And you're reading this because.....?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Do you civic duty...

Vote Kaysar!

Seriously...he is clearly the only choice. And I want to witness the combustion of Maggie and Ivette's heads exploding when it begins to dawn on them maybe America isn't as enamored of them as they are of them.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Smoke free and officially hate Tom Cruise.

I am in California on a business first trip out here in easily 20 or so years. My first trip was as a wide eye'd 18 year old thisclose to the Mexican border. At that point, I was up for anything. Now...I fear for my safety on roads that, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, scare the shit out of me! Holy shit have I become a middle aged worry wart.

There are a lot of times I really wonder why I bother with therapy anymore. I know I'm just as fucked up about things as the next person. I know I have issues with my mother, my father, my body image, refried beans, (they are a practical joke food I'm convinced someone ate on a dare and just perpetuated the joke. Come ON! Refried beans have already been eaten by a heard of ferrel cats. It's regurgitated food, people!) obsessed with the Brady Bunch...I clearly have many issues. Had plenty of these issues for a long time, and I realize them and sometimes I have a hold of them and sometimes I don't. I'm seriously OK with that.

What I am NOT ok with is America's 'golden boy' spouting off and attacking Brooke Shields and anyone else who has taken medication to get through depression or any other mental illness. Tom Cruise, let me be the first to say 'Who the FUCK do you think you are, you irresponsible, ignorant prick?' First of all...I saw you on really should be the first one inline for the Ritalyn bus, you sanctimonious asshole. While most of us can only dream of living a life the caliber of yours, (material wise, you got it goin on...and it doesn't hurt that you clearly hit the genetic equivalent of the Powerball) and I am going out on a limb and guessing that your bouts of depression have more to do with 'They shot me from X angle and I didn't look right in X blockbuster for 8 milliseconds' or 'My race car didn't got past the speed of sound on that turn when I was out playing....' Have you seriously even studied the word depression in the dictionary? Oh wait...your dyslexic. Maybe Katie should read it for you, since you struggle with such a heavy burden. What was I thinking? This is a man who clearly knows agony on the dark side.

Look, Tom...until the day you squirt out a kid and have your hormones run a coup 'd'etat on your brain...until you have to work 2 and three jobs to make ends meet and the stress pushes you to the breaking point because just keeping yourself and your children in a home takes everything out of you and there's absolutely nothing left at the end of the day for your own recharge...until you are raised being told you'll never be as good as 'fillintheblankwithrelative/friend/neighbor' by someone who brought you into this world and you are scarred beyond belief...until you have to overcome the hurdle of living through abuse...until you convince at least three of your brain cells to communicate with one another on a regular should shut the fuck up about things you know NOTHING about. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about on this subject, and you taking your position as a public figure to such irresponsible extremes as to dismiss years of proven medical experts research and knowledge because it conflicts with your 'religion,' only goes to illustrate that you are facing some kind of midlife crisis from hell and you need to pipe the hell down about subjects that affect people life and health.

Maybe it's because I'm still marginally cranky because it's been two months today since I kicked the habit...maybe it's because I never thought Tom was all that hunky... (give me Ray Liotta ANY day of the week!)...maybe it's because I have used anti-depressants successfully under the care and advice of my previous physicians...maybe it's just because I HATE scientologists who can't keep their mouths' shut (ya know...religion is fine as long as you keep it in the vein of 'my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins. isn't religion about one's PERSONAL relationship with God? Don't bug me about your beliefs, and I won't bore you with whatever...unless his characters suffer a brutal death, I am going to boycott any Tom movies...since I'm gonna be saving my money to buy Prozac and Paxil.

Fuck off, Tom Cruise!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Days, 12...Body Count...0

For 12 days, I cannot believe I have managed to remain smoke free! A 20 year, pack (and a little more on occasion) smoker, this has been no small feat, believe me. I have had other 'mini-quits' in the past, but 12 days with nary a puff....It's truly remarkable.

Now, lest you get the idea I am one of those fire-and-brimstone health nut smokers...NO...certainly not the case. My exercise regimen is vigorous when I go up and down the stairs twice because I am bringing groceries in. I got tired of the 'work' that smoking is. Having to make sure you've got ones available for the one pack buy...scraping together your quarters for the $3.50 you need when you don't have ones...standing outside in sub zero weather to get the fix...I guess I just got too lazy to smoke.

But, as crazy as it sounds...I really miss the act of smoking. I miss the 5 minute respite where all you do is think about the smoke. I miss the cool rush of menthol. I miss having something there 'only for me.' When I wanted a cigarette, they were there. And if I couldn't get to it right away, by God they were waiting for me. That kind of consistency is something smokers like to cling to, I would guess. I know I sure did.

But dear GOD it is hard. As difficult as former smokers tell you it's going to be, you begin to wish it was that easy. Day one is just surreal. You feel like you are missing an arm or something. It just feels like something is not right in your world. If you quit in the the end of the day, you have a splitting headache, and you start to feel a little 'edgy.'

Day two is by far the worst. AT this point, your body has been deprived of something it has had on demand for, in my case, 20 years. And your body is seriously pissed off. And your mind begins to play tricks on you, and your hormones begin to do a coup d' etat on your brain. Your moods go from right to left...up and down...backwards and forwards. You just have no sense of who you aren't a smoker...and you still smell like one so the non-smokers don't wanna claim you...and you can't possibly explain to anyone what it feels like...all the while you just want a couple of puffs to take the edge off. You are distracted. Your brain just does not work. Period. You do however know that your opinion of murder might have been a bit harsh, and you can fully know the meaning behind 'justifiable homicide.'

And you end up getting angrier when you realize that you have done this to yourself.

You also begin to notice that you are getting the 'munchies' much more than you used to. Having 'quit' several times before, I was prepared for this. I am going through suckers like Paula Abdul through AI finalists, and I am NOT prepared for weight gain, I can tell ya. Sugarless Gum I have developed quite an affinity for (Altoids Sour Cherry gum is my personal favorite), and sugar free hard candies are now cluttering up my handbag. lung cancer...but I'll be diabetic!

