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Monday, October 08, 2007

Figment

To my brothers and sisters who have been brave enough to step outside the box and try this new thing we call "Online Dating"

If you've been at it for any length of time, you will have perhaps encountered folks who think you're crazy, desperate or just plain don't understand the idea of it. Maybe you began with entertainment purposes in mind and then one day, a profile spoke to you and you reached out, made contact and became hooked. Or maybe that's just me? Let me know if you feel me.

Peace,
~D
~*~*~*~*~

Figment


Sometimes I think you're a figment of my imagination
Sometimes I think I'm in it all by myself
Just when I've convinced myself it's over
or wonder had it ever been
You type up a response and then hit "send"

Recognition sets my heart aquiver
Then all of me begins to shiver
Even as I acknowledge my susceptibility
I immerse myself in thoughts of possibility

Perhaps this time things will be different
Steady and strong not intermittent
Your words will not become a song
My hopes won't just be dreams gone wrong

Not that I want to call your words a lie
They just don't come true even when I try and try
The disappointment then becomes a trend
Seems even closer than my dearest friend

You give me just enough to keep me hooked
All the while your calendar reads "booked"
You've helped me to work past my fear
Yet all the while your own is still there

The frustrating part of this whole plight
Is that you see me and what you see you like
But years and years of self dislike
Has made you forsee only slights

So I know it is time to call it quits
Deal with the real of what this is
Made up, contrived: a figment, a wish
Served hot or cold, it's an unpalatable dish

I collect my thoughts and view the screen
Curtailing my hopes with all my being
I remind myself just how long it's been
Then I resolutely click "delete"

(c) 2007 by D.S. White

Author of Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating (09/06) and Love Quest: Looking for Love in Cyberspace ... coming November 2008

Publisher of Incremental Stages by Karen Baker (12/07)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Be2.net - Free Online Dating

Be2.net
http://www.be2.net/

Alexa Traffic Rank: 121,362
Google Links from other sites: 17
Google Page Rank: 6/10
First Archive:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://be2.net


Tagline--"Free Online Dating: A Place For Friends"

Site Description:

Be2.net - Free Online Dating is a site for people from all over the World. It offers free profile, free email, instant messenger, video profile, video chat, rating and much more.

Site Features:

- Ability to create a free Video Profile in seconds:
- Free Unique IM system, similar to ICQ, in real time
- Upon registration, you can send: emails, instant messages, and chat with other members
- Rating system to express your opinion of other members
- Ability to create Friendship Circles and introduce new friends to your existing ones
- Ability to see who voted for you and the vote given
- Automatic Free VIP memberships! Key requirement: frequent visits.
- Health page that covers topics from Acne to Yoga

My Impression:

Upon clicking the link of Be2.net the first thing to catch my eye my the woman across the top of the page in slinky lingerie. Not a great impression for me, but maybe the fellas will love it. Another no no for me was the fact that I clicked on the "About" page and it was blank.

Pros:

  • Site is FREE
  • Joining is easy and straightforward
  • Site has equitable features as found in a paid site and more
  • Site contains a health page and links to resources
  • Site has wide reach - Bulgeria, United States, Turkey, Russia, Greece, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, France, Egypt, Croatia, India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Kuwait, Malaysia, Ukraine, China, Algeria, Italy, Jordan and Romania.

Cons:

  • Moving around the site could be made more intuitive.
  • About page is blank

Recommendation:

Overall, I found the features of Be2.net outstanding, however, due to the absence of the About page, and a certain "Russian Ladies" banner I'm left with a certain level of discomfort.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Excerpt: I Heart My In-Laws

The following is an excerpt from the book I Heart My In-Laws
by Dina Koutas Poch
Published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC;
June 2007;
$15.00US/$18.95CAN;
978-0-8050-8279-1

Copyright © 2007 Dina Koutas Poch
Regional Guide to In-Laws

There are seven territories of in-law personalities in this great country of ours. Each has its own unique flavor.

1. West Coast In-Laws

( California , Oregon , Washington )

Three words: Burning Man Festival. Your in-laws live where Manifest Destiny carried them. They come from a long line of gold hunters — those in search of a truer, richer way of life. Every single Napa Valley wine they uncork, or Starbucks coffee they brew; or macrobiotic muffin they bake, they judge you for not living the way they do. “Oh, West Coast people are more laid back.” Really? They’re ultra-aggressive about lifestyle choices and the 40-hour workweek! How do you deal with your West Coast in-laws?

Compliment their tan. Their sunglasses. Their shapely mountain-bike sculpted legs. They’ll eat it up (those egotists!). And coo when they mention how they fly seaplanes to their island house, and how the orca whales and “pristine wilderness” are their backyard. Blah, blah, blah. Make sure to note how very fresh the air is, even if it’s making your allergies act up.
Read up on renewable energy resources: wind power, solar energy, and corn-powered cars. Tell them that you’re already on the waiting list for one (a waiting list made of recycled paper, no less).

How to dress: In flannel and Tevas with thick socks.
What not to do: Smoke cigarettes. Joints, however, are cool.

