Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wove is...

...helping your parents finish the latest model so that they can finally start enjoying the holidays! And as such I'm not gonna be able to Wove, Thursday this week. Sorry folks -- see you next Thursday!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

lacking appropriate fear...

I recently learned that there is this whole sub-culture of fear that I'm completely missing. That I, as a single gal, am in far more danger every dang day then I ever realized.

It started with a sitcom. Some single chick almost choked on her dinner, alone in her apartment, and from that point on she was afraid of her single status. I assumed the whole thing was tv fun, but as I asked around it turned out that most of my girlfriends had had these same fears when they were single. Fear of death by "nobody was there to help"! It had never occurred to me to be worried about such a thing, and even after I was informed that I was missing out on this fear fun-and-frolic I couldn't find it anything other than silly.

But now I stand corrected. For today I was attacked by my garden tools. Now I know the fear.

Picture this: a lone woman standing against the world, trying to box up fabulous Christmas gifts to ship east (for remember, I wove Christmas) I go out to my storage shed looking for just the right size box for the task, and when I find it I can't drag it out of the corner. I'm tugging, I'm wrestling, and sure I'm swearing too. Wrestle, swear, tug, curse, repeat until triumphant and/or crazy...

Finally the box comes loose, and at that moment I hear a clatter over my head. So I do what you always do when you hear a clatter overhead. ("you mean you threw open the sash to see what's the matter?" Good guess, but no.) I winced. I closed my eyes, pulled my shoulders up over my ears, gritted my teeth and waited for the impact. Oh, and I probably cursed again. When I heard the wooden thud in front of me I figured the coast was clear and gave my shoulders and ears the "all clear" signal.

That was when the rake's metal end smacked me right on my crown. At this point I'm SURE I was swearing.

Once the little birdies stopped flitting in a ring around my head (apologies to Looney Tunes) I took inventory. At first it seemed like I'd escaped relatively damage-free. A bit later I felt the cold spot on my head's tippy-top and found the little hole my rake-friend had made. But all in all, nothing too terrible. More than the injury, I took away from this experience the fear. That long-overdue fear that the lack of someone else in the house was going to somehow directly correlate to my being killed by household objects or chemicals. Because I'm single I'll be killed by a bookshelf falling on me, or accidentally eating bleach, or not chewing my food completely. I didn't appreciate it before, but now I know that I've been living in a fool's paradise. Each meal I've completed without doing myself in has been a miracle and if I were smart I'd be eating nothing but soup or jello.

Now that I finally have the fear I've taken some precautions. All of the gardening equipment was, of course, chained to the storage shed wall. I sold all of my kitchen knives and donated my cleaning chemicals to Goodwill. I'll cook no more meat for meals because how can I ever be sure that I've chewed everything all the way up? Yes, what was previously a clever little lark just to see if there's someone worth hanging out with has now become an act of self-preservation. I need love to live! Literally!

Gotta go -- I gotta unravel all of my scarves. (strangulation dangers.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Wove, Thursday!

I know it's all the rage to rage about this time of the year, and though I'd like to be edgy I just ain't. I confess it here and now: I wove Christmas!

But first, my brief definition of Christmas: That month at the end of the year where everyone is their very best them; when you remember favorite times from childhood, when there are decorations and songs and food and parties and everything is just that much better. It culminates with a day where you give presents to your loved ones and stand there grinning like a doof while they open them, and then you eat til you want to be murdered by a benevolent loved one. And then eat more. And more. And seriously? Yes, more.

There's no religion in my Christmas. It's cool with me if anyone else wants to add religion to their holiday, but for me this one (like all the others) is about family and friends and love and happiness, but not about religion. It's also about tradition. Craploads and craploads of cool, sentimental, make you gulpy traditions, my people. (And the food thing, which I really can't mention enough!)

I wove the whole friggin' time! I wove:
  • Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on tv and cranking the volume during all the songs
  • That Peppermint candy flavor of ice cream that you can't seem to get any other time of the year!
  • Tromping around the tree farm du jour (except "of the year" rather than "of the day" but whatever) looking for the tree with the right amount of space between the branches for the long ornaments
  • The look on my Mom's face the first time I put on Nat King Cole's Christmas album just for her
  • sitting with my dad at some ungodly hour of Christmas morning, having both finished and wrapped our final Christmas projects, now basking in the lovely white glow of the Christmas lights on the tree, which is itself totally overwhelmed by beautiful packages.
I could so go on and on. It's sappy and gushy and I get gulpy and I know everyone likes to complain about the cost and the consumerism and the stress and all of it, but to them I just feel bad, because they're doing it wrong. My Christmas? It's awesome. Happy Holidays, everyone, and Happy Wove, Thursday.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bored and therefore evil...

This is taking FOREVER. How did anyone ever get this idea funded? I mean, just imagine the pitch:

"It's gonna be a massive online matchmaking system! People will create detailed profiles spelling out exactly what they want from a mate, and also exactly who/what they are! Then we'll bring them together and they'll get to know each other gradually, so that they don't make actual contact unless sure that they've got that special something."

"but how will these gradual meetings work?"

"Oh no, they won't meet. No, they'll send endless lists of pre-created questions which will be answered from a pre-created list of responses!"

"Oh, I see. how long will that part of the process last?"

"Only 8 or 9 years!!! And then they'll know for SURE that they've found their soulmate! Assuming that they haven't already snapped and bailed on the system in preference for 2 martinis and a blow job in the bathroom of the closest danceclub." Crickets. Tumbleweeds. Other metaphors of "crappy idea reaction scene" inserted here.

So far I've been really good. I've answered questions honestly, asked them that way too... But I am, at heart, a person who enjoys to mess with the system, people. I can't be expected to behave for too much longer, especially if the process is going to take forever and make me feel stupid in the meantime! No, I fear soon I'll snap and finally take the advice of The King: I'm gonna mess with someone.

But how to do it? Ahhh, that's the rub. (Ooh, how about one time I'll craft all of my responses in Shakespearean jargon?) You must understand, first, that though the system provides you with pre-crafted questions, I believe they do offer the option of crafting one on your own, so I'm assuming I could craft all 5! Here are some ideas:
  • Ask 5 questions all centering around what the person looks like. "how round is your nose? Would you say your teeth are larger than average? Do you now or have you ever sported a mullett? (if so, do you feel really bad about it in hindsight? Would you promise never to do it again?)..."
  • Send them the "stalkers special starter kit" of questions: "What is your car's make, model and color?" Give a brief but recognizable description of yourself? What is the address of your work and your normal working schedule? How heavily would you say you sleep? Are you allergic to chloroform, duct tape and/or handcuffs?"
  • All riddles! Or limericks! Haiku?
  • The princess package. "How many times a week will you bring me presents? You will pump my gas, wash my car and change my oil, right? How pretty am I? How 'bout now? How 'bout now?"
  • The Vinnie Barbarino tribute: "What? Wheah? When? Who?..."
  • Truly evil: do the least politically correct questions EVER. I think it would go a little something like this: "I'm sure you're white, but how white? Which do you prefer: limo or hummer? How many wars do you think the jews have started?"
I'll try to be good, I really will, but I promise you this: just like Oregon rain, reruns and the next celebrity divorce, sooner or later it's gonna happen. And to the poor dude who has to figure out what to do with it I can only say I'm sorry -- I was just so dang bored!

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Why for art thou so single?"

I touched on it briefly early on, but the question of why I've spent so much time as a solo player has come up a bit. It's a tough question for me to answer because I'm not actually in charge of this issue (much as I hate to admit that) so this is gonna be a speculat-a-thon, but here's what I think.

I should preface everything by saying first that I have a very, very healthy ego, 'kay? I don't think I suck. I honestly do think that I'm pretty impressive, and that there are things about me that rock. I feel the need to mention this because I'm now going to spend a bunch of time talking about what repels people from me, and that kind of focus will cause the average person to think "Wow, I wonder if she's loaded the entire gun or just the one bullet?" But you guys aren't the average person, so I know you won't be putting me on a necktie party watch list, right?

Why am I single, single, oh-so-single? Allow me to start with a funny story. I work in an office with 7 older men in professional roles and all supported by very capable, talented, intelligent women, including myself. Tonight was our holiday party (walked out w/ a book on how to do Yo-yo tricks -- not bad for the classic holiday "hey, take my bag of crap!" gift game!) At my table were 4 of the professional guys from the office and one of them starts the evening's conversation by announcing that I'm the only person in the entire office that scares him. And my reaction? "Cool!!"

I don't mean scary like I'm packing heat or have a reputation for throwing copy machines. What we're talking about here is that I'm no shrinking violet. I'm the person in the office who is most intimidating, whether it be my big personality, my absurd level of confidence, my mouth or my "jump in and fix it" ways... I've been taking care of my own crap for so long and I really hate being held hostage by the lack of a partner, so I've worked really, really hard to be able to solve any problem that comes my way. Like picture me carrying a TV up a ladder rather than ask for help, ok? That's how far I'll go to prove I don't need someone else to live my life.

