[from a second wave – poetry]
the yoga girl is leaving the building
all dating sites are down
and i’m sitting here
earbuds and bubbly water
wishin, hopin, thinkin,
i’d make a good snuggle bunny
with shea butter and coconut
and moves that make me blush
recalling how much i’m out of practice
i can still smell her
the last one
i would fall back into her arms
if harms way was not right after
there’s no going home again
once the ship has been burnt
as she glides effortlessly by
down and away
with not a nod or side glance
a girl like that
she’s going home to someone
she’s eating organic
she’s doing yoga
is a figment of my peripheral vision
i nearly catch a glance of something possible
and it know it’s my
all this longing
and l e t t e r s
i tell you
and it’s not part of the plan
image: take action at wfm, the author, cc 2014
Dating and looking for romance is an odd ritual. Even as an adult, the patterns are much more like high school (maybe elementary school) than adult life. We play games. We use social networks. We put forward ideas and photos that don’t really represent our lives or our current physical fitness, all for the purpose of what?
This afternoon I am sitting at the mecca for healthy and self-conscious women, Whole Foods Market (the Austin Mothership), and I am simply observing the parade of women passing by on the up and down escalator into the building. And I can see them. The happy and attractive women are here. And many of them are attached, married, dating, or otherwise unavailable. And certainly at least some of them are not currently dating anyone, AKA: available.
And it’s a wonderful confirmation of all that is human about our different sizes, shapes, colors, and approaches to life. You can almost see it in the dress and attitudes of the people heading into, or just finishing up their organic, high-priced, lifestyle. I start at Whole Foods, because this seems to be the highest concentration of people in my preferred demographic. Young, upwardly mobile, attractive, and health-conscious, or getting there. I’m okay if she is a bit of a work in progress, or in transition. What I don’t want is someone who’s not even on the same planet yet.
So here they are, passing by in fitness gear, in professional work outfits, and in all stages of dress, or undress, in-between. And in the stream of women it is an interesting experiment to see who I notice, who is inherently attractive to me.
Of the “potential” types who have passed by this morning are these archetypes:
- Fit, yoga, just about to do it, done it, or letting you know I’m doing it.
- Just eatin lunch, stoppin by, on my way to or from work, professional.
- The dressed-to-the-nines professional woman.
- Casual, got out of bed, don’t have work to do, hippie.
And of these stereotypes what are the criteria that interests me:
- Fit or fat (sorry, it’s a harsh light, and unfortunately I fall a bit more on the fat side than I’d like, but that’s life)
- Distracted or present.
- My phone is the center of my universe, please don’t disturb me.
- Athletic and active.
- Makeup or au-natural.
- Inked or not. (no need to include the heavily inked in my opinion)
- Spiffed up or casual.
But the amazing thing I have noticed, in this hour of observation and self-reflection… There is not a lot of joy in the place. The smiles that come up the escalator are not all that apparent. Why is everyone so serious, or distracted, or focused. Why, if they are entering Whole Foods are they not evolved like the food they are aspiring too? Is happiness such a rare trait? Do most people walk around in some form of isolation and closed self-expression? And if so, why?
Is it the predatory nature of our species that keeps our eyes to the ground of the phone, that keeps us from looking at each other? But that can’t be it. Because a lot of these women and men have put a lot of effort and thought into their wardrobe. So what’s the magic ingredient of happiness that is still so rare, even here in this rarefied air of high-end organic produce and natural body lotions?
If I were to conjure her up, at the table next to me, here’s what today’s journey into hunting or trolling has illuminated for me.
1. Happiness above all else. The woman who did sit across from me, who was clear and comfortable with her joyousness, was like a bright light to my magnet. In this swarm of beauty at Whole Foods there is less happiness than I would’ve expected.
2. Fitness within limits. Too obsessive about exercize or abs has tended to result in slightly neurotic partners, in my limited experience. So I shy away from the uber-fit. But then, I’m not uber-fit and have a fairly low trajectory towards six-pack abs. So my fitness level is a bit out of my comfort zone, and I would guess that I’d be looking for someone in the fitness zone, within a few percentage points of my own fitness level, or the fitness level I think is within my reach.
3. External awareness. Are they seeking, open, conscious. You can almost see it.
4. A feeling of optimism, even when no one is looking. In all this coming and going, I want to see someone who shines in their own inner joy. You can tell. It’s like a halo or a force field. The “up” woman exudes her joy.
