Friday, December 28, 2007

One Liners

The week before Christmas Mr. Burns and I found ourselves at my dear friend Kimberly's home in San Francisco. This is a friend I see so rarely. Four times in the past 6 years.

Mr. Burns pointed out Kimberly's refrigerator - covered in photos of friends and family - with one HUGE picture of ME!

It was an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper of just my head! My head from a photo of myself and Mr. Burns. It looked like Mr. Burns didn't make the cut.
We took turns speculating about this giant picture of me... that perhaps Mr. Burns hadn't graduated to the friends and family shrine since Kimberly hadn't met him yet.

When Kimberly entered the kitchen, in my best mockingly accusatory tone I asked her what she was thinking posting such an enormous picture of my head on her fridge.

Her answer. "I hit Print and that's what came out."

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Christmas List

Borrowing this idea from

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper. I love to crisscross corresponding ribbons into neat little bows on top. I do keep gift bags on hand for presents outside of the Christmas season.

2. Real tree or Artificial?

I love a real tree, but I have an artificial now because my place is so small. Someday when I have a house, I'm definately going back to the real thing.

3. When do you put up the tree?

December 8th. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mom always did this... mainly I think because we had the day off of school every year and she could get lots of help from the kids!

4. When do you take the tree down?

January 5th - The Feast of Epiphany. When the wise men reach the Christ Child. In the Catholic calendar, Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas Season.

5. Do you like eggnog?

Not particularly. Plus I'm allergic to eggs so I have a great excuse not to partake!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Hmm. That's a tough one. But I do remember being very small and out Christmas shopping with Mom. We were in Rexall Drug and I spotted this HUGE Pooh Bear. (remember this had to be about 1975) I don't think I really desired the bear, but I was overwhelmed by it's size. I retrospect it wasn't THAT big... 2 -3 feet tall, I suppose. I pulled on Mom's arm and said, "Wow, look at that Pooh Bear!" She was noticably uncomfortable as she acknowledged it and pulled my attention elsewhere. On Christmas Morning, I found a huge Winnie the Pooh under the tree.
Funny that memory stood out... and years later I realized why mom was uncomfortable. He was probably already in the secret hiding place and she didn't want to blow her cover!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?

Yes. When my mom and dad were visiting we were milling around some estate sales/ yard sales and stopped at a church sale. Mom pointed out a nativity set just like the one I grew up with... same stable and everything - I paid $10!. The figures are Papier Mache`. I smooshed quite a few of them as a child! It's a little mismatched but reminds me of my childhood!
I saw the most beautiful manger scene for sale the other day... carved of wood and imported from Italy... with a $1200 price tag! That's a lot of stays at an Inn!

8. Hardest person to buy for?

Hmmm. My Brother probably. I think I've hit the mark with him ONCE.... when I got him a tripod for his video camera.

9. Easiest person to buy for?

Dad. He doesn't want anything, doesn't need anything. I get him something warm and a jar of nuts!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Hmmm, I'd prefer to do cards (if I actually did them). And oddly, I love getting those newsletters from friends and family. Last year a couple of my relatives skipped the newsletters and I was so sad!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

Hate to say it but anything from my SIL's mom! I wish she didn't love buying gifts so much... I don't understand why I'm on her list - I barely know her! Last year it was a huge talking Easter Bunny! If I had a house with a porch, and children to entertain, it wouldn't be so bad. Or even if I had a basement to store it! I have none of those things! When getting a gift for someone who lives in a 700 sq foot condo... don't give them something that requires 11 months of storage! Get them something consumable!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Is this debateable? It's a Wonderful Life. Best movie ever! The film is flawless. love it!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I did great this year... I started in October. I have one left to get... since I have to get them all in the mail by the end of the weekend. We're going to San Fran on the 15th. Otherwise, I start picking things up in about August... and go until the week before. I really want to stop the gift giving. Buy less. Give more. - my new Christmas goal.

