Writing a dating profile…

I am very good with the written word.

I have documented evidence of this in the form of an A received in the Business Communications portion of an IT Cert program I took almost 10 years ago.

There is one thing that stymies though…well, actually one area.    That is “Dating Site Communications”

I don’t seem to be able to write an effective profile and while I’ve met one or two great women (who were not my type…or in one case…not a woman), I usually manage to get the attention of crazy cat ladies and black widows, or women who ask, “Do you have room in your apartment for me and my 5 kids….like tonight???”

I did have porn star Jill Kelly want to come and be my girlfriend once.   I thought it was odd because the picture he..er..umm she sent me was a popular promo shot but she didn’t really have any knowledge of her own filmography…or the offerings of the studio she owned…I thought that was weird, and while yes,  she was mega-hot that wasn’t enough to compensate for being that forgetful.   Well that and she asked me for nude pictures of myself about 15 times in the first 20 minutes, and well…her choice of words were very masculine and…well…wait…we only talked for about 10 before I got weirded out…well, I got weirded out after about 10 seconds…but you know…didn’t want to be rude.

Porn star Jill Kelly at the 2003 Adult Enterta...
Hey Mom! This could've been your daughter-in-law! Image via Wikipedia

 

So anyway,  its time to re-write my dating profile.

In reading profiles of women I might be interested in I often see that they start with “The first thing you’ll notice about me is…”.   I find it interesting that they never say “my boobs”,  because I’ve heard women complain a lot about men not noticing anything else.    I should point out to anyone wanting to go into sales where convention attendance is required and your customer base is largely female…that conference id badges generally hang at about that level…so its better to ask them for a business card then to stare and try to make out their name and position.  Because you know…it won’t occur to them that you’re trying to get their name and where they are from.

Anyway, I thought it important to find out what women noticed about me first, so I grabbed a clip board and went to my local mall and did a survey.

The survey results are interesting:

95% of respondents answered: “Creepy and weird”  (or “Weird and creepy”)

3% stated “Sad and Lonely”

1% Fled

1%  stated: “I’m calling 911!”

I should point out that this is a pretty small sample size because, for some reason, the police showed up and asked me to leave and apparently I’m no longer allowed in the only mall in town.  Which is okay because they don’t have a decent shoe store anyway.

I don’t think I want to start my profile with:

Hi,  most people will tell you that the first thing you’ll notice about me is that I’m creepy and weird

Hmmm…maybe:

I’m the sort of guy whose open to seeking the opinions of others….

I know…lame…

The going advice is to put things you like to do…so

I like World of Warcraft, writing satire, weird movies (like Weirdsville),  making 3D art, writing software, reading and sleeping.  

Film poster for Weirdsville - Copyright 2007, ...
Image via Wikipedia

There is one thing that counts against me as in about 99.9% of women’s dating profiles who are around my age I see things like:

I LOVE HOCKEY!!!!  GO LEAFS!!!!

Now, I wonder if they put that in there to make themselves more attractive, but…I have no interest in professional sports.   Not even women’s beach volley-ball as some people keep asking if that’s included in my general dislike of watching sports.   My response is always the same…”Ummm…hello?  Internet???  And ummm…I’m not that pathetic, but thanks.”

But…well…my second wife liked sports.   When we still lived out west and we came home to Ontario to visit, my wife would be downstairs with “the boys” watching hockey while I would be curled up somewhere with a book.  My sister-in-law did offer to teach me how to knit so I’d fit in better with the girls.    They did invite me to join their conversations, but when it became evident that I knew more about lady’s fashion than they did they sorta shunned me.

