"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Instant Replay - Valentine Story (from 2007 post)

When I was 40ish, I had been divorced for a year and thought it time to enjoy some male company in the little spare time I had. I wasn't lonely, desperate, or horny. I was financially independent and self-employed and had two young children, good friends, and several packs of batteries. I was never self-conscious going to restaurants or movies alone. I even took ballroom dance lessons. It was a satisfying life, but sometimes you need to jump out of your comfort zone.

I wasn't interested in getting married again; I just wanted some non-business adult conversation. Besides, I needed something to restrain all the married men that kept hounding me for dates.Since this was the time before the on-line dating surge, a good friend,who was a professor at the local university, urged me to post a personal ad in the local newspaper. She had had excellent luck in finding interesting datable men from personal ads, and she emphasized the confidentiality of the process. Since I didn't want my children exposed to temporary male visitors, I thought this was a great way to screen potential suitors.

It was a short, simple ad, but the letters began pouring in. Apparently there were a lot of desperate men out there. A majority of the letters had the same return address - a State of Illinois correctional center. Was this part of an adult education English class? They wanted "to see me naked, walking along a beach" and do things to me I would never repeat here. It did offer some interesting reading but these really weren't the type of guys I was looking to spend some quality time with. It was too long a drive to the prison.

After tossing out those and other notes that were from obviously married men looking for a toy, the few remaining letters were heartfelt and sincere from a teacher, a lawyer, a businessman. But another letter really stood out.There was a return address on the envelope that was from my own small town and I immediately recognized the address. The man who wrote the letter was also taking dancing lessons. I saw him twice a week as I was leaving my class and he was going to his. We always spoke because we had gone to high school together and had been good friends. He had even asked me to prom our senior year, but I went with a football player instead. (I really didn't want to go to prom with a friend.) We both went to the same university and saw each other occasionally there. He was also now a customer at my business.

His letter was short and sweet. He said it was refreshing to see a woman speak of herself in the negative, instead of self-absorbed adjectives like "beautiful" and "intelligent." He had been divorced about a year and was interested in meeting me. He had no clue to whom he had written and this was too much of a coincidence for me to pass up.

Using business stationery, I replied that after over 20 years I owed him a past due prom date and signed the letter with a quote from my ad. I put it in a business envelope and placed it in his car at his office, hoping he would think it a bill.

Sure enough, that evening he called me and we laughed about the situation and decided to meet for dinner out of town (so the local gossip mongers wouldn't jump to conclusions), and we would catch up with each other's lives. Then we did it again, and again, and again. After weeks of covert meetings outside the community, we finally went public to friends and family. His mother had been trying to get us together in high school. She was ecstatic and so was everyone else. We were married in January the following year - 17 years ago.

4 comments:

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

Awww. How cool is that! Congratulations! I married my high school sweetheart, 40+ years ago.

Mama2SweetBabyJames said...

Such a sweet story!

thesavvyboomer said...

Great story. "Several packs of batteries." ROTFLMAO

Alice said...

I liked it too.