Archive for The Single Slice

Turkey for 1?

Let’s face it.  The holiday season can be like a daunting 6 weeks of gloom for single people.

I’m here to tell you that you might feel lonely but YOU AREN’T ALONE!

I feel like there should be a HUGE dinner planned at some restaurant in December that is for single folks only.  None of you adorable coupled up, matching Gap scarf wearing and Deering Oaks Park ice skating jerks allowed! (Seriously…could someone get on planning that…)

I’m sorry.  That was a little bitter.  All of you people in matching Gap scarfs are adorable.  I promise.

Adorable Older Couple Kissing On A Park Bench In Scarves
I mean really, aren’t they adorable? With a beautiful story from the photographer too!

What can I say?  Being single during the holidays brings out a dark and mean side of me!

But I don’t want to write a ranting post about the suckiness that is reminding your Aunt Ida that “No – you will NOT be bringing anyone “special” to Thanksgiving dinner”, and glaring at store clerks trying to push a tie/necklace on your “for that someone special”, and wishing on every shooting star from now until December 31st that you will have a “special moment” at midnight to start 2011 off on a good note.

I’m not going to write about those things because they are all about finding special stuff OUTSIDE of yourself.  And dammit, part of the reason you are single is probably because you realize just how special you are.  And you want to find someone else who sees that, too.  Not just your Mom as she passes you another serving of green bean casserole and muses “Don’t worry, you will find someone when the time is right.

Yet here we are, the day before Thanksgiving, having mini-panic attacks over and dreading many minutes of the upcoming season.

But instead of dreading it, I vote we celebrate it.

Crazy, right?!

Very few people (except for emotionally hurt and prone to hermitude individuals) actually WANT to be alone during a time of year dedicated to being with others.  That’s a fact.

But it’s important not to turn cynical.  To suppress the urge to get snarky, denouncing the whole season as a cheap ploy by Macy’s and the like to hawk their wares to a population of people desperate to buy the love and affection of others through toys, jewelry and iJunk.  To hole up with Two Buck Chuck and a box of cookies and sob with your favorite love story where everyone dies.  To sit in sulking anger as everyone at your family gathering talks about their relationships while you silently plot their painful and craftily detailed demises.

It won’t make the feelings go away.  It won’t make the next 40 days any easier.

Tomorrow I will spend the day with one of my good girlfriends.  We’re going to eat cinnamon buns (that *I* baked!) and drink mimosa’s in our jammies while we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Then we’ll head out to a delicious dinner where we may or may not be donning construction paper Pilgrim hats.  Then we’ll determine if we are up for wine and chick flicks or exhausted from the merriment of the day.

And we’re going to laugh and have fun the whole time.

Also, we are not adverse to making out with hot single men to and from our dinner destination.  (I’m just tossin’ it out there…in case the Universe is listening.)

Most importantly…remembering that even though we may feel lonely during the holidays, we are most certainly not alone.

What will you do to remind yourself that even though you might feel a little alone there are hundreds of thousands out there in the same boat as you?

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Sex For A Cause

Whether it’s a Facebook status or a National Holiday, cancer awareness sure is getting sexy.

Last January, the Facebook news feed was overwhelmed by women randomly posting colors as their status update.  Beige, white, blue, red silk with black lace, nude…all in a viral campaing to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer.

Ok, I get it.  Women were updating with the colors of the bras they were wearing, cause for 50% of the population, bras are where breasts are most commonly found.  And whether people loved it or hated it, the online world was abuzz with cancer talk for a week straight.

Fast-forward to October, when the “I Like It On” viral campaign launched.  Now, while the posting color updates cold be explained away with the bra-holding-boobs thing, this was an obvious overture to a more salacious topic than under-garments.

I’m still not 100% sure what a purse has to do with breast cancer, but women sure had fun posting about it and men were sure in a tizzy over women’s hot resting spots.  (The campaign asked women to update “I Like It On” and then list where they leave their purse when entering the house.)

Women seemed to be having all the cancer fighting viral fun.

Enter Movember.

Movember - Supporting Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Nick Dolding

Movember was founded in 2003 in Australia, as a sort of joke for men to grow moustaches for a month for a purpose.  The Mo (slang for moustache) is like a holy grail of facial hair for many men, according to my informal survey.

The original purpose?  Ummm…Movember sounds like a pretty cool word!

