catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 4 :: 2009.02.13 — 2009.02.27


Thanks for love

He’s fat. He’s bald. He says so himself, stating the obvious to servers who come to the table, asking, “How are you tonight?”

He’s been married three times. “There’s nothing you can do to me. I’ve been tortured by professionals,” he laughs.

He’s “a drunk,” he tells me, except that he’s nearly 25 years sober, unlike other alcoholics who have passed through my life.

And I’ve never met a better man or fallen harder.

We were fixed up two months ago, each of us nearly “a half century old,” by a friend who’d been telling me about this great guy for nearly two years. After I finally pointed out that, to succeed as a matchmaker, she had to inquire as to his availability and interest, we introduced ourselves by phone on a day that may come to mean more to me than it ever has before: Thanksgiving.  

We talked for two hours that night. Met for a two-hour breakfast a week later, and have been goin’ steady ever since, making a point to thank our mutual friend whenever we get a chance. Just about daily, I cast my eyes up and my thanks heavenward, and once recently from my knees.

It seems to be mutual. He tells me his first thought on seeing me at that December breakfast was that he was going to kick our friend’s posterior for not telling him I was gorgeous. (She tells him he never asked.) He says I’m fascinating, fun, great company, and the only woman ever to fully enjoy his accented cast of multiple personalities. 

Since the death of my husband seven years ago, I’ve tried internet dating many times, with unimpressive results: two interludes, twelve weeks and twenty-with men who just stopped calling. Because of the sudden death of my husband, this particular method of breakup is, besides being immature, somewhat, um, button-pushing, shall we say? Both guys had really good qualities and I’d been enjoying them in growing degrees as time went on. Truly don’t know why they left, but so glad they did. I do know that the sum of them adds up to a mere fraction of my new sweetheart.

He is tender and smart and funny and compassionate, loving, moral, strong, generous, hardworking. Big and strong. A really good man. Someone my kids like and who likes kids. He teaches high school, the perfect second career for a guy who missed one question on the SAT. A couple of years back, he pooled funds with two other teachers to help a student pay for her first year of college. He’s been a janitor, coach, waiter and an EMT. Interesting life, lots of stories. Crochets afghans for the Gospel Mission. Don’t even bother playing Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit with him. If he shows up early for a date, he might be found shoveling your driveway, or helping someone understand Orwell’s Animal Farm. Last time he stopped by, he brought me a homemade lemon cheesecake.

 “I’ve been waiting my whole life to find you,” he said to me one night.

Me, too.

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