Archives for the month of: March, 2015

It is my understanding that skin is the body’s largest organ.

Skin has colour and texture and (I blush) smell and (I blush more) taste. Skin can be a canvas or protection against the world or just plain useful. It reveals something about personal care and your hormones and maybe even your diet.

I don’t think I have any “issues” with skin, I don’t actually think about skin a lot at all. I have calluses on my hands and fingers from rock climbing and I have other calluses on my fingers from playing ukulele. I notice that sometimes I have mysterious bruises that I don’t remember getting. I try to keep my skin clean and I moisturize regularly.

I notice that other people have skin and I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the skin texture (and smell and taste) of various lovers – although I never had hang ups about soft skin or not so soft skin or feet that were smooth or feet that were not so smooth (if you’ve ever had a dancer, runner or climber as a lover, you know what I mean), I loved their skin simply because it was their skin.

I don’t have issues with my skin or anyone’s skin.

Thing is though.

I think my skin has an issue with me, with my emotions.

When I’m sad or upset or stressed, my skin freaks out. It peels, it breaks out in hives, it burns and itches.

I think of my skin as a “distant early warning system”. Often, my skin knows, before I do that something is wrong. For example, it was only after two weeks of breaking out in spontaneous hives that I realized how sad and angry I was with my ex.

I woke up on Monday morning and I couldn’t fully open my left eye! It was shut from dry skin! I examined it a bit and realized – the look, the feeling of a million little needles piercing my skin and yep, you got it, eczema flare up – all around my left eye. Right eyebrow too. Totally gross.

But it wasn’t the grossness of it, it wasn’t even the pain, it was knowing that I couldn’t drive like that! I babied it all day with corticosteroids and it was pretty much settled down by about 8pm. Missed ukulele jam night and everything. Lucky for me, some make-up tricks Tuesday morning and I didn’t even look that gross when I went back to work.

Skin is a funny thing.

Ok, so second date – he contacted me Friday night, after dinner and asked if I wanted to do something on Sunday. I replied in the affirmative and, after receiving a list of suggested activities, suggested my own – checking out an exhibit at the AGO. He obviously checked it out and asked if I was talking about the Basquiat exhibit and said that he would be interested in seeing it, so we agreed on a time, he offered to drive and I took him up on that offer.

Fun times, this guy is everything that I should want. Funny, thoughtful, excellent driver (you know how some people say they are good drivers? This guy really is, so safe, so considerate that I actually even commented “You are a really good driver!” Not overly aggressive, decisive and safe.), sense of humour, intelligent, nice, good father, good storyteller etc.

I’m a worrier, so when he touched the frame of one of the pieces, I got a bit freaked out. I asked him not to touch the pieces as I didn’t want to get kicked out, he shrugged and said then we would kicked out. Only thing is, I go to the AGO a lot, I don’t want to get kicked out.

The size difference between us (him at 6’3 and me at 5’2) made for some interesting moments while we were trying to see the pieces – I also kept thinking I was going to lose him. In spite of his size, he doesn’t actually stick-out, he has an uncanny knack of blending.

He said, once again that he wanted to touch my hair. I, once again, said “Please don’t touch my hair.” And. He touched my hair. Ack!

What is going on here?

He collects fridge magnets so picked the one of the pic we both liked most, he offered to get me one, which I declined and then accepted as he seemed insistent.

We went over the Henry Moore gallery and he touched one of the plasters. I said to him “Your profile did not mention that you have a trouble making streak.” He said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.”

After the Moore gallery we ambled towards the exit, he invited me to dinner which I declined, citing a need to get ready for the week, he took it graciously. He asked to sit for a bit before we drove back.

He chose to sit at one of the stations where people can get some paper and draw something. He handed me a piece and took a piece for himself. We both started folding.

He made a paper airplane and was done before me.

Then he started to guess what I was making. “A fortune-telling device?” “A hat?” He listed all manner of things and I kept telling “I don’t know, we will see what it is when I’m done.”

