Dr Strangedate, Part 4: The Groupie and One Drink Disasters.

After the general disaster of my first OKCupid date, I decided to be a little more cautious. I wasn’t going to fall into the same traps I found myself in on that first experience. I would get to know the prospective date before agreeing to meet. At the very least, a week of phone calls and emails would be my rule.

Sifting through their site is a challenge. You can never search very close to home, they only allow you to search at a minimum of 25 miles. So instead of all local singles, I would end up with a handful of people in my area and the rest would all be from the North Shore and Boston area. This was a little frustrating at times, but I figured at the very least the site was helping me expand my horizons. Foolishly, I was still under the impression OKCupid had my best interests at heart. Oh, I was so naive.

I quickly broke my own rules by agreeing to meet for drinks with someone after only one email. A pattern emerged rather quickly with the “meet for drinks” dates. Starting with a casual response to my ad and quickly suggesting we go for a drink, somewhere in the middle and neutral. And since most of my matches showed up from the North Shore and Boston, even meeting in the middle was a bit of a hike. But all of these meet and drink dates ended the same: going our seperate ways, both dissatisfied with the experience. I was always early, waiting at the bar. I could always recognize the date from their entrance: standing in thedoorway, scanning the room with an expectant smile. Then, they saw me….and one of two things happened: an outright look of “ewwwww” or that pained, forced smile, the kind you reserve for your Uncle when he tells a raunchy and inapropriate joke at a funeral.

A couple went so far as to make eye contact with me but quickly look away and rush out the door. One even texted me after dashing out the door, explaining that she couldn’t make it to the restaurant due to her inability to get a babysitter. I messaged back “Do you live in the parking lot?” She never got back to me. One woman I met for dinner in Newburyport, which is actually rather close to me. We had great conversation, a few drinks and even some dinner. I thought we were having a lovely time. At the end of the meal, she gave me a big hug and when I suggested getting together again, she started laughing loudly. “No thanks, I think I’ll pass!” There was a distinct tone of “ewwww” in her voice.

During all these disastrous little dates, I had met a woman on the site that I thought I had connected with. Her name was Emily and she grew up with the same crowd I hung out with: punk rocker kids hanging in Harvard Square. Yeah, I used to be one of those punks, black mohawk, combat boots and trenchcoat, the whole halloween costume, just lounging around Harvard Square. I have always lamented the fact that I lost touch with all the great people I used to know back then, not to mention all the bands I counted as friends. And it turned out, Emily knew all the same people! She was like a lost connection to my forgotten past. I was dying to meet her but I decided to wait. We talked, emailed and texted for almost two weeks.

Her favorite restaurant just happened to be my all-time favorite place in Boston. The Border Cafe on Church St. was just beyond my favorite movie theater to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show (which you can read about in an older post about my adventures in the square https://glassowater.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/im-a-rocky-horror-fan-or-lets-do-the-time-warp-again/ ). I had been dining there since the day they first opened their doors. Anytime I find myself in Harvard Square, you can usually find me there at some point. It all seemed so perfect. We were so alike. What could possibly go wrong?

I planned the day according to my previously established rules. Instead of meeting her outside the city, we decided to meet at the restaurant. This gave me a plausible excuse to disapear if I had to. We had spent 2 weeks chatting, so it was well established we had much in common. Our activity together was dinner at our mutual favorite restaurant of all time followed by Newbury Comics and other such window shopping activities, with a trip to Faneuil Hall planned for the latter part of the day if time allowed. I had planned the perfect OKCupid date. Right? Escapes routes, mutual interests, lots in common, what could go wrong?

I waited in the bar at the Border Cafe, watching the door. It was a cold and blustery February day in the city. Emily knew how to make an entrance: the door blew open and she swept into the room, a flurry of flying scarfs, her long coat billowing in the breeze. She took off her woolen hat to reveal platinum blonde hair streaked with purple. Scanning the room, she found me immediately and smiled. Not a forced smile, but a genuine giddy smile. And holy crap, she was so much cuter than her pictures suggested: big smile, beautiful eyes framed by librarian girl glasses. I was won over in seconds. She came running up to the bar and gave me a hug and smooched me on the cheek.

