Dr. Spin

So my first online date in 7 months and I’m nervous. I may have said I was charging along with my banner streaming but in actual fact I’m still nursing a stapled heart and getting out there to date is supposed to be an exercise in distraction and immersion.

Reluctantly I drag myself along to meet the latest specimen of interest, well let’s face it, it is similar to a science experiment isn’t it? We meet at a hip bar in town and as I arrive I’m feeling self concious of my stretchy tight skirt and short feathered jumper which is making me really hot in the fully heated bar – oh dear wardrobe malfunction, will he think I’m having an early onset hot flush?

Anyway, he’s there already seated in the corner looking cool and sexy in a fitted, black shirt with a beer, a bar tab already running and he stands up to kiss me on the cheek. OK stop the bus, let’s just rewind that frame. Yes I did just say all of that and no it’s not a joke. He is early – check, he’s not got two heads – check, he’s actually cute – check, and he has a bar tab running – check. OMG has Miss Kitty finally found a fully functioning member of the opposite sex? Shall we buy the hat and bouquet now in preparation? What will the first child be called?

Well not quite. Let’s chalk it down to a very successful date and will soon be followed up by another one I hope, but I do get a slight nagging feeling that I will share with only you. I think I am dating myself!

The fellow in question works in a PR capacity so let’s call him Dr. Spin and my word does he know his product! Not only is his profile cleverly written but it has impeccable punctuation, a wonderful draw you in sparkly-eyed picture (at a wedding no less, to add to the romantic flavour) his manners are a credit to his mother and he scrubbed up very nicely for our date. He trained as a journalist, as did I many moons ago, and we happily swapped newsroom stories and banter. We even compared shorthand speeds and story angles, but here’s the real nub, he’s writing a book. I nearly choked on my cheeky little Sauvignon, a book? Apparently it’s guy-lit, a bit like chick-lit but based on his own experiences of… dating! Well Miss Kitty practically meowed her way out of her seat! You will never know the composure that was employed to keep my face absolutely poker straight and interested, do tell Dr. Spin what are you stories about?

And whatsmore his stories are on a par with mine: a woman who turned up for a date after finishing the supermarket shop and dumped the bags only to let the frozen items defrost and seep all over the bar floor, another lady who turned up on the first date and produced a list of questions so worn the paper was see through and well creased, the first question being how much did he earn? And his absolute corker story about the lady (questionable title) who during the date got completely blotto and threw up in her brand new handbag which had been the source of much discussion that night!

So what have I learnt? That men are having as tough a time as we are, that I have some competition on the block (ha, ha) and that the male version of me is spookily similar in mannerisms and interests, only time will tell if twin attraction is nice or annoying.

his n hers

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Ride ’em Joan

I’m sick of being miserable, sick of being sad, sick of waiting patiently with hope in my heart for someone who doesn’t come, sick of holding myself in like an overfilled cup of water just in case a certain someone wakes up and smells the coffee.

Guess what? It’s me who needs to smell the beans. But you knew that all along didn’t you? It’s me who needs to wake up. Me who needs to be harsh. Me who needs a reality check. He’s not coming. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. I’ve waited a long time to hear his footstep or the sound of his voice, but it never comes, instead I get empty text promises and lingering silences. The reality is love conquers all and the check is there’s no tick mark for that on my form. It hurts, but I gotta toughen up right? I said back in January that I’d given up, that I wouldn’t look for love. I said I would just be me. Well I’ve been me for 4 months now and I find me is a state of extreme loneliness and longing. Sadness and solitude that I can’t bear.

Driving home tonight and crying over the steering wheel again, I made a decision. I’m not a victim to love, I’m fed up of being an emotional cripple, I will take back my control and come out fighting.  Miss Kitty is coming back! And this time I’m not accepting anything except the very best offer I can get from another person. No half way houses, no baggage (or at least lite baggage only), no skeleton exes in the cupboard, no pathetic excuses  or abuse or drunken twisted 2am blackmail, just someone honest, passionate and pure. Who actually wants to be with me instead of running away all the time like the last two. Someone who wants to have fun and date me (pretty simple you’d think huh? I’m not exactly the elephant woman, last time I looked). No more tortured agony, I mean if it’s like this at the start,what would it be like if we ever actually got off the ground?

So tonight I re-activated my online profile and I’m drinking red wine and putting on my armour (just round my heart you understand) ready to go back into the fray and believe me I need tough skin. Online you get the oldies, the lechees, the insincere, the insane, the day-dreamers and everything in between. It certainly ain’t easy, it takes balls and bravery something my last two guys didn’t have that’s for sure.

