Thursday, April 16, 2009

All my single ladies

So dating, right?
Yeah, I'd like to put in my two cents about that.

I've been on a few dates recently. It's all good times. But sometimes dating is such a ridiculous game. There are rules, but they change with every person. What's the best way to ask for another date? How long should you wait after the first date? How many times do you try for a second date? How do you know when "I'm busy" really means "I'm not interested"? How aggresive should you be? How persistent should you be? What really prompted all of this was two-fold: A conversation with a friend, and a blog post by a stranger.

The conversation: Centered around whether to ask for another date, and the best way to do that. I went on a date a couple of weeks ago - had a great time. Super fun. She's intelligent, gorgeous, hilarious - fun. So I'm workin' on a second date. This is where the problem arises. I'm super busy - she's super busy. So, is it really that she's busy? Or is it that she doesn't want to bruise my "fragile male ego"? How long do I keep trying? When is "busy" actually a signal saying "I don't want a freakin' second date, back off!"? And how do I not become confused when she's not really proactive about things, but uses exclamation points when expressing her affirmations of interest (scanty though they may be)? So that's where I stand with that.*

The blog: Here. For those who don't want to read the whole thing - though it is pretty entertaining - here's the gist: "Don't ask 'Can I take you out again?' because you'll get the same answer whether I'm actually interested or not." (Ok, so that message was sort of subordinate, but that's the information that was pertinent to me). Lame. I realize this is one point of view. One girl. One opinion. Even so, it just sort of brings my frustrations to the forefront. Basically, if you're interested - ACT LIKE IT! You can say "I'm busy" but among the many things in my life that I've learned up til now, one of the most important is that you make time for the things that are important to you - regardless of whatever else is going on. If you really are interested in exploring what may be there, make time for it. And if there really isn't time, at the very least, keep the lines of communication open. On the reverse, if you're not interested, be honest about it! There are tactful ways of expressing a lack of interest. My ego may still get bruised, I may still say mean things about you to my friends, but at least you were honest and didn't waste my time.

*sigh* It's just that there seem to be so many expectations placed on men in dating with very few placed on women. I have to ask, pay, ask again, pay again, keep the ball rolling. All you have to do is say yes and giggle. And if you're not interested you ignore me, thus wasting my time, and causing me confusion and ulcers. (I know! It's my own perspective. The grass is always greener etc., just let me whine for a second.)

Basically what I'm saying is, I was gutsy enough to take some initiative, at least give me the courtesy of being honest about anything beyond that.

*I wrote this a couple of days ago, and have since been subtely shafted. I gave it a good go - made several attempts (in a non-threatening, and non-overbearing way) at doing a second excursion, which she seemed excited about i.e. exlamation points and "please let's do!" etc., but never followed through on, so I'm taking the hint - whether intended or not. I gave it a valiant effort and the button is now in her hand, as it were.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

10 years

Every now and again in life my thoughts turn to the future. (And inevitably I hear "Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future's not ours to see, que sera sera..." somewhere in the back of my head, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it.) A question concerning the future recently caught my eye and started the old gears turning once more, namely: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" It wasn't directed toward me, but it got me thinking nonetheless. Where will I be in 10 years?

I think it's important to take stock of the present before trying to predict the future. Right now I'm glaringly single, moderately attractive, and ridiculously happy. During the day I'm gainfully employed teaching children how to multiply - a job I love, and at night I get paid to make a fool of myself on stage - which I also love. Basically I've been blessed with a life I'm not sure I deserve, but I'm not complaining.

Now about the future...

Realistically: I'll be married to a wonderful woman who still makes me laugh, with three or four children who drive me crazy for all the right reasons. I'll still be working in education, but not necessarily in the classroom. Maybe a traveling advocate for boys' literacy, or a presenter for educational program X...or program Y, I'm not picky. I'll have a few children's books, and a youth fiction novel or two under my belt (though whether they'll be successful is anyone's guess). I'll still get good character roles in local theater productions, and every now and again a good lead. I'll have a house with a swing set, a flower bed, and a small vegetable garden. I'll probably still be in Utah and I have no problem with that whatsoever. I will also be host to the annual Barnett Family Easter Eggstravanza complete with relay races, candy, and one raw egg. And I'll still be ridiculously happy.

Ideally: Not much different from the reality I envision. The house may be bigger - one with a wrap-around porch and a backyard with a fountain. I'd drive a Smart Car. I'd be the host of the resurrected "Reading Rainbow" series - only this time the opening song will be a re-mix of the original, and I will never have been part of the cast of any Star Trek spin-off. My books will have been wildly successful - we're talking Caldecott, Newberry, Nobel Prize for Children's Literature (they'll make up that category just for my stories) and some, if not most...or even all, will have been made into lucrative movies starring everyone from James McAvoy to Julie Andrews (I like the Brits.).

In a world with infinite possibilities: By day I'll host a daytime talk show to rival Ellen DeGeneres, and go on a world-wide quest for the perfect brownie. By night I'd be a near-invincible crime-fighting superhero. And I would have a cape.

Worst-case scenario: I'll be 100 lbs. heavier with no hair left, and still single. I'll have been ostracized from the local theater community and fired from my job on trumped-up charges about something inane. I'll work for a telemarketing firm, and at night I'll watch Tivo'd reruns of the Jane Pauly show while eating second-rate vanilla frosting from a canister without the aide of a utensil. I'll also own a cat.

The real reality is I don't know where I'll be in 10 years. If you'd told me 10 years ago I'd be where I am now, I probably would have laughed. But if there's something I've learned it's that no matter where life takes me I can be happy because happiness, above all else, is a choice. And regardless of my career as an author, whether or not I land my dream role, how many children are in my classroom, or how my Sunday pan of brownies turns out, my own happiness is up to me.

So how about you? Where will you be 10 years down the road?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spiders etc.

Meet Duncan:

He's a Mexican Redknee tarantula, and my new class pet.  Right now he's just a baby, but someday he'll be huge.  I'm pretty excited about that.  He's not super exciting.  He spends most of his time buried, but he's still pretty cool.  And, in reality, I'm not even sure it's a he.  What can ya do?

In other news, for the second time this year, I've made the stall door of the girl's bathroom.  This time it said:  "Mr. B sucks c***".  I have some delightful third graders.  This time it was written on the outside of the stall door, so everyone that walked into the girl's bathroom could see it.  Good, good times.