A blog, a law, and a little luck – Part II

This is Part II of my grand love story. At least in my mind it’s grand, so read on!

It turns out FlyBoy did check my blog out before going away; however, not knowing this at the time, I was certain he was less than enthused at the idea of meeting me. As all my readers know, this would have been incredibly shortsighted on his part – oh, yes! – but I figured, well, whatever; it had been worth a shot, right? At least I could say I explored MY options, even if he wasn’t exploring his.

About a week and a half later Bob — who’s one heck of a guy — told me that FlyBoy was back in town and was interested in contacting me after all. I knew from my sources that he was on the shy side, so I took his “sure, she can email me at this address” in stride. Hey, since I was the pursuer who started the darned thing, I saw no reason to back down now.

I emailed him a warm and witty introduction.

He emailed something equally warm and witty back — showing a stunning display of complete sentences and mastery of grammar. I was intrigued.

We exchanged a few more emails and then I made the move to suggest we meet for lunch later that week. Brazen hussy, you say? Perhaps, but at this point in life I saw no reason to delay. There’s no other way to tell if you have potential with someone until you meet in person…regardless if the person seems to like good grammar and 80’s music/references as much as you do.

Although this was a positive step, I approached our first date with a “yeah, whatever” kind of attitude. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, but I had been down the nice-schmice road before. In fact, the day of our lunch I put on something clean but not what I would consider my best first date effort; I ordered a first-date “no-no” of a pulled pork sandwich (we were at a BBQ place); and I almost had the poor guy meet me at a steakhouse that had gone out of business.

Note that I didn’t REALIZE that the restaurant had gone out of business until my dad mentioned this to me the night before. WHY had I even mentioned an upcoming date to my father in the first place? God only knows, but I’m glad I did. Otherwise poor FlyBoy might have thought I was more interested in jumping him in back of the vacant building for his wallet than potentially jumping his bones.

As it turns out, our first date at the restaurant NEXT to the vacant building was a really fun, relaxed 2+ hour lunch. Still, it was just a first date. I wasn’t about to get my hopes up. I remember telling my girlfriends in Chicago days later that he was super nice, smart, cute and funny, but… But what? I didn’t know what, except that I should give us a few more chances to go out.

And we did. Next, we met for dinner and I got giddy on attention and sangria. I felt that amazing tingle when my arm brushed against his, and a pleasant shock when he leaned over unexpectedly and planted a wet one on me over tapas. (Hmm, not so shy after all, come to think of it.)

On our third date we rented a movie and watched it at his place. (Yes, we watched it!)  What really took me by surprise, though, was when he pulled out a key lime pie for dessert — the pie he had baked for me because he remembered how I said in passing on our previous date that I loved key lime pie.

He baked me a pie.

By the way, I’m sure he’s embarrassed if he’s reading this right now. As he said that night, “Susan, really. It only called for, like, three ingredients. No big deal.”

O, contraire, Fred Astaire!

Ladies, back me up on this: a man who listens, remembers and bakes? Big. Deal.

Anyway, we went out on more dates, some loftier (and crazier) than others, but all giving us the chance to get to know one another — and giving me glimpses into a man who was attentive, sweet, funny and one of the most genuine people I’d ever met. Someone who, for the first time in my life, let me relax and laugh and be me without worry…while treating me consistently and genuinely with love and respect. All the time.

It was just like my mom had told me months before: “Susan, what you need is someone who is just…[searching for the right word] simpatico!” I certainly did and I was finding it with FlyBoy (oh, heck, let’s call him “J”). Strangely enough, shortly after we met, J. emailed me one morning, “We are so simpatico, it’s crazy.

I had never mentioned that word to him before.

Definitely simpatico and crazy.

In retrospect, I’m still not sure why things worked out so well this time around for me. Maybe it was timing, or luck. Maybe a higher force was at work. Maybe it was just that chain of change: me taking another chance; Bob taking a chance with his friends and on me, someone he didn’t know very well; and FlyBoy/J taking a chance on meeting someone new, out of the blue — something that he has since confessed he never would have done before.

