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Monday, March 30, 2009

Singlutionary's Secular Sabbath

I lived in Utah in my early 20s and I pretty much became as close to being a Mormon as you can get without actually converting. Lots of different religions observe the Sabbath (whichever day it falls on) in a variety of ways. Mormons don't go shopping (or listen to secular music, etc). The concept behind this (which makes a ton of sense if you live in Utah surrounded by Mormons) is that if you're out buying stuff, you're forcing people to work on the Sabbath and nobody should have to work on the Sabbath. Basically, the whole day is dedicated to quiet, restfulness, thoughtfulness, community and (of course) church.

I don't go to church but I have long loved the idea of taking a day off from the world. Our consumer culture is so strong and I am always going full steam ahead on one project or another and running around buying things or working so that I can buy more things so I can do more projects, etc. If I'm not working at a job on Sunday, I'll be working on a project or going on some huge hike which leaves me more tired come Monday. 

Because I am single, its easy for me to keep going full steam ahead all the time and not take time out to just relax and hang out at home without some master productivity plan. I think that coupled people who live together are more likely to enjoy a day around the house doing nothing in particular because they don't have to go anywhere to socialize. Regardless of your coupled or non-coupled status, I am realizing how important observing my secular sabbath is to my mental and physical health!

I advocate for all people (but single work-a-holic types especially) to spend one day a week (whichever day works for you) to be thoughtful, reflective and to enjoy the most simple things in life. I have found that the following guidelines make my secular sabbath more enjoyable and restful not only physically but emotionally and mentally and yes, spiritually was well. Come Monday, I feel truly refreshed and ready to get back to work. You might have different guidelines (if so please comment), these are mine:

1. Plan for a Planless Day. My sabbath is off limits even to social plans. If a friend wants to get together great, he/she can call me when they're ready and just come on over to hang out.
2. Spending Free Day. Not only does this save money but it limits the amount of hustle and bustle in my life and forces me to do simple, quiet things at home and to be imaginative about my activities and/or catch up on reading.
3. Expect Nothing of Myself. I am a very planned, organized, productive person so this is a real challenge for me. I want to make a list of stuff to do like "write a blog, prepare garden for planting, clean the kitchen". There is something to be said for taking a day off from cleaning and chores. Cleaning and chores ARE work. If I am walking through the kitchen and spontaneously wash some dishes, great, that is a bonus, but this is one day where I am not going to shake my finger at myself for having a dirty house!
4. Enjoy the Emptiness. I feel super lazy on Sundays. If I am not intentional about observing my Secular Sabbath, I just get depressed because I don't feel like doing anything and that makes me feel like a looser. But if I just give myself the day off and intentionally only do things that I want to do in the moment I find that I a) surprise myself with the things I do get done and b) am way more productive the rest of the week.
5. Keep it Simple. The best activities for a secular sabbath are simple basic things like: sitting outside in the garden with the dogs, reading a book in bed, watching Big Love on DVD, writing love notes to long distance friends, writing my blog or in my journal, making a nice dinner and inviting a friend over, taking a bath, watering the yard, day dreaming.
6. Keep it Human Powered. This might be left over from my hippie days but I enjoy not using the car for a day. If I want to get out of the house I can walk (or ride my bike if I ever get around to fixing the brakes). Keeping things simple and close to home reminds me to be grateful for my home and to observe the small kingdom that is my neighborhood.

So, fellow Singlutionaries, do you observe a secular (or a not-so-secular) sabbath. What are your guidelines for a simple restful day off? Do you find that observing a secular sabbath enhances your quality of life? What obstacles do you have in setting one day aside to rest and relax? 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm A Spinster!

I subscribe to one blog called Seriously So Blessed. It is a satire of married mormon life and its hilarious. My favorite posts are about the spinsties (the women over 23 who are unmarried friends of the author). I love being a Spinsty. Today I read this post over at Rachel's Musings about the word "Spinster" which cites Bella DePaulo's inteview with Jaclyn Geller and the search for a word other than "single" (which implies that someone is missing something, like their "other half") to describe the single state. 

Apparently the word "Spinster" used to mean a financially independent woman who made her own living spinning!

Well. That is me! I'm a Spinsty for reals now!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My House and Me: One Less Ounce of Desperation Part 1

I've written about desperate dating but there are two sides to that icky-poo coin. There are the effects of desperate dating and then there are the causes.

Until recently, I never was really able to pinpoint the cause of my own desperation when it came to relationships with men. 

