When I tell people I’ve been married four times, it’s common to hear: “Will you get married again?” I say, “I would if I fell in love again – but I am very particular.”
Some people say, “Don’t you have a bad taste in your mouth for marriage?” “No, I’ve evolved through them,” I reply. I’ve raged. I continue to cry. Now, love myself more and that’s no lie.
Since 2005, I’ve lived “by myself” while experiencing a couple 4-5 month long boyfriend-relationships. I’ve learned to enjoy my aloneness.
Until Antoine, a French graduate student at Cornell, cornered me at the dart board in Ithaca’s bar, The Range. I was there to dance, but a brief try at darts landed a bull’s eye at Antoine: “Do you want to dance?”
“I’ve never danced before, but I’ll try,” he says with glancing eyes.
Surprise took over. He caught onto the East Coast Swing steps (jitterbug) easily. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who presents with shy shoulders, yet is willing to try something so out of his comfort zone. Although he is decades younger than me, that doesn’t occur to me when I suggest he come to Lot 10 Wednesdays, where I can show him more dance steps, as a live band plays.
When I arrive at Lot 10, Antoine, 6′ 3″, dark wavy hair and big brown eyes is slumped on the couch, a small smile arising. He likes learning new moves as we share more about ourselves. When I learn he likes to hike, I offer to show him waterfalls not so well known neighboring “Ithaca is Gorges.” The next weekend we are sitting next to three cascading waterfalls, where I learn that he has never kissed a girl, although he tried once and was rebuffed.
“What if I kissed you?” I say gingerly.
“I don’t know.”
I lean into his space and kiss him on the lips as if it is the most natural thing to do.
He makes it clear that he wishes for a relationship where you can go deeper: free to say anything. Surprise again. He’s not afraid of my tears; despite he has not cried since he left France, his family a few months earlier. He tells me he feels lost and is afraid not to know what is the “right thing” for him to do for his life.
Eventually, we’re hungry (for what?:) and spontaneously decide to find dinner at the Glenwood Pines. I’m amazed this 25 year old likes spending time with me…he’s so handsome, so smart, so my type…well almost.
He learns salsa with me.
We hike to more distant waterfalls as we become more intimate.
We track down burgundy and white Trillium fields.
We kiss romantically in the mist of Taughannock Falls.
We dance ballroom and after meeting the first day of spring 2018, are making love for his first time, on May 11th. One plus one.
Another surprise. He takes his time: long kissing, touching before entering me. Our relationship has evolved to a naturally grand openness, knowing we are making love.
I am a little embarrassed to expose my older less-elastic-skinned body as naked; although due to daily yoga I can boast a more flexible body than his:).
Another surprise. My two daughters and three granddaughters accept our relationships in all its beautiful uniqueness. My age does not matter to him. Yes, his family and mine are a bit cautious.
One more surprise. being beyond men-o-pause – I am juicy! We make love daily and wake up together. I can’t quit my amazement of how we are moving on to being more IN love. Despite knowing we will be heartbroken when we leave each other.