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All posts for the month June, 2013

Apartment Life in The Good Ol’ Summertime

Published June 29, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

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It’s officially summertime. While my little corner of the world there has been heat, rain, more heat. We just finished our second influx summer rain storms and the heat is back.

This means the apartment complex has opened the pool again. While the heat keeps the kids at bay during the day, they come out to play and swim in the evenings. The pool has rules, which are often broken by lazier tenants. Children must be at the pool with an adult. Not a teenage sibling or friend, but an adult human. The lazy parents tend to ignore that rule and send the kids to the pool with their teenage babysitters or siblings. I have heard the kids asking the few adults to say they are watching them (as not to get into trouble by management. One kid (body bag boy) brought a river raft to the pool. This isn’t a pool toy. When told by an adult at the pool he couldn’t have it there, body bag boy loudly insisted it was fine, inflated it, and floated around the pool in it oblivious to the fact that it was too big and took up far too much room. He’s not my favorite kid.

The courtyard is also where the kids play football, red rover (red rover was a new experience for most of them. It was a blast listening to them discover this age-old game), and generally goof around. Because the courtyard is right under my balcony, it can get a wee bit loud at times. There is a curfew on the courtyard. Some of the older kids ignore it and will be out there chattering away far past the appointed ‘go home’ time. Again, parents are lazy and make excuses as to why their kids are not at home when they ought to be.

This is all part of apartment life. Kids, dogs,music, other humans all sharing a smallish space and trying to get along. Noise is a part of apartment life. You just have to put up with a certain amount of it. Complaining about every little noise is going to get you ignored and piss off the neighbours.

My immediate neighbours are all considerate humans. There are a few inconsiderate, um, assholes in the complex. But we are lucky enough to have an on-site manager who is smart, savvy and nothing much slips by her.

After the pool rules had been broken a number of times, she closed the pool. A letter was posted on each and every door outlining the pool rules, the ones being broken and where to find a full list of the rules. When the less considerate among us played their music too loud and too late at night, we all received another letter outlining the rules for music (and other noise) and the hours for quiet time. When the smokers decided it was too far to walk to smoke off the property, you guessed it, we all got a letter about those rules.

While that all may sound like it would never encourage the correct behavior, it did.

The pool re-opened with the new heat wave. The kids are there with the proper adult supervision. There are no more river rafts in the pool, only proper pool toys and flotation devices. The kids are heading home before curfew or right around curfew. There is no more endless noise from the courtyard late into the evenings. The late night music fest has ceased. While that neighbour still plays his music on the loud side from time to time, it shuts off at 9:30pm. Almost on the nose. While a few smokers are still not quite making off the property to smoke, most are taking the walk to have their nicotine fix.

All these small things add up. Keeping everyone following the rules makes living in an apartment complex a nicer experience. It is just too bad that we seem to need a ‘mom’ to keep us all in line. I still find it amazing that people don’t/can’t/won’t simply follow the simple rules and treat each other (and the property) with respect. I know, I know. I ought to ‘get it’ by this time in my life. What can I say, I still sorta live in the world I grew up in.

So my fellow apartment dwellers, remember you are not the only one in the complex. Be respectful of the property you share. Pick up your trash, don’t smoke where you aren’t supposed to, turn the music/TV down as the evening wears on and teach your kids to do the same.

The world may have moved on, but we can still have some ‘old fashioned’ values.

One Date Gone. But There Was a Another One!

Published June 25, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

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My movie date from last week has disappeared into a puff of internet smoke. Like magic, he has made no contact what-so-ever. Okay, it’s not really magic. It’s pretty much the standard for online dating. You don’t let anyone know anything. You just disappear. *poof* (And not the English version of ‘poof’)

I really do wish men would grow a pair and write a note when they find they are not interested. I’m pretty sure women do the same thing to men, but since I don’t date women, I can only guess. Either way, it’s not that difficult to write a quick ‘Thank you. Good luck with your search.’ note.

Anyway, Mr. Movie date has not made contact. It’s fine with me. He was nice, polite and fun to talk to. But there was no romantic connection going on. So, next!