Another nice little aside is that the withdrawel process has heightened my already fully charged cynicism. I find my temper is shorter, and my patience is non-existent. I shudder to think of the opinion of the insurance people who have had to deal with me as I try to get them to explain the rational behind NOT covering one kind of medication for two months as I ride out the rollercoaster of addiction...but they will cover it if I'm just garden variety depressed. They will provide me with sleeping pills to combat the raging insomnia that quitting throws you into...which is nice, because THAT I can overdose on, and it's highly addictive. But nice to know they want me to have a good night's sleep!

I am wondering why I put myself through this. I can smoke and smoke, and I probably wouldn't notice any seriously bad health effects for quite a while. I'd have a part of my identity back. Maybe I wouldn't have to take the time to actually figure out my problems instead of taking a smoke break.

But then I look at things like the money I am saving. That my mother said I inspired her and she might quit smoking, possibly to live a few years longer. That the man I love and who has been an unwitting target for all my misplaced venom and rage might actually not have to nurse me as I sicken from God knows what diseases I would have been at risk for. That I will have more control over my life than the 20 cigarettes that used to be my constant companion.
And I tell myself I only have to make it through not smoking today. That makes it a little more bearable.

I would ask that, if you know someone who is trying to quit, or who is on the verge of it, by all means, please be patient and understanding of them. Know that there are things happening internally that they are trying to control, but just can't. That it will pass, and they will regret their tantrums and what they have done to themselves. That your friendship and understanding is appreciated more than you know.

And that they will gladly kill any of your enemies for a cigarette.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A little background is in order...

Before you settle in to read my dating manifesto, a little intro is in order. I have, shall we say, a knack for pickin some crazy men to go out with. Granted, they generally don't come off that way initially, but, in my past, the trial and error ratio was phenominal. So much so that I tired to retelling the tales. I was urged to write them down, and thus, the following six posts were my experiences that I decided to write down for posterity's sake, as well as the fact they were actually pretty damned funny.

Now, as for me, I am a 38 year old woman as of this writing who has been divorced for 5 years, in love for sure twice, and one 'in love' that now looks more like post-dirovce rebound 'Thank GOD you aren't my ex-husband' love. I will use this blog to now take the place of what my old website used to.

I have reposted the articles in their entirety, and would love to hear anyone's comments on them.

I Was Looking for my Soulmate While Walking on a Moonlit beach.

I know it’s going to shock some of you, but I am going to admit something: I was a weird kid.

(The hush that has fallen over the crowd at this news is deafening).

Not sure if it’s genetics, (my ancestors DID leave Switzerland for this country. SWITZERLAND! What the hell is there to escape from in a country that is decidedly neutral about everything, has great scenery, and is the world renowned for it’s production for most of nature’s most perfect of foods: cheese!) nurturing (My first day of high school, the same school that graduated both my parents, I was asked by one of my teachers: ‘Are you the juvenile delinquent’s daughter.’ A man who can sustain that kind of moniker through two decades of complete absence leaves quite an impression and helped to mold my young mind!), or just me being weird. (I turn off my phone to watch Grease 2 for God’s sake!) Whatever it is, I’ve always been known for my individuality and creativity. (That’s how weirdo’s always describe themselves, BTW.)

I admit, my personals tend to be, well, a bit different. I am often asked how I go about writing them. I don’t set out to craft the finest work of our time, mind you. I just figure I’d better convey as good a sense as I can of who I am and what I am compatible with. And, I have NEVER, EVER, been one would could not use 50 words when 10 would be just as effective.

I was having a very cerebral discussion with one of my male friends (the eternal ‘Less Filling, Tastes Great debate), when we happened on the subject of personals. He has one up (in fact, that’s how we met. I look at him as my wonder twin, although my respect for his ability to create tapestries of beauty with his creative use of profanity would leave Van Gough fearing for his job. I can only come up with new ways to use the F word on occasion. He is my Sen-say of the profane), and we both agreed that there are personals out there that read as if the author spent an afternoon at a Hallmark shop.

However, one of the things that I have not only noticed but has been discussed among other men and women I’ve met through online services such as Match, is frighteningly vague similarities in what someone is looking for. Or specifications so constricting that they apply to 3 people in the known universe, and finding those 3 means a stroke of cosmic luck that involves planetary alignment and celestial intervention. (Alien abduction sounds far more likely).

It is in this spirit of hoping everyone can find love and friendship successfully that I have compiled observations and suggestions taken from many discussions with other Match members on what they think makes a great personal, and how to make sure you get responses from people you may actually enjoy getting to know. (Or at least don’t seem Yeti-like in their appeal!)

These are the 10 considerations/rules one must keep in mind when in constructing one’s personal. These aren’t meant to refer to anyone’s personal in particular. However, these elements have been cited as continual offenses that should be dealt with and hopefully eradicated from the online romantic landscape.

1.) First rule: Guys: the girls DO talk to one another. Now, I know the men don’t tend to trade notes via email or chatting, but I guarantee you: If you’ve gone out with more than one woman on a service chances are notes were compared on you and your ad’s ability to portray you. This is not meant to scare you, but be aware that, if you are going to attempt something tasteless or rude when you have written the phrase ‘I love to treat my woman like a lady,’ rest assured word of it will spread so quickly your E-love-life will be snuffed out like a Ho-Ho at a fat farm!

2.) For God’s Sake, put up a recent photo of yourself! This is apparently more of a problem for men seeking women, who are taken in by this intelligent, attractive creature, only to be frightened into celibacy because the woman they were expecting (youthful, vital, thin) is 180% different than the one who shows up (Bad dye job, many years of hard living etched in her face, an ass in desperate need of a ‘Wide Load’ sign, and and a T-shirt reading ‘I go from 0 – Horny in 2.3 beers!). This is much more common than you realize. Granted, ladies, our society does prize youth and beauty, (I’m not condoning it, just stating the facts. Little do they know how many women actually achieve that state of pencil-thinness by puking 10 seconds after they eat!) If you are going to be dishonest about something so obvious that the deception is uncovered before you utter a word, don’t we need to reread our copy of ‘I’m OK, You’re OK’ again? Don’t fake it when you know you aren’t going to live up to the prince or princess you construct via email.

