The Man-Tree

My friend Matt is having a good laugh at my expense today, and it’s all because of something I said to him a few years ago. I guess I should have known that this particular comment of mine was going to come around and bite me on the butt, but somehow I really thought he’d forget about it.

At least, I hoped he would.

He was going through a rough time back then, feeling bad about the fact that he was still single in his mid-forties. And I treated him with all the smug assholery of a married person who thought she had all the answers. I was a married straight woman who thought I had all kinds of helpful advice to offer to a single gay man.

“You’ll never meet anyone if you don’t go out once in a while,” I told him.

He replied that he didn’t like clubs, didn’t feel like taking any classes or joining any singles groups, and refused to join a dating service.

I offered to fix him up with a friend. “L– is only a few years younger than you,” I told him. “He’s really cute, has these beautiful green eyes, is really active in community theater. I have known him since middle school, and I promise you he’s a really good guy.”

Nope, Matt didn’t do “fix-ups” or “blind dates” because he was afraid of being fixed up with a serial killer. Because, apparently, Matt harbors a secret belief that I have lifelong friends who just happen to be serial killers.

And that’s when I uttered those famous butt-biting words: “So I guess you think you’re going to meet Mr. Right by planting a man-tree in your living room and just picking the one you want?”

Fast forward several years, and now I’m the single one. It’s been more than two years since the Big Guy and I split up, and I haven’t been on a single date. Not one. I’ve had a few men flirt with me, but I can never tell if they are joking or serious, and I don’t have a clue what to do about the ones who just might actually be serious.

I don’t want to be single anymore, but I don’t want to have to find Mr. Right. I’m too old to go to clubs, and I hate crowds. I don’t like the idea of joining an online dating site. It’s just too random, and I really don’t think there are a lot of men on those sites looking for 50 year-old chubby divorcees.

I want Mr. Right to just appear. You know, by planting a man-tree in my living room and just picking the one I want.

If you listen really hard, you can probably hear Matt’s laughter from wherever you are. Seriously, I think he may be on the verge of giving himself an internal injury.

A while ago, I made a joke to a new co-worker about being available for fix-ups. I told her the same thing I’ve said to many people over the last couple of years: “Hey,” I joked, “if you’ve got any friends who are interested in middle-aged, overweight women, I’m up for a little matchmaking.”

She didn’t laugh. She just smiled and told me she had the perfect man in mind.

Holy shit.

Okay, so I haven’t actually met him yet. Haven’t even talked to him. In fact, he probably has no idea at this point that our mutual friend has been telling me about him. And if he does know, he may not want to meet me.

But with Matt’s laughter ringing in my years, I just told my co-worker to go ahead and talk to her friend. Set us up.

This may go nowhere. Maybe he’s not interested in dating or maybe he wont be interested in dating me. Maybe he’s a giant jackass who picks his nose at the dinner table. I don’t know what to expect. But if I’ve learned anything from everything that’s happened to me over the past few years, I’ve learned that we all have to take chances in life every once in a while. Step out of the comfort zone, do something that terrifies us, take that first frightening step, because life offers no guarantees.

No man-trees, either.