Tag Archives: relationships

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are…

3 Jul

Online dating

What’s new?  Likely one of the most used pleasantries when engaging in small talk.  I actually have my 20 year high school reunion this weekend and I am 100% positive that question will be asked many times.  What’s new with you?  Hmmm.  When you are single that is a hard question to answer.   You don’t have the usual filler material that those who are in a relationship or those who have children can use – ‘I got married’ or ‘I had a baby’.  Instead it feels somewhat awkward and I find myself grappling with what to say.  What’s new?  Well, I have lots of new things on the go, but not the type of stuff you say when engaging in small talk. If the level of small talk is a bit deeper and you perhaps know the person a bit better, ‘Are you seeing anyone?’ will come up.  I am willing to talk about that.  Dating.

I spent a lot of time this weekend with single girlfriends.  They’re smart, confident, fun, pretty, athletic, independent, well travelled, social, interesting and not emotionally messed up women.  I would say the topic of dating comes up every single time we are together.  In fact, it might trump the topic of weather – it even trumps the topic of Trump.  It is like a merry-go-round… we always circle back to it.  It is hard to find someone who is a good match for you.  It is even harder to find someone who is a good match for you when you are 38 and not normal.  That is right NOT NORMAL.  The new normal is flakey and complicated.

Dating has always been a source of emotional highs and low for anyone who engages in it:  triumphs and also complete emotional vulnerability.  In the past, it was giving your number to a guy at a bar and then obsessing with your girlfriends over when he was going to call.   Checking the messages just in case the phone didn’t actually ring when he called.  I remember one girlfriend telling me that she hid in a bush outside a guys house as she was sure he was dating someone else. A low moment.  There have always been the ‘ghosting’ tendencies – not calling after taking the number, not calling back for a second date or being stood up.  Today though, it is a real jungle.  You are no longer required to get dressed up, drink a bottle of wine, take a taxi downtown to your favourite bar to sort through a room full of drunk people in the hopes of finding someone who floats your boat.   You can do it from anywhere – from your toilet, your bed, your sofa, the subway, the doctors office or when even when your date goes to the bathroom if you’re not that into them – you can swipe away as you have access to every other single who is within a given radius of where you are.   More is more.  Options are endless. We make quick judgements based on carefully (or sometimes not so carefully) curated photos of potential mates.  While I was typing this I decided to look at Tinder to see who is around me.  There is a guy named Liam, 36, with 4 sexy photos of himself.   He wrote:  ‘Always love pizza.  Down for whatever’.  John, 42, 3 photos – one of his truck, one of his dog and another of him smoking and having a beer with the dog in the background.  He didn’t write anything.  Graham, 47, one pic of himself with balloons up his shirt which look like breasts. He wrote ‘Married, looking for summer fun.’ I wonder who swipes Yes to these guys?   The pool isn’t overflowing with options.  Just like ordering from the Sears catalog when I was a kid – a lot of stuff in the photos didn’t look as good in person or it just didn’t fit.  On top of this catalog style mate selection – no one talks to each other anymore.   Human to human connections are limited these days.  We shop online, we pay our bills online, we book travel online and we can even order groceries online which greatly lowers the likelihood of meeting someone in a grocery store.  Look around the next time you are sitting at a bar or you’re at an event – everyone is looking at their phones.  It fills a void for the social awkwardness that being alone creates.  I am guilty of it.  They might even be swiping you while you are sitting beside them.   I used to be an amazing wing woman.  I brought a lot friends to the men they were lusting over – there have been a few marriages as a result of my skills .  I wasn’t shy to go over, strike up the conversation, slyly bring my friend into the mix if he seemed cool and then slide away.  I was like Will Smith in Hitch.    I think that’s why old guys always like me because I still enjoy talking to people.  I remind them of ‘the good old days’ when people, just, you know, spoke to each other.  Now if someone comes up to you, you think they are a Jehovah’s Witness or they’re going to put a drug in your drink.  Now don’t get me wrong – online dating has brought me to meet some great guys.  I am discerning with who I meet – you can sniff out quite quickly if someone is worth meeting or not.  You know, if they ask you a question beyond ‘what’s up’ they are really standing out of the crowd.  I’ve had some hilarious dates, great connections and lots of fun.  In fact, this past winter I thought I met someone who was a keeper via online.  It ends up it wasn’t my ring finger I gave him… it was the middle one.

