The fishing is kind of ..swampy…

swampNow that I’ve changed the options on my dating profile to include leftovers dudes up to 55, I have to admit, my options seem to have increase 10 fold. The number of winks, likes, emails and stalkers is currently up into triple digits and while I’m going to wait a while until I venture out with another 50 something for a first date (I need to recoup some dignity after being ignored for a Pirates game), here’s a choice select of the options currently rotating through my ‘Viewed Me’ list. Got to say, the pool might be bigger.. but it’s certainly filled with ‘interesting’ fish.

Urbansoldier77

Now lets not judge. I am sure Urbansoldier77  is more than just a gun-toting NRA member. Sure, his 23 photos do feature him in various hunting attire, armed with multiple firearms (including something that looks like a prop from The Expendables) And yes, he does seem very proud to showcase his dead animal collection, but I think there’s more to this guy. I mean I’m a little nervous about the snake tattoo that wraps from his wrist up to his neck, complete with dagger and dripping blood, but maybe its a Asian art thing? His arms do look a little  ‘roidish’ but he claims that if ‘you can’t stand the pathetic sight of your boyfriend squirming and straining to get the jar open’ he’s the guy for me. Now I’ve been chief jar opener in my house for the last ummm 28 years, so I’m thinking ‘no’ but ‘thanks’. He likes to adventure down a trail, kayak, workout (clearly) and …play wheelchair rugby?. ….. oh. So I guess that explains the arms then. Suddenly all that gun-toting and hunting takes on a whole new element. How does one hunt in a wheelchair? I mean… I am seriously impressed and depressed. You really must want to kill things to get yourself up at 3am and wheel yourself down a deer trail to kill Bambi. I’m not sure that’s a passion I really can’t get my head around.

Doss std

Now I don’t think that ‘Doss’ really checked out his profile name, but putting aside the venereal disease associations, I decided anyone with such a ballsy name had to have something going for them. After all he gave me several likes and sent me an email. Lets have a look. So Dos is 54 and a widower, (awesome – someone loved him once), loves gardening (don’t we all), carries a few extra pounds…(not ideal but…), is 5 ft 0″ (wowser) and “is 75% handicapped”. Oh.  WTF with the handicapped dudes and my profile??? Do they NOT see the cycling photos? The backpacking photos? My expressed love of hiking? I’m sorry Dos.. you might be awesome (even though you state that you have ‘few friends’), but you didn’t even promise to open my jars. I think I’m leaning towards Urbansoldier on this one.

Rexclambake

Rex, I have to say, is a good looking dude. In a sort of rugged, beardy, “I’m off to hike the Himalayas next week” way. He’s 47 and never been married (hmmm issues?), but he is 6 ft 5 and no wheelchair in any photos. Now apparently he ‘makes a fantastic pea soup’ which makes me a little nervous .. does Rex considers soup a big attractor for woman? If that’s his big ‘in’ then I’m gonna have to go with ‘pass’. I mean, I make a pretty good pea soup myself. But hey, lets give the guy a chance. ‘I like to get lost in new cities’ (don’t you have Google, Rex?), and ‘can wander for days’ (seriously dude, Google maps…). Rex is also… oh.. ‘a Fire Captain with the Antarctic Fire Department’. So not so much ‘based in Denver’ as ‘checking out Denver from 13,000 miles away. Now Rex, I’m thrilled that you think I’m a winner, but even I have my limits on long distance relationships. And 13,000 miles might be it.

Paganbeast57

I am not kidding. A man decided to call himself Pagan beast online and email me a note saying ‘What do you think?’. O-kaaaaay. Lets see what’s on offer. No photo (bummer) but his headline is ‘Sunset surprises and full moon fantasties (sp)’ Seems Pagan beast is making up for his lack of spelling with some lunar driven imagination. Why I’m suddenly thinking about hairy men and bonfires is beside the point.. maybe there’s something else? Except there isn’t. Pagan beast’s entire profile is this:

.And.

Wowser. That’s some Buddhist shit right there. It’s so everything and nothing. All encompassing and yet telling me absolutely nothing about him. WTF dude? Who responds to this shit????? Sorry Pagan Beast. You might eclipse (geddit?) all other men, but I can’t realistically respond to “.And.”

So you’ve dipped your toe into my over 50 dating pool. The water’s kind of funky no? 2 guys in wheelchairs, a dude in the Antarctic and a Pagan weirdo. I think I’m gonna wait around a while until the scum clears and I can actually see some kind of fish before heading out on date #2 of the fall. Until then all I’m reeling in is tin cans.

Posted in Dating, Life after 40, match.com, Meeting men, observations, online dating, singledom | Tagged | Leave a comment

Only Commonwealth countries and Detroiters may now apply

flagLast night my dating pool hit a new low.

Following some insanely rational advice from a girlfriend, I decided to relax some of my ‘not that tight’ rules, and go on a date with a 50 yr old dude. Yes, I know I’m not a spring chicken and 50 ain’t that old.. but for me, 50 is 10 years from 60 which is .. well. OLD. And old means yellow teeth, gout and a weird funky smell from parts unknown.

But, as my friend pointed out, everyone my age is still in the midst of divorce drama, dealing with 5 years olds, custody adjustments or freakishly single (‘still waiting for ‘the one”), so I’m left with no choice. Go old or young, or go home.

Now I tried ‘younger’ this summer and while the eye candy was delicious, I did feel a little, well, ‘pervy’, on a date with a thirty something. Something about the lack of crows feet and totally optimistic outlook made me feel old and a little too weathered for his peachy ass. So I guess ‘older’ was inevitable really.

Tucking any thoughts of geriatric shoes and yellow teeth into my mental lockbox, I headed out on my first ’50-ish’ date. I was promised ‘no drama’ ‘maturity’ and ‘got it togetherness’. Plus the dude was a cute baldy and he was rocking those jeans in his photos. Who knows.. maybe this is where I’d been going wrong? Maybe 50 was the new 40?

Well…  maybe not just yet. Yes he was cute, but from the moment I entered the bar, he seemed more interested in watching the baseball that meeting his date.

Seriously dude? Hot chick in low-cut top, who smells delicious and is rocking her size 4 jeans is sitting by your side and you can’t drag yourself away from the tv screen to find out whether you might like her?? It wasn’t even a good team!!! (sorry San Francisco).

When I did manage to break his concentration (I think an advert was running), his conversation was right up there with the nutter dude you try to avoid at Whole Foods. I mentioned spending the weekend with friends and their 3-year-old then received a lecture on the eco-poison that is diapers.  I gently reminded him that I didn’t have kids, and at 40 something, it was highly unlikely that I would be buying diapers OR cloth nappies, at which point the game resumed, and his eyes slide off towards the screen. Wow.. diapers. That was the sum total of his conversational menu. Not so much ‘together’ as ‘past it’. Zero effort. Zero interest.

Now maybe it was my bad martini (how do you fuck up a dry martini?), my high expectations (‘dudes over 50 have it all together!’) or just bad luck, but from now on I’m only dating dudes from Commonwealth countries or Detroit.

If I’ve got to compete with a televised sport on my dates, let it at least be rugby or hockey.

 

Posted in bad dates, first date, first dates, Getting older, Life after 40, match.com, Meeting men | Tagged | 2 Comments

Waiting for the short bus

 

 

Short-Short-BusI got a concussion this past weekend so please excuse the clarity of my writing.. I’m still not quite myself.

It’s not my first – I seem to have landed on my head a fair amount over the last 42 years – but it was definitely one of my worst.

While mountain biking alongside spectacular scenery, a whole 3 hours of blue sky and single track in front of me, I noticed a lady walking her dogs off leash some ways in front of me. No big deal.

Except it became a big deal when she belatedly called the dogs to her, right in front of my front wheel without an inch to spare. To avoid running over the dog (I’m a pet lover even at 13mph), I braked sharply and flew over the handlebars, landing gracefully on the back of my head.

Thankfully I was wearing a helmet, but pain ricocheted alongside the side of my head and I embarrassingly found myself in tears.. right as the lady – now christened ‘Stupid Bitch’ via my inner dialogue rushed over to pronounce me ‘fine’.  Since I’ve not really been “fine” since birth, how she determined my complete health status within seconds was truly remarkable. That she grabbed hold of the back of my neck and proceeded to start massaging it, also surprised me… but at this point, anything SB did wasn’t really ranking high on my ‘logic’ scale.

Long story short, my friends took care of the situation and I tried to hold my brain in place and 3 hours, one ambulance ride, CT scan and the frightening loss of a few facts.. I’m concussed but completely fine.

Or so I thought. When I finally got around to reading my discharge notes -24 hours later- I realized that a concussion is actually a ‘thing’. And that driving to Whole Foods in order to stand around blankly, forgetting the name of a friend who was standing in front of me and trying to put gas in the car (without taking off the gas cap).. weren’t signs of a brain really functioning all that well.  Apparently its all normal and I can expect my spelling, memory and ability to recall the names of people will all return within 24 hours – 6 MONTHS.

