Crisis Mode & The Frosting on my Cupcake

white cupcakeMy brother stopped over for a visit a few days ago. He’s single.

He plopped down on the couch and treated Daughter and I to stories of his recent dating experiences. Naturally, he moved to the subject of me finding a man.

Beloved Brother: You’re 43 years old…you’re in CRISIS MODE.

Me: Huh?

Darling Daughter: You’re not getting any younger.

Daughter couldn’t help teasing me….

Crisis Mode?  I never thought of it that way.  I dated as a teenager. I started dating the man who became my husband in high school. I’ve dated since my divorce. I’ve spent almost my entire adult life WITH somebody, or married.

I think maybe taking time between relationships, time to recalibrate, might be underrated. I can’t be the only one enjoying a bit of ME time, right?

Because I love cupcakes, I’m going with the cupcake analogy:

I wake up happy every day. Love my children, family, friends, job, home and most days, my dogs. The right person would be the icing on the cupcake. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I’m not rushing to frost the cupcake. When it happens, it happens.

I haven’t been in a hurry…

But then I hadn’t realized I’d entered CRISIS MODE.

Not to worry, my brother softened the blow.

Beloved Brother: Really, you’re what most men are looking for…

Me: Huh?

Beloved Brother:  Your kids are about raised. You’ve got one away at college and the other is independent, almost out of the house.

Darling Daughter snickered.

Me (teasing Daughter): You’re a liability. Nobody really wants to deal with another person’s kids…

Darling Daughter: Thanks a lot.

My brother was oblivious to the insult he’d just delivered; agreed that no man wants  little kids, or even teenagers hanging around. He reassured me that mine were tolerable because of their ages, before moving on…

Beloved Brother:  You’ve got a job, you’re doing well. You’re not looking for somebody to take care of you. And you don’t want to get married again.

Me:  Right.

I was speechless, which is a rare thing. He did get me thinking though…

Daughter and I (left) and Son and my Brother (right)

Daughter and I (left two photos) and Son and my Brother (right

A second marriage? It’s never been a goal, or a driving force in my life. When I was in my twenties, I married for love, to have children, a home and to build a life with a man I expected to grow old with. I learned in my first go-around that marriage comes with no guarantee, doesn’t always keep a person faithful and committed. Just because people get married, doesn’t mean they stay married.

It wasn’t easy to get where I’m at now. My life works. For me and for my children. Of course, I would feel blessed to share my life with somebody special. But I think that might be enough. I’m not ruling out another marriage someday–but neither is it something I NEED to complete my life.

Thank you Beloved Brother for pointing out that I’m getting long in the tooth. Much appreciated. Your stories of online dating, divorce groups and such? Not making me eager to go down those roads. Not super inspiring.

What my brother calls CRISIS MODE, doesn’t exactly feel like a crisis to me.

I’ve been busy building a career, raising children, dating, socializing, spending time with family and friends–having fun.

And someday…perhaps a special person will happen along and it will be like frosting on a cupcake.

Why I am NOT looking for Prince Charming…

Prince Charming sweeps in and carries his Princess of into the sunset…

THE END.

Then what?

What IS happily ever after? And why does the story end there?

Because it is a FANTASY.

There is no Prince Charming in real life…nor is there a Cinderella. There are only imperfect human beings.

The story HAS to end there because nobody wants to read about Prince Charming being unemployed, not helping out with the children, that he is having an affair—or that if he tried to carry his Princess, he might rupture a disk. 

Nor does anybody want to picture Prince Charming’s bald head and gut. And they absolutely do not want to see what gravity has done to Cinderella. Matter of fact, Cinderella probably doesn’t want to see it either! If she is like me, she fluffs her hair and applies a little lipstick to draw the eye up.

Lets face it. After the fairy tale, the only place to go is THE END. Going any farther wrecks the image of Perfection. Stopping short allows people to create their own unique vision of what comes after ‘the end.’ Sort of a ‘prettied up’ version of life.

Certainly, nobody imagines divorce is down the road past that sunset…

Having experienced the failure (learning experience?) of divorce, I can say that having it under my belt is NOT a confidence builder. Doesn’t make me want to run out and give ‘er another try…

Yet everyone seems to want me to ‘date.’ And they mean well. They want me ‘coupled’ up, so that I’me as happy as they are.

Two by two, like Noah’s Ark. Sneakers, candlesticks and Twix bars come in pairs. They want me to have the ‘other half’ to make me whole. If I was a donkey, they would want me to find another a#@ to partner up with.

The flaw in that thinking? Before I am happy in a relationship, I first need to be happy with my life and myself—as is—without a relationship. So that I bring my ‘best’ self into my next relationship.

For those who read my last blog about The Stranger on my front steps at 3:30 am several nights ago, my friend Stella had this comment:

The “Guy” was a blind date I was planning on fixing you up with. Whatdya think?? Yes, No, Maybe???

That comment takes me back to the moment I spotted the Strange Man at my doorstep–and I still think her joke hilarious…I was half asleep and just stunned!!

Honestly, I am NOT looking. I figure that somebody will wander into my life…or not. (And I would rather he wander in at a decent hour–not the middle of the night!)

But if he does, I hope like he%& that he is nothing like Prince Charming.

Because I would like a real man. One who has a sense of humor, likes dogs and children, doesn’t mind that my life revolves around sitting at childrens’ sporting events–at least for a few more years. A little patience would be good. Who am I kidding? A LOT of patience would be NECESSARY. I’d like a man who likes the simple things—time with family, a walk on the beach, relaxed family holidays…who would enjoy the (mostly) annual summer trip to Hilton Head Island, where my family gathers to lounge on the beach for a week.

At forty, I’m long past wanting superficial nonsense. Actually, I NEVER wanted it! I’d like somebody who accepts me—flaws and all. And who I’m 100% relaxed and myself with. And vice versa. It is far too much work to be somebody I’m not, to pretend–I’ve never done so and wouldn’t know how to begin doing so now…

Quite possibly, that could be a tall order…

And I have to trust that I will know him, when I see him. It is human nature to  look too hard for something…and not recognize that we already have it or that it is right there before us for the taking. We miss the obvious. Or think we need to struggle, or that a relationships are hard. I can honestly say that my best and closest relationships have always been easy—with my children, friends, family and others that have been a part of my life.

In labeling another person a ‘soul mate,’ or ‘the one’…is there anywhere to go but down? With such high expectations, what happens when Mr. (or Miss) Perfect steps wrong and acts human? Forgets a birthday, or to call to say they’ll be late? Or leaves dirty laundry strewn about the bedroom and crumbs on the coffee table?

So…no Prince Charming for me, Thank you very much!

But at some point in the future, I would very much love for a ‘nice’ Fella to happen across my path. He needn’t be Perfect—in fact, I find perfection boring.

I’m a girl who doesn’t want the Fairy Tale…I actually want the real life that comes after THE END. The whole ride…with all its ups and downs.

Note to Stella: So help me God, I better not be awakened in the middle of the night to a life-size cardboard cutout of ‘Prince Charming’ on my doorstep. And you best not send me a Fella dressed as Prince Charming for Halloween.

(Though I sincerely think I would make a good Princess. I could carry off a tiara…)