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10Questions Post: Hint: She leaps tall buildings in a single bound....

This week we have a bonafide Superwoman on the 10Questions.  Things she's done?  All made of stuff you'd see in the movies, AND she's also Super Inspirational.  AND she's beautiful, but super nice so you have to like her.

Q:  What's your name, and what do you do?
A;  My name is Mandi Thomas, and I am a mom of two girls, a wife, a personal trainer, and I am also in school to be a firefighter.

Q:  I think all of that is pretty cool and I happen to know that you are a pretty tough cookie.  You have also had another interesting profession while you were in the military.  Tell me about that.
A:  So, my job was Human Intelligence Collector, which is a fancy term for an interrogator.  As part of the requirements to be an interrogator, you have to learn another language, so I learned Russian;  I am fluent in Russian and in Interrogation Skills.

Q:  Wow!  So how has being fluent in Interrogation Skills helped you in your everyday life and as a mom?
A:  It's been really…

Friday Dating Diary - Final Entry

Well, it's been a month.

It's been quite a 30 days on Dating Diary.  It's been very much like the past, where this post writes itself with the weirdness of humanity and scammers are busted WIDE open.

I'm really and truly done this time, though.  I see how approaching this with the idea that no one can really meet someone online is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy (and I thought I would never use my college psychology class!!).  I also see how I am compromising on some of my beliefs and I just can't reconcile that to having a popular blog post.

I also have been sitting under a message series at my church (the Church of Eleven22) about a book and a character in the Bible, Ruth.  The story is basically this:  Ruth's extended family left their home because it looked like life would be easier in a place called Moab, even though Moab was, like, the hot bed of Bible times weirdness and drama (think child sacrifice).  But there would be food there, so they cut out …

There Is Really No Way to Title This

I have a dog.  She's twelve pounds of white fluff that thinks she's ten foot tall and bulletproof, by the way she barks at other dogs, especially ones that are four times her size.  She gets walked in our condo development a few times a day, and once usually at night before we call it a day.

One night not too long ago the dog and I were walking and I noticed that I could see someone's TV through a second floor window.  It just so happened that this TV watcher was watching the same thing I had just left to walk the dog, and while the dog sniffed whatever it is that dogs sniff, I watched the good part where the two people realized they were in love and have this magical kiss and live happily ever after.

And then I realized I was watching TV in someone else's house from about 100 feet away (it was that big a TV).  And that it was weird, and that I need to walk on.

But then I got to thinking.  How different is that from social media?  We watch and see what people want us…

10Questions -- What is R, I, and C?

A pirate's favorite letters, of course!

I had the privilege of sitting down with Brian Pratt, who is a pirate with The St. Augustine Swashbucklers in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.  The St. Augustine Swashbucklers found its start in 2001 by noted Pirate Historian, Joe Osteen. The Crew of 90 plus members is a group of likeminded individuals whose purpose is Charitable Work, Community Involvement and at times Pirate Entertainment, and for 15 years have maintained a strong history and purpose.  And a little scoundrel pirate fun.....

Q:  So who are you, and what do you do?

A:  Brian Pratt, I'm a firefigher for the Department of Defense and I'M A PIRATE....

Q: Scary!  But surely there are good things about being a pirate, especially in beautiful St. Augustine.  What's the best and worst thing about being a pirate?
A:The children. The thing I enjoy most is interacting with the children.  They're so fun.  The worst thing about being a pirate is being dressing up like a pi…

Friday Dating Diary

It's just a really good thing that I started this whole dating diary to show how hard it is to meet someone online, because this week has been CRAZY.

It had been kind of quiet on the online dating scene.  Strawberry Sue, my lifelong friend who is also on the same dating website, sent me a few screen shots of men that had come through her feed and she didn't care for them for various reasons.  (More on this later.)  One kind of caught my eye and I checked out his profile.  I was like, dang, I'd date him.  So I asked Strawberry if she minded if I contacted him.  She was down with that, so I sent a short message to him.

He almost immediately responded and after a few texts, he wanted to meet.  I agreed to meet him around my schedule that day.  At the meet, he was charming and talkative and complimentary and I thought to myself, "Strawberry is going to kick herself for not contacting him!"  He's so dreamy, goes to church, and we even had a conversation about thin…

Right Train, Wrong Direction

Young Son (who, in all honesty, I should call Young Adult Son, since he is 22) and some friends recently took a trip to the Big Apple, New York City.  They had an amazing time and, upon his return,  I enjoyed hearing him tell stories about what happened, what they thought would happen, and all the funny in between.

One story happened on the infamous New York City subway system. Young Adult Son and Friend went to the theater they planned on seeing Phantom of the Opera at that evening to pick up tickets.  To hear YAS tell it, he was pretty proud of his subway skills and didn't get lost or on the wrong train.  This is a pretty big deal for a kid from a town where we have a "sky-way" whose ridership numbers are best described as "woefully below initial projections."  Maybe if it went more than 6 places it would have more riders; I'm just saying.

