Thursday, February 9, 2012

Surrounded By Love

This weekend I went to the wedding of two very good friends. I was in fact, blessed to be able to perform the ceremony for them. I'm not ordained, but they got married at a chapel in Vegas where there was a minister to do the official declaring them married part afterward as they signed their marriage license. I got to lead them in sharing their vows with each other, exchanging rings, and a flower binding ceremony with their respective children. It was so touching to hear them express their amazing love for one another and to be part of the ritual that marked their formation of a new family.

Now what does this have to do with this blog? Well both my friends are fat and both of them are beautiful. He's a lifelong vegetarian, artist, and one of the kindest men I know. She's sassy and strong and amazingly loyal to those she loves. She looked absolutely gorgeous in her white dress with black accents and he was so handsome in his dark suit and purple tie. I thought he might burst with happiness and the love and joy shining from his eyes all through the ceremony was amazing. I felt really lucky to have the intimate view of their commitment as we stood before their friends and family. And it was inspiring as a fat woman looking for love.

The reception was interesting for me in that there were actually quite a few single men there (unusual in my experience of weddings). Several of the groom's friends are single and I have hung out with some of them before (and actually been on dates with two of them in the past) and there was another fellow who I just felt an amazing instant chemistry with. It turned out that though he was there by himself, he is "loosely partnered"  and I later found out from my friends is actually expecting a baby. Not really a great potential match for me, but oh boy, it was fun to dance and flirt with him! In the end, even with all those single fellows about, I spent the night in my hotel room alone.

Sometimes weddings make me sad. I feel like I'm the only person in the world who hasn't been able to find a strong and enduring love.  And dang it, I want the pretty dress and someone vowing to be my partner. I want to love and be loved in return. I want the celebration with all my nearest and dearest and I want the joy of having someone choose to create a family with me.

Luckily, somehow this weekend I didn't feel the negative side of those desires. I didn't have the ugly tint of envy washing over the joy of celebrating my friends' happiness. This weekend I felt the love of my friends surrounding me, I felt the power of the many beautiful loves I have in my life even though I do not have that primary partner that so much of our society concentrates on as bringing meaning to life. I still want those things but I was at peace with where I am now, at peace with the knowledge that I am surrounded by love even if it doesn't look the way I expected it would.

Edited because paragraph breaks are important and I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture from the wedding.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coloring Bodies Like Mine In Spaaaaace!

Yesterday a box arrived at my door. Inside were four copies of Nicole Lorenz's new coloring book, Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace. I saw it mentioned on The Rotund and just had to have a copy. I knew I wanted to give at least one copy away and Amazon has a buy three get one free deal so I ordered four. After I got home last night from a beer tasting party to benefit my UU church I sat down and colored a few pages.

I love seeing these images of women with bodies like mine doing the things I love to read about and imagine. What a gift Nicole Lorenz has given those of us without the ability to draw such things by making our fantasies come to life in such a fun way!

As I was coloring the tummy of the Diva below, I realized how I could fully see this body type as beautiful now which I'm not sure I could have a year or two ago. This is still impacting changes in how I dress and how I date. I am no longer petrified that the lump of my belly may show too prominently in an outfit. I don't think "yuck" when I look at that part of my body (most of the time anymore) and I don't mind if it is highlighted a little bit by the clothes I have on. I am so much nicer to my physical self.


Nicole is also having a coloring contest and one of the prizes is for her to do one of her drawings of you in this style!!! I can not imagine how cool that would be to have. I probably don't have the talent for coloring (or the technical know-how to do it on the computer) to win but hey a gal can dream!

So go download a few sample pages from the website and order your copy/copies on Amazon. I highly recommend getting your color on with these, they are FABULOUS!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Breakups, blues, and the love of the women around me

The Craigslist adventure came to an end. The breakup blindsided me a bit though it did come from the place I had been most concerned about, his past relationship. I had thought that it seemed a bit too soon for him to be moving on, and I was right. He wasn't really ready. I won't go into the details out of respect for his privacy but it was very clear to me that it wasn't about me. It wasn't about me being too much or not enough in any way.

It was hard to have it end, hard to let go of the hope that this might be different but the relationship itself, right up until the end, was a great opportunity for me to see how ready I am to be part of a real partnership. Looking back I am happy with how I was able to be fully present during the time we were together, to not let the same issues come up for me that have gotten in the way of making a connection in the past and to maturely handle both the good and the not-so-good aspects of relating to another person.

