So the other day I had a conversation with my 11 1/2 year old about dating.
I’m not a big fan. I looked like this in High School, so as you can imagine, no one was really beating my door down to take me to Prom. I survived it. There were a couple of kind young men who showed me kindness… But for the most part? No. Saturday nights were spent with a good book or a knife. I wasn’t “normal”.
I was complicated.
To put it mildly.
So my son asks me how many dates I went on and how many boyfriends I had. Since I met the Mr. at the ripe old age of 19, I didn’t have a lot of time in the Great Dating Game.
A fact which I continually praise the Lord for.
This led to a conversation about courting and having good friends and keeping friends and how dating changes everything.
Especially when you’ve been raised in an environment where casual and selfish relational interaction are not considered acceptable behavior. I am appalled by the way adults, children, teen agers and even the older generations treat members of the opposite sex.
What do I get out of it.
I’m sure that’s what Jesus would do. Right?
So,what prompted this conversation was, simply, the most bizarre, bar none, conversation I’ve ever had with an almost acquaintance. And it went something like this.
Phil works at a local superstore. He’s the overly friendly, somewhat socially challenged man who runs the self-scan.
I love the self-scan. It’s one of my favorite places. No personal interaction. I can hum, talk on the phone or basically live in my own world. No waiting. However long it takes me to scan the damn lettuce is up to me. No questions. Lovely.
When I was the lovely and elegant age of 29 I purchased new glasses. Hot. I loved them. I came into the store and Phil noticed. Phil is mid-50’s?
Phil: New glasses?
Heidi: Yes! I love them!
Phil: They make you look younger.
Heidi: Really? I think I may keep them forever then!
Phil: Yeah, they are great. I mean they don’t make you look 27 or anything but they look great.
So, yeah. That’s Phil.
That’s not really his name, ya’ll.
So the other day I am happily scanning fruit pops and lettuce and avocadoes and Phil approaches me with the following dialog:
Phil: So, you know a lot of people right?
Heidi: I don’t know. We’ve lived here for over 10 years. I suppose I know a fair amount of people.
*wonders why this is relevant, is it possible Phil needs a new job?*
Phil: Well, you know that a year ago my daughter died, didn’t you?
Heidi: *stunned, sparkles of compassion flood her being. This is an odd sensation and one she is not overly familiar with so she stutters in reply. Dial-up sucks* Oh! I had no idea. I am so sorry to hear that!
Phil: Oh,we’re ok now. We believe we are going to see her again someday.
*Relief. No condolencing required. No tears. No compulsory affection.*
Phil continues: It’s just that it kind of broke me and my wife up and well, we’re basically getting a divorce.
*compassion sparkles start up again. Is this an opportunity to show the Love of Jesus? I’m gearing up for an Encouraging Word*
Phil continues: So, if you know anyone who would like to go out, catch dinner or a movie? That would be great! I know this is a little weird talking to you like this, but, hey! I figured I might as well ask! I’ve been on Match.com and it’s a nightmare out there and really expensive! So, yeah, if you know anyone, that wuld be great!
*Sparkles dissapate, mind is jumbled. Apalled? Is that quite the right word? Dial-up strikes again*
Heidi: Uh… Yeah, I know people. I’m, uh, sure there’s, uh, someone.
*Writes her check. Hands it to Phil. Prays he is suddenly overcome with laryngitis or his tongue falls out of his head. Just shut up already, ok?*
Phil: Y’know I can’t date anyone from work because that would be (makes knife cut motion across his throat) bad.
*Polite laughter. Fax noises coming from her brain. Is he even divorced yet? Even if I had a friend who would be interested in a recently bereaved father, separated and quite possibly not divorced middle-aged man with the social graces of an autistic 4 year old he’s 20 years older than me…. And did he just sorta aske ME out? He knows my husband. Oh. My. Gosh. I have to get out of here. NOW!!!!*
So, yeah… That’s where my conversation on dating came from. And you better believe there was a heavy emphasis given to my lovely son on the treasure that a spouse is and the care one must take in chosing some precious girl to be in your life. There are so many people out there who haven’t found someone to share their life with.
And that dude won the Powerball once.
With his own kind of aptitude for social interaction?
I don’t think it’ll happen again!