“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.

The Junkie In Me Returns…Sort Of?

internet20dating1In the past I likened myself to an online dating junkie.  While this was certainly true in the days immediately preceeding the final divorce judgement and for about 6 to 9 months after, I must say my tendency to “need” to be online and meeting up with people has definitely waned.  In fact, early last summer, I took my profiles down only to put them up again right before school started.  (WTF is up with that????)

I’ve mentioned before what an impulsive mistake that was.  I’m actually still corresponding with people from that little episode that, believe it or not, I have yet to meet.  I may never meet them.  I don’t really care…if I did, I would have met them by now.

But then last night I did a really silly, stupid, actually, thing.  I signed up and even paid money (that’s the stupidest part) for a one month membership on a site I have not been on before.  Now, granted, it wasn’t much money at all.  It really only equated to about two bottles of cheap wine, probably the amount I could finagle out of  just meeting half the people who have already crammed my inbox full of emails insisting they are crazy about me and can’t get me out of their minds after seeing my few lame, poorly lit, and face shot only photos. Well, that is, if I was at all the finagling type. Yeah, sure.  We’ll go with that.

So, this bizarre behavior on my part certainly deserves some closer attention.  Now, it isn’t bizarre to want to sign up on an online site, especially, if you, like me, don’t encounter a single dateable soul in your day to day interactions.  Unfortunately, day to day stretches into week to week and then month to month until one wakes up and realizes they’ve spent a great deal more Friday and Saturday nights home alone than they really ever intended or wanted to spend in solitary confinement.online_dating

[So, I must digress and define dateable.  Dateable for me in a nutshell is a.) male, b.) intelligent enough to hold his own in a conversation and c.) emotionally, financially and legally available.  Okay, a bit about the financially available part.  Financially available in my mind doesn’t mean “without obligations”, but if the guy is still part owner in some very big real estate deals that could end him up being taken by the short hairs by an ex, then I’m not really into that drama much. Enough about dateable and available.]

So, going online in and of itself, is not bizarre, though it is incredibly crazy making and painful.  I don’t understand why people do it.  I do not understand why I just recently did this. Especially since I have so much else I want and need to do besides date a bunch of people one time only to find out that they, like my last year and a half of dating episodes are somehow just not that into me or are completely unavailable somehow.  I’d rather have electric shock treatments than endure any more of that.

And yet….

it’s the “and yet” that always gets ya…

And yet, there are a couple of things here at war within me.  First, I do believe Winston Churchill’s statement.  I posted it last December, I’m posting it again:

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

 

~~ Sir Winston Churchill

 

There have been a number of failures in the last couple of years.  Now, failure, of course, is a relative term and I don’t want to get into the fact that there have been many positive outcomes to those failures.  Like, I am  no longer and still not in a disastrous marriage or a relationship where the guy really just isn’t that into me. This is definitely positive and I have no regrets.  But if I define failure as the lack of a quality relationship with a significant other then, I have to say there have been some failures to move toward this goal  in the recent past.  False starts is probably a more accurate term but we’ll go with Winston’s failure…just for fun. Anyway, Churchill’s statement is sound for work, school and romance.  One’s enthusiasm must never wane if one is to ultimately be successful.  I get that.  So, that’s one element:  remaining positive and keeping one’s enthusiasm when it seems that with each passing day the odds get lower and lower that there will be any viable candidate to date. (And, if you lived where I live, you’d consider my attitude one of complete optimism rather than borderline disgust and despair.)   After all, as I’ve said before, I’d like to spend some life with the dude, I don’t exactly want to meet him in the retirement center.  (Okay, all you literalists, take that last statement with a grain of salt and chill.  It was a slight exaggeration to make a point.)

 

This idea that it is important to “keep myself open” to whatever might occur…is at war with the part of me that really doesn’t want to take the risks.  (Okay, yes, I’m being a tad bit vulnerable and honest there so chill about that too.  It DOES NOT MEAN I am needy or insecure.  It simply means I am trying (albeit feebly, I think) to be emotionally honest. 

