First dates and possibly never wanting to date again

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Internet dating is not a new concept.  Since its inception, many singletons have flocked to cyberspace to meet people and make new connections with the ever lingering hope that they may encounter “the one”.

Living in a small town with limited ways to meet new people, a much younger version of myself decided to take the plunge and start seeking that ever elusive cyber match.  It is extremely overwhelming in the beginning.  Pictures of smiling, fit, tanned men apparently ready and willing to meet a potential partner leapt from my monitor. The array of photos of yachts in the Caribbean was astounding and they all seemed so perfect, on paper.

Although each site boasts different capabilities and features, the fundamentals are the same.  You can search for similar likes and dislikes, physical characteristics you find attractive, political positions you agree with, religious beliefs and personal aspirations that you share.  The underlying goal is that the potential cyber-mate entering that information from the other end of those intergalactic particles is telling the truth.  Once you have sorted through the innumerable prospects, eventually you are ready for that first encounter.  A smile is shared, witty repartee ensues and, as the relationship progresses, the true conversation begins.  And then you decide to meet in person.

Before I regale you with my story of face-to-face contact, I will say that I know several people who have met on the internet and have formed loving and lasting relationships.  We had a wedding at the lodge two weeks ago and the adorable couple met on eHarmony.  My story, however, does not involve that happy ending.

After a lengthy online courtship, our relationship evolved into conversation over the phone.  Eventually, we thought it was time to take the next step and we agreed I would drive to his home town to meet him.  I rented a hotel room so I would have a safe haven if it all went pear-shaped, which it most certainly did.

The initial meeting was unnerving.  I was sweating more on that early spring evening than I would have been if I had just run a 5K marathon in mid-July.  He seemed sweet and was excited to show me the town.  He tentatively reached for my hand as we walked.  The conversation seemed easy and we decided to grab a bite to eat.   Cocktails and appetizers eased us into easy communication but during the main course his behavior became quite odd.  There was a very noticeable down-shift into direct eye contact and his words became slow and sedate.  When I had reached the point that it had become uncomfortable, I finally asked what was going on.  His honest to God response was, “I’m trying to hypnotize you”.   Really??  I’m not sure if I was more shocked at the fact that he just admitted that or the fact that my sense of perception, when it came to him, was so far out in the ethers that it was irretrievable!!  Needless to say, dinner ended abruptly and I went back to the hotel and double-bolted my door.  I relived the entire relationship over a few glasses of wine, admitted great defeat and drove home very early the next morning.

The experience certainly left me with a feeling of immense distrust.  Perhaps that distrust was more in my judgement than it was of a relatively benign dating website.  But regardless of where that skepticism truly lies, I will certainly be far more cautious if I ever decide to once again dip my foot in that dating pool.

Taking back my life

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Time

Time had marched on,

aimlessly walking over me,

crushing me with its weight,

burying me under its pressure.

My body was leaden,

 unable to stop the parade of seconds,

watching helplessly as they turned into hours,

and slipped relentlessly into days and weeks.

 But I have begun to fight back,

to battle the oppressive tyranny of lost moments.

Time no longer guards me,

holding me captive,

only able to be governed by its rules.

I now hold the reins and make time do my bidding.

I am in control,

no longer bullied by its endless cycle,

released from its shackles.

A small speck on my window was a huge eye-opener

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Yesterday I had a bug on the outside of my driver’s side window.  I know that sounds like a strange statement but that bug, after 5 kilometers of stubbornly hanging on for the ride, began to represent something much more than a bug on my window.

I had all but written him off during the first kilometer but I became more amused as one km stretched into two, then three, and his sheer determination would not allow him to let go.  His tenacity began to rekindle my creativity.   His utter disregard for common sense made my brain kick into writer’s mode and that bug made me realize how important it is to hold on to the things you truly want.

bug on a window

Although I had a few giggles thinking of how that little insect reminded me of Kevin Kline hanging on to the plane at the end of A Fish Called Wanda, I was reminded of an important life lesson by a 6 legged black and red bug with a stinger and an attitude.  If it’s worth hanging on to, do everything in your power to make sure you don’t let it go.

I have since grasped my writing a little bit tighter.  I am fervently holding onto the window that is my blog and doing everything in my power to not let this journey slip away.

What do you mean you “end up with”?

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I reluctantly admit that I have been watching too much television lately – and the “reality” television that I have succumbed to is the most destructive of all.  But there is an alarming trend on these shows that really bothers me. After the self-promotion and sensationalism of parading their relationship across television screens across the world they always seem to describe their potential life mate as “the one I end up with”.

