Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Somebody to Love

Whole-heartedly admitting that I have been anything but prolific with new and original material lately, I tried to draw inspiration from music tonight and stumbled across one of my most favorite songs of all time.  Surprisingly, it's completely appropriate!  Enjoy the classic sounds of Freddie Mercury and "Queen" as I muster up some creativity.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Post: "Becoming 'That Girl'"

As the guest posts roll on this week, enjoy another installment from guest blogger, Alouette.  She shares a glimpse into the darker side of relationships and proves that bad things can happen to good people.  Any of us who have dipped our toes into the swamp of online dating can testify that there is a breed of people out there that you want to steer clear of.  Recognizing them and staying away or knowing when they no longer deserve your attention and affection is key.  Enjoy, Singletons and Marrieds. 

A day late and a dollar short, I was given a pamphlet titled "ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?" I read the section called "How do you know when you are in a potentially abusive relationship?" Bear in mind that "more than one or two marks signals for danger." From a list of twenty-two, I realize that fifteen apply to my marriage. I won't bore you with all of them but would like to share a few:

1) I've given up activities I enjoy because my partner doesn't like for me to do these things.

2) No matter what I do, my partner is never satisfied.

3) I used to love to eat _______, but my partner doesn't like them, so I don't eat them anymore. (in my head I insert spaghetti)

From the next section, "Common Traits of Batterers", nine of eleven applied to my ex-husband. For example:

1) Feels that the opposite sex is inferior. (His basis for this was Ephesians.)

2) Has sudden and unpredictable behavior changes.

3) Is jealous.

4) Tries to control every aspect of the victim's life.

5) Tries to isolate partner from family and friends (for those wondering where I was all those years, here ya go)

Reading through "Types of Abuse," I learn that there are four: physical, sexual, emotional/psychological and economic. I had fallen prey to all four. I suffered mostly from the emo/psycho which "involves systematically destroying another person's self esteem by...playing mind games, intimidation, threats [and] extreme controlling behavior." My favorite being the definition of mind games which "is also called 'crazy making,' because after a while, the other person begins to doubt [his or] her sanity." And this, ladies and gentleman, is where I find myself today and also the reason Mr. Perfect and I did not work out.

I think to myself, "When did I become THAT girl?!" as I finish reading through the eleven page handout. This wasn't the first time I'd asked myself this question. I saw all the red flags and believe myself to be a fairly intelligent woman (especially compared to the general population) but stuck around anyway. Even before we were married; within the first few months of our relationship really. Only one sentence in the pages seemed to explain it: I am an overly trusting person that just happened to be emotionally vulnerable at the time of our first chance encounter.

I am an optimist and a strong willed, independent woman. Vulnerable or not, I guess I thought I could "fix" him and "help" him after taking trips down his memory lane. I still see the glass half full and independent as ever, but now lay broken and shattered like an antique mirror. Now is the time to pick up the pieces, fit them together, seal the cracks and let it sit to be sure it is solid enough to hang on the wall and put back on display. *I hope I can be reunited with Mr. Perfect when this finally happens.*

I share this story perhaps as a warning to the searching Singletons or the militant Marrieds. Hell, maybe it's so I don't have to bother with a shrink. Whatever the reason, I speak not only to the ladies but to the gentlemen as well. You don't have to put up with it either. Take heed, take note, be thankful that this has never been you or GET THE HELL OUT if it is!!

~ Alouette

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guest Post - "Wanted: Glue Gun"

Guest-Post-A-Rama rolls on!  Today, enjoy this snippet out of the shenanigan-filled life of my longtime friend, Marie, who quite frankly, has enough personal material to give me a run for my blogging money (hint hint). 

