Dating Over 40: Lessons Learned

Last night I was talking to a friend.  She’s been dating a man for about a year and a half now.  She is frustrated.  She called me for help.  Well, to more accurately state it she called for encouragement, support and to have a safe place to rant.

In the last 12 days, they’ve seen each other once.  They live in the same town.

He didn’t spend the 4th of July with her, though he indicated he would and then never called.  She and her two kids spent the 4th with me and my youngest.

He routinely tells her he wants to get together with her then goes silent for days on end.

He was scheduled to move in with her in May.  It is now July and no further progress toward that end has occurred.

She called me wanting to know what she should do.

Like I would know.

In the last two years, I have dated a lot of people.  I have learned a lot.  I guess it shows.  Even though she’s been part of this journey all the way along she called me to hear again the journey and to get her head on straight.  She already knew what I was going to tell her.

I didn’t let her down.  I told her to kick the guy to the curb.

But…before I did that, I told her some other things that were helpful for me as I struggled through exactly the same fears, insecurities, and pain she is now going through.  What follows are some of those thoughts.

1.  First things first.  Figure out what you are all about.  It is imperative that you know what your must haves, and deal breakers are.  If necessary write them down.  Continue to revisit the list.  I know it sounds ooey gooey touchy feely but getting to know yourself and accepting yourself as you are (a work in progress and a mighty fine and unique work at that) is critical to your success not just in dating, but in life.  I personally also think that it is a good idea to know what areas you are not clear about or what areas or behaviors or qualities you are unsure if you can accept or not.  These are what I call gray areas.  For example, I know that I could not handle living with a chain smoker.  But, in the last two years I have dated several men who on occasion had a cigar with scotch outside in the evening or while playing darts out in the garage.  While, I have issues with smoking anything from a health perspective, if I found Mr. Right and he enjoyed a cigar on occasion, I think I could live with that. Cigars were a gray area for me.

I told my friend that before she could really make any decisions she had to decide what she wanted for herself and in relationship.  I also reminded her about the following:  She’s let the guy know that his on again off again behavior is not working for her.  He’s done nothing to change.  News flash for her:  He is not going to change.  She now has a decision to make.  Can she accept this relationship, his treatment of her and all that she is currently experiencing as it is and be content or not?  She can’t make those decisions till she knows what works for her and what doesn’t.  She admitted, that this current situation does not work for her.

2.  Expect to be made a priority.  I’ve said this more times than I care to recall, but when a man is crazy about a woman he goes to the wall for her.  The Taj Mahal was built for a woman.  All sorts of love songs, poems, and efforts are expended on the part of men to woo that one particular lady that captures his imagination and his heart.  She doesn’t have to drop hints, call him, stalk him or do any relational heavy lifting. If he’s broke and he’s into her he’ll do what he can, get a second job if need be to make life happen with her.  While I am currently speaking from experience on this one for myself, I would know this reality were true even if I did not.  How would I know because many, many, many men have personally told me this.  They simply won’t let the phone grow cold, nor will they leave any doubt in her mind (or anyone else’s for that matter) how they feel about her.  They even humiliate themselves by dressing up in silly knight costumes to propose in front of a crowd or they go to insane lengths to skywrite love messages and proposals for all including and especially her to see. 

Message here?  Expect him to expend some significant effort in order to make being with you a priority.  If he’s not doing this it is because he’s just not feeling it.

3.  Expect to be treated with respect and consideration.  This, my friends, goes both ways. Men and women both should have this as a core relational value.  For me, this reigns supreme and is an underpinning for any successful relationship. For my friend last night, thinking about this was the real eye opener.  When a person says they’ll do something and doesn’t come through on their word and especially when there is a consistent pattern of doing this with no real explanation (and sorry, my phone went dead just doesn’t cut it) the person is being disrespectful and inconsiderate.  Does he listen to you?  Does he value your input when making decisions?  Does he make good on his agreements with you? Is he respectful of your life, your activities and your family obligations or do you somehow end up feeling like what matters to you is just somehow not that important to him?  How does he pay attention to you when you are out with a group of people or does he disappear till the end of the evening when it is time to leave?  Does he indicate that he cares about your happiness and well being (however that’s demonstrated)?  Hopefully this is one area that is definitely reciprocal. 

