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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Advantages of Marriage

Subtitled: Another Disaster in Online Dating story. Previous stories here.

Marriage has lots of advantages. You have a partner to help you make decisions. There's someone else around to do the cooking when you're sick. You have someone to snuggle with in bed. And ...other advantages that (ahem) I won't get into.

But one of the biggest advantages of being married?


***Unless your spouse is a weirdo. I definitely still recommend date nights, even if your spouse IS a weirdo.

About a month before I met Surfer Pirate, I had met another guy on good ol' Myspace. He was the epitome of the kinds of guys they say you'll meet on Myspace. But I was newly divorced, and as my mother had warned me "Divorce makes you go temporarily insane", so I didn't recognize just what a creep this guy was back then.

First of all, he was BEAUTIFUL. Latin. Great body. Gorgeous dark eyes. Just my type. He sent me many pictures of himself. He had several tattoos, but by then, I'd realized I was really attracted to that.

I'll call him Roberto no, forget it. His name was Hector. Screw him. He was a jerk, so I'm not going to make up a name for him. I can't remember his last name, so that's enough anonymity for him.

Anyway, we'd talked online and on the phone and decided that we should get together. We lived several hours away from each other, and agreed to meet in a town about halfway between each of us. I made arrangements for my daughter to spend the night at someone's house so I wouldn't have to worry about time when I made that long drive home.

This was the first time meeting someone I'd met online, and I was overly cautious about it. When we arrived at our meeting point, I made a point of texting a description of what he looked like, what he was wearing, and a full description of his pickup and the license plate number to my family. That way, if I disappeared, they would have all the information I could give them to provide to the FBI.

First of all, he had told me he was 5'8". I'm 5'5". I wore my favorite 3 inch heeled boots (because they look amazing on me), figuring we'd be at eye level with each other. With my boots on, I was at least 2 inches taller than he was. He was also MUCH skinnier than I'd expected. He claimed to be a martial artist, and he had the muscle tone to prove it, but I still expected someone a lot bigger. As my sister would say, he was "pocket sized"*.

We'd planned on spending the day exploring this town that neither of us knew. I just didn't plan on it being so stinkin' cold! It was January, but it was supposed to be really nice that day. But there was a looming Just About to Snow crispiness in the air. We had lunch, and after freezing half to death, he made the suggestion that we rent a room to get out of the cold. (So not sneaky.) I debated, but finally decided it was better than freezing, and better than trying to figure out somewhere else that we could go and not get kicked out for loitering for hours. We went in his truck, and he checked us into a little motel. I sat in the parking lot waiting, feeling a little like a hooker. (Hi Mom! We just kissed a little. Promise!)

In the room, we watched some tv, kissed a little bit, and talked a lot. I thought we got along really well. After a while, we decided to go see a movie. At the theater, I was very self conscious about how much taller I was than him, and was wishing I'd worn something without a heel. We saw the movie Jumper (with Hayden Christensen - I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it). After the movie, it was painfully obvious the snow was coming. He tried to talk me into staying at the motel with him overnight (promising nothing would happen... yeah right), but I said I needed to get home. He drove me to my car and we said goodbye, making tentative plans to meet up sometime in the future.

I drove home in the worst blizzard I'd ever experienced! I will be eternally grateful to the truck driver who was in front of me. I stayed close enough behind him that the snow blew over the top of my car instead of directly into the windshield like it had been. Visibility was almost zero, but as long as I could see the truck's reflectors, I knew I was okay. I just hoped he could see well enough that he didn't drive us both off the road! Truly the most terrifying driving experience of my life! I was very sad to see his turn signal as we got to a town along the way, and worried about how I would do the rest of the drive without that big friendly truck. But right at that town, the road curved and the snow was coming sideways instead of straight at me. I could finally see! I blew a kiss to my hero the truck driver and made the rest of the way home with a little less stress.

When I got home, I checked in with Hector. The roads were so icy that he'd actually ended up in a ditch, and had to be towed out!

As the next couple weeks passed and Valentine's Day came around, he'd started getting distant. If you're not familiar with Myspace, you used to be able to post all kinds of little posters and things on people's pages. He made me a lovely collage of pictures for Valentine's Day - full of pictures of him. (Vanity, thy name is Hector.) Things were just not the same. After a little snooping, I'd discovered that he'd made another Valentine's collage thing for some other girl - full of pictures of BOTH of them.

It became pretty clear that he was really interested in her, not me. I was the booty call he'd tried to get until he could go visit her in Texas - where she lived. I sent him a text message that said "You know, if you really wanted to be with another girl, you could have just told me. We could have just been friends."

No answer.

I'm glad the jerk slid into the ditch that night.

A couple weeks later, I met Surfer Pirate online. He was sweet and charming and made me laugh until tears streamed down my face! Our first date was at my house where we were going to make dinner together. Within a half hour after he got to my house, I got a text message. From Hector. A MONTH after I'd sent him the last text! He was babbling on about how I needed to let it go and move on. (Uh..... that's pretty much what I did. A MONTH ago!) I excused myself to Surfer Pirate telling him I had to deal with some "unfinished business". I basically told Hector to grow up and get over himself.

Then, I set my phone down on the counter.

I took a deep, cleansing breath.

Then I turned around, walked across my kitchen, bent down to where Surfer Pirate was sitting at my kitchen table, and kissed him for the first time.

Not too long after that, he stole my heart.

If you're married, hug your spouse a little tighter today. If you're single, you have my sympathies.

...and my best wishes that you may never have to deal with Hector.

*She was almost 6 feet tall. She loved Sylvester Stalone, and was pretty upset when she discovered he was only 5'9". She said she wanted to pick him up and put him in her pocket.


Joan said...

I remember receiving the details about his appearance and his vehicle when you arrived. I don't remember receiving details about your time together. Hmmm...
What was our family rule? Oh yes - Do NOT Scare Your Mother.
I am so glad you made it safely home.

MTGrace said...

Yeah, me too. Wish I could just erase that day.