Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Force Wasn't With Me

My dating life has become a Star Wars movie. After vowing to go it alone and to hell with dating sites, I broke. I was weak, hypoglycemic, and concerned Advil PM was affecting my waking life when it was as if Darth Vadar called to me , "Gail you will never meet anyone in the vegetable aisle at Whole Foods.  Real men are at the meat counter.  You're a vegetarian.  You're not blond so no bars for you.  No one talks to brunettes.  Millions of single men are on the internet waiting for you. Come... come over to"  The Force wasn't with me. It was night time and a full moon. I was spooked.  With a glass of Cabernet in my  hand and feeling a little sweaty I clicked "join".

I admit a teeny tiny part of me was optimistic.  Maybe this round I would get asked on a second date? I secretly relish my "Queen of One Date" status but it takes a toll on my ego.  I had just arrived in Palm Desert Ca for the winter and my best friend Ron put strict parameters on my decision to internet date.  He promised to parse the profiles with me and get to the bottom of what men were really saying.  He would break through the typical and delusional words like "cuddling, openness, soul mate, beach walking and sitting by the fire."  I was dazed by his code cracking as he ixnayed profile after profile. I realized however,  with Ron at the helm of my dating life I would be home a lot.

I was crafty and unbeknownst to him sneaked into internet dating land alone.  I quickly made coffee plans with a formerly gay man.  Yes, I am serious.  His husband of 40 years had died and now he was looking to meet a woman.  I read his profile 3 times before it really sunk in, but then a light bulb went off in my head.  What fun, maybe he  would love to shop or get Botox with me.  Could this be a man who wouldn't pressure me into sex or even want to have sex? I was stereotyping and ashamed, but hopeful.  He suggested we meet at 9:30 a.m  for coffee which isn't an hour I resemble human form.  Do people date at this hour?  I prefer less sunlight at my age. He was nice, witty and cute but appeared to still be grieving the loss of his mate. Of course I asked him the obvious question as it was burning a hole in my brain...why women? He responded that he had a girlfriend or two before he met his husband and wanted to explore that  path again.  I stared, he finished his coffee.  I concluded he would be fun to hang out with but I didn't think up for Botox, shoe shopping, or me.  I was definitely not sorry I put on make-up and clean clothes to meet him but vowed to never again go on a date at 9:30 a.m.

I met date 2 at a restaurant for a drink at 6:00. This is a better time of day for a first date as less sunlight becomes me.  I foolishly thought a glass of wine at this hour would beg an appetizer so did not eat earlier.  I was wrong as every time the waitress asked us if we wanted something to eat my internet man said to come back.  She kept returning and he kept sending her away. "Wait I'm hungry" I wanted to scream but the alcohol had affected my ability to react and talk. Cabernet is not a food group. I am not sure I spoke the rest of the evening as remaining conscious became a chore.  I appeared a good listener as he lectured me on what it means to be a Libertarian but actually I had dozed off.  The saddest moment came when the waitress gave up and took our bar menus away. I held back tears.  In hindsight I should have ordered for myself or joined the table in the corner.

"Ron, forgive me.  I didn't know what I was doing when I ventured forth into the internet manscape without your profile wisdom.  I'm back, I'm humbled, and in search of appetizers." 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dating Dead End or I Am Out of Shampoo

 Have I reached a dreaded dating dead end? Could it be? Am I ready?  Admit I have bad date battle fatigue? Wail "I surrender" to the Gods of Bad Dates?  Have I reached my dating limit?  Do you only get x amount of good ones in a lifetime?  I had optimistically decided to try again after watching one of their cheerful commercials about how happiness is just a click away and also after 2 glasses of wine and an Advil PM.  I felt ready and prepared.  I was certain I had developed an internet dating immune system by virtue of previous exposure. I was Super Dater capable of fending off  liars, commitment phobes and the politically incorrect.  I had become a veteran of profile reading.  No ten year old pictures, prom photos or baseball hats hiding male patterned baldness could get passed my x-ray vision. Bad grammar and misspellings were banished, as I was (ta da) an English major.  No profile that read as if lifted from a romance novel would get a passing grade unless the correct author was footnoted.  I was ready.

I lied.  I was not ready regardless of my magical thinking about "immunity" or super powers.  I listened to my friend Ron,"Gail, read the profiles carefully and exchange multiple emails, don't rush into a date."  And my friend Marc "Just go."  I went both ways.  I believe however, that these dates are decided in the first 11 seconds as everyone is looking for instant chemistry.  What the f**k is chemistry over 55?  Has anyone looked in a mirror lately?  No one looks hot.  They may look nice,  decent, or not homeless but not HOT.  I hope for a version of, "attractive for his age," taller than I am, and not in need of stomach stapling.  I am a realist and have covered all my mirrors.

