I believe I’ve mentioned I’m a single mom.  This means many things, like being the sole provider and attendee of clothing, food, doctor visits, school meetings, iPods and other meaningful much needed things in life.  However, I’m also the recipient of hugs, kisses, random kind notes (some written on the bathroom mirror) and eye rolls.  Lots of eye rolls.  Being single also means dating.  Dating is like a four letter word with two extra letters.  As I’ve told my daughter on many occasions that she didn’t come with an instruction manual and neither does dating.  Oh yes, there are books aplenty on this subject.  None make any sense.  At least not to me.  I see the magazine articles that state “How to make a man fall in love with you” or “How to know he’s the one”.  There is no formula especially for those trying to date in their 40’s.

In high school, if the guy had a really cool car that was a big plus.  Then you would drop hints around school that you thought he might be cute, befriend his best friend, accidentally on purpose bump into him in the hall.  Then the dreaded “wait for him to call” time kicked in and you would sit and stare at the phone willing it to ring.  If It didn’t ring in the allotted time you gave so you would pick it up, check for dial tone and call your best friend just to make sure it worked.  That’s a lot of work.  Too much if you ask me.  Fast forward 20 plus years, and its really no different.  You meet a guy, attraction happens and you both do the information dance by asking the important questions.  “Do you have an ex-wife” “Kids? How many?”  “Do you have a job?” But the question we cannot answer before any dates are to be had is “How much baggage will you be bringing along on our trip”.  There is no way to find out the answer beforehand.  Thus begins the ritual of adult dating.  He will text you to see if you are available.  Apparently no man over 40 has a phone that dials out.  You text back and at the end say “call me to firm up plans”.  He must translate this as “text me back your answer” because all plans for the date are accomplished via text.

And so it begins.  The first date and you’re not really sure if you should be nervous because after all you are an adult.  Most first dates let you know the baggage he has brought along.  You hope for a small carry on but sometimes its a steamer truck and you have to decide if you want to sort through it.  After you part ways, you wait.  No, not for a phone call but a text.  This is how its done.  Unfortunately the personal communication is somewhat lost in our technology obsessed culture.  Who doesn’t miss the hour long conversations while you lay around on the sofa or as you write your name combined with his last name in seventeen different ways?  Yes, it was a teenagers way to begin dating many moons ago but there is no replacement in hearing a person’s voice, the tone in which they tell a joke or the way they laugh.

Yes, I continue to date mainly to provide entertainment for my friends.  I have moved on from feeling the “need” to have a partner to feeling it would be an added bonus to my already great life.  And hey, if I’m truly lucky maybe he will have a really cool car.