When I divorced my controlling husband in my forties, I needed to find a full-time job that actually brought in a steady paycheck. I used my skills as a writer to get a job as an editor for a trade magazine. Steady pay check, yes, exciting work, no. While I was doing the work thing, I started dating again. I was so starved for attention after 19 years of a loveless marriage, that I jumped at every, and I mean every, opportunity that passed my way.
I was in my mid-forties and found myself dating twenty year olds–great for the ego at first but very depressing when they can’t relate to anything. I actually had one guy who didn’t know that Paul McCartney had played in a different band other than Wings!?!!
There was this man who was a freelance graphic artist at my work who would come in and practically beg me to go on a date with him. I couldn’t stand this guy. He was old (my age), had long hair and a wild beard, had a beer belly and dressed like a hobo. But boy was he persistent. He would come into my office cubicle, get on one knee and say things like, “When are you going to make me the happiest man in the world and go out with me.”
Oh brother. I couldn’t get rid of him so I hatched an evil plan. I decided to go out with him and be the biggest bitch I could be. I’m really a nice person, which is why I just couldn’t tell him to buzz off, you’re not my type. I thought if I went out with him and acted all kinds of crazy it would scare him off and he’d think it was his idea to move on. We meet at a dance bar where I proceeded to act indifferent, weird and just plain crazy. After two hours I said I had to leave. He wanted to know if he could ask me out again.
I couldn’t believe it. “Did you have a good time?” I was incredulous. No, he answered. “Then why would you want to go out again?”
“Because it might be better the next time,” he said, a smile on his face.
This guy just didn’t get it. I told him he was too intense for me. He was in my face saying ridiculous things like how beautiful I was and stuff like that. Drove me nuts.
So for the next two years, I continued to date all these totally wrong men for all the wrong reasons. In the meantime, this intense man kept popping his head into my cubicle to just say hi. If I heard him enter the building, I would duck down and run along the other side of the cubicles and hide in the bathroom until he was gone. This went on for TWO YEARS!
Finally one day I was complaining to a friend that I couldn’t find someone for me and this friend suggested it was because I didn’t know what I wanted. How true. So we got together one night, and sat in a hot tub with a bottle of wine and each wrote up a list of traits we wanted in the perfect man for each of us. By the time I was finished, I had 65 items on my list. Then I decided that in order to make the list work, I needed a sacred ceremony to activate the list. So I drove to my favorite spot in the mountains and waited for a “sign” to show me where to bury my list. When a hawk flew across the road right in front of me and landed on a rock outcropping, I had my sign. I pulled over and climbed the rocks and found at the very top a small sandy spot and buried my list.
Then I stood up, lifted my arms over my head and called to The Universe, “Bring him to me!” Yes, I really did do that. Then I stopped dating and waited. Three weeks later a big beautiful homegrown rose was on my computer with a note – “Just wanted to brighten your day,” signed Mr. Intense.
Now you probably know who left this rose but at the time, I hadn’t a clue. It had been two years since the date from hell that I had concocted. Finally it hit me. I was able to get his e-mail address (he worked for my company as a freelancer, remember) and e-mailed a thank you. He e-mailed a lovely note back. This went on for a while and two weeks later I received another rose. More e-mails, more fabulous words – sweet and not “too-intense.”
Having a copy of my list, I decided to do things differently this time. I put aside my first impressions and paid attention to what I had written on the list. I started dating this man very slowly. A date here, a date there, all the time checking off stuff I found out along the way. After three months, I had checked off 63 out of 65 items on my list. I was astonished. Here was my soul mate right in front of me. When he got down on one knee on the top of that very same rock outcropping where I had buried my list and asked me to marry him six months later, of course I said yes!
I turned this idea of making a Man List and then creating a ceremony to “activate” the list into my first novel, Magical Man List. Finding a publisher for my very first piece of fiction proved more challenging than finding my soul mate.
Christie Walker Bos lives in Big Bear Lake, California, with her husband Robbie, her very own Magical Man. She has four published novels: Magical Man List, The Write Man for Her, and Getting Back to Delaney. And writing as Susan Ashworthy, she has the first novel in the Hot PurSuits series of erotica, Stealing Hearts. She has two Web sites: www.ChristieWalkerBos.com and www.SusanAshworthy.com