And believe it or not, there was a next!

In an unbelievable turn of events (well for me unbelievable), I have had another date! (yes please, go on and applaud)

With boredom staring me down and not much to do, I decided to actually check in on the dating site and see what horrors they had decided were ‘matches’ for me. This generally means I cruise through photos of men who are obese, 5 feet tall (or less), hippie-ish, ugly as sin or have photos of themselves holding something dead (yes, go ahead and hunt /fish, but no wants to see all you with your dead things). This day was no exception. As I cruised through the profile photos and creepy profiles, one caught my eye. A new one. I read through his profile, looked at his photos (not one dead fish or deer in sight) and noticed we had a few things in common. He looked ‘normal’ and nice. So I figured ‘what the heck’ and sent him a short ‘hello’ note. I didn’t really expect an answer.

But he did answer. He sent a nice note back. Pretty soon he asked me to call him. I rang. We talked. We talked for two hours. We made a date for coffee, and talked some more (please note: I do not follow the ‘dating rules’ and think that first phone call should be 20 minutes. I prefer the old-fashioned ‘if we are getting along, let it unfold’ rules).

Coffee date time rolled around. I pulled in, parked and popped inside to see if he was there yet. Nope. So rather than sit and wait and watch everyone watch me waiting, I went back outside and lounged against my car. After a few minutes, my phone rang. It was him. He was walking towards me and waving. I tucked my phone away and walked to meet him.

Holy cow! He was gorgeous. His photos did nothing for him (Well, by comparison of the real life him). I’m not sure if my jaw dropped or not, but I tried to hide my shock in his shoulder as we hugged hello. Wow. Okay, okay. At least I’ll get one date with a gorgeous guy before he moves on to a prettier bird.

The coffee date became a dinner date that ended with a walk in the local park. During that time, he made it clear he wanted to date someone his own age, not a younger chickie. By the end of our date, he made it clear he wanted to see me again.

Again. Wow.

Since then, we have talked on the phone every day. We are getting to know each other better. We are looking for the best times to see each other again. We are both being careful not to rush things, because we both tend to do that, and know it. And the coolest thing of all?

He was a little disappointed that my hair didn’t have pink streaks like it does in my profile photo. I can fix that.

Stop The Presses! I Had a DATE!

Published June 18, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

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After the longest dry spell known to mankind, I finally had a date. A real date!

Remember the kind odd coffee date guy? The one that seemed to like me but never asked for any contact information? Yeah, you do. If not go back and read about him again.

He e-mailed me and asked if I’d like to catch a movie with him. He asked early in the week for a weekend date. From what my ‘dating by the rules’ friend says, this is important. It shows he is thinking about me in a future sense, rather than as an after thought or as a buddy to hang out with. He suggested a movie and he checked the movie times. We had to wait be sure those times didn’t change when the weekend came, but that was expected. We had to find out what day that fit both of our schedules. He even remembered I have a class twice a week! Apparently this is also in the plus category in the rules for dating (you may notice I don’t have a clue about all these dating ‘rules’. I thought he asks, you say ‘yes’ and off you go. Who knew there were so many rules?).

We met at the theatre, which may be a dating no-no, but I live two blocks away and preferred to walk. We found we both had a refillable popcorn bucket (this tells me he may like movies as much as I do). I brought mine, he brought his. I also have the matching refillable drink cup. He bought tickets, held the door for me, bought our popcorn and drinks. We found we liked the same seating area and climbed to the top row. We chatted until the previews started.

Afterward, we talked about the movie as we walked out. I told him I had walked, he offered to chauffeur me home (I declined because I preferred to walk home. I did let him know why I declined a ride). We stood and talked for a while about other things. We helped a couple push their out of gas motor home to a parking spot. Nothing like a little variety on a date!

He hugged me goodnight and left. Again. He didn’t ask for a phone number. Again. He held the hug and pulled me in tight, but no kiss. Not even on the cheek. And again, I found it all a little odd.

