Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Entry #53 - "Still Bitter, More Baggage"

Dear Diary,

It may seem, at first read, like there is a lot of crying in this entry. I feel that I should point out that while I am a somewhat lachrymose individual, this entry does span you can spread out the crying a little in your mind. Average it out. Find the mean, maybe the median, a little mode perhaps? It probably won't make me seem any less pathetic or self-pitying, but it will make my grade nine math teacher, Mr.Carmody, really proud. That, or you could take a shot for each time I cry and get really good and drunk. Your choice!

In the beginning of August I lost my senses and signed up for an online dating website. I know most of you just said "What the fu*#?" out loud as you read that, and to be honest, I shocked even myself. Please allow me to explain...

After living with Scott and Vanessa for my annual six-week-sleepover I moved into my new place and was officially living alone. At the exact same time I finished my five-week stint of teaching ESL six days a week. Here is how this looked in mathematical terms, by mathematical I mean I added a + sign and an = sign.

Living with Scott and Vanessa + ESL summer high school camp = Non-stop human interaction and fun
Living alone + working part time (at a job where I am often alone) =  Uncomfortable abundance of alone time. "Abbondanze!" (that's for you, Kimmy)

This abrupt change from being extremely busy and surrounded by people to having nothing but time and a half empty basement suite was uncomfortable to say the least. For a while I didn't even have Gus. I wanted to wait until I was settled before retrieving him from my friend Cassie's house, and even when I did pick him up he was not impressed to be moved again and spent the better part of a week hiding under my bed and ignoring me. Some cats are like that.

So there I was, alone in my new Subterranean Spinster Mansion. No Kim, no Scott and Vanessa, No Gus, and no Heather for at least another three weeks. I spent a lot of time buying random stuff off Ebay. I also ate most meals standing up. I quickly came to exact same conclusion that I came to a year ago; I (along with most men) am not a fan of my own company. It was also my one year spisterversary/un-niversary and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, and to be honest, pretty lonely. It didn't help that I was in the midst of losing my medical and dental benefits which had been previously covered through my ex. This process included a text from him asking for two pieces of information:
-my new address
and, prepare yourself....
-my birth date.
That's right, he asked me when my birthday is. Reading this particular text resulted in me shouting at my phone in the middle of a crowded store "COME ON! Seriously!? My BIRTHDAY!?". I have discovered that I really dislike the taste of my own insignificance, it might be worse than Buckley's. The painful part is that not only do I know his birthday, I also still know the birthday of the boyfriend before him! I went home and had a cry about that text for sure. Long story longer, if Elvis had come back from the dead around this time and said to me "are you lonesome tonight?", I would have begrudgingly answered "...affirmative...".

So, in a moment of weakness I signed up for the old dating via the intertrons...and then proceeded to ignore it for the next two months. Oh, I would open it up from time to time, browse through the potential suitors, read the "ice breakers" sent to me by various gentlemen. This usually resulted with me closing my laptop and putting my head down on my desk for a while. I hated it. Really hated it. I know the "dragnet fishing" approach to dating works for some people, and for many has resulted in finding life partner whom they really love, but for me the very thought of it was exhausting. I don't want to go on 80 awkward dates to find one person I get along with. Blargh.

Vanessa accused me of being far too picky, but I think the following are perfectly sound reasons to strike someone off the potential date list:

Spinster's Online Dating Deal Breakers:
-a picture of you with no shirt, most likely taken in the bathroom mirror using your smart phone. (douchey and unnecessary)
-a picture of you with your motorcycle (*cough*death wish*cough*)
-serious spelling errors, which thanks to built-in spell check were usually limited to erroneously selected homonyms: "I am a grate communicator". (No sir, you are not).
-In the section where you are supposed to talk about a book you recently read and enjoyed you wrote "I don't read, unless you count Maxim". (I do not).
-You didn't bother to capitalize your first name. (Seriously? My grade one students would correct you).
-You are this guy(see picture below), who all on his own stopped me from logging in for at least two weeks. I added the Mardi Gras mask and beard/moustache combo, both for my own entertainment and because knowing my luck one of the dozen people who read this blog will know him.
Back to the picture. So, usually I am all for a funny picture, some might say I LOVE a funny picture. However, something told me that this guy was not joking. Not about the lying sideways pose with the clasped hands....not about the open collared shirt with the white v-neck t-shirt...not about the aviators pushed atop the long Pirates of Penzance hair... not about the beach location of the photo shoot (and I say photo shoot because God knows that this was not a candid picture). He is not joking about any of it. There is lady love out there for you "Pirates of Penzance" guy, but this spinster is not her.
Dying alone > This

You know what is a funny picture? THIS! It has nothing to do with this blog, but it is hilarious and I'm pretty sure you will be glad that I provided you with this mid-post comic relief as you read further!
The most recent in a long line of "preposterous family portraits", the recreation of Easter '93.

