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Just When I Thought…

11 Aug

I had successfully dealt with my real life baggage… there’s a new strain of baggage in town… virtual baggage.  Virtual baggage is a by-product of the online dating world.  It’s the issues one develops at the hands of less than savory online daters.  You need really thick skin (think armor) and a strong constitution to deal with the rejection, rudeness and emotional manipulation that online ‘gentleman’ dish out daily.  Of course, I’d be the first to tell you that online dating should be ‘fun’… look at it as an adventure… these men can’t hurt you because they really don’t know you… blah blah blah.  The truth is, the rational side of me knows all that, but the less than rational side falls victim to ‘it’ every time.

I think I’ve fallen victim to virtual baggage. Lately,  I find myself expecting the worst out of the gentleman I communicate with.  The new guys are paying the price for the bad behaviored counterparts that came before them.  Totally unfair… totally out of character for me.  I am usually the one that can find a silver lining in any dark cloud.  I always think the best of everyone… even when they fail misearably, I try to understand the ‘why?’.  Not so much anymore… at least where online dating is concerned.  I’m becoming… gasp… jaded, and I don’t like it… at all.

I have come to equate online dating with buying a new pair of shoes.  You’re attracted to the sexiness of the shoe.  You ask the sales associate for your size and bite your lip and pace around the store hoping that there is a pair available in your size.  When you see the box in his hand, you can’t help but break out into a smile.  You’ve made it successfully to the next step.

Your fingers almost shake as you peel back the top of the box.  You’re breathless as you peek at your beloved shoes through the tissue paper.  You slide them on your feet… oh the bliss… they look fabulous!  Your feet look two sizes smaller and the heel height makes you stand straighter… your boobs bigger and your ass… perfection.  You decide the shoes are magical and will change your life.  So you stand up… You’re confident.  No way in hell your magical shoes will let you down.  You take those first tentative steps, wobble a little and then you’re suddenly striding across the floor.  It’s too good to be true!  You quickly take them off and pack them in their tissue paper home and march up to the cashier and state boldly, “I’ll take these”.

You bring your magic shoes home and give them prime real estate in your closet.  You can’t wait to have the opportunity to wear them.  In fact, you create an opportunity to wear them.  You get all dolled up, nervous for your first date with your magical shoes.  You’re convinced you’ve found your sole mate 😉 and this is true love.  And then… reality sets in… Your toes start feeling a little cramped.  Your calf muscles start protesting.  The burning starts and you’re starting to think these shoes aren’t quite as magical as you first thought.  By the time you get home, your feet are on fire and you can’t wait to pull the damn things off.  You literally throw them back in their box and toss them on a shelf that you’ll never reach without a step ladder.  Every time you enter your closet, you’ll feel the sting of embarrassment as you remember how you overpaid, fell in love a little too quickly and walked far too long in pain… all this for the opportunity to be burned.  Yep… online dating is a lot like the search for the perfect shoes.

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Does the Holy Grail Really Exist?

31 Jul

I suppose we’re all searching for our own list of holy grails in life… especially when it comes to fashion.  Me?  I’ve been on a 40 year quest for the perfect pair of jeans.  I have tried almost every plus sized jean on the market only to come up empty handed.  Oh sure, there have been some that have come close… but nothing has ever checked all the boxes on my list.  My figure can not be squeezed into the typical categories like hour glass, apple or pear.  I’m more of a… block 🙂

If I look for jeans to fit my waist, they are usually bagging off my ass and most likely will be tight on my ‘shapely’ thighs. Luckily I’ve never had to suffer with the gapping waist dilemma… as I don’t have a waist 🙂  The upside of that is I did escape the whole ‘mom’ jean trend as I can not wear jeans that are high waisted… for me it’s like having a tourniquet around my waist, which might work if I stood up 24/7, but, for God’s sakes,  don’t dare try to sit down… Ouch!  I don’t think there’s anything more sexy than a new boyfriend peeling off you jeans for the first time only to find a bevy of angry red lines and indentations ringing your stomach like Saturn.

Some jeans that have come close for me include… Diane Gilman Jeans from HSN, a discontinued style of Denim Lite Jeans from The Avenue. and a 15 year old pair of jeans from Lane Bryant that had a lower rise and no set-in waistband… I still have those jeans even though the inner thighs are practically threadbare.

