Life

Vancity Buzz Feature – Love At Ikea

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Laura recently wrote a piece for Vancity Buzz’s ‘Single In Vancouver (Worst Dating Stories)’ column, and her piece was featured on the site today!
Click here to read Laura’s story (Love At Ikea) on Vancity Buzz!

About Vancity Buzz:
Since 2008, Vancity Buzz has been engaging readers with content that highlights the culture, people and developments of our beautiful city of Vancouver. Our content is fresh, reliable and informative. Our aim is to keep Vancouverites connected to the city’s pulse.

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Love At A Pub

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Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to sander over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo

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Life

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

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I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I still have my profile up on a paid dating site. However, I have not actually been out on any dates in literally months.
I know what you’re thinking… why the hell not?

Well, I’ll tell you why not. I just haven’t come across anyone who I’ve really had complete interest in. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been asked plenty. Men still come a callin. That’s not the problem. I still got it. I think.

Problem is, I seem to have come to a place of having set some pretty high standards for any would be callers.
Potential dates. Future boyfriends. Possible husband. You get the picture.

For the past few months I have been going with the flow of these incredibly high standards I have created.  But now thinking it over, I have to tell ya, I am becoming slightly concerned with my own feelings regarding this whole new philosophy and my increasingly comfortable lack of interest or effort.

I mean, have I gone and set the potential mate/date standard bar so damn high that no one will ever realistically qualify? Have I just become so complacent and nonchalant about dating that I now prefer to sit back and let possible ‘awesome guys‘ slip through the intense high standard cracks I’ve built? (My mother seems to think so.)

Anyways, let me give you my answer to that.
Nope, I don’t think I have. Well, not completely anyways.
I tend to think that because I’ve had so much experience with dating trials and tribulations since my divorce, I have come to a place of just not wanting to deal with anymore bullshit. No more Mr. Wrongs of any sort. No more Mr. Maybe’s or Mr. What Ifs. Not even second chances and/or excuses for their short comings. No more wasting time. I can’t tell you how over all of that shit I am. Therefore, yes siree, my bar is set damn high now.

So now I have chosen to sit back and take the minimal effort approach of waiting until the absolute Mr Right (for me) strolls into town and makes himself known to me. Howdy cowboy.
In choosing this method I now have no choice but to do some rehashing of tales gone by.
Yes, by the lack of having any new dates to blog about I’m resorting to reminiscing and reliving all of my previous dating stories. But I’m opting to think of it as therapeutic journaling for myself (and for anyone else who is just trying to figure things out as well.)
I can’t be the only one out there trying to figure out this debacle of a dating world we’re living in. Can I?

Hellooo??? Anyone?

That’s where blogging comes in.
Basically, I’m going to share all (or many) of my past dating experiences since my divorce.
Perhaps, on paper (blog) I’ll be able to make some sense of these dating experiences which are now a complete jumbled up mess in my mind.
Possibly I’ll uncover any poor dating patterns I possess (fairly positive I may have just one or two) or I may discover I’m in need of some real deep therapeutic professional help. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.  Not that there’s anything wrong with professional therapy. I highly recommend it. I just know if it gets to that point, well, I could be there for so, so long. And for so many reasons.
I just don’t have the time for that.

So let me just start at the beginning. Well, (the after my separation/divorce…6 years ago beginning.)  My marriage and divorce stories will all be told in due time. I swear.

In an effort to get the history of guys/dates straight for you (and for me) I am going to write out a summary of sorts. Guest starring roles of men who have made more then one appearance in my life.
I have had plenty of ‘meet and greets’ in between my semi relationships/long term relationships that I won’t include on this list. I’ll save that for yet another list. That’s gonna be real fun!

Bare with me.

