Tag Archives: dating

The grinder, the dipper and the plaid in between

Ah, the pure joy that comes from people watching; from observing the male of the species try to win over the female…and from laughing your butt off as the entire episode unfolds. This is what an evening out at a club holds in store for the social scientist in me. Let me begin by stating that last night I went out with friends to help celebrate my brother’s birthday. We went to a club featuring country line dancing and karaoke.

Initial observations were:

  1. 80% of the room wore plaid
  2. 40% of the attendees were over the age of 55 (or at least looked it)
  3. 10% of the men wore cowboy hats
  4. 0% of the dancers smiled

Having taken in these facts, I was drawn to two distinct subjects for a further, more detailed study. The two men were clearly friends, had honed dance skills and were, by all accounts, very fine examples of the male form.

Subject A) The Grinder

Tall, fit and had the dance moves to make the ladies swoon. Add a great big black cowboy hat and The Grinder looked like he stepped right out of a romance novel. It was unclear if he’d come with a particular female, but it was apparent that he would be leaving with one. During a rare slow song about a pickup truck, a mourning brother, and a soldier’s death, The Grinder, well, ground against his female who in turn found the act appropriately respectful – for a slow, sad song about death.

Can I take a moment here? How could she keep a straight face? I would have started giggling so hard that I’d double over and likely start snorting. Nothing relays the deepest depths of despair like a good grind…

Subject B) The Dipper

The Grinder’s less able counterpart was The Dipper. The Dipper was again, fit and handsome though not to the extent of The Grinder. Whereas The Grinder honed in and devoted a large (though not exclusive) portion of his efforts on one woman, The Dipper spread a wider net – pulling women from the periphery of the dance floor. The Dipper never danced with the same woman twice and each encounter included his signature move: the dip, a thrilling and exciting maneuver that his partners apparently enjoyed though this was difficult to discern as, noted earlier, no one smiled whilst dancing.

Again, I would like to note that I would have burst out laughing. Have you ever been dipped? It’s kind of terrifying. Your body does not surrender its equilibrium easily. When you are returned to standing, you are light-headed, giddy and unnerved. Laughter is the natural reaction to such an unnatural move. Not one of The Dippers dance partners even cracked a smile.

Finally, it must be noted that both The Grinder and The Dipper clearly practice their courtship dances in the shared bachelor pad they inhabit. This deduction was derived by the Magic Mike-like performance they burst into when “Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw was played.

Conclusion: As ridiculous as their moves were, the entire excercise was successful. You could not help but watch and wonder…Oh, and clearly I have a hair-trigger when it comes to laughing. But really, how can you not laugh?

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Heartbeats or heartbreaks?

As I’ve mentioned, last week I spent a lot of time people watching and wondering and realizing. I wondered why some men make clearly unwanted moves. Or why seemingly great guys are unreliable jerks. And how (some) absolute bastards end up being the most gentlemanly of all. Finally, I wondered why so many men choose the path of distant indifference instead of taking a heartfelt chance.

There have been a couple of articles on the death of chivalry and benevolent sexism; I even read about the current hook-up culture. All were interesting and had their useful points, but none really answered my basic question: What is the matter with men? Or, as a work colleague lamented (in a very funny tirade) “Where are the real men?”

But what is a realman? What qualities should he possess? What habits shouldn’t he possess? And what are the guilty pleasures in a man’s behaviour that you really shouldn’t like but can’t help but love?

This past year has been an education for me on what I want, what I need, and what I won’t deal with anymore. The whole thing has been eye-opening. I’ve gone from ‘2012 is the year of the hook-up’ to ‘2012/13 is the year for a sweet guy’. It has closed doors I’d propped open, waiting for that guy to get a clue and realize I’m the one. It has also pushed me to take chances I’d never have taken before with my heart and my pride.

I don’t have the answers yet, but I’d like your opinion…

What qualities does a true man possess? (For me he has to return texts/messages in a timely manner. I hate being left hanging especially when I rarely text/call in the first place.)

What are the most aggravating and stupid habits/qualities/personalities you’ve encountered? (My favorite is still the ex-farmer boy who thought telling me he was ‘horny as a three-legged billy goat’ was going to get him a green light.)

And, if given the opportunity, what wisdom would you like to pass onto men of what a woman needs to be happy? (Tell us we’re pretty or you miss us. So few men ever do.)

Guys, if you have input on us ladies I’m all ears too!

