By Rebecca Bitton – republished from her blog, Surviving Limbo
I’ve been wondering lately how the hell I’m ever going to attract a decent guy into my life. I mean, I’ve dated a bit, but it’s been quite a parade of misfits I’ve wasted my precious nights off with. So, I’ve resolved that no sane man will enter into a serious relationship with a forty-ish, single-ish mother of two who’s technically still married.
I hate to admit that for all of my toiling and deliberating as to when to finally end this limbo and file for divorce, the final straw has been looking in the mirror that my hapless suitors have held up for me. This is what I’m attracting? And while I’d like to blame the guys, I can’t. I’m a decent catch without all of this chaos, but with it, I’m an adventure of sorts (translation- huge liability).
Despite my desperate state, I did have the wherewithal to turn down one of the most asinine offers I’ve ever received. I’d been cautiously dating a
demonstratively affectionate but flaky actor over the span of a year (it took me a loooong time to agree to go out with him for obvious reasons). As it turned out, he was pretty wounded from his own divorce and didn’t think he could be in a monogamous relationship. BUT, he loved me, wanted to be with me, was attracted to me, etc. I explained multiple times that I am not into open relationships. So, after about a month of ruminating, the poor sap called me to make me an offer … “What if I take care of you? Like, really, really well?” No kidding. I’m in my early forties and I got an offer to be kept? By a man who’s a few years older than me and suitable dating material in every discernible way?
What the hell? I calmly explained in explicit detail precisely what did not work for me about being part of his harem. After that surreal phone call, I laughed by myself for a few minutes and wondered if I should spin this into the ultimate compliment or another humiliating smack down.
It shouldn’t have mattered. I knew from the start this dude was not my guy. But it did matter. It was one more man who had managed to baffle me into total confusion and paranoia.
So, I decided to take a break — off of men — to focus exclusively on my kids and my divorce and my future. No men. No men. No men.
But, I’ve been looking. I can’t help it.
Tonight, I brought my younger son grocery shopping with me to get him out of his older brother’s hair. This young son happens to be super tall and as we stood in the meat section, I said to him, “could you please stop growing, you’re making me look short?” He answered, “you are short.” Just beyond his cute little mug, a grey haired, good looking guy came into focus. He had clearly overheard our banter and was cracking a mild grin. Alarm bells rang and my inner slut cried, “Get your flirt on!! Now! Do iiiiiiit!” I wrapped my arm around my boy and thought, “there’s no fucking way. I have to let this one go, dammit.” The guy shot me a few flirtatious looks. Why?? Wasn’t he turned OFF by my being a mother? Was he a pedophile? WTF? I was glad I was at least wearing clean clothes and mascara.
But why? What the hell was I gonna do with this guy? I moved along and went on to argue with my boy over whether or not cookies and kettle corn are both desserts.
Finally, at the check out, who saunters up and lands right behind us in line? Mr. Cute, Apparently Available, Overtly Interested, Potential Pedophile (but probably not). I engaged in my usual playful repartee with the check out guy, but with an extra dose of wit for my prospective future husband’s amusement. And he did smile. But with my boy smack in between us, what move could he make? I sure as shit couldn’t come on to some guy in the market with my kid in tow (not that I make a habit of picking up guys anyway).
While loading groceries into my car, I caught a glimpse of my lost love heading toward his Lexus. And that was it.
As I drove, I pretended to listen to my son rattling off the latest school gossip.
And, as I watched my boys eat a proper supper with their father at home at the dinner table (this was a rare occurrence even when we were “together”), I remembered my station in life. And I remembered that the guy from the market is still out there. And he noticed me. And assuming he wasn’t a pedophile, he appeared to be a decent catch. And there are probably more decent catches who will notice me and go a further step in asking me out when I don’t have my kid(s) with me.
So, I’m back on track. Divorce. Get divorced. Do the nitty gritty icky brutal work of getting divorced and then … maybe then, I can step out in the world and attract someone who reflects the me that I’m hopefully en route to becoming.