Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Batchelors number 1 through 3

For my sanity (and because no one else has contacted me from Match) I have officially narrowed my field of men down to three top prospects (all the “nice” guys) - High School Guy, Friendster Guy, and Math Teacher Guy - and apparently, they have narrowed their fields down to include me as well. I spent a lovely afternoon today and most of the last two days with High School Guy. Tonight he is working so we can't hang out : ( but I just got a call from Math Teacher Guy asking me to the movies later this week and then an email came from Friendster Guy saying we should do dinner next week. Apparently the holidays haven't slowed anyone down on the dating front. Yowza.

I'm seriously grinning from ear to ear right now because my ego got a huge boost from all the date requests but I'm also conflicted. Even though High School Guy has said he has commitment concerns he sure hasn't been showing them. Of all the guys I’ve dated I'd be most interested in pursuing a relationship with HSG (I know, I know, watch the red flags. But we’ve been so honest and comfortable with each other that I’ve already told him some of the red flags I experience with him. It’s nice to be so honest with him. It allows me to be honest with myself as well.) But because we’ve been getting along so well and spending so much time together I actually felt kind of bad saying yes to a date with Math Teacher Guy. I have told HSG I am following his lead on the commitment thing and therefore going on dates with other people but it still feels weird. Is this what grown-ups do when they are dating? Are these guys seeing other women too? Why do I finally understand what Glamour has been saying in all those articles? Do I want to understand what Glamour has been saying?

I really didn’t think I’d be in this predicament. I guess I’ll just keep being honest with HSG (and the others) and see how he takes it. If he’s unconcerned with the dating I’ll keep doing it. If he is concerned we’ll need to have a chat.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays and all that

Brief update:
High School Guy and I are getting along really well. He went out of his way to stop at my work the other day (and he didn't go visit his brother)- like seriously out of his way, two towns and probably at least 10 miles out of his way - and then we watched TV at his apartment Wednesday. He came over to my apartment last night. We got our snuggle on. And I do mean snuggle. That's not a euphemism for anything your taudry mind might be contemplating. He's a really good guy. Very gentlemanly. Darn it ; )

And I must really like him because I'm keeping the details to myself(there aren't very many - you'll be disappointed if I tell you now anyway).

Friendster Guy and I have been emailing each other. I told him about the pot incident and he agreed on the lameness. He's going to make a nice friend.

First Impression Guy has not contacted me to apologize or say thank you for driving his friend home. He's SO off my list. However, Netherlands Guy (the one I drove home)has added me to his invitation list for a party he's having in early January. Maybe I'll get to ignore First Impression Guy at it. Won't that be fun!

This will probably be my last post for awhile given the holiday season and my travels. Have a Merry/Happy/Joyous holiday of your choice and a happy (western, Christ-centric) New Year. Being PC, you gotta love it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What is your world view?

Here is an interesting web quiz. It's only one question. My world view is below. I agree with most of it. Except the not very adventurous thing. Although even that isn't too far off - no matter how I may act. Thanks to Josh for pointing this out.


Your World View

You are a fairly broadminded romantic and reasonably content.
You value kindness and try to live by your ideals.
You have strong need for security, which may be either emotional or material.

You respect truth and are flexible.
You like people, and they can readily make friends with you.
You are not very adventurous, but this does not bother you.

Please tell me this is a joke

So I get an email from a 37 year old guy on Match.com yesterday and all I can say is I hope he is actually mentally challenged because otherwise I fear for our education system (I do anyway but you'll see what I mean). Judge for yourself. (Note: my profile asks, when was the last time you did something for the first time?)

Email subject line: "Don't ever lose that Smile !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Ok what is the last time I did somthing new ? Well this is it me wrighting to you! I have never done this before the on line dateing thing that is. I know you maybe sitting there and saying ya right but the truth is that I realy have'nt I can't say I never looked at the photo's before but I never have replyed to one before you so that make's you the 1st..Ok now we are past all that I have got to tell you I love your smile it's nice to see I've alway's thought if more pepole took the time to smile the world just might be a better place to liveafter all they are one of the few thing's still left in this world that are free. As for making you laugh I beleve I can do that easy enough because all my friend's are alway's trying to get me to tell them joke's and I have made pepole lay on the floor laughing so hard that they cryed.I would love to here you singwith your helium it must of been a good laugh for everyone
there. well hope to here from you soon take care and have a mary Xmass and a Happy new year's and a safe one to"

None of this was changed in anyway. He's very sweet but c'mon! His profile is even worse. And no picture. I'm not usually judgemental and I try to see the good in everyone but the point of Match is that you find your match. When you do not, you politely click the "not interested" button. Which is what I did. I wish him the best but I wish the best for me more.

Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice everyone. What do you give people on the solstice? I have no idea. But here's an article about dating: 5 guy's every girl has got to date.

The summary:
The older man (Mattress Sales guy?)
The starving artist (High School Guy)
The metro sexual (Buff Gym Guy)
The bad boy (First Impression Guy? - I do not find myself attracted to this type of person. In fact, they turn me off. I don't need to go here.)
The nice guy (Math Teacher Guy, Friendster Guy, High School Guy - I'm a definite sucker for nice guys! In fact, my Match.com profile says "Nice guys can finish first. Bad boys need not apply."