Okay, let’s start:

#1. The Hydro Guy (we’ll call him Enrique)

– 36 years old
– Total mutual chemistry, I mean total
– Met on a online dating site (at this point I’m still debating whether free or paid dating sites make any difference)
– Divorced father of 2 younger children, was married 10 years
– Really really good looking…I mean, really, good looking (albeit kinda short but whatever)

He eventually went running in the opposite direction after a couple of months of casual dating saying he knew he was the first guy I’ve dated after my divorce and knew he’d be my mandatory rebound guy. Although I disagreed then, he was probably right.
Such a pity. I really liked him.
Ironically a month ago his profile showed up on my ‘top matches’ of a dating site… hmmm, we’re both single again. How completely depressing.

#2. The Tradesman Guy (we’ll call him Mark)

– 38 years old
– Total mutual chemistry
– Met on a free online dating site
– Father of a young daughter, never married
– Light haired which I’m typically not into, but I found him oh so very nice
– Not sure he was completely over his baby’s mama yet

He was confusing in that he was totally into me, made it very obvious yet seemed hesitant to get too serious… I’m only guessing here, but it could have to do with the previous point.

#3. The Rock Star (we’ll call him Ross)

– 32yrs old
– Total mutual chemistry, like I think I’m in love at first look kind of chemistry
– Met on a free online dating site
– Father of a young daughter, never married

First night we met we closed down the coffee shop, sat outside on a park bench until the late hours of the summer night, said goodbye, than half an hour later he called and we both got in our cars and met each other half way at a local McDonalds, sat in the parking lot and talked for 3 more hours.
He asked me one day what I would do… follow my life long dream or stay for a possible true love?
I had to say goodbye and set him free while he toured the world.
You know the saying? Set him free, if he comes back he was meant to be. Or something like that.
Well, he never came back.
I could’ve fallen head over heels, I still smile when I think of him.

#4. The Semi-Retired Sales Guy (we’ll call him Kevin)

– 42yrs old
– Total mutual chemistry
– Met on a free online dating site
– Father of 2 older sons, was married for 12 years

He wined and dined me, always VIP at numerous restaurants and clubs.
Something always seemed a bit off, like he was with holding some top secret information from me.
I probably came on way too strong and my neediness at that time was pathetic. His feelings for me went from very hot to super cold seemingly over night. After a couple of months he disappeared. I became obsessive and my ‘previously cheated on PI instinct‘ kicked into overdrive and I finally tracked him down.
He acted like an a**hole and I acted like a crazy bitch.
Yeah, that ended badly.

#5. The Entertainment Guy (we’ll call him Shawn)

– 39yrs old
– Met on a free online dating site (yes, seems to be a pattern)
– Never married and no kids

Found out he was close friends with members of a very well known ‘bike club’ but not an actual member of this well known ‘bike club’. Made me kinda like him a little bit more.
Bad boy attraction. I’m so gullible hey?
Took me to a lot of concerts and shows, always VIP, made him even more attractive to me.
Liked to treat me well, I became too serious too soon, he got scared and ran after a few months.
Hmmm… am I detecting a pattern here?

#6. The Young Guy (Ray – I’ve made mention of him in previous posts)

– 26yrs old
– Total and complete mutual chemistry
– Met on a free online dating site

He keeps making appearances in my life to this day… literally, I got a text from him earlier this evening.
I still can’t put my finger on what we shared/share…when I figure it out I’ll let you know.
You can read more about our background – Play On Playa part 1 & 2.

#7. The Sales Guy (We’ll call him Wayne)

– 35 years old
– More chemistry on his part, I had equal chemistry for him when I had red wine (don’t judge)
– Met at a pub (now that’s different)
– Never married, no kids

Our story is a little more complicated and was one of my 2 longer relationships I’ve been in since my divorce.
We dated 2 separate times, first time was 6 years ago for 2yrs (on and off) and the second time was a year and a half ago for approximately a year.
Our first time around was a messed up affair involving his drinking and eventual admittance to heavy cocaine use mixed along with my dire clinginess/neediness/fear of being alone-ness.
Yeah, not a good mix-ness.
Ended badly with him being a cold hearted  a**hole, threatening to call the cops when I turned into a crazy bitch outside his door demanding the return of my precious bag of makeup. Okay, okay, looking back my reaction was just a wee bit over the top.
If that isn’t reason enough to never see someone ever again don’t ask me what the hell I was thinking actually getting back into a relationship with him again three years later!
Ummm… slightly desperate maybe?
Yep, round two. But I can explain in future posts. Really…I can!
Our second time around (2yrs ago) ended a year ago with me breaking his heart and then him refusing to speak one word to me since.

