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.

Things That Won’t Make Me Popular: #1 – My 2016 Election Conspiracy Theory

election-2016It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of voting. I deliberately did not register to vote when I moved back to Colorado in 2012, I advocate against it, and encourage people, instead, to go give blood. (You will save up to three lives with one blood donation, whereas if you vote, it will mean nothing, because the system is a big setup to pacify the masses and make them think they’re making a difference.) But I’ve had this new theory since before Trump won the primaries, and the people with whom I’ve shared it have grudgingly admitted that it might hold water.

It begins in the ’90s. Remember Whitewater? The land-fraud scandal that rocked the (Bill) Clinton administration? People had begun mysteriously dying around D.C., including James McDougal, who had been in jail suffering the brunt of the heat from something that also implicated the Clintons. But before he could testify, James suffered a fatal heart attack. There were widespread rumors that James’s wife, Susan, had had an affair with and was still in love with Bill. The Monica Lewinsky-thing was also happening at the same time. Bill’s presidency was going down in flames. And then there was Vince Foster – remember him? He was a D.C. insider who reportedly knew some dirt on Bill, and he was also allegedly Hillary’s lover. Then he suddenly turned up dead, under “mysterious circumstances.” [This part is all true, or else was rumored to be true at the time. I didn’t make any of that up. This next bit is where I start to fill in the blanks with my theory:]

So anyway, people are dropping like flies to cover up Bill’s illegal crap, but there are a few people Bill can’t kill. Like his own wife. That would’ve been way too obvious. However, Hillary was pissed: why did all of Bill’s lovers get to live – even Susan McDougal, who knew as much about Whitewater as her husband had – but Hillary’s one dalliance had to be among the “offed”? She threatens to divorce Bill, which would mean she could then be forced to testify against him. So Bill makes a deal: he’ll get Hillary the one thing she really wants. Power, of the Oval Office-type. Using his leverage and popularity, he first helps her score the Senate seat. But when they go for the Big Cheese, in 2008, they get blocked by Obama. So they change tactics. They call in a favor from their good friend Donald Trump. [It’s widely accepted that Trump was good friends with the Clintons, and that he’d even donated money to Hillary’s campaign in the past.] Trump’s job is to divide the Republican party, thus blocking any “real” contender from swimming to the top. He does this, successfully, by making a complete clown-show of the race. (Anyone disagree?) He manages to divide the party enough to win the nomination, and has now proceeded to say the most outrageous things – always at a time when Hillary seems to be getting negative press. But Trump is a straw candidate, so that’s his job: to make Hillary look good. Or at least like the lesser of two evils.

This is not a true election – not with only one actual candidate. It’s a game for Trump – a bored billionaire, who is helping his friends, whom he wants to win. It’s a joke, orchestrated for years, at the highest level. Even Trump has now started shouting about the system “being rigged.” Is he saying this to deter us from what we all already suspect is true? Well, he would know. If Trump wins this election, it will prove my theory wrong. If Hillary wins…. well, I won’t be surprised.

Confessions

I’ve pretty much shut down communication with the recent round of guys who were texting and calling me. [Calling me! Seriously, what is it with guys and the phone? Since when did the men of this planet turn into teenage girls from the 80s?!? I don’t talk on the phone, except for business-purposes, kid-emergencies, or with my 90 y.o. aunt who’s blind, and therefore can’t text. I hate talking on the phone. I don’t have time for it, anyway, because my free time is taken up trying to respond to 6 guys who are also texting me! Well, not anymore…. 😉 ] I did this by putting my phone in sleep-mode during my free time, so calls wouldn’t come through, and texts would get an auto-response that I was busy. Eventually, I did respond to each of them, and by continually reaffirming that I wasn’t available, they all finally seem to have subsided. Avoidance strategy? Maybe. But I had been perfectly clear saying to each one that I wasn’t interested in dating him. (Or anyone, at this juncture.)

I had to do it. My real-life — the part with the kids — has had some drama going on in it, and I’ve just needed to deal with that. It took me two whole days of decompression/alone-time after work this week, and then on the third day I finally felt like I could breathe again. Then, yesterday (Friday), I received some bad news: my annulment is still not over.

