Archive for June 28, 2010

The Whirligig of Time

Do you believe in dating karma?

My friend recently wrote that: “Karma is not a bitch, karma’s a sneaky ninja that waits till you trip up
to blow poison darts at your neck.”

In the moment I laughed out loud (yes, a full LOL from a blog post…did you question my dorkiness?!) cause seriously, who doesn’t love a good ninja reference?

Til that sneaky ninja crept up out of the Fore River and shot darts straight into my neck.

Frickin’ ninja.

I have never been the one in a relationship to put myself out there or to put my feelings on the line.  Kind of like the Runaway Bride.  No, not that one.  This one, the one from the sub-par movie.  Not to spoil the whole thing for you, but let’s just say that Maggie had a similar problem.  She ran.  Away.  From weddings.  She was in.  As a bride.  (See how it’s all coming together?)

may have done similar things in the past.  And by may I mean I have.

Young woman running away
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Dirk Anschuta

In college I was seeing a guy that I would never ever EVER have discussed my like with.  Ironic since I spent just about every weekend of my junior year at his house.  I should probably note that we didn’t really spend a ton of time OUTSIDE the weekend with each other.  Probably not a ton DURING the weekends either.  It was a good college fling.  You’re supposed to have one (or seventeen) of those, right?!

At one point, though, things got out of hand.  Somewhere between games of beer pong and ESPN Sportscenter on Sunday morning I kind of started feeling thingstowards him.  So I did what any red-blooded all-American girl would do.

I stopped hanging out and hooking up with him and found other interests.

Now I’m not sure if he ever even *liked* me back.  At least in a more than “you’re kinda cute after a six-pack” kind of way.  But the reality is that less than six months later a girl met him and fell in total adoration.

And she managed to tell him how she felt.  And she pushed to spend time with him.  And she dared to like him out in the open where people questioned them but it didn’t matter.  I *think* they are still together today.  And adorable.  Justifiably so.

So therein lies the question.

Is it more worthwhile to put your feelings and emotions out there to see what gets returned?  Or is it safer to keep them close to the vest and just see how things work out?

And most importantly…is it better to be safe or to be out there?  Cause I *think* I’m fine being a fool for love, but only when someone is willing to be a fool right back?

Have you taken the leap when you didn’t know if the other person was “in?”  How did it work out for you?

Meetcha at 8?

Let’s face it – dating strangers is awkward.

And with online dating, no matter how much emailing and messaging and e-flirting you do through the site it’s nothing compared to that first time you meet up “IRL” (In Real Life for the online dating-free.)  You know, when you agree to wear that blue sweater you love so much to make sure they’ll definitely know who you are when you see each other at the restaurant.  Then you sit down to dinner and within five minutes you know that this is absolutely not going to work.  But you suffer through the next ninety-minutes because you want to give it a try – see if it will work.  The site couldn’t be that wrong, could it?

When Jeff Taylor (the founder of started his newest online endeavor, an online community for Baby Boomers called Eons, he was looking to create a space for people aged 40+ to chat, find folks to hang out with and really connect with.  On a platonic level.  Like Facebook for the generation.

But he quickly found that rather than just sharing gardening tips and catching up on the latest episode of Lost, his community members were using the site to meet – on a more than platonic level.  He knew he wanted to facilitate more dates for this awesome and unique segment of the population to find love…or at least someone to check out the latest summer blockbuster on Saturday night.

Enter, an online dating site for 40+ singles that is actually so much cooler than most other online dating sites.  Wherein those other sites focus on (again, let’s face it) painfully created and clumsy cookie cutter profiles and photos of only our best and email conversations focusing on tiny snippets of information extracted from a 100-word “About Me” this site is about singles events and acitivities.  As Jeff noted, it’s as if you are trying to choose from the best of the worst.

You know how you always wished that you would meet someone at a friends dinner party?  Or at a book signing for your favorite author?  Or out hiking on your favorite trail?  That’s the dream we all have, that we meet people with similar interests while we are out doing stuff.  People Out Doing Stuff.  PODS.  Flash PODing in Post Office Park and Deering Oakes Park and Hadlock Field (umm…Park?)

Oh, maybe that’s just the awesome way *I* spent my Saturday afternoon…

Yep, hanging out with PODSworth in 90 degree weather certainly gets you thinking, and it got me thinking that there’s gotta be something to this PODS dating style.  Not everyone can have a great first date off a site.  Heck, some can’t even get a good second or third one.  So an opportunity to take off some of that pressure by going out with like-minded people to do fun things and not have to force that awkward conversation.

Well, as Parks McKinney, one of my PODS-ey dancing comrades says “Is there really a GOOD way to meet people?” (PS – It’s important to note she’s speculating on the experiences on her friends, some brilliant person snagged her into wedded bliss years ago!)

