Thursday, March 29, 2012

6 Months

That's my limit.

Six months.

Then I'm done.


Done with the pictures.  Done.

Totally done with all the profiles.  All the dumb profiles that brag about how fabulous they are.

And I'm completely done with all the messages.  All those horrid messages that are meant to entice after two sentences.

It happens the same time, every time.  About six months after the online dating experiement, I decide that I just cannot handle it anymore.  I am sick of being hit on by men who cannot spell, who have not grown up, and who I am not looking for.

POF is like free dating for trailer park folk (no offence intended...) but I absolutely refuse to pay for it.  There is just something wrong with *paying* to meet a member of the opposite sex.  I'm not that desperate.  Yet....

I don't want to go out on anymore first dates with men I've met online and with men who look like nothing like their one, blurry picture.  I don't want to make small talk.  I don't want to get to know any more stranger men.  I mean, I'm a busy woman.  I'm a tired woman.  I like to come home, put my jammie pants on, pull out the chocolate, turn on the t.v. and veg out.  I get a little time to myself when Q is at his dad's.  And I like my *me* time.  I like spending time with myself.  I am thoroughly entertaining to myself.  I make myself laugh.  I'm fricken hilarious!  *Me* time is blogging time, sleeping time, reading time, take a minute out time.  I cherish it. 

The time I have with Q is so, so valuable.  Every day he grows and grows.  His feet are almost the same size as mine (mine are pretty small...)  But one day he will be a teenager and won't want to hang out with me, one day he'll be an adult and live on his own.  I want to drink in the time that I spend with him.  I love him so much, I love his little personality, I love spending time with him.  I'd rather spend time with him doing anything, rather than spending time with a complete stranger who may or may not pay for dinner.

Maybe I'll be ready to jump back into the online dating scene in another year or so, but until then, I'm just gonna chill with my life the way it is right now.  I love my life.  I love my family.  I love my child.  I am so blessed with abundance.  I want for nothing.  I am complete.

Instead of dating, I could:

drink coffee.  quietly.  yum

read. sigh

sleep. mmmmmmmm

Images courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Budget Smudget, I Always Say

(p.s. I've never said that. Ever)

I'm on a budget.
It's a semi-self imposed budget.
A semi-self imposed budget where someone I don't know gets to keep all my credit cards until I pay them back. Someone who takes money from me once a month and gives it to all my credit cards. Someone who doesn't allow me to have any more debt until all my credit cards are paid off.
In four years.
If someone asked me what *budgeting* means to me, I would say budgeting means that instead of worrying about how the **F** I'm going to come up with money the night before my rent is due, I worry about money every single day of the month.
This probably means that I'm doing it wrong.
Since September, I have to think before I buy anything. I have to think stupid little things like, "Do I really need this?" and "Should I get a mani/pedi or should I get groceries?" It's horribly depressing. Especially because I have to pick the most responsible thing like All.The.Time. Being an adult, and a mother kind of dictates that I feed my kid even if my fingers look naked without a french manicure.
With all these adult-ish choices, I had to pick between getting my hair cut and dyed, which all you ladies know is not a cheap thing these days, and going to Las Vegas with my best girlfriend the end of April. Of course, I'm just like every other gal out there who wishes for what she doesn't have and pays gobs of money to look like a *natural* blonde. Unfortunately, I'm a dark brown instead...and I had been putting off getting my roots done for months hoping to come into a small fortune, so they looked horrible. Another four inches and I'd be ombre, but no...I just looked *undone*. I thought I'd save a few dollars, get my roots done and go to Vegas. I'd do my own hair. I've done it before. It always works out.
Remember how you forget how things go horribly wrong until after they've gone horribly wrong again??
Obviously, I'm nowhere near talented enough to give myself highlights. Those I've tried before and just ended up with blonde patches all over my head. I have hair that's down the middle of my back...disasters with hair that long are expensive to fix, not to mention if you leave the bleach on for too long you end up frying your hair and it FALLS out. I did not need that. So I decided to go back to my natural colour. I picked a colour similar that boasted iridescent colour, and the consumer I am, I believed thoroughly, and thought it would be fabulous.
I didn't think it would be orange with grayish green highlights.
It wasn't very becoming. It didn't go very well with my skin tones. It definitely did not bring out the blue in my eyes.
But now, I had already vested myself in going to Vegas. I was questions about I still did not have the money to get it I fixed it myself.
I am now dark, dark brown with dark brown areas, and a few lighter brown areas. It's not quite the disaster it was, but it certainly isn't my beautiful, beautiful hair. I'm going to let it settle for a few weeks, play the lotto, and hope for a windfall. The feeling that I'm going to throw up has subsided and I'm not so shocked when I look in the mirror.
I do have money for rent. Q has food on the table. Lola has gas in her tank.
...and do I really need *perfect* hair?
Oh and just an FYI...I used the new hair foam - ever the consumer. It's not as fabulous as they made it sound. Okay, so not as drippy as the other stuff, but it did not lather the way it said it would. It was not full coverage, like it said it was. And my right hand and thumb hurt for days afterwards because you have to squeeze the bottle to get the dye out. You have to reeeeeealllllllly squeeze that dang bottle as you get to the last few drops. Lesson? Go pay the extra money and get it done professionally...nothing is better than someone playing with your hair for an hour. If I were rich I would get a blow out 3 times a week, just because it feels so amazing.
But I'm not rich. I'm on a budget.
Instead I have blotchy brown hair.
I could really use a cut, too.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bad Teacher. Bad, Bad Teacher

