Ramblings of an almost-wife

One of the things I love about Facebook is that it is a virtual time portal, allowing us to reconnect with old acquaintances, reflect on our past lives and receive the occasional well-deserved bitch slap.

After accepting the friend request of a former flame, I proceeded to creep his wall and photos, all in the name of playing catch up, of course.  I discovered that he’s been  married to the same person for a number of years-he was always consistent like that-and has two beautiful kids.  Those could’ve been my kids.

Back in the day, we had been serious and even talked marriage.  I was planning on becoming the queen of our double-wide and friends teased us about future little Lysas and insert-name-of guy-here juniors running around.  In a moment of Facebook-provided reflection, I realized the truth behind why I broke up with him so long ago. The reasons  weren’t  because he had gained weight or was too wrapped up in maternal apron strings. Some 25 years later, I realized those superficial reasons masked an unrealized fear of abandonment. I had to leave him before he could leave me.  My teenage self was blinded by an impetuous, selfish nature. I was not able to look down the road and see that the qualities this guy possessed then would be enduring enough to exist now. But I also couldn’t know that society would lose its collective mind; that solid character and long term relationships would become decayed and dying relics of the past.

To this day, I cringe when my dad says, “Whatever happened to…? I sure did like that guy.” A kind, hard working  Christian family guy, of course he liked him.  Everyone did.  A parent really couldn’t ask for a better husband for their daughter. I guess I should have known if he was dad-approved by my dad, the guy really was a keeper.  But it was not my destiny to reign over his double-wide kingdom or produce any little Lysa and insert-name-of-guy-here juniors who would ride around in the back of a pick-up truck or get their little potty mouths washed out with soap. Instead, I would parent other lovely children who lived out those scenarios. So goes the world.

A friend asked me if this guy was available, would I retro date him; pick up where we left off.  No, I say. I’ve wrapped up our past lives together in a neat little box that I occasionally pay a visit. I do feel bad about the way things ended, but I have a feeling that he’s forgiven me. Our time as a couple was a special part of my life that I wouldn’t trade for any rewards reaped by time travel, were it possible, but our now future selves are completely different people.  Besides, he looks extremely happy with the wife that isn’t me. I wish him much joy with her and my almost kids.

Today is not that day

I walk into my apartment and do a quick scan. Pile of textbooks on the dining room table.  Headphones on the footstool.  Glasses on the kitchen counter. I decide to spare my teenage daughter the “things in places where they don’t belong” rant.  Misplaced items signal her presence-at least for two more years, until she graduates.  From the kitchen, I can see her in the bathroom mirror, getting ready to go somewhere not with me.  My woman-child has changed into a long-sleeved, curve-hugging plum colored shirt and is brushing her long brown hair.   If she knew how long I had watched her, she would call me a creeper.

“Hey,” I greet her casually.

“What’s up?”   Once upon a time, she lit up when she saw me. I would find myself entangled by spindly arms and legs followed by the excited squeal of, “Mommy!”  The charge of the hug brigade has dwindled to this.

“Whatcha doin?” I ask.

“Gettin’ ready to go to David’s.” He would get the hugs that were once mine.

I am wondering where my little girl went.  The one who everyone called my shadow, following me from room to room and having near panic attacks when I left her sight. Now she is leaving me more and more and I am the one with anxiety.

“We won’t be out late,” she assures me, walking out the door. She is a good girl. She follows rules and makes good choices. She values my trust.  I am learning to trust her judgment and to respect her newfound independence.  We are navigating our way through a grown up mommy and me relationship. It’s sad and scary and exciting, and I only have two years left to get it all sorted out.

The door closes behind her. Gone are the days of goodbye hugs.  The dog looks at the door, then back at me.  “She’ll be back,” I say, to comfort myself as much as her.

I sit on the couch and look at the books left on the table, so annoyingly out of place. I think about moving them but decide to let them stay. They signal that my daughter is where she belongs. One day she, the books, headphones and glasses will be gone. But today is not that day.

How NOT to write a dating profile for menfolk

***HOW TO ALIENATE AND/OR WEIRD OUT THE FEMALE DATING POPULATION***
Just some tips based on real life profile writing “don’ts” because, let’s face it, some of you guys aren’t all that skilled at fishing in the dating pool.

Be legally married but separated. Better yet, join a dating site a week after you separate and make your status well known.

Add women to your favorites list but don’t initiate contact. Stalker much?

Inform us that your age is wrong and now the site won’t let you change it. How can you mistakenly enter your DOB as 10 years younger than what you really are?

State that your kids are #1/the love of your life/will always come first! Because dating isn’t hard enough; let’s make it a competition.

Mention frequently how lonely you are and list your interests as “finding someone to make me happy/the love of a good woman.” If you don’t know how to be content on your own, then you’ll never find the pot o’ gold at the end of rainbow happiness.

List your interests as kissing, cuddling, massages, pleasin’ your woman, etc. No, it’s not obvious that you’re just lookin’ for a hook up.

Talk about how you love to laugh. You love making people laugh. You make people laugh where ever you go. Nobody is as funny as you. You’re a class clown and need to constantly be the center of attention. OMG get over yourself. Who doesn’t like to laugh??

About your job:  it’s not what you USED to do, want to do or are trying to do. It’s what you currently do that pays the bills.

Brag incessantly about your job, how many people work for you, where you’ve traveled, your many houses/vehicles/toys, how well-liked you are. You are looking for a date, not trying to take out a loan.

Complain about how women are always doing you wrong. Stop taking back the cheatin’ hoes!

State how you have such a great relationship with your ex and you even hang out together. If things are THAT great, get back together already! Jesus.

Have no pics. Or a pic of 2 guys but don’t identify yourself, then it turns out your friend is hotter than you. Or have ONE blurry pic of yourself that’s 5 years old, wearing shades and hugged up to scantily-clad bimbos with the caption, “I haven’t changed much,” or “I look way better in person.” OR just have pics of food, drinks, your toys, vehicles, pets, landscape, road/sea kill or your kids. Why would you put pics of your kids on a dating site??

Send us ladies well thought out, creative messages such as, “You’re hot. What do you want to know about me? You can ask me anything” to indicate the lowest level of interest possible.

In the About Me section, just type three lines of “I’ll fill this out later” to meet the word count and don’t tell us anything about yourself. Because the only reason you’re here is out of boredom so why put forth any effort, right?

This has been a dating public service announcement. You can thank me later 😉

“Dragonflies are real!”

In loving memory of Allison Delaney Walker July 2, 1996 - April 18, 2012
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