I’m Catholic, and I’ve been trying to get the Church to acknowledge that my 22-yr marriage to my ex was never valid. It’s been painfully obvious to me since 2011, but I had to wait until after the legal work was done (i.e. after the divorce was finalized, in June 2014) before I was allowed to even begin doing the paperwork for the annulment. A ton of questions and seventeen-thousand words worth of my response later (including edits my spiritual adviser helped me make), and I finally got the thing submitted in January 2015. Since then… crickets. Every few months I’d get a letter from the diocese saying they’d moved my case on to the next round, but they’d never say how many rounds there were. (The Catholic Church is horrible at communication.) At first they’d told me it should be done by early 2016. When that passed, they told me maybe it would be finished by June 2016. Then July. Every priest I’ve talked to about my situation has assured me that my annulment was a no-brainer, that it should go through with no problem. But for some reason my case is taking longer than normal. (“Oh, the Pope made a bunch of changes to the procedures, and even though it will make it faster for other people, it’s slowed down the process for you, while we implemented the new stuff.” And, “Oh, we were waiting on your ex-husband, because he’d indicated that he wanted to respond, but — oh, look — I guess it’s been over a year now, so maybe we can just count him as having decided not to respond.” And, “These things all move at their own pace, each case is unique.”) And now that we’re down to the final stages, it seems to be dragging out even more. When I called the diocese on September 1 to find out what was up, they said it might be another 6 weeks. (“It was summer,” the secretary told me, “and a lot of people went on vacation. Plus,” she reminded me, “these things are all really on God’s time.” She meant well, but sooooo not helpful.) Six weeks came and went. So yesterday on my lunch break, at the 7 week mark, I called again. The secretary told me my case was now with the judge – the very last person it has to be with – and it’s been with him since September 8. I asked how long he usually has a case. She said usually about 2 months (which would put us now at early November), “but it all depends on how many cases he has, and where your case is in his pile.” She went to try to find out how many cases were before mine, but was unsuccessful in finding out. But I know for a fact that other people who’ve put their cases in after mine have been processed more quickly. This is really getting nuts. “So I’m looking at November, maybe?” I asked. “Hopefully,” she said, “and then you’ll learn if they’ve accepted or rejected your annulment request.” What?!? It could still be rejected??? 

That thought made me want to cry and scream and give up. So last night I came home from work, bundled in a blanket, lit candles, and sat on my patio drinking too many mojitos.

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My enchanted patio last night. The fountain was on – soft water splashes – and music from my Spotify. This place helps me decompress.

One of the things I’ve forced myself to acknowledge is something I’ve kind of already known: none of the guys I’ve met/dated since my divorce are even close to being able to fit into my real-life. They just want to be around me in my free time, and not have to deal with the parts of me that are a mom-commercial construction employee-grocery shopper-errand runner-spiritual being-house cleaner-sweaty hiker…. Okay, maybe that last one they wouldn’t mind. But the rest of my reality? Not so much. None of them have been about “the whole package.” The other thing I acknowledged is that maybe I’m deliberately not seeking out decent, potential mates, and maybe I’m blocking myself from being truly open to getting to know a guy (on a dating level) because I’m waiting for my annulment to come through. If you knew my whole story, and all the crap I’ve been through, you’d know that it’s a miracle that I’m even still Catholic. But I am, and this is important to me. I need the truth of my situation to be acknowledged by my church. But what if it gets denied? Does it make it any less true? Does it change who I am?

Sweaty-hiker me at the top of Royal Arch this morning. Woo hoo!

Sweaty-hiker me at the top of Royal Arch this morning. Woo hoo!

