Frog Blog

The Scavenger Hunt

Had by far the most mysterious and unusual date ever on July 15, 2011. It was really fun before we met. Went downhill quickly.

After a few interactions by email, this guy seemed great. Liked to travel spontaneously like me, knew the SF restaurant scene, great sense of humor, had a job, and could complete a sentence (creatively, I might add). This guy had potential. I was excited.

He suggested several ideas and we landed on Tosca in North Beach. As I was parking, he emailed to say he would be late. He then said “Go into a random bar, and I’ll find you.” I thought, “I LOVE this! A scavenger hunt.” I emailed back “Deal. If you don’t find me by 8:45, email me for a clue.” He said he loved it, too. “It’s like a scavenger hunt for the Bucket of Fish girl.” After a couple of random clues, he found me, impressively so. Before this, he emailed saying he was also at a random bar, and gave me clues. I’m thinking, okay, this was fun for awhile, but it’s an hour after we agreed to meet. Are we ever going to?

Clearly, he wanted to keep playing. He emailed “what bar in North Beach do you have the best memories at?” I said, “Where I am!” I am not a big drinker, and it’s lucky that I even know any bar in North Beach! He suggested we meet at Romelo, and of course I didn’t know where that was. I told him “how about you come get me, and escort me there?”

Finally he found me and we decided to stay at Enrico’s. Sweetly, he said I was really cute and even emailed me that when I went to the bathroom. He asked lots of questions, and appeared to want to know me, but he was hyper and couldn’t stop trying to be funny. He was arrogant and insulting. Here are a few of his lines:

  1. Oh, I don’t need that. I’ve done some acting… (when I told him I teach communications)
  2. Aw, (disappointed) you haven’t been there? Gosh, I should change my profile to say I need someone who knows the restaurant scene.
  3. How far did you park? (1.5 blocks!) You must be cheap.
  4. That must be your junky car there.
  5. You’re too conservative for me anyway.

No thought was ever completed (I actually asked if he had ADD) and then he wanted to go to another bar. At first I agreed, feeling obligated to buy him a drink, then I went to the bathroom and prayed “God, how can I get out of this?”. When I returned to the table and we had talked some more, he asked if I wanted to go to Tosca. Unfiltered, I said, “I think I’m done.” He accepted that and began walking me to my car, but after more insults, I said I was saying goodbye here. He still wanted to see me again, despite how he acted! As if. In my politeness, I thanked him for dinner in an email (mistake!) by saying “You won…the prize for the most mysterious and unusual date ever”, to which he responded, “Is this goodbye, or are you taking me out next?” I really wanted to write back and say “I’m finally done with projects”, but I restrained myself.

His Frog parts: Need I say more?
My Frog: Not speaking up sooner or saying does he hear himself insulting me?
My Wins: Not going to the other bar! Telling him I was saying goodbye.

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Dating while Driving

Driving to work on Mission Street, I heard the email alert on my phone that meant only one thing: a hit from an online dating site! Unable to contain my curiosity for the short drive to Mission and 2nd, I found myself looking, then reading, my latest match. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was driving, and that I could easily get into an accident at any moment. I wish it were the safety factor that stopped me.

I stopped reading only due to this thought: “What if I die and the last thing they found me reading was an online profile???!!!” How will I ever get my dignity back? Then I laughed out loud at the insanity of it all and got a kick out of myself. And it was only 7:45am. It was going to be a good day!

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Perfection Revisited

Visiting Mom in my hometown and the house were I grew up is always a treat. One time, Mom was making the beds and I noticed how thorough she was being, smoothing out every crease of the sheets and bedspreads (guest writer Mom next to me). It seemed a little over the top to me, and I mentioned it. She exclaimed with some strong vocal energy, “Well, if you don’t strive for perfection, you’ll always be mediocre.”

Ah ha! Now I get the source of my problems! My perfection issues revealed. I get her point, but what I heard as a kid was: “You have to be perfect to be accepted, loved, worthy, and good enough.”

This was one of the first steps on my journey to accept myself as is, and drop the idea of trying to be perfect. What a relief!

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Who’s defining you?

Anyone else remember the movie Runaway Bride? At the end she says she’s going to find out how she likes her eggs done. Yep, I just gave part of the ending away. This was such a great lesson in self definition. She changed her eggs order with each guy she dated, because she either wanted to please or wanted to appear more like the guy so he’d like her back.

The crazy things we do for love! Ironically, men (and anyone, I might add) like us best when we are simply being ourselves! That’s so much easier than we make it! It’s that definition and confidence that draws a man to us. As a junior in high school I remember seeing a phrase on a champagne glass: “I like me best when I’m with you”, and I thought – THAT is how I want to feel with my man. When I can just be myself and he will accept me 100%.