2. Rocky Mountain In-Laws

( Colorado , Montana , Idaho , Utah )

Your rugged in-laws know a thing or two about machinery. They can plow. They can drive a tractor. They can dig a deep hole with a backhoe (and I’m talking about Aunt Trudy on dialysis here). They can also wrangle sheep on a mountain without the help of a gay lover (no matter what that movie said). How do you impress in-laws that live in winter for nine months a year and are known to wrestle bears for sport?

If your weenie job as an economics professor hasn’t prepared you for life with these in-laws, buying a picture book about tractors and trucks — something a five-year-old boy would drool over — will help. At least you’ll know your trenchers from your dozers and your grapple log skidders from your pipe layers.

Pick an alpine sport: ice climbing, fly-fishing, kayaking, mountain climbing, trekking, snowshoeing, skiing, or mountain biking, and excel at it. It doesn’t matter if you live in Florida , you need to train so you can join your in-laws in death-defying “leisure sports” at high altitude (with no bleeping oxygen!).
How to dress: In jeans and a warm jacket, because you’ll be outside shoveling hay.
What not to do: Mention how your gay brother in Boston just got married and a drag queen performed the ceremony.

3. Southwestern In-Laws

( New Mexico , Arizona , Nevada )

There are two kinds of ex-hippie in-laws in the Southwest: those with boatloads of money and those with a jar of pennies. Figure out which one your in-law is. The former has a perfect golf swing, and the latter reliably has peyote.

When your Southwest in-laws hug you, they practically blind — the sun glints off their turquoise jewelry and belt buckles, sending signals miles into the sky. (Duh, that’s how the aliens found Roswell .)

Your in-laws are into spirituality with a capital S. Every inch of wall space is covered with pottery depictions of Kokopelli and watercolor drawings of pueblos and adobe homes in rust and muted orange hues. They subsist on roasted green chilies and yerba mate. They also don’t age. Is it the desert? The dry heat? Each time you see them, they’re younger. In fact, they’re twenty-five years old right now. It’s terrifying.

How do you ingratiate yourself with southwestern in-laws?

Go hot-air ballooning with your in-laws! Everyone in the Southwest does it. How else do you pass the time in l00-degree heat? Remember, hot-air balloons aren’t just for Dorothy & Co. They’re for you, your in-laws, and nineteenth-century explorers.

Vegas, baby! Anyone? Slot machines? Showgirls? People-watching? Shark tank at Mandalay Bay ? (These are rhetorical questions. You don’t have to answer them.) But you may want to propose them to your in-laws, when they bust out the tarot cards — again. Hey, why don’t you use those tarot cards to predict some winning hands of blackjack? As they say in the movies, it’s just crazy enough to work, boss.
How to dress: A brightly patterned sundress and a necklace made of the largest beads known to man.
What not to do: Say you prefer modern art.

4. Texan In-Laws

Your Texan in-laws are smug about one thing: being Texan. We know you were once a republic! And everything’s bigger! Six flags, the Alamo , that 72-ounce steak, and especially the hats. Fine! Texas is big, “American,” flashy, and the center of the world.

If your Texan in-laws aren’t gorgeously well-manicured people from Houston or Dallas, or cultured Austinites, they’re ranchers and they don’t give a damn about you, “the en-vi-ro-mentalists,” and “the gov’nment.” After all, the rest of the world is just not Texas .

Of course, you’ll meet a second cousin-in-law that uses her panty hose to strain motor oil, but the rest of the family isn’t too proud of her. So how do you deal with the Texan in-laws?

Accept that a lot of people you’ll meet in the Lone Star State will have nicknames like Joe-Bob, Billy-Bob, Jim-Bob, Little John, Big John, etc. You’ll be expected to know about their souped-up truck and new gun rack in intimate detail.

Respect the laws of the Barcalounger. Your Texan in-laws don’t have normal chairs; they need something with a footrest. Succumb to the relaxation factor of holding conversations while horizontal.

How to dress: A “Don’t Mess with Texas ” T-shirt with a Stetson hat, only because your in-laws gave them to you upon your arrival.
What not to do: Forget to send good wishes to your in-laws on Texan holidays like Texas Independence Day, the start of Deer Hunting Season, the Opening Day of high school football practice, and the day the new model year of Ford F-150s hits the market.

5. Southern In-Laws

( Arkansas , Louisiana to Florida , and up to Kentucky and Virginia )

Your in-laws love NASCAR. If they don’t, their neighbors do. Your southern in-laws are either “refined city folk” or “simple country folk,” and they’ll want you to know the difference.

Your southern in-laws are suspicious of you. It’s not just you — it’s anyone outside their state. Your in-laws have never been “North,” and by that, they mean Delaware . It’s not that they don’t want to go, just why would they? People have been in their town for generations. It’s home, which is why you should move there. When you’re south of the Mason-Dixon Line, do as those who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line . . .

Learn the key players in “the Confederacy.” How many times have you met a southerner named Jefferson Davis? Billions? Every street, building, and public school is named after these folks: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Jeb Stuart, Alexander Stephens, P. T. Beauregard, or Nathan Bedford Forrest. But please never, ever mention the Destroyer-of-the-South, Yankee General Sherman. He’s still on their “list,” 150 years later.

Talk the talk. Know southern sport rivalries and which side you’re on with the Tar Heels vs. Blue Devils, LSU vs. Ole Miss, and Tennessee Volunteers vs. Kentucky Wildcats.
How to dress: Something bright and feminine from your mother’s closet.
What not to do: Don’t call it the “Civil War.” It’s the “War of Northern Aggression.”

