Saturday, August 6, 2011

If you're trying to live through me vicariously, you'll be sorely disappointed...

It's been awhile since I've "used my words". Mostly because of my growing disappointment and trying to find the humor in it. Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. Honestly, I don't know that I've found it yet.

So let's see, where did I leave off?

Ah yes, it was June and I was on a date with the Air Force pilot, reservist now. This date went really well, of course, maybe I just thought that because I was hopped up on Sudafed. Well, I thought it went well, we seemed to get along, conversation flowed smoothly, we seemed to have some common interests, he seemed normal and he was handsome to boot. The downside...he was newly divorced, as in divorced that month after 21 years of marriage, but we exchanged numbers. Now, I should mention that he said he was going out of town the following weekend for a family reunion and I am almost certain he was being truthful. I didn't really expect to hear from him right away. He texted me a couple days later, said he was looking forward to seeing me again. I said me when you get back from your family reunion. Needless to say I didn't hear from him when he got back. And so I move on, again...

The agency set me up with two more dates. The first of which never showed up and when I called the agency to tell them they didn't exactly apologize, but said they'd call him to find out what happened and then asked if I would want to go out with him again. Since there really was no "again", I declined. I just went with that the old adage..."Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". They never did tell me why he didn't show up.

Ironically, a couple days later I got a text from the Air Force Pilot. There were a couple innocuous texts back and forth. It went something like this (paraphrased)...
AFG: What are you doing this weekend?
Me: I've got a few things going on, but I'm free Saturday night. What about you?
AFG: I've got some stuff going on, but nothing Saturday. Text me in the morning.
Me (texting Saturday morning): What's going on?
AFG: Thinking about going boating.
Me: I'm free this evening, if you want to do something.
AFG: Heading out on the boat. Give me a call if you want to hang out in Stillwater.
Me: Why don't we schedule something? It would be great if we could pick a time and place to meet.

I haven't heard a word since. I guess I've never received a boat-booty call before, but obviously that's what it was.

The next date was the next day. He showed up late (which I was quite sensitive to) in a dirty t-shirt, ratty shorts and flip-flops. Now, I know it's summer and it's very desirable to stay comfy, but his ensemble just said...I don't have time for this. And that attitude actually became evident during the course of our conversation. Moving on......

Next date was a couple weeks later at a nice little French bistro. When I arrived, the guy was sitting there in a ball cap that was advertising for some type of heavy machinery company with a metalized brim. Really? Who wears a ball cap to a French bistro? I'll tell you who...a 45 year old man who owns a recycling business, hasn't had a vegetable in 25 years, lives in his mom and dad's farmhouse, and has positively no interests. No reading, no gardening, no TV, no movies, no theater, no running, no walking, no hiking, no parks, no sports, no restaurants..... There was actually a moment during the conversation that it occurred to me that I would be better off alone.

There haven't been any dates since that one. The agency has called me a couple of times to set up two different dates, but the guy either can't make time in his schedule or his file is being used for another match.

I don't know what's worse, feeling different and like a total failure for not being able to find someone, having had the expectations that there's actually hope that I would find someone, or having hope that the dating agency would have any kind of success in finding someone.

Here's the thing, I probably don't fit the profile of most people who are "on the market". While I am not flashy, gregarious, or "cool", I am not weirdo, deviant, or social misfit. I am not looking for a fling or one night stand and I am not looking to start sleeping with someone after three or four dates, which amounts to knowing someone for about 12 to 15 hours if you average 3 to 4 hours a date. I want to know someone before I know someone. I am not a free spirit, a liberal, or laid back. I don't roll with the flow...I'm a planner and have an old soul. I don't need to go out and party every weekend. I'm too tired and drinking more than two drinks makes me fall asleep and also makes me violently ill. I work very hard, my career is demanding and it always will be. During the week, I don't have time for much else besides my job. I squeeze in the treadmill, some reading, and some gardening (or snow shoveling) wherever I can. I accepted the demands of the job when I signed on; it's what I know and's how I function and makes up a large part of who I am. On the weekends, I like being a homebody. I love to read, write, garden, listen to music, watch movies and documentaries. On occasion, I like to go out for a nice meal at an expensive restaurant, a broadway show or go to the symphony; maybe the Arboretum or other state park. I value peace and quiet, and spiritual growth. I like to meditate (although I don't always make the time). When I can, I far away places. I've been all over the world and want to see more.