Towards the end of the campaign they began to realize that Movember could be about more than allowing your Mo to flap freely in the passing breeze without the nagging of significant others.  Inspired by the dedication of women around the globe banding together for breast cancer awareness, the original group of men decided that they would fundraise for the month for Prostate and Testicular Cancer.  (In the US the funds will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong – Check out the Movember Intro Trailer on YouTube)

Six years later Movember is catching on, but still building a presence.

Enter sex.

Cause if we’ve learned nothing this year, it is that sex sells cancer awareness campaigns.

Today (November 18th) is National Have Sex With A Guy With A Moustache Day, as declared by the ladies over on Asylum.

I guess their tactic is working, I’m certainly writing about it to spread the viral campaign.

So ladies, if you were updating on Facebook about your bras and purses, and your man (or a man you are rather interested in) is sporting a lovely lip sweater after 18 days of Movember growth, consider it your contribution to Movember awareness to dim the lights, whisper sweet nothings and rock your moustached man’s world.

What do you think of the recent trend in online viral campaigns to “sex up” their message?

The Mythic Cougar

Way before Demi made it vogue to strut with younger arm candy, Mrs. Robinson was seducing poor Ben Braddock in The Graduate.

In fact, in a survey done by popular dating site/Facebook app AreYouInterested.com over 70% of women would not be offended if they were called “cougars” and 85% of men think it’s socially acceptable to date an older woman.

Many people attribute this to the women’s revolution and independence of the 60’s and 70’s, because it was during this time that it became more socially accepted for a woman to support herself and approach men without having to worry about finding a man “take care” of her.  Others believe the cougar craze began with a Canadian dating site, Cougardate.com, which was created in 1999 for the express purpose fo serving older women and younger men who wanted to date.

Per the original website’s Cougar Manifesto, they chose to call these women “cougars” because a cougar is: “The largest North American cat, top of the food chain”  Which makes sense.  The Dream Moods dream dictionary states that cats symbolize an independent spirit, feminine sexuality, creativity and power to the subconscious.

By most definitions a “Cougar” is a woman older than 35 who prefers to date men who are at least 8-10 years her junior.  Variations include women in their early 30’s called “Pumas” and women over 60 called “Snow Leopards.”
Photo Credit – Houston Zoo

So what’s the appeal of the cougar craze?

The term used to have an extremely negative connotation, describing women who had grown desperate in their search for a mate, exhausted all possibilities in their own age bracket and generally wore far too much makeup and too many tight clothes.

However women have claimed the mindset of a cougar as more than just a December-May romance.  CougarLife.com is another online dating site devoted to helping older women find younger men (and vice versa.)  Yet their definition is one of empowerment and ownership: “Cougars are women in their PRIME: independant, sexy and wildly successful. They enjoy men that are youthful, fit, with the same zest for life. Cougars are classy, confident women that already possess many of the finer things in life – but now want the young, hot guy to go with it.”

No teased hair and leopard print for these ladies, unless that’s the look they choose to rock.

On the Cougar Candy Store (a site dedicated to women of any age who are strong, sexy, smart and independent) President Janet Margolis offers this simple 10-question quiz to determine if you have what it takes to embody the Cougar attitude:

1.   Are you mature, independent and savvy?

2.   Are you opinionated, sassy and fun?

3.   Do you have a full fantasy life that you want to share with others?

4.   Are you open to relationships with younger men?

5.   Are you fun and enjoy humor of many different types?

6.   Do you love to travel, explore and learn new things?

7.   Are you getting sexier and more sensual as you age?

8.   Can you assert yourself without worrying what others will think of you?

9.   Are you happy whether in a relationship or not?

10. Do you know what you want and then go after it?

————

If that’s the barometer, then gosh, I think I might be a Cougar!

Or would I be a Puma?

Jeez, this is confusing!  🙂

What do you think of the cougar phenomenon?  Has it changed from it’s original concept or is it still boozy divorcees looking for toy boys?

Tales From The ((Dating)) Crypt

All those dating horror stories that become books and movies and urban legends have to come from somewhere, right?

Sure, a lot of Hollywood is made up, and we all know those things never happen in real life.

Except when they do.

Coming off the heels of Halloween I was told a story last week that would cause even the most fearless of single people to sleep with the lights on.  The story I am about to tell you is real, things like this happen in our little city of Portland.

