the fixer upper

I have a favor to ask. Have you ever said to yourself, “Eureka! I know the perfect person for janeintraining…”? Because let’s face it, I know you’re constantly thinking about me. But be warned: too much me will fry your brain into one of those charred and shriveled potato chips you occasionally find in an otherwise fresh bag. I hate that! What’s it doing in there?!?

Oh, right, my favor: DO NOT TELL ME YOU ARE FIXING ME UP. Bold, italic and underlined should tell you how serious I am about this. Never in the history of my blog have I used all three at the same time. (Or maybe I have. I’m too lazy to check.)

It’s way too much pressure. I will get stressed out and act how I think a normal person should act, which will result in an even weirder version of me.

…awkward…(like my dating life)

I suggest asking me to meet up for a glass of wine and I’ll be there without blinking. If you mention champagne, I’ll dress up and arrive a few hours early. And then you can casually introduce me to your brother/cousin/nephew/grandpa/son. This way, he’ll get a few minutes of normal before I start to turn.

This woman obviously cares more about her date than the champagne she’s about to spill. Where are her priorities?

I’m bringing all of this up because…

[a few months ago while getting my hair cut]
MyHairStylist: “Hey, I almost forgot to tell you – I have a client whose cousin just moved into town. She says he likes Asian women!”
Me: “…uh…” (brain short-circuiting)
Me: “…(mental capacity now like one of those charred chips I just talked about)…”

Is this what people do on dates now? Is this hygienic? Why is she hiding her hands? Has she fallen asleep from too much romance?

I’ve been single for the last four years, dating here and there. I like being single, except for when it sucks to be single. I have hope, but I don’t want to use that hope as a life preserver. I’m shifting towards being okay not finding that forever-and-ever person; rather, I want to connect with allies, gather a tribe, surround myself with a gaggle of heart-wise, laughter-invoking tricksters and soul-tenders. I want to add to my existing menagerie of superstar friends.

My brain has somewhat recovered and I’m more relaxed now about being set up. My initial thoughts of rejection, disappointment, and general fear have given way to the possibility of meeting a potentially awesome person to add to my menagerie. (Don’t worry, I don’t actually tell people this when I meet them. They might think I want to display them in a glass case with the rest of my collection of humans. Oops. I’m always revealing too much information.)

As 2016 swiftly approaches, I’ve decided to try looking at the world as a curious explorer. Somehow, this idea gives me more courage to move forward instead of staying still and worrying about an unpredictable outcome…

“A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is.”

― Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness

 

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everything is coming up roses

I am violently opposed to roses.

Two thousand years ago I had a blind date who showed up at my front door with a single red rose. I recognized it as a sweet, albeit clichéd gesture and then challenged him to a duel. Well, that’s what I did on the inside. Momma didn’t raise no rude fool, so I thanked him and felt guilty for wanting to get combative with him. I mean, I couldn’t exactly blame him for not knowing I wasn’t a single-red-rose-type-of-girl.

(If “The Bachelor” ever gave me a rose, I would throw it on the ground and jump up and down on it while simultaneously laughing my head off. This will make good TV. Wait. Why am I on “The Bachelor”?? Let me speak to my agent…)

My blind date proceeded to take me to a Kenny G concert, which didn’t help his cause. Perhaps this is what soured me even more on roses. And blind dates.

One time, my ex returned from a backpacking trip with a small bunch of wilted wildflowers that he picked for me. I thought this was incredibly romantic, thus cementing the idea that every man should have the time and inclination to do this. However, there was this other time when he gave me a bouquet of roses the day after he was kinda horrible to me. Strike two, Roses.

But this spring, they’re everywhere. The damn things are haltingly beautiful and incredibly photogenic.