He went to the washroom and I finished.

I set the origami crane up by his paper airplane.

When he came back he looked at it and said “Oh cool! I didn’t know you could do origami – your profile didn’t say you did origami!” I said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.” He said that it needed a name and I wrote “Basquiat” and the date on one of the wings and gave it to him.

He was thrilled.

We collected our coats and he wanted a pic of us. So we took one in front one of the posters for the exhibit. I’m not clear what the whole “Let’s take a pic of ourselves on a date!” thing is.  So the pic was us, the crane with Basquiat in the background. Cute pic.

We had a good talk on the drive back. He told me about raising his kids and a bit about the breakdown of his marriage (only a bit though) which was complimentary to him telling me about his work history and personal history that he shared with me on the way to the AGO.

And then he said something that threw me off. He asked about my recent relationship and said “You said it ended suddenly. Sorry, the way you said it, did he die?”

Wow.

I was thrown off for a moment and said “No. But it was sudden. The relationship died. After a weekend together he stopped communicating and then texted me that it was over.”

He commented “Sounds kind of passive aggressive.”

“Completely passive aggressive.”

We chatted a bit more about it and he said that he thought it was really too bad. I said how it was so surprising and that it only showed how the guy wasn’t a good communicator and that it showed me that I was ready to be in a relationship with someone.

We agreed to keep getting to know each other and then he dropped me off at home.

I got out of the car and went into my house.

Took off my coat and boots.

Went to my room.

And.

Really missed that guy who just broke up with me.

What kind of person I am that I want someone who hurt me so deeply, who obviously doesn’t want to be with me and isn’t available for a relationship?

It makes no sense and I’m upset about it.

I want my heart to be logical and my body to understand it should welcome touches from people who are kind and nice and gentle. They both rebel and do their own things, like they have their own opinions just to cause me confusion.

I wish I could be neater.

 

I don’t know that much about Basquiat but I do know that he was one of my ex’s fav artists. My ex introduced me to some of my fav artists, so when I recognize a name that he dropped I do my best to check it out. “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time” is Canada’s first major showing of any of Basquiat’s work so had to check it out.

Whoa.

The works are filled with anger and passion and challenges to conventional roles and stereotypes. I loved the use of colour and primitive symbolism. I particularly liked the works that had words on them – being a reader and sometimes writer, anything with words has my attention.

I love the use of colour, although there was one piece that I found too disturbing for my mind, so moved on very quickly. It was interesting to see his works all laid on, side-by-side as it helped show recurrent themes and symbols and I found it interesting to see how symbols evolved and devolved over his use.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and, if you are in Toronto, then I highly suggest you check it out. You will be amazed by the graffiti style, the range of imagery and media and it will give you some insight about what it was to be a black man in the 80s in New York. Food for thought indeed.

Stop reading this blog and go buy some tickets to see “Once”, especially if you are in Toronto.

I had very interest in seeing this show, even less when a colleague of mine comments that he disliked it.

I loved it!

Loved it so much that I bought merch – a long-sleeved hoodie.

Seriously, this show is not to be missed.

If you like plays and live music then they wrote this show for you. They wrote this show for me, it was seamless and was less of a musical and more a play about music and musicians. And love. And it was wonderful.

So, thank you to my sis-in-law for the tickets, never would have gotten them for myself and they were perfect. And, of course, she was the perfect person to see the show with.

Go see this show.

Go!

(I also got into a very fun discussion with the lady selling merch, thanks again for your very nice words about my eyeshadow, you made me feel awesome and very attractive and I appreciate your insight into sizing.)

Ok, so, online dating is all well and good, but the “dating” part only comes into play when you actually meet the person in real life – if you don’t actually meet, you aren’t “dating”, you are pen pals. I like pen pals, but if I wanted a pen pal, I’d join a site to find  pen pal, not to date.

As I said in my previous post, I accepted a date for Friday night. He choose a restaurant about halfway between us and when I looked it up I saw it was an “upscale Italian restaurant”. Ok, nice, must remember to tidy up and look good.