 

online dating the impossible dilemmaSo, my dilemma:  intellectually I know I should remain social, keep doing things I like and enjoy and keep active and meeting people.  The reality is, the things I enjoy right now, are completely centered around my home, my children, and improving me, my financial situation, my fitness, my living situation.  It’s a bit self focused I think. I’m wondering if it might be a bit of a defense mechanism and a retreatist approach.   I’m trying to figure out if it is an unhealthy self focus or a taking care of me right now focus.  Here’s the even stranger part to all this, anyone, and I do mean anyone who meets me receives me as a warm and fun person.  You would think me the introvert to look at me…though…introvert…I do tend to be…especially lately.

 

 

So about signing up for the online thing…it again happened out of curiosity, I think.  But feel free to share your thoughts.  After all, it was a site I hadn’t ever participated in (and I’ve explored a few).  I think it is also the concern I have that if I don’t make opportunities to connect with others and stay social, I will completely retreat from the world and like Rapunzel in her tall tower become completely isolated.  Truly, I could do this.  I can be alone for endless amounts of time and not even have it bother me.  I’m not sure that this tendency, if allowed to go unchecked is entirely healthy either.  That introvert thing again.  But then, I’m really not that into it at all so why do I even bother?  Is really curiosity.  What do you think?  Take a whack at it all you who know just enough about the workings of the human psyche to be dangerous. 

Sigh. I better wrap this up and go count up my statistics and find out how many men out there are really brave enough to actually make a contact with a message rather than the canned, “I liked your profile!” flirt message.  *rolls eyes and heads for bed instead*

 

 

 

 

 

Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field-Lessons Learned

Curtains rise, lights up full center stage spotlight on The Wild Mind who is dressed in tight  jeans, flattering trendy top, pumps with stilletto heels, hair perfectly coifed and make up on.  Cue happy music playing softly in the background.  The Wild Mind addresses the audience.

I am really grateful that now there is complete closure not just with The Beau, but the I.J. (Yes, we had a “conversation” also in the last two weeks.  I haven’t written about it because it was a little sad and I’ve been too busy writing and doing other things). 

beerhandsmallDating is a different world now in Post-40 World than it was in Post-20 World.  Okay, if it is still the same world it was back then, then I’ve been dealt a new hand and the cards suck in this one.  Furthermore, when I was younger, I had more time to regroup the losses both emotionally and financially, I am not so young and not so cavalier about the consequences of poor choices.

I now know that one’s choice of a marital or romantic partner can affect your life forever, even long after they leave the scene. datinggumswap

It’s a high stakes game and I’m betting all or nothing on the best possibility for relationship, not just something that’s good enough or nice enough because I’m tired of being alone.

I am emotionally free from wondering if , maybe, when, how, what if anything will happen with The Beau or anyone else that is not knocking down my door or heating up my phone to connect with me.  I just know it won’t happen for me with someone who is merely lukewarm.

Even if it doesn’t work out with the Old Flame and The Beau, what’s he going to do? Come back and knock on my door and say, “Hey, you’re the lucky first runner up. Old Flame couldn’t fullfil her pageant responsibilities. Want to give it a go?”

Thanks, but that’s not exactly how I see my fairy tale playing out. I don’t know how exactly how I do see it playing out, but I’m fairly certain that scenario is not on the list.

So, to take The Beau’s and many of my readers’ and friends’ advice and especially my sister’s (she’ll so love this!)  I’m going to use this last episode with The Beau as  more than just an experience to do some creative writing.  I’m going to use it as an experience to reflect and further clarify for myself where I’m at and how I’m doing.  Let’s see if I can do it in 10 points or less.  Here we go.

The Points (not in any particular order):

