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Miss Demure Restraint’s Journal
The whole damn year of 2008
It was a roller coaster ride 

I never know where my evil little mind is going to take me when I sit down here to write my next entry.  It would seem I will dwell in one of my favorite rooms again today.  Yes, the woes being single at the onset of middle age always a topic of interest.  What ya gonna do?  Seriously, most of us have spent the last ten years building careers and/or rising families.  I know my energy for the past decade was spent establishing a nice, cozy, middle class existence.  A few of us are just starting to look up from our grindstones and realizing time is, in fact, running out.  There is an expiration date on our potential to do all the things we dreamed of doing, but set aside to meet the obligations of the moment. 

I’ve been single forever!  I consider myself single, as I’ve been divorced over 10 years.  My daughter has been on her own for a very long time.  We don’t even live in the same state.  I ask, how single can a person be?  I looked up from my chosen grindstone about a year ago and realized the only true obligation I had was to myself.  There’s no one else that relies on me anymore and I have obtained those things that represent a measure of success (enough for me anyway).  I also realized I had no one to share the fruits of my labor with.  I’ll be frank here (you can be Shirley later – HeHe).  It gets lonely doing things by yourself or with couples that are friends.  It seems all my single friends through the years have become couples.  Hanging isn’t the same after that. 

So the conundrum . . . how to meet new people.  Work had become my life.  I’m not religious.  I don’t drink (rarely anyway).  That takes church and bars off the list of wheres.  Immediately strike the workplace.  I learned long ago that friends you work with must remain “work friends” as long as you work for the same employer or have regular business dealings.  There is nothing on the planet as pathetic as the “hook ups” my couples friends come up with for me.  I would rather swallow glass than suffer another evening with a “surprise” guest to even out my odd in the group.  Heaven forbid we have a stray odd now and then. 

Wouldn’t you think I’d meet other single people in the pursuit of my own interests?  What do I spend my time doing?  Of course, the job sucks up most of my waking hours.  What else do I do?  I workout.  I love working out.  I’d love to find a workout partner!  Okay . . . have you seen the people in the gyms?  I guess I’m not the only one with this problem of meeting other singles.  Most gyms are just meat markets.  I’m sorry, but when I workout I sweat, I grunt, my hair turns into a nightmare, and I wear clothes that let me move, but are not at all attractive.  With the women showing up at the gym in these little skirt things with their perfect hair and makeup, I went out and bought a recumbent bike and incline weight bench, put mirrors on one wall converting one of my bedrooms to a workout room.  

Yoga?  I do that a lot.  Who do I meet there?  More coupled women!  Great, more glass on the menu of my life.  One of the instructors is kind of a cool guy, but that seems a bad idea from the gate.  I spend most of the rest of my time writing.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is my passion.  I write everyday.  I blog everyday, I can.  God does that sound geeky!  I found blogging to be much more than I imagined it would be and it is a great joy in my life.  I have friends around the world now.  Problem is that its tough ringing up Zen in Australia to see if she wants to catch the movie matinee this afternoon. 

Okay, we do live in the realization of the global, electronic village.  Friend Computer (perhaps my best friend right now) should be able to help me out.  So what is offered?  Dating websites, personal ads, MySpace (Social site? What’s that?), now Twitter (does anyone really want to know I shaved my legs today?) and more are available with the click of a mouse button.  However, what are you really getting?  I’m not sure what people do in the cyber world.  There may just be as many scenarios as there are people.  It confuses me, frustrates me, disappoints me and sometimes delights me.  I guess its no different than the rest of life.  

E-mail and IM contact . . . $14.95 for internet access.  Telephone conversations . . . $28.54 for cell minute overages.  Meet for coffee . . . $12.80 for a scone and latte.  Dinner date . . . $130.05 for new dress.  Meeting someone you actually do things with . . . Priceless.  Oh that it were so simple!  

So every once in a while I stick my head in and check out what’s up and who’s back online and who’s gone and maybe now and then, who’s new.  I do have limited electronic (computer and phone) connect with a lot of people.  Its weird really.  An e-mail thread is initiated.  Some are amazingly brief.  Some go on for months.  Some make it to the talking on the phone stage, most don’t.  A few you actually meet.  Rarely, one of those will turn into a real date.  Second dates?  I could probably count them, but what a depressing undertaking that would be.  Anyone that actually became part of my life?  Easy answer there . . . one, maybe two. 

Maybe its not so much a problem meeting people.  When I consider it, I meet plenty of people.  Its just that most of – make that all – the men I meet are looking for a lot more than a hang out buddy or activities partner. SEX!!!  I blame sex or at least the pursuit of sex.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve met a bunch of very nice, interesting people.  I have contact of varying degrees with several of them.  Still its fleeting and if it persists its just recycles back though the pursuit of sex.  Regardless the advertisement of their search for a long-term relationships, its long term sex that most people really want.  Do I sound jaded?  I’m not really.  I like sex as much as, no probably more than, the next person.  I’m only going to engage in a relationship with someone that I’m having “rock your world” sex with.  So, I’m as guilty of the pursuit as everybody else. 

The result is that it is as rare to find friends as it is to find that illusive Mr. or Ms Right.  Most contact ends once a sexual agreement is reach or a real relationship develops.  No, correction here . . . scratch the agreement part.  Even if there is a “friend with benefits” arrangement, they are always short term.  Having regular physical intercourse either leads to sincere attachment or once the initial fireworks end there isn’t enough to continue based purely on sex.  We are social animals.  The animal may need to copulate, but if our social needs aren’t meet we will of need seek it elsewhere.  We have to have both the physical and the social connection for a relationship to be gratifying. 

So just where the hell is this rant going?  The more I know, the more I know I don’t know much.  This applies to everything.  Relationships . . . rough stuff.

