Saturday Night Serenade–Another Anniversary

Well, to be honest, we have a few.  Anniversaries, that is.  We celebrate our wedding(s), along with the date we first met, and some other significant times.

Originally, Mr. R. and I had planned a March 10 wedding in the backyard of our home out here in the boondocks west of West Palm Beach.  But then, one late September morning, he surprised me by saying, “Let’s go get our marriage license today.”  To which I replied, “Oh, hell yeah!”  We’d been together for about six years at the time, and if the man was ready for a license, I wanted to act before he changed his mind.

Turns out, Florida has a 3-day waiting period between the time you get a marriage license and the time you can actually get married.  I mean, seriously?  It’s not like it’s a gun or something.  Anyway, on the morning of October 2, 2011, we were married in our backyard by a dear friend of ours, a dotty little Wiccan, in the weirdest ceremony you ever saw.  It was awesome!

But then, on the following March 10, we were married again, as planned, in a huge celebration and surrounded by all our friends.  The whole thing was fun and relaxing and full of joy.  People still talk about it.

When these anniversaries roll around, I find myself in a thoughtful mood, thankful for all I have.  I was married before, you know.  I can’t help but compare.

With my nightmare, I couldn’t do anything right.  He criticized everything I did, everything I said, everything I wore.  I even opened the kitchen cabinets wrong, y’all.  I remember hearing this song at the time and longing for a man who loved me, who didn’t want to change everything about me.

It was different when I watched this today.  Because I have a baby who loves me just the way that I am.  He believes in me and makes me believe in myself.  And it’s an amazing feeling.

I hope you have the same.  It’s a blessing, I tell you.  One I don’t want to take for granted.  To you and yours, happy Saturday night!

Where Did The Time Go?

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I had no idea that I started Adventures in Date Night two years ago today! It’s been a blast to share our adventures, slices of south Florida life,  some of our favorite music, and funny little moments along the way. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too.

I’ve been so busy writing and promoting, with a new book coming out next week (fingers crossed), I feel like I’ve neglected this little blog. In a few days I’ll be on vacation and have more time to devote to sharing our further adventures.

Thanks for hanging in there with us for these last two years! I’ll look forward to visiting more often.

Saturday Night Serenade–Anniversary Edition

Yesterday, Mr. R. and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.  We enjoyed a lovely day, going out to the movies and then cocktails at one of our favorite waterfront bars.

In honor of the occasion, tonight’s Serenade is ‘our’ song.  I’ve undoubtedly posted this song before but this is a really great version, a live performance from Berlin in 2010 backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Be sure to notice the chick with the “I need to speak to your manager” haircut on backing vocals.

This is dedicated to my sweet, my husband, the yin to my yang, the peas to my carrots, the love of my life.  May we enjoy forty more and then some.  Happy Saturday night!

Milestone

1 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com one year ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
I received this little Valentine from WordPress today.  I didn’t realize it’s been a whole year since I started posting our Adventures in Date Night.  It’s been quite a year, now that I stop and look back on it.  Since then, I’ve added a few other blogs.  Read’em if you can find’em.  😉
We plan to keep right on plugging away.  I’m four work days away from summer bliss so I look forward to more adventures in the very near future.  Thanks so much for joining us on our journey.  We appreciate every one of you.

Unwelcome Anniversary

divorceThirty years ago today I married my nightmare. It didn’t start out that way. It’s funny, even after all these years I can’t help but notice the date. As a twenty year old bride it was the happiest day of my young life. Years later I began to think of it as the anniversary of my biggest disappointment.

Everything was wonderful.  He was the guy everyone else wanted, surely I was the luckiest girl in the world.  And for a while it was great.  Somehow, slowly, things started to change.

They say that if you drop a frog into a pan of boiling water it will just jump out again.  But if you put him into a pan of room temperature water and bring it slowly to boiling, because he’s cold-blooded he’ll sit there until he boils.

One day I looked around and realized the water was boiling.  I was stuck.  I had no money, no job, no car, and two school-aged boys.

It’s strange; it takes a long time to wrap your head around the word “abuse” in relation to yourself, particularly when it’s the kind that doesn’t leave bruises and broken bones.  That kind is easier to define.  Abuse is what happens to someone else.  What is happening to you is just, well, unpleasant and unfortunate and not what you prefer.  But not abuse.

Luckily, I was finally able to confide in a few trusted friends and just short of our 18th anniversary, I began to make plans to leave.  But he suspected that something was different and confronted me before I could get everything organized.  That night, he moved out.  Which was weird, because among the things he used to say to me, he threatened to take away my kids.  Turns out he didn’t want them anyway.

