Saturday, July 03, 2004

Dating, Part Two: The Ballad of Regina

The Ballad of Regina
or
The Divorce Fairy
or
F@#$! F@#$ me!

Gather 'round, you Singletons and you will hear a tale.
His name was Mario and from Havana he did hail.
His bride and he dreamt of a U.S. life, so free and fine,
but she had a change of heart and had to stay behind.
(Once Mario made plans to leave, he could not change his mind.)

I met him on a summer's day, he took me out to eat.
The chemistry between us was such fun and it had heat.
Alas, young Mario led me through laughter, hope, and kissing
before he came clean on the fact that there was a wife missing.
(In truth, I had to glean the fact through his attitude dismissing.)

But Mario insisted that he cherished my embrace.
He swore his marriage was an empty vessel, out of place.
Back to his homeland went the lad, to initiate divorce,
but when he saw his bride they knew a break could not be forced.
He came back more in love with her and I was out, of course.

The next was Michael, who had lived without his wife four years.
She'd moved out with the children and spared not a single tear.
He swore his marriage had long rotted from the outside in.
Since he would not go back into a bond of love so thin,
certainly to date this man would not seem like a sin.

Dim Michael thought his wife would not know what he did not tell.
But she found out from looking at her very own Sprint bill.
Without a lot of smarts did he deny our fling at first,
but soon the wife knew everything. She wept, she spit, she cursed.
(She even started calling me at home which was the worst!)

Both simple men I left behind without a backward glance
and quickly withdrew from what had become a crowded dance.
The lesson learned was more than not to date a groom untrue,
but that some men can't even tell when matrimony's through.
(I think I'd know the time of death of marriage, wouldn't you?)

But this young huntress will not be discouraged from her quest.
The men who hide their wedding rings can't make up all the rest.
My strategy for screening out those cads of vague commitment
is using pointed questions as my divining equipment.
(Since they don't always answer straight, one has to be persistent.)

The next one, Hugh, felt free enough to ask me out to dinner.
His marriage felt so cold to him it didn't even simmer.
The date was good, with him I felt that glimmer of sweet hope,
His way was gentle, voice was clear and he knew all my quotes.
(His vocabulary even challenged that of my wide scope.)

I began my questions as the waiter went to wrap our chow.
"Have you been married?" followed by "And are you married now?"
Poor Hugh thought "separated" would appease me, but the bill
arrived as I stared at the tablecloth, just feeling ill.
(Of married men who ask out singles I have had my fill!)

Thus is my dating like a strange and double-headed spear:
I test the bonds of marriages that aren't as they appear.
I make these men evaluate that which they dread to face:
will they resume the partnership they vowed to not replace?
Or risk the pain to finally just end the stale embrace?

These men who let unfinished business hamper them forever,
afraid to be a husband, but much more afraid to sever
the ties they forged, make me feel like a kind of "Divorce Fairy."
I force the issue, make them closely look at what they carry.
I've been resilient, but I wonder as I grow more wary:
does marriage make men cowards or do only cowards marry?

(c) Regina Rodriguez 2004

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