People often refer to older single's as 'leftovers.' Well, I am no leftover, nor do I deserve to settle for someone that is.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A-A-Amazing Advice!

While things have been a little slow in the finding pool the last couple of weeks, I have still kept up my research. In fact, last night was one of the best research experiences I’ve had yet…with a bonus finding opportunity as well. What was it you ask? Well, my friend informed me of a fireside that was to take place last evening (for those who don’t know, a fireside is an evening church meeting…no fire’s involved). At this particular meeting for young single adults, the invited guest speaker was to be Utah’s dating coach. Her name is Alisa Goodwin Snell. Before attending the event, I looked at her website. She seemed legit so I was excited to go and see what she had to offer my growing array of knowledge on the subject.

I went to this meeting with two of my good friends who shall remain nameless, until they comment and identify themselves. Upon our arrival, we did not know what to expect. We were among the first there, so we obtained seats near the front of the room, which in my opinion, turned out to be a great choice. Soon two young gentlemen joined us on the remaining seats in our row. One of them immediately introduced himself to us, calling himself ‘Shoop.’ His real name is yet to be revealed but he was still a nice kid with a pretty awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles notepad for writing down all of his inspirational thoughts. Together we speculated on what we were about to experience and then sat back to find out for ourselves what was in store.

Expert Snell did not disappoint! She was fabulous!! In fact, I’m considering hiring her on. She was a dynamic speaker which certainly made it easier to keep our attention as she spewed forth knowledge and secrets that would certainly change our lives and make us better daters. As I listened to her speak, I was excited at my own knowledge as a result of the studying I have been doing. She quizzed us on the needs of both men and women, and as she did so the words of all of my mentors came back to me: Dr. Phil, Dr. Gray, Mr. Tough Love, etc. They continue to say the same things, in different ways. I feel like I should get some sort of degree for this when I am through. What do you think?!

Anyway, back to Ms. Snell…she gave us a flyer which contained the 17 secrets to the male psychology as well as those of the female psychology. Because I assume that most of my readers are female (except my faithfully reading brothers) I will mostly just address some of the advice she gives to us females. First of all, she totally quoted Dr. Gray so I was pretty excited. They both agree that the number one need of a man is to feel trusted. Later, as I was pondering life and praying and stuff, I thought of an interesting parallel. God asks us to trust Him. He has a plan for us and knows what is best for each of us. This is something that I have been considering a lot lately. If I can learn how to trust God, then I will probably be more likely to learn how to show trust in my man as well….whenever he decides to reveal himself that is. Anyway, it’s important for us to constantly show that we trust men to be men, and as women, not to tell them how to be a man. Good advice.

Next, let’s talk about a few strategies that she shared which were rather enlightening as well as entertaining. First of all, she gave us a marvelous rejection script. Seriously…where was this woman a couple of months ago when I was freaking out about dumping Mr. Nice Guy? Anyway, here’s what we are supposed to say. “I am totally flattered but I just don’t feel that kind of connection with you…but thank you.” Nice, simple, easy. Also, we are supposed to take rejection confidently. We just have to consider each guy as practice. Speaking of confidence, guys love a confident girl so she advises us to act like it. It is a behavior…a behavior that can be learned she says. No one knows what we are feeling underneath so if we wait until we feel confident to act like it, we never will. Therefore…stand up, square your shoulders and get a little hip action to look confident while feminine at the same time. The men will love it!

A few other things the men love…they love it when we touch them. It might be extremely out of our comfort zone but a little touch on the arm can go a long way. She advises that we leave him wanting more when we are with him. So, don’t ‘linger longer.’ Talk for a few minutes, touch him on the arm, and then let him know that you enjoyed talking to him and you would love for him to call sometime…then walk away, confidently. Apparently, if he wants it, he will come after us for our number. As we walk away though, giving him one more glance over our shoulder can go a long way, or can tell us if he is interested or not by what he is doing at that point. Hmmm…I think these are the main points…be confident and feminine. I feel like I should practice my stance and my phrases in front of a mirror. Seriously, just as with all things, you have to practice to become good.

After she concluded her talk, there was a mingle. A lot of practicing was happening at that point. My problem was that in theory, this all sounds great! In practice...I looked around and all the guys were with girls already. I witnessed a lot of phone numbers being given out. Mine was unfortunately not among them. My friends was though! Shoop was in love at first sight with her. Just kidding...he did write her a sweet note from his Ninja Turtle notepad though. Good times. I will definitely be purchasing Ms. Snell's book in the near future and maybe sharing a few other fab tips. Here's what it looks like:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Live...

