As single women who earned this title through a divorce or a break up, a husband’s incarceration, or possibly a death, we all are thrown into the world of dating without a guide book. Without a guide book, there are still tips to learn through my mistakes. I recently was reminded that one good rule of thumb is to research the job for which you are applying, the candidate for whom you are voting, and especially research the man whose number you just put in your phone. And if possible, do it before you meet him for dinner.
“Googling” something or someone has become America’s past time and an educational one at that. Even students “Google” just about everything in the library for test taking or research. I like to “Google” people (my own version of google that is) for fun once I get to know them and like them, but that is for discussion a different day. For today ladies, and men, the word is “Google”. Just do it!
Here are the reasons why you should research any man or woman before you go on a date with them: Mugshots, marriages, divorces, jobs, homes, more mugshots, more marriages, more divorces, ex-wives, current wives, current husbands, children, child support payments that are behind, girl friends, boyfriends, or both. The list goes on and on. I have gone blindly on blind dates, dating website dates, coffee dates, dinner dates and other. I have often forgotten the rule to research the man before hand and have ended up scarred for life. You might find out the guy you adored and might be “the one” was married or had a pregnant girlfriend. I have been mad at myself for not having done my research and sometimes laugh about it. Like the time I did my research following a really great date with a younger man who had convinced me he was divorced. Immediately his photo with his beautiful wife and three children popped up on the computer screen in an article singing his praises as a young entrepreneur in the area. On the other hand, when I discovered my date had an arrest record, I bolted all doors in fear that the domestic assault charges he confessed to over dinner might be a problem for me. All social media is there at our finger tips!!! USE IT!
Men who come in town while traveling are the worst. I love the guys who I have watched slide off the wedding ring while attempting to smoothly move over next to me at a bar, or even at the next stair-master at the gym. I smile and grin and move away. Granted, some men remove their wedding rings at the gym. But better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes, however, they suck you in. I recently received a text message from a woman in Las Vegas who was convinced I was dating her husband. First of all, I don’t date married men, not to mention, long distance never works! He had definitely sold me a pack of lies. I had not bought them all, but I had been snowed to a degree and had given him my number. Had I looked him up and done my research before exchanging numbers with him, I would never have received that text message from his wife. Instead, I could have messaged her on a social media site and warned him that her husband had been coming on to me while on a business trip. Now this sounds like something I wished I had been privy to during my own marriage. Instant ways to contact women who’s numbers appear on husband’s phones. It is boggling to me how many times this happens. Maybe I could call this service “Boggle” or “Do -Goodle”, and help some women out. We really can research on our smart phones while casually chatting with these men, photographing them and attaching these photos to their social media sites where their wives will see them. They would thank us for the tip, and we could move on to researching the next guy ,or girl, and prevent disaster for their next victim.Safe Dating tips and reminders:NEVER EVER let a man pick you up! Always meet them.
And always be prepared to exit gracefully by having your “daughter” call you with an emergency.
And always go to events in groups with a few of the opposite sex. This just shuts out a lot of potential issues to start with!
I used to think that the ability to meet interesting and different people had to do with my openness to embrace all types of people and to be accepting of everyone. I thought it was a good thing that people of all sorts, even those with social or emotional difficulties, found me easy to talk to. But in the world of dating, a person with an emotional difficulty, especially a certifiable one, is not always interesting or different. They are just difficult and just plain crazy. Why I have met so many men who have a glitch, a twitch, a split personality or other disorders, I do not know. It could go back to my ability to embrace and accept everyone, though I have tried to squelch this ability. I asked a friend once, “Why do I seem to find all the crazy ones?” His response was, “You don’t find them, they find you.” This made me think about the signals I send out. Do I send out the vibe that I too hear voices, have severe OCD, create relationships with celebrities in my head, am delusional or believe in extra terrestrials? Because I have been approached by these people , and those with even more disturbing issues , I truly have had to question my own sanity. Interestingly, these men, and occasionally women, find me lovely, desirable and want to date me or at least be my new best friend. This is frightening in itself. So what does being approached by and pursued by persons with real mental illnesses say about me? The stories are endless and sometimes unbelievable even to me. I have been at friends’ homes, sales events, Christmas parties, restaurants, class reunions, bars, and even in my own home where crazy repair men or wacky female friends have appeared. They do seem to find me.
People who have gone crazy in front of me are some of my least favorites yet some of the most mysterious types. I have seen the car salesmen tell me that I should leave the table if I wasn’t attracted to him, this while I was on a date with his coworker. He was fired the next day and went into a psychiatric facility. I had three dinner dates with a man who was engaging and attentive each time. The conversations consisted of him while telling me his ex wife was crazy and that he hated her, mixed in with comments about how wonderful I was. At the end of the third date during which he laughed and then cried over his ex, he looked at me and said , “I am going to work things out with my ex wife”. I left the table and never saw him again. I watched in horror as a former classmate read me a secret message from the crossword puzzle he had just completed. It was directed at him and was a direct message from God, mixed in with a message from the band of thieves who had just stolen his house key from him. I also witnessed a woman loose her mind, or part of it, with a crowd of onlookers just watching in dismay. She exchanged numbers with a younger man who was celebrating his birthday and told him she wanted to be his birthday present. When he thanked her and returned the compliment to her, she tossed her drink at him and said. “how dare you! get your hands off me!” He shrugged his shoulders and walked away. A few seconds later she asked me, “Where did the cute birthday boy go?” I too walked away.
There are more stories, but in re-hashing them, I am overwhelmed with the content and the bizarre details !! There are too many to repeat. The bottom line is, the men who need straightjackets and the women who need mood stabilizers find me. I don’t invite them in, but I don’t run away quickly enough either. Different and interesting is good. Wacky and eclectic are great characteristics to have too. But crazy and single, not so much. If only there was a place for these men and women to gather together. Now that I think about it, there is. It is usually wherever I am on any given weekend night.
