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Too Late

“At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.” (George Carlin)

Or the person who got dumped. Just in case she needs to throw up.

While everyone dished food onto their plates and sat down to eat dinner, I discreetly went up to my bathroom and threw up! I did not want to go down to dinner, but I also didn’t want anyone to know anything was amiss. So I returned to the table, put a small amount of food on my plate, took one bite, tried to swallow and was quickly back upstairs for a second time.

As I lay on my bathroom floor, willing myself to feel better so I could rejoin the group and pretend everything was normal, I only had one thought: How am I going to live without him?

I couldn’t remember ever thinking that about a man before.

When I got engaged for the first time (in 1989) my aunt called to congratulate me and asked, “Tell me, can you live without him?” and my arrogant, youthful pride led me to respond, “Absolutely. I survived my dad dying. I can live without anyone.” And I thought I could. I married, and was happily married, for 20 years until Shawn Merriman revealed his Ponzi scheme, crimes and other betrayals which resulted in our divorce. But honestly, looking back at the time my life was collapsing in 2009, I remember being appalled at what my former husband had done, being terrified of government agents and prison for him and wondering how my children and I would live, but I don’t remember wondering how I would live without HIM. (Maybe His misdeeds, betrayals, and the selfishness, pride and greed that led to such overwhelming destruction took care of any feelings like that? Or maybe it’s because I feel differently about #5 than any other man I’ve ever known?)

Regardless, I lay on my bathroom floor crying, wondering how I was going to live without #5, knowing I’d come to the realization of how I truly felt about him WAY TOO LATE. He had dumped me. And I couldn’t even bear to think about what it was going to do to my kids, especially my youngest, who had just lost another “daddy” before he even started kindergarten.

“In kindergarten that used to be my job, to tell them fairytales. I liked Hans Christian Andersen, and the Grimm fairy tales, all the classic fairy tales.” (Francis Ford Coppola)

And Dinner Was Served

“Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and its our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you’d like to have dinner with.” (Kathleen Mifsud)

Unless you’re #5 and you start out mature (ie. older) and YOU do the stomping by dumping your fiancee BEFORE dinner! It happened like this…

On that fateful Sunday night, #5 had invited his family to my home for dinner. He arrived early to help with preparations, all of our children were in the basement and we were in my kitchen. Somehow we got on the subject of two children (one of his, one of mine) and we had a disagreement.

“Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.” (Algred Korzbyski)

He dug his heels in in defense of his son, I dug my heels in in defense of my son, and things degenerated from there. It got so petty we even argued about the boys’ ages. When I suggested his son was the older child so he should set more of the example, he corrected me, saying his son was just one year older so they were basically the same age. In a burst of maturity I got even more petty by correcting the age difference: “Well, if you’re going to get so specific and picky about it, your son is actually 19 MONTHS older–and two years older in school!” (Wow. 19 months. Two years in school.  That’s a lifetime. Petty, I know.)

Unexpectedly, he stood up and said he would get his son and leave. He had NEVER done that before, by the way. He turned and walked out of the room. I stood there, alone in my kitchen, stunned.

I was dumbfounded.

Leave? Because of a disagreement? When his family was due to arrive any minute? We hadn’t had many disagreements our entire engagement–I think I’ve chronicled all two of them–but he headed to the basement to call his son. For some reason, I followed him.

“You’re just going to leave?” I asked.

He was. He said he was sorry, but that he just couldn’t do it anymore. That maybe the timing was bad. That he’d never planned to get married until his son was 18, but then he’d met me and it had changed everything. However, after all of the time we had spent together and during the course of our long engagement, there were things that hadn’t changed and he didn’t know what else to do–so he was leaving.

I was appalled. “You’re going to leave, without even fighting FOR us?”

Before he could answer, in the pause, the doorbell rang.

His family.

It was like a bad movie.

Too late to leave, #5 expressed his displeasure with a roll of his eyes, muttered, “Oh, CRAP!” and then kicked into performer/entertainer mode. He answered the door with a smile, acted like everything was fine and normal, was friendly to everyone (except me) and prepared to serve dinner. Unfortunately, I’m not an actress.

