Beat the Holiday Stress by saying Thank You

Happy Friday to you all! As we prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday, do you feel life getting a little more stressful? I sure do, but I think I found a way to ward of the evil spirits of stress, frustration and anxiety. If you will allow me, I’ll share.

Last night, PC took me to the grocery store to pick up a few items for my son Cole’s 16th birthday. Needless to say – Festival Foods was a madhouse filled with people shopping for their Thanksgiving Feasts.

Using my shopping cart to cover my Offensive Line, I gingerly tried to lug my orthopedic boot through the aisles. Women were yelling in their cell phones about whether to serve turkey or ham. Young children were terrorizing their parents by playing hide & seek in the produce section. Most people were hurried to jump in the shortest line – damning every person in the way. Calling the store a war zone just about captures the atmosphere.

PC ran interference for me so I could grab only the necessities for Cole’s Birthday dinner and his Turtle Cheesecake birthday cake. He unloaded my cart for me at the checkout, and he went to pull the car up to the curb. He kept me safe while I tried to survive a battle that is hard to fight with two good feet, and I only have one working for me right now.

Watching PC help me, I started to think about the sweet little things PC and I do for each other to make each day a little sunnier than the last. I would love to share an example with you, friends, with the hope that you also get the opportunity to appreciate the little things.

The best little thing that PC did for me this week was to come home. He has season tickets for the local college basketball team – a tradition he has shared with his parents for many years before he met me. It is their ritual, and Ma and Pa love being able to spend this time with their oldest son.

Wednesday night, PC went to the game while Cole and I hung out at home. I had planned to watch a favorite show, Revenge, while PC was at the game. I turned the channel to ABC at 9:00. PC came through the door just in time to hear the theme song. He rushed in and sat with me to watch the show.

When I asked PC if UW Green Bay won the basketball game, he told me he left with 5 minutes still on the clock. He likes watching Revenge with me.

“Wow”, I thought to myself. I really did find a gem, and he really does love me. I know that this was such a small gesture, but it has a huge impact. Imagine having someone think you are important enough to them that they would leave before the end of a game. Saying thank you and seeing his smile simply eased my stress away.

I believe that I often overlook those little things. I know that people in my life do those sorts of things often for me. I need to appreciate the little things more. My goal is to remember to acknowledge and thank people – whether for an intentional act of kindness or simply some spur of the moment good deed. I need to just say thank you. It goes a long way.

And friends, if you are looking for a little something special to do for your special someone, I pack lunch for PC every day. He loves it.

Warm Regards,

Heidi Lee

Dating’s Gone Digital! A Smart Phone App for Singles?

A friend recently forwarded me a New York Times article, With an App, Your Next Date Could Be Just Around the Corner. The concept: “I’ve just finished up with a long day at the office and could use a relaxing drink with a charming man. Crap! No handsome man in my life right now!”

If I’m not curled up in front of my home computer, I may not have access to a readily available Little Black Book. No worries; I’ve got my 4G technology.

Yes, there’s an app that can act as a Little Black Book full of potential blind dates. Sites like OKCupid Locals and HowAboutWe allow for flirty singles to meet up in the spur of the moment. The app delivers recommendations based on geography and timing – a list of singles in a 5-mile radius right now. A couple of quick scans over profiles, and I could send a “How about we…” invitation to another trendy mobile-dater nearby.

Reading the article, I couldn’t help but thinking about a handful of my friends. Many have asked me about the various traditional dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony because I found Prince Charming online.

Wait, did I say “traditional” as if to mean “old school”? Yes, I suppose that I did. If I look at how I met PC a little over a year ago, I am reminded of the thousands of Singles Profiles I scoured during my digital dating days. Reading this article I felt as if my once oh-so-progressive approach to Happily Ever After may now be considered somewhat dated by the younger generations. The 20-somethings might gravitate towards this new spunky way to meet a match, or at least to have a date for a Friday night.

I thought about my single-and-seeking friends as I continued reading. Who might I recommend use this type of dating service? Clearly both the old-school online and the new-aged cellular sites have credibility. Here is what I came up with:

Sites such as Match allow singles to take their time and to get to know people before they actually meet. Singles even have the opportunity to speak to each other using and anonymous Call Me tool. They don’t have to divulge a personal phone number, a last name, or where they might be found. I think these sites are perfect for my friends who need a little caution and security in their lives while also wanting a touch of romance.