Maybe it was just me having this blog.

All I know is that when J. asked me to marry him last weekend, all I could do was say, “Yes.”

🙂

Advertisements

A blog, a law and a little luck – Part I

I know I promised months ago to write about how I met FlyBoy, and today, which marks 8 months together, seems like as good a time as any. It’s not exactly that I was afraid of jinxing anything…I just was really enjoying our developing relationship in private.

And, okay, I admit it — I was a bit cautious based on past experiences. C’mon, can you blame me?!

So, if you really want the scoop, I’ll start at the beginning, or, for a bit of back-story, the end.

BFB (Before FlyBoy) – a.k.a. “At Wit’s End”

Last year around this time I was in the midst of what I would call a “great intentions” relationship with Coach, who was going through a very hard time dealing with a death of a close friend, as well as two young people he and his adult children knew, plus work overload and what seemed to be one family emergency after another. It was awful to see someone I genuinely cared about go through all of that. I suppose we both knew it wasn’t a good time to pursue a relationship, but we tried and persisted for three months. I was so, so supportive and I knew he cared a great deal about me, too. He said so, so it must be true…right? And, then:

Poof

You know: poof. Vanished. Gone.

What I mean is he called me up one day to tell me he had up and quit his job (without another one lined up) because it was sucking the life out of him (paraphrasing) and it didn’t allow him time to spend with me or his family. Wha-haaaaa? All true, but…um…not exactly a well-thought out strategy, IMO, and I certainly didn’t ASK for him to quit his job. We made plans to get together to talk in 2 days, but when I tried to confirm the where and when he refused to answer the phone. Or his email. For a month.

Needless to say, I was confused, upset and worried, particularly because I knew he was depressed and his behavior was erratic, to say the least. After a short time I figured out he really hadn’t quit his job because his work number and email remained in operation…and I soon discovered through a bit of Internet sleuthing (hello, MySpace public profile!) that Coach was alive and well. After a few weeks of periodically checking in — what can I say, I’m human, and he was about as secretive online as the CIA posting their how-to guide in a chatroom — I saw that he had gone back to his on-again-off-again-on-again-once-more girlfriend.

Ouch.

Actually, I believe my word was (and please excuse this), “FUCKER!”

I enjoyed great satisfaction in emailing him then — and apparently scaring the crap out of him — because he deleted all of the info in his profile about 30 seconds later like a true chickenshit, but since I had no interest in actually stalking him in real life — seriously, who has time for that?! — I decided to move on.

SBFB (Still Before FlyBoy) — a.k.a. “I’ve HAD IT!…so what do I do now?”

Man, I was bummed. Not entirely about Coach, but because I felt I was destined to attract middle-aged men with a truckload of baggage and drama. I felt I couldn’t get a break even 5 years after my divorce. What did I have to show for it? Not a heck of a lot.

But around this time, in mid-May, I decided to do two things that started (or continued), I believe, a chain of positive events. A chain of change, if you will.

First, I decided to try something that Terry at Dating Advice (Almost) Daily suggests: write a list of everything you want in a partner. Terry believes in and writes often about the Law of Attraction, and in fact wrote an e-book on the subject. If nothing else, I figured maybe it would help me recognize what I didn’t want more quickly and make me a lean, mean whittling-away-the-bullshit machine instead of the nice girl who tends to see the best in people, and ignores the worst.

So three pages later — yes, three, but they were more like 5×7 than 8 1/2 x 11 size! — I had my list of what I desired.

Second, I decided I needed to jump back into the dating scene, like right away, which was against my natural instincts. Not that I was going to hibernate for 6 months, but I was kind of emotionally wiped out from being so supportive with Coach, only to have my tender heart spat on. (Spat on? It’s late, that’s the best I can do.) I vowed to get over it and do what my other single friends seemed to do, and just dive back in. The problem was I didn’t want to go back online again. I had tried it several times and that was how I met Coach. I didn’t have anything against it; I just didn’t feel I had the energy. Which led me to Plan B. Or was it Plan A?

