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Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Additions

Hello folks,

Just a quick note to say thanks for reading and advise of a new twist to the blog. As you've probably figured out by now, I created this blog to recount a three-year span of my life, a serial memoir if you will. I've tried to get a set schedule going by doing weekly postings but that has fallen by the way side due to my 8-5 and other projects.

Since I hate for you to have nothing to read and I've become somewhat of an online dating guru, I decided to share even more of my experiences via articles, reviews and recommendations of the online dating sites with which I've had dealings. Hope you find the new additions helpful and/or enjoyable.

The aim is to try to do weekly postings of an article, a reviewof an online dating site, or another installment of Age is Just a Number.

Thanks again for subscribing and happy reading!

Peace,
Dee

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Note (3)

9:35 p.m., Saturday, March, 2003

It was surely cold out there today! March isn’t called the windy month for nothing. In between chasing books that took to flight like birds I pictured myself somewhere hot, warm, humid even. Needless to say, business was slower than usual.

Anyway, back to the reason my slowly defrosting digits are being forced to pen these words: my all-nighter last night. Hmmm, that sounds as though I were doing more than merely prospective-mate-watching, doesn't it? Well, if I play my cards right...who knows?

I got home and there it was: my first note! Pulse racing, I seated myself at the computer. Just to give the guy a fair shake, I read the note before I looked at the profile and picture (lucky for him, too!). While I wouldn't exactly call him attractive, he had a little something going for him. His note was funny, challenging and he sounded real. He was also a Trinidadian ("Trini" for short), which earned him bonus points from my point of view. My sister has always warned me to avoid Trini men. She says they’re too sneaky and disrespectful. But hey, she’s not here and she’s married, so it’s every single woman for herself, right?

What is that about anyway? Ever notice that a whole bunch of married women are always advising single women on how to be single? Meanwhile, they’re going home to stolen covers, morning breath, mangled toothpaste and upright toilet seats, things some of us would kill to have. I’d have an easier time accepting relational mores from someone navigating the same waters. Maybe I’ll write a book about it… soon as I figure it out myself.

I can’t believe I’m back here again, in the dating pool. I’ll have to lose weight, buy new clothes, do that bikini wax thing--oh, bump that. No more trying before buying, remember? Now say it like you mean it, girl: I AM NOT A CAR…NO TEST DRIVES ALLOWED!

Translation? I’ll be alone for the rest of my life!

Anyway, back to the note. I replied in my cutesy lil way and told him a little about myself. Height, age, weight--lawd, not the weight. In two weeks maybe; don’t wanna lie. Fasting and lying do not a good combo make. Hmmm, do fasting and man hunting--ahem, proper positioning--coincide? I mean, when you look at it, I’m not hunting down a man. I’m positioning myself where I can be found. Dang, that sounds weak even to me. Oh well, I’m gonna try this. Anything’s got to be better than my social life as it is right now.



To Be Continued...

Just joining us? Here's what you've missed so far: Synopsis, (1) and (2)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Somebody Likes Me! (2)

6:00 a.m., Saturday, March, 2003

Considering the fact that I love to sleep and needed to set up my bookstand in two hours, pulling an all-nighter probably wasn’t one of my brighter ideas--but it was oh so gratifying. When I felt saturated enough to tear myself away from the internet profiles, I decided (like there was really a decision to be made) to set up a profile of my own so that some of those godly men out there could find me.

Unsure of exactly what to put in my profile, I checked out some pages by other female members. Wow! There were some beautiful women on there! I wondered why? Maybe as in my case, there are slim pickings in their immediate surroundings; or maybe they’re just plain picky? Anyhow, I was still holding my own…even grading myself harshly, and in the spirit of modesty, I’d give myself a seven.

I then looked for some Christian women's pages. How inspiring! Scripture, poetry, testimonies, thought-provoking questions and answers, a list of expectations and affirmations of self respect, and then…screechhhhhhhhhhhhh…way at the bottom of the page…in all its hoochified glory, a picture with tatas and/or hind parts hanging out all over the place.

