An Open Letter to Virginia Drivers

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Virginia Drivers,

Because it seems that a lot of you did not take Driver's Ed in High School, I would like to fill you in on the common driving etiquette which you seem to be lacking:

  1. The far left lane is for passing.  Also for those of us who are attempting to break the sound barrier.  Unless you are driving at least five to ten miles per hour OVER the speed limit, please avoid this lane.  If I were armed, there would be far fewer of you in the left lane.
  2. Speaking of the left lane- if your exit is approaching, please do not wait until you are AT the exit to move into the right lane.  Slamming on your brakes, turning on your turn signal, and waiting for other drivers to stop and let you over is not proper road etiquette.
  3. Turn signals: These allow other drivers to know that you are either turning (hence the name "turn signals") or that you would like to change lanes. 
  4. Turn signals: After you have changed lanes or turned, please ensure that your turn signal is not still flashing.  They sometimes do not reset themselves, and this can lead to confusion for the people behind you. 
  5. Merging: The purpose of the "on ramp" is to allow you to gain enough speed so as to effortlessly merge into traffic and not disrupt the flow of said traffic.  Driving 20 mph onto a busy highway, then stopping at the end of the merge area and waiting for a break in traffic so that you can pull out and cut off another driver is not the proper way to merge.
  6. While we are on merging.... in other states, courteous drivers move out of the right lane when they see other drivers merging.  This allows those drivers to move onto the highway.  After you have passed the exit, you may move back into the right lane.
  7. Also, on the subject of merging: there is a large triangular sign on your on-ramp.  This sign has the word "Yield" on it.  "Yield" means that you do not have the right-of-way (right-of-way; a noun meaning "a common law or statutory right granted to a vehicle, as an airplane or boat, to proceed ahead of another").  While it would be courteous for drivers in the right lane to move to the left to allow you to merge, they sometimes cannot.  This does not mean that you should accelerate to 80 mph in an effort to race ahead of them- particularly if there is no one directly behind them. 
  8. High beams- there is absolutely NO need to use your high beams in Northern VA, MD, or DC.  These are for rural areas, where there is very little traffic and no ambient light.  Please do not use your high beams- especially if you are not skilled at switching between your high- and low beams.
  9. When driving around curves- you should not slam on your brakes in the middle of a curve (clover-leaf, turns, etc).  Instead, you should slow down BEFORE you get to it, then gently accelerate around the curve.  If this curve is properly banked, accelerating around it should help you to navigate it with very little help from your steering wheel. 
  10. Inclement weather:  I realize that if you grew up in an area with very little snow and/or rain, driving in such weather can be scary.  If you are uncomfortable, for the love of God, STAY HOME.  Please do not venture out in such weather.  Those of us who grew up (and took our driver's test after a large snow storm in February, natch) in areas with high amounts of snowfall know what we are doing in such weather.  Your being on the road, either riding your brakes or assuming that your SUV with 4-wheel drive is invincible, is dangerous to those of us who have the experience necessary to drive in such weather.  If your inability to properly handle your vehicle in inclement weather causes me to lose control, I will cut you.
  11. The 2-car-length rule:  In non-congested areas, the rule of thumb is that you maintain a distance of two car-lengths behind the person in front of you.  This is not the case in this area.  Doing so is an invitation for all of the other drivers in other lanes to pull in front of you.  Also, if traffic is moving at a fairly slow pace, you do not need as much of a stopping distance.  If you aren't comfortable with driving closer to other vehicles, get the hell out of the way.  
  12. Multi-tasking: Reading a newspaper while in traffic is NEVER okay.  Especially if said traffic is actually moving.  Again, if your stupidity affects me, I will cut you.
  13. Forcing everyone around to listen to your shitty music:  Blasting your crap music with all of your windows down and the bass turned up in your crappy little car is grounds for being rear-ended.  I sometimes listen to shitty music as well... the difference is that I don't force everyone around me to either listen to it or to roll up their windows.  Absolutely NO ONE else on the road wants to listen to your music. They have their own.
  14. A good general rule: The world does not revolve around you and your car.  Please stay out of my way.

Hugs and kisses,



"To every thing, turn, turn, turn...."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've made no secret of my past issues with my dad.  He and I have never been close and there has never been that "daddy's little girl" relationship.  I've realized, though, that I have been hanging on to a lot of anger.

See, this past weekend I almost lost my dad.  He had a heart attack Sunday night.  I found out third-hand yesterday afternoon.  His wife waited until late morning and called my grandmother, who called my mom, who called me.  And one of my early reactions (after learning he was stable, of course) was, "why the hell didn't that bitch call me?  and why did she wait until today to let his family know?"

Whoa.  I've never thought of myself as an angry person (except while driving), but I was pissed.  I was hurt and angry and concerned.

While I've moved past a lot of the anger over my relationship with my dad, I clearly haven't moved past other things- such as the wedge his wife has driven between him and the rest of his family.  She has made it almost impossible for him to have any kind of relationship with his family.  But I have to move past that.  Almost losing him was a wake up call that, while he may not have the strength to put his foot down with her and insist on spending time with his family, I can.  It's up to me to make that effort.  Should it be?  No.  But such is life.

