...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Continuing the Journey...

Two years, two months and 13 days have passed 
since my Independence Day.  
I put the dates into a 'days past' generator to find that out.  
I am not keeping track.   

I would not go back to my past life.  
I was so limited and held back.  

I intimidated the person whom I thought was my partner because he couldn't handle my glow.  

I am healing, and learning to love again.  
I am re-evaluating what it is that I have to offer the world.  
I am not dating, nor do I have someone in the 'picture'.  
I haven't loved myself for a very long time.
In order to be able to love someone else, I must first love myself.  

No more accepting life as status quo.   

I am a product of the perfect combination of genes 
which my parents brought together.  

I was created, I did not create myself.  

My complexion, my eyes, my smile...all gifts from my parents.  
I don't see my parents in myself, 
but I feel them in my heart.  
My naturally curly hair, thank you dad, 
and has a mind of it's own.  
I love to let it be free.  
I like that my hair may look different each time I look in the mirror.  
I makes me unpredictable. 

I have joy in my heart, and it oozes out. 
I am truly grateful for all I have.  

I choose positivity in life.  

I enjoy making a difference, even if it's just 
for one person, 
one animal, 
or our beautiful Earth.  
I do love the world around me, and I love others.  

I like to hear what someone young, or old has to say.  

I am a listener, a thinker and a problem solver.  
I look at others and wonder, what is their life story?  
I look at things and think, is there a better way to do that?  

I am a born teacher.  

I have patience.  

I am curious.  
I want to know how and why things work as they do.  

I marvel at simplicity and complexity. 

I am generous with my time and talents.  

I like taking care of others.  

I am maternal.  

I am creative.  
Art and music drive my spirit.  
Music is in every fiber of my being, and it colors my world.    

I thrive when I can share my passions.  

I feel the Universe tingles, 
and that makes my soul happy.  

~Lisa Kroll
    spreading Love, Understanding, Positivity

Go listen to The Power of Peace CD by the Isley Brothers and produced by Carlos Santana.  
released on July 28, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Dating Game...

I decided to conduct some research this summer.  Using the rubric I created (see  What I'm looking for in my partner ), I jumped into the pool.  

Three stories....


Bachelor Number One:   My first older guy!  ✔ He was 60 years old.  We met online on a Friday night.  We had a nice conversation that continued the next afternoon.  We decided to meet for a drink on Sunday, at a local place.  ✔ He assured me he wanted to start S-L-O-W.  He had just lost his wife, meaning she died, in February.  I was good with slow.  ✔ I wasn't ready for anything major.  This would be my first official attempt to jump back into the pool of fish since ending my last relationship in January.  Slow and cautious.  I was ready, and willing to try this dating game.  It was summer.  A real date. 👍

First date: Drinks.  Our drink date went well.  Easy conversation.  But, I wasn't feeling that chemistry that I had hoped I'd be feeling.  Still, we were going slow, so a new friend would be nice.  In our conversation, I found out that just a few weeks before, he had purchased a pop-up trailer.  He was set to retire on Friday and just after the 4th of July.  He would be leaving to travel out west for six weeks...alone.  I must admit I was a tad envious.  Alone, and he would be seeing several of the National Parks?  My dream.  Jokingly..although I'm not sure just how jokingly it was... he invited me to come with him.  He said the trailer had two ends...a bed on each side.  This was information I all ready knew, as I grew up doing family camping where my parents owned a pop-up trailer.  No, thank you.  I wasn't attracted to him like that.  A trip alone after such a loss would be wonderful for him, and something I'm sure he'd benefit from greatly.  Our conversation was pleasant and the afternoon slipped away.  We decided to end our date, but agreed to getting together again to continue our chat.  Why did I agree?  I wasn't attracted to him like that, I could tell quickly.  Maybe I was thinking he would make a nice friend, and I would too, after all he had just lost his wife.  Can't everyone use a friend?  As we said our goodbyes, we had that awkward first moment.  Do we shake hands or hug???  What started as a hand shake, segued into a hug.  As we release, he still has my hand and he tugged me towards him, then kisses me.  Whoa!  THAT is NOT. GOING. SLOW. 

In my surprise, I didn't know how to really respond. It wasn't horrible, but I hadn't asked for it.  Did I give off some signals???  No, I definitely did not.  My body language was saying you can have a hug, nothing more. 

We sent texts back and forth for a day or two.  He hoped to take me to dinner that week.  That would be nice I said.  He brought up the kiss.  Did I notice how he snuck that in?  Yes, yes I did, and THAT wasn't going slow, I responded.  He said he couldn't help it.  He couldn't help it?  Okay.  My take away: I would need to set very clear boundaries. 

Second date: Dinner.  He was really wanting to see me very soon after our first date.  I know that's a good sign when you are attracted to someone.  Maybe I just needed to give him another chance, with more boundaries set in place.  As I had been invited to an event that week, I suggested we go there.  I know no one else cares, but for me it is a big deal to be seen out in public with a guy.  We arrived late to the event, and the place was all ready packed.  It is at this point that my empathy kicked in and I start to feel horrible.  I realize my date has hearing aids in both ears and cannot clearly hear what is being said.  Sigh. Then I look up, and sitting across the room is a guy, who I have always thought is attractive.  Although this guy is younger than I am and as we all know, I have set my "guidelines" for what I think I'd like in a guy (see above link again), I now have solid, physical, proof that I am not with the correct person.  All I can do is suffer thinking the guy I'm with isn't enjoying this and I'd love to be sitting across the room.  Not fair to either of us.  On top of all this, my date had asked if we could hold hands while we were walking in and I told him no, because he was still in the friend's zone.  lol...as if there are set boundaries for this.  What the heck constitutes "The Friend's Zone"?  Unfortunately, his kiss had crossed the line, and this was my attempt to set clearly defined boundaries.  No hand holding.  Before the night was over I realized my date didn't even listen to the same radio station that I did.  Bummer for him. I am a public radio junkie.  This was just less that we had in common, not a deal breaker in a relationship, but just another sign that this was not the right person for me.  I also realized as we drove to the event that our tastes in music wasn't the same either.  My world of music has opened up so much more than I thought...or maybe I've always been a very diverse person, and I just see that now.

