Loose the Weight

“Straight truth time – loose the weight.”

This was the last text I got from the Canadian.  I’m guessing his unsolicited advice was to lose weight.  I blocked his number.

After he returned to Canada, our conversation veered into the scintillating topic of Real Estate Investing.  While not as sexy as well, sex, I was interested in discovering his methods as an investor. He recommended a book to read, and later he texted to see how far I had gotten through the book.  I told him I was taking the author’s advice and thinking about what my specific goals were – that I was looking to generate enough income to travel.   I went on to admit that I had imagined traveling with a partner, but that was looking less and less likely.

That’s when he felt the need to comment on my weight.  Stunned, angry, hurt, and incredulous.  I took the high road and told him that was uncool, and that he may be turned off by my “weight,” but I felt pretty good about the way I looked for my age.  (Actually, I told him I felt sexy and beautiful – I felt the need to make a powerful statement).  Deep down, all I could think of was “motherfucker.”

So, what did I do?  I shared the screenshot with some of my girlfriends.  If there is one subject that men should NEVER ever say to a woman, it’s this one.  I mean, this is March on Washington shit.  Here are just a few of the reactions:

  1. Is he fucking serious?
  2. He is a douche
  3. Super dick
  4. Rude as fuck
  5. 3 Water gun emojis
  6. Shithead emoji
  7. Asshole!

I’m 52 and a size 10 on good days; a 12 on not so good days.  I try to take care of myself, but, yes, I fall short.  There were many, many years that my body served as the prime target for my self-hatred; I’ve learned to not only accept, but embrace my imperfections as uniquely mine.  It’s taken me a lifetime to become comfortable in my own skin.  Now, with one text, I’m resisting the temptation to distrust any other man who wants to be with me.

I’ll let Christine Kane do the rest of the talking for me.  This song is dedicated to every woman who has been shamed into feeling less than because they don’t live up to someone else’s idea of who they should be.   They can kiss my lovely dimpled ass.

 

Who’s Canadian?

After getting past the holidays and barely surviving a freakishly long cold, the beginning of the year started, not with hope, but with the slow, drawn out demise of any potential relationships I may have had.

The Belgian informed me that I couldn’t give something that I didn’t have myself.  Really?  We’re whipping out the cliches now?  He followed up by asking why I dated so many men and why didn’t I just make a decision.  I told him, decisively, that I wasn’t interested in a committed relationship.  Oregon Guy simply stopped communicating.  Stretchy Pants and I tried to get together a few times, but my nasty cold prevented it.  He’s safely back in California, and I’m, well, over my cold at least.

Am I too picky?  Am I afraid?  I could pick myself apart for decades if I wanted to, but the truth is I simply haven’t found the guy for me.  Plain and simple.  Have I met some nice, interesting, fun men?  Yes, definitely.  But, so far, no butterflies.

Until now.  Gulp.

He’s Canadian.  This reminds me of one of my favorite This American Life episodes… “Who’s Canadian?”  (In the show I discover Captain Kirk is Canadian, and I, like one of the narrators on the show, find this disturbing).   We connect online, and he informs me that I had passed his litmus test.  I wasn’t aware of his criteria.  However, since his ex-wife is Swedish, I deduce (correctly) that he has a thing for Scandinavian women.

He suggested we go kayaking, and I’m overjoyed when it starts raining and I’m spared from having to decide if I’m brave enough to display my 52 year old thighs on a first date.  We settle on Plan B, the same Tiki Bar where I misbehaved with the Belgian a few months back.

A self-described artist and former ski bum, he’s here visiting family and looking for a potential real estate project.  He has small children back in Canada, and they are with him half of the time, so he explains he’s not able to  commit to a long term thing.  I find this, his beautiful blue eyes and his scruffy blond hair, all equally appealing.

After telling each other tales of our past, the date moves from the Tiki Bar back to my place where he cooks me dinner.

Yup, butterflies for sure.

 

Episode 65, thisamericanlife.org. “Who’s Canadian?”

 

 

Red and White and Stretchy

It’s a new year and I’m back in the saddle. This was a date I had right before Christmas.

He was from Venice, California, had longish blond hair and his profile divulged that road trips were his art form.  As a fellow wanderer, I thought it would be a fun way to spend the evening.  Since this was a last minute decision to meet, he admitted he’d been out all day and didn’t have time to go get “dolled” up.

As it happens, he managed to stumble upon my neighborhood, and suggested we meet at a local bar.  After hanging with some of my people earlier in the evening, I dashed off to meet him.

As soon as I walked through the door I ran into someone I knew.  After distractedly talking to my friend for a few minutes, I walked into the next room to find him perched at the bar.  Right away, I noticed his impressive blond hair and his red and white stretchy pants. I couldn’t figure out if they were holiday pajama pants or something else, but I decided to turn my attention to him and avoid my desire to concentrate on his funky pants.

