Soap Operas, Harlequin Romances, and Heavy Drugs

daysofliveslogo There are some things that have never been a draw for me.  Soap operas, Harlequin romance novels and heavy drugs (or even really mild ones, for that matter) have never posed any particular temptation for me.  Even so, I remember the words from one of the soaps my mother, or maybe it was the babysitter, used to watch: “As sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives”. 

Sand, hours, days, lives, soaps, romances and heavy drugs.  It’s an impressive lineup don’t you think? 

Heavy Drugs

Most of my childhood occurred during the seventies when there was a real emphasis on educating children about the dangers of drug use.  Fat lot of good that did any of us!  Sadly, all that well intentioned tax money was wasted on me.  I had, after all, the very best, real life, hands on drug awareness experience a child could have.  I had someone in my own home overdose, get hauled out on a stretcher (yes, picture three wide-eyed children under the age of eight, two bewildered and alarmed parents, large medical emergency vehicles with lights flashing, watching the live-in babysitter get hauled off on a stretcher).  Take one wild guess which of those three children was tasked with trying to awaken the body that had already slipped into a drug induced coma.  That’d be me. 

j0308903 No. Drugs, even in an effort to satiate my deep seated need to be accepted, approved of, and mostly to belong, never ever posed even the slightest temptation to me. 

Soap Operas

This is easy.  Force something on a child all the years they are growing up and, well, chances are they will either acquiesce and adopt the thing or they will rebel.  I had soap operas and TV and noise going on all throughout my childhood. I think this had something to do with having an aging father and two other siblings and living in a home where conversation and opinions and even dissension were not only tolerated, but welcomed.  I rebelled against the TV and noise but retained a love for all things passionate and articulate especially if they tend toward the nonconformist.  After leaving home, I never watched an episode of any of the daytime or nighttime soaps, I loathe TV except for the express and planned purpose of vegging out because I am so overwhelmed and just need to turn my mind off. If given the choice to stay in and watch a movie or something on television, I will opt to read a book, do something in the yard, surf the net, the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-by-stieg-larssontake my dog for a walk, invent cryptic status updates to annoy all my friends on Facebook (who haven’t yet hidden me) with, or write.  But, lately, I don’t have time for even that. Lies!  I’ll always make time for the status update messages, because, well, now I has iPhone!

Harlequin Romances?

This is a bit more convoluted because I love romance.  I love the idea of it.  I love the feel of it.  I love the hope and passion it can inspire.  But really?  If you’ve read one Harlequin romance novel, you’ve read them all.  Give me something along the lines of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, or Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask, or even the much more recent and sadly deceased, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and I’m all in, but a Harlequin romance.  Ugh.  Yawn.  Not a draw for me. 

A Rehabilitated Internet Dating Junkie

In posts past, I’ve alluded to the fact, correction, I point blank declared, that I was an internet dating junkie.  I was.  I admit it.  I was successful with it too, if you consider being able to get dates with attractive, intelligent, employed men by merely posting a profile successful.  If the truth be told, I am still meeting and getting to know people that I “met” and began corresponding with online, over two  years ago.  My social calendar is exceptionally full these days and I haven’t had an online profile anywhere for months.  Okay, I lied, I tried out OKCupid.com and Zoosk on Facebook because I have several friends on Facebook that are dating coaches and, well, curiosity killed the cat. They suggested, I bit.  I’m over it now.  I was on each of those for two weeks, met one person in person who is fabulously interesting, but I could quickly ascertain that I neither have the interest or desire or energy to get back into the online dating thing.  Screening profiles, deleting winks, and wading through thousands of misspelled, poorly punctuated and horribly written profiles is, well, a lot like reading a Harlequin romance.  When you’ve read one…

Temptations and Time~Living Life in Face to Face World

ar120347955688524 The days of our lives can slip away from us like sand pouring through the narrowest portion of the hourglass.  The sand at the top appears untouched, but the sand at the bottom is fighting desperately to comply with gravity’s demands. Eventually, the entire lot of it cascades into the bottom portion of the hourglass.  This seems an appropriate analogy for much of life. 

