What's Being Read the Most...

Saturday, February 28, 2009


There are probably few things in life that are more frustrating, fun, fufilling, and nervewracking as dating is. Because let's face it, at some point, we're all out there looking for our last first kiss. That's kind of a tall order when you think about it.

When we're young, it has to be perfect. We don't yet need to settle, so we look for Prince Charming or Angelina Jolie (depending on your gender, I guess) to come along and sweep us off our feet. We want butterflies, fireworks, and tingling... and we'll settle for nothing less. When we we're young, it's probably more about feelings and less about thoughtful, long-term compatiblity. So, it's really no surprise that our divorce rate is closer to 70% than 60%, is it?

For those of us that are dating in the 'middle ages?' We still have standards, but maybe they're not quite so lofty. Rather than hard-and-fast "types" that we may have held in our twenties, we have "preferences." Things we like, but aren't dealbreakers. For me? I like bald guys, some facial hair can be fun (but not like Woodsman Bob level), or if they have enough hair I can actually play with it - it's no fun when it has so much gel in it that it.doesn't.move.in.hurricane.force.winds. Anyway, those are physical preferences - not must haves. The must-haves become more realistic; for me, at this point they need to have true morals/values (not just stuff they SAY they do/believe in) that mesh with me, their career figured out, they need to be decisive, and they need to be able to stand up to me/call me out now and again (I'm pretty...opinionated :p).

There are many ways to meet people: the old-fashioned way (you bump into them in a hang-out spot or the grocery store), meet-up groups where groups of singles go out and do various different things together and just see what develops, and in the last decade or so? Internet dating has become the new staple of meeting your next "the one." Most of them are paid sites; you give them $30-$60 a month and they'll give you access to hundreds of profiles. Dig through them and perhaps you'll find true love; but, if not? At least you found someone to go to dinner with. I use a free dating site that a friend of mine turned me onto. Well, I say I use it - I HAVE a profile, I have bothered to go through the motions and met a couple of people. I've made a couple of friends... but nothing to write home about.

The problem with dating sites? Two things: 1, if you can write a decent profile, you get more responses than you can actually respond to. 2? You get to deal with people's baggage even BEFORE you meet them. People whose rampant insecurities go haywire before you even see them in person. For example, check out this exchange - not going to lie, it both amused me and made me glad I'm single:

This guy pops onto my page... I guess by virtue of simply looking at my profile, I was supposed to have with joyful exaltation return the favor and respond to some question he had evidently written on his. Newsflash: I don't use that site to date. It's really more of writing fodder at this point - but, he wouldn't know that, so it's ok. Here's his first, very stunning email:

From: freakuent_flyer (View Profile)
Subject: wth? Sent Date: 2/28/2009 9:55:31 AM

you have 2 car pic and a mile long profile, but no care to answer my question?

Yes, yes I do. I also have a few other pictures, thank you and I didn't ask you to read my novella. Not sure why, but I responded:

From: TheOneCrystal (View Profile)
Subject: RE:wth? Sent Date: 2/28/2009 6:36:39 PM

I'm sorry, did you ask a question?

And btw, insulting someone is typically NOT a good way to get them interested in learning more about you.

Take care.

Good manners would dictate he not respond.....

From: freakuent_flyer (View Profile)
Subject: RE:RE:wth? Sent Date: 2/28/2009 10:13:20 PM

i assumed you read my profile as i did with yours. thank you for reciprocal consideration.

Hmmm.... ok, now I'm kind of amused. I mean, come on...who wouldn't be attracted to a combatative approach that somewhat smacks of insecurity? Does he even realize that it makes him sound insecure? I'm intruiged...

From: TheOneCrystal (View Profile)
Subject: RE:RE:RE:wth? Sent Date: 3/1/2009 12:48:19 AM

Ok, I popped onto your profile page. After the first couple of lines, it was clear to me that we weren't a match.

