Janine Collins

It’s not easy dipping your toes back into the dating pool after so many years. The scene today seems so different from the one I remember from my 20s. On one hand, I’m a little nervous, but there’s definitely a part of me that’s excited to dive in with an open heart and an open mind and embrace the prospect of meeting someone I really connect with. So pay attention, boys, because I’m single, grieving my husband’s death, and ready to mingle!

I’ve got a brand-new cocktail dress and a devastating personal tragedy I’m still very much working through, so it’s time to hit the dance floor and start having some fun!

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Tonight’s the night I put myself back out there and really let loose. It’s not like I’m going to meet anyone new just sitting around my house. That’s why I’m going to let my hair down, head out on the town, and worry that this is all happening way too soon.

I haven’t had a night out in a while, so it’s about time I treated myself to an evening of repressing 20 years’ worth of happy memories and getting a little tipsy!

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Who knows? Maybe I’ll meet someone who catches my eye. We might even hit it off and get to talking about what we do for a living or where we’ve traveled, all while I actively try as hard as I can not to notice all the little ways he fails to live up to the man I once pledged my life to. It’s sort of thrilling to think that I might strike up a conversation with an attractive, intelligent guy who loves salsa dancing as much as I do, or one who knows his way around a kitchen.

Michael loved to cook.

So everyone better watch out for this single gal on the prowl! I’ll have my dancing shoes on, a drink in my hand, and a bottle of Xanax in my purse to help me from drowning in the tides of my grief. I’m ready to go a little wild!

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I haven’t had a night out in a while, so it’s about time I treated myself to an evening of repressing 20 years’ worth of happy memories and getting a little tipsy!

You can bet I’ll be burning the midnight oil tonight. First, I’ll drop by my friend Shelly’s place to catch up with the girls over cocktails and spend 20 minutes crying in the bathroom as I come to grips with the fact that I’m actually about to go out and do this. Then, we’ll all head over to J.P.’s Bar, where I’ll throw back a few more margaritas and see my dead husband’s face in everyone I meet!

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And after that? Well, let’s just say I’ll be the stylish blond perched at the corner of the bar shaking violently when my wedding song comes on the jukebox.

Maybe somewhere down the line, I’ll even meet a special guy I’ll want to bring back to the house my husband and I made a home. We’ll have some wine, one thing will lead to another, and pretty soon I’ll be retching on the couch when he tries to touch me.

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I miss you every day, Michael.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not in any rush to find something long-term. I want to test the dating waters for a little while so that I can meet a variety of guys who will remind me weekend after torturous weekend of the beautiful life that was suddenly ripped away from me. After all, when there are so many single men out there who aren’t the one precious person you always thought you’d grow old with and who never will be, why not play the field a little?

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