Saturday, January 26, 2019
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
I’m going on a bit of a tangent today after seeing some heated debates about mom entitlement. This blog typically deals with my dating life, but this topic has some relevance to single women like me as we are always questioned about our maternal status.
Do you ever feel like moms on social media are running a big campaign to dissuade people from having kids? They describe it like a war zone. It’s us versus them! Nobody sleeps! There’s body fluids everywhere! Mom shaming is epidemic! It’s mom on mom crime! And to top it all off everyone is forced to watch bad tv in which obnoxious nursery rhymes get stuck in your head.
They want you to know how #blessed they are, but they also want you to feel sorry for how difficult their lives are. They don’t personally know you, your job, your struggles or your successes, but they are confident that if you didn’t bear children your life is a vacation compared to theirs. They are always more tired than any single or childless individual. In fact, they deserve to cut in line at Starbucks! https://www.facebook.com/122560544447547/posts/2104465022923746/
We’re supposed to hold them at near saint like status, and not even just current mothers. Women who struggle with fertility feel even more entitled to your sympathy. They would like you never to speak of or joke about being pregnant because they are not currently pregnant. Makes sense, right? All the struggles that other people have do not compare to the righteous desire these women have to procreate.
I personally wanted to ask the Twittersphere to stop joking about pregnancy on April Fools because it’s unoriginal and lame, but apparently we are simply not allowed to joke about things that are difficult for other people. Also, side note, sometimes it’s just a food baby. “Are you pregnant?” “No, I just ate a burrito. I’ll look less bloated in a few hours.”
If I felt as entitled as women with fertility issues, I could ask people to stop talking about their happy relationships when I can’t keep a good man to save my life. I’d ask them never to complain about their family obligations. As the last single person in my family, my holidays have a lot more alone time the older I get because everyone else is spending time with their extended families. I’d ask them to NEVER complain about getting flowers on Valentine’s Day. You think it’s cliche and he’s only giving you flowers because Cupid and the calendar told him to? Bitch, please! When someone gives you flowers, you say “thank you!” The last flowers I got were free at the grocery store because Bakers knows how to treat a lady!
I’m ok with moms of toddlers complaining about going to the bathroom alone. The dog likes to keep me company in the bathroom. And even though I take it as a compliment that he just loves spending time with me, I would still like to be alone in there sometimes.
Actually, I’m ok letting a mom cut in front of me at Starbucks, too. It’s not the only hard job, but it is hard. The moms I know in real life are some of the coolest people I know, and most of them realize that their “problems” with raising a family are just part of managing blessings.
Moral of Today’s Rant:
- Everybody’s got problems. Yours don’t make you special. Quit complaining.
- Since everybody’s got problems, be kind to people. Maybe even pay it forward when you’re in line for that Pumpkin Spice Latte.
- We may not all get to be moms. Some will choose not to be a mom. And that’s ok.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Imagine you go to an expert foodie to recommend the best dessert. That expert with her professional palate recommends something delicious like a hot fudge sundae, and the description sounds dreamy - homemade hot fudge, fresh baked brownie bits, creamy French vanilla ice cream, and a delectable cherry on top! You dive into your fabulous sundae, and your fudge is too fudgy. It’s overwhelmingly chocolaty —something you didn’t think was possible! There’s a disproportionate ratio of brownie bits to ice cream, and the ice cream itself is less French than plain ol’ vanilla. The cherry was good. But you ate it, and now that part is over.
Thankfully, I haven’t actually been let down by dessert. Dessert remains a constant comfort in times of heartbreak as well as happiness. In terms of disappointment I am, of course, talking about a man. And in this case, a man who was recommended by an expert matchmaker.
The thing I say I’ve been looking for is a nice, caring, Christian man. And the last one I dated happened to be a little too much in all respects. In talking to my friends, the first description that popped out of my mouth was that he seemed almost “too Christian,” but that’s not really an accurate description. The fact is he was just Overzealous, and shall be thusly named for our purposes.