A reader emailed me (yes, please, email me!!!) to tell me about the guy she had been seeing this summer.  Introduced by common interests and mutual acquaintances, Sarah* and Derek* were lucky in that they got to know each other as friends before jumping into any sort of relationship things.

Derek first approached Sarah after he had seen on her Facebook a lot of pictures from recent local shows.  An avid music lover himself, Derek took the opportunity to finally chat up Sarah and ask her to hit up a venue with him sometime.  Sarah had always thought Derek was kinda cute, and a very nice guy, so she was more than happy to agree to meet up with him.

They kept things on a friendly level for a bit, and then one night the friendship changed into something much more, as those things tend to do.

But Sarah was hesitant.  After suffering through a pretty drawn out and dramatic break-up, Derek was sometimes a little mysterious about his plans.  He seemed to have his schedule down to a perfect time-stamped science and was always out with friends, though Sarah never ran into him anywhere.  Plus he had this weird way of calling to ask if she wanted to do something on nights she swore she had told him she already had plans.

No More Clowning Around
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – Averageman

Now Sarah is a pretty smart cookie, and she told him again and again at the beginning of their relationship that she loved being friends with him and they could totally just stay friends if he wanted to see other people.  She just didn’t want a casual relationship.  “Nothing to worry about,” he assured her.  “I’m exclusive with you.”

Then one weekend at a party (as it tends to happen) someone was talking to Sarah about a mutual friend’s new boyfriend.  They had hung out as a foursome a couple times and he seemed like a really great guy.  Since Sarah was so into the local music scene, maybe she’d know him.

As much at the metaphoric punch to the guy hurt, it somehow didn’t surprise Sarah to find out that her mutual friend’s new boyfriend was none other than HERboyfriend (as of the serious “relationship talk” two nights prior) Derek.

In a scene that I somehow envision playing out like the 90’s video “The Boy Is Mine” with Brandy and Monica, Sarah got in touch via her six degrees of separation with Derek’s other girlfriends (yes, you read that right…girlfriendssssssss) and planned a meeting to confront him.

Thinking he was coming over to hang out with Sarah, have a glass of wine and watch some Netflix Derek walked into her apartment expecting a night of cuddling and relaxation.  However upon seeing his deception manifest itself in 3-d form sitting around Sarah’s kitchen table, all Derek could do was stare at his feet and mindlessly pet Sarah’s dog.

I know, I know.  The abrupt and malicious confrontation seems a LITTLE harsh.  Especially for someone who is, in all other manners of speaking, a really nice businessman in downtown Portland who is just trying to mend a broken heart.  Who loves women (apparently a lot of them) and just can’t bring himself to limit his options to only one person so soon after his break-up.

But dude…really?!  All four of his “girlfriends” at different times had the same sneaking suspicion of Derek’s actions and tried to break things off.  At which point he offered more serious commitment and deeper levels of care and affection.

It’s a point of dating I’ll never understand.  If you want to date people casually THAT’S TOTALLY FINE!!! But have the common courtesy to let them know that is what you are doing.  And don’t lie about it.

Lying isn’t sexy.

Especially in Portland.  Seriously, everybody knows somebody here.  You can’t get away with stuff like you could in a much bigger city.

Eventually, you are just gonna get caught.  And I can’t guarantee that the grand reveal will be any less painful the Sarah and Derek’s.

How about you?  What Tales From The ((Dating)) Crypt do you have that are so crazy they should be made into a movie?

Names and details have been changed to protect the innocent…and the not-so-innocent...

In The Cards

Tarot readings will not tell you exactly when you are going to meet your soul mate.

If you meet a Tarot reader who tries to sell you on the concept that the cards will tell you or that they are negative and you must come back for more advice is part of the smoke and mirrors that makes true Tarot readers, like Jackie Major here in Portland, cringe a little bit.

As I walked into Others! coffee shop I had but one mission in mind.  To ask the Tarot cards if I was going to fall in love in the next year.  With someone who would love me back.  And create a healthy relationship with me.  And be easy on the eyes.  And love bacon as much as me.  I have heard how this Tarot/Universe thing works.  If you are not totally specific in your question it will backfire on you.

Like if I ask “Will I fall in love in the next year” it might say that “Yes, you will.”

It does not mention, however, that he is not going to love me back.

Bastard.

