I’m the Best Thing That Could Happen to You

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

“I think,”  The  Treat  said  very  slowly,  considering every word, “that you’re an Alpha female…who doesn’t know she’s an Alpha female.”

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

That one statement almost two years ago has turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life. I didn’t realize it then. I’m not certain I yet grasp the full extent of it now. But I’m beginning to.

My mindset was like this 10-ton, square monolith and what The Treat did that night was press his shoulder hard against it…and something inside me moved.

Over the past 2 years, that monolith has been inched toward a ledge, sometimes with great heaves and at other times with gentle pushes. But a little more than a month ago, it took a huge tumble off the ledge, rolled over a few times, and finally landed on new ground.

This time, right side up.

It’s just now settling down into a new place that isn’t off-kilter or an immoveable object.

Everything has changed  now. I don’t know how to describe it. Just such a shift! Things I may have known intellectually before have now connected with the rest of my being. It’s all snapped  into place. I’ve almost completely stopped apologizing for not meeting anyone else’s expectations, and I didn’t even realize I had been apologizing.

The biggest  regard  is in my relationships  with men (and my relationship with myself), perhaps because that’s where so many other people seem to have focused since my divorce.

I’m  still  getting  the  same  annoying  questions  and “advice.” My answers, if I bother to answer, are different as of this past month. And usually catch off-guard those inclined to provide commentary on my life.

One of my co-workers  started in on the usual you- need-a-man routine while we were walking together to a meeting and I couldn’t easily ditch her. Yes, yes. I know I’m not getting any younger, but I don’t mention that I’ve had two 20-year-olds hitting on me this week (separately) and both were very adorably cute. Boring, but cute. Do two 20-year-olds equal one 40-year-old?

I also don’t mention that my romantic possibilities are most definitely not limited to men 10 or 15 years my senior but are wide open. Wider than ever, since I’ve made this shift.

Fresh out of my divorce, my most persistent suitors were men in  their 50’s, some of whom were very blunt that they were looking for  someone to nurse them into their golden years. I knew this before, but  they’re definitely not the best I can do. I have no intentions of waiting hand and foot on a man who tells me he can’t afford a nurse. Bah.

Men in their 40’s were dealing with their own issues with  mortality  and  looking  for  that  size  2  19-year-old nympho to make them feel  young. They were also the toughest  on  women  in  regard  to  body  image—much worse than men in their 20’s and 30’s—letting me know I needed to lose 10 pounds or how I needed to cut my hair or wear my nails  or dress if they were going to be seen with me. For the most part now, I don’t give them a second look now. Or if I do, it’s merely a look of  amusement.

“Why aren’t you seeing anybody right now?” my colleague asks. “Can’t you find somebody?”

I’m don’t feel defensive like I used to. I answer her

honestly. “I’m not seeing anybody right now because  I haven’t met anyone recently who’s good enough to please me.”

Arrogant answer,  she probably thinks, and one that surprises her. But it’s raw and honest. I’ll only be with a man I want to be with, and I  don’t need any gap-fillers until I have what I want. Yep, what I want.

And my answer does at least shut up my colleague. We walk the rest of the way in silence, with me well aware that she’s dated more losers this year than she can name, dates a lot, and still isn’t happy with how she spends her weekend nights.

We arrive at the building where our meeting is and before  I can  swipe  my access  card,  a man in his early 30s—very attractive, nice smile—opens the door for me. We make eye  contact, with me establishing  eye contact first. He blinks and seems to startle a bit, then stammers and waves us through. It’s an exercise in dominance.  As we walk away, I’m quite aware that he’s watching me.

“That guy was noticing you,” my colleague whispers to me. Then, without missing a beat, “But he’s too young for you.”

“Are you kidding?” I don’t squelch my smile because I know it’s true. “I’m the best thing that could ever hap- pen to him.”