Yikes.

I have a friend who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from an ultimate frisbee incident and she’s not fully recovered after 2 YEARS. And while my injury was nothing akin to hers – I can still get my words out in the correct order – I am now having a whole other level of empathy for those folks who suffer with TBIs. It also got me wondering how many people around me might also have hit their head recently? Potential candidates may include;

  • The news this morning that Tom Ready questions whether the Sandy Hook massacre actually took place or whether it was a hoax to advance gun control measures by the government. Got to love a paranoid Colorado Republican
  • That guy who I went on an awesome date with in July but who has since forgotten my name, number, how awesome a time we had and that date we were going on the following weekend. Clearly he’s wandering around Whole Foods somewhere wondering why he’s there and who that person smiling at him is.
  • The man who yelled at me this morning for letting my dog pee on his sidewalk. While I do pick up after my dog religiously, clearly he was under the misapprehension that I also carry paper towels on my dog walk in order to pick up my dog’s liquid excretions.
  • That fella who contacted me about my motorcycle being for sale and offered me $2000 under listed price OR his grandmother’s 1983 Cadillac as part of the deal. Sweet offer dude.
  • That lady who couldn’t find the appropriate phrasing for ‘vibrator’ on an urgent work call (don’t ask, it’s complicated), and came up with ‘ladies implement’. I don’t know about you, but that could be anything from my eyebrow tweezers to my hairdryer, but now all I can think of is her notion of being ‘impaled’ by something.

The short bus awaits us all. Helmets will be provided.

Posted in body, cycling, health | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts Everyone Has While Driving

Rachael Thomas:

Because my brain isn’t working right.. ‘Abby Has Issues’ driving.

Originally posted on Abby Has Issues:

Most adults have some experience with driving a motorized vehicle, and whether you’re a road rager or a calm commuter, you’ve probably had a few of the same thoughts while navigating the roads.

I don’t care if my mirrors are perfectly adjusted, I’m still going to turn around and look while I back out of the driveway.

Sigh…more like, “Warning: Objects in the mirror may appear older and more haggard than you would like them to appear.”

Where is the street that I have to drive down? Maybe turning down the radio will help.

What?! I just got gas five days ago!

Crap. What side of the car is the gas tank on?

(Singing to radio) I should be a singer.

(Dancing while signing to the radio) I should also be a dancer.

OH MY GOD I HAVE TO SNEEZE THIS IS THE SCARIEST THING EVER!

The number of red…

View original 481 more words

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Signs summer has left the building

fallSeptember in Colorado is typically a glorious month of blue skies, chilled evenings and crisp, dewy mornings followed by blazing mid day sun. It’s like August but with less wilting and a little more snap. You enjoy the 85 degree heat because you know the evening will be chilled, and every time you pull on a pair of shorts, you laugh at the notion of jeans. The aspens are bright yellow and damn, it just feels good to be alive.

This year however, we seem to be going for more of a Seattle thing. This morning I woke up to the cold,grey drizzle that made Kurt Cobain perpetually depressed and my Pac Northwest friends, permanently over caffeinated and/or drunk.

But it’s not just the weather that signaled summer has packed her bags and buggered off to Arizona… the signs are everywhere.

1. You’ve suddenly thought about footwear for the first time in 3 months. No matter that you’ve been slopping around in flipflops, Chacos, sandals or Teva’s 7 days a week since June.. suddenly you’re thinking about boots. And shoes. Rich dark leather footwear. Socks seem appealing and you’re wondering if your snowboots have another year in them.  Yep, it might only be early September but those slides are suddenly looking tired and dammit, those wool socks are just crying out to be worn.

2. You’re thinking about turning on the oven. For the last 3-4 months you’ve avoided anything that involved turning on any heat source inside your home, with the result that you’ve found imaginative ways to prepare everything on your grill (scrambled egg anyone?), but suddenly you’re thinking about roasting something. Hell maybe you might even break out a recipe. Give it a few weeks and you’ll even be considering making soup.

3. You could really go for a slice of toast right now. Maybe with some tea or a great cup of coffee. Sure, you’ve spent the summer eating everything chilled or grilled, but damn… butter sliding down a slice of hot toast, dripping onto your fingers sounds positively pornographic right now. You know you want some…

4. You’re thinking about joining a gym. Or starting Crossfit. All summer you’ve been running, riding, hiking and generally zooming around, but you know in a few weeks you’ll be stuck inside, icy roads and wind chill of -16. Sure you can boot up for some skiing and boarding at the weekend, but what about Wednesdays? And Monday evenings? Fuuuuuck. Time to pull out that bike trainer or find a gym. Exercising indoors sucks.. but not as much as watching your fitness leak away as you curl up for another hour of ‘must see tv’.

5. Someone just told you how many days until Christmas.  The next time someone tells me how long it is until Christmas, I simply remind them the average age of death in the US is 76. I find it gives them something to think about and hey, share the love. It might be fall but its not fucking Christmas.

 

Posted in observations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Announcing the newest iCrap accessories

iwatchCUT_2497756bFrom the company that bought you the phone that can give you directions, the watch that can program your tv and glasses that frankly we’re still laughing at, we’re proud to announce  the very latest in technology driven accessories for the time crunched yuppie. Our goal is to provide you with the best ergonomic, automatically obsolete crap you don’t need, but soon won’t be able to live without and we’re delighted with these latest additions to our range of overpriced must haves, for the person who already has more shit than they need.

1. The iKnow

No longer will you need to guess whether you can get another day out of those dress pants, subtly try to sniff your own armpits or spray your feet with perfume in the hope of disguising that 90 degree foot funk. Introducing ‘iKnow’, the world first aroma detector. Powered by insanely complicated technology that you don’t need to understand, the iKnow provides you with the security and comfort of confirmation that ‘no.. you don’t smell bad’.  The iKnow comes in black, white and nude to coordinate with your outfit, and can be worn discreetly around your wrist or neck. The iKnow buzzes gently when your aroma slips into ‘slight pong’ territory, with vibration frequency increasing as your personal stench expands past ‘bit whiffy’ into the ‘who died?’ arena. Should your hygiene slip into ‘what-the-fuck’ territory, the iKnow will automatically ignite all clothing and douse your flaming corpse in Calvin Klein One. Only $5,999.99.

2. The iShower

Since hygiene does play an important role in the ongoing health of our species, here at iCrap, we’ve found ways to really improve your productivity while going about that tedious task of washing yourself. The iShower, (available in both High Powered American and Dribbly European versions), not only washes, soaps, rinses and waxes you without any manual  intervention, its host of features ensures that ‘your day doesn’t delay while you’re waiting for the suds to disperse. Equipped with voice activated  internet capability, the iShower can fulfill all of the functions previously found on your iPhone, iTV and iMac (rendering them defunct), but through our new relationship with Whole Foods, can deliver breakfast via your nearest shopping drone. NOTE: iCrap cannot be held responsible for any burning or scarring that may occur as a result of drone inaccuracy. Version 1.1.3 will correct for any accidental toilet deliveries. Starts at $199,999.99 (dependent on model)

3. The iShoe

Here at iCrap, we take your time very seriously. After all, we were the company that enabled you to watch TV, text and check email at the same time. But we know you need more time back in your day. Take that time you could be spending checking Facebook instead of walking down the stairs? How about that long walk back to your car when you could be swiping hotties on Tinder? Well welcome those precious minutes back into your day world.. introducing the iShoe. Simply slide into a pair of iShoes (sold separately), and you’ll no longer have to endure the tedium of moving your feet, looking up from your media to avoid hitting people or watching for steps and potholes. Through its use of small jets implanted in their soles, the iShoe propels you about your day, automatically correcting direction, trajectory and height when facing obstacles, uneven pavement, steps or people in your path. Don’t worry about slipping off that curb or bumping into someone while you’re busy posting to Instagram, just slip on, stand up and let your iShoes take care of getting you where you need to go without interrupting your precious Amazon time. Comes in black, tan, navy and red (as worn by Bono).

Here at iCrap, we’re passionate about designing stuff you don’t need that takes up more of your day that you ever imagined and which you now can’t live without. With the iKnow, iShower and iShoe, we hope we’ve brought a sense of anxiety, frustration and laziness back into your empty vapid lives.  You’re welcome.

 

Posted in humor, the future | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Dating retirement

RetirementThere seems to be a worrying trend I’m noticing among my single chicas and dudes. Worrying because I seem to be part of it without actually checking a box or deciding.

Dating Retirement.

Warning signs include declaring ‘I can’t be fucked’ when someone asks you about whether you’re seeing someone, watching your match.com subscription finally expire with relief and spending your Saturday nights reordering your Netflix queue without embarrassment.

I mentioned to a guy friend that it had ‘been a while’ (I think my exact phrase was ‘100 days without sex, I am officially a virgin again’) and was met with sympathy and as much horror as one can convey via text. A few months later, I asked him how his love was going and was somewhat to amused to hear he too had adopted a monastic existence. I poked him about how that was working out and was met with the phrase ‘serene’.