For me, spending time in fantasy land like soap opera world, internet dating, drug use or reading Harlequin’s is just not something I want to do.  The false and superficial have never attracted me.  Give me an authentic disagreement (done respectfully, I hope) over a false veneer of cheery friendship any day.  When it comes to internet anything, it is so easy to hide, to disguise, to pretend, to escape.  This,  I’m learning, is a temptation that can be very deceptive.  After all the internet comfortably keeps people at a distance.  You can connect, without really ever having to connect.  Don’t want to talk to someone, just show up in stealth mode or “unfriend” them.  It’s the convenience of digital relationship.  Besides, who wouldn’t love to recreate themselves (if even for a few minutes) into something that only mildly portends a resemblance to the reality, or disappear into a relationship that holds the promise of the upside (fun, flirty, romantic and non-invasive) of relationship without any of the downside (how the heck are we going to decide which side of the bed you’ll be sleeping on? And why do I have to make room in my closet for you?). 

I’m also learning that this kind of relating, while useful for providing some entertainment value and escapist fun, does not really work for me.  I’m not twenty something anymore.  A few years back, I had to renew my driver’s license.  My picture, is awful, as most of them are.  Mine was especially bad, because as I was going through the renewal process I was crying.  I was aging, caught in a nightmare at that time I felt I could not escape and I truly thought my life was over.  My outlook is so different today. 

I’m still aging.  I can’t do much about that.  I ended the nightmare the best way I could, but I ended it.  The fallout from that has not been easy but life is good.  I’m meeting many fabulous new people through the adventures I’m having with the friends I already know in my face-to-face world.  Some of the digital relationships have bridged the gap from being merely digital to actually tangible, and, while romance isn’t running rampant in my life like weedy vines overtaking my garden, some very valuable and wonderful friendships have developed.  I’m busier than ever with work opportunities in an area where people are struggling to hold onto their homes after losing their jobs.  I’m meeting people in my community that I enjoy spending time with and who, while very different from me, are a source of friendship and camaraderie.  I’m healthier than I was at the start of the year, in every sense of that word, and I like it.  I’m busier than I’ve ever been and yet, less stressed and more content.  I find all of this slightly ironic, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth by over-analyzing it.  

j0179131I’m simply going to ride this horse where ever it will take me.

After all, life is short.  Far too short and far too valuable to allow it to disappear into the meaningless, the shallow, the pain-dulling fantasy escapes that come in so many forms whether, digitally digested, inhaled, injected or imbibed.

How Do You Feel About That Ugly Word Baggage?

Personally, the word “baggage” is a term that rankles me.

Several posts ago,  in the comments section of the article titled Kip’s Challenge, I was quite pointedly and not-so-nicely accused of having baggage.  He made the comment that most men reading my blog would slowly back away from their computer monitors and retreat to the companionship of other men in a bar.  The implication being that relationship with me would be too much work. (Now, how he would know what other single men would or would not do since he is a.) not one of them and, b.) not a woman dating them, is beyond me, but, yeah, we’ll go with that for now.) Supposedly, Kip has an inside track to the normal healthy available  male mind (the aberrant, unhealthy and unavailable don’t interest me, for obvious reasons.

That comment of Kip’s elicited a flurry of comments which ended in Kip silently backing away from his computer monitor and retreating into silence without much of a fight.  It’s been said that silence is interpreted as agreement.  Need I say more about that?

I’m not entirely certain what Kip  meant by baggage, but if, as I think he did, he was referring to the typical things that people refer to when labeling someone as having “baggage” (kids, past failed marriages, life history and experience, a career, some debt, and a life of my own that I actually enjoy and am not willing to necessarily tube for some dolt with a penis and a pocketbook) then I suppose he is right.  I have baggage and loads of it.  The fact that he said it, doesn’t really bother me so much, the fact that he was the one saying it, when I know full well he is sitting on top of a load of baggage far messier and larger than my own, is what I found humorous.  But you can go read all that for yourself over there if you like.  I’d suggest you not waste your time…unless you actually like some drama.

