Sunday, January 31, 2010

Change of pace from dating.

I entered a writing competion.  I placed in the top 40.  Not great.

The great part is that writers made comments.  Just on a biggee. My point?  My point is when you tell the truth, your story will be legitimately heard and understood.  Here, we make fun of men and laugh. But in real life, I write about tragic things.  Below are some comments.  They're not will likely run for the hills.  I would if I were you.

I'm flanked by two strange bedfellows. Humor on my right and sadness to my left.

Lena said...
This piece is full of emotions. I can practically feel the pain. Really good work. Liked it.
Preeti said...
It is sad to dream about the death of someone you love. Maybe it is the manifestation of a deep-rooted feeling you are never going to belong to each other.
Hmmnn... poignant and melancholic.
Very well written.
Ayodele Morocco-Clarke said...  (Read one of her horrific published short stories at the link below.)
You have in tight constraint effectively conveyed the ache of immense loss. Fab!

Bernita said...
JaneyV said...
The frustration of loss that need not have been. Well told.
Aimee Laine said...
Such sadness! That was a great read!
Aniket said...
To not be able to be there for the final goodbye to the person you love...unimaginable pain. The heart needs closure.
Very well told.
Craig said...
I think this one is about the loss of possiblities.
Sarah Laurenson said...
Loss and heartache. Achingly rendered.
Charmaine said...
You're right. Dreaming of death is not literal. Our subconcious speaks to us in metaphores.
pjd said...
For some reason when I got to the end, I was unsure about "could have saved you." After overthinking it for a bit, I figured the narrator had dropped out of molecular biology to become a priest, and that was the salvation he (she?) could have offered. I think that was not was you were writing, though.
Scribblers Inc said...
It's the gaping void of "could be's " and "could have's "...
moving indeed...
Kartik said...
The sadness!
laughingwolf said...
Laurel said...
So sad. Big loss, no closure. .
Tara said...
Very emotional piece. So sad
Four Dinners said...
Emotionally bleak and actually left me feeling genuinely sad.
Beautifully written.
Deb Smythe said...
I'm feeling the heartache and regret. Well done.
Betty Gordon said...
Sad but moving.
james r. tomlinson said...
With MLK Day right around the corner, I couldn't help but notice your opening line and chuckle. You've managed to tell a believable tale, yet I was begging for more: What type of disease did this person have? In what way could the narrator have helped?
Chris Eldin said...
I, too, am left with many questions. A tragic tale of loss, nicely woven.
Katherine Tomlinson said...
Filled with authentic emotion, emotionally told.
catvibe said...
Echoing the others here. Very emotional and sad.

I'm glad they said that. But anger underfoot. I keep trying to stomp thngs out, like an insect beneath my boot.  Smash..smash.  But like weird bugs and their crazy anger springs back to life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Date 1 - Bad Boy Gone Good

Repost...I'm out of material people...but that is no reason for you to be deprived of my dating journey.
Date 1- March 27th, 2008
San Chi Go, Laguna Beach

We irreverently met for sushi on Easter Sunday. The "Christian Playboy" had been to church. He went to Church on Good Friday too. He invited me.

“No thanks” I said “You go pray for us both...and have a good time”.

Oddly, the man doesn’t strike me as a Christian. He says things like, “Oh my GOD”! Isn't that against the rules?
He’ll probably want to have pre-marital sex. I don't trust Christians.

He brought me a present. A kitchy plastic watch. After adjusted the links he brought it to me a few days later with a card and some cookies. (Some women get diamonds).
I'd considered bringing a present to our first date. I pondered brining a purple plastic egg filled with fish oil tablets. You know, to help protect his heart. I realized I would have to dip into MY stash of fish oil tablets to accomplish the joke. I'm no spring chicken either.

Joke aborted.
He was in a car accident and was "rebuilt". Part of his abdominal skin was used to cover destroyed calf muscle.
Favorite Quote from my Date (he pointed to his calf and said): “If you look here you can see my belly-button”.

And I did.  Ewe.

Utube of the day:

Restaurant Review (***) 3 stars SAN SHI GO
This place is on the non-beach side of PCH but overlooks the water. It received rave reviews from many sources. I wasn’t impressed. The Sushi chef was similarly unimpressed by my attempts to speak Japanese. CP liked it. I had the “Backflip Roll”, and 2 other rolls. How many rolls are you supposed to eat, anyway?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm in love

I just thought you should know.

