Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love's Slow Mosey: A Completely Fictional Tortoise Tail

Once upon a time, in a land very far from here, there lived a quirky, uniquely attractive, often contrary, and singularly single tortoise named Lola.  At 72, she was just entering her prime and possessed a genuine lust for life and the hope that, despite her several flaws, she would one day find the love that she had touched briefly, yet passionately, in the mysterious world of her dreams.

Love in Lola's dreams came complete with an intelligent and pampering paramour with a beautiful, yet rugged shell and strong, yet tender feet.  He could make her laugh, oh how he could make her laugh.  His wit and charm were his most gorgeous features.  He liked all of the things that man-tortoises were supposed to like, such as waxing his shell, drinking fermented berry juice, and playing fantasy shell ball.  Lola did not bother with tortoises that did not fit his description.  Her unwavering stance on this left her very lonely, extremely discouraged and more than a little exasperated.

Every day she planned how she would meet Mr. Dreamy.  She would often go "shell shopping," as she liked to call it.  Though it seemed to Lola to be an exercise in futility, it was an exercise she refused to relinquish. Each time she stepped out of her nest and headed for one of the many establishments purported to be heavily occupied by the male of her species, she did so with hope and anticipation that this would be the trip that would make all the others worth the effort.

But each trip was a cookie-cutter version of the last.  "Why are all the single tortoises so dopey and unworthy of my efforts?", she wondered.  If one turtle had a nice beak, he had wimpy feet. If he had nice feet, he could barely organize a complete sentence.  If he was intelligent and witty, he seemed to be in need of a 12 step program to deal with his apparent overuse of the food supply.

Why, oh why couldn't she find a man-tortoise who measured up to her specific, yet reasonable, standards?

On a particular Saturday in early spring, her sister Rose called to chat, as she did nearly every day.  But this call took a surprising turn.  Quite unexpectedly, Rose put Lola on the phone with Rose's old friend Burt.  Rose had been trying to arrange a date for Lola and Burt for a nearly a year, but something always seemed to come up, and frankly, Lola just wasn’t comfortable with the whole idea anyway.  In fact, this particular night, when Burt asked her out for coffee, Lola cringed just a little, dreading the awkward evening to come.  Don't get me wrong, she had always thought Burt to be handsome and sweet, but she was pretty sure he wasn't her type.

Much to Lola's surprise and delight, she enjoyed her short date with Burt and was happy when he asked her if they could meet again the very next day.  After their next get-together, to her great joy, she realized that his many unique interests were undeniably more attractive to her than the stereotypical prerequisites that only the day before she had held so dear.

Lola suddenly found herself spending an unsettling amount of her time thinking of Burt and their date.  To get him off of her mind, she began the task of cynically analyzing the likely outcome of the situation.  She made a mental list of their obvious incompatibilities and added to that all of the ways that she could end up looking like an ass (to tortoises, donkeys are thought to look rather foolish) if she allowed herself to crush on Burt only to find out that the attraction wasn't shared.

But Lola's large, steady, stubborn heart was dead set on staying the course.  Her logic and reason could not convince her that this trip into the unknown wasn't worth the risks.  Only time knows what became of Lola and Burt, but one thing is certain: Lola had found the courage to be vulnerable and, at least for a while, to bask in the exciting glow of life outside of her shell.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gimme a P! Gimme an A! Gimme a T! Forget it, this is taking too long.

Have you ever set your mind to something, publicly announced your intentions, planned out how you were going to achieve your goal, put your best foot forward and then found that it wasn't working out the way you had envisioned? No? Me neither. If you'll excuse me for a moment, it seems that my pants are on fire and I should see about putting them out.

Okay, I'm back. And yes, I am feeling a little dejected and doubtful about the success of this particular venture. I am really trying to be creative and resourceful in manufacturing opportunities to meet men, but where are the men?! I can be pretty darn tenacious when I want to be, but I am beginning to question my intestinal fortitude when it comes to finding a mate. Unrewarded anticipation is not quite my bag.

But alas, as my good friend John Quincy Adams once said, "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." Of course he was probably giving an impassioned speech before congress on the merits and worthwhile task of abolishing slavery in the face of much opposition. While that puts my life in perspective a little, I happen to liken myself unto a slave of sorts. A slave to loneliness trying to hop a train on the underground railroad to love.

Would you believe that right this very moment there is a really cute man in my house? No, I'm not referring to some tow-headed, bright-eyed toddler. A real man. He's hooking up my satellite tv service. I wonder how long I could keep him here under the ruse that I can't get the hang of the new remote. Maybe I could ask him to explain in detail how exactly the receivers pick up the satellite signal and whether he thinks we have secret spy satellites orbiting alongside the tv satellites. Then we can make tinfoil hats together.

I think his woman just called him.

Mr. Adams, I will not let this set back, or any other, keep me from the call of my mission.

God bless persistence, and God bless America!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vaccination, All I Ever Wanted

Howdy do!  I hope everyone is doing fine this Thursday evening.  This morning I was rather unsure how my day would play out, but it's been much more pleasant than I expected.  I can now head into my weekend feeling relaxed and happy. 

If I could shrink you and put you in my pocket all weekend, this is where you would go:


10:30 am - take the dog to the vet for the first time since I got her 2 years ago.  It was hard to admit to the girl who set our appointment that I had been so neglectful.  She said not to worry about it.  Boy was I glad to hear that!  I was afraid I was going to get some sort of animal activist punishment, like maybe a letter with pictures of neglected animals smeared in dog poop and hand delivered by Sarah McLaughlin.  The letter would be smeared in dog poop, not the animals, by the way.  I guess I misplaced my predicate or something.  Now, I'll bet you're thinking to yourself, "while this story is captivating, what does it have to do with bagging a man?"  Funny you should ask.  Remember the Dogtopia indoor playdate meetup group I joined?  Well we can't partake in any of the fun until Maggie has all of her shots.  Also, this fabulous weather has inspired me to try a visit to one of Raleigh's many dog parks.  (Oh, now I get it!  Vaccination, all I ever wanted.  Like the Go-Go's song Vacation, except she said vaccination 'cause she's taking her dog in for shots!  How clever.  Where does she come up with this stuff?)

