Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Friday night and I Ain't Got Nobody...

As I prepared for bed last night I began to wonder- how many other women are in a similar situation? It was Friday night and there I was alone turning down my bed at around 9:30. Normally I wouldn’t be going to bed so early on a Friday night (because I would be watching Dateline or 20/20, duh), but I had to get up early to participate in the graduation ceremony at the college where I teach. So earlier it was.

When I looked in the mirror as I was brushing my teeth, I once-overed myself and although I am no Hollywood Starlett, I like what I see. I would say that I’m moderately attractive. I’m no waif for sure, but at least when I go out with friends I know how to have a good time and how to enjoy good food (and conversation, or course). I believe I present myself well. I try to dress nicely and appropriately for situations and I do my beset to keep my hair well kept (I have a crazy mane that gets a little outta hand sometimes). Weren’t we taught as young girls that all of these things matter? I have a lot of friendships that I have continued to maintain and reacquaint myself with throughout my life- some dating all the way back to my toddler years. But despite all of these things that people tell me are so great, I sit home alone.

I know, I know there are many people sitting home alone at night, especially since these days we’re all broke. My wonder lies not with how many women (sorry dudes) are home alone, but more so with how many women are home wondering “why.” Well I know why I was on this particular night. My boyfriend broke up with me a few months back and that put a real damper on my social life since I was spending so much time with him. I’m adjusting back to my life and things are going well. Oh yeah, and I had to get up early the next day for work. Sometimes I wonder if that is part of the larger problem. The career, the ambition, the drive…are these positive attributes that women are pursuing more as society advances impeding on our mating?

In a few hours when I participate in the graduation ceremony I will be celebrating and honoring those who have set academic goals for themselves to better their lives. During the ceremony I will wear my appropriate dress of my cap, gown, and hood. Now I wouldn’t call this the best of my outfits, but when I tried it on the other day I felt pride like no other outfit (or accessory, even the Tiffany’s) makes me feel. It reminded me of the work that I have done to get where I am. It also reminded me of the great opportunity I have to encourage and applaud others who are working towards achieving their goals.

Last night while grading I came across a “Thank you” card from a young student that has been in a few of my classes. She is progressing in her education and will be starting at a university in the Fall. I opened the card and was overwhelmed by what it said. She said “Thank you so much for being an enthusiastic and creative teacher…you have opened me up to so many new things…(and) I look up to you and your worldviews.” I was awestruck. Never in my life up to this point did I think that I would be in a position where I would be able to influence and help people (especially young women) to advance themselves (and have so much fun doing it). I am such a lucky woman. I have to say that I got here by spending many Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights alone (most of the time working towards getting to this place).

It’s my guess that there are many others who are home alone on those nights as well are doing the same. When we ask “why” I’d like to believe it’s because we are a select group of people who are accomplishing our goals and moving towards our dreams. I’ve had time to spend in the other situation, having someone to spend those nights alongside. Although I now know that he wasn’t the right one, I’m glad that I have moved forward and liberated my time so that I can refocus it back onto myself. Because often when I was filling my time with the mindless things that he wanted to do I thought “why” am I wasting my time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wanted: Decent Man

I'm actually having a lot of trouble processing this one so I'm hoping that this helps. I don't even know where to start. Like most young women I have some body issues, which I think is pretty "normal" these days especially with all of the images of perfection that are constantly bombarding us. I take good care of myself by exercising and eating well, but I'm hardly a supermodel. Being that I'm only 5'3" we would have to be in another dimension for that to occur. I try not to let my insecurities get in the way of living life. I still wear a bikini and dress within reason and despite how I feel about myself I am frequently told that I am "hot" by men. I don't necessarily agree, but I'll admit that it's nice to hear.

Recently a guy that I met on that dating site expressed concern over meeting me because of his prior experiences. He said that many of the girls he has met from the site seem to only put their best pictures on there- typically from the chest up. He mentioned how in two of my photos I looked extremely different (one was the red dress photo that some of you have seen). "I don't know what to tell you," I said to him knowing that both picture are of me and that nothing substantial has happened that would alter my physical appearance. Oh I wish I would just drop 10 pounds without noticing, but that has yet to happen and I would surely know if I gained 10 pounds. I told him that sometimes my hair is curly and sometimes it's straight and oddly it makes a difference in how I look. I told him that I don't wear the red dress everywhere I go and that's a "special" look for when I'm going to an event. On a normal day I may look different because getting dressed up takes a lot of energy. I work really hard to be where I am and that itself is frustrating. Now I have this guy who thinks I need to justify my physical appearance because he's had bad experiences- awesome.

Whatever I'm a confident girl. I sent him a recent photograph that I had taken with my family. I don't have many since I'm not self-obsessed. It showed me from top to bottom. He asked for it and I can't believe that I sent it. It amazes me how many times these guys act like I'm on a fricken interview like they're the Holy Grail. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I am an educated, successful, fun, entertaining, and good looking (I reviewed the photos myself) woman....who the hell are you again? How about you tell me that.

The interesting thing is that since I sent the picture I have barely heard from him. Wow! Does that mean that he considers me unacceptable? Well after a nice lunch with a friend that included discussing the situation I realized something....that conversation with him took place late at night ending around midnight....and he had admitted to having a few drinks. When I finally processed it I realized that he probably thought that I would send him a "picture" of myself and by that I don't mean a picture that included my family, but possibly one that included the family jewels. Uhhhhhh...I can't believe that I was so naive. Here I am beating myself up over some lame guy's opinion and then it hits me-he was just trying to get his late night jollies off me. This dating thing is so frustrating; where are all the decent men these days?

I'm just being honest...