What’s the logic behind this one?  Think about it. Relationships and habits of interacting do not necessarily improve over time, unless two people are working at it and committed to it.  It is generally the case that two people will begin to grow more comfortable with each other, they will tend to assume the feelings are known, and things get more casual and more is taken for granted.  Establishing patterns of interacting respectfully from the get go is critical.  It is much more difficult to insist on this after the relationship is established if it hasn’t been an expectation from the beginning.  If you start out allowing a guy to treat you badly, he’s probably not going to improve much.

4.  Value yourself.  Here’s the deal.  If you don’t think you are worthy of respect, consideration or that you are worth expending some effort on to connect with, no one else is going to think so either.  It will be difficult for you to proactively chart your happiness course if you don’t first see yourself as just as valuable and worthy of good treatment as the next person.  If you come at this relationship thing from the perspective that you can’t do any better, this is better than nothing or that you have to make exceptions due to your age, weight, income or number of children or whatever you will always sell yourself short. 

I can’t tell you how many times men and women alike told me all along this journey that my biggest difficulty in finding a quality person or developing a quality relationship was going to be the fact that I have four children.  While, my children are a huge consideration and something any prospective beau must be willing to accept, I never bought that excuse.  All it meant for mewas that anyone who found the fact that I have four children and two ex’s a problem, wasn’t the guy for me.  After all, I’m not looking for a father replacement for any of them.  I’m not even looking for any parental assistance.  I’m looking for good quality connection and companionship for me.  Yes, he’s got to be an excellent role model, but he would be if I chose him based on his innate character anyway.  I simply refused to allow myself to sink into despair based on what so many other people told me about this one.  I determined that no relationship was better than something that just kinda sorta worked and it was far superior to a bad relationship. And, funny how life is, seems just the person may have wandered in who is a great fit for me and who is confident and competent enough that he’s not in the least intimidated or alarmed by four kids and two ex’s.

I don’t know what decisions my friend will arrive at for herself.  She’s feeling pretty blue about her current relational realities right now and she’s having a tough time facing facts.  I understand her angst.  I’ve been there.  She’s a wonderful person with so much to offer but before she can really offer any of it, she’s got to believe it about herself first.  So do the rest of us. This is all sometimes easier said than done.

Life Rocks! Don’t Give Up!

My day so rocked!  I mean I kicked it from beginning to end instead of it kicking me.  Me, kicking it, has become the norm lately instead of the sad state of affairs I was in last summer with no money, no transportation and, well, post-divorce realities staring me down like a mugger in a back alley at night. 

So all excited as I was, I spent 40 minutes writing this great post, at the end of which I realized no one was going to care about but me, so I drafted it instead of publishing it.  I hate when that happens!

Now I’ve used up most of my writing time for the evening on a post I can’t even go back and see that no one commented on, and, well, I hate when that happens too!

I also have so much to say and write about because, seriously?, right now, life is so on  for me that it is exciting and, well, almost as much fun as those days in my early 20’s when everything was colored with hope and possibility. 

Three months ago, I would never have believed (though I would have still hoped) that I could actually ever experience that optimism I experienced as a 20-something adult.  You know, the experience of waking up every day thinking it was an adventure, that the possibilities were endless and that you had your whole life ahead of you.  Do you remember those days?  The hope?  The optimism?  The confidence? 

Those days have returned to my life and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back in the game again. 

And, look, if you’re out there thinking life’s passed you by or your winnings have been gambled and lost, think a-freaking-gen!  Life turns on a dime.  It might not look good now, but if you give up now it sure isn’t going to look any better than it does right now!  Keep putting one stupid, boring , unproductive, worthless (or seemingly so) foot in front of the other and guess what?  One day, that tunnel somehow seems a little brighter.  Then, a bit later on, you actually can discern a light at the end of said tunnel.  At that point, things get easier, you can see the light getting brighter and brighter and then suddenly everything for you begins to just go crazy in your favor.

