Adam Sandler has done a lot of bad things in his life. Jack and Jill sits firmly at the Piers end of the Morgan Scale, along with Grown Ups 2. Conversely, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy are definitely on the Freeman end of the aforementioned Morgan Scale (which itself is the only definitive way of ranking the quality of a given thing).
Somewhere in the lower-to-middle end of the scale sits a family rom-com, Blended. In it, Sandler is a single dad who attempts to blend his family with that of his love interest (played by Drew Barrymore), with hilarious consequences. Terry Crews almost saves it with his ever-excellent cameos, but it remains time that I am upset that I will never regain.
I got thinking about that movie recently when someone I have started chatting with asked me whether I was ready for someone new to come into my life. If I’d been asked that question six months ago I would have answered a definite yes; I loved being in a couple and missed it, and felt ready to open up to someone and let them into my life again (at least a bit).
Fast forward on and I’m six months more experienced, though of course little wiser. Asked the question I actually considered not whether I wanted it to happen but also what it actually meant. Not necessarily with her (we’ve not even met in the flesh), but if I were to find the right person and things progressed to the point where she was meeting my kids, what would that actually entail?
The first stage would be that meeting. I used to think I could play it cool, but considering it more I’m actually already nervous for something that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. I’ve made it very, very clear to my kids that they are my number one priority, and that within reason if things don’t work out between them and the person I’m seeing then they come first. With their mother doing the opposite I’ve made sure they know this is true, which will make those first few meetings even more fraught.
And what if she doesn’t like them?! I’m naturally biased and think my kids are kind of funny and pretty awesome, but perhaps not everyone will agree with me. I’m not sure how I’d react to anyone telling me they were spoiled middle-class brats.
If we get past that stage, what if she has kids? How would I meet them? I’ve dated people with kids but never met them (despite offers); after such a short relationship it wouldn’t have been appropriate, I don’t want any kids being messed around emotionally until things are beyond solid (and at least exclusive).
If she doesn’t have kids, how would it work with her spending more time at mine? I have my kids loads so if we were to see each other that would have to happen sometimes. At some point she’ll introduce different ways of doing things. Different meals. Different ways of arranging cupboards and drawers. Different artwork. Different music. I’ve spent almost 20 years living with either my ex or alone, so have pretty set ways of doing things. How would I react to being told that I order my herbs wrong, or need to get rid of some of the toys scattered throughout the house?
And, ultimately, if she did have kids how on earth would that be managed?! There’s a good chance that she wouldn’t live locally, meaning one or the other of us would have to move our kid’s schools if we wanted to live together. With mine split 50/50 and their mother not driving this means I’d struggle to move mine, though I’m sure my new partner would feel the same. The only other option is to live apart until the kids move out; I’ve got 13 + years until then.
Even if we did find a way of moving our families together, where on earth would we live?! I already have a four-bed house and could do with an extra room so my boys don’t have to share forever. I shared a box room, 8ft by 10ft, with two brothers for most of my childhood and it nearly killed me. So that’s a five-bedroom place needed just for me. What if she has two kids? Three?? Four??? Unless she’s loaded herself and can afford a mansion, where would we find that’s big enough for our Brady Bunch?
I appreciate this is a hell of a lot of what-ifs, predicated on me actually finding someone mad enough to want to be with me long term, but as that’s the plan it’s something I’m going to have to consider and hopefully deal with at some point. I also appreciate that I wouldn’t be alone on that journey and that my new partner would be an active participant, but as I consider things in all their terrible practical glory I do question how it could ever work and whether it’s easier simply to remain single until I’m in my 50s.
Things have a way of working out. People manage this all the time. I’m not a unique snowflake. There’s nothing special about me or my circumstances. If I ever somehow manage to find the right woman I’m sure it’ll sort itself out, probably with some hiccups along the way, some problems, some challenges, some laughs and a lot of unexpected yet hilarious consequences.
I just hope Adam Sandler never decides to make a sequel of Blended based on my life. Unless it means I get to meet Terry Crews. Then I’d be all in.
That is a lot of what-ifs. Admittedly trying to date with a lot of kids does complicate matters. You just need to remember that life has a habit of throwing unexpected things your way. I have found that people are good at figuring things out when they need to.
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