Gone but Not Forgotten

I long for blissful ignorance on days like today.

The older I get, the more dread I feel when I think, “I wonder whatever happened to…”

Naturally, my friends are getting older, and you just never know. Times like these, I wish the internet didn’t exist. Before that, when you had that question, you had a much harder time tracking down the truth. If you were curious enough, you’d go to the library and pore over the microfiche, looking for news or obituaries, and then you’d flip through census records and phone books. Usually, you’d eventually give up and accept the fact that you probably weren’t going to get an answer.

I straddle the internet age and the non-internet age. I was in my mid-twenties when the world wide web first gained traction, so some of my friends are very internet savvy, and some find computers befuddling and mystifying on a good day. Because of that, some of my friends, usually the younger ones, have a big internet footprint, and others, usually the older ones, can barely be found at all.

Before the internet, most of us walked around blissfully ignorant of the passing of people we loved but had lost touch with. Now, it’s sort of a mixed bag. Some of my Google searches yield instant results. Some make me wonder whether a person had been a figment of my imagination.

Once, when I looked up an ex-boyfriend whom I remember fondly, not only did I discover that he had passed away, but also that he had left behind 19 children! Good grief, talk about losing touch. That was a shock to my system. But is it better than blissful ignorance?

I kind of long for that blissful ignorance on days like today. Because today I thought of someone and I Googled his name, and now I’m sad. Not surprised. Just sad.

I have no idea why I thought of Max today of all days. Just reminiscing, I suppose. Max and I go way back. We met 35 years ago because we both worked for the State of Florida, in different departments, both of which had burdened its employees with client caseloads about 10 times larger than they should have been. It was a windowless building that was a warren of individual offices. It was like a white collar prison. The stress levels in that building are impossible to adequately describe.

Max and I would cross paths in the lunchroom, and we bonded over our mutual burnout. As we got to know each other, though, we also bonded over our politics, our love of reading and writing, and the unspoken realization that we were both able to address issues in more depth than most of our coworkers, as much as it pains me to say that.

We kept up with current events. We enjoyed history. We read for pleasure. We loved to talk of our travels. Our horizons were broader than those of our peers. Max, for me, was like an oasis of nerdiness in a desert of monotonous groupthink. I always looked forward to lunch.

It may sound as though I had a romantic involvement with Max, but nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, he was 29 years older than I was, had children my age, and had completely different cultural references than I had. As much as we enjoyed each other’s company, we knew we were two entirely different types of primates, so to speak, and that was fine. We each, in our own ways, could be a bit much, so sometimes we’d get on each other’s nerves and have to take a step back. But it never lasted long.

Max was full of fascinating stories. He remembered nearly starving to death in the Philippines during World War II. He had been 5 when the Japanese occupied his country, and 8 when they were cast out. During that time, 500,000 of his countrymen died. He remembered having to hide from the Japanese. He remembered eating anything he could. Those experiences shaped him. I ache for that little boy.

In particular, Max was interested in reading anything he could get his hands on about José Rizal, one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines. Rizal’s writings helped inspire the Philippine Revolution of 1896, and he was therefore killed by the Spanish Colonial Government that same year. He was only 35. The country gained its independence from Spain two years later.

It was nearly impossible to have a conversation with Max without hearing about Rizal. I think he was intrigued by the idea that someone who had only lived a few decades could make such an indelible impact on a country. Max also sometimes lectured about Fil-Am History at a local college. He wrote many book reviews. He had been a teacher before coming to this country, just like his father, and I think he remained a frustrated academic for the rest of his life.

After a few years, his department moved to a building across town, but we still did our best to get together for lunch at least once every few weeks. At a time when I was struggling to figure life out, I’d ask him for advice, and sometimes I’d even follow it. And he’d speak of his family with such pride. I admired that about him. He knew what was important.

And then the lunches became once a month. And then a few times a year. By the time I started writing my blog in 2012, we had almost no contact at all except for the occasional email. But he would read my blog, and that meant a lot to me. Now it means even more.

One day, Max emailed me and asked when we could have lunch again. I had to remind him that I now lived 3,100 miles away in the Seattle area. And then I had to remind him of that every time I responded to his emails. It made me sad. For someone who had always lived a life of the mind, it must have been really hard to lose cognition, if he even knew it was happening.

