Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bikers, Bullets, and Babes

I think I have found a calling. It's a bit of a take off on "The Girlfriends Guide" series of books. "The Little Sister's Guide to Online Dating." After 20 years in marketing and public relations, I've learned a little along the way. In my short time in online dating, I have started a story budget for a self-help book for men in the world looking for love online.

Possible chapter titles/subjects...
"THAT'S the Photo You're Using? Seriously?"  Some of these dear men are only missing the lines behind their heads and the little plaque with their arrest number on it. Definitely not wink-worthy.

"You Had Me At the Proper Use of Your/You're; To/Too; Their/They're/There" Too many of these grammar gaffes and I will dismiss you a hacker from Mumbai.

"Are Those Girls Really Your Daughters?" uhm...yeah.

Men in my age range (40-55) tend to fall into three categories: bikers, bullets, and babes.

There are a lot of bikers - real ones and wannabes. Tats, leather, do rags, black tees and jeans, bald with goatees. Harley riders and they are proud of their bikes. Some even post photos of bikes they WISH they had. There are also bikers who are actually cyclists and looking for their triathlon partner... "most recently, I biked up Pikes Peak in January, off road..."

Bullets. Photos of men holding up dead things they have hunted and killed. Favorite color? Camo. Or they have giant fish they have caught. I swear this is Modern Anthropology:101.

And babes... this subject goes with photos. I'm just not sure what a photo with a 50 year old man in the midst of a gaggle of Hooters Girls does for your sex appeal. These girls get PAID to have their photo taken with you, it's not necessarily because they find you attractive... sorry. This cross-references with the chapter title, "Are Those Girls Really Your Daughters?" Middle age men in photos with co-eds with the caption, "my daughters" is really rather jaw-dropping.

For the real men, the good men, there are photos in my age range of men with their families, photos with their adult children, and grandchildren, which is very sweet.

My dear late stepdad used to say that I was always trying to find the good in any situation, "Doone, you're the kid digging through a pile of horse manure on Christmas morning saying, "I know there's a pony under here somewhere!"

True... always looking for the half full glass, the silver lining, the bright side... and the truth is, there are good men putting themselves out there online. Scary old world it is, and having a friend and partner to face it with somehow makes the glass half full again. Yes, Virginia, there are good men out there who happen to be looking, too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Renewal

Today's view of the porch is covered in powdered sugar. I'm spending my Saturday afternoon in my favorite way... baking in the kitchen listening to a basketball game on the radio. I'm baking for the church youth group bake sale tomorrow. The last two sheets of cutout sugar cookies are in the oven and I'm getting all the fun stuff together for Emily to decorate.
My niece Catherine has challenged me to be British and make a Victoria sponge cake for the bake sale. I am prepared to take this one on. I have a good cuppa and ready to start. It's a yellow cake, rich with four eggs. Between the two layers is whipped cream and jam. I'm using strawberry, per Catherine's suggestion. I rarely see her as she has always lived in the UK and I have always lived here. But things like this make me feel close to her. Love you, Rosie.
Earlier this morning, I volunteered at a solo band contest at our middle school. Every single student was amazing. Adolescents to teenagers, boys and young men, girls and young women, all stood nervously waiting their turn to play. From breathy flutes played by equally wispy girls to giant instruments that were as large as the students who played them. A lovely young woman playing a baritone saxophone - I swear it was bigger than she was. A new thing was a bass clarinet - a clarinet dressed up like a saxophone. Beautiful sound... Moms and dads all proud.
Good life lessons, these things are. The students who forgot their music. The students who stood waiting to play and wishing they had prepared a lot more than they had as they stood ready to play in front of an audience. It's good to be scared, one of the music teachers remarked. And it is. Life is that way. There are loads of experiences that scare the pee out of us as we grow and something like this is rather painless in the grand scheme of things.
It started feeling like spring this week. The sun is up earlier in the morning and later in the evening. It smells a bit like mud. The birds are singing more loudly at dawn. Renewal in the air. So, I'm trying new things. I made a new friend this past week. I'm trying my hand at a new cake recipe. I'm thinking about my garden. The house and my soul,are in need of spring cleaning. Time to go through the stuff that I don't need any more and pass it on to others.
Time to give this cake recipe a go ... why not challenge yourself this week to try something new?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The hiatus

Goodness. It's been awhile since I've checked in here...
Nothing especially exciting to keep me away. I can't say I've spent January in Provence or stashed away writing The Great American Novel. No, just everyday life and lots of it. I wouldn't have it any other way.
The view from the porch tonight is dark.
Ok, bad joke.
Somewhat snow-covered ... and dark. I've missed a good roaring snowstorm this winter. What little snow we've had, my dear neighbor men have done a quick and tidy job of removing it for me. They will each have home-baked chocolate chip cookies wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with a red ribbon from me on Tuesday. They all keep watch for me and mine.
Had a lot of time in the car this weekend. My children are conditioned to fall asleep for the first hour of any car trip. Lots of quiet time. It was a beautiful day to drive the two lane highways of southwest Iowa, weaving my way to the interstate. There's more snow there as they had a rip-roaring good storm last weekend. Today the sky was crystal blue and the snow was so white and clean, it was blinding. Just lovely. Peaceful.
I'm totally enthralled with my children these days and the ride that we are all on together. The weekend has been so good. We are back home and tired from our whirlwind trip to Omaha and Red Oak, but strangely rested and restored with homemade chocolate cake and lasagna.
Life is good.