14. Ever recycled a Christmas present?

Sure. Only once or twice.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Oh, Mom used to make this Almond Bark. Oh yeah. Better get that recipe one of these years.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

Clear. Someday I want to buy sets of Red, Green and White... and then combine them so there is red green and white alternating on each strand. Then I'll make them blink.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Oh Holy Night. Still looking for the best rendition of it. I also love The Peace Carol and When the River Meets the Sea from John Denver and The Muppets, a Christmas Together.
Then, to ring in the new year.... What are you doing New Year's Eve... Harry Conick Jr does it best!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

I've traveled EVERY YEAR for Christmas. This year will be my first staying where I live! Can't wait!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Maybe after a few glasses of wine and a few tries!!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star. Still haven't found the right one, so currently nothing.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Our family exchanges gifts Christmas Eve. Then Santa's gifts are discovered in the morning... then extended family exchanges on Christmas day. It's too much really!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?

The commercialization. I think the same people who are offended by my "Merry Christmas" are the ones ensuring that everyone makes a buck on it!

23. Favorite ornament, theme, or color?

Oh. how I wish the ornaments from my childhood had survived. I loved the glass blown ornaments.. the little oblong ones with stripes. I think my mom has very few survivors.
I have Pooh Bear and Tigger ornaments from Hallmark.... And snowmen! Lots of fat round chubby snow men!

24. What do you want for Christmas this year?

To feel the presence of Christ. To experience the miracle and wonder like I did as a child.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Mighty Good Man

With just a few minutes left before closing time, I started to turn down the lights in the portrait studio. Then I went into the camera rooms to tidy up and shut down the computers.

From inside the small room, I heard someone approach the counter. Dread. I just wanted to close up and get out of there and didn't really feel like dealing with a customer.
I screwed on my smiley face and went back out. Seeing the form of a man, I concluded that it was probably a dad coming to pick up the portraits his wife had ordered.

I glanced at the guy and thought, "He's kinda cute." Then he turned to face me... it was my boyfriend! He'd come to surprise me!

He'd been away for ten days over Thanksgiving, then we saw each other for one evening before he had to leave again on a work trip. He'd been so busy I didn't even expect to see him until tomorrow evening.

I just love that he surprised me! Sometimes I think I'm the only person I know who loves surprises... and no one ever surprises me!

Good job Mr. Burns. Isn't it nice to have a girl who is so easy to please?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Difference Between Men and Women

Still on my date with JR, the quiet and intense man trying to woo me.

We enjoyed plenty of conversation over dinner. An Air Force pilot, he told me about a problem he was experiencing with another pilot.

A little background, this all occured during the first year that women combat pilots were joining the men. I knew a couple of these women and considered some of them friends.

JR told me about one woman (the one I didn't know well) who was annoying not only him, but the other pilots as well. "She won't shut up." he said. He explained how in the plane, they all wear headsets to channel communication because the plane is so loud. Typically, the pilots only speak over the headsets deliberately... to convey information... or to make a quick joke.

"But she's constantly talking on the headset. 'Ooh, look at that cloud!' It's making us all nuts!"

I mulled this over for a minute and I thought I could relate to this woman in some way.
I told him, "You know, I think I understand what's happening. She's one of a few women breaking into male territory. She wants to fit in. It sounds like she's going about it wrong, but understand that when women are uncomfortable silence is even more uncomfortable. If we're in a car with you and you're not talking... we assume you're mad at us. So considering her position... the silence is stressful for her and she has a need to fill it."

He sat silently and considered what I had to say. Finally, he said, "That makes sense. Thank you. At least now I know why she's doing it, so maybe it won't bother me as much."

Hmmm. Interesting. We went on to enjoy our meal, our wine and had a great time.

When we got back to his car for the 40 minute drive back to town, we continued to talk and had plenty to talk about. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow. For a guy who doesn't talk much - this is going really well." As I finished that thought... and became conscious again of the atmosphere in the car... there was a lull. Internally, I panicked a little bit - thinking about our dinner conversation. Oh no.

At that very moment, he broke the silence again. "I just want you know... " he said, "I'm not mad at you."

That's when I burst into laughter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back to Storytime.

When the very smart but quiet and intense man asked me out, See the Jeckyl and Hyde post below. He took me out to the nicest restaurant around, a clear attempt to impress me. This meant a 40 minute drive to another tiny town to the restaurant owned by a national celebrity who made a movie in the area years before. (sorry I'm not being specific about where I lived.)

This place was the one restaurant in the area with a grand reputation - everyone talked about going there. A married woman that I worked with was envious because I ended up going there a handful of times with different dates and her husband had not taken her there ONCE!!

