Why my dignity & I will be alone this weekend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t understand dating, men, modern “romance” (if that’s even a thing and not just some oxymoron that’s been flying under the radar this whole time).

Since it’s Valentines Weekend (and I had to resist the urge to put a gif of a cats horking up a hairball after that bit because I’m a petulant child) of course I’ve had about 4 separate conversations today about what I’m doing and what/who my friends are doing. One of my friends went to see Deadpool last night by herself and came away with some dude’s number. They’re going for drinks tomorrow.

So he’s either a unicorn or an ax murderer because NO ONE actually meets someone they’re going to date by chance out and about anymore. As such, I reminded her to bring mace, or a paring knife. She reminded me she has a concealed carry and I told her to have fun.

IS THIS WHAT LOVE HAS BECOME?

If you couldn’t tell, I’m single this V-day, which if you’ve read the story of how I accidentally told someone I love them last year may be a surprise, but that is long since over as far as I can tell. Long story short he started taking advantage of my feelings for him and kept “rescheduling” dates (including my birthday dinner)  until:

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He made a few paltry excuses. I didn’t back down. My dignity and I will be dogsitting for my parents this Vday.

Shocking.

I have run the dating gamut. I’ve done the high school sweethearts thing. All sorts of online dating. Classmates from college. I dated a frat boy when I was in sorority. Even dated a totally drop dead gorgeous English kid for a couple years when he was here for auditions. More recently my married friends have started trying to set me up with their husbands’ buddies. It’s all terrible. ALL of it!

It’s awkward. Dating is bad enough; I don’t know who pays, or what to do with my hands. But it’s got to the point where just meeting guys I might POSSIBLY be interested in is just as awkward as a first date. How wide should I be smiling? Should I be telling him I’m interested? When is it appropriate to offer my number? Should I ask for his? Is slipping someone a card still acceptable? When did that stop being acceptable. Am I the only one with cards in 2016? If I can easily find you on Facebook, can I add you and continue things from there? If you’re interested in me, should you have found ME on Facebook by now?

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD someone tell me who makes the first move? What even IS the first move? Because last weekend I deliberately sat down directly beside my (insert cat horking noise here) Crush and initiated an adult conversation and somehow no one I’ve talked to thinks that counts for anything.

Apparently getting to know someone counts for zilch, but freaking swipe right on a dating “app” and IT’S ON.

Side note: I just had to look up which direction meant “I’d tap that” on Tinder.

I’m THAT lost.

In my defense I was brought up on fairy tales and Judy Blume. There used to be a code for these things. I make eyes at you across the room and blush when you say two words to me. You scale the palace walls, slay the dragon, and then give me your Letterman’s jacket.

Man code for “I like you” is much less easily deciphered these days.

Is it “can I have your number” or “do you wanna do something sometime?” Is it looking flustered when I compliment you or is it when you reveal you’d been watching me dance with other people?

Can I show interest by choosing to sit next to you when we don’t know each other well and there are other places to sit? Are you showing interest by asking me to dance more than once when there are other, better, dancers around that you haven’t yet touched?

A friend of mine was asked to a movie by a paramour with a group of couples but he made it sound deliberately casual. But they’ve held hands. Where is the line?

I can think of dozens of examples. All of my friends have stories like this.

To pipe up for gender equality, I don’t think it’s entirely one sided. I think men and women are equally lost or this wouldn’t be the issue it is. I’m sure being a man these days is horrific as well. Deciding whether holding the door will be seen as chivalry or a personal affront on ones independence and security as a woman would absolutely RUIN me in social settings.

But something needs to be done. It is hard enough for me to put myself out there without trying to decode interactions with the opposite sex.

We need a new code. Update the etiquette? Is there a new Emily Post out there?

Get on that, will you?

In the mean time I’ll just continue the awkward internet stalking and such.

But armed with wine.

And Happy V Day to all my fellow socially awkward penguins out there.

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Candid Camera

I have problems. Lots of them.

I handle myself well, I swear, I am a functional part of society and if we were to draw comparisons I’d say I far surpass a lot of people who DON’T have anything close to my issues but honestly…. I’m not too fond of people or social situations or people touching me or people looking at me or looking at myself or… I’ll stop, you get it.

I’m trying to improve though because while I love my cat, I would really like to get married and have an actual family some day and I can’t do that when my only dating options are my (very straight, very by-the-book-Jesus-y) roommates and the freaking mammoth that lives upstairs.

I’m reclaiming my social life a little at a time and right now that means going Blues Dancing with my friend Jo whenever we can.

Recently we went out of town for a three day dance retreat featuring workshops and master classes for different styles followed by live music and social dancing. There were wonderful instructors and staff and a professional photographer to document everything.

EVERYTHING.

The classes, the dances, the freaking SOUL TRAIN I sucked up the courage to participate in despite every fiber of my being screaming about the perfectly good dead-bolt we saw on the ladies’ room down the hall. Everything.

And the photos have surfaced on Facebook.

In one of them, my mouth is open and forming a sort of “oh!” shape. My face looks surprised. I’m in mid step. The shot is completely candid and I was able to laugh it off because I know darn well I am in the middle of some sort of swear word and just messed up the arms (AGAIN!) on the flamenco piece we’re working on.

Of course someone tagged me in it. No I will not post the picture. No I am not sorry.

I commented something on the photo about my mouth being open with a cute “:P” at the end so as not to offend anyone and the photographer commented back.

Ahem.

Apparently I’m a work of art.

“I look at this shot and see a moment of delight in clarity.”

Delight. In. Clarity.

Sir, you caught me cursing like a land-bound sailor because I f***ed up the arms again.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t understand photography.