Embracing the Mid-Life Crisis: No Boy Toy, just Stand-Up Comedy

“Ok, wait say that again? You want to do what? Have you lost your mind? You wouldn’t catch me up there doing that! Nope, rather have my Twitter account hacked by a porn star.”

That is what every single one of my friends said when I told them I was going to take a stand-up comedy class that ended with me having to get up on stage and do stand-up for 5 minutes. Ok, well not those words exactly. Some of them just scrunched their faces up like I had emitted a bad smell, others chuckled nervously and avoided eye-contact.

In any case, I did it and survived. Here you can watch it if you like. See? Not nearly as bad as having your Twitter account hacked by a porn star. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing. )

Online Dating: Next Exit – Spinsterhood

Like a lot of single people, I’ve done the online dating thing. My friends love it because they get to hear all about the strange dates, emails and profiles I encounter.

I’ll start by sharing some of the odd messages I received and then sharing some of my more memorial dates,well, they’re really “meets” — as in a first meeting in person. My rule of thumb is to keep it short, sweet and with at least two exits.

Some commonalities that these men’s profile pictures have is that they are often taken from miles away, they’re wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, frequently they are topless and often they are holding a large fish they just caught. What I think most men don’t realize is that, unless we’re trapped on an island or on the show Survivor, women really don’t care about fishing or seeing you with a fish.

Their profile write-ups or messages are an English teacher’s nightmare — seriously, I know some teachers that would slit their wrists over the, I would say,”poor grammar”, but it’s really non-existent grammar. Nary a capital letter in site, nor a comma nor a period, yet strangely, a properly used semi-colon. WTF! While reading some of these emails or write-ups, I’ve literally thought, “If you were in front of me now, I would smack you with that damn fish!” I’m not demanding perfection, I know I’m not always right, but throw a comma in here and there and maybe a capital letter. Is that too much to ask?

Online you have a user name and then a place to put a status or a one-liner teaser. Mine was: Man Wanted: Bed warmer and other light duties. Pretty funny I thought. I’ve seen some funny ones guys have used, but then seen some weird ones.

User names and one-liners that make you go “hmm”

  • lickalotapuss96
  • ifearwomen
  • Hay there
  • **** off trashy girls!
  • Old dogs, children and watermelon wine
  • How’s your bin?

Message(s) Received

Here’s a  little sampling of the types of messages  I  got online.

The Boy Next Door – NOT!

He looked nice and pleasant, but his short write up went something like this: I am looking for a woman to tie me and beat me. I really want to be dominated. (next paragraph) I enjoy biking, roller blading and long walks in the rain.

Smells like a pig farm

The profile picture could have come from the 30′s with all its grainy gloriousness, and was taken from 50 feet out. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball cap. I’m surprised there was no fish. In any case, I read the email he sent. Like some inner stream of consciousness, it floated on and on.

“Hello im (name removed) if youd like to meet a guy and go for a drive just past mission theres a mud run my brothers there big bad truck or a patio pub lunch today yah im a little older but youd get treeted like a lady and youd day will be fun if you really wanted to we could pull the boat out and go boating and also whats your name”

Something about the words “mud run”  reminded me of Pickton. (Insert spine shivers here.)

Under the category of “they have a whole section for that” 

  • I’m enjoying the summer and am in the need of a casual meeting…
  • Looking for company tonight?
  • I’m in town from L.A. for the night …
  • Then there was a guy who emailed me photos of his junk

Let’s get personal, personal, personal (sung to Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical)

“So dose the carpet match the drapes or is it lanolium is fine to ask or what about do you have a gag reflex lol Yes I am a jackass. You want to know anything please ask if you want to see if I’m crazy ask my name and check out my Facebook I’m kind of normal lol”

It’s okay, we’re family

I received a very poetic and shamelessly flattering email from a man and went to check out his profile. The first picture was him in a suit with the words, “Photo Shoot” under it. Hmm, model? photographer? Next picture was an artsy-type of photo of a women’s back. She was sitting with her legs folded beside her and glancing over her shoulder at the camera. She was naked. Her arms and hands bound with rope. Then another picture of a different woman, also naked, also tied. And then, yet a third. The grand finale was a picture of him taken from above. He was naked with ropes criss-crossing his body and a small pouch covering his Don Johnson.

