Sunday, May 31, 2015

This "dating" crap

Kind of screwed myself this weekend by not planning ahead and getting a babysitter for tonight when I could have gone out dancing, so instead was stuck at home on a Saturday night and Friday night with nothing to do. 

This is not uncommon for me. However, in light of the fact that I suddenly and inexplicably desire a man in my life, weekends like this pretty much suck.

The good news is I bought a very expensive, fancy refrigerator today (thank you, child tax credit) which will be delivered and installed in two weeks (?). It has an ice maker and water filter and a nifty drawer that will no doubt house the boys' birthday cakes from now on. I have never owned something so snazzy before and I am super excited about it. 

Then I took Bobby to this open house thing down at the sanitation plant where the kids got to sit in garbage trucks. He was all over that. Never underestimate the appeal of trucks, motorcycles, and construction equipment to boys (or men, I'm guessing). 

After I got the kids to bed I did somethung I've been longing to do for ages - actually used my long-neglected hot tub. Oh, I had to hack away at an overgrown palm plant with a saw to even get at the controls, and trim some bamboo to even get out my back door. That's how little time I spend in my back yard. But I cleaned up a lot while waiting for the hot tub to heat up, and had a look around at the million other projects that need to happen out there - tree trimming, weeding, moving things around, replacing all the furniture, etcetera. I did put in a call to a landscaper yesterday. With two houses on my block being rehabbed and several others having new owners in the past couple of years, I am afraid mine is "that house" on the block everyone wishes the owner would get their shit together for. So, get it together I shall (again, thank you, tax credit). 

With nothing else to do I spent the night researching online dating sites. Despite my one decent (ie, not scary) experience on Craig's List, it's pretty much still a sea of dick pics (other than the guy I met who still updates his ads every day on there). So, so much for that. The ones I'm thinking of trying are POF and OkC.upid. I know they're both pretty much the wild west but they are free (or near free) and extensive searches have shown a handful of decent looking single dads looking for single moms. More on POF, interestingly. Reviews say their whole setup sucks - but I kind of like the things people complain about the most; the fact that the site doesn't send you matches but you get to pick for yourself, how simple and clunky the interface is. I guess for someone who hasn't done this in over ten years it's more familiar to me; I like to just be able to put up a basic ad and people write to you, you write to them, end of story. No long quizzes or compatibility tests or any of that BS that in my experience are all a massive waste of time. Back in the day I used eharmony which makes you jump through a million hoops before you can meet anyone - and the people they matched me with couldn't have been more mis-matched for me. I never would have chosen any of those people. I did much better with the ones where I picked for myself.

Coffee Meets B.agel is ok but I've only had one match in over a week. Most of the people I pass on and the ones I like don't like me back (just like real life!). I do have a date with my one match tomorrow night, but I don't have high hopes. The man has never seen Rear Window, for crying out loud. (That's a joke. Kind of...)

So, anyway. I may try POF first and be prepared for the onslaught of the weird, the gross, and the inappropriate. *sigh*

If I want to up my chances from 0% to .000001% of ever meeting anyone, I guess this how you do it, huh?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My two little deal breakers

Ah, the end of another long holiday weekend in which we had no plans because everyone we would have plans with were busy with their own families! So happy it's over. These weekends are brutally lonely for me and a slog because of preschool being closed. Still, we made the best of it, and I did use Sunday at The Baby Kennel (my phrase) for both kids for a few hours so I could run my SMC group and do a little refrigerator shopping. And there have been times lately when I actually enjoy the occasional unstructured day alone with the kids. Sometimes it's actually kind of fun. But as any of you know it's been a weird emotional roller coaster for me lately so it's been hard for me to keep my chin up.

Anyway, one really nice development lately is Bobby's interest in his little brother. Suddenly he wants to play with him - asks for him and wants to see him all the time - and has learned to not just grab everything out of his hands and push him out of the way. He's learning to be gentle and make sure Theo has a toy, too - when T cries, Bobby says, "he needs a hug," and loves to get his drinks for him, give him snacks, etc. I can finally (for real this time) leave them to play unsupervised for a few minutes without walking in to find Theo buried under a comforter or Bobby stomping on his chest for fun. Oh, how I appreciate the three-year-old brain so much more than the two-year-old's! Three has its challenges, to be sure - the sudden rage that flies out of this child is epic - but the fact that he now kind of understands what I tell him and kind of can be reasoned with makes a huge difference in our lives. Can you imagine when they're both kids who can talk and reason and understand? It's going to be amazing. 

