It still happens in your 30s…

I’m in my early 30s and still “open to a relationship.”

This past weekend, I had my first Skype conversation with a man I’d been introduced to online (via friends – you don’t always have to go through a site to be online dating, I guess.) This means that we enjoyed each other’s written words and recent pictures enough that the conversation warranted the next step: the video chat. Anyway, we had been emailing back and forth for a few weeks, and our respective schedules had finally cleared up to where we set the time.

The day of said Skype date, you want to know what happened? No, massive storms and internet outages didn’t occur. No catastrophes.

I developed a painful pimple on my chin.

When I felt it brewing the night before, I just had to chuckle. Seriously? The stuff that plagues you as a teenager the day before Prom still happens before a first date in your 30s???

Thankfully, Skype doesn’t always have the best of pictures, so a little make-up went a long way. But you want to know the other funny thing about having your first coffee date over the interwebs (other than it being Dutch treat?)… you only have to look good from waist up! Thank you bare feet and cooperative hair!

It was a good conversation. Enough that there are to be more in the future. In the mean time, I guess I’m going to dig out my benzol peroxide and keep looking for the ultimate face wash.

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We survived.

Dear officially single ladies/men,

Well, we made it through another Valentine’s Day.

Some of us tried to ignore the day all together. We didn’t wear red or pink. We limited our exposure to anything that eked of romance, love, or for that matter, kindness. It was just another day where everyone else was crazy, and we were the only neutral or sane party. The day is best spent in bed with vodka or other depressant drug of choice.

The bitter and jaded side is represented by those that tell others to, “Go f- yourself!” or other snarky responses that communicate, “I hate myself. I hate this day. I hate anyone who is remotely happy right now. Give me your chocolate.”

There is a combo of the bitter and jaded with an amicable personality. These are the people that share comics such as this one or these examples:

puritanvalentines

In the end, they wish others “Happy Valentine’s Day!” with a smile.

Then there is the attitude I’m working towards – enjoying the opportunity to appreciate those around you. While the world is in a chocolate coma, they still hand out the best candy options. No chalky message hearts for them. No Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer valentines for them (unless consistent with their general personality).

It is hard to be ignored and single on a day that focuses on Cupid, St. Valentine, and Eros. Some years, “Girls’ Night” suffices. Sometime the guys in the college or singles groups would plan nice steak dinners. When I worked in a school, the student parties and fun of the day meant that kids dropped chocolate and cards at my feet. Even with cards, parties, and gifts, the loneliness still creeps in. For that I have no remedy.

But guess what? It’s February 15. The sun rose this morning. Whatever your adaptive or maladaptive coping mechanism was for yesterday, it’s done. Welcome to the rest of the year.

The 30-year old speaks…

I’ll elaborate on this more in the future, however, I think the point needs to be made over and over.

The masses must be told.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Orthodox Christians do not have a very good dating website. This is discouraging as parishes tend to have

  • Only single women
  • Only single men
  • Single men and women who are not meant for one another

Today in coffee hour, a mother of 3 college-aged kids asked me, “So how should people meet each other?”

Immediately, I respond, “Get the Matushkas working!!!!!” Giggles. “I’m serious! Especially in larger cities, it’s harder to meet people in other parishes. They need to get together and start talking amongst themselves.”

At this point, another person suggested, “Matushkamatch.com – but you don’t find people there for yourself, you only are allowed to match up others!”

I exclaim, “There should be an app for that!”

I told those at my table of my plight in earlier parishes – married women would see me interact with a nice guy, but they would only encourage me in the relationship, never him. Hm…isn’t the guy supposed to initiate? (Some of you may disagree, but in my book, yes, the guy should do the initial asking!)

It really wouldn’t take much coordinating; clergy wives know each other and this would give them a useful task for a disgruntled population of parishioners.

They risk being wrong. They risk some hearts being broken. They risk some expectations. But then again, if you let your Matushka/Khouria/Priest’s wife know that you would like the sacrament of marriage to be bestowed upon you, I think you know the risk. Or she hasn’t smacked you upside the head with her wisdom…yet.

So, I beg current and future Matushkas – start chatting a matchmaking OR hire a web designer and decent firm to spruce up Ortho-online dating.

