Point System

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“Date someone a point below you,” Carol said.

We were at Seaport Village in San Diego, enjoying wine and the beautiful view, in early November.  Mary was beside me; Carol’s handsome lawyer husband and cute fireman brother were at her table.

I laughed.  “I feel like I tried that,” I said.  “I dated a series of guys who were short.  One actually fell asleep and took micro-naps when there were pauses in the conversation.”  I closed my eyes and pretended to nod off.

“Oh no, we don’t put up with that!” Carol said.  “Unacceptable!  But seriously, you need to date someone a point below you, so that they will appreciate you.”

******

At my next happy hour in Dallas, I brought this up to my friends.  They had a lot to say on the subject, but more questions than anything else.

“Which point system?” Lana Lollipop asked.  “I think of it as more of a spreadsheet: intelligence, appearance, charisma…probably more…all play a role.  There’s not just one rating.”

“I think she means hotness,” I answered.  “I consider myself a 6, maybe a 7.  I mean, I need to lose a little weight, and I’m not tall or young.  I’m working on it, but I need a serious diet and more hours working out if I’m going to get back to the 8 that I used to be.”

“But you’re so intelligent!”  Elizabeth said, “You have a master’s degree.  To some guys, that will matter more than whether you have an extra pound or two.”

“Punctuality means a lot to you, too,” said Lana.

“You know me so well!” I said.  We talked about Bad Keith for a while.  Ah, good times (not!).

We debated the meaning of the Point System for a while longer, getting nowhere.

******

And so, I went back to the source.  “Carol, explain the Point System to me, and what you meant when you said that the guy should be a point below me,” I said. 

Carol’s Explanation

Ok Love, the point system isn’t as easy as, “I’m and 8 he’s a 7 on a hotness scale and now we are going to be the perfect couple.”  Not even close.  First and foremost, you have to be very realistic with yourself before you give yourself a number. Don’t do this with your nice friends that sugar coat the world for you.  Don’t let your friends excuse something that you consider important to you with a compliment on your intelligence.  Elisabeth and Lana both mentioned two amazing attributes about intelligence and punctuality and if you’re going to offer those as pros, you have to be looking for someone who is also forgoing the gym and diet to be on time and smart and you have to find that sexy. 

There is someone for everyone you just have to be realistic about what you want and what you’re giving. Think of it as an exchange.  For example, you wouldn’t want to exchange a sports car for a minivan. Here is the fun part: with every statement like that, there are plenty of families that very much enjoy having a sports car and a minivan.  There are always so many factors.  For example, I’m fit, I work out at 5 a.m. a few times a week, I take care of my body.  But, I personally couldn’t care less when I was single if I dated a man that was 400 lbs. and I have. I find intelligence and business sense and family values so much more important. I’m actually turned on by quick wit, confidence and amazing personalities.  So, like I said, there’s someone for everyone.  Just be realistic with what your giving and what you are wanting in return.

Always remember NICE ISN’T NICE!!!  That is the motto I live by. I enjoy honesty and if you are looking to get better or grow as a person, telling yourself nice little lies won’t get you there.   Please don’t read this to think I’m shallow or a bitch.  It’s just a fact that we all are looking to attract a mate.  It is a game and it’s competitive and all you’re risking by sugar coating facts is not finding a partner that you will LOVE to be with.

If you’re a mess you’re only going to attract a mess. If you KEEP attracting a certain type of man it is absolutely your fault. Something you’re doing, looking for or putting out there is drawing that to you.   Like attracts like kind or total opposites and in that case, you have a different set of issues.  I would be happy to discuss my opinions on opposites at a later date.  I will break myself down so you can see how work my point system or more my sliding scale. 

First let’s out the 5th grade girl in us and let’s write down our pros and cons list. Do this for yourself also write down one for your perfect mate. Write down everything your perfect mate would be, do, have, and achieved. Write down the things you must have and then on the other side things he can’t have, absolute deal breakers.  If you hesitate or are unsure don’t write it down these have to almost be things you have strong convictions for. If you don’t have any strong feelings or convictions and your list isn’t at least 10 plus bullet points then we need to address personal issues on why you don’t have the strongest self-worth or simply you haven’t spent the time thinking about the topic. It seems nowadays so many of us worry about our weight, careers, kids, pets, whatever but we give no thought to what we want so we settle for what lands at our feet.  We set goals for everything in life this is no different.