6. Northeast Corridor In-Laws

(Ohio, Pennsylvania, and up through Maine )

If you or anyone you’re related to went to a fancy school, now’s the time to mention it. New Englanders love to think “they know better” and that “they are smarter” and that they “vote correctly.” They can push up their dark-framed glasses and snub you with their “Plymouth Rock” crap.

The crowded cities and suburbs of Philadelphia , Washington , D.C., Cincinnati , New York , and Boston mean one thing — your in-laws are the diversity in America . They smother you with affection because a hundred other relatives live down the street.

Join the rat race. You must keep up with the Joneses — the family that you can see from the bay window in your in-laws’ kitchen. Last week, the competition was about the house gutters. They won. This week it’s about you. Who has the sweetest daughter-in-law?

Your northern in-laws have summer homes in non-warm places like Nantucket . What’s the point?
How to dress: Like you just fell out of the J. Crew catalog.
What not to do: Mention that you didn’t vote in the last election

7. Midwest In-Laws

(Indiana to Missouri, up to North Dakota and Michigan )

If a giant, two-headed reptilian monster was heading toward your in-laws’ subdivision, they would smile and wave. Your in-laws are that friendly and nice. Sometimes it’s creepy. Like the time they offered a teenager a ride back to his college campus — it looked an awful lot like kidnapping.

Between the ice fishing, apple-pie baking, and dining at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery (which they nicknamed Pukins), your big-boned in-laws spend a lot of time driving (8 hours is short haul), using terms like “who gives a flying fig,” and asking “how ya doing?” followed by “okey, dokey!” So how do you get ahead with them?

Dig into dishes that involve massive amounts of melted cheese. Your in-laws will prepare cheesy potatoes, cheesy broccoli, cheesy asparagus, and fried cheese curds — which sounds awful, but c’mon, let’s admit it, a little melted cheese makes everything better.

“Live simply, so that others can simply live.” If your in-laws aren’t city dwellers, they’re farmers and they know how to birth a cow, mend a horse, or feed a pig. If you know zilch about farms, don’t fret. Praise the good bugs — ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, and honeybees — and chastise the potentially bad bugs — flea hoppers, lygus bugs, aphids, and mealy bugs. Impress your in-laws by differentiating good stinkbugs (they’re green) from bad ones (they’re brown).

How to dress: Something with an elastic waistband.
What not to do: Take shortcuts. Using life’s conveniences (leaf blower vs. rake, microwave vs. Crock-Pot, etc.) only means you’re not working hard enough!

Copyright © 2007 Dina Koutas Poch

Author Dina Koutas Poch holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University . She is a writer and filmmaker living in New York City with her husband. Her in-laws live in Connecticut .

For more information, please visit http://iheartmyinlaws.com/

First Comes Friendship, Then Comes Marriage

By Aurelie Sheehan
Author of History Lesson for Girls

This month my husband and I are celebrating our eighth anniversary -- safely and well beyond the Seven Year Itch. We have a good marriage, and much to celebrate. What makes it work? I don’t know -- luck, probably. Or maybe it’s because it resembles, more than the relationships I’ve had with some men, the neglected, yet deeply important bond I shared with my childhood best friend.

It’s Jenny -- not Jim, Joe, Jack, John, or Jasper -- who gave me a sense of what is possible in love (minus, as they say, one thing).

1. Conversation before, during, and after school

As teenagers in a suburban Connecticut town in the seventies, Jenny and I were completely baffled, often quite amused, and sometimes horrified by what we saw around us. What could we do about it? Not much -- except we could talk.

Talking is how we made sense of things: seventies-style foibles, marriages gone awry, a school full of aliens from outer space. We laid out plans for the future, we contemplated the Essential Truth of Jim Morrison (and Jim Morrison's leather pants); we talked about poetry, mascara, and everything in between. Words were our currency, and with them, we remade the world.

My husband and I also remake the world through talking. Our world has gotten a little wider, perhaps, but we still analyze and discuss the heck out of it to make sense of the thing. We’ve got certain spots for certain kinds of discussion: the Big Topics often require the chairs in the living room, the Tense Topics are done on the fly (room to room, too hot to sit for long), and the Fun Topics are done during dinner prep. At lunch, we talk about the news of the day. And at night we talk about all manner of subjects (though he’s currently wary of revealing important new plans to me at this juncture, for once or twice my ever-lengthening silences have turned into sleep.)

Soon after we met, I told my future husband that I wished we could take a train together, a long journey, so we could just talk and talk and talk. He smiled at me. He said he likes trains, too. And he didn’t have to tell me he likes to talk. A few months later we rode our first train together, a dream come true, two very chatty people in seats 2A and 2B.

2. A whole bunch of sleepovers

They were about time, of course. Time to talk (definitely), and time just to hang out. And also my sleepovers with Jenny re-energized the most basic routines of life. A slight bore on its own, brushing my teeth became incredibly fun when we were doing it together, when a toothpaste glob had trickled down her chin, and we were nearly dying of toothpaste asphyxiation while laughing and doing a chicken dance in our Lanz of Salzburg nightgowns.