3.) Speaking of photos: Drivers License photos or those taken from a web cam at ones computer are extremely risky. I know my DL pic was NOT my best day, and I know about 4 people on the planet who have great pics like these. Web Cam photos: They generally are a bad angle, bad lighting, and can often show things you don’t realize are in the background (Some I’ve seen included underwear on lamps, grandfathers in deep sleep or dead, and one idiot actually showed his very obvious wedding portrait on the wall in the background! God, I pray he has been sterilized to prevent his seed from tainting the gene pool!) And it’s always obvious when you use these…so just beware it can backfire on you.
4.) I am starting a grass-roots movement to ban the following phrases from further use in all personals:
  • "I am looking for my soul mate.’
  • ‘Someone who looks as good in jeans as he/she does dressed for a night on the town’
  • ‘Someone who enjoys quiet evenings at home or who can live it up on the town.’
  • ‘I love to cuddle by the fire with a glass of wine’
  • ‘I’ve left my baggage where it belongs.’ (News FLASH: We ALL have baggage…it’s just how we use it and where we take it.)
  • ‘Looking for someone to be my lover and best friend.’
  • ‘I love moonlit walks on the beach.’ (This either means you are reading a Harlequin in an attempt to the female psyche, or you find it easiest to take your dates on a long walk in the dark near a large body of water for the ease it provides in body disposal!)

Why ban these phrases, you ask? Mainly because that’s what EVERYONE looking
for love wants. Sure, it sounds all kinds of sincere and romantic…but it also sounds
like you have been reading ‘How to Write a Personal in 10 easy steps.’ It’s NOT
original, it DOESN’T sound sincere, and it’s OLD! I mean, like Gag Me With a Spoon

5.) Two words: Spell Check

6.) Two more words: CAPS OFF!!!!!

7.) Parents: We love that you take pride in your role as a parent. But please think twice about posting a picture of you with your child on a public site such as this. It is too risky in this day and age to give predators any more info than they need about children

8.) If someone puts something down in his or her ‘desirable’ criteria, PLEASE RESPECT IT!!! I have a rule that, if it’s blatantly obvious someone hasn’t read my ad, I won’t bother getting to know him. (Like NOT HAVING A DAMNED PHOTO WHEN IT SAYS I REQUIRE ONE. This also goes for if your photo hasn’t been posted yet…you still don’t have one! Do we need to get you enrolled in a Sylvan Learning Center, Corky?) If they can’t pay attention to me before we’ve become acquainted, the possibility of them doing so later is ‘nil. For instance, if you’re not athletic, don’t reply to someone who wants someone with an athletic build. Two main reasons 1.) You are most likely setting yourself up for rejection from the start, and 2.) Don’t try to be something you aren’t. It just never works. And, if you think that the deception of your physical appearance will be outweighed by your sparkling personality once said object meets you in person after having gotten to know you over several emails and phone conversations, you are smoking a brand of crack so pure Ivory Soap seems filthy by comparison. It generally results only in said object being extremely pissed off and that probably isn’t what you were going for in the first place.

9.) Unless you have a particular fondness for everyone and their dog knowing your phone number, or want to possibly be exposed to a phone phreaker…do NOT give it out on the first email. Aside from the fact it’s just pathologically stupid to send your phone number to someone you haven’t even spoken to yet, I have talked to several people who think it’s just plain lazy to include a phone number because ‘I hate to type.’ Ohhh kaaayyyy…then what in the hell are you doing looking for people on the INTERNET! You have to TYPE! Sorry, but that phrase generally tags you as an idiot from the word go…and there is very little chance to redeem yourself after that.

10.) The use of the word ‘Lonely’ immediately brands you as completely void of social skills and does absolutely nothing to set the opposite sex ablaze with desire for you. If you’re so lonely you have to publicize that to the world, I would strongly suggest getting a pet. There are many fine animals that can appreciate your companionship that are in need of adoption. Using ‘Lonely’ generally gets translated into the fact you have no drive or ambition to create your own life and you will suck the existence out of any potential companion you cross paths with. Worse still is that your lonely existence will mean getting rid of you will be more difficult than finding Bin Laden.

There are several unwritten rules for writing the perfect cyber construct of yourself, and no one can honestly say they expect to learn everything there is to know about you in a few paragraphs and photos. Your profile is simply meant to be a stepping-stone, not the Golden Gate Bridge. And, it should serve to tantalize as to what you have to offer. If it puts the others to sleep or has them calling 531-TIPS, you probably should go back to the drawing board.

Now, on the flip side of the coin, realize too that some people simple don’t see the need to get artistic and fancy when posting their stats on the love cyber-connection. And some people don’t translate the same way on person as they do in an ad. I’ve met men who wrote me pages and pages of eloquent, witty prose, and get them in person and the most intelligent thing to come out of their mouth in person was ‘Do you have PBR on tap?’

Conversely, I’ve met men who couldn’t write their way out of a wet wad of toilet paper, but in person made me laugh ‘til I cried, and who could hold amazingly intelligent conversations. The general rule of thumb still applies: You can’t judge a book by its cover. (Or at least it’s lack of grammatical talent)

Overall, it works best when you are honest about who you are, who you want, and what you are seeking. Celebrate your unique qualities and realize that someone out there, either in the cyber or real world, will find them intensely fascinating without you having to throw a hard sell on them or bury the truth of it in worn out phrases and a great photo of you taken 10 years ago.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go take a moonlit walk on the beach.

The Best of the Worst

One would think, given previous writings, that I would be an authority of what it takes to make a bad date.

