Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Party Like It's 1989!!!

This weekend Colorado Beth and I will be attending a 36th birthday party for a friend we grew up with. Our friend's husband decided to make it an 80's extravaganza. CB and I are stoked. Any excuse to get all dressed up like we did in high school is a good one.

However, there is just a couple of problems. First, neither of us can figure out how in the hell we got our hair so BIG! I've been looking at old photos and for the life of me I can't remember the entire routine of how to tease my hair to the point that it stood a foot off of my head. (Which was good for me since I was/am pretty darn short.)

I've also been looking at photos and wondering-- what in the hell were we thinking?!?!? Blue eyeliner, pink stretch pants, and ballet flats??? (I know some of you remember those Sam & Libby shoes!) One trend I'm glad to see that has made a come back is skinny jeans (I recently bought a couple of pairs), freaking awesome is all I have to say. Wait. Rephrase that. Totally awesome dude!

Speaking of coming back, I also found out recently that Hot Topic is selling everything 80's these days. Colorado Beth stopped in and picked up a few items for her party outfit (she's channeling Cyndi Lauper) and she mentioned they had a ton of stuff straight out of our misspent youth. Well, it has almost been twenty years. I guess if you wait long enough, everything really does come back in fashion. Hollister has been selling ripped jeans for several years now. Those were a staple in the 80's. We all wanted to look like Joe Elliot.

As my contribution to the party, I was tapped to come up with a few drinks to be served during the evening. Here is what I came up with. Send me any suggestions you might have, we'd love to use them!

The “Talk Dirty To Me” (aka Dirty Martini)
You’ll be glad you picked this twist on the classic dirty martini as your POISON. They say EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN, but we can find anything wrong with this drink. Just don’t imbibe too much or you’ll end up looking like WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN.

The “Bon Jovi” (aka Kamikaze)
This SHOT TO THE HEART does not GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME, in fact it’s so good that if you drink too many, you might think you’re LIVING ON A PRAYER in the morning.

The “Girl’s Just Want To Have Fun” (aka Cosmo)
This pink concoction lives up to its name and might even snag you a guy to have a little fun with. However, if you don’t find a partner in TIME AFTER TIME, you can SHE BOP your way on home and enjoy the pleasure of your own company.

The “Born In The USA” (aka Scotch and water)
This patriotic drink will have you DANCING IN THE DARK and reliving the GLORY DAYS of Guess Jeans and Reaganomics. So, belly up and drink one for the BOSS.

The “Leppard” (aka Lemon Drop Martini)
Hearken back to the days of the British Invasion of the eighties. LOVE BITES, but this drink is smooth and satisfying. WOMEN will beg you to POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME as you dazzle them in your ripped jeans and super hot mullet a la Joe Elliot and the boys.

The “Wang Chung”
This drink is whatever you want it to be because we never did figure out what the hell a WANG CHUNG was anyway.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The "No Fly Zone"

Recently a close friend of mine has been going through a pretty rough break up. In midst of the tears and late night chats, we decided to formulate a plan of no contact with her now ex boyfriend. (Which is much easier said than done since they work in the same office, but that's a post for a different time.)

In the spirit of trying to make things as uncomplicated as possible, she and I sat down and mapped out what I like to call the "no fly zones." These are those places the two of you used to frequent together, but might be too painful for a newly broken hearted person to traverse in his/her recently acquired single state. These are also places that you are quite likely to run into the ex with his/her new love interest. These areas make no contact with your former beloved quite difficult and should be avoided at all costs.

Establishing the no fly zone(s) can be as intricate as any military strategy thought up by brilliant generals in battle. Because if you think about it, a nasty break up can be very much like a battle. A battle for your very sanity and soul. You may have to change your driving route into work so you don't drive by his house or you might have to frequent a new coffee shop so you don't see him at the one the two of you used to patronize every morning.

But why should I have to give up the coffee shop? One might protest. Shouldn't he have to find a new place to get his java fix? I would agree that it is best when both parties can agree to the no fly zones and split them up accordingly, but when break ups are hasty and nasty, this doesn't always happen. Besides, as I asked my friend, do you really have to get your non fat, no foam, half caff, vanilla latte from that particular coffee shop? Can't you, for sanity's sake, go to a different place?

Inevidably, when establishing your no fly zones, the question of time limits always comes up. How long should one refrain from their favorite hangouts just to avaid the ex? I usually refrain from old haunts for at least six months. Truth be told, I still have one no fly zone that I avoid, even after being apart from my ex (Frat Boy) for over four years.

Frat Boy and I live in different subdivisions about two miles apart. In between our respective residences, are several new restaurants, a couple of nice coffee shops, and one large grocery store, where I used to shop before we broke up. I gave up the entire area, when we ended things. I knew if I continued to shop and dine there, I would eventually run into him with his new wife. I didn't exactly need that, so I stayed away. I still drive about a mile further in the opposite direction to a different grocery store and I don't patronize any of the restaurants etc. in that area, even though it is within walking distance of my house. Call me crazy, but it's made my life a lot easier. Especially since my ex has/had a terrible habit of getting hammered and showing up on my doorstep at three in the morning. I didn't want to be running into him trying to be friendly (but distant) so he wouldn't get the idea that it was okay to show up at my house unannounced because we were "friends." Since I still have no interest in inviting him back into my life, I continue to stay away so that I'm not running into him everytime I need toilet paper.

Some of my friends think it's a bit odd that I still don't go into that area to shop or hang out, but I consider it a small price to pay for my peace of mind. It's not like I'm missing out on a whole lot by not shopping at one grocery store. So, my question for you all is, what are your no fly zones? Do you have any? Do you still observe them long after a break up?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yes, I have been AWOL lately. I'm a bad, bad blogger. I admit it. And the crazy thing is, I don't really even have a good reason. Unless, of course you, count the fact I think my office is trying to kill me.

This is always a very busy time of the year for me. I have two large projects due in November and December every year. I'm always very careful to plan ahead and get things done as time permits. But, things never go as planned. This year, in the midst of endless budget reduction exercises, more and more projects kept being handed to me. I am exhausted every day when I leave.

The good thing is that I feel, even as we go through scenarios of eliminating positions, somewhat secure in my job. That is definitely something to be thankful for this year. I can't say too many people feel as I do right now. So, crazy busy is good, right?!?! At least that's what I keep telling myself.

But, no matter how crazy things still are, I promise to get it together and blog more. Besides, you people are way cheaper than therapy! :)

Have a happy holiday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Killed God Today

...well sort of. You see, what happened was really the cat's fault, but I'll let it slide cause she's cute. I had to open the sliding glass door in my bedroom to let the cat in from the balcony. And in with the cat flew a large palmetto bug. (For those of you not acquainted with palmetto bugs, they are big ass flying cockroaches.) The thing flew right at my face and damn near hit me in the head! I screamed, the cat yelped and we both ran.

The cat and I gingerly approached the bug in the corner of the room where he landed. Neither of us wanted to get too close. Even the All Mighty Great and Powerful Furball didn't want to tangle with the flying monstrosity that was climbing up the wall in my bedroom. Suddenly my Little Voice chimed in.

Little Voice: Okay, let's look at this from a metaphysical perspective. That's not really a big ass flying cockroach, that's just God pretending to be a big ass flying cockroach. (I often tell myself this about things that are frightening to me.)

Me: Looks like a big ass flying cockroach to me and I think the cat agrees. You're out numbered.

Little Voice: There is nothing to be afraid of. They don't even bite. Just usher him back out the door so he can live peacefully. Remember it's really just God....

Me: Alright already, I get it! It's God pretending to be a cockroach and I should let him live. But how the hell are we going to get God back out onto the balcony where he belongs?

My Little Voice was strangely silent on that query. She wasn't that keen on getting near "God" either. The cat looked up at me as if to say "I have an idea." I had one too. I snuck past the creature on the wall and went down stairs for the bug spray.

The Raid spray took care of things in short order and I scooped up the remains and flushed them down the toilet. Next time God shouldn't fly so close to my head looking like a big ass cockroach.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kitty Porn

Just thought I would delight you all with a cute pic of my fur baby. This is my cat Cozy. When I snapped this pic she was trying to see what this whole web surfing craze was all about. I think she might have been surfing for kitty porn, but who knows? I didn't ask and she didn't tell.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How To Get Rid of A Guy Quickly and For Good

Make his phone number one of your computer passwords so you can remember it. That'll do it. He'll drop off the face of the earth and never call again. Better than tattooing his name on your ass and a lot less painful.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Perspective On An Old Idea

Last week, I had an amazing conversation with, of all people, my boss. Now just to clarify, my boss is one of the most intelligent people I know and he has a different point of view on a lot of things. When I mentioned that I would like Friday off to go and vote early, he told me I was ruining the excitement of election day.

"Huh?" I quizzed, with a lot of eye blinking. I didn't get it. How could voting EARLY ruin election day?

He explained that in his home country of Congo (you may have read of the unrest there recently in the news), there are no elections. He did recall one election when he was in college, but he said that because he and other college students voted against the incumbent President, they were beaten when they walked out of the polling booth and their ballots were ripped to shreds. But for the most part, there are no elections. Instead, they tend to have wars.

