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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blog Crawl Goes (Went) Out with A Bang: Day 7 Bella on Onely

So much for catching up today. 

Things I did do:
  • Cleaned the downstairs of my house
  • Organized and cleaned my room to pre-life-upheaval state
  • Waited around for potential roommate who never showed (typical)
  • Met up with my sister, ate deli sandwiches, got lots of peppercorns stuck in my teeth, made very tart lemon ice cream from scratch
  • Put coolant in my chronically overheated, coolant leaking car
  • Ate healthy (except for the ice cream)
  • Finally felt not-hung-over (I will never drink purple margaritas again)
  • Showered, twice
  • Laundry including dog laundry (dog bedding which is totally gross to wash) and ironing
  • Let the chickens out and gave them a quarter of an overly ripe, overly expensive organic mellon
  • Made an attempt to figure out how I am going to pay all my bills this month
Things I did not do:

  • Clean the upstairs of my house including the upstairs bathroom which desperate needs to be cleaned
  • Walk the dog
  • Clean out the chicken coop which is starting to smell a lot like barn
  • Catch up on the blog crawl
  • Give myself a pedicure while watching a long neglected netflix
  • Find a new roommate (which would solve most of my financial issues)
  • Finish sanding and painting the upstairs hallway
  • Fix my car
  • Replace my toilet
  • Get groceries

The last day of the blog crawl was YESTERDAY, soon to be yesterday's YESTERDAY but it still happened. Bella DePaulo of Living Single guest posted on Onely! And that concludes National Singles Week.

I wish that I had been able to more fully participate in the Crawl and in whatever other festivities were taking place. Fortunately, National Singles Week comes around every year and hopefully next year I will be happy and healthy with my head screwed on straight. I will be spending more time tomorrow catching up on blogging, commenting and reading. Fortunately, the posts aren't going anywhere so I can read, digest and comment at my leisure. It was a fantastic experience to be included in this Blog Crawl! Thank you so much to the women at Single Women Rule for putting this together!

My Body, My Soul

Today is my first day at home in two weeks. One week ago today I was on a plane back from my best friend and my unofficial little sister's mother's funeral. One week before that I was walking around like a zombie because Sexless Suitor sat on the opposite end of the sofa. I have been at my house off and on through the past two weeks. I have slept here, fitfully and deeply, I have tried to unpack, to tidy up, to get myself together. But today is my first whole day at home. Other days I have been on the road, or sick in bed or at work trying to not get fired. 

Today I feel normal again. I am not sure when my sister and my best friend (it was their mother who passed away suddenly, almost two weeks ago now) will feel normal again. This is a complicated kind of loss. Their mother was only 50 and although her death was sudden, it wasn't really a surprise. When I began to explain it to an older co-worker, someone who has seen a lot of life, he interrupted with a nod of understanding: "Hard life". Yes. She had a hard life and for the latter parts her children and then I were a witness to it. And, oftentimes, when her children were children, the hardness in her life spilled over onto them. 

There are so many complicated relationships at play here. And in many ways I am just an observer. But this woman who I had spent so much of my adult life being angry at or disgusted with is gone. It is a relief and a loss at the same time. Her kids feel the same way. But one result of her death is that it brought everyone together. 

We (my best friend, her sister who is also my unofficial little sister, their brothers and their wives and I) met in our hometown for a weekend. It was an erie experience, all together. The first morning there I walked from my parents home to the house where everyone else was staying. On the way I passed my elementary school just as the kids were arriving. For years I walked to school as a child this same way but now I, childless, was walking past and realized that I am now an adult, older than some of the parents. I searched the parent's faces wondering if I would recognize any of my former classmates. And then I did. Driving by was a friend from the 6th grade with her elementary aged kid in tow. 

There is this whole life that I didn't live when I left my hometown. There is this life there that seems uncanny and strange to me but which is totally normal and so very American and wholesome and apple pie. But even though none of us stayed in our hometown-- we all pretty much fled as soon as we were able, for one weekend, my best friend from kindergarten and all her family were gathered together in the same place we grew up to come to terms with their mother's death and the life she had lived there.