I grew up pretty feminist. My mom never entered me into a beauty pageant and set an example by doing home repair projects on her own. She didn't even take my dad's last name. But at the same time, my parents had pretty traditional gender roles. My dad worked. My mom stayed home and then went to work part-time when I was in school. So while I was taught that men could (and should) cook and do laundry and that women could (and should) work for a living, that was not exactly the environment that I was raised in.

I want to make it clear that I am in no way criticizing this arrangement. That was what worked for them and it wasn't based on gender as much as the fact that my dad had a good stable job and my mom was really good at fixing up houses. My dad loves routine and can deal with the day-to-day monotony of going to the same office for 20 years. My mom loves change and excitement and is a risk taker. If their personalities had been switched, I wouldn't be surprised if their roles would have been switched as well.

So, I never thought that I "needed" a man in the way some of my friends do. I've always been very independent and wanted to learn to do things on my own. I don't need a man to fix my car or take me to dinner or to make my life complete. I don't need a man to show me the way or to protect me or make me feel special. I get validation from multiple sources, from both men and women. I fix my own car, take myself to dinner and I complete me!

But under all my bravado, my whole life, I have thought that I needed to be in a relationship in order to do three things (that I am yet aware of): settle down, have financial security and enjoy life. 

The first of these subconscious assumptions began to crumble two years ago when I bought my house. I was overwhelmed. It needed too much work and I had no time and no money and I didn't have any other friends who were homeowners or a community of do-it-yourselfers to pitch in or give advice. At the same time, I was freaking out because my life pre-homeownership was incredibly mobile. I moved every year. I never had a permanent place. And while I was ready to "settle down" I felt freaked out that it was happening to me. Something just felt off, like I had forgotten to do something important. What was I giving up by settling down? I had that bad feeling you get when you pack for a trip to the tropics and you forgot to pack your bathing suit. Something was amiss. 

In buying the house, I was making a commitment. And it was a commitment that I very much wanted to make. But in the back of my mind somewhere, underneath all my independence and education and self awareness, was this idea that having a house and settling down is something one does WITH a partner. I was overwhelmed by the house because I thought I had to do everything myself. My parents had done everything themselves and only hired people to do work that required permits or expertise beyond their own. But there were two of them. And there is one of me. 

It took me a while to feel OK with paying someone to mow my yard. I mean, shouldn't I be doing that myself? It took me a while to forgive myself for taking three months to paint the living room (which has vaulted ceilings and exposed beams and required borrowing a 9 foot ladder). Why couldn't I get it done in a weekend?

And once I realized that I, on my own, could not replicate the perfection of my parent's do-it-yourself lifestyle, I could find my own balance and my own groove. It wasn't that I was missing something or defective in some way. It wasn't that I should have done things in the proper order and waited to buy as house as a newlywed. What is to guarantee that this imaginary husband is a do-it-yourselfer anyways? A huge part of my parents relationship is based on their houses. I'm not sure that I want my relationship to be based on the house. Or on dogs. Or on travel. 

But for a while, after buying the house, I felt really desperate for a man. I felt like I just couldn't cope with all the responsibilities of the house on my own and secretly I wanted some sexy carpenter/electrician/plumber/contractor/landscaper/HVAC guy to walk into my life, literally sweep me off my feet and carry me over my own threshold. But then I realized all that I would sacrifice if the house belonged to someone else and I depended up on him to do everything the house required. It would no longer be my adventure and I would not have the chance to learn more or to tackle the challenges I had so longed for. And more importantly, I realized this was the ONLY reason I wanted a man in my life so badly. I would just be using this hottie handyman for his, uh, hands *ahem*. And while that makes for a great daydream, it doesn't make for a great relationship.

This was the first of my revelations regarding my subconscious assumptions about what I can and can not do as a single. I had no idea that I had been wah-wah-waiting for someone to settle down, but some part of me was. 

I will write about my more recent experiences with finances and fun next!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hating on Dating

Until this year, I never really dated. I thought dating was a sexist, too-formal, antiquated and artificial system for matching people up. But then again, my informal, collaborative, contemporary system of getting involved with guys was producing results which were neither joyful, genuine, productive or gender equal. 

So I tried dating. According to my mother you can't "knock it until you've tried it."

Well, I've tried it and I would now like to knock it on its ass and then eliminate it all together.

Dating for the sake of dating is inevitably going to lower your self esteem. Its a system which creates desperation. I think this might be especially true of online dating because when you pay the fee, there is a certain expectation that you'll find a mate within the given time. I was dismayed when Bosslady saw a guy on my match.com that she had seen on there 10 years ago when she was dating. Now, I am sorry but there is something wrong with that although if she finds any more of them I am going to wish I could buy me some match.com stock. I mean, desperation is always profitable. 

