Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Age-Appropriate Dating

There's a reason people should start dating when they're 16ish, then get married and stay married for the rest of their natural lives. Dating is fricking exhausting!

This week I have three rehearsals and two performances, plus Pi Phi notices to put out for several upcoming events. I'm trying to copy 13 pages of music into notation software so I can let the computer transpose it for me rather than figuring it all out in my head. And a very busy week at work.

The Gardener asked me to keep tonight open for him, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to say, "If you want to bring dinner over and feed me, fine. Otherwise, see you next week."

A desert island is sounding pretty good right now.

Monday, October 30, 2006


When you meet someone new, it takes a while to adjust to his ways of being, to know how he's going to react in a given situation. When a mishap occurs, you are apprehensive about the outcome. Will he explode? Will he be more concerned with alleviating my fears than with expressing his displeasure or anger? Will he just brush it off, machts nichts?

The other day I was in the Gardener's garden. I took my fairly new prescription reading glasses off and laid them on a table. Half an hour later I went back to find them and couldn't. About ten minutes later the Gardener walked into the room, carrying my squashed and severely disfigured glasses. It seems the cat had decided to play a little solitaire hockey with my glasses and they wound up underfoot. Literally. I imagine the Gardener must have been concerned with the reaction he would get from me. I think I laughed or said "oh well." I know I didn't explode. I know I didn't react as certain men in my past would have reacted.

And my nonreaction came without thought — just automatic "no big deal." When I reflected, hours later, on the incident, I was quite proud of myself.

And greatly relieved for the Gardener. At least he's seen my gut reaction to an accident involving personal property. Let's see — what's next on the list?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What is Class in the Twenty-First Century?

A couple of men in the past year have opined that I'm of a different class than they. For one, the Lemonade Tycoon used his "I'm-just-a-farm-boy" line to indicate he questioned what he and I would have in common over the long haul. And a current man has dropped his "blue collar" line on me a couple of times.

I don't see it. Yes, I love classical music and beautiful things and living in a lovely home and driving a nice car with a lot of built-in toys. But I don't see myself as residing on a certain stratum of the social universe.

I've spent all my life trying to fit in — anywhere! I've wanted to belong to any sort of group which would accept me as I was. True, I have always feared being a bag lady, and I don't think either a mobile home or a manufactured house is going to bring me comfort at any point in my life, no matter how sour my circumstances might turn. But I don't think I'm uppity or condescending or judgmental of people who have either more or less than I have.

That "blue collar" guy? He's a successful businessman. He is self-employed and owns a number of rental properties and provides for himself and his children — quite well, thank you very much. I'm in awe of his skill as a businessman. And he appears not to worry about anything, to laugh at fear. His collar is not tattered, so who cares what color it is?

I don't think I could be self-employed. I need the security of some company's deep pocket to feel comfortable. As much as I dream of creating and selling art-to-wear, it scares the living bejeebies out of me. Now I will confess to buying my Powerball ticket twice a week and fantasizing about how I would recreate my life if I didn't have to worry about an income.

Back to class. I think of myself as plain and ordinary. I don't see myself as someone who gets invited to $500-a-plate fundraisers or hobnobs with the local rich-and-famous. But on the other hand, every time I make beautiful-music-to-drink-cocktails-to at a big party in an elegant home, I wonder why I'm the hired help and not one of the guests. And yet what I enjoy is being in the background — being an accompanist rather than a soloist.

Is that what it takes to reach the higher strata of today's society: the need to be a leader, to stand out?

What are the classes in the 21st century, and how much do they or should they matter to a single adult trying to find a compatible significant other? Can't anyone put on a lovely dress and comb her hair and behave acceptably in the social setting that's not necessarily of her choosing? Isn't what happens when you get home at night and how you treat each other more important than some arbitrary assignment of class membership?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Being a Hood Ornament Takes a Lot of Work

I was thinking the other day as I was carefully choosing an outfit to wear to dinner that it's a lot of work staying in shape and looking good in order to bolster a man's ego.

The Traveler indicated to me the other day that he thinks Mr. Match is all wet with his concept of "sticking it to" all the men in a restaurant when he walks in with a pretty woman on his arm. The Traveler said when he's sitting in a restaurant alone, which he does frequently, he doesn't notice men-with-pretty-women differently from men-with-plain-women differently from men-with-no-women. He didn't say so, but I imagine he does notice women-with-no-men.

When I'm concerned about men noticing me and checking me out, I dress in much more form-fitting clothes and make sure my makeup is in place and hair is decent. If I'm just running to the store and not concerned with being noticed, I'm apt to wear shorts and one of John's old shirts. That's my comfort attire.

I guess this post is similar in concept to an earlier post about women who have been married for a long time and how they must be threatened by all of us single women looking for a man.

Sometimes a women's commune sounds like a nice alternative: I could wear my shorts and big shirt all the time and not worry about hair and makeup.

Ah, the price we pay to attract men!

Friday, October 27, 2006


My Google quote-of-the-day. Something to think about . . .

"Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness."
- Robertson Davies
The Role of the Adult Child in the Dating Life of the Over-50 Single Adult

Gee, that sounds like the topic for a doctoral dissertation!

Tyler tells me they're moving back to Youngstown, and my heart breaks. Anyone who knows me well knows I define myself first as a grandma, then a musician, then a geek, then a fiber artist.

Tyler has been my heart almost since the day he was born. For an adoptee who grew up with no identity, no place in the universe, being able to see myself in Tyler was life-affirming. Finally.

(I don't think TJ would be offended by those words. The entire family always saw him as very much like his father and Tyler very much like me. However, as we all grow older, the distinctions are becoming less distinct.)

I've been single for many of the post-divorce years that Tyler and I have been together. He has always been my go-to guy, my voice of sanity when my heart was being swept away by some guy with a big broom. Many times, a relationship has drawn to a close because of his not-random statement regarding the man.

For example, about Emotionally-Unavailable-Emil, he said he didn't think Emil could hold my interest through the years. About the Maryland Man — well, I don't remember he exact words, but I broke up with MM shortly thereafter. About the guy from El Paso, "Mom, he needs to trim his nose hair." And you know the rest of that story.

Every time I meet someone new, I wonder how he'll fit into my family. As a whole, my family is not pleased with Mr. Match's actions over the course of that relationship, and that hovers like a cloud over his calls. (Yes, he's begun calling again.) Ty and Jaci met the Gardener and, this time, I didn't even ask what they thought. (Oooh, am I gaining more self-confidence?)

Actually, I was waiting for the right time to ask Tyler what he thought, and then this bombshell was dropped. A fait accompli. No discussion, no "what do you think". Just kaBoom. And I'm having a hard time keeping the tears at bay.

It's their right as adults to manage their own lives. I don't want to manage their life — I can hardly manage my own. The boys' father and I did the same thing when TJ and Ty were around the ages that Boston and Riah are now. But, when I compare myself to my parents at that stage, my parents had each other. The marriage may have been nothing to speak of, but they had a stable life in Orlando. They didn't consider us (to the best of my knowledge) to be an integral and essential part of their lives. As Boston and Riah and Ty and Jaci are to mine.

