Posts Tagged ‘singles

17
May
09

Dating and broke

As a self-employed single mom, money is tight. Actually, in this climate its fair to say that money is tight for everyone but I’m pretty much surfing the poverty line every day. I mean, I get by and my child is well looked after. The reasons that we are poor are that I bought a house and had to spend $12000 on a lawyer last year thanks to custody battle bullshit. But anyway, being broke is my reality right now, which is hard when dating.

On many levels, it is difficult to date when broke. Here’s what I need money for every time I date:

1) Babysitter. Before I’ve walked out my door I’ve spent $20 on childcare. If its a good date, that could be more like $50.

2) Haircut. Because although cutting my own bangs with kitchen scissors and sticky tape is fine for everyday mommy life, I do dream of presenting a more polished persona when meeting a man.

3) New tights/ stockings/ whatever. There is always one thing that my dream outfit needs in order to make me feel pretty.

4) Taxi fare home.

5) Money for beers/ dinner/ whatever. Of course I hope that my date might pick up the tab but you never know, so you need to be prepared. (For the record, I like it when men at least offer to pay, and not just because I am poor.)

Because of this, going on a date is never just an easy feat like it was in my carefree youth where (thanks to being a grunge girl) it was as simple as putting on some black eyeliner and strutting out the house looking carefully dishevelled, because I am supposed to look like a put-together woman in order to snare a man.

And now, because the date I am getting really excited for is in Vancouver (the traveling boy has returned to Canada and I am about to actually take our fling off-line and in to the real world!), I have that pesky plane ticket to cough up, and one for my child so that I can make this a combined custody visit for her and week of fun for mummy.

Dating is expensive, and unlike when you buy something tangible and know that you will be getting a certain value for that expenditure, you never quite know whether you’ll be getting any bang for your buck. Of course, not knowing what you will get and the hope that you will actually score something that money can’t buy is what makes this dating malarkey truly worthwhile.

04
May
09

Sleepovers. This Single Mom’s Guilty Secret?

Since my daughter was born, I have been incredibly discrete in my (failed) relationships. Only once has my daughter seen another man here when she woke up in the morning, and she never saw us in bed together or even holding hands. I am perhaps a little paranoid about this whole thing, but I do not want to be “one of those kinds of mothers” who imposes her “special friends” on her child, only to leave the little mite heartbroken and confused when things didn’t work out.

My bad mother paranoia even goes so far as to panic over going out too much or leaving my child with new babysitters. My weird tangent nightmares have me dressed as Ann Margaret singing “Do you think its alright, to leave the boy with Uncle Ernie”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_Qbidac8J8. I am trying to decide whether making my love affairs completely covert operations is going over-the-top or in fact the right thing to do.

The only man in my life that my daughter has ever met is the Brooklyn Boy. When the Brooklyn Boy came to see me the first time I made him stay in a hotel, and only came to see him when my daughter was either staying with her father or asleep. The second time, I let him stay in my house and for four days he was a part of our lives. It was lovely, he is a sweetheart (works with children and very good with them) and my girl adored him. When he left, she asked about him for weeks and now four months on seems to have forgotten all about it.

I am seriously attracted to the boy I’ve been chatting with in Bali, and when he comes back to Canada in three weeks, I want to go see him.

Problem is, as usual, I’m pretty broke, so there is little chance I can afford to fly to Vancouver (where he lives, where I just moved from last year, where I will never move back to). Going there would be ideal because the darling child can go stay with her daddy (which would make my ex very happy, as he hasn’t seen her since we were last there in January) and I can pretend to be a carefree single woman for a few days. However, stumping up for two return tickets to Vancouver for what will be a fling, seems a little daft when I should be insulating my house and paying down my credit card.

A possible solution would be to invite Bali Boy (as he shall hence be known) here. I have known Bali Boy many years, he is close friends with a very good friend of mine and I think it could work. If I can shake off the guilt about having a life outside my child and allowing her to see that. If I do invite said boy, I still don’t want my daughter to see me being affectionate with him or anything else, and I guess this may be a little odd.

Oh I don’t know.

I am trying so bloody hard to be a fantastic mother, and the idea of doing anything at all to provide a less than healthy model for my little girl scares me.

09
Apr
09

He looked good on the dancefloor, but….

I ventured out on Saturday night to go to a club here in Halifax for the first time, the Paragon (which used to be the Marquee) where Skratch Bastid was playing. It was a fun night, Skratch Bastid played an incredible set and I danced for hours. There were lots of hot boys, and one in particular kept dancing near me and eventually we locked lips and made out. Thrilling! He was super cute, but it turned out he was only 26. He thought it was no big deal, and we kept hanging out together. I had an overwhelming urge to drop the ‘I have a kid’ bomb to save wasting my time, or his, and when I did he responded with interested questions. I liked him.