Shit.. this trend is REAL.

When your girlfriend who only dates sporadically hasn’t had a date for the entire summer that’s one thing. When the dude you’ve known as ‘that guy’ who only dates hot 30-somethings (“I get older, they stay the same age”)… well damn. I guess we’re all giving up.

I know a few single people at work, and had taken their ‘non dating’ status as an overt and ridiculous commitment to work, but now I’m just wondering why it took me so long and why I didn’t pay more attention to them earlier. Clearly they’re not insane (though they do all work too much), but enlightened

Apparently the path to a joyful and harmonious existence isn’t from finding your soul mate, your ‘other half’, that one person who’s got your back.. but instead finding it buried in that German Chocolate Cake sorbet, or on that epic downhill, or hearing the world wake up from inside your tent. Joy and pleasure seems to come whether there’s someone in your life or not… and I have to say, after it being ‘not’ for a long 7 years, I’m really thrilled to realize that ‘not’ being part of a couple isn’t all half bad. Accepting the inanity of chasing rainbows in the hope that one of them might be attractive, sexy, humorous and svelte enough to not need one of those seat belt extenders on a plane just seems smart. After all, people who don’t date don’t spend their time hoping, being let down or wasting $39.99 on monthly subscriptions to ‘whatsleft.com’.

Is it lonely in retirement? I have to admit – not really. I was far more lonely in my dying relationship that I’ve ever been in the last 7 years… and if I feel the need for company, it’s certainly a lot more accessible than it was from within a crappy marriage. Now of course, non of those friends are accessible for sex, romance or late night flirting, (yikes), but if I seem to recall, there wasn’t that much of that in a romantic relationship after a year or two anyway.

So bring on the plaid pants people. I’m officially hanging up my garter belt and first date chit-chat. Saying ‘ta-ta’ to awkward cups of coffee at 3pm in the afternoon and judgy looks from 50 something chubsters. I’m moving on to the next phase of life.

Retirement. It’s not just for old people.

Posted in Dating advice, first date, friends, Getting older, Life after 40, living alone | Tagged | 3 Comments

Raging

angry womanI’ve removed the shackles of work this week and am currently flitting around Colorado with the mountain bike, dog and enough turkey jerky to survive the apocalypse. My main contact to the world has been via the BBC World Service and the occasional radio report which I’ve listened to while driving from one trail to the next.

Sounds idyllic?

Well it was until I found myself raging at a stop light in the middle of nowhere.

Why? Here’s the current list – from this week’s news- making my eyes bulge…

1. Michael Sam: I don’t follow football (hate it in fact), but why Michael Sam can’t find a team ‘because him being gay is too much of a distraction‘ makes me seethe. Does football now feature players copulating on the field? Does the NFL think Michael won’t be able to restrain himself from having a tug on a teammates wang mid play? Since when does a players sexual orientation ‘distract’ from a game.. which is, essentially, dudes throwing a ball around? There are gay rugby players. Gay soccer players. Gay basketball players. They manage to keep their sexual orientation off the court/field. Apparently the NFL thinks that Michael is gonna get too aroused by those heavily padded, brightly colored uniforms and next thing you know its going to get all Sodom and Gomorrah out there. Fuck you NFL.

2. Obama. I know every hardworking individual deserves a vacation. And as leader of ‘Merica, no one deserves a few days off from the current shit show we’re enjoying more than you. And of course, bad things aren’t going to stop just because it’s the end of August and the golf green is booked. But dude, there were riots in Missouri, journalists getting their heads chopped off, Ukraine boiling over, Gaza can’t hold a ceasefire for love nor money and for gods sake, someone has given Lindsay Lohan an acting job. Photos of you laughing and smiling, putter in hand is a great advertisement for the joys of a week beside the seaside, but we need you back at work. Stat.

3. Kids with guns. ‘Merica. The rest of the world is shaking their head in disbelief at you. No, not envy at our ‘freedoms’ but horror. Firstly that we think its ok for kids to attend shooting ranges and handle military weaponry for fun (isn’t that a ISIS thing?), but second that after the kid shoots the instructor in the head, no charges are issued. Its deemed ‘an industrial accident’. The shooting range where this particular accident happened last week, also hosts kids parties. Minimum age? 8. So parents, if you’re wondering what to do for little Sadie for her 8th birthday party, why not head on down to ‘Bullets and Burgers’ (I kid you not), for some Uzi action and potentially a little homicide. Don’t worry, no charges as long as you ‘pray for his recovery’. (little hope of that when he’s been shot in the head at close range by a Uzi).

And what makes me madder than hell about each of these things, is the tone with which they’re reported. No big deal. No rage. No questioning of the morality involved. No journalistic interest in whether this is a ‘good thing’. Nope.. nothing to see here. Just ‘Merica going about her day.

So if people are wondering who that weirdo is screaming at her radio and punching the steering wheel in the middle of nowhere… just drive on by. Nothing to see here. Just an angry 40ish chick wondering why she’s the only angry person in Colorado.

Posted in America, equality, gay, observations, worrying | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trusting the fall

rubberAlong with 99% of the Western populace, fall (autumn to my UK homies), is my favorite season. Warm days, cool nights, blue skies and that smell of decaying leaves. Or maybe that’s the smell of decaying dates who stood me up? Same difference..shit is dying.

Fall always reminds me of back to school. New shoes from Clarks (loud protests), new school uniform (louder protests), and the joy of a buying myself new pencil-case. New beginnings and a new ‘me’ all for $4.99. Yes, my sole opportunity for self-expression during my childhood was my choice pencil-case. What of it?

These days I still yen for new shoes (not from Clarks), and I’m less excited about stationary, but it does always seem to be a season of change for me. Screw spring, fall is where the shit goes down. New jobs, new men, new haircuts, new houses.. all fall events for me.  Fall just seems so inevitable… whether it’s a long drawn out slow decline, or sunburn to snow “wham.bam.thankyou ma’am” couple of weeks. Either way, I know change is heading my way.

As an impatient person my instinct is to try to speed things up. Mentally urging whatever is coming my way to ‘arrive, goddamit’ so I get underway with dealing, enjoying or simply enduring but no matter, it doesn’t make a jot of difference. I just have to trust that fall will, well, ‘fall’ and with it new adventures, new challenges and (lord help me please), new sources of joy.

Meanwhile I guess I’ll make another cup of tea and go sniff my new eraser. Damn, that smell never gets old.

Posted in observations | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Love Disconnection

Rachael Thomas:

A fabulous post from my favorite ‘Sips of Jen and Tonic’ on internet dating…

Originally posted on Sips of Jen and Tonic:

Bugs crawling into my ears at night.  Getting pregnant with triplets. Being forced to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. There is only one thing scarier than all of those things, and it’s internet dating.

It should come as no surprise that I’m not the best at dating. I can certainly hike up my breasts until they’re at cruising altitude, and I always refrain from using my shirt collar as a napkin until we’re in the “I accidentally farted on you” stage of our relationship. The thing I don’t have on my side is the ability to pretend I like stupid people who waste my time.

Internet dating has its benefits, but the relative anonymity of it coupled with the ease of access to thousands of potential mates has created a problem for those interested in a serious relationship. Gone are the days of daters trying to pretend they’re halfway normal, and…

View original 603 more words

Posted in bad dates, Dating advice, first date, online dating | 2 Comments

I would do anything… but I don’t do that

smileyI was recently contacted by a head hunter for an exciting opportunity working for ‘the worlds largest employer’. Wowser.. sooooo exciting! The job description was completely aligned with my skills and experience, the level was a jump from my current position (yay, more pay) and damn.. how fun to work for a really huge company

Then I realized who that was…(clue:rhymes with ‘ballpart’).

Now putting aside their history of poor treatment for part-time (‘zero hours’) employees, utilization of Chinese sweat shops, manipulation of suppliers and contributing to the death of the small town ‘down town’ local retailer, I did have to think of reasons why I might have to pass up this fabulous opportunity. After all,

I’ve never been one to shy from a challenge, but I have to admit that this one has me taking a rather large step back. After all, I would do anything for a challenge…. but ‘ballpart’… nope, even I won’t do that.

Posted in America, career | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bring on the next stage of life.. and no I don’t mean menopause

7 stagesIts been a quiet summer here at Chez Chien. I’ve ridden a lot, developed some really pretty callus’s on my ass while my arms have withered to pipe-cleaners; I’ve barely drank, adopted shaved Brussel sprouts and fish as a daily obsession, and weirdly, not dated

Its been 7 years to the day since I was divorced, an anniversary I don’t remember until I do, and if you believe in the ‘7 year cycle‘ theory, ages 35-42 should have been all about ‘re-assessing the results of what we are doing externally in our life. Our relationships, careers, habits and the ways we interact are all put under scrutiny and modified or changed. It’s a time of facing up to what does and what doesn’t satisfy us.’