Sex and the City aired for the first time 20 years ago – they were more or less the same age as I am now.  I’ve watched every episode a few times over, and do you want to know what I notice – it is the same stuff my friends and I are dealing with today just in a different package.  My sister-in-law (who luckily found my anomaly of a brother while they were in university) said she thinks she would die if she had to date today.  I am telling you I deserve a medal for the resilience I have shown.  It is actually harder than running a marathon… at least in a marathon you know the struggle is over at 42 km’s.

Just like Carrie never lost sight of the fact that her Mr. Big existed and that romance was not dead… I too remain steadfast in my belief that there is an amazing man out there for my girlfriends, and hopefully for me too.  I am not sure what he looks like, what his age is, where he lives, what he does for work or how much hair he has – it seems that those things matter less and less.   Emotional intelligence, the ability to communicate, the ability to compromise, consideration, reliability, integrity… those attributes are actually the sexy ones.  I know he exists, it only makes rational sense to me that there are also amazing single men out there who are  thinking the same things as my single friends and I.   I don’t think, however, that he is on Tinder with pics of himself at the gym or with balloons up his shirt.  Come out, come out, wherever you are… please.

 

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Stop and Smell The Roses

28 Jun

older blogI would say one of my favourite things in life is connecting with others.  Meeting new people, engaging in great conversation, learning things about them, having a laugh and sharing common bits. I grew up in the country where one of our main time passers was visiting our neighbours and family members – on those visits conversation always flowed.  My father always hammered into my head – ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.  So as a girl who had a natural draw to others I got to practice my conversation and question asking skills all the time!  Those skills have brought me some of my best memories in life.

On my way to work today I was trotting along with the dogs when I heard someone running up behind me saying “Excuse me, excuse me!” I turned around thinking she was going to tell me that my dress was stuck in my underwear and that my butt was hanging out or that I had dropped something from my bag.  She said “My friend is across the street – the guy in the wheelchair.  He was in a serious accident and has been in the hospital for a month and he really misses his dog.  Would you mind letting him pet your dogs?”  “Would I mind, it would be my pleasure!”  So we made our way across the street.  It ends up that he fell asleep on his way to work and he is now paralyzed.  I always feel like the dogs know when someone is feeling vulnerable, so they add extra bits of affection.  Millie got right up on his lap and started licking his face and Jillie laid her head on his legs looking up at him with her sweet eyes.  He just kept saying over and over again ‘You’re such good dogs.  Jillie, you look so much like my dog.  I miss her so much.’  After a solid twenty minutes of this love fest and great conversation,  he said to me ‘Wow, I just realized that was the first time I had totally forgotten about being paralyzed since it happened.  Thank you so much for taking the time to stop.”  Oh boy.  I thanked him right back – his attitude towards his new norm was completely inspiring.

We all live in a busy world.  Lots to do.  Places to go.  Distracted by phones ringing.  Distracted by podcasts.  Distracted by music.  Distracted by texts.  Distracted by social media.  Distracted by finances.  Distracted by schedules.  Distracted by stress.  Distracted by life.  Divorce.  Urban life.  We need to slow down.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development spanned over 80 years; it is one of the longest studies in the world.  The study hoped to find clues into what predictors cause some people to lead healthy and long lives.  Guess what they found?  The quality of ones relationships with loved ones, friends and their community was singlehandedly the biggest predictor of health and happiness.  When you have strong relationships you are more likely to exercise, maintain a healthy weight, feel less depressed, enjoy your work, and use alcohol in moderation.  Close relationships, more than money or fame, bring you joy.  It is true folks – empathy, compassion, communication, connection, and a sense of community matter the most.

I have this bizarre notion that I am never going to die.  I just can’t imagine it.  I think I will be on the cover of The National Inquirer with the headline ‘The Canadian Woman Who Never Died’.  In case my notion is true – I am going to keep connecting, conversing and offering compassion whenever I can so that I can add as many days as possible to my life.  Meeting that guy today inspired me to stop and smell the roses for even longer than I usually do.

