Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me

Despite my better judgement, I agreed to let my coworker Mary (aka Undercover Mother) set me up with one of her daughter's hunky, er...geeky clients (stick with me, it's get less complicated and sounds a lot less shady).

Mary's daughter Bridget is a massage therapist/ pastry chef/
triathelelon competitor and has a massage client (herein referred to as Evan the Electrician), she thought I should meet. Normally it's an ethical no-no to divulge one's clientele but just like my list...exceptions to the rule. [Who knew ethics were so bendable? I have so much to learn!]

When I arrived at work in the morning there was a rather large sign on my computer screen, directing me to go to Mary's cubicle immediately upon arrival. It was pink and printed mostly in capitals, so I knew she meant business. I didn't even have time to set down my coffee travel mug before Mary swooped in and promptly had me write down my digits (we're talking cell, work AND home phone numbers) and one of my three email addresses. Normally it takes a guy at least three dates, a background check and a written test to get this much contact information. Yes, she's that relentless (glad she's an ally :) Bridget was going to call Evan that very day and pass on my info. There's some enviro/politically correct/potentially foriegn film that he was looking to see and Bridget was going to ever-so-casually suggest I was up for a little cinematic adventure.

Since I'm on a dating drought that could lead to more than whispering sub-titles in one another's ears.

That was approximately 7 days and 10 and a half hours ago (not that I'm counting or anything!)...and no call from Evan the Electrician. Yes, you read me right - no contact, or as they say in the other official Canadian language, La secousse ne m'a pas appelé. [French sounds so sexy even when you're saying something un-nice].

So I came up with a list (naturally) and I've properly dubbed it...

Things To Do While You're Waiting [but not really wanting to seem like you're waiting and it's taking what seems like bloody forever] For the Phone To Ring:

- Sample Vex's new hard blueberry raspberry "lemonade"
- Try another sample (ok...two), just to make sure your first impression was accurate
- "Mow the lawn"
- Write your next blog post
- Use spell-check incessantly to review blog post for lemonade inspired typos/confessions
- Actually mow the lawn
- Have phone convo with ex-husband who mistakenly calls you "Dear" then tries to recover by making it seem like he meant to say your name which sounds nothing like Dear (oh Dr. Freud how you mock me!)
- Bake family-secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies
- Eat family-secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies
Attempt new Billy Blanks workout video still in cellophane wrapper to burn off calories accumulated from binging on chocolate chip cookies [note to readers: probably best not to attempt after "samples"]
- Ponder why Big Brother All-Stars is somehow less entertaining than BB6...I mean, they're supposed to be ALL-STARS
- Read possible side-effects on birth control package
- Question continuing to take birth control as you are probably never going to have sex again (or at least in the immediate future)
- Pick up phone to make sure it is still in service [it is]
- Call loyal friend Charlene to make sure phone really is in service [yup, it is]
- Carry on with life

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Take Me Out [of] The Ball Game

#17. Join a "non-competitive" sports team (but secretly play competitively). COMPLETED

I did it. Or rather, I'm doing it [no, not that - the list remember?]. You are reading the blog of the newest addition to the women's slow-pitch "twilight" league aka "softball for moms", of which there are three teams. My team, is the Short Stops. We certainly stopped short of using any form of creativity to carefully choose a winning team name. One that would instill fear in the women we faced. Why couldn't we have been the PMS'ers? Or Charlie's Hormonal Angels. Anything! But alas, I can't be expected to do all the thinking.

Our coach Larry is in his 80's, though you'd never know it. You know how Bob Barker is like 100? Well this guy is the Bob Barker of women's softball. Larry and his son, Gary (a young stud in his late 50's) spent two weeks teaching us gals the basics. How to throw (shoulder squared off facing the target), how to hit with the bat (don't forget to step forward with your leading foot!). It was a beautiful sight; a sea of white balls being womanhandled - a real "Bad News Bears" meets the "Mighty Ducks" kind of moment. Oddly enough you can get skilled with some basic instruction. But how the h*** did I not make the softball team in high school? Yes Mr. Stewart...I'm talking to you! Who knew I was such a gifted softballer. Ok, I had a feeling.

Picking up the lingo is taking a bit more time. I went around for days proudly announcing my position was "back catcher" ie. the person who catches the ball behind the person at bat.

[note to's just called "catcher"].
[note to self...proudly announcing you're a back catcher results in sly smiles from guys].

On our last night of practise before starting our weekly scrimmages, we were taking turns catching fly-balls in the outfield. I was running to get into proper catching position but couldn't run fast enough to get under the ball. So what's a girl to do? I made a ballet-like leap through the air and yes...I caught the ball! Enjoyed cheers from teammates before realizing I'd torn a muscle and could barely walk. I attempted to continue on but got struck out twice because I couldn't run fast enough to first base. My son, Aidan, was my mini-crutch and had to lift my leg in and out of the car. Fade to rubbing A535 and downing anti-inflamatories.

