Shared Stories: My New Boyfriend

Ginger Lane was happily married for over thirty years. She likes her new boyfriend, but he has some habits she would like for him to change. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center.  Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program. Curated by Carol Kearns

By Ginger Lane

At my age, I never expected to have another great relationship. I had already had thirty-one years of married bliss with my soulmate. I didn’t believe that could happen twice in a lifetime. After all, many people are never blessed in their whole lives with even one great relationship, and they go to their graves unfulfilled.

It might never have happened again for me, for I was determined not to accept the overtures of my recent admirer, and rejected him again and again. But he just wouldn’t give up, and proved to be more determined than I was. Eventually, I gave in, and I have been enjoying his company ever since.

This is my first experience at being so worshipped and adored. We sit on the couch together watching television. Actually, I watch TV and he watches me. And what a gentleman he is.
He never sits beside me without my first inviting him. Then he caresses me and murmurs sweet sounds in my ear. One night I was touched by what I saw on the screen and a tear rolled down my cheek. He looked at me with deep understanding and touched me tenderly in sympathy. I never before have experienced such caring.

He never criticizes, complains, or make any demands of me. He seems to believe that I am absolutely perfect. He eats everything I put before him as if it were a feast for a king. He never tells me what to wear, what to do, or where to go. Everything I do is fine with him.

In addition to all of these fine qualities, he has the two top requirements on my list for a partner. He is very smart and has a great sense of humor. He keeps me amused with his wit. Sometimes I laugh out loud at his clever antics, which can be quite childlike. He is totally unembarrassed and completely open with me. This adds to his charm.

I wish I could be so nice. However, there are a few things that I cannot accept in him. For example, he has a hygiene problem. It is hard for me to speak to him about it as I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I can’t come right out and say, “You stink!” 

That would surely hurt his feelings, so I have made an appointment with a professional. After that, I am counting on his realizing the importance of cleanliness to health and socializing. Although he practices good morals, doesn’t drink, smoke, gamble or swear, he eats too much and is quite heavy. His doctor said he must lose weight.

Another thing that annoys me is that he likes to go out at night without me. And I don’t know where he is going or what he is doing. I don’t like this at all! And he always seems to want the section of the newspaper that I am reading. I give him another section but he keeps wanting mine.

Too, he tries to sneak into my bedroom. One night I was busy washing dishes, and when I was done, I looked around and saw that he was gone. I searched for him and found him asleep on my late husband’s twin bed. Hah! I guess he thought that I would let him get away with this, but I woke him up and sent him back out to the couch. 

The final straw comes when he turns his bottom toward me and has the nerve to brush his tail across my face. This I will not stand for and he must learn to stop it!

Other than the things I just mentioned, I am loving the companionship of a cat. He has eliminated my loneliness. But I am afraid that Goldie is not going to be happy with the new arrangement that the veterinarian said we had to make.

The Vet said it was better for my cat’s health, and he would live longer, if I kept him in all the time and put him on a diet. Goldie does not like this and pouts. He won’t come when I call and refuses to eat.

As I mentioned before he loves to roam at night, but I am finding it hard to keep him in because I want him to be happy. And we already know which of us is more determined. I am afraid that I will give in despite the doctor’s orders because I do want him to live happily ever after with me.