Dating tips from a pre-technology-overload old lady

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(image from Huffington Post UK: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/831990/images/o-DATING-AFTER-DIVORCE-facebook.jpg)

So it’s been percolating in my head for a long time now.  And today I read yet another lament by a woman who appears to be 15 but is probably in her thirties, and honestly, I just can’t take it anymore.  So here’s some straight talk, from me to people who just REALLY need some help with dating.  And trust me sister (and brother), If I’M stepping in to help…you need it!

 

  1. No one owes you anything.  You may be nice.  You may be smart. You may have character and hold doors open for old ladies or cook brownies for charity.  You may know how to treat a man/lady.  But no one owes you a date.  Tall women don’t owe you a chance if you’re short.  Fit men don’t owe you a chance if you’re “curvy.”  No one needs to be “thankful that a catch like you is interested.”  It is no one else’s responsibility to get to know you and give you the benefit of the doubt.  Them not being interested does not make them defective or shallow or dumb or any other negative adjective.
  2. There is no such thing as “ghosting” unless you are in a defined relationship. Not calling or texting you after 3 dates means…they aren’t interested and aren’t calling or texting anymore.  Three dates are not a relationship.  “We seemed to connect” is not a relationship.  In the olden days before the internet, if someone did not call you anymore, you wondered, then got mad, then got hurt, then got over it.  No one tracked a person down and demanded closure.  Because we were not insane.  The end.  He/she went on 4 nice dates with you, you made out, and now they haven’t called/answered your 10 texts for a week?  THAT is your answer.  That’s life.  Eat some Ben & Jerry’s and shake it off.
  3. Social media is not real life. A like on Facebook means…. wait for it…” I like that post/picture.”  It does NOT mean “I am in love with you,” “I want to get back together,” or “I am cheating on you with the girl/guy in the photo.”  And if you’ve had 5 dates and they haven’t changed their relationship status yet? So what.  It’s a website where people document their meals and bathroom habits.  Get some perspective.
  4. Speaking of real life, most people have one. They also tend to have jobs, school, families, friends, and chores.  So if you text them at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and it takes them 2 hours to text back, it is because they are AT WORK, and their jobs do not include being at your beck and call.    Back in prehistoric times, a boyfriend might call 3 times a week, less if it was long distance.  None of us died.
  5. There are no such things as mixed signals. Someone who is interested is clearly interested.  Smiling at you last week during class is not a signal.  Laughing at the joke you told yesterday is not a signal.  Sitting next to you when the group went for coffee is not a signal.  ALL of the aforementioned happening consistently MIGHT be a signal.  You won’t know until you suck it up and ask the person out – with your VOICE.  For a specific date and time.  Hint: “wanna hang out sometime” is not a specific date and time.  And if she says yes and then after one date doesn’t reciprocate, she didn’t lead you on.  She spent some time with you and decided you weren’t compatible.  End of story.
  6. Assume people mean what they say unless you know for a fact it is not the case. “He said he wasn’t looking for a relationship, but he still talks to me after class.  What is he thinking?”  No one knows.  Take him at his word and stop trying to mind read.
  7. People change their minds and hearts. You dated for 6 months, and then they just broke up.  It hurts.  It’s painful, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to you.  It happens.  All the time.  You don’t get to negotiate with them, and their reasons don’t have to make sense to you.  Don’t be a stalker, and don’t assignate them.  Just because someone breaks up with you does not mean they have a personality disorder.  It also doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.  Sometimes things don’t work out.
  8. And speaking of personality disorders, unless you have a degree and are THEIR psychologist, stop with the armchair diagnosis. Enough said.
  9. We live in the society we live in. For whatever reason, women are most often the pursued, and men are most often the pursuers.  There are exceptions, but those exceptions are not the norm.  Whining about it is like whining that the grass is green. Work within reality and stop complaining.  No one wants to date a complainer.  On a related note, if you tend to hate all men/women, please don’t date one.
  10. Unless you are 15, the person you date has probably dated someone else before you. Maybe several.  Maybe many.  You don’t get to whine about what happened before you even met them.  Either deal with it with maturity or acceptance, or set them free.  However, if you want a virgin who is pure as the driven snow…you better be one yourself.  Or you’re a hypocrite.
  11. If you break up and get back together 6 months later, the date he/she had during your breakup is not cheating. Period. If you can’t handle it, don’t ask, or don’t get back together.
  12. A relationship is not math. If you plan to go into it armed with a calculator and a scoreboard, don’t expect to have much success.  Guess what, in a real relationship, you might give more sometimes.  They might give more sometimes.  If you have to balance the scales at all times, then stick to equations and/or video games.  And speaking of video games, they do not sell dating “cheats” at Gamestop.  There is no formula that will guarantee he/she will be interested.  Stop trying to discover one and take the risk like the rest of us.
  13. If your taking all the risk and reaping no reward, unless you are hitting on clones, the common denominator is you. Instead of blaming an entire gender, improve yourself.  And be honest.
  14. Speaking of honesty, it is important. If you are a size 16, and you take all your selfies from above to hide it, then don’t be surprised when your date is unpleasantly surprised.  The problem isn’t his shallowness; it’s your deception.  If in doubt, refer to tip #1.  No one is required to date you.  If you want a stereotypical 9 and you are a stereotypical 4, adjust your expectations or improve yourself.  BTW, I hate the whole number thing, but it gets the point across.
  15. Not all women like bad boys. Not all men love bitches.  When you find yourself uttering those phrases, just know it is a jaded copout and refer to #13

