Don’t Stop Believin’: You Can Find Love Again! (And It Can Find You)

Kristi Lynn Davis & Dave Boutette, Valentine’s Day 2017

Yes, you can find love again! Even if you’ve been divorced for donkeys ages. Even if your home is overrun with rugrats. Even if you and eHarmony are no longer on speaking terms. Take heart!

I know, because it happened to me. But I had to be willing to have open arms where they were previously closed.

Kristi and Dave, 9th grade dance, 1980

Let me explain. Dave and I have known each other since 1978. Since before we had our driver’s licenses and our respective first kisses. Since we were only thirteen years old.

Although we attended our 9th grade dance together (the proof is in the pic), throughout middle school and high school we were always just friends. Which in retrospect seems lame, because, Dude! I was so channeling Farrah Fawcett. And Dave was a shoo-in for a Scott Baio look-alike (a.k.a. Chachi from Happy Days).

To top that off, a few years and longer hair later, he resembled Steve Perry enough to become the founding father of SPLAC–our high school’s Steve Perry Look-Alike Club. Anyone remotely resembling this singing superstar should have been totally stoked, because Journey was wicked bad (meaning good) at the time. So, how bogus that I didn’t notice Dave was totally rad and he didn’t notice I was a total fox.

Dave Boutette, Founder of Steve Perry Look-alike Club, 1983

Sure, we had a bitchin’ time passing funny notes to each other in class (we had the same silly sense of humor). Sure, we were both proud members of the Thespian Club. (Dave was even President!) Sure, we both loved music: I played piano and sang in the school choir, and he played guitar in a band. Everything between us was always cool beans. But date each other? As if! We were just friends. Not lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other. Gag me with a spoon! He wasn’t my “type” and I wasn’t his.

After graduating, we both went our separate ways. He maintained his home base in Michigan but toured extensively throughout the U.S. with his alterna-rock band, The Junk Monkeys. I went to college and then traveled the world dancing and singing, eventually settling in Los Angeles. We didn’t reconnect until our 10-year high school reunion, where we swapped gnarly show biz stories, having both been out on the road for much of the previous decade. And then, once again, we went our separate ways.

Fast forward about 19 years, 2 divorces (1 for me, 1 for him), 2 kids (both mine), and one big move (me, back to Michigan) later: we run into each other at Whole Foods Market. “We should get together for coffee some day and catch up,” he says. I agree. Chatting with my old pal Dave would be such a hoot!

About 3 months later we do. The following week we catch up some more. And again a couple weeks later. Just two old friends, hanging out and having a great time. Finally Dave says, “I think what we have might make for some really great dating.” This was my old pal Dave, not someone I had ever considered boyfriend potential. After a restless night of internal debate, I decided to take a chance.

One fateful day, I was searching for something in my basement and happened upon a scrapbook I had made in high school. I had completely forgotten it existed. The very first picture on the very first page was that snapshot of the two of us from our 9th grade dance. “Dave, come take a look at this!” I shouted upstairs. On another page was a note we had passed back and forth in class with goofy jokes on it.









Finally, we found a memento neither of us could believe. A program from our high school musical Carousel. “I completely forgot we acted in this together,” I say. “Me too. But now that I think about it, our characters were supposed to marry each other! But they didn’t in the end,” Dave recalls. Here’s the magical part: Dave had actually signed my program, “Sorry we couldn’t get married. Maybe next year if we both get parts, we could work it out. Love, Davey.”

And 35 years after we first met, we get married.

Don’t have a cow if you’re still looking for love. Trust that Life (with a capital “L”) has a bodacious babe in store for you if you’re willing to be open to new (or old) possibilities. Take a tip from Journey and declare, “So here I am with open arms!” And, as the real Steve Perry sings, “Don’t stop believin’!”



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