The “D” Word

Posted on | October 4, 2011 | 20 Comments

My Ex and I separated at the beginning of April of this year so for the last six months, I have been operating on fumes.  It was most important that I got up and out of bed.  It was most important that I took care of J and made sure he was happy.  It was most important that I just survive.

Over the past six months, we HAVE survived.  We have made a home back here in Macon.  We’ve made friends.  We’ve made a life.  Of course, when you start to make a life for yourself, if you’re me, you start to wonder about who, if anyone, will ever be there to share it with you. 

Getting divorced doesn’t rob you of your desire to spend your life with someone.  It doesn’t suddenly turn you into someone who thinks growing old with a spouse is trite and stupid.  You don’t wake up suddenly feeling like a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle and then go out and get a fish and a bicycle just to prove the point.  At least not if you’re me.

For six months I operated in survival mode; picking up the pieces of my life and shaping them into something new, something brighter, something a bit more me.  When I back out of my driveway in the mornings, I smile, because my car takes me past the flower bed that J and I planted, the front walk that we “meticulously” mulched, and my cheerful new red door and flowers that just seem to scream “Welcome home, y’all!”  My house is my own.  My life is my own. 

Now that I’ve started smiling more, feeling more like myself, and in general wanting to actually wake up in the mornings, I’ve started thinking about something imminently more terrifying than divorce…. dating.

Let’s journey back to last week when I had a deposition opposite an attorney in Atlanta. 

Oh, voyeurs, it was a disaster.

This guy was cute.  Like really cute.  And I couldn’t focus on what I was supposed to be doing because I was spending so much time wondering if I was smiling appropriately or if I looked a bit too much like one of those frightening ever-smiling clowns.  That NEVER happened when I was “happily” married.  I couldn’t decide if I was watching him too much, or just the right amount, because for the life of me I couldn’t remember what I NORMALLY do in depositions. 

Let me walk you through how it went down.  I came into the room and there he was, entirely too attractive.  I did a quick smile and turned to shut the doors to the conference room. I couldn’t close the doors.  Seriously.  I couldn’t get them to close.  Our receptionist had to come in and shut the doors.

I tried to play it off by flipping my hair and saying “Oh doors.  That’s so beneath me.  I HIRE people to close those for me.”  And he politely laughed, but my cover was blown.  So yeah…  I basically started the two-hour deposition by announcing to the room that I’m a moron.  I’m sure my client (and super cute opposing counsel) were less than impressed.

Meanwhile, he meandered through his questions with me alternating between “am I ignoring him,” “Am I staring too much,” and “Crap, was I supposed to object to that?” At the end of the questioning, we made quick and polite small talk about the case and then he was gone.

And I spent the rest of the day mentally slapping myself around for being such a moron.

Dating these days is really tough.  Because I’m not a teenager any more and I don’t go to bars and clubs just hoping to run into Prince Almost-Charming while knee deep in a bottle of liquor.  I spend my Friday nights watching Blues Clues and chasing a 3 foot tall terrorist around my house… not exactly a lot of opportunities to meet people.  And then when you throw into the mix that half the married men out there don’t wear damn wedding rings? Well, that’s a whole different story.

Because what if I get up the nerve to be all “So, hi!” and then he’s all “Whoa, there, I’m married!” and then his wife comes out of the woodwork and beats my ass for hitting on her husband?  Married men should wear rings unless they are in scrubs in the middle of surgery.  This guy? Did not have on a ring.  But sadly, in this day and age, I don’t know what that even means.  So I’m left wondering if I’m an idiot who tried (unsuccessfully) to hit on a married man, or if I’m an idiot who tried (“unsuccessfully”) to hit on a guy who was totally not interested.  Either way, the key to the exchange was unsuccessful.  I’ve forgotten how to flirt. (Unless, of course, forgetting how to close a door is now THE way to get a man.)

