Tag Archives: single

15 years

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The other day, the little house I bought when I was a single 29-year-old popped into my mind. It wasn’t anything extravagant;  a little 3-bedroom ranch, in an ok part of town. But it was mine. Where it was didn’t  seem too important. I never expected to be in it all that long. “The long drive to work will be ok,” I thought to myself,  “I don’t need to go out so much anyway. I will  be fine for a few years.” Just seemed like the thing to do.  I ended up being there for 15 years.

A lot happened during those 15 years in that little house; tons of miles on my car, new job, lots of dates, marriage, baby showers for friends, weddings. There were Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, going away parties, new friendships, and then separation, divorce and losing my dad … Yes .. A lot happened. Made me think about my recent townhouse purchase. This time, if I stay for 15 years, I will be 63.  63 … I have repeated that number in my head now for a few days. Does not sound possible.

Those 15 years in my little house felt so short, yet a lifetime seemed to happen there. Staying here in my townhouse isn’t mandatory, but if I do, what will these walls witness?  Will I be happy here? Things are so very different now.  Twelve years ago, a life with someone and having a family was a possibility; that, or at least part of that, has slipped away.  What else and who else will slip away? Who might enter my life?  Will the years fly by so quickly again?  Will I spend them alone? These are things I never put much thought into in the past, but time has become more insistent; it’s telling me it waits for no one or anything.

I have no real plan on how to proceed with my future.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.  Plans can go terribly wrong and leave you disappointed or worse yet, heartbroken.  No plan, and I may drift aimlessly about or become a hermit and binge watch Netflix.  Neither sounds appealing. So for now, I’m going to plan to at least not let either happen.  I may need some company on this journey so please leave any comments or thoughts you have on dealing with the inevitable process of aging.

***Note – this little 63 moment I had freaked me out so much, I spent an hour in a half on the phone with a financial advisor. I must at least have a plan to support my cats ….

Don’t woo me with words and leave me hanging

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Today’s dating world is miles apart from the dating days of my youth. And I say that with a smirk.  I never dated until I was in college. Maybe I missed out on the basics 101 of dating?  Still though, it was a time before cell phones, Facebook, texting and online dating.  People met through friends, at school or out somewhere; a conversation ensued and numbers were exchanged.  A date was arranged and the guy would pick up the girl and out they would go for drinks or dinner or a movie.  Time was spent together along with long chats on the phone. Oh how things have changed.  Now, your fate depends on a left or right swipe and a short paragraph that’s supposed to grab someone’s attention. Introductions are made through text or emails. To think about how many texts I’ve received over the past five years is mind boggling.  Conversations have been diminished  to short little texts with an emoji that’s supposed to express the mood of the words… which aren’t even words anymore… BFF, BRB, LOL, WRUD…. And sexting. Really???  I’ve never felt less sexy.  And for someone to push that in my face when they don’t even know me, well… it’s a bit degrading.  How are you supposed to get to know someone that way?  You can’t.  Relationships aren’t built on emojis and dirty one-liners from pornos. Does anyone have basic conversation skills anymore?  Men and women have enough communication problems without this mess.

I could fill pages ranting on texting in the dating arena and dating in general. I admit, I rely heavily on texting concerning my friends.  But in dating, no.. It should not be the main mode of communication when trying to get to know someone. When that becomes the case,  I’ve learned to pay attention to actions. “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s a saying we’ve all heard but pay little attention.  Words are easy.  Made even easier by the impersonal text, which is also very one-dimensional.  With text, you have no references: was there a joking smile with a comment or a wink of an eye?  Was their tone of voice serious?  Did the person look away or make eye contact?  There’s no touch of a hand for reassurance.  It’s not a good vehicle to share and express emotions and feelings. We read into them what we want.   I was seeing someone who knew exactly what to say to me.  He flattered me with  sweet little texts every morning and throughout the day and I fell for it.   Who doesn’t want to hear they are beautiful?  Isn’t it wonderful to read that someone’s thinking of you and wants to see you?  It was short-lived bliss.  When confronted with the question  “when will I see you?” and all he had were excuses, the gig was up.  The sweet sentiment of his words were lost on his actions.

Begging someone to be apart of our lives shouldn’t be a part of the dating equation.  If it is, then it’s not meant to be.  We shouldn’t be left wondering what that I ♥ U!! truly means or if  WRUD really means they are interested and want to see us.  Our actions reveal our true intentions.  If feelings are mutual, finding time to talk and be together is something you just do. It’s really that simple.

 

 

 

The Gown

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bridal gown

Two weeks ago, I began the process of cleaning out; pulling things out from closets and under beds in preparation for packing and moving. Several things were hiding I haven’t thought about in a while.  Out of sight, out of mind.

