Tag Archives: dating

V4L Challenge 16

Keep Valentine’s Day Legal!

“I’m meeting someone,” Cupid said to Chantal. He didn’t want to tell her he was meeting a woman from a personal ad, but since she might show up any second, he decided to be honest. “It’s kind of a first date.”

Chantal frowned. “What a coincidence. I’m meeting someone for a first date too. Your age. Blond hair, blue eyes, white shirt. His name is Apollo, ha ha. But it can’t be you because you said your company didn’t allow its employees to use dating sites.”

“Are you… Kitty Cupcake?” Cupid asked. This was so crazy! His mom had sent him the dating profile from his ex-girlfriend.

“Yes,” she said. “I guess we could sit down and stop blocking the doorway.”

After they were seated and had ordered drinks, Cupid said, “It’s true we signed an agreement not to use dating sites. Please don’t report me.”

Chantal smiled. “Okay… Apollo. Just don’t bring me any more candy with peanuts in it.”

“I’m so sorry about that!” Cupid shook his head. “I was working way too hard. But things are changing at Love, Inc. A couple of the Directors were let go this morning by the new CEO and we’re going to reorganize the teams. My workload will be split with another Project Manager.”

“That’s great news!” Chantal said. “I think I misjudged you. I’m surprised you answered an ad without a photo. I had thought you were more superficial and I apologize.”

“Thanks,” Cupid said. “We really didn’t know each other that well prior to the candy incident, but I really am looking for something lasting, just like you.”

She nodded. “I’ve been stressed too. My boss gave me an important assignment and I need to really ace it. I’m drafting the proposal to keep Valentine’s Day legal. You know we have only thirty days to appeal before the new law takes effect and then Valentine’s Day will be taken off all the calendars for next year.”

“Yeah, we’ve all been talking about that law at work and how it might impact our business.” Cupid handed Chantal a menu. “Would you like to get some dinner here, or did you have other plans?”

“I’d love to get dinner. But would you mind taking a look at my proposal first? I can pull up the draft on my phone. It’s pretty short so far. I’d be interested to hear what you think.”

Cupid was thrilled that she cared about his opinion. He began to read her essay…

Valentine’s Day Should Remain Legal

After the stress of the end-of-year holidays, along with New Year’s festivities, many people are burned out. Valentine’s Day offers a fun break from high-expectation holidays. It’s pure indulgence with glittering pink cards, chocolate candy, and crafts for children. While people can certainly get fancy and go over the top with fine dining and lavish gifts, if they wish, they certainly don’t have to, for as we all know, the gift of time is the most precious one of all. Visit a sick relative, spend time at an animal shelter, make cards for charity, etc. Give of yourself and see how good that feels; it’s actually a gift from you to you. Some who don’t have a sweetheart might feel sad around February 14, but Valentine’s Day is about so much more than romance. It’s about generosity of spirit. And if we wipe that off the calendar, we’ll be bereft of anything to celebrate until St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing against green, but we need some happy pink hearts in the wintertime!

“Chantal, that’s fantastic!” Cupid said. “I really like the generosity of spirit line. Honestly I never thought of visiting an animal shelter on Valentine’s Day, but that’s a great idea. Obviously it’s too late this year, but what about next weekend? I’ve been thinking about adopting a cat actually. My mom has a couple and I miss having one around.”

“It’s a date,” she said.

๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

V4L Challenge 15

New Dating Profile

Honesty is probably the most important trait to me. I’m looking for a lasting relationship, not a fling, so I care about building a trusting friendship with a kind man based upon shared interests, mutual compatibility, and fun. I love animals, nature, cooking, and comedy. Do not respond if all you care about are pics. I prefer to just meet in person and take it from there! – “KittyCupcake”

Cupid reread the profile his mother had sent to him. It was against company policy to respond to personal ads because Love, Inc.’s motto was that love should happen at first sight, when one of the arrows hit a target on the curated list that the software algorithm had provided. But fat lot of good that had done him! He had fallen hard for sweet Chantal and messed up with his workaholism and by forgetting her nut allergy. Now, she’d dumped him.

