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.