Dating for the sake of dating is about finding a partner and being proactive about it. So that should be a good thing, right? Maybe. I would prefer that people live their lives fully while simply being open to finding a mate instead of constantly looking under every bush and rock like they're on an Easter egg hunt (but instead of jellybeans inside the plastic egg is a diamond ring/happily-ever-after). But the reality of dating is that you go out with people who are OK but not great and you never see them again or maybe you see them again once or twice. This process is somehow degrading to the human spirit. Or at least it was for me. 

Also, even though I didn't go into the whole process intent on finding a mate, after a few dates I started to get obsessed. I wanted some validation. I wanted to meet someone who didn't think I was a loony tune after 2 hours and so I became intent upon finding a kindred spirit. My whole sense of self was suddenly riding on this magical person who "got" me and didn't make me feel like somehow less of an awesome person after I realized that I wasn't going to get past date one.

I enjoy meeting new people when they are people I will be interacting with for a while, people I can welcome into my life. But dating is very black and white. The person is either your soul mate or is not your soul mate. And when you keep meeting people who aren't your soul mate you start to wonder if you have a soul at all!

I think that dating offers a nice socially constructed system for getting to know a potential mate. And I think that dating etiquette offers useful guidelines which can make this process go smoothly. But this whole system/etiquette setup should only be used when, in the course of a wonderful, full, non-desperate life, you encounter a person you'd like to get to know better in that way. Going out looking for dates is inevitably desperate and therefore unhealthy.

So here is what I am going to do. I am going to ride out my match.com subscription. I have about a month and a half left. But I am not going to really DO anything with it. Meeting a new kindred spirit (whether a friend or a partner) is not one of those things that can be rushed or controlled. So I am just going to live my life and kinda ignore match.com. I've seen all my match's profiles a couple times now and if someone new comes on, I'll either get an email or the new person will alert me to his existence himself.

In the end, however, it would have been a better use of my time and money to pay $75 to meetup.com and organize my own meetup group for 6 months. I would meet more people with less pressure and pay less per month. Even if I didn't meet my match, I'd have more confidence and I would have made at least one friend and maybe even a community of people with common interests who actually get together and DO things. 

Hmmm. Maybe I'll do that! That can be my next experiment: A Singles Group for People who Don't Hunt Eggs. 

The Singlution Down Under!

My wee little blog (along with Onely, Singletude and Sexless in the City) was mentioned by Sarah Thomas in an article in the Sidney Morning Herald today!

The Onelys were actually QUOTED for their fantastic guest post on Professor, What If . . .? on all the annoying questions coupled folks would be asked if they received equal treatment as singles do. 

The article addresses the growing numbers of singles and the growing positive singles culture in Australia and everywhere (including the US). 

Welcome mates! 

Off the Writing Wagon

I feel off the writing wagon. And I've been a lousy blog friend! Here is what is up:

1. I've been taking way too long to respond to requests to guest blog. I love love love the invitations I've gotten to blog on Hooking Up Smart and on Single Women Rule. I want to write about sex for Hooking Up Smart because that seems appropriate but writing about sex is super tricky (which is why I still haven't addressed it here). I want to be honest but I don't know how to do that without sounding like I'm bragging about all my conquests (which is the whole point of what NOT to do). 

2. My single blog-sister over in Wales gave me an award which I must pass on (but haven't yet)! Thank you Welsh girl! That is my first award and it totally made my day!

3. I haven't been posting anything of quality for a few days because I haven't quite been able to figure out what I want to say. I was very disappointed last weekend when the Pedestrian Bridge Kiss Boy didn't call. I didn't think I would be that sad and I am convinced that dating is doing nothing for my self esteem. Regardless, I haven't been up to my usual Singlutionary self for a few days. But its OK. When I get it all figured out I'll be posting with a vengeance!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big Love, Small Snack

Yesterday, in order to self-soothe my disappointment over the disappearance of the Pedestrian Bridge boy along with the disappearance of my lifelong career aspirations, I went to costco with a friend where I bought a giant triangle of brie cheese and an even gianter container of pickled jalapenos. I suppose people would buy this kind of container of jalapenos because they run a bowling alley and serve up nachos. But I wanted it all for myself. And it was so cheap. I had to have it.

When I got home, there wasn't really any room for it so I left it on a freshly cleared side table. My roommate, who does not love these delicious peppers in the same way I do, asked me why I had bought such a thing and how I was going to eat it.

I don't know. I said. Maybe I will eat it with brie cheese since I also have a lot of that.

And that is what I did. 

I watched 4 episodes of Big Love, drank some wine and ate crackers, each piled up with a bit of brie and a sliced pickled jalapeno. Its delicious. Its the best thing ever!

