Thursday, March 28, 2013

And there you have it.

There simply isn't room for anything else when you're this happy.

I'm learning more about myself each day. I figured out that I really do prefer to laugh.And when I do, I just laugh more. My goal is to laugh like these two. Just let it rip. OMG, how I love this! An important point: in this picture, the little girl has an accomplice. For me, I'd be perfectly content to be either one. I have two friends who have "the devilment" inside and they share it with me. And then, we are three little imps finding trouble, and laughing at it. Oh how I love them. So...I have actually reached my goal, many times over. We three laugh like this. How incredibly fortunate I am! And don't get me started on my best friend. We laugh so hard that she wheezes up and I can't stop coughing. We laugh so hard sometimes I think I'm all laughed out. And then we start all over again. There is no one in this world I can laugh with like I do with the BFF. There are things that only we get. She'll say something in front of other people and I'm the only one who cracks up. We'll be in the car and she'll do something that makes me laugh-hard. She'll look at me and say, "you're the only one I can do that with" and she's right. It goes both ways.

That picture just makes me so happy. 

I'm also coming to the conclusion that the more I allow laughter into my day, especially at myself, the happier I'm becoming. 

And that makes me a great candidate for a partner. Because really, who wouldn't want to be around around someone with a sunny disposition when the air conditioner breaks? Or the car doesn't work? Or the Cuban coffee pot explodes? (That really happens to me.)

I hope that I find a happy person, too. Seriously. Have we already met?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Holding on to the best

Just when I thought I would stop looking at my account for winks, favorites, emails...I received an email from someone. A simple introduction that has caused me to continually check for yet another email. She has the most centered, calming writing voice. This morning's email was a bit more revealing. She is poetic and thoughtful, tender. She is giving me the gift of slowly getting to know someone, in an old fashioned way. I love it.

She sounds just too good to be true. She says she wants to get to know me. How can she be real? She ordered some of the books I list in my profile. That felt good.

I am deeply worried that if and when we actually meet face to face, that she will be disappointed in what I look like. My profile picture is true, I do look like that, but it's a head shot. She may not like my body. She may decide right away, oh, no, this was a mistake. I cringe when I think that.

Her name is a favorite of mine. I forgot to tell her that one of the characters my best pal and I were writing about was given her name. I'll have to remember to do that.

I've been writing all morning. It's time to start my day! And yet, I will carry today's letter in my heart. I hope that if this ends, that it ends gently. I want to always treasure these beginning emails. They are so special.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This isn't about dating. But it's about how I'll be a good partner one day soon.

So, would you like to hear my most recent excitement? Like tonight? Well. I decided I would like to toast a tortilla.(I'm sure you see where this is going already.) While I was waiting, I went to look for a book. (if the Buddha dated:A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl) I wasn't gone for long, and I came back because I had an intuitive feeling that something wasn't right. I walked into the kitchen to find...flames coming out the sides of the toaster oven! So, assessing the situation, I considered my options. First, I unplugged it in spite of the possibility of catching my sleeve on fire. Then, I took it out from under the cabinets. And then, I thought, I could: A) use the fire extinguisher, but then I'd have to open the door or B) open the door and throw baking soda in there but an electrical fire may not be put out with that or C) stand there helplessly as my tortilla perished. Ultimately, my tortilla went to the Big Oven in the Sky, (a moment of silence please) and my house was filled with smoke. Thankfully it's cold out so I could open the doors and windows. Sadly, I picked up the dead toaster oven and solemnly walked it out to the garage, where is sits waiting to be put out with the trash. 

And that was my Monday night. The take home for me here is that I have now handled a house fire and lived to talk about it, and I will make somebody a great partner because on my resume I can say I handle emergencies calmly. 


The beginning...sort of.


A few months ago, I began to realize that I would be turning 55. That sounds ridiculous. When someone asks me how old I am, I feel like a fraud. A liar. Then I realized: numbers don't lie. The truth is this: I am going to turn 55 in May.

