Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

It was an eye opening experience and in some ways it was hysterical. I really never thought I would write about this but since my encounter in the Tampa airport it just won’t get out of my head, so here we are with me telling this story. A couple of years ago I decided to give online dating a try. I live in a small town where I’m related to a more than average number of people, and it’s not that easy to meet someone single because there aren’t a lot of options. Options I’m willing to explore. Maybe I’m too picky – hell yes and I should be. 

It was like a New Year’s resolution to try and get out there and meet someone. Not sit at home wallowing in loneliness. Later I would realize that loneliness is preferential to what I found online. Really it was a convention of perverts and misfits half the time sprinkled with a few really nice people. I started off with Christian Mingle. If there were some Christian men on there I didn’t find any. Talked to some nice folks in the chat room from all over the world but mostly it was trolls. I opted for the free version because my expectations were seriously low. My coworker was kind enough to send this ad for Christian Tingle, which is seriously funny. Click on the link for a good laugh. I jumped off that site after a month or so. I just remember I wasn’t on there long.

Next up was OK Cupid. Seemed “okay” at first but the longer I was on there the creepier the guys got along with the requests. As an fyi I cast a broad net geographically since I really don’t want to date a cousin. I became an exceptional investigator out of necessity. This is not to be confused with stalking because it’s not the same. I was able to eliminate a disturbing number of married men, guys with criminal histories and drug abuse issues which are all things I don’t need in my life. There are way too many that just wanted a texting relationship which isn’t really a relationship. Wth! Oh and the catfishing you have to constantly be on guard for that crap too. At some point I was actually on two sites Plenty of Fish (POF) and OK Cupid. I ditched Cupid when I had a guy think I would just pop over to his job and hook him up with a bj. Yeah not happening. 

Dick pics were a common occurrence. We started taking bets on how soon I would get a pic once I started talking with some guy. And if they think I wasn’t sharing all that with my friends wrong…it had become a sick form of entertainment for all of us.

So now I’m approaching July – seven months of online dating and I’d had enough. Right when I was about to leap off POF, which is a lot harder to disconnect from than you think. You can’t do it from the app on your phone you actually have to log onto the computer and go through multiple steps to get off that train to hell. I was going to miss my conversations with a fella from the UK but in the long run he would survive my sudden disappearance from POF. You got it I didn’t plan on saying goodbye.

What happened to slow that train up, some guy, that’s what happened. He was sweet and had all the attributes I was looking for in a man. I should’ve known he was too good to be true. Ultimately my investigating lead to discovering his stint in rehab, his lying and all the other women. I was thankful we didn’t meet but that was only because he stood me up. That was extremely disappointing at the time because we had spent so much time texting and talking on the phone and planning the meet up. Definitely makes you do an evaluation of self and wonder is it me….ummm no. He was the one that wanted to be Facebook friends and wanted me to get to know him and said he had nothing to hide. Bet he didn’t really think I would dig. 

So there I was sitting in the airport in Tampa, FL reading on my kindle, and  waiting for my flight when I look up and have this immediate recognition with this guy standing about 10 feet away. There was something about his tattoos, bald head and features that made me think I know him but how!? Could it be work…don’t think so. My gut is screaming at me…I rely on that 6th sense and it’s got something to say but what! We both made eye contact and the screaming gut is giving me the bad juju feeling that I need to figure this out. We end up on the same flight and he’s actually sitting one row ahead but on the opposite side. I give my brain a rest hoping by giving it another task I’ll figure this out in my subconscious. Still haven’t gotten it by the time we land and he’s standing there waiting for his buddy that was seated behind me, so as I pass him again we make eye contact. 

Off to find my gate and as I’m waiting on the tram they walk up to stand right behind me. Not a coincidence either cause I could tell he was trying to figure out this puzzle as well. Up pulls the tram and I walk to the other side and stand between people and grab a handhold. We make eye contact again, really this is getting old, and I can see the curiosity in his eyes. Then he speaks to his buddy….that was the trigger I needed to kick my brain in gear. His voice. Holy crap that was guy that was supposed to meet me and he ended up being a total loser. He never did figure it out from what I could gather and once I did I wanted to avoid the “do we know each other conversation”. I was thankful my flight was on time and he wasn’t on the next leg!

During that seven months of online dating I met eight guys in person. Seems like a low number but the pickings were slim! Aka I’m picky. One or two were worth a meet and that’s it. Several were way too young but they put out a good effort to get my attention. Still wasn’t happening bless their little hearts. One I actually dated for several months because he happened to keep my number long after I stopped online dating sites. He was lots of fun but we had different expectations for our lives and careers. His expectation was a party every day and a sugar momma. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

 Another guy wanted a nurse maid and that’s a bit much to ask from someone that you meet up with the first time and you’ve only ever talked online. At least he was willing to throw that out there right from the start considering some of the lies and half truths I’ve heard. I had actually gone to school with one of my dates. Not awkward but it did feel like I was out with a cousin so he was out. 

