I asked the universe for a man, Prince Charming. I was quite specific. A little demanding in some regards and a little open ended in others. I didn’t think much of it when Vic called and asked if I wanted to join her and her son at the High School football game. She would come over and we’d walk up with my daughter and her friend.
A couple of glasses of wine later, we were off. On the way up there I mentioned to her that I was done with my fooling around with married men, waiting on GI Joe, and was ‘putting myself out there.’ I declared I was ready to meet someone. I had gone so far as to re-write my dating profile, even. We toasted my new commitment to finding a normal, healthy relationship.
As we found our places in the stands, we reminisced about how we had run on that track over 20 years ago. We talked about our first loves, our friends and found comfort in seeing how somethings had changed for the better. The band had gotten better, and she noticed that since she played, they had better uniforms, though they still looked miserably uncomfortable to me.
On a positive note, the football team had improved. The stands were packed with families and the community. A far cry from when we were going to school when only a few people would show up for the game. Sitting in the stands, I had such a wonderful, peaceful feeling. Since leaving Illinois, I had gradually began to feel like I belonged back here and that I fit in. The stress and anxiety of getting divorced was in my past. My job was fairly stable. I really didn’t long for a thing. Well, except for a normal relationship.
We cheered for the team and she being the social media maven she is, snapped a photo and put it on Facebook. Vic was always the popular girl. Voted “Sexiest Senior” even. She was still drop dead gorgeous, caring, and an amazing friend to me. More often than not I stood next to her and felt like the Designated Ugly Fat Friend but she didn’t need a DUFF to shine. Regardless, she is kind, funny and people gravitate to her. She has hundreds of Facebook friends that are all probably really good friends to her in ‘real life.’ She was a collector of people. Friends from high school, college, graduate school, sports clubs, and colleagues. They were all friends to her. It didn’t take long after meeting her to feel like a true friend. So it was no surprise that shortly after announcing our presence at the game that people took notice. Before I knew what was happening one guy was coming to find us in the stands.
Little did I know that Mr. Serendipity was on his way and that I would meet him for the first time. When he appeared and I tried to place his face from over 20 years ago. Having gone to 8 schools in 12 years, the names and faces blurred. Back then there wasn’t Facebook to keep in touch so when I said goodbye, it was for real. I was not a collector of people. I was a drifter. I drift in an out of social situations and locations. I don’t stay long enough emotionally or physically to get too attached to too many people. The people in my life are few but dear. Vic was one of them. Mr. Serendipity was nice enough. Friendly enough. I found him very attractive. His daughter was part of the home coming celebrations, so he was quite proud of her and beaming when he spoke of her. There was nothing about him that I found remarkably annoying or off putting but at the same time, I didn’t really spend enough time with him to determine if I liked him or not. But he seemed nice enough. Like it is though anytime I am with Vic, she’s the center. The lifeblood. She has such radiating positive energy that I enjoy being around but don’t need or want to compete with. Mr. Serendipity was her friend. He obvious was quite enthralled with her. I didn’t want to compete for airtime.
At the time, I didn’t know he could be the one I asked for and it is up for debate as to whether he is Prince Charming! But when he found his way through the crowds to find us, I didn’t think twice about my plea to meet someone. And as the game wrapped up and we said our goodbyes, he leaned in to give me a friendly hug. How thoughtful, I thought. He wants to hug Vic so he extends one to me too. I was taken by surprise but it was nice, really nice.
Walking home, I thought how pleasant the whole evening was. It was so nice to be in my hometown with my kids and having them have similar experiences to the ones I had growing up. I asked Vic about Mr. Serendipity. She told me funny stories about him and some double dates they had gone on. She fully endorsed him as one of the good ones. Nice to know, I thought.
Shortly after she left, I looked at the Facebook photo that she snapped of the three of us. I felt drawn to him and connected with him on Facebook. Within minutes, we discovered we were a year apart in school. We knew a lot of the same people but never socialized. We both went to the same college in Ithaca, NY. We lived on the same part of campus. We took, quite possibly at the same time, the same Art History classes. We had been divorced about the same amount of time. His daughter was a couple years older than my son. For about 2 weeks, he became my fast new friend. Texting all day and into the evening. I had developed somewhat of a crush on him.
I told Vic about my new friendship and she remarked, “What if the reason you moved back here was for him and not GIJoe. Maybe he is the one?”
That stuck with me and became a topic I needed to explore. For the first time I could see my self not longing for GIJoe who I had not heard from in since the Shamrock Incident.