Preach It!

I have been going to church intermittently since I mentioned it here. It has been well worth it. The minister is phenomenal – young, very smart, well read and well educated. He has a diplomacy that will take him far in his calling.

The Bible reading on a recent Sunday was Proverbs 1:20-33. Wow, what a “smack upside the head” choice. Humor me and read on… the preface in the church program said, “ Wisdom is personified, as a woman. In places in this book she is called Lady Wisdom. She tells those who have refused to listen to her advice that they will be without resources when disaster strikes. They will be punished severely at the end of time.”

Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools knowledge? Give heed to my reproof; I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you.

Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, and because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices. For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.

Proverbs 1:20-33

Powerful words. It took my breath away. I was sitting with my church friend and we looked at each other. “Wow”.

The minister begins his sermon talking about the Covid outbreak in his extended family and how one has died. He said he was feeling sad, angry and worn-out from the pandemic. Then he launched into a great sermon.

They baptized a baby and it was such a joy to witness. I had tears the entire service. I was so moved by it all. We closed with “How Great Thou Are”. I need to bring tissues next time. I am not a religious person, but this minister is really hitting all the right notes to stir my soul. Amen.

Photo by Alabaster Co on Unsplash

3 Strikes, You’re Out!

Hey guys, here are some tips about first dates if you want to go out with me on a second date. This is based on a recent first date, last date.

  • Show up on time and respect time constraints. This guy showed up 20 minutes late. He warned me 30 minutes prior he was running 15 minutes late. He didn’t have a reason and didn’t apologize. He had no respect for my time boundary. I told him I needed to leave at a certain time for a specific conference call. He took forever in the bathroom, talked to the band setting up – basically he had no respect for my schedule. That really irked me. Strike 1
  • He talked 80% of the time…about himself. OK, it seemed 80%. The conversation didn’t feel balanced and he really didn’t have anything interesting to say, but he.kept.talking. He talked so much he would lose his train of thought. Strike 2
  • When the check came for our drinks, and all we had was two drinks each, he mentioned that next time was on me. Excuse me? I am a Baby Boomer/Gen X high value woman. Sorry to be so snotty, but I expect the guy to pay – always, until we get into something more longer term. Strike 3.

Other random non-starters:

  • He looked OK, but as I sat there I simply could not imagine kissing him or letting him touch me.
  • He was cussing from the get go. Now understand that I have a potty mouth and I have heard it all, however, I do not like men who swear in front of women on an initial meeting. Research supports me. To me, this is a sign of disrespect.
  • He kept texting during our date. He said it was his teenage son, but somehow I doubt it…
  • He just was not a solicitous host. Does that make sense? He never offered an appetizer. In fact, he flat out rebuffed the waitress’ food inquiry without asking me.
  • HE IS NOT DIVORCED… he is separated, but the divorce is not final. This kind of slipped out during drinks. They have been battling this for two years. Really? The sense I got is that simply haven’t gotten around to finalizing the paperwork, not because it was complicated or acrimonious. Come to think of it, was he texting with the wife?!

One thing I am discovering is that I am not settling when it comes to manners. I want polite and respectful. Also, be single. Really single. I don’t want some separated guy because either 1) the divorce is never happening or 2) I will be the rebound and that rarely works.

With that said, NEXT!!

1, 2, 3 strikes you’re out at the old ball game..
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

A Little Burnt Out

After thinking and writing about work, I realized that I need a break. Labor Day weekend was a good start. I was busy with lots of fun activities and it felt great to have an extra day off. But I need more.

I hope the week I will be taking off to spend with my daughter after the baby arrives will give me a respite and chance to recharge. We are sussing out what I will be doing. I think mostly hanging around and cooking, which sounds lovely.

I will be taking off time over the holidays, so I have that to look forward to. My budget is blown, so these will probably be stay-cation breaks, but that is fine.

I also realized that I need to push back on my boss when she starts her shitty gaslighting behaviors. I have been eliminating toxic people and here I work for one. Shit. I will just have to do a better job of managing her by drawing my line in the sand.