Women who know me tell me that I’d make a great catch because apparently I’m smart and witty, and generous and a great cook and good looking….well…by “women who know me”, I mean my mom.  (I’m just kidding…my mom has only told me that I’m a great cook)

So, I’m not really sure how to go about this whole dating profile thing…

I suppose I should get some pictures done where I’m smiling…its been pointed out that there isn’t a picture past the age of 10 where I’m smiling.  That’s kind of odd because when a camera isn’t pointed at me, I usually have a silly grin plastered on my face…

 

Closure

“So how long is it appropriate to wait before I start posting satire?”, I asked my friend, Gord, over breakfast this morning.

Its been a good day.   A sharp pain woke me up.  It was one of my cats, Socks, way of letting me know that I was petting her wrong.

I saw that the closet doors were closed, and I remembered.   There were no tears, only a moment of ummm…terror maybe.   I heard Gus meowing in the kitchen.  Socks had my left hand clawed into her and I heard rustling at the foot of the bed.   “Did I dream yesterday??”, I wondered.    I figure Gus must’ve either been closer to the bedroom than I thought, or had run from the kitchen to the bedroom because he lept up on the bed.

There have been some moments of sadness, brief and fleeting and one flash of overwhelming grief where the only thought was, “I miss my dog!”.  But those were very brief.

I wondered if fate played its hand today.   Last night when I realized I was hungry I went out in search of something to eat.

What I really wanted was a Cajun Burger from Downie Street Burger, an upscale burger place (if I have to tell you what street its on, you are more blind to the obvious than I am)   But, the lovely lady who runs the place, Nancy, and I have traded dog stories, and last time I was in I grabbed two burgers for takeout.  One for me, and one for Shelby.

I remembered watching Shel tear enthusiastically into his burger.   Of course he lacks the table manners my mother beat into me, so he was finished long before  me and sat at my feet (and yes, I gave him bits of mine).   He went into the kitchen and got a drink of water then started sniffing frantically around the loveseat.   He then dropped to his belly and started scrabbling.  Alarmed I leaped from the couch, and as I reached his side he comes up with part of a patty in his mouth.  He tore apart part of his burger so enthusiastically that he tossed part of it under the love seat.   That is a good memory.

Last night things were raw, and I couldn’t face telling anyone else of Shelby’s passing.

I had actually forgotten about that until this morning.  Gord and I were walking into Jessi’s Deli and I saw Nancy sitting at the counter by the door.  She waved and asked after Shelby, and, of course my face betrayed what happened.  I waved Gord on and sat down next to her to tell her what happened.  We spoke for a moment and as always, sharing with someone who understands is always a good thing.   She remembered that Shelby had had one of her burgers, and it was then that I remembered the story I just related.

As I was re-reading and pondering, I focused on the bit in Shel’s Eulogy where I said, “I was honoured to be by his side”.    Honoured…why did I type that?  Why did I leave out the part where I knew the moment he passed when I felt a sudden feeling of peace, and happiness.

There’s always been something special about Shelby.  He always seemed a little more in tune with surroundings.   I remember watching him chase squirrels in Lake Ontario park in Kingston when to my horror I realized that he was going to catch one.   I was about to lunge forward and yell, but he lifted his head, and slowed down and  was content to run behind it and bark his fool head off at it when it got up a tree.   It was all about the chase.

His was a beautiful soul, and his passing into the next life was a monumental event.

If you’re one of those who feel that perhaps I’m reading too much into this and are sitting there rolling your eyes or thinking derogatory thoughts.  Well, f*** you.   this is about me, not you.

There is also a part of me that remembers all the black times in my life,  when I was mired in depression and I’d feel a paw slapping me on the thigh, or feel Shelby settling his chin on my lap.  Or other times when the fact that he was home, depending on me, kept me grounded.

I’m a better man today than I was back then, in a better place, and better able to deal with the crap that life sometimes deals out.

So, maybe Shelby, my faithful, loyal companion saw that I would be okay without him, and that it was okay for him to move on.

I think its time I find myself a girlfriend.  I don’t remember how one goes about doing that though.

 

This will be the last post where I focus on Shelby’s passing and the aftermath.   I will mention him from time to time I’m sure though.  And like I said, I have one or two draft posts I wrote before his health declined sharply.  I will post those eventually.

