Monday, December 29, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Yeesh, I can't even look at myself right now.
I was getting ready for bed last night and channel surfing to clear my head. As I was flipping through shows I came upon yet another reality show about Tori Spelling and Dean-what's-his-name(?). She talked about her last desperate attempt to save her previous marriage and what led her to meet her current husband. The day before she met what's-his-name, she went to a voodoo priestess. As she regaled the story of being cleansed by first taking a milk bath then getting soaked in chicken blood, she never once paused in embarrassment that she, I dunno, got soaked in chicken's blood.
It occurred to me that we all do desperate things when something's really important to us. And although I haven't followed Tori through this particular rabbit hole, I have jumped down my own versions. I've read countless books, I've even done the self-hypnosis manifestation cds. I've analyzed, assessed, online dated, prayed, joined meetup groups, and Tinder (which I thought was just an innocent dating app). I even have gone to palm readers and tarot readers, eating up every word they had to say, even when it was plainly generic and playing on my insecurities.
The one thing I haven't done enough is just throw my hands up and say, "fuck it." Perhaps "fekkit," if you're Irish or "duck it" if you're Autocorrect. Well after going to Salem, MA and having my cards read with my friends, I am at the "duck it" stage. I didn't even ask about my love life and yet she proceeded to tell me that there was a dark shadow hindering my love life. What the duck?! In the moment, I ate it up but the longer I thought about it I felt like I might as well have been standing in voodoo chicken blood.
Here's the truth- I spend way too much time seeking. When I actually really feel something for a guy it's always unexpected; it has never been when I was looking. It's always with someone that would never have met my advanced search criteria on any dating site. He might be younger, older, an ethnicity I never heard of, slight, stout, even Southern. However it's also always someone that connects with me, gets my quirky personality, and opens my mind to a new way of being. If he happens to have a handlebar moustache, beard, or chops, so be it. He could open my mind through music, philosophy, travel, politics, sports- anything.
You know something, that's not someone I ever find when I'm searching. I will still date, I have a date this week, but I think I will take a vacation from seeking. God always one-ups my wishes anyway so I'll leave it to Him to surprise me. I just want to have a "duck it" moment where I can just live and enjoy my life instead of always searching to improve it. I remain open just spending more time enjoying what I DO have in Life instead of mourning over what I don't have
Saturday, October 18, 2014
It occurred to me that I have other friends who feel the same way. A couple I know just spent a week touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. He commented on how all that driving alone must have been hard and how nice it was to share his vacation with his wife. Does everything have to be a shared event?
Frankly, I'm glad I did this with just me and my dog. Michelle demands very little except the wind blowing on her and an occasional potty break. She's traveled with me on my many moves so a road trip was no harrowing experience. Let me highlight the benefits of a solo and customized sojourn:
My trip was MY TRIP. I didn't have to alter, add, or delete any elements. It allowed me to be spontaneous or completely planned, as per my whim. When my first venture to see a cranberry bog ended in a sign threatening my life, I could add another trip to see a different bog. When I left Vermont a day early, I just did it; I didn't have to ask.
I didn't have to limit or extend my time in any one place. I went to this little town in Connecticut- I fell in love. If anyone would have been with me I would have been able to spend a half hour, hour tops there. Instead, I walked the quiet streets with my dog, meandering for a couple of hours. I then sat under a chestnut tree writing, listening to the trees, being pelted with chestnuts... it was wonderful. In fact I sat there until the rapidly dropping temperatures and darkness forced me away. However, this remains the best part of a truly fantastic trip and I will never forget the peace I felt there.
I had great one-on-one time with friends. I visited several friends while I was traveling. Being on my own we could just catch up and have a good time, not worrying about planning events that will make a group happy. When I went to Salem, MA my friends, Kevin and Lindsey went with me. When I went to Cambridge, MA I got to catch up with my friend, Joan Lin. When I went to Saratoga Springs, NY I had individual time with both Tatiana and Theodore- and I'm sure I'll never be able to repay him listening to my incessant talking (this is the curse of people like him who are excellent listeners and it encourages people like me to purge ourselves of every thought and complaint- ugh, embarassing).