I healed nicely in time for our first official game, against the Blue Jays (*not the real ones*). We lost 7-2. Slightly embarasing? Absolutely. But am I having fun? You betcha. Now it's time to kick some a**.

Undiscovered Dating Techniques #1: The Wedge

"Wedge" n. piece of material sloping to an edge. - v.t. fasten or split with a wedge; stick by compression or crowding. [According to Webster's...]

I picked up this little gem from my coworker Mary (aka Undercover Mother). Now I consider myself a singleton in the know, but I'd never heard it referenced quite this way before. It's another tool for the dating belt/box/shed. One should proceed with extreme caution when putting this method into action. Again, I stress, extreme caution.

Ever wondered occassionally (ok daily!) why a coworker, friend, or local going out with her? (Or why is she going out with him, or why is he going out with him, she going out with her, they going out with them, etc etc). You know who I mean, the two peas in a pod are blooming inseperable. He's gaga over her, dispite her lisp and penchant for corduroy jumpers. But you're way prettier. And funnier. But more're smarter. Being cursed with smarts, means formulating a plan when you need it most, usually to get what you want.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will have you getting what you want (the prize, er... I mean guy) for a price (self-respect and possibly your reputation). To paraphrase Mary's tidbit of info... you become the "third wheel". Always being around. They go're there (asking for help with your swing ;) They go to the're there (buy popcorn then you have an "excuse" to sit between them...I mean you don't want to be rude and not share!). They go to the therapist...ok you can sit that one out.

Point is, all the while you're being your pretty, funny, smart self. And then, wham bam thank you Mary, he realizes he doesn't want her. You're the answer to his one-handed prayers.

Possible side effects of this technique include:
- bar room brawls
- plastic surgery (but only if her fist makes direct contact with your skin)
- guilt
- day becoming the "wedgie" instead of the "wedger"...being a wedger is one thing, I don't think anyone wants to be a wedgie

Now you can imagine my reaction when Mary finished telling me about this technique. Yes, part of it sounded a bit off but I actually considered giving it a go (prior to writing my list). And I knew precisely the couple to wedge.

The guy, we'll call him Dr. Ashley, had been my professor in university (please note: there's only a 3 year age difference). We'd met up for drinks every now and again. The last time I'd seen him was at her office Christmas party. (Side bar: I'd been invited by a computer techie I was seeing at the time. No chemistry. Moving on). I had a "contact" who worked the front desk at the gym Dr. Ashley works out at. My plan was to see if he went around the same time every day and then I could oh-so-casually bump into him. Glitch #1: Dr. Ashley hadn't been there in months. Plan B was to email him and say I'd heard he'd taken the plunge and proposed to her (although the good doctor swore up and down during our hard lenonade rendezvous he would never marry her). Glitch #2: They were bloody well engaged. Glitch #3: I was semi-happy for Dr. Ashley. So she wasn't perfect. She wasn't me. I kind of actually liked her (way deep down). Besides, was this any way to treat a fellow redhead? Even if her hair desperately needed a hot oil treatment.

So there you have it. I have a conscience. It's dusted off.

Random Dating Advice, Tip#1

If you've ever been single/ engaged/ wish you were engaged/ married/ wish you weren't married/ pregnant/ not pregnant/ and/or alive on this planet then chances are you've been on the receiving end of...random unsolicited advice.

Such advice can come at you from anyone (random stranger in line at local Tim Horton's), at anytime (while pondering why they even make single-ply toilet paper during much needed pee break in ladies room at mall during shopping extravaganza) and about anything (why to avoid hormone replacement therapy).

But occasionally, and ironically, you'll get some bloody good advice that is actually useful. At a time when you are ready to put it to good use. Yesterday was my lucky day.

Ok, so there was this guy (it's hard to believe as you're reading this, but not all of my stories start out this way). This guy...we'll call him Peter, the Parts and Service guy.
Peter was quite charming and sweet, in a quasi-geeky way (the heck with bad boys...I'm a sucker for a geek). He'd been quite friendly with me over the past couple months while my car (only) was being serviced. I literally was into the dealership every week; people were beginning to think I worked there! The part didn't fit but they ordered a new one..could I come back next week or my bill wasn't ready, could I come back next week. Hmmm...sounded like someone was working up the guts to ask me out. Did I mind? Well, I didn't like the hundreds of dollars it was costing me to fix my car but if it resulted in my car getting fixed (a necessity), and a date invite (a bonus), then the answer is no.

Possible snag...unknown maritial status. My guy rader screamed "single" but it's iffy at best. Time for some MSI (maritial status investigation) care of my coworker, Mary. She is one of my biggest dating allies at work. Not just because she is like-minded singleton and is how I see myself in 20 years but because of her gusto in getting info on men. I call her "Undercover Mother".

