Monday, March 15, 2010

The sheep are all dead.

Remember when you were in your early 20's and Friday night would roll around and you would make plans to go out that evening. And those plans were discussed once at around 5pm and then it was on. And everyone came and there were no issues. You just went out and had fun. Well those days are over. Now it is weeks of planning, negotiating nights to get together, cities to have drinks in, bars to visit and outfits to wear. And after everything is all set, then of course, it all goes bad. Suddenly it rains, Philadelphia is so far away and sheep have to be shot. We'll get back to that later.

So Jane convinced me we needed another night out together. Because I needed to watch her make out with another man? No, because it might be so much fun to go out together. But I am not going out with her alone again. That is just too terrifying. So I suggest we invite a couple other ladies to join in the fun. Jane picks Barbara. Ugh.

Barbara is 5' 10", thin and gorgeous. Yes, by all means let's invite her along. Barbara was always a popular girl in high school. The boys loved her and she knew how to play them. And if she was popular she was clearly not my friend. She was by no means, evil toward me, we just didn't run in the same social groups. Do you see a pattern here? Yes, I was not popular and now I seem to attract the former popular girls who have gone mad. But there is something about Barbara, something odd. It is as if her brain has a disconnect from the rest of her body. Ask her a question and ten minutes later you get an answer that has nothing to do with what you asked. Barbara is engaged...or not. Depends on when you ask her. She is adopting kids from Thailand, Philadelphia or China. Again, depends on when you ask her. And she is meeting us for Happy Hour in Old City Philadelphia. Joy!

So hours before we are supposed to meet Jane suddenly remembers she has kids and they come home from school at 4pm, so she will be late. Then Barbara leaves a cryptic message that two more sheep are dead and she has to wait for the vet and the hauler so she will be late too. At this point I am ready to stay home. But no dammit, I need to get out there and meet people, specifically men. So I pick Jane up after it takes her 30 minutes to park her car and we are off.

We get to the bar and pick a seat scoping out the men. They are all in their early 20's. Not good. Jane takes off her coat to reveal a low cut shiny blue tank top. Oh no. And the drinking begins. Then Barbara walks in. She is wearing a wrap around dress and high heel boots. And her botoxed forehead looks fantastic. I am a wee bit jealous. Barbara apologizes for being late but the sheep she is watching for her mom have started dropping dead. I ask how many are left and she looks at me for a beat before telling me, none now. She had them all shot. They were old. She says she would have shot them herself but she is not that good of a shot. Then Barbara gets up to go to the bathroom. I assume it is too wash the blood off her hands. Jane and I stare at each other. Shoot sheep???? What the what??? When Barbara returns Jane thinks it is a good time to whip out pics on her phone of the guys she made out with last time we were out. She has pics on her phone? Who are these people? I drink some more of my Mojito.

Eventually Barbara grows bored of us. We have heard how she broke it off with her fiance and is adopting kids and she has nothing more to say. She claims the shooting has exhausted her and leaves. Again, it is me and Jane and no men to speak of. We move to another locale.

At this new bar is a bald man eating dinner. Jane sits right next to him and starts talking to him. But she is clearly not drunk enough and realizes I am the single one and awkwardly forces me to trade seats with her so I am next to the bald man with no wedding ring. He claims he is from Spain ( I swear he sounds Russian) and that he works at Georgetown University and is in Philly for some conference. I am so cynical I am guessing he works at Starbucks in University City. But Jane keeps flirting and when I get up to go to the bathroom, she moves over. I need to go home. I need to find new friends. Bald Russian man pretending to be Spanish tells Jane she is so funny. He tells me I am nice. NICE. I am actually not nice. I am trying to be nice but inside I am screaming. I want to unleash my sarcasm but I have been told it is turn off. Plus I really don't have any interest in bald Russian man. I am getting depressed. I notice that Bald Russian man sees my ring finger. He asks about my husband. There is none I say. He asks about Jane's husband. Yes, there is one. Suddenly bald Russian man starts talking to me. Ha! Jane notices this too and put her coat on announcing it is time to go. I really need new friends.

We leave. I do not give bald Russian my number. I can barely understand him any way. But I realize I need new uglier friends, need a 12 step program for my sarcasm and probably need a low cut sexy tank top. And then perhaps I won't be 41 and single.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Night fun

Saturday night for the single and 41 year old woman is a non-stop thrill ride. Soup is hot, sparkling water is cold and television DVR is chock full of mediocre television procedurals with surprise endings. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Ok, to some of you it probably sounds like heaven. But you are the ones who are having sex on a regular basis, or at least could be if you weren't so damn tired from work and the kids. So this is it. Without a date, it is me, the dog and the television.

So where are the dates?

Well the boy I am obsessed with still refuses to 'friend' me on FaceBook. FaceBook is like the cyber version of high school. The popular kids are still all friends and they are able to keep you out of their little club by ignoring you. The boys you like are there but if they 'friend' you does that mean they like you as more than a friend? And if they don't 'friend' you, can you convince yourself it is because you are so strong and amazing that they are afraid of you? You sure can try.