The songs, the poems, the books…they are all right. Love is a battlefield. It’s a war. Sometimes we don’t know what we are fighting for. All I know is that I constantly have to make a conscious effort to continue the fight, despite the utter defeat I constantly feel. Last night I had the words of the poem, “The Race” running through my mind.

“’Quite, give up, you’re beaten,’ they shout at me and plead.” “Defeat, I lay there silently, a tear dropped from my eye. There’s no sense running anymore. Three strikes, I’m out…why try?”

Yet I know how the story ends. The boy continues to rise and eventually finishes the race winning, in that he rose each time he fell. Sometimes I feel a little bi-polar, like I’m on this never-ending roller coaster. Maybe that’s just life though. Maybe that’s life when men are involved. I hate that they have such control over my emotions…I hate it. I have worked so hard to be independent and I think that most of the time I am. At the same time, I don’t want to be so independent that it is difficult to ever be dependent. So what am I fighting for? I’m fighting for the those times when I am at the top of the hill, when I’m leading the race and I feel exhilarated and obliviously happy! My life has been nothing but rejection but… I have experienced moments of pure joy, when I felt accepted and wonderful.

Each of us is different in our commitment level and the way that we are interested in the opposite sex. Me…I feel much like Eponine in “Les Miserables.” She is my favorite character because I so identify with her. She is committed to the man she loves, even as she watches him fall in love with another. She loves him until the day she dies, in his arms. So, while I logically know that what Mr. Greg Behrendt is saying is true when he says, “He’s Just Not That into You,” I have a hard time letting go. It usually takes a good separation for me to move on. That or marriage on his part. Why do I bring this up? Because it’s the reason for my roller coaster. I’m not in love but when I set my heart on someone, I really do. I have wonderful moments with him where I can feel the adrenaline rush of the exciting ride and others where I have quickly reached the bottom of the hill and as a result my stomach, when it catches up to me, comes down hard, creating a pit that leaves a permanent mark.

I know I need to jump on a new roller coaster. I have tried. I am still trying. I’ve been a little bit negligent lately. I’m picking myself up to finish my race though. I got a forwarded email today that I thought was so funny and so true of me. It said:

“Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wings…We simply continue to fly……..on a broomstick…We are flexible like that.”

When I let my emotions be controlled by others and let them break my wings, I think I am a little like the broomstick driver. This has certainly been a broomstick week. Many people have taken a shot at my wings but that’s okay, I’ll keep flying. You can't ever pull me down!

On a happy note, it wasn’t until last Monday that I realized that a little piece of me had been missing for awhile. I started playing in a local symphony and while the group as a whole isn’t very good, it felt just like home to be playing my violin again. I love music. It’s how I best express myself. Thanks goodness for music in my life! I started this poem a few months ago. I am no writer…I just like to put down my thoughts. So, it may not follow a meter or be in any way correct, but it’s kind of how I feel about the subject.

‘Music is the outward expression of my inner soul

It brings me to life, comforts me and makes me whole.

When life is too hard, through music I find rest

That conquers my tempests and lifts my life to its best.’

Now, back to the project; back to looking for lucky #8. I don’t have any plans for this weekend yet…maybe I should pray for a miracle. Or maybe I should just try a little harder….try to forget the gentleman that keeps me accelerated at full speed through the hills and turns of life. Try to find another that will calm the ride a little and keep me smiling, even at the bottom of the hill.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Search Continues

Location: East Salt Lake City

A few weeks ago while sitting in institute class awaiting another inspiring lesson, an upcoming opportunity to hang out with other young single adults at dinner was announced. The activity is called 8 at 7. You sign up and then they (whoever ‘they’ are) randomly assign you to a group of 4 girls and 4 guys. Someone chooses to host/be the group leader. That person then chooses a place for us to meet for dinner at 7:00. I thought “hey, why not?” It was an easy and convenient way for me to get out and meet some more people in a smaller, less intimidating environment. My friend and I each decided to take a risk and add our names to the list of other would-be minglers.

A few days ago I received an email and a text from our group leader. From what I could tell, he was male. Since I had his full name I decided, what the heck…lets Google image him. I just wanted to see what we were in for. From the picture, I couldn’t tell much but he seemed fairly average. My friend ended up in the same group as me so we decided to follow through with our previous commitment.

That brings us to my Saturday night. I picked up my friend and headed across town to the TGI Fridays where we were to meet our random group of strangers. Thankfully we arrived at about the same time as our trusty group leader. He and one other girl were there to greet us. The others were not far behind though. We ended up with a group of 4 girls and 5 guys. After everyone trickled in, I looked around and assessed the group we were in. I sat in the middle of the table so that I wouldn’t miss out on any conversations. As for the group…they seemed like okay people, just out to try something new like the rest of us.