My perfect guy (also this was my match.com guide that I followed to get my husband)

1.            Blue eyes (I wanted light-eyed babies)

2.            Catholic/Jewish

3.            5’8-6’2 (best heights that match my height for dancing, sex…etc the shorter the better on that scale)

4.            Owns his own home

5.            Close to his family = good relationships

6.            friends I can get along with

7.            makes over a certain income

8.            Masters or better degree

9.            Lives in my area (don’t want to relocate)

10.          spontaneous- free spirit- funny- good personality (this you have to go on a few dates to see)

11.          No bad debt = good credit score

12.          loves to travel

13.          Wants kids

14.          can get along with a variety of people – good at networking

 My Cons: Absolute deal breakers these I keep to myself and check off as they come up in conversation. Don’t be quick to judge. Take your time to ask follow up questions make sure they have a chance to explain. There are always exceptions to all rules. 

Cons:

Bad Debt,

baby mamma drama,

unstable career,

lack of focus and drive or motivation,

sloppy or messy,

don’t want to talk about kids or have more. 

All of these are 99% deal breakers for me. I won’t even waste my time. Most of these are fundamental personality issues or types that will simple hate life with me and I will hate them. We can be friends but that’s probably all. 

Know what you want and know exactly what you won’t put up with. Do yourself the favor and don’t waste your time trying to fix anyone. No one changes we can adapt and grow but we don’t change easily so don’t bother trying. You want a project pick up a hobby. 

One warning: think through what you really want in a man because you just might get it. I have always wanted a man that was close to his mother.  I once ended up with the worst momma’s boy! So be very specific.   Make this list super specific. If 6-pack abs and tan skin are on your list, I am sorry my dears, but you need to make sure you can keep up with that guy and you’re being realistic about wanting that. What I mean to say is have like goals and interests, don’t get caught up in looks. Looks will always fade and you and your partner can work out and get that 6 pack together if that’s really a desire of yours.   

Pros: (positive things about me that I can use in my favor depending on my type.)

Self Employed,

successful,

28 years old (at the time). 

I have good education,

great family,

great friends,

networking circle,

I’m focused,

I know what I want,

I can be wild and fun but also enjoy quiet nights,

I’m loyal to my loved ones,

I’m 120 lbs, 5’5.

With this list for my type of guy, I’m could safely say I am an 8. Let me say this again, I am an 8 for MY type of guy. Many men might find me sexually attractive and I would rank higher with them, but those guys don’t do it for me. Also and probably more prevalent many men might find me too outspoken and opinionated so I would rank as a 4 to these types of men.  Some issues really drop your score.

Cons:

I’m opinionated,

demanding,

honest and straight forward to a fault,

I can be crass,

I have a tendency to emasculate,

I can be a bit controlling and competitive.

Also recently divorced with 2 daughters under 4 years old. 

So as you can see some of these gems bring me down a point. So safely I say I am an 8. 

Now here is the fun part where you start to rack up a man’s points. Let’s do this point system for my husband. (He is going to hate this!)

Pros (for me):

6’2,

athletic build,

practices same religion,

Lawyer,

good family,

no bad debt,

owns his own home,

owns his own business,

has similar goals,

good family.

Sweet,

kind,

super cute and

smart,

easy to get along with.

My guy was almost too good to be true but this is where you have to look deep and read between the lines and ask some probing questions and the first couple dates.  I found out his cons (to me): He was way too attached to his mother, he still relied on his family for a lot of his support and direction, He is so nice he had a hard time standing up for himself, he knew what he wanted but lacked the push to get him there. So if you would look superficially he would be a 9 maybe 10. I mean a sexy. Partner in a large law firm, that likes me with good family, smart, fun to be with, easy going what’s not a 10 about that? Although at the beginning, I rated him as a 6.

To add to this:

             He had gone through a bad relationship.

             He had these mommy issue.

 These so easily drop him to the 6 rating. Emotional baggage is most times a huge deal breaker. Good thing I am a smart girl and saw this man is perfect for me he just needed to rebuild that confidence his ex kicked out of him and let him see that  his mother has been enabling him and I will have myself my own real life prince charming. I wasn’t changing him.  I was just showing him that he had negative influences and once removed he raised back to an appropriate score of 9 or 10.

 We always need to have a scale system in place when the bad outweighs the good RUN!  Lucky for me he saw his Ex was very abusive and mother was enabling negative behaviors. So with support from friends and other family members it was easy to make him happy again.

Let me tell you my negative attributes of being bossy are attributes he enjoys: He is very passive. So we balance each other out, which is a win-win for us.

