Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Botched Terrorist Attack

I was just messaging my friend in Los Angeles. I seldom have the TV or radio on to be honest (unless I am cooking) so was completely unaware of the "incident" at Glasgow Airport. Strange it took a Californian to tell me about something on my doorstep!

Ironically I have heard the odd sirens going along the M8 all afternoon, but never thought twice about it. What a day they picked to drive into the terminal with a gas-riddled Jeep. It's pissing with rain. They chose mid-afternoon on a Saturday not less. Talk about a new MO.

I, for one, am utterly shocked/surprised. It's just not the place to have this sort of thing happen.

London, is definitely more of a target. And it's quite probable that it's linked to London's attempts yesterday.

I hear sirens as I type...

Some days the world just seems to have gone mad.

I was supposed to go to a party tonight in Paisley but I suspect I'll be staying in...and over dosing on media coverage.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Last Night I Dreamed That Somebody Loved Me...


THE POPE OF MOPE


I can't help it, I can't. Sometimes we just need to put on THE SMITHS and work our angst out. Sometimes playing them can even make you feel better. Honestly. Try it. I stumbled across a SMITHS page in an email from THE TRASHCAN SINATRA'S maililng list. Speaking of the Trashies, I am quite sure I saw their handsome front man, Frank Reader, (brother of Eddi) at DEVO the other night, what a cutie! Oh, I digress. My bad.

SINGLE LIVING

My lovely (and rather gorgeous) friend MIKE HALSON and I often swap info on living the single life. On good days, I freelance for him and his SINGLE LIVING website...and today, as luck would have it, was one such day.

So in particular, I've been looking for information on travelling solo and damn has it got me thinking aboud taking off again...Itchy feet syndrome. Here are a few relevant links...

TOP DESTINATIONS FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?


According to SmartTraveller.com, the UK ranks as one of the "top five destinations for solo travellers". NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA are also on the list. So if you have itchy feet, check out the list here. Don't let the fact that you'd have to go alone stop you! The world is your oyster! Trying to talk Mike into packing in his job and travel the world with me, but he's having none of it ;)

TRAVEL TIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS WITH TODDLERS

Times Online family travel expert, Jane Owen, finds there's an advantage to going solo with a toddler and offers tips for other single parents in the same boat. I know this applies to quite a number of SYBD women right now, so check this article out for some ideas of how to make it work for you.

MORE AND MORE WOMEN ARE TRAVELLING THE WORLD

Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Are you looking for inspiration of where you my jet off too? Check out this article on insidebayarea.com for "Travelling Women on the Go". In it you'll find book recommendations to get you started.

SPEAKING OF BEING ON THE MOVE…

Travelling is a big thing for SYBD site members - young and old, male and female. To heal from their splits, many have set off for short and long breaks. I know of several members who have even travelled the whole world.

Some have even met their new partners on route (one, Pickle met, married and recently had a baby with hers!)

So we never know what a trip may lead to...

Also earlier, I came across a post from DRAMUSE who is off to play a concert in Portugal in September. His musical career seems to truly be taking off since his split occurred some time ago. In fact, I am in two minds to fly out and see him in all his Lisbon glory! I am so proud of him and love reading updates like that in the GOOD NEWS forum. Makes my job worthwhile!

SYBD HAS A FUN ZONE

It's not all doom and gloom here on SYBD. There are actually some really funny posts / threads in the LIGHT ZONE section of the site. Here are a few examples on a new thread in there. (To join SYBD's forum is free, and if you wish to be anonymous - be sure to get a free email address from us here)

ITJANEY's JOKE:

A bra and a pair of jump leads walk into a bar...

The bra orders a drink, but the barman says, "I'm not serving you two!"

"Why not?" asks the bra incredulously

"Because," he replies, "you're off your t*ts, and he looks like he's about to start something!"



MERCEDES CHIMES IN ON A SIMILAR VEIN:

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.


SYBD'S BIRTHDAY (AND MINE TOO!)

Well on the 4th of July SYBD turns seven years old. My baby is growing up. It just seems like yesterday when I was dumped from a great height and inspired to launch this site with a Field of Dreams mentality. I did build it and they did come...in thousands. More than twenty thousand visits to SYBD (and over 1.2 million hits this month alone). The site was a success from that first month in terms of visitors and hopefully in terms of support too. It truly is my greatest achievement and yet also my biggest curse.

A week after SYBD turns seven, I turn forty. Age is just a number, apart from being ridiculously forgetful and scatty of late - I certainly don't feel a day older than thirty-two!

The Five-Star hotel is booked. The venue is chosen. The guestlist is growing. The playlist is coming together. It's all very exciting. I even dyed my hair for the ocassion...Now I just need to find something to wear....Ironically I was thinking of just wearing a SMITHS t-shirt and a black mini-skirt. Somehow seems fitting...