Mostly I need a break to recharge. We are two weeks away from the baby’s due date. Time for me to make a packing list for my go bag!

Photo by Mateusz Stępień on Unsplash

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Knocking Boots Round 3

It is Wednesday, so time for my Hump Day post about sex. This isn’t too explicit, but just a heads up.

BC is back! You didn’t see that coming did you? Me neither, but what the hell. He is good about checking in about once or twice a week. He also got me up on Match and has been providing interesting feedback on my profile. I made a sly mention about all his good advice was worth rewarding. He responded that he was “always up for a ride”.

We made plans and then I realized that I had double-booked myself. I was suppose to go to the driving range with my bestie for a golf lesson. I dithered all week. The morning of the conflicted schedule, I still had not told either that I had a conflict. However, my bestie wasn’t feeling well. She cancelled. Problem solved.

BC had warned me ahead of time that he had evening plans. “A hot date?”, I teased. I was partially right. He was going to Happy Hour with a longtime lady friend. She too benefits from his advice on different matters. Lucky guy probably had a double-header.

He appreciated the fact that I was fine with it. I really was fine with it. I had a small FOMO moment and a small portion of me is a bit wistful that our relationship isn’t like that, but there is no sense pushing. Plus I had evening plans myself with Creepy Dude. We all know how that ended…ugh.

This was perhaps our best interaction. He was quite happy to see me. We spent 30 minutes chatting, running through my profile, checking out the various guys that had matched and discussing possible changes. Awhile ago he had paid another girl to help him update his profile and pictures. He said it helped tremendously. One thing he told me is that I need a full body picture in a bikini. Seriously? Yep, he told me to own my body and exude my confidence. I liked that.

We checked out his pool and patio renovation which looks great. I had a glass of wine for all this. It is really nice to hang out with someone who you can just let your hair down with. I had arrived in jeans and a t-shirt that said “Wild & Free”. He chuckled and said it suited me.

When we went upstairs, our romp was improved also. More foreplay, he was actively involved in the positions I preferred and we both had fun. He is well-endowed, so I really have to be warmed up to accommodate him without discomfort. He commented on how wet I was. He was right. This was my most prepared romp with him.

We wrapped up and chatted some more. I told him about Noom and my weight loss. He was impressed. We laughed about my upcoming date. I asked him what to do with Baywatch who hasn’t kissed me properly. His advice was to grab his cock. I told him I didn’t want to scare the guy off. We laughed and he said I should lead the way. I really enjoy getting unfiltered guy advice. I always have.

I was grateful to BC later on as my evening with Creepy Dude unfolded. He had checked in on me via text right when the date was ending. He was with me via text as those horrible messages rolled in. I didn’t feel alone and I appreciated that. I guess he may have officially become a FWB. Time will tell.

Noom Update #4

I am chugging along and still working the plan. In addition to my Noom log, I have a notebook that has a 3-year log of my weight and measurements as I have struggled to lose weight. It includes insights into what I was eating and feeling also. It is actually a great resource as I look at my journey,

I have lost 11 pounds on Noom in 43 days. That is roughly 6 weeks at 1.85 pounds a week. AMAZING! In addition, I have lost half an inch off my waist and boobs, 1-1/2 inches off my hips and a stunning 2 inches off my stomach! Hooray! The last time I was around this weight was January 2019. I feel good.

The timing of some of the Noom lessons is good. They have talked about how cardio can make you feel more hungry and dove into the various hormones that drive our hunger and satiety. Very interesting.

I also bought a new scale. I spent a week at the same weight. Then one morning I moved the scale around and got 5 different weigh-in amounts. WTF. I googled the issue, reset the scale by removing the battery and it still wants to be lazy and just call up yesterday’s weight. According to a Wirecutter review of scales, this is a common problem. I bought their top pick for $16 and it has solved my dilemma. Nothing like working hard to lose weight just to be frustrated by a malfunctioning scale!

