After almost 2 decades of marriage, you’d think I would fly off to my cousin’s destination wedding without the baggage of the husband and kids and live it up. Lemme loose! I’m free! Ya mon!
Imagine being an adult on the outside and a teen on the inside, surrounded by sun, cliffs, turquoise sea, and the family I grew up with in a place as free-to-be-you-and-me as Jamaica, where there is No Problem. Ever. That would have to be bliss no matter how you look at it.
I thought so, too. But this time, even with all the celebration around me – or perhaps because of it – I was anything but blissful. I was, to my surprise, Capital L Lonely.
After this trip, I know what it feels like to be single in your mid-40s. It sucks. I give mad props to all you ladies out there who find yourselves without a mate.
We do travel without each other – despite that niggling what-if fear we try to swallow down. This year, I took the tween to the site of the Boston marathon tragedy and flew to Florida for an all-girls’ vacay, no men allowed. Hockey tournaments have so far been father-son trips and soon, the husband will sail off on a man-cruise.
Traveling apart makes sense. We like one-on-one time with our friends and kids and let’s not forget that one parent needs to man the home fort – especially now that we’ve got teens who might have to work hard not to burn down our house.
Yes, I was very sure that jetting off to Party Heaven solo was a fantastic plan. You want to stay with the kids? Ya mon!
Then I arrived. And started sweating. It was hot. Steamy. In more ways than one. Everywhere you turned, at all times of day and night, Love was in the air. 24-7, there was kissing all around me – in the heat, in the pool, on the beach.
And the missing began.
There was no hand to squeeze as the bride took her walk down the aisle, no mooning eyes feasting on my new bikini, no one to gulp my drink because he can tell by my laugh when I’ve had enough.
Instead, I was someone I didn’t recognize. I was A Single Woman again after all these years. Eve in Paradise missing her Adam because there were just too many romantic moments to digest without him.
It turns out that the more beautiful the surroundings, the harder it is to be without the love of your life.
Of course, in today’s digi-world, you’re never really alone. Despite the thousands of miles between us, I had myself a great texting package. So I knew in an instant when my man singlehandedly crushed 11 years of Tooth Fairy belief in one night. With each ping of my phone, I had a play-by-play of his adventures cooking soup and driving kids and cleaning out the garage. And I could text photos of the sunset.
In the virtual world, we were an item. But not in the hot tub.
I’m so happy that I shared my cousin’s Love-In. But in retrospect, we should’ve gone as Husband and Wife. I wanted to be completely myself without my mate, but after almost 20 years, I found out that’s impossible. I love being someone’s special someone. I love being His.
Plus, there will come a day when we will have to trust those teens to their own devices and I guess that day is coming soon. Just don’t tell them I said that. Ya mon.