So now together as a team I feel comfortable saying I’m a 9 because he balances me out and makes me the best me. My husband appreciates my drive and how much further that has gotten us and he loves my girls so truly he should be a point higher than me but he is just a humble personality and he keeps himself at an 8, so that works. He gets the fun of chasing and being with a girl he believes to be a 9 and I get to love a man that is on a lot of girls scale a 10 but keeps himself at an 8 my diamond in the rough. 

In this case, he is the same as me but because of his personality he tries very hard to always work on our relationship he is always chasing me. I enjoy being wanted makes me feel special and sexy.  In return I respect him and all he does so I work equally as hard to make him feel loved and honored. It’s a balance once you find a mate. If you think you’re going to find a guy, be super happy then you get to relax.  Watch out and hope no one has their eye on your man because you will lose him.  If you find a catch don’t be complacent and think he can’t do better it’s always going to be a give and a take. This way you also keep the sex fun and vibrant. There are more and more girls becoming women that can easily gain interest in your man if he’s a catch give him a reason to keep you. The benefit to this is if you’re trying he will follow suit. If your man doesn’t there you have some serious relationship issues. 

Ladies lets always remember this…. men need to be loved, women need to be wanted. I don’t try to be sexist and consider myself a feminist. I can with a straight face tell you “I can do anything a man can do, and sometimes 5X better,” but there are just so many things that I don’t want to do that are better left to men or women that would enjoy the task.   I love my husband for what he does, how he handles life’s stresses, the man that he is, and he wants me, finds my drive sexy, fears me at times…hahaha but it keeps both of us chasing each other and trying. So, by being a 9 and marrying an 8 (in my mind a 10) he always tries to keep me happy and I love what. We meet each other’s needs. Find someone who fills your needs and then look for his needs and fill those. As a woman, it’s better to be chased then to chase. Find your balance and respect yourself.

****

Ok, Carol, I’ll try it your way. 

Last night, I reactivated my Match.com account.  Within 24 hours, I had 93 views and 17 likes.  I stuck to Carol’s plan: be picky.  I rejected the guys who were more than 5 years older than me (they had other flaws, too) and the guy who was 19 (still a teenager!).  I thought hard about the guy who seemed ok, but a little older.  After all, he was mostly awesome.  But no, Carol said to set narrow standards and not to settle.

So I emailed one of the guys, and we have a date on Saturday!  Yay!

If this works out, I’ll owe Carol, big time. 

“I think you’re hot,” the guy from Match texted me.

 Uh oh.  He’s testing the waters. 

“I think you’re handsome,” I responded, using a classier word than hot.  “Just take it slow, ok?  I’m a good girl (mostly).  (Sometimes.)” 

I was going for “Good Girl with a Bad Girl Side, but don’t move too fast.”  How did I do?  Damn it.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything at all.  Urgh.

Geesh, dating is hard!  Wish me luck!

Cheers!

Your California Dream Girl

P.S. San Diego is amazing!  Check out my Instagram (@jules_strawberry_rules) or Facebook (Jules Strawberry) if you want to see more pics.    I’m also on twitter, but I don’t tweet much (@JulesSberry).

P.S.S. Next time, I’ll share my lists.  Again.  I know, I’ve shared ‘em before, but get ready for some *updated* Jules Rules!

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Poinsettia Tree in Little Italy

 

 

 

 

On the Eve of Divorce

 

“Can you meet me for a drink?  I need a woman’s perspective,” my friend Kevin Kumquat asked.

**If you don’t want to read this advice column, skip down to “Hello”**

Uh oh.  I’d already met Kevin twice for happy hour, and knew that his wife was ready to divorce him.  More importantly, I’d already given Kevin advice; I didn’t know if I had any more to offer.  But Kevin is a friend, and if I can help him at all, I will.  So I agreed to meet him at the usual bar and the usual time.

“Sure,” I said.  He’s been married over a decade and his wife is an awesome person.  In general, I’m pro-marriage, as long as the people in it are happier together than alone.  Kevin is clearly miserable since he moved out of his house and in with his parents; I’m routing for a reconciliation.

I’ve wondered in the past why people come to me for relationship advice.  After all, I’ve been divorced twice and have been through numerous breakups.  Do you ask the guy who crashed the plane how to be a better pilot?  I’m thinking, no, maybe you should ask the guy who has been flying for decades with an unblemished record.  Still, people keep coming to me for advice, so I try to tell them how to steer the plane.  How, theoretically, I should have steered my planes, so that they wouldn’t have crashed.

