I Think I’ve Been “In Love” Twice In Thirty Years.
For the hopeless romantics, that’s probably right up there with finding one’s ‘Soul Mate’….bleeegggh! For me, it felt like taking my chances on a tight rope and falling anyway. I didn’t die. I just wanted to. Instead of a fantastic death, I walked around, for months, with a dry mouth, intermittent heaving and bouts of spontaneous crying. I couldn’t even find my shit–let alone get it together.
After my recovery, the first time, I SWORE off of Love. “F*** It!” I screamed to the Universe. “People are liars! Nobody knows what commitment means! Love is pointless and will end in an exploded heap-like an old building set for demolition! A tragic waste of humanity and time never recovered!” (Dramatic. I know.) And, at the time, I. Meant. Every. Word.
For an extended phase of my life, I had the pleasure and misfortune of meeting, dating, laughing with, one-night poetry reading, ghosting, and finally, running from anyone who tried to get too close to me. It was glorious. I was in total control. A common question I got asked was, “You’re married, aren’t you.” “WHAT?” I would reply in disbelief. “No! Oh God No. Why would you ask me that?” And then the stuttering, around the foot in their mouths, would follow.
“Because Love Is For Suckers. No way. Screw that! Why are YOU single?” was my go-to comeback.
Stupid boys. I was that girl. And proud of it. Un-catchable. Foul-mouthed. Never returned a call or text on time, but, who showed up at your door expecting pleasantries-that girl. My rules. Always my rules. I gave 100%…until I didn’t. Almost all of my goodbyes were amicable. But, as no one has a perfect track record, there were a few hiccups along the way. We’ll call him Kevin. He beat me to the dump–called ME clingy? Ouch! And that other guy–who cares what his name was–who slept with one of my friends a few months after we stopped seeing each other! That was just c l a s s l e s s. Moving on, this angle worked quite well for me. I felt satisfied. Nobody got hurt. I never mislead anyone. And, most importantly, I honestly thought I had unlocked the secret to never getting burned by Love. Wasn’t I clever? (yes, insert eye-roll).
My 40’s arrived with a bang–but not in a good way. These milestone years would bring on some of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. And my fears were finally validated–‘Love was truly cruel after all. It was absent and cold. It was the warm sun-felt only as long as you could stretch out your arms beyond the bars of an emotional prison. Elusive. Only for the lucky. Only for the blessed. And I was cursed. I was forgotten’ (dark excerpt from one of my super sad journal entries).
Oh yeah…and nobody was interested in that pathetic pile of tears of a human.
Now on auto-pilot, I had all the trappings of a ‘normal’ middle-aged woman: Bad jokes about my old-lady-body, becoming somebody’s Grandmother, and telling myself, ‘You still got it, gurl!’ Sheeze Louise! I did NOT see it coming. Much later, and because God must have a sense of humor, younger men began hitting on me. It was pretty gross. My mind would race, “Is this one older than my sons? Lord, help me. Does looking at him make me a pedophile? Oh, for heaven’s sake! I’m OUT!” I never pulled that trigger. On the back of a dusty shelf, I found my last shred of self-respect and reminded myself that I could NEVER be that desperate. Not ever. I would stay single and keep flying under the radar.
As a surprise to me, a second round at “Love” crashed into my life like a rock through a front window. However, I found myself racing passed waving red flags at Ferrari speeds. I told myself was older. I was wiser. I was/am insufferably sarcastic. Practically foolproof! Besides, Life can be ironic, right? Wrong. Oh, so terribly wrong. And an old lady’s heart breaks just as tragically. Dry mouth. Intermittent heaving and spontaneous bouts of eye-puffing tears. Not an attractive look on mature skin. However, this time, my shit was right where I’d left it. I was able to get it together and heal with only a little hand holding by some really good friends.
Back to the drawing board.
Will I be Terminally Single into this 2nd Chapter of Life? I’m not closing any doors. I’m no longer afraid of Love. I’ve brilliantly survived two assassination attempts on my heart. The scar tissue formed seems to make it beat stronger and louder like a native drum calling on the rain. Being older is definitely not a death sentence. Passion is ageless. A crush is ageless. Love knows only the good in life.
To be continued….