Category Archives: love

It’s been a while…

Hello world-

I’ve been terribly bad at blogging lately.

Last year all of my blogs were dedicated to the currently-in-a-name-change DearPowderRoom site (moving to the name TheOpenDish.com) and I’ve been writing, but sadly not posting to my 40 Year Challenge site. This year, I do hope to do better.

Apologies for not writing. And now I will apologize to any men who may read this blog.

As for the next few months, I’m betting this blog turns into a “wedding rants” blog. We are going to attempt to get married in 10 – yes 10 – weeks. Both of us have full time jobs that are just that – very time consuming. We don’t want to spend a ton of money. We want to keep our families happy. We also would rather elope, but we have been told not to do that. I’m still not sure why.

I did check one thing off the list – I got a dress. It’s beautiful, and was the first dress I tried on. I would post a pic, but after 40 something comments on Chris’s facebook page warning him to not see the dress, I will restrain my post of a pic…you’ll just have to take my word for it!

Here’s what I’m ranting about right now:

Why won’t potential vendors call back?

Why did all of the stuff I have to get for my dress and do to my dress cost more than my dress?

And can someone send me some delicious, inexpensive recipes for cocktails that involve limes, or lemons?

Work is getting in the way of my fabulous plans. Stay tuned.

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Valentine’s Day

Aah.  Tomorrow is Valentines Day.  Or to me, it’s simply called “Sunday.”

Wikipedia talks of 3 saints named Valentine.  All were martyrs.  Valentine of Terni was martyred on February 14.  Little else is know about any of these men.

What else happened on February 14?  Oh yes, a massacre in Chicago among the rival mafias.  But I digress.

Over the past few days, on every talk and morning show, there has been much chatter about how to make your Valentine happy, how to now screw up gift giving, warnings to men about making their dinner reservation (and babysitter reservations!) early, etc.

The greeting card association estimates a billion Valentine cards are sent each year.

And they follow that 85% of all Valentines are purchased by women.  Hum.

73% of Valentines Day flowers are bought by men.

15% of all flowers sent on Valentines Day are by women, to themselves.  (antivday.com)

Maybe I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that.  I’d rather celebrate the love that I probably don’t give enough credit every day, to people I see every day.  And who know that dark chocolate and flowers need to be a part of every day life.

Happy Valentines Day to my amazing community of beautiful, strong, successful, funny, wise women who I walk through life with.  Maybe some day, some sexy, strong, successful, funny, wise men will realize that they have been missing.

Happy Valentines Day to my family, who I love deeply.

And Happy Valentines day to you who are reading this.

Now I’m off to a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting with some of the lovely ladies mentioned above….  We’ve got making the most of this single thing down. We’ll raise a glass for you too – especially if you don’t have a valentine of your own.  Happy Sunday everyone!

Never Take Dating Personally

Tuesday August 4
For a few years, I’ve been a self-employed professional publicist. I spend the day either working in my pajamas at home – or at a coffeeshop (not in my pajamas). I spend a ridiculous amount of time chatting on the phone with media people (probably working in their pajamas) who quickly become friends and neighbors. I also send a ridiculous amount of emails, which I realize makes me appear to have the greatest slacker job ever.

There’s a method to the madness I assure you. And I work very hard at what I do. And it’s always fun to get the first glimpse of the latest and greatest, and to figure out what it takes to get people in the media, and in culture, excited about whatever amazing new product will change their lives.

One thing I learned very quickly when I set off into the freelance jungle is that you just can’t take anything personally. Just because someone doesn’t like whatever project, product or process that I’m so eloquently trying to pitch, it doesn’t reflect on me at all. They know their market, and if they pass, it’s just because it’s not for them. It’s not what their readers are looking for. And no matter how hard I try to convince them, they are always correct – they know their market better than I do.

Some publicists get all bent out of shape about this. Either they:
a) are so focused on their client they will walk all over editors
b) they don’t believe the person knows the market that they write for and live in or
c) they believe this is a reflection on them and thus all rejection equals a rejection of them personally.

Honestly, with some of my past clients, if I felt any of these scenarios, I would have curled up under a rock years ago and would potentially still be there to this very day.

But many a well-meaning publicity intern has taken this rejection to heart, and potentially needed a good dose of therapy where the well-paid psychologist simply ended the conversation with “You did the best you could. Just admit that you were working a crappy project. Thanks for the $165 an hour by the way”

Now-I’ve realized as I have gotten myself into this insane world of internet dating/blind dating/wishing I had friends that had normal friends who they would introduce me to dating time of my life, this scenario is the exact same thing.

Never take dating personally.

Dating sites, and well, dating in general when you’re over the age of 30, are groups polluted with broken people. Many are in transition. Many are lonely. Some have been completely burned and others have been the ones doing the burning. Everyone is looking for something, and hopefully something very specific.

I am a broken person, polluting the sites with a heart that is learning to trust again, a spirit that feels in transition and a ridiculous prejudice against musicians, large mustaches and southerners who talk too slowly about NASCAR.

I can’t expect every person on these sites to understand just where I’m coming from. Or what my life’s like. Or fit the recipe for just what I am looking for. Some people like opinionated redheads. Some don’t. That’s why there’s more than one thing on the menu.

Not that people need to be compared with consumables. That’s an entirely different blog!

So what has this whole thing taught me?

First I learned that on dating sites, they keep your profile up years after you stop being a part of the site, so there’s more than a fighting chance that said persona who captured your screen could by now be married, living in another state, or decided to just get a dog and forget that whole internet world.

I’ve also learned that a staggering amount of men don’t have good pictures of themselves. In a world of camera phones, I find this difficult to grasp.

