Sat | Dec 16, 2017

I want it all - nothing mediocre

Published:Monday | June 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Call me silly or delusional, but I believe in love. I believe in the kind of love that wakes you up with a smile in your heart and an extra pep in your step.

I have had people telling me that love isn't like that. But that's because they have never experienced it. There is a warmth you get from knowing that your partner loves and cherishes you. I have felt that, and even though we aren't together anymore, I felt his love for years.

I want that back, and I know without a doubt that I will find it again. I can't do lukewarm, I have too much passion and zest for life to settle for anything less. I need someone who has the same passion and fire for life and love, I want someone whose fire will fuel mine. I don't want anyone telling me that it isn't possible, because I have seen it and lived it. I fondly remember stories my grandmother used to tell me about my grandfather, and her face would glow whenever she spoke of him. He has been dead for over a decade, and she still lights up when talking about him. They didn't have a perfect marriage, but they loved each other and respected each other. They were happy.

 

Solitude or not?

 

Due to changes in my professional life, I haven't been able to go away on a long weekend trip for the past two months - so I was really looking forward to my Portland trip. I wasn't going with anyone this time, I just really needed to recuperate and get some much needed rest. I was really looking forward to some quality me time.

The first thing I noticed when I got to the hotel/cottage, was that it looked fully booked. The next thing I realised was that it seemed to be full of couples. I was happy about that - the more people there with someone, the less interruption I would have from women who love to chatter, and men who love to bother single women.

 

Orlando from Orlando

 

I spent the first evening sleeping, and only came out of my room to have dinner. That was where I met Orlando from Orlando (no joke that was his name and where he lived) Florida. The restaurant was completely booked, and being the smart woman I am, I had forgotten to make a reservation.

Orlando was sitting at a table by himself, and the hostess asked if I wanted to share it with him. I was hungry and dying to find my bed again so I accepted.

We introduced ourselves and I placed my order. While I waited for my meal, I opened my book to read. He made some joke about me being his date for the night so I should at least put the book down and pretend to be enjoying his company.

He was in Jamaica for a wedding the next day, and was travelling alone because he was single. I told him I was also single and was just there for the weekend to rest and recuperate. He asked me how a beautiful black woman like myself was single, and I told him that's what happens when you have four kids. I told him that the few men that I have met don't exactly see a mother of four as a great catch. He laughed and actually thought I was lying about having children until I showed him their pictures on my phone.

I told him about my dating journey, and how after being single for four years, I was now opening myself up to a new relationship. He asked me what qualities were important to me in a spouse and I told him. Orlando said he grew up in a house where it seemed that his mother was always looking for the right guy. He had two siblings, and he can still remember the number of men who passed through his house over the years. Some men were there for a few months, and some even made it to more than a year. He remembered hearing his mother crying at nights and was glad when she found another boyfriend because her crying stopped. It seemed to him like his mother was never happy unless she had a man in her bed.

I explained to him that no man is allowed to spend the night at my house, and some of these men who I went on dates with did not know my address, and, most definitely, had never met my kids. I tried to explain that I wasn't unhappy. Actually, I am the happiest I have been in years, and my happiness is internal, so the men I dated have little to do with it.

He said he had seen his sister do the same thing his mother did, and he even had arguments with her about it. Almost every time he visited her house, she had a new boyfriend and the kids had a new uncle. I laughed when he said that because the only uncles my kids had were either my siblings or their dad's. I grew up with a single mom, but I never saw any man visiting her and none asking me to call them uncle.

What he was saying was nothing strange to me, but it isn't what I am about. I am happy both personally and professionally. My kids are happy, and they know that both their dad and I love them. I am not looking for someone to complete me because I was born complete. I am looking for someone to complement me, who isn't afraid of a strong woman. Often, women in my situation get caught up thinking that only a man can make them happy. I am already happy and I only want someone to share my happiness with. Someone who isn't afraid of the challenge of me and my kids.

Oh, by the way, that date I went on last week was a complete waste of make-up.