Well, I just had to know. What was it all about? I emailed him, and asked, “So, what’s with all the pictures of tied-up naked women on your profile?” His reply? “They are bondage pictures of my sisters and cousins in Kazakhstan.” My next move: DELETE!

On to the actual dates 

These are true! I kid you not. I actually had these experiences.

One way to ensure a fast get-away

I met a man for drink at a pub, and as the date was wrapping up I said,”Well, I guess we just need to get the bill from the waitress”, to which he replied, “I already paid for my drink at the bar, so you’re up to bat.”

Racist? Who me?

I met a guy for a drink. He knew I live in Richmond, and before my butt hit the chair the second sentence out of his mouth was: “Huh, a white girl from Richmond.”

Run Forrest, Run!

I met this fellow in a funky pub/restaurant downtown. The minute he arrived at the table, he began talking and for the next 45 minutes I think I got three sentences in — all while he consumed an entire plate of chicken wings.

Now, what you need to know about me is that I can talk the ear of a deaf nun, so this gives you an idea of how much he was yammering on. There was something else odd but I couldn’t quite place it. He said a phrase that sounded like a key message his parents had been feeding him since a young boy. Something like ” I’m equally smart and loved and respected”.

At one point he said,” Oh, look at me talking away about work. My mother always says, “Let the lady talk and don’t bore her with work talk.” So what do you do for a living, Jennifer.” What you need to know about this is two things: One, I immediately had a flash of Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, “my mother always says…” and two, my name is not Jennifer…not even close.”  When I casually corrected him as I began, or so I thought, to tell him what I do for a living, he launched into 20 minutes explaining how he knew that and how he had even practiced remembering my name.

I never liked you anyway :P~

I always try to be friendly, but maybe that’s not a good thing. At the end of a date with a fellow that I really didn’t feel any chemistry with, he asked me if I’d like to go out again. I stammered out something lame that I can’t remember, but he got the picture. When I got home he had sent me a message through the dating site saying, “I didn’t really want to see you again anyway. I only asked you because I felt I should.”

Right out of a Seinfeld episode

I had arranged to meet a guy one work night for a drink. I was meeting him later in the evening and having dinner/drinks on a hot, sunny patio with my buddy Jake first. We sat in the hot sun eating, drinking and laughing for a few hours and then Jake walked with me to the other restaurant so I could meet my date. As I hugged Jake goodbye, I could see a man who clearly recognized me and I realized this was my date.

Oh, my. He was wearing an almost-lime green suit, white socks and white sunglasses. I don’t even think George Clooney could pull off that look. I clung to Jake, but he just brushed me off and waved goodbye with a smirk on his face. Lime green suit and I said our ‘hellos’ and headed up the stairs. When we were seated he gave me a mango — long story, but definitely a red flag I had missed. It took me all of five minutes to realize that my date was a bit physically and mentally challenged. I immediately felt bad about criticizing his outfit.

Wait, is that in the bible?

I was excited to meet this man because he sounded nice and was cute, according to his pictures. We met for a drink and I was pleasantly surprised that he actually looked as good in person as his photos. Our conversation flowed easily until he asked me this question: “So, how adventurous are you? Y’know, in bed.” I asked for his definition of adventurous and it turns out he was talking about threesomes and explained that he’d had a few. “Well, might as well get some info, an inside look at a world that’s foreign to me”, I thought. I found out a lot of interesting things about how there are a lot of rules for couples who pick up singles for this activity.

