Posts Tagged ‘women’

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Yes, it is possible to be both, unless you are someone that thinks that there are only pure absolutes in this universe. If so, then no need for you to continue reading. Just skip on over to the next post in your feed.

But there are a few things that are absolutes for me:

  • Micheal Vick an evil piece of shit and should be incarcerated forever.
  • Liver is disgusting and equally as evil as Vick.
  • My unconditional love for my family, a few friends, and my pets.
  • I loathe injustice and cruelty.

There may be a few more, but not many. I know life is really thousands and thousands shades of gray. I know just as there is no absolute right, there isn’t an absolute wrong.

I know I tried really hard to wrap my head around the Georgia abortion bill HB 481 and I can’t. I read it and re-read it and studied the various analysis of it and walked away with a feeling of dread and worry. Not for me, but for you. I am too old to get pregnant, so this is not something that will affect me directly, but I’m still a woman who cares about other women.

I can usually understand, to some degree, other points of view. I may not agree, but I can get it. I will not profess to fully understand the entirety of this bill, but I understand enough to see that you cannot legislate anyone’s moral compass, ethics, and integrity.

I can’t think with this bill because it is too extreme to be anything other than a blatant attempt to govern and control women and our reproductive rights. It takes away our Human Right to family and marriage because it criminalizes a woman’s right to choose what is best for her and her family. It takes away our freedom of choice to make the decisions we deem correct. That is a form of slavery or at best, dictatorship.

I don’t think it would bother me quite as much if it also included the other half of the equation. Last time I checked, it still takes sperm to fertilize an egg, so why isn’t this bill also including the penalties for the man? Why isn’t the sperm donor also being interrogated and possibly charged with murder if the woman is also charged?

Why is it only women who are being targeted in this bill? If the people that put this together are so damned concerned about the child, why isn’t the man also being held responsible?

I say I am pro-choice and pro-life (I actually hate those terms, but it’s all we’ve got right now) and what I mean by that is this: I PERSONALLY think abortion is wrong. I BELIEVE life begins at conception. I FEEL there are better alternatives for most abortions.

I also BELIEVE that a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body. I FEEL that it is her choice and if she chooses to have an abortion, as much as it is not right for ME, I want it to be safe and legal. I don’t believe in abortion in general, so that means I should not have one.

I have never been pregnant and therefore never had an abortion. I had a few scares when I was younger and though I say that I don’t think abortion is right, trust me it was something I thought about as a teenager when my period was late. I can’t say what I would have done had I been pregnant and not just late, but the idea that I had a choice was important.

I can’t tell you what you should do, anymore than I’d listen to you tell me what I should do. I would never tell a woman what to do, but I sure as hell would make sure she was safe and hopefully making the best decision possible for HER situation.

I cannot even begin to imagine what a woman goes through after a miscarriage. I have seen friends and family grieve for the lost child, the lost hope and the agony of guilt and shame. I have not walked in those shoes but I have seen them.

The idea that any one of them could possibly then be subjected to an interrogation by a prosecutor and possibly charged with second-degree murder is incomprehensible to me. Only a monster would do that and therein lies the problem.

This bill is not about abortion, per se. This bill is not concerned with the welfare and health of children, but is an attempt to further control women via punishment or the threat of punishment for their choices.

I will be honest with you. I would prefer that no woman ever had an abortion, with very few exceptions.

I wish that every woman never had to be put in the position of having to make that choice.

I wish all children were not only welcomed with open arms and given love, security, and health into a family that will care for them, but they all grow up to be happy, healthy, and wonderful citizens who contribute to society and improve it.

I want that for everyone. I think we all do, but I am not naive. The reality is quite different and it is not my place to tell you what you should do or judge you for your decisions.

You and I each have the right to make decisions about our own bodies. I don’t need the government or court to tell me what I think, what my moral compass is, or how to live or behave.

  • I want you to be safe. I want you to be allowed to make the best possible choices for you, your family, and your loved ones.
  • I don’t want you harmed or feel you can’t get out of a bad situation.
  • I don’t want you judged, punished, and forced to live a life you don’t want.
  • I want more funding and help for adoption options.
  • I want more education on our choices.
  • I want the foster child program to no longer be necessary because all children have loving homes and no one has put them in danger.

I want all life to be respected and protected, including yours.

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“What do you mean I can’t be here?” I asked. All I wanted to do was take a class in auto mechanics. I had gotten my first car and figured it would be a good idea to learn how a car worked.

The High School teacher rolled his eyes and walked me to the door. “No, this class is only for boys. Besides, you’ll just be a distraction to them. Now run along and go to your Home Ed class,” he said and walked away and closed the door in my face.

I went to my school counselor and said I wanted to add a class to my schedule. When I told her which one, she laughed and shook her head.

“No, only boys can take that class,” she said and looked at my schedule. “You already have enough credits to graduate, so don’t worry about it. Now, aren’t you supposed to be in Home Ed? Hmmm? Now run along before you get in trouble,” she said and picked-up her phone and started dialing.

I walked to my Home Ed class and sat down. The teacher gave me a disapproving look. I didn’t care. She was right in the middle of teaching us how to make cookies. Cookies. What the hell did I care about cookies? I sat at a table with 3 other girls. They were giggling and talking about boys while they added the exact right amount of butter to the batter. I watched them for a while.

