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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
Men I Wanted to Marry
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal

Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
I am crazy about my husband. He is just the man for me. Having lived through one unhappy marriage, I find it a great pleasure to be married to a person I like. We like the same music, we laugh at each otherís jokes, we like the to do the same kinds of things and we like each otherís cooking. Well. I like Mikeís cooking and he is polite about mine. Which is good enough for me. My husband is my favorite adult person and my best friend and I like every minute that I am with him.

But I didnít always know Mike. My mother was heavily into Womenís Liberation as I was growing up, and always taught us that we could do anything, be anything in our lives. You know, as Gloria Steinem so eloquently put it, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." But I still gave a lot of thought to who I would marry. Sure, I could grow up to be President, but that didnít mean I had to stay single. By the age of seven I was already making lists of potential lucky men. It was not a very long list, really, though as time went by I added names.

My first choice was Fess Parker ("Daniel Boone was a man, he was a big man, with an eye like an eagle and a nose like a beagle . . . " I might not be remembering those lyrics exactly right.). He was so handsome and so sweet and so brave and so handsome. Did I mention that he was so handsome? These days he owns a hotel and winery in California. If you loved Fess Parker as I loved him (I wonít blame you, I am not the jealous type, and besides, you never had a chance) do not look him up on the internet. Do yourself a favor. He has aged very well. But if you donít look him up he will not have aged at all for you. Now I have two Fess Parkers in my head. Poor Fess and I never met, but he did alright I guess. He looks happy. I am so glad that he was able to find a life without me, though if he had known I loved him everything might have been different.

Next on my list was Hoss Cartwright. Little Joe was considered to be the good looking one I know, but he was foolish and vain. The older one, Adam, looked like he was kind of standoffish and might have a temper. I liked olí Hoss, steady as a rock, sweet, kind, generous, strong, stalwart, brave and funny. Whatís not to love? Hoss was perpetually disappointed in love. He would meet somebody, save them from a fate worse than death and then deliver them, with a poignant, downcast gaze to their former lover. Sometimes, for his trouble, he would get a little kiss on the cheek. Those gals didnít know what they were missing. Poor olí Hoss. All he needed was me, and all I needed was to be a decade or two older. I loved Hoss.

As I got a little closer to adolescence, I added a new name to the list of my potentials. Bill Bixby. Not "Incredible Hulk" Bill Bixby, but rather "The Courtship of Eddyís Father" Bill Bixby. He was handsome and funny and nice AND he obviously liked kids. Which would be a big advantage because I was a kid. How much more perfect could things get?

Next on my list was Scotty from "Star Trek." Oh sure, Captain Kirk was the hero, and some girls might have longed to thaw Mr. Spock out a little (remember that episode where Spock becomes human? Whew!), and Doc was pretty handsome and intense. But I liked Scotty.

Years ago I was a waitress at an Italian restaurant and guess who came to dinner. Scotty! I brought Scotty his dinner and refilled his water glass each and every time he took a sip until finally he looked up at me. He may have initially looked up at me to see whether or not I was dangerous in my water pouring insanity, but then our eyes met and locked. Sparks flew. We spoke worlds in that gaze and my feet began to rise from the floor. "Thank you," he said, "Iím fine."

Oh. My. Heavens. It was not Scotty! I mean, I wondered because he looked older and stouter than he looked in my mindís eye. But this guy had a flat, generic American accent. No brogue whatsoever. The sparks clumped on the ground around my feet and fizzled out. Love died. "Here," I said, gently putting the pitcher of water on the table, "call me if you need me." But I didnít mean it. He might need me, but . . . well, things change Scotty. People change. Letís try to remember the good times.
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - April 5, 2005 Column
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