Dating Problems Unrelated To Age

Assholes. Unreasonable demands. People void of self-awareness. Lies.

I guess the only age-related problem here is that I foolishly think I can find and see through red flags better than I could as a young person, so I get duped.

I made-out with an old friend at Building Man. It was both silly and giddy, and meaningful and lovely. He lives in Las Vegas now, but still makes trips to Utah for the big community events. He contacted me on Facebook immediately after the festival to propose a visit to his property. I replied that I wasn’t willing to pay for Vegas. He offered to pay. I was uncomfortable with that, so we discussed meeting precisely in the middle for Cedar City’s Tony Award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival! I was so excited!

I told him upfront that I’m seeing other people. He appreciated my honesty.

He needed a place to stay this weekend to coordinate his 25th Earth Jam (moved to June due to frequent April rain). With Jax’s permission, I offered my couch.

We had a great first day together. Spent the whole afternoon at a volunteer/ artist picnic. I was glad to be involved so intimately with an event, at last, and to finally be useful without getting in the way. I have significant anxiety about not being self-directed at these things, so I find myself not contributing beyond hugging (spanking) people at various greeter stations. (I was born to say hello!)

The next day I worked, and he borrowed my car. (His is broken down in my driveway!) He mentioned getting coffee with a friend after running various errands. When he picked me up at the end of the day, he was visibly shaken. I was happy to lend a listening ear. Until I got the information.

He had been engaged to the girl he met for coffee as recently as FEBRUARY, and ghosted her completely when he left for Vegas. Never spoke to her again. She moved on, and met him Monday to show him her engagement ring. So much did he consider this woman his fiance that he thought she’d bought her own ring for their engagement! He was “blindsided” to learn she was marrying someone else.

We were shopping for groceries by now, and I focused on the task at hand while he droned on and on about the betrayal! He even feigned guilt for lying to me!

“I mean, I guess I shouldn’t be sharing this with you,” he confessed. “I didn’t even tell you about her.” (He also complained that I wasn’t there to entertain him Saturday night, when my prior plans were communicated before he agreed to stay with us!)

He’d thanked me before, for being forthcoming, and withheld the truth himself. Caught in it now, he didn’t even apologize but demanded a sympathetic friend!

I walked ahead and ignored him. He excused himself again and again.

“Sorry, this is gonna take me a minute.” (Hours.)

I went to my room when we got home. He kept knocking on my door to talk about his problems! I told him I needed alone time. He complained that, as a guest, he didn’t have any. (You do. No one else is in the living room to interrupt your privacy, yet you invade my space to rob me of mine.)

Then the girl shows up at my house! HE HID IN THE BATHROOM. She asked if she could come into my room, where she sat down and started to cry! I helped her exit my sanctuary and got her a glass of water, when he swooped in to take her outside.

He returned blaming her “issues” on “female problems.”

SEXIST FUCK.

Do you think you can fool me now?!

I asked if he was moving on to his collaborator’s home the next day, as planned. “Oh,” he stammered. “I haven’t been able to get ahold of her yet. Can I stay another night?”

“What are your plans after that?”

“Well, I went to my storage unit today. My trailer has a flat. And I still haven’t fixed my Jeep.” (Haven’t tried, you mean to say.)

“So you’re renting that U-Haul, then,” I replied.

He confessed he was hoping his partner would loan him her truck, and then he’d see about fixing his tire.

“But you haven’t contacted her yet. What are your plans?”

He promised to figure something out and leave today.

I forced him to leave this morning with me. I dropped him at Trax and took my key. “I’ll call you when I get off work. You can meet me to get the rest of your stuff.”

I’m disgusted.

Midlife Dating Problems

My cousin had his 50th birthday celebration last weekend, and a new guy showed up. Instant click. I asked why I’d never met him at our family parties, where Jon and Jenny’s amazing friends are always in attendance. They’re co-workers, and rotating time-off prevented such a happy meeting. (English professor, for god’s sake. I’m in love.)

We hung out and talked, laughed, drank all night. He stayed for the duration, and helped with venue clean-up at 2am. I got home to a Facebook friend invite and decided, “Hell. Go for it.” I asked him out.

“Oh,” he answered. “I enjoyed your conversation, too, but I’m married.”

Hahahahaha!

“Oh, man! I knew you had a son, but I didn’t even check for a ring!”

“Uhhhh, I take it off to exercise and forgot to put it back on.”

“Bastard! I OWN you!”

