the d bomb drops again

Last night I went out on a second date with C, eHarm victim #2. He is funny (in a really dry and sarcastic way), mannerly (even on crutches with a broken leg he managed to hold a door for me), and kind (he compliments me on my outfits and shoes and actually appreciates the fact I am a girlie girl). He also seems like a fairly steady person; he didn’t miss a beat or get the least bit rattled after setting fire to a bowl of tortilla chips at happy hour by pulling the paper lined bowl too close to the centerpiece candle. I had to place my sangria order through smoke and flying ash. I know had I been the one to set the chips ablaze, I would have been mortified, but C didn’t give a damn and didn’t turn the slightest shade of red – gotta give the guy some props there.

So, the date is chugging along – we move on from happy hour to sit for a real meal and, as always, the conversation at some point turns to relationships. He was curious to know the craziest thing I had ever done in or after or for a relationship. After a bit of hesitation I decided not to hold back and go straight for the shock value, this is the guy who isn’t afraid of fire afterall, and I shared a time that, in anger, I swiped every last item off a kitchen island in one foul swoop. Shattering two dishes and sending knives and sandwich items and condiments flying. (It was truly a movie moment – my ex had called me crazy as I was walking out the door trying to get some air after an argument . . . without missing a beat I turned around and calmly said, “Crazy? No, I’m not crazy. But, I can show you crazy.”)

I finished my charade-like reenactment and paused, expecting to take in C’s scared look. Instead, he laughed and said had a girl done that to him, he would have thought it was hilarious (though, someone who finds that hilarious, I am thinking has never provoked someone to that point, if he had, I don’t think he’d find it so humorous). He asked if my ex just totally burst out laughing after that. (No. No he didn’t. Not even close. Though, I suppose being that wasn’t the first time over the years I had destructively swiped or thrown something in anger I wouldn’t expect it to be cute or funny.) But, I kept that last thought to myself, because while I can light heartedly tell the kitchen island story as humorous, it’s much harder to pull off the same silly effect with the story about the time I put a hole in the bathroom wall with a glass of ice water.

The conversation about relationships continued . . . talking about dating experiences and the like. Without me even seeing it coming, of course, C had to broach the divorce topic by saying,

It’s hard not to judge women who have been divorced before. It’s a let down to know it won’t be their first time, and like the wedding, it’s not something we can experience together brand new. Of course I want to marry someone who hasn’t already done it before and, I mean, she already failed the first time, how do I know she won’t again?

Ouch.

The look on my face gave it away immediately.

“You’ve been married before, haven’t you?”

Yup. Go ahead, judge me now and I don’t expect to see you again.

“I’m not judging YOU. I’m totally not judging you for it. Do you want to tell me about it?”

So, I figured it’d give the kitchen island story some more context, and tell him a little bit. I’m starting to realize, I can tell the story 1,000 ways and it’s never told the same way twice. There were 1,000 reasons I got divorced and when I tell an abbreviated version, I only ever focus on one part to keep it simple. With C, I decided to share the step-family portion of the deal, only becuase on our first date he was curious to know if I had dated anyone with kids and I had said that I had.

There it was . . . the D bomb exploding . . . date two.

I do totally believe him when he says he wasn’t judging me and wanted to make it clear it wouldn’t effect his decision to want to take me on a third date. So, maybe it doesn’t affect his decision, but what about mine? To say his opinion and his words wouldn’t leave a lasting impression on me is a lie.

I completely understand never-marrieds’ desires to marry another never-married. I completely get that and respect that (I married a once-married myself, I know it doesn’t always feel ideal). But, at the same time, as much as I’d love to, I can’t change my past and I’m out there in the war zone now looking for the same thing just as everyone else is, previously married or not . . . I’m looking for a true and unconditional love (one that would never involve the smashing of dishes, that I know for sure).

And, in my mind, the person who is going to fall in love with me unconditionally, it will never be a thought put in my mind that I am in any way a disappointment to him or taking something from him as a result of my past and not being capable of sharing in the first-time stuff. (And besides, I got married in Vegas people. VEGAS! Who’s really going to be jealous of that?)

Besides . . . the way I see it anyway, the kind of love I know I want to be in before I would even consider marriage again . . . that is definitely going to be a first for me.

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