He was so sad about the loss of Chantal. He’d texted her a couple more times asking how it was going and hoping they could stay in touch, but she hadn’t replied. She was probably having so much fun with Mr. Right that she couldn’t be bothered even saying hello. He sighed. His email box was piling up with work, but he didn’t feel motivated.

Quickly, he dashed off a response to the ad, making up a fake name, and asking to meet tonight at 6pm for a drink. Then he began tackling the afternoon’s pile of office work.

Cupid left the office uncharacteristically early at 5:30pm to meet KittyCupcake. He hoped she’d recognize him from the brief physical description he’d sent. He had no idea what she looked like, and it would be interesting to discover which woman at the bar she turned out to be. If things went well, maybe the drink could turn into dinner.

“Cupid? What are you doing here?”

He turned around to find Chantal staring at him. What was she doing here?

The Weekly Smile

My smile is a little different this week. It’s not something small and self-contained but more conceptual.

I’ve been playing some of Rory’s Valentine’s challenges and got to one last night (no. 14) that I was going to write and schedule for today. Its theme was about my worst dates. Hah, I thought, I have a million of ’em… how to even choose? So many disasters, so many horrible jerks, so many…

Then I tried to pick three specific ones for the prompt. Worst date. Bad blind date. Dating disaster. Obviously this would be so easy for me! You’ve heard me complain for years about my terrible time with dating site men, etc. I’ve posted several funny stories but not scary-sad ones. (Or if I did, I deleted them.)

But a weird thing seems to have happened. While I remember that there were bad dates and can recall specific names and situations, the feelings have faded. When I used to revisit these memories, it was like walking barefoot over a field of sharp rocks. Ow ow ow! Last night it was as if the rains had come and the rocks were all underwater. I could see them, but they didn’t hurt me.

And I didn’t feel like writing about them. They all seemed too boring, with the ripples of the water making them look harmless. I didn’t want to reach in and pick up a rock to see if its edges were still sharp and hurty. Just leave them all.

This made me happy. This made me smile. I was serious when I said I managed to cure myself of my 2017 depression without therapy or meds. I let myself feel all the anger and sadness I needed to feel. I wrote all the poetry I needed to write. I didn’t hide anything away in the attic so that it would return to haunt me later.

And now it’s done. Sorry I can’t write about my bad dates. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

V4L Challenge 12

Do Aminals Feel Love?

Match dot com strikes again!

We are talking about romantic love in this post, not love for friends or trains or apple pie with those yummy crumbs on top (mmm pie!). ๐Ÿ’–

Humans are animals, and we have defined love as something that at least some humans feel (๐Ÿšบ), so technically the answer is yes. But Rory means “lower” animals, so let’s focus on them. I’m not going to nitpick over the definition of love either. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If you believe it’s only a sciencey thing, made up of chemical type reactions, we can stick with that across the board, from humans to spiders. If you believe it’s a woowoo thing, full of golden stardust and eternal flames and whatnot, we’ll shovel that in the mix. I don’t care. Just be consistent. Why would humans have soul mates and gorillas not? Oh right. God said. It’s in that book. ๐Ÿ™„

So. Back to logic. The higher animals (primates, dogs, cats, pigs, dolphins, yada) feel things, or react to them similarly to us in such ways that it’s fair to say they experience emotional states parallel to ours. We’re talking about fear, anger, and even some advanced concepts such as fair play. Look it up. But many hesitate when it comes to asserting that animals feel love. They’ll say a dog is “loyal” because he’s programmed to be, or a cat stays close only because you feed her. ๐Ÿฑ

But we could say the same about humans then and define away the concept of love altogether. Husband stays because he’s loyal, took vows, is concerned about his reputation, etc. Wife stays because she likes the nice big house and lifestyle. Where is the love? What is love? ๐Ÿ’•

If we posit that love between humans (or among for you pervs) is something beyond these cold material things, beyond sexual attraction, then why hesitate when it comes to animals?

Idk! People weird things is my best guess. If you’re wondering whether I answered the question in this jabberish, that’s fair. I hedged. I say if there is a thing we’re defining as love for humans, then all higher animals should not be excluded from the circle. But I am an atheist and, despite my poetry (and even my latest fictional WIP) which can careen into the woo to better illustrate emotions, I don’t believe in souls, soul mates, eternal flames, fate, or anything of that nature.