My first date back on the front lines I think had assumed another identity like "The Talented Mr. Ripley." He didn't order a drink as he had just come from a colonoscopy, which I categorize as too much information and slightly nauseating.  His stories of unbridled wealth and the beautiful younger ex-wife who reaped the rewards of their divorce were trumped by his second ex wife whose ballerina daughter he supported and went unappreciated. I might have dozed off.  He also had no bottom teeth.  I admit I spent a lot of time staring at his mouth. I don't know anyone without teeth except my 99yr old Mother who at least has dentures. Did a judge deny him money for teeth in lieu of alimony payments?  His stories just didn't add up and I felt compelled to leave and make a dental appointment.

I soldiered on to my next date who was a no show.  I dressed in my cute skinny jeans, washed my hair which is a symbol of my good intentions, probably shaved at least one leg and went to meet him at a local bar.  I waited and waited and checked my watch over and over to no avail.  After a reasonable 30 minute wait I left pissed.  Who does this?  Are we in high school?  Before I departed I showed the girls at the reservation desk his picture in case he miraculously appeared disheveled, bloody and crippled from being run over and thus his late arrival; in which case I would forgive him.  He never showed and I vowed to never again watch "An Affair to Remember".

 " It's a numbers game" my friend David kept reminding me. I hate when people say that and math.  Had I reached a dead end or should I wait until I ran out of shampoo?  I received multiple emails from a man proclaiming that we were perfect for each other and to call him asap.  I hesitated and parsed his profile to understand his thinking as he continued to bombard me with emails.  I finally agreed to have a phone conversation.  I literally asked him two questions. One about his business and one about his hobby and off he went.  Thirty non stop minutes of blah blah blah blah. Didn't he wonder if I was still alive? I know I wondered if he did this in one big breath. I finally told him I had an appointment and had to go.  Those were the only words I had spoken in what felt like a month.  Ixnay to this man.  He had other ideas however and sent me a 3 paragraph email about what a horrible person I am. I deleted him and prayed I was out of shampoo.

There was one glimmer of dating hope.  I call him Mr. 3 hours and 45 minutes as that is as much time as we spent drinking, eating, talking, and laughing. It was going smoothly.  I actually thought he was attractive for his age, taller than I am and thin, the guy trifecta. He walked me to my car and told me I was a "hoot."  All good and all bad as I never heard from him again.  Was that possible after 3 hours and 45 minutes?  

Yes it was.  And I am finally out of shampoo.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

You're Never Too Old to be Ten Again

Ouch! Ouch! And OMG are you freaking kidding me?!  How and why are women submitting to what seems to be the "extreme sport" of beauty?  What's even crazier to me is why anyone would want to become prepubescent all over again. It was hard enough when I was wishing and hoping for breasts; obsessing that I would never have a reason to trade my little white undershirts for a bra.  To say nothing of the nightmare of wearing anklets before my Mother let me shave my legs. I felt doomed to a life in my bedroom.  After all I couldn't go to a boy/girl party looking more primate than Homo Sapien. Ah the wonderful childhood memories of hairy legs and a flat chest. Now decades later on the horizon lies a question I could never have imagined.

To Brazilian or not to Brazilian and am I really asking myself this question? Incidentally I don't mean a trip to Rio, or good strong cup of coffee. I am also not talking about the ridiculously expensive  but gloriously humidity defying Brazilian Blow-Out which btw my hair could use right now.  Oh no I am talking about the bikini wax gone rogue, the mother of all waxes, the kill me now waxing of all pubic hair. Whose idea was this?  Is Kate Moss behind the conspiracy as she looks oddly hairless?  

Decades after going thru puberty, I should now consider being 10 again?  Even more surprising was that a man told me about this new beauty regimen and yes I was dating him. "You talkin' to me Mister?"  I became weak, sweaty and oddly itchy.  A mind numbing bikini wax isn't enough?  Consensus, I desperately needed consensus! Was every woman hairless?  Did I miss the memo? Is this the new normal? I needed data quick!  I collected answers from my male inner circle regardless of my burning desire to ask every man and woman I saw in Starbucks.  A non fat grande mocha skim latte or Brazilian wax?

Data is a mixed blessing.  From my male friends I heard two words more associated with aviation than a beauty must - landing strip and runway. I wasn't deterred by my visual confusion or urge to book a vacation as I queried my women friends.  Oddly they were less adventurous and not venturing further north than a bikini wax.  Trying not to get arrested I looked around the locker room at the gym.. whew, filled with women afraid to fly.  Is a sign a "sign?"  I saw plastered in the window of a beauty salon - "Brazilian Waxing Special 30% off on Regular Price  $50 now $35... Only Tuesday." 