“Susan, what are you doing this weekend? Anything exciting?” one of them asked me.

I perked-up. “Yes. Jeff is going to show me how the brakes work on my car. Then he’s going to show me how to replace them…”

All 3 of them laughed. “What kind of a date is that? Good grief, why would you want to learn that? That’s for boys! Besides, there are mechanics for that,” one of the girls said.

Their giggling increased. I took the 2 raw eggs and threw them into the batter without cracking them open. They gasped and one grabbed the eggs and took them out. She held onto them protectively in case I decided to do it again. The girl stirring the batter moved the bowl closer to her and put her arm around it and sneered at me.

“You know what your problem is, Susan? You don’t understand how things work. You don’t accept your place. You’re not supposed to know how cars work because it doesn’t matter if you know or not. And if you’re going to date someone, do fun things instead of working on his car. Boys like feminine girls and getting all dirty and greasy is not feminine!” she said.

I took a handful of batter and threw it at her. It hit the bowl and she shoved her seat back and gasped.

I was soon back at my counselor’s office. Later, I was put with another group of girls in Home Ed. I graduated knowing how to bake cookies, how to keep brown sugar moist and a bunch of casseroles.

That summer, I applied for a job at a gas station. I still wanted to learn about cars and figured maybe I could while I pumped gas and cleaned windshields. This was in the day when we still had full service gas stations.

The manager laughed when I asked for an application. I felt my face turn red, but I didn’t budge. He looked me up and down and smiled.

“Nah, I don’t think so. I can’t have you pressing your titties against the windshield while you clean them.  You’ll only cause trouble for me. Go home and bake something instead,” he said.

“Give me the God damn application! You have to! It’s the law,” I said. I had no idea if it was the law or not. I was only 17 but it sure sounded good.

“Fine!,” he said and handed it to me. I sat down and began to fill it out. I knew he wasn’t going to hire me, but I felt like annoying him.

The application asked me about my periods and required intimate details. I sat back and thought. Since I wasn’t going to get the job, I decided to write down the most disgusting and gory details that I could. I finished it and handed it back to him.

I watched him read it.

I watched him cringe.

I smiled and walked out.

In college, my Sociology teacher told sexist jokes throughout each class. Most people laughed. I tried to be a good sport but I couldn’t do it any longer.

One day I raised my hand and waited for him to call on me.

“Yes?” he asked while he still laughed about the rape joke he had just told.

“What do these jokes have to do with the subject?” I asked. My voice shook a bit.

“You obviously don’t have a sense of humor,” he said and proceeded to carry-on with the subject.

“And you obviously are an asshole,” I said.

I, once again, was asked to leave class.

After the 3rd time he kicked me out, I dropped the class.

Over the years, so many have told me:

“You need to do something about your hair.”

“You need to lose/gain weight.”

“What’s wrong with you that you don’t have children?”

“You should do as your husband tells you.” This one always made me laugh.

“You should play hard to get. Don’t ever let a man know what you’re thinking.”

“Aren’t you just a bit too young/old to wear that? You should dress and act your age.”

“You can’t write, so don’t even try.”

“It’s up to you to keep a man. You know how they are…”

“You need to behave yourself and stop being so loud and vocal. It’s not ladylike.”

The list is endless.

Just because people say things, it doesn’t make it true.

It’s only true if you say so.

So, disagree…completely and go live your life.

Not theirs.

“Susan, you’re wrong.”

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Dating, funny stories
Tags: , ,

“I am?” I asked.

“Yes you are. No offense…”

“Oh, none taken,” I said as I rolled my eyes, leaned back into the booth and stretched my legs out. I took a long pull on my beer and waited. The evening had started to get interesting.

“Oh good. I mean, I know what I’m talking about and it would be good for you to listen to me.”

I snorted. “Oh, trust me Thomas, I am all ears,” I said and flashed the most brilliant smile that I could while I mentally chastised myself for agreeing to this blind date.

Thomas seemed like a nice man. Actually, he was. He was nice looking and had a profitable landscaping business and was considered quite a catch. He had been divorced for over a year and had decided to start dating again at the age of 50. It’s a tough thing to do for anyone at that age. Shit, it’s a tough thing at any age.

He apparently had seen me at a party a few weeks ago. I was there but only for a few minutes. I had stopped by my friend’s house to drop off a book and stayed for a quick drink before hitting the road for the weekend. He had asked who I was. My friend had agreed to call me for him and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sitting across from him at the restaurant, I had spent most of the evening listening to him tell me about his business, how successful it was and then the gory details of his divorce.

Rule #1 when dating – never, EVER discuss your ex. Ever. Shoot yourself in the foot and drink bleach before you even go near it. If you feel the urge to say something, stick a sharp object in your eye before uttering one word.

You will make a better impression with a steak knife hanging out of your eye than you will in slamming your ex.

For the love of God, trust me on this one.

But I had been polite and listened and nodded when it seemed appropriate and prayed that one of us would suddenly come down with severe food poisoning and have to leave.

But now, after hearing about what a bitch his ex was, he now felt entitled to tell me how to run my business.