I'm also holding on the anger in other areas of my life.  I'm still very angry at the ex.  In fact, everyone in my life refers to him as Douche Bag.  That's his name.  While this may help in that saying his actual name still hurts and I get a chuckle every time my mom says something like "remember that place that you and Douche Bag went..."  it's not healthy.  Negativity spreads, and the last thing I want to do is allow any more negativity into my life.  Yes, he's a coward who pretty much stomped on my heart.  But is that negativity helping me at all?  It's certainly not helping me to get over the pain.  He has clearly moved on and forgotten about me; now it's my turn to do the same.  To let go.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to forgive him, but I do need to let go of the anger.  Besides, who is it hurting?  My anger at him hasn't hurt him at all or made one difference to him, and it's just keeping me from moving on.

And there's the fact that no one wants to be with someone who is angry.  I briefly dated someone who was still very angry at his ex.  Scarily angry.  Needless to say, it didn't last past the 2nd time he referred to her as "that bitch."

So, time to let go. I wish it hadn't taken almost losing my dad to realize it, but they say everything happens for a reason.

(side note- as of this morning, it looks like he'll be discharged tomorrow.  He's still very weak, and they'll be keeping a very close eye on him.  One artery was completely blocked, the other was 95% blocked.  He's lucky as hell to have survived this.  I only hope this was a wake-up call for him to make some changes.)


Mars vs Venus

Thursday, September 02, 2010

"Whatever happened to a boyfriend;  the kind of guy who tries to win you over.  Whatever happened to a boyfriend;  the kind of guy who makes love 'cuz he's in it." 
Liz Phair "Fuck & Run"

All of the dating issues I've had recently have really gotten me thinking about the whole "Mars & Venus" thing as it relates to our mindsets.  We women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to dating- especially after 30.  In our early 20's it seems that there is all the time in the world to find a mate and so many from which to choose.  But, after we have those few unsuccessful relationships and find ourselves over 30 and either still alone or divorced, while all of those men from our 20's have settled down, things start looking extremely bleak.

And this is when we start to settle.  We start dating men not because they are right for us, but because they are "good enough."  That 30 year-old mark is so destructive in so many ways.  We stop making men try to win us over.  We start doing all of the work.  And boy, have I put a lot of work into dating. 

Recently, my friend Ray reminded me of this.  I was upset about yet another failed shot at dating.  I explained the whole situation to him, hoping for the male "take" on it.  And what I got was one of those "wake the hell up" moments.  He didn't say anything that harsh, of course, since he is too nice of a guy for that.  But, having himself at one time been one of my failed attempts at dating, he had first-hand knowledge of my "isms," for lack of a better word.  Apparently, I have forgotten how to let men pursue me.  And more importantly, I've forgotten that it is just as important for me to like the guy as it is for him to like me.

Seems elementary, yes?  Unfortunately, I think that far too often we women (especially those of us who are over 30 and single) forget this one very small, yet very important fact.  We should also like him. I know for a fact that I try too hard.  Maybe it's years of being picked last in gym class; maybe it's the "daddy issues;" maybe it's the horrible, gut-wrenching breakup from last year; who the hell knows, but I do know that I try way too hard.  I ignore red flags, I go out with anyone who asks, even if they don't excite me.  And I reek of desperation.

Am I desperate?  I don't think so.  I like my life and I want someone to share in it.  But I'm fairly certain that "desperate" is how I come across.  So when I do get back out there, I need to constantly remind myself that I have to like him.  And I really need to get back to the old me- the girl that let men pursue her.


Stepping Back

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

After months of disastrous dating, I think it’s time for me to give it up- at least for now.  See, it’s one thing for guys that don’t know me to reject me.  But when someone who knows the person that I am- who has read this blog for years- pursues me, then immediately drops me, telling me that the idea of me was so much better than the reality of me (via text no less- the modern equivalent of the post-it breakup), I think it’s time to hang up my dating shoes.  Maybe some of us were not meant to find a partner.  Maybe the whole “there’s a lid for every pot” adage is a lie.  I know I’m wallowing in self-pity here, but I think I’ve just finally had enough.

In the last 9 months, I have dated the following: 2 men with glaring “married” red flags, a psychopath with definite anger issues, a guy whose definition of “monogamy” was shaky at best, 2 men who were very clearly not ready for relationships, an egomaniac, and most recently someone who said I have no substance- which is especially hurtful when that someone knows all of the things I never show dates- all of my deep, dark secrets.

Maybe I don’t make very wise choices as to who to let in.  I’m a very honest and up-front person; and being so up-front about who you are makes it very difficult to keep a wall up and protect yourself when someone seems to accept you for the person that you put out there.  After all, putting a wall up is not who I am.  I’m someone who dives in head-first.  

But, maybe I do need to step back and learn how to protect my heart a little more.  All I know is that I am too sensitive to keep letting people reject me based on who I am.  It’s one thing when the person knows very little about me.  But it’s another whole issue when I let that person in- I let them see my vulnerabilities- THEN they reject me.