So as not to appear sexist, here's the same article reversed for my gentlemen readers. I think I may be a combo of the "guy's girl" and "brainiac." Unfortunately I'm also heading into "older woman" territory if I keep going to parties populated with grad students.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wacky (Tacky) Weed

I just got back from a solstice party. The people were almost all new to me so I enjoyed getting to know a new crowd. However, I don't know your particular interests/disinterests in controlled substances but I think that once you hit 25 or so it's really not cool to be getting all excited about weed (I've never done it so I've pretty much always felt this way.) Once you hit 35 you become pretty lame. I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy it now and then for your own recreational use(ok, maybe I am saying that) but to be all giddy like a teenager about doing it is pretty stupid. "Pot? Did someone say pot!" I had to drive a guy I just met tonight home because his friend/ride disappeared in a puff of smoke. Luckily this guy was very nice and also sober. He had an interesting take on the situation because he's from the Netherlands where it's controlled like cigarettes. He thought it was kind of like binge drinking - get it over while you're young and then grow up.

First Impression Guy was one of the people who got excited and went upstairs to smoke. He was the "friend" who left the guy I drove home in the lurch. I'm thinking my third impression of this guy might be more like my first one - not so good.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quick update

So, First Impression Guy didn't show at the event. He did email me before hand but I didn't get it because I was on another date so he's not quite in the dog house yet. I will be seeing him at a party tomorrow and I told him he owes me one. I don't know what"one" is but he owes me. I so need a cell phone. Any plan recommendations?

As for the other date, that went well. Still no real sparks with Math Teacher Guy but he's easy to talk to. We had lunch, ran into a couple of his co-workers whom he introduced me to (bonus points for him), and wandered around Hanover. We shopped for his secret santa gifts and went to the bookstore. He just started reading the nerdy book I bought my Dad for Christmas. If sparks eventually fly my Dad will probably like him. That's good. I think the sparks not flying is because he's very much not flirty. (Was there anything grammatically correct about that sentence? No? Didn't think so.) Buff Gym Guy was too flirty and Math Teacher Guy has no flirt (Go figure - sadly, their nicknames sort of say it all). Or at least the flirt isn't obvious to me and there is definitely no physical manifestation. No hand on the back as I walk in a door, or even a casual bump while walking around the aisles. I walked him to his car and I had to say "Aw heck, here's a second date hug." And then we hugged. He wants to go out again and I'm not opposed to that so we'll see. He may grow on me.

I also talked to CA Dream Boy on the phone. He's always been a really good friend and I needed to talk to him about 1) the fact that I will be in CA in February and would like to stop in and see him, and 2) the fact that I was sad about the whole couple thing. CA Dream Boy and I have always had this "Life Crisis Counselor" relationship. I feel comfortable telling him my issues and I think he feels comfortable telling me his. So I called him. And then he had to get off the phone to go watch the President on TV and I was sad again.

But all was redeemed!!! High School Guy called me and we talked for two hours on the phone. It was a late night kids. And we're getting together on Thursday. And he asked me about getting together around the holidays. We may actually meet up back in our home town. That is if I am crazy enough to add that to my holiday traveling extravaganza. I have yet to decide.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Emotional Strata

My mixed emotions are settling into a few layers. At the top is happiness - my life is pretty darn great. I'm meeting new people, experiencing that butterfly in your innards feeling, finding sparks, and just generally having a good time.

Under the happiness is a confused layer. What am I feeling right now? What in the heck am I doing with my life? Why am I not working on my thesis? Who the hell cares? WTF?

At the very bottom is sadness. Sadness that I'm not part of a couple anymore. I spent last night celebrating the birthday of a woman I think is just fabulous. I consider her a friend and mentor. The people at her party were also fabulous - interesting, engaging, independent. Another friend of mine, also in the midst of the chaos of the dating world, and I were the youngest ones at the party and except for an 83 year old widow everyone else was coupled. Many were on their second or third coupling but they were firmly entrenched in that couple. What was interesting was that it was hard to distinguish which person was coupled with who because, being the fabulous people that they are, everyone was mingling with everyone and making newbies to the group such as myself welcome. But when push came to shove, I knew that every so often they'd catch each others eye and acknowledge their couplehood in their own subtle ways - a wink, a nod, a secret smile. I miss that. And as much as I've deluded myself into thinking I'm having a great time dating all over the place what I really want is someone to love me and be a couple with. I'll enjoy what happens between now and then but I have to acknowledge that goal.

I have a second date with Math Teacher Guy today and an "ambiguously intentioned flirting hanging out meeting" today with someone I will call First Impression Guy. The first time I met him I didn't like him. He was talking with a friend of mine and they were talking way over my head about politics and some other topics I could have cared less about at the time. It made me feel very stupid. I have since had several one-on-one conversations with this person and he is not as high falutin' and esoteric as I first believed. He's still a little hard to read though. I think I'm meeting him somewhere this afternoon but it was very much "I'm going to be doing this thing at 4." and then sort of "You should come." There was no asking or any real clue that he wanted me specifically to go. We did have a really nice time ignoring a hockey game together this weekend (sorry N & N for ignoring you after he came and sat with us. I'm a horrible friend for dissing girlfriends for a guy! I should be flogged. But I know you understand and would do the same and I'd understand.) So we'll see. He's very cool to talk to. Maybe I'll ask him to dinner after the ambiguous meeting at the event.

P.S. In case you didn't notice I've added a list of blogs I read and also a "Male Call" so we can keep track of my dates their current status.

Friday, December 16, 2005

My mom is an internet junkie

My mother does not know about this blog. But she's so internet savvy that I'm sure it is only a matter of time. She is now on Friendster and also 43 things. You should be too. Don't you want friends? Wouldn't you like my mom to be your friend? She pretty hip for a grandma.

