It all seems to long ago. I had finished mourning a long term relationship. One of those comfortable things….not the love of either life but it served a need and had ended. I had been divorced for many years and had two kids. The youngest was leaving for her first year of college in September. I was soon to be an empty nester…the silence already scaring me. I did have two dogs and I suppose that I could have talked to them for the rest of time.
I found myself in my mid 40’s entering the world of dating. MY ass was no longer as perky as it once was….I had C-section scars, stretch marks, wrinkles…even a stray grey in my eyebrows. Who would want me? I came with no ‘baggage’ as my kids were grown but sweet jesus I had more emotional baggage than Newark Airport. I was scared but did as any smart analytical woman does….I thoroughly began to research online dating.
I found POF, Match, OurTime….the sites were endless. I did note that all the same men appeared on all these sites. I was soon to become one of the same women that appear on all these sites. I sat down to explain, in 100 characters or less, who I am and who I wanted. Only problem was I had no idea who I am. I am Mom….I am an ex wife, ex girlfriend, daughter, sister, friend….but who the hell am I? It sounded so Oprah-ish. I should be able to sum up the essence of my soul in 3 sentences. Instead I reverted to 1990 internet lingo and gave my A/S/L….Now who is this man that I search for? That first profile asked for someone settled, free and unencumbered….we would travel, sip champagne and delight each other with our witty banter. I ended up with married men looking for some, a few men with an extensive array of naked self pictures that they handed out like candy on Halloween….bitter men, men pretended to be someone else, men using pictures 30 years old….oh the list goes on…..
all in all there were 13 ‘first dates’, 13 ‘lets meet for a drink’, 13 cell phone exchanges, 13 times I got ready worrying that I wouldn’t be enough for this stranger, 12 disappointments, 12 funny stories to share with friends….12 very loooooooooooooooooooooong ‘one drinks’
He was number 13. I was cruising through Match when suddenly I saw something that melted my heart, brought a huge smile to my face and made me chuckle…I saw two labs! One yellow and one black! They were frolicking in a stream….so cute! Did I mention that I have two dogs? Did I mention that a life alone with them was beginning to become a reality? I had to jot off a quick note….”adorable dogs!”…..he replied. I don’t remember the words…I just remember the dogs. I also recall his picture. I wanted to do to google image search with it because surely it wasn’t him. No one that gorgeous is on Match….oh but the dogs!!!! He wrote that he was leaving for a two week vacation and would reach out when he returned. YEAHSURERIGHT….why cant you just say that you have no interest in my picture? I’m not 20 and it seems all men my age want is someone who isn’t our age….He wrote that he had two boys and was a widower. I didn’t think of anything other than “must be hard to lose your wife”. Funny thing….exactly two weeks later the email arrived announcing that he was back and wanted to get that drink