Two Years Ago

Two years ago you were not well.

The “kidney stones” had reappeared and not resolved.

I made you a doctor’s appointment and the very day you went you found a clavicle lump.

And Sandra said, “That changes everything” and sent you off for tests and late in the day called to ask you to come back first thing Monday morning with me.

I thought it was friendly because she was my friend. She later said she had waited all weekend for me to call her and ask “What’s up?” But it never occurred to me that something was wrong, tragic, life robbing. I must’ve known, somewhere deep, as with Bill’s infidelity, Ken’s alcoholism—I am not stupid—except, perhaps, when I want to be. When I need to be.

She did a long doctor riff that so failed to register that I actually said, “You mean it’s NOT kidney stones?” like a little girl who can’t quite get that Santa somehow forgot the very first thing on her list, the one she wanted most.

But they are good, our docs. They have read Euripides and know that hope is everything, in life of course, but even more in death and so they fan it, they carry the bellows 24/7 and oxygenate the tiniest ember as it tries so hard to fade.

So on we went for you would do no less, deciding right away that 2-3 years was clearly not enough, but 10 might do, would get us through—to see Alyssa graduate (twice) and maybe find her love and her life’s work, to make our move north (or not) and root in to retirement and leisure, to have a few more adventures between chemo rounds, during the presumed remission of limited but precious shelf life.

And yet in 8 months you were gone—the slowest imaginable disappearing act, the sun lowering across the lake inch by inch then holding at the horizon refusing to disappear. We didn’t talk about it for that would seem defeatist and we could not admit defeat, could never admit defeat, though somewhere deep I’d gone to death and loss right at the start. Of course! This was always a dream, too good to be true or real or lasting. This wasn’t how my life rolled—all peace and joy and comfort, with a kind and good and strong partner right there at every turn. But you, you never gave up, could not believe you had to let go of the life you loved, had always loved, no matter the circumstances. You hung on and on—like my dad in this one small way—your tenacious hold on life, your refusal to go gently. But go you did, having slowly sunk deeper into yourself—ever quieter, never wanting to talk it out as we did so very many other matters large and small. I wish we had. I know we couldn’t. I’m glad you made it there. I’m sorry (of course) I let you be a grown-up and make your own decisions on seeing doctors or not—back when they could’ve helped, back when you might’ve been cured. It was not my decision to make. I believe that all decisions in all people’s lives are mine to make. I have the temperament of a despot. But this one thing was not for me to control and the one time you did go, in pain, it was up north on a very old doctor’s very last day of work, on New Year’s Eve and he had no lump to show him the way to the truth of the ravages maybe only beginning back then.

Two years right now since I started to lose you. How many more before I will stop?

You would love this spring. Can you see it? Are there lilacs in heaven?

Oh sweet husband, love of my life, the porch you couldn’t finish is so lovely—Rainer made sure of it. And Charlie goes to the cottage alone and talks to you at graveside. And Alyssa has learned to channel your calm and your literal warmth. You live on and on with us, my love. In memory, in gaping absence, in spirit that surrounds. I hope I will be with you again in this universe or another or another, but forever this time. Forever and ever.

Amen.

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The Therapist

Here is what you say when your good friend, (a woman you glommed onto like a life raft at church years ago because she, too, was a divorced mom in the sea of happy (?) families) offers to fix you up with her long ago love, a handsome therapist, who broke up with her, ever so kindly, in order to save her from one day having to care for him due to their extreme age difference. You say YES!

This is a man who seemed so wonderful it was all I could do not to beg her to fix me up back then when her heart was still bruised. “He sounds perfect for ME and age-appropriate to boot” I thought but mercifully, for once, had the good sense not to say as I consoled her with “He’s probably right, honey. There are SO many men out there your age. You really don’t want to spend your healthy middle age years being a nurse maid.” And she moved on and on and on (she claims she went on 50 + dates with on-line finds and various fix-ups—truly a woman younger, stronger and even more determined than I to find true love) before finding a very steady, kind, reliable engineer who loves her spontaneous, friendly personality in the ultimate opposites-attract sweepstakes. He calls when he says he’ll call, they’re attracted to each other, they have fun together and the fact that he has a passel of young children with him every other week seems ok too as she uses that time to live the rest of her life with her own kids and friends and job. And meanwhile the true love of her life, the one who got away decades ago in another state, has just e-popped back in with news of his divorce. Methinks this is the happy ending she really deserves—the whole package that she can open one Christmas not too far away.