I'm not asking for the moon (well maybe), just compatibility. Is that so difficult? I guess it is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Well, that was unpleasant, or this too, shall pass...

Let's just say it's been a rough couple of days. A number of things have occurred over the past week or so to come together and create a quadra-fecta of unpleasantness...

First, my wall AC unit for the the sunken living room took 4 weeks to get installed and now requires siding repair, an electrician to install a 240V socket, and a carpenter to frame it out on the inside. I guess that's what happens when you have an AC unit from the 60's and have to replace with a model from the 21st century. There's more to this story, but you get the drift...people, houses, and appliances were smaller in the 60's than they are today. Trying to fit an old house with new appliances does not always work.

Second, and most annoying, a migraine headache resulted in a projectile vomiting incident in my new car. The second payment is due in two weeks. Seriously. Now you might ask, why the hell didn't you just pull over? Well, when you're driving in torrential rain and hail it isn't as easy as you might think. The words "I can make, I can make it", are still burning in my brain. Really, I thought I would. I spent the following day trying to get "the smell" out. Not good enough. Then the day after that I dropped the car off to be detailed, hoping they could get "the smell" out. Moderately successful. Now the car just smells like overpowering cleaners trying to cover "the smell". So now, I drive the Vomit-mobile. Well, at least I won't be chauffeuring people around.

Third, I have developed pinkeye. It started in the right eye, but seems to have migrated to the left. You're not supposed to get pinkeye when you're 37, especially when you don't have kids.

Fourth, my last date, date number 8 was another unpleasant experience. Really, I am not sure what criteria IJL is using to assess compatibility, but it isn't working. The guy walks in with his shirt slightly unbuttoned, wearing a gold chain. No, no, no, do not wear jewelry. This is not the East Coast. Jewelry aside, he was extremely disingenuous and overly confident. He didn't really care what I had to say as long as I kept the answers short. He explained to me that he had a phone call he would need to take, I said that was fine, and that I understood because I also had a demanding job. He put up his hand in the "stop" position and said, "no really, this is very important, I need to tell these people what to do".  Well, alrighty then, you just do that. There was another point during the evening when he got up and left the table, presumably to take another call. I had to ask the waitress to split the bill and I had this nagging little thought that he just gotten up and walked out, leaving me to pay the whole thing...but rest assured, he returned. At any rate, he was pretty much the opposite of the type of guy I want to spend time with. From here on out I will refer to him as Opposite Man or OM for short hand.

I think that of all the dates, he ranks third worst, maybe second. Second place is really a toss up between him and the engineer I couldn't get a word out of and asked if I would be eating lunch during our lunch date. Of course, the beekeeper still ranks first as worst date of all time. I truly hope to never top that.

At least I can take some solace in my study of Buddhist teachings. I know that this is all impermanent, or to put it more bluntly, "this too shall pass".

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage...

I had such high expectations when I started this process. However, I am starting to realize that there is really no hope for a woman of my age. I am too old to have kids and too young to date someone who is 50. This sucks (insert scream here).

Trying to draw on the positives gets me out of the house, I get to eat at nice restaurants, and it looks to outsiders that I am leading a normal life (this offers little consolation though).

Last Monday I had date #7. It was another first (and only) date. I had high hopes for this guy. He's a teacher (social studies). I figured he'd be a fairly good conversationalist...but he was more of a talker than a conversationalist.

He told me about how he loves to travel (within the US that is). When he asked about whether I liked to travel and I had told him I'd been to Botswana, Zambia, Madagascar, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, etc...his response was, "wow, that's adventurous".

He then proceeded to tell me that everything he needs to know about foreign counties he could learn through reading books. Big red flag. Now, I don't expect everyone to have traveled extensively, but it would be great if they at least had an interest in it, and not think that a person can learn everything about a country by simply reading about it. That seems so shortsighted.

