Nine years ago, when I was still just dating my now ex-husband, I answered an ad on a modeling site about a new magazine that was being launched in Louisville. I agreed to meet the editor/photographer in a coffee shop one afternoon, and took my then boyfriend along with me, just to be safe. When I walked into the coffee shop, I didn’t see ANYONE in there that looked like a photographer – the ones I’d met were old, not at all attractive, not at all interesting (though they all thought they were God’s gift to the world). Sitting at a table toward the middle of the coffee house was this guy, a good-looking younger guy, that I didn’t think could possibly be the guy I was supposed to be meeting. I was wrong, that was the guy, though, and while he passed me up for a couple of blond chicks for the issue of the magazine, I spent several months writing content for it anyway. We talked a lot, because we had to, but after I got married, lost contact.
After my divorce, I hadn’t “forgotten” about the editor/photographer (now called Ormsby), per se, but didn’t think for even an instant that he’d be interested in me – his crowd, at least from the public portrayal I saw, was the nightclub crowd… surrounded by women, models, all the time, and while I may have functioned as one, I certainly didn’t think I measured up to that standard. So I set up my dating rules, and I lived by them, as much as possible, altering and adding to the list where necessary:
- Age: Must fall within five years of myself (older or younger, but preferably older). I am 32. Within those parameters, that would make a potential candidate 27-37.
- Preference toward military.
- Preference toward divorcees who are OVER IT.
- Must have stable income.
- Must have (some) hair on head, but not an overwhelming amount of body hair.
- Must not have an abnormal attachment to his mother.
- Must want children, or at least be open to the idea. If he already had children, must want more.
- Must be able to sustain an erection.
- Must be taller than me, even when I’m wearing my heels. (This was harder to find than you’d think.)
- Must want a relationship (no one-night-stands, casual flings, etc.).
- Some semblance of sanity (and by sanity, I mean not a raging, psychotic sociopath) is absolutely necessary.
- Must live in Florida, because I sure as hell wasn’t interested in leaving the land of eternal summer.
There were other rules, unspoken ones, some I probably don’t even really acknowledge, but these were the basics… formed after years of an unsatisfactory marital and post-divorce dating life. Now, trying to find all of that in one particular individual isn’t the easiest thing in the world. And I compromised on some of the lesser ones… still, I never quite found what I was looking for. One met pretty much all of these factors but was emotionally unavailable when it came to using the “L” word (that is not “Lesbian). One was particularly adept at hiding his psychotic tendencies (but of course they surfaced eventually anyway). One was divorced, but still emotionally tied to his wife. See, I thought that, after my divorce, finding someone else would be easy. I clearly underestimated the dating pool out there – it was a LOT of work, a LOT of disappointment (though it did give me some humorous moments when I was crafting the IDEs).
Then May came. And I reconnected with Ormsby. And I liked him… a lot. But here’s the thing about Ormsby: with a couple of exceptions, being with him, WANTING to be with him, would constitute breaking just about every single one of those rules. And I thought about it… hard.
But then I realized something… those rules? They hadn’t been working. Because if they HAD been working, then when I’d come for my sister’s wedding in May, I’d have been in a relationship already. One that succeeded. And this blog wouldn’t be an endless rant of breakup stories (at least until recently). It was an acknowledgement of failure. Sort of. Or, maybe, a recognition that my processes that I’d carefully lain out and followed (almost) to the letter were a little bit flawed.
And so… I broke them. Or most of them. I mean the obvious ones I kept (you know, the stuff about the body hair, erections, the lack of over-infatuation with the mother-figure ,the lack of major psychosis… those I stuck to, because no one wants to go to bed with a werewolf, especially one that cannot keep it up, and no one wants to have to deal with mom-boners every time you visit his parents; also you CERTAINLY don’t want to have to worry about accidentally crawling in bed with the next Ted Bundy). But pretty much everything else… age to location included? Yep. Broken.
And this is why I sit here, in Louisville, in Ormsby’s bed, a bed he modified with his own two hands (and power tools) to accommodate my television, perfectly comfortable and completely satisfied.
I’ll admit, doing this was a huge risk… a calculated risk, yes, because one does not simply pack up one’s own belongings and move halfway across the country to live with just ANY guy, but still, a risk. Because this could have gone sour as soon as I set foot in the Penske truck with Ormsby and my cat. I mean, that’s how it’s always been in the past. I’ll admit I was even expecting it a little.
And yet, it hasn’t been like that at all. It’s been a refreshing, and yet surprising, change. Things are mostly blissful, exceptionally peaceful, and minimally stressful. I’d swear, I was living someone else’s life (and if I am, seriously bitch, whoever you are, I’m keeping it). And if I’ve learned anything at all, I’ve learned that relationships do not have to be dysfunctional to be functional.
Which simply further illustrates a point I’ve made before: Rules were made to be broken.