Your answers will help me out greatly. I’ll compile them in a couple of different lists so all input is welcome!

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Muddy Matches and exciting Friday nights

Well, Friday brought an incredible surprise. Actually, it wasn’t exactly a surprise but still pretty damn exciting when it came to my inbox!
 
Muddy Matches, a wonderful UK dating website devoted to finding farmer-minded matches posted a guide to dating farmers inspired by my all-time most popular post “A few thoughts on dating a farmer.”
 
Check out Muddy Matches. Even if you don’t live in the UK they have great date ideas, local events (even in the US!) and colorful articles with lots of helpful hints. The website is so great it almost makes me wish I still lived in the UK!
 

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Many questions and a few uncooked thoughts

This week I did an awful lot of people watching. I mixed and mingled. I laughed and flirted. And all the while I took in how other people did the same. I truly enjoy the education exercise that is the male/female interaction (said in my best social scientist voice). It was New York Farm Bureau’s State Annual Meeting and the event is always ripe with observation opportunities.

Some men lavish women with attention while others sit nearby and just kind of hover. Some men use cool indifference as a tactic to get women to follow them. Some women are able to draw men in with a knowing laugh and a coy smile. Some women stand on the edges and pine for a particular man who isn’t even aware of them.

Why is it that you can always see other people so much more clearly than you see yourself?

I honestly don’t know where I fit in the mix. I tend to have interesting, funny men around – but they never make a move. I’ve had a tendency to fall for the men that will never give me what I need or deserve. The ones that are indifferent and kind of rude but draw me in and drag me along for long periods of time. The combination causes me to honestly wonder if I even register as a woman – or am I “just Jen?” But then, in fleeting moments, I notice a sweet man looking across the room at me.

And then I’m truly confused.

It happened the other night. I looked up a few times and saw someone that I like but don’t really know looking at me. So I smiled and he smiled back. I even went over and asked a question, giving the opportunity to start a conversation. In return I received a sentance-long answer as he turned back to the card game he was playing. Huh. So maybe I was wrong. Or maybe he’s shy…Or maybe I was wrong…I keep going back and forth on this one.

Instead, I ended up being propositioned by a very drunk friend. At least I think he was propositioning me – I couldn’t actually understand him. There was drunk hugging and drunk “you’re amazings.” There may have even been a proposal in there…Let’s just say there was an awful lot of drunk on his part. It was kind of sweet, but totally not going to happen. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and went to bed alone and wondered. Not about him, but about men in general.

I wondered about how I approach men, about who I show them I am. Do they think I’m just a flirt? Am I unapproachable? Am I strong and independent and terrifying? Am I someone they pine for or am I someone that doesn’t even register as a woman? Am I a combination of these things? I’m a natural hostess so I move from group to group, laughing and chatting, asking how people are and what’s going on in their lives. I’m a flirt, I guess, because I smile and tease and joke, making sure that everyone is having a good time.

But men don’t know what to do with that do they? And when I work the room all the man who may be interested in me sees is me paying attention to everyone else but him.

I have other thoughts from this week and my scientifically minded observations. I have theories developing on vulnerability and strength and how they are actually not what you think they are. I’ve got a few lines on how hiding from things only keeps you hiding. And a call to action for men to actually offer to help a woman out  – lift heavy boxes, hold the door, be gentlemanly and well mannered…especially if you are interested in the woman!

None of these thoughts are fully cooked yet, but be sure there will be more from me soon enough.

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September better mean dating season starts

That’s all I’ve got to say. Actually, it’s not…

Romancing (or being romanced) by a farmer has a rhythm all its own. I’ve spoken about it in the past. There’s the Farmers’ Dating Calendar  and some other random thoughts on what’s in store  (at least from my perspective) when you date a farmer. These two posts alone make up most of my weekly readership and it amazes me. But I’ll admit that no matter how many times I read them, these posts are still true and act as reminders when I get a little pissy that my date has to be cancelled because of hay.

Well, guess what ladies? September is here and there is a break (I hope) in the non-stop marathon that is field work. Maybe, maaaybe, I can get a little lovin’. Fair is in seven days, fair weekend is in eleven (not like I’m counting). I seriously don’t care if I have to sit alongside a Jersey heifer in the cow barn as long as I get to spend some time with a particular cutie…on a date that has been made and cancelled repeatedly since June. (Sorry but several dinners with my folks is not a date.)

