At one of the numerous happy hours my company has hosted for its employees this year, my teammates and I stood by a fence, surveying the array of pale, hirsute faces. The scene prompted one of my coworkers (who is also white and bearded) to point out that our office is a real life game of Guess Who. Remember that game? Twenty-four faces on the game board, most of them white men? Your first question was always “Is your person a man?” and your next was “Is the person white?” If your secret person was one of the only four women, the only black person, or one of the other three people of indeterminate ethnicity, you were setting yourself up to lose. You always had to choose a white man.
The novel is no more. If the possible reason that first comes to your mind is that my co-author is no more either, you are correct. I ended my relationship with Ironman a little while back and with it, the collaboration on our novel. When we first starting seeing each other casually last May, I thought we would always be friends and able to collaborate on projects even if we ended our romance. But the bizarre way he admittedly led me on for months, knowing that he no longer felt the way I felt about him, and then the way he instantaneously turned into a callous and cruel person without a single indication that anything was wrong even as we were making future plans together that very morning, now makes that impossible. Continue reading →
Many Mother Goose rhymes attempt to impart the lesson that life isn’t always fair.
For every evil under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, try and find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
This first one focuses on calamity in our life. When something bad happens, do what you can to remedy it, but understand that there isn’t always a remedy. Doctors do what they can to save cancer patients, but the fact is that we don’t have a cure. When a car crash kills someone, there isn’t always a party at fault; sometimes an accident is just a terrible accident. Life is full of evils, but those can’t always be addressed by lawsuits, legislation, or anger. Continue reading →
When I rejoined the single life at the beginning of last year, all the gals in my usual group, except one, were right there with me, or about to be, and that was a lot of fun. A gaggle of thirty-something women with money to burn and time to spare? Plenty of opportunity for getting into shenanigans! Naturally, over the last thirteen months, our relationship statuses have diverged, merged, and diverged some more through summer flings, painful breakups, unhealthy obsessions, and genuine connections. Now, at the time of writing this, three of us are in long distance relationships (how odd is that?), one is in a rekindled local relationship, and one is swiping left and right to make plans for the upcoming weekend.
So, although I’ve officially been out of the dating pool for over five months now, there are still dating stories I could share, and one recent event involving a friend’s date reminded me so much of my post about all my coincidental run-ins, good and bad, in Boulder that I had to. Continue reading →
As of today, I have officially had a downtown Boulder address for six months. Once upon a time, I lived in a city of 12 million. Now I live in a town of 100,000. Sure, that’s ten times the size of the town I grew up in, but it is still very, very small. Unless you are a total hermit with no social or professional network at all, if you live here, expect to run into people you know. And behave yourself accordingly.
My era of “Oh hey, fancy seeing you here!” started in the worst possible way on March 25 when The Writer took me to a dinner party at his best friend’s house. As we were picking up dessert at a grocery store, a dark angel crossed our path: the ex-boyfriend of a close friend of mine. A man who is friends with my ex and whom no one likes. No one has ever liked him, even before he moved out of my friend’s house in the middle of the day without having the decency to tell her the years-long relationship was over. We jutted our chins out at each other by way of reluctant acknowledgement and continued on. His appearance was an omen of worse things to come. When we arrived at the hosts’ home, my date introduced me to his best friend first and then to his best friend’s girlfriend. And that’s when I went nearly brain dead, taking great effort to force my smile muscles to move into shape and sticking my arm out zombie-stiff to shake her hand. I was incapable of being genuine because my mind was frozen in a state of horror. The girlfriend was an intimacy coach who had held a group session that my ex and I had gone to together. A most uncomfortable four hours ensued. Continue reading →
The real C word has eight letters, not four.
Children are the ultimate make or break point of any relationship. They aren’t something you can negotiate on. Or, at least, you really, really shouldn’t. Either you want them or you don’t, and giving in to a partner’s preference is asking for a lot of trouble.