The reality of life is this.  We are all going to have our rainy days.  Some of those days will accumulate into the longest freaking winter of our lives.  We’ll want to die, give up, cave in, drink or self-medicate.  We’ll feel like losers and that we screwed up and there is no hope.

But …

there is always hope.  There is always tomorrow.  There is always another chance to try again or to continue doing what we know we have to do to get out of the pit we dug for ourselves…or maybe…that someone else dug for us.

Today is not the day to give up. 

Today is the day to press on and keep going because there are better days ahead. 

Hang in there.  You’ll make it!

Life rocks!

(If it doesn’t now, give it a while, it will soon!)

The Blogroll Game

I’m procrastinating again. 

I can tell.  I follow a particular pattern in my procrastination.

First, I get out the work I need to do. Today, I must prep math lessons in powerpoint and develop a promotional flyer for the school’s afterschool math club in April.

I then leave the laptop and the curriculum and the file for the afterschool math club on the table and go pour a glass of wine.  Then I get online to check my email and Facebook account activity.  I change my status message at Facebook, read the one email I have on Facebook, delete all the messages I received in my yahoo inbox from Freecycle.org and then I go read what all my bloggy friends have written since Friday. 

I get distracted responding to their posts.

I then play The Blogroll Game.  This is the game I created for myself to keep myself from being completely productive and to keep myself from using technology efficiently.  I go to a bloggy friend’s blog read all their stuff.  Maybe I’ll leave a comment, but then I check out their blogroll. 

This gets me in big trouble every time.  I lose hours of productivity and fall further behind in life as the result.  It’s a great game!

Today I was over at Zeus’ blog, “On Becoming A Universal and Narcissistic God” and after reading his most recent post, which admittedly was way over my little head,  I checked out his blogroll.  Personally, I love checking out his blogroll (hee!hee!) any chance I can get, but it usually discourages me because he has some great bloggers listed there.  Oh well, when I grow up I want to be like them. 

Anyway…today…by chance I clicked on the blog Zeus had listed as Dad’s House.  (I was actually heading toward CMajor7’s blog, because reading him also makes me happy or at least want to move away from here, but got distracted.) If you are a single parent or even a single post-marriage individual in your late thirties or forties, you need to check this blog out. His blogroll is amazing and will connect you to others who are dealing with the same parenting/dating quandaries we all seem to experience at this stage of the game.  David Mott’s posts are entertaining, well written and have just enough substance to them that you can do something with it and not be completely overwhelmed (unlike my own posts.  Oh well, I want to be like David Mott when I grow up too, so there).

Join me in The Blogroll Game and procrastinate away!

Okay, now that I’ve frittered 90 good minutes away in cyberworld, I think I can finally get to work…hah!  Maybe.

Expectations, Schmecpectations

Alright, alright.  I give.  Expectations for the perfect match are important.  They are real.  We all have them and we all better be clear on what they are up front because they color our behavior toward our significant other in so many  ways.

I know I need to spend more time exploring this.

I also know I’ve already spent the last three years exploring this and, once again, the terrain is beginning to shift.  I need to revisit the topic.

But tonight, I’m a bit tired.  It is late and morning comes way too early on work days.  I need to get to bed.  But I will be back to fully address this topic in far more detail and intelletual capacity than I am currently able to provide.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Houses or Playgrounds?

Short and to the point: The Beau is no longer “The Beau”.  (Surprise! Surprise!  Gasp!  Does that really surprise anyone? N0.  Didn’t think so.)

Don’t know how to quite explain all the details to myself, except to say that it was a mutual misunderstanding.  I can’t share really how things started declining from his perspective, only from mine, though he’s enlightened me through discussions over the last week.  And he makes some valid, very understandable points.  I only wish he’d shared where he was with all that a month ago when he began feeling that way.

Things with us started off really great.  Had they kept going really great, no doubt, I would not be writing this post.  Now mind you things weren’t going badly…they just kinda weren’t really going like they were before.  Sometime after the second weekend I went up to visit him I noticed a bit of a “pull back” from him.  It was slight and subtle but very, very perceptible to me.  Things like no longer reaching out to hold hands in the car when we went places, no (and I mean absolutely none, where before there had been plenty) physical affection other than a quick good-bye peck at the door as he left or I left.  Things like calling me really late at night after being on the phone with others (who were just friends, yes, but nonetheless female and not me).  Things like a reduction in the number of texts or other contacts in a day, making it feel a bit like he was just making the obligatory once a day phone call.  Things like simply not seeming as interested as he previously was.

