Vulnerability

I went for coffee with an old high school friend, Sam.

And we had the BEST conversation.

I talked to him about Burning Man.

He talked about Landmark Forum, EST, etc.

It has been a long time since I had a good conversation like that, IRL.

And it got me thinking about connections.

It’s been REALLY challenging for me to connect with new people lately.

And that is 100% of the reason why I gave up internet dating.

Because I got tired of men telling me “we have no chemistry” when they themselves were spending no effort trying to connect.

How many times have you gone on a date that was word-for-word EXACTLY the same as a previous date:  names, hometown, jobs, kids, hobbies, etc.

If you want to connect with me, don’t tell me your stats.

Tell me a secret.

Nobody wants to connect to other people anymore.

Nobody wants to be vulnerable.

That’s why vulnerability is so disarming.

It’s unexpected.

And rare.

And that’s why I love Burning Man so much.

You may think of burners as a bunch of weirdos and freaks, but I know them to be caring, vulnerable, and extraordinary people.

Friends and lovers are people we’ve chosen to be vulnerable with.

That’s what makes the connection special.

I want to spend more time having real dialogues and waste less time having cookie-cutter conversations.

Sam has helped me to realize that connection is out there, you just need to look for it.

And in case you haven’t noticed, vulnerability is my forte.

Hence, this blog.

Glow in the dark

I have this friend.

We’ll call him Bob.

Bob is fiendishly obsessed with pornography.

I know this because he admitted to me that he masturbates close to ten times a day.

I didn’t know that was even POSSIBLE.

Seems like someone who can do that shouldn’t be a Senior Construction Engineer, but a porn star.

Clearly, the man has a talent.

Or an imbalance.

You be the judge.

Bob and I used to sext.

He gave good sext, I like to say.

He was graphic without being disgusting.

He used punctuation properly.

Nothing worse than a poorly typed sext message.

Yes, I am a grammar snob.

Bob liked to send dick pics, and lots of them.

And there was something remarkable about these pictures.

Bob’s UNIT virtually GLOWED IN THE DARK.

It was so well-polished from years of [ahem] use.

You may be wondering why I’m telling you all this and the answer is simple.

Yesterday, Bob called to tell me that he’s getting married.

That’s right.

Married.

Now, if a guy who masturbates 10 times a day (honestly, who has the time?) can meet a woman, fall in love, and get engaged, then there’s HOPE FOR ME!

And don’t you feel a little bit sorry for his bride-to-be?

I’ll bet he’s on her like white on rice!

Fucking algorithms!

Facebook is irritating me right now.

You know how they use algorithms to promote ads in your Facebook stream?

Well, they’ve sorta got me right and they’ve sorta got me ALL WRONG.

You see, Facebook keeps showing me ads for beautiful bohemian sundresses.

Just my style.

I “oooh” and “aaah” over them and CLICK.

Then I’m taken to a website that offers their clothes in three sizes – S, M, and L

Size 2 – 10.

What’s a curvy girl to do, I ask?

It’s the MOST IRRITATING thing in the world, to see a beautiful dress only to realize it doesn’t come in your size.

WTF is Facebook showing me these links?

Has it not figured out yet that I am a thick chick?

Seriously!

If you really want to piss off a plus size woman what do you do?

You take her to a store where nothing fits and tell her to find something that works.

Facebook is SERIOUSLY losing points with me.

As if showing me all the men I’ve dated in the “You Might Know” section isn’t bad enough, now they’ve gone and fucked it up again.

Fucking algorithms!

SHOCK

I have this friend.

We’ll call him Sam.

Sam was driving in San Francisco when he made, admittedly, a San Francisco merge.

The man driving behind him became so irate that he actually rammed Sam’s car with his own, then proceeded to back up into the car behind him before taking off dragging Sam (who had gotten out of his car) a distance down the road.

Sam managed to free himself when the car slowed down but required an ambulance ride to the hospital as well as medical assistance and rehab.

Sam recounted this story to me yesterday as we sat outside Philz Coffee in Los Gatos.

I was floored.

When we said our goodbyes, I wished him safe travels, images of road rage fresh in my mind.

I walked to my truck.

All of a sudden, from behind me, a car squealed out of a parking spot at a very rapid speed.

There was a man half in the passenger side window, his legs hanging out the window.

The driver suddenly stopped, then just as suddenly took off again, as if he was trying to shake the man from his car.

My adrenaline started pumping.

I pulled out my phone, to make a call to the police but instead I took a picture of the car:

I LITERALLY was shaking as I watched the trapped man extricate himself from the car before the car took off and drove away.

It was as if the words Sam and I spoke conjured up this road rage incident.

I IMMEDIATELY called Sam and told him what happened, my voice, hands, and whole body quaking.

It took me a good 10 minutes to calm down enough to drive.

The man who had been hanging out the car calmly walked to another car, got in, and drove off.

Was it a friendly prank?

A drug deal gone bad?

A failed car jacking?

Who knows?

All I know is that road rage is not worth risking the precious life of another human being.

Stay safe everyone.

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

I’m just going to say this because it makes me happy.

Today one of my bosses complimented my work on a project.

I virtually BLOSSOMED from the compliment!

It was so nice to hear, especially after I BOMBED helping out a colleague by providing support for her VIP.

Ok, maybe I didn’t bomb.

But I sure as hell didn’t get any compliments.

So you can imagine that this compliment was MUSIC to my ears.

My boss then proceeded to ask me to sit on a hiring committee because I know the university culture and can make suggestions regarding acculturation.

Of course I said yes.

And can I tell you, I’m pleased as punch to have someone appreciate my talents in the office.

I’ve been doing this 14 years.

I hope I’ve learned a thing or two.

