Monthly Archives: July 2012

not sure what I’m looking for; only know that I haven’t found it

Earlier this weekend, I went on a stamina-testing four dates in 24 hours:  dinner and live music on Friday, followed by coffee, lunch and dinner on Saturday. I also managed to squeeze in a weekend haircut, brow wax, girlfriend’s birthday celebration, yoga class and some other miscellaneous errands and chores.

As you know, I’d already begun to question why on earth I’m doing all this. Even before my first date of the weekend, I’d begun to realize that I’m no longer sure what I want out of this; I only know that I haven’t yet found it. And maybe, once again, I’m realizing that I may not be ready to find it.

But I suppose, as far as you, the reader, are concerned, all of that contemplation is neither here nor there…so, let’s get on to the recap:

  • Friday night dinner and music with the legal eagle was pleasant. This was the fourth time we’ve met and, to me, the pressure was on to either find a connection or cut him loose. We’d had many pleasant conversations, especially over the phone, and there are many things to like about his personality…but I simply couldn’t find myself drawn to him physically. He was too awkward to make a move, and I (for whatever reason) just didn’t have it in me to take some action that might invite or welcome his advances. Again, he showed up with a series of small gifts, some of which were thoughtful, others cheesy. As you know, I love receiving gifts, and his explanations for what and why he chose were enlightening. Conversation was engaging and I felt entirely comfortable being exactly as I am, unfiltered. So why couldn’t I get excited about him? Truth is, I don’t know. Yet the humor is always in the superficial things we notice that turn us off; they may not be enough to kill a deal by themselves, but they can add up. So, here it is:  he dresses like he’s from some outer-ring suburb (which he is), a little shlubby — black tee-shirt and trousers with an ill-fitting button-up shirt over the top — all matched with the sort of casual brown shoes you’d see in a Land’s End-type catalog. Not the sort of dinner and drinks downtown combo you’d expect to see in a nice downtown club. Then, while he generously picked up dinner and drinks, I stole a glance and found him to be — in my mind — a less-than-generous tipper (I like to stay in the 18-20% neighborhood myself). Finally, I was relieved to be able to watch the musicians on stage during our meal, in order to avoid gazing the caveman-like spectacle going on in front of me. He was hunkered over his meal as though eating was, at that moment, a serious job, ripping into it with fork and fingers. And it’s not the first time I’d noticed less-than-pleasant table manners and poor tipping — things that, over time, would grow to irritation. In the end, I told him how much I’d enjoyed our conversations and that, having tried to feel something more, I just didn’t feel any attraction.
  • Date two:  Saturday morning coffee. I had to be cordial, because the fellow across the table from me has a child at the same school and in the same grade as one of mine; we are likely to run into each other at school functions. But, truth be told, he was so negative, so whiny, so bitter, that I couldn’t get out of the conversation fast enough! Largely because I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Turns out, he moved out less than a month ago…and I’m guessing those feelings are just too raw. Rather than intellectualize any of these dates, I’m simply trusting my feelings. And my feelings were that I just wanted to get as far away from him as possible!
  • Date three:  First meeting with a pleasant, thoughtful gentleman. Met him on a lovely patio for lunch. He was a good conversationalist, nice, honest about his height (about as tall as I am — which, by itself, is not a deal-breaker). His voice and speech patterns reminded me of someone, someone I like — and I finally realized that it’s my former brother-in-law, a mensch and a nebbish. Again, no magic. Alas, as we got up to leave the cafe, I noticed that the khaki walking / cargo shorts he was wearing had an elastic waistband. Enough said. I have no way to appropriately articulate to a man what might be wrong with such a choice; the gulf between our worlds is simply too wide.
  • Date four:  Second date with a digital guy, sushi. I hate that he most certainly weighs less than I do (yes, insecurity rears its ugly head). He is slightly taller than I am, dresses stylishly, has some Jim Carrey-like goofy looks, dresses well and told me stories that highlight the importance he places on parenting his daughter. He also confessed to having gone shoe shopping with a gay friend — which clearly means that he has both tolerance and patience. Ultimately, he has lived on his own for nearly a year, but his divorce proceedings drag on…I get the feeling he’s not going to put the moves on me anytime soon, because he has a pretty conservative view of right and wrong. So I like that he’s in no hurry, and I like that we spent a great percentage of our time together laughing. Am I crazy about him? Not yet. Do I want to take him home and tear off his clothes? Not yet. But this one I will likely see again.