  1. One’s choice of marital or romantic partner can affect the quality of the rest of your life.  This is true on a minor scale with those you date.  Choose wisely.
  2. The Wild Mind’s Love Philosophy still holds:  When a man is into a woman there is no doubt: he knows, she knows and there is no obstacle too great to overcome in order to make it happen.  He’ll find any way he can to get into her life, heart and, yes, pants.  This includes picking up the phone and calling her or driving distances to see her.  He won’t mind.  He’ll actually want to do it.
  3. Some people out there in Dating World are completely unavailable but they masquerade as completely available.  Do not believe this until proven. 
  4. Emotional availability is proven by scaling tall obstacles or great distances unasked and without hesitation or groaning.  It is also demonstrated a million other very creative ways all of which, every man knows capably how to execute, but won’t, unless you are the one he wants to be available for. If he’s not willing to prove availability in these ways, he’s just not that into you.
  5. Pay attention and trust your gut.  Read point Number 2 and if you experience doubts then he’s just not that into being into you. 😀 Move on now.  Don’t waste any more time.
  6. Men play just as many games as women.  Don’t deny it.  Some of these games are: “I Want Sex, But I’m Not Available For Any Serious Relationship, I’d Just Like To Make You Think I Am”, “I’m Bored With Nothing Better To Do, Come (yes, pun intended) Entertain Me”, “I’ll Play With You Till Something Better Comes Along” “I’m Completely Unavailable But Can’t Admit It”,and the final version, “Let’s Pretend” where he wants to pretend he’s really available so he can get sex or he’ll pretend he’s really into you even convincing himself he might be in hopes you will give him sex. The “Let’s Pretend” game is also played by those men who are hoping to get their mind off their own pain/loss/whatever for a while or by men who are married and won’t leave but can’t stay either.
  7. Women, do not go near these games!  If you do, you do so at your own peril.  Do not play the If…Maybe…What If?…Game. If you find out you are involved somehow in one of these games, get out yesterday. Don’t look back.  You deserve better.  You will also feel better.  Take charge of your health, get out now!pirates_of_the_caribbean_015 
  8. Being alone is still better than being in a relationship that is just okay or where you wonder all the time if he’s really all that into you.  Stop the wonder.  He’s not.  Move on. (I so need to remember this one myself!)
  9. My Prince Charming (or Adventurous Pirate) is out there and some day, if and when we meet, I will be ready and willing for the raping/pillaging and plundering to ensue.  (Okay…or for him to sweep me up on his magnificent steed time and time again until we are exhausted, then we’ll ride happily into the future together.) 😀
  10. Painting ceilings without a sprayer sucks.  Don’t ever do it. Next time, I’m buying beer and pizza and putting an ad on Craigslist that reads, “Free beer and pizza in exchange for painting help!” It’ll be a lot more fun.

Lights out. Curtain falls.

The End, Yes, Finally, The End!!!!

Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field–Act 3

Curtains rise on The Wild Mind staring pensively off in stage left direction.  Lights up. The Wild Mind wakes herself from her reverie, takes a sip from the mug, put it down absent mindedly and resumes typing at her computer.

ghost-picWho can even fight fair against a ghost? I had no chance to start with.

This brings up another key point that I wish I’d known all along:

The Beau started up contact with the Old Flame at the same time or shortly before he invited me to Christmas Eve dinner. I had no chance from the beginning, because as long as she was even a remote figment in his imagination, I could have been perfect and it wouldn’t have mattered. The living cannot compete against ghosts who still live and carry even the smallest hope of reincarnating themselves.

In a word, The Beau, was not emotionally available. Not really.

I suspected it but I did not know this.  He liked me a lot.  Had she not even been a possibility, I dare say we may have had a chance at a really, really good thing. But it could not ever be, because ghosts are powerful and will not be denied. 

It just was not meant to be between The Beau and I. I’m okay with this. I told him so.  I know there is someone out there for me somewhere.  (I’m skeptical, at this point, about my ever finding him, but that’s okay too.)

The Beau wants to remain “friends”. He said he’d hoped he could be that friend that I call first to tell him I’ve finally met Mr. Right.  While I don’t want to burn bridges unnecessarily, but I never wanted The Beau to play that role in my life. (Sorry, but that will probably be Semi-Professional Photographer Friend and not you, Beau. I already have friends like that in my life. That was not what I was looking for or what I needed when I started dating you. If it had been, you’d have been contacting me on Facebook the first time not on an online dating site.)

I told him that while I’m usually able to do be friends with people I date, I don’t think I can do that here. At least, not right away. He understands this to mean that I am sad, hurt and heartbroken that he’s choosing her over me. It really isn’t so much that at all. It was that this relationship, more than any other to date, for me, had all the signs of being completely viable and lasting…except that he just wasn’t that into me…in the most important way.

And, I so don’t want to be with someone who is into me,kinda, but just not enough.  I want him to be crazy about me or it’s not going to go very far even if I’m crazy about him. 

I also don’t want to be competing against unburied ghosts from the past.  It is not how I’m going to roll.

My disappointment comes from knowing I was right early on and not trusting myself earlier and just moving ahead with my heart. Instead, I kind of dabbled and played the “Well…Maybe….What if?….” game.

