Swiping Right

A month or so ago – a few months into my single status – I was evaluating my life and past relationships…as I often do. I am completely content with my family dynamic as is. And I want it to stay that way. I/we need it to stay that way. But I know that I like companionship. That is how I am wired.

I was reflecting on my “single life” back just after Brayden’s father passed (roughly 8 years ago). After about a year or so of healing, I started dating. On-line dating. It was a shit show. And that is putting it mildly. I was looking for people outside my circle and I was looking for love (insert eye-roll). Needless to say, I did not find it. What I did find was dates…and when I pluralize this, I am doing so meaning several different people. Not several dates with one person. With two exceptions. I think I made it to two or three dates with “Mr. Disney” (yes, I nicknamed them all). If you read this Mr. Disney, correct me if I am wrong about that number. He, long after our date(s), did end up moving down to Florida, getting a job at Disney World and proposed to his wife in front of Cinderella’s castle!!! I dubbed him properly…and that’s a little too Disney in a mate for my liking. I wish him the best! We are still friends. As I am with “The Hawaii Guy”. We actually made it to more than one or two dates…maybe five or so? I finally had to ask him to give me our first kiss goodbye on what would be our next-to-last date in the parking lot of the restaurant…as he was NEVER going to make the first move!! Why his nickname? On what would be our last date, he finally suggested that we do something other than just meet for a drink and a bite at a local restaurant after he got out out of work (finally, yay!!!). He lived in or around Manchester, I think, and it was about an hour long date each time before he headed home right after. He suggested maybe a walk, so we headed to Gonic Trails for a stroll. Which would leave him half way into the hike letting me know he had a work trip to Hawaii coming up and he had decided he was bringing his WIFE!!! Yes, wife. They were living separately for a long time, but never signed papers….and he felt guilty that in their nearly twenty years together he never took her on a nice vacation because he was too busy working. Nice time to be a good husband (insert another eye-roll). So, we spent the time walking out of the trails with me explaining to Mr. Hawaii that if there is room for a vacation with a wife in his life, there is no room for One Date Wendy. Yes, I earned my own nickname, too.

Then there was the Prius Guy, the Too Many Martinis Guy, the Comma Guy, the T-Rex Guy (mean…but his arms couldn’t reach around me for a hug…pre-covid…don’t fret). And countless others including ones that never even made it to the One Date because, gentleman, girls don’t want dick pics. Not this one anyway. (Sorry Mom and Dad…and kids…it happens).

Sooooo….. After some thinking and discussing with a few close to me recently, we thought…how fun would it be to go on some pre-determined disaster dates from an online connections…and write about them? I am not looking for love this time. Keep that L word away from me! I just wanted F. Fun, kids, get your heads outta the gutter….

First it was POF. Plenty of Fish. I crafted my clever little profile…found some pics of mine that were unfiltered…except one cartoonish pic I thought was cute…took a few “real” selfies and posted.

“Testing the water”

Me

Newly single

Looking for friendship and company for a date(s)

Four kids, all grown but one

Two dogs

Allergic to cats

Tries to be on time… I fail a lot

Always finds the silver lining

Has baggage

Tries to be healthy… I still fail a lot

I dish it out, and can take it

Independent… sometimes to a fault

My family is my everything

You

Not looking for a heavy relationship right now

Understands a single mom’s responsibilities 

Likes dogs

Are smart and well spoken, calm and kind

Respects and maintains your health

Can be respectfully sarcastic

Have your life on track and are independent 

Take care of and are involved with your children

Wendy via POF

Clearly the ratio of men to women is way off. I definitely had the upper hand. I have since learned that the actual ratio is 7-10:1 in my favor depending on the site! My inbox was flooded immediately. About a week later I expanded my quest for a dinner date and blog material to Tinder. Yes, I know the stigma of this app…but I made it clear in my profile (which I have since learned a lot don’t bother to read) that a “hook-up” was not my intent. The pool here is FAR better than that on POF…if anyone wants to know.

And an even better pool is that of Facebook. For those of you that don’t know, Facebook has a dating app connected to your page that will not introduce you to people on your friends list. It will, however, show mutual friends. You’re welcome.

All that being said, I have been on several dates this time around, from all platforms with a different mindset than years gone by. I am no longer disappointed on my way home (except once…I was pissed! But after a few apologies and days, I let it, and him, go). Sometimes it was nice, sometimes very nice, sometimes I was just amused. Please know that I am upfront with everyone that there is a fortress around my home and family. These are just dates for a a bite, drink and conversation…and a potential blog post. And, hopefully, some chemistry, so we can do it again. This time around there has been Short Stuff, Captain Quiet Time, the Local Contractor, the Married One….the Other Married One (You can’t make this shit up), and Ancient Greece. Not to mention a good amount of fun conversations that still linger on right now for a possible future meeting. Some I had to block. In doing this type of dating, you have to be open to the idea that you will meet all kinds of people. Most are respectful. Some are not. One conversation that was tough had the guy belittling me and my photos claiming I was misrepresenting myself (before even meeting me). He was criticizing my weight, my filters (which I had none )…crazy mo-fo…and when I think about it even now, it still rattles me a bit. He was so mean. I hate to think what would happen if he gets his hands on a lady with already low self-esteem…that will be a whole separate blog. I deleted and moved on…knowing some people are just assholes.