After our initial hello’s, we settled in to a booth to get away from the buzz at the bar.  I started my interrogation.  Are you from California originally?  (No). What made you move there?  (Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California”).  What kind of toothpaste do you use (Tom’s).  I’m not sure why I’m amused by toothpaste choices, but for some reason, I ask this question often.

We got along famously, laughed a lot and enjoyed each other’s company. When I started to get tired (dating over 50 apparently means dating until 10pm), I told him I needed to get going.

“I think you’re pretty cool, and I haven’t even kissed you yet.”  This sounded like a challenge to me, so I felt the need to defend my honor.  “Well, I’m a really good kisser.  Just saying.”

Fast forward to the scene of us saying goodbye on the street corner.  We kissed.  “What do you do, just go around torturing men?”

And that’s when I realized why men shouldn’t wear stretchy pants…

P.S.  A friend of mine dubbed online dating as “rent a human.”   Admittedly at first it felt like I was shopping for men.  But, now, after doing it a while, I view it as serendipitously as meeting guys any other way.  I’ve made a few good friends, shared adventures, and have even eased the aching in my heart.  Onward.

This is dedicated to Stretchy Pants Guy.  I hope to meet again someday.

 

Disasters, Drummers and Dudes

A little background. I started seeing my former husband when I was 19 years old. We were friends, then it progressed into something more. At one point, he broke it off, only to come back a few months later. We moved in together for a few glorious months, and then he was off to graduate school in another state. I had to drop out of school because of a lack of money, so it seemed logical that I would simply move in with him. It was a disaster. I moved to Norway to stay with my mom, only to come back to be together with him again. After that, we stayed together, eventually marrying, having children, and living lives not necessarily together, but in parallel.

So, when I found myself divorced after 26 years with the same person, I didn’t know how to ask a guy in Starbucks for the time, let alone figure out how to get myself a date. What’s a 46 year-old newly single woman to do? Frequent bars late into the night by myself? Naturally. What followed was a series of guys not unlike Drummer Man, who not only just wanted sex, but also refused to even kiss me.

Eventually, I caught on that the bar scene may not be the place to meet my future soul mate. So, online I went, and before I knew it, I was sending steamy emails to a guy I referred to as, wait for it, Email Man. This went on for a year (a year! What was I thinking?). I finally met him when he was in town on business, and quickly discovered the difference between a perceived chemistry online versus chemistry in person. In other words, there wasn’t any.

Fast-forward six years and as we all know, I’m online dating again. This time around, I’m wiser, have a flatter stomach, and no longer panic at the prospect of meeting someone new. I’ve progressed from not-so-nice guys to guys that are so nice that I’m not sure what to actually do with them.

Which leads me to the activities from this week.

I saw the Belgian twice. We clearly don’t communicate well with words, but we do much better with body language.

Patch Guy surprised me and took me to one of my favorite places, the Tampa Theatre, to watch Elf. Even though we both claimed to not be into the Christmas thing, we both left the theatre feeling just a tiny bit festive. I like Patch Guy.

And then, Oregon Guy. He wanted to talk on the phone, which I normally dislike, but I figured I needed to get over myself. We talked for over an hour, and made plans to meet Saturday night. Unfortunately, when Saturday rolled around, I was feeling under the weather due to an overdose of an herbal something or another, and I cut the date short and asked him to take me home. He was kind and polite, and asked what I thought about us. I told him the truth. The same thing I told the Belgian.

I don’t know.

This week’s song is dedicated to my young friend who has an old soul and loves Joni Mitchell.  Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Over My Head

Scanning the pictures of guy after guy online in strangely addicting. I was back in the saddle, swiping on my phone, seeking anyone with potential.

I was PB (post-Belgian), and found myself texting an Oregonian who recently relocated to Sarasota. We texted back and forth, and made a plan to meet last Sunday on Siesta Key.

Oregon Guy was a golf pro for many years and is a musician. We connected initially because he was only the second guy I met online who was a fan of the same kind of music as me. We had a lot in common. So much so, that it made me think of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry meets someone exactly like him, and they fall for each other immediately.   By the end of the episode, they hate each other for the same reason.

We spent several hours talking, and I found myself divulging gory details about myself that will not only never be disclosed on this blog, but won’t be disclosed anywhere. I heard myself saying several times, “what the f#$%, I might as well tell you.” And, to my surprise, it not only didn’t faze him, but he seemed genuinely interested.

By the end of the day, we agreed to start off as friends and see how it went.

After I got home, I received a text from Oregon Guy saying he had a great time, and I said the same. A little while later, I got a text from someone else.

“I miss you.” It was the Belgian. I told him I missed him too and the next thing I knew, he declared that he would be waiting in the empty parking lot of a restaurant we had gone to. I told him, no, please don’t. But he said that yes, he was going to be there. If I was honest with myself, I had to admit I was flattered by the gesture. So, yes, I buckled and met him close to 11pm on a Sunday night.

