That Couple

by mssinglemama on June 1, 2009

Larry is in his seventies but his eyes are young.

He had a major hand in creating the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, a thriving tourist destination for Athens County and his energy seems to be endless. He’ll never acknowledge his age with words or by his actions and I find this amazing and inspiring.

We’ve just wrapped up a meeting and now we’re saying our good byes in the doorway to the Athens County Visitors Bureau. The Bureau is my refuge and my savior. My home town, I feel, is cradling me – rocking me back to health and in turn I am enlightening thousands of tourists to pay us a visit.

Larry is lingering.

“So have you found a nice guy yet?” he asks.

Every time I meet a WWII vet like Larry I immediately conjure up images of men like Gregory Peck and Spencer Tracy on battle lines or at fancy dinner tables puffing on cigarettes, he is no exception.

“No, not yet. There aren’t any around or something, or maybe I just don’t know where to look or maybe I’m not ready,” my voice cracks a bit.

The tears have been coming easily lately.

It’s been nine months of single motherhood and I have yet to see a glimmer of hope, even though I’ve been dating not one man has shown promise of being something.

I want to hear words of wisdom from Larry, so I stop, look down at my shuffling feet and then I listen.

“Don’t you worry, Beautiful. One of these days a man is going to find you and he’s going to sweep you off your feet. You won’t even know what hit ya.”

“Really? A man can do that? I’m not sure if that’s possible,” I’m looking up at him now wondering how I must appear, as a damsel in distress with the flowered skirt to match.

But even though I look the damsel, someone who could potentially be swept up into a romantic whirlwind, I am a single mother. I have a one-year-old at home who I can’t stop thinking about, not even if I try. Can a man ever really understand that or fit into my life?

The reality of it all smacks into me like a wave and I start shaking my head before he can even answer.

“No, Larry, it’s not possible… not unless he can change diapers and be woken up in the middle of the night – every night.”

“Oh it is, sweet heart – trust me on this one, it definitely is. Just you wait.”

Larry was right. I just had to be patient and stop looking.


The Bear leaves me at the bar for a second to use the bathroom.

I trace my fingers across the rim of the glass holding my beer. The men across the bar are there, starring. I can see them but they are just a blur, a wash of people.

Typically I would meet their eyes if even for a fleeting moment just to see if I could catch that spark, that thing I had been dreaming of for so many years, that feeling I had yet to experience. But now, I keep my eyes down and a slight smile creeps across my face and then it grows wider.

I can’t contain it anymore, not even in a bar filled with men.

I’m being swept.

He’s completely endearing, fascinatingly intelligent, funny as hell and totally adorable. He also has drive, passion and a humor for life. He’s all of these things but there’s something else… he cares.

Suddenly an entirely new feeling slips over me.

It’s the feeling of having a warm blanket wrapped around your shoulders, the feeling of being absolutely satisfied, filled up, rested, cared for, loved… whatever it is, I like it and I sink into my bar stool and just exhale. And then he’s there, his arm wraps around my shoulder and he says, “you okay?”

“Definitely,” I smile.

“Oh, I know that look,” he says, “that’s a look I like.”

After a few more Raspberry Wheats, the Bear and I find ourselves in the center of the small but empty dance floor. He wraps his arms around my waist and we start swaying to the blue grass music floating in the air. Then he leans in and kisses my neck, then my cheek and then my lips.

“Stop,” I say, “what about all of the others, I feel bad – they don’t have this – and I don’t want to be that couple.”

“Screw them,” he says, “it’s our turn now. It’s our turn to be happy.”

Potential, people, this Bear fellow has potential. <pinch pinch>


Back up reading:

{ 5 trackbacks }

Single Moms Sick
June 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm
Single Moms: Do You Want More Kids?
June 24, 2009 at 8:44 am
Butterflies vs. Lead Weights
February 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm
A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding a Manperson | Ms. Single Mama
November 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm
A Single Mom's Guide to Finding a Manperson | Ms. Single Mama |
November 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

@lovesalterego June 2, 2009 at 1:07 am

Makes me hopeful. I enjoyed the read!


jen_k_ June 2, 2009 at 1:09 am

Oh, gods. He definitely does. My heart is pounding, just reading this. I'm thinking 'potential' just might be the most delicious understatement ever, Ms.

A friend asked me tonight if I ever thought I could be a wife again. I'm about to link him to this post. If ever I was loved like THIS, I'd consider it.


Ms. Single Mama June 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Yes… be open to it. And definitely have some hope. One more thing – never say never! Right?



jen_k_ June 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm

That's one thing I know for sure: never say never.


Mohamed February 6, 2015 at 3:09 am

This artlcie is a home run, pure and simple!


Toronto Mama June 2, 2009 at 1:12 am

Man, you're a good writer Alaina!
And I'm so happy you have finally been swept off your feet.
It gives all of us hope that there are great men out there, we just have to be patient and wait our turn ๐Ÿ™‚


abrookshire June 2, 2009 at 1:15 am

It gives me hope, too!! I'm so glad you've finally found a man with real potential and real heart!!


Brittni June 2, 2009 at 1:17 am

This is so sweet. I love it, really love it!!!


Ingryd February 4, 2015 at 8:40 am

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Maggie June 2, 2009 at 1:38 am

I just found your blog yesterday and love it. And I just want to tell you that yes, it can totally happen–I am living proof. I was married for almost 13 years, miserable almost all of it but committed to staying for the kids. I gave it everything I had–tried for years and years and years and finally was just resigned to staying married until my kids went to college. I totally bought into that you just do what you have to do–e.g. stay married–because no marriage is perfect anyway and it's best for the kids to have married parents. Right?

