My favorite coffee shop (name redacted) in Seattle has incredibly comfortable chairs where I go occasionally to stare out at the water and gather my thoughts. The chairs are clustered a little too close together, so sometimes conversations are shared with strangers.
Yesterday I overheard one that I knew I wanted to write about, which is why this post is a day late.
The woman, I’ll call her “Elaine,” was talking to “Robert.” They were friends, not lovers, though had been at one time.
“What do you tell a woman? What do you say to sweep her off her feet?” Elaine asked.
“I don’t really do that. I just am who I am,” Bob said.
“No wonder you’re still alone. You have to tell her that she’s the light of your life. That you’ll do anything and everything for her, forever. For better and worse,” Elaine said.
“Selling myself seems dishonest in this age of uncertainty,” said Bob. “I’m a good man. I do good things. I show them who I am, I don’t want to have to make a sales pitch.”
“You have to do more. Maybe you should at least tell them that you’ll be there, that you won’t… ” and here, Elaine couldn’t continue. She started to cry, but sort of pulled it back together and between breaths, said, “…you should tell them that you won’t cheat on them, that you won’t break their heart.”
I felt for Elaine. She was wearing recent wounds. I really admired Bob for not saying anything. Instead, he reached over and took Elaine’s hand.
I somewhat agree with Bob. It’s important to share a vision of the future, but to what extent do women want that vision molded and polished, as if we were being sold a used car? Not me. I want to see it run. I want to take it for a drive where I slam on the brakes, and yank the steering wheel. Is it safe on the road or only in the sales lot?
Flowers at the beginning of a relationship can be lovely, but flowers throughout a relationship are exquisite. I’m waiting for the one who brings flowers because that’s who he is, not just who he says he is.