Elephantine Women – Not Exactly Politically Correct

j0427640 In my earlier post titled, Looking Good Naked, Custis wrote a rather lengthy comment because the topic clearly resonated with him.  While his comments might not be considered by many as politically correct and might even be incredibly offensive to others, he makes some reasonable points.  If you haven’t done so, go read my original post, read the comments, most notably his, and those that follow (at the time of this writing there are none) and then return here to read what I thought of his comments.  I’ve written it as though I was responding in the post comments to him.

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LOL!  Custis, that wasn’t exactly PC, but it’s your opinion and you are definitely entitled to it.  :)  Thanks for commenting.  I do, as you might expect, have a few questions for you based on your own logic but before I go there I want to clarify some things, just in case, about what all this is really about for me:

1.  This is not about me just trying to obtain some cultural standard of airbrushed skinniness and beauty. 

2.  This is not about me just feeling fat and ugly due to the preponderance of cultural expectations for beauty which I am surrounded by and which I fear I do not measure up to.  (I am surrounded by it, I don’t measure up to it by virtue of the fact that I am no longer in my 30’s, so what’s the point with that, and I really don’t care, okay, well sometimes I care, but not usually.)

3.  I am the person I am trying to impress right now and no one else.  I am not trying to look good naked to meet anyone else’s approval but my own.  That demands a firm fit body that works and feels good (has energy and is more positive in my outlook, etc.) not simply a smaller body.  If, by chance, I do end up impressing anyone else with the progress I make, that is merely gravy.  It is not my goal.  I’m the one I have to wake up with each morning and it is about time I decided that that is the person I’d best be getting to know and working on feeling comfortable with. So far, I’m not quite there yet, but I’d like to be.

Just sayin’ because anytime we start talking about “Looking Good Naked” or getting in shape or losing weight there’s lots of room to misunderstand motivations.  Mine is, simply, I don’t feel good.  I don’t like it.  I know what to do.  I need to simply stop making excuses and take the Nike approach and just.do.it.

Now about your comment…and back to my questions:

1.  You said that I should stop eating everything that tastes good?  Okay, so does this mean I must toss the asparagus and the Brussels sprouts and the avocado that I find to be incredibly yummy?  I suffer from borderline anemia and need my deep greens, how’s that going to work?  You said stop eating everything that tastes good?

 
j0387212 2. If I only eat from the produce section how am I going to get my protein in order to sufficiently rebuild those muscles I’m using and working when I weight train (you know that piece of the plan you seem to have left out where I stack weights on a bar and try to then lift it, press it, squat it or curl it?)  Yeah, definitely I need the protein.  I also like my meat.  Hee! Hee! 

3.  Is self-discipline in dieting all that is required?   I hate to tell you and I’m not a fitness researcher or expert or anything and, while I get where you are coming from, when you "diet" your body begins hoarding stuff and stockpiling fat and then when you eat again, more of the stuff is stocked up by the body, so to speak and less of it is used. Yes, over time, doing this you will lose weight, but you also destroy your body’s muscle tissue.  This results in what I like to refer to as someone who is skinny but still fat and very likely unfit.  It is not healthy.  That is not where I’m going.

4. Further, there is some good research and information out there on this.  You can Google it. I know you like to do that kind of thing so have at it.  I bet you find out what I found out.  Getting fit is not simply about the foods we eat or don’t eat, it is more than that.  This is why most credible sports/fitness people will tell you that it is much healthier to eat five small meals a day rather than three larger ones and yes, you need to have some healthy fats in there too, but, true, not a plateful.  There’s more to it than I’ve described, and that is an oversimplification of things to be sure, but don’t throw such a theory out just because you don’t understand it.

Now, as for your “elephantine” friends, might I suggest that it is very possible that they are eating correctly all through the day and not losing the weight for other reasons than you suppose?  I’m not saying that you are necessarily incorrect, I don’t know for sure, but my experience and my own study leads me to conclude that it takes more than just changing one’s eating habits in order to really lose serious weight in a healthy way and I might even go so far as to conclude that in order to really be effective a regimen of weight training is a must in addition to good diet and regular aerobic exercise.

Personally, I’ve done this fitness thing a lot in the last 20 years since I quit swimming a couple of miles a day and cycling 25+ miles too.  (Yeah, I would run at least 5 miles on the alternating days when I wasn’t cycling, but then, marriage, kids, a real job came along and kinda pre-empted all that).  I tend to be one of those who gained an excessive amount with each pregnancy and have topped over 213 before in my life, on not just one but several occasions (all of them pregnancy related).  While I’m not there now, the same principles will apply as I seek to get my body back in shape, because, you see that is really what it is about for me. 

Here’s why:

1.  I personally enjoy food and I am not going to hurt my body or ruin my life because I’m anorexicly watching every calorie.  Oh, yes, I will change what I eat and how much, but I’m not going to be sick about it if I fail occasionally.  I’ve been there done that too, got down to 119  pounds doing that one summer and, yes, the world wondered if I was sick.  I wasn’t bulimic (I can’t stand throwing up) and I wasn’t anorexic, but I was headed there.  I was obsessive and eating about every diet pill ever invented.  I went from about 140 pounds (which is a good weight for me to be) especially if it is the right amount of muscle down to 119 in a VERY short period of time.  I’m told the stress that creates on the body is the equivalent of shaving off about ten years of my life.  Yeah….not doing that again either.