Wow, this was starting out well…..

We sat down for dinner. I immediately start talking about music. I figured this was a good place to start since we both loved music so much. I start mentioning all the bands I used to know, the people I hung out, the guys at TAANG! Records who used to have their office in the square, bringing up all the little connections I knew we had. She smiled and laughed as I talked about the old times. Finally, I asked how she met everyone from these bands, people I called friends back in the days of the old punk scene. Her response? “Oh So-and-So? I fucked him.” She then proceeded to recount, in rather colorful and descriptive language, all of her sexual conquests. “I sucked his dick, fucked that one, had a three way with them”… I quickly realized something: she wasn’t a friend of any of these people, she was a professional GROUPIE!!  Her list didn’t end with my friends, oh no. She started to recount, in graphic detail, every band she has gone back stage and serviced over the years. I was a little horrified. Is this really dinner conversation? Telling your date that you screwed, sucked and cornholed your way through all their friends? What would the future hold for such a coupling? Every time she said she was going to a concert, do you sit home with a portable STD testing kit so you can swab her and run some tests as soon as she gets home?

Once The Groupie got a foothold in the conversation, she never stopped talking. The rest of dinner sounded like this:

“Me me  me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me…. you? Me me me me me me, etc”

I could not get a word in edgewise. I felt battered into hanging out with her because there was never breathing room for me to object or to implement my escape plan. At one point, we were standing on a platform waiting for a train and as it approached, I seriously considered just leaping in front of it just to make her shut the fuck up! Finally, outside Faneuil Hall, I got a moment to myself, texted a friend to call me. We faked an emergency and said our goodbyes. She kissed me on the cheek, saying it was nice to meet me. I dashed off for the Goverment Center T station, but first I made a quick stop at CVS. Alcohol swabs were on sale that day…

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Dr Strangedate, Part 2: The Making of a Profile

Online dating presents a rather complex problem: how do you sell yourself?

In life, we sell ourselves everyday, whether it be with job applications or any number of daily activities where we have to sell our ideas to someone, selling yourself is a pervasive part of normal human interaction. Like me, you will like my ideas/product/widget/etc.  Having a persuasive personality that exudes self confidence, with a little self deprecating humor combined with an appropriate amount of modesty, honesty and pepper with a lot of energy usually equals a winning formula. Whether it wins the day is entirely up to your own individual persistence and perseverence. I come to this definition through 14 years of working in car sales where making someone like you is about 80% of the job. So, I have the formula but how do you translate something you do in practice into a convincing introductory paragraph on a dating site? It’s like working a scientific problem in reverse: here is your result, proven time and again through empirical evidence. Now, work it backwards to the written page and see if you can reproduce those same results in theory.

First, I had to come up with a handle for the website. I always use glassowater for everything I log in to. It’s been my nickname online for everything I do since 1997. If you see glassowater listed on a website, there is a very good chance it’s my goofy ass. But when I went to log in, that was taken. Glassowater, my handle, was not available. So I started trying all sorts of names, hoping to score with something. And I just kept striking out over and over again. After several minutes of frustrating rejections (oooh, I smell foreshadowing there) I finally typed in “ireallydontcare2”, which seemed appropriate at the time because all I wanted to do was write my profile and get this ball rolling. This name would come back to haunt me.

Having finally settled on a handle, I got to work building my profile.

To be honest, I had no idea what to write about myself. I didn’t even have a clear set of goals or objectives when I made my profile. I just started writing. And writing. And writing some more. And soon, my worst fear about writing my profile came true: I accidentally wrote a short novel about myself that was sure to help some poor soul with their insomnia problem. The central problem I have with writing a profile is the inherent narcissism of it all. “Here I am! I love myself, I’m wonderful and you should love me too!” Yuck, so not me. Or even worse “Oh look at me! Please? Look at me! I’m loveable right? I’ll do anything if you just adore me.” Yeah, not me either.