Most guys don't want that in a mate. They want someone who needs them, and that's just not me. They want someone who will depend on them and that's probably not me either. They want someone for whom they can be the hero, and I'm my own hero. Cape, shiny boots, secret identity (true confession: I cried watching Moulan Rouge. But at the time I wasn't wearing the cape.), the whole shebang. I will happily be 1/2 of a team, but I'll never, ever take a back seat. (For one thing, it makes me carsick!)

All of this bravado has definite drawbacks, and I'm not even talking about being single here. I have a terrible time admitting when I've screwed up. I'm loud and I talk without thinking too often. I've made an olympic sport of speaking candidly; my friend's wife seriously doesn't like me; I am that person that some folks cringe at the very thought of.

But most of these same people would also come to me first if they needed help or saving or support. They know that when I tell someone that I've got their back it means something, and it's good to have. I'm loyal like a St. Bernard, fiercely protective and absolutely fearless when I think I'm in the right, even if on someone else's behalf. ESPECIALLY on someone else's behalf. I truly believe there's practically nothing I can't do (except cook.) For me to be able to proudly look myself in the eye each morning I have to be someone that I would be impressed with, and to me that's absolutely worth the trade-off.

So all of this is what some poor schmuck out there has to be able to deal with. I know such guys exist as many of my friends and family are such guys. They're a rare breed and often they're plucked fast, so I know how tall an order this is. But heck, I got time. For now I'll do the driving myself.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The latest.

OK, so we're waiting to see if McFirsty ever comes back, but in the meantime we've got a new player. We're calling this new fellow Maestro (seriously, I'm not telling you where the nickname comes from until the wedding night post!) and he seems promising. He definitely talks a good game and he mentions friends, family and music among those things about which he feels strongly, so I'm in that "hmmm, tell me more" place here. Sadly he is yet another vampire. And I'm about ready to draw the line on this pictureless thing!

Because honestly, how do you not worry that there's something tragically wrong if they won't show you a single picture? I mean, I'm no supermodel, artist's inspiration or movie star and I took a damn picture! In that special way that is me I will take the absence of information (such as a picture) and turn it into the worst possible scenario (such as "man's skin melts when exposed to air -- unimaginative friends call him "Skippy the all-muscle dude!") I also go to all the standard places of panic: obese, nasty comb-over, werewolf-level of body hair, "shower, what's a shower?"

I will, in the next week, decide if I should limit my matches to only those folks who have pictures. If any of you have a recommendation about whether I should make such a limitation let me hear you.

But for now I sent off my standard 5 questions to see what Maestro says. I wonder sometimes if I should pick 5 different questions, but since realistically I am gonna compare any matches against other matches it seems like it makes the most sense to have the same questions each time. Otherwise I'm just comparring apples to Volkswagons.

In short, I'm now playing the waiting game for both McFirsty and Maestro. Ball's in your courts, boys!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I get by with a little help from The Queen!

I'm kind of a collector. Always have been. As a kid I collected comic books, 45's (ask your parents what they are) and Taco Bell commemorative Looney Tunes glasses to name a few. The older I got the more things I've collected: shot glasses and martini glasses (yet I don't drink -- I'm an enigma.), CDs (like 45's but longer and shinier), things with moons on them and Muppets action figures. (just skimming the surface -- don't get me started here.)

But of all the things which I collect I'd say the best, coolest, most impressive and most valuable collection is my friends. I have friends I've known since they were 3, 4, 5 years old! Friends from Jr. high school. Friends from highschool. I've lost some friends and then found them again! Seriously, my collection of friends just rocks, and some of them are really hard to find. For instance, I've got the rare "friend which you had a seriously bad blow out with, where both sides felt totally betrayed, and yet you are still friends" friend and the "to this day many people think that the friend had a crush on you, though there have only been denials about it" friend; rare enough on it's own, but when paired as a set with my "you had a major crush but never got a chance to tell before they met the love of their life" friend and the collection is just about complete!

One friend showed me her love by asking me to be there for the most important moment of her life so far: the birth of her child. We call the little bean Princess Stinkbutt (among 40 skillion nicknames coined in the last 2 years!)

But today I'm talking about The Queen. Princess Stinkbutt's mom, who is one of those friends in my collection. She's also one I lost for a time. I put her down in a city clear across the country and someone moved her when I wasn't looking. I asked around to see if anyone knew what I'd done with her, and sometimes other friends would tell me where the saw her last, but she was never there when I went back for her. And then I was stupid and stopped looking. And f*cking years passed.

But then one time I turned around and there she was, practically exactly where I'd left her in the first place! And we did that impossible thing of not only rekindling the connection but making it stronger! And today there are three things that I can say about The Queen that I cannot say about many others in my collection:

She keeps all of my secrets
She has seen me cry and still thinks I'm strong
When I make her laugh I feel like the priviledged one.

Important, IMPORTANT note: I have so many amazing friends, and this is the not last time a Wove, Thursday will be dedicated to a friend. You'll either be seriously jealous of my collection or totally sick of my friends before I'm done. Because my collection of friends is one of the most impressive ever there was. But I wanted to start with royalty. Ladies and Gentlemen, long live the Queen, and happy Wove, Thursday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

After Holiday lack of inspiration...

So sorry for the long dry spell. Normally I try to be really good about keeping you guys informed, as I know that this is all desperately interesting to each and every one of you, but there was this one day where everyone in my club said "hey, let's each make 3-4 truly amazing dishes and bring them all to one house and eat until we're dead with happy!" And then it took all weekend to recover. (I employed the "hair of the dog what you bit." rule. Best. Recovery. Ever!)

I realize that there's been some positive developments with that I've just not been good about reporting. I've been looking over my list of scapegoats and I'm going to blame both the holiday AND Wove, Thursday for this lack of reporting. (a two-fer scapegoat -- nothing can penetrate such a protective barrier!) But enough of the blame-game, let's get to catching up. First, a recap of the players thus far:

McFirsty: still in play
McSecondy: he closed
Princey: I closed
Newstand Dude: he closed
Vegan Guy: I closed

Now my way-overdue updates...

Update the first: McFirsty finally did send me his answers to my questions. Ya know how I read the answers from Princey and kind of went "yeesh..."? And eventually I rejected him? And at the time I felt like all of my justifications were really excellent. No kidding, I used some overly-large words, I put the inflections on some of them just so, and I used just the right amount of sarcasm, which is where I think most justifications lose their way. The sarcasm has to be used as a scalpal, people, not a sledgehammer. Remember that when next you are crafting a solid justification.

Anyway, I made the justification and cut him lose, but then I began the prerequisite fretting. "What if all of the answers are just like his? What if I'm expecting way too much from this process? Am I being too picky? Am I judging him just because he's from the Sister City? Do I normally talk to myself in questions like this?" (Note: the answer to that last one had better be no. It would just make me nuts.)

But then, like an e-beacon on the e-rizon came a new set of answers to those questions but from a new dude! I kind of wish that these had been the third set of answers so that I could do this whole elaborate parody of the three little bears. Because these answers definitely were Juuust Riiiight. Just when I'd given up on him the elusive McFirsty reappeared on the scene with answers in hand and he nailed them! This validated my pickiness on Princey AND gave me the first bit of honest hope about this process yet!

Now for update the second, also known as the "bad news" or at least the "less good news" (or maybe the "Femtastic is crazy and making everyone else crazy" news!): With these excellent answers came questions of his own for me to answer. I looked over the questions he sent me and I'm pretty sure he's too good for me. Sigh. Here were his questions:

1. If you decided to stay at home for the evening would you tend to: (pick one from a list)
How often do you lose your temper?
How important is chemistry to you?
How many books did you read last year?

And here's what I'm afraid these questions are secretly telling me: He's a reader with zen-like peacefulness who is drop dead charming. And likes to read. (reading was the noble choice answer on two of these questions.) Now if you know anything about me (which would be amazing given that the whole of your knowledge of me is based on these idiotic ramblings. By me!) you know that I will always boil things down to a simple if horribly flawed concept and here's todays:

If their answers are good their questions are too good.

I have such hope for the future.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Here's to us, Who's Like us?...

...damned few! (ooh, musically-inspired, holiday potty-mouth-- sassy!)

OK, so imagine this: you're in this club. The club is full of all of these really amazing people, who are smart and funny and generous and talented and stuff like that. And all the people in the club love hanging out together, playing games together, do hobbies, classes, things together... they have in-jokes and catch-phrases, but for the most part they don't make you wear any club "gear" like sweat suits or special hats w/ ears attached.

