Saturday, December 26, 2009

What are you doing New Year's Eve??????

This seems to be the question I've been asked by nearly every man I'm talking to. Whether they are old friends or new acquaintances, the question is the same, "What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Since I don't want to appear too eager for a date, and since I really don't care one way or another, I tell them I have a few options; I'm either babysitting or going to a party.

Now, I'm not really lying because my son usually has a party and I'm sure I could crash it. I also have two grand daughters and I'm sure I could babysit them. I just don't want to commit to anything right now since I'm really hoping to spend that evening with the man I'm casually dating. However, he's in the hospital right now with pneumonia, so it's looking rather doubtful.

I don't know why, but my inbox has been pretty busy lately with new emails from interested men. I don't know if there is a panic the closer it gets to the end of the year or if it's just that I'm looking cute (which is what I'd like to think) but the men are coming out of the woodwork.

Earlier in this dating game, I would have been flattered with all the attention, but now I'm just getting tired of it. I don't know what it's so hard to find a good match, but it is. I have to have the right amount of chemistry, I have to laugh a lot with the person, and I have to be able to have a good conversation and an easiness about myself with them.

With all of the sudden interest in me, I figure it must be due to the holidays. No one must want to be alone. I don't know why, but I'm fine with it. It's all overwhelming to me, so a few days of peaceful tv watching and a little visit here and there is perfect. If I end up spending New Year's alone, it won't be the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.

The holidays are almost over, so I might as well enjoy the rush of interest while I can. The future may bring a dry spell for me. But then again, there's always Valentine's day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dating someone with a disability

I've recently started to date someone whom I'm very fond of who has a disability. It's the kind of disability that will progress until he is confined to a wheelchair.

I certainly did not go looking for someone who is disabled. I wasn't really aware of his disability while we chatted on line. I knew I was attracted to him and really wanted to meet him. On our first coffee date he told me that he had Ataxia. Ataxia is a brain disease of the cerebellum. Much like other, better-known diseases of the nervous system such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Lou Gehrig's disease, it progressively impacts and then consumes the functions of the affected region of the brain.

As I listened to this 6'4", 275 pound man explain ataxia to me, I felt some hesitation in wanting to know him more. But by the end of the night, after laughing at his crazy jokes and looking into his sparkling blue eyes, I knew we had a connection and I wanted to see him again.

So we have begun dating and it's been exciting and fun. We make each other laugh; he's extremely sensitive and romantic. His disability shows itself in his pattern of speech, and his coordination. But that's it. He is smart, romantic, strong and caring.

We've shared some tender moments too. We both experienced the death of a loved one through cancer. When we've exchanged stories of the pain and suffering our dear ones experienced, we both cried and held hands.

The two of us enjoy each other's company and, although we are not exclusive, we see each other a lot. I think it is probably best if we continue to date other people for awhile. I know it will keep me grounded if I do. He is afraid of the future himself. He doesn't want to burden his partner with the inevitable.

I've found out that I'm a "live for the moment" type of woman. I realized this many years ago after we buried my father, who died at 57. He always worried about the future, what would it bring and where would it lead.

So, I don't really regard the future too much. Other than trying to better myself mentally, physically and financially, I don't fret about things I have no control over. So I've decided to enjoy the journey with this man I'm dating. We may tire of each other next week or still be together in a year.

Friends and family ask why I would get involved with someone disabled. I reply that we all have some kind of disability in one form or another. I explained that it would be shallow of me to think that this person isn't worth dating because he has Ataxia.

Each moment I've spent with this man has been a positive and uplifting experience. He may have difficulty picking up a quarter and he swaggers when he walks, but I've gained so much in such a short time from knowing him.

He has a joyful attitude towards life, a determination to remain strong, and a passion about good health. He's motivated me to work harder on myself, because if this man, with such a grave disability, can laugh and smile each day, there are no excuses for me.

The purpose of this blog was for me to share my dating experiences at a stage in my life where I'm closing in on the senior days. I'm 54 years old and unless I meet Hercules, the men I date are going to have challenges in one form or another.

If they can accept my challenges, then I can accept theirs.

~ Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone.
Martina Navratilova

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Am I getting too picky in my old age?

The fact that I haven't posted in a month doesn't mean my dating experiences have come to a screeching halt. It's just the contrary, in fact. I've been going out so much I haven't had time to blog.

First things first. Don't be jealous. Each date I go on is an adventure in confusion, excitement, doubt, anticipation, frustration, hope and disappointment. Not necessarily in that order, except the end, disappointment. I would much rather have a significant other to love and cherish me. But, until that happens, I need to keep fishing in this sea of men.

There is something I've discovered about myself though that interests me. I think I'm getting fussier as I get older. I used to joke that my criteria for finding a man was to be clean, have a job and have all his teeth.

But I've broadened that criteria a bit. For instance, I can't tolerate smoking. I don't want to be around someone who lights up a cigarette, pipe or pot. I also don't want to date someone who abuses alcohol. A few drinks is fine, but I don't want to watch the transformation of a sober man into a drunk. I refuse to.

I don't care too much for ignorance either. The type of ignorance I'm speaking of is not if he's book smart or schooled (bonus) but if he is ignorant about life, people, cultures, etc. Someone whom I'm dating and am attracted to has shown his bigoted side. This really bothers me. Another man uses the most politically incorrect terminology to describe ethnic food and people that I think I'm out on a date with Archie Bunker.

I can't handle liars or braggers. If a man spends 1/2 hour talking about how many watches he owns and how much each one costs, then he is too superficial for me.

A lot of men my age ride Harleys, which I have no intention of climbing on, so that eliminates about 50% of the population of single men.

If I'm out with a man, he needs to focus his attention on me. Checking out other women and making little comments shows me how little he respects me. When that happens, I can feel myself turning into ice.

I've also found that I want someone who just wants me and that's where this task becomes difficult. Sometimes I click with a man and he clicks with me, but it's never enough for the two of us. Due to the bounty of single people on line, I believe that we all are looking for something better to appear. So even if we find someone we like and get along with, sometimes it's not enough.

I know I can't have someone in my life just to have someone in my life. It's got to be deeper, more meaningful and lasting. I'd rather be alone or just continue this dating game. As I've said before, I'm not ready to turn into the crazy cat lady just yet. I do have hope that I'll find the man that's good for me.

Notice how I did not say the perfect man. He doesn't exist, nor does the perfect woman. I understand that completely and so I don't really care about looks as much as I do about personality. If he drives an older car, I don't care. His profession doesn't matter to me either, as long as he supports himself. He needs to be honest, funny, and romantic. His hands need to be clean and he has to smell good.

As for the teeth, he has to have at least most of them.