This is not a comeback, or a triumphant return, but just a quick note to let you know that I am well, and happy, and am excited to be spending this Valentine's Day evening with the man I've been busy falling in love with for the last four months. There were times over my six years of blogging when I did occasionally wonder if this blog itself in some way could be holding me back from meeting the right person. All those bad dates, after all, were such good story fodder. And so it is perhaps ironic, or fitting, or even downright weird, depending on how you look at it, that less than 72 hours after my last post shutting this thing down altogether, I met E.
I can hear you all clamoring for details (yes, all the way from here), so I will say that he is quite tall, twelve years older than me, an officer in the Coast Guard, and perfectly helpless in the kitchen (though a very willing sous chef, and learning fast). And best of all, since the moment I met him, I have never once wondered where I stand, if he was interested, if he would call. We talk on the phone or text every day, and have from the first day we met. He asked me on a second date in the middle of our first date. (Right before we made out in the bar like a couple of kids. It was a good first date, is what I'm saying.) On our second date we went hiking, and on our third date we got all dressed up in our best formal attire and went to the Coast Guard Ball. He brought me a corsage in a plastic clamshell container like we were going to Prom. One woman at our table couldn't believe we were on our third date when she found out. "I thought you were married!" She exclaimed. "You seem like you've been together forever! Sandy, come here and listen to this," she beckoned to her friend. "These guys met online, and they're on their third date!" And the two ladies beamed at us like a friendly zoo exhibit, and just stopped short of pinching our cheeks. "So sweet," they sighed. And I couldn't help but agree.
And so, tonight we don't have any big plans to celebrate our first Valentine's Day as a couple, but we will be spending it together, just him and me and his two joint custody, part-time pugs, who he loves more than football, and that's saying a lot. (If you've never seen a 6'4" grown man holding a pug like a baby while covering its round, wrinkly head with smooches, well, it's a sight.)
To sum up, I am well, I am happy, I am loved, and I am in love. I am grateful in the general and the specific; grateful for this space and what it's provided me over the years, grateful that I can come back and share a part of my life with you (if any of you are still out there after all this time). I wish you all the happiest of days today, whatever your circumstances; a day full of friendship, and love, and a sense of contentment that runs bone-deep and then turns around three times and settles down comfortably with a long, grateful sigh that says, I'm home.