So, expectations are high. This place is grand. We get there relatively early and the place is nearly empty.

The maitre’ de seated us right at the front of the room where there was bound to be a flow of patrons breezing passed us all evening. I was disappointed. Not cool for a first date. I knew it wasn't a great table but I didn't say anything.
On one hand, sure we were young and perhaps they wanted to save the better tables for more impressive couples... but it couldn't be less romantic!

We sat down and starting looking at menus. JR's face turned hard and I could tell something was wrong. I gently asked and he said, "This is a lousy table."
He got up, went straight to the maitre de and spoke quietly.

We were quickly whisked away to an intimate table in a dark corner.
I knew I was dealing with a guy who knew quality and how to get it. Yeah. That impressed me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Keep Christmas Well

There is a line in 'A Christmas Carol' when Scrooge visits his revised Christmas Future (if I remember right) in which his niece tells the gathered guests with pride... "Mr. Scrooge keeps Christmas well."

The last time I saw the movie that line struck me. So much so that my eyes welled with tears. It was another sign to me that I have to make changes in the way I celebrate Christmas. (see posts below - Nov 2 and Jan 8) It helped to identify my need to keep the true spirit of Christmas. I want to keep Christmas well.

This year I want to experience the sacred wonder of Christmas - even if I don't have children.
After Mass this Sunday, I'm really looking forward to it!

Mr. Burns and I went to his church on Sunday. There was a group selling religious items in the back of church after Mass. On their table I spotted an advent wreath/ candle holder that fit the requirements I've been trying to meet for years! Simple, small, traditional.

Of course this was the ONE time I went to church without my purse so I asked Mr. Burns if he would buy it and I would pay him back once we got home. He agreed, and we also picked out some taper candles and prayer booklets to go with it.

I was so pleased! Another step toward starting Christmas preparations and my own traditions.

As we walked out of church he handed me the bag and said, "There you go. That's your Christmas present."
"No, no. You don't have to do that. I'm paying you back when we get home." I said.
"No. This is your Christmas present. You're not getting anything else." He smiled.

Suddenly I was filled with joy, as I realized that I just received something very special. If Mr. Burns and I do end up together... each Christmas we'll bring out the Advent wreath that he got for me when we were dating.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Not quite Jeckell and Hyde

Ever meet one of those guys that you instantly dislike? And then end up dating him?

When I met JR, he immediately took to berating my career field. He was smart, and did a fine job of knocking my profession down a few pegs before I decided to stop our conversation and go talk to someone else.

It was probably a year later that I found myself at a dinner party where we were both guests. The entire party was a lively bunch... everyone telling stories, trying to earn a laugh. I noticed that JR was rather quiet. But when he did open his mouth, the few words that came out were carefully chosen and hilarious.

A few months later the same group was together on New Year's Eve. This time I found myself playing pool with him, and a mild flirtation developed.

After the clock struck midnight, breakfast preparations began in the kitchen and by the time we were eating our pancakes JR looked at me seriously and said... "What do you think about someone who talks to you over a meal and puncuates their conversation by pointing their fork at you?" I replied, "They're horrible and rude."
He turned back to his plate, moved some food around and then looked me in the eye and said, "That was my way of asking you out... in case you didn't catch that."

"Actually, I missed it entirely. I'm glad you clarified."

"Well, I'd like to take you out to dinner. But sometimes I don't talk much, so I'm worried about how that would go."

"It couldn't be too bad. Worst case scenario, I point at you and laugh."

He smiled. "Good. I'll have to call you."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Memory Lane

I originally started this blog after many disappointing years of single life. Not to say that all the years were disappointing… heavens no. Just the single part. Okay, that should be “Years of disappointing single life.” Better.

In fact, it was because I dated so many fascinating guys (rarely more than a date or two… month or two at most) and I had so many funny stories from these experiences… I felt they should be saved for posterity.

Many of my friends think my dating stories should fill a book. Guess I'll let you be the judge!

Well, soon after I started the blog – life got a little extra complicated. Then I picked it back up again about a year ago.

A few months after that God gave me a big surprise and introduced me to someone very special. I just can’t believe how beautiful, and easy, and wonderful this relationship is. What a blessing!