Over the last two years, I’ve done some thinking about the word baggage, and Kip’s comment forced me to revisit and take another look at this ugly word.

It is an ugly, ugly word.  It is ugly because it attacks the person at the core of their being but doesn’t mean anything at the same time.

Upon entering the dating scene nearly two years ago,now, I like most others just coming out of a disastrous marriage, was in no shape to begin dating.  Even so, I ventured forth against the advice of good friends who knew me and knew better.  I dated for about six months, learned a lot about myself and eventually quite dating, because I determined my friends were right.  I need to sort myself out first before I was going to even be able to recognize a soul mate should he ever venture onto the scene. 

During this initial dating period, I tried several different methods of meeting people.  One of them being, online dating.  In fact, I tried nearly all the prominent well known ones and some of the not so well known ones.  During this online dating phase, I encountered the word baggage more often than I care to remember. 

Baggage is an ugly, derogatory word that contains a million diffferent meanings depending upon who is using the word and what their particular definition of it might be. It is like the word love in reverse.  People love God, or they love their significant other or their kids, and they love movie theatre popcorn or stiletto pumps, or lobster.  Another vague and meaningless word like this is the word, “good”.  What exactly is good?  He felt good.  That movie was good.  You are a good person.  Baggage is yet another word that is so vague as to be meaningless anymore except when it is used it can really sting.  Even if it isn’t true.

You often hear folks mention it in their profiles saying things like this, “Those with baggage need not apply.”  LOL!  Like, first of all anyone with baggage is really going to admit it and second of all, what exactly are you calling baggage there, buddy?  I mean, really? Seriously?  As if the person writing it who is pushing 50 has a clean slate themselves.  If they do, that’s the biggest piece of baggage!  Baggage for me (not divorced, a lot of drama associated with the past because the divorce settlement or parenting time was vague, too many financial loose ends involving the ex, a volatile or violent ex,  emotional instability, a prison record, unemployed, homeless, addicted) could be entirely different for someone else.  Most men seem to state kids, addictions, and insecurities as the main elements of baggage.  Most men do not include a stalker woman as one who has baggage since they mostly like to be stalked.  Expecially if the woman is beautiful, tiny and has had her breasts magically enlarged so that they are significantly larger than her buttocks.  What they don’t really recognize though, is that a woman like that (unless she paid for the services herself) is probably carrying a load of “baggage” (read insecurities and not comfortable in her own skin) and has even bigger expectations for relationship which don’t center around accepting the man as he is but instead focus on measuring him in light of the depth and breadth of his pocketbook.  But I digress.

Most of the time, when someone says, “He/She has a ton of baggage” it is intended as malicious insult aimed at undermining the recipient’s competence as an adult human being.  It simply means “He/she is incapable of doing life”.  They are an incompetent individual unable to deal successfully with the challenges of adult life, therefore they are being crossed off the list of life by someone, usually, who has enough baggage of their own as to make the person they are criticizing look bag free.

It doesn’t mean merely that person was not a good fit.  It doesn’t mean that  the person made some bad choices in the past but they are overcoming them and they’ll be alright.  It’s a completely derogatory term usually used by the middle aged single people for other middle aged single people.  And most people don’t mean “life experience” or “the past” when they are talking about it.  They definitely mean to lump all the person’s issues into one neat and tidy word without specifying anything but with the clear intent to verbally knock the person flat.  Because really, the term baggage is so vague, so broad, who honestly can argue with it?

To many, I would be someone with a lot of baggage: four kids, a home that I own that I have not foreclosed on, but which needs some cosmetic improvements and which has a yard that needs tending to in order to keep it beautiful, a diminishing debt load and a successful career that requires a lot of time and energy from me during 9 months of the year.  That would be baggage for some.

