Monthly Archives: August 2011
I got married when I was twenty years old. Everyone said we were too young to know what we were doing. They were probably right, but we were married for 15 years, had three wonderful boys, and currently have a good ex-spouse relationship. She took the plunge relatively quickly and remarried a few years after our divorce. I spent the next 15 years being either single or in relationships that weren’t going to lead to marriage. I wasn’t about to get married again. Not that being married was horrible, but I wasn’t ready to commit over that 15 year period.
As I dated, I found that there were three types of first dates:
- The date that can’t end quickly enough. I had these types of dates quite often! I went on dates with women who wouldn’t talk and who wouldn’t stop talking. I went on dates with women who claimed to be casual smokers but smoked a pack an hour. I went on dates that were supposed to be just a quick drink but ended up with them ordering food that they assumed I would pay for! I even went on a blind date because a mutual friend thought we’d hit if off. During the date, I began to question if my friend really knew me at all because this person was not my type at all. This is the kind of dating that leads to hilarious stories in the future.
- The date that leads to more dates. These types of dates gave me some hope that I might be able to meet someone normal after all. They were a good enough first date to warrant another. So you go out again and learn more about each other that you can’t learn during the first date “interview.” It might lead to more dates as you haven’t found anything causing you to turn and run as far away as possible – yet. Eventually, something happens that makes you reevaluate this person and decide it’s best to walk away. This is the kind of dating that makes you hopeful in the beginning, but you know in the back of your mind that it’s not really what you’re looking for.
- The date where you find “the one.” This is the date that is so obviously different from all the others that you go home alone wishing you didn’t have to. This is the date that tells you your life has just changed irreversibly because you just met your future. This is the type of date that made me want to ask Alana to marry me. Not on that date, mind you, but cautious optimism became outright giddiness. This is the kind of date you get to have once, if you’re lucky.
On our first date, Alana made a very subtle, straight-faced, joke about one of the stories in Date Type #1 that I told her about over the phone. You had to be there, but let me assure you she caught me off guard. The date was at Go Bananas, which is a great first date place to go. You get to spend some time talking while waiting for the comedians, then you get to see what makes them laugh. I already knew I could make her laugh because we talked for hours on the phone before we even went on the date. She loved my sense of humor and I loved making her laugh. A comedy club was the only natural choice for our date. After the club, we went next door to the bar. She spent the majority of that time flipping me off and saying “fuck you!” I knew I had either met my match or met the female version of me. This date took place in late November.
I’m 50 years old – she’s 36. I’m a Reagan Republican – she’s a Clinton Democrat. I’m an early bird – she’s a night owl. I’m a recovering Catholic – she’s Jewish. I could list all the ways we’re different but none of that matters. Over the next few months, we became inseparable. We started out by spending just the weekend together. Little by little, it became Friday through Sunday then Thursday through Monday. Then, it became odd to be at my apartment alone for even one night. I loved being alone in that apartment when I leased it in May 2010. I couldn’t wait for the lease to end in 2011. We became “roommates” for good on June 1st.
To be continued . . .
Many times in my life, I’ve been presented with challenges that would kill a normal person. By kill, I mean make them freak out and obsess about what is happening to them. I have been guilty of this, but it’s usually the petty, small stuff that sets me off (traffic lights turning red just as I’m approaching makes me curse the light’s very existence, for example). The big stuff has no visible effect on me.
If you were to watch me react when I got the phone call telling me Dad died, you would have thought it was a call telling me you made meatloaf for dinner. Even though his death was expected, it was still an unwelcome phone call in the middle of my work day. I took the news, internalized it, and went back to work. I didn’t know what else to do at that moment. I told my supervisor at the end of the day about the phone call and he was shocked that I didn’t just pack up and leave for the next few days.
I have had other moments in life that challenged me. I’ve had to endure IRS agents, a head-on collision while driving a Mazda Miata, the death of both parents, divorce (especially challenging was telling my kids), losing a job, and on and on.
I need time to process “lemon giving” moments in life. I am a problem solver, so I need time to analyze, evaluate, and solve the problem. I used to live with a woman who freaked out constantly because I wasn’t solving my problems on her timetable. When I’m faced with something I just can’t solve, I put it aside and keep living my life as normally as possible. As I go about my day distracting myself from the problem at hand, you may wonder why I’m not freaking out constantly. I freak out internally and find something to do that helps take my mind off of the problem. By doing this, I always come up with a way to solve the problem. The solution is never apparent during the freak out stage. It always comes to me during a calm moment.
While I do go about my problem solving in a very internal and personal way, I rely on family and friends to help me – if only to distract me. When I’m with someone and we’re enduring the same stress (bad service at a restaurant, waiting in line endlessly, watching the Reds lose again), I love it when the other person freaks out for me! I get to laugh and make fun of the stress when the other person complains! Let’s face it – if they didn’t freak out, I’d have to do it for them!