Friday, February 24, 2012

"Are You Ready to Date?"....or A Guide on Speaking to Divorced Individuals

I have a confession to make....I googled "how to know if you're ready to date" tonight. (Wait, it gets worse) And then proceeded to take the quiz offered by a well known magazine. (I will now give you a moment to either giggle, or shake your head in disappointment and embarrassment.)

It's been on my mind - and apparently on the mind of one of my special ed. students. I was in our adaptive therapy room with several of the students this week, when I noticed one of the girls looking at me intently. Then the following conversation took place:

Girl: Why aren't you wearing a wedding ring?
Me: Because I'm not married.
Girl: You should get a husband.
Me: I should? Where do I get one?
Girl: (spends many minutes thinking)
Girl: The cops.
Me: The cops? Like the police?
Girl: yeah
Me: How are they going to get me a husband?
Girl: Well....when they drive down my street they always have an extra guy in the back.

I burst out laughing, leaving her somewhat dismayed, but I couldn't help myself...it was hysterical. Now although I liked her creative thinking, I'm just not built for the criminal life and, as mentioned in previous posts, I am postally-impaired...so a letter writing romance just wouldn't work for me. I do think I would excel at the whole file in the cake thing....but I don't think that's done anymore.

I have also received some unsolicited advice and comments that make me think it just may not happen for me. (I know that sounds whiny, but if you could hear the voice in my head it's not at all whiny...you'll see.)

Since my ex moved out a year ago people have said some spectacular things to me. If you think that I was discussing my non-existent love life when these things were said you would be wrong....they just let loose with these comments. (Please keep in mind that these things have not offended me...if they did I wouldn't write about them. I just find them very funny....hello, filter anyone?) Here are a few of my favorites:

"It's good you're busy with work and school, then you won't notice how alone you are."

"The chance of finding a practicing LDS man in your age bracket (what am I 90?) is less than 20%."

"In a few years your girls will be gone to college and then it will just be you, rattling around in your house."

"You seem very confident....you'll be fine never marrying again." (Thank you?)

The nice thing about these comments is they make for very amusing anecdotes. They have great shock value, which makes a story even better. I just think that no one has quite figured out what to say to someone who has gotten divorced. Here are your two options: "I'm so sorry." Or..."Congratulations." You decide which fits best....but if you go for "congratulations" you'd better be really sure of yourself.

Dating after divorce seems like a completely different animal than dating in college and it intimidates me. Everyone has horror stories. LOTS AND LOTS of horror stories about the crazy men and women that are on the dating scene in "my age bracket." It's like every one's child birth stories. No one ever says, "Well, I went into labor for many hours and then pushed several times and the baby came out. It hurt because...well, I was pushing another human out of my body...but otherwise, pretty much as expected." I feel like all of the dating horror stories I hear should start with "It was a dark and stormy night..."

A single Mom I spoke with the other day said her friends used to try and set her up. Most of the men were so unusual that she began to wonder how well her friends knew her...if at all. She hasn't been brave enough to venture into the online dating world...and I don't blame her. I'm not that brave, either. I keep thinking it will just happen naturally...because when all is said and done I'm just an old-fashioned girl lacking the guts to plaster myself on the Internet. (Yes, I am completely aware of the hypocrisy of that statement, but my blog doesn't count.)

The chances of this happening are fairly slim, however. I work in an elementary school and go to school in my kitchen....not a lot of single men hanging out at either place. And if they were hanging out at the elementary school they might be more of that "criminal" element I'm just not cut out for.

So, until my level of desperation rises to the point of dating online (I will eventually need some horror stories of my own), I will enjoy Friday nights at the computer listening to lectures on Ethnocultural Variables (boring)....and looking for the extra man in the back on America's Most Wanted.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bright Yellow Shorts and some Penny Loafers


An enjoyable (yes, I said enjoyable) component to regaining control of my life is working out. I have always liked working out, but became too bogged down by depression and an out of control work schedule to exercise consistently. Unhappiness is a persuasive demotivater. Once you stop, it's hard to get going again. You can come up with all kinds of good reasons: no time, no energy, I'm having a good hair day and don't want to mess it up, etc.

I work out at the local community rec. center. If you ever want to feel like you are still young and happening....work out at your community rec. center. Most days I am the only person in the room under the age of 65. (Unless Nicole comes with me.) There is a man that works out on a recumbent stair stepper, whom I'm fairly certain is 436 years old. He wears these fabulous bright yellow shorts...with matching yellow headband. He really rocks the headband. He works out so intensely that I fear for his health, and yet he can only move each pedal about an 1/8 of an inch. Quite frankly, I think that's the secret to his longevity. I mean, it would take great muscle control to only move those pedals an 1/8 of an inch and not a bit more.

I also thoroughly enjoy the exercise wardrobe of the over 65 set. Other than Mr. Bright Yellow Shorts, most of them come and work out in their street clothes. Yesterday, the man on the bike in front of me was wearing his khakis, an oxford, and penny loafers. Do you stop sweating after 65? Or is changing clothes too much of a hassle? The woman next to him was truly decked out: blazer, rayon blouse, black trousers, bracelets, and even a scarf. I kept getting worried that her long scarf would get caught on some equipment and down she would go.

A couple of weeks ago an elderly gentlemen came in and wanted to try out every piece of cardio equipment. He would ask someone how to get a machine going, stay on it for 2 minutes and move to the next machine. When I helped him with his treadmill, you would have thought that I was a mechanical genius. He was so thrilled....but, after two minutes he moved on to the elliptical machine. (That didn't go so well.)

I have started wondering if they look at me and think, "What is she wearing? Her pajamas?" I frequently feel sorely under dressed and wonder if I should at least add a few accessories to my yoga pants and t-shirt. (Maybe a beadazzler is in order.) On the upside, I usually feel like I'm going at a really good clip compared to those around me. The impressive thing, of course, is that they are all still working out. They all care enough about the quality of their health to show up several times a week. For a few of them I think it's a social outing, but for most they just want to keep as active as possible. There is one lady who comes several times a week. I thought she was about 70...nope...100!! Yes, 100 years old. She even had her picture put up on the bulletin board in the weight room. She swims, walks and lifts weights 4 times a week and she looks (and acts) amazing!

Like eating right, exercise is something we will need to do for the rest of our lives. (At least if we want to enjoy the rest of our lives.) For me I love the treadmill, some weights and a class now and then. When I get on the treadmill and turn on my music I can let my mind go and focus on how I feel. Every drop of sweat, every breath, every flexed muscle is me taking control of my life. The healthier I become, the more fit I become, the more I feel capable of becoming the kind of woman the Lord expects me to become. Exercise is hard, but it is also empowering and energizing...and if you're lucky 40 years from now you'll be slipping on your penny loafers to head to the gym.