If you ever hear these words from somebody that you are on the brink of dating my advice to you is RUN! I believe that it is the douchebag way of relieving himself of the guilt he should feel for doing the things he inevitably does. Just because he says it doesn't mean it is acceptable- use some discretion for goodness sake. We don't need to divulge everything now do we? Especially in the world of dating.

This story begins with a guy named Brad. I met him on that well-known dating site that everybody seems to have tried at some time. I think I may have winked at him as I was surfing around in my spare time. I overlooked some things about him (his height for one-I believe he was 5'8" and I prefer over 6') but thought "hey" I'll give him a shot. I was pretty surprised when he responded with an email (I'm 5'3" so I maybe he thought I would think he was tall). Throughout that day we exchanged emails and by the end we were texting. That can sometimes make life a little more interesting. Oh well, it was something to occupy my time.

Prior to meeting this Brad guy I had decided that the online dating thing was starting to be unproductive. I had been meeting a lot of losers and was waiting for my subscription to end, but meanwhile I still was browsing in my free time. I liked to change up my profile and see which guys respond. It was becoming a scientific experiment of the social dating nature for me. I had decided that I needed to get more involved in the things that I like to do so I agreed to participate in a field studies course that was taking place in Yosemite. I was really excited because I hadn't been since I was younger and I was ready for some serious time with nature.

On Day 2 of chatting it up with Brad he was inquiring about my trip to Yosemite, when are you leaving? When will you be back? The trip was to take place in the upcoming weekend. You see he was beginning to strategize throwing the date option out there. Well there wasn't a chance that it would happen until the following week because of my work schedule and the trip, which didn't fly well with him. He was "persistent and impatient," my exact words in his irreverent attempts at pinning me down for a date and was not happy about having to wait. Really dude? You can't wait one week for a pretty, smart, and successful young lady? Well I guess if that was what he was really looking for then he probably could have, but I should have known then that his eye was on a different prize.

After I texted him about his impatience he called me immediately because he said he felt that clear communication was important (that's code for...I'm going to tell you everything to clear my conscious). He (for whatever reason) decided to tell me that he was "dating" other girls and that he had a second date lined up that he had planned before meeting me (mind you it had only been two days), but that he felt we had a connection. He seemed so anxious to meet me. Down boy! He said he wanted to be honest and let me know about the other girls. But my question is...did I need to know that? I personally don't think so. I was on that same dating site I told him and therefore I knew that he was probably dating around (duh). He mentioned that other girls he had gone out with had gotten upset when he didn't divulge the information. Well that's what he gets for dating dumb girls. I told him that I hadn't even met him yet and that I didn't care. I'm not vested why should I care? Why was he telling me this? Apparently his dating skills are mad rusty. What a freak? But the real freak is in the girl who continued to speak with him...yeah that would be me.

The week went on and we continued to text and chat on the phone. He seemed like a nice guy calling instead of avoiding talking and complimenting me incessantly. He was trying to sell himself by impressing me with pictures of his bayside apartment and his cute dog (he was of the smaller variety, you know what they say...). He kept mentioning, and I think he even labeled that picture from his balcony, "where we will have our first date." Did this guy really think that I would come to his house on our first date? I don't think so. He was so anxious to meet me it was a little much, but I went along with it. I actually have to admit that I slightly believed that he was cool. There's definitely something wrong with me.

I said goodbye before I headed off on my trip. It turns out that the blue skies above Half Dome quickly turned to grey and we got rained out, which caused the trip to be cut short. I ended up getting home early Sunday afternoon. I texted him when I got out of the valley and called him like I said that I would- we had plans to go out on Tuesday. When we made the plans he said that he was going to leave Tuesday wide open for me because of my tight schedule. He wasn't going to let anything get in the way of meeting me. Well when I called on Sunday it went to voicemail. I left a message and he texted me back saying he was really into the baseball game and that he would call me afterward. Ok cool. I immediately noticed a change in his behavior at that point. We ladies always know.

I knew that he had probably gone out with another girl over the weekend, since he had so kindly informed me of his prosperous dating situation. That was so kind and considerate of him to do. I was right. He called me back after the game and told me that he may have to cancel because he wanted to go to the playoff game. "You're going to ditch me for a baseball game?" Sorry boys, but that doesn't fly for me unless you're actually on the team and this shorty was in no way on that team. He quickly changed the subject and cut the conversation off, said he had to go, but mentioned that we would talk on Monday. WTF are you kidding me? After a quick internet search I realized that the games weren't until the end of the week, which meant that we would still be on, or so I thought. I spent the evening second guessing that gut feeling, which ended up being correct. My girlfriends told me that sports are sooooo important to men and blah, blah, blah. I knew deep down that he was full of it.

Turns out the next morning he sends me a text telling me that he wants to cancel our date because he's concerned about the distance. We live about 45 minutes away from each other (his initial calculation) which didn't seem to be a problem last week. I texted back telling him that I would like to speak with him. Funny how his desire to maintain communication seemed to dwindle at that point. He was long gone.

Finally he called me and admitted to me that he went out with one girl on a second date on Friday night and they really "clicked" and that an old friend from about 10 years past came over on Saturday night and although he didn't expect it they "clicked" too. The way he said it led me to believe that something happened so I asked him and he admitted they hooked up- gotcha sucker. What a fool. Who tells that to some girl they could potentially date and don't even really know? Needless to say I told him what I thought of him and his overly eager, impatient, unnecessarily informing ways. I don't have time for those types of games I informed him. When he commented on my use of explicit and colorful adjectives that I used to describe him, I responded by saying, "I'm just being honest..."

It's not his fault I'm a douchebag magnet.