Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guest Post: Needle In The Haystack,

Just in case you need to catch up:
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 1
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 2
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 3
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 4
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 5
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 6
Needle In The Haystack, Chapter 7

It has now been two days since she sent that email. I am contemplating my response – should it be tender and understanding, or should I share with her how I see the replay of this childhood memory playing out as an adult? We will be meeting, for the first time in three days, and already I know that I want to kiss her.

The day before the "date" I start to doubt myself. Was this a smart thing to do? Was I taking enough safety precautions? Was Emma really who I thought she was or was I jeopardizing my own family's safety out of selfishness? Hell, for all I knew she wouldn't even show! I decide to send one last email.

Good Morning Emma!

I apologize for my "invisibility" this week - it's been another hectic one with work and family obligations - but I thought I should probably fire off a quick email to confirm lunch tomorrow.

I'm been thinking that noon might actually work a bit better for me. If that still works for you, let's plan on meeting at noon tomorrow in the Nordstrom's shoe department at Franklin Mills, near the women's athletic shoe section.

I do appreciate you sharing your "sleepover" story with me. Funny how something so innocent, so early in our lives, can make such a vivid and lasting impact on us, isn't it?

Again, let me say that I am truly looking forward to tomorrow. At the very least, I feel confident that we will share great conversation, and that is always a wonderful place to start in any new friendship!


Her response was immediate and to the point.

That will be perfect, LouAnne. See you then!


I went to bed Friday night, my mind heavy in anticipation. I had far more questions than answers though, which was becoming quite common in the quest. Sleep was fleeting – dreams were vivid – and I finally allowed myself to get out of bed at 7:00.

My Saturday routine was nothing out of the ordinary. Up relatively early. Coffee and computer time. Long, hot bubble bath. I knew I'd need to leave the house around 10:30 to insure a noon arrival time. The story was in place (I was meeting a co-worker for lunch at this great seafood restaurant she told me about), my home responsibilities were taken care of and it was time to leave.

As I headed out, I really started questioning what I was doing and why I was doing it. Questions surrounding the impact on my family, should they find out, were the most troubling. The trip seemed to take no time at all and I found myself sitting in the parking lot a full 30 minutes early.

I didn't want to appear too anxious, so decided to sit in my car for a bit. I checked my email from my cell phone, looked at my teeth 17.2 times to insure there wasn't any food stuck between them, and headed into Nordstrom's at about 11:50.

I found my way to the shoe department and realized I had only seen a partial view of Emma's face. The photo she sent early on had a large, black rectangle covering the majority of her face. I sent a full body/head shot to her, so I was hoping she would recognize me. As I wandered aimlessly through the shoe department, looking for someone that might be her, I realized I might well have been stood up.

I caught a glimpse of a women who I thought might be her, but she was clearly shoe shopping, calling over a sales person to help her with sizing, at precisely our scheduled meeting time. I knew I would never make a relative stranger wait on me, so assumed that wasn't her. I was wrong – it was her – and it wouldn't be the last time she surprised me.

About 10 minutes after I first saw Emma (not knowing it was her) and about the time I was ready to head out the door and back to my car in embarrassment, Emma walked up to me and asked, "LouAnne?" My first impression was a good one. She was tall, fit and wore glasses. She had that geeky sexy look about her. We exchanged some small talk and headed towards the exit to the mall.

We found a nice, quiet Italian restaurant for lunch and were seated quite quickly. There was a bit of uneasiness in the conversation, not due to anything specific, but more likely because we both knew we were contemplating something a bit naughty – a bit taboo.

We ordered. Emma chose the crab cake appetizer and I ordered the lemon herbed salmon. We both ordered a glass of good Merlot. As we waited on our lunch, the real conversation began.

Emma had all sorts of questions for me. At times it felt more like a job interview than lunch with a prospective intimate friend. Why was I looking for female contact? What was lacking in my marriage that I felt the need to explore other opportunities? And my favorite, after she grilled me on my past female relationships, was I sure I wasn't a lesbian? Well, no – I'm not – that would be why I am exploring relationships with women!

