Sunday, April 19, 2015

Post 83: Multidating or multiwaiting:

Three years.  It’s been three years since I have written a post here. I think one of the biggest reasons is the fear that the men and women will recognize who I am writing about, and despite changing names and places, they will be insulted.  My friendships are worth more than exposure to a low-traffic blog somewhere in hyperspace.

Do people even use the word hyperspace anymore?  Sounds so 90s.  So what has happened in three years.  My son graduated from high school and entered the army.  He no longer needs babysitters.  As a matter of fact, he babysits other children himself.

In the year he lived away from home, you would think I would have  had a boyfriend. Someone I could hold tight and keep me warm at night.

But that was not the case.  A few flings, or dalliances, as one psychic woman in Colorado predicted would happen.  No great love, but perhaps a growing self love.

I have learned to dance salsa.  I learned to love myself more.  I learned to be happy without having to have a boyfriend.

I learned that casual sex is not such a terrible thing if the alternative is celibacy for more than a year.

I’ve learned that sometimes you just don’t have time for a boyfriend.

But I’ve also learned to live your dreams TODAY.  I traveled for two months when I had a chance. 

There were times of a lot of sex.  And there were times of no sex.

But most of all there were friends and family.  Loving friends who stood by me when I was sick and when I was flying high, and not on drugs.

I’ve got loads of stories…of two friends dating the same guy and not knowing about it until later, younger men, open marriages, marriages without sex and so many more, but I can’t really tell them here.
So, where will I take this blog? 

This writer will continue not to write about no sex until she finds a solution.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Post 82: Employee Reviews for Couples

Employee Reviews for Couples

Jakob, a  friend of mine,  agreed to collaborate with me on a few blog posts.

In Jakob's ideal world, couples will have mandatory counselling, at least once a year, with an objective and qualified psychologist, social worker, or relationship counsellor. But unlike couples who go to counsellors only when their marriage is at the point of no return, new couples will be treated to a once a year review similar to what employers and employees undertake. From my experience, human resource departments are good about enforcing annual reviews between employers and employees, but don't necessarily follow up on the results. For both the employee and employer, this provides an opportunity to review the year's objectives and also examine the "SWOT" - strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Jakob's not the only one who thinks that couples treat their cars better than each other. Iris Baron, an Israeli sexologist and radio personality (link is in Hebrew), often mentions that people have a strong awareness about having to take their cars for regular checkups, tests, and tuneups, when necessary by law. Cars that don't pass their annual tests are removed from the roads by police. She also thinks that couples, by law, should be taught proper financial planning and other skills, in order to prevent divorce.  I heard in South Africa, you need to go to counselling before you can get married.  I wonder if the divorce rate is lower there than in Canada, the U.S. or Israel.

But couples aren't forced to seek counselling or get divorced by law. It usually happens as a last straw. According to Jacob, an annual Employee Review for Couples would definitely improve the status of relationships, at least in Israel. Couples get used to their routine and will often bottle up how they feel about each other, or else let it all out in the form of criticism that may start as bantering, follow through to pestering and end up at downright insulting. Children cannot hold a relationship together if a couple is not connected spiritually through effective communication. Jakob also thinks that even if a couple does split up, at least it will do so through awareness and maturity. Divorce will then not come as a big surprise but as a step when nothing else works.

It's true that our needs change as we grow, but people generally remain the same. Can values also change? People don't change that much after marriage, but their reactions can change, especially if affected by factors including but not limited to education, employment, children, aging parents, . Sometimes the values and goals of individuals before getting together conflict right from the beginning. But how do you know that if no one has evaluated the relationship objectively before you started?

So what would the annual review entail? Jakob's vision is that the counsellor would ask the couple to come prepared to the review with the answers to questions such as:

  • What worked this past year?
  • What didn't work?
  • Did you meet your objectives personally and as a couple?
  • How do you view money? Where do you want to spend money this year? Vacation? Studies? Having a child? Renovating an apartment? Is there anyway you can cut back? Has your attitude changed in the past year?
  • Are you prepared to work extra hours so that your spouse can spend more time with your children and cut back on her/his hours?
  • Do you want to study?
  • Is your sex life satisfactory? Both in terms of frequency, quality, variation?
  • Travel? Hobbies?
  • How much time do you want alone, with family, with friends and together?
Relationship counselling isn't new, but too many people think that you only go to counselling when something is wrong. Why not look at the Employee Review for Couples as an opportunity to celebrate the strengths, achievements, or simply good times spent together as well as a chance to make things even better in the future and prepare to deal with the open issues.

