In Which I Bore You to Death

Sorry to have been gone so long and leaving you on the edge of your seats! I had the date and then I was waiting for a tiny bit of closure before I wrote anything and then there was the weekend and I did things and sat on my ass reading and writing and just enjoying being in the house alone.

Anyway. The date. By a funny set of coincidences (if you believe in such things), I figured out who my date was before we met. Turns out we know some of the same people (one of which I had lunch with on Saturday and got a green light – he’s not a raving lunatic!). He’s in a well-known band that I’ve probably seen in a club a million years ago. Small world.

So, I was feeling much less freaked out by the whole date thing because of that. And it was all good. We met at a Mexican place, we talked, swapped stories, hopefully nothing particularly stupid came out of my mouth (I’m not really good at small talk with strangers much less conversations with people I know really well). I got an opening hug and a closing hug, he complimented my shoes and didn’t recoil at my liberal bumper stickers and……he went back to his organic farm and I went back to work.

I wrote later and thanked him for picking up the tab and said I’d like to see his farm sometime. That’s not a euphemism for anything but ‘organic farm’. REALLY. Eventually, on Friday, he wrote back. And that’s kind of where things stand at the moment. Something might develop and then again, something might not. But it was pleasant.

Then I chatted with a military guy (filed under: keeping my options open but still wondering why) who wrote in complete sentences on his profile and mentioned he like Alice Munro. !! Say wha? When he wrote back, though, he was stationed in West Africa for 18 months and the message was a cluster that did not match his original profile writing and mentioned how he wanted a wife but would be gone for, like, a really long time. I couldn’t reconcile the two writing styles unless the African missive was transcribed from smoke signals, filtered through a flip phone, and translated into four languages before reaching me in English of a sort. Or else, his English professor sister wrote his profile for him. Either way, sorry dude. Good luck and all.

And that is pretty much that, which I know is really disappointing. The good dates really don’t make interesting stories. Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll have a really crappy date soon. Or, even boringer, no dates at all!

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop?

The world will never know.

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Things I’m Currently Loving (and Not)

Okay, so first date is tomorrow. How will we while away the time until then, you ask? Let’s think of other things. Things that aren’t cabbages and kings and all that sealing wax business (though, I really do wish I had my old sealing wax kit. It was a gift when I was around 13. I used it a lot. I don’t know what happened to it.)

Let’s discuss Things I’m Currently Loving:

Books –

Neil Patrick Harris’s Choose Your Own Autobiography. Oh. My God. This is the funniest book I’ve read in a coon’s age. Seriously. I have never watched a single episode of Doogie Howser or How I Married Your Mother but who doesn’t know about NPH? I had no idea he was so funny. This autobiography seriously has me laughing out loud. Multiple times per page. Really. You should read it. Seriously. I’ll wait while you check your library’s holdings and make plans to check it out.

Done? Good. You won’t be sorry.
Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. This book was mentioned by a (new) friend of a friend on FB. It intrigued me. You know how sometimes the right book or song or movie or whatever comes along at exactly the right time? When you are more than ready to receive the message? This is that book. And what’s even odder is that (I’m still doing The Artist’s Way), I read her chapter about addictions at the same time I was reading about them in TAW. How certain things (work, tv, alcohol, drugs, sex, name your time waster) get in the way of  the real work you need to do and are just procrastinating out of fear. Yeah. Brown had lots of other really great things to say about relationships and parenting wholeheartedly and how to rid yourself of shame and fear. It was all kinds of awesome and gave me new insight into a lot of disappointing relationships. I’m still sad but I get it.

Television –

Orange is the New Black. I’ve heard about this show but was busy watching other things. I have a lot of catching up to do and it doesn’t help that a lot of the great recent shows are on/were on channels I don’t subscribe to. OITNB is hilarious. So much fun and so inappropriate for anyone else in the house to watch with me.

Thank goodness Dusty discovered  The Returned. After we finished Lost and FlashForward, we were jonesing for a new series to watch. Dusty found The Returned. We hadn’t realized it was French. With subtitles. But don’t let that scare you away. It’s still in production so once we’re through with what Netflix has, there will be more. It is about dead people who suddenly come back to life and the havoc this causes a small town in the Alps. And something weird is going on with the dam. Are they connected? We’re not sure. It’s gripping television.

