Tag Archives: being alone

A Year of Hope – Part 3

(Continued from Part 2.)

For an entire week I neglected my motorcycle. The spark plugs are hard to get to, much like those incognito feelings that haunt us and make us feel lost. It’s because of these plugs my bike wouldn’t start.

I waited to see what James would do. How was his ignition working? Would his motor turn to put his words into motion?

We are ridiculously flawed. It doesn’t matter how together we look on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Our delectable second date at Blue Ribbon Brooklyn was followed by dinner the next night in the same neighborhood at a popular Italian place called Al di La.

Before we went in, James left me at Al di La’s wine bar while he jogged down the street to give an extra $10 to our waiter from the night before. Talk about extra mile.

He returned from his stalwart act.

“Was he there?” I asked.

“He was. He was surprised.”

Naturally. At this point something happened to my heart like a scab had been picked from it, loosening the skin underneath.

Our seating arrangement was unlike the first two dates where we sat adjacent to one another. By this time, however, it didn’t matter how we sat. We were so comfortable with each other that a little food stuck mid-bite was no embarrassment.

He reached his hand midway across the table where mine came to meet his.

“When can you fly out? Are you ready?” he asked.

“Friday, possibly Thursday. My bag is already packed.”

It wasn’t.

Our dinner ended on glasses of tawny port and discourse on the Republican primary.

We drove home.

“Sushi tomorrow?” He wanted to see me as much as possible before leaving town.

I wanted to trust James with all my heart. But I couldn’t. There were still old heart wounds with scabs still on them. Every invitation brought up in me a fear that he would not follow through.

But the next day he surprised me again showing up in the middle of the day while I worked from home. I had become sick with a cold. He didn’t seem to care, except that he didn’t kiss me that day. Then in the evening, he came over again and picked up take out from a nearby sushi restaurant. Four visits in three days.

He was a knight. Or he was over-infatuated.

 

The following weekend I got my bike running. Those damned spark plugs. To get to them, the fuel lines and gauge get disconnected, the seat and tank removed, and plugs unscrewed. Sure enough, the middle two spark plugs were fouled with wet, black oil. The valve seals were leaking oil into the middle two cylinders.

Troubleshooting an engine that doesn’t start requires a step-by-step analysis. Is the battery charged? Is there fuel in the tank? Does the starter turn? Are there sparks? The Saturday before, my bike reached the fourth question. The answer was no. This was unlike the new relationship on the horizon.

Every day we didn’t see each other, we texted, emailed, or called each other.

I wondered during his travels if he drank a lot. What kind of people he met. If women tried to pick him up. If he tried to pick up women. They were questions that arise with new relationships that are only answered by time, situations, and trust.

One week after our second date, he calls. “What do you think of Mendocino?”

“Sounds great.” I had never been there.

“Will you check out what’s going on there?”

Two hours researching built excitement about ocean cave kayaking, horseback riding on a 10-mile deserted beach, wine tastings, and Mendocino’s crab and wine event. Airbnb advertised the Elk Inn, a perfect oceanside B&B and spa not found on Expedia. I forgot about all the work I had to do that week.

Expectations are what you have when someone else convinces you to plan time out of your busy life.

The next morning he calls. “Are you ready? When can you fly out?”

“Friday. Maybe Thursday. I have to find a dog sitter.”

“How about if we go someplace warmer?”

What if this all fell through? What if I packed my bag, sent the dog to the sitter, and had no ticket?

Tuesday I pull my carry-on down from its storage place and speak to a potential dog sitter. In the evening, still no ticket.

Wednesday we meet the new sitter. Arrangements are set. James texts, “Can you leave Thursday?”

“Yes.” I had moved my schedule around. Wait, Thursday is tomorrow.

With all the effort to plan a trip with a guy I just met, the last thing I would allow is to be left with a packed bag and nowhere to go.

Before riding a motorcycle, I did other dangerous activities like skydiving and skiing double diamond trails. In spite of plenty of invitations, I hadn’t skied in over 20 years. So, I made it my plan B. It was too cold to ride a motorcycle, and the valve seals were leaking.

When you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to have emergency phone numbers and a tool kit at all times. Motorcycle riders are infamously known as organ donors, and their bikes are infamously known to crash or break down. Perhaps this was experience enough to be prepared at all costs.

