We parted last at the single parent years and we’re jumping right back into my story. Once again, that time period was a turbulent season of being in and out of relationships. More often than not, each relationship left me more detached from myself with a diminished desire to be a part of the human race. I hate to sound stereotypical, but the men who truly wanted to be part of something bigger than a physical relationship were few and far between.
It’s true that we all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves. My childhood dreams weren’t anything like aspiring to be a world changer. They were simple. My big dream was to be the best wife and mother in the world and drive a van. Still in my 20’s, I had already failed in both arenas. I had already experienced two bad marriages, felt like a lousy single mom and couldn’t even afford the van.
I have to admit that I too, settled for a relationship that I knew would go no where. I even verbally agreed to it on the front end. I thought I could handle it without hurting. I was in such a sorry state of emotions, at that point I was willing to try anything to bring comfort to my own heart. Thus another lesson learned the hard way. It doesn’t work that way ladies! Hope you were listening. We just weren’t wired for that.
At the point I had pretty much stopped dating and given up, even momentarily considered the alternative lifestyle, the story changed. I took a girl in as a roommate in exchange for childcare. She got a job in a restaurant, where once a week, the district manager would visit. He would always change the radio station when he was there and she thought, since we listened to the same kind of music, we might be a good match. She worked both sides until she finally was able to arrange an impromptu meeting. On a Sunday night following Thanksgiving that year, I met the man who turned out to be my knight. He didn’t have on shining armor, and actually, I don’t remember what he had on. I do remember that I had on a navy blue dress with a slit up the front over the right leg, (the good one). I don’t know if he saw my face, but he liked the leg and asked me to dinner the following night. I later learned that he had scoped me out at work before the night we met.
I worked in retail management for a jewelry store chain at the time. The Christmas season can be hell in the retail world. Extended mall hours, working open to close with one day off the whole month, the 30 mile commute on each end of the work day, trying to be a single mom… It isn’t the best time to get involved in a relationship. I begrudgingly accepted the dinner invite because he seemed like a nice guy.
This nice guy just kept saying and doing all the right things, so I let him participate in my crazy life that next month. Just a few days before Christmas, I knew that he was purchasing gifts for my kids and me, so I thought I should get him something. I felt that a sweater was safe, kind of generic, and not too personal, didn’t represent any commitment. Wow, was I shocked when I opened my presents from him! Diamond and sapphire earrings and pendant set, plus a car stereo and speakers. I was immediately terrified. I literally prayed, “God, please don’t let him tell me he loves me.” I wasn’t ready for that. God didn’t answer that prayer and not only did he tell me he loved me, on New Year’s Eve, he was told me that he wanted to make me his wife. I think I just laughed it off at the time.
It all changed on January 9th that year. We were doing one of my favorite things, sharing ice cream straight from the carton. Just an f.y.i., ice cream is a staple in my world. This “Mr. Did Everything Right”, guy was also a musician. He had felt inspired to write me a song and that night over ice cream he gave me the words. I still have that piece of paper. The words described the type of relationship I longed for. He openly expressed his passion for shared dreams and a vision for something bigger than my sad little world. I felt fear melt that night and walls around my heart fall. I felt hope reignite.
“Mr. Did Everything Right”, asked me to marry him that night and with tears dripping into our melting ice cream, I said, “yes”. We were married, just three months later and I am happy to say, that was 22 years ago.
I relate our story to the movie, “Pretty Woman”. Do you remember the fire escape scene at the end of the movie and the limo? It was kind of like that, only the clothes weren’t designer, and the car was a Chevy. He is my knight in shining armor and it wasn’t just tin foil. It’s all real!
Moral of this story: Keep hoping. Keep dreaming. Every season has an end and each new season is a new beginning. Never give up!