Joan's Jottings


Answering the Call
August 31, 2011, 8:30 pm
Filed under: life

On August 6th, I fulfilled a goal and completed the training necessary to become a volunteer with a local hospice. I guess you might say I fulfilled a “bucket list” item, but I prefer to think of it as answering a call. I was first trained as a hospice volunteer in college, while working towards my psychology degree. Little did I know that just about 20 years later, my own husband would spend his final 12 days under hospice care with me as his caregiver. I was given a somewhat unique, dual-sided view of this process, not unlike my experience with cancer. I found a hospice that allows me the freedom to visit with my assigned patient(s) on my own schedule. This past Thursday, I met and spent time with my first two patients-one male, age 91 and a female, age 88. They both suffer from dementia and reside in the same nursing home. My job is to provide companionship, emotional support and socialization to each of them. I intend to document all of my visits in a new journal that I started. I hope to capture the essence of our visits, which will help me to remember them and their impact on me long after they have gone. I can only imagine what lessons I will learn from each patient I am assigned. Ultimately, they will give me so much more than I can possibly give them. I am grateful that I was given this opportunity, and look forward to meeting each and every person that may come my way. I know that it will prove to be a life-altering experience.



Online Dating-Week 34
August 28, 2011, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Online dating

It was a relatively quiet week in cyber dating land, if you dismiss the fact that I was “dumped” in a text by a guy that I had been talking to/quasi dating. (I use the term “dumped” loosely, as this was not a long-term, serious relationship of any kind.) I am perfectly fine with this ending, as I was still trying to determine if I was physically attracted to him (he was WAY outside the box), and it was becoming clear that we were looking for two different things at this particular moment in time. I absolutely did NOT take it personally, and felt like a teenaged girl getting ditched in such an impersonal yet hip way. Welcome to the 21st century! What a girl has to realize is that he was NOT the one, and she needs to move on and clear the path for the right one to come in. Enough said.

I probably read about 15 profiles this week, and I must admit that the guys did a fairly decent job with their bios. One guy with an intact sense of humor wrote, “I have all my own hair and teeth, and learned the hard way that plaids and stripes don’t go together. I am partially domesticated, which is quite rare for my species.” I like my men domesticated-just like my dogs. He could be a keeper!

Another guy leans towards being my soulmate as he listed “Ovaltine” as one of his favorite things. In college, I was introduced to the chocolate version of this old-time beverage. I have been drinking it every morning since. Some folks prefer coffee as a morning pick-me-up. I choose to start my day with sugar and chocolate and a little milk (read: protein) mixed in.

This past week, my mom was shopping for cooking oil at a local fruit market. An attractive, older gentleman was also stocking up on this pantry basic. My mom made the comment that she was looking for a small bottle that would not go rancid, to which the man said, “I usually select a bottle based on its appearance, the same way I picked my last two ex-wives!” It just goes to show you that men are visual beings. It doesn’t matter if they are shopping for groceries or wives. The package is what gets their attention. I see this all the time with men who have nothing in common with me (ie: they obviously did not read my profile), but liked what they saw in my photos and elect to contact me. Again, while a physical attraction is certainly important, it cannot sustain a relationship. Food for thought guys!

On a much lighter note, I would like to share a story with you from this past week. It really has nothing to do with online dating other than the fact that it is about two single, 50-something females and a hottie cop. My co-worker and I were on our way to a concert in our hometown. We were diligently following crappy directions that had been downloaded off of Mapquest. The directions omitted an important turn, which left us heading the wrong way. We turned around and were headed in the direction we felt would get us to our destination. My co-worker, the driver, decided to type our location into her phone (while driving) in an effort to get us back on track. A city police officer pulled up beside us, peered into the car and then proceeded on. We pulled into a gas station to read the newly downloaded directions, and then pulled back onto the road where we were stopped at a traffic light. The same policeman pulled up next to us, rolled down his window and asked if we were alright. My attractive, blond co-worker responded in her best southern drawl, “No, we are not okay. We are supposed to be at a concert, and now we are lost.” The officer told us to stay put while he turned around and would personally escort us the rest of the way. Being the obedient citizens that we are, we did exactly as told. We followed him through the winding neighborhood roads as he lead us within a mile or so of our destination. We followed him into another filling station where he got out of the car (this is where we got to see all of his “hotness” up close and personal), and told us to just follow the road down the hill to our final destination. He admitted that he had been concerned that blondie was having a medical emergency. Wrong! The only emergency in our car was that two older chicks were confused and disoriented and were texting and driving. Again, like I mentioned earlier,  it is a sign of our times. Thanks to our run in with a good cop, we arrived at the concert in time to grab a marguerita, find our seats and sing and dance for two plus hours. Lest you think I have crafted this story as an enhancement to an otherwise boring post, I have included a photo as proof. Thanks for reading, and may I suggest that you go out and find your own police story this week-preferably one that does not result in any jail time. It makes for interesting fodder for a blog, just like good-bye texts!



