Monday, January 17, 2011

The end of 36

Another year of my life has come to an end and while overall being 36 wasn't too bad, it could have ended a little better.

I have a friend I have known for about a year and a half now.  He's exactly a year younger than James and he does remind me of James in several ways-mainly his being a big flirt.  I think the similarities are why we get along so well; I know what I'm dealing with.  He and I have always flirted with each other and our comments to each other are often laced with sexual undertones.  And now we are both single.  And since he became single, the level of flirting has gone up a notch, as has the level of physical contact.  The last couple of times I saw him, I left wondering if we were dancing around something or just flirting because we're both single and as he said "share a brain."

So Friday, my last day of thirty-sixness, armed with encouragement from two co-workers, my Canadian friend, my good friend's sister and the confidence that comes from wearing a sexy bra, I sent him an e-mail to see if he wanted to join me for MLK, Jr. Day dinner since I couldn't join him for Christmas.  (After all, who doesn't celebrate MLK Jr. day with dinner?)  And he said no.  It takes a special kind of loser to be turned down by someone who does nothing but flirt with and lately can't seem to keep his hands off of you, especially when you know he has started dating again.  Combine this with my speed dating and online dating failures and me meeting well over 100 men in the last three years who weren't the least bit interested in me and wow.  Dad was right.  There really is something wrong with me.  So I give up.  I'm done with the constant disappointment that is trying to date.

I got his e-mail as I was leaving the acupuncturist, where I had a bad reaction to one of the needles.  I was bummed, but proud of myself for asking (now I wish I hadn't) until the whole special kind of loser thoughts invaded.  And somehow, that made it impossible for me to get from the acupuncturist to downtown-something I did with no problems last week.  Every turn I made was wrong, which just ticked me off.  So when I finally met up with Guy Pal and our other friend to see "Black Swan," I was hungry since all my wrong turns left me with no time to eat and cranky-apparently visibly so as Guy Pal kept asking what was wrong and finally if it was something he did when I said I would tell him later, and tear-eyed for being such a pathetic, undateable person. 

I figured at this point we would watch the movie and then find something else to do afterward (like eat) or call it a night.  I figured the night would get better now that I had my buds to hang with.  Yeah.  I was wrong.  I got to the theater before them and by the time they arrived, the only place for us to sit where we could sit together was in the front row.  Being that "Black Swan" is a seriously messed up movie about ballerinas, there is a lot of movement in it.  I started to feel a little funny part way through the movie.  When it was over and we went to leave, I couldn't get up.  Even the 3D effects of "Avatar" did not make me this sick.  After a few minutes, I thought I felt okay enough to leave.  I made it out of the theater and found a bench in the lobby, where I immediately dropped my head between my knees to keep from throwing up.  I have to say the guys were pretty awesome with trying to figure out what I needed to make the motion sickness pass.  And then I put the icing on the top of my bad evening cake:  I handed my feminine product filled purse to my incredibly good looking casual friend so he could riffle through it to find the pack of gum I always carry for when I need to settle my stomach-a must have for this IBS sufferer.  And then I made my way to the bathroom and threw up.  No more front row movies for me.

Once I was actually able to leave the theater, I had a chat with Guy Pal about why I was so upset when they got to the theater.  He has been one of the biggest champions of me dating and even he is beginning to change his tune and agree that maybe this is something that is pointless for me to pursue.  That I should just give up and go back to just hanging out with my friends and having fun.  So that's what I'm going to do.  Thirty six ended on a down and very disappointing note.  For thirty seven, I'm just going to focus on what I need to do to happily spend the next 50 years alone. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ready, Set...Date!

Because online dating isn't demoralizing enough, I decided I should try speed dating.  Actually, I had been thinking about it for awhile and found excuses not to do it.  My favorite excuse, of course, was "I don't believe you find someone when you are looking."  That's not actually an excuse as much as it is the truth, but it did come in handy. 

After having an emotional conversation with Guy Pal in which he questioned whether or not I was really ready to date, he sent me a link to what was at the time an upcoming speed dating event and thought I should try it.  He thought I would be really good at it.  (He also thought he should get a finders fee if I got a boyfriend out of it.  He's cute like that).  Well, I had been thinking about it already and I was feeling overly confident thanks to all the compliments I got for actually wearing a dress (apparently I clean up nicely) so I signed up.  As I said to my co-worker what did I have to lose other than a few bucks and a couple of hours of my life? 

As the date approached, I tried to come up with a valid reason to get out of it.  I couldn't come up with one and I had already paid for it.  So I decided to go through with it.  The day of the event I was really nervous and freaked out.  A comment from my friend made me realize that the last time I was looking to date was 11 years ago.  That is almost a third of my life ago!  (Okay, so I'm being generous with the math).  I sent a very freaked out text to Guy Pal, who despite having just started a new position at work called to give me a pep talk.  I spent a few tearful moments in my co-worker's office, who probably prays harder than anyone I will meet someone soon (at least I would be if I were you A!).  And then I changed my mindset and just kept telling myself it was like going to any other Meetup event.  That really seemed to help.