Now, The Beau, is not, was not, a bad guy.  Something changed for him…or he saw something that gave him reason to pause.  Nothing at all wrong with that.  In fact, there is quite a bit about me that would give most people pause, not the least of which is 4 kids, a fixer house and a very tight budget and this blog.  I really have a problem with none of that.  It is totally understandable to me.  

We’d been dating about two months and he’s the one that mentioned not dating anyone else and taking off his profile from said dating sites.  I did not bring up this conversation…he did.   I guess I didn’t ask enough questions about what that meant for him.  I guess, maybe, that conversation was premature.  Maybe I misunderstood the seriousness of that kind of behavior.  To me that means, “I really want to focus on you.”  To him, well, I’m still not clear what he intended by even bringing up that conversation, but that’s okay too.  I don’t need to be clear on that.  It just didn’t appear to indicate a single purpose to him quite the same way it did to me or he thought better of it after he did it.  That’s alright too.  I just wish I’d understood all that before I stopped dating the four or five other very fine men, that I stopped seeing to date The Beau exclusively only to have The Beau get cold feet.  (j/k about the 5 guys, disappointed about the cold feet, but aware that it happens and am not losing sleep or wasting tears over it)

I guess the best analogy is this one:  “Are we building a house here or are we building a playground?”  My thinking is that the foundation for either of those endeavors is very different and you can’t exactly change projects midway, without some serious investment or strife or, at least some conversation.  Both of them serve their purpose and are wonderful projects.  Really, I don’t care which one it is, but if he wants the house and I’m thinking playground or vice versa things can and will get weird, misunderstandings happen, communication begins to miss and, well, feelings get hurt.  Further, if  both begin with the understanding that a house is to be built and the other changes what they are building without telling his partner, things can be really messed up and strange. None of that bothers me, it’s called relationship.  This is why human beings were given the gift of speech, so we could address these misunderstandings.  (P.S. I know the analogy is weak and flawed, but it worked for us and it helped us both understand each other better, so I’m going with it.)

I thought he wanted the house (no the house does not equal marriage, LTR or anything other than a mere exclusive dating relationship and the interested behavior to match…there are never ever any guarantees, I know this.  Yes, the playground does equal the non-exclusive, let’s just have fun and be friends casual dating kind of thing).  He probably did want the house for a couple of weeks there, maybe a month, but then had second thoughts and he backed off to the playground project, which is fine with me or maybe he found another house or playground he’d rather explore a bit more.  Only problem was, he didn’t tell me about it.  Well, yes, he did, just not with words.  That’s okay too. I was able to figure it out, pretty accurately without the words. Maybe I’m getting better at reading that nonverbal stuff more accurately. I don’t know. This time hearing the words only confirmed what I already knew several weeks ago was true. 

I guess I just don’t play the game well.  I’d rather have a guy just say “I’m not that into you” than to waste my time pretending he is in an effort to avoid hurting my feelings.  Cowardly as it is, even going silent is a bit more honest than continuing a game that one simply isn’t sure they want to play.  I won’t waste time (and it is a waste of time if  someone is not being completely honest and candid with the other person) spending time being with a person I really like who’s kinda sorta not sure he’s that into me. 

Now, true, it’s not like I’m the only consideration here.  I know that.  I come with a lot of  “baggage”.  I prefer to refer to it as responsibility, but face it, kids, fixer, finances, two ex’s—yuck, it’s just baggage to most people, no matter how neatly folded and tucked away it may be. (That reality does make me very sad sometimes, but I can’t fix any of that, so I just feel sad for a bit, then get up and forge ahead.  I mean really, what are my alternatives?)  He’s got lots to consider before making any serious commitments where I’m concerned, but I am not even remotely talking about that nor was I even remotely expecting it.  I just wondered how come he no longer wanted to hold my hand, be with me as much or he preferred talking to others instead of me.  I’m just talking about enjoying spending time together and it seemed to me that somewhere along the line, that changed for him. It seemed really, like he was no longer as interested in being with me and that I was not as attractive to him anymore.  It changed for me only because it changed for him.  My feelings for him and my attraction to him never dimmed or wavered.  I’m just not willing to be in a place where I feel less than desirable, like I don’t quite do it for him, or where I’m just not all that big of a deal to him. 