In the end, my weekend delivered a few revelations and one clear winner…who is not in a place to develop a deep and committed relationship. And maybe, given my ambivalence, that’s just fine for now.


my weekend: a test of stamina

How long ago was it that I wrote I was beginning to feel fatigued by this whole serial dating thing? Right, only a few days ago.

So why then, would I schedule a date Friday immediately after work, followed by a haircut, birthday party and no fewer than three dates on Saturday? Gahhhh!

I suppose it’s because I want to know, because I suspect I may have some answers after this weekend — at least for those who are repeats…

But what am I looking for? I’m not sure I can answer that now. I think about sex and there are two fellows that come to mind:  my last boyfriend (who would spazz if I booty called him this many months later) and one other, who I am not currently dating and never really have. I’ve said before that none of the new guys I’ve met have inspired any desires to run home and make pornos with them. I’ve certainly captured some men’s interest in this vein…there’s just something that’s not a vibe match for me.

And then I think about the long haul, and I don’t think I want to find that man right this minute, either. I’m just not sure I’m ready.

So what’s my happy medium? Finding someone I like, and to whom I’m wildly attracted, who’s great a conversation and fun, to date and share physically, who is willing (and capable) of monogamy. If he had longer-term potential, I’d be okay with that, too, I think…I just don’t want to know it right away.


my money demon

Yesterday I promised to follow up with the rest of the story:

I think I’ve been quite open about my being on a path of growth since my early twenties, and with some renewed vigor following my divorce. Also, I’ve wrestled with “money issues” off and on for years. I know this because people have told me things like, “you’re too materialistic” or “you’re high maintenance.” While these types of judgements are relative, they always strike me as odd, because I am a pretty down-to-earth, value-conscious and go-with-the-flow kind of gal. When outside feedback doesn’t match inner reality, there must be some kind of dissonance. Whether it brings up our blind spots or other areas that aren’t resolved, that dissonance tells us something.

More recently, I’ve been feeling super grounded, grateful and optimistic. I feel like “me” again and I think the way I’m feeling is reflected in others’ perceptions of me, too, which suggests that my true nature and disposition are expressing themselves.

BUT — every time an unhappy financial surprise shows up in my life, my stress response could be described as way out of proportion to the actual event or cost. Furthermore, the simple stuff that others appear to be able to do, such as hire a landscaper, go on a girls’ weekend or buy a new car, continue to seem utterly out of reach despite the fact that I earn among the top 18% of all US households. People, this shit defies reason! (Again, I must acknowledge that I’m doing something right!)

Thus, Morgana Rae‘s concept (which I brought up yesterday) of visualizing your money as a person blew my mind! Rae is an abundance coach or “financial alchemist,” someone who helps others release their blocks to abundance. She had her own financial issues when her coach asked her that very question:  “If your money was a person, what would that person be like?”

I immediately closed my eyes, opened my mind and welcomed the vision of the embodiment of my money, while Morgana described hers as a large, physically intimidating “biker guy.”

My money wasn’t like that at all. In fact, he kind of looked like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, casually attired in a tee-shirt (maybe a wife beater) and jeans, with — instead of a leather jacket — a plaid shirt hanging over, unbuttoned and untucked. He leaned his thin frame against a wall, sort of in the shadows, kind of lurking. His hair was kind of greasy and you could tell by that and his scent that he hadn’t showered recently.

Am I starting to paint a picture here? Lurking, shadows…this guy’s kind of like a drug dealer. He swoops in for a quick fix now and again, but he’s completely unreliable and not at all trustworthy. He’s cool, noncommittal, dishonest, and can manipulate and control a situation with his smooth talk. He’s evasive and elusive. When I’m around him, I feel unsure of myself.

Seeing this embodiment of my relationship with money was a huge revelation to me. Wow! I’ve never had this sort of realization while doing any of the other work I’ve done around this issue. This just happens to have been the technique that gets to the heart of it for me. So…

Morgana’s first advice? Break up with your “money monster.” (“Money demon” resonates more with me.) Then find yourself a “money honey” and have an enriching relationship of mutual adoration with him (or her, depending on your preference). In all, Morgana has six steps for this process — and, if this interests you remotely, I highly recommend you look her up.

Finally, as I scribbled all of this down on paper, I began to see that many of the characteristics I assigned to my money demon are shared by my ex husband. In other words, if I heal this relationship, it will help improve all of my relationships.

