Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Taking Requests

Well, poor me. I expose my sixeen year old self to your view, and no comments do you leave. I hope she at least convinced you not to lurk around boys or men who haven't the slightest interest in you, probably because their Ideal is someone quite different, like Pola Negri or Rita Hayworth or Dame Emma Kirkby. B.A.'s Ideal was Dame Emma Kirkby, which is one reason why he is now married to me.

This is why I recommend finding out a man's favourite female movie star before you begin your emotional investment. This even works in cultures where people are not so obsessed with movie stars. I have asked German men who their favourite female movie star was, and they all said Sandra Bullock. As Sandra Bullock is not one of the great beauties of all time, I was a bit confused. But it turns out that Sandra Bullock has a German mother and is fluent in German and so these secretly patriotic German men probably just want a nice German woman like her. Aw. Deutsche Frauen, deutscher Treue/ Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang!

Other than Sandra Bullock, all I can think of at the moment is that I want to get my eyebrows threaded, but I can't because my husband needs the money for tomorrow's pints with his uni pal. So I am taking requests. What should I write about this week? What are the Single Life problems that are gnawing at you lately?


TGWWS said...

Introductions as social events. Some are parties with friends, or groups where official introductions makes meeting everyone easy. But what does one do with events where the organizer(s) make no effort to introduce the attendees to each other?

With a lonely person standing by him/herself, or with a group of ladies, or even with a mixed group, I feel like I can usually just walk up and say "Hi, I'm TGWWS; how did YOU here about this?" But I can't do that to a group that's all guys--can I? So what does one do when the guys clot together as it were, leaving the women to clot together and never-the-twain-shall-meet? It seems wrong to secede from the women alone. Is it allowable to form a conspiracy with the other ladies for desegregating the party? Or will the men hate us forever for interrupting their football stories?

(I just realized this is more of a single answer question than a post topic! But it IS what's been gnawing at me lately, as I've had a couple recent experiences of this sort, and not known what to do.)

Bernadette said...

So here's something that has been concerning me lately. What do you do when the whole putting oneself out there, and looking for possibilities thing starts to look a little stale? When a comfortable single life in which you only ever have to clean up after yourself in the bathroom starts seeming more attractive than going to yet another Catholic singles event? When some sweet young man starts paying you attention, and instead of thinking, "My, he's cute! I hope it works out this time!" you're just... tired.

Maybe it's that a certain Milestone Birthday is creeping onto my horizon, but these days, although I still enjoy my men friends very much and appreciate the gifts they bring into my life, I'm starting to lose the desire to have one of my very own. I remember all the times I've discerned my vocation, and how often it seemed that God was calling me to the married life (or at least NOT calling me to join a religious order), and I feel like I ought to make an effort to rekindle my enthusiasm. Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, I'm not sure I want to anymore. Perhaps I'm just burnt out.

Or maybe not. Not everyone who feels called to marriage does, in fact, get married. At some point those who do not discover other passions, other callings. Maybe I'm just transitioning into the Maiden Aunt I was actually always meant to be.

So my question is, at what point is it ok to stop hoping for Something To Happen, place oneself firmly on the shelf, readjust your life plans, and embrace being single, not just for now, but for always?

Anonymous said...

Hi Seraphic,

I have two questions. The first is about "friend" dates with boys. If you are a young and unmarried NCG, and a young and unmarried NCB asks you for coffee, but you are not interested in him AT ALL as anything more than a friend, is it okay just to go for coffee? Is there such a thing as just going for coffee? Is going for coffee leading him on? Am I being ridiculous?

The second question is about being set up on dates. I had one very bad experience with this (as in, I was introduced to a man who was "searching for a wife" and found myself tongue-tied, sweating bullets, and completely not myself because I met him more to please the people wanting to set us up than out of any desire to get married or date). A friend recently asked about setting me up with someone, and I immediately felt pressured and panicked. Is this ridiculous of me? Should I just grow up?

Thanks Seraphic! :)

Maria said...

Hello Auntie,

I am particularly interested in question number one that Anonymous asked. Basically, is it a good idea to go out on dates just as recreational thing, or is that something you should generally avoid?

leonine said...

Auntie, I am feeling rather hopeless these days. I actually do like my single life very much, but I am feeling sad about the very limited options as far as men are concerned. Yes, I am friendly, yes, I have lots of friends, but I live in a small town where the vast majority of the men are married, and all the unmarried ones I've met recently have been jerks. This is discouraging. Any advice?

Sarah said...

Dang it, I posted a comment, then blogger crashed. So if this is a duplicate, sorry about that.

Anyway, I have never known a guy who ended up with a girl who at all resembled the celebrity(ies) he liked. Which is good, because most of us are not fortunate enough to have movie-star looks, and so the human race would be at risk of dying off. Maybe B.A. just got really lucky. ;)

But my question is... what do I do about a guy who tells me how great I am, and how smart I am, and how I'm "the coolest girl he's ever met" (actually, I am several variations of "the most x, y, or z girl he's ever met") and how much he enjoys spending time with me and talking to me. And drives me home every night I'm with him, knowing that that means we'll end up parked in the car talking for an hour. And gives me his jacket to wear. And offers to teach me how to waltz next weekend.

