Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spin Cycle: Dating: Breaking all the rules

OK, Garret, this is a repeat, just to warn you. :)

I had to learn to be single again. After being married for 23 years and together with my ex for 27 years, I found myself suddenly single. It was NOT a journey I was ready, willing or able to take! I was married for so long, I didn't know how to be single!

Where in the hell does a nearly 50 year old woman go to meet men her age?

I re-joined a bowling league after not bowling for nearly 10 years. I joined a mixed league. I sucked at bowling. I used to be a fairly decent bowler. My average on my return was 110 and it never got any better. The good guys in the league were all married and their wives were also on the league (not that I'd go after a married guy! hell, that's why I'm not married any more. someone didn't care about marital status) The unmarried guys were either too young, too old or just not for me. I stuck it out for the remainder to the year but didn't go back.

NOW what do I do?

I'd been playing with and yahoo personals and basically finding married guys who want to have sex with any female who isn't their wife.

Or the scammers who are widowed (wife always dies tragically in a car crash) with a young teenage son, and has a great job... only right now he's in West Africa. sigh. I found tons of them.

Then I fell onto a site call True Beginnings. I don't even know how I found it. Free for 3 days. I was on there for about 3 months, I think. I got my weekly list of 12 or so guys who fit my criteria. I was always way too insecure to make any first moves!

Then one night, I get an email from a prospect. He tells me "Thanks for the wink." uh. wink? I didn't send anyone a wink. So, for fun, I check him out. Raised catholic, one of 7 kids, retired Army, 2 boys, 1 girl, lives in my county, getting divorced. Not looking for a relationship, just wants to have fun. He's the opposite of me!

So I reply to the email. Um, I didn't send you a wink, but Hi! We email back and forth for a few weeks. We try to get in a private chat room to talk, but we can't get it working.

So, he says here's my HOME PHONE NUMBER! Call me! Home phone number is HUGE! Home phone number means he most likely really is getting divorced!
So after a few days of being nervous, I call him. We talk on the phone for 3+ hours! He has so many stories! He seems really interesting. We do the phone thing for a few weeks, each time tying up the line for 1.5+ hrs each time.

After a couple of weeks of this, we decide to meet. I tell him, this is where I work. You can come in and if you don't like what you see, you can leave and I'll never know you were there.
So, one Saturday, the hostess says, "Joan, you had a request." I go to the table, and it's him! He looks a lot like his photo. He orders a drink and a snack and I sit and chat when I can.

He asks me out for dinner and a movie, that night. Ok, but I need to go home and get changed.

This is where I break all the rules. I allowed him to follow me home. Then, I go upstairs and take a shower! As I get in the shower, I'm thinking, JOAN! WTF is wrong with you?? I'm quick about getting ready. I go back downstairs and there he is, right where I left him! A gentleman! I breathe a big sigh of relief.

So we decide that I'll drive since I know the area. Dinner at Red Lobster and a afterwards, a movie (The Night Talker with Robin Williams). At the movies, he holds my hand. I like this.

We go back to my house and again, I invite him in because it's still fairly early. We watch (ok, we sort of watched) V For Vendetta. He kissed me. ZING!! I don't know if it's because it's been a while since a man kissed me but WOW!! I'm really liking this!
That night, except for when my teenager came in and completely freaked out, we ended up talking until nearly 4 am.

We've been together ever since. August 5 will be 3 years. I thought I wanted to just meet someone and get married again because that's what I knew. Now? I'm in no hurry. I don't want to lose my spousal support (aka alimony... I earned it! just the 6 years I worked for my ex for no pay alone qualifies). Also, if I wait until after I turn 60 (which is less than a year after the support runs out) I'll still get the ex's social security which is twice what I'd get for mine.

So this arrangement is working fine, except I wish we lived closer.
If I had to do anything over again, I'd have not invited John to my house for several months. I'd have kept him and my teenager apart for a while. Who know? Maybe she wouldn't hate him so much if I had done that? Nah.

Hey! Want to join in the fun? Why not check out Sprite's Keeper for details. Jen gives us a topic each Friday and we have a week to spin a tale about whatever she wants to talk about! She posts links to everyone's spin on Friday so you can read what other people have to say!


Jan said...

With teenagers, who can tell? Beloved and I were very circumspect, and his daughters still hated me for a long time (we're on much better terms these days).

Nor do I blame you for not wanting to get married. Beloved and I knew each other for 6 years before we decided to get engaged, and waited another 3 before we actually tied the knot.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm a sucker for a good love story, and you really deliver. Even though I already knew how you met and all, it still makes me all choked up - please add that to my list from yesterday's comment. It's so encouraging to know that sometimes the happiness you deserve finds you, even if it is a bit later!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Joanie, I've said it before, I love your stories! Especially the ones with happy endings! So sweet how you found each other, and a true success story in a world where I usually hear such horrible ones. LOVE IT!
You're linked!

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Thanks for this post. You definitely give me hope!

Jim and Garret said...

Well, I certainly hope nothing was a repeat in this post since I skipped it and went right to the comments. Thanks for the heads up. Would it have been a repeat or more like a tripeat? OK, that's not a word.


Joanie M said...

Tripeat definitely. Sorry... not a lot of experience dating since the last time I had to start anew I was 21. So the John story has to do. :)

mo.stoneskin said...

Nawww that's a lovely story. So did you ever discover why he thought you winked?

Kaylen said...

wow, happy ending!! I thought it was going to go a different direction...met online and still together five years later?
And omg, you let him follow you home?? That breaks all the internet dating rules!! Love that you took the risk, love that it worked out so well.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

That's a great story. and I think your daughter would have hated anyone?

Alix said...

An oldie but a goodie. I love that post. You know Larry and I found each other online. I should blog about it sometime. Fun story.

Rachel said...

*sniff* I love the way he held your hand on your first date in a gentlemanly fashion.

Joanie M said...

I guess I left out the makeout session. hehehehe

Mama Badger said...

Way too darn cute! And the teenager gives it just the twist it needs to be real.

Anonymous said...

I feel like such a girl reading this! Me feeling like a girl is NOT common (not that I'm manly or anything, I just don't really ever get teary eyed and stuff like that)

You don't know how amazing it is for someone like me-young, not sure about marriage/love/kids/all that junk- to read this story. To see that at any age, no matter how long or short the road, one can find an amazing person with whom to just share moments.

I am so happy for you. I am happy you shared this with us.

Fantabulous spin!
I'm going to do something tough now! LoL

Casey said...

I'm so glad you found someone on your second go around with dating. I didn't meet my husband until I was 26 and even that felt like forever, I just wouldn't know where to start if I ever ended up being single again.

I hope your daughter comes around, I'm sure she will once she realizes how happy you are now!