Therapy Thursday

2 08 2012

I’m sitting in the waiting room at my therapist’s office. There’s this bubbling, gurgling Japanese water fountain in the corner. I think it’s supposed to make me feel more peaceful. On the end table, between two of the waiting room chairs, there’s a miniature Japanese Zen garden. You know the ones, those little square sandboxes with the miniature rake. It’s supposed to be calming to rake the sand around in different patterns. All I can think is that I want to draw obscene pictures. Maybe it’s some sort of Asian Rorschach test and my therapist will realize that I’m some kind of twisted. I decide to leave it alone.

I settle for the latest New Yorker instead. I don’t know why I always make this choice. I can never get through an entire article before my therapist calls me into  his office, but I always choose The New Yorker. What can I say? I like the writing.

My therapist is funny, and by funny, I mean funny weird. You can have your shoes on in the waiting area, but you have to take them off before you enter his office. The other thing that he does is he always asks me, “what’s new and good?” It pisses me off. Every time I go to see him I have to figure out what’s new and good. I figure it’s just one of his methods for making the weight of his job a little less dreary. I mean imagine having to listen to everybody’s problems all day long. It irritates me though, because sometimes, like today, it’s a real struggle for me to come up with something.

The angry couple I heard behind the wall leaves and it’s my turn. My Jewish doctor/Zen master calls me into his office. I slip off my sandals at the door and take my spot on the sofa.

“So, what’s new and good,” he asks.

Here we go.

“Um, I wore slip-on shoes today?”

“No, there must be something. Come on. What’s new and good?” he says. He’ll embrace my inner child but not my inner smart ass.

I don’t fucking know. I’d been wracking my brain all the way over to his office in my car, and I couldn’t come up with anything. Now, he waits. He sits there and waits. He’ll wait at $120 an hour until I come up with something, which is why I usually try to come up with something acceptable in the car.

Oh for fuck sake.

“Um, I’ve made it to all of my personal training appointments, three times a week, for the past three months?”

“Great! How does that make you feel?”

“Strong. Strong and still fat.”

“Strong is good.”

I can tell he’s trying to work with me here.

“I’m stronger than I was in my twenties.”

“That’s good, especially considering where you were last year.”

It’s true. A year ago, I was still broken, physically broken from a bicycling accident and emotionally broken from my divorce. I had done the right thing. I got a trainer for my body and a therapist for my mind. Things were looking up.

“What else is going on?”

“Well, I think I’m obsessing.”

“About what?”

“Well, there’s this guy I’ve been corresponding with through email…”

I start to tell him about My Stalker/Super Fan. I tell him how he’s charming, funny, intelligent, and…a complete mystery.

“He says he’s #100.”

“Do YOU think he’s #100? What does #100 mean for you at this point?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know anything about him. He could turn out to be a hairy troll beating off in a basement for all I know. The scary part is that I find myself looking forward to his emails and thinking about him during the day…and I don’t even know what he looks like! It’s ridiculous!”

“What is it that you like about him?”

“He’s hilarious. I laugh out load when I read his emails, and there’s this, sort of, in charge, kind of charisma that seems to come through in his emails. For the most part though, I feel like the rest of it is just one big Cinderella fantasy that I’m making up in my head, like he’s going to come sweeping in at the end of this and whisk me away to live happily ever after or some shit…Mr. 100. Whoo hoo! That shit NEVER happens to me. My life is never a fairy tale. It’s more like tragedy and comedy…or a horror story.”

“I hear a couple of things going on here. First, you need to base your decisions and feelings on reality, not fantasy.”

“I know. I know. I know. I need to reign it in. I know I’m falling into that fairy tale bullshit I was sold as a little girl. You know, the prince comes and saves the princess and they live happily ever after. I have a business degree for crying out loud. I can choose between two separate investments based on their net present value, but I can’t seem to evaluate a good guy from a bad guy. It’s like I’m hoping this guy will be my knight in shining armor or something and it’s bullshit! I know it’s bullshit!”

