Tag Archives: dating

What If I Went?

My latest television obsession is The Week the Women Went. I stumbled across it while I was flipping channels and the premise intrigued me. Basically, the shows produces found a small town entrenched in stereotypical, traditional roles. Most of the women were stay-at-home mothers and their husbands worked long hours or worked away from the home. The mothers took care of the majority of the housework and child rearing and the fathers worked hard so they could do so. The women who worked were hands-on business owners who were an integral part of both their business and their home.  Then the producers removed all of the women (age 18 or older) from the town for one week; leaving the men and children to fend for themselves.

The producers throw in some usual occurrence oddities, like a little girls beauty pageant, which the fathers have to take care of, thus throwing them even more out of their comfort zone. Two of the guys decide to tag team and live together for the week; which sounds good in theory, but sometimes less is more – especially when it comes to 15 month old children.

One young man (who still lives at home with Mama) proposes to his girlfriend just as the women are leaving. The poor girl says yes and then boards a train with her future mother-in-law (who didn’t know the proposal was going to take place) and leaves for what could prove to be a very interesting period of getting to know her future family.

There is a single mother on the show. She leaves her three kids (two girls age 15 and 12 and a son who is not much younger than that) with her boyfriend of 7 months; a young, handsome, never-been-married Marine. I don’t have a young, hot boyfriend with whom I could leave my kids, so they would have to stay somewhere else.  It will be interesting to see what happens with this particular family. The marine, age 24, doesn’t qualify to date me based on my Chronological Chart of Eligibility. Corey’s Chronological Chart of Eligibility basically states that 1) in order to be dateable, a man must be at least double the age of my oldest child and 2) must not have a single son who also falls into this age group. Nothing is more awkward than dumping a guy for his kid, so I find it best not to put myself in that situation. Anyway, this Marine is not even double the age of his new teenage charge, therefore I’m not sure I would have left her with him, but to each his own. Either he is going to man up and be the marrying type, or he is going to request a transfer to a new base before the week is halfway through.

My first thought when I started watching was that the men would be crying in no time and the children would realize just how amazing their mothers were. But before the first episode was over, I started to wonder if that is what would really pan out. I think the men will gain a new appreciation for the women in their lives, but what about the women? How will they survive this week away? Then the horrible question popped into my head, “What would happen if I went?”

I’m a business owner and single mother of two boys. I get the kids dressed and fed and off to school, open and run my business, pick them up from school, help with homework, grocery shop, pick up from football practice and volunteer at the school – all while training a puppy! I’m Wonder Woman, right? I know two parent families who don’t juggle as much as I do in a week. My world would fall apart if I left for a week…or would it?

I suppose my children would stay with their father, or perhaps my parents. I could write payroll checks and write up daily plans for my store and leave it with my employees. But unlike the women on the show who have the majority of their identity based in being a wife and mother, I am used to being away from my kids. They visit their father every other weekend and for a few weeks over the summer. I enjoy my free time and am not one to pine away and wonder what the little angels are doing without me.

The part that scares me is the curiosity – fear, even – that someone else can not only do what I do, but do it better. What if the kids do better in school? What if they don’t fight as much with each other? What if they drop five pounds or start cleaning their room or worse; what if they figure out that I’m not that good at being a mom? What if sales increase at my store? What if shoppers enjoy it more when I’m not there? What if the atmosphere is better? What if the displays are more creative? What if the only thing keeping my good life from being great is me?

The Week the Women Went airs on Tuesday nights at 9:00 Central on Lifetime, and I’ll be tuning in each week as this social experiment unfolds. I’m a little apprehensive to watch, since most of the reality television I watch makes me feel better about myself – you know, the girls on the Bachelor are cuter than me, but they aren’t usually that bright – but this show has already proved to be a catalyst for some deep thought and self reflection. I hope that by the conclusion, I have learned as much as the actual people in the experiment. Or at least maybe I’ll learn how to get a 24 year old Marine to date me.

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I Can Handle That.