The problem is that I don’t know how I can still be me and not be vulnerable.  It’s part of who I am.  And if I construct a wall and not let anyone get too close, can I really find someone who is truly right for me?   


Be Mine?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The decision to exclusively date someone has always been a mystery.  Maybe I should rephrase that.  The timing is what baffles me.  I've read on numerous sites that the time line is somewhere around three months.  Personally, I think that's a bit too long.  But given my afore-mentioned inability to "juggle," it's not surprising that I prefer to date only one person at a time.

Of course, it all depends upon your specific relationship.  If you and the other person only see each other once or twice a month, I would consider the three-month timeline accurate.  However, I have always preferred to take myself off the market when I meet someone with which I see any potential.

That being said, I've made the mistake of jumping into that decision way too quickly- like after the first date.  Big, BIG mistake.  Why?  Because when you inevitably realize that you don't really know that person, or that they drive you insane (or any other variety of reasons you've realized your mistake), you have to have that uncomfortable conversation.  And, being that I am essentially chicken-shit, I tend to lean toward the "I'm not ready for this" cop-out.

The standard answer is "when it feels right."   However, if like myself, you want it to feel right every time you like someone, it's hard to know the difference between the situation "feeling right" and my desire for it it to feel right.  That is, I tend to convince myself that something is right because I want it so much.

There is also the fact that, in an age where you typically email and IM someone quite a lot (assuming you have met this person online) before even meeting.  You get to know the person before you even meet them.  This throws off the traditional custom of using the first several dates actually getting to know the person. 

So how do you decide when to become exclusive.  Damned if I know.  And I still have yet to master having that conversation without sounding like I'm asking "would you like to go steady?"


Very Superstitious

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In recent years, I’ve become more and more superstitious when it comes to dating.  And my (single) friends seem to be as well.  We now have this unspoken rule that when we go out on a great date with a guy who has actual potential, we don’t talk about it.  The conversation typically goes as follows:

                              L:        “what did you do last night?”
                              Ash:    “dinner date.”
                              L:        “who? how was it?”
                              Ash:    “it was good. end of discussion.”

It has become our rule that the better the date, the less we discuss.  I personally think that the more you discuss the date in those tender beginning stages, the more likely you are to jinx the situation.  Of course this presents the issue that none of us knows about the good dates that have been had (a price I’m willing to pay to avoid ruining a potentially good situation).

Whether you believe in superstitions or not, this one does have some validity.  After all, the more you discuss a new potential relationship, the more excited you become about it.  The more excited you are, the more that person is on your mind.  And given my propensity toward neediness, thinking about that other person too much tends to lead to me scaring them off by contacting them more often than I should.

But this does present one problem: at what point is it okay to tell your friends that you met someone you actually like?  This is usually where I fail.  See, my friends and I all love wine.  And I’m a talker when I drink.  So, of course, I usually end up spilling the beans way too early.  And when things eventually end before they got a chance to really take off, I then have to deal with the friends asking, “how’s what’s-his-name?”


Ch Ch Ch Changes....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I finally had that "aha!" moment last night.  You know the one where you realize that you are a grown-up.  One would think that I would have had it by now.  I mean, I've been shopping for a condo and have made a few offers...all of which was terrifying to me.  That alone should have caused that "wow, I'm an adult" moment.

But no.  What caused it?  Well, I left work yesterday, walked to my car, turned the key.....nothing.  The car wouldn't start.  Now, in the past, that would have caused me to get upset, thinking, "why me???! I can't afford any repairs!"  At which point yours truly would start crying.  Yes, I know.  I'm a big baby.

I'll admit- I did have a brief moment of that.  But then I paused and took a deep breath and realized that, while inconvenient, this certainly wasn't worth getting worked up over.  I knew it was either the starter or the battery.  So I got back in the car and tried different electronics.  While the lights came on, the radio wouldn't.  Voila- not the starter.  And, thanks to previously having had the requisite POS car, I carry jumper cables with me.  I flagged down the first guy I saw who looked like he knew where his hood latch was and asked for a jump.  Car running, I thanked him profusely, got in the car, and headed to a garage to buy a new battery.

While I was waiting for the battery, I started to wonder why I used to get so worked up over things.  I know part of the change is maturity, but the biggest part is money.  It's great to finally be in a position where replacing the battery in my car does not equate sacrificing groceries for the week.

Of course, that may change when I have a mortgage.......



Saturday, August 07, 2010

I'm sure I've mentioned my OCD before.  In recent months, due to (of course) a lot of self- analysis, I've realized that most of my relationship issues (at least the ones on my end) can be boiled down to not having the OCD under control.  More specifically, the few days every month that I don't have the compulsions that are a part of the 'disease' under control.  The obsessive thoughts rarely lessen.  However, for the most part, the compulsions that are sparked by those obsessive thoughts are something I am typically able to keep myself from acting upon.

For those who don't know the "what and why" of OCD, in its most simplest form, it can be boiled down to a need for reassurance.  Those of us who "check" things do so out of a need to "make sure."  Even if I tell myself (mentally or aloud) that I unplugged the toaster... even if, as I'm unplugging those things, I say, "toaster is unplugged," nine times out of ten, I will need to go back into the house after leaving, just to "make sure."  There is the fear that if I do not double-, triple-, or even quadruple- check, I may have been wrong about unplugging the toaster and the house may burn down.  It's the same with curling irons, hair dryers, you name it.