Once again, this stupefying realization made me think, “Whoa, I’ve got a lot of work to do before I am capable of a truly healthy relationship!” Of course, I can manage well for a while, but patterns recur until we fully address them, right? So I’m ambivalent about whether to continue dating casually, or whether to really take the time to prioritize myself by doing meditation, yoga and other things that nurture my body and soul, opening myself to what comes to me naturally. Of course this is the way things would unfold according to my preference…but I’m still enjoying meeting people and the male attention in the meantime.

So I’ll stay online for a bit longer, see what happens and nurture myself enough to ensure I don’t allow myself to get too fatigued with the whole thing.

Meanwhile, I’m off to dream up a money honey — should he look like Dennis Quaid in The Rookie? Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man? The Jake Ryan character from Sixteen Candles? Max? At any rate, he’ll be gorgeous, I’ll treat him with love and respect, we’ll adore each other completely!


fml

I recently had one of the worst days of the worst weeks in recent memory. I cursed, I cried, I raged, I was snappish… I felt so unlike myself (yet so like the poisonous part of myself) that it’s like the difference between what it feels like to have the flu versus being one’s normally healthy and energetic self. Grrr…

Times like this, I need to step back and remember just how far I’ve come and celebrate my victories. Yes, the challenges highlight those areas where I still have work to do — and the two areas that stand out to me the most are my relationships with food / my body image and money.

Let me just point out that nearly all women have body image issues, and we’re often even more hyper critical of ourselves than we can be of others. Yes, even the best of us. I lost a bunch of weight last year. And it’s mostly back. I don’t feel good about that, and I was so hoping to have found a way to release it for good! So I’m not feeling as fabulous in my skin as I’d like (but that won’t stop me from enjoying my body to its fullest, if you know what I mean).

The bigger issue for me is money. How do I know? Because I’m going along in life, handing the ups and downs smoothly and with grace, feeling happy and content and grateful most of the time…and then some “trigger” comes along — like an unexpected car repair (is there really any other kind of car repair?) — and I turn in to a freak. So it’s these sudden, irrational spikes in my mood that let me know where my issues still exist.

What happens when some little thing comes along and dredges up our issues? We tell ourselves some belief about that thing — in this case, it might be “now I’ll never be able to pay all my bills this month!” and then we naturally follow-up by finding additional evidence to support these beliefs. So, when my car needed an unexpected tow and repair (for some doggone little switch that prevented it from shifting out of park), I had the usual crisis, dealt with the immediate necessary actions, and then found even more reasons that very week to freak out about my finances. Most of them irrational. But it took me a couple of days to talk myself down (and folks, there is nothing else that takes me a couple of days about which to calm down).

If you’ve been reading here a while, you know by now that I actively work to erase, re-write and overcome the hidden scripts from my past that hold me back. I’ve done so many darned exercises about money that it feels ridiculous to still be working on this aspect of my psyche…and, in the midst of this terrible week is when I came across a coach named Morgana Rae.

I heard a recorded interview with Morgana online somewhere (which I can no longer seem to locate, sadly), and she offered an entirely new way to view money:  “What if your money was a person? What would he or she be like?”

I closed my eyes, asked myself these questions and opened myself to whatever image came to me. Wow! Was that ever enlightening! …and you’ll have to read tomorrow to discover what I learned.


weary of this business

Today I’m feeling very weary of this online business. I’m ignoring my inbox and dreading talking to any of the gentlemen I’ve been dating. Malaise it is. And I’m okay with it, so I’ll take a break until tomorrow, when I feel better…or I’ll take down my profile. Who knows?!

A male friend of mine who’s been on forever recently took his own profile down. I was surprised, because he’d gone through a streak of going on dates several times per week. I suspect it’s fatigue, or maybe even an STD. I’d be fatigued, too. I am fatigued…kind of.

Thing is, the more I date, the more I discover that I’m not really looking for a relationship right now… My life is too full as it is. I am regularly trying to figure out how to fit in the housework, the yard work, fun family time and exercise. While juggling several dates into every free weekend seemed fun and exciting for a while, the allure has vanished.

I’m pretty sure I’d find the time if I met someone special, but I don’t think I have…at least I think I’d know, feel some gravitational pull or something…or that desire to make home pornos.


home videos and other nuggets

I feel as though I’ve really met A LOT of men these past few months — some of them are great guys, many of them an intellectual match…but, so far, I haven’t met anyone I want to make home-made pornos with. Not that I would make home-made pornos, mind you, but I haven’t felt that sort of connection or desire to get naked with any of these guys I’ve met…yet. I’m willing to be patient, to give things time to develop…but I’m kinda doubtful that I’m gonna get to where I’m feelin’ it with anyone I’ve met thus far. There’s just no chemistry. (Which might explain my contemplating looking for a lover.)