A truly beautiful thing…

In my musings yesterday I recalled moments during the process that made Shelby’s passing a truly beautiful thing.   In fact there were no tears at all, and I don’t even think I was sad, in fact I’m pretty sure when I looked up at Dr. Mall and said, “I think he’s gone.”,  I was smiling.

Tears come when I think of them, but they are not tears of grief, but those tears you get when you see someone who is truly deserving get something truly wonderful.  I’ve tried typing them this morning…describing them, and even though they are simple things, words do not do them justice…but…well….here goes…

Thursday night I had realized that it had been a very long time since I’d seen him wagging his tail.  This was a big sign to me…and it made me very sad.

Shelby was pretty relaxed on the table, even before the sedative.   Dr. Mall and I both stroked his fur and spoke softly while we waited for it to take effect.  After a bit she bent over and said, “I think he’s asleep”.   Naturally I bent over to look too.   Shelby suddenly popped his head up and gave her a kiss, and then turned and gave me a kiss too.   He put his head back down and closed his eyes.

Sometime after that he was truly asleep and we had to shift him on the table.  He stirred when we did,  I scratched his head and leaned down and told him that everything was okay and that I loved him.  He settled quickly and his tail started to wag.

It stopped, and he started to snore that contented snore that I loved listening to so much.

I have my playlist on “All songs shuffle” and an interesting mix came on while I typed this…in order:

Adele:  Take it All

Sarah McLaughlin:  Arms of an Angel

Florence and the Machine‘s:  What the Water Gave Me

and…well if my playlist is trying to tell me something I don’t understand how Lady GaGa’s  Dancing in the Dark plays into this….and now

Florence and the Machine’s:  Blinding

 

 

Hours later…

It was a hard morning to say the least.   I was numb on the drive home.  When I went to get out of the car, I looked at the leash on the passenger seat and was surprised that I didn’t burst into tears.

I left it though as my intention is to take what is donatable to the local shelter.

I came in, and by instinct I looked and listened for him.   Old habits.

I sat down to write the eulogy, then I set to cleaning.  I am normally domestically challenged and my cleaning efforts usually end when I need to go check something on the computer.   But, there was cleaning that absolutely had to be done.    I did that, and I went around the kitchen and either put Shel’s stuff in the garbage, or in a bag of donations.   I pushed around a mop mindlessly (and ineffectively) and went back and forth the computer.

My dad called.  I smiled when he said, “Son, your mother told me that you didn’t want to be bothered but I disobeyed her.”.   Mom was right of course (she knows me well) as I almost didn’t answer the phone, but 5 minutes later I don’t think I could’ve loved my dad more.   He commiserated, we talked, and I felt better.

I sat at the computer for awhile…I don’t remember what I was doing…well…I re-read the eulogy about 100 times…and looking at his pictures made me smile.

I kept glancing around and suddenly I realized why.   I wasn’t hearing him so I was checking to see if he was okay.

I decided then and there to get the hell out of the house to go buy a new computer desk that would fit in the living room.

I ended up at Staples and found one that would fit my 2 monitors and room for my stuff that was fairly inexpensive.

I grabbed something to eat and wrestled the desk (un-assembled) into my apartment.

I ate, and relaxed for a bit.   Every two weeks I have an hour long appointment with my therapist, Roberta, and that was today.   She is a truly remarkable person and has helped me come so far since I started seeing her over a year ago.  We sat and talked about what had been going on, I talked to her about my thought processes.    I mention a tree I was looking at this morning when I was thinking about “treating the whole patient”.  She stopped me to ask what about the tree had caught my attention.   It was barren, covered in snow against a gray sky.  Desolate and beautiful all at the same time.

And that is the crux of how I feel.   If you watched the South Park thing, you will know the term “Beautiful Sadness”.

