Prospecting for Gold

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztojQhQofwQ

The rules of the blog demand honesty and the truth is that video made me laugh because I have been that guy. Ok, maybe not precisely him but I remember going on dates where I looked at my date and let my mind wander to all sorts of interesting places. Add the million and one locker room conversations that happened with or around me and it is no question why I won’t let my daughter start dating until she 109.

The boys and I are sitting in Jimmy’s condo talking about life. We’re all in our forties now and in different stages of relationships. Mark is the only one of us who isn’t a father but then again he is also the only one that never got married. Not that marriage is a prerequisite for bringing a child into the world, but it helps to make you a little bit more careful about who you do what with and when.  We talk about kids and wives and share battle stories about the teams that we are coaching. Tom sits on a doll that is hidden in the couch and yelps when it catches him in a tender spot and I laugh.

He glares at me and I tell him that Lucy always said that he was a big baby. He tells me to go ‘fuck myself’ and I laugh again. He hasn’t seen Lucy in twenty years or so and I wonder if he thinks of her as the one that got away. That woman loved him. I mean she loved him and we all knew it. She would have done anything for him but he didn’t want it. Or should I say that he didn’t want that kind of relationship. He felt like he was too young to be so serious and they broke up. I remember it because Lucy showed up at my apartment looking for my girlfriend, Diane. Those two were tight.

Diane was at work but I let her in and she collapsed on the couch. I had never seen a woman cry so hard about a guy and it was even more shocking because Lucy was strong. Later on that night Diane would wake me up and tell me that Tom was an idiot. Don’t ask me why, but I remember the clock reading 3:32 am.

Jimmy is recently divorced and has no interest in ever getting married again. He is dating but the women he meets are told early on that there are rules that he won’t break. He wants to have fun. He wants to talk and enjoy life. And of course he wants someone to share his bed with, but there will be no ring or so he swears.

“So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe we aint that young anymore
Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night

Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen

Jimmy and I have spent more than a few hours hanging out together. We have known each other for more than 30 years and have share almost all of the major life cycle experiences. He was in my wedding and I was in his. I became a father a few years before him so I got to play the wise old man and offered a couple of helpful tips that he might not have otherwise known about. His ex is a piece of work and it took a lot of effort on my part not to tell him when they were married, but I didn’t.

I didn’t because he was sleeping with her and not with me. I expected him to take her side and that is as it should be. I remember early in their separation we had a conversation about women. In some ways it wasn’t much different from the ones that we would have had in high school or college. But there was a distinct difference because life experience had changed us and made it clear that there were things that were far more important now than they had been then.

We understood that in many ways marriage could be compared to a marathon and that there were things that you needed to help you endure and sustain. In the years before children the physical had greater importance. It wasn’t the only concern, but you didn’t make allowances for the impact of childbirth upon a woman’s body in the same way. It is different now for a variety of reasons and not just because no one wants to be known as the cradle robber. That nubile 19 year-old still looks good.  No one is going to lie and say that they haven’t looked at her and imagined what that body can do, but that is a passing though.

There is beauty in age and a majesty that comes with the wisdom that experience brings with it. The woman who understands what it means to be a mother and to be a woman is sexy. She brings far more to the table than that 19 year-old

Jimmy and I talk about how trying to find that woman is like prospecting for gold. In some ways it is not unlike the experience of listening to an album. We laugh because it sounds dated. You’d drop $13 bucks to get an album that might have 3 good songs out of 13. But if you were smart you would listen to all of the songs more than once and sometimes you would discover a nugget or two on it too. And sometimes those turned into your favorites.

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