At your lowest, it is still not this ….

So I am internet dating. No secret.  It still bears a stigma, so we do not talk about it in polite company.  I think it might be more acceptable to say I am a prostitute.

I do not go around wearing a t-shirt announcing it – the internet dating, not the prostitute thing — keep up now.  The reality is what are the chances of me meeting a semi-stable male person who is single, or not in jail?

I will tell you incase you have not done this experiment, the chances are almost nil actually.  I can’t quite meet people at work ….. I work for myself, you see how that is weird?

I have to fling myself onto the cattle market that is internet dating and die a thousand deaths.  Daily.

My friend told me she saw her friend’s husband on a site once.

Well that got awkward fast.

Internet dating, by it’s sheer ludicrously, allows for several hours of funny stories, a few really embarrassing ones, and several that I prefer never to talk about unless I am on some sort of strong medication and restrained by a medical professional (not the one mentioned further in this piece just so we are on the same page here)..

You meet some lovely people.  You meet some questionable people, and then you meet the people who will hold your hair back whilst you are up-chucking. I am stylish like that, see.

Which basically means I am chatting to people who could be the 12 year old boy next door or a 78 year old woman in Geneva.  It is all pretty Dating in the Dark stuff – and you need to keep your wits about you.  I firm dose of humour, and always keep Barney’s words in mind “Stranger Danger.”

{does it bother you, or maybe raise an eyebrow that in that show there is a character called BJ.  Of all the names they could use, they settled on BJ, why not just go to the next level and call him ANAL?  Maybe I just do not understand the market they are trying to appeal to}

There are so many lows in the process that I can’t even list them.

I had a theory that I would sit and jot these down one day, but that day is never going to come.  Things have got so murky, my lines in the sand have been smudged so badly, that I am starting to doubt whether some things I recall actually happened.

I got this message today – with a few photographs:

Hi, I read ur story. Interested in you. I am Dr *******. South Korea medical Dr. work at khaleitsha area. prevent Hiv.Aids person. I majored gynaecology for female. Recently I looking for good friend.

I am not sure what to make of this.

He is looking for a good friend, he has majored in gynaecology.  I like the way he is specific and says “gynaecology for females” …. as opposed to?  Say ….. is there any other kind of vagina doctor I don’t know about?

Anyway, I am going to say thanks, but no thanks.  And then try to find the door to get the hell out of this rather strange place. For today, I will be back tomorrow, I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame —- a large petrol fueled flame!!

I am sure he is wonderful.

I am sure he is.

I am sure that I am never going to find out.

Good luck strange doctor guy.  Good luck.

Me – cheese and riced, I really need to take stock of my life sooner or later.

InternetDating

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The upside of Divorce …… that no one tells you

There are few perks to divorce, but if you do not focus on them, and try and relish in the small thing, there is a good chance you might end up with a sawn off shot gun, and an alcohol binge session that is not going to end well for anyone at the post office.

So here is my non-comprehensive list of shit that is good after a divorce:

1.  You can use it to stop a “call centre” operator in their tracks.  I had a call yesterday from Old Mutual and an operator was trying to set up an appointment with a very nice financial planner, to plan my life.  I said “you know I am at the end stages of a massive divorce, right now I can’t plan for next week {I did make it slightly more dramatic than it is} ….. I really can’t do this right now.”  I could hear him flicking through the “cards to use to deal with difficult customers” and he came out with nothing.  He apologised, wished me well, we might even have held hands symbolically and sang kumba-ya-ma-lord for a few moments.

2. Twice the cupboard space.  Not something I really factored in at all.  I left K’s cupboards pretty much untouched for a month or two, and then I thought, hey wait a minute maybe we can put my jeans here, and my jackets here.  And then I pretty much took over all the cupboard space. It makes me smile nearly every morning to open all those cupboards.

3. I have access to the remote.  Now, I can’t quite explain this emotion. It still makes me choke up a bit.  Unless you have lived with a man, you do not realise that has a woman, you just do not get remote control benefits, and if you do, then what ever you select to watch is deemed as shit/junk/this crap again.

4.  This is also connected to the DSTV remote.  I change the sound on the DSTV remote.  The rule was we only change the sound on the TV remote and you will be cast into hell if you dare change the sound setting on the DSTV remote.  I now do it with reckless abandon.  It is still quite a heady experience.