And, as if I have not reviewed enough TV shows as of late, I would like to say that watching a TV show about a man and his three wives is the most fun I could have in my current state. 

In some ways I think I could fit in well as a plural wife. I would have some independence, some time alone. Two thirds of the time, I would feel single and I would be part of a strong family/community. But then I would have troubles with the whole breeding thing. I don't want kids and I don't want other people's kids although I could take care of their teenagers. I also don't want to cook or iron. 

Maybe I could be the wife who went to work and had a career and the other wives cleaned and made dinner. 

No, wait. That is the husband.

So, really, what I want to be is the husband. And I want my wives to cook me jalapeno and brie dinners after they've finished ironing my socks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cleaning the Kitchen

Its my first full 24 hour all-day-long day off in a long long time. So I decided to clean the kitchen. Actually, I made a little deal with myself that if I cleaned the kitchen, then I could go do something fun. I have three housemates so we each have rather limited cupboard space. My cabinet is always a mess and overflowing even though I never seem to have any food. I am not sure WHAT exactly is in there aside from Miso Soup Packets and teabags for everything that ails you. So today I got brave and started cleaning.

In order to get random things up off the precious counter space, I had to tackle my cupboard and make room. Sigh. My cupboard is full of sadness today. (I am sure it doesn't help that the weather outside has been dreary for days now--something I am no longer accustomed to after living in warmth for three years.) On the top shelf are the ingredients for the homemade granola that my (now estranged) sister was going to sell at my homemade performances. There is also an entire extra giant can of sea salt which my ex-boyfriend returned to me after we had broken up and I had already run to the store to get me a new one. There is a small baggie of couscous which I parsed out in preparation for a camping trip last year which was thwarted and never re-planned due to all the trauma which fell out of my life since. I even have a container of dried-soup which I kept in the drawer at my hated-job for quick lunches two years ago!

No wonder the thing is full of things I don't want to eat. Its just full of the past year and all its difficulties. I ate the joy and left everything else sitting up on the shelves, taking up space.

I hate wasting food but I have to get rid of this stuff, its time to symbolically clear out my life and make some more permanent space for the new items (which have so far been junking up my counters). I think its time to send some of these things to the compost bin and let it be eaten by worms and pooped out as fertilizer. I'm ready to let this part of my life die and make room for something new to grow out of my memory's manure.

It feel better already!

Except for the sea salt. I'll donate that to the household collective.

All I do is Watch TV: Tough Love

My life seems to be all or nothing. My days are either crazy empty or crazy full. This past week I have had a lot of free time because several projects ended. Also, I am sorta going through an(other) identity crisis since I've decided to take a break from acting and I don't know what to do with myself. All I have ever wanted to do is act. What do I do in the absence of that ambition?

I watch TV.

I saw a preview on VH1 for a new show: Tough Love. Basically these hot girls with various dating issues are sent thought an 8 week course in which they are coached out of their dating dysfunction. Great! I want to hear the honest truth about what guys think. This show sounds like fun. And since I still have another month and a half to go on match.com (my own version of dating bootcamp), I might be able to use the advice.

There are things I love about the show and things I hate. I was able to watch the 1st episode online even though it hasn't premiered yet on TV. I like hearing the truth about the girls from the guys perspective. And I really like how Steve, the matchmaker, seems to be able to genuinely pinpoint the underlying issues each of the women have. At the same time I am constantly creeped out by how young/good looking he is and how these women will all do whatever he says. Its kinda like he has his own harem and he is coaching all of them to be perfect in his eyes. Is this guy really the relationship god? How is HE is relationships? The power dynamic grosses me out. 

Not only that, but unique women need unique men. Aside from learning some social graces, these women simply aren't going to be a match with any guy in the room. 

I see a similarity in between these women and myself. They want to be coached on how to be more effective in dating but at the same time, they know who they are and they don't want to give that up. 

Does anyone else feel that on order to date appropriately, they have to give up a little of their personality, especially if they are a particularly unique individual?

I can't make up my mind if following the dating "rules" is just good manners or if it is some sort of deception. Because if I am just my self from the beginning, I'll eliminate all the men who can't handle me right up front. 

Which is what I have been very effectively doing. 

The difference between me and the women on this show is that I am OK with it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Singlutionary Review: Millionaire Matchmaker

I just caught this show which Lisa at Onely has confessed to be a guilty pleasure of hers.  Its on Bravo and its called The Millionaire Matchmaker. Patti is the LA matchmaker. This big-boobed woman is the most in-your-face-tell-it-like-it-is-ain't-afriad-of-nothing woman to come across the small screen in a long time. I love her for being so straight forward, mostly with the men. The men are typically these picky older rich guys who might be good at business but seem to suck at love. And the women she matches them with aren't floosies. They are smart, educated (and beautiful and skinny) women. 

