When you go through a divorce, counselors say not to date right away. They recommend staying out of the swim for a period equal to about 25% of the time you spent married. So, if you were married for 20 years, they suggest not dating for five years. If you were married for six, they advocate waiting eighteen months.
Their reasoning is that your self-esteem is in the crapper, so anyone you hook up with will be at that level, because that’s who you’ll feel comfortable with. Which means one of two things will happen. As you heal, you’ll feel better about yourself and the person will no longer be a good match and you’ll have another breakup to get through. Or, your need for companionship will be so strong that you’ll stay stuck.
Damn, those people are smart.
I met Mr. Right Now at a bar Up North, about a year after my second divorce. He talked about Thomas Jefferson, which intrigued me, and lead me to believe he was erudite. Also, he was loudly Christian, which made me think he’d value honesty and morality.
Turns out he was just a Thomas Jefferson freak, mostly because 200+ years ago, TJ believed that the U.S. should levy no internal taxes, but pay for everything via tariffs. I’ve never been sure why Mr. R.N. was so obsessed on this issue, since he didn’t make jack, and what he did make was mostly so far under the table that the tax man didn’t even get a sniff. But every time I got paid, he’d wig out about how Uncle Sam had just ripped me off.
For myself, I like a few services – public education, a fire department, some police coverage. Heck, I’m even okay knowing that because I work my ass off, some little kids I’ve never met have food and shelter. It feels, I don’t know, Christian.
Among Mr. Right Now’s other strongly held (and diametrically opposed to my own) beliefs was Creationism. Old Dog is also a Creationist, but since he’s a believe-and-let-believe kind of guy, it’s not really an issue. With Mr. Right Now, not so much.
One day we were in the monkey house at the Como Park Zoo and he said, “Oh, look, we’re visiting your relatives.”
Before I could respond, he continued. “According to your hero, Charles Darwin, you’re related to these guys. I guess they remind you of your family, huh?”
Because I’m a total idiot, I tried to explain a little about natural selection, but he wasn’t having any. In fact, he did what he always did, which was talk over me when I tried to speak until I lost my temper. Pretty soon we were standing in the middle of the monkey house, yelling at each other at the tops of our lungs.
And I’m pretty sure the monkeys were thinking, “Please tell me I’m not related to these two.”