I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
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Since my date with Man #39, I’ve been feeling less enthusiastic about dating, especially online dating, so I’ve chilled out on seeking a date and tried to focus more on doing what I love. When it comes to finding love, those are the words of wisdom one most often hears. “Do what you love and you’ll meet someone with common interests.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
After I mentioned that I thought I needed a dating coach, one of my dating coach Twitter connections reinforced this point by again telling me to start doing what I love. So, that meant I had to think about it. What do I love to do? I don’t know. I guess…
I love to sing.
I love to play piano.
I love to write.
I love to cook.
I love to dance. (They don’t call me the Dancing Queen for nothin’.)
I love to get in my car and drive someplace scenic for no reason.
I love to curl up in an armchair on Sunday mornings with something to read and a strong cup of coffee.
I love walks with Thor.
I’ll probably think of more things I love later, but that’s a pretty good list for now. When a list gets too broad it starts to look like one of those online dating profiles where the person is trying to be anything and everything to everybody. I’m not anything and everything, and I don’t want just anybody. There are a few select things I love to do. In fact, just writing the top two items on this list made me want to stop what I’m doing and start doing them. (Except that I’m currently doing the third one so that held me back.)
So, with this whole idea of doing what I love in mind, I recently signed up for a few Meetups. I can already tell that I will need to remove my name from some of the groups I joined and refine my selection of activities. Some of them sounded better than they really are. Some of them have tons of members, so it feels intimidating to go if you don’t know anyone. However, I went out to the Azteca in Lynnwood on Friday night for a karaoke Meetup.
When I initially got to the bar, I didn’t see my group. My go-to move in these situations is to take a seat at the bar and wait to scope things out and figure out my next move. I took a seat and ordered a margarita. There were a couple of men sitting near me at the bar, and pretty soon one of the men leaned over and asked me if I was there for karaoke.
“I am,” I said, “Are you?”
“Yeah,” he said.
“What’s your go-to artist,” I asked.
“It depends on what they have. I’ve never done karaoke here before.”
“Oh, they have everything. The guy just pulls things from YouTube.”
“Perfect. Well, then probably Carrie Underwood or Lady Gaga,” I said.
“Cool,” he said, “Are you pretty good?”
“Well, now that’s a loaded question. I don’t know. I do ok,” I said, “I’m supposed to meet a group here, but I don’t know where they are.”
“Oh, there’s a big group of people in the back,” he said, “did you look back there?”
“No.” During the course of our conversation, the bartender had placed my margarita in front of me. Instead of getting up with my drink and wandering around the bar looking for the group, I decided to check in on the Meetup website, and send the Meetup organizer a message asking where the group was meeting. Within a few minutes a short, energetic woman appeared and introduced herself as the organizer of the Meetup. She told me they were, in fact, the group in the back of the restaurant. I said goodbye to the man at the bar, grabbed my margarita, and followed her to the back of the restaurant.
When I got there, there were twenty women and no men. That’s right, no men. Figures. Where are the men? Probably at home watching TV. So much for meeting members of the opposite sex. (Sigh) Oh well, you snooze you lose dudes!
I got there right as the karaoke DJ started, so I put my song in. The next thing I know he goes and calls me first, so there I am, alone, with a group of total strangers and I have to put myself out there first. This goes against every introverted fiber of my being. I got up and started singing. I was shaking at first, but I soon got over my nerves. Now, I’m no Adele, but this is the first song I sang.
Let’s just say it got things started right. There were some really great singers in the group, and it was a lot of fun getting to know all of the women. The Meetup organizer was a lot of fun. She was afraid to sing a song by herself, so a bunch of us eventually got her up on stage to sing “It’s Raining Men” and “Push It.” I eventually got called up to do a second song, and this time I sang “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.
If I’m hoping to meet men by doing the things I love I might want to pick less dysfunctional Country songs…but anyway.
After I sat back down, one of the women in the group came over and asked for my business card. She said she had a friend in a band and they needed a vocalist. I gave her a card, but I don’t really expect to hear from them. Things like that never happen to me. I wish they did, but they don’t.
The man I had met at the bar got on stage and did his Jason Mraz songs, and he was pretty good. I later asked him if he knew any Lady Antebellum songs in the hopes that we could do a duet. (And no, I did not get his number. He was a cute, little man, but WAY to short to ride the ride.) Unfortunately, he didn’t know any of the duets I know, so we didn’t make music together.
When, I finally got in my car to go home, closing time, I was so energized. I wanted to keep on singing. It’s amazing what singing does to my mood, how it just makes my whole body feel happy.
I thought my singing was finished for the weekend, but then, yesterday, Lauren asked if I wanted to go see Michael Nesmith at The Neptune. She had an extra ticket. Now, I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like a Michael Nesmith song to make me want to sing. As the concert drew to a close, I leaned over and asked Lauren if she would be interested in going to sing karaoke afterwards.
“Hell yeah,” she said enthusiastically.
After the concert, we made a quick stop at Dick’s drive-in and then headed up to Kona Kitchen in Maple Leaf. I had been there once before for a friend’s birthday party a few weeks earlier, and that was when I discovered they have karaoke on Saturday nights. When we walked in, there were very few people there and nobody was singing.
“Oh, this looks intimidating,” I said. It’s funny how I would rather sing in a crowded bar than in one where there are six people staring at me, but it’s true. After a couple of bourbon sodas, I got up and did the same two songs from the night before, and because it wasn’t crowded I got to do several more. Including this on by P!nk. How awesome is she?
Now if I could just find a onesy with strategically placed fabric strips I would probably attract more men.