His brother walked in, took one look at me and asked, “Andrea, are you all right?” To which I lied, “Yes, fine!” He looked at me, puzzled, and asked again, “Are you sure? You look tired or something.” I changed the subject and carried on. Or attempted to, anyway.

Later, as the kids came up for dinner, my high school son walked in, took one look at me and asked, “Mom? Are you all right? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I lied.

And dinner was served.

“Here they are, top of the food chain, and dinner is served.” (Jeffrey Jones, “The Devil’s Advocate”)

Who Are You?

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” (Johann Schiller)

Returning to the singles scene following my divorce was an interesting experience, particularly when the subject of my four children arose. Each and every time a man asked me how many children I had, and especially when they found out all of them still lived at home, I witnessed a variety of reactions.

A blanch.



A swallow.

And then usually a change of subject!

I heard things like, “You’re 42 years old and you have a…THREE YEAR OLD? What were you thinking?” Certainly not that I’d be divorced and left alone to raise him and three other children just a couple of years after his birth.

Or, “That’s ok, I don’t have a problem with kids–as long as they’re provided for…BY SOMEONE ELSE.” No, ex-husbands in prison don’t make much money, and with large restitution orders hanging over their heads, probably never will. I am the source of support for my children.

There were many, many other comments and reactions. Too many to recount, actually. The few that didn’t fall apart at the mention of my four children, usually refrained from EVER mentioning them. In fact, they never brought them up. I guess they thought if they ignored the four elephants in the room, they might go away. NOT. (And I’d NEVER want them to!)

And then there were a very few, about four men, who asked me about my children, referred to my children by name, and offered kind comments occasionally.

Except #5. The first time I met him he asked me all about them. He didn’t blanch at the number of children, he simply said, “I have four kids too!” He took things a step further, and actually made an effort to get to know them: he took my children snowmobiling; he brought them gifts when he returned from an out-of-town trip; he had them over to his home for games and dessert; he took them to lunch once; and he always sat and chatted with them when he came to pick me up for our dates. He became their friend.

One afternoon shortly after our engagement, we pulled up in the driveway and my youngest and his neighbor friend came running to greet the car. When #5 rolled down his window to talk to the boys, the first thing out of either boy’s mouth was the neighbor boy’s question to #5 about his parental status. “Who are you? Are you his daddy?”

In that instant I wondered how #5 would handle that. It was the first time that conversation had confronted us. I sat back and watched to see what he’d say or do. But without missing a beat, #5 calmly replied, “I am!”

My youngest smiled, happy and content to know and to be able to show the neighbor boy he had a dad again. And the boys returned to playing. The question had been resolved. No big deal. But it was a momentous moment for me. One of the highlights of my engagement, in fact. One of the most tragic losses of my unexpected life was my children’s loss of their father. But thanks to #5, we all had everything we needed again.

And #5 became a father to a total of 8 children.

“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!” (Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836)

I guess you could say #5 is EXTREMELY blessed now.

As are we.

Late Nights

“I’m a late-night guy.” (Dane Cook)

One thing (of many) that separated #5 from the rest of the bachelor’s was his schedule. He always had me home at a decent hour, even early. In fact, (dare I confess this?) back in the dating stage where I thought he wasn’t interested in me and only asked me out to give a newly divorced single mother social experiences because he felt bad for me, he took me home pretty early one night–and I went out with some single girlfriends after that! When we got engaged, that didn’t change; he always had me home early (by my standards.) It took some getting used to, on my part. He’s not a late-night guy.

In fact, he once commented to me that the people at my house sure stay up late. I was surprised. I seriously hadn’t noticed. But ever since he pointed that out, I can’t help but notice as I occasionally drive toward my home late at night that my house, and just two others on my street, have their lights on past a certain hour. I must be a late-night gal, raising late-night children. And I guess I hadn’t noticed because by the time I get home from work, and my little family spends a decent amount of time together, it’s late at night!

So my late night experiences during the course of my 9-month engagement have been with my children. Here’s a memorable one. From last night.

It was 12:06 a.m. and my oldest and I were up chatting, he was doing homework and I was working on a gift for #5, when my son got an email to his phone. He read it, got a big grin on his face and then read it aloud to me, something like, “Congratulations! You have been accept to Brigham Young University for Fall 2011.”


