Welcome, Mamma Crew, to another chaotic, exciting, but always beautiful day of an older mom like you!
So, let’s go to the beginning. How did I become an older mom in the first place right? So, yes, there’s no question, you know endometriosis, not wanting to have kids when I was young, not finding the right partner. And then, one day, everything changed. The one thing that used to really aggravate me when I would be around my grandmother is I would ask her, “So, how do you know when you’re in love?”
And my grandmother would say, “You’ll know when it happens.”
So, I remember the first time I fell in love. But I didn’t want to have babies with him. I was in my twenties. It was my first real serious relationship. The idea of having babies just did not enter the picture. And then he was dead. He died. Believe it or not, I made light of it, and as soon as I made light of it, I felt a knife to my heart. After so many years, it can still hurt to remember that devastation.
To this day, even when I don’t look at the calendar, every September 10th, I’m overwhelmingly sad. Just so sad. And sometimes I’ll ask myself, “What the hell is going on with me today?” Because I don’t consciously think of his death anymore, but, despite the many years between his death and now, he died in 1991, it still hurts. It still hurts, and I still miss him. I feel the loss of what could have been.
The second time I fell in love as an adult. It was the passionate, head-over-heels, volcanic type of relationship. And this went on for years. But I didn’t want to have children with him. Not just because he has a medical condition that has a genetic component, and neither he nor I wanted to pass it on, but also because it just never felt right. It never really felt like we could provide a stable home for a child, although I brought up two from his previous marriage. It just didn’t feel right. It never felt like we could create that stability.
And so, I began to think that it was just not going to happen, okay? It was just not going to happen. I was not going to become a parent. And then I met the one. And the way I met the one is one of those oddball stories. Now, I have to be honest with you. When I was single, I was a serial monogamist. I usually, except for my boyfriend, who passed away, didn’t let go of a relationship until: I was completely done emotionally and physically. I was ready to move out. I was out the door, and I already had somebody else in line. Now, I didn’t realize that I was doing that until I was much older, but that’s just what I was doing.
And in this case, I had a relationship that had ended. I already had another one in place—very handsome, very tall, just—a gorgeous guy of Greek descent, with golden skin, these intense green eyes. I just thought he was gorgeous, and he was so intelligent. He wasn’t in my Ph.D. program, but he was in a different Ph.D. program, and I just, I always thought, you know, wow!
But summer happened, and he was going to make a trip to Africa. He was going to vaccinate children and, me—well, I was hospitalized because I had to have a partial bowel resection that summer. So, here I am in the hospital having this horrible surgery, extraordinarily painful. Everything changed for me—my perspective of my family, my view of life, my education perspective, and my goals. Everything changed as a result of this surgery.
And as I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and having no one to speak with, no one to communicate what I was going through, I didn’t know what to do. And the worst part was that I needed so much pain medication! I’ve never been into pain medication, but this was one of those times when I was going to take it—I mean, I was miserable without it! I was sleeping a lot during the day, and I was awake at night. And I wasn’t just kind of awake, I mean, I was AWAKE and alone with my thoughts.
So, one day, I see this announcement that there’s a new movie coming out. I think it’s called The Dawn of the Dead. It’s a movie about zombies. And I’m an oddball when it comes to these kinds of things. Some movies scare the bejesus out of me, and I can’t stand them. Like I can’t watch Hostel or Chainsaw Massacre. I can’t handle things where people are going to be cut up to pieces.
The other thing is, I used to be terrified of zombies. They creep the hell out of me because they’re a metaphor for disease and the spread of disease. And in zombie movies, the good guys never win! With Dracula, the good guys win. The Wolfman, the good guys win. Somebody escapes, somebody was saved. Not with zombies—zombie apocalypse, everybody is done! And here we are in a pandemic. Anyhow, but I told myself, I was in a Ph.D. program that primarily involves public health, and I needed to stop being an idiot, be a grown-up, and watch this thing. I mean, after all, it was just the first fifteen minutes of the movie, right? I can handle that.
So, I watched for the first fifteen minutes. Holy crap! I freaked the shit out of myself. I mean, I could not sleep, and of course, I was working on my brain. I was like, “This is silly. You’re an adult. You’re in a Ph.D. program. What is wrong with you? You had to face scarier things, like your alcoholic father. You can’t handle fifteen minutes of a movie?” Nope! I could not, couldn’t handle it at all!
