In the Land of Losers: Vol 4 (in which I am still a loser, but now also a prostitute)

O Dante, was mine the life you’d foreseen when you were inspired with the title of your Divine Comedy?

So I don’t do dating sites. Or speed-dating, or group-dating, or blind-dating, or really any kind of dating these days, but that’s beside the point. (I have issues. Don’t judge.)  I’ve tried several dating sites, and they’re all the same: a place to make excellent pen-pals, but otherwise a MAJOR time-suck. However, a few months ago a friend of mine asked me to help him beta-test a site he’d created. He believed he’d cracked the Magical Dating Mystery Code by developing a new algorithm for matching compatibility. Since he’s a rocket scientist, literally, and he knows how to create algorithms, I thought he might actually know what he was talking about. (After all, I have to use spell-check every time I even type the word algorithm.) I told him okay, and copied and pasted my profile from my RFQ (which has gotten ZERO responses so far, btw – that’s another post), and signed up.

Being as my friend’s site is still in its testing stages (it won’t go live until 2018), there are as-of-now only 300 users. Not bad, for a beta-test group.

Of those 300 users, I have 21 “matches.” Of those 21 matches, no one had contacted me in the three months since I’d signed up — which was weird, but oddly refreshing.  My previous experiences, like most women, was that I was bombarded by 50 “winks” and 5 messages in the ten minutes it took me to sign up, and then went downhill from there.

Just… please stop. I can’t even tell the difference between all of your “winks” and my cursor-blinks anymore!

On my friend’s site, my first five “matches” were all dummy test-profiles (made obvious by screen-names, like “P-test”), and my only message-conversation was with my friend, to ascertain whether the chat-function was working properly. It was. (He was so elated!) I checked in on the site about once a week to see if there were any new functions, new matches, etc, but otherwise it was a peaceful, calm, risk-free zone.

Until 2 weeks ago.

[Note: My user-name on this site is “Jaded Sapphire.” This, because I like pretty shiny things, and I love the color blue, but I’ve become weary and leery of dating sites (jaded). Also, it’s the first thing that popped into my head when I was signing up.]

Him: Why so jaded, Sapphire?

Seriously? Ugh! I decided to overlook this lameness, since we were both fellow beta-testers. But I was at work when I got the message, so I quickly typed out the first, pithy, similarly lame response that came to me.

Me: Because green and blue make aqua, and I’m into aqua, ATM. How about you? What’s your favorite color?

His response, a few days later, was polite, but he said that he’d had some bad dating site experiences, and if I was “a professional,” that was cool, but it wasn’t his thing, and he wasn’t interested. I didn’t understand his message, and had to read it a few times before I got it.

He thought I was a hooker.

He apparently thought this because I’d used the term “ATM,” like I was asking for money or something. Whaaa—?!?

I’m in my late-40s, but I have teenagers. I listen to morning deejays on my way to work. I read blogs, and sometimes also Cosmo. I thought “ATM” (At The Moment) was as common as “ROFL.” I was torn between laughter, revulsion, and incredulity — we were among a small group of beta-testers on a site that wasn’t even yet live. What are the odds that one of our group would be one of “those” types of people? Plus, hadn’t he ever heard of Urban Dictionary? Or Google?

And had he even read my profile? What kind of self-respecting ‘ho puts out a dating profile that says she has eight kids and works for a construction firm?

Seriously?

I quickly disavowed his notion, whereupon he asked if I wanted to chat and possibly meet. I said no thank you. By then, I’d decided that my feelings skewed toward offended. On top of that, it was just too weird that he didn’t even google “ATM” when he didn’t know what it meant — not to mention the fact that he clearly doesn’t have teenagers. Or read Cosmo.

Besides, after something like that, it would never have worked out anyway. I’d have been too self-conscious, either (a) worrying about coming across as “too sexy,” thus leaving in question any lingering concern he might have had about whether I was lying about my “real job,” or else (b) worrying about not being sexy enough, in case he was hoping that I actually was a Woman of the Night — with an encyclopedic knowledge of sexpertise. Too much pressure.