Eventually, when he’d post a comment on my blog, it would be gibberish. Word salad. Impossible to comprehend. The first time it happened, it scared me quite a bit. I could tell he still really wanted to connect and communicate, but his ability to do so was gone. I never quite knew how to respond to those garbled comments, so I have to confess that I didn’t. But I’d think to myself, “Hello, old friend,” and I’d reach across the miles and years and squeeze his hand virtually.

Eventually the comments stopped coming. Ours was a friendship born in the workplace, so I never met his wife or family, never went to his home, and I doubt any of his loved ones knew I existed beyond being some lunch friend. Max was a very social person, so I’m sure I was one of many. I didn’t know anyone I could contact to inquire about him, and I didn’t want to upset anyone, including me, if he no longer knew who I was.

So today I Googled him, and found nothing. Then I found a half written, unofficial, only partially accurate obituary about him, posted by someone anonymously. I found no newspaper obituaries. Feeling slightly sick, I searched for him in FindAGrave. Nothing. I found an old Facebook page that he started halfheartedly in 2015, but never followed through with. On there, a niece had posted something recently that said, “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Uncle!”

I nearly burst into tears. And then I researched property records and discovered that his house had been transferred from his and his wife’s name to just his wife’s name, and the document she provided to do that was a death certificate.

There it is, then. The opposite of blissful ignorance. Sorrowful awareness?

I’ve been walking the earth for about a year and a half under the illusion that Max was out there somewhere, in body, if not in spirit. Perhaps his body finally went to that place where his mind had been dwelling for years. Who knows.

It occurs to me that we never discussed religion. Why didn’t we ever discuss religion? There’s never enough time.

If Max were alive now, he’d be 86. It’s exceedingly strange to only begin to mourn someone long after their passing. It feels wrong.

Goodbye, old friend. Thank you for the much-needed oasis. I’ll miss you.

Digital Limerence

Cyber-romance can be quite satisfying, if you don’t mind a diet of nothing but empty calories.

As someone who has been crashing into virtual doors and falling into large virtual bodies of water in the virtual world of Second Life for over a decade, I am quite familiar with limerence. It’s such a lovely sounding word, isn’t it? It sounds like what happens when limericks and romance collide. Like lime green hearts.

And limerence feels good. It’s the best drug in the world. It floods your body with some awesome chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. But in the end, it usually brings you nothing but pain and regret. That’s why in recent years I only go into Second Life twice a week, to catch up with friends.

Limerence is often mistaken for falling in love. But it’s love on steroids. It’s butterflies in the stomach writ large. It’s when you crave the other person. You ignore all the red flags. You fantasize about them when they’re not with you. They have all the power to lift you up or tear you down. It’s not steady and solid nurturing as real love will be. It’s dramatic and unstable and exciting.

The internet is rife with limerence. It’s a state that thrives when you don’t really know the other person. The more blank canvas they present you with, the more you are able to paint in what you really want to see. You turn them into the perfect purveyor of all your unmet needs. Your mind convinces you that your beliefs about this person are real so that it/you can continue to be flooded with those awesome chemicals.

Second Life is full of such stories. I knew a guy who spent money he did not have to fly from Australia to the US, thinking he was going there to meet the love of his life, only to find out that the person waiting for him was… a person. She was not the gorgeous voluptuous avatar that he danced with in ballrooms every night in virtual reality, without a care in the world. And for that matter, he couldn’t afford a tuxedo in real life, and neither of them really knew how to dance. Their happily ever after crumbled like the house of cards it had always been.

You can draw limerence out in a virtual world for years. It’s a heady experience. As long as you both continue to play the unspoken roles that each has subtly laid out for the other, you can binge on the testosterone and estrogen for as long as you want, even if your real body is too old or too unhealthy or too married or too far away to actually consummate your connection.

Cyber-romance can be quite satisfying, as long as you don’t mind a diet that consists of nothing but empty calories.  But when it starts to crowd out your real life, it can be trouble. If you use up the bulk of your time daydreaming about the object of your limerence, that’s a problem. If it gives you an excuse to not work on establishing or improving a real life relationship, it’s unfair to your real life partner. When it worms its way into your psyche and starts nibbling away at your mental health, it’s toxic.

