In the early days of the big D, I quickly realized the only way to survive what had become my train wreck of a life was great wine, loyal family, and amazing friends. But I needed an objective third-party. Someone who wouldn’t pity me, see me as helpless, or paint me a victim. Someone who could look me straight in my bloodshot eyes and tell me it was normal to cry, swear, swear more, miss your ex, hate your ex, drink, drink more and date the wrong men.
Enter Frank. In my first session, he sat me down and promised he would never give me any of that “psycho babble bullshit”. He was a straight shooter and I needed that. I wanted someone to listen to me and give me guidance. He did all of those things. He still does. Although, I think I entertain him now. My life has changed so much since those early days with Frank. I had only ever really seriously dated one person and then married him.
How in the hell was I going to date now? The internet wasn’t even a thing when my ex and I were dating. Hell, I didn’t even have a cell phone. Now there was an app for everything, including meeting Mr. Right or at least Mr. Good Enough for Right Now. I had to be entertaining. Was this happening to every other 40-year-old who was dating again? It was surreal.
I was entering uncharted, shark infested waters. Most of my friends were married. They couldn’t relate to this “WTF” situation that I was faced with. Frank could. I was a hot mess. He has taught me that I’m a good catch. Divorce doesn’t make me used goods. It doesn’t mean someone else won’t want to be with me. Divorce doesn’t define me. It doesn’t make me bad at marriage, or relationships, or life. It just makes ME, me.
Frank became that little voice in my head. Cookie (one of many kick ass friends you’ll meet as I tell you these stories), gave me my “going out” mantra:
WWFD? What would Frank do?
Bad choices or “teachable moments” as I like to think of them now were everywhere. On the street, at a restaurant and good lord all over on my phone. WWFD?
I’m social. I like people and when I have a few drinks, I should instantly lose access to my phone. I should have to blow into it, breathalyzer style, before it lets me communicate with the opposite sex. No texting until you can prove your blood alcohol level can write the appropriate, lady-like responses to the guy you should NEVER text. Or the other guy you should never call. Let alone the one with the tattoos and piercings that boasts of things you didn’t know existed. The list goes on and on and on. WWFD? I don’t know, he was drowning in the martini I just had and I couldn’t hear him. I had things to learn.
I usually still make the wrong decision. Is it wrong if I’m happy though? Is it wrong if I learn something new about myself? Maybe. Maybe not.
Either way Frank is always there waiting for the sordid details because you know what…I’m a good catch dammit. And…I pay him to be there….so there’s that.