The thirty-something single or divorced Mom, for example, can cautiously multi-task through laundry, dishes, and Match-surfing. She can build up a nice little stash of men who may be available at the same time as her babysitter. Single moms and dads probably have the roughest time actually meeting like-minded people, so online dating is a perfect social channel.

I ran into many single dads online – I found many good guys who took a more private approach to meeting Ms. Right. Many of the men were dating online because they didn’t feel they were meeting the right women during bar crawls with their single, child-free buddies. Other men were simply motivated professionals who sought women outside of their existing social and professional circles. Yes, I met a few “creepy, wish I could roll back the clock” sort of men. All-in-all though, the men were vulnerably putting themselves “out there”.

Some of my younger friends are a bit more adventurous. A last minute suggestion for grabbing a martini might be just what they need after a long day at work or in school. I’m sure that a quick invitation from a handsome stranger could put a little kick back into a fallen step. A missed deadline, a failed project, or perhaps a celebration of a tiny personal conquest might be all the reason someone needs to reach out and spin the wheel. Whatever the reason, I think the App is aimed towards instant gratification rather than long-term commitment.

As long as the singles follow a few rules for safety, either sort of blind date could be a load of fun. I have 2 rules that clearly apply to both channels, but even more specifically to the Mobile App.

  1. Always meet out in public until you are comfortable that you are not dating Jeffrey Dahmer. If your gut check tells you not to go back to his place, your gut is really
    smart.
  2. Cash – not credit! A lady always knows when and how to pay for her own drink.

While the first rule may seem self-explanatory, please allow me to elaborate on Rule #2. None of these sites give away your personal identity – you shouldn’t either. Men and women both should always carry cash-on-hand. Paying for a drink with a credit card can give the other person the opportunity to glance at your last name – something you don’t want if your date seems to be sizing up your body parts for a coffin in the basement. Keep a spare $20 or two in your purse or wallet, and use it wisely. One day you may find yourself grateful to have listened to your mother’s advice to tuck a $20 away just in case – this advice comes from experience.

But have fun – enjoy – be creative. Most importantly, be safe.

Happy Dating!

Heidi Lee

Reference: Jenna Wortham. With an App, Your Next Date Could Be Just Around the Corner. New York Times. November 2, 2011.

Online Dating: Finding Opera in a Chorus of Elmer Fudds

The view out from my bedroom window is a bit extraordinary – peering through frost-laced glass I see the sun glistening on Green Bay. PC wakes me with a fresh cup of coffee and our Sunday morning ritual of listening to Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me on #NPR radio. A Boom penetrates the bedroom and shakes me in my jammies. My first thought is “here comes an autumn storm” until I realize the thunder in the air is actually coming from Elmer Fudd in my back yard.

Beams of light cross the Bay, and dance in front of the hunters cruising in their viscous vessels of ducky death. I send my thoughts upwards towards Apollo; the Ancient Sun God, “Won’t you please, fair and just Apollo, please bless that hunter with a beam of light straight between the eyes as he lifts his gun and points towards our little feathered friends? Fly away, little birdies. Fly and be free.”

Living in Wisconsin, hunting is a way of life for many. I’m not opposed to the sport as I understand the need to control animal populations. I simply do not choose the rugged outdoors as a primary means of a food source or entertainment. I prefer to get my meat from my grocer’s freezer and my entertainment from HBO.

This morning’s hunting episode caused my mind to wander back to ancient Sunday mornings before PC was in my life – cruising through the Online classifieds of the ugly Singles scene. Those mornings were often dedicated to searching through the profiles of Match.com to see if any new specimens could peek my interest. Too often, however, my AM coffee and Danish was interrupted by an online photo stylings of a potential Match –

Screen Name: Mr. Bass Pro seeks his Little Mrs.

He clearly expectived that the ladies in waiting were anxiously awaiting a private viewing of his latest trophy buck from a hunting expedition.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, some men seem to believe that women are sexually drawn to the guy who can gut a wild boar with his bare hands, and use the tanned boar-skin to line the baskets we timid feminine creatures would use to gather and grind the grains. These men see themselves in the glowing image of Orion, the mythical hunter, and they think that women swoon under their protection.