...and never asks me out. I mean, if he were That Into Me, wouldn't he have, already? But then, if I'm as awesome as he says, what gives?

Jam said...

I didn't comment yesterday because I was overwhelmed with embarrassment at having behaved like 16yo Seraphic at a much older age...

Anonymous said...

Sandra Bullock usually plays sweet, strong characters. She's not stunningly beautiful, but she's lovely.

What should I write about this week? What are the Single Life problems that are gnawing at you lately?

Recipes! We haven't had a good Single Gal recipe in a while.

Also, on the "Staying Seraphic whilst Single" topic - how to deal with older women who treat you (me? us?) like children, perhaps in part because we aren't married? (If you use sunscreen, you can hit your thirties looking like you are fresh out of college, but no one wants to be in their thirties and treated like a kid.)


Seraphic Spouse said...

Just enough time to say, Sarah, the teaching you to waltz thing is a date. I am pretty sure that's a date, my dear.

Sinéad said...

I'm with Jam on this, still cringing and blushing because you hit a nerve.

By the by, Sandra Bullock seems like the girl next door, an approachable and friendly sort with whom I'd be happy to share a pot of tea. Apparently she and Jennifer Aniston are the top stars that women would be happy to have as friends.

In that sense she reminds me of your smiling (German!) Heidi Klum on the catwalk who was also noticed by your blokey friends above all the other supermodels.

Seraphic said...

Oh, and I didn't mean "movie star looks." I meant a superficial resemblance to a movie star. As in, striking woman with bright red hair has superficial resemblance to Rita Hayworth, tall slim woman with big dark eyes and short dark hair has superficial resemblance to Audrey Hepburn, et alia.

These are good topics. I think I will say something about the social whirl.

Sarah said...

Hm, I maybe should provide a bit more context about the dancing thing. I didn't before, for the sake of being concise. His sister, who is also a close friend of mine, is getting married. Several of my friends and family members of the bride and groom are going to get together sometime soon to practice dancing for it, but I won't be there because I will be along on vacation with my host family.

So, this guy offered to teach me, within earshot of his two roommates who also will be at the wedding. They asked if this guy could also show them, and I will be, apparently, shared between the three of them.

The reason I made note of it, though, was simply that he offered to teach me, and the initial plan was that it would only be me, though he seemed okay with the other two men joining in. He did joke, though, "I guess the three of us will have to fight for who gets you as a partner."

Sarah said...

What I mean my question to be I guess, is this:

What do you do about a guy who seems to be giving mixed signals? How do you tell if they ARE mixed signals, or if you're just misreading things? And what am I supposed to do when I don't want to sit around wondering what's going through that head of his when he says ostentatiously flirtatious things, but I also don't want to bring anything up myself? I feel like there might be something at least, you know, growing between us, so I don't want to pluck it out before its time. But it's really frustrating to not know, and not be able to stop thinking about it because I really do like him.

Athanasius lover said...

I would like to hear about how to get over a crush, or even how to get over being in love with someone, when maintaining a friendship with the object of your affections is still very important to you.

Seraphic said...

Sarah, I think you have to wait. Smile, touch his arm (apart from when waltzing), tell him he's marvellous when he does something marvellous, and wait. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Since you’re opening things up (and if you don’t mind an Anonymous who recently discovered your blog and purchased your book), may I ask your advice on a crush situation?

Crush is on a NCB I’ve known for a decade. We’ve crossed paths over the years through various Young Adult groups, had some friendly fun conversations, and he dated one of my close friends for a couple years (she broke up with him and broke his heart—she later married someone else). I never thought of this guy as anything more than a nice acquaintance, until I ran into him several times this spring and WHAM. Sudden hopeless, helpless, crush. I’m surprised it never happened before—we do share a lot of the same interests (including some very obscure authors and musicians).

Anyway, during one of our recent conversations he remarked how strange it was that he’d known me almost ten years and never realized how much we had in common. Twice he’s suggested things like “we should go together to see X Musician next time she’s in town” (Me: “That would be fun!” But nothing came of it.) and “if you’d ever like to get together to talk about Y writer, let me know” (Me: “I would love to do that!” But being a good Trying to Be Good Rules Girl, I did not follow up by setting a date). A mutual acquaintance told me he brought me up last time she saw him, and was remarking to her how much he and I had in common. He has forwarded me a couple of links and articles around our interests—I reply commenting upon and thanking him for each, but never get a follow up response.

My intuition tells me he may be casually intrigued by me, but I don’t sense strong interest. I think he may also casually be seeing someone else (although unless he’s committed relationship, he tends to date multiple people). He’s a naturally outgoing and friendly person, with a wide circle of male and female acquaintance. I’m an introvert, so it’s possible that what I’m reading as “slight intrigue” is really just (inscrutable to me) natural extraversion.

The process of writing all this down now has my heart sinking and my head perhaps sadly clearing. But I’ll brave forward and ask anyway: Do I have any hope here and, if so, what can/should I do??