While I would love to be considered the foremost authority on something in this world, that I am not. One person’s bad date can be a rockin’ good time to someone else. I will admit to being thrust into more than what would seem an unusually high number of bad dates for a woman who isn't nursing an abnormally large number of self-loathing thoughts. But I’ve also had some dates that I didn’t consider to be too bad but would have other women running for a battalion of therapists.

Case in point, my last date with Wade.

I dated Wade for about a year in the late 80’s. Wade was introduced to me to me by a mutual friend. He was one HELLUVA fun person! He had a great pedigree, was fast-tracking into a promising career in finance, and was one of the most socially skilled people I have or ever will meet. You could plunk yourself in the middle of the Sahara, and I would bet you a hundred bucks you’d come across a nomad who would say ‘You know WADE? How’s he doing.’ The man was undoubtedly the genesis of the 6 degrees of separation theory.

But it wasn’t without good reason. Wade was a helluva fun person. We always had a great time. My parents loved him, friends loved him…but he never eeked out of ‘The Guy I’m Dating Zone.’ I just couldn’t muster anything more than a ‘He’s a great guy’ feeling. I knew he was A great guy, but not MY great guy.

Nonetheless, we had enough mutual merriment that we dated exclusively. And neither one of us had any designs on making the other the permanent day to our night. Try as I might, I just couldn’t ever position him as anything other than ‘The guy I’m dating.’ He was never ‘my boyfriend,’ my ‘special someone’…hell, on gift occasions, I believe we got each other a card…but did manage to trade assorted chocolates on Christmas. No wait…he gave me a box of steaks. Nothin says ‘I have no plans for you in my long term future’ than a box of choice cuts of dead cow flesh.

As we settled into our comfortable routine, we decided one evening to fix up two of our single friends and double. My pick for the evening was my dear friend Rachel. Rachel was one of the most ‘together’ people I have ever been privileged to call my friend. She was a few years younger than I, but MAN did that girl have her shit together. And she had a smile that would light up a room. The only thing I can say negatively about her is the bitch quit working at the dairy store too soon, and thus prematurely cut off my free ice cream fix. Selfish Ho!

Don’t even ask me who Wade brought, because my only memory of him was that he had brown hair and sat up straight. And that’s about as much as will be written about him.

The date seemed to go well, but I noticed that Wade and Rachel spent a lot of the evening engaged in conversation. I, of course, provided plenty of witty quips now and then, but clearly, these two were monopolizing me and brown haired sitting up straight guy’s date time.

The evening ended with Wade taking me home, then asking me a very odd, end of date question. ‘Hey, would you mind if I asked Rachel out? She’s a really great gal.’

WHAT…But Wade…what about our relationship…all we‘ve been through…how we have a bond that only steak can convey? At least he lived and died by the principle ‘Ya never know unless you ask.’ And, as tepid water ran hotter than my passion for Wade, I wasn’t the least bit offended by his question.

‘Wade, that’s fine…but you have to understand something; if you call her tomorrow and ask her, she will hang up on you . Girlfriends don’t do that to another girl’s ‘guy I’m dating.’ So let me tell her you would like to ask her out and that I’m OK with it. At least you won’t get shot down immediately.’

And then I thought ‘Am I really offering to fix up my friend with the guy I’m dating? This is NOT the way to ever get married,’ my 21 year-old mind said to itself.

Nonetheless, I thought it might not be such a bad idea. Rachel had a patience unseen in many people, and it would probably be a necessity for dealing with Wade. And they both had a quiet dignity that just seemed to match. She also possessed a class-blind attitude that could navigate Wade’s upper-crust pedigree in a way I could never find a comfort zone in.

I called Rachel the next day. Poor brown haired guy who could sit up straight wasn’t mentioned, but I did tell Rachel that Wade would really like to ask her out and that if she wanted to accept, I was absolutely fine with that. She seemed a little perplexed, and I actually began running down Wade’s good points to her. I was actively pawning off the guy I was dating! It was probably the cleanest, non-break-up breakup I would ever orchestrate! Rachel seemed to think it wouldn’t be a bad idea, as long as it wouldn’t interfere with her and my relationship.

Not a chance! You don’t let little things like a guy your dating get in the way of your true friendships.

I called Wade with the good news…and he was absolutely giddy! I mean, now…the guy I’m dating is asking me how to impress her on their first date. AND I’M GIVING HIM POINTERS! I do believe the sound barrier was broken that night with the speed we transitioned from mutual daters to legitimate friend zone! What was worse…I was actually hoping Rachel would like him! Isn’t the object of dating someone supposed to be that you hope THEY want to impress you, and not your friends?

But, the big day arrived. Wade called me about 5 times that day to go over details. Man, he was unlike the Wade I knew as the guy I was/had been dating. This was a romantic fool. And I can damned sure betcha he wasn’t making a trip to the butcher’s aisle prior to their date!

Zero hour had come and gone. At two a.m., a frantic knocking at my door awoke me from my slumber. It was Wade in a panic. The date had gone horribly awry, he felt, and he wanted to go over details and have me do damage control. I was in a stupor. One, because I was half asleep, and two, because I was seeing a side of Wade I had no idea existed. He was a man genuinely interested in a woman and was feeling vulnerable. I don’t think I ever found him quite so endearing, and I only wanted to help him.

The next day, I casually phone Rachel for her take on the date, which, was nothing compared to the train wreck Wade had presented. Rachel even wanted to see him again. I was a bit perplexed as I wondered how two people on the same date could possibly have had such a different experience.

Rachel and Wade dated for several years, and they tried in vain to duplicate my success in matchmaking towards my love goals, but fell drastically short of the mark. But we all managed to maintain our deep friendships and watching their relationship grow and prosper was a true joy to be around. They provided me with many good times, and the source of their introduction was always a favorite topic to bring up at many of Wade and Rachel’s now infamous parties in their pre-marital Westport home.