If my previous blogs haven’t made it obvious by my outspokenness or my colorful entertainment I seem to experience on a daily basis, I am without a doubt Irish and German. As you can imagine, my absolute favorite holiday is St. Patty’s Day. That’s right- I’m talking all in green head to toe, green beads, shamrock face tattoos, singing, people dressed in outrageous attire- well, if you could imagine, it looks like a touch of Vegas. For the past four years, I have been honored and very amused to be able to attend the festivitie in the gorgeous city of Savannah. Passing into the City Market, we decided to eat at a well-established restaurant. As we waited for our food, there was a guy who was right by the wait stand- and before you ask-no, he did not work there nor had he ever worked there. So what was he doing drinking a beer at the hostess stand? He was hitting on literally every woman that walked by...and he wasn’t even creative! A girl walked by and he said, “ARG!!,” like he was a pirate! And let me clarify for the record, he was no Johnny Depp. When the girl proceeded to pay him no attention, he yelled after her, “Really? You’re not even going to respond to that?” The sad part is that he was serious. I watched him, time after time, hitting on these women with the same line and I wondered, 'Does that ever work for him?' I couldn’t imagine a girl giving him the time of day with such a ridiculous line!
Wow- I can remember hearing all the old and lame lines. You know, "I lost my number can I have yours?", Or "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" Yes, Singletons you know what I’m referring to. Yet, even then you would just either laugh or shake your head and sometimes the guy was cute enough to get a laugh from you even though he knew how cheesy it sounded. However, now guys are saying “Arg!” to get a girl’s attention?!  What ever happened to meeting a girl and actually starting a real conversation or even saying something to make her smile, or a sweet gesture? Now it doesn’t seem as if the guys are even trying. I don’t know if I was more surprised (though I’m to the point where I don’t think I can be surprised by what people will do or say) or felt sorry for this guy. On one hand, I thought he was idiotic for trying to even get a girl’s attention that way; on the other hand I thought that this guy was just looking for fun, but was making himself look like a fool in the process. I shake my head at guys like this, but a guy friend of mine made a point of posting on his Facebook page that for every girl that has a broken heart, there’s a guy with a glue gun…Well, where is that guy for these girls? I have plenty of fabulous, ambitious, intelligent, gorgeous, and amazing friends who have had there heart broken time and time again…Where are these guys with that glue gun or have they just not meet them yet? People always say it’s about timing, well what if you are in the same place, but at two different times and you never meet the guy with the glue gun? Is your heart forever broken if you don’t find the guy? What if the guy you meet just comes with a stapler or tape or some other temporary solution? Maybe the guy with the glue gun is only part of the mending, maybe that guy has a small part in it, but your friends play the biggest role.

Please, Singletons, if you have never been to Savannah don’t let me discourage you.  It’s always full of fabulous times, great people, and beautiful scenery. However, if you happen to run into the “Arg!” guy, or girl for that matter, turn the other direction and you may be surprised to find the Glue Gun Guy sitting down at a table smiling at you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Post - "Online Dating 101"

The Week o' Guest Posts continues, Singletons and Marrieds!  Enjoy this guest post from fellow blogger, Tazia, who has had her fair share of online dating shenanigans. 

Let's face it! Everybody you meet knows somebody you know or knows somebody's friend/brother/cousin/etc. So I have only dated co workers, friends' brothers and friends' friends until I started this online dating thing. STILL I meet people or have dated people with mutual "friends." I think it's because I live in the biggest small town in the world. The Internet is can be who you wanna be and have the courage to say what you wanna say, however it's also the same for everyone else. You never know what you're getting in to, but the best case scenario is you could meet an amazing friend! I have, but I also met some real creeps.

Here are a few things I've learned...
1. Don't be in such a hurry. If it's meant to happen, it will happen. But, the longer that you e-mail or text, the better foundation your friendship has. The people that want to meet right away end up being freakin crazy most of the time or on some revenge for a fight. Know that you're worth waiting for.

2. Don't be the "nice" guy or girl. Not that people don't want the nice one, it's just the people that say they are so nice end up without any attention, probably because they don't usually see their imperfections! They are always saying that nobody wants them or "nice guys finish last." How about being happy the way you are and if something happens, it does! Which leads to my next point....

3. DONT BE SO DESPERATE!!!! There are some people that like their spouse to be clingy and needy, but it's rare, so good luck! Just today I had a guy offer to fly me to Boston to meet him if there were sparks on the phone. Don't be planning our freakin wedding before we meet and come on now, I have a life outside of my boyfriend and would like him to have one also.

