The year 2011 is my do-over. Various oops-es, failed experiments, and “Aw damn” moments have ironically led me to a pretty good place. I’m the mother of a beautiful little girl who is blossoming into a promising young geeklet. My writing career is gaining momentum. I’ve established my independence and have never been more self-confident. Right now my possibilities are endless and it feels so very good.
So that leaves me in a place to look for my first-ever valentine.
Yeah, you read right. I’ve never had a valentine. I don’t say that to get pity or a “Poor GeekMom” reaction. It’s just a matter of fact that I’ve never had a valentine. Even when I was a kid and my class mates were required to bring those cute little cards with cartoon characters and kitty cats, I never got a special note with a “Check Yes or No” message.Valentine’s Day has never (ever) been my favorite holiday. I was either perpetually single or in a rather loveless marriage. To top it off it was my ex-husband’s and my tradition to argue on every holiday. Valentine’s Day included.
For a good number of years, I would actually begin to sink into a quasi-depression around this time of year. All those cutesy little, gag-inducing goodies that grace the front aisle of every store used to mock my singleness. I didn’t actually want any of them, not being a chocolate fan or a stuffed creature lover. I’m too practical to appreciate flowers and too absent-minded to keep track of diamonds. The stuff didn’t really matter. What I wanted was someone to give me cutesy little Valentine gifts. I wanted a valentine.
There is no depression this year, but there is still the desire to have a valentine. More than that, I would like to get married again. My first marriage didn’t work but that doesn’t mean I’ve condemned the institution entirely. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic. Perhaps I’m still quite young. But I’d like to believe that people in my age group are capable of marrying and staying that way.
When an older couple in my church announced that they were celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary I was struck with a rather numbing realization. The chances that I can ever enjoy a sixtieth wedding anniversary are rapidly dimming. Statistically speaking, even if I were to marry tomorrow a man my same age, we would be eighty-six on our anniversary. According to the CIA, the average life expectancy of a man is only seventy-eight. It’s only eighty-one for women. While few of my friends have lived thirty years, let alone lived long enough to be married thirty years much less sixty, I am gaining more and more divorced friends. Fewer and fewer of us will be able to accomplish what generations past are managing.
It’s not a good trend. It’s a terrible, horrible trend. And we’ve already discussed how un-trendy I am.
But I have other reasons for wanting to remarry. I know a good number of single mom’s who have sworn never to sport that left hand-band ever again and for good reasons. So here are my good, geeky reasons for wanting to try marriage again.
- I want someone who will be as excited as I am when I get to bring home explosives from work. Insurance, liability, blah blah blah…Let’s go light something on fire!
- I want to prove that love really is for everyone. I mean the deck is sort of stacked against me. I’m divorced, chubby, a complete and hopeless geek, a total nerd, balance a full-time career with a full compliment of other activities including starting a non-profit organization, and have a kid. If that is considered baggage, I’m a freaking super-freight cargo ship. But I also believe that there is someone out there who is as excited to deal with all that as I am.
- I enjoy experimenting with all the online dating companies in as clinical a fashion as I can manage. See the complete and hopeless geek statement above.
- As with most people looking for love and marriage, I really want to share my passions, enthusiasms, near obsessions, (actual obsessions), and joys with someone. It’s a lot to ask of a normal person. I’m seeking a geek this time around.
- I was so very young and naive the first time around. I’m eager to experience love as a real adult. (As opposed to the pretend one I was.)
- I want my daughter to see that grown-ups make mistakes. We learn from them and move on with our heads held high. Just because something is hard (and marriage is hard) doesn’t mean you should give up on it.
Now those are just my reasons and only very briefly synopsized. I have others that are my own and range from inanely shallow to immensely philosophical but here is not the place and now is not the time for all that. What about other GeekMoms? I know there are only two of us contributors who get to wade out into the sea seeking those prophesied “other fish”. But what about our readers? Any other single moms trying to remember how to date? Trying to figure out what new moves you have to add to mix momming and dating? Or have you already succeeded the second, third, fourth or next time around?
I’ll be single again for Valentine’s 2011 but that doesn’t mean I go valentine-less for the twenty-sixth time.
(For an greatly extended, more personal version of this article, visit seejennlive.wordpress.com)