I’ve done similar things as the eggs story, but often with a lot more compromise. What about you?

Here is a 1 minute video quip of me speaking about eggs and definition:

 

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Finding your Voice

It’s 3am on December 10 and I just boarded a plane home from India, ready for a long travel day. Ready to sleep. No one is seated next to me in the middle (score!) and the plane is about to take off. I notice a tall Indian guy walking down the aisle and he stops at my row. His is the middle seat. Shucks. There goes my (already claimed) space.

I tell him I like his watch. Seriously. I had no ulterior motive. I was finishing up a 90-day dating fast so my mind was focused elsewhere. He tells me it was gifted to him. Great accent. I was intrigued. He, too. Did I mention tall, dark, AND handsome? We never stopped talking for the rest of the 9 hour flight. We had a connection I hadn’t felt in a long time. We shared breakfasts. He invited me to New Jersey. I invited him to my company holiday party.

He said he’d call. He did. He flew to San Francisco for the party and spent 12 days of Christmas with me. It was utter bliss. Window shopping at Union Square; listening to carolers at the Westin St. Francis; hiking at Land’s End.

We had regular calls, texts, and a couple of visits to Chicago and New Jersey. He showered me with compliments. I started thinking about the future. Could I move to India? Would I? How serious could this become? Then, one day, it all came crashing down. When a house is built on sand, the smallest storm will blow it away. I lost my voice.

I had flown to New Jersey to spend the weekend with him. He didn’t plan anything even though I had asked. He became wrapped up in himself and we ended up doing his errands on Saturday. It didn't start that way, as were we planning to see a movie, but as each store was visited, I felt increasingly ignored, frustrated, and eventually abandoned. I was just a tag along. He wanted to research iPads and other tablets, and I was left alone. I mentioned that, but he didn’t want to “argue”. I felt like a little girl who wouldn’t be heard.

I couldn’t get clear in my mind what I wanted to say and therefore, I couldn’t articulate that to him, either. It was only until he chose to cut our trip short because his family “needed” him that I had my wits about me. I was exasperated, furious, sad, but crystal clear: “Take me to the train station so I can go to NY and stay with a friend who cares about me.”

That was the last time I saw him. February of 2011. I have no idea what became of him. No closure. No nothing. Just a disappearing act.

That’s my story. But what can we take away from this? First of all, you are more than a tag along. You have a right to state what you want. You HAVE a VOICE. Find it. This experience is what caused me to step up and do something to help others like me. In looking back, who was I kidding? Sreedhar was moving back to India. He had a toddler there. He told me from Day 1 that he was moving and didn’t want to hurt me; he enjoyed our time together and wanted to keep seeing me if I was okay with it. He wasn’t vested in me. He had a whole other life. I just didn’t want to face it.

Why do we give ourselves away so quickly? Our hearts are precious; not to be shared recklessly. We are worthy of love that is deep and meaningful. We must entrust our heart to those who will take proper care of it.

I know why I did it: I was hooked on the experience. The attention he gave (when I did get it) was really, really good. He was an adult – he had a job; a good one! He could afford nice places, and he paid – all the time. I was having fun! He traveled as much as me. We had things in common I hadn’t experienced with others. But, I was caught up in fantasy. I refused to see the big picture. I didn’t want to face that this wasn’t anything more than a momentary thing. I neglected my needs. I even ignored my faith. The thing most important to me. I was toast.

What about you? How have you given yourself away inappropriately or prematurely? What can you do to step up for yourself?

Please do it now before you are in too deep. It’s never too late, but it gets harder and harder. Habits get established and then we start justifying that it’s okay (that you’re treated badly or maybe it’s just the wrong fit and you stay because it seems easier) Suddenly we wake up one day and wonder: “What happened to me?! I’ve disappeared. In my man, my job, my family. Where did I go?”

My mom and dad were married for 60 years. She lived for him and us kids. She was devoted. But where did her needs come in? After my Dad died, I remember saying, “Mom, you can live out your own dreams now.” Now that she is on her own, she is. Living out her dreams. She’s traveled to Europe, Israel, and various U.S. destinations. She is thriving. Did I mention she is 85?!

I remember when I was a young girl my brother called from New York to ask what I thought Mom would like for Christmas. I said, “She said she needed a strainer.” Bruce said, “What about something just for her? Like a scarf?” This made an impact on me. It never occurred to me that Mom would like something just for her. Wow! What a concept.

I want girls and women everywhere to feel special. Worthy. Valued. Important. As Ailbileen said it best in the Help, “You is kind, you is smart; you is important.”

Honor yourself, honor others, respect the process. It HAS to start with you. If you don’t (honor yourself, or consider yourself worthy/valued/important/special), why would anyone else? It takes time, but you can do it!

You have a place at the table. As you and only you.

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