Of course, I think that the premise for the show is totally nuts. I don't think that people will die sad and lonely if they don't get married and have children. And I don't think that beauty in a woman = money in a man. But I find a secret, dirty pleasure in watching Patti lay it out for the men, often telling them things which are typically only told to women: You're too picky, you're getting too old, you need to find love now, what is your problem, love is the only thing that matters, you're going to die alone . . .

She is pushy and bossy and hilarious and some of these guys are single for a REASON. Still, its interesting to see the men being the ones seeking. And its interesting to see how they undermine their desire to find a kindred spirit by pursuing youth and looks and sex appeal even though they have said outright that this isn't what they want. These guys have everything they could ever want in terms of material possessions but they are just as screwed up as anyone else when it comes to relationships. 

I see Patti as a sort-of reverse Singlutionary. She bosses older guys to get over themselves and accept a woman into their lives whereas I encourage people of all ages to pursue a relationship with themselves, first and foremost. 

But there is something I enjoy about this woman and about this show. And its nice to see other people struggle through first dates!! I thought I was the only person who sucked at dating.

Also, in the episode I watched, the guys planned these elaborate, over the top, super expensive dates. Ewwww. I would feel so uncomfortable with such an intense first date. But I'm also not trying to exclusively date LA millionaires, so there you go!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mini Mo-Machelor from Seriously So Blessed

I read this blog on a regular basis and I love it! Its satire on the married mormon housewife blog and its hilarious. The author of this blog, Tiffany-Amber-Megan-Nicole (TAMN for short) is going to be playing mormon matchmaker. She is "excepting" bachelors until Friday (she means accepting). 

I have never seen anyone poke fun at married vs. single life as much as she does. If you need a good laugh and you enjoy satire and ironically bad spelling, read Seriously So Blessed!

"I'm Glad You're Dating" : BARF. VOMIT. GTH!!

GTH stands for: Go to hell (or heck, if you're one of my more polite/LDS readers)!

I think I've mentioned (complained about) this before but most of my offline-life single friends do not read this blog and if they do, they hate it. They tell me that they can't follow the Singlution because they "want to have fun" or they act like maybe I am a bit too picky and am missing golden opportunities left and right and they kinda feel sorry for me for not "living" more.

(To which my reply is: If sitting around waiting for a immature idiot to call is more fun, great, more power to you. And if I am missing out on all important life experiences by being selective, oh well; I am not missing out on cherishing myself and the folks already in my life nor am I distracted or distraught by unnecessary drama-- been there, done that.)

Last night I returned a friend's call on the way home from the most awesomely hot kiss I have ever gotten from a man (or any person!). This kiss was so tremendous (I thought we were making-out cause it went on for a while but I've since been informed by Bosslady, that making-out necessitates some kind of sexual groping which did not occur) that when it was over I almost passed out right there on the pedestrian bridge. I have not been this turned on by a kiss ever before in my life. And I don't think I have kissed anyone ever before in my life without following it up with humping/dry humping/serious groping/other kind of sexual behavior. 

I was so shaken and shocked and aroused by this kiss that I couldn't even speak afterwards for like five minutes. I tried to act normal and keep my self together but my body was in the throes of some kind of kiss-orgasm.

Anyways, on the way home, I gave my friend a call back and left a voicemail for her telling her what had happened.

She called back to get the details and then she had to get off the phone and I had to go to bed. At the end of the conversation she said "I'm glad you're dating". And something in the way she said it made me want to barf. *I know of course that she had no intention of offending me and doesn't really deserve to be lambasted in my blog but here goes anyways:*

First of all, I am NOT glad that I am dating. I AM glad that I am meeting wonderful men who redeem their gender in my eyes and spirit and soul. I am glad that I got to enjoy this fantastic grope-free kiss on the pedestrian bridge in the moonlight. I am glad that I am making a new friend and having fun and being taken out to dinner and to movies and for drinks (I know, I get a little creeped out by the sexism inherent in dating too but I've decided not take on tradition all on my own at this juncture). I am enjoying practicing non-desperate dating and breaking out my Singlutionary-tude so that I can date with grace and confidence. But I am not glad about dating itself. Dating is a tiring and annoying and very old fashioned and sometimes creepy thing. Is anyone glad to be dating? It seems to me that if you're glad for someone that they are dating what you are really saying is: "I am glad you are at least TRYING to find a romantic partner because you can never truly be happy on your own."