I was suddenly fascinated in watching a train wreck unfold before my eyes.

I took another long pull of my beer and hoped it would hit my blood stream at any second and give me that warm, fuzzy and giggling moment that would make all of this seem like fun.

“Well, I’m glad that you are listening. So, the first thing you need to do with your job is admit the fact that you are somewhat limited because you are a woman.”

I choked on my beer. No, really, I actually did choke. I’m not making this up. I coughed and quickly put my hand over my nose and pinched my nostrils before it came out. That’s the worse thing when a beverage comes out of your nose and it’s carbonated. It hurts.

I grabbed a napkin and wiped my nose with it.

“So, Thomas, what you’re saying is because I have breasts and a uterus, I somehow can’t do my job as well as….a man? Is that right?”

“Yes, but it’s not your fault. I mean, it is just the way you were born. Oh, you have nice breasts, by the way.”

I looked down at my chest. I pulled my shirt out and kept looking. Yep, there they were. I still had them. I looked up at him and back down at my breasts. I pushed my shirt back towards my chest and smiled.

“So maybe if I got rid of them, I could be more…intelligent? Is that because I know when I try to think, all the blood rushes towards them?”

His smile froze on his face. He furrowed his brow. He thought for a moment and a confused look came over his face.

“What? Huh? That just…are you serious….I mean that doesn’t make any sense. Oh wait, you’re kidding, right?” he said and started laughing.

“No. I’m not. When I try to think, my breasts grow. Just like when you try to think and your dick gets hard. Same thing, ya know?”

“No! Wait! You aren’t making any sense.”

“Well neither are you. You just sat here and told me how wrong I am in the way I run my business, which you know nothing about, and then said it’s because I’m a woman as if that is some sort of disability or defect.”

“No, that’s not what I meant. I mean it’s because women get all emotional and it will get in the way of your judgement. You’re twisting my words here and I don’t like that.”

“Sorry, I don’t mean to twist your words. I’m trying to think and my breasts are getting bigger by the second and I am feeling a bit suffocated by them, so it’s probably the lack of oxygen going to my brain. I think I may be brain-damaged from my breasts,” I said.

I was pinching myself under the table to stop myself from laughing.

This was too much fun.

“Brain damaged? What are you talking about?”

“Thomas, now how can I answer a question about being brain-damaged IF I’M BRAIN DAMAGED? How is that supposed to work, huh?”

He rubbed his eyes and looked around.

“OK, I think I’ve gotten off on the wrong foot here…”

“No, you haven’t. You’re fine. I’m the one with the emotional breasts, remember?”

“Stop talking about your breasts! That’s not what I meant!” he said. His voice was loud and he was annoyed with me.

“What? You don’t like my breasts now? What’s wrong with them?”

“THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BREASTS!” His voice was loud enough that several people turned and looked at him. A couple of men then looked at me and then at my breasts and gave me a thumbs up. I waved back at them, smiled and gave them a thumbs up.

“Thomas, now don’t start getting emotional on me. Pretty soon, you’ll be acting like a woman and embarrass me,” I said.

I stood up, got my purse and finished the last of my beer.

“Where are you going? You’re leaving? But I wanted to tell you more about what you should be doing with your business.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t stay. I have to go before I start thinking again because if I do…”

“Please, don’t say it. Don’t say a word, ever again, about your breasts…”

“Thomas, trust me, you’ll never have to worry about me talking to you ever again. Ever. You’re too emotional for me. You know, like a woman?”

Two men gave me high 5’s as I walked out. I declined their offers of having a drink with them. One said as I walked by “I don’t know what he was so upset about, but you look just fine to me.”

I stopped, smiled at him and kissed him on his cheek. “Thanks,” I said and left.

I never did return Thomas’ phone calls. If I’m so inferior to him, why waste his time?

(That last sentence needs a sarcasm font).

“Hi, I’m Chanteel. It’s nice to meet you Susan,” she said as she shook my hand and sat down.

Immediately a few of the other women chuckled and shook their heads. One of them took a piece of paper, rolled it up into a ball and threw it at her. “Oh, really now? Now your name is Chanteel? Where the hell do you get these names? You got a book or something?”

More of the women started laughing. Chanteel just smiled, took the ball of paper and smoothed it out.

I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I ignored the interruption of the class. “It’s nice to meet you too, Chanteel.” I handed her some materials. “We are just getting started, so you haven’t missed anything. We are on page three, so just open up your book there and jump in.”

She smiled and nodded. She was, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful women I had seen. She was blonde with deep blue eyes and cheek bones that went on forever. Her hair was pulled back, but it was thick. She wasn’t wearing make-up because when you are in jail, it’s not something you are very concerned with. Your basic concern was surviving each hour, each day and each week until you got out. Some never knew when that would be as all of the women I was working with were in custody waiting for trial.

Some had been waiting for two years. All of them were overweight and lethargic from the food and being in their cells 23 hours out of 24. None of them slept because of the constant noise and stress and many spent most of their time lying in bed and crying. If they weren’t crying, they just laid there, staring up at the ceiling or the bunk above them.

This was a new group of incarcerated and battered women I had been given to help. I was there to teach them about self-respect and learning how to get along better with people. Yes, it was a lot to do, but I found most of them receptive, needy and quite pleasant to work with.

