Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dating Sites Part III

The other day I approached a woman on a dating site, who characterized herself as "more a city girl than a country girl," who enjoys many of the things I enjoy. But, of course, she also enjoys dressing up, five-star dining, and so forth.
In her profile she wrote, "Looking for a friendship first and possibly a long term relationship later. A tall, health-conscious gentleman who takes care of himself and enjoys going out and having fun. Someone who is romantic, easy-going, considerate, and loyal. Financially and emotionally secure. A gregarious, polished, educated and well-traveled man who is a non-smoker, social drinker. A man who respects and admires an intelligent and independent woman," among other things.
She also said, " If you can't bother to write an original message to me, I will delete you without response; I get tons of these canned responses and I will only spend time on someone who cares enough to actually SAY SOMETHING ORIGINAL!!!!!;"
It was clearly a profile at least tinged with anger and reflecting bad experiences on the dating site. Well, I wrote something original, perhaps a couple of hundred words, responding directly to who she appeared to be, what she was seeking and so forth.
Well, I ws summarily rejected: "I'm definitely more the high-heeled city type rather than the laid back casual type (once in awhile is ok, on a lazy Sunday maybe, but I love going out, eating out, etc...). I love my creature comforts, including the spa, champagne, etc. So, I wish you the best of luck in your search."
When I wrote her the note, I saw the anger in her profile. However, notwithstanding that I'm neither tall, nor "health-conscious," I am a smart, witty, empathatic and engaging fellow and I thought that might mitigate her criteria somewhat. It obviously didn't, though it did continue to confirm that I should go with my old reporter's instinct, rather than what is in those profiles.

The rejection doesn't bother me. What does is that I am, indeed (and I say this without arrogance), "A gregarious, polished, educated and well-traveled man who is a non-smoker, social drinker. A man who respects and admires an intelligent and independent woman."
I was born and raised in a city, the biggest in the nation and perhaps the most sophisticated; travelled the world; flown on Air Force One with two Presidents; covered some of the most important events of the 20th and 21st centuries; published poetry and, yet, it is the proverbial book cover in which women in their late 50s and into their 60s seem interested; the accoutrements and someone to provide them.
The phase of live into which I've seemed to move is one of introspection, deep self-examination; recollection; where I've been; what I've done; accomplished and I want a partner who wants to know herself that well through revelation, if you will, to her partner. One who's willing to bare all, as never before and to try to learn the depths of our lives while we still have them. Of course, sex would be nice as well, but it's not the most important aspect to me.
Well, I have Rex and a good life…

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

One of the greatest jazz tunes ever by one of my favorites: Nina Simone

Thanksgiving And Other Stuff

As most, if not all readers of this blog know, I rarely publish comments. I appreciate them, but it's my venue and it's not my intention to engage in colloquy or banter. That noted, I get several questions or comments via email weekly, some of which I answer, others, just a "Thank you" note.

That out of the way, I've received more than a dozen notes in the past week since my postings about the holidays, i.e. Thanksgiving, and dating sites. I thought it appropriate to address them en masse.

With regard to spending Thanksgiving alone, I'll be spending it with Rex, who enjoys turkey and it will be his 11th Thanksgiving. As you know, he's my Cocker Spaniel. Equally, I'll be speaking with my sisters, sons and grandkids. That I will be "alone" in my home is true, but in my mind, I will be so.

I can't be truly certain of anything. However, I am fairly certain that I'll enjoy cooking my traditional dinner and, of course, eating it. I'm good at that. Perhaps looking about my dining room table's empty chairs may give me pause, but maybe I need that pause.

Would I like to have a "significant" other with whom to spend these holidays? Sure. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards, considering my luck on dating sites. Maybe I'll feel a tad lonely, but I seem to be able to sublimate that feeling pretty well.

I do feel that way from time to time, as I live in a three bedroom apartment. Just so you know, all are used: One's my office, another my bedroom and the so-called "guest room," my studio (a bit of a luxury for a fledgling painter who can't draw a straight line and who's color mixing seems always to turn out to be shades of brown).

It gives me room to ramble about, so to speak. In honesty, it gives me room to be a bit lonely from time to time, not enough to be be of concern to me, but enough to let me consider the advantages of my situation. There are many, as you can imagine, and I tend to look on that side of the coin.

What interests me the most is that this is my life today. I've lived alone in the past, but always with the consideration that it would not be lasting. Now, that is a consideration.

Right now, it's not really what I want, yet it seems alright. I don't know how it will be tomorrow, or next year. But now, it's fine.

On the other hand, I wonder about those dating sites and if there's anyone out there with whom I think I could be compatible. I just don't know. What I do know, is that if I don't characterize myself with absolute candor, then I run the risk of using the bad judgment I have in the past.

