Lions and Tigers and Thighs, Oh My

Ever since I got back from Hawaii, my legs and I have seen the light. These burritos ‘o mine are now wearing running shorts. It’s somewhat liberating to make visible something I had intentionally kept invisible in the past. To let myself be seen. As is.

When I had it – at least I thought I had it at some point – I should have flaunted it. I took my young, firm skin for granted. But I was much more shy back then. Now? Yes, I’m still an introvert at heart, but I don’t look too bad for my age, so part of me wants to flaunt whatever it is I have left while gravity is still my friend. I have ab muscles. I don’t know where they came from, and they might look a little like a wrinkly four-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls during the rising process, but they’re there. I believe that they’re a product of my intense overthinking. After all, something good should come of overworking my brain in circles. Problem is, I might look good for 48 – we Asians hold together well – but not so good for 38. Get my drift?

[I can’t believe I just outed my real age. Oh, what the hell. I will display my age proudly. I just won’t display photos of it here on my blog. I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. Yet.]

See, I live in a small, coastal town. It doesn’t get warm enough to wear shorts very often, so people don’t see a lot of skin around here. Hawaii? No problem. Young skin, aging skin – what does it matter? Everyone looks like bronzed demi-gods over there. But here? People pull on their t-shirts, light wash jeans, sneakers, and their Patagonia jackets to go out on the town. They might even wear that outfit to the beach.

The sun is out and it is unusually warm. I am tempted to go for a run wearing less clothing than I ever have before. I want to feel free to do this. If I didn’t have to wear my glasses, I would absolutely wear sunglasses. That way, I could feel anonymous. I might mistake a fire hydrant for a dog, but if it makes me more brave, I will trade clear vision for shades. I’m sure I’ll be able to determine whether or not that object coming towards me is a car, right? Maybe I need a sacrificial running buddy.

Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my thighs anymore.

Lost and (Waiting to be) Found

To quote James Joyce, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Oh? I’m on day two of trying to figure out how to redirect my old blog to this one. I haven’t discovered anything except that I have an incredible talent for getting lost. I told you the cybernetherworld would swirl me up. I’ve tried so many steps – I don’t even remember what I’ve done anymore. And then I discovered that it can take a few days for the redirect to take place. I’ll know in a few days?? I feel like I just found out that my microwave dinner is going to take three minutes to cook.  Three minutes?!? That’s an eternity!

I was ready for a little makeover. HumblePie just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I feel some big changes in the air, so I thought I could use a new coat of paint and a newer alias. I feel refreshed. Same me inside, but a little more inspired. Ready to say yes.

I’ve been known to ramble, so I’ll cut you a break this time. If, for some reason, you miss my ramblings, take a look at my ‘About’ page where I reveal more than you ever wanted to know.

Different but the Same Match #2: The Motorcycle Chef

I know. I was beginning to exit through the dating door and leave The Chef behind because I didn’t think he was attracted to me. I swear to you, he had given me no signs whatsoever on our first date. No obvious body language, no touching me anywhere (I actually wanted him to touch my elbow), no walking me to my car. The last time I heard from him was through a late-night text apologizing for not calling. All I thought was, oh, he didn’t have to do that – he could have simply faded quietly away into the woodwork. Four days after the text, I got a phone call and we set up Date #2. I can’t believe I made #2! (this poo poo joke is dedicated to my more sophisticated reader. I love you bunches, you one person reading this post.) Two days after that, I got another call to change the time of our date. We ended up talking for over an hour. But I’m hesitant to take this as a sign. I think we just get along, you know, buddybuddy-like. It’s not my place to understand the minds of men, so I’m not even going to try. I say that, but since I’m a woman, the urge to know what they’re thinking is incredibly seductive.

“How about a hike?” He asks after telling me he can’t get together for dinner.

“Hiking makes me grumpy.” Every hike I’ve been on has been hot, dusty, and strenuous.

“How about a walk in the woods?”

I take this as a completely different suggestion and happily say yes. He laughs. Wait – did he just trick me?

“Or we could go for a ride.” He offers.

“Ride?”

“On my motorcycle.”