It was not easy. There are so many things I want to write about. I want to write about how my best friend's family is closer to me than my own, about how my unofficial sister really is my sister. I want to write about how my boss asked me: "So, now you want to go to the funeral?" as if I was asking for time off to go to a party. I want to write about how it is impossible for me to describe the relationships I have with people who are not biological kin without telling the whole stories of our lives. I want to write about how I think it was rude that my boss forced me to explain the entire relationship in order to validate the time I took off from work. I want to write about my mixed feelings about my hometown and how, to this day, feel totally out of place and misunderstood there.

But today is my first day at home. There is catching up to do. There is the blog crawl to write about, to comment on, to READ. There is ironing and laundry and a still empty room to rent. And there is my poor beat up and neglected body in need of nutrition and a pedicure. There is dinner to be made and groceries to be bought and order to be re-established. There are chickens to be fed and dogs to be walked.

Being single doesn't mean that I don't have responsibilities or committed relationships but it has forced me to learn how to nurture myself so that I can feel whole enough to be there for the people closest to me when they are feeling less than whole. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Single Women Rule Blog Crawl Day 6: Laura Dave on Living Single

I have come to accept the fact that I am going to be one to two days late on just about everything for a little while now. Yesterday's guest post was by Laura Dave, Author of The Divorce Party and was posted on Bella DePaulo's blog, Living Single. 

I will be catching up on my reading and my commenting tomorrow, Sunday. 

This blog crawl has been fantastic. Thank you Single Women Rulers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blog Crawl Day 4&5!

I didn't post yesterday because I had a horrendous day which ended up with me wearing barfed-on clothes to bed and going home sick from work today. When I told my best friend the story she howled with laughter the whole time. Needless to say, I think I made out with my favorite skinny waiter before abandoning my purse under a bar table. I am mortified by my behavior and even more mortified by this hangover which won't quit. I barfed today. I never barf. It was my friend who barfed last night in Skinny Waiter's truck. This morning Skinny Waiter texted me to let me know that the barf smelled like new car smell. That was sweet. I think he likes me. 

I am a pretty straight laced person. I hate being drunk. I neglected my dog and my chickens and my blog.

So, to catch up on Single Women Rule's national singles week blog crawl:

Day 4: Keysha Whitaker of Single Women Rule guest posts on Simone Grant's Sex, Lies and Dating in the City. Keysha tells a little story and writes about men, women and "going out".

Day 5: Maryanne Comaroto gives dating advice on Dating Advice (Almost) Daily

And if you want to hear a hilarious yet totally dysfunctional couple of voicemails from the kind of man that ought to wear a rather large warning label, click here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Abstinent Admirer

Dear Abstinent Admirer,

Obviously I have freaked you out. It has occurred to me that maybe you read my blog. I keep it pretty top secret and I've never mentioned it to you. But you have a magical intelligence and seem to know some pretty random things about the world so maybe you have uncovered the truth about me via Singlutionary.

I want to talk to you. You might be as rare as a Loch Ness Monster and as strange as Rainman but I still admire you. I admire your sense of humor, your discipline, your commitment to your values and your intelligence. I also respect your humility, your stability and your history. I love your totally sane yet entirely unconventional perspectives on the world. We might not be compatible as a couple or even as a potential couple. I love physical intimacy and I'm not sure I want to give that up for all eternity. I'm not sure I want to get married either. But we both raised younger siblings, more or less. We both seem set in our separate Singlutionary ways. And nobody can talk about my car the way you do. 

For a while we had this smart, funny, sweet and comforting emotional intimacy that I haven't enjoyed the likes of EVER with someone who didn't just want to get into my pants. Thank you for that. Thank you AND I want it back! I want to be friends. I want to go on walks and talk about your strange ways. And if you'd like we can talk about my strange ways too. I just freaking miss our friendship and when you come into the office all awkward and shy and acting like you'd rather be anyplace else it breaks my little Singlutionary heart.

