RANDOM: Sparks/Fireworks and Handy Manly

I’ve written and rewritten this entry a million times, and it’s still not “right.” But I need to get these thoughts out of my head now, so I’m hitting “Publish”…

I had a great time with B on Saturday night. It was nice and comfortable and fun. I smile when I think about him or when he texts or I see his name in my email. (He’s started signing his emails with “Yours” and his name. It’s quite sweet.) Even friends to whom I’ve talked since the date have commented that they can “hear” my smile through the phone. And the ladies in the grief group commented on my smile and laughter last night as I recounted my weekend adventures – one of the ladies who also lost her husband and dad commented, “I like your life.”

(FYI: I’m smiling as I type this…)

Side note: Even if there’s no romantic relationship with B, I think we’d be good friends (but not Insurance Guy kind of friends!), and I’m so thankful that my first date was a positive experience. The experience proved that I CAN date, that I WANT to date, that the time is RIGHT.

But…

Two things keep swirling in my head:

  • Spark versus fireworks: I need to come to terms with the “getting to know” someone stage of dating. Having last dated in college (1995!), that step was nonexistent. I went to a small college – 1,000 students – so dating another student meant we knew everything about each other: hometowns, siblings, what (who) they did last weekend, past relationships, how smart they were. The basics. So when a boy in college took you to the Reflecting Pond and told you that he liked you, there were fireworks because damn, you liked him too – you KNEW him; you KNEW EVERYTHING about him. But things are different as an adult, especially someone pursuing a relationship through online dating. I don’t know anything about these guys, other than what they put in their profiles. (And I’m not sure much of that is accurate…) There’s a period of asking questions and telling stories and listening (and googling to make sure answers match up). Getting to know someone results in sparks and the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling. Sparks are nice, but I want fireworks. I think fireworks might come after the “get to know” stage. God, I hope there will be fireworks someday with someone…
  • Handy Manly: B is very nice. Kind. Gentle. You can see it in his eyes and facial expressions, hear it in his voice. This guy is a NICE person. And that’s good – don’t get me wrong. But…I keep reflecting on something my mom asked on Sunday: “Is he a manly man?” Well, no, not really, I don’t think so. “Well,” said my mom, “You need to find someone handy – to fix stuff. Mike sucked at fixing stuff. You need someone who’s not soft.” Now, Mike wasn’t a manly man. In fact, he was far from it. He couldn’t build or fix things. He didn’t hunt or fish. I teased that he was “handy for a lawyer” but truth was Mike couldn’t saw, hammer, or wrench his way out of a paper bag. Sure, it would be nice to have someone “fix stuff” but that’s hardly my sole criteria for finding a partner. Hell, in the last year, I’ve learned to use a snow blower, hang shelves straight the first time, and fix a leaky toilet – I’m doing okay with handy stuff on my own. But her words keep ringing in my ears… I’ve been talking to B for almost a month now; we’ve been on exactly one date – “how handy are you?” hasn’t exactly come up in conversation but I don’t get the feeling that he’s super-duper handy. I think my mom’s whole criticism stems from my dad, who was extremely handy and very tough – he was manly, for sure. She compares all men against him, but quite frankly, men today are much different from those of her generation. If he’s nice and kind, why should it matter?

Add to the list criteria other people think I should/do have: does not run marathons and handy around the house. Oh boy!

4 thoughts on “RANDOM: Sparks/Fireworks and Handy Manly

  1. I used to want fireworks right away, but Kaz and I had fireworks after getting to know each other, and I have to say they were the best fireworks ever. Also, B might not look handy, but he also might surprise you. I would take nice over handy any day. Handy can be learned (or hired). Nice cannot. Just my 2 cents. I’m excited for you and impressed. You’re getting out there!!

    • Absolutely agree that nice trumps handy! For now, sparks are nice. I haven’t had “sparks” in a LONG time. Fireworks…well, I’m willing to wait. Thanks, nivaladiva!

  2. I whole-heartedly agree with the comment above. “Handy can be learned (or hired). Nice cannot.” Most white-collar guys I know just aren’t that handy. That’s why they’re white-collar. But no one is perfect. We all have flaws. If you analyze someone too much, you could miss out on something really great. Just enjoy those sparks and butterflies and maybe those fireworks will show up soon!

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