It feels strange to tell too much about the great Mr. Burns. (his pseudonym – obviously) So I think I’ll try to share some of those old dating stories – when I can remember them.
Meeting a truly fabulous guy tends to wipe out the memories of the inconsequential ones.

Food fit for a dame

In all those years of dating… many men have been impressed with the fact that I eat. Really eat… even on a date. A real meat and potatoes girl. Hardly ever a salad for me. I was never embarrassed to order a big steak, consume the whole dish and never even have to take leftovers home!
Of course I was younger then and somehow able to stay thin and svelte. That may be part of why they were impressed.

A few dates in with Joe, we went to a little chain restaurant one night after we both got off work. I ordered the lemon chicken. It came on a bed of angel hair pasta. It was tasty, but I joked to him that it was one measly chicken breast. If the palm of your hand is supposed be a serving… this bird had some catching up to do.

After I wolfed my ‘meal’ down it was as if I hadn’t.
I must have stared at my empty plate woefully because Joe said, “If you’re still hungry, get something else.”
“Should I?” I hated to appear greedy. And even being a girl who eats… two entrees? Can I do that?

When the waiter slipped by, Joe asked for another menu. He had no problem with my appetite.
Of course the waiter assumed the menu was for Joe. When he came back and I ordered my second dish, he was stunned! I was mortified at the time, but my date was beaming… look at the girl eat!

Yeah... that plate was empty too.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Romantic Gestures

What constitutes a romantic gesture in a relationship?
Something out of the ordinary? Going out of your way to do something you wouldn't mind doing anyway?

It seems something as simple as going to watch his flag football game was enough to earn points as a romantic gesture in his book. Mr. Burns was impressed just that I showed up. It had him smiling sweetly at me all day.

I think maybe I fail to see the little things he does as romantic gestures. I'm not really looking for them... what I would consider romantic are things he's just not going to think of. (Just as I had no idea that showing up for his game was going to have the impact that it did.)

A couple weeks ago when I showed up at his house, Mr. Burns said he had something special to share with me. He opened the fridge and displayed a fresh pomegranate!

I was a bit bewildered as to why this was special... outside of the fact that we're both Midwesterners living in a mountain state - so that makes a pomegranate an exotic fruit. This was a romantic gesture. And as soon as I understood that, I saw just how sweet it was.

Problem was we had no idea what to do with it. I cut it open and we just sat there and stared at it.
I eventually managed to squeeze 3 tablespoons of juice out of it!

He just wanted to share a new experience with me. Here is something I know nothing about... let's figure it out together.
I think that manner of thinking bodes well for the future!

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm not the Only One!

Christmas is going to be different this year. For the first time in years, I want it to be the sort of Christmas that is truly celebrated as a time of Peace, Joy and Love.

Instead, for the past few years the holiday has felt like nothing more than a deadline to me. That's not how I want to celebrate.
I feel like I'm missing the true meaning of Christmas which is the celebration of the birth our Savior.

Sometimes I envy those with children, because passing on the traditions, the stories and the experiences must help to keep the wonder alive.

Without children, this is what my Christmas looks like...
I just run around for weeks buying gifts for family that I rarely see, (most likely buying them things they don't really want) pile everything into the car, drive for 10-12 hours through midwest winter roads, open gifts and drive back. It's a crazy rush, and it's always a let-down.

Today addressed the issue too:
"We are trying to figure out our holiday plans. My in-laws keep dropping hints, but to be honest, we just don't have the money to fly up there. It just really pisses me off that everyone expects US to travel to THEM. "

Amen sister!
Since I'm the only one in a different state... I'm the one expected to save my ONE WEEK OF VACATION (or one of the two weeks I get now) for the entire year - to drive across a state or two so I can be home with the people who are self-employed (and therefore don't have to give up vacation time) I have never EVER celebrated Christmas at my own home. Or at my own church. No member of my family has ever come to see ME for Christmas!

So this year, I'm not going home for Christmas. I'm not doing it to be stubborn, or to prove a point. No, really.
Just once, I want to celebrate Christmas where I live... instead of rushing to be somewhere else.
I've invited the family to come out here - but that is somehow ridiculous. They won't even consider it.

Last year, when I took my tree and decorations down on the Feast of the Epiphany - it seemed so strange that I even bothered. (see - Shelving the Future - post below) No one even saw my tree - but me. And that's when it hit me. Christmas is supposed to be shared. But I don't have a child, or a husband. Am I supposed to put off truly celebrating the miracle of Christmas until I do have a family?
I don't think so.