Take Notes on What NOT To Do

Knowing odds would be slim with the Ortho-folk, I also went to another website at the suggestion of a teaching colleague. I garnered a few more emails and interesting conversations, and this site also piqued my interest since it tries to match people in a closer radius than others. Having experienced the “find someone 1000 miles away” websites, especially when I first moved and didn’t know a lot of people in town, it is a bit weird to be on a website where you look at profile pictures and go, “I know him from _____. I don’t care if we’re a 90-ish per cent match, it ain’t gonna happen.”

A few weeks before my birthday (mid-July), I was contacted by a guy who seemed sweet and interesting enough, and we had a good banter over email. He suggested meeting in person, and I didn’t see any reason not to. So, a few days after my 30th birthday, it was arranged that we would meet for coffee after I was done teaching. (Points for initiating the meet and suggesting “safe” places: a park or coffee shop.)

First dates are a funny feeling, especially blind dates. Yeah, we had communicated, but I didn’t actually know this person.

Am I doing my hair and putting on make-up for the first time in 3 months for nothing?? Yay! Doubt!

I checked my email during an afternoon lesson no-show to confirm place and time. I have his number, he doesn’t have mine. You never know; it’s better to try than wonder.

So, I arrive at the coffee shop a bit early (things wrapped-up with teaching sooner than I anticipated). I began journaling, yet felt weird sitting at a table with no drink in front of me. I was being one of those coffee shop patrons. To ease my conscience, I decided on a small decaf drink; I keep writing. It is now 5 minutes after the time we set. Hmmm. At 10 minutes, I call a friend. Do I say he’s a no-show or text and give him a chance. She encourages me to text him and be nice, especially since he doesn’t have my number.

I act innocent: Hi, I just got here. Where are you at?

Short story: he spent the day working outside with his uncle and was tired. He had emailed me via the website, but it was after I checked my email. He didn’t want to stand me up, so he comes anyway. (Points for attempting contact. Loss of a few points for not scheduling his day better.)

35-40 minutes after the time we set, he walks in. It’s hard to know how to greet someone you met online – handshake? Hug? Wave and a smile?

I was sitting at a two-top. He doesn’t sit across from me – he chooses across from me and OVER one table. Diagonal? Really?? (Points lost). And from there the conversation drags, not because he’s tired – I could only wish. Nope, his lack of confidence as a person exudes over the place. (Points lost). He decides to get a drink and doesn’t even offer to get me a refill or ask if I want anything. (Points lost for lack of consideration.)

We take a walk and all he talks about is a life-changing experience he had in his post-college years. And he keeps trying to prove to me that he has friends (points lost) and assumes too much about me — He thought I must have been popular in middle school or high school. Wrong! WAAAAYYYYYY WRONG!

Thankfully, my gift of gab had kicked in, so I was able to keep conversation at an acceptable level, but as the night dragged on and on and on, it became painful to continue conversing. Seriously, a one-hour walk never felt so long!!

Finally, I had an excuse to exit – my contacts were drying up in my eyes and becoming more irritating with every minute. I was VERY careful with my words. I did not say anything that would have led him to believe I was having the best time of my life nor that I intended to see him in the future. I think I said something such as, “I need to wrap-up this conversation because my contacts are drying up, and I need to go home and take them out. Thanks for meeting up. Hope you get some rest after your long day.”

My FB status that night:

*face palm* Well, there went a perfectly good evening.

There was another fellow whom I had a few conversations with over Skype (he lives in California), but that fizzled for a variety of reasons. While he was nice, I’m not heartsick for it not working out.

And that, folks, is the end of Online Dating-Round 3. You’ll be the first to know if there is a Round 4.

On Again, Off Again

In the flurry of nursing school, I failed to wrap up the summer online dating stories – not that there are many left. Based on my past few posts and that no excitement exudes from this writing, I think you already know the result.

I’ve been out of the loop so much regarding my online communicating that I completely forgot to delete one profile until I got an email 2 months after not visiting the site. Out of sight/site, out of mind apparently.