Overzealous had recently gotten sober and so attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings was high on his priority list. Commendable. I still enjoy a margarita on the rocks with salt, and he wasn’t bothered if I drank with him. But I usually didn’t. Just like I wouldn’t probably eat a big hamburger if I was out to lunch with a vegetarian friend.
He also had recently moved to town and had gotten involved with a new church. Great! Usually, the men I date are willing to go to church when I drag them with me, but here Overzealous was regularly attending on his own!
Not only did Overzealous do volunteer work in his church and with his AA groups (that’s right-groups, plural!), he also volunteered at a homeless shelter and offered transportation to a few homeless men to church events. What a big heart! Right?
The first couple dates were lighthearted and fun. I was pleasantly surprised that I kind of liked him. He was my first date set by my matchmaker and I honestly didn’t have very high expectations. But conversation flowed pretty easily, and we had some common interests and even a couple common connections since I know some people from his church. There were a couple red flags early on, the big one was that he had just ended an 8 year relationship and had only been single for 3 months. He mentioned that he wanted to date a lot of people more as friends and see who he was outside a relationship. I told him I had dated a lot and I know myself quite well already. He said he ultimately wants marriage and family like I do so that was the only reason I proceeded to see him. I actually think he was overzealous in diving into dating so soon after his relationship ended, too. Overzealous was pretty much overzealous all around.
Anyway, both of our schedules were busy and so booking time to see each other was a little difficult. He squeezed in a pool date with me one evening for an hour. It was probably an hour and a half, but still it was short because he had an AA meeting that night. I kind of wanted him to blow off the meeting, but I didn’t want to be THAT girl. You know, that girl who makes a guy fall off the wagon and go spinning into an alcoholic stupor after a year of sobriety. So he went to his meeting-in his wet swim trunks nonetheless because he apparently didn’t think ahead to bring dry shorts to change into.
The next time he could fit me into his schedule was a Sunday afternoon when he had invited me to go to his church’s block party. When he first asked me if I was interested, I said that I wanted to see him again but that I was neutral about the block party, I could take it or leave it. He asked me a second time when he called a few days later so I decided to go, and that was the day things got super weird.
I attended my own church that Sunday morning, and then went to meet him at the elementary playground where the event was being held. He had already eaten when I got there since he arrived earlier, which seemed slightly rude to me. But he walked me over to the food line and introduced me to several friends on the way. He told me a couple of the men he introduced me to were the men from the homeless shelter that he had been ministering to and had driven there today. He sat with me on the playground equipment while I ate and he wanted to know about what I learned at church that morning. Then he became concerned about one of the homeless men who was sitting by himself and not socializing with anyone. He asked what I thought we should do. So I told him that we could go talk to him as soon as I finished my last two bites of food on my plate. I wasn’t even done eating before he was standing up! He seemed relieved that I was willing to go “minister” to his friend. As we were standing in a group with his friend, he began pointing out some of the pastors and church leaders as if they were celebrities in Us Weekly. He flagged down the pastor and introduced us before setting up a coffee date with the pastor himself. He was completely starstruck by him. Then he told me he was considering going into the ministry, which was completely opposite of what he had said back on our second date when he said he’d like to work until retirement in his current industry. Then he asked if I would like to go into the ministry, which felt like a pre-screening kind of question the way he asked. So I told him, no, not as a profession.
Overzealous whispered that there were some other church leaders behind us and he could introduce me if I wanted. Again, he seemed in awe of people who had any role at the church. I told him that if they were friends of his he could introduce me, but that I’m not into church politics so I don’t need to meet anyone just because they do something at the church.
He continued to make small talk with me asking questions like “what’s your favorite Bible verse?” I found it an awkward question outside of a serious Bible study conversation, but promptly and sweetly answered, “Psalm 142:3.” Internally, I was kicking myself for perpetuating this awkward line of conversation. Not that I mind discussing faith topics, but it felt like he was trying too hard to be spiritual all the time. Overzealous was sounding overzealous.
He then proceeded to recite all of the 23rd Psalm to me, making eye contact the whole time. After this we watched some untalented young girls attempt a dance routine to a worship song. It was painful to watch, and I had no comment when he and the pastor heartily agreed how wonderful and moving it was to watch the youth serving the Lord!
