Sunday, December 18, 2011

What's Your Game Plan?

Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly low and lonely, it's easy for me to blame my long not-married status on my chastity. (I don't like the term unmarried, I'd have to have been married to be un-married)

When I see those in the world around me sleeping around, or living together or jumping from one sexual relationship to another... it almost seems obvious that I'm likely still single because of my moral standards. I might as well be enjoying myself (and someone else!!) 

Today, something changed my mind irrefutably.

At a casual holiday party, some friends of mine and a woman new to the group were talking about dating, and how it should not be this difficult. How we shouldn't even have made it to this age single.
I said, with exasperation, that I have kissed way more men in my lifetime than I ever should have! As one woman agreed, I concluded, "Thank God I didn't sleep with them all!"

That led a friend to bring up the movie, "What's Your Number".  As the title suggests, the premise is based on the number of sexual partners a woman has, and the thesis purports... that if it's more than 20, she'll never get married because while she's able to attach physically she obviously can't attach emotionally and is therefore doomed to failure.

Our conversation was rather innocent until the newcomer chimed in that, being a 40+ woman, and in the dating pool since she was 18 - she didn't find it too shocking that she's had 30 sexual partners because that factors out to one per year.

First, I'm no math expert, but I think her numbers are off!
Second, I could not disguise my reaction - which was "Ewwww!"

She made note of my reaction, and I tried to make like I wasn't judging her... but ... ewww!
Then she said that most of them occurred in her 20s (as if that dismisses anything!)  I almost said, "Yeah, the three men I slept with happened in my 20s too.  But then I realized that they weren't the marrying kind and changed my game plan."  But I didn't think that would go over well.

Anyway, I've been thinking about it since then... when suddenly it occurred to me... Well obviously, my abstinence isn't holding me back!  I've been abstinent for 14 years and she's been boinking everything in sight... and we're both over 40 and never married.

Frankly, I prefer my path to never-married.


P.S. you know what else? Women like her are the reason so many men of our generation don't get married... they know there's always someone they can boink so there's no need for those types to marry. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

'Til My Heart Finds a Home

There's a radio station in town here that has the funniest guys on their afternoon drive... and the morning show, while a bit annoying is better than the other choices so I was content to leave my dial there and not move around.

I've been listening for a few years now, and not only do their conversation topics seem recycled but they're always talking about people who cheat, have one-night-stands, and other acts that made me continually cynical about society as a whole. It's particularly depressing to think if there are any single men out there... they're certainly not going to be interested in church-going, abstinent, modest little me.  Makes the prospect of finding a suitable husband - or someone I would even care to date in this market - well, next to impossible!

So one day I decided to find the KLove station, and I haven't moved the dial since.
Sure, maybe it's a bit like sticking my head in the sand - but my attitude has improved significantly. At first the "Positive, Encouraging" schtick seemed so Pollyanna - almost annoying. But now, I'm just happy.

My best friend and soulmate, Kikr, also listens to KLove in her city and we enjoy the fact that we are likely listening to the same songs at the same time!  We've talked about our favorites... and usually when I call her, I'm in the car, and by the time her voicemail kicks in - I'm in the middle of a verse of a favorite song and she has to wait for me to sing along to the refrain before I leave her a message! Because she is my soulmate - she LOVES that and is not annoyed.

We talked this weekend and the topic of our current favorite songs came up.  Maybe you've heard about The Story Project... different artists have recorded songs that tell stories from the bible.  The story of Naomi and Ruth is the first release and it's quite beautiful.

I told Kikr that, in listening to that song... she is my Naomi.  She married four years ago, and is still a daily force in my life! She is as invested in me finding a love in my life as I am. Sometimes more!

So I told her that the song reminds me of her - particularly the line that says,
"I'm with you,
Until your heart finds a home,
I won't let you feel alone
I'm with you, I'm with you"
I wanted her to know how blessed I am that even though her life is full, she still has time for me.  She blesses me every day.
She said, "Well, I've got news for you.  When you get married, I'm not going anywhere!"

I was reduced to tears, and with a tinge of shame I admitted that I was worried that I might lose her when her baby comes this spring.
She emphasized that she hasn't forgotten about me since she got married - we both know she's the ONLY one in that category!  Still, I worried that it was too good to be true that she'll have the same time, concern and intimacy with me once the baby arrives.

I am smart enough to realize that maybe we're not waiting until my heart finds a home... rather, perhaps her heart is my home.
It's certainly big enough and I am blessed!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Awkward Pauses

The trouble with Christmas shopping is... everything for me is on sale too! And it's not as if someone is going to surprise me with the things I really want!

I ordered the most fabulous dress last week.  Had my eye on it for a while, but it was sold out. Then when it was restocked, I put it in my online shopping cart and it was gone before I could complete the order!! So when it was restocked yet again... I HAD to buy it. It's just such a perfect dress - appropriate for work and for church and even an evening out with the right accessories.

Am I right or am I right?!
(from - I do not receive any compensation for mentioning this online store... but I'd be willing if they were offering!! I love love love ModCloth!!) 
Anyway, since it was coming via UPS I had it shipped to work because if they try to deliver to my condo... it takes three exchanges on that silly sticky note to get them to actually leave it for me! Much easier to just send it to work... and then share my excitement with some girls in the office!!

So, the truck comes and there is the box I've been waiting for! Yay! Oh, and it's so pretty... so much nicer even than I expected!

I went to hold the dress up for one of my co-workers to see - and at that moment an older woman from another department steps in, admires the dress and asks, "Where are you going?" indicating that I must have an occasion in mind for this purchase.

I'm dumbstruck. I didn't have an occasion in mind. I just wanted it, knowing it would be timeless, flattering and appropriate almost anywhere. Suddenly, I wondered if I was reckless, selfish, or maybe terribly indulgent.

I manage to stammer out the words... "I just liked it, so I bought it."
That was awkward. 

The woman looks me right in the eye and says, "I never do that. I always get things for my kids or my husband. I never get anything for me."

Um. Wow. Ahhhhhhhh.

Finally, I force a smile and say, "Well, I don't have a husband or kids - so I buy things I like for me. In fact, I still need to attract a husband so it's very important that I look good!"

I desperately wanted out of that conversation so I packed up the dress and went back to my desk. But what I wanted to say was, "Oh, don't be such a martyr! Buy yourself something.  Good Lord woman, your kids are grown - why are you still buying them stuff??!"

Seriously, just last week she was bragging about how wonderful and successful all of her kids are!

I know that moms today take some weird satisfaction about sacrificing EVERYTHING for their kids... which I actually find a bit ridiculous... I mean, yes I know that when the kids need shoes, you as a parent have to wear yours for another season if money is tight... I get that... but I can tell you that my parents never made a fuss about how they had to do without.  As far as I knew we all had everything we needed and much of want we wanted.  We were also told "No." plenty often.

I'm not talking about the difference between a wealthy family and a struggling family.  I'm talking about the odd martyrdom over the whole issue.  Come on, get off the cross... use the wood!

Personally, I don't think it's healthy for a mother to deny herself the little rewards... the everyday things that seem like indulgences once she has a family. Yoga class or time at the gym, the occasional pedicure, a new dress.
I have friends who - once the first kid is in preschool or kindergarten, suddenly realize they need those moments and those "me times", and they suddenly move heaven and earth to make the time for it. Maybe I won't understand completely until I'm responsible for another life... but it seems to me that  moms need to take care of themselves.  Work a few indulgences into the budget. A mom who is stretched too thin is not the best for her children either.

It's motherhood - not martyrdom.  Does pointing out all your sacrifices make someone a better mother?
I don't think so. In fact, I think it makes your kids lose a little respect for you.

Of course, if I were blessed enough to be able have kids, I'd gladly limit my shopping and wear my shoes right through the soles if that's what it took to provide what my children need... but I don't expect sainthood for it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

They DO Exist!

When I was young... in my late 20s and early 30s, I often heard from friends and relatives that when I finally found my man, I would be amazed at the man he is and that it would be worth the wait.
Such remarks even led me to pray to God to make the man He intends for me to be ready for me, and to be the man I need.  In the same prayer, I ask God to make me the woman that man needed and would love.

