I watched my wife for six months before we met. I didn’t stalk her, but I did start to feel a little creepy. I looked forward to seeing her at the bar, but I was too cowardly to walk up and ask her for her name or generally try to get to know her. She intimidated me. My barfly friends would talk about her when she walked by. All good, and all just general guy talk, but she commanded a presence when she was near.
But it wasn’t just her looks. Sure, being tall, thin, curvy in the right spots, blonde-haired and blue-eyed didn’t hurt, but that wasn’t what attracted me alone. I’m normally not even attracted to blondes. It was how she moved. She is the most graceful woman I have ever seen. She would saunter by in what I can only call “stripper heels.” Where I could barely comprehend how she could even stand, she could perform remarkable feats of balance and grace from three-inches of heel. I could sense her energy. She played pool with the guys. Just not me. She played darts with everyone, except me.
I’m a pretty shy person if you don’t know me. And I didn’t know her. I had one or two friends who knew her, and while they still talked about what they’d do with “someone like that” they all liked her as a person, too. I also wasn’t looking for a girlfriend, especially one that I liked so much. I had just gone through a divorce and couldn’t trust my own feelings.
So I just watched. To this day, I still love to watch my wife. It’s kind of strange because I’ve never had this feeling with anyone else. If we go out, I enjoy watching how people react to her. While I was a very jealous person in my younger days, that’s not the case anymore. And now that we’re 50, it doesn’t happen like it used to when we were in our 30s. But it does still happen. She turned heads everywhere we went.
But her real charm is, she doesn’t believe that she’s pretty. She’s a product of abusive homes and a verbally abusive marriage (not ours), so her confidence is shit. Although I would have never known it when I studied her for six months. It makes sense looking back that she was projecting an image, and I worry that I fell in love with the image more than the woman, but that’s for a different day. She has no idea how stunning she is. To this day she still doesn’t wear any makeup. She’s a natural beauty. She’s been mistaken for Bridget Fonda and Kyra Sedgwick. I think she’s a perfect cross between the two, and more lovely than either.
But there’s another quality to her that I’ve never been fully able to understand. I mentioned I’m shy. She’s an introvert as well, but when she’s dressed up and ready to go out, she beams sexuality. There’s an air of blatant passion about her. She looks me in the eye and it looks like she’s telling me some pretty dirty things. When we finally did date, I found myself looking away from her in public places because I thought people would know what I was thinking.
But back to before we met. She would come into the bar in “Daisy Duke” shorts. She would come in wearing a micro skirt, she would come in wearing tight mildly see-through white pants. I knew she had a freckle on her left ass cheek before I ever saw her naked. The first night we were together I think I flipped her over and lightly kissed that freckle like it was a long-lost friend returning home. But how I digress.
She fascinated me. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to understand her. Clearly, there were issues with how she projected herself. She flirted and teased better than anyone I had ever known. Every single guy in the place wanted to be with her. I would see her 3-4 times every week and even started making sure I was in the bar on Thursdays because I knew that she was always there on Thursday.
Eventually, we started to interact. I was introduced to her by a mutual friend. She treated me sweetly, but succinctly. After that, we did play a little pool together, and some darts. She would often abandon our game in the middle, going off to do something else. I had never seen her do this to anyone else, it confused me. I’ll admit, I was rarely lucid in that bar. I was running from my own divorce and the solitude that’s left in place of a marriage. I preferred going to the bar rather than sit at home and feel sorry for myself.
I dated other women while I watched her. Often, they would come with me to the bar, and we’d play pool. One of them knew her even. They were decent friends. Another one was very judgmental of how she dressed. She even told me, “If I dressed like that, guys would be all over me, too.” To which I responded, “Then why don’t you?”
Someone told me, “She has issues.” And I remember thinking, “Oh, I bet she does.” We all have issues, but the issues of a woman as incredible as she had to be much more fun, and better than anything I had ever experienced. I found myself defending her more often than not.
Eventually, I kind of asked her out. I invited her to my “divorce party” that I was having at the bar. She said she’d try to make it, but she had her kids that night. I didn’t know up until that point that she had kids. It didn’t phase me. At my age, it was going to be difficult to meet someone who didn’t. The night of my party, she came in, clearly dressed in “mom clothes.” She was just as charming in a sweatshirt and jeans as I had ever seen her. She came in just to say “hi” to me during my party. I was touched. I didn’t think she gave me a second thought.
I finally had the courage and evidence to ask her out. I told her to get dressed up on Friday night and that I’d take her wherever she wants to go. I had envisioned a night in Newport Beach at a swanky restaurant, with this lovely girl on my arm, followed by dancing and general flirtatiousness that goes with the early stages of a relationship.
“I was kind of hoping for the afterward,” she told me.
I can clearly map my life into two parts, the day before she told me that, and the rest of my life. She caught me completely by surprise. Here I was happy that she even was paying attention to me, and she was already moving on to the next part. She had been watching me watch her, as it turns out. I am so naive, it’s not even funny.
We celebrate two dates. The day she came home with me, and our wedding anniversary. Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, when she came home with me that Friday night, she never left. She stayed virtually the whole weekend, only leaving to go to work. What I found out was that she had been sheltered because her ex-husband was controlling. She was so overtly sexual because she had learned this behavior trying to get his attention. To which he would criticize her and say, “Why can’t you be more like…” She was very damaged.
The first time I took her to Las Vegas (we lived in Southern California at the time) I had her dress up and spent the entire night pointing out the guys who were staring at her. She had no idea. She would tell me, “No, they’re not.” She was wrong. She attracted attention anyway, but when she dressed up, she caused scenes.
On that first Vegas trip, I asked her what she wanted to eat and she was very typically female, “I don’t care.” We walked through the Caeser’s Palace Forum shops mall area, and there was a Chinese restaurant there. I asked her if she liked Chinese, and she immediately turned into a shy little girl. “I don’t know, I’ve never had Chinese food.”
I felt like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, “That’s something we’ll have to remedy…” We ate Chinese, and she explained more of the controlling husband and his limited palette. They only went where he wanted to go, and it was never anything but meat and potatoes. As we talked, she explained how she hadn’t really been anywhere in life, she’d had kids early, and went right from teenager to mother.
As I proved to her that I was the polar opposite of her ex-husband, I watched her blossom even more. She became a strong, powerful woman to match her looks. Chinese and sushi are her favorite foods now, and I think it’s because of what it represents. We’ve been together for 20 years, and I still watch her. I still want to dress her up and go watch people react to her. She still fascinates me. She’s sitting across the table from me right now as I write this. She has no idea I’m writing about her. She’ll look up and catch my eye and smile sweetly. What more could a hopeless romantic ask for?
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