While I would absolutely love to send everyone that emailed me a return email, it's really not possible. I did the math - I'd spend about 2 hours a day on here, easy. And frankly, I don't have time for that. Not to make me sound like I think I'm all that - I don't. I am just cognisant of the fact that simply having a profile on this page does not require me to respond to anyone who may choose to 'reach out and write me.' It doesn't - just like you are not obligated to have a conversation with every telemarketer that hits your phone lines just by virtue of having a phone.

In fact, the only reason you are getting this response is because this entire tact somewhat amuses me and I'm already on the computer.

He apologized, which I gave him credit for - and then asked about the car pics. I don't see how they're really any different than the webcam pictures guys put up (and WAY better than bathroom pics, thank you)... so, I responded about those things. But, my above response holds true - do we OWE someone a response just because they mail us?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming off a "bad" week....

Chip away at what makes you "YOU" and you become someone else...

Interesting sentiment. How often do we do that? Chip away at what we want, who we are, what believe... in service of something that we deem right, bigger than ourselves, or that we think we want?? It's been a long week, my friends. But that quote is very much on my mind. As is the book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Anyone read it - or read it to their kids? My week felt like that book. Just every time I turned around something else was going wrong - nothing was lining up. Work was just all kinds of a mess, my daughter was having issues in school, the guy I was casually dating apparently decided to be a boy and pulled out his inner "Richard" for my personal enjoyment (1), my housekeeper quit because she got a new job, my favorite pair of boots broke, can't find my new LBD anywhere, could have sworn I bought 6 new black camis in the last month but for some reason, I only have one; plus, I got sick. I could keep going, but; too much stuff in a week.

So, now how does that relate to the quote, right? I think, there's a point, where you let your circumstances chip away at you. Who you are gets set aside for the person you become while you're dealing with said mess. For me, I tend to get less tolerant; a lot more task-oriented and my defense walls? Go WAY up. A big part of what makes me 'ME' is my ability to see the silver linings in things. I'm typically a positive person, and I like that. Sure, some people call it bubbly, or think I've the personality of a perpetual cheerleader. I'm ok with that, because it helps me to enjoy life and I'd like to think it makes things a little brighter for the people around me. But last week? Was hard to see the sunshine. If you don't pay attention to it, that temporary personality becomes your new, permanent one.

It reminded me of when I was working at another company. Wasn't the Company's fault, persay, but the timing around when I went to work there was off. Seemed like I was thrown into one crazy situation after another and had to deal with a LOT of hard, unpleasant things. It changed me. Because I let it. It took a lot of time before I realized it, though. And it was a lot of work to get me back to who I was before I went there. Before that, I had never thought that your surroundings could change who you are at the core - I wasn't an 'environmentalist' in that way. I guess, in a way, the surroundings can't. You do - We do - in how we choose to deal with it. That's not the plan for us, though - in the world, but not of it?

Anyway, I don't know where I was going with any of this, except to say that this week was a doozy and it reminded me of before. I guess I'm growing, though, because this week I saw it coming and was more or less able to deal with it - only took the weekend to get me back to my fun-loving, klutzy, positive self! That's progress, right?? Ok, since I bruised my tailbone and kinda hurt wrist with my latest and greatest display of my utter lack of coordination, I suspect it will take much longer to get ready for church today. I should get back to it. Enjoy your day, folks - and watch out for the circumstances trying to chip away at you. ;)

(1) read: irritation, mortification, frustration - the antithesis of enjoyment

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Different Thoughts

Well, I guess it's time for another weekly entry of random thoughts strung together. What better (and probably obvious) place to start than with Valentine's Day??

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day. Part of it stems from the fact that every year since I've been an adult, something truly hideous has happened on Valentine's Day. Now, what that is tended to vary from year to year, but over time I just came to dread that particular holiday. This has become a very small part of it in the last couple of years and quite frankly, I barely registered it this year. But, I'd be lying if I didn't recognize that's it's part of the disdain. The other part of it is just that it feels like a VERY manufactured holiday to me. Do you really need a day of National Observation in order to show your sweetie that you care about them? Doesn't the very point of expectation diminish some of the significance behind the act?