Finally, I had loads of time to clear my head of the chatter and really identify how I feel. This causes a lot of self-awareness which is both painful and liberating. I learned a lot about myself and where I stand. Perhaps another month of sorting through these awakenings and I'll have a clearer direction of where I'm going in Life. Point being, I doubt I would have had such an awareness practice had I not a lot of alone time. I think next time, I'll go back to Iona, Scotland for a couple of weeks pilgrimage. Maybe next year...
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
None of this really bothered me until last year when I knitted my first cardigan. I had carefully picked out this super cool yarn, spent countless hours knitting everything and then wore it exactly twice. Two F#@^ing times. You see, the muted greyish purple makes me look like a cadaver. I look as dull as the grey and so it has respectfully been put in the back of my closet knowing it will never see the light of day again.
THAT was what piqued my interest in having a personal color analyst evaluate me. So I drove up with a fellow silver sister to Philadelphia to get a 12 Blueprint analysis. I would like to buy clothes and makeup and yarn that looks amazing on me, not just spend all this time and money and it sit in the back of the closet.
I'm not sure what I expected. I saw subtle differences in the colors on my friend, but even that took awhile for me to grasp. Then more and more you could see how some hues worked and some REALLY didn't. When it was my turn I had nothing but a grey smock and head wrap and a giant mirror. THEN I saw the power of color. The light grey put on me made me look like a corpse. The brown was so awful that both the analyst and my friend cringed and turned away.
Most colors fell under the following: I look like a corpse; I look right out of the Grapes of Wrath; I look like I'm wearing baby Easter clothes; I look like a freakin' rock star. I chose the colors that fit in the latter category and it turns out that this color wheel is Bright Winter. Now some winters and autumns looked okay but the difference lie in colors that made my skin a bit duller, the eyes darker, and the rock star palate which made my eyes a million vibrant shades, my skin luminous, and my fine lines disappear. It really was as extreme as that. And this is what I recommend to you. A color that looks wonderful on you makes your eyes look brilliant.
I would say that it was surprisingly emotional. Knowing that I have never looked 100% my best is well... humbling, to say the least. None of my makeup worked and even the 2% that did never went with the rest of my makeup. More on this in the near future, but here is a look at my drapings. The first pic is that awful brown and look at the difference in how dull my skin looks as opposed to the following pics; it's the same lighting, just the pure effect of color.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
It’s in this phrase that’s been bothering me for a little while. Now that I’m officially 40, do I settle? Should I return interest to that 50-something man who already has grown children and we have okay conversation, and I’m not very attracted to him… should I settle because he’s so into me??? Even writing that down I have a shudder of denial pulsing through me. First of all, I don’t even know if I can have kids. It may be a moot point. Second, I don’t mind if a guy has kids of his own. It’s not ideal but it’s not a deal breaker. But the idea of settling for someone I’m not really into, I just can’t do it.
Recently I posted my type. Those are not hard and fast rules, just what gets my blood boiling. I’ve certainly had just as much interest in someone who doesn’t fit any of those molds. But I had to remind myself of an email I sent to a friend who was dealing with a similar dilemma. Enter Brenda, an extremely successful, beautiful, witty, and adventurous woman living in California. She is always traveling the world, cycling, trying new things, in fantastic shape, and she supports herself to a rich lifestyle. How is this girl available?? She wasn’t connecting with the men in her life on all levels: head, body, and heart. I am paraphrasing from a great book called The Tao of Love of what happens when you have only 2 out of the 3 elements with a partner:
Head and Heart
You become like brother and sister. He may be your best friend but there’s little to no sexual chemistry. You feel like you have to take the reins in everything and become resentful. Your partner now seems weak and you are constantly distracted to men who are the opposite of your partner.
Head and body
This is where most young people get caught up. You have great sex and great conversations but when it comes to hard times one of you grows distant and/or you just can’t connect. You crave a deeper connection and this lacking connection translates as apathetic or even hostile. Any rough patch and your relationship falls apart.
Heart and body
You love this guy, and the sex is great. However he really can’t hold up his end of the conversation. He feels intimidated by your intellect or you dumb yourself down so he doesn’t resent you. Then you resent him. Since you're one fantastic chica, you are frustrated and unfulfilled.