Its OK if you don't want to snuggle with me before, during or after football games. We don't have to date or be boyfriend and girlfriend. You can look-but-not-touch all the college girls you want. But we ARE friends. I demand your friendship! I admire and respect and adore you. Period. As a human being. This is beyond romance and dating and "The Rules" and everything else that is lame about relationships. 

Abstinent Admirer, be my friend, again already, dang it. Forget about kissing and holding hands lets just hang out. 


Blog Crawl Day 3: Ronnie Ann Ryan on Single Women Rule!

Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan writes today's article at crawl organizers website Single Women Rule!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Blog Crawl Day 2: Simone Grant Writes Right Here!

I am so totally stoked to host guest blogger Simone Grant today for day two of the Single Women Rule blog crawl for National Singles Week. Simone writes prolifically over at Sex Lies and Dating in the City and I suggest that when you're done reading here, you crawl on over there to read more of her stories about single life.

Here is what Simone has to say:

I'm so honored to be taking part in this blogcrawl, and especially so to be guest blogging on Singlutionary as I've been a fan of this site for a while now.

I write primarily about dating and relationships (with the distinctive point of view of a 39-year-old happily single woman) and so it seems sensible for me to write about that here.  More specifically I thought it might be interesting to tell the story of my first date after a long dry spell.  

It was about a decade ago.  I was very focused on work and at a stage in my career where I had to work an unhealthy amount of hours a week.  At one point I caught pneumonia and had to spend several weeks home on bed rest to recuperate (I was in pretty bad shape by the time I finally dragged myself to the doctor).  My home computer at the time was pretty crappy and so the organization I worked for sent me a laptop via messenger.  I was sick as a dog, but they couldn't survive without me.

Anyway, it had been a couple of years since my last actual date.  And just before getting sick I'd been talking with friends about trying online dating.  So one of the first things I did when I got well enough to sit up for an extended period of time was sign up for the earliest iteration of match.com (I think it was match).  I figured why not take advantage of the fancy laptop? Back then there were very few people posting their pictures online.  All we had to go by were people's descriptions of themselves, which was pretty great in someways.

Within a few weeks I'd started and stopped communicating with a few different guys and had progressed to speaking on the phone with one man in particular.  And then he asked me out on a date but I was still too sick to go out.  My doctor kept extending the time I had to stay in (my own fault, I cheated and went into work too soon and ended up in the emergency room...).

He had no reason to believe I was lying.  I sounded awful.  So he offered to come by my apartment to bring me soup and keep me company one night after work.  And, for some demented reason, I said yes.  

I have no idea what got into me.  My first date in a couple of years was with a man I'd never met, had never seen a picture of, who was coming to my studio where I lived alone while I was too weak to defend myself.  Not to mention that I was still sick and looked sick.  But no matter, I was excited about the prospect of a date.  

And it was, for all of the weirdness, a good date.  He was a gentleman and handsome to boot.  And we ended up seeing each other for a while after that.  A few months.  Until we got the chance to get to know one another a lot better and then learned how utterly different and unsuitable we were for one another.

Anyway, I think of that story every once in a while.  Every time someone is telling me about their dating drought/how they haven't been on a date in years and don't know how to start again. Or when I hear people rant and rave about how all of the guys online are creeps.

What happened back then was an aberration.  I would never again invite a strange man to my home for a first date.  But I don't think that all the guys out there are dangerous.  I'd just rather be safe than sorry.  

And more importantly, there was no lesson to be learned about how I got back into dating.  I decided I wanted to do it and I did it.  I'd heard of online dating and it sounded like a pretty low risk proposition so I figured why not.    Then I went from not dating in a couple of years to dating a perfectly nice man.  And then more perfectly nice.  No magic.  Just a decision to do it.  Sounds easy, because it is.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog Crawl Day 1: Kimberly Newman at That Happened To Me

I personally just got off an airplane after an exhausting, revealing and somehow erie yet incredibly life affirming weekend. So I haven't had much of a chance to read today's crawl post by Kimberly Newman at That Happened to Me. I'll be reading it right away. And you should too.

