To quote Paul Harvey – “Here’s the Rest of the Story!”
YEAR OF THE WEDDING:
Quite a few reviews or remarks mention that they wish “We’re Not Sixteen Anymore” was longer. I meant it to be only about my dating experiences online. Fortunately, fortuitously, and mercifully (!!) for me dating was plentiful, but quick. My public relations firm head suggested I write a novella about my first year with Dave, so I did. In the next few weeks, I’ll post parts of the novella, and may even dredge up some of the pictures of some of the events that happened. As with my book, these events are true, but written tongue-in-cheek, so I hope you get a few laughs out of them and enjoy!
When a man you technically hardly know asks you to marry him after only three dates, it’s probably not the wisest decision to whisper, “Yes” to him. But that’s exactly what I did in August of 2013 after my kids had put me on Match.com in June of that year.
My first date with Dave was pleasant. My second date was nice until he kissed me, and I started crying. My third date was the beginning of a whole new life for me.
I can’t explain what happened, but suddenly, I realized I didn’t want to date around anymore – I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man. I loved him. And he confessed he’d fallen in love with me the very first time he saw my profile picture because of “that smile!” So, there I was, sixty-one years old and in love.
Now, I had always assumed that as one ages, something called maturity evolves and that older people – let’s say, sixty-one or more years old – take emotions and feelings in stride. Emotional reactions ideally should be rendered in a stable, calm, adult manner with insight, forethought, and intelligence. That assumption was in error: I was as goofy as a sixteen-year-old. We held hands in public. We kissed in public. We’d bump into each and giggle in public. We did it for all the world to see. At the time, we were both so thrilled to have found love a second time that we didn’t notice how infatuated we were.
Now after being married long enough that we feel we’ve been together forever, we think back to those early throes of love and lust with embarrassment and disbelief. We need an excuse as to how we acted:
Is the word “lovesick” coined because it is really an illness?
Were we subjected to some sort of cosmic gamma ray of love from the cyberspace dating site?
Is Cupid for real?
In the throes of new love, common-sense disappeared. We were faintly aware of that, but jeepers! It was us and we were exempt from old clichés. We wanted to shout out to the whole world about our love. We settled on breaking the news suddenly to our adult children. They put us on cyber dating. They’d be thrilled.
My girls were horrified.
“WHAT???” “Do you even know him?” “Getting married? Why can’t you live with him first?” “Wait. You didn’t even want to DO this online dating at first, remember?” “What will your last name be?” (And the kicker) “Where you will be buried?”
I was flabbergasted. “This site advertises its marriage rate. YOU guys put me on it. What did you think was supposed to happen?”
Their answer: “You were supposed to find someone you could call to empty mouse traps for you if you needed it!”
Well, suffice it to say I learned that maybe all the world does NOT love a lover, but after they met Dave in person, they both agreed he was a wonderful man, became very fond of him, and were thrilled and very happy for me.
So, then it was Dave’s turn. After my experience, I counseled Dave that maybe we’d better take our time breaking it to his children. Besides, he’d discovered he had prostate cancer and was scheduled for surgery. I was scared and nervous that I was going to lose my new love, but something inside me told me everything would be all right. Which, I’m glad to say, is exactly how it turned out. It also turned out that when someone is coming out of anesthesia, they sometimes forget things. Or sometimes remember other things, at a most inopportune time.
Dave’s surgery went well. His two sons, daughter and one of his daughters-in-law and I were taken to his room to wait for him to be wheeled up from the recovery room. He was a little nauseous when he arrived, but he reached for my hand and I stood next to his bed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes and announced he had something to tell the kids.
They looked at him expectantly. I stared at him. What on earth could he be announcing? That the doctor had told him he was dying? My stomach was churning. He looked at me, then the kids, and blurted out, “Becky and I are going to be married!”
Four jaws dropped open – make that five – because I was shocked that he had told them when just the day before he’d agreed to wait until we’d been together a little longer to break the news. Like I said, anesthesia makes you forget some things! Impulsively, I joked, “We HAVE to!” And smiled.
I’ll never forget how wide his sons’ eyes got in the instant before I hurriedly added, “Just kidding!”
His daughter, who’d been the one to put him on online dating, darted over to her dad and kissed him. She had tears in her eyes, and for an instant I felt horrible. We’d made one of the kids cry! Turned out, they were tears of happiness, and immediately she put me at ease by hugging me, too. The boys managed to pull themselves together and they and Dave’s daughter-in-law all came over to hug me and congratulate their father. They’d lost their mother thirteen years ago, so I wasn’t sure how they’d all take it, but I soon realized I was going to be welcomed. Dave recovered rapidly from his surgery, and life looked wonderful.
(To be continued…)