Lea Lane

Lea Lane
Florida, USA
August 26
author, Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks, available at Amazon.com and on Kindle
“I’ve discovered the secret of life,” Kay Thompson, the eccentric entertainer and “Eloise” author, once said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy and a lot of tra-la-la!” And that's been my life: As a travel writer for over 30 years, I've been around the block (more like around the world), and I write true stories about interesting people and places. (Check out my travel site, Travels With Lea.) I've lived an unconventional life in conventional trappings. Been a corporate VP, worked with foster kids, acted in an Indie ("Nurse 1"), was on Jeopardy!. I've been managing editor of a travel publication, written for the Times, and authored books. OS is my home, but I also blog on The Huffington Post, and I've contributed (mostly anonymously) to everything from encyclopedias to guidebooks. Married young, divorced late; married late, widowed early, I dated lots in-between -- and survived a scary illness. After being happily, peacefully solo for many years, I'm now happily married again. I founded and still edit www.sololady.com, a lifestyle Website for single women. I'm truly grateful for each precious day, each well-earned wrinkle, my family, my cat. Truth, laughter, friendship, late love. And this blog -- on this wonderful site!

Lea Lane's Links

OCTOBER 30, 2009 8:19AM

OK, You Caught Me. I've Fallen in Love

Rate: 83 Flag



Yesterday, dumb as a brick, I changed the status on my Facebook page from single to “in a relationship.” It was the truth. I would gently edge into my new identity.  I thought no one would notice.

Ha. Within minutes I received dozens of comments from all around the country, including from many Open Salon friends.

You see, I have this brand. Single woman. Solo traveler. Solo lady. For eight years, since my husband died, I’ve nurtured it along, with a book and a website and interviews and panels. My anthem, viral post Why I’m Alone, written in March, was quoted all over the place because of its authenticity about loving my solitary existence. I was noted around the web as a "role model.” A “happy single” rather than a “crappy single.”

So what do I go and do? I meet this man a week after I wrote that post. And now, seven months later I’m in a relationship. No, even more. Living with the man. Absolutely in love.

Some of you caught it in my comments here and messaged me. I admitted it, but wasn’t ready to go public.

Oh yes, I fought it, let me tell you. “I need space.” “I want to be alone.” (Greta Garbo had nothing on me.) “I’m too old for this.”  “I’m too formed.”  “I like to stay up until 2 am.” “I’m not giving up the Housewives Series on Bravo.”  “I want to go out with my single girlfriends whenever I want.” “I like quiet.” “I like my own bathroom.”

The man didn’t budge. We worked things out. He wants me to be happy. He says, “Why should you change?"

I didn’t tell him I loved him for a long time, even though he declared it early on. The man said he’d wait it out. I put him through the trauma of moving out of my New York house. He was patient and caring. He slept in a top bunk in my granddaughter’s room and did the cleanup when I was redecorating my son’s house.

He was incorrigible. He doesn't care that I don't fish or sail, or that I've gained weight from all the wining and dining and traveling around.  He likes me just the way I am.

Oh boy.

He is age-appropriate, he loves his work, he unabashedly loves me. He does the dishes, does his laundry, acts like a teenager in the bedroom, and makes me laugh. 

And Sweetie, my cat, sits between us whenever possible and nudges him out of the way, but she hasn’t nipped him in weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I went to New England to see where he used to live and then on to meet his sister. I had a load of questions, including “Has he always been so sweet?” (Yes, except for an early period when he was full of himself.)

So I decided he is as good as he seems. I declared my love. I introduced him to my friends last weekend (“Lovely, witty, attractive man. A keeper”)

So I guess it’s official. I'm outed. I’m changing my brand from “solo lady”  to “independent lady.”

And no one is more surprised, and delighted, than I am.






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Congratulations. I figured as much, reading between the lines.
This is so lovely. I am so happy for you. :) He is one lucky guy.
I'm thrilled for you. You deserve all the happiness that comes with finding love. : ) ~R~
Good for you! He sounds like someone worth sharing the bathroom.
I am happy for you. It's obvious you have a lot to offer. He's a lucky man. Have fun!
Another Lea adventure!!! That's who I see you as...yes you were solo for 8 years and did it with all the grace and independence one could ask for. But your adventurous side keeps you open to all possibilities and this just sounds wonderful. I'm not surprised that one would be willing to do much for you. Your man is quite fortunate (pictures???).
He is one lucky man!

