I was one of those people who married for life. For better or for worse.
My husband preferred to seek better elsewhere. He didn’t want to wait ‘til death do us part, and poof! With the wave of a judge’s magic wand, I found myself single after 31 years and 11 months.
At the tender age of 20, I had gone straight from my parents’ home to my husband’s home.
At 51, I had to learn to live with and by myself.
I left the Midwest and moved to Jacksonville, Florida, to be near my adult son. He helped me find a house and taught me to navigate the streets of a large city. He also dried my tears.
Lots of tears.
Eventually, I learned to enjoy aspects of my new life. No sharing the remote. No one complaining about my beloved dogs. The tears began to dissipate, and I realized I wanted to date. But how does one go about dating without a high school friend to ask a cute guy, Do you like Janie? She likes you. Do you want to go to prom with her?
I hoped I’d find a single man in church, but the churches held married men, most of them elderly. I didn’t know anyone who could introduce me to a nice man, or set me up on a blind date. No way would I go on a man hunt in a bar. Not my style.
Then my nephew suggested a free online dating site. He had discovered a very nice woman there. They had married. It took me a while to find the courage to put my profile online. In fact, it took me four years.
About a year ago (April, 2013), loneliness finally gave me the audacity to put my photo and some facts about myself on the dating site. I used a pseudonym, created a special private email address so suitors who were strangers could contact me, and didn’t post any information that might be too personal.
I started “man shopping” as soon as my profile went live. It didn’t take long to find a fellow who seemed interesting and intelligent. I reached out to him. We chatted through instant messaging for a bit. He seemed nice enough, but I wanted to take a look at some other fish in the sea.
I messaged some men; some men messaged me. Then, I received an email from the first man I had contacted. He asked me to have lunch with him! He offered to pay! Oh, the excitement of a possible first date!
But did I really want this particular man?
I read his profile over and over and studied his photo. He looked somewhat familiar. Then I realized why I recognized him. He looked like Captain Kangaroo! I couldn’t go out with the Captain. He might bring along Grandfather Clock and read me a story. I answered his email with a “No, I’m too busy right now”. Too busy! Huh! Too busy being lonesome.