I have been asked by several people to write a book about some of my dating experiences. OUCH.
I admit that after my divorce I didn’t give a damn, became somewhat a serial dater, protecting my heart so insanely that it just made sense to date the outrageous and ridiculous, rather than risk finding something real.
In fact, I wasn’t real. Not really. Not yet.
I think I will eventually write about some of these experiences, like Mr. Electric, who picked me up at church, took me to Moe‘s, and bought me a car the next day. I think about all the musicians and I just cringe, especially B. H. Rocker, who screamed into microphones and called it music, believing he was so huge underground that I should have to walk behind him into bars. It was for my safety, you see.
The man wore pigtails and different colorful bandanas for God’s sake.
There was the man prescribed to me by my doctor, Prescription Dan, who after coffee, sent a penis shot captured in the midst of ejaculation, a stream so brilliantly photographed, I can’t figure out how he did it. A tripod? My doctor was profusely apologetic.
I think you get the point.
After being devastated with my last boyfriend leaving to live on a boat in Italy, I decided it was time for me to take some serious time out, to refocus, to think about who I was and what I wanted out of life. I buried myself in self help books and work, and at first, I didn’t like what I saw. I avoided mirrors and had night sweats, breaking addictions to sleeping pills and anxiety meds.
I found that all my coping mechanisms came in the form of blue tablets called Xanex and without them, I had to rediscover ways to function. The first thirty days were terrifying. I put one foot in front of the other, took on one day at a time, let every scary emotion I had been running from come to the surface. I wasn’t used to feeling anything much less everything, all at once, all the time.
I felt like I would never stop crying and that I had been issued one big life sentence, a lifetime of pain for all the mistakes I had made, for all the hurt I had accumulated and had been unwilling to address.
And then something rather shocking happened.
Thirty days turned to Sixty and then to Ninety and by the time six months was approaching, I was beginning to not only become comfortable but actually like my own skin. A spark I forgot existed began to ignite inside of me and I was effortlessly laughing, creating, dreaming.
Until my friend M decided it was time for me to be set up on a first date. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Hell no. NO WAY.
I wanted to vomit. I listed out every reason why I was one big mess and she laughed me off saying it would be fun, great, and well past due! It began with text messages and he had this irritating way of making me smile constantly, pulling me in to compulsively checking my phone again and again for what he would say next.
We decided to meet the day after Valentine’s Day and quite frankly, I kind of hoped it might be disastrous, so that I could wipe my hands of this risky relationship business, something I was so tired of failing at.
And well, he wasn’t a disaster at all, damn it.
he was smart, and funny, and kind, and yes, sexy.
The entire time he talked I wondered what the hell he would do with a girl like me. He was a gentleman, thoughtful, believed in taking his time in relationships and I respected him immediately.
There was also something so endearing about his open and honest nature, telling me things about his past relationship that made me know he was healing as well. He let me know things right away that were not easy for me to handle at all, but for some reason, I just couldn’t find any of them reason enough to walk away. And believe me, I tried.
And Oh my goodness, is he funny. Silly, actually and very childlike.
And a really good friend.
On our third date, we went to the movies. It was fun, relaxing, and I didn’t really want it to end at all. He drove me back to my car where we talked for at least an hour, until I noticed a man in a hooded jacket cut across the parking lot, his eyes darting back and forth, and my stomach started to turn.
I felt something might be dreadfully wrong. I felt my blood pressure rise and my heart stop and I worried about what Clyde might have to do, knowing he kept his gun close, having been robbed at gunpoint just earlier this year.
The shady dude slowly opened my car door. I almost vomited. In a flash, I saw every scary horrible scenario flash through my mind like a series of bad movies, but happening to me, to Clyde, to the people who might never see me again.
I froze. My jaw clenched tightly, my fists tight.
“Is that your car, K?” Clyde said quickly, pointing to my actual car a few feet ahead of me, where the relief of the moment melted from shock to hysterics.
I couldn’t stop laughing. It reminded me of nervous relief, and I am definitely the kind of girl that laughs at funerals.
I have been living on edge so long, waiting for someone to hurt me, to break into my car, to crush my heart into a million pieces, to lie, hurt, and suddenly disappear.
My mind has taken over and I see that it has been playing tricks on me, and somehow I had turned a man with a sweatshirt getting in his vehicle into a possible murder scene where I lost my car, possibly Clyde, and myself. I
realize now that I have made the same mistake with my heart, giving it away to unusual suspects and jerking it back before some unlivable crime is committed and in doing this, I have become guarded, afraid, and alone.
I don’t know if I give Clyde my heart some day if he will break it into a million pieces. I just met him.
I don’t know if I can handle the hurt of another failed relationship, what and how much the human spirit can take, but I must have the courage to at least try.
I guess this is what it means to trust, to feel the fear and do it anyway, to surrender to now, to live in the joy of today.
I guess this is what it means to be real.