Imagine that there are some accepted rules of this club, which include:
  1. everyone is accepted as they are, including some level of wartiness
  2. everybody is allowed to, and expected to, speak their mind, and if things get testy somebody will pretty much always drop a joke-bomb to clear the air
  3. since nobody's perfect anyway we're just gonna air each other's faults openly, usually as part of a high-larious anecdote (note: teller of initial story should expect a counter-story to follow from subject of first story. Repeat as necessary)
  4. never, ever drink the last Pepsi in the house
  5. there is no such thing as "enough food" at any club gathering
  6. he who smelt it, dealt it, unless Squirrely* is in the room
  7. once you're a member of the club you are a member for life. Whether you want to be or not (like the mob, but not nearly as much pasta or church)

Final rule: you wove each other. You can also frustrate each other, resent each other, mock each other or, in some remote instances, hate each other. But the "wove each other" rule is always in effect regardless.

Now I'm sure your next question has gotta be "How does one get into your club?" In my case it was the classic story of "when one member of the club finds a new member to bring into the club, and they wove each other very much..." and then, of course, bow-chicka-bow-bowm... But regardless of whether you got born in, brought in or dragged in, rule #7 is always in effect. We had a big club gathering today and now I'm sitting here full of food and drink and the buzz of club wove. For my club I give many, many Thanks.

Happy Wove, Thursday, everyone!

(*note: once again, names have been changed to protect the innocent. But if they're reading, they know who they are...)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Must Stands, Can't Haves...

I had messages from today. Not one, but two! The fancy-pants makers of sayings would call this that 'feast' part of the equation, after all the famine we've been tangoing through. We had the "Must Haves" and "Can't Stands" from Princey (for the last time, I'm not telling you where the nickname comes from! Secret is secret, dammit!) in record time! (To be fair, he's the first to do this, so he both sets and breaks the record. Oh hell, he IS the record.)

From Princey's lists of "Must Haves" there were several items that... gave me pause. Not red flags like "Must Have 6 legs" or "Must worship my strangely shaped naughty parts," because those would give me more then pause. Something along the lines of leaping, crawling heebie-jeebies, ya know? (spelling police -- heeby-jeeby? Your call.) But ok, here's a frinstance:
"I must have a partner who maintains high standards of personal hygiene, orderliness, and other personal habits."
...I remember seeing that one on the list and thinking "wow, that would make me sound like some kind of uber-sensitive, anal and picky wackadoo. I'd better not pick it." Apparently either Princey didn't reach that conclusion or he's some kind of uber-sensitive, anal and picky wackadoo!
"I must have someone who is willing to share my interests and passions."
...I want to hope that he's just trying to talk about having things in common with a partner. However, I've also seen too many control-freaks who figure if you're not in to whatever they find cool you're just wrong, wrong, wrong. And I'm already wrong enough in life, I don't need new opportunities for that.
"My partner must be financially responsible."
...this is a good thought, but the thing is that I'm, er... whatdyacallit... like, not. I'm not. I mean I'm not filing for bankruptcy or ducking loan sharks or anything. But if my spending enthusiast ways make me so crazy I'd probably be peeling him off the ceiling. No thank you!

And my personal favorite:
"I must have someone who is mature and experienced as a potential sexual partner and is able to express himself/herself freely."
What he probably meant: I want someone who isn't a virgin, a prude or catholic priest." What I'm hearing: "you bring your own saddle, I'll supply the branding iron and Crisco, baby!" followed by animal mating sounds, the smell of bacon grease and the taste of Cocoa Butter and feathers.

And people, you should know this about me: I'm NOT a prude! In fact, I'm extremely motivated to find someone with which to do some parallel parking, if you know what I mean. (oh, and if you don't know what I mean you either shouldn't be reading this or my Mom is finally checking out this link.) What I'm trying to say is this: I have not had touchy-feely, mattress-bouncy, spring-testing fun for over 10 years. A solid DECADE. So if anyone should be throwing down that naughty gauntlet it would be me. And therefore if I'm made hinky by this particular "Must Have" I think I should go with me gut on this one. Right?

From the land of "Can't Stands" I was singing along with his karaoke tune pretty well until I hit this sour note:
"I can't stand someone who likes to spend excessive time sleeping, resting or being a "couch potato."
One of the things I promised myself when diving into this deep and uncharted pool was that I'd be honest about who I am and what I'm looking for. I'd love to say that I'm not lazy, don't spend excessive time sleeping and have never worn the suit of the "couch potato." Oh hell, I could totally say that! I'd just be lying, is all, and then I'm breaking promises I made to myself and I can be such a bitch when I'm pissed off, so I need to keep me on my good side. So honesty it is: I'm not just a couch potato -- I'm the dang queen of the couch potatoes! You wish you could spend as much time lounging on the couch as I do! If you tried, you'd probably pull a muscle!

I could either end this communication now, or I could turn the crank one more time. If I did that I'd send him another set of 5 questions from a whole new list. But I'd also have to wear the bastard hat, because I'm 96% sure that I'd just be indulging in the social experiment at that point. I want to keep seeing what happens next, but I gotta remind myself that this actually isn't a computer game, where I keep going through each level until I save the Royal Cosmonaut or defeat the Evil Asparagus. It's just an amazing simulation.

Too pooped to cover email number two -- must be why they invented tomorrow!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Questions, answers, other crap...

The good news: someone answered some questions.

The bad news: the answers have me a little worried.

Yes, Princey the pictureless wonder squirrel replied to my questions at last. I am going to be the better virtual-person and not shoot back all sorts of snarky comments about how it could take him three weeks to pick out answers to 5 multiple choice questions. (No, instead I just vent to you guys.) Anyway, here's what I've learned about Princey-Mc-Prince-Prince:

1) When in a relationship, how much personal space do you generally find you need?
A) I don't have a great need for "personal space". I like lots of together time.
2) Your idea of a romantic time would be:
E) candle-lit dinner at home or on beach.
3) Would you rather date someone who is:
E) Open.
4) What is your opinion of traditional gender roles?
C) I'm not at all interested in traditional gender roles and want my mate and me to define our roles on our own.
5) Outside of a romantic relationship, are you competitive?
D) I'm never competitive.

What Princey-palia was probably trying to say:

"Hey, I'm looking for someone I can spend quality time with. I like romance that can be done at any time, rather then just on a special ocasion, and I won't make my work the priority over my relationships. I'm not hung up on gender roles, and will be happy to make dinner while you mow the lawn, and you can win at Monopoly -- that's ok with me, baby.

What my 'freaked-out-about-getting-into-any-relationship' filter heard:

"I will expect you to be with me during every second your of free time and I'll be calling you spontaneously to make sure that you're not somewhere having fun without me. When we're not together I will be unable to breath. There's no such thing as too much spooning. Romance is fine, as long as it will cost me as virtually nothing. I'll be calling you at work just to make sure that you miss me, and will go crazy any time your other life obligations conflict with "us time." Although I don't know why you'd have any other life obligations, considering I expect my woman to be home barefoot and pregnant, traditional ideas of working women be damned. But you can win at Monopoly, Kitten."

Apparently I have baggage. Too much wacka-doo juice running through my veins.

Now I have 5 questions from him to answer. they are:

How often do you lose your temper?
How important is chemistry to you?
Your idea of adventure is:
What kind of exercise do you prefer?
What are your body-type preferences for your mate?

Here's what I, being a bad person, want to do:

1) wait for 6 months to answer.
2) finally answer, but by entering all of my own "other" responses for each, like this:
How often do you lose your temper? -- What the f*ck is that supposed to mean?!?
How important is chemistry to you? -- Now, by chemistry we're talking liquor, right? Or something harder? Know what I mean, know what I mean?
Your idea of adventure is: -- backdoor sex. And I mean your back door.
What kind of exercise do you prefer? -- Is free-form couch-sitting considered excercise? Otherwise I'll have to say backdoor sex again.
What are your body-type preferences for your mate? -- first off, she needs to have a great rack... (that's assuming I can't insert a sound file of "Baby Got Back" as my answer.)

...but I know that it would be very wrong to do these things. After all, this guy is the first one to give me a second look. (wow, that reads as sad.) Anyway, I'll put in honest answers and see if I can scare him away with the real me. Fingers crossed, my peoples!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Society of Secret Bloggers

You know how I'm protecting the innocent within this blog, right? And how I'm doing it via secrecy, such as nicknames and obscurity and such? Well, to be honest with you guys (since we're so close and all,) this whole thing is a big secret in my world, and that's the other reason for the lack of real names. In fact, I'm still a little nervous about the fact that my very own face shows up on this blog because that could still tip off my identity to anyone who might accidentally stumble on my little universe. Yes, I am a secret blogger.

Why do I blog on the sly? I've got reasons three, which I disclose to you now in no particular order, which is to say in this following order which I'm yanking from my bottom.

First, as I've already mentioned I've spent my single years establishing myself as that chick who is the singlest of single and is totally cool with it. And in fact that is, for the most part, true. I'm not anti-wove, and if it came along and found me I'd be like "hey, wove, how's it going? You look good -- are those new pantaloons? Man, you pull that look off. I never could. What's that? You say you'd like to stick around and maybe get to know me oodles more? Well, I do have a cake in the oven, but other than that I'm pretty free. Pepsi?" and then I'd do that arm-sweepy thing to welcome them to my world and we'd talk about tv and comic books and become the very bestest of friends.