43 Things is an interesting site. You can make a list of 43 things you want to do with your life. I don't know why 43 is significant. It's great now with New Years coming up. What's odd is that I joined it and then later on my mom did and the first thing she clicked on brought her to my record. It freaked her out. Then a few weeks later before I knew she was on there (because she was freaked out and didn't want to tell me) I clicked on something and she popped up. Weird. Of the Bagillion users on 43 Things I find my mom and she finds me. That's how my life goes people. That is how my life goes.

In other news, I'm having lunch with Math Teacher Guy again on Sunday.

Enough about me...

...let's hear from you for awhile. 'Tis the season of giving after all.

So far I've had some pretty good dates, no one has done anything frightening, or untoward, or even had bad table manners. It's been a good run and I hope it will continue (with High School Guy in heavy rotation). I'd like to hear from you about your worst dating experience. Enter something in the comments or send me an email (if you know who I am) and I will post the text anonymously.

I'd have to say my worst date ever was when I went to the senior prom as a junior. My date (now a good friend so he has redeemed himself) pretty much ignored me the whole time, kept saying things like "Isn't so-and-so really pretty?", and half way through the prom I couldn't find him. I finally tracked him down moping on the other side of the dance floor by himself. After the prom we went to one of his friend's houses. He did not tell me we were going to be staying there for the evening so I had nothing to wear besides heels and a poofy satin maroon number. So our hostess gave me some sweats that were about 8 sizes too big and we all had a slumber party. When I woke up my date was no longer there. Yup. He had left. I had no ride home. I had no clothes. The group wanted donuts so I walked with them to Dunkin Donuts in my homeless person oufit with post-prom hair and make-up. I'm pretty sure my date eventually came back and drove me home but man was I pissed.

So, can you beat that? I’m sure you can!

I am currently in a conundrum. How much do I share with the outside world (i.e. you, dear readers) now that I have found someone who might someday need to know I have a blog where I have been sharing potentially intimate details of our budding relationship. Since I’m in like with High School Guy and we not only had lunch yesterday but also hung out at his place later in the evening (without British Musician!) I don’t really want to broadcast any future juicy details (don’t get any ideas, it was all above board and he cooked me dinner. Granted it was at 10:30 at night but I hadn’t eaten so that was nice.) HSG has made it pretty clear that he does not want to be a couple (but does enjoy my company and wants to hang out) so I believe I have made it clear to him that I will follow his lead regarding commitment and in the meantime continue dating. And this, my friends, is what I will tell you about. Conundrum solved.

One little mini juicy detail to tide you over until my next date. At the end of the night HSG and I hugged and there was a moment where it was obvious we could kiss. He didn’t lean in so I did! Hee hee! It was just a quick peck but I was so proud of myself for not letting the moment pass. Normally (what the hell is normal for me nowadays anyway?) I wouldn’t have been so bold. I really feel comfortable with this guy so I went for it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I haven't scared him off yet

I'm having lunch with High School Guy today. Yay! My "enthusiastic emailing" (think drunken dialing) has not freaked him out.

I HATE the immediacy of email. There is way too much desperate thinking that happens when you don't get an email immediately back. I really need to learn patience. I waited over 32 hours before I sent the second email that he finally replied to. There are many reasons a person has not emailed back that are much more valid and correct than "He thinks I'm a troglodyte." (Troglodyte is my new favorite word.)

Anyway, I'm out of my mini-funk. I downloaded* onto a college friend of mine who knows both X and I, and he commiserated with me that it wasn't fair X got to be involved with someone before me. At least some of our friends are on "my side." Not that there should be sides but at least someone will pretend to be when we're one-on-one and it's appropriate for the moment.

*Don't you just love all the new words the internet has created? They work so well in other contexts as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ambiguously intentioned flirting hanging out meetings

This is a phrase my X coined to describe the couple of get togethers he had with our co-friend. I think it is a great phrase and we should all use it in a sentence today. I think it is also great that I can have a conversation about dating with my X. I have now sent him an email about the 6.5 guys I have gone out with. He might be in for a shock when he gets it. I also told him "Go us!" for our ability to have these sorts of chats. This is all so very weird. Have you ever heard of any other couple who could decide to divorce at the end of September, be divorced the end of November, and have calm, funny conversations about their dating lives before Christmas? I haven't. I consider myself very lucky. Living a very strange life, but very lucky.

And that's one to grow on!

I have recently been collecting quotes from various sources that are apropos to my life and philosophy. I thought I'd share a few.

Do one thing every day that scares you. - Eleanor Roosevelt

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

And my new favorite:

I'm not going to die wondering. - Colette

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mixed emotions

Well, STBX, or I guess now I should just call him X, called me today to warn me that I might hear through the ever so short local grapevine that he and a good friend of ours are "seeing each other." It's not very serious (yet) but he wanted me to hear it from him rather than someone else who sees them out together. That was very nice and considerate of him. Way to think ahead for once...er...yeah... Anyway, it was cute because he was so nervous to tell me. And surprised by how happy I was for him. He didn't expect that.

So yeah, on the one hand, I am supremely happy for both of them. I truly am. I think they are both people who deserve some happiness and I have now told them both that and that I give them my blessing 100%. They are even cute together, although I haven't seen them, but I can imagine. On the other hand I'm a little bummed. Or angry. Or something other than happy. I'm annoyed that he's taking the initiative to be flirty and attracted to someone else when he never was with me. Obviously, this is why we are divorced. We were not attracted to each other anymore. The problem is that he could have gone on another decade without ever realizing that one of us (me) wasn't happy in the marriage. Why did I have to do all the work and go through the agony of being the bad guy? And now he gets a girl right away without the stress of dating or trying to figure out if someone is emotionally available and all that? How does he get off so easy?