This writer knows that a relationship is more than a business. But why not think out of the box while the box itself is still sturdy?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post 81: The Writer and the Web (not the worldwide kind)

Post 81:  The Writer and the Web (not the worldwide kind)

Yeah, more poetry...strange...must be someone influencing it goes..

The day he flew
My life changed forever
And I found her
Though she did not fall deeply

Released from the web
to which I had clung
Already woven, enthralled, trapped?
For 3 years...
How many spider years is one human year?

Now 3 years later, I've unraveled its throes
The spider moved on
The writer has too - forward into her fourth four-blanket winter woes 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Post 80: Frustrating Funeral

Post 80: Frustrating Funeral

This post has nothing to do with sex, but maybe everything to do with no sex. If I got as many invitations to dates as I did to go to the shiva, I'd have an amazing dating schedule.  I attended the funeral and shiva of an acquaintance who lost her battle with cancer.  She wasn't a close friend, but I was in touch with her and visited her and the people whom I met through her are close friends to this day.  I won't write her name here as I change the people and identifying factors.  Despite my respect for Jewish tradition, I just about verbally attacked the Rabbi who showed up at the shiva.  He did not know the age or reason for the death but tried to comfort the family members and friends there by saying that G-d created everything for a reason. There is even a reason for weeds (and moquitoes, and cockroaches, I thought.)  But I didn't want to upset the household.  It wasn't my daughter/aunt/sister who died.  But I wanted to ask him, what is the USE of a cancer cell.  What does it give the people or animals on this earth, other than some income for oncologists and lab researchers?  I'm sure this has been asked before and "believers" are supposed to take the leap of faith and think that there was a reason for her premature death and a purpose for the cancer to strike.  Twice....

Well, I don't buy it.  The only thing her death did is for us to put things into perspective...and the only thing I could come up was anger, in this poem.  It's a little childish, a little angry, but that's how this writer feels:

The only thing I know
Is that when I go
I do not want to suffer so
I want to glow until the end
Don't want to show illness to my friends
Just sing and dance and make them laugh
Until they write my epitaph

So why are people so in shock?
Did they ever think to call or knock?
Denying what was going on
Until they reached the cemetary gate
Then apologizing on Facebook, when it was too late.

But denial is human
And human means you're alive
Not for me to judge as I survive
This world of hurdles, high and low
And this writer knows nothing, that's what I know.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Column 79: September Boy Blues

Column 79: September Boy Blues

The new school year has started and the Jewish high holidays are approaching. On the one hand, people are looking to hook up because they are fed up of everyone in their family asking them when they are getting married, having kids, etc. On the other hand, the commitment shy ones run away when something good comes their way. So what was I thinking? As I told you int he last column, Yaniv is a bachelor and the chances of him having a real relationship were not high from day one. Still, he has turned out to be a fun male friend to have around, and a friend with benefits if I do so desire, and can find a place and time. That's kind of complicated when you are in a non committed physical relationship, but there are solutions to everything when it comes to matters of the heart, or hormones, as the case may be.

Today, you can order a computer built according to your needs - memory, operating system, speed, size. You can get the best sum of the parts and therefore control that you know what you're getting right from the start. But in a man, this isn't (yet) possible, and what you see is not always what you get.

So Yaniv came and went, disappointed me by not showing up to a play I was in, not calling and then calling. I played it cool so he wouldn't feel pressured, and that worked well, until I realized I needed more and deserved to be with someone who at least communicated a bit better. Turns out, like many men his age who have never been married, that he doesn't want to take the relationship to the next step and isn't sure what he wants. Fine, we'll be friends (great, just what I need, another single male friend) and I planned a great, fun filled weekend of hiking, food, and music, not taking him into account. He did attend some of the activities but he went as an individual, not as my partner or date. I did want to have another kid after my divorce, but I don't need one in his mid-forties. It was a nice experience, but he has gone to my collection of intelligent, fun, talented, men, who are simply not boyfriend material. I wish I could take the parts that I cherish with me to my next computer, rather, boyfriend.