School has been tough on Q this year.  Like really tough.  The poor kid's learning style does not mesh with his teacher's teaching style at all.  She's super old school (and not in a hipster way....)  In a word I can describe Q's feelings when it comes to having to spend 6 hours in the same room with this woman: Terror.

Sounds a little harsh, doesn't it?  But it's totally true.  He's been on Spring Break for the past two weeks and so I knew that bed time the night before school would be unbearable unpleasant for me as I convinced him he wasn't stupid, he wasn't going to be in grade 2 forever, the teacher was not going to get mad at him, and that he is really, really smart if he just puts his mind to it.  I just didn't think I'd have to do it 3 nights before school started up again. 

Quinn's weakness is writing.  He can read the words, but he has a hard time spelling them and writing coherent sentences.  I've been working with him on it at home, my mom bought him a work book to use, we spell words at night as he's falling asleep.  But his teacher makes him really, really nervous because he's so terrified of her.  He tells me last night that she says she thinks he just wants her to do it for him.  He said the tells her no, and that he's trying, and she continually says, "Really?" until he concedes and says yes, he just wants her to spell all the words for him.  And then she'll give him a stern talking to.

I really tried to act nonchalantly when he told me this because I don't want him to a) be any more scared of his teacher than he already is or b) think he's *right* and she's *wrong*, but let me tell you my blood is boiling.  My kid, he might be a whole lot of things...rambunctious, hyper, loud.  He might forget his manners sometimes, and he might not listen when he should.  But, the one thing he is a liar.  I have pounded the importance of being honest into him since he was old enough to understand.  And truthfully, it was never that difficult, because he found out early on that being honest with me, no matter what it was, was waaaaay easier than being caught in a lie.  And Q, he has a conscience.  Even if he did get away with a lie, he'd have to tell me because he felt so horribly guilty about doing something wrong (I think he gets that from me!!)  So, first of all, I believe that his teacher says this to him (this is the second time he's told me the exact same thing) and second of all, how dare she question the character of my child on a daily basis?  I am livid.

Teachers have been on strike here in BC since the beginning of the school year or 'working to rule,' which has meant no report cards, no parent/teacher conferences, no field trips, and they refuse to meet with parents who have concerns about their children's learning.  They are doing this because they have the children's best interests at heart, and I can see how helpful this is to students across the province.  Okay, tad amount of sarcasm there...I'm not going to get into what I think about the whole strike because people just get really testy with me when I say what I'm really thinking on this subject.  I have a lot of teacher friends, too.  I just think that these *tactics* are actually affecting the children they're trying to help...but any who....

All that to say I've not been able to speak to Q's teacher about this.  What I really want to say is:

*You're the teacher.  If your teaching method is not working with my child, you need to change your teaching style so that my child can learn.  That. Is. Your. Job.  He is 7.  You have 30 years experience.  If you can not teach my child who has no disabilities, learning or otherwise, then where does the problem lie, really?