As I was telling a friend this story, she pointed out to me that she actually found it scary that a teacher would say something like that and that she wouldn't want a person like that teaching her child. I hadn't looked at it from that point of view since I don't have kids, but I can see where she's coming from.

At any rate, he was a nice person and I am sure there's a girl out there for him. But it isn't me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Search Continues...

I just couldn't bring myself to go out with the 50-year old. I called IJL back and told them that I had "second thoughts" and just didn't feel comfortable with an age difference like that (and never will, for that matter). 

They were less than forgiving. The woman I spoke with, who is a minion of the matchmaker, and not the matchmaker herself, said "well that's very disappointing...we picked him because we felt he was a good match for you, despite the age difference".  

So tell me, how is someone a good match if it creeps you out? Really? Anyway, she proceeded to tell me that they would continue to find matches for me even if it meant they were out of my age range. I can honestly say I am truly disappointed in them and think they should listen to me when I tell them that an age difference beyond 7 years makes me uncomfortable. Technically, they could fulfill their end of the  contract to me by offering up men who are all over 50, and if I turn them down, that's my problem. I'm not saying that they'll do that, but they could, based on what she said.

Now, on the other hand, I did have a second date with "date #5". While we had a good time, and conversation was easy, at the end of the date he said "I had a nice time but I'm getting more of a friend vibe". It's ironic to me how two people can perceive a situation so differently. I always felt that friendship was the best foundation for building a romantic relationship.  It's disappointing because of the 5 dates, he was the easiest to talk to and had a lot of great qualities. 

And so, the search continues.

Monday, April 11, 2011

We'll see....

Well, I was supposed to go out with date number 5 again this past weekend, but that got rescheduled to this week. Now I firmly believe that it really wasn't a ditch, since we rescheduled and all, but we'll see.

In the meantime, I haven't taken my name off the available list at IJL just yet, and they called last week to tell me they had a new match for me. And then stated that he was just a little out of my age range. Now, knowing my age range is 2 years younger and 5 years older, what would you think is "a little out of my age range"? Did you say 7 years? How about 10? 12 maybe?

Well, those guesses are all incorrect. How about 13, yes 13 years older! He's 50. Now, I'm trying to be open minded, maybe he's a young 50, but 50...biologically old enough to be my dad. That just seems wrong.  Maybe I'm drawing conclusions I shouldn't, but it's kinda difficult not to, especially since last week two separate people didn't think I was older than 25. Now I think that's a stretch, but still, two people thought I was 25 (or less).

They haven't called back to give me a time and date...I am thinking about canceling...I mean is it worth it? I really feel like this is some sort of sociological experiment, and not one of those cool ones.

On another note, it is severe weather awareness week this week. Apparently, lightning kills several people a year and is one of the most deadly severe weather phenomena. The advice...stay indoors, or if you're outdoors...don't stand next to anything tall and crouch down. Hmmm....I wonder if that means I can just stand up straight, being only 5' tall and all. I think I'll just stay indoors.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Well, date number 6 was this past Thursday....and it went well. I debated even writing about it just because I don't want to jinx it.

He seems normal, has a good job, owns a home, has a dog, enjoys baseball, motorcycles, is a good conversationalist, does volunteer work, and is very handy. The conversation was never dull and never stopped flowing. We talked about work, interests, family, our less than great dating experiences through IJL (which resulted in some funny stories), and slight obsessions with cleaning and organizing.

We decided to go out again. So I'm hoping that actually happens. I'm not trying to be pessimistic but I've been here before; it this actually works out I am going to have to write about something else.

On another positive note, my trip to Australia is scheduled. I'll be there for two weeks. I am so excited. I have been wanting to visit Australia for the last 11 years, but have put it off to visit other places. I haven't regretted any of those decisions, but am just really excited to finally be going to Australia. According to my calendar countdown, I have 146 days until I leave. Now, I am not one for wishing my life away, but it's nice to have something to look forward to, especially since work has been so demanding over the past few months.