I'll tell you what, if I hadn't gone through all these dates and found out that there are guys out there who find me attractive and interesting and fun to be with I'd be supremely depressed right now. As it stands I'm only in a mild funk. And a lot of that funk is part of a second issue. I'm realizing that I've been cut off from a group of friends that used to be "our" friends. It's understandable but when you find out your entire coed summer sports team, including your X, is invited to something and you are not - specifically because of the divorce situation - you tend to get a little pissy.

Grrr....

Games are for children

Against all advice to the contrary, I sent High School Guy an email telling him I liked him. Here is the text (forgive some of the inside jokes):

Hi [HSG],Is there a particular reason we have to wait until this weekend to go out? My Friday and Saturday evenings are already scheduled with gal pals but I have nothing any other night until then. I know, I know, I'm acting like a desperate stalker. But you'll have to forgive me. For some reason I like you and I'd like to get to know you better. It could be the hairless shoulders, but I think it's the cheesy sense of humor. I'm a sucker for sarcasm and puns, and guys who cut their own hair. If there are reasons I shouldn't like you please let me
know sooner than later. You're in a satanic cult? You like to dress in women's clothing (only a bad thing if you are a smaller size than I am)? You have a third testicle? You have a steady girlfriend you have neglected to mention?


I also know you have a crazy life and lots of things on your plate so if you can't fit me in I can understand. I can be patient, really I can. So, can we go out? How 'bout now?

What about now?

So...now?

XXX

PS - Yup. Patience. It's a virtue I am unfamiliar with.


To my surprise he responded with a very thoughtful and honest message about his fears, scars and issues that might make it hard for us to have more than a very basic "Hey, I have nothing to do today, why don't we hang out?" relationship. Since I am not even 2 weeks divorced now and I have no idea what I want out of a relationship I think I'm ok with that. For now. I'll probably fall head over heels in like with the guy but that usually lasts about a week before I chill out and settle into an even keel. I should consider myself warned. He put his inability to commit right there on the table. No ifs, ands, or buts. But he also said he liked me too and thought I was wonderful. Hee hee. Watch me crash and burn people. Don't worry too much though. I was just in the grocery store and I specifically took off the glove on my left hand when I saw a cute guy coming toward me. Single girl on aisle 4!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Opening the door

So...I had some errands to do at lunch today which just happened to bring me right across the hall from High School Guy. I really didn't make up an errand just to go see him - my hairdresser is across the hall and I need some product. All right, need is perhaps too strong a word. However, I emailed HSG to see if he'd be there if I stopped by. He was and I did. We had a nice, but unfortunately non-flirty chat. He did say we should get together this weekend though. Then as I was leaving I threw caution to the wind and turned it up a notch. Since he knows all about the dates I've been on I told him I had rejected three of the six people I'd seen recently and didn't have any dates scheduled for the foreseeable future. Then I told him I had three people on the short list. And that he was one of them. He smiled and seemed flattered. I should have said he was my number one but I didn't want to scare him. I need some advice folks. Lay it out on the table and risk freaking him out (it's only "like" though so how scary is that?) or keep it to myself and explode hoping he'll get my hints. This is your time to shine oh my peanut gallery. Let 'er rip!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oh yeah, now I remember

I'm slowly (quickly?) remembering why adolescence sucked. Mainly it boils down to self-doubt. I just got myself a good little dose of that. I called High School Guy and we had a nice chat. We were talking about British Musician and how I didn't think I was going to take him up on his soon to come offer of going out. HSG jokingly asked why (after he had spent some time describing a few reasons why BM wasn't probably the best date) and I said, "I like his friend more." But he didn't bite. He made some cheesy comment about BM not having any friends. And then the conversation moved on. I'm pretty sure I wasn't wrong about there being some kind of spark between us. But here's where the doubt comes in. Did I come on too strong? Should I not have called him? Does he think I'm a stalker? Did I freak him out? Read the signs wrong? Who the hell knows?

It's all fun and games until someone stops playing the game.

What's a girl to do?

I just had a very nice lunch with Math Teacher Guy. I was right about his profile giving me the best vibes of the 4 guys I've now met from Match.com. He was really personable and I was very comfortable talking to him. The conversation was easy. There was never a pause. There weren't a lot of sparks but he's definitely someone I'd see again, even if it's just as friends. And we had some odd things in common: He almost went to the very small college I went to (it was in his top 3 and it's amazing when anyone has even heard of it), he doesn't like nuts, he didn't drink until he was 21, and we agreed on a heck of a lot of things. I'm not smitten and I'm sitting here hoping High School Guy will call me tonight but Math Teacher Guy is now in second place. Friendster has fallen to number 3. We went to a hockey game yesterday and had a good time but he is, as he admitted, a quiet guy. I don't think I need quiet right now.

I might hide my Match profile for awhile. I've got 2 guys I'm not opposed to hanging out with, and one whom I'm definitely interested in getting to know - on many levels. The many levels thing surprises me. And makes me happy. There is life after divorce.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm reverting to my adolescence and I like it.

