If you stop by and read my words from time to time, I think you’ll agree that I have three primary speeds — ha-ha, deep, and esoteric. Lately I’ve been kicking out some ha-has, so I thought it was time to take one kinda deep. In fact, if I had to point to, say, five or six things that I’ve written that would give a total stranger the best sense of who I truly am, this piece would make the list without question. Not because it’s some work of literary genius. (As that clearly wouldn’t give someone a feel for who I am!) Far from it. Just some simple words about a complex relationship. One that I feel so fortunate to have.
Although we had gone to school together from 1980 to 1987, I hadn’t laid eyes on Caroline for nearly a decade. That is before I randomly bumped into her in 2004. Truth be known, I had always found her extremely attractive, even during the Carter administration when she was nothing more than a feisty little 6th grader equipped with the perfect blend of beauty and sass. And the all-grown-up version was somehow even more beautiful than I had remembered.
But in spite of our immediate chemistry, I knew a long-term relationship wasn’t in the cards. After all, Caroline was a single mom. And as a 34 year-old professional bachelor type, I had no interest in any of that. I mean, being a parent is hard enough. But being a stepparent? It’s downright impossible, a fact I understood all too well from my childhood.