I feel that, with their departure, I will have nothing in Tucson. I have a job that could go away with a drop of ink to the contract. I have two - count 'em, two - houses containing just things (and cats), not people. Not loved ones. I have friends, all of whom have their Significant Others and their families and their lives. I have a palmful of men who are hold various stages of interest in me. But none of those equates to family. And mine's going away.

But back to the dating issue. This whole upheaval leaves me feeling that I have no permanence in my life. Are all these men in my life just diversions until I decide where I'm going to move to next to try to establish a life?

When does it end? If one desires permanence, why is it so hard to find, so elusive?

<Question-for-the-ages on>
Do I give my kids too much control over my life? Is that why they're leaving - to get a break from Mom?
<Question off>

Thursday, October 26, 2006

First and Ten[tative]

I took the Gardener to the Tucson Symphony concert last Friday night. This was his first-ever classical music concert. I was apprehensive.

Actually, I was apprehensive on several counts. Who knew what he knew about a classical music concert? Did he know not to clap between movements? Would he find the music so relaxing he'd fall asleep and start snoring? Would he attempt to talk to me and not whisper?

More than that, how would he react to being introduced to 20 or 30 people, friends and former TSO colleagues and singers with whom I've become friends?

I'm happy to report he did very well. He even professed to have enjoyed himself and said he'd be happy to accompany me to such an event again. Wow!

I was impressed.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bless you for caring for me

I quoted the note as "thank you." TJ corrected me. It was "bless you."

He remembers it well, as he wrote some beautiful verse about it.

Thanks TJ.

Who Can I Turn To?

Looks like we're into song titles here lately. This one refers to the phenomenon of getting older and needing to be taken care of.

On Monday evening, Rudi went to see our favorite vet to get updated on his shots before his new best friend Marcello comes home. Dr. Boyer gave him some Benadryl to alleviate his trauma with the regimen of shots he needed. So within an hour of getting back home, he was stretched out on the couch — a real couch catato — and I had to pick him up and carry him to the bed when I turned in. During the night I woke up and looked over; he hadn't moved! Suddenly I wondered if he was dead, so reached over to lay my hand on him to see if I could feel him breathing.

This brought back a whole raft of memories from John's illness.

At the end of March 1998, three months before his death, John fell and broke numerous ribs (his bones were filled with cancer, so the breaks were not surprising). This resulted in horrible pain for him and he had difficulty sitting up, lying down, difficulty with movements such as those. We got a walker, a recliner with a seat that would lift him to standing position, and a hospital bed. We positioned the hospital bed right next to our bed so I could sleep on our bed and he on the hospital bed and we could still hold hands while we fell asleep. He continued to deteriorate and after about a month I started worrying that he would die in the middle of the night and I wouldn't know about it until morning. So when we got close to sleep, I would turn around and put my head at the foot of the bed, then stretch my arm out so my hand was resting on his chest and I could feel his chest rise and fall with each breath. And this is how we would sleep.

I don't know how he felt about that; I never asked. It was what I needed to do for my own peace of mind. We didn't talk much about his feelings about the whole illness and his approaching death. But I did my very best to take good care of him, to smooth out the rocky road he had to travel. Once, early on, he wrote me a note and left it where I would find it. It said, "bless you for caring for me."

And now I am again trying to find someone to walk through the rest of my life with. As I meet and get to know each man, I automatically wonder how I would feel about again being the primary caregiver if something were to happen to him. I wonder what kind of caregiver he would be if something were to happen to me. I wonder how I would feel about having to depend on him for care — I'm not very good about letting other people do things for me. Relying on someone to that degree is enormously scary for me and probably related to all my abandonment and rejection issues from the adoption.

This caregiving issue should probably be a topic of discussion for all people over 50 who are considering a long-term relationship. But how do you know how you'll react to a situation such as that — You don't. You can't. You can't possibly know how you'll react until you're in the middle of the situation.

Mr. Match had some health issues midway into our three months. I had, over the past eight years, thought that I would run screaming from the building if ever presented with something like that by someone I was involved with. But I didn't. My reaction surprised and pleased me. I realized at that moment that I'm the kind of person who rises to the occasion, who does what needs to be done, who puts one foot in front of the other to keep going until the task is completed.

But how do you determine of your potential Significant Other that he is the kind of person who will rise to the occasion, rather than racing out the door, if the need arises?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There are only twenty-four hours in a day

Anyone who has heard me talk about my many avocational interests (or about cooking) has heard me utter this phrase. As in, "There are only twenty-four hours in a day. I'd rather spend them sewing than cooking."

The weird thing about life is that it expands to fill all available hours. And when you're trying to date and get to know various men, it takes time. Hours that were already filled with activities before that man appeared can't be expanded, so activities must be decreased. And something gets dropped — something you really want or need to do.

It's 6:00 a.m. and I'm sitting with a lap full of bills that have been ignored for over a week. Thank God for online bill paying — at least I don't have to search for the checkbook and the pen and the envelopes and stamps.

Yes, it's exciting to have multiple men interested in me (for the first time in my life), but it's also exhausting. Why couldn't this have happened when I was younger and had more energy?

Oh well. I guess I'll just suffer through.
A Day Without Thinking . . .

about men. I was sick today and spent the entire day on the couch. But I pulled data from an Access table and populated a mySQL table. Woo hoo! I added a star to my geek crown today.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Actions Speak Louder Than . . . Actions

Every time I tried to talk to Mr. Match about his still being out on Match.com, tried to indicate to him that his talk was hurtful to me — talk of meeting more women, of sampling one of each kind before deciding he wanted to settle down again — he would say "Actions speak louder than words, and just look at how much time I spend with you." I would concede that he had a valid point.

And yet, over the three months we were together, we never spent significant weekend time together. He always had things he had to do — laundry, house cleaning, errands, hair cuts, research for stock trades, consulting work. I would get lunch or dinner or a movie, but that was all. There was never a spontaneous let's-just-go-have-fun.

When I'm interested in someone, I want to spend time with him. I want to hang out, do nothing, spend time together and get to know each other better. In short, go places and do things, or go nowhere and do nothing. Just spend time together. I never got that with Mr. Match. Everything else in his life was more important than me, the woman he was telling "I'm in love with you."

I got a little dose of dating reality yesterday. I went up to the Gardener's place early in the morning to sit out in the garden and share pastries and a cuppa. Then the time I had carved out for that activity lapsed and I told him I had to leave. I told him I was going to look at adoptable cats and asked if he wanted to go with me, fully expecting him to beg off because of all the things he needed to do with his day. To my astonishment, he said yes. We hopped in the little Wrangler and took off. After "Marcello" decided I was his new mom-to-be, the Gardener said, "let's go look through those little antique shops you've always wanted to see". After an hour, I said, "I'm hungry. Can I buy you to lunch?" And he said yes. And activity followed activity, time followed time.