Watch out for cranky tigers! ๐Ÿฏ

V4L Challenge 6

Chantal’s Chocolate Surprise

Chantal felt sad after dumping Cupid via text, but they’d only been dating a few weeks and she wanted to get it over with before another night passed. Not to be cynical, but she suspected his attraction to her was merely physical.

This new guy was different! His attraction couldn’t be physical because she’d been looking her worst when they’d first met.

“I’m allergic to nuts too,” he’d said as he took her blood pressure in the hospital after Cupid had gone home.

Chantal smiled at him as he introduced himself as Chad, the night nurse. “It’s such a bummer, Chad, since I love chocolate so much.”

He laughed. “Me too! If I could have three wishes, one of them would be all that nuts should magically disappear from chocolate.”

“Especially brownies since those are my favorite,” Chantal said. “But I just make my own.”

“I love cooking and baking,” Chad said. “But it’s dream time now though. You need your rest.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “I’ll dream of baking brownies without nuts.”

He smiled. “I’ll think about eating them as I finish my shift.”

As she looked into his eyes, she felt a sizzle down her spine and a warm cozy feeling spread throughout her body. “Did you give me a muscle relaxer?”

“No, the doctor didn’t order additional meds for you,” Chad said. “Why?”

“I just feel… different,” she said.

“I kind of do too,” he admitted. “Maybe after you’re discharged we should bake something chocolatey together. I’m not working tomorrow night.”

They had made a date for tonight and exchanged numbers.

I’m missing you already! Chantal danced around her kitchen and set the baking ingredients out on her counter. She lit a romantic candle that smelled like cinnamon and put a CD of love songs on to play. She couldn’t wait until Chad arrived so she could give him a big bear hug! Maybe for their next date they could have a picnic in the park in the sunshine. Chantal began to plan the menu in her head ~ of course she’d bake a special chocolate dessert…

Knock knock! Chantal forced herself to walk calmly to the door. When she opened it, two men stood there.

“Hi honey!” Chad said. “This is Brad.”

“Brad?” Chantal was confused.

“We do everything together,” Brad said.

“Everything,” Chad echoed. “So, how about those brownies?”

“Ughhh!” Chantal slammed the door in their faces and stomped back to the kitchen.

Dammit! She had really wanted brownies. Well, she could still make them. No reason why she couldn’t bake delicious brownies for herself. She didn’t need to share them with a man. Love sucks!

๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”

V4L Challenge 5

A Day in the Life of Cupid

When we last left our intrepid hero, he’d been comforting his girlfriend at the hospital on Valentine’s night after buying her drugstore candy with nuts in it to which she was allergic. But now it’s back to work for Cupid. He’s Project Manager at Love, Inc. and his days are hectic. Today is no exception.

Cupid arrived at his office early at 8am, hoping to get a bunch of work done before the crew came in. He’d bought an egg and cheese muffin and a large coffee to fuel himself up for the tasks ahead.

First, he remembered to text his girlfriend and ask her how she was feeling after the candy ordeal last night. She didn’t respond right away, but that was probably because she was busy at work too. They’d only had two dates so far, plus the funny hospital mishap, but Cupid had a good feeling about their potential. Chantal was a really sweet, understanding person.

Just as Cupid started to plow through his pile of unread emails, the head arrower stopped by his desk.

“Sorry to bother you, boss,” the HA said. “But I thought you should know that the new batch of arrows are at least twenty percent defective. The rest of the crew is experiencing the same.”

“Darn it!” Cupid said. “I recommended we stay with Universal Arrow, but was overruled because they wanted to cut costs.”

The HA nodded. “These are definitely inferior.”

“Thanks for letting me know. I’ll make a report.” Great, thought Cupid. Another task for the to-do list. But this one was high priority.

Cupid shot off a report about the defective arrows to his Operations Director and then returned to his other tasks. But he was soon interrupted again.

“Excuse me,” one of the new arrowers said. “But I ran into a problem on Valentine’s Day. My target was hit again an hour later because she hadn’t disappeared from the list. The same thing happened three more times with different targets as I discovered just now when I compared notes with a coworker.”