Feeling better, I returned home and began the process of migrating my computer to the livingroom.   There were more tears, but that was mostly at trying to understand the assembly instructions for the desk.   I did catch myself checking to make sure I wasn’t going to dump something on a sleeping dog…but old habits.

I know this may confuse a lot of people.   But while this is one of the saddest days of my life, it is also one of the happiest.

An email I received from a friend explains it all:

It’s telling how much you love him and how hard it was to let him move on.  It’s telling that you helped him go on when it wasn’t an easy thing for you.   It’s so tempting, so easy to make these choices as to how they make only you feel.  Shel is voiceless but for the voice you impart him.  So you had to speak for him and help him with the choice you know he opts for.   Hard, gruesome hard, but that ease you felt was him thanking you for hearing him and having the courage to heed.

That was all about him.  It can be all about you now, which is how shel chose to live his life, by the way:   All for you.

Last note.   There is depression due to an imbalance of humors and there is sadness due to something sad.   Please don’t feel you need Illbutron (deliberate pun) to mask or overcome what SHOULD be a sad moment.   Let yourself be sad.   It’s okay.  It’s not wallowing.  It’s not crippling.   You love him and it’s sad.  It’s sad just writing about it to you.  Don’t make it something you have to escape from.   It’s not.  It’s the tithe you accepted when you let him in.  Be joyous to pay your due; a final tribute to the little bastard.  He earned it.  So did you.  

We won’t let it get out of hand.   We’re watching over you.   Shelby most of all.  Donate his food bowl all you want, he isn’t leaving and you know it.  

Just breathe.  The click of his claws remains.   That’s his own due, paid to you.  He is there.  He is home. 

I received some very nice emails, and some of them made me cry, thank you for each and every one of them.

There is still the occasional tear…and the sharp jab of loneliness that my 2 cats will only fill if the decide they need something.  But mostly the tears are of happiness for my friend, who no longer feels pain.

 

I’ll tell you now that I do have a blog entry I started a couple of weeks about about how Shelby had realized that I was onto one of his pro-zombie compatriots and his attempts to distract me.
When I’m ready, I will finish it, and post it…because I think he’d like that.

 

 

 

An Old Friend Passes

Shelby enjoys a special meal I made for him on the 26th.

Sadly, I have to report that Shelby, the pro-zombie cocker spaniel passed peacefully a few minutes ago at the Avon Pet Hospital.  I was honoured to be with him when he slipped peacefully from this life and into the next.

This is being written from behind a veil of tears and in a state of an odd mixture of profound grief, and, at the same time,  joy for a friend who has found peace.

 

 

 

When you are born, you cry and the world rejoices.  When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.   -Buddhist Proverb

Those of you who need to know what happened already know and I’m not going to get into that here except to say from the time I made the decision last evening, to the vacillating back and forth wondering if it was the right decision.  I didn’t get much sleep and there were many, many tears.

This morning I went out to clean off the car before taking Shel to the vet, I stopped before going back inside to collect myself.  When I was medic I always tried to treat the whole patient, not just the symptoms.  When I remembered this a peace came over me and I knew then that I had made the right decision.

Dr. Mall and Vanessa were fantastic.  The good doctor has seen Shelby several times and knows that I love him and how hard the decision was.  We talked, she explained to me what was going to happen.

Her compassion is amazing and Shelby and I were truly lucky to have her at this extremely difficult time.

While we waited for the sedative to take effect Shelby lay peacefully under my hand.  Tail wagging a bit.

The last sound he made was probably the best for me.  Peaceful snoring.

I remember when I first met Shelby back in 1997 in Cold Lake Alberta.  V had talked about getting a dog, and as I was about to leave for a month didn’t want to be alone (as cats are not as good company as dogs to dog people).