2.  I personally am not about losing weight.  I really don’t care what the scale says.  Nope.  I don’t.  I care what my jean size is. I care what the tape measure says, and whether or not the flabby skin under my arms is cut and toned (which means it is going to be really helpful when it comes to digging up yard this summer).  I care how my legs look in a short skirt and heels (which right now I wouldn’t even attempt) and I care that I can do what I need to do without getting winded which is what those sexy supple legs in the short skirt and stilettos will be very capable of doing. I really care that I get those swimmer flat abs that I always had (until that 4th child came along) back. Because a strong back and abs, along with the strong legs, arms, chest and shoulders, means I’ll be able to split my own firewood (something I can’t do now) and look damn sexy doing it.  I care that I feel strong and able to handle whatever might come.  This isn’t ever going to happen by just eating the right stuff and less of it. Your approach will make me suffer headaches, and make me cranky, and that will negatively impact all my relationships and the next minute I walk into the school cafeteria I’ll be ordering up all that junk and inhaling faster than a brand new Kirby vacuum on a dirty floor.  I’m not doing that either.

j0402319Bottom line:  I have to stack on the weights.  And, yes, I do mean stack them on, though not right away and not all at once. And, hate to tell all the folks out there who believe that women should only do lots of reps with lower amounts of weights because they will just bulk out and become manlike.  Wrong.  Myth.  So not going to happen.  Watch and see. Or…Google and find out for yourself. 

3.  Further, if I’m going to be healthy, which is really my ultimate goal here, I have to involve myself in regular aerobic activity (and this doesn’t include chasing my kids around all day).

Do you see a pattern here?  In my three-pronged approach to my “physical” fitness (and this whole thing is about so much more than that for me) there is diet (meaning eating the right stuff in the right amounts, not starving), weight or strength training, and cardio exercise or aerobic exercise.  Two of the three have to do with physical exertion and calorie burn only one has to do with food.  Understand where my focus is going to be?  It will be on all three and I won’t starve to do it either.  Watch  me.

 

Now that you’ve quite patiently endured my little rant (thank you so much for throwing that door wide open),  I do agree with the main thesis of your comment which was it simply takes self-discipline.  It does, though it isn’t always so simple as I know you are well aware.  It means saying no to some things and saying yes to some other things and when it all gets difficult or inconvenient it means doing it anyway. It means picking yourself up when you fail and pressing on instead of caving to misery and giving up.  That’s the internal component I’ve referred to so much before now.  The Bible in Proverbs 23:7 states, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.  What we think determines so much of our success and failure in life.  This journey is not an easy one.  I know that.  It takes not only self-discipline, determination, and a whole host of other character traits I will need to draw from in order to be successful.  Stephen Covey, in his book, Habits of Highly Effective people lists as Habit #2, “Begin with the end in mind”. 624231_79466469 In a sense, that is exactly what I’ve done here as I seek to envision not only me in a more fit body but me with a healthier lifestyle going on.

And, now that you’ve distracted me enough with this little topic, I must refocus my efforts and get going on that workout program.  My day is getting away from me and I have a date with the produce section at my local grocery store after I get done working out. 

Cheers and thanks for commenting,

The Wild Mind

How Rushing A Sorority Is Like Online Dating

sw_fake_ballot_sa03045 I’ve recently come to realize how many things in life are analogous to many other things in life.  One pretty benign, or so it seems, event turns out to represent what happens in another completely unrelated area of life. 

So it is with the sorority rush process and online dating.  I know, I know.  It seems like a real leap here, but go with me for a minute.

Way back in the day, when I was even more naive and wide-eyed than I am now, I had the opportunity to go through sorority rush, bid night, pledge a sorority and eventually be initiated. At the time it intrigued me, but over the years, I’ve often thought it a fairly efficient way of sorting through a vast number of potential prospects in a short amount of time in order to make an important decision effectively and quickly. And for many women the need to sort through a vast amount of emails to determine which contacts to spend time meeting and which to never bother with is imperative.

Greek_party1950s The sorority rush system is actually a highly developed matching system called the preferential bidding system and you can read about it .  In sorority rush, the organizations are matched with prospective members in a manner that gradually narrows the options based on stated preferences of the participants. The result is the prospective new member is eventually matched with an organization where she will live, interact, socialize, study, network, for the rest of her years at the university. It is also a lifetime membership to a national organization.  In other words, we’re not just signing a 30-day month-to-month rental agreement, here, folks. The decision bears some thoughtful, considered deliberation.  So it is with dating, that is, if you are doing anything that remotely resembles seeking out a partner you could build a relationship and a life with.

Enter the world of online dating, which I did nearly three years ago.  I spent some time on that Online Dating Planet for a bit and I noticed some things.  First off, all the things they say about men doing the pursuing and women the selecting were true for the most part.  Really.  I no sooner posted my feeble attempt at a profile, a few recent and accurate pictures, and I was bombarded with emails and winks from prospective suitors.  I recently read an article here where some women have thousands of emails to sort through.  I never had quite that problem, but then again, I also don’t exactly live in the biggest metropolitan area and I limited the distance of my contacts.  Whatever.  The point I am trying to make here is that sorting through all those prospective romantic interests is not unlike the Greek organization sorting through thousands of prospective members in order to meet their membership quotas for the year.  It is impossible to think of responding to every single one individually and meeting them all?  Well, there just isn’t time in a life to do it.

afrog 013aMy inbox was inundated.  At first, I spent hours, days, weeks attempting to reply to every wink or email I received.  It wasn’t long before I realized that was simply ineffective.  I had to put some systems in place for sorting.  Now the systems and criteria I implemented might be different for another woman, but they worked for me.  The same is true in sorority rush.  Some house won’t take those rushing as a sophomore, they only want freshmen.  Since I was a sophomore when I rushed, this instantly eliminated me from a number of quality organizations.  Nothing personal.  It was just reality.  Did I cry about it?  No.  I just went with the remaining options which were also very fine organizations. 

When we date, there are priorities and preferences that we have that provide the basis for our own sorting systems.  For me I eventually determined that I was not going to waste time with a guy who winked or only presented me with a message that said something like “nice smile”, “great profile”, and so on.  If a guy couldn’t take the time to create, at minimum, a brief thoughtfully worded message of interest, I wasn’t interested. (And, yes, guys…we can tell when you cut and paste messages! I deleted those too!) This reduced my inbox to a far more manageable number.  The remaining people made it through to the next round of eliminations. 