He talked about what a privilege it is to go and vote on the one day that is designated for voting and how we should never take Election Day for granted. He believes it should be national holiday.

After hearing his story of the one Congolese election he did vote in and hearing him describe how he gets up early on Election Day to be the first voter at his polling place. I was inspired. The man actually gets up at the crack of dawn and celebrates going to vote. What I looked at as an inconvenience of having to stand in line (really early), he sees as an honor and a duty as an American.

So, being inspired by his enthusiasm, I waited to vote until this morning. I got up very early and stood in a very short line with my neighbors to do my civic duty. I didn't feel quite as excited as my boss seems to (could be cause I'm not a morning person), but it felt good to cast my ballot and know that regardless of the outcome, my vote will count. I knew that I wouldn't get beaten up when I left the polling place and life would go on with out a civil war, no matter what. Now THAT is something to get excited about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tripping Along

Ever notice how sometimes things work out perfectly when it wasn't even something you'd planned? Maybe it was even something you planned against! I've been taking notice of these more in my life recently. Some of them are startling.

This week I found out that a job I applied for last summer (and did not get) is being eliminated in the 10% across the board cut my office is taking. Thank God I didn't get the job because the person who did will soon be unemployed.

Recently, I received a letter from the IRS stating that I turned in my 2006 return late and they were assessing me (and my former business partner $400). I turned the issue over to my CPA who sent in the proof that I had not filed late, after all, and did not owe the IRS anymore money. Instead, after he reviewed my return, he realized it needed to be amended and the IRS owes ME an additional $2800. Sweet!

Lately, I've been lamenting and beating myself up about the money I took out of my mutual fund a while back to pay for a few unexpected expenses. I was feeling rather undisciplined about the fact that I have not put all of the money back. Instead, I was putting money in savings. Well, its a darn good thing the money was in savings because when the market dove this month, so did my mutual fund. If I'd put the money back in my fund, I'd have lost it and all of my scrimping and saving would have felt like it was in vain.

Even though some days I feel kind of like a bungling idiot, life still just seems to work out. Go figure. Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free Day Friday

I think I've mentioned before that occasionally, I give myself a free day, where all I do is act on my intuition and I don't plan anything for the entire day. If I feel like eating ice cream for breakfast, I do it. If I feel like walking to work and not driving, I follow that that thought and do it.

You wouldn't believe how freeing, yet how difficult it can be! NOT planning is not my initial reaction. I want to know what I am doing, where I am going ,and what the plan for the day is. However, I'm finding that planning is sometimes a futile effort. There is a season for everything and today is my season for not planning anything and just going with the flow.

So, my cyberpeeps, the challenge for today is to give yourself a free day. Don't plan anything and see where the day takes you. There might just be a huge surprise waiting for you somewhere! Let me know how it goes in the comments section!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If You Need Me, I'll Be In Rehab.......

..............reading and listening to my ipod. Or at least trying to recover from using them. Apparently, according to this article, reading and listening to music are true addictions. Who knew?!?! I figure since the "in" crowd is all going to rehab to recover from everything from drug and alcohol addiction to an addiction to racial/homophobic slurs, then I should be able to go into rehab for music and reading addictions. Right? Who's with me? But, I don't want to go into regular rehab where they make you clean the toilets and stuff. I want to go to one out in California where you get massages, yoga classes and gourmet meals. Wonder if I could talk my HMO into paying for that?

I don't have the inner ear issue associated with a reading addiction, but I do spend an awful lot of money on books (and music!), so maybe I should check in for a shopping addiction too?! Hey, do they let you stay longer in the rehab/resort if you have several addictions?!

I'm so confused! I think I need some chocolate. OMG, could I be addicted to that too?!? For the love of Pete! No wonder I'm still single. With all of my issues, I'm surprised I make it out of my lounge chair, put my book and my Hershey bar down , and take off my ipod to go into work. Hmmm, maybe if I didn't make it to work I could get sent to one of those rehab/resort places..........

Monday, October 20, 2008

Enjoying the Moment

I was recently reminded of a Caribbean cruise I took a couple of years ago. That trip taught me about living in and enjoying the moment for what it really is and not worrying about things to come.

My friend (we'll call him Keywest) and I were taking a jaunt around the island of Cozumel on a rented vespa. We had a map and enough gas (we thought) to get all the way around the island. However, we decided to take a detour into the center of the island to check out a ruined Mayan settlement. After wandering through the ruins, we took our time getting back to the main road. We stopped a couple of times along the way to check out little tiki huts with touristy stuff and to have lunch. In our excitement, we forgot to check the gas gauge and and about halfway back to the cruise ship port, we ran out of gas.

Fortunately, we were in this little area called Punta Sur. Keywest spoke just enough spanish to tell one of the locals of our predicament. Keywest was a bit agitated. He was afraid we were going to miss our embarking time back at port. I, on the other had, had somehow found the true Caribbean spirit in my soul and kept telling him things would be fine.

"Oh look, there's a bar! Let's get a beer!" I said.

"Um, we have a bigger problem, than thirst right, now. I'm not sure that guy really understood what I was saying." He replied, shooting me a dirty look.

"He understood, he looked inside the empty tank. " I said, walking toward the bar, where the reggae music and cold Corona beckoned. (I thought the reggae music in Mexico was a bit odd until I realized the name of the bar was Bob Marley House. Go figure.)

"We have to get back to port!" He called after me.

About that time, the local guy walked back up to Keywest and said something about having called a cab to bring us some gas.

"You wait!" He said in broken English.

"See, we have to wait on the gas anyway. We can have a beer and look at the ocean until the gas gets here." I said.

"How long is the wait?" Keywest asked the local man. I think that's what he said. I only know two words in spanish --cervesa and banos. (beer and bathroom--hey, what can I say? Beer makes me pee.)

"Could be thirty minutes, could be three hours, no worries---drink!" The local man replied.

And I obliged. Keywest, however, could not relax. He kept muttering something about missing the boat. Finally, I couldn't stand his funk anymore.

"Look," I said, "I have our passports, I have cash and credit cards. If we miss the boat, we can fly to freakin' Belize and meet the boat there! Just relax and enjoy the view."

We sat in silence on the deck of this little bar in the middle of nowhere and watched the waves roll in and out. It was one of the most gorgeous days I can remember. I felt very quiet and very still for the first time in a long time. I didn't care if I missed the damned boat or not. I was determined to enjoy that moment.

About forty five minutes later, the cab pulled up with our gas and we were on our way. We made it back to port with plenty of time to spare. The Universe provided and all we had to do was sit back and take in the moment.

(There was a quick and hilarious detour to the bathrooms at Bob Marley House that included having to get past a couple of enormous pigs, but that's a story for another time.)

The moral of this story is that sometimes, even when things look their bleakest, you have to stop and enjoy the present moment because if you don't, you just might miss something really beautiful.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Right Now

Sometimes, we let ourselves get so caught up in the fear of things that are not real. We fear what COULD happen, what people MIGHT think of us, what happened to OTHER people. We forget to be in the present moment and remind ourselves of the reality of what is NOW. So, in light of all of the crazy stuff going on in the world, I'm reminding myself that...

Right now, all of my bills are paid.
Right now, I am safe and warm and well fed.
Right now, I have great friends and family who love me.
Right now, I have a great job.
Right now, I have everything I need.
Right now, I am healthy.
Right now, life is REALLY, REALLY GOOD!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Insecurity is Unattractive

I don't care who displays it! It can turn the hottest guy into the most unattractive prospect ever. It can turn the world's most beautiful woman into someone you wouldn't go out with if you were paid.

Not returning a phone call right away does not mean someone doesn't want to talk to you. It means that he/she has a life outside of you! I know that in the past I have jumped to this conclusion when a guy that I really liked didn't call when *I* thought he should. I also realized that *my* expectations were just that-mine. I had no right to hold anyone else to those expectations, especially when I never informed the boy of what those were! I learned the lesson by being called on my crazy behavior and unspoken expectations.

The first time I had this behavior reflected back to me in someone elses behavior, it REALLY clicked. I'm beginning to believe the quickest cure for this behavior is to have someone pull it on you. That's when it finally clicks that maybe, just maybe, the world does NOT revolve around you.

Okay, rant is over. I will now return to my regularly scheduled Pollyanna attitude.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ten Things I am Grateful For

1.  A snugly kitty who wakes me up just before the alarm goes off
2. Blog buddies who always share their thoughts
3. Amazing family and friends who keep me sane
4.  Salt water and beautiful beaches
5. Feeling peaceful in a time of economic turmoil
6. My daily meditation
7. The beautiful view from my balcony
8. October
9. Great co-workers
10. The Travel Channel (for those times when I can't physically get away)

What are the things you guys are thankful for?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Do Nothing.....

...and everything gets done. At least that's what the Tao Te Ching tells us. I try to practice this seemingly easy mantra in my everyday life, but let me be the first to tell you, it is a lot harder than it sounds.

My understanding of this verse is that we should strive to let go of trying to control everything and let things happen naturally. Okay, very valid point. I get it. Stop controlling. Don't have to tell me twice. Or maybe you do.....