I just want to sit in the dark and stare at my Christmas tree lights in silence. I want to go to Midnight Mass. (The family back home goes to the 5:30pm Children's Mass - listening to same horrible, bastardized 'holiday' songs they've been butchering since I was in the youth choir. Ugh and Shudder!)
I want to pour a glass of wine and stare out the window at the new fallen snow, search the sky for the brightest star and feel the Lord surround me with his love. The Son of God made flesh to dwell with us here on earth.
I want to really contemplete the meaning of Christmas - instead of dwelling in the ruckus of my brother's kid's and their friends tearing open presents in a greedy rush.

So this year, I'm embracing my excuse - Mr. Burns and I are flying out to San Fran for my dear friend's wedding on Dec 17th. He's using the last bit of his vacation days to go with me. His family gets together for Thanksgiving, and he stays here for Christmas anyway.

Last year, I prayed for someone with whom to share the joy of Christmas... and I feel that God has answered that prayer.

So when I broke the news to Mom - I explained that we'd just be getting back from a trip when I would be jumping in the car to drive to Nebraska and instead of rushing like that, I would just stay in Denver for Christmas. I also leaned on the expense of two trips - excuse.
I expected a cryfest - but she surprised me by saying, "Yes. You should stay and have Christmas with Mr. Burns."

Yeah... she's just thrilled that I finally have a boyfriend!!
I was surprised and thrilled that we didn't have to have a drag-out fight about it.

A few weeks later I was talking with my 17-year old niece. She asked if I would be home for Thanksgiving. I asked if Grandma told her about Christmas. No. What?

Well, Mom and Dad understand but my niece is mad at me. I'm messing with her 'tradition'. She has no idea how much our tradition has changed. Her dad (my brother) is responsible for most of the changes that ruined my tradition.

My new tradition... takes a line or two from the the song Colorado Christmas by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
"The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere
Is a quiet christmas morning in the Colorado snow"

This year, I want to experience that for myself.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yeah, like I said...

This second job has become way more trouble than it's worth.

As I was explaining the latest point of drama to Mr. Burns he reiterated his position, "I really think you should quit. I hate for you to be miserable."

"I know," I replied. "I will. But I kind of enjoy complaining about it."

"Yes. Like I said, you really need to quit."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Or - he's in trouble with his wife

Just one of the many hilarious quotes found on

No More Montessori School for You, Young Lady

Mom - about man on train with flowers: Awww, he has flowers. They're probably for his girlfriend.
Eight-year-old daughter: Mom, you never know! They could be for a boy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Big Day 'O Fun -or- How to Get World Series Tickets

11:10 am
I’ve been on the internet for about an hour and 10 minutes… trying to get the server to work in my favor and grant me tickets to Game 5 of the World Series to be held here in Denver.

The sale opened at 10:00am and from 10 to 11:00 I kept getting kicked off the server.

The local news came on at 11:00. They were live with two computer geeks who have had just as much success as I. That - at least- is reassuring.
The news team asked for viewers to email or call and share their success stories. No success stories – everyone it seems - is in my boat.
Apparently, no one has managed to get tickets by the end of the newscast at Noon.

Forty minutes later, the station breaks in with a live news conference with the Rockies Communications Director. The server had 8 million hits in the first 40 minutes. The server is down. They managed to sell 17 tickets!!! This is brilliant!

Oh, they were confident that their server could handle the volume of traffic today. Really? REALLY?!! You thought your server could handle 8 million hits in less than an hour?!?!?!?! Is there anyone who uses a computer on your staff?

Personally, I don’t know squat about computers. I believe the internet is wonderful, mysterious and somewhat magical… but even I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t have counted on any server to handle the volume for World Series ticket sales!!

Now, please realize that the internet is the only option for tickets. Uh huh. Brilliant. No standing in line at the stadium for tickets. No. It’s more fair, they say, that everyone battle the same dragon (a slayed server in this case).

Luckily, I have the day off.


I’ve been cycling through the links to get on the server… and finally, I’m in the updating hold page. Could this mean the server is back up?