My sadness (if there really is any) comes from thus far in my entire life, not having one man who would really go to the wall for me in spite of me going to the wall repeatedly for them. thinkingTwo marriages which existed mostly because I made excuses for the men and held the marriages together at my own personal health and financial peril are enough. The dating scene has been no better. I’ve mostly met men who should not even be dating because they are a.) married and lying about it (read, The I. J.), b.) separated and working on it (read, still not available emotionally or legally no matter what he thinks or says) or c.) still in love with a past relationship that didn’t, won’t, or can’t work out (read The Beau and several current prospective suitors who are making bids for my time and attention but who haven’t quite thrown the dirt over the grave of their past loves).  The graveyard of past loves is not a safe place to go exploring for Mr. Right. 

This is all very confusing, because there is no way you know this going in to a relationship except by being very careful and paying very close attention (something I’m getting much better at doing), and there is no way you can possibly compete with the past or connect fully with the unavailable heart, while you’re there.  When you get out, you regret the whole bloody thing because the playing field was never level from the get go and it was just a big waste of time, except to confirm to you what you already knew about love, life and dating anyway. Who needs to experience all that just to find out you were right all along? I’d rather paint ceilings with rollers.

While I am disappointed (not distraught) on one one level that ” it “didn’t work out with The Beau and I, I really enjoyed our times together and I learned a lot.  It’s always nice to be in a relationship or to be thinking you might be heading that way.  On another level, I can do so much better than to spend my time wondering where I stand all the time.  I go back to my very opening point in these series of posts: When a man is into a woman, no one has any doubts about it, least of all the woman or man involved.  Am I making myself clear here.  I hope I remember that point.

The Beau, was courageous in talking to me about where he stood. I admire that. I gave him an out. He could have taken the chicken’s way out and responded to my text with, “Yeah, I’m not going to be able to make it. I’m wiped out.” Given the FB communiques it would have delivered the same message. He chose not to do that and instead delivered the message the tough way: face to face. I just wish it wasn’t in my living room, but okay. Live and learn. Next time, when I anticipate that news, I will suggest we go out, better yet, I’ll try to force a phone conversation.

Cue happy musical score as curtains fall.  The Wild Mind leans back in her chair and smiles.

To be concluded in the next post…

Expectations…A Final List…Then I’m Really So Done With This!

I’ve hit upon the final list of expectations I have for Mr. Right. Get ready.  Here it is:

1.  He must be male.

2.  He must be breathing (and within legal and respectable age limits…no I am not going to date someone who just turned 21 nor am I going to date someone living in an assisted care facility.

3.  He must be available, physically, legally, and emotionally.

More about all of this later, but I am completely spent.  It has been an exhausting, crazy, disappointing ,frustrating and happy two days and I am tired.

I’ve had enough of this day…it was like three days in one and I feel I aged that much too. 

I am going to bed.

Don’t wake me.

Back to Futility

Okay, maybe I should just drop this because I really am obsessing over this. 

Mostly, I just have a lot of questions.

Maybe they are the wrong ones.

What exactly do I expect?  Hmmm, that the guy is really into me while at the same time I am into him. 

That alone is a difficult pairing to find.  It’s either one or the other, so far not both, at least not for very long. So far.

Are my expectations realistic? Should nice enough be good enough even if the chemistry is missing? Can chemistry grow as you get to know someone or is it there and you know it right away?

I think I know the answers to these questions, but maybe I am wrong and I’m just being unrealistic.

Or…maybe…maybe it is like my friend told me:  I am just not ready to be in relationship right now so I am more interested in the ones who capture my imagination but which are completely unavailable, for whatever reason, thus causing me to not be able to fully emotionally  invest in the really nice guys in my own front yard.  Yes, there are several of them there at any given point.  If you come to my hometown you will know my house because it will likely be the only front yard with a bunch of really nice guys growing there.  I’m constantly weeding them out.  Maybe that’s the problem.

But I’m not sure that all I want is a “really nice guy”.

Maybe I am not sure what I really want after all.

Or, maybe I am too certain.

Maybe that is why I need to go through this exercise, which once again leads me nowhere.  Maybe I just need to go do something else.

Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Getting Clear About What You Want…What I Want

Okay, revisiting expectations for Mr. Right. 

Seems like I spent a lot of time doing this the last three years of my last marriage, but, things change, I’ve changed, and I guess I just need some time to take stock and revisit what I thought seemed so simple so many (4) years ago.