At this stage, I put in place some more discriminating criteria.  No picture, no consideration.  No words in the profile, no consideration.  If he was a smoker it was a no.  If he’d never been married or was way too young or too old, it had to be a no. These folks usually received a nice, courteous “no thanks”.

After this, I had to consider interests and potential for compatibility.  This is often difficult to determine just based on a digital p1-Our-House rofile on a dating site, but I did find that there were certain means to eliminate those contenders who would probably eventually opt out anyway in the end.  For example, the spirituality of the person is important.  If he’s out there in religious Looneyville where keeping up an image of doing the right stuff is more important than actually being an authentic, decent individual then we’ll rub and quickly.  Why even meet up for coffee to find that out?  Save time, energy and coffee money.  Just say, “no thanks”. 

If he’s a guy who spent all his time out and about with no indication that he occasionally stayed home to rejuvenate and maintain his household, then I was out.  That’s a lifestyle that I can’t sustain with a time commitment that would destroy my ability to maintain my own home and my career, let alone keep my kids in clean clothing.  I’m wise to politely decline, no matter how attractive he might otherwise be.  Our differing preferences in how we spend time will ultimately create problems unless one or the other of us is willing to change and expecting one party to change in order to sustain a relationship (even before a relationship has been established) is not a good sign.  It would have been like me saying, “Yeah, I want to pledge that house but only if they will completely redesign their organization to suit me.”  So not going to happen!

So, you see how the process of matching by criteria and gradually eliminating the prospects is an efficient decision making tool? 

When I was looking to pledge a sorority there were certain things that were important to me: reputation of the otri_delta_slide_show_and_stuff_534rganization, involvement on campus, leadership of members, social life, priority placed on academics, philanthropy, networking potential and so on.  Of course, the actual architecture of the house and its interior were important to me, but these were minor in comparison to the things that really created the organizations “soul”.

When dating, we all have our own ideas of what we are looking for in relationship.  Tall, fit, active, handy, homeowner, non-smoker, spiritual, not spiritual, conversationalist, education, income, etc.  All these facets determine what we think will be a good fit for us.  It is not a bad idea to have these priorities or preferences.  It is actually a good thing and can prevent us from wasting valuable time and energy on relationships or individuals who are not a good fit.  If the organization I am looking at has no room for sophomores in their organization, then as a sophomore, I would have been wasting time and emotional energy hoping I could pledge that house and I may have missed the opportunity to become a member of an organization that would have been even more suitable for me.  On the other hand, spending so much time about what a guy looks like and how much he makes (having a job is good! Making six figures, not required) is a bit like obsessing about the structure aesthetics of the sorority house instead of paying attention to the quality of life that goes on within that house.

theperuviankiss All this effort before even deciding to meet with someone?  Yes, pretty much.  Oh, sure.  There were occasions when I made exceptions.  100% of those exceptions never made it past the first date.  Once I began putting some more systematic thought into the dating process, I found I was going out on dates that were more enjoyable and I was actually having more than one or two dates with a person.  I wasn’t dreading the proverbial coffee date and more and more of those coffee dates led to something more. Even after the something more, the process continued to be a two-sided matching process as my dates and I continued to get to know each other. Dating is like sorority rush and that’s not a bad thing!

What I’d like to hear from others is what kind of criteria do you use to eliminate people you don’t think will be a good fit for you?  Is it looks, income, personality, education, values (if values what values are important)? 

What’s your criteria when involved in the two-sided matching process of dating?

Heads Up! Seven Up!

lrg-32-valentine_082I remember it well.  The childhood game where seven children in the class are chosen to go to the front of the room.  On the directive, “Heads down thumbs up”, the seven students travel around the room, one by one touching the thumb of one of their classmates and returning to the front of the room. When all seven are back in their places the invitation, “Heads up, seven up” is issued and those seven students whose thumbs where chosen get to stand and try to guess who picked them.  If guessed accurately, they replace their classmate at the front of the room and then enjoy the privilege of getting to “touch a thumb” during the next round.  If not, the chosen student remains in their seat for another round. In this game, as in many such childhood games, there are the choosers, the chosen and those on the sidelines. 

As a teacher, I am amazed at how much kids still really enjoy this game.  As an adult, I am intrigued with the parallels which exist between this childhood game and life, particularly the life of those who find themselves, for whatever reason, single after 40. 

In Heads Up, Seven Up there are the choosers, the chosen and those who get sidelined.  The choosers in life, as in this childhood game, have the most fun or so it seems.  They are up front, making choices, determining by their decisions who gets to play and who does not.  The chosen, are given an opportunity to get in the game, but if they don’t make an effective choice, a perceptive determination, they remain as chosen or worse, they can be sidelined during the next round of play.  The sideliners are those un-chosen ones deemed by their peers as those who will not participate during a round of play. 

During the dating process, we all play each of these parts.  We can be the chooser, determining who we will select or who we won’t.  We invite some to play and sideline others.  We are confident.  We are in control.  We are choosing and shaping our destinies.  Most of us like this place.

Bikes and babes 3There are times in our lives, however, when the choices of others sideline us.  The partner who goes back on a commitment, the infidelity of a spouse, the unreliability or abandonment of the person you planned to spend the rest of your life with but who ended up choosing someone or something else instead of you.  Being served divorce papers, the death of a spouse, the pain of that precious connection going silent without explanation or, worse, just fizzling.  At these times, we find ourselves sidelined, inactive, unable to play, maybe by our own choice…for a time.  Often because of the choices of others or another who simply did not choose us.

Love and Relationship is one game everyone wants to play.  It is the one game that we all want to be involved in either as the chooser or the chosen.  We all dread the sidelines in the game of Love and Relationship.  We want someone to touch our emotional thumb and say, “I pick you!”  WeImage_0023 want someone to tell us they noticed us.  They noticed those things about us that make us special.  They appreciated those unique qualities in us enough to want to be around us and interact with us more often than not.  We want the opportunity to choose and be chosen.  When the words “Heads up, seven up” are called in the game of love we all hope we get to stand at least during one round of play. We hope our guess is right and that we can aptly match the feel of the touch to the owner of the hand.

