Chick Magnet
And the Hauntings

There I was walking Ginger in the twilight of a winter's day in the twilight of my life.  We were talking to each other as we walked.  We were heading to the end of the road around the lake and were going to walk the trails in the undeveloped section.  After a half-mile walk for me and ten times that for Ginger who was free to run without her leash, we would return to the homes in the subdivision.  That was our game-plan and a process that would take an hour and a half.

Then as the fates would have it, we met a woman who I didn't know.  She started the conversation.  She talked about my puppy who at that time was an extremely hyperactive 4-mouth old Irish Setter with a wagging tail that never stopped.  I was surprised that she initiated the conversation.  I am not that outgoing unless I know the person.  She continued to talk about my cute puppy and asked about her name.  She was surprised that Ginger was a female due to her blue collar and leash.  In the first five minutes of our conversation, I gave her Ginger's name and said that blue was my favorite color.  How's that for being an extrovert?

During the entire one-way conversation, this stranger was down at Ginger's level.  That made an impression upon me.  I could easily tell that she knew dogs and could deal with Ginger who is delighted beyond words to play with anyone.  I merely stood there and watched.  Both the lady and Ginger were enjoying the moment.  While she played with Ginger, she continued to comment about my puppy, which I truly love.

Finally, I took the initiative.  I asked her whether she had seen the movie, A Dog's Purpose.  She responded that she hadn't but had read the book.  While I didn't reply, I took note that she was well-read.

Additionally, as I stood there listening to her, I noticed her beautiful voice.  Of course, I didn't mention either of my observations about her knowing dogs or her voice.  I just remained standing with leash in hand as she and Ginger enjoyed their shared time together. 

As I silently watched them interact with each other, I did notice something critically important to me.  The stranger's hands were petting an extremely active puppy, which required a commensurate response from her hands.  It was then that I noticed a ring on her left ring finger, and it was not a wedding ring, something that I haven't worn for three years.  Here was an attractive woman who loved dogs, had a beautiful voice, well-read, and was single. 

So, what did I say?  Nothing.  What could I say?  "Let's have dinner together next Saturday evening?"

Honestly, during the next two minutes, my mind was searching for something to say that made sense.  During this timeframe, she was talking to Ginger and to me, but I was into searching for a simple in a simple subject and a verb.  However, my extroversion level has never been at a lower level than after seeing a cocktail ring on this lady's hand.     

That two-minutes of hell for me seemed like an hour as my mind raced around to think of a simple sentence about having dinner together.  I needed to say anything.  Finally, being a macho man, I pulled out my leather pocket folder, which contained a calendar.  No, I didn't check what I was doing next Saturday.  In the folder, I had several business cards, which also contained my web address.  Then mustering all the guts that I could collect, I said, "This card has my webpage address.  Click on articles, and look to the right-hand column for Thus Spoke Ginger.  It is an index page about Ginger."  Hey, that was three sentences.  I was on a roll for a few seconds, which stopped abruptly. 

I stood there thinking about what Caesar said in Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once."  I was hoping that she would look at the index page about Ginger, call me, and talk about going out together.  Then I could cavalierly have responded, "Sure.  That would be delightful."  While I hoped that she'd call, I wasn't worried even though I didn't have her name or where she lived.

Why wasn't I worried?  I knew Maureen, who knows everyone in the neighborhood.  Several days later, while talking with Maureen, I mentioned exactly what I have outlined for my readers.  She gave me the lady's name immediately without saying that she thought it might be her.

Then, in my typically low level of extroversion, I asked Maureen if she could mention sometime to this woman about my running into this lady and how intrigued I was with her.  I didn't want Maureen to push it too much since she might be dating or not interested in having dinner with me.  I didn't want to make the lady uncomfortable nor did I want to be placed in an uncomfortable situation of being rejected. 

As I write this essay, nothing has been said by Maureen.  Apparently, this lady took a trip to avoid the wintery weather just after our conversation and has just gotten back.  When Maureen sees her walking her dogs, she will mention, in passing, my conversation with Maureen about her friend.

In this agonizing waiting period, I have talked with Ginger.  Ginger knows about my interest in this lady.  Ginger, feeling my angst, has attempted to placate my anxiety.  "You know, dogs can be chick magnets.  I realized your feeling awkward several weeks ago.  So, I ran interference for you.  The lady was interested in me, which might mean that I can pull the two of you together."

I merely responded that this limbo that I am experiencing is painful. 

Ginger responded, "Well, is the pain worth the possible outcome?  Hey, as the fates would have it, you met her.  She has lived near you for several years, and you were totally out of the loop about even knowing her. Time will tell.  In the meantime, live in the moment."

My retort to Ginger was something like it being easy for her to tell me to live in the moment. 

In desperation, Ginger replied, "We will run into the lady sometime soon.  I'll be even more friendly than the first time.  Maybe, being a chick magnet for you is my purpose in your life."

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