I don't want to start the new year like this blogwise, but I am bugged, so I'll get it out here.
A couple nights before New Year's, I went to the apartment of two women who were having small gathering. As it turned out, only four women showed - them at age 35 and 40, a friend of theirs who is 29, and me. In a sense, I had fun, but I saw things that were so different than my own reality.
After I told him my impressions, Luke thinks it's both me as a mom and me as a once long-term married person that made me different. He aptly described the behavior I told him about as Frat Girl, as in like a Frat Boy and not like a Sorority Girl. They encouraged burping, followed by each racing to put their thumb on their head, the last person to do so having to take a drink. They also had a "gesture" I'd never seen: the 3-D loser, the L to the forehead but mid middle finger sticks out for the 3-D part. The radio was full of music I'd never heard before. I felt like they were stuck being 21. Whooooo Hoooooo! Two were pretty alpha female-ish, so I didn't interrupt a lot, but I did get some good zingers in there.
Although I laughed and did have fun, I wasn't really comfortable, maybe because I'm not quite so silly or because I'm not quite so young. Or maybe it's because if I hang with somebody young these days, it doesn't mean they're under 30. It means they're under 10. Even then, I wouldn't promote that kind of behavior. Perhaps I'm being judgmental, but I can only call 'em like I see 'em.
Luke, who had gone on one date with the 35yo several months ago, has trouble with the party girl attitude, even though we both feel like they aren't skank 'hos. To me they're a bit on the overbearing side of loud mouth. He thinks of them looking for Mr. Right, but settling on Mr. Right Now messes them up. They wind up treating Mr. Right as Mr. Right Now and Mr. Right Now as Mr. Right. Perspective is lost. Nothing works.
In fact, Luke inquired about the beau of the 40yo. Apparently the night they met they decided to take their ads down = go steady. They were quite tight and the 35yo apartment mate spoke about them to Luke. Me? The other night? Not a word about a boyfriend. In fact, she spoke of a road trip in a few weeks to see an "old friend." Luke was in shock after he asked.
Although the older two have been married and the one Luke had gone out with has a pre-teen son who is a holiday visitor (I don't know why she doesn't have custody), he feels like they lack that taken, settled, deep, content feeling that comes with a solid long-term relationship, a feeling/knowledge/rewiring that one continues to have even after it ends in divorce. The term 'home fires' comes to mind.
As I spent time with them, I realize why so many dates have told me that I'm very different than other women they've dated. I'm neither the over-serious professional nor the party girl. I'm grounded with a good sense of humor, neither stuck nor giggling. These women do have professional-ish jobs, so they're not dregs of society and, as I contemplate this, I wonder if they were guys if I would say they're just letting off steam. (I doubt it.)
What do you think? What do women do when you get together?
ETA, as I sat on this for a few days and made things worse:
When I asked Norma about this last night, it didn't go well. Norma plays devil's advocate to the n^th degree. It is annoying. Sometimes it's hard to get in a word edgewise and I usually don't even try, so she gets away with a lot. I say less than a quarter of what I want to say, because I am trying to be polite and not ruffle feathers. She could learn some tact and she's been told as much by others in the past.
When I mentioned to her about the thumb, burping, 3-D loser, and other stuff, she countered that she knows a woman who touches the ceiling of her car whenever she goes under a train trestle and others who call punch buggies for VWs - which was probably in part a reference to my household and a habit my son picked up from ex-f. She was saying that people do childish things all the time. I say apples and oranges.
I told her that's she's so busy playing devil's advocate that she isn't even listening to my full thought, that would have been the Right/Right Now idea of Luke's if I had gotten to it. She snipped that I do that same playing devil's advocate, which I don't, but I didn't feel like pushing it, as we were in a restaurant with the kids.
I can't talk to the hardheaded woman sometimes; she never takes my side and always has to be adversarial. A few days ago on the phone, I asked her is she would consider using some vacation time for the man in her life, if there were one. This question was based on my conversation with the 35yo and my knowledge of Luke's set up, neither of them using vacation except during visits with their kids. It came from my frustration over that as a lifelong sacrifice/distinct possibility due to dating people with kids. It was a spilling over of feeling gyped in the past: one weekend alone with ex-f in the last 15ish months of our relationship, plus junk from another relationship w/kids. I had been so hopeful that ex-f would kinda sorta put me first and I admit that I was entirely too patient. On the flip side, I don't want to be entirely too impatient as I look out for my own needs - as in I've realized that what I've learned in old relationships and apply to new relationships can actually be called baggage.
Norma has four weeks vacation annually, but she said she'd never use even a day on a man, because using her vacation keeps her son out of a lot of daycare in the summer. I asked if that would be fair to any man in her life and she said she doesn't care, that she doesn't plan to sleep with another man before marriage, so she wouldn't need vacation/nights to go anyplace anyway. Besides, she has every other Saturday free, and that would be enough. Not being available for overnight would protect her chastity. Additionally, she would not skip church on Sunday, so she would not go away for a weekend unless church were coordinated in advance, but even then, probably not. She honestly could not look beyond her present circumstances to see that there might be someone she might want to spend time with and make sacrifices for. It was beyond her scope and I have no idea why she's even on dating sites and having conversations.
In a rather stupid-of-me A!HA! moment, I realized that she is so narrow in her M0rmon focus, she was completely the wrong person to ask or to even try to have a conversation about it with. I'd thought that the morality of Right/Right Now would appeal to her prudishness, but I was wrong, or I didn't get far enough to find out.
Further, she is also narrow in her single mom focus, blasting me that I don't have to ask anyone for vacation time, as if my time were completely free. No, I can have vacations during four weeks in the summer. It is pretty darn limited and I do protect it, grossly aware now that Luke's visitation schedule is in direct conflict. She knows my schedule and she also thinks (although she does know better) that I can trade with ex at any time or make extra accommodations with him. Technically, I can just like she can with her ex-still-an-asshole, but it would take more than the prospect of getting laid for me to change my schedule with ex.
It is very, very rare that ex and I ask anything of each other. She seemed to focus on the idea that I could leave town on a Thursday or Friday, that my son getting home from school at 3:30 and ex showing up at 4:15, with my son home alone for 45 minutes and my son locking up my place when leaving with his dad for a weekend would somehow be an easy thing for me to arrange or swallow. No, not at all on many levels. She knows me better than that and it was like shades of arguing with my sister, who I do think is jealous of my situation, but my sister certainly doesn't have 4 weeks of vacation or 50% of the time off from parenting like Norma.
So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Norma obviously has some problems with me and is expressing anger. With her background and convictions, she's not the most evolved person and I don't think I can make a dent in her. She has blinders. Even Luke mentioned her limited scope and lack of worldliness after he met her. But I don't know how to tackle this stuff. Usually, contrary to her saying I play devil's advocate, I really ignore her barbs, letting them flow off like I do my mother, because she can be like my mother. I also let her lead, as I do other bossy females, because it seems to be something much more important to them than me. I don't care if we walk this way or that and, if I do care, I don't need to do it my way each time. I am flexible and not egotistical in such situations. It's almost like it's a no win situation if you talk back, so winning actually entails keeping the peace, because, really, she's just a walking buddy. I don't need more than that, nor does she.
IOW, I am just not finding the nurturing side of relationships with women this year or last.