Note that I haven’t flown, successfully, in years.  Maybe that’s why people ask for my advice, then promptly ignore it.

“She is busting my balls that I haven’t set up a date yet,” Kevin told me.  “We just met with the counselor on Monday, then I planned my hotel for the training class I went to, and I just haven’t had time to plan anything.”

Internally, I groaned.  I’d be upset, too, if he took a week to plan travel for a training class an hour away but didn’t take 5 minutes to plan a date.  Plus, I’d given him some AWESOME date ideas the last time we had talked, and had given him MORE via a text message.

I said, “Did you go to the DMA?” He gave me a blank stare.  “The Dallas Museum of Art.  You said that your training class was in downtown Dallas, so I suggested that you visit the DMA, the Perot Museum of Natural Science, and the Dallas World Aquarium.  Your wife complains that all you ever do is sit on the couch and watch TV, so I suggested that you invite her on a date or go alone.  Since you painted that oil painting recently, I thought you might be interested in seeing the art yourself.  Even the stuff you hate can be entertaining.”

“No, I didn’t go,” he said.

In retrospect, I should have gotten up and walked out right then.  I mean, if he’s not going to take my advice, then we were both wasting our time, right?

More advice that I give to everyone contemplating a divorce:

  1. Read these books. Really study them, like you’re going to be tested on them later:
    1. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman taught me that people have different ways of showing affection, which may be very different from how they prefer to receive affection. For example, I show my love to Sally by buying her presents, everything from socks to elk heads.  I don’t want her to buy me anything, though; I’d rather she spend time (Quality Time) with me or paint me a pretty picture (Act of Service).  With Jack, I prefer that he clean the kitchen, which is an Act of Service (an action which is done to show love for another person).  With boyfriends, I prefer physical demonstrations of affection along with quality time.  Knowing this about myself helps me tell my partner what I need.  Of course, if he’s like Kevin, he may not listen…
    2. How to Win Friends and Influence People helps improve communication, which is a big deficit in most relationships. Sounds like Mrs. Kumquat was talking, but Kevin wasn’t listening, which points to a communication issue (among other issues).
    3. How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber is geared toward parents dealing with children, but I’ve found that it helps when talking to adults, too.  Because sometimes adults act like children: my son ignores me when I tell him to clean his room, and Kevin ignores me when I tell him to visit the museum.  Maybe I need to read the book again.
    4. Women are from Venus, Men are From Mars by John Gray. The author exaggerates the differences in the genders to make a point.  Most of us are a little of both.  Still, reading the book helped me to better understand a guy’s perspective.  My boyfriend in 2004 read the table which translates “Venusian” into “Martian” and said, “Holy smokes, is that what you’ve been saying?!  Wow, I wish I’d read this book years ago!  Whenever we get into a fight, I want you to show me this table, so that I can know what we’re really fighting about.”  When we started communicating better, I realized that he loved to fight and generally sucked as a human being.
    5. Fireproof Your Marriage is a movie and book heavy on the Christian message, so it’s not for everybody. However, I really like the fact that one person in the marriage worked on his own issues without pointing fingers at the other person.  So many marriages fail because one person is lazy and/or puts all the blame on his/her spouse.  The movie associated with this series is overly dramatic and kinda campy, so it’s easy to laugh it off, but the message is really powerful.  And ladies, the movie features Kirk Cameron, so there’s eye candy as an added incentive to watch it 😉
  2. Make a list of your wife’s complaints. This shows that you really are listening, and gives you the opportunity to identify solutions.  For example, if her gripe is that you never help in the kitchen, then you can make a note to yourself to do the dishes.  Put a reminder in your phone if you have to—if it’s important to her, than it should be important to you.  No task is too small if you want your marriage to work.
  3. Start a new hobby or take some fun classes: rock climbing or cooking classes, for example. They’ll make you more interesting, giving you something to discuss with your wife.  They’ll also get you off the couch.  Hobbies like rock climbing, cycling, running, and hiking have the added benefit of being a form of exercise which can improve your overall health and well-being.  And realistically, if you get divorced, you may end up doing this anyway to make yourself more attractive to would-be dates.  Might as well start now.
  4. If all of the above advice sounds like too much work or you’re not willing to change, cut bait and run. Pack your shit and get out.  Stop wasting time and start a new life.  Hey, sounds harsh, but it’s true!  Marriage isn’t for everybody, just like I was never meant to be a pilot.  (To be clear, I haven’t ever crashed a plane, it’s just a metaphor.)