12:00 pm - get my hair done.  I can't decide if I want to grow it out or keep it short.  I like it short, but I need a change.  I've been sporting this do for about a year now.  Maybe I could just do short a different way.  I'll look at some pictures online later.  Whatever I choose, it must be sexy.  Or at least super cute.  Ok, I'll settle for not butch.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

2:00 pm - mother/daughter yoga workshop with my 14 year old.  I can't believe she's dragging me to something so lame!  Like, how totally embarrasing!  What?  Oh, that's right.  I'm the one dragging her.  Well, so what.  She's leaving me in 3 short years.  We need to bond a little.  I think it will be fun!

7:00 pm - now we're off to my friend Tanya's house.  Care for a little bitty cocktail?  Here we shall prepare for an evening out on the town.  This is my first time out since my divorce where there has been no mistaking that the mission for the evening is to talk to men.  None of this "I swear, I'm only out to have fun with my girl friends!  I am totally too secure and aloof to spend any time trying to get attention from boys."  Nope.  This time it's me and a couple of wing-nuts.  I mean wing-women.  There will be ring checks, accidental bumps, and no crossing of the arms, which I understand fom my studies is the universal sign for "back the &$*# off, buster, or you're liable to take one in the crotch."  And not in a good way.


2:00 am (actually 3:00 am - don't forget to spring forward this weekend!) - tumble into a cab and head back to Tanya's to sleep it off  recap our night out over a nice cup of tea.

8:00 am - yeah right.

11:00 am - do a little internet refresher on Their Eyes Were Watching God (can you believe the library didn't have it?)

1:30 pm - head off to my very first book club meeting.  It's at some Starbucks in Raleigh.  Ahh, there is nothing quite as satisfying as discussing classic literature while sipping on a breve with an extra shot of here goes nothing.  Maybe I should get an extra shot of positive thinking instead?

It's all downhill from there.  Every Sunday night I have to tell myself "at least I have my health" or "there are thousands of kids in China who would give anything for a Sunday night right now, so quit your bellyaching before I give you something to bellyache about."

So in conclusion, I encourage all of you to make the very most of your weekend.  Do whatever you want, just this one weekend.  Take lots of naps, eat an extra dessert, go for a run, catch a movie with your best friend, have one too many glasses of wine, whatever it is you want.  It's okay, I am giving you permission and I don't know if you know this, but I'm a pretty big deal.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Metaphorically Speaking

Okay, I admit it. I have had a lame week, at least as far as Club activities are concerned. On second thought, that might not be quite true. In this club, as I am its only member, I can't just show up for the party. I must also fill the roles of lead logistician and chief strategist. And today, as a result of my behind the scenes efforts, I officially went live with Operation Good Karma by attending my first Stand Up for Kids planning session.

I felt like a lioness on the prowl, keeping her senses on full alert for any sign of prey. Her ears twitching at the slightest rustling in the high savannah grass, a mere whisper to go unnoticed by the casual passer-by. But to her, the message is as big as the savannah itself -- "We actually have a lot more men, but they're probably all out playing basketball in this nice weather." Oh really? Now the lioness tenses her svelte musculature, unaware of her own power, and waits for confirmation; another rustle, a breath quietly exhaled, perhaps for the last time. And then it comes. "Outreach teams are generally in groups of two - one man and one woman." Fabulous. Her whiskers rise slightly into what might be called a smile, if lionesses could smile, and she thinks to herself, "Cougar, eat your heart out."

Oh, and I also volunteered my firm's conference room for outreach training. Upon approval, of course. Did I mention I'm a little impulsive?

Now that some of the heavy lifting has been done, I can get back to the lighter side of things. Tomorrow promises to be another beautiful day, perfect for a little power-flirting. I'm thinking a #1 with props, should a #2 opportunity present itself. A folder full of subliminal messages printed on plain white paper will do the trick.

Time for some beauty rest. Good night lads and lassies, and as always, feel free to talk back.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

That's Just Crazy Talk

I have written and deleted about five openers to this post so far. Why? Because they have all started out so negative!  For instance, I had a nice paragraph or so contemplating the possibility that all of Alice in Chains' songs were actually written by an unfulfilled, emotionally raw, single mom. That's not possible. Right?

Not to worry, tomorrow is therapy day! I'll be feasting on food for thought, and washing it down with tears I swore I wouldn't cry, come lunchtime. Then I'll pop in my Alice in Chains cd for the ride back to the office. It's all part of the healing process.

Okay, two really positive developments today as far as my romantical strategery is concerned. I have been invited by the organizers of Stand Up For Kids to attend a volunteer meeting this Sunday. I sat here for a minute after writing that sentence picturing how the meeting will be. Why does some Dave Matthews look-alike keep popping into the picture?  My psyche has apparantely concocted an image of the ideal "volunteer guy," scruffy, handsome, brilliant, compassionate and open for business. See you on Sunday, hot stuff.

Also, the chair of Empower, ME-3's publication, has invited me to an Empower work session on April 8th. I'll be given an article/topic assignment! I can't wait to sink my teeth into this. I even get to take pictures to publish with the article.

Okay, so I'm not down in a hole as much as I thought, but I do still want to snuff the rooster in my neighbor's back yard.

Thanks for listening. You've been a fantastic audience.