I caught the tail end of the movie “Lover Come Back” with Rock Hudson and Doris Day on TV the other night. I remember watching those kitchy romantic comedies on Channel 56 as a kid. They’re all the same: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl tries to catch boy…they get married. The End. Fade to black. I never thought about what happens next in the story. What comes AFTER “I Do.”
It was the same in my own life. I expended a lot of energy in my 20’s trying to find a guy to marry. And while I wasn’t the kind of girl who spent her whole life dreaming about the wedding gown and daddy walking her down the aisle, I still worried if I’d ever make that special trip.
I finally said “I Do” at age 29. I was married for 5 years, and have now been divorced for nine. Nearly 1/3 of my life has been about what came after “I Do.”
The honeymoon, the marriage, the end of the marriage. Buying a home on my own. Building a new life. Dating in my forties.
It’s certainly not a movie I’m familiar with. I’m writing a new script. I don’t know exactly how this one turns out, but I believe it will have a happy ending.
And while I still hope I’ll travel down the aisle again someday, I don’t worry about “when” or “if” it’s going to happen. I no longer have that sense of urgency and desperation. It may not make for much of a romantic comedy, but it makes for a terrific REAL life.
Late at night when I can’t sleep I still enjoy those old movies. But now, it’s the stuff that comes AFTER “I Do” that fills my dreams.