But most of all, it’s taught me to treat everyone with respect, no matter how hard I may be laughing about a profile. The person is still a person. I, also, shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I can never ever expect anyone to call when they say the will. In internet speak, average build means 40 pounds over weight. Many people don’t know how to maneuver spell check…

Thursday August 6
I started writing this blog before I heard about the lonely single man who killed three women in the health club in Pennsylvania, and my heart goes out to him. To go day after day looking at the lists and lists of women on the web, and to constantly feel rejected could wear on anyone. But for someone as unstable as he, it just equaled torment.

I watched one of his videos, and it broke my heart. He wanted to share better relationships. “My object is to be able to emotionally connect with people,” he said.

But isn’t that the problem? Society has changed from emotional – face to face communication and relationship – to one that has become anonymous and all built on your given dating site name, twitter, or skype handle. You can go through life having communication with someone, without ever having actually met. Without ever looking into someone’s face. You may never know how tall they are, what type of shoes they wear, or if they are allergic to peanuts. You know them as an avitar, and never actually touch their skin.

So these dating sites, in reality, are mostly about the non-committal, non-personal, non-emotional interactions. Even blogging isn’t much different. You can put your words and videos out into a sea of bloggers and blogspots and wordpresses, however, if you haven’t made an actual interaction with a person, your words are in the wind. Not to be stumbled upon. Not to be shared. It’s just words taking up property.

Now, however, today I read this lonely man’s blog, too late. We now know to experience his words after his last face to face, or gun to person, encounter. And children are missing their mothers. And husbands are missing their wives. And people are reading words from a person they cannot help.

So maybe it’s time to rethink the whole internet dating world. Maybe it’s time to think about how we actually communicate in general. It’s time to actually come out from behind our computer screens and have a conversation. Get out of our pajamas and actually interact. The anonymous chat is a lot easier, but I bet the in person version is a lot more fulfilling.

I know that this man in Pennsylvania wasn’t healthy, and probably a lot of women picked up on that before they would ever agree to get a coffee…but maybe a few more just good conversations outside of the basement might have given this poor lonely soul the community he so desperately needed. And maybe he might have taken a new non-returned emails on his dating site a lot less personally.

the list

I’ve had a really amazing soul searching journey after my little blog about dating. More people read my blog than I thought! Some comments have been very positive. Some have seemed flat out confused. It hasn’t helped my dating life, not really surprised by that.

I want to first thank Josh Kidney for his great blog on the subject (read it here! It’s good stuff – http://joshkidney.blogspot.com), and Dave for his letter, posted yesterday…

First off, Josh, I do want you to know that I don’t think bad of all men, just a few that have inspired these blogs….it’s really just a few… In fact, I would like to thank you for striving to live your life well. It’s apparent in all you do, and I’m really excited to get to meet your wife soon. Dave’s email deserves it’s own blog.

So I’ve had many conversations over the past 2 weeks about dating, good guys vs bad guys, girl’s expectations, why girls are so complicated, etc., and it’s really caused me quite a bit of soul searching. (I’m thinking that either a job as a dating counselor or a book deal must be a next step….).

Josh – never underestimate the power of a guitar to woo girls. Also, I think you are right on with the adventure statement. I think honestly all women want the man who, without wavering, will slay the dragon for the good of the world – and more importantly – who will slay the dragon, just to protect, us.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I still have much soul searching to do.

A friend of mine has a knack for bringing Freedom to the table. She made a comment about individually giving up things to God – situations, people, feelings – so they can be completely off your plate. Considering just what things in your life still need to be redeemed.

I’m guessing part of my past blog might have stemmed from residual marks from past relationships still lingering in the back of my mind.

So I made a list. A list of men that I dated or hung out with or just flat out shouldn’t have even finished the first conversation with. For a few of you, I’d like to note this is not necessarily about sex. Lets keep it clean kids.

While driving late last Tuesday evening, I made a list mentally. I was honestly surprised by the number of names. Granted, I’m pushing 40, but subtract that I was married for several years. So figure, this is really based on 12 years of dating.

And then I made the list physically, via Sharpie on printer paper. In the kitchen, where all smart ideas happen.

While lying in bed several hours later, I remembered one more name…so the list migrated back to my room and I left it, with the sharpie, on the bed. For 4 days. A few more names were added to the list over that time. A few more memories and laughs about awkward dates, a few more scenerios for a future script.

One morning, the summer sun was blaring through my window and I rolled over to escape its rays…only to open my eyes to a list of names. It was a strange pause to realize that I had welcomed them all briefly back into my life, and into my bed, for a few days.

Following this moment, I was on a quest. I needed to know where each person was. Granted, I couldn’t remember some of the last names, and I am unsure of 2 of the first names. But the majority I could find. I added to the initial list a detail or two that seems to be defining their existence. Family. Work. Whatever little blerb I could discovered from 2 lines on a google search.

This whole thing has been amazingly refreshing. Many of these guys have had huge life changes. 2 have dabbled in mixed martial arts. Several have kids. Some seem lost, others –found. A few are believers. Most are not. One made a film. Many seem to be in the very same place I left them.

And I prayed for them. Each and every name. Specifically. For their lives, their families lives, their past and their future.

My heart is full. I hope their lives are full.

So along the drive through the vast breadbasket of Illinois, I found a substantial creek that was crossing inbetween an unidentifiable cornfield, and I put the list of names in the river. There’s potential symbolism here – Moses going down the water, redemption, baptism. I’ll vote for baptism. An acquaintance asked why I didn’t burn the list or rip it to pieces, but I told him that was an obvious guy violent statement. I don’t mean any harm. This is about redemption. Renewal. Revival.

So now, in my pact with the ladies to only date nice boys – no, men – from here on out…perhaps now I’m a nice girl too.