Within minutes Mary was able to get the goods. Not those goods...the info on Peter. Turns out Peter sounds suspiciously like the live-in boyfriend of another coworker's friend. But she wasn't 100 percent undeniably sure, more like 85%. Hmmm....15% in my favour. I'm not a gambling gal (especially after this saga) but took those odds. Self-respect is so overrated.

Enter coworker Sally, Mary's cube farm neighbour. She just happened to be semi-eavesdropping (a popular sport enjoyed by everyone in the office) at that very moment on Peter-update convo with Mary. Sally went to high school with Peter, who's nickname was "rhymes with peep". Er, ok. He was kind enough to impregnate one of his high school classmates. He also has a baby with his live-in girlfriend but makes time to have affairs with other women. And something about bad eyesight? Quite possibly I stopped listening after the "rhymes with peep" word was uttered. Definately not exception-to-the-list material.

Only one question remained: Where the heck did I go so awry in my assessment of the situation?
I'm tired of investing shameless flirting time with off limit guys. Sally offered me this tidbit of advice: the outgoing guys that flirt shamelessly are usually the ones who are in a relationship; they have nothing to lose by shamelessly flirting, they will end the conversation and go home to their significant other. Single guys on the other hand, want to impress you, so they tend to be a bit more reserved thus carefully crafting a way to impress you.

Complete and utter...sense.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The List

So here it is. The List...

#1. Write the list (an easy item to check off!) COMPLETED
#2. Rent every movie I've always wanted to watch but didn't, begin chronologically with Bus Stop. IN PROCESS
#3. Donate items to charity including subtlely sweaty and sweet smelling alma mater sweatshirts from ex-boyfriends/ex-dates/ex-repair men, soft fuzzy stuffed bunny, and compilation CD of "our songs".
#4. Go horseback riding (Note: something my married sister always wanted to do...and thought it could go on my list. She has forgotten all too soon about what the dating world is really like and is having way too much fun thinking of items to add to my list). COMPLETED
#5. Pay off a credit card ($798.13 to go).
#6. Build something. Out of wood. With tools. Assembling "something" from box labelled Ikea with Allen key does not count. COMPLETED
#7. Do online research to discover why above mentioned tool is called an Allen key.
#8. Sign up for a dance class (leg warmers optional).
#9. Wait in line at a book signing for author's autograph. Book topic/ title do not matter, as too busy checking items off list to read. Make small talk. Add book to items to be donated to charity.
#10. Decide to make time for reading, take on "Tabloid Love" a memoir by Bridget Harrison as more of reference material than shameless reading. COMPLETED
#11. Take cooking class.
#12. Learn foreign language.
#13. Go on out-of-town vacation. COMPLETED
#14. Buy new "little black dress" (a necessity for black tie affair at end of the month at my friend Charlene's house, which is also out of town - a way to cross two things off my list!). COMPLETED
#15. Run a 5km race.
#16. Get a fab new haircut (perhaps the biggest challenge on the list...what else can you do with curly hair except wear it a la SJP?). COMPLETED
#17. Join a "non-competitive" sports team (but secretly play competitively). COMPLETED
#18. Get a tattoo.
#19. Attempt karaoke [again].
#20. Run through a sprinkler (naked optional).
#21. Get card/palm reading done from well-known local psychic. COMPLETED

#22. Hob nob with minor Canadian celebrity.
#23. Add more items to list.

Items on the list can be completed in any order. My posts will follow my progress on the above list and many other "regular-life" adventures.

When I told my sister about the list, she asked if I'd make an exception (ie. about the dating drought) if asked out by a really great guy (she means really really great guy). Every rule has an exception, right?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Inception of The List

If there's one thing a single girl's lists. We have lists for bloody everything: to-do list (clean house, change bulb in back-up lights on car), grocery list (milk, bagels, Carmen Electra's Striptease video collection #1 and 2), list of qualities we want in a potential guy we date (sense of humor, obsessed with Scrabble, employed), and pros/cons list of reasons to date or not to date a guy (pro: good manners, con: bad hygiene). Once we've settled into a cosy relationship, we still make the dreaded list of reasons why a guy hasn't proposed (contracted rare form of bacteria which has rendered him temporarily insane AND without use of speech. Come on MDs of the world - you've absolutely got to find a cure for this!).

The list I've decided to make is the list to end all lists (or at least temporarily replace some of those mentioned above). I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of how the idea of the list came to be. I'm sorry to report, it was because of a guy (actually this is the result of an accumulation of dating doozies with this being the proverbial bike seat that chafed my a**). So this guy..a real wanker we'll call Roger the Banker. Roger the Banker: a real wanker, has a nice rhyming effect doesn't it? (**not his real name...after all what kind of parent would name their kid Roger. If your name is Roger and you're reading this, please forgive me, I'm sure you're parents really are delightful. But this story isn't about you ok, so back to me).