Turns out not right. I won't bore you with every last detail, but the bottom line is that I got divorced, fully intending to be a single mom forever (my kids were 8 and 10). Then I met my now-husband. He is everything I'd always been told was too good to be true, too much to hope for, didn't exist. Again, I won't bore you and everyone else with the details but I will say this: I was NEVER a romantic person at all. Absolutely didn't believe in true love, or in romantic love. Turns out I was 100% wrong. My husband and I are "that" couple. We are best friends; we are in love. Nothing in life is perfect but I will tell you this: being married to someone you absolutely love and who loves you and loves your kids like they're his own even though they're not comes very close.

Good luck and you rock for having the courage to not settle–as cliche as it sounds, life is too short to settle for doing it the wrong way.


Ms. Single Mama June 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm

So glad you're here and thanks for this comment – I hope every one reads it…


BriBedell June 2, 2009 at 1:59 am

Whoa I was getting all hot and bothered there at the end! I can't blame being 39 weeks pregnant either! I love to be loved….


TsQuest June 2, 2009 at 2:26 am

Wow. That, my dear, was beautiful.

I like that feeling. I was smiling too, as I read this.

Potential is a very good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚


Making Progress June 2, 2009 at 2:27 am

Damn, you've given me hope….


notasoccermom June 2, 2009 at 2:29 am

I am so happy for you. nine whole months eh?
Try eleven years! haha
I am becoming a bit cynical but hopeful.
I love this- i love LOVE


amy June 2, 2009 at 2:32 am

So happy for you both ๐Ÿ™‚


March Liz June 2, 2009 at 3:16 am

MsSingleMama, I don't know if you remember me or not…I am the one for whom you recorded the "where to meet quality men" video. Well, I'm happy too hear that you've found someone who rocks your world and I'm happy to say I've found one too!! It's amazing how it just seems to feel right and he does sooo much for my daughter and I, this may be premature (we've been going out 4 months) but I think he may be the one. Shhh!! All the single mamas on the web recently falling in love are living proof that there are good men out there who will walk the extra mile.
Enjoy!!!! When it's right, it's right. : ) I can't stop smiling.


mssinglemama June 2, 2009 at 4:34 am

That’s SO weird – I totally remember you – and even weirder that I told you how to meet men in that video… not sure if weird is even the right word, but you know…

Here’s the video by the way:

So… Liz, where did you meet him? ; ) And congratulations! I can definitely say I know the feeling.


Lori June 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I think you're right = ) He seems like a great guy, from what you've written and the video of your mission. So the old man was right=!!


Katherine SOLOdotMOM June 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

This is so awesome… and to read/hear what you write about him…. this could be it!?

Soooo very happy for you.


Jaden June 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Aw… SO nice that you've found someone who embraces every part of your life! ๐Ÿ™‚


Saba June 2, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Brought Tears to my eyes – Happy Tears!!


Notesfromthegrove June 2, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Sigh…I love it. I'm so happy for you. He's right, it's SO your turn, girl.


Sheila June 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Your story is so inspirational to me, as I've been wondering lately WHEN the heck someone is going to come around. Lately I've been throwing myself into things I really like to do, and I do think I'm going to meet my special man that way.


Abby Carter June 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Living vicariously… love it.


shannon June 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚


Juggle Jane June 2, 2009 at 8:10 pm

It is MOST DEFINITELY your turn!! Enjoy it!

If you don't mind, I will be living vicariously through you while on my dating sabbatical.
*pulls up chair, sits down, elbows on knees, chin on fists*
Carry on!


arscuore June 3, 2009 at 2:04 am

Love it.


Bobbi Janay June 3, 2009 at 3:21 am

I am glad to see that you are, finally letting go and taking the chance to let yourself begin to maybe fall in love again.


Amber Warren June 3, 2009 at 3:27 am

Your writing is beautiful. I just want you to know that your blog is thoroughly enjoyable. I have an amazing husband. When we were dating my eyes would well up all the time because not one part of me felt that I deserved him but I was so grateful for him. Now we've been married 3 years and though life and marriage is not easy, I can testify that there are good men out there who will love you through it all. My husband is amazing and it sounds like Bear is too.


DesperatelySeekingMe June 3, 2009 at 5:51 am

Made me cry. Gives me hope. LOVE it.


MommaSunshine June 3, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I don't mind being "that couple" either. Sometimes you've just gotta relax and let yourself enjoy the gifts that you've been given. ๐Ÿ™‚


above average joe June 3, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Over a year for me and I'm in the same boat you are. Larry's right, he will come, when you least expect it.


marco June 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

and men worry about the same thing, more or less. at least, I do.


Hanna June 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm



L Blake June 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thank you for the kind words although I'm not wwII vet. I am however a cold war vet from the 1960's.
I always knew a person as beautiful as you would find Mr Right.
Hang in sweetheart and enjoy your life.


Modern Married Momma June 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm


Finally, my friend, finally. You are allowing yourself to be loved and to LOVE!

The Bear is right…it is your turn to be happy.

I know that feeling you are feeling– it's a good one, and I'm telling you it's going to be with you for awhile, so get used it it. You are in love!


Paulina February 3, 2015 at 5:16 am

I hate my life but at least this makes it berabale.


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