First off, I think it is a good idea to be very clear about what you want. 

When I think about how I want my home life to roll with kids, chores, schedules, behavior, conversation, routines, etc. I always have a very clear idea of what it is that I want it to look like when I’ve reached my goal.  I don’t think about what it looks like when I’m close.  I think about what it looks like when I’ve arrived.   So, for example, if my goal is that I should be able to go out to dinner with adult friends and come home to a clean, orderly home where young ones are in bed and old ones are doing their thing quietly and all messes are cleaned up and the house is not partially burned down, then this is what I envision as I seek to teach my children what my expectations are.  Keeping this vision in my head is what helps me guage whether or not I’ve attained what I originally sought.

Sadly, men are not children and the ones we are dating we cannot simply teach (at least not directly) the behaviors we desire.

So, we have to think about stuff a little bit differently. 

For example, we must be very clear…okay, drop the we, I must be very clear about what my idea of the ideal “Match” for me would be.

Sadly, after the thousands of hours of thinking about this and journaling and reflecting and dating and analyzing and tallying my point charts up and doing my pro’s and con’s lists, I’m no closer to nailing this one than I was when I started. 

Some tell me my expectations are unreasonable.

Others tell me, “Dont’ settle.  You deserve and are capable of choosing the very best for yourself.”  Whatever that means.

I don’t get it.  I know I screwed up big, twice in the past with marital mistakes.  I personally think this was due to letting other people navigate my course rather than me navigating it for myself, but I could be wrong.  I also think guilt, fear, shame and religious legalism played into my errors in a big way. 

So, now I am, once again, back to the drawing board, and for no other reason than to just make sure I’m still clear on exactly what it is I want.  I have no serious (some potential, but not really, probably, serious) contenders for my alliegiance for an exclusive relationship.  After my last little rendezvous with The Beau, I’m not so sure I’m going to jump right into an ‘exclusive’ dating relationship until I’ve revisited some of my priorities.  This is easier said than done.

Okay, so I’m going to make a stab at it.  I might not finish tonight but I’m just going to let it roll and see how far I get before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

First priority for meHe has to be “all that into me” AND I have to be “all that into him”.  This alone has been the dealbreaker for most relationships I’ve started, entertained, considered, met, whatever.  It usually doesn’t get much past this.  He’s either not that into me or he is and I’m not that into him. It has to be a mutual “into each other” thing. 

But how do you know when that happens?  Is this something you know immediately…or is it something you develop over time?  It’s a strange thing. 

Okay, look.  I’ve dated enough online to know that if you get to know someone in digital world, before you meet them in real face to face world, you can fall completely in love and ready to commit to forever with that person.  Then you meet them and you find you are not at all physically attracted to this wonderful person you met, conversed with and got to know digitally.  This is where digital world is problematic.  We can get to know the heart of someone really early on, and love it, but then later find out that the physical part of this person is simply not attractive to our physical part.  I know it sounds shallow but we are both physical and relational, emotional beings.  If we can’t connect physically…well…I don’t know.  Seems like a tough problem to resolve for me.

I know the physical aspect of relationship is important to me.  But I could no sooner tell you what I think that looks like than fly unassisted to the moon. I’m guessing my ideal type of guy is the quasi nerdy, professional, intellectual sort.  I don’t go for the Brad Pitt hotties.  I go for the bright, articulate, competent, I guess, nerds (but I don’t think of them that way).  But how do you describe any of that physically?

I know I like guys taller than me.  My issues, but, yeah, the guy has to be taller than me even when I’m wearing stilettos…or else…he has to be completely confident and lacking in small man’s disease if he is shorter than me.  Every woman wants to feel delicate and femine at some point, okay, maybe that’s just me, but being three feet taller than my guy and thinking of the idea of squashing him if I’m on top is not exactly a pretty thought…and I’m not a big woman…hopefully you get my drift here. 

There are some things that can work and there are some things that just won’t and in between there’s a huge playground of possibilities to explore.  How do you possibly nail down expectations on that one? 

If he’s into me AND I’m into him regardless of what we both look like I’m good.  However, I say that with the full expectation that he has to be attractive to me.

