Monday, December 16, 2013

So the timing is pretty sweet ...

... and by sweet I mean cool, interesting, conveniently ending this semester, not sappy with flowers and snowflakes and long walks or whatever.  I have no predictions in that direction as yet.
I did, however, meet this guy for breakfast yesterday.  Breakfast at noon–thirty, but what can you expect of a Sunday that dawns on fourteen brand–new inches of snow?  Shoveling, that's what.  And a bunch of sissies who should have stayed off the road if they weren't prepared to brave a couple inches of slush.
Also, I have four–wheel–drive, but he did not, so I spent a certain amount of time waiting around on Church St.  That was nice, actually.  Even if the rest of the day had sucked, at least I got to hang out in a secondhand bookstore, which is a rare occurrence these days.  But it didn't suck.
I'm going to repeat that.  It didn't suck.  The guy had a goatee that he occasionally braids, a braid down his back, and showed up wearing overalls, and it still didn't suck.  This is progress.  I was greeted with a hug (no groping, though), and it still didn't suck.  We got coffee.  We walked around.  We went to Henry's Diner.  We debated whether American cheese actually qualifies as food, let alone cheese.  He held that the addition of soy lecithin to cheddar and colby doesn't uncheese it.  I disagreed, maintaining that American cheese is not in fact cheese at all, but thinly disguised plastic.  The waitress served our food, but forgot to give us silverware.  He walked me to my car, two blocks past his, and said he'd enjoyed himself.  I might have enjoyed myself, too.  We made plans to meet for karaoke (!?!) next week.  That could be interesting.  As my Swedish great–grandfather is often quoted as saying, "Ve vill see vat ve vill see."  It might suck.  Then again, it might not.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


People, some dude wants to call me tonight after he puts his kid to bed.  Not even Jon Stewart and Buffy combined could keep me up past the kid's bedtime.  It's the end of the semester, and I mean to finish The Curse of the Black Pearl with the kid, because it's almost vacation, and that's how we roll, climb into bed and sigh in luxury, and drift off into blissful dreamland.  Sorry, dude.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Naming the tree. Is this a thing, now?