We went back to my place and talked a bit longer.  Again, it was pleasant, interesting, back-and-forth conversation. He would be retiring the next day.  How nice for him.  He had an early day ahead, our evening would be cut short.  I set the boundaries....friends can hug, but no kissing.  He said he heard me loud and clear.  No kissing. 

I was super busy over the next few days:  grass to cut, summer camp lesson plans to get ready, a house to clean, writing to do...yet, he wanted to see me again.  He had been persistent.  I told him I didn't want to lead him on.  I didn't feel our relationship was going to go beyond friends.  I felt he was looking for more, much quicker than I.  He instantly agreed and wished me well in my search. 

End of Bachelor Number One's dating story. 
Time lasted:  Ten days. 
After this date, on my blog I wrote my post to the Universe basically saying give me what I need, don't listen to my requests! I suppose I am allowed to change my mind after compiling completed research data.  

A dry spell followed.  

Bachelor Number Two:  It was a rainy Tuesday.  I hopped on Match as I drank my morning coffee.  A very cute, and much younger guy caught my attention...thirty-nine year old, if you must know.  I shouldn't have done it, but I did.  I checked out his profile.  Several minutes later I received a message from him.  It said, "You have an amazing smile.  I hope you have an account here."  I responded that I did, but that I am not into younger men.  I was trying to stick to my guns and follow my self imposed rules, older guys only!  Our texting lasted all day.  Playful, fun. He was flirty and wanted flirty back.  I was having fun and his texts made my day more interesting.  I actually hoped he'd suggest we meet.  OMG! What was my problem!?  He was too young!  Right?  My inner self kept wondering. Am I cool enough to have a boy toy?  I mean, why not at least give it a shot?  I was bold and suggested we might enjoy meeting.  He didn't reply the same, just more online flirting.  I let down my guard.  We exchanged cell numbers, names and the flirting continued. He sent me a picture of himself at his house after working out.  Hmm!  It was a clean picture.  Suggestive, no shirt, and just low enough without being vulgar. Enticing.  I went out to run errands and even wrote for a bit, in hopes he'd ask what I was up to and come meet me.  He did ask what I was doing, but didn't ask to meet.  Should this be a red flag?  I wondered.  He told me he was in his bed and said I should go home.  It was closing time at my writing spot anyway, so I went home.  When I got home he sent me another picture.  Another enticing photo...he had bedroom eyes and was laying in bed.  Again, clean, but inviting.  He didn't ask me over.  He just hoped I'd send him a sexy picture.  I told him I wouldn't do that.  I didn't feel safe with him yet.  I am playful, and I would send a picture to my partner if I had one, but this guy was still very much a stranger to me.  With a note of reluctance, his responding text said we should meet sometime. There was no commitment on his end.  I did feel he sent that text to make me comfortable and hoped that I would let my guard down even farther. 

The next day I was meeting a friend up in Indy, and the following day I'd be back up there to meet my sister.  I told him my plans.  His comment back was, "Well, you need to get that out of your system."  What the???  I didn't ask what he meant, I just let it go.  I suspected he was trying to be cute, but thought he might be insecure. The next day I returned home just after 4pm, and I received this text from him: "Are you still shopping?"  I had said I was going to the Art Museum, I wasn't going to shop. Clearly he was making assumptions and not reading my messages. I said I was currently resting for a few minutes and then would go mow my yard.  I asked if I could text him later, when I was finished.  His one word response: "night". At about 8:30 I was done and I shot him a text.  No response.  At 10:15 I sent another message.  Nothing.  Twenty-four hours later he sent me a pondering face emoji. 🤔 

WTH?  Two days later he sent me a message via Match.  No longer were we communicating via cellphone.  He said he was sorry I didn't want to play with him.  Me too I guess, but not really.  I'm not into sexting.  Silly me, I hadn't even realized that's all he wanted.  Old dogs can have thick skulls at times.  Woof. 

End of Bachelor Number Two's nontraditional dating story. 
Time lasted:  What, maybe a day, really??? 
Plenty of Fish: POF.com

Bachelor Number Three:  Attractive man, just a year older than me started up a conversation on POF, it was Monday just after dinner. ✔- older.  Unlike Match, one can talk for free on POF.  Why pay when you can get something for free, right?  Well, this guy seemed like someone I would like to get to know better.  His pictures were nice.  His personality, via texting, seemed pleasant.  We text back and forth for several hours.  It was suggested that we meet and have a glass of wine.  I can't recall who suggested it.  He tells me that I can come over to his place, but he has rules...I cannot go inside his house.  What? I think, or "we can meet out someplace?" is my response.  Side note: It's 10:30 at night.  He asks where we can meet so late.  I found myself literally laughing out loud. I hadn't intended to suggest we should meet that night, I had been thinking we should meet another night.  We both chuckle over this slip up, and decide to meet the next night at a local place at 7pm.  

