Monday, January 31, 2011

A Brief History of Dating

I have a long dating history. I was good at getting dates. It was almost a no brainer. I'd walk out the door and by the time I got back home I'd have met some cool guy who asked me out. Ok, I admit I usually had my cheat sheet with me, my dog, but the two of us were a dynamic date nabbing duo. Me and Jonah, my Golden Retriever, met my first husband in Central Park, easy as pie. Jonah had his eye on the prize that day. Thanks buddy. Whatever street the two of us sauntered down some New York cutie would stop, pet the dog, and ask me out. That was too easy. I met husband two without a critter in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art. I had inadvertantly spent all but $2.00 on my way over at the Coach store on Madison Ave. and didn't have enough left to buy a ticket. I was meeting a friend and needed to think fast as I was late. Being resourceful I perused the ticket line and decided I had to borrow a dollar from someone until I found my girlfriend. A light when off in my head. Why not ask the best looking guy in sight for the temporary loan?! Husband #2 appeared. Voila.

Getting a date was not a problem whether serendipitously meeting in a coat room, bookstore, movie line, restaurant, or out running , by the time I got home the phone was ringing. I had confidence baby! On the other hand single men were everywhere. It was like fishing in a stocked pond. Boy oh boy do things change. I have dating whiplash. Where did the all the boys go Connie Francis? Now no matter where I walk even with my super model Yellow Lab "Elliot" aka "Potato" we never meet one single man. The dog gets a few pats on the head as he looks longingly at folks for food but zippo in the date catching department. I've tried hanging out in the produce aisle of the grocery store - it's a lonely place but I do like blueberries on sale. It has dawned on me that I should mozy over to the colon health aisle but can't figure out how I'd strike up a clever conversation.

With 50% of the population divorced you'd think a friend would fix me up but they don't. HA! This paucity of men has driven me to internet dating sites. I swear on Dr. Phil's life I've tried to be an honest responsible internet participant. I don't lie about my weight, height, and just a teenie weenie bit on my age. Teenie I say! I am not lying when I tell you everyone is lying. I've had a litany of goofy guys who spend hours talking or writing to me and then disappear. It couldn't have been anything I did as they never even met me. It's a gamble over in internet land - a giant roulette wheel and you can spin it forever. Meeting the old fashioned way seems to be a thing of the past. I'm not a gambler and anything that spins makes me dizzy. I'm back to thinking I'll take my chances outside with the dog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rebuttal Blog from Dennis - Why Men Don't Have Male Friends

The answer always comes down to S-E-X!!! Yes, the scope of a man's friendship list is directly proportionate to the chances he has to engage in sex. Let me expound. The single man as defined by his "single" status usually has only one thing on his mind; Sex-how to get it, how soon will he get it and all the incumbant scenarios thereof. If he is a real multi-tasker, he can also squeeze in a nano second of thought about money and sports.

Let's start with the truly single man. He has lots of acquaintenances, but they are usually old friends from college or highschool and those slowly dwindle away due to time and marital status. As the single man navigates through life his focus becomes, the next woman in his life. This leaves a list of former girlfriends and their friends, along with any new targets of his affection. Ulterior motives are always the key component to the "friendship circle" for any single man. His intentions are to catch the ones he hasn't dated and to possibly reinvigorate the ones from his past. Single men have no problem sleeping with a woman even if there is no possibility of a future. They view their past loves as a "stepping stone" to that next great relationship. Sorry to disillusion you but that is just the way men are wired. The consequences of the "casual hookup" are never thought about until after the fact. The only other scenario is the BFF woman who can also serve as the portal to being fixed up with all her "hot" friends. Again, sex rears its ugly head.

Now, let's look at the other side of the coin - the married or committed man. He has a woman in his life and more importantly, the regularity of "sex." Therefore, his scope of friends is not limited to women but rather a plethora of men friends. This fellow has the all important component of a "main squeeze." His friends consist of , 1) the mates of the couples that he and his partner socialize with 2) his beer-guzzling macho friends who accompany him on the proverbial "mans weekends" in Vegas, skiing or fishing(ha). However, these excursions consist of drinking and ooglng women that they have virtually no chance of ever connecting with. Probably their boorish behavior is the key ingredient for their failure to connect. The re-enforcement of their behavior is the main bonding agent. Plus the fact that unless they totally screw up there are no consequences from the "little woman" for their weekend of debauchery which includes getting drunk and pretending that all they women they see will want them.