But in the meantime—her “cast off” might be just my speed. Or not. It doesn’t really matter to me. I feel like I am on my way to Nordstrom where a personal shopper who has known me forever has preselected a dress for me to try on. It might not be the perfect one, but it is wonderful knowing that I won’t have to walk up and down the aisles weeding out the orange floral prints. Somebody I know and respect has already identified this one as a winner. A winner with his own life and need for space and maybe (please God) a select few of his own old-age aches and pains. Perfect.

On the other hand, I admired this same friend’s lipstick once, a stunningly perfect shade of burgundy, and she snip-snap ordered me one from her source. I still have it. Looks like crap on me. Ok, not crap but just so-so la-la with none of the pow and sparkle it has on her lips. Maybe it’s the wrinkles. Maybe lip wrinkles absorb all the wow. Maybe the therapist will have some wrinkles too. When I told him via text that our mutual friend thought he hung the moon, he said she knew him 50 pounds ago when he still had hair. I said I’d meet him at the restaurant and keep my eyes peeled for the fat bald guy. In your 60s, trust me, the immortal words of Rosanne Rosannadanna ring true …..it’s always something!

And yes, I do remember the implied suggestion from my own therapist that maybe dating right now was not the cleverest idea I’ve ever had. But this date pre-dates that non-suggestion and cancelling would be rude and my mama didn’t raise no rude children! And ignoring my therapist to go on a date with another therapist tickles my wide defiant streak. Besides, I want to know if he actually looks like Richard Gere (#1 in my Hollywood heartthrob Hall of Fame) or if my friend was seeing him through the gauzy eyes of love. Either way, my polka dot skirt and I are going.

Therapy

She:       How can I help you?

Me:       I’m not really sure. I feel as if I have lost not only Tom but the best version of myself that he seemed to bring out just by making me feel so happy and loved and accepted and secure.

She:       (after more Q and As) You just have to find the Tom within you. You know, someone can only bring out what’s already there.

Me:       (silently) really? Is that true? Hmmmmmmmm………

She:       (after reading in-take forms and asking history questions) It sounds as if you have a lot on your plate.

Me:       Funny, I feel as if I have too little on my plate. Husband—dead. Daughter #1-full time job with benefits, not living with me and driving a late model car. Daughter #2-good student and wise old soul who now drives herself everywhere and has stopped pretending she eats the lunches I packed for years and now no longer do. Job I love but could do in my sleep. Too much empty space in my head and on the calendar.

She:       What happens when there’s too much space?

Me:       I become anxious and want to fill it.

She:       What if it wasn’t filled?

Me:       I would be lonely.

She:       And could you invite that loneliness in and let it sit with you?

Me:       I guess so? (starting to cry)

She:       Could you say that and still breathe?

Me:       Maybe not.

She:       What would happen if you didn’t date for maybe, oh, the next year?

(and, later…)

I think the work we have to do centers on being ok with that loneliness. Can you come back next week?

 

Shit! Looks like I’m in therapy again. Maybe the eyeliner I’ll save getting ready for all those first dates will offset my co-pay. Self-awareness sucks! The unexamined life sounds like a truly great alternative. Impulsive, busy, action-packed. I should’ve been born a bee!

Oh well.

Sixes and Sevens

On line dating may have made me miss Tom more than any other single event. Because I met him on line I think somewhere in the back of my brain I thought I could just pop back to the store for a replacement, kind of like when your huge basement reserve of toilet paper finally runs out. I only had one date with someone else before I met Tom although I had been distracted with some emailing back and forth with a couple other prospects. I knew what I wanted–true love and forever–and was willing to fight hard when I saw it in my grasp with Tom. Our hardest days were the courtship ones–many stories to tell, many imperfections to reveal and accept–but once we were finally over that hump it was the smoothest sailing of any relationship I’ve ever had.

Of all the things I miss (and the list is volumes long) the biggest loss is the feeling that no matter what each day brought, no matter what we planned or didn’t, I would always have fun just because I would be with him. I felt happy and secure in his love. I was so looking forward to growing old with him, playing out the rest of the movie script I carried in my head of us living at the cottage full time, going south in the winter, having dinners with friends, hiking and biking and maybe even snowshoeing and singing in the church choir. I wanted that life—with him –and I am still, 15 months later, mad and sad as hell that it’s not going to happen.

