Letter to my therapist

Letter to my therapist

My dear Adeline,

It’s been approximately three months since you left me to fend for myself. I’m hoping that my update isn’t so scandalous as to drag you out of back out of retirement, but I thought you might be interested to know where I’m at.

Just as you predicted, I’m having rather a lot of fun. And that coach I hired in your stead is cheering me on in all things, especially those at which you would likely raise an eyebrow.

According to my trusty notebook, my tally stands at 19 dates with 13 different boys, which for only 8 weeks on the dating scene is quite impressive (or should that be excessive?) It certainly explains why I had to start keeping track.

One of those dates was a little scary, but it woke me up to the need for a fake name, a pay-as-you-go-mobile, a known venue and my best friend Elissa tracking my location with Find My Friends. It also taught me that photos may not depict a true likeness of the date in question and that I should not be seduced by eloquent profiles, because the scary guy was neither athletic nor articulate. In fact, the blithering buffoon could barely string a sentence together and only rode a bike because he’d lost his license. I later learned from another date – a published author, no less – that professional profile writers are available for hire on Upwork. I guess that’s how unemployed copywriters are plying their trade these days, because whoever ghost-wrote this one must have worked for Enron.

There was only one other date where I worried about making it out alive, and that was because death by stultifying boredom was a very real possibility. What made it worse was that the waiters knew me by then and were politely leaving me alone, making me realize we were in desperate need of a code. I later agreed with them that if my purse is on the chair, all is well and they can take their time. If my purse is on the table, however, they need to step it up and get me the hell out of there as soon as inhumanly possible. Fortunately, the code wasn’t required a second time, except for the occasion where I forgot and found myself outside on the sidewalk scratching my head after a mere 40 minutes with what would otherwise have been a very promising candidate.

I have to say, however, that while avoiding kidnapping, boredom or being stood up are perfectly honorable goals for a date, it seems that the Holy Grail is finding intellectual stimulation and chemistry in the same package. The techie who told me all about OKCupid’s algorithm, for example, was engaging but reminded me too much of my geeky cousin for me to feel any attraction. Then there was the gentle giant, who made me weep with longing to be on the receiving end of his tenderness, but conversation was a seriously tough slog. Meanwhile, the PhD student with the Russian accent and the foot-fetish could massage my feet any time but I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. (And he was only 32, but that’s beside the point.)

But the search is a wonderful journey in itself. I’m getting out. I’m meeting new and interesting people. And, I just scheduled my third date with a pilot whose biggest complaint with Minnesota women is that whenever he suggests a last minute getaway to Paris, they have a school reunion to go to. But not me. He can fly me to Paris any time he likes.

So that, my dear therapist, is my update. Life is unexpectedly rich, full and fun, and I’m doing so much better than I ever imagined.

But you knew all along that I would be.

Your erstwhile client,








How it all began …

How it all began …

Right. Are you ready? Because before we get going here, I need to make it absolutely clear that none of this was my intention. Not one bit of it.

First of all, I’m supposed to be writing a novel about grief, sex and narcissism, rather than a blog about dating. Although it could be argued that they add up to much the same thing.

More importantly, I wasn’t expecting to be dating at all at this age and stage of life.

Fifteen years ago I had the most beautiful wedding a girl could have, and then I did a ton of therapy, so the odds should have been in my favor. But it turns out that we all marry the one person who will challenge us to grow where we need it most. And I grew – like a buckthorn hedge. Tall, strong and unstoppable; non-native to Minnesota and working hard to protect people’s privacy.

Which is why the names shall be changed.

Including my own.

My name is Annie Bell. It’s a derivative of my real name but different enough to afford me a modicum of privacy in my professional capacity, never mind a fantastic alter-ego. Annie does things that I would never do, like take an Uber to dinner, use a pay-as-you-go-mobile (which I’m reliably informed is called a “burner”), flirt outrageously on a first date and spend Valentine’s Day with a former boss.

In fact, Annie is having rather a lot of fun.

So much so that her girlfriends have begged her to regale them with tales of her experiences, allowing them to live vicariously and to participate voyeuristically through a juicy-detailed blog.

So …. to my stunning community of fabulous, supportive women, and to the tall dark stranger who was the first person to meet Annie over a chocolate cake and two spoons in a sad Embassy Suites wannabe hotel on the wrong side of Scottsdale, this blog is dedicated to you.

You know who you are.