I can hear myself getting louder, ranting and rambling, and I stop and look at my therapist.

“I’ve just had really rotten luck with men,” I finally admit in defeat.

“I know. You deserve a man who loves you, but that love has to be based on fact, not fiction. Just like any of your other dates, if you’re really interested in this guy, you need to take the time to get to know him. Ask him questions. You’ll have to ask a lot of questions and meet face to face before you decide if what you’re feeling is real or not.”

“Yeah, I know,” I sigh and look out the window.

“But, that brings me to the other thing I was going to say, which is, do you think you could believe that something good could happen to you?”

“Oh,…well,…I don’t know.”

The question floods my mind with thoughts of how in love I had been with STBex and I have to fight back tears. Look how that turned out. How was I going to love again and be able to trust those feelings after I had been so betrayed?

“I hear you building this guy up to be a prince and then, just as quickly, writing him off because you don’t think he’s going to come through for you. What if you took time to get to know him, and he actually turned out to be a good guy?”

“That would be nice for a change.”

“And, that would be a good thing, right?”

“Yeah, it would.”

My therapist goes on to suggest exercises to refocus my attention when my fantasizing about My Stalker/Super Fan gets out of control, and, again, he reminds me to slowly figure out what’s real and what’s fantasy. I realize that waiting to meet My Stalker/Super Fan until date #100 is probably a good thing. You gotta admit: it’s slow. If Man #100 is really going to wait to date me, at the rate my dating is going, it could be another two years before we meet face to face. If My Stalker/Super Fan really believes he’s Man #100, he either has incredible perseverance, is unusually goal driven, or maybe he’s the one who’s fantasizing. There are long odds on Man #100.

I slip my shoes on as I leave my therapist’s office and exit into the sunlight to head to my car. My mind feels more clear…at least for now.

Photo here.

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The Leading Man and Important Lessons

23 07 2012

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if you’ve noticed too. It feels like things have gotten a bit sloppy around here, and I need to take care of some minor housekeeping. It has come to my attention that there is a loose end I have failed to tie up. Admittedly, in the last two quarters of my MBA program, I was a little frazzled; my blogging became sporadic; and the flow of things around here got a little off. It’s not easy being Superwoman, but I intend to set this blog back on the right track if it kills me.

Sidenote: Actually, when I was a little girl, I wanted to be Wonder Woman, not Superwoman. I think it was the costume, the golden lasso of truth, and bracelets. And what prepubescent girl in the 70s didn’t hope to one day have tits like Lynda Carter?

Anyway, the little discussion that erupted over Man #27, The Flavor Saver made me realize I had never followed up to tell you about what happened with Man #24, The Leading Man. You may recall when we last saw The Leading Man, he was giving me a hug, kissing me on the cheek, and telling me we should definitely go out on another date.

Hooray! The date had been really comfortable and fun. The Leading Man wasn’t one of those guys who made me feel I had to be anything other than who I am, and I definitely wanted to go out with him again.

So, I patiently waited for his call…

I made sure I sent him a text message, telling him I had fun and thanked him for the date…

…and I waited.

He sent me a friend request on Facebook.

Confirmed.

Waiting…waiting…

Pretty exciting stuff.

I commented on a picture of his dogs.

Waiting…

I sent him a message asking him if he ever got that Thai food he had been craving. (Hint, hint.)

No. He hadn’t.

Nothing.

What.

The.

Fuck?

I had a conversation with the friend who had set me up on my date with Man #24.

“What’s the deal? Did he say anything to you guys?”

“No, sometimes we go months without hearing from him. He’s just like that sometimes. Sometimes we have to call him and leave messages telling him to call us because we’re worried about him.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake. And, she and her husband thought a guy who does this would be a good leading man for me in their romantic comedy?

This is why letting friends set you up on dates is a bad idea.

“I don’t know what to say,” she said, “I would just leave it alone and maybe he’ll call you.”

“Yeah, I’m not going to chase after him.”