Really? Why? Why would any person in their right mind think that posting a picture of a Gutted Deer hanging by twine from a rafter was sexy? Why would he believe a woman would get hot and bothered seeing the murderer himself poses next to the victim while toasting with a can of beer and a bag of pork rinds? Why?

People have asked me, how did I get lucky enough to find my Prince Charming (aka PC)? With all of the  unique  people online, how did I navigate through the herds of love-seekers to find my perfect Match? Well, while I truly believe that he and I are lucky in love, I will say that finding him took skill, planning and knowing myself.

I thought I might share some of my Match.com rules with you, my friends, so that you too may learn to enjoy the exciting people in the e-social scene. How do e-love seekers manage to find people in the online scene without trying to fit his square peg into her round hole? How does one avoid the after taste from the aroma of Elmer Fudd if she is more interested in the mindless babblings of PePe LePew?

First – you have to know and love yourself. Realize that you are entitled – not only what you want, but you also have a right to not settle for someone who you don’t want. I have said this before, and I will continue to remind you. If you aren’t happy with yourself, you cannot find true happiness with another person.

Next step – Build an Anti-profile. When I started building my online check list a couple of years ago, I was able to search for men based on hobbies and interests. At first, I started by naming the qualities I had hoped to find in a guy. I said I wanted someone who was romantic, intelligent, funny and who enjoyed travel, wine and conversation. I hoped for someone who liked books and music. I mentioned a couple of my bucket list items included learning to speak Italian or visiting Ancient Greece. Sounds good, right? Sure, but who wouldn’t want those things? It seemed that everyone online wanted some version of that exact thing – but each person had their own translation of how that looked.

I’d bet that profile matched probably 3/4 of the people who use online sites. I didn’t say anything unique or creative to stand out in the crowd, and I didn’t really give the men an idea of who I was looking for. How could I, right? I hadn’t found him yet. That would be like describing the a cozy little cottage in Ireland when you’ve never been outside of the United States. You haven’t been there – so you can’t do it.

Some of my mistakes:

  • I didn’t specify that when I spoke of books I meant the drunken mystique of Ernest Hemingway
  • I failed to describe the music I wanted to hear was the romantic and velvety tones of Frank Sinatra
  • I never pointed out that the wine I wanted didn’t involve cardboard recycling

I did get what I asked for though – books and music. For my first coffee date, I met a man in the Starbucks part of Barnes & Noble. Before he arrived, I positioned myself near the front door and watched the types of books each man coming in would pick up and thumb through. As my guy pushed through the crowds and made his way over to me, I saw him touch his fingers to the Bargain Bin where he lifted a copy of Beer-Making for Dummies. He grabbed onto the book as if it were the last true message from a Prophet, and he made a beeline for the empty chair next to me. Oh no!

As we began our cozy little chat, he went on to quote the literary genius from his recent copy of You Might Just be a Redneck. He continued to entice me with promises of visiting the world’s largest ball of twine as we toured the NASCAR museums around the country.

OK, so this guy wasn’t going to cut it for me.

What did I need to do differently in my search? I took a new approach. I needed a little fine-tuning of my strategy. Instead of describing what thought I wanted in 50 words or less, I learned to be proactive. I read into and behind what was in the pictures and the bios of the men on Match rather than waiting for them to come to me. I reached out with a wink and a smile, and I started making tracks with men who had real “Heidi Potential”.

What I found  as I searched through the profiles with a new awareness was that our personalities do really come through the computer screen. I targeted my search more in line with my specific interests. I kept I excluded the characteristics I couldn’t live with –  hobbies that included firearms for example. I only started communicating with the men who could fit outside of my Anti-Profile – well – for the most part anyways.

Typically, an avid Wisconsin hunter makes his passion clearly known through pictures and language. Although I didn’t learn immediately that the online poster boy of Brawny Paper Towels was not my dream man, over time I understood how to use profile images and language to sort through the guys I didn’t want. If their pictures and language resembled Mr. Brawny, then I didn’t try read something between the lines that didn’t really exist.