We stopped by the pound and they had one dog.  A sad little cocker spaniel someone had found wandering the roads near the base.  He had cherry eye which was, admittedly hard to look at, but that was fixable.  We took him for a stroll around the yard and we bonded almost immediately.   When we got home I took him for a walk to spend some time with him as I was leaving the next day.    He trotted along this old dirt road, he kept looking back to make sure I was still there.

He was an enthusiastic, exuberant part of our family.  Always wanting to be in the middle of things, when we went to bed we’d have to throw a ball down the stairs for him to fetch so we could get under the covers.   He loved running in the woods behind our house.   I’d get home from work and take him out back.  He was a smart dog and knew that if I didn’t clip his rope on that we were going, but he’d still jump off the steps and tense, look back at me, and when I pointed he’d be off like a bullet (often stealing the neighbour’s dog’s ball in the process)

He’s been a constant companion to me, and the tears I shed, and the grief I feel are not for him, but for me.   There is hole in my heart and the silence in the apartment is devastating.   But that will pass.

There have been dark times in my past, and Shelby has been my rock through all that.  Unconditional love, and someone who relied on me.

It is because of him that I am still here.

It hurts now,  and will for a day or two, but I will be fine.   Eventually when I look at Shelby’s pictures I will smile, and sometimes, yes I will shed a tear.

And really when you think of it, its really so little grief in exchange for so much joy.    This is one of my favorite South Park clip:

I am going to spend the day cleaning up Shelby’s stuff, and what remains of the accidents he had last night that I didn’t catch.

I miss him…and I feel very alone right now….but that’s okay, I’ll survive.    I’ve asked that his ashes be returned, and they will have a place of honour on my mantle.  I have a week to paint it.

Fairwinds and a following seal old friend.  You’ve been a great, good-natured dog.  I do not worry for your after-life.  I love you, and I miss you.

Last night he didn’t want to leave the office for the bedroom, so I stayed here with him and went hunting through my computer for pictures.   I thought I’d share:

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Chemical Warfare

Last Saturday at around 7am I was woken up by a rather strong and sadly, increasingly familiar odour.

Shelby is getting on in years, and I don’t know if with his advancing age he is either getting forgetful or exceedingly polite in not wanting to wake me when he needs to go out in the middle of the night.

I roll out of bed and clean up the mess, putting him out in the process.  I spent a great portion of my adult life as a military medic, so a little dog poo isn’t enough to phase me.  I am thankful that I don’t have carpets though.

I finish up, run the steam mop over the area, wash my hands and return to bed, waiting until I hear Shelby settle before drifting off.

I wake up around 10 and head out for the day.  My weekend mornings usually start at either Joe’s Diner, or Jessi’s Deli for breakfast.   Joe’s is a classic diner, Joe wandering around busing tables and chatting up his regulars.  He disapproves of my reading choices, thinking I should stick to non-fiction.  Joe’s menu has the classic breakfast fare (my regular is a breakfast club, on brown, side instead of back bacon), or the Hungry Man (eegs over easy, sausage instead of ham and brown toast)….both these meals come to $11.81.

Jessi’s is new having taken the place of a William’s Coffee Pub.   The decor is modern and a bit more upscale than Joe’s.   Jessi is this small hyper looking man who always looks nervous but is friendly enough.   The interesting overlap here is a waitress who used to work at Joe’s.   When she was at Joe’s I thought she didn’t like me or something as she always seemed sullen.  When I saw her at the grocery store she would always pretend she didn’t see me.   I would reciprocate by pretending she was a moose…as moose believe if they can’t see you, that you can’t see them.  Now…I should point out that physically this waitress and a moose are completely dissimilar.  While I’ve never seen a moose wearing black leggings, I cannot imagine a moose looking as good in them.

Now when I see her at Jessi’s she is all smiles, and very friendly, and when I saw her at the grocery store,  she walked up and talked to me!

I’m digressing.  On this particular morning I head to Jessi’s.    Jessi knows I prefer a 2 top by the windows but as these were taken I’m seated at one in the middle of restaurant.  I’m separated from my neighbours (a pair of middle aged ladies) by a dividing wall.