5. Eye contact and smiles. She’s looking. She’s expressing her joy. She’s so much more attractive than any uber-fit, uber-yoga’d babe in my mind.
6. Mostly makeup and ink free. I’m just not a big makeup person. There’s a time and a place for getting spiffed up and going out, but the grocery story, even a holy mecca like Whole Foods, is not the time for too much fashion work. And if they are mostly in makeup all the time, they’re probably not the right person for me. And tattoos can be interesting, but they also seem to indicate some kind of addiction when they have to branch all the way down someone’s arm or leg. And when they are trying to think of the next tattoo. If that’s a focus or preoccupation, I’m gonna pass.
I’d like her pre-occupation to be on her kids, her creative projects, her dreams. And if she’s actually single, then I’d like to hear about her ideas about relationships. If you’re not looking for a relationship, that’s fine. I am. If you’re thinking you’re looking for a relationship, but have no idea what that would look like, well… You might give it some thought.
And when you figure it out, I’m right over here, on this computer, typing a love poem to you. When I get bold, perhaps I’ll give it to you. But not right away, I’m enjoying my voyurism. This is fantasy land. And each of these women passing could be grabbing fresh vegitables for dinner, for me. Or maybe, I’m here, working and I’ll get the fresh produce for tonight. Whatever it takes to lighten us up a bit.
That’s the goal. A lighter life. A path that is about joining and enhancing rather than controlling. A relationship that is founded on mutual attraction and joy rather than any kind of necessity. I want a partner, I don’t need a partner. Let me think about that… Yes, I’d say that’s true. I’m happier with a partner, when things are going well. But the last few years of my marriage are a type of relationship I will work to avoid.
Let’s find the lighter path together. And if we find ourselves walking along it together, and continually renewing our intentions to get together again, maybe that’s enough. I’m really ready for the “ready and centered” woman to show up. She’s nearby, I can feel it. I’m just not sure how to catch her eye. I’m smiling, though.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- She Came On Like a Freight Train – The Woman Who Says “Yes”
- The Happy, the Fit, and the Beautiful
- My Casual Sex Experience – First Lesson
- Crossfit Sex
image: whole foods girl, the author, cc 2014
Sittin here on Valentine’s Day, watchin the comings and goings in my local neighborhood up-scale coffee and wine bar. And I notice her, getting out of a white 535i. She’s wearing her yoga pants, has her dark hair in an athletic pony tail, and bounces out of the car and heads for her sandwich pickup. There is a “guest” sticker on her warmup top, where she’s just come from her kid’s Valentine’s day party. She’s proud, happy, pretty, and it’s a sunny day. All good.
Except there’s something stuck in my craw. What’s the path that creates these young entitled goddesses? And why when I am walking the grocery, in same up-scale neighborhood HEB, do I long after their rocket bodies and astral attitudes? I think of the Mathew Sweet song, “But does she talk?”
So I long for them. But I also have a bitterness about them. And I want them. And they represent the affluence I aspired to when I was married. But there they are, and here I am. And something about their entire life path seems trivial to me. AND… Truth is, I know nothing about them, their marriage, their career, their path in life. I know about things.
- They are young and beautiful. (is this the rub?)
- They have ample money and ample free time. (Don’t we all wish for this?)
- They love their children.
What is it about this culture that has me lusting after these young bodies and beautiful smiles? And what same culture has me bitter (just a little) about my path in life and the fact that I didn’t get to accomplish the financial prowess of my father. (Yeah, but how did that end up for him?)
So, this sweet young thing, hops back to her $50,000 BMW and buzzes off to what’s next in her life. And I know nothing about her. But I want to be her… what? Her husband? (Um, a bit too worried for that.) Her lover? (What would I do with her once the sex was done?) I want to be her… DAD? I’d love to be able to provide the life for my daughter that I would’ve hoped to have provided for my now ex-y.
There is some double standard going on, that has many of us a bit confused.
If they are too pretty or too successful or too… something. They are either spoiled brats or kept trophy wives. It’s MY sickness. It’s our culture’s sickness.
Aspire to a woman with a great body and a great mind. Pray, exercise, work, improve. But when you seen HER, the IT GIRL. We are angry with her, not desirous of them. HUH?
