The Brazilian

Friday night.  Date night.  He was late, I was nervous.  I was nervous because I wasn’t sure I was up for another 2 hours of checking my watch every 10 minutes and making small talk and wishing I was somewhere else.  I was also nervous because I admit I liked the look of his profile and I really did not want him to be boring, or to be a head shorter than me, particularly as I resorted to wearing my long jeans with my new pewter peep-toe heels (these jeans are too long to wear with flats, but they are great jeans because they give the illusion that my legs are much slimmer than they actually are, hence they are my favourite!).  I was also nervous because texting with someone whose first language is not english can result in some potentially disasterous misunderstandings.  I received a text message from him saying “I’m going” just as I arrived.  I frantically glanced at my watch…no I wasnt late…what…? I hesitated in the alleyway, almost turned to go and reconsidered…I returned the text message with “Im here, just getting a drink” and received a reply “about 10 minutes”. Ah ok, apparently a slight mix-up, he was “leaving” as in, he was late and still on the bus, translate: He is on his way.  

Ok, buy drink, seat oneself on couch in the corner. Text him to advise I have a drink and have settled on the couch in the corner, and just to avoid confusion…blue handbag (strategically placed on couch).

I saw him walk in and, curse my bad eyesight and inability to judge depth and height accurately! I could not determine how tall he was from where I was sitting on the couch. He catches me eye and walks over. Ok, so the spot on the couch gave me a great vantage point for observing people entering, but in 15 minutes people had pulled up seats all around so it was literally an obstacle course for him to get in and me to get out.  We stand there smiling stupidly at each other over the heads of two burly men who were enjoying an afternoon drink but who were also seated so as to block our path.  He gestured that he was going to go to the bar so I sat and waited for him to return.  Finally he manages to get to the couch and I stand to say hi and give him a kiss on the cheek.  whew! he is only a smidgeon shorter than me with my heels on.  This is a good start (apart from the burly men observing I tried as hard as I good not to look nervous or embarrassed and prayed that this didn’t look to everyone else in the bar like it was a first date).

He was lovely.  Polite, complimentary (he asked if I was 27 or 28- he couldn’t remember what I had said on my profile) Ah! Beautiful man! 32 I corrected him, and he look confused (bonus points for looking genuinely surprised).  We talked about study (he wants to do his PhD next year), cooking (of which neither of us do much but we like the thought of being good cooks), we talked about my family, we talked about his family, we talked about past relationships and the reasons for getting ourselves onto an internet dating site.  We talked about exercise he rather apologetically mentioned that he is normally a lot stockier but he has not done much exercise lately and he loses weight when he exercises.  I laugh and say I have the opposite problem! Again, he looks confused “but you are so slim!” he says.  Bless him.

After we finish our drinks we adjourn to the coffee shop around the corner because it is far too difficult to talk in the bar as it is getting loud and crowded.  He orders hot chocolate, I order coffee, “but wont you have trouble sleeping drinking coffee so late?” he asks, indeed not, caffeine does not have that effect on me.  We joke and laugh and tease each other for another hour or so, he shares his marshmallows with me and we decide to call it an evening.  We walk very slowly back to the mall where I intend to get a cab home and he intends to do a spot of window shopping before the lights go out.  we say our goodbyes and I am left wondering two things:

1.  That was a surprisingly pleasant evening.

2.  I have no idea if he wants to see me again.

And then I start to worry about the fact that I could not determine how he felt the evening went.  He said he had a good time, but he could just have been saying that to be polite.  I mean, what man decides he wants to end a date to go shopping??? The more I thought, the more I became convinced that I would not be hearing from him again.  I briefly catch up with an ex-work colleague for a quick drink and to download to him how the date went.  He promptly told me that I have a negative personality and that I shouldnt always assume the worst.  Ok, so he might be a little correct, but thats only because I have been disappointed so many times before! And Im still heartbroken, and I still dont know what I want but I know that rejection is certainly not going to help my situation!