Cupid’s naturally calm and cheerful demeanor faded into anger. He realized immediately this was due to yet another boneheaded cost-cutting measure some of the Directors had insisted upon. His Director was a good guy, but had voted in favor of the measures regardless in hopes of getting concessions from the other Directors in return. “Politics,” he had said to Cupid at the time.

Now Cupid said to the arrower, “I’m sorry that happened. It’s the new software. We’ll alert them to the problem and hopefully it can be a simple fix.”

“Thanks,” she said. “I’ll tell the others. It’s really sad when we set up a promising situation and it all falls apart because of some technical glitch.”

Cupid agreed with her. He called Hearts Aflame, the new software company, and put in a help ticket with Quality Control. They promised to give his issue their fullest attention just as soon as his number came up in the queue. It was 37.

Next, he attended a luncheon seminar slash sexual harassment program that all Project Managers were required to attend quarterly. It lasted two hours and they received free chicken pesto sandwiches, sodas, and handbooks on how not to be jerks, and then they watched a movie on how to deal with any jerks on their crews. Now it was 3pm and Cupid still had at least a full day’s work left.

At 7 he decided enough was enough and went to the gym. He felt like skipping it, going home, and flopping on the sofa, but thinking about his hot new girlfriend motivated him to go. He did a quick workout, showered, and headed back to his pad. It was after 9 and he was wiped out. As he nuked a frozen burrito, his phone dinged with a new text. Chantal!

Hi, sorry to do this over text, but I’ve met someone else. Thought you should know. It just happened all of a sudden like a bolt out of the sky. Take care. C

๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”

The Madding Crowd

Nice writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore.

I stand out from the crowd because… I try to avoid the crowd in the first place. With rare exceptions, I make it a point to stay away from the obvious places where there will be masses of people: Disneyland, the malls near holidays, large concert arenas. This is not because I’m a snob; it’s because the feeling of being squashed in with a bunch of bodies and noise makes me feel like I can’t breathe.

Last March, I dumped Facebook and its related products. This makes me a little unusual, though by no means unique ~ plenty of people are getting by just fine without FB. And more are exiting every day. You do not have to be a prisoner of the Zuckerborg. Real friends will stay friends. There are lots of ways to communicate.

I decided in 2017 to stop dating, since all it did was cause me misery. I self-recovered from my depression since quitting and have been doing much better. Both things are a little unusual, I think: giving up romance at age 56 (in 2017) and curing myself of depression sans therapy or medication. I find myself to be happiest when I stay focused narrowly on work, health, family, home, and hobbies, and avoid any expansion sets.

Except for Game of Thrones, I’ve given up TV to read and write. GOT will be finished in April/May, so I imagine I will rarely if ever turn on my television except to do an exercise video. This is unusual ~ most people watch television. And again, it’s not snobbery on my part, but an unfortunate reality of time management. There’s no way I can finish everything I want to do if I’m distracted by the TV. I have a great need to see all my writings completed, not that I expect many sales. That isn’t the point. It’s the satisfaction of completion.

Everyone likes to think they’re special, and I suppose we all have at least something a little bit unusual about us, but with so many people in the world, there are likely others with that “unique” trait or combo of traits. I know there are those who don’t watch TV, who don’t date, who hate crowds, etc. Perhaps my daughters would choose different traits about me to label unique.

This is definitely an eye of the beholder question, and quite an interesting one! ๐Ÿ™‚

FPQ12: Fish Stories

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you feel about people who always seem to exaggerate when relating a story? Do you equate embellishment with lying? As a blogger, when, if ever, is stretching the truth, other than when writing fiction, permissible?โ€

It doesn’t bother me at all. I assume that people both embellish the exciting parts of a story and cut out the dull moments to make the tale more interesting for the reader. Forex, if someone is describing a funny encounter with an annoying salesperson, they’re not going to put every boring word in, just the good stuff. The result won’t be perfectly accurate, but this isn’t a court of law ~ we’re here to have fun. Well, at least I am! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฃ

Now, I can see certain types of people going, but Paula… didn’t you say you can’t abide liars on dating sites? Yes, that’s correct. When a guy lies about his age, marital status, living arrangements, etc., I judge him to be an asshole and not worth one minute of my time. But that has nothing to do with exaggerating a funny story about catching a fish or whatever. If you can’t see the difference, I don’t know what to tell you. (I understand that there are people who can’t see the difference.)