There certainly might be something to the PODS.  And there definitely is something to single folks 40+ who are fabulous in their own rights and just want to find someone else who is just as fabulous.

Most importantly, there’s something to dating folks who share some common interests and having some fun with them and taking out the awkward pressure of the games and forcing it.

What do you think of PODS?  Would you be up for meeting someone special while out doing stuff you love?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Everyone has their own little pet peeves on dates.

Maybe he doesn’t hold open the door for you. Maybe he does. Maybe she orders salad and then eats all your fries. Maybe they spend the last dollar they have to their name on a pack of gum.

For some these pet peeves are overwhelming, basically deal breakers in their eyes. For others, they add onto a list of reasons why their date will never make it to “relationship material.” For a few, it’s a little like nails on a chalkboard but still tolerable if there are enough “redeeming qualities” to eke out a win.

My pet peeve on dates (or any social situation really) is cell phones.

Yes, I understand that I am dating and living and breathing in 2010, but it’s still something that’s a MASSIVE pet peeve of mine. If we are dating (especially if we are still newly dating) and trying to get to know each other better why on EARTH would you continuously be playing on your phone and distracting both of us from the conversation. I know…I know…you have an iPhone/Droid/Flip Phone From 2003 That You Just Figured Out Has Snake and it’s super cool and you’re not really sure about me so why blow off your friends who are a sure bet.

Call me crazy, but there’s NOTHING sexier than a man who spends the entire night snuggled with me on a couch in a restaurant and doesn’t ONCE check his phone.

No cell phones on dates!
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Bill Sykes Images

I remember once, at least five years ago, being out to dinner with a friend when my phone started ringing. I glanced quickly at the screen to see who it was and immediately silenced it.

“Do you do that with me?” he asked, his lip almost quivering.

“Do what?” I replied, a little confused what he was talking about.

“Do you silence me when I call? Is that why I’ve had to leave you four voicemails this week?”

I took a deep breath and mentally talked myself off my Ledge of Irk which unleashes like a fury when not kept in check. “No, I don’t automatically silence your calls. However, if I’m out to dinner with a friend and trying to give THEM my attention, then yes, I send you to voicemail. If you ever need me and it’s urgent, call back.”

The next forty-five seconds of silence was palpable and I pushed a french fry around my plate. Finally he muttered something about thanks or that making sense or something basically stating “I’m kind of a schmuck, sorry about that.”

It was about that time I decided to really jump into the smart-phone revolution and download ring tones. Yep, I am that annoying person with a bajillion ring tones in their phone. I’m like a little 25 second turn table really.

But there’s a method to my madness, I promise!

I have ring tones for different friends and family members and groups of friends (yes, my little group of guy friends totally has Bryan Adams, which I’m sure they will feel is an upgrade from “Guy Love” from Scrubs which seriously is a much more appropriate song but doesn’t ring loud enough!) That way without ever having to pull out my phone or run into the other room I can hear who is calling.

And yes, ignore the call if I’m out with people.

I have one promise in my ring tone obsession though.  I will never download anything by Colbie Caillat for the guy I’m dating. I actually rather like some of her music but if I hear one more girl with the song “Bubbly” for their adorable boy-toy when he calls I will most likely pitch myself off the Casco Bay Bridge. Or at least drown my pain in some Casco Bay Riptide.

Do you take calls and return texts when you are out on dates? Or are you a strict focus my attention elsewhere dater?

Why Wallowing Gets You Muddy

Nick emailed me after reading a few posts on my other blog.  A friend had (apparently) sent me the link and after reading a bit he decided he HAD to reach out and get to know the writer.

Aside from the extremely flattering nature of someone emailng me out of the blue, there was also the feeling of immediate connection.  Like he must somehow know me better than any other guys who have hit on me because he read some of my innermost thoughts, crawled into the craziness that is my mind, understood me and still wanted to talk to me.

See it’s hard to find a guy who will appreciate a girl who’s kind of techie, a pretty big geek, reads a ridiculous amount, goes for runs on the Boulevard, is passionate about causes and politics to a near fault, a bit crazy and loves board games.  So when one appears to be interested and emails you every day for a week then you walk with a lighter spring in your step and get ridiculously stupid grins on your face whenever your phone lights up with a message.

We were set to go out on our first date at Caiola’s that Saturday.  Not my ideal first date (another post, another time perhaps?!) but a great restaurant and sweet gesture nonetheless.  So I waited  to hear from him on Friday with details.  And I emailed him Friday night.  And I waited all night Friday night.  And I waited Saturday morning.  And I emailed him again late Saturday morning.  And I waited all Saturday afternoon.  And I felt LIKE A HUGE IDIOT THE WHOLE TIME!

I mean, if a boy likes you then he responds to your email, right?  He tries to set up plans to spend time with you?  He makes an effort, no matter how small.  That’s what all the books and movies and gurus tell you at least.