By that time, I had already had my date with The Karaoke Kripple, determined he was looking for a sugar mamma, and was searching for my date with Man #26. I had 75 other men to date, and time’s a wastin’. There was no sense in waiting around, hoping for another date with The Leading Man.

I’m not going to say it didn’t bother me though. It made me wonder about a couple of things. First, why do men do this thing where they say they want another date and then never follow through? It doesn’t make sense to me. I guess after having dates with a couple dozen men, I can sort of understand how, at the end of a date, a man might not want to deal with the awkwardness of saying, “Well, it was really nice to meet you, but this is the last time we will be seeing each other.”  In fact, I have a backlog of writing I need to do, and, shamefully, I recently did something similar to the date who will become Man #32. I promised something at the end of the date that I knew, in the moment, I would never deliver.

I know. I’m not proud of it, but it happened.

But, like I said, with a little first date experience under my belt, I can see how it happens. However, also because of my first date, 100 date experiences, I can also say how important it is in these situations to take corrective action immediately. It makes no sense whatsoever to lead a person on, and I certainly don’t invite my blog fodder to be friends with me on Facebook.

The other thought that crossed my mind was that, as I had feared, I was no longer the thin, attractive woman The Leading Man remembered from that summer party in 2006. That had to be a major disappointment for him. During our conversation at the bar, he even seemed disappointed that I was dying my hair auburn. I wasn’t even the blonde he remembered. I seriously considered that my extra weight played a significant role in his decision to not ask me out again.

So, you see, even I, super heroine, serial dater that I am, get rejected sometimes. Counter to popular belief, it’s not just me doing the rejecting.

This happened a little while ago now, and I’ve had time to think about it. The important lesson here is not “Oh, boo hoo. He doesn’t like me.” It’s not, “I’m a big fat fatty so I don’t deserve love.” No.

The important lesson is that when a man says he’s going to call and he doesn’t, he’s doing you a favor. The way my date with The Leading Man went down had direct comparisons to my date with The Blues Man. The Blues Man had also said we should go out again and left me wondering what was wrong with me. This time, however, with The Leading Man, I just quietly let things fade away, went on about my business, and didn’t get all heartbroken over it.

This may sound anti-feminist to some, but one thing I have learned in this process is that I don’t like doing the chasing in a relationship. I don’t like the woman I become in that relationship dynamic. I want to be feminine. Please let me be feminine even with my potty mouth.

I’ve had my experiences enabling passive-aggressive men, and it is a thankless job. That shit is hard work, and it’s not worth it. I personally don’t think pursuing a man pays off in the end. When a man knows what he wants, he will go after it, and if he doesn’t want me, there is really no reason for me to want him.

Unfortunately, Seattle, as a city, has a very passive-aggressive personality. Some theorists hypothesize that it is due to our bad weather; we’re all hunkered down, shoulders up, heads down against the rain. But regardless of our weather, the guy for me won’t be afraid to ask me out for a first date and then a second and then a third.

If he’s divorced, he’ll talk openly about what happened in his marriage, but he’ll resist letting his ex get custody of his balls. (No woman in her right mind wants a man who is still letting another woman drag him around by his cojones.) No, the man for me will have his balls. He’ll be ready to be in a relationship. If he’s scared, that’s fine, but he’ll muster up his courage and do his own work instead of expecting me to be his therapist.

So, the important lesson is: Rejection is fine, because I want a man who wants me.  That seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I want a man who wants me, and I want a man who will wrap his hands around the back of my head and kiss me so I know it.

Ok. I know. In addition to Wonder Woman, maybe I also watched Gone with the Wind one too many times growing up.

Photo here.





Playing With Fire

29 08 2011

So, I’ve been updating my match.com and plentyoffish.com profiles and putting a little more effort into trying to find a date lately, and I have been having some fun in the past few days exchanging emails with a spicy Italian sausage. He is probably the exact picture of the man my friends and therapist have been trying to distance from me, and, of course, I’m very interested in meeting him.