One sleepless night I was flipping through channels and fooled into thinking I had finally found the holy grail of jeans.  Enter the Pajama Jean.  Could this modern marvel of fashion foolery be the answer?  It took a lot of control not to pick up the phone at 2am to order myself a pair, but I resisted the temptation.  There was something not quite right in the look of the Pajama Jean… yes… you could bend, sit… even sleep in these jeans, but the problem was, they didn’t actually look like jeans… they looked like… well pajamas.  Sighs.. so close and yet so far.  The search continued… endless trying on in stores.  Endless online and catalog orders… the return shipping fees were driving me to the poor house.

Through it all, I couldn’t let go of the idea of the pajama jeans.  It was a good idea… a knit jean. With shaking fingers I tried a new google search… knit jeans… I don’t know why I hadn’t tried that before.  I pressed enter and waited with baited breath.   There it was… LL Bean Knit Jeans.  Bingo!  They looked like real jeans and had a 4.5 star rating (193 reviews… even Oprah said she liked them!).  Since I have an LL Bean credit card, I get free shipping and returns, so I had nothing to lose, plus I had a bunch of reward coupons ready to expire… the denim gods were speaking to me.

It took me a few orders to find the right size (definitely order down a size).  I opted for the bootcut style as they sit lower on the waist and are cut a bit slimmer through the hips and thigh.  They are a little pricey, but when I slipped them on and took them for a test run, I realized you really can’t put a price on comfort and fit.  They hugged my curves without making me look… lumpy.  I could sit, bend, squat without gasping… and it appears the rings of Saturn have been banished to another galaxy.  Because it’s been so darn hot here, I haven’t challenged them to a full day of wear yet… but I am ever hopeful the holy grail is within my grasp.

The Double Standard of Double Chins…

27 Jul

So in the aftermath of being virtually stood up, I escaped to my kindle for comfort.  I am in the process of reading ‘Gone Girl’… which I’m really enjoying, but, I was reading another blog where someone mentioned a play called ‘Fat Pig’ by Neil LaBute.  I love a story where the less than perfect heroine (whether it’s extra pounds, an unsightly scar or just less lucky in the looks department, a la Jane Eyre) gets the unattainable man.  So I read reviews about Neil LaBute’s play.. but I guess I didn’t read enough.  I quickly one clicked my purchase on Amazon and began to read.  Let me say play formats are not my most favorite reads, but hey, I’d suffer through just about anything for a happy ending 🙂  Alas… I didn’t quite get my happy ending.

The story is basically about a chance meeting between a successful, handsome business man and a plus sized librarian he meets at lunch one day.  He falls in love… she falls in love… and well… his friends (and ex-girlfriend) don’t fall in love with the fact she’s a full figure lady.  I found myself cringing through a lot of this play… simply because it brought to light the challenges of being a plus size WOMAN in today’s world; and truth be told, the writer’s words hit very close to home.  I won’t spoil the ending, but needless to say, I had a bunch of kleenex clutched in my hand.   I emphasize the plight of the plus size woman, because I really don’t believe men necessarily feel the prick of weight discrimination the way women do.   There’s definitely a double standard in the world of double chins.

Just look at the online dating world.  I can’t tell you how many profiles I come across where the man is robust (think fat) but claim they are ‘average’ or carrying a ‘few extra pounds’. And yet… they are looking for a kind, honest lady who is  ‘slim’ and ‘atheletic and toned’.  Hey, I get that you can’t help what you’re attracted too, but be honest with yourself (and the rest of the world) as to where you lie on the  body fat spectrum.  What do you think?  Is there a double standard when it comes to double chins?

On a brighter note… I finally found a pair of shoes for the wedding I have next week.  I’m really out of practice walking in heels and as I need a wide width, it’s very difficult to find a shoe that doesn’t make me feel like an elephant balancing on stilts 😉  Aside from the fact… after my dress purchase, my budget was extremely tight.  I ended up with a pair of black patent peep toe platform sling backs…for under… get this… $20!  They were deeply discounted at The Avenue and with a coupon and shipping, I got them home for $23!  The dress is by Adrianna Papell and was $188 dollars at Nordstrom.  I scored mine (new with tag) on Ebay for $67 shipped.  I worry since the wedding is a work crowd that the cleavage will be a bit much, but my daughter says no.  I tried on the size 20 in the store which was a little big and the 18 was a little small.  I ended up getting the 18 and with my new eating plan 😉 it fits perfectly everywhere… just a tiny bit snug on the boobs, hence the abundance of cleavage 🙂  What do you think (and geez.. the photo is not of me):

Just What the Doctor Ordered… Girls Night Out!