Which I think means figuring out exactly who you are. And here I just thought it was 7 years of crappy dates.

But re-reading Steiner’s theory, I do have to agree with some of his ideas. I have in the last 7 years experimented with all kinds of ‘selves’ and discovered so much more about myself that I thought. For instance;

  • I’ve moved from being a home bound introvert to someone who now regularly shows up for stuff without knowing a soul and can chat about anything without dying (as long as you’re not an attractive single dude. Jury’s out on that still).
  • I’ve grown out quite the mane of hair and discovered I’ll never be a comfortable girlie girl, no matter what guys like, so cut it off and have already been called “sonny” twice. Still have big tits…still not girlie.
  • I’ve ridden my motorcycle across the Utah desert and discovered that I prefer the unbridled joy of downhilling on pedals sans motor. Time to sell the Guzzi and admit that I’m not the greaser I thought I was.
  • I’ve vacationed in 5 star hotels, camped alone and with others across the US and overseas.. but found out that my best times have been pitched on someone’s sofa after a home cooked meal in a house filled with love. So much for the allure of the Ritz.
  • I’ve enjoyed hours of being tattood and can admit I liked the pain more than the result. Ah well, live and learn.
  • I’ve discovered that anxiety can be quelled with yoga, meditation and trust.. not so much with wine. So I’ve done away with the notion that I’ll always be the one with the big bottle of Xanax in her purse
  • I’ve discovered that while I love men, I’m not so desperate to date one if it means he’s a hoarder, extremely angry, emotionally retarded, fiscally irresponsible, mentally challenged, hung like a puppy or socially limited. I love sex, but FWB, texting and ‘lets hang out’ can kiss my ass.. I’m a grown up for gods sake.
  • I now know that my priorities in life aren’t the same as everyone elses. And thats ok. I’m no longer ashamed that my bikes are the most valuable thing I own and that I rent rather than own. Everyone has different things they care about.  That includes houses, cars, jobs, friends and yes, even how much you walk your dog.
  • And finally, the biggest lesson. You are not your parents. You may have elements of your parents, but they are not you, and you are not them. You can love them to death but you are not bound to become them. And that little insight only took 7 years of therapy to realize.

So if that 7 year cycle is now over.. what do I have coming next?

According to Steiner ‘ It is as if one takes all of one’s life experience up till this age and begins to digest it, and extract from it new ideals and a new direction in life. There is often tremendous unrest in this period and that following it. The unlived aspects of life cry out to be recognised and allowed. The desire to make a mark in life if it has not already been achieved presses for action here’

Oooo. Now that sounds interesting. Rock climbing and visiting China for sure.

 

 

Posted in aging | Tagged | Leave a comment

An ode to yoga

yogaAfter 11 years of downward dogging, my doctor measured me on Tuesday and pronounced me 3/4 inch taller than my last physical. Now any exercise that stops my ass from sliding further down my legs AND  apparently makes me taller is my kind of exercise…even if it has taken 11 years.

So in response, here is my ‘Ode to Yoga’. The only exercise where crotch sweat is ok and lying down with your eyes closed is considered an important part of it.

 

Dearest Yoga I bow to thee

You make me bend fantastically

swan diving over gracefully

While farting so discretely

 

Wobbling with delicacy

1 leg outstretched, bent at the knee

with arms spread wide so joyfully

Falling slowly sideways, yes that’s me.

 

Warrior pose number 3

Clearly an impossibility

Camel just makes me want to pee

Eagle pose, I disagree

 

Oh how I would love to be

A LuLumon devotee

But in leggings and a cropped t

I resemble a manatee

 

11 years on and I fail to see

how yoga made me 5ft 3

but downward dog, plank and tree

calmed my mind and set me free

 

If hippy chants improve my chi

and help me think more clearly

Add abs and buns of steel then oui

Yoga I remain, your devotee.

 

Posted in finding balance, Getting older, health, humor | Tagged , | 4 Comments

How to ride the 2015 Tour de France

APTOPIX Cycling Tour De FranceWell my 3 weeks of spending 4 hours a day in front of Lycra clad skinny men with pipe-cleaner arms is over. The Tour De France concluded this Sunday with a solid gold 8 minute advantage win by Vincenzo Nibali (or as I like to call him.. Nibble-on-me.. please). With French riders winning both 2nd and 3rd, it was a Euro domination unlike any we’ve seen for years. Not only was the podium strange but this years Tour was unlike any I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been watching it.

The first week involved more people crashing into each other than a 5 year old’s sugar fueled birthday party; by week 2, every single ‘GC One to Watch’ was on the bus home with broken limbs and by week 3, it seemed that the only people left were those over 40 (carefully preserving their bodies as only the aged do), those so slow that they’d missed the major crashed by virtue of being 10 minutes behind everyone else and the lucky 7 or 8 who managed to ride ahead of the peloton before the carnage started. Oh and Nibali. Surrounded by his crew of domestique who essentially glowered any challengers away from their man through the first 100 miles of every stage, Nibali was able to conserve energy and dance to victory again and again.

So based on the lessons learned from 2014, I present ‘How to Ride Better in the 2015 Tour De France’

1. Surround yourself with a pack of glowering Russians. It worked for Nibali and it can work for you. After all, who’s going to fuck with you when you’ve got 550lbs of non English speaking, poker faced cyclo-mo-tons surrounding your every move. I think someone did try to exchange a word with Nabali on stage 7 but we’ve not heard or seen that guy since. I have a feeling he’s now located in a shallow grave just outside Epernay.

2. Ride with bigger tires. I know this might seem obvious, but with those skinny minny ‘wafer-thin mint’ tires with essentially no tread (in fact, some look practically polished) you’re asking for trouble. A spot of rain, a small bug in the road, a sharp comment from a competitors team and those suckers are flatter than Chris Horner’s ass. Sure bigger tires might slow you down some, but you’ll spend far less time that you currently do standing on the side of the French countryside being ‘selfied’ by 100,000 people while waiting for your team car to come give you some air.

3. Don’t ride in the rain. Again, this seems like of obvious. Rain plus skinny tires with no tread = mass pile up. Lets just say if Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin are sounding excited, you might want to skip it. These guys love some blood on the road and unless you have the ability to ride downhill at 50 mph while balanced on an oily ice-skate .. stay in bed.

4. Don’t ride so close together. I understand that you can conserve energy by riding in a pack (or ‘peleton’) but really guys…? It does seem to always end up in disaster. Dave gets distracted by the naked guy running down the road while carrying a pitchfork, or the fat Borat wannabe and suddenly you and 19 of your closest friends are Jenga’d in the middle of the road. Leave a little more space, maybe? If not, be prepared to literally ride over your friends as you hit that next oily corner.

5. Wear more sturdy clothing. Like Kevlar. Every guy who went over this year (which was everyone except Nibali and his Russian protection squad), wound up looking as though he’d just jumped out of a burning building. Jerseys we’re shredded, shorts suddenly developed  new venting systems and on several occasions shoes were even ripped off as riders hit the floor. I know that it gets hot; I know that you want to be ‘aero-dynamic’ but I really think your clothing should have a bit more heft to it than a Victorias Secret fantasy bra. I don’t know how you think that wafer thin jersey, spun from the web of the endangered Nepalise ‘Livestrong’ silkworm is protecting you when you hit the road at 45 mph, but I think you’ll agree, its not really doing the job. How about a lightweight leather onesy? A skinsuit of kevlar? At the very least some ripstop nylon would avoid us having to watch the blood oozing out of your hip for the next 3.5 hours.

6. Allow tows up those big hills. If you’ve got your Russian goons, you might as damn well use them. I know you’re not allowed to push yourself off the team car, but I don’t recall anyone saying anything about tows from your actual team mates? Simply fasten some sturdy nylon from your stem to your Russian goons seat post and sit on back. Keep those legs spinning (I mean you need to ‘seem’ like you’re making the effort), and maybe wipe some sweat every couple of miles.. but hey… if it’s not in the rules….

7. Slow down at the corners. I saw this mistake time and time again. The peloton gets all carried away in its fastness and then hits a corner. Cue one poor sod, careening straight towards that field ahead of him (taking out a couple of spectators on the way) while another heads straight into the crash barrier. Cue 19 guys falling on top of him.  Slow down dudes… If you’re leaning at a 45 degree angle at 45 mph shit is going to happen. Add in some rain, those silly tires and fuck.. its amazing any of you made it around any corner at all.

8. Lose some weight. Like 50-60lbs or so. One thing consistent among all Tour riders is their distinct lack of weight. The only area allowed for any constituting ‘mass’ is the thighs and only, ONLY if you’re a sprinter. Arms should literally be strong enough to hold into the bars and brakes, but nothing more. Your head should wobble on your stringy neck and if your calf muscles are wider than your wrist.. forget about it. Tour winners need to be thin. Very thin. So thin that they can ride over that ladybug, leaving him with little more than a vague headache. So thin that when they are flying down the backside of a Col.. they are literally ‘flying’.. as in leaving the ground. If you weigh somewhere in the 110lbs region, you’re right on the money. Anything more than that you need to be German, a sprinter or a race official.