I have been in each of these relationships and I’m glad I’m not in any of them now. I recently have started a flirtation with a very attractive man that gets my blood boiling. Knowing that I can feel that way, why should I settle for a man that I would just go through the motions with? I’m not saying anything will come of Mr. Flirtation but it was a timely lesson to me that I should never settle for less than the trifecta.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Much like the wild and unruly dragons of the Nordic world, my cowlick is even more unruly. Any silver sister has noticed a change in the hairline since they stopped coloring their hair. Mostly, they notice a lot more growth. Mine came in the form of a huge white clump of hair- baby fine, and forming at the left corner of my temple. I also have the "wiry greys" that everyone talks about. I call them my wild little forest children. They're absolutely crazy looking until they grow out and become assimilated into the rest of your hairline.
My clump of white hair at the temple has become the bane of my existence. This is also more commonly known as the cowlick. I have done all kinds of bizarre things in order the tame it: I've tried talking reason to it, trying to force it into submission with every styling tool under the sun, and apparently screaming and yanking at it. All to no avail.
So I politely asked- okay, inappropriately cornered and held captive- my hairdresser and asked him how to tame my cowlick once and for all. Basically there are two ways: either crisscross your hair wet and keep them in barrettes and let air dry; or you need to blow-dry it into submission.
Here are a series of pics before and after. HORRIBLE pics but it describes my rather remedial process that everyone on earth knows but me.But for my own sake I will write out the process.
After applying heat protection product, start by blowing your cowlick section to the front. Then blow dry it to the opposite side of your part until it's almost dry, and then finally blow dry it the side you want. As you can see the first pic shows what happens if I leave the cowlick to form a coup. The second pic it's wet and rebelling. But by the final pic- voila! I have beaten it into submission!!
Monday, July 28, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I hate those sayings: 40 is the new 20, you're only as old as you feel, age is just a number. Cliché's are, well, so cliché. And unhelpful. So I decided to do a few really cool things to celebrate this birthday.
I will be dye-free, or not
My hairstylist assured me he will cut the last bit of dye out of my hair prior to my birthday in July. Then he saw that it blended in and it won't be all out. But that's okay because I am close. This was a big step to go 100% natural and 100% authentic. I'm not fooling anyone to see a younger version or to try to win anyone over and THEN tell them my age. And the whole lying about your age bit? I'm sorry, but that's absolute crap and I have no patience for that. If someone is going to like you they should like YOU, not some misrepresentation of you. Rant over. Stepped off soapbox.
I am taking a trip
Where should I go? Since I just moved to DC my sister came up. My 30th I was forced to go to a work training and I didn't know anyone. My friend wasn't feeling well and couldn't meet up so I ended up spending it with a bunch of strangers. It sucked and I vowed never to spend another major birthday that way. She surprised me by also bringing my dad and we all had a great time, going to Civil War battlefields and soaking up history. Fantastic. I'm also going to cross off a bucket list item and drive around the Northeast in the Autumn. Fall is my favorite time of year and I'm going to enjoy it in New England with my dog.
I commissioned a portrait
And reveal: This is my favorite artist and he always does these fantastic portraits with gold-leaf hair. So I commissioned a portrait with silver-leafed hair. Not only that but this painting stands nearly four feet tall. Is it me? Well, sort of. It was inspired by his impression of me and there is a mourning dove (my totem) in the painting. So take that, Amusar! You're not the only grey in the family worthy of having their portrait done!!
It is possibly downright silly for me to have had this painting made but I love it. I loved celebrating my 40th. I realize that doors are closing on me in some areas of my life but I choose to celebrate the many accomplishments I've made in my life. I may be flawed as hell but I really do work to be a better person and build a better life. And who knows, maybe doors will open for me now that never would have before?
Saturday, July 12, 2014
As I studied abroad my world expanded and I saw people from all over in London. My world expanded and so did my choice in men. I came back and still fell for the Native men but also fell for guys from different backgrounds. As I went to Grad School and Americans were a minority, I discovered a veritable world of Countries and cultures I had scarcely known existed. Getting to know people from all over through shared struggles in the computer lab at 4am (that was most nights), I really bonded with people from all over.
I also developed new interests and now the interests of my 2-dimensional life from before were just... lacking. I also found my theological path through Orthodoxy and that has been the center of my life ever since. That also has changed life for me in all aspects. These major life changes have altered the men I'm attracted to.