When my husband goes away, I realize how simply having company for all the mundane and everyday chores (going to Home Depot, making dinner, taking plates out of the dishwasher) makes each thing a lot more fun. Not that I always appreciate it -- it’s an embarrassment of riches, now. Do I get worked up with joy over going to Home Depot to pick up a new mop head? Not totally. But were we to do the chicken dance in the parking lot.

3. A second pirate in the Caribbean

A few months before we got engaged, I was applying for an important job. Right before the interview, my husband said: “Okay, so listen. Helen Keller once said: ‘Life is either a grand adventure or nothing at all.’ So go get ‘em, honey. You’re going to do great.”

I got the job, but more significantly I got the concept. I like to think of this marriage as a grand adventure. Yes, we’ve got the Home Depot runs and the domesticity, but the fact is, ever since I met my husband, I’ve had a conviction that our life together is full of possibility.

It’s a feeling I remember from high school, when Jenny would look over at me, we’d lock devilish stares, and then go out and do some incredibly stupid thing. But fun thing, usually. We gave each other chutzpa. We said yes to galloping our horses down the road at top speed, yes to the next party, yes to skipping algebra. Yes, most of all, to life.

4. A secret language

Jenny and I made one up and used it whenever necessary. It was an offshoot of a language she used with her dog, a waddling little Pekinese called Tammy. “Hey, Beeyoqueen, I sib suddo,” one of us would say. It was cool to have our own secret code. We felt it would be useful should we ever get arrested, for instance, which we, well, were. (It wasn’t quite as fun to chat in the back of the cop cruiser as we’d imagined it would be.) But even a simple interaction -- asking for a match or a sip of Seven-Up -- changed if we spoke our own language; it became consecrated, wholly our own thing.

My husband and I have our own language too. Sure, we’ve got your classic marital grunts and shorthand expressions to get us through before the second cup of coffee. But we’ve also developed a fascinating franglish to deploy when trying to baffle our seven-year-old. “Success a la Target purchase? Le puzzlement de la petit Potter?” he might ask, to which I’ll gesture in a quite Parisian fashion. (The kid is catching on, by the way.)

5. A place to stash my (proverbial) cigarettes

I had secrets then and I have secrets now. Back then, they were easy -- externalized, something to hide in a drawer. I don’t smoke anymore, and so I’d say my secrets now are more in the lines of character flaws. Not that I’m completely and utterly flawed, but still. These flaws or weaknesses insist upon themselves, seem tricky enough to keep coming back, and my husband knows them as well as I do. He also knows my strengths, as I do his. But I like to know that I can safely store my pack of bad habits in his house, and he won’t throw me out for it.

6. An undying, forever-feeling, all-or-nothing, Us vs. Them conviction

It may not be at the forefront of my consciousness every single time I pour a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara into a pot for a hasty dinner while he’s lying face down on the couch before a televised golf tournament. But put us at risk and it’s right there. When the doctor told my husband about his predilection for heart disease, for instance. Or when we had to find our way through the crowds in New Delhi during the Republic Day parade. Or even at certain unending dinner parties at which new theories on why there’s no such thing as global warming are being explained.

We band together then, as Jenny and I did when we were teenagers. Back then, every day felt like running the gauntlet, filled with new threats and drama and confusion. We were trying to step up to the plate; trying to explain, to articulate, who we were. We were able to succeed, sometimes, because we knew we had each other.

7. An apparently untiring audience for the first draft of my poems

And this was a heck of a lot easier for Jenny, because I only wrote one or two poems a week. And they were poems. But now I write novels. And I want him to read not just this draft but that draft and then that draft, also? The man is incredible as a reader and editor. The poems Jenny and I shared were in our handwriting, in our journals, and I’ll always love her careful square letters, whimsical and reluctant both.

8. A person who will tell me if these black shoes look better than those black shoes (she was a little better at this)

Well, never mind about this one. Forget it.

9. Mad Magazine, or something similar

We were very, very funny. We had a repertoire. We had an arsenal. We especially liked to use it during class, or when describing the personal style of various sinisterly athletic classmates or the Spanish teacher who just gave us a C+. My parents thought Jenny was too critical, too sarcastic, and her parents thought I was an oddball, out of touch. It didn’t matter what they thought, as long as we could laugh.

I remember dating a guy who was nice in every way, but our senses of humor didn’t quite match up, and that was it: we were history. Thankfully, my husband is in the other room with a big red ball on his nose right now, about to launch into morning limerick, so I think we’ll be okay.

10. Changes, yes, but some things that stay true

She changed a lot, during those years, and so did I. It was not always easy. And there have been stretches in our adult lives when we’ve fallen out of touch, when it’s not been possible to explain life changes, new mates, rapid decisions. We weather these dry spells -- in part, I believe, because we remember how our friendship was a ballast we could find nowhere else in our young lives.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. My husband and I used Shakespeare famous words at our wedding, as have many other plucky English majors.

The quote is also a decent definition of friendship.

Copyright © 2007 Aurelie Sheehan

Author Aurelie Sheehan is the author of the short story collection Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant and the novel The Anxiety of Everyday Objects. The director of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona, she has received a Pushcart Prize, a Camargo Fellowship, and the Jack Kerouac Literary Award. She lives in Tucson with her husband and daughter.

