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Being a Single Man Again 1992-1993

Updated on October 13, 2022
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul is a retired American expat living in Thailand. Besides being an English teacher and translator, Paul likes languages and most sports.

Being a Single Man Again

From left to right:  author and younger brother.  Picture taken in August 1992
From left to right: author and younger brother. Picture taken in August 1992 | Source

My 19 years as a married man ended with an unpleasant divorce in July 1992. I was a single man again who only had to worry about himself. My new independence allowed me time away from home and unlimited travel. It also allowed me to finally rebuild my former home which burned down in March 1991.

I wasn't happy living without any female companionship. For this reason, I started dating again and fell in love in February 1993 after I met my eventual second wife.

Immediate Aftermath of Divorce July-August 1992

In Aunt Sissy's home.  From left to right: author, Aunt Sissy, mom, and dad.  Taken around 1994
In Aunt Sissy's home. From left to right: author, Aunt Sissy, mom, and dad. Taken around 1994 | Source

About a week after the realization of my divorce had sunk in, I experienced anger about wasting 20 years of my life. My immediate reaction was to throw away a photo album I had with pictures of my ex-wife Mona in both Taiwan and the United States. Unfortunately, many of my Navy pictures while stationed in Taiwan were also included. I guess I thought this was a good way to erase the past.

Then, a few days later, I started to cry while listening to a song by Chicago. I couldn't forget the good times I had with Mona, especially during the first half of our marriage.

It was at this time that I decided to take two or three weeks off from work and return to Wisconsin to visit mom and dad. This visit would overlap with my birthday on August 11. I would also be able to attend my high school's 30th reunion while in the Burlington area.

My son, Charles, was living with me in an apartment at that time. Charles had planned to visit a high school exchange student in Germany for two weeks. Therefore, after I saw Charles off at Dulles Airport, I drove out to Wisconsin.

I had a wonderful time back home visiting my parents, siblings, an old college friend, and most of my aunts and uncles. Before heading back to Maryland, I even took in a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game with my younger brother, Philip.

Rebuilding Former Home on Jay Bea Ct in Glen Burnie

Former home at 383 JayBea Ct. in Glen Burnie.  Taken in Dec. 1992
Former home at 383 JayBea Ct. in Glen Burnie. Taken in Dec. 1992 | Source

The fire at my former home at 383 JayBea Ct. in March 1991 was extensive. The roof was destroyed and all rooms were gutted except for a small family room that was formerly a garage.

My house sat in ruins until August 1992 because I was waiting for a settlement between my insurance company and the insurance adjuster. A settlement could have been reached in January 1992 but Mona refused to sign off on a payment to our insurance adjuster.

After my divorce was finalized in July, the court ordered an attorney to represent Mona in signing documents with the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster was now able to get paid and my insurance company would now release the money to the contractor of my choice for repairing the fire damage in my home.

I chose a contractor specializing in home restoration from fire damage. He was recommended to me by a co-worker who was his relative. The contractor began rebuilding at the end of August and by the beginning of December, my restored home was ready to go on the for-sale market. I listed my home with Century 21 and it was essentially a new home. Within a month, I had a buyer with a scheduled closing date in March 1993.

My Daily Life Before Dating Again

In 1991 and 1992, before starting dating again, I became a workaholic to forget my marital problems. I loved my job and from Monday through Thursday I would work from 5 am until 4 pm. On most weekends, I would be in the office working with my boss from 6 am until 3 or 4 pm.

Besides being my boss, J.D. was a very good friend who opened up his home to me while I was separated and going through a divorce. Every Friday, we would work from 5 am until noon and then have beers at a nearby country-western bar until 4 or 5 pm. Then, we would head over to J.D.'s home to shoot darts and drink more beer until late in the evening.

I got to know J.D. and his family very well. He invited me to his son's wedding in 1991 and always had me over to his home for Christmas Eve. J.D. was also a witness who accompanied me to court when I finalized my divorce.

Rick was another friend who was close to me. He was a divorced Navy man so he could empathize with me. In October 1992, he had tickets to see a Green Bay Packers-Cleveland Browns football game in Cleveland, Ohio. He treated me to the game and we went together with Rick's brother and sister-in-law to Cleveland to spend the weekend and see the game.