My fingers itched to send them a note about misrepresenting the body of Christ. Something to the effect that they were sending conflicting and embarrassing messages to the world at large and men in particular. A carryover from being the youngest of eight, my level of boldness has its limits, plus, I handle being cussed out very poorly. So, minding my own business, I began to fill out my profile.

The profile called for an alias (seemed kind of silly to me but I did it anyhow). In the style of the Old Testament where parents chose names for their children based on character, I chose the name PrincessDian. (The e couldn’t fit. I wasn’t so much aiming for Caucasian, anorexic and blonde--my emphasis was on the royal, kind-and-giving yet lonely aspect of the name.) I’d hated my name all my life because it’s pronounced "Dee-Anne" but spelled "Diane." Uncomfortable in an assertive role and tired of correcting everyone, I mostly let mispronunciations slide, while I stewed inside. Right around the time that I discovered that I had some serious self-hate going on and decided to begin loving me, I discovered that my name meant Divine. What a breakthrough! I realized that my hatred and denial of the name Diane paralleled my hatred and denial of who I really am, as a woman first and as a child of God.

Anyhow, I put in my request for someone tall and muscular this time around in the age range of 35-39. No more short men or their mentalities for me. I wanted someone who could give me a piggyback ride if I asked. I also stipulated that he needed to be a Christian. Hopefully, if I mentioned the faith of Job, I’d be less likely to receive a response about the fate of my job. Educated? Definitely. I didn’t spend summers studying the dictionary as a teenager to let words like "scintillating" and "proselytizing" go to waste. But since I’m not a snob, he doesn’t have to have a formal degree, just a certain level of intelligence. What I particularly liked about this medium was that I didn’t have to hurt someone’s feelings face to face. I could look at their specs (that’s computer talk for qualities) and then politely respond with a yay, nay or the male kiss of death: “Let’s be friends”.

I completed my page, added the makeup free headshot from my Driver’s License. I then rounded up a good book and sat there reading (if you could call it reading-- holding a book in front of you with your eyes darting back and forth like a Ping-Pong ball from book to computer screen). After sitting there expectantly for a bit, loath to answer the call of nature, I nevertheless did so. Upon my return, there was an email message telling me I’d received a note from tenrag at BP! Results! So quickly!

I did a praise dance. “Somebody likes me! Somebody likes me!” Mind you, it’s about 3:00 a.m. The entire household is asleep and there I was like a slaphappy fool, celebrating like I’d won the lottery. Heck, you know I’ve been studying up a storm, fasting and taking care of my temple (that’s Christian talk for body) and all that good stuff. Started mending family fences, volunteering for babysitting duty. Yes, me, drop-it-when-it-wets me--babysitting. Now I’ve gotten to the point that if I have to see another movie with a family member or anyone under seventeen, there’ll be consequences and repercussions…or is that repercussions and consequences? Oh, who cares…you get my drift.

Time to get a little shut-eye before I face the cold and customers.



To be continued...

Just joining us? Here's what you've missed so far: Synopsis and (1)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Secret Life of Divine (1)

7:20 a.m., Monday, August 2004

I scribble furiously from my first-row corner seat aboard Lantabus Metro. I’m anxious to capture the thoughts and words as they come, honestly, naturally. As I write, I wonder how I ever made it to this point without suffering irreparable physical or emotional damage.

A little over three years ago, I quit a well paying, soul-destroying job in title insurance. Around the same time, I discovered my fiancĂ©’s impending fatherhood, which he credited to my decision to reclaim my virginity until our wedding in six months. (I guess he took my urge not to merge harder than I thought.) On the spiritual side, since I’d been too busy coping with life to pick up the internal phone, God sent a messenger to tell me that my services were required as preacher, teacher and mentor extraordinaire.