For more information, please visit www.aureliesheehan.com

--

Photo credit:
Martha Lochert

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Age is Just a Number - The Serial is Back! - Vol II

Hi Folks,

For those of you who purchased, reviewed, proof read or commented on the blog posts for Volume I. Volume II is now about to begin.

Well actually the preamble began during NaNoWriMo 2006, however it fell by the wayside. So I’m now getting back to the vehicle that helped me create the first volume: blogging!

So every Thursday, I’ll begin posting the latest or edits of the previous chapter.

So without further ado, here’s the preamble - (Unedited so please don’t hold that against me):

Thursday, November 1, 2006, 8:00 p.m.

I never thought I’d be one of those twenty-five … again folk because I’m so grateful to be here, plus I’m so used to folk saying, “You have a twenty-one-year-old daughter? Stop playing!” that I got caught out there when it happened:

There I was minding my own business standing outside of the neighborhood Wal*Mart when the words I thought I’d never hear were spoken, “Excuse me ma’am?”

Ensconced in the surety that I wasn’t the one being addressed, I kept on searching, my eyes peeled for the “I heart Jesus” license plate that would signal the approach of my brother-in-law’s van when the words came again, “Ma’am, ahem, excuse me ma’am?”

Annoyed now that whoever was being addressed was being so rude, I whipped my head around to give that person the evil eye, when directly in my line of vision was a teenager looking hopefully at me.

I looked past him, sure that he needed my help to gain the attention of said ma’am, but alas there was no one close enough to us to whom he could have been referring but … me!

Pushing the ramifications of that to the back of my mind I focused on the stocky teenager as I asked, “Were you talking to me?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He answered. “Do you know what time the next whirly bird (our local bus) will be coming?”

After a quick glance at my watch, I pointed to the left and said, “The next bus will be by in fifteen minutes, but you’re standing in the wrong spot, the bus stop was recently moved you need to go down there, where all the other people are standing.” And in full parental mode I added, “Do you have exact change for the bus? It’s fifty cents to ride one way and two dollars if you need to transfer.”

“Thanks, ma’am, I’m good.” He said then jogged on down to where the other bus riders were lined up.

Now that he was gone, I could safely pull out that word and examine it. In less than five minutes, I’d been addressed as Ma’am four times … count it … four times. Yes, I know there are weightier issues, the upcoming elections, the plight of the poor, Jesus’ return – I get that but you see Ma’am just isn’t me.

I’m the cool parent, the one my daughter’s friends wanted to hang with. The one who had so much stamina she could dance all the teens under the table, show them how to do round offs, cartwheels or flips without batting an eye. Attend dance classes with teens and hit that split with nary a problem.

Ma’am is some overweight, forty-something woman, who’s not down with the slang of the day, has no clue as to the latest clothing or hairdo trends, wears shoes for comfort instead of to enhance the shape of her legs and doesn’t care if she’s wearing make-up or not.

I looked down at myself, cool boots—check, bootleg cut jeans—check, passed my hand through my locs—check, looked at my coat—okay X, licked my unvarnished lips—okay X … again, slang meter—check, weight—okay X, age—okay X again.

So by my own meter, created when I was ooooh about his age, I’d unknowingly metamorphosed into “Ma’am!”

What can I do to reverse that? When did it happen? Was it when I moved from New York to Pennsylvania? In my attempt to fit in had I compromised on my citified edginess?

I mean, just three years ago, I was the famous “Divine” of Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating fame. Younguns were coming out of my ears… well not sixteen year-olds … (don’t wanna get reported for child abuse … LOL) but twenty was not at all a stretch. Of course I verbally spanked them and sent them back to their mamas, but still … there was no “ma’am” on the horizon.

Is this what turning forty is about? If so … who do I have to annoy, bribe or pay to get off this rollercoaster to the land of decline?

Seriously though, I am thankful for every year that I’m here, for at fourteen with the onset of bipolar disorder I was ready to end it all, but for God’s intervention. However, how do I deal with the in-between stage in which I now find myself?

To hear me tell it, I’m still a hip, happening fool, however, when I use slang in her presence, my daughter quickly says, “Umm, mom … please don’t do that again.” Or when I attempt to go exercise in exercise clothes (brilliant blue spandex with a sweat shirt no less) she bars the door and asks, “You’re not going outside like that, are you?” When did spandex (exercise clothing) become déclassé?

Well, if this is what turning forty-one has in store for me … I would rather reminisce a bit more. After all my past had much to recommend it: not only was I thirty-seven and thinner–everyone (the men and young men, i.e.) thought I was only twenty-five and were not shy in approaching me. What? I’m not kidding. Grabbing the journal:

My journal remembers…

Monday, April 21, 2003, 10:15 p.m.
PART XV: IS THAT A TYPO?

MEANWHILE, back at BV, I finally got around to reading the other note I’d received. After the disappointing outcome of my first attempt at dating, I was happy to see the words angel and music included in his alias, although the lost part made me wonder if I’d have to dig a lot to find him—or maybe he was looking for himself?

My fanciful imaginings aside, I clicked on the link and read the email. Well, let me tell you, it more than made up for the trespasses of Pete! It was complimentary without being effusive and poetic without making me gag.