*Q can read.  He reads with me at home every single day.  He is terrified of you, and that's why he stutters when he reads for you.  He's afraid you're going to yell at him, or tell him he's not good enough, or that he's not trying hard enough.  So when you ask him if he reads at home, and he says "yes" and then you say, "Really?  It's very hard to tell."  That is not constructive.  It's hurtful and discouraging and it makes him even more nervous around you. 

*Your job is not to judge my child's moral standing to his face.  Ever.  If you think my child is a liar, a cheat or a thief, you come and talk to me, because yes, I agree we would have a problem that would require we work together to fix.

I don't know what to do.  I keep thinking this just a huge character building experience for Q.  I keep thinking that maybe he's over reacting a little bit.  I keep thinking that there are just 3 more months left and we can make it through.  I keep thinking that if we just do more work at home, he be able to spell just like a bee!!  But it's so horrible being powerless to do anything else about it.  His teacher would rather browbeat him than help him, and now our evenings are going to filled with homework and I can't help but wonder if it's because she can't do her job. 

Any great ideas on how to help kids with spelling?  I'm going to get some flash cards and stop by the book store for a *How to Help Kids Spell for Dummies* sometime this weekend, because I'm kind of invested in the success of this little guy, ya know?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Close it Yourself

This post was going to be titled, "Close Your Own Dang Door".  It was a tough call.  But it's a figurative door, and I didn't think the potty language was called for, so I played it safe.  Although the latter probably would have gotten more hits, the former is a little more true to life.   Can you even imagine what it's like to be me?  That is just a snippet of the thought process coming up with a title for a post.  Just imagine what I put myself through for decisions that matter and mean something.  TGFP or Thank God For Paxil, as I like to say.  

So a friend of mine is going through a break up.  Actually, it's more like a divorce, because although they weren't married they did live together and were together for a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long time.  So he (yes, he's a he....) is grieving the loss - rightfully so, I might add - and sometimes it's helpful to hear the "woman's side" of the story.  I don't know if it's every woman's side, but it's my side, and I am a woman, and fairly good at it, too (obviously not to toot my own horn or anything...)  It is so silly the games we play as men and women.  I mean, we know we're super different and we think differently, yet we continually put ourselves in a position where we try to trick the opposite sex into admitting something...weakness, feelings, strengths, I don't know what or why, but we do it.

Women like for men to ask them out.  It's a truth.  We do.  I do.  I want a man to be a man, plain and simple.  And men know this.  The problem is...women give no hints at all that we're interested.  The poor guy is going in completely blind and has no idea whether he will be met with mutual attraction or hostility.  No wonder men don't approach women anymore.  Women can be horrible if they're not interested, downright evil.  Nothing like taking away one's manhood, yet expect him to act like a man anyways.  So what do they do?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  So we get colder and they get quieter.  Ya, how's that working for us???

The other game we've realized is the "I'm still thinking of you, so you better be thinking of me too".  It rhymes, so that's fun isn't it?  That's about all that's fun ladies.  Think of it this way, you're like two days away from being completely over some guy you've been hung up on for ages - and then you run into him at a pub.  FYI, this happened to me last week.  It was NOT fun...I went out of my way to avoid him and he went out of his way to make sure I saw him.  Ugh.  The fact that he's now married with a small daughter and I'm 30lbs heavier did not cross my mind at all, I can assure you...(ya, right!)  I have this girlfriend who texts ex-boyfriends on their birthday just because it's a *nice* thing to do.  Let's make one thing very's not nice at all, and she knows it.  They have no contact other than this one per year, and it's more of an ego boost for her than it is a birthday greeting for him, and I'll tell you why....because inevitably, every text becomes a chain of texts where the guy tells her how much he misses her and thinks about her and how she was the one, and yes, he's getting married, but it should have been her he was marrying.  Wow!  She feels great, and he feels like he's settling for second best...and his first best is still thinking about him...she remembered his birthday.  Women play on this way more than men - he's still thinking about me, he's not over me...I am that fabulous.    And how nice of me to remind him of all those wonderful times we had together.  Seriously, I will be the first to admit that women are delusional.  I'm sorry.  But it's true.  You know it's true.  If you recognize yourself in these words....stop!!  You are doing a disservice you your soul as well as his. 