I’ll keep you posted on the dating site, as it goes live. Not that I’ve got my fingers crossed….

 

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In the Land of Losers: Vol 3

Hi everyone – did you miss me? Well, you didn’t miss much – still hanging out in the Land of Losers. Only lately the biggest Loser has been me. (For example, as evidenced by  last Tuesday….)

Tuesday night I went to a singles-meetup after work at a golf clubhouse. The small room was pretty packed (50-80 people), and we were all seated at tables of various sizes — either at smaller, round tables or longer rectangular ones. I was at one of the small round tables in a corner of the room. Seated there also were two other women I’d just met (they knew each other from work) and 2 other guys. A sixth seat was empty. Then, because it was a “singles-mixer,” the event organizer came around and started the Icebreaker game. He gave us all a topic to discuss (“If you could jump on a plane right now and go anywhere, where would you go, and why?”). Ten minutes later he told all of the guys to stand and rotate clockwise around the room. Or, as clockwise as the table-configuration would allow. The two guys at our table got up and left… and NONE of the other guys came to sit down. They all went to the other tables. (???)

What, are we all dogs or something?

A few, awkward moments passed, during which one of the other women at my table suggested that she was too intimidating, and that’s why the guys had avoided us. I laughed and told her she was not intimidating. (She had a power-job, but she seemed like a nice person.) Her pretty, blonde friend laughed too and piped up, “Yeah, you’re intimidating” – she pointed at her friend – “and I’ve been married too many times, and you talk too much.” She looked at me as she said this last bit. “I talk too much?” I asked, surprised and a bit miffed. (I mean, someone had to lead the table through the icebreaker question.) “Well,” she said, “I don’t know you that well, so I have to make up something for our story, here.” I smiled, but started to feel out of place. Just then, two straggler guys, one of whom was very good-looking, showed up and took two of the available seats at our table. We started chatting with them, and it quickly turned out that good-looking guy was building a house in the same neighborhood where intimidating-woman lived. Score for her, right? Wrong! The time was up, and the guys had to rotate again. And once again, no guys came to sit at our table!

Another awkward moment ensued, and then a woman wandered over. “Is this seat taken?” she asked. “No, it’s yours!” we chorused, seeming to be collectively relieved that at least someone wanted to join us. “Oh, thanks! I’ve just run into an old friend,” she replied. And she picked up the chair and hauled it away. (OMg!!! Seriously?!?)

When time was almost up again, two guys sauntered over and sat down at our table, ostensibly out of pity. One of them was the organizer-guy, who hadn’t actually sat down at a table that evening, but I read the look on his face as, “You poor things!”

By the fourth round, we were again magically avoided by the male populace. One of the guys who’d been sitting with us during the first round came over to say goodbye as he was heading out the door, but at that point any “attention” just felt humiliating. I took my cue and followed suit soon after.

I felt like such a GIANT LOSER!!!!

It didn’t help that when I got home I found out I’d had a wad of green spinach from my lunch-salad stuck between my teeth all evening….

I’m soooo glamorous….

In the Land of Losers: Vol 2

Yup, there are more of these guys out there. So now it’s mid-February and, due to kid-weekends, plus spending a “free” (non-kid) weekend with the Flu, it’s my first weekend out since the night involving Ass Grab Loser (from my last post). And it’s Girls’ Night Out. (*For those of you who’ve been following my story, my annulment had just come through. I got the letter in the mail on Monday, January 30. By the following Friday night I was sick as a dog. I watched the Superbowl that weekend, popping Tamiflu. I never get sick. I think – and my therapist agrees – that I was so relieved to have the annulment come through that I “relaxed” all my defenses… and got sick. Also, I’ve had a bit of a life-change, due to the fact that my 20 y.o. son began living with me, full-time, in January. I love him with all my heart, but it’s been a bit of an adjustment. More on all this in another post. Back to February….)

