The Dealbreaker List – Part I: It’s all Rock and Roll to me.

One subject I rarely write about on my blog is “dating” and all the euphemisms that stands for.  Why not? First, there are enough dating blogs out there, I mean there are a LOT and they are almost universally by woman about how men are either really great and they are sleeping with as many as possible in as short a time as possible or why men  are not so great and they are avoiding them altogether (or at least taking a celibacy vow for a period of time).  I’ve even come across some really evil ones designed solely to get back at ex’s – those are pretty interesting.    

But what they all concentrate on is MEN as the central and most important part of a woman’s life.   Funny thing is, I have looked and looked and looked and apart from a couple of extremely (and I can’t emphasize that enough) sophomoric ones – likely written by sad, lonely (but nonetheless hopeful) 14 years olds  – there are almost no blogs by men about their relationships.   The other exception is a couple of blogs written by guys who are cheating on their wives and keeping a record, or maybe scorecard of it.  Tasteful.   If I’m wrong and you can point me to a reasonable blog written by an at least semi-literate guy about his life and times in dating land, I’d be happy to know about it.  But so far I have looked and come up empty-handed.    Hmmmm – what does that say?  

Which leads me to the second reason, which is that I think we (meaning women) should have all sorts of more interesting things to write and think about in our lives then the overworked, overblown and over-analyzed subjects of men, relationships and “dating”.  Really.  Don’t we have jobs, interests, activities, reading, thinking, movies, books and about a million other things to occupy our thoughts other than men and whether we do, or don’t have one?  Seriously, I know I do which is why I have chosen not to write about it.  But apparently I’m in a minority if the blogs out there is anything to go by.   Having /not having a man; having/not having sex; being/not being in a relationship seems to be the central focus of so many women’s’  lives, which I think is just a bit sad.  Focus on yourself, be happy and other things will fall into place, with the proviso, of course, that you WANT to be in a “relationship”.   Some of us are supremely happy being single by choice.  

But I do nonetheless feel that it leaves a bit of a gaping hole in my self-expression to write absolutely nothing on the subject, so after much soul-searching, and probably still against my better judgment, I’ve decided to put up the occasional post on my “dating” experiences, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

I’ve been single now for a bit over 3 years now and early on I gave a lot of thought to what I should do about dating.  And what I decided was that I needed to spend some time getting myself back, reclaiming my own identity, which had been swallowed up and lost almost completely in my marriage.   I wanted the time to take back everything I felt I had given away for all those years, and it’s been great.  It was a bit like getting my tattoo – my body, my life, my decision.   I’ve had the time to reflect on my own needs and wants and think seriously about what I might want for the future. 

So for the past 3 years I traveled, partied, renovated my condo, got really fit, got to know ME again, raised my daughter, advanced my career and walked my dog, but I didn’t date anyone until really recently, and then only in the most casual sense of that word.   I actually thought that maybe that part of my life was pretty much over – that’s how little I thought about it – but no, I was wrong about that too.  Fate, that fickle mistress, still had a few surprises up her pretty little sleeve for me. 

I’m not a kiss and tell sort of gal, but suffice to say that I did dip my baby toe back into the pond and discovered, well, that I’d been missing out on some fun times!  And if there is one thing I am keen on, it’s having fun.  Maybe it’s because I”m a bit wiser and have more insight (?) or maybe it’s because now I feel like whatever I do it’s my choice, on my terms, and I no longer feel like I’m trading myself or my body for friendship, affection, love or self-esteem, but I have a whole new attitude.   I’m not about to go out and start wantonly sleeping around, but I’m not avoiding it anymore either.  The tricky part comes with deciding what “dating” is going to mean . . .is it just a sex thing, is it a friends with benefits thing, it is a movies/dinner and a few weekends away, or is it the whole shebang?   And then there are two parts that get even trickier.  Just because I decide what I want, it doesn’t necessarily follow that I will meet someone who is on the same page.   And because we (should) all be learning from our experiences, I find that what I think I want quite often morphs with different experiences.   Yes, I am a woman and yes, I do reserve the right to change my mind – as often as I want!!

Another interesting thing:  have you ever noticed how we all give out those personal vibes?   Well apparently the little neon sign above my head has changed from “Out of Order” to something like “Available” or “Adventurous” or  . .  .???    The things that have been happening to me are just hilarious.  And more so because I’m usually so oblivious to it.  I will be out with friends and they notice way before me that some guy is really interested and all I’m thinking is “why is this guy hanging around taking up space at our table”.  Hahaha – the guys have to practically Caveman me with a club before I even notice that they are trying to make time with me – once again I provide my friends with a few good laughs.     

The “taking up space at the table”  thing happened when we were out at the Yale one night.  I actually was thinking that and it simply did not occur to me that the young, really cute drummer was hanging around ME, until the peeps pointed it out and the people at the next table starting chatting with us as if we were there together.    Duh, wake up girl.  Fun times and a great ego boost.  I’ve gotten a bit better at picking up on the verbal/body language clues, but really, I have to learn to pay more attention.   

A couple of weeks ago in Portland on the Goos road trip the wingchick and I  ended up at a really fun after-party at the club in the casino.  We ran into 2 guys who had been partying it up during the concert in the seats in front of us  – that is until the real owners of the seats showed up and they got bounced back to their own back of the bus seats!  They were hilarious.  And fantastic dancers.   On a dance floor break we got around to the who you are/what do you do conversation (or something like that .  . it’s all a bit fuzzy .  .) and the younger and slightly less crazy bro that I’d been hanging with says  “Oh, I’m a musician, I’m a drummer in a band”.  Jeez, are you seriously kidding me  . . . the wingchick and I nearly fell off our stools we laughed so hard.  I’m thinking that’s not the reaction he usually gets, or was counting on, being a young, hot, drummer in a band!!!     Poor guy, the laugh was totally on me, because apart from whatever the other signs over my head say, they also apparently say “drummers under 30 apply here”.  Wingchick says I have to branch out and get other interests .  . .I”m trying, really . . .I had no idea!  But I seem to be on a bit of a roll with that one, and it’s not all that bad. . .  .just saying.   And don’t get me started on the “cougar” thing – it’s the only more annoying label I can think of than “groupie”.  Actually I’m going to do a whole post on that, it pisses me off that much.

I had to move the annotated Dealbreaker List over to a second post, since this one is already ungodly long.  Part 2 will be posted soon.

And I was a bit stumped for a song for this post, so I’m just going with one I love that says a lot about me .  .  Bad Religion’s 21st Century Digital Boy.  What’s not to love about Jay Bentley in blue body paint.   And I would note that Jay’s a bass player, not a drummer .  . .just saying. 

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