So for a guy who can't send a simple text message to say whether or not he is showing up at a picnic, Yaniv suddenly calls me yesterday, at work, to tell me about a discount coupon for renting a car during the holidays. The deal was so attractive, I was thrilled.

This writer doesn't have a boyfriend with whom to spend the Jewish New Year, but she has wheels!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Post 78: Mourning has broken (but will my heart break too?)

Post 78: Mourning has broken (but will my heart break?)

I have a statue that I bought for myself of a man embracing a woman from behind. I find this statue particular romantic, not because I think men should support women financially or that a woman can't stand up straight without the help of a man, but because this image represents the positive sides of a man, strength as opposed to dominance, leadership, as opposed to control.

Likewise the woman in this image reminds me of serenity in her submission, as opposed to passivity, trust vs. dependency, pleasure vs. being unable to be by yourself, togetherness, as opposed to neediness.

This type of couple is so lacking in my day-to-day life. I find myself playing father and mother, and sometimes just tired of having to do everything by myself. With so much of the financial and emotional weight on my shoulder, it's no wonder I dream of a partner to lift me up a bit, BUT only in the metaphoric, positive sense of the word. I have a few "rules" regarding dating. I will not date a smoker. I will not date a bachelor. I will DEFINITELY not date a bachelor who wants biological kids. And I don't date men who are interested in my friends. And a few more rules, I'm sure.

Then something happened.

My son broke the statue, collected most of the pieces and glued it back with superglue. One or two pieces of the perfect statue remained missing. But guess what happened? The couple remained embracing, standing upright. The couple crumbled to pieces but remained intact after a third party (in this case, my son) glued them back together.

With their missing parts, they were still working. They didn't have to break up! And you know what, he didn't even leave her for a thinner, younger statue.

Shortly after the statue incident, I told my son that the 11 month old mourning period for my father had passed. Morning has broken, Cat Stevens sings.....oh, that this case Mourning has Broken....and with it comes a new era.

First thing I did was started to dance day I came back from a dance class and a man tried to pick me up on the street on the way back from the bus. He was kind of cute, divorced with a 13 year old, educated, employed, and had a nice car too.

But he was a smoker. He called me the next day, but I declined. I'll keep him on the backburner for my divorced smoking friends.

Then out of the blue, from a popular Jewish dating site, popped out a divorced man who does NOT want biological children and is willing to meet women older than him. We met, and he was nice enough, intelligent enough and moderately attractive enough, but I found our conversations heavy and stagnant, like a married couple who has been together for years and doesn't know how to communicate. Instead they bicker and criticize. I gave him the "good luck line" and ended the "potential". Some potentials need to stay unharnessed.'

The same week, my friend's exboyfriend started asking me to go on walks with him in order to improve his English. I think his motivation seriously IS English, but I have other people I'd rather walk with!

During the same period, I went out to a picnic of 38+ single people. My friend Amalie told me it was a good opportunity to meet men our age. We met two guys in their 40s and had a really nice time laughing together over a beer and salad...the change didn't work out evenly and one of the guys ended up owing me aprox.7 dollars. The two guys took Amalie's phone number and I went to sleep. Alone.

But the problem was, my magnet friend, Amalie wasn't at all attracted to the guy without the money. I'll call him Yaniv for now. But she insisted that he call me to return the 7 dollars. And that's how Yaniv and I got to be friends. A non-smoker, albeit a bachelor!! OFF LIMITS as a boyfriend, so no pressure. With no pressure, a couple may be able to stay together even with some missing parts.

So when there is no pressure and no expectations, things flow....and that is how this writer found herself breaking her own rules but having fun doing it.

This writer hopes Yaniv will not drop her for his dream of spending nights with a pile of dirty diapers (at least not yet!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Post 77: Why is one of my best friends swimming in my pond?

Post 77: Why is one of my best friends swimming in my pond?

In one of the episodes of “Sex and the City”, Carrie Bradshaw (then in her mid to late 30s) comes to a party with her then boyfriend Aleksander Petrovsky, probably in his 50s, divorced, with a grown daughter and doesn’t want more children of his own. Carrie’s boss at the time is also in her 50s and laments the lack of men her age. She asks Carrie why she is swimming in her (very small) pond.

In theory, my pond should be very large. Divorced men with children who do not want more children of their own. However if they are non-smokers, that is a must for me, and if they are musicians, that is simply a huge plus.