First of all, my friends would ask me what I am doing with him since he is “not tall enough to ride the ride.”  He is only 5′-8″ and this roller coaster is 5′-10″.

Second, he’s Italian, and my friends all know what a complete sucker I am for an Italian man.  I don’t know if you recall how clouded my judgment was the last time I ventured out to meet an Italian. Ever since my South American STB-ex left me, my friends have been trying to keep me away from ALL Latin men of all shapes, sizes, and countries of origin. Any time they see me wondering mindlessly in the direction of a dark-haired, dark-eyed man with an accent, they step in and offer a diversion.

“Oh, my god! LOOK at that woman’s VPL! Doesn’t she look in the mirror before she goes out?”

I’m easily distracted.

Anyway, in the pictures he sent, he has nice, full lips and a hot, muscular body, (more on this in a moment) and in his emails he sounds like a total romantic, loves to hold hands, snuggle, kiss…code words for horny little devil.

Sigh.

I should probably be running in the opposite direction, but I’m not.  I’m like a moth to a flame. I’m supposed to meet him this afternoon.

I’m a little nervous.  First of all, he is very, very fit.  We’ve exchanged pictures, so he’s seen how chubby I am, but I’m nervous anyway.  In his pictures he looks like he’s almost as ripped as Thor, but he says he judges people by their insides not their outsides.

The other thing that makes me nervous is that he’s a NYC Italian, not an Italy Italian.  All of my Italian friends are Italy Italians. You know, Italians who have actually lived in Italy, speak proper Italian, and cook Italians dishes that are not smothered in “gravy” and cheese.  I’m not really sure what to expect from this NYC Italian.  Will he be like those loud-mouthed, drunken fools on “Jersey Shore” or “The Real Housewives of New Jersey“?  I realize those are Jersey Italians, and I’m sure he will tell me that there is a distinct difference between NYC Italians and Jersey Italians. For now though, I don’t know what these differences might be and I’m a little scared to find out.

I’ve also been wondering if he does the whole “GTL” thing like the guys on “Jersey Shore.” You know, “gym, tanning, laundry.”  Judging from his body, he definitely is doing the G part.  I just hope he’s not out in the clubs every night doing the fist pump.

I’m going to try to not go into my date with too many expectations or preconceptions, and just see how it goes. That’s really all a girl can do, right?

Besides, excitement, a little morbid curiosity about the NYC Italian thing, and the fact that after this date I will be at twenty percent of my goal are driving me like a moth to this flame and this time I won’t be diverted.





Great (Dating) Expectations

13 08 2011

It’s pretty funny really. I start a blog about dating. Go on a few dates, and suddenly I find myself in all sorts of conversations as if I’m an expert on the subject. Last night was no different.

After being dressed up in business casual and heels all week I had changed into my sweats and t-shirt almost as soon as I came through the door last night.  I was going to stay home for the second night in a row, when suddenly I had a text message from a friend.  She said her kids were gone, and she wanted to go have a beer.  Would I join her?

Well, heck yeah.  I quickly threw on jeans and a t-shirt and grabbed some earrings. It doesn’t usually take me very long to get ready to go out. Dare I say, I might even be getting it down to a science.

We went to Frank’s Oyster House in the Ravenna/Bryant neighborhood.  It’s a nice “grown-up” bar, not typically frequented by the college students in the neighborhood.

For about a week, this friend of mine has been anxiously anticipating a first date with a firefighter.  First of all, how is it that I haven’t met a firefighter yet? How is that fair?  This will be her first date in over twenty years, and she meets a FIREFIGHTER? How does that happen? 

I want a firefighter.

But I digress. This is supposed to be about her, not me.

So anyway, she met a firefighter. She’s been freaking out a little, and I totally get it.  I don’t know if anyone remembers my first date in this little dating prescription of mine, but I was worried about all sorts of things leading up to my date with The Blues Man.  I stressed out about everything from sucking my fat in to whether or not getting a kiss at the end of the night was a good thing or a bad thing.  She’s basically going through the same thing.