Hello

“Kevin!  KEVIN!” someone said from the next table over.

Kevin turned around.  “Mom!  What are you doing here?”

She said, “We’re going to the hockey game, and decided to stop here for dinner.  We’d never been here before, so we thought we’d try it.  Looks like you need a date!”

“Uh, ya, Jules is in the bathroom,” he said.

So when I returned to the table, I was introduced to Kevin’s mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece.

Well, fudgesicles.  I wasn’t expecting to meet the whole Kumquat clan.  And I REALLY didn’t want to be introduced as a married man’s date, ESPECIALLY when that married man is separated from his wife.

How do I get myself into these situations?

“Have you ordered yet?  Come join us!” Mother Kumquat said.

“No, thank you, we were just on our way out,” I said quickly.

Decision

“Which is it?” I asked Kevin as we walked out of the bar.  “Plan A: Cut Bait and Run, or Plan B: Really Work on It?”

“Well, I figure that I’ll wait to see what she says on Monday,” he said.

BUZZ!  Wrong answer!  Waiting is doing nothing, and Doing Nothing is NOT one of the options.

At times like these, I’m reminded of two old adages:

“Advice is free, and you get what you pay for.”

“Advice is like an asshole: everyone has one, and it usually stinks.”

Kevin, if you’re reading this, you’re a dumbass.  But you’re a dear friend and I wish you the best of luck.

But you’re still a dumbass.

Cheers!

 

 

Signs of the Dating Apocalypse

 

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I scheduled a date for the first time in months, so of course there was a tornado.  When we rescheduled, Dallas flooded.  The fourth time that we tried to get together, he got sick.  We still haven’t been on a date.

Seriously.

Aaron and I met at school, where he worked.  We saw each other infrequently, but enough to know that we liked each other.  Since I knew that I was graduating in December and wouldn’t see him again, I flirted with him hard and emailed him my number, which he texted almost immediately.  SCORE!

We got to know each other over a week or two.  I didn’t like everything that I learned; for example, his daughter is 12.  That means teen drama, which majorly sucks.  Plus, his house was about 40 minutes from mine.  Add that to the fact that he is working a second job out of necessity, equals not the best situation.  Still, he is cute and fun and we made each other laugh.  I figured if nothing else, we could have a little fun hanging out.

So we scheduled a date.  I looked forward to it all week, but when the appointed Saturday arrived (December 19), he texted me, “I need to reschedule, because I’m a little light.”

Meaning, he’s broke.  Can I pick ‘em, or what?

I mentioned this in a previous blog (Success! And Netflix and Chill), and talked about my internal struggle over how to answer him.  Should I offer to pay?  Would that hurt his pride, set a precedent for me to always pay, or would it be simply a nice thing to do?  Ultimately, I decided to let him reschedule.  I texted back, “Ok : – (“

That night, he texted me that he regretted his decision.  “I wish we would have gone out,” he said.

Well, DUH!  Of course he did!  I’m awesome and we would have had a great time!

So we rescheduled.  And God laughed!

First He threw a tornado at us.  It was the day after Christmas.  Well, at least it wasn’t on Christmas – that would be a heck of a birthday present for Jesus.

“It’s only 6 p.m., think it’ll pass?” Aaron asked.

“I want to say yes, and I want to get together, but my gut instinct says that we better not,” I texted back.

A couple of hours and a few tornado warnings later, he texted, “Your gut was right!”

Well, fudge.  So much for getting out of the house that night.

Thankfully my neighborhood was spared.  Prayers and best wishes for the Dallas area families who were affected – Garland was hit hard.  The devastation was a powerful display of what a little wind can do.  Seriously, there are funds set up for many families that lost everything the day after Christmas.

“Let’s get together tomorrow night,” I texted.  Seriously, I wanted to hang out with this guy.  Why should a little weather stop us?

On December 27th, hail stones and heavy rains hit my house.  Sure, the hail was only nickel-sized—no baseball sized hail this time—but it still caused us to cancel the date.  The hailstones sounded like bullets hitting the house, and I’m surprised that the windows didn’t break.  The fence looked like someone had used it for target practice with a BB gun.

Well, fudgesicle!

“Do you think the rain will stop?  I mean, it’s only 5 p.m., we could get together later,” Aaron texted.

“There are flash flood warnings all over the metroplex,” I answered.  “First a tornado, then hail, now flooding?”

“If we reschedule, there may be an earthquake!  LOL,” he texted back.