"Closure...I need closure."  "I need to hear from him why it didn't work."  "Maybe it's not over, maybe he's just busy."  "I need him to say the words."  Say it with me, kids...."Close your own dang door!!!"  Instead of thinking you need him (or her) to end something that is obviously over, why not close it yourself?  I realized this myself when, after a couple years of anger, I still hadn't closed the door on my relationship with my ex.  Why?  Because I needed him to say he was sorry.  I needed him to admit that it was his fault we didn't work.  The unfortunate thing is that he never, ever did say sorry (and he isn't, actually) and I was still angry.  While the anger didn't bother him a bit, it ate away at me every day.  So much so that one day, I had to make the conscious decision to not be angry anymore to stop punishing myself.  I was never going to hear sorry, so I had to create my own closure, come to terms with my own side of it and move on without the anger.  It was the best thing I ever did...I gave myself closure.  So now, I hear all these women saying, "I need closure!!!" and I think, "Give yourself closure!!! Why can't you be the one to clos-ure it?"  Why not say to yourself, "I haven't heard from this guy in two weeks.  I'm worth more than that asshole.  I'm closing this and moving on to someone who has time for me."  Or "So he cheated on me, I don't need to hear why he did it to close this chapter.  The very fact that he disrespected our relationship and the trust we built is enough for me to close this chapter ON MY OWN!!"

C'mon women....we own our own houses, our own cars.  We have amazing careers and aspirations.  We are contributing members of society (hopefully) and I am raising a boy to be a man on my own.  I think we can shut a few doors that need to be closed so we can move on to better things, on our own.  What door can/should you close today?  What door have you been waiting for someone else to close for you?  And why can't you shut it yourself?

Go on, girl!  *snaps fingers*

I am so going to be sitting on a couch one day with Oprah and Ellen, drinking coffee and offering up advice. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One *But* Away

What is your biggest dream in life?

And what is holding you back from accomplishing it?

When I was a teenager, I was going to conquer the world.  I dreamed about being the first female Prime Minister of Canada.  (But then Kim Campbell won by default and was horrible at it, and there went my dream...sucked out the window...)  Seriously, I was going to change the world.  But University was really hard.  And expensive.  And I couldn't fathom years and years in school...I wanted my life to start right then and there.  So I threw away the C+ papers and the B- exams and with them, my dreams of being the Prime Minister.

I was going to be a writer.  But the ideas stopped flowing.  And the inspiration stopped once high school ended.  And the poems stopped.  The novel stopped.  And even if I did have a really good idea, one that people wanted to would I put it all on paper so they'd feel compelled to read?  And how would I find the time to write, what with a child and a full time job?  Then the *constructive criticism* from all the editors and the shut downs from all the publishers...well, I just don't think my ego could take it.  That's the tough thing about being perfect you know.  You realize it's fleeting, and the fear is paralyzing, because obviously no one is perfect.  But once you realize it, and those around you notice too... 

I was going to be married...with tonnes of children that were all delivered naturally, with a Douala and a midwife in a blow up pool in my living room.  It was going to be beautiful.  I'd breastfeed, no problems.  I'd have no problems living on 3-4 hours a sleep at night, and post partum depression would just be ugly words on a page, but would never, ever be used to describe me.  And we'd adopt children with special needs into our loving, supportive home and these abandoned children would come to know love like no one else.  But my husband never came.  My depression scares me to this day.  And I have one (absolutely lovely) child who knows love like only his momma can give him.  But he goes to his dad's every other night, and asks, "who's house am I sleeping at tonight?" And it breaks my heart.

Then I thought, "Who needs a man?  Who needs to be pregnant?  I'll foster babies and then adopt them!!" But I'm already a single mom trying to make ends meet.  How do I add another mouth to the equation?  And what about Q?  I don't want him to feel any less *loved* or cared for because I have more children in the house.  And how would he feel when he goes to daddy's, but these other kids who we've only known for a short time get to stay with mommy all the time.  These two points stop me dead in my tracks.  Especially when Q begs me to never have any more children.