And while you are in limerence, you assume that the other person is putting in as much effort and being just as vulnerable and honest as you are. But so many of my friends have been lied to in virtual reality that it stuns me that anyone indulges in it anymore. You can be whoever you want to be in a virtual world, and if you don’t truly care about the person behind the other avatar, you can make up all the stories you want.

You can falsify your sexual experience and proclivities. You can experiment with other gender identities than your own. If you identify as male, regardless of what your birth certificate says, it’s cruel, in my opinion, to role play that you identify as female, because you’re role playing with someone else’s emotions. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with role playing. Just be up front about it if you’re engaged in a cyber romance. I really never understood people who delight in catfishing others. It’s heartless. No relationship can thrive if it’s based on deception.

And it boggles the mind, the number of people in there who are miserable and lonely and lying about their marital status. For many, virtual reality seems to be the land of quiet desperation. You don’t have to be you in there.

You can pretend to be successful or rich or even (for a short time) intelligent, when in fact you are none of those things. You can be utterly incapable of feeling real emotions, but you can make them up as you go along. You might even cut and paste dialogue from other parts of the net if you can’t think of anything to say yourself. If you’re a teenage boy, you can pretend to be in your 30’s. If you’re an old woman, you can pretend to be a model. If you’re four feet tall and wheelchair bound, you can pretend that you’re 6 feet tall and a professional dancer. If you’re a sinner, you can be a saint. If you’re a convicted felon, you can pretend that you are a commodities trader on Wall Street who lives in a brownstone in Manhattan instead of someone sitting in a trailer wearing nothing but an ankle bracelet and a bathrobe, on the outskirts of Detroit.

Again, all well and good if you’re not playing with someone’s heart. But don’t lie to someone as you both suck on those hormones, baby, and you convince yourself that you’re the happiest you’ve ever been in your life. What a rush! Until the truth comes out and you devastate the other person.

While it feels better than anything you’ve ever felt before, limerence is an illusion. And it keeps you in thrall as your real life begins to atrophy from the sheer neglect. And then one day you get slapped back into reality, and you have to start all over again.   

Love enhances you. But beware of limerence. It depletes you. Check out these articles for more information.

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/limerence

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/when-you-can-t-quit-a-crush?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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Be My Eyes

I never thought I’d say this, but for the first time in my life, I really, really wish I had an iPhone. I’ve managed to avoid jumping on that bandwagon all this time, in spite of the fact that people often look at me funny when I tell them I can’t access the internet on my phone, and while it is capable of taking photos (I’m not that far out of the loop), it can’t send them to anyone.

The thing that has finally given me iPhone envy is this app that I heard about just today, called Be My Eyes. It connects sighted volunteers with blind and low vision people who need some momentary assistance. Given that there are about 14 volunteers currently signed up for the app for every blind person who has signed up for it, the gentleman whom I heard talking about it says he gets a call about once a month.

These calls can be something random, like, “Can you tell me if this milk has expired?” or “Is this tie green or red?” or “How many eggs does this recipe call for?”

I think this is a wonderful way to give a helping hand to someone in need. It would be great for homebound individuals, for example. They could feel as though they were contributing to the wider world. A great way to battle loneliness is to make a difference for someone else.

This app is one of those delightful inventions that makes you wonder why no one has thought of it before. If you have an iPhone and any time at all, I encourage you to volunteer. And if you do, I’d love it if you shared your experiences below.

P.S. Since I posted this this morning, several readers have pointed out that the app also works on Android. So those of you with fancier phones than mine really have no excuse!

 

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Clicking Your Way to a Better World

I must admit that I spend entirely too much time on the internet. You do, too. Don’t believe me? What are you doing right now? Tiptoeing through the tulips? I think not.

(Not that I’m not happy to see you. I’d miss you if you weren’t here. I really would.)

Sometimes I think I really should make a permanent, all-encompassing change in my life and reduce my screen time to, say, an hour a day. But gimme a break. I’m as likely to do that as I am to give up pizza, and I have the thighs to prove it.

I do try to do the next best thing, though. There are quite a few sites out there that allow you to have a positive impact on the world simply by clicking a button. That’s amazing. I can save the world while staying comfortably potatoed on my couch. (Yup. Potato is now a verb. Because I say so.)