So, this ad for Eharmony comes out, and they’re like, “Okay, we would give you a free psychological profile if you do it now!” In one of my classes, we have been discussing how this test, if a psychologist gave it, was very costly, and yadda, yadda, yadda. We were all joking about taking it. So, I decided to take the test, and I’m thinking how long can this possibly take, right?
So, I start, and I continue, and it goes on, and it goes on, and it goes on, and on! Three hours later, I’m finally done with this freaking thing! And it said, “You can get the outcome if you sign up with eharmony for three months.”
I was like, “Son of a bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep.” Fill in the blanks. I was so pissed! I had spent hours on this. And let me tell you, had I known that I would pay for something at the end, I wouldn’t have done it. I blame the drugs I was on cause I am usually more practical and have more common sense than that. Nothing is ever free.
And so, here I am, I filled this stupid profile. I was pissed. And I was like, after all the time that I spent on this, I’m not walking away from this, the results. I’ll just buy the three months special, whatever for the price of one month, and I’ll just cancel it. So, I go ahead, and I put in my credit card, and it’s said that it’s sending me the profile. And it’s so late by then, I’ve taken my next pain medication, I’m exhausted, I decided it’s time for me to go night-night. So, I go to bed.
And in the morning, I wake up because I hear, “Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping,” and I’m thinking, “What the hell is wrong with my laptop?”
Now, before you think, “Why did she care that much? Computers might sound like that all the time.”
This laptop had all of the data that I’m working on for my dissertation. Just a couple of months before, somebody had lost everything on their laptop, three years’ work. And, of course, the question was, “Why didn’t they back up? If they’re smart enough to be in a Ph.D. program, they should know about backups.”
I don’t know, but I have to admit that I haven’t backed up either. So, when my computer started pinging, I started freaking out. Then all of a sudden, it’s like, “Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping!”
I was like, “Oh, shit!” I jumped out of bed, as much as you can jump up after having partial bowel resection with a sixteen-inch scar. I get up, and I look at my computer, and it’s all these Eharmony matches.
I’m like, “Oh, shit.”
I’ll figure out how to deal with these later, and I turned off the volume, went back to bed. By the time I got back, my computer was swamped, swamped with messages and all that jazz that Eharmony does—the matches. I looked at them, and I’m not interested. I already have someone in my pocket. I already know what I’m gonna be doing, who I’m gonna be dating in September. Close the laptop. Who gives a shit?!
Even though I knew what I would be doing in September, who I would be dating, after a couple of weeks of getting matches, frankly, I started responding to them. Not because it was a lot, not because a lot of the matches were interesting, but because I was freaking bored out of my mind. I was bored! I was in San Diego, and my friends were all over the world vaccinating children, doing their research, going on vacation to Costa Rica.
And here I was dealing with the sixteen-inch scar and the recuperation of having had a bowel resection, very weak, had lost tons of weight. I was just miserable, and I needed to be entertained. So, I let Eharmony do the entertainment. Did I ever intend to date anybody? No, I didn’t. I just wanted to chat. Then my Greek God decided to extend his stay out of the country for a semester in Africa.
So now I’m going back to school, and the person I was supposed to be dating wasn’t there, and I was anxious to get on with my life. I was in this odd place. The life I had before the surgery was gone. Not because people were not there, not because they were not behaving the way they always had, but because I was no longer the same person.
So, back to eharmony. This one guy, named Michael, talked me into taking the next step and talking to someone on the telephone. Spoke with him! And then once he talked me into it, I was like, “Well, if I’m talking to this guy, why can’t I try talking to another guy?”
So, I started talking to other men. Michael then made the argument that, well, I was spending all of this time, I was investing my energy into talking to these people, I should meet them. So, I did. I dated architects, engineers, doctors. I was kinda picky, okay?
Michael, the guy that talked me into talking to people first, talked me into actually meeting people first. I didn’t date him, or I didn’t go out with him or meet him first. I don’t know what you call those first meetings. He must’ve been like the third or fifth guy.