Later, when asked why I'm still not married I would say, "God's not finished with him yet."  and later still, "Apparently it's a lot of work to prepare a man for me!"

I had great ideals and great intentions.
I still do.  But these days people seem to think I'm expecting too much.

But, I really do know what sort of husband I want.  Someone who is going to be invested in marriage.  Someone who will communicate with me about marriage's ups and downs and work to keep the passion, the love and to keep God first in our lives.

I honestly don't want to be married to a man who I couldn't trust to do those things.  Therefore, I am still not married.  It's as simple as that.

These days, everyone wants to tell me that I shouldn't be holding out for a perfect man.  You all know how I feel about that comment (and I heard it again this week! Don't get me started!).  I honestly don't think I'm looking for perfect. I am looking for someone who takes marriage seriously.

Just when I started to think no such man exists, look what I found...
I Am 
These are men who blog about marriage.  About good marriage.  About honoring their spouses and honoring God.
Just the sort of men I'm looking for... except I am holding out for a single/ available man - not one who is married!

I'm going to add them to my blogroll because I want their influence here at SingleSolitaryThings. I like the good energy... and I want SST readers to know that there are real husbands out there!!!

I will not listen to the people who say I'm expecting too much.
Why would I settle for a man who is less than what God wants for me?
I will remain single before I marry a man who doesn't expect to commit fully and equally with me.

Ladies... I expect you to do the same.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nobody's Perfect - What Marrieds Should Never Say to Singles

Being single over age 30-35 is difficult.
Single after that is ... trust me, you don't even want to know!

One of the reasons I started this blog was to give a voice to single adults. I mean, look around out there... everything in society is designed for couples and families.  So much so that even buying groceries can be depressing. Even bananas come in bunches - bound to go bad faster than a single person can eat them. (I usually tear two or three off the bunch - and even then, I often lose one!) 

If the blogosphere is a fair representation of society - and it pretty much is - America is filled with married people with families who don't give a second thought to the single people struggling in the world all alone.
Unless of course it is to pontificate upon why some seemingly 'normal', attractive woman is left single. It's not like they even bother to invite us to dinner and mug on their kids -- even in that regard, Bridget Jones' single life is idealistic compared to reality!

Bridget Jones Dines with Smug Marrieds - Video

Unlike the smug marrieds in Bridget Jones' Diary... they probably don't even talk about... they just draw conclusions about us that couldn't be further from reality.  That we're out there 'playing the field', too focused on our careers (hah!) and my personally most detested assumption... that we're "too picky".

Too picky is the silliest reasoning there is. To prove my theory... go ahead and suggest to a married couple that perhaps they weren't picky in choosing their mate.  Watch the sparks fly! They will be offended that you would suggest that their mate isn't the most perfect match on the planet.  More realistic folks will concede that no one is perfect, and that they put a lot of effort into their marriage, but that what they have is indeed wonderful.

Yet, when I point out that if they didn't settle for a schmuck, yet they're suggesting that I just throw a dart at a phone book - they still don't see how ridiculous their defense is.

Today I received a comment on my FB page from someone who is a friend of my family, saying something along the lines that maybe I'm still single because, "... you're looking for somebody perfect..."

That to me, is the MOST INSULTING thing you can suggest to a woman over 40 who is still actively looking for the love of her life!
Suggesting that I'm holding out for perfect says at once that I must be horribly immature, and the most shallow person on the planet.
Do you think that I don't know that no one is perfect but God? To you think that after 40 years, I'm ridiculous enough to think that there is some perfect man out there for me?

I was so mad and insulted all I could was delete her comment! Anything I would have said would have appeared "overly sensitive" to the majority of people, or too dismissive of the injury of her rudeness to me.

Want to know what burns me the most?  While I've known her and her family all my life, I used to babysit her kids when I was a teenager, but looking back I can't say I've ever even had a conversation with her. We've never had a nice long chat about who I'm dating or how any of my relationships ended.

Remember... I live in a city 10 hours away from my home town, so in the past 25 years I've maybe run into her at the grocery store, or outside of church when I'm home visiting my parents. The deepest conversation we've ever had was about whether her youngest wore a diaper to bed or not.  (and clearly, from the abundance of mommy blogs out there, that's a very serious discussion - because it proves she's a FANTASTIC mother because she was able to FREAKING potty train her kid!  Whoo!  Never mind that a child would eventually stop soiling her pants eventually, with or without a parent's help!!) 

So based on what this woman knows about me, which is essentially that I graduated from college at one point and that I live outside of the state... she feels qualified to diagnose that I am seeking a perfect man.

How alarmingly insulting!

Dear Smug Marrieds,  
If you have never met anyone I've dated. If we've never talked about relationships. If we haven't had a ten minute conversation more than once every ten years... YOU HAVE NOT EARNED THE RIGHT TO COMMENT ON MY SELECTION PROCESS. DO NOT PRESUME TO TELL ME THAT I'M JUST TOO PICKY, AND NEED TO STOP LOOKING FOR A PERFECT MAN. 
If you got married at age 22, and have probably only dated three men in your life and one was your prom date... you CANNOT PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO DATE FOR THE MAJORITY OF YOUR LIFE. 
I know you think you are an expert at obtaining a husband because the guy you've been married to for 20 years is the one who nailed you in the back seat of his car when you were 19 years old. (how romantic!)  You don't know what it is like to turn down dozens and dozens of men who expect you have sex with them on the third date.  But it's pretty damn obvious to you that I'm too picky. 


Among the things I should have responded... "No dear. The reason is that... under my clothes my body is full of scales. Men just can't look passed it."

Edited to add things I thought about saying:

"Wow,  you must thing I'm really immature."

"If you had walked even a year in my shoes you would know better than to say something like that."

"Maybe if I had given in to boys in high school, I could have avoided this whole dating thing... like you."

and the one I think would have been most effective:

"Gee.  I never knew you thought I was delusional."

Because really... that's what someone would have to think.  I can see saying something like that to a woman who is 23-26 who has a crazy sense of entitlement (even then it would still be incredibly rude.) But a woman who is 40 knows better. 

What would you liked to have said?  I really like Erin Annie's suggestion via Bridget Jones!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I Should Have Known

My current dating life is a bit different than ever before.
I intend to date a couple men at a time, so that I'm not wasting time getting overly excited about any one guy until one of them is obviously excited and serious about me.
It's not exactly working out that way. Instead, I meet a guy and date rather casually until it's clear there's not a forever match there... and then a new guy turns up.

So I feel like I can accept a date with anyone - because nothing is so serious with anyone already in the picture that I would be violating a trust or physical bond.  (In this method of dating, one must be very careful with physical intimacy so that there is no 'cheating' or disrespect.  This means, obviously no naked time... but before that - no kissing. Personally, I'm okay with some innocent kissing but no 'passionate'/French kissing.)

Friday, when I left work I had a message from McTwitchy wondering if we could just go out for a drink and chat.
Sure. Why not? We hadn't seen each other in a while and it would be nice to catch up.

He knows that I'm dating... as we caught up, he learned that Mr. Potential fizzled out.  And I swear McTwitchy lit up a bit... until I told him there was a new guy. (No name for him yet)

McTwitchy and I grabbed a quick meal, had some wine... and before we parted I could tell he was working up to something.  Finally, he asked if we could spend more time together.
I asked him to clarify, and it seems he wants to date but without pressure.

I should have known.  The last time he spontaneously wanted to go out for drinks, he did the same thing.   He's not ready to commit to anything but he wants to keep me on a string.  That's not how he sees it of course.
He has so so much complicated stuff going on in his life that he doesn't feel he can provide or have the stability to have a real relationship or commit to anything. That is really his burden and I feel for him... but I can't wait for him to solve a problem he's been shouldering for years.  I can't help him either.

So I said, "McTwitchy, we already tried a second time.  What do you expect to be different?  You know how I feel about you and how we feel about one another.  We have incredible chemistry.  We genuinely like one another and are attracted.  But I don't have time to wait for anyone to be a place where they can move forward.  I need someone who is ready. I can't have you keep me from finding someone who is ready for what I'm ready for."  He agreed with that.
I continued, "We could date, but I would need to date other men too. I can't kiss you and other men.  That's not what you want. Considering our history, there's no point to it... because we already know what we're capable of together and more to the point I know what you are not capable of right now and that's commitment."

