Thursday, April 26, 2012

Afraid of this?

“Won't you be nervous?”  My friend asked me the other day at lunch.  I was telling her about an event I had to go to that evening and she asked me if I was afraid of attending an event by myself and not knowing who would be there.  “Not really” I replied.  “I’m pretty much used to going to places by myself and meeting new people.”    My friend told me she could never just go to a party, work event, or mixer by herself.  She just isn’t comfortable being alone in that kind of environment.  Luckily for me, I don’t have a fear of showing up someplace by myself. 
This conversation led to another one “What makes you nervous?  What are you afraid of?”  Hmm… this one was tougher for me to answer.  I replied “Dating” makes me nervous – she quickly retorted that it didn’t make me nervous and if it DID in fact make me nervous I would not be on 2 dating sites at the same time and juggling dates.  Ok – point taken.
I still couldn’t think of much to be afraid of or nervous about?  I am confident alone, can make friends, and enjoy trying new things.   I don’t think I have too many feelings of dread when it comes to events in my life.  I guess I am pretty lucky like that.
After more contemplating and thinking about this (because, you know, it is a random thought, and those are the kind of thoughts that get stuck in my head and I can’t get them out) I might have a few things that make me nervous.
The first thing is i'm afraid of and hate confrontation. HATE HATE HATE it. I hate it so much that I still volunteer for stuff I don’t want to do just because I am afraid of confronting the people and telling them why I don’t want to help anymore.  (Yes, I’m a sucker that is engulfed in fear of letting someone down).    I will lose sleep for days about something as trivial as confronting a coworker and telling them their idea wasn’t up to par, or their attitude needs to be fixed, or that they just really need to change the way they do something.  Confrontation = Stress and fear for me.  I’ve learned that my fear of confrontation makes me a pretty bad people manager.  I’m great at managing people who are on my team and rowing the boat the way I row, but one lose paddle and I can’t deal well with it.  Luckily for me, in my career I really don’t’ have to directly manage people and I can happily pick the people I want on my row boat.
Another thing that makes me nervous is falling in love. Weird right?  Well, I’m not hung up on it in the “can’t get out of the house kind of way”, more like it’s a BIG step and I’m kind of not there yet kind of way.  Once you have a child in your life the whole “falling in love” thing takes a SERIOUSLY BIG commitment.  One bad breakup when my Little Man was 4 and I quickly developed a fear of falling in love.  For now I am putting it down in the column of Healthy Fears.   You know that column?  In that column goes:  Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping, and roller blading… (Ok, roller blading is safe for some people, but for me it is a seriously dangerous sport and it will stay in the fear column!)
I remember filling out a paper for my Little Man when he was entering Pre K. He was 4 years old and the teacher wanted to know things like, favorite color, favorite food, allergies and fears.  I think she was looking for things like “afraid of the deep end of the pool, afraid of strangers, etc.”  I asked my little man “What are you afraid of?”   He replied, “Monsters”    “That is all?” I asked.  “Well, Big Ones”
Ok, little man.  You are right.  There really isn’t much in life to be afraid of but Big Monsters.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This one is for the men....

I feel a bit like I have been “man bashing” lately on here. I know that women and men all have faults and let’s be honest, no one is perfect.  However, I DO work in an office with 64 women and 1 man.   So as much as we try not to talk about our personal lives at work, we do end up speaking about our significant others often. 

Just today one of my co-workers was up in arms about her husband.  Yesterday they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.  Like any normal working woman she expected to see a nice arrangement of flowers/candy/gifts arrive at her office during the day.  When that didn’t happen she was sure the arrangement was too large for the delivery truck driver, so it would be sitting at home on the kitchen counter for her after her long day of work.  When that didn’t happen she was SURE that her husband was going to surprise her with a nice romantic dinner with candles and a rose on her plate.

Well, needless to say, none of that happened.  What she got instead was a small arrangement from the grocery store and a Bose sound system for them to “share.” 