Then there was doily man. Holy crap that was a lunch date and all my coworkers sat at a table down from us. That was awkward as hell. He indicated what I should order and then proceeded to take my leftovers home. He touched my food. Most of the meal he talked about how he had been able to finally buy his dream car – it was a Toyota Camry. I’m being serious that’s what he said and I saw it his dream car. 

How do I know about the doilies – this was a bad decision I will admit but he wanted me to see his house. This was my first online date so I was still trying to figure this shit out. I agreed partly because I felt like I could take him if he tried anything and the posse knew where I was going. I’m not above giving someone an ass whipping to save myself. And some sick part of me just had to see. Again not the best decision but OMG what an amusing experience. This is a story we still laugh about around the office. 

It was like his grandmother decorated his home and he was showing off his palace except he allowed cats on the table. Ick. He kept talking about how I could lie around by the pool sunning myself with my girlfriends and he’d bring drinks. Not ever happening. He showed me almost every room in the house. No worries with the doilies I wasn’t going to be seeing a red room any time soon. When he finally noticed the tattoo on the inside of my wrist I knew I was out, thank the Lord, cause I wasn’t going for any of that crazy. The man had valentine flags lining the walk up to the door! Seriously. Freely admitted he sucked in the bedroom – if the doilies weren’t enough that just put the cherry on top.

Traveling made things fun. My phone would literally blow up with notifications. A few got demanding in their expectation of meeting. Seriously I’m there to work. It was nice to know that if I lived in a bigger city I would have a lot more options AND a lot more crazies to filter out. Geez the filtering would be work. I really missed an opportunity with all the conversations that I could’ve shared and blogged about…for real. I follow plentyoffishmyass on IG. That’s some funny stuff and sadly I can relate to a bunch of it. 

The reality is I actually know people that met through dating sites, and they were successful at finding a wonderful partner. That makes me happy for them. So I know it can work but it just didn’t work for me. In many ways I’m glad it didn’t work because the times it didn’t was a time that something really great or a fabulous opportunity happened in my life. They just weren’t meant to be which is fine. My coworker Mary said none of them could handle all my awesomeness! Lol Like I said I’d rather be lonely alone, than put myself in a position to be lonely in a relationship because that sucks. I’ve done that before no sense in doing it again. Of course my faithful companion Ginger might get a little ticked that I’m saying I’m alone. Technically I have a 14 pound rat terrier that rules my life. Not quite the crazy cat lady but close….really, really close. 

-G.

Food = Love

Food = Love

An appropriate topic with Valentine’s Day looming this week. All about some LOVE! ❤ I’ve spent several days watching Food Network while I’ve been sick and confined to the house. I enjoy watching all the cooking because I like to cook. As I was watching a particular episode of Chopped, I was reminded why I love cooking so much. For me it’s a way to show my family and friends how important they are to me by feeding them.

Food = Love 

Creating a meal is my way of nurturing and feeling like I’m meeting a need at the same time. I’m sure there is some psychology behind why, but really I don’t need to know why because I’ll just continue to cook because I can.

Cooking is a skill that I’ve developed over the years. I can remember some beginning meals that make me cringe. I’m pretty sure there were some things that should’ve gone straight to the trashcan. Can’t even tell you how many years it took me to figure out gravy from scratch and not the package variety. It was my Achilles for years. I mean really I’m a southern woman,  holy crap, I should be able to make gravy. I was beyond proud when it all finally came together. I made breakfast for just about every meal for a solid month!

Over the years I’ve tackled all kinds of styles and flavors of food. If I ate something in a restaurant that I loved but knew I’d never be able to get that where I lived, I’d figure out how to make it myself. Helps that have a pretty decent palate. Despite having this ability my son is a picky eater. Lord help me. Slowly but surely he’s coming along. I love it when he tries something new and he loves it. When he’s home I fix his favorites. Chicken and dumplings are top of his list followed by homemade fish fingers. At Christmas I made chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate ganache topping for the first time. He loves chocolate cheesecake so I made it. I’m sure I’ll make it again and again. A mother’s love knows no bounds when it comes to school projects. My son and I took on some Greek recipes for an English class. We made Tiropitakia. If you like feta you’ll like these. And gyros – he loves those. Plus it makes me feel good when he tells me I’m spoiling him by cooking his favorites and spending time teaching him how to cook some of them as well.

I’ve learned to cook a lot of things in the name of love. Italian…the amount of pasta I’ve made is ridiculous! I can whip out a homemade Alfredo sauce like nobodies business. Tex-Mex….well that was mostly for myself and so was the Indian. I learned to grill for my little carnivore baby. Oh the burned meat I served was outrageous, but now I’m skilled with a gas grill, charcoal or even over an open fire. I’m the official grill master for Father’s Day. I get teased by my grandfather but he still eats my food. It’s an opportunity for me to do the work and for the men to kick back and enjoy. Except it never fails that dad’s gas grill runs out of propane. No lie. Two years in a row this has happened to me.

