The Life & Times of 40 Something Dana Myttis Hedrew: When Dana Met Jessica…

Dear Diary:

Dana Here. 10 years can ya believe it ? In my 20’s & 30’s I thought I would never get married let alone be in a relationship with someone for 10 years. I always had the misfortune of either never getting past 3 months the exception being three years of misery with JoAnn. My Grandmother would always tell me, aw marriage isn’t worth it (She was a widow that never remarried) just be like your Uncle Joe. Honestly, had my Mom not died in 2002, I was headed in that direction. I’m pretty sure my parents would’ve divorced and I would’ve just stayed with my Mom. I mean things may have changed when I met Jess but I wasn’t still living at home by 2010.

Jess and I met at work. I was 40 & she was 28. It wasn’t love at first sight. She was very timid and hid under a baseball cap and spent the lunch break crocheting. It was her passion with her creativity that I was drawn to, because she was really good at what she created. I asked her if she could crochet me a blue turtle. And to this day a weathered version of itself remains on the dashboard of my car.

In return I gave her a cat painting I did that I updated a bit, to this day it hangs on her side of the bedroom.

I was working in digital and she was working in microfilm, we both had a mutual friend in microfilm named Val. Both of us at different times asked Val that if someone wants to talk/text you a lot do you think they might be interested ? Val’s advice was to set up a date. And we did.

October 2nd, 2010. Boy was I nervous. I had an audition that day for a haunted house actor but skipped it and went to the comic shop to talk to my friend Jeff who owned the place. I kept looking at the clock, said I had a date, it was only noon but I had to go..He asked when the date was and I said 2 pm, he just laughed when I left. By the time I got to the bookstore where we were to meet I stood outside for almost 90 minutes, I was weird like that never comfortable about reserving a table and waiting inside like a normal person would do.

She felt bad because I waited so long. We entered the bookstore and I grabbed a table, again I was so nervous I myself never got a drink. We sat catty corner to each other and we discussed the normal first date things..she asked if i ever heard of bands like Nickleback or Coldplay (Crickets chirping, dear in the headlights) John Mellencamp..at least I heard of him. She took the reigns and suggested we drive to a park somewhere to walk & talk some more. Walking & talking we pass a dead fish on the ground and clumsily I manage to trip over my own two feet but playing it cool, I get up brush myself off and tell her “I think I’ve fallen for you.” As were walking she’s busy telling me she talked me up to her parents saying I was a God Fearing Man (I didn’t even know what that meant, but when I googled it the next day..I most definitely wasn’t LOL)

We eventually sat on a bench and I procrastinated putting my arm around her for the next 30 minutes as the sunset. I eventually did & she sat closer to me. Again she suggested dinner, so we headed to a Japanese Sushi join and she got the optimistic roll. I know for a fact that I didn’t get the pessimistic roll LOL.

We concluded our night with a little conversation, smooching and heavy petting in a Giant Supermarket Parking lot, complete with steamed windows till about Midnight. Yeah, this date in total lasted 10 hours. I pretty much felt at this point that there was major promise.

About a week later she was my date at my cousin’s wedding and met my brother Donnie & his partner Earl and their adopted son Lucas (6 yrs old in 2010). We spent the night in their house and house sat their animals. She discovered that night how much I love feet, touching, caressing and yeah even sniffing. It was our first foray into my kinks. After 10 years, she loves the attention I give to her feet, just as weird as me 🙂

She got me out of my routine. Essentially my life pre-Jessica consisted of either reading comics, going to the movies or the occasional minor league baseball game usually by myself. But with Jess, we did a chocolate trail, a Brooklyn Pizza tour, visited multiple beaches, museums, zoo’s, saw concerts of all types, saw live musical theater, went bowling once, played mini golf many times, went snow tubing, visited Haunted Houses even took a photography tour of Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary.

She even got me to travel a bit, not real far usually weekend or day trips. But places I would never have gone on my own. A new found freedom was unlocked and I loved every minute of it.

After 6 months of dating I proposed (granted I bought a very cheap $100 engagement ring that she had an allergic reaction to) & we also got an apartment together (sigh, been here ever since).

With my anxiety in full gear, I felt the need to plan the wedding. Usually the woman does that, but our wedding. I planned it. All of it. Well she picked out her almost free dress that she got at an auction and crocheted her bouquet and all the lapel flowers (because I am allergic to flowers). I let her pick out the ceremonial steps & passages (she is the daughter of a Lutheran Pastor) but I handled the party end of things.

Saying “I do” after looking into her beautiful eyes, at the alter was by far the happiest moment of my entire life. If I am ever in a major downward spiral, I just have to visualize that moment in time. Getting married at 43 really made me wish it had happened sooner, but I wouldn’t change my life for the world.

Here we are on October 2nd, 2020 Celebrating 10 years a couple, 7 years married. Here is to many more moments of bliss.

Till again, Dana.

Published by mattsnyder1970

Matt Snyder has been making a dent in the creative community in North Eastern Pennsylvania since 1988. He’s been involved in showcasing his art in Exhibits in area Galleries & Spaces as well as online. Mr. Snyder is a real renaissance man. He doesn’t just dabble in the fine arts but has been known to grace the following kinds of things with his presence: Live Sound Mixing, Radio Production, Television Production, Short Films(Acting/Editing/Writing/Directing), Animations, Costume Character Performance, Dance, Music, Djembe Drumming, Theater (Writing/Acting/Directing/Props Management/Stage Management), Self Published Comics & Zines, Written & Slammed Performance Poetry, Sculpting Animal Figurines, Designing Tee Shirts, Photography Film & Digital, Painting (Acrylics), Drawing (Pen & Ink, Pastel, Colored Pencil, Sharpies, Crayons), Mixed Media, Collage, Paper Art, The Brooklyn Art Library & The Sketchbook Project, Blue Turtle ComiX, Just an Average Day Comic, Toxic Shock & Other Abnormalities of the Inner Being Zine as well as the culinary arts. His passion is the arts, his life is as a married humanitarian bisexual politically unaffiliated pacifist working as a Digital Preservation Archivist since 1999. Matt currently resides in an apartment with his equally creative wife of 7 years ,Jess and their cat Nigel.

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