Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I have avoided talking about this topic too much because I was surprised at how much it effected me. My brother called on Good Friday to tell me the news that he had been crossleveled into another National Guard unit that was deploying this summer. I was shocked. I immediately hung up the phone and cried. Shortly after that, I left work to go shopping hoping that would make me feel better. It didn't work. I spent the rest of the weekend feeling like I was in a bubble watching everything go on around me and I wasn't really apart of it. It was hard to process what was about to happen and I didn't fully understand why I was so upset. I had seen Clay deploy twice before under much worse conditions than what he will be going into this time. I had also seen Shawn leave twice. But for some reason, it was always harder for me to see my brother leave than it was to see my husband leave. I have commented before on how far removed my life is now from the military lifestyle I led two years ago. So all I can figure is that I never expected to be faced with another deployment, even as the sister of a soldier, and it brought back a lot of feelings I wasn't prepared for.

I am proud of my brother. He didn't have to join the guard once he left active duty. He is currently going through pre-deployment training that will wrap up at the end of this week. Next month he will spend some time at Fort Hood for some more training before officially activating in July. The current plan is for his unit to head to the sand box some time in August. Now that I have time to process all of this, I am doing everything I can to be there for him and his wife. I know how hard it is to be the one left behind so I want to make sure Jenny has the support she needs.

So on this Memorial Day, make sure you thank a soldier. Also thank that soldier's family. Trust me when I say it will mean a lot to them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I am having one of those days where my heart hurts. That's about the only way I know to describe it. I am sad. I am not looking for pity, just want to release some feelings. I miss my mom. I miss being home. As much as I love Austin, there are days when I just want to be around my family. I think the fact that Clay is leaving for Iraq again this summer is making it a little harder. He is my link to home here in Texas and with him gone, I will be missing that.

There is also the fact that Mother's Day also makes me wonder if I will ever be a mother. I never was certain that I wanted to be a mother. I'm still not but the fact that it might not be an option for me upsets me. I think the biggest thing is that I want the option to still be there and for me to decide if it will happen or not. But as I get older which no real prospects of a serious relationship on the horizon, the more that option seems to be slipping away from me. I know I wouldn't want to have a child alone so that isn't even an option I would consider.

Sorry for the melancholy mood but I just need to get a few things off my chest.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My View of Your World

My failed attempts at online dating are quickly coming to a close. I decided after a very rude message from a guy from Plenty of Fish that enough was enough. I cancelled all my accounts. Eharmony will remain active until my current payment expires in June. I have been playing this game for nearly two years now and I am done. I have tried Match, Chemistry, Yahoo Personals, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Christian Dating for Free, the Austin Chronicle Personals, and eHarmony at some point in time over the last 20 months. I have only had one relationship that last more than a month from the selection of people I met through these sites. I think some of the issue is my own insecurities while some of it is the way we come across online which leads me to the topic of this post. I realize that the intent of sites like eHarmony is to match you with someone you would be compatible with personality wise. They try to take looks out of the equation. But let's be honest. While a good personality can make someone more attractive and vice versa, that is not something you will be able to discover through a website. So naturally the first thing you do is look at someone's pictures to see if there is an initial attraction before you try to determine if their personality might be a fit for your's. I am guilty of this and I am sure others have judged me the same way. That being said someone's pictures they post on a personals ad can also reveal a lot about their personality. Here is my take on the variety of pictures I have stumbled across:
  1. Posting a picture of your house: I am not dating your house. I am dating you. I will be more concerned about what your place of residence looks like after I meet you and that is more to see if you live in filth or not. To me that just screams materialistic and that you are trying to show off.
  2. Posting a picture of your motorcycle/vehicle: Once again, I am looking to date you not your vehicle. I don't care what kind of car you drive as long as it is clean. Unless you want to date a biker chick, I don't understand motorcycle pictures at all. That doesn't impress me and only tells me what you will be spending your free time doing.
  3. Posting group pictures: It is fine to have a group picture or two on your profile but please identify which one you are in the picture. I don't want to look at a picture and try to figure out who is who. You never know, I might end up attracted to your hot friend standing next to you.
  4. Posting partial pictures: No matter how good you are with photoshop or cropping, you can always tell when someone has been cut out of a picture. I understand it might be your last girlfriend or ex-wife and that it's a great picture of you. But I am sure you have another one that doesn't include someone else. Please post that instead. I actually saw a picture once where the guy didn't even bother to crop out his family. He just whited out the faces of his ex-wife and two kids and posted it like that.
  5. Posting pictures with other women: Make sure you identify the women in the picture that you have your arm around. Is it your sister, your cousin, your best friend? Inquiring minds want to know. I don't want to be left guessing the status of that picture or wondering why you even posted it at all. Was it to show that you can be nice to women?
  6. Posting non-flattering pictures of yourself: Are you serious about trying to meet someone? How about a smile every once in a while? If your picture looks like a mugshot, I am going to wonder why you went to jail. Also I am looking for someone with a good personality to go along with looks. If I don't find you attractive in your photos, I am not going to interested in connecting with you.
  7. Posting pictures of yourself from various locations: So you have gotten to travel a lot. Good for you. I don't know what it is that bugs me about these pictures so much but I kind of feeling like you are trying to brag or show off. Am I envious that you have gotten to go all these cool places? Sure. Do I want to see the pictures before we meet? Not really. Save those stories for when we are talking and you can share those experiences with me.
So there you have it. My do's and don'ts for personal ad picture posting. I am trying a little experiment with my eHarmony profile since it will be cancelled soon and opened the matches up to the United States. I figured it couldn't hurt to broaden my horizons a bit and see if I had better luck. If nothing else, I should have a few more entertaining stories to share.