Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Fun Dating Myself

I gave up the Jewish dating site.  The first person to contact me was disrespectful and disgusting.  The second one was an 80 year old man from Florida.  As much as I would have loved to find a sweet Jewish man on their site, it's clear that the men were looking for their sweet Jewish girl and I'm not her.  I was able to get a refund and subscribed to a more diverse dating site. I was planning a night at home, but there was a moment when I couldn't unsettle the sticky film that was squeezing and scratching under my skin.  The ex is going through something that has nothing to do with me, but because I'm not suffering in a way that satisfies him, he makes his hate palpable when he directs his rage at me.  I didn't like the way his ire was affecting my joy, and I had to get out. It's not about him.  It's fine that he doesn't like me right now because normally I don't care.  I'm just not used to being disliked.  The feeling is uncomfortable, but it has nothing to do with him.

I started at Pan Pacific Park.  The last time I was there was in 2008 and I remembered all of the young families and the feeling of contentment that settles along the slopes and pathways.  Don't let the irony of the holocaust museum sharing that space slip past you. There is joy when you honor the sorrow of the past and learn to move forward.  There were people playing sports, and throwing balls to their dogs. I spread out a blanket and worked on my dating profile.

IMG_0818

The sun began to set and before I left, there was a cute and fluffy white puppy that ran to me and kissed my face.  Then she flopped right in front of me for belly rubs.  Her owner was mortified, but I didn't mind.  You can't complain about kids or dogs when you choose to lay on their level in a park.  I left after the sun set and the chill in the air was making me shiver.

My next stop was Santa Monica.  I walked the pier and ran into that photographer that always greets me with a smile and a handshake.  Last time I saw him he gave me a hug and it was a little creepy.  Tonight there was a hug too, but my perspective shifted enough that he's not so creepy and it's just who he is. I treated myself to chile relleno at Maria Sol. It was time to walk over the memory of a romantic dinner that happened in 1997.  It was slightly nerve wrecking to walk in alone, but once I was sitting, it was natural to smile at the other diners around me.

There was a drunk couple in front of me and they were my entertainment for the night.  She was wearing what could only be described as a onesie.  I've put my kids in enough of them to know what they look like.  She kept sitting on her boyfriend's lap and the woman at the table next to us expressed her disgust.  There was nearly a brawl in front of my table and I kept wondering if I should pick up my drink or my purse.  In the end, the angry table next to us left.  At some point, the drunk woman was surprised that I was eating alone and offered for me to join them.  I politely declined.  When they left, the waiter found a half empty bottle of Ciroc they left behind.  A couple of times, the manager threatened to throw them out.  I understand why he didn't.  Their inebriation could have been his liability.

I was thinking about the date she was on, and the one I was on with myself.  I didn't have to worry about being with a sloppy lush and embarrassed. She kept telling her boyfriend to STFU and I couldn't imagine talking to someone like that.  Especially if I wanted him to believe I loved him.  It was a relief to be alone.  I was enjoying the views and likes my new profile was getting and I messaged a few people back.  It is funny to me that I'm younger than some of the men I was looking at, but too old for them to date.  At the same time, I was rejecting a few men that were too young for me (28) and others that were too old (50), so I get it.

After dinner, I walked to the end of the pier and watched a ham of a seal swimming in the water.  I'm sure he was hoping some angler would toss him a fish or two but we all just wanted pictures.  The anglers held onto their catch but the fish were biting tonight.

There were a couple of young men standing next to me and we struck up a conversation.  They were really cute but I couldn't help but feel like they were too young.  There was something about finally really opening up to the idea of dating that shifted my perspective just enough.  I didn't feel like a cougar.  Well, not until I left and thought about it a little more.

IMG_0832

I headed home by the streets again and stopped at the Hustler store because every date should make me blush at least once.  I answered two calls on my date myself night and I decided I would ignore all calls except emergencies in the future. If I had been on a date with someone else, I would have ignored all calls.  I played really loud music and sang even louder on my drive home.  It was good.

Self Confidence and Online Dating

Beauty in Rough Winds and Angry Waters