I hesitated to say what came next but I decided that he needed to hear it in order to know just how divergent our paths are:  "McTwitchy, what you don't know is... when you were caught up with that freelance job in The Very Big City, and considering their full-time job offer... I was ready to go with you."

He was shocked.  Pleased and shocked and the next part was telling.  He said, "You never told me that!"
I explained, "I couldn't tell you that.  That was for you to ask me."  He nodded.
I told him that his mind wasn't even a little bit focused on that possibility at the time.  I told him that I knew when Thanksgiving rolled around that year, and he hadn't even thought about asking me to join him with his relatives, that we weren't even close to being on the same page. Considering that I had already been prepared to pack up and move for him!!

I knew what I was telling him was painful to hear... but with all the stops and starts he wants to initiate... I just had to point out how misguided he is.

It's a shame.
But at the same time - I'm glad I can recognize how unprepared he is to move forward.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Less Snark - More Self-Righteous

Okay, I must be in some kind of mood.
I feel like calling other people out on their judgement.  Trust me, I know I have my own hurdles... and I am working on those.

But right now, I'm so irritated by a friend's way of thinking I just have to get this out.

She is venturing into online dating - which we will all admit is no cup of tea.
She told me about meeting a guy who was very nice but she wasn't attracted to him.  So she's not going to see him again. That's cool, we've all been there.  But then she proceeded to tell me that she will only read the profiles of guys she finds hot via their pictures.  Again, sure... we all want to find someone good-looking.  Attraction is often the initial basis for getting to know someone.  If you talk to this woman though, (and I've known her for years) it is clear that her number one criteria for a prospective boyfriend/husband is looks.  (guess what number two is?)

Yes, she is beautiful.  She is in top physical shape and wears clothes like a model... both in style and fit.

I made efforts to point out that pictures don't always represent someone's real-life appearance.  Even some very attractive people don't photograph well.  In a particular example, I used to photograph very well, but 10 years later... not so much.

Doesn't matter, she's going for looks.

I can't argue with her. She won't listen. But what I'd like to say is... if you think a hot body and good looks are key criteria for a good husband, or a good relationship... I don't hold out much hope for that relationship.
I don't think she's ever experienced that phenomenon in which the more you get to know someone, the more you like and respect them... the better looking they become to you.
That's what love does.  That's how love develops.

Yeah, it is a struggle.  It is important to have that initial attraction.  Though I don't think that's even what she's looking for.  She seems to be looking for hot hot hot!

I mean, I think there's a difference between someone you really can't stand to look at - and someone who is a little less than your 'type'.  Some very, VERY attractive people will never qualify as HOT. But I happen to think those are the most interesting, most attractive people.
I'm not advocating for dating someone you think is ugly.

I want to say to her, "Well, if you looking for shallow - you'll find shallow, and I don't think it will make you happy."

I am more focused right now on finding someone who shares my values, beliefs and morals. Someone who is going to be crazy about me, will want to take care of me, share life with me and see me through lifes' ups and downs.  (I just started seeing someone who seems to meet that criteria - and I'm waiting to see if the hot steamy attraction kicks in... but for right now, knowing that he's aching to see me, that he enjoys my company, and I his... is a quality start.) 

It takes a certain amount of vanity to look the way she wants a man to look, and I hate to stereotype, but I'm afraid my friend who is looking for Hottie McHottersen, is going to be disappointed when she finds he cares more about the condition of his abs and biceps more than he could ever care about someone else's well-being... and he may even start to become critical of the quality of her abs and assets.

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe they'll be perfect for each other.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Snark Outlet

I can't say it on Faceb@@k so I'm going to say it here...
"It's nice to see you in clothes."

There's a FB friend of mine who was my colleague when I worked in a different town/city in the 90s.  I get it that she's in GREAT shape now - very fit - you could bounce a quarter off her!
In every picture she's in skimpy dresses, skimpy halter tops, tube tops, bikini swimsuits, etc.   I don't just mean that she's wearing halter tops... I wear halter tops too... but on her... I'm talking skimpy.  You know... the kind where you can see "Side Boob".  Know what I mean?

Sure, I'm envious.  My tummy was that flat for about a three months when I was 25. Her arms and abs are fantastic, b00bs defy gravity... and probably one reason her revealing clothes bug me so much is because I'm jealous.

But, the fact is... I actually feel a little creepy whenever I see her latest scantily clad picture posts.  I always have to resist the urge to comment, "Do you ever wear clothes?" because I am snarky like that! (so far - I've succeeded in my restraint. Yay me!)

If I feel that uncomfortable viewing her curves ... I pity the men who feel tempted when they look at her FB feed. How does her husband feel about that?

Today she posted a shot of herself looking fantastic in a long-sleeved, form fitting t-shirt.  Really looking great.   My first thought was, "You look so good in clothes!"
Let's face it, when you're that ripped you can still show off your shape and hard work in clothes that cover.

Vacation photos? Great, show off your tan... maybe even your bikini... I don't mind. But when all of your clothes make someone feel like they're looking at you intimately, it's time to rethink your wardrobe.

More so, it's nice to have flattering clothing but I've always subscribed to the theory to accent only one fabulous feature at a time.  Sinewy arms? Plunging back? A flash of leg? Not bad.  But not all at once.

Maybe if you have to show everything off - all the time... perhaps you're looking for more than compliments.

Ok.  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Friday, October 14, 2011

People Who Need People

It started in college.  It continued in my 20s. Again in my 30s. It still happens today.
Quite frankly, I'm sick of it.  And they're wrong!

I'm talking about the people (women, mind you) who have contradicted me.

Picture me in my college years... I wasn't much of a dater (not a big demand in college for girls who don't put out) I would date a guy now and then, no steady boyfriend until my senior year. In my frustration, sometimes I would declare, "Ugh. I need a man!"
Someone would pipe up, "You don't NEED a man."
"Fine. I want a man."

I don't have to tell you how many times this scenario played out.  Perfect strangers (always women) would emphasize that I don't need a man.

This past winter, I was at a church activity chatting with a woman with whom I'd lost touch.  She's only a bit older than I, married, with two cute, cuutttteee kids.  She asked about my dating situation and after my response we determined she would have to do some recruiting. When we left, we ran into some her peeps (other parents with kids her kid's age) out by their cars, she introduced me and advised that they should be on the lookout for a good available man for me.  They were sweet enough to ask about my preferences, and we joked a bit about the availability of men with said qualities... and in mock frustration I wailed... "Listen ladies, I just need a husband!"

Someone chimed in, "You don't NEED a husband."
"Fine. I want a husband." I replied, automatically. Then, "No, I'm over 40.  I NEED a husband.  This going home to an empty house and sleeping in an empty bed every night of my life is BS! I want, and NEED a husband!"
(let me just say the woman who said it, is living with her boyfriend... they're both divorced but not marrying yet because he doesn't have an annulment - so, you know, she can talk the talk - but obviously can't walk the walk.  hrrumphfff)
Freaking feminists.
They're the ones who started the whole stupid thing...  Gloria Steinhem and her ridiculous, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." idiom.
You know what... a fish doesn't need a bicycle.
I think the better comparison would be, " a child needs a bicycle." Because a child can certainly survive without a bicycle, but I guarantee the kid's childhood is better, more fulfilling, more adventurous and more complete with a bicycle in it.

You may disagree with me, but I believe that my life would be more complete if I were blessed with someone to share it with.

The worst thing the feminist movement has done was to convince men that they're not needed.  So many men think women don't want them.  Don't need them.  Or worse that women only want them so they can have the babies they so desperately want... or that they're holding out for five or ten years so they can get half the man's income in a divorce.  (because our society now believes that every marriage will end in divorce. )

Men need to feel needed... and an entire generation has sent the message that they're not needed.  No wonder they're afraid of commitment!