After the breakup I was beautifully supported by several of my woman friends. I feel such gratitude for the amazing community around me. The day it happened, they scooped me up, told me repeatedly how wonderful I am and how ridiculous it was of him to give me up. They got me just a wee bit drunk, kept me safe as we swam and laughed and ate good sushi and throughout it all let me cry and swear away some of my anger at the suddenness of the breakup. That day and in the days since, they held me in a circle of comfort and I was able to quickly find my center again. Of course I feel a little sad but luckily we weren't that far into it. It had only been two months really and I'm so glad it happened sooner rather than after 6 months or a year.

Now I have to decide where I go from here. Do I hop right back on the horse, re-post a dating profile somewhere? Do I look for somewhere different? (I think I've tried every major on-line dating site out there.) Is there somewhere I could be meeting more men in person? My work and friend communities are heavily female dominated. Even my super-liberal, non-christian church has very few (if any) single, straight men who are anywhere near my age. Or do I just hang back for a bit and see what happens?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Little Help From A Friend

Last month one of my best friends sent me a text message while I was at work. She's tried to set me up with a few of her friends and has just generally been very encouraging of my dating process. Here's how the conversation went:
T: Can I put up a personal ad for you?
Me: What? I already have one.
T: On Craigslist.
Me: Craigslist is all sex. That's not what I want right now.
T: There are some good guys there.
Me: Well if you want to sort the replies you can. I just don't think I have the energy to do it right now and I don't want to see the penis pictures (I had tried Craigslist in the past so I knew what she'd be getting.)
T: Yay!

I was in a bit of a dating funk. I was feeling grumpy about the process and the amount of work that it took. I'd been debating taking down my ads on the dating sites and was generally pessimistic about the possibility of meeting anyone who was right for me but I figured if she wanted to do the work, I'd let her.

Here's the ad. I laughed when I saw it. I couldn't believe she'd put in the "awesome" line. She chose a picture from my facebook and put it up as well. It wasn't one I would have picked.

Title: Why Not?-35 (Neighborhood I Live In)
Let's get straight to the point.

Me: 35, never married, no kids, dog person, PhD, Occupational Therapist, apartment with one roommate, liberal, curvy, sweet, kinda nerdy, love to explore Los Angeles, originally from the East Coast, non-smoker, social drinker, all around awesome.

You: 34-39, have a career (not just a job), some sort of higher education (I understand that not all people are college people, but a thirst for knowledge and bettering oneself is important), roommates ok, your mother's house not ok (few exceptions granted), wants kids (eventually), likes to explore the world but can appreciate a nice day lounging in bed, liberal, gay friendly, dog friendly, have a car but understands the importance of public transportation, social drinker, can make conversation without it feeling like a job interview.

Do not respond if you are looking for a booty call (though they have their place, not what i'm looking for).

Bonus points: I like a guy with a few extra pounds
Super Bonus points: is or is at least is familiar with UU (and no cheating by looking it up)

That evening, T sent me three email replies. Each had a picture and short response.
One amused me because he had the same last name as T. I playfully accused her of setting up an elaborate ruse to get me to go out with her cousin. She denied it.

His response was short and simple:
Hello my name is **** I’m 35 I live by ****. I am a geeky guy, I do have a job let me rephrase that career. I work for a hospital. I love music and I do love dogs a lot. OK if you want to chat my yahoo is ****. I hope to hear from you!!

His picture was cute. He has a goatee and square glasses and a little bit of a hipster vibe. I found him on yahoo the next night and we chatted for several hours. I emailed the other two guys as well but quickly decided they were not for me. I wasn't sure with this one. There were a few things that I didn't think were promising. He's not long out of a marriage and he doesn't drink (I like to be able to go out and have drinks with my dates) but he was sweet, funny and most unusually, respectful on IM. I know it's disturbing that I think this is rare but my experience in the world of online dating led me to expect otherwise. We chatted again a few nights later and then talked on the phone. We planned a coffee date. We walked around and then got gelato. We didn't kiss or even hold my hand. I worried that he didn't like me but he suggested we meet at a dog park the next weekend with our dogs. We went to the dog park then out for a late lunch-again no kiss or even touching but he asked me to come to the movies with him the following week. I was really wondering at this point if he was interested. During the movie he surprised me with a kiss. I felt a bit like I was back in high-school. He later admitted that he hadn't kissed me sooner because he wasn't sure if I liked him.

We've been seeing each other a few times a week ever since and I must admit that I like him more each time I see him. Oh and I took down my other personal ads.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dress for a date

I'm totally craving this new dress from Sealed with a Kiss Designs.