As I open my book, I get my first whiff.  The cloying, choking, flowery odour of cheap perfume.  I lean out into the aisle to try and escape, and contemplate making an excuse and leaving, but I ordered as soon as I sat down.

One of my neighbours is dowsed in the stuff.

“WHY???”,  I wonder silently as I glance over, eyes watering.    She is not a stunning beauty, so I’m certain the purpose was not make herself more attractive.

As I try to ignore it and fall into my book, I can’t help but recall the days of my military NBCD training (Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defence), where you would run around all day in a gas mask and a heavy charcoal suit.

One of the things they like to do to soldiers in these training exercises is to put us through the “gas hut”.    Before entering the hut we don our gas masks and are lined against the walls while the instructor heats up a puck of tear gas on a heating element.   While he’s doing this, he assures us that the room is filling with a noxious, unpleasant gas, 10-100 times worse than what police throw at protesters (the actual number depends on how much that particular instructor likes to embellish facts), all the while he would have us do things like push ups and jumping jacks (to “simulate activity in the field’….I can assure you, if someone is shooting at me I most certainly will not be doing jumping jacks…or push ups!)

Now, I have ascertained from these exercises that NBCD instructors have trust issues and are sadists.  Here’s why.

Instead of just presuming we would take his word that the room is indeed  filled with noxious gas he has us hold our breathe and remove our masks.   So we stand holding our breathe and eyes squeezed shuts while the sadistic bastard will stand in front of each of us and ask us questions, and insist that we actually look at him while we answer.  We are quickly left gagging, with interesting looking fluids running from every hole in our head.   They then show us how to properly don our gas masks and clear the gas out.  More jumping jacks ensue…this is I’m sure to help with the burning sensation.

They explain to us that they do this to us so that we will “have confidence in our equipment” and not that they’re a bunch of sadistic assholes.  You see, I would have just as much faith in my equipment if it worked for something less unpleasant..lets say Pine Sol, or the smell of hamburgers.  Fewer jumping jacks would be nice too.

The entire point of that digression is that I think this ladies perfume was so bad that instead of concentrating on my book I was reminded of my NBCD training.

I remembered the smell that woke me up earlier that day and realized that I would’ve rather had my breakfast with that smell than the chemical flowers drifting off my fellow diner.

Why do people do that?  Douse themselves in artificial scent?

I’ve only encountered 2 women in my entire life who’ve been able to pull it off.

One was my blonde Irish doctor (“Poison”…yes I remember 🙂 ),   and this Japanese woman at the Starbucks in the hotel I was staying at last summer for a convention.   She was irritating me (and everyone else in line) as she didn’t have enough English to order efficiently and thus delaying my morning fix,  but when she slid up next to me at the condiment counter…all was forgiven.  I could’ve followed her around all day).

I’m a guy…and even I know that the right perfume is a combination of your body chemistry and scent, and that a good fragrance carries hints and overtones of fragrance….not bucket loads.

There are only 2 reasons I can think of as to why someone would do this to themselves.  First…they are trying to mask the fact that they haven’t showered.  If that’s the case…take 10 minutes and shower!!!   Trust me, no one wants to see you that badly that will object to waiting 10 minutes to avoid having their nostril hairs burned out by a perfume that could be be classed as a chemical weapon.  Pfffft, if there’s ever a riot and the cops run out of tear gas one of them can run down to the local drug store and buy a perfectly effective replacement.

The second is…attention.   If you want attention so badly…start a blog or something!

I mean seriously…would you rather have people around you who are trying to enjoy a meal prefer to chow down next to a pile of dog shit?

 

P.S:   I’m not kidding.   True story, yes…I absolutely would’ve preferred the smell of Shelby’s poo over this woman’s perfume.

P.P.S:  I have no idea why I said “dog poo” when I’ve said “shit” about 100 times in this entry…