Linda Rondeau – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Romantic suspense author, Linda Rondeau shares how she met her husband. Her book, The Other Side of Darkness, doesn’t have a release date yet. She’s promised to make a return appearance when it does. Until then, all comments will go into the drawing for Dora Hiers, Journey’s End or winners’ choice of my any of my three white books. Comment on any post dated Sept 19th – Sept 24th for a chance to win. Deadline: Sept 24th. Here’s Linda:

The Blonde and the Boy Scout (part 1) 

“I’m not sure,” I told my mother when she asked how I felt about my anticipated date that night.

            “He seems real nice,” I said. “We’ve only been going out a few weeks. I do know that I like him a lot. He’s different than most of the guys I’ve dated.” 

             I’d been divorced for seven years. In that time, I was certain I’d found every poster boy for America’s most not wanted. I’d dated rich men, poor men, fat men, older men, sensitive types, sportsmen types, intellectuals, and some whose intelligence quotients matched their ages. My friends said my expectations were far too high. I should settle for Mr. Half-a-brain and stop looking for Sir Lancelot to whisk me away from engulfing flames.

After six years of rejecting dates because they were poor role models for the children, I determined dating was not worth the effort. The Marines had taken whatever few good men were left in America. My friend, worried that, like the song, I was looking for love in all the wrong places, pulled me aside. “You’re working at this thing too hard. Relax. Get involved with activities. God will send Love your way if you stop trying to chase it. Besides, you should look for a companion for yourself, not a father for your children. If you’re happy, they’ll be happy.”         

            The next year, dateless and none the more community minded, I realized that raising three kids on a welfare budget required more stamina than I could muster. Demoralized and defeated, I moved to the redneck community of farmers and shoe factory workers to be near my parents. While I appreciated their help, the constant reminders of my inadequacies drove me from discouragement to despair.

 “I’m glad to be near you and Dad,” I told my mother, “but I doubt I’ll find a husband in these here hills. It’s time I relied on my own smarts to make a home and a life for these children.”

“Don’t be so quick to give up. You’ll find someone.”

When? When I’m so old, it won’t matter?

Six months later, my situation seemed no better. I was still unemployed. Dates were as rare as a day with sunshine in the cold and rainy North Country: a drummer who was offbeat about life, a sailor half my age, and an ex-con headed for a return to the slammer. Remembering my dear friends’ words of wisdom, I vowed to never date again and became involved in my adopted community.

I joined a softball team.

Mistake number one.

I’d been athletic as a younger person. I still played a mean game of kickball and ping-pong. Why not a sport activity? One by one, the oily-haired, muscular, spit-spewing females took their turn at bat. I lasted three practices, quitting when one of the Amazon women swore at my two-year old. 

The local political party proved equally unrewarding. Too much infighting…no wonder elections were going badly. Had I failed even in the pursuit of diversion?

The ad leapt out at me. Auditions for the annual Irish play to be held at the day care center where my children attended. I had performed a few times in high school, sang some solos at church, and could read with expression to my children. Why not?

            I did a happy dance just to get the part, even if it was only one line. My mother told me Meryl Streep had to start somewhere. Since I learned my line the first night of rehearsal, I opted to do some production work. “We need someone to do publicity,” the director said.

My first interview was with the short, lanky lead, the one who always wore his auto parts sales uniform to practices. He stretched out on the carpet, imitating the patient in the shrink’s office, “So what do you want to know. I’m single, and I haven’t had a date in a year and a half.”

 “Not the sort of interview I had intended,” I said. “Just a few personal bits of information. Where do you live?” I asked.

            He laughed hysterically.  “At the Franklin,” he answered nonchalantly. In my limited knowledge of my new community, the Franklin Hotel was the address of a barrage of alcoholics and other lost souls. Why would he even think I’d be interested? Did I look that desperate?

About Linda: Award-winning author, LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community.  Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com.

Come back Sept 23rd for the rest of Linda’s story.

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