Category Archives: dating

Happy Non-Anniversary, Ex (reliving the date from hell)

Yesterday was the thirty-sixth non-anniversary of my marriage. My ex and I were married for eleven and a half years, legally. It was maybe an hour or so in reality.

No one wants to hear on a two day honeymoon that their beloved thought about not showing up for the wedding. He was the last member of the party to appear. The timing of  that statement being  uttered  is thankfully lost in time. It seems it was the first night of wedded bliss but I’m not entirely certain. The wedding ceremony was in the evening so it didn’t take him long to take off his mask.

There is a television show now that is called, “Who the bleep did I marry?” I think I’ve only managed to see one episode. I did not know who I was marrying. Not at all. The show is about people who marry without truly knowing their mate. Respect for my son has kept me from auditioning for the show. Of course, he wasn’t a mass murderer or armed robber or anything so my story would probably not be worthy of airing. He was just a sociopathic, bipolar, alcoholic con. But that’s just my personal opinion.

I will never regret marrying him because out of that union came a pretty great son. But that event was among a very short list of things for which I am grateful about that marriage.

I should have listened to my instincts and never even gone on that first date. We were supposed to double date with the couple who lived across the hall from me. The man was my ex’s client. My ex was a traveling salesman. My neighbor set us up. Things would have been different if I had listened to all those jokes about traveling salesmen. He could have been the poster boy.

The date was set up almost a month prior. I was told that my ex was going through a divorce and would like to meet someone. His divorce became final about a week before we met. I didn’t even give a thought to the idea of “rebound“. Big mistake. BIG

He did not confirm the time he was supposed to meet us. There was no word from him prior to that evening. I assumed he was not going to show. (Strike one) An hour past time I left my apartment for some fast food.  Another forty- five minutes past that there was a knock on the door. Instead of five  o’clock it was closer to seven. I opened it and saw my neighbor with a young man standing behind him.

The very first action my ex took was to start gazing at my head, down to my feet, and back up again. You know the look. The one which mentally calculates if someone is acceptable. (Strike two) I know my eyes narrowed but other than that I ignored it. My first instinct was to slam the door in his face. He already had two strikes against him.

I am too kind for my own good. I didn’t want to embarrass my neighbor since he had gone out of his way to fix me up. I decided to go to dinner with them.

My ex explained more to the neighbor than to me that he had forgotten. He was having drinks with my neighbor’s secretary when he remembered. (Strike three) Now if this were baseball, the game would be over. Oh, no, it was just beginning.

The four of us got into the car which my ex was driving. Before we even left the parking lot, he started cracking what used to be called “blue jokes“. I felt my neck reddening. I couldn’t even look at my neighbor’s wife. In the meantime the two men were laughing hysterically. (Strike four)

We arrived at the restaurant where my neighbor and ex start taking business while his wife and I just sat there mum  while being ignored. To talk over the two of them would have been talking too loudly. (Strike five) My ex examined the waitress and made an extremely inappropriate remark about her derriere or maybe it was her breasts. Again, I can no longer remember the exact utterance, but I remember hoping she certainly didn’t hear it. (Strike six) I played with the steak and tried to eat some of it but I was full of fast food hamburger and was filling up even more quickly with disgust. Much of it went home in a doggy bag. My ex didn’t care. He filed the date on his expense report anyway.

We finished the meal and headed back to the apartment. When we got upstairs, my neighbor invited us into their apartment to chat. During that eternal time, my ex decided  to educate my neighbor on the quality of ties. (Strike seven) He assured my neighbor that the more gold threads in the lining, the finer the tie. At that announcement, my neighbor proceeded to bring out every tie and together they examined the linings. Turns out, my ex did not know a thing about the quality of ties.  

Finally I faked a yawn and explained I had to prepare for school the next day. It was almost ten. By this time my ex had had time for some of the buzz to wear off. He walked me to my door directly across the hall. I was about to walk inside without even saying good bye. He asked me if I would like to go out to have a drink with him. I was shocked at the audacity of him to think I wanted to spend another minute in his presence.  I swear my first thought was, “I have had such a horrible evening with you I feel like I need a drink. You OWE me.” My roommate and I partied pretty hardy back in those early days of the 70s but we never kept any alcohol in the house. I NEEDED a drink. I have anger issues. I don’t let myself express it.  Alcohol helped.