So I sat down again and edited. And edited. And edited some more. Here is what ended up as my introductory paragraph for my OKCupid profile:

” Hmm, not sure where to begin… So, yeah, HI! Thanks for stopping by! I will probably amend this as time goes by, but I’m pretty simple to figure out. I’m a big goof who is looking for more friends to spend my time with. Very laid back and a little silly.
I’m happy to add here that I have started on a path to better health. I now run/walk almost every day and I’m at the gym at least 5 times a week. I have a goal of total wellness for this year. For me that means coming to terms with my life, my mind, my body and my relationships and finding peace and satisfaction in all I do. I will never have a six pack, I will be happy with the mini-keg. I’m not exactly where I want to be in life, but I’m working on getting there. I find happiness in the small things, the little moments: that first moment of pure joy when my friends hit the stage and start playing, sitting in awe at the MFA in front of my favorite Gauguin, dinner with friends where the conversation becomes a long note of neverending laughter. I would love to meet someone who laughs easily, smiles readily and challenges me daily… I’m seeking my best friend, someone who shares my outlook on life, is comfortable with themselves and their life and most of all, someone who truly wants to make a connection, make a friend or something more…”

Not bad right? Not too pretentious, not too overbearing. A dash of humor, a smidgeon of silliness and just a pinch of nervous babbling. Not a bad introduction to the sale of me, right?

The rest of the profile offers you some creative questions to write about as a way to further expound upon what you are seeking and what you expect.

What I’m Doing with my life:

“At 39, still trying to work this one out. I have learned that the best laid plans may not be what life intends for you. I’m going with the flow for now and enjoying where life takes me.
I’m also working on my art, trying to paint again and doing photography wherever I can. I write a little blog which is more for me than anyone else, but it’s a new form of expression that I have been struggling with for awhile now.” ~Oh, of course I had to plug the blog a little.

I’m really good at:

Cooking, making people laugh, being a wealth of useless knowledge, tickling porcupines, taming jackalopes and swimming with great whites.” ~ Ok, so some of the info isn’t all that useless….

The first things people usually notice about me:

Like everyone else, I really have no idea how to answer this question…. could be my laugh, my smile, my green eyes or my sweet ass…” ~ My friends can totally attest to the sweetness of my backside.

This next one, I have to admit, I got a little long winded in my answer…..

Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food:

I know that this is usualyl a long list of “Things That Define Me” But, to be honest, I don’t see these things as defining characteristics, these are things I enjoy and love to share with others.

Books: David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, history, fiction
I really don’t want to bore you with a long list of authors here. At one time, I was reading a book a week and have a huge collection of books… come over sometime, feel free to browse…

Movies: I have a wide variety of interests when it comes to movies but my all time favorite is Harold and Maude…. I will say that lately, been gravitating more towards arthouse flicks with limited releases but I do have a soft spot for comic book movies and the comedies of Judd Apatow… And everything in between…

Music: Holy crap, where to begin? Music is a huge part of my life! Love going out and supporting bands, especially local music. I grew up with punk and new wave and in the 90’s I was a college radio dj which really broadened my musical horizons. Since then, been a fanatic of all types of music, even a little country and bluegrass now and then. Music is huge part of my day to day life and I absolutely love going to great lengths to experience new music and new bands.

Food: I’m a big man with a big love of good food. Nothing I love more than getting in the kitchen and putting together a huge meal for friends or family. The way to my heart is a spicy mix of latin, tex-mex, mexican, thai, indian, carribean and italian food. But I love experimenting and going outside my comfort zone and finding new and exciting restauranats and flavors. I ran restaurants for years, so dining out is something I truly enjoy for the experience and the sheer love of good food.” ~ Only now do I realize that I never talked about my favorite shows.

Six things I could never do without:

music
friends
good food
good wine
my camera
my art supplies” ~ I don’t know how I forgot to list chocolate, but I digress.

I spend a lot of time thinking about:

this very statement….” ~ So sue me, I’m a smart ass.

On a typical Friday night I am:

Friday is my day off, so I usually spend the day cleaning house, on the beach, doing some photography, driving aimlessly and friday nights, I’m hopefully out with friends, seeing a band, lounging at someone’s house, playing poker, maybe cooking for friends…” ~ Kind of a pointless question really, but I guess it helps define what you find fun.

One final essay remained in my profile…..