But after wooing guys, asking guys out, being rejected by guys, being invisible to guys, and sometimes even being one of the guys I just got tired of having to do all the work. All of it. Every smidge of work done personally by yours truly. Tiring and also crappy, especially given the lack of success that came from that work. At some point I said to myself, "Self, you're tired and also still yet alone -- do you really this?" Answer back: "nope." Add to that the fact that I'm painfully independent and self-sufficient, to the point that my friends have to keep quiet about their life projects for fear that I'll sweep in and take them over, and pursuing wove became officially a silly thing to worry about any more.

So I'm not eager to admit to any of my woved ones (hard to say, by the way) that I'm even considering taking steps to wook for wove (see -- hard.) In short, I have my reputation to consider. So unless I knew that this was going to be worthwhile I decided this would be just between me and you. And you. Also you. And I don't know who told you about it, but welcome anyway...

Secondly, if this blog experiment turns out to be a flop (i.e. I am a craptastic writer and shouldn't ever, ever, ever) I really don't want to comfort anybody but me. This way I can close it, delete it and forget it and not have to explain what happened to anyone else. Now I will say that in the last couple of weeks there have started to be comments from readers, and so far they've been complimentary! I know that these readers are all exceptionally smart, kind and with boundless good taste (and also pretty -- did I mention pretty?) so the fact that there are folks who've encouraged me means I'm gonna keep going for a bit more. (you others have nobody to blame for this but the commenters!)

Finally, I feel like I can write about things with a special honesty when those reading the words don't know me. You guys have no pre-conceived notions, no expectations (so far) and therefore you take each word as I write them. I appreciate that kind of freedom.

I know I can't be the only person out there who is blogging on the Q-T, right? Some of you must keep this as a private endeavor too! So I call to you all -- join me in our society. Become an official member of the Society of Secret Bloggers. Add your link in the comments and we'll share our private madness with eachother. Until my friends find out. (then y'all are on y'own!)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goes around, comes around.

Man, sorry for bringing the room down like that. But if I can't be honest to the point of sorrow with you, my bestest of unknown mystery friends, with whom can I?

So, where were we? Oh yeah, I was rejecting someone completely out of hand. And trying not to feel like crap for it. If anyone missed episode one of this saga, there are reasons. Good reasons. Not at all shallow reasons, and I'm sure this is the right thing to do. Now I just gotta do it.

When last we saw our hero (psst: that's me) she was pushing the button marked "Close Match", figuring that would be that. But oh no, me hearties, there's more!

First, you get yet another fabulous list of options. Lists are very big at They have lists for what you want from a mate, lists of what you are like, lists of your faults; then you get to being matched and there are more lists, for the questions that you want them to answer or the steps you can take. OR the list of 18 different reasons why you're ditching a match. 18. I'm not sure which was more surprising: that there were 18, or that there were only 18. Some of my favorites were:
  • "I don't think our Must Haves and Can't Stands fit." -- I had to read that sentence like eleventeen times before I understood it.
  • "I'd rather not say" -- a secret rejection? How french!
  • "Other" -- I'm going to close out a match with "other" some time just because it tickles me. (and right after that I'm going to hell)
But what to pick for this guy, my first rejection? Sadly there was no "Because of my passion for maximalism," so after sorting through that list it seems like the closest one to the truth would be number 13, "I think the difference in our values is too great." But what I've learned from my own experiences (yes, that's plural -- it's been a big week!) is that you should try to figure out what that will sound like to the person you're rejecting when they don't know the specific thing that sent you away.

After all, "difference in our values" could mean "I close this match because friendships are important to you and hate friends!" or "I'm offended by your desire to help those less fortunate then you. Jerk." So I'm reading every question and trying to decide how it could be misinterpreted. (it was either this or washing my hands, washing my hands, washing my hands...)

And then that smart little voice in the back of my head, the one normally drowned out by the Smurf song or dirty limericks, pushed through with this noble, poignant thought: "Ahem... Are you kidding with this? You don't owe him anything -- you have no relationship with this person at all and he's going to live beyond your stupid match! Seriously, how important do you think your opinion of these people is to them? Wow, no wonder you always wear button-up shirts -- you'll never get that massive melon through a head hole!" (give me a moment, I must dry my emotional eyes.)

OK, so "crappy, minimalist-loving values" it is. I shall now click that box and see what comes next...

Nothing! Rejection delivered. So we're down to 2 guys. 2 guys who may or may not actually exist. 2 possibly fictional, pictureless guys. Yeah, this online matchmaking thing is totally awesome.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

For her I buried many squirrel butts.

About 25 days ago my roommate and I decided to wrap up a 15 year partnership. We'd been together since she was the size of 2 tennis balls, though some of my people gave her refuge during a couple of years when I couldn't have her myself. Our bond had many facets, but I think the most significant thing she taught me was the possibility of unconditional wove.

I really want to be clear here: I get this magical product from a bunch of people in my life. Most everyone in my family, many of my friends, and some local politicians if their promises are to be believed. But I honestly think that it's been pretty easy to live up to that with my human connections.

True unconditional wove is seeing the rear 1/2 of a squirrel on the kitchen floor as the gift that it is.

It's taking elaborate steps to coax the live bird she brought home back out of the house, while simultaneously avoiding the crap bombs it's dropping.

Claw gouges on your back from an escape attempt, as you wash the motor oil out of her coat for the third time? That's wove of the unconditional variety.

We're talking spending a week, and your annual bonus, on a radiation treatment for a hyper thyroid, not to mention taking her poop to the hazardous waste part of the dump for the week afterward. (it didn't glow -- I checked.)

But it went both ways, I assure you. She put up with my constantly throwing away her gifts of love-carnage. She let me sing along with the music in my headphones and only occasionally used her claws to let me know she was done. She defended me and our home from so many other cats, dogs, raccoons and possums, though she always lost interest in the big, hairy spiders once she'd crippled 'em but good. She suffered vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and window fans and still looked fabulous.

Tonight I'm finally taking her name off of our answering machine, dumping out her unused litter pan and donating her bed to the animal shelter. The battle is over and I'll consider it a win even though she's gone. Because we got to be together to the very end. But she set the bar for unconditional wove pretty damn high. I pity the fool who has to step up and jump it.

Happy wove, Thursday, folks. I'll finish the adventures of rejectioning next time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Match the Fifth... which I get to put on the douchebag suit.

Flashback: remember McSecondy? The dude who took one look at the little smattering of information they gave about me and knew right away that I wasn't right for him? The one who rejected me without a second thought, dismissing me like so many peanut shells on the floor of the baseball stadium of his life? Remember that douchebag?

Well today the roll of douchebag will be played by me, your very own Femtastic.

I'm gonna reject someone. And I feel like I should have guilt about it, but it's just so definitely the right thing to do that I can't work up the guilt stuff. Blame the parents.

Now I'm sure you're wondering why I would be so sure that someone is rejectable. I have not just one very good reason, but TWO. And I should mention here that having two clear reasons to bail on someone is impressive when you consider just how little the puppet masters at tell you about someone in the initial match. Here are the topic headers for what they share:
  • important interests that you and "The Dude" share
  • one thing "The Dude" is most passionate about
  • three things which "The Dude" is most thankful for
  • 3 Relationship Strengths
  • The most influential person in "The Dude's" life
  • "The Dude's" friends describe him as
  • Three of "The Dude's" best life-skills
And in case this list gives you hope that there's knowledge to be gathered from it, let me assure you there isn't. They're mostly just various ways of saying "look how amazing this guy is! Don't you want him?" It's not as though a likely response to "The Dude's" friends describe him as" would be "Rude, Angry, possibly a serial killer."

But here I was, faced with a minor sprinkling of information which said to me oh-so-clearly "Not the dude for you!" And let me tell you, at last, why. In response to the question "one thing "The Dude" is most passionate about" there was this sentence:
"I am most passionate about making a decent effort to live a lifestyle that is congruent to my envisions. For me, this puts veganism on top of the list. "
Now the overall idea here I applaud, especially his use of "congruent." But I cannot deal with a Vegan. (the people who know me and read this blog are now wetting themselves with laughter at the sheer idea of me and a vegan. Let's give them a minute to compose themselves. How are those cuticles coming along?...) To say that I'm not a big vegetable eater is like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer had some unconventional eating habits. I'm a carnivore, people, just as was my ancestor, the Tyranasaurus Rex!

And let me clarify: I'm also absurdly fond of all animals and living things. I'm the one in the office charged with taking the spiders outside so they won't be killed. I feed squirrels along with the birds. I can't watch a movie if I know that the animal dies within it, even if the animal is the villain! (Jaws, Cujo, Godzilla remake -- all non-Femtastic-approved movies for just this reason.)

