Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

The Tour Guide…Part 1

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Not having a lot of friends is a hellacious thing when you’re going through a divorce.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a couple and they were hugely supportive.  But for whatever reason I found it really difficult to tell the details of my marriage to people who knew me, people who I’d have to look at and face all the time.  At the time I was really embarrassed and I blamed myself for much of what happened.  If I had only done this or if I had done that differently.

I had no interest in going out to bars and partying.  I have no single friends to speak of and didn’t really know where to meet any.  I met The Tour Guide during that time.  We were both playing a silly little interactive game on facebook.  You could chat and find out where people were from and what they did for a living, whether they were married or single, if they had children.  During the course of playing the game I met quite a few people besides The Tour Guide that I hit it off with and we’ve become friends, though I’ve never laid eyes on them.

The Tour Guide and I started asking each other questions and having long, pointed discussions.  He asked me one day, “Do you have faith?”  And I didn’t hesitate to say, “Yes”, and proceed to tell him exactly what I had faith in.  I honestly thought I’d never lay eyes on him since he lives in the UK.  I came to a point where I began confiding things in him because I had no one else I felt comfortable turning to.  This was sort of anonymous.  I could get things off my chest and never have to deal with any awkwardness, he was three thousand five hundred miles away.  He confided some things in me about a relationship he was hopeful about.  And that was that, so I thought.  We gave each other advice.  Mostly him encouraging me to work things out with my husband, and me encouraging him that there was someone out there for him.  We were iFriends. Nothing more, nothing less.

We talked about everything from faith to music to family. We ditched the silly little game and started chatting on Yahoo!Messenger.  He hit a little glitch and went offline for about three weeks.  When he did resurface he was a little cool and guarded.  I wasn’t sure why but didn’t think much of it, really.  We spoke infrequently for the next two or three weeks.  During the time he was offline I had officially filed for divorce and was trying to sort that out.  He had been divorced for about a year and a half and he was still sorting some things out with that and thinking about his future and what he wanted to do with it.  Divorce does that.  You have to rethink everything, and you’re starting over from scratch.

I changed my facebook profile picture from a picture of my husband and me to one of just me.  I was beginning to emerge as an individual person.  Suddenly The Tour Guide began warming back up.  “Wow, I like your new profile picture!  Who are you trying to impress?”  “Awww, nobody in particular.  I’ve got nobody to impress.  I just thought it was time for a change.”  Nothing much else was said for a few days.  Just friendly chatter like we’d always done.

Then one day he asked me, “Would you ever consider exploring the possibility of a relationship with me?”  I thought he was just kidding. “Paul Jones, are you hitting on me?” He replied, “How does it make you feel for a man to call you babe?”  I said, “Depends on who it is. Sometimes it can be creepy, sometimes it can be condescending and sometimes it can be endearing.”  He came back with, “How would it make you feel if I called you babe, babe?”  He was as serious as a heart attack.  He was asking me about a relationship.  I wasn’t ready for anything heavy.  I wasn’t even sure I was ready to go out on a date.  I thought, “From thirty-five hundred miles away, what would be the big deal?  This’ll fizzle out in a month’s time.”  “Sure”, I said. “Why not?”

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10 thoughts on “The Tour Guide…Part 1

  1. Thanks for sharing this. My wife and I have talked about this……how would we go about dating after being married to one person for 33 years and being 54 years old. We both thought it would be very difficult.That said I do think it is wonderful, and exciting, to see people gain a fresh lease on life. While I have never been divorced virtually everyone, no I think everyone, in my family has been divorced and remarried at least once. My Mom was married 4 times, sister 5 times, brother 3 times. I do know that divorce, even in the best of circumstances, can't be easy.I look forward to reading the next installment.

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  2. Yay! more autobiographical storytelling from D'Ma. I love it.

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  3. Now we know the impetus behind the UK trip… ;-)and why you loved it so…By the way, I like your new gardening. Plumbago is one of my favs.

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  4. I'm looking forward to part 2.

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  5. Me, too – what Bruce said, and what Lydia said. Though I have to say, I was never much good at dating even when I was single. That said, I was a little startled by how right it felt to be with the Beautiful Woman – we started, um, "dating" not too long after my divorce, and I really wasn't expecting to get seriously involved with anyone for quite a while longer. So… yeah. These things do seem to set their own pace.

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  6. Exrelayman said…Following your story, this seems like the point where, like in Mary Poppins, the old Captain says the wind is about to change. As I have no blog, and as the following little composition of mine seems somewhat appropros and will likely never have another audience, perhaps you and the others here might enjoy it:Enraptured by the promiseof glorious tomorrowlife carries on -Disgusted, perhapsby the nauseating detailsand frustrationsand conflicts of today -shivering with memoryof bad moments past -Still:believing in the ribald promisesof sweet – tongued tomorrowlife goes on.

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  7. Patiently waiting for part two:)

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  8. I'm not a very patient person. Just sayin'. *grin*

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  9. Bruce,You're right, even in the best of circumstances I can't imagine divorce to be easy. I can't even think about doing this four or five times. Just give me a padded room and a straitjacket. ;~)DoOrDoNot,Thanks! I could use a cheering section. :~DTWF,Absolutely, and why I hated to leave! You should see those Plumbago now. They're full of the biggest blue blooms I've ever seen. Michael Mock, I'm such an introvert! I'm not good with the dating thing either.I had planned on waiting a while before getting seriously involved, myself. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to figure out how to navigate in a new relationship without all the strings. But you're spot on, these things definitely seem to set their own pace.Exrelayman,I love the Mary Poppins reference. It's one of my favorite films. I did enjoy your poetry. It's very, very applicable.Lydia & TAW,Thank you for your patience and for reading along.Zoe,You know they say that patience is a virtue. Who the #@%@ is they?!? They don't know what they're talking about! 😛

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  10. Pingback: Lanky Goes Forth ! Introduction « The World Of LankyBrit

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