Normally this isn't something that interferes with my life.  It is, at most, a minor inconvenience and annoyance. Except when it comes to personal relationships.  That need for reassurance  most certainly translates into a disaster when dating... especially in that oh-so-important nurturing phase in the beginning.  That need for reassurance almost always becomes that ever-dreaded "neediness."

The thoughts are always there: "does he really like me?"  "why didn't he respond to my text right away? Did I do something wrong?  Has he suddenly stopped liking me?"  And while the thoughts are there, I can almost always talk myself out of them.  I can answer myself with, "hello...he has a life...just like you do.  He's not sitting by his phone waiting to hear from you.  Knock it off."

With the exception of a few days a month.  On those days, no matter how many reasonable arguments I give myself, I sometimes can not stop it.  I pick up the phone, go to the messaging screen, and ask, "did I do something wrong? " or "are you mad at me?"  And the entire time I am typing the message, I know it is the wrong thing to do.  There is a voice in my head screaming, "DO NOT SEND THAT!!  STOPPPPPP!"

But I can't.  For whatever reason, this illness means that I need the reassurance of hearing, "not at all."  But that doesn't happen.  That is, 99% of the time, the point when the man either stops communicating altogether, or sends me the uncomfortable "I don't think we're suited for each other" email.

So how do I keep myself from scaring away any man who is interested in me?  The simplest answer is medication to control the OCD.  But for the most part it is under control, so I'm hesitant to take that approach.  And there is some part of my brain that thinks that, while medications are not only okay, but are a must for some people, and there is not a single thing wrong with that; I hold myself to a far more unattainable standard then I do for everyone else.  I feel that there is something wrong with me if I need that help...even if it's only for a few days a month.

I guess the other option is to avoid the potential suitor for those days.  Of course then I would be accused of playing games.  I guess I'm not any closer to an answer than I was when I began this post.


With this Ring.....

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lately, I've noticed an increase in married men on dating sites.  Are they admitting to being married?  Nope.  Are they emailing me, claiming to be single, chatting with me, meeting me, leading me on, then disappearing?  Yep.  How do I know they're married?  Well, my friends, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Let me explain.  (And I'm also crossing my fingers, hoping that there are women out there who are experiencing the same thing).  On four separate accounts, I have met someone online, chatted with them for several weeks, then been either unceremoniously dumped via email or had the always fun "disappearing act" pulled on me.  After analyzing the progression of events, I then realized that the guy was married.  Am I assuming? Only in the case of the most recent guy.

Before I get to this most recent one, let me tell you about one of the ones for whom I have marital confirmation.  We met via an unnamed free dating site.  And, my being a logical person, I assume when someone posts their picture and lists their status as "divorced," that they are being honest.  Guy #1, we'll call him Mike (which may very well be his real name- *wink*).  We began chatting months ago.  He claimed to have been divorced for 3 years.  He (of course) had an anynomous email address and would not share where he worked (understandibly....being a blogger, I tend to be very careful about these things as well).  After two weeks of IM-ing, emailing and texting (never in the evenings- which should have been hint #1), he asked me to lunch (hint #2- if a man does not want to meet for dinner, something is typically not on the up-and-up).  Unfortunately for him, at the time I was still in the hotel industry and therefore only got a 30-minute lunch break.  So instead, he suggested what at the time I thought was a fantastic first date idea (also winning him bonus points).  He taught a beginners karate class on Friday nights and suggested I attend one of the classes.  We could then get a drink afterward (hint #3- he plans dates around times when he has other activities).  The date went well and we seemed to hit it off, however, he had been checking his watch quite a lot.  I even remarked "am I keeping you from something."  His response was that he had karate class the next morning. 

He said that he wanted to see me again, and the following week we chatted (always during the day) quite a lot.  We finally set up a second "date," where we met for ice cream one evening after his karate practice (see hint #3).  At the time, I thought, "strange- he wants to meet at Coldstone, but there is a Maggie Moo's much closer to where we both live."  But again, I ignored yet another glaring sign (hint #4- he does not want to meet anywhere near his neighborhood). 

After more chatting and emailing, I finally pressed him for a weekend date.  That's when he disappeared.  When I told the entire story to a friend, she simply said, "honey, he's married."  So I did a little research, and sure enough- married.

Guy number two and I never met.  We chatted and sent texts for almost a month before I finally said "enough."  I should also mention that after two weeks of chatting, we had set up a date- for lunch (of course).  On the day, he canceled, claiming to be sick.  But like I said, after a month of chatting (always during the day), I finally said "either we meet or that's it.  I'm not looking for a chat buddy; I'm looking for a relationship."  He got angry; I got angry; we left it at that for the day.  The following day he emailed me and said "you're really fantastic, but I want to see someone when I can see her and when I cannot, I cannot."  Upon some reflection, I'm thinking he was married as well.