9. Take more drugs. Better drugs. I hate to break it to you but every single rider on the Tour was taking drugs this year.  And last year.. and every year before that since the inception of drugs, and mountains. Looking at the facts – how else can a guy ride over 2,276 miles during 3 weeks (with 2 days off), up and down France’s biggest mountains/ glaciers, on little more than calories and determination? Sorry .. but if you think drugs aren’t involved you are DELUDING yourself.  And this year, no exception. When the fastest man finishes 8 minutes ahead of his nearest opponents (who include Olympic winners and every National champion).. well guess who had the best drugs? So next year I highly suggest you contact every underground lab in the ex Soviet republic or China and see what’s got the rats running ultra-marathons lately. It’s bound to give you a boost and you can always claim it was ‘herbal remedy’ you took in case your pee comes up radioactive.

So there you have it guys and girls.. my guide to riding a better Tour De France in 2015.

And if all else fails, wrap yourself in bubble wrap, buy yourself a motorized scooter and find yourself some new Russian friends with chronic drug problems. You’ll be podium bound in no time.

 

 

 

 

Posted in cycling, observations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You know you’ve been dating too much when….

mystery manI honestly don’t date that much. What I do is have a LOT of cups of coffee with men who I don’t know except from that blurry photo of them atop Mount Evans.

And then I go home and block a lot of profiles.

My selection criteria is terrible I know. Sure I like guys with big noses and dark hair, who ride bikes and can talk the hind legs off a donkey… but when picking a date, I get seduced by good writing. I tend to judge the person by their coherence, their words, the written tone of their voice.. instead of the actual data points. So what if he’s 5 ft 6 and blond, doesn’t own a bike and lives 65 miles away? He’s sooooo funny. Which typically results in my going on dates with completely unsuitable guys, who write like a dream but who I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.

My typical date goes as follows (internal monologue);

‘Please don’t let it be him”

“or him”

“Oooo please let it be…. oh I guess not..he’s meeting her…”

“Not him…nooooo.”

“Oh it IS him…You’re looking at me..? so I guess you’re definitely him… shiiiiiiiit”

He sits down and disappointing conversation commences. During which time I suck down a drink and realize that one of his coworker/girl friends/sisters wrote his profile and that this guy is no more representative of his writing than my body ‘really looks like this’ while wearing Spanx.

Which means that I end up on a lot of first dates. And those tend to add up over time. Lately I’m questioning my filtering practices as a) I’m fed up of going on dates with people I wouldn’t trust to install my cable and b) I’d like to have sex before the end of the year.. but most of all c) I think I’ve been on too many… so many that they’re all starting to blur together.

Case in point – yesterday.

I have been chatting online with a guy who seems, well, ok. We’re at the ‘better meet each other or another month of our lives slips by’ time so I pass along my number. I wait for his call. His profile isn’t that awesome , so I’m hoping he is in person (I’m trying reverse psychology on this one!)

I hear nothing for 2 days.

Then, as I’m working, I receive a text message ‘hi it’s me’. I’m excited and have time, so we arrange to meet up for lunchtime coffee and a quick chat. You know, get the preliminaries out-of-the-way. He’s 43, in consulting and divorced, and seems quite witty… which is why I was slightly confused when this older hippyish dude approached my table in the coffee shop.

“There is no way this guy is 43″ I think to myself, but being gracious and wanting any excuse to leave my desk for an hour, I decide to push on ahead. Maybe he’s just weathered??

He’s articulate and clearly successful. He talks about mountain biking and his house in Breck.. which is only slightly confusing because he said he lived in Denver. Ah well.. maybe he has two houses or he recently moved. He talks about ‘TM’ (meditation), which is interesting.. but again, not something I remembered about his profile. I tend to stay away from the overly earnest so I’m a bit confused as to why I thought this guy might be worth a date. But we talked.. fairly easily… and at no point did he mention fixing printers, flipping burgers or recite his resume. Hey, compared to my other dates this year, he’s O.K.  Then he mentions that he rarely drinks.. which seems strange as I do remember one of his photos was taken at a wine vineyard, holding a  glass of red wine.  Weird.

Which is when my phone rang….a call from the dude who I thought I was on a date with. The guy who I was ‘supposedly’ sitting across the table from was calling me on my phone… clearly not from across the table.

Whaaaaa?

SO WHO THE FUCK IS THIS GUY?

Yes, I’m on a date with a nameless guy, who has my name and phone number, but I have no idea of his name or who he is. All I know is, he’s clearly not the guy I thought I was on a date with (all those profiles merge after a while), and while he’s interesting, I am FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. Who did I give my phone number to? What is this guy’s name? Who IS he? He clearly knows who I am – he said my name when he came over to my table… but I have no clue who he is whatsoever.

I used the call as any excuse to politely exit  before my Twilight zone got any weirder so he walked me to my car and then asked if he could see me again.

At which point I should have come clean, or at least said something, put him off or said something vague… but instead I found myself saying ‘sure.. give me a call’. After all.. it wasn’t terrible. I can only hope that next time he calls, he leaves his name so I can figure out who the hell he is and how the hell he knows me.

Meanwhile I’ve got a date with a guy tonight who may, or may not, be 43, divorced and works in consulting. Fingers crossed on who shows up. Knowing my luck it will be my gastroenterologist.

 

Posted in Embarrassing admissions, first date, first dates, match.com, Meeting men, online dating, over it | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Dating the ‘Separated’

separatedOver the years’ I’ve broadened my dating pool out of a combination of curiosity, necessity, and lately, by chancing upon dudes who lie compulsively.

Lying you say?

Yes, I know. Lying isn’t exactly new to online dating. Between myself and my pool of single chicas we’ve all encountered chubsters, baldies, dwarfs, a guy in a wheelchair, a AARP member and yes, even people who have used someone elses photo entirely. ‘Fit’ has been interpreted to be mean ‘possesses some Nikes’ and ‘fixes the photocopier’ becomes ‘IT engineer’. I know women do it too.. but the type of lying I’m stumbling on lately is more along the lines of marital status.

While your newly separated woman is off at the gym, forging new female friendships and Facebooking her old college boyfriend, her counterpart is online, announced his instant ‘divorce’. He’s not separated… he’s mentally divorced. So that makes him so.

(in which case, I am 5 ft 6 and have naturally blond hair)

I’ve learnt that ‘divorced’ to a guy can mean anything from ‘I got the papers last year but haven’t gotten around to signing them’ to ‘she moved out last week’ . He might still be living with his wife and kids ‘but its been over for years’ (does she know?).  He might actually be living apart from his wife but ‘hasn’t had time to meet with a lawyer’ or ‘filed the paperwork months ago’ (90 days people.. it only takes 90 days). He might be hesitant to actually be divorced due to ‘tax implications’ or ‘business reasons’. Or, like many, he might have discussed divorce that one night when they drank 2 bottles of Chardonnay but he’s still going to bed with his wife every night. So sorry buddy, but you’re not divorced.  Hell, you’re not even separated.

Now I don’t have an issue with dating someone who’s newly divorced. I’ve been there. I know it’s a weird time and everyone thinks they’re handling it great, but is actually acting like a horny 18-year-old. But there’s a good reason that they include ‘separated’ on the dating form… one which the newly, or less newly separately seem oblivious to.

Being newly separated means you’re ‘undateable’. No, not because you’re still technically married.. or still in love with your wife… but because you’re not equipped to go on a date period. The newly separated guy has no IDEA of how to date.. and beware anyone who thinks ‘how bad can it be?’ or ‘he said its been over for years’.

It’s not his lack of emotional availability that you need to worry about. Indeed, it’s quite the converse. Frankly, the recently or newly separated man is terrifyingly available.

Let me explain.

If you date online after the age of 40, with someone who’s been divorced – say 6 months – it goes like this;

  1. Day 1 – 5: Email exchanges. Identification of shared interests, humorous asides and general ‘are you sane?’ questions.
  2. Day 5-7: Phone call or coffee. Verbal confirmation of sanity, ability to converse etc
  3. Day 7-10: Dinner. Contingent on good first date/ call.
  4. Day 11 : Dinner, sex, hiking, whatever…Contingent on good dinner date and level of comfort. Also depends on whether you think you could take him in a fight … you know, should the need arise.

But if you go on a date with someone who’s separated it goes like this;

  1. Day 1: Email exchanges  ~21 emails in a single day.  All escalating in excitement, identification of kinship and plans for ‘the future’. You hear all about his kids, his job, his life, how ‘ok’ he is, how ‘he’s done the work’, how he just wants to have fun.. and then a comprehensive list of how damn awesome you are. You level of awesomeness increases by the hour. In fact, by Day 2, he’s convinced of your connection and your compatibility. Actually… he might be falling for you.
  2. Day 2 or 3: Phone call or coffee. He declares his love. Detailed review of the agenda for the next 3 weeks of your life. Activities will include, but are not limited to, running errands, picking up and dropping off of kids, cooking at his house, every activity he’s ever done and wants to share with you, detailed list of bands/shows/plays he has tickets for but no date now, weekends he wants to take and friends I need to meet. Like right now. Oh and he booked flights to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Hope that’s ok?
  3. Day 4. There is no Day 4. This is where you block his/ her profile and run screaming from the man who is clearly not ready to date, has the judgement of a 12-year-old boy and finds the empty side of the bed all too frightening and a ‘to do’ to fill.

