I was tickled by a friend who was talking about having to start over the relational part of her life in her early 30’s, entering the dating “game” as it now appears to be called, and going through the process of being found by the right man. I loudly laughed at her as she was talking about being “too old for that”, until it dawned on me that I’m nearly 10 years older than she, and in the same boat, just floating at a slower pace.
My last “first date” was in 1999 when I met my ex-husband at a Chinese restaurant to talk about church business. What a “spicy” first date. I should have known then that that would be the focus of our courtship and marriage. All-in-all, I’m grateful. I guess we could have been meeting to talk about illegal drugs or illicit affairs so, even ending in divorce, it could have been worse. After my divorce in 2010, I waited a while and did what I’m coming to find out is typical for a lot of persons experiencing divorce. I started dating someone I had already dated just before that last “first date” in 1999. (I know, yikes!)
I have no complaints from that dissolved relationship either because I learned so much about me, the “new, improved, ‘been there, done that’, I know what I want, need, can offer and deserve” me. I also made great memories, was ushered into an affection for football (even though he liked Auburn), was able to finally put a neatly wrapped bow on a movie ready love story and truly think I was able to walk the path to healing to be ready for what’s next. But when that relationship amicably ended several months ago I was stuck with the thought of…a first date in my 40s? Really?
Some of you might need to close your eyes to what I’m going to say next, but a certain family member would always tell me growing up to “always keep a spare tire”. I know this person wasn’t referring to marriage, but in courtships. I don’t, in any way think that this was this person’s way of telling me to be “fast in the pants” as they would say in the 70s and 80s. This senior sage must have known that my choices in boys/men were not always the best, hence the sense of knowing they wouldn’t be around for too long, they would be around long enough to serve a purpose or they would be around for far too long and needed to be gone. This Mr. Miyagi to my Danielson must have also known that life is full of twists and turns and I should always keep my heart and mind open to growth and change (as in changing a tire…lol!). Anywho, after dating my “do-over” guy following my divorce I’d exhausted all of the men that I ever wondered whether or not another shot would work. Don’t get me wrong. There were some left over, just none I wondered about. So just like that the tire was flat and the trunk was empty. I should insert “thank God” right there! I remember telling my best friend of the break up with my “do-over” guy and she said, “Girl, you mean to tell me you don’t have anybody else left.” Sadly, happily, and scarily at the same time I said, “Nope.”
So here I am 42, without a clue as to how to date 21st century-style, but fully prepared to learn and add my own Godly girl with a southern twist to it. I don’t like talking on the phone to my friendgirls, so the thought of returning to my teen habit of whispering sweet nothings during the wee hours of the night to a gentleman on the other end of my new iPhone tickles me. I don’t like the popular new word “bae” as my mind often goes to “sitting by the dock of” or San Francisco when I hear it. I’ve not met a family for the first time since Lauren Hill and Will Smith won big at the MTV awards. I’ve not had to figure out whether someone likes pork or beef, Pepsi or Coke, or spaghetti with meatballs or meat sauce since the Slim Shady LP dropped. I haven’t had to wonder whether he can dance or if he gets my relationship with wigs and dining out since Susan Lucci won her first daytime Emmy. I haven’t had to pull out my private investigator, street degree and research a man’s background since, well, never mind. I digress, but I shall continue.
Anywho, the world has evolved so much since my last first date. Thankfully so have I. My “must have list” looks so much different than it once did, which I guess makes now (or whenever it happens) the perfect time to meet the perfect person for me. So, I’m pacing myself, handling my business, working on me, waiting on the right one and preparing to proceed with caution and excitement on this new journey. If nothing more it gives me lots to write about and even more to laugh about. A first date in my 40s? Really? Who would have thunk it? I guess God did! I’ll keep you posted!