At noon the next day, he sent me a message...he asked if we could chat another night online before we meet face-to-face.  What? What???  Yes, of course. He told me he'd feel more at ease if we could chat via online one more time before meeting. Okay, what ever. I was thinking he's insecure, but will discover later on what I suspect really happened.  That night I can see he's on POF but he's not responding to me, I figure he must have a better catch happening.  No worries.  I'm fine not connecting with him.  Things happen the way they are supposed to happen.  I finally receive a message on POF from him about 20 minutes after we were to meet. I had been busy with a project, so I finished what I was doing and then reply.  Again, the chit chat happens easily.  He says he wasn't sure why he'd been so cautious and canceled meeting me.  He asks if we could we meet now, and chat in person for an hour.  He'd even bring a bottle of wine.  Hmm.  I had to decide, did I trust him enough?  The night before in our talking, he had told me his first name, what he did and where he worked.  I had put on my detective hat earlier in the day.  Bingo!  In my searching, he came right up.  He was easy to find, very public, and seemed to be representing himself accurately.  I asked him if he was bothered by the fact that I live right next door to my former MIL.  I hadn't told him this information until now.  That was fine he assured me...unless she had a 22.  I told him she loved me and was a sweetheart, both true statements.  He said his rules were he'd stay outside and only spend an hour.  He seemed to have lot of rules he followed, and I do have a wonderful porch for hanging out. I told him I needed his full name, address and phone number because I'd be giving this information to my sister.  Then, I added that all my neighbors look out for me...again two true statements.  He was fine with all I threw at him.  What the heck, I thought.  I'm 53 years old.  I need to have a little trust.  We trade cell numbers, etc. 

He came over and I thought, hmm, he's cute in person.  I wouldn't mind if he tried to kiss me tonight.  We shared a bottle of wine.  The one hour we had allotted flew past and grew into several.  It was close to 2 a.m. when he went home, and he did kiss me.  It was nice.  When he had arrived on my doorstep, he was visibly nervous.  He rambled on about loving birds.  As a long time bird lover, I could tell he was really a fan, too.  We had this in common.  In our conversations, little things about our era came up...he didn't have to explain, nor did I.  We understood what the other was talking about, no generation gap.  I liked this about him. I asked how he came to be in town and all about his family and his growing up.  I heard about his past girlfriends and how he's a pamper-er.  He also confides in me that he's been the one to end all his relationships, but he has remained friends with four of the last five girls he's dated.  Interesting.  RED FLAG: noted 🚩 I rationalized our conversation details, he seemed to be trying to impress me. This was our first time to meet in person.  I said little about my past. In fact, I asked questions, but barely shared. He liked to talk, but didn't ask many questions. I was happy to be getting to know someone new.  I was determined to not talk about my ex on my first date because, I am moving on.  We talked a little about dating now and Bachelor Number Three told me I should check out what women on dating sites look like, so I could see what I'm up against.  Eyebrows raised, I inquired, and he told me many show themselves in bikinis. I must admit, I all ready feel I don't have a chance in this pond. This new information didn't help my self esteem. He went on to say some even have their daughters in the pictures with both wearing bikinis.  He said this opens up dialogue for dirty conversation with those ladies. I'm sure this should have been a RED FLAG 🚩, but I am still naive in this dating game. 

Over the next day, he and I send pleasant texts back and forth.  Just a little flirty, but nice, and not at all like Bachelor Number Two.  He wants to take me out for dinner on Friday to my choice of restaurant.  I mentioned I like to dine at local places and not chain restaurants.  "Perfect," he said, as the 'local' I could show him new places, and, if I wear a dress with plenty of cleavage, I can order a bottle of wine from the 'top shelf'.  RED FLAG 🚩: noted.  Maybe he's just being flirtatious I tell myself, at least I hoped. 

By Friday night he was referring to me as babe a lot, in his messages. I definitely note this as we had just started talking Monday.  I like terms of endearment...when they are heartfelt.  He sent me a message, he was running a little late, could I have a bottle of wine ready? He suggests we could have a drink to take the edge off, and start the night. There happened to be a bottle of wine in the refrigerator, so sure. I was ready.  I was nervous and a little excited.  A guy that I wanted to get to know better, actually wanted to go out with me?!!  He was picking me up and taking me to a nice place for dinner.  How ridiculous I am, but no one ever approaches me in the real world, asks me out, or seems to want to get to really know me.  Sure we hadn't spent much time talking about me the other night, but we were heading to dinner and I am certain he would want to hear all about me now.  

Before we left my house, I wanted to show him my yard.  It had been too dark to see anything when he was over the other night.  He liked my backyard, but he realized I'd mowed it earlier, and he noticed I had used a push mower. I had. He commented that if we were still together at Christmas he'd be buying me a riding mower. 😳 I politely thanked him but said there was no need, in my mind I was thinking 'are you going to pay me for being with you? I think that's got a name and it's called...', but my voice says I don't have a place to house a riding mower.  I justify my rationale and continue telling him that I have a very nice self-propelled.  He said, he will find a reason at Thanksgiving to buy me a small barn.  I smiled and politely shook my head, but I said no more.  I really don't want to feel bought. We went inside to have our glass of wine before heading out.  I had a playlist on my stereo and it just so happened that an obscure Ed Sheeran song was playing.  He asked if it was Ed, which of course made me happy. My turn to brag a tad, I told him I was going with my sister in September to see Ed in Indy.  He joked that if my sister broke her leg and couldn't go he would gladly be her replacement.  Then he went on about concerts he's attended and ones he'd like to attend.  I had to ask him to repeat himself when he told me he didn't want me to think he was gay or anything like that, but he really like Justin Timberlake and would love to see him.  Then he added without flinching, as if he'd said it a hundred times, "Yay, I'd blow him."  "What???" clearly puzzled I asked out loud.  Laughing he says...."I said I'd blow him.  I said I'm not gay, but I would absolutely do him. You know, backstage, door is closed and locked and he asks for a little. I do it."  "Okay then," I say.  RED FLAG 🚩, eyebrows raised, and noted.  He'd like to see Adele and I can't recall who else, because my brain was still trying to process the Justin comment.  Five minutes later he says, "You know I was just kidding about that Justin thing, right?"  "Do I?" I responded.  I don't know. My eyebrows were still raised. Off to dinner we went.

