One of the first questions a date or potential date asks is “what do you enjoy doing in your free time?” Once I get past the dreaminess thought of having free time, I didn’t really have an answer for them, which seems odd. So many years were dedicated to our family home, raising two rambunctious kids, working at least one full-time job and volunteering that free time wasn’t something I’d had much of. In the past, I was active with a lot of groups as a volunteer and I really did enjoy that time. When you become half of a couple, or a member of a family, you begin to do things together so not everything that you partake in is what you would naturally enjoy. Think about that, if you are married or presently in a long-term relationship would you typically do the things you do with your partner if they were not with you? By choice?
Hmmmm, so one thing that my ex and I did with the kids was to take them fishing. Now mind you, the kids were still young and they had absolutely no idea that they needed a hook at the end of the fishing line in order to catch a fish. George struggled with casting and it was tough to catch a photo of him in action without his thinking tongue sticking way way out. Kelsey, she seriously thought that she could serenade those fish into jumping right into the boat with us. Fortunately, neither of their tactics worked. Flash forward to dating and yes, sure James the kids and I would love to go fishing with you and your daughter! How bad could it be right, we used to have a blast out on the boat at the lake fishing.
Well, first off I take the heat on this one for I never relayed to my date that my kids had never fished with hooks before! What the heck had I gotten myself into, I had to put the squiggly worms on the hooks and pierce their bodies to do so! Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Okay, once the hooks were in the water then we could have fun. No? No. My dates daughter caught George’s face cheek with her hook as she was attempting to cast – I let her know he was the best catch of her life! But inside I was dying how in the world could I not protect my kids from this kind of pain! Needless to say, the kids had a blast and Kelsey caught the largest flounder of them all. We went home and my date said he would cook us fish for dinner. He gave me a filet knife and he started to get things ready in the kitchen.
“What do you want me to do with this” I asked. He wanted ME to filet the flounder. Hellooo, oh hell no! I don’t handle slimy things well. Give me a deer to gut and I can handle that with just a dab of Vicks under the nose, but fish guts would force an instant release of the contents of my stomach! Oh my! I took all of the kids on a bike ride while he filleted and prepared our dinner. It certainly was nice having dinner prepared for me for a change, but it was a bit embarrassing to reveal a weakness to someone that I hardly knew.
So, fishing wasn’t so great. Boating, we had enjoyed boating as a family so when I had a man ask me to go kayaking with him I thought, oh fun! And it was! I had such a great time on that date that I invested in a tandem kayak so the kids and I could go out together (they were small enough then that we could all fit).
Dating certainly has exposed me to some new experiences! Minor league baseball games are a blast! Movies are always good but it’s difficult to get to know someone in the theater. Dinner is nice, and it does reveal a lot about the guy is he chooses the restaurant. However, roll with it and see what happens. Early on that first year of dating one of my first dates was to a beach-side restaurant that when we entered we lowered the median age by more than 20! Silver hair and purple hats were everywhere! However, after dinner we opted to go upstairs and we had the greatest time laughing and carrying on with the karaoke folks! Speaking of laughing, I had never been to see a stand-up comedian before, the next day I felt like I had done 1,000 crunches and then I understood that laughter really is the best medicine.
I’m still finding new and adventurous things that I enjoy, and have discovered a few things that I thought I liked but realized that I don’t. I’ve made a lot of male friends through this process, but at the end of the day I’m still a SWF. I’m okay with that, and remind myself that I would rather spend the rest of my life alone than be with the wrong man again. Although, of course, I do not wish to remain alone! But dating certainly has been fun, I hope you’ll continue reading my blog to be enlightened by more of my unusual and typical experiences.