So I’m working on getting this all figured out. On my patio last night, I identified things that make me happy. Dating (at least the guys I’ve dated so far — we’re talking maybe 15-20 guys), has not been one of those things. Writing, dancing, and hiking, however, do make me happy. With that in mind, I got my slightly-hungover butt out of bed this morning and did a moderate-to-strenuous hike. Driving home afterward, and then showering on my jelly-legs, I was proud of myself. It’s put me in a pretty good mood. I’m still convinced there is someone special out there for me, and I’m crossing my fingers and praying that my annulment does come through. But I’ve decided that I’m done looking for him. He’s going to have to naturally cross my path (i.e. not through online dating), and then he’s going to have to figure out how to fit himself into my life. I’ve got to go do my own thing, my own way, and follow my “soul directive.” Let’s see how this next part goes….

my-own-drum-beat

 

Taking a Dating-Break. Again….

I’m taking a break from online dating. Again. I was supposed to be out on a first-meet/date right now, but I cancelled it two days ago (Monday) because I realized I just wasn’t feeling a connection with this guy.

Why isn't this connection working?

Why isn’t this line working?

 

I’d met him on Plenty of Fish. (Oh, yes, did I mention I’m now on 3 dating sites – Match, Zoosk, and PoF? A guy at work told me that’s how he’d met his gf, by being on those 3 sites, all at once. So a week ago today I quickly joined the one I was lacking.) I mean, he was nice… maybe? sort of? …and he met my age, height, and geographic requirements, so I agreed to meet him.

But there was this disconnect. Even though we texted 1-2x a day, it was never anything that made me feel like I really knew him. I told myself this was fine, and that maybe we’d really hit it off when we met in person. After all, how many times have I had great conversations online, only to discover that there’s no spark once we meet, right? It’s the biggest pitfall of online dating: if you “meet” someone great, the only guarantee is that they’re a great online communicator.

cell-phone-cemeteryFrequently, it seems – for whatever reason – I run up against the issue that I trade cell phone numbers with a guy online… and then he never texts me. Since I’m not the kind of girl who will text first, those relationships die. I’m okay with that. If he’s not interested enough to take the simple, next step of texting me, then I’m not interested in wasting emotional energy on him. And this guy had not only started texting me, but he’d continued.

The problem, though, was exactly that: my emotional energy.

Last Sunday (3 days ago), I spent the afternoon/early evening in the ER with my 17 y.o. daughter, who was having lower-right abdominal pain. We were worried it might be appendicitis. So were the ER docs. Flash-forward two ultrasounds and a CT scan later… it was a strained muscle. And a lot of gas (*whew!*) — last time she orders pizza from that place. (Augh! Kids! :D) During my downtime, while my daughter was having those tests, PoF-guy texted me. I texted back and told him what was going on. He responded, was politely empathetic. It was kind of nice/kind of weird to share my fears with someone I didn’t really know.

But the next night I was dealing with a fight between my girls (the 17 y.o. and the 10 y.o.) and some other crap going on with my ex (who is now infringing on my time with our kids – totally against the divorce agreement, totally steamed about that – not going to blog about it any more, but you “get” my stress-level), and PoF-guy texted me: “In like 48 I get to meet you!” I saw the screen flash, thought it was nice that he was hyped, but couldn’t take time away from mediating my daughters’ very high-strung discussion. (I think we made some good headway.) Two hours later, at around 8:15, he texted me again: “48 hours. Lol.” I was still dealing with my very-chatty 10 y.o., and was still emotionally exhausted from my weekend, but wanted to be polite. I texted back: “Woohoo! :)” Then, a half-hour later, he texts again: “How’s your evening? No ER visits I hope.” Now, this, in-and-of-itself, is an innocuous text, which demonstrates interest in me and my life, from a nice guy.

However, given the other emotional stresses I was under, the text, coupled with the other two (same) texts (“48 hours!”), were a cry for attention from someone who was emotionally needy, and I lost it. I mean, who was this guy, anyway? He’d completely ignored the gluten- and dairy-allergies I’d mentioned in my profile, and he’d picked a restaurant at which I could eat literally NOTHING on the menu! (And I was afraid of seeming too fussy by suggesting another restaurant.) And when he’d asked my work schedule, and I’d said I got off at 5 and could be there by 6, he said, “Okay, [this restaurant] at 6:30.” (?!?) We’d already verified that he both worked and lived very nearby, so I didn’t understand the time-lag, and again, I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want to seem too fussy. But inside, I was like, “What am I going to do for 30 minutes? Go home, throw my mail on the counter, and run back out the door?”