I’ve heard people say that you can’t tell much from a one-page profile on Match or eHarmony. But you can. True, you won’t find your Love at First Site – but you can figure out how to find the obvious deal-breakers before you get started.

When I went online that I couldn’t say,” I want…a, b, and c”. I it was that simple, I probably would have already found him already. In the past, every man I had chosen to be my Happily Ever After turned out to leave me as Heidi Happily Even After…and on my own.

I believe that we hurt our chances when we lock ourselves into finding the image of the perfect man or woman. Our preconceived ideas create blinders on us against other possibilities. This means we limit our choices to only people who fit inside of that box whether by looks, by career, by education level, by whatever…. But I say, get rid of what doesn’t fit at all – then work your way into finding something better.

Through trial and error, I learned to ask myself,” What are my deal-breakers from the start?”. For me, I knew I could never be a Hunter’s Widow – the Wife who loses her husband a couple of weeks every November to the guys at Deer Camp with several cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Images of Christmas shopping in the Taxidermy aisle; thoughts of batting my eyes as I open my new formaldehyde and pine scented anniversary gift –  simply not a chapter in my Happily Ever After. I’d stopped encouraging further winks and emails from profiles that led with the Outdoor themes, and I looked to isolate hobbies such as camping and fishing. While I like the the to take in a bit of nature, men who lead with these activities probably enjoy it way more than I ever would.

And even though the Wisconsin Hunter’s Widow Tradition involves a Tour Stop from the Chip -N- Dale dancers, I’d rather take a trip to the city with my best girl friends to drop the singles into the g-string-covered genitals of the golden Adonis. And I’d top the trip off with a day of shoe-shopping.

Knowing what I truly wanted in my Prince Charming took time. Women and men both build images of their perfect love, but those images are built on dreams and wishes – and often likenesses to one’s self. Quite frankly, I could never put up with dating me – I’m too high-maintenance.

The man who I fell in love with is nothing like the image I created over my 40 year search for happiness. Instead, he is someone who I could have never imagined. While he enjoys taking me to the Theater, to Concerts and to the Ballet, everything he learned about Opera he learned from Bugs Bunny. You would have never looked for that written into a profile, huh? His love of Wagner evolved over many episodes of the tragic conflict between Bugs and Elmer. What a guy!

So my advice to you, friends, Why try to fityour perfect match into an incomplete image? If you limit yourselves within what you think you need, you leave out a whole other world of interest and intrigue. Once you figure out what you don’t want, Let yourself be surprised by what you might find. I did, and I’ve put a new man into my dreams who actually fits there.

Warm Regards,

Heidi Lee

Side note: I realize that many people – men and women alike – are passionate about the sport of hunting. My thoughts are, if this is your primary passion, save the blood and glory stories for Date #3 – at least.

Love through Vicodin Colored Glasses

Hey there! Please let me beg your forgiveness today and possibly for the next few days. My wonderful doctor just performed surgery on my poor little arthritic foot so that one day I can get back into my Stilettos and Slingbacks. While I am comfortably recovering, that’s because I’m simply doped-up, my friends. God forbid this Vicodin wears off and I actually feel my mangled, rheumatic limb.

Yesterday afternoon in the recovery room, I had quite the Epiphany about love and my Prince Charming. Having recently read Deanna Fry’s love-related-tales, a stunning lady with similar romantic challenges (and a new favorite blog) helped me to firm up my  analysis. As a result, I’m even more excited about the man who I chose to share my life with – my handsome, witty, and considerate Prince Charming.

The truth is, I was frightened about the looming surgical redesign of my slowly deforming foot. Not only was I freaking out about potentially crippling long-term complications from my Rheumatoid A.,I was also fixating on Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) from poor aseptic technique. (Fact: Over 50% of hospital related illnesses are preventable when a health care worker properly washes his or her hands the Right way – but that is a whole other blogging experience.)

Needless to say, taking care and keeping me calm was no picnic. My PC mastered it with graceful aplomb.

To explain, let me take you back to 2006. I spent the majority of my 30’s dating and eventually being engaged to The Wrong Man. We’ll call him Tom. Tom was a divorced dad who had both of his teenage girls living with him (and eventually with us).