So, that’s where it stands.  My understanding has been cleared up about what his intention is and where he stands with me (the words now match the behavior)  and, to be very honest, I’m relieved.  No one enjoys feeling like the person they are with is just not all that excited anymore about being with them. 

So, Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

How Can A Woman Be Sure?

You know, much has been said about how men and women see the world differently, especially when it comes to dating.  I’m just wondering, since I am female, how I can know for sure that a man is really into me.  I mean, what specific things should I be able to rely on in terms of his behavior, attitudes, words, etc. that let me know he is into me or he is not sure he’s into me or he’s not into me?  Sometimes I think women read things differently than men intend.  I just want to know…how can I tell if he is really interested, or not so much?

Any thoughts?  Guys, please don’t hesitate to respond.  Your words here could be golden.

Online Dating: 10 Things Men Should Definitely NOT Do

Don’t you love all these dating advice sites for guys that are written by guys?  I think they are funny.  Here’s a guy telling another guy what works with women.  What the first guy is really getting from the guy he gets advice from is what works for that guy with the gals he’s meeting or being successful with…doesn’t mean it will work for you…unless what you want is what he’s getting exactly. 

To put it differently, it would be like me going to ask advice about how guys think from a woman.  How the hell will she know???  She’s not one of them.  She might be close.  She might even be right on.  I might even listen to her and take her advice, but not before I check it out with my guy friends.  The ones I know I can trust.  The ones who feel comfortable with me enough to tell it like it is.  These are the guy friends I would never date or become romantically interested in for one of two reasons:  a.) because they are married to my very good girl friends or b.) they would tell me point blank, “Hey, it’s just really hard to get romantic with one of the guys”.

So for all the guys out there, who hope to try to make an impression with a woman online so that you can put yourself at the top of the email pile and maybe even make it into her favorites list, I’ve provided this list of my top ten most reliable behaviors that will get a guy blown off, ignored or deleted.  

I confessed in an earlier post that I was a bit of an online dating junkie.  At one point, I was on, I think, three different sites at one time.  I’ve explored nearly all of the really notable ones, free and paid, for long enough to form a strong opinion about which approaches from men really work and which don’t work at all.  I’m pretty successful in the online forum for reasons that have to do with sincerity, truth and a good picture that really looks like me. Plus, I think it helped that I grew up as a tomboy.  (The Barbie Doll shoes really annoyed me.) I kinda get the mentality of bonding over doing something  instead of  the just talking thing…something most women don’t get but which many men, bless their hearts, endure anyway. 

But I’m talking and not doing, so I’ll cut to the chase.

10 Things You Should NOT Do When Approaching A Woman Online

1.  Don’t be self-absorbed.  Clearly, this should be a no brainer, but I’ve received a ton of emails where the man talks only about himself.  If I don’t know the guy, there’s nothing there to help me connect with him.  What you are thinking is you want to give her information that will help her make an informed decision about you.  Sadly, you’re assuming too much in what it is that she is making her decisions upon. She’s thinking, man if I get into relationship with him am I going to have to put up with him talking about him all the time?  She’ll hit the delete key, send a “thanks but no thanks message” or, worse, she’ll block you.

2.  Don’t treat this online forum as a job interview.   Would you do that at a cocktail party?  Would you start interrogating someone you were attracted to about their past relationships, their preferences for sexual frequency and whether or not they’d be comfortable with you coming up from behind and grabbing them by the boobs in public? (Yes, all these things have happened to me and to other women I know.)

3.  Don’t fall in love too soon.  Dude, until you meet her and date her…a lot of times…or, at least until she tells you otherwise…she is still just a digital image paired with some words.  Don’t go being all smitten and stuff and talking about how gorgeous she is and how you think the two of you were meant to be.  She’s making decisions based upon how you treat her, talk to her and think about her.  If you think she’s an “object” instead of a person, she’ll disappear. Treat her like another human being, not like the beauty you are attracted to.  She’ll become that beauty in your face-to-face life if you can respect her and love her for her mind and her contribution to this world (beyond just the airbrushed or real beauty).