So now I'm seeing the pattern:
#1- he only chats during the day
#2- he wants to meet for lunch
#3- he plans "dates" around existing events in his schedule
#4- he does not want to meet in his neighborhood
#5- he gets angry when you push him for a weekend/evening date/chat/phone conversation

Is anyone else seeing this? Or do I attract married men for some reason?


Emotionally Flawed

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something has been bothering me for a very long time.  As long as I can remember, in fact.  I have known many men who were emotionally scarred or crippled in some way.  Yet almost every one of these men were able to find women who would put up with it (myself included).  In fact, I know quite a few men with emotional issues far worse than any myself or my friends suffer who are in some sort of successful, loving relationship.  And it's really beginning to piss me off.

The problem is that we, as women, only have ourselves to blame.  We meet one of these men- someone who is incapable of expressing love; someone who is an emotional wasteland; someone who is so fucked up we don't even begin to know how to describe his issues- and we think, "wow, someone must have hurt him so badly.  I'll give him my love and make it better."

But what about us women?  If we show even the slightest hint of emotional baggage (and who doesn't have it) too early in the relationship, men jump ship immediately.  We are thought of as needy, or psycho, or some other nasty manifestation of what every man is afraid of- The Crazy Chick.  Despite what the romantic comedies tell you, show any man the slightest vulnerability before the 6-month relationship mark and I guarantee he will bolt. 

Most of us spend so much time trying to hide our "crazy."  And can we please be honest here?  Everyone has their own crazy...and those that don't have absolutely no personality.  I prefer to think of my own crazy as "quirkiness," and I warn any potential suitor about said quirkiness from day one.  I am painfully honest.  Better to have someone start dating me, knowing that I can be overly sensitive and sometimes cry for reasons I can't even explain.  And the thing that kills me most about this- when it does happen- when I do show that vulnerability, those men (who were warned from day one) are surprised at it.  Is is selective listening?  Are men just unable to grasp these facts when they are presented up front?  Do they need to actually experience it to believe it?

I am so tired of opening myself up and being completely honest in an effort to weed out the men who are scared of emotions, only to have the men who do read my dating profile- the men whom I tell "I can be needy sometimes," get scared the minute I show even the slightest bit of neediness.

So what do I do?  Should I continue to be upfront about my flaws, hoping that some day, that man who really is unafraid will come along and love me because of/despite of those flaws?  Someone who will give me a chance past the third date and realize that, while I may be a bit insecure and needy at times (no matter how good I am feeling about myself), I am worth getting to know better....


Horton Vineyards

Monday, July 12, 2010

(I'm being really lazy here and just copying & pasting my review from TripAdvisor & Yelp)

I rarely write reviews for anything.  An experience has to be either incredible or incredibly terrible for me to take the time to review it.  I'm making an exception here, because half the experience was fantastic.  The other half was terrible.  Horton gets 3 stars simply because the wines are great.  There truly is something for every palate. 

That being said, my friends and I drove several hours last weekend specifically to visit Horton.  We go to all of the Northern Virgina festivals and love Horton's wines.  Unfortunately, you are not able to taste everything at the festivals.  They do not bring all of their wines (understandably, as there are about 40 of them) and the crowds prevent you from really being able to enjoy the wines.  Hence our decision to drive 3 hours to visit them.  We really wanted to be able to try everything.

Unfortunately, when we told the woman pouring that we wanted to try all of the whites, fruits and deserts (reds are upstairs in a separate tasting area), we received a lot of attitude.  I feel it's important to mention that we were all fairly sober and VERY polite to her- even after she practically ignored us and rolled her eyes at us several times.  Each time we finished tasting one, she asked what we wanted to try next (ummm....the next one on the list perhaps?).  It felt like pulling teeth to get the woman to pour some wine for us.

After finally getting to try everything downstairs, we went upstairs to try one wine- the vintage port.  Bob was pouring upstairs and was such a refreshing change after being treated so poorly by the wine nazi downstairs.  He was friendly and encouraged us to try others that we probably would not have otherwise tried.

We only tried a few, since we were starting to feel the effects of the earlier whites.  However, we hadn't decided which wines to buy, so we decided to trek back downstairs and try the 2 chocolates again (with a different pourer- since the first was so rude).  When the first pourer saw us going to a different counter, she gave us a very nasty look and told the woman who was about to pour for us not to. 

All three of us ended up buying, but we did it grudgingly.  If all of their wines were available at Total Wine, we definitely would not have made any purchases after the way we were treated. 

I understand that pouring wine all day for drunk people probably isn't great, but the staff at Horton need to keep in mind that a lot of the people there travel to Gordonsville specifically to visit their winery.  While I love their wines, I don't think I will be visiting Horton again after the way my friends and I were treated.  And I certainly wouldn't recommend it to other friends.  I usually try not to drive 3 hours to be treated like crap- I can get that at some of the Northern VA wineries.


Dating Fool

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

So lately, in an effort to break my habit of putting all of my eggs in one basket, I’ve been on a lot of the dating sites and meeting a lot of people.  I’ve got quite a few dates lined up....and some of them I’m pretty “meh” about.  But, you never know.  One of these guys who doesn’t excite me via email may end up being “the one.”  So why not give all of them a shot, right?