Thank you!!!

-- Another in her late 30s, Catholic, decently pretty & bright, but still single (and who chased a crush for years in her early 20s and is STILL mortified by it)

Domestic Diva said...

Like others, I didn't comment yesterday because I'm still mortified by my crush-chasing behavior of yesteryear. But that brings me to my question: What is appropriate, non-chasing behavior? Our society doesn't teach this; and I think I'm so over-compensating for the chasing that I'm not being encouraging. You've said smile & touch his arm, but what about initiating conversations? Etc.

Joannie said...

wow, all these suggestions are good and I can see myself in a little of all of them.
But what I'd like to know is -- what if a NCB clearly likes you, is pursuing you and doing all the right things... and you don't feel anything? You know in your head that he would probably make a good husband .. but your stomach kind of hurts when you see it's him calling or you are annoyed when he keeps emailing you?
Do I keep giving him a chance -- let him come visit me in my city, keep returning his emails, set up times to talk on the phone -- because we haven't really known each other for that long -- or do I trust my gut and say there's no chemistry and move on without feeling guilty?
How long do I let him keep pursuing? (I'm honest with him-- that I don't know if I like him like he likes me -- and he said he's okay with that while I figure things out...) Do I trust my heart and gut feeling that I just don't like him like that?

Charming Disarray said...

I didn't comment on teenage Seraphic because I look back fondly on my memories of the (two) boys I chased in highschool. They both acted nice about it and were flattered, and one even liked me back for a little while. And I had oodles of confidence.

Now I have much less confidence, and much less of a conviction that men actually are pleased when women like them, because so many men don't even like women very much, even if they're the ones doing the pursuing. I no longer throw myself at men, but my interactions with them have gotten much less fun and carefree. Maybe you can talk about why so many men don't even seem to like women.

See? Isn't that depressing? That's why I didn't comment.

By the way, I'm waiting to get my eyebrows threaded, too. I drove around for ages a couple days ago trying to find the place but then had to give up and go home.

Urszula said...

I didn't comment yesterday because I was wondering which of my embarrassing man-chasing stories would be the least embarrassing to retell ;)

I wouldn't mind hearing more on the topic of Ms. Indedendent - ie how to not scare off men by being too independent. Some practical tips as the other girls asked for - for example, how to ask men for help when you live alone and probably should be able to solve most things yourself anyway.

Anonymous said...

Dear Auntie,
What about roommates? As a youngish single, living with other single women (in my case all somewhat younger), how do we support each other and not collectively go nuts?


Opera Gal said...

Dear Seraphic,

How does one put aside crushes/feelings for gentlemen who are fun and nice but definitely do not have long-term relationship potential? How do you avoid the friend-zone with gentlemen who DO have serious potential? Finally, how do you do all this without feeling like you are going to die alone with lots of cats*?


A semi-Seraphic Single (it comes and goes) surrounded by lots of cute guys at a summer job who mostly party too much and generally don't believe in God

*No offense to cats themselves, I think they are lovely creatures.

american in deutschland said...


Is he German??

Sarah said...

Oh, yes, he's a full-blooded, dialect-speaking, Fußball playing German boy. ;)

Seraphic said...

Sarah, when you put it that way he sounds scrumptious!

But WHY did't you SAY right at first he was GERMAN? Germans don't DATE! They hang out in packs and then eventually couples split off the pack and shack up and then get married. I'm afraid it's going to be all smiles and fun invitations until he drinks too much at a party and you snog at 2 AM.

Himmel! Haven't you read my book? I minored in German romance during my PhD.

By the way, you might want to say occasionally how much you LOVE Germany and if he ever asks how you would feel about living so far from home, you should airily say you could live anywhere, as you have an adventurous heart.

Sarah said...

Hahahaha, yes, he is quite, um, fetching. ;) And good to know! Well, I don't know what to make of him, but I guess you're right that I just have to wait.

Mensch. Germans.

american in deutschland said...

Ach, die deutschen Männer sind eine seltsame Art. I have a friendship thing with one, and although my own crush on him waned after a while, I sort of perked up my ears when he started brainstorming ways for me to stay in Germany. So if yours starts doing that, and you are still crushing on him, follow that line of conversation! If I've gathered anything from reading (non-religious) expats talking about 'dating' in Germany, it's like Seraphic says: they don't date, they just do friendship that culminates in some kind of serious talk (NOT necessarily initiated by the guy, but your mileage may vary) and then ta-da, insta-couple. But who knows.

Mm, he speaks Bairisch even??

Seraphic said...

Meanwhile I hope you're telling Matthias (or whomever) that's he's pretty cool, too. Once they start telling you how amazing you are, then you might start mentioning that they're not so bad.

sciencegirl said...

I started reading "The Brothers Karamozov" on my numerous flights this week, and I think all of the girls in that book could really use your blog! I am only 1/3 of the way through, but they all seem to be making very bad choices, and I suspect that the book may not end happily for any of these seriously messed up Russians. I saw so many quotes that could serve as post fodder -- if you are bored and want a good read, try it out, and I think it will inspire you.