Catch 22


After Kim died, a friend brought over a plant. It reminded her of how she had first met and become friends with Kim.

She placed it on the mantle and told me it was easy to take care of.

I said, “I don’t know.”

She assured me that I could do it. It didn’t need to be watered that often. It didn’t need much sun.

She was sure I could do it.

The plant was dead before the end of the year.

A year after that I thought I might be ready to start dating.

I was wrong.

Thank goodness nothing came of it.


I think that maybe now I am.

Or maybe not.

Even if I actually am ready to date, I don’t think it’s going to go very well.

I haven’t been out with anyone other than Kim on a date in over twenty-six years.

I didn’t like dating in my twenties and early thirties.

I loved being married.

I loved being past all the stuff you need to get past when you date.

I loved being past all the stuff you need to get past when you’re first married.

Kim and I continued to refine the way we were together throughout our marriage.

Combine the years of being together as best friends, raising kids, surviving the death of a child, cooking, eating, and traveling together, sitting across from each other talking, and sitting next to each other happily saying nothing – we’d pretty much gotten this relationship thing down.

I don’t know that I have the energy in me to start again.

But there’s a part of me that thinks I might be ready.

Friends have suggested online dating. Although I may end up there, it sounds awful.

People lie in their profiles.

They leave things out.

They paint pictures of themselves as the people they want to be.

And they lie about what they want.

It feels to me like someone who says family values and morality are the most important things to them in a politician and then they vote for and ardently support someone who embodies the opposite of all they profess to support.

In online dating, that’s the person who says they need someone intelligent with a good sense of humor while they ignore all descriptions and just look through the pictures in the profiles until they find someone they find attractive.

Of course it’s a catch 22.

If I don’t lie in my profile I’d have to say something like,

“Crabby, old, over-weight man might be looking for a left-leaning, bright woman who doesn’t annoy him too much.”

“I say ‘might’ because I might not be ready to go out with anyone yet – and even if I am, it likely won’t work out.”

That should do it, right?

Actually, I was hoping not to have to enter the online dating world.

I was hoping that one of my friends or neighbors would say, “hey, I know you don’t know if you’re ready and even if you are it probably won’t work out, but would you mind if I gave your number to a friend of mine?”


I keep the dead plant on my mantle.

That’s actually not accurate.

I’d like to tell you I keep the dead plant on my mantle as a reminder not to do things I’m not ready to do yet. But the truth is I haven’t gotten around to throwing it away.

There’s a side of me that thinks if I can’t be trusted with a plant then I can’t be trusted with a person.

Then again, another person can get her own water and find her way to the sun.

So – am I ready to date or not?

I don’t know.

I am, however, pretty certain it won’t go well the first few times.

And that’s the catch.

Doesn’t seem fair to invite someone into that situation.

Even if she can get her own water and find her way to the sun.

Published in: on June 23, 2018 at 4:03 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. We wish you and Maggie all the healing and happiness in the world.

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