Tuesday, May 22, 2018


I want to paint you a picture of a man. As I’ve written him on this space, Jason hasn’t been able to be much more than the guy that bravely dates a widow. It’s wrong. That isn’t the way we live. To him, I’m not widow first, girlfriend second, and to me, I’m not Jim’s wife first, Jason’s girlfriend second. That is the chronology but not the right way to think about a relationship. Sure, our past relationships shade the one we have now, but we are us by ourselves—Jason and Megan. We’ve been together for about a year, and it occurs to me that you haven’t really met my boyfriend.

Jason is exactly what you see. He doesn’t fake or posture and is as real as one can get. His filter is faulty but that leaves him honest and plain.

I teach some hot yoga, and my classes are hard, often harder than they need to be. (Sorry. Sort of.) I’ve had lots of students suffer through my classes with pretty specific ire pointed at right their teacher. It resolves afterward, but while they’re sweating and struggling through another Warrior 3, they hate my guts. I’ve been that student a lot; I know how it feels, and we all suffer quietly. Not Jason though. He is the first student I’ve ever had flip me off in class. He’s the only student who, after I asked how his first hot class went, replied, Screw you. (But more, say, colorfully than that.) At that point, we’d only met a couple times. Evidently something in those frank and impolite exchanges worked for me, because four months later we started dating.

While he rebelled in a way that you’d think he hated hot class, that stuff’s right up Jason’s alley. He goes looking for opportunities to push his physical limits. He doesn’t hunt from a truck or go running when the sun is low. He hunts on foot in the snow and goes for a run during the hottest part of the day. He’s rugged and wants everything tougher.

That includes our relationship. I think he likes the challenge of being with me. Not the widow stuff specifically—he really just sees that as part of the Megan package—but the challenge of dealing with my quick extremes, rash decisions, and too-impassioned approach to basically all the things. I’ve asked him, “Why me? Why are you with me?” His response with the most resonance: “For a psychopath like me, you’re perfect.” I’m not easy—ahem—but in our time together, we find ease.

I may be the yoga teacher, but he schools me in stillness and how to settle down. He moves more deliberately than I do, and he is patient. I do not enjoy watching sports. I enjoy watching sports with Jason. He lets me ask as many questions as I want, and, even better, knows the answers. I mean, all the answers. It’s caused me to inquire if his day job is not, in fact, doing lawyer things, but instead immersing in obscure sports trivia.

Jason doesn’t talk as much as I want him to. Getting to know him has been a dogged excise in crafting questions that will get me his answers. I’m getting good at knowing him better but not as good as he is at knowing me. In his talking less, he listens more, and Jason’s memory is flawless. Along with that, he consistently hears more than I’m saying, treating his relationship with me a lot like scouting for big game. When looking for deer, Jason will sit and watch for hours, patiently accumulating information that often ends with an arrow through someone’s heart. He’s like that with me, too. He listens, observes, adds up, and despite what he’s learned, lets me live and still wants to be with me.

He only hunts with a bow, and that means we can work as a couple. I don’t so much respect rifle hunting. I know hunting with any weapon is hard and takes skill, but the bearing and specific skills required to kill big things with an arrow—and the shit he’s offed is huge—compels me. It requires persistence, a special patience, creativity, humility, optimism, and physical fortitude.

The truest way to describe how I feel about Jason’s physical strength is to call it hot. It’s hot. It contributes to his indisputable masculinity that I find irresistibly attractive. I like that from the breadth of his shoulders, to his growly voice, to the gray whiskers, and the way he stands, Jason perfectly fills the physical portrait of a Man. He tempers that could-be-stereotypical masculinity with an enthusiasm for apparel, a consistent yoga practice, and a tenderness for his kids that he often tries to hide and with no success at all.

Jason is a dad of just daughters. My dad has only girls. Those men are different from the ones that also have sons. They’re a bit mushier inside. I like that Jason enjoys his daughters’ individuality, and in the way he listens to me, he listens to them. Without saying so aloud, he delights in knowing his two girls as people not just charges.

His heart is good. His skin is thick. He’s handsome. He’s sarcastic and too irreverent. He’s canny and sharp. He wants to make me happy. He ought to know he does.

There. You’ve met my Jason.

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