I suppose that if the context were different and I had been single for a long time (like years) after a bad breakup and it was really brave of me to go back out there and try and meet people, the words "I'm glad your dating again" might be encouraging. 

But in this context I just found it annoying.

And, second of all, I never thought of this as dating really. Yes, I go on dates. But to me, this started out as an experiment and it has turned into a good one. I'm pushing back on the world, exploring the world and I am learning what I want. 

I think what it comes down to is my intention. When I set out on this journey my attitude was this: I currently have a very negative perception of men and I would like to change that by meeting men who are good people and responsible human beings. If, through this process I find myself growing and learning so much from one individual that he ends up being a part of my life, that is cool, but it is not necessary.

But the tone with which my friend said "I'm glad you're dating" made me think of dating from a whole other perspective, the one where a sad desperate person is on an endless interview process for a long-term partner: I need to find a romantic partner; I am horny; I am lonely; I can't fix my car cause I'm a girl; I am scared to live on my own; I am not competent enough to manage my own life; I must be emotionally dependent on another person to feel complete and validated. 

Ugh. I am none of these things nor would I encourage anyone to date for any of these reasons.

So her comment irked me. I think I've decided to quit talking to her about being single or dating or dramatic kiss-fests all together. This isn't the first time something she has said has grated on me in this way. 

On the other hand, I recently told my mom about my match.com dates and she was very receptive. As a rule, I have NEVER shared anything about my romantic life with my mom. This wall started to crumble this summer when I found myself depending on her support and perspective during my Jason-the-Bachelor-esque breakup.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Singlutionary Resurfaces!

I haven't posted in a few days. I've been either busy or exhausted or dating.

I miss my solitude!

I never intended this blog to be about dating. This is about living a joyful full life as a single. In some ways, dating is a part of this because there are healthy joyful fulfilling ways to date and then there are destructive, demoralizing ways to date too.

I am proud to make a few announcements:

1. One of my single friends who does not read this blog and who is a desperate dater actually took my advice! Yay! She was spending all this time with this guy who had told her he wanted to just be friends but then he would snuggle her sometimes and she would build up in her mind all these thoughts about how he was into her. Well, one night she thought they were going to bed to do a little more than snuggle and he passed out drunk! I guess he snored really loud, so she got up and went home. I felt like she was wasting her time with this guy who wasn't even being a good friend and she should ditch him and start living her life without desperately trying to get involved with him!

And she did! Welcome to a new Singlutionary!

2. I have decided to give up on the MBFF (Man Best Friend Forever) with benefits! Many of the responses I got were creepy or annoying. I felt like most of the guys responding either wouldn't be the friend I am looking for or were just trying to get laid. I appreciate the effort everyone put into their replies and I think there were some decent guys who responded but I realized that finding a BFF is just as hard as finding a life-partner. At least, for me. It may be easier for Paris Hilton. And I am so overwhelmed by match.com dates anyways that I can't be trying to scout out my new BFF at the same time. If I make a new BFF from dating, great.

3. I am so sick of dating but I've decided to keep on keeping on until my 3 months run out. This decision is based mainly on the cheap-skate aspect of my personality and my desire to get as much out of my 60 bucks as possible. But I've got the whole thing down to a science. I've become very efficient at eliminating guys and at getting the good ones to ask me out on a date within a week. Unfortunately, I broke my own rules and accepted a date with a guy who did not meet my criteria. A) he is 4 years younger than me-- nothing wrong with younger men but I'm not interested in 24 year olds right now B) he wasn't smiling in his profile picture. Anyways, I am going to have to back out of the date because he is already driving me nuts and writing me emails about how he misses me or was thinking about me and telling me how much he is into me. BARF! We haven't even met yet!!!

Singlutionary says: Set your own standards and then STICK TO THEM!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Singlutionary's New BFF

So I went and wrote a personals add for a new BFF: Singlutionary's New BFF. Kinda like Paris Hilton's New BFF except that I want: a man, a grown up, someone who likes trees and rocks and nature, has no boobs and might be interested in some physical affection. But the friendship comes first. I am following in the same vein as the blog I wrote about wanting to sleep with the Libertarian

Bosslady told me that the BFFs with benefits is what EVERY guy wants. She also told me that struggling to find peers and make new friends is one of those "welcome to adulthood" things. This was further reinforced when I went on CL to do some research and I found very few posts that were written in grade-7-or-above English much less someone I could really be friends with. 

So, I decided to post my own and see what happened.

I've had 10 responses in 5 hours! Most of which are either illiterate or creepy. Almost all of which are HILARIOUS!  I wish I could post some of the responses here but lets just say that one of the incredibly illiterate ones was written by an elementary school teacher who seemed very upset that some folks can't swim when he takes them out on his boat. I was disturbed that this gent is a TEACHER! 

