What to wear? What to say? How to act? Desperation and nerves sink in.
You haven't had a date in 30 years. Are you crazy? No, you are divorced.
The first thing you do is go through your closet, maybe even buy something
new. You shower, shave, dry your hair, put on your make up and put on that
new outfit. A final spritz of perfume and you show up 10 minutes early. I
always preferred to be late. That way, if I didn't recognize the person I was
meeting, I could hope they would recognize me.
You meet, and he's not half bad looking in the right kind of light. He seems
a bit desperate and his palms are sweaty when you shake hands hello. You
order a glass of wine, which he brings you from the bar. He is nice. He is
nervous. You wish you were home in your own bed watching Weeds or The
You haven't had to make this much small talk since your ex husband's
Christmas party at his firm a few years ago. You don't want to talk about
your divorce or think about your ex, but you can't help but compare your date
to him. You notice he doesn't have as much hair and is a bit chubbier. His
teeth are yellowing and his gums are receding. He chews with his mouth
But, through it all, you smile and laugh at the right places. You look him in
the eyes when you speak to him and ask plenty of questions. You find out
way to much about his kids, his ex and his dog. Things you aren't interested
in. Do you want dessert? NO!
At your car, you can't wait to escape inside and drive off. Please don't kiss
me, you are thinking, as you clumsily try to make your getaway. Once in the
car you realize you had expectations. They were huge. This was the date that
was supposed to sweep you into singlehood and make you realize the decision
to get divorced was the right one.
This date was supposed to make you feel sexy, not sad. He was supposed to
make you feel like you were on top of the world, not like the world was on
top of your shoulders. You were supposed to feel lighter than air, not like you
were weighted down with depression.
And, through all this, you still learned a very valuable lesson. You learned
that the next time, you would not have high expectations, but expect nothing
and be surprised if you got something. You would try again, because this is
part of post-divorce. Starting over and doing it until you get it right.