Hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes

I wasn’t going to tell you, but I was out with a man on Friday night.

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date. (photo credit:  www.datehookup.com)

A man who likes shoes. This is NOT my non-date.
(photo credit: http://www.datehookup.com)

Yes, you know, one of those; hairy, low voice, no interest in shoes.

I wasn’t going to tell you, because it wasn’t a date. And I didn’t want you thinking anything untoward of me. I didn’t want you thinking I was betraying my husband, cheating on Him in some way, enjoying the company of another male. Or perhaps it’s just me who was thinking that, and you have no such misgivings at all.

As I said, it wasn’t a date. It was drinks and dinner with a ‘mutual’ friend, who had, many years ago, lost his girlfriend too. It was in fact a widows support group with only two members.

But actually, we didn’t spare much time talking about our respective losses. He’s gone, she’s gone, what’s there to discuss? Instead, we quaffed red wine and had a laugh.

And, as anticipated, now the boozy afterglow has dimmed, I am in the throes of fervent self-interrogation.

Why didn’t we spend more time talking about them? What pearls of wisdom for getting through this shit did I miss out on from my non-date whilst we were guffawing in the bar? What would Mark have thought about me being out with one of his old school adversaries?

Truth is, it’s been eighteen months since I sat in a restaurant opposite one of those hairy, low-voiced representatives from the other half of the human race, and it was rather nice.

I miss the sorts of conversations men have. They don’t talk about feelings so much, they don’t tend to ulcerate about the minutiae. They’re totally ambivalent about the frankly SUPERB  pair of wedges I bought in the Office sale. (Twenty quid by the way. I shit you not.) I’m wildly generalising of course, but you catch my drift.

I like men, which is why I married one. And whilst I’m not interested in having a boyfriend, a friend who is a boy might be nice.

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An inbox full of Arnie

English: Walk-behind lawn mower

English: Walk-behind lawn mower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since I made the mistake of signing up to an online dating agency (and swiftly un-signing up might I add), my email account has been deluged with photographs of ripple-chested, mahogany-coloured males, all branded with the legend, “These are real members!”

This claim is patently untrue.

Even if I were interested, which I’m not, how is it that when I was (momentarily) a member, my matches were all either aged seventeen with plooks or portly jokers with an interesting line in ties? There wasn’t a mahogany torso to be found. And believe me, I trawled the site looking for one.

This is the insidious nature of the Internet about which M warned me time and time again. Never subscribe to or look at anything unless you are prepared for it to come back and bite you on the arse. I subscribed in a fit of drink-fuelled loneliness, and now I can’t escape from it. Doomed forever to an inbox full of Arnie look-alikes.

The loneliness which prompted the whole damn thing persists though. I miss His company, His humour, the feeling of His body next to me in bed. I miss seeing His face, the sound of His voice. It goes beyond loneliness though; it is a kind of yearning which can’t be fixed by a date with a man with a rippled chest.

Even the lawn-mower-like roar of His snoring which caused so many grumpy nocturnal stomps to the spare room – I’d give an inbox full of Arnie to hear it again.

My reptilian brain

English: Artist interpretation of reptilian al...

English: Artist interpretation of reptilian alien. Human is shown for relative size. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Widows! You know that shame you feel when, even fleetingly, you have the desire to sleep with another man? The postman, the bus-driver, that bloke sitting opposite you right now – anyone will do.

You don’t want a relationship, or love, or even respect particularly, you just want to look up at a stubbly face from the vantage of a hairy (perhaps tattooed) chest and take in the warmth, the *smell, the closeness that has been missing from your life for sixteen long months. (*debateable).

In short, you want to engage in arguably one of the most life-affirming acts in order to feel…alive.

Perhaps, like me, you have already succumbed to the desire, and are currently listening to the sound of self-loathing and insatiable lust tussling with one another in your brain.

Well I wanted to share something I heard today in my counselling session which reassured me that my behaviour wasn’t as deviant as I’d imagined.

It turns out this is a well-documented phenomenon. Yes, other widows are doing it!

Faced with trauma and loss on this scale, humans refer to their reptilian brain, (I wasn’t even aware we HAD one!) and the familiar three ‘Fs’ of survival – Fight, Flight or Freeze – become four. I’ll leave you to ponder what the final one could be.

Psycho-babble or not, it sure as hell made me feel better.