I haven’t really thought about whether it is “working” or not – this pseudo-form of protection. I go about my life and live it loud, open and friendly. I look into the eyes of men and women alike. I ask questions and make friends in elevators, grocery store aisles and at the park. I guess my “symbol of protection” is working, because I haven’t felt my personal space threatened.
But, let me tell you a story.
Not long after Comedy left, but LONG before the divorce was final, I had an uncomfortable exchange with a friend. Glory and I spent some time with his family in a large group setting. I remember nothing about the conversations of the day. Glory was standing or sitting beside me or within earshot the entire time. I’ve asked her about the day. She remembers nothing I said as being inappropriate.
But, I received a text message from this friend. I was excited to hear from him, but have to admit that I was immediately curious about why he might be contacting me? Something about one of his children? Something I could do to help his business? Photography? My mind wandered as we exchanged words.
His intention was quickly evident.
Here are a few of his words and my responses:
How ya been?
Absolutely wonderful, how ’bout you?
Don’t tell Glory that I texted you.
She’ll tell my child and then my wife will find out.
She’s a little jealous of you. She said we were flirting at the little get together.
Oh, my! Ya know, I come across that way sometimes. I’m so sorry if I have caused problems with you and Lisa. I know that my talkative, friendly nature can be misinterpreted at times. Please forgive me.
So you were just being friendly? dang. All this time I thought you were flirting!
*my hands began to tremble*
So, are you considered a cougar now?
*I gulp and feel indignation rise up in my spirit*
I certainly hope not. In fact, I still wear my wedding band all the time
so that I won’t even give the impression of being “available.”
I’m in the outside storage now. That’s how I’m able to talk to you.
I’m deleting the messages every time we send one. Crazy isn’t it?
*my heart sank into my stomach, broken that he was hiding from his family …. his children whom I love …. his wife whom I admire …. hiding to contact me*
Oh, Richard, this is making me … very uncomfortable. I need to go.
It wasn’t my intent to make you feel uneasy. Sorry.
Have a great weekend.
See ya around.
No wonder his wife was jealous. She could read him, when I couldn’t. He was, in fact, flirting, when I was not. I want so badly to apologize to her. But, how do I do that without telling the story? Without giving him away? Without being a tattletale? A snitch?
I can’t. And so, I keep the secret.
And I wear my ring.
Last week, I had my ring(s) off. I took them off when I was painting. I kept washing my hands and getting soap into the crevices of one of them, so I took them off.
I have a stack of bands that I love to switch around. Some I have had for decades (like the three above and the creation band below with a dolphin, sun, moon, sea & stars). None are monetarily valuable, except the gold bands that were wedding bands. A few I picked up in a ziploc at a yard sale a few months ago. They’re fun and creative and I thoroughly enjoy them. I forgot to put them back on the morning after my painting project. I left the house, naked, uncovered, unprotected when I went to have lunch at school with Joy.
I was … surprised. There was this really nice guy in the school lunchroom. He waiting to have lunch with his daughter, as well. He began talking to me. He asked me all kinds of questions. And I wondered “why?” This was out of the ordinary. I talk to men, but they don’t talk to me.
Maybe he was just nice and making conversation like I do. But, I don’t want to take a chance that there could be more … with any gentleman. Right now, I need to focus on raising my ten year old. I need time to explore within. I need to ask questions, search for answers and ponder. I desire to keep my eyes on the path under my feet and see where God’s taking me. I don’t want to be distracted. This is where I am this week …. right now … today. I don’t know where I’ll be in a year or three, but right now, I wear my rings, hold the hand of my littlest and keep walking.