Then there was a guy who wanted to take a hike on an "obscure" trail. Bosslady told me he might kill me and bury my body in the woods. 

The BEST one so far is addressed to: My Lovely Lady Lumps. It waxes on for eight paragraphs about a whole lot of nothing including the lad's former pot-smoking habits concluding that: "As long as you're not some puritanical bud-hater, we'll be fine."

I love Craigslist! This is the best entertainment I've had all week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On a Whim or The Singlution is Catching

The Bachelor (if you hate this show as much as I do, you can skip this part)

1. I don't usually watch TV but today I went over to my bosslady's house and she was watching The Bachelor: After the Rose. I was incensed. Basically, Jason (the Bachelor) breaks off his engagement to Melissa and then turns around and tells the other girl, Molly, who he dumped 6 weeks ago that he is in love with her. The crazy crazy thing is that this same exact scenario just happened to me this past year in REAL LIFE. And the guy's name was Jason. And the other girl's name was Melissa. My name is not Molly but close enough. Anyways, I didn't take him back (my reaction was more like Melissa's).

2. Singles (especially singles over 25) seem to be perceived as people who can't settle down, commit or make up their minds. For some reason, people who are satisfied, Singlutionary-style singles get this bad wrap even worse. If you're desperately seeking company you're at least TRYING to be "normal" (coupled) but if you're solidly single then there is something wrong with you. 

3. Jason and Molly are desperate daters. I think anyone who tries to find love on a reality TV show is a desperate dater. Sorry. But Kudos to Melissa for telling Jason to get out of her life. I hope she sticks to it and spends time figuring out how fantastic she is so that she never ever ever dates a flakey ass man like that again. If she were really a desperate dater she would sit around pining away for him, wasting her time and her life, hoping that he will come back to her. Melissa, welcome to the Singlution!!

I've Decided to Take a Break from My Acting "Career"
1. Sometimes I wonder if I am a flake myself. Last year at about this time I decided to quit real estate to pursue acting full time but I am so sick of acting and the acting world and all the crap that comes along with being an actor that I am ready for a nice long break. I want to change my hair whenever I want without worrying about shooting schedules or keeping my headshots up-to-date. I want to go around without any makeup on and not care. I want to not have to think about my "image" in general. And, most importantly, I want a nice normal schedule that doesn't get jacked up all the time by annoying auditions.

2. I think that some people might think I live my life on a whim but this decision (like the real estate one) was long in coming. It seems that I do the right thing but always at the very worst time. I went into real estate right as the market crashed and I went into acting just as all the movies abandoned my state for greener pastures. 

3. I wonder if its easier to make these decisions because I am single. I used to wish that I were coupled because I thought that I would a) have support in making tough decisions, b) someone to discuss these difficult things with, c) financial support when my money-life changed and d) something/one to focus my energies on when everything else falls apart. But many of these things are really fallacies. Making a decision in a relationship could be so much harder because of how it impacts the relationship or because of how one person or the other PERCEIVES that it will impact the relationship. And because of the wonderful network of social support all around me, I have support in my decisions, people to discuss the rough patches with and people to write letters to when everything is going to hell in the handbasket. 

4. What will I fill my life with in the absence of acting? Well, its already full which is part of the reason that I need a break! I have my bosslady, I have this blog, I have my house and my dog. (Gross, that just rhymed!) I have a ton of projects on the back burner and there are some things I have been longing to do for a while now: learning to shoot, learning other languages, swimming, getting into shape, camping again, visiting my west coast homeland and various other travels, writing a book and a movie and a short movie and another book, recreational singing, finally planting a garden and keeping it alive, etc. 

I'm not a Desperate Actor
(This is the moral of the story.)
This whole Singlutionary concept is starting to seep into other parts of my life. As an actor I've pretty much been willing to do any project at any time. And in a way, this is expected of actors. I am saying "hell no" to that. Sorry. Just because I am not famous doesn't mean that I HAVE to accept an audition for something that I find disgusting (and I find most things disgusting). It also doesn't mean that I have to re-arrange my schedule and risk my sleep/health to go to an audition or be on set. And I most certainly refuse to look like a fancypants skinny bitch all the time. I just want to be myself and live life on my own terms. So I am taking a break to figure out how I can be an Actorlutionary. I know its possible but its going to take a few small adjustments in my outlook. 

Is there any other part of your life where Singlutionary principles of non-desperation apply? How does the Singlution seep out into other parts of your life?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Singlution Stuckers

I know that I am a self-professed know-it-all when it comes to being single! But there are a few things which I can't seem to work out. There are some places where, for me, the Singlution still gets stuck!

