Excerpt from 57 Steps to Paradise: Marty, Mr. Nice Guy


Marty: Mr. Nice Guy 

This chapter about Marty will be short, mainly because although he was a very nice man, he didn’t challenge me intellectually. Even though we dated for 2 1/2 years I really don’t remember any life-changing events or conversations that we had together. Perhaps the excitement that Tony brought to my life kept me from giving Marty a fair chance, but I just couldn’t picture myself with Marty for the long haul.

I met Marty when a friend of mine, 80-something-yearold Barbara, begged me to go to her daughter’s high school reunion with her daughter Susan. Susan wanted to go, but since she lived out of state and hadn’t kept in contact with anyone in her high school class, she didn’t know anyone to ask so that she wouldn’t have to walk in alone. I didn’t even know Barbara’s daughter and felt very squeamish about attending a reunion like that with another woman for fear everyone there would think we were a lesbian couple. Remember, this was in the early 90’s. Things were different then. Since I was in the midst of looking for Mr. Right, I wanted to keep my heterosexual options open. In the end, though, I simply didn’t have the heart to turn down the simple request from my dear friend Barbara. So, I went.

Sitting next to me at the round dinner table was Marty, seven years my senior. His date, a member of the reunion class, was a platonic friend. He was also doing a favor by accompanying her to the event.

Marty and I started talking, and we soon realized that we lived less than a mile from each other. When he told me he had a boat and a bicycle, I became even more interested in finding out more about him.

We agreed to meet for a bike ride the next week, in August of 1991. We had a great ride in a lovely hilly park along the shore of Lake Michigan. We spent the rest of the summer biking and boating. Those carefree days in Marty’s boat made it seem that life with him might not be so bad after all. However, when winter came and the outdoor fun ended, I began to notice that there wasn’t enough in our relationship to keep me interested. He was a retired electric company employee, a widower with two of his 20-something adult daughters still living with him.

Sitting next to me at the round dinner table was Marty, seven years my senior. His date, a member of the reunion class, was a platonic friend. He was also doing a favor by accompanying her to the event.

Marty and I started talking, and we soon realized that we lived less than a mile from each other. When he told me he had a boat and a bicycle, I became even more interested in finding out more about him.

We agreed to meet for a bike ride the next week, in August of 1991. We had a great ride in a lovely hilly park along the shore of Lake Michigan. We spent the rest of the summer biking and boating. Those carefree days in Marty’s boat made it seem that life with him might not be so bad after all. However, when winter came and the outdoor fun ended, I began to notice that there wasn’t enough in our relationship to keep me interested. He was a retired electric company employee, a widower with two of his 20-something adult daughters still living with him.

Marty genuinely liked my only child still at home, Andrew, who was eleven at the time. That certainly gave Marty few points in my book. Andrew’s father had died in 1989, and I was happy to provide a good, kind father-type role-model for Andrew.

For the next 2 ½ years, I dated Marty and even took a 27-day car trip across America with him and Andrew. We drove to California to visit my oldest daughter and truly had the time of our lives sharing the driving and oohing and aahhing at the magnificent scenery between Wisconsin and California and back.

During those 2 1/2 years, Marty and I (and most often Andrew as well) attended college football games at the University of Wisconsin where my son Michael was in the marching band. We made a few trips to visit my daughter, who was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Stephens Point, but other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of adventure or intrigue about this man.

I had no intention of ever marrying Marty. When we did talk about it a couple times, I quickly changed the subject. I finally decided the only way we would ever really break up would be if I could find him a different woman. My friend Gail suggested one of her best friends, a nurse who had been divorced for many years. I introduced Marty to the woman. They hit it off, eventually got married, and, as far as I know are living happily ever after. I haven’t seen Marty since the end of 1993.

See, I said this chapter would be short. I honestly can’t remember one thing about our time together worthy of another paragraph. Don’t get me wrong. Marty was a very, very nice man—kind, considerate, and thoughtful—but sometimes that’s just not enough. If you find someone good, honest, and kindhearted and you are still not that interested, perhaps it is simply not the right time for you to get serious about a relationship. In my case, I knew that raising Andrew was my number one priority. Finding a husband for myself was definitely on the back burner during those years. I’m happy it worked out that way, believe me. Timing is everything.

Read more by and about Patricia Lorenz and 57 Steps to Paradise  on this blog HERE.


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