I didn’t feel shy in this group at all. You know how sometimes you assess people and conclude that you are not well below their league so it’s okay to just be yourself? Anyway, I felt comfortable with who I am, is all I’m trying to say. I was fairly outgoing and tried to mix with several different conversations. The one that seemed to overpower the rest however, was the guy next to me from, “the middle of the world.” That’s how he introduced himself. He is from Ecuador. He loves me…I can tell. I wanted to talk to some other people but he mainly hoarded my attention. That’s okay because the guy next to him was LAME! The basketball game was on during dinner and he couldn’t pull himself away enough to mingle. I understand being obsessed with basketball but if it was going to be an issue for you to miss the game, why did you come?? Besides, if I can’t pull a guy away from something for a few minutes for him to get to know me, he is not worth of my time. He was obnoxious and mostly, socially retarded.

Moving on…the girl across from me was a little socially awkward as well. It’s good she came out though. She seemed pretty nice, just slightly awkward to talk to, ya know? The girl next to her loves Tucson and that’s mostly all I remember. She was super nice at first but as the evening continued on, she became more and more annoying to me. I may have been overly tired, who knows. By the end of the night I found her to be somewhat shallow and just generally annoying. Next to her was a very nice Chinese guy from the city where I served my mission. It was hard to talk to him across so many people but I enjoyed the brief conversation we had. He seemed super young, although a first year medical student. Next was our trusty group leader. In person he left a bit to be desired. His overall demeanor was a bit too formal for me. There was just something about him that didn’t seem to click with me at all.

Finally, as we circle back around we come to the guy sitting next to my friend. He has big lips. I hear those are nice for kissing. His mouth was strange though, yet he had good teeth. Anyway, not the point. I would say he was probably the best looking of the group, despite my first judgment of him that he was kind of awkward? He had nice shoes and when he stood up after dinner and I noticed that, I silently praised him in my head. Unfortunately, I think his shoes were the only thing going for this one. He was strange. Oddly, most of these guys work in money. Maybe that’s not really my field of interest?? Who knows…

After dinner we headed over to the host’s house to play games. There, we met up with several members of another group. I quickly realized that we had somehow gotten lucky with our own prospects. As it turned out however, there was an empty seat next to my new boyfriend Mr. Middle of the world. He was quick to invite me over and I dutifully went, sharing the small seat with him. I did it to be social. I soon wished I hadn’t. Some things aren’t worth it. He was a bit too familiar with me, like we were old friends. I was uncomfortable. Another stupid boy pointed out my discomfort. How old are we anyway? I quickly became extremely annoyed with everyone there. They are just not my type of people. They were shallow and obnoxious and talked about stupid things. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but that’s how I felt. My friend and I left as soon as we felt it was acceptable to do so without being rude. Thankfully my dinner was good, so…not a wasted night after all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

They Say...

In my studies about relationships and dating, a common thread I’ve found amongst the bounds of knowledge the experts have to offer is that communication is different for men and women, and is therefore among the greatest initiators of argument and frustration in relationships. For me, this information is so helpful in interpreting a man’s intentions in general. I feel like I understand my guy friends a little better and that I take time to stop and think more carefully before jumping to conclusions about what they are thinking or what they mean by their actions (or sometimes, lack thereof).

I’m still working on Dr. Gray’s book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.” The entire book thus far has focused solely on how we communicate with each other…and mostly, how we misinterpret each other. I am absolutely loving it because it makes so much sense. While the book in general is geared more toward already existing relationships, I find it useful in my general every day interactions with the opposite sex so it’s a book I would recommend to all. I also find it interesting that the more books I read on this subject, the more I find similar conclusions by these experts. The things they are saying make sense and seem to be true, individual circumstance withholding. I still believe that there is no set in stone relationship guide that works for all…otherwise there might be a lot less divorce in the world and a lot more people getting married. Nonetheless, this information is useful and fun to learn about as well.

Speaking of fun, we are still not done with our man Mr. Ward, the tough love guy. He and his mother also have a lot to contribute to the subject of communication. Here’s what they say:

“Never underestimate the power of a woman’s intuition, and never overestimate the power of a man’s. Don’t expect him to be as intuitive as you are. In fact, don’t expect him to be intuitive at all. If you want to know something about him, ask.” Seriously, I like this one. As my friend Gentleman #1 always tells me, “you think too much.” I should say, “You think too little.” Just kidding, not really. I do like to over analyze things though when men really aren’t thinking anything about whatever little thing it is that I am worrying so much about. Okay, next.

