(Wrote most of this back in November or so, but for a variety of reasons didn't manage to post it 'til now.)
At the Evanses' Christmas dinner in 2004, I saw my old friend Lola for the first time in years. She had gotten together with a guy (call him GG) about seven years previous, and he wasn't much for socializing, and they later got married, and what with one thing and another I only saw Lola two or three times during that seven-year period, usually with GG.
But at that Christmas dinner I found out that Lola and GG were in the process of getting divorced, and she was starting to be a little more social.
We sat next to each other at that dinner, but didn't talk much (as mentioned in passing in a previous entry). But later there were phone calls, and email exchanges, and an evening when I visited her while she was babysitting for her nephews but we ended up with only fifteen minutes of hanging-out time between her nephews' going to sleep and her sister and brother-in-law (also old friends of mine) getting home. And then there was more email.
And it became clear that we were not suited to each other long-term, because she's looking for marriage and monogamy and kids, and I'm looking for none of those things. But it also became clear that in the short term, she was looking for something fun and low-key, and so was I.
We came up with the notion that I could go into business as a Rebound Boyfriend, providing nice relaxing quasi-relationships for people trying to cope with bad breakups. I could help mend broken hearts and remind people of healthy communication models while having fun, and then when they felt ready to move on and go back to trying for The Real Thing, I could give them a Certificate of Completion.
(At least one other guy who heard about this business idea wanted to open a franchise. If you want to do so as well, you may of course start your own Rebound Relationship business at no cost, but if you want to use the Hartman brand name, we'll have to discuss terms and have accreditation tests and stuff. :) )
Anyway, things between Lola and me went pretty well. We had a good time for most of a year, which was a lot longer than I had expected, and we became closer friends too. We had originally planned that Lola would start looking for someone new over the summer, after her divorce was final, but in the end she didn't reach that ready-to-start-looking stage 'til November.
But she's ready to move on now. So she has officially graduated; I even made her a certificate, which you can view by clicking the thumbnail (but note that it's a 150KB image file). I grayed out most of her name for privacy.
The end wasn't, of course, entirely easy. But we seem to be navigating the transition back to being platonic friends fairly well.
At any rate, if you're single, and male, and you live in the greater Santa Cruz/San José area, and you're looking for a long-term serious monogamous relationship with a woman (potentially leading to marriage and kids), and you're between 30 and 40 years old, and family is important to you, and you like women who are cute and smart and fun and fluent in French and who have impressively curly hair, then I recommend looking up Lola. (Though of course there are no guarantees; even if you fit all of those criteria, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two of you will hit it off.) If you're interested in finding out more about her, you could start by reading her journal, or you could find her through me on Friendster or Orkut.
After all, how many people do you know who come with a certificate verifying their relationship qualifications?