Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All Good Things

The past ten days have been an amalgamation of fun surprises, reunions (both planned and otherwise), fantastic accomplishments, laughs and an abundance of good juicy stuff.

Since I last wrote I competed in my first organized group 5k. It was strange and emotional but I’m glad I did it, mostly just to know that I CAN do it. The most difficult part of the race was the start. I wasn’t expecting the chaos of runners jostling for position as well as packs of small children sprinting around in circles like wild rabid dogs. It was very distracting and not at all the relaxing mind numbing cruise of my solitary runs. However once I got into my groove I settled in and relied on a women 40 yards ahead with a swinging ponytail to lull me into a steady pace. 

The miles clicked off and soon I was turning the final corner of the course with the Finish Line glimmering just yards away. Wearily I entered into a pocket of empty space that traversed a tree lined canyon vibrating with the cheering fist pumping fast runners whom after completing the race focused their excess energy on encouraging the remaining pack.  As their wave of intense support pummeled my chest my throat tightened and my tears welled up, they were ALL cheering for me! As I stemmed my emotional  tidal-wave of gratitude a man about my age, tall and trim stepped off the curb, pointed to the finish line and shouted “That’s YOUR finish line, you OWN IT! You TAKE THAT FINISH LINE!” then he applauded so hard that I thought his palms would explode. My fire burned as my engine ignited and I felt my body fly weightlessly over the pavement as I TOOK my finish line with strength and power.

The same weekend I accomplished another feat of strength, but this was more emotional and mental… or so I thought it would be. As I mentioned in my last post I bought a two piece bathing ‘thing’ to wear when I paddle board but I was feeling so confident and strong on Saturday (after running 5 miles on Friday) that I popped it on, hopped aboard my Mom’s beach cruiser and took off for a 12 mile bike ride with a pit stop at Sag Main Beach. Before leaving the house with my pasty white wrinkly tummy all “out there” I needed just a little reinforcement so I snapped a bathroom mirror selfie and sent it off to Red informing her that  I was about to do something that I never dreamed I could do. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, what I needed was a bit of understanding and Red was right on target. She wished me luck, congratulated me on my bravery and sent me off on my adventure through the most expensive zip code in the USA, which of course is chock-a-block with ‘perfect’ looking women in their finniest and skimpiest haute couture apr├Ęs beach, golf, tennis, riding attire, etc... 

I thought I would have feelings of doubt or at least feel defeated when 'side eyed' by the fancy ladies, but I didn't, I didn’t feel any of that (nor did I receive any smirking). What I felt was freedom and power l as I peddled south of the highway with the sun and wind tickling my bare skin, skin that’s been denied these sensations since I graduated from rubber swimming bloomers . I oozed with happiness as my inner voice announced to the vines heavy with wine grapes, the corn fields as high as an elephant's eye and the 20 million dollar family compounds,  "I LOVE my strong body, this tremendous body that can run 5 miles (as of today 6.01 miles)  and do so many other fantastic things!!"

I cruised down to the beach in full Gee Sparkle mode where not only did I spread my towel and sun my middle but I also confidently strode down to the sea and owned that ocean as I broke through the waves and swam like an unchained mermaid.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Be The Inspiration

Now that my body is 2.5 years into its transformation I’m experiencing a new change. Once diagnosed with Hashimoto's the weight loss was shockingly fast, now after a year of a consistent body weight I feel my strength and stamina increasing in leaps and bounds.

My body amazes me, it’s this wondrous machine that constantly morphs and fills me with awe and amazement. Sure last year my body decided to fall apart and send me into an emotional spiral of anxiety and depression, that was ‘wondrous’ too, but more like a – what the fuck is going on with you – wondrous. Now I’m pushing hard and getting stronger and much to my enjoyment discovering inspiration from an endless fountain of awesomeness - and that fresh spring of power is ME!