He had established his beliefs, behaviors, and bad habits – I certainly wasn’t going to change him. His daughters were his princesses, and I, as their stepmother, did the work of Cinderella – backwards did you say? Where is that Fairy Godmother when you need her?

These girls got to stay home from school for 3 days a month when they had their periods, and he would stay home from work with them to bring them chicken soup. Sweet girls, but they clearly played their best Daddy-take-care-of-me Card when they didn’t want to take a test.

When I was 36, my loving doctors finally decided that I should stop suffering from one of my many ailments – my feminine curse. I’d had several surgeries over the years for cysts and for endometriosis – in short, my reproductive system was the Devil incarnate and Lucifer saw to it that I suffered regularly. In the worst of my monthly demonic sufferings, Tom would find me curled into the fetal position, perhaps weeping with a glass of red to ease the affliction.

When Tom saw me this way, he saw me only as a burden: He had to do the dishes and cook dinner. He couldn’t understand why I would cry while folding laundry when my feminine cramps or my Rheumatoid or other medical challenges acted up.

Momma always said I was a walking Medical Dictionary. I always said, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother <wink>.” Love ya, Ma!

I felt like a burden even asking for a glass of water. You can imagine, then, the trouble that brewed when my doctors advised me to undergo a total hysterectomy. Not only would I lose the works that the Good Lord gave me, but I would also be thrown into menopausal trauma far too early in my ongoing battle against sanity.

I was to be laid up for 6 – 8 weeks. I begged Tom to stay with me and my son, Cole (age 8 at the time), while his daughters stayed with their mother. He agreed but … only …after … a … lot … of … hesitation. He finally admitted that didn’t want the extra drive time to work – roughly 20 minutes more one way. And, he didn’t want to do “your housework.” He thought that if I was able to walk, well,  I should be just fine to carry the laundry up 2 flights of stairs.

What a burden you are, Heidi Lee, I told myself. But I was his burden, and he was going to marry this burden – and I carried a kingdom of guilt. My health has never been stellar, but I am ambitious, motivated, and active in spite of it. I don’t let my physical challenges own me. Occasionally, it would have been nice to feel supported by the man in my life, but something even better happened, dear reader. Tom did me the favor of dumping me for an Online Affair when I was 38. Talk about the other glass slipper dropping! Wow.

Yesterday, many of those old Tom-like feelings resurfaced as I waited with my Prince Charming in the hospital room. I was a basket case by the time the nurse wheeled me away to the OR, and I hesitantly looked to PC for an unfamiliar hint of moral support. He squeezed my hand and leaned in for a kiss.

“Will you be here when I wake up?” I managed to whisper.

“Of course, Dear. I’m right where I am supposed to be today.”

“I’m sorry that you have to go through this, PC.”

“Heidi Lee, will you get into that room and get your foot fixed already? I want to take
ballroom dancing.”

After I woke up, he was waiting in my post-op room to dress me and carry me home.He never left my side, and he’s still home with me today – helping me to shower and bringing me soup and cookies. His only complaint last night: “Heidi Lee, you’re not in your spot tonight. Hurry up and heal up so I can sleep with my arms around you again.”

Now that we’ve got a bit of background, it’s time to share my Relationship Epiphany. Is there only one person, a Soul-Mate for each of us? I think we need to break this
question down more accurately. Can we be happy with more than one man or woman
for the rest of our lives? I think some of us can. Does this mean that he or she is the person we are meant to be with? No – that’s  something more special, and we can’t know It unless we are lucky enough to find It.

I think I could have been happy with Tom for several reasons. Although I’ve described him as being an insensitive and unsupportive jerk, he did have many good qualities. We were friends. And we could have been relatively happy – but I would have been
settling for less than I deserved.

Do I think that many happy marriages /relationships exist without the head-over-heels love factor? You bet! Do I think it’s possible to marry your best friend and be content? Of course.

But … Do I think optimistically that there’s another level of love that transcends so many of us? Do I believe that we miss out on It because we lose patience or settle for what is quite clearly not in our best interest? Absolutely! Do I think that certain marriages are bad or doomed because of this? Not at all.