Emma also shared with me her history in finding a suitable female play toy (it was becoming clear that Emma and I were looking for very different things). She told me stories of the many exchanges she had since placing her first ad six months prior. Some of her stories were comical – like the man who pretended to be a woman up and until they met in a hotel lobby – but most were clearly shared so that I would know how desirable she was.

As we ate our meals, and finished up our wine, Emma asked if it would bother me if she were to see many women and meet up with me when she was in town. My response was wishy-washy – no, I don't think that would be a problem, but would she be bothered knowing she was the only woman I was seeing? She claimed that wasn't a problem.

The waitress brought our bill and Emma, in quite a business-like manner said, "Shall we get out our credit cards and pay the bill?" Honestly, I was offended. Did she really think I would expect her to pay for my lunch? Did she believe I didn't know any better or that it was time to pay? As the waitress picked up the bill and our credit cards, Emma has one last question for me – did I have any more questions for her? Yes, it felt very much like a job interview.

We headed back to Nordstrom's after lunch. As I neared the door to the parking garage, Emma mentioned she was headed out to do a bit more shopping. I told her I needed to head back home – that my alibi was only for a few hours. We hugged, said goodbye and went our separate ways.
As I got into my car, I knew there was no chance of this being the intimate friendship I had wanted to find. The person I spent my lunch with was nothing more than my husband in a female body. Emma wanted no emotional ties to any woman. That crossed her personal boundaries as to what constituted an affair in her marriage. I wanted an emotional connection with a woman far more than a physical connection. We were looking for very different relationships.

Emma sent an email the following day.

Hi, LouAnne -- Just a quick note to say it was a pleasure meeting you yesterday. I admire the choices you've made in your life -- the decision to have your son, to go back to school, to take a local job so you can be there for the kids ... I think you deserve to find the special friendship you're looking for. It's probably not me, given the distance factor, but I'm certainly game to take the next step during the holiday season if you haven't found someone who feels more right for you by then.

In the meantime, wanted to forward the e-mail address of the woman I mentioned during lunch. You'll find her address, along with our conversations, below. As you'll see, she makes a very nice first impression. I am going to send her a note right now, telling her that it's possible she'll hear from you. Of course, there's no need to follow through on this if you'd rather not.
Again, I enjoyed our visit.

Hope you have a wonderful week, Emma

Did she really think distance was the only deterrent to our developing a "special friendship" or was she just giving me the opportunity to bow out gracefully? Did she find it appropriate to attempt to "pawn" me off on another woman that she didn't want? It really didn't matter. It was clear I was not going to get from her what I really wanted. I sent a response.

Hi Emma!

I too, enjoyed lunch. As predicted, the conversation was great!

I do think we are looking for different types of relationships - specifically I know that the emotional connection is quite important to me, and somewhat secondary to you. I respect that you are clear in what you are looking for and were honest with me regarding your desire meet primarily your physical needs as your emotional needs are being met in your marriage.

I think it's best that we both continue our search to find the specific type of relationship that will fulfill the void we are hoping to fill.

Thanks for giving this a shot and good luck in your search!


That was it. It was done.

Being the person that I am, I had to analyze the entire situation. Did I miss something in an email? Was I not entirely clear in what I was looking for? How did something that sounded so right turn out so wrong? I've re-read everything, including this story, and I can find only two faults. First, I was caught up in the moment. I wanted this to be the relationship I hoped it would be, probably more than I should, and second, I just didn't ask the right questions in the email correspondence. I felt I had expressed my wants, my desires, very well and made the assumption that it was clear what I was looking for. That wasn't the case.

Would I do it again? Probably not. The reality of what a forum such as Craig's List has to offer was disappointing. That type of environment seems far better suited to someone looking for a physical, no strings attached encounter. Additionally, the weight of the potential risk to my family was heavy on my heart.

