Ihad been single for more or less 9 years for no good reason that I or anyone in my life could fathom. True, there had been a few multi-state moves and job changes, plus my girls’ final laps through high school and college, but still. Nine years!? How can that be, friends asked. You’re kidding, strangers marveled. This is ridiculous, I thought.
Was I paying for something I had done in the past? I was raised Catholic, after all, so that would make total sense. And there was that time in 10th grade when I broke poor Henry Hannity’s heart. But surely I had done enough work on myself to annihilate any residual demons in this lifetime and the next two. Was I too impatient? My expectations too high? Whadya? I knew one thing for sure: I was a completely self-sufficient woman, capable of handling anything life threw my way, and I was sick to death of it. I knew one more thing: I would make a great partner, if I ever got the chance again.
I decided I was going to get married one snowy North Carolina night as I sat in my car outside the restaurant making final arrangements to move back to San Francisco, the place I knew was my real home. “I have an announcement,” I said to Terri and Jamie as I sat across from them and scanned the pasta-packed menu. “I’m getting married.” “Wow. Do you have anyone in mind??” Terri asked.
A few weeks later I picked up my laptop from one of the stacks of boxes yet to be unpacked in my new home and posted my profile on Match. I was way too busy with my new job and getting settled in to think seriously about finding my man, but I thought I should at least get things started. After all, there was a wedding to be planned.
One night as I was about to walk out the door to meet friends for dinner I read a Match email. It was from Jim: “You’re home on a Friday night, I’m home on a Friday night. We live close. Why not meet for a glass of wine?” A quick look at his profile, which showed a handsome, seemingly down to earth guy, and I did the unthinkable. I emailed him right back. “You know, if I didn’t already have plans I may well take you up on that.” “How about Sunday?” he shot back. “Sounds good,” I replied.
I remember getting ready for the date. I looked in the mirror, mascara wand in hand, wondering why I was even bothering. Jesus, I would just have to wash this stuff off in a little while and, shit, I could be watching “60 Minutes” and relaxing before a grueling work week. … I fell in love with him on a hot afternoon about six weeks later as he tinkered with a broken fan that I had dragged from move to move. I watched him as he screwed this tighter, re-adjusted that and concentrated on the job at hand. I tried really hard not to make a sound when the tears came, but he looked up at me. “Are you crying?” he asked. He just couldn’t believe it. Neither could I.
He sleeps beside me as I type away, two and a half years later. He opens his right eye once in a while to take a peek, and then sinks back down into sleep. In a minute I will turn off my laptop and wrap myself around him, grateful and awed about where life has lead me. Right where I belong.