None of us like the sideline position where we simply watch others play the game that we so deeply desire to be part of ourselves.  This sideline position can be a healthy respite for a time, as we heal from an especially disappointing round of play, but as a permanent state of existence it is simply not ideal.  For some it is even painful. 

Just as in the game Heads Up! Seven Up!  everyone eventually gets to play at least once, so it seems is the case for most people in The Game Of Love.  How long each of us play or how often varies, but it seems that at one time or another we all get the chance to stand on cue and take a whack at making a choice. 

Where are you these days? 

  • Are you in the place of choosing? 
  • Are you there with your head down and your thumb up, hoping you will be tapped for the next romantic encounter?
  • Have you by your choice or the choices of others been sidelined? 
  • Where are you?  How do you feel about it?
  • If you don’t like your current place in the game, what, if anything, will you do to place yourself so that you are happier with your level of participation?

Ditch Mr. Options

Last night was movie night.  At my house, my kids and I have recently discoverd On Demand movies.  This is where you choose the movie you want to watch, pay a fee and watch the movie.  It is certainly cheaper than buying the movie, more convenient than running down to the local video rental store and renting it and since I’ve lost the last movie I rented from Netflix, it’s what we are doing now to provide the programming for our movie night.

Last night’s pick was dictated by the 18-year-old and me since we were the only ones watching.  She chose “He’s Just Not That Into You”.  It was a cute movie and showcased a number of dating disasters which we’ve all probably encountered or created regardless of our place in the life cycle. One of the overriding themes of the movie,however, was the tendency that women have to overlook the obvious and hope for the best in a relationship.  I call this tendency the tendency to make excuses for men’s bad behavior.

If a guy doesn’t call he’s not interested.  If he doesn’t want to have sex with you he’s not interested.  If he doesn’t want to be with you he’s not interested.  These were some of the main points of the movie.  I happen to agree with them.  But many of us women, make excuses or create fantasies about how he could still be into us and be unable to call, not be interested in us physically, and not want to spend time with us.  He’s busy, he’s tired, he’s got a lot of stuff to do at work. 

I used to make these very same excuses for the people I dated.  I no longer do this. 

If he says he’ll call and he doesn’t I waste no more time thinking about it.  I have all the information I need.

If we’ve been dating for a while and things are still platonic, that’s great, but he’s not in the candidate pool for next romantic partner where I’m concerned and I don’t spend a lot of time wishing or wondering when he’ll make the move to take the relationship to the next level. He won’t.  I won’t let him.  He’s not interested. I get it.

If  he says he’s into me but continually makes time with the guys or work more important than spending time with me, I no longer spend much time or energy on this.  He’s not into me.  If he is, he’s not enough into me.  I’m not wasting any time wondering why or wishing things were different or making excuses for him. He’s not into me, that doesn’t work for me.  Next!

These are relatively easy ones to figure out though.  The tough ones are the ones where every thing seems good on the surface: he calls, you spend regular time together, he’s indicating sexual interest. It seems like a relationship.  But something doesn’t quite sit right.  Maybe it’s the fact that he said he’d call at noon and he ends up not calling till 4 or 5.  Maybe it’s that he said he’d see you in a few hours and six hours later you still haven’t heard from him.  He does the minimum expected relationally to keep you from calling it quits but he doesn’t quite demonstrate the kind of caring, considerate interest that we all know a guy would demonstrate if he were into a gal. These are the tough ones to figure out when you’re caught up in one.

It is hard to leave a relationship that isn’t working.  We don’t ever do it unless we have to because we all love the companionship and we hate the Friday and Saturday nights alone or with strangers.  We are wired for that intimacy and connection that a good love interest can provide.  However, when it goes sour it is painful and like getting a shot or going to the dentist we fight it. 

I have a friend who is currently going through this situation. She’s been dating the guy for a year and a half.  Here are the facts as I know them:

  • They’ve been dating for a year and a half.
  • He was scheduled to move in over a month ago, to date, he still hasn’t moved his stuff over nor are they any closer to joining households than they were a month and a half ago.
  • He routinely says he’ll be over in a couple of hours, four, five, six hours later and he is still AWOL, and hasn’t called.
  • He chooses time with the guys over time with her consistently.
  • He leans on her financially and bails on his part of the financial obligations.
  • He says all the right stuff, but doesn’t do enough of the right things.
  • To my knowledge, other than moving in together, which doesn’t seem to be happening there has been no further discussion about moving the relationship to the next level, a conversation my friend would really like to have.

This is the guy I call Mr. Options.  In my opinion, this guy is stringing my friend along, getting what he wants out of her but holding out in case something better comes along.  It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly what I think of this behavior on the part of the guy.  I also bet you can guess exactly what my advice would be to my friend.

Yep.  You guessed it.  She ought to ditch him and move on. 

But she won’t, because she’s still in the denial stage and making excuse after excuse for him and accepting his paltry statements which are unsubstantiated by his behavior as adequate proof of his interest.  He’s not interested enough.  Raise your standards, girlfriend.  You’re so worth so much more than that.

Bad Behavior

Recently a friend shared with me how her boyfriend of nearly 8 months ditched her for a period time on their last date without saying anything to her.  It seems they were out with a crowd of people and he simply disappeared for a while with another one of the guys from the group.  My friend was not really left alone.  She was with other people she knew, but she was in a different city about 30 minutes away from her place  and dependent upon her boyfriend for a ride home.  He was not even in the same location with her for over an hour of the time they were out on their date.  When they met back up again, my friend, smart cookie that she is, ended the date and insisted that her boyfriend take her home.  He was surprised that she had had enough for the evening and was calling it a night a good two hours before the time they originally planned the date would end.