Not every woman needs a man, or a husband, or even wants one... and that's fine for them.  More power to 'em.  (More for me! ;-) ) But there's nothing wrong with wanting the traditional life and I for one will no longer apologize for it.  I will stand up to those freakin' feminists who think they're empowering me and other women by insisting we don't need men.

Screw them.  If it weren't for their stupid feminist ideas - I'd be married by now.  And so would most of my brilliant, gorgeous, kind and adventurous friends.

Thanks a lot for convincing men they're not needed.  You blew it for the rest of us.
Here's your cookie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Head of Household

It seems that I touched on an intriguing concept in my last post - and I'd like to expand on that. Maybe we could have a continued discussion on the idea of the husband as head of the family.

Last year a dear friend of mine got married and I photographed the wedding as my gift to them. I published a photo book for them, and as I worked on the design, there was ample opportunity to add text in some places.  Knowing my friend as well as I do, I decided to include the scripture selections that they used in their wedding Mass, which included Ephesians 5:22-24
 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
I had the finished publication shipped to work and when it arrived I eagerly opened it and showed a couple co-workers how it turned out.  Imagine my dismay when they exclaimed, "She let them use THAT VERSE at her wedding?!  I made ____ sure that wasn't so much as uttered at MY wedding!"  Then they bantered about how no way would they agree to submit to their husbands, to be head of household.

The more they agreed, the more I shook my head.  I wanted to tell them how wrong they were, but I knew I didn't have the right words at the moment.  I knew that they would just see me as the single woman who didn't really know anything about marriage.  I knew my input would not be well-received in that moment.

But what I wanted to point out was... when you truly believe that your man strives to live for God ... that there is no way you would be afraid of what he might do with that power.  In particular, I wanted to point out that in most translations the verse is, "Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church."   AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH!   Christ died for the church!

It calls for wives to respect and honor their husbands, yes.  But in the same breath, it calls husbands to be worthy of honor and respect.
Makes me wonder why so many people only hear the part that scares them. Is it that we only concern us with the part that makes demands of us? If that is so, then why are there so many men that only notice the part about submission - and not the part that calls them lead generously, to sacrifice themselves?
(actually some do... and that will be another post) 

I have yet to meet the man who I could be confident would lead in this way.  Therefore I am not married.  Quite frankly, sometimes I wonder how everyone else's marriage is doing if they didn't expect and anticipate this arrangement going in.  I mean, if you wouldn't trust your man to lead you - how could you be confident enough to marry him and keep your best interests at heart?  That's scarier to me than submission.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I can act as an expert on parenting and marriage because I'm not a parent or a spouse. Smirk.

A lot of times I feel like there are many couples making glaring mistakes in parenting.  Maybe the mistakes aren't glaring to them because they're center isn't the same as mine.  I think having the right center makes things much more obvious.

I was watching the new season of The Middle tonight.  Next to Modern Family, I find The Middle one of the more entertaining family comedies out there right now.
In tonight's episode, the question of hierarchy comes up in the family.  Mom tries to point out that the kids are not in charge ... mom's in charge!  She goes so far as to draw a family hierarchy... Mom, kid, kid, kid. In birth order - which of course inspires more arguments, until the question, "What about dad?"
Fine.  She writes "Dad" next to "Mom".

At this point I think, "That's right sister!"

Then the kids argue that Dad is above Mom.  Mom protests.

Personally, I start thinking... "Yeah, the man should be the head of the household.  Why is this mom so opposed to this?"  
The program continues to display the drama of who is in charge.   Then it dawns on me.  The Hecks have the hierarchy all wrong.   Of course the wife is going to be uncomfortable if her husband is 'above' her.  she was right the first time - with Dad on the same level as Mom.  But she forgot to write God, above both of them.

I think it would be easy to love a man, trust a man, and honor a man who put God before not just me, but before himself.   I have long stressed that I believe that is the way it should be... and I know there are those that have trouble with the concept.  
Actually it came up on a friends FB wall once when someone posted that their kids are FIRST in their lives!! Rah Rah!  I pointed out that I thought the God, Spouse, Kids hierarchy was better suited to family harmony.  Someone asked how that works... how could you put your man before your kids?!  What if the man is abusive?  Well, an abusive man is not a man who has God first, now is he?  A man who puts God before all else will be a good man by default.  Oh, she hadn't thought of that.
Really?  (Well, I guess that's why she's married and I'm not.  Clearly I'm too picky looking for a man who puts God first. )

Then there is the knowledge that a man of God is wise enough to lead side-by-side.  I read once that the husband in the Dugger family says that the decisions he's made that were worst for his family, were the once he made without first consulting his wife.

Well, the Hecks didn't have that epiphany tonight.  Instead, they realized (once dad took on some of mom's duties and failed - it's a comedy after all.)  that in a family, sometimes everyone pitches in and leads in their own way.   Sometimes a sister helps in a way a parent can't. Sometimes kids help parents.  (all true)

I guess they couldn't land on the God theory in a program produced for a mass audience and with big corporate sponsors.   Look to reruns of 7th Heaven for that!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Never-Marrieds Date the Divorced

Now that I've managed to malign a population of our society... I may as well take a whack at yet another.

You know, I like to think that anyone could be a match... but the fact is  I am looking for a Catholic man and I would prefer that he's not divorced.  But at my age... at least half of the available men are going to be divorced.   So... you know... we must date them.

It's pretty tricky trying to determine from an online profile if a guy is a good candidate to commit to meeting.  Even tricker I think when they're divorced.

First of all, I don't even entertain dating anyone whose status is "separated".   Ahem, I'm a little uncomfortable to point this out but... you are still married. There is no reason for me to get involved.  Quite frankly... I think you ought to be at least two years out of the final divorce proceedings before you date.  Seems to me there is a lot of healing to work through and there's no point dragging someone else into the messiness.   But I think men in particular are not going to wait that long to get back on the scene.  Women tend to know they need healing. Men, in general want to get on with it.

So actually, second is - be healed from your divorce before you date me.

I met a guy a couple weeks ago.  We met for beverages of some sort and talked for quite a while.  I felt that he told me too much about his divorce too soon.  
I mentioned this to a friend who is in the same dating situation as I - and she said she's experienced the alternative... which was the guy hadn't said a word about his divorce until she asked him casually on the fourth date... and he looked shocked and dumbfounded!    That's no good either.  You shouldn't be surprised that it comes up.

In my case, I felt he told me too much about his kids and about their schedules.  (not in a stalker-ish way)  But you barely know me, and I'm here to get to know YOU.  Naturally, your kids are part of your life... yes, tell me about them  - but on the first date that should be limited to a synopsis of their ages, maybe genders, and one or two remarkable things about them (she's a ballerina, loves horses, he's a great soccer player).  You don't have to tell me what you think about their soccer coaches this year, or how much time you spend shuttling them between activities.   I don't need to know that. Yes, I may want to know eventually - but can I please get to you first?
See.. I don't have kids... so quite frankly I can't even relate to getting up early enough to get children to school before the first bell!   By talking about your kids, you've pretty much put me at a loss for words.   Am I supposed to talk about work now?  My car?  My parents?  My condo?
Let's talk about what we love to do.  Hiking, skiing, geo-tracking?  Let's talk about what we'd like to do... you want to visit Italy again... Great, that's the first place on my bucket list!  Let's talk about that!

I guess I do need to know why you got divorced... but please, not too much detail.
She cheated on you?   She up and left?  She never loved you?  You never loved her?  None of it reflects well on you.
Actually, I have a litmus test on this topic, especially if she cheated or initiated the divorce.  I'll ask if it was a complete shock.  Did he think everything in his marriage was just fine and had no idea that anything was wrong or that she was unhappy?  RED FLAG!
My response to that is... "So where were you?"  Was he checked out of the marriage?  Was he content with his needs being met and so never noticed that she was bored, or unfulfilled, or overworked as a mom?
You'd be surprised how many guys say, "Yeah! Total shock!"  That's when I prepare my exit.
I guess the next thing would be to ask what he's learned from his divorce... but that seems like more of a fourth date question... not the first.

See how this is so tricky?