The problem is that, I think deep down, I’m just plain lazy.  Serial dating just seems like so much work.  There’s all of the emailing and chatting and getting to know the person; followed by the supreme effort of making first-date conversation.  And the getting ready part? Foggetaboutit! Not to mention the let-down when one of the guys who was great via email and IM turns out to be a bore in person.  Add to that the possibility of rejection and you have a recipe for my current high level of anxiety.  As the number of men I date increases, so does the risk of rejection.  And considering that I am still recovering from the last few rejections (the big one in particular), I’m not sure my self-esteem can take it.

That being said...if you are out there and read this and believe that you are my soul mate, please save me some time and effort and just contact me.  The thought of doing all of this work to find someone I can stand for the next 50 years is giving me anxiety attacks.


Me in a nutshell

Friday, July 02, 2010

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I'm out of control and at times hard to handle. But, if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

-Marilyn Monroe


Don't Hate the Player....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

...I certainly do hate the game.  I've never been one to play games.  I'm a very "what you see is what you get" kind of gal.  And I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve.  (Let's see how many more cliches I can squeeze in).  I have no p-p-p-poker face.

Okay, enough with the cliches, but it's all true.  Dating has always been tough for me, since I am not what you would call "mysterious."  If I like someone, I tell them.  And if I really like him, I want to be around him and talk to him.  I've never been a fan of the "leave them wanting more" philosophy.  That being said, it's becoming clear (yes, after 32 years, it's finally becoming clear) that maybe I'm approaching dating in the wrong way. 

While it has always been my policy to be as honest as possible and hope for the same in return, I rarely receive that honesty from the other person.  In fact, if my honesty doesn't scare the guy away from the start, he typically either thinks of me as "just a friend," or, if he's a dick, thinks of me as someone he can screw with.  And I let it happen.  I have opened myself up to this over and over again.  What was it that Einstein said about insanity? "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

That being said, I think it's time to finally get in the game.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do it.  I've talked previously about someone I liked and the odd situation we were in...which by the way has gotten even more weird (another story for another time).  What I would like to do is get the "power" back in this situation by keeping my cards a little closer to my chest.  The problem is- even if I do get the opportunity to do this, I'm not sure I can.  I think that a huge part of my charm (ahem- don't laugh) is my openness and quirkiness.  I will tell people almost anything.  So how do I stop myself from doing that without making our dates completely boring?  What in the hell will we talk about if I'm not telling him about walking into a door frame in front of my company's CEO?  And how the hell do I stop myself from analyzing every aspect of every date?



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I recently stumbled on an archive post from one of my favorite sites, Mental_floss Blog, that really got me thinking.  The post was about literary deal breakers, but a lot of the comments also explored music and movie dealbreakers. 

It got me thinking about my own personal dealbreakers when it comes to entertainment.  I don't consider myself a snob about books, movies or music, nor would I classify myself as an intellectual (despite the {ahem} genius-level IQ).  Hell, I love low-brow comedies and have been known to read quite a lot of chick-lit.

That being said, the biggest deal breaker for me is not reading at all.  I recently went on a date with someone who fit into that category.  It really makes for a difficult conversation.  Since the person was originally from Lynchburg, home of Jerry Falwell, we were discussing religious groups and the tendency of some of those groups to become more like cults (I know, not really "safe" conversation for a first date, but he brought it up).  I mentioned a certain religion started by a science fiction writer (I'm no dummy- those people have money and come after anyone who criticizes them).  He told me he really didn't know much about the religion, so I told him some of the creepier things I do know about them and mentioned that he should read about it on Wikipedia, as the details of the religion are entertainment in and of themselves.  His answer?  "Yeah, I don't really read unless I have to."

Like I said, I wouldn't consider myself a snob, but saying that is pretty much as bad as telling me that "Weekend at Bernie's" was the best movie ever made. 

On the other side of the argument, someone who lists "War and Peace" or "A Tale of Two Cities" as his favorite book  is also stepping into deal breaker territory.  Either the guy is incredibly pretentious or a total bore- neither of which is someone I want to date.

Oh, and one of my favorite comments from that post? "I refused to go out on a date with a guy who told me that Nelly was his favorite musician." Word.


The F Bomb

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Anyone who's dated for any amount of time has no doubt been a victim of the dreaded F Bomb.  You meet someone, have a few dates, are coasting along comfortably, then suddenly BAM!  The "friends" speech.  The "you're such a great person and I really like being around you, but I just don't have romantic feelings for you... but I do want to be friends" speech.  One of my good friends went through this fairly recently and decided to take the guy's offer of a FWB situation.  Basically she really did like him and apparently the sex wasn't too shabby, so she locked her hurt feelings away and accepted his offer.

I, unfortunately, am not sure I'm capable of doing that.  When faced with this situation in the past, I have tried (very unsuccessfully) to put my feelings for the guy aside and be his "friend."  I should mention (from a college experience) that this is doubly hard when the guy does decide that he has romantic feelings for your roommate.  I think it's clear to anyone who has read any of this blog that I am not very good at putting my feelings aside.  In fact, my feelings pretty much control my life. 

