Fairy tales

Feigning an aura of confidence to conceal the raging disquiet inside, I scanned the restaurant and headed for a table nearby the back, where I really could observe him looking for the 40-something woman with whom he previously shared a few words on the telephone. He'd neither met me nor seen a photograph.

fairy tales
The season was 1986, long before online dating. I'd purposely arrived early to give myself time to acquire that elusive veneer of tranquility.

The dating game was indeed uncharted territory. As a bride of just 18, I used to be ill-prepared for that complexities of marriage. This i was, 21 a number of five children later, newly separated, on the date with a man who answered an ad I had put into the individual column of the local newspaper.

the hermit
"What was I thinking?" I muttered to myself. "This man could be an axe murderer!" I took a couple of deep breaths.

Out of the corner of my attention I noticed a tall, attractive, bearded man heading in my direction. Feeling both fearful plus a little excited, I stood to shake his hand and exchange "glad-to-meet-you" pleasantries. We quickly busied ourselves with menus and meal choices, a diversion that eased us into the discovery of similarities and the sharing of histories.

"So far so good," I believed to myself while i asked the most obvious question: "So, what triggered your separation?"

"We just grew apart," he started, elaborating around the gradual procedure that left them little to express to one another.

I went in for the kill. "What do you consider your spouse would say basically asked her the identical question?" (Hey, I am a social worker - asking probing questions was generate an income made my living.)

Silence. He stared out your window for what seemed like a very long time.

"Uh oh. I blew it," I admonished myself, biting my tongue in regret equally as he started to reply to. I later learned that it had been this inquiry that piqued his interest in me, while he felt the conversation enter a deeper, more authentic level.

Which was 24 years back. My memories of this night remain vivid. The conversation flowed before head waiter's yawn sent us on a hunt for another venue. Off we went along to the neighborhood mall, where we walked and talked... and walked and talked.

Placing the ad inside the paper was a fortuitous act of impulse and curiosity. I didn't desire to navigate the depressing singles bar scene. And I had no want to enter into a serious relationship so right after my separation - roughly I had thought.

For a while after our first date, good sense prevailed and that i spent the time to satisfy a number of the other people who had taken care of immediately my ad. However, several disappointing dates later, I allowed myself to follow along with me as opposed to my head - a good decision, I now know.

The glow so prevalent during the early months of any relationship - ours included - blinded us from seeing ourselves even as were at the time. I was two lost souls, each fresh out of long-term marriages, each struggling to heal from the pain of failure, each attempting to parent our confused children - and every unprepared for an additional relationship.

Yet somehow it worked so we pulled through. We lived separately for quite some time, which we felt was best since we'd eight kids between us. Today we share good relationships with our children and stepchildren, and the've rewarded us with wonderful grandchildren who are simply "ours" - not "yours" or "mine."

In this man I discovered someone who accepts me with all of my imperfections and loves me due to - not regardless of - who I'm, empowering me to be myself all the time. He treats me with kindness, thoughtfulness and respect, and it has learned things i need from him when I'm feeling vulnerable. I trust him with my feelings.

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