It’s a rainy Saturday night, and I find myself enjoying a bit of solitude and watching the movie, “New Year’s Eve”. I can’t decide if I have seen this movie already, or if it is merely like the dozens of other romantic comedies I have seen over the years, but I do know that these movies always suck me in for a frivolous escape from my own life. I know that it is all an illusion, though, and I am starting to learn and accept that reality is even better than the movies.
While I watch these insanely beautiful couples find true love on the small screen and read about my friends’ incredible date nights on Facebook, I am smiling as I recall a recent invitation to go out on a date. I haven’t been asked out on a date since my now ex-husband called me to go out one Friday night in September 1990. I don’t recall where we went on what led to twenty-one years together, eighteen of them as spouses, but I guess that the most important thing is not where we went that first night, but the fact that we went on a journey together that didn’t quite last a lifetime, but left us with a lifetime of memories. But I digress. . .
After being divorced for over a year, I have yet to go on another first date, but not because I have been pining away alone in my home, but because I have not been asked out by anyone until recently. In some ways, I really am okay with that, though, because I don’t want to go out just for the sake of going out. If I am going to give up time with my girls or time by myself, I want it to be time well spent with someone special, not just anyone. With over seven billion people in the world, I am hedging my bets that when the time is right that the right person and I will meet and perhaps go out on a date that leads to new memories of a lifetime for both of us. In the meantime, I am cherishing being asked out for the first time in twenty-two years, even if I was not able to accept the sweet invitation.
Recently, I was at work at the day shelter for homeless men, and I was talking with one of my favorite gentlemen there. He is an elderly gentleman who shares smiles, laughs, and conversations with me whenever we see each other, and we have gotten to know each other over the past few months. I don’t know his whole story, but I do know that he is a kind, soft-spoken, funny seventy-three year old veteran who has Parkinson’s disease and who has no home. I also know that suitors half his age could take a few lessons from him when it comes to courting.
Last week, during one of our chats, he shyly asked me if I were married, and when I responded, “No”, he smiled broadly and exclaimed, “Yes!” A few days later, emboldened by the knowledge of my single status, he approached me and paid me a few compliments before saying, “I sure would like to take you to dinner”. He said it so earnestly that it melted my heart, and I gently explained that because of my role at the day shelter that I could not accept his very kind offer. I then told him that he would forever hold the distinction of being the first man to ask me out since I was divorced last year, and I sincerely thanked him. He grinned and nodded, and he responded, “You can’t blame me for trying, and that had to be the nicest rejection I’ve ever gotten.” So, even though neither one of us got what we really wanted, we both walked away none worse for the wear. Some women may have been embarrassed or insulted to be asked out by someone of his less than elevated social status, but I felt honored and special actually. He set the bar high, and the next potential suitor will have his work cut out for him.
So, as I sit home dateless on what is traditionally considered to be ‘date night’ among couples, I am content and hopeful that another invitation will find its way to me one day, and this time, I will be able to accept it. Until then, I continue to work on being healthy and happy on my own, and I will leave date night to the lovers of the world for now.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story