My divorce was final on July 2, 2004.  I always note that date, too.  I consider it my personal Independence Day.  If you read this blog, you already know the rest of the story.  A few years later I met my Happily Ever After.  In the middle of my nightmare, I often wondered why I had to go through all that.  On this side of it, I can see a few good things that came out of it.  I’m much less judgmental and much more compassionate, realizing that I have no idea what other people are dealing with at any given time.  I know what I like and what I don’t.

Besides, that broken road led me straight to my sweet.  I’m eternally grateful.

Meeting My Happily Every After

In honor of our upcoming anniversary, I wanted to write about how Mr. R. and I met.  While it’s true that we met online, we did not meet on FarmersOnly.com.  I just like to tell people that for the priceless reaction before they pull themselves back together.  We actually met on Match.com, a site I would recommend for obvious reasons.  I know what you’re thinking: Why would two such obviously attractive people resort to subscribing to an online dating website to meet someone?  That’s not what you were thinking?  Then stow it.  This is our story.

farmersonlyMr. R. and I had both been to this particular rodeo before, having three failed marriages between us.  I endured a really bad marriage that lasted nearly eighteen years, at least ten years longer than it should have.  But then, divorce is always something that other people do, isn’t it, until you find yourself there.

In one night I went from being Suzy Homemaker to being Suddenly Single (and unemployed) Parent.  Stunned and shell-shocked, I began to try to put together a life, finding a part-time job while I got my teaching credentials updated, depending on the generosity of my folks, finally landing a teaching position, and attempting to guide my kids through the surreal world we shared.

It was a couple of years before I even considered that it might be nice to meet someone.  But I hadn’t dated in twenty years.  It’s a very scary proposition.  Not to mention the fact that I’d been convinced by someone not very nice that I had nothing to offer anyone.

Being a teacher, I was not very likely to meet anyone at work.  So it was very tentatively that I dipped my big toe into the shallow end of online dating.  Initially, I only interacted with guys who lived very far away.  I couldn’t quite work up the nerve to actually meet someone.  When I finally did find someone I was interested in meeting, we agreed to get together at a coffee shop (I don’t drink coffee, whatever).  He was nice and we dated for a little while, but it turned out he was a client of my ex.  Seriously?!

Scrolling through my list of matches one day, I saw a handsome man and read his profile.  It said that he worked for a local television news station, listed various other vitals, and then there was something that caught my eye.  He promised not to hump my leg in public.  And I laughed.  Completely out of character, I sent him a ‘wink’ which is what Match lets you do to let someone know you might be interested in them.  In the next day or so, he replied and we began messaging back and forth.

A week or so later, I was brave enough to agree to a phone call.  In my mind, I had allotted about half an hour to chat.  I’d agreed to a phone call with a far-away guy once and, having figured on about thirty minutes, found I couldn’t stand it for more than about ten.  Seems he was better at the written word.  But I digress.

Mr. R. called and before I knew it, we’d been talking for over two hours.  It’s like that with us.  The call was so successful we made a date to meet in person.  I met him at the local Cheesecake Factory one evening in January, 2006.  I recognized him immediately from his profile picture and he knew me at once as well.  Dinner was fantastic; we talked and laughed the entire time.  Being a man of his word, he did not, in fact, hump my leg in public.

The rest, as they say, is history.  We began dating exclusively not long after that.  Mr. R. made it clear from the beginning that he wasn’t interested in being married ever again.  I had just escaped a bad situation and was in no hurry to do it again, and besides, I was very much enjoying us.  I knew that one day, I did want to be married again, but for the time being I was content to appreciate our limited time together.  For years, we really only saw each other once a week.  He was working weekdays 1:00 am to 9:00 am, sleeping during the days, and I had regular school hours.  Saturdays were ours.

One day a few years ago, we were strolling through a mall and he led me into a jewelry store.  “What do you think about these rings?” he asked.  I was freaked out.  He’d been clear for years.  I had no expectation.  I saw one I liked and tried it on but was so nervous it got stuck and the clerk had to break out the Windex.

Some months later, early one Saturday morning, we went to the beach to take a walk.  Strolling along the water’s edge, he dropped to his knee, proposed, presenting me with that ring.  Of course I said yes.  I heard applause but I never looked around to see who was there.  We’d planned a March wedding, but one day in late September, we both had a day off and he suggested that we go to the courthouse to get our marriage license.  We would have gotten married right then and there (before he changed his mind, right?) but in the state of Florida, there’s a three-day waiting period.  Like it’s a gun or something.

weddingSo three days later, October 2, 2011, we were married in our back yard by a sweet friend of ours, a dotty little Wiccan, in a very strange, completely fabulous little ceremony involving earth, water, a feather, sage smoke, and a tiny bell.  We had another, more traditional ceremony and party the following March 10 with all our closest friends in attendance.

Now we celebrate several anniversaries.  Our actual wedding on Oct. 2, our wedding celebration March 10, and the day I winked at Mr. R., January 7.  Best thing I ever did.