The week before he proposed to Rachel, Wade called me to tell me of his plan. He also wanted to thank me for bringing her into his life. ‘You know, Rachel is the kind of woman I always hoped was out there, but didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to find.’ I laughed, not so much because of the Hallmark-esque nature of his sentiment, but the weekend before during a Christmas shopping trip, Rachel had said almost the exact same thing. It brought tears to my eyes hearing that from Wade. In a world that grows more cynical and jaded as I get older, there was a simplicity to their feelings that made me realize that sometimes the simplest things in life can recharge your faith-based batteries as to what can be possible.

Their inevitable nuptials remains one of the most joyous occasions I have ever been allowed to witness, as well as be a party of. I was privileged to be a member of the wedding party .(Jeeze, had it not been for me, they never woulda met! I sure as hell hoped they’d dress me up like a Barbie doll and have me hold some flowers for God’s sake!) They are still married and have two of the most adorable boys I have ever seen. Rachel and Wade, in short, are the kind of couple most people, myself included, dream of being a part of.

I don’t want to give the impression that two genetically and mentally superior people had crossed one another’s path, which often seems the case when one speaks of ‘perfect couples.‘ I should also mention that neither Wade nor Rachel will ever win a prize as the most generous or kind human being to ever walk the planet. Neither is going to be a finalist on ‘Are you Hot?’ They are normal, average people, fraught with the same flaws, insecurities, and foibles as the rest of us. Their unique quality is they found a mutual affinity that seems to escape the rest of us. They knew that they weren’t going to find a ‘perfect’ partner, but a partner perfect for them. In short, their perfection lies solely in how they compliment one another.

But how did they get so lucky while the rest of us yahoos are out stumbling along the pathway of love, generally falling on our asses. I think it’s a simple matter of the fact they weren’t looking when they found each other, but they knew what they wanted and wouldn’t settle for anything less. Wade and I dated for a fairly good period of time, yet he and I both knew we weren’t the other’s heart and desire. To that end, Wade was always responsible in his display of affection for me. He never once lead me to believe we were or could be anything more than we were…the guy/girl I’m dating. We just liked each other and enjoyed each other’s company.

Rachel, on the other hand, was just not looking to meet the love of her life. She had just started college and was extremely focused on getting her life in order. She didn’t have time for the impracticalities of love or the distraction. That’s a lethal combination when you combine it with a man who knows what he wants and you are it. She never had a chance once Wade knew she was the one.

Being able to be a spectator in the full process of love as I was with them gave me a perspective that I hope I can maintain. Although Wade and I had a ‘relationship’ before Rachel ever crossed his path, I never experience one iota of jealousy. Being around them or hearing one speak of the other gave me a sense of happiness that comes when things are just ‘right,’ even though it doesn’t directly involve you. Everything that I know or feel about love I largely witnessed because of the privilege of their friendship and generosity. It’s a special gift to learn about something of life from those who don’t even know they are your teacher.

So, to this end, I would have to say that I can only hope I am lucky enough to find that someday. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. I can tell you that it’s because of them I have to remind myself not to settle for less than my heart’s desire, whoever that may be. (I still think it’s Ray Liotta, but he hasn’t returned my calls, making it a very difficult process to begin our lifelong love affair) But I find it very reassuring, in this day and age of micro-dating, hits and misses, and jaded recollections of ones that thankfully got away, that I know true, deep, undying love exists. I may not have experienced that for myself yet, but to be in the presence of two fallible people like myself almost 15 years after they met and they still are as perfect a match as peanut butter and chocolate. Believe me when I tell you, to see these two people together, you see that love is alive and well and living right where you’d least expect it.

Other folks might have considered fixing up your current dating partner with your friend at your dating partner’s request a horrid date. But when you are in a position to witness true love taking root, as I did with Rachel and Wade, you don’t mind in the least to step back, add a little water, and wait patiently for your day in the sun.


There are times in your life when you cannot possibly say no.

As a teenage girl, my mother oft encouraged me to say no in the event any male not related to me and under the age of 50 came within a 10 foot radius of me. So saying no was ingrained in me at a very early age and stuck around for quite a while. (Until I joined the Columbia record and tape club and it went straight to hell from there.)

You have to know what I mean…the shopping trip at the end of the month with a really good clearance sale and $50 in the bank, crème brulee when you are stuffed to the gils but it’s wheeled out right in front of you, and when former gay porn star asks you out to lunch. I defy anyone to turn down THAT invite!

Now, let me tell you that I had no prior firsthand knowledge of his work, and his porn days were almost a decade behind him during that fateful August afternoon. Nonetheless, I made Bruce’s acquaintance and was subsequently invited to lunch. Bruce was, on first impressions, a very nice person. He grew up on the Kansas Side, moved out west for a while, and had recently moved back to the area.

The day before our lunch date, he contacted me and told me I needed to know something about him, and he gave me a name to search on with instructions to wait until I returned home to search for it, and that it would not be wise for me to attempt this ‘on my work computer.’ The anticipation was way more than my impatient nature would allow, but was eclipsed by my desire for maintaining gainful employment. So I waited.

Breaking the sound barrier to get home, I logged onto my favorite search engine and did a search on Brock Hard. The first thing that popped up was ‘Butt Pirates of Penzance’ starring Brock Hard. Following that was a litany of the worst Gay Porn titles you can possibly imagine. I was absolutely astounded. Why would Bruce, this seemingly intelligent, kind and soft-spoken man have me search for gay porn?

In order to quell the swirling confusion, I called my friend Greg, who for unnecessary-to-mention lifestyle reasons would naturally know about Gay Porn. ‘Dude…have you ever heard of a guy named Brock Hard?’

‘Honey, of course I have. My question is why have you,’ Greg asked me with bewilderment his normally jaded nature would have contained.

I explained that it was a distinct possibility that my lunch date the next day and this master of the gluts (and not in a work-out kinda way) were indeed one in the same. We did the only thing we could think would clear up the mystery: We watched one of the tapes in Greg’s library.

5 minutes and the box cover photos were all I needed. Mainly because ‘Brock’ had a very large, distinctive tattoo on his chest…one that was similar to the description Bruce had given me as well. He had gained some weight in his post-porn years and cut his mullet to a respectable length, but there was no mistaking that I would be lunching with the former Brock Hard in a mere 14 hours.