“As a woman, you should follow his lead in communicating, just as you would when dancing. If he is a little shy and reserved at first, don’t feel like you have to fill the lulls in the conversation by going on about yourself.” Well, that’s a relief huh. I always kinda freak out when conversations die out for a few minutes. I hate awkward silences. I guess they don’t have to be though…if I just learn to stress a little less!

This next quote just makes sense. He says, “The responsibilities of men and women when they are first dating are very different. Men should do everything they can to make the experience as fun, easy, and entertaining as possible. Women should do everything they can to be flexible, accommodating, and positive at all costs.” I mean really, the point is to get to know each other…not to be difficult. We can work on that part later…haha.

Okay, two more little words of wisdom and then I’ll let you and I both digest this information for awhile.

“Never discuss money or the cost of anything in dollars and cents during the initial stage of connecting with someone. Consciously avoid talking about it. Whenever the question of the bill arises-the amount of a charge, the cost of the tickets, the price of gas, etc.-just be generous and gracious. Whether he picks up the tab for a two-hundred-dollar dinner or a two-dollar ice cream cone, thank him very sincerely.” This may sound strange but his reasoning makes sense. Read the book. Okay, I’ll tell you. He said something to the effect that you don’t want him to think that you think he is only good for his money…that you are desperate for money or anything like that. I gave the book back to my friend so I really don’t remember what his exact words were, but it was good…just trust me!

Finally, as far as the way we act while getting acquainted with a man, he says, “Ask yourself this: Will he think this is cute or crazy? Something that you and your girlfriends think is adorable, he may think is completely nuts so keep the quirks to yourself until you are completely comfortable with the guy.” “This isn’t about TMI; you just don’t want to seem weird. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be yourself-just make sure to present your quirks so they seem cute, not crazy.” This is a good one for me because I am kind of crazy! I have to be careful that my way crazy, weird side doesn’t sneak out too quickly!

On the subject of crazy and fun…I’ve been a little absent from the blog for awhile because my cute nieces and nephews have been in town the last 2 weekends. I love hanging out with them and letting them do whatever they want to do so that they think I’m the coolest aunt around. Okay, not completely true but I do like to have fun with them. I am completely worn out and glad that I don’t have to do this all day every day just yet. For now it’s fun to have fun with them and let their parents worry about the rest! I am taking a small break from them this evening to go out and meet some new people though. I am kind of excited about it so I will write about it in the next couple of days. I’m not guaranteeing anything for tomorrow because the kiddos aren’t leaving until Monday morning. Even after that, I may just sleep all the way through next week!

P.S...To My Vegas Friends:

I will be in town March 31 through April 5 so if you know any worthy, eligible, single men that you wouldn't mind subjecting to an evening of my company in that time period, feel free to let me know and hook it up. I already have one lined up but I'm all for Vegas guys because I can identify with them better than some of the other men I meet these days. You know where to find me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Love My Life!

Recently I was talking with my parents about my life. We somehow stumbled on to the fact that I have had some pretty cool experiences. Well, at least we think they are cool. My mom told me that I should write them down so I don’t forget. I thought it was a great idea but didn’t do it. Last night however, I was in a good mood so I picked up one of my writing books and started making a list of some of the things I have done or experiences that I have had.

Most of the time I feel like an insignificant person but when I look back, I am really grateful for the opportunities given me and for the life I have been able to fully experience. I don’t ever want to look back and feel like there was a void in my life, where I was just existing, instead of fully experiencing. That said, I thought I would share some of my favorite things about my life and what I have been doing with it for the past 30 years. Actually, most of this has been within the last 10 but the first 20 were great too! As a quick disclaimer, some of these things may not be significant to you but that’s why it’s my life and not yours…haha! Some are relevant to my church, others to the musician in me, some to the adventurer, while others are just random acts of spontaneity and fun!

*I had the opportunity (when I didn’t fully appreciate it unfortunately) to see Henry Mancini with the L.A Phil Harmonic at the Hollywood bowl. I am a big fan of his…great musician!

*After serving a mission, I was invited to a small meeting of about 20 return missionaries to talk with Elder Henry B. Eyring of the quorum of the 12 apostles. I met him, shook his hand, and spoke with him. It was amazing!

*One summer I worked at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. It’s one of the best arts camps/schools in the country. There I had the chance to go to a meet and greet with Josh Groban and enjoy a concert by him as well. I also saw several other amazing concerts while there!!

*Last summer I was dining out for lunch at the Little America downtown where I happened to see our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, dining with his family just 2 tables away. I thought it was pretty cool!