However, when you really do enjoy the other person's company and care about them, shouldn't you want to be in their life?  Even if it means seeing them happy with someone other than you?  It's a dilemma I have faced a few too many times.  Apparently I'm "great," "easy to talk to," "an amazing woman," etc; which all means nothing when the person saying such things has decided that, despite all of those great qualities, he is just not that into me. 

And the even bigger dilemma?  How I get someone to see all of those things AND think of me as someone he wants to be with?  It's a delicate balance- showing your great qualities without crossing over to the "friend" zone.  You want that other person to feel comfortable enough around you that he wants to be near you, but not so comfortable that he thinks of you as a "buddy" (in other words, if he passes gas in front of you you've clearly moved into the buddy category).

I've tried not being the kind of woman men are comfortable around with little success.  I end up coming off as an uptight bitch.. especially because it's not in my nature.  Despite all of my neurosis, in person I am very laid-back (or at least come off that way). 

So I guess what I need to do is to determine exactly what qualities or actions put me into the "friends" category.... and stop doing them.


Seven Months of Hell (or where I've been)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

So, as some of you know, until recently I was in the hotel industry (I have now- thankfully- made the switch to IT).  While I have always loved the industry itself, there are many draw-backs (the low salaries being a big one).  Perhaps the biggest one is some of the people you have to put up with every day.  While I know that there are douche bags in every industry, typically it's either the customers or the coworkers- not both.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I have worked with a lot of great people, and made some great friends.  However, it seems that the nicer the hotel, the more assholes you will have to put up with.

One in particular example was probably one of the single worst coworkers I've ever encountered- if not one of the worst people in general.  (Note: I have to tread very carefully here as to not give away the hotel's identity).  I recently worked for a fairly posh, high-end hotel downtown.  This person (let's call her Bitch From Hell, or BFH) had what my friends and I refer to as "bitch face."  She is one of those people who is always scowling.  I knew from day one she and I would not get along.  My assumption was reinforced when I first tested her sense of humor with a "that's what she said" comment (come on, who doesn't love twss?) and was treated to a blank stare.  I tried a few more times before calling a friend and asking "I'm funny, right?"  According to that friend I do have my moments.

During week one, I overheard this person on the phone with a friend, talking about one of her previous coworkers.  Now, we all do it (hell, I'm doing it now), but generally we criticize the person's personality, lack of intelligence, or general inability to do his/her job (or in this case- lack of soul).  Those of us with a conscience tend to draw the line at the person's difficult childhood, income, family or pet deaths, etc.  Well, not BFH.  It seemed everything was fair game.  I think it does bear mentioning that BFH had a considerable amount of money (family) and nice clothing (everything looks good on you when you're bulimic).  The things I heard her saying about her former coworker left a sour taste in my mouth. 

And it didn't stop at her former coworkers.  As she became friends with other catty (and soulless) people, our coworkers became fair game as well.  At any time, we could walk past one of their offices and hear them laughing about a coworker.  Unfortunately, one of those other catty women was my boss at the time.  The sad part of the whole situation is that I had previously been friends with that boss (before she began working there).  But in hindsight, I'm better off without her as a friend, especially considering how easily she fell in with (re:followed) the "cool" people.  It was actually a bit sad to see her so eagerly wanting to belong.  You really lose respect for a boss when you see them pathetically changing their whole personality to fit in. 

But I digress. The situation just kept going down hill.  I was a nervous wreck going into work every day.  When you have to take a Xanax just to go to work, the situation has clearly become unhealthy.  The boss (or as my good friend LR dubbed her "Thunder C") began writing me up for every trifling thing she could come up with.  In one case, I was written up for a mistake in a formula on a spreadsheet that she created.  Apparently I was supposed to not only check my work but hers as well.  I also was written up for taking more than 30 minutes for lunch on one occasion (this from the boss who regularly took two hour lunches and could rarely be found at her desk actually working).  Needless to say, said boss became BFH's little puppet.

Either way, as they say, everything happens for a reason.  After over a year (seven months with that boss) of traveling an hour and a half each way for a job where I was treated very poorly, I found a temporary solution.  I made a lateral move to a hotel closer to home, where I was able to work until I actually found a permanent solution (which I now have).  And I am more happy in this job than I have been in years.  And the best part of the IT industry?  No prima donnas in designer duds with "bitch face" here.  People come to work, do their jobs, and go home.  Intelligence is rewarded, rather than ass-kissing.  It's such a relief.  And, with the increased income (woot!) I am finally able to buy my own home.  I would call that a happy ending.  I may not have my Prince Charming (yet), but I'm much more likely to find him now that I'm not so stressed out (or angry/tired/depressed/feeling threatened) all of the time.  And had it not been for BFH and Thunder C I may still be making that long commute and working at that same hotel.  But I'm not quite ready to say thank you to those two....maybe in time, but definitely not yet.  I just hope karma bites them in the ass.


