Emotional Crossing Guards


Crossing Montauk Highway in August is no easy feat. Even pedestrian crosswalks are rarely respected. So, when I was running late to my yoga class and trying to walk across Route 27 and saw no end of cars in sight, I felt my stress level rise. Stressed yoga should not be a thing, even in August in the Hamptons. Then, to my rescue, comes a nice-looking young man in a yellow reflective vest who parts the Red Sea of Range Rovers to let me safely pass across the street. “I want to take you everywhere with me,” I said with a smile.

Then I thought how great it would be to have an emotional crossing guard who would keep you safe on the relationship highway. He would see that player guy with the killer smile who was coming at you like a Mack truck and say, “Whoa, slow down, heartbreaker.” We women can be attracted to this magnetic type even when we are aware of the danger. I actually had a dedicated ringtone for one of these guys, “I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In,” to remind me. Yet it’s helpful to have someone who has our safety as their priority to blow a whistle and say “Talk to the hand.”

Sometimes it is not the barreling down the highway of love type, but the distracted driver who can present a problem. They are not intentionally looking to run over your heart but simply don’t connect with you because they are so absorbed in their own world and needs. You keep thinking they will pay attention and take the time to see you, really see you. You shouldn’t need your emotional crossing guard to say, “Hey dude, stop texting and look up, there’s a lovely woman right in front of you.”

Then there are the gentleman drivers who are totally self-aware and cognizant of others and have chivalry in their DNA and say, “Hey, I am paying attention, and there is a lady in the road, and not only do I not need a crossing guard to stop me, I am already on it and also will make sure nobody behind me causes her any harm.” I love these guys. I had one who actually did throw his coat in the road so I wouldn’t get my heels wet.

But as I ruminate on my emotional crossing guard I think, “I am a grown-ass woman who should be able to navigate relationship traffic on my own without a town-appointed 20-year-old with a walkie talkie. I have been through therapy. I have read ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ I see the tan line where the wedding ring should be. This is not my first rodeo.”

It’s all about paying attention and realizing we share the road and all need to look out for one another. But at least for August, I am super happy to have that crossing guard.

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