For others, my baggage would center around the fact that I have two marriages that didn’t work out.  Okay, I’ll say it: I have two failed marriages. And, yes, they failed because I was as much a part of the problem as the other person.  That admission somehow sends off alarms to all (well, at least the unhealthy insecure “all”)  that I’m incompetent in relationship.  People make assumptions instead of asking the critical question, “What was that about for you?”  For others, my baggage would center around the fact that I’ve spent a fair amount of time after my last divorce thinking through exactly that very question and reflecting not only on what the other person did or didn’t do that didn’t work for me, but also on how I contributed to the problem.  The result is, in some areas I’m very clear on what I will or will not tolerate in relationship.  I’m clear on what the foundations of a good relationship must be and how to recognize them. I’m becoming more and more clear on what my limitations are and what does or doesn’t work for me and my boundaries in this regard are getting firmer daily. I’m also unwilling to waste time in any relationship that doesn’t demonstrate at least the basics of emotional, financial and legal availability and the biggie: mutual  acceptance and respect .  Many men, especially those, who haven’t a clear concept of their own self identity, who are insecure or immature, and/or who need a woman to take care of them or fulfill them or to meet their self-centered needs, or who are simply stupid, can’t stand me.

I’m totally okay with that! 

The term baggage, however, is  one of those words which while intended to harm the person talked about, also implicates the person wielding the word.  When someone uses that word, eyebrows raise and the question goes out, “Oh, really, what do you mean?”  It works like this.  You use the word “baggage”.  The question goes out, “What do you mean?”  The word is uselessly vague so you must clarify the word and in clarifying the word you malign the other person somehow. When you malign another from your past, especially when on a date with a new person, it is the death knell.  You’ve succeeded in assassinating the person you were talking about but you made yourself look just as bad in the process. Baggage is an ugly word which when used reflects badly on both the person targeted but even more so the person using the word.

How do you feel about the word “baggage”?  What does that word mean to you?

Has the Wild Mind Also Died?

Have you noticed how non-existent I am here?  Like what’s up with that?  The Wild Mind gets on and posts a wimpy (at best) post about Michael Jackson and then disappears.  Hmmm, makes you wonder what I’ve been up to.  Or…makes you wonder if I died like all the rest of the celebrities out there.

Okay, rest assured I haven’t died.

Yes, I have struggled a bit with writer’s block due to the fact that certain someone’s might be reading this blog and trying to read between the lines and of course I don’t want them to get the wrong impression so I….*deeep inhale* ….need to take a freaking breath and just write what I want to write.  But also…and more importantly…I’ve struggled because my life is changing at light speed…due to my own initiative…thanks…and well…I just want to write about something more important than Fire Trucks and swimming pool pumps and hoses hooking up.  I mean, as fun as that is…it is so not where I live and other things are motivating me right now.  Sigh. 

The Wild Mind is in a Wild State of Transition….I guess?  Maybe? 

Or…The Wild Mind is simply being proactive and deciding to live life…instead of merely writing about it after the fact?

Okay…all of the above is true.

Here’s what you (you being anyone interested besides The Wild Mind’s Self) need to know:

* yeah, okay, I admit…life has been busy and rather than write about how I’m accomplishing my New Year’s Resolutions, I am actually out there accomplishing them.

* I’m done with dating derelict men who are unavailable emotionally and legally or who are simply looking for a one night stand(or lay).  I’m also done with spending time with anyone  who cannot demonstrate a  LOGICAL, RATIONAL, well informed and clearly articulated thought process when communicating.  Since this eliminates 97% of all men on the planet and especially those who post profiles on all the dating sites (and, yes, sadly I’ve tried them all), I ‘ve completely given up on the dating thing.

“Why?” you ask.

“Because” I say, “I have so much better things to do with my life.”

Yeah, that’s it.  I’ve decided to quit moping about my past failures.  I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off and am reinventing myself and my life and my future.  I’m doing it because I can.  I’m doing it because I still have the energy and health to do it….and I am loving every freaking minute of it!  I’m.having.fun!