Folks, I’m in like. That’s right, I said like. As in “Do you like him, like him?” I did not expect this but I really like High School Guy (HSG). He’s funny, easy to look at, and I’m totally comfortable around him. He called me this morning just to check in. And then I called him at his DJ job this afternoon (where he warned me British Musician Guy was going to call me and that I should let him down easy. I'm taking that to mean HSG doesn't want me to go out with British Musician.) You know how I was looking for that witty West Wing type banter? Did I ever tell you that? It's part of my Match profile after some rather unexciting date conversations. Anyway, totally got it with HSG. And he’s definitely wanting us to go out again : )

Remember my almost date with the guy who wore too much bling? High School Guy is really good friends with him. Or at least was in high school. Bling Guy may come up sometime (since he now has two friends here which makes the 2.5 hour drive more palatable) and HSG is going to teach us how to snow board. Very cool.

Who knew I would shell out $50 for Match.com and instead find someone I knew from high school through a co-worker? There's a reason my favorite word is Serendipity.

3am

I just had the most wonderful and bizarre experience. I thought I was crazy with two dates in the same day, but no, it gets weirder. I'm pretty sure I just had a date with two men at the same time. I think it has to be some kind of record. High School Guy, his British Musician friend and I met at a restaurant/bar at 7:30pm. One of my single gal pals was supposed to meet us but because of the weather bowed out. The three of us had a nice meal and while High School Guy (who passed my drinking test with flying colors and I really like now) was in the bathroom British Musician asked if he could have my number and take me out some time! Eeeekkk!!!! That's a scream of delight, not horror - sort of. High School Guy ended up seeing all this transpire but didn't seem phased by it (I had already told them all about my other dates so the fact that I was dating other people wasn't an issue. In fact, it seems to make men more interested...) For the rest of the night British Musician kept suggesting things we could do on our date. We were at the restaurant talking and playing darts until 1:00am - they were putting up the chairs when we left - and I drove them home to High School Guys place because they had walked. I went in and they proceeded to play music (guitar and banjo) and sing for me. I just left at 2:30am and they didn't want me to leave. It was really sweet but flirting and being attentive to two guys at once is tough. Talk about juggling. I really wanted High School Guy to know I was interested in him but I didn't want to hurt British Musicians feelings because he was also so nice. And had an accent.

Anyway, it is 3 freaking AM and I should be in bed resting up for the two more dates I'm having this weekend. Thanks goodness I'm getting a mattress tomorrow. I need something to make me go to bed. The futon mattress isn't exactly calling to me.

Oh! And remember Buff Gym Guy's brother? Yeah, High School Guy is really good friends with him. They play and produce music together. High School Guy knows Buff Gym Guy. I might have lied about there being plenty of men. That chain connected at both ends pretty quickly.

Goodnight!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Flutterbies

It is 3pm on Friday and I just got a wave of butterflies in my stomach. Good ones. Excited nervous ones. Fluttering all about. I love that feeling.

Blue Ribbon Weekend

This weekend is going to be great. Why? Because I have second dates with my top two candidates (Friendster Guy and High School Guy) and a first date with the guy I got the best vibes from on Match.com, Math Teacher Guy. I should start my own show like Rachael Ray - Getting by on one date a day (and still doing your laundry, paying your bills, and getting enough sleep). Except I haven't figured out how do so all that stuff in parenthesis yet. Baby steps.

Buff Gym Guy has settled safely into flirty friend mode and that's good. When I brought him to share with a group of gal pals he was charming and flirty and gravitated to one of my gorgeous and sassy friends. I do not blame him (she really is gorgeous, and one of the nicest and most personable people you'll ever meet so you can't hate her for being gorgeous. Plus, I'm starting to think I'm pretty gorgeous as well.). My motives for bringing him were to introduce him to other great ladies. He's too much for one I think. And our underlying beliefs are way too different. A Catholic boy who goes to church regularly should not date an atheist. I've been there and tried that. It doesn't quite work. You're both looking down at the other a little. Buff Gym Guy also brought his brother to the gathering and he hit it off with one of my friends. All in all I think meeting Buff Gym Guy was really a very good thing. I made a friend, got my ego boosted, and may have helped a love connection.

In other news, (I always seem to have other news) I went salsa dancing last night. A guy friend of mine suggested I stop by so I did and I had a great time. I'd never salsaed (Spelling? It sounds right when you say it but I don't think that's an actual word). There were ten people, 5 men, 5 women, and every guy danced with every girl at least once. It was great fun and despite the fact that we were all single (I think), it wasn't flirty or "hey baby". Just grown-ups getting together to dance. I'm definitely going again. They have it once a week. Anybody care to join me? Cha cha cha!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Don't sweat the small stuff

Ok, this isn't the most eloquent version of this story and you've probably heard it before but I liked the sentiment at the end so I'm sharing it.

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things- your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions - and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend."

Awww.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There is no paucity of men (FYI: I like the word paucity)

All I have to say before I go to bed is that if you think there are not that many single eligible men in this area (or any other area for that matter) you are not trying hard enough to meet them or are being too picky. I just met at least five eligible, attractive, intelligent and seemingly nice guys this evening. I don't want to marry or sleep with any of them but I had a great evening of conversation and laughter. You know what else? Even if they aren't appealing to you, maybe their friends are (or they'd be appealing to your friends). And those friends have friends. You never know when a random encounter will lead to your next relationship so get out there! Meet people! Do things! Match.com is great but you also have to be willing to let your feet take you where they can. Say yes to every invitation. Hell, invite yourself along. Be bold! Be brazen! Be brave! But be careful.

P.S. The male I interacted with the most has the same name as everyone else I've met and dated and divorced in the last month. Seriously, WTF?

The dirty (half) dozen

Here's a brief date recap for those of you playing the home game. I'll attempt to maintain the same date nicknames from now on so we can all follow along. I was needing a flow chart for awhile.

