More behind-the-scenes look at 5th Time's the Charm. I had refrained from dating at all since my breakup with my son’s father. His daughter hated competition, and my son was cute, cuddly, and never cried. Too lovable for her to contend with as an aggressive teen, so we moved out when my son Cameron was three months old. I needed a break from the types of men I always seemed to attract. So in hopes of redefining myself, I concentrated wholeheartedly on my son, rather than fruitless relationships.
When Cameron was almost four years old, I was a homebody with no social life whatsoever, unless you count watching movies on the couch with your mom and eating popcorn. I still do that but not with my mom. Eh, I’m not very social. My mom informed me she did the whole dating site thing, and I wrinkled up my nose for a while, but soon I realized I wasn’t going to meet anyone any other way. I worked, but I was never going to date anyone I worked with again, and I didn’t attend church. Unless I stumbled into a guy feeling up produce in the grocery store, chances weren’t good I’d feel a man's touch ever again.
With a heave of my shoulders, I half-heartedly set to work. I had in my mind all the criteria I’d determined to weed out the losers. First, if they ask my measurements right off the bat, I'd refuse to acknowledge them again. I’d had my fill of that life. I wanted someone who appreciated my mental ability and figured that would, at least, cut the nominations in half, if not more.
Then, I decided I would email them a couple of times. If things seemed tolerable still, I’d chat online. From there, we’d speak on the phone. This process took a few weeks and usually dwindled the flock down to a few choice samples. Most of them would give up by then and quit after their fix wasn't immediately gratified. One guy went ahead with my plan right up to the telephone step. We were supposed to speak on the phone for a week, according to my calculations, before we could meet. But after a few conversations that lasted hours, he talked me into coffee at a Starbucks quite a distance from my house. That seemed safe.
My mother was thrilled and offered to watch my son, but his paternal grandmother was right down the street from the coffee house mentioned. I figured a visit with her would be fantastic since he hadn’t seen her for a while, and she’s taken to him so well.
Since I have some OCD issues, I’d rallied up a course of action for this situation as well. I called on his cell as I got to the coffee shop, to tell him I was almost there. My goal was to spot him on his phone, notifying me of who my suitor was, in case I needed to high tail it the other way. You can’t be too sure on the Internet, you know. Besides the photo of him online had two other guys in it and was a fair distance away. One of the men resembled Mr. Clean from the floor scrubbing solution. I couldn't figure out how to ask him if he was bald, because back then bald wasn't cool like The Rock and Bruce Willis have made it out to be now. Back then it was like asking someone if he intended on paying for the date.
But as soon as I spotted the only guy on his phone, he had turned to see me come in and smiled from ear to ear. His hair was short, and he wore a suit. Check. His glasses were so thick I could barely see his eyes through them, like the nerds in movies. That was a minus. But with him already having seen me, I couldn’t leave now. That would be unforgivably rude. I looked at it as a break from my son and a free cup of coffee certainly couldn’t hurt. So I smiled back and took a seat. Through his thick lenses, I could tell he had sky blue eyes, and his voice was sexy. I determined I could let those things grow on me.
We had an hour-long cup of coffee, which I had to force down since I didn’t touch the stuff, and chatted. Now, of course, I drink coffee on those occasions I need the extra oomph. Starbucks’ French Roast with Blue Diamond Vanilla, Almond, Cashew flavored Almond milk. Yeah, I’m lactose intolerant, and this is less expensive than creamer.
I discovered he worked as a freelance security geek, and he fit the bill on that note, although there was no pocket protector. He ran his own business and performed Internet security checks for huge companies. He got hired full-time at the largest healthcare industry in Utah making big bucks later—After we were separated, of course, but that was much later.
Seven months down the road, he invited me to celebrate Halloween in California where we would visit romantic vineyards, eat lavish meals, meet some of his friends and then go to the biggest freaking Halloween party I’d ever seen. He even had lasik surgery a few weeks before in preparation so his beautiful eyes could glow.
It so happened, with all the sunshine I was getting Friday and Satruday, a stupid cold sore popped up on my lower lip. It was pretty gross, and it was so big even the best makeup artist couldn't cover that puppy up. No one short of David Copperfield could have helped me that night.
We got matching Marc Antony and Cleopatra costumes, and I think I looked damn hot considering I was sneaking up on 40 years old with a gigantic cold sore. We parked in this lot that was humongous. It was dark, so I had no idea where we were, but the building resembled a gigantic warehouse with a super-sized parking lot with bumper-to-bumper cars. I’d never seen anything like it. When my boyfriend described it as a party, he wasn’t kidding.
We flashed our wristbands (he’d given me mine in the room) and went inside. The most bizarre stuff this girl had ever seen! At first, it seemed normal, by my standards, with a live band and costumed people dancing everywhere. If you ever watched Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and the game show Truth or Consequences, imagine the two of them together with lower lights and you’re there! There was one difference, of course, our costumes were very much 11’s if you know what I mean. If you don’t, then missionary-ranked will suffice. These people had portions of their bodies exposed in peculiar ways with fluorescent paint and glitter.
Further inside, a stage that was sort of like The Dating Game in that the females and males are separate from each other. A black board approximately 7.5’ tall was propped up on a freestanding stage with viewers, we included, looking on. About six girls would line up at the end of the stage and climb the steps, crossing the stage until the announcer told them to stop. They’d lean against the wall, and a hand would pop out on each side and grope them. It reminded me of something so bizarre I was surprised Willy Wonka wasn’t there. He may have been, and I just hadn’t seen him.
There were live sex shows, which I did not stay and watch, so I can’t tell you about those. And the most outlandish shops you can imagine. I couldn’t decide if I should be curious or appalled, but for the first time in my life, I was proud to have a cold sore.
No one in his correct, drug-free mind would want anything to do with someone with a cold sore the size of mine. Well, almost no one. My daughter was born on July 24, the following year, 9 months later (conveniently landing on the religious holiday of her father's professed religion). I named her Danika, but she prefers going by Nikki, and LOVES Halloween.