(The "This is NOT a Fix-Up)
I wasn’t going to go out with him.
I met him several years ago when I was having dinner at the country club. He was dining alone, and my best friend and her husband invited him to join us. He was their neighbor and had known him for years. We all had a very fun evening and we laughed and laughed. He was going through a very amicable divorce from his wife and was getting ready to go on a cruise. I completely enjoyed the night but never entertained the notion that he might be someone I would go out with. He was, after all, quite a bit older and frankly I thought he was out of my league. I was a kindergarten teacher fighting and scraping each month to pay the bills and wearing clothes from Ross’s and he was going on cruises and staying at his home in the Islands part of the year.
I wasn’t ever going to go out with him.
Over the course of last year I encountered him several more times at the club, joining a small group of very friendly and wonderful folks who made me laugh and laugh. I tagged along with my friend and her husband and another fun couple, and coincidentally Ray was always there; alone. I chastised Sheila who always claimed, “This is NOT a setup!” I always believed her, because she is my BEST FRIEND and would never LIE to me and ended up always having a fantastic time. Because it was NEVER a setup, I was relaxed and able to enjoy myself.
At the end of the July, before my spiritual retreat to Maryland (i.e. I had nowhere to live and ended up house-sitting in PARADISE...) they invited me to a summer “semi-formal” dinner party at the Country Club. Bitchy was also invited, as her best friend (Sheila’s daughter) Her Royal Highness was also attending. Imagine my shock when they all re-arranged the cards and I landed right smack next to Ray. What a surprise.
We had a great dinner despite the fact that I was shooting arrows through my eyes at Bitchy and HRH all throughout the meal. They just chuckled and whispered like evil conspirators. Several cocktails later we all began to mingle around the room and a band started playing. It was quite a lively group and in eerie similarity to the YMCA dances in middle school, I joined a group of women who began dancing on the dance floor. I have to admit, I was having a ball. We sang along with the songs and danced and laughed in a large group.
Then Ray asked me to dance.
While older gentleman have many wonderful qualities, this particular gentleman turned out to be one HELL of a dancer. And when I say helluva, I mean he had the rhythm and moves of any of the dancers on soul train. We danced several dances and then made our way to the porch to join the rest of our group. I shook my head as I followed him and joined the rest of our group. I was shocked at his impressive skill on the dance floor. Suddenly he wasn’t looking like that older gentleman anymore, and frankly I was questioning his heritage. He claimed to be a simple white boy from Kentucky, but I was having serious suspicions.
All in all I had a surprisingly fantastic night, but I didn’t want to think much of it. I was very stressed about leaving the next day for Maryland for a month, and that was that. I had so much on my mind that there wasn't ROOM for any other thinking. Plus, I was probably never ever going OUT with him.
But of course, we all know what happens when you say never.