When I was young I had a very clear timeline of how my life would unfold.
Graduate high school at 18, meet my future husband at 20, graduate college at 22, get married at 23, own home at 24, have first kid at 26, second kid at 28, win Pulitzer by 30. After that? Well, what the hell did it matter? Those were the highlights.
It will come as no surprise to you that my life didn’t quite turn out like that. Not only because my plan was hopelessly naïve, but also because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor and likes to mess with people’s fragile hearts.
I DID graduate high school at 18, but from there things got good and fucked up.
I dropped out of my first university at 19 and went back to different colleges no fewer than six times after that.
I didn’t meet my future husband in college. I did meet and fall in love with a self-proclaimed “savior of the world” musician, a curly-haired butcher and a soon-to-come-out-of-the-closet poetry major. But not one of them was husband material straight outta college.
I didn’t have kids in my 20s, which worked out okay, since the whole finding true love thing was on a massive hiatus.
And the Pulizer? Well, a blog is almost the same thing, right?
My 30s did a great job of impersonating other people’s college years, except without the need for a fake ID. There were plenty of cocktails, parties and sketchy apartments. Plus, a really amazing stint as a dorm mom for a local sorority. And by “amazing” I mean “soul sucking.” It was the closest I’d come to anything resembling maternal. If by maternal we mean – willing to hold a girl’s hair back while she pukes up JELL-O shots.
I had a nice string of ex-lovers in my wake as I rounded the corner on the big 4-0, but nothing viable in the works. While my biological clock has never ticked so loud that I felt compelled to breed with just anyone, I couldn’t shake the feeling that life would be even more awesome if I had a partner to share it with.
After multiple attempts over the years to mine something viable out of the rock that was internet dating, I decided – “Okay, one more try.” I was 41 and just about to close the chapter on my love quest.
So, naturally, that’s when I met Nathaniel.
Clearly, The Universe knew what a dick it had been on the whole love scene in my life and was making up for its crappy treatment of me over the years. Nathaniel was terrific. Is terrific and we fell in love pretty much on the spot.
Unlike the love stories and fairy tales we read in books and see in the movies – that’s not the end of my story. It’s really just the beginning. Because falling in love is when you turn into a lunatic frog and then your beloved kisses your warts and you turn back into a suitable amphibian and then without warning someone leaves whiskers on the bathroom counter and it’s back to Mrs. Toad’s Wild Ride.
For a lifelong people watcher and observer of randomness, I’m constantly amused, bemused and more than occasionally in need of booze from the daily antics of my own life. And not because we live such a remarkable or even interesting life. I’m a writer and he’s an accountant – it’s not exactly Lord of the Rings on a scale of epic-ness up in our hiz. The reason it’s so profoundly ridiculous, it because as much as I’d longed for this magical partnership, I didn’t have the experience to manage any of it gracefully. I was in my 40s and had never been married, never had a live-in boyfriend, never had a relationship that lasted longer than 9 months, never had a pet of my own, never had a plant that survived more than a 90 days. I realized I was a fucking novice at this stuff.
That’s the bad news (mostly for Nathaniel, as he patiently watches me navigate our life like a toddler taking her first steps – teetering along, falling on her ass a lot, having a meltdown and then pulling herself back on her feet. Rinse. Repeat.)
And for better or for worse – that’s pretty much the kind of thing you’ll find here – the bemused musings of a notoriously late bloomer.
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What happens when you're in your 40s before you hit most of those major life milestones? It's like wearing high-waisted pegged jeans to a Versace fashion show.