Date #1 : aka "Friendster Guy" - thought I wanted to be just friends but now think better of it. He's checking his schedule to see if he'll join me at a hockey game this weekend.

Date #2: was "Date # 3" at some point. Now known as "Buff Gym Guy". Very flirty. Saw him again last night. I brought him to a group thing at a bar last night knowing he'd be pretty flirty with not just me but my gal pals and I knew they'd like it. He was and they did. I learned he's a very interesting person and worth at least a couple more dates. He sang me a song from Les Miserable. And he was good. I didn't swoon but it's the kind of thing that would make me do so.

Date #3: "K." Physical disabilities and speech impediment. I've already told him we can be friends but that's it.

Date #4: "Glider Guy" He flies gliders in his spare time. A little boring. We may go out again to see if the awkwardness goes away but it probably won't.

Date #5: "High School Guy" Yes, I believe I'm going to call this a retroactive date. He was pleasant and funny and the conversation was relaxed and comfortable. We're going out again Friday night but with a friend of his. He's asked me to see if I have any single ladies who'd like to join us. There are a few red flags involving alcohol that I'd like to investigate. Friday night at a bar with a pal of his from Britain is the perfect venue. There are some things that are deal breakers for me. Overexcessive drinking is one of them.

Date #6: "Math Teacher" The jury is still out on him because we won't meet until Sunday.

So, Dates 1, 2, and 5 are promising and worthy of at least a second if not third and fourth looks. If dates 3 and 4 don't contact me ever again I'd be fine with that.

Date 6 is an unknown.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, only one of these dates ended in a kiss and it was the very, very briefest of pecks from Buff Gym Guy. Sadly I was like "oh my goodness I think he's going to kiss me on the lips right here in the bar in front of god and everyone!" instead of "Yeeha!" I may or may not be sharing any more juicy details here in the future. That might have been it folks. You may be trying to live vicariously through me, but not THAT vicariously.

Today is a day of rest. Aaahhhh....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

In the matter of Sassy Pants and STBX: "Divorce decreed. Cause: Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. [When they put it like that it sounds so...mean.] Final Decree on Petition is approved and incorporated as part of this decree. Sassy Pants is awarded the use of her maiden name."

So there you are. The end of a ten year relationship. Only it isn't the end, it's a metamorphosis. You'd think I'd be sad but I'm actually quite happy. We were stuck in a larval state and now I can be a butterfly. Now all these dates I've been going on are officially Ok. Good. I went on my first two dates on the same day as my papers were officially signed. I wasn't wasting any time that's for sure.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Shout out to the ladies

Just in case you think I'm boy crazy (Ok, I am. That's abundantly obvious.) I have also been hanging out with my fabulous lady friends almost as much as I've gone on dates. And I've had more fun with them, that's for certain. Saturday evening was dinner, coffee and magazine horoscopes with N & N. We had a grand old time talking about being single and every other topic under the sun. Sunday, in addition to the dullish date, the Friendster sighting in Walmart, and the Mattress salesman I also had dinner with N at her place. We spent time watching Sell This House!, and browsing Match.com for people we thought the other might like. We discovered that the really attractive guys who know they are really attractive write very little and assume you will contact them on their looks alone. I'm sure they're right. We took them off our lists. It really is amazing how much you can tell from a profile. So far, each person I have gone on a date with was pretty much the way I expected them to be. No surprises so far. But it's slim pickin's out there, all evidence based on my experience to the contrary. After I go on my retroactive high school "date" tomorrow and date #6 (5.5?) this coming weekend, I have no more prospects. Although everyone I've gone out with so far wants to go out again. I even have tentative plans with Friendster again. : )

Tonight I had drinks with two female friends, both co-workers and masters students with me (This was after I went to the gym where I got a kiss on the cheek from date #2 buff gym guy and where the guy I had been scoping out said hello to me, not the other way around as is usual. He gave me a big smile and asked how I was doing. Maybe I have another prospect after all...) Anyway, this post was supposed to be about the ladies. I AM boy crazy!

All my gal pals have great life experiences and wisdom to spare. They are just...fabulous. Sex and the City we ain't but it's the same concept. A side effect of being single, or prior to that, wanting to be single, is that I've really enjoyed getting to know all of them, some of whom I've known for decades. So, ladies, here's to you! Thanks for being there through my myriad of emotions and trials and tribulations and crazy fast paced life. Cheers!

P.S. Cheesy (but true) wisdom of the day: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Coffee is over rated

Word of advice, do not go out for coffee unless you have something scheduled afterward that will allow you to gracefully exit the date. I have had 2 coffee dates now and they each lasted 2 hours. I was ok up until they hit the hour and a half mark and then it got old. And men do not understand subtlety. When you make hints and overtures about leaving and getting on with your day they don’t really get it. So you sit there wondering how you can be any less subtle than you’ve already been when you stretched and said, “I think I need to take my leave now.” Half an hour later he’s still having a grand old time. I think from now on I’m going on lunch dates. Lunch is a much safer bet. When the check comes, that means you can leave. Lunch on a weekday is even better. You have to get back to work, no safer excuse than that.

My date today was not a match. I don’t think. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t that great either. He has already emailed me saying he had a nice time and would like to go out again. He said he hoped he wasn’t too dull and that it takes him awhile to warm up to people. I don’t know about a second date. He did seem to get more dynamic toward the end. It’s weird, I don’t think I was all that interesting on the date myself. I kept thinking, wow, you’re being really boring. I’m somewhat surprised he thought it was a match.