You see ‘the separated’, as they reenter the dating pool, are essentially looking for one of three things;

a) A replacement wife. Like now. Because looking after kids 50% of the time is really hard and .. you know.. he needs help. And he’s used to a partner. He doesn’t like those empty spaces or empty silences. He remembers how awesome it used to be with a wife around… and women like being married right? Time to find a new one STAT.

b) Instant sex partner. Excited at the potential after sleeping with the same person for 20+ years, he wants to jump past all the getting to know you, spending time together and just fall in love right now and FUCK. Which wouldn’t be that terrible, if he didn’t insist on assuming you like EXACTLY what his wife liked.

c) Free therapy. He is traumatized. He is hurt. He is angry. And he wants to tell someone all about it and see a sympathetic face. Feel understood. Get the ok to move on. But therapy is expensive and you, you’re free!!! And willing to sit and listen to him!!!

And while people who are separated, especially the newly separated, need love just like the rest of us, they tend to be mentally, at the place they last left off dating.

  1. If your date married his high school or college sweetheart, beware. He’s got a lot of catching up to do, has no idea of how to seduce or romance a woman, and isn’t quite clear why you’re not as eager as he is to fumble around in the back seat of his car as ‘a date’. And unless he’s a compulsive cheater, he’s probably only slept with one or two women. Cross your fingers and hope they taught him a few things.
  2. If your new date last ‘courted’ in his early 20s, say hello to a lot of drinking, live music, sex in public places and assumptions that you’ll drop everything to move around his schedule. This guy thinks that skateboarding is a great idea for a date, and that you’ll be impressed by his swimming pool cannonballs.
  3. If he last dated in his 30s, he’s more likely to understand that a degree of ‘woo-ing’ is necessary, but he’s just jaded enough to resent you for it. This guy probably hates his wife, HATES his wife.. and boy he’s just dying to air his grievances.
  4. If he last dated in his 40s… hmmmm. Did he kill his wife?

But what of the long-term separated? Those who’s been living separate lives for years and haven’t yet pulled the plug?  Surely they’re as good as divorced right?

No. They’re still technically married. And if they’re still married after being separated for months or years, you need to ask the questions as to why. If there are young kids involved, I get it, but if not.. what’s the hold up? There’s something there. And whatever it is – its complicated, it’s not changing any time soon and really.. do you need to start dating a married man? Who still has his wife on the insurance documents? Who still -legally- has his wife as #1 on his list, even if mentally he’s moved on? That’s some heavy shit …and this is dating. So unless he has a golden penis or he’s really honestly the best person you’ve ever met in your life… move on.

They put ‘separated’ on the online profiles as a clear signal to the rest of us. Date warily. Lower your expectations. Be prepared to have some very honest conversations and offer not a small amount of coaching. Enter at your own risk, and be prepared for premature  declarations of love, lots of processing his prior relationship and no small measure of insanity.

You have been warned.

 

Posted in bad dates, Dating, Dating advice, first date, match.com, Meeting men, observations, online dating | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Asking for what you want

just askSomeone send me one of those ’30 lessons of life’ things that seem to form the bulk of Facebook these days (thanks Mum!). This one I dutifully read (very long conference call), hoping that somewhere I’d find inspiration to charge up my DOA dating life/ financial situation/hairstyle.

(on the plus side, my cycling has never been better. #17. It’s all about balance)

#6 struck a chord for me.  Simple, requiring little effort and hey..the last time I heard this, it came accompanied by a book called ‘The Secret’

“#6. Most people never ask for what they want. A lot of good happens if you ask for what you want. First of all, you’ll be forced to define what you want. Second, you’ll be forced to think about how you might get it. The third step, is the easiest and the least utilized. Just ask.”

Whoa nanny. It’s that easy?

Hells bells, I really have been over thinking things. I thought you actually had to define what you wanted, figure out how to get it, take actionable steps to move towards a goal, stick to it when things weren’t going to plan, avoid that 30% off coupon for REI, go on a lot of awful 1st dates, stuck it up, drink a lot of wine and maybe.. just maybe, you’d get 65% of what you were hoping for. And some interesting blog posts.

But no. I should have ‘just asked’. So here goes.

My Asks. (please- because politeness costs nothing)

1. I would like this years Tour De France winner be something other than a complete jackass. I don’t care if he’s  flying on  cocktail of EPO, HGH, steroids, meth, Lance Armstrongs blood and Redbull, but I would like him to race well and deserve the award. Oh and if he could actually retain the title without being stripped of it by December … even better. Doesn’t have to be a god or cure cancer. Just race and win.. and retain the title.

2. I would like my neighbor to stop having sex so loudly on the weekends that it makes me want to kill myself. I am thrilled that she’s having a good time (as I’m sure her boyfriend is), but I don’t think its necessary that all of us need to monitor her progress for the duration of the incursion. It’s lovely that God enters into her sex life, and that she’s so communicative throughout the exercise, but I do think she could monitor her amplitude a little, and perhaps lay off the really loud screams of ‘Yes! YES! YES!’ until point of completion. I’m sure her boyfriend would also appreciate this since it’s probably really hard to judge whether she’s near, far or faking based on the consistent volume of yelling and screaming for 22 minutes. It would also avoid another embarrassing 9-1-1 call and me wondering if it would be too weird to watch next time.

 

3. I would like someone to tell me what to cook for dinner. I am a single woman who’s been cooking dinner since she was 13. Its been 29 years. I’m out of ideas for things to do with chicken and when I cook fish it smells like cat food. I am currently resorting to a diet of fava beans because they don’t smell like anything but my yoga class is complaining so I need to do something. And no, don’t suggest looking up stuff on the internet… that involves effort which is ENTIRELY the problem with cooking for yourself. I want it to be effortless, mindless and easy.  Which basically is fava beans.

 

4. I would like to ask for a real conversation with a single, eligible man. I enjoy meeting new people, I really do, but when conversation is completely one-sided, it’s actually called a ‘monologue’.  While this is very useful for receiving a lot of information very quickly about you, it doesn’t actually help you learn anything about me. And while you, as my date, might not think this pertinent to your desired intention to ‘get my knickers off’, believe me.. it is. Conversation is ‘the informal exchange of ideas by spoken words’. Text messaging is also not a conversation.

5. I would like someone to carry my groceries from my shitty parking spot up three flights of stairs and then disappear. I know I drink a lot of milk for a chick, and that 6 bottle pack of mineral water weighs 15lbs but I’ve been told if I ask, the world will provide. We don’t even need to talk..in fact its preferable. So Friday around 6pm ok?

6. I would like my hair to look good the day after it gets cut. My hair cut looks great when I leave the salon. It really does. I fork over my salary, a beaming smile and slide out of there with the confidence of Miley Cyrus in a thong. I know I look GUD. At which point my hair morphs into ‘mom hair’ for about … um… 6 weeks. During this period my hair has ranged from an Elvis quiff, to a center part, a wiry brush and has grown horns from several directions. It has not, however, ever returned to the style in which it was cut. Right up until the day before its due to be cut again. At which point it gives me the ultimate teaser by looking EXACTLY how it should look, giving me approximately 24 hours of ‘good hair’ until the cycle kicks off again.  I would simply like my hair to look like it should for a few weeks. That is all.

7. I would like not to get any older. I know, I know. This one might be a bit of a stretch, but hey, ‘Just Ask’. It’s just I’m really enjoying 42 and it seems to be one of the best years to date (though 27 and 31 were pretty awesome too), and that’s even after 4 horrid dates so far and a personal financial apocalypse. I seem to have found the magic ingredient for energy (fave beans and 9 hours of sleep), my face doesn’t seem to have collapsed too much, I’m really enjoying new  friends and I’m actually excited to see my family in November. I know right? This time doesn’t come around very often, so I’d really like to ‘stick’ please. I’ve still not finished apologizing to people for my 20s and 30s yet, and one only has so much time. I don’t want to be younger – you can keep that expectation tightrope – but please don’t make me any older. You can catch me up in a big jump in a few years if you must, just make sure its dark and any dudes who might be around are sedated.

8. I’d like world peace. Well it can’t all be about me can it? Oh, and all of the animals to not be treated cruelly, especially elephants, dogs and horses. And if we could stop blasting the whales with sonar that would be cool. And I guess if kids in shitty situations could be rescued somehow, along with their animals.. that would an ask worth asking. Oh, and finally, if Dick Cheney could accidentally shoot George W. Bush during a hunting expedition, and then trip over and break his neck.. that wouldn’t be too tragic. I’m sure Laura would recover.

