Not For Sale: Taking Myself Off The Market, Part II (REVISED)

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After falling off the wagon a couple of times (once because I thought I was genuinely about to fall in love and once because, well, I’m a blithering idiot), I am back to square one, realizing how important it is to remove myself from the dating scene while I still have my self-respect and dignity, as well as what’s left of my mental health and sanity.

I wrote the original entry about this subject on May 23, 2018. Shortly thereafter, I sold out and went out with a girl I had originally started talking to in early April. There were a few red flags (distance between us, roughly 45 minutes, being a good example) but I found her to be beautiful, intelligent and worth the extra work considering the situation.

We went out on June 2, remained in touch daily and went out again on June 23. I was falling hard. But then, beginning on July 6, she decided to start ghosting me. We never had a disagreement or even a cross word. I kept going back in my mind trying to figure out what I had done wrong, but could not figure it out, unless I was just expecting too much and she didn’t want to deal with it. Some of my friends have other ideas, like I was maybe a “practice” date. There are also theories that maybe she has a man stashed away or has her eyes on one. Some have even speculated that maybe she’s not attracted to men. Who knows.

Ultimately, I never will. And I came to terms with that, finally. But whatever feelings I had for her have died a quick death, and I blocked her on Facebook and from being able to call or text me. An explanation, even a dishonest one (i.e. “I’m allergic to you” or “our signs aren’t compatible”) would have sufficed, rather than just ghosting me.

I was then asked out last week by a woman who lives even further away (roughly an hour) who had asked me out in February and I declined. I wasn’t really attracted to her but at first she seemed to have a fun personality. Until I got to know her better. She has a rotten personality and an ego to match. Without even having met outside of Facebook and text messaging, she announced that she didn’t like my beard and that I needed to shave it. She said she doesn’t like baseball (which is my only obsession in life) and that she would “rather poke (her) eyes out with a fork” than watch baseball. She also announced that if I was ever “lucky enough” to share her bed that I better get used to listening to white noise to go to sleep.

Wow.

Talk about a cunt. She may be the most selfish woman I have ever met, and that’s saying something. On top of not being overly attractive at all, this ego of hers was beyond anything I had ever seen. When you’re in the process of seeing if you’re compatible with someone, saying “this is how it is, get used to it” is probably not the best strategy. Had I used any common sense, the fact that I had already declined her advances once should have struck a chord with me.

Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and we never went out. That would have been a disaster of epic proportions. I hate to say it, but I give more slack on things like that to a woman who maybe has the looks to carry it off. A beautiful woman can be egotistical and get away with it. A woman who is on the opposite end of that spectrum really can’t. At all.

Which brings me back to why I made the decision to take myself off the market in the first place back in May. Dating just doesn’t work for me right now, and these two situations have made that even more clear than it was before. I know there’s no one out there for me, at least in this area, and in a way I’m thankful for that because this whole county is a hellhole that I can’t imagine meeting anyone in that I could spend the rest of my life with.

These last two were from neighboring counties, and I thought maybe I had beaten the system that way. No, they’re just as bad. While the first one was far more attractive than anyone you’ll ever meet in my area, she was still a flake of ultimate dimension. The second one was pretty much on par for what you would expect to find around here.

Too many women overvalue themselves in the marketplace. If your description of yourself includes the fact that you don’t have enough money to support yourself or you don’t like to cook or your favorite pastime is drinking yourself into a stupor, that’s not increasing your value as a potential mate. It’s making you look stupid more than anything.

Yet, there are meth-heads, drunks and legitimate whores around here who are holding out for something they’re never going to find, a decent man who would be happy to have them in their life. In my case, I have yet to find one I would even consider.

So, I am back where I started. I’ve decided I need one year to get my life back in order and kind of lick my wounds and recover from the shock and disappointment of the past seven months, as well as the seven years of abject misery I dealt with before that.

As I told a close friend of mine last night, the happiest times I can remember in my life all had one thing in common: I was single and wasn’t trying to change it.

My plan now is to take myself completely off the dating market until August 1, 2019. One year and a week, basically. Do I expect to just jump into a relationship on August 1 of next year? Of course not, but I’m not even going to consider doing so until then. I have enlisted a number of friends to do whatever it takes to keep me from falling off the wagon again. Humiliate me on Facebook with wall posts. Spray paint my Jeep. Shoot me in the leg. Anything.

I just can’t spend the rest of whatever I have left in life chasing shadows and settling for less than I want. I don’t drink (to excess, anyway), I don’t use drugs, I work, I own my own vehicle and house, I have a good income and savings, I can go buy anything I want at any time. I really have no need for a woman, as a woman won’t complete me. I am complete as it is. I will say that a woman can enhance me and my life, but she isn’t a necessity.

So why shouldn’t I enjoy myself, and if it stretches into a period longer than a year, then so be it. The same thing happened to me in 1996, I became single after a long-term relationship ended in June and decided to take the rest of 1996 off from dating. That lasted until July of 2005. I am not the least bit afraid of being alone or not being in a relationship.