What follows are some of my favorite “positive click” sites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

  • Ecosia. This is a search engine, similar to Google, with an important difference. For every 45 searches you do on Ecosia, they will plant a tree. They’ve planted more than 20 million trees so far. That makes me incredibly happy. So Ecosia is now my default search engine.

  • Free Rice. This is a fun site. You can feed the world while learning things. Basically, you choose a topic, such as English Vocabulary, or World Landmarks, or Language Learning, or SAT Test Preparation, or Human Anatomy, and you’ll then be asked a series of questions. For every question you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program. 10 grains of rice doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly. So learn stuff and feed people. It’s the ultimate win/win situation!

  • The GreaterGood. I cannot say enough about this site. Everything you do there will have a positive impact. They have various categories, such as Hunger, Breast Cancer, Animals, and Veterans, and if you go to those sections of the site once a day and click, you will be helping these causes, and it won’t cost you a penny. But beware. They also have a store, and it has the coolest clothes and shoes and jewelry that you have ever seen in your life. And when you buy an item, more donations kick in. For example, I bought an awesome jacket, and because of that, they donated 50 bowls of dogfood to an animal shelter. I think about that every time I wear that jacket, and it makes me feel even warmer.

There are all kinds of websites out there that have positive side effects. You just have to look. If you can suggest any other sites of this type, by all means, include them in the comments section, below! And keep on clicking!

make a difference

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How Easily We’re Taken In

If you’ve got a website, you must be legit, right? Hmph. Anyone can have a website. What apparently is much harder to acquire is critical thinking.

Case in point, The Shed at Dulwich. For a few weeks, it was London’s number one ranked restaurant, according to TripAdvisor. It was the place to be. Their phones were ringing off the hook, but it was a wasted effort on hungry diners’ parts, because they were so exclusive, they were booked for weeks in advance.

The food on the website looked delicious. Their meals were mood themed. My favorite one is “Comfort”. It consisted of “Yorkshire blue Macaroni and Cheese seasoned with bacon shavings and served in a 600TC Egyptian cotton bowl. Comes with a side of sourdough bread.”

And even that didn’t raise eyebrows? I guess the thread count was high enough to give it authenticity. No pilly-sheeted bowls for their patrons!

Here’s the thing, though. The Shed was, literally, a shed. In someone’s back yard. No address, as it was “by appointment only”. No food to be had, unless you wanted to share the resident’s TV dinner. The food in the pictures was actually made of shaving cream and urinal cakes and even, in one case, the author’s foot. It was a huge hoax. It was all just an experiment to see if he could punk TripAdvisor, and wow, did he ever.

Before you say you’d have never fallen for it, ask yourself how many times you’ve bought something that was completely unnecessary simply because it was popular. Can you deny that you’ve ever regretted an impulse buy? Have you ever stood in line for the latest iPhone when the one you have is perfectly functional? Who among us doesn’t look at pictures of ourselves from 35 years ago and think, “What the devil was I thinking when I bought that shirt?”

Let’s admit what the advertising industry has known all along: Humans will follow trends even if it takes them over the edge of a cliff. Even the Russians know this. It’s why we have a buffoon in the White House.

This destructive tendency is even more acute now that we have the internet. Now we can have our misinformation more quickly and act upon it with even less thought. How lucky are we?

We need to teach ourselves and future generations to ask questions and check sources and listen to that little doubtful voice inside our heads. We need to value education and actually apply that learning to our daily lives. Otherwise we will plunge off that cliff to our urinal-caked doom.

Urinal Cake
Urinal Cake, anyone?

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A Great Net Neutrality Business Op

Well, here we go again. The People are being ignored. Despite the huge public outcry, the FCC decided to rescind Net Neutrality. (It sure was nice knowing you guys.)

Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, is thrilled. He even put out this condescending video to try to convince the rest of us that this is going to be a good thing. Never mind that pretty much all of us are calling bullshit. To hear him tell it, all most of us use the internet for is to post cute pictures of puppies and watch Game of Thrones. Again, I promised to watch my mouth on my blog, but I can’t help it. I have to say that Ajit Pai is a self-important, dickheaded Trump toady.

The attorney general for the state of Washington is already filing suit against this absurd decision. (I just love my adopted state!) And there’s talk that state laws will be passed here to uphold net neutrality regardless. I hope more states hop on that bandwagon!