Since the big breakup more than two years ago, I’ve been hanging out with people of all ages, but many of them 5-15 years younger than me. Of the musician friends, only one is divorced and he has always been polite but rather cold to me. However, I’ve noticed that the women he dates are tall and thin. Matti himself is not very attractive but he is divorced with kids, and around my age.

Therefore, you could imagine my surprise when a close friend of mine started to date him. I am actually very happy for her, but she wants children of her own and has just broken up with someone herself. That means SHE needs the time to heal on her own and it’s my turn for a boyfriend. This is my third cold winter without a boyfriend and she has not even gone the whole winter without one.

And she’s not a musician.

I do wish her all the luck, because, as I said, I was not attracted to that guy in the first place....

Another friend, never married, is also dating a divorced man with a child. I've never met him so it's not like he chose her over me, but still...

both of them are swimming in my pond.

In an ideal world, men who have never been married would go out with single women; divorced guys would go out with divorced women, widows with widowers and newly separated with newly separated.

The only parallelism I see is married people having affairs with other married people.

This writer will probably end up with a single guy 20 years older than her who smokes and isn’t a musician. Or will she?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Post 76: The Guy with the White Hair

Post 76: The Guy with the White Hair

Another winter was approaching and it was 2 years since my boyfriend and I had split up. There was absolutely no way I was going to enter my third winter without a boyfriend. Therefore, in order to brace myself for the stormy and rainy weather, I had the end of October as my goal in meeting Mr. Right...or at least Mr. Warm.

But my father passed away in September, putting a bit of a damper on my plans. Maybe he's in another world somewhere setting my sister and I up, but somehow I think he has more important things to do with his soul, wherever it might be. So October 31 came around and I did meet a divorced man who has a grown child. My friend set him up with me. Problem was he used to go out with her, and I just didn't think it was appropriate. Secondly, he wasn't interested in me, or anyone for that matter, as he just lost his entire business and was depressed.

November came along and I met someone whom I thought was my soul mate. Attractive, intelligent, communicative and sensitive...but yes, you guessed it, another bachelor who wanted to get married and have a family...and not with me.

A girlfriend visiting from the U.S. had a vision that I would meet an older man with white hair, and that I wouldn't be attracted to him at first. We would meet at an event that evolves around common interests, something intellectual.

So last night, I was invited to a house concert in the living room of a friend. It was a very intimate environment as some people had cancelled becuase of the storm. Indeed most of the men who arrived showed up in couples - no not gay couples, but with another woman. After the intermission, a voice of a man entered the living room and apologized for being late, and took a seat beside the host. I turned around to hear where the voice was coming from. The man was older than me, rather short, but indeed had white hair. I took a closer look and saw that he wasn't a man at all but a puppet that the host had brought in to entertain us.

It's now December. Looks like this writer will have to stick with her imaginary boyfriends for now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Post 75: No Sex at the Shiva

Post 75: No Sex at the Shiva

One of my parents recently passed away. I'm not sure I can add any insight about thefuneral and the death of a parent, because it is a universal experience. It's painful. It's intense. It makes you angry. It makes you thankful. And it also makes you laugh. There you are faced with your immortality. Nothing lasts forever. No one lives forever. And suddenty wrinkles that I never saw before sprung up in the mirror.

And I remembered that my sex life has been about as dry as the inside of the coffin. Yes, that bad. So bad that I should have been blogging about it EVERY day, but not only was it No Sex in the City, but No Sex in the Country, in the office, in the sea, and of course, no sex at the shiva - the (normally seven) days of mourning that follow a Jewish funeral.

But right before the funeral, I started to believe in miracles again. That's right. Be careful what you wish for. I decided to lower the par a bit on my expectations. So while still in my post breakup mode, I wished for things that I didn't get from my exboyfriend....being treated to a cup of coffee, being taken out to dinner, and being brought flowers.

During these post-breakup years (I'm approaching the big TWO years since THE breakup of the decade), I have been lucky enough to be treated to more than just coffee and more than just dinner. I even got treated to a whole weekend away....but I still yearned a simple but romantic gesture that I knew would move to tears...

but since the death everything moves me to tears....

