Posts Tagged ‘being single’

Earlier this year I wrote a blogpost mentioning that one of the obstacles I foresaw to me actually being able to date someone is the fact that I didn’t have a decent car I’d not be embarrassed to pick up a date in.  First impressions matter, and when you meet someone and they see you’re driving a wore-out old car they probably make at least a minor judgment or two about you.

But having an wore-out old car wasn’t just a problem for potential dating… it also impacted all sorts of things.  I mean, just picking up anyone — not just a date, but a friend or co-worker — was embarrassing.  And having to constantly put it in the shop to get fixed, worrying about rides to and from the mechanic… and then the fear of breaking down on the side of the road with my kids in the car, not just for their sake but also the ration of shit I’d likely have to hear from their mother when she heard about it.  Not to mention how limiting it is when you can’t take a road trip to something fun or a family function or what have you because you’re worried about your car not making it…

Anyway, about a month ago another mechanical issue arose in my car and it was the last straw.  I’d already begun doing the research and what I wanted in a car and had narrowed my choices to a Ford Focus or a Kia Soul.

All it took was sitting in the Kia Soul to make my mind.

Yes, I am a Kia Soul hamster too

I totally fell for this thing.  I have to admit the funky box-style of some of the modern cars appeal to me, and the Soul is one of the funkier, boxier ones out there.

What really sold it was how affordable the one was that I looked at.  It’s a 2010 with some miles on it, and there’s a few scratches to the paint in the front, which all seemed to knock the price down quite a bit.  But the previous owner kept the oil changed and performed regular maintenance (thanks, Carfax!), and this was even the Kia Soul Exclaim (or Kia Soul ! ), which had some nice extra features like a sunroof and a killer stereo system.

So I bought it.

It's not neon green, it's "alien"

It’s not neon green, it’s “alien”

So I’m going to share some pics from my baby…


Approaching this every morning makes me smile…

IMG_1003[1]I just love the back of this car, it’s so weird looking and cool

My iPod has a little bit of everything

My iPod has a little bit of everything

The stereo is freaking amazing.  One night after work not long after I got the car I went out into the driveway and sat in my car and just cranked the stereo.  It made me realize how much I love music, but that I really don’t have much opportunity to just kick out the jams anywhere except when I’m in my car driving, so having the option to really turn up the volume and feel the music is awesome.

The stereo can also communicate with my iPhone via Bluetooth so I can make hands-free calls and hear the other person through my speakers and there’s a mic in the roof that picks up what I say.  To activate, I hit a button on the steering wheel and say “dial” and then either a number or a person’s name that’s in my contacts list.  I realize that this technology isn’t exactly new– this is a 2010 model after all — but it’s new to me!

The other weekend a friend came into town on business and needed someone local to drive him around the city, and it pleased me to no end to be able to do that for him.  To pick him up in a nice ride that I didn’t have to worry about breaking down at an inconvenient time.  And I’m stoked to be able to take the kids on the road to visit with family during the upcoming holidays and not even think twice about it!

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“I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’”

I was reading a recent interview with Stephen King where he shares the news that he’s writing a sequel of sorts to The Shining, one of my favorite King books — well, one of my favorite horror books, period!  I wrote a blog post about being a horror fan before, so if you’ve read me a while you probably already know that.

Anyway, I’m reading the interview, smiling at the always amusing and down-to-earth King, and getting excited about the notion of seeing where Danny Torrance is now, 30 years after the horrible things that happened to him as a boy at the Overlook.  And then I get to the quote above, and it gets me thinking about the difference between men and women… in other words, grist for a long overdue blog post!

First off, I found it interesting that King’s Mom would say such a thing to her son as a kid!  It makes me wonder if the anecdote is accurate given how memory works as years go by– god bless him, but it’s been quite a while since King was a kid.  But let’s assume she did say that to a very young Stephen… wouldn’t he respond with “What do you mean?”

And what would Mrs. King say to that question?

The context of the quote was an interview question concerning Warner Brothers potentially developing a prequel to The Shining based on material cut from the beginning of the novel King wrote.  King doesn’t want that to happen — he doesn’t explain why, but we can assume than as an artist he decided to cut that part out of his book and likely feels that his creative decision should stand — but he mentioned that he isn’t sure he’d put up a fight to stop Warner Brothers from going forward with the project.  Then he says:

“I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project, because I’m sort of a nice guy. When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’”

Which then got me thinking… the whole “nice guy” persona, something I’m very much familiar with, really is pretty much a male phenomenon.  I thought back to the posts I wrote about The Friend Zone, and The Mating Habits of Beta Men, but with an eye on just how different the whole friendly/nice dynamic is different depending on whether you’re the guy or the girl.  Being “the nice guy” really does tend to put you in a place where romantic and sexual contact is pretty rare, whereas being “the nice girl” can get you a fair amount of romantic and sexual contact if you so choose.  I often think about how interesting it must be to be a woman who has that power of choice, the ability to take a friendship with a man and one day just take it to another level if she desires.  How do women feel about having that freedom?  Are they thrilled by it?  Or burdened by it, in a “with great power comes great responsibility” sort of way?

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One of the most frustrating things about being recently single is trying to get into people’s heads that I’m a) single and b) looking to socialize.  I’m not really in a position right now to be actively dating per se, but I’d like some human interaction outside of work.  Like, it’s so frustrating to hear about a party or get-together that was so much fun and realize that you could have totally been there if anyone had bothered to let you know about it.

A lot of it is my own fault of course.  I was married to woman for many years who withdrew from nearly all social contact in favor of nesting at home with the kids, and while I did my best to keep in touch and do stuff with friends and family whenever I could, it wasn’t nearly enough.  People move on with living life, and if you’re unavailable too many times you get mentally shifted to the basement of their thoughts.

I really, really hate being there, especially now that I’m trying to reach back out and engage again.  It’s like 10 years of muck I’m trying to pull myself out of, desperately waving and trying to get people’s attention.  I’m here!  I’m here!

My life situation right now doesn’t help things either.  I’m living in a house alone while paying child support for two kids, and so I’ve got to work a full and part-time job to make ends meet.  I work a lot, and there’s not much wiggle room for spur-of-the-moment activity except for late at night on the weekends.  I get off work at 11pm, and while I’m usually up for fun afterwards, I can’t seem to plug into anything that might be going on at that time of night, at least not with anyone that I know.

It’s why Quite a Momentous Week was one of my favorite posts, because it details what’s probably the highlight of my pathetic social life over the past decade.  That was back in  August… I’d really like to have those sorts of evenings a little more often!

I am working to change things on my end.  Working on refinancing the house to pull down the monthly payment some will help.  I’m also trying to find a roommate to live in my house with me.  Then I’ll be able to cut back on my part-time hours a bit and actually open up some time to be sociable more in line with people with less insane schedules.

In the meantime… I’m going just a little bit stir crazy…  though it is giving me time for writing eh?

The next woman in my life, I hope we can maintain the desire to go out and do stuff, as well as having people over to just hang out, maintain and build friendships.  While I value that nice alone time you have with the one you love sometimes, I don’t want to ever have to dig out of this sort of hole again.  I want people to feel comfortable dropping by, or calling to extend invitation to stuff going on.  I want to know that I’m a little higher up in people’s thoughts than this dusty old basement.

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