I thought I was taking all the right healing steps—grief group, crying, reading about grief, reflecting on my own, staying involved in things I enjoy, making sure I see people every day—but right now I feel back at square one. Each day has the walking-through-a-foggy-swamp character that the early days and weeks had and I am not sure where to turn. The very nicest man I met on line, whom I have now sent away for liking me too much (I know), had the wisdom and kindness to ask gently before even meeting me if I felt ready to re-enter the wonderful/horrible dating world again. I responded as honestly as I could– “I don’t know”– but now think maybe I was not.

I had a momentary burst of youthful energy and excitement and even felt like a red-blooded woman again, but the way I could immediately picture fusing my life with that of nearly every one of the men I met is deeply troubling. Clearly this time I have no IDEA what I am looking for except maybe to feel less sad and lonely and hopeless and that is not a good foundation for building any relationship.

I now scroll through the dozens of profiles on my computer and feel nothing but weary. No, I do not want to be pen pals with someone in Florida. No, I don’t think it is reasonable to try to date someone living an hour or more away. No, I cannot pretend to like loud concerts or Nascar and if you post a picture of your Harley instead of yourself it is doubtful you are my guy. And as ridiculous as it sounds, the men my age look OLD and that is the one bad thing I don’t feel right now, at least not yet.

But the real trouble is none of them are my guy. My guy was here and gone in a flash and I am now sometimes forgetting the exact crinkles by his eyes or how his hand felt in mine. How in the world do people ever move on? How do they manage to keep the sweet memories and cherish what they have had and lost without just folding up their little tent called life, or at least romantic life, and calling it a day?

My friend lost the love of her life and reunited with her very first boyfriend, who had never stopped loving her. She says she is sure he understands that she has already loved and lost her truest love but is still happy to be with her. They enjoy each other, have fun and are a couple. It seems to work. There is a quality of “settling” to it that bothers me, but really what are the alternatives? If the love of your life is gone you either find someone else to be with or you go the remaining distance alone and that just isn’t what I want.

When your best friend and your sister (even if you are in the middle of an epic fight) both utter the word “therapy” to you in the same week it might be good to listen. And then there is the much subtler therapist friend who every now and then says “That might be something you want to look at” when serving as first reader for some of my posts. So…. off I go this week to lay my heavy burden at the feet of the kindly woman who ran my grief support group. I don’t really know her and I don’t really know if she can help me sort through the mountain of feelings, but my friend has opined that I am not done grieving and may need some help to go the rest of the way through the tunnel of loss and sorrow and I am not too proud to see the wisdom there.

I’m also scheduling coffee with the wise octogenarian author of a book about his wife’s illness and death. He is 20 years past the tunnel, has a wonderful new partner and a life he loves. I want to be him, but will settle for sitting at his feet and drinking in some sage advice. And as for dating…. the nice man left the door open and I might walk through it at some point and a friend is fixing me up this weekend with a man she dated years ago and thought was terrific. All the rest of the frenzied on line dating world I will try to let go for now as I gather myself in.

And as always in life…..we shall see what we shall see for nothing ever plays out quite the way we expect and there is an equal chance of rainbow or storm cloud right around the bend. I want very much to skip to the last page of the novel to see if it is really worth reading, but that’s not how it works. As my favorite quote from A Wrinkle in Time says: “Nothing is hopeless. We must hope for everything” Thanks, Euripides. I needed that.

Mother’s Day

One of the 5 million things I love about Alyssa is that she cares not a whit for convention. She may or may not know that Mother’s Day is coming this weekend (likely her sister has hit her up for her half of flowers or a gift) but she just unwittingly handed me the best present ever. I came in late from choir and she bounded down the stairs, gave me a huge hug and asked me to sit down and listen to all the details of her day—which was action-packed and mostly positive. From a 16 year-old that was gift enough, but then she went on to hug me again and say how VERY glad she was that I was her mom, that she was proud that we get along when so many other mom-teen daughter pairs don’t and that she sometimes forgets to truly APPRECIATE me. Ok, that would’ve been a lifetime of happy right there, but then she said with great gravitas and feeling “Thank you for raising me” to which I replied “It has been a pleasure from start to finish” which, except for that brief period of infancy when she was not hitting developmental benchmarks and I spun out of control looking for adult group homes 18 years in advance, is the God’s honest truth.