I go home and ponder my negative personality.  Am I really that negative?  Having read through some of my blog, I am shocked to discover- he may be more correct than I had initially realised.  So I go to bed repeating in my head a heap of positive affirmations that I had started to tell myself when I was practicing some positive psychology techniques a few weeks ago (admittedly I have let the practice slide a little lately).

I sleep badly, darned coffee.

When I wake up on Saturday I am late for mum and dads so I frantically pack an overnight bag and get up to the farm to help out with putting the covers over the fruit trees to keep the birds out.  At lunchtime I check my email to discover an email from The Brazilian which had been sent the night before.  I wont bore you all with every detail but basically it enquired as to whether I got home ok, reaffirmed that he had a lovely evening, told me Im beautiful and that I have a beautiful smile.

Yep, I think it’s safe to say that the outlook is good for a second date in the not too distant future.


Disappointment has a name….

And so it would seem my whinge fest the other day was slightly premature, because as of yesterday, the outlook for me becoming a homeowner appears to be good!

I was already a little down in the dumps about Mr X and his little bubble of domestic happiness.  So, when I got the news that it seemed the strata thought my dogs to be “inappropriate” for the property, I envisaged my own little bubble, the one that was keeping my spirits even most slightly buoyant, promptly bursting. 

My disappointment over the realisation that it was never going to happen (with Mr X) permeated everything.  Every last shred of hope that I was clinging to was blown away and I finally fell to (what I hope to be) the full depth of my despair. 

Yes, my disappointment does have a name.

John Mayer you are The Man.  Although one has to wonder how you can be so spot-on when, as a well known serial womaniser yourself, one doubts that you have ever had your heart smashed to smithereens.   

Or perhaps that’s why you are now a serial womaniser?

In any case, I hope this means that the next phase in my saga is: Acceptance.

In the meantime, a glass of wine with a handsome Brazilian might help me feel a little less cynical…

Although, being fully convinced that I am not the only one to which he sends goodnight text messages or good morning emails, or to whom he bestows liberal lashings of compliments despite having never actually spoken to or met the bestowee in person, I admit that Im not really anticipating that Friday night will break my neverending cycle of First-and-Last First Dates. (oops, there goes that cynicism again…)

Chicken Counting Not Recommended

The house issue is still a little up in the air.  The strata company has yet to provide me with a copy of their by-laws so that I can make a determination as to whether my dogs will be allowed on the property.  Clearly if they are not, I will not be buying said house.  Although the strata manager did make some vague statement about a large dog not being suitable for the size of the property.  Hmmm. A 90sqm backyard is not insignificant.  Labradors are capable of living in apartments!! What exactly does he mean by “large”? 

So the saga continues, and I am disappointed to discover that this purchase was not as easy and straight forward as intially thought.  So much for “meant to be”.

And in other news, Mr X is buying a house with his new love of 6 months.  I cannot possibly bring myself to write about that right now.

Despite the devastating news, I managed to dry my eyes long enough to drag myself (internally kicking and screaming) to a coffee date on Sunday.  He was nice enough but overall it was very difficult to maintain a conversation, we had very little in common.  There were lots of “ummms” filling voids in conversation.  Not to mention He drenched himself in aftershave, which the flies seemed to find particularly attractive.  This provided some comical relief (on my part) with him having to swat the air around him for a good hour and a half.  Nevertheless, by 30mins in I was feeling nauseous from the cloying scent, even though we were in an open-air cafe.  Nice enough, but I will not be seeing him again.

My gorgeous friend Bec said the other day “this is the year of [Serene32]”  I fear though, that I do not recognise the basis for this statement.  Apart from the fact that I have, by sheer luck, managed to get a great job, I have to say, the other areas of my life are closer to being in the toilet and are certainly not providing any source of joy.

