Not sure why suddenly it seems that every post topic is on dating. It's not the sole focus of my life, but I guess the things that puzzle me the most have to do with the people I've met in the last few months and how they've impacted my life.
I have always had dogs. Always. I came home from the hospital to a house with a Miniature Pinscher that ruled the place. He was old and cranky and I suffered more than a few dog nips (that breed is aptly named, by the way, minus that "s") before I learned to respect him. I will forever be grateful to my parents that they made ME realize that, rather than just "getting rid" of Tippy. They realized that he was there first and it was his home. I was the interloper. Once I learned to respect his warning growls and not chase him when he ran away from me, we were friends. And I've been friends with almost every dog I've met since.
I can't imagine a life where I woke up absolutely alone. As alone as I am, there is still a warm body to reach out and touch when I awaken in the night with a nightmare or hunger pains or yearnings. Someone who is happy to snuggle closer on cold nights and to lick away my tears if I cry. And dance around me when I laugh. They may be "just dogs" but they are my friends...my best friends...and I will never give them up for someone I've just met no matter how important the new person may be to me.
I never used to feel the need to explain this to someone I'd just started dating. I always said I had two house dogs (I can't imagine having pets that didn't share my life when I'm indoors as well as outside, but I respect the opinions of those that do) and two indoor-outdoor cats. I always assumed it was universal that pets that share your life are "family." If I still had a mom and dad and siblings, I wouldn't be quick to "get rid of them" either for a new man in my life. But a few months ago I dated someone who lived a fairly good distance away (anything under a six hour drive is a day trip for me, over six "a good distance"). We decided we wanted to meet, but were waffling over how to go about that. One of the dangers in dating online and finding someone interesting across the country from you. I could have flown to him, but I'd have to board my dogs. So, explaining that upfront as my reason, I invited him to visit me (stop shaking your head, don't judge me...I did my background searches, I'm not an idiot). He arrived and made himself at home in my guest room upstairs. I kept the dogs locked in my bedroom downstairs since he had been very upfront about the fact that he'd never been around dogs much.
This was a red flag I will never again ignore.
The next morning I was awakened by screams of horror coming down the stairs. I raced up to find my two girls dancing around his bed, excited by the fact that 'we has company, mom!' I laughed. He didn't find it amusing. I tried to be understanding, but good heavens. They weigh 7-10 pounds. Their tails were wagging and they were too short to even jump up on the bed! If they'd been 150 pound snarling beasts, I could have been a little more sympathetic.
I dragged them back downstairs and locked them back in my bedroom. He tentatively came downstairs, scolding me for not having "more control" over my "animals".
Needless to say, the weekend did not go well. Every time the dogs were around he shrunk into himself, not out of fear of being bitten I eventually realized, but the germ aspect. I never let him know that the dogs had probably licked the plates he ate from and drank from the glasses. They'd been through a steamy dishwasher cycle, but I'm pretty sure he would have demanded I take him to the ER, or call Poison Control. We had a lovely time when we were in the car going sightseeing, but his belief that I was an inch away from being condemned by the Health Department because I actually had a 'cat toilet' in my home made me more than a little uncomfortable when we were in my home that I'm sure he saw as some third-world hovel. The visit ended and we kissed goodbye at the airport. A very firm goodbye. He was a lovely man and in another time and place I could have flipped head over heels. But in this time, and in this place, I couldn't get past the overriding thought that he was a germophobic weenie.
I'm pretty much "over" the whole dating thing. I'm tired of bouncing, I'm tired of heart cracks and I'm tired of having to explain myself to men that have no clue how to deal with a woman who doesn't go to church every Sunday, attend various social functions throughout the week and have a three course meal set out every evening by six. Everyone says they want "different" and "unique" and "quirky" but few can deal with it when faced with it in person. I think the majority have some ideal woman at the very back of their subconscious mind that wears pearls and an apron during the day (aka June Cleaver syndrome) and silk teddies and a garter at night. The fact that I prefer to be sans clothes as much as possible sounds good on paper I guess, maybe I should add an apron and pearls and high heels to my birthday suit?
Although my interest has waned and my belief that "he is out there" is weakening, I'm not taking down my online profile. As flexible as I can be in my expectations, I have very few dealbreakers. But, I think I may add the disclaimer. In caps. "Must Love Dogs."
THAT'S MY STORY
I've never been normal. I've never tried to be. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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