Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks for your email...

Dear Serge,

I appreciate you taking time to read my blog - I tend to be flattered when people do. I'm glad you enjoy your job at Jooble. I enjoy the logo with the bunny on it!

I have a job and rather hope I'm not looking for another very soon, but I'm happy to link to your site in the event that my small (but beloved) group of readers is interested in a search engine specific to job postings.

I very much hope you continue to enjoy your role there and find yourself both productive and challenged.

Wishing you success and happiness,

Dear Sam,

I like t-shirts. The other day, I was helping arrange a shipment of stuff at work (long story - not very interesting) and I was shockingly casual as I packed boxes and lifted crates. I was then called into a meeting with the president of another company wearing a gray t-shirt that was far too big that said "Patience is a waste of time." It was rather embarrassing, actually, but I normally enjoy glancing down to see if I've spilled something on myself and seeing a funny statement.

Honestly, I'm more likely to pick one up at the airport - you know, one of those 2 for $25 ones emblazoned with the name of some random connecting airport than to design my own. Though I do appreciate your invitation to design with your company. I imagine you're very good at what you do.

If you'll permit me just one piece of advice though, when you invite a single woman in her 30s that is accelerating toward spinsterhood to design a shirt - with a "blog logo, a memorable quote, or a picture of a cat"? I giggled for a moment, picturing myself as the crazy cat lady, but then I remembered that I'm more of a dog person. So we're cool.

Still, much luck in your shirt-making adventures! If any of my tens of readers might be interested in making shirts, I hope they'd consider ooshirts. I'm sure they're oo-rific.


Dear, sweet Google,

I hear nothing but good things about your company and campus and employees. And I know you make good products. I've even stopped thinking your April Fools jokes are real!

I understand social media is a big deal. While I ignore my Facebook account and would rather be attacked by birds than deal with Twitter, I do keep up with LinkedIn. But I don't need more notifications about the vast array of services you offer. I'm very pleased for and proud of you, but I just don't feel the need to drive traffic to my blog and keep track of visitors to my blog or continued banners that my Firefox is old. Believe me, I know the last one. My poor PowerBook is also elderly but it's still functional if you just jiggle the power cord where I dented the corner. It even has an old OS and won't support the new Firefox.

And if I do need help or additional services, dudes, you're Google. I'd use your delightfully powerful search engine to find what I sought.

Love you googles,

Dear Goday,

I would sincerely love to send Bibles to Nigeria for your study as a pastor and for the elderly people who need giant print text in your congregation. I've not been to church lately, you see, so I could use a good deed to make me feel like I'm not such a terrible Christian.

I have been giving to charity lately too. I recently bought a goat and a share of a deep well. I do tithe (when I attend) (which isn't often lately) (So I guess that's a lie about tithing.) and I try to be patient and kind. I give adopted animals from WWF for Christmas gifts. I really try to be good.

But my pal Google tells me that there is a scam to send Bibles to Nigeria - I read there's a black market there. So now I'm sad - you're either trying to trick me to make money (and perhaps you very much need the money) or you sincerely need Bibles. I shall pray about it.

May God bless you and yours,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sex w/ Strangers

It lasted no more than 5 seconds.

But let's start from the beginning.

When one is nearly 33 and without plans for the weekend and a little bored and lonely, bad ideas start to seem intriguing. So, finding myself alone on a Saturday evening and exchanging flirtatious bits of text with someone I've just met online, I frowned over the offer to meet up immediately for sex.

Said offers are not uncommon, frankly, and many of them come from married men eager to escape the sheer monotony of their existence with a strange piece of ass. Which, I suppose, is all fine and good, though it hardly gives me the warm-fuzzies about the institution of marriage and finding love in general.

Anyway, I have a rule about sex on the first date, let alone sex as the first date, as, I'm sure, do many of you. But upon viewing my current situation, I decided said rule may be counter-productive. Perhaps my plan of simply having sex a few times would loosen me up, enable me to relax into a relationship that would eventually send me seeking other companionship from the sheer monotony of it.

So we were chatting and he asked if I had a house and I said yes.

He asked when he should come over and I pursed my lips and put him off and he nudged again and I thought 'what the hell' and gave him my address.

Then I frantically threw away clutter and tossed dirty laundry downstairs and jogged up my steps to shower. I didn't think about it as I dealt with hair removal and scrubbing my skin smooth. I paused, naked, at the edge of my bed that rests on the floor before shrugging and tossing my blanket over the mounds of pillows on which I'd napped this afternoon. And I took a breath and dressed in a sheer camisole and silky pajama pants before adjusting my breasts into cups designed to lift and separate, sighing at the disparity between my hair pulled into a bun behind a face wearing glasses and the scraps of fabric I wore below my shoulders.

I waited, wanting to be swept away. Overwhelmed with passion. Drowning in desire.

I continued to wait, smoothing on lavender lotion. It's somewhat soothing and sits midway on my favorite scents list. So if something were to happen that ruined the fragrance for me, no huge loss. I trimmed one toenail and plucked a stray eyebrow hair. I finished one bottle of water and fetched another, wondering for a moment if I should switch to wine.

I began to practice deep breathing, growing rather frantic with worry, and running upstairs to dig the condoms out of my closet, frantically searching for an expiration date before tossing them in a drawer. On a whim, I put carpet cleaner next to them - you know that spray-foam kind? I decided that if things got out of hand and he was too insistent, I'd spritz him before scampering away. One assumes cleaning products sting at least a little.