I did in fact get a "match" on CMB. We just spoke on the phone and are meeting for coffee Sunday night. He's a smart, sharp guy which is rare and important. My only concern is I don't know if I'm that attracted to him. His pictures are all over the map so it's hard to know who I'm meeting (I'm going to guess it's the worst version). But obviously he had some quality about him that made me choose "like", so I'll just trust that instinct. 

Today's "bagel" said he prefers to date women with older children since his are starting college, so I respected that and clicked "pass". 

I am so certain that none of these potential dates will ever get past one or two meetings that I'm not too concerned about talking about the kids right off the bat; if I meet this guy once and he never calls me again, won't I be glad I didn't tell him? But it is weighing heavily on me. This is all uncharted territory for me and I'm not sure how to handle it. I was so terrified as I was talking on the phone that Bobby would wake up screaming as he does just about every night that I got up and went into the dining room and just prayed he wouldn't wake up. How would I explain that, exactly? Ugh. But if I am being rejected by these guys I want to know it's because of me and not because I have kids. Also, I kind of feel like it's nobody's business, especially not people who are total strangers.

I feel suddenly like the two guys I dated twenty years ago who had the very unpleasant task of telling me they had herpes before we got too close. I always felt so bad for them, having to tell every girl they meet this horrid little secret that might send the girl running screaming. Ironically both of these guys dumped me in the end, and no, I did not catch it from them. But now I have a "deal breaker" of my own that I need to hide and then maybe disclose later, and it is not fun. It's making an already stressful process infinitely more stressful.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Bobby flew his first kite yesterday. Once again, I always underestimate this kid. I didn't think he'd be capable of running and holding on to something and getting the concept of flying a kite, but he did, and he loved it. I spontaneously met up with a friend at our favorite park and she bought the kite and her three year old. I felt bad because as I was watching Theo she got stuck minding my kid, her kid, and two other boys who came running along demanding turns and breaking things. When she as politely as possible told the other kids it was time to go back to their parents (this was after they followed her back to me and we were trying to set up lunch and they were all up in our business demanding things), the other mother copped a huge attitude. My friend felt terrible and guilty and I said, "fuck that, she was being a total cunt." Then she hugged me and thanked me for always saying what people think but don't want to say. You're welcome.

She expanded on a short text conversation we'd had some days ago in which she admitted to starting the process of ending her almost twenty year marriage. I don't know her husband well but it sounds like he's been really manipulative and cruel to her pretty much their entire relationship - gas lighting her, making her feel crazy, oh, and cheating on her twice with two of her friends. Good times. It makes me sad to think she's been suffering so much all this time but thought she was just "crazy" and he's such a great husband. How many people are in marriages like this right now???

...and yet here I am trying to grab some of that awesome lovin' for myself. Ugh! I texted Craig's List Guy a couple of times and he always answers but never actually wants to set a date. I'm going to leave it at this point since I've established I am in fact interested. Clearly he is not. So I guess even 5'4" guys feel like they can do better than me, huh?

I joined a site called Coffee Meets Ba.gel. It's for those of us who want to slow down the crazy process of online dating and only deal with one person at a time - so, your profile is only viewed by one person at a time, you can't be searched, or emailed, or approached at all unless you mutually like each other. You get sent a "match" once a day and you have 24 hours to respond before they expire. So far it's been fun, although no matches yet, and I hate that you can't specify if you have kids or if they should have kids - the idea of having to reveal this information later really doesn't appeal to me. But at this point I think the odds of even getting a date out of this are extremely slim, and you would think most guys looking to date a woman in her 40s would be prepared for the fact that she may have kids. Anyway, this site allows me to not have to expose myself with a public profile and avoid a slew of x-rated come-ons or insults, so it's about my speed for the moment. Also, it is fun to get a special guy delivered to you every day. I'm trying to be open minded and "like" just about everyone, because you just never know. But again I think the odds of even getting a match on here are pretty slim. I once did a speed dating thing in which out of over 30 people, only 7 were interested in seeing me again. Goes to show sometimes we overestimate our own appeal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Potty Fail, Take 2

Another potty training disaster. After talking to B all weekend about how awesome it'll be to wear underpants starting Monday, and being met with enthusiasm...he flatly refused Monday morning and insisted on a diaper. Sigh. I brought a giant bag of pants, shoes and underpants and decided if school wanted him in underpants, they could fucking deal with it.