Well, it's been a fairly blissful day. Got a few things done around the house, but mostly rested and watched the first four episodes of The Long Way Round. Love it. I enjoy travel to remote places, but I can't imagine having the metal to do what Ewan and Charlie did. I am really glad they decided to the project and share it with the world. What a great idea, albeit a little crazy.

"If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, then the meal was cooked a long time ago."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not the best, but definitely not the worst...

Well, date number 5 finally happened today. It took several reschedules, and unfortunately it didn't go all that well.

To his credit, he seemed like a normal guy.  I got the impression that when he saw me he was disappointed and wanted to run away; and that for the rest of our lunch time together he had no interest in being there with me. The conversation was very halted and difficult.

There was just no connection, even though we had some things in common.

I'm disappointed. I was just really hopeful that something would come of this date. I am starting to doubt that these folks will be successful in finding someone with whom I'll be compatible. It's difficult not to lose hope.

The day wasn't a total loss though. I traded in my Civic for a shiny new one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

There's At Least a Month of Winter Left to Go...

I think that this time of year get's to be pretty tough for those of us in the upper midwest. It just seems as though winter will never end; and this winter has been particularly long and snowy. It certainly doesn't help that I had the luxury of spending a week in Tucson for a work trip. I enjoyed every moment of the sunshine and warmth.

So, date #5 is scheduled for Tuesday. This guy is about 3 years younger and an engineer. I am hopeful that someone a little younger will be less....I don't know, odd.  I'm thinking it'll go better than the last one. Hoping, at any rate.

Okay...seriously, what is with the Celebrity Apprentice commercials? Why does everyone seem absolutely insane?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another day, another snowstorm...

Well, another week has come and gone and I'm feeling a bit philosophical. No call from the matchmaking agency. I can't say I'm surprised. Maybe a little disappointed though. My hope is starting to wane.

I watched Eat, Pray, Love today. I thought that they did an okay job of adapting the book, which I read a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed the book and felt that I resonated on some level with the author. Although my own story is quite different. I also have a box full of places I want to travel to before I die; and the list is long. I don't dream of a white picket fence with 2.5 kids and a dog...I dream of Africa, Antarctica, Borneo and Sumatra (just to name a few).

But the movie got me thinking again, reminding me of the book, and what the movie did not convey about some of the author's (Elizabeth Gilbert) feelings that drove her to make the choices she did. She felt trapped in a life that she did not want, and from what I recall, she wasn't quite sure how she wound up there. Reading the book made me feel like I wasn't alone.

There's this small part of me that sees friends and relatives with their children and wonders what it would be like to have a child of my own. But then I think, I just don't want it badly enough. At one point in time, when I was in my late 20's, I thought that maybe at some point (in the near future) I'd feel old enough and ready to settle down and have a family, but that hasn't happened for me, and I don't think it ever will.

For me, it isn't so much about not having a family, but about feeling left behind and feeling left out of experiences I will never have. I will never be able to truly relate with many of my friends and they will never be able to relate to me.

I really enjoy my life, my career, my travels, my friends, but at the same time feel conflicted because I don't want be a parent. I know this may sound strange; it's even strange to me. I value family very much, but don't see myself as part of one (other than the one I grew up in). And while that may make me sad sometimes, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really bother me.

The snow has been falling all day and will require me to shovel out in the morning, so it's time for a good night's sleep before the morning workout.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Valentines Day...I'm Watching the Westminster Dog Show

Well, it's Valentines Day. While I'm not a hater, I'm not exactly a fan either. Now you might think I'm bitter because I haven't found that special someone, but really that's not the reason for my lukewarm feelings towards this day.

I take issue with retail holidays. It's a sad statement that we've created a special day to tell our loved ones that we love them or show them we love them by buying gifts. Why don't we live that everyday? Not the buying gifts part, the showing love part. I realize that some people do, but it's obvious that a greater percentage of us do not. And we play right into the hands of retailers. I am a Capitalist, but sometimes the materialistic nature of our culture disappoints me. From my perspective, spending time with loved ones is a much better gift than anything money can buy.

No news on the dating front. I think I'll start a pool as to how long it's going to take before they call me back. I think I might have blacklisted myself.