I love the color (they call it mushroom) and it looks like it would move really well. I'm trying hard not to buy any more new clothes right now since I picked up some great pieces right before my trip to Hawaii in April but oh this is tempting me! I also love that it's featured in Sarah's Closet on the site since it gives me a much better idea of what the dress will look like on my body. The model above is gorgeous of course, but she's probably 8 inches taller than me and wears a significantly smaller dress size. If I do order it I'll probably throw in a Boyfriend Tee (might not have a boyfriend but at least I can have the T-shirt!) I wouldn't have considered it before I saw it on Sarah in the closet feature. It looks amazing on her and convinced me that it's worth a try.

I'd love to pair that dress with my denim blazer for an after work cocktail date. I had one of those recently where I wore a favorite red dress that I got at Macy's a few years ago. It's a dark red knit with a fitted bodice, circle skirt, and pretty braided trim and straps. Hmm...I can't believe I don't have a picture of it somewhere but I can't find one. I wore it with a short sleeved brown shrug and big round dark wood dangling earrings. I felt really pretty in the outfit and it seemed that my date agreed. We drank Sangria, had good conversation and had plans for a second date by the time he walked me to my car.

I wear a lot of dresses and almost always wear one when going on a date. I just love the comfort and ease that comes with throwing on a dress. I often wear bike shorts underneath to prevent the dreaded chub rub. I struggle to find ones that cover my cleavage in some meaningful way (it's a mighty task) without looking like I showed up in a potato sac and often end up throwing a tank or boob tube underneath to make the dress decent for public appearances.

Fellow fat daters, do you have a first date outfit? I've heard of women who always wear the same outfit when going on internet dates. I'm not that consistent. I have to wear what I'm in the mood for or I won't feel comfortable.

Edited to fix my grammar and reinstate the lost last paragraph!

Monday, February 28, 2011

No Reply

A few weeks ago I spotted a profile of a man on one of the dating sites I use that seemed like an ideal match for me. I agreed with everything he wrote on his profile and in fact found it charming and interesting. He had answered many of the questions that are important to me and our answers seemed to agree on almost everything. He even had answered yes to a question about whether he would date someone who was significantly overweight. I was hopeful in a way I haven't been about many folks I've found on these sites.

I carefully wrote out a reply commenting on something he'd said on his profile and expressing interest in getting to know him. I sent it off late one evening and waited for a response.

Usually when I send off a message on these sites I have very little attachment to the results. I almost forget who I have replied to sometimes but this one was different. Days went by with no message back from him and I thought, "Well he's probably busy or just hasn't checked his messages." A week went by and I risked looking at his profile to see if he had logged in. He had. Another few days went by and I realized that he wasn't going to respond. I waited yet another few days and then I sent a second message saying that I could see that he wasn't interested but that if he would be willing, I would appreciate any feedback as to why. I was really curious because it seemed like I fit very well into what he was saying he wanted and he seemed from his profile to be the kind of man I am interested in. That was Thursday and I have not heard anything back. I'm guessing I probably won't. I have to admit that I'm disappointed. I would really have liked to know why he wasn't interested. Perhaps something on my profile isn't representing me or what I want accurately and I'd like to get that feedback.

One good thing about this is that seeing his profile helped me to clarify what I want. I actually edited my profile to include a few things that his made me think about. I'm really happy with my new profile even though I haven't been getting many responses. I feel it better represents who I am and what I'm looking for and as such will hopefully lead to those who do reply being a better match for me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Checking the Fat Box

One of the challenges of online dating while fat is choosing which euphemism to represent your body size.

The choices on one popular site are:
No answer
About average
Athletic and toned
A few extra pounds
Big and beautiful
Full figured

The choices on another are:
Rather not say
A little extra
Full figured
Used up

There just aren't words there that I want to use. Overweight implies that I should be a different weight and I'm over it. Curvy is something I am, but I don't like how it's used as a euphemism for fat bodies. Many people are curvy and fat many are curvy and not fat. I'm not all that fond of Big and beautiful but it feels like the best bet sometimes because I think it most closely represents my body in a way that folks will recognize from the popularity of the BBW shorthand. I sometimes use Full figured but it leaves me feeling a bit dissatisfied. I'm not sure what I'd like there. I wish that I didn't need to choose. I've always included a full body photo so folks can judge for themselves whether my body is going to be something they could be attracted to.

For those of you who on-line date, what descriptors are you using? Do you feel frustrated by the choices? What other options might you like to see?