Friday, November 03, 2006

Tales from the Basement, Part 1

(As many of you may know, I was remarried several years ago to a man with two children. I thought it might be time to share the story of our, well, “different” courtship!)

I tucked my kids into bed, kissed them goodnight and stood there for a moment, staring at the adorable yet anomalous sight of my two little ones sharing the same queen-size bed. Not my bed, mind you…but the bed of my estranged husband which resided in his brand-new, single-guy apartment. The large house we had once owned together was now occupied by a new, hopeful family; my children and I were going to be homeless for a couple of weeks until we were able to move into our tiny new abode. D, my almost-ex, was kind enough to stay with his girlfriend for awhile and loan us this one-bedroom bachelor pad. I walked out of the bedroom and took a good look at my surroundings, searching fruitlessly for a morsel of our life together. Nothing here but masculine towels and dinnerware, drawers full of bland, stainless-steel cutlery and such novel items as “gas passes” and ticket stubs for concerts we had never gone to.

I wondered how this could be happening. The past year had been such a blur, and now that I had time to just sit and think, I couldn’t believe how surreal my life had become. This was it. If I previously wasn’t sure that our life together was completely over, I sat within the confines of proof so solid, it hit me in the head like Babe Ruth’s baseball bat. I suspected it before, but now the truth was staring me down between the eyes: It was time to move on.

I called my friend C and told her that I was finally ready to meet her friend Al, after she had tried unsuccessfully for the last five months to get us together. Al. What kind of name was that, anyway? Albert, Alfred, Alan? I imagined him saying, “You can call me Al”. I had visions of a combination of Chevy Chase and Paul Simon running through my head, no matter what kind of “killer smile” C said that he had. I gave her the phone number to D’s apartment, and figured I’d just try to get through my days of traipsing my kids back and forth to day camp and trying to concentrate on my job.

I had been through my share of rotten blind dates, perhaps set up by unsatisfied wives who had fantasies about men that they themselves would never get to sleep with. One of D’s cousins had previously set me up with her “tree guy”; a tall, fair-haired handsome man that had a personality to match his profession—he was nothing more than an empty stump with no personality. When he asked me how long I would have to date somebody before I slept with them—“…six days, six weeks, six months?”—I promptly excused myself and said that I was late to pick up my kids from the babysitter. My next blind date, another friend's "deck guy", had a much better personality but insisted that we meet at a nightclub, which should’ve been my first red flag. He brought his “best” female friend with him to our blind date, which should’ve been red flag number two. When he told me that there was always surgery to correct the fact that my breasts were not the size of Pam Anderson’s, the third red flag was shoved down my throat so far that it rendered me speechless. I meekly squeaked out that I had to use the ladies room, and snuck out of the club. I raced back to the angelic, sleeping faces of my beautiful children, excused the babysitter and cried my eyes out. Is this what dating in my 30’s was going to be like?

Al called within a few days after C gave him the phone number. His voice was deep and smooth; his tone was kind and gentle. He had an explosive laugh that was childlike and almost innocent; I knew in my heart that this man was never going to ask me ridiculous questions that had no answers, nor expect anything from me that wasn’t natural and real. We agreed to meet the next night at a small pub in my new town. He told me that he’d be wearing a black tee shirt with blue jeans, and that he had a white van. C had told me that he was about 5’ 10”—a little tall for me, since I don’t like to crick my neck to kiss someone—and she said that he was really cute, reminding me of that “killer smile” once more (she couldn’t help herself, being a dental hygienist).

I was so nervous that I failed to notice any white vans in the parking lot. I checked my make up in the rear view mirror, and slowly took a deep breath while stepping out of my car. In front of the bar stood a man in a black tee shirt and blue jeans; however, this man was clearly about 6’ 2”. I stared at him for a minute from a distance as he spoke in a very animated way to another gentleman outside of the pub. He didn’t look anything like what C had described, and his active expressions had me confused. This man just didn’t seem like the calm, relaxed man that I had spoken to. I took another deep breath and told myself that I needed to give him a chance, that someone who seemed that nice on the phone had to be at least half as decent in person.

All of a sudden, out of the corner of my left eye, I saw someone coming towards me. He gently spoke my name, and I turned around to see an amazingly handsome man slowly walking toward me from a white van. His eyes lit up as he flashed his pearly whites, and my heart stopped. As corny as it sounds, I felt like a princess watching her prince step off of his white steed. I stopped gawking long enough to remember that we hadn’t gone in the pub yet…there was still time for this guy to ask me a dumb question or make a rude comment. There was still a chance that he could turn out to be a total idiot once he was face to face with me. I smiled at him, said hello, and we walked into the pub.