Happy Valentines Day to all, and remember to live the spirit all year (you know, like Christmas)...and yes, I really am watching the Westminster Dog Show. I just adore those little toy dogs.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blah, blah, blah....

I have just returned from a business trip to Texas. I was really hoping for a little warmth while I was there, but no such luck. It was 25 degrees F. Now I know I shouldn't complain, because that was still about 35 degrees warmer than what I left at home; but man, what a bummer.

On the dating scene there isn't much to report. Date #3 did call back, but I didn't call him back. I know that really isn't nice. I didn't like it very much when Date #1 didn't call when he said he would. However, I am just having a difficult time getting past the age difference. I guess for me age really isn't just a number. It's a point of reference, not only for maturity as a person ages, but also for what a person can relate to about when they grew up. I don't want to date  a guy 8 to 10 years older than me anymore than I want to date a guy 8 to 10 years younger. I really did consider calling back. I thought about saying we should just meet for lunch or coffee. You know, not rule him out so soon, get to know him a little better, but every day I put it off.....well, it just got too far away from that original call. I guess I've got a ways to go before I start considering men who I wasn't really interested in initially.

I also had my say about Date #4 with the agency, the really creepy guy. The woman in the office who took my feedback "thanked me" for being so honest. I say "thanked", because my cynical side doesn't think she was too pleased with my reaction. I wasn't hostile, I didn't yell, but I was very explicit that the date was completely unacceptable, for oh, so many reasons. I said that I didn't want to date anyone more than 5 years older.

I gave that feedback this past Monday, and I haven't heard back from the agency since. I'm guessing that they don't have too many clients in my age range. Especially since I was initially told that they were going to keep the age range no more than five years older and after the first two dates they jumped to guys who were 8 to 10 years older. Bummer.

Well, I suppose that's enough blithering for the evening. Time to try and get some sleep. It's good to be home again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

6 February 2011...A Nothing Kind of Day

A rather typical Sunday today, and that's a good thing. I really relish quiet time on the weekends before going back to the rat race, but still thinking about the weirdness from last night. Not much else to do about that until I can have my chat with the agency.

Date number 3 called and left a voicemail today asking about going out next weekend. I think I'll need to mull that over a bit. I have a difficult time describing how ambivalent I feel about it. I mean, he just seems too old for me (45). But then I think it couldn't hurt to talk to him, and it isn't important that I don't find him attractive, at least not at this stage. That could change.

See, this is my problem, I over analyze everything. I know I do, and the problem now is that I read that book, I am trying to be more open minded and widen my net about who I consider. You know, not exclude a guy on the basis of a mediocre first date or if I don't find him attractive. I mean, I really don't know all that much about him yet. I hate dating. It's not fun, it's work. I am probably just sour right now because of my negative experience from last night.

Well, time to try and chill out a bit. Looking forward to the devil I know called work tomorrow.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Fourth Date or Augggghhhh!

Okay, really. This was about the worst date I've ever been on and I've had someone accidentally spit on me while they were chewing their food. I'm not even sure where to begin....

When I got the restaurant, the table was not ready and the hostess informed me that my date was already in the bar. The only man I saw standing alone in the bar was an old guy, so I explained that I had never met the man and asked if she could show me who he was. She seemed too busy to help me, but her colleague said, "oh sure, I'll introduce you".  Yes, it was the "old" guy. The agency said he was 47, and while that may be true, he looked to be about 55. He had a creepy smile and was just creepy in general. It was like he was leering at me. He seemed to have trouble conversing, period.

Let's see, he's a beekeeper, runs his family's farm and has been since he took over from his father in the early 90's. He just got back from Belize, literally, like this morning. Now, you might think "oooh, world traveler". But no, he's never been anywhere else outside the US. I was starting to think that he never left the Iron Range (it certainly didn't sound like it, his Iron Range accent was quite thick). But then he mentioned that he'd been to and worked in Alaska and had also been to Arizona and California. When I asked why he had gone to Belize he said that he heard a lot of nice things about it and was wondering if there were any beekeepers down there he could talk with about their practices. Which were the other reasons for his travel, excluding Alaska.