I seriously thought about telling him that there wouldn’t be a fourth attempt at a date.  I mean, COME ON.  How many times do we have to try to get together before we just give up?!

Then again, as far as reasons to cancel a date, “Acts of God,” ranks right up there.  It trumps the lame excuses like, “my car wouldn’t start,” or “I had a flat tire,” or “I was in a wreck.”  It even trumps, “Grandma fell and couldn’t get up, so I had to go help her.”  Yep, we had the very best reasons for rescheduling.

So the next week I took the initiative and texted, “What are we doing on Saturday?”

“If one job doesn’t kill me, and the other doesn’t either, then whatever we do will involve alcohol and crazy talk!  Lol,” Aaron answered.

Ok, I am a person who has a lot of rules.  I know, I can be a neurotic about my list of rules.  This time I was thinking, “WTH?!  If you don’t have a time and a place, you don’t have a date.”  That’s one of the Rules.  At least, it’s one of Jules Rules; I know a few people who don’t agree (Nadia!), but that’s how I roll.

On Friday night, he texted me after I had gone to bed, “How was your day?”

The next morning (Saturday), I texted, “Pretty good, got a lot done at work.  What about you?”

He replied, “Getting sick.”

I answered, “That’s not allowed!”

He agreed.  “I’m on it!  I don’t have time for this shit.”

That was it.  No, “I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight,” or “I’d like to pick you up at 8,” or “I thought we could finally go bowling.”  That meant that we didn’t have a time or place; we didn’t officially have a date scheduled.

Double fudgesicles!!

I had given him a list of ideas for our first date, asked him out each time, and hinted that we should get together this weekend.  I mean, I asked him what we were doing; he could have easily said, “Nothing, I have to work,” or “Let’s do something another time.”  Since I had been so assertive, I decided to wait and see what happened.  I mean, if he really liked me, he should be eager to spend time with me, right?

I asked Nadia how long I should give this guy until I give up.  I mean, he should really schedule something with me before lunch, right?

She answered, “Depends on how badly you want to see him.”

She didn’t use the verb, “See.”

At 8 p.m., he texted, “I’m sickly, but I still want to see you.”

What the Fudge?!  HE WAITED ‘TIL 8 P.M.?!  Some people don’t care if you wait ‘til the last minute to holla.  Some people would have gotten ready and met him at 9 or 10 p.m.

I’m not “Some People.”

If you want to see me, schedule a date by Wednesday, with a time and place.  Confirm the date with me the day before (or I will).  If I don’t hear from you, like I didn’t hear from Aaron, I’ll make other plans.  And I did.

My plans involved pajama pants, a bottle of wine, and Netflix.  But as far as he knows, I may have been out on the town with someone exciting.  I could have received a last minute (7 p.m.) call from another boyfriend, and gone out with him instead.  I could have gotten on a jet and gone to Tahiti. Not so much, but it could have happened.

So much for Aaron.  Next!

Professor Mercury Update

After I confirmed that grades had been submitted, I emailed the Prof.  “Let me know if you want to get together for a drink.  My number is …”

He didn’t respond.

I thought that maybe he hadn’t seen the email.  I mean, it was the end of the semester, and maybe it got lost with all his other emails.  Then again, sometimes people get busy and don’t respond; maybe he saw the email, just didn’t have a chance to get back to me yet.

A month later (January 11th), I forwarded the official email from the school saying that I had graduated.  He responded with a friendly, “Congratulations!  Happy New Year.”  Great, he did receive my email.  I followed up with, “My friends and I are having happy hour on Thursday.  You’re welcome to join us.  I played a great prank on my daughter for Christmas, it’s hilarious, I’ll tell you all about it.”

Radio silence.  He didn’t respond AT ALL.  Since it was a group happy hour, he could have said, “Cool, I’ll bring my girlfriend,” if he has one.  Or he could have said, “I’m super busy right now.  Can’t get over to that side of town.  Have fun!”  Or, if he was busy but interested, he could have come back with, “I’d love to hear about your Christmas another time.  Are you free next weekend?”  But instead he chose to not respond at all?  That’s a dick move.

On the bright side, I’m over my crush.  Any guy who ignores two emails and doesn’t have the balls to respond at all, is not someone I want to date.  Ok, he’s still hot as hell, but I no longer want to date him.

Other things, however… I might want to “see” him, as Nadia puts it.

Summary

So that’s why I haven’t been on a date in months.  Acts of God: tornado, hail, flooding, and pestilence.  Add that to the rats in the attic, surgery on the 25th, etc., 2016 is off to a great start.  It can only get better from here.