What I find difficult is determining which situations really do need my action and which situations would be best served if I stayed out of them. This is the hard part. For example, if you aren't happy in your job, do you frantically send out resumes for every job that seems to fit your criteria? Or do you wait patiently keeping your eyes open for something to come along without really putting out a ton of effort? Do you date every available man, using every available online dating service or do you just keep your eyes peeled for a nice guy in your every day life?

I struggle between doing nothing and taking action. At what point do you stop wishing for something and start doing something to get it? Karen Luniw of the Law of Attraction Center says that we shouldn't just take any action, she would say take "inspired action." Karen advises listening to those nagging little voices (I've definitely got one of those) and those little inspirations that you get during the day. She believes those are the actions we should be focusing on in order to get us where we are going or to get us what we are asking for. I don't know about you, but this is a lot easier said than done for me because, I have a lot of noise in my head!

So, the struggle continues or maybe the fact that something is a struggle is the problem in the first place. Maybe just doing nothing really is the way to go.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to Lose A Guy Two Date Diva Style

I am a smart ass. It is not a new thing. I've always been one,and I can't see me changing now. However, there are definitely times when I wish I could tame my inner smart ass or at least muzzle her on occasion.

Take my reaction to an overenthusiastic date recently. He was gushing over how he was so glad he'd met me and how perfect we seemed for each other. He just loved my sense of humor. Famous last words buddy.

Mr. Over Enthusiastic: I know this is only our second date, but I really feel a connection and I think we should date each other exclusively. I know that I don't want to date anyone else but you. And who knows? Maybe this thing could go on and we could get married one day? Wouldn't that be great? We could do a commercial! What do you think?

Me: Dude....Marriage? Match Commercial? I really hadn't thought that far ahead. I was just here for the sushi.

It was my poor attempt at humor during a very awkward moment of having a guy I barely knew plan out the rest of our lives together, including a dating commercial. I guess he didn't really like my sense of humor after all. Perhaps it was my impulsive use of the word "dude." Oh well.

And with that, I threw another one back into the eternal dating sea.


Lately, I've been feeling a bit restless. I get this way every now and again. I'm not really agitated or upset, but I do get the urge to do something. Anything, actually. It's hard to explain because usually when people feel this way they are upset or worried about something, but I don't feel that way. It's almost like I'm nesting or something.

It could just be that it's fall. I absolutely love this time of the year. It's my favorite without a doubt. Even when I was a kid, the prospect of going back to school in the fall could not dampen my enthusiasm for the cooler weather and the chance to dress up for Halloween. But I digress, this restlessness I'm feeling now is even more than excitement over playing dress up and traipsing about in fallen leaves. It's not a bad feeling, in fact, it's a great feeling. It's like I'm getting ready for something...something really good.

I've been purging myself of unnecessary stuff lately. I've started going through my books and selling them on Amazon. So far, I've made a tidy little profit. I've also sold some furniture I wasn't using on Craig's List and given a crap load of stuff to Goodwill. The more stuff I get rid of, the better I feel. My rationalization is that I'm putting my stuff back out into the universe for other people who need it more than me. (And it's a lot less crap I have to dust!)

How many of you get these restless feelings from time to time and what do you do about them?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Really, Really Bad Day

If you think you're having a bad day, just remember it could always be worse. This guy's story gives new meaning to having a bad day!

I will never complain about a crappy day again. I'm not sure if this is an "ouch" or a hell of an "oops."

Edited to add: You have to surf over to Chicago Commuter blog and read the ding dong story. Drinking beverages while reading the story is not recommended as they are likely to reappear through your nose. I'm just sayin'!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Clean Up Around Your Own Doorstep....

...... before you try to sweep around mine! Here is a conversation between myself and a friend about dating. (She is currently waiting for her boyfriend to get out of jail.) She was trying to give me dating advice. God help me.

Friend: You really are going to have to let go of the idea of the perfect man.

Me: I'm not looking for the perfect man, I'm just looking for the guy that will be right for me.

Friend: I just think you're going to have to lower your standards a bit.

Me: You mean like dating guys who are in jail?

Friend: Point taken.

Everybody's a critic!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Questions for Your Soul Mate

Have you ever wondered what kinds of questions you should ask to see if someone is your soul mate? People always say they just knew when they'd met the right person. I've always wondered how they "just knew." Was it the answers to a set of questions or was it just a feeling?

This article gave a few great ideas about questions to ask someone to determine if they are your soul mate. I thought these were pretty good. I've even asked a couple of them myself.

What are some of the questions that worked for you to find that one special person? Or did you just know? How did you know?

Monday, September 8, 2008

In Honor of Grandparents Day.....

I thought I would delight you all with a cute tale about my Grandmother. We'll call it:

Nanny Goes Fishing

My grandmother was always quite a character. She was closing in on eighty years old when this story took place, but she had just as much spunk about her at eighty as I did at twelve. Not to mention, she was a heck of a lot braver and cooler than I was or maybe she was just crazier, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Fishing was not something out of the ordinary for my family. In fact, for as long as I could remember, my mom, grandmother and aunt were always going fishing and trying to one up each other on their catch. It was always quite the competition every summer. Even when I was a baby, my family would take me with them to the pond behind our house. I can only imagine that I must have resembled a miniature Kojak, complete with a bald head and red lollipops, strapped into my swing-o-matic, happily watching my mom reel in her catch. My mom even made me a fake fishing pole, with a cardboard minnow, so that I could pretend I was fishing too. Fishing was definitely my family’s way of bonding.

The summer that I was twelve was pretty much the same as every other summer except for the buzz going on in our neighborhood about a fish that couldn’t be caught. My family owned a small country grocery store in the tiny community of Beachton Georgia and it seemed that every person that came into the store that summer had a story about having hooked and lost a large bass in the pond behind our house. Even my mom and aunt had their own stories about the “one that got away”. They had gotten into a competition over who could catch the fish earlier in the summer and by August they were still on the hunt and no closer than anyone else to catching the infamous bass. My grandmother (affectionately known as “Nanny” to her grandkids) had listened to the stories from her customers and her daughters with a large amount of skepticism. Nanny wasn’t buying all the hype.

“Miss Maude, I tell you, that was the biggest fish I have ever hooked!” One customer exclaimed to her. “He bit clean through my line!”

“Sounds like you should buy better line,” Nanny quipped.

“You just go down there and see for yourself, I bet you’ll change your tune when you see him in action.” The customer replied. Nanny just pooh-poohed the stories.

The long, hot days of summer seemed to drag on just like the stories of the customers that came into the store. Each fishing tale was slightly different, but yet they were really all the same; they all told of the big fish that no one could catch. The Moby Dick of Beachton seemed to be swimming in the pond just behind my house. From my grandmother’s dismissals of all of the stories, who could have known that she had visions of becoming Ahab?

One afternoon when my mom was gathering up her gear to go fishing, Nanny made a declaration. “I’m going fishing with you this afternoon and I’m going to catch this monster fish everyone has been blabbing on about all summer.”

“Okay,” my mom said, “but don’t be surprised when you walk home empty handed.”

“Humph, I’ve been fishing longer than you've been alive; I think I can catch one little fish.” Nanny snapped.

“It’s not such a little fish,” my mom replied.

“I know, I know,” Nanny said sarcastically, “It’s a whale that can’t be caught!”

Now, by the age of twelve, I had pretty much decided that I didn’t really like fishing anymore, (it was messy) but I loved to take a book and go with my mom just to hang out. Besides, fishing was family time and I always enjoyed going to the pond even if I didn’t partake in the activities. After hearing Nanny throw down the gauntlet, I figured, if nothing else, this fishing trip would be entertaining if not down right comical. The trash talk had already started and we hadn’t even left the house yet. I wasn’t going to miss these festivities for anything. I grabbed a book and followed Nanny and my mom down the path through the woods to the pond.

When we arrived at our destination, I positioned myself underneath a tree where I could both watch and hear the banter between Nanny and my mom. Nanny started out by casting her reel out with her favorite lure on the end.

“Monster fish my foot!” I heard Nanny mutter. “You probably got your line caught on tree stump or something. Maybe you hooked that gator!” She said to my mom.

“I know the difference between a gator and a fish!” My mom snapped, rolling her eyes. I slunk down behind my book and giggled.

The gator Nanny was referring to had been in the pond as long as I could remember. Nanny had even named him “Hog” because he had a huge nose that looked like a pig’s nose. Hog was kind of like a family pet. Every time someone would suggest removing him from the pond, my mom and grandmother would always protest. After all, that would be like stealing someone’s dog. No one could take the gator, he was practically family. He had a name and everything!

“Well,” Nanny continued, “Your big fish doesn’t seem to like my plastic worm. Maybe he would like a little live bait instead.” She laid down her reel and picked up her small cane pole and baited the hook. She put the line out and within a couple of minutes she had a tiny brim on the hook. She removed the tiny fish and proceeded to bait the hook on her reel with it. This was trick I had seen her use many times before. If you want to catch a big fish, she would say, use a little fish. Nanny cast out her line and waited. She didn’t have to wait very long.

I heard the familiar zing of the line when the bass grabbed the bait. Nanny was caught off guard and she actually yelped with excitement. Nanny never yelped, so I knew something was up.

“Get the net!” She yelled. I could tell that whatever Nanny had hooked was pretty big because it was fighting and her reel looked as though it was about to break in two. My mom ran up beside her with the net ready to help her get the fish out of the water once it was close enough into shore. About that time, the fish jumped up out of the pond and we could see just how large it really was. No one had exaggerated about the size of that bass; it was the biggest one I had ever seen. I tossed my book and ran to help, but Nanny had the situation well under control. That fish may have been a fighter, but he had nothing on my grandmother.

Like a seasoned pro, she reeled in the line and then let the fish run a bit. She called this letting him tire himself out. She would reel a little more and repeat the process. Pretty soon, she had the bass almost all the way into shore. The bass jumped with one final lurch and this time, to the horror of all of us, he actually came off of the hook and landed right in the shallow water near Nanny’s feet. Stunned, none of us moved, including the fish. He just lay there completely exhausted from fighting to get off of the line. Suddenly, Nanny did something completely uncharacteristic and a little bit crazy. She literally threw herself down on top of the fish. My mother turned white as a ghost, I thought she might actually pass out. Nanny had just flung herself face down into the water and she couldn’t even swim! My mom and I both ran into the water to help her sit up so she didn’t drown. The fish had regained consciousness and realized that there was a crazy old lady on top of him. He started fighting again. He was too slippery to pick up and put into the net so Nanny just held him down.

In all of the commotion, none of us noticed that the alligator, Hog, had popped his head up out in the middle of the pond. Once he saw the flurry of activity at the water’s edge, he began streaking across the pond toward where Nanny was sitting on top of the bass.

“Uh, Nanny,” I said excitedly, “That gator is coming this way and he is moving fast! You had better get up now!” Nanny was still sitting in the water with the fish between her feet.

“If that gator wants this fish, then he’d better be prepared to wrestle me for him, because I caught this bass and I mean to keep him!” She replied though clenched teeth.

“Mama, let go of that fish and get up out of that water, now!” My mom barked. “That gator won’t wrestle you for that fish; he’ll just eat you both, now get up!”

“Nanny, he is swimming pretty fast.” I warned.

“I’m not letting go of this fish, I caught him and he’s mine!” Nanny yelled back.

“Oh good God!” I heard my mom mutter under her breath. Nanny just sat, holding onto her fish and staring down the gator. The gator kept moving, staring Nanny down. It was like a scene out of a bad western movie. I knew this could get real ugly, real quick, if my mom and I didn’t do something. I frantically looked around for something to throw at the gator to distract him or possibly hit him with if he actually got a hold of Nanny. I didn’t think tossing my book at him would quite do the trick. I picked up the net my mom had dropped in all of the excitement. I figured if we couldn’t get the fish into it maybe I could hit the alligator over the head with it if he grabbed Nanny’s foot. My mom had picked up a big stick and was wielding it like a baseball bat. For a split second, I wasn’t quite sure if she meant to crack the alligator over the head or Nanny. We were a pitiful site, but I poised myself, net in hand, ready for a fight.

Suddenly, as if we both had divine inspiration, my mother and I dropped our weapons, each of us hooked Nanny underneath one arm and dragged her up out of the water’s edge and onto the shore. Nanny was still triumphantly holding onto that damn fish and smiling like she’d won the lottery.

Luckily, getting Nanny and the bass onto land was enough to make the gator stop swimming. My guess was that he didn’t figure Nanny nor the fish was worth actually dragging himself up onto the bank. I didn’t really blame him, I was pretty sure Nanny was ready to go a couple of rounds with him if he decided to challenge her. I was still leery though, so I kept one eye on Hog and one eye on my grandmother as I helped her get to her feet.

“That wasn’t so hard now was it?” she asked. I decided against reminding her she had almost been eaten by an alligator. “Get me that bucket,” she continued. “My work here is done; I’m taking my fish home.”

“There won’t be any more fish around with that gator looming so close,” my mom replied in an irritated tone. “We all may as well go home.”

“You want me to carry the fish for you Nanny, he looks kind of heavy.” I asked, reaching for the bucket in which she had placed him.

“No!” She snapped, smacking the back of my hand. “I caught him and I’ll carry him to the house!” I heard my mom chuckling behind me. I shot her a dirty look and retrieved my book that I had tossed into the bushes when all of the excitement began.
“I’m going to weigh this monster, first thing when we get to the house!” I heard Nanny declare as she walked ahead of my mom and me.

Back at home, we all stood around the scale as Nanny hoisted the enormous fish up on to it. “Eight pounds!” She exclaimed. “That’s the biggest fish ever caught in that pond!”

“Are you going to clean him tonight, Nanny?” I asked.

“Nope, I have a better idea,” she replied with a grin.

The next day, customers stopped and marveled at the site. My grandmother stood behind the cash register and beamed with pride. Nanny, being ever the show woman, decided to place the fish in the big meat cooler that was in our store. She put him in a huge pan and placed it right up front next to the glass, so that everyone walking by the meat counter would see the gigantic fish. She wanted everyone to know just who had snagged the “uncatchable” fish.

“Miss Maude, you bought that fish at the market as a joke. There ain’t no way you went down to that pond and caught that monster we’ve all been trying to catch for weeks!” One customer scolded.

“How did you do it?” Someone else asked. All day long customers came and went in and out of the store and the whole community was buzzing again, but this time it was about how my grandmother had caught the giant fish that no one else could.

Nanny told her story over and over about hooking the bass and fighting him until he was so exhausted he couldn’t swim away even after he jumped off of the hook. She told how she had thrown her body on top of him and held him down until he relented and she triumphed. She conveniently left out the part where my mom and I had to drag her out of the water before the gator got her, but what the heck, it was her story. My mom and I never said a word. We just smiled and winked at each other.

I’m not sure if there really was a lesson to be learned from this fish tale; other than do not mess with a little old lady on a mission to catch a fish. However, if anything, I did begin to see Nanny in a whole other light. I always viewed her as the ever quick witted, but somehow very serious parental figure that held our family together like super glue. After this little excursion, I saw her as the pretty cool chick that she really was and the kind of person I hoped to become (minus the gator wrestling aspirations, of course).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Day, Another Deal Breaker

Confidence is a must have for me in a man. This little revelation hit me like a bus recently. Apparently, for me, it's one of those hidden deal breakers you don't realize is there until you fall over it. This all became very clear to me while dating Prospect A and Prospect B(AKA "The Cuddler", that's a story for a different post).

If you remember in a previous post, I alluded to the fact that there was something missing with Prospect B that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And even though Prospect A seemed to be less into me, I was still more attracted to him than I was Prospect B, who was completely into me. I finally figured out the difference was confidence level.

Prospect B didn't seem to have much experience with women and even though he did everything "right" (ie calling, showing up on time, etc), he always seemed like he was checking things off of a list.

Hug after the second date: check
Held hands on the third date: check
Put arm around her on the third date: check
Kiss on the fourth date: check

I felt like I was in high school! There didn't seem to be any spontaneity that comes with confidence in yourself. Everything seemed very scripted. He seemed very afraid of making the wrong move too soon. His lack of confidence was not very appealing to me. In fact, it became a huge turnoff.

Prospect A, on the other hand, was full of confidence. No awkward, trying to put this arm around me at the movies, no weird sort of hug at the end of the night. If he wanted to hold my hand, he grabbed it. If he wanted a kiss, he just did it. No wishy washy stuff. That's what I like in a guy. A "just do it" attitude.

If I could only find a "just do it" guy that liked me back, we'd be in business!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learning How to Live

After my very spontaneous weekend of driving down to Cocoa Beach to check out their annual surfing festival, I can say that I am truly learning how to live! Who needs plans and reservations and crazy stuff like that!?!?! Just get in the car, pick up a friend and drive down to see what trouble you can get into.

I didn't actually get into any trouble mind you, but I did enjoy getting to the beach and checking out the HOTT surfer dudes. If only I were a few years younger. But I digress. The weekend was great and I even got a little sun and some much need time to relax on the beach.

The water was too turbulent to swim much, but the weather was great once the showers passed. The surf was so loud that even the sounds of the Marleys (Bob and Ziggy) pouring through the ear buds of my ipod could not drown it out. (Thank you Tropical Storm Hannah and Hurricane Gustav!)

All in all, even with the crazy weather in the Gulf and the Caribbean, it was a great weekend. Eating amazing food and drinking great beer on a beach can't be beat. Maybe that's why they call it paradise?!?!?

That's living my friends!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Perspective....It's a Beautiful Thing!

I will never complain again about the types of men I attract! After reading messages boards and dealing with friends I know who have attracted a few losers, I've come to realize I'm not in bad shape at all.

I've never attracted any real weirdos to speak of. I've mostly gone out a few guys who weren't sure what they wanted or who weren't all that into to me or visa versa. I've never gone out with any serial killers, abusers, drug addicts, pedophiles, or all around psychos. I've actually dated pretty normal guys, with the occasional strange personality thrown in for kicks. (I'll have to blog about the The Sniffer one day.)

Listening to the trials and tribulations of a few people I know, has only increased my awareness that we really do wind up attracting other people into our lives based on what "vibes" we are putting out. For example, a person very close to me recently went through the ending of a long term relationship, to which she responded by jumping into a long distance relationship with someone new a month later. She recently moved in with this person (that she's known for less than six months)and has now gone through two MAJOR betrayals of trust. And still she wants to be with him. I'm pretty sure her vibe of desperation and just wanting to be with someone (anyone) attracted this unworthy character to her. This is the reason your friends/therapists/sisters tell you to deal with your grief and other issues before jumping into a new relationship!

In any event, I feel as if I am at least on the right path, minus a Sniffer or two, I haven't made any really bad choices so far. I just gotta deal with my own vibes. Possibly the one dealing with my own freedom issues?!?!?!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Question of the Day

Exactly when do you tell a guy about your little blogging habit? I'm having a difficult time with this one. There *may* be a cute boy that I have been spending time with whom I'm beginning to feel the need to divulge my writings to. However, I'm not sure when this is appropriate or how to even bring up the subject. I don't want to spook the boy.

I know some of you bloggers out there have written about who you've allowed to read your blog, and some of you have decided not to tell family or significant others about your writings. So, who do you guys tell and when do you tell them? Especially when you are dating and your blog is about dating!!!!

It's not like I'm chronicling my sexual history or bad mouthing people I've gone out with. Mostly I pose crazy questions and write about my personal observations on trying to date in your 30's. I have no guilt about my blog, in fact, I've corresponded with some pretty cool people because of it. (Not to mention you guys give better advice than some therapists.) I'm just not sure I'm ready to put it out there and be judged for it.

Anyone else have a similar dilemma? Advice (and smartass comments) welcome.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Damn This Town Is Getting Too Small....

I was on a Sunday afternoon date at a small sandwich shop around the corner from my house and guess who I run into? I saw a guy that ghosted on me last month (actually last month was the second time he ghosted on me), on a date with another girl! It was rather awkward, to say the least.

For the love of Pete, date on your own side of town, Casper!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Relationship Expert Maria Grazia Swan's Blind Date

Maria Grazia Swan
Check out Boomer Babes

I like tall men. I don’t mean Shaq tall, I mean about 5’10 to 6’. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m short. I’m about 5’1, and that’s only if I fluff my hair, otherwise my height drops below 5’.

This obsession with men’s height goes back to my teen years. It has to do with crowds. You see, if I walk in a crowd alone or with a short man, I feel like I’m suffocating, smothered, and above all, unnoticed. But walk through that crowd with a tall guy and voila, it’s like the parting of the Red Sea. I like that feeling a lot so before going on a blind date I always inquire about height.

This blind date happened in a very unexpected way. I was shopping with my best friend Jen and as usual, she checks the racks of clothes with one hand while the other hand is busy texting. I hate that habit of hers. I had no idea who she was ‘conversing with’ but she had a big grin on her face so I figured it had to be a man. When she turned around and winked at me, I knew she was up to no good. Now I’m paying attention, I’m actually elbowing her and mouthing, “Who are you talking to?”

She is totally ignoring me while her fingers ate tapping so fast I expect
smoke to rise from that phone any minute now. Jen waits until we get to the car before telling me the news, we have a date for that evening; “Smile girl,” she says, “we are going to double date.”

Now, like I said, Jen is my best friend but that doesn’t mean we share the same taste when it comes to men. I remind her of that, but she isn’t letting go, she is on a mission. “You owe me one,” she says,” remember that time I told your mom you were spending the night at my house?” I remember and I want to forget so I agree, but I want to know how tall my date is. I’m keeping my eyes on the road and my hands on the steering wheel and I hear Jen sighing, then her fingers are tapping away on that phone again. “5’11,” she says, I sense a hint of arrogant satisfaction in her voice.

That evening I’m wearing my brand new platform shoes and my gauzy dress, and I sit and wait for Jen to pick me up with our dates. Time goes by, no Jen. My cell buzz and I know is Jen. “ It’s me, look I’m sorry, I need to stay home and watch my kid sister, my mother had to go back to work. I’m sending Skip to pick you up and we can hang around here until my mom gets back then we’ll catch a movie or something, okay?”
It’s not okay, but she already disconnected and I know she won’t answer if I call back. I’m fuming! Who the hell is Skip? Now there is a text message on my phone, “Skip is your date, take your time, my sister is in bed, and I’m headed that way with Charles.”

Shit, that’s Jen for you. I hear an engine by the drive way and I peek from the mini blinds. A red Audi is parked by the house, I don’t see anyone in the car, then a car door slams, I wait, nothing. OMEGOD! A child like person walks around the car, coming toward my front door. He takes little steps, what else can he do with such short legs. Then it hits me, damn you Jen. That’s why she isn’t here; she knows I’ll kill her. I’m still standing by the window, frozen, what now? The doorbell chimes. I’m not moving, I’m holding my breath, afraid he’ll hear me breathing. This is a scene worth of a funny commercial, I’m surprise the little man can reach the door bell, maybe he carries a folding stool. He rings the doorbell again. I’m feeling like a miserable coward. I quietly remove my platform shoes, tiptoe to my bedroom and close the door. I don’t know when he finally gave up and left but I turned off my cell phone and didn’t speak to Jen for a whole week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Knew It Wasn't All My Fault!

I knew there had to be another reason why I pick all the wrong men. ;) Well, I'm not really sure I buy the sniff test theory, but this article was interesting anyway. What do you all think?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Nice to Know You Have Someone Looking Out For You

.....even if he is only five years old. My neighbor has the cutest little boy ever. (We'll call him Tommy to protect the cute and the innocent.) He's always coming over to my house and wanting to hang out, have a snack and watch TV. Tommy has a huge crush on me and has to hug me every time he sees me. I swear he can sense when I'm leaving the house because he always comes running from out of no where to get a hug.

This weekend, I had a dinner date with a cute boy I've gone out with a couple of times. As we were getting into my date's car, Tommy comes running out of his house calling my name and asking for a hug. He ran over, hugged me and proceeded to look my date up and down.

"Are you guys going out to dinner?" Tommy asked with his innocent little face staring up at my date.

"Yep, we sure are." I replied.

"Well," he said, placing his hands on his hips, scrunching up his nose and looking my date square in the eye, "you'd better be nice to her!"

Nice to know that at least someone has my back.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nothing Like a Piano On Your Head to Make a Point

It's a Sunday afternoon and I find myself running around getting ready for a date with a boy we'll call Prospect A. He called (last minute) and wanted to meet up for a beer and a bite to eat. Just seeing his name on my cell phone made my heart flutter. I really dig Prospect A. The only problem is that I don't think Prospect A digs me quite as much as I dig him. He never plans in advance, his calls are always last minute. He never really seems to have time to do things when I want to. Everything is on his schedule.

Fast forward a couple of days and I get a call from a boy we'll refer to as Prospect B. He calls on Wednesday to ask if I have plans for dinner on Friday night. I give him a definite maybe because I'm really hoping that Prospect A calls and wants to meet up. Prospect B is really into me. I can tell because he always calls when he says he will, he makes plans in advance, and he always makes time for me. His intentions are crystal clear. He actually wants to date me. The problem here is that I don't dig Prospect B as much as he does me. This is the story of my freakin' love life and personally, I'm sick of it!

I recently read an article on (go here to read the article) about a writer with a similar problem. It really hit home. I always seem to be into the guy that's not all that into me. Dating both of these guys at the same time has hammered that fact home to me kinda like getting hit on the head. Really. Hard. By a big 'ol piano.

Not only does it not make sense in the real world that I should be more into Prospect B, but it makes more sense on paper as well. Prospect B is closer to my age, wants most of the same things in life that I do, is actually cuter than Prospect B and he is into me.

So what the heck is my problem?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Adventure of the Cable Guy Who Screamed Like a Girl

When I heard the cable guy screaming, I was standing in my kitchen. I couldn't see out of the back door to see what was going on , but it didn't sound good. All I could hear was his wailing. I ran to the back door to find him running in circles in my back yard waving his arms and well....screaming like a little girl.

At first, I thought he might have seen a snake or something, but I figured if he'd spied a reptile, he would have run away. He wouldn't be dancing in circles. Then it dawned on me...he'd run into a spider web. A.Big.One.

Down here in Paradise, we have these really big ass arachnids called banana spiders. They build huge webs, sometimes as wide as five or six feet across (I've had them span my entire driveway). The spiders themselves can grow to about three inches in length. These things are freakin huge. And scary looking. Just ask the cable guy.

The poor guy had run into one of the webs and he was frantically dancing around trying to get the spider off of him. I ran outside to help. It truly must have been a comical site for any of my neighbors who were at home. The cable guy was screaming and running in circles and I was chasing him trying to get him to stop so I could get the spider off of him. I was also trying not to laugh or pee my pants. (Not as easy as it sounds!)

"It's on your hat!" I yelled at him to get him to stop running. He stopped abruptly (as I ran smack into him) and threw his hat out into the woods. I tried to help him get the rest of the web off of his clothing, but he was shaking so badly, I couldn't really help. He couldn't stand still. Poor guy. He refused to go get the hat. He said the spider could have it.

Well, at least he cured my blog block for the day! Check out the pic of the banana spider above. Would you want that thing on you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

She Who Cares the Least Wins

I have an ex boyfriend (Frat Boy) who used to say "He who cares the least wins." He believed this about business negotiations as well as relationships. He always seemed a bit aloof about our relationship as if he would be fine if things ended and his world would not change. I kind of thought he meant it. He was pretty good actor.

During our sometimes long and drawn out discussions about whether we should continue to date/get married/have babies, I would always remind him that I was fine before we met and that I would be fine if we broke up. I DID mean it.

Flash forward a year and a half after we ended things. I hadn't called or contacted him. I even stopped shopping at a grocery store that we both frequented. I wanted a clean, healthy break.

However, skippy wasn't doing quite as well as he thought. After rushing into a bad marriage, he found himself on my doorstep hammered and crying, asking for a mulligan. Umm.... yeah, probably not, but thanks for playing. Maybe he should have changed it to SHE who cares the least wins.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dating Made Simple

I think I may have accidentally stumbled onto the secret of making dating easy and dare I say Yep, you read that right. I used the "F" word in the same sentence as the word "dating." The world must seriously be coming to an end. But I digress.

What is this illusive secret you ask? I call it the "Being Too Busy To Give A Crap Approach." (Hereafter referred to as "The Approach.") Gone are the days of checking my account obsessively to see how many emails and winks I've gotten. No longer do I check my email inbox every five minutes to see if that cute boy I've been corresponding with has emailed me back. I don't check the phone 50 times a day to see if there is a message from some boy I had coffee with. I don't spend hours each night searching to see if there are any new prospects online. I really just haven't had the time nor the inclination. And you know what? I'm freakin' happy!

The crazy thing is, that I haven't lacked for dates or other things to do. I'm actually trying to find the time to just sit home and veg out. Maybe it's just that it's summer and there's a lot going on, but I'm finding that not caring or having time to wonder about dating seems to have ensured that my dance card is pretty full.

The last time I found myself using The Approach was by accident. That time, I was actually not dating at all and I wound up meeting Frat Boy and getting into a 5 year relationship. Colorado Beth had a similar experience once she decided to move back to Florida. Right after she decided what she wanted she met a guy in Colorado. Go figure. Maybe that's what every one means when they say stop looking and you'll find it.........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

California Dad Blogs!

He finally decided to get in on the action. Check out his blog at Jerry's Posterous

I Need A Nap!

I'm beat! It's been a crazy couple of months with people moving away and needing help with the packing and people moving home and needing to celebrate. Anyway, I'll be back to my normal blogging habits very soon. I have a few new dating exploits and a couple of disappointments to catch you up on. I'll be back to my old self pretty soon. Right after my nap.............

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dating Advice From Discovery in Passion

Posted by Shelia Stewart----


To some, that word alone draws terror deep within the core of their being. The idea of going out with a total stranger, trying to come up with intelligent conversation and hopefully not come off looking like a complete fool is very stressful. There’s the pre-date prepping that sometimes makes the most normal person go into a psychotic rage. What do I wear? Will this outfit make me look easy? Will it make me look dowdy? Doe it make me look fat? How should I do my hair? Should I wear it up, or down? It takes hours to prep for a first date. You want to give the right impression because we all know that first impressions are the most defining. And then there are the worries like: What if this guy is a complete loser? How do you walk away in the most polite way without making a complete fool of yourself?
By the time you reach your destination, ready to meet your date, you’re a complete mess on the inside.

Dating is hell!

You can’t avoid the pre-date mayhem. Unless you’re a slug you’ll worry about your hair, your clothes, your make-up and everything from your breath to your shoes.
But you can go into it with a few key things in mind. Here is my list of do’s and don’t in dating.

Do: If you’re going out for dinner then a movie, dress for the restaurant. There is nothing more awkward than showing up at a nice restaurant in jeans and a t-shirt when most everyone else is wearing dresses, suits and ties. It’s okay to show up at the movies in a nice dress, it is not okay to show up at a glitzy restaurant in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.

Don’t: Show up naked! Unless of course you’re expecting to jump his bones the instant you connect. But if you’re going to dinner, restaurants have a no shirt, no shoes policy and they tend to shy upon their patrons showing up in their birthday suit. Make sure to shower, do your hair, brush your teeth before leaving the house. Showing up looking like Frankenstein’s bride is not a good first impression. Unless of course you’re dating Frankenstein. LOL

Do: Meet the person at your destination. If you’re going out to dinner, meet there. Take your own car, that way if the date isn’t going well, you can leave at any time and not worry about having the guy drive you home. Especially if he’s a letch or the most boring human being in the world. It’s just awkward having him drive you home after a disastrous date.

Don’t: Get into your dates vehicle if the windows are blacked out, especially if it’s a van and you have never met the person before. If this is Mr. Right, why the hell is he driving a creepy van? Think about it. Run woman, run now!!

Do: Make sure to bring your purse with I.D. and method of payment such as Debit card, cash or credit cards. Even if the gentleman has offered to pay for your dinner and movie, if the date is a failure and you want to leave early, you can pay for your meal and leave. Plus, offering to pay for your own way shows the gentleman that you are independent and not looking for a man to suck dry.

Don’t: After the meal is finished and your date leans back, unsnaps the top button of his pants, belches and say’s, “Pay the bill, Bitch!” This is a clue to get the heck out of there. DO NOT think you can change the man! There are plenty of fish in the sea. Grab a pole and start fishing.

Do: Think positive! Even if you were set up on this date and you have never met the person, go into it with a positive attitude. If he turns out to be Mr. Wrong, no harm, no foul. Take away from the situation a learning experience.

Don’t: Serial killers make horrible dates. Trust me, if you’re not his next victim you’ll always be worrying you might be. Once again, DO NOT think you can change the man! Your powers are not that great.

Meeting a man at the bar isn’t the greatest method of finding someone either. Don’t assume just because you gave him your number that he will remember who you are the next day. Believe me, I know this from experience.
My very first date was with a man a few years older than myself. We met at a wedding. He’d had plenty to drink yet I stupidly gave him my number anyway. I was giddy with excitement the next day, waiting for him to call me back. And when he finally did, I was beyond nervous and excited. He took me back to his parents place (real winner, I know, still living with his mommy and daddy at twenty three) and proceeded to tell me he had no idea who I was. He couldn’t remember what I looked like. He’d woken that morning, hung over and found my name and number on a piece of paper. He called it, thinking I couldn’t be half bad (he hoped). Gee, that made my heart go pitter pat. Yet…I dated the creep for over six months. In that six months he cheated on me with his ex-girlfriend and got her pregnant and didn’t tell me. I found out from my friend who heard it from the ex-girlfriends mouth.
We broke up and I started dating his best friend. Another loser, who cheated on me several times, with hookers no less. Dumped his ass the instant I found out.
Being jaded, I decided men were not worth the trouble and told myself I didn’t need a man.

In walks prince charming. Okay, so he wasn’t exactly prince charming as in the fairy tale prince, but he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. We met slinging burgers and became friends. He was my age, which was rare for me since my other dates were several years older than me. He drove a motorcycle, wore a leather jacket and was in the militia. And before I knew it, I was falling in love. He was everything I could want in a man and more. He was funny, sweet, romantic, and he had that added bad boy appeal. But most of all, he was my friend. Twenty two years later, he is still my best friend. I married that sweet, funny romantic bad boy and haven’t looked back since. We have three wonderful children together, and a life I never would have imagined back when we first met at the age of seventeen.

So my dating advice for the day is….Get to know the person, hang out with them, find out who they really. Become friends before becoming lovers. It’s worked for me for twenty two years.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What Christie Brinkley and I Have in Common

......and it ain't that we're both supermodels. Nope, Christie and I have something a bit more disturbing in common. It seems that we are both attracted to narcissistic men.

If you have been in a coma or under a rock, you might not be aware of Christie's divorce trial. I haven't even been keeping up with it (I'm not a celebrity watcher), but even I know some of what has come out of the court room. Apparently, according to some shrink who testified, Christie has bad taste in mates and she is attracted to narcissistic men who need their egos fed constantly. Yeah, well Christie, join the club honey.

Christie's plight to get out of her horrible marriage hit a bit close to home for me. I've never been married to a narcissist, but I've definitely dated a couple of them. In fact, if I have a "type" that I am most attracted to, narcissistic boys would be right up there, right next to athletic and smart.

It's not the narcissism that's attractive; it's the facade in front of it that can be alluring. The really talented narcissists are very good at hiding their true nature. These men tend to be very ambitious and successful. They can make you think they can handle and do just about anything they put their minds to. This can be very attractive to a woman who is a nurturer to a fault, a woman who is used taking care of everything and everyone around her. It's a beautiful fantasy that you've finally met a man who can nurture you and take care of you in those times when you need it most. I don't know very much about Christie Brinkley, but I do know myself and I'd bet money she, like me, is used to taking care of everyone but herself. That's how the narcissist gets in, with the promise of being a real equal partner. Someone to help take care of you for a change. But, that's never how it turns out.

Why do intelligent, beautiful women fall for these creeps, you ask? The thing about narcissists is they know how to sell it. When a narcissistic guy pursues you he doesn't come off full of himself and self absorbed. The courting phase is all about you. He will make you think that he is completely into you and will be there for you no matter what. He may even hold your hand when your pet dies or bring your mother flowers, but in the end, all of his wooing and romantic gestures are really more about him than about you. That's the difference between a narcissist and a nurturer. A nurturer does things for you because he cares about you. A narcissist does things because he thinks there's something in it for him.

With these types of men, it's not about bonding and building relationships. It's about what he can get out of those relationships. He dates you because you are a wealthy supermodel who can advance his career with your money and influential friends. He dates you to make him look better to his buddies. He dates you because you are educated and acceptable to his social group (or one he is trying to break into). He dates you because you are what his peers consider marriage material. Marrying/dating you can get him noticed and/or favored with clients, bosses, or others he thinks can help him get ahead. He dates you because you are twenty years his junior and his money/good looks/influence allow him to woo you and make him look like "the man" to his friends. He dates you because you are a nurturer who supports him and boosts his ego. He dates you because you have something to offer him, not the other way around.

The ones that are really good at hiding their true agenda can do so for years, as was probably the case with Christie's soon to be ex. They can even make you think that everything that is wrong in the relationship is really all your fault. His business failures are about your lack of support. His affairs with numerous women are because you made him feel less manly by asking him to change a diaper or two when you had the flu. He's not a philandering jerk, you're a high maintenance, demanding shrew. And many times, we women actually buy these excuses and take the blame on ourselves. And that's why we stay and we ignore.

However, sometimes, the proverbial piano falls on your head. Some guy walks up to you at a graduation and tells you that your husband is sleeping with his teenage daughter. That shit is hard to ignore. It's in these times that you begin to see the whole picture. Too bad Christie's picture included one affair with a teenager and $3000 a month in porn subscriptions.

Thankfully, I've come to be able to recognize narcissistic tendencies before I get into a relationship with a man. Once you've been bitten you are definitely twice shy. I just hope Christie Brinkley has learned to pay attention to the red flags and she doesn't repeat the same mistake again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Go Away Mad.... Just Go Away

**Bonus points if you know where the headline comes from! **

This week I went through an ordeal that most online daters absolutely dread worse than the plague. I had to tell a guy that we weren't a good match. He was a really nice guy, but I didn't really feel a ton of chemistry with him on our first meet and there was just something about him that I didn't think would fit well with my personality. I couldn't put my finger on what it was after our lunch date, but I knew there was something there (or not there).

He asked me out for a second date and then flip flopped after he had a bad date with another woman the same week he met me. He took her to dinner, she got hammered and embarrassed him. He called me to cancel our date saying he'd rather have lunch a few more times before we did the whole dinner and drinks outing. Since I wasn't really feeling a ton of chemistry anyway, and really not wanting to be punished for the sins of some other chick who couldn't follow proper dating etiquette, I emailed him back and said thanks, but that I wasn't sure we were a very good match. Of course, I didn't give him a reason for our not being a good fit, I just gave him a simple and polite "no thanks." I figured that would end it all.

But no, he sent me a flurry of emails wanting to explain his position and insisting that he knew better than I did how I felt about him. Apparently just because I was nice and polite on our lunch date (and did not drink 5 martinis), that proved I had feelings for him that I didn't even know I had. The crazy thing is...I didn't even flirt with the guy during our lunch! (Note to self: turn down the charm to about 50% on first meets.)

Persistence can be cute and lovable if done correctly. Some guys can pull it off quite well and get another chance. Some persistence can be down right annoying (as evidence by the above mentioned guy's irritating tactics). Some men who can't take no for an answer can be down right creepy, like Border's Guy looking me up and calling me out of the blue. And continuing to call even after I told him not to. Persistence, like chemistry, is a fleeting thing.

In any event, it seems like my instincts were correct about the bad match thing. The dude seems like he might be a bit of a control freak. He's insisting that I give him three good reasons why I don't think we are a good pair. Say it with me people......Oh. My. God. This type of behavior is why people are afraid to reject someone and generally choose to disappear instead. Too bad I didn't just ghost myself. Damn my manners.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe It Ain't All About Me

In every situation that doesn't always turn out to my liking (dating or otherwise), I am the type of person that tries to look back on things with a subjective eye to see what I could have done differently. Sometimes I can get a bit too critical and end up beating myself up over some perceived gaffe on my part that may or may not even be relevant to the situation. I think we all do this to some extent, especially in relationships.

When someone doesn't react as we thought they would or if someone decides not to see us again even after a great couple of dates, we tend to look at ourselves and ask "What went wrong? What did I do?" However, as I am slowly learning the hard way, it might not always be about me.

You may remember a few months back I went out with a guy who asked me out for a third date before the end of the second one, and gave me an awesome good night kiss. I lamented about this date in the A Kiss is Still A Kiss post. I have to admit that I spent a couple of days going over that date in my head trying to figure out what I could have done wrong to cause the guy to flake out on me and never call back. Even though, logically, I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. If I had, he most likely would not have asked me out for another date. He would have just gotten in his car and left. So, what happened? Who knows? And frankly, who cares? It ain't about me.

Recently, I had a similar incident. A few weeks ago I had two great dates with a guy that ghosted on me a year ago. In my quest to date out of my box, I gave him another chance. And wouldn't you know it? He ghosted again. He called me and canceled a date we had planned and he's never called or emailed again. Why did he ghost? Again, who the hell knows? But the point is, it really doesn't matter because it has nothing to do with me.

I could sit and suppose why he would cancel and agonize over every conversation we had, but what would be the point? He ghosted because he wanted to and that's what matters. The amazing thing is, once you let go of blaming and questioning yourself, it's very easy to let go of the whole situation. Once you allow people to be responsible for their own actions, the "why" of it all no longer really matters and it's easy to shrug your shoulders and move on.

Once you get it that it's really not all about you, the world of dating looks a whole lot different.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Can You Change Your Type?

Talking with a friend this week, we wound up in a discussion surrounding types of people we date.  She made the comment that the type of guy she tends to be attracted to does not seem to be attracted to her.  She mentioned how time and time again, she will go out with these guys who are environmental activists or neo-hippie types who live alternative lifestyles which she finds intriguing.  She said all of the guys start out as if they are interested in her, but in the end, each guy stops dating her. She said a couple even told her that her lifestyle was too centered on consumerism.  (Whatever that means!)

It made me wonder, what do you do if you find that the type of person you are most attracted to does seem to find you attractive?  I began thinking about all of those eighties teen movies, where the nerdy guy or girl was in love with the captain of the football team or the head cheerleader.  (Think Pretty in Pink.)  In many of those movies, the nerdy person in question was able to get the attention of the objection of his or her affection and somehow change the circumstances and the captain of the football team would eventually realize he really was attracted to the nerdy girl.  Of course, life ain't exactly like the movies.

As for myself, I know that there are certain types of men that I will never be attracted to.  Even if those men are the nicest guys in the world, find me very attractive and pursue me, I just can't do it.  I've dated enough to know these men when I meet them and I often never let things get beyond one date (if it goes that far).   

So, what do you do if you find yourself attracted to a type of person that is not attracted to you?  Can you change who you are attracted to?  What do you all think?


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Welcome to Florida!

....we don't bite, we promise. This is one of our local critters taking a stroll across the road, looking for a a new watering hole. I jumped out of the car to snap this shot, but the little guy was camera shy and didn't stick around to have his 15 minutes of fame. Oh well!

Monday, June 23, 2008

How Job Hunting Is A Lot Like Online Dating

Since last summer, I have been looking around for a new job. I pulled out the old resume, dusted it off, loaded it into Monster and Career Builder and started surfing to see what was out there. I even updated my State of Florida application in our online state website and perused through there to see if there were any state jobs out there that would tickle my fancy (and pay me at least what I make now). Over a year later, I'm still looking around getting very little action.

I don't think the problem is a down trodden economy or the lack of jobs. I think the problem might be the new way of job searching. It reminds me of online dating. You go online and find a few jobs that interest you. You do your homework and make sure you meet all of the requirements for the positions and you hit the "apply now" button to send them your awesome resume and cover letter. You wait for the offers to roll in. And you wait and wait and then wait a little more.

If you do get a response that even tells you they got your resume, you are lucky. More often than not, you hear nothing. Or you might get the equivalent of the OLD, "thanks, but no thanks" email that tells you someone else was chosen and they will keep your resume on file.

The new apply online approach makes it very hard to stand out in the sea of resumes that employers get for each job. I've seen it happen in the office where I work now. 500 or so people will apply for one job using the online application process. Because it is so easy to just push a button and apply, many times, people will send in an application when they don't even remotely meet the qualifications. The poor administrative assistant saddled with the task of going through the applicants will print out the first 20 or so that meet the qualifications and schedule a few interviews. The other 400 or so people are out of luck. Their applications never even get reviewed. The "selection" of applicants is based more on where your resume ended up in the pile than if you were really the most qualified.