You should message me if:

– You are looking for a friend first and foremost 🙂
– If you love the notion of hopping in the car, picking a destination and just roadtripping for the day.
– You would love to hang out with someone who will happily cook you dinner and hopefully keep you laughing.
– You can laugh at yourself and the world around you
– You have red hair…yeah, I’ll admit it, that is a weakness of mine… 🙂 (EDIT: No, this is not a prerequisite.)

Please DON’T message me if you are a serial dater… I am all set with that nonsense….

Little did I know that despite the disclaimer about serial daters, that’s all I attracted for some reason. “One and done” as a friend of mine put it.

So there you have it, my first attempt at selling myself and all I have to offer. And if I’m honest, I don’t think I did a bad job. Little rough around the edges, but that’s me. The coming months after posting this profile would be an endurance test of patience and my ability to handle the incredibly absurd. Craziness was soon to follow…..

To be continued…..

Dr. StrangeDate or How I learned to worry (really really worry) about online dating…

“Just do it!”  they said. “You’ll have fun!” they said.

There are times in your life when a plan, totally unencumbered by the thought process, has turned out to be one of the best decisions you have ever made. Many times in my life, I have said “fuck it!” and gone with the flow. I embrace that sense of freedom as much as possible since my work life leaves very few options for me. Lately, it’s been the little things, the small choices, that have been the best decisions. Go out for karaoke and laugh at the amazingly bad singing and maybe even sing a little badness myself? Or stay home and be bored, along with the tv and my cat. Small victories in my life like choosing to go out have made it all bearable. But in January of 2011, I embarked on something, it turns out, I should have thought a bit harder about: online dating.

I know so many people who have had success with the online dating world. My best friend from college met his wife through yahoo personals and that was after he had assured me such things never work! But despite his apprehension, he met the love of his life and they have been married almost 10 years now. Simply incredible. So why not me, right? I mean, you read about this every day and in theory, there is nothing really different about the “boy meets girl” idea that online dating brings to the table. You meet, date and perhaps find more. Simple right? As it turns out, nothing is ever that simple. Especially for me.

A quick re-cap: In december of 2010, I was dumped, via email. I was crushed and an emotional wreck. A perfect state of mind to be in to start dating again, right? Well, my friends thought so. In fact, as soon as I made it known that my heart had just been excised from my body and pounded into a fine pulpy mass, my friends were on me to get online. Harmony and Steph were the first to step up. “We didn’t like her anyway! Join OKCupid! It’s free and we have made a few friends through that site! What’s the worst that could happen? Just do it!! You’ll have fun!”

At first, I rejected the notion. My past experiences with the online dating scene ended badly. But that was almost 10 years ago. Surely things have changed…right?

So, reluctantly, I posted my first personals ad on OKCupid.

Selling yourself is a tricky notion. As a car salesman for the past 14 years, I’ve learned that nothing is more off-putting than someone who brags too much or is too aggressive or even worse, obviously saying what they need to say to get a sale. “Sure, I come with a leather interior and a kickin sound system, now what can I do to get you to buy this today?” The notion of the overly obvious and aggressive salesman has never been my thing. I prefer subtlety and humor, honesty and integrity over false promises and over the top salesmanship. I have never been one to oversell something that could easily be sold on its own merits.

So what were my merits? How do I start selling myself? Do I mention I love to cook, paint, work with bands, write this blog? Do I go into detail about how I’m a loyal friend, that I love easily and forgive unconditionally? My travels? The music that moves me? How the hell do you fit all this into a personal ad without boring someone to tears with what appears to be an essay!?? As it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried about it so much. In fact, in hindsight, I’m quite convinced I would have gotten the same results with half the effort.

To be continued…..

2011 – Time to make the resolutions…..

Originally I posted this as a note on my Facebook page but I gotta start this blog somewhere, so here we go:

I’m hoping for some changes this year. I need to improve my health and think about the future. In the past, I’ve set up unrealistic goals for myself and restrict myself to unliveable ideals. This in turn sabotages my best intentions, rendering the concept of a resolution to a temporary condition at best. I find myself discouraged and falling into old patterns before the year is even 2 months old. So this year, I’m going easy on myself in a way. Going to concentrate on things that are good for my physical and mental health and work on baby steps and only give myself a couple huge goals. And even those are pretty tame. This is not to say I’m not going to challenge myself. But I think I need to do this in small steps to achieve any kind of success. Otherwise, I’m doomed to failure again and again. So here goes:

1. Eat healthier – Yeah, I know, an old stand by…but I think I can do this. I know how to cook and I know how to make yummy meals that are lo-cal and quite tasty. That said, I will not deny myself entriely. Denial leads to failure, failure leads to bingeing, bingeing leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to… oh wait, thats something else.