That's it for now. I'm feeling pretty good, Rex is fine and I've got to do a little work in this otherwise slow week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Holidays

Sometime in the mid-90s, I recall preparing myself a traditional Christmas Dinner, a very ecumenical Jew I am. It was 2-Rib prime roast, Yorkshire Pudding, fresh peas, carrots and Spotted Dick for desert.

Divorced, with children gone and not dating anyone "special," at the time, I decided I wanted to spend the evening alone, though I'd been invited to a couple of friends' homes for dinner.

I recalled that time a few days ago. This year, I'd intended to drive, with Rex, to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her husband. Upon reflection, something I've been doing quite a bit lately, it came to me that I just didn't want to make the trip. Perhaps it was a matter of a long drive, but I don't think so.

There was some concern that my sister would be a tad upset, but I explained to her that I was going
through a somewhat pensive period, one of self-examination and that I thought it would be "good" for me to spend the holidays alone. She was disappointed, but understood and I was grateful for that she wasn't "angry."

Though I don't see them much, I am grateful for my family; my sister, my boys and grandkids. They are always there for me and I love them more, as I wrote once in a poem, "…hearts can tell."

However, I am growing to believe that I am at least modestly destined to live the rest of my life alone (with Rex, of course). I am, indeed, an imperfect fellow seeking a woman who is "perfect" for me.
I'm not the "tall, dark and handsome" fellow who loves to dance, spend a lot of dough on upscale dinners and travel a lot. But I am an intelligent, witty and engaging guy. If I could find a woman who enjoys jazz, blues, folk music, watching old movies, talking rationally about politics and current events, is not especially religious, who's attractive and has a grand sense of humor tinged with a bit of cynicism, that'd be great. It's highly unlikely though.

So, Rex and I will prepare a small turkey with cornbread stuffing, a vegetable or two, salad and a pumpkin pie (from scratch, I'm a helluva baker) and spend Thanksgiving together. We'll watch the Macy's Parade, or whatever parade's on, perhaps a football game, though I tend to fall asleep during them, as does he, and talk together about the "old days," "cabbages and kings" and how important it is for us to have a wonderful, loving family despite the distance.

On Christmas, we'll do the same thing, though with my "traditional" English dinner.
As T.S. Eliot wrote, "I grow old … I grow old …I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
Rex and I will be just fine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dating Sites Part II: Women
"Want someone intelligent, sense of humor that doesn't want any dating hassles." "I enjoy a good conversation, and sometimes like to do things on a whim. I like straight forward honesty, not games and riddles say what you mean and mean what you say." "...you want a committed, genuine, long term relationship. I am looking for that incredible man to love and be happy with." "You should message me if you're not into games, good conversation and a great companion to spend time with and see where it goes." "I'm crazy about a man's good 'Character'." That what turns me on. A man sensitive side, a tear only we share...We can share baggage because it makes up who we are and want to live...But, knowing when to visit there rather than continue to carry baggage. Everything we should be to each other. I am a loyal person and expect the same in return, a relationship all about giving to one another, that taking is impossibility."
As I've written, I've been frequenting a dating site. I've posted a "Profile" and responses to "personality," for lack of a better characterization, questions. And, I've "expressed interest" to a few women on the site. However, I haven't shown interest in the way most seem to, e.g."I like your photo," "I'm interested in you," and other terse and trite messages.
On the other hand, I've spent the time reading women's profiles. Those who interest me, I take the time to respond to them, sometimes to the point of line by line regarding their profiles. My responses are often long, the limit allowed. They're ingenuous and written in a manner to show that, perhaps, we are compatible and could have a relationship.
More than arguably, I'm not Paul Newman or Clark Gable. Notwithstanding my "stockiness," I've been frequently characterized a "cute," or looking a bit like Richard Dreyfuss. That's clear from my posted photos, one or two less than six months old, the others a bit older with my kids, and, of course, Rex.
I assumed, apparently incorrectly, that when women reach our age and are single for whatever reason, they are seeking someone with whom to wind up in a rocking chair, so to speak. Sure, sex is no doubt a desire, but I would have though a profound, remarkably honest relationship of sharing, to be somewhat pedestrian, joys and sorrows would be the primary "driver," so to speak. At least that seems to be so with the women I've "approached" online. My responses rarely yield a reply. I could speculate, but what's the point, save to say that it does seem that candor, the physical element and so-called "financial security" appear to be the "subconscious," to be euphemistic, drivers.
Perhaps Joseph Conrad was correct when said, "Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.”
I'll keep you posted on this adventure.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dating Sites...Again

I plan to write more about "dating sites" today, but first I am posting my "complete" profile, as the site to which I am presently subscribed requires fewer "characters," which in itself should preclude me from the site. To wit:

I like long walks on the beaches, five star restaurants and hotels, Europe in the Fall, New York City and Sydney in the Spring, the Bolshevik Revolution and Ernest Borgnine.