It was Wednesday.  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sex, Prunes and the Sahara

Recently on a date a 76 year old man asked me if women over 60 still want to have sex.  Btw , just as a warning he stated on his profile that he was 66; funny math I'd say.  And men protest that women fudge the numbers! Geez. Hearing his query I had to wonder if he was having a stroke or was that his best "line" to get me in bed. Should I rip off my blouse and jump up yelling "yes, yes, yes I will prove we do" or call an ambulance?  I stared to see if his mouth was drooping as he continued to explain that his friends have told him menopausal and post menopausal women turn into shriveled up prunes drier than the Sahara. Hmmm his friends are well traveled and constipated. He also cited that he had never slept with a woman over 60 as his ex-wife was 20 years younger than he.  How's that for seduction?  Hot or not?

Mother Nature does play a cruel trick on women. Just when the kids are gone or we finally have some free time for hot sex our hormones say "hasta la bye-bye." Desire still reigns, but so long to dewy skin, thick hair,a waist line, a good night's sleep and yes, lubrication. Ouch.  I admit I wasn't prepared for this sleight of hand and shock with no "awe" seemed to be my future. To add insult to injury Big Pharma flooded the market with Blue M and M's (Viagra).  The years men were supposed to be in sexual sync with women were poof(!), gone in a nano second.  Prescriptions in hand the old guys came roaring back to life. A veritable stampede of bulging stomachs, balding heads, neckless, chinless, and wrinkled men were wondering if I was a dried up prune and if so, out of their way as younger models certainly were anxiously awaiting. Got big bucks boys?

Apparently my prudishness has become prunishness.  Armed with my game changing personal version of WD40 I would definitely say "yes" if I met an age appropriate man to whom I was attracted.  It's a lot like the vast empty desolate landscape of the Sahara out there in my man land.  Prune danish anyone?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Big Pharma and Little Me

Help me, I'm an addict, a main liner, wide eyed, shaking and itchy waiting for my next fix.  Get those commercials about Viagra off my screen, as who has time for sex when there is 24/7 BREAKING NEWS?  And geez has it ever been more addicting?  Come on, this makes my Watergate years seem like "Introduction to Scandal 101." It's the big time baby. As terrified as I am of needles I have stuck the news needle in my arm and there is no emergency number to call or quick fix. Ironically, there is a drug that can save you from a heroin overdose, but has big Pharma come up with one for my addiction - no! Come on pharmaceutical boys I need an antidote. 

I admit I was in a weakened state as fatigue set in after 16 months on the campaign trail. And feeling so certain my girl would triumph, the plunge to her political death almost sent me to the ER.  Shock and dismay I'd say.  I sulked around in funerary attire for weeks and ate copious amounts of Oreos, which did not lessen my sadness but did ruin a perfectly good complexion.  I slapped myself into political alert after the inauguration.  Why was I licking my wounds and eating cookies when I should be safe guarding the country by watching news shows all day?  Dusk 'til dawn talking heads and the mind numbing, brain cell killing scroll at the bottom of the screen. 

I have too many friends now to keep track of: Brian Williams, Andersen Cooper, Van Jones (isn't he a hottie?), Don Lemon, David Gergen, Rachel Maddow, the ever enigmatic Greta Van Susteren (bi-political in my estimation) and scads of others. To say nothing of my personal spy operation over at FOX- very deep throat.  I have learned that news isn't always news but fake. And would you ever have guessed there's an alternative to reality without dropping acid? 

What ever happened to "no news is good news?"  There is no such thing as it bombards me every waking moment like a rapid fire machine gun: Obamacare, Trumpcare( he doesn't really care), Russian interference, pipelines, tax cuts, North Korea, China, wall building ( Mexico is never paying), Darth Vader (aka Steve Bannon), more military, less NPR; this is what my poor addled brain wakes up to and yet I lunge for the remote even before caffeine.

 I have searched the internet for a local exorcist to come free me of addiction as I fear a man of the clergy would be impotent in this area.  Hmmmm, Viagra? Big Pharma call me.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Little Dab'll Do Ya

I hate when I walk into a department store and the first thing that happens is sales people rushing towards me spraying bottles of perfume.  "No no, go away. Please, no perfume, it makes my eyes turn red and burn."  I frantically wave my hands in the air and run to the shoe department where my olfactory senses are safe.  My wallet is now in danger but I've spared my vision.  I never ever wear perfume; or at least not since high school when I would douse myself in Shalimar.  I can't help but wonder if that became a banned substance or an ingredient in Agent Orange?  At any rate ixnay to any odorous substance in my general vicinity.