26 Jul

Okay if you’re expecting to hear about a wild night out with the girls… think again 🙂  I did get together with the girls from work, but it was for the first installment of our monthly book club.  Our first book was “The Great Gatsby”.  I have to be honest… I didn’t like it when I first read it… YIKES… 30 years ago and really didn’t like it much more now.  I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters.  We did discuss the book (a little) then indulged in a pitcher of sangria and some good Italian food… Yum!  Mind you the age range of our group was 24-64… many laughs were shared (all my friends are married or in serious relationships so they love hearing stories about my dating escapades).  Our next book is called Gone Girl… I just downloaded it to my Kindle and can’t wait to get started.  I’ve heard (and read) some excellent reviews.

Books aside, it felt good to be with a group of  ladies that support and love each other.  They remind me I’m not alone out there.  Yes.. after this week’s dating frustrations (no call from Mr. Friday night)… cancelled date by Mr. Maybe… It was good to leave it all behind and just go have fun!  It was fun to dress up too!  My new dress from Old Navy ($20 with a coupon!) arrived on the doorstep this afternoon so I opted to wear it.  Yowsa on the cleavage… but it was very flattering.  LOL I had at least 3 people tell me I lost ‘tons of weight’… I have lost a bit (just don’t feel like eating in the summer) but no where near ‘tons’.  It’s definitely the flattering cut of the dress… Hooray for optical illusions 😉  Sorry, but the mannequin does not do this dress justice.  Insert my DDD girls and we’re talking… VaVaVoom! 😉  I wore the dress with my black wedge sandals and large silver hoops.  I did toss on a black shrug as the restaurant was chilly and I don’t like my chubby arms exposed 🙂  Cute outfit!  One of these days I’ll get ambitious and post pictures of me actually in my outfits.

So an update about Mr. Maybe.  I get a text bright and early this morning…(in the summer…10am seems ridiculously early to me :)):

Mr. Maybe:  What are you doing?

Me: Sleeping

Mr. Maybe: I had a dream about you last night.  It was so vivid, I’ve never had a dream like that before.

Me: (rolls eyes) I guess you can’t get me out of your mind, eh?

Mr. Maybe: No I can’t. We need to go out again, tomorrow maybe?

Me: (Laughing to myself… Really? Maybe? Now I just want to pursue this for the entertainment value… and maybe more kisses… damn, I hate to admit this, he’s one of the better kissers I ever did kiss 🙂  So my final text was: Make it happen.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings… I can hardly wait.

A Rose by Any Other Name…

23 Jul

So last night I went on a Match date.  This gentleman was someone that I had conversed with via email last year.  We never quite got to the dating phase as I got tired of waiting for him to ask me out… I guess he was juggling more than one ball at the time and was keeping me on the back burner.  I wished him well and went on my merry way.  Flash forward 9 months, I joined Match again and my very first ‘Match of the Day’ was this guy again!  I’ll give him credit… he emailed me first to say hello and point out how I missed out by not dating him.  LOL, funny how perspectives can be so different, eh?  In any case, he can be very witty and charming, so we fell back into the emailing thing.  After a few days he said we should go out.  My reponse… Make it happen.  A phone call and a number of texts later, we had plans for Saturday night.

He took me to a nice, albiet really noisy, restaurant… which can be an issue on a first date.  Hard to get to know each other when you have to scream across the table.  I have to say I felt very attractive last night… if I dare say, downright sexy.  I am in transition at the moment–stepping out of my wardrobe/makeup/hairstyle rut.  I’ve been reading the blogs of other plus size ladies that have totally inspired me to take some risks.  Thank you Amber from Style Plus Curves  and CeCe from The Big Girl Blog!  They have helped me embrace my curves… I was even rocking some nice cleavage last night 😉  Here’s what I wore… the skirt is by Alfani (scored it at Macys for 14 bucks, while this wasn’t the exact top, it’s pretty darn close.  Mine was from the back of my closet and is about 7 years old. The shoes are from SoftSpot and were an end of summer purchase last year.  They are SUPER comfortable and probably the only high heels I’ve worn in years.

 

After dinner we took a walk along the river and sat and chatted for a long while… this I enjoyed 🙂  I’m not one to kiss and tell… but I have to admit, he is a good kisser.  While I’m definitely attracted to him, I do have some reservations… which I’m going to keep to myself for the moment.  I’m going to see how this plays out.  He did text today saying how last night was great and that we should do it again sometime.  I asked him if he was asking me out on another date as I wasn’t quite sure… he said yes he was.  LOL that wasn’t so difficult was it?  We made tentative plans for Tuesday.  I’m curious to see how the next date goes.

