May 29, 2006

It's been a year since my break-up with Ron. The weekend of the anniversary was tough, but I resisted the desire to be really, really busy and just stood still and, to my surprise, I came out feeling strong and whole and like myself, but better! Then, after being on the dating sites for all that time, I actually talked to someone I wanted to meet. He was nice, seemed kind and intelligent, and I had fun on the phone. Good start. Then he emails me and says he doesn't think I'm ready to date and that meeting me (on the rebound!) would be a "train wreck." I write him back and say that we all have baggage and, just as he wouldn't want to date someone not ready to love, I wouldn't want to date someone hunting for some reason to prove his suspicions. He said we should meet anyway, as long as we had "open and kind hearts." I figure that this is good practice that I need in order to get moving in the dating world so I go and we had a good time, talked and talked, he held my hand a few times, and then held my hand walking to the car. I hugged him good-bye and that was that. Good practice and I feel strong and unintimidated. And he never called again. I think I might intimidate men by being myself, but what other choice do we have?

During the next week, I heard from a guy with a profile that asks for a woman who is "kind, pretty, intelligent, and has no gag reflex." No thank you. And I say no to a guy who smokes and he writes back to thank me for saying he is "otherwise perfect." Where do these guys get the idea that this is appealing?!?

And another WOW meeting was fabulous. Speaker Rob talked about how guys think and told the story of the woman wanting to "talk about the relationship," during which time the guy was thinking of repairs his car needed and how the mechanics screw him over. How women think and think and think about what the guy is feeling and really he isn't. How we have to practice being ourselves with guys we aren't attracted to, avoid men in the first two years after a divorce, and put guys through "hoops," meaning test them by saying what we mean and seeing their reaction. Thanks, Rob, all smart advice.

May 13, 2006

Could this be why he doesn't have a girlfriend?

I survived the week. I have hot water. The dog stopped limping without seeing the vet. My stomach stopped hurting. The Mother of Multiples Brunch with my daughter was delightful. The weather is beautiful. And I replanted the pots on my patio with purple and pink flowers. I must be coming out of my slump!

Pam says it's better to be lonely than sad. Think about it. I realized that there are a few minutes here and there when I feel lonely, but I don't feel sad. I might feel lonely sometimes, but I don't have terrible sadness that comes when you're in a relationship and realize how unhappy you are and that it will never get better and that you have to leave.

OK, so there are other men out there - I picked my favorite profile of the week. Harriet says "This guy is a schizophrenic and a very conflicted person." She clearly is a master of understatement. See what you think:

"My grandmother said "The best things in life aren't things," and this is how I try to govern my life. I have no real hobbies, but enjoy the usual variety of pastimes: dinner out, golf, a movie, music; particularly Jazz. I'm an incessant reader. I grew up around Thoroughbred racehorses, so I enjoy spending the day at Del Mar and Santa Anita when I have the chance. Having traveled so much on business, my enthusiasm for wandering too far from home isn't what it once was- at least as far as long lines at airports and overcrowded airplanes are concerned. I'm hopelessly conventional in my tastes and preferences for the most part e.g. when I go to Starbucks; I order a regular cup of coffee. Nothing beats the time I get to spend with my 6-year-old grandson. While no fanatic, I nonetheless exercise rigorously several times a week. As for being a romantic, I think or hope I'm that way. At least I harbor the illusion of it. But I have to say too that I don't share the same enthusiasm so many express for "long walks on the beach." How's romance even remotely possible when beaches in California are so crowded? To begin with you spend most of your time trying to find a place to park. When you are lucky enough to find one, you never have change for the meter. Before you know it you’re in some decrepit looking T-shirt shop pleading desperately with the tattooed kid behind the counter to make change for a dollar, becuase at this point all you're trying to do is keep from getting a $50 parking ticket. And not to put too fine a point on it, the spot you do occasionally find is always next to the 20-minute meter. Why do they only give you 20 minutes?

Basically I'd like to meet up with someone who is optimistic and upbeat despite some struggles in life. Facing down the odds informs the good things of life."

May 12, 2006

You do or you don't?

Ya just don't know. For our next WOW meeting, we've got a therapist who specializes in divorce recovery to speak to us. And he's a guy. And he's speaking about "Men's Issues in Dating." Should be quite enlightening. Guys have issues? Guys are aware of their issues? It's perfect timing for what happened today. I got an email from a guy on I had talked to him last year, just after the break-up, when I wasn't ready to meet anyone. So we talked and talked, almost every day, and finally met and had the best dinner-date in memory. We came back to my house, sat outside by the pool, and he rubbed my feet. And then never called again. I am ugly? I am not fun? All those chick things ran through my mind, over and over....So he writes me today and says, Hi, how are you? and I wrote back and said, Fine, what happened that you never called? (I'm clearly not one to mince words, huh?) OK, so here's his reply. Let me know if this makes sense at all:

