The names have been left out because she didn’t tell me hers.
I went to the concert because I was invited by a friend. I found a seat on the second row, since it was general seating, and sat to enjoy the music. Seated to my left was a young Vietnamese woman and three young children, who wandered short distances and randomly changed seats. Seated to my right, another very pretty brunette lady, I estimated about 45, maybe younger, was alone. One of her friends who was also attending the concert came up and they struck up a conversation.
I overheard because we were next to each other, but did my best to feign disinterest. But I overheard everything and felt the overwhelming sadness. I wanted to say something, but thought it would be dumb. So I sat quietly and just clapped for the concert and enjoyed the music my friend was playing along with the rest of the band.
She said that she was a month away from turning 50 years old, and had just divorced her husband because he was only home about two months out of the year, between business trips. I watched this beautiful woman, telling her friend she felt fat and had gained a few pounds during the stressful season of divorce. Her female friend tried to be encouraging, “Let’s go to the ‘Y’ together and work out. Call me and we’ll set that up.” The lovely lady disclosed that her ex was a “fucking idiot” who said “the stupidest things” to her kids.
Her friend sounded almost masculine to me. In addition to commiserating like other women I’ve seen, she offered practical support. If I were single I’d have tried to say something intelligent, but I’m so married.
The lady on my right was just beautiful, with the saddest eyes. She was wearing a denim dress. And she had the most perfect mouth I’ve ever heard in such a short conversation. Can a persons choice of vocabulary be attractive? Honestly, I loved it. It made her more beautiful.
I wanted to reach out but we are trapped in our social conventions and pre-existing suspicions and conditions and expectations. I didn’t want anything except to encourage. I kept my mouth shut and went home wishing I had a “silver tongue” and a way to blast through all of the social constructs just to say something affirming.
I wanted to tell her that she is beautiful, that a guy would be fortunate to find her, to fight for her, to win her heart. I wanted to tell her that she is a treasure worth any effort. And I wanted to tell her that she deserved a guy who was good with her kids, since they’d be the ones setting him up for hospice care in his old age, and he really shouldn’t be an idiot about encouraging them, while he is working to support them.
And just to put things into perspective, if a guy is traveling that much, he’s probably raking in the dough and assuming he’s at her age, he’s aware he’s nearing retirement at warp speed, and wanting to continue to live at that standard after retiring. True, he should know how to be nice to people, especially people he wanted to call “family,” but I wanted to tell her there was a chance she was being a little bit penny wise and pound foolish to divorce this guy who was making these kinds of sacrifices of time now in order to have money sufficient for later.
It’s a delicate balance. I have difficulty with it myself. I fall short on some things. Many things. But I do well at encouraging most of the time. I wish I could have said these things to her, in a way she found non-threatening and wouldn’t set any further expectation of me. Instead of the “Y” I might have asked her to meet me at church over a cup of coffee to pray about it. Yeah, I’m a “fucking idiot,” a swearing ass hole, but I know some things. Among them, that God seems to care about other people, and on random occasions has actually answered when I asked, to my utter shock. Maybe He’d answer her.
She was a complete stranger and if I had said anything she would have thought I was making a pass, or thought I was a complete “fucking idiot,” which I would readily have confessed is absolute truth. All guys are. Discretion made me keep my mouth shut. But if I had opened it, I would have prayed with her: – that she would find peace in her present circumstances, -that she would be encouraged because God made her beautiful, and -that she would find a good companion who could be loving and encouraging and supportive to her and her family.
But instead, I’m praying for her by myself. If by some random chance she reads this, maybe she’ll remember me.
I was the “fucking idiot” on your left, dear. And I think you’re beautiful. And I’m praying for you.