Priority Number 2:  He has to be attractive to me and I have to feel like I’m one sexy babe around him.  Not just sorta either.  I have to really want to, yeah, well, you know, make all his fantasies come true every night!  I couldn’t tell you what that looks like either.  I generally and pretty consistently fall for the tall, dark and handsome sort.  But that isn’t a hard and fast rule and they don’t always have to have brown eyes, but generally that’s been the trend for me.  However, a man with all the right personality and temperament and philosophical qualities housed in a blonde haired blue eyed body wouldn’t automatically be crossed off the list either.   On the flip side of this, if I get the feeling he just doesn’t get that turned on by my physical self, then it’s not going to be a go, because that will only inhibit me in the affection department.

Are you beginning to see how really difficult it can be to nail down one’s expectations for “The Perfect Match”?

Let’s talk about Priority Number 3: He has to have a sense of humor that isn’t constantly based on being funny at someone else’s expense. This one’s an easy one to determine.  If I’m falling out of my chair, tears streaming out of my eyes, and my guts hurt, yes, physically hurt, from the deep belly laughs this person emits from the depth of my tentative, frightened-to-express-myself little soul, then he’s definitely ont the short list for my undying affection.  If he’s droll, relies on canned humor exclusively and doesn’t get my quirky, weird sense of humor then we’ll probably both be unhappy together.

Okay, well, we got as far as my top three before I decided it was bedtime for me.  I’ve had an ultra long (though really wonderful) day and all the Valentine celebrating is taking its toll.  Plus, the weightlifting I did on my upper body yesterday is still giving me muscular reminders that it occurred. (Oh, yeah, I’m feeling the ball squats too!) 

Take your best shot.  What are the top three most important priorites for you in determining expectations for your “perfect match”?

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.

Conversing With The Italian Job

So, I went for a walk tonight.

It wasn’t just any walk.

It was a walk to remember.

First off, it is the night before a school day and that, for me, is usually fully packed with no time for me. Hence, no walks and no workouts in the evening for me.  And, evening is when I work out best because I have to be at work at 0’dark thirty so getting up even earlier than that, well, screw it.  I simply refuse.  Let the world reject me.  I don’t care.

I hate doing anything before 6 a.m. unless it is making love with the love of my life whom I’ve yet to meet, so whatever already.

The I.J. and I decided to meet and go for a walk tonight.  We decided this on Valentine’s as we casually talked about stuff.  You know, stuff.  The conversation that is no conversation.  It’s fun, but takes you nowhere or it takes you everywhere depending…on…so…many…things.

So, we decided to set the time for 8:30.  I felt I could have my home reasonably settled down by then.  All kids would be back from events, dinner served and cleaned up and the two youngest in bed or heading that way.  At 8:20, I was in Target picking up some things I needed for tomorrow night’s presentation (thank God, these will be over for the year after tomorrow night) and I called him and said, “Let’s make it 8:45 and just come on up to the house.  He said okay.  We clicked off.

8:45 comes and goes.  I’m ready and waiting.  No I.J.

8:50 comes and goes.  I’m ready and waiting.  No I.J. and I think, “This is so not like him.”  Okay, now that thought right there freaked me out.  That I could, with complete confidence say, this was not like someone, was just…well…something I’ve NEVER been able to do where a guy was concerned.  I’ve always questioned and doubted because…welllllll….because I never really could trust the stupid guys because they were always so inconsistent.  The I.J. has yet to be inconsistent and therein lies the freaking out point….I knew without a doubt that he was not standing me up but that there had been a disconnect somewhere in our communication.  (Wow!  Amazing concept since the last two significant relationships I’ve been in were all about the guy playing games to manipulate and control.)

My son suggested I just call him.  I balked, but only for 5 minutes.

I call at 9:00. 

“Hey, where are you?”

“I’m down here on the corner waiting for you.”

He’d not heard me or misunderstood that I wanted him to go ahead and come up to the house.   I knew there was a reasonable explanation and, to be honest, this also freaked me out, because after my last few experiences with husbands, men are definitely not to be trusted, so my completely trusting him and not even questioning it, was a huge thing.  Yes, I’m getting healthier with respect to all that, but it says more about the I.J.’s complete consistency and unwavering reliability than it does about me.  Had he been anything less than honest, I’d have figured it out.

So, I headed out the door for our walk and he met me halfway between the corner where he was parked and my house.  Don’t tell me meeting halfway isn’t significant, because I, in my mid-40 wisdom, know so much better.