How many 'buts' did you just read?  There are eight.  Eight fearful buts.  Because that's exactly what they are...fears.  Fears that probably never materialize into anything.  I mean, I'm pretty sure I'd never be Prime Minister, because I don't think that's an effective way to change our society.  It's an outlet to lie and scheme or look like you're lying and scheming and be hated by everyone, no matter what you do.  I still bounce around the idea of writing a novel on a daily basis.  But the fear of failure stops me on a daily basis.  And I'd love to have oodles of children running through the house.  It's just not the right time right now.  Maybe when Q is older and settled, and my career is older and settled.  Maybe.

What have you always dreamed of doing?

I stumbled upon the beautiful blog while I was surfing Pinterest last week.  The premise is this:  A girl went on a trip to Uganda when she was sixteen and saw the horrible poverty and how much was needed and how little was given.  She went back a year later with plans to teach English to the girls there.  Now, at 22, is the adoptive mother of 13 beautiful girls.  She has a charity that pays for food, schooling, and jobs for the children and mothers in the village where she lives, because most of the men who lived there have gone.  Gone to find work, gone just to leave.  But gone. 

She's 22.

She gave up everything "back home."  She has no superior education or training.  She has little money, and depends heavily on donations and volunteers and God.  She had plenty of excuses...with the very first being, "I'm so young." 

Her blog has changed my life completely.  It makes all of my fears and excuses so superficial. It reminds me everyday of how much I have, and how much I have to give.  She teaches me to find the good in people when there seems to be absolutely no good left.  She reminds me that no soul is ever so completely lost that you give up on them.  She is such an inspiration to me and I hope you'll read her blog and be inspired as well. 

If you are looking for a cause, a link to click, a poster to buy, a life to change, please make it this one:

 And if you're like me, fighting those fears and doubts and weaknesses - stop.  Think of the courage this woman lives with every single day, even though there are many 'buts' and 'what if's' and fears.  For every excuse there is an answer if only we choose to see it.

That being said, how we live our life every day is a choice we make.  We can move mountains right where we are, if we are courageous enough to look for it.  On every street, in every building, every day there are broken souls looking for a smile, a hug, an angel.  As Gandhi says, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Just because I was sooooooo worked up about the Kony 2012 campaign, I'd like to let you all know that the founder of said campaign was arrested last week for DUI and public *ahem* indiscretions.  Guess he couldn't handle the fame.  Maybe he'll make a movie about that too, and we can all donate to that cause as well.    

Saturday, March 17, 2012


As you've noticed, my blog is going through a few changes.  I just can't seem to get it to look the way I want it to.  Clean and simple, yet appealing none the less.  Bear with me as I experiment with all the cool templates blogger offers.  If you see something you like, be sure to let me know...

It's a time for Ch-changeeeeees!  My blog is such a reflection of me.  I cringe when change comes, and yet I crave it.  Getting anxious for a change.  Hope it comes soon!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So we're shopping for a baby gift for a girlfriend of mine. Q, the definition of miserable when we're shopping for anyone other than him, says to me while looking through all these adorable baby clothes...

"Why do you have to buy it something? Why can't it's owner just buy it stuff??"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

One Click to Save the World

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do

      Edmund Burke

By now, I'm sure everyone in North America (and beyond) has heard of the Kony 2012 campaign.  My Facebook and Pinterest accounts have been inundated with images of Joseph Kony, and sadly up until a week ago, I had no idea who he was.  I clicked on the link to a YouTube video that introduced me to the horrors that have occurred in Uganda, all in the hands of Joseph Kony.  (Side note:  you will notice that nowhere in my blog are there any labels, links or titles that will either create traffic to my blog or to the Kony 2012 movement.  This is for a reason, which I will get to.  But we all know how to use Google, and so if you've not heard, please feel free to Google away...)

At first, I was outraged.  I mean, who wouldn't be?  There is this image of this beautiful boy who watch his family die.  As a mother, I just want to wrap my arms around him and let him know it's all going to be okay.  As a human, the sheer horror of what has gone on in Uganda is appalling.  How can we stand by and let this happen?  The director and narrator of this 30 minute video asks the same question and vows to do something about it.  He makes a promise to this little boy.

