It was my last date. Enough already. I had been on Match.com for roughly a year and was feeling a bit drained from it all, rather the way you feel at the end of a great party. When you arrive, you are the bell of the ball, with your new MAC Naked Lunch shadow smeared all over your eyes, and the new Chanel Brandywine lipstick covering your carefully outlined lips. By the end of the night, your new Michael Kors stilettos are killing you, your hair is making your eyes itch and your foundation has settled into each little nook and cranny on your face and even discovered a few more. Home please.
Not that I'm complaining. I had met some very nice men, dated a few more than once, and had some rather odd (aka weird sex) experiences, which you will have to wait for the book to find out about, as my kids read this, but I have yet to see any of them actually pick up a book. I also had been stood up several times, stuck with more than one dinner bill and cringed at the thought that my ex and his new woman would walk into a restaurant and see me dining with a 65 year old man the size of a four year old.
It was the date I had with the insurance fraud investigator that made me think maybe it's time to take a break. See, normally he travels a lot and hasn't been able to date much, but he was on leave right now after shooting his ex-wife, but she shot first and really what was he supposed to do? Just sit there and take it? What self respecting man would do that? It's true I did agree to go to a special dessert place, after our dinner but come on, I cannot pass up a piece of pie topped with homemade gelato alongside a foamy cappuccino. Did I mention the gelato is homemade?
Anyway, I'm sitting there eating my pie, feeling my feet swell and knowing that after this last slurp of milk foam, I never plan on seeing this man again and decided a few months off, and a new season of Top Chef were definitely in my future. Only problem was I had already committed to a date on the following night and I was not the type to cancel on short notice. I have to give myself props here, there was one time I was sitting at Bonefish, waiting for my online date to show up. I saw him before he saw me and I could have easily bailed due to the bad comb over and nicotine stained teeth (weird for a non smoker, right?) but I just can't do that to people. A plate of bang bang shrimp and two dirty Greygoose martinis helped numb the pain through that one.
The following night I got myself ready for my grand finale-for now anyway. We were meeting at a local restaurant and I had already decided one drink and home. I was so sure that was my plan, that I hadn't even programmed my dvr for the Real Housewives Reunion that night. Totally looking forward to a night of Vicky and Gina going at it.
I arrived at the restaurant and did a quick look over. I spotted him at a high top table in the bar, nursing a drink and doing business on his phone. He looked like his picture, which was refreshing.
I introduced myself and we did the usual arms length hug. I hoisted myself up on the seat, hoping my Spanx were behaving and keeping to themselves, and settled in. We talked about how windy it had been. He ordered me a drink. Nice. Gentlemanly. Then he did something none of the others had done before. He put his phone away, looked me in the eyes and asked me how I had come to this place in life. I did something I had never done with the others...I told him.
That was four years ago. He still puts his phone in his pocket when we are out to dinner, when I walk into the house with another rejection letter, or when I am on a rant about Cody Brown of Sister Wives. We have made a life together, combining a total of seven children, a collection of Tampa Bay Rays bobble heads (his) and little Swarovski crystal fish (mine), a 140 pound mastiff and a black cat named Jet.
Being an ex wife was very unexpected. I went into it kicking and screaming. And drunk texting. Oh-and a little bit of stalking. To those going through it now I can tell you, you will survive. There are days you think you won't but then what do you know? Another day starts and you're still here.