I am not sure I heard what I think I just heard.
A colleague just wished her most profound hope for me.
She hopes I can get to a point where I entertain the thought of exploring a relationship with the possibility of getting married again.
What was that? Did I hear you right?
But a few years ago, you said with heartfelt conviction, as you pointed heavenward, you believed marriage was a God-given sacrament reserved for one man and one woman.
And now you are hoping I will entertain the thought of a relationship with the possibility of getting married again.
To another man.
To another man.
I am floored.
Deeply touched, honored and moved; yet floored.
We had been discussing the end-of-schoolyear frustrations when we segued into our end-of-career aspirations. I explained that, due to my personal post-divorce financial collapse, my financial adviser suggested I not retire due to my soon-to-be-fixed income and projected inflation rates, unless I found another source of income. My colleague, who I should say is recently married, suggested (for about the umpteenth time)that I get a roommate, "you have such a big house, and don't you live near a college?"
The thought of someone I don't know in my house when I'm not there was enough to send shivers down my spine and I told her so. And I was visibly upset as well, as I literally shivered as I explained myself. Yes, literally.
Then she expressed her hope. And it took a minute or two to realize I heard her use the 'm' word, "married."
About four years ago, when the topic of same-sex marriage came up, she went ballistic and expressed her very religious convictions about marriage being reserved by God for one man/one woman. This astounded me as she had always been on my side once she'd heard of my divorce; "You're too good for him", "He doesn't deserve you", "You have a lot to offer the right guy". Once, she even told me she dreamed I brought my very handsome, also-writer husband to a staff retreat. She would occasionally ask if I was seeing anyone and I would confide in her I had several issues to overcome before I felt comfortable entering the shark-infested gay dating pool. And yet, her recent use of the 'm' word, in regards to her hope for me, signaled a very big change from the last time we'd discussed the topic of same-sex marriage. I remember those earlier comments, and then her follow-up, "It's nothing personal." And my retort, "You just made it personal" as I stormed off to my classroom to prepare for the day ahead just as the office manager had entered the room due to our raised voices.
And now she hopes I will entertain the thought of marrying again.
I'm deeply touched.
I guess attitudes can change.
And sometimes we may never know why, or what caused them to change.
And I guess that's okay.