Today’s article is written by romance author Carmen Shirkey.
Okay, I decided to risk embarrassing Jim and participate in your new Kiss & Tell feature.
My book, The List, is about a woman who has a ridiculously long list of characteristics she wants in her future boyfriend/husband. That was me, two years ago.
I had a list. While my character’s list featured over 50 items, mine only had 12. Being a writer-type person, I wrote them down on a Winnie the Pooh note sheet and placed them in between the pages of my Bible, in kind of a silent prayer to God that he bring this man into my life.
The dates that my character, Candace, goes on in her search for Mr. Right are drawn almost nightmare-for-nightmare from my own experiences. That saying, “you have to kiss a lot of frogs” is very true. I kissed so many frogs, I’m surprised that I have lip muscles left.
There’s another saying that says “there’s a time for everything.” My problem is that I always wanted things on MY timetable, being the Type-A personality that I am. Ask me how long I waited for Mr. Right. Go ahead, ask! Well, I’ll tell you. I waited 35 years. Okay, maybe not 35, as that implies that I was waiting from birth, and at birth, I didn’t care about such things. So let’s forget the dateless nights during high school, when all the guys thought I was a “great friend,” and all the dateless nights in college, because I wouldn’t put out on demand. That leaves me with 15 years of waiting and hoping.
On a very chilly April evening in 2007, I made plans to meet up with a local social group to attend a local baseball game. The funny thing is, I hate baseball. I think any game that requires a “7th inning stretch” is about 7 innings too long. However, I went because my dad kept telling me that Mr. Right wasn’t going to jump out of my closet. Good thing, since I’d have bigger problems if that happened.
There was a new face in the group that gathered in front of the ticket booth. I was instantly intrigued, and kept trying to slip glances at him without him noticing. Because, however much I wanted my Mr. Right, I was terribly shy. Flirting is a skill that has eluded me most of my post-pubescent life.
My friend literally pushed me into talking with him. He had offered to bring back some hot drinks for those of us in the cold bleachers. I was going to put in an order, but my friend demanded (by pushing) that I go help him carry the items. Going against every desire in my body, I ended up sending him an email the next day, because I had been too nervous that night to give him my digits. We had our first date at a local pizza place. Our second date was at the nearest theme park (and him being scared of heights) followed by dinner afterwards, and after that, our first kiss. (Yowza!)
Two years later, we’re still happily together. I moved in with him about 8 months ago, and we’ve learned to deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies, in a manner that I think has been relatively smooth. This is the man I want to spend my life with.
He’s my hero because he accepts me. Mildly neurotic, sometimes crazy, often silly, often hormonal, frequently emotional, weight-obsessed me. He takes me as a whole package, and loves me anyway. And here’s the kicker. He ticks off every single item on my Winnie the Pooh note. EVERY ITEM! Oh, he’s not perfect, and don’t let him convince you otherwise. But he’s perfect for me.