We were so excited, we were talking, laughing, joking and celebrating in the kitchen. His life sort of passed before my eyes as my mind was drawn back to the late nights of 1993-94, when I was up in the middle of the night with him every night. The dark nights were so still and quiet I remember feeling like he and I were the only people in the world, and I didn’t mind at all–I treasured every moment I had to enjoy him. It seemed very fitting that BYU contacted him late at night…and totally normal for he and I to be up late at night together!

In the midst of our celebration, we remembered #5 and wanted to share the good news. We knew he was asleep, so we sent him a text. We also know that since he sleeps near his phone in case his children ever need to reach him, it was probably going to wake him up. Late at night. But we did it anyway–we thought it was worth waking up for!

“If people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters.” (Author Unknown, attributed to Jim Davis)

Not only had that late night moment been years in the making, we’d had some challenges along the way: his world collapsing temporarily due to the revelations of his father, a divorce, a move to a new state and school, yet he kept his straight A’s even through the midst of all that; his mother returning to the work force full-time so he became the oldest male in our home and “at home” parent before and after school, even had to stay home with sick siblings on occasion–not the typical existence of a high schooler; in addition to school, he also works at Cold Stone; and then a few recent challenges during the application process that made it even more meaningful.

For one, my son had applied to only one college. BYU. He didn’t have a backup plan. That decision was motivated by money–we didn’t want to waste money paying to apply to any other college my son didn’t want to attend, but as time went on, I realized how unintelligent a decision that was and started to worry a little bit. (Especially after we were notified by his high school that they were sorry but they had sent an incorrect transcript and G.P.A. of just one senior to every college he had expressed interest in or that had expressed interest in him, and my son was that lucky student. I told you we have amazing odds at our house! And because the school didn’t correct their mistake for two months we began to worry a little bit about how it would all work out.)

However, last night’s late night memory made it all worthwhile. And #5 shared it with us via text. It was one of those moments we’ll never forget.

“A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.”

Letting Go

“Time heals what reason cannot.” (Seneca)

Tonight I had the opportunity to chat with a Colorado friend on the phone. We’ve emailed occasionally, back and forth, since I moved to Utah but I can’t remember the last time we talked. She told me I sounded like my old self and asked, “Tell me, are you really as good as you sound?”

I assured her I was.

She then said, “O.k., then tell me how you’ve done it.”

I’m not sure I had an answer for that.  How do you heal from the wounds and trauma of a very unexpected life?

In the beginning, I was overwhelmed with trying to make sense of anything and to reason through it all. Everything was of such a magnitude, and so shocking, reason alone didn’t heal me. There’s no way it could. So I have to credit my healing to time–it has been 23 months since I was thrust into a life I didn’t plan for or expect, but I’ve seen for myself that there really is something to the old adage that “time heals all wounds.”

I’ve done it through reason, time…and due to a great big miracle. It’s a miracle to me that I have healed. I remember wondering if it was possible to recover from losses like mine. I remember doubting I’d ever heal or feel whole again in my life, but I honestly do.

I think the key to recovery is this:  what reason doesn’t take care of, what time cannot heal, and if there’s anything not covered by your miracle…the rest you simply have to let go.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” (Author Unknown)

I recommend this course of action to everyone. Moving forward is a whole new adventure in itself. At least, it was for me. It even led to falling in love, getting engaged…

O.k., so that is really all it has led to because I haven’t moved forward beyond being engaged–yet. The love update, for anyone who has been with me for awhile and to any newcomer, is that I’ve been engaged for over 9 months now! I NEVER expected that. But just in case that should change any time in the near future, I think it’s time to share some highlights of the past 9 months.

“I recorded my hair this morning, tonight I’m watching the highlights.” (Jay London)

Here we go…

Natural Born Espionage Agents

“All women are natural born espionage agents.” (Eddy Cantor)

I wish that were true. If I were a natural born espionage agent, I’d like to think I might have at least seen my unexpected life coming! But I didn’t. Because I’m not.

And I also have to say I think becoming single again in my 40s, following 20 years of being happily married, might have been a little less confusing if I’d possessed a bit more cunning and stealth. I guess I’m just not shady enough, and never was very good at (or interested in) playing games.

Or, maybe it’s just me, and a deficiency I possess, because my 5th grader walked in the door last week and announced, “Mom, NEVER reveal your secrets to a woman!”