Big Boring Pile Of Navel Glazery

So, peeps have been sharing all sorts of deep thoughts around Blogville this week. What kind of blogs do they like to read and what do they like to write? Which sorts of award tags do they enjoy receiving, if any? What gets under their skin, if anything? I have been sporadically commenting on these posts, but as is my wont I feel I need to organize my ideas in one place. ๐Ÿฟ

My ideas about blogging aren’t separate from my ideas about other things. I don’t do much compartmentalizing in life any longer, except for work-related purposes. What I’m saying is that I’m not fake here; this blog’s narrator isn’t a persona crafted for ego strokes. I don’t like the person I have to become when I role play online, aka lie. It becomes annoying and stressful after a while to keep up the facade. I lied for a long time and got tired of it. Lying is boring; truth is interesting.*

So, I like to read other bloggers who are also being real. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re posting photos of their face or credit card receipts, but they talk about themselves in an authentic voice. They’re not afraid to reveal mistakes and flaws. They may showcase their art, in the form of stories or photos or poetry, but they don’t exclude their self from their posts. Their blog doesn’t read like an impersonal series of magazine articles ~ I am not interested in that kind of writing. Nor do I want to interact with bloggers who only post links and cliched quotes, while sharing nothing of their real selves. If I want links and quotes, I can access the google. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

If you’ve been following me for a while, even a week, you’ll notice that my writing is all over the place. I’ll post an original poem or piece of flash fiction… then I’ll rant about something ridiculous… next I’ll jabber on about a song… or I’ll post a photo of my cat or a sunset or something I colored with pencils. I’ll answer prompt questions about writing or pets or dating or food or movies or wHaTEveR strikes me as fun at the time. I’ll grab a photo and dash off a quick story about it, romance or humor or even science fiction. I’m happy to find other bloggers who are likewise unpredictable in their writing. I enjoy reading what I enjoy writing. Simple! ๐Ÿ˜€

One note: while I love to read novels and do brainteaser games in meatspace, I’m not a huge fan of either on blogs. I like self-contained posts and I don’t want to spend a lot of time on each one. That’s not fair to the rest of my feed. So, you won’t find me commenting on serialized stories or solving complicated riddles here. ๐Ÿฆ‰

The time factor also comes into play with awards. Naturally I appreciate when a fellow blogger thinks of me regarding one of the awards going around, and I will always say thanks. I will also try to make time to answer their questions, if they aren’t toooo personal. But I generally don’t want to tag others or make up my own set of questions ~ that’s just my preference.

The other thing that’s come up is do we have a “thick skin” in relation to blogging. This can mean different things. I don’t ask for writing critiques on my work, nor do I receive anything but nice comments, so I’m lucky not to have to deal with negativity in that sense. I used to post about some of my dating site experiences and people offered advice that occasionally bordered on criticism. It sometimes bothered me, but only when they misunderstood me or the situation I’d described. After a while I decided to delete those posts anyway. I later wrote only a few carefully selected dating stories and things went okay.

As far as getting upset about my stats and who comments how many times yada… I’m fairly relaxed in comparison to some other bloggers who seem a bit obsessed. I’m not knocking obsession cuz lord knows I have plenty. Just not this particular one. I do look at the chart of visitors and it’s gone steadily up, so yay. Some days it dips. Idk why.

I don’t keep score, but I have a general idea of fair play. If I get a sense that a blogger I follow never comments on or likes any of my posts after I’ve been participating at their blog for a while, I may rethink if I want to keep following them. To me, this is about reciprocity. I didn’t pay to read your blog; the price is that you read mine. How do I know? Your likes and comments, same as mine to you. As I said, I don’t count, but I get a feeling.

Another note. While I appreciate all my followers, I don’t follow back bloggers who aren’t primarily posting in English. I’m not comfortable if I can’t read the majority of the posts, and no I’m not bothering with a translation since I only use the app.