I notice the expectations behind it fall more on the side of my gender. This is not an opportunity to show how much cooler I am than the rest of the fairer sex (though, clearly, I am.. LOL) ... but, from the feedback I received, it's clearly a chick holiday. I realize noone's calling to alert the media about this revolutionary breakthrough, either. It just maybe seems a little unfair?? One of my English buddies told me that over there, they've got a coordinating holiday for men - Steak and a BJ day. That? Clean cracked me up - but at least noone's going to go into hoc for it.

Moving on, I watched "He's Just Not That Into You" today with a couple of my favorite Gal Pals. This was where it became VERY evident that I was off my game today. I called this morning and gave the Movie Grill my credit card number so I could have the charges for the day put on my card. That would have been VERY smooth.. except we went to the Movie Tavern. Oops. Normally, I'm really good with those kinds of details. I like putting together outings for my friends and I, so for me to make that kind of slip-up is rare. Oh yeah, and for some Gosh-unkown reason, my wallet was under my bed. That? Was very convenient at Subway. *I am a hot mess.*

Anyway, the movie. It was good, I guess. But, in many ways, it was also really kind of sad. It reminded me of something that happened yesterday. I went rollerskating with the girls on Saturday and their Dad ended up coming, too. Which is fine, really. It's good that we can do things with the kids - a lot of divorced families can't becase the parents can't be in the same room without wanting to kill each other. It was a good time. But, just before we left, they played the cupid shuffle. Lindsey started dancing to it - with her Dad. That probably doesn't sound like a big deal and it was kind of cute to watch the two of them together... but, it made me really, really sad in a selfish way. That was totally the kind of stuff I wanted to do when we were married - and we never did any of it. We didn't really go out with other people, he certainly didn't dance and I'm reasonably certain that he didn't know what the "Electric Slide" or "Cupid Shuffle" was.

Now, before you think I'm dogging on my ex-, I'm not. The point I'm trying to make is that I don't think he could BE that person when he was with me. There are probably a lot of things that I couldn't be when I was with him - and it was just by virtue of being together. In a lot of ways, my ex-husband and I brought out the worst in each other - and there's really no further proof needed by then looking at who we are today. We're so much better apart than we ever were together; and I don't have -any- feelings for him... those ended long before we divorced. But, even still - it's easy to see how much more we've been able to do and be apart from each other. He dances, and socializes - I no longer cringe every time I go home, I don't worry about what I'm going to find, I can be alone and be happy. We're better. But what does that say? What does that say about us that we were so -not good- together?

It's not about him; it's not even really about me. It's about the fact that we? Did not start there. Noone does. Relationships are always good when they start - marriages are always happy in the beginning... otherwise, people wouldn't get married, right? So how do you know, really, whether the person you choose to be with is going to be a long-term positive or negative influence on your life? In the movie, the married couple were not positive influences on each other. Now, the guy was a GIANT gherkin; so, not a perfect example.. but, even still, they didn't bring out the best in each other. Anyway, it just made me think - and I'm sure this concept has been part of the reason that I'm really very selective about who I get into any kind of singular relationship with. I've come to a place where I'm pretty healthy, my life is really pretty good and together - I don't want to muck it up! :D I'm sure I'm not alone in that, though...

Ok, off to snuggle under a comforter and enjoy my wine!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Path, One Choice - in a 'Give Me Options' World

I have got a crazy head cold. It came on fast Friday night; hit while I was getting ready to go out for an impromptu sushi date. Anyone that knows me well, knows I <3 me some sushi :)... So, if I'm passing up the chance to eat with chopstics or enjoy some octopus? I -really- don't feel well.