When I went to pick him up, he had been in underpants all day, with no accidents. This is largely because they walk the kids to the bathroom every hour on the hour. I panicked a bit when I realized he was not in a diaper and I had not brought anything to protect the car seat. They told me to take him to the bathroom before leaving...but of course he started screaming when I tried to walk him over there. So we got in the car and I white knuckled it home...thank God he did not wet the seat. But immediately upon entering the house he peed his pants. I cleaned up that mess, put on a new pair of underpants and shorts...and minutes later he took a huge crap. Then I had the fun of cleaning that up. You know what? I'm just going to let the school deal with this mess for now. If he keeps having good days at school we'll revisit. But until then I've scraped all the shit out of pants with my fingernails that I care to for the moment. 

I finally got back to focusing on work this week and it is a handful. I have about fifty plates spinning at the moment and have discovered a major scheduling glitch that there does not appear to be an answer for. The problem is my contests are getting huge and they are no longer fitting in the allotted time slots. Limiting participation means pissing people off; taking time away from the live music also means pissing people off. I don't have the slightest idea how to solve this. I sure wish my bank account reflected all this sudden enthusiasm.

Have not heard from Craig's List Guy since yesterday morning. But he also has not renewed his ads in two days when he normally does it every day which says to me he's been busy. Either that or he's just not that into me. Join the club!

Facing yet another 40-something birthday with zero plans, I decided to use my hotel points to book myself two nights at a fabulous luxury resort in Palm Springs. I'm going to use my sitter that will be taking care of the kids during my event. I haven't decided who to take with me yet. A man would be ideal but in the absence of that option I do have a nice coterie of single girlfriends who I think would be game. Oh man, do I need something fun to look forward to!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week in review

I spent much of the week driving around listening to loud, inane rock 'n roll I have zero emotional connection to, which confirms the fact that upon facing romantic rejection, I turn into a dude.

I'm actually glad Former Love Interest asked me to lunch last Monday to hash things out, because if not our group meeting Thursday would, in fact, have been super awkward. Instead it was fine, and now that we've crossed that threshold things can go back to normal and we can both forget any of this ever fucking happened.

Bobby's preschool teacher told me Friday on pickup that they want him only in underpants starting this week. FML. I could just say no, I suppose, but he's going to miss next month's opportunity to move up to the next class with his friends because of still being in diapers, and they don't want him to miss the next one in September. And in the end it's just my being lazy that is keeping him from learning.'s going to be a very messy week. I am kind of bummed. Life is about to get a lot more complicated. 

I had my second date with Craig's List Guy. I have to say...I feel kind of meh about it. We had a nice time but it was just like two buddies having dinner. No flirting, no sparks. I mean, I like this guy but he's giving me nothing to work with. At the end of the date he gave me a chaste closed-mouth kiss on the lips like an uncle. He has texted me ever since to see how I'm doing and tell me he had a nice time but no third date set yet. Would I go? Sure, why not? Not sure if I have unrealistic expectations or just am not feeling it. Is this how single parents date in their forties? At this point I no longer trust in my instincts about anything in this arena. So I'll just sit tight and see what happens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The day that shall not be named other news, Mother's Day sucked for me. Largely because I got the news that my estranged mother wants back into our lives after nine years, and the very thought of this makes me want to stand in the middle of my kitchen and robotically smash every dish in the house onto the floor.

Apparently she called my sister last week and told her she has, after forty three years, left our toxic religion, wants to see a doctor finally, move back to the U.S. and (possibly) get therapy. This is news we have waited all these years for, and may be the start of a whole new beginning for our family. And yet the very idea of her in my life again fills me with rage. Cue smashing of plates.

So, having two kids who are too little to know it's Mother's Day, no partner to celebrate me, everything I want to do and all childcare options closed, all my friends busy with their mothers or being celebrated by partners, no plans at all, this mysterious lunch with Former Love Interest hanging over my head the next day, and now the return of my mother looming...*smash*

I texted a friend that I wanted to break everything in the house and she quipped, "may I suggest a tarp, from experience?"

My mother emailed me asking if we could Skype. I told her I couldn't deal and thankfully she seemed to get it.

If she's sincere in her plans and follows through I'm sure we can work out our issues at some point. But right now - I'm on emotional overload and my brain is crowded. I...just can't deal. *crash*

So, Mother's Day is the worst day of the year for me. I avoided Facebook like the plague. I wanted to write a status quoting Bette Davis: "I detest cheap sentiment" but decided to not wear my private bitterness quite so publicly. Some day it will be different - the kids and I will be able to celebrate together, my mother and I may have reconciled to some extent, and hell, maybe I'll even have a nice man around to spoil me. But right now? Right now, it sucks. 

In reflecting on lunch with FLI yesterday, I am still aghast at how utterly wrong I could have been about just about everything, including how likable this person actually was. I'm really questioning my intuition, taste in men, sense of self, and judgment in general. Chalk this up to yet another really horrid, bitter experience in the love arena. Kind of thought I would be past that at my age, but I guess you never outgrow this shit, do you? 