#8. The Unemployed (rich parents) Mama’s Boy (lets call him Ron)

– 34yrs old
– Met on a free online dating site
– Never married, no kids

I fell head over frickin heels for him, in a great big way.
He treated me like a princess, bought me gifts, now I’m the least materialistic person but it sure was a nice change being spoiled.
We had a 3 year relationship, on and off (mostly on but should’ve been off) with the last year of it being long distance.
Our love story turned into a tale of lies, hurt and deception on his part.
Funny enough he now lives across the country and I still get regular messages from him.
Regardless of the pain he caused I loved this guy to the moon… hmmm, anyone know of a good therapist?

Well I think that about covers it. Mostly.
Writing this list I remembered other guys I had went out with just a time or two. That I’ll save for yet another list. That will be oh so fun!

Til next time,
Laura xo

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“Acoustic Guitars Are Not Rock N Roll” Whattt?

I know all of you are dying to know. Did I renew my online dating subscription or didn’t I?
You must be losing sleep wondering what I ended up doing.
So not to keep you all in deep suspense any longer you should know that I did end up renewing my online dating subscription. Well, that’s not entirely true. I just didn’t cancel on time so it automatically renews. That system is either very efficient or sneaky, depends how you look at it.
I knew perfectly well that my account was up for renewal on August 22nd and the days leading up to it I would look at my messages with that subtle flutter of hope that something would surprise me. That there’s one message waiting for me… gonna change my life. I know, I’m being extreme. I’m tired, it’s been a long, stressful kind of day. Work was umm, interesting. But let me get back to my work thing in a minute.

I purposely let my online dating subscription renew with the justification, ya just never know what will happen. Having more options is always a good thing, so that’s what I’m going with for now. However, I have seen a huge transition in my whole outlook on dating since my divorce. I was discussing it over sushi with a girlfriend last week, she has already gone through that ‘dating transition’ after her divorce so she related completely which is so awesome to have that validation from someone who gets exactly what you’re talking about!
I think I might have given the impression on this blog that made it seem like I don’t get any messages on the dating site, that no one shows interest, or sends me winks and clicks the ‘they’re interested button’ when my profile pops up on their screen. That I go on zero dates, poor, poor me. I’m not that pathetic, yet.
I should clarify, I do get plenty of messages (just none that interest me, you ladies know what I’m talking about here), have been on more meet and greets and dates then I care to remember (mostly) and now I simply feel different about the whole process.
The thing is I am not trying to fill that ‘being a couple’ void anymore. I am more focused on me, myself, figuring out who I really am on my own. And guess what? I am content on doing exactly that. I’m pretty damn impressed with myself too. Oh hell yeah I am! It’s like my own personal achievement, some sort of self realization that I finally see. I’m a late bloomer, what can I say!
I do have to say that since my online profile was renewed yesterday, for some strange reason my email sorta blew up yesterday and today with an unusual amount of messages and winks (who doesn’t appreciate a wink right?) Hmmm, not sure what that means or why there’s so many? A sign of encouragement from the dating site gods, like way to not give up Laura! orkeep up the positive awesome attitude, good things are coming!’ Not too sure what it means. Probably nothing at all. I tend to make up fantasy reasons for things, love the mystery ya know?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Let me finish by giving you the brief run down on my less then stellar, stressful day at work.
Let me just say that I was to have a big important meeting with a big important person, (aren’t they all so important?) Anyhow, busy busy busy with prepping and organizing and I pretty much felt totally confident with my overall presentation. Now long story short, I had a theme for this event and that was to represent rock and roll and a particular rock star. His picture was plastered everywhere and on my main display among many rock and roll themed items, I had displayed an actual guitar. My boss pulled me aside 15 minutes before the main ‘important’ person was to show and proceeded to tell me that the acoustic guitar was not rock and roll.