You see, I came to realize a long time ago that I am at my happiest when I am single. I had such an amazing life in the late 1990s and early 2000s and sure enough, within a month of entering the relationship scene again in 2005, I was utterly miserable. And every woman I have dated since has made me miserable. Some more than others and some for ungodly periods of time.

I do want and need to address the elephant in the room. I have been asked repeatedly “but what if some cute, little, available girl comes into your life before August 1, 2019?” Well, quite simply, this: If she is, in fact, my “soulmate,” then she’ll still be around when my self-imposed exile is up. There is nothing to be accomplished for me in chasing shadows and wondering if this girl is “The One” or even considering going out with a woman who I already know is not “The One.”

Life isn’t that complicated. If you don’t feel anything for someone, if there’s no attraction there or there’s no feeling of desire to see someone, she’s not “it.”

I had to have that beaten into me between 2010 and 2017 and it seems that maybe the lesson still hasn’t taken hold. If I can stay with someone until December 2017 that I have hated with a bloody passion since at least 2013 and likely before that, I clearly have no sense.

It’s clear that I need to be taken away from the general public for a long stretch and learn how to function as a normal human being again without making an arse of myself constantly. Thus, my decision to enter my self-imposed exile, that I think I will truly enjoy. I recently upgraded my cigar humidor and bought a beautiful selection of premium sticks that I will enjoy sitting outside smoking and listening to the White Sox games on the radio and no one will even have to poke their eyes out.

In closing, I hope the two women mentioned within this post get exactly what they deserve in life and reap what they are sowing. As for myself, I hope I have as good a time for the next nine years as I had the last time I went into exile. Be they alone or with my “soulmate,” wherever she may be. I figure if she’s out there, she’ll find me in due time. And it won’t be until at least August of 2019.

Thank you for visiting and reading…

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Coming Soon: My Memoirs

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After nearly 20 years of debate and encouragement, I am planning to write my memoirs.

I have decided the best place to do that is here in my blog, as I can continue the story as my life continues.  While this will be more of an autobiography than a straight memoir of any one time of my life, I want to structure it to feature the most important parts, in-depth, while at least skimming over the less important part of the past 40+ years.  But I want to try to touch on absolutely everything.

The life I have lived has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for anything, the good times or the bad.  And the good times outweigh the bad by such a large margin that the bad times barely register anyway.  I have been so happy during the vast majority of life.

So, stay tuned and I will have further details as they become available.

Thank you to all who follow me and enjoy my work.

The Best Years Of My Life: A Retrospective

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As I reach what could be considered my “mid-life” point (40), I have been taking stock of my life and doing a lot of reminiscing.  And the more that I think about it, the more I can say, without hesitation, that three years of my life stand out above all others:  1983, 1995 and 2010.  In those years, I turned six, 18 and 33, respectively.

1983

Naturally, 1983 is the most difficult to fully put into perspective, on the basis of the fact that I was six.  But, I can clearly remember some aspects of that year.  I “graduated” from Kindergarten and started first grade.  The most important happening that year took place in the summer, when I discovered He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe.  I saw the cartoon on TV and immediately needed to go to the store to find the action figures, which I saw during commercials.  I can remember this vividly.  Mom and dad took me to a local store and I got the Skeletor figure, though I wanted the He-Man figure, but it was not in stock.  In fact, it would be several months before I finally found a He-Man figure.  But I would spend the following six years as a fan of the franchise, and now I own the entire series on DVD in a limited-edition, numbered boxed set.

I was also a huge fan of The Lone Ranger and The Dukes Of Hazzard.  The Lone Ranger had a momentary resurgence of popularity in the early 1980s due to the release of the film “The Legend Of The Lone Ranger,” released in May, 1981.  The release of the film lead to the old 1950’s TV series seeing air again, as well as the release of an animated series, both of which I remember well.  I can remember going to the store and getting caps for my cap guns and plastic Lone Rangers masks.

The Dukes were another matter entirely.  I was completely obsessed with the Dukes in 1983.  I couldn’t wait for Friday nights.  And then Saturday mornings, when The Dukes, an animated version of the show, was airing.  I had Dukes action figures, posters, cars, play-sets, shirts, pajamas, lunchboxes.  You name it, I had it.

I now own a limited-edition boxed set of The Lone Ranger, which was released in 2013 to coincide with the release of “The Lone Ranger,” a Disney film that was a box office bomb, which lead to the boxed set being pulled from shelves sooner than expected.  I also own the complete Dukes Of Hazzard series, and films, on DVD.

I got my first bike in 1983, for my birthday.  It was, surprisingly enough, a Dukes Of Hazzard bike.  The good news was, I had a new bike.  The bad news was, I had to ride that bike for the next six years, because I didn’t get another bike until I turned 12, and my Dukes bike was so small it barely held me anymore.

