Monthly Archives: March 2012

Chickens**t

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So, I’m committed to going to this over-40s-singles thing tomorrow night, and I’m RIGHT on the edge of a full-blown panic attack. I really hope I don’t chicken out and panic at the last minute. It could happen. The morning of my wedding, back in 1987, I remember waking up and thinking “it’s not too late to run away to Panama”. The thing is at 8, so maybe I’ll go to knitting at 7 for a while and calm the hell down.

What the hell do I wear? I want to look umm…available, but not slutty. I don’t want to dress too much younger than I am, and look like an idiot, but on the other hand, I’m young-at-heart and I have my own style, and I gotta be me! Also, what about heels? I love boots with heels, but they make me about six foot three. Too intimidating?

What if it’s a room full of women and no men? What if everyone else is not only over 40, but over 60? What if they’re all really short?!? What if they’re (and this is the worst of all) totally boring?

BAH!

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What’s Cookin’?

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I’ve never liked the day-to-day drudgery of cooking. I worked full-time, all the time, when my kids were small, brought home the bacon and cooked it too. I know, I know – kids need fresh, nutritious food. But sometimes it’s just easier to bung some chicken nuggets in the oven. My kids were picky eaters, too, particularly my older lad. Rather than make mealtimes a battle, I’d often just throw up my hands and give him things I knew he would eat. If I didn’t, there was a pretty good chance he wouldn’t eat anything at all. Eat something v. eat nothing. That’s where I was with him. He was (and is) every bit as stubborn as his mum.

So, I got fed up with cooking for a while. It became a chore, like taking out the garbage and doing the laundry. I was commuting daily for several years, and ate fast food in my car a lot. Often by the time I got in the door after a long day at work, and did the two-different-daycares dance, I was completely done in.

Also, what do you do on a date with someone with whom you are alarmed to find you have less and less in common? You go out for dinner. Everybody eats, right?

Food is a comfort, as well, and for me, overeating went hand-in-hand with periods of depression. Chocolate is always satisfying, chips never let you down.

I wasn’t brought up to appreciate and enjoy cooking, either. My mother also worked full time, with three kids instead of two, and (bless you Mum, I miss you) really wasn’t a super cook either. My only dalliance with cooking as a child was begging for an Easybake Oven, which I never got. Mum said if I wanted to cook, she’d show me. I just wasn’t that interested. In fairness, my mother did teach me to sew, knit, crochet, embroider and, oh yeah – READ; all skills which I enjoy to this day.

So, between quitting smoking, being overworked, commuting and watching my perfect fairytale romance fall apart at the seams – I gained a lot of weight. Like, eighty pounds.

The only time I enjoyed cooking was on holiday in Whistler. When my partner went skiing, I’d run over to the market, see what looked fresh and nice, and plan a meal around it. I had plenty of leisure time to dice, and chop and prepare. By the time he got back to the townhouse, he was usually ravenously hungry, so he really appreciated a good meal.

I’m on holiday this week, so I’ve got lots of time. Also, I love the internet. I can just type in “chicken lentils spinach” and come up with a great recipe, already tested and critiqued. It makes it so much easier. Rather than saying “what the hell am I going to make for dinner?”, I can just type in a couple of main ingredients that I have on hand and come up with something awesome.

So, I’ve found out that I don’t really hate cooking. I quite like cooking. With my new commitment to clean eating, my produce drawer is always full. I often joke that I’m a lousy cook, but really, given time, ingredients and a newfound interest in good food, my cooking is quite passable.

Just don’t let anyone know you’re good at something, or they’ll expect you to do it all time.

And I still like going OUT for dinner.

Statistics – Ishn’t That VEIRD?

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There’s a statistic floating around, I’m not sure where it came from, but I’ve heard it many times, that about 10% of the population is non-heterosexual.

I just went through my facebook friends. I have 139 friends, so, 140 if you count me in there. Let’s count me, because that makes it a nice round number.

To my knowledge, 14 of these people are openly L/G/B/T. That’s a rough number, based on certainties; some of them I don’t really know well enough to know what their orientation is, or whether they’re out or not.

For you non-math people out there (like me) that’s – EXACTLY ten percent.

Isn’t that weird?

And did you know, 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

I just think it’s weirdly interesting that statistically my facebook friend base is so bang on in this area.

PS – Actually, I just realized that I missed at least two people, so it’s a little over 10%. I told you I wasn’t good at math. Anything over ten and I have to take my socks off.

Passion

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I had an odd question thrown at me the other day, and I’m still not sure what my answer is.

“What are you passionate about?”