He wanted to know how he could get to know me and if I would give him a moment of my time. I quickly looked up his profile and found that he was into music as well! A Christian to boot, but no pic—durn!

I continued reading. He had a management company and worked with Christian artists only. He had a link to his site which I, of course, clicked on. Upon viewing the site, I was impressed by his professionalism and straightforward, no holds barred attitude. That’s what I’m talking about, I said to myself, as I broke out in goose pimples.

I returned to his BV profile to get some more personal details. Six feet one inch, 185 lbs, Puerto Rican/Jamaican ancestry (waaa hooo) age 25, location, GA … Hol’ up! Twenty-five? Was that a typo? The three is right next to the two … maybe he hit two by accident—and when did twenty-five-year-olds start sounding so mature? Must be a typo.

I thought about it for a bit, did the math three times, but the outcome equaled a twelve-year difference every time. Must be a typo.

Well, only one way to find out. I penned an appreciative response, then segued to my main area of concern… the age thingy. Amid much kudos about the site and his witnessing I slipped in the question—“was that a typo?”—in such a way that it was quite clear that twenty-five was cute and sweet, but not in the running.

Strangely enough, I received no reply.

I checked back the next day and the day after that … nothing. In the meantime I re-read the email and his BV page, and you know what? After the third or fourth re-read, twenty-five was starting to not sound so harsh. Heck, I don’t even look thirty! (Or so folk keep telling me). He sounded so mature, and most importantly, he was a Christian and proud of it.

I re-read my response, and it did sound kind of condescending. So I sent another note, apologizing if I’d offended—I’d been caught off guard by the age thing. I guess that was the ticket, because a response came in mere seconds after I hit “send.”

He accepted my apology, and in essence told me not to get caught up in numbers, since age, after all, is just a number. He also included a few other numbers: his phone number at work…

Dang, I hate it when men do that… put the ball in my court by divulging their number first. I think it’s a new fangled strategy where they appear to be putting us in the driver’s seat, so that we feel safe or empowered. Personally, I just think it’s laziness on their part.

That occurred at 10:00 a.m. I spent an hour dithering over a promotional mailing to the subscribers on my mailing list, telling myself that I really wasn’t going to call. What would be the point? His age had been confirmed as a non-typo.

By 11:20 a.m. I was dialing the phone number. I got a voice mail for someone named Christine and dropped the phone like a sixteen year old. Dang, I’d already begun regressing. I’d swept right past twenty-five to arrive at sixteen.

Pressing the phone receiver against my hot cheeks while berating myself (you are soooo sad), I composed myself and redialed the number. This time I left a message stating that the message was for Bachelor Music Angel, and left my phone number.

I spent the next twenty minutes working frenetically. I jumped at every car horn outside my office window. Finally, the phone rang. Just to be sure, I answered it in my business voice: “Div’s Book Nook.”

It was him! He sounded so cute—voice all soft, sweet and melodious. We talked for about thirty minutes and then I had to take a business call. I promised to call him back.

Business taken care of, I returned his call. Twenty minutes into that conversation, he had to go. He then called me back. I asked him if all this phone time wouldn’t be a problem, and he said he was cool. He was just on a subcontract assignment while someone was out. (Okay … that explained the Christine on the voice mail.)

Next I addressed the fact that he had no picture on his profile. He told me that he used to have one up, but got too many crazy emails so he took it down.

Alrighty then! “So how does a sistah go about seeing one of those make-a-woman-lose-her-mind pics?” I asked.

He chuckled, “Just ask and it shall be given unto you.” Ooooh … Biblical flirting! I can get with this! I thought to myself. We continued chatting, while I waited for the pics to hit my inbox.

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

11 Things Women Don't Know About Men

Plus one thing they probably do know, but won’t admit

By Evan Marc Katz Special to Yahoo! Personals
Updated: Jul 18, 2007
  1. Getting angry at us for not reading your mind is like getting angry at yourself for not being able to fly. It’s not just futile, it’s physically impossible.
  2. Yes, we do think Jessica Alba is hot. Sometimes we’re even dumb enough to admit it.
  3. Don’t ask us to understand your shoe fetish. Asking us to respect it is even sort of pushing it.
  4. You do look good without makeup, just not as good as you look with it.
  5. Ever notice how we don’t fight with our male friends? That’s why we get so frustrated when we fight with you.
  6. You care what you’re wearing infinitely more than we do. In fact, if you’re naked when you open the front door, you won’t hear an argument from us.

To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Because

Online groups are gems. They are filled with women and/or men who strive to encourage each other day in and day out. Here's a lovely bit of encouragement geared toward women that I received yesterday entitled "Because":

"BECAUSE"

Just because no one has been fortunate enough to realize
what a gold mine you are, Doesn't mean you shine any less.

Just because no one has been smart enough to figure out
that you can't be topped, Doesn't stop you from being the best.

Just because no one has come along to share your life,
Doesn't mean that day isn't coming.

Just because no one has made this race worthwhile,
Doesn't give you permission to stop running.

Just because no one has realized how much of an
awesome woman you are, Doesn't mean they can affect your femininity.

Just because no one has shown up who can love you on your level,
Doesn't mean you have to sink to theirs.

Just because you deserve the very best there is,
Doesn't mean that life is always fair.