 

So that’s it.  Those are my tips.  Take them or leave them, or complain about me to you DM. I’ll be fine.

This discussion of trailer hitches brought to you by Facebook

“Check out what people are talking about at Waffle House!”

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This was the suggestion given to me by Facebook as I was waiting to leave the Hardees parking lot.  I go there every morning for a large Coke Zero.  Yes, I know what diet soda does to you and no, I don’t care.  I did find it kind of amusing that they had a handwritten sign taped to the drive-thru speaker apologizing for having no eggs.  No eggs during breakfast, how fun.  I mean, there are at least 5 or 6 grocery stores nearby.  When I lived in Monroeville, Burger King once ran out of beef patties. That didn’t seem quite as bad since Monroeville is like 90 minutes from any town of respectable size.  But no eggs at MY Hardees?

Back to Facebook.  It does this from time to time: encourages me to find out what people are talking about at random places.  Or “See what’s happening at Wal Mart!”  I know what’s happening at Wal Mart.  People are buying groceries while wearing mismatched pajamas or leggings and t-shirts – usually light colored t-shirts with a purple bra underneath.  Or camo…. lots and lots of camo. Extra points if you are wearing camo leggings with a tan top and a purple bra underneath, and you and your unbathed children get into a pickup with a confederate flag and Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes peeing on something on the back window.  Oh wait, did that go too far?  I think I just crossed the line from funny and sarcastic to mean.  I’ll pull back a bit.  Sometimes it’s hard to like being southern and dislike being southern at the same time.  It all depends on the kind of southern. Antique teacups = good.  Came over a beer belly while using bad grammar = bad.  Oops, I did it again.

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So as well intended as it may have been, I have no interest in seeing what people are talking about in Waffle House.  I feel already fully informed on the topics of secondhand smoke, the effect of cigarettes on the female voice, which rest stops have functioning bathrooms, how to achieve the perfect hair bleach/tanning bed ratio, and what style of crocs goes best with a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt.  But they do have tasty waffles.

In all fairness, I do believe that almost all Waffles Houses are now non-smoking, which means I could go there and have a waffle and some hash browns (their hash browns are good too, I seem to remember) without receiving a coupon for a cancer screening on the way out.  Unless it’s an old Waffle House.  There’s just no way to get the smell of body odor and cigarette smoke out of drywall.  On a different note, this probably explains why they eventually just bulldozed the Biscuit Village in my hometown. Even the Marlboro Man couldn’t have survived that place!

