After being divorced and dating a few jerks, I really wasn’t all that excited about a blind date, especially with a “nice” guy. Yeah, those guys never like me anyway. I seem to attract the crazy, abusive or unstable men. Nice would be a refreshing change, but highly unlikely. I’d probably have more luck with the lottery, but I decided to go anyway. I figured, at the very least, I could enjoy a meal and bowling with friends, and possibly make a new one. I had no expectations of this blind date man even liking me. I have to admit, I was completely right, but utterly wrong at the same time. He didn’t like me. That was clear. Nope, he was more than a potential new friend. He was my perfect prince who started my real-life fairytale.
I was enjoying a glass of wine with friends when my prince and I met. He confidently walked over to the table where our mutual friends and I sat with a big smile on his face. As soon as I saw his dark hair, firm build, dreamy eyes and scruffy beard, I got butterflies. Of course, I tried to play it cool with a casual smile. But inside, my heart was doing a little school-girl happy dance. “Oh yeah. Oh yeah. This date just moved to the next level.”
We all chatted easily over dinner, laughing and sharing stories. My prince was polite, respectful and quite the witty gentleman. Once dinner was done, we moved over to the bowling alley. Originally, I had rode to the restaurant with the couple who introduced us. But this handsome blind date of mine offered me a ride. Again, I hid my swirls of excitement with, “Sure. That’s fine with me.”
As we bowled, some of the initial walls began to fall. We found out more about each other’s lives. Divorced. Kids. Jobs. Hobbies…The twinkle in his eyes when he smiled….The spark from his hand during a high-five worthy strike…The heart-piercing sound of his laugh. Yeah, there was definitely something there. So I took deep breaths, telling myself, “Relax. Be yourself. Don’t expect too much.”
After bowling two games and delaying our friends some, we decided to move the date into the blind-date-extended-version. We said goodbye to our friends and we headed downtown to find some live music. While sitting side by side listening to the band, my prince put his arm around me gracefully and pulled me close. His touch was like a shock throughout my body. Oh, yes. I was in trouble, but it was the kind of trouble no girl in her right mind would avoid. By the end of the night, I felt like I had known this man for months. There was a complete and utter comfort in me as I spoke to him. I could tell him anything and he listened. Throughout the night, we shared more than most would recommend for a first date I am sure. But we didn’t care. It was as though we had just found our best friend again after being parted for a number of years. We had so much to tell and share.
By the end of the night, we had our first kiss. He slowly took my face into his hands and pulled me close. When our lips met, it was like the world melted away. I didn’t care about anything else but this amazingly perfect moment.
Eventually, the kiss did have to stop though. It may have been minutes. It may have been hours. Time was irrelevant anyway as we were both in a euphoria that we had forgotten was possible. Suddenly, the world seemed to be so much more exciting. That thought was very clear.
As the night ended, we knew we had to see each other again. So we didn’t waste any time of course. We hung out the next day, nearly the entire day. We ate brunch together and laid around talking about almost everything and absolutely nothing. We went swimming. Yes, it was the second date and my prince saw me without makeup, and he didn’t even seem to care! We took a walk hand-in-hand. I showed him the barn where my horse was boarded, my “sanctuary” in times of stress. We shared stories of heartache and pain. We laughed like school kids over the silliest things until our abs hurt. We kissed so gently it was like a soft breeze, and we even took a nap in each other’s arms. Through all of this, we really saw each other, like the real us. Not the image you normally display for the public, but the real, gritty, not-so-perfect us. And it was wonderful. There was no stress, no anxiety, or no façade.
At the end of the day, we thought about how crazy it was. We had just spent nearly 24 hours together in only two days. Probably not the most normal of blind dates for sure. But there was no reason to end, except for the mundane fact of work, which we had almost completely forgotten about. Yeah, reality snuck in for a moment. We did have to work in the morning after all. So we called it a night, but only after making a dinner date for the next day. Yes, he was going to make me dinner on day three of knowing me. I think the words, ‘pinch me’ came to my mind. However, dinner was just the beginning of the adventure to come.
The next day at dinner, this man amazed me even more. He was making me shrimp. “I remember you said it was your favorite,” said the dreamy-eyed creature who walked into my life only two days prior. I stood there smiling like a fool I am sure. How is it possible to be this happy and relaxed with him already? How did he even remember that I mentioned shrimp was my favorite? When did I even say that? As I stood there in thought, he leaned in, softly kissing my lips and started to dance with me in his kitchen. It was sweet and perfect. We danced about the house, laughing and talking. We ate shrimp and broccoli and drank wine. It was the simplest and yet most wonderful meal I think I have ever had. And at one point, he looked into my eyes and said, “Would you go to the beach with me?” At this point, I thought I was dreaming. Surely, I was dreaming. What 43-year-old divorced woman has a hot, single, nice guy invite them to the beach after only knowing them for barely three days? Only girls on the Hallmark Movie Network that’s who. And last I knew, I was not on a movie set. I mean if I was, I certainly was not seeing a check from them. Though, I have to admit the man before did have the body and face worthy of a part in a romantic novel. Heck. Maybe I was on a set?
“Are you serious? You can’t be serious. You barely know me,” I said with a laugh.
“I know enough, and I think we would have fun at the beach together,” said my handsome date.
“I think we would have fun too. I am sure of it. I can’t believe you are serious though! Um, can I give you an answer tomorrow? I will need to make sure some things are in order, but I think it is very doable,” I said with the biggest smile ever.
“You have the most genuine smile. So pure,” he stated as he ran his fingers along my jaw.
Oh yes, this was turning out to be a Hallmark Movie Network set after all. The only difference here was that there was no annoying person to yell cut in the action. Nope. It was real and right in front me. And I thought, why not take a chance?
The next day after work, my romantic blind date came by my house. The day before he mentioned wanting to cut up a tree that had fallen in my yard after a storm. He wanted to do this before we headed out on our four-hour drive to the beach.
“Are you kidding me? You want to cut up my tree for me? Before we drive and after we work?” At that point, I really did look around. I must be on one of those candid camera shows, but one with a romantic twist. Did they have those? They must! This must be a trick because wonderfully kind, handsome men did not exist. At least not in my past they didn’t. They were either kind, insecure and smothering or they were handsome, manipulative and abusive. This mix of sexy, gentle, giving, romantic and strong standing before me was something I did not know. I almost felt like I was staring at a mythical unicorn. But I am not a stupid woman. I was up for the challenge of taking a risk. “OK, cut away if you desire. While you do that, I will make some dinner.”
So there I was, in my kitchen, making meatloaf for a man I just met on Saturday. It was only Tuesday night and he was about to eat dinner in my home with me and my live-in father. This is insane, I thought. Who does this? Who runs off to the beach with someone they just met? Me. Yes, apparently I do, I told myself with a laugh. Outside of my past experiences with crazy men, everything in me told me to go. Everything in me compelled me to take a chance. Everything in me pushed me deeper into this magical fairytale unfolding before me. Everything in me whispered, you will regret not going. Seize the moment.
I looked out the kitchen window as I mixed the meatloaf, wondering, am I about to make the biggest mistake of my life or am I about to embark on the most romantic time of my life? I did not see a middle ground here. We were both all-or-nothing kind of people who spoke our minds. There was no beating around the bush and no time to waste. We both had been unhappy for way too long in our lives. Therefore, we were ready to take a chance and see where this instant connection would take us. And for the moment, after we ate some meatloaf with my dad, the connection was taking us to the beach…