“M-motorcycle?” My voice cracks. YesNoYesNoYesNo! Good Japanese girls don’t get on the backs of motorcycles! 

But I’m not a girl anymore and good is a relative term, isn’t it?

“Ever been on one?”

Now I have.  

I didn’t become Asian roadkill like I thought I would. Images of me tumbling off the back of his bike flashed through my mind during the first few 45 minutes of the ride, and I wondered if I would be able to tumble onto concrete skillfully enough to survive. He told me I could hold on to the rack behind me or hold on to him. Uh, yeah, like I’m going to sit away from you and reach back to hold on to two skinny little handles while we’re going 50 mph? I prefer to hold on to your handles, thank you very much. As soon as we sped up the hill from his place, I was like a suckerfish. A suckerfish using a Thighmaster. I haven’t been that scared since…well, I can’t remember. I don’t verbally freak out when I get frightened. I get quiet. And I was very quiet.

After a while, I realized that it seemed wrong goodjapanesegirl to be clinging to him like a baby chimp. My thighs and crotchal-area had become way too neighborly with this new man’s behind. I didn’t even know his last name. But what a thrilling, beautiful ride. We had a nice lunch at an outdoor cafe with a spectacular view, and we lingered there for a few hours before we had to head back. I was much better on the ride back. Less chimp-like, but my legs refused to stop clamping on to his no matter how much I told them to relax. I proudly call this “survival flirting”. Did I see any signs from him? No, unless I’m incredibly dense. I clung to him like brown on rice and he didn’t touch me once, although I suppose I did enough touching for the both of us. No flirting from him, no innuendo, nada. I thought I felt him looking at me when I was glancing at the menu, but he could have been looking at my chin hairs or thinking about Chihuahuas. How am I to know? And how can I compete with an adorable Chihuahua??!!

When we got back to his place, we stood on the sidewalk talking. I told him that I had to go to the local farmers’ market for work the next day and he said he would drop by. We made more small talk, and I started to get the distinct feeling that we were eyeing each other like two gun slingers – who was going to move first? How were we going to end this date? I finally went in for a hug, he kissed my cheek, and then HE over hugged ME.

Finally. A sign I can sink my teeth into. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Postscript: I texted him from the farmers’ market. He wasn’t coming. He didn’t want to fight the cold, windy weather to get there.

I’m beginning to hate signs.

Match #1: The Chef

I’m in love!!!  

Not really.  I haven’t been on the date yet.  This is the pre-date portion of the program (I’ll be adding my post-date thoughts below).  I wanted to know what it felt like to be one of those women – I’m convinced they’re a different species – on “The Bachelor”.  You know, already in love with the idea of falling in love and then getting their heart broken by a guy they hardly know.  I loved him and I thought he kinda liked me!weep, weep, feelings of despair…  Girl, get it together.  He’s dumber than a rock.  Join me on Match.com – we’ll find a guy for you that’s as smart as or even smarter than a rock!

You know, maybe I should get a job counseling these women.  Or work as a Marketing Strategist for Match.  I’ve found my new careers.

This is my first date through Match.  I’m trying to be optimistic by starting a numbering system, but that didn’t seem to work too well with Wine Guy.  One date, the possibility of another, and then he fell into the Bermuda Triangle of Missing/Non-Responsive Men.

My profile had been public for a few days when I was IM’ed by The Chef.  I was on the site, trying to figure out how to edit something in my profile:  how do you…but I just changed it…let me try!!PING!! [IM window popping up]ack!!  what the hell?!  I nearly jumped out of my skin.  When I peered at the small message box, I recognized the photo that came along with it.  He had viewed my profile earlier.  I thought he was kind of cute and more importantly, he appeared to be normal.  With shaking hands (I know, pathetic), I decided to respond.  And what do you know…our senses of humor were kind of the same.  Sarcastic?  Check.  Self-deprecating?  Check.  Age?  Oops.  He’s 41 years old.  I’m…older.  But that’s the good thing about Match.  He knew my age, height and hm, what else could have scared him off – oh, yes, the profile itself.  He read it and still contacted me.  He’s a brave man.  I have no idea what other women are writing, but I started my profile with sarcasm.  Isn’t that the way to a man’s heart?