We Are Family

22 Aug

Cousins
So, I come from a big family.  When I say big family, how big is that you might ask? Well, my Mom’s father had 13 brothers and sisters and my Dad’s mother also had 13 brothers and sisters.  Both families are Catholic and so there was a whole lot of procreating going on.   Something I’ve realized with age is just how much sex was happening in the past.  When you think of it – there is a very small window when a woman can get pregnant every month.  There were no ovulation tests or IPhone apps for tracking ovulation.  So, with no tracking they were able to get pregnant all the time.  This means they must have been doing it all the time in order to hit the bulls eye on such a regular basis.  Since there was no internet, no cable, no Sunday shopping, Facebook or yoga class to go to – our ancestors used sex as their main source of entertainment.  And through this entertainment came big old families!

I recently had a family reunion for my mothers side of the family – from my Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather there are currently 290 blood descendants (and counting).  That is correct.  From 2 people came 290 people.  Around 250 people attended the family reunion.  Not an optimal place for a single girl, but hey, it was a lot of fun.  The photo at the top is me with most of the great grandchildren who attended the reunion.  How crazy is it to be in a room with 249 people who are related to you and due to my mothers steadfast ability to keep in touch – I know most of them.   Growing up, a past time was visiting.  We had what I call ‘Country Cable’ – two channels which seldom had anything good on them.  Sunday there was Mass for Shut Ins, Grand Pre Wrestling and Coronation Street.  So instead of watching shit TV we would go visit a relative.  There was an open door policy at most houses.  We would just show up, interrupt whatever they were doing and have a visit which usually involved tea and some kind of baked good being put out for you to snack on.   Lots of conversation about politics, family going-on’s and of course stories from days gone by.  Can you imagine doing that now?  My flipping doorbell doesn’t even work!  Now anytime there is an unexpected knock or doorbell ring people assume it is Jehovah’s Witness recruiters and they suddenly become very still inside their homes.  For me, those visits impacted who I am – I loved hearing all the details, all the funny stories, all the opinions, and learning of all of the dynamics.  One thing about me is that I remember everything. I can recant visits from 25 years ago where someone was talking about someone jacking deer, someone growing magic mushrooms on someone’s property or that damn Chretien Government.  Birthday parties were just cousins.  Weddings were mainly family.

After university my cousin Amy and I moved to Toronto.   We chose Toronto as our cousin Alicia had moved up a year earlier and we were hungry to join in on all the fun she was having.  Amy and I shared a computer room with a futon for the summer. There was both a heat wave and a garbage strike that summer and we somehow survived.  Our other cousin Sarah also migrated up at some point.  She is double second cousins with Alicia, first cousin once removed with Amy and a standard second cousin with me.  That means that Alicia’s Mother and Sarah’s Grandmother are sisters AND Alicia’s Father and Sarah’s Grandfather are brothers.  That is right – two sisters married two brothers.  Since Alicia is the youngest in her family she is the same age as me even though she is my mothers first cousin.  Make sense?  See what I am saying about big family.   Amy’s Dad is my Mom’s uncle – her Dad is the youngest in the family of 14 and my Grandpa was the oldest boy.   So Amy is actually my Moms first cousin, but due to the fact that her Dad got married many years after my Grandpa – she is closer to my age.   Layers.  When we would go out it would inevitably come up that we were all related.  Most people were mystified that we could:

  1. All be related
  2. Know each other
  3. Like each other.

Most people would say something like ‘I have like 3 first cousins and I don’t really know any of them’.  There is something completely unique about being pals with your cousins.  You know where each other came from, you know their family, you know dynamics and you know their history.  You really know who they are and how they become who they are.  There is no need for small talk and you ultimately have each others backs.  And we were kind of like Disney World – there was something for everyone.  Tall, short, blonde, brunette, athletic, conservative, wild, shy and loud.  We are all different and have very different tastes in men, so we didn’t ever get out the gloves over them.  But when a man came onto the scene he was sniffed out hard by ‘the cousins’. Kind of like a litmus test for ‘is he bring him home to NS worthy’.  One guy had a terrible laugh.  Nope, we knew he wouldn’t work.  There was an old guy.  No, he didn’t stand a chance.  What do you think?  What do you think?  What do you think?  Everyone has an opinion.