I like giving people the benefit of the doubt so I may say ok to a second date. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I need some help.

I am not good at rejection. More specifically, doling out rejection. I don't know yet if I can handle being rejected since I haven't had the opportunity. Can I just say, it’s hard being this charming and fabulous, even when I’m off my game : )

In other news, because my life just seems to be one big ball of craziness, I left the mildly dull date and ran into Friendster #1 at Walmart. Why did I decide we weren’t a match? He’s really cute, and personable, and intelligent, and funny. I think I might need to give him a second chance. Do something as friends. There was much more of a spark there than there has been with these other guys. I’ll keep emailing him as friends and see what happens. I think I decided that because he was my very first post-divorce date that I shouldn’t go there. I’ve also already sort of passed him on to a friend of mine (I gave him her email address). Maybe she can’t have him (Sorry H if you’re reading this ; ) ) Hmmm…

And in the bizarro world category, after Walmart I stopped at Mattress World (Don’t you just love the names of stores? I mean Mattress World? Whatever.) Anyway, the guy I bought a mattress from was very personable. I told him I needed something cheap because I was recently divorced and poor. He told me he was recently divorced too and we joked about it and other things. Being a salesman he chatted me up, asked lots of questions, and we had a nice generic conversation. Then he wrote his personal number on his card and told me to call him! But he’s like 50. He can’t be much younger than my Dad! I’m super flattered but oh my god. Having someone give me their number out of the blue is a definite first for me so I’m not sure if I should be skeeved or happy. He was very pleasant and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable about it so I’m going with happy. I’m not going to call him but still, it kind of made my day, except it had already been made by seeing Friendster #1.

Peanut Gallery

By popular request, OK, by one request, I have now opened up the ability for anyone to post comments, as opposed to only registered users. I look forward to your wit and wisdom. Play nice.

By the way, now that I'm writing "what I learned on my date" I feel like Doogie Houser with his end of show moral of the story. Luckily, there is no Vinnie Delpino climbing through my window.

Also, inspired by everyone I meet having the same name I share with you the Baby Name Voyager. Just type in a name and you can see its history. Did you know "Spurgeon" was mildly popular in the late 1800s. Did you know "Spurgeon" was even a name? Yeah, me neither.

Off to date #4. This guy seems pretty normal if not a little geeky. I'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Third times the charm...er...not really.

I’m tired.

Dating takes a lot out of you. Today’s date took a lot more out of me than I was expecting. For one thing, it was in the morning for coffee. For another, my date, let’s call him “K” for lack of anything better (you’ll have to forgive me my lack of creativity, I already told you, I’m tired.), required a lot of concentration. Let me explain. I met “K” on Match.com. He was the first person to respond to my profile and instead of a wink he sent me an email that was humorous, showed he had read far into the text of the “in my own words” section (which is very long by the way. I used every character I was allotted. Surprise, surprise, I like talking about myself.) and he was very “Hi, how are you. I am not a psycho creep.” Anyway, we commenced to emailing back and forth. In the course of our conversations he slowly told me certain things about himself that I’m sure required courage on his part to divulge and that for many women would be deal breakers . I don’t mean “I live with my Mom and I really like it,” or “You’d look really good in leather chaps” deal breakers. I mean physical disabilities, including a speech impediment. Since I already knew from his emails that his mental acuity was not in question I was willing to give it a go. As they say, we’re all TABs – Temporarily Able Bodied. Who the hell am I to judge someone because they have a limp? The man has a Masters from an Ivy League institution for Pete’s sake. So, I said yes to coffee.

I got to the café first and found a table. There weren’t many and unfortunately the one I found required maneuvering through tight spaces. Without knowing the extent of his issues I was already trying to make sure he got to make the most graceful entrance he could. I didn’t want him to have to run a slalom course to get to me. I’m a very nice person and sometimes too empathetic for my own good – more on that later. When he arrived he maneuvered fine. He had obvious physical issues but nothing he couldn’t handle (for the sake of anonymity I’m not going to share any more details than that). The problem came when he spoke. Actually, it wasn’t exactly a problem, just a bit of a shock. His speech was profoundly altered and it took a few moments for me to get used to the timber and rhythm of his speech. To be honest, if I had not already “spoken” to him over email, I would have thought he was mentally, what’s the PC word to use now? Retarded? Handicapped? Challenged? I’m sure other people in the café thought so. I caught people looking at us every so often. I’m happy to report that I never felt a twinge of self-consciousness. I say that because in the past my self-esteem was such that I would have wondered what people thought about me being with this person. It’s amazing how much being comfortable with who you are changes the way you relate to people. “K” was obviously comfortable being who he is as well.

Once I became used to his speech pattern, the conversation was very loose. Not flirty (and one sided) like with buff blonde guy but also not as forced as it was with Friendster #1. We rambled from topic to topic instead of asking each other questions. My date with Friendster was like an interview, mostly my fault I’ll admit. This was an actual conversation. I think it was partially because I felt like I had nothing at stake. It feels awful to admit this but what I learned from this date is that when you feel like you have the upper hand in a situation you can be much more confident and relaxed. I have to learn how to channel that in a situation when I don’t feel like I have the upper hand.

Here’s the problem. We’re not a match. I know this. I knew this the moment he started speaking. I did not enter this date as a pity date. I entered it with an open mind. One of my favorite people from high school had similar physical issues (minus the speech thing.) However, "K" has already emailed me and asked me to do something else with him next week. I feel bad rejecting any guy but with this guy I feel even worse. I don’t want him to think I’m rejecting him because of his physical issues but you know what, I kind of am. Here's the thing, I don’t want to treat him differently than other guys because he’s “disabled.” I also know he wouldn't want me to. But at the same time my whole empathy thing kicks in and I can’t help it.