Sometimes people comment on different things. I usually like photos of flowers sans comment. What’s there to say? Pretty! Eight hundred times. But I try to recognize with a like everything I enjoy. If I agree with an opinion word for word, I might not add anything either. I get that people are busy and follow many blogs; I don’t hold that against them. I don’t expect comments from everyone all the time. But I love them when I get them! โค๏ธ

I think I covered everything that’s been going around on these topics, so I can refer back to this post if peeps want an expanded clarification of any point. Right. ๐Ÿ˜‚

*This is on the tangential topic of truth in dating. I’ve been thinking lately that I feel a lot better, that I’m over my depression of 2017. So, maybe I should think about trying again? But no. Duh! That’s what flipped me into the depression in the first place: I was feeling good during the summer of 2016 and thought I was ready. But I wasn’t ready for the parade of liars and creeps, and I wasn’t ready to begin acting like I have no feelings when these predatory men thought it was fine to be insulting and creepy and critical just because I was “out there.” No, I’m not ready, will never be ready for that again. Call me a snowflake โ„๏ธ or whatever you want, but I don’t like myself when I’m in dating mode. I don’t like the me I have to be to deal with them. ๐Ÿคฎ

The Friday Four

A Guy Called Bloke Production

1] What are your strengths and of your strengths โ€“ how have they helped you throughout your life?

– I show up and do the thing. It’s amazing how often this is what it takes, day after boring day, to do okay, as opposed to the magic pill so many seem to seek. I’m the plodding tortoise, never the sexy bunny. But I am all right while others have burnt out; a minuscule number have had stellar success.

2] What are your weaknesses and how have they or have they hindered your successes in anyway and what have you done to overcome them to rue your day?

– I’m easily hurt/angered. I deal with that by socializing less and less and never dating at all now. I suppose I could go for years of counseling to try to overcome this and be heartless like others but nah. Books and kitty will do just fine.

3] What makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories or alternatively are all conspiracy theories absurd? Answer which sits best with you.

– A conspiracy requires a whole bunch of people motivated to keep a secret for a long time. For some of the conspiracies out there, we’re talking decades or even hundreds of years. Given human nature, that’s nuts ~ people talk and brag. Since almost all these “conspiracies” are easily found via a quick google, they aren’t even secrets! So, what’s the conspiracy then? Nothing. If any exist, we don’t know what they are, by definition.

Why? Well, I was actually curious about this because I dated a couple wackadoos who believed various idiocies. It’s a form of control freakish behavior ~ OCD. You try to make sense of a chaotic world by latching onto a theory in order to label and categorize things in little boxes so life doesn’t feel so messy.

In the same way that another OCD sufferer might need to ritually wash their hands 27 times before leaving the house or drive down certain streets to make sure there isn’t a dead body lying in the road, etc., the conspiracy buff hangs out on certain sites, gobbling up tidbits of info to reinforce whatever belief makes him feel that one tiny corner of the world is a little bit neater, whether it’s the gobblement hiding evidence of alien spaceships or Hillary, frail and near death, kidnapping kids out of pizza parlors.

4] How important are morals in a healthy society? What are the most important morals for citizens to have?

– Morality is subjective. We agree on certain fundamentals and then create a code of laws around them. It sounds simple, but it’s become complicated. When we allow some people to disobey laws, whether desperately poor folks illegally crossing the border or wealthy folks cheating on their taxes, the system becomes diminished for everyone. Why should I, Jane Doe, respect the law when all these other people don’t have to? Why shouldn’t I just steal a pair of earrings when no one is looking?

It’s easy to say that morality and the law are two different things, but that’s for the philosophy books. When we live in reality, we have to agree to abide by a code of conduct in order to be part of a civilized society. Society can’t function if everyone stands around going hmm what is the moral thing to do in this circumstance, let me pray, or consult my favorite philosophy website. Should I stab this annoying person or not? Isn’t it easier if we all agree upfront not to stab each other, and if anyone does stab just because someone won’t move up in line, no matter how annoying that is, they will get punished?

To quote Jim Carrey in Liar Liar: “Stop breaking the law, asshole!”