Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dating ... and finding love

So, my love story.
It started out pretty pathetic.
About a year and a half after Scott died, I started to "date."
And by date, I mean my sister convinced me to sign up for several online dating sites.
Which were dreadful.
In fact, if someone were sitting around thinking of what they could do to feel more like a lonely, mediocre drain on society, they would sign up for match.com or some equivalent.
And then they would be one step closer to spiraling toward total self-hatred.
In truth, after pursuing the internet meat market, I plucked my eyes out and threw them down a well so I wouldn't have to look at another person that would not respond to any witty, adorable banter I had carefully composed, sent to someone way out of my league, and then sat around waiting for an answer to.
And then I retrieved said eyeballs so that I could stare into the mirror and cry about how hard it was to date when you cut your hair off into a ethereal pixie when you were married only to find it looks like a butch crew cut when you are single.
I cancelled any and all dating profiles my sister I had created and resigned myself to the life of a companionless old maid.
I had three small children, no job, and a myriad of personal quirks/issues, so there's that.
I figured I would just try to stop caring.
And then I got asked out.
Granted he pulled out a beard comb, from his murse (man+purse = murse) and groomed his beard 30 minutes into our first date, but at least it was a start.
I also went out with a man who didn't talk to me the entire duration of our double date until near the end when he told me he "really liked my toes" because he had a thing for feet.
It was not hopeless at all.
And I certainly did not think that there was perhaps something wrong with me because I was only attracting eccentrics.
Around the time I swore off dating, men, and pedicures my lawyer boss mentioned a guy, named Mark, that he knew and thought I would like.
I asked him if he had a glass eye because if not I had no chance.
He told me he was a single dad (Ally, his daughter, was 9), was a P.A./athletic trainer, loved to travel, was funny, and happened to be Mormon (like me).
He said that Mark had already been told I was also a single parent, played roller derby, and worked at his office.
Lovely.
He would be coming by on a Monday to meet me.
"Which Monday?" I asked.
"Hmmm, dunno. Maybe soon."
"Thanks. You are really good at this."
So for the next few Mondays, I made an extra effort to look cute in the off chance that Mark would stop by.
Now mind you, I had no idea what he looked like or when to expect him so when a few weeks later he came in bright and early, I was caught unaware.
In walks a tall, handsome guy with white hair and a sexy, scratchy voice.
"Is Scott here? I am a client and I wanted to talk to him for a second."
There were no introductions.
Only awkward, embarrassed silence.
Not knowing that I was looking at my future husband, I grabbed Scott from down the hall and ushered them into our conference room totally oblivious.
Unbeknownst to me, they just whispered in there like a pair of girls until it felt like the appropriate time to emerge.
He shot me a quick wave, jumped in his car, and practically pealed out of the parking lot.
It was magical.
"So that was Mark," my boss said.
"You are the worst. You didn't even introduce us."
"Sorry, I don't know how I got roped into this."
"Just give me his number and I will take care of it myself."
"Well, let me text him first and make sure he wants you to have his number."
And then I rolled my eyes so far into my head they resurfaced from the bottom as I muttered something about being in junior high school.
The next day I texted Mark and asked him out.
I figured we were both adults and if he thought I was a heifer he would say no and I would be no worse off.
Spoiler alert: He didn't say no.
He picked me up a few days later at my dad's for our first date.
It was not mortifying at all to have every single member of my family peeking from various perches around the front windows as I sprinted out the door and raced to his car just as he was getting out.
"Oh, Hi!" he said. "I guess you are ready to go?"
"Yep. Let's get outta here."
We went to dinner and talked until the restaurant closed.
He was funny ... and smart ... and had a sexy voice. Did I mention that?
Once we got kicked out of there, we went for dessert and closed that place down as well.
He finally took me home.
We pulled up and started to walk to the front door. All of a sudden, my dad, who was taking out the trash, dashed back inside with a full can of garbage, slammed the door, and turned all the lights in the house off, except for the porch.
Discrete.
Mark pretended not to notice, kissed me tentatively good-bye, and left.
That night was the best one I had had in a long time.
Mark took the reigns from there. He called me a day or two later and asked me out again.
I high-fived myself and accepted.
The second-date conversation came easily and we had a lot in common.
I was excited but tried not to get too excited.
It was fun to have someone to call and spend time with.
Someone that made you feel as if your heart was dropping to the bottom of your stomach because you are nervous and excited and turned on and it's new and you're slightly hysterical and eager.
Someone to bring up in conversation at random with every single person you encounter.
"Why yes! I was just talking to my boyfriend about that very thing the other day."
We dated for about six weeks before introducing each other to our kids.
We tried new restaurants, went bowling, visited a very steamy (in more ways than one) hot springs and watched movies.
And things just continued to progress at a good pace.
Until we went on a family trip together at the four-month mark.
That nearly marked the end of our relationship because it was a lot of time together with four kids, two different parenting styles, and ideas about money, and blah blah blah.
But we talked it out like adults, made-out, and moved forward.
We spent more and more time together and then eventually I told him I loved him.
To which he replied, "Thank you."
To be fair, he had been through a really messy divorce, been hurt very badly, and was a little gun-shy.
But I knew he was worth waiting for because he was a good man and a good dad.
I eventually wore him down and convinced him that I was worth the trouble too because a little over a year after we met he got down on one knee, cried, and asked me to be his wife.
I have never been as happy as I am with Mark.
And I remind him that he has never been as happy as when he is with me.
Marriage the second time around is still hard sometimes but I would like to think I do it a little better having had some practice.
He has embraced his role as the father of four, and the husband to a slightly broken girl who talks far too much about their house, her sad boobs, and her kids.
Thank you Mark, for taking all this on.
I bet that sometime you wish you were back in Saudi Arabia dodging enemy fire instead of dealing with my mood swings but you have made me the happiest.
My life is better than I could have imagined and it is because you are in it.


Up next ... our wedding.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. This is the best and I am so happy for you.

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  2. So happy for you and your kids.
    (Knew you in Sweet Home)
    Linda Morrell>

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  3. I LOVE THIS! (Rachael's sister, Andre'a)

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  4. A friend of a friend on facebook had a link to your blog. Well, I just read the entire thing in one sitting. Your story is incredible. I'm happy that you are finding joy in lifes struggles-trials. Amazing where our Heavenly Father can take our lives. The gospel can take us to amazing places and to amazing people.

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    1. Thanks for reading Mike! I agree. When you trust in Heavenly Father, incredible things can happen.

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