Posted tagged ‘being single’

Six Things about Valentine’s Day that Suck

February 12, 2009

1.  Drug-store Valentine’s chocolate
Ugh.   Have you actually TASTED  that stuff?    Nothing but brown wax flavored with high-fructose corn syrup.   I’m just waiting for there to be a major recall, on account of lead and melanine.

2.  Valentines Day crap in the stores
Does anyone remember a time, when the stores WEREN’T decorated with red-ribbonned heart-shaped abominations starting January 2nd?     

Seems everything is merging into one major commercial in the stores.   Starting with Halloween crap in August… followed by Christmas crap  in October….followed by Valentines crap, then Easter crap.

The factories in China must be running overtime to churn out all this junk.   

3. It’s sexist
Look at all the ads in the media, and the store displays.   Look at all the frilly frou-frou flowers and rose petal/perfume gift ideas. 

Hmmm…any guesses who all this is FOR?     (Where are the ads for power tools, beer, cars and big steak dinners?).  

 It’s so obvious, this holiday is NOT for us guys (except to shell out all the money to pay for all these gifts).  

4.  It’s a conspiracy to make us men look bad
Not only are we the ones expected to buy the gifts, but it has to be the most unique, personal, heart-felt creative gift in the whole world.    A gift that will make a woman weep tears of joy and that will be remembered forever.   

And don’t forget…it has to be a different original gift…each and every year.   (Talk about pressure!)   And if we guys screw up, it’s the perfect excuse to call us insensitive and inconsiderate.

Flowers and candy?   (You might as well ask to sleep on the couch!)   No.  Prepare yourself to give your lady 3-hour backrubs, vacuum the house, scrub the toilets, and cook her a 6-course dinner while serenading her with a sonnet you wrote yourself, while playing the lute.  

5.   Mushy Bloggers
It’s already starting.   The self-appointed poets and oracles  are starting to quote romantic literature and fill the Blogosphere’s  with estrogen-filled sugary-sweet anedcotes about soul-mates and how much they adore their cat.    And it’s only gonna increase, until it reaches a peak on the 14th.  

 (Oh…my pancreas!   Where’s my insulin?)

Note to self:  Stay AWAY from the computer on Feb. 14th.    Unless I want to be in a diabetic coma.

 6.  Way to exclude half the planet
For those of us who are either  single, divorced, widowed, broken up, or on the verge of breaking up…Bah!  Humbug!

 Hey, we’re not complaining that we’re alone.  But is it REALLY necessary to bombard us with constant reminders that we’re not in a happy relationship, and haven’t found our soul-mate?   

I propose we start a Singles’ Day, and celebrate our OWN holiday.

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How I Divorced my Old Ski Boots, and Found a New Sole-Mate

February 6, 2009

mikes-boots-2

 

See these ski boots?  They’re mine.   We’ve been together for three years.

They’re not the prettiest boots in the world.   They’re not always the most comfortable.   And they leak water, despite the duct-tape. 

But they’re mine.   We’ve been through a lot together.   And I wouldn’t trade them for any other boots in the world.  

This isn’t my first long-term relationship with a pair of ski boots.   Back in the late 80’s, I was married to another pair, and we were together for almost 10 years.  

 Those old boots kept my feet dry and warm.  They nurtured me and provided support when I needed it.    They helped me negotiate all kind of peaks and valleys, under all kinds of conditions.

We were a perfect fit.  I loved those old boots.   Ah, those were the salad days.

But then things CHANGED.

Maybe it was me.  Maybe my arches flattened.   Or maybe it was the boots.  Maybe the plastic shell stopped being flexible, or the inner lining lost its support.  

Looking back now,  it really doesn’t matter WHO was at fault.  But things had changed.   We were no longer compatible.   My feet started to cramp.   And it started to affect my skiing.

I tried everything.  I tried to control the boots, buckling them up really tight.   I unbuckled them totally, giving them free reign.   I tried extra socks.  I tried no socks at all.   I tried removing the in-sole.  But nothing worked.  

My feet continued to cramp like burning fire.  I’d almost be in tears at the end of a ski run.   There were times I just needed to get away…and I’d take the boots off on the bottom of the ski hill,  and literally stand barefoot in the snow to ease my pain.