A few weeks ago, my ex boyfriend recommended I read “Why You’re Not Married Yet,” by Tracy McMillan, especially the chapters entitled something like, “Because You’re a Dude” and “Because You’re Godless.” I agree with one of these, by the way. In fact, I wrote about it many months ago, acknowledging that it’s difficult for me to step outside of the in-charge role I have both in the workplace and at home. I was momentarily put off by his recommendation, but perused those chapters while in a local bookstore — I found it a good reminder and, unlike the language might suggest, not at all grating.

While nearly everyone agreed that the guy who wrote that arrogant message the other day was a total douche, I ran across another over the weekend:  He noted that he like the opening in my profile and said that he didn’t think we take enough time to be playful and childlike and laugh. Promising, right? So I wrote back that I liked the closing comments in his profile and that, were we ever to get together, we would surely find much to laugh about. He challenged me to be spontaneous and meet him yet that night, leaving his digits. I had other commitments (like seeing a friend who lives in an exotic foreign country who I’m likely to see just once a year). I texted him later, during a lull in the energy, but didn’t hear back until morning, when he wrote something along the lines of making decisions based on others’ decisions. Which — translated — meant that, since I didn’t drop everything to make plans with him the night before, he wasn’t interested (thereby confirming I’d made the right decision). The friends and colleagues who’ve heard about that one agreed that he’s an even bigger douche than the narcissist.

Remember more-like-it? Well, I was taking a walk with my date the other day and, where the walking path meets the bike path, ran in to him on his bicycle. Yep, still somethin’ pretty cute about that guy!


the big 3-0-0

It’s hard to believe this is my 300th post here — and I have yet to run out of things to stay, stories to share and situations to offer for discussion. What a rewarding journey it’s been to share my perspective and to read your responses!

It goes without saying that I have a few new stories to tell:

  • First, about one of those four dudes in four days, I wrote:  “One of the fellows was more stifled that the others, and I couldn’t figure out whether his obscure interests were a merely result of having worked hard at being different from everyone else or if they had somehow (how?!) evolved more naturally.” He had confessed to being very in to a capella folk music from some obscure region of the southeast and writing historical epic poetry, for example. We texted back and forth a few times and, when he asked me to meet again, I politely replied, “I think I may be too mainstream for you.” Which proves there’s a first time for everything, I guess. He responded in good humor, and confessed to holding back even more geeky details, such as enjoying trips to comic book conventions and the like… My opinion? Going to Comic Con is far more palatable than a capella folk music… just sayin’! Geek can be chic, and I’d be totally in to a geek in moderation.
  • I recently also wrote about potentially taking a lover. One of my male friends has courageously offered himself for the role; however, I have to decline as he does not meet my very specific criteria. I’m far too likely to develop feelings for him…which isn’t going to work out at this juncture (for reasons on which I’d rather not elaborate).
  • Regarding my last post about the incredibly arrogant message I received in my inbox (which was, I am grateful to say, is an anomaly), I finally heard from a friend what I think my be the best “zinger” with which to reply:  “Funny, that’s exactly what the guy before you wrote.”
  • Finally, in sharing the story of the previous message at happy hour yesterday, a co-worker pulled up an email from a friend of his. It had been forwarded by said friend to gleefully share the craziness of the woman who’d written it — and I’m sure it was enough to make most men wish they were single and might find themselves in bed with just such a woman. To the best of my recollection (I was asked to read this missive aloud for the group), this woman had written an ode to her sexual experience with this man, commenting on his body hair (wishing to watch as it went from slick against his body after a shower to dry and curly) and on his stomach (which was just round enough to create some distance and made far more interesting noises than her father’s had in her memories of snuggling against it as a girl) and used colorful words like “nuggetry” (which she would like to lick) and “schween” in discussing his privates. Of course I begged my co-worker to send this message to me so that I could share it here…he declined, having made a commitment to not publish it. Which I guess would be anyone’s obvious response to such weirdness… So do you think the friend saw the crazy woman again? Hell yes! What guy wouldn’t want to spend more time with a woman who writes an ode like this to his body? It certainly suggests enthusiasm, if nothing else…I just can’t imagine he’d take her out in public.

So it seems the stories and sharing will continue here. I hope you’ll all come back and check in from time to time!