It probably doesn’t help that she’s a devout Christian, and she’s asking her more socially and spiritually liberal friends, yes, like me, for advise.  If she wants a comfortable, conservative answer, one not filled with sarcasm or outrageous commentary meant to make her blush, she probably should not be asking me for advice.  If she wants my honest opinion, however, after I finish with the snarky remarks, I’m happy to provide any and all wisdom gleaned from my experiences.

One of her other friends advised her to make sure she has shaved her legs and waxed her pubes. Another had said she should be prepared in the event that this man wants to kiss her.  This is all making her very nervous.  I told her I agreed with the aforementioned comments.

“Yeah, you should shave your legs, wax, and make sure you have a condom in your purse just in case.”

“NOOOO, I’m not going to do that!” she shrieked.

“Well, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.”

“But I’m not like that!”

“So, there’s no chance, at all, that you’ll want to just get your pipes cleaned?”

“Oh, my God! NO!”

“Ok, just so you’re sure.”

See what I mean?  No mercy.

We did talk seriously about the fact that she should be prepared for a kiss.  Yes, it’s going to be different and weird after being with the same person for so many years.  In fact, there is a very great possibility that in that moment her ex’s image will pop into her mind.  It’s not a pleasant way for things to go down, but sometimes it happens.  On the other hand, the kiss could be really good. You never know. 

“Don’t let this stress you out too much though,” I said, “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, and you don’t have to get serious with anyone right away.  That’s not even healthy.”

“I know. I’m just nervous,” she said.

“It’s like my 100 dates.  I think that’s why my therapist told me to date 100 people without getting serious.  It takes the pressure off.”

“Do you think guys go through this,” she asked, “or do you think they just get right back out there?”

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly, “I think there are some angry men who get out there and think they need to fuck everything that moves as a form of revenge, but I also think a lot of men end up just as traumatized and scared as you and  I have been.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m sure they’re nervous about other things, but since I started my blog, I’ve dated a lot of guys who I think wanted to go out with me just because they knew it was going to be just one date.  ‘Misfit daters’ is what I had called them at one point, men who had been recently separated or divorced and not sure about getting back out there.”

“Right, I remember.”

“Try not to get too stressed out about it.  Don’t put too many expectations on it, and just enjoy the date,  if you can.”

I decided this would be a great question to put to my readers.  Do you think it’s any easier for men to get back in the dating pool?  What makes men nervous when faced with a first date after the end of a marriage?  Any horror stories?

I’m really NOT the expert on this stuff.  I’m just the messenger.





Man #18, The Burner

1 07 2011

Before weighing in on Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #2 and swearing to the one drink a week rule, I had met Man #18 for drinks at The Scarlet Tree.   It was truly refreshing to meet someone who was both intelligent and good-looking.  (The two attributes so rarely occur together.)

I typically don’t tend to go for the good-looking guys. Quite frankly, they intimidate me a little.  Well, maybe it’s not really that they intimidate me so much as I’ve just always been hesitant to date them.  I always assumed they would know they were good-looking, and therefore, would be players. 

I’m a very competitive person, but I try to avoiddrama, conflict, and competitions.  Does that make sense?  I get ugly when I get competitive.  I become someone I don’t really like when I get into a competitive situation.  It’s not that I get rude or violent. I just become sort of like my pit bull; I’m tenacious. I don’t like to give up.  I’ve never liked the idea of competing for a guy, so most of the time, I’ve just stayed away from the good-looking ones.

The one exception, ironically, was my STB ex. Cute, cute, cute, and trouble, trouble, trouble. Yep, my STB ex was a good-looking one, and you see where that got me.

But, I digress.

Anyway, Man #18 was good-looking, but I am not going to hold that against him.  Besides, what I was most impressed by was his mind. There were moments in the conversation where I felt like I was struggling to keep up, and it wasn’t just the Manhattans I was drinking. It’s not like I’m some dumb bimbo. I’m smart, like Magna cum Laude smart combined with some good, common-sense, street smart. (Most of the time.) It’s just that Man #18 was also very smart and some of our areas of knowledge did not necessarily intersect.