Ummm…what?!

She firmly argued her view, and even went on to say that acoustic guitars make her think of classical music, not rock n roll.
And she was completely, 100% dead serious. She drilled me for at least 15 minutes as to how I think the guitar fits into the theme. I have been to probably hundreds of music concerts and shows (plenty of rock and roll shows) and I’m pretty sure they use guitars of all sorts. Electric and acoustic. Heck violins are even used in some rock bands.

I was totally taken aback and frankly confused at the questioning. It didn’t make one bit of sense to me yet she was sitting there looking at me like I was not making one bit of sense to her.
I stood my ground and defended the good graces of all things rock and roll and said I disagree with you!
When it comes to certain things in life, a girl’s just gotta stand up for what she believes in.

ImageDave Grohl of Foo Fighters

Til next time,
Laura xo

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Dating: Shall I Go On?

Most of my written posts have been about dating. Okay, all of them have been about dating. Dating and baking. That’s what this blog has primarily consisted of thus far. When we (my daughter and I) decided to create a blog our main content focus was originally going to include cosmetics, since we own enough to open our own makeup store. And music, namely local Vancouver indie, up and coming musicians.

Ironically we have very little of the intended material posted on our blog as of yet. (we are definitely going to work on it)
It appears that I bake… and I date. Not necessarily in that order.
What is funny is that I haven’t technically even been on a date-date in months now. However, I’m not concerned as I have loads of ‘material’ from past dating experiences to cover me until something new occurs. God knows I’ve been on enough meet and greets and first dates to last the rest of my life. Really, if I never have to go on another awkward first time meet and greet it would be too soon.
Lately, instead of going out on a Friday or Saturday night date, I find it way more interesting to sift through our old family recipes, jot down ideas and ingredients and spend the whole day/night baking up a storm while dancing and singing around the kitchen listening to music. Or my other latest favourite thing, simply crawling into bed, light some candles, cup of hot tea and a great book or interesting blogs and I’m one happy girl. Oh gosh that sounds very, very sad doesn’t it?

I used to go out as often as possible to meet someone from an online dating site with the attitude, you just never know this could be the one. But now, I will only go out and meet someone who I am completely smitten with and there’s at least more than a hint of potential. Otherwise, sorry, I’ve spent way too many hours in the past few years trying to make Mr Wrong fit into Mr Right. That shit just doesn’t work for me anymore. Im learning. Slowly.

I do still have a profile up on a dating site. A site that I have paid 3 months for. It expires at the end of this month. I have not yet decided if I am going to renew my membership or not. I rarely even go on to check messages anymore, it always seems to be a let down. I used to check messages numerous times during the day, now I check maybe once a week or so.

One can’t help but have insecurites and wonder if you’re doing something wrong, portraying yourself in a certain way, good or bad, attracting the wrong guys for the wrong reasons…so many variables. You start to feel like it’s completely you, and that no one wants you. It has gotten to the point that it’s depressing to check messages. Yet I still have that glimmer of hope that maybe I’ll open my mailbox and there will be that one special message waiting for me. From my one and only, my Mr Right. You know? Like the movie, You’ve Got Mail.
A girl can dream.

You've got mail meg and laptop
Sharing and talking about dating experiences with numerous other single women gives me some sort of comfort and hope. We all have our challenges when it comes to dating regardless of age. I still have to force negative thoughts aside when I start to think I’m way too old to date, I’ll never find anyone and maybe I should just give up. It’s difficult not to think that when I come across a very attractive profile picture of a 40 year old man (perfect age range for me) on a dating site, then upon closer inspection realize he has his potential date age requirement set at 20-35 years of age. Okay, really? You will only date someone that is more than 5+ years younger than yourself? That in itself speaks volumes.

So for now I will have to decide whether to renew my dating profile or not. Until then I have way more pressing matters to attend to. Should I bake the Double Layer Chocolate Cake next or an old family favourite Walnut Coconut Slice?
So many decisions.