We went on, as effortless as the moment we met, and closed with me inviting him to join us for future family gatherings, and to bring his wife and son. “It’s a family affair. My cousin’s have the best friends. I look forward to seeing them as much as my own family at these things. I love to observe happy marriages, too, so bring yours! Also, I feel entitled to crucify you for this.”

It happens when you’re old and single.

I’m Not A Witch! I’m Your Wife!

imnotawitchimyourwife

I’ve called my belief system “The Orthodoxy of Christie” – a play on my name and my Christian roots – for decades. I didn’t realize until my thirties that I really do believe in magic and energy. I’m a witch! A little red-haired witch with a black cat, no less!
eclecticHappy Halloween!

Here I am with my friend, heading to an early-evening outdoor festy in our ‘hood. I’m a Mormon. Didn’t you know we have horns?renae-and-me
Later, Jax and I sorta made our couple’s announcement by playing matchy, matchy. We hit 2 friends’ houses and closed the party-crawl like we did last year, at The Guthrie, a funky arthouse in downtown Salt Lake where several of our friends have studios.

hahahalloweenHahaHalloween! Love, Silver Fox and Brown Bear

Third Date

First date was fun.

Second, I doubted the conversational chemistry but still liked the guy.

This was the date.

He was fairly thoughtless, just a couple of harmless comments that make you wonder, “Hm. Do you realize the implications of such an assumption?” I couldn’t tell if he was narcissistic or just a little dim.

At the end of the meal, I opened my fortune cookie to find… nothing!

“Well, there’s existential ennui,” I laughed, revealing our empty future.

“Oh,” he responded. “I don’t believe in that.”

“What? Existential ennui?”

“No,” he answered. “Fortune cookies.”

Ohhh. Dumb.

Why I’m Single

(At a certain age you get asked that. A lot.)

Ugh.

I met this guy right after Element 11. He’s a friend of my campmate, and joined us at Crystal Hot Springs after the festival. He’s great. He lives out of town, but comes to Salt Lake all the time.

All was well. I was excited to see him. Then yesterday, as plain as a voice, I knew I would never love him. And it really bummed me out. This is that guy! This is the keeper.

But not for me.

He will never get my sense of humor. I found myself explaining, “I’m just being silly,” all the time. (To every frivolous thing I said he replied, “It’s okay. Everyone’s unique. Everyone’s perspective is valid … [this, that] ….”)

It was patronizing and weird, like he wanted to be seen as sage, wise, a leader, expansive and accepting of all. When I finally grew annoyed enough to notice the strange rift in communication, I understood that it was a fundamental difference of personality. Simple.

And dead in the water.

Yeah, I like to have deep conversations, too. Our first was wonderful. I was giddy to find a thinker who’s fun. I’m so impressed by him. I have tremendous respect for his integrity, commitment to his work, to fitness, his sense of adventure, his love of nature, art, humanity. I love his curiosity about the world. He asks serious questions.

But sometimes I’m ridiculous for its own sake. I can’t have a partner compelled to force every facet of my person into a compartment he understands completely. Let that piece be mine, if it doesn’t mirror you precisely. Guess what? If my sense of play is sometimes different from yours… “It’s okay!”

We seemed to match, with similar interests and talents. He seemed playful. But why must he turn every trivial thing I say into something profound, an opportunity to support me? Obviously, I’m not serious. Obviously, I’m playing. Obviously, based on other conversations and things I’ve said in this conversation, I think my progress through life is just fine. Every time I teased myself or poked fun at the foibles of humankind, he apologized for me.

Apologizing for a woman is another way of dismissing her. “It’s okay” so often means “shut up.”

I think much more highly of him than that. Nonetheless, I hate it when guys think they have to fix things. Do I act like I need fixing? When I’m laughing over a nice meal?

It’s bad enough when they do it and all a girl needed was to unload. At least then, I appreciate the intention, or the confusion, even. I know there’s a real difference between men and women, inasmuch as men don’t seem to understand or can’t get comfortable with the fact that sometimes the solution is just getting the words out. If a woman wants your help, you’ll know. Not because she’s raging; because she’ll ask. What we mean by “I want to feel heard” is “I want your companionship.” Be there.

And to comfort me when I’m laughing? It made no sense. In fact, I understand a little better now, my irritation. It was the opposite of being heard.

It made me fight for foolishness. Lighten up! It was the most bizarre sense of jovial aggravation. How can you be defensive and silly? I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was all I could do not to scream, “Dude! Just let me play!”