There is something about being honest with yourself. Sometimes I think we are more honest with other people than we are with ourselves. But then again, there are those of us that just hear whatever we want to hear regardless of what is actually being said. Generally speaking, there are a few phrases that tend to be confusing for many people. These phrases are “I just want to be friends” and “I can handle that.”

“I just want to be friends” is a phrase often uttered by a male to a female. What the guy is really trying to convey to the girl in this situation is “I just want to be friends.” But in many cases, what the female hears is “I just want to be friends with you right now, but I bet if we were to continue to hang out together, like all the time, and you did a bunch of nice stuff for me like my laundry or cook things for me or have sex with me a lot; I bet I would wake up one day and realize that I’m actually in love with you and that nothing would make me happier than making you my wife.”

Similarly, when a woman is in a conversation with a man and he says something like “I just want to be friends,” she may reply with the phrase “I can handle that.”  Now what the female really means in this instance is “I can tell myself that I can handle that and I can do my best to constantly suppress my true feelings for you while falling deeper and deeper in love with you, and then I will beat myself up over the fact that you were honest with me from the start and I was really the stupid one to think I could handle it even though I can’t so it’s really my fault and not your fault at all; and now the only real question is whether I should totally loose it emotionally and go off the deep end in a public place, preferably in front of your new girlfriend and your coworkers, or if I should eat nothing but Ben and Jerry’s until I’ve gained fifty pounds and only leave the house when I absolutely must go to the grocery to buy food for the seven cats I’ve adopted from the local shelter, most of which are mange ridden and unlovable – just like me, or if maybe I should just start using meth and become a back alley hooker.” Although this seems implied, many men do not actually take this away from that simple phrase. What they incorrectly hear and understand is, “She can handle that.”

So is it that we are not honest with each other? Or is it that we seem to just hear what we want to hear and say what we think people want us to say? I think guys and girls do this equally. Or maybe girls do it a little more than guys do. I’m not sure where I’m going with this except maybe this: If you love someone and they tell you they just want to be friends, just be honest with yourself. You can’t handle that. Just walk away. If you haven’t really changed, but you want to; don’t say you’ve changed. Say that you haven’t changed, but that you want to. I’m all for that “if you can believe it you can achieve it” bull-crap, but you know what? Saying it doesn’t make it so. If it did, I’d be a size two, tan person living off my monthly interest payments on my vast fortune amassed from sales of my best-selling novels.

Building a Wall

For a moment they forgot their task. They were swept away in the possibilities of daydreams; forgetting their reality and running hand in hand toward infinite potential. Their eyes danced to a symphony played on the strings of the heart. Their laughter rose into the night and reverberated among the angels. Their fingers shook off their usual chill and warmed themselves in the grasp of each other’s hand. They took turns, leading and following, in a game of coy smiles and glances. They exchanged a kiss, just long enough to be savored but not so long as to satiate. As their heads lay softly on their pillows, a similar smile was fixed on each of their faces. And as their eyelashes rested on their cheeks, their thoughts slipped into slumber and then into dreams, allowing their flirtation to continue to play in the landscape of their imagination. But just as day always greets the night, the sun broke through from behind the curtains and these sweet fantasies were shaken off with the fluttering of awakening lashes. In the bright morning light, hope faded and realism took hold. So each rose and gathered their tools and went back to the task of building their wall.

From a Distance

I watch from a distance, but I can’t go back
I offer questions, but the answers are not mine to take
You were not mine, even when you were mine
Now you belong to whomever
Just beyond my reach; close enough to tempt, yet never within my grasp
You are not teasing; you are simply being
It is my own concoction to unravel
I cannot regret as the choices were not mine to make
But I can wonder what might have been
Silly notions and conjecture
Happy endings never to be written
I torture myself voyeuristically
Quietly watching a game in which I will never be a player
Falling, drifting deeper and deeper into adulation
Submerging any chance for hope under the cold waters of despair
If only I could turn my head; if only I would close my eyes
Perhaps you would melt away and your memory would dissipate into the night