5.  I get every second weekend off and one night a week.  Let me say that again, every second weekend, I have no kids, no responsibility and the same is repeated one night a week.  I love my kids, but holy shit balls I like them so much more now that I get a break from them.  It is creepily fantastic.  I know I should be lamenting how I miss them and how I can’t live without them, but I am too busy fiddling with the sound on the DSTV remote.

6.  Isabelle sleeps in my bed almost every night – Georgia sometimes comes along.  There is something delicious about that warm, moist and sweet smell of your children close by.

7.  It is such a relief to not find shoes fucking everywhere.  Everyone puts their shoes into cupboards.  I no longer have to pack shoes away.  I did all the options, leave the shoes out, and see if “all” the shoes will eventually be left randomly all over the floor, and throw a shit fit, and then do internal anger.  I tried it all.  It appears the only solution to the shoe issue is divorce.

8.  Every day —- every solitary day —- K either takes the kids to school or fetches them.  I don’t wish to mention that at one point he had no idea what school or grade the kids were in, but it helps to give a balanced view of how fantastic this present arrangement is.  It means on two days a week, I can get up at 08h00 if I want — and I always want.

There are lots of negatives.

There are lots of things that are still shit.  There are lots of things that feel like I am being punched in the diaphragm and vagina simultaneously, but there are some ups …… there are some things that still make me skip around the house like a lunatic in happiness.  You know some days you need to cling on to the slithers of happiness in the madness, or you will lose the plot.

And stand screaming on your drive way.  I choose to get excited about the remote and changing the sound, without any repercussions.

great loss

Remembering what blogging is about ….

Yesterday I had a comment from Vanessa who reads my blog – she directed me to the blog she had started for her daughter – http://www.kendrameiring.blogspot.com

I did not know about Kendra, so I took the time to read the blog.  I also do not Vanessa who reads my blog.

I started with the last dozen blog posts.  But I got so immersed that I went to read from the beginning.  I found myself drinking tea, sniffing snot and sobbing all at the same time.

Kendra’s Mom has done what I think makes blogs so powerful.

She has shared a personal story, her personal experiences, for no other reason that to write about her stuff.  And she allows people like me who happen upon it to read her story.

Maybe it was for record keeping purposes for family that could not be with her.  Maybe it was a way to document who Kendra was and the impact her short life had on Kendra’s Mom and those around her.

I am not sure of the reason.  But when you read it, it is a mother’s story about her daughter and what she did each day, and when she was gone, how Vanessa tried to cope as a mother.  A mother of a child who was no longer there.  But always there.

Vanessa is not trying to make a statement, not trying to lure prospective advertisers, not trying to make herself the most successful blogger with a book deal of all time.  She is just sharing her story with honesty and without an agenda.

I really really love blogging.  There are blogs which I really love reading.  I love them because of how their honesty resonates with me and how they tell me a story, or open my mind to something or a way of thinking that I had not considered before.

I get that it would be great to blog, to make money and retire in the style one has grown accustomed, but I do think that something unfortunate has started to creep in to blogging.

Bloggers have started to write in the hope that they will be published, or be courted by the big names in advertising.  Or maybe they haven’t and their style of blogging has changed, and maybe I am not as big a fan of the new style as I was of the old.

I am not in any way holding anything against bloggers who have grown in publicity, who have managed to align themselves with some powerful advertisers – I really really do wish them all the best, and of course I am pleased that they have taken their blog to the next level.

I do appreciate that blogging is hard work.  And if you are good, work hard, and clever enough to market your blog well, then why should you not go on to bigger and better things and make money through your blog?  No reason what so ever, off you go and do that and do it well I say.

As a blog reader I have started to feel something is being lost.

A raw honesty – often the reason bloggers start to blog – is being eroded in the quest to remain the most popular and the most attractive to advertisers.

I understand that not everyone’s life can read like a daily car accident  — but I do think bloggers write differently when they do not have a hidden motive or agenda.

There is something in their honesty, their “just being present” that is often difficult to hold on to once there is someone else who can direct a blogger, or dictate how a blog should appear, or who the blogger feels they need to start blogging towards.

Anyway, today I read about Kendra, and I got to be part of her life, even if it was for just an hour or two – and I got to know her through her mother’s eyes even if it was for a brief few moments.

Today I am off to Durbanville Memorial Park and to see if I can spend a few quiet minutes with Kendra Meiring.

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Back to school ….

Last year there was a Cape Town Blog Hook-Up, arranged by several bloggers, one of them being Natasha over at Raising Men.