What are my consistent habits? Here they are in no particular order:

  • Log my food. Every morsel. The good, the bad, the ugly. I have come to find out that my ugly isn’t usually as bad as I thought.
  • Listen/ read the Noom lessons every week day or some combination to get to 5 days a week.
  • Move my body 5+ days a week. My minimum is whatever Noom has for my steps. It is working me up to 10k steps about 500 at a time. Currently it just passed the 5k mark. I give myself bonus points when I get to 10k+. I strive to hit 10k several times a week. I have learned that for me 10k is about 45 minutes of walking.
  • Keep taking my lunch, planning my meals and stay more plant-based. Eating out is a treat and even then I am ordering and eating smaller portions.

That is it. It really isn’t that complicated. I had already eliminated most processed foods from my diet. Noom has stopped me from grazing in the company snack drawer when I am bored. It has pushed my exercising to a more consistent level.

I am only 4 pounds away from achieving my first Noom milestone of 15 pounds. How exciting! I have to think of a fun reward. More to come…

Scary Date

I must trust my gut more. I had a date that on the surface seemed OK. I wasn’t interested in the guy, but we had, I thought, a pleasant conversation. Apparently he harbored ill feelings to being rejected. Let me start from the beginning.

This guy started out on Match with a flurry of flirty compliments. This is commonly known as “love bombing”. He got a little impatient about a lag in my response time. Red flag. I explained that I was about to leave work and drive home, so I won’t multi-task. Cool. He never resurfaced later in the evening. That’s fine too.

He re-surfaced the next day and went the wrong way. He started on Match (when he has my burner # for texting) and said he was hoping I would reach out. I replied by text that I was hoping the same.

We chat a bit by text about pets and then I get this:

Do I see hints of a red flag fluttering…

We chat some more and he seemed to settle down. We agree to meet for a drink. He picks a spot 30 minutes away, I balk and he chooses another that is closer. Both are simple neighborhood sports bars. Really? Ok, whatever. I went into this with a bit of trepidation. I told a friend that my expectations were low, but I just didn’t want a stalker. It turned out to be heavy foreshadowing….

Remember I wrote about getting a burner phone number when I went on Match? This guy is the reason why doing that was money well spent.

After we connected, he changed up his photos on his profile. He asked me which one I preferred. He had a pretty wild pandemic beard and that was in some of his initial photos. He removed those photos. He said he was thinking about shaving it off and my response was “geez”. I told him not to shave it on my account. He went ahead and shaved the beard off. I mean, that was … wow.

He showed up in flip flops and sweat pants. WTF. And his hair was now long, stringy and he had a bald patch. He did not look like his photos. He was older, heavier and less well groomed. Remember the hair is a deal breaker for me. The whole bad grooming and bad dresser are deal breakers. Shit. Then he says he has not been in a restaurant since the pandemic started. EXCUSE ME? We live in Flori-duh, everyone goes out. Plus he is vaccinated. I found that weird.

I immediately go to my escape lie story. I have a girlfriend who is passing a kidney stone. She has been in a lot of pain all day and I may need to go check on her and walk her dog. He says that women often make up stories once they meet him. WTF. But my story is convincing with specific details that it throws him off.

We have a drink, some wings and chat. The conversation is OK, but he is friend zone if that. He goes to the bathroom and I seriously thought about leaving. In hindsight, I should have. We wrap up in 1-1/2 hours. He walks me to the car. He wants a big smooch with tongue. Nope, just a peck. He says, “Is that all I get?” I smile and jump in the car, lock my doors and drive off. Whew.

I get home, change and suddenly the following starts trickling in on my burner number. Holy shit….

That is not his number. He is also using a burner number. I know it is him because only 3 guys have this number. I am stunned. There were about 3-4 minute gaps between messages. Holy cow. Shit, shit, shit.

Plus I am messaging on Match with a guy who wasn’t my typical catfish and suddenly I realized it could be Creepy Dude cat fishing me at the same time. Fuck, fuck, fuck. The catfish said he was an IT software security engineer. I told him I was jumping off because I had to report a harasser. His response was to tell me to relax. That was when I knew it was Creepy Dude.

I contacted Match. Creepy Dude had already unmatched, but I could still report him because I had been getting an email each time he had messaged thru the app. I told Match I have screen shots. I also screen shot some of the profile pictures so I can use them when I create a contact for someone.