4. Spell check was invented for a reason. Use it!!!!!

5. Don't try to sell your children. Children are very important, yes, and you need to say that you have children, but it's not a sales gig. I love lots of kids, but I want to get to know you.

6. Pictures....Why  have all these group pictures where you have to figure out who the person is? I'm pretty sure all your friends don't want to be up on this dating site and, if they do, they can make their own profile. Not only that, but if your friend is cuter, we may want your friend instead. PS: I don't wanna see your boy parts before I see your face...leave a little something for later. PLEASE!!

7. Don't talk about your ex wife/husband or ex girlfriend/boyfriend on there, especially when it's just a big rant about them. I don't want to hear all about your ex before I even have a conversation with you.

8. Don't just send a message that says "hey" or "hi" or "you're hot." It's unlikely that I'm gonna respond to that. At least make it a full sentence.

9. Don't talk down about yourself. If you hate your job, or yourself, or your car, or being single, talking down about it is not gonna attract a partner. If you don't like it, change it or stop complaining.

10. DO NOT put your checklist up there! First off, it makes it easier for a desperate guy/girl to convert themselves into what you want if he/she is like that. Secondly, you could miss out on a great guy/girl because he/she doesn't meet your requirements. We never really know what we want until we find it!!

11. Now this one is a catch 22!!! Guys say they want an independent girl that can take care of herself and isn't needy, but they also say they want to feel needed. Make up your minds, guys....

12. Be honest about what you want! Don't say you want a relationship if you do;  don't say you do if you don't! There is someone else out there that wants what you want, and if you get someone that doesn't want the same thing, it could turn out messy. Just sayin...

13. "Baby" and "Sweetie" right no!

The single life isn't so bad. Meeting new people and sharing new experiences, good or bad, are adventures and memories to hold on to.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Guest Post - "Newly Lost"

Today, Singletons and Marrieds, enjoy a guest post from a friend of mine who is dealing with some pretty difficult relationship issues.  At some point, we all sit back and evaluate where we are, where we have been and where we want to go from here.  Guest poster, Alouette is at that point.  Any advice or wisdom?  

(I had such a great response to my request for guest posts...  keep them coming.  Expect several guest posts over the next week or so while I try to breathe life back into my social life.)

After spending my "prime" dating years in what turned out to be a horrible marriage and finally finding my true soulmate too soon thereafter, I realize that maybe it's best to be single right now.

I mean, from 21-29 I basically wasted my life planning for things that never came to fruition. It was only after meeting my special someone did I realize that I'm more effed in the head than I wanted to admit. Suffering from mental, emotional, physical, sexual and every other kind of abuse you can imagine, not ever really dealing with it and then jumping head first into something "perfect" is definitely NOT a good idea. Mr. Perfect and I both knew it at the time, but we decided that we were mature and grown up enough to work through it. Obviously not. On my end anyway. Hopefully Mr. Perfect and I will still be able to be together someday, but today is not the day.

Now in my daily reflections, I realize that I don't think I have ever been truly single. Unless you count my ugly duckling days, but I don't think anyone really counts that.

I find myself in a new chapter of my life. Completely starting from scratch. I'm five months away from turning 31, and I feel worse off than I did at 18. The world was my oyster; now I just feel like the broken oyster shells in the parking lot of Rhinehart's. As a naive 18 year old, I always imagined my 30's as being settled down with a family of my own, a great job, nice house, car, etc. Looks like life version 3.0 is gonna be more of a challenge than I ever could have imagined.

~ Alouette

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Write a Guest Post... Please!!!

So, after some careful thought and review, I feel as though I need to apologize to you.  Yesterday's post was ridiculously bitter and bordered on downright negative.  (Me?! Negative?? Never...) Mentally, I wasn't in a good place to really assess anything and after more than a year of this silly blogging thing, I should have known better than to try to force a post.