To be honest, BOMBING with the VIP contributed to my newfound success with my own boss.

It made me think about how to better support my boss’ activities and research.

I started to emulate what my colleague does to support her VIP.

And wouldn’t you know it?

It’s being met with approval.

I must thank her for going on vacation and giving me training on what she does to support her VIP.

Clearly, she knows how to support someone with a complex calendar and set of activities.

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Blog it

To be honest, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.

Nothing I’m ready to talk about online, but suffice to say something HUGE is in the works.

And I’m working hard to be the best, most supportive person I can be.

But it ain’t easy.

There’s a lot I need to do to get me through the next few months.

Lean on my friends and family, is one thing.

Research LGBTQ issues is another.

But mostly, I need to find a way to reflect and find inner peace so that I have balance in my life.

I really want to try my hand at ceramics.

There’s a place nearby called Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery.

It really appeals to me, making ceramics out of a lump of clay.

I also feel an overwhelming urge to go to the ocean.

Kayak with whales.

Take a whale watching boat tour.

Maybe just go to the beach and hang out with my thoughts and feelings.

Oh sure, I’ve still got the Junior League, the Village, and the Burners to keep me busy.

In fact, I have to figure out what my gift to the playa will be this year.

But overall, I’m sort of in an unusual place and I need to move through this and get to the other side.

It’s going to be a process, but I’ll make it.

And when I’m ready, I’ll blog it.

That’s just how I roll

Several months ago, I went on a date.

I had no idea at the time that what transpired on that date would make me swear off internet dating.

But it did.

You see, I kinda liked the guy.

He was respectful, thoughtful, and nice.

A real gentleman.

Per typical first date guidelines, we chatted about careers, family, hobbies, etc.

The usual.

And it went nicely.

I mean there were no fireworks, but I was so impressed that he wasn’t staring at my tits or trying to talk me into going back to his place that I didn’t care.

I was happy just being treated like a human being.

Granted, he was a former Mormon, with a big Mormon family and all the issues that go along with that.

But overall, he was a step up from what I’d been experiencing.

But then he said it.

“I think I can speak for both of us when I say there’s no chemistry.”

Wha?!

No chemistry?

First of all, please do not presume that after spending two hours with me that you can speak for me.

Second of all, how the hell would you know about our chemistry?

You haven’t even touched me.

It’s ironic, isn’t it?

A decent date caused me to swear off online dating.

But it’s true.

I drew a line in the sand and I haven’t crossed it since.

I may be a little on the “friendly” side, but I don’t make assumptions about chemistry until I’ve kissed someone.

That’s just how I roll.

Rocky Road

No, I’m not talking about the Rubicon Trail.

I’m talking about the ice cream..

Let me use it in a sentence:

I wouldn’t call me vanilla. I’m more like rocky road.

Let’s just say I’ve had a few nuts in me.

Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I’m not sure where I first heard the term “vanilla.”

It must’ve been my “Wrong Man” boyfriend.

It’s usually said in hushed whispers by non-vanilla folks.

As in, “I’m throwing a party but a bunch of my vanilla friends are coming so no play.”

Or, “I want to set you up with a friend of mine.  He’s non-vanilla so you can have fun with him.”

Something like that.

Me, personally?

I’m not vanilla anymore; I’m more like rocky road.

I’m still a wholesome creamy treat but I’ve also got a few nuts and smushmallows in me to make it a little more exciting.

Who likes rocky road?

I’ll never love again

I’m okay being single.

It’s MUCH better than being in a dead-end relationship.

I know a few people in that kind of relationship.

Sometimes it just makes me want to scream – HOW CAN THEY BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WHILE I’M NOT?!

But truthfully, I haven’t met anyone who I think could be long term material.

When I look back on the last 14 years since my divorce, I realize that I wasn’t ready for a permanent relationship.

I needed some work.

Dare I say it:

I was a little unbalanced and needed time to process.

Now that I’ve had the time to work on me, I’m still not finding anyone out there who is appropriate for me.

And it worries me for one reason:

I feel like I’ll never love again.

It’s not being single that bothers me (cuz it’s kinda fun), it’s the thought of being ENDLESSLY single that bothers me.

The idea that part of my life is over with somehow and will never ever be resurrected scares me.

I’ll never have a plus one for weddings.

I’ll always drive my tires bald because there’s no one to remind me to change them.

I’ll never have to question where I’m spending the holidays because it’s just me.

But most of all I worry that I’ll never fall in love again.

And as fun as casual sex is, I’m kinda hoping for something a little more stimulating.

That’s right.

I said it.

I want more.

The Wrong Man

I’m not going to say every man I dated has been The Wrong Man.

Obviously it didn’t work out with any of them and therefore I could categorize them all that way.

But one in particular takes the cake.

The one who took me from a 35 year old vanilla divorcée and turned me into something a little bit more worldly.

Okay, something A LOT more worldly.

I’ve made peace with him, after a long period of silence.

I actually thanked him for pushing me outside my comfort zone so that I could grow as a person.

In some ways, I miss who I was.

That vanilla woman who didn’t know a thing about social nudity, BDSM, etc.

Those were the easy days when life was a little less complicated.

When I thought I knew the rules that would guide me to a long and fulfilling life.

Occasionally, I question whether my relationship with him was a TOXIC relationship.

In the end, I can only conclude that it was a DEAD-END relationship, as in the relationship was destined to run its course and end in a flurry of tears (mine) and disappointment (his).

Although, there was that one day when he proposed. . .

In the 10 years since the relationship ended I’ve moved on, struggling from time to time to incorporate what I experienced with the person I want to be.

Struggling to be a non-vanilla woman in the mainstream world.

And I have him to thank for it.