Sittin here on Valentine’s day, I’m sitting in judgement of other peoples lives, wives, successes, fortunes. And I’ll drop it here and rise above it. But I wanted to express and capture a moment of my own confusion, and acknowledge the conflicting culture we live in. And then I can clearly state, I DON’T LIKE JEGGINS.
So happy single day, to my single friends. And happy Valentine’s Day to those who have significant others. And I’ll focus on my 10 yo daughter today and get my mind out of the BWM and LuLu Lemons. But I’m aware there is a problem.
The Off Parent
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- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
- Facebook (follow us on Facebook and keep up with all the conversations)
- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)
There I was leaning into her new red Prius, talking about PR and yoga and her plans. It was as if I had put my head into a spaceship and was looking at some Penthouse forum photo of “the yoga girl next door.” But there was nothing going on. She was a next door neighbor, and I was asking her about her work and her Prius.
I’m guessing she’s in the 20-years-younger range. Blonde. Stunning body in black tights. Raybans. Biggest smile you’ve ever seen. And what would I have done with her if she had been asking about coming over later? (She was not.)
I’ve been dating.
This is the first “relationship” I’ve been in since my divorce. The other two were both in the neighborhood of one week, and that’s not a relationship, that’s a fly by. The first one was the woman who slept with pit bulls. The second one had the prettiest smile you have ever seen, but she lived 80 miles away.
So I wouldn’t say I’m experienced. In fact, I would say I’m a newbie in the department of dating. And dating as an adult who’s about to cross into my 50’s, I have to say, things are very different than when I was last on the market. I’m different. The women are different. I have two kids and a schedule that imposes some initial absence regardless of how fast I want to go in terms of hanging out together.
Sure, I’ve got an OK Cupid profile. (Tried Match and eHarmony.) But I haven’t been workin it. And from the depths of my aloneness I wasn’t in any mood to be imagining or looking for companionship. In fact, I was flat out deluded about how far fked up I was.
Enter attractive 54 year-old woman on OKC that says, “Hey, why didn’t you respond to my last email?”
If warning bells are going off it’s only because she is IN TO ME too much. Or more than I have ever experienced. She was telling me I was “much more attractive” than my profile over our first drink together. And in the parking lot, as I walked her to her new convertible Mini, she held up before opening the car and half-kissed me. We still joke about who kissed who, but she HAD been dating a lot. And she was prone to “trying out the kiss” in the parking lot, even on the first date. I had not kissed any of my “dates.” You tell me…
And as I walked the long distance back to my car after the kiss, I was erect as a bar of iron, and wondering how — in my fkd up state — someone else could be attracted to me. Was that in itself a huge red flag?
OR… Did she see something in me that was solid and cute and funny, regardless of how I was feeling?
Three days later, we were kissing on my couch as a prelude to the trip upstairs, where she said as she was unbuttoning my pants, “You don’t know how long it’s been!”
Two months later… Well, I’ve driven the Mini quite a bit.
But there is something that I am not feeling, that I think I should. As we continue and she confirms repeatedly how much I fit her picture of a prime fit, I am not sure. I did not have the euphoria associated with passion. I don’t crave her. Her beautiful blue eyes and easy laugh are wonderful, but for some animal reason, I would not pick her out at a party as someone I wanted to get to know. She is attractive. She is a bit older than any of my previous relationships. She is completely crazy about me.
Am I out of my element? Am I looking for some erotic ideal that is more about masturbatory fantasy and trophy wives that parade around the nearby HEB in their yoga pants. (Don’t they have to work? Um… No, they don’t.)
So I have a woman who craves sex and time with me. She does not play games. She has told me from the beginning how delicious she thinks I am. She even told me, after a lengthy discussion about my previous relationship history, that she wanted to learn how to give me the best blow job ever. (WHAT?)
The yoga girl next door represents a college-age fantasy. I am not of college age. She is thin, beautiful, and I would assume, somewhat spiritual, being a yoga instructor and all. But she and I have nothing in common. Would I find things about her that fascinate me? Would she cook me a meal, come over to my house, and leave me with leftovers?
My experience, thus far in my life, says no. My experience, thus far in my life has never had someone so crazy about me. I feel almost guilty about not being able to return the level of excitement about her. I am trying. I am stretching. I am exploring everything with her, to see if the animal hotness grows. I mean, the truth is, I was depressed beyond measure. And NOTHING sounded good. I didn’t crave anything, not even ice cream. So how could I expect my senses to crave this available woman?
The Off Parent
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