But I'm sorry, there is just nothing quite as tasty as juicy fried chicken, a succulent filet of salmon, even a simple cheeseburger. So the idea of me and a vegan (and a tremendously enthusiastic vegan at that!) is an absolute laugh riot. (It gives me his nickname, though, which I hearby dub Vegan Guy.) And yet it doesn't end there.

He also added this sentence as a follow-up to the vegan bombshell:

"Not far behind are minimalism and volunteering. "
"But Femtastic, what could you have against volunteering?" I hear you ask. Absolutely nothing. I'm very pro-volunteering. I spend 3 hours a week volunteering time for our local animal shelter myself. No, it's definitely not the volunteering.

Minimalism? How can someone be passionate about minimalism? And I'm asking this literally. If anyone has an insight as to how that could be done please chime in, because I'm just lost here. A dictionary I found defines minimalism as "Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements." It would seem to me that passion works in a totally different direction. Could one actually say, passionately, "Wow oh wow, look at how few essentials or elements they've used here! Awesome!"

And then Vegan Guy wrapped up his answer with:

"I'm also probably far too passionate about keeping fit, that's strictly for selfish reasons."

and that's when I ran away, away, away. Because though I like the idea of being fit, for me it's more of a conceptual thing. Like wanting to be 100% honest, or entirely free of envy. Or learning how to take flight. All cool, but just just not realistic. And I'd like to be with someone who might push me a little in this area, but not so much that I'm forced to end our relationship by crushing his head with my microwave oven (after having used same oven to make a new batch of oniony tater tots, of course.)

There was one more thing, but it's more of a pet peeve then a problem. You'll notice that the question that spawned all of this bad disclosure was "one thing Vegan Guy is most passionate about." ONE THING. How many things do you count in that response? Because I count five. Five things. Five things in response to a question asking for one thing. Five times more things then were requested. 500% more stuff then he was supposed to shove into that answer box. One thing, Vegan-guy! One!!

So, I clicked the "close match" button, and I bet you think it ends there, right? Well, it does for today, but (and I've always wanted to do this!) I must say:


Sunday, November 12, 2006

The wish list

First, a recap for those of you still filling out your score cards:

McFirsty: we were "matched" (so romantic -- can't wait to tell this story to our grandkiddies) on Oct. 26, and I sent him my piercing, probing (dirty!) questions that day, despite his being plagued with a lack of face (if his "picture" is to be believed). After getting no answers I nudged him on Nov. 6th. I'm overwhelmed by the affections he's lavished on me, carefully disguised as ignoring me completely. Such a Romantic!

McSecondy: Matched and ditched all in one day. I sent him a closed message to let him know that I thought he was moving too fast and I needed to find someone who would take a little time with their relationships. Ironically, this guy had a picture. (stupid irony.)

Princey: Matched on Oct. 29th, picture-free again. He's also been shy. Or quiet. Possibly imaginary? I decided not to nudge Princey because... yeah, I'm sure there was a reason when I decided that. I'm slightly less sure that it was a really good reason. (It certainly wasn't a very memorable reason, so...) Thoughts on nudging anyone?

Newstand Dude: Matchness achieved on Nov. 9 and, big, hairy dang surprise: he also had no picture. In further pursuit of my social experiment I've opted to let N.D. send me questions rather than sending them to him. Which I'm just sure he'll do. Any day now. Just wait...

And all of that brings us to now. Still waiting for something to happen.

While we're getting so very good at this waiting, waiting, waiting we've so far talked about what I consider deal breakers (no smokers, boozers, angora rabbits) and we've talked about what the E-Experts at think I'm looking for (funny, open-minded, not suicidal). But there's still one more list that I think is worth covering (especially since there ain't nothin' happenin' over at the wish list. Those things that I'll be using as a tie-breaker should I discover many possible mens of my dreams. Here's what that list might look like:
  • Plays the drums. Don't ask me why, but I've had a soft spot for drummers since puberty. Maybe it's the excellent rhythm, or maybe the absurdly muscle-bound right calves -- who can know? But loves me some drummer boy.
  • Plays pool. I'm sorry, but the sound of pool balls whacking together is audio-sex, people! And someone who can really control a pool table gets my attention. And I do mean that in the way that you're thinking. (except for you -- stop thinking that.)
  • Australian accent. Oh come on, do I really have to explain that?
  • Can cook. Because I really can NOT cook. I also don't enjoy it. But any guy who could, and would want to, cook me some crazy-good meal would earn fabulous gratitude in whatever form he'd prefer.
I'm sure there are others I could come up with, but those who know me would all throw these out if asked this same question about me, so I know these are right. Now what I need is to have so many dude options to choose from that I must refer to this list to narrow the field. Wish me luck on that first part!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Third time is the...

Charm? Last straw? Pain in my ass?

I've got a new match. Woo-hoo. Feel the thrill. As you may have guessed, I'm just not feeling the wove here. First, this is the third match who's pictureless. He's got no picture. Faceless and I'm supposed to face that? Why so? And I have to ask myself: do I have a picture when they see my info? I really don't know anymore. I wish there was a way I could see what my stuff looks like to them. Because if he gets to see my face and I don't get to see his, well that just don't seem kosher, ya know? Anyway, I've got Mr. Invisible number three.

Note: Mr. Invisible is not this guy's official nickname.

Secondly, this fellow is from our city's sister city, which I and most of my neighbors (and by neighbor I mean everyone else in this city) have vowed to judge like a book with a crappy cover! (is this bad? yes it is. but it is the bad that is of my people. we, as a group, have decided to be bad in this way.) By itself his location means very little, but it's number two and I have both a number one and a number three. Speaking of which...

Thirdly (toldja!), I really have a tough time wanting to turn the crank a third time given that the first two cranks (ooh, dirty!) have so far lead to nada, zero, zip, bupkis, etc. I'm getting a tremendous sense of deja vu here. Ya see, in my past pretty much all of my romantic daliances (I think that's french, as well as probably spelled wrong) were a direct result of me doing all the work. I asked folks out, I did the flirting, it was all me. And one of the reasons I stopped worrying about the wove thing was because I got tired of feeling desperate, like I was always chasing things down.

Then looky, looky, here I goes again! I get the email and I turn the crank, and then nothing else happens.

So I'm gonna do it a wee pinch different this time. I dub this new guy "Newstand Dude" for reasons I'll only explain within my wedding reception toast (I'm not getting ahead of myself -- I make this vow for pretty much all the guys) and I'm gonna let him send me some questions. I need to know whether anything happens if I don't take the first step, so the ball's in his court as of now. Riddle me something, Newstand Dude!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Love, Thursday #1

Ladies and Gents, meet both my inspiration and the impossible dream, all rolled into one. These lovely peoples be my parents. We'll call them Mom and Dad -- they'll answer to it and everything.

Mom and Dad have been married for almost 45 years. And to each other the whole time! (no, seriously!) Growing up I was one of those kids who's parents were considered weird because they hadn't found the fight that could kill them yet. They loved each other, and even more strange I guess is that they liked each other at the same time. And strangest of all: apparently (if this shot is to be believed) they still do!

(By the way, I should mention that I like them both too. Always have. My favorite people, really. Wait until you get to know them, I'm sure you'll love them too.)

Anyway, when people see a kid who's parents are together for so long they naturally expect that the kid will also find their sweet baboo and settle down to "love me always and I'll do the same and I'll even let the little stuff slide if you will" bliss. My sister did it, but she's always been an over-achiever. Show off, really -- she got her home run on the second time at bat! (and by "at bat" I'm talking dudes, not marriages or anything dirty.) In fact, just about everyone in my whole extended family is paired off, so I really am the blackest of black sheepies amongst my people!

But here's the deal: when you see it so good for so long it sets a very high bar and I'm really not willing to compromise on what I want from wove. I don't think I should have to. After all, they didn't! No, wove and I are gonna have to work this out, but in the end I either get all that I want from wove, or wove keeps on a-walkin'. (I'm 2 wuh-words away from baby talk here!)

So here on my first entry into Love, Thursday (or I should say Wove, Thursday) I present to you all what I aspire to achieve. If it's worth doin', it's worth doin' right! Happy Wove Thursday.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nudge, nudge, say some more...

So the first guy I was "matched" to, whom we have nicknamed McFirsty? Yeah, he's never come back around with those pithy little answers to my 5 carefully selected (read: drawn from a hat) questions. Based on this E-snubbing I figured I had a few options:

-choose to preemptorily hate him -- "Oh yeah? Well screw you, Mr. "I don't really need to find a woman!" You and your lack of details and your empty picture box and your abundant silence -- I don't need you either!" and find the little emoticon-type-deal that signifies my stomping off in an E-huff.


-keep hangin' on, knowing in my soft-and-mushy heart of hearts that he'll come around if I can just be patient and wait, wait, wait -- "I just know that when McFirsty comes back around, bringing with him a lovely bouquet of tenderly-picked answers to my special questions, that we will make that instant connection that only a keyboard, a monitor and the World Wide Web can provide. Oh it will be so very magical..."