Well, at least Craig's List Guy checks in via text every day to ask how my day is going and we have a dinner date Friday night, which can't come fast enough. I need a little pick me up right now, you know?

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's not him, it's me

Just had my lunch with Former Love Interest. I am kind of speechless. Once again I'm going to vomit this up quickly before I forget any important details.

We met and talked about Mother's Day and other things that have been going on, in particular some very disturbing events over the weekend regarding my own estranged mother that I'll post about later.

Finally I said, "so...are we going to talk about it?"

He said, "yeah, I just really wanted to apologize." As I could tell from the look on his face that night, he was, in fact, shocked by my revelation and was pained thinking about all the times he'd been on the other side of that coin. So...he felt pity for me. Ughhh.

He asked if I had anything to say to him, and I said, "well, I guess at the risk of sounding weird...why?"

Then he really surprised me, and not in a good way. He said he didn't think we had that much in common (!?), said if it were going to happen between us it would have happened years ago, that he doesn't feel any chemistry between us, and thought we could have a fun fling but it could never be more than that (!?) and he just can't do that to me. Ummm...thanks?

Then he brought up the group we're in and how we'd be stuck having to deal with each other, how the times he'd had really amazing relationships he felt this immediate thunderbolt-like attraction and just does not feel that for me. No chemistry. Nothing in common. What? 

He also said he's on various dating sites and meets women all the time. So my perception that he's this lonely guy who's all boxed up and just needed a push from a nice girl couldn't have been more wrong. He wants somebody. Just not me. He's just not into me at all.

He asked if I thought we really had anything in common and I nearly spit out my drink as I spluttered, "yes, of course! I have more in common with you than just about anyone I know!!!" How could two people have such complete polar opposite views of themselves???

I thought I would go into this lunch feeling sassy and empowered and in control, but oh my God it did not feel that way at all. It was exactly as I'd feared - a pity lunch in which he only wanted to apologize and then tell me just how much he doesn't want me but wants someone else. What.The.Fuck.

I did manage to squeeze in that I was already dating someone else, but saying that did not feel as good as I'd thought. He was interested in it in the way a brother would be. It sucked.

I thought I felt bad before but now I feel a lot worse. At least before I could fool myself into thinking he really likes me but just doesn't want to disappoint me or something lame like that. Nope. He was never interested, not in the slightest. 

I really wish I'd never started any of this. It's all been very upsetting and a huge blow to my ego, which I didn't need. If I could go back and undo it all and regain a little of my dignity, I would. It's all been a monumental waste of time and energy - and now it's out there, forever, that I put all this energy into this guy who would only ever feel pity for me. Good Lord.

And now I get to see him Thursday night. This was all a huge mistake. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Never a dull moment, part XVIII

What the-?

Well, looky who texted today asking me to lunch next week. None other than The Love Interest. Mother.Effer.

I wrote back that I wasn't sure if I had a weekday sitter anymore but would check. Then I wrote:

Don't feel bad or like you owe me an explanation or anything - we're still friends, it's all good 😀

And then:

...and I'm still eating that frigging cake!!!

Then he wrote:

That pie was huge.  Glad it's in your icebox and not mine!  Also glad we're still friends. So let's get lunch if you can.  Just let me know 

So we're having lunch on Monday. Is he going to say hey, let's go for it? I highly doubt it. I think he just feels bad about how things went and doesn't want to feel awkward on Thursday when we have our monthly meeting. If the situation were reversed I would do the same - actually, I wouldn't ask him to lunch for fear of getting his hopes up; I would call to apologize and smooth things over and make sure we were ok. I mean, I really don't need to hear a second time how much he just wants to be my friend only, you know? I kind of got the message. One friend I told about this development called him a "manipulative little shit". I think that's a little harsh; I think what's really happening is he doesn't want to look like a big jerk. So I will go into this lunch just expecting it to be the apologist bullshit I'm sure it is. I may even take pleasure in telling him I've already started dating someone else...which is true.

Believe it or not, the date I had Wednesday night went really well. I really liked this guy, and was attracted to him despite his short stature. He liked me too and hit me up the very next day for another date...which may end up being the same night as my lunch with The Love Interest...because I am a dirty, dirty whore.

This guy - we'll call him Craig's List Guy (yes, I found one seemingly normal guy in a sea of dick pics and ads for men wanting you to come over and watch them jerk off) - is just my type in many ways; single dad, New Yorker, graphic designer, and very, very nice. We had a blast chatting and he was very interested in the whole Smc thing and my business, etc. I think he just has a tough go of it because of being so tiny. It's not my favorite thing but I like his face and he just seems nice.