*I sang in a combined mission choir of about 20 missionaries, for a conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the quorum of the 12 apostles.

*Last year I also had the amazing experience of singing in the general conference choir at the conference center.

*I played my violin with the UNLV symphony at the grand opening of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

*I played a violin solo on Canadian national television for the funeral of Corporal Ainsworth Dyer.

*I went extreme parasailing in Hawaii.

(While this isn't parasail looked exactly like this one)

*I’ve been rappelling.

*I’ve traveled across the country several times and have been to a total of 25 states so far. By the end of summer that number will hopefully be up to 31.

While I could probably go on and on, these are just a few of my favorites. I’ve been on some really amazing hikes, read some good books, made the best of friends, gotten a master’s degree, taught school, served a mission, and hopefully just made the most out of the life that has been given me. If I were to die today, I don’t think that I would feel as if I had wasted years. While I have probably wasted several days, I am trying to be more aware of living in the moment and being grateful for it. Life is good!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friendly Man #7

It all started last week when my bishop asked me if I wanted free tickets to see “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Hale Center Theater. He frequently has free tickets for the theater but has a rule that you have to take a date. So typical of a single’s ward bishop huh. Anyway, my home teacher was standing nearby and expressed interest in going as well. I said, “Hey friendly man…why don’t you come with me and be my number 7.” Okay, that may not have been our exact conversation but he did say he would like to go with me. I told him we would talk later and he said, “okay, I have your number” and I replied with, “and I have yours.”

A few days later he called and we made all of the arrangements. He was a little embarrassed at his lack of vehicle but I assured him that I would be happy to drive. So, last night I showed up at his house at 6:15 dressed up and ready to go. We talked easily on the way there and met a few other couples from church at the theater. Because my bishop knows people and kind of works for the theater, we got an in depth back-stage tour. If you have never been there, it’s a theater in the round and the stage does cool stuff like move up and down and spin around, etc. Anyway, I tell you this because we went underneath the stage to see how it works. Very cool!

The play was excellent! Being a fiddle player myself, I was impressed with the fiddling and the overall effects. It’s amazing what you can do to make a story come so to life. Friendly man enjoyed it as well…despite its 3 hour length. We had fun. I told him about my friend and I’s quest to find the best frozen yogurt in town and he was impressed. He is also a big fan of Spoon Me which is a plus for him. So, we had previously decided to get ice cream after the play but after finding out about my project, he thought frozen yogurt would be delightful instead.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any worthy frozen yogurt establishments near where we were so we headed off to Leatherby’s instead. There, we ate some wonderful ice cream and talked some more. Most of our conversation was pretty typical of most first dates. He was slightly appalled at my lack of exposure to many popular musicals but what can you do. Who knew that the man would be interested old school musicals like, “Singin’ in the Rain?” Here I’ve been studying up on sports and I go out with a man who’s into musicals and Jane Austin. It’s all good. We had fun and that was that. On to #8…seriously…one of these guys has to be a match sometime, right???

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Evolution of Me

Through months of contemplation about life and my purpose, one thing I have learned is that we are all different and each of us has our own unique plan. My whole life has been spent for me, doing what I want to do. Don’t completely misunderstand me; I have done my fair share of serving others. I’ve enjoyed my life and tried to always make the most of it. From my earliest recollections I had goals and plans for my future. Most of those goals have been fulfilled. Two have not. As I have reached the turning point of entering the 30’s, I realized that my life needed to take another turn; a turn that was not easy for me. You see, despite the fact that I am 30, prior to the last few months, I had not dated much. Sure I’ve had plenty of guy friends and first dates here and there, but nothing serious. I know that when the time is right, I will have the opportunity to marry and have a family, thus fulfilling my last two childhood goals.

By entering into this challenge/project to date 40 guys however, I am not trying to push marriage upon myself at the wrong time. I am one of the biggest advocates for making sure marriage is right, before entering into its bonds. One of my biggest pet peeves if you will, is people marrying young and quickly. I know, I shouldn’t judge, but do you really know the person after one month of dating? What I’m trying to say is, despite my lack of experience in the relationship world, I have learned a great deal by observation of others, studying, and my own contemplation. It’s not something that I want just to have. It’s something that I think is very special and worthy of careful selection. So, I hope that you do not misunderstand my intentions in this project.