Picture by Sara Hendrix

I believe now, as I miss my “spot” curled up in the nook of PC’s arms feeling cherished and protected, that there is one perfect person. I am simply very lucky to have found mine. I witness PC’s parents as they grow old together – and they are perfect together. They laugh together, play football pools, and they sneak away to gamble at the Casinos nearby. They know each other’s best and worst, and they love each other more for their eccentricities. They are what I call Legacy Toad Kissers.

Flipping through the news channels, I see this same sort of love in the eyes of #MarkKelly as he watches the graceful and formidable #GabrielleGifford come back stronger than ever. I envy their love story, and I admire them both personally as well as a couple. She is not, and never will be, his burden. His love helped her through, and he was right where he was supposed to be – with her. When you are truly with the one you are meant to find, you know you are in your “spot.”

Wow, this Love-Drug retelling of yesterday makes me feel like I don’t need another Vicodin – well, almost. PC, Honey – will you please bring me my medication?

He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me – oh look, a Vicodin. He loves me. Time to sleep.

Warm Regards,

Heidi Lee

My Relationship with a Married Man

Good morning to all, and thanks to everyone who posted to Sunday’s poll about where you may have met your Prince or Princess Charming. The poll is not the first bit of research into Online dating that I’ve done. Most of you know that I’ve dated digitally myself.

This morning I’d love to share some of my earliest introductions to the intrigue of the Internet Romance. In my early days as a “single-again” woman, I had been fortunate to hear more of the good than the bad when it came to Internet dating. I seemed to go against the consensus and trust the idea of hiding behind my keyboard to create a social life. After all, technology was taking over everywhere else, right?

This morning I would love to share one of the stories that gave me hope through the dine-and-dash relationship failures of those earliest days.

I have a dear friend at the office named Scott who I met a few years back. I knew him through Happy Hours, office lunches, and the coffee pots. I knew he was handsome and smart, but I also knew he was married. Often I thought to myself – what a lucky lady she must be as I would twist under my breath that it should have been me.

Over time, Scott became a fantastic sounding board for my dating dilemmas. He always gave me the man’s view. He helped me see when I was being stupid. He praised my virtuous ways. He guided me when I was confused. In short, he acted as my therapist.

Now, friends, if you don’t have a “Scott” of the opposite gender – get one. This role is an essential friendship if you need someone to slap you across the face with the ugliest of truths. Believe me; you’ll be grateful for the honesty from a friend rather than the heartache from yet another dirt bag.

At the same time when Scott and I were evolving as friends, I had a physical therapist from a shoulder injury – Jen. She had one of the gentlest smiles I had ever encountered (Even if I did call her Attila the Hun). During our sessions, Jen would ask all about my dating life and my adventures with men. She was always so curious about the guy I was seeing at that moment in time….Did I meet him at a party? What about the guy my friend set me up with? How is that man from back home I was seeing? Jen loved the stories, and I loved her opinions.

Jen would also mention to me bits here and there about her beau. She was a young bride with a darling infant, and she seemed to have a magical relationship. I was jealous to say the least. However, I never really asked Jen how she and hubby had met. To me, it just seemed that they had always been. She seemed so naturally connected. Maybe inside I was jealous of Jen – ok, so no maybe about it. I wanted what she had.

During one of my appointments, Jen saw my office badge.

“Oh, Heidi Lee, you work at West?” How did I never know that?”

I suppose my tales of men and romance had always been more interesting than my work life. She and I spent over 2 hours a week of muscle-managing with me, and we had rarely talked about anything other than my men.

“Heidi Lee, maybe you know my husband. His name is Scott.” And the light went on in her eyes. “Oh, Heidi, I never made the connection. You’re Scott’s Heidi from the office. I feel like I already know you.”

Jen, you see, never brought work home with her. She was truly a professional, so they never came together to compare notes on me. She kept our discussions as well as my treatment completely confidential.

We laughed through the irony and talked a little bit more intimately about our lives from that point forward. With this new level of comfort, I asked Jen, “Where did you and Scott meet?”

Jen’s smile brightened and she got a tingle in her eye remembering her first encounters. And she beamed, “We met Online. Match. He winked; I winked back. The rest is history. He is simply wonderful.”