Barely 11 years old, and he’s already being schooled in the ways of spies, I mean, girls.

I knew exactly what was going on. “Uh-oh, what happened?” I asked. “Did you make the mistake of telling a girl which girls you like and now you have a…situation?”

He confirmed his dilemma. And although I didn’t want to lecture him, I let him know secrets and girls can be a problem. I told him it was wise to never reveal his crushes–especially to the competition! He said, “But Mom, she asked! She really needed to know.”

Yes, I bet she did. “Of course I can keep secrets. It’s the people I tell them to that can’t keep them.” (Anthony Haden-Guest) Especially with Valentine’s Day coming. It had an interesting result, too.

The secret that wasn’t a secret anymore resulted in my son returning home from school yesterday with several cans of a variety of soda pop–gifts from different girls for the holiday. He was absolutely smitten with each flavor of soda pop bequeathed to him by female admirers!

“I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don’t know where I would be without it.” (Francois de la Rochefoucauld)


“Valentine’s Day is not a holiday. Rosh Hashanah, that’s a holiday. Memorial Day, yes a holiday…You know who invented Valentine’s Day? Hershey’s and Hallmark.” (Peter Gallagher, The O.C.)

My oldest walked in to the kitchen, saw I was writing a blog post and asked what I was writing about. I replied, “I think, Valentine’s Day.” To which he responded, “YUCK. I can’t think of a more pointless ‘holiday’ than that!” and he left the room. I had to wonder, how did such a romantic mother raise such a realistic teenage son? LOL. Although I don’t know if #5 would think the mother is so romantic. Case in point: a conversation we had just last week.

We were driving down the road when he asked, “So, are the kids set for Monday night?”

I panicked, trying to recall what was scheduled for Monday night. My mind raced as I tried to remember what I had planned, and how I could have neglected to take care of a tiny but extremely important detail called childcare. I must have given #5 the biggest, blank, deer-caught-in-headlights stare prior to verbalizing a very intelligent, “Huh?”

All he could do was shake his head and offer two words, “Valentine’s Day!” Followed by, “I can’t believe you forgot! How unromantic you are! What would Edward and Bella say?”

He was right. How very unromantic of the woman bent on a happy ending to her fairy tale, who endured the revelation of crime, a Ponzi scheme, divorce, publicity, loss, financial devastation, an unexpected return to the workforce, a return to the single life, dating in her 40s, THE BACHELORS  and everything else, who eventually found her very own Mr. Awesome, and then forgot… Valentine’s Day!

I don’t know what Edward and Bella would think, but here’s what I thought: I thought back to last Valentine’s Day. 2010. My first as a divorcee/single mother. I was pretty overwhelmed by my unexpected life back then, so I don’t remember focusing on it much. I think I was just hoping to get through it, sort of forget it, and look forward to brighter days. But instead, that was the day I arrived home from work to find a beautiful flower arrangement waiting for me on my porch–from #5. He took me to dinner and a play that night. That was also the date I was battling bronchitis and a sinus infection (I know, romantic!), the night #5 warned me that when my antibiotics kicked in, he was taking things to a new level.

How much has transpired since last Valentine’s Day, including this realization: I think I forgot to focus on February 14, Valentine’s Day, 2011, because every day with #5 feels a lot like Valentine’s Day to me. That is something I never expected when I walked through the doors at The Old Spaghetti Factory and saw #5 for the first time; when I sat across the table from him on our first date in 2009.

“How can you tell if two adults eating dinner at a restaurant are in love?

  • Just see if the man picks up the check. That’s how you can tell if he’s in love. (John, age 9)
  • Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold. Other people care more about the food. (Brad, age 8)
  • It’s love if they order one of those desserts that are on fire. They like to order those because it’s just like how their hearts are on fire.” (Christine, age 9)

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I remember when I thought I knew it all. It was also around the time I first used the word “mature.”

I was a teenager who thought she knew almost everything. If I remember right, I was trying to persuade my mom using the best verbal arguments I could muster, that that was indeed the case. So I threw that word out there: mature.

I pronounced it, “mah-chure.”

That was my first mistake. My former schoolteacher mother caught it right away. “You mean, ‘mah-tour,’” she corrected. “And you probably shouldn’t use the word if you aren’t mature enough to know how to say mature.”