However, there is something to be said about this whole adventure. First, we have really had to take our time. No jumping into things here…No sir-ee. Slow and steady and surprisingly sweet. Second, every time he’s had to cancel I get something fresh and delicious out of the deal. Berries, cucumbers, next up are tomatoes and peppers. Last night my Mom and I were processing tomatoes and I realized that though this particular farmer is pretty darn good-looking, the thing I find really hot is that he can feed me all year long.

Yup. You want to get lucky? All this girl needs are some fresh veggies in the freezer and canned in the cupboard. Does that make me easy? Maybe, but well fed.

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Spring and the farmer’s dating calendar

Spring always means a flurry of activity. The smell of turned earth (dirt) wafts through open windows and the hum of tractors fill the air. Planting season is in full force. Late nights in a tractor and always another field to plant weigh heavy on many farmers’ minds. Stress and sunshine, excavation and exhaustion. This is what spring means in Upstate New York.

Spring also means that it’s time for me to remind everyone of the Farmer’s Dating Calendar (below). An ever popular (and accurate) accounting of what one can expect when the person that makes their heart beat wears Carhartt and knows what a 4020 is (it’s a green? tractor).

By the way, about this time last year I (unfortunately) heard the best break-up line ever: “I realized that I love my tractor more than I like you.” My shocked response? But I have boobs! Anyway, I had a farmer friend over for dinner last week. He showed 2 hours late. Pizza and beer in hand, his first words to me were: “I swear, I like you a hell of a lot more than I like my tractor.” At least someone’s learned the lesson.

Winter: December is a no (Christmas), January is possible, February is a no (Valentines Day), early March is OK, but late may be a problem

Spring is a big NO: April is planting, May is haylage (and turkey hunting season) and June is the beginning of hay season which means they can date, but only if it’s raining.

Summer: July is more hay, so weather permitting, August is actually possible.

Autumn: September is the end of hay, but let’s hope you like fair food and cow barns because that’s probably where he’ll take you on a date, October is chopping, November is deer hunting season.

In other words ladies, if you are dreaming about finding yourself a farmer to cuddle close to at night…good luck!

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A theory on shopping…

I had a very strange sort of December. It was stressful (soooo stressful) but everything: every opportunity, every crisis and, yes, every mistake has moved me forward. I have one rather large mistake on my mind while I write this. One mistake that has made me think about men a little differently. Now, I’m going to meander a little so you have to bear with me…

It used to be that when I went shopping for clothes I’d get disgusted and frustrated and walk out of a store with an ugly sweater I was never going to wear and a pair of shoes that looked pretty but I knew were going to cause me pain in the long run. I hated clothes shopping with a passion until I decided to look at it not as a war against my body but a scavenger hunt. You see, when I shop these days I take a carpet bombing strategy. I pick up three different sizes, I grab things I think look ugly on the rack, I grab things I think I’ll love. Pretty much I grab anything I can carry and lumber into the dressing room like a woman overcome by some sort of hoarding psychosis.

The results are often mixed. I find that I’m a size 12 in one thing and a size 16 in another. I realize that the beautiful white tunic makes my ass look huge and the ugly purple stripey cardigan makes my waist look small. I discover the most amazing opportunities while looking in that three-way mirror under flourescent lighting not only about the pieces of clothes I put on but about my idea and image of myself.

So, here’s the thing…I used to pick a man and set my hopes and dreams on him. I used to think that because he looked and sounded wonderful he’d look and sound wonderful for me. Sure, I’d smile at others and entertain them in flirty banter but my heart was set on that one or two fellas I thought were absolutely dreamy. And that played havoc with my love life or, rather, lack there-of.

Today I’m taking the same philosophy I have on clothes shopping and applying it to the men I come across as well. Pretty much I’ll scoop up any man who has the guts and the gusto to ask me out. I don’t care if he’s 450 lbs. or if he’s 5 foot 2. I don’t care if he’s an absolute hunk and 24 years old. My thought is that if you fall into my net I have to try you out (at least for a little while). Now, some are not going to be a good fit and that’s just fine but I’m not going to judge.

Which brings me to the idea of making mistakes. 2012 is the year of making mistakes. I’ve been too worried for too long about making the wrong move that I make no move what so ever…Which sucks by the way…December was my first mistake, he kissed me like I was a Big Mac and he was a starving man (not sexy). But hell, I gave it a whirl and it moved me forward.

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