The long and short of it is this… I’m sort of kind of ready to date.  I’m terrified as to how people actually go about doing that.  I don’t want to do online dating and though I used to go to church, a friend told me that people think single women only go to Sunday School to meet a man so I got paranoid and stopped going.  I have no game.  I am a single mother. 

I am terrified.

“Date” is totally a four-letter word.

Comments

20 Responses to “The “D” Word”

  1. Andrea Sharp
    October 4th, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    I look forward to your blog posts everday now. I remember the feeling. I agree that dating is a new entity all of its own. I waited 2 months after the divorce was finalized to start dating again and then I still wasn’t on board with it. I took babysteps when it came to dating. I tried online dating for two weeks and wont ever willingly subject myself to that beast ever again. I too am a single mom with a career. Its hard to weed through the choices you have and decide which individual is going to fit well into your family life. I think that single parenthood puts an interesting spin on dating overall.

  2. Wendy
    October 4th, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    i wouldn’t say no to meeting someone online. I think it is the way to go these days.

  3. Jennifer Williams
    October 4th, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    Yikes.

    Not yikes that you shouldn’t be dating or thinking about dating, but yikes I’m glad it is you that is dating again and not me. 🙂

  4. Anonymous
    October 4th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    Forget what your friend said; if you want to go to church than go to church. If you find comfort in the community that you find there than that’s more important now than ever.

    I also have to throw in an endorsement of online dating. My husband and I met on e-harmony as did his best friend and the friend’s wife. We also have another friend who met his wife online through some other site (I’m honestly not even sure if it was a dating site but it was online). Dating sites, especially one like e-harmony which is geared towards people who want marriage and a family, are really helpful in removing that initial awkward is he/isn’t he interested (or married for that matter).

  5. molly
    October 4th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    ooooh, yes. that’s a toughie. I would be a complete mess if thrown back into the dating world. I think every grown woman would. So don’t feel bad as you’re trying to figure out which way to go on this new road. You might make some wrong turns. Maybe even get into some accidents. But once you reach the destination? Totally worth it.

    Until then – keep your eye out. You’re like a cat on the prowl. Try to enjoy the not knowing. Nothing is decided for you and that seems kind of enticing. Or scary. Whichever 😉

  6. Taming Insanity
    October 4th, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    The very worst of all the four letter words. As such, I suggest you fling it about with abandon. Words become meaningless when you use them too much.

  7. Tracy
    October 4th, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    You don’t have to online ‘date’ but maybe frequent some sites where you have an interest. For example, I met my husband on a message board for our favorite rock band (Rush). 🙂 I’ve heard of other couples meeting on an online gaming site, or even while doing research on their ancestors. You just never know.

  8. Lola M.
    October 4th, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Over the last 4 years of dating, I’ve managed to distill everything into one sentence: Dating is practice for when you find the real thing. If you look at it like that, it’s all an adventure and you can relax and have fun with it! BTW – I still do stupid things when I cross paths with a good looking man … at some point, the right man will find that cute!

  9. Lisathehomeceo
    October 4th, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    meh, practice makes perfect.
    saw a rainbow today and thought of you! (oddly enough- you’re a woman i’ve never met but who’s words linger with me long after they’ve been read.) god now i feel creepy. i’m not! i swear! (or am i because i had to declare that i’m not?. i quit)

  10. MaconMom
    October 4th, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    When I finally realized (accepted) that no one was going to simply knock on my door and say, “I’m the one”, I made a New Year’s Resolution to get out there. I’ve never been one for bars, etc., so I did what I love to do. I got outdoors. I started hiking again and going to state parks (which kids l0ve). You meet like minded people when you’re doing what you enjoy. Going to the Nantahala to watch the kayakers, and to just be in that enviornment was wonderful! Volunteer, if you like that.
    There are ways outside of bars and church to meet someone.

    Sending you all the positive energy I can!

    You’re right about that ring business! That’s so not fair.
    Your post today sounds like something I would totally do!
    You survived and I”m happy you are ready to dip your toes in the water.