And I have to tell you that it was like a lightning bolt. All those things that my grandmother had said that I was gonna know, “The One” when I met him, were true. Except that, even though he was really into me, he told me, “You know what, we should continue dating other people.” And I’m of the persuasion that people who are not that into you or even if they’re that into you if but they’re willing to put you on the back burner, I call bullshit on that.
Lightning bolt or not, I’ve always been a bitch. And I’ve always told the man that I’ve dated that I was a bitch. I demand to be treated well, to be treated right. I’m the Queen Bee of that room whenever I’m around. That means I have to be the Queen Bee of that man’s life. If he wasn’t willing to make me Queen Bee, I was willing to set up the hive with somebody else. And so, I continued dating. But my gut feeling was right—-he was really that into me. And Friday night, he calls me, and he goes, “Hey, you wanna set up a date this weekend?”
“Are you out of your mind? My weekend is booked. I’m booked all the way till next weekend.”
So, he gets pissed, doesn’t call me for two, three days, which was fine cause I have found plenty of playmates. There was one, in particular, I was really enjoying. I have a big joke with my daughters that they could be baker’s daughters. Because he was an entrepreneur, he owned a bakery, he owned a couple of restaurants in San Diego. He was Italian—tall (I had a thing for tall men), long hair, he looked like he belonged in a Japanese anime. And I don’t know how he got to stay so thin because the man can cook! Amazing! And after dating about thirty guys, and thirty guys in about three, four weeks span. I decided he was the one I wanted to play with.
And so, Michael calls me, and he’s like, “Okay, you know, come on.”
And I’m thinking, okay, so, I did feel something very special with Michael, but he wanted to pretend that he wasn’t into me. He was expecting me to be there when he wanted me to be there, and I don’t play that way. It does not work for me. So, I let him do some begging, and I finally decided to go on another date with him.
Yes, I was dating two men at the same time. Completely different men, looked too differently, yeah both were tall, but my husband has always been a big guy. So, here I had my baker, and here I had Michael. Now the other thing is, I was getting ready to graduate from my Ph.D. program, and what I didn’t want was anybody who was going to hold me back. So, I knew whatever guy I was going to date was going to be on a two-year plan. After that, when I went out looking for a teaching position, I was gonna take it wherever I found it or wherever I was made the best offer. If that meant Alaska, I was going to Alaska. I didn’t want somebody holding me back. So, whoever it was I was gonna date was gonna be on a two-year plan.
So, I’m dating both of them. I’m having a great time. I didn’t really tell the other that I was dating more than one man. We were not exclusive, right? Nobody wanted to make commitments. And my baker says, “Well, you know what I had this trip to Italy scheduled to go see family, so on and so on. And so, when I come back, if we still feel the same way about one another, I think we should take our relationship to the next level.”
I was like, two months is a long time, dude. Who knows what can happen in two months?
Michael happened in the two months. You know how I like to be the Queen Bee of the hive? Well, he created a hive for me. In this world, I was the most important woman. I was the most important thing. I got all of his attention as much as I wanted it when I wanted it. He did everything he could to make me feel special, to make me feel loved, to make me feel secure, to make me feel safe. And I already had felt that lightning bolt! It was not fair. He was not playing fair, I’m telling you. I fell in love. Damn him.
I fell in love, and my life changed. And sixteen years later, I still can’t believe we’re together. Sixteen years! Oh, my goodness.
Now my daughters ask me, “How did that happen, mom? We could be owning a couple of restaurants and a bakery, and who knows what else by now?”
Well, the baker actually returned three weeks after he left on his trip. He called me up and said, “I realized I had been wrong to leave. I shouldn’t have left.” And I was like, “Yeah. Well. You’re right. You were wrong.” There are some opportunities in life, and sometimes if you didn’t take them, they’re not there when you try to go back. And in this case, I was a missed opportunity for him.
And Michael was an opportunity I took to live a different life, to create a great life that has led to two wonderful teens, two wonderful adopted children. An incredible journey that I wouldn’t change for anything in the world. So do eharmony marriages last? Well, yes. Yes, they do! Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
I hope you enjoyed this flashback to the past. If you have a couple of minutes, please review and rate, and more importantly, let me know how you ended up with your Valentines’.
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