Moving forward, I believe I have decided, along with continuing this journey, I will do a more detailed account of each date…what led up to it and what actually transpired. This being encouraged by loved ones (who might want to refrain from reading!!). I would do this by individual blog posts…on another site…anonymously. So, that being said, if you see an account out there in the blogging world detailing these types of events…it might just be me…or not. You decide.

Thank you, my few people, that have been taking (and encouraging) this ride with me! Buckle up for more…

Clearing the Blog Fog…

us

I sit here with all sorts of thoughts running through my head (which if you know me…is pretty typical) and not sure what direction to go in for a blog. I just knew it was time to write.

I re-read my “about me” section this morning and over the past few weeks have visited some of my older posts. It’s fun (and a little scary) to look back and see where my head was at on those days and at those times. I’m glad I get to see my journey and growth through grief and dating dilemmas sprinkled with who I am at the core, a Mommy…with a passion for cooking.

I am happy to say (ok, more like ecstatic) that my dating is now not a dilemma…and my grief and pain is being lessened and eased. This man who was right under my nose has unexpectedly put his arms around me and made me feel, for the first time in my adult life, that I have someone to lean on. Lean on and not fall flat on my face. Safe. Effortlessly he is healing wounds that I thought were just a part of who I was and learned to just carry on with. There is no possible way I can fully describe how that feels.

Our relationship is still new. Filled with butterflies in the tummy and goodnight kisses that last hours.  Filled with laughter.  Lots of laughter.  Filled with learning what each other likes and dislikes, wants and needs. Funny, we spent the early weeks after our first tequila tainted kiss getting to know each other by texting question after question. We wanted to know everything about each other. How do you like your eggs? Steak? Coffee? Movie type? Beach or lake? Mayo or mustard? Hours and hours of this. I think we know more about each other than many people dating years.

Our relationship is also mature. We have been catapulted into squeezing as much as we can into the times that we have. Between chemo treatments and obvious side effects and looking at a date in September that is going to drastically change things for a time. We are left with a seriousness and a fast track in our bonding. Again, effortlessly. It’s allowing me to see how this sweetest and sincerest man I know can handle such adversity…and it’s pretty impressive. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the softness and strength that exists at the same time within the same person.

This September date coming up will be a Stem Cell Transplant. The Cure. Buh-bye Leukemia. I knew nothing about this procedure before…and it’s still something I am gathering information about as I go. I also realize that there are not a whole lot of blogs about it and what’s out there is a lot of medical mumbo-jumbo that an inexperienced person like me doesn’t fully understand (Wheels spinning… cancerdotcalm.com?). I am happy I will be joining him to the next big visits so I can understand a little better…both what he will go through and what to expect.

So, I guess where my blog was going is that I found a love I didn’t know existed in a man that already existed in my life. He is doing incredible things for me and has incredible things to go through. Our love story isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly okay (I’ll say this a million times).  He’s got this. We’ve got this.

The Beginning of a Love Story

28Life gaurdLifegaurd (Love) Shack, Short Sands, York, ME

I know with that headline in my blog…those reading are probably expecting a sarcastic little article here or think I am referring to one of my children.  However, (clearing my throat) I actually did meet a guy.  Well, technically, I have known him for years.  And technically again, I have met a lot of guys.  This guy, though, has not sent me running for the hills in a panic nor has he left me scratching my head wondering what the hell just happened as he darts off to a tropical location with his girlfriend and/or wife (Yes, two different guys, same experience…I never got to blog about. I assure you that both men were “unattached”, or so they said, when an interest was sparked). Anyway, back to the Love Story.

It’s only been a short time.  A very short time. But something’s different here.  And I mean different in the absolute best possible way imaginable.  And I also mean different in the absolute worst possible way imaginable.

Today he is in his hospital room at what we call the “Hotel” Mass General in Boston.  He and round three of chemo in one corner, Leukemia in the other.  He is fighting one hell of a fight.  The big “C” doesn’t stand a chance.

The beginning of our Love Story isn’t perfect, but that’s perfectly fine.  I am not sure if this is just going to be a summer romance that fizzles out, a love story turns horror story…or if it will be our Happily Ever After.  We both have broken roads that led us to where we are today…because of that we cherish every minute and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Pretty good combination if you ask me.

The following is a glimpse into the very Beginning of a Love Story.  Ours.