As freakish as I found this other life of his, it was a date I HAD to go on. I mean..,come ON people…you KNOW you would’ve gone too. I had just had a date with a physics professor a few nights before, and was meeting a real estate developer for drinks over the weekend. Oh, MAN would this be a week for the books!

So I called Bruce and said that lunch was still on. We agreed on time and place…but unfortunately, I didn’t pay much attention to the ensuing conversation, because the only sound in my head was the steady beat of porn music: Bomb chick -a-wow-wow, a chicka wow WOW.

That whole morning, work was so difficult to concentrate on. I realize there are things in my past that I’m not particularly proud of, perhaps capped by that pathetic period 20 years ago where I insisted on wearing FlashDance-inspired ripped sweatshirts with a body that resembled a Stay-Puft Marshmallow (Wo) Man. (While most teenage girls aspire for a pair of great boobs, I longed for a waist.) We all have a few skeletons in our closet that may be held against us in the future, ya know. But the anticipation was still at a fever pitch and I kept an open mind.

Zero hour had come. I arrived at the restaurant, and there was Bruce. Not too shabby, but a far cry from his buff porn days. It appeared as though he had fully embraced the magic of pie since baring it all. He informed me we would need to sit away from people as his hearing aids (that’s right…plural) weren’t working very well and he would need to keep away from distractions to have a conversation.

A former gay porn star with a double hearing impairment. At least I was confident in the knowledge that the ‘Bomb chick -a-wow-wow, a chicka wow WOW,’ that seemed to boom in my head probably wouldn’t be noticed by him, because it felt like a KISS concert was being performed in my skull it was so deafening.

Bomb chick -a-wow-wow, a chicka wow WOW

Bruce started off the conversation with ‘I’m really surprised you had lunch with me. Most women freak out when they know what I’ve done.’ I’m thinking that, if ya kept that little secret to yourself, it wouldn’t be a problem, since I know of no single women who maintain a fresh rotation of gay porn in their video library. Nonetheless, he had shed his blue past and wanted to make sure it didn’t come up later to bite him in the ass. (Much as I believe Gluteus Maximus had in the snippets of ‘Manhandlers IV’ that I had seen at Greg’s the night before.)

He then proceeded to tell me of a particularly troubled teenage hood, and some uncertainty as to sexual preferences combined with a lack of high school diploma, which led him to Gay Porn. For someone who wasn’t particularly proud of his past, he made me feel like Barbara Walters on Oscar night. All I was missing was my own speech impediment and soft lighting.

‘So Bruce, how did you end up working at XYZ Corporation?’ I said in my fervent attempt to disengage him from telling me more than I ever needed to know about the porn industry.

‘A friend of my mom’s who didn’t mind that I was in porn and got me the job.’ I began to wonder if there was a way I could collect $1 for every time he said porn, because it was becoming abundantly clear that he wanted to purge his soul as much as possible on his brief career in the adult film industry.

Bomb chick -a-wow-wow, a chicka wow WOW

Our salads came, which was good, because by this time I was really, really hoping this date would end. I was growing quickly tired of his continual attempts to steer every part of the conversation towards porn.

‘Did you see the Chiefs in pre-season, Bruce?’ ‘Yeah…they wear red jersey’s, don’t they? I wore a red thong in ‘Halloween-ie 5’

‘Are you going to watch the Survivor finale?’ ‘Yeah, probably, since I’m a survivor of the porn industry, I can relate.’

‘Bruce, can you talk about anything other than porn?’ ‘Well, I could, but I was in porn, and I know a lot about porn.’

Aside from the continual attempts to make sure I knew he was being honest about his past, I couldn’t enjoy my salad because they had put the wrong dressing on it. Frankly, the wrong dressing was quickly becoming the hi-light of the meal. Bruce asked why I wasn’t eating my salad, and I just mentioned that I didn’t particularly care for the dressing, but it wasn’t a big deal. The truth was, I wanted to get the Sam Hill outta Dodge before I found out about the between-take shenanigans of the porn industry., which I was perilously close to being the passenger to in this train-wreck of a conversation.

The remainder of the hour can best be summed up by the following: Ya know, they feed us on porn sets. I invested my porn money wisely. Porn, porn, porn, and more porn.

The waiter came by and asked how everything was. I was so grateful to have a sentence uttered NOT containing the word ‘porn,‘ I think I appeared overeager in my simple response ‘Yes, fine.’ I know I must have had the pleading eyes of a baby robin as it looks to the mother for a bit of nourishing worm as a waiter only known as Tom gave me the one bit of viable verbal sustenance I received in that excruciating hour. Looking back, listening to Bruce drone on and on made me long for the sweet comfort of a dentist’s chair and a mouth full of sharp metal instruments: far less painful and often accompanied by drugs.

I can’t decide if it was my small little white lie about the quality of the salad or just my final attempt to utter a sentence not conducive to talk of porn, but Bruce grew decidedly agitated after my Lie of the Salad.

Already firm in the knowledge that there would be no second date with Bruce, I prepared my standard ‘Thanks for lunch, I appreciated meeting you and wish you luck in finding someone special,’ exit line, when Bruce beat me to the punch: ‘You know, honesty is too important for me, and I just really can’t get myself involved with someone who would willingly lie like that.’

I know I made that ‘Dog-hearing-a-high-pitched-noise’ face we all do when confronted with just butt-stupid statements. ‘Excuse me?’

He launched into a rather heated tirade about the merits of honesty and seeing me lie so blatantly about my salad made him wonder what else I would be willing to lie about. I’m standing there increasingly dumbfounded that Bruce was giving me the what for about honesty and forthrightness. Yeah, well, buddy, I can guaran-dam-tee you no one can ever find me performing sex acts banned in 40 states on VHS, ya freaky Ass Clown!

