Friday, June 08, 2007


I've had a bloody awful week of extremes. While I've had good advice here not to pursue online dating, I have to say I haven't been a mad woman about it & a lot of what I've been going through has been a matter of cleaning up what has been dangling for a long time.

It made me very sad. M., with whom I've had a fine & challenging email/phone -ship with, does not want to meet in the flesh. This made me feel unworthy. I wrote He-who-shall-not-be-named to say that communicating with him was too hard on me, that the 10% of me that still thrills to his words, voice, life breaks up each time I have to endure them. S. disappeared. E. has little time to spare from his parenting & problems.

These are all old -ships I've had to confront.

Then there was the matter of one of my dogs. For almost two years I've taken him out twice a day: he's been half my big dog-income. Without warning, without telling, he's now a once-a-day walk & banned from the dog run, which turns his walk into something of a conundrum in terms of timing. His owner wanted to go to the Hill with us on Monday & mentioned she'd be doing his morning walk from now on. It was slipped into the conversation. However, she wants to co-ordinate the times I take my other dogs down so he can play with his pals. More complication of timing.

I finally made reservations to visit my parents, who are always in a state of ailing now, at the end of the month. The number of times I will see them is now becoming quite finite. This, too, is a well of grief.

I felt horribly fat, likely to go out of control with all the fear that suddenly busted out of me: fear of writing this Fucking Book, fear that it's bad, fear of financial ruin, fear regarding my parents & the pre-loneliness of losing them, loneliness of M & He-who-shall-not-be-named. I'm trying to track these emotional spirals into despair & this week, when it all hit, I actually sent out an email S.O.S. to my posse -- some of Us, my therapist, my sponsor.

That's how important and life-changing blogging has been. Of the six women I contacted to say I was going down fast, four of them are friends through the blog world.

& everyone of them responded, leaving their desks or writing strong, encouraging emails back. That evening, Henry's people contacted me to ask if he could hang out with me during the day because he's in a chewy phase (he'd just spent the weekend with me, so I know: a flip-flop, a Croc, two record albums, a lighter, a cigarette, a novel all bit the dust; he tried to do the same with, oh, EVERYTHING else) but crating him is too heartbreaking. The loss of one dog was patched up by the gain of another.

It amazes me that I got the immediate responses I received. It continues to amaze me that when I truly try to turn over my worries to the almighty ether I call God or Buddy, enough solutions pop up to keep me going.

I stopped menstruating 18 months ago; I don't have TTOM as an excuse. I don't know why these dips in mood occur. That one was scary but it was preceded by a couple of days of waking up with no interest in anything I had to do that day, very gray & without affect. Then: wham!

I told my therapist that I think I have some default settings. When I'm lonely or stressed out & being really clean with food, my brain turns to He-who-shall-not-be-named. Or to my money market account. Or food. It's not that I'm so much in love with Hwsnbn, it's habit.

It's strange, though, that I turn to such negative parts of my life. It's much harder to turn toward, say, editing photographs or watching a movie or picking up the telephone. Partly this is because I always feel I should be writing now & to open up Adobe is Avoidance. Whereas thoughts, my assumption is, are just thoughts.

But they take up as much time & do much more damage than watching The Sound of Music for the 62nd time.

I pulled out of that pit, one way & another. I finished some reading for the next chapter, I didn't eat over my feelings, I handed them over to friends who continued to monitor me for a day or two.

That being said, the men who contributed to my breakdown were there long before I started nosing around the dating sites. I began nosing around as research for the book: I want to know if my long-held assumption about not being able to get a boyfriend at This Weight is true.

As always, when one starts nosing around, one must establish some rules. Inevitably, the rules are different from the last foray into the quest. Here my new ones:

1. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who comes on too strong -- "Hi, baby. You're so beautiful. I want to give all my love to you."

2. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who speaks only in CyberSpeak -- "how r you 2nite?"

3. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who prefers IM to the telephone & who asks way many questions about me but doesn't answer mine about him. Or demands that I hook up my camera to the computer so he can see me that instant -- again, just to drive the point home, without doing so himself.

4. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who needs to take English as a second language: "First only ladies with photos will i respond to. Hello ladies: like to communicate with ladies from 28 years to 54. Briefly i am fully employed in the financial field. Some of my social interest include bike riding, walking , talking to ladies, swimming, weight lifting, watching various shows/movies, listening to soft rock & roll. I will only flirt with people who have photo's. I have to see what you look like. Thank you for your attention."

5. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who works in maintenance & has a high school education.

6. I will not pursue correspondance with a man who wants a soul mate, best friend, or "special someone to walk on the beach at sunset".

7. I will not pursue correspondance with a man under the age of 40.

You probably think I'm making this stuff up, some of it. But I'm not. I've heard from them all. I've had some owies from S, who mysterously disappeared, & Mc, who wanted me to hook up my camera for live shots.

I have a date tonight with a nice man I've spoken with, flirted with, who loves Gershwin & Rogers & Hammerstein & Cole Porter & can talk intelligently about Birth of a Nation.

Any ideas what color my brides' maids should wear?


Gallis said...

This is hard slogging, but it's good to see you reaching out to others and working your way through this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Lori G. said...

I'm glad you reached out; it's been a very up and down week but you're pulling through it. It will get better and it's funny how one dog loss turns into an even steven dog situation.

As for online dating rules, I think yours are pretty spot on. There might be some regional differences and that in itself might be fun to explore.

I hope you have fun tonight.

Unknown said...

Your new rules made me giggle. I met ALL those guys last year when I ventured into cyber-dating. I was amazed at how many guys want to "chat" with middle-aged women (I'm 50.) My guys fell into three basic categories: the youngsters; the marrieds; and the hopeless. I had a rule about English as well -- I figured it was hard enough to communicate with men, I didn't need the added handicap of a language barrier. I also required complete sentences. That sounded kind of picky at first, but it was an excellent way of ruling out the careless. Fortunately, there are a few gems out there who don't fit into the categories or get "ruled" out. I was lucky enough to find one of them. Best of luck with your date -- I think teal would be nice for the brides' maids.

Unknown said...

Hey, good to see you can find some humor in the dating thing. How did the date go? I'm pulling for black for the bridesmaids -- it's slimming, after all.

I tagged you for a Thinking Blogger award -- you can check out my blog if you want to play the game.

It sounds like you're feeling better and I'm happy about that.

Cindy said...

What about the guy who wants to put you on the back of his Harley and tour the wineries, or is that a midwest thing?

And then there is "no games" and you must be as comfortable in your jeans as you are in an evening gown, and of course, no baggage..

FunnyBits said...

I seem to always know when you've been going through a hard time -- no writing, no call, etc. I'm thinking of you and praying for your balance in all things living. You're a wonderful gal, and I know I am going to say something that is unpopular - but I think dating right now is a real dangerous thing for you. You're raw, this book is really unzipping you..I can understand the needed distraction - but what would it be like to just not add chaos - worry - rejection. What would it be like to live in the loneliness and see it pass? Don't discount our hormones tend to dictate alot of our negative emotions -- they never seem to dictate the happy emotions -- such is life as a woman!

On a lighter note - I chuckled from the belly about your rules -- no cyperspeak! Good one. My rules for internet dating are:
1. No long phone calls. No more than 5 emails. Get to that meeting in person thing as fast as possible. It is too hard to develop that cyberbond behind the keyboard.

Your journey is beautiful - hard - disappointing - exciting - exhilirating - and lonely. But it is colorful and it's yours. Embrace it. Love yourself as much as you can. Try to not distract yourself.

I normally don't like to give advice, but I love you and know you're worth and know your sensitivity and want you to feel soothed.

the friend from the left coast!
1-20-2009 -- can't come soon enough.

Cindy said...

PS, hoping to hear how the date goes....hope you enjoy the eveing.

Anonymous said...

May I add one more? I immediately ruled out any man who wouldn't date a woman his own age. He's not looking for an equal. I was deeply suspicious of any man who apparently didn't want a woman a day older than himself.

My experience with online dating isn't typical. I am marrying the second guy I went out with. The first guy was a perfectly nice man. The second guy was perfect.