Dating After Divorce

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I know it is too soon for any sort of serious relationship. Realize, please, that I am mindful of this fact and think about what a mistake it would be to even consider the thought after all I have been through with B and my total lack of trust of men and myself. That said, with eyes wide open I have entered the dating world…and I think it probably sucks more than I thought it would.

Gracie was gone for a week so I made myself a promise that I would at least go out once and dip my big toe it the water…turns out that I stuck my entire foot into the pond.

Date #1. I had my doubts before even leaving the house for coffee…I should have listened. He was nice enough and so is his mother, I gather. He lives with her after a temporary financial setback.

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Date #2. A real Casanova this one but there was real chemistry…dangerous chemistry. Light your hair on fire chemistry BUT a rich man with no allegiance to anyone but himself. And so I came home, took a cold shower, and went to bed by myself.

Date #3. Didn’t look like his picture…need I say more?

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Date #4. Nice enough man with a history of a nervous breakdown. This girl has been a care taker all her life. Doesn’t want to be one again and is eliminating any man in which I see any possibility of reassuming that role.

One nice thing about dating is that after a tearing down of my ego for years it is rapidly being replenished. Each man I have been out with has said the same thing: You are easy and wonderful to talk to, You are pretty, You are intelligent. You are a happy fun person to be around. Guess what? I am beginning to believe them!

This weekend I have a date with a seemingly nice man who is driving all the way from Reno to meet me and will stay with his friends in a town nearby, He makes me laugh until I almost pee my pants….that’s a good thing, right!

And so I have ventured into single life kicking and screaming all the way but who knows, maybe there is someone out there for me…a damaged by divorce 59 year old woman who is finally happy to be just where she is at in life!

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Funny The Things We “Think” When We Leave

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I arrived back in California early in the morning. I had nothing at my home. No beds, no chairs, no spoons…no nothing… except lots of memories and heartache. This is the house where I first separated from B and the place I would leave in order to “rekindle” my hopes and dreams about our marriage. And it hurts to know that soon I will return as single person after 32 years of togetherness tricked into believing in a carefully crafted mirage. But I digress…

The only thing that was open at 12:30 a.m.  was a Walmart in a town about an hour away from my house.  I stopped. If you have ever been to a Walmart at that time of the day it is depressing. The buzz of the automatic floor cleaners greeted me while nary a person could be found. Silence permeated a place that usually roars during the hours of 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. It reminded me of the hours that teens spend locked away in their rooms avoiding their parents.

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I wandered through the aisles in a daze…on a autopilot…aware…but not really…of what I was doing. It was as if I was looking through glass…seeing the light shining through but what was behind the glass was GONE. There was nothing to look back on and no future to look towards. Just a vast empty place…the place where my heart once beat rapidly whenever I saw B. A place of comfort and security. A place that no longer existed except inside my head.

Soon I came to the aisle loaded with dishes, cups, and silverware of every shape and color. I picked up one of each thing to put in my cart and then, just as quickly, put them back onto the shelf. I just couldn’t commit to anything permanent. The bowl in my left hand seemed too weighty, too purposeful. Even though this is what I needed…TO BE GONE…it didn’t seem real and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted it to be true yet. It felt like a commitment to being forever single and baking lots of bread that I cold never consume all by myself.

“Maybe living back in my fantasy of how it once was is better than how it is now,” I thought as I fought back tears.

So I headed over to the paper goods with a mission. It’s a place full of throwaways…things to dispose of…items not to be kept forever… just like my marriage. It felt comfortable but sad. Cheap plastic cutlery, paper plates, and red DiXIE SOLO cups stared me down. I picked them up, the weight of them almost bringing me to my knees. I went to the self-check out (a very lonely place at 1 a.m.) and scanned each item checking my cart for any items left behind. All I saw was my heart, lifeless and barely pulsating….  according to B it wasn’t worth much… so I left it there at checkout #8 quivering on the conveyor belt. After bagging my necessities, I headed out the door with my twin-sized blow up mattress. It sat high in my cart advertising my new single status like a Vegas neon sign to the homeless man and his dog sitting at the cart return.

Two days later I felt stronger and headed down the mountain to Goodwill. There I found some 1980’s juice glasses, a variety of mis-matched silverware, and a nice set of four matching bowls. This I could do. It made my departure a little more real but not so real as to overwhelm me. This GONE thing was becoming more doable. Yet, I am homesick…missing my children and feeling guilty for “Abandoning” them…when I really haven’t.

Three days later I was feeling even stronger and more sure of my decision then ever. I was contemplating buying a matching set of dishes at a store a step up from Goodwill. The fact that a complete set of dishes is now a thought although not yet a reality is encouraging. For picking out a set of dishes signifies permanence to me and I have not felt quite ready to admit defeat. But each day I am stepping out and dipping my big toe a little deeper into my new life. It is a re-birth and it takes time. And this time around I want to craft a life for myself that is purposeful and meaningful in all areas of my existence…emotional, physical and spiritual. And while Goodwill is a good place to start this adventure… I know I do not want to begin with the left-overs of others. This time I will choose exactly what I need and want to nurture myself and my new beginning. I deserve to give this time to myself and I will. For I am worth it.