I can't wait to read about your adventures together - or atleast the ones you want to share ;).
This is good news Lea. It is amazing how energizing it is..Isn't it?
Now the adventures begin...Best wishes, G
Does he have any friends? I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT.
Congratulations. It's never too late to fall in love.

Wonderful news! Congratulations! When my father found love again after the death of his first wife, he was like a new man -- happier and younger than he had been for years. I hope your experience is something like his!
Congrats, Lea! Being *with* someone sucks ... until it's the right someone. Then there is nothing like it ... NOTHING! I say, good for you!
Congratulations! Isn't life surprising and fun? I can't wait to read a bit more about this guy -- he sounds wonderful.
Odetteroulette, Chuck, Geoff, thanks so much.

Kathy, you're a real breaking news type, so of course you would.

Noisy Nora, we even figured out a better way. He walks a few feet down the hall and uses the other bathroom.

mary, yes I never "gave up." I was happy and content. And pictures will have to wait. The man is just getting used to being outed among my fabulously Open friends.

Melissa, as I'm used to being pretty open, he'll want me to share much of this journey.

Gary, both energizing and calming.

skeletnwmn, I have been asked that by my girlfriends. It's a normal question when you see a keeper.

little willie, that's a really important point. It gets harder but no, it's never too late.
I tell Ya the truth too. I was not swooning.
I talked to a gorgeous woman who was 42.
She asked me:`How old are you? 61 & one.
Sixty one years and just one week years old.
She said:`You look 41! I ask:`Ya date them?
She said:`I date men who look young as You!
I am 41!
O Whoa!
O indeed!
I blush too!
Wow o wee!
She whisper!
She adorable!
She giggle too!
You may delete!
Steve, the man is happiest he has ever been in his life. And that is what makes me happiest of all.

Rod, I've been reading your series and thinking of you in all this. You're right. It has to be right or it's wrong.

Maria, always.

Art, good for you for feeling 41. I feel no age in particular, just a lot younger than the numbers I put on documents. That's something I never would have realized when I was young.
I am not surprised at all. Not one bit.

This is special and sounds so happy and I am glad for you.
On to the next chapter of your life!
Glorious, isn't it? Congrats...I know this feeling quite well of late and all I can say is that I intend to wallow in it to my heart's content. I think you are doing exactly the same.
Does he come with a warranty or a brother?
It couldn't happen to a nicer person, Lea. I'm so very happy for you. Many blessings to you both. Enjoy and savor this.
Maybe he bribed the cat.

Congratulations! Happy is good.
Wonderful! I am so happy for you. He sounds like a good man. I suspect "dishes and laundry" is a passing phase, but so what? You deserve the best, Lea. Tell him you have real friends and cyber-friends throughout the world, and if he mistreats you even once, he'll have hell to pay. In fact, I recommend blogging on him daily just to keep him in line. Nothing keeps a guy on the straight and narrow more than a daily cyber-inspection. God bless.
wakingupslowly, I was. Truly.

lunchlady 2, I've already had so many varied chapters, from tragic to euphoric. I would love for this one to be happy and comfortable.

Wordsmith, so happy for you! Wallowing along.

O'Really. Neither. Sister?

Thanks, Sheep.
Good for you Lea! Go forth and be revoltingly happy - I recommend it! (Thumbified!!!)
AtHomePilgrim. he does bribe the cat, constantly. It isn't that easy, but she puts up with him, kind of.

Steve, will you cyber punch him in the nose if he does me dirty?

Cymraeg, I've had revoltingly happy. How about ridiculously happy?
I am not surprised, though, because you are clearly a woman that men adore. (And women envy! Please clone him and send me one just like him!)
Oh this is so romantic. I love a love story with a happy ending! Good for you Lea - I hope this means MORE writing and not less. We need to hear from you twice as much now that Cartouche has departed... lucky guy, lucky you!
Congratulations Lea. That wasn't so bad was it?
What a lucky man. Congrats, Lea, to both of you.