Surprised?   He was surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior as if what he’d done was perfectly acceptable.

Another friend, recently met a man and went out with him for a first date.  He showed up dressed in an old tee shirt and a baseball cap. While on the date,  this man did not offer to buy her drinks but allowed her to buy his and did not say thank-you.  She never went out with him again.

Surprised?  Are you surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior?

A third friend went out with a man who was attractive, intelligent, and paid without flinching for the drinks on their first meeting.  He went overboard to express his interest in her and to ask for a second date.  He told her he’d call her in two days.  He kept his word.  When he called he suggested they do something the next Saturday, she agreed.  He told her he’d call later that week to firm something up.  He called at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.  She saw the call ring in on her phone, recognized the number and let it go to voicemail.  She continued on with the plans she’d made for herself that evening after not having heard from him by midweek. What were those plans?  A home pedicure and a quiet evening in…alone.  When I spoke to her later about her thinking she said this, “I have better things to do that to waste time on someone who demonstrates such bad behavior.”   I asked her what she’d do if he called again?  She said, “He won’t, but if he does, it won’t matter.  He had his chance and he already blew it.” 

Surprised?  Was my friend playing games in the way she dealt with the man’s bad behavior?  Was she too harsh?

Bad behavior.  It happens.  Men behave badly toward women and women behave badly toward men.  It is not my intent here to point out or villify one sex over the other, but for the puposes of this article, I am speaking mostly of men and their bad behavior with women.  I do recognize however, that the relational road is a two way street and both sides get mistreated. 

We  put up with the bad behavior because we are so afraid of losing the relationship. This is something I have been guilty of more often than not in the past.  A guy says he’ll call, then doesn’t.  A guy calls at the last minute for a date that evening.  Worse, he pulls the typical 11:00 p.m. bootie call. (Now, that I’ve never put up with not even in my college days when it was normal for a date to start at 11:00!) A guy takes a woman out to a party then ignores her the entire evening.  A guy spends his time looking over every female that walks by while out on a date with you, his girlfriend, of a year.  A guy says he loves you and wants to get married, two years later a date is still not set and he is waffling.  The guy says he wants to move in.  The scheduled date for moving in comes and goes and he and all his things are still not in the same residence with you and yours.  Bad behavior.  We put up with it because the alternative in most cases is kicking the guy to the curb.  We don’t kick the guy to the curb because that means so many unpleasant things.

It could mean loss of the relationship.  If it does, then there go the dreams, the hopes the imaginary future you’d built in your head about all the possibilities you two could have had/done together.  It means you now do not get to check the “in a relationship” box on MySpace or Facebook.  If the relationship tubes, it means pain and loss and grief and anger.  It may mean some lonely nights in front of the t.v. with a box of Kleenex.  It could mean some self recrimination as you wonder, “Why on earth did I waste so much time hoping he cared about me the way I cared about him when it was so evident he did not?”  It could mean a complete change in living accommodations and lifestyle and standard of living.  It could mean so many things that are seemingly worse than just tolerating the bad behavior. 

But tolerating the bad behavior is damaging to us.  By tolerating bad behavior from anyone, we devalue ourselves and risk losing or crippling our confidence and our self-esteem.  No one needs to tolerate bad behavior on the part of a significant other.  We also don’t need to respond to the bad behavior with similarly bad behavior. 

Bad behavior happens.  So, what to do when it does? 

Well, to answer this question, one must first be very clear about what they want from relationship and what they will not tolerate.  Once one is clear about these things, the rest is fairly easy.  Simply do not tolerate the unacceptable behavior.  No need to get mad.  No need to get upset. No need to waste any time wondering if he’ll change or call or apologize.  Just don’t tolerate it. No explanation is needed. 

I hate to sound so callous, but seriously?  If he’s treating you that badly before you’re in a “committed relationship”, what will he treat you like after?  It generally doesn’t improve. Further, why waste any more time in relationship that is mediocre, unsatisfactory, disappointing or just not working?  Life is too short and there are plenty of decent men out there ready, willing and able to treat a woman they care about with dignity, respect and integrity.

So, how would I have done each of those scenarios if I were taking my “No Tolerance” approach? 

In the case of  the first friend whose boyfriend took off for an hour without saying anything to her, I wouldn’t have waited out the hour to find out that he was gone for over an hour.  I’d have either asked a friend to take me home or called a cab the minute I found out he was nowhere around.  I would not go out with him again.  If he called and offered some lame-ass excuse for his behavior (which is the only kind he could offer in such a circumstance) I would politely listen.  I would not offer an explanation for my behavior other than possibly to say, “There’s just not much about that entire episode that interested me that much.”  No need to discuss.  End of call.  I would screen any further calls.  No tears, no drama, no need.  I’m worth being treated better than that.  At minimum, I’m worth an explanation and the opportunity to say I want to go home if the plans have changed.  Further, I would not have done that to him. 

In the case of  my friend who’s date showed up for the first date dressed carelessly and who behaved carelessly, I would have ended the date within an hour.  Fortunately for her, they arrived in separate vehicles and she was free to leave when she wanted without having to depend upon him for a ride.  (I’m a big advocate of doing this if the date is a first date with someone you don’t know very well or if it is someone you are meeting from online.)  I would not go out with this person again and I would screen all calls as well. If it doesn’t matter to you how a man dresses or presents himself publicly and if you don’t mind being his bankroll then this behavior might not bother you.  It goes back to being very clear about what you want and what you don’t want.  The direction I am steering my life, has no room for someone who cannot move fluidly from a nice formal occasion to a tee-shirt and jeans and back again as needed depending upon the occasion.  Knowing this about myself, helps me eliminate the would be contenders for my affection that aren’t a good fit, no matter how nice they seem to be.  And, no, there’s not much about being someone else’s bankroll that interests me all that much. That’s what I do for my children, not for my lover.  I’m not opposed to bringing what I can to the financial table, but he needs to be willing to contribute too.

