But is it? Is it really?

And, before we get into that… who the HELL are “they” anyway? Do we just take things as cannon because people keep repeating them? Do you know how many times that’s not worked in our favor? Slavery? Blocking the women’s vote? The Kardashians? I just googled a list of common misbeliefs. Thank GOD holding a laptop on your lap doesn’t make you sterile… because I am constantly forgetting my crotch blocker when I sit in front of the TV and write.

While, we’re on the topic of TV… let’s talk about movies… one specific movie: Regarding Henry. I’m old so let me frame this shit for you. Henry (aka Han Solo) is a serious NYC lawyer/clown who finds things to be unhappy about in this 1980something film. He disrespects his child, his wife, and most other humans he encounters. He spends his lunch break during a court case to complain about turtle-shell-looking table in his dining room (apparently not what her ordered). He experiences some head trauma during a robbery he witnesses and when he returns home, he remembers very little. As he’s learning more about his old life, he walks past parts of his beautiful New York apartment and comments on how wonderful it is. And, when he passes the dining room, he says “Nice table.”

There are plenty of other points to take away from the film: appreciation of ones life, family values, living a simple life, not being a complete dick… etc. etc. But, let’s focus.

Here’s what I take away from that scene. Timing is nothing without mindset. Would Henry have looked at that table 6 months after his purchase and automatically fallen in love with it? Likely not. Perhaps if he’d been away from home for 6 months? Maybe a little bit more. But, his mindset was completely different after his massive head trauma. Life was different. He was different. The table never changed (just to make sure we’ve covered all bases).

What’s the point, Salute? Mindset.

The first woman I met after my separation from my ex wife was Maria (names changed for privacy purposes). Maria was freaking beautiful. We met out at a steakhouse for our first date (apparently nobody dates… or dated back then even? I rarely recall even a makeout session without offering to buy dinner, first). Her skin was this olive-copper blend that I wanted to paint a mural on. She had this natural beauty, barely any makeup, eyelashes that reached out from across the table and perfectly pouty red lips. I remember one night she’d come over after cooking with family and she oozed basil and marinara out of her pores. It reminded me of when my grandmother and aunt invited my future stepmother over to bake cookies a few hours before they invited my father over for coffee (Yes, this really happened). He fell in love with the smell before he could ever fall in love with her. She was cute, fun, intelligent, and had this strange mysterious sex appeal I couldn’t figure out. Her shape was a caricature hourglass. Her hair was all different shades of browns, like Edward Cullen browns. And, she communicated the way I love communication. We talked about our days, our feelings, the stuff that made us tick.

Maria was practically perfect. Now, let me set the stage for a second: I was interested in full fledged monogamy with a petite curvy (legit curvy, I had no idea that there was a larger range of plus beauty I hadn’t explored) brunette who had career goals, was family oriented, and was a solid blend of traditionalist and modern feminist. Do I want those things now? No. But, that was it for me at that moment. And, Maria fit the mold. I could search every dating app and not find someone who fit what I was looking for any better. I still think of that face once in a while. We never slept together. We had one night, our last night, of some serious intimacy. But, never sex. I was afraid of hurting her, because I knew I wasn’t ready to give her the relationship I’d eventually want, at that time. And, of course, it didn’t dawn on me back then to be transparent about what my needs were. Maybe she’d have been okay with something casual until we figured things out… sigh… who knows?

Now, let’s be clear. It wasn’t timing. Not even close. I thought it was, back then. I thought that if I’d met her a few months later, we’d have dated. I was wrong. I was so… very… wrong. Because, not only did I need time, I needed a fresh mindset. It took me a good year until I was ready to date, exclusively again. I was lost. I had never known how attractive I was, how sexual of a being I could be. And, while I was still only scratching the surface, that year of being single and having casual dates was so valuable. I received compliment after compliment on my manners and what I offered a partner. Of course, years later, I realize that the compliments mean nothing without self awareness and love. But, I had proven to myself that I could be alone. I could cry in the shower when I missed my ex wife. I could exist alone on a Saturday night. I could enter any bar and catch a glimpse from the exact woman I wanted one from. I was finally ready to find someone to spend time with. Now, again, I want to reiterate that all of these notions are shallow compared to where I am, now. Which is why my next relationship didn’t last. But, at least it began.

It was at that time that I met Candice (again… peeps, names changed): to this day one of the strongest and most beautiful women I have ever laid eyes on. We met at a bar in Downtown Manhattan and she wouldn’t let me leave with my coat unless I took her number, too. Within days, I couldn’t stop texting her. Within weeks, we were begging each other for more time. Candice and Maria were beautifully different and shared so many of the qualities I’d been looking for in a partner. I’ve written an entire chapter on that relationship, so I don’t want to divulge too much, now. But, we’d had a song. We had a spot on the couch. We had certain places we liked to eat and favorite sex positions. It was a real live relationship! Even when I’d broken up with her, I remember thinking “God damn… am I sure about this?” She was a beauty and I learned so much from her… because I was ready. It had nothing to do with timing. And, everything to do with mindset.

Does mindset depend on timing? Or at least time? It may. But, the mindset is what mattered to me. Does it matter to you?