Mark (my new dog!) and I have been getting to know one another, and what a goofy joy he is. He even has his own Facebook page now!
I have been single now since 2008, when a 15 year relationship ended with a betrayal that took me several years and several thousand dollars to recover from. I had dated here and there, but when you're over 50 and over a size 2, well...let's just say it's pretty grim. Most men in my age group are either divorced and bitter with no intention of ever getting in a long-term relationship...much less (gasp!) re-marriage, or just really, really, REALLY weird. Really.
Some of my more memorable dates and online dating experiences have included:
- the fork-licker. When our entrees arrived, he licked the salad dressing off of his fork as if it were a lollipop
- "separated men" who "...live in half a duplex I own and my wife and kids live in the other half"
- divorced men who "still vacation with my ex and my sons" . The sons in question are both over 20...I suggested to him that if his ex was still so great they vacationed together, he should just re-marry her and recoup the tax breaks. Heh.
- men who made it clear they wouldn't date plus-sized women, yet had breasts larger than mine.
- men who didn't want to date with an eye toward a possible relationship, but who wanted to "hang out". Translation - they wanted to eat my food, drink my wine, sleep with me, and then leave.
- men who made fun of me because I use cloth napkins and actual china when I serve meals
- the man who gave me the full-court press for 3 months and then just as I was starting to fall, decided to go back to his former girlfriend - with whom he had only broken up with about a week before I met him. Funny how that never came up in conversation. Heh.
You get the picture - I'll spare you the other gory details.
After adopting Mark, I made up my mind that this is how it would be. I would be single and I would have a pretty good job and I would knit and read and cook my way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and I would take day trips and I'd paint and have a life that was about the same (and probably better, actually) than the lives of most 50-something women. I finally made peace with myself and the fact that I would be single from here on out.
I had a lot on my plate health-wise. I was diagnosed with acute anemia in March. I had hired a personal trainer last August and when my progress started reversing seriously, she made me promise to see a doctor. Thankfully, I listened and with the help of a series of iron infusions, I was able to recover quickly and get back on track.
Around the time I was in the middle of my iron infusions, I received an email from a man with whom I had briefly exchanged a few messages on an online dating site. He asked if we could meet for dinner. I told him I wasn't really up to meeting anyone because of my health issues, but that we could write and text. We did for a while, and then he asked if he could call me. I thought "what the heck - why not?", so he did. He was very polite and we could talk and text about a lot of things. He was a reader and had a great vocabulary, used proper punctuation (hey - we all have our turn-ons, right? Hah!) and was employed. Divorced for 13 years, he had 3 grown sons - 26, 23 and 18 - whom he had raised on his own. He lived about 80 miles away in NY state (for those of you who have not had the distinct fun of online dating, a distance of 80 miles is practically next door).
After we had been communicating for a while, he asked again if we could meet for dinner. By this time, I felt really good and healthy, so I said yes. I figured it would end the same way as before - dinner, some laughs, and then he'd move on to find someone closer/thinner/younger/whatever.
That was 6 months ago, and now we have a year plan for him to relocate and move in with me. I still can't believe it, sometimes. He's the kind of man who texts you the video of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" while you're at your office Christmas party. He thinks driving 80 miles to be with me is nothing (not to mention getting up at 4AM on Monday morning to be at work back in NY state at 5:30AM) He brings me my tea in bed when he's here. He loves Mark (and the feeling is mutual) He's real. He's a big, hairy mean-looking Irishman (his words) who treats me like I am made of fine crystal.
All I want for Christmas - I have. In spades.
This year - Christmas decorating is traditional and features polar bears. Jay loves them and I wanted my tree to make him feel like this is his home, too.
This candy cane topper was all over social media (as a wreath), and I have to say it turned out beautifully
I am linking up at: