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!