In the case of the third friend whose date didn’t call until the night of the date, I’d have done exactly what she did and I have on several occasions.   I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  when a man is crazy about a woman, he doesn’t let her phone grow cold.  He doesn’t wait until the last minute to call.  He doesn’t give her his number and hope she’ll call him.  Again, I know what I want and what I will not tolerate.  I want a guy who is crazy about me and a guy who doesn’t call simply is not.  He’s not shy, he’s not busy, he’s not unable to call, he’s simply not interested.  That doesn’t work for me. 

It’s just bad behavior and I have already used up all my bad behavior moments in this life.  They’ve all been spent on past relationships, enduring very bad behavior when I should have been moving on and enjoying my life.  Instead, I allowed myself to experience a great deal of misery and pain which I could have avoided by recognizing the bad behavior from the start instead of overlooking, ignoring or excusing it. I only have time and energy left in my life to spend on giving the best of me (which is my time and energy) to those who are really truly going to appreciate it.

“The Last Hose Supplier You’ll Ever Need” Responds to My Inquiries

Well, take a look at this!  I’ve received a response from that Online Hose Supplier that I mentioned a post or two back.  To see the earlier correspondences you will have to just scroll through the earlier posts.  I’m too tired and lazy to link them, sorry.  Here’s what that overseas supplier responded with:

Once again I thank you for your inquiry about the range of hoses that may suit your somewhat unique requirements.

Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with pictures of the hose and fittings I referred to in my last correspondance but I can assure you it is unlike any of the previously used hoses you’ve described. I don’t mean to be critical but I think that ,in the past, you have chosen lesser quality and much less reliable equipment than your quite specific requirements deserve.

As a sign of good faith, and to sate your curiosity, I have taken the liberty of arranging for a free 2 week trial of a second hand sample of the product and its associated attachements. Once I have received Customs clearance I will endeavour to ship these to your home address.

As the items mentioned are not new I trust you will handle all items with care.

Please do not hesitate to contact the writer should you require anything further.

He is, it seems, being honest and straightforward about the condition of the hose.  At least he admits the hose is not new.  That’s okay, since new hoses are incompatible with my pump.  My pump is an older model, still in excellent condition, requires little mechanical maintenace, and performs better than many of the newer models, however, the newer hoses just don’t seem to have the staying power my pump requires.  THS is also willing to provide a two week free trial.  He must be confident of his product or his salesmanship, or maybe both.

This brings up a few questions though.  Like, how free is free?  What is the small print?  Better yet, is there anything written in invisible ink I should be aware of?  What I’m most curious about is the “associated attachments”.  Sounds like there might be more to the bargain than a mere hose.

Grocery Store Get Togethers

Grocery cartFunny things happen in grocery stores.  One time I was checking out and bagging my groceries. Right behind me was a guy that had contacted me on that Online Dating Site that I am on-again-off-again about. He contacted me, didn’t interest me, I responded politely, but not encouragingly. Plus, he kept asking me, “Having any luck on here?”  Seriously?  That’s not his business.  So, it was weird to meet him in the grocery store.  He recognized me, mentioned our brief correspondence and well, I got out of the store fast that trip.

This last week, I had another interesting encounter in the grocery store.  I ran into a friend I knew while I was married to Ex #2.  In fact, we were kind of in a disastrous marriage support group thing together.  She happens to work in this store, but since she works days and I usually shop late afternoons or early evenings we never see each other. During the time that I knew her, she was just starting this relationship that, well, didn’t look that promising to me.  I mean, it seemed the guy ran hot and cold on her.  It also seemed he left her with the lion’s share of doing the work of “relating”.  I remember thinking that I hoped it worked out for her, since she was really into this guy, but also thinking that I was very skeptical that it would.

My friend, didn’t recognize me at first.  Seriously.  She had to do that double take thing, then the triple take.  “Wow!” she exclaimed, “You look great!  How are you?!” ( I love it when that happens and it is happening a lot lately! LOL!)  We did the girl hug thing that women do when they meet and haven’t seen each other for a long time.  We spent a few minutes getting caught up.  In fact, she ended up going through the checkout line with me.  I told her that Ex #2 and I were divorced.  She told me she thought that was a great decision, obviously, since I look so good now (her words).  I asked her about the relationship she was starting way back when we were hanging out in that disastrous marriage group thing. Sure enough, three years later, she’s telling me how he proposed, then got cold feet and backed out.  She finally ended it with him.  I mean, seriously, she hung out with that hot and cold behavior for three whole years? 

Women, why do we do this????

I found myself wanting to tell her, “Girlfriend, you made a great choice!  He never was that into you!”  Instead, I kept my mouth shut, encouraged her and listened and wondered why we women are so willing to “put up with” and “make excuses for” men who really just aren’t into us. 

Men don’t lie.  They tell us exactly what they think, in one way or another. If they don’t call, it isn’t because they are busy or “couldn’t”.  It is because they don’t want to.  We just aren’t important enough for them to carve out a few minutes to connect.  A guy that really wants to be with a woman, doesn’t let her phone grow cold.

In the same way, when a guy runs hot and then cold, he’s not really committed or all that interested.  Most guys know instantly if they want to pursue relationship with a particular woman or not.  They are all hot about her, no cold, it’s just that simple.  He wants to call her, be with her, do stuff for her and give her things, even if those things are only small tokens of care and even if he’s working within a budget.  And, hear me, peeps.  It isn’t the gift at all here that is important, it is the behavior.

I was talking with another friend last night, and we were discussing relationship and single life and guys and she said, “I think being alone sucks and I hate dating, but it is a whole lot better than being in a bad relationship with the wrong person.”

I’d have to say I agree. 

