Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lesson Learned

It has taken me quite a while to get up the nerve to write this last blog. Honestly, I am not sure how to adequately express all of the lessons I have learned not only about dating, but about myself as a person. I will try my best to illustrate them here, but know I could never do justice to the year that I just had.

First off, a few stats for all you crazy folks:
  • TOTAL # of Different Bachelors: 33
  • TOTAL # of Bachelors that Got a 2nd Date: 8
  • TOTAL # of Bachelors that Got a 3rd Date: 4
  • TOTAL # of Bachelors that got more than just a 6
  • Most Creative Date Activity: Date 45
  • Dates I could of Lived Without: I can think of 3 dates that I wished never happened, if you read the blog you can figure those out on your own.
  • Total # of Engineers:3
Let me know if there are other stats that you are looking to know from my 52 in 52 journey and I would be more than happy to share.

Everyone in the past few weeks have asked me what I have learned or taken away from the past year. Here is what I got:
  • It is easy to complain about being single when you are sitting at home not doing anything about it. The hard part comes when you have to accept being single even if you are dating.
  • There are hundreds of people that I could "date" but there is a huge difference between a date and a relationship.
  • I may not know who I want to be with forever, but I now know some things that I won't accept in a partner.
  • I'm no longer afraid of the process. You can make dating as easier or difficult as you choose. It's up to you.
  • I would of never admitted to having a poor self image or self esteem before this experience, but looking back over the course of this journey I realize how much value women put into the opinion of others about themselves. I no longer let others dictate my self-worth/ image. I'm a pretty cool chick!
  • I am reminded of a quote: "When you drop the ball, it never bounces back as high" I had very minimal requirements for a potential bachelor. I dropped my standard this year and never regained the lost ground. Although is was a somewhat "game" is is important that I remember what my standards are.
  • Don't dictate to others if someone is good enough for them or not. Let them decide. If you don't provide the opportunity for me to make decisions for myself about a person by not introducing us, I will never learn to make a decision in general.
  • Time is valuable. Choose carefully the people you choose to share it with because you can't get it back.
To go this entire journey and come out on the other side just as single as I began could appear to be a failure. I have the right to be frustrated, upset, and even angry. But I am none of those things. I am wiser. I am stronger. I am ready. Ready for idea. That is the beauty of it.

A week after I completed my dates, I decided to celebrate with some friends! Any excuse for a new outfit. I headed to the mall on a Saturday at 2pm (the busiest time of day). Now many of you know that I am a creature of habit, so I park in the same section of the parking lot every time. It is what I know. It is what is comfortable.

I spent the next 20 minutes circling the parking lot looking for an open space. Up and down every aisle with hopes of an opening. I would race other cars to follow shoppers as they exited to their cars only to be outmaneuvered. I would spot and then realize it was just a silly motorcycle. I debated on just parking illegally, as many others had done before me. I even went to back corner to see if I could find a spot that nobody else wanted.

But......I waited. I continued to circle knowing eventually that something would pop open and I would be at the right place at the right time. I wasn't in a huge rush so I just keep looking. And to my shock, as I drove up the row right in front of the door, the front space opened up and I was the only one around. I pulled right in and walked the few steps to the mall entrance.

As I walked into the mall, I laughed. I realized that my timeline to find the right spot (or man) is my own and if I wait long enough and don't settle for less, that the spot that is meant for me will free up. I just need to be ready to park and shop once I found it.

What a year!

Mary Jo

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Date 52- LAST ONE!!!!!

I know you all have been waiting with baited breath to hear about Date 52. In a movie script, I think I would end up falling head of heels in love with Date 52......if only we lived in the movies.

First off, props to my good friends Carri and Spencer for this set up! But not only did they set up the date, they went on it with me! (Double Date). Now for those of you who are avid blog readers, you will remember I tried this early on in the process (Date 4) and it proved difficult. Would Date 52 turn out the same way.......?