Imagine our two brains as a Venn Diagram.  The overlapping area in the middle is where most of our conversation happened. Most areas did intersect, and it was a very enjoyable date.  We talked about the business case for One Laptop per Child, how program managers have a tendency to get romanced by technical solutions when they should put more focus on user experience, and how both of us had spent time guarding the U.S. government’s secrets.  We shared similar religious ideologies, believing that Agnostics are spiritually passive-aggressive, and we also have similar political views. The conversation topic that really stuck with me though was that of Burning Man.

Burning Man is a temporary city, where 48,000+ participants gather for one week each year in Black Rock Desert. Man #18 is a burner. I have never been to Burning Man, but if there was ever a year when I should be going to Burning Man, it would be this year. This is my transformational year, and Burning Man has the potential to be, if not transformational, at least a profound kind of experience. Unfortunately, the tickets are already up to $320 and climbing, and I really can’t afford it.  On top of the financial deterrent, I have the fact that my body is not Burning Man ready.  I’ve seen the pictures.  I’ve seen what people wear, or don’t wear.

Believe me. Nobody wants to see this big ass half-naked out on The Playa!

This big ass would really like to be there though.

It turns out, The Burner has been involved with the event for many years.  He explained that it’s best to find a local group, get to know them well in advance, ask questions, find some way to participate, and then just go enjoy the experience.  Seattle actually has one of the largest “burner” communities next to San Francisco, so it wouldn’t be difficult to find other people who could school me on how to make my Burning Man experience a good one.  I actually have several friends who have participated too, so it’s not like I’d be out in the middle South Dakota or some place trying to find other burners.  I’m in Seattle: home of all great things alternative.

It’s not only that I’m interested in the participatory experience; I’m also interested in the large-scale art installations.  Check out this photo from Burning Man 2007.  How cool is that?

And that’s nothing. You should check out the Gallery on the Burning Man website. The scale and detail of the art is truly incredible.  I HAVE to go see it in person.

As for Man #18? I liked him, liked him enough to kiss him.  I won’t be dating him, of course, there are 82 others, but I should probably keep his contact information for next year when, fingers crossed, I’ll go to Burning Man.

Photo here.





Taking Risks

10 04 2011

I’ve never been a big risk taker.  I’m not one of those people you will find jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or diving head first off of a bridge.

Nope.  Not me.

There are a lot of times, however, when I wish I was more of a risk taker.  I don’t know how often this happens to other people, but there are many times when I see someone do something successfully and I think, “I could try something like that.  Why don’t I?”

The answer, of course, is fear.  It’s that annoying voice in my head that gets chatty whenever I start thinking outside the box or considering a  change of something significant.  Instead of taking a moment to brainstorm all of the possibilities, as soon as my psyche senses change coming, it goes into overdrive and pumps out all sorts of reasons why ‘X’ idea would never work. 

I hate that when that happens.

Lately, however, I’ve been trying to work on this.  Since my husband moved out, I’ve been trying to get rid of some of the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” in my life.   My desire to do this comes in part from the fact that I’ve realized that I knew my marriage was dead LONG before my husband said the word divorce. If I had listened to my intuition more and the fear less, I could have saved myself a lot of pain.  My intuition knew the right thing to do and I ignored it, so I’ve been trying to change that.

So, with that said, there are a couple of small risks I’ve taken in the past week, that seem to be working out in my favor. One is a personal growth development and the other is the next installment of where things stand with The Blues Man.

Last Friday, when I was out of town, I was sitting in a bar across the table from one of my teammates, Gary.  There was a solo guitarist playing and singing classic rock songs from the 60s and 70s.  The musician was really good, and a lot of us were singing along occasionally with the songs he was playing.  Suddenly, Gary says, “you should go sing with him.”

“No, I’m not going to do that.”

So then Gary said something like, “You should consider singing in a band.”

“No, I’m too old.”