If you're telling me that ALL your friends are getting divorced... that scares me.
Granted, you're going to want to support your friends through the same thing that you went through.  But if you're only associating with other divorced guys... well... that tells me that you think it's okay.  I'd rather hear that you're moved to help them reconcile.  I want to know that divorce was so awful you wouldn't want to wish it on anyone else.  
Maybe I'm too idealistic... but you know what they say, birds of a feather flock together.  If I said all my friends were hoodlums, would you believe that I'm the Mother Theresa trying to straighten them all out - or would you think that maybe I'm a shady character too?
Weird correlation I suppose... but it's reasonable for me to think that if you're only socializing with people in the midst of divorce ... er... that's where you're comfort zone is.
I can see that it's probably different with kids... because you want them to know they're not the only kids in the world with divorced parents.

Sixth.  The future.
This last divorced guy started ticking off qualities that he expected of his next wife.  That's okay for the most part... not ticking them off, but having an idea.   It just felt wrong when I could add up that he was looking for qualities the exact opposite of his ex-wife....  I mean OBVIOUS.  And I've never met her!   To me, that says he thinks it will all work out if he can identify the bugs in a particular model and build his own divorce proof robot.

Granted, I know what qualities I want to avoid in men ( most of which were gleaned from my relationship with Mr. Burns)  but I see it more as being able to identify those qualities and avoid them and not be fooled again.   Not sweeping generalizations... but more about identifying behavior.

Seventh.  More about the future.
This one is pretty specific.  This last guy mentioned (on the first date/meeting mind you!) that if he got married again it would be a casual affair.  In the mountains or on the beach or something.  I replied that I would want a Mass in a Church... the whole Sacrament.  I've been waiting my whole life for this, it's going to be official!   He whimpered a bit and said, "Oh, I can't do that.  I'd have to get an annulment."
"Oh. " I said, "Well, you sort of need one of those to date me in the first place."
He looked at me a bit shocked... crossed with impressed.

See... I'm not playing around.  I'm not going to get involved with someone who isn't going to be serious. In my book, an annulment says your marriage is over and you've done everything you can do to be healed.  You really ought to be healed and ready if you're going to start dating.

What is dating if marriage is not the goal?
That's just setting people up for disappointment.

When I'm looking at profiles, I look for a few specific details, especially in the profiles of divorced guys...  A) Divorced for at least two years B) if they have kids, they have at least 50/50 custody.   A guy who lives more than an hour from children is a flag.  I have no interest in a guy who has abandoned his children, even if it would be easier on me! C) That he might be open to having more children.  Obviously, I may not be able to have kids of my own, but I'd like the guy to be open to it - we should be at a similar starting point and let God sort it out.

I know Divorced folks have their opinions on dating the Never-Married as well....  and it's true, we come from completely different worlds.
Often the divorced married right out college and have never been alone...  and for the never-married... the exact opposite.    Different worlds.

What's your experience?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Long and Short of It

I've been single for a long time.  Since, you know, birth for starters.

Over the years, I've considered myself pretty open-minded about who I would date.  I've chastised other women for rejecting men who didn't meet their height requirements... or hair-to-scalp ratio.    Bald? I don't care... bald can be HOT!  (seriously girls, date ONE bald guy, you'll see.  Or maybe I just dated a really hot bald guy to start with.  hmmm.  that's still a nice memory!)  Tall, short... who cares?  I've dated men shorter than I.  Heck, I figure if God made a complete man before he reached 5'10"... he's probably a mighty good man!

In the past, I even boasted that I'd go out with anyone who asked me out.  (that comment even bit me in the butt once.  That's another story... maybe I'll share some day.)

But today, it seems that the only dating that occurs, begins online.   When I meet men in real life... it doesn't seem to occur to them to ask me out.  (in fact, one real life man in whom I was briefly interested, told me that he's not looking to meet anyone at all the events we end up at together.  Hmmm?  Who wants to be alone?  Does not compute.)

Back to the online thing.  So, I'm dutifully perusing my online sources... meeting a few men.

Mr. Potential still has his hat in the ring, but no grand efforts just yet.  Many very sweet, kind gestures but he's not pursuing hard, we are casually getting to know one another, which I enjoy.

So here's the thing.  As I'm shopping for men online... and meeting them in person... the common theme seems to be that they're either divorced or divorcing (and I won't date anyone who says they're 'separated' - hi, how dumb do you think I am?!) or they're shorter than 5'10".

Now remember... I don't care about height.  (I thought)

One friend, who had a big hang up about dating someone who wasn't taller than she... and ended up marrying he who is her exact height... said about more than one prospect of mine, "Maybe that's the only reason he's single... because he's short."

I'm still not sure what I think about that statement.
It suggests that too many women couldn't see a good man because they were blinded by his lack of stature.   But then again, it suggests that height was a sufficient reason to discard a good man.   It suggest yet another statement that I can't seem to put into words...

But what is bugging me... is that despite the fact that I don't care about height...  I'm learning that when I meet the men who I know are 'short'... and I encounter them in real-life... there is a moment of disappointment.  (What?)

Actually, think it has less to do with their height than with the fact that they're small all the way around.
Listen.  I'm only 5'5" (depending on who measures... I've been accused of being shorter!)  and I have a rather slight frame.  But sometimes these men make me feel like I'm bigger than them.   I don't understand it.
Mr. Potential, for example, is very fit and lean - but when I put my arms around him, I feel like I'm holding onto less than what he is holding onto!   It feels odd.

So now, thanks in part to what my friend said... I'm starting to feel like these small guys are (ooh... I don't want to say it... )  leftovers.

Ack.   I don't like that!  But there it is.
I don't really feel that way... but when I see a profile that describes a man that doesn't quite appeal to me... and then check his height status... it seems to confirm the theory.

Oh well.  These are just thoughts. Not hard and fast facts or even well-thought-out opinions...
It's just that I want to wrap my arms around someone substantial.  Someone who feels like a man, strong, protective...

In fact, I've dated shorter men who did present that physical security... so I don't understand what has changed.   Maybe our age impacts  the meaty factor?

Okay folks... don't jump down my throat here.    You know I don't normally target like this.  Any thoughts? 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

Let me tell you friends, God is good. 
People are good. 

It took me about 12 hours to get home once I heard my dad was gone.  I couldn't get a seat on the flight that would have got me home quickest.  Instead, we arranged for relatives to get me at the airport three hours away - so all totaled - I walked into my parent's house almost exactly 12 hours after I heard the news.

Some relatives were already visiting with mom.  Before long neighbors stopped by.  All day, people stopped by with food and hugs and memories of my dad.  It was really something special.

Later that same afternoon, we went to the funeral home to make arrangements for the funeral.  Since the rest of my family had been at the hospital with dad just after he died - and I hadn't -  I needed to see him.   I asked the funeral director if it was possible for me to see him, and he assured me I could.  
After we settled all the arrangements,  my mom and brother left the room - and the staff wheeled my dad in on a table.  I got to spend time with him, just the two of us.   I prayed over him and sang to him - It Is Well With My Soul.  Because it was. 

My dad was 78 years old.  Not that all that old if you ask me.  I was just sure he would make it to 80.  
But, he lived all the way up until he died.  He worked hard every day of his life, and he was getting to the point that he couldn't work the way he wanted to - and that was a blow to his dignity. 

Dad left this world just as he had hoped and prayed that he would.  Without growing so old as to be frail  - without suffering - without ever having to be in a nursing home - without being stuck on life support (which was his greatest fear).   So I can't help but be happy for him.  

My dad has seen the face of God and I'm stuck here.  Great for him, rough for me. 

I had the best dad any girl could ask for.  He loved me and he showed it.  It was proud of me and he told me.  He was wise and kind, and everyone who knew him witnessed it. 

I don't think my dad knew just how many people thought the world of him.  The funeral home was so packed, they said their were only two chairs left in the whole building!  In the small town, the funeral home is just two blocks off of the main street... and we heard that traffic was backed up where a trail of cars had to wait for the traffic light to turn left! 

The church was packed at the funeral, and it's a good-sized church.