There was a short wait at the restaurant, which meant we'd be waiting in the bar. My date had me order a bottle of wine, he said he trusted my choice.  I had all ready noted that he wasn't really a wine drinker. He had mentioned that when he does drink wine, he's more of a sweet, white, wine type.  I am not. I like a dry red, with hints of berries. I'll take a Malbec or Shiraz any day! Considering we were at a local brewery, I probably would have gone with a beer. I had noted in previous conversations that my date really prefers Jamaican Rum with Diet Coke, but only beer and wine are on this menu.  Four wine choices tonight, and one was definitely too sweet for me.  I decided upon the Chardonnay.  I thought it was a nice choice, all things considered.  All the bottles cost $24.00. Old habit, I am always aware of how much money is being spent. I was held accountable in my past.  This is a hard habit to break.  Old habits are hard to be free of, especially when I know someone else is buying for me and he has recently said, "I'll buy you a riding mower...which really means I am paying you for your services" comment was still so fresh in my brain.  Just after the wine arrived, the waitress escorted me to our table, while my date settled up with the bartender.  My date chose to sit next to rather than across from me. This makes it easier to talk and hear one another.  At times this was just the right amount of closeness, and at others it was just a bit too much. He whispers in my ear, I couldn't quite hear him, so I leaned in a little closer, he used the closeness to kiss me. I am on display. I don't like kissing where it's so public with someone I don't know that well. I told him when he tried to kiss me a second time that he had a limited amount of kisses for the evening and if he used them all up out in public he wouldn't get a kiss good night.  Boundaries. I set them.  He didn't try to kiss me again at the restaurant. 

I nurse my third glass of wine, and consciously decide I won't finish it. I drink water for the rest of the night.  Having started this night drinking wine at my house, plus one and a half glasses here at dinner is more than enough for me. I'm not one who likes getting publicly intoxicated. I'm sure my date isn't that type of person either, but he's starting to show the effects of too much alcohol in his system, so maybe I am wrong in this assumption.  He gets out his phone to show me pictures of his dogs.  And then...pictures of the lady he took to the Biltmore in June. This past June. RED FLAG 🚩 He tells me her name, and assures me she is just a friend. I really don't care.  He says again and again exactly how much he paid a night for the room.  This is followed by him telling me nothing happened between them.  He let her have the king-sized bed in the suite and he slept on the couch in the other room.  He did posed for a picture with her where they kissed. I saw that picture.  He didn't really show it to me, but I could see it as he flipped though all his pictures. He showed me all the cakes she's baked and decorated, apparently that's what she does.  In fact, she had just brought him a cake that day; one that didn't turn out exactly as she'd liked. 😳 I told him she and he made a nice looking couple.  They did.  He was showing me pictures of the two of them.  Still, more pictures, one of three women, when I asked him to go back and tell me about that he acted as if he hadn't heard me.  Okay, he has selective hearing, and he's getting drunk. Noted. RED FLAG 🚩

He comments yet again, that he was kidding about Justin.  Whatever. The conversation shifts to our waiter, "was he a little gay or what?"  😐😕😠 Really??  He made a point of going over the top with our waiter after that comment, too. It was embarrassing.  "Oh, such-and-such, you have made this night absolutely the best!" Then he held his fist out to fist bump the waiter, who awkwardly laughed and bumped fists.  After the waiter left my date asks me, "How'd you like that!?"  😱 RED FLAG 🚩

"Oh, and we aren't going to talk politics." This is his next topic for our conversation.  He proceeded to tell me all about the rules at his place of employment, and how he's had to step in for his subordinates.  He tells me, "You and I will be just fine, as long as you didn't vote for Hilary." RED FLAG 🚩 I responded, "Well, who did you vote for?" He tells me he voted for all offices except President.  I asked why he didn't make his voice heard, and he asks me who would he vote for, a dirty politician or a joke? Fair enough assessment I suppose, but I think Hilary was the best choice. I said nothing to him.  He wasn't worth THAT conversation. 

He's jumping from subject to subject now.  Who would my free pass be? WHAT??? I must have looked very puzzled. "You know, that person who could knock on the door and you'd call me up and say, yay, I need to break up with you for thirty minutes.  Is it Harrison Ford?  Or Clooney?" To be honest, I have never thought like this. In the real world that just doesn't happen, so why would I even think it or say it???  He mentions his list.  I agree his lady choices are all beautiful. 

I try several times to hint that we should leave, at this point he tells me he paid $40 for our bottle of wine, so we will finish it.  I told him I'm not having any more.  I stopped after my 1 1/2 at dinner.  He looks at me and I can tell he's had too much all ready, and he starts to sort of ask, so I jump right in, "I'd be glad to drive us home if you want to finish your glass of wine."  He says he never does this kind of thing, but agrees.  He tells me it would look bad if he was pulled over.  He needs to not be able to drive.  I tell him I understand.  I'm really only thinking of myself now.  He continues and tells me he doesn't have a drinking problem, but he did find out later in life that his dad was an alcoholic, as is his brother, whom he hasn't spoken to in three years.  He doesn't even know where his brother lives right now.  He, my date, used to smoke pot, but he doesn't any more.  He enjoys a drink when he gets home instead.  He used to smoke pot, but he failed a drug test that cost him his dream job, so he has sworn it off.  RED FLAG 🚩 RED FLAG 🚩 RED FLAG 🚩 That drug test was just five years ago, just before he moved here.  Interesting.  So, if I will drive the car..."YES", I say, I am absolutely fine driving his car!  "It's a  *****",  he tells me, with a question in his voice, as if driving a  *****  is different than any other car.  "Is it a stick," I ask? "Because I can drive that too, no worries."  He mentions again how much he has paid for the wine and told me he left a big tip because the next time he comes in, that bartender is going to remember him and treat him well.  Without saying anything, he took my glass and poured what I had left into his own. He drank every last drop from that bottle.  I'm a bit shocked...he couldn't just walk away from my dregs. 