Food –

Banana Ice Cream. Well. So I’m doing Weight Watchers and have lost 4 pounds and sometimes I want a snack but I’m shit out of points. What’s a girl to do? Well, if you are as lucky as me and have a googler in the house who loves to cook, you have Dusty show you a recipe that involves nothing more than frozen bananas, a little (soy) milk, and a blender. And you have a zero point snack that is like ice cream and very delicious. Slice a banana, place slices on a plate, put the plate in the freezer until the slices are frozen. Place slices in a blender with a bit of milk and blend until creamy. Swear to god. You’ve never tasted anything more delicious. I made some this weekend and added frozen strawberries. To. Die. For. Zero points. Kid you not.

If you’re tired of wonderful things, let’s discuss Things I’m Not All That Crazy About, The Dating Version.

So, after my first week on the site, all the nuts show up. Here are a few things that you might want to avoid if you ever dip into the online dating pool:

1. Yoga freak. If you get a message from someone who asks what kind of yoga you do and then writes a dissertation on the types he likes with links and never asks you a single other personal question…..run. And block him.

2. Phrases that are red flags:

“My wife is unable to have sex due to a myriad of health issues. And I am feeling the need for some passion in my life.”

“I’m separated but not yet divorced.”

The phrase “open minded” which means…..that I’m moving on to the next dude.

“I am legally separated for the last four years, still married for financial reasons.”

“polyamorous”

The dude with the handle “ballbustr”.

Yeah, so fortunately, I still have good books to read and shows to watch while I block, hide, block and hide these sad men.

 

Next time: The Date.

The Gay Divorcee

“Napoleon, don’t be jealous that I’ve been chatting online with babes all day.”

So, in addition to writing and getting back on the Weight Watcher’s wagon, I’ve been chatting with men (I kind of hope there’s not a male equivalent of “babes”) online. I even have a lunch date lined up for next week. !!! I know! Go figure.

I joined a dating site just to see what would happen. Here’s what’s happened so far:

1. I was inundated with messages from a bizarre assortment of illiterate men who probably need to go over to the Craigslist men-looking-for-skanks page. Block, block, block and block.

2. I received literate messages from a couple of men who I responded to. Let’s break this down, shall we?

2a. Bachelor #1: Local (in my woods and not a gun toting tea partier!), white guy, runs an organic farm. Kids out of the house. Not George Clooney but not a deal breaker in the looks department either. I have standards but I also know that 50 year old men are not going to look like Harry Styles. Unfortunately. We will be going to lunch next week. Weekday lunch means I will need to get back to work and there will be no lingering and no awkward “what do you want to do now” discussion. Yet. At the very least, it will be a new and different experience.

2b. Bachelor #2: Relatively recent transplant, originally in the theatre world in NYC. African-American, I presume. Well read and travelled. Seems like a very nice man. We’ve chatted but that’s where it’s stands. I’ll either hear back or I won’t.

2c. Bachelor #3: Lives in MD and seems to think this isn’t too far away. I think he’s wrong and we’ve discussed our cats and…..I’m thinking that baby’s just going to die a little death. Nice guy, racial background unclear (not that it matters – I’m just painting a picture here for you) but probably not worth my time. I’m thinking I shouldn’t discount dog ownership so quickly.

2d. Bachelor #4: Slightly local, slightly younger, white guy, never married, no kids. Chatty but there’s little chemistry there. Probably nothing will come of this and I won’t cry.

2e. Bachelor #5: African-American guy, localish (in the city), well read, very well travelled, loves the same movies as me. I contacted him. Haven’t heard back and I might not be his thing (even though we’ve both ‘liked’ each other) but I wouldn’t mind at least chatting. You just never know.

And there were scads of OMG NO men. If nothing else, this exercise has been entertaining. Men I hide/block right from the get-go: men in other, far away states. Men with guns cocked and/or with their kills, men on boats with photos of them and their fish (great but not my thing), men who seem normal and then go on to explain how they’ve discovered “orgasmic meditation” (jesus, I hope this post doesn’t get googled). Can you hear the screeching halt? Also on the “not worth bothering with”: men who clearly haven’t bathed or shaved ever, men who post bathroom selfies bare chested, men who write, “If you believe anthropogenic climate change is proven science, I am sorry…but you do not think critically enough for me to consider a long-term relationship with.” Thanks for clearing that up.

NEXT!

And then there’s the man who posts one photo, of his forehead and eyebrows, who writes a single “sentence” made up of words strung together with commas and no spaces that begins with “ferrets” and includes “nascar” and “shaved”. Again: dude, go back to Craigslist. But just go away.