It reminded me of three years ago... when we threw a surprise party for dad's 75th birthday.  We had about a hundred people there - and dad was shocked that so many people would travel just for a party for him.  He joked that night that he was afraid there was a funeral the next day because he felt like he was at his own wake!  Actually, I loved that... because so often, people don't get together until someone dies.  How nice it was for him to enjoy the party!

We had a big party for my parent's 50th Anniversary in June.  It was bigger than his birthday party - and it was a great time!  We were all so happy that we had that party, everyone got to see dad and mom together... happy... in good health and good spirits. 

Even better that everyone remembers him fondly. 
What a mighty good man.

I love you daddy.   See you soon in eternity. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Heavy on My Heart

I'm sitting in the airport waiting for a flight I didn't plan to take.

Early this morning my phone rang.  I could see the incoming call was from a family member, who I knew could only have bad news at that hour.  I silently prayed for a minor accident... instead it was my worst fear.

My dad died.
I howled. I cried and I moaned.
I still don't know much.  It was probably a massive heart attack.  My mom couldn't even get him to the hospital, he died about two minutes after she got him in the car.

My brother called shortly after, and we only talked for a few minutes - he had mom to take care of -  so I was left to sob and wail all on my own at 1:30 in the morning.  The first thing I did was open the laptop to book a flight home.
I called my best friend, waking her from a sound sleep - but it was the best thing I could have done.  She sat with me, states away but with me.

All I could say is that I was not ready for this.  I am not ready to live without my daddy.
I told her that my mom, my brother, his wife and kids were all able to be there and see him one last time. Being the only one far away is lonely.  It's even lonelier in a one-bedroom condo with no one there to wipe my tears, or hold my shaking body.

I couldn't in good conscious keep her on the phone... so I said goodbye and started throwing suitable clothes into a suitcase.
After another quick conversation with my brother, I went back to the computer hoping for an available flight earlier than 9:00PM.  I decided to look at flights to the next closest city and booked the 7:00AM flight.

I threw more clothes and shoes into my suitcase, realizing that I had to head to the airport in less than two hours.

I called a night owl friend to see if he could take me to the airport, but of course he was sound asleep.  I dropped off a spare set of car keys at my office so that he could bring my car home later... as I don't know how long I'll be out of town and I didn't want to park in off-site, long term parking.

The moment I got on the interstate, at about 4:20AM I saw that all three lanes were narrowed to one... and there was a long line of red tail lights before me.  I thought to myself, "Seriously?" and then prayed, half joking, "Part the waters Lord.  At least keep the traffic moving so I don't miss my flight."

The traffic was moving, but I started to wonder why there were traffic cones and no construction workers.   The next thing I saw was a police car in the next lane, driving backwards... then ahead of him, a construction truck with a worker picking up traffic cones!

I laughed out loud and said, "You are a gracious and wonderful God! Part the waters indeed!"

I'm waiting for the plane now.  My aunt and uncle are driving to pick me up from the airport.
I don't know what happens from here.

It is well with my soul... but heavy on my heart.
Thanks Bloggy friends.  Typing this to share with you has been a lovely distraction.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Hello bloggy friends.
When last we exchanged ideas... I was intrigued by the gentleman who showed a real investment in getting to know me.

How do I explain what has happened since then?
How about: He's doing everything right.  Eh?  How about THAT?!

He asked me to meet him for drinks, with the possibility of dinner, because... in his words... he was optimistic that we would hit it off.   I liked that, but then for some reason, when he called to confirm, I was feeling skeptical (too much talking to girlfriends on my part! - that's a fine line you know!).

We met at a rather happening downtown place, enjoyed drinks and endless conversation, and it was obvious we would have dinner together.  The poor waiter had to leave and come back several times because we couldn't stop talking long enough to look at our menus!
Later, he walked me to my car and told me he wanted to see me again.  I agreed.

He had a trip planned and was out of town shortly after our meeting.  By that weekend, I was tempted to  text him, but reminded myself to LET HIM PURSUE ME!  Within an hour or two,  he texted me a greeting from his vacation. Nice.

We had another date in which he offered to pick me up.  For the second date, I decided that was okay as long as I planned to meet him in my building's entry.   When he buzzed, I ran downstairs to find him waiting with a lovely bouquet of flowers!  So we went back up to my place to put them in water... I was stunned by his sweet and formal gesture!

Dinner went the same... non-stop conversation.
He laughs at nearly everything I say... I smile like a dork the whole time.
He walked me to my front door and said that he was really enjoying getting to know me.  I agreed. A polite kiss and hug and we were off to our separate corners.  (really a 'polite' kiss, as I felt a cold coming on... and I was right.)

Out of town again... he sent me a meaningful message during his vacation time.

Oh... and he locks me in for a future date nearly a week in advance.

I will say, this same behavior in other men has made me uncomfortable in the past.
There was a guy who brought me a dozen roses every time he came to see me, and it just came off as overkill.  Maybe that's because I don't really care for roses.  (seems the second they are cut, they smell foul to me)
I wondered for a second or two, if downloading a sampler of my favorite band was a bit much... but something about his approach ... it all struck me as sincere.
So this man seems to be hitting it out of the park right now.
I'm not saying I'm falling for him or anything just yet, but I have the attentions of a very good man and I know that.

Meanwhile, McTwitchy has detected that I have someone else in rotation.  He pointed out that he senses that I'm being distant...  and if I am, it's not intentional... I've been pretty busy with work... and then with some dates, so I haven't been available for McTwitchy...  plus a stupid head cold...  but oh,  I didn't tell you that he seems to be suddenly falling hard for me.  I told him if he wanted a third chance with me.... that he would have to be serious.  Have to have a plan and know what he wants.   I still don't think he's ready to do that... honestly.
So I don't know what he expects.
That's a whole other kettle of fish, as they say.
He asked me if this new guy had potential.... well, what could I say?

Yeah, loads of potential!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Two things my bloggy friends...


After the disastrous online dating event I referred to in my last post... things picked up with another online suitor.  We exchanged a few emails and it is all very encouraging.  Allow me to tell you a story about just how sweet he is.  
The other day he asked about what concerts I was looking forward to this summer.  I responded that my favorite band is playing at a music festival next month.  In his next email, he shared that he downloaded a music sampler of that band on iTun*s so he would know what I liked.  (How nice/invested is THAT?!)  Then he wrote a whole email incorporating the names of some of the groups' songs... as sort of a word scramble game for me.  Cute. no?    Then at the end of the email he told me how much he was liking the band to which I just introduced him!  How do you not like the guy?  We're meeting on Monday.


I went to my yoga class for the first time in five or six weeks... ouchy... I was sore!
One of my favorite instructors taught the class and at the end of class, he suggested that if there was anything any of us were holding onto that wasn't serving us (emotionally, not spare change!) that we should take a moment to just leave it in the room.
I thought for a couple seconds... and determined that I was still holding onto anger at Mr. Burns for wasting so many years with me... when he had to know he was never going to be able to commit.
I should leave that on the mat.  It's making me hostile and unattractive.
I wasn't so sure it would actually work... but for the past six days... I have felt SO good to let go of that hostility!  Wow!
So it makes me wonder... why do I avoid the sacrament of confession?   Maybe that's the experience I needed to be able to understand the freedom of offering those naughty things that don't serve me to God.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oh The Joys of Online Dating

I am currently participating on a popular online dating site, and each week as a member has its ups and downs.

One man contacted me with so much enthusiasm - I was at once, turned off and flattered.  I hate to say it, but judging by his profile and his picture, I wasn't interested.  It's a struggle to balance being judgmental, intuitive and open-minded. (more on that later) 

Despite my disinterest, I decided to communicate with him on the site until I felt compelled to meet him or certain that I would never want to.

Interestingly, as he sent me multiple messages... even when I was off site for more than a week at a time - I began to delay logging onto the site because I dreaded getting all of these messages from him in particular.
(Funny, as I relayed this to a friend who has not been on any dating sites, she remarked that it was interesting that the same feelings play out, as they do in real life!) 

After a couple exchanges, his most recent message to me began with, "It sounds like you want to have children..."  he went on to explain that he has decided he doesn't want to have children... AND THEN... he offered the information that, "It is sometimes precarious to have children after age 40."

(I'll let that sink in for a bit.)