Ten years later, a video campaign spreads like wildfire through almost all social media sites.  People through out America become outraged.  Moved by the sight of a western toddler finding out about these atrocities, moved by the sad music in the background, moved by the flashbacks to Uganda - to Jacob as a boy, and now as a man.  Everyone wants something to be done.  Now.  In 2012.  Let's go get Joseph Kony. 

But wait.  How?  How do we do this? 

Utter helplessness strikes, until we find out that we can do something.  We can!  We can forward a link to everyone we know.  Then they'll know, and they'll send it on to others and everyone will know.  But wait, there's more.  We can buy a Kony 2012 package, complete with posters and bracelets and we can post the posters and wear the bracelets and...




This money that the Kony 2012 campaign raises - half goes to the costs of filming, directing and editing documentaries.  (Just as a point of reference, I sponsor a child through an organisation that guarantees at least 80% of the money they receive will go directly to the child I sponsor, the programs they run, and no more than 20% will go to overhead such as marketing or wages.)  So the video you've just watched, with the soulful music, that is what your money paid for.  Let me just say, you can put sad music to a toilet paper commercial and make people cry.  We're emotional - the human race.  It's what sets us apart from all the other mammals out there.  Our ability to feel empathy and want to do something about it.  We see something horrible going on, we want to do something about it.  We want to change the world.  Donating money to someones good intention, so he can direct movies, that's something....isn't it?  And ten years later??  It took ten years to make this video?  How many hundreds of thousands of children have died in the course of 10 years around the world?  In the time it took to make this 30 minute movie? 

Don't get me wrong, I think that what this guy is doing is a completely noble thing.  His intentions are wonderful.  He made a promise to Jacob, he kept his promise.  His gift, his talent, his *way* of getting things across is by directing a movie.  That's his gift.  That's okay.  There is nothing wrong with his presentation.  For others, their gift is organizing a rally or a 5k run.  Some people believe that by buying a $5.00 pink key chain, they're doing their part to fund research to cure breast cancer.  My fear is that you and I will get lost in the fact that we're saving the world, when all we're doing is clicking on a button or buying a bracelet.  And you, my friend, are sorely mistaken if you think you're saving the world by posting a Joseph Kony poster at work.  Fighting cancer, saving children, righting's not an easy thing to do.

You're also mistaken if you think that those are the only atrocities that are happening to children right now.  Never mind that Joseph Kony hasn't even been in Uganda for the past 6 years.  Never mind that doctors say the #1 threat to children is Uganda right now is the "Nodding Disease".  Never mind children in Somalia and Ethiopia are dying of starvation faster than you can save them.  Never mind that children are being sold into prostitution in Asia.  Never mind that in India, children are purposely deformed so they'll make more money when begging.  Never mind that right here in Canada, a Sunday School teacher is on trial for beating a little girl to death with a baseball bat.  Children all over the world are victims of horrible, horrible crimes.  There is something about evil that preys on the pure and innocent.  Signing a petition will never, ever solve that.  It might just ease your conscience.  And that, I think, is what bothers me more than anything. 

We're a generation of instant gratification - fast food, quick weight loss options, energy drinks - and now, saving the world.  It makes us feel good when we don't have to work hard to reap a reward.  It satisfies us enough to forward a link in our attempt to save the world.  What have we come to?  The outrage over the Kony 2012 campaign isn't so much the fact that this one person made a promise to a little orphaned boy ten years ago, it's that we're all so willing to support something because it tugs on our heart strings without any research, forethought or afterthought.   How many people gave a second thought to what was happening in Uganda after they forwarded that e-mail, link or picture?  How many people asked what else they could do?  Raising awareness is one thing...asking people to step up is quite another.  

This guy's solution is to get Obama and the Americans to storm into Uganda and put an end to this once and for all.  Let's just make it clear that the USA does not exist solely as a moral meter for other countries.  They have enough of their own problems to focus on, I think we all agree.  And truthfully, unless there is the threat of war or a threat to their oil supply, the US is really not obligated, nor inclined to go into any other country and play the super hero.  After WWII, everyone vowed that nothing like Hitler would ever happen again, meanwhile ethnic cleansing was happening in Chechnya and no one did a thing. 