9. I’d like men to start having babies. Hey, if we’ve got #8, I’m going to stretch for #9. I think a few months of period cramps, miscarriages and then a full term pregnancy might help change some minds about women’s rights to reproductive health decisions. It might result in some changes in the workplace to really support anyone who wants a career and a family, plus it would be nice to have equality in that whole ‘post 40′ body thing. I can’t see guys wearing those stretch marks any better than the ladies, and there would probably be a whole lot less ‘trading up’ going on amongst the Donald Trump set.

10. I’d like to not have to read any more lists like this. C’mon people. If we spend as much time reading and trying to act on all those ’20 things to drive him wild’, ’10 things to ensure a fulfilled life’ or ’50 things you must do before 40′, we have a lot more time to go outside and do something else instead. And I mean anything. Do a handstand, walk the dog, talk to the nice lady in Whole Foods who isn’t wearing a wedding ring who has a very large arm tattoo and a cute accent… you know.. anything…

Just asking.

 

 

Posted in advice, Life after 40 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jobs that Monster thinks I’m suitable for

01 monsterEvery summer, just as I’m starting to return to Planet Earth after ‘the-craziest-hours-ever-no-seriously-I-mean-it’, I tend to look up from my laptop, notice that the trees now have leaves and reconsider my worth in the marketplace.

No, not whether I’m a BOGO or what I could get for standing on the corner of Colfax and 17th at 9pm on a Wednesday.. but what’s out there is the job market, and is there anything to tempt me away from my life of 11 hours in from of a PC, but the freedom to fart at any point without worrying about coworkers.

Now I’ve not had to purchase a single ‘work outfit’ in 4 years (my dog couldn’t even care less if I wore clothes at all) and I do love what I do, so there really is no pressing need to move on, but I still retain the smidgen of ego and ambition I was born with, and I’ve had the occasional Wednesday afternoon wondering what it would be like to actually see a coworker more than once every year.

Which brings me to my summer activity ‘job reviewing’.

I’m not hungry, so there’s no ‘hunt’ involved, but on occasion I do wonder if my title is destined to remain the same for the next 20 years and whether I will still be aligning fonts at the age of 62.. so I set up some RSS feeds, logged on and updated my LinkedIn profile (because that works..not), and reposted my resume to see what bites. It’s actually how I wound up in the job I have now.. and apparently I have the optimism of a millenial with a trust fund in the hope that ‘Perfect Job v2.0′ is also going to land in my inbox.

This year has been an exercise is reevaluating this approach.. and thanking my lucky stars that I’m not actually ‘on the hunt’. Here’s a sampling of Monster’s suggestions for my skill set. Just for some background, I was a management consultant for 17 years and a communications leader for 4 yrs at Fortune 100 companies.. but to Google.. I’m potentially any of the following;

1. Agile Coach

When I first read this, I immediately felt flattered. Maybe my 6 year commitment to yoga and my personal willingness to do anything for my CEO (from helping him grow tomatoes to writing his speeches) had shone through on my resume. I do love guiding and helping people, and while I don’t have much direct experience ‘coaching’ per se.. I was optimistic that somehow, the new field of leadership development was being opened up to me.

Then I read the job description and realized it actually means someone who does a certain type of project management around software development. Yawn. Not so much Agile as ‘willing to be glued to your PC for 12 hours and talk in 3 three acronyms for the next 15 years while surrounded by men in Dockers and bad fitting golf shirts’.  Actually, pretty anti-agile. Mind numbingly static really. Next.

3. Histotechnologist/ PRN

I admit, I actually didn’t know what this was, though my first thought was ‘something to do with history?’ Post Google, I learned it ‘centers on the detection of tissue abnormalities and the treatment for the diseases causing the abnormalities. Essentially the perfect job for someone who compulsively worries about their health and overall ‘normalcy’. Oh talk about taking your job home with you.. I’d be self diagnosed with MS, Huntingdons, and Parkinsons’s before the end of the my first day.

But what does a Histo..whatsit..actually do? “As a histotechnologist, you will prepare very thin slices of human, animal or plant tissue for microscopic examination”   How my past 20+ years of writing Powerpoint, talking to clients and trying to put people at ease with change would prepare me for slicing up brains and tumors I’m not sure. But since the certification is only a year, I added it to my growing list of ‘back up plans’. After all, I chop myself an onion pretty fine.. maybe I’d be good at slicing up grey matter? As long as no one is asking me to saute it afterwards, it wouldn’t be so bad?

4. Division Director – Child Support services

Anyone who knows me, knows that I treat children like you would a moving cactus. With extreme caution, thick gloves and sturdy sneakers.. you know, for running away. How Monster thought I could be in charge of ‘child support’  for a whole division I don’t know. Unless that division is ‘middle ages dudes who have the mental age of 12′ then I’m willing to admit I’d be hopeless at this job. (Actually, at this point I’m starting to think that the guys at Monster didn’t actually read my resume at all, and that they’re just shooting me rando jobs in the hope that suddenly I’ll realize my dream to become an insurance salesperson or admin assistant). Me, have responsibility for kids who are risk, who need help and assistance… are you kidding me? Unless it came with a lasso and a stable, I’d be about as useful as a penguin in this role. Next.

5. Drama Instructor

Well, I know I’ve been known to act out, but I take this suggestion with a pinch of salt. I know I kind of made a big deal about my lack of progression at work, and I might have overemphasized the awfulness of a few dates, and yes, I know that I can tend to blow things out of proportion but me? teaching drama? Nooooo. I could never… could I???

6. Taco Bell Shift Lead

Oh now the gloves really come off Monster! Thanks. Thanks a lot. My 4 years of college, my 17 years of 70 hour weeks, hour upon hour of client negotiations and deliverable prep has led to…. supervising the insertion of dog meat into a chulupa? Monitoring the cheese usage? Reordering tortilla chips? Oh thankyou Monster.. I’m flattered that you see the potential in me. Time to take any indicators of ‘customer service’ off my resume.

7. Retirement Plan Lead

Well I can’t say I’m surprised Monster. After all, I am getting older and I have, on occasion, thought about what retirement would look like. You, clearly, have me already moving fast on the downslope of my career. After all, why not get more prepared and informed about how I’ll be living on cat food and the leftovers at Chiplote come age 65.  Now I don’t know a damn thing about numbers and Excel screams with laughter when I open a new spreadsheet, but I’m sure I could pick it up. And I’m betting their dress code is pretty lax as long as your Depends adult diapers don’t show through.

So I think I’ll sit on my hands this summer. Maybe just enjoy having a job a love, coworkers who make me laugh and sure, I could be a VP of Corporate Communications somewhere, but I could also be a Taco Bell shift lead. I’ll take my chances and stay where I am. You know, until I have a hankering for a Gordito.

 

Posted in aging, career, Getting older, job, Life after 40, worrying | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How not to have a first date

01 undateableLast night I went on a date with a thoroughly cynical and defensive person. They were judgmental, a little mean and way too intense for a first date. I don’t think I’d like a second date, in fact I think that person really needs to chill the fuck out.

Unfortunately, that person was me.

After years of good dates but mainly bad ones; dates where I interviewed them, they interviewed me; dates where the guy clearly was more interested in someone else, or in outing himself; dates where he mumbled one word answers or said nothing at all. Dates with Republicans, liars and a paraplegic (who didn’t tell me about his status until he arrived at our date). 23 minute dates (my record), 2 hour dates, dates with stoners, angry men and lonely guys … I think I’ve finally arrived at ‘undateable’. Not them… me.

When faced with someone who seemed pleasant, open, friendly, attractive and complimentary, my response? Intense desire to ‘wise this guy up’ to the realities of dating.

His desire to be courteous and communicative prior to us meeting was met with instant dismissal as ‘cloying’. His sweet emails and texts? Desperate. His expressed excitement in advance of our first date? Sad. Poor dude. Doesn’t stand a chance.

My date is newly separated and hasn’t been on many dates; so instead of spending my time getting to know him, I silently plotted all of the indignities he would suffer down the road of the online dater. The women who’d stalk him. Those who’d never call. Those who would date him only for his money. The woman who’d misrepresent themselves; the liars, the fakers , the hot mess needed fixing. The women with drink problems. Pill problems. Baby daddy problems. The frigid women. The cheating women. Oh boy, he really was going to get his open little heart smashed. As he talked, my mind was thinking of all the thousands of ways this poor dumb schmuck was going to get hurt once he actually dived into dating again. How all of his sweetness, he naivete, his hopefulness was going to be crushed within months and how ill prepared he seemed to actually be dating.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, this was how I spent my date.

Thinking about all the ways my date was going to be crushed.. just like me… by trying to find love.

Yes. I know. Its fucked up.