All this is to say, “I’m not happy and I’m not sad”.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

On being romantic

There is a thread on www.soyouvebeendumped.com that is called “Are You Romantic?" and started by a chap called Craig. It’s been going through my mind ever since it was originally posted on May 18th.

Craig wrote:

In my last relationship I would buy her flowers randomly and have them sent to her work on occasion. Also I would take her out for a meal or cook a meal in my house. I would just like to know are there any romantic women still around as my ex would send me a card on valentines day and that was all, no surprise meal, no gift just a card. I know gifts don't say I love you but neither does a card really.


Naturally I chimed in early on - because I feel that I am very romantic…

I admit it, I am a giver. It’s who I am, but my potential Achilles heel is being “too giving” or “too nice” or “too accommodating”. (It probably comes across as desperate on some ocassions too.) But I am a fan of cards and think they can say "I love you" (or at least "I think a lot of you" which is a start!) More on that later...

In my experience, my generosity can scare guys off, or perhaps my actions become taken for granted, and I subsequently become resentful - either way the end result is not a good one. (Perhaps with the right guy this pattern would be different…Not sure.)

I think the issue at hand is, does romance mean the same for men and women? I don’t think it does.

Was with Smitty the other evening when he said, “I don’t like cards”. Do you know, I was floored by such a comment, I guess because I like them so much it’s hard for me to fathom someone NOT liking cards. I mean, I keep all the cards from guys I’ve been with since the teenage years…(Even the ones from the infamous exes who are long since gone. Maybe as some sort of proof that they cared, at least at one time. I am not sure…)

Cards are not the only way I show that I care (or attempt to be romantic) either. If I like a guy, I cook meals, make them CDs (which take ages because I take my time to choose my tracks carefully) give massages, buy food or drink he likes, drive him places, plan surprises and just basically be my most-thoughtful-self.

But do guys do the same back? Or do they have a different definition to being thoughtful and romantic?

Rebound-Girl replied to my query today:

"My ex-fiance was into the over the top romantic gestures. I'd get cards for everything or for no reason at all, flowers every weekend, jewelry, he'd wash my car, hold the door, care packages when I was studying, stuffed animals for no reason, he bought me a dog, very public proposals, blah, blah, blah. I eventually got used to it, but it freaked me out at first. I learned after we broke up that he cheated on me throughout our relationship, which left me to wonder if he was really being romantic or just using it as a guilt easer/cover up."


Some good points there. I think if a guy went over the top with the gestures for me, I, too, would be more put off than pleased, but in moderation – a card, gift, or bunch of flowers would be welcomed. (I draw the lines at pets).

Dramuse, a musician in England made a lovely gesture for his sweet heart a long time ago:

I once composed a piece of music for my first girlfriend; dedicated it to her, framed the manuscript and presented it to her on her 18th birthday. I was quite proud of that one. She never hung it up though, it lived down the side of her wardrobe. It wasn't THAT bad. lol.

Picking me up, taking me out, opening doors, little gifts, giving me a kiss or a squeeze of the hand, or a massage of my feet - and other small gestures - go a long way in my book. Simply showing me that you care is the way forward but that can be done a whole host of ways. It might be giving me a hug or a call when you know I am down, or a nicely-timed compliment to show me you value me.

Of course, all of this is open to interpretation and perhaps a question of semantics.

I dated a guy who for Christmas got me a generic card and threw a wad of cash in it. Was that thoughtful or romantic? Not in my eyes, but it probably was in his. Of course, I always can use the cash but my objection was to the lack of thought involved. It said to me “I didn’t think enough of you to get you something ahead of time – but here’s something just the same”.

So the point to take from here is that it’s not about the money – it’s about the motivation. The thought involved. Sure I've had exes spoil me with big presents - a mountain bike or PC monitor - what have you but is that romantic? No. Thoughtful? Arguably, yes.

From Craig’s thread it appears that romantic people, not surprisingly, often end up with opposites. I wonder though can people who are less-than-romantic become converted to the other side? To me, Craig sounds like the perfect guy - thoughtful and giving...but perhaps it's a question of "one persons refuse is another's treasure".

For me persoanlly I have been concluding that I need to rein in my giving nature. I am far-too-giving for my own good. Because instead of making me feel good about the act of giving, I start to feel like a mug for giving too much. But deep down, it’s hard to change who I am; just like it might just be for a non-romantic person to suddenly become romantic.

I guess the one to GIVE to is MYSELF…so in that vein, I’ve booked into a five-star hotel for my birthday.

Whether I am alone on the night or snuggling up to a certain someone – I will make sure I enjoy this act of giving to me. At least I know I will really appreciate it and not take me for granted. So that's something at least...

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to SYBD and Me (nearly!)

Well July marks milestones for me and my baby...My baby is 7 years old on July 4, 2007 (Independence Day to my non-American readers)....And as for myself, I've just invited more than eighty of my closest friends, colleagues, site members (and more!) to my 40th birthday party. If even twenty or thirty show up I guess I'll count myself lucky. Right?