My mother was soooo right on.  I should have done what I wanted to do to begin with instead of being so worried about pleasing the world and getting married simply because it was the socially acceptable fantasy at the time.  Thank-you, Mom.  Even though you never saw the fruit of your labor with me while alive, understand that your words like seeds were sowed deep in me and took root…albeit late…but they have taken root and sprouted and there is a bountiful harvest for sure! 🙂  I’m finally figuring out what I’m about…what I want and it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of some nondescript man in my life. 

But it means I’m not having so much time to write, especially when it means that creative energy is spread out among 3 or more blogs,  4 children and one very viable contender for the Knight in Shining Armor Award.  (Okay, screw the shining armor part, he’s just very interesting, intelligent, attractive, real…and…well…the best part is that so far his actions match his words and that is never a bad thing).

Yes, if he passes muster, you’ll hear about it.  Until then, he’s only one who’s captured my imagination, sparked my interest and kept my interest far, far longer than most.  If he rides off into the sunset it will be because he didn’t like the fact that I wanted to ride my own horse instead of hitching onto his.  It will be because he wasn’t willing to move forward while I mounted my own gallant steed and caught up with him in a bit.  It will simply be because he wasn’t able to or man enough to deal with a princess who is completely in charge of herself and doesn’t depend on a dashing prince to achieve her dreams. It will be because he ultimately felt insecure around me instead of inspired and motivated to be the best he could be.  Somehow, this particular Knight, strikes me as being one who will make decisions for himself, and allow his Princess to make her own decisions, all the while as he’s got her back and spoiling her at every opportunity.  Not because he has to, but becaue he’s totally into her and not afraid to declare it.

Dashing prince or not, The Wild Mind will create her own Fairy Tale Happy Ending.   It will take an incredibly amazing and masculine and self assurred….even a bit arrogant…maybe cocky Prince to be able to roll with that. 

Can you imagine just how interesting that relationship might be?  Not your standard, let’s-go-to-bed-at-ten-and-do-the-same-three-things-we-always-do-in-the-same-order-at-the-same-time -like-a-circus-monkey kind of relationship now is it?

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.

Online Hose Suppliers or Snake Oil Salesmen?

Kip commented on my last post about Online Hose Suppliers and he cautioned me to be very careful.  His comments were valid and my responses lengthy enough that I figured they’d make a decent little post on their own. 

Here is what Kip said in his comment on my last post:

Be wary of would-be hose suppliers who promise the moon; they tend to be in the same class as snake oil salesmen. And let’s face it, they can tell you anything and show you any kind of pictures they want on the internet. There are some things you just shouldn’t purchase online, and this is one of them. You need to see that hose in the flesh and hold it in your hand, make sure it connects properly and produces a healthy flow when turned on. As they say: think globally but act locally! The hose you need may be in your own backyard. So get out there and find it: examine it well, hook it up and turn it on! Don’t despair that you haven’t found it yet. If you have faith in it, it will come!

 And, now my response:

I’m not certain that purchasing something like this online is necessarily a bad deal, though it would require certain additional considerations and many, many precautions.  I would never purchase a hose sight unseen.  I would insist on the opportunity to see the hose, hold the hose and try all the appropriate functions to ensure the hose and my pump fit well together.

 If the hose I needed were in my own backyard, I’d be happily swimming in my blissful pool rather than looking for a quality hose!  I can assure you that there really are no quality hose suppliers in my area and I’ve been diligent in seeking them out.  You see the emphasis here is on quality.  I believe the inner construction and the make up of the hose will determine its usefulness and effectiveness in working with my pump over the long haul.  Most hose dealers are supplying hoses that are poorly constructed, made of weak or brittle materials, not long enough or are simply not the right kind of hose for the job.  After all, if I’m looking for a hose to attach my pool to my pump, I’m not going to use a garden hose.  Garden hoses are not bad and they definitely serve their purpose, but it simply isn’t the kind of hose I’m looking for.  Further, you’d be surprised to find out how many local suppliers post a picture of a hose that looks serviceable but then when I go to visit them to see the hose, they present me with a worn, damaged, dirty and defective item.  It is disappointing, tiring and I’m not wasting time with any of that!  So, I continue on with my search for the best hose for my pump.