Jackie and I sat down at the table, and before we began the reading she told me a little about herself and how she reads Tarot.  Jackie has been a Professional Clairvoyant and Tarot Reader for over 20 years.  Which was awesome, because I am not going to put the outcome of my future love life in just anyone’s hands?  Most importantly, she explained the way she reads Tarot.

First of all, she doesn’t ask a lot of questions or get information from her subjects right off.  So none of that “I’m seeing a family member who has crossed over with the initial M.  Do you know any family members with an M in their name?”  She merely lays out the spread (her own variation based on a few different ones she has used in the past) and interprets the cards as they fall.

Jackie doesn’t believe that what the cards say will absolutely be your destiny or fate.  “The future can only represent your potential,” Jackie told me.  “But humans possess free-will.  It is up to you to self-empower and create the reality you want.”

I like this chick, I really do.

Now that I’ve told you all the details and how-to of my Tarot reading*, I know you are dying to know what it said.  Remember, we went through the whole reading with her just telling me things, and then me interpreting and clarifying afterwards.

So here goes:

Tarot Reading by Jackie Major at Others! Coffee Shop

(Click here for full size image)

The Spread/Throw Explanation

The first two cards thrown illustrate Your Interior Life: What Is Going On Within You (What You Are Healing.)   They include a Focus card and a Desire card.

The next two cards illustrate Your External Life: People & Situations Around You.  They include an Unexpected card and an Others card.

The next three cards illustrate your Default Energy.  The more you resist these cards, the more they will persist in your life.  They include a Special Guidance Card, a Best Course of Action Card and a Probably Outcome card.

The final card in a standard reading is your Key Card: Use this to amplify or clarify the meaning of any of the cards.

My Very Personalized Tarot Reading*

My first two cards thrown were Participation (Focus Card) and The Burden (Desire Card) – Meaning I have a deep desire to be included and “participate” in things, but that I also find it a lot of work to be open enough with others to let that happen.  Her exact phrase, something I’ve talked to friends a lot about recently, was “Being intellectual can be very isolating.”

Creepy how the Tarot picked up on recent conversations.  Creepy creepy creepy.

The next two cards thrown were Abundance (Unexpected Card) and Going With The Flow (Others Card) – Meaning that I have an abundance of people (like I’ve never had before) rushing in to accept me for who I am.  It is with them that I am going to learn to embrace and live in my emotions, not just facts and details.

Seriously…has this woman been tapping my cell phone and email?

The next three cards were The Hermit/Aloneness (Special Guidance Card), Moment To Moment (Best Course of Action), and No-Thingness/High Priest (Probably Outcome) – Meaning that I don’t need a lantern or some external source to figure out what I want.  I already know.  So I should stay the current course and let things unfold naturally. I should not focus on what I don’t want but instead what I do.  And finally I need to find some spirituality or deeper meaning in my life.  “Religion is the politics of God, spirituality is the manifestation” Jackie told me.

Ok, kind of ambiguous but pretty on point.  I’m curious if I’m projecting it to be on point or if it really is.  Darn analytical mind…

The final card was The Outsider (Key Card) – Meaning that I’ve generally felt unaccepted or like I didn’t quite fit in for most of my life.  I’ve always felt value and comfort being outside the box and looking in, but I need to remember that locked does not always mean locked.  Sometimes we need to allow ourselves ways to facilitate what we want to happen.

My Clarifications

I explained to Jackie my question coming in and what answer I was seeking.   Based on this new information she was able to provide me insight on what the future could hold (all those fantastic cards over to the right like Traveling and Friendliness and Breakthrough and Courage.)

The Reading Outcome

The chance of my love life changing sooner rather than later seems to be a good possibility.  Mostly because I have created that space in my own life.  Jackie was even able to help me pin down what kind of companion I am looking for, based on my energy in the cards and my clarifications.

Basically, if you are a world traveler who is multi-dimensional (an intellectually stimulating individual I can talk to for hours; emotionally open and will challenge me to be the same because you accept my quirks and outsider-ness as adorable traits not annoyances; physically adventurous and playful because I can get bored very easily but am very affectionate once I cross a certain threshold; and as spiritually curious as I am) then we should probably chat.

A lot.

Over coffee.

Seriously.

* Jackie uses the Osho-Zen Tarot Deck, which is not a traditional Rider-Waite type deck.  The names of many of the cards are changed, but have a correlation to the original Tarot deck.