That being said, the reality that a relationship with a woman is an important part of me – that it is part of my life that I miss and want – gave me the courage to discuss my desire to be with a woman with my husband. Even more surprising? He seemed quite receptive to the idea, even when I explained that this would be a relationship that was exclusively mine, not something I wanted to share physically with him.

Although I didn't find my needle in a haystack, I found my voice. This might be the end of this particular chapter of the story, but clearly the story continues on.


Sabrae said...

Well at least she figured it out :) Bout time....I was still wondering wat the heck happened in their meeting :)

Akelamalu said...

Oh you must have been disappointed? Still no harm done at least you found out it wasn't right before it started eh?

Anonymous said...

When I first started reading this post, I thought it was headed towards a make out session in a dressing room. LOL

Rage said...

I certainly would have been offended too had she approached me the same way at bill time.

I am sorry it didn't work out. Having said that, at least that part was established before it went any further.


Anndi said...

Connection... not the easiest to achieve, at least not the right kind.

katherine. said...

I love the whole pathos of your tale. A good part of the human emotional drama is not so gender specific after all.

I do admire your strength of heart in what you have written.

Vodka Mom said...

that was good. I was disappointed that it didn't work out, but not all endings are pretty, are they?

Crys said...

Craigslist is like a box of chocolates. you never know what you're gonna get.

or you do -- and it's all bad

Queen-Size funny bone said...

She seemed too cold and cut and dry. Not at all the right one.

~Jobthingy~ said...

well. damn.

that is not the greatest ending..

i mean great louanne found out more about her and that is awesome.. but well. you know

Knight said...

A lot of your readers seem to be forgetting this is a guest post and not your story.

Anyway, I like that she stuck with her guns and held out for the original ideal. Being able to talk to her husband first is really healthy for that relationship. I'm happy for her.

RiverPoet said...

You know, I went through a period in my now 25-year marriage in which I explored my love of women. It was very difficult to find anyone who both understood my desire to stay married and my desire to have a genuine emotional (and physical) relationship with the right woman. We even considered bringing another woman into our marriage, more for me than for us. But the right woman never came around. There were a couple who fell in love with me, but it wasn't the same for me. I loved them, but I wasn't in love enough to continue.

It's a strange balance you have to strike when loving more than one person, and it isn't easy. A lot of women who are looking for a relationship don't want the huge possibility of getting their heart broken by a married woman who can always walk away so easily (so they think).

I wish you well in finding your female soulmate.

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

wow. i actually felt disappointed for her. it reminds me of dates that i have gone on. and although sometimes frustrating, you always walk away learning something.

NaughtyASM said...

Wow. While it was disappointing, sometimes you have to get what you don't want to figure out what you do want!

meno said...

This should be consolidated into a short story. It has so much relevance and is fascinating.

Hope does indeed spring eternal. So if one door was closed, another opened. (with the husband.)

Very brave, and an honest inspection of your own feelings and motivations.

Bond said...

I applaud LouAnne for sticking to her convictions. No offense to Emma, but the woman is just out to get laid...

She is just like any cheating spouse, only she wants to cheat with her own gender...

Love is out there...It can be found.

Tiggerlane said...

Wow...what a disappointment Emma was! And what a let down for LouAnne, but at least she figured out more about what she really wants out of a relationship...and glad she told her man what she was thinking!

Vixen said...

This has been so interesting to follow. But how disappointing! I'm disappointed for LouAnne!

CL is such a funny thing. As in...seems like a good idea, but personally haven't had any luck on it. *sigh*

Kate said...

Wow! I did NOT expect that.

How disappointing for LouAnne, but
so true of places like craigslist.

Scarlet said...

What an ending! Like real like, it's not perfect...but she did learn early what it was she didn't want and she didn't settle for the holiday deal.

dguzman said...

Whoa, how disappointing. I'm sad for LouAnne. But I admire the introspection she did, trying to make the whole thing into a learning experience. And I admire her telling her husband. Good for her, opting not to just keep quiet and skulk around.