All this spontaneity lasted for about six hours! Six Hours! Six hours of someone wanting to be with me, to spend time with me, wanting our time together not to end. Can you imagine?!

I'm awestruck. Simply awestruck.
Great and Not-So-Great Expectations

When I met the Lemonade Tycoon, I was looking for a permanent man in my life. I don't believe I ever thought I had found him therein, but I did think there was something really nice and synergistic and long-term happening there. Then he ended it and I started looking again. That time I was not looking for Mr. Right. I was looking for Mr. Right Now, someone to hang out with for the summer. With Mr. Match, all signs pointed to my having finally found Mr. Right. I was shocked and thrilled. As he faded away (or, more accurately, disappeared), I started looking again. This time, I don't think I have a clue what I'm looking for, or what I expect to find. I think I'm not expecting to find anything.

What I have found is a really wonderful friend, fun to be with, smart, a Really Good Guy. And then I found another good guy, a romantic, affectionate guy who does one thoughtful thing after another and continually surprises and delights me.

Holy Catz!! How did I get so lucky?

Friday, October 20, 2006

One More Thought Re Friends

I left out one man in the litany. He worked at the U.S. Naval Academy and was, avocationally, an actor. (No, that's nothing like being a player.) I went out with him a handful of times, then said I'd like to be friends. He declined my generous offer. He said he had enough friends. Friends were easy for him to find. Lovers were not. If I didn't want to be his girlfriend, then I could skip being his friend.
To Rant or Not To Rant

The Gardener mentioned last night that he thought my comment about his keeping old girlfriends as woman friends was a rant. I didn't feel like I was ranting. In no way was I comparing his weekly dinner with ex-girlfriend-now-friend to Mr. Match's ex-fiancée asking him to cook dinner for her every time she's in town and his occasionally sleeping over at her (their ex-) apartment and her buying furnishings for his new apartment. No way. No comparison.

I can see where it's good for someone to have a friend of the opposite sex who knows you well on whom you can try out theories and get honest what-on-earth-were-you-thinking feedback. I believe the Kayaker and I have that with each other. I worry when I haven't heard from him for a couple of days. One or the other of us will send an e-mail when two or three days have gone by with no contact. We rarely see each other face-to-face (it's been four months now) but the connection is still active, still there, still of great use and comfort.

I wonder if the exes-as-friends capability depends on who was the breaker and who was the breakee. The Gardener explained that these were women who had broken up with him but wanted to stay friends. That made me cycle through my mind on all the men in the past eight years with whom I had relationships. I kept a very erratic e-mail relationship going with the Maryland Man, but he now, finally, has a significant other, so that has fallen off. An e-mail from him was always good for my ego or to pick me up when I was down: he thought I hung the moon. EEFFH - don't wanna be friends, don't wanna know anything about him except when he dies. The first E in EEFFH stands for Evil. The real estate investor? We've been in infrequent touch and he helped me with a few items regarding buying this house, but I don't like being around someone when you can't tell what's talking - the alcohol or the real self. The Bad Combover guy in El Paso? What would be the purpose? The Lemonade Tycoon. He broke up with me. If he doesn't want to be with me, then he should not be with me! Don't bother to call. Mr. Match? The jury's still out on that one. I do have to see him to trade "stuff" — books of his, CDs of mine. But my therapist really gave me the business the other evening when I was noncommittal on whether I'd go out with him again. So in the interest of being a healthy adult of sound mind, I guess I have to say that I am not able to be post-relationship friends with Mr. Match.

Oh yeah. The Kayaker? Post-relationship friends of the best kind. And the Traveler? To be determined.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random Thoughts, in Fast Succession

My mind keeps playing with the thoughts of merging households and merging lives. I've said since the day EEFFH broke up with me that I wanted to be in a committed relationship of the cohabitation type (with or without the recognition of the State). But the more settled I get in my life and the more of these stinking three-month relationships I go through, the more I question that desire.

I woke at 4:45 this morning, fixed a cup of tea, took my Excedrin, put the ice pack on my neck, and pulled the laptop into bed with me. And thought about the fact that the only person I risk disturbing in taking those actions is Rudi. Actually, a couple of minutes later Rudi bit me so hard I now have blood and a bruise on my left forearm, so I guess he really was disturbed. Or is disturbed!

I'm thinking I need to get another cat to get Rudi OUT OF MY FACE!

I think women are more adaptable than men. (Somebody contradict me if you think I'm wrong.) I think women are more able to amend or emend their lives to fit in with someone else's life. (As I write that, I picture two hands coming together to hold each other.) I've been living alone now for three years. Wow, is it only three? It seems like so much longer. I guess you could say I've been living alone, emotionally, for eight years.

My second husband had been alone for twelve years when we married. He wasn't so adaptable. I moved into his home and had to ask before I hung a picture on a wall or placed a rug in a bathroom. When John and I got together the second time around, I told him if we wanted that relationship to work, we would have to start over. So we bought a house that was ours. Not his. Not mine. No ghosts in closets. I highly recommend that action.

I've been thinking about having a home in the same neighborhood as my as-yet-unidentified man. That way I could have my things, my messy spaces, and he could have his. But if we were to break up, I'd have to move.

The Gardener keeps all his old girlfriends as friends. How does he do that? I can't imagine.

Once I'm done with a relationship, I don't really want to know what's going on in the life of my ex-whatever. Maybe it's because of all my acceptance/rejection issues. If I'm not good enough for you, then get the hell out of my life. Don't keep throwing in my face the fact that I wasn't good enough.

But does that hold with a relationship that develops only as friends? One man currently on my list is absolutely the dearest man. I hold him in the highest esteem and consider him a man of the utmost quality. But I really don't see it developing into a romance. I adore him as a friend. Is there a man alive for whom that is a good thing, or — coming back to Mr. Match's statements of competition — must it be all or nothing: friendship and love and romance and sex or nothing at all?

Is there a farmer in the house to say, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Merging Lives

My sons' half-sister (my first husband's daughter) has just announced her engagement. She's so excited about the upcoming wedding. [I laughed when I read in her blog that she's been dating this young man for nine weeks and engaged to him for two-and-a-half of those weeks. Her father proposed to me after one week of dating.] Young people, getting married for the first time, don't realize how lucky they are to be merging their lives before they've created households, before they've amassed a bunch of cr**, er, stuff.

I saw F's home last night. Wow. Here's a 50-something divorced man who's been on his own for a long time, and he knows how to make a beautiful, peaceful haven. I'm not talking tons o' money spent on a residence. (I've been there already and it wasn't peaceful.) This is a simple setting with hours and hours of elbow grease and tender loving care put into his surroundings.

I think that says a lot about who he is, how comfortable he is in his own skin.

A guy can sit on his butt in front of talking (screaming) heads or a football game, or he can get off his butt and put thought into his environment. This man clearly knows how to do that.

He and I moved into our new homes within ten days of each other. There's no comparison between how settled he is and how settled I am.