I realize that in my dating age range (35-47 is my comfort zone), it’s difficult to find men who don’t have children and even more difficult to find mature, stable men who don’t have children. In most urban areas, it’s probably a little easier to find these unicorns but in Colorado cities, it’s probably a little harder because people who move here tend to be those attracted to the adventuresome life of rock climbing and backcountry skiing and spending an entire summer hiking peak-to-peak across the state. Those who remain unfettered by paternity tend to be afflicted by Peter Pan Syndrome, which I find most unattractive. So, when I started dating again, I had to ask myself if I could date someone with kids. Continue reading →
I don’t waste time dating. I know within five seconds, at the most, whether I’m going to like the guy in a romantic way. If not, I stay long enough to be polite, get a good mental image of his personality, and hopefully learn about life experiences he has had that will never be part of my life or that I could never dream up, so I can perhaps include a fictionalized version of him in a short story someday. Everyone has some unique stories to share, and I take dating as an opportunity to draw those out and add to my creative idea catalog. Sorry guys, that’s the risk of dating a wannabe novelist. And then I end the date with an unequivocal statement about how I had a good time but, unfortunately, there’s nothing more between us. However, a little while back when I told a date that I wasn’t feeling a connection, his response was, “Well, I guess I date differently.”
I brushed this comment off because its sentiment seemed aligned with my impression of him as someone who had given up on life and was satisfied with mediocrity. I’ve never found value in going on a second date with someone I’m not immediately sexually attracted to. The few times I have, I knew as soon as I showed up for the second date that I was wasting both our time. But a few weeks after the date with this depressing fellow, I began to wonder if maybe he was on to something. Do I too quickly reject guys? Might I ultimately find a deep connection to one of them if I gave him more than two hours? Continue reading →
When I posted last week about things I had never done before, I deliberately omitted one experience because it deserves a post all its own. Here it is.
Around 11:30 AM on February 11th, I was standing in the 15th Street post office in Boulder. I was the seventh or eighth person in line, there was one cashier, and everyone in front of me had so many packages to send that you would have thought it was Christmas. Clearly I was going to be there for awhile, but I was too exhausted and distracted to care. I was ten days into a breakup from a horrible relationship and, while I was relieved to be out of it, I was still in that emotionally bewildered state that accompanies such drastic life changes. I hadn’t slept more than five hours or eaten more than the equivalent of three meals that entire week, I hadn’t showered that morning, or for several previous, and I was singularly focused on surviving the day. That very morning, after leaving the post office, I was going to pick up the keys for my new house and then go immediately to the UHaul place to pick up a truck and meet my friends at my ex’s place to grab all my belongings, which I had packed up the weekend before. Continue reading →
My recent 180 on Boulder has got me thinking about all the other things I’ve done in the last three months that I never thought I would. Being single gives me a lot more time to spend with the girls. In the core group I hang with, five of the six of us terminated our long term relationships between March 2016 and March 2017. And if you expand that core group to the friends of friends who join our outings on a semi-regular basis, 8 of those additional 12 women are single as well. Which means there are plenty of unencumbered ladies to get into trouble with on any given night. (As if anything any of us do can remotely be considered trouble-making. My penchant for cursing loudly when small children are present is probably the worst of it.) And since I’m not trying to balance relationships with friends with a relationship with a life partner anymore, I’m saying yes to more ridiculous things I would have passed on before. In no particular order, I present to you the following:
When we walked in the door for our 101 class, the advanced class was just finishing up. They looked like this. During my class, I looked like this. So, one class was enough for me, but, ever the sucker for making sure I get the most for my money, I had purchased a four pack of classes for $45 instead of paying $20 for a single class. What to do? I looked at the schedule for their other offerings and found Pound. Yes, it looks a little hokey from the videos, but it is SO much fun. You sweat a ton and work muscles you didn’t know you had, and the instructor, April Abbott, totally kicks ass. Someone find that woman a studio in Boulder! Continue reading →
Online dating isn’t for everyone, but it works for me. Words and how someone uses them play a big role in my life. Before I spend time in the real world meeting someone, I want to see how they communicate. I want to see that they are willing to put the energy into a well-written profile. I want to exchange quite a few messages with the person over several days or a week to see what they like to talk about and gauge how interesting they are. I rarely agree to meet someone unless they enthusiastically participate in this process. I’m not saying that makes the date more likely to be successful; I’ve had as much hit or miss as anyone else. It’s just my style.
Upon declaring myself a single person on February 2 this year, I thought all men were gross. The thought of even looking at or talking to a man sickened me. I couldn’t imagine ever getting close to one again. And then, suddenly, I changed my mind. Nothing in particular did it for me. It just happened. Well, almost. I opened a Bumble account and then closed it five minutes later. The next day, I opened a Tinder account and closed it five minutes later. A few days later, I built an OK Cupid profile and then immediately disabled it for a week. And then I reactivated it and actually started talking to people. And just like last time I was single, I realized it was fun. Everyone has a story to tell and I enjoy uncovering those stories and learning about lives that aren’t mine. And, let’s be honest, the attention and flirting helps the healing process. Continue reading →