When I left my husband I was 30. Shannon was 5, Alex was 3 and Samantha was 8 months old. There are far too many bad step-dads out there. I know there’s plenty of good one’s as well but I’m the mom and the risk is too big. I vowed at 30 that I would not get married again until I was 50. I can do a little math. I’m 50 now, Samantha will turn 21 this year. That was my math. No danger of a bad step-dad messing up my children if they’re all over 21.
Thirty years old, 3 kids, new to being a single mom, don’t want to get married….but not dead. I felt like I hadn’t had fun in a long time and I wanted to have fun. I love to laugh and I wanted to laugh, a lot! So what does one do when they want to have fun and not get married? Well, personally, I dated a lot of losers. No chance of falling in love there. However, I would NOT recommend that for anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun. I did succeed in that. I went white water rafting, visited Chicago, took a few weekend get aways to Duluth, went to the Rock House in Wisconsin (don’t recommend that one), visited B&B’s, had dinner at the Windows on Minnesota, went to concerts, bar-hopped, rode in limos, went camping, visited Dallas for the 1st time, went to Twins games, rode on motorcycles….rode on, not drove and oh right, got pulled over by somewhere around 12 squad cars and then watched them take my date away. Retrospectively, I wish they would have kept him longer.
I am honest to a point, not to a fault, but to a point. Even then I don’t lie, I just have a way of not quite telling the truth sometimes. Way back when I was still a teen and my middle sister was dating a black guy, she didn’t tell my parents that he was black. My mom came in one day and said “did you know Bernadette is dating a black guy?” I did know, she had told me but I looked at my mom and said “well mom, I’ve never met him and never asked her what color he is”. Neither statement was a lie and I didn’t answer the question but she was pacified. Right, see how I can do that? However, in that particular story Bernadette blew it for me. Bern came in and my mom asked Bern if Billy was black and Bernadette looked at me and said “Jacque told you, didn’t she?” So it doesn’t always work but hey, ya gotta try. Both of my parent’s had pretty prejudiced parents. To my parents credit they have learned that people are people, they’re either good or bad, not black or white. I adore my parents :o) Anyway, back to me being kind of honest. Apparently men who’ve hit 30 and haven’t been married want to get married. Right from the beginning I’d let them, my dates, the losers know, okay we can hang out and have fun if you want to but I’m never going to marry you. I know, wrong again but hindsight is best. Apparently men take that as a challenge. No, no…not a challenge, I was being brutally honest. I said it often, loud and long. At one point I had a friend of mine, Mark, 10 years younger than me, ask me if I’d be his something…the phrase isn’t coming to mind right now (com’on, it’s been 10 years), bottom line, he wanted to make sure he got married by the time he was 40 and the year he turned 40 I’d turn 50. Would I marry him if he wasn’t married and I wasn’t marrying someone else? He’s so cute, how do you turn something like that down when you know it’s never going to happen? I told him yes. Would that be his “back up’? Is that the phrase I’m looking for? Since then Mark has been married and divorced and I adore him. Wouldn’t say yes to anyone, ya know.
To my credit, I didn’t ever “use” anyone. I always paid for myself , or you pay this time and I’ll pay next time. I never wanted to feel like I owed anyone anything. That and I always had cab money. I was very careful about who I dated, they had to have people I know that would vouch for them. I once accepted a date from a complete stranger, once. Right, and I am pretty sure I was drunk at the time, but I said yes and gave him my phone #. At the last minute he had changed everything we had planned to do and every place we were going to go. Even on that one I thought I was being careful. I had agreed but it would be somewhere local and we would meet there. The day of the date he called and said he’d pick me up instead of meeting me and we were going to go here and there (not local and unfamiliar) instead of here and there (local and familiar). That was when I was still pretty polite, I agreed, thought about it for 2 minutes and then called him back and told him no. Seriously? I didn’t know this guy from Adam, wasn’t about to take the chance that suddenly Rob would be the only parent. My kids would have been screwed if anything had happened to me. I didn’t go and for the next 3 months he sent me flowers and I got several phone calls of him whining. Really? You want to win a girl over? Whining won’t getcha there, buddy! Ran into him kereoke night at a local bar (wait people will generally meet at a local bar after work, and that’s what I did then) and he got up on stage and dedicated the song “Suspicious Minds” to me. Fine, I can take that. Again, retrospectively, he was hard enough to shake off even though I didn’t date him. Imagine how hard he’d have been to shake off if I had. That’s the whole problem w/dating losers. At some point they expect rights like other people, I didn’t even date this guy!
Looking at the title of this blog (does anyone else hate the word “blog”? ) I didn’t cover what my intention was in the title so I guess I’ll save that for another night. Bottom line, Rob just didn’t count. He is my children’s other parent, not a step-dad. So anyway I broke the rule of not marrying again until I was 50 when I married Rob again. Again I repeat myself, that is another story and I love him. Okay, that and I gotta go sing to Boo now.