Well, I do like Ernest Borgnine especially for his perfomance in "Marty." I live every day with this consideration: If things aren't funny then they're exactly what they are; and then they're like a long dental appointment.

To save you reading time, I prefer getting in the car, pointing it in any direction and heading off without a destination in mind to almost any other kind of travel these days. Yes, I've traveled abroad extensively and now it holds little appeal.

I'm kind of a "raggedy" fellow who prefers old jeans to anything else, though I have been known to "dress appropriately." I'm neither tall, athletic nor toned: I'm "stocky," witty, empathetic and engaging. I am slightly taller than Woody Allen, Nathan Lane and Richard Dreyfuss (we're all short Jewish guys from New York). I could clearly stand to lose a bit of weight. That noted, I do not intend my last meal to a tuna sandwich.

The characterization many use as seeking someone who's "financially stable," is unseemly to me, though I suppose more than a few have run into some challenges with "matches." I've run a successful crisis management firm for more than 2 decades. I'm neither "spritual" (what is that?) nor religious. In fact, I find rather offensive these days that many wear religion on their sleeves; if that's you, I'm not your guy. It's not an issue of "believing." Suffice it to say, I remember those who not only wore their religion on their sleeves, but tattoo'd on their arms, both of which were requirements.

My greatest accomplishment: Raising my two sons as a sole custodian, single parent from the ages of 6 and 3. They are my best friends, along with, of course, Rex, my 11 year old Cocker Spaniel.

Listening is something at which I believe I excel and want a partner who has depth beyond the the deepness of the dark; who can discuss any problems she may have without fear of judgement and who will know that while I may not be able to solve them, I'll always be there to listen. Equally important, you've got have a sense of humor, tinged with a bit of cyncisim about the world and not afraid to ask any question. That you may be on the "other side of the aisle" than me on an issue isn't important. It's important that you are interested in issues that effect us on a daily basis and want to discuss them, rationally. "Idealogues" need not apply.

For me, it is important that you have heart, empathy, a good, if not quick wit, a broad sense of humor and intelligence, as well as a serious interest in the world around you.

I have the heart and soul of a poet, and write pretty good poems as well. I would rather grab a hotdog at Pink's, or a pastrami on rye at the Greenberg's than attend Bouchon; dress down, rather than up. I've done the "fine dining" gig, it bores me now, though I do enjoy Bouchon more than any other top restaurant in town. What can I say, save quote Popeye: "I yam what I yam."

My favorite movies are "A Thousand Clowns" and "Nobody's Fool." If you're a fan of these two movies, or even seen them, we could well be an immediate match and if you've seen the original "Breathless", that would be extrordinary, apropos of which, we ought to "...steal a car and drive to Rome." I'm not a fan of movie theatres, as I think it's more fun to pause a movie and exchange comments on it as it moves along. It'd be great to find someone willing to order in Chinese and just watch an old movie; sort of a New York thing.

The line I will NOT cross: I will not go out with an addict of any sort, no matter how long "sober."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Election, My Time Out, Dating

I have worked on this campaign, yes, for the President and the Democrats. Though I'm paid for it, I'd do it for nothing if asked. It's something I've done for more than two decades and now, I'm done. It is a relief to be done with a project.

The outcome, however, remains unclear. I'm not a believer in polls these days, or for years for that matter. They're so frequently skewed and there are so many of them. I'm not at all confident in the American voter these days. While the Democrats remain in their contant disarray, that which has defined my party for years and of late, at least somewhat less so; the Republican party is no longer the "Republican" party of old.

It's been hijacked by self-interests, the so-called "Religious Right," which in my view is not "religious" at all, but rather mostly comprised of uninformed zealots and the wealthiest of the wealthy.
While I think that none of that will matter tomorrow morning, I also think that it won't be over then, not with both parties lining up lawyers to contest virtually everything.
For me, many issues in this "campaign" are important, but the most important are the two or three Supreme Court seats likely to be filled in the next four years. If Romney wins, the change will define the word "watershed," and not for the better, especially for women. It is too disturbing to write about.
Perhaps I will return to a dating site and look for a "soulmate," whatever that means. I did meet someone recently. Fearless, she came to my apartment and we chatted for a few hours. While our extensive email colloquy was quite wonderful, sometimes personal meetings just don't work out…this one didn't.
I hope you voted. And, my hiatus is now over and I'll be back to posting regularly.