To which, Gary, who is probably 15 years older than me, snickered and said, “No, I’M too old.”  

Of course, it was also at this point that I realized that the guy singing in the bar was probably closer to Gary’s age than to mine.  So, you see; Gary planted a seed.

Now, the truth is, I have wanted to be in a band since I was sitting in the backseat of my dad’s car singing with his 8 tracks of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and The Statler Brothers.  My mother says I was singing almost as soon as I learned to talk.  Countless hours of my life have been spent playing the piano and singing with almost any recording artist whose voice  fell in a similar range to my own.  I’m a tenor/alto, so I can’t hit the high money notes, but I can cross over and sing both male and female parts if I need to.

In high school, there was a music store located next door to the hardware store where my mother worked.  The front part of the store held stereo equipment, albums, and cassettes for sale, but toward the rear of the store, they had pianos lined up in two rows,  one on each side of a center aisle.  Guitars, drums, various other band instruments, and racks of sheet music hung from the walls.  After school, on my way to check in with my mom, I would stop by the music store, pull sheet music off the walls, sit down at a piano, and start playing.  Nobody seemed to mind, and nobody ever stopped me.

The other confession I have to make about the music store is that I had a horrible crush on the guy who worked behind the counter.  He was about 6 years older than me–danger, danger when you’re only 16–and was a drummer in a band.  You get the picture.

So, there I was musically inclined, teenage hormones raging, and one day the drummer asks me to be in his band.

Oh yes, yes, oh YES!!

Mom, of course, said, “NO!”  There was no way she was going to have me playing in a band!  There were some other things said about men in bars etc., but the bottomline was a big, fat NO.  No way, no how!

So, that was it.  I never seriously considered pursuing my rock star dreams again, until last week when Gary told me I should look for a band.  Why the hell not, right?  There certainly have been numerous moments in the twenty some odd years since my music store debut that I’ve wished I was in a band, but I had always talked myself out of it.  But, what do I have to lose?  I’d rather knock some of these risks not taken off my wish list now than regret missed opportunities on my deathbed.

Craigslist again came to my rescue.  I found a handful of ads seeking vocalists, narrowed them down to three that seemed the most interesting, and sent them an audio file of my singing Elvis’ “Are You Lonesome.”  Within a day, I heard back from two of the three groups.  The most promising gig, seems to be doing background vocals in studio for an album one group is producing in May.  I’m SO psyched!

So, there’s risk one taken.  I’ll keep you posted as it develops.

Now, on to dating, which is why we’re all here, right?  I’m in the process of setting up dates 10 and 11, but you probably remember that the other day, in an email message, The Blues Man asked me if I wanted to kiss his mucho mariachi mustache.  Well, I took Surrey Gal’s suggestion and sent him some song lyrics.  Not my best work, but they certainly kept the conversation going.

Mucho Mariachi Mustache

I’d like to tell you a story
’bout this bushy hair on my face.
You see, my mucho mariachi mustache
occupies a very prominent place.
Atop my lip and under my nose
This mucho mariachi mustache grows.
It’s the topic of conversation,
and has become the subject of prose.

This gal I met wanted to kiss me,
But was afraid there were no lips there.
She was curious what it was like
To kiss a man with a mouth full of hair.
To find my lips she’d have to part
my mucho mariachi mustache.
Lift and separate the hair on my face
To allow our lips to mash.

Oh, mucho mariachi mustache don’t chase the girls away…

I told him the song would probably be good as a cross between an Irish drinking song and something like Bonnie Raitt’s “Papa Come Quick.”  He, of course, would need a Spanish guitar bridge and some guitar drumming right after the chorus.

He liked it!  But, then he informed me that he had cut off the mucho mariachi mustache, and would need to regrow it to its mucho, rugged thickness.

This is where I took my second big risk of the week.  I played my queen.  I just put her out there, and wrote back, “Can I kiss you before you grow back the 3M?





Confessions of a Serial Dater

27 03 2011

Forgive me readers for I have sinned.  It’s been four days since my last post, and I really left you hanging.  I apologize.