-use all the tools that the internet has brought forth to find him, find him, FIND HIM! -- "Yeah, is this ? From In Oregon? Yeah, this is Femtastic. From Nevermind how I found you -- I'm not gonna be IGNORED, McFirsty! Now, where do you keep your stock pots and your rabbit?..."

However it turns out that our tech-wizards at have another option for me. Now that it's been over 7 days since I sent him the questions they say that I could "nudge" him. There's this button by his name which even says "Nudge" and I'm gonna push it and see what happens, right? (ok, ok, I'm going to push it. Stop pressuring me!!)


OK, he's been nudged! And because they love me (at least until they find someone else to do it) my helpful, generous BWFE (Best Website Friends Ever) gave me some really good advice. They put their E-arm around my shoulder, giving it a supportive E-squeeze, and then they told me (by placing it in a banner message across the center of the page) that I should "Please be patient." Then, E-sensing that I wasn't buying it and being concerned that my E-confidence might be shaken by the lack of any E-sponse, they reminded me (by including it in the very same banner) that "each member has different time commitments. A member may still be interested, even though they have not responded to a communication."

Thanks I E-needed that.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who needs REAL wove? I've got TV!

Yes, as my very good friends at surf through their millions and millions, and millions of matches slowly, methodically, probably through a method of 3x5 cards and post it flags, I am spending time with the best match maker of all: television.

Oh sure, movies are good. And magazines have their place. And don't even get me started on comic books! But really, if you want to make a meaningful connection with a handsome, sensitive, funny, cool guy you need go no further then that happy little box in the corner (or if you're in my house, box in every single room of the house!) There you can find men worthy of your love and with a dedication that few others can match. You can count on them! They'll be there every week, the same time, the same place... How many real men can you say that about? (oh shut up, show offs!)

Who do I look forward to tristing with each week? Here are but a few:

Jon Stewart: funny and handsome, and toss in a healthy dose of smart. Woo hoo! I've loved this guy since he was a totally unknown comic doing little clips on Comedy Central some 15+ years ago, so I was super-excited when he got his own show! I tune in 4 nights a week and through him I can do the impossible: enjoy any kind of news!

Luke Danes: For any of you who like fast, pithy dialogue and jokes about dogs named after vintage pop singers I say "see you Tuesday!" Here you'll find my gruff, rugged, loaner of a diner owner Luke Danes. Sure, in the last season he went slowly buggy and I feel as though I haven't seen him for months, but I can sometimes find reruns and it's like he never left. Oh I've got your fries, buddy, right here! (I was going for kinky, but that was mostly just creepy.)

Desmond the crazy Scottish guy on Lost: Is it the accent? The nudity? The scruffy facial hair that never gets longer or goes away? Yes it is. I know many folks ask the question "who is hotter: Sawyer or Jack?" but for me it's all about the loon who was talked into pushing that damn button for years while still maintaining his love for 60's pop hits. And the accent, brotha!

Robert Scorpio: Oh come on! He's a spy, an Australian AND he came back from the dead! Who could possibly say no to the greatest character that daytime TV ever knew? Now, I tried to watch GH when I first found out that the former WSB agent was being brought back from the great beyond, and here's the deal: the writing suuuuuuucked. Even worse, they kept insisting that he actually read what the writers had written. What are they thinking? But I see this return to GH as a loophole that will allow me to add him to this list, even if I'm not enjoying his current life. (I find what works is to close my eyes and imagine that it's old, wacky Robert. Same awesome accent, right?)

*Honorary Mention*
Ze Frank: I know what many of you are saying: "Hey, he's not on the TV." to which I wait for one of those fabulous dramatic pauses and then reply: "YET." But you mark my words: some day (and I think it may be soon) the rest of the media world will finally discover this guy and put his star on the BIG map. For now I get to really relish our tight, warm and personal bond. Every afternoon. (back off ladies -- he's mine!)

OK, I'll keep you posted if something actually happens with In the meantime, I'll be hanging with my guys. Dreamy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's those damn little things...

So to understand the inspiration for this post you must first read the most recent post on (click it -- it does tricks!) Go ahead and read it, I'll wait... (and now I'm humming and checking my cuticles for hangnails.)

See, now I couldn't have agreed more with her husband's take on the importance of petting the dog. It may seem like such a small thing, but those small things are the kinds of signs I think everyone should be on the look out for. Here are some others that, to me, seem like important red flags:

  • being rude to the serving staff at the restaurant
  • laughing at the misfortune of others
  • accusing complete strangers of low character
  • gloom-and-doom-sayers
  • love-at-first-sighters
  • loaning or borrowing money right away

I had a guy I dated for far, FAR too long and I remember that I was completely oblivious to many of these kinds of warning signals. That's probably the only thing I regret or am embarrassed about from that train wreck of a relationship. I tell stories to friends of things that he said or did and I can see them looking at me and thinking "how the hell did you continue to date this schmuck for 2 more years???" Once they hear them it makes it really hard to convince them to loan me their car or let me care for their children.

Best example story I have of this: Having lunch with the guy (whom we will henceforth call Irish Boy, though that's not any slam on the Irish. He was just a terrible representative for them) and with my parents. He's telling a story about a time he played some vicious trick on a close friend in the Air force, and he's laughing and laughing (and I'm trying to crawl, head-first, in between my shoulders and disappear entirely.) Finally he finishes his story (completely oblivious to the fact that he's the ONLY person laughing) and my Dad says to him an old family phrase: "It's easy to fool someone who trusts you."

Irish Boy's response? "yeah, isn't it great?!"

And yet, 2+ more years until I finally figured out how much of a mistake the whole thing was. I stopped telling that story to friends who generally think well of me, because I always had to follow it up with "I swear, I'm really not stupid. I think maybe I was distracted by something shiny that day?"

Anyway, this time I'm determined to pay much more attention! And at the same time I'm hoping that anyone who tunes into this blog (where are you guys anyway? anyone? anyone?) will chime in if you see me missing a big ol' red flag. Send up smoke signals, use semaphore, or hey, anybody else notice that comments thing down there? Cool!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Was it something I never got a chance to say?

Here's a very new twist on rejection: I got matched and rejected before I even got to work on Thursday. No, really. I got an email saying "hey, we gots us another matchy-poo for you! Come and see!" so I went and see'd. But what I see'd was that McSecondy (I'd make a better nickname, but come on -- he ditched me!) had send me this warm, tender message:

"Based on statements in their profile, I'm not interested in this match."

Aaaawww, and I didn't get you anything...

As much as I know the rational way to respond to this is "whatever..." and move on quickly, I had to take a peek at my profile to see if I could figure out what it was that sent McSecondy fleeing. I think I finally figured it out when I reviewed his profile. One item read:

"You have to be with people. This extends into the need to gain popularity, achieve social recognition and influence those people around you. The "bottom-line" is a strong people orientation."

See, one of the things I've been kind of stressing about what I'll respond to from someone else is that they don't need to be with people. You don't spend most of 36 years as a solo-player (sorry, I meant to say "playa!") without developing an appreciation for private time. So I guess I'm seeing this as a good thing: if he's ever so clingy as that kind of indicates I'd rather he went away rather than my having to beg him to go away.

Moving on, there's a new match as of today. Apparently I attract vampires, because this guy also has no pictures. I don't know if there's truly no picture available for both of these matches or if they've decided they don't want to share that information until after the connection has been made. But frankly either way it gives a person pause. I mean I'm no cover girl or pin-up model, but I made the point of taking a couple of pictures of myself so as to have them out there. When someone doesn't provide a picture you can't help but worry that their single status may have something to do with their looks. (Like they have Michael Jackson's nose or Marty Feldman's baby blues.) I've already mentioned that this is pretty shallow, but it's also pretty dang honest. And in all the time we've known each other have I ever lied to you yet?

Still, until I get corroboration of this possibility (like finally getting a visual for one of these matches and realizing that Quazi Modo did, in fact, have kids) I'm not going to close a possible connection simply for lack of a photo. After all, that may be what put of McSecondy, right? And I don't want to be that guy. Not quite yet.

So I guess I'd better go check out the new guy, give him a nickname and decide if I want to start communicating, eh?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And away we go!...

Well, now I've done it. I've actually provided a credit card number to the beast. I'm an official member of an online dating site. I don't want to give the name of the site (for OH so many reasons) so we're gonna call my online match-making website "" Anyway, is now charged with findin' me a man.

I pulled the trigger last night, and this morning I found an email hopping around in my inbox like a new puppy and saying "looky, looky at what we finded!" I lookied and what they found sounds promising (as I'm sure they all will -- everyone looks good on paper when given the right boxes to check!) but has one knock against him right away: no picture. Am I shallow enough to reject someone purely on the basis of no looks? Yeah, I probably am.