So, he and his roomie were having a little party after the club closed and my posse of six decided we’d go. More beer? For sure! I fully took advantage of the fact that my neighbor who was babysitting said to stay out a late as I wanted, although I was feeling a little guilty every time I saw a clock. I held hands with the boy in the cab on the way home and everything was going well, until we got to his place.

We walked in to his sparsely furnished bachelor pit and I realized that his lifestyle was so far from mine that nothing was ever going to happen between us. We’re talking a framed picture of dogs playing poker (I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be ironic, but maybe not) above a thrift-store sofa, and very little else in the room. The floor was bare tiles. There were four garbage bags full of empty beer-cans on the balcony. It was like student digs, but he wasn’t a student. It wasn’t just his place that was shocking; once in the cold harsh light of his apartment, the appeal of him had worn off.

I sat there for half an hour, but I just wanted to get home to bed. Suddenly I felt too wasted to even pretend to be interested in the drunken conversations going on, and I was feeling REALLY guilty about my neighbor there waiting for me to get home (who I assumed was asleep, but it was 3am now, what if she wasn’t?)

I made for the door. The boy got up and asked if we could exchange numbers. I said with as much sincerity as I could muster, “Sure, give me your number and I’ll call you,” and he asked if we could go out next Saturday. I said yes, then I felt really guilty, but there was no way I could cope with seeing him again (but being in Halifax I believe the likelihood of this happening is pretty much 90% going to happen). I wrote his number on my hand and went downstairs to wait for a cab in the lobby. Horror of horrors, I was waiting an hour for a cab, and didn’t make it home until 4.30 am. It was the latest I’ve been up in years and years.

Once home, I had a bath and sat there scrubbing his number off the back of my hand. In my drunken state I started thinking that I missed my ex-husband. But then I remembered seeing him recently and that ridiculous “Dumb and Dumber” haircut he has now, and it made me smile, and I realized that no matter how lonely I feel, or how much I want a man in my life, I don’t want my ex-husband any more than I want the interior design challenged 26 year-old. Better off alone than in another crummy relationship.

07
Jul
08

Love is indeed fleeting

People say that women “of a marriageable age” see a cute guy and immediately imagine ourselves shacked up with him, and having his babies.  I’ve even read chick lit novels that confirm it. Apparently this is “too much, too fast,” even when it’s purely in our own minds.

In that case, I have the following question: What’s the deal with men who start quizzing you about future plans (and your whereabouts last Friday night) before you’ve ever properly met them, and a half-hour into your first date, they’re already deciding where the two of you are going to live?

Jesus Crikey on a popsicle! Talk about moving too fast!

In those situations, I can’t ever figure out if it’s pure 100% meaningless blather, if they think they’re saying what the woman wants to hear, if they’re sort of kidding (but not completely, b/c men never joke about that stuff unless they kinda mean it); or if they’re just on an obsessive nutty hunt for a wife and any woman will do. It baffles me. I just sit there looking confused and trying to figure out a polite way of saying, “SHUT UP!! YOU FREAK, I DON’T KNOW YOU, WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE WE’RE ENGAGED?”

Maybe they’re trying to make me comfortable by being decisive? In that case, time for a different strategy.

But on the positive side, these hyper-activated one-sided relationship trajectories tend to burst into full flame and then wither and die within about 72 hours. Seriously. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a guy who already was concerned whether I’d quit working to raise the kids before he and I had ever MET. We got in a tiff while trying to plan the third date: it came to light that I enjoy restaurants, and consider dining to be more of a pleasure than a chore.  He, on the other hand, might as well be eating from a feed bag for all he cares. What’s more, he told me, ALL MEN feel that way. I disagreed. In a dolorous voice, he said, “I don’t know if this is going to work out.”

Gee. You think?

Then, last Thursday, I met the mystery man from three years ago. Before I left the house, I told him I couldn’t spend too long out, because I am moving out of my apartment over the weekend. He said, “Not to sound weird, but I have a spare room, and you can stay there for a couple weeks.”

Um, yeah, that sounds weird.

We met, we recognized each other, we went to have a drink, and within a few minutes I remembered why I didn’t talk to this guy for years: HE’S ONE OF THOSE ONES.

Our conversation revolved around his work–which is poker–and my work. I hate poker, and I usually don’t like the people who play it. I told him this before I ever agreed to meet him. Nonetheless, I was treated to a lengthy monologue detailing the career highlights and comparative skill levels of a half-dozen random players I don’t give a hellshite about.