To summarize, the friendship list of males is directly related to what their marital or relationship status is at the time. Single = women friends. Attached = male friends. I neither defend or subscribe to these theories but am just the reporter of things as I see them. So please remember "don't shoot the messenger," just use the info to your advantage.

Dennis, Rancho Mirage, CA

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Don't Men have Male Friends?

"I have no male friends." I can't count the number of times I've heard a man say that.

"Huh?" I always respond. How is it possible that men rarely if ever have male pals? And why are they always smiling when they proclaim this like it's a badge of honor? I stare wide eyed at the man who just proudly made the statement and think I would never admit it even under oath.

"How is that possible?" I always ask.

"I only have female friends." This is always the answer.

"Why, what's wrong with men?" Again always my next question.

"Well women are easier to talk to. I don't know. I just like being with women better."

"What's wrong with talking to other men?" What's wrong with this picture?

"What am I supposed to talk to them about?" Am I supposed to answer that? Do I look like a therapist?

I'm suspicious, very suspicious. Why can't they have the same conversation with a man that they have with a woman? Women want men to have friends of the same gender. I don't think men get this. Besides which, and here's where I'm sure I'll be tarred and feathered...are men capable of being a woman's friend void of any sexual motivation or desire? HA!

I say it's possible but not probable. I'll even go so far as to admit that my closest male friends and I have, "been there done that". We've been lovers and passed into the land of friends or at one time rejected the sexual possibility but liked each other's company enough to morph into buddies. Sex was a moot issue. I believe this the key to the male/female friendship.

On the flipside there are men who have so many male pals that women are always on the back burner. Been there done that also. In one case my boyfriend came over to happily announce he was planning a vacation to Las Vegas. I'm thinking "YES!" We had never been away together and what a great idea. I was psyched until he told me he was going with his best friend Jim. "Sounds like fun, and I never want to see you again," I said as I kicked his sorry ass out the door.

I'm ready, willing and prepared to hear from men on this subject. Give me your best shot. Women give me more ammo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Further Evidence I've Become My Mother

"Hi Jesse, it's Mom, so how are you? Busy at the hospital? That's good I hope. I'm fine. I've been working hard on my blog and my Facebook page is really growing. Oh, and now I have a weekly radio show. It's called "YAK." Great name isn't it? The weather has been nice and warm. Ethan, Colby and Ross were here last week . We all went out to dinner..... (20 minutes later )... Well be sure and call me when you get this message." I hung up and ran directly for the Kettle One. OMG, it's undeniable and the evidence continues to mount - I'm becoming my Mother!

It drives me nuts when I walk in her house and she's on the phone chatting for 30 minutes before she speaks the tell tale words, " Ok darling call me when you get this message." "Mother, who talks to an answering machine that long?! No one in their right mind has a conversation with a machine." I shake my head in disbelief. She wags a finger of disapproval at me and asks if I'm staying for dinner. I've tried to listen to the endless messages she leaves me but after 10 minutes I'm tired of holding the phone to my ear. Although she has devised a foolproof method of making me pay attention until the end. It never fails her very last sentence is always "Gail, I have bad news call me." Her alternative ending is even trappier, "Gail , I have medical news call me right away." OY!

My son and I chuckle about the narratives she's capable of leaving on a machine. In truth after you listen to one there is no need to call back as she's already brought you up to speed. I was convinced I could never ever leave a 20 minute message - until I did. As hard as I try not to become like Mom, is it possible that's impossible?

