Friday, May 27, 2011

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Looking for a Love

1. When you were single, or if you are single, what's the best way to look for love? In all the wrong places. No kidding. The best relationships I have had happened with the least likely people. Fix ups with that guy you know who would be just perfect for me somehow never work out.

2. Have you ever cruised online personals, even if you're married for fun? What was the reason, or if you haven't, why not? Last time I did it was to see the profile for a stone bitch, aka Freakazoid Bitch, I used to work with. Loved her photo. Her prominent adam's apple still makes her look like a pre-op tranny. Tee hee.

3. Have you ever put up an online personal? If so, how was your experience? Yes. It was a million years ago, in the Chicago Reader, before the classifieds were primarily ... um ... "adult." It was fun. I got a zillion responses, only a couple were inmates, and I had several nice dates. It's how I came to meet a nouveau Chicagoan named Ted. He was completely adorable, gentle, with a black beard and friendly blue eyes. He regaled me with the tale of his youth in Oregon. His first car was tan VW and he actually got stopped and questioned by police who were looking for a homicidal maniac named Ted who drove a car like his: Ted Bundy. Gulp.

4. Have you ever answered an online personal? If so, how did it turn out? Never answered one. Sorry.

5. Have you ever had a good experience with online dating? If not, have you had a friend/family member have a good experience? Tell us about it! My older sister met her second husband through a dating service. They seem happy.

6. Have you ever had a horrible experience with online dating? If not, someone else? Horrible? No. I did have some unpleasant dates, but then, that just goes with being single, doesn't it?

7. Back in 2004, a friend threw her husband out because she found out that he was having cyber affairs/sex with 2 women in states FAR away from them. Do you think that cybersex is actually cheating? Nah. And it wouldn't bother me unless he was online all the time, playing with himself and others. I mean, I wouldn't want to find myself competing with a keyboard for his attention.

8. Do you have any suggestions for someone as to how to stay safe using a dating service? Nothing unique to dating services. Just the usual: take your own car, meet in a public place, keep your phone on and tell all your friends where you're going and with whom. I mean, what if you found you were out with the next Ted Bundy?

9. I've heard someone say, “There's and then there's everyone else." Is this true in your experience or someone you know? Sorry, but I don't know a lot about this. Guess I'm afraid of finding myself sitting on a bar stool across from Ted Bundy. (Not really, just wanted to use the link again. Though the Bundy story is the ultimate romantic buzz kill, isn't it?)

Melancholy about Moving Up

At the private school (K-12) that my best friend's daughters attend, there's only one graduation -- when a student leaves forever for college. Every other ceremony is called "moving up." And yesterday, both of his girls "moved up."

Pumpkin -- as he affectionately calls his freakishly beautiful (picture an adolescent Michelle Pfeiffer), painfully shy, highly athletic older daughter -- is moving up from junior high to high school. Princess -- his nickname for his outgoing, bubbly ballerina -- is moving up from grammar school to junior high.

Because Princess is so much more mature than her big sister was at that age, they seem more like one year apart than three. And they are both now as tall as his wife. Which means, he noted ruefully, "I don't have any little girls any more."

From the bad comes some good

I had dinner Wednesday night with my mother, my older sister, and her second husband. This is unusual.

For not only does my older sister live in Los Angeles, we don't really like one another. A year apart in age, my older sister has always felt insanely competitive with me. According to my sister's shrink and family legend, she was a sickly and emotionally fragile little girl who craved my mother's undivided attention. Because of my unplanned arrival at a crucial time in her development, she was deprived that undiluted maternal attention and never would get it. This has colored all of her relationships -- which she sees in context of me and my relationships.

If she were a character in a book, I would feel sorry for her. After all, she has been forever competing and measuring and evaluating life instead of living it. And, since she was the better student and has always been very pretty, it means that she seems to miss appreciating her own gifts.

However, since I am the younger sister of this real-life saga, and my real sin was simply being born, my attitude has always kinda been, "Get over it."

ANYWAY ... my sister and my mother have this complicated dance that has been going on for decades. Because my sister loves and needs my mother's approval and attention so very much -- and since she can't get it because not only do I exist but another daughter came along 8 years later -- she frequently punishes my mom. Most recently it's been withholding financial support (or even birthday, Mother's Day or Christmas cards). Yet they talk regularly on the phone, conversations that often leave my mother feeling sad because they are all about my older sister's wonderful life with her new husband, never acknowledging any concern for the problems my mother is facing in her own life.

It's a tiring situation that I try to stay as far away from as possible. Her trip to visit our mother left me wanting to pull the sheets over my head. So when I was invited out to dinner Wednesday, I was happy to go for my mother's sake, but nervous for my own.

I needn't have been. First of all, I got a terrific rib eye steak and sweet potato combo ... all courtesy of her new husband. Yea! Secondly, I was happy to see that my older sister is struggling with menopausal weight gain, too! Her symptoms are very different from mine (dammit!) but still it was a relief to peer into this window of shared genetics.

And most importantly, my sister seemed proud and felt important for all the help she's given our mother this week. That during her vacation time here in Chicago, she and her husband have taken our mom to a lawyer's office to get the bankruptcy back on track, to the DMV for a state-issued ID, to another lawyer's office to update her will,* and to Costco to stock my mother's pantry with a generous supply of non-perishables (like toilet paper and laundry detergent).

So it was all good! My mom seemed tired, having my sister staying with her. But unfortunately the two of them will never have a comfortable relationship and I can't help that. I'm just so relieved and happy that Wednesday went well, and that my older sister now gets it -- our mother needs her help.

* And I'm glad to let my older sister handle everything in regards to my mother's estate. My mom doesn't have anything and even if she did, I don't want it. I'd prefer my mother live comfortably herself.