That’s about the end of the story. I took him to the local place where my friends and I usually hung out. There were a few guys there who I knew. They started talking to me. I ignored my ex. That was enough for him to decide to turn on the charm. I swear he became another man. We drank. We danced. We laughed. I melted in his charm. I found myself enjoying his company. We left the bar and drove to the most romantic place in town to park. We sat and talked and I didn’t get home until 4 o’clock. By that time there were as many stars in my eyes as there were in the sky. He had me feeling so sorry for him when he recounted how his ex had cheated on him. He talked lovingly about his young son. He talked about the course in life he had laid out for himself. He tallked about the fact we were of the same German Lutheran background. He talked about his family. He created a picture of a wonderful man.  Charm and empathy…I erased all the strikes. Namaste. Attic Annie

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Sweet Dreams

When I find I can no longer sleep some early mornings at 3 or 4 and there are no good reruns on TV, I often come out to the computer. I sit in the dark except for the brightness of the screen. I check my email and my blog. Some times I play my mindless games. It is during those times that thoughts come unbidden into my consciousness. There is no filter. Both the good and the bad in my life float by the movie screen in my brain. Occasionally I think thoughts like, “That would make a good topic to blog” or “Why did that event happen that way?” or “Was there really a reason for that to happen?”

I was sitting here when I remembered a dream that has been recurring periodically over the past forty years. It pertains to a young man who I knew in between my fiance and my ex in my dating time span. He pretty much rocked my world. I was very smitten. We’re talking head over heels.

The encounter was brief. I had one last encounter with him after several months, it could have been a year, that I don’t remember. Out of the blue, he called and I invited him to visit at my apartment. We spent the evening talking together and then  he left.

I never heard from him again. I was dating other guys and I guess I kind of forgot about him. After the dream last week I decided to google him out of curiosity to see what I could find. I had already known that he had risen to a level of prominence in the legal community in our home town. When I went home to visit, it was not hard to hear news about him from another friend. I often fantasized about sitting in the back of the room and watching him work when I visited home, but I never had the nerve. What if he didn’t recognize me? or What if he did? What would I say?

I recently heard that he is retiring soon. In my google search I found an email address on his high school alumni site. On a whim I wrote a very casual note congratulating him on all his accomplishments. I said the area was lucky to have had his service for so many years. I mentioned still remembering the parties and some of the people I had met there  from our college days (to just kind of jolt his memory since I didn’t think he would even remember my name.)

I decided not to include anything too specific. I pressed the send button, wondering what he would think when he read it. Would he respond? Would he even remember? There was a twinge of conscience when I wondered if I should have sent it. Who might he have to explain such a note to in the event it went to his home?

Later that afternoon I received a postal delivery failure notice in my inbox. I didn’t have to worry about what would happen. The note was returned. The email address was no longer valid.

Of course I do not have the courage or any reason to call him and my next trip home will be after he retires. The chances of ever meeting him again socially are somewhere between 0 and none. But that’s ok. When we meet in my dreams I am still thin and young and quick to fall in love. I am vulnerable and open to the possibilities of love and life. And hope. I am full of hope for my future. The short time he was in my life, I sensed he was someone really special and would go far. I did not honestly feel I had the makings of the type of mate he would need in his climb.

Maybe it is better that way. He doesn’t enter my dreams very often, but when he does, it takes several days for him to leave again. But he eventually does leave, just like he did the last time I actually saw him. I bid him a fond fare thee well and God speed in this last stage of his life. Now if he’d just leave my dreams alone. Some people you just never forget. He is one. Namaste. Attic Annie

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Dressing for the prom, thanks to others

Photo by Michael Fortier

There are some people in town who are just plain nice…and caring.

A woman living in the northeast section of Tarrant County  in Richland Hills decided that the girls at the high school in her neighborhood should be able to attend this spring’s prom in style.

