I tend to swear a lot when I drive alone in my car. Other drivers aggravate me when they tailgate, drive too slow, drive too fast, fail to signal, abruptly cross lanes of traffic to exit, stop in the middle of the road, drive without headlights, come at me with their high beams, don’t clear the snow off their windshields, play music too loud, park too close to my car, bang my car with their doors, park in restricted spaces without authorization, and on and on.
However, I am a lady. It would never occur to me to set their car on fire. Or smash their windshield with a baseball bat.
Instead of a bat, I want a magic wand. I would wave my glittering wand in their direction and POOF! The offender would disappear instantly, transported to their final destination — their earthly destination, that is — so that they couldn’t endanger anyone else.
When an inconsiderate fool with 20 items gets into the express lane for 15 items and under, instead of shoving my cart into their backside, I would wave my wand and POOF! They would be transported to the end of the longest line in the store. While they wait contentedly, they could enjoy the tabloid headlines: Sleep your Fat Away, Baking Wedding Cakes with Three Common Household Ingredients, Self-Mowing Lawns, etc., etc., etc.
When a clerk talks on her cellphone while waiting on me, instead of slapping it away from her ear, I would use my wand to send her on a break and replace her with one of the wacky characters from the British television classic Are You Being Served? We customers would be gently amused and served tea out of fine bone china while our purchases are wrapped in discreet packages with elegant ribbon.
When my flight is delayed for mechanical issues, instead of ranting and raving to the gate agent, I would wave my wand and POOF! I would be transported with my loved ones to a private beach on my own private island — in a comfy chair under a shady palm tree with an infinite supply of good books — and a cooler full of iced beverages — and nothing to do all day — forever. No jerks. No fools. No swearing. Queen for Eternity.
With a private chef. My idea of heaven includes a skinny me eating all my favorite foods, guilt-free, no fat, no calories, no carcinogens, and food that I didn’t even know existed. Ambrosia. The Nectar of the Gods. All that crazy good stuff. Transports of delight. Even food that I can’t stand.
When I was a child, I ate three vegetables, corn, green beans, and potatoes. It’s a wonder that I survived, isn’t it? When I learned to cook, I discovered a whole new world of earthly delights. For example, asparagus. I always hated asparagus when I was a kid, because it came in a can and was a slimy, drab olive green. It smelled bad and tasted like the can.
What a treat to find out that the real thing, properly prepared, tastes almost sweet, especially when garden-fresh. I look for stalks that are a uniform diameter, either all tiny or no bigger than ½” in diameter. I look for heads with tight “petals,” preferably almost purple. If I’m not preparing it immediately, I cut off the bottoms to even them up and stand them in ½” of water. When ready to cook, I break off the tough bottoms by flexing the stalk until it snaps. (It actually does the work for you.) If they’re larger than ½”, I scrape them with a vegetable peeler.
Don’t be intimidated by asparagus steamers. Even I, the collector of obscure cooking equipment don’t have one. Just follow these super-easy directions:
In a skillet large enough to lay the asparagus in one layer, bring 1” of water to a boil. Gently lay the prepared stalks in the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes or until a bright green, never drab green. If your stalks are under ½” in diameter, reduce cooking time to 2 minutes. Turn off heat, remove skillet, and carefully drain the stalks. Return stalks to the hot skillet and roll in 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg. If desired, sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.
After 40 years, I’ve learned what asparagus smells like when it’s properly cooked. When it’s overcooked, it smells like that stuff in the can. Of course, asparagus is one of those foods whose fragrance returns to haunt you a few hours after dinner, if you know what I mean. Of course, I’m a lady and wouldn’t dare use the “p” word…wink, wink.
Things have been really sloooow. 100 men (I assume they were all men) viewed my profile last week. I like to reset my view counter each week to see how many men I have frightened away. Of the 100 potential suitors (that sounds idiotic, even to me), several were brave enough to wink, like, or favorite me.
An attractive man winked at me, so I returned a wink, but he did not respond, so I still don’t understand the purpose of winking. Maybe he was winking at someone else. If he winked at me in public, I would have made eye contact and smiled. If he turned away, I would have looked around to see if he was winking at someone else. You know, that embarrassing moment when you realize that someone is not waving at you, as you wave back at them? Maybe it was a pity wink.
I received another message from match.com about a different attractive man that read, “So-and-So is interested in you.” He only lives 15 minutes from me, so I read his profile and, thinking that I should have written to the other guy instead of just returning a wink, I commented on a photo of him on a sailboat, asking where he was when the photo was taken. That was three days ago. My email box says the message hasn’t been read. Does that mean that it was deleted or just not read? Maybe I shouldn’t have commented?
No one tells you these things. I googled “Online Dating Etiquette” and found conflicting information. Maybe he didn’t read it (match says he’s been online every day). Maybe he deleted it (no way of knowing). The “experts” say that I should just move on to the next guy because the more that I look and the more that I answer the more chance I have that the next guy who is interested or winks or shows up in my “Daily Matches” could be THE one.
I’m having my doubts.
More from the “experts”: Guys who wink instead of writing are “players.” Guys who wink instead of writing are just shy. Guys who click “interested” without writing are just shopping. Guys who click “interested” fear rejection. Guys who are still married say they’re “currently separated.” Guys want confident women who write to them first (ha!). Guys of a certain age don’t like women who initiate contact.
You should answer every email, even if you aren’t interested. It’s ok to ignore email from guys you don’t like. Send a second email, if the guy doesn’t respond. Never send a second email, if the guy doesn’t respond. Don’t lie about your age. It is expected that everyone shaves a couple years off their age. Contact guys who want much younger women because much younger women don’t want them, anyway. Don’t contact guys who want much younger women because they’re delusional.
Where’s Emily Post when you need her? This is why manners are de rigueur to me. We all understand the rules of the game when we follow proper etiquette. Hey! Guys! How about just being honest? If you don’t intend to start a conversation, DON’T DO ANYTHING. If you’re married, talk to your wife! Why frustrate two women?
In browsing what the site calls “Matches,” there was a 63-year old guy about 30 miles from me who said he’s a veterinarian. I looked at all of his photos but didn’t recognize him. Okay. So, maybe I don’t know every veterinarian in Maryland (could be industry or government), but I know most of them. And, yes, he didn’t want a woman older than 55 (wth is with these old guys?). I wrote to him anyway, saying that my late husband had been an avian veterinarian and asking if he was in private practice. As a divorced man, I guess he doesn’t want another long-suffering veterinarian’s wife, because I ain’t heard from him, either. Silly me. I’m only one year younger than he is. My email box says the message hasn’t been read, either, whatever that means.
On Sunday, I received a first email from a man inviting me to a “music circle” at his brother’s house on “Friday night” at which I “wouldn’t be expected to sing or anything” with a “group of men with guitars.” That sounds like the plot of a slasher flick. No, thanks.
You may be amused to hear that the widower who doesn’t like the French emailed me that I am geographically undesirable. For once, distance worked in my favor. I didn’t need to bring out the wand and make him disappear, so, who am I to complain? Life is good (mostly). Soli Deo Gloria!