…and then, on a Sunday evening, I learned that my ex had passed away.
Suddenly it seemed like a very poor time to be starting a relationship. Both of these fellows conveyed their condolences, I asked for space and I deleted my online profile.
I had already agreed to go to an ugly holiday sweater party at the end of the week with the second, the more interesting of these guys. We had met just three times; once the evening before the devastating news. Now, by the end of the week, I was ready to get out of the house and put on a brave face…with…let’s call him Lee.
Again Lee fetched me via Uber, and we arrived at his friends’ dinner party at the same moment. I had insisted he call me ahead of time to fill me in on the details. Some of these folks had been from his old neighborhood, so I needed to know if I was walking into an annual party at which he had last been seen with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. He had, but it was a mixed crowd and everyone was lovely to me.
Having met in another city, it seemed only natural that we’d already been talking about jetting off for a long weekend away later in the winter. After the party, however, Lee began suggesting we make it the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I wasn’t certain I was ready for that — we’d only met four times, after all — and I wasn’t certain I could get away.
“I need a break; I know you need a break. Let me do this,” he said, explaining that he had airline credits and hotel points and that we could make it work for very little invested. My resistance had been worn down by the emotional turmoil of the past week. “Okay,” I said.
It wasn’t easy to arrange the kidgistics, but the promise of sunshine, warmth and leisure was enough for me to make it work. Further, some of the children’s relatives were coming to town, so they would have extra emotional support — and it might not hurt, I reasoned, for me to not be around then.
Before I knew it, our flight itinerary was in my email…
So here I was, preparing to spend four nights in paradise with a man I barely knew. We enjoyed conversation with each other, surely we would have fun, and we’d relax in the warmth and sun. How bad (or good, I suppose) could it possibly be?