I looked up his profile again, decided he was NOT cute, and WHAT was I thinking, and OMg I do NOT have the emotional energy to be able to GIVE to another person — WHY IS HE TEXTING ME THIS MUCH WHEN I’M WITH MY KIDS?!?!!! — and I spent the next 20 minutes taking my makeup off, getting ready for bed, crafting a “cancel” response in my head, deciding that online dating was a ridiculous substitute for meeting real, live people — whom I most likely would never have come across in the normal course of my life — and there’s GOT to be a better way!!!

So I canceled my date for tonight. I was polite about it, acknowledging that I just don’t have the energy to meet new people right now. (He was like, “Yeah, whatever, I’m done with online dating.”) The next morning I felt relieved about having canceled the date. I then “hid” my profiles on Match and PoF. Zoosk wouldn’t let me do this (I hate this site; I do not recommend Zoosk), so I figured out how to at least unlink it from my Facebook profile (that part was soooo annoying), and then I felt better.

I feel sort of bad, because I was kind of in-discussions with a few guys whom I’ve left hanging, but I just don’t have the energy to deal with anyone else right now. I don’t have my kids this weekend, so I’m sure I’ll regain my energy. But then I’ll have them back, and it will go away again. I need a relationship that doesn’t make me lose energy. In fact, I think I should just sit back and wait for God to drop down someone who can figure out how to fit himself into my life. Maybe that kind of person would actually give me energy, instead of draining it. In the meantime, I need some rest….

Maybe if I go to sleep I can dream about Thor....

Maybe if I go to sleep I can dream about Thor dropping down into my life….

Strange and Weird Conversations I’ve Had in Online Datingland (Part 4)

Here are some actual messages guys have sent me. (Don’t be like them.)

————

From Zoosk, 2 days ago
Setup: One last one for the road. I’d just joined Zoosk last Wednesday, and received the following, message from a guy on Friday:

Him: You have 8 kids? Your unit must be all stretched to hell and gone!!!!

Image result for WTF?

It was a first-contact email. I’d never “approached” him previously, had never “met” or “seen” him before. It was completely out of the blue. He was good-looking, 51 years old, lives reasonably nearby, and had a decent profile. I was dumbfounded. Part of me wanted to respond with a snide remark (“Shocker, that you’ve never been married,” or something like that), but instead I took the high road:

Me: Wow – you could’ve just clicked away. Didn’t have to be mean. I hope you are able to find healing from whoever hurt you. Peace.

(Of course, I’d declined him from being able to interact with me just before I decided to respond to him at all, so I don’t know if he got my response.)

I know that people say mean and nasty things as a result of having been hurt. But this psychology-insight didn’t stop the onslaught of negative thoughts I had about myself that night – things I’d worked very hard to put to rest – especially that exact thing he’d said about me: that my body was destroyed, that I was damaged goods, undesirable, and unlovable, etc.

Fortunately, I’ve learned that the sensation I was experiencing was shame, and that the best way to deal with shame is to call it out. So I posted about that interaction, and my response, along with my negative self-feelings, on Facebook. Well, I may have taken the high road, but my Facebook friends did not feel the need to do so. In words that would make a sailor proud, they assured me that the guy was a jerk, and that I was beautiful, wonderful, etc. (Sometimes social media can be a very good thing!)

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Yeah! Take that, Mr. Bully!

————

So I’m still trying to navigate these waters, pretty badly at times. I quit sometimes, take a break, and then dive back in. I’m admittedly being very picky, sticking to my age- and distance-parameters. But I figure there’s no need to rush. Online dating is good because you can identify people based on specific numbers… but you don’t know if there’s any chemistry until you actually meet them. Speed dating lets you know the chemistry part up-front… but, in my case, I’ve wound up meeting a lot of great guys who live too far away – like south-Denver. (They need to do speed dating for north-Denver. That would help.) But sometimes I wonder if any of it is worth it, because you’re going to some lengths to meet someone who wouldn’t naturally be on the path of your life. Sometimes I think that maybe I should just give up and let life take its natural course and see what happens…?

