By Tammy Davis
After ten long weeks in shut down, my friend’s boyfriend was finally coming to town. Theirs had been an odd relationship from the beginning, three years of on again/off again scenarios.
Those two needed to kick it out of neutral and move forward. Time to get that party started. Time for my friend to change her approach. I devised a plan: rather than overthinking every decision, what would happen if she just said yes to whatever her boyfriend asked? Did he want to get Mexican for dinner? Yes. Did he want to go get married? Yes. Anything in between? What if she just said, “yes.” Seemed like a good way to move forward to me.
After weeks in isolation, we all want to grab happiness every chance we can. “Seize the day” has been the message of this mess. I really thought that was about to happen for my friend and her fellow, but I was wrong.
She said she stepped out on her porch when she heard him pull up. She said didn’t realize how much she had missed him until she saw him get out of the car. She was feeling bold and brave, so she stopped him at the bottom of the steps. “Since we’ve been away from each other, I’ve realized how much I want to be with you. Whatever the question is, my answer is ‘yes.’ Whatever it is, I’m in.”
She said he put his hand on the rail to steady himself. The minute she heard him say her name, she knew it was over. He wasn’t there to move forward with her. He had moved on, with somebody else. He was getting married and didn’t want her to find out via social media. Clearly, he had not been following proper social distancing protocols.
My friend said she couldn’t form a word. She stepped back into her house and closed the door. She slid the deadbolt and then slid herself down onto the floor. She listened as the car backed out the drive way. Three years reduced to three minutes. Heartbreak hits hard, even in quarantine. All our Covid-19 protective devices, masks and gloves and hand sanitizer, can’t stop our hearts from getting crushed.
I hopped in the car and drove across the state line. I disregarded the six-feet rule because in times like this only a hug will do. Well, a hug and a bottle of good bourbon. We analyzed and processed the way women do. We sipped and speculated and searched online for voodoo dolls that we did not order.
We wallowed for hours then decided to re-group because that’s what smart women do. I apologized for giving her such awful advice. Turns out the man was bad, not the advice. He was about to marry one woman when he had been texting another woman every day, morning and night. Good men don’t do that.
Watching my friend suffer scared this single gal, no doubt, but here’s the truth: in order to move forward, we have to say “yes,” often to the very things that terrify us most.
No vaccine for Corona, no vaccine for a broken heart.
Will my friend try again to find the right man? Eventually, I think she will. Next time, she’ll make sure she has a man worthy of her “yes” and worthy of her heart. That’s all any of us can do.
Tammy Davis is a writer based in Columbia, SC. For more stories about middle-aged dating, visit www.tammydavisstories.com or follow Davis @tammydavisstories. Davis’s new book, Back Porch Stories, is now available on Amazon and Kindle. For a personalized copy, email [email protected]