A new gf had invited a bunch of us to karaoke night at a local dive bar. As long as I don’t have to sing, I’m in. (GNO! Woohoo!) There are pool tables at this place, and I learn that my gf is a bit of a shark. Now, I’m no shark, but I enjoy pool, so I’m down for a game or two. Despite having recently been sick, I’ve managed to “clean up” decently – black tee, skinny jeans, black moto jacket, black boots, messy hair. I’m totally ready for a fun night with the girls. Early on, my gf points out a guy who she thinks is kind of hot – the one in the red shirt. He’s playing shuffleboard at a table adjacent to our pool table, and she’s flirting with him when she’s down there, taking a shot from that side. I check him out – he is totally not my type. For starters, he’s a bit too old for me – maybe in his late 50s, early 60s. And he has a beard. But she’s into him. C’est la vie, c’est l’amour. Okay, cool – I will totally be her wing-chick. But first, I need a drink. I go to the bar, wait five minutes in line, get a drink, and return. The game begins.

According to a recent study, most women seem to prefer men with facial hair. I am not one of those women.

When it’s my turn to go down to that side of the pool table to take my shot, the red-shirted guy says hey, and then comments on my pool-stance in a friendly/flirty way. I laugh and tell him that’s because I have no idea what I’m doing – but she does (I point at my gf). Then I focus, take my shot, miss (of course), and go back to the other side of the table. About five minutes (and two of her sunk-balls) later, I go back down the table to take another shot. Again, Red Shirt comments on my “sexy” pool-stance. (I’m wearing boots and have to lean over the table to take my shot.) His comments make me uncomfortable, as (a) I’m not trying to be sexy (I’m trying to win!), and (b) he seems to be flirting with me, and I haven’t “put anything out there” toward him – my gf has. So I take my shot, straighten up, and loudly declare how I don’t really know what I’m doing, but my friend is such an amazing player. “In fact,” I say to him, “she’s our queen!” I feel good about this, and the game goes forward in this fashion, with me continuing to “throw sunshine” (opposite of throwing shade, right?) at my gf, and she sinking all of her balls, plus the 8-ball shortly thereafter. Game over.

I take a break to go to the bar. I wait another five minutes in line, finally get a drink, and return. A pair of younger guys (late-20s/early 30s) approach us and want to play. My gf says sure, but let’s do doubles, so she splits us up into partner-teams. (“Um, hello? I’m not that good…?”) The game starts.

The young guys are relaxed and funny, and I’m actually playing well. Fortunately, I’m paired with the guy who is the better player of the two, and we’re having a lot of fun (i.e. winning). About halfway through the game, I’m down on the shuffleboard side of the table, and Red Shirt guy saunters over. He leans over while I’m taking a shot.

“Must be a real feather in your cap to have those younger guys hitting on you, eh?”

Huh?!?

Sooooo many things wrong with that, dude…!

It’s one of those WTF moments, where several answers are sparring in my brain to get to be said: everything from defensive: “They’re not actually hitting on us, we’re all just having fun,” to condescending: “Oh, sugar, you  have no idea – I get hit on by 20-somethings all the time, in the most obnoxious ways!” to defensive (again): “I’m not actually into younger guys. In fact, they’re a turnoff for me, because I’m a mom,” to angry/offensive: “‘Must be a real feather in my cap?’ Oh, really? Must it? Because you know what’s in my head?!?” to incredulous/affronted: “Are you seriously going to sit here and give me passive-aggressive attitude, and pout about how I’m not flirting back with you, and in the meantime pass up the chance to get to be with my beautiful-fun-feisty gf, who, for God-knows-what reason, actually likes you?” I run the gamut from wanting to explode to wanting to smack this guy. Instead, I take a breath, decide this guy’s not worth it, and go the least-incendiary route with my response:

“It’s the mom-vibe. Younger guys pick up on it and feel comfortable around me.”

Oh, snap! I’ve just been modest and put him in his place at the same time. Double-snap! (Maybe that’s not hip anymore, but it fits.)