A good friend of mine has been growing a variety of roses and I looked at them with a new appreciation.

pink thorns

those thorns…

pink

this one is hypnotizing…it asked for my credit card and I immediately handed it over…

I still feel like stomping on that perfect, fragrance-less, long-stemmed rose. I still want wildflowers. But the beauty of the garden rose cannot be denied. I know you don’t need more convincing, but I’m going to leave you with Cherry Parfait (below). Stunned? Thought so.

By the way, can I borrow your credit card?

cherry parfait

 

love, naturally

attraction in action

Couples fascinate me. If it weren’t for the possibility of life behind bars, I would make it my mission to capture, tag, and study them as they moved about in the wild.

How did you meet? Was there an immediate attraction? How did you ask him/her out? Wait!! Where are you going? Tell me your special tale of love!!! Remember, you’re tagged – I will always find you!!!

When it comes to love, I don’t think logic and science have anything to do with it. Have you noticed the variety of couples out there?? What you see in each other simultaneously baffles and delights me. If you have luck, timing, and mutual juju, the two of you are off and running into the sunset. Or the car wash. Maybe a Star Trek the Next Generation convention. Listen, I don’t presume to know what you like to do. It’s all good. It’s about togetherness, right?

valentine's sunset

I haven’t come across mutual juju in a long time. I’m not sure why. I’m relatively normal (don’t read my About page) and…well, that’s all I got. Oh, I’m not high drama (don’t read my other posts) and I get easily lost, which means I won’t crowd you. Because I’m lost. And I have no idea when I’ll return, so stop asking. Geez!! Get off my back!! Leave me alone!!!!

See? Plenty of space.

Anyways, my history of attraction has always been off-kilter:

I’m attracted to them > They don’t know I exist
I want to run away < They are attracted to me
I’m attracted (but he’s wrong for me) <> They’re attracted (but I’m wrong for him)

My future is a mystery. I don’t know if there will be several people over time or just one. I don’t know if I will ever meet them. Perhaps they exist but our paths may never cross. However, if our paths do cross, I’m sure I’ll recognize them. Until then (or never), I will go my merry way.

hearts

And while I was on my aforementioned merry way, I happened to speak to someone whom I failed miserably at recognizing. Not only did he feel familiar, he was kind, funny and warm. No warning bells went off like they usually do. We connected in a very easy way, had a lovely conversation, and then we went our separate ways.

It wasn’t until later that I thought: Oh…that’s the type of guy I should date! If he had asked me out, I would have said yes without hesitation. Not that he would have (see history of attraction above). I honestly don’t know much about anything anymore.

I had preconceived notions about attraction: !sparks! *fluttering* Mr. Darcy walking across a dewy field of grass at sunrise with the intention of proclaiming his love for me. While I was keeping my eye out for all of that, I didn’t see what was in front of me.

That's either Mr. Darcy or someone coming to kill me. Well, let's let him come a little closer before jumping to any totally logical conclusions.

That’s either Mr. Darcy or someone coming to kill me. Well, let’s let him come a little closer before jumping to any totally logical conclusions.

That guy gave me a gift. He showed me that connection can float in with an easy grace that is so organic, you don’t know anything is happening. It’s synergy in motion: click click with that person, click click click click with another person. If you’re lucky, your inner self aligns with another’s inner self with more clicks that you’ve ever experienced before. You get them and they get you. It’s real and heartfelt as opposed to thrilling, yet fleeting. Thrilling and fleeting are overrated. I’d rather have the fullness of the real thing.

So I’m on my merry way again: schooled once more, with Darcy on the shelf, and my heart click clacking as I go. With it being Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The List

Every so often, I come up with a list of characteristics that are important to me in a future relationship. These lists are often influenced by the previous guy I’ve been with or after I’ve witnessed some random man behavior. Once I make a list, I let it go. I don’t know the specific science behind it; I think it travels out into the universe and weaves its way into the space-time continuum. Yeah. That sounds right.