Suddenly it was October. Two months had rolled by and I had communicated with zero men. I had, however, closed and archived a whole bunch of potential "matches". I was beginning to really regret wasting my money on this fruitless and depressing endeavour. Then one day, lo and behold, a suitor pops up who seems to be, well, really cool. He seems nice and funny, and by golly he knows how to use a semi colon. He also boasts zero spelling errors and zero shirtless pictures! It's a fu*#ing miracle! He and I message back and forth for a while, and after three or four weeks I suggest that maybe we could meet and see if we actually like one another in person. He eventually agrees, I say eventually because a timely response was never his strong suit. So inconsistent and untimely was his communication that we actually referred to him as "Mystery ****".

Heather: "When do you think he'll get back to you?"
Me: "That's a mystery"

Vanessa: "How is Mystery ****?"
Me: "Mysterious, as per usual"

When the day of the date finally comes along a strange coincidence occurs. While I am at work Counselor Pat leaves me a voice mail saying that it had been about 7 months since she had seen me and she just wanted to check in and see how I was doing. That's odd, I thought, that she should call on the very day that I am finally supposed to go on a date after she talked me off a ledge about my last relationship. I actually texted Vanessa and said something along the lines of "Counselor Pat called out of the blue today...this bodes ill indeed". Sigh. You know where this is going.

So I am on my way downtown for what is meant to be my first date in three years. I am sweaty and nervous calm and confident. I am listening/car dancing to LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" louder than is necessary or recommended by an audiologist. Thanks to the fact that my cell phone doubles as my MP3 player, I am unceremoniously interrupted in the middle of belting out the "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle!" portion of the aforementioned song by my text message notification sound. The sound of "Pixie Dust", for this is what the notification sound is called, has never sounded more ominous. Like a miniature, perky, death knell. My eyes dart nervously in the direction of my phone, my hands grip the steering wheel in a vice grip. One text can't be that bad, right? He's probably just checking the time and place. My ingrained pessimism knows better. I am no longer singing "Sexy and I know it" and am already questioning my knowledge of said sexiness in the first place. Sexy?! What the hell was I thinking!? The intersection straight ahead offers two choices, straight leads me downtown toward my date, and left leads me to Scott and Vanessa's house (place of emotional safety/emotional overeating/five-star bathroom floor crying). Pixie Dust rings out thrice more, sealing my decision to turn left. I pull over at the first available place and pick up my phone before Pixie Dust can assault my ears further. I will spare you the brutal details, but it went something like this:

Apology and Cancellation of date (18 minuets before date was set to commence)
Excuse/Explanation (subjective)
Profuse Apology

Le sigh. What followed is not shocking or surprising to anyone who knows me: I placed my head against the steering wheel and cried silent tears of disappointment and frustration. This went on for long enough that I got through Hall and Oates' "You make my dreams come true" in its entirety (but not so long that I listened to all of "Eye of the tiger") before being startled from my self-pity by yet another text message:

Request/plea for acknowledgement that messages were received.

Message received. Loud and clear, Mystery ****. From both you and the universe. Loud and clear...
This image belongs to Sloane Tanen, who writes a books with titles like  "Bitter with baggage seeks same" and  "Going for the bronze; still bitter more baggage".  It goes without saying that I have identified with more than one bitter chicken. 

I consider going to Vanessa's, but then I remember that she and Scott have a house guest which renders the five-star bathroom floor unavailable for me to lie on.  I drive back to subterranean Spinster Mansion,  feeling dejected and foolish.
When I get home I park out on the street as Heather's aunt and uncle were parking in the driveway for a special event they had come to the island for. I wander up the road, head down in a sad Charlie Brown style of walking, and so it isn't til the last second that I realize that Heather's aunt and uncle are in our driveway at this very minute, picking up the car.
I pray that it is dark enough that they can see neither my clumpy, tear-sodden mascara eyes, nor the imprint of the steering wheel in my slightly larger than average forehead (fivehead). They are both very nice and friendly and we chat about Heather's cousin's graduation for a few minutes. As I am saying goodbye Heather's aunt mentions that she likes my blog, to which I replied, "there is certainly more where that came from".


  1. Wow. You can always come cry on our floor - though I don't know if it would achieve this "5 star" rating you speak of.

  2. Aw, rats. You never know, though... maybe Mr. Mystery really did have a case of the mumps, or whatever paltry excuse he cooked up. Is it definitely off forever? Did you text him back? Are you sure his dog really didn't eat his last pair of clean underwear? I mean, stuff happens at the worst time to everyone, not just you!

    Advice regarding romance is pointless, because no one listens anyway. That being said, the best way to find your man is to stop looking. Which you will promptly ignore, because it sounds wrong, but it's still true.

    Wouldn't it be funny if lying sideways guy with the Pirates of Penzance hair turned out to actually be "the one"?