Wednesday evening arrives. Still no ticket.

Thursday morning the phone rings. It’s him.

 

Bag packed, I looked back into my apartment and bid farewell to the dirty dishes and piles of paperwork.

On Friday, I arrived at my destination, took care of business, and settled down to watch smiling faces as they laughed with the delight of their day off.

The chairlift carried me into a snow-blurred sky.

I thought about James’ phone call. I had answered. He hung up.

A Video About Being Alone

This video by Andrea Dorfman and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis, came out in 2010, but it seems to be making its rounds on the interweb. I thought it would be great to share it here during this holiday season.

Ten years after 9-11, this is difficult holiday season for many, including myself having lived one mile away from the World Trade Center, volunteering at a local hospital, then losing my job months later because of chronic bronchitis developed by breathing the black dust that came into my apartment even when the windows were closed.

In spite of the hardships, being alone is one thing I’ve learned to be content with and even cherish at times. It makes meeting people and building relationships beyond priceless. Maybe it’s because of life’s challenges that makes me appreciate being alone. It’s part of a growth process that occurs when we surrender to the tears that come from facing those challenges. It’s not easy to learn, but how amazing when it is learned.

Enjoying being alone is like a gift, and I would love to share it. But how do you share it? This video can’t be a better way.

Tanya has a book of poetry, At First, Lonely, available on Indigo.ca.

Thank you Andrea and Tanya. This is beautiful.

Happy holidays.

When a Matchmaker is a Good Idea

There’s nothing like Valentine’s Day to remind us of how alone we single people are. But after experiencing failed relationships, better to be alone than bear with more heartbreak, right? The eternal optimist such as myself might prefer the risk anyway.

Rather than delve quickly and deeply into a new relationship, I’ve decided to take things slow. Well, not really. What I mean is, I’m not dating for the sake of dating anymore.

At the age of 39 with a growing business, I don’t have much time to date. My book is selling and people are responding positively to my “pick-up” methods. I mean, people like what I’m teaching. They’re not really pickup strategies. They’re really ways to discern personality attributes when meeting strangers, acquaintances, and potential dates. Do I use them in seeking a partner? Of course! But I still want help, because I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. (And I really don’t ask for much…I don’t think.)

After two marriage proposals, a few engagements, and other relationships I don’t regret, I’ve finally decided it’s time to settle down. I’ve heard that finding a spouse within a year can be done with plenty of proactivity. Unfortunately, I’m lacking the time needed to utilize these tested spouse-finding strategies. So, I decided to inquire matchmakers.

A lot of matchmakers have teams of people looking for the characteristics their clients are looking for. It’s like exponentially increasing the odds of finding the one. My requirements are pretty simple: a natural leader with a spiritual side. The question I had to ask is who would understand what I’m looking for. Finding the right matchmaker to work with can be challenging.

In the process of researching the various backgrounds and practices of matchmakers, I found that a lot of them offer a lot of socializing opportunities in addition to counseling, date coaching, and introductions. But one matchmaker in particular stood out – Janis Spindel.

Unlike Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker – who works with a range of characters and sometimes uses her clients for entertainment value – Janis focuses seriously on finding men their soul mates. Her clients are men who are ready to get married and who she’s comfortable working with. On top of that, Janis is married to her husband of about 30 years and has two grown daughters – one of whom, Carly, has her own dating agenda.

Choosing to work with clients Janis likes earns my respect, because that means she wants her work to be quality. How can you not respect that? Besides, why would anyone want to work with someone whose lifestyle and character is different from his or her own? Wouldn’t you trust someone within your own circle of friends more than someone in an unknown network? I certainly wouldn’t want a matchmaker to set me up if she or he didn’t get me.

Since I couldn’t hire Janis myself (since she only works with men as her clients, not to mention being beyond my means), I decided to share our conversation with the world.

Click on the image to watch the video of our talk and see for yourself what a real matchmaker does.

Click to watch the interview with Janis Spindel

Short on time? Click here for 2 minutes of highlights.

Valentine’s Day. I actually don’t feel sad at all. Besides, it’s $10 burger and beer night at the Water Street Bar and Grill in Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll get a chance meeting with my soul mate…probably not. Hey, you never know.