Like any other woman after being married to a man for 20 years would do - she let her hubby have it!  “Who brings home flowers from the grocery store to celebrate 20 years of marriage?!  Who cooks dinner for his wife, then makes HER wash the dishes?!!  Who buys speakers to be shared?!”  Understandably her feelings were hurt as he stood there in a state of confusion.

As a ‘typical’ man he didn’t get it… Why aren’t Publix flowers good enough?  Why not share a gift? And what’s so wrong with washing dishes after someone else cooks for you? Well on any other day of the year all of these gifts are perfect ideas to show your love.  However dear male reader, women want, no need a little bit extra attention sometimes. 

I’m going to tell you a secret that will hopefully help you out in the future…. Women want flowers delivered to their office so that they can show YOU off to their coworkers.  We want to have the large vase filled with fragrant blooms so that our friends will rave about how lucky we are to have you in our lives.   We want the piece of jewelry so that when our friends ask where we got it, we can casually mention that our loving husband/boyfriend surprised us with it.  Basically we want these gifts to make you look good (with a side of making our coworkers jealous as well). 

So all you husbands and boyfriends out there who are wondering what to do make your loved one’s day – Send flowers!  Send chocolate! Send fruit arrangements! I assure you it doesn’t matter what you send, just ensure that it is not from the grocery store and it arrives at her office with a great big bow on it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wanted: Proper understanding of the English Language

“I can’t fall in love with someone who has bad grammar!”  one of my friends states over lunch.  This may sound a bit off the wall to some, but for me, I completely understand.  I never realized how little personality quirks and traits can really just turn someone off (or on) when you are dating. 

Being a current member of the “online dating world” I scan through tons of profiles each week with guys saying things like my mate (yep- “mate” so weird!?!) Anyway, guys list their must haves and can’t stands for their future mate and you read them thinking “hey! That’s me we can be a match!”    I’ve seen things like “must love going to the gym”, “Can’t be high maintenance”, “Must love dogs” –yep that one is a movie and a standard apparently.  “No drama please”  “Not into the club scene” or some of my favorites are “my mate must stay physically fit”  “must look like your picture” and one was “must not be afraid of snakes”

These descriptions drive me crazy.  Of course every woman is going to say she loves the gym! Of course we are going to say we are drama free! And of course we are going to say we aren’t afraid of snakes! (ok, I’ll only say that if you are really, really, really cute in your profile picture)  I wish there was a place to put things online that truly matter.  Something like “must not mind that I wake up looking a bit like a Fraggle”.  “Must be able to put up with my weird schedule and not complain about me working too much”  “Must understand that my shows take precedence over your shows on the DVR list”  “Must be able to interact with my family members without complaining about it”  “Must have an actual job and make real money, thus being able to pay your bills”  "Must understand the proper use of an exclamation point"  "Must be willing to use spell check prior to hitting send"

Of course many online daters create a profile as more of a wish list of Mr./Mrs. Perfect and then settle for a bit less than they requested.

I did however find one guy that might be a good match for my friend.  His honesty was a bit surprising…  He stated he was a high school teacher, loved dogs and did not date people who had bad grammar usage….

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lessons of Little League

We all know that sometimes parents take the fun out of things.  Or, maybe it is that parents end up having so much fun they forget that they are the parents and not the kids?

I noticed this recently at the little league field.  To be honest, I could have a blog entitled – I saw it at little league as there is a ton of juicy stuff I could write about it there.  Anyway, I digress…