What are my intentions? Well, let me explain a little further. I have always been quite shy. My instinct is to pull within myself rather than to reach out. This project was designed to help me overcome some of these challenges that I face. I am not trying to overly pursue men. My hope is that one day, a man will find me worthy of pursuing. And mostly right now that just makes me want to cry because I have never felt that I am. I have never felt that because I have never witnessed it from a normal, decent man. Therefore, I am trying to be more outgoing and available in hopes of getting more dates, learning more about myself, and trying new things. In the process, I am making new goals for myself and just trying to live life to the fullest, no matter what happens. I am fully aware that I may not find my husband this year or this decade. I can’t leave the year or the decade for that matter, knowing that I didn’t do my part. How can God bless me when I am sitting at home watching chick flicks every night? Some nights that’s great but I feel like my man is more likely to find me out of my house than in. Unless he is some sort of door to door salesman, in which case…I think I’ll pass and find out what Grandma has found for me.

My other goals are still moving along…mostly slowly. Tonight was my first night at my new volunteering job and it was pretty fun. This guy there that I was conversing with kept preachin’ up the Bible to me so it made me really want to get back on that goal a little stronger. I’ve just found so many other interesting things to study lately, so I don’t really feel too bad. Right now my goal to read the Old Testament is just to read it through for now. I have studied it more in depth in the past. I will try to get what I can from it as I go along and continue my other gospel studies as well. I seriously just want to have a read-a-thon one of these days though, to see how far I can get. I think that it is going to take me more like two years rather than one to finish it but I am completely okay with that. I just want to read it through at least once in my life.

While I am mostly frustrated with boys and men this week, my date for Friday is still a go. I talked to him tonight and we made a plan. I’m excited because we will be doing something fun and because there is no pressure involved. Thanks goodness for that! As for now however, I have to finish getting ready for a house full of nieces and nephews to show up so I’m out for tonight.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Lady on the Couch

Grandma’s worried about me. Let me tell you a little bit about Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s. Despite this little fact, I’m pretty sure she knows who I am better now than she did before. At least I feel like she has more interest in me anyway. Maybe it is the childlike way she has become that makes her seem more innocent and therefore more caring. I don’t know. I do know however that she came to dinner yesterday. I had been taking my Sunday nap on the couch when she arrived. This evening she talked to my mom on the phone. Mom related to me that Grandma is worried about ‘the lady on the couch.’ She says, “She’s just too pretty not to be married.” Okay, I can forgive my grandma for this comment, she doesn’t know any better at this stage of her life. Anyway, she goes on to say, “I have been thinking about her all day and just trying to figure out who I can find for her.” Apparently she looked around all day. She looked all around the place she lives. The place where all the old people live. The place where many others are in the same mental state. Thanks Grandma, that was very generous of you. I appreciate you lookin out for me. Just make sure the one you pick has a nice suit so I know he’s at least loaded. Hey, why not up my age bracket a little huh?

In my other endeavors to find meaning and purpose in my life, I have sampled lots of tasty frozen yogurt, set up a date with #7 for Friday, and booked a volunteer gig downtown for Wednesday.

As I mentioned previously, my friends and I (the self-proclaimed frozen yogurt connoisseurs) went to Red Mango the other day to partake of their frozen treats. It’s a well known establishment in the area, popular for its healthy and delightful frozen yogurt. My friend who originally fell in love with Spoon Me was not a fan of this one. I on the other hand enjoyed the pomegranate option at this joint. At the same time, did it really compare to Spoon Me? We haven’t rated the later yet but I can tell you now, it’s not going to measure up. Many things about it just weren’t as cool…like the girl wiping her nose with the back of her hand and then serving up yogurt to any brave takers. Anyway, I have been a little confused about my feelings the last few days…until today. Today, my cousin, sister and I went back to Spoon Me. I know what you’re thinking but it is healthy okay…and I worked out! As I partook of the delightful natural frozen wonder it was like coming home to an old friend…mmmmm….a friend with benefits, if you know what I mean. Next on the list is Luna Berry. It looks cute online. As for in person, it has a high standard to meet so good luck Luna…we’ll be seeing you soon.

I know, you are wondering where #7 suddenly came from now right? Well, I will keep it brief and save the rest for Saturday, when I write my post-date post. He is a guy from my single’s ward. He’s a pretty cool kid…my home teacher in fact. Anyway, I know a second date will most likely not be coming from this one, but he’ll be fun to hang out with this once for sure. I can’t give you any particulars because I don’t want you to stalk me on the date. I can just see binoculars across the room spying on me. No thank you. I will tell you where we are going, why, and how it came to be, on Saturday so be patient and don’t forget to check back then.

