Thursday, May 8, 2014
Chapter 12, "You're Back & Why Are You Leaving Again
You’re Back & Why Are You Leaving Again
When people first meet you in Mexico they usually ask where you are from and why you are now here. Now, since I have returned to San Miguel de Allende people are asking, “You just got back, why are you leaving again?”
I left San Miguel de Allende because of medical problems I needed treatment for in the U.S. and I have excellent health coverage there. I chose Baja California because I could still live in Mexico and commute to San Diego for my treatment. But even before I became ill I was tired of what my life had become, of going out almost every night and dancing until dawn but not being in a relationship with someone, I wanted to share my life with.
I saw pretty much the same group of older single Mexican women sitting at the same table every day at the Jardin café, watching life go by and passing them by. I would see the same group of older Expat women at the same bar table at Harry’s every night for Happy Hour or at Berlin’s. I would see them and think to myself, “I do not want to be like them, but I am becoming just like them.” If I stay in this town that is so wonderful and magical, I will be single for the rest of my life and never get to hear the beautiful announcement, “Honey, I’m home.” I was not yet jaded and had not yet given up hope.
I stayed too long in the Baja because I met “Selfish” and was hopeful about our relationship, thinking at first, probably because of the chemistry, that I had finally met the man I wanted to share my life with. Life is better shared with someone than living it alone. But alas that was not to be. Now when I see his photos flash across my screen saver I do not even miss him. But I also see pictures from the beginning of our relationship when things were different, and I miss those times and miss that man.
My home in San Miguel de Allende was calling me back; it was not rented and had not sold. So I made that long trip driving alone with my four Chihuahua’s from Rosarito to San Miguel de Allende. Yes, I love San Miguel de Allende and always will and yes I have great friends both women and men. But I did not want to live here alone.
Once I got back to San Miguel de Allende it took me almost six weeks to; replace and repair things in my home before I could list it with a real estate agent. The number of things missing or broken was amazing, and the state of my gardens was wretched. Also I repaired my car that actually got me home without incident with all the problems it had, as a result of “Selfish’s” poor driving skills.
So what were my options? I loved the Baja, just not my relationship. I have many friends there and missed them. I loved being so close to San Diego, not only for the medical care I needed, but for the shopping and dining options. I really never got to enjoy San Diego the way I wanted to because “Selfish” did not have a passport, or income to be able to easily cross the border. He could not share the cost of a hotel in the city or the experience of spending time there. When one goes to San Diego one spends money. It’s as though the air comes with a price tag. Another option for me was to move to South Carolina to be close to my family and aging parents. Or, perhaps move back to Ajijic, a town I loved. When I first moved to Mexico I lived there. Or, maybe I could move to Texas. I’ve always thought of moving there.
I had to keep in mind the possibility that my house in San Miguel de Allende would not ever sell. Houses can be on the market here for years on end, so I could be here waiting for years on end. If my house did sell there were the above options. But, still not jaded, and still believing that love is out there, I returned to online dating services. I looked at Plenty of Fish (POF) and a senior dating service called SeniorMatch.com. After all, “Selfish” had reminded me when I left him that I was, indeed, a senior. When I listed on these sites I wrote, “I am moveable are you?” I meant that completely. I would and could move anywhere if I fell in love, or I would or could move a man I loved here as well. Or we could share homes. That is the dream of many of the women in San Miguel de Allende who are on dating sites, since the ratio of women to men here is about 20 to 1.
Truly the chances of finding the love of your life during the last chapters of your life are not very favorable in this town. I will share a few of the bad pick-up lines and experiences I have had since returning.
A man I had met on POF and made a date with for my second night home. In the two months he had lived here he dated more than four other women and was interested in one of my best friends. We girls, who use to be called, “The Sisterhood” just don’t do that, so neither she nor I went out with him. So that never happened.
I met another man on POF who had moved from Texas to Guanajuato recently and was coming over to San Miguel de Allende to meet me. During our conversation he asked me if I had a contact to get him prescription drugs without a doctor’s RX, so of course I asked him what type of medication? He said it was to help him be more social. No it was not Viagra, but a pill I had never heard of that was for a personality disorder. It did not seem auspicious to start a relationship with someone who asked for personality-disorder drugs even before the first date. So that never happened
I met another man on POF who lived in Cuernavaca and although that is only a four hour drive he asked me to meet him half way in Queretaro. So that never happened.
