It is tough being single. It's even tougher when you decide you don't want to be alone any more and you open up your heart to the possibility of finding the person that can make your dreams come true and help you dream new ones.
I think it must have been easier back in our parent's and grandparent's day when your world was fairly small. You kept your eye on someone from grade school and when you became an adult, you hoped he came calling and courting. If he didn't, you started down the list of neighbors. Every new person in the community brought anticipation and the thought of possibilities. It wasn't uncommon for brothers to marry women who were sisters (not theirs, despite what you've heard about Southern family trees...the resulting offspring of these brothers-to-sisters marriages were the "double first cousins" that started the whole raised eyebrow thing even though it was totally innocent) that they'd met when the siblings went along as a chaperone and ended up needed chaperoning themselves.
Today, our world is bigger. But the internet brings the far parts of the world closer to us. It makes it seem simple to place an ad online saying you're looking and what you're looking for and sit back and wait for the right person to respond. And therin lies the rub. So many respond that aren't the "right people." They may be fakes, game players (and not the Scrabble and UNO that we all love), scammers or even just miserable folks who really have no idea how much their fears and insecurities end up screwing up life for the rest of us. I don't know. Maybe I'm one of the ones with the fears and insecurities, but I sincerely hope I haven't screwed up anyone's life. I think I've been too busy getting my own screwed with.
I get 20-30 emails a week on my dating profile on OK Cupid. Only one or two are a genuine male person seeking a genuine female person such as myself. A slightly larger number are the fodder of a bathroom wall waiting to happen: "for a good time call BR-549." The rest are scammers of one sort or another. Thankfully, they are pretty easy to sort through. I don't even look at the profiles of anyone who writes only, "Hi there." or "Hello beautiful" in their initial letter. 99.9% of the time if you say hello back you get a cut and pasted response telling you about the wife that died a few years ago leaving them with a small child (or two) to raise. The story goes on that they are tired of living alone, need a good woman to share life with them and be a family. Words created and strung together to appeal to the desperate lonely that want so badly to 'belong' somewhere that they ignore the warning signs of broken English from someone supposedly born and raised in Tennessee or Tupelo and grammar that is so different from standard English that moderators on dating sites have given it the monniker "scammer grammar" as an excuse to delete the perpetrators from the site's membership roster.
I relish the days I get a letter from that first group. I love meeting new people, and although even the most optimistic has to admit that most of the time budding relationships don't survive past the initial giddy rush of "this could be IT," hope springs eternal that just like Sam Beckett, we will close our eyes and jump, and this one will be the leap home. I love learning new things from people who have walked in almost lane of most roads of life. From near-vagrants to multi-millionaire's, I've gotten letters from them all. From the painfully shy to the brazen and the hopefully optimistic to those nearing hopelessness. And a few, a very few, I've let creep into my heart.
With the exception of a couple of men that have become dear friends and I hope will always be in my life, every leap has been disastrous for me. I care too quickly and too deeply and when the inevitable end comes, my heart gets cracked. My niece said to me, when I told her I was a bit in the dumps after being "ghosted" by a guy that I honestly had thought was the nearest thing to Mr. Right that I'd met in 15 years, "Good grief. Your heart must be mostly Super Glue by this time." She's right. Most people have more sense than to open themselves up to this kind of heart ache and their lives to this kind of stress. I've never been anything close to being a "most people."
And the knowledge that I could get hurt isn't going to stop me. The next letter I get that says "Hi there, I think maybe my life needs a little more gypsy-mermaid-hippie in it" I will respond with "Nice to meet you! Tell me more about yourself" and the next few days (weeks, months) will be filled with long talks, online chats and discussions and for a while I can almost forget that I'm in the last quarter of my life. I'm one cat away from being "the crazy cat lady" and because of my character quirks and vagaries, likely to stay that way. Most men don't want to get an idea one day to take a week long road trip and be packed and rolling out the driveway the next day. Most don't like the idea of spending an entire day in bed or on the couch reading books or binge-watching Netflix or wandering back roads just to see what's there. Most men don't want to take off for a weekend at the World's Longest Yard Sale or stay up 'til the wee hours at a wonderful antique auction where treasures are going under the gavel for junk prices. They don't want to take on a two acre jungle as a landscaping project or make plans to turn the barn into a guest house. They don't want to spend their weekends painting old furniture or gutting a little vintage camper trailer to rebuild it as a companion on those roadtrips. Most men don't want to be wanted and needed as much as I do. They don't want the complication of being head over heels in love with someone who feels the same.
Luckily, or maybe unluckily, I'm not looking for most men though. Just one very unique one.
And even though I may need to invest in stock for Super Glue or Gorilla Glue, I'm not going to stop so long as I'm breathing. Where there's life, there's hope. And I refuse to settle for anything less than everything this time. He is going to be the last love of my life. And he's worth waiting, and running out of Super Glue for.
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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