I returned to work following my physical torture and I marched right into Scott’s office. “You could have told me your wife was a Physical Therapist. I’ve been seeing her for weeks now since the accident. She is adorable – lovely. Hell, you really did well, buddy. I love her”.

Scott’s face lit up like a school boy with his first crush as he started to tell me about their courtship. And he told me about his experience on Match, “You know, Heidi Lee, guys don’t get many return winks on Match. Jen had her pick of the litter, and she picked me. Can you imagine?”

Actually, I could. And I had – and it would have been steamy. And I never would again – promise. My sweet and handsome friend met his soul mate in an Internet Catalog. And he was happy. She was happy. And neither of them had any horrifying stories of Internet freaks or psychotics – only stories of a few genuine people all in the same quest for Happily Ever After.

Over the last few years, I’m still surprised when I ask, “How did you two meet?”. Online dating is usually at the top of the responses. People who truly have committed to finding a relationship seem to migrate to the virtual channels with the trust that everyone is there for similar reasons.

The great thing about these sites is that woman and men alike should be able to weed through the catalogs and select the sizes with the most potential to be right. The tip I can give you is to go into Match or eHarmony honestly. Expect to date losers just as you would if you met through another social setting. There is no magic formula, and there are no guarantees. Instead, you get the security of learning about someone from a more harmless location – your own home.

True, any type of dating can be dangerous or disappointing at the least. You have to be smart about it, and you have to watch for inconsistencies in truths. Do it right – you may end up with the romantic side of a Scott of your own.

In my blog, I’ll share some of my lessons learned with you here if you are interested. For today the best lesson I can give you is – keep an open mind and an open heart. That’s it. Don’t judge yourself or others for using Online dating to find a dinner date. After all, if my PC hadn’t wanted someone to take to dinner one Friday night, I would still be single and searching. And Attila wouldn’t have found her Hon.

Warmest Regards

Heidi Lee

Failure? Or Opportunity for Improvement?

Hi All!

Thought I would pop on and again share with you the Egg on my Face – would you like that over-easy?
Yesterday I made a bold commitment to follow my diet rules and my exercise path – I only won 3/4 of my battle. Yesterday I spoke, tail between my legs, of how I needed to focus on my health in preparation for an upcoming surgery. I promised myself and each of you that I would stick to my Plan for Performance

  • Exercise following some of my favorite fitness DVDs – check. Got that done with a 3 mile Power Walk using a #LeslieSansone Power Walk video
  • East 4 well-balanced, 400 Calorie #FlatBellyDiet Meals daily – 3/4 of a check. Skipped breakfast again using a Conference Call as an excuse
  • Maintain appropriate Work/Life balance for sanity and for relationships. Giant MISS! Worked until all hours of the night, and waited until after 7:30 to sit down with my son for homework help. Allowed stress of the day to overtake personal goals, and now I wake up with a feeling of failure.

So I have to ask myself this morning: did I fail, or did I truly find another opportunity for self improvement? I will focus my energy on the latter and look at the good things I did for myself yesterday.

  1. I made a commitment to take care of myself
  2. I started working towards that commitment
  3. I am cultivating a promising project at the office
  4. I got to laugh with my son while trying to design a set of Inferences
  5. I enjoyed a glass of red wine while I watched my favorite show – #TheBigBangTheory

Wow – look at everything that I did. I’m pretty cool, actually – lots to celebrate!

That being said, lots of opportunities ahead to keep getting better. I intend to keep working at it. To quote a favorite philosopher, “Do, or do not. There is no Try.” (brownie points to anyone who can name that quote)

My friends, is anyone else willing to share their own opportunities? I could sure use the company and the encouragement. Let’s hear from you, fellow toad kissers!

xoxo

Heidi

On the Particular subject of Toads – I give you the incurable, “Boy-Dumb”

Good morning, Dear friends, and Happy Story Day, Wednesday.

As I get ready this morning for a day in my office, my mind is screaming with a newly realized wisdom on the incurable disease that is prominent in the masculine gender – Boy Dumb.

Yes, friends, boy-dumb is most likely incurable; we have only seen this disease grow into an epidemic. This morning, I share a case study with you all. My goal is that through the work of mine and others, we can finally put an end to this epidemic.