My wedding portrait was one of those items under the bed. It was a Christmas gift from my mother in 2010.  Three months later, I was separated.  The portrait was never hung.  So it here was in front of me again.  And again, as I did 2 ½ years ago, wondered what in the hell to do with it. I posted on FB for feedback (I needed non-biased opinions).  I got 27 comments on that post. But one friends’ comment really resonated with me.  She suggested I keep it, but give it to my mom saying, “There’s old and negative energy attached to it.  Having it in your space is holding on to bad “juju.”…Keeping that around may be hampering efforts to move forward in your life, particularly in your love life…” Do I believe in bad mojo or “juju” as she said?  I’m not sure, but I do know my dating luck has been horrible.  I started really thinking about this.

This lead to more purging. I dug out my wedding gown (stock photo above), which has been stashed in the back of a closet for 10 years.  Again, what to do with it?  I have no daughter or nieces that would ever want it and they are very hard to sell.  Yet, it’s the most expensive item of clothing I’ll ever own and I paid for it myself. One friend suggested we have a paint ball fight in it. HA… I’m not angry anymore and the gown didn’t cause the demise of my marriage. I thought it deserved better than being dumped at a thrift store.  I started researching places to donate wedding gowns.

This past Friday, I came across some charities accepting old wedding dresses to make “angel gowns.” Angel gowns are outfits for still-born babies or babies that never make it home from the hospital.  They may either be a burial gown or a keepsake for the family.  A friend lost a baby just last year; together, we found a place to donate my dress.   I wanted to keep it as local as possible and found a seamstress in Raleigh accepting gowns to make the angel dresses.   That night, I also decided to take the portrait to my mom’s, along with the wedding photo albums.  I felt a huge load off of my heart almost immediately.

I woke up Saturday morning ready to do more purging. I found a box for the wedding dress.  I packed it and taped it up.  Without much warning, the tears started flowing.  I probably cried for a good 10 minutes.  And I didn’t even know why.

I wasn’t like most little girls. I never dreamed of my wedding day or wearing a wedding dress.  I didn’t take hours upon hours shopping for it and I didn’t cry when I bought it (that well-known scene from Say Yes to the Dress where the bride is so overcome that she’s found THE dress).  And I knew it had nothing to do with the marriage.  I was done with that the minute I kicked him out the door.  So why all this emotion??  I pondered that the rest of the day and into Sunday.

I believe the stress of packing and moving, on top of the recent (and past) bad dating experiences, lead to a slap-in-the-face realization and strong possibility I may never wear another wedding gown or find that special someone.  Letting go of this gown was letting go of something I may never have again.  Very hard to swallow, even for someone who never really thought of having one to begin with. It was truly an exhausting day.

I feel better today. I dropped the portrait and albums off at moms and the gown is in the mail.  I said my farewell.  Maybe my prince will come; maybe he’s fallen into quick sand.  It really doesn’t matter.  None of that possible bad “juju” will be entering my new home.

The seamstress said she would send a picture of the angel gowns when they are complete. Maybe this was the gown’s true calling and it was just waiting for me to let it go.

Hot Mess

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Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned, it has been 2 1/2 months since I have posted. Its been a hectic couple of months. Quick synopsis for those not on my FB page.

My forray back into the dating world was short-lived. Holiday boy ended the Thursday before Valentines Day (my doing), right after which, in mid February, I found myself with a very sick cat. Two vet visits, one ear surgery, a cone on a not happy kitty for two weeks and $850 later, brings us to March….

I decided to give the dating app one more try. The lineup:  a guy who might be related… far down the line but still…. not into that, some very “interesting” chats with a pilot who thought it very important to keep reminding me he has the labido of an 18 yr old …which I did not care to know,  some back and forth chats with a very nice man who ended up saying he was just now planning a divorce after being separated for 2 years and wasn’t quite sure if he was ready to date (Hello? you’re on a dating website?) and another guy that owns a pizza place (like I need that around) that literally begged me to go on a second date with him to only end up essentially standing me up.  My face started breaking out.  Umm, yes now I remember why I stopped dating…

In the mean time, traffic has been nutzo to and from work and rent is skyrocketing, so I decided to stop the dating craziness and dive into the house hunting craziness instead. I looked at 3 properties, all of which ended up with multiple offers, over asking price. Definitely a Sellers Market, and a very tight one. I soon discovered, for the area I was wanting, my budget was definitely a beer one in a champagne area. Being my stubborn self, I plunged forward and by April 1, I had found a place. It went on the market one day, and I had it by noon the next, with a closing date set for April 29…less than 30 days.

A note: one major hitch in all of this is my apartment lease, which isn’t up until end of August.  This means I continue to pay until someone else does. My fate is in the hands of the leasing gods … May they please be kind to me.

Three days later, my car started to act funny.  Well of course!  I took it in for service and end up being there for 3 hours.  Found out my maintenance contract ends next month!  Yipee! and I need two new front tires.  “These definitely won’t pass inspection in July,” I’m told.

Let the games begin.

That brings us up to date.

It has been a whirl wind of sorting, packing, inspections, appraisals and basic hemorrhaging of the bank account ever since. Lots of stress and purging of things, literally and emotionally, which I will follow-up on… 2 weeks til moving day.

Messages from Switzerland

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There comes a time when you realize maybe you don’t want to do everything on your own. You’re riding along on life’s adventures seemingly missing nothing; happy to be free and make your own choices. Then something happens…. And you realize, maybe you do need more that your furry cats.