I'm impressed. I don't impress easily.

And this man shall henceforth be known on this site as the Gardener.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Starting Over and Over and Over

Is this the time in my life of three-month relationships? That would mean starting over four times a year?! Enough! Starting over is a pain in the royal patoot!

The worst part is all the 'splaining one has to do, the history, the disclaimers. I had dinner with F last night before rehearsal. Before parting with him to go on my musical way, I had a massive migraine attack — the worst attack I've had in several years, and very different from all previous attacks. It scared me. If it scared me, what on earth must it have done to him?!

With the starting over, with all the explaining, comes the risk that the new man in one's life is going to say, "That's more than I wish to deal with at this time in my life. See ya."

I salute the over-50 singles with the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other and explaining themselves over and over again and repeatedly taking on the risk of rejection, yet again. I guess I'm part of that crowd. I guess I want someone in my life badly enough that I'll keep incurring the risk.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Changes of Perspective

The events of the past month or so, the shaking of my trust, have made me wonder if I really do want just one man for the rest of my life. More specifically it has made me wonder if I want a husband/spouse-equivalent. Would I prefer a relationship similar to that with my grandchildren: if I get tired of 'em, I send 'em home?? (Just an analogy, Tyler. I don't think I could ever get tired of them.)

Maybe I do want just one man in a committed relationship but have him reside under his own roof. Now there's a new thought.

Every so often in the Tucson paper you read about over-50s who get married but then move into a house with a guest house. One of them lives in the main house, the other in the guest house. That way he can watch all the football or talking heads he wants and she can have the lovely, tidy, peaceful house she wants. They're there for each other, but the relationship never loses its newness or mystery.


New York State of Mind

Here's the 2006 version of obligatory Rockefeller Center photo.

Cheryl and I realized we've been friends for 37 years now. Oh, she complained that she has no pseudonym on this blog, so she will be known from henceforth and forevermore as the PianoLady.

And now it's time to start planning for New York 2007.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Whirlwind Trip

Totally, completely, and absolutely off-topic

Here's a quick Sunday morning post for those souls who read this blog religiously.

Cheryl and I had our Sunday morning Marriott buffet for $24 each. I embarrassed a man who was at the pastry table with us when I told him the fabric in his shirt was beautiful. As I was coming back up to the room, a girl in the elevator complained to the gentleman with her that her eyes were red from her contacts. I told her my eyes were red from having too much fun!

We will now sit and visit for another half hour before I leave for the airport and Cheryl leaves to catch her train. And we'll start planning next year's trip.

I'll get back on topic tomorrow from Tucson.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Autumn in New York (Tra la)

Totally and completely off-topic, yet again

Yes, I know we all say living in Tucson is like living in Paradise. But I absolutely love Fall on the East Coast. I love the autumn leaves, I love the crisp temperatures and the wind, I love the enthusiasm and excitement that's in the air.

Cheryl and I walked back down 8th Avenue from the theatre at noon, looking at $5 pashmina shawls and beaded bags and funnel cakes and crepes with Nutella and fresh strawberries. I could move back to the East Coast in a heartbeat, if I hadn't already moved out of the real estate market here and into the lesser market in Tucson.

We had lunch at that distinctly New York establishment: Olive Garden. Okay, so we both love the salad and breadsticks. And the glass of pinot grigio put us in the right frame of mind for an afternoon nap. Now we're off to eat yet again, this time Cafe Un Deux Trois. I'm thinking maybe I'll just have a cup of tea and the profiteroles for dinner! How decadent would that be?

Do I have to leave already in the morning? The trip is too short, and I've enjoyed every moment of it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A New York Minute

Totally off-topic

Just a quick note before I fall into bed. I've had a headache since I woke up this morning, but I persevered and had fun anyway.

Cheryl and I had lunch at a darling little café, Lyn's, on 55th between 5th and 6th. Then we wandered through stores, stopped at Dean & Deluca's for coffee, then back to the hotel to rest our feet for an hour. Then we were off to Fresco by Scotto for a fabulous Italian dinner, then to the Gershwin for Wicked. I knew Ana Gasteyer had just started as Elphaba on the 10th of this month. What I didn't know was that she had opened the Chicago production in that role. And, Wowzers!, what a voice.

A beautiful day, wonderful times with a friend of 37 years' duration, fabulous theatre.



That damned eHarmony commercial just came on the television again. The commercial has a line about attraction being accompanied by deep compabitility. So, if eHarmony wouldn't accept me as a client, does that mean I'm totally incompatible with any and every man???


Thinking more this morning — as I gaze out on Times Square and all the activity that defines New York City — about women in their 50s and 60s trying to find and attract Mr. Right.

I spoke with my sister-in-law this morning, who, along with my brother, is in the mountains of North Carolina to visit my mother at the mountain cottage and enjoy the fall leaves. I had e-mailed her two days ago about my change in plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would not be traveling with Mr. Match to D.C. for Thanksgiving and to North Carolina for Christmas. She asked what happened to this relationship where he had told me he loved me and we were looking at the property in NC with the thought of someday having a vacation or retirement cottage there. I said he wanted to sample all available "properties" before settling into a committed relationship with me. I told her he had never taken his profile down and had gone out on a date with another woman he saw on Match. In her matter-of-fact manner, she quickly retorted, "if a man is in love with you, he's not looking for anybody else." Leave it to Molly to cut to the chase!

So thinking about that statement, I look around me at women and try to assess whether they're married (and letting themselves go) or single (and desperately trying to stay in shape and look good). I've thought in the past that it must be difficult for married women, who are enjoying being able to relax from the constant struggle to stay spiffed-up, to be continually faced with the single women who are hungrily applying make-up and coloring their hair and spending hours every week at the gym. Does it force them to try harder to maintain their husbands' interest?

I'm reminded of a woman I know in Tucson. Her husband suggested several years ago that maybe it was time for a divorce. About a year later she started dressing less frumpily, and they're still married. Not sure that one fact is related to the other, but it makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Anyway, if you draw this line of "frumpy vs. fashionable" thinking back to Molly's statement, then if the man truly loves the woman and is committed to her and their life, he's not going to be looking around. He might enjoy the vision of we older women working so hard to remain competitive, but he's not going to be sampling any of the candy in the store.

And again, regarding Mr. Match, we come back to "he's just not that into you."

Head Over Heels

I was thinking about the phrase "head over heels". I've seen "Must Love Dogs" several times — it's the kind of movie I like to watch while sewing. When Bob/Bobby introduces himself to Sarah, she talks about her first boyfriend, who was named Bobby, and makes this cute little flip of her hands to indicate she was "head over heels" for him.

But isn't one's head always over one's heels? Wouldn't "heels over head" be more appropriate?

Why did I start thinking about this in the shower the other morning? Because I'm determined not to be head over heels for any man again anytime soon. The last time hurt too much when I hit ground. Well, hurt or made me feel like a fool.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Be Still, My Beating East-Coast Heart

Travel is interesting for inveterate people-watchers. I saw so many beautifully-dressed men today. It made me very homesick for D.C.

