Dec. 17: First Date with Prince Charming

“Don’t screw it up,” my friend Sandy told me before I went on my first date with Fred Lick. I did my best. I dressed up, styled my hair, took care with my makeup. I tucked my diaphragm into my purse, just in case. And then he drove up in the rattiest car, and I thought, Oh no, what am I getting into.

But you can’t judge a man by his car. Fred was in the process of getting a divorce, which is hard on the finances, and his teenage son had put something on the car that ruined the paint. None of that mattered. Fred was handsome, smart, and funny. He had a good job supervising senior centers, and he lived in this quaint little house in the Willow Glen section of San Jose.

He took me to a winery in the east foothills, one of his favorite places. Then we went out for Chinese food. After that, we back to his house to watch movies. We didn’t actually see the second movie. Somewhere early in “Flashdance,” we began making out. I excused myself to put in my diaphragm, and Fred brought pillows and a blanket for the floor. We made love.

Unlike other guys who assumed sex came with dinner, Fred was gentle and considerate. He kept asking, “Is this all right? Are you sure?” I was sure. By the end of the evening, we both knew we belonged together. It was the beginning of a beautiful love story.

I soon learned that I didn’t need the diaphragm. Fred had had a vasectomy. After a certain amount of talk about adoption and ways to get me pregnant, he let me know the three kids he had from his first marriage were enough. We never had children together, and I grieve that loss. But that does not negate the love that began on Dec. 17, 1983. Fred is not here to celebrate this year, but I will remember and treasure what I had rather than what I have lost.

So many of us get caught up in what we don’t have. We start seeing our mates as the enemy rather than the people we love. Take some time today to look at your spouse, partner or lover and treasure what you have with them. Maybe you don’t have kids, but you do have each other. Thank God for that.

Happy anniversary, Fred.

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8 thoughts on “Dec. 17: First Date with Prince Charming

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I never gave much thought to having or not having children until I hit 40, I didn't think I was someone that should have children give my childhood scars but as I near 42 I tend to feel more and more jealous of those around me with children, why???? Some days worse than others. As you, my husband had three children from his first marriage and had a vasectomy, now I think it might be unfair for him to have another at 54. Is my husband worth the sacrifice? I believe so, at this moment, but wonder if I will regret at least trying? Happy New Year and may 2012 bring peace and blessings to you.

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  2. It really hits in the early 40s, doesn't it. We know we're running out of time, but don't know what we can do about it. Hang in there. Treasure your husband. If he's worth it, like mine was, it'll be okay.

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  3. I just found your blog, and thank you for having it! I too am childless, only married two years ago at the age of 40, and I had waited my whole life for the maternal impulse or 'clock' to start ticking. It never did – I love, love kids, in fact at most gatherings, you can find me at the kids' table, or running around like one of them outside, while the boring grown-ups talk. But, I've never felt the urge to have one myself. Now, I'm feeling the pressure – not that the urge has kicked in, just I know the decision is about to be taken out of my hands, by time. So confusing. :o( All of my life, I never really focused on it, and now it seems to be all I can think about. Crazy.

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  4. Welcome, Tracy. You're not crazy. You're right at the age where one tends to panic because the decision is about to become final. It's normal. The kids in your life are lucky to have you.

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