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1:21 p.m. - 2012-03-28
Five Years Later....

Today, as I mentioned a couple times here recently, is the fifth anniversary of my first date with Mick. Did I know on that first date I'd met The One? Nope. To me Mick was simply a nice guy with more grey in his beard than I was looking for at the time and a whole lot of gym muscle that I appreciated aesthetically but tended to roll my eyes at mentally. I had no use for gym rats. A guy who wasted that much time on tittivating and impressing himself with his dedication to the pointless lifting of heavy things which produced nothing tangible except some lumpy muscles was a dope. Certainly not someone who'd be as interested in me as he was in himself.

Boy, was I wrong!

Fortunately for me I gave Mick the nice lumpy gym rat a second shot. Even in my post-divorce dating frenzy I was still too sensitive to the bitter hurt of quick rejection to write anyone off with a shrug and a "Next!" Nuh-uh. I'd gotten that painful bum's rush often enough myself and wasn't about to do it to someone else, even if at first glance he didn't quite meet the criteria of what I thought I was looking for. So we'd arranged a second date even before we'd finished the first. Whew!

On that first date Mick blushed. Several times. I like a guy who can blush and not get judgmental and angry about being put in an awkward spot. Mick's blushes seemed more about being pleased to be noticed than any kind of inferiority and upset. Good deal.

I liked that he listened to me. Didn't do the wearisome guy thing where everything I said HAD to be bested or his balls would fall off.

When I ordered a burger, onion rings and a cherry coke he didn't raise his eyebrows and make that, "What? No salad? What kind of cow am I stuck with here?" face.

Mick was honest. Honest about his job. Honest about his living situation. Honest about what he wanted from life. I'd already written off the 5'10'' thing in his Match profile and knew before we met he'd be 5'8" or so. Guy math, they all do it and it's harmless once you understand the equation and that men truly believe their blithe additions to their height (and length). It makes life bearable for the

Even though I was far up my own butt and fierce about not being hurt or used I had the sense to see Mick was truly interested in me. Not as a trophy. Or a notch on his bedpost. Not as a "Hey, check out the Barbie I got with last night!" brag fodder for the guys at work. I saw he was fetched with me, LA. As a person in my own right. One who made him laugh. And think. I was unlike anyone he'd ever met before and he thought it was great. That I was great.

This was new.

Ohhhh-kay. I'm taller than you. I'm more well-read than you. I am not demure, self-effacing, or falsely coy. I am openly sexual and funny. I have scary hair, I don't back down from arguments, and I'm wearing 4" heels. I eat like a gavoon, josh with the waitress, and insist you have dessert so I can have a bite. While I listen well and am cool with anything you have to say for yourself I challenge your postions and make you defend them and do not agree to recant my own just to be nice.

And you still like me?

Dude, you just got yourself a second date.

That second date lasted 9 hours.

The third lasted 4 days. Mick proposed somewhere in there and I told him he was nuts.

The fourth date he came over to help me bury my beloved 14 year old cat who I'd had put down to spare my poor Polly Too Many Toes any more pain from the feline-leukemia ravaging his body and Mick held me while I cried.

The fifth, sixth and seventh dates are kind of blurry, but on the eighth date he again asked me to marry him and that time I said, "Yes."

Thank goodness.

Five years ago today I met someone who with his love and appreciation, patience and kindness, would help me as much as I helped him. Someone who saw me (for the first time in my whole life!) as a good thing. A plus. A bonus. A blessing. I met someone who took me into his heart and counted himself damn lucky to have me. Someone who accepted what I had to offer and didn't treat it like garbage. Someone who sees me as a pleasure and a treasure.

No lie, despite the giddy beginnings we've had some really rough rows to hoe. But we've done it together. Our differences in outlook and priorities didn't drive us apart, they gave us a place to start building a life together. Not easy. We'd both been burned and hurt. A lot. We'd gone in exact opposite directions in the way we'd dealt with our pain. And somehow we found our way back to the middle because both of us had the smarts to see the other held the missing piece. The ultimate goals of sanity, happiness, acceptance, room to grow and improve, to make a solid happy satisfying life were always there. We just had to chip away at our defenses and talk, talk, talk until we each understood the other. Okay, we didn't always talk. There have been shouting matches, slammed doors, squealing tires, angry ugly words, power struggles and a whole lot of bullshit. I won't kid you or myself about that.

Worth it in the end?

Oh, you know it.

Five years ago today I met my other half. More than that, I met the one who'd finally give me what I needed to be whole.

If that sounds counter-intuitive to the commonly accepted rah-rah ideal that you must love yourself before anyone else can love you...too bad.

I went my entire life (!) - 44 miserable frightened years where I'd been resented, rejected, treated with suspicion and beaten down because of someone else's fearful anger over the loss of power to be anything but a whipped dog. Nothing much left of me but that cringing dog and some vague idea that I could be an asset if I were only allowed to be. I'd managed to hang onto the hope if given the opportunity to be something positive I wouldn't screw it up. I didn't. And neither did Mick.

Mick brought me everything I'd longed for. Right from the start he saw me as a positive. He saw me a beautiful woman with a healthy libido, a brilliant mind, staunch ethics, and a kind heart. And I saw him as the hero he'd ached to be. A hero with a need to be cared for. To be somewhere and with someone who allowed him to be human. Less than perfect and loved anyway. I gave him a place to feel protected and loved in an unkind world that is never fair or just. A bitter world where the honest and generous of spirit are routinely punished for being weaklings. I gave him a safe place to be soft and he gave me a firm arm to lean on when all I knew was how to curl up and give in to protect myself from more hurt. In offering his protection he allowed me to be strong. And in giving him a haven he learned to let his guard down.

Not bad for what was supposed to be a polite coffee date so I could tell that too old, non-college graduate, gym rat, 'I'll never date a cop or an Irishman' under-tall non-contender that he didn't have a chance.


The Fates scoff at and make plans we mortals can't see at the time but bumble along with anyhow.

I did. He did. We did. It's five years later. And it's all good.

Much love, ~LA

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