She started collecting new and gently used dresses wherever she could find them. She asked everybody including the girls at local universities. As a result, many girls who cannot afford to go to prom can now attend in style with a free dress. Prom dresses are similar to wedding dresses. They are usually worn once and then pushed to the back of closets. The dress has long been a symbol of American excess but one that almost every girl still desires.

People responded to her call. She received over 500 dresses and was able to briefly obtain the use of an empty storefront so the girls could come to pick out the one dress of their adolescent dreams.  Many of them still had original price tags. Once things started rolling, she also saw to the collection of make-up and shoes. Sometimes those special shoes can run as much as the dress. Of course, quite often, they, like the dress, are only worn for that one special occasion as well.

This woman, Janie Wood, is hoping to expand the program to the rest of Tarrant County next year. What makes this story special to me is that this woman is 72. It is a story of generations coming together and reaching out to help one another. I like that.

Of course Ms. Wood is not the first person to think of such an idea. In Naples, Florida, a promfest was held last month. In fact women and girls in cities all over the United States are realizing the practicality of such a project. There is even a national campaign going now to get girls all over the country who can afford to buy a new dress to donate it to the cause once it has been worn. There is even a web site that girls can go to in order to locate an event near their own homes.Visit http://www.donatemydress.org for more information.

In all this kindness, however, I see one more step that school administrators could take. There are always girls in every class who are never invited to the prom. They are the outsiders. I think we should turn back the clock to the time when everyone attended the prom, not just the girls who are dating a guy at the time. There are guys also who would love to go but can’t afford to rent the tux, or are too shy to say anything. Somehow guys should be included as well. Even for the guys who can’t afford it, dutch treating should be encouraged. No one who truly wishes to go to the prom should have a reason not to be included.

This “recession” is bringing out the best and the worst in us. It is forcing us to regain a long forgotten phrase called being practical. Actually, this phrase has religious and philosophical meanings.
In addressing the question more specifically, “being PRACTICAL in life” means one is grounded in the real world, in reality, facing and handling with real issues and problems, and being able to adapt and interface effectively in a variety of situations.

Fewer and fewer kids are able to ride the way their parents did in the 80s and 90s when they arrived in limousines rented for the evening. More and more of them no longer even own a car. We are seeing the results of decades of excess coming tumbling down on the heads of our children. If there are still families who are not living in the real world handling real situations, then it is about time they came into the now and started doing so. Their turns may very well be just around the next paycheck.

This recession with coinciding social change is bringing out the worst in an awful lot of people. But then you read stories like this in your own home town or watch TV shows where new houses are built for deserving neighbors and you still have a place in your heart where hope  lives that out of all this turmoil around us, peace and humaneness can somehow survive and flourish one dress, one home, one comforting hug at a time. At least that’s my dream.

Namaste. Attic Annie

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Goin’ fishin’ again on match sites…one last time

Hi there. Want something hot to drink? It sure will be nice when the mornings are a little warmer. I’ll not complain, however, because they will all too soon be very hot again. Soon and for a little while it will be “sit on the porch” time and then it will be summer cabin fever time. I hope the summer will not be as equally hot as the winter has been cold.

I’m a sucker when it comes to trying out match making sites. I do not come into contact with very many men in my daily routine. Several years ago in the 90s I tried match.com. I met a guy interested in friendship. Our friendship lasted about ten years. Platonic friendship. I’ve already talked about that tale.  Platonic was fine with me. I had no luck at all with eHarmony the first time I tried it about four years ago. They were running a three month special late last fall so I bit once again. I swallowed their spiel about being a relationship site rather than just a dating site. In four months (I forgot to cancel in time) I met one guy who was so exactly the opposite of me in my opinions that I was glad lunch was over. The second guy I saw for five dates but he called it off because of “no sparks”. I agreed with him but I kind of mourned the fact that we really did get along quite well together. If he had been looking for a great friend, we could have continued seeing each other. We had a lot in common. Everything but “sparks”. I asked him how many other women he was corresponding with when I first met him. He told me 13. It was a couple of months before I was able to communicate with just two…and those were not even at the same time. Viet Nam widened the odds for the women in my age bracket. I hate war.