What do you WANT from ME!?“, I’d yell out. 

But the boots wouldn’t answer.   They just continued their silent torment.  

God, I hated them.

In hindsight,   I realize I was in denial.  This was an abusive relationship, and I needed to get out.  

 I don’t  know why I waited so long to leave.   Perhaps it the fear of financial risk  (could I afford a new pair?).   Or fear of the unknown (what if I can’t find another pair?). 

But leave, I finally did.    I got a divorce.  

The ski seasons that followed were a bit difficult.   I had a short-term relationship with someone else’s divorced boots.  They were adequate…they fulfilled my needs to some extent.  But they weren’t MY boots.   There was just too much baggage,  and  I just didnt’ feel the connection.  

Then, a few years ago, I decided to start dating again.   I went to a few ski shops and tried on different pairs.

Some boots where homely and plain.   Some were all glitz and chrome, but had no substance.    Some were out of my league.    Nothing seemed to click.   I was resigned to being an unhappy bootless skier.

But one day, I tried a dating service.  A ski shop technician introduced me to my sole-mate.

It wasn’t necessarily love at first sight.   The new boots and I went out for a while, to see how it would work out.   I wore them for a few hours in the store.  We spent a weekend together, when I brought them home to wear around the house.  

There didn’t seem to be any problems, so I took the plunge and  made the final commitment.  I shelled out $600 and once again, I was married to a pair of boots.  

Not that things have  always been perfect.   Especially in the first year we were together.    When I took them to the ski hill, I still had cramps.    But this being my 2nd marriage, I was a bit older and wiser, and had learned from my previous mistakes.  

We went to counselling.   The ski-shop technician popped out some of the plastic to make more room for my feet.  I shelled out $100 for fancy arch supports, even though they didnt’ work.   

We went back for more counselling.   More therapy.  I learned which socks worked, and which didn’t.  Which buckles had to be kept loose, which ones had to be tightened.

Then there was some water leakage, but I learned to accept it.    I couldn’t force the boots to be what they weren’t.   Some things are more important, like both of us accepting and being comfortable with each other.

After lots of trial and error, and a bit of compromise from both of us,  I’m happy to report that this relationship is working.   I’m back to enjoying my skiing again, like I used to in the old days.   Thanks to my new boots.

Ah, yes.  My new boots.

Thank you for being YOU.

I’m in it for the long haul, this time.

I hope you’re the last pair I ever own.

Tips for Married Couples: How to Deal with your Single Friends

September 18, 2008

Don’t feel guilty that you haven’t called your friends in months.   You’re married with kids.    It’s up to THEM to call YOU.    After all, they’re single.  They have all the time in the world.  You don’t.

Lose all ability to pick up the phone, or write two sentences of email to say hi.  (Again, it’s THEIR job to do this, not yours).

Bachelors just LOVE your Mommy stories about little Damien’s poo-poo and pee-pee.  You can NOT talk about this enough.

If your hubby is away for a few days, whine and moan in front of your girlfriend how much you miss him, and how you can’t stand to be alone for that long.

For an added bonus, if you know your girlfriend hasn’t had sex in over a year, let her know how randy you are, and how you can’t wait for Hubby to get back.

Rent a video, and spoon together on the couch while your friend sits on a wooden chair.  Display more affection towards each other than you normally would if no one was there.  (If anyone feels lonely, they can always cuddle with the dog).

If anyone questions your availability, tell them that you’re “Busy”.   The B-Word is the omnipotent excuse.   It’s the get-out-of-jail-free card that gets you off the hook for any friendship duties.  Nobody will dare question you.

You time is worth more.  Fifteen minutes of effort on your part is the equivalent of 6 hours for a single person.

When friends call,  offer to have your 18-month old toddler speak to them.   Go wash the dishes and leave the two alone to bond.    Remember, there is NOTHING people like more than calling long-distance and having a 10-minute conversation imposed on them.  Especially with a rug-rat who has a vocabulary of 14 words.

When visiting, use the 100-0 rule.  It’s up to your friends to come to  your house 100% of the time.  It’s your turn to go to their house, ZERO percent of the time.

When friends stay for the weekend, God Forbid, DO NOT allow for any one-on-one adult time.   The main reason for their visit (whether they realize it or not) is to entertain YOUR children.