I explained I was seeing other people, and that I would not be rushed into anything.  He said he was “fine” with that. He still wanted to see me. Since we are so good at parking lot make-out sessions, we continued along that path. The next thing I know, I’m back to seeing the Belgian again.

This song is dedicated to Oregon Guy, who took me to see these amazing guys this week. Oregon Guy is tall. The band is called “Tall Heights.”

I think I’m in over my head.

 

 

 

 

Dazed and Confused

When I go out on a date for the first time, I do my best to listen, and focus on this brand new person sitting across from me.  Simultaneously, my brain is firing a list of questions.  “Am I ok with his big fluffy hair?”  “Does he notice the makeup-disguised bags under my eyes?”  “Does he think I’m funny?” “Do I think he’s funny?”  I do my best to snap myself back into the moment, and go into “learner” mode (a nod to a book I’m reading) vs. “judger” mode.

The Belgian and I dated for just over 3 weeks, one of which I was out of the country.  By any measure, not long.   He was smart and quirky (liked), talked a lot about his vision and philosophy (didn’t like), good looking and tall, (yup, liked), ambitious (liked), slept in a gauzy-curtained canopy bed (uh, wasn’t sure what to do with that one), and wanted to be in a relationship right away (did not like).

My feelings for him were a giant bucket of confusion.  We were in communication pretty much every day, but what we actually talked about I couldn’t say.  We kissed considerably and we kissed well.  I never imagined myself with someone like him, but I did find his ridiculously sunny outlook endearing.  His ability to communicate was hampered by his lack of command of the English language, which, in turn, fired my brain to color in whatever I wanted him to be.

After Thanksgiving and my trip to Norway, I found myself in his apartment and in his arms.  And more confused than ever.  Over the next few days, we both were preoccupied.  The next thing I know, I’m getting a text, written at midnight, asking me what the problem was.  Huh?  I didn’t know there was a problem.  The following day I received a long text saying “he was confused about our relationship, didn’t know what I wanted, wasn’t sure if he was the right man for me…”  The thing I admired the most about The Belgian was the same thing that was coming back to bite me.  He was unapologetic about putting his feelings out there, and I, subsequently, became enamored with all his enamoring.

But now he was forcing my hand, and after just three weeks, I had to admit, it was just too much too soon.  I told him I liked him, but that I didn’t think we wanted the same things.  I’m sad.  I will really miss The Belgian.

Back online.  A few swipes right, I’m off to another meet and greet, and another Head Full of Doubt.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday is Here

I started online dating a few years ago, and this is the story of one of the first guys I met.

His profile said something funny about his considerable eyebrows, which made him stand out among the hordes of men who think women are attracted to big fish, cars, and photos of them allegedly being worshiped by young, busty waitresses.  Eyebrow Guy and I started to text occasionally, but it never went anywhere.  In the meantime, I became the victim of an alien abduction (my only explanation) when I met Disney Guy, who taught me, by way of demonstration, the meaning of ghosting.  My heart was broken.  On the heels of this, Eyebrow Guy popped up and we decided to meet.

I spotted him sitting outside with a library book as dense as Atlas Shrugged, a book I hated and still resent having spent so many months of my life reading. He suggested we go next door to a restaurant and get a drink, which progressed to appetizers and the obligatory life story conversation.  He described his life as a struggling artist in New York City. That’s one of the best things about dating.  Even if it doesn’t turn into something, I dig when someone opens up their heart.  That feeling of connection is truly life giving.

We went on a breakfast date that was followed by us going to a used bookstore. He immediately wandered off, and I didn’t quite know what to do, so I wandered off myself.  It was strange, but I was oddly drawn to his quirkiness.  When it was time to leave, I stood on the sidewalk, amidst a cold wind, and wondered if he would kiss me goodbye.  He didn’t, but he did ask me for dinner the following week.  He wanted to cook for me, and I agreed.

A few days later, he asked me my food preferences, which struck me as very thoughtful.  I was feeling more intrigued by him.  Saturday morning rolls around, my phone is ringing.  It’s a number I don’t recognize, so I ignore it.  Then, I get a text.  It’s Eyebrow Guy’s sister, and would I please call?  This made me uneasy, but I went ahead and called.  On the other end was a woman I’ve never spoken to, crying, telling me that her brother was found dead last night. She found my number in his phone, and wanted to let me know. I’m stunned.  He was just a few years older than me, and didn’t seem at all unhealthy.  She told me that he had complained of chest pains a few days before, and apparently dismissed it as indigestion.  I told her I was so very sorry, and we said our goodbyes.

I took a break from dating after that.

This song is dedicated to Eyebrow Guy, who I didn’t know very well, but I’m guessing would approve of Tom Waits.