Roger and I met "online". We were both signed onto a popular dating site (which shall remain nameless). Point is he was funny and smart and cute, and not your typical banker (I should know, my Dad's a banker - sorry Dad!). After chatting online for a week or two, I felt very comfortable giving Roger my cell number. We live in an area that only has so many bankers, therefore I was able to do some back ground checking. This was quite easy because Roger actually gave me his last name and I used to be a private investigator. Turns out, he was who he said he was. A relief and sometimes a rareity in the world of online dating. He called on a Sunday evening in late May (very important to note) and we chatted over the phone for about an hour. Things in common: we both have a son, both our sons have the same name, Aidan. Ok, so how would I handle that if we got married? "Aidan #1 come pick up your socks!" "Aidan #2 did you remember to make your bed?"

We agreed that a meet-and-greet was in order (in-person chemistry and all that jazz). Roger suggested we meet during the up-coming weekend or next week. I said that sounded like a plan (albeit not a firm one). He said he'd call through the week to confirm, plan where to meet, etc. Fade to over joyous singleton modestly (ok ok, proudly) telling her colleagues that a date with a banker, correction, a bank manager was in works for the weekend. I know, I know Roger didn't say for sure it would be the weekend, he left the option open to meet the next week. But I figured what guy would want to wait? My coworkers (the advice givers that they are) suggested that Aidan squared was not a dealbreaker (Dr. Phil speak). But fact that he owns a condo in another city, which his ex-girlfriend lives in (the condo, and the city) with their son because gosh darn it, he didn't want his son living in a slum...THAT might be an issue. Not that I question his pure desire to see his son raised in a nice area but the fact that his ex lives there and nice-as-can-be leaves and stays with her sister when he is in town, tells me they could still be together and he has Navy-syndrome (a girl in every port). The weekend went call from Roger. The next week went call from Roger. But wait, what's this? An email.

Email #1: Turns out Roger didn't forget about me after all. He just got really busy at work. *ahem* Obviously, he was sending this info via email to gauge my level of annoyance. He also wanted to know if I had forgotten about him. I carefully chose words for a reply (remember: light and breezy, light and breezy!). I advised Roger that I too had been quite busy and vaguely remembered our phone convo.

Email #2: Point taken, he was a wanker (my words) for not calling and dropping off the face of the earth. Was glad I hadn't been waiting by phone (I think a 90's pop-culture phrase could be employed well if!) . Was I too busy to go for a drink? I checked my date book for the upcoming week: appointment with Sandra for hair trim/ brow tint, clean house, coach soccer, check oil in car, go for jog, clean house. Ofcourse I could have made time. But the real question was, did I want to?
I think we all know what I told Roger. Advised Roger that I was free. On June 24th (keep in mind this would amount to approximately three weeks of waiting time). I appologized for the time delay but my very active cupid-wantabe coworkers had blind dates arranged for me (not exactly untrue as they frequently doing this but to be honest, I didn't have anything scheduled for the next couple of weeks).

Email #3: He accepted, June 24th. Part of me was happy Roger was willing to make plans that far in advance. Part of me lost some respect for him that he was willing to do that. He wanted to have a "phone date" in the meantime and find out more about these blind dates...after all he's quite competitive (which is probably the one thing I actually know about men). I'll spare you the details of my confusion over what a phone date entails...

Cut to hour-long phone convo number two. Roger really wanted to know details of other blind dates and who these guys were. Did not give him any satisfaction. At the end of the conversation, I asked him what he had in mind for our date on the 24th. Roger opted to chat before then and would choose something based on date activities I did with blind dates; he wanted to out do them. Again, he reminded me how competitive he is. You don't say...I was tempted to have a bit of fun with this and advise Roger that one of my blind dates took me to Paris. My coworkers (who had no use for Roger the Banker by this time) thought this would be quite funny. But I do have a conscience (I know, who knew?).

In the end, Roger didn't call. We didn't go out on the 24th. I had been beaten at my own game. I know, I asked for it. The whole ordeal (one of many many oh so many) had left me disillusioned with the whole dating scenario. And then, an idea popped into my head. To avoid future dating frustrations like above (at least in the short term) I was going to make a list. A list to end all lists. A list of things I had to do before I was able to accept another dating invitation. Items on the list were things I always wanted to do or should do but kept putting off (white water rafting, watching Debbie Does Dallas) because I was waiting to be in a relationship before taking them on. Some of the things are also just for fun and have no purpose what so ever other than to keep me busy (to avoid thinking about the dating I'm not doing). Or just for the sheer knowledge or enjoyment it will bring (see item #2 and 7).