So I guess with my recent foray into positive psychology in mind, I must focus on what is good.  Which means there is going to be a lot of work, and a lot of dog walking for the forseeable future.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Holder of the Handbag

Well, what a week.  Bought house, check.  Wore almost every swanky outfit in my wardrobe, check (except for the GORGEOUS polka dot skirt which I am still trying to find a suitable top for…let it be said that when I find one and finally step out in said skirt with hot red heels, heads will turn, not to see me per se, but to admire the skirt and the shoes which are both smokin’…).  Made the most of my equally gorgeous blue italian leather handbag that arrived this week, check (have had a minimum of 3 compliments per day on that handbag).

Had wonderful lunch with old work colleagues.  Had wonderful lunch with new work colleagues.

Spent much time conversing on email with cute detective who is now my date for Sunday afternoon.  Spent approx 2 hours chatting on facebook with personal trainer, plus an additional 20 minutes sitting in gym post workout talking, not exactly sure what’s going on there, probably just talking, which is fine because he’s about 4 years younger than me.  He gets 5 gold stars though for telling me I’ve lost weight AND denying that I smell bad even after sweating solidly for a good 40 minutes.

Spent no more than half an hour total wondering what is with Facebook guy from last Friday.

So, by last night I was feeling pretty darned pleased with myself.

And then I had a dream.  And then I saw her on my way to work this morning. And then I could not stop thinking about Mr X all day.

Not even being pampered by a beautician for an hour and a half was sufficient to lighten my mood. Although my skin does look visibly brighter.

I have been so excited about the house (although that too is still not actually a a done deal yet as the offer is still conditional to the strata allowing dogs, and even though they  have verbally confirmed its all ok, I have yet to see a written copy of the by-laws…grrr).  And I have told pretty much everyone I know about it.  Except Mr X, and it just doesnt feel like Ive told everyone until Ive told him, because he is the first person I think of when I have exciting news.

But Im not going to be the one to tell him.

Its been almost 3 weeks since I spoke to him last and I was doing so well.  Until the dream, until seeing her (granted she was by herself, on her way to work, but its still a kick in the gut given she is so darned beautiful, with a cool car, and probably a much cooler house than the little modest plot I have just purchased).

What am I going to do with myself?

Well, as far as I know there is more retail therapy to come tomorrow, so Id better make the most of it as this frivolous spending will absolutely have to stop very soon.

In the meantime I might just go sit and admire my handbag, how can one not feel happier in the presence of such beauty?

Rules or Guidelines?

Keira Knightly and Geoffrey Rush made this a well known distinction in the portrayal of their characters in the movie “Pirates of the Carribbean”, I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

So, my profile says Im ideally looking for a man somewhere between the age of 30-42 (just quietly, preferably 32+).  I receive an email from a 44yo pommy fellow (lets call him “Jed”), with a distinctive beer gut (as opposed to being just a little out of shape which I would not necessarily have a problem with- we have all been there at some point).  The email reads as follows:

“42 max?

I’m a young 44, hey what can 700+ days make?”

my reponse:

“Gee, I don’t know Jed, you tell me, given you are, as you say, 44, yet you are looking for a partner with a max age 2 years your junior?

Cheers anyway, good luck in your search.”

I’m sorry people BUT the profile is there for a reason.  Sure, the ideal partner stats are only a guideline but lets just be a tad realistic here.

1. If my profile states that I like sport (ok not that Ive been doing much these past two weeks but I am NORMALLY very active), then Im unlikely to go for a man whose only common interest is reading biographies.  I read them, yes, but its hardly the central focus of my life.

2.  If I state that I wish to meet someone within a 50km radius, then the fact that you live 400+km away does not bode well for you. Next.

3. If you have gone out of your way to explicitly state (in your profile and/or in your first email to me) that erotica is a turn-on for you.  Then the fact that you have consequently received no response from me means that I am currently feeling too physically ill at the thought of what might be encompassed by the word “erotica”, to be capable of responding.  Please do not ever contact me again.