Friday night, as I was curled up on the couch with one of the cats and a giant glass of wine, Facebook Messenger flashed at me. I glanced at the name and thought to myself, “who the hell is that?” It was not a name I recognized right off… Elia. I looked again and it clicked. It was a guy from the gadventures.com forum. When I was planning my Croatia trip, I went on the forum to see who else might be doing the same trip. He replied, but after a few messages, realized he was with the group arriving the day we left. Ok.. Have a good trip! That was that.

But here was this message, 3 months later… “Hi Mary, How was your Croatia trip?” Harmless enough, so I replied. We chit chatted a bit about our trips.

He commented, “Unfortunately, we weren’t on the same trip.” His trip was a YOLO trip, a trip gadventures.com caps at age 39 I think, so I knew he was young. I told him I was too old for his trip.

His reply, “No ur such a good-looking woman. U Look like 24 :).”
Now, I remembered him being from Switzerland, and looking at the clock, realized it was around 3:30 am there. Was I being drunk messaged from Switzerland???

I asked about the time and yes, he had just gotten in from a fun evening of billiards and bowling, so I’m assuming he’d had a few. Ok, a little flattery from someone isn’t a bad thing I guess. Conversation didn’t go much longer than that. So that was interesting.

Saturday rolls around, it’s rainy and I have no plans other than laundry, vacuuming, cat brushing… I thought I would be funny and shoot him a message asking if he got his sleep…. Not expecting a reply. Well, I started a conversation that went the entire day. He was messaging me while I worked on my blog at the coffee shop (later he asked if I blogged about our conversation… )

During the course of this, I discover he is all of 21 years old. YIKES!!!!! I was thinking he was at least 26…not that that’s any better. He was interesting to chat with, very polite and funny, travels a lot… he actually looks like Chandler Bing – I’m not kidding in the least about that. But 21????? Lord. I asked if he realized I was old enough to be his mother. Yes, but he didn’t care because we really didn’t know each other and we are on different continents and he enjoys talking to older, mature women…..Hmmm… Is that European thing?

Now let me say right now… I AM NOT A COUGAR!!! I would never go out with anyone in their twenties, they have to at least be 35 (I kid, let’s make it 38..). But I have to confess, it’s been fun chatting with him. He’s very sweet and he really knows what to say to a girl (mature woman) and what not to say. It felt good.

100103WomenDatingYoungerMenIs it wrong to be friends with someone of the opposite sex who is much younger? I have girlfriends that are much younger than me and that’s not a problem. I think talking with people from different places and different ages keeps things interesting. Besides, at this point in my life, if I want to go out with other singles… most of them will be younger… that’s just reality. Why is it so weird when the female is the older person? I like to think of myself as young at heart. Maybe, because I don’t have children, I am more open-minded about these types of situations? I don’t know.

Just having someone express an interest lifted my spirits on a yucky, rainy day. It also irritates me though… where was a guy like this when I was 21? Ugh.. So, thank you Elia, you have made me think. Maybe I am missing something. I’ve been so preoccupied with being a happy, “I don’t need a man”, single woman, that your cheeky charm caught me way off guard. I am happy and it’s been a good year with new adventures, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had someone say nice things to me, make me laugh and feel desirable. Yes, it’s a little creepy if I think about the age (I’m pretending he’s older) I haven’t completely lost my mind, but it makes me question if this is my sign that it’s time to enter the dating world again? Maybe so.

My Wish for You, My Single Friend…

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Last night, as I was perusing Facebook, I came across the following on Adventuresforsingles.com Facebook page:

stop looking

I followed in my comments:

FB comment

This is what I’ve been doing for the past year. Not thinking about dating, instead, focusing on me and doing what makes me happy.

I was catching up on some of the bloggers I follow and came across a post from yogini.sharon on her blog Midlife Moments. Now it’s funny, as I’ve been reading her blog, I found we share a lot of commonalities. After some exchange of comments, she agrees. We are two single ladies, on our own and finding what makes us happy in life besides having a partner; realizing there are other loves beside romantic love. We are learning how to find courage, strength, security and passion within ourselves and the world around us. Her post was truly wonderful and there is no way I could write it any better so I’m sharing her post. Even if you are not single, take a few minutes to read it. It is truly a beautiful reminder to love oneself and to find happiness in what you do have.   Thank you Sharon, my twin in Louisiana, for such an insightful letter…

Midlife Moments

It was overcast all day

I have a friend who is newly single. I watched as she navigated her break-up with her significant other. I supported her as she went through the initial stages of grief .. anger .. bargaining .. denial … depression … acceptance. I let her talk … and cry .. and vent … and held her in my heart as the fear … that fathomless fear …. of being alone crashed into her world. She is through the worst of the initial stuff and is settling into her single life. I, as a single woman and a writer, seem to her like a guide that can help her to step into being single and have a full life regardless of whether or not that space in her bed is ever filled again. My friend, I may seem like a guide that does it with grace, but know that everything you feel…

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