Til next time,
Laura xo

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Play On Playa! Part 2.

Play On Playa! Part 2.

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, ‘Ray‘ – the younger handsome guy I’ve been in and out of contact with for the past 6 years since my divorce.

Eventually contact between Ray and I became almost non exsistant. The odd text, ‘hey what’s up?’ or the rare ‘poke’ on Facebook. That was it. Seriously a poke? A ‘poke’ is like saying, “something triggered thoughts of you while I was browsing Facebook but I don’t really feel like saying an actual hello…or exert too much energy on you.”
I wouldn’t even respond most of the time.

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Then a few months ago, I am once again single and back on a dreaded dating site. Out of the blue I received a message on this dating site from Ray! Weird. Wasn’t even the same dating site we initially met on years ago. Small world.
“Hey, fancy meeting you here!” he says. “I see you’re single again?”
Hmmmm? … Alright, I’ll bite because I have no self control apparently. I respond, but not right away. Screw that. I wait a couple of days. That’ll show him. I’m so very busy you know. Laundry, fixing things, uhhh, washing my hair…
Yes, I’m single again I tell him. We exchange a few emails back and forth on the dating site, he asks me out. Again. But it’s been like 4 years and 2 pretty serious relationships in between since I’ve really heard from him. But it’s not like we haven’t known what’s generally been going on in each others lives. Thank God for being Facebook buddies right? No more mystery or anonymity.

He asks me if I want to meet for a drink and catch up. He says he always had fun hangin with me and wonders why we lost touch. Ah yeah, forsure. I’m thinking the same damn thing. We did have lots of fun which is why I find it totally ironic you disappeared off the face of the earth without explanation. But hey, what’s 4 years between friends?

I tell him I’d let him know when I was available. I’m pretty busy you know, doing all kinds of … stuff. I wait a couple of days before replying. I let him know I am available the following week and give him a 2 day option, either Wednesday or Thursday evening after work. I purposely don’t include a weekend day even though I have absolutely no plans to speak of. He is definitely not worthy of a weekend day at this point. Weekends go by too quickly and are reserved for family or for someone who has earned that time slot in my life. I am calling the shots. By now I’ve read a few more books on dating, been on a variety of dates, therefore I feel a little wiser and carry just a little more confidence and experience under my belt.
One of my favourite dating books I read is, ‘Why Men Love Bitches’. It has all sorts of great dating advice and suggestions on what to do and what not do when it comes to dating men. Love that book. I decided to follow their suggestions. I’m all up to date on what a single female must do to have successful dating experiences and how to hopefully find and keep that one and only. Hey, its worth a try.

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Ray chooses to meet Thursday. Good. Thursday works for me. I like Thursdays, they’re always a good day. I ponder what I should wear. It’s winter and cold. Casual jeans. No, too casual. Maybe a little dressier but not overly done. Hell yeah, of course I want him to take notice. I choose to wear tights so I can rock my new Steve Madden boots and pair that with a long black style coat. Perfect. Doesn’t look like I’m trying too hard yet I feel good about my choice.
We meet at 7pm. Guess where? At the same pub where we met for the first time 5 years ago. We both arrive and end up getting out of our vehicles at the same time. It’s like one of those romance movies where the couple walk towards eachother in great anticipation, eager to finally see eachother. Love is in the air, music is playing, birds chirping… okay, no that’s not true. It wasn’t like that at all. But it was definitely good to see him and he looked very handsome. I didn’t expect anything less as I had seen plenty pictures of him posted on Facebook during these past years.