Then SNAP new catfish guy is gone from my feed as well. What the heck is going on? Did Match catch him? Whoa, that was unsettling.

I wrote this the same night it all occurred so I could keep my details straight and document all of this. I felt unsettled, so I watched a movie before writing. It is 2 am and I just got a ping from Match that I have a new Like. The guy’s name: Bear. That’s the name of my old, now dead dog and I had used it in a story to Creepy Dude. He also created another catfish account named Jupe. Juped means to be denied, cheated of something.

Both catfish profiles have 2-3 photos which don’t match, limited profiles and they are very overweight guys. I blocked and reported both. At least Creepy Dude has an MO. Seriously creepy stuff.

I also realized what a slick fuck he is because I had another out-of-town guy that had started a chat right before my date with Creepy Dude. Yep, pretty damn sure he is also Creepy Dude. I unmatched and reported him too.

Creepy Dude called me three times around 3 am after that ill-fated date. I saw the first call was him, so I silenced my phone and went back to sleep. One went to voice mail but it was 10 seconds of silence.

Now my Match queue is cleaned out. My plan is to stay off it for a couple of days and see if things calm down. I can use the break.

I’m not happy. He has seen my car, has my license plate and knows the name of my employer. No bueno. My employer has put everyone’s headshot and contact info on the website. Fuck, fuck, fuck. He may be creepy, but he is also very, very smart. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

In the midst of all his trolling, the creepy shit sends me a text through his regular number, “I wish you felt more attracted to me but such is life.” Creepy!!

I decided at the beginning to simply not respond to any of it. A true, total ghosting. Eventually he will probably be blocked. I thought about dumping this burner number and getting a new one. I’m undecided. I don’t see any upside in engaging with this wacko. I feel like it will be gasoline on the fire. He wants attention, he wants to freak me out. By being a gray stone and not engaging, I hopefully become boring to him. Fuck.

Match has already reached out asking for additional information. Ladies, screenshot EVERYTHING when you are first connecting with someone. The information often disappears quickly and unexpectedly.

I also had an idea. I am going back the bar. I know it is not his usual hangout. I am dragging my bestie to have lunch. I want to talk to the manager and find our server from that evening. Creepy Dude paid with a credit card. If he has my name, I want his… to be continued…

Here is an interesting article, I am not alone…

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

Bumbling Along Update #3

The best thing I did this week was to set up a burner phone number through a website called BurnerApp. I had the same thing when I had my own business. It keeps my cell number private and now I have a local area code. The problem with giving out my cell number is that my full name, home address and LinkedIn profile show up on the first page of a Google search if you search the number. I want to be untraceable for now, so for $5 a month, I have peace of mind. It has proved to be invaluable, but that’s a story for another day. Man, do I have a tale to tell!

I must say that online dating can create some awkward moments. Here are some of my recent benign online dating encounters:

First up is a nice guy, age appropriate, who reaches out thru Match. Within 2 text exchanges, I realize that he is a CEO for a competitor. Shit. I come to a full halt and disclose my employer. I told him I normally would not do this, however, this was an unusual circumstance. Yep, he is very close friends with our founder, the CEO’s dad. Ugh.

I tell him that my private life is just that, but it is his call. Small world. He’s out. I don’t blame him at all. Oh well, so much for going to the Bahamas on his boat…

Both Match and Bumble have me crossing paths with transgender women. They present as women, and want to date women. They signed up on the dating sites as men. Interesting, but not for me. Good luck to them.

I had a guy who is 12 years my junior chatting with me on Match. He asked what my dealbreakers were. I replied anyone who is a Trumper and believes January 6th wasn’t an insurrection. Hey, he asked and seriously I am not going to sleep with someone (again) who believes that nonsense.

He said he didn’t like to talk about politics because it was a turn-off. I replied that I keep my opinions to myself for the most part, but I wasn’t going to be involved with someone with those beliefs. He said OK and then asked what attracts me to a man mentally and sexually.