But if worse comes to worst, I hope that savvy internet providers are seeing what I’m seeing. Here’s the perfect opportunity to look like one of the good guys and say, “Our competitors may want to do away with net neutrality, but we hear you. Our company will remain net neutral.”

As pissed off as all of us are about this whole thing, any company who is smart enough to say that first, and actually follow through, is going to scoop up all the customers. Yes, they might lose money from advertisers, but that won’t matter if they don’t have anyone to advertise to.

If I had the money to become an internet provider tomorrow, you bet your life I’d be doing this. To hell with Big Brother. I want what I want. No one should get to choose for me. Who’s with me?

net neutrality

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On Being Off Grid

My laptop has been circling the drain for many months now. It was booting up at a snail’s pace, and then freezing up every minute or two, regardless of what software I happened to be using at the time. It was beyond frustrating. You’d think, living in the techno-savvy Seattle area, I’d have tons of friends who could help me with my dilemma, but noooo… As per usual, I was on my own.

I knew that when I started to seriously contemplate throwing the damned thing in the canal or using it as a very expensive door stop, something had to be done. But that would mean taking it into a shop. And that was akin to cutting off my oxygen supply.

You see, I don’t have a smart phone, or a tablet, or any other device that would keep me connected to the wider world. Without my laptop, I don’t even have any way to watch “TV”, because I left my TV on the curb out of utter frustration about 5 moves ago, and haven’t had one since. And I knew that the repair folks could potentially hold on to my electronic baby for a few days.

So, with a virtual tear in my eye, I abandoned my child with a total stranger. And then I got home and nearly panicked. What does one do without internet? I couldn’t respond to comments on my blog, or make snide remarks on Facebook. When a question popped into my head, I had no way to answer it.

My laptop is also my main source of entertainment. Fortunately, I had the foresight to go to the library and check out a book. And heaven knows that my new house is overflowing with home improvement projects just screaming my name.

So I took a nap.

And then I woke up. I was thinking of ordering pizza. But I had no way to get the number to the pizza place. I could starve to death without my laptop.

This was ridiculous. I managed to live half my life without internet. I didn’t know what I was missing. I got along just fine. But I had phone books and encyclopedias and maps. I’m convinced that if the grid went dark, a good portion of humanity would be rendered incapable of life itself. That’s rather sad, when you think about it.

One thing was certain: If I didn’t get off my butt and find something to do, I was going to freak myself out. So I started doing home improvement projects.

I cut and put up 7 shelves. I hung a cork board and a coat rack. I installed a doorbell. I cut dowels to put in my windows for added security. I put up my rain chain. I planted some concord grapes and some flowers.

And then the phone rang, and it was the repair guy saying that they had replaced my corrupted hard disc and removed an impressive amount of dog hair and dust from my fan, and I could come get my laptop.

So my baby is back in my loving arms, after serious surgery. Now all that’s left to do is reinstall all the software that I lost. And that sucks, because for the life of me, I can’t find my Microsoft Office product key and really, really, really don’t feel like paying 175 bucks to replace it.

Dependencies on top of dependencies…

But really, I did get a lot more done than usual, and I’d forgotten how much I miss reading actual books. Maybe I should have computer-free days every now and then. It would do me good.

Oh, who am I kidding?

pexels-photo-196655.jpeg

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Nice Try, Player

There’s a reason I have stayed off the internet dating websites for quite some time now. I kept meeting the worst of men; the very dregs of masculinity. In fact, I’ve met so many icky men in cyberspace that I began to look at all men as icky. I decided that if I wanted to continue to function effectively in this world, it would be best if I didn’t get in the habit of looking at 49 percent of the population as pond scum.

So now I have date night with my dog. He’s not the most brilliant conversationalist, but he’s yet to taint my view of the planet. And he doesn’t mind chick flicks.

So time goes on. I rarely even think of romance anymore. It’s quite liberating, actually. I’m getting a lot done. I have fewer dust bunnies.

Then the phone rang. It was a local number that seemed vaguely familiar, so I answered it.

“Hey Barb, It’s S, from the dating website?”

“S…? Oh! S. Hi?”

Why in the hell would this guy be calling me? We went out twice. We had a great time. We hit it off, actually. But in the end, he was so self-absorbed that he expected me to be there for his drama, but when my beloved dog Blue was dying a weeks-long, horrible death, he mysteriously disappeared. In fact, he stood me up on our last date because he forgot he was getting his chest hair waxed.