I’ve traveled all over the world and let me tell you – I have family all over the world and my mother would make sure I reached out while there.   Most cities and countries have included a family visit or a connection with someone a family member knows.  Where I live it seems that I run into someone I am related to most days.  For example, today in hot yoga, one of my cousins was in my class.  We did a quick wave and smile before getting into our downward dogs.  In a world where connections are shallow, a sense of community has been lost and people don’t know their neighbours – it is a beautiful thing to run into someone you really know.  Connect with them.  Have a good chat.  Get some updates and usually have a laugh too.  You feel part of something.

A big family.  It gives you deep roots, a wide support system and plenty of gossip.  I dare you to get to know yours even if that means 3 people.

Flying on your own

24 Dec

single-xmas

I went to Christmas Eve mass tonight in the small church where I was baptized and got my first communion.  Well actually, it is not the same church as a few years back the original building went up in flames and needed to be replaced.   It seems there was a local fire starter as that year 3 or 4 big buildings burnt to the ground in this small rural community.  Although no one was ever arrested in the words of my mother ‘something queer was going on.’  Most of the people in the church are related to me or I grew up with them.  It has always been a social sniff out – see who is home for Christmas, who brought a new  man/woman home, who had a baby, who looks better and who looks worse

Last year I wanted to go to church even less than I usually want to go as I had very recently broken up with my boyfriend who I lived with.  It was an absolute guarantee someone was going to ask me where he was or the real gassy ones might say ‘are you getting a diamond for Christmas?’  Nope, I gave him a different finger.  When you see someone you haven’t seen in a bit it is very standard to ask ‘what is new with you?  There are social norms for someone my age to respond with:

  1. I got engaged
  2. I got married
  3. I had a baby

When you have none of those things to report it feels so goddamn awkward.  It is kind of like the autopilot question ‘how are you’ to which we respond ‘good’.  No one actually wants to hear you say ‘my boyfriend and I just broke up, I don’t know where I am going to be living and I hope Mom and Dad give me a Christmas present.’  But that was a year ago and although that question still feels awkward I am completely confidant in reporting the fact that I am single and ready to mingle (if anyone reading knows a fabulous guy let a girl know).  My ever-so-thoughtful best friend is also home for Christmas.  She just had a baby so she has something to report this year. She was on a brain storm last night of who the guy for me might be and where I could meet him.  She said – tomorrow night in church look around and see if there is anyone there.  You never know who might be home or who might be single now.’  As much as I appreciate the gesture finding someone in church in Maryvale would be like having a sighting of The Lochness Monster or winning the lottery.  Very unlikely.

Tonight, in the middle of mass there was a commotion at the back of the church.  At first I thought it was the man of my dreams coming to find me.  Shit, my imagination got the better of me.    In reality someone fainted.   My Dad loves Rita MacNeil, a singer from Cape Breton.  She had a cleft pallet and was as wide as she was tall.  There were many Rita MacNeil jokes – she threw her underwear into the crowd at her concert and suffocated the first two rows. For a woman who outwardly looked like someone I would never relate to, her lyrics resonate with me.  I too love her songs.  If my dear friend Sacha is reading this she will be dying laughing at this point as she also is an in-the-closet Rita MacNeil lover. We have both increased the YouTube views of Rita’s songs. One song in particular is Flying On Your Own.  If Rita can do it so can I.

Do It. Now.

5 Dec

tomorrowisnotpromised

I deal with loss on a regular basis through my work – I meet women who I get to know well, become friends with and often times they die.  This past weekend someone especially impactful died.  She was funny.  She was feisty.  She was smart. She was independent.  She was strong. She was 39.  She died from ovarian cancer.   Her death was a stark reminder that being gifted with a long and healthy life is not a guarantee.

Our society has somehow been fooled into having bigger houses, more stuff, more debt and needing to work more (and longer) to pay for all of it. Yet when faced with death the most common things people say is that:

  1. They wish they worked less
  2. They wish they spent more time with family and friends
  3. They wish they expressed their feelings more
  4. They wish they had worked on being happy / being themselves
  5. They wish they did the things they wanted to do

Everyone is always so incredibly ‘busy’.  Research shows that smartphones have increased our work days by 2 hours per day.  2 hours per day!!  That is 10 hours per week.  That is an entire work day (and then some) we are not getting paid anything extra for or given time in lieu for.  On the weekend one of my brothers and I were talking about political parties.  Steve said – if the PC’s and NDP’s took the time they spent pointing fingers at the Liberals and replaced it with thoughtful contributions, can you imagine how much more productive they would be?  Can you imagine if you freed up 10 hours of your week by working less what you could do with that time? That is a full work week per month.  That is 3 months of freed up time per year!  You could spend time with friends and family, you could learn something new, you could sleep, you could exercise, you could read… doesn’t that sound oddly like the things people wished they did before dying?

