When I was on my trip, a gentleman from California seemed intrigued with my Minnesota nice ways. He was actually about five years older than me, but tried not to be generationally similar. It became a running joke between us that I would help him rediscover manners. For instance, while shooting a photo, he’d wave me off and say, “Get the
f-#@% out of my shot.” I would sadly shake my head at him and say, “I didn’t hear please…” He’d apologize. “Please get the f-#@% out of my shot.” That’s better.
One of our conversations drifted towards how my husband makes me feel feminine by opening car doors for me, helping me with my coat, and paying when at movies, cafes, and so on. Mr. California said he couldn’t do it. He said he didn’t have a problem helping a woman put on her coat, but he just couldn’t—wouldn’t—pull out a chair for her or pay for her. “We’ve evolved to be more equal than that!”
However, over our time together, I noticed he started waiting for me as I exited the tour van, offering his hand to help me down the steps. Mr. California treated me much differently than the other females, and we ranged in age from 30 to 60 plus. Perhaps I’m biased, but it was as if he respected me a bit more for unapologetically knowing what I liked, and who I was. Enjoying my husband’s gallant ways does not diminish me as a woman. If anything it makes me more confident.
Mr. California and I ended up taking the same flight from China to Tokyo. We had five hours to talk, and talk we did. He told me that although he had been in numerous relationships over the years, he hadn’t found love in over seventeen. It was hard for him not to envy the look on my face when I spoke of my husband and the relationship we shared. While it is impossible to create chemistry, he knew my husband and I had it, and he knew he was still seeking it.
As we parted ways I gave him a hug and told him I hoped he would find his heart flutter soon. His face beamed. “Thank you.” Ah, that Minnesota nice stuff gets to a person.