4. Don’t think for one second that the significance of the 30-42 age range, which basically indicates that you are looking for a baby-making machine, is lost on me.  I can empathise re: your age predicament, really.  However, that fact alone means that I am not your girl. It is not my fault that you spent your youthful years travelling the globe and bonking anything and everything that moved.  That said, perhaps if you backtrack a little there’s probably a good chance you might very well find some long lost offspring you so strongly desire, thus ticking the relevant box AND having an excuse to engage in some more global frolicking. Win-Win.

Yes I want children one day, but I am not going to settle down with just any man the moment the ticking clock suddenly becomes a booming sledgehammer, and in any case at the age of 32, my clock is still just a ticking clock.

Keep in mind that children eventually grow up and leave.  The love of your life will be with you ’til the end (God willing).  And the chances of finding the love of your life are far greater if you stick to people, which at the very least, include your own age group.

……Unless your name is Johnny Depp and you are offering to get the squeak out of my door. In which case, I emphasise the bit about my ideal partner stats merely being “guidelines”.

The Call of… Facebook?

So, a rather interesting weekend.

The biggest news being that I have finally delved into the realm of “grown up” and bought a house! Well, villa, actually.  Just a little 2 brm deal but unlike all of the other properties I have been looking at in my price range, it wasn’t so run down so as to  require me to hire a building contractor for the first 6 months of ownership to rebuild the property.  It has a nice yard big enough for the dogs, a park/reserve not too far away and I’m only an additional  7 minutes from the beach, and 10min from the city.  I loved it the moment I walked through the front door (although didn’t love the bathroom which essentially consisted of a vanity and a shower recess in the laundry, but I can live with that).  The upside is that it’s way better than the shanty I am living in now, the reality being that no house is going to be perfect in the price range I was looking at but this has ticked more boxes than any other property I have seen- and I will still be able to afford to travel! 

My own little pocket of the world.

Consequently, as I was running around looking at houses all weekend, I did not do even a moment of exercise the entire weekend!

If I’m not careful I won’t be able to fit in my new house, because I will be the size of it!

So, this week I have planned at least 3 gym sessions, 2 runs, 1 mtb ride and perhaps even a Bikram yoga session on Saturday morning, I’m keen to try it.  But the Bikram may morph into a cycle as I have been promising my old boss I would ride with him but we are having difficulty committing!  Or at least, I am. 

The other news is that I went out on Friday night with a few work colleagues and had a great time…and perhaps I might even have spent most of the evening conversing with a – wait for it- man! Who was by far not at all physically challenged.  Unfortunately, I was sitting down when we met, so when I stood up I was surprised to notice he was quite a few cm below my height (ok so maybe a little physically challenged) but I was wearing heels.  Secondly, strangely, at the end of the evening when I announced that pumpkin hour and well and truly passed and I needed to go home, instead of asking for my number- he asked if I’m on Facebook?!!

Ok buddy, here is a not entirely ugly woman who is standing here willing to give you her number and in response to her offering her number you say “Oh so that how you want to do this, aren’t you on facebook?”

What gives?

Did he, in a moment of clarity decide he couldn’t date a woman who was taller than he (in heels)? Was he intimidated by the fact that I was well educated? Does this mean he no longer has an interest in joining me for a mountain bike ride?  But surely if he was put-off, he would have simply taken my number and never called me?

Who knows, I am confused, I am clearly out of touch. All I know is that I was required to text my full name to his mobile so he could look me up.  And now he has my number, but I all I have from him is a Facebook invite sitting in my inbox.

 Curse you, FB.

Begrudging Company

So, I have been having an email exchange with another potential date for the past few days. He is rather funny, seems normal and is not terrible looking but admittedly not the type of guy I would normally go for. But you know, well….you just never know. That’s the point. Apparently.

Thus far the conversation has revolved around really terrible tv shows, clean carpets, scratched floorboards and of course the inevitable “what do you do?”, which too his credit did not occur until email #4 so, I consider it to be pretty good going to have each other laughing for 4 entire emails before we even get down to the fall-back lines. That could be the equivalent of as much as 2 dates before we have to fall back on “so, nice weather we’re having”.