The minute he met me, we turned in unison and began walking.  As we did so, he asked, “So, hey, do you want to go on up to J’s or do you want to go for a real walk.”  A man after my own heart.  J’s  is the little sports bar that is located in the little neighborhood strip mall between his house and mine. We’d talked about my walking up there and just meeting him there but he didn’t feel so comfortable with that with it being dark out and all.  I’ve never been to J’s.  I’m a tad bit old fashioned and only recently have been going in and hanging out at bars by myself and J’s is not one I’d explored yet.  So, we went to J’s.

I’m sad I didn’t get my full 40 minute workout in.

It’s okay, I worked out earlier today with my son.

And….drumroll please….

The I.J. and I had some real conversation.  (To know why this is important you’d have to read my password protected post so there.  If you want to read it ask for the password otherwise, just guess what it’s about from the context here and be okay with that. It’s up to you.)

I dont’ even know how this happened, but I simply started by asking questions, but not third degree type questions.  These questions were “what’s your opinion on that” kind of questions.

First off, I have to back track a bit and make it clear that I did clarify with him where I was on the fact that his divorce, filed though it apparently is, is not final. He seemed to understand and accept my perspective here. At least that is what he said…mind you he said it…not implied it…not grunted it…but said, “I totally understand that that is something that needs to be resolved before we can move ahead.”  Well, okay, honestly, I can’t remember exactly what he said but that was very, very close.

And, of course, my head was spinning about that statement alone.  I mean, wow, it was so…what an adult would say.  Go figure.  No tension, no drama, just the straight up reality.

He ordered Scotch, and strangely I waffled.  I usually go for a Long Island Ice Tea hands down every time and completely with confidence, but tonight was feeling like it needed something different so I ordered a Bombay Sapphire Martini.  We sat and chatted over our drinks, but it wasn’t just light small talk chat.

We covered a great deal of ground.

We talked about a lot of stuff that isn’t just small talk joking trivial fun stuff.

We talked about his recent dating history and mine.  We talked about a lot of stuff!  In a short amount of time! 

At one point, I shared with him my “Are we building a house or a playground” analogy (see previous posts about this).  I actually shared this with him in the context of saying how important I feel communication is in relationship and how, disagreement and differing perspectives don’t freak me out nearly as much as simple non-communication.

He cut to the chase with that and said, “I’d love to build a house with you.”

He told me he understood that “building a house” didn’t mean marriage or LTR, it simply meant an exclusive relationship where we take it a day at a time and see what happens.

He told me that my baggage, and he knows what it is, doesn’t phase him.

He told me he understands that I cannot even begin to build the house until I see proof the divorce is final.

He talked.

We talked. 

It wasn’t small talk.  It definitely moved us forward, or somewhere.  And, it gave me a glimpse into the fact that quite possibly here might be a man who could very well surprise me in so very many really wonderful ways.

Match Games

I’ve admitted before that I used to be an online dating junkie of sorts.  I was.  Note the use of the past tense here.  Shortly before my divorce was final and for some months after it was final, I decided, out of boredom and curiosity, to find out if dating in 40+ World was as dismal as I’d always thoguht it would be and as horrifying as I heard it was. 

It was both as bad as I thought and the horror stories were real.  I did meet many of what I call NGBs (Nice Guys, But….).  I met many men who were real jerks and after about a year of this exhausting, disappointing and discouraging routine, I gave it up.  That was sometime last summer.  I took my profiles down and cancelled all memberships and took the summer off.

Sometime around August, near the end of August, I decided to put my profile up on a free site, just out of curiosity.  I also put my profile up and paid for one month at my favorite paid dating site (NOT eHarmony –villains!).  I do not know why I did this.  It was just as I was heading back to school for the fall and the worst possible time for me to even think about dating.  Well, I got enough interest from decent people this time around to last me for six more months of something to do besides be alone on the weekends when my kids are at their dads.  During this time I actually had two almost relationships, meaning they started out great and almost took off, but didn’t.   I recently took my profiles down off all sites after The Beau mentioned he wanted to date exclusively.  I was okay with this anyway since I was pretty much tired of the whole  Online Meetup thing anyway.   Now that The Beau made his grand exit, I am not going to go restore my profiles.  At least, I didn’t think I would.

Friday, night, my daughter and I spent the night together.  She had taken a few minutes and was playing with her toys in her room and I was checking out my blog stats and emails  from all three of my admiring fans.  My phone buzzed.  I noted a text from my friend and colleague, a 36 y.o. single mother of two. 

