Friday, July 19, 2013

Special Order

It is painfully obvious that at this point I can no longer afford to be picky. After a certain age, people can't sit somewhere and play "eenie-meenie-miney-mo" with the available men. "Mo" is now pretty much the only option left, and we start to feel bad that we never really gave him a shot in the first place. People are also much more up-front with their deal-breakers. Lots of profiles put it front-and-center that they are looking for someone who is good with kids, can handle a long-distance relationship, enjoy an active lifestyle, or only eat meat on the second Tuesday of every month. I sometimes feel like I'm in the drive-thru at Burger King, and not trolling for a date. Everyone has a special order, and they will turn the car around immediately if there are pickles on their sandwich. Which according to my brother, you can't just pick off because the flavor has soaked into the bun. He wasn't just whistling Dixie. I haven't found my special order yet. I'm not even sure I'm in the right restaurant. And lately I've been feeling like a double-anchovy and pineapple pizza. Nobody wants that.

Websites are chock-full of people who feel the same way I do. I think it may be possible that as we get older, we become less flexible and stick to our shopping list a little too tightly. There are several aisles I don't even wheel the cart through anymore. Who needs the temptation of Double-Stuff Oreos? I can happily cruise right by on my way to the gluten-free sawdust bites that are better for me. Besides, who hasn't regretted the carton of rocky road ice cream they purchased in a moment of weakness? Especially the next day when you have been on the elliptical for 45 minutes and only burned off half a spoonful. The psychology of the match process is fascinating as well. There are the I'm-going-to-list-all-my-flaws-to-scare-you-away-before-I-get-attached guys. They usually spend most of their time telling you how they aren't going to be a good match. Which begs the question, why are you on a dating site in the first place? My least favorite are the clingy-lonely guys. They are usually pushy, and you get creeped out at the prospect of them becoming your new stalker.

I received a message from a cling-on this past spring. He started every message with a blurb about how lonely he was. I reminded him several times that there was a bowling alley in town, but he wasn't interested. He started really pushing to meet, and I'm grateful my schedule was pretty packed at the time. He had mentioned that he was an international student, working on his doctorate in Public Health. He also mentioned that it was hard for him to find "quality" people to hang out with. I was wondering what qualities he found lacking, but didn't want to open that can of worms. On day 2 of inter-site chatting he rather begrudgingly told me he was from Iraq. I can only assume he figured this would be a deal-breaker. I responded that I was from Illinois and hoped he wouldn't hold that against me. He then asked if I liked poetry. I said it wasn't my favorite, but he decided to go ahead and send me poems in very fractured English. These were immediately forwarded on to my friend, who still throws several of the lines my way when she's trying to be funny. He has since been given the nickname Mr. Lonelyheart Iraq. Why anyone would think this would seal the deal is beyond me, but to each their own. He got mad that I was putting off meeting up with him, so he deleted his profile. That showed me. Something tells me he's still pretty lonely.

I can't resist sharing one of the poems. They only really ever served to make me laugh anyway. It didn't include a title, but my friend and I have bestowed a moniker on it. Enjoy!

The Love Park                    
Could I leave you?
Conceal your whisper
forget your voice

How I can go back in time?
Meet you again!
Start my gambling addiction
Gambling on your heart
to win your attracting eyes

The inadvertent fate
makes us wear belonging moments
Moments of lost
minutes, hours, days
Could be long enough
to let me think
that all I have
All u want from life
being with you

Could I leave you?
No way to leave
There in the distance
I see you my April
Sharing me my fabulous trip
In a hike we are going
to the love park!
No way to leave.

The only love park I'm aware of is in Philadelphia. And I think I'd rather head to Pat's for a cheesesteak. Just saying.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I've never been comfortable with clutter. My house isn't the cleanest on the block, and no matter how often I vacuum there always seems to be a clump of cat hair under the bed. I am however, incredibly tidy. If things aren't put away, then they are in a stack somewhere. I think better when things are oriented in the vertical. I'm not one of those organizational freaks that owns stock in the Container Store. You definitely want to open drawers and cabinets quickly and with a purpose in my house, so you can dodge anything that happens to come tumbling out. I should keep catcher's mitts handy for guests. I operate on the if-I-can't-see-it-then-it doesn't-exist mentality. Having moved eight times in six years, the thing that made me the most crabby was having to unpack something that I really didn't want or need. There was a massive purge of stuff every time I had to pack, and I never regretted getting rid of any of it. I guess I didn't really need that Snoopy Post-It dispenser after all. When I moved into the house I finally purchased I didn't own an extra towel, sheet, cup, fork, or pan. If I didn't use it, it didn't come with me. It was two years before any of the furniture I purchased to furnish the house had anything inside of it. I wish it were still that way. Stuff tends to accumulate quickly when you have a place to put it. And in this town, people hand out a cup, t-shirt, or other trinket every time you walk down the street.