A Valentine’s Day Poem

This is that special time of year
Lovers embrace their ones so dear
Cupid sends his arrows flying
Heart shaped boxes loved ones are buying
The cost of roses increases tenfold
Unusual amounts of chocolate are sold
Cards with foil and glitter and mush
Are paired with pink teddy bears made out of plush
Frat boys buy wine instead of kegs
Married women actually shave their legs
Men go to chick flicks without even whining
Stay at home moms get to splurge on fine dining
All this fuss about love is made
Even married people get laid
Kids swap “be mine” cards and come home with junk
That melts in their book bag and turns into gunk
Jewelry commercials are at an all time high
People actually buy things that say “cutie pie”
Couples photos are set as new profile pics
Girls get flowers from guys that are usually pricks
Romance and sweet nothings are everywhere you look
Until you take a peek into my little nook
I have no candy hearts, chocolates or flowers
No need to shave my legs, hell I didn’t even shower
I did get a Valentine’s text from my mother
Which is the equivalent of going to prom with your brother
But that’s fine, I’m okay, no need to cry and wail
Tomorrow I’ll go to Kroger and buy candy on sale
I’ll be my own Valentine and to myself be true
I’ll never cheat on me or make myself blue
I won’t even do anything stupid and make myself mad
Oh wait, I just got flowers; a dozen roses from my Dad!
That’s right; I got flowers from a wonderful guy
Who has always loved me for me and will till we die
Now I’m all smiles and rainbows and shouting hooray!
And can say without sarcasm “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

roses from my dad

Top Ten Ways to Get Me to Close You on eHarmony

10. Misspell the name of your hometown on your profile.

9. Respond to the Three Things You Are Most Thankful For with “My kids, my iPod and sex.”

8. The number one thing you can’t live without is “beef steak.”

7. You are most passionate about “Eco-Nomos-Axion” and some additional information you want me to know is “my BBS occasionally…. it is unique….you got to crazy love it or absolutely hate it…”

6. You have too many pictures available including one of you and your daughter getting ripped at a bar and one of you from 2003 when you wore a mullet (and you misspell mullet when sharing your obvious pride in the photo caption).

5. You claim to be on eHarmony to meet people because “it’s not safe to drink and drive anymore” and in your profile picture you are holding a large piece of bacon.

4. Some additional information you want me to know is you are not allowed to drive.

3. When asked how you spend your leisure time you respond “It’s hard to say.”

2. You say the first thing people notice about you is “People tell me I come across very confident but I’m not sure about that.”

1. The one thing you are most passionate about is “tractor pulls,” you can’t live without “the scent of diesel fuel and Oscar de le Renta perfume” and your profile picture was taken with your prized 1985 Trans-Am that you have named Munch.

Billiards

Shall we play billiards?
Roger will direct my shots.
Who’s really playing?

We need a dollar.
You can get one at the bar.
Same price as L.A.

One more drink, William.
Make this one in a tall glass;
Diet Coke for me.

Clean break. Balls scatter.
Of course, you got a ball in.
Will I get to play?

Smoke rises. My turn.
What do I do now, Roger?
Easy said, not done.

Lucky shot, I guess.
My skill is not a factor.
My turn is over.

Back and forth we trade
Turns, bright smiles, happy laughter.
The game is over.

Now I must play him?
I’d rather be playing you,
But at least you’re close.

This should not take long.
My inexperience shows.
One more lucky shot.

Eight ball side pocket;
If it goes, the game’s over.
Dammit! My stick slipped.

We continue on.
I should have already left.
One more Diet Coke.

One more game? There’s time.
There is nowhere else to go.
I don’t want to leave.

Leaving means goodbye
And I am not ready yet.
So rack them once more.

I watch while you play.
I want a little more time
To memorize you.

To soak up your lines,
To etch your smile in my head,
Your voice in my brain.

Something to take home;
A souvenir of our night
To remember you.

Why’d you make that shot?
That means it is time to go.
Nothing keeping us.

Two thousand fourteen:
Roger looks forward to it.
William is still lost.

We walk to the truck,
One step closer to leaving,
Closer to good bye.