We no longer need to grow the garden to have food, to raise the cow to have meat, to sew the dress so we have something to wear.  Nor do we have to wash the dishes and clothing by hand so we have dishes to eat off and clean clothes to wear.  Nope. We have so many modern conveniences that allow us to free up time.  We have fewer kids. We have more choice. Yet, I most commonly hear people say they are so ‘busy’.  We’ve managed to fill our days being busy and being overcommitted doing things we choose to do.   Isn’t that ironic?  A birthday party used to be a bunch of kids playing, eating hotdogs and chowing down on ice cream cake from the DQ. Now it is an Oscar like production with Pinterest inspired treat bags and cake, pictures for social media and really what is it for?  I am guessing kids might have more fun running around, eating hotdogs and chowing down on ice cream cake.

I make a concerted effort to do things I enjoy and make time for people I love.  I try to limit stress and up my fun factor daily.  Granted, I am single and do not have children, but hopefully I will be able to keep up my habits if I ever have a partner and children to manage. Thankfully up until now I’ve been blessed with good health. Often times people need a big fat slap in the face to jump off the treadmill so many are on. A cancer diagnosis, a heart attack, the end of a relationship, the death of someone we love (who we feel guilty for not spending more time with) or the realization that it has been months since you picked up the phone to talk to a friend.

So whoever you are reading this… get your shit together and DO IT.  NOW.  Don’t wait.  Work less.  Give the gift of presence.  I mean really who wants their obituary to say that you were such a great employee – he/she worked more than we paid him for?   Sleep more.  Exercise More. Spend more time with your parents.  With your kids.  With your siblings.  With your friends.  Book the trip.  Buy the shoes.  Ask someone you like out.  Forgive.  Go on a date with your partner.  Sign up for a class.  Get out of that relationship that is bringing you down.

Because if tomorrow never comes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here comes the bride…

18 Oct

Choose-Choice.jpgI love weddings.  Love + friends + family + food + wine + dancing = a great time in my books.  Both my mother and father come from very large families and so going to weddings was always part of my childhood.   One summer there was something like 7 of Mom’s first cousins got married.  That big family is still there and added to the mix is lots of friends from all of my various avenues in life.   At this stage in the game weddings are an awesome way to get together with friends and family – it doesn’t end up being just about the bride and groom as it is a reunion of sorts for guests as people now live all over the world.  I was at a wedding this past weekend and it was a roar.   As I was pulling a ‘slide out to bed’ from the after party I heard some of the guys (who are now married, have children and had consumed copious amounts of alcohol) reminiscing about days gone by.  ‘Sean, do you remember when you shit in my bathtub?’ followed by  ‘Do you remember when Andrew shit in my bbq?’.  Upon hearing this I was certain it was a great time to go to bed.

Getting married is very different than it used to be.   In the past people got married young and typically would tie the knot with someone who lived down the road from them or went to the same school.  Someone who was compatible enough, came from a decent family, and let’s be honest, so they could have sex.  Fast forward to present day – we get married later, women have their own finances and their own properties so we are not living at home pining to move out of Mom/Dads house, the church does not dictate what we chose to do or not do, we own fewer farms and have less children.   We can live anywhere we want in the world.  And toss in the old World Wide Web and suddenly we have access to people from all over the bloody world from our living rooms.  About 10 years ago my best friend (who grew up in the same rural community as I did) and I were having a conversation about this topic.  We said ‘Can you imagine marrying someone from our elementary school? Who would you pick?’  If I recall correctly,  I chose one of the O’Brien boys who always reminded me of Chris Isaac and Sarah chose a redhead from over the road who is now a surgeon.  We both went older – I went for looks and she went for brains.  But the notion of it had us roaring with laughter.  I am reading a book right now called Modern Romance and it talks about this subject.  Is the notion of having too many choices too much?  When I think of this I think of my parents living room.  Growing up there were only say 2 places to get furniture from.  When my Mom needed a new piece of furniture (we never had all new furniture at once as they saved enough money to buy what they needed at that time vs using to credit to do over everything all at once).  She would go to town, sit in a few chairs and make a decision.  Now, on the other hand, we can order furniture from a 100 different places.  And we need to look on Instagram, Pinterst, Houzz  and magazines to get inspiration.  We end up spending hours and hours and hours looking, searching, deciding and wondering IS THIS the right chair or will I see something better somewhere else?  Do we end up anymore satisfied in the end?   I would think less as the damn chair is so nice and you put so much time into finding it that you don’t want your kids, pets or anyone eating food or drinking wine to come near it in fear of it getting dirty.