4. Don’t be afraid to be you.  Women are all about relationship.  We want to connect.  We want to connect with those we relate to. If you are trying to be something you are not, we will see through this eventually.  Hopefully, for everyone involved, this happens sooner rather than later, but there are plenty of divorce statistics out there that state otherwise.  If you are a funny, humorous light hearted sort express that.  If you are more serious and thoughtful let that be apparent.  The woman you are hoping to attract will be attracted to the real you.

5. Don’t try to impress her with how many dates you’ve been out on recently.  That might work if you’re trying to impress the guys, but for use female types this simply translates as “we’re just one of many options” you have.  No one wants to be an “option”.  All of us want to be the person you’d slay dragons for.  If you try this approach we will read it as you’ve already decided that “you’re just not that into us”.  We’d be fools or unhealthy to invest in that.

6.  Don’t expect her to do all the work in setting up the first meeting.  Take the bull by the horns.  Suggest something, anything.  It is never okay to make her a.) call you when she’s free or b.) tell you what it is that she wants to do if you’re the one approaching first.  In this area, you must take risks and forge ahead trusting that if she is not okay with it she’ll be decent and kind enough to counter your proposal with another option.  If she kicks you to the curb because you missed on the first idea for a meeting, is that such a bad thing?   After all, if she treats you like that after such a kind gesture, do you want to be in a  relationship where that treatment is the norm?  I mean, really c’mon.  You’re a great guy.  You deserve some respect.

7.  Don’t ask her how successful she’s been in the online dating forum.  This question shows up like this:  “So, having any success here?”  or “So, I bet you have all the guys wanting to meet you!”  First off, we have no idea how to respond to that with kindness.  If we are successful and we tell you that,  what will you think?  (Please note that women, especially ones with good photos and well written profiles…okay…skip the profile…ones with good photos and lots of them…are going to get more mail than they could possilby respond to in a 24-hour period if they worked straight through.) If we tell you honestly that we aren’t having much luck…well…what will you think then?

8.  Don’t give up too easily.  Guys, remember, that many of us are single moms with careers and we might be homeowners in our own right as well.  (Meaning, we bought the friggin’ house ourselves and didn’t get it gifted to us as the result of a divorce settlement, death, or judge’s signature at the expense of some poor man who may have had to claim bankruptcy in order to avoid contempt of court charges.) This requires our time and if we are real people we won’t be able to respond right away all the time.  Kids have concerts, we have lives, houses need to be maintained and we simply need to sleep sometimes.  Be patient.  Don’t assume that because we didn’t respond the first time we didn’t care.  Don’t also assume that if our response is brief that we are just not that into you.  We might have wanted to connect, but the kids were demanding our attention, the account we have to have that big proposal ready for  is meeting with us the next day or the car dropped its rear differential in the street three hours ago and we have no idea how we’re going to get that repair done.  Please cut us some slack. We are willing to make room for you in our busy lives, but not till we know you’re going to be willing to accept our busy lives. Be patient.  I cannot say this enough.

9.  Don’t come on too strong.  I know that sounds strange after what I just wrote, but listen, if you pounce, you’ll suffocate.  You’d run too.  Have fun with it.  Don’t make it the end all most important thing ever.  Relax.  Friendships, relationships, love, is a bit of a dance.  Don’t force, just be the fun you, the thoughtful you, the true you that you are but be very careful of overdoing it.  I might add that if you feel like you are being you and at the same time you feel like you are coming on too strong, maybe you should pull back.  A woman in love can never get enough of her man’s attention or affection and she is always deeply appreciative of it even if she can’t necessarily carve out the time to respond at that exact moment.  If you are feeling weird about things, listen to that.