Here’s the thing though… I can not recall him calling me by my name the entire evening.  This stuck in my mind, because many of the guys I’ve dated over the past year (except for one) didn’t use my name either.  I LIKE when guys call me by name… It makes things more intimate… hmm… maybe that’s why???!!??? What are your thoughts?

Oh what a year it’s been…

20 Jul

Good Lord… best intentions gone wild.  I’ve er… taken a ‘little’ break… like a year!  I contemplated starting a new blog from scratch, but after reading these few entries, I couldn’t leave these memories, tidbits of wisdom and reflections in the dust.  So… alas, I have returned.  Maybe a tad more jaded and a little more realistic about how often I’ll be blogging.  I intended to write everyday, but honestly, some days I just don’t feel like it and some days I’m just too darn busy.  So the goal this time is to ‘try my best’… just like I tell my kiddos at school 🙂  My first priority is to understand the blogging process and how to offer  up my innermost thoughts to millions of virtual strangers 🙂

Here are things that didn’t change in the last year:  I’m still a teacher. I’m still a mom, sister and daughter.  I’m still chubby 🙂  I’m still looking for love.  What has changed in the last year… family illness that has lead me to reevaluate my life goals.  Dates… some good and bad, that have helped me to understand just what I’m looking for in a mate.  A relationship, that while pleasant, constituted nothing more than a place holder.  More about this later, but to give you a glimpse… 7 months into the relationship he’s talking about my eyes, not that they’re beautiful or anything… just about their color… brown.  Um… I have blue eyes.  And no, before you even think it… he was NOT color blind.   Sighs..

So where I am with the online dating?  Well… right now, I’m on eHarmony for one month (yea… a ‘free’ weekend suckered me in).  I also signed up for 6 months of Match… this time I will make sure to send my 6 emails out each month so I can take advantage of the guarantee.  I’ve got to be honest, I have much better results on Match… not sure if it’s because their base of active users is much greater than eHarmony’s… the operative word being ‘active’… or the format just works better for me.  In any case, it’s where I’ve decided to put my focus for the next few months.  So much to talk about… so little time!  I think I’ll start and recap the last few weeks and then when I hit the inevitable dating lulls which happen more often than not, I can revisit this past year’s escapades.

So let’s start with my one eHarmony date from this month.  Nice guy… no doubt about it.  But he had what I call the mis-match syndrome.  That’s the guy that is absolutely charming and witty in emails and on the phone, but when you meet them in person they are totally different.  While he was nice to talk to, there just wasn’t any of that flirtatious, witty repartee that we shared in emails/phone.  I’m not sure, but I would guess he just wasn’t attracted to me… who the heck knows.  I recently gave myself a makeover of sorts… so I got myself a new dress (Jones New York black and white zebra print vneck dress with 3/4 sleeves…Macys has been having some wicked sales… I got this dress for $22.00!):

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I opted for flats from my closet (purchased from the Avenue in black for $12.99 last summer),  since he stated he was 5’6″.  Dear readers, I am 5’5″ in bare feet so I reluctantly left my heels at home.  Let me just say I have no issues with height.  I will say my preference leans towards taller men, but I would never turn down a date with someone due to their height or lack of thereof.  I was not shocked (you come to expect it) that he was no where near 5’6″.  In fact, he commented on how ‘tall’ I was… LOL.  So, no, I don’t care if you’re short… but for God sakes, don’t lie about it.

I mince no words in my profile.  I say, quite clearly, I am plus sized and have my category as ‘full figured’.  I can NOT stand the look  of disappointment on a guys face when they realize I’m more of a size 16 (on a good day… a very good day) than a size 6 (yes Viriginia… some men don’t bother reading the profile you took days to craft).  Maybe my pictures are ‘too’ good and don’t fairly represent what I really look like… although I’ve asked a few dates that question and they thought they did… hmmm… something to think about.

In any case, we had a nice dinner and headed out for a walk along the boardwalk…. we had pretty good conversation throughout.  I can’t remember really any lulls or akward moments. While I wasn’t wildly attracted to him (he seemed older than his years), I did my best to be attentive and fun.  In any case, it ended early… he walked me back to my car exactly 2.5 hours after meeting (yea… he didn’t like what he saw or heard).  I gave him a hug, thanked him for dinner and told him to enjoy the rest of his vacation.  He said thanks and walked off.  I was a lady and sent a thank you email the next day to be polite.  Never heard another word from him.  And so… the search continues… another date scheduled for Saturday.  This one was a year in the making… I’ll be very surprised (hopefully pleasantly) if the date even happens.  We shall see…