Maybe that could be true for relationships too. We have so many choices now that we are overwhelmed by the options.  I remember when one of my brothers was first seeking a nanny to look after his kids.  Of course they had visions of Mary Poppins floating into their house. Someone who could cook, clean, sing, dance, be patient, creative and give a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down.  In reality, they got a very mixed bag of applicants and by the end of it I heard my brother say ‘Mary Poppins does not exist… especially for 12 bucks an hour’.  Instead, they found someone who was reliable and trustworthy.  Writing that line has brought memories of that nanny.  I could easily write a blog about her- she was something else.    Here is a favorite memory of her.  She walked in on a Monday morning and I asked her how her weekend was (not sure why I did as listening to the answer was always a lesson in torture).  There was ALWAYS something massively negative which followed… flu,  113 (or some crazy number) of hours in emergency, didn’t sleep, rabbit was sick.    On that particular Monday it was especially foul as she replied ‘it was terrible I found out my brother is actually my father.’  Bam.  The next Monday she showed up with a eye patch on.  I didn’t ask how her weekend was that day.   She is single.  Moving on and getting back on topic now.  Just like Mary Poppins perhaps Mr Perfect or Ms Perfect does not exist.

Choices, choices, choices, choices.  I recently had a big work event and I had in my mind that I wanted to wear a red dress.  When I get something in my mind I can’t settle.  I just can’t.  I looked in all the local stores, I looked online, I looked in local stores, I looked online… I saw one dress I really liked, but didn’t order it right away as I kept on looking for other options and so when I finally decided that was the THE ONE – my size was out of stock. I missed out as I had so many options I couldn’t make a bloody decision.  I wore a black dress.  A perfectly nice black dress.  And I will be able to wear it again unlike the Oscar worthy red one I had in my mind which was impractical and likely would have cost another $100 in alterations.  I could have done better things with the time I spent contemplating.  I recently read that President Obama only wears grey or blue suits.  He doesn’t like to make decisions about what he wears or eats as he has too many decisions to make – so he limits his choices.

Perhaps we need to be like Obama and scale back on the amount of decisions we need to make.  Keep it simple.  Maybe I should pop over to the houses of some of the boys from elementary school…

 

 

What a difference a year makes…

6 Oct

image.jpeg

Last weekend I had the great fortune of going to Montreal with girlfriends to see Adele in concert.  I told my younger male cousin I was going to see her and he replied ‘Wow, that is really cool.  But what do you do just stand there and cry the whole time?’  I can see how he would think that seeing as 90% of her songs are about past relationships and breakups.

Last year at this time I went through a breakup (I didn’t write any songs about it) and although I feel 100% thankful to be outta that relationship, it certainly wasn’t a fun experience.  One year ago this weekend it was coming to a breaking point – I wasn’t feeling so ‘thankful’ last Thanksgiving.  It culminated on a trip to Ireland a week later when I had to hold myself back from pushing him off the Cliffs of Maher.  I won’t get into specifics, but I put on my big girl panties and forged forward.  Life can be tough, but so am I. What a difference a year makes.