Just because God is still preparing your king, Doesn't mean that
you're not already a Queen.

Just because your situation doesn't seem to be progressing right now,
Doesn't mean you need to change a thing.

Keep shining, keep running, Keep hoping, and keep praying,
Keep being exactly what you are already. COMPLETE!!

Send this on to your female friends who need to keep on doing
what they do best. BEING A WOMAN OF GOD!!!!

by TD Jakes

So ladies, the next time folks ask you why you're single, don't have a man, are in the situation you're in etc... tell 'em "Because!"

Pricelesspartner.com

Pricelesspartner.com
http://www.pricelesspartner.com/

Alexa Traffic Rank: 174,889
Google Links from other sites: 10
Google Page Rank: 4/10
First Archive:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://pricelesspartner.com

Tagline--"100% Free Personals at Pricelesspartner.com"



Site Description:

Pricelesspartner.com is a completely free singles community run entirely by me, for you. Stop paying the other dating sites and experience the 1-On-1 Priceless Partner difference.

Site Features:

- direct webcam chat between all members
- sophisticated compatibility calculators
- local zip code searches
- secure mailing systems and authorized friendship lists.

The feature list keeps growing by the day (thanks to direct feedback from members).



My Impression:

Upon clicking the link of Pricepartners.com I was transported into a blue world of possibilities. Blue here refers to the site color: pale blues which renders a nice calming effect. However, the following heading which jumped out at me killed some of that lovely calming effect. And I quote: "horny girls"

Nevertheless, I persevered and came upon what I would consider the Mission Statement of the site:

"So I'm here to help you have fun online, expand your existing circle of friends, enable you to have your say on issues of importance to your life, provide quality feedback on the forums, and to ultimately find that perfect 'priceless partner' in life."

Pros:

  • Site is FREE
  • Joining is easy and straightforward
  • Site has equitable features as found in a paid site
  • Site has wide reach - United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Cons:

  • Pricelesspartner.com does not seem to edit or censor database information.



Recommendation:

Overall, I found Pricelesspartner.com to be just as good as any other dating site out there. Users would need to remember my golden rule when it comes to Internet dating. If (s)he seems too good to be true ... (s)he usually is.

The site creator, Greg, states that Pricelesspartner.com is growing at the rate of 25% per month, making it one of the busiest dating sites on the net. I have no way of verifying those numbers, however, it does make me curious enough to try Pricelesspartner.com's Free Personals, love is priceless ... right?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Love Quest: Looking for Love in Cyberspace

Hi Folks,

I know it's been a minute... but guess what? I've not been sleeping. I've taught myself how create my own book cover and since it's my first one ... I'm sure there are a gazillion mistakes but I'm just so goshdurned proud that they won't even bother me ... at first.

Anyway, here it is, my cover for Love Quest: Looking for Love in Cyberspace which will be available around June 21st.

Keeping in mind that it is a how-to book, I'd love to hear your feedback and I'd love it even more if you'd take a moment to cast your vote for the design of your choice.

Thanks in advance for your invaluable assistance.

Peace,
Dee


Cover No. 1

Vote for this cover

Cover No. 2


Cover No. 3


Vote for this cover


Cover No. 4

Vote for this cover


Cover No. 5

Vote for this cover

Thursday, March 15, 2007

WomanSavers.com

WomanSavers.com
http://www.womansavers.com

Contact: womansavers [at] womansavers.com
Alexa Traffic Rank: 60,487
Google Links from other sites: 450
Google Page Rank: 5/10
First Archive:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://womansavers.com

Tagline--"Research and Rate B4U Date!"

Site Description: World s largest database rating good AND bad men. A sisterhood of women who network together to help women worldwide avoid dating alleged cheating, lying or abusive men. Research & Rate B4 U Date for safer dating worldwide!

Site Features:

- World's Largest Database Rating Men (over 25,000 men currently entered by women)
- Internet's Highest Trafficked Abused Women's Message Board
- Free Medical Advice for women without resources
- Free Psychotherapy Advice
- Free Relationship Articles
- Women's Relationship & Sex Polls
- Free Women's relationship games
- Free women's relationship cartoon ecards
- Articles on abuse, infidelity and how to catch a cheater
- Free video & audio chat room

My Impression:

Upon clicking the link of WomanSavers.com I was transported into a world of women who have made it their business to protect each other. In that realm of sisterhood while not specifically verbalized there's a clear-cut message that says, "we've had enough and we're not gonna take
it anymore!" With pictures provided where possible, reports on the good, the bad and the downright ugly are made available to all who would desire its use.

Pros:


  • Joining is easy and straightforward

  • Good reports are included as well as bad to give a balanced feel to the site

  • FREE mental and physical advice from professionals

  • Deals with topics most avoid: abuse, infidelity, mental issues

  • Interactive and supportive

  • WomanSaver’s proceeds are donated to abused women and children’s charities

  • Site available to men as well as women


Cons:

  • Color scheme too busy

  • Site not intuitively organized.

  • WomanSavers does not edit or censor database information and no information can be guaranteed or verified.


Suggestions:


My thoughts: Overall, I'm not quite sure that I agree with the existence of this site and others like it. As an Internet dater myself I have encountered all types of mentalities and a few characters with nefarious intentions. However, I do realize that there is always an unguarded moment where our desires as women overrule our commonsense and we let clues pass us by.