The problem with me always is, I am not nearly as funny and witty verbally as I am on paper (electronic or otherwise). But I can still hold a conversation. The problem with them is that there is often something fairly major that prevents me from feeling anything resembling a connection substantial enough to prompt any further date action on my part.

For instance, recently I had contact from a guy whose profile I admit did not really seem to gel too well with mine-Red flag #1. His profile photos were all locked and his profile stated that his “photos are hidden because I’m a private person, not because I’m physically challenged”- Red flag #2. He asked me to give him access to my photos but did not give me access to his- Red flag #3. His email, though it was only 4 sentences long, was so boring I felt myself nodding off halfway through- Red flag #4. He finally gave me access to his photos and he looks like his skin has never seen sunlight and the size of his paunch suggests he does not engage in too much physical activity on even the most remote definition of “regular basis”.

The penny drops.

Either his “Physically challenged” statement was some attempt at sarcasm, OR, when he refers to not being physically challenged he means simply that he is physically capable of doing exercise…should he ever want to, which of course is likely to be (judging by the photos), never.

I know that sounds shallow, I really do. But Im not shallow, am I?! I mean surely after two of the most boring emails in the world, and the fact that having scanned his profile to the nth degree the only similarity I could find was that he likes to read biographies, I am entitled to conclude that perhaps this man is not a good match, even without having met him in the flesh (of which there is plenty)? But no, I feel obliged to continue with the farce, especially after he made such a big deal out of revealing the photos, clearly he a)knows he was lying through his keyboard keys and b)he’s shy and quite sensitive about the whole issue. Will I be contributing to sending what seems to be an over worked, lonely 30-something into a downward spiral of manic depression because I cyber-ditch him the moment he reveals his billowy snowy-white physique?

I feel the pressure may be too much to bear. You see, this stems from my inability to ignore big puppy-dog eyes. Do you remember those Ren&Stimpy cartoons, vile things that they were, well, whenever Ren (I think it was Ren?) had to coerce he would get those big round cartoon eyes. Or perhaps a better example is Puss-in-Boots in the Shrek movies. Despite the fact that they are merely cartoon characters, I feel a little internal tug and then an overwhelming impulse to grab the nearest puppy/kitten, etc and hug it until I have regained my composure.

Do you know that impulse?

Well, it’s that same impulse that prevents me from standing up and walking out on a jerk in the middle of his curry and his beer and his offensive tirade, or getting in my car and leaving a drunken disorderly date standing in the carpark without any other option but to go home because he cannot get back into the pub without a sober companion. And it’s the same impulse that seems to prevent me from just telling someone that no, I do not wish to go on date with you, we are not a good match, but thanks anyway.

I call it “The Pushover Syndrome”.  More commonly known as “Being Spineless”.

The website itself doesn’t help, in the “tips to online dating” guide they tell you not to be too presumptuous, say yes to everything, you cant know a person well enough to reject them until you have been on at least 2 dates, etc….  That is, they guilt you into it.

So, judging by previous experience I will begrudgingly go on the date and will come home (as early as possible) feeling all “woe is me I could have missed an opportunity to be on a date with the potential man of my dreams because I couldn’t say no to the guy who doesn’t understand the meaning of “active”, despite his journalist credentials”.  Or more likely “Woe is me, I missed the latest episode of Offspring for that.” I could have been basking in the love of my Sisterhood and bonding with a fictional character whose fictional life uncannily resembles my own -except that I no longer work with The Gorgeous Man, but I did and thus I understand her fictional pain. Oh and in her life The Gorgeous Man does like her back, actually.  (So I guess in fact, her life resembles mine naught.  But then, it is fiction.)

I fear I am doomed to spending the rest of my life sitting through one excruciating date after another.

On the bright side, this is surely going to help me to learn to appreciate my own company above any other?