Have you met my boyfriend? He is no one in particular, but a symbol of many of the men that I (and most of my friends) have dated since divorce. His name is Luke. Luke Warm. Luke doesn’t do ‘woo’. Luke doesn’t call very often. Luke does not send flowers. Luke introduces his dates as, “my friend” and rarely accepts or extends invitations as a “Plus 1” to weddings, school parties, family functions, holiday dinners, work events, and other intimate settings that imply coupling. His date requests are usually last minute, and cancellations can be expected.
Don’t get me wrong, Luke is a great guy! Luke is really fun to go out (or go home) with. Luke is charming and buys dinner and sends sexy texts after a few glasses of wine. He is kind and he is a great kisser. But Luke avoids the “L” word and the term Girlfriend.
Why? Because Luke isn’t Smitten. He is Luke Warm.
My friends (mostly the single ones) say it is because I don’t play hard to get. I need to let Luke chase me. Please, please tell me I don’t have to play games to fall in love again. Perhaps Luke is “Just not that into me” as one of my favorite books suggests. Maybe Luke really is too busy for a girlfriend. Or it is possible that Luke is just an idiot and doesn’t realize what he is missing out on. Yes, I will go with that one.
So, why doesn’t anyone Woo anymore? I suppose The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence; or the Arts of Wooing and Complementing might have fallen out of fashion since it was published in London in 1658. Miriam says Woo is: to try to make (someone) love you. I think Ms. Webster has it wrong. You shouldn’t have to ‘make’ someone love you.
During my research I stumbled (aka Googled) upon a modern book aptly named, The Art of Wooing. It was published in 2007 but last year a new version was released in the form of mixed media art and poetry with a story told through email exchange. The author, Kaz Brecher, defines it the following way:
“As I have come to understand it, the real “art of wooing” in this day and age is not about manipulation or trickery. Instead it involves the art of communication, the art of taking chances, the art of being real with other people..”
FINALLY! Someone understands. I hope it isn’t a dying art. I want some woo too!
Luke, I will truly miss you. Thank you for the laughs and the liquor, but I’m holding out for love.
This soup is great for days you feel like comfort food without the comfort fat. It is dairy free (if you leave off the sour cream) and makes excellent leftovers. The Boonville spice adds a little something extra, and you can easily make this in under an hour.
4 Cans black beans (3 strained, 1 with liquid)
1 can chopped tomatoes (with liquid)
1 large box chicken broth (or 2 cans)
3 slices of Applewood smoked bacon
Mirapoix (1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 stalk celery-all diced)
1 chopped red pepper
Spices: Cumin, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
Special spice: Boonville piment d’ville (Boonville Basque spice) or Adobo (traditional)
Lowfat sour cream or plain yogurt
Shredded cheddar or crumbled Cojita cheese
Cilantro or Basil
Hot sauce (Louisiana or Tabasco)
Chop bacon into tiny pieces and Sauté in large soup pan. Once the bacon starts to brown, and garlic, mirapoix and a little olive oil. Add red pepper. Sauté until all slightly translucent. Add spices. Add beans, tomatoes, and broth. Drop in two chicken breasts, submerge, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25-45 minutes. Turn off heat and remove chicken breasts and set aside until cool enough to touch. Ladle half of the soup into a blender and puree being careful to keep removing lid in-between blends or you will have a very messy black bean explosion in your kitchen. Pull the chicken breasts apart into shreds, placing the shreds into the remaining soup on the stove. Add the puree back into the soup and return to a simmer. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cheese, drizzle or dollop with sour cream or yogurt, add some Cilantro or Basil and hotsauce if it’s your thing. Sprinkle a little special spice on top and serve!
Post-divorce, anniversaries are a thing of the past, but the milestones keep coming. My latest wasn’t a big one – in that it was a little one. The father of my child had a baby. With someone else. My son has a sister but I don’t have a daughter and it’s all very confusing. Especially because I was that baby. My father had kids, and then he got divorced, and then he met wife 2.0 who wanted baby 1.0. And along came me. While his ex and his kids were dealing with a broken family, he and the replacement (my Mom) had a nice new family (Me). When exes move on, sometimes the previous administration finds solace in resenting the replacement. (I can’t because my ex’s wife/son’s step mother is really nice.) But nobody can resent a baby! Right? Babies are wonderful and yummy and sooo innocent. One of the ways to come to terms with divorce (or any change/adversity) is realizing that resilience isn’t optional. Unfortunately, sometimes neither is resentment. I never thought my siblings resented me until my father got old – really old – and they decided he wasn’t their responsibility, let alone his replacement wife. Maybe they are getting back at me? Getting back at him? Who knows? Through the journey of divorce, I have been determined to stay on the high road despite the road blocks and speed bumps. So, I bought my son’s sister a baby present. A really nice one that I put a lot of thought into, and that I knew ‘they’ would like. Like the wedding gift, they didn’t acknowledge it. Probably because they choose not to acknowledge me. I’m sure they are hoping that I will just go away. (Any divorced person who says they never once wished their ex would disappear/die is lying.) However, I am not going away, so all I can do is try to deal with it and make it as easy for all of them so that one day my son and his sister won’t be dealing with the aftermath of decisions their parents made a long time ago. Resentment is not an option for me. I don’t have a husband. Or even a real boyfriend. But I have a wonderful son and he has three parents who love him. And now, he has wonderful sister.