10.  Dont’ go silent.  Say something.  Understand that women are verbal creatures.  On the playground as kids you guys settled differences by physically laying into each other.  We, girls, learned the “more socially acceptible” method of being catty, using our vocabulary and really learning that words, as well as sticks and stones and fists, can hurt and leave deeper scars.  We also learned that words can create worlds, characters, perceptions and evoke really positive emotion too.  We live and love base on the words you tell us (as long as they match your actions).  Please, don’t just email us and say, “Hey!”.  Don’t email us with tons of pictures of you and your life and no verbal explanation.  Don’t just grunt.  We need to connect with you and we do it with words.  This is never more important than in the online forum where the first meeting is completely textual and verbal.

And I might add, that if you really want to make an impression you should consider what your elementary schoolteachers told you and use good punctuation, capitalization and accurate spelling.  Even if she’s not all that smart, your emails will be easier for her to read and understand.  If she is all that smart, she won’t give you the time of day if you can’t communicate well in writing.  If you find that too tedious, take your chances.  If  you can’t present yourself well in writing, what  makes you think she’s going to think you can present yourself well in person? 

Okay, have fun with that one fans and skeptics alike! I’d really like to hear perspectives that maybe I, in my finite wisdom, have not considered.  Do enlighten me.

In the meantime, enjoy your online dating experience.  It can be frustrating, heartbreaking and disappointing, but it can also be a great way to get to know other people in your world when your world doesn’t allow you to cross their paths in real time.  It can also be a great source for putting yourself in the path of romance.  After all, 1 in 8  married couples in 2006 met online.  I’m sure that statistic has grown since then.

A 1 Reisling Day

Random thoughts today with no time or energy to develop any of them.

I got the scoop from Mexico Friend on the moonlit first date.  Wow!  It’s a steamy one.  Watch for it in the next week.  I’m going to take time with that to make sure I get that just right. 

Mexico Friend and Husband showed me their pictures. Of course, they look like they are models for some travel magazine or something. And, yes, it was paradise.  It’s not fair that two people can be married that long and just as cute and as in love as when they had the moonlit first date.  I want that.  Is it too late for me.  I think it might be.  But I’ll write their story anyway and love every minute of it because it is such a happy story…and because they promised to have me over for Becks beer so they could tell me more stories. 

ReGifting Friend came to work really under the weather.  She is also very cute.  Makes me sick, even when she’s sick as a dog she looks great.  I hope she feels better.  She really is a trouper…and such a great friend…even though I’ve only known her a short time…she’s in my Friendship Hall of Fame for sure.

Good Company this weekend was great company, but I suspect he’s still searching.  It’s not anything he’s said, it is just that I get this vibe that well, maybe he’s only kinda sorta into me, but if something better came along then….sigh….

Taught a really crap lesson in math today and had a somewhat disrupted reading time today.  It exhausted me.  Not horrible in these areas today, but not my best performances ever either.

The plumbing in the kid’s bathroom is not only not repaired, it is now running like a small, steady steam.  Okay, here comes one more expense.  I sure hope not.

The kids left the dogs in the house today which always spells disaster and smells like it too.  I was not happy.  In addition, after millions of sessions explaining exactly what I expect from them each morning (pick up after yourself, specifically, do your own effing dishes) I came home to a sink full of dishes and dog disaster greeting my eyes and burning my nostrils.  I was not a happy camper when I arrived home.

On an up note, the entire bottle of Reisling that I downed tonight was absolutely delicious!

Yep, that’s how my day was…a one bottle Reisling day. 

Hey, all’s well that ends well right?

Any Ideas?

I set aside specific time for writing each day.  Well, each day that I’m off from work I do.  Days that I work, I have to schedule differently.  When I’m not dashing to work to do my day job, I like to get up early (well, not that early) and write before the kids wake up.  Today, I slept in though. I don’t know why I slept in so late on this particular day.  I didn’t go to bed that late last night.  I mean, after the kids and I watched a movie, I crashed on the monster green couch in front of the wood stove.  I usually do this in the winter.  The couch is comfy and the wood stove needs to be refueled about midnight, then again at two in order to keep the place warm enough that I don’t have to run the gas heat incessantly.  In addition, the couch is just warm and ultra comfy cozy.  My bed is also warm and ultra comfy cozy but it is located at the far end of the house in the coldest room of the house so getting to it means I must brave some near Arctic temperatures just to enjoy the haven of the massive king size four poster that I call my bed.  (Sadly, so do my children whenever they feel moved, or frightened by monsters under their beds.  I keep telling them they should clean up!)  So, I dozed there on the plush couch till about two in the morning, stoked up the fire and went to bed just like I do every other night of the winter months, even when I have to wake up at o’dark thirty to get to work.  So why, today, would I sleep in till 9:30?  I don’t get it. 

