Happily Never After

There it was on my Facebook feed. A writer friend I barely knew saying the best day of her life was the day she met her husband.  And a chorus friend telling her spouse “Love you, Babe” on their 30+ anniversary.

It stings a little. It used to sting a lot. While going through an acrimonious divorce, I’d see couples celebrating their 20th, 25th, or 40th anniversary. After I congratulated them, I wanted to cry.

“That will never be me. I am too old to get there now,” I’d say to myself.

I often wonder how my life would’ve been if I’d met “the one.”  My little sister did it on the first day of college.  They’ve been together ever since, 38 years of marriage.

My other siblings have marriages somewhere between hers and mine. They are with their spouses but with ups and downs.  My little sis has had more ups, my marriage had many more downs. My ex did not ascribe to “Happy wife, happy life.” At the end it was a tragic comedy or a comic tragedy. I was the one that filed, and I own it. No regrets.

It’s a good life. I have my kids, my friends, my dogs, my hobbies. I am happy 90% of the time.  I’ve traveled enough. I’ve studied enough. I opened my own business. I taught.

I write books, write national book reviews, judge contests, speak for fees, and give lots of free advice.

I found my own voice (literally) after years of not singing (except to my kids). The first time I sang karaoke, I was afraid but also thrilled.  I’d missed singing and hadn’t known it.  I organized a singing act for four years with a Gong show-type fundraiser.  Twice an act of mine won third place, out of twenty. It was fun to perform. I’d forgotten.

I joined a chorus, with lots of commitment and work, but it’s a thrill to sing with such talented people of much higher caliber than the karaoke crowd or the Gong show contestants.

They are mostly married.

There’s always hope I’ll meet an interesting guy. But so far, he’s taken, he’s broken, or he’s looking for twenty years younger.

He’s a pathological liar or a conspiracy theorist, a Holocaust denier.

He’s too evangelically religious or has no integrity. He’s too needy, too far away, or too rushed to let things follow a natural progression.

He’s too full of b.s., too regimented, or has too much of an agenda.

He hates dogs, or he gives the dog a pan of grease when I’m not looking.

He loves music, but only jazz on a Tuesday night in Berkeley.  He dances, but only swing and only if you will take a lesson first where you have to dance with twenty different partners that are younger than you are, shorter, too.

He loves to gamble.  He drinks too much. He smokes.

The ones in love on Facebook, is it hard? Do you work at it?  Does it look better on paper or in my Facebook feed than in real life?

Wait! What am I complaining about? I have a flipping beach house.

Bye! I’ve gotta go pack a bag.

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