2. Do not ignore temptation – You heard me. I will not ignore some deliciousness that someone has made for me. In the past, when I have denied myself something, it always backfires and I end up on a binge.

3. I will bring food from home ever day to work – Not only will this save me money, but it will eliminate some of the temptations I run into at work (boss buys chinese/pizza/subs, burritos from Loco Coco’s Tacos).

4. I will not beat myself up if I forget to bring some lunch and I do go out and buy a buritto.

 

5. I will go to the gym 4-5 times a week – This one is admittedly hard but I have some compromises that will make this easy. The gym is not always Planet Fitness, it’s wherever I can find time and get some sort of work out. Whether it be a hike, a walk on the beach (or a run, more on that later) everything where my heart rate gets elevated will work towards this goal.

6. A suit – This is one of my big goals for the year. By late spring, I want to buy a suit, something I’ve always rented but never owned. I think by then, I could rock a little tailored menswear.

7. Warrior Dash – Ok this craziness was introduced to me by my good friend Pam Shepherd. It’s not a marathon or triathlon but it is just as insane. Check it out http://www.facebook.com/WarriorDash copy and past the link if it doesn’t work. This is some crazy silliness that sounds challenging and a lot of fun. I’m hoping to be in shape for this for one of their fall events. Or something similar.

8. Running – I hate running. It hurts, I always fall because I’m a little clumsy, but dammit, I’m going to incorporate this into my workout even if it kills me. Ok, maybe not, but I need to get myself up and outdoors more often and this is a perfect way to do it.

9. Pedometer – Keeping a pedometer on me will keep me honest with my day to day fitness.

10. Rely on my friends – Listen to them more often, especially when their opinions differ from mine. I could have saved myself a boatload of heart ache this past year…

11. Never quit – I need to reach these goals, and I think all of these steps are attainable, but I have to remind myself: Never Quit, never give in to my self doubt and have faith in myself and the love in my life from friends and family to get me through this and achieve these goals.

12. Be a little more sociable – Yeah, I know some people have been pestering me to go out more and my problem has been my bed is just way too comfortable on most nights. I am going to change that. You will see me more, but at the same time, hopefully less of me too. 🙂

13. Travel – Going to plan a few trips this year. Need to get ot beyond New England for a bit. Thinking California or Washington DC or maybe visit family in Indiana or Montana. Course, I could always get my passport and travel to Toronto to visit some friends there. So many choices.

14. Writing – Going to try to spend more time writing. I know it’s been a while and this is a hard routine to work into again, but writing a little something every day is a workable goal.

15. Painting – Yes, I’m going to do it. Going to actually start painting again. I’m all set up, new paints are ready.

So thats it. Those are my goals and resolutions. What do you think? Attainable?

A Conversation with Myself

palcovazio

I have had this conversation in my head for a week now and I wasn’t sure how to write it out. First I tried it like an interview. That was okay, but I quickly realized that the format really lent itself to theater. So I reworked it as a one act play. I haven’t done writing for the theater in years. I left out all the stage directions so as not to bore everyone to death.

Special thanks to Maleesha who offered me some helpful editing. Your suggestions rocked!!

A Conversation With Myself.
A Play in one act.
Written and copyrighted by George Parnell, 2009.

Setting: Bare stage with a desk. One chair behind the desk and two in front. A single spotlight shines on the center of the scene.

ME: Heart? Thanks for coming in today. We need to have a serious talk….

HEART: Really? What’s troubling you George? You seem upset and worried and…

ME: Ok, look…I know you are my heart and it’s part of your shtick to be all emotional and caring and worrying about me, but I have to ask you to just stop and listen to me for a minute.

H: ok….

M: I have to ask you for a big favor…

H: I will do what I can.

