I love telling stories, but lately I haven’t been able to recall any that I haven’t told before. Then, it dawned on me that I’ve shared bits and pieces about how Maurice and I met and formed our relationship, but I don’t think I’ve told it all in one clear and concise post. If I have told this story before, you’ll have to forgive me, I’m telling it again because I like it.
Over ten years ago I ended a three year relationship. It ended badly. No, it ended really, really badly. No, it ended Three Mile Island, the cops got involved and two years of therapy badly. Toxic from beginning to end.
Maurice and I met online before I was in that terrible relationship. We would briefly chat now and again, but each time we chatted one of us was in a relationship, so we never got together. Maurice says he doesn’t remember any of this, but this is the way I recall it and I’m sticking with it.
When the bad relationship ended I told myself that I wasn’t getting into another one. I wasn’t saying never again, but I swore it wasn’t going to be any time soon. I made a conscious decision to start dating. That was it. Meet some nice guys, go out on a date, have some fun and that was it. Call it a night. Was there ever a time that people just dated? They did in old movies and tv shows. Nowadays they most certainly don’t. Two or three dates and people want to be exclusive. I knew that was exactly what I did not want.
It was not going to be easy, but I was determined to stick by my decision and it worked. It took a while, but I developed a group of guy friends who I’d go out with from time to time. Dinner and a movie this week with Tom – lunch and a museum next week with Jack. Maybe sex would be involved, maybe not – no expectations. For two years I LOVED IT. And then one night, things changed…
I was chatting online one evening and this cute guy sent me a simple message that said “hello.” We chatted a bit and he said he’d like to meet over coffee and I agreed. When he walked into Starbucks I was excited. “Wow. This guy is hot.” Then I remembered that he was in a relationship so I tempered my enthusiasm and resigned myself to accept that this was going to be just coffee and friendship. DAMN! Needless to say, the guy was Maurice.
Starbucks was packed and he admitted he didn’t like coffee, so I said, “It’s been a really tough week at work, what do you say we head down to the beach?” He agreed it was a good idea.
It’s important to note that I had one very firm rule about dating. If the cell phone was pulled out at anytime during the first date, that would be it. No reaction, no comment, no drama…there just would not be a second date. I made an exception for Maurice because he was courteous enough to tell me right away that he took care of his grandmother and he had to answer if she called. I told him I understood. Besides, at this point I wasn’t even sure it was a date.
When we got into his truck, Maurice asked how to get to the beach. I lived only a mile from the coast, but it would require going by foot down a steep cliff to get to the beach. That was not a good option that late at night. So, when he asked me where to go I told him I wasn’t sure and said, “just go that way.” In the process we got lost on some winding, dark road and we laughed about it. Fortunately, he found my free-spirited attitude endearing.
When we found a beach, Maurice casually mentioned his recent breakup and I practically squealed. Yes! It’s official! This was a date! It couldn’t have been a more perfect night. The beach was practically deserted and there was a full moon. We sat there and chatted and chatted some more. It got chilly so we cuddled a bit and chatted some more. It started to get downright cold so we cuddled some more and chatted some more. We sat on the beach, under the full moon and talked for five hours.
Remember my rule regarding no cell phone usage while on a date? Well, he was right, his grandmother called – she had Alzheimer’s so about fifteen minutes later she called again, and again and again…every single time she called she asked Maurice the same things and every single time he would repeat his responses in a calm and loving way. I couldn’t believe it. All I kept thinking was, “He’s a really nice guy.”
At the end of the night, when we pulled up to my place, I was thinking this guy was different, this guy was special. As we were about to kiss goodnight a song came on the stereo. It was Bobby Darin singing “Beyond the Sea,” Nothing could have been more perfect to end the evening. Right now, thinking about it gives me the chills – good chills. I knew right there and then that this was kismet. He was THE one.
We’ve been together now for eight years, so it seems to be working out okay. There is a moral to the story. Whenever a friend tells me that they just can’t meet the right guy, or the right girl. I tell them the magic secret that worked for me: Have fun and stop looking.