Dating in my early 40’s has been a roller coaster. Sometimes fun, sometimes boring, sometimes fascinating… never particularly successful. Then I got cancer, and the memory of dating before my diagnosis started to seem like a cakewalk. It makes me chuckle as I think of all that’s happening in my life and what kind of guy might be in the market for a case like mine. What would the personal ad from my Mr. Right – my dreamboat in the midst of this nightmare – even look like?
Handsome, 40-something bachelor, ISO terminally ill single mom.
If your parents have practically moved in to take care of you, that’s a plus.
Have animals? Great! Hopefully they’ve taken over your bed and there’s no room for me. Maybe your dog thinks she’s the man of the house and will bark at me every time I try to visit.
Hopefully your kids will be so busy with sports that you are always either driving them somewhere or cheering at a game so that you can’t answer the phone. And then when you finally do get home, your anxiety keeps you from answering it anyway. It’s okay; we can just text.
Please be so well-known in your town that I’ll feel eyes following me everywhere I go, smiling knowingly, and maybe even quizzing me to test whether I’m good enough for you.
The closer you live to your ex, the better. And if you drag me to your church, where he still goes, I will look forward to waving to him awkwardly each Sunday morning.
Regarding your disease, it’s no big deal if you have no hair. Also? Belly scars are hot! Let’s sit around and talk about the days when you used to be active. Then you can keep sitting there while I walk your dog, if she’ll let me, because for you now, going around the block feels like that half-marathon you ran in 2013. When I get back, I’ll cook the delicious meal that you asked for, and when it nauseates you, I’ll run to Cumby’s to buy you Coke and Wheat Thins. Then we’ll turn on the same episode of Project Runway that we’ve watched 5 times, but you’ve never seen the end of because you keep falling asleep. I promise to wait until you’re asleep again before I switch over to The Walking Dead.
I don’t mind driving you to appointments. I won’t take your nausea and fatigue personally. I don’t mind sharing you with kids so fiercely loyal that I’ll be perpetually scrutinized or with a church so vibrant that your non-kid time is often spent in committee meetings, community service, or choir practice.
I can’t wait to invest my time and love in you, for however long forever turns out to be.