This eye-opening moment proved to me that we need a healthy dose of guest blogging.  The lines of communication are open, Singletons and Marrieds!  Feeling inspired?  Put words on paper and send them my way.  Don't worry about grammar, format or any of those other things you paid $350 a credit hour to learn in English 101.  Just run off at the mouth and hit the "send" button.  I'll take care of all those formalities (seriously, I edit and proof things at work for joke).  Got a success story or a gripe you want to share with us all?  Bring it.

Feeling the urge to get those fingers typing but don't really know what to write about?  Here's some ideas that I've been toying with that I'm happy to share to get another voice on this electronic diary in order to spare you another evening of my ho-hum, dismal ranting.

  • Crazy things people say in their online dating profiles.  For example, today I got a message from a gentleman who started his with: "this is my 2nd time on this site and after this it will not happen again. "  As if he's creating some sense of urgency on my part.  Like it's his infomercial. Better not miss out on this deal... (stopping now before I start oozing bitterness again!)
  • How everything women are taught when it comes to dating and relationships is contradictory.  We should be confident, yet demure.  We should strive to break gender stereotypes and prejudices in the workplace, but hold fast to traditional roles at home.  We should be self-sufficient, but let the man think he's taking care of us.  The list goes on and on...
  • Okay, sorry, guys.  I know that these issues aren't your fault.  They're probably a result of hundreds of years of women's desire for Victorian-era romance paired with women's lib.  Here's one for you guys:  What drives you the craziest about women?  I don't mean what turns you on, crazy.  I mean, what elements of the female dating mentality makes you want to bash your head into a wall?  We all want to know.  We're waiting...patiently.  If you say "blogging," I won't post it.  Kidding... kind of.
  • At what point does the potential of a relationship with someone outweigh the risk of losing the friendship you have with them?
  • If you've successfully navigated your way out of Singledom, what are some things you wish you'd done differently or that you'd relaxed about?  Better yet, what do you see Singletons around you do that you just wish you could politely tell them to stop doing or something you could offer as a tidbit of advice?
There you go! You have absolutely no excuse.  Feel free to get creative too...write about anything that catches your attention even beyond the above.  Now open a new email or Microsoft Word, start typing feverishly and shoot that thing my way!  Email your guest post to  Let me know if you want to stay anonymous, and I'm happy to accommodate.  Can't wait to hear somebody else's voice in my head for a change... wait...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dating Deja Vu

Riddle me this... what is the memory span of an online dater?  Apparently, it's rather short. 

Okay, at this point, you could probably call me a seasoned online dater.  "Old, bitter and crotchety" might also come to mind, but I'm trying desperately to remain positive and for some reason, those words carried a negative connotation.  I've been online dating for the last (dear God) six years, on-again-off-again and would say that I've seen it all if I didn't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that some freak would come out of the woodwork and prove me wrong.  My screenname and various versions of my headshot have been out there on the interwebs for years now, and I am well aware of the millions of people also taking a stab at finding love (or a reasonable facsimile) via electronic communication.  But, I seem to be caught lately in some strange online dating broken record...

Three times in the last three weeks I have received introductory messages from three different men that I had prolonged electronic communication with this time last year.  Three.  Two of them were even sent through the same online dating website from which they sent the original message, which should have popped up and alerted them that they'd previously messaged me.  And the other one is Mr. Nick@Nite. 

