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Katrina is a realistic and passionate optimist focused on actively challenging the way others think about themselves, others, and their world.  She has a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology, is a certified Adult & Kid's Yoga Instructor,  and founder of Bagus Kids, a child focused company inspired to create fun, mindful products for children.  Katrina is an avid world traveler and do-gooder working for causes in children's education and the environment. You can follow her humorous, personal reflection on Life, Dating, Feminism & Political Social Change here at  Breathe, Smile, Listen 

The White Picket Fence

The White Picket Fence

"I can't give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you'd set it on fire." Ilona Andrews

The to do list in my new single world:

Get some new girlfriends that are supportive.

Check

Get a date.

Check

 I received a perfectly timed message from a guy inviting me to dinner.

Now as a brief background, he was nice, smart, good looking, and successful. However, he had a reputation for being a “player”. While not a great relationship idea, it didn't seem the worst idea given my new single status. We had come from the same religious cultural background, went to the same University (although he was older), and he was also newly single.

The stars had aligned.

The awkward dates began…..

“So how often do you go to dinner with your family?” I ask.

Totally appropriate first date question.

“Well, not often because they live in another state,” he says. 

Oh that’s amazing!  I mean. I’m sure you miss them.” I try to cover.

 Perhaps he does have potential.

He talks about something else.

“Uh huh…  so does your mom regularly hang out with your ex-girlfriend?" I ask.

He laughs, “No.”

He tries changing the subject again.

You have to start asking normal questions Katrina.

But I couldn’t quite shake an irrational fear that his family (whom I would never meet) was going to come out of nowhere and ruin my dinner.

He took my weirdness in stride. We went on a few more dates but those glimmering signs of his “player” reputation were beginning to emerge. He clearly wasn’t a relationship kind of guy (at least at that time of life). It was coming to a natural end and then....

One day after lunch we drove in the “wrong” direction.  We pull up to a stunning housing community surrounded with beautiful white picket fences. 

Maybe he got lost. 

“Aren’t these houses nice?”  he asks.

We are parked right in front of the homes. 

“They’re nice.”  I say, still wondering why we drove here.

 “Do you know someone that lives here?” I ask.

 That's a reasonable question.

“No. I just like looking because I want to buy a home here when I have a family someday soon,” he says.

 Bullshit. We’ve only had a few dates, and I've seen no signs of a man ready to settle down.

Is he trying to say he wants me to have his babies?  

Will this be “our” house?

 I laugh to myself. Oh the irony. I want light hearted fun  but since he came from the the same religious background (which sometimes contributes to people feeling they can't be authentic versions of themselves),  he thought this would be fun for me.  

“My current house I own is too small for kids. These have……” He continues on.

Oh Noooo…He’s fully committed to this charade. I wonder how long this is going to take.

Quick Katrina look at the time.  If we leave now I’m good. I still have to go home, get my dog, take him on a walk, do some errands, get ready, and meet my girlfriends downtown. I can’t be late because we leave straight from my friends house to go dancing.  I really want to curl my hair.  What’s he even talking about? Tune back in Katrina. Okay something about the housing market.  

“Sounds like a good plan,” I say.

 I have no idea about about the housing market or his pretend plans to have a family but I really want to curl my hair tonight. It goes better with my outfit. He has to know that while I’m only in my early 20’s I’m still not dumb enough to fall for this right?

He’s still talking.

“Yeah.” I say as an empty filler.

What did I just say yes too?  What if I just agreed to marry him?  Well, if he isn’t proposing this has to end.

Or maybe I should just mess with him and tell him that I'm so happy he thinks of me like that and I would like that house. No that will take too long. My hair will suffer.

“I should get going.”  I say.

“Oh yeah. Of course.” He agrees.

Then silence,  an awkward moment of silence, staring together at a beautiful home with a  gleaming white picket fence. That symbol of  “you made it.”

We slowly pull away.

 Goodbye white picket fence. Goodbye fake kids from a man that isn’t even close to settling down. It was a nice pretend visit but not at the expense of my hair.

I jump into my car and look at the clock.

Arghhh stupid house. 

My straight hair and I made it just in time to meet my girlfriends. We raise our glasses and say a toast to the white picket fence. 

No more dating. Time to travel.

But for now it’s time to dance….

 

A poem in honor of “The White Picket Fence

A toast to dreams                                                                                                                                

Of that white picket fence                                                                                                                   

And to all the people whom it represents                                                                                        

You look from inside peering out                                                                                                     

And wonder was this, what it was always about                                                                                

As dreamers keep looking and passing you by                                                                                  

You know that glimmer of hope in their eye                                                                                         

I made it you think                                                                                                                           

With a fear don’t sink                                                                                                                        

But I did it on my own                                                                                                                         

And I didn’t even moan                                                                                                                     

You forgot what it’s like                                                                                                                      

To get here again looks an impossible hike                                                                                       

But they think I have it made                                                                                                           

When there’s days of course I’d trade                                                                                               

You smile and wave as if to give hope                                                                                              

Will they ever make it? You wonder. Chances are nope                                                                  

You forgot your shoes were given laced tight                                                                                  

The “others” have nothing to reach that height                                                                                

The pass by-ers peer in with a hopeful heart                                                                               

Perhaps one day we won’t be far apart                                                                                               

If you can recognize the illusion passing you by                                                                             

That one day that picket fence will wrap high in the sky                                                                

They won’t be peering in nor will you be peering out                                                               

Because that was never what it was ever about -Katrina

With Love XX

Kat

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