Lovely evening – me in a room full of people, but I did know a few people who made me feel slightly better.

There were some great prizes given out on the night.  And being lucky, I won a course at Friends of Design – I must confess at the time I really wanted the year’s supply of Pringles.

But those would have been long gone and I would have had only a few Pringles tins to show for it.

I decided to use my one freebie course and also do two more, so that I do a Web Design Course consisting of three modules: Adobe Flash, HTML/CSS Essential Skills and WordPress Essential Skills.

I started last night and got to sit in my first Flash course – granted I spent 15 minutes getting myself lost as I could not find the school, but enough about me being an idiot.

Not flash like run across a field and expose yourself, though there are similarities.

So look at me going all unemployed student on you.

But yay for the folks at Friends of Design.

Speed dating for Bloggers …..

On Thursday, 6 October there is a blog hookup in Cape Town.

It is a bit like speed dating for bloggers.  But with wine.  And prizes.  But without the pressure of having to put on clean underwear and shave.  I have my doubts whether there will be much in the way of the anticipation of se.x later in the evening.

But it is my first blog get together, so I have no idea how these things usually play out.

Kodak, Canderel, Braun and Pringles are supplying awesome giveaways. Cape Town’s leading digital design Academy (Friends of Design) will be giving away part-time courses (I so want one of those)!

What’s not to love?

I am excited to my proximity to wine.

I am excited to see some folks who I have spent many an early morning stalking while I could not sleep.

I am excited that I might win something.

I am a bit nervous to physically meet people in real life.  I am a bit of a social retard, and I feel high anxiety when I encounter new people, or a large group of people.

My mind goes into overdrive and it usually ends with me saying something inappropriate and awkward.  A certain measure of self-flagellation is also standard course of affairs.

I keep asking myself:

“What if they don’t like me? What if I am not as funny and endearing as I appear on-line? What if it is like the popular girls at school and I don’t quite fit in?  What if they run out of wine before I get there?  What if there is karaoke? What if I trip and smash my two front teeth out?”

I am really excited and I am so glad that other bloggers have got their shit together sufficiently to organise something like this, because god knows that right now I can’t organise anything.  So big ups to them.

I am experiencing excitement and anxiety in equal proportions.

I really hope other people go straight from work.  If other bloggers look like they have gone home and had a shower, and spent 3 hours on their hair and make-up then I am definitely going to look like the Ugly Duckling amongst the swans.

I hope they have nice wine.

Bloggers, wine and maybe a little bit of song ….

Natasha from Raising Men (with her possé) have arranged a Cape Town hook-up for bloggers, those people who want to be bloggers, those people who stalk bloggers, those people who get annoying updates from bloggers in their junk-mail boxes on an almost daily basis.

Johannesburg had a great get together earlier this year, and I was a tad green with envy.

Now it’s Cape Town’s turn.  I am not sure what is says about Cape Town, that Johannesburg bloggers need to organise our arses for a get together … but we can discuss that other another post, another day.To be honest I saw “wine” and I was immediately intrigued.  The rest is just details.

I am not sure who will be there.  Will you?

I know that ScaredMom will be there, and I am hoping that Being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic or Two will also be there.

Kodak (I am trying not to swoon too much…….), Canderel, Braun and Pringles have all stepped forward with awesome giveaways.

Here is a post by Lucky Pony  who helped organize the Joburg event. Some print media will also be in
attendance to cover the event.

Interested, but still a bit scared, and require some visual motivation?  Here are some pictures by Emma Jane Nation of the Joburg run

I am not sure who else will be there.  But I think it might be nice to see some people I “chat” to every day, and whose lives I troll through.

Granted I will be nursing my social phobia with some wine and marinated olives in the corner. I will be looking awkward and might say several inappropriate things.  Probably to you.  Probably which might leave you with your mouth hanging open. It might even require you to leave early in a huff.

Here is the place – see you on Thursday?  I hope.  Please RSVP so that there are enough olives for all of us.

Natasha has also volunteered to do an impromptu karaoke song if there are more than 63 people, so I hope you can make her dreams come true.  I am already jotting a few songs that I think she will be brilliant at.

So far I have a short list which includes Britney Spears “Whoops, I did it again…” and a little ditty from The Rocky Horror Picture Show “Touch Me!”  I am very excited.

So there will be wine, possibly olives, and possibly a bit of singing.

Whoop-whoop!