1. Sex. I can't do it alone. Well, I most definitely CAN do it alone (and I do) but having an orgasm isn't the same as sharing an intimate sexual connection with another person. Orgasms are a dime a dozen but intimate sexual connections seem more and more scarce especially as I get older and more selective about my mates.

2. Dates. I love being single and I am satisfied with my life. So why then am I dating? Dating is alternately annoying/brutal/exhausting and exciting/fun. Basically, I want to meet new people and establish new relationships but I don't want them to take over my life. So should I be dating at all? Or should I just be joining civic leagues and hanging out on meetup.com for plutonic relationships? Am I really just looking for sex but calling it dating?

I'm not sure. All I know is that yesterday's date gave me a big ole flare up of the hornies. And there is a big part of me that wishes the the following scenario were totally socially acceptable in our mainstream culture and uncomplicated both romantically and morally:

I call up the dude from yesterday and I say:

Hey. I would love love love to get to know you better but I also know that I am most likely not what you're looking for. You're looking for a future wife who is most likely less rebellious than me and more family oriented than me and who wants to breed and will get all excited about being preggers and squeezing your baby out of her vagina. That isn't me. But I like you. I think you are a wonderful person with an open mind and a giving spirit and you also have a voice and a vibe that totally turns me on. So I'd like to propose that we respectfully and joyfully share each other's company and bodies for a while until you find that non-rebellious breeder to marry at which point we can bittersweetly go separate ways.

I really wish it were that simple. But since I seem to now be attracted to slightly conservative guys over 30 who work a lot, I just don't see my proposal working out. 

So for now, I'm sticking with my sexless stuck-ness and I'll ride out my dating wave until my membership expires.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What the Heck am I doing with My . . .

Life. Dates. Email. Job. Friends. Dog. House. Garden. Car. Family. Uterus. Blog.

The list never ends. 

This past year has been about evaluating and then re-evaluating everything and everything that I hold dear and everything and everything that I despise. And everything in between. I don't know if this is an experience common to folks in their late 20s but it seems to be a pretty universal experience. The extreme sense of isolation as well as the extreme sense of personal growth and strength must be universal too.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the job/career aspect of my life. The main question is: What am I going to to about my acting career. The main answer is: What career?

I moved to my wonderful small city when it had a vibrant indie film scene. That film scene has in past years been drained away to almost nothing. We're fighting to get it back but depending on some state bills passing which may or may not happen.

And the odd thing is that I don't care. I mean, I do care very much in that I want this to be a place where folks make movies and make good movies of all sized budgets and tell great stories with a unique voice and tell them with grace and love and compassion and humor. I want to be a part of that.

But if that doesn't happen here, I'm not moving. I'm not going to chase the dream in LA or move to another state chasing the indie film dream. I'm not setting out for greener pastures. These are my greener pastures. I came here seeking a better quality of life for myself in a city where I would feel at home (oddly enough I never felt "at home" in my hometown no matter how hard I tried) and be able to pursue my dreams. And I HAVE been able to do just that: I have a wonderful quality of life, I feel at home and I've pursued my dreams.

And I am not leaving. 

This point was driven home to me today while on my 3rd match.com date. The fellow I was having coffee with said (in conversation) that he won't stray any further from his (tiny) hometown than this small city (four hours distant). His familial roots in this state go back generations and hundreds of years. I, however do not have roots in any one place that go back generations or even one generation. My people do not stay put. They are wanderers, immigrants, travelers, gamblers, settlers, entrepreneurs, artists, merchants. My father's parents might have grown up in villages in China where they had lived for generations but they left that in the face of communism for life in America. My mother's family were people of the world who lived equally in the United States, Mexico and England and who knows where else.

No wonder the concept of "home" fascinated me. No wonder I want some sense of rootedness in my life while at the same time needing a sense of freedom.

When I moved here, my married friends were pea green with envy: "I wish I could just pack up and move someplace but I'm married. If I weren't married I would do something just like what you're doing."

Turns out that putting down roots has nothing to do with marriage and a family. There is something in me that says "stay". Its as if I'm a well trained dog and the universe has uttered it's command. And I obey. I can't help but obey. I want to be here. 

I've spent so much of my life seeking: the right man, the right career, the right job, the right degree, the right school, the right city, the right house, the right shampoo . . .

But when I'm really in the right place its IMPOSSIBLE not to know it. I know that staying here will bring me all the opportunity that I ever need even if it seems that staying here is career suicide. 

And now that I'm dating, I am seeing that it is the same with relationships. When I'm in the right place its impossible NOT to know it. And so far, the right place has been being Single!