Let’s face it. Life doesn’t get much worse when you are in jail and have lost your children to foster care. Any and all help is appreciated and it was a very rare occasion when anyone of them gave me any trouble. Those that did were usually just too stressed to do anything else but sit and cry.

Chanteel looked to be in her mid-30’s but I found out later she was only 23. This was her third time in jail and her probation officer had pushed hard for her to get into my program. There was just something about her that made you want to help her even though you knew when she got out, she would most likely revert. He wanted her in the program so it would look good for the judge when she went before him. I don’t even remember the charges that were pending against her but she was not violent. Just stupid.

She was as pleasant as could be until I started talking to her after class. She hung around to talk with me. I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to listen.

Within three minutes I could see she was way out of touch with reality. Her conversation with me jumped from one topic to another with no rhyme or reason. She would be mid-sentence and then start another conversation about something completely different.

But I sat and listened and became quite fascinated by her. She was a dichotomy of complete brilliance in her thoughts and observations and insane from the life she had led.

She was only 23, but she had been through more tragedy and heartbreak in those few years than anyone else I had known.

I worked with her as best as I could during the next few weeks. She was always pleasant and kind. Each week, she would tell me she had changed her name. I always made sure to call her by her new name. The other women would just snicker. This never seemed to bother her.

I asked her one day why she changed her name so often. She bit her lip, looked down and gave my question quite a bit of thought before answering.

“No one has ever asked me that question before. They usually just laugh at me.”

“Well, I’m curious, so tell me why.”

She smiled. It was a beautiful smile. “Because I am trying to figure out who I want to be. I hate who I am and what I’ve done, so I want to be someone else. I try on different names to see if I like them. So far, I haven’t liked any of them.”

This made sense to me. “Yes, I wish I could do that sometimes myself.”

I eventually got in contact with her Probation Officer because, quite frankly, she fascinated me. I never ask about a persons past when they start my program. It is not relevant. What is relevant is today and maybe tomorrow.

There wasn’t much he could tell me but I was able to gather from him and my contact at the facility that this young woman entered the foster care program at the age of 6 months and it has been all she has ever known.

She tested highly on her IQ and she was literate and able to read and understood what she read.

That is all I will say about her, but trust me – you don’t want to know. It broke my heart.

After one particular night with her, I left the facility sad. When I got home, I called my Mom, hoping she was still up.

As soon as she answered the phone, she asked if I was OK.

“I’m fine. Just wanted to say hello.”

‘You’ve been in jail again, haven’t you?” she asked.

Ah, my Mom knows me so well. “Yes, I was there tonight.”

“Yes, I love you. Yes, you’re welcome for having a wonderful childhood. No, you aren’t my favorite child. You all are.”

This made me laugh. “There was something else I wanted to say.”

“Go ahead,” she said.

“I’m proud of you. I’m proud of what you had to overcome and I’m proud of you for not raising us like you were raised.”

“You’re welcome. Now get some sleep and don’t start crying. I’m proud of you too.”

I never saw Chanteel after that. She had been released but had asked for my cell number. We don’t give these out but the Program Director told me about it. He had told her he couldn’t give that out and said she started to cry as she walked out the door with her suitcase and nowhere to go.

“If she calls again, give it to her,” I said.

He raised an eyebrow. “You sure Susan?”

“Absolutely.”

Every few months, I get a phone call from her. She told me the last time I talked to her that she settled on a name (which I am not going to say) and I liked it. It fit. She always lets me know how she is doing but never tells me where she is. That’s OK. I don’t want to know.

‘Do you know why I call you Susan?” she asked the last time we talked.

“I have no idea.”

“Because you helped me and I’ve stayed out of jail since then. You like me just the way I am.”

Yes I do.

“There but for the grace of God go I.”

This is a story from a dear friend of mine. We were recently emailing each other back and forth. She had just signed-up for some dating sites and was nervous, and rightly so. She knew of my experiences in this field, so I’ve been coaching her along as best as I can.

This is her email to me. I knew it had been a bad date but she decided to tell me her story via email. I’m glad she did because she gave me permission to post it. I didn’t start laughing until finished reading it because…my jaw was dropped too far down my face to make a sound.

My friend is a wonderful, smart, gracious woman who has found herself  in the situation of wanting to date again and not knowing how to go about it. When you read this, keep in mind how nice and sweet my friend is. She hates to hurt anyone’s feelings, as most of us do. When we go silent on a date, you’re done for. I advised her to just not respond back to this man and let it die the death it needs too. She lives in the UK and anyone would be proud to know her, such as I am.

Men – take note. You have a very rare opportunity to be privy to a real conversation between two women discussing something that we would never let you know about – MEN.

Here are her words:

“My ex has IBS” and other things maybe not wise to say on a first date.

Well I did it. After years of being on my own I joined an internet dating site (or 3). I’m lonely and need someone to have a drink with who I may possibly end up snogging the face off of. Hey it may be even more, at the end of the evening. With any luck.