I had a date recently who defied the laws of "a little dab'll do ya."  I sat down to have a drink with him in a local restaurant and was engulfed in a noxious cloud of cologne.  I think I went blind for a second.  He smiled, and  I tried not to have a seizure.  Why weren't his eyes red and watery but crystal clear and staring at my twitching upper lip.  I had no idea how long I could sit there without grabbing the nearest fire extinguisher and hosing him down so I stopped itching. Yes, I felt itchy.  Was the desire to coat himself in a foreign odor an evolutionary instinct so as to separate him from the apes?  And before that evening I would never date an ape, which I might now rethink.  Or could the act of swimming in cologne be an animal rite of sexual passage to insure fertility?  Whatever it is I was dying.  

I am not one to up and leave after 10 minutes regardless of a mismatch and have never used the pretend emergency phone call from a friend.  All I could do was take shallow breaths of air and drink.  He was a nice guy who happily showed me lovely pictures of his African safari and shared news of his upcoming surgery which interested me more, but put a hold on another date.  I politely opted out of a second glass of wine as I felt like my eyes were on fire and was becoming asthmatic.  He offered me a ride home because I had walked to the restaurant, but was terrified of getting in his car as being in an enclosed space would definitely ensure my having to take a shower strong enough to remove Plutonium.  

I walked home re-thinking my profile and decided to state that I was searching for a cologne free man or a primate.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mid Fork; a Tarnished Romance

I have no idea how to set a table.  Is the spoon the loner or paired with a fork?  And what about the knife? In a moment of table setting panic I feel like turning it on myself. Oh my God, what if there are two forks, then what - inside of the spoon, outside the knife? I'm dizzy and confused.  Uh oh, the napkin, who gets that?  The urge to sob into it seems like the proper use.  I'm getting a rash and holding inexplicable silverware.  I usually give up and throw myself on the mercy of the nearest human because EVERYONE  but me knows how to set a table. I've been instructed on numerous occasions and  just heard "blah, blah, blah". Going out to dinner is so much easier and doesn't require re-reading "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."

I  wasn't prepared for a fork to seek revenge or become an enemy agent.  Confused? So was I.  The surprise attack came on a vacation with my new boyfriend.  It started off however, with a really GOOD surprise ,a romantic mid Winter get away to La Jolla.  Adios, down parka ,down vest, neck warmer, scarf, hat, Timberland boots that weigh more than I do, and  pot holder style mittens.  The Michelin Man look soon to be replaced by skimpy cotton clothes - like a dream come true for this Winter hater.  The boyfriend even took me out shopping for lingerie, which seemed like a harbinger of desire.  

The airplane ride was uneventful, no reason to be anything but happy the Southern California coast was in my future.  I had brought enough clothing for a trip lasting a year,not 5 days, but "be prepared" was my fashion motto, picturing many outfit changes for all our fun filled activities.  We were staying at The Lodge at Torre Pines where one look at the green green golf course made me long to be a golfer and could I learn by dinner?  

With no time to unpack before our restaurant reservations I put on the outfit closest to the top of the giant pile in my suitcase, grabbed a pair of sexy high heels and headed down to the dining room.. Nothing unusual to report during the salad or first glass of wine, just idle chit chat about the lovely weather. The silverware seemed to be perfectly placed so I tried to take a mental picture for future reference (ha ha). Being someone who flunks idle chatter I changed the subject to something peripherally political?  I swear there was no mention of the name Trump.  We were in what I thought was the Trump Free Zone. I do however, remember using the words "weaponizing religion."  Now isn't that an interesting subject?  I thought so. Not when your partner thinks weapons aren't metaphors but real guns best used in a military context.  Bang!   

Can you say "conversational free fall?" There was no analogy, metaphor, parable, simile or part of speech that could change the course of events.  "I think you're taking this too seriously" did not work.  I could see the expression on his face morph into Darth Vadar, and his breathing became metallic.  I was not going over to the dark side so I gulped the remaining wine and glanced down at my Salmon.  When I looked up there was a fork coming at me loaded with medium rare Lamb Chop .Stop please stop, I promise I'll learn how to set a table.  Mid way across the table it came to a halt and he blurted out "This isn't going to work."  Huh?  Was I was officially on the shortest romantic get-away in history- less than 45 minutes?  I had no response other than to ask if the Lamb Chop was good. 

I got up, stared at the fork still hovered over the table, vowed to never learn its correct placement, , and took the next train to LA.