This year, all I want for Christmas is… Seven years ago this month, my husband filed for divorce. The divorce became official a week before what would have been our 24th wedding anniversary. Yes, the month of December marks the anniversary of our wedding and the anniversary of our divorce—but I don’t celebrate either.
December is sometimes a hard month for me. What would normally be a month of celebrations and merrymaking is sometimes a month of mourning for me. I do it quietly. You probably would never even know.
Anyhow, you might recall my blog post about falling in love, and I figured it was time for an update. Looking back now, I’m not sure why I even added “Fall in love” to my List of 50 Things, but I did. I knew if I were going to be truly brave this year, I needed to put myself out there. I needed to get on the dating apps and give it my best shot.
As the months progressed, I wasn’t sure this whole dating app thing was such a good idea. I found myself either not matching with anyone, matching with men who abruptly ghosted me, or matching with men who wanted to sleep with me. And yes, I even expanded the dating parameters on the app to include the entire world and increased the age range to 45-65. THIS was not going well.
Admittedly, earlier this year, I was lined up with a really sweet guy who wasn’t quite my type, but generally, the dating scene is very depressing. If you’re over 40 and you’ve been on the dating apps, you know what I mean.
“Dating after 30 is easy. It’s like riding a bike.
But the bike is on fire. And the ground is on fire. Everything is on fire. Because you are in hell.”
— Miss Date Doctor
It wasn’t long before I was feeling all sorts of anxiety. Why wasn’t I matching with anyone? Why was I being ghosted by the men I was matching with? What’s wrong with me? Am I not interesting or attractive enough? Basically, dating was draining me of my self-confidence. So, I got off the apps. Besides, even though I was putting myself out there, I wasn’t sure I knew what I wanted. Maybe it was okay that I wasn’t matching with anyone.
In the movie, Runaway Bride, there’s a scene where actress Julia Roberts (playing the part of Maggie) is trying to figure out what type of eggs she likes for breakfast. Up until this point, she had always had “what he’s having”—referring to the men in her life. Maggie proceeds to prepare eggs for herself in every way imaginable. Finally, she discovers that she prefers her eggs Benedict. It’s through this process, that Maggie realizes how she’d never had a mind of her own.
Sadly, I can really relate to this scene. When you get married at 19 and your husband is a lot older than you, you stop thinking about what you want. For me, it was very easy to let his preferences become mine. It wasn’t long before I stopped thinking about what I even wanted.
So, seven years post-divorce, all I want for Christmas is… Well, I’m still not sure what I want. But, what I do know is that I need more time to try a bunch of different eggs to figure out what I like. Do I like my eggs scrambled or hard boiled? What about sunny-side up? I haven’t even tried poached yet.
I don’t know how long this will take, but something tells me that when I’m ready to be with someone, I won’t have the need to keep trying different dishes. I’ll just know when I’ve found a good egg.