A friend told me about a free site that I decided to join. I stipulated I’d like to meet someone between 55 and 70 within a 25 mile radius. I’ve had several men contact me, something that never happened on the other two sites. However, most of them are on either coast. So far, only one is within that radius. I want someone who can take less than an hour to get to my home. That’s by car and not by plane.  I had two 49 year olds contact me. I hate to think that I consider that robbing the cradle.

 I saw one other site for Big Beautiful People. This one is not free but it is 1/3 the cost of eHarmony. I bit. I paid for six months of service for what two months would have cost me had I stayed with eHarmony.  One man is also mailing me,  but all he has done is send me flirts. I think he is either mute or very lacking in vocabulary. I guess I’ll give up on him.

Any way you look at it, I am big. If my parents had named me Brunhilde, it would have fit. I am 5’7″” and I look very slim if I diet down to a size 12. As a matter of fact, my hip bones protrude at that size and what little butt I have now entirely goes away. Completely. Almost looks convex. I heard on the radio on Monday that the average American woman is size 14. Due to undiagnosed thyroid problems I gained about 15-20 lbs. in a little over a month last December so I am now a size 16…again. At least I’m not larger than that like I was during the years that I had fibromyalgia.  In this age of so many men liking petite tiny frame women, that cuts out quite a few suitors. I figure if a guy finds me on BBP board, he’s going to sense I am not tiny.

However, most of the guys are considering themselves big and beautiful but still desire small women. Men and women have such different standards of describing themselves. So many men say “a few extra pounds” when they should be saying “a few extra chins”. They describe themselves as very good looking. When I think of good looking, I think of a face. I don’t care if a guy is bald. I had a crush on Yul Brenner and Telly Savalas. I do care if the picture obviously shows a rug. Rugs are not as prevalent now as they once were but with some of the guys it seems to still be a home remedy.

I try to be honest with the guy. If he doesn’t care to meet a size 16 then I want to know up front. That is preferable to meeting him and seeing that initial look on his face. I think everyone knows the one.

I also eliminate those who post pictures of themselves laying on their beds, or those, my age, who think it is masculine to sit there with bare chests and have their video cam snap a picture in front of the computer. Guys, very few of you are built sexy enough at our age to pose like that. You look so much better in a shirt, believe me. Along with trying to be sexy, I eliminated the 73 yo who said he was horny and liked lots of sex. He wasn’t the only one. Any guy who is just looking for sex gets deleted. I want a much longer lasting relationship.

Some men have expressed their desire for big beautiful women who still have hour glass figures. They don’t care if the bottom is big and long as she has a smaller waist. It’s that old waist hip ratio again.

I guess if I don’t know exactly what I want physically in a man other than his being taller than me and hopefully not too thin,  I guess I shouldn’t eliminate any more than possible. If I meet anyone on these two new sites, I’ll probably blog about it some day. Namaste. Attic Annie

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VD is Here!

Well, today is THE day for all the lovers in the Christian (and not so Christian) world to celebrate their love for each other. I said Christian because in the Muslim countries there are Valentine’s police making certain that anything related to this Catholic saint are not sold or displayed in public. I guess they could be called un-romantic, huh?

Here’s solace for all those who will not receive a valentine, a box of chocolate, a diamond doo-dad from Kays, a manure heart,  a single rose, a dozen roses, a proposal of marriage, a romantic dinner (although I suppose those who indulged in that, did it last night on Valentine’s Eve), or even a kiss. Don’t worry, by tomorrow you can start forgetting that there is no one special in your life. You only have your birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to get past in 2010. Then you can be reminded again VD 2011 when the cycle begins again.

If you had someone in your life and that someone is now gone, if you live in Brooklyn, you can call Death Bear. He will come and take from you all those mementos you, forwhatever reasaon, couldn’t throw away when the romance was gone. Nothing says the end better than a black vinyl-clad seven-foot Darth Vader like bear standing at your door to take your ex-beloved’s belongings back to his bear cave.

At my age, my conscious decision to find a friend and companion first still stands, even though the path to that person may take the rest of my life to find. According to my new friend, Pauline, I’m supposed to practice the law of attraction and affirm that that person is waiting for me and it will be a wonderful existence once we find each other.