M: I need you to stop chasing after these hopeless and pointless infatuations.

H: Um, stop? You do realize that’s part of my job description right?

M: What do you mean?

H: Well it says right here in my Terms of Service that as your heart, I have free reign to blindly go forward, chasing after the dreams that you and your rational mind may deem unnecessary and distracting. By this contract, I have the right and the mandate to pursue the very things that you are afraid to pursue.

M: Don’t you understand that what you do is……..

H: What I do is necessary and you have no recourse or ability to reign me in.

M: Wait, wait…slow down here… You don’t have to quote from the Employee Handbook for George, ok?Now, I know full well what your function is. And, may I say you do a fine job.

H: Thank you…that’s touching…

M: But what you have been doing lately? You recent activities have been detrimental to the whole company, so to speak. Your ambitions and activities have caused me more than a few sleepless nights…

H: That’s just you over thinking…

M: Let me finish. You have been going in 100 directions at once. We need to find a way for you to have a little focus and perspective and…

H: Focus and perspective??? Pssssh! That’s your job! Intellect and rationale? That’s all you! Me? I am governed by whimsy and lust. I find what you desire most and then your job is to sort out the details.

M: But while you fixate so much on the impossible and unattainable, I find myself missing out on perfectly good opportunities around me. We need to work together.

H: No we don’t. Without me, you would have no dreams, no aspirations and no hope.

M: Ok, that’s a little extreme…

H: Is it really?

M: I think so, yes.

H: Hmmmmm… And what “opportunities” are you missing out on around you? Do tell…

M: Well,  for starters, I ran into an ex girlfriend the other day….

H: Wait wait wait wait!! Is that what this is about? You run into an ex girlfriend and you think I should have felt something? Is that it?

M: Well, yeah….I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

H: Noooo! For Crying out loud! Don’t you remember? We have been down that road already with her and in case you didn’t notice, I still have the scars….

M: Oh she didn’t break you that bad….

H: Typical! And you wonder why I don’t return most of your calls… Do you really want to give her the opportunity to put us through the ringer again? Really? I’m sorry; I’m not with you on that at all.

M: Well, it was just a thought, but definitely a far more realistic thought than your ambitions. Why are you so weak for anyone with red hair?

H: It’s not a weakness and I think you and I both know it’s not just red hair. It’s a smile, the way she cranes her neck, a soft giggle….

M: Allright, settle down…

H: I’m just sayin’….. And it’s not just the redhead. You know what I’m talking about….

M: Hmmm?

H: There’s the blonde….

M: Mmm the blonde, *sighs* She is really sweet…

H: And don’t forget that sales girl you fell head over ass for….

M: See that’s different, she at least goes to the same bars I go to…

H: And then there’s that brunette…. Rawr! She just rocks your little world, doesn’t she?

M: Ah yes, the brunette….Well, to be honest, yeah she definitely leaves me a little breathless….but wait! That’s not the point!! You are getting me off track again! Look! Bottom line is this; I want you to come on board and work with me. I want a goal that’s attainable.You don’t have to be all logical like me. Baby steps, my friend. If we work together, maybe we can work towards some of your goals and some of my goals and find a happy medium.

H: But you see, that’s completely against my nature. My purpose here is to be that ridiculous driving force behind your ambitions. I have to give you outlandish goals, aspire for love from unattainable women, and make your pulse race every time you catch a glimpse of red hair. I give you that excitement when you see your name in print when your art is being shown someplace. I’m that swelling of pride when someone compliments you on your writing or a painting.

M: Huh?

H: I am your core.
It is up to you to decipher and discover what you truly want. If I stopped doing my job and didn’t present you with hundreds of directions, as you put it, where would that leave you? No ambition, no hope. Sure, you have some sleepless nights because of me and yes, I know that love and lust and dating are complex issues! But when it comes to matters of the heart, the Handbook clearly states, “It’s complicated”.

M: Really? The hand book just says that?

H: The heart wants what the heart wants and there’s nothing you can do about it.

M: But don’t you see? That’s the very heart of the problem!

H: …….Very funny. Oh you and your whitty puns….