I’ve managed to stay on the server. I haven’t been kicked off since prior to 1:20. I’m on a countdown screen that I can only assume will take me to ticket sales once there’s an opening.
Or, I’m wasting my time and have lost my chance.

The local news station said they’d break in when the server is back up… and they haven’t. But I’m staying on the screen assuming that I’m holding my place in line.

Why is this so important? It’s not really. But I figure attending a World Series Game in your own city is pretty much a Once-In-A-Lifetime deal.
And I imagine most other people have had to get back to their jobs, so I may actually have a shot at winning Best Girlfriend Ever.

Update: The website didn't bother to inform any of us that the server crashed. So I apparantly wasted several hours trying to do the impossible.
The next day, Mr. Burns tried. No tickets. But the Rocks can barely get a hit anyway so...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Well, being choked with tears makes it hard!

Last Sunday Mr. Burns and I went to Mass at his Church so he could lector.
I really enjoy attending Mass with him - something I couldn't do with other men that I've dated.

We are both susceptible to being very moved by the music - so when the choir announced the last song of the mass, "How Can I Keep from Singing" I broke into a broad smile and whispered, "This is a good one, but I can't get through it without crying."

Now, Mr. Burns suffers the same affliction with other songs so he understood. But I barely made it to "lamentation" only the 10th word in the song! and already my eyes were welled up!

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation

Mr. Burns glanced at me and soon there were streams down his face! I elbowed him and asked, "Why are you crying?" And as we both wiped tears away, suddenly we couldn't control our laughter. People must have thought we were nuts!

Later he told me that just seeing me react to the strong emotion of the song set him off and he couldn't help it.
Now I wonder if the next time the choir fires that song up.... whether I'll cry or laugh!

This is my favorite line....

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

And that's usually where I lose it - at the refrain.
It's so beautiful, I want it played at my funeral.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tough on him?

At what point to standards become too tough - or too loose? Just how far should you go to accept another's shortcomings, or go to lengths to make up for them?

There's a 20 year old woman at my new job - who just got promoted to manager of another location. I only just met her and she seems to be good at her job, takes things seriously and so forth at least as far as work is concerned.

Since the sudden promotion has her working at a new location the plan she and her new boyfriend had in place to work in the same area and share a car is now defunct.

Three of us women were discussing it, she said her BF thinks she should take the bus to her new job and he'll take the car. She explained that the logistics actually make it easier for him to take public transport - and our manager emphasized that as part of the promotion - she has an obligation and expectation to be at work on time, and able to travel between stores.

When the fact that it was HER car came up - I declared no contest - she gets to take the car! When she mentioned they've only been dating (never mind KNOWN each other) for two months... I said, "Forget it... he doesn't even get KEYS to the car!"

Well, tonight I met the BF. He seems to be a good enough guy - as young as she is... and as it came up that they are living together he said to me, "I'm sure you'd have the same thing to say about it as everyone else."

Yeah, he's right. Never mind that I would never live with a man I wasn't married to - but AFTER two months?!?!!? Are ya kidding? I didn't want to be preachy, so I didn't even mention that Mr. Burns and I have been dating nearly 8 months and haven't even slept together.

I did say that I've never lived with a man - and wouldn't unless he were my husband. He replied, "Well yeah, at your age." I don't even know what that means!

My real concern is what happened at the end of our shift. I had been practicing with the camera and took several photos of her. There were some she didn't want him to see -- he grabbed her wrists. When she broke free, he grabbed the camera by the lens - and that's when my instinct took over.
"Hey! Never forceably grab a camera by the lens! I'm trained to protect a camera and I'll take you down." I tried to use a kidding voice, but I meant to make my feelings clear about forceable grabbing - and respect - mostly in association with people but using the camera as an example.

I think they both just decided I was a hard*ss - so I backed off a bit.

She was closing up the shop for the evening and he kept horsing around, which I think is inappropriate for work. (but I'm 37 and they're 20 so I tried to account for the difference) He grabbed her wrists a couple more times while horseplaying - but now it has me concerned.

Grabbing someone's wrists is the easiest way to make them powerless. I find it disturbing that he's so quick to do such a thing. Am I just being an old fart?

Anyway, back to the question at the top of this post.
The day after I told this girl that she - no contest - gets the car and that he shouldn't even have a set of keys - she reported telling him that I would have dumped him already!
I realized then that I must have come off a bit gruff.