Oh yes he did!!
Really?  Is that right?
Is this man so ignorant as to think that there is a 40-year-old woman alive in the United States of America, particularly one who has not yet had the opportunity or the good fortune to successfully procreate prior to her 40s, who doesn't know the difficulty, the rarity, the risks, and the likelihood of conception after age 40?!?!
Is he so smug as to think that he can reveal information on the statistics of "geriatric pregnancy" that a woman my age doesn't already know?

I politely wrote back that yes, I do indeed have a strong maternal instinct, and that I hoped to have children whether they be the "homemade" variety, adopted or even foster children.   That I know rather well, that there is a chance that I can't have the homemade variety - but that I still think it would be crucial to a marriage to start out with a spouse who is also interested in having children, and has the faith to let the "chips fall where they may."  (translated as a faith in God to provide the best for us and our marriage)

Then, after I answered his other inquiries, I offered the advice that he ought not ever feel compelled to inform a woman older than 40 about the likelihood of conception and pregnancy.  We know.  We've been thinking about since we were 20-years-old.  We've been worried about it since we were 25.  We've been praying about it since we were 30, and we've been researching it since we turned 35.

I look forward to never hearing from him again.
I dread that I will indeed, have one more message from him before this over!

I promised more on the delicate balance: 
It is my nature to be rather open-minded about dating anyone - but experience, while being a harsh teacher, also teaches wisdom.  There are certain clues, signals, in what people say, what people do... and sometimes even in their appearance that reveal how they are going to act, and sometimes what is in their heart.  (it's long been said that eyes are the window to the soul... which is not so far off.)  
It is tempting to be dismissive of those that signal that which repels us.  And having been single for so many years, one starts to re-think one's strategy... and give them a chance, just in case we are wrong. 
So far, my gut has been right. 
Stinking, alone, and right!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Simple Question

How much of your life do you expect to go by before you find the person you're supposed to spend your life with?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

He Calls Me "Hon"

Life is whirling around me.
Friends who commiserated with me on datelessness, lovelessness and childlessness only a year ago are now married with fresh pink babies.
I am immensely happy for such friends.  It is WILD how quickly love can sweep you up, and in my friend's case, give you all you ever dreamed of.

Meanwhile, I am dating and also still spending time with McTwitchy.   We do greatly enjoy each other's company.  We are not dating but we are dear friends.

Last week, he drove me to the airport as I left town to spend time with my family.  Last night, I returned the favor.  I arrived at his house while he rushed to complete important business emails.  I was suddenly struck with a headache and fatigue.  Mysteriously.  
We had plenty of time, before his flight, so as he typed rather frantically I found space on his sofa and covered my eyes.

From the other room, he eyed me and said, "Do you feel okay, Hon?"

Hon?  Honey?  Where did that come from?  Ah yes, he did call me hon a few times while we dated.  Mainly when he complimented me on dinner.
But we've been NOT dating for about seven months now and he calls me hon?

I am not one to reject a term of endearment.  If he wants to call me 'hon' that's fine.

What IS funny is, when he called me at work last week, to verify our airport plans... he rang my direct line and didn't introduce himself.  I fully expected it to be one of any possible number of co-workers from a distant office and was understandably confused when the person on the other end of the line didn't identify himself!  When I finally realized it was McTwitchy, and acted a bit shocked.  He didn't seem to understand why I didn't know it was him (I'm there to work, most callers ID themselves) and then joked, "It's that OTHER guy you've been dating."

I didn't bother to tell him that I AM dating other guys.  (the intention has already been established - months ago)
So with the "hon" impact, I'm wondering if he thinks we're just in a holding pattern.
Or, it's just a term of endearment between dear friends.

Sometimes, even in dating relationships, pet names don't mean anything anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Well, I guess blogging hasn't been a priority for me lately.   I'm sorry I haven't been around.
I have tons of topics swimming in my head, but just can't get the motivation to sit at a computer and write it all down.

It's partly because I'm at a computer all day long at work now.  And partly because I'm trying to get out socialize and exercise more, so my priorities have to change.

Bottom line, I need to socialize and exercise if I'm ever going to find someone with whom to share my life.  As I've always said; he's not going to just fall through my living room ceiling, and if he does, I think I'd be a little bit creeped out!
The exercising part... well I'm getting older and I don't like what age is doing to my body.  I'm thinking of getting signed up with a personal trainer... since I'm just not getting the results I want on my own.

As well, my birthday is approaching and I have decided not to get older!  I'm holding.  That's it.
If you've been joining me on my blog for a while now, you may know that I tend go through a pretty tough patch before each birthday.  It's not too bad this year - although, I'm recognizing that I have one group of friends that are perpetually single, like me... and the other group is getting married and having babies.   I realized that at my age, it's now acceptable for people to assume that perhaps I'm deeply flawed and there's some "good" reason why I'm single.

So I thought about it... how did I get through my 30s without getting married?  Well, I spent the last three years of my 30s with the wrong guy.
But prior to that, I dated.
I have never dated a lot, I think.
In high school I dated one boy.  In college, I dated just a few guys - only one seriously.   Then in my 20s I probably dated about one guy a year... but not for an entire year.  Meaning, I went on dates with a few men each year, but dated maybe one for a handful of months.

Not as much dating as some people... but certainly more than most!

I have not done the math but let's think about this... meeting and dating 3-5 men a year for the past 20 years... it's safe to say that I've dated at least 50 men.  I've probably passionately kissed 20 or more men in my lifetime!   That ought to be enough!   People who marry in their 20s have probably seriously dated 5 men tops.  (Thank God I had the good sense not to sleep with all those men!)

I feel at the same time that I've dated plenty... and that I've not dated enough!
I have also thought that I was fortunate that I've never really dated any jerks.  Which is oddly frustrating. While is lovely that God has spared me from truly awful men...  you'd think that out of a line of really good men that someone would have worked out!

What is a girl to do?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Was He Prince Charming or True Love?

(or can you have both?)

Prior to the event of the Royal Wedding, I couldn't help having cynical thoughts of just what this union was about.

I kept thinking of the marriage between Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles... and how even before her death... the whole thing ended terribly.   In retrospect it began terribly when the Monarchy wouldn't allow Charles to marry the woman he really loved, Camilla, because she didn't suit the Royal standard.   So poor 19 year old Diana was swept up in it, after meeting Charles only 13 times!

How did that happen? Do you agree to marry a prince just because you're asked?  Because it's good for your family for you to do so?

So in watching Prince William and Kate, it is rather believable to see that she could meet the prince who attends her college classes, get to know him and date him.
What I find difficult to believe is how do you really fall in love with such a ... spectacle? ... icon? ...  yeah... an icon of your society?
How do you say, "Yes, I will marry you, become a target of public scrutiny, become a leader of the people of England. I agree to become a spectacle for the public to either love or hate.  For tabloids to discuss my weight or the condition of my skin, or my raising of our future children ad nauseum." ???

I mean, I know women who wouldn't want to marry a police officer or a rodeo cowboy or a doctor because of the undesirable work hours, travel or the danger involved.   But to marry into a family thusly opening yourself up to scrutiny for the rest of your life and beyond?!?!?  Who would do that?  Could she really LOVE him?  And if she did, would that life be worth it?

What stood out to me during the ceremonies was Kate's incredible poise and sophistication.  It is as if she is meant for the monarchy. In contrast to Diana's nervousness and tittering on her wedding day. (as well as her bumbling throughout the engagement and first years of marriage.)  But then Kate's poise sent me to thoughts of... "This must be a contractual obligation... she's had designs on royalty for years... this is a power move for her!"

Am I this jaded?  I think I am.
Sometimes I am at the point that I think it can never really happen.  That there is no way that I will actually find the one guy (or ten) that respects my faith life, respects my family, respects his mother, would like to have children but will be okay with it if it turns out I can't do, thinks I'm pretty, thinks I'm funny, respects me wants to take day trips and weekend trips with me, and spend his life with me.... who I also respect, find attractive, can be loyal to, want to spend time with... etc etc.   Then, like a shift in the wind, I think there has to be!  Just has to be.  There is no way God intends for me to be alone forever. 