Ok so after a month or so on the site(s) I finally got a bite (in a manner of speaking). Amongst all those with names like “nicebum” “Icanmakeuhapy” “lookin4me?” “wannaplzu” and “cum&getme” and those who can’t string a sentence together I found Mike. Mike  seemed fine. We chatted for a couple of weeks or so. Most days. OK, every day. We had a lot in common and the conversations were good. His picture was a little odd in that it wasn’t that easy to get a fix on his looks. I found him on Facebook (though didn’t add) and again he had an out of focus shot which as far as I could see looked extremely different. However the conversation was good for the most part although he had a tendency to talk about himself a lot. Or when he did it was difficult to get him to stop.

A date was arranged. “Ok let me do this,” I thought:

 “How bad could it really be?”

First warnings:

1)     Couldn’t text me because he was out of credit….ok I can cope with that, he emailed me just before I left to say:

2)     He had eaten dinner and:

3)     What he would be wearing and:

4)     The fact that he hadn’t shaved because he was out of shaving gel.

 
I stood outside the prearranged meet spot and looked hopefully around for a man in jeans and a blue jumper. One who was “carrying just a little extra weight” and ruggedly stubbly. A few possibilities walked on by.

Appearing in front of me was one squattish very rounded individual who looked either like he had been out in the rain or had not washed his hair for a decade, I couldn’t decide which. On balance I would say the latter. The idea of the rugged look was obliterated by the “cant be bothered to shave and another few days and I would look like a yeti” look. I looked around nervously…did I know anyone in the vicinity? I would never ever live this down if I saw anyone familiar. But hey….how bad could it really be?


Then he spoke…”whatcha awwwroight”. Oh my freeking heck! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Please I can’t do this,” I thought. This is not the kind of conversation we had online; this must be an imposter. I can’t see this person having the same cultural interests as me….maybe he read my profile and did some online research on subjects before contacting me.

But sadly it seems I am a nice person and thought I would at least go through with the film that we were going to see. A comedy, although by the looks of it all the laughs (albeit mortified ones) would not be on the screen this evening. He reached in for the obligatory “hello” kiss on the cheek thing and I ensured that it didn’t hit its target.

Looking about the shops and cafes around us were closed. There was the pub or McDonald’s. He of course had already eaten, I hadn’t mistakenly believing that as we were meeting an hour and a half or so before the film, if indeed we did go to the film, we may just be able to pick something up. No he didn’t want to go to the pub as it was full of young people. And too loud. And he didn’t drink.

We went to get the tickets in advance. Ok, “we” is an exaggeration. Cue him standing by. No sign of him offering to pay. Not an issue with me, although he is the one working of course ( I don’t at the moment). However I still don’t know how he engineered me putting my card in to pay for the tickets. He didn’t even offer to be paying me back for his at this point. I was somewhat bemused and we made our way to McDonald’s.

There were cafes within a few minutes walk that were open, however it seems a coffee in one of those nice places was the height of sophistication.. “Oim awways takin me son in McDonald’s.” I bought myself a cup of tea and some fries. He bought himself a coffee. We found the last table in the place. And now it was conversation time. How bad could it be?


Ok well I can’t remember a lot of the conversation. And that is probably a good thing. Let us just say that every question he asked me (which I think probably amounted to two or three at this point) was met with me saying about two words and them him butting in and taking over. I think I may have said a total of about 40 words in the hour and a bit we were sat there. There were lots of discussions (albeit one-sided) about food.

I explained I was allergic to fish. He looked at me with concern. I thought  “Oh he is actually listening. Then he said “What would happen if you kissed someone who had eaten fish?  It’s just I had fish and chips for tea”.

“Don’t worry, I am in no danger,” I nearly said. But I am too polite. “What happens if you eat it? Do you go all blotchy? I ask because, well….my ex has Irritable Bowel Syndrome she gets really bad diarrhea when she gets it too.”

I looked down at my fries….. I then was treated to a detailed description of how his son is being turned against him and won’t come and stay over anymore and all the intricacies of his issues with his ex’s new husband, the schools, parking tickets, lack of money, work problems. But mainly his ex’s diarrhea and issues that he has with just about the whole world.

I felt sick.

Finally and painfully, it was time to make our way back to the cinema. I wanted some sweets. I got a very small amount as “Oi’ll get this” was tempered with him telling me how I should have gotten it in the supermarket earlier that day as it was so expensive at the cinema.

It’s a bag of sweets mate…not caviar.

He then proceeded to ask for a “Cheeky monkey” ice cream milk shake costing 3 times as much. It’s called “Chunky Monkey.” He couldn’t  even get that right. Heck, even the little things were getting very, very annoying. I went to the ladies and texted my friends and updated my Facebook with a”Rescue me please!” message to my friends from my iPhone. I was in there a while but knew I just had to go and sit with this man for the next couple of hours. I was already stressing that other people coming into the complex would be met with a video screen of the different cinema audiences and may be able to pick me out.

The adverts before the film were “funny”….they were however not “funny” enough in my opinion to warrant a loud running commentary or laughter that sounded like a cross between a hyena and well…another load of hyenas really. Mortifying. Totally mortifying.

I toyed with the idea of going to the ladies room again and not coming back. But I am, it seems, too polite. And I wanted to see the film. I had paid enough for the damn tickets. I surreptitiously kept looking at my phone (updating Facebook texting friends) and giving one word answers to anything he said (not much and the single word responses seemed to be sufficient for his purposes). He didn’t seem to care.