She had a point.

It has been almost 30 years since that conversation.  My parents are both gone. I’ve learned, experienced and matured in ways I never expected. I thought it might finally be time to evaluate my maturity. (Hopefully with better results, this time!)

“Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.” (Ann Landers)

Check. Check. Check. And check. I guess I have finally developed the proper maturity. And as usual, I owe it all to my unexpected life.

Don’t we all?

So thanks, my unexpected life. Maturity is yet one more thing I never expected from you.

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”  (William Shakespeare)

The unexpected life.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Junk Vs. Joan

“Buy, buy, says the sign in the shop window; Why, why, says the junk in the yard.” (Paul McCartney)

My life, my focus, has never been about “things.” In fact, if I’ve ever been consumed by a quest to acquire anything, it’s memories. Making good memories with my loved ones. Because I’ve never believed you can take “it” with you. I believe the only thing I’ll leave this life with is my spirit–some would call it my soul, my memories, my intelligence, the things I have learned and the knowledge I’ve acquired.

However, I was married to a man who looked at “things” differently than I did. He talked all the right talk, of course. He would nod his head and look sorrowful (I thought, in agreement with me) when we’d talk about how sad it was that some people chose to sell their soul for things. He was generous with his means (although now I know he was generous with what was never actually his.) And he acquired a lot of “stuff” in the process, though I never actually knew exactly what, or how much, because he stored it all in the building behind our home, where his “office” was, and I rarely went back there. It was his “manspace;” really cluttered and filled with all manner of junk and disorganized chaos, not the way I lived or operated, so I stayed out of it!

When my unexpected life began, there were things that needed serious purging. Namely, contents of a household that was downsizing. As featured on news reports about the Ponzi scheme my former husband perpetrated, I had ties to some material things. (I don’t know if those broadcasts are still around, but feel free to check them out if you’re curious: watch the motor home driving away towing the boat; see the “mansion” nestled in the trees; hear about the cabin in Idaho and the fine art; learn about the trailer loads of “things” that were hauled away over several days when the asset seizure began.)

In criminal/fraud situations, the government seizes everything of value from the criminal (my former husband) so victims can receive some compensation for their losses, which is all as it should be. The hard part, however, is what to do with everything that has no value. Everything the government doesn’t want.

Like the 9 crockpots–four from my home and four  my cabin (we frequently hosted large group gatherings) and one from the motorhome.

A yard sale wasn’t an option. I had seen my home and property featured on the news enough; my neighbors were stalking us with cameras as my children and I came and went, when we were outside, if we left the garage door open, and through the un-curtained windows of our home. Our neighbors gathered in front of our home to talk and trade notes of what was going on, what they had seen or heard, and they sometimes made it difficult to get to my home if they weren’t in the mood to allow anyone to pass their human barricade.

Case in point. One day a pastor attempted to go to our home to retrieve a set of scriptures from inside. Our neighbors were standing in the cul-de-sac we lived on, our driveway and all around the property and refused to let the pastor through. He explained who he was and the one simple thing he wanted from the house but they wouldn’t let him pass. Their crowd mentality, their hostily and venom, made him apprehensive so he called another neighbor, a mutual friend of his and the neighborhood crowd, and asked that friend to vouch for him so the neighbors would let him pass. The friend refused.

Those were crazy times, but a reason why a yard sale wasn’t an option–I didn’t think neighbors would allow anyone to participate in a yard sale at my home, IF anyone even tried to show up or buy anything!

So the crockpots met me in Utah and now sit on a shelf in my garage awaiting the someday I host a large group gathering again (if that day ever comes) or, alas, finally part with them in a yard sale!

Junk, leftover from my previous life, taking up space in my unexpected new one.

I’m hoping it’s true that, “Junk is the ideal product… the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.” (William S. Burroughs) Someday.

Or maybe I’ll become an inventor. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” (Thomas A. Edison) If that’s the case, I may qualify for a patent yet.

Regardless, I try not to worry about it too much. (A key to living an unexpected life: don’t worry, be happy.) Because, “You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.” (Rudyard Kipling)

Junk vs. Joan.

I’m going with Joan.