Is it fair to rant that things aren’t exceptional?  

I’ve got a good job.  It requires no creativity.  It pays well and is secure.  It does not challenge me.   I have benefits that ain’t half bad.  It is sedentary.   It is a job after all.  What do I really have to bitch about? 

I’ve got a good boyfriend.  He has no job.  I love him and he loves me.  His prospects are slim.  He’s the coolest, best man I have known.  He’s in transition.  He’s a man after all.  What do I really have to bitch about?

I’ve got a good life.  Its pretty boring.  I’m happy and content.   Nothing exciting seems to happen.  I don’t suffer drama from others.  It is average.  It is a life after all.  What do I really have to bitch about? 

Add it all up and I have a secure, happy, quiet existence and what more can we desire in this living?  

Special Note:  

Shortly after writing this my world was turned upside down.  I indeed had nothing to bitch about and now look back with the realization that I had it good! You see, fate, karma, or just plain bad luck landed square in my lap.  I had a horrific fire at my house.  Fortunately, the house did not burn to the ground, but the garage, both cars and the back third of the house did.  The loss was catastrophic. 

We were displaced and lived like a couple of college students for three months.  No that’s an overstatement; college students at least have the internet.  We slept on a blow up mattress, used cardboard boxes for tables, ate from cans over the sink, came to suspect the downstairs neighbor was a “lady of the night,” and observed drug deals randomly throughout the apartment complex.  The first and only thing asked about my new puppy was how much he cost.  Still worse yet, over time we realized the apartment was infested with toxic mold to which I am extremely allergic!

What did I learn?  All things pass.  We are back in the house which is still a construction site, but I’m starting to be able to breathe again.  Although the house is filled with boxes of items returned after being cleaned and/or repaired, every once in awhile we come across some treasure we thought had been lost. 

Somehow, despite losing so much stuff, we don’t seem to fit in the house (can’t wait to have the garage rebuilt).  There’s no longer a fence across the back yard, so the puppy must be taken out and watched little a hawk to do his business (TMI).  We have to park the cars on the street.  The corollary to all this . . . Once we unpack and reorganize things will be better than before.  The puppy has a yard and is no longer in danger of being stolen for the puppy black market.  We have cars to park on the street.  Oh yeah . . . the boyfriend got a job! 

What do I really have to bitch about?

It was like she told him once . . . she never had a chance.  She was going to love him.  From the first moments there was a bond.  She had been so innocent back then.  It seemed like forever ago.  She reminisced and lingered over thoughts of him . . . his face, his voice, his soul. 

It was like she told him once . . . she never had a chance.  From the start, she knew she was going to love him.  She didn’t know how she was going to love him.  Still, she knew.  What she never imagined was just how much and how many ways she was going to be in love. 

It was like she told him once . . . she never had a chance.  There was an irresistible chemistry from the very first.  She hadn’t experienced such an attraction before and it bowled her over.  She had no defense against the rush of feeling and sense of serendipity. All she thought she knew flew out the window. 

It was like she told him once . . . she never had a chance.

She sat staring at ten perfectly formed and painted fingernails.  She had opted for a soft, pink color in concession to the warming spring weather.  With a smile she did not really feel, she thanked and paid the woman seated across from her.  The substantial tip elicited a bright and cheery, “Thank you, Lady and you come again.  Okay?”  She simply nodded and exited the small nail shop that mimicked twenty others along this stretch of the boulevard.  She had stopped in on a whim looking for a distraction as well as any reason to delay returning home. 

They were fighting and she had no desire to go another ten rounds at the moment.  She thought she remembered a little espresso stand around the corner, she had frequented years ago.  A bit of an old-fashioned, internet café with the most delightful white chocolate –  white coffee concoction.  She felt like indulging herself and they usually had a few computers available.  She didn’t even have her laptop.  She had been so upset when she left that it hadn’t crossed her mind until much later that she’d left it behind. 

It was the second fight in as many days.  She hated it when he would goad her into losing her composure, then step back all smug and in control only making her look more the raving lunatic.  Last night had been so very bad.  She was humiliated at having let herself be lured into the same old trap.  Why was it always she that ending up screaming hateful things in a fit of rage?  How was it he so played her . . . a virtuoso.  Before it got that far today, she had grabbed her clutch and beat it out of there, pleading a need to complete some phantom chore. 

After all it was a beautiful day and why should she allow him to ruin that for her.  A genuine smile curved her glossy, pink lips.  The bounce came back into her step as she made her way to the coffee shop.  She could enjoy the hot brew and catch up on some long past due e-mail replies.  She was slowly feeling more her usual upbeat self with the prospect. 

Once she had concluded her transaction with the barista, she scanned the room cup in hand for an available computer.  Her breath caught when she saw him sitting alone in the corner frantically beating on the keyboard of the laptop in front of him.  Quickly, she turned back to the counter barely able to resist the urge to flee the suddenly tiny space.  Had he seen her?  No, he was obviously engrossed with his passion.  

A knowing smile erupted as she sensed his gaze upon her.  She leisurely turned to face him.  Her calm returned to her as her eyes met his.  Moving like a feline predator, she gracefully closed the open space between them.  Once before him, her laughter broke the awkward silence.  In a sultry voice all she said was . . .  “Been waiting long?”   His deep baritone chuckle filled the room and he replied, “You’re late.”

She loves him
Heart and soul
Cliché as that may seem

Still she struggles
Older woman
He, a younger man

She of late
Feels her age
His as yet not showing

Should she fear
She’s lost her heart
His youth beyond her grasp

Sometimes she thinks
To run away
To be with someone senior

What should he desire
To replace this classic
With some newer model

To end up just a trade-in
Forgotten on some back lot
Such fate she’d not recover

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September 2009