My sister named hers Claudio.  Brittany, Herself, calls hers Betty.  Dandelion Mama called hers Fakey
Fakerson, but, as the name implies, it was artificial, and therefore reappeared for years.  So, is this a thing?  Should I name my (as yet unpurchased, because I am clearly The Grinch) tree?  And what should I name it?  Joe?  Pete?  Billy?  Velma?
If there ever was a tree that should have been named, it was the one I had two years ago.  It was the end of my first real semester of school.  My son had, less than a month ago, debuted the opening act of what was to become a saga worthy of, if not the Icelanders, at least the Russians.  As a result of the stress, I also had to obtain my first academic extensions - in two classes, no less.  My divorce was about to become final, the only bright spot in an otherwise completely shit month.  We needed this tree.  I had been frantically making up work since the semester had officially ended, and now it was December 24th, the last possible day to find one, so after the evening Christmas Eve service, we went to the farm stand on the way home.  I think they had three trees left.  Maybe five.  All were small and crooked, except one, probably eight feet tall with an enormous trunk.  We took that one.  It was almost bigger than the car.
The layout of our apartment was ... not ideal.  For anything.  Unless the front door, when open, was open completely, it blocked the stairs to the second floor, where we lived.  There was only an inch of clearance between the door and the banister.  At the top was another door, which opened into a hallway so narrow the fire marshal barely approved it.  To get the tree into the living room, we'd have to do some serious defying of the laws of physics.
First, though, we had to get it through the front door.  My older son and I dragged it up the front steps and began our attempt.  I figured we could get it up and over the banister, and not have to drag it up the whole flight of stairs.  We pushed the door open, and open, and open some more.  Suddenly there was a crack, and the door sagged toward us.  Dry rot.  The door, old, solid wood, had dry-rotted from the inside, and now the screws hold the hinges had given way, having nothing to hold on to.  Fuck.  I took a deep breath, held back my tears, and shoved the door the rest of the way against the wall, vowing to deal with it later.  We dragged the tree the rest of the way up the stairs, heaving and panting, and laid it, snowy, frozen, dripping, in the living room.
Down in the entryway, I stared at the door, trying to think.  The attempt wasn't very successful.  Finally, I just wedged the door back into the doorframe, locked it, and left it to deal with the next day.
Back upstairs, we began to reduce the tree to a manageable size.  The trunk was fully eight inches across, maybe nine, frozen solid, and all I had was my trusty pruning saw, which is meant for small branches, a couple of inches in diameter.  I started sawing.  Ten minutes later, I had made maybe an inch of progress, and the carpet was strewn with soggy sawdust.  My son took a turn.  We traded again.  Finally, the giant chunk of tree trunk fell free.  We sliced some off the sides, too, to narrow the diameter, and levered it into place on the tree stand, which was promptly flattened.  There was just no way we'd ever make it fit.  Damn.  Plan B.  Or C.  Or F.  I grabbed a metal mixing bowl from the kitchen, some florist wire that I happened to have lying around, and rested the tree in the bowl, then wired it to the window latches.  Done.  Victory!  I high-fived my son, then told him, with great regret, that, since it was probably getting on ten o'clock, and I was exhausted, we'd decorate the tree in the morning.  Christmas morning.
"No problem, Mom," he said, the light of temporarily restored faith in his eyes.  "It's ok.  Santa will do it for us tonight."  I stared at him, my breath temporarily sucked from my body, scrambling all ability to form a thought.  The wha-...?  Who?  Santa?  Did I mention that my son was, at that time, nearly fifteen?  He'd discovered the benevolent lie surrounding Santa's existence years before.  Yet here he was, belief shining from his face.
"Of course he will, sweetie," I breathed.  What else was there to say?  And, indeed, Christmas morning, the tree shone forth in all its splendor, fully decorated and surrounded by wrapped gifts.  I'll tell you what, Santa owes me big time.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I'm getting a little bored with the exclusivity of my current blog topic, so I'm thinking about branching out.  In the meantime, here are a few (!) links to blogs I especially enjoy.  Feel free to enjoy also, or not, as you are inclined.  They tend to lean in a mommyblog direction, but not exclusively.  I'm not going to say anything else about them, so you can form your own opinions without preconceptions, except to mention that Schmutzie has this wonderful feature she calls Five-Star Friday, which she is no longer posting to the main page, so click on that link (I think it's in the upper-right-hand of the page).  It features amazing writing from various blogs ... I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Am TOO OLD ...

for this wrenched from sleep every hour nonsense.  I'm posting this here instead of Facebook because people will worry, but really, if you would just follow directions, you wouldn't have spend the last four hours two hours from my house.  Brothers.  Should I blame this on the homeschooling?  Like homeschooler math, maybe direction following is not our forte.  When I tell a person, four separate times, to turn right off the exit, and that person has just spent two hours driving through god knows what all, mountains and such, because he missed his first exit, wouldn't you think that he would then turn right off the exit?  Evidently not.

Monday, November 25, 2013


I guess it's fitting that I couldn't find the message upon which I was going to base this post.  Dating discouragement is the name of the game these days.  Three messages seems to be the limit of a conversation.  Is it something I said?  Am I not interesting enough?  Too interesting?  Just not putting enough energy into it?
The ex told me he found one of my profiles, which means several things: 1) He's looking at dating women other than his long-term girlfriend, with or without her knowledge.  I have no idea of their relationship status at this point, although I did notice that he was texting her yesterday when I went to pick up the kid.  That may or may not mean anything.  Both of them love drama and have texted obsessively since the beginning.  Whenever that was.  2) He's seen my profile.  Maybe he'll see my other profiles.  I fall into his desired demographic, after all.  Should I change anything about the way I'm presenting myself?  If so, what?  What's the balance of being open to new love while not exposing myself unduly?  Should I just give up this nonsense if I can't do it anonymously?  Or should I forge ahead, ex be damned?  It's not like I'm looking for hookups or to be tied up and flogged.  Not that I don't respect that as a kink, it's just not what I'm looking for.
With that said, what am I looking for?  Kindness, empathy, joie de vivre, height?  A willingness to wash the dishes?  Hmmm.  Sounds like another blog post in the making ...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Because more dating advice was what I really needed ...