I was so excited to see him. We started the evening with a wonderful embrace, and went to a fantastic restaurant. But I couldn’t say one thing without being smothered by validation. “It’s okay” was the theme of the evening.

I KNOW!!!

Now, based on my murderous feelings yesterday, I have to recognize the likelihood that this is simply a bitchy mood swing, right? (I’m not premenstrual.) But I’m looking back over our previous dates and realizing that I’ve never heard him laugh out loud. A chortle. A chuckle. Pleasant amusement. That’s fine for some people. Some people dislike the snorting guffaw that is my personality. I’m obnoxious. I’m fine with that. But I need to know that my partner and I will laugh so hard some nights that we fall off the couch, lose our voices or bladders, and beg the other to stop being so damned funny, I might die from funny! I need it. I don’t [think I] need my man to think I’m funny so much as I need know he laughs his ass off regularly. And anyway, my man thinks I’m hilarious because he’s so funny I can hardly stand myself, and people tend to match in these things.

We do not.

It’s such an insufferable bummer, and I’m so over it! Everything else checks off on paper. Am I simply determined to not get what I say I want, by finding flaws where none exist? I could have it all with him! Everything I’ve dreamed of, the chance to grow a family, to be a mother, to build a stable home, beautiful and warm, filled with music. To share my life!

I don’t actually find any flaws here. We simply don’t match.

That’s not all. Last night, he crashed at my place. He has before. We don’t have sex yet, both preferring to wait for trust and intimacy (with rare exception). This one is special, the real deal, and I want something lasting, so for now we make out and talk and fall asleep. It’s nice.

But last night, the way he touched me drove me nuts. So respectful. So timid. I begin to understand that the constant reassurance I get from him has been the coping mechanism he’s developed to get through his own challenges, and I honor that. He succeeded! He’s constructed a life he loves. It is okay, and his internal monologue is how it got that way. He’s simply continuing what he’s found to work in his own life.

He’s also a music teacher of young children, who need nurturing and validation, and he has it to spare. He’s such a good man. Kind and gentle. A conscientious and loving man. A real man. And a great musician. He’s one of those teachers, whom dozens upon dozens of people, for the rest of their lives, will talk about. He’s the one who made the difference. It’s beautiful! He’s powerful.

So own that! Be that. Take that! You earned it. And take me, too. I don’t mean be invasive, but desire me! I want to know that when the time comes, raw passion will split the world and when we finally shut the door together, we won’t reemerge for months!

Instead, I wanted him to stop touching me.

Every kiss was tender, each caress polite. That’s nice, too, but we’ve done that several times now. We know sex isn’t happening tonight, so relax and have some fun! Kiss me! Sometimes he’d migrate from my mouth to my neck but it was like he’d seen in movies he’s supposed to kiss me there, not as though he wanted to devour me.

I’m a passionate woman. I believe I can have voracious sexual satisfaction with a deeply good, courageous, honest man. I want a man with an absurd sense of humor and profound respect for life and meaning. Why should the love of philosophical thought preclude adoration of the ridiculous? All women want a man who really cares, but why has experience told me that none of those guys is good in bed? MANhandle me!

*sigh*

Next!

God, what next? Do I give up on family and go for a man set to retire in 10, who wants an attractive, intelligent companion to travel the world with? Could being grandmother to grown step-children’s babies satisfy me? Of course I’ll love and enjoy them, but truly satisfied? It may seem draconian but if the answer is no, I’d rather strike out on my own, forever, roam independently, never worry. There’s real beauty in the freedom I enjoy.

It’s not about babies, necessarily. It’s about being a mother. It’s who I am. I feel it so deeply. I’ve always known. I waited and waited because I knew I had to get myself out of the way – like my mother couldn’t as a teen mom – so that my life was about them at that point, not me. I wanted me resolved. So I got blind drunk for a decade(plus). Give me a break, I was violently abused. I hate to be common, but most of us escape through addiction. I got out of it, entirely on my own. Does it cost me everything?

I want a family.

Has it been that the only reason I ever wanted a man was for my baby?

Perhaps that’s why I’ve never found him. Men are worth more than their donation. There’s karmic irony. I’ve resented my whole life that women, especially in my culture, are seen merely as vessels to produce offspring, to clean and manage everything afterwards. Domestic servants. Keep your mouth shut and let Man exercise the power, little lady. Gross. Now I see a man only for what he can do for me. I don’t think that’s true anymore. If all I wanted was a sperm donor, I’ve met a million. I want a lover, a partner, a husband, a father, a playmate, a friend, a companion. I want my man! I want to LOVE someone! And I can’t love less than what I need.

