Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everybody reading, and their sweeties. Even if you don't have a sweetie, here's hoping that you find time today to enjoy life for a while.

I don't use this blog to talk much about myself, but seeing that this is a day to celebrate intimate feelings, I hope you'll indulge me for a bit.

I wasn't figuring to be looking for love at this point in my life. Although it wasn't obvious to either of us at first, Peggy and I found ourselves to be a perfect match for each other, and once we decided to marry, we were committed to growing together and spending the rest of our lives together. Much of the next 22 years turned out to be difficult - Peggy was always struggling with her health, we were barely surviving financially; those things often stretched our marriage almost to the breaking point. Yet those are the things you learn from, and each trial ultimately made our love stronger. Then, just as it seemed we had finally found a place of stability, Peggy passed away.

To be honest, I was expecting to remain single for a long time thereafter. For one thing, I don't mind keeping my own company. My days of hanging out in bars are long over. In addition, my schedule doesn't provide many chances to get out. I don't see my real-life friends all that much. When I'm awake, they're asleep; when I have a day off, they're working. You get the picture.

A good deal of my socialization comes from being online, and the many great friendships I've established due to this blog. Online romances, though, were something I was admittedly skeptical of. There's nothing inherently bad about them - I know a few of you have had good experiences in that area, and I know of at least one couple who married not long ago whose relationship began online. I also know that some of you are at the opposite end of the spectrum and strictly want to find romance the old-fashioned way. Whatever works for you is fine. I just didn't see it as anything I'd be interested in myself.

A few weeks before Christmas, one of my regular female readers who happened to be single began e-mailing me. Likewise, I'd been reading her blog for a while; she has a style that's unique, to say the least, and I came away from there almost every day with a laugh or smile. I think that at first she was just trying to be nice; she knew I was having a tough time with the holidays and just wanted me to know that she was there if I needed someone to talk to. We began exchanging e-mails, and within a few weeks started with the phone calls as well, and soon I knew I wanted to meet this woman in person. We live in adjacent states, so the logistics weren't that hard to work out. As we talked, I found myself more comfortable with her than I have been with anybody I have met in ages. Not only can she make me laugh, she's a good listener, she's intelligent, and we found ourselves sharing many of the same outlooks on life. She's a caring person, a good mother to her children. She's gone back to college to provide a better life for her and her daughters. Through our conversations, I found myself becoming attracted to her, and was surprised when she told me she had similar feelings for me.

As I said, I had no plans to use this blog as the means to find my next serious relationship. But I can't help but feel that I can be good for this woman, and she feels the same towards me. Although we have yet to actually meet each other, we both know we have found something special, something that can only get better with time. We've made plans to meet at Dollywood in April. It's not been the easiest decision for either of us to make, given how our relationship started, but we've decided to just go with our feelings and see where they take us. As for me, I really feel like a new day has begun.

Happy Valentine's Day, Jenn.