My rant is just that, a rant.  I have no labels or links because quiet little blogs like mine have become viral overnight only because they've mentioned Kony.  I don't wish for fame in that fashion, I don't want my legacy to be the 'blogger who jumped on the Kony 2012 bandwagon'.  I simply want people to realize that changing the world is more than a click, a bracelet or a poster.  It's a way of life.  It takes hard work and motivation every single day, not one minute on a computer.  Don't get sucked into the sensationalism that this man has created.  I have friends who have devoted their lives to children in other areas of the world, as well as right here in Canada, and for them it's much more than a cause.  Follow this guy, or don't.  It makes no matter.  What matters, really, is the integrity with which you live your life every day.  What are you doing today to change the world?  Maybe not for a Ugandan orphan, but for someone less fortunate than you? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Part Three - What's in a Name

Welcome, once again, to my three part series in which we discuss online dating profiles.  First, we've spoken of the horrific pictures men place on their profiles, attempting to attract women (?) or as I like to think, other men.  Next, we talked about what their *about me* profile really says about them, if you're reading between the lines - and bitter like me.  Finally, today, we look at user profile names.  Arguably, this is the most difficult part of any profile.  It's the first thing anyone looking at your profile sees.  It's one word that has to describe you to a tee and be witty enough to attract your target audience.  It's a lot of pressure.  My own profile has a nice ring to it, says barely nothing about me unless you know me and is short enough to remember, should you care to.

Let's get right to it, shall we?  Any combination of numbers is usually a bad idea.  I know, you're thinking that would be the simplest and best decision, but take my word for it, it's not.  The reason is threefold...

  1. You've chosen to use your birth year, yet you lied about your age, thinking you wouldn't be taking this thing seriously and now you are.  After two weeks you can't change your birth date, so the first impression you're giving every woman is that you are a liar...because who would be stupid enough to not know how old they are, right?
  2. You thought it would be super funny to advertise your favourite sex positions with a number (aka: 69).  Guess what...grown women do not think this is funny.  At all.  No woman has ever looked a a profile with a man who's user name has 69 in it and thought, "Woot woot this guys is witty.  Look at his way with numbers.  I wonder if anyone else *gets* what he means!!" wink, wink.  Nope, we all think, "Grow up.  What are you, 14?  Next!"  Then there is the unfortunate circumstance when your birth year is 1969...and then you've killed two no no's with one stone.
  3. The year you join.  Say you join in 2008, optimistic that in 6 months you will have met the love of your life, made an eHarmony commercial, and married on a beach in Mexico.  Unfortunately, this is the exception - and many spend years on and off dating sites, using the same handle used for years.  Years.  And now everyone knows you've been on POF for 4 years.  Way to go.  What is wrong with you?  Why do women NOT want to date you?  Are you a commitment-phobe?  Because now we know, right on the get go, that you've been single for at least 4 there is definitely something wrong.
I've heard from a Sir Comsized, and I can assure you he was not British royalty.  He evidently received quite a bit of flack from women regarding his user name, because he referenced it in his *about me* stating that everyone takes things way too serious and why can't we all take a joke.  There was an Oral Den, hmmmm I wonder what he means...oh, wait...ewwwww!  There have been numerous profile names that include any number of phallic words, nicknames and even symbols, the first that comes to mind is Mr. P. Ness.  Two words gentlemen, Grow Up.  We (I) are not looking for frat humour.  We're looking for men to build a family with, plan for the future with, create a healthy relationship with, we're not looking for potty humour.  I mean, I find a fart joke just as funny as the next guy, but I don't want that to be the first impression I get from my *soul mate*, ya know?  I'm a mother, for crying out loud.  Would you talk to your mother like that?

And the list goes on: SkytrainShawn (doesn't own a car...takes public transit everywhere.  Probably because he can't afford a car, but why not make it a *socially responsible* thing to do instead), SpicyBlack (I'm not good with spices...), BlacknSolid (Hmmmmmm.....), Koooooooooooooldude (my brother got two ducks as pets when he was 10, he named them Cool and Dude.  Just sayin'), Flex-it (flex what?  I'm confused...), Meatman (he's a butcher?), Passionateheat (I doubt that very much...)  These guys would be better off taking the name of their first pet and the street they grew up on, which if you have never heard, is a great way to figure out what your stripper name would be, had you chosen that line of work.  Mine would have been Casey Grand...which you have to admit, kind of does sound like a stripper name, doesn't it?  But I digress, where do these guys come up with their names?