Oh, so I guess my serious answer messed with his attempt at sexy talk. I flipped it and asked him his deal breakers. His were cheap, bad dresser, bad kisser, rude. Not a bad list. I refused to engage on the sexy stuff other than to say that a bad kisser tells you a lot about the person’s other skills. He faded away after that. Whatever…

I’m having a drink with a guy midday over the weekend. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may overwhelm him. He wanted to chat first, which is actually a good idea, so we did. He seems very nice.

I had a second date with Golf Guy. I invited him to watch my favorite college football team. He did and we had a lot of fun. I was surprised to learn that he works at a cannabis dispensary. Hello! We had a great conversation about that and he has a doctor to refer to me. Hooray! He was relieved that I am open about 420. More will follow as we get to know each other.

I am just moving guys through my prospecting pipeline. BC and I discussed how this is much like prospecting for sales. You cast a wide net so you have a wide pool of candidates. As they go into the funnel, some naturally fall out which is good because you really only want to focus your attention on the best ones.

However, sometimes as you cast your wide net, you get a bad match. Not just bad due to incompatibility, but because you have come across a creepy dude. Wait til I tell you about him…. Yikes…..

Yep, I feel the same….

I am Blessed

I am a very fortunate woman. I have two wonderful kids that are doing well, I am about to be a grandmother!I no longer have any debt, I have been able to save some money and I have lived a great life.

I am very much at peace with myself and feel comfortable in my own skin. I am trying to continually improve myself by trying new things like Noom, more exercise, online dating, MeetUp groups, Book club, church and so much more.

I am smart, healthy, sane (for the most part). I am relatively content. I don’t have any drama in my life. I have friends and I get along with my family overall.

However, I think I see a cloud in my horizon. My conversations with my boss not only over the raise but also during my annual review have been bugging me. I have been trying to unwind what was behind those conversations. I know there’s more than what meets the eye.

She thinks I should do more yet she won’t let me do more, so I’m in a conundrum there. I did sit back and have the realization that I have done a ton of things that she just isn’t aware of. When she is aware of it, she wants me to stop and she’s annoyed by it. So I can’t win.

Then it dawned on me. Is she somehow jealous of me? I mean, I have my shit together. She, on the other hand, has no friends, no family and she really doesn’t have any friends at work. Nobody likes or trusts her. She is beautiful, very personable and smart, but her loyalty is strictly for the CEO.

She has the nice house and plenty of money, but those are only material things. Both of her parents and siblings have died. She has no children. She was married once early in her life and has never remarried nor is she dating.

She is my age and her life is only about work, going to the gym, the beach and doctor appointments all the time for various ailments.

Not to brag, but somehow I feel like I have so much more. My life is so much richer and fuller. She says that she is awe of my courage to try online dating and MeetUp groups or just go out by myself. I have tightened up on my personal stories with her because it could give her ammo.

She’s very competitive with a dash of crazy, so I don’t see this ending well. I am telling you my Spidey senses have been tingling for the past two months. I don’t know if it’s that the company is going to be sold or if my job is in jeopardy or what. But there is something going on and it’s going to bite me in the ass. Mark my words.

Although it does weigh on my mind a bit, I am trying to be Zen with it and realize that whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I cannot control the situation, so I have to just let things go.

What I can do is prepare for my defense and my future. I need to update my resume. At work, I need to go back and update my list of things that I have done to save the company money, accomplishments, new policies and procedures, extra things I have done to benefit the company, etc. I need to be ready the next time she brings these topics up. I need to start firing back. Even if all I’m doing is using a squirt gun, I need to defend myself. Because if I don’t, who will?