The crew picked me up from my house (technically this breaks my only rule) but at this point.....who cares! We headed to a local hot spot for some delicious mexican. Conversation was easy and everyone had a great time at the table but it did prove difficult to ask Date 52 questions about himself because everyone at the table besides myself knew the answer so it seemed silly.

LESSON LEARNED: Double dates can be great but should not be first dates

Date 52 was extremely laid back and easy to chat with. I honestly wish we could of chatted longer because I think we had more in common than we had time to figure out. After dinner we headed to Bricktown for a movie. You can learn a great deal about a person based on what movie premieres they enjoy. We played the thumbs up/thumbs down game during the previews and DAte 52 and I had the same rankings for movies. So...thats a plus!

After the movie, we headed over to marble slab for a treat. I won't lie, I was feeling REALLY guilty that this guy had paid for my dinner and movie ticket and he didn't even really know me or get the chance to know me. So I totally pulled the independent women card and paid for everyone's ice cream. You can blame my mother for this trait. I think he was shocked and I can't tell if offended him or not. Some guys are stuck on things like this, but as you can tell I AM NOT TRADITIONAL! Is it nice when I guy holds a door for you,yes. But after awhile, it looses it's luster.

Date 52 and company dropped me off at my front door. After they were gone, I won't lie. I threw up my hands and did a little jig in my middle of the street. I FINISHED!! I walked down to the local bar (location of Date 49) and had a martini by myself at the bar. IT WAS DELICIOUS:)

I wish something crazy and outrageous would of happened on Date 52...but it didn't..

Now that I am finished I will blog some of the behind the scene things that I left out over this past year and a final recap of what I learned on my dating adventure. So...don't stop reading even though I stopped dating.

Thanks for all the support over the last year.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Date 51- Oldie but goodie over Breakfast

As my timeline was quickly approaching and I had a few dates fall through, I was starting to panic that I would finish (or I would have to pay off my guy friends to take me But much to my surprise an old bachelor from the beginning of this adventure offered to get back involved. Date #5 (for those of you who don't remember you may want to go back and review)

Due to my limited availability, we decided to go out to Cattleman's Steakhouse for breakfast. Who doesn't want a huge hunk of cow on their plate for breakfast???

Date #5 picked me up in his crazy little sports car that NO LADY could ever get in and out of graciously. I am pretty sure it was more like putting the car on me, rather that actually getting in to it. It was really great to see a familiar face again on this journey even if it had been almost a year and he had "defriended" me on facebook. I rocked my "Team CoCo" t-shirt and didn't have to worry because I already knew Date #5 would appreciate it for its awesomeness!

He ordered steak and I stayed safe and got an omelette. The food was AWESOME! I liked it better for breakfast than I did for dinner. Conversation was easy and laid back. Date #5 is a funny kid and I pretty much laughed at his awkward jokes and funny random facts.

After breakfast we had to take the opportunity to go and poke fun of all of the cowboy gear in Stockyard City. It was actually hilarious to wander around in real cowboy territory.

It was great to see Date #5/51 again!

This day was actually a double header as I had a date schedule that evening!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Two more dates

I will post about date 51 and 52 tomorrow.......BUT on another note...52 in 52 COMPLETE!

Date 50- What's the Difference

Date 50

This was date #3 in 3 days, so I don't think Date 50 had much of a chance to succeed with me. I could write about our conversation but I thought it would be more fitting for me to list the red flags comments that Date 50 uttered over the course of the evening. After this many first dates people keep asking if I have found what I am looking for. I haven't found it, but I had figured out a few things that are a plus.

Red Flags:
  • When asked what he does for fun, he answered "Scrabble on my phone"
  • When asked about his family, he mentioned that he wasn't close with his family and hadn't talked to his brother in years.
  • Somehow gambling came up, and he mentioned being addicted to it...
  • His favorite movie (yes...i had to dig to make conversation) is Top Gun. Typical
  • And to top it off, he is just separated, not divorced legally yet. BUt don't worry everyone he hates his ex-wife or I mean wife.
I could go on and on with the red flags but to top it all off he still contacted me after the date to see if I would want to go out again. I tried to be as nice as I could but I didn't think I gave off that impression. Dating is a rough game of reality checks and I had another one tonight. Divorce is scary...I pray that I never know that fear.

