Cynthia bubbled with excitement as she told her friends about her latest acquaintance. All three had been divorced and met weekly for lattes to discuss and commiserate over the wild, wooly world of dating. 

“He is sooo good looking,” she exuded. “I’ve seen Paul a couple of times in the past week. He’s the perfect gentleman. He held the door open for me, took me to Palisades on the water, and ordered the appetizers. It was fabulous. We watched the sun set over the Olympic Mountains from a window table – the boats coming up the canal. Wow!”

“I told you there were some good men left,” her friend Barbara exclaimed. “It may take a bit of looking, but they’re out there.”

“Well, I’d still be cautious,” her other friend Melody said. “Don’t get swept off your feet just yet.”

“It looks like it’s too late for that,” Barbara said, poking Cynthia on the arm. “I can see that look in her eyes.”

“So tell us more about him,” Melody said. “What does he do for a living? Where does he live? Give us the details, girl.” she said, laughing.

“Well, he isn’t working right now. He’s temporarily out of work. But, he’s a computer geek who has worked for Boeing. He’s had some great contracts, I guess, but he’s looking for work now. He’s been married before – a couple of times, I think.  But he said it wasn't his fault. His first wife walked out on him and his second one asked for a divorce. He’s had some bad luck.”

Barbara and Melody looked at one another. All of a sudden the picture didn’t look so rosy.

“So, where does he live?” Melody asked.

“He’s living with his brother in Everett. He says it’s a temporary situation until he gets his feet back on the ground. He’s really smart and I’m sure it really is a temporary thing. He’s really sensitive, kind and gentle. I like that about him.”

“How many times did you say he’s been divorced?

“Twice, but neither of them his fault,” Cynthia said defensively. “He’s just had some bad luck. He was a perfect gentleman at dinner. I’m telling you, he was great. We’ve talked for several hours. I think he’s the real deal.”

“So,” Melody started carefully. “Would you know if he was a great date, but lousy mate material?”

“I can’t believe you’d ask something like that,” Cynthia replied sharply. “I’m not thinking of a mate at this point. And yes, I’d know the difference. And he definitely fits the mate category – not just the date category.”

Barbara sat silently, listening to her friends.

“So, what are you thinking,” Cynthia asked.

“It’s an interesting question,” Barbara said. “What’s the difference between a great date and a lousy mate, and how would you know the difference?”

“Okay,” Melody said, grabbing a napkin. “Let’s make a list and save womankind from the calamities of a lousy mate. Great ideas always happen on napkins!”

All three laughed and agreed to make a list. They brainstormed what would make someone a great date, but be lousy long-term husband material.”