Seriously. There are lots of really nice, handsome, terrific men out there. Contrary to popular belief.  If he’s not crazy about you (and you are worth being completely crazy about!) then don’t waste another minute or amount of emotional energy.  Okay, I give you permission to have 15 minutes of disappointment, but that’s all.  Face it, if he’s not calling, wants to be with the guys more than you, seems to have a whole lot of other priorities higher on the list than you then, well, he’s not crazy about you and you deserve better. Be a realist. Face the facts.  Move on. 

You’ll be glad you did.  I hate to say it, but he probably will be too.

Reasons Why I Never Responded To You On That Online Dating Site

computergivesflowersThese are some of the most common reasons I don’t respond to men on an online dating site.  I can’t speak for other women, and I’ll willingly and gladly admit that I’m one-of-a-kind and not like other women so it wouldn’t matter anyway. These are my thoughts and mine alone.

1.  You only winked at me.  Seriously?  If that’s all the more effort you can expend even after my profile specifically stated that I dont’ respond to winks, you just told me you didn’t read my profile and all I have to say to that is “Next!”

2.  You emailed me and this is what you said, “Hey, liked your profile.  I was wondering if you’d like to chat.”   Hell, no!  I am not on this site to “chat”.  I am not on this site to waste my time. I am not on this site to respond to any cut and pasted messages that you sent to a thousand other women.  I am on this site to increase the odds that I will meet a man who actually has the same ideas about life and relationship that I do so that I can date him and become seriously involved with him with the hopes of building a fulfilling life and future together.  After all, this is hopefully going to be the man that breaks my heart when I have to bury him because we loved each other so deeply (or whose heart is broken because he has to bury me).  Chatting is beneath my dignity…and beneath the dignity of anyone  who seriously merits my attention.  (Now some ribald, tawdry fun on occasion is not out of the question, but you have to be amazing to make that work in the very first email, if you are and you do, you’re golden!)

3.  You told me you loved my picture but said nothing more.  Really, now.  What am I supposed to do with that?  Ask you out?  Sorry, big guy.  That’s your job. About all you’ll get from me on that one is, “Thanks for the kind words.  Good luck on your search.”  And, yes, I cut and pasted it for you and about 50 other guys tonight.

4.  You told me your whole life story in the first email.  So, what’s there to discover now? Next!

5.  You disclosed to me that you beat your last wife, or that you beat your ex’s boyfriend up and did 5 months in jail for that little expression of emotion.  I’m looking to eliminate unnecessary drama from my life, not invite it in.

6.  You had no picture on your profile.  While I’m such a Beauty and the Beast kind of girl, I am also savvy enough about digital realities to know that you can say anythng you want without a picture.  I also know that with a picture you can still be lying.  I don’t deal without a picture and I have my ways of discerning if you are lying to me with that picture or not.  A huge part of relationship is chemistry whether you want to admit it or not and, yes, you have to look good to me.  You expect that I will look good to you or you wouldn’t have contacted me. After all, I did post an accurate and recent picture of myself.  If you can’t do,at least that, I’m not wasting my time with you.

7.  Your username was stupid.  Really.  How smart is it to put up a user like “sexyfun1foru” when you are 5’2 and 300 pounds?  Remember, you are contacting a woman who is 5’6″ in bare feet.  Add the stillettos and I’m an easy 5’9″.  Are you really going to be able to be someone I can look up to?  Seriously…there are many lovely women in the 5′ range.  Hunt them. I just can’t do someone who is shorter than my own son. Also,  I’m sure you are a dynamo in bed but I would have downplayed those sexual strengths and focused on the inner person with your username.  Kinda makes me think you’re just out for a one night romp.

8.  You asked, “So, how’s the online scene working for you?”  That’s an instant dealbreaker.  It’s working WAY better for me than most, but that’s none of your freaking business so don’t ask.

9.  Your first email and your profile for that matter was all about you.  You didn’t ask any questions about me nor did you give me anything I could respond to beyond, “Oh that’s interesting.”  I’m really not that into becoming someone’s groupie.  I want a “relationship”, a partnership, a collaborative effort involving more than just one person. There are many out there who are willing to sign on as your fan club groupie, just because you look nice, have a job and have all the necessary body parts.  Go have fun with them.  I want something more.

10.  You gave me your number and expected me to call you.  Dude, let’s project that out ten years from now and we’re married.  Translation: if I do it all now to get the relationship started…I’m going to be the only one doing anything to keep it together.  Dealbreaker.  No time to waste going down that lonely road.  I want better than that.  Next!

11.  You emailed me but didn’t close the deal.  I really find it so interesting that really successful competent men can work overtime getting to know a company inside and out. They learn everything about the organization so that when they do get that one shot to sell themselves to the company of their dreams they can impress those interviewing them and they can negotiate the best deal for them and the company they are interviewing with.  They actually present themselves to their future employer by detailing how their strengths and experiences can benefit the company.  Then they go a step further and ask for the job.  They follow up the interview with thank-you notes of appreciation and they continue to relentlessly but diplomatically follow up until they know they’ve got the job or they’ve been eliminated.  Men, do not operate this way with women.  With women and online dating, it seems that men more often fill out the application (put up a profile)  and apply for the job( make an intial contact or two), but then they expect the employer (the woman) to go chasing them down to offer them a job (he leaves his number but she has to do all the work to get the thing rolling) .  Or, he contacts her and makes small talk but never gets around to asking her out or making arrangements to meet her.  What is up with that?

And that’s just the first 11 reasons!

The Stupidest Email I’ve Ever Received…Recently Anyway

Okay, I’ve recieved stupider and funnier ones than this one.  Like the convict who dared accuse me of stalking him just because of a stupid Facebook comment I made where I repeated verbatim something he told me.  Yeah, I’ll have to tell you about that sometime.  Tonight’s email was so much more benign…almost boring…but ridiculous in the unfounded assumptions the author made about me and my interest level toward him.  I mean, since I never really responded to his digital advances, I guess I couldn’t exactly be labled “interested” let alone a stalker.  I just don’t get it sometimes.  I just don’t get how guys think sometimes.