She told me she was called an old soul in one day by two very different people—one teacher, one friend. Never have truer words been spoken. A wise and wonderful girl for whom music-making is the highlight of her school day. She may even like it more than lunch time chatter with her friends. It feeds her soul as it does mine and in that one small/huge thing we are deeply genetically connected. We are Myers-Briggs personality opposites and very often struggle to understand each other even in basic communication, but music is our language. She asked me once if I was disappointed that she wasn’t a singer or pianist. I explained how her clarinet playing has enriched my life by exposing me to the finer points of band and orchestral music that had formerly put me to sleep. I can now pick out most individual instruments while listening to a symphony and have volunteered to write program notes for her outside orchestra, thus getting the music history lessons I never got in school. We have come through divorce and driver’s training still loving each other—a modern miracle. She needs me for next to nothing but did today inquire about the logistics of how people had sex in the olden days in twin beds. (Me thinks she has found Father Knows Best or The Dick Van Dyke show on TV Land). She also wondered if anybody back then had sex just for fun rather than to procreate. I assured her that recreational sex has never been out of fashion in 2000 + years.

Franny refers to herself as my “practice” kid and she’s not wrong. She is a very different personality from Alyssa (much more like me) and that plays a role in our relationship, but it is true that I made a boatload of mistakes with her that I have corrected for Child 2.0. Still her love of all things beautiful, her fascination with the finest points of film making, her God-given artistic talent (albeit in mothballs at the moment) and her ability to sit at a piano and have beautiful original music flow out are but a few of the things that make her wonderful and fascinating. She is such a work in process. I have learned that all my buzzing and fluttering and worrying and nudging is a complete waste of time. She is going to do what she is going to do when and if she decides to do it. I do not envy her current life which seems boring and small and so very much less than she deserves, but that is not, I have FINALLY learned, for me to say. I can see a million paths to higher ground, but she fears rocky trails or avalanches or running out of supplies or who knows what. She will either figure it out or she won’t. She has full time employment with benefits, her own car, savings and a place to live that is not under my roof so I will have to trust the universe and her own fine mind to sort out the rest.

My brother called my mom his “forest ranger” because of the hours of wise counsel she gave him, helping to sort out the forest from the trees, but I never really had that relationship with her. By my tween and teen years my dad was in a mid-life mean-ish phase and she seemed wounded and weary all the time. I had plenty of things I could’ve used advice about, but I feared that letting her know that I was hurting in any way would only deepen her own pain so I kept mum. (ha! That really was no pun intended) I loved her and I remember many wonderful times with her and the occasional good advice she provided—notably “If you seem upset and angry with everyone around you, go look in the mirror as that’s where the problem likely lies.” I think of that often. She also came through in a number of crucial moments in my fraught-with-peril adult years. Right after marrying Ken there was a nasty incident in front of my entire family. I later said to my mom, “I think I made a big mistake in marrying him” and she looked me right in the eye and said “Mistakes can be fixed.” It took me 16 years to get there, but knowing I had the endorsement of a woman who stayed married for 65 years to someone I don’t think she was really happy with meant the world to me. I also remember being in a car with her after my first divorce and starting to cry and then apologizing. She said. “Please don’t apologize for crying. Cry as much as you want. You didn’t do nearly enough of it as a child.” Permission to lay down my lifelong stoicism gave relief beyond measure.

I think of her every time I am at the cottage. She loved it there and is the woman who first taught me how to be a beach blob. I was born in Grand Haven and all my siblings were in school so she and I would head for Lake Michigan several times a week and there is a photo of me at age two or three lying face up on a towel wearing those little egg cup goggle things to protect your eyes. Nobody knew from sunblock back then and I have the skin of an alligator from years of mother-daughter sun worshipping. We would take long walks along the shore at the cottage and have great talks. Every night there would be a Scrabble game where I struggled to hold my own. She once challenged me on “wok” and I went nuts when it did not appear in the ancient dictionary we used as referee for all disputes. And yet it contained “cunt” which she laid down with a small victorious smile. Argggggggh! She made the best three-layer chocolate cake on the planet and although it was from a mix, her homemade buttercream frosting was nonpareil. In fact, all of her baking was wonderful and knitting and crafting in general. She loved words and reading and music and has passed all of that on to me.