So I texted my friends who were waiting anxiously to see how the first date turned out.  And changed into yoga pants.  And pulled a pint of Ben & Jerrys out of the fridge.  And poured a vat of wine.  Prepared to sulk and wallow and be alone in my own misery of being stood up.

My solitude only lasted for about 2 minutes before I got a text from friends that know me far too wellBe ready in 10 minutes – we’re taking you out

Spicy Redneck Wings, Shipyard and Pickle Chips at Bingas Wingas

What could have been a horrifically pathetic night of wallowing and singular pity parties instead became a fun night out of Spicy Redneck wings, Blanch sauce, pickle chips and Shipyard at Bingas Stadium.  Laughter and time reminded of how much I don’t need to have someone in my life certainly helped me get past the sting of rejection and the ouch of feeling like my feelings were somehow trite and unwarranted.

Because no one wants to feel like they like someone more than the other person likes them.  Or that there must be something wrong with them and that’s why a boy can’t return a frickin’ logistic email. Or wonder what they did to make it end so abruptly.

Nick emailed me the next day.  Oblivious and with some very weak excuse about a dog and a frisbee accident. That somehow took him away from his ability to reply back for 36 hours.

But over wings and beers I learned that I deserve a little better than that.  Like someone who is bummed they didn’t get to see me and eager to make new plans.  And more importantly doesn’t stand you up in the first place.

That’s not so much to ask for, right?!

What is your “being stood up” war story? How did you bounce back?

I Kind Of Want To Move To Sweden

Ok, not TOTALLY.  Because I’m not really a big fan of government permeating into personal family affairs.  Maybe I would be if ours could rub a few brain cells together to figure out brilliant things, like it is actually cheaper to get a parking ticket in Portland than to pay the outrageous day charge for the municipal garages.

But Sweden seems to have their hearts (and those crazy bureaucratic brains) in a veritably good place.  It looks like it isn’t just in the United States that women still struggle to gain equality and respect in the workplace.  It might just be a worldwide issue.

The reason I kind of want to move to Sweden is because in their quest to attain equality for family women they are also striving to attain equality for family men.  See, in Sweden the government has passed laws requiring “Parental Leave” not just “Maternity Leave.”  Basically, they have made a bold statement that flies in the face of society, tradition and some feel feminism.

Essentially they are stating that in order for there to be equality in the workplace, there must also be equality at home.

Father taking care of sick daughter

My friends had a baby about a year ago, and they were so belligerently happy I simultaneously wanted to smoosh their faces in glee and roll my eyes with token “single girl” derision.  Fortunately she is a teacher so their daughter came at the PERFECT time to give her a nice three-month maternity leave (pssst…Sweden…we barely even give mothers more than 4-6 weeks…)

Her husband however was not so lucky.  His given “paternity leave” was 2 weeks.  And the baby was seriously a screaming barely adjusting fresh-out-of-the-womb blob for the first 10 days.  So in reality he got like 4 days of totally “family” time with his wife and new daughter.

The day he went back to work his daughter apparently cried for approximately 7 of the 8 hours he was at the office.  And his wife only texted him once to say she was losing it.  I don’t know if it’s some sort of maternal hormone that gets mixed in with the ambiotic fluid that somehow makes Moms superwomen that can magically make it through situations like this with some semblance of their sanity.  About 30 minutes in I’m pretty sure I would have been curled up on the floor in a ball rocking and mumbling something incoherent about unicorns and bowling pins.

Yet as soon as my friend got home from work that first day (according to his wife…I wasn’t there…) he immediately grabbed his daughter, changed her diaper, grabbed a bottle and told his wife to go take a bubble bath.  Again, if this was me I would have again collapsed in a rocking sobbing floor-ball overwhelmed by the gesture.  And probably a little hormonal and very sleep deprived.  His response was simple – he had spent 8.5 hours away from his daughter and wanted to spend as much time with her outside work hours as he could.

And some of our other friends teased and joked that he had had his two weeks and he just had to get back to the grindstone.  Colleagues of his whispered that he obviously didn’t care enough about his job since he started going home on his lunch hour to spend time with his “new” family.  Guys looked a little down on him that he would busy himself with so much family and home life.

But I spent time with them during those first six weeks of “new family” life.  And I realized that in their marriage, they were equals.  Neither’s job was more important, neither’s parenting abilities were more important.  They complement each other, love each other and quite frankly worship an adorable little girl that is a blessing on their lives.

So yeah, if that’s the idea that Sweden is trying to promote with parenting leave, I’m on board with moving there.  Cause I think that’s the kind of relationship any rational single person longs for.

The one where you don’t NEED someone else to complete you but with that special someone else you are stronger in all aspects of your life.

You have attained love equality.

What are your thoughts on “parenting leave?”  Does it increase the value of gender equality or does it emasculate men?