 As for the getting out there and finding it?  Well, I’ve worked tirelessly at this project for some time now.  I’m quite willing to do the legwork required to examine the hoses thoroughly, hook them up, and turn them on.  It is upon closer examination (before even hooking up)  that I usually find defects, flaws, ways that the hose would be incompatible with my pump.  When these concerns in hose viability arise, it seems foolish for me to go the next step of hooking up the hose and turning it on.  Why waste my time trying to make a hose work when it isn’t a good hose or the right hose?  No, I need to be able to see that the hose is the right hose before the hook up and turning on.  Once I take that hose home, I can’t expect it to become a different hose.  I can’t just see a brand new hose, hook it up and turn it on and hope it works. I just don’t shop that way.  I prefer to do my research on each hose carefully and thoughtfully first.  Salesmen hate me because I ask a lot of questions and can determine fairly quickly where the inconsistencies lie and where the defects in the hose will be.  When I do find that special hose, then and only then will I consider hooking it up and turning it on.  After all, not just any hose will do for my pump.  I want the best hose!  I’m willing to pay well for it, travel the earth shopping for it, and when I get it home I will care for and maintain it well because I really hate hose shopping.

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 Online “Meet” Market

japanesemapleLast weekend, I made arrangements to meet a guy from online for the first time for breakfast.  Not usually my preference, since weekend mornings are usually sacred time for me.  It’s the time of the week where I get up and move at whatever pace I feel like which is unhurried, unrushed, unpressured, slow and relaxed.  This is important to me, since the rest of my week is usually packed so full with deadlines, activities, demands and noise.

Saturday, I woke early and was on the road for a three hour drive to an  All Tribes Pow Wow.  I attended with a friend who is very good looking, very intelligent, well educated, okay beyond well educated,  funny and basically almost perfect and who is someone I will never date.  He is a very good friend and like a brother to me.  Dating him would be like, well, ewww!  But I could attend a Pow Wow with him and did. I can also travel with him, and have, with no concern for my safety or well-being.  Boundaries are firmly in place and were clearly discussed. In many ways, I think a good romantic relationship has to have these elements of a good friendship in order to be successful.  When we get together, we talk like schoolgirls.  He, about who he’s dating, me about who I’m dating (I was pretty quiet this time, well, okay, maybe not so much) so it is no wonder that after leaving early in the morning to drive up to the Pow Wow, it was sunset and I’d not started on my way home.  By the time I did arrive home I was just not in any way willing to get up and rush out to meet someone I’d had two conversations with on the phone.   I cancelled, with the plan to resechedule if he wanted to.  I left it in his court not really caring one way or another if he persisted or not.  Well he persisted.  *Places a check in the “Good for him” category.*

That reschedule occured this afternoon.  It was the most agonizing ordeal I’ve experienced since the first time I met someone from online.  I really hate it when I have to carry the conversation.  I am plenty capable of it, but I am not comfortable doing it.  I’d rather listen to others share their story.  But, this person had no story.  He’d never been married.  He didn’t travel, didn’t do much, except take walks with his dog. Of course, he put on his profile he was trim and fit…but he wasn’t…not entirely.  And, of course, he’s looking for the firm little body, but yet he didn’t exactly sport the male version of that.   I totally don’t mind guys going for the firm little body…don’t get me wrong…I get how men are wired…but what’s good for the gander is just as good for the goose.  Don’t expect what you’re unable to provide yourself. That’s all I’m saying.  Anyway, it all makes ya wonder. 