In her very late years her four children cared for her as each of us could. My oldest brother was close by and handled all the doctor’s appointments and also pop-in visits and made sure she got to church to fold bulletins and attend services. My sister visited regularly, usually once a week, although she lived over an hour away. She would organize outings and birthday parties and found and hired a terrific caregiver. My brother in California called faithfully every Sunday and listened to decreasingly coherent stories from our mom. My role was money manager. I could do it from home and it meant I didn’t visit often. I was ashamed one day when Alyssa, who was young, said “I miss Bubba. Let’s go see her.” I never went without wing men, usually my girls, as seeing the woman who had been my mom slowly lose her words and keen mind was heart-breaking. What I did do was give her pedicures. It gave me something to do and seemed to bring her pleasure. And on one occasion I talked all my students into driving 45 minutes to do one of our concerts for seniors in my mom’s Assisted Living facility. I remember she was a little confused, but very happy and Tom sat and held her hand through the whole thing.

The best gift she gave me was the assurance that having a late-in-life baby (she was 39, pretty old for childbirth back in 1954) was the best thing that ever happened to her and kept her young. I was able to give the same assurance to Alyssa when I topped my mom’s record and gave birth at 45. People say I neither look nor act my age and I give all props to my mom’s good genes and my darling daughters who have kept me young even while moaning at my adolescent taste in clothes.

After I stopped thinking corporate America was the be-all and end-all of life, the only thing I really wanted was to be a mom. I made a staggeringly poor choice of a father for my kids, but being their mom has been everything I had ever hoped for and more. Thank you, God, for letting me be in the lives of these exceptional people. And thanks to the amazing women in my life who held me up and commiserated endlessly along the way. Mothers are a fearsome tribe. So grateful I belong to it.

I Hate Dating

This is clearly why so many people get married. Simply to avoid dating. It is nerve wracking. It is exhausting. And sometimes it is just plain boring. Tonight it was flat out uncomfortable.

I had a third date with a very nice man with whom it now seems I have absolutely NOTHING in common, starting with the fact that he interprets all caps in any correspondence as yelling whereas I use them for emphasis because italics and underlining take longer to execute. That small dispute is the tip of the iceberg. He finds it astonishing that I would stop seeing him because he finally admitted that he would in fact vote for Donald Trump. I realize now that we spent short but pleasant date number one exchanging basic information, longer but entertaining date number two arguing about gun control and by date number three we had already used up all our best repartee in emails, which I admit made me laugh out loud on several occasions. I honestly don’t think he likes my opinions any more than I like his, but the difference is he feels about me the way I felt about flannel shirt guy and spent all of dinner staring at me, complementing various body parts and telling me how cute I was. He has zero interest in traveling outside the U.S. and I honestly think he is somewhere deep down still in love with his ex-wife who cheated on him decades ago and then begged to come back.

I kissed him goodnight because he seemed to want it so badly and it was fine. Yeah, exactly. Fine. No bells, no whistles, no foot popping up like in the movies. Not unpleasant in the least, but nothing that sent me home wanting more. He asked if he could hold me all night and I said, no, just for another 30 seconds. He asked if we could go out again and I said—Why not? As in “I have already burned through 5 also rans and a keeper that wasn’t interested in me so sure, I got nothing better to do.”

He knows I don’t hold much promise for any future together but says he is not giving up until I send him away definitively and I’m not quite ready to do that. Being so blatantly admired physically is not in my experience reserve and I don’t know what to make of it. People have found me cute here and there but mostly liked my mind and wit. He says he loves strong, independent, beautiful women and that I qualify on all three counts. It is nice getting schmoozed, but it would be so much better if I felt the same way, which is what happened with Tom. Actually I think I was smitten faster than he was and I remember him actually telling me early on that he could tell I loved him by the way I looked at him. I thought that was egotistical and cheeky of him to say but in fact it was true. Soon after that he carved, sanded and polished a beautiful wooden heart that fits in the palm of my hand and told me I now had his. Sigh.

I had hoped tonight would be great, that I would decide my date’s basic niceness, intelligence and obvious interest in me would override our very different world views, but I actually had trouble keeping the conversation afloat in the presence of his intense scrutiny and my discomfort at our ideological differences. I was relieved to come home and hang with Alyssa.

