I am a mature single woman in my 40s. I work at the district office of my school system, supervised by the assistant superintendent and having daily contact with the superintendent. It is a very grown-up job. And, yet, there are still moments in my life when I feel 13. And it’s not the good kind of feeling 13. The 13 where I am adventurous and full of energy. No, it is the 13 where I am hormonal and insecure, and dealing with other people who are also insecure.
How does this happen to a responsible, confident, independent woman? Obviously, it’s a male. The same thing that made me crazy when I was 13 is still making me crazy. Shouldn’t it be different now? I think my married friends imagine it differently for me. They may see dating as a man and woman spending time alone. No children to interrupt the romantic mood. It should be all slow dancing, low voices, flowers and candlelight, possibly leading to noisier more adult activities, also not interrupted by children.
Well, I hate to destroy the illusion (for myself and for others), but here is the reality. I like a boy. We’ll call this boy Adam. I don’t just like Adam, I like like him. Adam hasn’t asked me out so while I do think he likes me, I don’t think he like likes me. I always look forward to seeing him. He makes me smile and feel a little bit nervous. I occasionally do something that is reminiscent of a schoolgirl giggle. It’s all a bit embarrassing. My friends tell me to ask Adam out, but I haven’t. I don’t want to put him in an awkward situation and I don’t want to ruin our friendship by making it obvious that I like like him.
Well, last week I was traveling when I received a message from my friend. Now if I were actually 13, it would have been a folded note passed to me in the hallway by my friend with badly teased 80s hair and neon clothes. But since I’m an employed adult, it came as an email from my sharply dressed friend who also happens to be the assistant superintendent (aka my boss). My friend’s note said that Adam’s friend asked her if she thinks I will go out with Adam if Adam were to ask me. He isn’t sure if he’s going to ask me but he thinks I’m cute and nice and I get good grades on my homework (or something like that). Seriously, the only thing missing was the boxes with check ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ And I was thrilled. The boy I like like, like likes me! Maybe.
I saw him when I returned from my trip and like all normal, insecure 13 year olds, we flirted and laughed and ignored the fact that I know he like likes me and that he knows I like like him. We did text though. It’s just there was no texting when I was really 13 so I don’t know how long this texting has to go on before it might lead to an actual date. And then will one of our parents have to drive us?
And there is my reality of dating in the 40s. Just in case anyone was feeling a little exasperated with their spouse, I tell this story as a public service to remind you that the grass is not always greener.