I was cleaning up my classroom today and realized that if you want to know what a teacher is like in real life, look around their classroom. It's very indicative of their personality. We've all had that teacher whose "decorating" consisted of a single piece of paper stapled to the center of their bulletin board and just knew that every wall in their house was painted beige. Or the scatterbrained teacher who lost their one-and-only pen promptly upon setting it down somewhere and could only imagine what their laundry room must look like. My classroom is tidy, but not spick-and-span. And I take stacking to the next level at work. One of my colleagues retired this past year, and graciously gave me all of their supplies for the class I will take over next year. It is all stacked up in my room, making me crazy. Every time I walk in, I start to hyperventilate at the prospect of trying to organize it all. As I was cleaning out my cabinets and shelves in an attempt to make room for all of it, it struck me that what I was struggling with was how to reorganize all of the materials in a way that made sense to me. There is a lot of labeling in my future.

I wish I was as good at dealing with the clutter of former relationships. It would be amazing if you could just pack the hurt feelings and ridiculousness into a box and take it to the Goodwill. No matter how hard I try, there always seems to be some remnant left over that I pack up and take with me. And then I get mad when I unpack it later. Which is what is so difficult about dating in the clearance aisle. Every person has a box of junk they don't want to part with, and may never unpack. It becomes fairly obvious how large that box is simply by reading their profile. I previously mentioned starting a Crazy Cat Lady dating site, but have since found out one already exists. There is even a website that rates women's profiles with a certain number of litter boxes as a measure of their man-hating, cat-loving proclivity. I have been on four different dating sites for three months, and it's value has been purely comedic up to now, which is good for the blog if nothing else.

My junk drawer. My friend thinks it's weird that I keep my dental floss in there.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Say Agh

I have bad teeth. I've had issues with them forever. Back in my day, we didn't visit the dentist to get baby teeth pulled. My dad literally tied a string around it and yanked the sucker out. My brothers always seemed to manage to make it look easy, but I was the queen of hysterics. Pull-her-tooth-out night turned into hours of entertainment for everyone else in the family. After the first few were unceremoniously extracted, I wised up and kept the looseness of my teeth on a need-to-know basis. This is how we learned that I had some kooky tooth issues. If a tooth was not pulled within a very short window, the new tooth would emerge and simply push the formerly-loose tooth to the side. This made it indescribably more difficult to remove, and my histrionics increased exponentially. It also gave me a maw full of janky teeth. The worst was when my canine teeth came in way above the gum line, like fangs. It was awful. Needless to say, I spent 3 years in braces. Anyone who has had braces can attest to the fact that it is agonizing. And rubber bands are the modern incarnation of the medieval rack. I had to hook bands up and over my fangs to pull them down since every time you opened your mouth, the bands exert downward pressure. And I talk. A lot. The day they were removed was one of the happiest days of my high school life.

I wish I could say that my issues with dentist-type persons have abated over the years, but they haven't. And my dental adventures have taken me on a tour of various providers in a 100-mile radius. I seem to exhibit a pattern. The first major event was to a dentist in my hometown. I had gotten my first real job after college, and opted for the dental insurance. I needed six cavities. It was torture. So I didn't go back for years. Literally. It was 12 years before I went to another one. He was a little shocked with the condition of my teeth, and that I still had mercury fillings. He asked why it had been so long since I've been seen and I told him, "No offense, but I hate you people." He said he got that a lot. So we made an appointment to remove the old fillings, and put in an additional eight. Yes. That is fourteen total for my math-challenged friends. I also needed a crown. And I'm not talking the "Long live the Queen!" type of crown.  Even with insurance, I ended up spending an amount that I would normally only justify for shoes. And then it was determined I needed a root canal. This is when my other major dental issue became a road block. I never get completely numb with novocain. All of the work that had been done up to this point had a large amount of white-knuckling involved. I've been told this is more common that you would originally think. I visited 2 different providers who had to stop the root canal because I was in too much pain. Then I found the miracle that is sedation dentistry. And it was my brother's old band geek friend! Go Lancers! That whole ordeal sent me into another hiatus. I returned last week and needed 3 new fillings and some maintenance on ones I already had. I don't know if I'll ever go back.

I think my last relationship was with someone who was dealing with his love life the way I deal with the dentist. He had been married for several years, and been divorced for about two. I was hoping that he was ready to head back into the chair and be able to handle the high-pitched whir of the drill, but that wasn't the case. And I was under the mistaken impression that if I could make this go-round a decent experience, that he would actually like being at the dentist. Yeah. I know. I can hear your eyes rolling from here. As it turned out, it was a sedation visit. I did all of the work, and he just sat there in a fog, drooling on himself. And he played the I'm-going-to-keep-this-up-until-she-dumps-me-so-I-can-still-be-the-good-guy game. It still pisses me off that it worked. So, I'm back in the clearance aisle and avoiding the dentist.

The hygienist always sends me home with a bag full of goodies since she never knows when she's going to see me again. I'm surprised I don't get care packages in the mail.