The funny thing about widowhood is the apparent case of social leprosy it gives you. It is like people are afraid they will catch it or something. Yes, death is a squirmy and uncomfortable topic. No one likes to come face to face with it. A fantastic example of this is in this this fun new place I find myself.....the world of dating. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but I am not in a spot where I want to become the crazy cat lady. So, apparently, at the age of 35 and with two small kids, I find myself dating. This is where things start to get interesting. Where on earth do I even meet people? B was my high school sweetheart an we knew each other for 30 years. We were best friends. How do I not compare? I know for sure I don't want to find someone in a bar or a club, all of my friends are married with kids, so where does one turn? Apparently the fun filled world of Internet dating. Seriously.
The first horrible hurdle is filling out the profile. I hate selling myself. I firmly believe one should like me for me, not some blurbed version of myself, but the only way for one to get to know me is by me filling in the blurb. Paradoxical. Then there is the single/separated/divorced/widowed choice. Well, the obvious choice here would be widowed, right? Except that NO ONE wants to date a widow. So, I am definitely not divorced, technically I am separated (albeit by death) and I suppose also that I am single, but I don't really classify myself that way. So.....which box do I choose? Against my better judgement, I choose widow/widower, only to come to find out no one reads the damn things anyway! I could be the three boobed alien woman from Total Recall and as long as my picture looked good, I would get all the responses I could handle!
Then comes the first contact. The pretend witty banter. Or the obnoxious " heeeeeyyyyy sexxxxxxyyyy waaat's up?" from a supposedly well educated 38 year old man. I'm sorry, but if you can't even spell "what" correctly, you do not dignify a response. Call me old fashioned, but I like a man who, at the minimum, can form a grammatically correct sentence.
The first dinner. These are always interesting. My favorite part is when I tell them I have kids. The next question is usually "does your ex have them every other weekend?" When I reply in the negative, the next inevitable question leads to me revealing my widowhood, which generally leads to that uncomfortable shift-in-the-chair-glance-at-their-watch-look-into-the-distance and token "I'm sorry". Right then I know there is no date number two.
I have run into some pretty interesting first dinners. Just a few of the more fun statements I have had to utter..... I am a pretty easy going girl, but I can order for myself. And no, I will not be having a martini or two before food. And no, we will not be going for a walk or a drive afterwards to some secluded spot. And no, I will not be committed to you after two beers and a plate of sushi. And one more no, I will not come back to your place to catch a movie....how dumb do you think I am? I am not a prude, but really? Apparently the goodnight kiss has gone the way of the dinosaurs? I think I might just be out of touch with reality.
I have been used as fodder for someone's stand up show, greeted by a barefoot "hippie" in a restaurant, been told I was too young (thank you), been stood up, been approached to convert, been used, and been hurt. I think it is time for me to just date, well, me.