Phone Calls and Boys, I Mean, Men

“America’s best buy is a telephone call to the right man.” (Ilka Chase)

The right man calling me on the phone has been sort of a struggle for me.

I was about 12 when the phone became a nuisance in my life. A boy I didn’t “like” called me several times each week after school. Each time he’d call, I’d tell my mom to tell him I wasn’t home. She’d look at me, say, “I’m not going to lie—YOU tell him!” and hand me the phone. Then the awkward conversation would begin until I’d make up an excuse and hurriedly hang up.

It was that same pattern for years: Joe, Joestes, Espada, Rick, Wes, a young man in college who called before I was even old enough to date…I can’t remember the names of all the “wrong” boys who called me during my youth. It seemed like the right one never would. But then, when I was 15 years old and the boy I “liked” actually liked me at the same time, the phone began to mean something new! The history of my relationship with phones was pretty good from that time on through college, especially when the young man I  loved moved to Bolivia for two years when I was 20 and 21 years old and I lived for his twice-yearly telephone calls! In 1989, I married (someone else), and for 20 years, took calls from a husband. I’ll probably never get phone calls like his again in my life–from his “office” where he was “working;” and from unique destinations via satellite phone connections all around the world as he traveled “for business”–England, Tanzania, Etheopia, South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Austria, Russia, Armenia, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and more. And then I got divorced.

After that much time had passed, though, dating, romance, phones, EVERYTHING about being single, had changed! Communication was an entirely different scene. There was even a phenomenon known as “Love Language” that had been invented. Most men didn’t call me on the phone, they emailed, instant messaged and texted me. All of the time. Morning, noon and night. I woke up to “Good Morning” texts, I went to sleep to “Goodnight” texts and everything in between. I got some interesting and unsolicited photo texts. I got some stalker texts. I even got one marriage proposal text. (Really. I promise, I don’t make this stuff up—it is 100% my unexpected life!)

Apparently, “Texting is a way to remind your partner that you’re thinking about him or her throughout the day…Send them whenever you please!” (Cellphones, “Good To Know”)

I didn’t have a lot of time to talk on the phone anyway. I worked all day, so in the evenings I needed to be free to talk to my children. I didn’t have time to talk to men on the phone for hours. I realized that early into my return to the singles scene, when a man called me a lot and wanted to talk on the phone…every night…for hours…and I just couldn’t take it. I suggested he email or text instead as I didn’t have time for telephone chit chat because I needed to spend time with my children, and that was pretty much the last I heard from him!

Now you have the 411 on phones and the singles scene today.

Eventually I narrowed the texts down to one man, Bachelor #5 (sometimes known as Agent M.)

Although, “Easy is to occupy a place in a telephone book. Difficult is to occupy someone’s heart; know that you’re really loved,” (Carlos Drummond de Andrade) let’s just say #5 doesn’t only occupy a spot in my contact lists, he occupies my heart! But even he doesn’t call that much–he texts, emails and talks to me in person—the perfect man for a woman who doesn’t like to waste time talking to men on the phone when she’d rather be with them in person!

We’ve been engaged for 8 1/2 months now and I have to say things were pretty quiet on the phone/texting front the first four months of my engagement. And then unexpectedly one night, I heard from the Stalker. Again. Out of the blue he contacted me, I told him I was engaged, and things were silent. From that moment on. Until the other night.

I love phones! (Not.) Their connections are so unexpected.

I received a mystery text, “Are you married yet?” Followed one hour later by, “Hi,” questions about where I was (home), was I going to bed (nope, too much housework), and an invitation to meet for a drink! I thanked him for asking, but told him I was still engaged. He said, “Oh, I did not know you were engaged,” (guess he forgot about the previous 9 months), then “When are you getting married?”

Isn’t THAT the million dollar question? And it came to me, courtesy of a phone. And my Stalker!

“I’m not just any stalker, I’m YOUR stalker.” (Unknown)

Every four months. Like clockwork. In my unexpected life.

What wasn’t unexpected, however, was #5′s response to the following question: “So, when you’re engaged, does that mean it’s inappropriate to meet a stalker for a drink?” He shook his head and smiled at me, made a joke about my “friendly” dating past, and we both laughed as he said, “Andrea, you’re NOT going!”

I sort of expected that.