It’s not that I don’t wish to ever be intimate with anyone again. If you are reading this and you are 20, believe me, for some of us, that desire never leaves us. You may now shudder at the thought.  I know several post-menopausal women who say they are glad those days are over, but even if they are, there is still the cuddling, touches as you pass by and kisses that might still be missed. Maybe it’s a case of just wanting what I don’t have that makes me reminisce about the Lovers of Years Gone By.

Today will be filled with joys for some, disappointments for others. There will be those who were attracted to mates who demand expensive gifts from their mates to affirm they are loved. There are those whose mates are not very romantic who would much rather their mates just pick up their dirty underpants and put them in the hamper as a way of showing their love. There are those who will cry tears of joy at the thought of their mates taking the time to make them something homemade but  get the old tired Hallmark card instead.

I had, for a change, two males in my life in 2009. Both of them were looking for “sparks”. One of the guys found serious sparks with someone else and it turned into a one nighter. Now he moans he can’t find a girlfriend. I know exactly what they were looking for. I like sparks. I loved sparks in my life when I was in my 20s. But I played with sparks so much when I was younger I’m surprised I’m not a lump of charcoal by now.

I read a book that was published over ten years ago yesterday called The Pilot’s Wife. It was a good book. It’s about a pilot who ended up having two wives and two families on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. The American wife realized the “sparks” were leaving her marriage about the same time she found out four years later, he had found new sparks across the sea. She had sparks with him in the beginning. So many sparks were there that there were three souls present the day they married.

One cannont trust only sparks. They are only there to get things started. After that, they stop sparking and end up, hopefully, as glowing embers that never die. Too often they do. In the article on Death Bear, the writer says, More than 2,400 years ago, Socrates said, “The hottest love has the coldest end.”

So if you have sparks today, more power to you. If your embers are still glowing, maybe a valentine will help stoke the fire a little. If your fire is out and the hearth is cold, call Death Bear. Happy Valentine’s Day. Namaste. Attic Annie

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Every Game Has Rules Whether You Play or Not (Part 1)

Ok Guys out there, I need some advice. I didn’t have a mother to guide me along the way. I’m over 60, and for the life of me, I still can’t figure out “the dating game.”

What are the rules?  I only had about three dates in high school, (being the introvert that I am) not counting the guys I met at church camp and conferences,  but I thought I knew what was going on. 

During high school, there were definite steps a young couple took. You casually dated, you went steady and gave the girl your class ring which she promptly wrapped with yards of angora thread or dental floss. If you weren’t college bound, you got engaged and then married either right after HS graduation or within a year or two afterwards unless you joined the military. It was Viet Nam time. It was an age when many young women were still technically virgins as brides and the grooms were understandably frustrated. Since so many people referred to dating in terms of bases, many more stopped at third base than tried a home run. If it were otherwise, they were very discreet and secretive. Or so it seemed. There were in every town occasionally young women who decided to visit an aunt in another town for five or so months but there weren’t that many.

If you went to college, there were steps. You casually dated, you went steady, you got pinned, you got engaged, you got married. Or so it was supposed to be. It was the mid 60s and the birth control pill had been invented. Couples were hitting home runs earlier and earlier in the relationship, some on their first and last dates.

There were fewer brides who were virgins. One night stands, which I’m guessing have been around at least since the 1920s (or centuries before) were becoming more prevalent…and more tolerated by the crowd of baby boomers involved in that particular practice. However, one still had to be careful. There were still such things as reputations. “Slut” and other names were still slung around frequently if one was not very discreet. Today, I guess it is “ho”.

I married in the mid 70s when the sexual revolution was in full swing. I vowed to be faithful to my husband and I lived up to those vows all ten years. I never once saw a man who remotely even tempted me. Even though he had many “felony” counts of adultry etched on his belt and moved right out of my house and within a few weeks into her apartment, I was afraid to do anything for fear he would bring it up in court. He didn’t want our son, but he would have been mean enough to at least get any indescretions on my part into the court records.

I vowed to not date anyone until my divorce was final. Within a couple of weeks following the end, I met a man who rocked my world. He was eleven years older than I but certainly didn’t look it. Our first date lasted twelve hours. I rationalized that an average date lasts two to three hours. That was already between four and six dates by the time he walked me to the door at 10:30 PM. The whole day had dripped with the heady fragrance of hormones in the air.