I figured I would not be seeing him again, but a few days later we texted and I figured, not sure how, that somehow we could get over this threesome thing. On our second date, we met again for drinks and the conversation ranged from Freemasons, conspiracy theories, 911 being an inside job and ended with religion. Definitely not boring. When religion came up I made some comment about feeling that all roads lead to Rome, i.e. all religions lead to the same universal God, force whatever. That’s just where I’m at now-adays. But, he wasn’t impressed with that and said, “Oh, no, but that’s not true. There is only one saviour and it’s Jesus Christ our Lord.” Turns out he was a born-again Christian. I shit you not. Needless, to say, that was our last date. My friends know him as the Threesome-loving Jesus Freak.

I’m no longer doing the online dating thing, so I’ll have to go back to the old-fashion way to meet a man … standing on the street corner.

Something is Amish around here

As I pondered my house this past weekend, as I wrestled with the age-old question: “Where the hell did all this crap come from?”,  it became apparent to me that I  need to become Amish and fast.

It may have started with that box full of electrical cords, old T.V. converters and what-not, but it ended in the closet with the “tool box” containing body parts of old doorknobs, random nails and screws,  and with the box labeled “outdoor Chrisamishtmas lights”, under which I should have written, “Don’t use – one no-good-half-assed-bulb is fried rendering the whole string useless!!!”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. I think I’m more of a “can’t deal with it now so stuff it into this box, bag, closet etc.” kinda gal. Somehow it feels less like throwing something away if you just put it away for a while and then get rid of it in a great purging exercise.

I still have a paper shopping bag full of random art from when my son was in elementary school. Things I couldn’t possibly get rid of, like the piece of red construction paper with a half-haphazardly cut piece of yellow construction paper clinging to it for dear life because of uneven glue distribution. Or the more than 50 sheets of drawings when he was in his “stick figures on killing rampages” phase. Sigh, those stick figures falling from a burning stick helicopter, their sharp stickman angular limbs akimbo, still brings a tear to my eye.

Right off the bat, if I turned Amish, I’d have to get rid of all my electrical stuff so that would definitely clear out some clutter  and make me look 10 years younger on account of all that candlelight. No computers or cell phones means no wasted time trying to figure out how to mute my phone, sync it to my Bluetooth  or cursing text messages that may have been a little racy and that I may or may not have accidentally sent to my son because his name is the same as some man I was dating.

And, since they are into plain, simple and having a  limited number of clothes, my closest would cease to look like the racks in the bargain basement at the Army & Navy. Plus, picking out an outfit for work would be simple; THIS black one or THAT black one? Shoes would be comfortable and no one would question whether or not you were a “woman who wears comfortable shoes, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.” I would so rock those loafers or clogs!

Seriously, though, I think we’ve got it all wrong with filling our places with so much stuff that we can’t possibly use, or in my case, even store appropriately. So, while I might not actually be able to commit to being Amish, I might just have start buying less and purging more.

Guns Everywhere; Common Sense Nowhere

5481636920_1a29fc83c1_mGeorgia is waiting to see if a new bill dubbed the ‘Guns Everywhere’ bill will pass. The NRA is ecstatic and so is a group called GeorgiaCarry.org. That organization’s Executive Director, Jerry Henry, speaking  about all the changes this bill outlines, said, “They’re needed because our rights have been stripped away from us for years. The Second Amendment says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. And it has been infringed.… We’re basically just restoring our rights, we’re not getting any new rights.”

Wow, those gun-loving, gun-toting, rootin’-tootin’ Americans love that Second Amendment of theirs. But, you see, there was a typo in that amendment and it really says ” …the right to BARE arms…”, which is much more palatable, well, for the most part, then walking around with a gun.

If we go with that interpretation then this new bill makes perfect sense; you can have bare arms in pubs, churches and schools (if those congregations and school districts agree), on the street and in unsecured areas of the airport. And, the fact that you don’t have to prove you’re licensed to have bare arms is okay too.