I also got my first “personal” TV in 1983.  It was a 13″ color TV with wood-grain housing and no remote, because it had knobs as opposed to buttons.  I got years of usage out of that TV, in fact, I still had it in the late 2000s, when I went HD.

Kindergarten was great, I have nothing but good memories of it.  First grade, not so much but nothing bad.  I would have many betters years in school.

I went on vacation in 1983 with my family and we visited one of mom’s friends who lives in Michigan.  She had the coolest electronic gadget:  A VCR.  I can clearly remember being amazed at the concept of putting a tape in this machine and then watching a movie.  With no commercials and to watch at any time, and stop at any time.  We got home from vacation and went straight to the Magnavox dealer and bought one.

1995

Naturally, what stands out here is high school graduation and starting to college.  I enjoyed high school immensely.  At the time, I was happy in all facets of my life.  And I was looking forward to getting out of high school and moving on.

My home life was great, my love life was great, my academic life was great.  My two obsessions at the time were playing Tecmo Super Bowl on the Nintendo and collecting AC/DC albums on cassette.  I had gotten Tecmo a couple of years previously but my playing really hit its peak in 1995.  I played seven consecutive seasons with the Cleveland Browns, winning three Super Bowls.  And one of my fondest Tecmo memories was an all-night season my friend Joe Nunez and I played, he with the Cleveland Browns and myself with the New Orleans Saints.  We still mention it to this day.

I had been collecting AC/DC albums since 1993 but in 1994 Atlantic Records re-released the band’s first 11 albums, digitally remastered.  So I kind of had to “start over” to an extent.  Then, in September, they released their first new studio album in five years, “Ballbreaker.”  I played the cassette completely out in no time.

One of my favorite memories of 1995 was my TV show collections.  In June, I started taping Three’s Company every day, as two episodes were shown on TBS every morning.  Later that year, in December, I started taping Perry Mason.  I watched those tapes until they were so worn out the sound was pretty much gone and the picture was quite snowy.  I have replaced both with complete series DVD sets over the years.

I was such a fan of these two shows that I wired my TV through my stereo and recorded the soundtrack from episodes of each show onto cassette to listen to in bed or while I was driving.  When I started to college, I would take a cassette with two episodes of Three’s Company on one side and a single episode of Perry Mason on the other.

I LOVED college.  It was the happiest era of my life, bar none.  Life was constantly in motion and I couldn’t wait to get to each and every day.  Couldn’t wait to get up and go to class.  Couldn’t wait for class to be over so I could go home and watch that day’s Three’s Company and Perry Mason episodes.  Couldn’t wait to play Tecmo Super Bowl after dinner.  Couldn’t wait to go to bed and do it all again the next day.

What’s odd is that as soon as 1996 turned over, everything went downhill and 1996 will forever be known as the second-worst year of my life, after 2017.  My girlfriend and I split, my best friend at college just up and quit without a word, my parents lost their jobs when the company they worked for closed the plant they worked at.

But 1995 was absolutely exceptional from the beginning to the end.

2010

Wow.  What can I say about 2010.  I had one obsession in 2010.  Girls.  All girls, all the time.  I had two or three dates every weekend, sometimes two in one night.  At times, it might just be a girl coming over to watch TV.  Sometimes it was a legit dinner-and-a-movie date.  Sometimes it was a straight hook-up.  Sometimes it was a platonic dinner.  Sometimes it was all of the above.  Whatever it was, it was great.

I was made to be single.  This is the life I would choose if I had a choice.  As Benny Hill said, “why make one woman miserable when you can make so many so happy?”  And in 2010, I did my best to make as many women happy as I could.

The only thing that stands out to be in 2010 as far as entertainment goes is that I discovered The Rifleman, and bought a bootleg DVD set on eBay.  And yes, I had a girl over to watch a few episodes of the series after it arrived in the mail.

Speaking of bootleg DVDs, I also found a guy selling a set of Marvel Comics animated shows that were produced in the 1960s, based on the actual comic art.  These programs are well known among Marvel fans but they have never been released on DVD in the United States, though a European release does exist.  So I found a seller who had gotten a hold of the European DVDs and burned them, quite professionally, onto Region 1 DVDs.  We negotiated a price and I was thrilled to get those in my collection.

My average 2010 week was spent at work during weekdays and in the pool every evening, blasting AC/DC and watching the sun set behind the house.  Then on the weekends it was restaurants, movies, shopping and girls, girls, girls.

The only bad thing about 2010 is the way it ended, the last six weeks of the year were nothing like the first 46, which included a broken ankle and several months spent in a walking boot.  But I won’t let that stain the year, overall.

EPILOGUE

I have said on many occasions I would not trade my life for anything or to anyone.  I have had the most enjoyable life, with so few exceptions, and the memories are priceless.  And 1983 (childhood), 1995 (teenage years) and 2010 (adult years) are the pinnacle of each era of my life.  I’m hoping that 2018 will measure up in some way to these three years from my past, and so far, its doing pretty well.

Peace, and God bless.