So, the week has been interesting, to say the least. This all might fizzle out by the end of the month but it’s been a fun little preoccupation. I haven’t been on a real date in more than 25 years. In high school and college, I went with guys in packs of people. We all hung out and were poor together. My ex never took me on a date except at the very beginning of our relationship. For a while, during grad school, that was fine. We had no money. But later, we only went out (to dinner with other people or to the movies) because I forced us to. I was apparently not important enough to be kind to. So, we’ll see if that changes going forward.

What’s the worst date you ever had?

2015

Oh man. We’ve made it through three days and just have our eyes on the prize that is the weekend. This getting up early, in the darkness, just downright sucks. No two ways about it. I get up and feed the cats and there’s the moon greeting me. It’s a nice full round moon but it’s not the round thing I want to see in the sky. I want to see the other one.

This weekend, Red has a party to attend, Dusty has a friend spending the night, and then we’ll have lunch with good friends on Sunday. Action packed but lots of sleeping late too. That part is important. Essential.

Because it’s January, and a time when people generally decide to make changes (whether they keep them or not is another conversation), I’ve begun a couple of my own:

1. Writing. I’ve been writing. One of the things I failed to include in my 2014 wrap up was that my computer died a horrible death in June, taking everything on the hard drive with it. If it wasn’t for FaceBonker, I would have lost at least a year’s worth of photos. Not to mention random docs. But since I’ve always saved stories on flash drives, I didn’t lose anything desperately important. Except the computer itself.

But, an angel came along and helped me get a new one. And now I have a working printer too. All that’s left to acquire is a back-up hard drive (which, I KNOW, I should have already but I’m saving things in various places until I get one). I am not Rockefeller.

And so, now I have no excuses. And am carving out the writing time again. And I’m doing it. I always forget how nice it is when you’re present in the moment of creating a story. It’s a bit like dreaming because you aren’t even aware that you’re doing it. Your brain is focused in that world and is only barely registering that odd character walking past the cubicle or the old couple figuring out which table to read the paper at. I wish I could be in that place for longer periods of time. And when I snap out of it….pages have been written. Whether that writing has “merit” or not is beside the point. The act, the doing, is the important thing. I have to keep reminding myself this. Because it’s really easy to become depressed by the futility. I’m ignoring all that right now.

2. Body. Issues. I got fat. Fat, I think, is relative. Women – you and I – have this horrible need (guilty as charged) to put ourselves down, think of ourselves in unflattering terms and are always comparing ourselves to other people – fat, skinny, in between, etc. And we usually come out feeling worse for it. I’m smaller than some people, bigger than others. I’m simply comparing myself to myself here.

There came a time when the number on the scale was not a good one for me, when all my clothes felt uncomfortably tight, when enough became enough. I’ve gained weight over the last year and some of that is bad eating & drinking habits plus a whole heap of not giving a shit. Some of it is menopause which has hit me like a UPS truck. A lot of it is the divorce (see bad drinking and eating habits above). I don’t have a lot of time for exercise. I spent all my time last year panicking and painting and raising children and going to work and driving and freaking out and worrying about money and cleaning out closets and watching tv with a couple glasses of wine. Bottles. Some nachos. Whatever.

Anyway, I’ve joined WW again and my goal is simply to get rid of the 15 pounds I’ve gained by the time I go to the beach. So, 15 pounds in 6 months. Should be doable. I’ve been walking, too, when I can. Of course now it’s single-digit cold outside so I will probably try those exercise videos next weekend that I bought at Costco a year ago during one of my must-accomplish-everything-in-the-universe frenzies I frequently had.

3. Dating. Well, I’m thinking about this. Might sign up for one of those services. Maybe. We’ll see. Curious to see what’s out there but not holding out much hope. I’m not looking for a soul mate or something steady. Just a nice man with a real job who likes the same movies and is possibly a vegetarian and not at all an asshole. And if he looks slightly like either George Clooney, Pierce Brosnan or Cary Grant, that would be nice too. But, I haven’t been single since forever (seriously – I’ve had a boyfriend or a husband since I was 16 and haven’t lived on my own, on my own terms except for a brief few months here and there in my entire adult life) and I’m liking it so I’m fine just being on my own. It’s nice, really.

Even if that doesn’t work out, I’ll just keep writing, walking, plugging in my food, planning trips, saving money, gardening, throwing out crap I don’t need, reading, watching movies, being comfortable in my own skin.

Do you have a resolution for the new year? Is it reasonable? Will it make you happier? More calm? Take you down a better path? I hope so. It’s not worth doing if it doesn’t.