The film started. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that each on-screen joke and even just a piece of slightly amusing dialogue was met with a huge roar of laughter and the odd snort. OK a lot of snorts. I wanted to go home.

Part way through I heard snoring. Someone was asleep. I looked around and saw it wasn’t anyone asleep, it was his breathing. And his elbow was trying to touch mine. I really wanted to go home but I didn’t want to leave the cinema because I would then have to deal with that having to talk to him/awkward end of the evening thing. “Please let me stay here and make the film go on forever…”

And so the titles went up and I got up. We left and I fished in my bag for my car parking ticket. There was silence. Then there was  a desperate attempt at a conversation from him. I played lip service and inwardly cursed my decision to wear a skirt and stockings because I was cold. I thought about how I will get out of this without any further embarrassment. If I kept ignoring him, I thought, surely he would get the hint. This couldn’t have been a fun evening for him either. I was totally the worst date ever or had tried to make myself that.

He came with me to my car. He stood there and put his hand in his pocket. And counted out the exact change he needed to pay me back for his ticket (minus the sweets). Then he said he had a fantastic time. I said nothing. I had however ignored him since the diarrhea discussion and done all in my power to make him never want to speak to me again. However the polite side of me appeared again and I apologized for my being caught up on my phone but said my child was ill and the sitter was contacting me for instructions. I don’t know why I didn’t just say “you aren’t my type.” I should have just put him out of his misery.

“Are we still on to meet up Wednesday?” he asked, completely oblivious to the sheen of boredom appearing over my eyes.  Could I say it? No I still couldn’t. I fudged it and said I was worried about my child and didn’t know.

“If you delete me from contacts I will know you aren’t interested in meeting again” he said giving me the opening I needed. I still couldn’t do it. What am I some kind of idiot? I said the film had been good and it was nice to meet him. He reached in for a peck on the cheek (or maybe more) and I moved my head so he missed. Again.

I shut the door and stayed in the car texting friends and updating Facebook until I was sure he had left the car park. I was worried he may follow me. OK not really but I can’t take any chances.

He can’t text me for the moment..  Thank God.  He has no credit. He has left me an email (to my anonymous account so he doesn’t have my name) and a message on the site saying he had a fab time.

I am trying to formulate a put down. I am trying not to hurt his feelings. Hell knows why. I am too polite. How hard can it be to say “Do you know what? No, not ever, No. No No, to someone you never have to see again….

Just how hard can it be?

These are my words because apparently they need to be said:

1) Please shower and clean-up before you go out on a date.

2) If you don’t have money and/or are unemployed, most of us don’t care. We really don’t. We just want to have a nice evening out. Tell us that and a good woman will figure out a nice place to meet and just have a cup of coffee.

3) NEVER EVER talk about your ex-anything! If she asks (which she shouldn’t do on the first few dates) just smile sweetly and say “I have nothing but nice things to say about her” and change the subject.

4) We know within seconds of meeting you what we think and what we want.  Don’t argue with me on this point. I’m a woman and I know.

5) When a woman goes quiet on a date, you’ve blown it. Try getting her to talk and then SHUT THE HELL UP and don’t say anything.

6) Say NOTHING about your attraction to her. We get it. We really do.

7) If you can reach her mind, you can later reach her soul. Maybe.

These are just a few things that come to mind when I read my friend’s email. I don’t want her to give up and I don’t want her to feel that she had done anything wrong. She hasn’t. This just wasn’t the guy for her and that’s why we date.  Hopefully she will soon be laughing about this because that’s all you can do sometimes. Have an adventure, pat yourself on the back for stepping up to the plate and laugh about how funny life can be. And then go do it again.

No it wasn’t.

I didn’t mean to cause anyone so much upset just because I walked into a club with a vagina.

Had I known it would have upset them so much, I would have left it at home.

But I was on the road and had arranged to meet my friends halfway. I had gotten lost and this was years before cell phone existed, so you had to do the old-fashioned thing – stop somewhere and get directions and hope everyone made it.

I was going along on the freeway and was on a section of it that goes through a very expensive and exclusive part of the Bay Area. Everywhere you looked were these beautiful hills, huge houses and a golf course that has a lake.

Just the kind of area that you knew they made their money either in the high-tech field or they were all drug dealers. Maybe both, by the looks of their houses and gated communities.

I was born and raised here, so being out in this area was nothing new to me. So you think I would know where I was going, how to get there and how to give correct directions.

Not true. I had been driving up and down the same stretch of highway, trying to find the location I told my friends to meet me at. Apparently it no longer existed and now I was beginning to think it never had.

I finally pull off the freeway and followed a road up a small hill because I could see that there was some sort of business there and I figured they would know where I was trying to go. Plus the next gas station was over 20 miles away, so up the hill I went.

I pulled into the parking lot and looked around. I was a bit panicked because I was already 30 minutes late and confused. It was a small building and there were several cars in the parking lot. I saw that the sign said it was some type of country club and I figured it had to do with the golf course that was running through the area.