M: Sorry, no pun intended. It’s just that I want things to be neat and organized. I want to meet someone, fall in love, get married and live a little of the American dream. But because of all your distractions, I can’t!

H: Am I that distracting?

M: Are you kidding? Lets have a look at what a typical day is with you:  Let’s paint this week! Think I’ll try my hand at writing! Oooh  I got a new camera! I must be a photographer now! Let’s ignore the bills and go waste money on art supplies. Hey, Best Buy is having a sale! New Computer! Oh and don’t get me started on the women! A simple smile or a kind word from anyone of the female persuasion and you are off to the races, my friend. You seem to tell me that every positive gesture, a touch, a smile, a kind word is some sign that she’s interested.

H: But what if they really are interested and you are just selling yourself short, like I’ve been telling you for years now.

M: ……. I hadn’t thought of that.

H: And that’s why you need me. Ha

M: Ok, I get it. But you have to work with me. I can’t have you running off all the time. I swear, you are worse than a three year old sometimes. But instead of “Hey look! Shiny!”, it’s “Hey look! Breasts!” and you are off being distracted from what really needs to be done. Can you at least agree to try to work with me?

H: Well, I guess I could fixate more on their legs and asses if that would help…

M: Hold onto that thought. What I need you to do is to limit the amount of time we spend distracted by red hair and breasts and smiles. Do you remember the time we got on the wrong train in Boston and ended up on a nonstop train to Braintree all because you were distracted by some red hair?

H: Ok, that story is so old it deserves a place in a retirement community…

M: The point is, let’s work together.

H: ……..I don’t know….it goes against everything I stand for….

M: Please? I’m begging you here….

H: I can’t make any promises. I am driven by your deepest desires. Sometimes, I’m going to disappoint you. Sometimes, I’m going to let you down. You have to accept that we are often at cross-purposes.

M: I can live with that as long as you agree to keep those distractions to a minimum just so I can  attain a few of my short-term goals without being sidetracked. Deal?

H: Deal. But please, for both of us, do NOT call that ex girlfriend again. That would be embarrassing for both of us I think.

M: Fine. But don’t blame me if passing on the opportunity to get laid causes me to stare uncontrollably at the bouncing bits at the gym.

H: You want to be the creepy staring guy at the gym now?

M: Shut up, that’s not what I meant.

H: Sure, but you may want to speak to the Id about that.

M: I know, he should be here anytime now. I told him we were having this meeting….

ID: You wanted to see me?

M: Yes Id, thanks for coming and FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Would you please pull your pants up?!!!!

ID: Sorry, I was surfing the web for porn earlier and….

M: Allright! Allright! Now look Id, sit down, we have to have a serious talk…..

37 and Still Feeling Frisky

4bddYup, it’s official: I’m 37. Part of me wants to discuss aging, growing older and wiser and what the future holds for me and my place in the world. Part of me wants to create a poetic treatise on aging, love and good friends. All noble intentions of my creative mind.

The rest of me wants cake.

Think I’m heading out for cake and ice cream. Diet be darned! I’ll hobble my way through the day loaded up on cake. old_man_walking_with_walker_lg_nwm

Sometime this week, I’ll write something reflective and introspective but right now, I hear chocolate calling me.

PS: Quote of the day from one of my co workers:

“37? Really? Happy Birthday! You are officially invisible to women under 30! Congratulations!”

Moments of Joy and Other Sublime Silliness

adult-disguise

I have been feeling way too adult lately.

Deadlines. Meetings. Quotas. Bills. Taxes. Registration of my new car. Spring cleaning looming on the horizon.

It’s all been adding up to a whole heck of a lot of stress thats been bearing down on me for the last two weeks. I need a reason to be happy.  Surfing the blogs the other day, I came across the beautiful Miss Shepherds entry and felt a little inspiration. My mind started it’s own list of natural highs and moments that bring me joy.

1. Walking along the beach on a warm night, my toes sinking into the wet sand, the waves around my ankles.

2. Lying on the sand on a summer night, listening to the beat of the waves.

3. Making an elaborate meal for my friends when they are down.

4. Planning and cooking a huge meal for an event (Thanksgiving) and having it all come together perfectly.

5. Sinking into the couch on a cold day, wrapped in a warm blanket with a huge mug of coffee and a stack of dvd’s.

6.  Stealing a few minutes on my break to drive down to the beach and watch the waves for awhile and let my mind decompress a little from the stresses of the day.

