25 August, 2006

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before...

Blogpapa Lex kindly posts a general link to me, and what do I go do? Put up a post like this, of course! Oh well, it's Friday anyway--good time for less-than-substantial blogging. Just scroll down to the next post if you're looking for quality content.

I had a great day at the USO yesterday. It was very busy because a local unit is beginning pre-deployment block leave, so that kept things interesting. My fellow volunteer for my second shift (we were understaffed, so I hung around) was the self-same retired Naval NCO of Elevated Rank who had put me in touch with Big Guy. As I wrote before, once you understand the fact that he doesn't know he's retired, he's a great guy. And if you've been lucky enough to earn his respect, he's a true joy to associate with.

We got to talking about all sorts of things--music, leadership (it's a lot like teaching!), personalities (he's the "I want the info, not your life story" type, while sometimes I like to talk just for the sake of talking), etc. We were thoroughly enjoying ourselves with laughter and thought-provoking conversation when he suddenly stopped, looked at me and asked in an almost fatherly way, "So what do you do for fun? Do you go out? Do you have a boyfriend?"

I told him lightly, "Not much. I don't have many friends here, since I just moved here. And no, I don't have a boyfriend, unfortunately."

"Why not?"

"Well if I knew that, I'd have myself a boyfriend!" I replied laughingly. He started to say something complimentary about me, but I interrupted him: "Oh yes! I'm wonderful and charming and amazing and the men my age must be idiots. Right?" He nodded and laughed. "Of course, the guys who tell me that are all just like you--happily-married older men," I added. Cracked him up!

He offered up that typical line happily-married people give to someone like me and I playfully asked him whether he'd want to hear that were he in my position (30-something single who'd never found the right person). He got it.

The rest of our conversation (and some recent experiences) got me to thinking a bit, too. Perhaps I have unreasonably high standards for someone I'd consider "boyfriend material." Here's a list just off the top of my head. He must be...

Confidently mature--"I know myself and my capabilities, both good and bad"
My intellectual equal or superior
Active--enjoys exercise in various forms (not necessarily "athletic")
Honorable--having integrity, trustworthiness, etc.
Chivalrous--(most people don't truly know what it means, so click the link)

Now tell me, is that an unreasonable list? Seriously, I want to know. Because now that I'm no longer hanging out in the ultra-feminine world of elementary education I'm encountering a lot more guys than I used to, but I haven't been impressed with most of them. Now that I think of it, I can't say very many men I've met recently match up well with a list like that (and yes, those who do are married or twenty years older than me).

Are those qualities that only appear in long-married men, or something? Is it something that develops because a naive young woman married him when they were both 21 and together they went through the agony of learning from experience so that now they're better people for having lived it? Is it as commenters alluded to in this post--that a good women inspires a man to improve himself? So does that mean I'm gonna have to start with the raw material of a 21-year-old in a 35-year-old's body?

That can't be right.

But if it is, I give up. I might as well just join the "men are ignorant louts" crowd; at least that way I can pretend the reason I'm alone is because I'm just too good for them.

[And if you didn't read the first half of this post closely enough and so you say in comments below, "You're just so awesome I know there's someone out there for you," I will be forced to kick your butt. Hard.]