When I was younger, I often imagined that I’d get married at maybe 38 or 39. Certainly before 40. I pictured the man I’d marry because they say visualization is key to getting what you want. He would be strong jawed, medium built yet muscular like someone who enjoyed swimming to keep in shape. An educator. I never had an attraction to any strong jawed, medium built educators but that’s just who I pictured. I always enjoyed reading and writing so perhaps I saw an English professor in my future.
As 40 came and went and still wasn’t married and had no prospects, I began to give up on the idea of ever finding “Mr. Right”. At this point IF I EVER found someone, he certainly would need to have money. You see, I knew exactly what my wedding day would look like too: a jazz band, a deejay, a beautiful but simple non traditional dress, great food and most importantly a venue by the lake. The Planetarium. (If you know Chicago, you know what I mean.) But there I was, 40 something, dating “Mr. Going Nowhere” because I’d rather date someone than no one at all. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were nice, just not for me. Maybe I wasn’t for them either. And that’s what I thought after I met this one particular guy.
We met one night dancing. I was obviously attracted to him. Or drunk? One date and a few calls later, he became “Mr. Not Right For Me At All”. Life went on. A couple of years down the road we ran into each other and decided to give it a second chance. Naturally, I still found him attractive (I wasn’t drunk) and there were things we had in common; not just dancing but real things like our backgrounds and values. Many people hang their hats on finding someone with the same interests; they want someone to “do things with”. They forget common values are just as, if not more, important. That’s how I viewed it anyway. Well regardless of our mutual interests or values, after about a month, it went nowhere. But we did stay in touch.
We became friends of sorts. He would call or text me once in a while, mostly around the holidays. If I was in his neighborhood, I’d see if he wanted to meet for a drink. Occasionally we’d run into each other at events because we did have mutual interests. He wanted to date me. I resisted. I was seeing one of those Mr. Nowhere guys. At least I knew where it was NOT going. I was comfortable. I discovered something throughout the years though: The guy I once deemed as someone I wouldn’t spend my life with, someone I thought one way about, actually turned out to be a good guy. A guy who would be there if I needed. And need him I did.
Seven years after we first met, at the age of 49, I was moving and asked him to paint the new place. He was available and willing and lucky for me, very good at it. It started out that he would stay until finished. The place was empty and it was easier that way. I kept him company when I could. I quickly decided to put all the things I thought he was, or wasn’t, all the things I thought I wanted, out of my head and focus on the reality of what was in front of me. The reality: he would do just about anything to make me happy, show his love. He is knowledgeable and curious, protective, caring. Yes, I said IS. He is the guy who came to paint my place and stayed. He IS…. my love, my friend, my present, my future.
I will not be having the extravagant wedding I once dreamed about. We’ve got a better plan. When we get married, it’ll be at a place that has significance to Us. A place we both grew up near. I’ll have a deejay, good food and a simple non traditional nice dress.