So, here’s the story:
Two people in their mid-60’s, three divorces and six kids between them, each coming out of long-term relationships, decide to take one last drive along the Internet Highway, in search of something that will last.
Leasa was stunningly pretty. But the first thing that drew me in were her words. Thoughtful. Articulate. Spiritual. Beyond the words, there was “The Look”. I saw it right away in her profile photo. Both soft and hard, it was a look designed to penetrate all the way through you, until the truth could be pulled back out. A look that asked the question, “Are you here to love me, or to hurt me?”
I learned she was born in a small town in Kansas, founded by her great grandfather, and raised in a farmhouse built by her grandfather. Her parents, both in their 90’s and married 70 years, still lived in the farmhouse. One day, I asked what she attributed her parents’ success to. “Mom’s always had this saying”, she said, “live large days, filled with small moments.” Those words became the toast I offered at my son’s wedding in Santa Barbara, later that summer.
Perhaps understandable only to those our age, one of the threads of our conversations was the subject of loss. The oldest of four sisters, she’d lost two of them under very different but equally tragic circumstances. A year earlier, we’d both lost our best friends to cancer.
Early in our correspondence, she wrote that she was leaving for a three-week visit with the grandkids in Atlanta, the city she’d moved to with a young son after the first marriage had broken up. It was there she met and married her second husband, having two more kids. And it was from there they moved west.
Despite the years she’d lived in Atlanta, she hadn’t been to Mary Mac’s Tea Room, an Atlanta institution since the ‘40’s. I made her promise she’d go. She said she’d try.
One day, a text: “We just drove by Mary Mac’s. Did you feel it?”
Swear to god, I did.
Eventually, she asked what I was looking for. “An adult relationship, where we can act like kids anytime we want”, I replied.
“So, is someone going to ask someone out?”
The first date was at a coffee house near where she lived. She was everything I’d seen in both words and pictures.
We went from 0-60 in about four seconds. Years earlier, during another first date, I tried to be patient while someone tried to convince me that relationships take a lot of work. “Only the bad ones”, I said. “The good ones are effortless.” Thereby, ending any chances for a second date.
This felt like that. Effortless.