Clearly I’ve been out there too long. I’ve lost hope. I’ve certainly wised up, but I think I’ve developed a skin akin to Donatella Versace.. impenetrable by human touch, water (and potentially hydrochloric acid). I don’t trust anyone on their words anymore and my expectations apparently are somewhere in the Marianas trench. Deep  below the ground.

And I wasn’t aware of any of this until I actually met a nice guy.

He didn’t call the cops, and he made it through dinner, but holy cow, if I ever see him again, he moves to the top of my list of ‘nice guys’. Me.. I think I need some serious therapy and to permanently end this quest for companionship. I think old lady with 60 cats is more approachable than me with 7 years of post divorce dating under my belt.  Sure she might wear a lot of hand knits and an odor of pee, but at least she won’t rip her date’s head off when he offers up a complement.

Time for me to go find my hope. because right now, I’m un-fucking-dateable.

(on the plus side, he’s apparently a saint because he wants to take another run at it next weekend). Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Embarrassing admissions, fear, first dates, Life after 40, match.com, Meeting men, men, mistakes, online dating, over it | Tagged | 3 Comments

Cooties

01 cootiesI got involved in a very animated discussion recently when the topic of ‘cooties’ came up.

Grown up cooties specifically. You know, the kind associated with specific grown up activities. Ants in your pants. Bugs on your rug.

(NOTE: to those outside the US, cooties is an infantile term used to refer to germs, diseases, bugs etc. I’m using it because this post is about STDs and I don’t want to sound like the Centers for Disease Control).

The topic came up around how people approach the possibility of ‘cooties’ when meeting and ‘doing the physicals’ with new people. Today, based on the experience of the group of chicks I talked to, it seems like fewer and fewer people even think about the possibilities of ‘picking up’ something from a partner, and it’s not just men.

A rough survey conducted among a group of women I know showed that while many had spent their 20’s playing extra safe to ward off possible pregnancy scares and the specter of AIDs (‘Just Say No’ clearly worked for most of the MTV generation), as they hit their 30’s all caution (and underwear) was thrown to the wind. No condom? No problem.

Whether it was the advent of better pills, the distancing from AIDs (especially the straight married folks or non drama students in the group), the lack of knowledge about disease prevalence, embarrassment about bringing it up or just increased sex confidence, a large majority of people in the group didn’t ask, didn’t tell and just assumed before diving in.

Growing up in the UK, condoms were just a given. Whether we’re just natures pussies or, more likely, hypochondriacs, every guy, every woman I know wouldn’t dare to ‘go there’ without wrapping up. No glove, no love. Don’t be a fool wrap your tool. Bag the dagger. Wear the jimmyhat. You know.. use protection. (and no, your parents watching TV in the next room don’t count).

But when I moved to the US, I immediately noticed – like drunk driving – that standards were a little different. As in, non existent. Dudes looked horrified at the suggestion, a few claimed that they couldn’t, some claimed they wouldn’t and one said ‘they don’t fit’ (apparently he had a knob like a U haul or a toothpick.. I didn’t stay to find out). Dudes didn’t do, and girls didn’t ask.  I even cautiously asked a few girlfriends about the situation and was told ‘oh go on the pill’ as though that was somehow magically going to protect me from cooties.

To many American women, diseases – from HIV to herpes, crabs to chlamydia – just weren’t something that would happen to “them”. Cooties were for someone else. Bad girls. Dirty girls. Hookers. Sluts.

There were of course exceptions to this blanket assessment who I met through the years: those who dabbled outside of their monogamous relationship; people with gay friends who understood more about disease prevalence; people who worked in the medical field and of course hypochondriac like me*.

*Lets just say, Nancy Reagan did a number on me about condoms, drugs and red suits.

These exceptions got tested regularly, ‘suited up’ with partners,  and had discussions  about history and safety before even a sock was removed. But the girls in my group at that time looked horrified when I mentioned ‘when do you discuss your status?’. The only outliers were those who’d been cheated on, were in open relationships, or weren’t in a relationship at all. And of course, the few silently nursing an STD and hoping to god that I’d shut up.  Apparently in the US, polite girls (and guys), just don’t talk about it.

“But I’m married” (I don’t think rings guard against chlamydia but perhaps I had the wrong kind)

“We barely have sex anyway” (even more alarming.. what if he’s having sex with someone else)

“I know he’s ‘clean’ ” (really? do you have a lab and a petri dish by the side of the bed?)

” He’d tell me if he had something” (You really believe a dude knows his cootie status and  would tell you about cooties if it would in any way get between him and your cooch?)

“I don’t like/ he doesn’t like/we don’t need to use condoms” (you might be on the pill, but does it kill cooties?)

The level of trust and blaseness around cooties was remarkable.. especially given these were all mature people, most in professional jobs with degrees and apparently, no small degree of common sense.

Which wouldn’t be alarming if it weren’t for the new cooties that are just lurking around waiting for a nice warm damp environment to flourish and the number of people who don’t know they have anything and therefore assume they’re completely ok.

Here’s a few things which guys can carry with no indications whatsoever.. and hand off to any willing female

1. Chlamydia: The ‘Wal Mart’ of STDs, Chlamydia is the #1 STD in the United States and most people have no symptoms. Most alarming you can catch it from every orifice you might be using, so transmission is super easy. The CDC suggests that everyone who’s ‘active’ get tested every year, even if you don’t have symptoms…. so when was your last test?

2. Gonorrhea: Again, another super common cootie with minimal symptoms that can be passed through any kind of fun activity. I actually knew a friend who ended up with this in her throat… She’s abstained from “sex” because she didn’t have a condom but went in a different direction with pretty much the same horrible outcome. Best of all,  men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all, and most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms either. And most recently, studies have shown that the cootie is developing resistance to drugs, making it harder to treat, when you realize that you have it. Starting to feel a little itchy yet??

3. Syphilis: Called ‘the great imitator’ because it has so many possible symptoms, many of which look like symptoms from other diseases. The painless syphilis sore that you would get after you are first infected can be confused for an ingrown hair, zipper cut, or other seemingly harmless bump on your ‘private area’ but also your lips, or even if your mouth. (wanna go grab a mirror?). Syphilis has 3 main stages and if left untreated, 10–30 years after you found that bump or weird thingy,  you might find yourself with  paralysis, numbness, blindness, and dementia, eventually resulting in death. Best of all? If the Syph doesn’t get you, your likelihood for contracting HIV just went up exponentially whether you’re gay, straight or somewhere in between. Now with a rise in the occurrence of syph (up 12%) over the last few years.. condom’s and testing aren’t looking so bad now are they?

4. Herpes: Ah, the herpe. The one most people seem to fear even though it’s actually not fatal, and for most people who have it (1 in 5 women, 1 in 10 men).. well they have no symptoms at all. People might confuse a herpes sore with a pimple or an ingrown hair, so don’t trust anyone who says they don’t have it and who’s never been tested. Because so many people carry it without knowing (know 5 women?.. 1 of them has it), its  easy to contract, and with no cure, a permanent reminder of that time you thought you’d skip the condom. You can catch herpes even if the person has no outbreak, and while its only really an inconvenience (it’s not, like HIV, a life changer or ender), the social stigma seems to drive both men and women into total denial. Still down there with the mirror? I’ll move on…

5. Crabs (lice): Pubic lice usually are found in your nether regions, but did you know that they can also be found on any other coarse body hair, such as hair on the legs, armpits, mustache, beard, eyebrows, or eyelashes? Suddenly that hipster beard doesn’t look so sexy does it? Actually one of the less common cooties around, crabs tend to be common amongst younger people (who don’t groom as much), and those who have multiple partners. And no, condoms don’t protect against them but a brazilian will limit their spread (but not entirely). So if you’re hitting the hay with the lights off with you fixie riding, oral loving one night stand.. you might, just might, want to turn on the lights before you get into it.

6. Trichomoniasis (or “trich”) is very common (3.7 million cases in 2012), most people who have the parasite can’t tell they’re infected and – bonus- its more common amongst older women than younger (though dudes, its equal opportunity for all of y’all).  On a good note, some women do have yucky symptoms up to 28 days after contracting trich, so if you get a call on your voicemail from some chick you met a while back… you might want to schedule that doctors appointment.

7. HPV: Well this one has been done to death, but suffice to say HPV (or cootie warts), can be contracted easily, cured slightly less easily, and for some people, it clears eventually on its own (if you don’t mind being all warty down there for a few years). You can get vaccinated against it, its really dangerous to women (who might have increased risk of cancer as a result), so dudes… just wrap it up unless you know you’re good to go???

Ok ok,.. so you might be thinking ‘all well.. but thats for people who are single, people who sleep with hundreds of people, gay dudes, Gemini’s, dirty girls, dudes who ride motorcycles..etc etc’. And while all of that may be true, cooties don’t care. And cooties love sex. So get tested people, and be safe. Even if you think you’re exempt because you’re married, or monogamous, or only sleep with hot blondes or dudes who drive BMWs…

…. are you sure that weird bump on your inner thigh is just an ingrown hair???

 

Posted in advice, health, sex | Tagged , , | 2 Comments