And, here’s another thing.  I hate going for walks on the first meet up.  Here’s why.  You can’t size up the other person too well because you are too busy walking and watching where you are going.  So much of me taking a person in is sizing up how they move.  How they roll.  What their demeanor is like.  The eyes, the smile , all this is important.  This is difficult to observe on a walk especially when your are as uncoordinated as I am and must concentrate carefully on putting one foot in front of the other on level ground.  You also can’t really talk face to face to them.  So, while I think a walk is an ideal thing to do the second or third time around, it isn’t my pick for a first date. That being said, I got enough information in the first three seconds to know this was not someone I was going to spend much more time with.  So the walk really was a non-issue.

The online meet market is just not that fun any more.  It’s still every bit as busy…just more exhausting than anything…these days.  I can see myself folding this hand for good pretty soon.

Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field

gingerbreadbreakup

Opening score fades as curtains rise and lights up on scene set stage right of a small cozy but humble study.  A small desk with laptop computer and comfy but worn office chair, a coffee mug, lamp some papers, pens, neatly arranged are the only props.  The Wild Mind sits in the chair attired only in casual lounge pants and a snugly fitting camisole.  Her hair is in a messy bun and one leg is pulled up onto the large but worn office chair in a yoga-esque fashion.  She begins typing and reading aloud as music fades.

There are a million blogs out there that address the fact that women are confusing, game-playing, bling-seeking, brats who expect men to jump unreasonably through hoops before they’ll give it up.

I propose that men are confusing, game-playing, sex-seeking brats, and some of them want bling and sammiches on top of that.  And, in addition, some of those lovable brats are liars and dishonest, even though they are completely unaware of it.  That’s because they are lying to themselves. 

I  propose there are good reasons for both these conditions to exist. It is called emotional survival and pain aviodance.  It isn’t a great way to do things, but many people, myself included behave this way.  Or they have, maybe, at one time or another. 

Next, while I’ve been villified for villifying those who go silent or who are “just not that into” me and who demonstrate it by going silent, I maintain my stance that when a man is really into a woman, he knows it, she knows it, the world knows it and he will cross distance, time, space (or work very hard to close the distance, time and space) to make it work between them.

Cue image of The Wild Mind with thought cloud above head and image of The Beau inside it. The Wild Mind continues typing.  Images appear on the large screen behind her as she continues reading.

Yes, the Beau.

A brief recap here is in order to bring all two of my readers that I haven’t talked to in a while up to speed. And…mostly for me to sort it all out so I can just move on.

I met The Beau through an online dating site.  The Beau contacted me in October, I believe.  This last October. 

Now, last fall I did a really stupid thing at the end of the summer and signed up on a couple of internet dating sites.  I do not know why I did this.  It was a week or two before school started, I was learning a new job and that time of year is insane for me anyway, so I’m not sure why I did such an idiotic thing when I knew I wasn’t going to have time to breathe, let alone date.  I also knew that I wasn’t really in a great place emotionally to date, since, well, I was still pretty ticked off with the whole going silent phenomenon anyway.  And, while I now see the benefit of going silent, both for the party who goes silent and the one they disappear from, I still think it is the more cowardly approach. More about that later.drink_coffee

So, in October, the Beau contacts me.  We correspond for the usual customary few emails and then got together for coffee.  We liked each other right away and he mentioned he had things to do but he wanted to get together for cocktails later that evening…if we could.  He said he’d call me later.

He went out on more coffee dates with women that day.

I went to a bookstore and bought a book. 

We got together later that same day for cocktails, had a great time.  Truly, with The Beau, we never lacked for conversation, which is a real turn on for me.  I later found we could enjoy those comfortable silences too, a double turn on.

The Beau and I, for some reason or another did not begin dating until December.  It was a miscommunication, a misunderstanding but we didn’t  date, till December.  I was kind of corresponding with someone at that point who was pretty interesting and simply needed to follow that out till he went silent on me after meeting me one time (yeah, ugh).  By December, all that had played out and out of the blue, in response to a post I wrote about being alone on Christmas Eve,  The Beau contacts me, invites me to his family for dinner on Christmas Eve, which I accepted and we really hit it off.wine_glasses

We spent most of the holiday break together. 