I made my very first list a few years ago after my long-term relationship ended. It was a hefty list. It weighed a ton. My last list, which was relatively straight-forward and short, described PYP to a tee. I didn’t realize it until I revisited that particular one. It’s a good example of a list coming to life and a reminder that even when a list is fulfilled, it doesn’t mean I will be.

As of today it’s been simplified:

A grown-ass man who is kind, loving and funny.

Needless to say, chemistry is very important. I can’t explain the science behind this, either – something about pheromones and juju – so I am providing examples and reasons having nothing to do with their looks (I’m forced to do this on my blog because Amazon.com doesn’t allow for a wish list for human beings. Seriously? It’s 2014!!):

Lenny Kravitz (sexy, musical)

Lenny Kravitz (sexy, musical)

Jim Halpert (sweet, funny)

Jim Halpert (sweet, funny)

John Krasinski (funny, sweet)

John Krasinski (funny, sweet)

Ryan Gosling (down-to-earth, funny. unfortunately, incredibly ugly. turns my stomach)

Ryan Gosling (down-to-earth, dry sense of humor. unfortunately, incredibly ugly. turns my stomach.)

Chris Cosentino, Executive Chef at Incanto (quirky, passionate culinarian - it's a word)

Chris Cosentino, Executive Chef at Incanto (quirky, passionate culinarian)

Hugh Jackman (gentleman, family man)

Hugh Jackman (gentleman, family man. needs to take more care of his body, though. just my two cents.)

Javier Bardem (charming, Spanish good 'ole boy. Despite his many intense, creepy acting roles, he is hilarious)

Javier Bardem (charming, Spanish good ‘ole boy. despite his many intense, creepy acting roles, he is hilarious on talk shows.)

Jimmy Fallon (plays in the moment)

Jimmy Fallon (plays in the moment)

There. It’s out in the universe now. Fly, list, fly…where and when you land is anybody’s guess. I have to move along now. There is much to train for in 2014…

A Squishable Man

I happened to notice that Joe Manganiello has a very defined, well-formed physique.

I thought having an eight-pack was physically impossible, but according to Google images, it’s not. As much as I appreciate Joe’s physicality, I think hugging him would be like hugging a brick wall. I suppose you have to decide for yourself if the brick burn would be worth it.

That’s why I was doing a Google image search. I wanted to see if he was always made out of bricks.

Yes, sometimes I spend my evenings doing intensive research like this. What of it?

And if I’m such a thorough researcher, where’s the image of him, you ask? Well, I didn’t want to exploit him more than he already has been. The guy is more than his muscles, right…??

Anyways, I discovered that I couldn’t find an everyday, average body on the guy. He wasn’t always so sculpted, but apparently, he has always been…healthy.

I actually prefer a man with a little bit of squish to him.

I’ve talked about the subject of hugging before. Wine Guy was a 9 out of 10. Yes, he disappeared on me, but I still have to give him his props. But he wasn’t a perfect 10. That score goes to a guy I met briefly at a dinner party, years ago. I almost forgot about him. When we hugged goodbye, I discovered that his whole body was made out of memory foam.

Ah…

I have no idea what made him that way. He was deceptively normal looking.

“He was so soft…” I remarked to my then-boyfriend, who strangely enough, had nothing to say in response. Nor did he have anything to say about my hand gestures as I tried to further describe the guy’s squishiness.

The only things Perfect Hug Guy and Wine Guy had in common were their average weight for their height (about 5’7″) and that they probably didn’t work out at all.

Hm.

This may warrant some further intensive research.

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Postscript: It has come to my attention that I have been spending way too much energy wondering about the location and appearance of my future man/men. The fact is, there is no telling when he/they will show up. A gentle nudging from my friend Mae woke me up. It’s a good thing, too – disappointment was beginning to chip away at me.

So I’m redirecting my energy towards the here and now and giving nonexistent men a rest. I have more pressing issues to deal with anyways, like finding a new job, so from now on, my future posts won’t be about me getting impatient for that guy who is running super late.

I guess he’ll just have to catch up to me.