Can someone just sprinkle me with Pixie Dust…? I need a bit of magic in my Love Life. After five years of widowhood, it would be wonderful to have a soul mate for Valentine’s Day!
Actually, my quest for a nice Christian fellow began a year ago. I woke up one morning and said to my kids: “That’s it! I’m going to find my soul mate on one of those Christian internet sites.”
Although the kids had misgivings, they decided to be helpful. They showed their old-fashioned mom how to bumble her way through cyberspace…The setting up of an email in-box. The writing of a profile. The installation of photos on the dating website.
Without my computer-savvy kids, I couldn’t have done it.
Well, folks…It seemed we were successful. Immediately. Before the week was up, a kindly Christian suitor showed up on my doorstep. My kids were horrified. They hollered at me. They threatened. They looked at me like I was the worst of the worst.
“There are perverts out there on the internet!” they said, staring at me suspiciously as though they feared I might be a pervert, myself. “Under NO circumstances should you give out your phone number, and certainly not your address!….Do you understand?”
I was nonplussed. “But this is a Christian website…and how am I supposed to get to know some guy if I don’t talk to him on the phone?”
The kids remained adamant. They knew what they were talking about. If I didn’t listen to them, they would simply sever my contact with the outside world. And that was final. Did I understand?
I moped. I protested. It did no good. They thought they were the parents, and I was the child. They knew what was best.
The nice Christian suitor, who had showed up on my doorstep, weathered the storm of controversy well. He felt like he’d discovered his true love when he’d found me. Within a month, he’d bought me an engagement ring.
I wasn’t so sure about all this
“This is going too fast,” I said gently, giving him back his ring. “I’ve just gotten on this dating website, and there are a lot of people out there to meet. How do I know if you are The One?”
My nice Christian suitor went away sorrowful.
Thus began my journey into the strange world of internet dating. The next few weeks and months blurred into a haze of phone calls and lengthy emails. (Fortunately, no one else showed up on my doorstep.) It was a purely clinical-type search. Long distance communication…The relative safety of cyberspace-emails.
It produced nothing…just frustration.
I felt like a kid at Christmas time with lots of beautifully wrapped packages before me…But each time I opened one, it proved to be an empty box. Useless. There was always something wrong…. Immovable objects called Life’s Circumstances. Kids and step-family issues. Financial troubles. Health problems. And long-distance dating annoyances.
The troubles were endless. And then there was the biggest problem of all….
“These men want me to pursue them!” I told my friend Nancy. “They are scared of women in general. They want the pleasure of running away while a woman chases them!”
Over time, I begin to grow jaded. And bored. I lay on my bed every evening, listening to a masculine voice cajole me over the phone. I’d drift off into a haze of sleepiness, then awaken to hear the man say: “Bobby…!? You called me Bob!”
I snapped awake. “I did?”
It wasn’t true. Couldn’t be. I distinctly remember saying “Oh Terry…Terry…Terry….!” Problem was…. this wasn’t Terry on the phone. It was Steven. And to make matters worse, last night I’d called him “Mikey”…
Oh dear…Oh dear. Things weren’t going well. The pitiful state of my Love Life wasn’t improving . It was getting worse.
It all seemed to come down on me the other day at work, there in the Flower Cart. I stood in the florist shop looking around at all the colorful Valentine’s Day decor. Delicate Pinks. Bleeding-heart Reds…Roses and ribbons and raffia. It’s enough to make a single gal weep…Except I had no time to cry. This is the most hectic season at a flower shop and there’s much work to do.
I busied myself with the step ladder, climbing up into the empty store window to begin the task of putting up twinkle lights.
But being up there in the window-front didn’t help matters any. From my perch, I could see the length of Stone Street…could see the cute couples…the Dawdling Darlin’s pausing to peer in store windows. The young…the old…the blissfully ignorant, the sagely wise…and a few in-between. They had smiles. They walked arm in arm. They weren’t dreading the bitter-sweet-Chocolate Day that loomed just around the corner.
And look there!
Amongst the loitering lovers was my oldest daughter–walking down the street with her hubby. I watched them with a twinge of envy as they disappeared into the shop across the street. How pathetic is that! Envying your own kid.
A pox on Valentine’s Day, anyhow! Why does it have to exist?
My thoughts were interrupted by the voice of my boss. “What shall we do about decorating this window-front?” she said to the Designer. “We need something new and creative, but I can’t come up with anything. What are you thinking, Andrea?”
Andrea put her hand on her hip. “I’m tired of wracking my brain about it. I’m sick of that window already.”
The two ladies sounded as dreary as I felt. We needed something magical, today….Some pixie dust or something. If we just had a wishing well that we could toss our troubles into, and wish them all away….
A wishing well…?
I stopped, my hands pausing in their busy work with the twinkle lights. I turned to look at the gals prattling behind me..
“Uh…I have an idea,” I said.
The girls stopped talking.
“What if we did a wishing well theme for Valentine’s Day?” I said. The girls just stared at me.
“Oh yeah…!” I said, climbing down the stepladder. “Look here. We could get my mom’s big wishing well and put it here. And we could wind ivy around it and then–” I paused and looked at the boss. “Do you do sale promotions near Valentine’s Day? You know like: Come in and register for a free dozen roses…or something like that?”
“Well. We can have customers toss their names and a penny into the wishing well and then we can draw out a prize-winning name near Valentine’s Day. It will be more than a decorating theme. It’ll be good for business. What do you think?”
The boss looked pleased. The designer looked relieved. They’d both started to smile. “Hey–you might be on to something.”
That did it. Soon I was scrounging through boxes of Valentine decor. I was busy. I was content. I’d forgotten all about the Loitering Lovers and the Dawdling Darlin’s out on the street.
And when my daughter popped into the flower shop awhile later, she found her silly mom knee-deep in chaos. Karissa smiled at me indulgently… with good humor, as if she were the parent and I were the child.
“Mom…” she said. “Mother! What are you doing…!” But she was happy for me.
And so was I.
Conventional Wisdom says to forget about chasing after happiness and concentrate on the here-and-now. Then happiness will come like a butterfly and alight on your shoulder when you aren’t looking.
It was true.
Here at the flower shop, I’d wished for happiness and contentment. And I’d found it….
At the bottom of a wishing well.