So thank you, Facebook, for attempting to expand (or constrict) my horizons and airways.  But I will decline your most recent invitation.  Now, if you could point me in the direction of an establishment with free margaritas and cheap designer shoes…

I lied about the boots, AKA can ladies be funny?

So I lied about the boots…sort of.  In my last post i said I did NOT have knee-high boots.  And even though that is sort of true, I feel in the interest of honesty I should confess that I do have a pair of above-the-knee black boots.  They lace up the back and have 5 inch heels.  I told someone that, and their response was, “Sexy!”

See, that is what I thought they would feel like, but no.  I actually felt like a giant post-apocalyptic warrior dominatrix that is 6’2″ and should be carrying twin machine guns. So yeah, I don’t wear them.  I spent most of my life looking at other people’s hair parts and being 5 inches taller than my prom date, so I don’t need to be 6’2″.

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So why did I lie about the boots? Because I don’t know where the lady line is sometimes.  Granted, I pretty much zig-zagged the whole line by writing books with words I still can’t say out loud without mental preparation.  But still….I used a pen name, so I could still sort of be a lady.  Until I wrote a blog about it.  And no, you may not have the pen name.

But it’s all part of that nagging question that the charm school graduate, pageant winning, finger bowl using woman who had my mother for a mother that plagues me when I’m having fun being funny.  Can a lady be funny?

I know a woman can be funny.  There are funny women all over.  I’ve bought tickets to see funny women say funny things.  I’ve watched funny women on TV.  I’ve read books by funny that had me laughing so hard I came perilously close to a good middle aged sneeze, if you catch my drift. But can a lady be funny?  Hmmmmm

I mean, men can talk and write and do stand-up about bodily functions and their sex lives and the way their kids annoy them and their bizarre childhoods, and then they can don a tux and go to the opera (now THAT’s funny) and no one looks sideways.  But can a “lady” be funny in all the ways her brain is secretly funny and still give a dinner party using my antique teacup collection.  Yes, I have an antique teacup collection.  Shut up.  They’re pretty. Oh, and for the record, I have no real desire to joke about bodily functions, and any bit I did about my sex life would be…um…minimalist.  Kind of like John Cage’s 4’52” (Four Minutes and Fifty Two Seconds).  Google that.

Not sure why I’m asking.  Maybe so Mom won’t write me out of the will and they won’t try to make me repay my Miss UNA scholarship money?  They’ll pry my teacups from my cold dead hands…

It probably doesn’t matter.  At this point I already peaked in my ladylikeness anyway.  And since I now go to Wal Mart without makeup (I actually went AFTER my workout on Sunday), that ship has sailed anyway.  And I think I’m too old for Junior League and too young for Daughters of the Confederacy.  So I can probably be as funny as I darn well please.

At least I know I’ll never be too skinny, too tan, too blonde, or own an Infinity SUV.  Seriously, you have the money to buy an Infinity and a MOM mobile is what you choose???

So I answered my own question. Thanks for reading.  And if you keep on reading, I might show you those boots.  Yep, just keep holding your breath for that.

Finding the Funny

I used to write funny things a lot. Humor was my favorite kind of writing because who doesn’t like to laugh?  And because humor is to my psyche what the deflector shield is to the Enterprise.  Yes, I’m a nerd who played the flute.  But I was also a baton twirler, so I kind of broke even.  I never really understood those rules. (Oh yeah, I still need to pay for my 30 hear high school reunion)

Annnnnnyway, because of some life circumstances and lack of circumstances and because I was good at it (who knew – certainly not my youth minister or Sunday School teacher), I started writing erotic novels.  I know.  Just saying that phrase is amusing.  Like I should have a pair of knee-high boots (who says I don’t???).  I don’t, by the way, because I live in the deep south, and even in January that would just be way too hot.I do have some nice black boots I wear with tights or leggings and those long tunic tops.  I love that long tunic tops are in because I have a life and a job and a middle aged metabolism, and I therefore have neither the time nor the body chemistry to spend 3 hours a day at the gym, 1 at the tanning bed, and 2 at the “bleach mixed just for you” hairstylist so that I can be freakishly thin and too tan.  Not that I’m thinking of anyone specific.  So those long tunics hide the slightly more curvy shape of my normal working mom of teenagers who can’t afford a personal chef body.

