I like being part of a couple. You would have to just assume that someone who has been married four times for a total of twenty years (plus four years in a committed—at least on my part—relationship) likes being part of a couple.
On my first podiatrist visit for my sprained ankle three weeks ago, the receptionist (who is four years older than I) was talking about how happy she was to be single and how nice it was not to need or have to bother with a man in her life. One of the patients sitting in the waiting room with me was "Amen, Sister"-ing her.
When I got home very late from work on Thursday night, knowing I'd have to return very early the next morning, I wrote in my Facebook status that I was curled up in bed with my laptop and a cat. I closed that post with, "I know. I have a sad life." A man I know in Akron, whom I have gone out with three times, stated he thought it was a pretty good position to be in, and wrote "Think how much more complicated your life would be having to have a man in bed, next to your laptop & cat." (Trust me: if I had a man, I wouldn't have the laptop in bed!) (BTW, this man is a textbook example for Greg Behrendt's "He Just Not That Into You." So don't be thinking that three dates a possibility make.)
I stopped by my kids' house last night to pick up collected mail, and asked what time I can pick up the babes today for our sleepover. Ty asked if 4:00 p.m. was okay, and I responded, "Sure. I have nothing else. I have no life." Then I paused and corrected myself, "Y'all are my life."
I look around me at women and men my age. I look at the men on Match, and just don't see possibilities. I look at the women who are alone at almost-60 or beyond. I have to be realistic and say, as much as I hold out hope for someone wonderful to enhance my life, the likelihood of finding someone compatible is diminishing. And is doing so at an accelerating pace with each passing month.
Who do I want?
Who don't I want? I don't want someone who's never been married. I don't want someone who has no children. I don't want someone who is averse to spending time with his family. I don't want someone with only a high school education. I don't want a sloth. I don't want someone who doesn't share my interests in and love for "the finer things"—classical music, theatre, art, travel. I don't want someone who doesn't know how to dress himself. I don't want a religious (read: Christianity) zealot who will try to cram his beliefs down my throat. And I don't want someone who wants to be joined at the hip.
Admit it. That narrows the field—enormously. I'm sure there are men on the faculty at the university who are single and meet these criteria, but how to meet them is another matter entirely. I spend my time sitting at a desk in Akron or driving between Youngstown and Akron.
So, if I were to adopt the position that I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life, how will I fashion that life? Find ways to make more friends. (I joined a knitting Meet-Up this week. That's step one.) I guess just slowly, step-by-step, make mid-course corrections in my line of thought. Get out of my shell. Develop the courage to ask other women to have dinner or go to a movie.
Just waiting for the times I can spend with the grandbabies is not fulfilling. There's got to be a way to be alone and not be so damned lonely.