He had been holding a church bulletin that apparently talked about the church’s annual report- finances, missions and ministry goals. He was awkwardly turning it around in his hands, and eventually said “we got these at church today. Would you be interested in looking it over?” He asked as he proffered the bulletin. I told him that no, I would not be interested, and I really only glance it over even when it’s in regards to my own church. He said he appreciated my honesty...and then proceeded to show me the highlights and financial graphs that nobody I know would ever find interesting! After the third page, he finally read my body language and apologized for showing it to me after I said I wasn’t interested.
Shortly after that, we left. Not together though. He had to drive his homeless friend back to the shelter and then he had to go meet with someone from AA to help him through his sixth of the twelve steps. I felt very wedged into his schedule that day. At least he told his friend to meet him at his car so he could walk me to mine and say goodbye.
Despite this extremely awkward day, I had decided I would give him one more chance. In my heart and my head I knew it wouldn’t end any better than that day had, but he had seemed normal to start with. Maybe it was just one bad day.
We had talked about getting coffee or lunch the next week, but before that happened he called and told me that he had met another girl that he really liked and he didn’t want to waste my time since he knew I didn’t want to collect casual friends to date. I wished him well and that was that.
The most annoying thing about the end of this story is that I was settling for him. I was deigning to give him one more chance. And then he calls it quits!?! How rude!
Moral of Today’s Story:
I don’t need to keep giving people chances when I’m already over them. The good and the bad news is that I can’t even settle for someone. Although perhaps the issue with that is I need to tell the men I’m only halfway interested in that I’m attempting to settle. They didn’t know that was the game plan! But seriously, as much as I’d like to end this single chapter of my life, I certainly don’t want to settle for a boring conversationalist who doesn’t have time to prioritize me above his volunteer obligations.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
I recently gave speed dating another go. Some of you loyal readers will recall the less than stellar first experience, but if you need a memory refresher, here it is http://goodlunchstories.blogspot.com/2016/05/speed-dating.html?m=1
My second experience speed dating was much better than the first, and I have to credit the difference to beer! A local brewery hosted a speed dating event that started with drinking a beer and touring the brewery as a group. The beer serves as a social lubricant, and ladies, realistically, you're just going to get a better crop of men when you offer them beer instead of coffee!
After we saw where the beer gets brewed, we had a chance to order a second drink and then sat down at four long tables formed into somewhat of a u shape. Ladies sat on the outside with men on the inside. Men rotated to the right every four minutes for a new date. I had a pleasant experience with everyone and the overall group vibe felt reminiscent of a college party where we were just chilling and meeting new people. It also helped that I went with three female friends. Never go carousing for men without your wing-women! At the end of the official speed date event, we all got to chat unofficially without four minute time constraints while the organizers tallied our interests. The ladies who organized the speed dating event were the wives of the two brewery owners. The wives took all of our official note cards with our date preferences listed on them. They hand wrote the email contact for our matches and then returned our note cards telling us it was now our job to contact the people we liked.
Although I enjoyed hanging out with everyone, and marked a couple on my notecard, I only followed up with one man who most sparked my interest. Lucky 13. Well, his number was 13, and since my number was 7 we decided that we both had lucky numbers and referred to them thusly.
When I emailed Lucky 13, it was immediately returned to me by the postmaster as having an invalid address. In their frenzied writing, the brewery wives wrote down an incorrect email. I wasn't sure of a couple digits - is that an 8 or an E? I tried the other variation of his email by changing one of the sloppily written digits, but still had an invalid email address. C'est la vie. I figured it wasn't meant to be.
A couple weeks went by when I unexpectedly got a Facebook message from Lucky 13. He explained that he had somehow forgotten to write down my number on his notecard that night and he hoped I didn't mind that he looked me up. I didn't mind at all!