The Healer called me once but I couldn't pick up the phone because my kids were fighting over a place mat. He listened to my voice mail but didn't leave a message and he has not called back. Is my voice so hideous that it is enough to turn off even The Healer? Did he sense my cynicism toward his profession and my mocking of his healing hands just by listening to me say 'please leave a message'? Did he 'google' me and find some terrible picture on the web of me from the 80's with my Flock of Seagulls hair-do? And see, that makes me want him to call even more so that I can go out with him and have him explain to me how he can mold my muscles into any shape I choose. What amazes me is I have managed to drive away a man without even having any contact with him at all. That has to be some kind accomplishment.

So how do I find a date? At work....well I can't date the students, it is just all wrong. Perhaps in the movies it is exciting to see the older female Professor seducing her younger naive but surprisingly masculine student but in reality it is the sort of thing that is frowned upon. And honestly, the boys, and yes I use the word boys because it is appropriate, the boys I teach are soooo not for me. While some have that Zac Efron, I could just jump all over you look, they then open their mouths and oh what comes out is such a turn off. I know some of you are saying, 'but you aren't with them for their brains' but really at some point you do have to talk to them.

So how about meeting men through friends. So far one gay man in the closet and a healer who hasn't called me. Not good. And I don't think it is at all possible that none of my friends know a single man. I just have a feeling that they don't know they know a single man or that they don't want to get involved. You know it is always horrible to be the one setting up a couple and to have it go all wrong. Both parties start to wonder why they were set up with each other and what their mutual friend saw in them. It can all go very bad indeed. But it can also go very right or at least fairly mediocre which means I wouldn't have moved on to the single serve piece of chocolate cake from the grocery store while watching a design show on HGTV on a Saturday night.

Of course there is always my mother's solution. Basically it starts this way. First she tells me I have to lose a lot of weight before anyone will even look at me. She mentions over and over how she is so thin now that she needs to take in all her pants. Then she gives me her old pants and tells me she knows I can't fit in them now, but maybe someday I can use them. Then she spends some time telling me that she doesn't know what I was thinking when I married my husband. What was wrong with me? Couldn't I see the things she saw? And she is not sure about my judgement if I was so blind to all of this. And she would like to talk to me about my parenting skills but instead she will focus on the fact that I don't wear enough make up to attract a decent man. If I would just put on some eye make up and mascara more often, I would easily attract men. Shazam! So all it takes is some smokey eyes and lip gloss and the men will come flocking. Hold on, I'll be right back.

Ok, eyes shadowed and lips glossed. Hmmmm....nothing yet.

But really my mother thinks the answer to all my dating issues can be solved if I would just join JDate. For those of you non-Jews, JDate is the Jewish online dating site. My mother claims she has been to countless weddings of people who met on JDate. Of course when pressed to name one of those blissfully wedded friends, she draws a blank. But my mother, who can barely download music onto her ipod without help, tells me JDate is the answer to all my woes. So I sign up and post my profile. I debate over photos. Should I put more than one? Does that open me to too much scrutiny? How do I describe my body type, proportional, athletic/fit, or the always enticing medium build. I know my mother would describe me as 'working on it'.

After completing the ridiculous profile which includes questions like 'Describe you perfect date' - Ummmm...he calls, shows up, isn't crazy, hideous or neurotic, we have sex and he calls me again. Ok, so no, I did not answer it that way. I said something like, a romantic candle lit dinner with good conversation that I hope will never end. You may gag now. But after completing and posting my profile and signing up for a month's subscription, I wait for the dates to pour in.

First guy is a 23 year old law student who tells me my eyes are deep. What? Next guy calls himself 'The Patriot' and tells me is incredibly passionate about the Constitution. He thought we could get together and talk about it. Well, that is tempting. The next guy seems ok. Not gorgeous but has a good job, two kids and is separated. We talk online and it is going well until he tells me his estranged wife still lives with him and they have no plans to physically separate. Oh. Finally I connect with a guy who is a lawyer for the City of Philadelphia, divorced, two kids. Not bad looking. We make a date.

We meet in a public place. A restaurant/bar near me. His profile says he is 5' 11" 180 pounds. I arrive, look around. And there he is at the bar. He stands up and I almost look eye to eye with him. I am 5' 3". Look I have no problem with men who are not much taller than me. I don't like men who lie on their profiles thinking I won't notice the 6" discrepancy. The conversation is flat, the beer grows warm, I am not impressed. I don't return his call after the date. Eventually after several men who are not worth mentioning contact me I discontinue my subscription. Later I learn from a single friend that the same men have been trolling the site since she became a member four years ago.

Suddenly Saturday night at home with some chocolate cake and Law & Order is looking pretty good. Although if you know a man who is single, think of me. After all, I am 41 and single.