I had already made a resolution to never again go out with a man who was five years younger than I am. My last three lovers were 49 when I met them and yes, age does matter even though in the beginning they say it doesn’t. My limit now is not to date anyone more than five years younger or seven years older than myself. All my former men were tall, blonde and handsome; only one, “Selfish” was broke. I decided to cross the “tall” requirement off my list.
I believe it is best to meet a man while you are out and about because you know the chemistry right away, you feel it or you don’t. I have often seen it happen with my friends, and myself, as well that when you meet a man on a dating site he seems perfect, but then when you meet in person there is no chemistry. That’s a pretty big disappointment, especially if you meshed on line and then started imagining how life would be with him in it. I think that people who meet this way are often disappointed because during their on-line courtship they let their imagination run away and then start expecting things to fall into accordance with the imaginary. Expectations will lead to disappointment.
One night I was at one of our local clubs. It took me quite a long time to go out because I was only newly recovered from my broken foot and the ancient cobblestones in San Miguel de Allende can be lethal, and it was the rainy season, which makes falling more likely and a lovely experience less likely. I was also a bit recalcitrant because I was afraid of re-injuring myself after having just recovered. I was with my girlfriends at a club and had every intention of leaving early. However, there was this great looking man at the bar staring at me the entire time and my girlfriends finally pushed me towards him to introduce myself. Well, he was tall, silver haired and sure looked older than I did. We had a great time dancing (my first time dancing since my injury) and talking and when I said I was ready to leave, he asked for my number and if I would go out with him the following night. I stopped and asked him his age, he was only 49 but looked older. That was 11 years younger than me and out of bounds, so that did not happen.
The next experience happened on a Friday night. It wasn’t raining, and I just felt like getting out of the house. I went to one of my favorite restaurants alone. The bar had only one seat open that was between a man and a woman. I asked both if the seat was available and they both said “yes.” I already knew the woman, so as I sat down I introduced myself to the man who said, “I know you.” I replied, “I am sorry, but I do not remember meeting you.” He replied that he had bought jackets from me in my gallery over the years and wondered where I had gone. He was finishing up dinner and I had a glass of wine and he asked if he could buy me dinner at Harry’s, now called Hank’s. I agreed and we left the bar after he paid both bills. It began to rain, and when we got to Harry’s there was not one table left, so we went to Los Milagros. He was polite, he walked on the street side – so I knew he had manners – and he kept the umbrella over me. We had a lovely dinner and great conversation and he was age appropriate and he asked for my number and walked me to a taxi and waited with the umbrella over my head until a taxi drove by. He had my number but he did not call and so that did not happen. (A few months later when I ran into him again he apologized and said he was married and felt guilty for asking me out in the first place.)
I was at dinner with my friend Florida and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked me if I had noticed the man across the bar who could not keep his eyes off me. Of course I had noticed him. He suggested I go introduce myself and I said no. So Florida went over and invited him to join us. Florida’s boyfriend was a doctor and we had been discussing my injury and what it was like being in a wheel chair for so long. Florida had the same injury that I had two years earlier and had been my cheerleader while I was healing. She promised to visit me if I returned to San Miguel de Allende and not long after I returned she did visit. The man joined our conversation and said he understood what it was like to be in a wheel chair. I asked him why he had been in a wheel chair and he laughed and I said, “I am sorry it is not funny to be in a wheel chair.” He said, “It is if you were in one as I was.” I asked him to share and he said, “I was admitted into an asylum in a wheelchair for observation and I just ended up liking the wheel chair so much I stayed in it for a while.” Another inauspicious beginning, so that did not happen.