  11. Adrienne May
    October 4th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    It was very scary for me to date for the first time. But it is very nice to have something fun and for you in your life again too.

  12. Kir
    October 4th, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    I LOVE Taming Insanity’s comment, I agree. DATE< DATE< DATE…see??? not so scary anymore…and I am sure you looked postively adorable. If he's smart, he'll snatch you up!

    wishing you all kinds of GOOD DATING Juju!!!! xo

  13. Maria
    October 4th, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    I have been following your journey since April, oddly enough, and really enjoy your writing. I admire your resolve and feel inspired by all you do. No, really, I do. I cheer you on and feel like, if you cry I cry, if you laugh I laugh. My advice: go out with friends, go out alone, go out with J. Just go out and enjoy this time because before you know it, you’ll be with Prince Charming writing about him leaving socks on the floor and not using a coaster. Wish you ALL the best!

  14. Roxanne Piskel
    October 4th, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. Although I am trying online dating. And it’s insanity.

    I think it’s brave of you to put yourself out there. I was divorced for over 2 years before I finally put myself out into the dating world. It’s scary and makes me all kinds of panicky. I’m a total dork. But now I’ve actually embraced it. The last time I was in the “dating world”, I was a mess and I felt kind of pressured to be in a relationship. This time? It’s all about me. It’s all about having fun, meeting new people, and yeah maybe getting a new relationship out of it.

    I hope you can try and have fun with it. Just be your clumsy, dorky self. I know I am! 🙂

  15. Anon
    October 4th, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    I met my husband on match.com 9 years ago, and have been happily married for almost 7. Meeting online was great. I had about 15 dates before I met my husband. Most of the time, I knew the chemistry was wrong as soon as I met the guy. Other times, I think the date felt that way about me. A few had repeat dates but it sizzled out. I met my husband and it was GO from day 1. Moved in after 5 months, engaged after 11.

    It was a nice way to meet guys. I don’t go to bars or churches much and I don’t want to marry someone who goes to bars and churches. I wanted someone serious about dating and interested in marriage. I wanted someone with a certain educational and non-religious background. We would email for a while and then talk on the phone to see if we had interests in common. Then meet for supper.

    I would definitely think about online dating, because you could weed out all the guys who are not interested in dating someone with a kid.

  16. Jackie Henson
    October 5th, 2011 @ 1:30 am

    I am fairly new to your blog, the last 2/3 weeks, I have been playing catch up..your blog has been monumental in helping me sort through the muck of my separation with my husband, his and i’s split is different, it feels like i am not sure where we are going, we are talking, hanging out even a bit more, it feels weird because this past year we have barely talked at all. you are such an inspiration on how to be for yourself and for J, it makes me realize how to be for my daughter as we go through this day by day. thank you so much for being brave enough to put your thoughts, tears, laughter, sadness out there for all of us to read & for teaching us how to be through these sorts of things.

  17. Anonymous
    October 5th, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    Thank you so much for this comment. People like you make it so much nicer to get out of bed in the mornings! Thanks for reading and hang in there… it does get better.

  18. Jackie Henson
    October 5th, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

    this made my day, I am glad to hear from someone on the other side that it does get better 🙂 I know it must be hard getting up when you have the negatives coming at you alot.

    you make it easier for me to get out of bed seeing that one can get up & do what needs to be done even if they dont feel like it 🙂 I will keep reading & learning from what you have to offer 🙂

  19. Angela
    October 6th, 2011 @ 5:49 am

    I don’t get men who don’t wear rings or wives that are okay with that. I would never be married to someone who wouldn’t wear one. I want all the ladies to know that is MY man and he is taken. If this guy was a dreamy as you said, he is single, unless his wife is an idiot.

  20. - Law-Momma.com
    December 1st, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    […] Posted on | December 1, 2011 | No Comments Remember when I told you about the super cute opposing counsel who I made an ass out of myself in front of at our deposition?  For a refresher, check here. […]

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