As for volunteering, Bunnie is actually a real person as it turns out and she did in fact write me back. I will be working with refugees and other English language learners in what they call, “Conversation Club.” We have conversations in English, look at magazines or newspapers, play games, etc. All of these activities are geared to help them learn English. I’m not about to learn another language so the more I can do to help others learn mine, I’m all for it. Just kidding…I think it will be a fun way to meet people though. So, I have a busy week ahead but I will try to check in here a few times and keep you posted. I’m still constantly amazed at the blessings I receive as I put forth effort. They come out of nowhere too…the places I least expect them. The important part is that I am trying and doing my part. I know that God does the rest…it’s amazing!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Funny Man # 6

That’s right…I am 6 down! Last night’s ‘date’ was a little more unusual than the others because really I was just hanging out at my BFF’s house playing games and stuff. These friends know a guy that they thought was pretty cool so they decided to get us together. I’m just kidding, he was pretty cool. Anyway, here’s how it went down. I went to their house a little earlier than when he had planned on coming so that I would already be there. It was fun to catch up with my friends anyway. Honestly, I hadn’t really given this hang out much thought. I just figured it would be great because my friends would be there and that would make things easier. When #6 arrived however, I think the cat got my tongue. I knew I hated cats! (Sorry for you cat lovers…just not a fan) My social skills went out the window and I suddenly felt kind of shy and stand-offish. I really didn’t mean to. He was super nice and easy-going.

We ended up playing a few games, the first of which, he won. I’m pretty sure he cheated. Just kidding, I am always sure that the winner must have cheated. It was really fun though...losing or not. The next game was delightful as well, mostly because I set the record for highest roll ever (we were playing a dice game called Farkle). I am from Las Vegas so that was no surprise. Okay, you wouldn’t know it with the rest of my rolls but whatever. The record is all that matters! Anyway we laughed and had a lot of fun. Turns out this guy has a well developed sense of humor. I’m not sure if when he laughed at my sarcastic comments they were courtesy laughs or not, but at least he laughed. Yeah, the only side of me that came out was my sarcastic side…great! Oh well, that is kind of who I am.

I’m not sure why I was all of a sudden shy but I think it may have been (quick insert/disclaimer: friends who hooked me up…don’t be offended okay…I had fun!) the fact that I was suddenly aware that we were not alone and that maybe my dating skills were being watched and judged. I promise I did not think this at the time and I love my friends so much and I am sure they were not judging me…I think that I was just a little bit self conscious. At the same time, without them, some of my more fun personality never could have come out so I’m glad they were there. I just felt a little stupid for a minute I guess. That was only for the first 5 minutes or so, then I got more comfortable and it was just like a bunch of friends hangin’ out having a good time.

Overall, I had a fabulous night! Love my friends to death! I can totally see why they like this guy too. I can tell he is a good person and really nice and funny. I’m sure he thinks I’m an idiot but that’s okay. Honestly, not sure how I feel about dating him but he was cool to hang out with and I would totally do it again. Good times were had by all (well, by all of me anyway).

Friday, March 5, 2010

All the Small Things

I knew right away this was going to be a better week than last when some friends and I came up with a new project to fill our time. That’s right, us single ladies really know how to party it up in this town and let me tell you how. Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned my new love affair with the frozen yogurt joint called Spoon Me? Well, my friend and I who fell in love with the place to begin with, decided that to be fair we needed to try all of the frozen yogurt in town. We couldn’t just blindly say that Spoon Me is the best because we hadn’t tried the others. With this goal in mind, we added a few recruits, tried our first establishment, and came up with a uniform criteria for rating each place. Now, since you are my faithful readers, I will share whatever knowledge I gain about this important inquiry with you! Count yourself lucky!

To begin our quest, we headed out to an establishment on the west side of town called, Yogurt Vibes. It is located on 10400 S. and Bangerter Hwy. It was a fun place, self-serve, and fairly tasty. Of our 5 start rating system, it received at 3.2. So, if you live out that way, take your next date or group of friends out for a fun treat after your other amazing dating/social life activities. It’s a great way to end the night.

Speaking of ending the night with frozen yogurt, did I mention my latest experience at Spoon Me? I must share because Spoon Me has more than just a great atmosphere and delicious frozen yogurt….it has a name that you can do sooo much with! So…last week I was with a small group of friends at Spoon me. Two of these friends were male. One was Gentleman #1 and the other was his friend. As we were parting ways after our delightful frozen yogurt feast, I tried to say goodbye to the boys. I said, “Thanks for coming to Spoon Me.” They immediately started laughing which caused me to quickly rethink what I had said. It did not take long for me to realize what had actually escaped my lips and I began laughing as well. The place is good for everything, including laughs. Okay, more to come after I try our Red Mango tomorrow night! (Seriously, it’s the small things in life that add joy and meaning to each day and joy and meaning are a must for an over 30 single female. Okay, they should be a must for everyone…but especially for me!)