The Subject: The Afflicted, My Friend Jake

The Hypothesis: Jake is Boy Dumb

The Supporting Evidence: Jake is a sweet, if somewhat jar-headed boy with many good qualities. Jake is loyal and funny, animated and sincere. Yet Jake is dumb. You see, friends, Jake is stuck as an Apprentice in the Art of Toad Kissing, and he could even likely be a slightly wart-infested toad himself. While he knows he wants a relationship and a family and a friendship – he doesn’t know how to explain what he wants to an intelligent woman.

I’ve met the lady who Jake is seeking a forever with – she is statuesque, intelligent, supportive, stunning. In short – she is the woman we all strive to emulate – and Jake has her heart. Way to go, buddy!

But Jake, as most boys, has not learned the art of candor as it relates to his relationships. He openly shares with me as we are friends, but he would rather treat this strong woman with kid gloves than to tell her what he wants.

Now, friends, we’ve all dated or known this guy with one name or the next. I’ll explain this specific challenge to highlight one of the most common symptoms to diagnose the affliction. Jake is physically fit, and he enjoys spending a great deal of time in the gym and maintaining his BMI. Awesome job, Jake!

However, his lady Cindy has not yet shared his love of sweat and protein powders. Jake told me a couple of weeks ago, “Heidi, I am crazy about this woman, but I don’t know that I can commit to a forever with her”

“Why, Jake, what’s wrong? What happened? She seems perfect for you.”

“Well, Heidi, she is. But I have always been attracted to athletes, and she doesn’t work out”.

Seriously??!!! She doesn’t work out? I’m thinking by this point, this woman is a high powered director in a major corporation. She is gorgeous and genuine, and she thinks she is so lucky that Jake is into her – humble. Don’t get me wrong, Jake I’m sure is quite the catch, and they are both lucky. But Cindy wows me.

“Jake, have you ever talked to Cindy about joining you at the gym? I mean, she is slender and looks as if she takes immaculate care to maintain herself. Have you invited her into this world of yours? Does she know she is even welcome?”

“Uhm, no. I wouldn’t want to upset her with her thinking I am not happy with her body.”

“So, you would consider that this woman is not The One for you simply because you are wimping out and not talking to her? Crap, I’m even insulted. Go home tonight (did I mention they live together?) and ask her to go for a walk with you. Ask her to come to the gym. Talk to her about your fitness goals, and ask her if she will support you with them. Jeez, dummy, she has a brain. In fact, most women do.”

<eyes widened as if 2000 years of suppression had just been lifted as he witnessed the growth of an opposable thumb – witness Jake evolve into the upright species of homo sapien>

Jake asked my advice on talking to Cindy about joining the gym. We came up with a strategy, and he was all set to deploy. The next day, he called me to discuss an unrelated topic, and I asked, “How’d it go with Cindy last night?”

He seemed to perk up at the question and started to giggle like a chimpanzee – happy from just eaten the lice out of his buddy’s fur coat. “Well, the cool thing is that I really thought last night about what you said.” (R&D: subject responds to reasoning)

“Heidi, I’m realizing so many amazing things about her, I don’t know if the workouts really matter that much. I mean, se’s smart, funny and loves me and my kids. I look forward to the things she has to say just as much as to sitting down at the end of the night with her after a rough day at work. I’ll invite her to get a gym membership with me because I think that is a great idea. But I love who she is now, and I think I’m happy”.

Diagnosis:

Jake, while once suffering from severe and chronic Boy-Dumb, seems to be responding to treatment. While I cannot fully diagnose remission, I can say that I’ve witnessed progress in his protocols. I am quite certain that we will witness an acute onset in the future and often, but I believe we have the disease under control at this point.

The therapy – Truth, candor, and respect that woman are not gentle, delicate petals any longer. We are strong, ambitious and beautiful. We will not break at a suggestion towards self-improvement. We will not fall because some afflicted boy tells us we aren’t meeting all of his needs. No, dear friends. We, quite frankly, are tough broads these days. I’d honestly be more worried about our somewhat fragile male counterparts.

Jake, here’s to your evolution

Friends, I’d love to hear other cases of the incurable disease. Calling for other diagnoses, please