I saw men in tropical-weight wools, in gray flannels. I saw khakis with a solid color polo shirt and a navy blazer. I saw white shirts, blue oxford cloth shirts, fabulous Pima cotton striped shirts. I saw twice-rolled shirtsleeves. I saw nice shoes. Yummy. Simply yummy eye candy. (I don't think I've stated here what I think is the sexiest thing a man can wear. I'm really displaying my cards here. It's when he comes home from work in his white oxford-cloth button-down shirt, takes off his khakis or flannels, and slips into faded jeans. Ummmm - double-yummy.)

Today I didn't see one man in shorts. I didn't see one man with a gray pony tail. I'm sure they must have been around, but I've gotten so used to seeing them in Tucson that my style-starved soul could only see the well-dressed, nicely-groomed men.

The captain flirted with me and touched my hand as I boarded the plane in Dallas. Do you know what that does for an old gal's heart, to be flirted-with like that? It's a zing of a whole different sort. Okay, yeah, I've been hanging with a pilot lately, and I know they're trained to do that. They probably have a log they have to fill out after every trip, and they probably have a quota of women they have to flirt with. But it was damned fun.

And the women. That was interesting also. (I ticked-off the young woman sitting next to me from Dallas to NY. I had the Mozart C-minor Mass on my iPod and was practicing, quietly singing along. Evidently not quietly enough. She let out an annoyed sigh and reached for her earplugs. My gosh, we were sitting right by the engines. How on earth could she hear me?!)

I maintain you can tell the women who are looking for men from the ones who already have their men or no longer care. The cut of the jeans (slim or baggy), the feel of the jacket (frumpy or style-concious), the haircut, the makeup application (or lack thereof). Do we, the manless-and-looking, emit a scent or a high-pitched dog-whistle-kinda sound?

Getting out of Tucson is always good for me. I can see what's going on in the rest of the world. And today felt good. It felt like I'm still looking and doing pretty good.

I'm sitting on the 29th floor of the Marriott Marquis, looking out the window down on Times Square. Fabulous. I'm going to enjoy every eye-candy moment of this trip!

Déjà Vu, All Over Again

You'll remember that six weeks or so ago Mr. Match said it was all about competition. A man wants a hottie on his arm as he walks into a restaurant to, in his words, "stick it to" every man in the restaurant.

If it is all about the competition, then when a man wins the competition, will he stop trying?

One of the current five is trying pretty hard. (Holy Cow! Five?! Who is this person inhabiting my body and my space, 'cause it sure ain't "dumb, ugly and incompetent" me?!) But if he is declared the winner, will he stop trying? And how can I know that for sure without declaring him the winner? At what point does one take a leap of faith and decide to trust again. The thought of trusting again is scary as hell!

To illustrate the cause of the fear, I'll have to dip back into the treasure trove of "Short Stories and Nightmares" that you all know and love:

I met EEFFH online Labor Day 1999. (I've decided it's time to institute a glossary so you don't have to search through two months of posts to remember that EEFFH stands for Evil Ex-Fiancé From Hell.) We e-mailed for two days, then he asked if he could call. He happened to be doing some research for Swedish Telecom at that time, so had a free cell phone. He would call anytime he knew I was available. We'd talk on my drive to work, my drive home from work, my lunch hour, before I went to bed, as soon as I woke up. Ty, Jaci and I went to Las Vegas for TJ's wedding, and EEFFH and I talked nonstop for six hours. I was swept away.

He was attentive, thoughtful, would send random little gifts — a package would arrive from Amazon.com with a book he thought I'd enjoy. He had a lovely speaking voice and manner on the phone. After six weeks of this, he asked if he could come to Washington to see me and of course I said yes. When he came out of Customs at Dulles, I was horrified by his appearance. I had seen several photos, but nothing prepared me for the morbidly obese schlub that walked out, leaning on his luggage cart for support. At that moment I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But niceness triumphed over sanity, and I brushed the concerns away. The courting continued. In short order, he asked me to marry him, bought me a 2.6 carat diamond, and brought me to Tucson to pick out a million dollar house. He had me. He had won the competition.

Next chapter: He starts work at the University of Arizona. He meets people in the Computer Science department, he reconnects with old friends in the Philosophy department — he has a life, a whole new work life. And he has me at home to take care of the house, to work with the interior designer and all the workmen putting the finishing touches on the house.

As we prepared to leave Washington to move to Tucson, I anticipated that we would have this lovely life together. All the time and attention that he lavished on me at a distance, well, he would continue that in person, right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. The free time he had in our new life? Well, he was used to being on the phone. He didn't have to be on the phone with me any more, so he started calling all his high school buddies and spending hours shuckin' and jivin' on the phone with them. 'Scuse me, this is a 52-year-old man. He hated high school. He has nothing good to say about anybody or anything remotely associated with high school. And now he's spending hours on the phone. And I'm starving for attention and affection. The life I thought we were going to have? Poof! Evaporated. Bizarre!!

As a post script, I have to tell you it never got any better. Things got worse and worse, I went deeper and deeper into depression, never thinking I might just leave in search of my sanity. No, I was good, supportive, kind, nice. The ideal spouse-equivalent. And then one day — ka-Boom. He said, "I want to be alone." Three weeks later I moved out. Ten weeks later he got married. Oops — I guess he didn't really want to be alone, huh?

So you can understand my apprehension when someone puts on a full-court press. My inclination is to just stand back and hold him at arm's length.

And the primary question rolling around my brain is this: how long will it take before I can believe that I won't be subjected to déjà vu all over again?

It's a Brave New World

I mentioned I'm seeing more than one man. That's about the only statement I'm going to make about this fact, as several of them read this blog and I'm not a great poker player!

But the question comes to mind: When one is in this position and is invited to a "couples" event, how does she choose which of these many and varied and unique men to accompany her?

1) On Project Runway, the names of the contestants are written on a button and dropped into a velvet bag. Hmmm, the names could be written on a . . . . Oh, stop it! That wasn't where I was going at all!
2) The names could be written on cards and tossed in the air. Pick up those that land face-up and toss again. The final card to land face-up is the winner.
3) A detailed spreadsheet could be maintained, listing likes and dislikes, interests and I-don't-cares. Then the person who was interested in the particular activity would be chosen. What if more than one man had an interest in the activity? Some weighting method would have to be implemented.
4) Bids. As pilots bid on routes, all the men involved could bid on the activity. Let's see — would the lowest bid or the highest bid be the winner?
5) LIFO. The person with whom one had a date the farthest in the past would jump to the front of the queue. That way the men would be in constant rotation. But that's self-defeating, because no one of the men would ever ask me out. He'd be at the top of the list and therefore disqualified from the next event. So the LIFO queue would only consist of times I had done the asking, not when the man had asked.
6) Or, you just ask the one you like the best to accompany you to the activity or event. Pretty soon the list is down to one. Hmmmm.