But, seriously, this new bill seems absolutely nuts to me, and yes, I realize I’m more of  a ‘make love not war’ kinda girl and the NRA probably thinks people like me are just hippie-dippy, maple-syrup-loving Canadians with universal health care, which by the way, would come in really handy if we had crazy-ass ‘guns everywhere” laws up here, and, they’d by right. I just don’t get the appeal or the reasoning behind every man and woman having a gun.

My other favourite thing that pro-gun people say is, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yeah, true, so what’s your point? All people are programmed to kill so let’s make it easier for them by outfitting everyone with a gun so they can do it faster? Or, are you trying to say that the gun doesn’t discharge a bullet that’s sole purpose is to inflict injury and/or death? My mistake, I didn’t realize guns shot soft, marshmallow bullets that just bounce harmlessly off people.

My heart goes out to all those parents of the children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School who are listening to the news about this bill. I wonder how many of them are glad that politicians are ensuring that an American’s right to carry a gun is not infringed-upon? What a relief it is to know that minor disputes can be easily settled with a brief gun battle, and if this bill passes in Georgia, that battle can happen at church, school or on the bus. Wow, now, that’s a kind of freedom that’s…that’s… well, kind of scary.

 

graphic from the Stop Gun Violence.org

What the 404? #Fail

What the 404? #Fail

Did you feel a little lost and out-of-favour in 2013? The Global Language Monitor’s 14th Annual Survey of Global English documented that 404 was the number one word used in 2013 and the second most used word was Fail.

Here are their top five words:

  1. 404  –  The near-universal numeric code for failure on the global Internet.word2
  2. Fail — The single word fail, often used as a complete sentence (Fail!) to signify failure of an effort, project, or endeavor.
  3. Hashtag  – The ‘number sign” and ‘pound sign’ reborn as the all-powerful Twitter hashtag.
  4. @Pontifex — The Hashage of the ever-more popular Pope Franciscus (Francis).
  5. The Optic — The ‘optic’ is threatening to overtake ‘the narrative’ as the Narrative overtook rational discourse. Does not bode well for an informed political discussion.

When I see those five words, with the exception of the Pope, I think what a negative space we’re in –#NegativeNellies. Well, okay, the word Hashtag is not negative in and of itself; it just speaks to our obsession with so-called “social” media.

I don’t know about you, but in real life I’ve never seen anyone at a meeting stand up, point to a person who can’t seem to find a document or remember the exact budget amount, and yell “Ha! 404!” or seen someone yelling “Fail” when they see a person stumble in the street. Can you imagine? #That’sJustMean

The only glimmer of light in that top Five is @Pontifex for the new Pope. It’s not that I have a thing for the Pope or anything, or for any religious figure, it’s just that they usually stand for the good that people want to try to be. Bet old Pope Francis isn’t walking around the Vatican spewing out #Fail and #404 to his underlings. He might drop the odd #JesusMary&Joseph but that’s to be expected from the Catholics. (It’s okay, I can say that because I grew up Catholic and my mom was very devout and she said that a lot, usually followed by chest clutching and the sign of the cross.)

Number five on the list, “The Optic”, makes me think of everything from politics, to evil corporations and government to social media. It’s all about how something appears, not how it really is. How many people’s Facebook pages, twitter and foursquare accounts are about appearing to be living large? What about online dating profiles? If ever there were an opportunity to pander to optics, that’s the place. (I’ll have to do a separate post about online dating – too much fun stuff to squeeze in here.)

Let’s hope the most used words for 2014 are little more inspiring, more Popey and less Hashtaggy. My goal for the new year is to surround myself with words that inspire me, like #fun, #NakedFireFighters and #Chocolate…oh, wait, I think those were the main plot points in a recent Harlequin Romance. I guess I’ll have to work on those words for 2014. What about you? Got your words all lined up?