Online Dating-Week 33
August 21, 2011, 2:49 pm
Filed under: Online dating

I celebrated my 51st birthday this week. It arrived with much less fanfare than the big event of 2010, but I did receive some really great cards with kind words scribbled inside. I was also treated to the Texas version of the birthday song by two long-time friends and former co-workers. It was a good day. Now, I am merely a 50-something female looking for love on the internet. Isn’t peri-menopause enough punishment for a gal? Here are the best of the best from this week’s profiles:

One 51-year old local guy wrote the following: “I’m a divorced physician who happens to be too busy with practice and kids, looking for special lady with Beauty, brains and personality.” Add a few more words about sports and travel, and you have his bio in its entirety. I made note of two things in his profile. First, notice that the word “beauty” comes complete with a capital “B.” I believe that looks is a priority. Secondly, since he feels the need to mention that he is a doctor, perhaps he is relying on his profession and not his gift of writing to hook his lady?

Two fellows mentioned their love of food in their profiles. The first says, “I live to eat, although, I am eating better these days to live a full life.” Kudos to him for re-evaluating his eating habits. As my late husband used to say, “Do you live to eat, or eat to live?” (I choose number two.) The second gent said, “I am attractive but not beautiful or skinny. I struggle with my weight.” These two sentences sounded strangely feminine to me. Men do not generally use the term “skinny” when making references to their weight. I also do not think that either men or women should be making references to their own physical attributes in their profiles. This is the purpose of photos and other biographical information. Remember, “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder.

One 51-year old same state resident said, “I enjoy my career. I do not have to dread going to work.” He is also “not stuck on foods. ” He just tries to eat healthy. I don’t know why, but these comments struck me as kind of funny. I would definitely say that he “eats to live,” not vice versa like some of this week’s competition.

One bachelor listed “sexy shoes’ as one of his favorite things. I hope he is referring to footwear worn by females, and not shoes in his own collection. Just like the fellow I previously mentioned, “sexy shoes” and “skinny” are not terms generally associated with the manly man.

I had to don the English teacher hat AGAIN this week. Apparently, one home-grown guy missed the class on the proper use of the apostrophe. Here is his list of favorite “thing’s”: Sport’s, walk’s, movie’s, family night’s and adult night’s. He did all of that extra typing of apostrophes when all that was required was the “s.” Week after week, I am dragging out the red pen. I would actually  prefer to read profiles and not correct them. My writing device is running out of ink!

I will end this week with two old farts with humorously creepy age parameters. (By the way, both of them wrote to me! UGH!) The first, a 57-year old with “69” in his online user name (DOUBLE CREEPY), is seeking women 30-55. Not only is this misguided soul seeking women 27 years his junior, but like so many before him, he can’t date a woman his age. (Just an aside: A friend recently mentioned that he knows a woman who states outright in her profile that she does not want to be contacted by men with the number “69” written anywhere in their profile. I might just consider doing the same. YUCK!)

The second guy, a 62-year old local divorcee, is seeking women 42-59. Again, he is willing to rob the cradle and date his  daughter’s friends, but can’t possibly spend time with a woman his age, or even slightly older. Shame on you, Grandpa! This one does redeem himself somewhat with a quote contained within his profile: “The two of us together will be better than each of us alone.” Two points for a great line, but minus 20 for the creepiness factor. Total score: Negative 18!

I am grateful for ALL of the candles on my cake this week, and am hopeful that this next year will be full of  joy and laughter and meaningful encounters with fellow humans and maybe even a little love. Thanks for tagging along again this week!



Online Dating-Week 32
August 14, 2011, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Online dating

I am lacking in motivation to write this week’s post. First, I only logged onto the site twice, and maybe read 15 profiles total. Also, I am still hanging out with someone I met, so it makes it less fun (and worthwhile) to read the profiles of other men.  I am monogamous to a fault, I guess? Or, I just don’t multi-task very well. Anyway, here is a recap of the good and not so good quotes and photos from this week:

One 56-year old from my hood wants his matches to know that his favorite color is orange, “because of past memories of Halloween.” I don’t know a lot of men who want to reveal their favorite color to you.  I can’t even remember the last time I told anyone my favorite color?  Maybe junior high or high school? And I am a chick!

This week was not without a faithful viewer of the television show, Two and a Half Men,” however, this bachelor wants the ladies to know that he is neither Charlie nor Allen. Whew! The player and the metro-sexual: not top choices on my list.

One guy listed his favorite hot spot as “Walmart.” While I would not list that store as a “hot spot” for entertainment purposes, it is probably number one on my list of favorite places to shop for food and necessities. I give them TONS of my money every month! (If you want entertainment, I suggest you log onto the “People of Walmart” website. You will not only be entertained by what you see, but you might just be a little shocked at who is showing up at your local store!)

One 52-year old seeking women aged 40-60 (please note realistic age parameters) said, “Who’s into Monster Trucks and Tractor Pulls???? Yeah…..me neither!” I thought it was a cute statement, and one I had never seen before. Guess he isn’t into the rough-around-the-edges ladyfolk.

One 46-year old with the name “Sleepin” states that “I put the seat down.” Wow! He must have read my post from last week!