Post-date Analysis  

Great date.  Fun, relaxed (well, he was), easy.  A guy’s guy, not a dude.  There’s a difference.  My ex was overly sensitive and emotional, so it was nice to be with someone who seemed at ease with himself and his guyness.  Not only is he a chef, he’s an Executive Chef, which I have to admit is kinda sexy.  Not the title itself, but the fact that he is in charge and has to know how to manage people.  Our sensibilities and senses of humor matched, and I thought he was cute, so I would definitely go out with him again.  The mystery question is whether he was attracted to me or not.  I have absolutely no idea, which is probably not a good sign.  I can’t think of anything positive said in my direction except he said I was tiny, he liked my boots, and that I eat slowly, which is the healthy way.  Like I said, nothing to go on.  I made him laugh, but so could a Chihuahua with an underbite, so that doesn’t say much either.  We hugged at the end of the date – don’t worry, I didn’t overhug him – and he said he would call me.  My first generic “I’ll call you”!!  I’ve officially joined the ranks of the dating masses!

By the way, I guess the sarcasm in my profile is not the way to a man’s heart like I thought.  I was talking about my profile when The Chef said, “Guys just look at the pictures.”  But I put a lot of thought into my profile and – “We’re guys – we just look at the pictures.”  Oh.  So much for that ‘A’ I was going for in creative writing.

I sent him a message today thanking him for the date.  If I don’t hear from him again I’ll have to chalk it up to his non-attraction of my 3-D self.  There’s nothing I can do about that.  I’ll simply have to go on *weep weep despair* and try to find a date that finds me more funny and charming than that damn Chihuahua.

I Am Cougar, Hear Me Roar

I’ve been on Match.com for exactly one week.

It’s early yet, but I’m beginning to think that it might be the perfect vehicle for someone like me.  It’s either that or I’m just fascinated by the whole social psychology aspect.  Maybe both.  I hardly ever get approached out in the every day world, so online dating is proving to be a good way to be seen, yet remain somewhat anonymous.  Shopping for men from the comfort of my home is what I love about the Internet.

Match forces you to look at people.  That’s to my advantage.  I wouldn’t call myself “first glance” pretty.  If you look real hard, I’m decent-looking from certain angles and when the wind is coming in from the SW at 8 mph.  I’m like one of those 3D graphic prints that you have to stare at until the other, secret picture appears.  Most people can’t see it right away; some people never see it.  Which is fine, because my secret picture isn’t for everyone.  On the Match site, I included a photo of myself right before I ran a 5K.  No makeup.  Hey, it’s how I look!  Like it or leave it.  Just stop staring at it – it isn’t going to get any better.  And I tried to convey my personality into my profile, not just a list of things I like and what I’m looking for.  I’ve read some guys’ profiles and they are so generic that I don’t get any sense of who they are.  They love food and walking on the beach?  Me, too!!  I’ve finally found my soulmate!!  All I can say is, if a guy contacts me after looking at my photos and profile, I’m assuming he has a sense of what he’s getting into.

I’ve been contacted by some guys, and a few of them have commented on my appearance.  I suppose it’s flattering, but for some reason I feel like it’s a red flag.  Maybe I’m just not the type to be won over by compliments, especially if I’ve never even met you.  One of my friends told me that she doesn’t respond to any kind of contact unless she’s interested.  Apparently, even a rejection email can open the door to unwanted attention.  I decided that I would only ignore someone if I found them especially creepy, but I could change my mind.  It’s only been a week – I could change my mind about this whole thing tomorrow.

I might go on my first Match date this week.  He’s young, but at least he’s over 40.  I’m a little hesitant because I’m tiptoeing into Cougar territory; he’s several years younger than the age range I had posted, but then the last few guys that have contacted me have been around the same age (including Wine Guy).  I’m open to dating someone older than me, but I don’t think I ever have.  Maybe this is my problem?  Whatever the case –  AAAAAAAA!!!!!!  My eardrums just burst.  Women everywhere screamed at me to shut up and go for it.  Well, there it is.  If there’s one thing I can’t do, that’s let womankind down.  Time to get to work.