There doesn't really seem to be a way differentiate yourself from the crowd anymore. You used to be able to make your resume stand out by using really nice paper or writing a kick-ass cover letter. But in this new electronic age, I'm not sure half of the resumes even get looked at. There's just too many.

Back in the day, you actually had to print out the resume (on really nice paper) put it in an envelope with a nicely written cover letter and mail the thing to an actual person. I think the fact that you actually had to pay to mail your resume out and take the time to package it up might have made the difference. Since all we have to do is push a button these days, the process of applying might be "too" easy.

The whole process smacks of the complaints I see about online dating. Men and women get frustrated with sending out emails (cover letters) and hoping the person he/she is interested in takes the time to check out his/her profile (resume) and initiate a meeting (interview). Didn't find a good dating candidate? Go back to the pile and pull out a few more. See the similarities?

Again, I don't think the problem is necessarily that the dating scene is bad. I think sometimes you just get overloaded with possibilities. Some people just get overloaded with looking at profiles and managing emails and winks that really good dating candidates might fall through the cracks. The "click a button to get a date" process has made it a little too easy.

Perhaps our "instant gratification", "get it now", "push a button and make it happen" society has created a few problems along the way to making our lives easier. Maybe some things were better when they required a bit more work.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gettin Out of My Dating Box

In one of her comments, Average Girl challenged me to think about dating guys that aren't my "type." As I pondered her suggestion, I couldn't quite figure out what my type is. I don't have many deal breakers in dating, I'm pretty open to dating just about anyone. I don't want to waste time with men who are only separated or who don't ever want to have kids. I also don't date smokers or self professed animal haters. But other than that, I'm fairly open minded.

However, I do have preferences that are based on past experience. I prefer men who are within 10 years of my age and who are my age or a bit older. Past dates have taught me I don't have a ton in common with younger men or men that are way older than me. I also prefer to date men 5'10" and under. I won't turn a date down with a tall guy, but shorter is a preference.

So, to broaden my horizons, I'm starting my own Date Out of the Box Dating Challenge. I've put my online profile back up and I'm getting rid of my preferences. I'm going to date men that I normally would turn down. I'm going to ignore my preferences and see what happens.

I started this past weekend. I went out with a guy that I fell out of touch with last year. Normally, I have a "no be backs" rule. If something didn't work out the first time, I usually don't go back for seconds. I broke my rule on Saturday and I had a pretty nice time. Not sure where it will go, but I'll keep you posted. ;)

If anyone out there wants to join in on the dating challenge feel free to comment and tell us about your experiences!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Self Discovery With a Root Canal

I went for my previously blogged about root canal this week. The entire experience has me wondering about fear and my response to it.

I've never really considered myself a fearful person. In fact, most of my friends would tell you I am one of the most fearless people they know. Need someone to speak up during a meeting at work? I'm your girl. Need someone to trek off into the jungle in a foreign county and climb a temple? Sign me up. In my quest to make sure I live life to the fullest, I've turned into a "try anything once" kind of girl.

However, just one bad experience at the dentist and I was completely white knuckled at the thought of having this root canal. I had to talk myself into getting out of the car and going in for my appointment. I thought I was going to pass out. Of course, everything turned out fine and I've had no pain at all, but it's gotten me thinking about what other kind of pain I might be trying to avoid. If it only took one bad experience with one dentist to freak me out about ever going back to another dentist, what have my bad relationship experiences made me afraid of?

In actuality, I have only had one bad relationship experience. My marriage and divorce was not so terrible. I came out of that experience stronger and more confident, knowing exactly what I wanted and didn't want in my next relationship. I trusted my instincts pretty well.

My post divorce relationship (about year after my marriage ended) is what I would consider a bad experience. I left that one not trusting myself or anyone else. I didn't know what was up or what was down. I felt utterly confused and, in a word, crushed. No, make that completely crushed. I still knew what I wanted, but I didn't trust my instincts to recognize it.

So, if one bad dentist visit could make me so fearful of ever going back, did one bad relationship make me afraid of getting into another one? I don't have the answer, but the question is an interesting one.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Not What You Think....

Just because I don't ask you to pay my credit card bill, mortgage or car payment, it does not mean that I don't need you. It means I know how to manage money.

If I don't call you or text you 20 times a day, it does not mean I don't want to talk to you. It means I don't have to be in contact with you constantly to be reassured you care for me.

If I don't show up unannounced at your house five nights a week, it does not mean I don't want to spend time with you. It means I respect that you may have a life outside of me.

If I don't start moving my things into your home and space, it doesn't mean I don't want to be there. It means I respect your space and I'd rather be invited in rather than manipulate my way in.

If I handle my own affairs and business decisions, it doesn't mean I don't value your opinion about them. It means I can make decisions and manage my life.

When I go to the movies or happy hour with my friends, it doesn't mean I don't want to spend time with you. It means I have a life outside of you with friends and family I need to attend to from time to time.

When I'm quiet, it doesn't mean I'm mad at you, I may just be in a quiet mood.

Just because I am independent does not mean I'm a man hater or that I don't want a husband or boyfriend. It means I've learned to stand on my own two feet so I can meet you half way as an equal and a partner.

Just because I want to get married and have a family does not mean I want to trap you, cut off your balls and keep them in my purse (or wear them as a beautiful necklace). Nor will I steal your house, car or most prized possessions. It simply means I would like to spend my life with someone and have a family.

All of these things mean that I have a full abundant life. And having my own life doesn't mean you can't fit into it, in fact, I'd probably like to share it with you.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

When To Find A New Dating Ground

.........when you can go to two different bar/restaurants in one night and run into two different men you have dated.

I'm am so going to have to move out of this damn town.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Do What You Say You're Going To Do!!!

Is it really that effing hard to call when you say you will? Is it? Is it really so hard to follow through when you say you will do something?

Am I just being unreasonable thinking that if *I* model the "following through" behavior that a boy would catch on and treat me the way I treat him?!?!? Is it really too much to ask?

Am I so old fashioned that my idea of treating someone well is outdated? Someone tell me please, cause I'm really not sure anymore. Do I really have to be a bitch and play hard to get to get a guy to be interested? I'm really not naturally a bitch. I'm a pretty nice girl, but my patience is completely warn thin. I think my inner bitch just might take over for PollyAnna for awhile. PollyAnna needs a vacation.

Dr. Denkin is in the House for a Bit of Expert Advice!!

Dr. Denkin author of Relationship Magic has graciously offered to write an article to assist those of us who may be a bit on the relationship challenged side. (Of course, I actually have to get past the second date to actually get a relationship, but this is good advice none the less.) Check out her post below:

Developing a Deeper Communication with Each Other (Mirroring)

When couples have been dating for a while and become more comfortable with each other, they often start to share their feelings and opinions on a deeper level. As trust is built, couples feel more comfortable disagreeing with each other.

This is a healthy and much needed phase in developing relationships, but can often cause problems. Couples without adequate relationship tools need to learn how to disagree without turning the conversation into a battle of wills.

Imago Relationship Therapy shows people how to use Mirroring to learn to listen and empathize with their partners while developing a deeper level of communication.

How does mirroring your partner’s feelings, or having your feelings mirrored increase intimacy and improve relationships?

Obviously you enjoy being with your partner and want to continue the relationship. But what if when a certain subject comes up you two have totally opposite points of view? What if no matter how many times you explained your point of view your partner does not want to hear it? You think you love him, but somewhere deep in the back of your mind you wonder, “What happens if he is never interested in what I have to say? Where will this take our relationship down the road?

Would you feel better if he showed you that he understood your point of view, listened to it, but thinks differently about it? If you did the same for your partner, could you benefit by understanding his point of view, rather than just dismissing it?

Which scenario feels better to you, A or B?

A, You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie, and he tells you that he disagrees. Then he proceeds to tell you why you should think a different way about the movie. How do you feel?

B. You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie. He disagrees with you, but does not want to invalidate you; so he mirrors what he heard you say: “So you believe that the hero was not interested in the heroine’s feelings in your example, and that made you feel angry towards him? Can you tell me more?”

You then go on to explain why, and even though your partner continues to disagree, he will continue to ask, “Can you tell me more about why you feel that way? Again, you feel like your partner cares about what you said.

Which scenario resonates for you? Why? How did each one make you feel?

When mirroring, keep asking “Is there more?” or “Can you tell me more?” until there is nothing left to share.

This is what Mirroring is really about. You may never agree on a certain subject but knowing your partner understands why you feel the way you do will make all of the difference.

If you were to use mirroring to resolve a conflict, it takes time and is not always easy, but leaves you with a feeling of understanding.

If there is a conflict, listen to your partner’s feelings and when she is done sharing, express that you understand how she feels and ask “Is there more?”

After you had mirrored your partner’s feelings, and continue to ask, “Is there more?” until she is finished, it will be her turn to mirror you. This might take a while, and therefore, you will need to plan at least 60 minutes to talk about this subject.

But after you are both through and have presented your point of view, you would be in the unique position of understanding each other at a deeper level. It is also possible that you might come out of the discussion with a different opinion. But even if you do not, you will be beginning to know each other in a way which ultimately leads to personal intimacy.

Click here for more information on her book!