The Once A Century Woman

The Once a Century Woman

“I think I'd miss you even if we never met.”
- Dermont Mulroney as Nick Mercer in The Wedding Date

I was at Rachaels’s the other night at her gracious invitation. It was the first time that her husband was out of town since we started dating and it was a wonderful opportunity for us to spend some quality time with each other. She was demonstrating her culinary talents and had prepared a dinner that included a Caesar salad that was second to none and lasagna that had an absolutely impeccable texture. (If you like lasagna, you’ll know what I mean by that statement. Sometimes the pasta is too soft and it becomes more of a pasta pasty mush, other times it’s too stiff. Hers is perfection. Her recipe also combines the perfect amount of meat and sauce, a feat that is rarely achieved, in my opinion.) Maybe it was the wonderful meal she made, or maybe it was just the fact that I was in her presence, but I began opening my heart to her in a manner usually seen only in my emails to her. I told her several things, including the fact that she was a once-a-century woman.

In our media-driven society today, television often uses this type of terminology when it comes to storm coverage. It has become customary now that whenever a snowstorm or hurricane draws near that we turn on the local news station and watch as people buy the grocery store out of bread and milk and reporters stand posted throughout the area, looking for even the remotest attribute of the storm to hype. Storms have become such ho-hum events to us that occasionally the media or local government organizations must assign alarming metaphors such as the “strongest storm front in fifty years” or a “once-a-century storm” in order to convey the seriousness of the looming, menacing situation to the affected populous.

I don’t know if anyone has ever tagged a woman as a “once-a-century woman”. Even a hopeless romantic like myself would have probably never bought the concept of a once-a-century woman, for how can a single woman of such magnitude possibly exist? Of course that was back in the day of BKR, and I have now accepted the notion as truth that such a woman does indeed exist. I know this because I have spoken to one every day for almost ten weeks.

As I was driving home the next day after our blissful time together, I was dwelling on this new concept. The idea of the once-a-century woman implies of course that if you live to be 100, you’ll eventually meet a woman that exceptional. Much of life is about timing, however, and in order to take full advantage of such a rare occurrence, you have to meet her at the right time.
The realization of this timing principle quickly began tapering the lingering zeal and giddiness I felt having been with Rachael the night before. As I scrutinized my current situation and environment, I quickly realized that this was anything but an ideal time to meet my once-a-century woman. As of right now, I am weeks away from turning 48, which is a little too close to 50 for my comfort. Like her, I am married--legally, anyway--and I have kids in college. My finances are stretched to the limit, as I own two properties that no one wants to buy in the current real estate market. What’s more, these properties anchor me to an area two hours away from her house, creating a logistical hindrance from seeing her at the spur of the moment. Furthermore, I am married to a woman who expects to live in a certain lifestyle, even though she does little if anything to contribute to the funding of that lifestyle. That forces me to work multiple jobs, limiting my free time and mobility even more.

Although I appreciate the gods guiding this incredible goddess like angel into my life, why did it have to be now? Why couldn’t I have met her at 25? Ah, 25. I had no real estate properties then or other assets to tie my wings down. I was liquid and mobile back then, which would have allowed me the ability to have followed her anywhere she wanted to go. I was a bi-athlete during those years and in the best shape of my life-- the kind of shape that a woman wants her lover to be in. Currently, my life is the equivalent of a highly complicated algorithm that takes hours to write on a chalkboard. There is little room in the equation for another variable--a variable of the magnitude of Rachael that has the potential to change the laws of physics and the universe itself. Yes, why couldn’t I have met her at 25? I internally cried out in frustration.

But then I began to think about where I was at 25. In order to identify the once-a-century woman, you have to have met enough women in order to distinguish her from the crowd. I certainly wasn’t as mature back then and was suspect to the usual game playing charades and rule making audacities that are typical of that age. Yes, I was a young, a free spirit with limitless energy and dreams back then, but probably lacked the maturity and foresight necessary to have recognized what an extraordinarily occurrence it is to meet someone like Rachael. Looking back honestly, I probably would have squandered the opportunity and would have never learned what it’s like to define your time horizon by the kiss of a woman’s lips.

On the other hand, I guess meeting her at 47 is better than meeting her at 75. True, I would probably be single by that time, either as a divorcee or widower, and I would have had limitless time available to be in her company. The problem is that at 75, my health and energy levels would certainly not be what they are today, denying me the ability to do all the wonderful things that any man would desire to experience with a once-a-century woman. Obviously, I would have missed what it’s like to have crazy, mind-blowing sex with her, exploring all the possible ways and settings to make love to her. I probably wouldn’t have the energy to wisp her off to Paris and kiss her from atop the Eiffel Tower, something I feel one would have to do if a once-a-century woman were to invite you into her life. Yes, I would have had the time and availability, but the possibilities of sharing experiences with her would have been greatly diminished.

All of this then brought me back full circle to where I am today and the fact that the gods are a hell of a lot brighter and more forward-looking than I could ever be. Although I may not be as young as I once was, nor have the time availability that I may have in the future and may face never-ending complications that stand between her and me, I do have two essential things going for me. First, I have the wisdom and judiciousness to recognize her for who she is and to maximize every moment of this miraculous opportunity to know her in case the gods have bigger and better plans for her and take her away one day. Second, I have possibilities, and at this stage of my life all I can ask for are possibilities.

All I can ask for is the possibility to see her again and feel my heart glow inside.

All I can ask for is the possibility to hold her again and sense how utterly perfectly she fits into my arms.

All I can ask for is the possibility to lie beside her and look straight into the eyes of the woman that has turned my world upside down.

All I can ask for is the possibility to kiss the lips of the woman who has redefined my own personal timeline.

All I can ask for is the possibility to have her lovingly make me a dinner fit for a king once again.

All I can ask for is the possibility to make love to her all night long.

All I can ask for is the possibility to wisp her off to Paris one day and kiss her from atop the Eiffel Tower.

All I can ask for is the possibility to take her to Ireland and enjoy a picnic lunch with her in one of its lush green fields.

All I can ask for is the possibility to rent a sailboat one day in the Caribbean and admire her in her string bikini as the sun sets behind her.

All I can ask for is the possibility to one day garner her love.

All of those are possibilities and nothing more at this moment. Some are more realistic than others, and others may be more dreams than possibilities, but all of those things are indeed possible. All of them I believe can happen. The fact is that I would rather have Rachael and a list of mere possibilities than all the absolute certainties with any other woman in the world, for there’s something that sets Rachael apart from every other woman in the world: she only comes once a century.
This story is from my book, The Tangled Web We Weave, by Ryan Bradley, available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
ryanbradley ryanbradley
46-50, M
Oct 28, 2013