I was 35 then and I am now 36.  I’ve never been one to be preoccupied with what I ‘should’ be doing at particular ages, but sometimes it does come to mind when your friends/siblings are celebrating anniversaries and having kids.  I’ve gone to more wedding showers, weddings, baby showers, baptisms and housewarmings than I can count.   But then I snap back to my reality and stop comparing myself to others.  So, I am not married and I don’t have kids.  I’ve always hated the term ‘baggage’ when referring to ones children, past relationships, etc.  It is quite funny at this age as it seems having ‘baggage’ is the norm and if you don’t there might be something wrong with you too.  Do you have children. No?  Have you been married? No.  Why not?  Jesus, ummm, because I haven’t met someone I want to get married to and have kids with?

When I think of it I don’t often hear people who are married claim that they are ‘so happy’.  Is it really the be-all-end-all?   With maturity I’ve realized that being ‘happy’ isn’t obtained through someone else and if anything being single allows you to really know yourself, stand on your own, develop interests, exercise, go out of your comfort zone, maintain tight friendships, volunteer and travel – which are all things that contribute to making you feel ‘happy’ and things I do on a daily basis.  Of course companionship, having a partner and getting some arse adds to that.

Dog-park John, I know you are reading this and I know you are hoping for some funny stuff.   Of course with being single comes dating and it always seems great stories follow me wherever I go.   The main difference with dating now is that online seems to be the main way people meet and with that comes the reality that people are dating multiple people at the same time.    God in the past it took a $100 investment to maybe find someone to go on a date with – new dress, wine, taxi, cover charge, drinks — only to have some greaser who was too drunk hit on you.   Now, in the comfort of your home in your pjs you can swipe through the local talent.  I am very selective, so I really haven’t had any of the horror stories I’ve heard from other women, but my very first date was far from ideal.  Since all of the men who come into my life acquire terms of reference; let’s call him ‘Chef Clooney’ because he was a chef and looked like a dramatic George Clooney in his pics.  Well he didn’t look like that in person.  We went for sushi and his phone rang in the middle of dinner.  He said he had to take it (but stayed at the table).  For the next 13 minutes he slaughtered his ex on the phone with whomever he was talking to.  Do you know how long 13 minutes feels when you are sitting at a table with someone who you are not attracted to listening to them talk about their ex having Chrons and how he made her special food and how since he pays her phone bills he knows who she talks to.  WTF???  I’ve never eaten a maki roll so fast or felt more suddenly tired.  There has been many dates since then from setups to online and every way in between.  Other than ‘Australian Peter’ no one has really turned my head until recently.  Let’s call this guy ‘The Actor’ (because he is one for his job and perhaps figuratively too). It took a bit for our schedules to collide, but when they did a real collision happened. Although I am an open creature I generally keep my cards pretty close, but this guy he laid it on real thick – you are hot, you are smart, you are funny, you are interesting, your eyes, your voice, your smell.  Flattered and feeling like a super model – he got under my skin with his sense of humor, cleverness, commonalities, comfort and cuteness.  Over the next bit we saw each other/talked a lot.  He came to a big event I organized for my work (which was kind of a big deal as the tickets were pricey and it was the same night as a big event for his industry).  He said I was very impressive.  And then.  Pouf!  He kind of vanished.   Leaves a girl wondering… oh it MUST be because he is newly separated, oh it MUST be because he is busy at work (and you know how men can’t handle more than one thing at a time), oh it MUST be because we’ve both been travelling.  Yesterday while at work my phone rang in the middle of the afternoon and there he was.  Just like a groundhog he came out of his hole.  In reality he is dating multiple people and juggling ladies just like a circus performer – and he is newly separated, busy with work and we’ve both been travelling.  A few years ago a 44 year old newly single guy would be relegated to being set up or dragging his married buddies to the bar to seek out some babes.  Now all you have to do is throw a couple pictures up and boom you have access to many other single people.  This is the reality of new age dating.  Temptation Island and ‘the next best thing’ is at your fingertips.  All the time.  It is like being on a real life episode of The Bachelor.  And for a newly seperated 44 year old guy I am sure that is quite a pump to the ego.

So here I am one year latet – I don’t live in my very nice house anymore and my eggs are one year older.  The only two (sort of) negative things I can think of.  I do have a sweet place of my own and in the last year I’ve  travelled lots, done great work, volunteered, learned new skills, spent terrific times with friends/family and met many fabulous men.  And who knows, maybe someday this Lochness Monster of a man I am looking for will saunter into my life.  If and when that happens it will be amazing, but in the meantime I am quite happy writing the story of my life as a single girl.