Dating Criteria

I am getting better about weeding guys out. I am downright brutal on Match. I don’t set the filters, but here are some of my criteria:

  • Must have a college degree. Sorry, I lived with HWINL who had his GED. He is a smart guy, but book learning matters to me for reasons I am not digressing to for today.
  • No soul patch. I don’t mind neatly trimmed facial hair, but if you go way out there, I’m not joining you. I did make the exception for one guy who is sporting an epic pandemic beard because he hit some other more major criteria. Plus he has photos both with and without said epic beard. It gave me hope…
  • Untidy hair is another. Long, stringy hair is a no. Long stringy hair and balding is an absolute no. Mullet – forget it. Wild, frizzy hair – nope. Remember, these are suppose to be good photos because you are trying to attract someone!
  • Smile in your damn photos. If you have 4-5 photos and you aren’t smiling, nope. If you have the semblance of a smile but you look pained or constipated, nope. I guarantee you have zero sense of humor.
  • Trumpeteers can keep moving right along. Same goes for anti-vaxers. I’ve had enough of that bullshit too. Believe whatever, I just don’t have to date you.
  • Wearing heavy gold chains. That’s not my jam. I made the mistake and swiped with one. He is a personal trainer and massage therapist. Nice, but not for me.
  • Bad dresser. I mean really bad like crew socks, loud shirts, ill-fitting clothing. I am no fashionista, but look neat and have properly fitting clothes in your friggin’ dating profile photos. You are suppose to be trying to look attractive for goodness sakes.
  • Photos from 30+ years ago. Keep those in the photo album and join the present. Also no photos with your kids (feels awkward and TMI to me). I think photos that include other people violates their privacy. Do they know they are on a dating site? Plus sometimes I am trying to figure out where the guy is in the group photo.
  • Photos of a bunch of things that don’t include you. Ok, your pup is cute, but I don’t need 4 photos of it. I need 4 photos of YOU. Also, what is it with men posing with a super-expensive car? Not impressing me. I know it’s not yours.
  • A profile that even hints at a negative attitude towards women. I saw one today that made me think, WTF? Geez, what a first impression.
  • Profile that mentions being sarcastic or that the woman should roll with sarcasm and have a sense of humor. Nope. To me, that guy is already winding up to be a jerk. You are leading with sarcasm? Not with me. To me that is a thinly veiled hint of “I’m going to say mean things to you and then tell you you shouldn’t be upset because I was only being sarcastic”. I was married to that, so I will pass on seconds.

Online dating takes effort and time. I am determining how much time I want to invest into all of this. I’m not upset or bitter. I am merely pragmatic about trying to figure out my return on investment. Right now I feel like I’m making too much effort for the return. Perhaps part of it is figuring out the tricks of Match… I will report back….

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Raise Follow Up

One idea I had is that before raises next year, I should explore the possibility of perhaps getting another 40 hours of time off. If they are going to give shitty raises, then just keep them and give me more time off. That is much more valuable to me these days.

I have also been thinking about how my role was described to me during the interview process. People forget over time and circumstances change. That is what has happened to me at work. When I joined this company, my role was brand new. They never had anyone with my subject matter expertise. My boss had been responsible for the work involved, but didn’t have the time necessary to devote to it.

I created my job responsibilities as I went along. My boss spent little time with me to develop my role.

My initial job description included 20%-25% travel. Before Covid, I had put a goal of visiting all of our locations. My boss nixed that and said it was unnecessary. I beg to differ.

The idea while I was interviewing for this role was that once I got settled, my colleague would report to me and I would run the show. That is no longer in the cards. Once again it seems like a bait and switch.

I thought about all of this as I reflected on my conversation with my boss about my raise. I later recognized that she wasn’t feeling well, so that contributed to her peevish attitude. However, there has been a lot of bait and switch on her part.

In the light of day, there is no reason for me to make any big moves. I am safe and financially secure for the first time in many years. My job is stress-free compared to my previous career. I have great benefits which I haven’t had in years. I like the people I work with.

I don’t want to look for another job. Maybe I should just to test the waters. Do I sit down with my boss and maybe the HR VP to hash some of this out? Is it worth the effort? I don’t trust my boss. She is a complicated, emotional person. Once I stir the pot with her and push back, our relationship will never be the same. Do I give a rat’s ass?

After I wrote all of this, I went to my colleague who has been working for our crazy boss for many years. She said this is just part of my boss’ serious dysfunction. WTF? She also said apologetically that she was relieved that she isn’t the only person who has to put up with this crap. I told her we were like the only two people on a deserted island. Geez, I hope it doesn’t turn into Lord of the Flies.

More things to think about…

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash
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