Hello Ellen,
We(Matt,the pooch and myself) are all doing fine,thanks.Spring is here so the business is booming and there is no peace for me,or as they say,no rest for the it "wicked?"Not sure about that quote.To answer your question(you never were one to beat around the bush...):Hmmm.I could make something up,or I could just try to explain what I felt.Let's try for the second one...It's hard to remember all that was said leading up to our meeting,but I know we wrote and spoke quite a bit.I am not your average guy on Match,not really the guy next door,and honestly go way beyond quirky in how I view the world,but more importantly,how I relate to women.It's just a bit off,so to speak.But we did meet,and you were exactly how I imagined you'd be:funny,cute as a button,and with your life well organized and everything in it's place.At least,that was my impression.So all the way home,I kept thinking to she ready for someone like m e?If she really got to know Paul as he is,what he is looking for,how would she react?And the answer I came up with was that you would probably not like what you discovered.This is not to say that I am a horrible person,or a criminal type,as I am certainly not.I just know that my ways are different.If you ever decide you want to chat,I'm always available.Lord,am I available.paul

May 9, 2006

Existential angst...

Sometimes ya just wanta cocoon, you know, just crawl under the covers, not answer the phone, ignore email, and eat chocolate. I'm in one of those times now, just feeling so overwhelmed and stressed and asking, are the planets in the wrong place, earth got tilted, what?!? I put gas in my car, yes $3.50 a gallon, and then the gas thing jumped off the pump, sprayed gas all over me, and then hit my foot. My garbage disposal broke. My hot water heating is leaking. Work is just weird. The internet at home stopped working and the crazy folks at Time-Warner transferred me all over and then each one asked, "what's the problem?" until I just wanted to scream. Finally allowed myself to talk to a guy from on the phone and had the most fun conversation, just felt like I could finally be myself, and he writes an email saying how fabulous I am but we're "not a match." And the only other guy I gave my number to left a message and, I swear, sounded like a woman. I just wanna be left alone. A bright spot? The cable guy came over to fix the internet problem and turned out to be adorable. I was kinda turned on by being near him. It's nice to feel that. He fixed the internet, the TV wiggle, the phone dropouts, and was patient and sweet. And good looking? Yep. Maybe I'll just forget my troubles and ask him to a movie. Could use a new friend. Could use more than that. OK, it's just a movie!

May 2, 2006

We Survive Six-Minute-Dating...

We've been together since last October. We've had speakers (a relationship counselor on "Conscious Dating," and someone who organizes our closets and thus our thinking) and a "toy" party (where I told everyone about my personal little friend "Chuck" - I really should stay away from those Mimosas) and watched a Dr. Phil show about Smart Dating and how we ignore red flags and should really get important info from a potential mate, instead of the "what's your sign" questions. We've done a few happy hours, heard some bad music and some good music, and still only one of us has met someone we liked and he lives in Vegas. Not such a good average. Still, our organization guru Jessica says that we can change our luck and meet a great, nurturing, kind guy if we change our attitude. Maybe I need another Mimosa.

So the ladies want to do a Speed Dating event - I contact the local Diva of Six-Minute-Dating and arrange our night at a local semi-hot spot. The day of the event, she says that there are only six guys and eleven women and she will cancel if it's more than one or two difference and that she will offer some cutrate price to get more guys. Can't even fathom what that would draw, but we show up anyway. I'm not much on small talk, prefering to determine right away if the guy can have an intellectual conversation (or at least knows something interesting to talk about) but I've paid my money and my ladies have all shown up, looking lovely of course, and I'm gonna make the best of it. The guys don't look like much, but let's not prejudge!!! I meet an old Unitarian/Psychologist, a retired guy who likes cars, a bald accountant, an architect, a rich Romanian who goes out every night, a subsitute teacher, and a real estate investor who claims to be rich. Actually, several of them claimed to be rich. I'd have guessed otherwise, but whatever. So I've talked to seven guys, had the same conversation seven times - actually, listened to the same conversation seven times since no one asked me anything or let me say more than two words, and I figure I've only got two more to go and I can make it through this, I know I can, since the next guy is a friend of one of us and the last guy is the best looking guy there. The eighth guy is nice and I'm on the home stretch and the last guy sits down and I ask him to tell me about himself and he says, no he wants to hear about me and then starts talking about himself and mentions that he teaches at a religious college and I ask "are you religious" and he proceeds to make a herculean effort to get me "saved." Listen, I'm already a JewBu (a Jewish Buddhist) so I figure I've got all the religion I need but he asks if I have insurance and I'm thinking, is that why I should convert, not because I believe but so that I won't go to wherever the unsaved go? Anyway, he pushed and he pushed and used every tactic I could imagine (like bribery, threats, intimidation) and I kept saying "I don't care" to his concerns about my afterlife and, thank God or whoever is Up There, the bell rang. Took me hours to get my jaw unclenched. So much for Speed Dating. Never again, thank you.