I walk away and don’t even know if the guy exists for the rest of the evening. The next night I tell my gf what he said, and she is then sooooo glad she didn’t waste extra energy on him, either. Hey, Red Shirt Loser Guy: if this were a Star Trek episode, you’d have died off with no one to mourn you. Maybe consider revamping your attitude – on life, and on women.

In the Land of Losers: Vol 1

t-shirt - inappropriate

I’ve been told (by a young, gay man, whom I absolutely adore) that I need to spice up my life. Oh, sugar – if you only knew. Here’s just one example of what I’ve been dealing with, in the interim since my last blog post, months ago….

So I muddle my way through Christmas, and it’s January. I’m stir-crazy. I go to a club to party with a Meetup group I’ve been to before. The theme is “Inappropriate T-shirts,” and — oh, boy — they are. Everything from “I heard what you did for a Klondike bar. (Call me!)” to “Are you tighter than a 5th grader?” Yeah, some of the t-shirts went there, and then some. That was the point, though, right? Inappropriate. (My own shirt, “CAKE,” was mild by comparison, I thought, but when I told the guys what it stood for they shifted uncomfortably and moved away. Conversely, when I told the women, they threw their arms around me, told me they loved me, and said they wanted a shirt like that of their own. Hmm…. )

cake t-shirt

So the night moves forward. There’s a t-shirt winner (who literally brought my gf to tears, that’s how offended she was by the shirt), and there’s dancing. The DJ was great. Of course I hit the floor.

So I’m dancing with a bunch of other people from the Meetup group, including this one guy, whom I’d met that night. Actually, I think I vaguely remembered him from a previous Meetup, but whatever. I wasn’t into him, I just wanted to dance. If he did, too, great.

So we’re all dancing, and I’m feeling the pulse, dancing with everyone around me. The song shifts, and I’m facing this guy, shimmying along with the beat. All of a sudden, out of the blue, he reaches his arms around me…

and double-fist grabs my ass

Huh….??? Um, wait a minute, did that guy just…?

In the space of a sharp intake I mentally reassessed: yeah, he’d just full-on taken a swift, two-palmed, very large squeeze.

Double-huh…!!!???!!!

I immediately jerked backward, away from him — stunned, but in a confused way. My brain was still trying to keep the happy-vibe from a second earlier. Whoa! This guy doesn’t even know me, and we’re in public! He just did that in front of all these people! WTF?! Does he think that’s okay? He wasn’t American (he had an accent), so I tried to rationalize that maybe that behavior was copacetic in his world. Did I send some sort of “wrong” signal? No, I totally wasn’t into him, so I’d been careful not to “put that out there.” I’d just been dancing. WTF?!!? In the moment, though, I was so baffled, I wasn’t even allowing myself to get angry. There had to be some logical explanation; I just hadn’t figured it out.

I tried to keep dancing. Didn’t work. My night was ruined. I stopped dancing shortly thereafter and left. But — me being me, and the slow-emotional-processor that I am — it took me until the next day for me to realize I was downright pissed at this guy for treating me like an object, like a piece of meat. I wished I’d have realized it then, when it happened, and caused a scene. I wish I’d screamed and yelled and called him out on his demoralizing, disrespectful behavior. I wished I’d punched him, that’s how angry I was in retrospect.

But I didn’t.

I never manage to figure these things out “in the moment.” *sigh!* And since then I haven’t even had the nerve to tell the leader of the Meetup group, whom I know fairly well, that this happened. What would be the point? I’m afraid of coming across as a whiny, overly-sensitive female. And what would he do about it, anyway? Say he was sorry it happened? (He probably would. He’s a nice guy. But he uses the group partly as a way to market his business, and I don’t want to make waves for him.) So I just chalk another line on the “Genuine Losers I’ve Met” side of the board. Oh, this side of the board has so many stories to tell…!

I saw Ass-Grab Loser at another Meetup event about a month later, and he seemed to actually not realize that he’d done anything wrong. In fact, he seemed to not even recognize me at first, but then came over and apologized for not recognizing me. Whatever. I told him it was fine and then blew him off. But that night, any time I had to pass near him, I made sure to circle around far out of reach. Ugh!

