Our son Marcus was six years old when my wife and I got married. I am not ashamed to say that we probably would have gotten married earlier if Patricia did not have Marcus. I fell in love with Patricia way too early in our relationship. She was eight years older than me, so there was that older woman thing going for her. She was gorgeous, confident, and not exactly what I was looking for. Not what I expected in my life then.
Before I met Patricia, I had an epiphany after a ho-hum date with what I thought, was my type of woman. I was dating every chick that I though was my ideal. The bubbly co-ed at school, the hot waitress at a chain restaurant, the co-worker with a splendid rack or even the drive-thru cashier that blushed every time I visited her establishment. The typical Roland's conquest would go as follows. Nervously ask the girl for her number. Call her up after the first Monday after the first weekend I got her number. Take her out for a casual lunch or dinner that first Tuesday. Tuesday because I want to keep it casual and it will just be time hanging out. This way there is no pressure for either of us. The second date will be on that very next Friday. Second date is a little heavier - a little more serious, more dressed up and usually includes a movie, dinner and then, depending on the girl a dance club or a walk along Lake Arlington or Joe Pool Lake. Then and only if necessary do we go out on Saturday night. You can decide on your own what "necessary" means.
So it was after one of these Friday night drives home that I had my epiphany. I was feeling extra proud of myself because the date that I was just in worked flawlessly. Dinner? Check! Movie? Check! Walk around the Lake? Check! Plus more - making the Saturday night date optional. Optional only because my date came up with a reason for me to see her while walking me out to my car. So in this drive home a thought popped in my head, "Well that was easy, Roland!" Then from being proud I felt a tinge of guilt, because another thought popped up in my head, ..."was the whole process easy or was the girl easy?" That thought somehow led to, "Do I really want to get stuck with an easy girl?" That thought led to, "Do I really want to marry an easy girl?" The answer to that was NO! So I decided then to be choosier whom I dated, because potentially they can be the Mother of my kids! I mulled this over for a couple of days and eventually decided to share this idea with my two closest friends. By the way they both panned the thought. They knew me they said, I cannot resist the low hanging fruit.
No matter what Luis and Johnny thought - I have decided then. So my new ideal became someone who was chaste, loved her parents, was in school, went to church, dressed conservatively and NOT WHITE. Being an immature 19 year-old I thought a relationship with a Filipino, like me, would be easier. Being in Dallas/Ft Worth there were not a whole of Filipino women back in 1989. So I expanded my target base to include other Asians and Latinas. How stupid right? Other Asians because after all the Philippines is in Asia and Latin women because they tend to be brown like me and we do share that Spanish occupation/oppression thing. Yeah I know FOOLISH!
After maybe a solid month of living with my new rules, I meet Patricia.
She was none of what I thought were my new ideals. She is white. She was finished with school. She was not the virginal innocent I hoped for. No - she was a 28 year-old single mother to a blonde haired, blue-eyed, energetic ball of joy named Marcus. But I fell for her anyway! I fell hard - yet I fought it, because I knew before I married Patricia, I had to fall in love with Marcus.
The first six months we were dating I met Marcus probably once or twice, just saying hi or bye. Patricia was cautious not to expose Marcus to me. She did not want Marcus to become attached to me and then I turn out to be a loser. I did not want to get close either. Frankly I did not want to be a step-dad. I have a step-dad and I love my step-dad as if he is my father. But there definite times in my life that I felt like a step-son. I did not want to have a step-son. So we took everything slowly. We even "hid" Marcus from my family for the obvious reasons. I knew my parents will not be too crazy about me dating a single mom, not to mention a divorced older woman. I also did not want my family meddling in my own decisions. But as Trish and I got closer, as her trust in me got deeper, we knew it was time for me to meet Marcus.