As he's gets his wallet out to pay the bill he asked if I have any cash on me.  "Yes, why?"  Then he hands me the bill.  He wanted me to read it to him.  I asked if he needs glasses, he tells he has them, but he leaves them at work.  As I read the total out loud, he put a line through the tip spot and said thank you.  "Ah,that's why you asked if I have cash, you'd like me to leave a cash tip."  No he says, he has cash and he pulls out a twenty.  WTH?  I am puzzled yet again tonight.  I wondered what this "lesson" he's feeling the need to teach me is all about.  I now know he paid $40 for the wine, another $30 for dinner and  left $20 as a tip.  Was this his way of letting me know how much he liked me, because he's spent a certain amount of money tonight? Or is this his way to impress me, as to what he's paid for me tonight? I wonder, what is it he will want in return? Or is this just a conversation he wants to have because he likes hearing himself talk and sound like a big man?  I was not intoxicated, just curious.  He continues his speech, he knows wait staff prefer green.  True enough, they do.  I don't need this lesson though. 

We walked to his car an hour later than I had hoped.  I got in to drive us to my house.  But first ...I received a sales speech about all the features on the car. I must have seemed like someone who had never driven a car before. 😡 I was so tempted to drive like a wild banshee. I tried to restrain that beast inside.  As I was driving to my place I suddenly asked, "Hey, do you want to go on a secret road?"  I know a little, narrow lane that cuts through campus. I also know I can drive fast on this curvy stretch.  My banshee wasn't as contained as she should have been!  😈  Unfortunately, I think he liked my wild driving because afterward he told me how his car is a sport coupe and has all wheel drive so the tires stick when cornering, blah, blah, blah.  What ever.  I believe my past knowledge of cars is deeper than most woman, yet I don't care to use that knowledge any more. At least not in talking with this man. I am emotionally over this night.  I haven't been listened to at all.  

We arrived at my place, and I know it wasn't safe for him to drive yet.  UGH!  We needed to wait a few hours before I felt comfortable placing him behind the wheel.  We have more conversation about his family.  To keep his mind occupied, I asked question after question.  I know he's expecting us to kiss, but I was not sure what else he thought he had coming. As the alcohol is leaving his system, he shifts our conversation back to kissing.  He tells me he has Russian Hands and Roman Fingers. 😐 Admittedly, I am human, and have been alone longer than I had expected.  A little kissing and caressing feels good, but quickly lines were crossed.  He was stronger than I am and he pushed the envelope which made me a little nervous.  He was more aggressive than I liked.  

I suddenly recall a part of our conversation from when he was over the night before.  He told me how the girl he had been dating at Christmas...whom he'd bought a bunch of name brand computer gadgets, etc. even though he knew he was going to break up with her...accused him of borderline raping her last New Year's Eve.  His story was that she had too much to drink and came on to him.  The next day she told him that he should have known better.  I'm suddenly aware of how strong he was and I know I didn't think I could stop him, if he didn't want to stop when I said.  I was prepared emotionally to be detached if things got to that point.  An old college memory flared up. Dang, I thought I had that one buried deeper!  Guess it hadn't been as deeply hidden as I thought.  I'm older and wiser now.  I was ready to physically hurt him if things got out of hand.  He had me in a position where I couldn't move freely, and his one hand was where he said it wouldn't roam. The second time I say stop, I don't recognize my own voice.  I was really forceful.  This me hasn't had to ever shown herself.  He stops.  I told him he needed to go home.   I walked him to the door and I told him goodbye.  I knew this was it.  I would not date him.  I just needed to figure out what to say to him the next day. I still felt responsible for letting him down easy.  

Sleep didn't come easily that night. I am so alone. Being over 50 and dating is hard.  I so want to believe that someone can love and respect me.  I want to believe that both can happen simultaneously.  I want to believe that someone will love me for my smarts and not feel threatened because I have a brain.  I want to feel that my sex appeal will excite someone, while being seen as a bonus.  I know that is stupid.  In reality, I am seen as an object only in the world of online dating.  Society still hasn't allowed me to be an equal.  I am easily substituted for younger, or more needy models.  That's what it seems men want in life.  If I stand up and am that strong woman who lives deep inside of me, I risk being alone for ever.  At least that's how I feel.  Men don't seem to want to be partners. I don't think I can play this dating game. In fact, I know I can't.  

End of Bachelor Number Three's dating story.
Time lasted: A whopping five days. 

AFTER NOTE: I suspected Bachelor Number Three had been in a relationship with the lady whom he took to the Biltmore.  I believe he had been looking for a way to end that relationship. A quick FB search of her showed she was "in a relationship" and it also revealed comments they had back and forth to one another. The comments were more than friends and had happened as recently as the morning we were supposed to have met for wine. 

Epilogue: Dating sites are a hard place to spend time.  I think they are probably as hard for men as they are for women.  They hurt, not help self esteem.  In order to be noticed, one must write a catchy profile and include just the right pictures.  Even then, it's hard to meet the right someone.  Pay sites have fewer subscribers in my "little" town and free sites have too many people whom I am not interested in getting to know.  I suppose I'm grateful for the lessons I am taking away from this summer of playing The Dating Game. One guy sent me a message on a free site.  He said, "Ask me a question.  I'll answer"  So I did.  I said, "I have always wondered...Why do banks charge you for 'insufficient funds' when you don't have enough money in your account to pay it?" Needless to say, we never did connect. 

I feel we live in a society where humans have trouble interacting in person. So many people play games on line, on a computer or at home through smart TV's and gaming systems. I think this separates us from reality and online dating is just another version of these virtual games.  Maybe I'm wrong, and it's just harder when one has previously been married for a long time, or has children still at home to be able to connect with other available souls. I really don't know how to help my path cross that of others who might be ready for a relationship.  I have this ominous feeling that unless I put myself "out there", I am destined to remain alone.  Certainly others feel this way as well?  Maybe this is part of the online dating game.  

I really miss having an intimate relationship.  Intimacy to me does not equate to sex only.  I'd love to find someone with whom I can roll over, look into their eyes, see their joy, or pain, and connect on that level.  I long to make plans and go on adventures with someone special.  I would love to have a partner to share the rest of my days.  I realize we all come into this world alone, and we leave it alone too. After my summer research... I think I'm ready to adopt another dog. 