He's 81.  I'm done.  He is wonderful beyond wonderful. I asked him to marry me.  Yes I did.

Okay, so the reason we were speaking in the first place has to do with the fact that a friend of mine has prostate cancer. Lou, my next husband, hounded me all day after I initially contacted him (he has a support group) regarding  Prostate Cancer.

He tracked me down like a blood hound. 

A really affable grand fatherly blood hound.

We spoke for hours.  His interest is in my friend.  He wants to call him or have him call him.  (That sounds like an improper sentence.) 

Cancer is scary.  Not only for the one with it but for those of us who surround it/them. I want a quick fix.  I want it to be over.  I thought Prostate Cancer was no big deal.

I was wrong. 

With or without my "guy" I will attend the next support group.  I will listen to the guest speaker and more Lou.  Then...I will launch an assault on my supposed  "guy".  I'll make him talk to Lou. 

They will become fast friends. 

Then I'm gonna marry Lou.

He said I was scary smart. He wants nothing more then to help my friend. 

He's on a mission.

I Want Your Love

No words tonight my darlings. Just this video...and  people call me a feminist.  I am, it's true, but there is another side.  A woman has many "sides"...

My  heart was innocent until now.  You know...because you watched as I dated multitudes.

I used to want to be president of the United pretty much just want to be a drag queen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Captain Cage

Re-run week. October 3, 2007

I cancelled "Asian Persuasion" at the last minute and slipped in Captain Cage. Captain Cage is a private yacht captain in Newport Beach for a major celebrity. (I'm not supposed to say who.) My date was an Englishman in his 50's. Okay, his boss is Nicholas Cage. Lord knows I can't keep a secret.

We met at Blue Water Grill in Newport near Lido Isle. When I arrived my wine had been ordered and was waiting on the table.  Appetizers were on their way. "Thank God you're not going to starve me to death like some of my other dates"...I thought....but it came out of my mouth. I have no filter.  What can I say?

The captain was a nice bloke, asking frequently, "How am I doing?" and less frequently, "Will you marry me?".

We chatted quite comfortably, ate 4 appetizers and sipped 3 white wines. Hiccup. We gulped down a giant glass of water and went for a stroll by the bay. (To walk it off). Captain Cage pointed out his favorite boats and tried to kiss me.

Walking back we ran into his friend sitting on his porch. Captain said to his friend, "Isn't she lovely?" (Referring to me) The friend looked at me...and failed to respond. I thought..."bastard". It didn't slip out of my mouth. I have SOME control.

He walked me to my car and asked for another date after advising he would be leaving for Puerto Vallarta the following day for 3 months. "My boss wants the boat down there," he said.  "Nick is going to take his horrible son and obnoxious young wife.  She barks orders at me as if I were a butler.  I believe she used to be a cocktail waitress.  Nick's son wears black nail polish. Nick asked if I wouldn't mind parenting the lad a wee bit in his absence. Nick goes through yacht captains every six (6) months if they take this suggestion. I won't make that mistake." 

Captain Cage was fired a week later.
Restaurant Review

Blue Water Grill, Newport Beach, CA
This is the kind of food my parents might have shared on their first date. Old style. Things like fried prawns and clams served in a pueter collander of tepid broth perfumed with a hint of wine and garlic. It's the kind of place that probably uses dried parsley. Not bad but...old. The crowd was older. I guess I'm older too.

The Lyin' King

Re-run week. 12/4/08

In preparation for date number two (2) The Lyin' King and I emailed furiously.
It was fun, fast and flirtatious. At one point I "sensed" he was looking for something else.

Like a job.

Why would I think this you ask? Low self esteem? I don't think I'm attractive enough to sustain a man's attention?

He sent me his resume.

I'm and Event Planner. He's an attorney.

In order to steer the conversation away from employment I said things like, "You know most of the men in my industry are gay".

He responded smarmily, " I enjoy the touch and feeeel of a woman wayyyyy too much to ever go THERE". (Why do men talk like that?)

I quickly retorted, "Well, if you would please consider BECOMING gay, it would demonstrate that you are highly motivated".

That worked. Unfortunately, there was still the problem of his resume on my desk.

The first line began, "I recently lost my job due to layoffs...".

I send it to my sister (an attorney) and here is what she said:

"Charmaine, people rushed into my office to see what was the matter because I was laughing so hard". I was reading his resume. "I began to chuckle at the first line and by the time I got to third page where he states, "I was was quasi legal councel for... " I was on the floor.