And there is another blog you might want to check out. Mary Davies is an inspiration for single living period and single living at sixty specifically.

I'll be back to writing about my life, my best friends, my un-family, sex, intimacy and marriage next week. This week its about all I can do to crawl the crawl!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Single Women Rule's Blog Crawl for National Singles Week

It starts tomorrow! I am very excited to announce that Singlutionary will be hosting guest blogger Simone Grant, writer of Sex, Lies and Dating in The City, on Monday, September 21st. Thanks to Single Women Rule for putting this wonderful blog crawl together and for inviting me to participate. I will be reading, commenting and posting links during this week to redirect readers to the blog crawls fantastic blogs and guest bloggers. Below is the official press release:

Get Your Crawl On!

SingleWomenRule.com presents the first Blog Crawl for National Singles’ Week 

      Friday, September 18, 2009 (New York, NY) - Join millions of people as they crawl the web's most popular blogs for singles, during the first SingleWomenRule.com's Blog Crawl for National Singles Week.  In the virtual world, a blog crawl works like a pub crawl, or museum crawl in the real world; each day, you'll visit a designated blog to read featured blog posts from our favorite voices in the singles community.

      “The Blog Crawl is an excellent example of the strength and connectivity of the online singles community,” said Terry Hernon MacDonald of SingleWomenRule.com. Hernon MacDonald, author of the e-book, How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams, co-founded SingleWomenRule.com last August. 

      Featured guest bloggers include Dr. Bella DePaulo, notable psychologist and author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After; author of the novel The Divorce PartyLaura Dave; dating/relationship writer and author of The Real Reasons Men CommitKimberly Dawn Neumann, writer Simone Grant of Sex, Lies and Dating, dating coach Ronnie Ann Ryan of NeverTooLate.biz, and Maryanne Comaroto, author of Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers.

      “We hand-picked the guest bloggers and host blogs for their tenacious spirit and voice,” said Hernon MacDonald.  “Guiding readers from blog to blog in a crawl helps each blog build their readership, while bringing a fresh perspective and new audience via the guest bloggers, each day.”

      The Blog Crawl begins on the first day of National Singles’ Week, Sunday, September 20, 2009.

      “On Sunday, we’ll start our crawl with Kimberly Dawn Neumann on Vanessa Torres’ site, That Happened to Me.  Then on Monday, we’ll crawl over to Singlutionary for a guest post by writer Simone Grant,” said Hernon MacDonald.  “Each day of National Singles’ Week, we’ll get a great post from our guest bloggers, and an opportunity to read some different blogs for all aspects of single life.”

      The Blog Crawl ends on Saturday, September 26, 2009 with Dr. DePaulo blogging on Onely.org. 

      Hernon-MacDonald said, “SingleWomenRule.com’s Blog Crawl 2009 is an innovative and exciting opportunity for the online singles community to show solidarity, strength and community during National Singles’ Week.”  

SingleWomenRule.com’s Blog Crawl for National Singles Week 
Sunday, September 20, 2009 – Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kimberly Dawn Neumann on That Happened to Me


Monday, September 21, 2009

Simone Grant on Singlutionary


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ronnie Ann Ryan on Single Women Rule


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Terry Hernon MacDonald on Sex, Lies & Dating


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Maryanne Comaroto on Dating Advice Almost Daily


Friday, September 25, 2009

Laura Dave on Living Single


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dr. Bella DePaulo on Onely


About SingleWomenRule.com

SingleWomenRule.com is a website for women who want to revel in life’s magic and feel truly fulfilled – whether the knight-in-shining (or newly refurbished) armor ever arrives.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sayonara Sexless Suitor

In my personal offline life, I am a very private person. I like to keep my feelings to myself and folks outside my inner circle would rarely know that something is wrong, even when it is.