I am who I am. High demand, I guess. But I’d rather be alone than settle. Someone might die if I settled, and I can’t guarantee it would be me.

Online Dating and Other Misadventures

Here we go again!

I got a love note from OkCupid, telling me how dismal life has been since I deactivated my account a year ago. The wheels started turning again (“Maybe…”) so, sure, hell, why not? I rejoined.

I think online dating is a young person’s game. I simply cannot force a connection with someone I meet there, even if the date is pleasant. Even with dynamic, interesting conversation. Even with a good-looking fellow. I don’t know; some kind of mental block.

And those are the rare finds. Generally, they’re of the trying-too-hard/always-on variety with screen names like “QualityGenes,” and I find myself wanting to remove them from the gene pool. Painfully.

I know it’s hard out there, but no.

I’ll give it another week, and if all I feel is hostility for myself and all others in the gene pool, I’ll get out of the water and back in the shade.

Speaking of young people, I got chatted up (insistently pursued) by a PUPPY of 21 the other day! He was very gracious and charming about not taking no for an answer, bless him, and he finally did. It was a fun flirtation, and a great boost (gorgeous young specimen, this one, looking all of 16, as far as I can tell anymore). The young’ uns asked me out en masse 5 or 6 years ago and then stopped en masse about a year ago, so it was nice to be the sexy older woman again to some young bloke wanting lessons. Ha!

Anyway, let’s be honest. I had a temporary affair in a temporary city and, nearly a month on, I’m still pining for the perfect man! I know he can’t be. He’s perfect because he was gone before either of us could show or find flaws, but… PERFECT, I’m telling you! I wish I could love and let go. I never have festival boyfriends, for this reason. Offers at every event, of course. I love people. Connecting, flirting, kissing, dancing. Beyond that, “I’m just not available. Thank you.” He’s why. I’m so moony for him, I’m willing to join the other desperados online to fill the void he left. I’m aching. PERFECT!

He. was. perfect.

*sigh*gene pool

Smudge

I’ve mentioned that I’m unable to concentrate. I can’t read. I looked forward to literature as an escape, and grieved that I couldn’t have it when I needed it most. I mentioned this to my best friend, who responded that during her most traumatic life experience, the attack on her daughter by the teenager’s boyfriend, she lost the ability to read, as well, and that her mother in-law, who’s currently helping her husband through the final phases of inoperable cancer, can’t sit with a book, either.

My best friend gave me the password to her Netflix account and I’ve been numbing on mindless marathons of movies and series. My favorite has been “Long Island Medium.” While watching Theresa Caputo’s children mock her, yet again, for smudging the house (after seasons of this), it finally came to my mind, Darling Daughter, smudge your home.

I had reverted to invented conversations with people who’ve wronged me. My biological father, for some reason, came back to a place of importance as the first person to tell me I was unworthy. I wanted to tell him, in death, “What difference does it make that you’re gone? You were never here.” (He’s alive.) Spirit told me, Smudge your home.

I have this years-old stick of white sage that I bound when it was fresh, still damp. It came from Dreaming Lizard Ranch, where many times I’ve celebrated with people I love, people with whom I Am Worthy because they are. We bound the sage during a rainstorm at a festival. It was a time of laughter, music, and prayer. It came from family.

I’d saged a time or 2, but stored it in a box and forgot about it. Today, I smudged my ghetto apartment for the first time. Subsequently, I had the best day at work, the best since The Idahoan dumped me 2 weeks ago by unfriending me on Facebook. (He teaches middle schoolers. Acts like them, too, it seems.)

(Keep in mind that on the first date he asked me if I wanted kids. “Yes.” On the second date, he asked me to be his girl and would my stuff “fit in here?” On the third date, when my friend asked, he intimated that I’d be moving in at the end of my lease in December, and on the sixth DAY he told me he loved me. And I went to bed with him. So, yeah, I acted like a kid, too. I remember why I withhold my benefits package for 2 months or more, not because I’m a tease but because I’m not an idiot. Well, not always.)

Of course I’m glad to know, but rejection hurts. And refusing closure or even the dignity of an explanation is cowardice that feels like worthlessness. Mine.

I had another good day today. I feel better. I thank God and Angels and Spirit and Source for whatever connection I feel that gets me to where I need to be. I am comforted. And whadya know? I found a book at work that got me reading again.

wild child