IGT (I’m Getting There) – a.k.a. “This is How We Met”

Bear me with me here – more details, but they are all completely necessary. Trust me.

Back in January of 2008 I was emailing a fellow blogger we’ll call Bob (because that’s his name) about some nonsense or another; I think we were swapping comments related to a blog post one of us wrote. We had met a few times at happy hours for local bloggers and he seemed like a nice, down-to-earth, funny guy (despite his penchant for making the Mary Worth comic strip even more disturbing than normal), so I asked him if he had any single friends who might want to meet me-ha-ha. Ha.

He said, sure he knew some guys.

Hmmm.

We emailed back and forth and he agreed to contact two of his friends who we (and Bob’s wife) felt would be the most compatible.

Maybe two weeks went by and I met Coach and Bob had forgotten to email his friends. Life went on…until late May when I decided in my post-Coach/let’s-give-love-ANOTHER-try stage to be ballsy (or desperate) a SECOND time and asked him if he’d still be willing to contact his friends if they were also still single.

Thank the heavens above, he agreed. Thank you, Bob.

Yep, Bob emailed his friends, all right. Friend #1 politely declined (I may have heard “NutCase!” echoing across county lines), and Friend #2, who you know as FlyBoy, was going away for a week and responded through Bob that he’d check out my blog when he got back.

Great. Even after Bob had talked me up, this guy couldn’t spare 5 minutes to check me out before a week away.

Or so I thought…

To be continued tomorrow because it’s way too late and this is running way too long!

Luck, love and loss

I have been lucky in my life in so many ways: one is to have grown up knowing all of my grandparents and two of my great-grandparents. Both of my grandfathers are deceased, and sadly my Mom’s mom passed away yesterday at the age of 93, peacefully. My grandmother had had a roller coaster of a year health-wise, with a few scares and hurried trips to visit her, so this was not unexpected. But it’s still hard, you know? It doesn’t matter I can say, “She lived until the ripe old age of 93” or that she told us she was “ready” many months ago.

My grandmother spent the last few years in a nursing home, losing mobility but never losing her presence of mind; only recently did she start to confuse things and only on occasion. My parents visited regularly from out of state, the last time about a month ago, and my mom spoke to her daily. The kids and I visited her this summer, and I saw her on two other visits to Michigan this year. She participated in bingo at her residence and classes here and there, but she lived a fairly isolated existence in her room watching TV. She always liked TV — you knew never to call during her soaps! I will remember her in other ways, too:

  • a woman who, in her 50’s, went back for her high school diploma because she left school to work as a typist/secretary to earn money during the Great Depression
  • a woman brought up in an Italian household in Detroit, who loved and relied on her family for support and as her social network throughout her years
  • a wife who single-handedly took care of her husband, my grandfather, at home after he had a stroke that left him wheelchair bound and paralyzed on one side; she cared for him until about 10 years later when he had to be hospitalized and then died of colon cancer
  • a mother to four children, nine grandchildren and (I think) seven eight great-grandchildren, raising them with music (she played the piano so well and could play by ear… she even had a song published back in the day!), homemade pasta and sauce, I’m sure some stern words at times, and love

That’s how I’d like to remember her, and I’m glad that even if I didn’t call this week when I planned to (always planning, always regrets, I’ll talk to her on Christmas…), I spoke to her on Thanksgiving and told her I loved her.

Even The Ex emailed me the words he couldn’t tell me (for whatever reasons) when each of my grandfathers died — one while we were dating, one while we were divorced:

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he wrote. And then, “I liked Norma.”

I liked Norma, too. I loved her.

Grandparents, sis and meGrandma, me and Drama Girl

grandma and me