7. Planning a road trip with my fellow ‘road warriors’ to see the bands we love.

8. Having a total geek moment and walk into a comic books store and talking all things X Men and Dark Knight and all things in between with fellow recovering geeky nerds like myself. Once in awhile, the nerd has to be let out!

9. Walking through the toy section at Walmart and seeing all the neat and highly detailed toys, secretly wishing I was a little kid again….

10. Picking up a book I haven’t read in a long time and falling into it’s pages like putting on an old sweater: comfy and warm.

11. Losing 8 hours of my life wrapped up in a video game. I realize some would see this as a waste, but sometimes getting lost in a little fantasy land is what my brain needs. And before you say “Go read a book”, I do read darnit and nothing compares to seeing your character run through that fantasyland and directing the action yourself. Don’t hate. 🙂

12. Having some song from the 80’s pop on the radio that I haven’t heard in a long time causing me to dance joyously. Melt With You and Rock Lobster are two songs that always make me giddy.

13. Having the lead singer dedicate her next song to me. I always get a little weak in the knees when that happens.

14. Being a dj and playing the music I love and actually having listeners. I truly miss this. When I was a dj at Keene State, I loved knowing people were listening.

15. Music Geek moment: going into a record store and ending up in a conversation with a total stranger about whether Trent Reznor sold out, or if the latest Ani Difranco album rocked or sucked or who was on tour and what shows we have been to, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

16. The smell of fresh brewed coffee.

17. The smell of my kitchen when I have been cooking up a storm.

18. The smile of a stranger who caught me glancing their way.

19. Playing with my camera and photographing the little things in my life.

20. Giving and recieving a hug when I least expect but when it was most needed.

21. When my rockstar friend tells me I’m one of her favorite photographers. I’m humbled that anyone would consider me a ‘photographer’, but for that to come from my friend who has been through professional photshoots for magazines and her own promotional work, I think I must have blushed three shades of red. Makes me want to take photography a little more seriously….

22. A moment of silence with friends. Not an uncomfrotable silence, but a sort of silent soldarity where there is nothing to say and we are content and comfortable with each others company and don’t have to fill each moment with talk.

23. Seeing a band for the first time, the thrill of hearing new music and a new voice.

24. The smell of laundry fresh from the dryer.

25. A clean house.

26. Getting in my car, loading up on music or books on cd, hot cup of coffee in hand, picking a direction and just going. No destination, no cares, no worries. Just me and the car driving as far away as possible.

27. The experience of a ‘destination’ restaurant. Picking a cuisine or restaurant from a review either online or on a Foodnetwork/Phantom Gourmet/Travel Channel reccomendation and going for their signature experience. I have a list a mile long of everything from greasy spoons to haute cuisine that I want to experience. Anyone up for a little road trip???

28. Sucking out a flush or a straight on the river and cleaning out my friends at the poker table when I was sure I had made a mistake by going all-in on Jack/Ace suited. Yup, I play way too much poker…..

29. Waking up to find my cat nuzzled into the crook of my arm.

30. Las Vegas! I loved that town when I visited in 1999 and been dying to go back ever since. I felt like a kid in a candystore there! A very adult candystore, but nonetheless….

31. Holding hands with someone for the first time, that fumbling of fingers and palms, finding how your hands fit together.

32. A first kiss, melting into each other for the first time.

33. The unspoken dialogue of eyes and movement, knowing someone so well that you know what they are thinking without ever speaking a word.

34. Hugs that linger and last too long, conveying more in that moment than words can capture.

35. WordPress Geek: Checking my stats and seeing what people are reading…I do this all the time. Makes me smile to see what people like.

36. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

37. Going to a wine tasting and being suprised by some obscure shiraz,  merlot or pinot noir that I had never heard of.

38. Catching up with an old friend and laughing about how much time has passed and how old we are getting.

39. Realizing how much your friends and family really care about you.

40. Successfully writing out 5 more moments of joy than Pam. (Couldn’t resist putting a little competitive spin on this)