For the last four years or so, I've been getting a lot of mileage out of my middle aged single status and lack of ...dates, sex, any kind of social life at all. I'm going to have to change my schtick somewhat because I'm getting married this week.
Now, there's no need to try to talk me out of it because I'm older than all of you and I've done this a few times already. When I was 45 I counted up and figured I had been married more years than I had been single. That's practically all my adult life. Five years of single parenthood later, the balance has shifted. And I got used to being alone. No, I wasn't lonely. I have two lovely daughters and lots of things to do with my life. Yes, I was looking for someone for quite a while, I love men in general and think they are great to have around, especially if you find a good one, but after a couple of short relationships that went nowhere -they weren't even really relationships, just a couple of guys I went out with- I had decided that dating was entirely too much trouble.
You see, a woman who is approaching 50 with little children is not exactly what available men are interested in. I once used this graph to describe the dating pool available to me in a posted called Sex and the Single Blogger.
If fate were ever kind enough to find me a suitable guy in this mess, chances are there wouldn't be anything special between the two of us. So I looked outside my local area. Not really looked, but as I spent more and more of my life online, I met a lot of people, and a couple were unmarried men I had something in common with. Yeah, online. I never used a dating service, not even as a joke. But I did travel to faraway places to meet a couple of men I got to know online through my blog, which means we already had common interests and got to know each other a bit before meeting face to face. In one case, we just weren't compatible in real life. In the second case, time, fate, and distance came between us. Or maybe he just didn't like me, but being a gentleman he hid it well.
After such experiences, I gave up entirely. I had kids to raise and an internet to surf. I bought a house and dug deeper roots into small town life. Meanwhile, there was a guy close to my age right here in my town that had also given up on finding someone and had decided to concentrate on raising his kids. In the movie business, they would say we "met cute", when he bought the dishwasher from my old house.
The first time I looked at him, I was struck by how beautiful his eyes were. I had no reason to think he was available or nice or anywhere near my age or whatever. But he was looking for a bigger house for his kids and mine was empty, so he asked if I were going to rent it out. I put the attraction on the back burner, but it came back when he called to ask if I would rent the house to him. He had a lovely phone voice which made me all scatterbrained again, to the point where he began to wonder if I were a nut. So I had to clean the house, and he started showing up more and more often while I was there. Over time, I found he was yes, single, yes, close to my age, and has five children, the youngest being the same age as my youngest. Two of the kids lived with him, which gives us a LOT in common right there.
After I finished cleaning the house and he moved in, I didn't have an excuse to see him. However, he would call me every time a fourth-class postcard came to my old address. I began to suspect maybe he was attracted to me. By this time, I had developed a full-fledged crush, but I was afraid to make the first move. Meanwhile, he was wondering whether I was interested or if maybe I were this helpful and friendly to everyone. He got a hint when he saw I was flirting with him online. After a month of this back and forth, he called and told me the kids were with their mom for the weekend and he was lonely, so I dispatched my kids to grandma's house and told him to come over and hang out. Viola! relationship.
At the time, my criteria for a man was that he had to be 1) alive and b) unmarried. However, that was for keeping company. I didn't expect to ever marry again. The more I got to know this guy, the higher my standards went because it looked as if I wasn't going to screw this one up. After all these years and more marriages than I care to admit, the real test is how well a men treats me. And no one has ever treated me better, in ways that count long-term.
Oh yeah, there are lots of external factors that could derail a good relationship, like the challenge of parenting each other's kids. Let me tell you, being a single parent is no picnic. He had trouble because making a living severely interfered with raising kids, and I had a problem in that raising kids was interfering with making a living. That's how I lost my last radio job, after all. Having backup in running a family is a bonus for both of us. If either of us were childless, he/she would have run screaming from the situation.
So now you know why my attic construction has grown into a major expansion. In the time period between the wedding and the project completion, we will have six people living in two bedrooms. As many times as I've been married, I've never had a wedding shower. But that's for young people. Old people have a yard sale instead. Combining two households into one isn't easy. I have a lovely old Victorian home filled with antiques. He has a recliner that must be lined up with the TV. I told the kids that two cats was my limit. We now have a dog, two fish, three cats, and four birds. And the birds have six eggs.
If you want more details on the wedding, I posted more at my site. I may be missing in action here at YBNBY for the next couple of weeks, dealing with kids, wedding plans, honeymoon, and moving furniture. Then I gotta sell the old house. Oy. Ain't life grand?