483: Online Dating

download (1) I understand that you have an 87 % chance of meeting a psychopath on an online dating site, and that 93% of statistics are made up on the spot. Given that constraint, I believe that I am firmly in both the majority and the minority of that equation. The 87% of weirdos are definitely out there. I met one guy who wanted to exchange photos – of unmentionable body parts. Ummm…..NO, thanks just the same.

I also met one guy who pledged undying love and exclusivity to me….in the first e-mail, in about six pages of flowery, verbose, over-the-top text. Then, a few days later, as he is offering to give up his idyllic existence in another state about 800 miles distant from me and move to be with me, I discovered that he had an alternate profile on the same dating site, just a different name and persona. The first iteration of him was the preppy, family oriented guy, complete with fetching photo in front of the decorated Christmas tree. The second iteration was the consummate bad boy, muscle shirt, shades, tattoo prominently displayed. Made me wonder if he was conducting experimental research at the graduate level into the psychology of women who join online dating sites.

See, people want to be paired. We all want that intimate, emotional and spiritual connection (not to mention the physical connection) with another like-minded person (usually of the opposite sex, but hey, I’m not judging) who does not freak us out too much on a daily basis. Most of us have been around the track in face-to-face, traditional relationships, and have found that meeting and dating process to be somewhat lacking (!), not to mention extraordinarily time-consuming.  HAS to be a better way, right? For me, the better way included being far, far away at my new job in Kazakhstan when I joined the site and started getting responses.

I figured my previous two marriages were mostly based on the hormones/pheromones of physical attraction (not that you could have told me that at the time), so I figured, THIS time, I would meet someone via text, and communicate that way to see if we had similar goals, interests, morals, and values, where the whole physical attraction thing was conspicuously absent to gum up the works and shut off what little common sense I possess in the first place. Figured it was worth a try – doing things the same way was obviously not working, so a change in tactics was in order.

So, I clicked on an advertisement featuring a man/woman/other who was fairly attractive, and decided to take the online dating plunge. Some sites, from what I am told, have an extensive questionnaire designed to better weed out those individuals you would run screaming from on the public street if you met them face to face. Kinda reminds me of the Purity Test http://www.puritytest.net/test/500/. The purity test is an EYE-OPENER,  and let’s just say, I scored fairly poorly for someone who actually is not into bodily waste as a sex object. I am NOT kidding…..absolutely and totally boggles the mind, some of those questions. Opened up whole vistas that you just can’t mentally un-see, ya know?

Some sites, like the one I joined, simply ask you to self-promote. Marketing yourself is difficult, because let’s face it, it’s just bragging. Period. How do you brag about yourself and make it sound humble and attractive? Yeah – see what I mean? Still, I tried to be honest about my intentions, mostly honorable ones…mostly. I included some photos that actually looked like me…you know, the FLATTERING ones that still actually managed to look like me.

As I got flirts, invitations for contact and other messages, I added bits to my profile to more accurately indicate what I was NOT looking for. Pretty much men with extremely suggestive nicknames such as stallion4U or longhotrod fit into that category, as well as anyone without the self-confidence to post a photo. You could be a little green man from Mars, I just don’t know.

I mentioned that, along with the 87%, I also found the 13%. Yes, they do exist, Virginia. One sharp individual asked me a question that led me to do some serious introspective thinking, and he made me realize I had been intellectually dishonest with myself. I had some work to do on that one, and I “came clean,” and owned up to my mistake.  Another one might, just possibly could, hopefully is, I believe, be the one. We are taking it slowly and discussing every topic under the sun, delving and exploring each other in pretty much perfect safety, if you don’t count the scary business of opening up to another human being as being unsafe.

See – all of us want that intimate relationship – without having actually to get intimate, confess to our faults and flaws, and generally bare our souls. That is scary, and he/she/it might not like me if I bare all, because not everything has been lipo-suctioned (or exercised) into shape.

But, guess what?

You are not gonna get there (where you want to be) if you don’t go there.


394: Mom-isms

I was one of those who SWORE that when I became a parent, I was NOT going to be like my mom and dad. And then, somewhere after child number one, or was it child number 2? I opened my mouth and my mom fell out of it. I have been guilty of a lot of the traditional, time-honored, respected (and disrespected) mom-isms. Reference: http://www.happyworker.com/magazine/fun/mom-wisdom#.U4yk4vldXT8[/


EXCEPT for that one. Frankly, there are bigger issues in parenting than clean underwear – or underwear at all, for that matter. You learn as a parent to choose your battles. Once chosen, you need to win, but you need to choose which ones are worth fighting for and which ones just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

In the difficult struggle to socialize and raise a decent human being, clothing is necessary, unfortunately. MODEST clothing is preferable. So is clean clothing – usually, but not always. I am perfectly willing to settle for clothing that does not make you look like a two-dollar hooker (or gigolo). That’s about it. As long as the essentials are decently covered, and stuff is not see-through to the point that it might as well not be there, OK.  AND, if others on the street make advances based on dress – it is obviously time to reevaluate either the dress or the person doing the come-ons. Let’s face it, even Catholic nuns are not immune to SOME people.


384: Fear

I ran across a photo of a bathroom that freaked me out. (https://dirtdaubber.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/380-nope-not-happening/)

It had a glass floor that capped a several-stories straight-down drop. There is no way I would have been able to do my business in there. Not happening. In the process of checking to be sure that acrophobia was, indeed the correct and proper name for the fear of heights, I ran across this Internet gem: http://phobialist.com/#S-

I am amazed and humbled. I did not know it was possible to be afraid of so many things.


377: Getting Drunk on Panama’s Largesse

I am living in Panama, in a little housing development of 11 small houses, in a fenced compound. This compound has mature mango trees, several papaya and banana trees, lime trees, coconut palms and…two cashew trees. Here in Spanish, they are called marañon (pronounced ma-ran-nyon). Cashew trees are interesting. I am learning a lot.fruit 006

Cashew trees bear cashew fruit, commonly referred to as apples, which are the STEM of the cashew nut. The nut grows on the bottom of the stem, which swells with liquid as the nut matures.fruit 005It looks really pretty, like the tree is hung with red and yellow Christmas bells. The fruit drops from the tree, and can be collected and used for a variety of things. There is a great youtube video about how to process cashew fruit and nuts from a village in Belize: http://www.villageviewpost.com/2010/05/cashew-nuts-preparation-crooked-tree.html

I am apparently the only person in the complex who collects the fruit. I make wine. I twist off the nut, and squeeze the juice-filled fruit, strain it, sweeten it somewhat, add some ginger, and add yeast. It ferments for a few weeks, and I strain it multiple times to filter out sediment, and bottle it.stuff 008

It’s pretty potent stuff…and it’s free.

Meanwhile, the nuts are drying in the sun (no pun intended).fruit 011 Next, I will roast the nuts I have been saving over an open fire (like the video shows). Then, I get to crack out the cashews, and see if I like them, too, as much as I like the wine!


130: Poop to end a poopy week

I am not sure why this is, but on Friday afternoon, the last class of the day and of the week, I found this website: http://www.poopnames.com/. I laughed so hard I had to take my glasses off and wipe the tears from my eyes. I am unsure why this was so hilariously funny….just that it was.

Perhaps I just needed the laugh, ya know? Even if it was disgusting and gross – it was still funny!