If you don’t have a crockpot you need one. It’s so awesome to walk into my home at the end of the work day and smell the yummiest scents emanating from that crockpot. Pulled pork is divine but I can do an amazing barbacoa just as easily. Talk about feeding the soul and some folks good food! Makes my mouth water thinking about it and really I haven’t felt like eating anything except soup for DAYS!

I learned to home can food for the love of family tradition. It’s something that transcends the generations and connects me to the women and the men that gardened and canned the fruits of their labor. Really a labor of love because the food was stored up for a whole family or families. I love eating fresh food and staying away from overly processed, so I do a mixture of canning and freezing. I’m grateful to have family that provides me with home grown veggies and a fantastic farmers market to shop for all the rest. Before too long it will be time to order strawberries and blueberries…yummy deliciousness!

I’ve taken on gluten free and vegan as well. All for the love of friends and family. Can’t say I’ve always been successful at everything I’ve tried but I think it’s the effort that counts. I definitely put a lot of love and caring into the food I prepare. There have been a few less than deserving individuals that I’ve poured time and energy into cooking for in the past. There were the blueberry white chocolate scones – that was a mistake. The man not the scones. Oh Lord how about the pie…let’s skip that part not worth the time.

Really it’s a bit disturbing now that I think about how important cooking is for me. Good thing I don’t freak when a dish isn’t loved. It’s more about the satisfaction of fixing the meal and the care that goes into tasty goodness. If I think back to Gary Chapman’s book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ it would probably fall under service or maybe quality time. I do enjoy gabbing while I’m in the kitchen or standing over a grill.

Valentine’s Day is one time a year, but showing the people you love how much you care can be done everyday in many ways. For me, one way is through cooking. I know there are more dishes to try, more cuisine to share, and lots of fun and love to spread around.

-G.

*Photos are from Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR.

Death warmed over or something like that

Death warmed over or something like that

Sick, sick, sick – why can this not just skip me? Isn’t it always when you have a ton of things on your plate, going a million different directions, that it creeps in and attacks. My immune system is lacking in the first place, so I go above and beyond to try and stay healthy. A monthly B-12 shot…aka liquid crack (talk about giving yourself a jolt of energy and it’s good for you), vitamins, eating fresh foods and non-processed. Those freaking little bacteria and viral entities are the devil! I know they serve a purpose, but I’d just like them to serve it somewhere other than in my upper respiratory area. Ugh

Bless my medical professionals that do their best to help me continue being a contributing member of society. Cause I’d really rather crawl back under a rock right now. I’m trying to decide if the infector of this affliction was that woman on the plane that kept hacking continuously and was NOT wearing a mask or covering her mouth adequately. Ick. Or could it have been some other soul that was carrying the infection and didn’t know they were contagious. I mean that’s easier to forgive than the blatant hacking. Maybe it was my coworker….hmmmm that’s possible. That infectious typhoid Mary! There is the slim chance that it’s due to the HVAC system being changed out and it stirred up a crap ton of allergens….maybe I’m not the only one suffering. There is the possibility it’s the rollercoaster weather we have going on. An extreme of 80 to 20 will get a body sick. Maybe I’m just mental cause I’m sick!

A blood draw is going to be the deciding factor between bacteria or virus so place your bets….the winner is VIRUS. Blast your micron sized hide. Geez this headache that won’t stop right behind my eyes or the neverending supply of mucus is not wanted or needed. Really pack your little virus bags and find a new home cause I’m evicting you! My lovely nurse got to stick me twice. Thank you kindly for that steroid shot. I might be wide awake tonight, but hopefully I’ll be on the way to healthy and happy. 

Right now I feel like I’m approaching zombie level of a bad horror movie. You know it’s bad when you’re avoided and people start throwing up cross signs with their fingers. Those fingers are not going to work when I get to full out zombie as an fyi. I’m pretty sure my temperament has been equal to a rotting zombie corpse. I’m not a good sick patient. 

I do miss the times when I was a kid and could go to my great-grandparents house and have home canned tomato soup. It would put you on the path to wellness quick. Anyway it always seemed that way to me. It was spicy goodness that I’ve tried to replicate but never quite get it exactly right. No recipe to follow so I have to go on this continuously aging memory. Lord help me it will fail eventually. Hopefully my taste buds will keep remembering lol

So where am I – stuck again on the couch. Drinking lots of hot tea and eating soup. I do feel like death warmed over otherwise watch out for the zombie at this address! ✌ 

Stay well and stay away from me until I am. Sincerely – the infected.

-G.