I had stuff for sore throats, for stuffy noses, lil' noses if I wanted to go the liquid route (1) stuff for flu-like symptoms, and seriously? Three different medications for colds. Who needs all these choices? I went and found the nyquil and went to town. Because really? Nyquil hits on ALL the symptoms. It's a little tough to take (2), but it takes care of you. And then it hit me - why do I need all these other options? If Nyquil makes it better; and I -know- it makes me better... what does buying all the other stuff do for me? It provides the illusion of choice, of options; and I have been conditioned by society to believe that options? Are necessary.

For the past couple of weeks, I had been struggling with what I wanted to correlate the concept of our mistaken belief that we need a lot of options or paths to choose from in pretty much everything in life. I prayed for some kind of clarity - and I'd like to think God gave it to me by stuffing me up. He's got a fantastic sense of humor, no? Sure, it's a simplistic example; but, it drives the point home. Those options for me were basically insurance; they made sure I was 'covered' in the case of illnesses. We do the same kind of thing all over our lives: with our job, with our dating relationships, with outfits (3)
, and lately - it seems like some people are even doing it with religion.

It's difficult, I guess. To nail yourself down to ONE belief, one train of thought, one existence. What if you're wrong? The Creator of the World, the God you worship -it's a big deal. So, I guess people are dealing with it by mixing their religions; it's kind of like hedging bets. The wildest one I've met so far is the Christian Buddhist. Tell me how THAT works. The only combined religion that really makes sense to me is Messianic Judaism - because Jesus? Was a Jew. They recognize the same God and live by the same principles. Where they divide is over who exactly the Messiah was. But, I've covered that in an earlier blog, so I'll drop that there.

This mixing of faiths? Seems dangerous to me. You're saying, essentially, that one is not enough. But it is - John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his ONLY begotten son; so that whomever believes in Him, shall not be lost, but have eternal life."

One Son. One Life. One Need. One Result. ONE PATH.

Only needed one. God didn't need two children to save us; the sacrifice of the one was enough to cover all the sins, of all the believers in the World, until His 2nd coming. Think on the magnitude of that for a moment. That's one.big.sacrifice - all for us. To bridge the gap of our sins to His heart. One was all it took. So, for those that say they are Christian, why do we need more?

It's trust. We don't quite trust that one option is enough. That it covers all of it. And trust IS faith. Faith in what you can't see; faith in what you choose. And, for people today, trust? Is not a concept that we totally get. So, we mitigate that through choosing multiple paths - so, if we're wrong in one area, we might be right somewhere else. Tell me I'm wrong... because you see it EVERYWHERE. The problem with that is diminishing returns. I make a lot of correlations to dating, because they're easy references - so, here's another:

In high school, you dated one person at a time. They were your little boyfriend/girlfriend and you poured ALL your energy, focus, and mixed tapes into that one person. :) It was enough... well, at least for that week or two until the next infatuation came along. But as adults, oh we got smarter. We figured out that if we dated a BUNCH of people at one time, under the guise of 'non-committed,' we'd find the ONE person we'd want to spend time with faster. But it divides our attention; which in turn actually makes it harder to get to know who these people REALLY are, how they fit with US, and in turn... for them to know who we are. It doesn't work as well - and if you don't believe me? Check out our divorce rate.

God doesn't have a problem knowing who we are - but, we DO have an issue with being able to clearly see Him when we're also trying to figure out how He fits in with Buddah, Allah, and Pop Culture. Just as dating a bunch of people at one time rarely works out the way you'd want it to, you can't "date" a bunch of different religions - your two feet eventually have to pick one option in order for your faith to be able to properly expand and grow.


1. No, thank you! Despite the fact that I'm afraid of them after watching a former boyfriend pass clean out because he stimulated his vagus nerve with 4-way; it's still just kinda icky. I'd rather suffer. :D

2. This could be because it tastes like what I imagine a twist between tar and castor oil might taste like.

3. I ALWAYS have a back-up outfit and really, until last year - I always kept one in the car. Never know when you'll need to be a quick change artist! :)

4. This still doesn't feel finished, but as you can see by the head cold reference (and you know me) - I started it a couple of weeks ago. Shoot me an email if you have thoughts on where I should take this - for now, must.go.to.work!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"BE" Thankful. - Rambly, more of a reminder for me.

