to be creative. But mom didn’t understand what that meant or how it played out. Unknowingly she squelched all of his dreams. I watched dad deal with the agony of tearing apart the cool secret storage wall he created in the basement after mom nixed the project midstream.
I lifted my foot from the brake peddle as I took my eyes down from the rearview mirror. I had lost the battle within my soul and pain filled my gut more quickly than I could ever remember. There was something special I was leaving behind and I’d never know the answer to what raised my curiosity.
Unconsciously my foot hit the brake again. My heart was crying out for the answer. I had to know why this woman was so important to me. Was she to be a great friend? A lover? A muse?
Her stride was light as her classy dress waved in a pattern of confidence and beauty. Her countenance was alluring and her step had a subtle, yet fun bounce to it.
My heart stirred and I felt my arms turn the steering wheel to park, but my mind overrode those feelings and released the brakes. The car crawled forward to the edge of the parking lot exit. I had lost my internal battle. I accelerated into traffic and didn’t look back.
That afternoon, I sat alone on the couch eating a salad that I picked up from an organic health store, but it made me feel ill. My day of hope had turned into a nauseous feeling of hopelessness. My stomach settled a few hours later and a phone call shifted my mind to a screenplay I needed to rework.
The day became more pleasant when each of my kids called to wish me a happy Father’s Day. My perspective shifted back to a promising future with the day’s hoped for conversation dissipating from the forefront of my mind.
I would be all right without the answers to this woman in the summer dress.