Other ideas? Feel free to add a comment telling me a better way to do this. Oh yeah, there's the "go alone, without a date, to the events in question." But wait, that's what I was doing before the calendar turned to 2006.

- - - - -
Okay, enough silliness for tonight. I gotta go finish packing. "My little town blues are melting away . . ."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fighting for Your Woman/Working for What You Want

I was thinking yesterday about learning from relationships. I spoke of relationships as building blocks in the house of life. Even the ones that aren't truly building blocks can be learning experiences — mortar-mixing, if you want to extend the analogy.

Many of my relationships over the past three years have been about learning to stand up for my needs and rights, stating unequivocally what behavior I will not tolerate. But even with a statement of "this ain't workin' for me", there can be negotiation and, at the very least, understanding.

So how come the recent Mr.-Three-Month candidates have been willing to just let it go with no further discussion and no negotiation or understanding? No fighting for what they want? There was the guy from El Paso. I told him he needed to get his eyebrows trimmed and get a good haircut. He responded that I was rude and I never heard from him again. He had professed undying love for me, and my statement that his eyebrows stabbed me when we kissed was enough to throw all that away? And Mr. Match. I told him he needed to go figure out what he wanted and let me know if I was part of that plan. Immediate cessation of communication. I guess he's still figuring. Oh, and the Lemonade Tycoon who informed me via e-mail that he didn't want what I wanted. Excuse me, but without some extended conversations about the meaning of life, I don't think you really know what I want. How dare you presume, make unilateral decisions, and inform me via e-mail. You wanna discuss rude? That's far more rude than giving grooming tips!

While there are times I think "closure" is just a theory to keep people in therapy longer, there is something to knowing it's over, to not having the contrails of the relationship just hanging out there in the sky.

Regarding all three of these candidates, I think I have to go back to quoting Greg Behrendt: "He's just not that into you."

Ho hum. Where is He?! Where is that man who is grown-up enough to want a good relationship with a quality woman?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

People Come Into Our Lives For a Reason

I'm so excited about the trip to New York. Cheryl and I are e-mailing multiple times daily and speaking on the phone every other day. Today I bought tickets for the Wicked backstage tour on Saturday morning and she made our dinner reservations — Fresco by Scotto on Friday night and Café Un, Deux, Trois on Saturday night. Ah, profiteroles. I'm listening to the Wicked soundtrack in the car and at my desk. The multitudinous men in my life right now are all sitting in the back seat, in a clump, until I get back from New York. (She laughed, reveling in this unprecedented time in her life.)

This morning I again drank in the lyrics of "For Good". (I posted them on 9/11, if you want to go into the September archive and read them again.)

And I do believe that people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes I look back at the building blocks that certain people, particularly the men, in my life have been. Terry got me my sons and moved me to Texas, where I hooked up with IBM. Dick got me to my beloved D.C., where I was able to get my B.S. and J.D. The Washington Chorus brought John and happiness into my life. EEFFH was very generous to my kids and helped them craft the beautiful life they have in Tucson.

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

<Totally Off Topic and Away From Melancholy>
Things I love about technological advances: free long distance and paying bills online. :-)

The Blog That Ate the Post

This morning, as I was searching for something I had said, I found two posts that were marked as drafts. I could swear that I had published them after writing, but Blogger thinks not. They're part of the "short stories and nightmares" series. Anyway, if you're into the horror stories from my past, they're posted on 8/6 and 8/24. Enjoy! (or not!)

Sometimes I Like Songs Even When I Don't Get The Lyrics

Thursday morning I leave for my Broadway weekend with Cheryl. I'm getting more excited with each passing minute. I was listening to the soundtrack to Wicked again this afternoon. (Ummm, if I had 50 cents for every time I've listened to this soundtrack, that would cover both Cheryl's and my tickets for Friday night!)

I love the lyrics to "I'm Not That Girl". But of course I wish it was "and I'm that girl". Well, in any event, I love the song. And I will be silently singing along with every word on Friday night when Cheryl and I are sitting on the 10th row in the Gershwin Theatre on West 51st Street. (Written by she who spends way too much time in the Land of What-Might-Have-Been (or Might-Be).)

Hands touch, eyes meet
Sudden silence, sudden heat
Hearts leap in a giddy whirl
He could be that boy
But I'm not that girl.

Don't dream too far
Don't lose sight of who you are
Don't remember that rush of joy
He could be that boy
I'm not that girl

Ev'ry so often we long to steal
To the land of what-might-have-been
But that doesn't soften the ache we feel
When reality sets back in

Blithe smile, lithe limb
She who's winsome, she wins him
Gold hair with gentle curl
That's the girl he chose
And heaven knows
I'm not that girl...

Don't wish, don't start
Wishing only wounds the heart
I wasn't born for the rose and pearl
There's a girl I know
He loves her so
I'm not that girl...

Monday, October 09, 2006


Is zing for men purely physical while for women it's some confusing combination of emotional and physical?

Can deep respect and abiding affection morph its way to zing?
Flash Point

Is zing the same for men and women? Does it exist/not exist similarly? Is it as important? Does it mean the same thing?

Again, I have no answers, only questions. And I'm open to input from anyone who thinks he has some of the answers.
It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Zing!"

Okay, so the song title is Swing, not Zing, and it applies to jazz. But does it also apply to relationships? How important is zing, chemistry, that pitter-pat of your heart?

I've stated that when I sat down across from Mr. Match the first time, lightning struck the table. The chemistry was powerful, almost palpable. But in the long run, that didn't matter, did it?

I absolutely believe that honor and respect and kindness and thoughtfulness and decency are more important than zing, but can one have an enduring relationship without the zing, or will you feel a distinct hole in the relationship if the zing isn't there?

I have no answers, only questions.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

So This Is What It's Like!

Okay, so I had a highly enjoyable drink on Friday night with B and then met F face-to-face on Saturday morning for fifteen delightful minutes over coffee and had a marvelous dinner and drive out into the country on Saturday night with L. Umm, if my clock is working correctly, that's spending time with three different men over the course of twenty-four hours.

Trust me. That has never never never happened in my entire life. Maybe three different men over the course of twelve months. In fact, I went for the entire year of 2005 with zero dates - count 'em, ZERO. Oh wait, the Kayaker and I went to dinner once that summer but I think we were already past dating by that time. (Aside to the Kayaker: no insult intended if you viewed that dinner differently than I.)

I've always wondered what it was like to be "popular with the boys". I was never popular. Now consider my best-friend-since-second-grade, Gail. She was popular. She's 5'10", thick long blond hair, drop dead gorgeous, MENSA brilliant, and off-the-chart nice. Guys followed her around like puppy dogs. I imagine they still do.

