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  • Writer's pictureBethany Lynne

Because, I Know.

I sat across from him, a gourmet pizza separating us. I studied him as he talked. The few graying streaks in his hair betrayed his age. His blue eyes sparkled as he talked animatedly about… something.


My mind was chewing on the reverberating words of my friend,

“He dates a lot.”


He gestured, slice in hand, the way you would not expect when a freshly pressed, white tablecloth was present below.


He was mid sentence, a naturally good time for me to interject, “I hear you date a lot.”


His face fell.


He looked almost ashamed, having lowered his gaze and after a moment replied,

“Yes, I suppose I date more than most.”


After a brief moment of silence, I piped up brightly, “Well you have to go through the many to find the one, right?”


He smiled. He brightened. He nodded and we proceeded to obliterate that small pizza.


. . . . .


“Miss Paulsen!”


“Yes Zeke.” Just two days into teaching, and Zeke was known for asking personal questions.


“Do you have a boyfriend?” This was the third time he had asked.


“No, Zeke. I do not have a boyfriend.”


“Why not Miss Paulsen?”


“Because I don’t believe in casual dating.”


“Huh?”




“Finish your work please.” I turned back around to finish writing prompts on the whiteboard.


“But Miss Paulsen!”


I turned back around.


“I’m not going to waste a fellows’ time if I can't see myself marrying him,” I stated firmly.


Yes, I did use the word "fellow."


“Damn.” I didn’t correct him on using language.


Damn right. I thought. I spun back around, concealing the smirk on my face.


. . . . .


“Meet any boys yet?” My dear mum asked into the phone.


I blinked. “Yep. Lots of boys… just no men yet." I stated satirically.


Four years of college at a self proclaimed “bridal institute”, and I was single as a nun.


It wasn’t for lack of trying, and honestly not for lack of offers.


“Why don’t you at least give him a chance?” My friend was swept up in the idealism of the tale of my latest pursuer.


“Because I already know, it’s a no.”


“How can you know if you don’t go out with him?!” She exclaimed excitedly, as though she thought she could sway my decision.


Because, I know.


I flashed back to a moment in childhood, hoping if I wore her down with demands of explanation, eventually my mother would cave.


“Because I said so.”


“WHYYYYY?” I dragged out the sound dramatically.


“Because I am your mother, and I know what’s best for you.”


Hmm.


I turned back to my friend. “Because I am a strong, intelligent women who knows what she wants, and this is not it.” It sounded less cocky and more inspiration-ally empowering in my head, but it got the message across. She dropped the matter... entirely.


. . . . .


"Single advice" makes me laugh... and grimace. Most of the time I find it unwarranted and presumptuous.


“You’ve got so much time, you're still young.”

I believe you. Really. You don't have to keep saying it. Really.


“Girl, you deserve the best, you can afford to be picky."

Ehh… thank you? Wasn't really looking for or needing that kind of affirmation.


"That's just so surprising to me... no one?"

Look lady, you surprised? I'm not. The best things in life are worth waiting for... and I'm actually okay with that.


“You’re just waiting for the right one.”

Yes I am. Whether he comes today, tomorrow or never, I'm going to be fully enjoying and living my best life.


“Miss Paulsen, why don’t you have a boyfriend?”


Because Zeke, maybe if I did, I wouldn’t be here, teaching you. Maybe I’d be settled down in a quaint corn field house in the Midwest, petting a little fluffy dog while I wait for my husband to walk through the door.


If that were the case, maybe I’d be blissfully content, or perhaps unsatisfied, but I would be there and not where I am. And I like where I am.

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