He needed to push back the time, which I agreed to – real life, sometimes scheduling is a delicate negotiation.

The big day – Friday was here. Raced home after work, had a snack, washed my face, put on fresh make-up, fluffed my hair up (big hair is The Best!), put on my dress and sweater and jewelery. Looked in the mirror. Well, it will just have to do. For better or worse, this is what I look like and there is no changing it.

Left in plenty of time, because I’m going to get lost and who knows what traffic is doing. Manage to get there without mishap, but can’t find parking, so drive right past the place, take a right and hope that I’ll be able to find my way back to the main street where the restaurant is. My phone GPS is strangely quiet, usually she tries to help me, but she said nothing.

Figured out parking is in the back, so take a hard left and pray that I’m not about to kill someone. Find a spot and all I can think is the parking is really, really dark. Not happy about that, I’m meeting a stranger, so have to remember to play this safe.

Check the phone and see he has texted me. He got caught speeding and will be a bit late, he apologizes and suggests I have a drink in the bar and relax.

Ok. I text back to confirm and say that things happen. I am pretty picky about being on time, but if you are going to let me know you are about to be late before our meeting time, I’m good with that.

Red flag: I know the highway he was on, I’ve sped on it before and not gotten caught. How fast was he going to get a ticket?

Leave the car and walk to the restaurant. Hang up my coat at the staff’s welcome suggestion and get a glass of prossecco. Chat with the staff – what I’m doing there (oohs and ahhs that is a first date) and the weather and stuff and nonsense. They are very kind and keep me occupied while I wait.

He arrives and I am –

Shallow.

After all my whining and complaining about not wanting to judge people on how they look, I have to tell you I do my best not to judge people based on their appearance. I do, however, have a few important caveats on this – someone must look like their profile picture (my profile picture looks like me, I expect their profile picture to look like them), if someone says they “work out”, “keep physically fit” or “go to the gym” then I expect them to be fit and healthy-looking and the most important, they must look as my dad. My dad is 72 and plays soccer at least 3 times a week.

So when he walked in and was none of these things, I was a bit confused.

But, our phone conversations were good so I greeted him warmly and we went to get a table.

The waitress offered us the choice of two tables – one by the window and the other at the back of the restaurant. I asked if it is was chilly by the window and she said “No, it is fine.” So I turned to him and said “How about by the window?” He agreed and when we got to the table he said “Oh, no, it is cold, lets sit at the back, it will be quieter anyway.” The waitress agreed.

Red flag: He didn’t ask me if I was ok with switching tables.

Waitress sets us up at the table, it is very nice. And asks about drinks, I say water and confirm that tap is great. He asks about San Pellegrino and orders a large bottle, for himself.

We get the menus and start chatting.

He decides that he will have “something light”. When asked I say probably the salmon, but I want to check with the waitress first. She comes back, shares the specials and I ask her about creme brulee – ‘cuz if if on the menu, I’m getting it! It is peach, so my end game is ready.

I’m going to have the salmon and at this point I’m hungry so I’m going to get a salad as well.

He looks at the salmon and decides he is going to get it as well.

Waitress comes back and we order – salad, salmon and creme brulee for me, for him salmon – only could he not have the sauce it comes with? The waitress agrees to tell the kitchen. Oh, and could he have something other than potatoes? She suggests risotto. He comments he has never had it before. She asks about crostini for the table and he says “I don’t know what that is.”, she explains and he agrees.  Waitress returns a moment later and gives him the choice of two risottos, he chooses the sweet pea one.

I have this moment, while I’m listening to him make these changes where I think “Oh! This guy is Meg Ryan from ‘When Harry Met Sally’. High maintenance. Yikes.”

Red flag: Ordering off-menu isn’t cool.

Caveat: Unless you have dietary restrictions and it is relatively easy to modify. Example, if there is something I really want and it has bacon on it I ask if the bacon can be removed or on the side, but that is far as it goes. No changing sauces or sides. Usually I try to order something that doesn’t need any modification.