Being the strong, black woman that I am, aside from a daily struggle with depression and a weight gain of thirty pounds, I thought I was pretty much taking it all in stride. Then my landlord gave me forty-five days' notice to vacate my apartment. Again, sudden changes ordinarily wouldn't faze me. I've been a long time subscriber to the "life happens" train of thought. But for the self-employed, apartment hunting is not a cakewalk. Add defunct child support payments, an elderly parent with special needs, a growing teenager and my New York City location to the equation, and I’m sure you can understand my dilemma.

I “remained calm” even though my life was the equivalent of a five-alarm fire. I was on a forty day fast at the time, so I knew God had my back. I was even bold enough to tell God, “This one’s on you.” Nevertheless, I was ripe for a distraction, a diversion, a denial facilitator: some kind of heavy-duty mode of escapism. And wouldn’t you know it--I found one!

5:00 a.m, Saturday, March, 2003

I hit the jackpot last night! I’d just returned from choir rehearsal and was unwinding with a copy of Ebony Magazine when I came across an article about two couples. One couple is a newlywed and the other is newly engaged. I know, I know…what’s so remarkable about that? Let me finish. Both couples met each other online through dating websites! Go figure. I didn’t even know dating websites existed! I love technology!

According to the article, the couples “met” online and, despite the sad rap that the Internet has for unsuccessful connections, they managed to beat the odds. Residing in different states seemed not to pose a problem for them. As I processed the article’s information, my heart began to race and I began to experience a certain sense of exhilaration. In my mind’s eye I fast-forwarded straight to the culmination of a successful connection for myself.

Me, Divine, walking down (or is it up?) the aisle, wearing a beautiful buttercup yellow colored, empire-style gown,
with a rip away skirt for dancing and showing off my jump-back-Tina-Turner legs. Of course in this vision I am a size 10 again, and not the mismatched size 16/12 (top/bottom) that I am presently. My auburn tinted locs are braided into an intricate Nefertiti upsweep that just oozes royalty. My nails are unfortunately acrylic (an inveterate nail biter, I can only distort reality so far), and the groom--oh, the groom… he is Morris Chestnut and Shemar Moore of “The Brothers” and Boris Kodjoe of “Soul Food” all rolled into one. It is so real I can feel the goose bumps, sweaty palms, and knocking knees--finished by a sense of relief as the Divine in my vision silently whispers, “Thank you Je-sus!”


I hasted to get to the computer in my home office, adjacent to my bedroom. The fate of the magazine went unnoticed as it hit the floor. I logged on to one of the websites referenced in the Ebony article, Blackplanet.com. I ran a search and sat mesmerized as I viewed with awe the works of God’s hands in all their multicolored glory. They came in all shapes, heights, sizes and sexual preferences. Occupations ranged from blue collar to executive level. Profile after profile, each one more tantalizing than the next.

I pulled an all-nighter, yes I did. I wouldn’t bet money on it, but I might be willing to swear that I heard strains of “So Many Men, So Little Time…How Can I Choo-oose” playing faintly in the background as I set about launching a full-fledged assault on the men of Blackplanet.
To Be Continued…

Just joining us? Here's what you've missed so far: Synopsis

Friday, July 01, 2005

Synopsis

"Age is just a number." Is it really that simple?

Divine's journey of self-discovery is an often humorous, sometimes unbelievable and at times achingly sad recounting of her shell shock upon reentering the world of dating after a fourteen year absence. Along this journey she discovers online dating websites, IM's and chat rooms. As she writes in her journal, she reveals her bewilderment as she tries to navigate the new "dating rules" that allow twenty year olds to feel emboldened enough to approach thirty-seven year olds, with the line "age is just a number."

Her dilemma becomes one of needs versus values, as Divine discovers how far she will push the line before it snaps… or she breaks.

Journey with Divine as she encounters the good, the bad, the ugly, the mentally challenged, the financially deficient, the spiritually inconsistent, the freaky, the delusional, the lonely and more…