We give each other a genuine embrace and I am surprised that I’m a little shaky from nerves. Only slightly. We make our way into the pub and we find a nice table tucked in the corner near the fireplace. Oddly it doesn’t seem the least bit awkward so I’m questioning my nervousness. Like uncontrollable slight shakiness. Odd.
We order drinks and he proceeds to order a variety of appetizers to share even though I can’t even think of food right now. I’m keeping my cool and we start to get into a good flow of conversation. That’s the thing with Ray and I, we genuinely like eachother and at times it’s as though we are just really, really good friends. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the way it is.
Our conversation consists of everything. All the while avoiding any serious talk about ‘us’. That sounds crazy to even say ‘us’. There really was never an ‘us’. But ladies, you know how we women are. We want to put labels on things as to make sense of the situation. Or is that just me? In any regard…
My nerves settle and I feel calm. I’m sure the wine is contributing to that.
I finally decide to just come out and say it, “So, why do you think we stopped seeing eachother?” Whew. There, said it. Do you ever say something out loud and immediately wish you could just rewind, reword or just keep your mouth shut?
He pauses, laughs and makes some remark about me not wasting anytime getting right to it. It’s almost impossible to know what he is thinking or going to say but I feel slightly nervous what he might say.
“Hmmm…” he says, “I think it was because I was so immature but thought I was ready to settle down. I was no where near ready.”
That’s it? I think ‘Really?’ Okay, not sure how to respond to that. But you know, having a couple sips of wine and running thoughts through my mind, processing, I think he does have a point. He was young. Hell, he’s still young. Remembering back I recall how persistent he was and how convincing he was just to get me to meet him. Fact still remains, he was definitely young. That’s for sure. I suppose in the back of my mind these past years I was completely aware of this and therefore never let myself get completely emotionally involved. You know, me being the older, wiser more mature one and all.

Conversation continues, and it’s just so comfortable. We’ve talked so long, the pub is shutting down and closes for the night. The evening went by so very fast. He suggests I should come over so I can listen to his CD. A music project he invested a lot of his time, heart and soul into. He played the instruments and recorded the whole project. It’s funny because when we used to hang out we always had our love for music in common, our connection. We used to talk about music forever. Could never get enough.
“No, I don’t think its a good idea to come over tonight. It’s late. I have to get up early.” I’m saying out loud while internally thinking, yes, yes, I definitely want to come over. Most definitely yes. Why not?
Well, I’ll tell you why not. There’s probably at least a million reasons why not.
I stick to my word and I tell him that we’ll have to get together again soon. Perferably not in another 4 years. He insists that I should at least sit in his truck with him and listen to a couple of his songs before I go. I oblige as I am truly excited to hear his music accomplishment.
I say goodnight and we part ways. He says he’ll call.
Will you Ray? Are you really going to call?
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Laura xo

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Life

Play on Playa! Part 1.

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On Sunday I ended up getting a text from (let’s call him Ray). He was one of the first guys I met after my divorce and we’ve been in and out of touch for the past 6 years.

Let me give you a little background on ‘Ray’… I met Ray online (surprise, surprise) approximately 8 months after my separation/divorce.
Now, Ray is 10 years younger then me. (Gasp!) Or maybe he is 11 years younger. I can’t be too sure because back then (6 years ago) I always told people, more specifically, potential dates, that I was one or two years younger then I actually was. So at this point I can’t even remember what age I told him I was. I was 38 then, had been with my husband since I was 18 years old. That’s 20 years! After we separated I felt like I was incredibly old, like dinosaur old. Awkward and inexperienced at dating. So to make myself feel better I gave myself a couple of years lead way. Like a present to myself. I deserved it, I earned that right to adjust my age as far as I was concerned. It doesn’t matter.
Anyways, point is, Ray was younger, very attractive, funny, smart, never married, no kids, doesn’t want kids (perfect because I don’t/can’t either), tattooed, great job, ambitious, owned his own home and truck (pretty hard to find a guy who does at that age). He contacted me on a popular dating site and we began to correspond regularly. At first I wasn’t even going to meet him, strictly because of the age difference. But he was very persistent and pointed out all of the reasons why I should meet him and give him a chance. Literally, he sent me a list of numbered reasons why I should give him a chance. Impressive. Who could resist? I finally agreed and we met for a drink.