 

Repeat Offender: A(nother) Walmart Story

CTJJ5N Front view of a Walmart supercentre store exterior sign logo Ontario Canada  KATHY DEWITT. Image shot 05/2012. Exact date unknown.

I don’t always get hit-on at Walmart, but I don’t get hit-on anywhere else. Must be the lighting.

Last weekend I got hit-on at Walmart again. I was standing there, trying to figure out if I should climb on the bottom shelf to try to reach the last 2 jars of marshmallow fluff on a higher shelf, all the way in the back. (I need marshmallow fluff for the fudge I make every Christmas.) Out of nowhere this guy comes up next to me, touches my arm in a familiar/flirting way, and says in a low voice, “Excuse me, are you married?” Whaaaa…??

creepy-gjyI instantly recoiled and stumbled a few steps back. “I’m divorced,” I mumbled. But I also remember thinking, Who are you? Why is my marital status any of your business? Then I turned and got a good look at him: he was a guy who’d hit on me exactly a year before, in the same store!

He kept talking. “That was my son I was with back there.” I gave him a blank look. (I vaguely remembered passing him and a younger guy a moment before, but I didn’t feel like adding any fuel to the idea that I might have actually “noticed” him, or that I was interested in anything other than finishing my shopping.) Undeterred, he continued: “I saw you walk past, and I said to my son how beautiful you were, and he said I should go talk to you.”

“Uh–.”

He then launched into the same story he’d told me a year earlier, about how his wife had walked out him 20 years ago, and he’d been a single father all this time. He talked (again) about how hard it was to be a single dad, having to do all the cleaning, all the mopping, all the household chores all alone, and how he was looking for someone to share the everyday part of life with – pretty much the exact same sob-story he’d

THIS is what you want!

No, not a girlfriend. THIS is what you want!

told me then, too. I wanted to tell him to google Merry Maids, but bit my tongue. (And he kept bringing up mopping – must have mentioned it at least three times. Why doesn’t he just get a mop-version of a Roomba?)
Clearly he didn’t remember me. Maybe I should’ve been offended. Instead, I was just relieved. All I wanted to do was get away from him, because he was giving me the creeps, just like a year ago. As soon as he let me speak, I said, “Sorry, I’m not in a place where I’m dating right now. Good luck finding whoever you’re looking for.” And went on my way.

I never did get that marshmallow fluff....

I never did get the marshmallow fluff….

The Rules #11: If it’s Plug-and-Play, it isn’t a real relationship. It’s you, avoiding yourself.

 

the-rules-11-post-divorce

This one might seem a bit harsh. Oh, well. (Sorry?) I’ve got nothing new going on in my life, so I’m back to dishing out my own perspective. (On the other hand, I’ve got a few blog posts backed up inside me. Time to get them out. 😉 ) On this Rule I gotta say, I’ve met a lot of guys in the above boat, and I just don’t understand it. How can anyone go from a long-term marriage, straight into another “big relationship” with no serious, personal-assessment period? Okay, yeah, I know – everyone jumps into the water and “dates” right after divorce. It’s kind of a rite of passage. But going right into the next long-term thing, no downtime, like it’s plug-and-play? No way. If you don’t stop and figure out what went wrong, and admit that you’ve changed, you’ll make the exact same mistakes as before. Simple math, right? (This is why I won’t even give a second thought to dating guys who are separated, and not yet divorced. Tried that once – got fooled into it – thought he was divorced, at first. Tried to be open-minded. Turned out to be a bad situation.) The point is: something was f-u-n-d-a-m-e-n-t-a-l-l-y wrong in your marriage, and you’ve got to figure out why you went down that road. And also: what road do YOU want to take in the future? (i.e. Who are you? Hard question, I know!)