I am happy that school has started once again.  I can, and will fall into my workaholic ways, focusing on my classroom and students.  I love teaching and I love my two kitties. For these loves, I am grateful. 

Goodbye dating sites. I need a life preserver to swim in your waters, and you don't provide this.  In fact, you make my heart feel empty and alone, which is the exact opposite of what you say you are selling.  

~Lisa Kroll
  currently jaded, skeptical, and a non-believer in the existence of true love between unrelated human beings*

                                 *this is just a stage, I hope.  

Blogging listening music:  
     mostly The Piano Guys Pandora station...slightly classical, slightly romantic. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.

I treated myself to seeing the recent movie, Wonder Woman.  

Before I walked into the theatre, I reflected back on my introduction to comic book heroines.  The mid 70's were a time when young women started to see female comic book heroes come to life.  Heroines in the comics adorned the small screen. That "I can do it" attitude was being laid in my 11 year-old foundation. In my youth, Isis was the first goddess I recall wanting to embrace.  I was transformed by simply saying, "Oh Mighty Isis" as if that's all I had to do to become strong, to become powerful. That's what the female science teacher on the television show said in order for her to change. 

As most youth, I had a wonderful imagination growing up. I enjoyed taking on the personality of many television characters. Isis was followed by The Bionic Woman, and next came Wonder Woman. These shows overlapped one another for a few years. Lynda Carter was the Wonder Woman of my youth.  As a former Miss American, she was a kick-butt brunette, who had brains and curves.  When I was younger, I had darker hair, and my Italian heritage hinted at curves that I would grow into. It would be several more years though before my hour glass shape truly took form. As for brains...well, I was studious, and ended my high school days in the top fifth of my class.  I have always LOVED math and science, too.  I don't recall exactly when my dad gave me a cuff bracelet that had belonged to him as a child, but I suspect it was around that time.  Maybe he sensed that I needed a little help in feeling strong.  Bra burning was popular and in the news during my youth. I would wear that cuff to ward off invisible bullets, or to gain my silent super powers. It didn't leave my wrist, and it was my secret weapon.  I never told anyone how empowered it made me feel.    

I spent time reflecting back on the little girl I was, and the woman I have become. A realization set over me. I have felt that the generation of ladies who preceded me were the ones who set the woman's rights movement in motion.  I am grateful for them, but what have I contributed to help the cause??? Mostly, I followed social norms.  I had children and stayed at home to raise them.  I kept the house, did the cooking, and the cleaning.  I supported the head of our household, as a good wife should. My staying home, meant our family looked to be at a higher status level than others.  As I pause now, I think none of the roles I filled sound very much like I did my part to help the cause. Yet, I know I would do it all again, exactly the same way. Choices, we all make them.  I made the conscious choice to stay home.  No regrets.  I have always been a teacher, I just didn't realize it. The lessons I needed to teacher were to a smaller groups of students.   

Watching the Wonder Woman movie, I realized I am living in an era where women are still gaining power.  Women are still finding out who they are and defining who we, as women, are suppose to become, which is to be an equal to all others.  We are not only defining, for our gender, we are defining for all races what it means to be equal. Equality, that's the cause. Women are doing all this with grace, and with wisdom.

As a mother, I shared my love and compassion with my children.  Those were two of the life lessons I taught.  To see one's child help another, means my role as a mother and caregiver made a difference. Really, I was the strength that cemented the foundation of my household.  I see that now. Power.  

There are moments when I start to feel as if I am not fulfilling my part in society to help build powerful women.  One of my friends sent me a book for my classroom library.  It is a reminder that sometimes, when we feel we need to count on others, we really all ready have the strength we seek inside ourselves.  

In honor or my friend, I made this bracelet.  I know that we, both male and female, are really stronger than we think, or know.  

I want to do my part to make society a better place.  I want to show the world that I am not a slacker, who is riding on the coattails of women who came before me.  

As I pause, I am reminded that I wake up, and live each day, and I inspire girls all around me.  I went back to further my education, after I raised my family.  I embarked on a career that I had always dreamt of holding.  I am surviving, and thriving. I want to inspire my daughter, and my nieces.  They can be and do anything they want in life!  I believe in them, and I will be their biggest supporter.  The other collateral beauty of my inspiration lands on my being able to inspire my sister, my friends, and my peers.  The funny thing about inspiration...it is reciprocal.  My sister, my friends and my peers also inspire me, as do my daughter and my nieces.  Today, just like in my youth, there are many role models of strong, powerful, graceful, compassionate heroines who inspire all.  

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me...
And no one knows, how far it goes...
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me...
One day I'll know, how far I'll go...

This summer, I have realized how important my female friendships are to my being. I believe we all need the friendship of many in our lives.  Friendships at this stage in my life seem more meaningful, than they were when I was younger. There is a richness that comes with experiencing life, and I feel it allows me to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways with others.  I find I can appreciate more of what lies beneath the surface in a person, too.  I am cautious who I let close to my heart, but it is with my female friends that I know I can really let down my guard.  We support one another emotionally, and are no longer trying to impress or out do each other.  Maybe we've reached that stage in life where we all really do know how precious is our time left on this Earth. Although my close friends emotionally support me, and I them, I know that the world is still a competitive place and regularly women will knock one another down.  I'm still trying to understand why.  Is it out of fear?  Fear of what though?  Not getting ahead? Being liked more or less than someone else?  I see it where I work, but it happens in all environments. Grown women can become mean girls. There are so many things we do to hurt one another...little digs, unspoken looks down noses, people being left out of the loop. I believe, in order for our society to become the place with which I am most comfortable for our future generations, we need a balanced world.  We need more women in power.  