We met at a local pub and instantly there was chemistry between us. After our first drink he tells me he’ll pay for the first drink but go dutch on the rest. Is this the current dating standard I wonder? Okay, I say while thinking what the hell? But mulling it over silently in my mind I realized that seems pretty fair. I figured why should he pay when It was only our first meeting. It wasn’t an official date-date, after all. That and because I knew I was only having one drink, that’s my limit on a first meeting/date so it really wasn’t a huge issue for me. My rules. (and I’m allowed to break them too, only when I see fit… that’s the beauty of making your own rules!)
Hell, I didn’t even know the so called ‘rules of dating’. I made them up as I went along. So out of the loop. Regardless, I decided not to make any harsh assumptions or formed opinions about him. Yet. I made a mental note to self to confirm with friends immediately on what’s the appropriate protocol on these types of online first meetings/dates. Does he pay, you pay, we both pay? Do we discuss these details or wait for that awkward situation when it’s time to pay and I do the whole reaching into my purse to find my wallet and be like, “I’ll pay for mine, don’t worry.”
I’d have to get to the bottom of this asap and find out the 101 on dating etiquette.
Which reminds me, I went through a faze where I would insist on paying, for myself and whom ever I was out with. I would quickly pull out my wallet, snag the waitress and hand her my credit card, or pay when he was in the washroom. I felt like I needed to be this independent woman and not have a man pay for me. I didn’t want to feel like I owed anyone anything. I have issues, it’s true. I’m sure there’s some underlying deep explanation as to why I felt that way (and still do to some extent) but that’s a whole other blog post (or more).

Back then I was totally clueless and new to dating. When I look back now I can clearly see what kind of dumb ass moves I made. Hindsight is 20/20.
Having been in a marriage for so many years I was used to being part of a duo, a couple, a pair. Solo I seemed lost and probably clingy to these new men who came into my life. I seemed to be constantly looking for a man to fill that huge void I was carrying around. Meanwhile, at the time I thought I was playing it cool but I was most likely giving off the ‘marry me asap’ vibe which probably had some guys pretty damn nervous and running in the opposite direction.

Ray and I went on many dates, hung out a lot, went to concerts, watched movies and tuned into Dancing With The Stars weekly. Don’t judge, we loved that show back then. We had lots of fun together and enjoyed eachothers company. This went on for numerous months sparatically.
We had the kind of relationship that really seemed like a good friendship. We never talked about dating or not dating anyone else, we never assumed anything about each other or where either of us stood. Maybe in the back of my mind our age difference kept my feelings at bay. Were we exclusive or not? It never came up. It was more like an unspoken understanding between us that I guess I actually never really understood. I mean, I am a woman after all and even though I realized we weren’t exactly at the serious exclusive stage, of course the thoughts of maybe, what if, what would it be like and where is this thing we got going on….going?

After awhile he stopped calling as much and making plans as often. More and more time would pass between seeing each other. It kinda hurt my feelings (and ego) but I decided he definitely wasn’t worth it. Yeah, that’s what I kept telling myself to make myself feel somewhat better. Rejection is never fun.

I ended up meeting someone else (lets call him Wayne) at a pub, not online. The old fashioned way. Shocking. We danced and danced the night away to a live band who played dj music during their breaks… our first dance was to ‘Sexy Back’ by Justin Timberlake. Biggest song of the summer which is why I remember it. Oddly enough weird facts like that take up space in my brain. Not sure why.

Anyways, Its a good thing Wayne approached me because my girl friend (aka wing girl) that night had pretty much abandoned me. She was off on her merry way dancing and flirting with the guy who was standing at the end of the bar giving her the flirty eye for 2 hours before he got up enough liquid courage and finally found his way over and asked her to dance. Really? uggghhh.
She never was a good wing woman and she most definitely didn’t know the cardinal rules of being a wing woman.

A few days later I end up finding out through a mutual friend that Ray was seen with a very sexy brunette. Say what? My friend can’t believe my reaction is not of complete shock, hurt and despair. Ironically I am thinking how can I possibly be questioning him when I spent the previous night dancing up a storm and getting a wee bit cozy with Wayne. So in that case Mr. Ray, Play on Playa.

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