Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Morning

Today was a rare Saturday I was in town and didn't need to dash to dragon boat race or something. So, I decided to do something nice for myself. I made myself two shots of expresso, and a nice fresh pasta lunch. I rarely cooked for myself these days. I remember I used to love cooking breakfast or lunch when I was dating, but since becoming single, cooking for myself was just too much hassle. Today, I enjoyed the hassle.

A guy asked me during a date if I was interested in dating. I didn't mean to reject him flatly, and I meant what I said: In general? If I am interested in dating in general? (Of course I knew he meant dating HIM.) To be honest, I haven't thought about it at all. Hmm... Really, I haven't thought about it. I guess I'm just going with the flow.

I am starting to not miss dating. I used to miss first kisses, waking up staring at the guy in the morning, holding hands, bear hugs, clinging onto the guy's arm like a koala bear, etc..... But I am sort of feeling perhaps a bit too comfortable with myself, and haven't met anyone who made me really want to start dating. I keep associating dating with "a lot of work" in my head, and wish I didn't think that way. I probably just haven't met the right guy yet. It's ok though, I am busy and I am happy and I still got time :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dog vs Man

We all know that one of the reasons it becomes harder to find a companion as we get older is the fact that we have formed our own living habits and found a comfortable lifestyle. It is not always easy to find someone with a compatible lifestyle or someone who is willing to compromise and vice versa. For me, it seems my dog incorporated lifestyle has become the latest obstacle. (Not that I will compromise though.)

I myself am a newish dog owner, I never understood how precious that bond, that responsibility, that devotion and commitment was until I watched my dog develop from puppyhood. He is a life, an individual entity (not just A dog), and family to me. The best thing that has ever happened to me. And I can understand why non dog-owners might simply assume this as obsession.

It is anything but obsession: A dog is not a man, it is more precious than a man in so many ways, I tell you!

I know exactly how to make my dog happy. Very happy. A man's happiness comes from so many different sources.

I am what my dog looks forward to each day. I wouldn't dare expect my man to simply look forward to seeing me each day. I would be lucky if he doesn't occasionally find it a dread to HAVE to see me after a tough day at work.

My dog may get upset at me sometimes, if I deny him access to a room, or do not involve him in some seemingly fun activity, e.g. pouring bleach down the drain. He pouts, but we make up in no time. I have dated so many guys who really held a grudge.

My dog is fully predictable. I know how he would react to things, whether positively or negatively. Not all men are predictable.

My dog has no issue displaying his affection and expressing his feelings. Every emotion shows. I just need to learn to read his body language. I have dated many men who bottled up their feelings then suddenly exploded.

My dog loves me unconditionally. I don't need to put on a sweet smile, wear makeup, high heels, short skirt to make him love me more. He doesn't stop loving me because I care too much about him, or because I am too smart for him.

My dog allows me to love him unconditionally in return without holding back. He wouldn't freak out and think I am crazy for loving him.

A dog is NOT to me replacement of a man in my life. It goes without saying that there are many things only a man can give me, e.g. guidance, emotional support, physical pleasure, intellectual exchange, inspiration, etc. So, yes, of course I want both my dog and a man - a good one - to be my companions.

BUT, if in the occasion where a man who doesn't like dogs forces me to choose between him and my dog - I am sorry, but my dog would be a much better bet. He is here to stay for at least 15 years.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Solo in Italy - My Laid-Back Travel

I spent a week in Italy just to rest away from my usual surroundings and it became one of my best trips. I might not have visited the highest number of tourist attractions or highly reviewed restaurants on tripadvisor, but quantity means nothing to me in this trip. It was not about the most, but the BEST experience - even if it meant just one excellent meal, one heart-warming conversation, one breathtaking view.

The picture here was taken in Orvieto, Umbria. It was an impromptu day trip suggested by a local, after I mentioned that I wanted to visit a quiet town like Sienna, but near to Rome. It was a sweet journey, walking off the beaten path without bothering to follow the map or any guidebook and finding a quiet spot - with no one in sight - to enjoy this rare sight. All other tourists flocked to Duomo, underground caves, tower, ceramic shops. I covered most of those but also had some undisturbed beautiful views of the city and surrounding areas. It was priceless.

Every traveler's source of fulfillment in a trip varies. For a first visit to a city, I do often try to visit the key highlights, to experience as much of the best as possible. But for a second visit, I find it more enjoyable to take it easy and try to understand more of a local's way of life and view of the city. More of a cultural exploration. This trip allowed me to sit back and observe people, slowly enjoy a fantastic homestyle meal without having to chow down my food and rush to a museum or something, leisurely stroll around unfamiliar areas and get lost for a while (before GPS came to my rescue), have meaningful (and flirtatious.....) conversations with a local, take part in a 5-hour cooking class (I don't give a damn how many tourist spots I could have otherwise visited in 5 hours.)..... I walked a lot, rested a lot, talked a lot, smiled a lot. Just what I wanted.

You are special, BUT.....

The B&B owner didn't arrive in the morning to say goodbye.  He sent me an SMS saying: Not all the guests are the same, someone is special and my dad was right. :) I would have had more time to spend with you, but...that's life.  Take care of you (yourself), M.  The message made me sad.  Not because of this person in particular, but too many guys had said similar things to me and I didn't need one more during my 6-day trip. "I like you a lot, but....."  "You are special to me, but....."  "I want to be with you, but....." If there's any "but"', please just keep everything to yourself. I don't want to know how you feel about me if whatever you feel is unjustified at the end of the day, for a short romance or in this case even a proper goodbye hug.  I never asked you to leave your girlfriend, or your business, your job, your country.  Why create such drama by telling me what your dad thought of me, how you found me special, unconventional, yet dangerous?  (in our other conversations)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I May Not Look 35, but I Certainly Have Experienced Like 35.

I have been traveling in Rome for a week staying in a B&B run by a young (31-yr old) Italian guy who quit his ad agency job to start this business. And strangely, he has become quite fond of me.

Don't get too excited yet - he has a girlfriend and is well aware of our cultural & language barriers (though he is already quite westernized and well traveled for an average Roman), and of course it is also unprofessional for him to mess around with his guest. So, despite our flirtatious behaviour (texting each other when I'm out doing touristy stuff, messaging each other on facebook chat, texting me from the dining room when our morning conversation got interrupted by guests who entered the room for breakfast, asking me "did you sleep well in my bed".....), he bailed a few times after suggesting casually to take me to have coffee or to have gelato in his fav shop. Fair enough.

Today he bailed again, and sent me a message late night, apologizing for delayed SMS, and inability to meet me. I didn't bother replying. And likely he's wondering if I am upset.

My thought on this:
I may not look my age, but I certainly have met and surpassed the minimum life experience for my age. My experience has taught me that most people I meet in my life are likely to be quite predictable. Men, in particular, are very predictable when it comes to emotions and their resulting behaviour. Thus, no need to take anyone too seriously too soon.

So, am I disappointed? Not exactly. I sort of sensed his pattern. Am I upset? Well, just a little, that he wasn't one of those few people who could prove my prediction wrong.

I am not stating that I know everything and am always right. I am merely saying that life does have certain general patterns that repeat themselves, whether we want to accept or not. And I am being realistic and practical WHILE REMAINING HOPEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC THAT I MAY ENCOUNTER EXCEPTIONS TO GENERAL PATTERNS. Each time I meet someone, I always secretly hope he will be a pleasant surprise.