This time around, I chose two sites that I had never utilized before. One was specifically geared towards Orthodox Christians. My synopsis: do not waste your time. After this website and my two-part review of Heaven Help the Single Christian, I have become thoroughly convinced that Orthodox Christians do Liturgy and the Liturgical cycle very well. Yet, efforts to make Secular and Evangelical things “Ortho-friendly” are rather mediocre. Orthodox Online Dating has a horrible search function (takes for-ev-er to enter information then hard to get back to the results once you clicked a profile) and it’s trying to be a replacement for Orthodox Circle (if you don’t know what this is, you must have blinked) – which was bad to begin with. Thus, you’re taking two mediocre/badly organized things and melding them into one bigger mediocre/badly organized thing.

From the Ortho-world, I sent and received a few emails, but no significant communication from people I would want in my life permanently. Oh well. I guess it’s better to network the Matushkas and Presbyteras in my favor.

In case you’re wondering how I described myself, I provide the following:

The past 10 years have been full of change and growth for me: new career (from music teacher to nurse), new state (Kansas to Indiana) and new faith (Evangelical Christian to Orthodox Christianity). Yes, I’m a “pesky convert.” Anyway, I’ve grown a lot personally and spiritually since college and am looking for someone who will appreciate the personal work I’ve done. Other interests and activities: chanting, cooking, baking, entertaining/hospitality, blogging/journaling, times with friends, anything on BBC (i.e. Sherlock), and in the coming months I will LOVE to read my nursing textbooks… 😛

I have a strong desire to love people through hospitality and taking care of their physical needs in order that their emotional needs can then be met. This is part of the reason behind my career shift. It leaves plenty to talk about in my life along with never allowing it to be “boring.”

Also, when it came time to describe “the person I would like to meet”:

Points for: being pious/serious about his Orthdox faith, enjoys sharing hospitality, being clear with your intentions, being 5’10” (or taller) OR getting over your fear of me being taller than you. I’m 5’10” w/o heels….it’s a bit hard in Ortho-world to find guys taller than me.

Points off for: being a bad communicator, not having a direction or sense of direction for your life, and wanting a reptile for a pet.

Stay tuned for the next story…it’s a good one.

Bolt of Wisdom????

I had a study break/dinner/study date with a friend a few months ago. As usual, our conversation turned to relationships. We’re both in our early 30s, thus we have some recurring themes in our conversations:

  1. Lack of datable men in a 50-mile radius
  2. Our desire to share our lives with someone and have children
  3. Wondering what has hit the water in this town lately – seriously, most of our married mutual acquaintances are pregnant
  4. Realizing that this very moment in time is probably not the best to have a relationship begin
  5. Wondering how to go about meeting “viable options” in a “land of desolation” Do You Relate?

Round 3

Do you ever have recurring nightmares? Or déjà vu? Or the bad idea that you just have to try???

Well, I’m at it again for Round 3 … of online dating that is. Cyber Dating Saga

I’m An Adult, So I Blog

So, I had a first last night: New Year’s Eve date. Like, a real, bona fide date. I’ve gone out on dates before, but never one on a holiday. I was kind of shocked. 2011 is the first year of my existence where not only have I gone on multiple dates but they were with different people. Hm. Keep Reading

Matushka to the Rescue

The (non) dating continues over here in Tall Ray of Sunshine land. It’s not so much a lack of options, more a lack of opportunity and a plethora of shy males. Seriously, do I have invisible snakes growing out of the back of my head? Do I have “Only Friend Material” or “Don’t Ask Me Out” on my forehead underneath the “Tell Me Your Problems“?

Enter The Khouria. Or the Matushka. Whatever your tradition: The Parish Matriarch. While I typically call my Priest’s ethnic Lebanese Wife “Khouria” – for the sake of alliteration in this post, I’ll stick with “Matushka”.

A few weeks ago, I listed as point Number 5: “Let your Khouria/Matushka know that you are open to marriage. She knows people.” I have followed my own advice for over a year now. My Matchmaking Matushka has her eyes open for Orthodox Males for me and other single women in the parish. She does know people – the single male looking for a wife type of people – and suggests options at various times. This is perfectly fine with me. I’ve told her to meddle away and have been open to 2 of her 3 suggestions. The third suggestion was someone who didn’t have a clue where he was going in life, and the Matchmaking Matushka completely understood. However, let’s get back to the 2 I was/am open to thinking about.

Continue Reading

The Misadventures of Cupcakes, Frosting, and “Ice”ing: Part I

I’m coming up on the two year anniversary of the events from this three part series. I thought it would provide some nice holiday humor. Enjoy!

Part 1

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