Photo by: Procsilas Moscas

Wool Socks, I Wuv You

I recently bought a couple of pairs of striped wool socks, and I was quite excited about them. Yes, you can call me weird or goofy or Waldo, but I have to tell you that I am in love with them. I know it’s quite a bold statement, but it’s true. We’ve been inseparable since I bought them.

In my book, there is nothing worse than having freezing cold feet and mine seem to have an insulation problem. Well, my whole body does really. I am often cold and if my feet are cold the rest of me is sure to follow.

When I was married I used to be lucky enough to jam the little Titanic-sinkers in-between the thighs of my unsuspecting husband when we were in bed. While I’m sure his core temperature dropped about 20 degrees instantly, and his grumpiness rose about 50%, my cute little tootsies started to thaw somewhat.

Now, sleeping alone, and with no husband who is bound by a marriage to keep his wife warm, my feet float aimlessly around the bed in search of heat. Well, that was until I decided I need to wear socks to bed. But wait, that’s not all I wear…

Yes, pathetic as it is, I hate the cold so much that I have regressed to wearing pajamas that are fit  for little Cindy Lou Hoo; long-sleeved top tucked into full leg pajamas and, yep, you guessed it, tucked into my socks.

At bed time I pull all the covers around myself and marvel at my clever solution. That is, until about 2 am in the morning, which is the time of night when I wake up roasting hot. I think it’s the precursor to night-time hot flashes,  unless some bastard is coming into my room and lighting my feet on fire every night.

Half asleep and tangled up in the sheets and blankets, I embark on an epic struggle to remove enough covers so I can cool down but not so many that I’m no longer at the optimal temperature. It’s about as easy as it is for Sheldon cooper to give up his seat.

wool socks

My sexy wool socks

It appears that I am turning into my mother, well at least when it comes to the inability to retain heat. Pretty soon I’ll be wearing a light sweater in 30 degree Celsius or I may even have to search for wool underwear and invest heavily in tights. In any case, right now as we claw our way kicking and screaming into fall, I am grateful for my wool socks. Stripes can be sexy, right? Right? Wool socks, I wuv you – don’t go a-changing

If yoga instructors ran the world

  • There would only be one clothing store ­­— LuluLemon
  • Microsoft Office programs would immediately run a meditation video when they crashed
  • All roads, paths and other surfaces would be made out of yoga mat material and no one would wear shoes
  • Sighing deeply would be acceptable no matter where you were — in fact it would be encouraged
  • Work would start whenever people arrived and you could stop doing any work activity if your body was telling you it was not comfortable
  • No one would shake hands anymore, but instead would bow and say “Namaste
  • People would automatically stand at arms length from each other in case they had to suddenly do Tree or Proud Warrior
  • It would be perfectly acceptable to:
    • sweat profusely in public because you did hot yoga
    • pass gas in public due to certain poses
    • lift or bend in such a way that you were either putting your butt (doing Downward Dog) or your pelvis (doing Table) in someone’s face
  • more people would have names like: Sunny Meadow, Wynne blown, Joy Love etc
  • There would be no police, but only Yogalice. Whenever a confrontation would happen, which would be rare, they would be on the scene to help the good and bad guys breathe through it and push out that negative energy

If Billy Blanks ran the world

  • Backwards baseball hats, lycra and wife-beaters would be the uniform for the masses
  • People would be out of breath a lot and yelling “whoo”, “yeah” or “woot” at random intervals
  • There would be a lot of jogging on the spot
  • If anyone started counting out “1, 2, 3” perfect strangers would join in and start random arm or punching movements
  • It would not be unusual to have someone follow you around watching what you do and making any one of the following remarks: “That’s it”, “Walk it out”, “There you go” and “Hands up”
  •  If there were any confrontations, people would beat the shit out of each other – all the while counting

If Miley Cyrus ran the world

  • Everyone with an IQ of 90 or higher would curl into the fetal position and cry
  • Everyone with an IQ of lower than 90 would learn how to twerk
  • Foam fingers would be the #1 fashion accessory
  • People would wish Britney Spears ran the world