We sat down at the bar and looked at each other. He smiled at me again and asked me if I wanted to see a picture of his kids. A picture of his kids?!? Can he be that wonderful?

I thought to myself…here’s a man who knows who he is, and what he’s about…and he’s not ashamed by it. He’s not trying to cover it up or hide it until he has no choice but to expose it. He’s a dad, he loves his kids, and they’re the biggest part of his life. And he wanted to share that with me first and foremost.

We exchanged pictures back and forth, laughing and sharing stories of children’s antics that a tree stump just couldn’t appreciate. After a wonderful evening, he walked me out to my car and kissed me on my cheek. I noticed when he hugged me good-bye that he was no more than 5’ 8”, and our bodies were a perfect fit. I went back to D’s apartment where my niece was babysitting. She asked me how my date went, and I told her the truth: that I had just met the man of my dreams.

(Stay tuned next week for part two of “Tales from the Basement”, which will give a glimpse into the very crazy world of two parents dating!)

15 comments:

Summer said...

Wonderful!! enjoyed every thing about your post!!

Carine said...

very nice story lisa! thanks for sharing.

www.Carine-whatscooking.blgspot.com

Lisa said...

Summer and Carine,

Thank you for stopping by! I titled this post before I realized how long it would be, hence the "part one, part two" etc...hopefully in part two, I will get to the reason for the title! That may not come till "part three"! But keep reading, I promise, you'll enjoy it!

Take good care,
Lisa

Kacey said...

He sounds just wonderful! We will wait patiently for Chapter II and III, because it is so much cheaper that going to Amazon.com.
You have a great flair for telling a story --- keep up the good work.
We left Ohio on Thursday at 8:00 am and arrived in our Florida home at 3:00 am. I am unpacked and beat with a terrible Ohio cold. But, --- my computer is working so life is good! lol

Lisa said...

Kacey,

So wonderful to hear that you finally arrived, safe and sound! Thank you once again for your kind words. I hope I can get some of the rust off of my brain and really hone in on my writing skills once again. It's a terrible thing to let go of the gifts that we were given, and I did that for many years.

I have started Part 2 and hope to have it posted in the next couple of days. My husband is wonderful, and we've had quite a journey together!

Looking forward to more of your wonderful posts!! Glad you're finally settled, I love your stories!

Take good care,
Lisa

Andrew said...

"After a wonderful evening, he walked me out to my car and kissed me on my cheek."

Now that's a classy guy. Thanks for the invite to come and read, Lisa, I enjoyed it.

Andrew ("To Love, Honor and Dismay")

Lisa said...

Andrew,

He definitely is a gentleman. One thing I can say is that he always makes me feel like the most beautiful, desireable woman on earth, even on days like today when I have on flannel pj's, no makeup, and I'm wearing brown socks with earth sandals. Yikes. But I still got an ivitation to join him in the tent in the backyard before he took it down...now that's love (or testosterone, I guess)!

Take good care and thanks for stopping by!

Lisa

Enhance Life said...

Hi Lisa,
Interesting read. Considering all the "wacky" men out there he seems to be a really nice person. You are very lucky :-)

Sham
http://enhancelifethinktank.blogspot.com

Big Dave T said...

Gawd woman, you illustrate your characters with such wonderful prose. Sorry, but I'm going to have to steal some of those details, heck maybe the characters themselves, for that novel project this month.

You think 5', 10" is tall??! You just made my day :)

Lisa said...

Sham,

Thank you for stopping by!

Yes, I definitely consider myself lucky, my husband is a great guy. He's got "wacky" qualities, for sure, but so do I (who doesn't?)! I thank God that he's genuine...trust is so important.

Take good care,
Lisa

Lisa said...

Dave,

Why, thank you, kind sir! What a nice complement.

...You can steal whatever you want as long as I get half of whatever you make if you sell your novel! ;)

Good luck!

Take good care,
Lisa

E said...

I just found your blog today through a comment of http://lovehonoranddismay.blogspot.com/

I really enjoyed your story and the other posts.

God bless you and your family.

Lisa said...

E,

Thank you so much for stopping by. I visited your site as well, and read your latest post. When it's not so late, I will stop by again to view more of your posts!

God bless you as well.

Take good care,
Lisa

Teri said...

Dear Lisa...great story and great story-telling chica. I'm looking forward to the future installments from the basement. ;)

Ciao bella...

Lisa said...

Teri,

Thank you so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed your trip!

I plan on having another installment either later today or Saturday, feel free to come on by and view it!

Take good care,
Lisa