She contacted the California Bar Association to find he had been suspended for stealing a clients money to pay office expenses. He was no longer allowed to practise law.

Restaurant Review

Old Vine Cafe - Drinks -*** (3 stars)
This little place is located in Costa Mesa in a strip mall called The Camp. I met him there. The President and Vice President of my company were with me. (They wanted to get a look at him.) We were all having a glass of wine when he arrived. It was awkward, he was uncomfortable and would not join us so we departed.

Mesa - Dinner -**** (4 stars)
The place is hip and FILLED with beautiful young people who appeared to be from L.A. Amber candles glowed hither and thither. The President of my comany showed up with her gorgeous, much younger boyfriend. Again...awkward.

I had a delicious concoction of lobster and shrimp in a foamy butter broth. It arrived in a bowl covered in foam with a red lobster shell head poking out of it as if to suggest it was having a nice bath. I dove into that bathtub head first to find succulent pieces of lobster and shrimp.

Who cares for men when there is such food to be had?

Monday, January 18, 2010


It's re-run week. Join me, won't you?  (There is some profanity so eject here in order to preserve your inner landscape.)

"Evil Surfer Dude" dropped by Saturday.

He arrived with a plan. An Evil plan.

We were going bowling.

Don't get me wrong, I like bowling.  But after taking me to dinner the previous evening at what can only be described as a homeless wasn't really working for me.

We drove to Fullerton where he was raised. We argued over where to dine for lunch. "Dine?" he queried. We picked up sandwiches and ate them on a bench, like homeless people, across from a lake he frequented as a lad.

Blood thirsty ducks hovered upon the lake.

After flapping out of the water, one walked right up and bit my leg. 

With compassion in my heart, I stood up and walked away. (I'm always the "bigger man".) The killer duck followed. As we strolled around the perimeter of the greenish man-made lake... the abnormally overweight duck chased alongside in the water honking obnoxiously and eyeing the fingers of my right hand."Quack quack, me see finger snack," he said.
"Evil" took my hand. In an unprecedented act of chivalry he made eye contact with the duck and said, "Fuck off".

Being a woman of pristine upbringing and character, I might have addressed the duck differently.  "Mr. Duck, you'd better watch it. I know a Chinese Restaurant that would like nothing better then to change your first name to Peking. Plus, where did you learn to speak English anyway, a brothel in Thailand?

Watching a grown man swear at a duck is ridiculous.
As a child,  if a kid came over to our house they would eventually begin to use the "F" word too despite being raised well.  They rightly suspecting if they did NOT, they simply would not be understood.
Johnny: "Mrs. Peterson, may I have another glass of milk?
Mother: Fails to respond
Johnny: "Mrs. Peterson, may I have another fucking glass of milk?
Mother: "Oh, certainly Dear."

I once offended a date with a judgmental remark.  He raised his voice and said, "F you, bitch".  Then he watched, glaring into my eyes waiting for my enraged response.

I batted an eye, gazed at him and demurely responded, "Please, that's what my mother says to me when she's trying to be NICE."

Restaurant Review
Subway, Fullerton, CA

Despite having dated this man for several months and building up a remarkable tolerance to Salmonella,  what I ordered gave me a stomach ache.  Run for the hills.  Shortly after this, with regard to "Evil Surfer Dude" it's exactly what I did.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Angry Woman

Uh...nobody wants to hear from "The Angry Woman".

You have a point.  It is, perhaps, more constructive to be adaptive and supportive.

I can make a case for outrage on many things.  I was conditioned into anger.  It runs rampant in my family.  While the things my family is angry about are legitimate...the angry people are not happy. 

Being "right" can polarize a person into radical behavior vs. spiritual understanding.   Anger can be assaultive and close the heart you are trying to reach.


Like those people who were fanatical concerning animal rights.  They were correct in concept but they expressed their opinions by throwing paint on women wearing furs.  Trying to get paint out of my hair would never polarize me into your camp.  Right concept, wrong action.  That's why the movement didn't work.

Like Feminism, it was correct in concept but it's expression was too angry and assaultive to men.  That movement didn't work either.

Radical vegetarianism.  Right concept again.  But Mother Teresa ate meat.  Would they judge her too?

It's important to catch yourself before you spiral down too my case, into anger.

You can do the right thing without judging the people that don't.  I don't want to be angry at you know who anymore. 