No sooner had I buried Blue, but S tried contacting me again. I told him that I had been through a month of hell, and sure could have used a friend, and he was nowhere to be found, so I didn’t see friendship, let alone romance, on our horizon.

And yet, a year later, here he was on my phone.

“Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you, Barb. I just was wondering if you got the test results.”

“Test results?”

“Oh. Did I call the wrong Barbara? Oh! I remember you. You were, like, 70, and lived in Shoreline?”

“I used to live in Shoreline, yes, but I’m 52.” (Bitch!)

Why was I even talking to this guy? I bet he couldn’t even remember my hair color. But then, I slow down to look at traffic accidents, too.

“Oh, definitely the wrong Barbara, then. This Barbara is only a friend, and she got some medical tests done two weeks ago, and I was just wondering how they went. But, hey, I remember you were, like, a really, really good kisser, Barb.”

“Um, yeah. Well… take me off your contacts list, will you, S? We wouldn’t want this mistake to happen again.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Best of luck to your friend Barbara. Bye.”

“Bye.”

Saints preserve us.

Player

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Ghosting

Every once in a while, I think about the many people I’ve met on the internet who have come to be good friends. It’s a different world. As a young adult, before the internet, I could not have conceived that these types of connections were even possible. But children today are growing up taking these long distance relationships for granted. (With adequate supervision, I fervently hope.)

I’ve met several of these people face to face, and we are friends to this day. I’m going camping with one of them this summer. (Waving hello to Martin.)

But for all the good friends I’ve made, in the virtual world of Second Life, or via my blog, or on Facebook, there have been at least as many who have taken a piece of my heart and disappeared with it with no explanation whatsoever. Lorraine, Steve, John, Vicki, Brian… yeah, I’m talking to all of you.

I don’t have a problem with them not being in my life anymore. The choice is entirely theirs. Some friendships are annual, others are perennial. I get that. What I have a problem with is the lack of closure. For all I know, they’re dead. That’s a horrible feeling. It’s cruel to make someone grieve when grieving may not be the appropriate response.

There’s something about being able to hide in cyberspace that brings out the worst in people. I strongly suspect that none of them would be this rude face to face. And yeah, explaining why you’re ending a relationship is never fun. It would be tempting to skip that step entirely. It’s understandable to want to avoid the awkward stuff. But people have a right to their closure. They have a right to understand why. They have a right to learn from their experiences.

Depriving people of such rights without so much as a by your leave reveals something rather ugly about you. Just sayin’.

Ghosting

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Where Are You?

Okay, let’s see if this “six degrees of separation” thing actually works. I could use your help. The bottom line is I’m lonely and I’m discouraged.

I moved to Seattle a year and a half ago, not knowing a soul. But I’m not really sure that I fully understood what a huge leap of faith that would be. Had I thought it through, I may not have had the courage to take that step.

I think I’m a good person. I’m funny and interesting and compassionate and passionate and entertaining and intelligent and I have integrity. I’m also someone who thrives in a relationship, but out here I can’t even get a date.

Not for lack of trying, believe me. I’ve recently stepped off the toxic treadmill of rejection that is internet dating. I think I met every nut job and player in the Seattle metropolitan area. I have to admit that my work schedule does not do me any favors. My “weekends” are Mondays and Tuesdays. That makes it hard to meet people. But I think I’m worth the extra effort.

I think part of the reason I get passed over is that I’m not a girly girl, I’m not a size 3, and I couldn’t give two sh**s about the NFL. But come on, there has to be someone out there who doesn’t care about those things.

I just want a guy who would like to travel, locally and internationally. Someone smart who would be fun to talk to. Someone curious about the world. Someone who accepts me as I am. Is that too much to ask? It would also be nice if the man in question were between the ages of 48 and 60, and lived within 25 miles of Seattle.

I have my deal breakers, too. I will not date a smoker. If your children are under 18 I’ll run screaming in the opposite direction. And I would have absolutely nothing in common with a conservative.

Where are you???? Because believe me, I’m right here.

If you know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone, please pass this along. If they want to know more about me, my daily blog is me. It’s my heart and soul in cyberspace.

As vulnerable as I just made myself, I must be sincere. So please, spread the world.

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