I walked into the lobby and looked around. I was in the reception area and no one was around, but it was beautifully furnished and pleasant. I pulled back my mane of hair and tied it back. I had been driving with the windows down and under normal circumstances my hair is out of control. The wind had made it worse and I didn’t want to scare anyone.

I walked up to the counter and waited. I was tapping my fingers and getting more and more concerned about how late I was in meeting my friends when a man came out from an office, saw me and stopped. Dead in his tracks and stared at me. I immediately checked to make sure I had tied all my hair back and quickly looked down to see if my blouse had gotten unbuttoned and my breasts were hanging out. No, my girls were fine, I was decently dressed and my zipper was zipped. I looked back up at him and said hello.

“You can’t be here. You’re not allowed in here, so you better go.”

“Huh? What did you say? What do you mean?” was all I could figure out to say. He wasn’t making any sense at all.

“This is a club for men only and you’re not a man, so you have to go.”

I shook my head. This can’t be right. “Really? You figured that out all by yourself. What gave me away? My hair? My breasts? What tipped you off?” I couldn’t help it. The man was an idiot.

“Don’t get smart with me,” he said as he hurriedly scooted (yes, scooted) past me and opened the front door and motioned for me to leave.

“No,” I said and folded my arms across the breasts that had given me away. “You can’t make me leave. This is a free country and I only stopped here to get directions.”

“Look here young lady, only men can be here,” he said and then made a sweeping motion with his arm to get me to leave.

I was furious. Never in my life had I ever heard these words before. I grew-up in a country club as a kid and I was well aware of the subtle discrimination that some people had towards women or minorities or people who were deemed not good enough because of their income level and/or job.

I was also raised with a family that would have no part of that and threatened to sell their membership if the unspoken rules weren’t changed to allow people of all walks of life to join. They changed the rules and I learned how messed up some people can be that think they are better than anyone else.

So, no one was going to kick me out of anywhere and certainly not this little pip squeak that I could easily drop-kick across the parking lot.

“I just want directions to this place I am supposed to meet my friends. That’s all I want, but now I want to stay here. You can’t bar me from this place just because I have a uterus. I think that’s against the law, if I’m not mistaken.”

He turned beet red. I think the word “uterus” did him in. He got flustered and looked around and then closed the door and walked back behind the counter and picked up the phone. I felt a moment of panic as I saw myself in the back of a police car and spending the night in a holding cell because of using the word “uterus” without written permission.

But he wasn’t calling the police. He whispered to someone that there was “a situation” in the lobby. I sort of liked being referred to as “a situation.”

I then heard voices behind the closed-door. I smiled and walked up to the door and opened it. I think he squealed a bit.

Sitting there were about six men, playing cards, drinking and having a good old-time. They looked up when I came in and everyone stopped talking and just stared at me.

“Sorry to interrupt your game, but I am lost and I was hoping someone could give me directions.”

You would have thought that I looked like an alien that just stepped off of a space ship that landed in the parking lot. No one said a word and I just stood there. I cleared my throat and looked back at them.

The idiot behind the counter had hung-up the phone and rushed in behind me. Fortunately, for him, he did not touch me or try to haul me out of the room. He was babbling something about it not being his fault.

They were just a bunch of old, fat, white men that had nothing better to do than have a little club to play poker. I don’t have a problem with that but I do have a problem with someone telling me I can’t be somewhere.

One of them spoke up and asked me what I wanted. I told him and he gave me directions. He knew just what I was talking about. I thanked him and then said I thought it was illegal to have a club like their’s and didn’t appreciate being treated like crap.

No one said anything and that was my cue to leave.

When I finally met-up with my friends a few minutes later, I told them the story. They wanted to get their pitchforks and go storm the place.

I wanted food and wine.

I wanted to change the world, right then and there, but I couldn’t. I did, however, stayed where someone said I couldn’t, got what I wanted, said my peace and then left on my own terms.

I always think about this when I drive on that section of freeway. I think the next time I do, I will stop in and say hello.

This was the question I kept asking myself the entire time I was sitting across from Richard during dinner.

It was our first date (and our last though he didn’t know that) and even though I had just met him, I knew he didn’t have a shot at me. Based on the way he was acting, he obviously thought it was a foregone conclusion that he did have a chance. That much was apparent by the way he looked at me. I was tempted at one point to just flash him my breasts and get it over with but that didn’t seem like the right thing to do. But part of me wanted him to know EXACTLY what he was never going to get.

I really should not date.

The reasons I knew this so quickly were several. The first goof he made was mentioning my height.

“Wow, how tall are you?” he asked.

“I’m 5’7”. Why?”

“You seem much taller.”

I look down at my feet and back at him. He knew my height before we met. It’s part of the mating ritual. “Well Richard, sometimes we women wear something called high heels. You ever hear of those?”

Snort. “Oh, yeah, I see,” he says as he looks down at my feet. “You have very pretty feet. Do you like to have them rubbed?”

Major red flag but I maintained my composure. “We’ll see,” was about the only answer I could muster.  I was hungry and I can suffer through many things when I am. I decided not to bail yet. I really do not like to be rude, even when provoked.

We sit down for dinner and the waiter asks us if we would like anything to drink. I almost shout my drink order. Richard gives him his and then…he…dismisses…the…waiter…with…a…wave…of…his…hand….