In life and love, you never know what you are missing until it arrives.  You never know what you have until it is missing. So appreciate what you have.

Hey, look at me...I just transformed into Mother Teresa!

It's important to apologize sometimes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Everybody's Somebody's Fool

The Nerd called.

His voice was deep and maudlin.  He said, "I hope you are noticing my lack of enthusiasm."  (It was a play on words from my blog post wherein I compared his enthusiasm on our date to that of a Golden Retriever.)

Here's the problem.  Every man I know reads (or pretends not to read) my blog.

The Nerd confessed to reading it start to finish.  "You're hilarious," he said. 

Humour is a mask.  Otherwise how could I go from dancing a jig one day to the pits of dispair after breaking up with my guy because he was three (3) minutes late picking me up at the airport?  (Being late is very rude.) When someone has been late EVERY time for a year you can travel from anticipation to anger in a flash.

Him:  Why couldn't you just wait an hour, 3 minutes, half an hour? (Interject any span of time.)
Me:  Why couldn't you just leave an hour, 3 minutes or half hour earlier?

Picture two Long Horned Sheep on a mountainside flecked with snow in Colorado ramming their heads together.

Yet, there were extraordinary acts of kindness. 

Do women really wait around for men?  If so, you are responsible for creating the Prima Donna's I currently have to deal with.

Ladies, there is no reason to consent to this.  The younger generation is better at separating their physical selves from their emotional selves. But old broads like me, can't do it.

If you look at the animal kingdom (I'm only going here because men use this analogy to prove they were meant to spred their seed with reckless abandon) you will notice only the strongest males gain access to females for reproduction.  Male horses, rams, tigers have to fight each other. 

Only the strongest prevail, hence making the genetic pool of progeny...stronger. 

Now the fat cats don't have to fight anymore.

It takes a strong man to deal with me. 

I say picking a woman up for a date on time is NOT weakness.  It is showing a modicum of respect.  Showing someone you don't respect them is not strength. It is an attempt to require an unecessary humbling or submission.

Some women can play these manipulations to their advantage. You just have to play along. 

It's a skill I never cultivated.  I don't want to, I don't respect it and I won't do it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Return Of The Nerd

 He recently send me a message on Facebook: (Our date was in 2008) "Hey, it's the nerd. First of all, my teeth are tan. Also, i have been trained to untuck and lower. My enthusiasm was significantly diminished by the lack of response, i.e. throwing yourself at me most wantonly, the jersey tomatoes inspired, so i no longer wave 'vigorously' - ever. Anyway, i think a second date is in order.


Me thinks he found my blog.  The little rascal. Below is my review of our first, and only, date in May of 2008. He had a deep voice and an enormous Adam's Apple.  That's a wierd thing to say, isn't it?  (The things one remembers...) He was jovial and self-effacing.  Unlike "The King" he would never accuse me of "bad behavior", call me to "discuss my inadequacies", leave me in reastaurants or insult me just because he could or leave me waiting for hours just to prove how busy he was.  I liked him immediately. He would have given me a Christmas Card.  He deserves a second date.
I met Revenge of the Nerd at the swap meet. His pants were pulled up WAY too high and his t-shirt was tucked in. He was wearing white sneakers. He had yellow teeth.

But he was as enthusiastic as a golden retriever puppy.  I could almost a hear the tail wagging. Thump. Thump.

He carried my 10 bags in one hand, a Boston Fern in the other with my purse slung over his shoulder. He wore an ENORMOUS straw hat. (He looked hilarious). He held my hand until it got sweaty.

When we left he followed my car in a beat-up red Echo. In my rear view mirror I could see him smiling and waving vigorously.
We took the auto Ferry to Balboa Peninsula. He jumped out of his car, walked with determination to the front of the ferry and jutted his arms into the sky. (Simulating the "I'm king of the world" scene from Titanic.)

Oh yea, he was nerd alright.

We visited the "Fun Zone" an amusement area in Newport Beach frequented by 6 year olds. When you play Skeeball the machine spits out coupons used to purchase prizes like superballs and black widow rings.
After pushing a 7 year old out of the way (being tall has it's advantages) we made it to the counter to purchase our prizes. I purchased my favorite...the black widow ring.  He purchased the manila envelope stamped with a picture of a rattlesnake. Beneath the picture: Rattlesnake Eggs. Caution: Store in a cool place to prevent hatching.
When you open the envelope a device within shakes with a buzz.
It malfunctioned every time I showed it to people at work... until I opened it. I screamed every time. Who's the nerd, now?
I called my sister to ask if I could send it to her boys. She said, "How cold do I keep the eggs to prevent them from hatching"? (She's normally intelligent.)