It's truly hard to imagine, loving someone so very much that neither of you are afraid of what could happen over the next 50 years.

I have a hard time imagining that someone as beautiful and elegant as Kate Middleton could actually have fallen in love with this Prince and he with her!
It simply can't happen!  I can't even fall in love with a decent guy with a good job or a good heart and have him love me back.  How impossible is it that this woman can really be love with a royal?  Come on.  It's the stuff of fairy tales!!

Then suddenly it was clear.

As the cameras followed the carriage ride of the Prince and Princess back to Windsor Castle   Buckingham Palace... anyone capable of simple lip-reading could make it out as Kate turned to Prince William and said, "I am so happy."

And I believe she is.  I believe he is too.
Do I believe I can ever find someone to love so much that I'd be willing to change my life in such a remarkable, uncomfortable way? And know that he indeed loves me?  I'm not so sure.  It wasn't supposed to be this hard to begin with!  
But anything is possible.  Fairy tale or not.

Photo pulled from

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Due Diligence

Have you noticed that "In a Relationship" status' (statuses, stati?) are popping up all over f@cebook?
I am happy for them, but I do wonder how it happens.  I was only on f@cebook the last year that Mr. Burns and I were together, and I was only comfortable enough to switch my status to "It's Complicated" which was rather apt!

A friend of mine in another state just changed his status.  He also shared his joy with me that he is in love with someone new. When I asked him what made her special to him, he said it was her casual, laid-back personality. The clincher: "In four months (of dating) she never asked once about our 'relationship'... Not once.  She simply relaxed and had fun."

It occurred to me that that's not so unusual.  To me, the first four months is about getting to know one another, to see if you're compatible and whether you ought to be in a relationship.
I know I don't squeak and fuss about "where our relationship is going" early on... I've learned that in all my years of dating.  Nothing is a bigger turnoff to a man than a woman bugging him to jump into something for which he's not ready.

I can't imagine many women would be nagging in the first four months... but then, I don't date women.  I told my friend that knowing him, he was open and communicative so as a result she didn't have to ask questions because she knew (at the very least) that they were on equal footing.

The four month mark is a reasonable time to know whether you are coming or going in a relationship... so the fact that he knew enough to 'define the relationship' at that point speaks to his decency and maturity.
Those men who don't do such due diligence, are the ones who get all irritated and annoyed when women then start asking questions.

I think that's the red flag.  If after four months, a man hems and haws and avoids "defining the relationship" - he's either not into her, he's using her for sex, or he simply lacks the maturity (or readiness) to have a relationship.

Quite frankly, that's what happened with McTwitchy.  Depending on where you started counting (from our first stint at dating or from our second go 'round) we'd been dating for either four or six months when I started asking questions. Not about marriage, just about the seriousness of his intent.  Based on past experience, I wasn't going to waste months on someone who wasn't into it - because I didn't want to miss meeting the man who would love me without reservation.  
(I still think McTwitchy had special considerations, and it's still quite frustrating to know how much he liked me, and I liked him, but it just couldn't move forward. So sad.)

It is in a man's best interest to make sure the woman he is dating both feels special, and knows that she is special to him.    A smart, kind and thoughtful man will make sure a woman knows where she stands.  Four months into a relationship is fair game for both parties to want some clarity.

To men, my advice is this; if at four months (six months maximum) you don't feel like this woman is really special and that you really want to get to know her better, let her go.  Make sure that you broach the topic before she has to.

Actually, men would do well to know that... if you really want to be successful in relationships, do what needs to be done before she has to ask.  Define the Relationship, tell her you love her, do the break-up if you have to.   If you wonder why women are always asking questions and never seem satisfied with what you do... it's probably because you are not doing these things.  (Now, if you have no interest in making a woman feel special - that's fine. Either don't date, or don't be surprised that you're with a frustrated woman.)

It's so funny, I hear talk of men complaining of their girlfriends whining about wanting to get married.... and my thought is, "You should have asked before she had to bring it up!"
That's a pretty clear sign that you're not on the same page.  A woman will wait a good three to six months after she thinks she's sure he's the right one, before she mentions it to him.  So if she has to bring it up, he's slacking off.

For example, I waited for three months after I was ready to tell Mr. Burns that I loved him --- to hear it from him first. Three months!   I finally went off when we were spending the day with my friend and her husband and Mr Burns said, "I love this guy!"  It took him another YEAR for him to tell me that maybe he felt like he did love me!  Ugh.  How on earth did I waste that much time with him?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Worth the Trip?

When I moved to this city, I left some close friends behind back home.  Initially, I thought I would only be here for six months.  It'll be nine years this summer.   When I knew I was staying, I mentioned to some of those friends how nice it would be if they came to visit. 

One of my guy friends has been out here three times now.  He is a traveler, so it's natural for him. 
Another girl friend came out for a weekend visit once... and another caught up with me when her parents brought her out here for a Rockies game.

But my best friend has never come.   I was her maid of honor.  I am Godmother to her oldest child. 
About eight years ago, she told me she would come out for my wedding.

Well guess what? There hasn't been a wedding.  There is no wedding on the horizon.

I moved here in my early 30s, so everyone thought Mr.Right was just about to show up.  It was reasonable that a friend would assume that a wedding would be just a year or two away.  

Then in 2007,  I started dating Mr. Burns and a lot of people thought a wedding was eminent.
As you know, that was a no-go.

Eight years later, isn't it time to get in the car and say hi?

Yeah, I admit I'm hurt by it... and if you don't understand why, let me put it this way...   I'm not important enough to visit just me.  I'm not worth visiting unless I can prove that someone else, someone whom she has never met, loves me and wants to spend his life with me. 

Is that how you want your friends to feel?
So if I never have a wedding - she'll never visit?

Part of this world tells me that I shouldn't feel pressured to be married.  But then some of the people closest to me can only justify a car trip if there's a big event to go along with seeing me.

(Let's face it, we've all been to friend's weddings... you don't even get to visit with the bride or groom... they're way too busy!)

Is anyone else out there sending a message like this to someone they love?   Did you even realize the message you're sending?

FYI: It's an eight hour car trip or a 2 hour flight. I drive a couple hours out of my way to visit her when I'm out that way to visit my parents.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forever or Never

I have a favorite afternoon radio show.  The guys are hilarious, silly and actually pretty smart.  They pose very intriguing questions and conundrums... and then they have great discussions with their call-in listeners.  It's a great venue to hear lots of different opinions.

More than once, they have tackled the question of the ultimatum.  Would it work, does it ever work... for a woman to throw down the gaunlet on her man, "Propose to me by ____  or I'm gone."?  Typically, they advise women to have the ultimatum in mind, but never speak of it.  Stick to your decision though, if he doesn't meet your needs, move on.   I agree.  Proposing an ultimatum puts the man in an uncomfortable position.  Would you really want to marry someone who came to the decision reluctantly?

One recent afternoon they addressed the situation from another angle.  Their question, "If you are with the man you want to spend the rest of your life with... what is the breaking point that makes you walk? If you love him and want to marry him, why end the relationship just because he doesn't want to get married? Do you suddenly not love him?"

Interesting.  Coming from two men, they theorized that a woman who does so never really loved the man.

For one thing, if it's a man who never intends to marry - he should state that upfront. That's only fair.

Callers offered several different thoughts.  While I didn't call in, I did roll the concept around in my head and concluded:  If he loves her... and we're talking about a scenario in which he would happily stay with her indefinitely... then the fact that he won't do this one thing to fulfill that desire for her speaks volumes.  Doesn't it?

I think it's clear that if one person wants to get married and the other doesn't... then their goals aren't the same to begin with.

I'll take it a step further and suggest that if life goals don't match up from the start, a couple may have no business getting involved.
A couple should establish 1) a common faith, or an acceptance of their differences 2) common activities 3) support of one another's life goals.... loooonnnngg before they sleep together, live together or otherwise commit to one another.   But in today's culture... most couples work the opposite direction, placing physical attraction and chemistry ahead of what they ever have in common.  
That's how someone finds oneself in a position of being in love with someone who never wants to marry them.  
How can one say forever, if the other is stuck on never?