When recanting the story to some of my 20-something age friends at the makeup counter, they all cooed about how profoundly romantic it was that he "pursued" me by searching on Facebook. Then they suggested which was the most romantic shade of lipgloss to wear on our date. They also laughed hysterically when I said that we all exchanged email addresses as our contact information. "Email!!! Bwahaha! You're so old!!!"
At that moment I did feel old. Not because I still use email- most grown up professional people use email! But because I grew up in the era of romantic comedies, or rom com's, as we 30 somethings affectionately call them. Rom com's reflected the romantic ideals of the time. Men wrote love letters, bought flowers, stood outside windows with romantic music blaring on their boom boxes, climbed up fire escapes to declare their love to the whore with a heart of gold! (Upon reflection, I'm reconsidering how romantic Pretty Woman might have seemed if it was aptly named, The Businessman and the Whore) And if they would've seen You've Got Mail, they would realize that email is a perfectly suitable communication mode for your romantic interests! (Also, it's not like I still use AOL!)
Lucky 13 is actually a couple years older than I am so he also found their reaction surprising and amusing. I only told him about the reaction to email being antiquated. I didn't feel the need to share at that point about my and the girls' views on his level of romantic pursuit.
Lucky 13 and I had great conversations, enjoyed watching classic movies, and discovering new hand crafted (AKA over-priced hipster) beverages. I feel like we had a good basis of friendship and there were of course some romantic moments, but he was rarely flirty. The romantic chemistry was less than intense, but I still enjoyed his company. I thought to myself that maybe this is the compromise that married people are always telling me about. He had the important attributes where I could see him being a good husband and father, but not the overwhelming attraction/love at first sight that I'd experienced with a couple others- a couple others who turned out to be horrible jerks who broke my heart! So by that train of thought, I hypothesized that maybe the crazy love at first sight feeling is actually an indicator of an asshole who might eventually break my heart. I'd like to think I'm wrong about that one.
After a few weeks, things tapered off undramatically. He was busy one week and then we just never made plans after that. Being "busy" was probably his way of letting me down easy. But I'm not broken hearted about this one. I actually wouldn't mind being just friends with him and seeing those old movies that nobody else ever wants to see with me. I haven't figured out a non-awkward way to make that invitation.
Possible text: "Hey Lucky 13, I realize by now that you obviously don't want me to be your girlfriend and that's cool. But hey, do you want to catch that Carey Grant movie at the Alamo? I promise not to make out with you at the movie...unless you want to, that's cool, too."
Moral Of Today's Story:
A. If you're going to speed date, you should have two very important things: 1. a wing-woman and 2. Alcohol.
B. We need more romantic comedies in the world today!
C. In my pursuit of love and marriage, I've decided I'm still going to look for that crazy, head over heels, overwhelmingly-in-love feeling. Maybe it won't be love at first sight, but I want it all. Crazy love + friendship qualities = future husband? I hope so.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
People usually talk about burnout in reference to their work and careers. Psychology Today says that burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to
1. Physical and emotional exhaustion,
2. Cynicism and detachment,
3. Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
Another quote says: "Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give."
When you put it that way, I'm definitely suffering from dating burnout! I'm emotionally exhausted, cynical, and I definitely feel ineffective and lacking the accomplishment of finding one non-douchey guy to stick around!
The problem isn't that it can't or won't happen. The problem is that I'm so over trying! Even when a guy has good potential I don't really want to go through the motions anymore.
One of the last guys I went out with, let's call him Banter, seemed great. We had great conversations filled with witty banter - hence the name. We could talk on the phone for hours and laugh nearly the whole time. He checked off most of the boxes on my invisible check list. And he had one of the smoothest lines after our first kiss. He had walked me to my car after our date and surprised me with a tender kiss. With his hand still lightly resting on my hip, he pulled away and said softly, "and then there were sparks." Silver screen moment right there!
So what was the problem? I told him straight up on our first date that if he fell in love with me and we stayed together for a year that I would likely want to get engaged at that point. I think that was probably the point where I scared him off.