Usually, a girl would be flattered by such repeated interest.  A year later and he's still interested in talking to me?!  Wow.  My response?  Not impressed.  First, I'll both introduce you to Mr. Disney World and let you just as quickly say goodbye to him.  Then we'll get to Mr. Nick@Nite... again.  And then Mr. Doesn't Get the Hint, who you've also previously met.  Mr. Disney World sent me a message through PlentyofFish months ago.  I was in an online dating (ha... and real world dating) slump and even though I was not at all interested based on his photos and description, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he had to offer.  I replied to his (first) introductory message with my usual courtesies; thanking him for his interest and his note and asking those nauseating "What do you do for a living?" and "How do you like to fill your free time?" conversation-starting questions.  He replied literally within seconds with a soliloquoy of how grateful he was that I replied and went on and on and on and on about how he never got anyone to reply to his messages and how much he'd like to take me out to say thank you.  (clears throat) Red flag.  Apparently still having some doubt to dole out, I wrote back.  I thanked him for asking me out and clearly stated that I'd like to chat a bit more before (if ever... didn't say that, but totally thought it) we met in person.  Again, within seconds, Mr. Disney World replied with an ever more exaggerated monologue of how blown away he was that I'd written him back and how ready he was to meet  I scanned his profile again in a desperate attempt to find some redeeming quality and stumbled upon no less than ten different photos of him in various locations in Disney World.  I know what you're thinking... Disney World is fun!  They have the Rainforest Cafe and Pleasure Island!  I know... but these pictures were not at Pleasure Island.  They were inside Minnie Mouse's house.  Her pink house.  And not one or two of them... about 90% of them.  And they weren't with a group of guys or with his nieces and nephews.  They were alone and he was playing with stuff...seriously.  Every single one of his photos was from Disney World.  And, at the risk of sounding materialistic, vain and cold, I'm going to share with you the real kicker.  In every photo, he was pouring with sweat and had food in his teeth... grinning like a cheshire cat (blatant and intentional Disney reference).I know that not every man interested in me is going to be GQ magazine quality, but everyone can choose the most flattering photos of themselves to post on their online profile.  Why would someone choose shots that included such unflattering and unattractive elements?!

Once I scolded myself intently for not having more closely examined his photos before replying to his introduction message, I decided that it might be time to let Mr. Disney World down softly.  Always gun-shy at the rejection, I beat around the bush for a couple more communications and then eventually told him that I didn't think we'd make a good match, although I was flattered by his interest.  And never heard from him again.  Until last week.  Currently sitting in my PlentyofFish inbox is a completely new introduction email from Mr. Disney World, as if we have never spoken before.  I'd cut him some slack if my profile wasn't exactly the same as it was those few months ago, even with the same profile picture.  Apparently he was so impressed with me that I completely wiped his memory clean, creating a sort of online dating amnesia experience.  Urgh.

Moving on.  Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you that I was in another deja vu-like moment with a previous Man of Singledom?  Exactly one year ago, Mr. Nick@Nite found himself in the circle of men that would not stop texting me and would not move on to the next level of normal human interaction.  As a member of this group, he drifted off into the sunset after my proclaimation of being sick of never being able to get off of the texting carousel.  Although he actually asked me out twice, he never followed through with an actual calendar date for said ask-out and thankfully drifted out to sea as I recovered from carpal tunnel.  Literally... I had pain shooting up my arm for weeks.  Feel free to take a few minutes to read up on Mr. Nick@Nite's history by clicking his name on the right column.  I'll wait.  Caught up in real life pursuits, I quite honestly forgot about Mr. Nick@Nite's second introductory email, until I received an inbox message on Facebook from someone looking eerily similar.  Then I recognized his first name.  Of course, I didn't recognize his last name because we'd never exchanged them, so how did he find me?  His note simply said that he thinks I'm pretty and wants to talk to me.  I'm seriously considering writing back and asking if he means talk, as in speaking words or talk, as in texting me into a second bout of carpal tunnel.   Not again, Mr. Nick@Nite.  Not again.

And just today, I received a request to communicate from Mr. Doesn't Get the Hint.  This much older gentlemen has messaged me no less than six different times.  We've talked about this guy before (click here), he's formerly known as Mr. Monthly Visitor.  I've politely told him I'm not interested on several occasions (I'm thinking at least three times), no matter how many different screen names he uses or how many times he tells me the laundry list of foods he likes that I must also like, movies he likes that I must also like or the ridiculously strict Christian practices that I, as his future wife, must not only agree with but be more than willing to include in my day-to-day life.  Urgh!

Am I stuck in some strange broken record of online dating communication?!  Quite frankly, one of my coworkers told me today that once she decided to take an actual dating hiatus, she soon after met her future husband.   We did the whole "that's how it always happens" chit-chat, but I wonder if that twist of ironic fate actually works if you do it intentionally in hopes of instigating such a "coincidence."

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