10 years ago I met a man and got involved. Regrettably. Poor judgment and denial on my part and an f-ing moron of an abusive alcoholic on his part made for an interesting six months. Blog post on f-ing morons and surviving domestic violence forthcoming.
Back then at the ripe old age of 46, I decided I should probably try to do something about my singleness before I got so old and grizzled that the only men who would find me appealing would be older and grizzleder. So I did some dating and eventually hooked up with the f-ing moron. Who, although not much older or grizzleder than me at the time, was definitely meaner. And stupider.
Now at the way riper age of 56, I am no longer so concerned about being single, staying single. I fully accept and appreciate my freedom. I am content on my own. I have always been easily amused by me and a variety of interests that I can pursue and enjoy without many, or any, people around.
I have enjoyed relationships with good men over the years but I have never been the sort to just relax and enjoy companionship, or to define my happiness or self-worth in terms of whether or not I am in a relationship. I have never “needed” to be with someone. But I think now I would be happy to give it a go with a right person — thinking that I have finally reached that point where I know who I am and I can wear this skin, if not completely proudly (40 or so pounds to go), absolutely without apology. So perhaps I am finally fit to be a willing and supportive partner to someone, and able to accept the same in return without feeling crowded or resentful of the obligation to care about someone else’s needs or worried that I will have to behave myself at all times or whatever it is that has kept me thinking that relationships are just too much trouble to bother with.
So I went on a blind date the other night, first date in over 10 years . It went pretty well, all things considered. All things being —
 I don’t know how to act on a date. I don’t know what modern-day dating norms are. I’m sure I don’t care. Which can affect whether I give a good impression. Which I don’t care about.
 I was burnt out from a chaotically normal work day and had overshot my daily quota for polite social interaction some hours before.
 I hadn’t gotten around to locating my fall/winter-going out in public wardrobe until just before I needed to dress and when I finally found it, in the Scary Closet, I couldn’t be absolutely sure that there weren’t any black widow spiders nesting comfortably in the folds of the cowl neck tunic thing I eventually settled on as worthy blind date attire.
 I was a bit nervous. Because of having to Go Somewhere and Be Social. This is not to be confused with anxious. Nervous is normal and I was thankful to be nervous rather than the Other Thing. Because if it was the Other Thing, I would have remained at home, naturally, probably in or near the Scary Closet, where I was safe and, spider possibility notwithstanding, where it was like Christmas morning tearing through piles of favorite-season clothes I had completely forgotten I had.
Dressed in real (aka not-barn) clothes, hair cooperating, I showed up to meet the guy. I’m pretty sure he was very nice, articulate, engaging, comfortable in life, and easy to talk with. He didn’t bat an eye when I went for the prime rib. A big treat I felt I deserved — after all, I showed up, to a restaurant, to meet a new person, after going to the trouble of putting on fall/winter-going-out-in-public clothes on that I had cowboyed up a trip into the Scary Closet to get. That, by the way, fit way better than last year. *Smug*
I had one margarita, which helped to take the edge off. Or, finish the taking-the-edge-off process I had started before leaving home, when I had taken Another Thing to help take the edge off. So, edges
neatly smoothed obliterated, the only cause for alarm I experienced all evening was horseradish. I kept shoveling in too much horseradish and then regretting it and making the “yikes, too much horseradish” face. And then doing it again, over and over. I wonder what he thought of my incompetence at calculating the correct dose of horseradish. Not to mention what he thought of the faces.
I confessed my anxiety problem. He proved himself at least semi-normal with his inability to understand it. Might have scared him off, but even if so, I consider the evening a success. I showed up.