A friend of mine emailed me a link to this video, which we both, at first glance, found somewhat disheartening.

(watch it first)

I mean, come on.  Is this what successful dating requires?  I only put in that kind of work for research papers.  
On further reflection, though, my takeaway is this: be picky.  Now be even pickier.  Know what you want and don't be afraid to ask for it, and believe that what you want is worth both wanting and asking for.  Warm and fuzzy enough?
Now all I need is the time to revamp my profile ... sigh.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Date is a Date ... or is it?

This post is brought to you by procrastination, yurts, and mediocre Mexican food.

Once upon a time, a few weeks ago, a girl met a guy in a coffee shop for an introductory date. 
The girl knew a few things about the guy. One of the things she knew was that he owned land in New York, on which he had built a yurt. She knew this because he had told her. Twice. She also knew that he was uncircumcised.  It was right there, on his profile.  When she replied to his email, she mentioned, facetiously, that guess what! she was too!  He replied seriously that he was thankful she had been spared the trauma of female genital mutilation.  This maybe should have been her first clue. FGM is serious, and worthy of serious discussion, but there is a time and a place and maybe if you don't appreciate snark we are not meant to be.  The second clue was that he showed up in board shorts (in case anyone is in doubt, a GROWN ASS MAN should never show up to a first date wearing clothing which was originally intended for an athletic activity), sporting a braided mustache and carrying a skateboard.  Any of these things, individually, is not a dealbreaker.  However, the overall impression was a little too Peter Pan for this girl's taste.  Also, when a girl spends a good portion of the day grooming herself to a state of irresistible hotness, she expects at least a tiny effort in return.  The third clue was that, within minutes of meeting, they were embroiled in a (not so) riveting discussion about the extraction of wisdom teeth. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so, bolstered by her excellent Americano (shout out to Muddy Waters!) she gamely agreed to walk to the water and then grab dinner. In her defense, she was starving, and perhaps harbored a hope that the conversation would pick up over food. A vain hope, as it turned out. After he had told her not only the diameter of his yurt (17', if you care), but the diameters of his friends' yurts, their names, much of their life histories, their PARENTS' names, and exactly how he had portioned out the inheritance from his grandmother (a third of it went into building the yurt, again, if you care), she began to have vivid mental pictures of the kinds of movies which, at a certain stage, feature montages of women subject to excruciating blind dates. Yes, she was living out her own romantic comedy ... not, however, the way she might wish. It became hard for her to keep a straight face. Long story long, after uh huh'ing her way back up the hill with him, she formed a desperate plan. At the top of the hill, she (to her eternal shame, perhaps) lied about the location of her car, gave him firm handshake and a vague reassurance, and fled into the night. The moral of the story? Always start a first date with good coffee, to provide at least a degree of redemption. Alternately, never trust a man who doesn't laugh at one's wisecracks. Nothing wrong with yurts, though. As long as one has the conversational skills to back them up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dear Prudence ...

So I went on a date, a week ago Sunday, and now I have a small dilemma.  Dude was entertaining, to a point, but he was also three inches shorter than his profile said he was.  Now, I don't actively go looking for diminutive guys, but neither am I such an asshole that I will dismiss them out of hand.  The shortness is not the issue.  The lying is.  "But it's just a small lie," you might say.  "Maybe he thought this was his only chance at getting any attention at all!"  Maybe so.  I know that while largeness tends to be problematic for a woman's self image, smallness can be similarly difficult for men.  However, I also know that the solution (at least theoretically, ahem) for personal happiness hinges greatly on self acceptance, and that lying about one's areas of insecurity only delay the inevitable and risk creating feelings of betrayal in the other party.  Which leads to my dilemma.  I like closure (don't we all?), so I emailed this guy and asked him his thoughts about the date and how it went.  Only when he answered did I realize that what I was really looking for was an excuse to confront him about his "little (heh) white lie," which seems to me to be remarkably close to ambush.  So ... thoughts?  State my issues (what would be a tactful way to handle such a conversation?), or, given his hesitations about distance, let him down easy, free to repeat this self defeating pattern?  See?  It's really all about helping him!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Part Deux (Duh)