But I’m sick of being passive and being walked all over. Sick of falling hard and being left on the concrete. The bitch is back! Well she’s not really back, because I’m just learning, but from now on I will learn to be tougher and harder and not take this shit anymore. There is a FRAGILE sticker on my heart and I’m not gonna let anyone close enough to see it anymore unless they jump through hoops first.

As A.A. Milne once said “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” So here goes. Can you see me going? Charging forth into battle like Joan of Arc, dressed in glistening chainmail on a white horse called Faith, with a banner embroidered with the words Love streaming behind me in the wind and in my hand I carry a silver shield held high which reads Hope.

I know it’s good isn’t it? But erm by the way…. I can’t ride a horse, so let’s make it a miniature pony and I don’t have any chainmail so instead I’ll just wear my favourite pretty retro pink leopard print dress with matching pink wedges (which means I’ll have to ride side saddle of course) and I don’t actually have a banner just a hankie and will a compact do for the shield maybe? OK. Well off I go… of course I’ll keep you posted ‘cos you’ll be with me every gallop of the way, well it’s probably more of a trot really eh? But in for a penny in for a pound – let battle begin!

joan

The truth serum

There’s no two ways about it online dating is an odd concept. Talking to someone online and trying to condense your life values into sound bites makes for an odd face-to-face meeting when it finally happens.

For starters you have a kind of pre-conceived false intimacy that you know who you are going to meet, which of course is rubbish and this soon becomes apparent when you turn up for the first date and shake their hand, because the real living breathing organism is always light years from their cyber self and they even look different to the picture in your head or on their profile.

But the common thread for me is the weird truth-telling that goes on, I think it’s something to do with the awkward first chat. It seems to prompt a fight, flight or truth response in men and so they choose to get loose of tongue. While you are both in the cold, death grip of nerves and before the alcohol hits the spot and tames the hormones, grown men blurt out the damndest things!

Point in case my very first online date. I was so naive about the whole thing, we got on so well I thought it was a done deal, I skipped all the way to the pub convinced that this was the guy, badda-bing, first time lucky – just like that! We’d been texting (yes texting not messaging) and he had been very flirty, dirty and over familiar with me. It was all sexual tension and teasing and I had a picture of him as a strong, capable, gorgeous, Alpha male. I turned out he was young, spotty, kinda square and obsessed with drinking and going out and ‘getting trashed’. Oh dear. This was not what I was expecting. But worse still he proceeded to tell me in a half hysterical state that he hated his job as an Optometrist and that when his elderly patients complained of poor sight he dreamt of taking them to a ‘kill room’ and putting them out of their misery. Gee, there’s a conversation stopper. Was he being funny or serious?  Seeing my confused look he explained that most of them had inoperable cataracts and that this was his black humour to get him through the day. Really? Too late mate.

Next up was the mountain climber who ran his own business designing and manufacturing specialist climbing pants in Thailand. He was a good ten years older than his profile picture for starters, optimistically he insisted on meeting in a darkened pub, but then he went on to tell me about his last buying trip in Bangkok which involved taking a prostitute out for a night on the town and then paying her money because he felt bad about not sleeping with her. Ahem, sorry, come again? I’m sure he did.

Then there was the guy who upon my walking through the door announced that he was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually looked like my picture and was a slim lady after all. He went on to explain that because of his profile picture (which featured him on a boat hauling a catch of crayfish) that he was “a fat bird magnet”, what a nice change he told me earnestly, looking me up and down, not to have to explain that he doesn’t actually have a freezer full of free seafood. Oh bully for you. And finally my pièce de résistance the guy who’s opening one liner was “So how do you feel about a guy with two kids, each from a different mother?”. Funnily enough I haven’t really spent that much time pondering that one…. but oh look I think there goes my bus, bye.

To coin a much used phrase WTF?! Whatever happened to the art of conversation? I don’t want a man to lie to me or hide stuff, absolutely not, but I do appreciate a true gentleman who can charm and perhaps create an air of mystery. What’s wrong with wanting a man who has old fashioned manners in a modern casing? I don’t want to see or hear about your dirty washing, I want you to impress me with your best, pressed, bib and tucker please.

r & d

Hobby horsing around

A weird phenomenon about flying solo in your thirties is that it’s like going back to high school.  Firstly I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time sighing dramatically and mooning over handsome actors in movies (this time minus the posters on my bedroom wall) and optimistically revisiting and studying classic romantic films – are there any clues I may have missed the first time around? Secondly I hang out a lot with my bestie (who is also sans a hubby or a boyfriend) and we spend any spare time in each other’s pockets, so much so that people start thinking she’s my girlfriend and not my plus one. Oh and thirdly I’ve taken up hobbies. Yes it sounds very pre-pubescent.