On the way back from the theater, however, they ran into a problem.  They got on the right train, but a few stops alo…

Friday Dating Diary

Crap.   Not the literal kind that has a cute emoji, but more of an exclamation. I could add, gee Louise, holy guacamole, and what the higgledy piggledy.  
Gentle reader, if you have not been on a dating website ever, count yourself blessed.  It is an exercise in futility. 
I have a friend who we shall call Strawberry Sue.  She, in my humble opinion, is much cuter than I am.  We're about the same age, and she has professional job and is a normal person.  Yet the men that come across her feed on our shared dating website are vastly different!  The ones I get leave me thinking, "Are there any bad-looking people in the world?"  And thennnnnnnnn Strawberry Sue sends me some screen shots of people that she is being matched with and I am like, yeesh.  So there's that part of the frustration.
The next part is a seemingly inevitable part of the online dating ritual, the “hurry up and wait."  For those who have never had to walk the fiery coals of online dating, there ar…

Yes?

Some questions are awkward to answer; some questions are hard to answer.  Some are just stupid -- there is such a thing as a stupid question, no matter what your mom says.  
I remember that one of the first questions I can remember asking my mom was, "Can I dye Easter eggs in my room?"  I'm pretty sure the answer was no, but I did it anyway.  Hey, what's a girl gonna do for fun in October?
NOTE:  Every question below was submitted by an actual person/parent (not me).

Funny/strange/weird questions people I know have been asked: To bald men:  Do you know you're losing your hair?  OR Have you thought about growing your hair out?

To people with familiar names:  To Michele Tanner:  "Like on Full House?"  Or to a guy whose last name is Amodeo:  " Is it like that song Rock Me Amadeus?"

To people with noticeable physical characteristics:  "Are your eyes really that blue?"  "Why are you so tall?"  "Are those your real teeth?"  &…

Friday Dating Diary

Welcome to the Dating Diary.
This started about 18 months ago as a social experiment to demonstrate how difficult it is to meet people online.  I wish I could say that I craft these stories so well, that I am a riveting storyteller.  But these diary entries just write themselves.

I got started on a completely different dating site than I have ever been on.  No, I don't say which one it is because I try to maintain some sense of anonymity.  But I've already run into two men from my church, so it will probably get out.  But until then, it's a secret.

I have to tell you that I am NOT photogenic at all, so I don't take 50 selfies to get a "good one."  I took what I thought were the best and fairly recent and slapped 'em up there.  Wrote the obligatory profile that is not too short and not too long, not too independent and not too needy.  Opened up the parameters for a search and BOOM.

Overnight I got a message from a man we'll call Mr. Feets.  It was a p…

New Clothes for the Flying Pants

Hey friends, I'm back.

The Flying Pants is getting ready to under go an overhaul.  It's time for some change.

Pretty soon it will look different as far as color, etc.  But starting Friday, you can expect to see some change in what you read.

You, gentle reader, will be served up with a delicious assortment of reading goodness.  Monday will start a new series called 10 Questions -- pretty much what it seems.  I ask interesting people 10 questions and you get to see a slice of life different than your own.  Wednesdays will be what I started the Flying Pants to be: life observations with some humor and some Bible.  But then Friday will mark the return of the most popular post ever on the Pants -- Dating Diary.

As you can imagine, and as has happened before, Dating Diary is writing itself.  It never amazes me to see the variety of people out there in online dating world.

So tune in Friday for the first of Dating Diary.  Something that I have NEVER run into was pretty much my fir…

Five Lessons to Learn from Online Dating

One saying I like to use is "Live and learn."  Sure, you are going to make mistakes along the way, and some will be horrific and some are the ones that no one really ever needs to know about.  Like the time that two people (who shall go unidentified) paid a woman who was probably a prostitute $5 to cough in her dog's face to see if the one person had imbibed too much.  Or the person who thought it would be a great idea to enter a bar-top dancing contest and carried the nickname of "Mustang Sally" for the remainder of her college days.  But if you can take a lesson away from the living, even a negative situation can yield a positive element.

As the online dating series draws to a close ( I know, boooo), I've lived and learned a few things and I'd like to share a few with you.

1.  People are better (and worse) than you think they are.  The lesson here is to not judge a book by its cover,  but don't jump into buying a book without at least first readin…

So Good News and Bad News.

Gentle reader, welcome to the 2017 Online Dating Diary.

This almost didn't happen.  I was seriously considering letting  Date Guy make me a one-man woman (see last post)  and that went down horrifically in flames because I am, quote, "a terrible person who doesn't regard other people's feelings."  (I probably should not have used quotes because that is not the actual verbiage.  But you get the idea.) We would have been going in two different directions on a very important topic and so after a fiery text message exchange, Date Guy is out of the picture.

So let me bring you up to speed.