Just don't stop writing on OS, 'kay?
Oh, Lea. Ain't love in our ahem, middle years, grand? Fantastic! I'm delighted for you!
Lea, sounds like you're both lucky to have found each other! I particularly like that you say, “solo lady” to “independent lady”.
Enjoy life, but then it sounds like you already are!
Oh Lea - that's one lucky fella!
Lea, that is fantastic news and congratulations! He sounds perfect and I wonder: does he like to blog? There's always room at the table here for another member!
Ardee, I wonder when that will be a possibility. It would eliminate the need for internet dating.

dcvdickens, well I've been writing more since I met him. He encourages me and loves that I enjoy it.

Penguin, not bad at all. Just unexpected, and I feared losing the calm I had achieved. I know that it's hard to change when you're older, but he doesn't want me to (and I don't want to change him).

Thanks, Boa. And don't you stay away for so long again, ok?
No one as classy as you could stay totally solo for long; congrats and enjoy!
Nothing could make me smile more this morning! You dear lady give birth to the hope that perhaps one day ....You sound incredibly happy and so young at heart...it's the best!

Looking forward to any adventures you share as a "Known as formerly Solo" person.
Lorraine, I always get such enjoyment from the obvious passion of your (ahem) middle years love. It can continue, in its way, into later years.

Jane, I think part of it was that I placed myself on that shelf. It was a nice shelf. I didn't want to fall off. Oh well.

Life is Good, no matter what I'll always be independent. Can't help it.

July, we both feel lucky. When you're older you also feel grateful.

John, thanks for encouraging an "Open Tent" here. But he isn't planning to blog. He does, however read and enjoy, and thinks that OS is an exceptional place. (If he didn't we'd have a problem, I think. I'd worry about his judgment.)

Rita, funny. I've said that about him!
I'm very happy that you caught each other. Many blessings.
Oh, Lea! Such happy news! Wishing you and Mr. Keeper Man MUCH love and happiness. XOXO
I'm not so sure that Rob is as thrilled as I am when I post about how "happy" we are. Sometimes, he doesn't need the world to know that we spent the weekend in bed. :)
Good on ya! xox I am so happy for you...xox
Buffy, I still love my solitude and my friends and writing and family and that would have been enough. But options were always open.

oh Jane, you sensitive to the feelings and emotions around you. You have a great deal of empathy.

Thanks alot, Lisa. He's a keeper mainly because he is a truly nice guy.

Lorraine, only the weekend? C'mon girl. Move it to a long weekend next time!
I'm so pleased for you! I went through a similar thing when I met met my guy. But I still get to be me; it's awesome isn't it?!
Stim, Robin and Owl --- thanks so much for your good wishes.

Kirsty, nice to hear that you are feeling it too.
So this is why you dumped me in March?! I am devastated, but very happy for you. Now excuse me while I go kill myself.

Seriously, Lea. I am very, very pleased for you. Just don't let him get in the way of your writing. I would really miss that. Big congratulation hugs to you! (And one last reach around)
Yay! This is so wonderful and happy-happy! Now you can give lectures on finding new love later in life and inspire a whole new generation!
Ron, is that a bravo for him or a brava for me?

Michael, now I'm doubly outed. Oh well. You'll get over it, I'm sure. And don't worry, I'll keep writing.

Deborah, the first thing I'd say is that it's just about the same in most ways as young love. More difficult in some ways, yes. But in some ways, better.
I noticed that Lea. Now I'm going to have to unfriend you. I'm only interested in single women on my Facebook page. And I thought we had so much potential. Boo hoo.
Join the Michael and the others, John. You had your chance.
He gets the bravo, of course...For persverence and endurance...I'm sure that you are well worth the effort....Brava!, to you for your capacity to be open and responsive.....I'm envious of you both....
Having just met the man in question, I will affirm that he is indeed a keeper. He's a gentleman, inquisitive, engaging, full of humor and grace. You are both lucky to have each other, though you've now broken a few hearts Lea.

May you continue to have much happiness--and I firmly believe you will.