Here’s what I’m going to do. It’s a compromise but I’m comfortable with it. I will reply to him saying it was very nice to meet him (which it was) and I’d enjoy going to the gallery with him next week but (just as I told Friendster #1) I’m not looking for a long term relationship right now (I’m really not) so it would have to be as friends only. I don’t want to waste his time (or mine). I know I would feel worse making him think I was interested than if I outright reject him. He doesn’t need my pity, he needs honesty.

Well folks. I must go to bed now. I’m meeting another Match.com person for coffee tomorrow.
Luckily, my next real date isn’t until a week from now. After that, I’m taking a break until the New Year. Famous last words.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What’s a girl to do?

Ok, THIS is not a problem I thought I’d be having. I have too many dates! I had two today (more on that momentarily), I have one Saturday, I have one that may be a date retroactively depending on how it goes (I’ll explain in a minute), I’ve had one more Match.com guy specifically ask to meet and I think there is another who is going to and if he doesn’t I will ask him. That’s what, SIX dates with different men? Holy crap! So far it isn’t a problem, but what if they start wanting second dates? What if I like more than one? I’m like a kid in a candy store who realizes that at some point she might get a tummy ache. Until then however, bring it on.

I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear about my first two dates!!! The first was with Friendster #1 for lunch. He’s even cuter in person than in his picture. He has beautiful gray eyes. He’s also very nice and sweet. I was really unsure of myself with him. But I don’t think it’s a match. I think we could definitely be friends but he’d have to grow on me to be more than that. Unfortunately, he is way too similar to my STBX. 1) Same name 2) grew up in NJ 3) only child 4) raised catholic. The more he told me about himself the more I wanted to start laughing at the irony. He explained at one point that if he lapsed into silence I should try not to feel uncomfortable, he was just quiet. Here I was, eating with someone I met at complete random on the internet and he was my STBX’s doppelganger. I think I need to email him and say I had a good time but I want to be just friends. I can use the completely valid excuse of him being the first person I met after the divorce. In fact, my divorce came up in conversation and I came totally clean about the timing and I even told him about his similarities to STBX. I told him if he wanted to run screaming from the room he could. He didn’t. He was very nice about the whole thing. I think he took it upon himself to make this transition as easy as possible for me. He mentioned that our date was a training date. Gosh he’s a nice guy. I think I already know what friend I'll set him up with.

I think I should include one thing I learn on each date in this blog. Here’s the first: I discovered on this date that I need someone to have witty banter with. It wasn’t a one sided conversation but it was definitely me doing almost a stand-up routine and him laughing. It was nice that he got my jokes but I’d really like to verbally spar with someone. I’ve added this information to my Match profile.

The second date (the guy from the gym, see last post) couldn’t have been more different from Friendster #1, except he too reminded me of someone – my ex-boyfriend from high school. He’s really cute too. In a totally different way –though. Friendster #1 is tall, dark, approachably handsome, slim. Date #2 is blonde, buff, one of those guys I would be intimidated to talk to at a bar because he’s already chatting up the nicest looking girl there. Tonight I got to be that girl. I had much more confidence with Date # 2 because he had so much confidence. He was flirty right off the bat. And he never stopped talking. Never. It was really hard to read him because one second he’d be completely serious and asking what I’m looking for in a relationship and in the next breath he’d say something very flirty and full of innuendo, very “How you doin’?” It was fun but confusing. He suggested we be friends but he essentially let me know that if I should want...how do I put this?... a little action, I could count on him. He even growled at me! But at the same time it wasn’t smarmy. Like I said, very confusing. Oddly, of the two I think I’d choose the second one because I felt more comfortable. I never would have thought I’d be more comfortable with the player type. Maybe I just liked not having to work as hard to hold his attention. Oh wait, one more thing I have to tell you! He started speaking in spanish to me. He said something about when he saw me he heard music. I said "Creo que estas llena de merde." Translation: I believe you are full of shit. He laughed and then continued about las estrellas en mis ojos (the stars in my eyes). He was completely ok with me smacking him and teasing him back and I think that's what made it comfortable. But at the same time I couldn't tell which of his personas was the real one...

What I learned: It’s really fun to flirt and even the guys who seem like they have the most confidence don’t necessarily have it. No one is unapproachable if you have enough confidence in yourself.

I’ve got at least 3-4 more dates already lined up or being lined up so I don’t have to make any big decisions yet. Or ever really. And I’ll see date #2 at the gym from now on so I’m not going to do anything rash.

Ah yes, the date that isn’t a date. Know that it’s a very small world. I just found out that one of my co-workers went to my high school (over 2 hours away in another state). Even odder, I graduated with his younger brother. Ever more odd, that brother now lives 10 minutes away from me. Continuing the strangeness, this person and I never spoke in high school. There were 600 people in our class so that’s a lot of people to talk to, but I remembered who he was anyway. Now we’re meeting for lunch to talk about old times. He’s single, I’m single. I think this might be one of those retroactive dates. We’ll see. We had witty banter on the phone. I have had some of the most entertaining back and forth funny conversations with his brother, my married co-worker, so if he’s anything like that this could be good. When we spoke on the phone it was very natural and fun. I’m looking forward to getting to know him.

Now I must go to bed. I have to keep up my strength for the man marathon. This is some crazy shit, pardon my french.