Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Southern, Single and a Mother

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Andy Garcia is the perfect man for me. He is charming, handsome, intelligent, sexy as all hell, and completely unavailable. Though I once saw him walk past as I sat drinking coffee in Café Trieste in San Francisco, I know that is the closest he will ever get to me. And I have to admit, that is part of his appeal. No power struggles over housework. No conflicts over money. No betrayals, no wounds, no scars. Just pure, unadulterated fantasy. The beauty without the cost.

As a single mom getting back into the dating world, I can say that real men don't hold all that much appeal. The thought of dating might become more interesting to me if I thought I could somehow replace the family I lost in the divorce. You know, give my daughter the father she needs and me the husband I deserve. The single mom fantasy.

But I know that's probably not going to happen. For this single mom, the question has changed from "is he good enough for me" to "is he good enough for my child?" I doubt my ability to choose well. I was not known for selecting my men wisely when it was only me. Why do I think I could select an appropriate man to be a father? I screwed that up the first time around. Do I really think I could choose any better now? So, I don't.

Fortunately, that isn't a such a terrible problem for me. Of course, I am lonely. Of course, I would prefer to have romantic love in my life. But am I willing to give up the energy, time, and attention to my daughter that a relationship would involve? I'm not sure.

Instead of getting out there and giving it a real try, I find that I am still clinging to my most successful procrastination technique.

Research.

I've been single now for 3 years. I've read everything published on single mothers and dating. I've lurked at online dating services. I've chatted by e-mail with single mothers and fathers from across the country about dating as a single parent. I've even been out on a few hesitant and awkward dates. Maybe enough research? Nahhhh.

Now I know why men prefer porn. No commitment, no responsibility, no entanglements, limited cleaning up. Me, on the other hand....I don't want porn, per se, but I want fantasy. My fantasy; my way. You want to hear it? I bet you do.

But no way. This fantasy is mine, and like the secret birthday wish that is ruined when you share it, this one stays with me.

But you can bet it involves Andy Garcia. And probably some handcuffs.


Amy Hudock, Ph.D., is a writer, professor, and editor who lives in South Carolina with her family. She is the co-editor of the books Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined and American Women Prose Writers, 1820-1870. Her work has been anthologized in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort series, as well as in Torn: True Stories of Modern Motherhood, Ask Me About My Divorce, Mama, PhD, and Single State of the Union. She is a co-founder of Literary Mama. Her work has also appeared (or is scheduled to appear) in Skirt!, Equus, The Post and Courier, ePregnancy, and Pregnancy and Baby. She teaches creative writing at Trident Technical College. You can read more about her at her website.


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