Several weeks ago while plowing through my Tuesday spinning class I approached my scheduled breaking point…the body wrecking hill climb. For months I visualized Swason powering through her marathon training or Sweets calling out to me “Just a little further, you are so strong!” to pump a droplet of inspiration into my melting body but that day I did not call upon my virtual cheerleaders, that day I thought, “My legs are amazing, they are strong, and not only CAN I do this, but I have done it and I am AWESOME!” That day I became my own inspiration, my body, my soul, my tenacity is what inspired me, and continues to keep my adventure legs pushing stronger and further.

I try to remember how remarkable my powerful body is especially when my eyes fall to the areas of my skin that are scarred from the previous 40 years of body noncompliance. It sucks, and I don’t want to hate my body (I never did when I was larger), but I do have feelings of being cheated by biochemistry. Sure I could pay thousands of dollars for plastic surgery to remove the sagging elephant skin on my legs and tummy (I have stopped looking at my butt, I just like to assume it is juicy and full), but really shouldn’t I get my stupid dead tooth fixed first? Or maybe I should use that cash (that I don’t have) for something fun like a trip to Bali… ya see how that wrinkly skin doesn’t seem so bad anymore… ahhhh Bali.

Recently when a wave of body ughhhhh wafted over me I immediately signed up for a beginners stand up paddle board class and I killed it! I flew past those perfectly flawless skinned chicks and was the prized pupil, garnering praise from the instructor as well as my co-paddlers. My body does things, strong things, difficult things, and I know for certain that one hour of stand up paddle boarding is far superior to one saggy wrinkled tummy. Continuing on my strong body love-fest I did something last week that I have NEVER done before, I purchased a two piece athletic “bathing costume” (feels weird calling it a bathing suit). Even though my middle parts have not felt the warmth of direct sun since the age of 3 I decided to do it – buy an athletic sports bra swimming top and a cute pair of swimmy shorts so that my next venture out on the rental board will be a triumph for both my body and my head – crap I’m gonna need some SPF 70.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Hate The Hunt

One week into online dating (2013 edition) and I’m already weary of the process. For those of you who live a magical life bursting with rainbows and unicorns, who have always found your Mr./ Ms. wonderful in the ‘real’ world and believe that internet dating must be FUN and EXCITING– let me lay some truth on you, it SUCKS!  Imagine being laid off, you reflect for a moment then realize you gotta get back into the game, you quickly post your resume online  and start answering job postings with well-crafted introductory cover letters. Days pass and your letters go unanswered however your mailbox is overflowing with offers to flip burgers in Oklahoma or scrub motel bathrooms in Idaho. Then you sit and think, what the FUCK!? What in my resume would make a perspective employer think that I want THAT? So you review your resume, edit and re-post, all the while continuing to send out cover letters for jobs that match your skill set. More days pass and still your letters go unanswered as more distasteful offers from far away states fill your empty inbox. And that my friends is me on the dating hunt.

I know men don’t read my profile but what amazes me is that they don’t read their own. I received an offer for drinks from a dude who proclaimed after reading my profile we  would be a great match. I discovered through his posting that he had a large family with whom he spent every free moment and that he wanted a woman who was “extremely family oriented” as well. Also he was an avid church goer and wanted his match to “make God a major priority”. As to pets he had dogs and wanted to date a women with dogs so that they could all share in the fun (good lord). I replied to his email (I know I should have just deleted it BUT I had a few drinks before logging on) explaining that all the things he required in a partner I did not possess and that I was rather confused at his claim that we would be a great match. His reply, “I never thought of it, I guess it all depends on expectations, I am ultimately looking for someone with those qualities, but I could date others now.” To which I responded (and again I know I should have deleted his email), “I expect to become someone's "ultimate" one day, but going into a dating situation knowing that being the ultimate would never happen, is not for me.” SURPRISE ending, the guy thanked me for pointing out the incongruities between his email and his posting and within the hour updated his profile with this edit, “I’m not ready to commit to dating anybody right now, I have many things and people in my life that take priority but I would like to find a friend maybe for now.” – WOW check me out, I did good for this guy.