We saw each other usually both days and evenings of the weekends for six weeks and talked frequently on the phone. I was not in love with him but I was very much in fond with him. Besides, I really did like him very much as well. After six weeks when I walked with him to the back door, he said, ” I won’t be coming over next weekend.” When I asked him why, he replied, “I don’t date anyone longer than six weeks. I don’t want to get too involved.” My divorce was too rough. I don’t want to go through that again any time soon.

Two weeks later was Halloween. We had already reserved costumes for a Halloween party I was hosting for a singles group. He came for that party, although it was like we had never met. We hardly talked with each other the entire evening. That’s the last time I saw him.

Shortly after that, I started my ten plus years with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. After trying to teach and, as much as I could, be a mother to my son, there was no energy or desire left to date. Besides, I have seen too many lives torn apart between step-fathers, mothers, and sons. I made a conscious decision to not even try. My son was an angel in public and very different at home. I didn’t wish to be placed in the middle by a husband who would have tried to keep my son in line and a son who would, I felt, have not given an inch.

Once I started again feeling better, in the late 90s, I met someone on match.com. He frequently traveled out of town for extended periods of time with his job. He said up front that he was looking for friendship only. I could live with that. We frequently chatted on line and played checkers or chess. When he was in town we’d get together for dinner. We exchanged many cards. We went together to the State Fair and had a great time. As very good friends.

He retired early and moved to south Texas.For the next few years we talked on the phone, emailed, and chatted on line. Several times he invited me down to visit the retirement community he was living in. He spoke of it in glowing terms. I was in my 50s. Teen age dating was long behind me. That’s an awfully long drive. I finally went down to see him about four years ago and spent eight days with him. We did fine until I had been down there a couple of nights and we started in with the tequilla. It was the most fantastic eight days I had spent in my life.  The second night I was there we went on a boat ride at sunset to watch the dolphins. The ride ended with fireworks directly over head. They were nothing compared to other fireworks we experienced.

His brother was also visiting him after the third day and the three  of us ran around during the day like teenagers to Mexico, to S. Padre Island, out to eat, etc. When we passed a tattoo parlor he even went in with me to get my yellow rose of  Texas in a locale few will ever see. He held my hand. I had talked about wanting a tattoo forever but never had the courage. He gave me the courage.

He was supposed to come up to the area three weeks later. He is very good at home repairs and I had several things he said he could and would gladly fix. At first when we talked he wasn’t sure he could make it. It was touch and go. I sensed from the hesitation in his voice what was to come. He came up and as soon as I opened the door, I knew things had changed. He worked hard around my house for three days but then went back to another woman’s house around 5. She was out of town, but he was dog sitting for her. Turns out he had worked around her house for over ten years and traveled and partied with her and their mutual best friend in connection with an organization all three of them had joined. It was always platonic.

The week I was down at his home, she decided after all those years, to step their relationship up a notch or two. Major conincidence? I don’t think so.  He had carried a torch for her forever and never got anywhere until I spent time with him.

We went to church on Sunday and before we went we sat on the front porch talking. We talked again for about an hour after church. Besides his friend claiming her territory, he said something like, “When you were down there, I started feeling like we were so close we were married. It scared me to death.” He had been married three times already and the thought of another marriage scared him out of his mind. Marriage with him was not even on my radar with him but I would have thoroughly enjoyed remaining a lover indefinitely. I was not ready to move to a retirement community, but I would have willingly visited him several times a year and hopefully he would have visited me. Such was not to be.  To be continued.

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My (Empty) Valentine’s Day

As if Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t hard enough to get through without having someone special in our lives, now Valentine’s Day is getting more and more attention in advertising. One of the TV channels has a “countdown to Valentine’s Day” just like they did for Christmas.

I always managed to meet guys I dated after Valentine’s Day…and managed to break up with them before Christmas. Except for one time. I met my first fiance in December two weeks before Christmas and was still dating him in February.

That February 14 he had class in the evening. It was his senior year in college. There was a place on campus I had found that was kind of a “home away from home” for me to use during the week between classes since I was a commuter. I waited for him to get out of class and come to the house so he could drive me home.

