May 27th is a particularly lucky day for me. On May 27, 2006, I met my husband. On May 27, 2007, he asked me to marry him. On May 27, 2008, I found out I was pregnant with our baby girl. Obviously you can see why I celebrate the end of May, but I can tell you that it didn’t start out that way.
I went on my first date six months after my first husband died. I know, that sounds wayyyyy tooooo early! But, I had sound reasoning behind my decision. I needed to meet new people. My inner circle was so full of sorrow for me and my grief; they were so full of desire to help and their need to show support, that I began to feel unhealthy in my own life. I was a young widow, and I was in danger of assuming that role for decades to come. What if widowhood wasn’t just a chapter in my life, what if it was my entire book? I felt desperate to ensure that I got unstuck. I was determined to heal and decided the best way to start was to do the one thing I was most terrified of doing, dating.
I joined Match.com, and I signed up for a service called It’s Just Lunch, where I got set up for lunch dates a couple of times a month. I had many first dates, and then, like a teenager, I never returned their calls. In May a friend phoned and wanted to introduce me to Tim. She invited both of us to a dinner party to see if we clicked.
Frankly, we didn’t talk much that night. Still, I wasn’t completely surprised when he called me a few days later.
After a bit of small talk, Tim said, “So I don’t really know much about you; I mean except that you’re a tragic widow.”
A tragic widow? A TRAGIC WIDOW! “I’m not a tragic widow,” I snapped. “And my children are definitely not tragic.” I didn’t come right out and call Tim an asshole, but I implied it with my tone.
“So why did you agree to see him again?” you ask.
That is a very good question. I agreed to see him again because of my girlfriend, Alex. Alex was at the party the night I met Tim. The next day she called me and said, “He’s totally your type.”
“What type is that?” I asked.
“If you went running across train tracks and fell just as the train approached, Tim looks like the kinda guy who would sprint to your side, scoop you up, and throw you out of the way. That is totally your type.”
“Oh God, that IS totally my type!”
So I agreed to have dinner with Tim because he had massive biceps and looked strong enough to launch me off train tracks.
Still, it was not love at first sight. Tim claims I didn’t talk for three weeks, and that is not completely untrue. I am a bit shy and a rather hard nut to crack. Tim, on the other hand, is a man with strong opinions and a strong sense of self. He is easily irritated by stupidity, and unfortunately for him, the world is rather stupid. Tim was like a pissed-off Energizer Bunny, with O.C.D. and a touch of road rage. While he spent the first month waiting for me to talk, I spent the first month waiting for him to calm down. Still, I kept seeing him because he had that bicep thing, and he kept seeing me because he felt obligated not to crush the spirit of the tragic widow, plus we made each other laugh. We still laugh A LOT!
As weeks turned into months, we stayed together. After that first summer Tim said, “I believe all women are crazy and eventually, given enough time, they will unpack their crazy and show you just how insane they are. Then, a guy has to decide whether he can live with that level of dysfunction. I keep waiting for you to unpack your crazy, but now I realize you are completely up-front with your insanity.”
“Yes,” I said. “All my crazy was unpacked by our third date. And I keep waiting for you to chill out, but now I accept that you are simply not capable of relaxation.”
And we lived happily ever after.