I was fuming on my way back to the office. Who in the HELL was this wisenheimer to tell ME I was of lower caliber than he was? Dammit, I give to charity! I always buy candy from those people on the traffic islands who are trying to stay off drugs! Don’t even get me STARTED on all the shitty looking bridesmaids dresses I’ve worn in my lifetime as I’ve watched my dearest friends ride off into the sunset of marital bliss: I’m a veritable Milk Maid of freakin Human Kindness!

Although he was right, I hadn’t been honest, even if he was fairly anal in his pursuit of an honest partner. (Oh, please: I’m not allowed to use one rear-ended pun in this story?) It dawned on me what his point really was: He needed an opportunity to reject me before I could reject him. He was obviously very used to it by those not genetically predestined to sport a penis, and his defensive measures were already primed for what he was sure was inevitable rejection.

It got me to thinking about the defenses I have used in my attempts to stave off the same. In the pursuit of coupledom, you learn rather quickly that not everyone you cross paths with is the yin to your yang, the sun to your moon, the porn to your -ography. The worst part is, there are more times than you care to admit that you want that more than the other person probably does. Rejection hurts most when it’s found in pursuit of someone you just want to eventually love.

But then, once in a while, you don’t get rejected. Someone learns about your past and present flaws, and still aches to learn more. You’re defenses come down, and all the risks pay off when you find that you’ve fallen in love. And that relationship, whether it lasts a lifetime or sometime decidedly shorter, makes every rejection you’ve ever experienced seem as insignificant as bad dressing on an otherwise good salad. Because the risks paid off in the emotional gamble you took and you found acceptance for who you are, who you were, and who you will be.

Rejection is what you have to acknowledge as part of the process of finding a partner. You can accept it like an unappetizing salad, or deflect it like a ‘money shot’ gone astray. How you choose to handle romantic rebuff just gets incorporated into your eventual self that someone will find devastatingly irresistible.

I never saw Bruce again…in real or in celluloid. I have never in my life cherished such swift rebuke of my charms.


Make Yourself At Home

The first month, if it last that long, is always the most telling of the way a dating relationship will progress. I guaran-damn-tee it!

Now, even though the first month of said union is generally filled with giggles, sighs, and down-right STOOPID utterances (Oh, please don’t EVEN try to tell me you haven’t uttered ‘Schmoopy’ at least once!) good/bad points can show themselves easily to the keen observer. For men, it seems that a good sign might be something like a woman with a great sense of humor combined with an encyclopedic knowledge of football. Not so good; finding a doodle she’s made of her name combined with your last name in every conceivable variation after 4 dates. With women, when he opens a door, that is good. He opens his fly for no reason not involving a right good make-out session, ya got trouble my friends, that’s right I say trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Penile.

Since I’ve touched on the subject of open flies, I shall offer up the tale of ‘Naked Boy.’

Brian was introduced to me by a friend, and generally, friend introductions come with a tacit implication of said introductee’s degree of normalcy. If my friends like him/her, he/she can’t be all bad. Remember though, sometimes your friends turn into your parents when it comes to introductions, and find the perfect person they think you would be perfect with yet said ‘perfect person’ lulls you into thoughts of grouting tile with their mind-numbingly dull conversation.

Brian and I had a surprising amount in common, and he was a dead ringer for the actor Craig Sheiffer. His liabilities, a rather compact physique, (Kinda like he was supposed to be about 6 ‘4" but ended up getting inexplicably thrown into a drill press and was thrown into a 5’7" frame. Not a deal breaker, but is legitimate ammo for the ‘Throw away/oh please stay’ decision that generally comes after a few weeks of dates. You know…the time when you size up said object, and if you haven’t been won over, they can be dumped for reasons such as, ‘ I like him but….I’d really like my kids to be tall enough to see over a steering wheel eventually.’) a very intense-for-no-reason demeanor, ( like every word out of his mouth HAD to be intensely profound. This man could make ‘Would you like another Cosmopolitan’ sound like he was brokering world peace) and a bizarre cowlick that he attempted to pass off as a legitimate attempt at noveaux hairstyling. (Note, fellas: Women have been stuggling with bad hair days LONG before it was OK for men to wear mousse: Get back in line, buddy)

He also was an incredibly artistic person, and had produced a few straight-to-video movies (and NO, they weren’t porn! Porn occasionally has quality!) But his artistic nature and quiet demeanor appealed to me, and it seemed like we were getting comfortable around each other. In hindsight, that last part may not be such a good thing.

Our first date was a very casual evening at a West Port Watering Hole. We discovered a similarly off-center sense of humor, a thirst for current event discussions, and a mutual love of our adopted home of Kansas City. He was also a graduate student, so I figured he was aspiring to more than being a shift supervisor at KFC.

Several subsequent dates followed, and he was kind enough to bring roses by my office for my birthday. I was starting to think that I might actually see him past the usual 3 week shelf-life of previous suitors. And fellas, in case your wondering, flowers DO score you blazing points in the Keep Him Around category. Any chick that tells you differently is lying like a cheap rug in a 5 and dime.

Now, it was the point in a relationship where things can get dicey: The ‘Who invites who over first.’ Thankfully, Brian wanted to show me some film posters he had worked on. (I suppose it’s the B-movie producer equivalent to ‘Let me show you my sketches.’) He had a fairly nice, though incredibly junk-packed apartment, and something that should have sent me running for the hills: A cat he had shorn most of the hair from.

OK…let’s now get the chorus of ‘What were you thinking you dizzy Bee-atch when you went out with him after seeing that’ out of the way, shall we?

NOW…in my defense, and as any cat owner can attest to most of the time, his explanation was that the cat had gotten into some burrs and found it was easier to shear the animal down than fight for combing time. It sounded reasonable, and the cat didn’t seem traumatized. But then, they do prescribe Prozac for animals now, don’t they?

After venturing to Casa-De-Brian and having left his abode with his status as a gentleman intact, I assessed that it was safe to invite him to my North of the River crib. (It sounds so ‘street’ when you say it like that!) He had been wanting to show me one of his films (And using the term ‘film’ to describe one of his movies is a term used more loosely than a Jennifer Lopez marital commitment), so I invited him over on a Tuesday evening of pizza, beer and movies. Since it was a ‘school night,’ there was relative safety in the assumption that he wouldn’t be attempting a sleepover.