I was at Harry’s with Scottsdale who asked me if I had noticed that the man at the other end of the bar was staring at me and I admitted that I had noticed. She suggested that I go introduce myself to him. At her prodding I did and he joined us. He was tall, good looking, well dressed and seemed like he was about 65, I did not need to ask. He was from New York City and had recently moved here, all good and new in town. Scottsdale said we were smoking together with easy conversation and that he seemed very interested in me. He asked for my phone number which I gave to him and I never heard from him again. Since I don’t go out much at night it was unlikely I would run into him again. So that did not happen. (I saw him a few months later, again at Harry’s, and he explained that he had not called because he had a live-in girlfriend. He asked if he could buy me a drink and of course I said no)
I was at a festival in San Miguel de Allende and was introduced to a man by his brother, whom I have known for years. He was Mexican and I have never in my life gone out with a Mexican man. But, keeping to my resolution that height and identical ethnicities were no longer so important, I spent some time with him. I began to understand the appeal of the Latin male. I had never before had a man make such a fuss over me. I can, and have, written a Chapter about pick-up lines. But this man, I could have written an entire book in spending merely five hours with him: you are a Barbie Doll, so perfect, so tall and beautiful. Where do you work out to have this wonderful body? My god, your skin feels so wonderful, you smell so wonderful. I have not been so happy in 30 years, as I am now being with you. Please just sit in the shade as you are so fair; let me go get whatever you need and bring it to you. May I pay the singer to come sing for you, the song that will forever be special to me on our anniversary of meeting? We must get to know each other fast and he asked me out for six dates, and explained each one in detail. Then he said, “My son and family are all here, may I introduce you to them? May I drive you home?” Well, I think that is enough. My responses were pretty much: slow down cowboy, no I don’t think your son is interested in who you are flirting with, and no, you may not come to my house as I don’t bring a man I just met to my home. He asked if he could call me the next day to go out and I gave him my phone number and he gave me his and he was so nervous it took him forever to program both phones. Yes, I let him pay for lunch and wine and go fetch for me and even let him massage my bum foot. The next day he called to ask me to his house for brunch and I repeated that I do not bring a man I just met to my house, nor do I go to their house alone. So that did not happen because it was just happening too quickly.
On one of the dating sites I used I was only meeting male buddies I already knew and using the site as email with them. On the Seniors Dating site I was hearing from men telling me that there was no way that I was 60 and asking me why I was lying to be on this site.
I was also communicating with a man whom I had met on match.com but I had never met in person for many reasons. I had a plane ticket to visit him when I was still living in San Miguel de Allende five years ago and I felt we had much in common and I felt chemistry just talking on the phone to him and emailing. Right before my trip, he told me that he had been looking at my photographs on Facebook and felt I was too much of a socialite and that he was just a country boy living in Texas. It really shocked me and hurt my feelings because I felt he misunderstood me. I had to admit, though, that I did look like a socialite on my Facebook page. Well, we have always kept in touch and were finally going to meet in Laredo before I crossed the border to return to San Miguel de Allende. I left Laredo a day early and he was on a business trip, so timing did not work out. It’s difficult to say whether we will ever meet and if so how we will get along.
I had two really funny encounters at Harry’s during this period. Everyone told me that I needed to share them because these things could only happen in San Miguel de Allende, and probably only to me. I was sitting at a table alone, waiting for my girlfriends for Happy Hour. I am always early and have named this predilection my “early disease.” I noticed a man walking towards me and I remembered him from five years earlier. At that time I was standing outside in front of Harry’s talking on my cell phone. He had just gotten out of a taxi and said to me, “How much are you?” I ignored him and he threw a 500 peso bill at me and it fell at my feet and I just ignored him and kept talking on my phone. He just kept throwing more and more 500 peso bills at me and kept saying, “Is this enough?” When I finished my conversation I said, “Whatever!” Then I turned around and walked back to my table to sit with my friends. Now here he was again and he walks up to me and says, “The Angel is back in San Miguel de Allende, may I buy you dinner?” and I said “No, believe it or not I am not here looking for a man.” He answered, “That is okay as I respect Lesbians,” and went to sit at another table. So in five years I went from being a prostitute to being an Angel and in five minutes I went from being an Angel to being a Lesbian.