So I still don’t know what’s up with this guy. It occurred to me that he may be shy. He is good at conversation, but one can be a talker and still be shy about other things. I am not shy in any way, shape or form, and sometimes the fact that others are shy can zoom right over my head.

While I am still not sure what is going on with him, he seems to be a very nice man. He hasn’t asked any inappropriate questions. He  hasn’t tried to touch me in way that make me feel uncomfortable (or like giving him a solid right hook). He has been a fun person to be with, intelligent, chatty, and interesting. He has been a gentleman both times we have met.

I guess I’ll just have to see where this all goes. If anything, I have had a good time with him the times I have been out with him. I have not been put off by any of his behaviors. I don’t have to fake who I am. And he seems to deal with my ‘crazy’ well (Yup. I let it all show. Better he run away now, than later).

This will be the tough part. I’m a horrible waiter.

 

 

 

Dating and The Me in The Mirror

Published June 7, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

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As I struggle along with the dating life I don’t really have, I am also still struggling with my own self-image. It’s difficult, at best, to look at yourself and think your older, slightly wobbly body is okay. Adding a lack of male (or any) attention and things can go down the tubes pretty darn fast.

I added yoga to my life in January. I love it and love my teacher. I am much stronger and more flexible now. There is now muscle hiding under those wobbly bits! There is also a little less of the wobbly bits! If I could shed all the extra weight, plus a little more, I’d be awesome. But shedding the pounds at 54 is a tough nut to crack.

My knees can’t take any hard cardio, or do squats and lunges. The poses we do in yoga are held poses and my knees think most of those are okay. There a few where I do an alternate pose. I have a shoulder I broke eons ago. I don’t have full range of motion in that shoulder. It doesn’t hurt, it just won’t rotate like it did before the break. And to be quite honest, I’m not running anywhere unless I am being chased by a monster or something. I just hate to run. All this means I have to find other ways to shed to pounds I’d like to shed. I have, actually, lost a few pounds (yippeee!!!). It’s slow, and I am okay with that.

But even though I am looking better, I still struggle with facing the mirror in the morning and thinking I’m okay. All of us have mornings that are tougher than others. Some mornings I wish I had a curtain to pull over that bathroom mirror so I could avoid looking at all. Other mornings I think I look okay for an old broad. And those are the mornings I want more of.

Dating and self-image are so tied together. Well, we tie them together. It’s difficult not to tie one to the other when so many people want to judge you solely on your appearance. I am a bit chubby. Not obese. Not a BBW. Just a little chubby. But I can do some things a lot of skinny and ‘fit’ people can’t do because yoga has taught me to do them properly and I have built the strength to do them. So am I not fit and in shape?

This is the part of me I need to focus on. I am NOT a blob. I can walk for miles and feel good. I can do yoga poses that take a lot of strength and balance. And hold them. Not forever, but for a good 5 minutes (NOT an easy task). I am attractive enough. No one screams in horror when I walk in a room. Mirrors don’t spontaneous explode. Many of the men I have met for coffee have told me I am cute rather than pretty. I’ll take cute any day.

So it is up to me to accept me as I am. It is up to me to continue to work on the things I can, and want, to improve. And most importantly, it’s up to me to shut out the youth/skinny/glowing tooth obsessed world and love me for who I am.

This is one tough ride.

 

I Just Don’t Get it.

Published June 4, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

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Here’s the thing, deal, whatever you want to call it. I don’t get it. ‘It’ being this whole online dating arena.

On the plus side, it opens up meeting people. You can, and do, meet people you most likely would never bump into on the street or be seated next to at a dinner party. The variety is almost unending.

The downside is the people you meet online hide often behind their little screens. They are not honest. They post photos that are decades old as if they still look that way. They claim to be not into looks, but instantly judge you on yours. They think it’s okay to ask highly inappropriate questions. Some days, it tough to wrap my head around it.