Strange and Weird Conversations I’ve Had in Online Datingland (Part 3)

Here are some actual messages guys have sent me. (Don’t be like them.)

————

From Match, about 3 weeks ago
Setup: He approaches me on the site. This is his initial contact / opening message to me.

Him: Hello – So I think I get your summary. You’re not perfect and looking for someone that’s not perfect. Well I am your guy. How about two imperfect people meet to see if we make a perfect match? We can do coffee, go for a drink, or dinner. Let me know your thoughts. – [Name]

Image result for jon stewart huh

 

I read this at work and wasn’t going to respond. But it grated at me, and I couldn’t help myself. So that night:

 

 

Me:  Hello [Name]- nice to meet you. Look, you seem like a nice guy – and you’re cute. But I have to say that that was about the worst email I’ve received on a dating site, ever. It was kind of like, “You think you kinda suck, I think I kinda suck, so maybe we should just hang out in Mediocre Land.” (Probably that wasn’t what you were trying to say, but maybe it was…?)

I’m sorry if the message you received from my profile was that I have a low opinion of myself. On the contrary, I realize that everyone has different expectations with regard to body-type, and I’m a realist about how I look. But I’m also proud of who I am – scars and all – and I want to be with someone who thinks I’m all-that-AND-a-bag-of-truffles. Not someone who thinks they’re settling for mediocre, with me. Because I’m not settling for “WalMart jewelry” this time around, when it comes to my second chance. I’m holding out for Harry Winston.

Probably I’m not the right person for you, since you think I’m only mediocre. I hope you decide you deserve The Best and go after it. (For future reference, when you DO find someone you think is awesome-tastic, you should probably open with telling her how beautiful she is, and how you were impressed with her profile. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to ask her a question about herself, based on something in her profile. Just saying.) Good luck in this dreadful world of online dating. I know it sucks out here, but we’ve got to figure it out, eh?

Best wishes, [Name].

Sincerely, [Mouse]

 This guy couldn’t let it go, either. But unlike the guy from Part 1 of this series, this guy was apologetic:

Him: [Mouse], Wow I was trying to be funny. Obviously I FAILED!!!! I did not mean to offend. By the way, I think you are attractive, and I totally liked you summary. I liked it because it was like, “look, I am great and I don’t have to prove it to anyone.” I am sorry if I offended you! I agree I suck at emails. By the way you are gluten free … So what restaurant do you like that has the best gluten free food? I disagree; I think we might be a good fit. One final thing: I am not settling the second time around either, and that is why I reached out to you! So my offer still stands [Mouse]. I would like to meet for coffee, drink, lunch, or dinner. – [Name] (I know I still suck at emails!)

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Awwww…!

Well, that was actually a really good comeback. I had to give this guy credit. I accepted his apology, we chatted, and we actually did go out once. And he was pretty awesome – and cute! (Sadly, we realized early-on that we had opposite kid-schedules, and it wasn’t going to work. I won’t give up my own time with my kids, and he’d gotten his 17 y.o. daughter to babysit while we met. However, on our date, his kids called him twice within an hour, and he had to leave the second time. No emergency, they just weren’t used to their dad being away – his divorce is still rather new. I feel bad for him, because I know how hard this part is. But I decided to accept reality and not allow myself to become emotionally invested in what would be an exercise in futility, at this point. Sometimes the stars just don’t align. 😦 )

 

Strange and Weird Conversations I’ve Had in Online Datingland (Part 2)

Here are some actual messages guys have sent me. (Don’t be like them.)

————

From OkCupid, last November
Setup: a 20-something started flirting with me: “Hey, sexy,” and stuff like that.

Me: You’re far too young for me, but thank you for putting a smile on my face.

Him: Oh, baby. I could put so much more on your face.

(Okay, that one was so corny, I spat wine because I was laughing so hard. I didn’t respond to him anymore, but dang if I don’t still giggle when I think of this!)

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