If the last time you had a hobby was back when you wore long socks and braces and they took the shape of ballet class, guitar lessons, athletics club, brownies/cubs or swim school then you’re in for a shock. The adult version is way more sophisticated. Granted it’s more like a bucket list before coupledom or arthritis sets in (whichever comes first!) but I have taken up in the following order op shop furniture shopping, a bit of DIY dabbling and the odd crafty art thing, running, chutney and jam making, pet therapy, life drawing, a two times crack at rock climbing, archery and some naughty but nice limoncello making!

So yes in a nutshell, I guess I have finally turned into my mother. Except for the gardening, which so far I am resisting, apart from the 3 shrivelled up orchids I foolishly bought. Soon to be added to the wish list are hot yoga, pump, a French language refresher and Vietnamese cooking. Thankfully I haven’t started crocheting or knitting yet but you never know. Of course the thing I haven’t mentioned in my new array of skill sets is also one of my favourite’s and that is blogging and talking to you.

archery

Sugargirls

This is a shout out to all my ladies (D.J. Miss K in da house!), my sisters in arms who step with me shoulder to shoulder along my pathway to… well to whatever lies in store? I salute you and thank each and everyone of you beautiful troopers from the bottom of my misshapen heart.

When the chips are down, when I’m out for the count, when the tears are pouring they step in, unsummoned, with flowers, wine, tissues, chocolate, reassuring nods and unconditional support. I may be unlucky in love and pick the wrong guys but at least I scored the four leaf clover with my girlfriends.

They say you know who your friends are when the shit hits the fan, by God I’ve had so much shit hit the proverbial, my girls all wear jumpsuits and galoshes…pink of course! One particular lady, she knows who she is, is my Gibralta. Always there no matter what. Any time, day or night with a splash of the hard stuff, a warm and ready hug and some sage advice. She has a heart of pure gold and a generous spirit, my Maori-Manchester kaitiaki. I shelter under her strong umbrella, you mess with me you mess with my adopted big sister!

And it wouldn’t be right to give a nod to the sisterhood that props me up and keeps me marching through the daily grind of celibacy without standing to attention for the one who made it all possible. And yes, I know I should have listened from the start… and yes, I know you know best….. and yes, I know you wish you had a fairy wand…. but hey I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t test your limits – you are an inspirational warrior queen and I love you Mum.

As someone who was bullied at school and spent the best part of my teens and twenties trying to recover, I can tell you that the greatest gift actually is true friendship in all its many glorious shades, because even meeting your soul mate is just finding the best friend that you happen to love too.

So ladies… next time, let me toast you all with one for the road and hope like hell the highway has been recently tarmaced!

girls

The waiting game

Fast food, fast fashion, fast life, fast love, we want it all now don’t we? Our lives are go, go, go always wanting instant gratification without the delicious pain of anticipation.

Two years into my journey and I’m still horrifically impatient. I realise there’s no short cut to finding a mate, but it doesn’t stop the itch. Sadly no express shipping guarantees, no amount of tinkering will dial up the perfect person on cue. Ultimately it all comes down to timing, chance, fate, serendipity whatever you choose to call it. I call it Bloody Typical.

But even when that someone special does come meandering along with their head in the clouds and their eyes full of daydreams it’s still not a done deal. Because here’s the thing, the Universe doesn’t always bring two halves together at the perfect time, it’s like Sliding Doors the movie? How many times have opportunities passed you by within a hair’s breath because the timing was slightly off? You’ll never know and therein lies the nub.

Sometimes even when the two halves potentially fit, there’s an obstacle in the way, a challenge, a crowded space. Of course that’s what makes a great story right? The struggle and the trials, we want the passion, the sweet with the sour.

Which brings me to my point, I have stumbled on a yang to my yin, but the timing is terrible. It’s so off it’s not even remotely funny. And I could just walk away. I could just say I can’t be bothered or I don’t want to wait, I want it now or not at all. But that ain’t the truth, because I peeped through the sliding door and I liked the look of what I saw.  So much so that for once in my life I’m trying to rein in my impatience and embrace waiting. Yes, waiting, a novel concept for me, and I’ll be waiting more than a good few earth cycles to redress the balance.

And while things percolate and settle, we have stopped talking or more precisely communicating to create space and absence. So while I sit here in my silent waiting room, I’m contemplating this… that just like a slow cooked roast, do good things indeed come to those who wait?

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