It started with my thinking that I have really not been very social for quite a while. The need for me to be the primary caregiver for erickavan has cut down the opportunities that I had for social interaction. I could get a way for a few hours a week, at most, so I would often just go see a movie by myself. Now, I enjoy seeing movies and don't mind watching them by myself, but the pattern seemed a bit lonely.
So I thought I would try dating. Ericka and I have long had an open relationship and we've both taken advantage of that by having other people in our lives from time to time. We talked it over and she agreed it would be good for me. At first, my attempts were a bit comical. I bumped into the awkward situation of replying to a friend's anonymous personal ad on Craig's List, for example. The suggested matches for me on OKCupid all seemed to be 20-something bisexual women. (Not that I have anything against 20-something bisexual women, I just don't think they'd be all that interested in me.)
Finally, I went pro. I joined Great Expectations. I didn't expect that I'd have any better luck, but after a long string of fairly plausible ads on Craig's List led inevitably to "adult dating" sites, I did like that at least there would be real people on the other end of possible matches. There were quite a few women that seemed interesting and I sent out several invitations to meet. I'd been honest in my description of myself, however, and I think most of the members were looking for something I was unable to give.
I received one unsolicited invitation from a woman named Mary. She seemed bright and quirky and I even suspected that she might be a fan whom I'd somehow missed all these years. We chatted on the phone and she suggested we meet for coffee. Well, after an initial delay caused by her coming down with a possible case of strep, we did just that. And we talked long enough to make it into a dinner date and talked for a while after.
We had our first, actual, planned date the day that the Universe threw me another change and I separated from my job at the University. I've seen her several times since then. She's met Ericka and they have had a great time discussing books they both enjoy. She's even willing to watch the occasional baseball game with me.
For the first time in a long time, I have a degree of happiness in my life that I'd been missing. Some of this is, I know, new relationship euphoria. But there are some deeper connections that Mary and I have already felt. I'll be looking forward to introducing you all to her when the opportunity arises. In the meantime, you'll have to trust that I think you'll like her at least as much as I do.