I never answered the message.  Rightly or wrongly, I felt that if one was going to lead with a kink, one should go to the kink part of the singles site, which does exist, for the very purpose of connecting those who wish to practice their kinks with those who wish to be practiced upon.  Or something.
A year later, I had started another profile on another, larger, dating site, under another name.  Lo and behold, the fourth message I received was from our foot friend, using basically the same phrasing, with a notable absence of foot.  Learning from experience, clearly, although his username still featured the word "foot," and was, in fact, the same name he was using on the other site.
I figured, what the hell.  Dude's persistent, messaging is free, give it a shot.
Wedges and clogs made a quick reappearance, and became a recurring theme, as did my hind end.  I pointed out that while I was ok with his kink, it was not mine, and I had made pretty clear in my profile that I also wanted to talk about things other than my feet and my ass.  He told me that of course there was more to him than that.  I told him that I was going out of town and would be in touch with him when I returned.  He told me to have fun, feeling it necessary to add, "and just so I am sure..... you are a bbw with a big ass correct?" *headdesk facepalm*  (The extra ellipses are all him ... it's hard to pay attention to punctuation with your head up an ass.)
Footnote: although I never answered him, and although his profile disappeared shortly after, he reappeared twice more, under slightly different names, the first time asking if I remembered him and the second offering to pay me money for photos of my "hippie feet."  Repressing the urge to give him a large piece of my mind (why waste something he obviously had no capacity to appreciate?) I showed great restraint in asking him simply, please, never to contact me again ... and reported him to the website for solicitation.  It's been three months, and so far he hasn't popped up again.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In the Meantime ...

I'm pretty sure I just found a profile belonging to Borat.  He never did end up with Pam Anderson, did he?  Breaking news: Borat is on the market! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Foot Guy, Part I

Online dating isn't easy.  You'd think it would be, but it's not.  You'd think you could just throw up a profile, add a few pics, say something entertaining, et voila!  Evidently, not so much.
I got started on this (mis?)adventure sort of accidentally.  About the time that my divorce was final, I had a friend who liked to search ads on a site that shall remain nameless, but is used to fulfill just about any need, from cars, pets, and apartments to things a little more personal.  Or a lot more personal.  Look, I try not to judge, but OMG WTF.  Anyway, one thing led to another, and while I didn't ever put up an ad on that site, I do have the odd profile or two on some others, sites that I assumed catered to a slightly less kinky crowd.
The first message I received read as follows:


HEY [name redacted]


OMG WTF. That's what I got for saying I liked a good foot rub as much as the next person.  I'm not philosophically opposed to fetishes, especially in the abstract, but I do believe there's a certain protocol in their negotiation.  Leading with them just comes off as so ... needy (and by needy here I mean creepy as hell).  To say nothing of the fact that I had explicitly stated that spelling mattered to me.  Spell-check, people.  Had "foot" been the only part of the profile he had actually read?  My philosophy, formed right then and there, was, "Didn't bother reading?  Shan't bother replying."
But it didn't end there ...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

System initializing ...

My gas filter is clogged.  It takes so long to fill the tank that yesterday, the pump computer shut down, so instead of printing my receipt when I replaced the nozzle, it read, "System initializing ... (imagine the ellipse growing and collapsing to indicate whatever progress is being made)"  This may or may not be some kind of metaphor for my life.  Alternatively, it may just be a clever title for a first blog post.
Anyway, this blog is hereby inaugurated to serve as a record of the vicissitudes of online dating, an exercise made up, thus far, of a long string of "WTF?!  No, really, are you serious!?!"  It would appear that they are.