Friday, October 21, 2011


The other night Kristi and I introduced her daughter to the "Back to the Future" movie trilogy. Kids these days don't usually "get" 80s movies, but because she's kind of into science, she thought it was "good." In one of the scenes, the car takes off into the past, leaving only flaming tire trails and a California license plate, which reads OUTATIME, tumbles to the ground.
That's kind of how we (if I can so boldly speak for Kristi) feel about this blog. She's trying to finish up her graduate degree by taking two classes at once, I'm trying to run a household (including a rental) by myself, and we're running back and forth (2-3 hours one way) to see each other every weekend. We had much higher hopes for this blog, but I think you'll see posting increase soon because, towards the Holidays, we'll both have much less to do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blue Suede Shoes

For the last 20-odd years, every Spring, I have traveled to the Shoe Dept. at the mall to purchase a pair of Reebok Club C Extra-Wide white tennis shoes. As they say, "If the shoe fits, wear it." I was renowned amongst my colleagues as the guy who always bought the same shoes, blindingly white, every year. I was the rock.

Last summer after the divorce, when I was trying to change a lot of things about my life, I looked briefly at other shoes but found them too narrow. I scoured the Internet, after being teased by dropdown menus that were limited after selecting "Extra-Wide" but found that Club C Extra-Wides are only available in white (regular Club C's are available in a variety of colors).

But this month, Kristi took me shoe shopping and talked me into buying my new "hipper" shoes (and of course, by saying "hipper" I have confirmed that I am too old to know what's cool). These shoes are pictured below. They turned out to be quite comfortable, after all -- and my fear that I couldn't go less than extra-wide turned out to be unfounded. So here's to "trying new things" even after 20 years!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach 2.0

I did something that I haven't done in 20 years this Summer -- I took TWO beach vacations, both with my wonderful Kristi (and her daughter). The first trip was to the Outer Banks with her family in June (top photo); the second was to Oak Island with my family in August (bottom photo). Both were simply wonderful.

We thoroughly enjoyed each others' company and made new memories -- we did new things that we had never done on the islands. This was an excellent test of our being able to tolerate being close to each other for days on end, something that every relationship has to overcome. We passed the test with flying colors. As has been the case for months, we were very comfortable with each other and nary a harsh word was said.

I was relieved that the beach could still be a positive escape for me -- I wondered after last year's experience (the trip followed my separation by mere weeks). Just another sign that our relationship (although only 4 months old) is progressing perfectly.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Midlife Catharsis

"Catharsis" is defined by Merriam-Webster thusly: "purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) 2.] a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension 3.] elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression."

When we were trying to brainstorm a name for our blog, I suggested "Midlife Catharsis" but some hoser and some other hoser was already using the term. It very aptly describes the experience Kristi and I had meeting each other. We never had a midlife crisis per say; the divorces we both suffered were not because we got tired of our exes and desired something new and fresh.

We did, indeed, purge our previous lives... we got rid of all the pity, fear and sadness, and gave each other a spiritual renewal. I know it sounds cheesy, but we really believe that our love is something transcendent, not just us needing something new because we're growing old.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Safe Distance

Since Kristi's first post started out on a musical note, so will mine.

Last fall when investigating "the new me" after a decimating divorce during the Summer, I found a new obsession with an electronic band called "Color Theory," who makes a wonderful tapestry of sound, like nothing I had heard before.

I was so impressed by the music that I e-mailed the musician in late December to say: "You have helped guide me through the haze and wonder of my post-divorce world with a rare glimpse of the potential richer, alternative life that awaits me."

A couple months afterwards, it seemed like I might not find that new life, that I might have to settle for someone I liked but didn't love, someone I had little in common with, or someone that put me back into the safe but uninteresting cocoon of a convenient relationship. Then I met Kristi.

The lyrics to Color Theory's "A Safe Distance" begin with a pleasant, intellectual first meeting of two new friends which quickly blossoms into an effortless, familiar, deep love. This would become our story too.

So on that fateful April weekend under the cover of cold rain, we had a pleasant lunch at the scenic Mount Nittany Inn, then took the first "couples" photo of ourselves.

When we stepped into the car to drive home, I played "A Safe Distance" for Kristi on the stereo, held her soft hand, and experienced that warm electricity that we have both admitted we feel when we touch. We mused that the title described something that may have saved us from disaster -- the geographical distance between us kept the relationship from moving too fast. It gave us the space that we needed to appreciate each other and allowed us to fall unconditionally in love... from a safe distance.