Whether I get it or not, it is now after breakfast and pushing lunch time.  All the kids are up, dishes need to be washed (and I don’t have a dishwasher other than the four children), two of the girls are squabbling about how to arrange the room they share (Arrange it?  I’d just like them to clean it!) and the son keeps trying to sneak onto the Playstation to play his Madden ’08 game.  I have to work out in the garage and figure out what I’ll fix for dinner (I hate that part the most!).  My day is nearly over before it’s begun it seems. 

So much for my writing time today.

Two days later:

I saved that first bit as a draft hoping to return to it before the day ended so I could post.  I’m really working hard at writing daily and posting daily on both my blogs (I actually have three).  I’m doing this because I’ve found that the mere blog format keeps me accountable.  More people read when I write.  When I don’t write reading slacks off.  However, this is not my motivation for writing on my blog, it is merely a perk.  I write, because someday I hope to supplement my income with said writing.  Okay, that’s not really even true.  I write, because since I was in about 4th grade, I had this dream of being a published author.  I’ve actually been afraid to pursue that dream…rejection is huge in the writing industry and I wasn’t up to it.   I am more up to it now.  Just like anyone who hopes to be good at what they do, they have to practice and work on improving.  That’s what this blogging thing is to me: an opportunity to practice, hopefully improve and gain feedback from readers willing to give their input.

Scheduling time to write with a houseful of kids around and no spouse or significant other or nanny to assist is one of the most challenging tasks I’ve faced to date….okay, besides changing the light fixtures…which ended up being incredibly easy.  So, I’m thinking it is possible that this scheduling dilemma I face has a fairly simple solution which I’m currently unable to see…probably because I’m being a baby and don’t want to see it yet.  After all, being a baby is easier than simply growing up and taking control of your life.  In the end, it doesn’t feel good as an adult, to be baby, so eventually I must take control.  I believe that time  is now.

I cannot change the fact that my life is incredibly busy and full.  I actually like that.

I can’t change the fact that writing requires time, sometimes a great deal of time, for questionable results, and time is a precious commodity for me.

I know that if I don’t write daily I feel like I’ve missed out on part of my life somehow. 

I’m wondering what do other writers do to balance all the demands of their busy lives and still get the writing written?  Not everyone is a career writer.  Some have to share the writing job with the day job.  How on earth do they manage to do that, take care of kids, do laundry, eat, workout and fold clothes.  I don’t get it.

Any ideas?

The Trouble With Going Postal

Look.  I’m probably going to get myself in trouble with the bigs for saying this, but the truth is I’d like to go postal.  I can’t though.  I mean, I try, but I just can’t.

I just can’t post anything these days.  At least, not much that I’m pleased with.  And forget posting anything quality during the week.  (Okay, no potshots about the quality the rest of the time, wise guys!)

I have about six posts started.  None completed.  Just when I get to the place where I really need to concentrate either because I’m reworking a part or trying to figure out which direction I’d like the piece to head, someone or something interrupts me. Today, it was my 15-year-old telling me at the last minute that she needed cupcakes for a class party tomorrow. Of course, she waits till I’ve taken off my shoes and socks, changed into my cozy jammies and am nearly two steps from curling up in my oversized and very cozy king sized bed befre she ever so sweetly says, “Hey, Mom….”.  You know the rest of the story.

My head started spinning around with green stuff flying everywhere.

Okay, according to her, I did go postal so, also according to her, my first statement was a misrepresentation. 

Well, it was nothing compared to how I felt after I got dressed again, went down to the store with her, picked up the three dozen cupcakes (after going two different places to find them), drove all the way home and then realized we’d left them at the checkout counter.

Wow. Someone around here needs to go to bed earlier.