Friday, June 17, 2011

Flirty Girl

Wuhl, I can't talk about my weight loss progress all the time (especially when I'm in the midst of the two-week lull that follows a period of loss, haha). So I'll tell you about the "Flirting 101" workshop I attended this week.

I have been following several groups on the website, including a singles group. It's run by a Seattle matchmaker. Even though I follow the groups, I had previously only attended one event, a whale watching tour for single parents. We all had a great day! It was nice to be out with a bunch of other single parents, chatting and enjoying ourselves.

I was much more apprehensive about attending a singles event, though. I have been trying to get over it, because they put on a lot of good things! Bowling, game nights, etc. I also follow a couple other groups that aren't singles-related, but food/arts/culture-type things. Even though I am not a shy person, I get totally apprehensive about showing up by myself to meet with a group of strangers. (Well, who the heck wouldn't?? haha)

Anyway. The matchmaker offered a "Flirting 101" workshop at a posh local members-only type club. I've been to this club a few times, and it makes me tense, too. I call it "Club 90210," ha. Very hoighty-toighty. So, talking myself into going to the event would be two challenges to myself! I figured the class was a good first step, because I wouldn't have to *do* anything, just show up.

And, so, I went. It was nervewracking walking in, asking where the "dating class" was being held. I got there early enough to order a glass of liquid courage wine. The place started filling up quickly. I actually started chatting right off the bat with a couple women with whom I'd hang out all evening.

The class was about what you'd expect, nothing earthshattering. What led me to this post was a flirting exercise we did. We were paired off - me with this nice man who was probably in his late 40s, early 50s. He's in the process of getting divorced. He was nice friendly enough, but here a couple of gems he imparted:

- You've been divorced almost two years, and not found someone? Hmm, I'd be thinking what's wrong with you? Hmm, well, look Jack, my ex walked out on me and our three kids, the youngest whom was only two years old. I started a new job the next day, and moved my kids thirty miles to be near the new job, but away from my parents and all the support I had. The last two years have been about freaking survival. How come you're not even divorced and you're out signing up for a matchmaker? 'Fraid to be alone, much?
- He actually used as an example to the group, as in raised his hand to relate a "learning experience" from our conversation, that he had made a joke (he did not volunteer the fact that it was an incredibly lame ass joke) and I had taken him seriously. What the flip are you supposed to say to someone who starts a conversation with "Did you drive here, too? Are you the one who nearly ran into me in the parking lot?" Uhhh, no, wasn't me. (Although, with my driving, I am obligated to at least consider the question, haha.)

So, he was a jerk (and a shorty), but the experience illuminates some of the challenges of dating. You are not "supposed" to talk about kids or divorce when meeting someone new. It is amazing how quickly parents and divorced people turn to talking about kids and divorce, though. Really - who wouldn't? The parents in the group all agreed on this subject. You're not going to sit around and tell someone how great your kids are, what projects they're working on in school, but yeah, they're pretty intrinsic to your life, even if it's only related to the logistics of having free time to date. And look at online dating sites! The questions they ask you - the answers they show you about every potential match, lay it all on the table right away: Do you have kids? How many? How often are they with you? Do you want more? Do you mind if your partner has kids?

Eek. Hmm, this was meant to be a lighthearted post, but it's not turning out that way! Dating is a tense subject. A friend razzed me about going - this friend is not yet divorced but already seeing someone else. It was all I could do to keep from saying that it is much easier to not worry about dating at 40+ years old if you take the time to line one man up before leaving another. For people I know, it's a frequent "are you dating yet" conversation starter to remark to me how difficult it will be to date with three young kids. Yes, I know, I know, I know. But it's always presented to me as if it's the first time anyone's ever thought of it. In the elevator: "So, are you seeing anyone? Wow, it's going to be really hard to meet someone with all your kids being so young!" Sigh. Yes, I think you've cornered me in the elevator and told me that before, remember? I don't exactly relish the thought, and honestly, if I heard of a divorced man (providing he was divorced less than two years, lest there be anything wrong with him) with three young kids...well, I'd already be wondering if that would be a can of worms I'd be interested in opening.

And so, I'll just press on. I am interested in dating, but what I'm really interested in right now is expanding my circle of friends. There are things that I am very interested in doing but none of my current friends are, and that is where things fall short. Also, it has really been bothering me lately that I do not have a community for my kids. My family is very small and they tire of being around the kids for long - if at all. My friends either do not have kids, or their kids are grown. When it is my 50% of the time with the kids - it is just me and the kids. When I grew up, there was family, and tons of friends, and group camping trips and all sorts of fun stuff. Now, my kids get that with my ex, whose girlfriend is very tight with her family, so the two families (his and hers) are always together. I'm glad they are getting that community, but it irritates me, too. And my 10-year-old, a very deep thinking young man, frequently asks me why it is just us when we're together, and not family or friends.

Sigh. Well, I decided to post because I was laughing to myself about something said after the flirting class, when a bunch of us stayed for a drink. I should have opened with that, because my hormonal heart took over and took the post in a different direction. Oh well! :)

1 comment:

  1. Awww, Julie, I am sorry...I'm sure dating post-divorce is tough, and the comments don't help either! Sometimes people just need to MTOB (mind their own business!!!) You are brave to attend "mixers" though, I'm guessing it's a good thing that you have a wonderful sense of humor!