Everything was about beekeeping. When he got around to asking me what I did for a living, the conversation very quickly jumped back to beekeeping. There are no bees in my business, nor honey, sometime molasses, corn syrup, or sugar. I don't even remember how the conversation steered back that direction.

When I decided it was time to end the misery, I paid my bill (everything arrives on separate checks, which is great) and put on my scarf and coat. I then stood up and said it was nice to have met him. He didn't get up. He just stayed seated at the table. I talked a little bit more to see if was leaving too, but he wasn't; he just stayed put. I ended up walking out alone (which is fine, but weird). Another socially awkward moment.

Mind you, I do feel like an un-nice person for leaving him sit there alone in the restaurant. However, the meal was finished, the bills were paid, and the evening was just over. It was one of the most awkward situations I've experienced. Even the bad date with the doctor (date #2) didn't go that poorly or end that strangely. He was just a guy with no direction.

What I'm still trying to figure out is why the matchmaking agency even set me up with him in first place. Was this some kind of test? I'm not really sure. Although, I'm sure it will be an interesting conversation on Monday when I provide my feedback to them.

5 February 2011

This is my first attempt at blogging. I debated for two weeks before deciding to start a blog. I've always enjoyed writing and thought it might be fun to write about life.

I am thirty-something, single, and have a great career. I love traveling and try and go somewhere at least once a year. Although, the last couple of years it has been every other year as the trips I've been taking have gotten a little grander, Madagascar in 2010 and Botswana in 2008.  At any rate, I've been thinking about my desire for a long-term relationship. You know, a nice guy to share the ups and downs of life. I tried the on-line dating scene on and off through out my mid-twenties to early-thirties without much luck.
Now in my late thirties, I recently decided to join a matchmaking service.

Now mind you, I am not overly confident in their abilities to find me someone with whom I will be compatible. I think that I've just not had the best luck, so I'm a little bit cynical. The up side is that I am meeting new guys and dining out...I feel like I actually have a life outside of work.

To date, I have been on three dates and have a fourth this evening.

My first date was with Dave, 38, never married, no kids, a business man for a large, and well respected company. We had a really great time. The conversation flowed flawlessly. We had a lot in common and seemed to have similar philosophies and approached life in a similar manner. He was about a foot taller than me (I'm only five feet tall) and was nice looking, but not stunning; just your average guy next door. He mentioned that he'd like to go out again and I agreed (I had a great time); we exchanged info and I was in a great mood. A few days later he sent me a text just to say hi, that was thinking about me and was planning to call me the next day. I never heard from him again.

My second date was with Rob, 37, never married, no kids, a physician. He got to the restaurant late and apologized. No worries. He mentioned that he was unemployed or soon to become unemployed and that this was typical for him to go through periods of unemployment. I was confused by this the rest of the evening. He railed against the health care system...his concerns seemed valid.  He moved here for a job, but was dissatisfied. He seemed pretty non-committal about pretty much everything. The conversation was strained and the date did not go well. We shook hands at the end of the evening and said "take care". I am still a little stymied by the evening. I've never met a lazy doctor, but his attitude seemed to be...I've become a doctor paid off my school loans, so now I'm just going to bum around and have fun.

Date number three was also with a physician, Wendell, 45, divorced, no kids. He was short. Now, I know I have no room to say a word about height, as I'm only five feet tall. But it was just weird to be eye to eye (I did have a small heel on). We had a nice conversation and he seemed cultured. He asked me out again and I said yes. We exchanged information and so now I wait. He is not someone I think I would normally go for. He's so old (well not really, but you know what I mean).

I just finished reading Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.  It was good to get some new perspective. Although, I probably have some work to do; personally that is. While I did enjoy the book and found humor in it, I also found it depressing. You know, like there's no hope for me. I mean, I'm 37 and don't want kids. Not wanting kids is not a common Midwestern value, at least from what I've been able to ascertain. Which leaves me with older men who are either divorced with grown kids or older men who don't want kids. Either way, it leaves me with older men.

Well, tonight is date number four. He's 47. I just have to keep telling myself to keep an open mind.