To wrap up the odd and the wacky, one 52-year old local guy with no photo and an income of less than $25,000 had a profile that I will quote in its entirety, EXACTLY as it was written:

“I am a former acomplished Athlete Still in great shape for my age I pray every day go to church every day but Im still a new follower of Crist I’m Quiet I talk to friends Daily but I’m still alone alot and trying to change that……I like to go to church and play with my cat and my favorite thing is Christian.” The latent English teacher in me was ALL OVER the misspellings, lack of accurate punctuation and intermittent capitalization. How many times do I have to say, “GET SOMEONE TO PROOFREAD YOUR PROFILE BEFORE YOU POST IT!!!”

There were two winning photos this week, both of which had beer as their theme. One same town guy posted a photo of himself with six other people, most of whom were elderly. One of the older gentlemen was sporting a t-shirt that said, “I Fear No Beer!” Apparently beer must flow from the fountain of youth, because gramps is still kickin! The other photo was a close-up of a spaniel-type dog sniffing at a bottle of beer. I guess Spuds MacKenzie has passed the Budweiser torch to another breed? The canine motto is, “Share the beer!”

And last but not least, I leave you with a quote posted by a fella that sums up his view of dating. “One must look with the heart. Remember the eyes are blind.” I LOVE that, especially since I so often confine myself to a boxed type. I am realizing that what I really want is most likely outside of my box, so I need to heed the advice and let my heart do the looking. My eyes aren’t what they used to be anyway!

As always, thanks for reading and have a great week!



Online Dating-Week 31
August 7, 2011, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Online dating

It has been a busy weekend, so I am behind in my recaps for this week. Though I actually read very few profiles, the guys never fail to provide me with SOMETHING to write about. Here we go…..

One 54-year old took me back to time spent in Texas hanging out in a hole-in-the-wall bar in the Stockyards of Ft. Worth. This beer drinkin’, pool shootin’ West Texas stud said the following, “I am a hard-working country boy and I need the attention and contact that only a good woman can give.” I’ll bet when he finds her, she’ll be wearing cowboy boots and a hat, and can rope a calf, too.

Under the category, “Ridiculous Age Parameters,” one 48-year old from my very neighborhood wrote, “I’ve dated all ages, and prefer women between 27 and 35. Duh! What post-middle aged guy would NOT want some hot young thing 21 years his junior?

Another 50-year old from my hometown said, “I love kids and play hard with my son and often have other kids join us in balls-to-the wall fun!” Obviously, girls must NOT be included in this anatomically correct playtime. He also wants you to know that, “I wanna burn some serious carbs, am hooked on endorphins and am into turbo cuddling!” I like the references to carb burning and an endorphin high, but the cuddling part sounds kind of painful!

One 54-year old divorced, atheist who posted no photo said the following. “I haven’t had a meaningful job since retiring from the Army after being declared unfit for duty. I don’t have a social circle and don’t want to be thrust into one. I’d like to caravan around the country for a few years.” This fellow could definitely benefit from my profile writing advice. There are ways to mask the fact that you are a non-believing, under-employed, loner-qualities which are generally NOT associated with being a “chick magnet.” Contact me and we’ll work on it. No lies, just “embellishment.”

I did get to look at several photos  this week. Lots of guys take their own pics with their cell phones, often in front of the bathroom mirror. A guy this week was no exception. I could not help but notice the white, porcelain toilet behind him with the SEAT UP! While  he probably lives alone and it is just more convenient to leave the seat in its upright position, remember, when you hook that special lady, start putting the seat down. Also, have a friend take a few photos of you with a real camera. It will leave a better impression, and won’t showcase your bathroom habits. She can find that out later.

I could totally relate to one 51-year old who said the following, “I enjoy movies and would love to see more adult movies and less Disney.” Amen! I have seen enough animated films to last a lifetime. I am grateful that my son is old enough to go to the movies with his friends, and I am once again free to see chick flicks!

Lastly, Mr. S., a 50-year old local guy, had several items in his profile that just called out to me and NOT in a good way! He is “happy, intelligent, well-educated, stylish, sociable, attractive, caring and clean. I love music, arts, fashion, traveling, meeting people and all is beautiful. I go all out for the holidays, and usually blow a fuse during Christmas. I will go fishing with you if you want, but sorry, I don’t do worms. I like snorkeling, but am afraid to try scuba diving.” I have highlighted in red the items that I would encourage him to either eliminate or re-phrase. Here are some suggestions.  It is assumed that all of us are clean, so that statement seems redundant. I would leave it out. Also, I am a little nervous about men that are into “fashion.” Generally, these guys tend to be lacking in their full dose of testosterone. On the subject of fishing, I don’t do worms either, but I am girl! Boys are supposed to like slimy, crawly, creepy things, or so my son says. AND, how are you gonna hook anything if you don’t use bait?  Lastly, never admit that you are afraid of anything! Girls dig a guy who can protect them from evil, like a great white shark that takes a liking to her on a dive.

I hit the seven-month mark this week. Seven months and 31 posts and STILL no Mr. Right. I encourage him to show his face (soon) whether it is online or in my real life. How about within the next week or so? My 51st birthday is approaching, and I can’t possibly think of a better gift. There, my wish has been tossed out to the universe as I blow out the last of my candles……..