Did you hear that?  Did God just laugh?  Oh shit.

Cheers!

Blogger Recognition Award

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Happy Dance!

“OMG, that is SUCH a funny story!  You should totally write a book!” my friends used to tell me, when I’d share my latest dating debacle.

So I wrote a book.  I took the worst dates of my life, told them in you-won’t-believe-what-this-guy-did fashion, and published them.  At the end of every chapter, I added to two lists: one is “What I Want In a Guy.”  I list things like, “Not crazy,” or “Never been to jail.”

The other list contains lessons learned, like, “You can’t really know a person that you’ve only talked to on the phone and/or online,” and “If he won’t kiss you, the relationship isn’t going anywhere.”  Sure, these may sound like common sense, but they’ve all got a story behind ‘em.  And sometimes more than one story.  What can I say—I’m hardheaded sometimes!

I even sketched some of the guys with my own pencil.  Uh…that may not be a selling point.  I’m a word smith, not a visual artist.

Then I discovered that in order to sell the books, an author needs a platform.  That’s a fancy marketing way of saying that ya gotta have readers who are willing to buy your book.

So I started a blog.  This baby has been up just over a year, and I’ve reached people all over the world.  I’m on the New York Times best seller list, yet.  But I have met some interesting people and improved my writing skills.  Oh, ya, and I sold a couple of books.  BONUS!

And I discovered something marvelous: I can tell all the little stories here.  All the ones that are interesting, but not so interesting that they deserve a whole book chapter.  PLUS I can share all my lists, aka, JULES RULES!!!

The reason that I’m sharing this story now, is because it’s part of The Rules.  Not mine, but another set of rules.  Thank you to Little Monster Girl for awarding me a Blogger Recognition Award!  It’s my very first award for this blog, so it’s extra special to me!  THANK YOU!!

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Here are The Rules:

  1. Write a post explaining why you started blogging along with a few tips.
  2. Nominate some of your fellow bloggers.
  3. Comment on their blogs to let them know that you’ve nominated them.

KS Beth is my first nominee.  She brings joy with her clever poems and pretty pictures.

Carrie of the Shires is my second nominee.  She is struggling with dating—something with which I can really sympathize!

Ben Bitter is my third nominee.  He has a dry sense of humor and a skill with gifs and video.  His multi-media blogs fascinate me.  Seriously, Ben, ya gotta give me some pointers!  Not on the bitter stuff; I have enough sarcastic snark on my own 😉

As for the tips, here are some guidelines.  Heck, let’s call ‘em Jules Rules for Bloggers (even though they’re just suggestions).

Jules Rules for Bloggers

  1. Find a theme and stick with it. For me, it’s dating and my life.  I stay away from politics (that’s “poly” for many and “tics” as in blood-sucking insects = sure to make lot of people angry), religion, and hard core pornography.
  2. Start in the middle of the action. I’ve stayed up many a late night because the next chapter of the book started with an interesting sentence and just drew me in.  I had to know what happened next!  You need to do the same with your readers.  “It was a dark and stormy night…” No, wait, Snoopy used that one.  See above for an example; it drew you in, didn’t it?  😉
  3. When you don’t know how to wrap up a blog post, circle back to the beginning. For example…

Speaking of my book, Jules Rules: The Best Worst Dates of My Life, it’s available for sale on Amazon.  Do you know someone who likes chick lit?  Someone who loves to laugh?  Someone who is terminally single and will relate waaaaay too much to my bad dates?  The book would make the perfect present for all three people!  And if it’s the same person, she/he will REALLY dig this book!  Hey, Christmas, Hanukkah, and various other winter holidays/religious celebrations are coming up soon.  You have just enough time to order one for everyone on your list!

Thanks again to LMG!  Love ya, Jen!  ❤

Cheers!

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Blogging and Dating: Jules Rules

“Do you think that your blog may be the reason that your relationships fail?” a close friend asked me recently.

No, my friend, I do not.  Here are the complete set of rules that I follow as a dating blogger.  ‘Cause I blog to entertain my friends, not to wreck nascent relationships!  And I’m a consummate list maker.

  1. Do not talk about the blog to someone that I just met or just started dating. If he read the blog, he would have an unfair advantage over me.  Plus, I wouldn’t have much to talk about!

“Did I tell you about the time that Lilly and I went to Destin?” I’d say.

“Yes,” he’d answer, “I saw the pictures and read all about it on your blog.”