Full disclosure: I’ve got a bit of a personal stake in believing that this is all correct and true. I was “replaced” before my divorce was even final. It stung. *understatement* And they’re still together. All in all, I don’t really care – we weren’t right for each other, among other things. My ego, however, would like to believe that it would’ve taken more time for someone to whom I was faithfully married for 22 years to get over no longer having me in his life. Guess I didn’t really impact him that much. Or… maybe he’s like those other guys I’ve met, who haven’t ever woken up and stopped to figure out who they are, and plug-and-play is the easy way to avoid doing the tough, uncomfortable work of taking a long, hard look at yourself. Hmmmm….?

I may never know the answer to what was in my ex’s head. But I’ve taken the long, winding path to figuring out what’s in mine. And I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t changed as a result. I’m a different person now than I was, on the path that led to my divorce. Hugs to my fellow truth-seekers; peace to those of you still struggling to wake up – fight for it, even when you’re scared. You’re worth it! 🙂

“Oh, no – I read your blog! I’ve got this!” (and other quick updates)

Quick updates:

1) Well, color me Wrong! about my election predictions from my last post – wow!

2) It’s now been more-than two months since the judge (from my Catholic annulment process) has had my case. Even my spiritual adviser is like what the heck? I give up.

3) Multiple guy “friends” (who also seem to want to be more-than) continue to text, but at a lesser-rate. This is a good thing: means my point is getting across that I don’t want to date.

Nothing more fun than realizing you’re training passive-aggressive puppets.

4) My blog-readership is up. I’m not sure this is a good thing. I had a number of guys over the past few months (as I was edging my way out of dating) who insisted on doing a few things, like buying me a drink (when I didn’t even want one) or paying the bill, because, “Oh, no – I read your blog! I’ve got this!” Ugh. Nothing more fun than realizing you’re training passive-aggressive puppets, eh? (No, this is not all of the men in my life. Just a few, who’ve literally said those words to me. Maybe that was a good thing, though: helps me separate out my true friends from the ones who just see me as a challenge they want to overcome.)

5) I’m almost through D-day week (4 years, now) and I’ve only had minor “echoes” – just some overall panicky feelings, and general “down-ness.” But it’s way better than last year, which was better than the year before (and obviously light-years better than the year before that!).

6) My PTSD has calmed down a lot, too. This is probably largely due to the fact that I’m working really hard at avoiding drama in my life, which basically means I don’t have a life. But still: the positives. 🙂 However, PTSD is something I will always have, and once in a while it lets me know it. Several weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night: the wind was blowing, hard. It was making that awful whooooooh! sound in the eaves of my building – and I’d left my windows open. In addition to the wind, my vertical blinds clattered, and my bedroom door shook. The noise had reached my subconscious, and I’d woken terrified and shaking. (My kids were even home with me that night.) I managed to reach a level of cognizance that I realized what was going on – that I was having a PTSD reaction to the sound – but I was too scared to get out of bed and shut the darned windows. Eventually, somehow, maybe a combination of sleepy-logic and the wind calming down, I managed to fall back asleep. Good thing we’re getting into winter and I have to keep the windows shut. 😉

7) I still haven’t found my soul directive. Still searching for that one. I feel like I’m in limbo with so many other things in my life – my annulment, my financial situation (still have so much divorce-debt, and still can’t support myself without the alimony from my ex – hate that!), my apartment (will I stay here or move when my lease comes up again in March? Can I even afford to move?) – and nothing clear is coming to the surface. Oh, sure, in my head I want to be a writer, full-time. I know I’d love that. But my heart isn’t speaking to me about any of the storylines that I’ve either (a) got in the hopper, or (b) that are WIPs. I don’t know what my heart wants anymore.

The only good-looking, single guys at Mass… are seminarians.

8) And finally: I’ve accepted the fact that I will not meet a hot guy at church. This is because, first of all, guys only go to Mass because either their mom makes them or their wife makes them, depending on their age. Beyond that, the only good-looking, single guys at Mass… are seminarians. Yeah: the guy-pool at church is a lose-lose situation. Whatever. (I’m not dating. I’m not dating. I’m not dating.) Doesn’t even matter.