The Man-Tree

My friend Matt is having a good laugh at my expense today, and it’s all because of something I said to him a few years ago. I guess I should have known that this particular comment of mine was going to come around and bite me on the butt, but somehow I really thought he’d forget about it.

At least, I hoped he would.

He was going through a rough time back then, feeling bad about the fact that he was still single in his mid-forties. And I treated him with all the smug assholery of a married person who thought she had all the answers. I was a married straight woman who thought I had all kinds of helpful advice to offer to a single gay man.

“You’ll never meet anyone if you don’t go out once in a while,” I told him.

He replied that he didn’t like clubs, didn’t feel like taking any classes or joining any singles groups, and refused to join a dating service.

I offered to fix him up with a friend. “L– is only a few years younger than you,” I told him. “He’s really cute, has these beautiful green eyes, is really active in community theater. I have known him since middle school, and I promise you he’s a really good guy.”

Nope, Matt didn’t do “fix-ups” or “blind dates” because he was afraid of being fixed up with a serial killer. Because, apparently, Matt harbors a secret belief that I have lifelong friends who just happen to be serial killers.

And that’s when I uttered those famous butt-biting words: “So I guess you think you’re going to meet Mr. Right by planting a man-tree in your living room and just picking the one you want?”

Fast forward several years, and now I’m the single one. It’s been more than two years since the Big Guy and I split up, and I haven’t been on a single date. Not one. I’ve had a few men flirt with me, but I can never tell if they are joking or serious, and I don’t have a clue what to do about the ones who just might actually be serious.

I don’t want to be single anymore, but I don’t want to have to find Mr. Right. I’m too old to go to clubs, and I hate crowds. I don’t like the idea of joining an online dating site. It’s just too random, and I really don’t think there are a lot of men on those sites looking for 50 year-old chubby divorcees.

I want Mr. Right to just appear. You know, by planting a man-tree in my living room and just picking the one I want.

If you listen really hard, you can probably hear Matt’s laughter from wherever you are. Seriously, I think he may be on the verge of giving himself an internal injury.

A while ago, I made a joke to a new co-worker about being available for fix-ups. I told her the same thing I’ve said to many people over the last couple of years: “Hey,” I joked, “if you’ve got any friends who are interested in middle-aged, overweight women, I’m up for a little matchmaking.”

She didn’t laugh. She just smiled and told me she had the perfect man in mind.

Holy shit.

Okay, so I haven’t actually met him yet. Haven’t even talked to him. In fact, he probably has no idea at this point that our mutual friend has been telling me about him. And if he does know, he may not want to meet me.

But with Matt’s laughter ringing in my years, I just told my co-worker to go ahead and talk to her friend. Set us up.

This may go nowhere. Maybe he’s not interested in dating or maybe he wont be interested in dating me. Maybe he’s a giant jackass who picks his nose at the dinner table. I don’t know what to expect. But if I’ve learned anything from everything that’s happened to me over the past few years, I’ve learned that we all have to take chances in life every once in a while. Step out of the comfort zone, do something that terrifies us, take that first frightening step, because life offers no guarantees.

No man-trees, either.

Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

10 thoughts on “The Man-Tree”

  1. Good luck! I certainly hope he isn’t a nose picker, or crotch scratcher..(really, those aren’t going to vanish!) that man tree in the living room sounds interesting though!


  2. Oh my friend! That man tree is a novel thought. Pun intended! Go ahead and give it a go. Remember, this guy is a friend of your friend–and ask yourself what you expect of their friend pool. Go for it!


  3. Oh my friend! That man tree is a novel thought. Pun intended! Go ahead and give it a go. Remember, this guy is a friend of your friend–and ask yourself what you expect of their friend pool. Go for it! And I’ll bet Matt IS laughing! 😃


    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement! Unfortunately, a little bit of snooping revealed that the young man in question is in fact VERY young. I was in high school the year he was born. No, thank you. I am just not ready to be a cougar.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Go for it! Tell me though, what is too young? I am more than curious about this. I am also curious about the following:

    What is fat / chubby?
    What is old?

    See here is the thing, I will be 59 this year. I am certainly not Barbie Doll thin, in fact I have well distributed fat all over.

    I have been single for three years. I started dating. It was hard. My average date-mates ages are from 45-52. I have yet to date anyone my age. Not a single one of then have complained about my size, they all picked me because I have a body! I have T&A and I am good with that.

    You have to be good with these things. Age becomes far less important once we get here. Have fun!


  5. Thank you, Val. It doesn’t matter to me if a man is fat/chubby or even attractive/average or any of that. If I’m going to ask a man to look beyond my physical flaws to get to know the person inside, it would be ridiculous to expect him to ask any less of me. Looks don’t matter to me, as long as man treats me with respect.

    But my confidence is just not at a point where I can be fifteen years older than him. If he were fifteen years older than me, sure, I could give it a shot.

    Five or six years? Yeah, no problem. Fifteen? As in, he’s just a few years older than my niece. As in, I was already married with babies by the time this guy graduated from high school. As in, he’s the same age as some of the kids I used to babysit when I was a kid. I just . . . .can’t.


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