I also like to think, during the good times, that I have everything all figured out, that I'm wise and learn from my mistakes and can carry forward without fear of failure. And honestly, that isn't a bad way to live life.

Except, sometimes I do fail.

The past week has beaten me up. I'm exhausted. There are so many things I need to write about and I don't even know where to begin.

But to begin with, I must throw Sexless Suitor out the window. I must. The thing is that I didn't realize how much I liked him. I was busy living my life and going about my business and I thought that would protect me somehow. I still have a full life but I DO crave relevant connection. I DO crave physical affection. I don't know how to NOT crave these things. But pretending that I wasn't craving them got me into trouble. That is where, I think, I made my mistake.

I haven't been honest with myself. I am not 100% Singlutionary-ized like some of the folks who frequent this site. Or maybe I WAS and then something changed. And that something is that my life slowed down into a routine and I wasn't constantly busy. I had room for a new friend and I was willing to welcome Abstinent Admirer into my life. And Abstinent Admirer was great. He admired me, he liked me for who I was. He made my work days and my walks around the lake less boring. And then he asked me on a date and became my Sexless Suitor.

But Sexless Suitor sucks. He sends me mixed messages, he won't touch me although he is very emotionally intimate with me. It hurts and confuses me like crazy.

I spend a week not knowing what to do, frozen in confusion. And then I talked to one of my best married Singlutionary friends. And she said: "Obviously he isn't good enough for you. If you were giving advice to yourself as the Singlutionary, that is what you would say."

And I knew she was right. 

Feeling hurt and confused after one date is great because it is an early sign that one should turn around and run full force in the opposite direction before getting trapped in the mire.

I was frozen in confusion because I was trying too hard to figure him out, figure out what was wrong with me or him or the situation. And its not worth it. Its not worth exhausting myself over.

Still, I am sad that this has ended. I admired my admirer. He was a new friend, a new presence in my life with a new perspective. I don't often meet people that I admire and appreciate like that. 

But through the past week, I've had my friends and roommates rally around me. They've fed and walked my dog, given me rides (my car also broke down this week), commiserated with me, offered to lend me money (the roommate who disappeared in the middle of the night also stopped payment on her rent check nearly causing my mortgage payment to bounce) and bought me midnight brownies at the place with my favorite skinny waiter. I've had plenty of shoulders to cry on. 

I have plenty to be grateful for. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Pains and Pleasures

So I had a crisis over the weekend. I am afraid to admit that I may have strayed from my Singlution.

On Saturday I went on my first official date with Abstinent Admirer. It was super fun, his sister and brother-in-law were hecka nice and I felt comfortable even though I knew nothing about football. Let me amend that last statement: I felt comfortable when we were all four together. I think that Abstinent Admirer (who now shall be upgraded to the name of "Sexless Suitor") prefers to spend time with me well chaperoned. I felt a little rejected that he didn't touch me at all. In fact, he made great effort NOT to touch me. His sister, through the course of normal social interaction touched me more than he did. I'm not taking about anything sexual here. Sexless Suitor has already laid down his no-sex card. I'm just talking about a hand on a shoulder, a gesture, a tap, a bump --- the normal things that happen when you're sitting next to a person or (gasp) lightly flirting. I think Sexless Suitor is terrified of touching me. And it kinda hurt my feelings. 

Between that and realizing the next morning that one of my roommates had unexpectedly skipped town, I feel a little rejected all weekend. My confidence was in the crapper.

So I had a mighty unproductive weekend. I called all my friends and told them the story of the evening, about how Sexless Suitor sat on the very far end of the sofa and I on the other. I told them about how I had to initiate a HUG at the end of the evening. I said I didn't know what to do! Does the man like me? Does he not like me? What is going on? How do I proceed? I felt at a total loss. I felt overwhelmedly confused. It had taken me so long to embrace his abstinence and now it appeared that I was going to have to embrace puritan standards of pre-marital conduct. Or maybe Sexless Suitor just isn't attracted to me at all? Excuse my language, but my little heart just spent 48 hours in a cluster fuck.