One of my fantasies was to reunite with my first boyfriend and live happily ever after...or move in together...or date on a regular basis....or sleep with again once....or simply see again....that fantasy got stronger when I discovered that Yaron was separated....and living in the same part of the country as me. Although I realized his divorce was not final and that he really had no time for dating (between seeing his kids, his studies and his work), he had already been separated for a few years, and I thought maybe, soon, I'd have my chance. We met occasionally for dinner and he always complimented me. And there it ended. He'd disappear into his work, kids and his divorce proceedings and I'd disappear back into my personal rat race. I knew that he wasn't at the same stage as me...he needed to go play the field, have his first post-divorce relationship, build up his hurt male ego....and I knew to keep him as a friend ...AND THAT'S IT....

...until the death. I sat a very brief shiva at the time of the death and decided to hold an additional day of an open-house so that my friends in Israel could visit and comfort me...and the doorbell rang and in walked Yaron...with 13 red roses...a gesture of sympathy but, could it be, (and so my friends thought) ...a gesture of romance? The sexual tension was high. Yaron complimented me on my appearance and I sensed a bit of jealousy from the other men in the room. Another girlfriend present at the time, thin and fit, sensed the same tension...but it was a type of shiva, and after all, you can't have sex at a shiva, can you?

The day after the shiva, Yaron announced that his divorce was final and took me out to a romantic dinner. No rose this time, but a ring. He told me that I was the one he was waiting for the whole time and wanted to revive our relationship cut short so many years ago. My heart beat strongly as I realized that my fantasy was actually coming true.....


(sound of cloud breaking.......)

The day after the shiva, Yaron called me up and I told him how moved I was to get the flowers. He said he was busy and couldn't come over but wanted to ask me a few questions.....ABOUT MY THIN GIRLFRIEND!!!!

Tough luck, Yaron, my girlfriend has a serious boyfriend, I thought. Luckily I was busy and could not extend the conversation.

A few days later, the roses wilted and this writer threw them in the garbage, but her dreams remain alive for the next drama.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Post 74: What is worse than a blind date?

Post 74: What is worse than a blind date?

On a very very hot and humid evening in Tel Aviv, some really nice and talented people got together to celebrate a friend's birthday. The location wasn't ideal and apart from M for men, the other 3 Ms that accompanied them were rather unbearable: Mugginess, mud, and mosquitoes.

The fire of the campfire kept the mosquitoes away, for the most part (most also starts with the letter m, but who is counting?) but it really was too hot for a fire. As I got a lift and didn't have to take a bus, I mustered the initiative to bring two straw mats (known as machtzelot in Hebrew. Read "Me and my machtzelet" to find out why this is (usually) a good idea).

(Ok, this is what happens when you read Dr. Suess's ABC book too many times...)

The advantage to this evening was the darkness. People can't usually tell my age or see the pimples or cold sores on my face. I actually felt and looked nice this evening, despite the enviromental factors. A guy named Meir started talking to me and despite the fact, that I usually prefer dating divorced men with children, and not bachelors, I decided to stay near him because he was a guitar player, and not a bad one at that. Plus, I had brought my guitar which I lent him. I am always amazed by the sounds semiprofessional guitar players manage to emit from my guitar. I don't do my Japanese guitar sufficient justice. So I wonder if Meir would have taken my number at the end of the evening if he didn't break my guitar string. Not only was he a guitar player, but a guitar teacher.

The next day, sure enough, Meir calls me at work and we arranged that I'd go with him on his motorcycle into Tel Aviv to have coffee and pick up my new guitar string. I hadn't been on a motorcycle for years, so this was fun. We sat at a quiet coffee house in north Tel Aviv and perused our menus. The first thing Meir did was take out a large MP3 player, or a small boom box that plays MP3s....not sure about the correct term for this device. The coffee house didn't have any background music, so why not? Ok, I thought...stramge. but at least we have similar tastes in music. I asked the waitress about the iced coffees. Meir didn't listen at all and repeated my questions. He told me that he didn't consume any sugar except for natural sugar and took out a box of dates. He did order a cup of coffee and laid the box of dates on the table. He offered the waitress and me a few dates. I actually expected him to bring out his own cutlery and coffee mug, but to my relief, he didn't.

It was obvious that Meir had some sort of communication problem, but when we spoke about music, it was ok. I learned that despite him having travelled all over the world, his English wasn't very good. You see, in Hebrew, the word "date" is tamar in Hebrew so I'm sure that he didn't understand the irony.

So what's worse than a blind date, this writer asks? She's been on many dates, but this is the first one where her date brought his own dates along.