Divorced Survivor Seeks Prince Charming; Hope Chest Provided (part 1)
After spending my entire adult life with one man, I find myself out THERE...supposedly free and on that playing field known as dating. I lived through the 80's...dated through them as well. You remember the 80's don't ya? That metallic era where everything was about glitz and plastic....plastic money, plastic surgery...plastic personalities....so much hairspray that even hair had the stiff appearance of plastic. One would think that experience alone would have provided me with the lessons needed to date now. The difference is now the men I meet are self proclaimed victims of plastic love.
I waited a while before I thought I would put myself back out there. I wanted to be ready, really assured in what I was looking for. I mean I am not that young girl I once was the last time I dated. Then the attention I received from perspective dates was nice, and often what my then insecure ego needed to feel valued. After years in a marriage, and surviving what I have….I am a different person - I am a woman and not an eager little girl looking for attention. I know the type of man I want in my life, and I know that when the time is right, he will be there.
All that being said, I also know he’s not going to knock on my door…that somehow I need to put myself out there a bit. Being that I live in a Mayberry type area, and that I am not into the “bar scene,” as well as I don’t go to church gatherings, my option are a bit limited in this population of twenty-some thousand in this rural county.
Since my options are so limited, last summer I decided to give internet dating a shot. No, I wasn’t desperate…but yes, I did want to see what was out there…who was out there. And….OH BOY…DID I!
So, up went my profile on an (undisclosed) internet dating site. My son’s offered their opinions as I typed it out, and as I searched the other profiles. I have to admit there was a part of me that felt silly about doing this, but I also knew it was time for me to have some fun again, and take a risk on love again.
I was as honest as one could be in a profile…listed my likes, and dislikes….described myself as best as one could, including my rather ample (I like that word, it’s rather positive, huh?) curvy figure. I included pictures, even a full body (clothed of course) shot.
Now, much like back in the 80’s (when I last dated) I was approached by married men, men looking for a one night fling, much older men, and then something new…YOUNGER MEN. It wasn’t long before I was feeling exhausted and worn out just reading the responses, and viewing the profiles…..that feeling of disappointment, and that maybe I was just too damn picky for my own good.
So there I was one Sunday afternoon, and a local guy messaged me. He was one of those “younger men” …but at least he had stepped over the threshold into his thirties. Maybe it was the hot sun I had just came in from being out in for most of the day, but I agreed to meet him for some ice cream at a local place here in town.
Now he wasn’t a bad person, actually a gentleman. He was articulate, and well groomed. Friendly and could carry on a conversation, but still there was NOTHING…no spark whatsoever. We talked for sometime while we ate our ice cream (I hate ice cream) , and near the end he mentioned he would like to take me out for dinner one night….I, of course, hesitated in my answer, and I think he then knew this wasn’t going anywhere further.
When I got back home that evening I decided to torture myself some more on that internet dating site. So I searched all of Wisconsin for men in their 40’s, to see what profiles were out there. I scanned all the pictures, and read the profiles that had a headline that caught my attention. Profile after profile….nothing felt right. I decided it must be me, that maybe I wasn’t ready. That, yes, maybe I am too damn picky.
So as I sat there scanning all those pictures, and profiles I noticed one in particular. His picture was sideways. I thought to myself, “Ahhh, he knows how to get them to look twice!” A smirk came over my face. I clicked his profile, and I have to admit it caught my attention. He seemed confident, but not cocky. It was obvious he had a sense of humor, and he seemed very familiar to me. Like I knew him, and he wasn’t a stranger.
Well, the day’s events took it’s toll on me and I was exhausted. After reading his profile I decided it was time for bed. The next morning when I woke up, and checked my email I had a message from him…that topsy turvy guy. He saw that I looked at his profile, and decided to message me.
So that’s how it started. Right then and there over my morning coffee before work. A Monday morning, one quick message suddenly turned into a week’s worth of emails, text messages, instant messages, and by mid week even phone calls.
The conversation flowed, and was easy. Every time my computer would “ding” alerting me to a new email, I would get giddy. This man had a sense of humor that literally made me laugh out loud, and better yet he kept my interest when not even trying to make me laugh.
Yes, I had a sense that I had known him for a long time. That we weren’t strangers…he said the same. We were both two single parents working two jobs…he was a county supervisor by day, and a salesman by night. I worked full-time in an office by day, and was a reporter for a local newspaper at all other times. Even with schedules like that we managed to communicate throughout the day….everyday.
By mid-week we decided to meet that weekend. He was going to drive the 130 plus miles to my house, and take me out. Not once did I feel threatened, and not once did I feel like it was too soon, if anything it felt like it wasn’t soon enough.