Without friends like J.D. and Rick, I probably would have lost my sanity during the separation.

Starting to Date Again

Around the beginning of November, I decided to start dating again to find a woman for eventual marriage. Although I was living with my son Charles who was in high school, I hated being single and wanted permanent female companionship. In preparation for dating, I shaved off a mustache that I had had since 1975. Although I still smoked, my bad teeth were removed in 1991 and I now had sparkling dentures.

I decided to find a partner by advertising and answering ads in a Chinese newspaper published in the Washington D.C. area. The first lady who answered my Chinese ad was a middle-aged Chinese woman, Miss Liu, from Shanghai. Liu, however, at that time was living in the Annapolis, Maryland, area.

Our first date was at the Annapolis Mall in the middle of November. After I met Miss Liu at the Mall, we had dinner there and then saw a movie about Garth Brooks.

While I was dating Miss Liu, one of the co-workers of my boss introduced me to a middle-aged Caucasian woman who had transferred to my federal workplace from another city. I dated her once but decided I was happier being with a Chinese woman. Learning Irish folk dancing didn't interest me.

After Charles and I flew to Wisconsin to be with his grandparents over Thanksgiving, I dated Miss Liu a few more times until my life changed on Christmas Eve.

Author and son Charles at Milwaukee Airport in November 1992.
Author and son Charles at Milwaukee Airport in November 1992. | Source

Meeting My Eventual Second Wife

I was grateful for having good helpful friends and celebrated the Christmas season by buying them gifts. My boss J.D. received a Thai painting and Rick a Cleveland Browns jacket. Harry and Kelly were also good friends and I treated them at a seafood restaurant on the occasion of their birthdays.

On Christmas Eve, J.D. invited me over to this home. I felt like a member of his family when we all sat around a Christmas tree presenting and opening gifts.

After I returned to my apartment late in the evening, I received the best gift of all. There was a letter from Miss Yang in Philadelphia. I cannot remember if she had answered my ad in the Chinese newspaper or whether her letter was in response to my answering her ad. Anyhow, Miss Yang or Danielle was very happy to know me and wanted to meet in Philadelphia on Saturday, January 2, 1993.

My relationship with Miss Liu wasn't going anywhere so I was very excited to meet up with Danielle. On late Saturday morning, January 2, I made the two-hour 120-mile drive from Glen Burnie up to Philadelphia. We had agreed to meet at a certain restaurant in Chinatown. Since I had never been to Philly, I got lost and while passing the restaurant, Danielle flagged me down on the street.

We had a delicious seafood lunch at about 2:30 because I was over an hour late getting to our date. At the end of the meal, to my surprise, Danielle picked up the tab! We then agreed to go in my car to a casino in Atlantic City. After getting back to Chinatown later that evening, we talked for a while before I returned to Maryland and Danielle to her residence in Northeast Philadelphia.

Before departing, we had agreed to see each other again on January 23. When the big date arrived, I drove up in the afternoon to the rowhouse unit that Danielle owned in the Northeast. She had an unrented apartment on the second floor ready for me to spend Saturday night.

In the evening, we attended Danielle's Chinese church dancing party in Chinatown. I spent the night alone in her apartment and Danielle slept at the home where she was working as a nanny.

The next morning, we attended Danielle's church service and had lunch at her church before I drove back to Maryland.

On the way back to Glen Burnie, I was starting to wonder whether this long-distance relationship was going to go anywhere. My question was answered about 10 days later.

Falling in Love Again

Before I left Danielle on January 24, we had agreed to meet again three weeks later to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I also had given Danielle my phone number and Glen Burnie's apartment address.

I had never expected Danielle to look for me in Glen Burnie but I should have expected it after I had received a passionate phone call from her around February 1.

Then, a few days later, I was awakened at around 1 am by the ringing of my doorbell. As I answered the door, Danielle gave me a big hug and kiss. She next said in Chinese, "wo zhaodaole ni" I have found you.

We made passionate love that night. I knew I had found an eventual second wife and would no longer be a single man.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Paul Richard Kuehn


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