That being said, as I review this site, I'm ambivalent. I think it is a unique and courageous idea of the owner of the site to see a need and go to bat to create ways in which to fill said need. I've heard the heartbreak stories from both men and women and have counseled both sexes. When the opportunity arose, I asked one question. "Were there no clues?" Upon listing some obvious clues. I was met with silence. Then a reluctant admission that, that behavior or omission had been noticed but brushed aside.

I'm a firm believer in the saying, "knowledge is power," or scripturally speaking, "my people perish for lack of knowledge". However, I can't help feeling that the emphasis should be more on the education of safe techniques for dating, than a list of offenders. My main objection being the fact that Biblically speaking there is a rule of two to three witnesses before someone can be accused of an offense.

What concerns me is the thought that rejected folk will use it as a tool to lash out at innocent men. What would balance it out in my mind would be a stipulation that no one would be listed on the site unless there were at least two complaints. In addition, someone accused should have the opportunity to share their side of the story... murderers have that right, why not also purported liars and cheaters? There should also be a provision that those accused be notified and given a time frame to respond with their story and only upon expiration of the time frame should their photo and name be made public.

Recommendation:

No matter my reservations on the possible skewing of the site's intent. The stats above overwhelmingly show that there is a definite need for this site and others like it. If only for the resource section and the fact that donations are used for abused women and children's charities. I would recommend the site. So if you're sick and tired of being sick and tired of being lied to, cheated on etc. or you would simple like a place to find some tips on relationships try WomanSavers.com.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

RealChristianSingles.com

Hi Folks,

Here for your reading pleasure is my latest interview with the proprietor of an online dating site:

Q&A with Lee Wilson of Real Christian Singles.com

Hi Lee,

Thank you for consenting to this interview. Prior to composing the questions, I took a look at your site, Real Christian Singles, and aside from an arbitrary thought or two about what constitutes fake Christian singles ... lol, I found the site to be crisp, clean and well organized. I also noted some features that I'd like to hear about so let's begin shall we?

Q: Why an online dating website?

A: I'm tired of Christians feeling as though they have no options except to compromise their values by dating or even marrying someone who does not hold their Christian values. I want to help increase the number of marriages that are two people who follow Jesus and will raise hildren to follow Him. Plus, it's tons of fun!

Q: I notice that your services are free. What was the basis for that decision?

A: In my mind, the members of the site are the actual draw to the site. They are that make the site fun and active. So I don't want to prevent single Christians who do not have the extra cash to pay out. So I offer membership and use of all features for free. The site is funded by book sales and Google ads.

Q: Have you used your own service? If so, what was the outcome?

A: I use the site for the message forum and my signature there tells everyone that I'm married. I don't use the site's service, I just offer it.

Q: How long have you been in business and what's the greatest lesson you've learned?

A: We've been online since 2004. The greatest lesson I've learned is that when you
bust your butt to provide a great product, people will use it and enjoy it.

Q: I see that you have a book store that sells books geared towards Christian Singles. Great idea! How has it been working so far and how
would an author offer his/her book for sale on your site?


A: We sell some books, it helps to pay the bills. An author with a published book can email us (the email address is on our website) and we'll review it.

Q: What would be the best piece of advice you would give to real Christian singles curious but unsure about the whole online dating
thing?

A: I'd say that life is too short not to be a seeker. Meeting a Christian online is no different than meeting that person at church, college or work. That person is just as much a real person and could be just as much a Godsend.

Thanks Lee for allowing us a peek into the motivating factors of your site.

Well there you have it folks, with a membership of about 10,000 there are opportunities to seek and possibly find real Christian singles.

Til next time,
Dee

Monday, February 19, 2007

Please Vote for Me!

Hi folks,

Hope you're all enjoying your President's Day off. I'd like to ask a favor of you. I'd like to win Cushcity.com's Best New Author Award for 2007.

The book that makes me eligible for nomination is none other than the blook based on and named after this blog: Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating

I know we tried it last year (for which I thank those of you who voted) and I didn't win. The good news is, we get another shot at it again this year.

I'm currently a nominee and I have exactly nine days to round up enough nominations, in order to make it into the top twenty finalists. For that to happen, I need as many people to nominate me as possible.

Each nomination counts as a vote that brings me closer to the finalist mark. That being said, I'd love it if you'd take a moment to nominate me, D.S. White, for the Best New Author Award 2007.

Now for those of you wondering, why I started so late. Well you see that old fear of success feeling reared its head again and I've been doing the "do it!" ... "don't do it!" dance. You know that kind of way.

Finally, I decided that this is going to be the year of "You have not, because you ask not" so here I am, doing what is hard for me: asking.

Thanks in advance,
Dee

Click on this link to nominate me or use information below:

Nomination email address: nominations@cushcity.com
Subject Line: D.S. White - Best New Author Award

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!


Hi Folks,

I know it's been a while, between connectivity problems, my church duties and my new J O B, I've been quite the busy one. Unfortunately, not busy writing, however.

Anyway, I couldn't let the holiday for lovers pass by without mention so, sweets for the sweet! Hope you have a lovely valentine's day. Click here for my valentine greeting newsletter and update

Peace,
Dee