Ladies, we need to support one another, and in all ways! We need to be kind and compassionate.  We need to help one another.  We need to elect women at the local level and then up through the ranks.  We need to financially support strong, female candidates.  We need to seed the campaigns of those who are comfortable speaking their minds on behalf of all of us; those with voices who will be heard.  I certainly haven't been an example of someone who was comfortable speaking her mind and making waves.  But "still, it calls me...."  Men will not take care of our issues.  They hear us, but they cannot know what it is that we truly need. We need a world that believes in equality, and compassion.  Not equality and compassion just for women, but for all.  During Wonder Woman, who stood up and walked through the battle field because she believed so strongly that what was happening was wrong?  

I am officially now on my summer break.  My camp teaching is over and I can relax. I am looking forward to a little quiet time to myself, and then I plan on filling my days with home improvement tasks and lunches, drinks, dinners, movies, what ever I can...with my friends who are girls!  I need you my friends! Not just during the dog days of summer, but always.  

And the call isn't out there at all...It's inside me...It's like the tide...Always falling and rising...I will carry you here in my heart...You'll remind me...That come what may...I know the way...  

I WONDER where my future path is leading me?     

~Lisa Kroll
     I think I've just awakened the feminist in myself, and I really like it                love warrior, feminist, teacher


Tonight's blogging music:  Moana: Original Movie Soundtrack, with special thanks to my sister who made sure I now own it.   

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Timeless Words....

Did she know?  That's the question that's been on my mind.  Did my mom know just how much I admired, loved and appreciated her before she died?  

She reached out to me this week, from beyond the grave.  I made an impromptu trip to visit my sister because I was starting to feel a tad claustrophobic at my house, and truth be known, lonely.  I needed a little bit of that special love one can only really get from being with their family.  While at my sister's, the two of us shared our time by going through boxes of old family photos.  The boxes we went through contained images of long gone souls; souls we'd grown up knowing only in family tales.  As history detectives, we identified our kin.  This experience was incredibly eye opening, and it touched my soul.

My sister opened an old scrapbook one night.  She perused it's pages, as I was identifying loose photos.  The next day, I peeked inside that scrapbook and was treated to a world of personal stories.

My grandmother, Theresa, went through a period of loss, not unlike others in her time.  She had a baby (my Aunt Carol) in July of 1939.  Carol didn't see her first birthday because she contracted Tuberculosis.  My grandmother would test positive or TB the remainder of her life.  My grandmother was able to get pregnant again, and this baby would grow to be my mother, Patricia, the first of five more babies to enter the family Simonetto.  My mom was a few months old, when my grandmother's brother, Patrick, died.  He was just 21 years old.  He had been at college, but came home for a visit, when he died suddenly of Pneumonia.  In the next year, my grandparents would lose yet another family member: my grandfather's youngest brother, Joeseppe.  He was 20 years old, and died in an air training accident at the Air Force base in Kansas (McConnell AF Base, before it was named as such).  So much loss of youth.  How did the families handle it? That is a rhetorical question, I know they were survivors.  They persevered.  As I continued to leaf through the pages of the scrapbook, old letters, notes written by unknown-to-me relatives, came alive. I was mesmerized.  I was held captive.  

One letter gripped my heart more than the rest.  It was one penned by my own mother.  It certainly wasn't the oldest letter.  The paper hadn't turned yellow yet with age.  There, before my eyes, was my mom's handwriting, on blue, flowered stationary.   I read the letter out loud to my sister.  As I did, tears slowly streamed down my cheeks.  My mom was expressing sentiments that I have been recently feeling.  Mom wrote a letter to Grandma, near Mother's Day in 1989.  Below are the unedited words my mother had to say:
My Grandmother, before children.
I have a picture of my grandfather at this time, too,
so I do suspect they were married in this photo. 

Lake Michigan in the foreground, and my
grandmother with my mom on her right and my Uncle Joe on the left.  

My mom and Grandma

Mom and Grandma,
on my mom's First Holy Communion

My mom and my Grandma at my sister's wedding 

Dear Mom:

I suppose you're wondering why I'm writing this letter since we live only ten miles apart and talk on the phone almost every day.  I don't feel I could express myself verbally as well as I could by writing.  Since Mother's Day will soon be here and I've been shopping for that special gift, I've been thinking about you and what you've meant to me through the years.

As I think back now, I guess I really didn't appreciate you as much as I could of while I was at home. It wasn't until I went to California that I began to get a new perspective on our relationship.  We didn't always agree on everything, of course
but you always took time to listen whenever I had a problem that I wanted to talk about.  After I left home, I missed not being able to confide in you except long distance, by mail or by telephone.

My mom, the bride - March 1962

I think it was when I married Larry that I really began to think of you as a real person rather than as "Just Mom." I began to admire your abilities with cooking, getting everything on the table hot at the same time, sewing which I took for granted, gardening and how crafty you are.  Your ability to make something out of nothing amazed me.  I also discovered that you were generous and always ready to help out a friend, neighbor and me.

You know, you've given me good sound advice over the years and I haven't always taken it.  But I especially remember the morning of my wedding when you and Dad said, it wasn't too late to change my mind about marrying Larry" - your only concern was my happiness and I've often thought of that special moment.  After Lisa was born, I began to see what it meant to be a mother from a new point of


view.  I felt a very special closeness with you as I understood, for the first time, the joys of having a child, of seeing her smile, hearing her say, "mama" and watching her learn to walk and grow up.  Each child has given me more insight to who you really were.  I had a hard time with three and you managed fine all by yourself. 

Holding and rocking a sick child, I've also discovered the long hours of worry and work you put into caring for me.  I found then, as you did years before, that a mother learns to rely on God a great deal.

As the kids have grown I found that I could sound grouchy and irritable just as you sometimes sounded when I was growing up and for some of the same good reasons.

I remember how you use to complain about how sloppy and messy I was. I really


didn't care much about your frustrations then, but I now know exactly how you felt - Sorry.

You've always been there when I needed you the most.  I remember the morning Larry died - you were there to help me when I didn't know what I was going to do - you held me in your arms and I felt so safe and secure.  What magic your arms possess.