Well. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said “nothing”. Post-surgery and pre-breakup of an unhappy, stagnant relationship, I felt very little passion about anything or anyone, least of all myself. My self-esteem hit rock bottom.

If you had asked me five years ago, I would have said “my partner and my children”.

Ten years ago, I probably would have said “reading”.

If you had asked me thirty years ago, I would have said “music and theatre”.

But this is NOW. What am I passionate about now? And right now, which I consider to be the very best time of my life to date, I am passionate about so many things I don’t know where to start.

I’m passionate about gender equality, so, on this International Women’s Day, I’m going to start there. We hold up half the sky. Long gone are the days where I will accept being categorized and defined by men. We work equally as hard and feel equally as deeply as men. We are beautiful and successful on our own terms. We’re starting to wake up to things like pay equity and body acceptance. I don’t have to be what you think a woman should be. I’m a woman, and I’m the best judge of what the best me is. Right now, it’s a pre-Raphaelite cowboy, because that’s what I want to be right now.

I’m passionate about LGBT rights. My son taught me that, for which I will be forever grateful. Be who you are. Period. Identify with what speaks to you deep inside. Follow it, embrace it and be it. I think it’s a basic human right to love whomever you want, and none of the state’s business.

I’m passionate about speaking my mind and standing up for what I believe. I no longer stay quiet out of fear of reprisal. If I think it’s wrong, I’ll say so. I try not be an asshole about it, but I will not be silenced, either. Far from making me a pariah, I think it’s opened up a lot of dialogue and made people think about their own views.

I’m passionate about my health. I eat well, I drink less, and I exercise daily. I’m not perfect, but I’m better. I’m more energetic, and I sleep better.

I’m passionate about literacy and social justice. I’m passionate about opportunities for marginalized people. I’m a firm believer in education and second chances. I believe that our worth as a society can very much be measured by how we care for our most vulnerable members.

I’m passionate about my work. I’m passionate about access to justice for the disadvantaged.

I’m passionate about feeding my creative spirit, through writing, music and futzing around with bits of fuzz and yarn.

I’m passionate about the goodness in people. I’m starting to feel alive and connected again, through my friends and my family. I’m starting to feel attraction to men again. I’m starting to feel hopeful that I will one day find the person who is the right fit for me, at the right time of my life.

And finally, I’m passionate about truth. I’m passionate about being truthful and honest, and hopefully kind. I’ve had a long journey of deception with myself, of trying to mold myself into something someone else would want. And finally, after nearly fifty years, I’ve become someone I like.

I’m a loudmouth. I’m silly. I’m opinionated. I’m quirky. I’m a thinker. I’m a worrier. I’m an analyzer. I’m affectionate. I’m a fashion disaster. I’m impulsive. I’m addictive.

And I’m passionate again.

Back in the Saddle

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Heeeeeere we go. Again.

I’m getting back on that damn horse. I’m going to a Singles Night. I haven’t been out with a man since last May. I’m over being single.

But, still – yikes, Scoob!

It’s not a sleazy, POF singles night at a shitty bar, it’s a nice one. I’m tired of being single, but I’m just not meeting anyone! Much as I love the folks at my church, they’re mostly either elderly, married or gay, or some combination of the three that makes them unsuitable as potential partners. Friends, yes. Partners – nary a one in sight. And, much as I love my work – I TALK TO ACCUSED CRIMINALS ALL DAY (I say accused because there’s not a guilty man at CECC, you know)! Oh, and I also talk to people who are in the middle of horrible breakups. I don’t need to be a revenge rebound for some emotionally scarred, bitter person. Nope.

I’m a little long in the tooth for the bar crowd, too. I was at a bar with some younger friends the other night, and while I had a lovely time, it was a much younger crowd, and I felt just a little cougarish. For fun with friends – good times. For meeting potential dates – not so good.

I was, however, introducted to a woman who is a friend of friends who runs a local introduction service. “We’re having an over-forty singles night on the 13th! You should come out!”

Well, it’s a nicer place, and I don’t have to worry about being a cougar. Being a cougar doesn’t much appeal to me anyway. I enjoy the company of young people very much, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to date one.

Thanks to a number of factors, not the least of which was some kind words from a dear old friend a while ago, I think I’m ready. Feeling good about myself physically and mentally, and more than emotionally ready to start over again.

How many times will I start over until I get it right?

As many as it takes, baby. If you want to win, you’ve got to play. There’s someone for everyone, but you don’t find them sitting at home. And much as I love you, internet, you’re not for me when it comes to dating. Scary, bitter people in baseball hats just don’t do it for me. I’m gonna need a little more than than.

This sounds like an occasion for my new bra. I’ve bought a ticket. Any advice is gratefully appreciated.