The Miami Herald, Tropic Sunday Magazine
“Can’t Live Without ‘Em” column
February 19, 1995, Valentine’s Day Edition

I noticed him right away.  It was hard not to.  A total hunk:  shoulder-length black hair, black Ray-Bans, in a black 500 SEL. Big shoulders, small shirt.  Sunday afternoon. Driving down Collins, I felt his glance, felt him edge up next to me, looking. As his car slipped behind mine, I very obviously tilted the rearview mirror to check him out.

We made a left turn together and I felt him at my side again. The electricity between us could have jump-started a Mack truck. Who would have known that several tons of metal separated us? The window was down and the wind was whipping my curls around like Medusa. I finally got the courage to turn and look him in the eye.  My God, he was even more gorgeous than my peripheral vision had told me. I smiled. He smiled back — but wait, underneath his smile, on the passenger side, sat a matching miniature with black hair in the seat next to him, a child. Groan.  It was too far away to tell if he was wearing a ring or not.

At the red light, he pulled his window down.

“Hi,” he said.

I allowed myself to be chatted up. We were both smiling away. The kid seemed to be sleeping.

“Where do you work?” he asked after the preliminaries.

Why was he asking me this? Did he want to make sure I was gainfully employed? I knew he couldn’t possibly care if I had a brain or not.

The light turned green. I couldn’t let this one get away.

“Do you want to meet for a drink later?” I asked.

“Sure. Where?”

I mentioned a restaurant about a 100 years from where our cars were.

“Eight-thirty,” he said. “I’ve got to take this one home to mom.”  He motioned to the child.

Relief — divorced but not married.  While I was answering him, I almost hit the car in front of me.

“Watch out,” he said smiling, and zoomed away.  I pulled a U-turn and went back to my friend Mary, who I had just left at a beach party.

“Mary!” I went screaming up the sand.  “You’ll never believe what just happened.”

“Kim,” she told me when I stopped hyperventilating.  “I know what it is:  You’ve just spent an entire week with Eric; you’re glowing.  You look like the cat who just ate the canary.  Nothing attracts men more than that.”

“Yeah, but unfortunately Eric lives in a different time zone.  And I’m sick of long distance relationships.  Lend me your coral outfit,” I said and ran home to change.

We dated for about a month and let it slide. I’ve only seen home once since then because I don’t expect anything from a man who says he has only been divorced four months (translation: separated eight weeks). Besides, he wasn’t Eric.

The whole episode stamped something indelibly into my brain: The cat who ate the canary gets dessert. When a woman is satisfied — spiritually, physically — fat with satisfaction and pleasure — it is something more attractive, more powerful than all the red lipstick and silicone in the world. It can be felt through walls, across rooms, down the hall, and at stoplights. It is a green light, the strongest come-hither.

Once as I was returning from a very romantic weekend with Eric, two guys (one lawyer, one police sergeant) tried to pick me up before I even got to the front steps of my apartment. My hormones must have been dancing in my cheeks, sending off signals, “Happy!” “Content!” That seems to be the best pickup line of all.

True, Eric was firmly planted in L.A. and showed no signs of begging me to come out there. But any man who can make me glow like that, the original source of all this power and confusing charisma, is the man I should be with. The rest — however pleasant — are just distractions.


(Reprinted with the  permission of The Miami Herald)