He emailed me the minute he got home" "I know the rules say I should wait at least 24 hours but I had  to tell you I had wicked awesome time". (He teaches high school math hence the vernacular.)

Seriously. He's a nerd. But he's a confident, unapologetic thinks-he's-a-rebel, nerd.

I like him... but I'll never see him again. He's too skinny. 
"White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovich. Click below to see him.

"Hi, my name is Bob".

I was getting out of my car, lugging groceries.  He appeared beside me.

He'd been chatting with the neighbours down the ally.  The ones whose lives I covet.  She is beautiful and blond, he is tall and handsome, their newborn child is precious.  Their dog is named Bella, they drive Land Rovers and live in a big house.

No, I'm not stalking them.  Here in Corona Del Mar we live on top of each other.  Everyone hears and sees everything.

"I was just standing behind you at the grocery store." He said.

"You were?  What did you buy?"

(I hate myself when I say things like that.)  I mean, why did I say that? 
He extended his hand.  "My name is Bob.  I live a few houses down. I hope to see you around.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love is a Four Letter Word

This is a long post.  Run for the hills.

I had a great trip to Denver. My brother-in-law picked me up at the airport.  He was not late.

On my return to Orange County, The King asked me to call when my plane landed.  He could be there in 15 minutes.  I called.  He wasn't there.  I took a cab instead.

Then he arrived at my apartment. "Why couldn't you wait?" he asked.  It's a theme with us.  Me waiting...eventually getting fed up and leaving.  I'm such an evil woman. I guess the fact that he is consistantly late does not qualify as bad behavior.

Always...he goes on about my "bad behavior".  How I left his house on Christmas Eve while he dined with is X and children at her house. I baked a pie. I waitied as long as I could.

In Denver I made dinner every night. I invited neighbourhood kids for sphaghetti. I packed Dan's lunch.  I made the kids lunch. I  helped Brody with his homework. Oops what's that?  Oh, Gunnars arms around me, "I love you" he said. 

New Years Eve was filled with children.  When Aunt Charmaine shows do the kids.

I sprung into action.  I made a New Years Eve party, I bought noise makers, silly string, tiaras and helium balloons.  I did my famous scavenger hunt.  The kids ran around the house squeeling.  The fireplace was crackling.

They decided to inhale helium from the balloons (my sister accused me of corrupting her children) forcing them to parrot what I told them to say like, "I hope when I hit puberty my voice will change".  I took them to this trampoline place. Trampoline dodge ball where Aunt Charmaine morphed into a soccer mom.

"Kill them" I heard myself say. "Now is not the time to be polite".

The little boy on the opposite team, a brilliant dodge ball player, waved me into the game.  I was going to annihilate him.

He annihilated me instead. He threw the ball so hard it knocked me over.  I had nothing but admiration for the lad, except that he cheated. He was so good, he didn't need to cheat. "The ball hit you, you're out!" I yelled.  "Whose running this show", I thought.  Where are the adults?

Who knew that my tiny nephew, Gunnar, smaller then the other boys,the kind that writes love songs on his guitar and sneaks up to say, I love you"...would be the one to knock their socks off?  It's not size.  It's tenacity.  That's him below with my beautiful sister. He kicked their butts. He was a poised...focused warrior. Our team won against Herculean odds.

I was proud of him. He had justice and fire in his eyes

On the way home he was bemoaning the fact that the other team had cheated.  The injustice of it. One of the cheating thugs had red hair. Gunnar asked Chandler, his 15 year old cousin, how could they cheat like that?

"Don't worry" she said.  He'll never get anywhere in life.  He's a ginger. 

Ginger is a derogatory term used in Evergreen, Colorado to describe people with red hair.

I'm not politicaly correct.  I laughed. I'm a little "gingery" myself.

Brody rushed out to the car as I departed for one last kiss.  "He doesn't do that with anyone" my sister said.

The car pulled away and he chased us.  We pulled away again, he chased again.  He let me kiss him TWICE!  My mother returned to say, "I don't want you to go".

Still, I was excited to depart and see my King.  We all know how that turned out.  Big fizzle.  When we got back together recently he texted, "Call me when you are prepared to discuss your character flaws."

Well try this on King.  Call me when you are prepared to apologize for yours.