Notes regarding internet dating photos:
Besides the classic bathroom selfie (still going strong for the over 40 set) here are the top three straight male middle aged photo ops that are trending on the interwebs:

Men sleeping on the couch, cause there is no better way to say “I’m a virile, athletic man who will take you out and knock your socks off!” than napping. Bonus points if holding a dog/ cat/ blankie in a cuddle death grip.

Men indulging their narcissistic compulsions by snapping 5-10 photos of their refection the rearview mirror of their car – who knew a man could look so hot rockin’ a nylon webbed shoulder seatbelt? Bonus points if wearing sunglasses and an Ed Hardy T shirt.

Lastly the ubiquitous photo of a guy talking on the phone, cause ya know ladies go crazy for a guy who won’t even give us the courtesy as a viewer of a photo to put down a blackberry. Bonus points if he’s pointing his index finger as his brows furrow in that, “Hey, shhhhh, wait a minute, I’m on the phone bitch.” way.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Search Of

After Monday night’s farewell I thought I would give myself a few days/ weeks of quiet time before hopping aboard the wonder wheel of internet dating but instead within 14 hours I decided not only to reinstate my free OKCupid account but I did something that I haven’t done in years, I signed up for a 6 month paid membership on Match.com. Match.com you soul sucking bank account eating tease, I hate you so but I have no other choice, I’m pulling out the big guns and hitting this shit hard.

I want my person, I don’t know where he is or when I’ll find him but I really want him. Sweets was never my person, I knew that by the end of March, but it was OK, there was fun and lots of shared wonderful moments even if he never looked at me with ravenous wolf eyes or grabbed me at the door after not seeing me for weeks, then threw me to the ground to ravage me. I want to be a man’s perfect embodiment of womanhood, I want to be his #1, not his #36, when we’re apart I want him to think, “Wow I wish Gail was here, this would be much more fun with her sharing in this.” And I want to fall crazy head over heels for him and I want him to be ridiculous for me as well.
I cried Tuesday, hard, and truthfully my eyes are welling up as I type this now, not because Sweets and I aren’t dating but because of the situation, because I really DO deserve to have the best and I’m at the peak of my life, feeling the strongest/ healthiest I have ever felt with an abundance of energy and happiness and I just want to share that.  Side note, having the spinning instructor surprise you with a new song during the most difficult part of the class and that song be a slow broken hearted love duet really does some good work for purging one’s emotion. Thank goodness the room was dark and the music was booming cause I was falling apart, full heaving ugly face weeping with the tears mixing with my face sweat (hot, I know). I was rather impressed with my lung capacity though; it is kinda bad ass to be bawling uncontrollably while climbing a major hill in spin class, just saying.

Using the knowledge I learned from the men I’ve met I decided to update my online dating profile to reflect my true needs and wants in hopes that it weeds out the men who just aren’t available to give me what I desire. For your reading pleasure I have included an excerpt below – enjoy.
Lastly, yesterday morning I got a little surprise boost to the ego when Mr. Woods popped up on my OkCupid instant messenger. Mr. Woods has permanently relocated to Zurich but is still on the prowl. We exchanged small talk before I had to race out the door but even within our hurried chat Mr. Woods was able to squeeze in some very flattering memories of me – it’s nice to be remembered, especially as a drop dead sexy goddess.

Online Dating Excerpt:
I have time, energy, creativity, and no anchors weighing me down or holding me back to get out and GO (I don't even own a houseplant). I want to do things, go places, DATE and have a vat full of raucous laughter doing it. I am independent, I have traveled, dined, attended social events, explored, etc... on my own but now I want to share all kinds of super fun things with a man I am dating , therefor if you do not have the availability in your heart/ head/ schedule to share time and adventures then I would not be a good prospective dating partner.