(Lea is more lovely in person that you guys could ever imagine...I'm so lucky to have translated the digital to the real. Thanks Lea.)
No matter how many reasons you try to find to deny it, real love just won't be denied. I don't know you well, but you sure sound happy!
A woman can absolutely be an independent, strong role model and dippy in love. I congratulate and support you.
Stellaa, when he sat next to me and watched some of the Atlanta Housewives, I *knew* he loved me.

Ron, bravo for the followup.

Barry, it was a pleasure. Thanks you. Both you and Eve are as lovely as I had hoped -- and expected.

Karin, so true. And I waited this one out. Hope to get to know you better.

Caroline, "dippy in love" is a terrific phrase.
I am SOOOO happy for you... you are my rockstar!!!! xoxoxo
"He likes me just the way I am. Oh boy. "

yeah, that's when you know you're really in trouble! Hee hee hee. I'm glad you've outed yourself -- and of course beyond delighted that you are in love again and that he seems worthy of you!

Now, you really need to come up with a way to refer to him here -- a nickname. "The Man" is already trademarked by Jodi, so you'll have to find something else. Maybe something to do with his interests or personality?

And I get it -- about remaining independent, even when you're no longer "solo". It's possible to stay yourself even with a beloved other -and I trust you will, and keep all the good things about being single that you really want to keep (some you may find become less important).
A keeper, indeed. I was always happy that you were happy being single. And now I am happy that you have met one who loves you and that you can love -- without having to change who you are to meet his ideal expectations. God bless the two of you and I pray this love will grow and stay with you both. Congratulations, Lea.

Awwww. You give me hope, Lea.
great big smile here, Lea, everybody deserves all the love and happiness they can find
Obviously a man with great taste and respect for an authentic woman. I can't wait to meet him. (And then report back here, maybe even a stealth pic from my phone...) heh

Mazel Tov, Dollface. Couldn't happen to a nicer girlll.
Congratulations, it's never too late for love, tho' finding it can be a trip filled with lots of road hazards. You did skip all the important details, tho, like how and where you met. Enquiring minds want to know, and I'm on assignment from the home orifice down in Fla.
I guess you realize I'm gonna have to cut you lose now, Lea. Sorry, babe. All this "I'm so in love"-shit kinda runs contrary to the plans I had for us.

I hope you understand, babe. Just mail me back the key - no need for a "sticky" scene.
ocularnervosa, screamin mama and roy, smiles back and thanks.

silkstone, I have to think of something, fast. And your words ring so true.

Monte, your words sound like a blessing.

Hells Bells, there's obviously hope for all.

Sally, no sneaking photos!! And yes, I can say that I'm as authentic as is possible.

Tom, a mutual friend introduced us. The nicest way, I think.

Duane, I'm very sorry. You can join the others in a pity party and I'll call you all.
Nobody deserves this more than you. I'm extremely happy for you.
And I am delighted to read this post. Wonderful news for a wonderful woman. Lucky man, that one.
I'm SO happy for you, Lea. Fabulous, fun, and hope-inspiring news. Carpe diem and keep us posted!
I have a very big smile. A VERY BIG SMILE. I can imagine your very big smile too :-)

I am so pleased it worked out. Oh I just have a very big smile and that's that XO
Natalie, Unbreakable and Deborah, thanks and yes, carpe diem!

Kelly, are you smiling at me?
I suspected but damn, woman, you mustn't ever keep secrets like that from us. We (okay, I) need all the inspiration in that department I can get! Congrats!
Facebook is scary as hell, but this is great news!!! So wonderful, in fact! Ya just can't beat love and the honest to goodness love of a good man who simply adores you and wouldn't change a thing about cha! Doesn't get much better than that! Enjoy it! Wallow in it! Nurture it! It's yours to keep forever! xo
Oh, Lea, this is wonderful! I'm so happy for you. :)
Ok I have not been on OS forever but I just HAD to log in for this -congrats! I am SO happy for you Lea.

(and now, I guess need to look at the 400+ messages in my box...urm, maybe tomorrow....)
Nikki, it was hard for me to come to grips with it. That's why I'm officially "outing" myself.