That work week prior to our date was a week from hell. I didn’t have a free minute all week to clean my house, and with the kids home for the summer so needless to say the house was in dire need of a cleaning. The night before our date I decided would be the frenzy night in getting everything done. I came home from my day job, and laid down for a short nap before the all nighter of cleaning…I wanted my house to look like it did, before life got chaotic, and so damn busy.
It wasn’t long after I laid down that my oldest came running into my room screaming, “Mom, there’s something going on in town. There’s sirens; there’s smoke and there are flames!” Reporter mode took hold and I flew out of my bed and out to my car…camera and notebook in tow. I didn’t bother to look in the mirror nor brush my hair before leaving…this was URGENT …I get paid by the article damn it! So off I went to cover a more than newsworthy fire downtown….raccoon eyes from rubbing my tired eyes and mascara , and the back of my hair showing it’s tangled pillow look.
By the time I got home that night I was exhausted. I cleaned what I could, and decided it would just have to get done the next day, despite the fact I had two stories to cover before my date with that topsy turvy man.
Needless to say my Saturday didn’t go as planned. My day slipped away from me and before I knew it time for the date was drawing near…..quickly. By the time I got home I had less than two hours to get my house clean, feed the children, and get ready for the date. I’m GOOD…but not THAT good.
So I quickly went into survivor ….Super-Woman..mode. Took my shower, ordered that pizza and cleaned as I went. He called me from the road when he was about 30 minutes away…and I panicked! My hair was still wet, I still wasn’t dressed, the kitty litter needed to be changed, and the pizza for the boys hadn’t arrived yet.
I took a deep breathe ….dried my hair, while I put on make-up. “I can do this,” I thought to myself. Just then the pizza arrived, and the boys were satisfied….one barrier down. It was as I was changing the litter that I had a flashback from the night before:
“Mom there’s smoke! Mom, there’s FLAMES! MOM THERE IS A FIRE!”
I go rushing into the kitchen where I find my children standing and looking at the table which had flames shooting up from it. Evidently my oldest son pushed the table cloth back so he wouldn’t get pizza sauce on my nice antique cloth, and did so up and over a candle I had there to freshen the air in the house. Quickly I put out the flames, and luckily it was just the table cloth on fire. I throw it into the trash…and then the phone rings…topsy turvy man is 11 minutes away…I am still not dressed…now drenched with sweat…and that kitty liter still needed to be changed. Even the best of moms would have cursed in front of their children at a moment like that….”
Off I ran…..the “F” word following me everywhere I went…with a few others added in the mix. I get that kitty litter changed, and go to take the smelly old stuff to the garage. As I am crossing my living room floor with that trash bag of litter drenched in cat urine, and poop….the bag decides right then and there….YUP….OF COURSE…right then and there to BUST OPEN on to my living room carpet.
The screams were most likely heard throughout my county……..“FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK,!!!!!!!” is still probably ringing in the ears of the farm animals that heard my screech.
I call out to my boys for help…they come running in and see their usually well put together mom standing in the middle of the living room…make up melted…still in her robe…hair looking wet because of sweat…..saying softly but urgently, “help!”
They didn’t question. They flew into action..there were some giggles..but that didn’t stop them. We got the litter up, and my oldest went to get the carpet shampooer while my youngest carefully carried the new trash bag full of urine soaked litter into the garage. Quickly I shampooed that HUGE circle of wet…smelly….urine…on my living room carpet.
The phone rings…it’s him!!!! He’s getting off at my town’s exit!!! He is three minutes from my house!!!!!!!!!!!! I run into my bedroom…throw on my outfit…fly into the bathroom….quickly try to fix my hair….make it somehow look like I meant for it to look. Double check that melted make-up and decide it’s a good thing I have a fresh tan! I run out to my front porch, and just as I get there….panting from exhaustion…he called again. He was down the street. I see his car. I was still in shock……I watch as he pulled into my driveway.
I stand in the corner of my enclosed three seasoned porch…my youngest son is watching Mr. Topsy Turvy as he gets out of his car….. As he bounces up my front stairs, I can’t see him completely but I can see that he is wearing nice jeans, and a nice stripped dress shirt - I opened my door and greeting me on the other side was the warmest smile….a twinkle like no other in his eyes, and again a sense that he wasn’t a stranger….that I’d known him for a longtime…and despite the ramblings out my mouth trying to explain the last thirty minutes prior to his arrival….and seeing his never ending smile as I rambled on about fires, kitty litter, and shampooing carpets…..I, internally, felt at ease because I knew he wasn‘t a stranger………………………
To be continued………..