Me? I was gawky, totally lacking in self-confidence, always trying (not very successfully) to fit in. I had boyfriends: Danny (now a successful sound engineer in Orlando) in fourth grade, Ernie (now a successful psychotherapist) in fifth grade, Buddy in sixth through eighth grade (Oh, how I loved him. He was adopted, too. We identified with each other.) Buddy's mom made him break up with me — something about me not being good enough for him. Ninth grade - nobody. Tenth grade - nobody. Eleventh grade - ah, Jim S. (Now a successful physician.) I finally had an identity: I had a boyfriend. Gail's boyfriend that year was Jim J. The two Jims didn't like each other when we all started dating. They lived next-door to each other in the boys' dorm, but didn't hang out at all. But Gail and I were inseparable — she was the sister I never had. So by the time we all broke up, the two Jims were best friends.

College was pretty bleak except for a period at UCF - Mike P. Ah, Mike. The great love of my youth. But he was smart enough to know he wasn't ready to get married, and I thought marriage was the be-all and end-all and ultimate goal. A year later, Terry came along, believing God would have him marry me. Oh well. Sometimes we makes wise decisions and sometimes not. (Aside to my sons: do I need to reiterate that I wouldn't trade you for anything whenever I talk about the misery that marriage was for me, or are you secure in that now and I can let it go?) (I wouldn't trade you for anything.)

People did want to be around me, but only for my ability to play the piano. Doug proposed to me in eleventh grade. Well, sort of. I think his exact words were "I'll marry you and cook for you and clean house and everything if you'll just play the piano for me when I get home from work every night." That's sorta a proposal, huh? I ran into a high school classmate in Washington 25 years after graduation. We were seated across from each other in a classroom and he looked over at me and asked, "Do you still play the piano?" So that was my identity.

But back to three dates in twenty-four hours. I'm friggin' 56 years old! I've never known anything like this in my life. And I'm quite enjoying it, thank you very much. Each man is unique and interesting. I leave each date thinking, "Hey, that was nice. I want to do that again."

And back to unfinished topics: I spoke with Mr. Match on Thursday night. He wants to get together this week to talk. And y'know what? If that boy wants to pick things up with me, he's just gonna have to get in line. Nobody's ever stood in line for me before. He can freaking stand in line!

Wow! I had no idea life could be like this!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Strange New World

My life has suddenly taken a turn into uncharted territory. I had a drink last night with a new guy, have a dinner date tonight with another new guy. My inbox has exploded in the past two days. Y'know how I said maybe I'd try dating several people and not thinking about the long-term relationship? Evidently putting those words into pixels caused it to happen. Hmmm, I should have said something like that years ago!

On December 23rd last year, when I got a call from the VA for a job interview (after 17 months of throwing résumés out into the universe), I had a sense that 2006 was going to be my year. Then within two-and-a-half weeks, I got calls from Computer Task Group and UofA. With one phone interview (and no submission of writing sample) I got my perfect-fit job at IBM. My sense about 2006 continued when Jacki called to tell me they were going to sell the house and to ask if I wanted it. Now I have my wonderful little midtown cottage. And then with the end of each three-month relationship — in February, in June, apparently in late September, I questioned the fulfilling of my life in 2006.

And now?! I'm awestruck. I've never had so many men interested in me simultaneously. It sure blows my mother's early tenet that I'm dumb, ugly and incompetent, huh?

I'm not sure how long this is going to last. I'm not sure how well I'm going to deal with it. But maybe, for once in my life, I'll just enjoy it while it lasts and not worry about the unknown.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Last Go-Around?

So if this is my last go-around in life, maybe I should just enjoy it and stop worrying about finding Mr. Right-Forever?

The general response in private e-mails to yesterday's post was that people can't change their basic nature. People are telling me I don't have the capacity to be less than open, honest, straight-forward, soul-baring.

If that's so, and I guess I have to agree that it is, then what factors of one's life can be changed?

I've spent the last eight years, since John's death, wishing and searching for a permanent relationship that was as wonderful (if not more so) than what I had in the small number of years John and I spent together. Now I'm starting to wonder if that's realistic.

At 56, am I set in my ways? Am I so used to my daily personal activities (waking at 4:30 or 5:00 to gulp tea and an Excedrin and slap an ice-pack on my neck, lie on the couch clearing my TiVo list or reading e-mails, lying in bed at 10:00 with the news and a crossword puzzle or SuDoku) that I'm better off in casual relationships? Am I capable of adapting to someone else's daily personal activities and negotiating a common ground? For that matter, if I try the multiple casual relationships, am I capable of remembering all the personal facts, the kids' names, the birth dates, the choice of pets, the favorite city in which to vacation? Is my brain to old, my estrogen too far gone, to be able to remember all that stuff? (Thank God for spreadsheets in which to record personal information.) ;-) Hey, this mental exercise could be just as good as the crosswords and SuDokus! Maybe I could write a doctoral dissertation on the brain cells involved in dating over 50!

So maybe I'm rethinking things I want and things I don't want. I am being very good about certain things I want — I heard from Mr. Match last night, after five days of no communication, and I didn't collapse, didn't melt. He says he's dealing with some things in his life. I didn't ask what. He said we'd talk next week. I said fine. I will not rethink my requirement to be treated with respect.

And my final note about yesterday's post: my kids did not step forward and volunteer to begin pre-screening all my dates. (Smart kids, they.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pre-Judgment; Pre-Approval

I mentioned that I have a date on Saturday night. This is a man who works a (to me) strange schedule. He's up at 3:15 or so every morning, and (I project) asleep by 8:00 each evening. I prejudge that he wouldn't be an ideal candidate for a long-term, cohabiting relationship with someone who likes to read herself to sleep in bed at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. But I don't know — don't know his attitudes on such matters, don't know what his hopes and longings are. It will be fun getting to know him. I'm looking forward to this new relationship-friendship-whatevership. He happens to have been reading this blog for a significant period of time; I think he probably knows me better than any other woman he's ever gone on a first or second date with.

My kids have strong opinions (welcomed by me) of what's right and not-so-right for their mom who has traveled such a long and tortuous road. If you read back through the comments on this blog, you'll notice numerous places where they have voiced their opinions.

Y'know how in times of yore the man would go to the woman's father and ask permission to date her? I think maybe I oughta just pass a list of guys-with-possibilities to my kids and let them vet the man first before I start going out with him. They could ask the 21st century equivalent of "what are your intentions". I'm not sure exactly what those questions might be, but you can bet I'll be pondering that for a future post!
Imputed Honor

I think one of my problems in trying to find the relationship is that I am too open, too honest, too "what you see is what you get." Because I am so open, so real, I attribute that trait to everyone I deal with. Yeah, yeah, I know that's not very realistic. But I believe the best of everyone, and I think the way I treat people is the best way. And I just presume that's how I'll be treated.

But that leads to me being hurt or let-down. Someone said to me about Mr. Match that he "generally means *precisely* what he says, no more and no less, and with no intervention of common sense or interpretation. And he genuinely doesn't understand what other people interpret from his words and "doesn't get" their reactions."

That would certainly explain why "I love you" carried with it, for him, no responsibility to change his actions or narrow his focus.

