Stage One

Before I got married I wasn’t single. I was a teenager; a high school senior. with no car, a curfew, and a bedroom across the hall from my parents. Now I’m in my sixties. Officially unmarried, finally, but I still can’t check the box for ‘Single’ at my new doctor’s office or on my no-longer joint tax return, when the box beside it is for “divorced”. There’s a difference? I checked both boxes. I expect a nasty note from IRS any day.

My new ‘uncoupled’ status has a few challenges I can’t really solve on my own. I wasn’t sex crazed when I married at seventeen. Well…I was, but I was also a madly in love virgin full of dreams and adventure. Through forty-seven years of marriage, even though I shared, albeit quite unaware I was sharing, I was used to regular romps and rumpled covers. He was a real stud, right? Damn, I hate to admit that, but fact is, long spells without someone to have singular fun with are at times, achingly new to me.

Once I began to heal and embrace my new status, biology drove me out the door with the intent of dating, wanting to be part of a couple again. Well…maybe not the first time, but I have no regrets about that one. Since then, I clearly haven’t taken enough time on the dating side of that equation to discover I uncover the same rock each time I stray from my unrumpled sheets and ‘table for one’ request at a restaurant. Evidently, I have a type I’m drawn to and attract. Not good, but good to know.

I want to want a new type of man, one that actually understands the term sexually exclusive, wears a watch, looks at said watch, has a preferred brand of condom they know how to put on and keep on, doesn’t nod, smile and deny they’re sleeping with anyone else, while they rotate through a harem in their home town, two states away. Please don’t split hairs here. The word ‘sleeping’, in that context, while they’re unbuttoning your blouse, is interchangeable with ‘having sex’.

I’m not being snide. I’m really not. I’m being honest about what I’ve encountered in my age-appropriate dating pool over the past year. I’m not dating derelicts or men with shifty eyes. I’ve dated two retired doctors and an oil company executive, each for about three months.

I need a change. To change. To look for attributes in males that don’t exude Alpha pheromones. Maybe tuck an Este’ Lauder perfume soaked cotton ball under my watch band to overpower even a slight whiff. My new objective is to restrain my libido. Learn to make friends with men, before our first intimate encounter. I like men. Love sex. Need a plan, and Google came through. I think. I hope. Maybe.

As I searched for an emergency ‘how to date’ manual before the black-tie charity function I’ll attend ‘uncoupled’ in a few weeks, I found an updated version of a book about the rules of dating; Not Your Mother’s Rules.

According to the first few chapters I don’t need a perfume soaked cotton ball or a box of condoms. Not yet anyway. I need un-faked confidence, and to keep my legs crossed, in a new outfit and shoes I’ll fall flat on my face in if I sneeze. I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll keep you posted. ????


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