I am already talking to Gorgeous, who is just that, and has a cute accent.  I am a little amazed that we are matched because he is just that gorgeous.  I have yet to do a Google image search on him because we talk frequently.  Another consideration is Ladies Love Country Boys, who is a business owner who has a veritable redneck paradise on the Westside -- he lives on a few acres a…

I'm Sure Stranger Things Have Happened - Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead

If you have been a follower of the Flying Pants for a length of time, then you know I am not exactly  a supporter of online dating.  I just have personally had a pretty terrible experience.  But last year, about this time, after posting a blog entitled 10 Ways to Know Your Online Date is a Scam, I had a hailstorm of people writing and telling me that their brother's friend's mailman knew someone that had found LOVE on the internet.

So, as a response to this hailstorm, I set out to prove how hard it is to meet someone online with the Online Dating Diary posts (see a featured post to the right of this column).  I spent a month genuinely trying to contact men to make a dating connection and reported it back to you, the Flying Pants reader.

Those posts absolutely wrote themselves because I met so many weird/"interesting" men.  I still hear about Mr. Talks A Lot and the blind guy that liked to go to strip clubs.  In fact, I still hear about those posts and get requests to…

What A Girl (and a Guy) Wants - Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead #7

Thanks, Christina.  It's easy to say what a girl wants, but then how do you find what you're looking for, whether you're a man or a woman?  They say that there's an app for everything -- wouldn't it be great to have an app where you can make your perfect person?  Go through all your options and pick out what you like and have your person delivered to you in 30 minutes or less?

Alas, dating readers, it's a inevitable truth that finding your person is nothing like that.  In fact, it's more like you pick a few things and then you have to check an option called "Surprise Me" that delivers some hidden personality quirks or baggage later on in the relationship.

But thankfully we can arrive at a consensus of physical and personality traits that are generally considered desirable.  And thanks to roughly 138 of my single friends, we can get a general idea of what a girl (or a guy) wants.

The question I posed was, "What are the top three things you …

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead, #6 -- What It Means, and What You're Looking For

So glad to be back at  my keyboard this week!  Last week was a terrible upper respiratory infection that was the bane of my existence, subsiding just now.  I hope you enjoyed the post from the online dating diary and I have exciting news about that coming soon!

But today's question comes from an inquiring female mind:
Q.  "You use that phrase 'accessible and friendly' pretty regularly (in reference to how women should act).  What exactly does that mean and how would I know what that looks like?"

A.  This is a great question!  But let's start by looking at the way things go down, as I see it: Women are either ambivalent toward dating at this age (been there, done that) or maybe a little too aggressive.  And it's not completely their fault, either.  Women who have to compete in the world of commerce have to stand up or get run over.  So it's an occupational hazard to become a go-getter, which is not a bad thing at all!

However, when it comes to dating,…

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead, #5 -- Your Pre-Valentine's Day Advice

In case you haven't been inside a store recently or since Christmas, it's time to buy stuff for Valentine's Day, or as some call it, Singles Awareness Day.

In my humble opinion, Valentine's Day should be a drop-kick for men.  Flowers, dinner, jewelry gift of appropriate seriousness.  What is appropriate seriousness?  Because I just like men and think they are cute and generally fun to be with, here's a chart:

Dating 4 months or less:   Buy stud earrings in her birthstone or some other not-diamond stone
Dating 4 - 8 months:  pearl earrings that are a style that she would wear frequently (notice what she wears, find pearl earrings that copy that general style)
Dating 8 - 12 months:  short pearl necklace or other everyday necklace made out of something real
Dating a year or more:  it's time to fish or cut bait.  Get a ring or move on.

This gift will communicate the level of seriousness of the relationship -- from your perspective, anyway.

Women, since we, The Defi…

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead #4: Keeping It on the Down Low/When To Go

Hello, all you people out in Blog World!  I would like to take a few words to thank those readers in countries outside the US, namely Israel, Russia, China, Ireland, Ukraine, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Vietnam.  Thanks y'all!  I hope that you enjoy it.

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead is, as a reminder, written for those who are 40+ and find themselves navigating the dating world; some after a long time of not dating, some who date regularly.  Things have changed since you were 20, and some things are exactly the same.  So thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Q:  "I have been dating this guy for awhile and he wants to put our relationship on Facebook, but I would like to keep my private life just that -- private.  How should I tell him I like my privacy without making him feel like I don't want people to know we're dating?"

A:  This is a relationship minefield, because this is super important to some and not so much to others.  Feeling…

Dating Advice for the Definitely Not Dead #3

Another exciting week for the DND (Definitely Not Dead)!  I have some people who think I am crazy and some who are loving the advice.  So keep sending those emails!

Today's column is specifically different because there is a topic that I am going to address from a distinctly Biblical perspective.  So if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you will probably and definitely disagree with me and that's okay.  Also, if you are not an adult, this is really not for you. Stop reading now.

But before we jump in to that, here's our first question, from a reader we'll call Roach Motel.  The roaches move in, and they just don't move out!  So here's the question:

Q:  What are some red flags that should send me running from a potential relationship?

A:  This can be a subjective question because there are personal preferences that either are a giant NO in your dating book or you may have some grounded beliefs that you are not moving from.

For example, I know a guy who won…