Let me explain how this particular site works. It's not like a guy grocery store, where I can browse leisurely through the aisles of men, reading their nutritional and ingredient lists or being attracted (or repelled) by their marketing slogans. No, this is more like a fancy gourmet market, where you go to the nattily-dressed concierge and tell him what you're looking for ("Yeah, do you guys have any white dudes who have a job, treat women with respect and can make me laugh, in stock?") and they check their inventory and bring you anything matching your request ("Hmmm, nothing on the shelves right now, but I think we got a shipment last night so let me check in the back.") In other, very different word: now that I'm officially playing the game I have to sit here and wait for the dungeon master to tell me that it's my turn again.

And so far they've rewarded me with one match. This, my first possible twoo wove, deserves a name. Actually, he has a name but I'm not gonna use it here. Firstly, it's a name that isn't uncommon and therefore if another fellow w/ this name comes along it could get confusing. Secondly, I'm protecting the innocent here, as well as the potentially innocent and even the not-at-all innocent (heck, I'm protecting my own name and lord knows you can't use that word to describe me w/out getting struck by lightening!) and so he gets a nickname.

(also I just love having constant opportunities to come up with nicknames. Winky face!)

And therefore, because I don't know much about him and in honor of a tradition started on Grey's Anatomy, I hereby dub this first dude McFirsty!

Now I gotta decide what to do next. Here are the options open to me:
  • Put him on hold, which I guess means I don't reject him, but I don't communicate either. Why is that a good thing?
  • Close the match, which essentially means "ew, I think you have e-cooties!"
  • Request "FastTrack." This would bypass the in-between steps and go straight to open communication. I'm gonna reject this option just because it uses the phrase "FastTrack." How would that sound in the story for the grandkids? "Gramma was so desperate she rushed to jump Grampa's bones right quick! Another cookie?"
  • Start communicating, which seems to consist of sending him 5 questions, selected from a list of 57 questions, through the site. Apparently these questions are designed to let him woo me with his answers. Here are a few possible questions I could select to find out more about this twoo wove:

"Which of the following indoor activities sounds like the most fun to you?" Sadly, naked Twister or cruelly mocking reality shows were not listed, so how is this a helpful question? Next!

"Your idea of adventure is:" I have no idea what I would want someone to say in response to this question. Sounds like a dangerous road, so I'm skipping it. Still 55 more to choose from!

"What kind of exercise do you prefer?" Too much to hope that one option would just be a picture of the guy laughing...

"Which of the following quirks would bother you most about your partner?" OK, a good question in theory, but since none of the options are "when she is so stubborn that she lets me fall off a cliff rather than admit that she was wrong" it falls short of the warning I'm looking for. For HIM.

...many more options to choose and some of them are potentially helpful. But it feels really odd to be "meeting" someone this way. I think this is how the Terminator and Battlestar Galactica really started -- the machines started with fixing us up and soon they controlled the world!

And I still have to decide if I'm going to reject him outright for having no picture...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"I don't take good pictures...

...'cuz I have the kind of beauty that moves." as Ani DiFranco was smart enough to once say.

Yeah, I'm not a member of the photogenic club. And therefore I hate having to produce pictures of myself. I set up a page once, and chose a lovely shot of a favorite Muppet as my icon rather than throw up my own mug.

Of course if I say this to anyone they'll always assure me that I'm very attractive, which is very nice (and that's exactly why they say it) but it's not the point. I'm totally fine w/ my level of attractiveness, but it's my photogenicness (it's a word now!) that I'm not cool with. For years I've countered this problem by being the one with the camera all the time. But now I'm sitting here w/ the dang thing in my hands having to take my own picture.

This is something I can do. And it's my only good alternative, because I know how I'd like to look in a picture. Others will take a picture that they think looks fine, but we're all our own worst critics of our own pics, so I gotta be happy more than anyone else. So I'll get it done, I will.

Here, however, are some I felt I should reject...


Cheeky Monkey!

Slouchy hotness...?

...check out my profile for one of the keepers. Next step: I pull the trigger!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In a word: Woah.

So I finally got through the profile on my online dating site of choice. The people who complained that the profile takes forever to get through? I'm sending them all cakes that say "understatement of the year." Several days, people! Now granted I couldn't just sit and do it (because then when would I have written my posts to you guys?) but even if I had done so we're talking over an hour easy. I was all cranky and bitter and "screw you guys, I'm goin' home!" when I was finished.

Then they said "OK, do you want to see info about who we think you're looking for?" Well hell, I'd taken the time so I might as well check out the results.

It's spooky! We're not talking "tall, blond, must like dogs, no creeps, must like color blue...," which is what I was expecting. These are detailed descriptions of all sorts of aspects of a person's personality and character, spelled out to the point that you're matching famous movie characters to each one! Here are some examples of the dude I'm apparently perfectly matched to:

Some important qualities that your ideal partner brings to the relationship are:
He has a great sense of humor.
His friends all appreciate his ability to make people laugh on occasion.
He is usually open-minded and flexible.
He is generally pretty happy about his life.

...all true. I mean if you asked me "what are you looking for in a guy?" I wouldn't have pulled on a cardigan sweater, grabbed my meerschaum pipe and said in a mock english accent "That he have a great sense of humor, have friends that appreciate his ability to make people laugh on occasion, is usually..." But I don't look at this list and say "this is totally not me." Another nugget:

Kindness: Your ideal mate is the kind of person who wants to
support you through life's ups and downs. He will be willing to be there for you emotionally, but he may not always know the best way how. You don't need the perfect man, but you will do best with someone who tries to be sensitive to your feelings, even if he isn't always perfectly attuned to your needs. You and your ideal mate will be mutually supportive, but won't demand more from each other than you are willing to give.

...also true! I especially appreciated the inclusion about being mutually supportive, but not demanding more that one could give.

I'm surfing through page after page of these determinations regarding both who I am and who I'm looking for and it's really familiar! Man, you gotta know I didn't want to give an ounce of merit to all the questions, questions, questions I had to wade through in the dang profile. But it's hard to argue with the end result.

I do think that the net they're casting is a bit wide. It reminds me of psychics in a nightclub act. They know how to throw out general enough "predictions" that they're bound to find someone who connects. After all, it's not like someone's ideal mate will be a person who has a bad sense of humor, or who doesn't want to support their mate. Still, we all know from worshipping at the idol Google that the way to improve your search results is to widen your parameters.

I now have to do the following few things:
-take a digital picture suitable for posting. (shudder.)
-decide if I'm going to sign up w/ this site and, if so, for how long.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Deal Breakers...

last time I was being all wise about how I know that the people I'm going to meet online will have their own baggage or challenges or whatever. And for the most part I'm OK with that. But obviously I'm gonna have some things I cannot deal with.

There's this other blog I like to read called Dooce (find the link over on the left. But don't click it yet! I still have wise things to say! It will be there when I'm done.) and she had this post once referring to a book w/ ideas of things to write in one's blog. The example that Dooce tried was this:

“What are your relationship deal breakers? Some folks are annoyed if a date shows up ten minutes late. Others look for something weightier, like a felony record. Have you ever rejected someone over something that seems insignificant to your friends? Or do you have selective blindness for red flags?”

She then proceeded to get just short of 400 comments about people's deal breakers! What I learned from this list is that I don't have to mention the obvious ones here, such as rapist, murderer, alcoholic, abuser, etc... These go without saying, although I so wanted to go out and add my comment and say them anyway. So with that caveat already out there I bring you my deal-breakers:
  1. Smokers. There's just no way. I don't even know how they live around themselves.
  2. Excessive drinkers. I'm not saying alcoholic (although I know they would certainly fall into that category) but I'm pretty much a tea-totler (spelling help there anyone?) and anybody that has to have a few to relax wouldn't last with me.
  3. Excessive preachers/prayers. I'm sure I'm just about to alienate some readers (wow, only 4 posts. And I even refrained from dropping Mr. F-bomb!) but I'm not religious. Some would even call me anti-religion, at least in the organized way. Can't handle it and can't take people who do very seriously.
  4. They have to make me laugh, and I have to make them laugh. I learned the very hard way how crucial this is.
  5. They have to handle someone with a big, close family. 'Cause baby, that's me! Don't believe me? Ask my sister's husband. He's still in shock and it's been over 16 years.
  6. Can't be opposed to living with cats. Because I've had a cat in my house my entire life and if I gotta choose between my cat or a guy, Mr. Man is really, REALLY going to have to make a compelling argument! (The cat doesn't have to make their argument. Cats are inherently cool.)
  7. Physically? Though this may fall into the "goes without saying" category, they can't be horrifically obese or so covered in hair on all parts of the body as to resemble an angora rabbit. (shudder...)
I think that's it? I know I'll get an email from my best buddy with additions to this list so it might get an encore listing later. There's one more, but it's not so much a deal breaker as it is a warning for anyone interested in me: you'd better be able to handle a tremendously strong willed lady. Seriously. No, seriously. I'm hell on wheels when I get to rollin! (Again, my best bud will confirm this for anyone who needs it. I'll go into more info on her soon too.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

But I'm not the perfect me yet!

