When I first started dating my Love, he told one of his friends that I seemed nice, and easy-going, and pretty reasonable… for a woman. Divorced men, and maybe men in general, think that women teeter precariously on the precipice of insanity, and that the merest breath of testosterone-infused breeze could send us spiralling toward mania. My Love calls it “flipping your toboggan.” His friend nodded wisely and counselled him not to trust it. I was, after all, a woman, and the flipping of the toboggan was a certainty, it was only a matter of time. Five years, apparently.
“Ya can’t trust ‘em. They act all sweet and friendly and then BAM, it’s crazy time. Five years. It takes five years to know a woman before you can trust ‘em.”
My Love and I have been together for five years, today.
The toboggan has remained running upright on it tracks. There have been no unscheduled stops at Crazy Town. We feel like we’ve made it somewhere. Or at least, we’re happy the sled is still mushing merrily along with both of us on it.
A divorced-persons’ relationship is different than a newly-wed persons’ relationship, in so many ways. We’re not raising kids, we’re not building new careers, we’re not fretting over buying a house and wondering why the mother-in-law seems to hate us. We’re having fun. We’re throwing caution to the wind. We’re having sexy times without worrying that the toddler is going to walk in on us. I believe there are five keys to success, for a “mature” relationship such as ours. (Hahaha, mature relationship! As if!)
1. Embrace each other’s weirdness.
Men are weird. It’s a proven fact… just spend an afternoon with one of them and it will become abundantly clear that weirdness abounds. Women are weird because we love male weirdness. There’s no helping us. And we seem to get weirder as we get older. My Love and I laugh at each other all the time, without worrying about trying to fix the weird things the other does. (But of course, he’s way weirder than I am… 😉
2. Country, and AC/DC
His AC/DC is loud, howling, painful vocal chord abuse. We’re going to see them live in September. My country music is pathetic, whiney and lame. My Love knows all the words to “Honeybee”. Love each other’s music. That way, you’re always dancing in each other’s arms.
3. Share your spectacles.
Neither one of us can see well. Our hearing is going, too. His back gets sore, my uterus threatens to fall out, his feet hurt, my elbows ache. Sometimes we can only find one pair of glasses in the house and we have to share them, taking turns reading and squinting. Sometimes we go to a restaurant with only one pair of glasses, so we share, or read each other the menu. It’s like sharing one pair of eyes. Love isn’t staring longingly into each other’s eyes, it’s squinting myopically in the same direction.
4. Have lots of happy, funny sexy times.
In deference to my children, who may read this, I’ll just leave it at that… except to say that my father, who married the Woman of his Dreams when he was seventy, recently ended an email to me with the words “remember to keep touching each other.” This is not something my father ever said to me, or to any of my boyfriends, in my youth. But now that we know I won’t get grounded for it…
5. Choose lobster.
Love in the kitchen is the seasoning of life. Lobster is about $11 a pound right now. We’re probably not going to have lobster tonight. But we will cook together, whatever we have. I make a huge mess… onion skins across the counter, flour dusting the floor, butter smeared on the sink… and he cleans up after me. Then we’ll search for a pair of glasses so we see each other, put on some tunes, pour a glass of wine, eat, laugh because we’re weird, and thank my Dad for giving us permission to get our hands on each other.
I used to think relationships were hard, but they don’t have to be. Just keep the sled on the slope, and love each other. Love the quirks, the weaknesses, the preferences and habits, and all the wrinkles, and love is grand! My Dad’s new wife, who is also in her 70’s, told him when she married him that she would be happy to have five good years together. They have also reached, and surpassed, their five year mark and now she says she wants forever. That is a beautiful thing.
Ok, I’m lying. We’re totally having lobster tonight… it’s been five years and I haven’t flipped my toboggan. I think we have something to celebrate!
Keep the sled on the slope, friends, and keep touching other!
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