A rose by any other name is still a rose.  That may be so, but if you called a rose a smelly ashtray instead, no one would ever stop to smell them.  Instead, they'd all say, "Wow, look at that beautiful flower.  Too bad it smells like an old ashtray."  Even if it didn't, because names are just as much perception, as they are reality.  For what name do you want to be remembered?   

Monday, March 5, 2012

Part Two - About Me

Welcome to my three part series (it might be more...depending on whether something else strikes me as funny/ironic/pathetic in this whole online dating experience) on what to expect when you're online dating.  Today, we will look at what men say about themselves in their "about me" portion of their profile.  The funny thing about this is that a lot of men write what they think women want to hear.  Men have no idea what women want.  Most women don't know what they want...

There are two categories of profiles - those men who have the gift of gab and love to talk about themselves and those who couldn't be bothered to take the time to write anything at all.  One guy actually copied and pasted the obituary for Kim Jong-Il as his *about me*.  He probably thought he was being very funny.  But to me, I just thought he was wasting his time and mine.  Another guy who 'considered himself to be somewhat of a writer' spent 8 paragraphs narrating how we would started off something like, "It was a dark and stormy night" or "their eyes met from across a crowded room".  I can't really remember because I lost interest after the second sentence.  I don't want someones life story....okay, really I do...but I want the nutshell version, the Cole's notes.  How you grab my attention here determines whether I want to know more later on...

Every man is the same:  Easy going.  Likes to laugh.  Laid back. Funny. Hard working.  Every man likes the same things:  Sports.  Long walks.  Cuddling (riiiiight).  Movies.  Every man is looking for the same thing:  Pretty.  Nice. No drama (ps.  do you really think women know they're drama?  And that they'll read your profile and go, "oh darn, I'm high drama...on to the next"?  No, insane women do not know they're insane.) Open minded (ps. this is code for kinky sex, okay ladies...just breaking it down for you and keeping it real.  It does not mean they want to discuss politics while one of you plays the devils advocate.  It probably means a threesome.)  It makes me wonder.  If every man is looking for the same thing, why are there soooo many relationships that fail?  Or first dates that go nowhere?  Maybe it's because men don't really say what they're looking for, for fear women would never even give them the time of day.  Maybe...

Presantation ,is evrything.  Dont you think ?I ,for one know that right now your most likely looking atht e spelling errors and punctuation ,not so much what i"m saying .Not to mention , this is really hard to do . theres green and red all over this paragraph .  My computer is having a OCD panic attack . its screaming ,"you have spell and grammar check .woman." i"m having a ocD attack .And i do it right and then have to go back and make it incorrect .I cannot tell u how many profiles r written like this .  i lose all interest . compltetly .  obviously ,these people do not care to make a good impression .

And geez, there are a whole lot of bitter, jilted men out there.  Some of them don't have the filter to hide that in their profile.  They start with, "If you're looking for some guy to support your shopping habit, you can just keep looking." or "I had enough drama with the last woman I met on POF, so crazies need not apply".  One said, "If you need your guy to be taller than 5ft 6' and religious for you to be attracted, then keep looking because I don't need someone so superficial.  I won't even get started on the height, but come one...religious beliefs are not superficial, neither are cultural beliefs.  Gentlemen, we are putting our best selves forward one wants a negative Nelly.  We've all got baggage, but the whole point is to keep it hidden deep down inside until the other person has fallen madly in love with you.  All kidding aside, I'm not exactly baggage free and I'll totally admit to being skeptical about this whole process, too but I'm not going to write all the negatives.  I'll save that for the first date.

So, in closing...keep it short, but not too short.  Not too depressing, but not to optimistic, either...a nice balance of realism.  Keep a nice balance of humor and sarcasm, vulnerability and strength.  Use your spell check - and your grammar check.  Heck, get someone to proof read if necessary.  But don't get someone else to write it, though....we'll find out.  Trust me.   

Super easy, right?