jeudi, juillet 09, 2009

The white screen

Send in the clowns? OK?

The spring was an eye-opening experience in many ways. I found out that there are some things I'm not willing to do for money, like work myself into a neurotic, weepy, frazzled mess. I now value both weeds and mulch more than I ever did, because they remind me of how much I am a creature of dirty fingernails, wildflowers and moonlit nights. I am seeing my children become more and more independent, and reminding myself that mothers since time immemorial have survived this gradual loss.

As a consequence, I'm starting to try to dream of my own social life, before I'm too old for much but a chat around a senior citizen's table with the "girls."

So...that's why I went through the pages (17) of all the men who'd viewed me within the past four or five months on the dating site -- and erased them. The scam artists writing from West Africa (or so they said). The guys who wanted sex -- and no more. The handsome 27 year old who wanted to meet me who had already served a year in Iraq. The men who described their exes as eeevil women who enjoyed conflict more than compromise. The guys with whom there was no "chemistry." The guys who felt chemistry when I didn't feel any.

All of them sent into dating site purgatory, where they remain shadows in the land of the blocked profiles.

I'm well aware of my immaturities, fears, and lack of self-confidence in certain arenas.

But I've found the bottom line -- and although I'm not comfortable with it, it seems to be where I have to begin.

I don't think I can go into a relationship thinking someone will change for me -- why should they? The swinger won't give up his multiples. The guy who reads Steven King for kicks probably won't do Henry James (or if they will, they are already doing it). More importantly, the guy who finds it hard to express himself won't start communicating.

If I could, I'd try to be physically attracted to retired guys, beer bellies and Harleys (there are a lot of these) but right now it's beyond me. And I don't expect to "heal" anyone's addictions.

So here I am -- wondering what to do with my tabula rasa? Actually, not quite so rasa-- a few guys got in under the radar, messing up my clean white screen already. But then, anyone who knows me knows that I don't keep a neat house, anyway. There has to be room for joy, laughter, sadness and love.

dimanche, juillet 05, 2009


He lost. To a six year old at the Swiss games.

The elevators at the Sheraton were almost always crammed. Stuck next to two young men, (perhaps in their early 20's) I couldn't but help overhear this dialogue. While I wanted to know more about the six year old, I couldn't ask for enlightenment anymore than I could have asked that older guy about that cool move with a rook.

Like I could make a cool move with a rook! Or a pawn. Or even a bishop -- we've tried to move our bishop, but he won't leave.

Women in saris. Young men in baggy shorts. Plump middle-aged women. Boys, and a few girls, of multiple ethnic origins -- the clientele at the Chess tour tournament was a wonderful stew of skill and shade and geographical diversity. I mention this because chess, for some reason, bridges both class and racial boundaries in a way that few other sports seem to -- an outsider, I confess mystification.

Here's what I learned: that it's really tough tracking five eleven year old boys after a baseball game. That my son's chess coach doesn't mind getting in the hotel pool and playing ball with the guys. That it's hard to see a whole exhibit of compasses and armillaries in an hour. That Mr. C has found his posse, at least for now. And, just to show you how much I care, here's one joke.

Question: What are you before, during and after you go to the bathroom.

Before: You are Russian.

After: You are Finnish.

During: Eur-a-pean, of course.

Try to forget who told you.