There was more waiting and increasing levels of worry and no small amount of wondering why I do this when it's so miserably difficult.

Then Chienne's ears perked just before Sprout ran upstairs to hide, his nails catching on the carpet as he accelerated. I closed my eyes, wished I was someone else and went to answer the door.

"Hi," I said upon flipping the lock and opening the door. He stepped inside before I could invite him in and I set about introducing me to my dog as she jumped and whined eagerly, missing him as I explained she was blind.

"OK," he replied, moving toward me even as I stepped back and putting his hands low on my hips and reaching to kiss me.

There was a moment in college - upwards of 10 years ago - that a very cute boy at a rather interesting party unfastened his pants and let them fall. And while whoops went up from the crowd, some of us looked and others didn't.

I didn't.

There was no conscious choice to avert my eyes. I kind of wish I'd looked. I was rather envious of those who could whisper and giggle approvingly when he walked through the hallway. But in that split second of decision, I was instinctively shy.

And so, when he reached to kiss me in my foyer, I turned my head so he'd miss my mouth and nudged him backward with two taps of my palms on his shoulders.

"Relax for a minute," I requested when he inquired about what was wrong. "I'm just having a moment of..." I trailed off, wondering what the hell I was doing and how in the world to explain something I didn't understand.

"Then I'm going to go," he said and I nodded, reaching to help him with the door and locking it behind him with relief and regret.

And despite writing upwards of 800 of them as I sit here in a revealing camisole and no panties, I really am too asinine for words.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Canceling Plans

I sniffed experimentally at my mug of tea, blinking at the barely noticeable sensation of contacts in my eyes, and sighed as he continued to talk.

"Sometimes we'll be emailing back and forth and then she'll suddenly stop responding," he told me, seated across the booth on a sunny early-afternoon. "And I don't know what happened. Or we'll make plans and she'll never confirm."

"I think," I responded gently, wishing my tea lacked ginger - the spiciness was canceling the soothing effect of the mint, "that online dating can be difficult. So much is based on gut feeling and that's hard to explain to someone. Stopping without explanation often seems kinder than trying to explain something that's indistinct, even in your own mind."

I thought of one such phone call I received. John, of the flowers and easy attraction and good kisses, had called to explain why he didn't want to see me again.

I winced upon answering the phone months ago, thinking semi-bitterly that men should never say they're going to call when they'd rather not. "Thanks for the evening," works as a farewell statement. "I enjoyed meeting you," is a harmless overstatement that creates no expectations. And I'll admit that one date is usually sufficient to define the end of a dating experience - I've not gone two and out before.

"So I wanted to let you know," he offered haltingly, "that I do think we're over before we really began. And I don't know exactly why - you're smart and sexy and funny, but..."

I smiled, even though the comment did sting a bit, and spoke into his pause. "John. I appreciate you letting me know - that's gutsy and I do admire bravery. But it's fine - sometimes the chemistry is off or the timing is wrong and that's really OK."

"I hate to say that it's not you, it's me," he said and I could picture him wince at the statement, the dear, kind, liberal boy. "And I'm not saying that, but it's kind of true. I've been trying to figure it out - whether I have feelings for my ex or am just not ready to date. So maybe we could be friends?"

"You're digging yourself a hole there, pal," I said, laughing and thinking that these conversations were, in fact, rather trite. "Listen. You're a very sweet man and I enjoyed getting to know you, but I really do understand. It's not really you. Or me. It's just the 'us' that doesn't work. And there's really no reason for us to be friends. Find someone you want to date, sweetheart. And take care of yourself."

I paused after hanging up the phone, wondering if I was going to cry and feeling like I could but didn't have to. "That is unpleasant," I told Chienne. "I think I'm a fan of failing to reply in order to signal the end of the beginning."

I returned my attention to the man across from me last Saturday and took a moment to glare at my tea for not being alcohol. Wine can blur the edges of these initial encounters and make it seem more amusing than disheartening when you're profoundly incompatible.

He can't stand sitting still - I enjoy naps.
He values emotional stability - I giggled in response, for 'emotionally stable' isn't going on my list of traits.
He asked if I liked rock climbing. Ice skating. Bowling? - Not so much, no.
While - objectively - he was attractive, I was not attracted. - The feeling was mutual.
He seemed to express his disappointment with others - dates, colleagues, politics. - I tend to turn frustration inward - if dates are bad, I selected someone poorly. If I struggle with colleagues, I didn't communicate properly. I even find it challenging to get too upset with politicians as my personal level of involvement and knowledge is pretty limited.

So after a mere hour, there was shaking of hands and semi-sincere smiles before we parted ways.

"I don't know what we're meant to accomplish," a colleague said yesterday when we managed to connect via phone regarding an upcoming meeting that required me to traipse across the country. "It's always good to see you and we can certainly take time to talk, but there doesn't seem like much to discuss."

"I completely agree!" I replied. "And I wanted to have dinner and catch up in a more meaningful way the next time I came out."

So we decided to skip my 24 hour trip that allowed for 2 hours of in-person meetings and I gleefully canceled flights and slept in my own bed last night. Which means I awakened to make pumpkin spice coffee and adequate time to write a blog post.

Sometimes things turn out as they're meant to.