"It takes a hell of a good man to be my Mr. Right. It takes a hell of a sweet man to see me every night. It takes a hell of a good man to be better than no man at all." -Hell of a Good Man, blues song
A year ago in my viral post "Why I'm Alone" I gave answers as to why I didn't seek a relationship, eight years after my husband died. I hadn't dated for ages.
But you know what they say about things happening when you least expect them, and a week after I wrote that post I met a hell of a good man.
And nine days ago I married him.
I comment now in bold as to why I'm married -- to each of my original answers as to why I was alone:
... unlike men, when a woman reaches a certain age, no matter the packaging, she seems to pass her shelf date. The man I just married seems to like my packaging, and besides, his shelf date has passed too. Age appropriate seems to work.
... I find myself sitting in front of the computer, and three hours later I look up and the sun is down and it's too late to ask someone to go out to dinner, so I spread some cream cheese and mild salsa on wheat crackers and watch Olbermann. And I'm fine with it. Sure that was ok. So is cooking dinner for two. Either way.
... I married a special man twelve years older than I and he died and I'm told it's off-putting to be a widow who loved a special man. The new special man I just married isn't bothered by that. He honors the fact that I loved another good man and doesn't even ask me to take his photo away.
... I won't go out and beat the bushes for some nice-enough fellow who belches so loud I jump and doesn't listen and who doesn't make me smile enough to put up with strange noises and indifference. My guy keeps his noises to himself as much as possible, thank you very much. And he listens and makes me smile.
... I 'm now used to getting up when I want and drinking from the juice bottles and not shaving my legs and leaving dishes from the night before on my bed and getting up at 3am and seeing a movie and going back to bed at 5am and not hearing a word of scorn, and not that many people can deal with that kind of thing. This good man can deal with my quirks, but I'm motivated to keep the dishes out of bed. Ok, I now shave my legs.
... I appreciate solitude. I still do. And when I want it, I take it. And if I didn't have some of it, I couldn't be married.
... my Aunt Hilda drove a pink Caddy with fins and carried a pistol and had blonde hair. She lived alone after my Uncle Arty died. She ate out at the Jaeger House in Yorkville and the waiter knew she liked Pinch neat and a veal chop, and she traveled by herself to Bermuda and it all seemed so glamorous. Being independent still seems to me the most glamorous thing a woman can be.
... I can scratch my own itches. I still can. But he has trimmed nails.
... who wants to hang out with somebody who might take off at any minute for Zanzibar and leave them to take care of the cat? He seems to want to. I can still travel alone if I want. He knows this and accepts it.
...that big cat rubs against me and sits next to me and follows me around all day and sleeps with me all night, and feels like a small furry man when she spoons my legs. So I don't feel alone. The cat keeps wondering when my man will leave, and steadfastly sleeps on one side of me. I sleep in a cat and hubby sandwich.
... it's peaceful. A tradeoff. It may be less peaceful but it's more stimulating and in some ways, secure.
... I have friends who laugh and go out to concerts and play Scrabble and keep me occupied when I want to go out and we seem to laugh more than our married friends and we even look happier, even if we aren't, but I suspect we might be, at least more so than many. I still go out with my friends and am making a point of keeping them in my life. That was non-negotiable and is understood. I hate when a former single only hangs with couples.
... I can watch movies at home and don't have to drive to the Multiplex anymore, which I hated to do alone. I watch them at home with him. Or home alone if he doesn't want to see them.
... I'm independent and outspoken and most men don't much care for women who debate them and who don't hope to get married and cook for them. He calls my independence "spirit." And the fact that I didn't seek marriage seems to appeal to him. And I decided to cook again, because it's fun to have a foodie in the house and get kudos. And he cleans up.
... I have an iPhone that I can play with anywhere I go to keep me company and I can always share experiences with someone. We both use them at the same time.
... my adorable granddaughters provide the passion, and I long for them like I used to long for a lover. I still adore them.
... Social websites like Huffpo give me a place to vent and open up anytime, day or night, and the virtual company is better than I've found most anywhere. Still does. He understands the time I spend here, although I spend less.
... I'm satisfied that I've sowed enough oats to make oatmeal for the New York Yankees and still have some left over to feed the waitstaff at Tavern on the Green, with a few spoonfuls to spare. He doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he seems glad that I had the practice. (And Tavern on the Green is gone!)
... I don't want to be a nurse for the men who still run after me, who can't even run. He says he'll take care of me too, so it's even.
... I don't want my heart broken again. Ever. Still true, but he is good and kind and I decided he's worth the risk.
... I don't find it easy to trust. I still don't. But this man loves me at least as much as I love him. I'm trusting him.
... I choose not to date on the Internet because it's humiliating to be turned down by someone I have no interest in when ten years ago I wouldn't have been turned down by that person, or even one I did have interest in. I met him through a friend. A much less stressful way to go about it.
...my memories and dreams are often X-rated and I can return to them when I want a thrill. I keep them to myself. Or we use them together.
... I'm comfortable in my skin. I still am.
... I have a website called sololady and if I wasn't solo I'd have to get another domain name. This is a problem. He kids that I should put a big headline on it: "Closed, Got Married!" For now, I'm still offering it.
... you're more alone in an unhappy relationship than you really ever are without a relationship at all. Still true. Words of wisdom.
... my friends don't introduce me to anyone anymore because they know that unlike some women my age who settle, I want a bit more than "mammal" on my wish list. One woman did. Thank you, Elizabeth.
... life doesn't always wind up the way you expect it to, and you roll with it. That's for sure. I hope that solos who read this remember that.
... I choose to be. I would have chosen to stay alone rather than in a half-good relationship. This one is really good.
... I'm able to be. Still true. It means a lot to know I can be alone and just fine - a happy single.
I'm alone but not lonely, but I'm still open to options, and do understand the beauty and wonder -- and blessing --of a good relationship. And despite the blessing of my meaningful relationship I still know there is beauty in solitude, joy in independence, and that I can be just fine by myself.
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