Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Observations from the Interwebz Dating Scene 2012

Oy, vey!

It's been a few years since I've been on an online dating site.

While some things are the same (including some of the members), it's quite a different world.

Take for example, the MILF profile picture (see above left). This did not exist when I was last trying to find true love through the interwebz.

I found it this week (The MILF pic, not true love). And it changed my life.

And my own dating profile pic (see below right).

If you don't know what a MILF is, or my responding DILF pic, well, it's ok. Just let it go (this means you mom and dad).

If you do know what a MILF is, you'll realize that it's a bit of a shock to see a woman advertise this fact on her dating profile pic.

But hey, I'm pretty sure the DILF pic is going to win me points with JUST the type of woman that will make for interesting future blog entries. So I see it as a win-win.

Another thing changed. Apparently there are a lot more men out there who are unemployed, have no car, and live in their parents' basement.

Because EVERY single profile for women has the following verbiage: "If you are unemployed, have no car, and live in your parents' basement, DO NOT CONTACT ME!"

So I added it to my profile.

I'm picturing some woman who is unemployed, has no car, and lives in her parents' basement reading my profile, falling madly in love, then seeing that last line in my profile and realizing her dreams have been shattered.

Also, I'm astonished at the rise of cleavage pics as the main profile.

For the record, I wrote "astonished," not "offended." I approve of this change.

I'm also seeing far fewer profile pictures that include a shot with the woman and her pet, or just her pet alone.

I applaud the single online dating women of the world for learning that a guy isn't there to date your pet. How about you let them meet your stinky ferret in person to decide if it's ok with them?

And another odd change. Significantly more single women love to get on the open road and get their motorcycle chubby on. Which I fully applaud. That's awesome, truly.

But I can't ever see myself dating a woman with a hog. Mostly because since I don't have one, I know I'll probably have to wear the "I'm The Bitch That Fell Off The Back Of The Bike" t-shirt.

All kidding aside, the biggest change this time around has been that the women are much more aggressive than even just a few years ago.

It used to be weeks would go by without anyone contacting me. Meanwhile, most women will tell you they are constantly bombarded with emails from creepy, horny men. I always hope they don't include me in that group when they talk about them. But they probably do.

But now, for some reason, many more women are making the initial contact. And on a much more frequent basis. I haven't even really settled back in, and I'm finding myself poked and prodded. Wait, what?

Oh WAIT, I know the reason they're contacting me now!

It's because unlike a few years ago...I'm not unemployed, without a car, wondering if I'd have to move into my parents' basement.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset.

It really could have been so awkward. A vacation to San Diego with the Now Ex-Lady Friend®.

Over the last year and a half, we had been on again/off again, but last month we became full-blown off again.

But by then the trip to sunny San Diego had already been booked.

I could have canceled it. But I didn't.

I truthfully was a little worried the trip would be full of odd moments and strange silence.

Enter Comet and Sparky™.
Comet™ was to be our host in San Diego. He is my lost twin. My brother from another mother. My dream bromance guy.

And I had never actually met him in person before this week (I'll explain that soon).

Comet™ had dated Sparky™ during most of 2010.

Sparky™ and I went to college together. She is one of the most brilliant people I know, whether she's writing, performing in a play, or simply having a conversation sitting around a kitchen table. And I consider her to be one of my dearest friends on this planet, even though we haven't seen each other for nearly 20 years.

The Comet and Sparky™ fireworks were amazing to watch from afar.

Somehow they managed to make a cross-country relationship work - Comet™ in San Diego, and Sparky™ in Massachusetts.

And not only did they make it work, they made it awesome.

The smiles on their faces said it all when they were together. Best Friends. Lovers. All those things I have heard they cover on the Lifetime Network.

And then something happened. In Iceland. (No, really, it was in Iceland).

The Comet and Sparky™ Show was canceled.

And then the whole interwebz haz a sad.

Fast forward to the San Diego trip with the Now Ex-Lady Friend®.

When Comet™ learned I was heading his way, he offered up his home as a place to stay, and his time as a tour guide.