So we settle into the conversation.

He asks me, very bluntly about being Buddhist.

When did asking someone in detail about their belief system become cool on a first date?

I talk about it as much I’m comfortable, I’m pretty comfortable, but I’m rather a private person. I like to share things with people who are looking or questioning or interested, but I don’t like explaining my journey unless you are asking in context.

He tells me, in detail about his day and meetings and what it is he is currently working on. Sounds interesting, but so much detail!

We continue talking, my salad and the crostini arrive, we eat. We talk and then he asks me if I’ve been on many dates since joining eHarmony, I remind him that I’ve only been on since late January so, no I haven’t. He said he has been on about 6. He then wants to tell me about a the first one where something funny happened and he would be interested in hearing my opinion.

Food arrives and he tells me:

“I was out with this woman for dinner and we were going to go for a walk and she was wearing shoes and brought boots and she took the boots out and I said ‘Those are sexy boots.’ and she said ‘Don’t use that word with me.'” and he asked me “Do you think I used the wrong word or was she being oversensitive? She seemed really offended.”

I sighed and said “I think she overreacted and I think you shouldn’t have said that. You were on a first date with her, you don’t know her or what her triggers and tolerances are, using a word like ‘sexy’ is very loaded to some people.”

He offered that perhaps I wouldn’t have been offended if he had said that to me, I returned “I would have tried to look at the context and tried to see what it was that you were trying to say. I wouldn’t have snapped, but I would have uncomfortable.”

Then, I went on, which I probably shouldn’t have done and recounted one of our text exchanges “We were talking about punk rock and you said you didn’t like it because there was a word you couldn’t find. I offered you some words: rebellious, anti establishment, loud, angry etc. And you texted back “Kinky”. When I go that text, I was a bit shocked because that is a loaded word and we were talking about music.”

He jumped in, “But I googled ‘kinky’ and it said all those words that you were using, so I decided to share it with you.”

I said “I realize that, I tried to take it context, it was still a loaded word to send a stranger, not knowing my tolerances, not knowing me and talking about music.”

We went on and at one point he said “This is good for me, this is great coaching, I really appreciate the feed back.”

I concluded “In this time and place, a woman could be and should be sexy, but you aren’t allowed to comment on it, nor should you. Maybe she also overreacted, but you can’t say these things to women you don’t know.”

I thought it was closed, he asked for my opinion and I gave it. Topic closed.

We moved onto another topic and he suddenly said “But don’t you think he really overreacted.” I said “You really want to keep talking about this?”

Dessert menu, then dessert came. He got a couple of bites in and then flagged the waitress and asked for a glass of milk to have with his dessert. He said “So where does milk fit into being Buddhist and not eating mammals?” I explain that I don’t drink milk because I dislike but currently am eating dairy and it has nothing to do with being Buddhist or not eating mammals, I just don’t like milk.

He says that he likes having milk with dessert or something chocolate as it makes him “feel like a little kid”.

Red flag: Gross. He just referred to liking feeling like a little kid on a date. Ew.

We are done.

He pays the bill. I grab my purse but don’t offer to split, bad me but I know there isn’t going to be another date and he asked and chose the venue, this is his to pay.

He pays in cash and we wait, awkwardly for the waitress to get the cheque and then bring change.

We leave the table, get my coat, he helps me on with my coat – very nice! – and then we walk in the direction of our cars. I request that he leave me at the corner to where my car it, thank him and we part ways.

Get to my car, get in, lock the doors start the car, text a friend so she knows I am on my way home. Text her again when I’m home.

I call him Saturday morning to say thank you and that he is not for me. He agreed and said that I really seemed to get worked up about the topic of using certain words and couldn’t let it go. Actually, I just said to him “You aren’t for me.” while he started to give me a list of my behaviour. Seriously, when you are interested you don’t have to tell someone about their bad behaviour, just say “Not interested.” it is so much kinder.

Adventures in dating.