Last week my little man’s team was playing the undefeated team – translation –this was a tough game for the 7 year olds.  We (See I’m already doing the parent fan club thing, using the ‘we’ to describe the team)…  We started the game off great! One kid had a double, and then a few of our kids had home runs. It was a really exciting game from the stands.  The score rose and rose until it was 16-13 us.  Then the other team got two runs and two outs and bases loaded.  My little man was at pitcher. (For all of you non little league readers it means he was standing next to the coach who was pitching)  The kid version gets to wear a big helmet and stand on the mound and play defense, but the coach does the actual pitching.  So there we are, Little Man on the mound, other team’s coach pitching, 2 outs, down by 1 run, bases loaded – and No, I am not making this up.  Just as the coach goes to pitch the ball, my little man yelled something like “go team”.  I’m not so sure why he yelled at the moment, but he did.  Well, this little yell set off a firestorm from the opposing coach.  He yelled at the Umpire, yelled at my little man, yelled at our coach, just basically threw a fit that a kid could yell during his pitching.  Our coach yelled back at the other coach, the umpire calmed it all down and the game when on.  The next pitch, the batter hit and the ball flew right into my little man’s glove.  He caught the last out and the game was over! Everyone cheered and the parents gossiped about the actions of the other coaches.

When we got home that night I asked my little man if he was upset about the coaches yelling and stopping the game.  I was thinking he might be embarrassed or nervous about playing pitcher again.  His response?  “Mom, I have no idea what was going on.  My helmet is so big, I can’t see anything and it covers my ears too so I can’t hear.”  Well, where you excited to catch the winning ball? I asked.  “Mom, I just put out my glove like I was supposed to.”  Good point little man – just do what you are supposed to, stay in position, where your gear and have fun.  Maybe the parents should learn a little lesson from you?

His next game was Saturday.  I didn’t make it, but I heard they got crushed 21-4.  Yesterday I asked him about his game.  “It was awesome mom! We had so much fun!” he said.  I said, really?  What was the score?  He replied “we lost like 10-2, but whatever, it was fun….”

Monday, April 2, 2012

Letting Go of Mr. Nice Guy

Recently my friends and I have found ourselves debating the best way to let a guy go, or moreover how do you not hurt the person you don’t want to date anymore.  Typically, we aren’t “serial daters”, but due to our recent adventures into online dating a few of us have a few too many guys in our inbox and we needed to delete a few.  (I know this sounds HORRBIBLY rude, but I assure it is not) I am just stating the facts -that once you begin online dating and go out on a few dates you inevitably end up with a group of “nice guys” in your contact list.

The “Nice Guy” group mainly consists of guys who you don’t want to make out with.  (At least that is my standard)  If I am on a date and I don’t want to kiss you, then we might progress to date #2 just to make sure. Once date #2 is over and I still don’t want to make out with you, then you get stuck in the “nice guy” zone.  The “nice guy” zone isn’t a bad place per say - it is just the dating version of no man’s land. The guy is really nice and you would love to set him up with the perfect girl, just not you. 

Because my friends and I are genuinely nice girls (really, we are a few of the last, un-jaded, nice, kind and caring girls left in South Florida) we tend to keep our “Nice Guy” Inbox full.  We just can’t cut and run.  Nope, we don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings (see previous blog posts) we don’t want to seem rude, we don’t want to seem shallow.  So what do we do?  We respond to every text Mr. Nice Guy sends, we begrudgingly go out for just one more coffee, we chat on the phone when we just don’t want to make any more small talk and we hem and haw over how to cut it off.

There is no easy way for a nice girl to get rid of a nice guy.  The “it’s not you, it’s me thing” doesn’t really work.  The “I’m just not into you” was used and abused by now.  The “I’m focusing on myself and have no time for dating” doesn’t make sense when you are on an online dating site.

It is very unfortunate, but I am afraid that Mr. Nice Guy forces the nice girls to get a little bit harsh when breaking it off.  Just this week I used “I have no time right now, I’m focusing on my career” That seemed like such a good one! Perfect I thought…. NOPE – his response?  “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere…Take what time you need”   UGH!  Mr. Nice Guy – Stop being so nice!

So, alas I sit here with my inbox still relatively full of Mr. Nice Guys just waiting for a response... while I on the other hand am in search of the perfect way to quickly pull off the dating Band aide and let these nice guys go!