I was so ensconced, and rightly so, in my own emotional recovery that I missed signals coming from a straight female on several of our all-women outings. After the vigorous ski outing in the Colorado foothills we all went back to our hostess's house for bowls of hot stew. Her husband had divorced her a couple years earlier, and she worked full time supporting herself and her young daughter. I met her at my workplace.
Long before we met, she was the breadwinner as her husband went to college to become a dentist. He decided to take on another woman as a lover as he set up his business. She was not the first straight woman I had met in Colorado that fell in to that category of putting a husband through his career only to be dumped after he made it. Another watched her husband become a veterinarian and begin work at the Denver Zoo, only to dump her. She reminded me, in looks, of Mila Kunis who played Jackie on the 70's show.
On this bright winter's day the group enjoyed the crockpot of stew, crusty bread, and warm drinks. After the meal I stretched out my legs on an ottoman, feeling a wretched ache in both legs. It was the first time I had ever felt arthritis. I asked for aspirin which the woman brought to me, with a quilt to place over my legs. I fell to sleep.
When I woke, all the others were gone. I will call her Carol. We spoke of the outing and when we could all do it again. Compliments on her hospitality was forthcoming as I readied myself to leave. She asked me to sit again, as she wanted to tell me something. She said, without hesitation, that she had fallen for me. My quizzical look perturbed her - I was truly surprised. 'I had no idea you felt that way about me,' I said. I explained that I never picked up on any signals. I thought we were becoming friends. Instead of taking me at my word, that I never sensed her feelings towards me, Carol grew frustrated. I didn't mean to upset her as she forcefully said, 'Are you blind? I've had feelings for you for some time now.' I guess I was blind, to her feelings - But I was not a mind reader.
It was awkward, as I said I don't have romantic feelings for her - But I wanted our friendship to stay in place. It was not enough. Understandably, our friendship did not grow any further, and eventually I moved to New York.
Looking back, I admire her for being honest and direct with me about her feelings. Many people are not. She had positive aspects that would have made for a solid partner for someone, but I was never physically or romantically attracted to her. I wanted a friendship, not a lover. Kudos to her for being brave enough to even raise the sensitive and deeper feelings she had within her. No one should ever have to live out such longings and desires in their head, fearing any form of rejection - Thus, never being honest with themselves.