In light of this knowledge, should I change my ways of being? Should I become more cynical or more covered or more judicious in exposing my feelings? I want to think the answer is "no". I want to keep my viewpoint, however misguided, that the world is a good place and people are, as a rule, nice.

Call me a fool, if you must.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Where Did That Post Come From?

Okay, so I've gotten several e-mails this morning indicating the writers thought my last post was kinda off the wall.

I use Gmail (the Google mail service). Google's search engines scan your mail and then post paid links that are somehow related to the contents of your inbox. This morning I clicked-through on takebackyourheart, and read the following:

Hey Girlfriend,

Can I ask you something personal?
Be honest...

Have you ever dated the type of guy that left you constantly waiting by the phone with an uneasy sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Or a guy who made you feel bad about yourself, but for some reason you couldn’t leave him? (Of course, that same guy, at times, also made you feel like you were the only person on this planet - you know, that “hot-cold” type).

And have you ever walked into a club and found yourself so attracted to one particular guy, you felt like you were in a trance and literally couldn't stop making eyes with him?

If you answered yes to any of the above, it may be a sign that you’re susceptible to a certain “dangerous personality type” that psychiatrists have a SCARY sounding name for, which I'll tell you about in a sec...

Now I normally don't read anything where someone calls me "girlfriend", but I saw myself, loud and clear, in the contents of this advertisement. So I had to go Google the definition of "sociopath". And ever since then, while I'm sitting at my desk doing research on the storage needs of small and medium businesses, I'm scanning back across the men in my history to see how many of them fit this description. Ouch. It's really scary.

I think I need to change my ways of being.

(Oh, to that end I have a dinner date on Saturday night with someone who bears no resemblance to a sociopath. Whew.)
Definition of sociopath

Antisocial Personality Disorder is chronic, beginning in adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood. There are ten general symptoms:

not learning from experience
no sense of responsibility
inability to form meaningful relationships
inability to control impulses
lack of moral sense
chronically antisocial behavior
no change in behavior after punishment
emotional immaturity
lack of guilt

And Jan says, "Hmmmm"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New, Old, Who Can Tell the Difference?

Yesterday morning I nosed around on Match and saw that the Lemonade Tycoon had posted his profile again. He took it down last March after he had been dating me for a couple of weeks.

I e-mailed a man I had had dinner with two years ago to see if he'd like to have dinner again. He said he thought he'd pass.

I received my weekly "Here's your next Match" e-mail and I've gone out with or e-mailed with (or am totally disinterested in) over half the men in the note.

All of those things told me it's time to just totally and completely give up on Match.

I thought maybe I'd try eHarmony one more time. I mean, really, my way of thinking is so skewed right now after all this nonsense with Mr. Match, How could my test results possibly be the same as they were a year ago?

Alas! eHarmony still feels they can't do anything for me.

I give up. Mr. Right is going to have to ride up out of nowhere on his motorcycle or accost me in the lobby of the Music Hall or throw a peach at me in Safeway. I am 99.8% resigned to it never happening online.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

The more I think about the events of the past year, the more convinced I am that we lonely adults looking for someone with whom to adorn our arms or garnish our lives enter each potential relationship filled with hope. We hope we can find some wonderfulness that we remember from a successful time in a relationship past. Or we hope all our unhappiness is behind us.

So we burst through the door like the proverbial bull in the china shop. And we ascribe goodness to every occurrence. And we ignore any potential problems. And we hope beyond all hope that this person is Mr./Ms. Right, having arrived in the nick of time to banish our loneliness; may it never reappear.

The real challenge is to land somewhere on the broad spectrum between unflagging hope and devastating despair.
Circling for the Kill

The posts and comments of the past couple of days got me thinking about other men in my past who have had way too many women hanging around.

Emotionally-Unavailable-Emil had dated many women in the five years following his wife's death before he met me. He quickly fell in love with me, talked about where we would go for our honeymoon, talked about where we would live, talked about how we would adjust our grown-up lives to make things work.

But there were many nights when I would call him when I got home for making beautiful music to shop by at Nordstrom, nights when his phone would be busy for half an hour or forty-five minutes until I'd just give up and fall asleep. And there were many nights when I'd suggest we get together and he'd have plans (which he was consistently unwilling to define).

A widower with children is such a chick-magnet! And his children were absolutely beautiful, sweet, well-mannered. Every woman who met him dreamed of a romantic life with him, filling the void left in these 8- and 5-year-old children's lives by the death of their mother.

He would fall quickly for each of these women, have wonderful dreams of being happy again, of having a life again. Then he would get scared and break it off. But the women (myself included) would feel a responsibility not to abandon these children, so would stay in contact with him, sending birthday gifts and Christmas gifts for the children.

(I went to his house to say good-bye to the children after one of the times he broke up with me. And instead of apologizing to me for the way his mother had bad-mouthed me, he apologized to his mother for my having come over! I saw him again two years ago. He expressed great interest, wanted to see me as much as possible, then *wham* slammed the door shut yet again, this time via e-mail. Who invented e-mail anyway?!)

Emil would see nothing wrong, nothing out of the ordinary about his extended and continuing relationships. Just as Mr. Match sees nothing wrong with insisting the ex-fiance call him when she arrives at Sky Harbor after driving up for a flight. Just as he sees nothing wrong with running to her side every time she calls, having dinner with her once or twice a week, picking her up from the airport whenever she needs a ride.

It's truly not for me to say whether there's anything wrong with what he's got going with her. It's truly none of my business. But I'm not going to spend my life in a relationship where I must worry about what ghost is going to fall out of a closet every time I open a door!
Oh, Put Your Hammers Away!

I'm feeling hammered from all sides on the issue of Mr. Match, who swept me off my feet.

On the other hand, I didn't hear from him at all on Sunday, and find that rather odd.

But I'm too busy to worry about it, and I guess that's a good thing.

The Lemonade Tycoon came over for coffee yesterday. He's just returned from his summer in the Pacific Northwest. This is the first time I've seen him since around June 4th. He wanted to visit me in my new house and see how I had "shoe-horned" (his words, not mine) everything in.

It was interesting to see him. I felt nothing. And it wasn't because of Mr. Match that I felt nothing. It had to do with being broken up with via e-mail, and having heard nothing for so long.

Y'know, in the relationship with EEFFH, I was systematically emotionally-starved-to-death. I am totally not interested in having another relationship where there's no emotional thoughtfulness.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Moral of the Story

I may not have made my point with yesterday's story.

Mr. Match says his exploring all available women online isn't competition. Darlin', if it ain't competition, WTF do you think it is?!

Mr. Match thinks his going out with other women shouldn't bother me. He thinks his ex-fiance's behavior, her incessant and importunistic calls, her requests to spend time with him, shouldn't have any impact on my life. But each call, each time he meets her for dinner, harkens back to EW's behavior and John's eventual acquiescence.

Y'know the overused and now outmoded phrase, "Been there, done that"? Well, I've been there and had that done to me and don't need any more T-shirts for that event.