All My Eggs in One Basket

Monday, June 07, 2010

I've often been accused by friends and family of putting all of my eggs in one basket.  I meet someone, typically online, we exchange emails or IMs, and if I decide I like him, I don't communicate with any other guys.  If I then really like him, I'm focused on that one guy, which as you all know, can lead to neediness and eventually scare the guy away.  My friends are constantly telling me to "spread the attention."  Not to focus on one person too much.  But how does one do that when they are essentially a one-man woman? 

Besides the issue of the time commitment (dating three guys instead of one means having three nights free per week instead of one), there's the fear that I may end up really liking more than one of them.  Add to that the fact that I have a hard time remembering small details and the whole situation starts to become a part-time job.  Like I said, I have a hard time remembering small details and I know that this would lead to me mixing up the details I do remember. 

I do have some friends that are very good at "spreading the love," so to speak, but it just confuses and stresses me out.  One friend in particular is a pro at dating multiple guys.  I need a flow chart just to keep her dating life straight.  And it doesn't seem to stress her out.  I constantly ask her, "how do you remember which guy is from where and what each one does?"  Apparently her memory is more fine-tuned than mine.

But, like almost anything, I'm willing to give it a try.  There is someone I met about a month ago whom I really hit it off with.  In fact, we hit it off a little too well.  We IM'd and texted constantly and there was an intense chemistry when we met in person.  However, I of course threw everything into this potential relationship and things moved a little too quickly for both of us.  So he and I have discussed it and are going to start over and move a little more slowly.  Clearly, we both feel that there is something there, and I don't want to make the same mistake twice.  I also can't handle the disappointment if this doesn't work out and I've put all of my energy into it.  So, like I said, I'm willing to give the whole dating around thing a shot, of for no other reason than to not scare this guy away.  Now if only I can figure out how to do this without feeling like a jerk.


So here we are...

Friday, March 26, 2010

I got quite a reality check this week. As some of you know, aw dumped me last year. And over the past year, I've been pining away, hoping he would wake up and realize what he lost. Well, he hasn't. While I was wishing and hoping and dreaming, he was moving on with his life- in a big way. He is now engaged. That's right- someone so emotionally crippled that he couldn't handle a woman crying is getting married. And where am I? Still alone.

It finally hit me- I've wasted the last three and a half years on someone who couldn't accept me for who I am. He knew going into the relationship that I was an emotional person- he read this blog before we even met. Yet, he couldn't handle my emotions. He made me feel like they were wrong- like somehow there was something wrong with me because I cry. I felt like I had to keep my emotions inside. Hell, I even went to therapy to try to change for him. Jesus, what the fuck was I thinking? Even my therapist told me that there was nothing wrong with me- that my emotions were fine.

For three and a half years, I have romanticized both him and our relationship. I thought he was a better person than me. I thought that I was lucky to have him. I neglected my friends, my hobbies, hell even this blog because I just wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. My world revolved around him. When I did talk to my friends, it was "aw this, aw that..." I became that woman. The one who has nothing to talk about other than the man in her life. And I slowly started becoming less and less of the person I am. I couldn't wait to see him- a week away was too long. I kept ticket stubs from every damn movie we went to. I kept receipts from our shopping trips. I thought he was my soul mate. I was obsessed.

Yet, even through all of that, there was this little voice in the back of my mind that kept telling me that he wasn't "the one;" that I just wanted him to be because he was the first man in a long time that didn't treat me like shit. But I ignored it. I told myself that that little voice was wrong- it was doubt and that it was the part of my brain that thought that I did not deserve to be happy. Even over this past year, I've tried to silence that voice- every time it told me to move on and finally get over him; that he would never be the person that I need in my life; that he would never accept me for who I really am; he was not the amazing, perfect, well-balanced person that I thought he was. Yet I ignored it...for three and a half fucking years. I don't think I can stress that number enough. In that time, I could have met and married the person I should be with- the man who would accept me for who I am, instead of wasting my time with someone who couldn't even buy a fucking tv without first finding the perfect stand for it (he started talking about getting the tv when we started dating- he still hadn't gotten it when we broke up-2 years later); someone who had to research the shit out of every fucking thing he did.

But now I have no other choice but to move on. He will never come back; hell, he will never again be any part of my life...nor do I want him to be. He is a coward who could not even tell me the truth- I had to find out via Facebook. And now the thought of him makes me sick. I know I will still have bad days- days where I can not stop crying- days where my thoughts of him turn back to that romantic ideal; but I will get through this. Let me say that again. I. WILL. GET. THROUGH. THIS. And I'll be a stronger person for it. Never again will I try to change who I am for someone. I will embrace my emotions- because they are mine and that is who I am. If I want to cry because of an SPCA commercial, there is nothing wrong with that. If I want to yell at the driver in front of me who is going too slow, there is nothing wrong with that, either. It's who I am. And I will never forgive him for trying to change that.

And all of those souvenirs- all of the things he gave me that said "I love you" are going where they belong- in the garbage. Or better yet, maybe I'll send them to him so he can recycle them- give them to his fiance, because clearly, they were just words and meant absolutely nothing.

Oh- and Ashburnite is back. No more neglecting things that make me feel good.

One last thing- a parting thought, just for aw:


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