I was talking to a friend about men and what we found attractive. She's attracted to what I would describe as "cleanly scrubbed behind the ears," a man who is classically tall, dark, and handsome, perfectly trimmed and very conservative in his dress and appearance. I am attracted to what she would describe as "a destitute vagrant," replete with shaggy hair, beard, and apparently unwashed. I don't know, what does it mean when someone looks at your type and says, "Oh, so you're attracted to a homeless man"?
Anyhoo, now that I know I have a type I am going to describe him: tall, masculine features (no pretty boys- who apparently always have a home to go to), bearded or scruffy, shaggy hair, a guy's guy. If he has dark circles under his eyes that's a boone to me- it's my weird thing so don't judge. Below is a line-up (pun not intended but appropriate) of men I would gape over:
Personally, I think they look less hobo-like and more the type that wrestled a bear and had a shot of vodka all before 9am. To-may-to, to-mah-to, right? There's nothing wrong with a little unwashed scruffiness. So... if any of you know a good guy that resembles my wrestled-with-a-bear-homeless type, send him my way. :)
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
However there's a downside to this sport and that is the dives. Oh, they could give the Screen Actors' Guild a run for the their money when it comes to acting an injury or foul play. Most times the player goes down from a mere brushing of grass blades against his ankle but you'd think it was shrapnel for the amount of writhing and carrying on.
The World Cup has occupied most of my time these days and after fantasising about more than one player on the field I've come to notice a trend in these men- the Metrosexual. I say that term as though it's a new concept but it's not. These guys have been around for years: peacocks, dandies, guys who'd rather paint caves than hunt mammoth... but what does it mean to DATE one? I always thought that going out with a metrosexual would be fine. Sure, he would spend more time on his hair than me, he might secretly get his eyebrows waxed and his chest hair lasered. He would probably spend an inordinate amount of time trimming his facial hair just so, but he'd still be masculine and really, wasn't that beard trimming done for the sake of my delicate skin??
Unfortunately not, as I came to see when going on a date with DC Bachelor 3. DCB3 is a very handsome man- tall, dark, successful, gentlemanly. He compliments, opens doors, is very interesting and interested in what I have to say. He also asks me what skin products I use, wants to trade Clinique bonus gifts, and asked me upfront what I was wearing (I suspect to coordinate outfits). The plus side is that he couldn't wait to see my hair, had been obsessing over it (his words) and wanted to see it in all lights. I love love loved that.
I thought this was all going quite well and then he told me what he was dying to do after dinner- get a mani-pedi. I barked out a laugh, unable to control myself. I thought he was kidding, after all. But no, he was dead serious and as he had beach time coming up he wanted manicured toes and nails buffed to perfection. As this was beyond bizarre I was all in- you can't make this stuff up.
So we sat in the massage chairs getting pampered, watching World Cup, and me trying not to squeal throughout my pedicure from the sadistically ticklish ministrations of the pumice stone (Fail). Afterwards we were walking in our flip flops and I was thinking how good of a date this was: I had a nice dinner, good company, a rare mani-pedi... and then he somewhat leaned in. I could have gone for it but something stopped me. It felt like I was having a slumber party with my best girlfriend and then all of the sudden she tries to kiss me. "Wh---?," I'm thinking.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Dating is work, hard work. Especially if you're like me and an introvert. Oh I'm functional in society but I feel drained after being around people. I feel energized after sitting in the archives section and pouring over data. Don't judge me.
Anyhoo, I have been reflecting a bit on what are the best ways to turn down a man's advances in any situation. I think the key is that we really have to thicken our skins a bit. Yes, our best quality is that we're sensitive and we hopefully are compassionate creatures who take people's feelings into consideration. But the downfall is that we too often allow ourselves to be strong-armed into situations where we don't want to be.
For example, have you ever met someone casually and you had a decent enough conversation with them but you had no romantic interest? So when they spring on you that you should meet up for a movie you feel slightly shell-shocked and just agree. You spend the interim mulling this over and how you’re going to set clear boundaries, talk about other men, put out all of these subtle hints (that only a subtle woman would get) and then he’ll lose interest. But something goes wrong- he doesn’t get the subtle hints and now he’s INTO you. It’s now awkward and you either end up submitting to hanging out with him more (making it even more awkward) or you dash out leaving him bewildered.