(other stuff)
I need a man to date who has space in his life to incorporate another. At this age many people come with other people (ex's, kids, elderly parents, overwhelming careers etc...) and that is par for the course however please understand your time limitations, if your dance card is already full with other commitments I would not be a good match for you. I am not interested in getting married or having kids, now is my time for wondrous escapades and rip roaring fun and I would like to share that with a man who has the time and energy to hit it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Sweets and I are no longer dating. It’s been coming for a while, I sensed things were off following his Easter visit with his family but I tried not to dwell on his withdrawal and chalked it up to his overwhelming stress load. I worked hard at not stressing him out, probably too hard. Dating should not be that difficult, but even when I pointedly asked, “Do you still want to spend time with me? Because it really feels like there is an imbalance between us.” Sweets apologized and vowed that he truly did WANT to spend time with me and do all the fun things he posited during the cold dark winter months. So I stayed and believed in his plans of warm sun on our skin as we sailed to the private Connecticut island beaches. He spoke of grand plans for us together, all wonderful and filled with adventure but as the weeks of May and June flew by I saw Sweets less and less and when the weekends arrived with my heart and head filled with anticipation of all the riches I was promised  I was shockingly dumped into the pit of disappointment as my plan for a tumultuous weekend of good and plenty  revealed itself  for the reality that it was - alone time for me in Queens while Sweets escaped to regions beyond the state line. By the end of June, I knew, well I suspected, because the one thing I can never shake is my enthusiastic optimism, that I had been sold faulty goods.

I posed the question out right, I gave him the opportunity to come clean and tell me that he didn’t have space in in his life for me. It would be a hard pill to swallow but better to take the pill then to continue dating a man who could not / would not make any time for me. This is my blog so I’m going to toot my own horn now, I AM AMAZING TO DATE! I have two big dating wants, I want to have sexy time and I want to DO really fun things. Done. I don’t care about fidelity or commitment or a relationship, I don’t want to get married or have kids, crap damn it we never even said we were boyfriend and girlfriend – I don’t care. I never even asked Sweets to help paint my kitchen or install my 2 window AC units or even take a drive with me to Home Depot –  all I wanted him him to do was make time do the things HE WANTED TO DO with me . Long story longer Sweets realized his wrong doings, apologized and said that he didn’t want to stop dating me and that beyond a doubt wanted to do things with me just not all those things he talked about cause umm…. sometimes he runs his mouth without thinking.  OK that’s cool.  And I promised to lower my expectations and help with getting plans onto paper and facilitate the remainder of our Summer/ Fall adventure schedule. Whew all is swell, isn’t it nice to have a good adult check in and get our dating back on track! Now off with Sweets for the month of July while his kids are in town and we’ll reunite in August with my monthly planner in hand.
Oh it’s August, already? Great, we had a good break and now I can’t wait to get our schedule down in black and white, so much to do and see and …. Oh … what?
Last night Sweets dropped the truth hard, he was wrong, he thought he could make space for me but he can’t so he needed to breakup with me. There were clues it was gonna happen last night, small clues that I tried to contort into signs of happy good things to come, but in the end my nagging thought that the finale was near was the thought that rang true.

We walked and talked and laughed and reminisced about all the super fun that we shared over the past 7-8 months. I vented (which was good) and he apologized and we both agreed that I deserved better (funny that’s exactly what Mr. Invisible said when he broke up with me last Aug.). I was so ready for this breakup that no tears were shed until we spoke of the good times, that’s the difficult part for me, remembering all the GOOD, cause there was so much and I did so many new things, rock wall climbing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, and because of Sweets’ enthusiasm and overwhelming support for my physical strength I feel that I could conquer anything so I began jogging and spinning and now stand up paddle boarding.
We are friends, we will be friends, we both care about each other and have such fun that to throw it all away now would be fool hardy. I did warn Sweets though now that we are friends and he’s a member of Team Gail (it takes a village)  he’s going  be called upon for services (he’s already promised to remove my air conditions) and also cause he’s a friend  I’m going to tell him when he’s being a dumb ass.

After burgers and beers we hugged and said we would hang out soon and I really hope we do, the guy doesn’t have the nick-name Sweets for no reason. I’m just glad that not only was he finally truthful to me but he was truthful to himself.