My Uncle Joe, Aunt Pam, Grandma and mom -
There were still two babies yet to join the family.
I was so lonely and frightened but you were there to pick up the pieces.  You said I was still young and pretty - I had no faith in myself.  Then I met Art and you were there again.

At Disney World, with my siblings and my mom 
Since I've had children of my own I feel that I know you better.  I understand that a mother tries so hard, makes mistakes, loses her temper when she doesn't mean to, and has normal human


emotions.  Yes, I understand now that mother's don't always know how to settle siblings quarrels fairly or may even run out of patience a lot of times.  But, moms never run out of love - I know because you've shown that through the years.

Thank you
With all my love, 
Your daughter, 

Happy Mother's Day

Did she know?  

I believe she did.  With age comes wisdom, and mother's definitely have wisdom along with their endless supply of love.

Thank you mom, for being there for me.  May you look down and know I embrace all you bestowed upon me in life.  I am who I am, because of you and dad.  I love you, as every daughter, and son, loves their mom.  Sometimes we just need a little time before we truly realize the awesome souls in our lives.

Wonder.  Wisdom.  Grace.  Power.

~Lisa Scubelek-Kroll, 
     story teller, mother, lover of life 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

...umm, hello...is this thing on?

Dear Universe, 

Clearly I don't know what it is that I want.  You pretty much gave me what I asked for and I couldn't embrace it.  Sorry, my bad.  Maybe I'm being too specific in my requests.  Please give me what every it is the I need, because I'm pretty sure you have a better idea than I do of what that might be.  I keep thinking I know what that is, but I've been told what I am requesting is very "vanilla", and not really me.  I have been told I am a younger soul than what my age says; that age is just a number.  I feel I need someone who has life experiences, but realistically can that person be someone younger than I am?  I've been told others are drawn towards me, but I just don't see it.  Help me to take down my blinders.   I've been told I need to have faith, give it time, and just trust in you.  Truly, I am trying.  

I am trying to be a brave, strong person, but I don't want the job of being an inspiration to others.  I don't recall asking for that position in my life.  That is just too much pressure and responsibility!  If I am supposed to be grateful, I am.  I really am.  I was sitting at my dining room table this past Sunday morning when I had a Zen like moment.  I realized I was at peace in my heart.  My body was so calm, and I felt I was in a state of true happiness.  Euphoria.  I felt it, as I breathed in and out.  I was sitting alone, and yet I was at peace and happy.  I went to fill my bird feeders, and as I walked into my carport, I realized I have so much to be for which to be grateful.  I own a wonderful house, and it is my refuge.  I had to pause and actually kiss The Burrow.  I am grateful for the shelter it offers me, and the joys I have from watching the nature that surrounds it.  I am trying to find balance in my life.  I am trying very hard to be a good person, make everyone happy, and be true to myself.  I don't want to ever hurt my children.  I feel they have been hurt enough all ready, and they still have so much more life ahead of them.  I am sure heartache and hurt will be in their lives too, as it is in all our lives, but I do not want to add to their hurt any more.  Maybe my focus needs to be on making myself happy, but that's hard for me to do, because I feel selfish when I think like that.  

Today is the 32nd anniversary of my own dad's death.  In my life, I have experienced loss, and hurt, and sadness, and joy, and jealousy, and anger,  pride, and happiness, and I do not know what other lessons I still have to learn.  I'm really wanting to move forward.  I'm really tired of being lonely.  I don't mind being alone, if that's what I am supposed to be, but please direct me towards my purpose in life.  Most of the time, it's very hard to see my purpose.  Where is it that I am supposed to put all the love I have in my heart? 

Just making sure you are still there, Universe.  

Hope to hear from you soon.

Your biggest admirer, 

Lisa Kroll
     warrior, star gazer, and dreamer

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gives and Takes....Price Points

Sometimes good things fall apart so even better things can fall together....

I've been weighting the pros and cons to being in a relationship. Nothing is on the horizon, I've just been thinking. I've been wondering why people give up their independence to be in relationships. I'm trying to figure out what the price point might be for whether or not a relationship happens.  I've been told I think too much. Thinking is a gift.    

In a relationship:  

When one enters into a relationship, there are many things gained.  One gains a partner with whom he or she can grow and share life.  Another gain, someone to call or text. There is always someone to come home to; always noise in the house.  Always someone to go do something with, either planned or spontaneous.  There are holidays to share and new traditions just waiting to be created. One always has someone who can do something for them, or the reverse, someone to dote on. One has someone to think out loud with or debate. Chores can be divided.  Money can be pooled.  Kind words can be spoken, and heard.  One can hear "I love you" before they close their eyes at night, and drift off to sleep. There is someone to plan and live dream vacations, or even stay-cations.  Still another gain, one has someone to share a new series on TV, or Netflix, etc. Meals can be prepared and eaten together. Strange noises in the house can be investigated by someone else. One has a partner to cuddle with, and hands are available to be held. 

Being single:  

Windows in the car may be opened and hair may be turned loose to dance freely in the breeze.  One decides what music to listen to and the decibel it should be heard. And if one wants to listen to Ed sing "What do I know", or "Eraser" a hundred times in a row...she can.  One can stay up as late as they'd like, or sleep in, too.  House windows may also be left open at night to enjoy the sounds of owls and tree frogs. No negotiating for what is on the screen. Binge watching for hours is acceptable. Dishes do not need to be used, or even washed daily IF used.  Chips and dip qualify as a complete meal. Proper sleeping posture is sprawled out, in the middle of the bed. Bed making is optional. There is always enough hot water. One can talk to his or her pets, knowing no one else will hear them.    

I'm sure there are many pros I'm missing for both being in a relationship and being single. These lists are by no means complete.   

A little alone time to think is always good for the soul.  
Being alone can be lonely at times, but it's okay.  

~Lisa Kroll

     I choose love.  
     I choose positivity. 
     I choose happiness.