If you have been married for a while and are feeling a little bored or maybe wondering what else might be out there that you’re missing by being in a long term, committed, monogamous relationship, let me help. You’re not missing a THING. Go hug your spouse and thank your lucky stars. Stay married. Dating sucks.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Now I remember what I always hated about the boy-girl thing starting in middle school and right through college. It was the fickleness, no, the incompatibility of the human heart. The boys who wanted me I never wanted and the ones I wanted inevitably didn’t want me. Arghhhh!!! In high school I remember this extremely handsome and nice boy from another school asking me out and me being horrified that somehow I had stammered “OK” when I meant NO. He came and got me, took me to a movie and was a perfect gentleman but for some reason the entire evening was torturous for me and I behaved like a world class bitch. My sister was courted by a handsome, smart and polite young man whom she rejected out of hand because his shoes were too shiny! I once decided in college that the boy I thought I was crazy about would not do at all because when he drove me around in his car his back didn’t touch the seat. I am not kidding! I dropped him like a hot potato because he didn’t seem relaxed enough behind the wheel.

We are back to the quote which I can never properly recall but goes something like,” Many a relationship has been built on the turn of an ankle.” Who can possibly unravel the tangled knot of our crazy attractions?!?!? Why does an ankle or a forearm or a smile or a flannel shirt make our heart stop for no definable reason? Who created this crazy love/attraction thing anyway!? And don’t say it’s all for the survival of the species because I am way too old to procreate and yet am experiencing the pin ball emotions of a 16 year-old!

I have now been on 7 of my promised 10 dates. Astonishingly all but one of them has asked to see me again. Guess which one I would most like to see again? BINGO! The one I haven’t heard from. One of the others said I gave him sweaty palms and he wasn’t used to that and liked it better being the one who cared less. Now I get what he means. If I don’t hear from #7, who I openly admit reminded me very much of Tom—but not in that creepy “just looking for a replacement” way, but rather in that “you seem like a really good person and I would feel safe and happy with you while also wanting to rip off your flannel shirt” way—-I will be truly sad. He drove over two hours for our first date. We did Greenfield Village and I had a great time. He’s adorable.

My second date of the day (this dating stuff is akin to marathon running. Kind of wish I’d trained longer and harder) was a very charming, very active and fit man who is an amateur actor and works full time in communications downtown. He was fun and I would go out with him again but my palms were bone dry.

A man with whom I had a truly arduous lunch, where I was working so hard to keep the conversational ball afloat that I forgot to eat, sent me a lovely email proclaiming my smile and energy “fantastic”. (I have crooked teeth and my children say I am in need of medication for my manic tendencies.) The truly elderly man I had breakfast with asked me out for the following Saturday night before I had even finished my toast. I finally figured out with a friend that what they are all actually responding to is the fact that I give good chat. I am a preacher’s kid and was required to speak politely to absolutely anybody. I did theater for many years and am not a bad actress. Even if I am thinking “Please, Lord, let him wolf down that burger so we can all just go home” my face will be saying “You are fascinating! Tell me MORE!”

Of course none of that lasts. So the question becomes, who would I want to sit on the couch next to in my sweats reading by the fire. Who would I want to rub my shoulders after a hard day? More important, whose shoulders would I be willing to rub? For that question we have but two finalists. (Although true to my word, I do have number 8 already teed up for lunch next week and #9 asking to meet. Not sure I have the stamina to reach 10.) I think I am going to go on a third date with gun-owning REPUBLICAN (I know, I KNOW!) who writes me funny sarcastic texts and claims I give him sweaty palms because when I saw him waiting for me on date #2 I felt genuinely and unexpectedly happy to see him, our time together flew by and I spontaneously gave him hello and goodbye hugs —something I do with nearly everyone in my inner circle. He said when I walked in for our first coffee date he thought “I wish Mary would be somebody who looked like THAT” not recognizing the dark haired version of the blond streaked me in the profile photo. He has already fed me a lot of that kind of sweet talk and I’m falling for it. I think about him a lot, not always in a pure way, and would like to see more of him and see what happens.

But flannel shirt man from out of town? Him I wanted to crawl right smack into his arms and never leave. But he is younger than I am and seemed a little dismayed at how many times I’ve been married and might even think I’m ditsy as he works with things beyond my ken. And it has been 9 hours since I hugged him goodbye and not a peep. Geesh! Maybe I could get the other 6 to send letters of recommendation?!

Not for the faint of heart this late in life dating stuff. Not for the faint of heart.

 

P.S. I waited a full 24 hours and then finally emailed flannel shirt putting my heart right out there on my sleeve. He finally responded that he was surprised to hear from me as he thought I didn’t seem that interested but has decided the distance is too great and would like to be “friends”! UGH!! Blech! The deepest cut of all! Super gluing my heart back together as we speak. Asking Republican to have date #3. Feel like you’re watching “As the World Turns?” Me too.