If my 11th grade English teacher just read that, she probably killed herself.  Sorry, Mrs. H.

So, I wrote naughty novels for awhile and made just enough extra money to have to claim it on taxes.  But there are only so many plots for those novels.  There’s the “I hated his arrogance at first and then my panties fell off” plot.  There’s the, “I’m a middle aged divorcee who wants to be dominated so I’ll move in with a stranger” plot.   There’s the “She’s innocent and he’s a rouge” plot (or the reverse).  By the way, you are much more likely to see the real life version of these plots on Investigation Discovery than anywhere else.

And with that segue and because I am also addicted to Criminal Minds, I got bored writing “romance” (cough, cough) and started writing thriller/suspense stories, usually with a serial killer theme, and almost always involving technology in some form.  I think I was working out some secret aggression, but that’s another story.Luckily my psychologist had the brains to understand the difference between reality and fiction.  Hint: fiction isn’t real.  For example, I bet Stephen King never broke someone’s ankles with a mallet, Killed a family with an axe, or ran someone down with a homicidal car.  My spellchecker is telling me I spelled axe wrong.  Is this like the Oxford comma thing? Because I will always use an Oxford comma no matter what evil plot the millennials have hatched to remove it.

The truth is, nothing is as much fun as being funny and random.  I love being funny and random.  Is it ladylike? Probably not, and because I went to charm school (yes, I actually did), I should probably be ashamed, but I’m not. So I’ll keep making puns and quips and rambling on in a stream-of-consciousness fashion because it’s who I am.  Serenity now!!!  By the way, did you know that Lloyd Braun from Seinfeld is now selling insurance for AARP?  Now, that’ll put the length of your life in persepctive.

I’m sorry, I’ve completely lost sight of the reason I even stopped working and started writing.

I’ve got all sorts of snippets of partially finished “stuff” that I haven’t worked on in a long time because I just kind of lost the funny.  I was still funny in person – to everyone except my kids – but I couldn’t write it anymore.  Just….bleh.

Until Twitter.  I had a Twitter account that I basically did nothing with except for the occasional stalk of Criminal Minds Twitter accounts (because there might be an off-chance they’d hire me as a writer or let me have a walk on role, and then I could meet Matthew Grey Gubler and Penelope Garcia).  But I started reading there one day, and there was this guy with a weird handle who was just…funny as crap.  Like a mixture of my dad before he got old and grumpy, Chris Rock if he was white, and James Joyce if James Joyce had had a sense of humor. Ha!

I could go into the whole journey of rediscovering funny, except I’ve already rambled way past the customary blog length, and my job doesn’t require this much uninterrupted typing, so I’m pretty sure they KNOW….But the guy has written 3 books, and with every one I read, I felt my funny coming back.  My kids are really irritated, so it must be working. Yay! Now maybe I can finish something that doesn’t require the characters to be naked or homicidal…though that could be interesting in a disturbing kind of way.  Especially if the antagonist (ooooo literary term) could be freakishly skinny, middle aged, and have a personal chef.

So, thank you and a shout out to this author, who has made me laugh a lot.  He is married, so a shout out to his wife for being really pretty and funny too.  I needed to mention that because I’m female and he’s male and oh my God I don’t want anyone to think I would steal someone’s man – yeesh.  Plus I’m 5’9″ and I don’t steal men from women.  So there.

Check him out and thank him.  Or, if you’re one of my kids, blame him for the recent resurrection of your personal humor hell.

Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooog (aka Rodney Lacroix