If your kids deliberately scream and interupt while your friend is talking to you, stop all conversation at once.  It’s time to focus on the little darlings, and give them the attention they so desperately need.     You can always resume your conversation ten hours later (after the precious little bundles are in bed).

When it’s nap time, tell your kids that your friend will lie in bed with them until they fall asleep.  Even if it’s 2:00 PM in the afternoon.

If your single pal DOES manage to find a partner,  expect that they still make the time to see you as often as they did before (just like you’ve done with them, right?).

If anyone wants to see you, request that you be given four months notice, as every weekend between now and the end of soccer season is “booked up”. (See “busy”).

If you want to see your single friends, however, call them at the last minute and expect they show up within 15 minutes notice.

Mess with their heads.   When they do show up (especially after driving 200 miles to come and see you), gently scold them for not having visited sooner.

Stupidest Reasons I’ve Been Told Why I Should Get a Girlfriend

May 19, 2008

If you don’t get a girlfriend soon, people will start thinking that you’re gay

Oh, then by all means, I’ll start a relationship for JUST that reason.  Because God Forbid should people start second-guessing my heterosexuality.   I better make sure I’m seen with a woman so that the rest of the world can relax! 

 You should ask so-and-so out….she’s single

When you’re in your 20’s, your friends tell you “You should ask so-and-so out, because she likes you and I think you guys would get along”. 

But when you’re in your 40’s…the consensus seems to be that you should ask someone out, based on the default that they’re available.  

Sorry, if I’m going to ask someone out, I need a better reason than this.

 You just bought a house…now it’s about time you settled down, got a woman and raised some kids

Gee, I never realized the Splat Creek City By-laws stipulated getting a house was an official prerequisite to a marriage licence.  Mabye I should have bought a house sooner then, eh? 

I don’t understand why so many people are stuck on the broken-record pattern of school-bachelorhood-house-marriage-kids.  Nobody is required to do anything in any specific order.  Not all of us are geared the same way.    

 Of course, you gotta have kids.  What do you think God put you here on earth for?

Talk about insensitive.  How do they know I (or anyone else they might say this to) might not even be able to have kids?  

And, um…what makes THEM the expert on what God intended for me?  

According the them,  I better find a wife and procreate right NOW.  Not because I want to, not because I’m ready to, but because the Big Man Upstairs is going to kick my butt if I don’t.   Sheesh!

 You should ask Claire Chaffington* out

(*not her real name)

There’s something about married women that they don’t like to see other men remain single.  ( I suspect it’s because they’re afraid we might corrupt their hen-pecked husbands).   You can really sense their unspoken attitude:  single people cannot possibly be happy.  Therefore, it’s their duty to make sure we become assimilated by the Borg.

Come, Friar.  Come join the Collective.   Be like us….

A few years ago, when I started a new job, two married women started dropping hints that I should ask out Claire Chaffington. 

She’s single, she has a house, she likes the outdoors, etc.   You should ask her out, Friar.

I just politely nodded my head, and said I’ll think about it, and tactfully brushed them off. 

You see, Claire Chaffington looks like a dude.  (Plus she has all of the fire-ball personality of a damp dishrag.)  

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not totally shallow that I need a perfect-ten barbie-doll girfriend.  But can I at least rate a TWO? 

C’mon!  There has to be at least SOME kind of chemistry.  I don’t want to feel like I”m dating my brother.

What’s funny about this story is that almost two years later, in a totally different building, another admin. assistant who I never met tried to pull the same stunt.  I had only stopped by the office to drop off some papers, but within 10 minutes, she learned I was single and she suggested I might like to meet one of her friends. 

This woman is single, she has a house, she likes the outdoors, etc.   Would you like her phone number?

Uh, oh.  This sounds too good to be true.  What’s the catch?   But I was polite and said sure, give me her number.

When I read the name on the slip of paper, I saw in big letters:  CLAIRE CHAFFINGTON!

Oh for CRYING OUT LOUD?!!  What is this..a CONSPIRACY?   Does this Claire person recruit armies of married women around town so that they can try to hook her up? 

Welcome to single life in a small town. 

(Hmm….being a bachelor ain’t so bad, when you think about it.)