So, I think I consider myself to be a pretty 'glass half full' kind of person. Scratch that, typically, I think my cup is overflowing. I love my life and yes, I realize just how sickening I sound right now. What can I say? I love my life.

This is all very much true on a global level. But over the course of day today, I started to think about the little things that I let sabotage my contentedness; where the gratitude starts to wear away. And, as I like to think that God has an awesome sense of loving humor, he presented me with another situational learning activity in this weekend's events.

For me, the 'love my life' outlook stems from Colossians 3:15. For anyone who might not be terribly familiar with that verse: "Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts; since as members of one body, you were called to Peace. And be thankful." There are 2 major words in that phrase, in my humble opinion "be thankful."

BE thankful. The word 'be' here denotes a verb, an active state of being. But, how do you BE 'thankful?' I mean, isn't that something that you show at Thanksgiving and maybe other National Holidays?? Part of it is looking at what 'thankful' meant then - now we use it as 'grateful.' Then, it still meant that, but it extended beyond to include 'grace.' So, it's taking the duty of appreciation/thankfulness for what's being done around you, allowing for the grace of imperfection, and extending it on to those that touch your life. At least, that's my way of looking at it.

Looking at it that way, it's hard for me to be overtly critical or harsh with people. Now, I've had my moments (Read: Months) when I've let this go by the wayside. When I stopped looking at "BEING" thankful and was simply 'situationally-appropriately appreciative.' The change in how it colored my life was pretty staggering. But, through God's graciousness and a few good friends ;) I got back with the program.

This weekend, though, I had a little bit of a slip-up. I hadn't really had enough sleep before leaving on Sunday - not complaining, was totally worth it. But, as the day wears on, you know.. your nerves do, too. So, Lindsey gets carsick on the way home, I spent the day with my ex-husband (whom I'm currently not thrilled with), and evidently, I'm more fond of road trips when I'm driving. By 7pm, I couldn't feel my butt anymore, I was WORN.OUT, and I just wanted to be home. Got to my parents and remembered that I needed gas... I could keep going, but you get the point - there was just a lot of little stuff that was building on me. I started to feel a little sorry for myself and got a little grumpy - I was NEVER going to get home! This stinks!

Yeah, I had JUST shot a text message saying something to that extent when BAM! Enter situational humor - Lindsey throws up all over the backseat (and floorboard) of my car. All of a sudden, my weariness no longer mattered and was very focused on a) my kid, b) the fact that my car was about to smell like vomit, and c) darnit! MY new handbag!!! Few minutes later, I got back into my slump - it couldn't get much worse than that. BAM! Situational humor again - she pukes. Again. Ok, I get it.

I started thinking about it - from a micro level, I was not 'being' grateful/thankful for my situational circumstances. Scoot back from the individual circumstance - I had just spent the day with my Father driving to see my Girls compete in a COOL competition where they placed extremely well. They were getting to do the things I had wanted for them (extra-curricular activities, not cheerleading specifically - that's what THEY wanted). They could do that because I have gainful employment, we live close to the gym, we've got friends that help make it all work when I'm working.. and I'm focused on the fact that my evening bag might be ruined and my car temporarily smells like puke?

And then it came back - I was grateful again. Not just for my life, but for the reality check that allowed for me to remember how much I have to continually be thankful for. To be happy about. And maybe that's how you "BE" happy when it's just you - you back it up when you start to get stuck on one bad thing. And maybe, sometimes the best way you can do that is to help other people do it, too? I'm working on this with my kiddos right now - there's SO much drama when you're younger.

There's probably more to say on this, but it's crazy long as it is and I'm kind of tired of being on the computer. Later folks!