Monday, January 10, 2011

My New Life of Dating Guppies

Middle age dating sucks. The days of "there are plenty of fish in the sea" have turned into "there are approximately four guppies in a toxic pond floating on their side." Sadly, even dating guppies requires time and energy. I constantly bemoan how much effort it takes to get ready: shower, wash hair, blow dry, make-up, pick an outfit, shoes, and purse, to say nothing of the ever present dilemma - to shave or not to shave my legs. These days that is saved for when I think there is a chance of having sex. I don't have to shop for razors very often. There's a shit load of pre-date work and the reward is a complete stranger I met on-line. Of course I would prefer to be fixed up by one of my friends but that never happens, not even once.

The only place to get a date these days is on an internet site, which at best is a complete crap shoot. I hate to gamble but 
 like to go out. I pick and choose as carefully as I can short of hiring a private investigator to pre-screen for me. Lately however, the best part of dating cyber-men has been coming home and thinking up fun nicknames for them. My evenings  have run the gamut from trying to stay awake to being taken on a dinner date without dinner. This could be depressing but for the joy of giving each of them a little pet name: Mr. Dinnerless Dinner Date, Mr. 1973, Mr. Sweatpants are for the Treadmill, Mr. Wake Me when the Check Comes, and Mr. Not Quite Divorced. This last nickname did not bring me joy.

" Mr. Not Quite Divorced" falls in the same category as being a little bit pregnant, my girlfriend Terry pointed out.  I couldn't help but wonder, did he forget he was still married? Is that a big "my bad?" His profile status said "divorced." Although if he wrote "not quite divorced" he'd be alone a lot. I think "Mr Not Quite Divorced" needs to come with a notarized letter from his almost ex wife stating that unless hell freezes over there is no way she would take him back.  And just out of of curiosity or as foreshadowing, her version of why they are splitting up. This could save me time and razor blades.  A "not quite divorced guppy" needs to swim in the "still married but miserable" pond. Thankfully I didn't shave my legs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Requiem for a Laptop

2016 was not even 12 hours old when disaster struck. I abandoned any thoughts of my New Year's resolutions earlier than planned and switched into a state of high anxiety. The day started out innocently enough, I dragged my sleepy sorry self over to my desk and turned on my laptop.  It just sat there dark and dead as a door nail.  Sweating, I screamed at it , "Why won't you start?" I stared intensely at the little machine as if magically I could will it on. Ever so slowly it flickered into existence but wouldn't connect to the internet. I plugged and unplugged every cord connected to the metal box. I did a virus check. I de-fragged. I have no idea what that meant but it sounded crucial. I clicked on all the icons that looked helpful and then I went searching for a baseball bat. "Work or die!" I yelled.

I was in techno-meltdown. I was short of breath and patience. I didn't know what I needed first: drugs, a martini , an Emergency Room, or Bill Gates. My friend Dennis tried to calm me down and suggested I take it to "Best Buy" for a check up. "Check up, I think it needs life support" I cried as I grabbed my laptop and hightailed it to the car. I was tempted to tie it to the bumper and drag it behind me. Thankfully even in my psycho state I knew that might feel cathartic but was counter-productive. I ran into the store mowing down everyone in my path. "Heads up I have a dying laptop."

I threw myself and the computer on the Geek Squad counter and burst into tears. "Help me Geeek man, I can't get on the internet, my Dell is trying to die." He ignored my histrionics and looked at the machine with consideration. "Ma'am this laptop is at least 5 years old." Uh oh, that sounded fatal. "Have you ever changed the battery or AC cord?" "No," I blushed in my techno-ignorance. "Well you should have by now. You could try that and we could give it a thorough check-up but that's a band-aid and not a cure." Not a cure? I needed a cure, a vaccine, a pill, a transplant. "I suggest you're better off putting the money in a new laptop." I think I lost consciousness. ""I stuttered, as I saw the room start to spin. "Yes Ma'am." I wasn't ready to let my little Dell go; it was my first. A new computer might make my head explode. I learnedhow to copy and paste on this one. I finally figured out the paper clip symbol stands for "attach" and can actually do it without crying. Only last week I learned you could have more than one window open at a time.

Is there liturgy and proper funerary clothing for a laptop at the end? And how long after it's death is it appropriate to buy a new one?