Thus began the dating season with The Beau which lasted till roughly late January, early February, where I began sensing that he wasn’t all that into me. 

How did I sense this?  After all that time together (six weeks or so) he still was talking about old flames.  He spoke of his two ex wives without bitterness or regret, but he also mentioned two old flames, which concerned me because of the way, in which he spoke of them.  Girls, you know what I’m saying here.  When a guy talks about another woman in a way that makes you wonder “if she were standing here next to me, would he even be with me?”, you know there’s a problem.

In addition, while he did call me daily, I began to sense that it was more out of a sense of duty rather than desire. He also began taking more time on other friends rather than keeping or making arrangements with me. 

He also continued saying stuff like how impossible the 90 minute distance was, how he’s building a house, I’m entrenched here, how’s this ever going work, yadda yadda.

Finally, after two free weekends, where I drove 90 minutes to be with him, on the third free weekend, when I said nothing about plans he neither invited me up nor offered to come to see me.

So, I surmised that he was not all that into me.  I talked about it with him.  I was right.  He wasn’t all that into me, but he wouldn’t admit that to me.  We decided to go our separate ways, but strangely we kept in touch.

We went out for cocktails one night when he was in town for business and had a great time.

He texted and emailed me occasionally.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was out of town for business, he invited me over for dinner on my way home. I stopped in, he grilled steaks, made a fabulous meal complete with appetizers, salad, martinis, wine, chocolate dipped strawberries (I mean who goes to that trouble if they aren’t interested, right?) and we spent a long fun evening together.  It was VERY fun.  I didn’t spend the night because I had to be back at work (and I wouldn’t have anyway…but he did his level best to convince me to).

That night, with my help, he set up a Facebook account and added me as his first friend.

The next morning his old flame was also added as his friend and she added me which I was suspicious of but I confirmed the add anyway. After all, she lives in Texas and a 90 minute drive to see me was a dealbreaker for us.  What could it hurt?

This last week, he was in Arizona watching spring training games for one of his favorite teams.  This is something he does every year.  Something he invited me to go with him to, which I declined.  After going to the games in Arizona, he flew back to Northern California with his son for a few days before returning home to go out with me last night to see my daughter’s performance.  This was something we’d pre-arranged way back in January.

On Facebook, gotta love it, I notice Old Flame is going to be in Northern California the exact same time The Beau is going to be in Northern California.

Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on there.

atsamsungpropelSo Thursday night, after not hearing from him since the beginning of the week, I texted him saying, “Hey, maybe your plans or thoughts about Saturday night have changed.  If they have, I totally understand, but please let me know, so I know how to plan.”

I get no response.  Not that I was sitting around waiting.  I was busy doing my own thing, but by Friday afternoon, I realized I’d not heard anything from him and I texted him again.  He responded with, “My phone was off, plans are still on for Saturday night.  I’m looking forward to it.”

Saturday night. I’m working backstage at my second oldest’s performance, playing hall monitor for the stage right stairwell.  It absolutely rocked, especially since during several numbers I could sneak up the stairs and with my head about 12 inches above the level of the stage, peek out and see Briggs singing and dancing her heart out.  That was a far better and more close up view of her performance than the matinee when I sat in the second row front and center. But I digress, more about that later, if I can get pics.

While I was working backstage, The Beau was sitting in the audience with my other three children.

After the performance, we presented Briggs with her dozen red roses, took pics and leaving Briggs to do her clean up and staff party, headed back to the house.  Once at my house, I hustled kids off to bed, but I’d tipped off Number 1, that I was probably going to hear some news that was going to be disappointing where The Beau was concerned so she headed off to her room early also.

Cue foreboding musical score.  The Wild Mind speaks directly to her audience.

You know where this is going don’t you?  You, like I, probably knew several paragraphs before this. 

 The Wild Mind freezes in position while lights black out. Curtains fall.

To Be Continued …