The event was held at my least favorite club in Portland.  I was early so I killed some time a block away at the book store and thought about just staying there.  I still managed to arrive at the club too early and since it was open for business in addition to speed dating and I am so not comfortable with the club scene, I went and hid in the bathroom until it was time to check in.  (Yeah, I sometimes wonder how I managed to snag James too).
I actually knew the host from the fun Meetup group (I seriously am starting to feel like the poster child for Meetup.  They should so pay me a commission).  I also knew one of the male participants.  We had a whole e-mail exchange last spring about whether or not he was okay with me posting pictures I took at an event and when I ran into him again at an another event recently and said it was nice to see him again, I was informed he had never seen me before in his life.  At the speed dating event, however, he did remember the photo incident.  Too little, too late.  Sorry.  Plus, if he was interested, I'm guessing he would have said so by now (I just watched "He's Just Not That Into You."  Apparently, I wasn't quite feeling bad enough about how much I suck at dating.  I do now).

The event was actually fun.  It was a bit of a confidence booster to be able to carry on five minute conversations with all of them without awkward pauses.  I met 11 guys and was definitely interested in seeing two of them again.  There were another two I was somewhat interested in seeing again.  Two were definite "no" - one was "too flowy."  I can't describe it any better than that.  The other has used "E" in the past and plans to use it again at least twice in the future.  No thanks.  The rest I needed to think about.  After discussing them with Guy Pal, I decided to mark 4 of them as a yes and the rest as a no.  Sadly, none of the four I put as a yes felt the same way.

I'm proud of myself for doing this.  I chose the 23-37 age range and might try the 32-47 age group as well just so I will be able to say I have literally tried everything except a paid matchmaking service.  But I am ready to throw in the towel.  Trying to date is simply not making me happy and it's causing me to beat myself up in ways that aren't healthy.  I've worked too hard to get to where I am at to backslide when I could be out having fun and showing the world how awesome I am instead.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Online Dating Update

Note to self:  if you want to feel better about yourself, checking how many visitors you've had to your online dating profile may not be the way to go about it.  Just sayin'.

It has now been 10 days since I re-entered the world of online dating for the umpteenth time.  And so far, the results are about what I expected:  basically nada.  As of now, I am up to 112 visitors to my profile and have been contacted by 2.  (Which calculates out to 1.78%-and I really should not have calculated that).  I've viewed probably about 25-30 profiles and contacted two.

The first to contact me sent me a "wink" with the comment "Nice profile."  So I checked his out and found we didn't see eye-to-eye on some issues I feel are deal breakers so I sent him back a simple "Thank you."  End of Story.

The second guy said I came up as one of his Quiver Matches.  From what I can tell, Quiver Matches are 3 random people that you have a week to check out.  After a week, supposedly you get new ones.  Anyway, Quiver Match said he liked my profile and asked if we could talk sometime.  So I checked out his profile and there weren't any real flags other than he doesn't believe in monogamy.  I e-mailed him back, however, and tried to start a conversation.  He responded with a single sentence that gave me nothing to go on.  A couple of days later, he sent another message asking what I'm looking for in a man.  Well, monogamy for one thing.  I haven't responded yet since I'm not really sure what to say.

As for the two I contacted, the first one visited my profile a couple of times so I decided to check him out.  One of the things he said was that you shouldn't be afraid to say hello.  Which I actually thought was a bit hypocritical given his multiple visits to my profile without saying hello.  So I said hello.  We've been having a conversation about football that is pretty much going nowhere.  The other one never responded to my e-mail.  Oh well.

And then there are the Meetup guys.  I have to say it is weird to have profiles pop up for a guy I have met and one I recognize from Meetup.  I have been curious about their profiles but decided I wasn't going to look unless they checked out mine first.  (I even amaze myself with my level of immaturity at times).  The one I've met my friend and I refer to as Eye Candy for December (ECFD) because while I do think he's cute, I wanted to reserve the nickname of Cute Guy for December for someone who seemed like he may be interested (sadly, he wasn't.  But that's another story).  I've gone to a couple of events ECFD has planned through Meetup and will probably go to other events he plans so I'm not looking at his profile as that could end up being awkward.  Plus I've already figured out he isn't interested.

Meetup Guy #2 is one I am in a group with and have been at an event with but didn't actually meet.  He's a 92% match for me as determined by OK Cupid's high tech matching system that quite frankly reminds me of the matchmaking programs the computer science class in high school always came up with only with more grownup questions and a lot more of them.  MG #2 also plans events for a group that I have considered joining off and on for months but have yet to pull the trigger. 

Well, he looked at my profile last night.  So I looked at his.  And I have to admit I'm intrigued.  Not enough to contact him but enough to see if Guy Pal knows him since he seems to know everyone.  (Although I did inform him Saturday he needs more single guy friends as the current dynamic of always ending up in a group of women isn't really working for me).  As silly as this is, I was excited to see he's the only one whose profile I've looked at that has answered the stupid question about the price of the apple correctly.  (I'm pretty sure that says something about me). 

I will admit I am disappointed but I am taking it more tongue in cheek than I normally do.  It's been suggested that maybe my profile is too broad and I need to be more specific (technically, that was suggested to someone else but it applies to me too).  I was also told I should upload the recently taken picture of me actually wearing a dress.  I guess I'll give that a try.  What do I really have to lose?  Sigh...I'm off to retool my profile.  Hopefully with positive results.