Back in the dating game

Nearly ten years ago I stood before my friends and family and professed my eternal love to my husband. And even though we are very happily married, I find myself dating once again.
I didn’t think it was dating at first, but then as I sat there re-reading emails over and over before sending them to this other person, I was immediately taken back to when my husband and I were first going out. In true courtship form, we’d leave little notes for each other; notes that I know I wrote and re-wrote fifteen times before actually delivering them. I was nervous day and night, and can still hear my college roommate laughing at me.
She had good right to laugh—I was using a blow dryer to clear-up the nervous sweat from my armpits while I waited for my soon-to-be husband to pick me up on our first real date.
I was, obviously, sweaty. But I was also panicky and jumpy and anxious and swore I wouldn’t eat nearly as much as I normally do. I spent eons on my hair, probably twice as much as I spent on my wedding day, and tried on a dozen outfits before finally sweating up the one I actually wore.
Not that it’s that bad now, but every so often I catch myself reverting back to my old ways. Because even though I’m married, I’m still out there meeting new friends and wouldn’t you know, it feels just like dating again.
Mostly it’s other mothers. Maybe our kids are in the same library hour or preschool class. We pass each other by on a regular basis, and deep down there’s a tiny spark, a tiny beautiful clash of our auras. There is a casual conversation here and there, compliments on each other’s children and eventually we find we have something in common. Is it a love of coffee? Scrapbooking? Crafts? Cooking? Church? Politics? Rainy days and Lifetime movies? Identifying local flora? Music? Something strikes a chord, and the dance begins.
Such has been my experience lately with a wonderful woman and mother, who also delights in naming every plant and fungi in our backyards and folk music. Our paths crossed by chance when her daughter attended a music class I was teaching and what was once a weekly sing-a-long turned into playdates with the kids and cultural outings.
Being both veteran daters, we oddly enough laid it all table right up front.
“I was nervous to have you over,” she wrote in an email after our first real “date.”
“I was afraid of you, too,” I wrote back.
And with that, the worst of it was over. That doesn’t mean that I’m not on my best behavior during this new and tender stage of our friendship. I am starting to feel that I can really trust this woman but don’t want to unload my personal dramas on her just yet, nor do I think she’s ready for me to completely let loose my crazy side.
We continue to enjoy each other’s company, and I swear that if I was still back in college I’d be up late blabbing to my roommate about this new person in my life.
Instead, my poor husband hears it all. “Guess what?!? We’ve got a new sewing pattern we’re both going to try! And this weekend we’re getting the families together for a pie iron extravaganza! I wonder what the kids will wear…”
He rolls his eyes at me, having made it through that fresh and new part of our relationship and onto the phase when I can be my own goofball self that he loves so much, all without so much pointless sweating.


BECKY said…'re so funny!!
Loren said…
Pies, sewing, gardening, dirt...Gee, I wish we lived closer Karrie. I don't think I'd feel nervous meeting you at all because we are kind of similar. :)
Been there, currently there. Love this post.
Beth said…
This is hysterical. I love it and it's so true!

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