Before I sign off…do you want an update on any male progress?? I guess you don’t have any choice in the matter because I’m giving it to you. Let’s start with institute and the man in skinny jeans. Wait…let’s start with the guy sitting next to me in class first. This man has sat by me the last two weeks in fact. It was completely by chance I am sure. Anyway, class was amazing as always…seriously, it was. The place was packed; it was a full party and counting. There were people sitting on the floor. Afterward, the man next to me turned to me and said, “does it feel like you’re in your car with the windows rolled up in the middle of summer?” It took me a second and then I responded with, “Oh, I guess I hadn’t noticed which is really weird because I’m usually the hot one.” Okay, I really didn’t mean it that way (just like the spoon me comment) but he started laughing and said, “oh really? Cause I’m usually the hot one.” Hahaha, he was funny. We had a good little convo and then headed out to the meet and greet.

My friends and I stuck around for awhile waiting for more people to show up in the foyer. Then we began scoping out the prospects. After a few failed attempts at approaching a group of men, I finally wandered over to where a couple of local musicians were jamming out on their guitars and singing. I noticed another lone man standing and listening….the man in the skinny jeans. We stood near each other listening when I decided on a good approach and took the plunge. We talked easily and he was fun to meet. A few other people came to talk to him while the weird girl from week one approached me as if she had never met me. I blew her off…said goodbye to him…and rejoined my friends. No numbers but definitely some fun and interesting contacts made.

As for other men, I have emailed a few more of my friends, begging for them to set me up. I’m trying to get guys on my own, I really am, but I’m not very successful. Anyway, tonight I am off to visit some of my favorite people in the world. They have invited their man friend over as well, so we’ll see how that goes. Check in later for an update.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Encouragement and Advice From Those Who Know

Research really has come to be one of my friends. Who knew? There is nothing like some good finds to pick you up though. In this case, while doing my research for this project, I came across some fun advice and ideas as well as some much needed encouragement. As we all know, this is no easy process. Putting yourself out there takes work. As Mr. Steve Ward (Mr. Tough Love) says, “Dating is training. It’s conditioning. And practice makes perfect.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I have participated in a few sports and have seen a good football practice. That kind of training is intense and brutal but necessary to bring about the desired results. Just as I do with a good workout, the more I throw myself into this project, the more beat down I feel at times. Words of encouragement along the way are little blessings that motivate me to get up and put myself through it another day.

I was reading something today in Mr. Ward’s book, “Crash Course in Love,” that I just loved and helped me to better place myself in this whole dating mecca. Here’s what he said, “At some point in life everyone gets rejected somehow. Learn from each experience and move on-you will be a better person for it. There is someone out there for you, so don’t give up! When you do find love, you will realize it was worth all the effort along the way.” How great is that?? The best part about it is that it is so true! We are not alone and our experiences do make us who we are and hopefully that is a better us if we choose to let them.

Another helpful hint and pick me up from Steve was this. “Learn to let things go. If a potential relationship doesn’t work out, a guy doesn’t call you back, or you’re otherwise disappointed by men, you have to learn to let it go and put it behind you. Don’t be negative. Put the effort you would take to complain about it into finding another relationship if you’re ready, willing, and able to be in one.” That’s right…and that is what I am trying to do. So…tonight it’s institute, once again! I’ve been a little lazy the last few weeks. I’ve had friends there and I get too comfortable with them. I hope you will forgive me ladies, but I must exit our circle from time to time explore the realm of the male gender. Who cares what they think of me for talking to them? Seriously, I do not know them and though I might bump in to them weekly, I really don’t think that going up and introducing myself to them is a bad thing or that it will offend them. If nothing comes of it, then at least I tried, right? Besides, Steve says, “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn how to make light of situations that might make you uncomfortable or seemingly look bad. Learn to laugh at yourself.” This could apply to some many of our life’s situations.

Finally, my friend was kind enough this week to share some super awesome articles that she found online. I read ‘em and I loved ‘em, so…you get to enjoy them as well. The first one is very interesting and informative. It reviews myths and facts of dating. Very helpful because sometimes, how to act on a date, or what to think, can be soooo confusing! This clears up a few mysteries. Here’s the link:

The next is so fun. It lists 40 questions that you can ask your date. Some of them I already listed, some are a little out there, but many are fun and interesting. I like it! Even if you are married, maybe there are some interesting things that you can find out about your S.O that maybe you don’t already know. Have a look.

That’s all for today. Time to go get my cute on!