Brian shows up with an Imo’s pizza, 6 pack of MGD light, and his film. (In respecting his anonymity, I will not mention it here, but venture to say that, if you’ve seen it, you are perilously close to ‘Dumbass’ status and sure as hell don’t look for reading material any more complex than Haggar the Horrible) I was dressed in a sweatsuit, hair was pulled up, and minimum of make up. Suffice to say I was not in full throttle temptress mode that evening.

Now, while I normally feel that there are certain parts of my romantic encounters that aren’t up for column fodder (i.e., gettin’ busy time), I do need to stress the fact that Brian and I had not been intimate up to this point, nor had the topic been discussed. Trust me…this will become an important reference point in a few paragraphs.

Brian and I settle onto my living room floor for a comfy little carpet picnic. (Hey…get your mind outta the gutter: I’m talking wall to wall carpet here!) He sits down, then says ‘Do you mind if I get a glass of water?’ My response, and words that I have learned to never again utter to anyone without whom I share a genetic bond or a mortgage, was ‘Sure, Make yourself at home.’

Now, while this seems like a purely innocuous phrase, I suppose that it could be taken in a number of ways. None that I was familiar with outside of kicking off ones shoes, filling a glass, and getting your own damned drink, but I suppose different strokes for different folks.

Brian had decidedly different strokes.

He asked if I meant that. My puzzled expression and momentary lapse of memory regarding his shorn cat only managed a ‘Uh..sure’ response. Now, logic would have told me that the response to my offer to attempt a reasonable degree of comfort in my four walls should have been met with something along the lines of ‘Thanks,’ or ‘OK.’ But I didn’t get the need for reassurance of my offer. It’s not like I was offering a kidney or anything. Truth be told, I was feeling too damned lazy to fix him a glass like Martha Stewart probably would have.

I am busying myself with prepping the celluloid entertainment for the evening, so wasn’t aware of any out of the ordinary activity going on behind me. Had I known what I was about to encounter, I would have frozen in my place and never looked around.

Brian comes in with a glass of water in one hand, a beer in the other, and pants that had magically disappeared. Nothing…nada…no fig leaf, no Haynes, No Fruit of the looms. However, he was sporting foreskin, which just added a further sense of ‘What the HELL’ to the whole matter.

There are few events in this world that will do the impossible and render me speechless. This was one of them. Aside from the surreal attempt at nudity now displayed before me, (He was also wearing socks in addition to his shirt. That’s just wrong anyway!) Brian seemed genuinely perplexed that I was dumbfounded at his attempt at making himself comfortable. I logged the fastest transition from bewilderment to outright rage I will definitely ever experience.

"What in the WORLD are you doing?’ I shout. He explained that this was how he was comfortable in his home, and that he assumed I would be OK with that, since I said he could make himself at home. Now, this is where the earlier paragraph referencing the act of ‘gettin busy’ comes into play. That subject had not been approached at that time. Although it was an unexpected bonus that I got to see the merchandise beforehand, as having THAT be one of the benefits of waiting would have made the wait agonizingly fruitless.

Trying to convey the greatest sense of ‘I can and will inflict heinous fury on your soul’ that my 5’4" frame and incredibly weakened position (I’m sitting on the floor with a half naked man towering over me: You try to remember your Tai-Bo at that moment!) could convey. And idiot me had bothered to clean up before he showed up, putting my normally ever present-on-the-end table nail file uselessly out of reach for it’s alternative purpose of self defense. (If ya can’t take it on an airplane, it can maim you in some way)

Thankfully, his passive nature didn’t 180 to ax-murderer, contrary to the image a beer-toting-half-naked-sport-sock wearing man would normally have you believe. He was genuinely perplexed at my reaction, as if partial nudity was kosher among today’s more hip hostesses. But he did put his pants on and leave my apartment in the 30 seconds I afforded him once the sense of ‘What the HELL’ wore off. It was perhaps one of the shortest dates I have ever had, clocking in I know at under 10 minutes. Facilidate Schmiladate!

Now, suffice to say Naked Boy had indeed managed to get ousted in under one month. Granted, he made the decision mere child’s play with his apparent aversion to pants, but at least I gave him what I felt was a fair shot.

But what is a ‘fair shot’ when the potential object of your affection isn’t dangling their junk in an attempt to get comfy? Some people are afraid to admit that attraction tends to be largely physical initially. They think it makes them ‘Shallow.’ I am unashamed to admit that I have to be attracted to someone on several levels, physically being one. Now, I have gotten to the point where someone who is physically very attractive, say like a squished down Craig Sheiffer. (It sounds repulsive, but he was actually pretty sexy when fully dressed) Who, as I got to know them, just didn’t gel with me.

Brian and I just didn’t mesh well, personality wise…but I am glad that my experience has taught me that the looks only get ‘em so far. There has to be something worth delving into past the first giddy ‘He is SUCH a cute boy!’ phase! Otherwise, you are stuck with a really nice looking person who is dumb as a post, (Not one of the smart men I’ve dated ever de-pantsed without express invitation to do so!) and has radically different ideas of how to spend down time. (I shudder to think what would have happened had he wanted to do like so many men and cuddle by the fire. EWWWWW!!!!)

I see no harm in admitting that physical attraction is important. I see nothing wrong with basing the decision of getting to know someone because they appeal to your aesthetic sense. It’s only when you let the hot-I-tude they possess compensate for their lack of something else you find too important in a potential dating relationship that you venture into ‘shallow’ waters.

It also helps to have a little patience with the ‘getting to know’ you phase. If you rush things, trust me…little details (like shorn cats!) can get overlooked that would have saved you both time and intellectual investment. Patience is a virtue, especially when you are talking about involving someone in something as important as your life.

Keep your pants on: Truer words were never spoken!