16 October 2018

Hawaiian Dreams

Part One of Three

If it sounds too good to be true, beware. It probably comes with the power to muddle all kinds of things.

Miserable for many valid reasons and enduring yet another Christmas holiday season alone (back in 2003), I decided to attempt to boost my mood and self-confidence by giving the singles scene one more try. I attended a regional singles dance sponsored by my church. Alone.

It had been way too many years. Most of the music played was not something I can dance to, much less enjoy. Even though the event was designated for a target age group (30-45) and I fit nicely into that category, most attendees were far younger than me. Popular forms of socializing such as “speed mingling” didn’t particularly interest me. I preferred the outdated methods of “pick and choose” conversation partners and unlimited spontaneous dialogue without having to yell over noise confused with music. Fear crawled through my veins as I realized what this meant.

I was getting old!

I wanted to leave. But there was this tiny detail from which I just couldn’t walk away. Four roundtrips for two to Hawaii were to be given away. I had deposited my ticket in the fishbowl. It would serve me right if I walked out and my name was drawn.

The trips supposedly were donated by someone who allegedly had met their eternal companion through the church singles program and wanted to do something to improve participation and the chance for other singles to meet that special someone. Yes, all that legal disclosure language bugs me, too, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think my church is responsible for the hairballs we creative and benevolent beings sometimes spew.

The dance may not have been the romantic or even platonic breeding grounds I hoped, but I could hardly walk out without giving the free trip of a lifetime my best shot.

I attempted to politely ward off the advances of a boy – yes, a BOY – who insisted I would make the perfect girlfriend, while simultaneously dodging the white-haired Romeo who appeared to be chasing the Guinness record for most dances with strangers in two hours since the last singles dance I’d attended nearly a decade earlier. Yes, he was doing the same thing at that dance, too.

No one would allow me to be a wallflower, and yet I didn’t really want to dance with the group of 18 or so teenyboppers bouncing in the middle of the dance floor together to avoid “the vultures,” either. The refreshments were interesting. Not completely palpable, but full of intrigue.

Finally, it was time for the drawing. Ten minutes, and I’d be out of there. I could grin and bear ten more minutes.

Just as that hormone-charged boy still looking for a skateboard partner took a seat next to me, the first winner’s name was announced. I sat stunned for what seemed like 10 or 15 minutes, and the boy misinterpreted my response.

“I was thinking that since you like bikes so much, maybe we could go for a ride sometime,” he was saying. “Do you have a bike I can borrow? I don’t mind if it’s a girl’s bike. I sure hope you’re not one of those fanatics who likes to be on their bike all the time and rides 25 miles a week.”

I reached over to pat his hand, more to move it from my shoulder back to the table than an act of genuine affection.

“No, I’m the type who likes to do 50 miles a day,” I replied as I stood. “And that was my name they just called, so I have to go collect my airline tickets now. Thank you so much for keeping me company.”

Part Two will be published next week. Link won't work until the post is published.


  1. haha poor kid just wanted to bike with you. 50 miles probably put him off. Sure fine to grin and bear it to win a ticket there though.

  2. I've had this tab open on the tablet for weeks and am just now getting to it. Can't wait to read Part 2!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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