Friday, February 24, 2012

"Are You Ready to Date?"....or A Guide on Speaking to Divorced Individuals

I have a confession to make....I googled "how to know if you're ready to date" tonight. (Wait, it gets worse) And then proceeded to take the quiz offered by a well known magazine. (I will now give you a moment to either giggle, or shake your head in disappointment and embarrassment.)

It's been on my mind - and apparently on the mind of one of my special ed. students. I was in our adaptive therapy room with several of the students this week, when I noticed one of the girls looking at me intently. Then the following conversation took place:

Girl: Why aren't you wearing a wedding ring?
Me: Because I'm not married.
Girl: You should get a husband.
Me: I should? Where do I get one?
Girl: (spends many minutes thinking)
Girl: The cops.
Me: The cops? Like the police?
Girl: yeah
Me: How are they going to get me a husband?
Girl: Well....when they drive down my street they always have an extra guy in the back.

I burst out laughing, leaving her somewhat dismayed, but I couldn't help was hysterical. Now although I liked her creative thinking, I'm just not built for the criminal life and, as mentioned in previous posts, I am a letter writing romance just wouldn't work for me. I do think I would excel at the whole file in the cake thing....but I don't think that's done anymore.

I have also received some unsolicited advice and comments that make me think it just may not happen for me. (I know that sounds whiny, but if you could hear the voice in my head it's not at all'll see.)

Since my ex moved out a year ago people have said some spectacular things to me. If you think that I was discussing my non-existent love life when these things were said you would be wrong....they just let loose with these comments. (Please keep in mind that these things have not offended me...if they did I wouldn't write about them. I just find them very funny....hello, filter anyone?) Here are a few of my favorites:

"It's good you're busy with work and school, then you won't notice how alone you are."

"The chance of finding a practicing LDS man in your age bracket (what am I 90?) is less than 20%."

"In a few years your girls will be gone to college and then it will just be you, rattling around in your house."

"You seem very'll be fine never marrying again." (Thank you?)

The nice thing about these comments is they make for very amusing anecdotes. They have great shock value, which makes a story even better. I just think that no one has quite figured out what to say to someone who has gotten divorced. Here are your two options: "I'm so sorry." Or..."Congratulations." You decide which fits best....but if you go for "congratulations" you'd better be really sure of yourself.

Dating after divorce seems like a completely different animal than dating in college and it intimidates me. Everyone has horror stories. LOTS AND LOTS of horror stories about the crazy men and women that are on the dating scene in "my age bracket." It's like every one's child birth stories. No one ever says, "Well, I went into labor for many hours and then pushed several times and the baby came out. It hurt because...well, I was pushing another human out of my body...but otherwise, pretty much as expected." I feel like all of the dating horror stories I hear should start with "It was a dark and stormy night..."

A single Mom I spoke with the other day said her friends used to try and set her up. Most of the men were so unusual that she began to wonder how well her friends knew her...if at all. She hasn't been brave enough to venture into the online dating world...and I don't blame her. I'm not that brave, either. I keep thinking it will just happen naturally...because when all is said and done I'm just an old-fashioned girl lacking the guts to plaster myself on the Internet. (Yes, I am completely aware of the hypocrisy of that statement, but my blog doesn't count.)

The chances of this happening are fairly slim, however. I work in an elementary school and go to school in my kitchen....not a lot of single men hanging out at either place. And if they were hanging out at the elementary school they might be more of that "criminal" element I'm just not cut out for.

So, until my level of desperation rises to the point of dating online (I will eventually need some horror stories of my own), I will enjoy Friday nights at the computer listening to lectures on Ethnocultural Variables (boring)....and looking for the extra man in the back on America's Most Wanted.


Chrysula Winegar said...

I'm thinking I might have been bold enough to go with a congratulations on this one :). I love your writing. And your heart. xo

michelle said...

At least your student has the excuse of being special ed! Not sure about those other helpful souls.

I don't know that I could ever go back to the dating scene. The horrors.

I too love your writing and your heart.

Jill said...

I'm of the "Congratulations!!" way of thinking and feel pretty confident about it.

The thought of dating is so incredibly horrifying to me that I wonder how or why people do it all. Both my sisters have online dating profiles and have vastly different experiences with the process. I fear I have a very jaded view of men and tend to think I'd prefer to be home with a book.

Bob and Mim are the only 2nd marriage success story I know of and am inspired by. I think the best bet is with someone you've known before. Otherwise it feels like creepy strangers full of baggage yet to be discovered. (That's depressing, sorry.)

Amy said...
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Natasha said...

Hey Michelle! I am so enjoying your writing! Just wonderful! I say, just keep writing, and go with your instinct, as you said it: just let it happen naturally. I've long believed, even before I met my husband, that if you're just living your life, doing your thing, that which is right for you at the time...your paths will cross! And if it doesn't, then you've still lived the life you want to...not one full of pining. This keeps you in the moment, and you seem pretty in touch with that. I'd like to add to that list, Bob and your mom: my parents. Did you know they split up? I had some horrific images of my mother out on the dating scene (in her 60's!)...but as it happened, floating in her circle, was a mutual friend (actually of Joanie Cutler!), an old friend of over 20 years...and they've now been married for 3 years this summer! My dad just remarried this summer as well, mutual friends at a party-totally random. Point being, they were just living their lives, doing their thing... I say it again, trust your instincts, I"m sure it's helped you in the past and it'll never fail you. Love to you!! Natasha