I met a great looking guy in the line at Starbucks and we shared a table for awhile, chatted and decided to exchange numbers. He was funny, smelled good, and dressed well. There was something funny about his front tooth, but his green eyes seemed to diminish this one physical flaw. I was excited to think that my happy ending would result in a wedding on the beach and a fun story for the grand kids about how I met the love of my life in the line at Starbucks. This , however, did not happen. After our initial meeting, our second date was pleasant, but not amazing. He attempted to kiss me when we met at the restaurant, and I turned my head to allow a kiss on the cheek. This seemed to offend him but I made it clear that I wasn’t ready for that. He then laughed and said I must be a good Christian girl and he liked that, but that he made the rules about kissing and that he would get one by the end of the night. Over dinner I learned he was a good old country boy who liked to take care of his momma who lived next door and that he had never been married. Even with these red flags flying, I agreed on a third date. At the end of the evening, he grabbed me and stole a good night kiss. I was taken aback, not too happy, and ignored the red flags again. He jumped in his over sized , over sized truck after asking me out again . On the third date we went to Target together, walked around a shoe store together( where he did buy me a pair of shoes) and ate a burger and shared fries for dinner. This was fun and casual, and we actually laughed a lot. But at some point, the conversation went South. In general, he talked about himself, his job, his clothes, his house, his momma, his truck, his money, his momma, his money, his momma and more about himself. I smiled and nodded and never said a word. I am a great date. Eventually, he spoke about his brother, a confirmed gay man. I am not sure at what point I felt afraid for my life, but when I said that we all have at least one relative who is born that way and that I had several gay friends whom I adored. I saw the flames shooting out of his ears and the daggers flying from his eyes. He got the check and we made our way out to the parking lot. I thought he was moving in for a hug and I moved forward toward him thinking that would be the end of the date, but he backed away and thought I was trying to kiss him. He said to me, “I wouldn’t kiss you again if you paid me $1000 dollars!” He got in his truck and drove away. I stood there in the parking lot with the Red Robin neon sign glaring at me. I shook my head and got in my car, rolled my eyes and feeling relieved I would not be picking out a wedding dress anytime soon. Strangely, he sent me a smiley face and a “thank you for a great date” text later that evening. I responded with a long list of things that had offended me from his comment in the parking lot to his inability to love his own brother. He seemed to be shocked that I was offended by his comment and asked when he could kiss me in the future. I blocked his number. This guy was nuts. I added him to my list of men who had a bi-polar, homophobic, momma’s boy complex. I also added Starbucks to the list of places not to meet men.
Have you actually met a man at a bar named Bubba? I’m pretty sure I have. In fact, more than once have my friends and I
commented that ,”there sure are a lot of Bubbas here tonight.” Or, “Bubba always finds me !” Or, “I looked on that dating website and they are all Bubbas! ” I am not a critical person by nature, and just because someone’s name is Bubba doesn’t mean I would run from a conversation, or a free drink. I just think that I have met a few Bubbas in my lifetime. These guys, regardless of their actual names, can be what certain Southern girls recognize as the person we would never bring home to meet the family. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are great, If you like to fish, to hunt and roll around in the mud after your four wheeler crashes in the pond, that is. These guys are great also if you like your men to wear t-shirts with the sleeves cut out and their bellies and rib cages exposed more than is necessary in a public setting. But ladies, don’t we Southern girls like to think that we can do better than the man with the biggest belly, the biggest wad of tobacco in their lip and worst grammar skills at the bar? It’s not that I or any of us girls from the South have great grammar skills. We all slide back at times and use double negatives, and ,”have just went” instead of “just gone”. But we think we want someone who compliments our Southern charm instead of someone who represents the parts of the South that many people make fun of. However, what I find most interesting about the Bubba phenomenon, though they are the very man I run from, is that I will often see a woman, having the time of her life, dancing and laughing with the very man I just described. His rib cage and belly overly exposed by his cut out sleeves on his t-shirt that reads,”I don’t care who you are, that right there was funny”. And I will find myself thinking, “Maybe the next time I see Bubba at the bar, I should approach him and get to know him better.”
Having shared personal dating experiences with only my closest of friends, and occasionally with strangers at bars who
pretend to be interested, I thought I would jump on the blog bandwagon and share some warnings and dating advice through these tales of caution. I am almost 50, and like many of my single friends, I have experienced a number of dating disasters and memorable moments worthy of steamy chapters in books as well as comedy shows and B rated films. Some have been short lived with no more than a coffee shop visit and a forgotten name ,the only memory being the coffee stain on my shirt left from exiting the date in a hurry. Other memories of the dating scene have left scars upon my heart, and left men with broken spirits as they passed through the storm I can sometimes create. The moments that make up the life I now lead have been full of drama, pain, laughter and just plain stupidity at times. I think that the strange world in which I and all those single Southern women around me live, is worth a look. Proceed with caution. We like our lemonade cold and our men hot, but we love to love and we keep searching no matter how many times the humidity, a rainstorm or an encounter with a man named Bubba may derail us.
Violins and drums and fountains behind us,
Doorways and glasses and tinkling wind chimes,
Kisses and touches and sun on the playground,
and wishes that this weren’t a dream, but a sign.
The planets all move in the way that God made them,
to turn and revolve when only he says they should.
But our lives and the tides of our paths are in sinc now,
the stars give permission, the falling stars know.
So why go against what the sounds of our hearts say?
The timing is such that we both know just why.
The reasons, unknown, but the hope moves us forward,
for one day the playground and stars will align.