The weather in Scotland has been a bit depressing but I suppose if it was beautiful I'd be getting nothing done...and it's not beautiful so I am just getting my head down and getting on with things.

I just love my new editor, Lankashire John. We work well together and have managed a rough cut of the new trailer. There is a long way to go, but we're off to a brilliant start so I am delighted!

When not working on video footage, I'm working on the Little Book of Breaking Up (aka "It's not me, it's you"). It's finally taking shape and making sense (some years later). I've set myself the target of completion July 14th. My birthday.

I walked into town to bank a big, fat, smokin' check (cheque for my UK readers) courtesy of a recent - remortgage I just did on my lovely abode - and I couldn't resist a little RETAIL THERAPY. I had simply gone in to bank the check, pay some council tax and treat myself to the RAY LAMONTAGNE CD (Till The Sun Turns Black) and whilst in HMV ,I found a little iPod round stereo dealie and I coudln't resist. It will be perfect for the bedroom, me thinks. I mean I want a proper one - this is just a little wee one, but it will serve my purpose, indeed.

So that put me in a bit of a GOOD MOOD and the mood got even better when I got home and had 1) some RSVPS for my par-tay and 2) an email from a LOVELY MAN G - who has put me on the guestlist for both DEVO on Sunday -- and more importantly SMOKEY ROBINSON. Smokey is one of my fave all time singers. He may very well be the best gig I've ever seen - on my 21st birthday. I already know who I am gonna take and we're both so incredibly STOKED (to use some random 70s slang for you).

So yah, life is good. I'm a lucky gal indeed. I am feeling healthy, wealthy, and happy at this moment. What more can I ask for???

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Springing into Summer



Soyouvebeendumped.com
is my baby and is on the verge of turning seven years old (July 4). To me, it’s brought just as much laughter, tears, and joy as a person’s real baby might bring them. There have been financial struggles, security issues, tantrum flare-ups - the lot.

I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends.

I’ve had lovers. I’ve lost lovers.

I’ve been inspired by stories and I’ve been disheartened stories in almost equal measure.

Most of all it is my greatest achievement in spite of it all.

For my twenties I was in relationships. For my thirties I’ve been single. Now at long last my faith in men is slowly being restored as I inch ever closer to my forties. With that milestone, I hope comes wisdom.

Dating as a dumped guru is not without its pitfalls. The older we get, the more baggage we have. This goes for me as well as the men - who in their thirties and forties - tend to have baggage in terms of offspring and exes which can be quite daunting if I am being honest. But a guy without exes and kids is almost equally worrying.

I am finding it challenging to look at SYBD and the sadness that permeates out of the Dumped Zone. Frankly I have grown weary of reading about, thinking about and worrying about the ends of a relationships.

I have long suspected break up pain was similar to labour pain...Namely that eventually when enough time has past, you forget about how painful it all was - or you'd never want to do it again...

I don’t want to know how badly I could hurt, or be hurt by, someone else. I want to be blissfully unaware and optimistic that some relationships can and do go the distance. But truth be told, SYBD has made me more of a cynic that I’d like to be or to admit. The pain to joy ratio has been quite unequal over the years. Because when people get happy the last place they want to be is hanging out on SYBD. Perhaps for the first time ever, this even goes for me.

Thankfully there are other forums for general discussions, dating, movies, music, sex (well for the members who make donations of more than $30 USD) and one of my favorites is the Good News forum. That's the best forum to read to keep your happiness going...Life goes on. We don't feel like it will but it does.

At the end of the day the message on the site (and indeed my own life) is resilience. Every day people get dumped, most move on and many report how their split has changed their life for the better. Those stories are the stories I want to read. People who’ve been through the pain and made it through the other side holding a glass of lemonade.

For years I've watched member after member heal and move on. I hope on some level I’ve been a catalyst for that growth and yet I’ve stayed virtually motionless in my own growth. I’ve sat here writing the same thing ad nauseam– reliving every break up I have ever had - day in and day out. I may have even been guilty of using the site as a crutch to not date. Scoffing relationships off with a jaded old “what’s the point?”

But the point is, we’re not meant to be on this planet alone. We’re here for love as illusive as that often is. So when we do meet someone who is un-pass-up-able we need to do as Susan Jeffers says and “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Buy the 20th anniversary edition from Amazon: Buy Feel the Fear from Amazon today | Buy Feel the Fear from Amazon today

These days, relationships hold about a fifty per cent chance of working out anyway.

As for business – the little book of crazy dumping stories is coming on leaps and bounds. I’ve an illustrator lined up to design some artwork for it. The film has been hiatus for a month while I was sunning myself in California, but now it’s time to get back to business. Get my game back on.

There’s talk of attending the BritDoc Festival in Oxford next month to build the So You’ve Been Dumped movie buzz. Watch this space…

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