“I just checked my Yahoo account and the father of one of my students is one of my matches,” the text read.

“Cool!” I texted back.  It took me hours to get that much texted. Before I could hit send she pinged me back with “He’s really hot and very nice too.  His son was in my class last year too.” 

“Really, cool.  Here’s one you should check out on Match.”  I told her and gave her the username of someone I knew who I think is totally hot.  Sadly, he lives too far away.  She looked him up and texted me back, “LOL!! He’s got 4 children! Shouldn’t already be out?” 

“Nope.  The kids are the easy part,” I clumsily texted back.  Before I could hit “send” on that message, she was texting me back with “The parent is on Match.  Look up his user.”  She gave me his user and School Dad was indeed cute.  I suggested she get our mutual friend who happens to be this guy’s neighbor to introduce us. 

“LMAO!  Threesome, nice!” she responded. Then she texted me back saying “Oh my you have to go look up ______________!”  and she gave me another user to look up. 

“Why?”  I texted back.

“Because he’s HOT!” she texted me. 

Now, I really did not want to go on Match and begin looking.  I’d only gone there to look at the one profile a friend of mine had asked me to check out for him as he began his dating adventures.  He’s hot!  If he doesn’t get great dates with lots of pretty 30-something’s there is just something wrong with female America.  But still, I was a bit of a junkie and curiosity got the best of me. 

It was at this point I texted her back saying, ” Okay, I’ll play.  But we have to both agree to blog about the experience afterward.”

“Deal” came the lightning fast response.  I pulled up the user name of the guy she gave me and there was a man in his mid 50’s with a mowhawk and tattoos head to toe.  He looked a bit like Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man.  I choked on my wine as his profile loaded.  Surprisingly, the man was very well written and apparently had two degrees in Art and History. 

“Well, the Mohawk guy at least had the sense enough to get someone to write his profile for him,”  I quipped.  I did a quick search for men ages 39-49 in our area.  Sixteen measly pages loaded.  I texted her about it.  “I bet I’ve dated them all too,”  I added. Scrolling quickly through them I noted that I had indeed either dated most of the men or decided against dating them.  I then sent her the name of someone whose picture seriously looked like George Clooney, Jr.  and whose highest age for a match was 42, effectively cancelling me out. 

“He’s way HOT!”  she texted me.  Then she sent me the name of another candidate, once again far too young for me but just right for her.  We went at it like this for about ten minutes with her getting off ten texts to my feeble one.  Then I got a swift idea.  “Hey!”  I texted.  “Give me a random Portland zip code”.  She did.  I searched within 75 miles of the zip code using the same ages I’d used for my local area.  32+ pages loaded.  I groaned.   I texted her my results. 

“LMAO!”  came the reply.

“LMAO?  It’s not funny!  I’m living in the freaking wrong part of the state!”

“ROFLMAO!”  was all she texted back.

I scrolled through about 4 pages of wonderfully available and attractive, professional, well-written, educated, well-adjusted, non-redneck men, just my age and finally just gave up.  It was torture.

A few minutes later, my fun search texting whatever banter with my friend ended as she had to deal with her kids and I, now completely depressed about the likelihood of romance ever striking in my podunk neck of the woods, had to go have fun with my own daughter.

The next morning I got up and, as though possessed by demons, I created a profile on Match, but did not subscribe.  Why did I do this?  Stupid, foolish, woman that I am!

This morning, I checked my email and in less than 24 hours I have 40 views, 7 messages and some number of winks.  I logged on to Match and, of course, since I am not a subscriber I cannot see who emailed me but I can view the profiles of those who simply winked.  I now really like it when men wink!  Match has a design flaw here.  They should let you at least see who messaged you, but not see what they said.  It might make us desperate sorts feel even more desperate and then we’ll part with our hard earned cash and subscribe. 

Not me though.  I’d have to wait till payday anyway and judging from the winks I got, there’s just nothing new in my hometown.   I really am so living in the wrong place right now at least where romance is concerned.  Doesn’t anybody out there listen to something besides the Jugg Sisters and the Stetson Brothers?  Oh, and you’ll love this.  Turns out Mohawk Man, you know, the Illustrated Man, is one of the ones who winked at me.  Wait till my friend gets wind of that!!!!!