I seldom think about this unless I am fighting for my 8 inches of a queen size bed or unless someone brings it up. Remember two years ago when certain someones decided a decade of widowhood was enough for me and that I should be back out on the market? Yeah....that worked out well. The blog documentation alone of my near dating experience was enough to quiet the masses for a while and steer thoughts of finding a soul mate far from my mind.
I will admit that curiosity has gotten the better of me though and I did do a little research on widowhood and remarriage. The information was a little unsettling. According to several studies.....women who are widowed at a young or youngish age (25-45) usually have remarried within 1-5 years. The average is about 3. I was widowed at 38 and I have barely shook hands let alone remarried or anything in between. On further reading....it is not until you get to the 59+ year old widows, that you find that they either remain unmarried permanently or they stay that way for a good 10-15 years. Apparently after that all bets are off and there are a bunch of 70-75 year old newley weds running around. At any rate....according to the statistics....I am a statistical anomaly. Like this surprises anyone. Twelve years out and I haven't even been on a date. Well...there was that one breakfast that ended before it started.....so it hardly classifies as a date anyway. It was more of an altercation bordering on misdemeanor assault by use of fake personality and really bad pick up lines. I guess you had to have been there. I'm still sorry I was.
So as I said....I really don't think much about this stuff until it is brought up to me. I guess with spring trying to be in bloom.....spring fever is starting to work its magic and there are those long time marrieds that think I need to be as married as they are. Why not? It makes it easier to play bridge....if you play bridge. I don't. It also gets you invited to a lot more couples gatherings....if you like that sort of thing. I usually don't. In short....it makes your married friends lives easier. Perhaps this is why a friend approached me recently telling me that I really should think about dating again. If the look on my face was any reflection of what the word "dating" does to me emotionally.....she would have turned and run without another word. My guess is though....my poker face is better than I realized. She continued on with her prattle about twelve years being long enough and some other jibberish which I had almost completely tuned out after the word dating was originally spoken. However, I immediately popped to attention when she said....."I am sure we (meaning her and her band of well intentioned married friends, whose goal in life is to set up any woman who has been single, divorced or widowed for more than five minutes) can find someone for you." I froze in place as she continued on about this guy or that guy she knew....."very nice, still lives with his mother and loves cats and interior design," or ......"he's a keeper. Been married five times and loves the bar scene." I think the infatic "NO!" that came from the very depths of my soul and charged out my mouth, startled her. I had seen some of the guys my friends thought I would be a good match with. One thought it might be nice if I felt taller (I am 5'1"), so she pointed out a guy that I had a good 3 inches on. Sorry....but no! Then there was the guy that looked like Napoleon Dynamites uncle. He talked like him to. He was all about his glory days of high school football and how he could have been a football god had he just not blown his knee out. In ten minutes I had heard everything there was to know about his legendary football status at his high school....30 years ago, and he had never even asked me my name. Really? This is who my friends think I would be suitably matched with?
So my friend then asked the unthinkable question. "Why.....have I not gone on a real date in twelve years?" When the word "afraid" slipped through my lips....I wondered why honesty had chosen this moment to rear its ugly head and why it had to be in front of this particular person? Yee gads! Then I got to hear the old "get back on that horse" and "it's like a bicycle...you never forget" platitudes. Little did she know....I never rode a horse and I wasn't very good on a bicycle either. Then she said...."You are just too picky. You want Brad Pitt in a Danny Devito world." Grrrrr.....that was it. In my mind she was immediately demoted from friend to acquaintance. If only she knew the consequences of that mental demotion.
The fact is....I am not looking for Brad Pitt, after all, I am no Angelina Jolie, but perhaps I am rather picky. I will give the girl that. Which led to another interesting conversation with another friend just a day or so later. Again....not the topic of my choice, but hers. She too was worried about my love life or lack there of. After 30+ years of wedded "bliss" she too wanted me wedded and bedded (her words) before there was nothing left to wed or bed. She too called me picky. Twice in almost as many days. It was time to defend myself....for whatever reason. Picky is not a bad thing. In fact it is the difference between having someone you cherish and simply settling. In my early years.....I settled for more than one boyfriend, but my marriage and the man I married....I cherished. I want nothing less now. I told her that I want to feel my heart skip a beat when I am around him and I want my palms to sweat and each kiss to feel like first one. More importantly though.....I want someone whose heart skips a beat and whose palms go sweaty when I am around. I want someone who to them....I am the most beautiful woman in the world and that together....we share our last first kiss. Said friend then cut me short saying, "All that romantic stuff is for teenagers. You my friend are no teenager. You need to get real and find yourself a real life man and stop waiting for some imaginary Prince Charming." And with that....she too became emotionally demoted. I simply gotta quit talking to people about this stuff.
So maybe I am just dreaming. Maybe this person that I seem to be holding out for doesn't even exist. So what? The fact is that I don't need a man to survive. I think the last twelve years has proven this. I also don't need a man to grow old with. I am growing old just fine on my own. In fact....there really is no need involved. However....there might be a want hidden in there. Several in fact. I want someone who makes me laugh. I want someone who makes my knees weak and makes me feel desirable. I want someone enough like me to keep things fun and different enough from me to keep things interesting. I want to eventually share my bed with something more than three dogs. Apparently though....either this guy only exists in my overworked imagination.....or he is already taken. Whatever the case.....he and I have yet to cross paths.
Finally my newly demoted acquaintance who seemed to be at her wits end with me and my ridiculous list of wants....especially when in her mind my need list was far more important, asked me...."How in the hell (her word not mine) do you ever expect to find anyone you want or need....if you won't even go on a damn date?" Now logic like that just pisses me off. I should so demote her further, but I don't think there is anything under acquaintance. And so...when I have no witty come back nor scathingly brilliant reply......I simply shut my mouth and quietly ponder the facts.