Why did I tell him that? Because I'm burnt out! Because it's the truth and I'm tired of wasting my time! I might have also made some "no ghosting" rules stating if he wanted to break up with me then he was required to do it verbally - either by phone or in person. I was still reeling from being ghosted by Almost Perfect, but I also feel very strongly that men should live by the moral rule that you don't just disappear and cut off all contact! It's the worst possible way to end things! Anyway, we bantered about relationship rules and expectations and Banter amended the rule saying that there should be a clause citing mandatory breakup hanky panky. I told him I thought that hanky panky was for making up not breaking up, but in the end we agreed upon a set of rules because when you have good banter (ie. communication skills) you can talk anything out!
I didn't end up going out with Banter again. Both of us had recently suffered breakup wounds, and I think he wanted something casual until he was ready to be serious again while I apparently wanted a guarantee he wouldn't break my heart again. There is no such guarantee in any relationship.
Moral of Today's Story:
I think dating burnout should be treated like any other kind of burnout. If dating is starting to feel like a job that you'd rather not go to, then clock out for a while. Cut back on how much you "work." Don't get me wrong, I'm still looking for Mr. Right. But it's a hobby, not a job.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Recently, I chatted with a male friend about how women kind of hate each other-especially white women. His outsider perspective is that Latina women will band together in crisis, Black women will always have each others' backs, but White women just fend for themselves because we basically all hate each other. I don't fully identify with the catty, competitive, narcissistic white woman persona he described, but it got me thinking about the greater sisterhood.
To be clear, I consider all of my friends and myself to be in the nice girl category where most of us are mature, good-hearted people. Deep down we always want what's best for each other, however, somewhere adjacent to deep down there's also a part of every woman that wants to feel superior. It's difficult to discern which deep down part is doing the talking when we give advice. For example, here are some of the worst bits of advice or commentary I've received as a single woman.
- The attempted setup. "I wonder who I can set you up with. I'll ask my husband if he has any friends."
He doesn't. That's why we have this same conversation verbatim at least every three
- They point out any living, breathing male, in case you're blind and/or too stupid to notice men in general.
"Hey, did you hear that?! That guy is 39! He's in your age range." That is literally all we know about him- oh and that he delivers guacamole with extra chips upon request.
"Hey, did you hear [male friend] say that he's moving two hours away and will have a roommate? His roommate must be single if [male friend] is moving in! You should date him!" This is literally the dumbest suggestion anyone has EVER made to me. First of all, it is possible that he could concurrently have a girlfriend AND a roommate. Second of all, I would need more information than "there is a male who owns a house" before I would attempt to strike up a long distance relationship with some rando!
- They tell me I'm too picky/not picky enough
"You have a romanticized ideal in your head and you'll just give anybody a chance because you think he'll turn out to be a knight in shining armor."
"You're judgmental and you'll write somebody off without getting to know him just because you don't think he's your type."
Every person who has ever accused me of being too picky has also criticized me for dating some schmuck who wasn't good enough for me! I can't be simultaneously too picky AND not picky enough, can I?!These are the times I think people just say things because they want to seem like they know better than you. They usually don't.
- My least favorite quip is, "you never know"
Truth is you probably do know. I hear this quip when someone suggests I could fall in love with someone I've known as a friend/acquaintance for several years already and have literally never been interested in or attracted to him. To test this logic, a few years ago I embraced the philosophy that if you're single you, shouldn't have a type because (read with ominously dorky voice) "you never know!"
I dated every guy who showed interest in me in my quest to find out if indeed one never knows. I hoped to be pleasantly surprised. I was not. Turns out I actually know myself pretty well and have a fairly good read on other people. Most people do know what they want. And if once upon a time you would've tried suggesting to your now-married friend who's giving you the bad advice that she date the same guy friend she's pushing on you now, you know she wouldn't have gone for him either! Not because he's a bad guy but because you don't need another person to tell you to be interested in someone!
After dating dozens of men during my "singles should have no type" era, I concluded that the "you never know" philosophy only holds true for two types of women. One type being the very young and inexperienced women who simply don't know anything yet. The other would be a truly stupid woman who somehow didn't notice that the love of her life was right in front of her all along! (You might know this woman as she's actually been the central character in every Hallmark movie ever made!)