What am I a looking for....
  • Someone who cares about their family
  • Someone who believes in love and relationships
  • Someone who is funny and laughs at my jokes
  • Someone who makes me laugh
  • Someone who is driven in the workplace
  • Someone with hobbies
  • Someone who is a REAL sports fan
  • And so on.......

I guess I am still looking for this "someone"

Date 49- In the Neighborhood

Date 49 was an online dater who was not aware of his role in my adventure. Little did he know I was on the start of a dating roll!

Date 49 suggested we meet at 7:30 at Sage. I included the time for a reason. I walked over to my neighborhood dining spot about 7:30 and meet up with Date 49. The menu was already on the table so I started reviewing it and said "I'm starving." Date 49 said he had already eaten and thought we were just meeting for drinks. Now, I could of misread the invitation but when someone suggests meeting at date dinner time at a restaurant and is sitting at a table, not the bar I guess I would think that dinner is involved. MY BAD........

We actually had really interesting conversation! His childhood was not normal and I enjoyed learning about someone unique. His parents are missionaries and he lived out of the country all through high school but couldn't stay away from OU and had to come back to Sooner country. Boomer!

Honestly the conversation was easy but nothing earth shattering. Easy going but after 2 hours I thought it was time to wrap it up. Date 49 went to the restroom. I am friends with the bartender and thought it would help speed things along if he brought the check. So...i asked them to. Not that I wasn't having fun but I think I can only have so much first date conversation.

The funniest part of this date actually happened after Date 49 left. I walked back by the restaurant on the way home and the waiter stopped me and said "I know I don't know you, but you can do way better than that guy!" I almost died laughing because the guy is right. I asked him why he felt like this and he described the awkward moments that occurred previous to my arrival at the restaurant. Apparently he has some issues picking the perfect table and had some weird exchanges with the waiter. I chalk it up to nerves but it still makes me chuckle.

Overall, Date 49 was a super nice guy and I enjoyed the evening. If these is a next time I hope that he can loosen up and have fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Date 48- Lunch, who knew?

Date 48- The count down has begun....!

Thanks to my good friends at my work place for this set up! Even though it is at the tail end of the adventure, it still counts just the same! Thanks guys.

With the challenges of my work schedule this month and trying to fit in all of these dates, Date 48 and I decided to make it a lunch get together. To be honest, I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner! With an evening date there is always the pressure of adding on activities to the initial plan if the date is going well or figuring out when to call it a night if now. Well..the lunch date avoids both! It is known going in that you have to return to work, so no stress! Brilliant if you ask me!

Date 48 was well traveled and an extreme thrill seeker. I like to think that I would be able to skydive or go camping, but when push comes to shove, I doubt I would be able to jump. (But am still willing to try..I think). We talked about all of our crazy stories from various traveling adventures. It is great to meet others who have seen the outside world otherwise known as anything outside of the Midwest. I think there is a lot to be learned out there and we should all take advantage of it.

Date 48 is a Dad! I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the whole parenting thing. As many of my friends become first time mommies (Congrats to Jen and Seth who had their little one today!!) I realize that I am not ready to give up my spare time for someone else yet like you do a child. Maybe someday....!

Date 48 and I didn't get to deep into anything due to the limited time frame of the date but I enjoyed his company and bet with more time we would of gotten into a debate of sports, OU or something.

Thanks to all of you who have been setting me up on these dates. I am still in disbelief that this adventure is coming to a close, BUT I STILL NEED YOUR HELP!! Deadline is TUESDAY, JUNE 1st!!! 4 more dates...5 days!