Online dating is such a freaking joke.

I’ve dabbled in this venue on and off for the last year, mostly off with a month or two on when I get bored and have nothing better to do…which…seriously…is not often.  This equates to me being on an online dating site, maybe, three times for a month each, in the last year and a half.

About a six months ago a fairly attractive man contacted me and we began communicating.  Okay he emailed me, I responded, we got to the first phone call, after that he went silent. 

BFD.  His loss I figured.  I was spinning about 10 online plates at the time so what did I care.  He easily slipped from my mind.

About a month and a half ago after being “offline” for about 5 months (yes, one month online can easily net me the next six months in dates, get over it!) I went back online again. 

The same go silent BFD dude contacted me again.

Hesitantly, meaning I waited about a week before responding, I responded.

He emailed me once.

I waited, he emailed me back.

I emailed him and you guessed it…he went silent again.  Never to hear from him again until tonight.  (Seriously, I missed no sleep over this.  I’ve really so changed my perspective on the go silent thing.  It is now actually a favor.  He goes silent.  I know all I need to know, I move on.  Over and out.  Next!)

That was nearly two months ago.  I haven’t contacted him.  I haven’t spent any time thinking about him.  Seriously?  I’ve been having way too much fun in my little corner of the world to wonder why the heck he doesn’t have the good sense to follow up on a good thing when he stumbles across it and…stumble he has.  His loss.  My response?  Next!  (Well, not even that…he didn’t even make it to the plate!)

Tonight, after two months of silence and no follow up from me I get the following email:

“Cat, just wanted you to know I met some one and am off the radar.”

Hahahahahaha!  The freaking arrogance of it all. 

*she rolls eyes and clicks delete while thinking, “Dodged an arrogant self-absorbed bullet there!”

Off the radar?!?  Dude, you never even created a blip on the radar, so yeah, I guess you’re right,  you are off the radar! 

I mean, really, I have to laugh, if I was stalking him, I’d understand, but this is a guy who initiated contact with me every time, spoke on the  phone with me once, and I never really made any big effort to respond or encourage him.  I mean, I just don’t get it.

Ah, well, chalk it up to comic relief.  I was, at least, able to squeeze a lame blog post out of it.

His Heart Rate Was Dangerously High

800px-howler_monkeyI suppose it is about time to tell the story of Monkey Sex Man.  I met him the very evening my divorce decree was signed by the judge a year and a half ago.  I’d just signed up on one of those online dating sites that I was investigating out of curiosity.  He contacted me initially and I checked out his profile.  He listed his ideal first date as, “wild rampant monkey sex then we order out for Chinese and get to know each other”.  I thought this was humorous so I agreed to meet him for drinks at a local little pub.  What I didn’t know was that he wasn’t kidding about his ideal first date.  I quickly learned this was a relationship best kept at a very safe distance. We ended up talking over the phone a few times, but each time we did, he made these broad generalizations about people and types of people as he saw them.  These sweeping generalizations were seemingly based on very limited data.  For example, he dated one woman from the same town I live in and now his opinion about women from my town is that they are all shallow, stupid, inconsiderate and materialistic. That’s just one of many such examples of the way Monkey Sex Man approached and categorized life.  After about three or four phone conversations, with the last one ending last year about Valentine’s Day with him being so upset with the fact that I just wasn’t going to go out with him when he called me up with very little notice, he hung up on me and then blocked me from contacting him.  I didn’t hear from him for a year. 

About a month ago or so, I put up my profile at an online dating site.  I added some of my more recent pictures.  Two days later, I was contacted by Monkey Sex Man.  He commented positively on my pictures saying I looked soft, feminine and sexy.  I kept waiting for the caustic insult that usually followed statements like this (sarcastic humor he called it).  There was nothing negative.  I thanked him and that was it.  He responded with some conversation.  I responded back but not in an encouraging way.  Somehow, we ended up meeting at a fairly popular place on a weeknight for cocktails. Well, it really wasn’t somehow.  I was going to be over in his area anyway.  I had 45 minutes to burn between appointments (do not read dates!) and I didn’t feel like going into a pub by myself.  Besides, I was curious and needed a blog post. We talked, I stayed an hour and left. 

He called me the following Sunday as he was barbecuing and invited me to come over for barbecue.  My how some people just don’t change.  He knows I’m driving the Titanic here with my single motherdom of  dependent children and everyone knows the Titanic just doesn’t turn on a dime.  Besides, knowing what he was about, I wasn’t going anywhere near his house.  I politely declined and I thought that’d be the end of it.

He called me again last Saturday.  There was a big parade in my town and he was in town for it.  So, he stops in at a bar, uses their phone, calls me up to tell me he’s in town and was wondering if I was out at the parade.  I wasn’t.  He called later from the grocery store said he was sorry he missed me.  Later that evening he called me up again an that time we ended up talking. 

He told me how the stress of the parade, and how stupidly designed the on and off ramps in the community were. Everything about that experience was awful and he tried to go into it with an open mind. Then he told me that while he was at the parade he stopped at one of the free blood pressure check stations they had and the nurse told him his blood pressure was “dangerously high”.  Ya think?!!!!  He was seriously orbiting out of the galaxy just telling me about it. 

Somehow, we got onto the topic of game playing and whether women should call men.  He asked me if I was one of those who always expected the guy to make the first move.  Loaded question and I was so not going to go into my whole “When A Man Is Really Into A Woman” philosophy.  I answered his question with a “that depends upon the context” sort of answer.  This sent his heart rate and his emotional state right around the twist.

“I can’t believe this,” he fumed. (Seriously, why should he be fuming?  I mean, that’s even more drama than I could muster on a good day.) “I’ve got to go.  My heart rate is dangerously high!”  And he hung up. 

And that’s pretty much all there is to the Monkey Sex Man story.