Updated: Jan 2, 2019
I have much to be grateful for. I am very aware of that although I'm sure that it doesn't always come across in my ramblings. I have a lot of issues, challenges, things that life has thrown at me over the years but it's not all bad and I guess sitting here on New Years Eve in a vaguely reflective mood I need to remind myself of some of that. Cos I can be a right miserable c£&t sometimes!
I met Mama Bear in the December, seven years ago I think although it seems like that number should be bigger (cue dig in the ribs/ stern look from MB when she finally reads this). We were both doing the online dating thing, she'd seen a few people, I'd been riding a never ending wave of looneys/ very dull ladies for 9 months as if it were my new profession. At my most manic I packed 6 dates into a week if memory serves and by that I am by no means boasting about how gorgeous and fabulous I was, more like how I was using it as much as a way of getting out of the house/ giving me something to do. MB had come out of her first marriage earlier that year and I had had my heart broken at the very start of the year. Looking back on it I shouldn't have been dating at all, not in the March/ April when I signed up to genericonlinedatingwebsite.com. My head was not in the right place, it was clearly a form of therapy through a crashingly terrible period of my life. If memory serves I spent my birthday that year, February during half term, alone in my flat. By choice. I didn't want to be around anyone and no doubt saw in turning another year older with a curry, trashy film and probably a cry. Anyway, I digress. I met some nice ladies, no one I really clicked with, some who I had nothing in common with, some who seemed lovely in their profile/ chatting online but were painfully boring in real life. I saw someone for about three weeks, all seemed nice to begin with but a total non creative brain and me simply does not work, she was something legal and liked running. I also had some sex. A fair bit of sex. And I gave up on the whole thing a couple of times. MB was in the last wave of people that I was going to speak to/ potentially meet up with before giving up on it for good. But this time I mean it....
We chatted a lot in the lead up to meeting up. Shared things that wasn't the regular stuff you'd share, stuff that could well scare people off. And she replied to something with an obscure song lyric, not something that I would have ever expected a non musician to have at their finger tips. That was a big tick for me. It probably sounds like a little thing, maybe even an odd one but it's something that I'll always remember.
We eventually met up for dinner, pizza, safe, easy to box up and take home early if she turned out to be smelly/ 10 dresses bigger than all of her pics/ spits when she talks/ spoke about nothing but how she worked from home and didn't get out much (all of these had happened on previous dates), I had offered to travel to somewhere local to her. I was late, couldn't find somewhere to park and should have taken a coat. She was very understanding about being left on her own at a table for two. As lovely as her pics. Unusually thin for me. And blonde. We chatted, laughed, pulled crackers (I still have the wee green plane that I got in mine) and the rest is history I guess.
I'm not an easy person to live with. I was different back then. I laughed more, smiled more, was in far better physical and mental health. What I am today isn't what she signed up for. And I am grateful for her support, love, understanding, patience, hugs and just being good to me in general. There are times when she deserves more than me. But there are also times where we laugh together, snuggle on the sofa, sing in the car, do our food prep kitchen dance around each other without a word being spoken, tea magically appears, mugs magically find their way back to the dishwasher, a Lego treat, a bunch of flowers, a last min trip to Aldeburgh gets booked, a long planned family holiday comes around, we go out together, we go out as a family and we go out separately.
Health stuff can make the future uncertain. I have two generations of PB men die from cancer in their mid 50s. I have made peace a long time ago with the fact that I may well sign off in the same way. What ever I may or may not be diagnosed with could put me in a chair, make it very difficult to leave the house or I may live to be a hundred. And there is of course the old "you could be hit by a bus tomorrow" option. But we would like to retire to somewhere quite by the sea, drink tea, eat fish & chips on a stoney beach in gale force winds, nap in the car overlooking the sea with the sound of the waves creeping in and the salty sea air in our lungs. I'd like to grow old with MB as long as I'm not going to be a burden on the old girl. I'm sure by that point I won't be much trouble, a change of my man nappy, a fresh pot of tea and hitting play on John Wick for the umpteenth time that week.
I tell Mama Bear everyday that I love her, I hug her any chance that I get and still squeeze her bum lots. I'm pretty sure that she knows how much I mean it, how much I treasure her but I also hope that by reading me being a soppy old bugger about her it makes her smile x