Crickets would chirp as I’d rack my brain for a story that I hadn’t blogged about.  “Let me tell you about my trip to Costa Rica…” I’d say.

“That was on your blog, too,” he’d answer.

Doh!

  1. Do not tell him my author’s name or the title of my book. The book title, “Best Worst Dates of My Life,” reveals the subject is dating.  A guy might infer that I date a lot and/or that I might write about him one day.

“Oh, no, Honey, I’d never write about you.”  Unless, of course, you do something utterly ridiculous, like the 14 guys in my first book and the 32 guys slated for my future books.  Just be normal.  OMG is that so much to ask for?!  I’m calm, really, I’m ok.  I JUST WANT TO MEET ONE NORMAL GUY, PLEASE!

  1. When writing a blog on someone that I’m currently dating, remember that he may one day read it. So be nice.  If my first impression was that he was shorter than his profile, but he was still very handsome, I’ll talk about the latter.  If he had to use a step stool to get down the wine glass from the cabinet, but the date was otherwise wonderful, leave out that detail.  After all, the goal is to get to a place in the relationship where he can read the blog, and I want him to still like me afterward.  He might not feel very loving if I complain about receding hairline or the fact that my waist is bigger than his.

All of these tidbits refer to Jason, BTW, in case you’re curious.  See, you thought that I shared everything – SURPRISE!  I can keep a secret!  Oh, wait a minute…

  1. When the relationship is over and you’re listing all the reasons that the relationship didn’t work out, the gloves come off. ‘Cause at that point, I won’t be telling him about the blog.  And if he does stumble across it on his own, he might learn a thing or two.  For example, should Jason someday read, OMFG He’s F’ing Nuts, he might decide to call his therapist/sister and cry on his/her shoulder BEFORE calling the woman that he’s dating.  To, you know, keep some of the crazy to himself.
  2. Keep it PG-13. My kids don’t usually read my blog.  Sally is super busy with her senior year of high school.  Jack would rather play video games, do homework, or just about anything OTHER than read about my dating life.  However, the *remote* possibility exists that someday they might decide to read my entries.  Beyond that, I think it’s more entertaining to imply a tryst than to detail it out.  For example, “After an hour of passionate kissing, I invited him to spend the night.  It was a very good night indeed.”  !

I smile just reading that sentence.  Brown-chicken-brown-cow!!

  1. Time lags are very useful. For example, I posted about Costa Rica about a year after it happened.  Had I posted about it, then continued dating the guy, it would have been awkward.  By waiting, I knew that the relationship was well and truly over.  While I don’t always wait a year, I will wait a few days between the date and the post to see how the relationship develops.

Hope springs eternal; I’m an optimist at heart.  I keep thinking that guys will surprise me a good way.  Take Greg, for example.  He was handsome, but we didn’t have much in common.  I kept waiting for him to call me, or text me, or do something that would change my mind.  Then he pulled out his dip and put a wad of tobacco in his mouth.  EWWWW!  Time’s up!

  1. Keep it fun. Sometimes this is easier than others.  Whenever possible, I see the humor in a situation and laugh it off.  For example, being in the emergency room with my son was really stressful.  We thought something was SERIOUSLY wrong.  (Obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t have been in the ER in the first place.)  But when Jack hit on the nurses and went into Night-at-The-Improv mode, I had to laugh.  And film it.  Turns out, he wasn’t seriously ill, and now we have a fun video to share.  And some not-so-private jokes.  Lilly still calls him Testosterone Boy!

Like any good list of rules, exceptions exist.  Sandy Oranges read my book and blog before we even met, breaking rules #1 and 2.  Since I wanted to remain friends with him after we broke up, I refrained from saying anything that I’d regret later, breaking Rule #4 (sort of).  I feel good about that.  He told me that I still have a place to stay when I’m in Destin.  That’s pretty cool!

One could argue that discussing Deflowering Virgins and FWB breaks rule #5.  Well, it definitely toed the line, and I thought twice about posting them.  Then I thought about taking them down.  But Sally is 18 years old now, and Jack is older than her, so they probably know that I’ve had sex before.  For that matter, they’ve told me about their relationships.  At any rate (and the rates these days are high!), I think I could still pass off those blogs as PG-13.  Now, had I described exactly what took place on the nights in question, then I would have crossed the line.  For just $9.99, those details can be all yours, in my new book, “Jules Exposed!  The Best Sex of My Life!”

And that, my friends, is rule number seven in action!

Cheers!