When I divorced, I swore off men forever and for all eternity, whichever came last. Then, I came to my senses and realized that I am not the Lone Wolf type and decided that, while I wouldn't necessarily pursue dating, if the opportunity came along, I wouldn't necessarily say no. I was not hopeful, given that at the time of my divorce I was FORTY and the mother of three small children, and who in their right mind would take that on when there are gaggles of childless nymphs in their 20s for the taking?
I met D (as he will be known, since I haven't gotten his permission to use his name for entertainment purposes), my now-husband, in high school lo these many years ago. I didn't know him well, but he did have the most transcendent strawberry-blonde mullet I'd ever seen. I remembered his name when he friended me on Facebook, and then I ran into him at a Prince Purple Rain party shortly before my infamous return to my childhood state of Indiana. We became friends, and started walking together, a lot, for the eight or nine months after my return. His company helped me deal with the loneliness of being a middle-aged mom in a new town during times when my children were with their father. He listened as I babbled on about money worries, juggling a job and kids alone, and about how thrilled I was to be rid of the ex.
Just after Christmas five years ago, we went on our first real date. At the time, I wasn't aware it was a date. He sort of tricked me into it, being a smooth kind of guy. We went to a Reds caravan down in Bloomington, and my first hint it was a date was his insistence on paying the bill. Uh oh. Classic date maneuver. A few days later, he came over to my place and we watched movies until 4 am. He held my hand, and I felt like a 16-year-old.
Yada, yada, yada, we married three and a half years later in a beach wedding in my beloved Massachusetts. It was a perfect day with friends and my three kiddos.
I didn't think I'd find love in middle age, and I can say it's wonderful. D is patient, kind, and lovely. I'm a terrible slob and klutz and scatterbrain, but he accepts me just as I am. He has never once put me down or yelled at me, even though I do myriad stupid things on a daily basis. He has embraced my crazy children and is incredibly supportive of them. He brings a calm and a peace to my home that wasn't here before.
As we head into the new year, I can honestly say that I am so glad I softened my man-hating heart so I can spend this fifth New Year's Eve with my Cute Husband, who doesn't mind that I love entertaining and the mess/expense that comes with my annual Wine Chugging NYE Party and Jamboree. I look forward to a lifetime (or, at this point probably a half a lifetime) of new years with this guy, and hope all of you have the same.
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and high school English/Journalism teacher. Her first novel, Cate in Flux, was released December 10! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.