I knew it. I’m single. Well, not technically, in one respect, and, yet, officially, in another.
I am still wrapping up my divorce from my husband of twenty-four years. I left him four years ago, vowing not to date/mingle/marry/love/associate/hookup/or glance at/with a member of the male species, ever, or, for at least a very long time. I was bitter and angry and knew I needed to get myself “right” before sharing me with anyone. I’ve started that process, now.
I had a persistent friend I’d met while drinking dark beer in a brewery in Alaska. Not quite two years after leaving my husband, we hooked up and have been exclusive, across the great lapses of time and many, many miles until, officially, 2:07 PM EST, Thursday, November 13, 2014, via text message. “I love you but I’m not IN love with you”. The most cliché and confusing breakup statement of all time. The next evening, I was engulfed in conversation with a delightful, though very, very, married, man on a three and a half hour flight between Minneapolis and Sacramento. On planes, with strangers, “life stories” are oft shared. He was awesome. I tried to figure out how I could collect an appropriate DNA sample and clone him. Is there a “For Dummies” book on that? When I told him about the “I love you but I’m not IN love with you” line, he laughed, and asked, “like a sister?” Yah, I guess, but, wait, ew.
Airplane guy told me “men are simple”, I choked down a laugh, he continued, “only two things can go wrong, sex or money”. Obvious, yet profound. Those were the reason I left my marriage; none of one and, well, none of the other. But Alaska guy …
But I knew it was coming. He’d been trying for a while; like, for about two of the two and a half years we were “together”. I just finally gave him the out. I never knew if he wanted me to fight to stay together or let it go. I got tired and I let it go. No regrets. Never regrets. It was amazing! He hated that I overused that word, but it was, truly, amazing. And with all of my love and all of my respect, we are right back where we started; friends. And I’m good with that. But I’m not here to talk about break ups and spousal support! At all!
At fifty one years old, a serial monogamous who wishes she were more like Samantha Jones, or, at least Carrie Bradshaw, from “Sex and the City”, I have landed on the singles scene for the first time in my life. I’ve always managed to move almost effortlessly from one long term, committed and monogamous (at least I thought) relationship to the next, with nary a lapse between. I had steady boyfriends pretty much from junior high, through high school and college and actually graduated college married and pregnant with my second child. It took me eleven years to get my Bachelor’s Degree, so it wasn’t like I was twenty years old. I was just too busy being in a couple to attend school full time.
I have chronically single friends, friends who’ve never met anyone, ever, worthy, after fifty years of walking this planet. I have many girl friends who have not and will not ever marry but date voraciously and actively. I have scores of girl friends who have been on the online dating scene for decades and remain, except for fits and bits of brief and ill-fated relationships, dreadfully and woefully single. I’ve even counseled some of them, “you just need to go to a bar and drink dark beer by yourself, I guarantee interesting conversations with admiring men.” They always tell me they don’t like dark beer. Perhaps that is their first problem.
But I’m not here to talk about the single and dating life of women I know. I am here to talk about me! What else?
Almost like a veil being lifted, by about 5:07 PM EST, Thursday, November 13, 2014, I noticed I was being noticed. Everywhere I went. Except to the bathroom, of course. I travel a lot for work and was, actually, in Boston, MA at “the time”. I was still wearing my frumpy, accounting girl, work clothes, complete with practical shoes, but men were reacting to me differently. Or, maybe, I was reacting to their reaction to me differently. I’ve always been smiley, outgoing, and conversational, unless I’m sleeping on an airplane. I often chat benignly with waiters and bar tenders, other travelers, shoppers, the occasional other diner, or beer or wine enthusiast, when I’m out and about. Which is often. I am friendly. I have never taken any of those encounters further, except for Alaska guy, and only after a very long (in duration), long (in distance), friendship. Ironically, via text. And the occasional phone call, if I decided to answer. I was evasive for so, so, long.
But I’m not here to talk about the past. Really. A little back-story is necessary, I suppose, but let’s move on. Both in this article and in life!
I am a weird mix of calculation, planning and strategy and spontaneity, passion and creativity. But I am pure energy, in everything. Unless I am sleeping on an airplane. So, I am living on the edge, exploring new avenues, excited about the adventures to come, the experiences to ensue! But, all with a written game plan, well, more of a list, actually, which I will share here, and elaborate on as the days unfold.
The plan – REV. 1 – the first draft:
- More co-ed Meet-Ups
- Let’s try out this “Tinder” thingy
- I shall volunteer in my community again (I’m a recovered volunteeraholic)
- I will go on more group adventures (REI, etc.)
- “Go” (this was on my list in Evernote, I’m not sure what it means, I might’ve been drinking at the time it was added, I’m assuming it means to leave the house/hotel, on a daily basis, for some reason, other than work and dinner out when traveling)
- Talk (duh)
- Learn – dance lessons, fly-fishing, art, investing, perhaps a formal creative writing class, singing
- Fitness – rejoin a running club, be a regular in yoga, actually go out on the floor in the weight room and make an effort
- Match, Mingle, Just Lunch, etc., maybe
- Work my network
I hate to be so scientific about it all, it kind of takes away the romance I crave. But, as a writer, I seek to share, and to share, I must record and document. It is time, now, to set up a profile, or two, update statuses here and there and everywhere, to sign up for a little of this and that, and to “Go”.