I can't think of anything funnier than a 42-year-old woman with 2 children trying to figure out how to date again.
I probably need to watch more comedy, though, because I suspect that something involving monkeys would get more laughs, especially if they were super nervous dating monkeys. Maybe.
For instance, on one of my first dates I tried to explain that I would not be interested in any sort of exclusive relationship, given that my life is too unsettled to expect anyone to go all in with me at this point (plus low expectations on all our parts mean less likelihood for disappointment). In explaining that he also was not interested in any sort of exclusive relationship with me, I got the reassurance that this would not be an issue, as I was just not awesome enough for him to fall in love with. Problem solved.
A part of me feels like I should find this more disturbing than reassuring, but another part of me wants to applaud his bluntness. After all, how many of us are actually awesome enough to fall in love with? There are just not enough spectacular people to go around, right? By this age we are all carrying around our little personal failings, tucked into our pockets out of sight, although we all see the bulges anyway.
It's strange to begin dating now, in a world so different than it was 17 years ago. Evidently it's all online now. No one actually knows any single people in real life, but it only takes 24 hours of putting your profile online to discover that there are at least 50 single guys nearby happy to message you with varying degrees of grammatical facility. I would probably have found fewer single guys in my area were it not for the fact that I mentioned that I hadn't had sex in a year, and that I found this fact to be a total bitch. I probably need to learn how to dial back the frankness. Actually I probably should have learned this lesson ages ago.
Nevertheless, I am trying to remember how not to take this part of my life too seriously, because otherwise it would be terrifying.
Then one night Frankie comes home and she is singing a song that she heard at her dad's, and it is a song from an album that I recently bought, too. So I burn it onto a cd to play in the car for her, because there is nothing I love better than to hear my daughter singing.
And suddenly I realize that I am not constantly having to remind myself to let go of the anger and the hurt, because I remember why I fell in love with him in the first place and it no longer matters that that love is no longer there. I don't have to doubt myself for falling in love with someone who eventually no longer loved me. Maybe I do still doubt myself, but I don't have to.
And it's also ok that we are off buying the same albums and therefore paying for them twice with our two separate lives that will never completely separate. It's ok because I am happy here in my little house with my girls, and our dog, and our night-attack kitties. It's ok to admit that we are clearly both happier now, and to inch toward a forgiveness. Or, if not a forgiveness, at least a more relaxed air of unconcern, which might be a more attainable goal for right now.
Then another night comes and my phone rings. My stomach flutters; I reach for the phone; I step into the river to be swept away.
And then I answer the call.