Oh no, he did not! I cringe and smile at the waiter.

I settle back and try to convince myself that I am having fun, that he is probably a nice man and is just nervous. I ask him how his day went.

“Well, first of all, it took me forever to get here. The traffic was horrible, so I am hoping it will all be worth it.”

“Probably not,” was all I could say as I took a VERY large gulp of my margarita. “I hate my life” was all I could think.

He smiles. “The night is still young. You do know, don’t you, that I am quite a catch.”

I almost laughed out loud, but he had such a serious look on his face that I managed to maintain my composure. “Is that right? Now why is that?” He didn’t know me well enough to catch the sarcasm.

“Yes I am,” he says as he takes out his phone and starts to show me pictures of the house he owns in San Francisco. He has about 10 different shots of it. “You see, I own this house and I’m retired, so I have property and that’s a really good thing. You know, the last six dates I was on, all the women proposed to me. Seriously, they did. On the first date.”

“What did they propose, exactly?”

He laughs and reaches across the table and puts his hand on my arm and holds it. “I do love your sense of humor.”

“Me too. It helps me not to go insane on a daily basis. Sometimes hourly,” I say as I pull my arm away and take another slam of my drink.

The waiter comes back over and asks us if we are ready to order. I lost my appetite somewhere during this, but I didn’t care. I ordered a huge steak with potatoes, salad with Ranch dressing and asked that it all be topped off with a ton of onions and garlic. Lots of onions and garlic.

Richard raises an eyebrow. “You sure that’s a good idea, the onions and garlic, because…..”

Then he winked! He winked at me!

“I am positive that it’s the best idea I’ve had all week,” I say as I hand the waiter my menu and sit back with my arms crossed.

“Well then, I’ll have the same,” he says and smiles. I hate his smile now. I hate his dyed hair and his smug look.

“Did I tell you about the car accident I had recently?”

I sigh. “No, you sure didn’t. I can hardly wait it hear it,” I say as I signal the waiter for another drink.

He then proceeds to tell me about getting rear-ended in San Francisco. By now dinner has arrived and I start jamming the food down my throat. I figure as long as I am doing that, I’m not obligated to say anything. This was a good idea of mine, so I just kept chewing away while he talked.

“I’m at this stop sign and this idiot rear ends me and shoves me into the car in front of me. I get out and the asshole can barely speak English. You know how maddening that is. So it ends up my car is totaled and at least he has insurance, but I was hurt. My airbag deployed and I ended up needing surgery on my shoulder. Here, let me show you,” he says.

He then begins to take off his shirt – I am not kidding, as God as my witness, I am not – and starts to show me the scars on his arm, shoulder and across his chest. I stopped him when he started to take his under shirt off.  There really is just so much I can take.

“No!” I scream. “Please don’t do that. I believe you,” I say as I thrust my arm across the table and stop him.

“Oh, sorry. So anyway, now I”m suing his ass because I think I’m worth it. I am a good person who didn’t do anything wrong and he should pay. He should pay, right?”

“Right! God damn morons! They let anyone drive now days. Son of a bitch!” I shout. He smiles.

The waiter comes over and clears our table. It’s time for my getaway and I can hardly wait. I really need to use the bathroom and just as I am excusing myself, Richard orders dessert. For both of us. With coffee.

“You need to get a little meat on your bones. I like that in a woman.”

I smile. “So do I,” and walk away. I hear the waiter chuckle and I smile back at him and roll my eyes.

I get to the bathroom and look around. There is a very small window that if I crawl through, I can come out the other side of the parking lot and run. If I time it right, he won’t see me walk by since we are sitting next to a window. Maybe when I get near the window, I can just crawl underneath it.

I stare at the window. It’s too small and I’m afraid I’ll get stuck, which would not be a good way to end another date from hell. I go back to the table, head down but telling myself it will all be over soon.

 I hadn’t said much at all during the last two hours and yet I felt exhausted. I also had to listen to his story about his daughter and everyone else in his family. He had never asked me one question or showed any interest in me at all. That was fine. I didn’t want to know him any longer. I had behaved myself and I was done.

While we were walking out, I quietly gave the waiter a large tip. Richard had been so rude to him and I figured he probably didn’t tip well either. The waiter smiled and I smiled back.

Walking me to my car, he put his arm around my waist very tightly. This gave him a very high creep factor and I felt myself turn into dead weight. Twenty more feet to go and I would be free and clear.

“Well, thank you for such a nice dinner Richard. It was most interesting and I’m glad I got to meet you,” I said very formally. Translation – “Don’t ever touch me or call me again” but I did say this with a very sweet smile on my face as I opened the car door.

He stopped me from opening the door further, put his hands on my shoulder and then guided me a few feet away. He told me to stand still and then stepped up onto a curb so he could be taller than me.

I wanted to knee him in his nuts but doubted he had any.

He then leaned forward to kiss me and I stepped to the right and watched him fall off the curb and slam into my car.

Justice was mine!

I thanked him for dinner, jumped in my car and waved as I drove off. He waved back at me while he rubbed his knee that he hit with my car.

Needless to say, I never did return his phone calls and text messages except the first one where I texted back “Find someone else to impress and be sure to leave your shirt on during dinner.”

The steak was awesome, though.