And then I went swimming, solo. I had planned on going with a friend but she was too tired and swimming in 68 degree water at 9pm does require some extraordinary willpower. So I just decided to go by myself. I was a little scared of jumping into the cold and dark depths by myself (this is an outdoor, natural water pool and you really don't know what is down there) but I just did it anyways. And once I was in the water the Singlution came flooding back to me. 

I remembered that I am fine on my own and that I don't need Sexless Suitor to build me up. His admiration is extra but I already admire myself. If I want to go swimming or go running or travel, I can do all those things on my own. And if I can't snuggle myself I can do other activities which reduce my craving for snuggling. And I remembered how much I enjoy my own life and being able to do things on my own and spending time hearing myself think. Until now I've NEVER in my adult life had so much freedom to do what I want when I want and to focus so much on myself. I am enjoying that for now, living my life with my dog and my house and my job. 

Going to the game with Sexless Suitor was a bonus because it was an experience I wouldn't have had on my own. The things that I most enjoy about Sexless Suitor have to do with our friendship. Yes, I am attracted to the man (which makes sitting on one sofa while he sits on another quite aggravating) but I am in a great part attracted to him because of our conversations and the things I learn from him and the way we seem to be perfectly matched on the strangeness scale. I don't have any peer-aged siblings so attending a football game with Sexless Suitor's functional family was an interesting thing for me to participate in. It was a new experience all around and a rather pleasant one. There were some awkward moments and some disappointing ones and some frustrating ones and for the most part I felt like a foreign exchange student the whole evening. But it was fun. It was a good experience. And that is the only thing I need to take away from it. If Sexless Suitor wants to ask me out again, I will certainly say "yes". I like the man. But I also have to accept that if I am going to get involved with a guy who hasn't had sex in 18 years, I am going to have to be patient. 

And its so much easier to be patient when I am busy swimming through my own life and jumping into my own unknown depths while he builds up the courage to hold my hand. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Absence. My Vacation. My Abstinent Admirer Asks Me Out.

It seems that I am not only abstaining from sex these days but also from blogging. I hate that. I miss my blog life as The Singlutionary. Lately I've been giving myself permission to be less than perfect and so I haven't been writing as much. But I am looking for a new way to continue this blog, a new way for it to fit into my life but I haven't quite found it yet. I have lots of things to write about but never time to write them.

But I promise that I'll be returning to writing soon. No word yet on when I'll be returning to sex. My abstinent admirer did finally ask me on a real date today which I am oddly excited about. He asked me to the football game which is a big deal in this town. I've never been and while I don't even really care about football I love the uber middle class, fun and festive nature of the activity. I hate dinner dates. I HATE them. Too much pressure. 

So Abstinent Admirer and Abstinent I are going to the game with his sister and her husband. I feel like I'm a freshman in high school going to a football game on a "group" date (you know, for back in the day when you were too young to pair off so you had to go in a group so your parents could feel more comfortable that you weren't getting knocked up behind the bleachers. I think the last time I went to a football game was in high school anyways. I was in the marching band and got to wear the whole outfit with the spats and the plume on my funny little chin-strapped hat to every game.)

But my absence from this blog doesn't have much of anything to do with dating. (I was pretty sure, until today, that my Admirer was just going to come into the office and admire me for the rest of my life and never actually make a move.) My absence has more to do with work and the chickens and the dog and allowing myself to just do nothing for a while.

So I'm on a vacation. I'll be back. I am sending a postcard to all my Singlutionary friends and it goes like this:

"I'm sitting here in my armchair day dreaming about the life that I'm living and just relaxing on my overstuffed furniture. The weather here is hot and I'm keeping my libido on ice. Wish you were here. I'll be back soon!"