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April 3, 2012

Birthdays, Dating & a Twitter Support Group

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/birthdays_dating_a_twitter_support_group_20120403/

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This weekend will mark my 46th birthday.  I don’t feel 46, or look 46, but I will in fact be 46.  I can vividly remember when my mother turned 35 and I thought she was the oldest person in the world.  My mother is only 22 years older than I am.  I have dated men who were 22 years older than I am, which is just creepy.  I am 30 years older than my son and if he ever dates someone my age I am going to lose my mind and hurt someone.  By someone, of course I mean the perverted old woman who wants to date my baby.

I feel prettier at 46 than I did at 36, 26, or 16.  I am aware of who I am as a human being, a mother, a friend, a sister, and a lover.  I have earned every grey hair and every wrinkle.  I am not ashamed of my body, my choices, my opinions, my goals, my dreams, or my fears.  I am hopeful.  I am free.  I am scared.  Hopeful that the world will be kind to my child and allow him to live his best life.  Free to speak my mind and have people who not only fight for my voice to be heard, but encourage me to share that voice.

I am scared that I will live the rest of my life alone because I was not brave enough to allow myself to find love again.  I have survived a broken marriage and a broken heart, and sometimes the memory of that broken heart allows my hope to be trumped by fear.  I am my best self in a great relationship, but comfortable and happy enough in my life alone that there is no desperate need to have one, only a desire.  The sad thing about being alone is that the only way to end that is to date, and dating sucks.

I have been on a few dates with a man I have been calling #2.  He is lovely and I am having a good time.  He is funny, charming, smart, strong, supportive, and kind.  He is also a smart ass and sarcastic.  He makes me laugh, think, and flutter.  He is also the only man in a very long time that I have had more than one date with.  I am old, tired, slightly jaded, and not interested in wasting my time, or anyone else’s, so for me going on a lot of bad first dates is how my dating life has been playing out.

I met this man through JDate and he is not at all my type.  If you read my column with any regularity, you know that I have gone out with a series of schmucks, so using that as the criteria, this man is not a schmuck, and so he is automatically not my type.  I suppose there is a chance he could turn out to be a putz as we’ve all been tricked before, but I have a good feeling about this one.  I’m not sure where it will go, but a friendship is being built and that is a great thing.  I am enjoying my new friend.

I will panic of course and try to sabotage it.  I will grab hold of something silly and use it as a reason to not see him.  I will get scared, get crazy, and get embarrassed.  It’s what women do, and it does not matter that we tell ourselves we are not going to be lunatics, it is simply in our genes and it’s going to happen.  Not much we can do about it, and no point in warning them because it makes us look insane, so we jump in, hold our breath, and pray they are strong enough, and smart enough, to hang on.

I am not a huge fan of Twitter.  I think it’s a mean place and I spend a lot of time thinking about the day I will quit.  You can imagine my surprise that Twitter has now become a support group of sorts.  In a moment of panic, I tweeted that I was on my way to a date, the first one with #2, and that I was nervous.  That led to a series of tweets that took my breath away.  My followers started to send me tweets of support.  People let me know they were pulling for me and that I deserved to find someone great.

I sometimes forget people other than my friends and my mother read my blogs, and that these people jumped in to support me was lovely.  I heard from married women who said they hope I find a man like theirs, single women who are in the same boat, men who warned me about how to spot a schmuck, and young people saying I gave inspiration to their parents.  The tweets made me laugh and cry.  I could not believe this social media site, which had been so painful, was now kind.  I adore these people who have become invested in my journey.

As I turn 46, I find myself thankful.  I love my son and my family. I love my work and know good things are going to happen professionally.  I love my friends, both those who hold me up when I am weak, and those who have virtually come into my life to provide me with light and hope.  Since there is a possibility I will not live to be 92, I am not middle aged as much as I am old, and I must tell you, old is good.  I have overcome much to be here and I owe it to myself to now count my blessings and keep the faith.

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