Dreams are like unicorns – they’re only real if you’re still chasing them. I turned 40 something last week, but find myself still searching for one of the unicorns that has eluded me my entire life — finding a nice Portuguese Catholic woman to bring home.
Being raised in a large Portuguese Catholic family, I knew from an early age that I should follow suit and marry one of the same kind. Whether it be a desire to appease my family heritage, or simply because I figured it would just be easier to incorporate someone into my life, that is already accustomed to the strange traditions and idiosyncrasies that my family carries. Having to explain to a non-Portuguese Catholic woman, why some of my grandmother’s furniture is covered in plastic – but you still aren’t allowed to sit on it – may be a little weird. Or how sugar covered almonds are not only a perfectly acceptable wedding dessert, they will also adorn the mantle above the toilet – acting as some sort of multi-grain religious monument.
Everybody has their own unicorn. They are the hopes, desires, and dreams that burn deep inside us all. The ones that somehow during that little thing we call life, get swept aside, and are only thought about after one too many cocktails or when your favorite song from high school comes on the radio. Most of us put them in a suitcase and stuff that suitcase in the closet never to be seen again.
But here I am, some 25 years into my Portuguese Catholic unicorn search. And I haven’t had much luck. But I haven’t given up.
As I’ve grown older, I have found myself putting up parameters, as to the specific type of unicorn I’m chasing. Portuguese. Catholic. No kids. Under 30. Intelligent. Maybe these obstructions are ridiculous, but I’m 43 now – and I know what I want.
I get a constant barrage of “You’re in your 40s Chris...You aren’t getting any younger – better just take what you can get”...That line of thought has never made sense to me. That’s like being near the end of the marathon and deciding to pull up a chair because you can see the finish line. No! I’m pushing forward until I collapse. Or find someone that doesn’t mind me having a frozen pan of sopas from 2008 in our freezer.
One would think in a town loaded with the variety of unicorn I desire that there’d be plenty of opportunity. You’d be surprised by the fact that most of the good unicorns in this town are, either related to me, or come with a lot of red tape to cut through.
There have been several unicorns from the past that just didn’t cut the mustard. I had one unicorn I dated for nearly 5 years. It turned out she wasn’t even Portuguese, but Spanish and Italian – you could barely see her moustache. That’s hardly a Portugirl!
One benefit of coming from a family loaded with related unicorns is the stable of unicorn friends they ran with. You’d think that this group would be the prime lot from which to choose a unicorn of my liking. But unfortunately these unicorns always ended up being a little too close to the family – quasi relatives of sort. There’s nothing like being on a unicorn date, and being introduced to one of her friends as her cousin. Check Please!
And like most unicorns, over time we just stop searching. Coming to the sad realization that maybe I’m just not meant to find my unicorn.
A few years back I’d completely given up my quest. Even started dating a bug-eyed mule – but in the end I was the one looking like an ass in that relationship.
Time and effort are the two mitigating factors in finding your unicorn. Whatever your unicorn may be: A better job. A trip to some country you’ve always wanted to visit. A swimming pool in the back yard. Whatever it may be, we all end up putting our unicorn search on the back burner.
You start to listen to the naysayers. “You’re never gonna’ find that Unicorn you’re too old. It’ll never happen. Quit dreaming!”
I have a lot of friends and family in my ear, reminding me that a dude in his 40s probably isn’t capable of landing the unicorn he desires. “You think you’re gonna’ find one without kids at your age?!” or “C’mon man, put the Portugirl dream away and just settle on someone”. They insist that I table some of the qualifiers that make up my unicorn.
To them I say NO! A unicorn without the horn is just a horse that I settled for. And we all know how much I hate horses.
Let’s be honest. My unicorn hunting skills have diminished in many areas. But I’ve replaced stamina and strength with charm and guile. I’m way too old to be actively chasing unicorns, and much prefer to just leave bait laying around. Checking my unicorn snares periodically
Besides, you never know just when and where a random unicorn will show its pretty little face. I was doing a comedy show in the not too distant past in Gustine. Yes, people in Gustine are also allowed to laugh.
Places like Gustine are fantastic for a comic like myself. For one, the entire town comes out to watch. There is nothing better than performing comedy in front of people that are truly appreciative that you’re there. And Gustine is a Portuguese town. I sit on a notebook full of Portuguese jokes I’m unable to use in other cities. I recall my first year in to comedy, doing a Portuguese joke in SF. “If you’re driving home from a Festa auction in a $700 pick-up, with a $1200 sweetbread...You might be a Portagee” My pause to induce laughter, was interrupted with “What’s a Portagee?” To which a man in the crowd answered “I think they’re like a light skinned Mexican from the Valley”
Joke Failure. (Back to Gustine)
Sitting in the front row of this was a woman that had all the tell tale signs of a Unicorn. She laughed at the Portagee jokes I told. She would hit the other people around her if they didn’t join in the laugh. Did I mention cute?
I don’t want to belabor a point of unicorn contention that I carry. But finding a unicorn in this Valley that meets all my requirements is actually very doable. But finding one that is also cute – that is another story.
This unicorn was loaded with cute. Her name is Celia Ferreira. A unicorn from Hilmar.
We chatted for some time that night. It definitely helps that I had a decent set onstage.
Portuguese: Check Catholic: Check Under 30: Check No Kids: Check...and just to raise the Unicorn stakes: School teacher that hates bad grammar. (In hindsight, I probably should have knelt and reached for her hand that night, but hey, why ruin the chase)
And as is this generation’s protocol, we became Facebook friends shortly after. Facebook and other social media avenues offer a wonderful opportunity. You can get to know a person, before actually having to take them on a date. I know this seems a queer endeavor for the over 60 crowd. But I’d say no more queer than our great great-grandparents offering up a dowry of three cows and a barrel of cheese in order to marry the neighbors daughter.
The slow Facebook system of checks and balances makes for some odd conversation. Two people attempting to qualify the other all while not trying to tip their hand.
I found out recently that we both held the same dark secret: Both only half-Portuguese.
I’m currently mustering up the confidence to ask her out on a formal date. In the mean time, I hedged the action by making a side bet with her. If my Raiders end up with a better record than her Forty Niners – we go out for comedy and drinks. If her Niners have the better record – I take her out to dinner.
This is win-win for me. But she has yet to realize that...
Is this the unicorn I’ve been looking for? We shall see. But more than likely I’ll ruin it in some fantastic tale of male chauvinism.
Anyway, the tractor is calling to me this Thursday morning. Make sure when you read this, to think about whatever your unicorn is – and then devise a plan to catch it. You are never too old. And there is never a bad time to go unicorn hunting...
And for those of you thinking “Did Teicheira just write a column about a chick from Hilmar, hoping she reads it in a veiled attempt to gain favor from her...simply by calling her “cute” in a newspaper?!”
Yes. I just did.
The Deaf Puppy Chronicles....On a recent visit to Target with Banshee, she garnered the female attention she usually does – but these were a couple of ladies in their mid 60’s. I entertained them as I am one to do. Attention is attention after all. Upon finding out that my puppy was deaf, one lady had an incredible question -”Does she bark differently?..or does she kinda moan?”..?????..Ma’am, she’s a dog, not Lou Ferrigno. But I’d like to thank this random woman for the incredibly crass bit that I will be attempting onstage this weekend in Sac.
“It’s not Where ya do, It’s What ya do”