And more importantly...interested. How refreshing is that?

So I've been re-reading Fear of Flying for like the bajillionth time, and every time I read it I get something new from it. Last time I read it was before I had kids; all of her musings about possibly having a baby feel so different now that I've done it, and twice. In the book she is torn between two lovers. As am I, apparently. Or rather:

Torn between the long time friend I hit on and was shot down by but now wants to take me to a pity lunch just so I don't think he's a jerk, and some random guy I met on Craig's List who turned out to be kind of cool and actually wants to date me unlike that other guy who's more concerned about my not thinking he's a jerk than my actual feelings

What, is that too long a title for the average book cover?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I haven't wanted to write all week because my mind is a bit of a broken record and I don't want to send you all into "compassion fatigue". Yeah, he turned me down, rejection sucks no matter how you slice it. Now what?

Well, I have a date with someone else tonight, so there's that.

He is a very nice single dad I met on a website I won't even mention here because I don't want you all to think I'm nuts. We've talked on the phone a bit and are meeting tonight casually. The only problem is he's very short - like, as short as me, and I'm already short. I want to say I can just get past that, but...I don't know. I don't think I can. But as you can imagine I need a boost right now and this has given me something else to think about. In the end it will probably go like 99% of my previous internet dates in that we'll have a nice time and I'll never hear from him again. And so it goes.

Mostly right now I'm just annoyed. After four years of the hormonal rollercoaster of conceiving, carrying, birthing, and nursing babies, I unfortunately find myself right back where I began - lonely, bored, and longing for a man in my life. Why??? Nothing good can come of it. I was much better off single, celibate and proud. But now the babies are growing up and it's not enough anymore. There are no more babies to plan for. So what?

I honestly thought the kids would be enough. Sadly, they are not. It's time I admitted this.

So, now that I've exhausted all one options in my circle of single male friends, what do you do? You put yourself online, of course. Every night this week I have sat down to sign up and make a profile. And every night I have shut off my computer without doing it.

I did internet dating for nearly ten years during my thirties. I never once got anything resembling a relationship from it. Not once. All I got was this:

You write to, wink at, or "send a flirt" to hundreds, thousands of men. None of them ever respond. EVER. 

The ones who write to you are either: cut and pasters who send an identical email to every woman who signs up regardless of her preferences, perverts who send dick pics or want naked pictures of you, or misogynists who just write to tell you how ugly you are. Just as in real life, the men who want you are men you would never consider dating in a million years, and the ones you like don't want anything to do with you.

Despite all this, at least for the first week or so you get some decent interest and arrange a few coffee dates. Many of the men you meet are older, fatter, shorter and balder than they claimed. But some are not. If you vetted them on the phone at all you know they're not psychos or boring so you do have a nice time with them and would like to see them again. But they never call again, even if you express you had a nice time and would like to see them again. You go online and there they are every day looking for someone else. It wasn't them - it was you.

Most of the men you meet, regardless of physical attractiveness or good personality, have something off about them. Either they're fresh off a break up and are oozing with non-committal bitterness, seem to fall somewhere on the autism spectrum and have no social skills, or have something wrong with them physically (two giant hearing aids for one guy, another one with a horribly misshapen nose he hid with clever photography, another with the crazy eyes, etc etc). Most just want to get laid and lose interest immediately upon learning you're a smart, serious person. 

There is no sound on earth I'm more familiar with than that of the plaintive cry of a penis right as it retreats into a man's body upon encountering a smart, confident woman. I know it so well I could sing along in harmony. I believe I heard it on my porch last week. 

So why put myself through all that hell again? Because I have no other options, like everyone else on there. Because it's either this or nothing. Because of that one in a billion chance I might actually meet someone decent - which is one more chance than I have right now. 

And I hate that I am reduced to this and hate myself for even considering it. But, there it is. I do want a relationship. Ughhhh.

I am not sure how to go about it yet. I do know I'm only interested in single dads. I also know odds are I will probably not even be appealing to them. I mean, for Christ's sake, if I couldn't even generate the slightest interest when I was childless and ten years younger, who would possibly want me now? My guess is nobody. But I'm curious to find out.

So consider it an experiment you can all join in with me. I'm putting my toe back in that pool with no expectations except more of the same bullshit I experienced back in the day, only less volume because nobody wants a woman with small children. One woman on my Smc Facebook group said she had a profile up for six months and didn't receive one message. Not one. So I think I now have a gauge as to what to expect. Whole lotta nothin'. Much like I'm experiencing right now. Still.