Yes, this is not good technique and assuming that men are going to get subtle hints is not going to get you very far. I am guilty of the above scenario and it’s after many awkward scenes from both perspectives that I give the following scenarios:
I’m not talking of the chin-stubbled dark and handsome pirate type, I’m talking about the guy who leads in with overt sexual tones. If you haven’t dated in the past 10 years I don’t want to freak you out but these guys run rampant. They’re a norm and you’re going to have to develop a thick skin to deal with them. In social media they will ask you right out, “Do you suck a good…” -I need not finish. Most of the time they’re a BIT more subtle and seem to have an interest in you before they surprise you with an overt sexual question or implication, and this is when you’re caught off-guard.
I used to respond to these with, “That’s a bit too forward for me,” but this only resulted in them trying to convince me, backpeddle, or insult me as a counter to my rejection. Now I don’t engage- I simply delete and block them or if in public I look vomitus and walk away. This display warns other women not to engage with this level of ick. I haven’t mustered up the art of drink throwing yet but I think it should make a comeback on this type.
Nice Guy, No Spark
I’m sure there will be some guy out there that thinks that this is a testament against nice guys and all girls want are the assholes.Untrue (see above). This is to the guy who is being respectful of you but you don’t want to do the dirty with him. This guy often has a lot of insecurity and so he’s become good about being a victim.
One thing that’s going around is this feminist phone number:(669) 221-6251. You can give a guy this no. and when he texts it he receives empowering female texts. A woman thought this up but will a man get it? I mean he’s just going to think it’s you but that you can’t answer a damn question without being weird. Instead, I would suggest what my friend, Lindsey does: No, thank you! Whenever asked to do something she doesn’t want to do she’ll say, “No, thank you!” Very cheery and upbeat but to the point. She doesn’t need to explain herself or justify her response and neither do you. There’s no snark or discomfort and it can’t be argued with. Clear. Cut. Boundaries. Love it. I did that with the old man at Church and he didn’t take it well. Insider alert! Doesn’t respect my boundaries- good to know. I’ve replied this way to normal guys and they shrug and move on. Had I only done this with DC Bachelor 1… that would have been better for sure.
You Dated but Now…
This guy deserves the most consideration. After all you've shared some level of intimacy and it's just not going to go further. A text or email is not going to cut it. This deserves some personal thought and consideration: why is it not going anywhere? Try to ensure that you're clear but have the conversation with little emotion; he will respect and appreciate the effort.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
11.48am: How is your day? [no response]
Monday, June 9, 2014
So it's no real surprise that my anniversary would come and go without a blink. The thing is I always thought that the 21-month anniversary would be my graduation and I would emerge this fantastically silver muse. But I'm nowhere near graduation and I've sort of just looked upon this as every month and every cut I emerge lighter than the month/cut before.
It think that's a healthy way to view this as it's not a contest. There are so many ways to go through this transition. My color-stripping added more time. The dingbat stylist that burned my hair added on more time. This happens and it's life.
So on my anniversary I had more important things on my mind, such as my good friend, Lindsey's wedding. I've known this girl for several years and I just think the world of her. I was there when she was single, going through heartbreaks together, to when she and her now-husband fell in love. Now I get to be there at their wedding and what a privilege that is!
Lindsey is 10 years my junior and Kevin 15. I knew the age of the guests would include the parents in their 50s-60s and a lot of Millennials. However the only thing I cared about was seeing my friend and looking my best for her. So I wore a new dress bought just for the occasion (thank goodness all this walking slimmed me down enough to put it on), did a rare full blow-out on my hair, straightened it into place, and really worked on getting the perfect upper eyeliner.
Voila! Here are the results. When I walked in I was the only person who didn't know anyone and I certainly wasn't going to try to commandeer the wedding party's time. I also was one of the few silvers with no one in my age group. But you know what? I still felt pretty. I felt my own unique Jilly brand of pretty. I think we should all strive to feel this way about ourselves every day. Not the Jilly brand- aim high to your own brand-- you know what I mean.
It was a beautiful day and I'm not ashamed to admit the number of times I became teary over my friend's happiness. There are few greater joys than witnessing your loved ones' joys and happy moments. So as my friend's wedding was around my 21-month anniversary, this pic will have to do. It may not show off my silver as well as some, but it shows off my happiness even better.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Let’s gain some perspective. What I WANT is this (see left)... What I got that Sunday was this (see right)... Not exactly uplifting to my spirits. I have had some higher points in the dating scene since then which I will divulge in a later post but this is where I was week 1.