It was February, Valentine’s day was quickly approaching. I was looking forward to the start of a brand new life – full of fun, laughter and excitement and it was going to start now. The struggles I faced in the last year included the end of a 9 year marriage, two family deaths and the loss of a job. The bad times were finally over, and I was going to start my new life by going out with some girlfriends to a club where we could do some dancing, drink some wine and possibly meet some nice guys. All I had to do was finish my hair, dab on a little lipstick and wait for them to pick me up.

The evening started out just fine, but somewhere around midnight I realized that I had a little too much to drink. I don’t remember too much after that and in the morning I woke up fully clothed with a roaring headache on my girlfriend’s couch. She took me home after a breakfast of dry toast and coffee.

When I walked in the door I could see the light on my answering machine blinking and couldn’t believe I had three messages from Wayne. Wayne? Wayne who? I played the messages over and over and it was apparent he had the right number but I had no clue who he was, so I called him back. He explained that he met me the night before and I agreed to go out with him on Valentine’s Day. My new found freedom overruled my common sense and I agreed to an 8 o’clock dinner date the following week.

The days passed quickly and Valentine’s Day finally arrived. Excitement filled me as I put on the new dress and shoes I had bought that afternoon. I was ready a good twenty minutes before he was set to arrive, so I calmed my nerves with a glass of wine. The doorbell rang at exactly eight o’clock and I opened it to find (gasp) what appeared to be a very elderly gentleman with a small bouquet of roses. Now I am no prude and I certainly don’t have anything against older people, but by my estimation this fellow was at least 40 years my senior. I did not believe for one minute that I gave him my phone number and agreed to go out on Valentine’s Day. He told me he was indeed Wayne and proceeded to tell me some of the things we had talked about a week before. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so off we went to dinner.

I was shocked and intrigued at the same time at the unexpected twist in the story as I had envisaged a tall, handsome and dashing young man in place of him and did not know what to say. However, I could not give up on my commitment and therefore went out for the first mature dating experience of my life.

The first ten minutes after we were seated I briefly told him about my job, and that I was divorced. Not wanting to divulge any more I asked him if he was ever married. He told me he had been married three times and just recently divorced. Through the rest of dinner and most of the way home I heard the entire story of how his ex-wife (who was only 35) left him for a younger man. How that man was now living in his house. How he was sleeping in his bed, watching his TV, listening to his stereo and driving his car. As we got on the freeway, he started to tear up and say his life was over. We finally pulled onto my street and he exclaimed: “We are going to have the worst Easter!” It was at that moment he pulled into my driveway. As I was opening the passenger door to make my escape, I said: “I don’t know what kind of an Easter you’re going to have, but mine is going to be great.” I took off running and didn’t look back until I was in my house with the door locked.

I haven’t been out on a date on Valentine’s Day since.