When my daughter asked Santa Claus for a new Daddy, I set out to find her one. Over two hundred thirty seven Internet first dates later, I became a new Mom instead. These are the confessions of a dating mom!
When my daughter used to ask Jesus for a new Daddy, I felt awful because she didn't have one; when she trumped God and went to Santa Claus, I became a woman possessed. Eight years and over 237 Internet first dates later, what she ended up with was a new and improved Mom instead.
After years of being married to a controlling, Christian fundamentalist husband I was indecisive and passive as a person. I doubted myself constantly. My daughter Leah wanted and needed a new Daddy, and I felt I was no good on my own.
I began my quest for a husband exactly like many other single women in the early millennium—my best friend Arianna, who is more assertive than I am, signed me up for love.com. Unfortunately I took my old, passive self along for the ride. The good thing is dating doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Along the way, I managed to evolve, and I’ve learned a lot about life, love, and dating.
Some of my stories will be horrifyingly familiar. You'll meet the man with a snake in his closet and the scary doctor with a dungeon in his basement. I've dated men whose houses should have been on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and others who, thanks to an overabundance of cats and/or bunnies, will be on the next episode of “Clean House.” In the beginning, I cast a wide dating net desperately hoping someone would want me.
However, I've learned that it was all right for me to be picky and ask for what I wanted from men. If I didn’t want men who made grammatical errors—as an elementary school teacher, I just couldn’t handle someone who said “supposubly” or confused your and you’re—so be it. College degree, done. I became the Queen of First Dates, not because I got dumped so many times, but because I didn’t waste time with men who weren’t good for me or Leah. I began slowly taking control of our lives, one profile at a time.
How to screen available men was hardly the biggest lesson that online dating had to teach me. I was fired from one job as a result of my dating disasters and faced charges of pornography at another. The good thing is, I became emotionally stronger along the way. I received my Master’s degree and then my PhD in Education. Leah and I bought our own house. We realized that we were all right . . . just the way we were. Internet dating destroyed me, but it also saved my life.
My friends and family, who have put up with all this dating craziness, started recommending I write it down because, seriously, truth is stranger and funnier than fiction. Each date taught me a little something about life and love, and other people began sharing their stories too. You’ll meet my friends and family, too, on the blog. They’re almost as neurotic as me. I have two sisters who are like Martha Stewart and Mr. “T” respectively, a guilt-inducing mother, and a father who literally chases windmills. And my daughter has a phobia of the Easter bunny. It’s a normal American family, right?
I am in the process of finishing my memoir which has had a title overhaul (these publishing gurus know what they’re talking about but they’re stressing me out!). Please stop in, comment, email me, tweet me, join my Facebook page, and let me know what you think of the changes. I always respond to anyone who stops by!
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