First a little update for those who don't follow my Facebook page. I posted this yesterday morning in the comments after sharing my Wednesday blog post. I felt so much better after a good night's sleep.
I slept well & feel so much better this morning. Woke up to Styx’s ‘Babe’ which always brings tears but today’s tears felt good. Cleansing. “Giving me the courage and the strength I need.” Yep. And then I pulled these cards this morning. Well ok. Message received. I’m sending this melancholy packing and I’m back to living my life in a way that honors all of those years that Vern & I loved.
And then I spent some time that afternoon trying on swimsuits. I took an online class earlier this summer called Bikini Bootcamp and had committed to trying on suits that I would never ever have tried on before. Well ... that was not fun at all. Oh, I take that back ... I did laugh several times. But not necessarily in a good way. And I actually said out loud in that dressing room, "Well now I know I cannot date anyone, because no one is going to want to ever see this." I've learned so much from Stasia's Style School and I know I need to love and accept the body I'm living in. And I've learned ways to dress it to emphasize my good points and detract from those bad ones. But bikinis? Oh hell no. I did purchase two pieces that I promise I will wear at least once ... in my backyard swimming pool ... at night ... in the dark ... when the 2-story house neighbors behind me can't possibly be looking out their back windows. I know, Stasia, that is not following the rules. But. I. just. cannot. do. this.
And that brings me back to our dinner conversation last night and something else I know I cannot do.
This is going to be hard to write without saying what I'm actually talking about - and alerting the internet police which would result in my blog being placed on a sexually explicit list. I'm a bit embarrassed. Yeah, at 67. I knew I was old-fashioned and that I have not lived any sort of 'on the edge' kind of life. I didn't date much in high school. Vern & I falling in love so quickly right after I graduated was magical, meant to be. That's the only explanation of how the handsome single teacher driving a Corvette ended up loving me. We had a good life together. A very good life. We loved deeply. But apparently we didn't express our love like 99% of everyone else. OK - that's not a scientific statistic, but it's kind of how I'm feeling today. I'm obviously a dinosaur when it comes to dating and expected 'expressions of intimacy'. I guess it demonstrates just how naive I am that I never even thought about this being something I would have to do. Never.
So during dinner - oh those poor folks sitting near us at Mimi's had quite the entertainment if they were eavesdropping - a particular 'thing' was brought up that apparently most everyone does on the 2nd or 3rd or 4th date. I hesitated sharing, but then whispered (yeah, really, I whispered it) ... "I've never done that."
My one friend was shocked, flabbergasted actually, that after being married for 41 years I had never done this 'thing'. The other friend understood when I reminded them I was from Michigan. That makes me laugh now because I'm quite sure this particular 'thing' is done back there, too. Just not by me. or Vern. And he's the only guy I've ever been with.
So after my friends shared a few more details about this particular 'thing' ... I realized I cannot possibly date. And perhaps this was the gift I've been seeking all along.
I've learned how to do a whole lot of things since Vern died. Many things I never ever thought I would do or could do. But this thing? Nope. I don't want to have to learn how to do it. Call me a prude. Call me a dinosaur. Call me whatever you wish. Not gonna do it.
So if doing that 'thing' is what is expected in dating world, then I am quite content to let it pass me by. And I think this will also allow me to do what I've needed to do for some time with my unrequited feelings for my friend. They can slip quietly into my memory bank, with a silent thank you to learning I was able to feel something I didn't think I ever would feel again.
I know I have friends who were quite happy I had 'finally' opened myself up to the possibility of a new love coming into my life. And it actually felt good to me, too. But when I think back to all of the things this year has brought me, there's just been way too much drama surrounding these feelings. I had a pretty good life before everything changed in January. I was happy. Not the same kind of happy if Vern were still here, but happy enough. And I wasn't constantly beating myself up over how I look. I'll be honest, I may need to take just a wee bit of time to grieve the loss of the possibly of having someone love me in this final season of my life. But last night clearly showed me that my idea of dating does not in any way, shape or form match up to the reality of dating in this day. I'm apparently stuck back in 1969 and while that was a really wonderful year for me in so many ways it does not resemble anything of today.
I sure never thought it would take a random discussion about that particular 'thing' to lead me to this decision. But it feels like a weight has been lifted from my soul.
So before posting this I pulled my cards for the day ... and I think those angel cards are perfect! Wow! I was at first disappointed with the Grief card but after reading what it meant it, too, was a perfect choice. ("Nothing is gone forever. The belief that we have "lost" someone ... is merely an illusion to assist us in learning to appreciate our having had it in the first place ... The lesson of loss ... is to acknowledge that the bonds of love never end and that we have not been abandoned ... When you accept in your heart that you will be reunited with everything you have ever loved, it will give you the ability to move beyond your grief and derive something beneficial from the experience.")