One day I walked into Harry’s and sat at the bar. There was only one other person at the bar and I noticed him staring at me as I ordered wine and took my newspaper out of my purse. As he continued staring at me and I continued to read my newspaper. He got up and came over to sit at the bar stool next to me and asked if he could pay for my wine. He was not bad looking, tall and my age so I told him he could and closed my newspaper. He immediately said to me, “I want to get you so drunk that you will let me take you home and lick each of your freckles all over your body.” I replied, “You cannot get me that drunk and by the way I am going to the ladies room and you can watch my ass as I go so you can see exactly how nice it is. When I return I will give you the best kiss you have ever had in your life as a thank you for this glass of wine. Then you can watch my ass walk out the door and you will never see me again!” Do guys really think that a line like that will work? I’m sure he’s still thinking about that kiss.
I was having an unusually bad day, the kind that you can only have here, and it was hot as hell. I had walked for an hour to photograph a house for the Guanajuato International Film Festival and the owners were not there. They said that they thought the appointment was at 5:30. But I had four emails stating otherwise over two days so I had no idea how they came up with 5:30. But it was a wasted long walk in the heat of the mid-day sun and wasted time. I then went for a haircut which was really bad and afterwards went to an appointment at a friend’s house. She wasn’t there either. This appointment was made a week ago, we had spoken about it, we had messaged about it, we had face-booked about it and I had called her about it to remind her and she said she would be there. The appointment was for a series of shots that we both needed, and the doctor was coming from Mexico City. The doctor and I both showed up on time, but my friend wasn’t there. The doctor and I, fearing the worst, since my friend had been so sick for so long, broke into her house expecting to find her dead on the floor, but didn’t find her at all. Next, I had a 5 pm meeting at Harry’s for happy hour to introduce two people. The man showed up on time but I left before the woman arrived since she was late. Unfortunately a Canadian lady had sat next to me and started bashing the U.S. I told her she had no right to say the things she was saying, though I did, indeed, agree with some of it, and then I got up and left. I barely made it home in time to clean up for a date with a man from Texas who comes to San Miguel de Allende frequently and whom I have dated on and off for six years. I went to dinner with him and he spent the entire evening conversing with an unattractive blonde woman who sat on the other side of him. After a hour of this I was bored out of my mind and offended that the woman would not stop interjecting when he did speak to me and that he was allowing this to go on and on, so I went to the restroom and wrote a note to him saying, “You seem to like the blonde better than me so have a great time.” I gave the note to the waitress and asked her to wait three minutes and then deliver it to him. Then I went home.
After that I dated a German man for a month with whom I had flirted with over the last nine years. He was unbearable, or perhaps just overly German, telling me how I should lose weight and, how to move my furniture around, what color to paint my walls. Worst of all he hated dogs and kept asking, “Since they are old, you’re not going to replace them when they die are you?” I have always said, “No carro me perros no carro me.” I enjoyed his company, but thought that if he acted this way while we were just dating he would be far too difficult in a relationship. So that obviously that did not happen.
A few days later I was walking down the street and a man tapped me on the shoulder, and actually startled me. I turned around and noticed he was older than me and not attractive at all. He asked me, “Do you know where Office Depot is?” Well Office Depot is nowhere near where we were so I merely said no and began to walk again. Then he said, “I am sorry to bother you, but watching you walk is so sexy and to see your underpants under your tight skirt, showing your perfect ass has given me an erection.” I was speechless and turned around and kept walking and the first friend I met I asked, “Please tell me if you can see my underwear lines beneath my skirt?” The answer was no. Do guys really think that a line like this might work?
The days back in San Miguel de Allende soon became nine months. I had dated many men and jokingly referred to myself as a serial dater. It caught up with me one night at a club when I walked in on a first date with a man and three men who I had gone out with that week were all there at the same time. One just got up and left, one flirted with another woman to try to make me jealous, and one actually came up to my date and introduced himself and said, “You have a handful with this one!”
It amazes me that it is okay for a man to see several women at the same time, but it is not okay for a woman to do so. A man actually said to me, “You sure get around, don’t you?” Well since leaving “Selfish” in the Baja I have not slept with any man. Nor did I even have sex with him in the end. In my mind that is not getting around.
I could, and would, live anywhere in the world. I would also be comfortable staying here if I had the right man to share this city called the “Corazon de Mexico,” which it is. It is; the most romantic, beautiful place on earth but lonely when living here alone.
(Harry’s is now Hank’s but will forever be Harry’s to us who have spent so much time there over the years)