It was only recently, since I’d been living on my own and encountering my friends and colleagues as a single person, that I had begun to see how deeply loved and appreciated I was by the people in my life, love given to me as a grace, without merit. As long as I had chicken soup on the brain (and, I reasoned, the healing properties of this soup might keep me from getting the flu I had marginally been exposed to), I went to the store and bought the ingredients for the best chicken soup ever, along with a baguette of crusty sourdough. My kitchen filled with the aroma of love: love for myself.I have cooked hundreds of pots of chicken soup in my life and yet this was the first time I made chicken soup expressly for me. I enjoyed the soup and then had to email my sick acquaintance and offer to bring some over.Not a relationship per se—this business of being on my own and caring only for myself is intriguing and I’m learning too much to want to abandon it.I wasn’t interested in Match.com, nor a friends-with-benefits setup. Or so I thought until I went on the one and only date I’ve had (outside that marriage) in the last quarter century.I’d started dating at 16 and had experienced nothing but messed-up, far-too-dependent-on-each-other pairings from that first time out the gate until the day I married at 24.I had been that girl—you know, the one who thought she needed a man.That sounds amusing but many online daters dwell on internet communication overly long. They wanted me to get the show on the road and they were right to feel that way.
He hasn’t written back to accept or reject this over-the-top offer and the turmoil in my head has begun again: He can see the flaws! I’m trying to figure out how to not wade in so deep, so fast next time.
Some women flirt by sending pictures of themselves in scanty little underthings to the man they’re hoping to attract. “Sexting” is most prevalent though, the media tells us, among teen girls. Only, instead of texting racy photos of myself, apparently, I send pictures of homemade soup.
Or at least, that’s what I would be doing if my friends weren’t actively trying to stop me.
Alcohol and drug addiction didn’t help the toxic brew.
But now, with 23 years of sobriety behind me, a lot of emotional and spiritual growth to my credit, a very strong sense of who I am, and what talents I bring to the larger world, I still had no clue how to date.