We had left off with my date with the Scorekeeper, how sad it had made me feel, and how it had made me cry.  So, I suppose I need to explain.

Well, there are a couple of things.  First, I was saddened just by the sheer fact that the date had been going along great, and then had been so abruptly shut down by the Scorekeeper’s question about whether or not I wanted to kiss him.  And, it wasn’t even really the request for a kiss that was the problem.  It was the pressure for a more complex answer about why I didn’t want to kiss him that followed that had felt so stressful and off-putting.

When a woman says no, she means no, and it’s time to shut up about it.  Period. Let it rest.  If something is meant to happen, it will happen without all the pressure.  Pressure about such things just feels shitty.

The Scorekeeper actually sent me a message after my last post, explaining his intentions, and saying that he did not realize his question would be so upsetting.  I called him and we talked about how the communication had gone wrong, and there are no hard feelings.  Enough said.

The biggest reason for my tears though, and anyone reading this blog may find the thing I’m about to say shocking, is that I hate dating.

Yeah, that’s right. I hate dating. I hate it.  I absolutely, fucking hate it. 

One of the things I had been overjoyed about when I got married, in addition to being in love, of course, was that I thought I would never have to date again.  The Scorekeeper’s question had simply reminded me of all the things I hated about dating and the process of trying to get to know someone new, the awkwardness, the interview-like questions, the pressure, and the disappointments.  I hated it.  What I really wanted was to have a man, a friend, I could trust, someone on who’s shoulder I could rest my head, wrap my arm across his chest, close my eyes, and feel warm and safe and secure.  It was something I had mistakenly thought I had found, that I thought I would never have to seek again, and it was gone.  It was completely gone and I was alone.  As much as I know I’m happier now that my husband is gone, I still found myself mourning the idea of what I had wanted that relationship to be. Instead, I now found myself like Dante Alighieri…

“nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.”  Dante Alighieri, La Commedia Divina

In the middle of our life’s walk, I found myself in a dark wood where the straight path was wholly lost.

Here I am at the threshold of a new frontier in my life, and I don’t know what lies beyond or whether or not I have the fortitude to go there.  Everything is uncertain.  Everything feels new and different.  I don’t know who I will become on the other side nor how I will get there.  This is NOT what I had imagined for my future and now I find myself completely lost.  It is totally uncomfortable and overwhelming sometimes, and the fear is very real.

And so, for a moment, last Wednesday, I stopped to cry.

Why on earth would I put myself out there to date 100 men if I have so many fears about it?  Well, the way I see it is that I have three basic choices.  First, I could be in denial about what has happened and try to go about my life pretending my divorce was not happening.  That’s one option, and one that some would choose. 

Second, I could become existentially disappointed.  We’ve all met this kind of person. You know the ones.  They’ve been hurt at some point along the way, perhaps by a past love, or maybe a mother or father, and they don’t believe that love exists. Everyone is out to get them, and even when love does come knocking on their door, they can’t see it or let it in. They actually chase love away and therefore perpetuate their belief that love does not exist and continue their cycle of disappointment.

But, both of those options involve closing the door to a new beginning and turning away from life.  I could stay huddled away in my house with my dog, but then I would not be growing.  So instead, I’ve decided to face dating head on, on my terms, one date at a time, but it doesn’t mean that I always like it or that I’m comforable with it.

Overall, my 8 dates so far have been good.  Even the bad dates have taught me something new about myself, and the good ones have been fun and interesting and an expansion of my circle of friends.

I spent Thursday and Friday at a retreat focused on leadership and courage, where on Friday night, in fact, I had to speak about my own reflections on leadership, and I included some of the very sentiments I am sharing here.  The things I heard over those two days have certainly bouyed my spirits and are reflected here, but I would like to include a poem that the poet, David Whyte, shared with us from his book, River Flow, which is much more eloquent than anything I could write to explain that place where many people find themselves after a divorce or other life altering event.

START CLOSE IN

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice,
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.








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