Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More on rules ...

A good friend read my post "My Rules for Dating" from 9/27/10. Within minutes of seeing each other last week, he said, "I read your blog about rules ..." Then he paused and prepped himself for what he was about to say, and I got nervous because I'd possibly offended him.
"If I should be so lucky as to some day find myself in a situation where I get to experience a first kiss, I don't care if it's in front of a car or where it is! I'll just be so grateful to be there," he said.
Therein lies the problem of writing an opinion piece. Even seasoned and talented columnists from the former Scottsdale Tribune forget that an opinion is "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (
Another male friend posted a comment, "You have too many rules."
Consider that my "rules" come from somewhere. Consider that I've had enough experiences with something that I raised my bar. Two more rules: (If were still single) no smokers and no drug addicts.
I never said that my rules for dating made sense. I never said that everyone should adopt my rules. I never even said that my rules were right.
They're mine. Not yours. Get your own.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Girl I date"

My mom calls me and tells me that an ex has changed his Facebook relationship status to "in a relationship."
I'd defriended the ex, but she didn't. In all fairness, I'm FB friends with his mom, too, and have no intentions of de-friending her. Outside of FB, I'll likely never see her again, nor will he ever see my mom again, yet we hold onto these people as digital friends. What can I say? I like his mom, and once in a while she sends me a message that is full of wisdom and insight. I wouldn't want to miss that.
The whole FB relationship status thing seems silly. Apprently, we're not in a relationship until we declare it on FB.
I suppose there is something validating about expressing yourself that way. Like, when you see in writing that your significant other claims you, there's a permanence ... or commitment ... in that.
Another ex - from many, many years ago - recently found me on FB. Our romance was short-lived, but we have had fun remembering those times. We really dug each other, but he wasn't ready for a commitment, which resulted in a lot of silly drama. That showed up when he received a cordless phone for Christmas (this was pre-cell phone days, so that tells you how long ago this was) and happily programmed in his friends' numbers in the 10 speed dial positions.
"I'm not on here," I said.
"Yes you are, you're in position 1," he said. Position 1 was blank. He'd programmed in all of his friends numbers and wrote their names, but he didn't write my name in position 1.
Needless to say, that led to a major discussion about commitment, validation and permanence. (The next time I was alone in his house, I wrote "Girl I date" in position #1 ... :o) ... )
I don't know if declaring your relationship status on FB or a cordless phone makes it any more real or not, and I certainly wouldn't let the absence or presence of either of those define my relationship ... but it does take me back to junior high school ... maybe I'll write "I love John" on my tennis shoes ... I'm feeling silly ...

Friday, September 17, 2010

My rules for dating

Soon after we started dating, John asked me, "Do you have any rules?"
I knew what he meant. Chick rules. The question surprised me. I mean, guys aren't really supposed to know we have rules, which is silly because we know you know them, but we don't want you to let us know that you know them. We like to think we are smart and running the show and you are silly boys who do everything we say.
But, since he asked, and we're building a relationship based on trust and honesty, I answered him.
I told him my first rule: The first time a guy kisses a girl, it cannot be in a parking lot. If he turns out to be The One, I don't want my memory of our first kiss to be one of me buffing my car with my backside.
Second rule: All other firsts should be performed completely sober. You want them to be memorable. You know what I'm talking about. Wink. Wink.
Third rule: Do not let the first time you say "I love you" to happen during the heat of passion.
Fourth rule: The guy should say "I love you" first. Here's why. We women usually know we love you before you guys know you love us. In fact, we women usually know you love us before you know you love us. To avoid potential freaking outage followed by hasty exits, hold your tongue until he says it to you. Be patient.
A couple other rules ...
Fifth rule: Don't ask her on a date via text message or e-mail. Pick up the phone, dial her digits. Ask. Vulnerability is sooooo attractive.
Six: Speaking of texting ... let's not use that as a forum to discuss our relationships, mmmmmkay? If something's wrong, get face time. If you can't do face time, pick up the phone.
Seven: Farting isn't funny. 'Nuff said.
I'm looking for more rules. What rules to you live by when it comes to dating?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My first day on the job

I'm working on this project at work that celebrates and recognizes women business owners. These women are entrepreneurs. They serve on boards of nonprofits, raise families, run businesses and win all kinds of awards. They show up at networking events with their nails manicured, clothes perfectly tailored. You never see their gray roots, and you never see them fidget in their chairs because they can't stay awake during a meeting. Nuh-uh.
One year ago, I was stretched so thin that I suffered from chronic tension headaches that lasted well over a month without relief. At one point, it got so bad that vertigo kicked in, and when I walked, I had to stare at the ground and follow an imaginary line so I didn't bump into walls or coworkers.
I took inventory of my commitments and relieved myself of a few and told myself I'd practice saying "no" when people asked me to do something. So far so good. I have full range of motion in my neck and I haven't had a headache in 10 months.
How do these women do it?
I imagine these women as superheroes whose children never leave socks in the cracks in the sofa ... who stay up late to watch Letterman and wake at 4 a.m. feeling fully rested as they hit their treadmills ... who never snap at their coworkers, family or friends ... who show up 10 minutes early for every appointment.
I'm deluding myself, I know. No one is perfect.
But it's made me take a look at how I show up for other people. I'm tired of apologizing for being late and forgetting commitments. I get times screwed up all the time because I still think I can remember on my own.
I'm getting on my own nerves.
I'm a low-level employee whose income hovers around the middle five figures, a single parent, Big Sister and fledgling triathlete. I'm someone's girlfriend, someone's daughter, someone's sister, niece and cousin. I'm friend to more than 300 (according to Facebook). I should be able to handle all of this.
Yet, I forget commitments, forget birthdays, show up late and let you down.
Just this weekend, I had a conversation with a good friend about my problem with commitments. We devised a way for me to break through the problem.
My first day "on the job," I let down my friend Mark. I was supposed to deliver some brochures to him yesterday afternoon. I didn't forget the appointment, but I forgot the brochures and let him down.
So, here it is, in black and white, my commitment: If I tell you I will do something and I forget or show up late, you have my permission to let me know that I disappointed you. I need to hear it.