Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Tale of Online Dating: Final Chapter

Scrambling for my drink, I gulped down another shot of liquid courage. Now he knew my dirty little secret; not only had I been married, but I was married to a beloved pastor's son whom he happened to take prayer request from back in the day. In other words my condition to the Christian population of Dallas was worse than leprosy. Too many times lately I had seen stares, heard the whispers and slowly watched the people whom I thought were my friends slowly disappear. I had been banished from my colony of Christians and moved out of the village. An outcast from my own people, I was completely prepared for him to make some lame excuse to get away from me, the leper. I sat tense and sweatier than a whore in church next to him. But as the moment passed, I watched him process the information he had just be handed and instead of disgust smeared across his face what I saw was actually sympathy.

"This year must have been very hard for you", he gently said as he reached for my hand and held it in his.

All I could do was hang my head down and nod.

It had been a hard. Terribly hard. I had watched from the sidelines as I let my marriage crumble into a million little pieces. Initially walking away from the heap that had once been a sacred covenant, trying desperately to ignore the mess I had made. And night after lonely night I sat on my sofa looking at a pile of crap that had become my life trying to figure out how to make it better; trying to figure out how to get out of bed the next morning; trying to figure out if God would ever love me again; trying to figure out if anyone would ever love me again. In my moments of weakness, I knew that I was found guilty in this trial but couldn't figure out what exactly had been my crime. Was it leaving? Was it not trying harder, fighting longer and loving deeper when I was married? Or was it wasting my life away, letting each day that passed be more meaningless than the one before instead of moving forward with hope? Helplessly, I had rushed to the pile of nothingness to try and arrange the brokenness into something that could be recovered but it had been too late. The residue had been on me ever since. No matter how many times I tried to wash the remains off of me; it was still there, visible for all to see.

And as I across from a man who could see the aftermath covering my body, I realized that the reason he wasn't leaving was because he understood. He too had been hurt. tortured. destroyed. by divorce. Yet, he was a little further along in the healing process than I was. He had realized that he deserved happiness. He had realized that he was forgiven.

At the time, I didn't know what was going to happen after that night but I had a funny feeling inside that wasn't gas, that it might just be something great. Something better than great, even. I had a feeling that this man was going to be my saving grace. The cheese to my macaroni; the Bobby Brown to my Whitney Houston....wait, scratch that one.

Plano_Mtn_Climbr became just that for me; a gift from God displaying his amazing grace. Sure, I destroyed the million of other women's on Match.com lifelong ambition to become the second wife (or mistress) to my devilishly handsome, smart and compassionate man, but I was the one in a million that he chose, even if it was like picking a puppy out of a litter displayed in a cardboard box in the parking lot of Wal-mart. Regardless, if it was kind of like that he picked me and I'm so glad that he did.

Rita Mae once said, "Computer dating is fine, if you're a computer" but I decided to put myself through the unknown maze of online dating because I was tired of begging under the table for scraps of affection and decided that maybe, just maybe, there might be one more shot of love for me somewhere out there. I went in knowing Online Dating was a lot like shopping at Marshall's; you know there's a defect you just hope it's not too visible. And sure finding a good man was like nailing jello to a tree; I encountered enough doozies at first to deserve a free cookie and question if I should just stay home and dye my eyebrows than go on another blind date, but it was well worth it in the end. We go to the Internet for travel booking, cliff notes, shopping and even are convinced that the Internet can make us insta-doctors and give us the divine ability to diagnose any aliment. So, why not go to the Internet to find a little love?

The divorce taught me to stop searching for the right man and start focusing on becoming the right woman. I knew that I did not want to make the same mistakes I had made before and I wanted a man who felt the same.

That night on our first date, Plano_Mtn_Clmbr showed that he was the type of man who would guard and defend my honor. A few weeks later he proved that very thing to me when he received a call from a leader in our old church trying to convince him I was something that he already decided in the few short weeks that he knew me, that I wasn't.

I actually found a man online that not only was current on all his shots, bathed everyday and was willing to lie about how we met; I also found a man that I fell more deeply in love with than I could ever imagine.

Thank you Buckethead, for making the terribly embarrassing fact that I once was a member of Match.com sooooo very worth it. I love you and I love our fairytale and always remember.....at least we didn't meet on EHarmony!

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22 comments:

Sole Matters said...

whats wrong with Eharmony? lol no, seriously. i have a friend that wants to sign up for match.

anyway, i love your story!!! so happy you both found each other!!

Aly @ Analyze This said...

Oh JPO...I think we may be long lost friends (can I say that even though I've only been following your blog maybe a week now?!) Anyhoo- I loved your analogy about finding a man online and Marshall's...very true! But, what hit home the hardest was this statement "stop searching for the right man and start focusing on becoming the right woman." Even though you referenced it to divorce, I think it can relate in other situations too!

Love your humor and so happy you've shared with the blog world...your honesty and strength is very inspiring!

buckethead said...

The only bad things about us meeting online are:
(1.) You figured out I wasn't in Mensa just because I took the tests in the back of American Way magazine,
(2.) It ended my sting of shirtless pictures on the internet,
(3.) we couldn't tell our family we met at church at a Bill Gaither concert,
(4.) because we paid a match.com subscription, it's as if we paid for love!!
(5.) nothing else because we are perfect for each other, bestest friends ever, and happier than a fat kid in a buffet.
I love you JPo -- doesn't matter how we met or how we got there -- what matters is that we found each other (thank you Providence) and are committed to a loving life together.
Buckethead (aka plano_mtn_clmbr)

Sole Matters said...

pawwweeeese do me a favor and do this!! :)

http://itswhatsinthesoul.blogspot.com/2010/04/no-reply.html

to answer your question, yep! i live close to work :)

kswann said...

AND...I remember the evening that plano_mtn_clmber introduced you to his friends...and there OUR LOVE STORY BEGIN JPo...well after I gave you a couple of dirty looks, once overs (several times) and mumbled a few things...of sweet nothings...I KNOW it was FAITH that brought you into all of our lives!!! ;-) XOXO THANKS Buckethead for giving me my bestie!!

we hate you. love, us said...

:) That made me a little misty-eyed!

Thank you so much for sharing this with us and I am so, so happy for you!!!

-Betty

Lauren said...

great story!

Shane said...

Awwww . . . awesome!!! What an incredible lesson in patience and trust. Can't wait to hang with you guys again on the 4th!

Grimes Life said...

Love the story Jen! :)

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