But I also told Mr. Burns about it and he agrees with me... no way does that loser get the keys! Mr. Burns took it a step further, saying she's setting herself up to get used. If he asks for the world and you give him that and the moon, why should he stop there?

The more I think about explaining this, the more I hear all those voices that told me throughout the years (when I said I wouldn't put up with this, and I wouldn't put up with that...) "Well, that's why you're alone. That's why you don't have a boyfriend."

Really? Is it worth it to accept disrespect and lousy treatment just to have a guy to smooch on? I think that's just an excuse that gets lousy guys laid. People who don't hold themselves to high standards don't want to be compared to those who do, now do they?

Hmmm. I'm rather proud of the fact that my standards were too high to settle for a man who would use me or take advantage of me. Whether it was about a car, cash or sex... I've always expected more of a man.

I just want to plant a seed with this young woman (who is clearly in the twitterpaited stage of this relationship and eager to please) that it's okay to expect repect. She deserves it. She should be getting something out of this relationship too.

Thoughts? Am I fuddyduddy? Am I making too much of his grabbing?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Talk About a Strange Favor!!

Let me start by explaining that most of my friends know about my interest in photography. A few have asked me to shoot their engagement pictures or weddings and they tell me they are happy with the results.
So I'm not too surprised when someone asks for a photo favor, and typically I'm happy to do it.

Yesterday a good guy friend emails me asking for a favor. When I call to find out what, he explains that a friend of his is celebrating her 40th birthday soon and their mutual friend is organizing a group gift. It seems most of these friends are rather athletic and have these sports and activities in common. So they are making a photo calendar of each of the guys with their sporting equipment... nekkid!!! ... with strategically obscured body parts!!!

What a great idea! Yes, this guy is asking me to photograph him nekkid. He was appropriately uncomfortable with the question and explained that he spent some time deliberating over who to ask to do it! He was fairly sure I'd be willing, and appropriately discreet (so don't look for the results here later!)

He's a cyclist - so I'm wondering just how we'll obscure the goods. The other part of the equation is that, although I'm willing to take this on... I think it's only fair to run it by Mr. B (though I think from now on I'll call him Mr. Burns). I was quite certain that Mr. Burns would be fine with it - but in the event that he's not - he should be given the opportunity to ask me NOT to spend time with a nekkid guy.

So, I ran it by him. His response? "That doesn't bother me. Just don't turn this into a career in pornography. And if you do... I want a cut!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Going Strong

Wow. It's been quite a while since I've been able to post. That whole change to a Gmail account caused a snafu for me. Apparently I'm the only one. Figures.

So. My last post was about meeting guy number three. He quickly broke ranks and is now my number one guy!! (Second to God of course)
It's been seven months and I'm just so happy to have him in my life.

My advice to anyone out there still waiting to find love... don't give up. Don't compromise your standards. In fact, raise those standards!! You'll be amazed by what God has in store for you! God is so good and He knows exactly what we need. Sometimes it takes a while for Him to get it all together.

About a month ago I noticed that Mr. B (I guess that's what I'll call him here) seemed to be getting a bit uncomfortable as he seemed to think that I had this relationship all wrapped up. I know that he needs time to evaluate everything. I was right. He told me that it freaks him out a little that I seem so sure. I had to explain that appearances can be decieving.

I told him that I spent YEARS praying for God to make me ready for the man who will be my husband... and in turn to make him ready for me. Clearly preparing a man for me is no easy task, as it took the Good Lord.... He who created the heavens and earth in seven days... 36.5 years to get a man ready for me!

Regardless, after all that prayer and many, many years and no husband as of yet, I decided to cut a deal with God. Hands clenched in prayer, I bargained with God; "If you don't have a husband for me, or if it's going to take still more time to prepare him for me... can I at least have a boyfriend?"

I was just so weary of being alone! I am blessed with many wonderful friends, male and female... and I keep quite busy keeping up and catching up with everyone. Still, I was just so tired of coming home to an empty condo. I wanted so badly to have someone to talk to at the end of the day. It came down to finding a boyfriend or getting a cat. I'm allergic to cats.