Comet™ and I had gotten to know each other even more this past year, when he was going through the very. effing. difficult. time. I told him that he could call me anytime he needed to vent, get each other to laugh, or share a cry to Adele's Someone Like You. As I said earlier, true bromance.

So I didn't bat an eye at letting someone I'd never met in person offer up shelter and limousine service, and accepting. Thankfully I waited until we were on the plane to tell Now Ex-Lady Friend® that I had never met Comet™ before.

About a week before the trip, Sparky™ had caught wind that I'd be staying with Comet™ on the trip. Comet and Sparky™ had not talked in over a year. I was more than a little leery of how she would react to the news.

"He will be such a good host to you! You'll have so much fun," she wrote on my Facebook wall.


A few days later... "Now I'm going to have to become Facebook friends with Comet™ again so I don't miss out on the fun you guys will have!"


The next day..."I SOOOOO wish I was there to be the official photojournalist for this epic meeting."


My reply to her: "Sparky™, just grab your camera and hop on a plane. Problem solved."


The next day the flight was booked for Sparky™ to come to San Diego.


The last four days were amazing to watch them reconnect and realize what everyone around them had already seen. Neither one of them was as happy in their lives as when they were together.

The weekend turned from what I feared would originally be "This was not a good idea," to "LO-EFFING L."

I ate some incredible food, drank some downright orgasmic beers, and saw some amazing things in San Diego.

But my favorite memories will be the four of us sitting around the table, telling our stories about life as a divorced parent, our exes, how difficult relationships are, but most of all laughing and smiling like I haven't for literally years.

Now Ex-Lady Friend® and I got to have a nice time away from the winter weather of Iowa and Minnesota, and we both enjoyed the distraction of watching as the Comet and Sparky™ Show came back on the air.

Four people going in very different directions, enjoying great times together in paradise.

As I watched the sunset from the Hotel Del Coronado, I couldn't help but wonder if the sun wasn't rising in Reykjavik.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Afraid to Blink

I'm afraid to blink.

Because I swear in just a few blinks my sons have gone from cute, pudgy little toddlers to handsome almost-men.

From mini-me's to better looking versions of almost-me's.

Just yesterday they were asking me to make them a snack and if they could watch Barney again. (Hell no. not again!)

And tonight, well, I sit here alone, originally planning to have a pizza and movie night with them.

Gman, my feisty little red-headed Irishman, is having a sleepover at his best buddy's house.

And Nile, my not quite 14-year-old who stands 5'10, is at the movies with a group of his friends.

And it is dawning on me that my life is about to change dramatically.

Since becoming a single dad over five years ago, my relationship has gotten so much better with both of them.

I think having them half time, it has made me appreciate the time I do have with them much more than when there were two of us parents there to share the load and entertain the troops.

And they also have learned a lot through my struggles and mistakes in that time to know that I'm not going to be scared by anything they need to talk about with me.

That's the good part.

They both know they can talk to me about anything. And they do.

But I'm prepared for that to change.

I'm as frightened heading into the world of two teenage boys as I was when I had to change Nile's first diaper.

They'll be out there. In that scary world. The one I didn't grow up in.

The following paragraph should be read in an angry old man voice:

When I was a kid, we didn't have the interwebz, or cell phones or iPads to help us get into trouble. We were lucky if our parents let us use the house phone for more than five minutes! And did I mention we only had four TV channels?

Now, I'm no Luddite, mind you. The same technology that can get them into trouble also serves as a way for that good communication to work from afar.

Essentially I'm being demoted in importance in their lives. It happens. They'll be back in about 10 years telling me how damn smart I was.

I'm just beginning to prepare for this role change.

I'll be steering their ships less, but thanks to modern technology, they'll be able to send me an SOS if they need me to navigate their way.

I'm just thankful that so far it's been fairly smooth sailing with Nile. Because Gman is going to make life feel like a Nor'easter as he becomes a teenager, I do believe.

But you know, I became an awesome diaper changer by the time I retired.

So I figure the only thing I can do is trust my gut, talk with them as much as they'll let me.

And spend even more time sitting at home alone, wondering what they're doing.