So as I mentioned before I spent some time reading all of these online review sites with people ranting and raving about what they hated (or loved, but mostly hated) about the particular online matchmaking site they tried. Many of them are very lame reviews, by people who either expected way too much from the experience ("why are all the people on these sites so average looking? Fix yourself up, people!") or are of the "when it goes wrong who can I blame other than myself" club.

I wanted to scoff at the people who complained about the pickings being slim. Could this be why you're still single -- because nobody is good enough for you? But it got me to thinking about one of my concerns about embarking on this... oh heck, let's call it an adventure. We'll call it that now, before I'm actually experiencing it and it has to be called something more ironic...

How do I put myself out there as (supposedly) a good catch when there are so many things about me that I'm not happy with? Physically I'd like to be more fit and slimmer, and smarts-wize I never did get a college degree. But the one that I really wish I could avoid telling people is the job thing. I have no career. I'm one of these folks who is stranded in a J-O-B so as to keep bringing in the money for rent and insurance and other necessities. I'd love (sorry, make that LOVE!!!) to be self-employed, but the skills I have acquired over my 20 years in the work force are not those that can be done freelance. ("What do you do for a living?" "I'm a freelance Office Manager. Need your office managed for a day or so?") So I'm stuck, and I therefore hate to answer that classic of ice-breaker questions, "so, what do you do?" Here are the answers I'm toying with:
  • "As little as possible!" - has the double-advantages of being both lame and cliche
  • "I'm retired -- I invented dice" - those of you who know this quote are automatically cool. Congrats. (the rest of you need to step it up, but I'm rooting for ya...)
  • "I'm a secret shopper. Actually, I'm secretly shopping right now!"
  • "What do YOU do?" - SunTzu once said, the best defense is a good offense!
As a chum of mine was first embarking on this very same "adventure" a while ago she would tell me about these people she'd found, and how sweet and cute and great and funny and etc., etc., etc., they all were. And I always asked her the same question: "So, what's wrong with them?" It's not that I'm bitter (generally) but more that if they were amazing catches they would probably not be looking for love online.

I'm not saying that everyone I'm gonna meet is an axe murderer or rapist or Republican. But they're all going to have the baggage that has tanked their pursuit of wove through traditional means. Maybe they're single parents who can't get out much? Or they work unbelievable hours, and therefore again can't get out much. Or they're shy, or they're not shy enough or they're chubby or anorexic or eat with their mouth open or WHATEVER! I'm not judging (yet) but I'm saying: don't go at this expecting that you'll find someone who is completely perfect. That's hard enough to find in the best of situations, and if you're surfing for wove you are not in the best of situations. Know that going in, right?

So what's wrong with me? We'll get there, don't worry.

(Have I signed up on a site yet? Nope -- haven't been able to get all the way through the frigging profile yet!)

Friday, September 29, 2006

So many options, so few positive reviews...

OK, step two is decide what the f*ck I'm doing here.

(oh yeah, you guys don't know me too well yet so I should explain the cleverly placed asterix there. I'm not a prude or anything -- I'll drop the F-bomb when appropriate and all. But I figure there's no reason to go getting offensive right off the bat. It's not like I'm doing Goodfellas here or anything, right? If anyone isn't sure what the word there is supposed to be just email me and I'll clear it up. Of course, I'll absolutely have to go "duh!" somewhere in that email. Just figured I should warn you. OK, tangent over...)

Where was I? Oh yeah, deciding what I'm doing. Or more to the point, I gotta pick "my site" and I figured this would be a cinch. There are some big players that have commercials on tv and such, and it makes sense to go with a bigger player because they'll have bigger populations to peruse, in theory, right? But when I went to check things out here's what I find:
  1. There are more than a couple of big players
  2. Of those players there are sub-types of sites depending on what you're looking for AND
  3. They're stupidly expensive!
I'll be frank, when I saw the pricetags out there I thought seriously about bailing on this whole thing. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First let me tell you of the variety of options out there.

You gotta figure out if you want to date, hook up or fall in "wove." I'm not much for just dating (our beloved friend and mentor TV tells us that is sucks) and I'm too old and too busy for "hooking up" so it must be Wove I'm looking for. (and can I say how shocking a realization that is for me to make!!)

That decision made I then had to narrow that field. Here are some of the big players I have to choose from:

E-Harmony -- the biggest player out there, who boasts a very accurate personality profile that will determine exactly who you're looking for in a mate
Perfect Match -- another big player, and how they differ from E-Harmony I'm not sure. Client profile? check. Big population? check.
Chemistry -- brought to us by the same folks who created, but this is there relationship site, as opposed to their dating site (which is Hmm, that sentence is a circle. Didn't see that coming...)
Matchmaker -- and with this one I'm beginning to realize there really isn't a big difference with what the various sites offer! I'm buying a dart board tomorrow and letting the pointy feathered bastards make the decision for me.

...except that there is the question of cost. Here's one of the insidious (read: crappy/sneaky!) things about these sites. They pretty much all make you go through the painful and LENGTHY process of completing your profile before they let you see how much it's gonna cost. I discovered this by surfing around and around and around (hey, haven't we see this tree before?) the various sites looking for the nugget of info. You want to see how much it costs to play? You gotta pay in your valuable time first!

I especially love this irony because one of the big reasons that people say they go to these online sites to find Mr./Mrs. Right is a general lack of time. Get it? Lack of time!! Oh, the pain...

"hey, Fem, where did you hear that statisticky-thing about why people do this?"

Oh that. Well when I was trying to figure out which site to pick I started trying to search for info and man-o-man, there are just a crapload (I don't consider this the same as dropping the F-bomb, so you're gonna have to get over my use of the C-bomb. A Lot.) of people out there looking to tell you about the love sites. There are general review sites like E-pinions, there are matchmaking-specific review sites (boy howdy are there those out there) and there are even online magazine sites devoted entirely to online matchmaking. And at this point I'm so very sorry that I'm not kidding about that.

"So didn't you get any good information from these reviews about what site to go through?"

Good question. Thanks for asking. No I didn't.

Tangent: have you noticed that it's generally considered the best review of a product when it comes from a consumer? does it, and and many of the online purveyors of goods (and not-so-goods) and yet I hate these reviews! It's mostly a place where the lackeys of the company that made the product go and rave about it, and then people who had a bummer experience (which is unavoidable no matter how good the product) go and bitch about it. Everything's either amazing or pure crap and it's all so very dramatic. Can't handle the drama, people!

I hoped the online dating online magazine online... anyway, I hoped that they'd have some real info for me, but there wasn't much there either and everything was somewhere between months and years old.

Dartboard, here I come!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

What's a nice girl like me doing in a blog like this...

So here's the deal. I'm thirtyblahness, I'm single and I have been since,... Well, create your pithy metaphor for a long time and insert it here. (also not a bad place for an "insert something here" joke, given my dry spell. I'll let you do that too. I'll wait...)

Why have I been single, single, single? I suppose it depends on who you ask. My friends would say I've got issues, and probably that I'm too picky. One has suggested that I'm just not trying hard enough. Family would say things very supportively, but they probably think I have given up. Many people who have run up against my more difficult personality traits would call me, in the classic vernacular, a beeee-otch! I say it's three things:

-I'm one hell of a handful and most men aren't up for it.
-I have so very little time (work, school, family, etc.) and won't spend it trolling for love
-I don't need someone else. I would like someone else, but I don't need someone else. It makes a difference. Trust me.

I'm sure we'll dwell on my damage many more times in the future, so let me move on.

My parents (I love them, by the way -- you'll hear more about them for sure) had a friend get married after years of being single, and he met his sweety on E-Harmony. So they came back from the wedding really excited that I could use that system too! And because I have no tact I totally shot down the idea. Why? Because frankly I'd just feel stupid putting that kind of time and energy (and money -- those sites are way spendy!) on "finding love." How does one do that and not scream "I'm lonely! I'm desperate! Somebody love me!" My goals til now have been to be A-OK as a solo act. But I am not opposed to a relationship; I just want it to find me. So how to try to appease my parents without feeling like an idiot?

By killing 2 birds with 1 stone!

I'd been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while (just call me a frustrated William Goldman or Joshilyn Jackson) and here, at last, was a topic worthy of such an endeavor. I'm going to try my hand at this online love thing and you're going to go along for the ride. I hope that it will be worthy of my time writing and your time reading, and I'll make the following promises regarding the adventure:

  1. I'll take this online matchmaking seriously, and be open to any good thing that comes from it!
  2. I'll keep the names of absolutely everybody I mention private, and use nicknames to protect the innocent (just in case I write about someone innocent, but I doubt it) and the rest of my family, friends and friends-to-be.
  3. If this starts to suck, or if it gets to be too, too painful, I'll stop. I promise I'll stop.
  4. Anything I decide to add to the blog that isn't on topic I'll place in a side-spot, so those who don't need to know my favorite 5 books or what I last had to drink can be not bothered. (I'd be not bothered if I were you!)
Good luck to you all, and to me. I'm pretty sure this is the first sign of the apocolypse, so watch for frogs falling from the sky people!