Now, I know I’m not the most romantic person on the planet but if someone described me as the person they “ended up with” I would be more than moderately offended.   The quest for love should not result in who you end up with but who you are fortunate enough to forge the path of your life with.  That person should not sound like second prize in a raffle because you didn’t get your first choice.

If you truly fall in love with someone, that person consumes every ounce of your being.  It’s like winning a lottery that you never entered. They become such a part of your life that you don’t know how you existed before you met them.  They understand what you are trying to say without you having to speak a word.

I can only imagine the person you “end up with” would never have the capacity to know what you are thinking before you formulate the thought.  It makes me wonder – if those words are sufficient enough to describe the relationship, the feelings generated from that union are most likely not sufficient enough to make it last.  You need to be with the person you can’t live without and not just the one you can live with.

Perhaps we, as a whole, need to take the time to redefine the feelings that brought us into our relationship. If that person is your true life partner, don’t belittle that relationship by describing them as the one you ended up with.  Let them know that you consciously chose to have them in your life because there is something they bring into your existence that nobody else could ever bring.

Give your relationship the truth that it deserves.  If you have found the person you are meant to spend your life with, be bold enough to describe them that way and don’t ever let them think they were the runner-up.

Wow…..maybe there is a more romantic side to me after all.

Heed the signs – or make them up as you go

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My dad was a cunning individual and in the years before he launched his illustrious real estate career he sold insurance. He innocently entered a doctor’s office in Oakville, set his sights on my mother during a routine sales call and he was smitten. She was the secretary in the doctor’s office and she would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit taken by his boyish charm.  He shamelessly flirted with her before he left the office and my mom, engaged to someone else at the time, was nevertheless flattered.

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(how could you not be taken by that face?)

His creative approach to making that next contact was brilliant – coy with a hint of brazen boldness. He knew there was an undeniable connection and he did everything in his power to make sure that, even if it was not face to face, they would be in contact again. His devious plot mixed with a relatively innocent phone call asking if he had left his non-existent galoshes in the office began a romance that blossomed and turned into 44 years of marriage.  They have both since passed but I’m sure the romance continues in Heaven.

People who know a good thing when they see it will find numerous ways to insinuate themselves into another person’s life.  It may be glaringly obvious, or it may be a slow acclimation into their every day routine.  Regardless of how it happens that strong connection should be embraced.  We are drawn to these people for a reason and our souls were meant to collide with theirs.  Call it what you will – serendipity, fate, Kismet – but it’s hard to argue the feeling when you meet a kindred spirit.

Meeting someone who your soul connects with is an experience that can be sadly overlooked.  Whether it flourishes into romance or blooms into an exceptional fondness that lays the foundation for a great friendship, we need to heed the signs that lead us into the company of that kindred spirit.  It is rare to find someone who you can have a boundless affection for and it deserves to have a chance to grow into a lasting relationship.

Have you ever met someone and just known you had to be a part of their life?

Just get in the car and drive….

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Today is my first day of two days off in a row!  Sadly, I think the last time this phenomenon occurred was during the Christmas holidays when I had a horrible case of Pneumonia and couldn’t get off the couch.  Not even the sun shining through my bedroom window this morning could pull me from under the cover of my duvet.  I did rise at 7:30 to tend to my four-legged roommate but, after returning to bed, the clock read 10:39 a.m. when I finally emerged from my cocoon.

It’s amazing how quickly you can lose your grip on reality.  Work happens day in and day out and, if you let it, work can consume your life.  I awoke this morning almost struggling to come up with something fun to do since my day off usually consists of laundry, house cleaning and other mundane tasks.

I did mow the lawn and weed around my mom’s tree to feel some sense of accomplishment today but the day rapidly evolved into a day of carefree abandon which I have not been able to enjoy in a while.  My travelling companion and I hopped in the car and headed out onto the open road.  The sun was shining, the sky was a remarkable shade of blue and the roads were all but abandoned.

country road

I finally felt a true escape today that I have not felt in a while.  I didn’t think of what would happen at work tomorrow because my tomorrow work-day was extended for another 24 hour period.  I didn’t care that I hadn’t vacuumed my house because I still have tomorrow to vacuum.  It was a memorable day of reckless abandon and not having to share the open road because all the tourists are happily ensconced in their city homes.  It was just me, my dog and an endless stretch of sun-streaked pavement.

It’s amazing what you take for granted.  Those seemingly meaningless pleasures suddenly become treasured moments when you realize that you are unable to enjoy them as often as you would like.  Driving along winding country roads with not another car to be seen was my perfect moment today.  It gave me time to breathe.  It gave me time to reflect.  And it gave me time to just be myself.

When was the last time you had a perfect moment?