I had given him my Valentine card earlier in the day. He said thanks but had nothing for me. I waited all day wanting at least a little recognition of the day. He said nothing. He pulled into the driveway and still said nothing. By that time I was becoming embarrassed by my attitude, as if Valentine’s Day really meant anything to me. I couldn’t help it. I was really disappointed. I jerked the handle of the door to open it and sullenly said, “Good night.”

“Wait a minute,” he said. “Do you think you might like this?” He had a small box in his hand. I’d known him less than two months so I knew it wasn’t a ring. Inside the box was a college pin. That was back in the Middle Ages of dating when college men actually pinned their sweethearts. He was not in a fraternity so he bought one with the college’s initials and crest at the bookstore that day. I have to admit, it made me very happy. After he pinned me, I did get a card after all. I gave him almost everything back the last time I saw him but I kept the pin. I run across it from time to time in my jewelry box and remember a fond memory. I’m able to still retain and recall fond memories of times spent with almost all the guys I dated. I try to think there were more good times than bad.

Moving forward in time, I married my ex in January. That first February I was married to him he took a classified ad out in the local newspaper declaring his love for me on Valentine’s Day. Some of the newspapers did that back then. I thought it was very romantic. Two months later he was already carousing the bars looking for any warm female body that would cheat with him, but at least for two months, I was his valentine. Since he traveled from Monday through Thursday, the great majority of the rest of Valentine’s Days he was out of town. I can’t remember anything romantic after that very first day. I remember getting flowers from time to time the years we were married, but whether they were for Valentine’s Day or my birthday I don’t recall.

I joined e Harmony a few months back, giving love one more last chance. They were running a three-month special. I thought, “What the heck.” I met two men during that time. The first one was about 180° opposite me in my opinions and values. We met for lunch and within the first few bites of tortillas and salsa, I knew I’d just have to keep my mouth shut and get through the meal. I don’t believe in arguing on the first (and thankfully the last) date.

The next guy I met was a very pleasant guy. He made me laugh. We had five dates, none of them around Christmas or New Year’s. I was really kind of grateful for that since I didn’t want any new bad memories associated with those holidays than I already had. After the fifth date he simply disappeared. During those five dates we had shared about five hugs and three good night kisses.  After that last date about four days later I emailed him with a suggestion of something I thought would be fun to do. He emailed me back and said the next week he was going to be busy but would like a “rain check”. It rained several times before I tried to contact him again.

I had called him one time after that on his cell phone and I left a short message which wasn’t returned. He had closed our match on eHarmony by saying we were communicating outside of that site. However, there was never any more communications.

I’m not good at having relationships end with no explanation after six weeks, so I sent him a friendly email. I just wanted an explanation, whatever it was, as to what happened. He had said on his profile he wasn’t a game player. I reminded him of that and told him that I considered just disappearing as playing a game.

He did answer me with an equally friendly reply. He said he thought I was a very nice lady and he enjoyed my company and the time we spent together, but he was looking for sparks that he just didn’t feel. I didn’t feel any either, but I did enjoy his companionship. He made me laugh. I was able to talk comfortably with him, something I can’t always do. I miss that. I understand him however. I told him if he ever had time when he wasn’t dating, I’d enjoy doing something with him as just a friend. I told him I was leaving the door open. I realize very few men want to really associate with women as “just friends” but it would be nice to see him. He lives about 50 miles away so it’s very iffy if  he’ll ever make that effort.

In the meantime, Valentine’s Day is in nine days. The countdown will  again be over and I can get around to forgetting once again that I do occasionally get lonely.

I doubt very seriously if I’ll ever hear from again but I was serious about wanting him as a friend. Guys I can relax with and laugh with are very hard to find.

In the meantime, here comes another Valentine’s Day with all the ads for romantic dinners for two and jewelry etc. and count downs. I’ve had a lot more empty Valentine’s Days than I’ve had romantic ones. I’m used to it. But although I’m trying to live in the moment, secretly I’ll be glad when February 15 arrives so all the push to buy and celebrate love will be over for one more year. Namaste. Attic Annie

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