A Happier Ending


I revised my stat counter on the bottom of my page tonight. Instead of a generic little green counter I gave it my OWOP look, complete with my happy, smiley pigasus.

While I was on my stat site I was looking through some of the keywords and referrers to my site and noticed someone had browsed through my labels.

Which made me wonder which blogs they might have seen.

One label brought me to my life story, Learning to Live With Me.

Some of you have already read this. For those of you who haven't, I recommend it if you have a little bit of time to spare.

I don't recommend it just because I wrote it or for the sake of attention or stats or anything like that. I recommend you read it for the same reason that I recommend you write one yourself. It's therapeutic to both read others' stories as well as write your own.

You learn things, both about yourself and others.

You remember things that make you smile and make you cry and make you suddenly realize how little, insignificant things ended up playing a big role in who you are today.

I also recommend that you read it because this entry is about to change the ending of it.

Because that ending doesn't fit anymore.

Because I'm not in a holding pattern and though I'm still not where I'd hoped to be another year later, at 28, I'm so much closer than I was last May when I posted this, or in 2007 when I originally wrote most of this.

A year ago I was disappointed. A year ago (it could even be to the day), I gave up on a guy that I'd been talking to since my birthday in January. We messaged a lot after he sent me a "Happy Birthday" message on MySpace, we hung out several times, and things were--finally--hopeful for me.

Finally a good guy.

Finally a guy who opened the door for me and treated me with respect.

Finally a guy with looks, brains, and a good heart.

Just what I'd been waiting on.

And then it fell apart and he pulled a vanishing act on me, like so many other guys had done in the previous years.

One day they're here, the next they're gone.

But I was really disappointed this time because I had just begun to really think about where it could be heading with him and I had just begun to think about how right he was seeming to me.

For once, though, I didn't let bitterness set in. Disappointment took over initially but it dissipated and life moved on.

I wasn't mad, I wasn't jaded (not any more than I already was at least) and I wasn't broken because of it.

Life--as it has before--moved on.

Except now, a year later, it's come full circle.

It's like Life has given me a replay with an alternate ending.

A better ending.

Because last summer that same guy and I started texting again, in mid-July. July 19th, to be exact. (Because I'm a little OCD about remembering dates)

It was all friendly chit-chat at first because he'd vanished on me before, he must not be at all interested in me, so it was going to be strictly a friend-thing.

And that was okay, because he is one of the very few good guys left. I could only benefit from having a good guy for a friend, right?

And then I started smiling whenever he messaged me.

And then whenever my text message alert went off, I tried to pretend that I wasn't hoping it was him.

And others around me started noticing me smiling and laughing.

But we hadn't hung out yet. August was almost completely over before we ever spent any time together.

I was nervous when I opened the door and he was there.

He came in and we watched a movie. Heaven help me, he'll pick on me and pretend he's hurt that I can't remember which one right now, but I can't.

Though the first movie we watched together was Good Luck Chuck, The Unrated Version. Talk about awkward....That was my brilliant idea. Clearly it wasn't thought through.

But I don't remember what movie we watched together this time.

The Princess Bride, maybe?

Who knows. I just remember sitting there beside him. And when he put his arm around me I wondered what it meant.

And when he pulled me closer to his side, I smiled, but still kept my guard up.

And when he kissed me I hoped that he wasn't just going to stick around for a few weeks and then get bored or scared off.

Because this time his kisses seemed different.

This time it was almost as if his kisses were laced with a very potent addiction.

A few more weeks passed with me worrying about where I stood with him and finally, on September 11th, the same day I found out that Fern would be coming to live with me, he told me straight out that he would not be disappearing this time. That he "really, really" liked me.

Within a few weeks I fell head over heels for him and later that month we weathered our first storm in a way that left me both confident in him and our relationship.

He was picked on and harassed when the holiday season came and it came to light that he had a girlfriend. He always made it a point to never have a girlfriend between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. Nice, eh? ;)

Over the holidays we continued to smile and laugh and grow closer and Ty grew to adore the man that I was now completely in love with. We met each other's families and even managed a few days apart over Christmas while he spent time out-of-town with family.

After Christmas we went out of town for New Year's and then my birthday was a week later, and soon after was Valentine's Day. Poor guy couldn't catch a break.

Don't think I'm skipping over a lot of stuff, I opted not to break it down or go into great detail because it really seems like it's flown by in just the amount of time it takes to read that sentence.

Here I find myself in March, almost 9 months after we started talking again, and a full year after he went all Houdini on me.

We have yet to have our first fight.

*Knocking on wood*

We have differing opinions on several things and we don't completely agree on all things, but so far we've picked our battles and none of them have been worth fighting. So far it's just been an acknowledgment of different opinions and working around it in a way that suits us both.

He makes me so very happy.

Crazy happy.

We're good together.

It's almost like it's meant to be.

*wink*

So there's my new ending.

A year ago, I was disappointed and alone and still holding out for the guy that everyone said never existed.

The handsome man with a brain in his head and a real, living, beating, warm-blooded heart in his chest! A man who fit all 2,961 specifications I'd created for this man who would make me happier than I'd ever been with a guy before.

And a year later, I'm blessed and excited and hopeful and in love with a man who fits 2,960* specifications and makes me happier than I've ever been before. *(He doesn't sing...but I guess I can live with that)

He loves me and he loves my boy.

He lets me put my son first and us in a close second.

He respects my decisions as a parent and supports me.

He has my back and encourages me and gently lets me know when I'm fighting a battle--as a parent--that's really not worth the fight. But he also lets me know, just as gently, when I'm not standing my ground on something I might later wish I had.

He rakes my yard with me just for the sake of spending time with me.

He teaches Ty how to throw and to catch and to hold a bat and play a video game and even how to get into mischief that all little boys seem to have a need to get into.

He's grown to be my closest friend.

He's everything I've ever known was worth waiting for.

He's part of my Happily Ever After.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.