More gems of wisdom:
- "Have you ever considered online dating?"
No, It's 2018 and I've somehow never heard of it!
- "Have you prayed about it?"
Yes, for the past couple decades. Basically, since I had my first crush. I do believe God directs our steps, but He's not a husband granting genie.
- Maybe God's just not done perfecting you yet, and that's why you haven't met your husband."
No, that can't be it because you're married and clearly imperfect-- I mean, did you even hear yourself on that last statement??
- Some of you are still thinking about the male friend I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If you're wondering if he might turn out to be more than a friend...then go back and re-read point number 4! Seriously, sometimes you do know! Also, part of the reason he has great insight into women because he's not attracted to them 😀
Moral Of Today's Story:
Sometimes people mean well, but they give terrible advice. You don't need to date that guy who looks like Kim Jong Un just because you're married friends think he's a good catch. Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do--unless you're someone who's been giving the aforementioned advice, you know less than you think you do!
Saturday, August 19, 2017
We've all heard the old adage that the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one. Well, I decided last week that I was ready to move on from Almost Perfect. I met some interesting fellows at a couple bars downtown while out with one of my best gal pals, and we hung out with a bachelor party during their escapades for a while. Well, the most interesting fellow from that evening turned out to be married- sans ring! So I continued my search by going to the easiest, fastest place to find a date: Tinder. Ugh. I know what everyone thinks of Tinder, and I'm not endorsing it. But seriously everybody is on there. The doctor I dated from Match is on there. I saw a couple guys I know from church on there. Colleagues. Neighbors. Rando's (short for "random guys"). It just happens to be the deepest pool in which to fish.
So in my effort to move on, I met my Stepping Stone for decaf coffee on a Sunday evening. I let two of my friends know where I was going and gave them his name and pic just in case he tried to kidnap or murder me. You know, safety first. So my friend asked why we were going for coffee instead of cocktails. Didn't I want something to take the edge off? I told her that I like when a man suggests coffee because for one thing I'm not a nervous dater and as much as I love tequila I don't need it as a social lubricant. Secondly, I find that a man who buys you coffee has no expectation of your potentially getting drunk upon your first meeting and subsequently trying to take you home that night. Coffee is unassuming.
Anyway, I scheduled my date with Stepping Stone for an hour since I had dinner plans with a friend that evening as well. He offered to meet me on my side of town, but I picked a place near his neighborhood since I was also meeting my friend near there later. He was a few minutes late and texted me a couple times about exactly where the coffee shop was located. I discovered that he'd only been in Omaha for about 4 months so he didn't quite have the lay of the land yet.
We chatted about our families, interests, and hobbies. Basically the typical get to know you first date stuff, seeing if we had things in common. I had mentioned that I went to church that morning and asked if he attended church anywhere. He said he went to Alcoholics Anonymous and they had a spiritual side to their program....um, that's great but not exactly what I meant. He did say that he'd gone to a church for a while in another state before he moved back, and he just hadn't really looked for one in town yet. I guess being just 60 days sober perhaps he was preoccupied.
During our date, I happened to run into not just one but two of my coworkers! Separately. One of them being one of my bosses. Just what I want on a blind date. Oh well. My social life isn't exactly a secret.
After a short while, Stepping Stone said he didn't want to make me late to meet my friend. Without realizing my opportunity to leave a boring date, I said I didn't need to leave for another 15 minutes. Then it occurred to me that maybe he was bored, too! Anyway, we made small talk for another 15 minutes and then I dismissed myself to get going.
He asked me out again for the next weekend, and out of politeness I said yes. Maybe he wasn't as bored as I was! He texted me a few times during the week until I finally told him that although he seemed like a nice guy I just didn't feel a connection and I didn't want to waste his time. He thanked me for my honesty.
Moral of Today's Story:
I don't how much going out with men I don't like actually helps to forget the one who broke my heart. But I can put Almost Perfect a little further in the past because he's no longer the last person I went on a date with. Maybe I didn't get closure from Almost Perfect, but I'm choosing to move forward and nobody can rob me of that.