I recently began an e-mail conversation with a man who seemed to have a similar sense of humor. Now, I am not into the endless e-mailing, but he explained he was not in the state at the moment (and why). Okay. I can go along with that. We found we had a few things in common. Another plus! I was interested in him, and he seemed interested in me. We seemed to be hitting it off. At least in writing. He answered almost all of my questions. Almost. Twice I asked about talking on the phone. Twice he ignored that particular question. Then he ended an e-mail with – So what are you wearing?

???!!???!!!! I know where that question goes. I’ve heard far too many times of late. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt and made a joke out of it. I mentioned he may want to back off that line of questioning (in a nice way), and asked (for the second time) about talking on the phone.  His next e-mail came:

What are you wearing now?

Behold me with your beauty and bring out the slutty wench costume. Do you like to dress up in the bed room? Do you like to roleplay?

Okay. This guy in on a mission. And he’s a bit dense. I know better than to drop hints, and I had told him this was not an appropriate line of questioning at this point in our non-existent relationship. Yet he continued along the path as if I had said nothing. So I sent him this:

We are not dating. We have not met in person. We barely know each other. I don’t know enough about you to share that kind of information. And you don’t know enough about me to even think about asking it. After beginning so well, I am disappointed. You see, this not the first time an e-mail or phone call has gone to inappropriate questions in such a short time. I understand men well enough at my age, but I don’t understand this ‘online’ mentality of believing that it is okay to start asking very personal questions within 10 minutes (or a handful of e-mails). It isn’t.

And it does bother me that even though I have brought it up twice, you have said nothing about a telephone call. That tells me you are avoiding it for some reason. And yes, it does read as ‘married man’ to me.

His response?

Yeah, I kinda figured we were forcing a fit.  I’m pretty sexually liberal and it sticks out sometimes (oops!).
No harm taken from your honesty 🙂

Well of course not harm taken. It’s fairly obvious he didn’t read the e-mail. Or any of the e-mails I sent him. The twit (wanker).

The next thing I don’t understand it the coffee date. Well, actually my coffee dates. Most have seemed to have gone well only to end with no further contact wanted. I can only assume it’s me, not him. I do admit to not being anyone but my crazy self. I don’t see the point in not being who I am from the beginning. I don’t dress up to impress. I wear what seems appropriate for the weather/time/place. I do go clean and well-groomed, just not dressed to the nines to sit, sip tea and talk.

My last coffee date was a nice seeming man who did not want to spend eternity e-mailing (yippee!). He did not ask my age or for a photo (yippee!). He simply asked for a place and time. Then he told me he has short brown hair, glasses and would be wearing a green and yellow tie dyed shirt. Nice. Casual. So I wore my nicer black jeans, a t-shirtish top and my purple geek sneakers (you know, the ones with the white rubber toes).

He was on time and easy to spot. We ordered our coffee/tea and found a table in the back where we could talk. And we talked. For 4 hours. The conversation flowed easily. No uncomfortable silences. Topics came and went with ease. He remarked how nice it was to talk so easily with someone. He told me a longish, but very interesting story about a bottle of wine he had been researching. The story twisted and turned and had gaps he was unable to fill. We discussed various scenarios for the gaps. It was a fun time.

Then we were done (they closed the coffee shop). It was time to go home. He said he had fun. He said it was so very nice to have met me. He hugged me good-bye. And he left. No ‘Let’s do this again’. No asking for a telephone number. Just ‘bye’ and off he went to his vehicle.

Never once did he look at his watch. Never once did his expression wander away to another time and place. He was (or seemed) engaged in our conversation the entire time. He touched my hand and arm a couple of times. He leaned in to talk to me. He made eye contact. He did all the little body language things the ‘dating coaches’ tell us to look for. And he still (apparently) was just not interested.

I don’t get it. I just don’t. I don’t wear pajama pants in public. I’m a bit chubby, but nowhere near obese (or BBW). I speak well. I am on the intelligent side. I don’t say ‘like’ or ‘um’ every other word. I take pretty good care of myself over all. I’m honest about who I am. I have a wide variety of interests. I don’t think I’m particularly pretty, but babies don’t burst into tears and mirrors don’t explode when I walk by.

So I am at a loss. And getting very tired.