Then I treated him to a lengthy monologue about book publishing vs. magazines…and I think he may have fallen asleep for a few minutes. Then he woke up and asked me what we were doing the next night. THE FOURTH OF JULY, mind you. I said I had plans. He said, “Fine the next night. ” I said, I’m moving. He said, “No no, I’m going to help you move, we’re going to go pick up some day laborers from Home Depot, so on Saturday you’re free to share a bottle of wine with me.”

Gentlemen: This would be such sweet music, coming from someone I’d dated for a couple months. But on the FIRST DATE? It is completely and utterly insane. And presumptuous.

“I really am not sure I’ll be able to,” I said.

But he wasn’t having it. Till Saturday afternoon, when he texted me and I responded that I couldn’t make it…whereupon he texted me back huffily, telling me he was getting on a plane to Vegas to hang out with a bunch of girls I don’t know.

I guess I’ve been dumped. Good thing I didn’t take him up on the spare room offer.

05
Nov
07

Love Boat? Well, sort of.

I just got the seasonal schedule from Singles Travel International, and there are like a zillion cruises on it.

Okay, exaggeration. There are five, departing from now through the end of February. But still, that’s rather a lot.

Cruises have traditionally been the favored lazy vacation option for families or couples. My friend Nadia just went on a Carnival cruise with eight friends, and hated it. (In fact, her exact description was, “boring, full of Mid-Westerners, and the best thing about it was the 24-hour buffet.”) I couldn’t agree more. The only agenda on value cruise lines, in my opinion,  is to eat and eat, buy souvenirs, and then eat some more.

Singles Travel International cruises are a different story–mostly for the obvious reason that not everyone on the ship is married with kids. The way they work, to the best of my knowledge, is that the company reserves their singles a certain number of cabins aboard a Royal Caribbean ship, and also organizes a bunch of special singles’ events. The cruises are usually organized by age bracket, which is awesome unless you’re a dirty old perv looking to score with someone 20 years younger. Guests can share a cabin or book their own for slightly more $$.

 I can  kinda-sorta understand the appeal of this. The only downside is, if you decide early on that you don’t like anyone on the ship, then you’re out of luck for the duration. It’s back to the originally scheduled programming: food, food, sunbathing, souvenirs, self-hatred, more food…

Then there are the booze cruises that depart from Cabo, the Bahamas and every other touristy port in the Northern Hemisphere. These hardly count as cruises; they’re really just two- to six-hour forays into ocean-tossed madness. The whole point is to get really wasted, which makes no sense because there’s nothing worse than being really wasted and stuck on a freaking boat. I would know. I’ve done it twice–the first time I passed out on a speaker, and the second, my sister stripped down to a thong in the breakfast room at 8AM.

I absolutely despise booze cruises, but would never try to stop you from discovering their glory for yourself. It’s a rite of passage. And Dramamine will not help.

Because I receive about 30 nightlife emails every day, I recently discovered the next evolution in singles cruising–something I might actually want to attend, although it’s three days long and therefore a MAJOR commitment in Lena-cruise terms. It’s called the Kandy Kruise, and it offers 10 times more eye candy than Singles Travel and 10 times better entertainment than the average booze cruise. It’s brought to us by the Los Angeles promoters who throw the Kandyland parties at the Playboy Mansion.

These boys not only understand the importance of an amazing sound system and really plushy soft furnishings, they also have a truly winning formula for drawing beautiful women to a party: Let them in for free. They apply this very same theory to the Kandy Kruise, God bless ’em. Girls who want to try to hook up a free room send in their hottest photos, and a select number (approximately 10%) get free berth (two to a cabin) in exchange for dressing up in little outfits and parading around the ship, promo model-style. Apparently cabin size is irrelevant, since you only use them to pass out for an hour or two in between club-hopping, suntanning, massages, etc.

I got all these details from Michael Fuller, who runs marketing for the Palms in Las Vegas, and also helped promote the first-ever Kandy Kruise.

“”It was crazy,” he told me. “Really fun.” Coming from the guy who runs events at the Palms, this means a lot. Mike reports a 3:1 girl-to-guy ratio, great food, “clubs going every minute of the day” and all kinds of delights that I don’t want to mention because you’ll get all over-excited and the next cruise isn’t till March, 2008.

So start saving your money. Because boys, boys, boys have to pay, pay, pay. Not as much as for the Playboy Mansion parties, but still a hefty chunk of change for the average Joe–probably $800 minimum per person. Not sure whether girls have the option of paying their way in and not parading around in little outfits–I will check.

Disclaimer: Yes, I realize this scene isn’t for everyone. It typifies all things shallow and hateful about Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Unless you can go–in which case it’s really rather fun. So I’m just putting it out there.

In the meantime, go here to look at pictures from past Kandyland parties including the Kandy Kruise…because it’s Monday and you need a treat.




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