Cathy, especially at our age. Miraculous, really.

merwoman, many thanks.

Cherie, sooo appreciative of your drop by. Please stay awhile! Come back and add your artful take on life.

WSFTC, what a lovely thing to say, ma'am. My tiara for that.

Leandra, and backwards, that's YAY!
Much Deserved Happiness Lea! You're certainly a exceptional catch with two hands kinda gurl...Fantabulastictoc!
Good for you Lea. I'm excited for you, a new adventure for an adventurous lady. I wish for your happiness to remain yours for good and I'm raising my morning coffee to you both in toast.
Oh and did you say he loves you? Be happy Lea
I knew it would happen sooner or later........ much happiness to you both.
Wow, Lea!! I'm so terribly pleased and happy for you. It does give the rest of us hope, too!

A photo of the lucky man and you together??
Congratulations to both of you! The amazing wonderous thing called love CAN happen again?? I never guessed.
Patrick, love your wordplay.

Thanks, Bob. Here's a toast back, to good times.

Luis, not yet. Maybe not. Those who don't choose to bare all here deserve their privacy. (For now!)

Carol, we live in hope. We have to.
Congratulations! A new unexpected adventure for you! The best kind!
Best of luck, my beauty! Although the luck is, in fact, all his. :-)
Oh! I'm so happy for you! I love Love! Sounds like you found yourself a good man.
If I could stop grinning, I'd write something charming.
(Although not charming - I'm so happy for you!!)
MAWB, unexpected is best, I think. Less angst.

"Dear" (tough name to spell but you know who you are), too, too kind.

Outside Myself, but you *are* charming. And what about your love life? I have a feeling it is blooming.
Yay, Lea! Wonderful. Good for you. Slight envy.
Gwen, yes he is a good man and that is the base of everything.

Beth, you will find him, if you want him.
this is so cool Lea :D you give me hope
You've got loads and loads of time to find the right woman, Julie!
Ain't it swell to be able to blush at this. I love it. So happy for you. You express your transition sans deprecation. You were on Jeopardy? That's way beyond me! Great to meet you. Rated of course.
Such men exist...and you prove such women do too!
and now you are a great role model on how to conduct a courtship and not rush into anything until it's time. happy 4 u.
no slight envy here, just down right jealousy!! forget about whether or not he comes with a warranty or a brother, how about a sister who likes women?!?!!? ;-)
Welcome Joan, and yes it isn't so easy to blush at this age.

JD, too, too kind.

dalriadane, the one thing I know is that I'm not rushing into love. I had many lessons as to why that doesn't work.
As you know this news comes as no surprise to me, but I am surprised how long it took before you spilled the beans publicly!

I am so pleased for you. Independence is one thing, a solitary existence is another. The human species is not really meant to be loner, we're social, and we've got a serious yin and yang thing too.

What I want to know is ,how you have managed to be so lucky in love? Even living in N. Miami/Hollywood where, lets face it, the odds are not in your favor, you managed to find a Prince Charming there!

Your prince sounds like a real gent, enjoy yourselves and have a ball. Literally.

Bon Appetit!
Charlie, actually ....

ABlonde, so glad to see you here. I'm in Miami and looking forward to some balmy winter nights!
Thanks, Kate! It is something special to me.
I'm so happy for you. Both.
Lea, your love makes me smile from ear to ear. How sweet you are.
Congratulations. You deserve it.
consonants, sandra and emma, I thank you for coming to the outing.
Congratulations, Lea! He's a lucky guy :) Much happiness to both of you.
Good for you. Love wends its way slowly, but surely.
I am delighted for you and he is one lucky man.
Donna and Dorinda (sounds like a song duo) thank you. And Randy, so good to hear from you. Have you been here all along? Hope to see some of your posts again!
What a lovely story. Blessings and wonderful wishes to you both!
Oh, how lovely! Congrats, Lea!!

Does he have a slightly older brother???
Sangofa and onecorgilover, thank you.

Hawley, no, but a slightly younger sister. (And where have you been?)
Aww. This makes me happy.
This is good news Lea. It is amazing how energizing it is..Isn't replica jewelry it?