This started me thinking...I've been single a really long time. Twelve years! In those years I have become a good friend to myself; forged friendships with others that are so rich and loving, I often wonder how that happened. Life today is in stark contrast to those days in the past. Back then, I needed to learn to stand on my own two feet. I needed lots of help. I still need help, but I know how to ask for it today. 

Robin Roberts, during her recent special, said that nobody gets points at the end for going through life miserable. (That's paraphrasing.) It deeply touched me; many of my days have been close to that. These past years have been difficult. Today though, I'm on the other side, enjoying the sunshine, breathing fresh air. I still have issues; some of them are difficult. Today though, I don't have to be miserable as I deal with them. 

So, I examined myself and discovered that I don't want to spend the next twelve, fifteen, twenty years alone. Not that I can't, because I have shown myself that I can. With help. I don't need to be in a relationship. I want to be, today. 

My age today doesn't match my spirit, my outlook, the way I engage with the world. My body though, is a different story. As I started looking at some of the online dating sites, it slowly came to me that I am no longer thirty years old. I was quite the sassy one at thirty! Full of piss and vinegar. Flirty. Full of myself. (I was a master at burying things deep down that would haunt me so intensely later on, that the world would come crashing down, but in those few years, I had fun.) I dated all the time, never giving it a thought, open to all sorts of things: tubing down rivers in Virginia; boogey boarding in the ocean with pods of dolphins, going to the Blue Ridge mountains. During the following years, my body would go through many challenges which it reflects today. I've gained weight. I haven't exercised routinely. Had a few accidents along the way. 

Dating is so different today. Shockingly so. Although I haven't been in a relationship, I've been out of the dating scene for all that time. I can't decide if it's the way I used to socialize, or what the deal is, but now, unless you join an online social group,or connect through a website, where do you meet people? I know people who have begun taking classes, joined a chorus, started book clubs and gone bowling. Have they met anyone that way? No. To make it even more difficult, once you narrow it down to your preference of no drinking or smoking, your options are even more limited. And forget about saying you want to meet people in recovery or having done their work. Now, you're down to 5. And in my lesbian community, I know all of them. 

AARP started an online dating service. I joined, and found one page of lesbians. I know all of them from one group or another, like the W.H.A.T. group (Womyn Here And There...yes, the spelling...). There they have a monthly party that a woman throws, I think at her house. And they have bowling nights. All of those have alcohol and frankly, drunk lesbians are not my cup of tea. 

So, two weeks ago I looked on the website. I decided to give it a good try. I put myself out there, vulnerable. I thought if I want to actually do this, I have to be real. So, I have had winks and emails and three dates. The most recent one was very nice; she is a tender, sweet person. I was a bit shocked when I met her though; she's six feet tall. I'm 5'1". I'm kind of nervous around tall people. Aside from that, we enjoyed each other's company. 

I think the most difficult thing is the whole "when will she text/call/email me again?".
There's so much wrapped up in this. Fear of rejection, abandonment...the list can be very long. This is kicking up so many issues for me. I hope not too long from now I can be neutral about someone not texting/calling/emailing me back. It sounds so silly but holds a lot of power. For today. Just for today. And for today, I haven't heard from her except a quick text yesterday. I know I have to let that go. 

So, after all of the angst, there is actually humor to be had here. This is practice for me; I'm completely unsure of what to do or how to handle things. The very first day I put my profile out, I had 9 responses. I was shocked. My thoughts at that time were, well, I will meet whoever wants to go out. Good experience! I'll expand my social circle! Not so much. Note to self: make sure to get a picture before you meet for coffee. A recent picture. Like, within the last year. *Before* you meet. And be clear about what kind of pictures you want. Because, well, I find that tribal tattoos and gnarly pictures of your toes to show off those tattoos are a bit out of my comfort zone.

And so the adventure begins.