So I asked God for a boyfriend if my husband wasn't ready. Continuing my prayer I said, "Even if we date for years and never get married! I just can't be alone any more! I know that I'm still asking for a very special man. Someone who has strong faith. Someone who will understand that sex is for marriage, and in respect to that, won't pressure me like these men I have been dating. They're wearing me down God, and I know you don't want that."

I had to tell Mr. B this story of my prayer life. And I did so in tears - which surprised me more than it did him.

I told him not to get too comfortable or worried about my feeling sure about things. The fact is Mr. B, I don't know which prayer you are the answer to!!

You and God together will have to show me.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I'm a Serial Dater

This year I enlisted my friends to help me with my New Year's Resolution.

I sent out a mass email to nearly everyone in my address book explaining that I have been alone for far too long and I clearly need some help meeting men outside my current social circle.
To do that, I've asked everyone to introduce me to one man this year.

I was afraid it smacked of desperation, until I asked a good guy friend what he thought of my email... and he replied, "No. It smacked of 'I'm serious and I'm asking for your help.'"
At least my friends know me well!

So, it's week 5 of 2007 and my friends are holding up their end of the deal. I've been introduced to three new guys so far. That's a pretty good ratio.

The first one was a pretty hot bald guy. I could be interested but he was a bit shy. Based on my interest level - pursuit would have to come from him.

Meanwhile, I went out with a guy I met on New Year's Eve... and have had a few dates with a guy I met last year.

Then the second one was last night. Also a nice guy, but my gut tells me that his redneck rural background (same as mine, but I moved to the city for a reason) is going to be a dealbreaker.

I hate to jinx anything here... but it could be ... three's a charm!

L and J had a Super Bowl Party tonight and L enlisted her hubby to invite someone for me. A guy he 'sorta' works with and whom she doesn't really know. She reported that all J would offer by way of description was, "He's cute." which concerned her as she's not sure about her husband's taste in men.

When I arrived, artichoke dip in hand... L ushered me downstairs as quickly as possible... whispering "he IS cute." and promptly made the introduction. Then she scurried back upstairs after witnessing our reactions and told J, "I think we made a love connection."

Ha! Let's not get ahead of ourselves! But here's the ranking... Catholic.. (youngest of 8 children) Engineer... kinda cute... VERY NICE ! We had an instant... "Hey, I like you" sort of rapport, and spent a lot of time talking.

I left in the fourth quarter for another party - he got my number and told me that he's excited that I'm Catholic... it's really important to him.

Hmmm. I think this will be the first practicing Catholic that I've ever dated. Check that, he won't call until later next week. Has a work trip.

But when I left the party L made a point of saying... "Invite us to the wedding!" Ha! Way to jinx it L!

At any rate, a lot of people teased me that I'd be the serial dater... but I have stressed that the goal is to eliminate the need for introductions as soon as possible!

I'm aiming for summer. But sooner is better.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Shelving the Future

I take my Christmas Tree down on the feast of the Epiphany (The celebration of the Three Wise Men reaching the baby Jesus under yonder star - Jan 6th ) just like my mom always did.

As I sat upon the floor, carefully wrapping all those ornaments for another years’ storage, I thought how sad it is that they only get a few weeks to show off every year.

I have so much fun rediscovering them when I decorate the tree. When I went away to college, Santa started to leave Winnie-the-Pooh ornaments in my stocking each Christmas. I have quite a collection now, and they are all so charming I smile like a fool as I take each one out of it's box.

Most of my other ornaments are variations on snowmen. So cute and jolly, I can even remember where I was when I found each one. Sometimes I pick them up on vacation, so they do hold significant meaning and memories.

There is another category of ornaments made up of gifts. Gleaned as souvenirs from trips my friends have made. One is from the Church staff where I once taught CCD class. Another signifying the anniversary of the work on Crazy Horse Memorial, was given to me by Ruth Ziolkowski, wife of the original sculptor of the mountain, Korczak.

Surely, everyone has sentimental feelings for their ornaments. I had the same feeling when I helped my mom decorate the tree as a little girl. Tonight, that’s where my thoughts seemed to dwell.

I thought, “How can these trinkets be so special when they are only special to me? This experience, awash with memories…it’s meant to be shared.” So as I tucked one more Pooh Bear along with Tigger into it’s original collector’s box, I made a little wish on the star they are holding: Maybe it was more of a statement of confidence… “Next year, I’ll have someone to share these with.”