Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where'd the resume go?

I've been divorced for almost 4 years now. And I can count on one hand how many dates I've been on. I know that it can be hard for a divorced mom at my age to date, especially when there are so many time commitments that are more important. My daughter will always come first, but after she's taken care of, it's hard to find the time to go out and "hunt." So I use dating sites to supplement. I've been on eHarmony for almost 3 years. I've used, and more recently have signed up for

Two of the dates I've been on since my divorce came from dating sites; one from lasted a couple of weeks, but I ended it after discovering that my "match" wanted to focus on the physical aspect of the relationship. He'd thought that since we'd talked online for a few days, we knew each other intellectually and didn't need to work on that part anymore. The other date I had came from eHarmony about 8 months ago. We talked awhile on the site, then decided to meet for a date. We sipped tea, shared a dessert, and talked so long that my mom called and told me she was going to bed and I should come home. :) We had a great time and really hit it off... I thought. I never heard from him again. He never responded to my e-mails or phone calls.

The one thing I've noticed on all of these sites are the lack of effort many men put into their profiles. I can't say if women do the same thing, since I'm only interested in dating men and therefore never see the profiles of other women. But a lot of the men I'm "matched" up with don't seem to spend any time on their profiles at all. I can always tell in 5 seconds looking at the profile if I'm going to communicate at all with the person. Here's my checklist of pet-peeves when it comes to your online "resume" (as I call it):

1. Capitalize your name.
2. Don't use all caps. It's bad typing etiquette and it hurts my eyes.
3. Use punctuation. It's really hard to tell where your sentences start and stop.
4. Use spell check. Really, how hard is it to click the little check mark?
5. Answer all the questions, and use complete sentences. "Brother" is not a proper answer to "Who is the most influential person in your life and why?"
6. Don't try to be too funny. If you put that you are perfect in every way and you make fun of stereotypical girls, it's really hard to tell if you're joking or being serious.
7. Treat your profile as a resume. If you wouldn't want a prospective employer to see something like this, what makes you think you'll catch a wife this way?
8. Don't put "I don't know what to write" anywhere. If you'd spend more than 5 minutes on it, you could probably figure out an answer.
9. Don't include camera phone shots of you without a shirt in the bathroom mirror. Seriously. If I wanted a grainy, dark lit, poorly taken picture of some one's torso, I'd switch over to the cable channel we don't subscribe to and try to watch the movie through the static.

And these are just the basic ones. I have other things I look for, but for my own preferences (must be a reader, must be family oriented, etc.).

Maybe I'm too picky. Is it too much to ask for a guy whose handwriting I can read and actually paid attention in English class, who knows how (and likes) to cook something other than mac & cheese, who enjoys learning on their free time, who knows how to have a good time without insulting other people or being rude, who doesn't spend as much time watching football or playing video games as possible, who appreciates and takes care of his possessions, who likes kids, who can live without his cell phone for 48 hours, who knows that wearing holey jeans and an old T-shirt isn't appropriate except when working around his own house...

I've said it before, and I'll admit it again: I wish I could find a guy like my dad. My mom is a very lucky woman.

Whatever happened to first impressions? Thinking ahead? Being respectful? Wanting to improve oneself? Probably just wishful thinking... Or do I just have to trudge through the trenches to find my pearl?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Whoa! Dream Big!

Being a single mom, I have learned to accept that there are somethings I won't be able to do, at least for awhile. No cross-country road trips with girl friends, no back-packing across Europe, no living in Italy for months with immersion as the only way to learn the language. It's just not possible for me at this point in my life. But I do still have dreams. I dream of having my own home in Orange County so that I'm close to my family and my church. I dream of going to Hawaii for a honeymoon (that goes along with my dream of marrying a fantastically well-read, educated, kid-friendly man). I dream of taking a cruise to the Caribbean. And I also dream of being able to work from home so that I'm able to spend more time with my daughter.

A few weeks after I learned that my now-ex-husband and I were pregnant with our daughter, I joined a well-known direct sales company (per company rules, I cannot promote my business by name on any website) that sells cooking utensils. I did it to earn money while not working during my pregnancy. 5+ years later I'm still selling for them, mostly to earn what I call "Disneyland money;" My daughter and I both have annual passes and this second job helps pay for them. And it would be very nice if this could be my full-time job, but seeing as how being self-employed means paying high premiums for healthcare, I feel tied to my "real" job in the health insurance industry. But, my direct sales job does have it's perks: I decide how much to work, when to work, plus I get a discount on the things I sell (great for stocking up for my future kitchen). And, every year they have an incentive trip; sell enough for the company and you get to go somewhere for free! This year the incentive is a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Early entry into one of the parks, dinner at another park, travel allowance, breakfast with favorite characters, the works! I've never earned a trip in the 5 years that I've been selling, but that's because I consider myself a "casual consultant." In it for the extra cash, not for life. And the goal for the best option for the trip is very high; do-able, but high. My average yearly sales are about $6000, only 5% of what I need to earn the best option for the trip! But every year consultants across the country make this goal and have the time of their life courtesy of this company.

So, even though I've never sold enough to earn even the first level of the incentives, I'm going to quote Juno (though out of context) and "Dream Big!" They say that if you aim for the moon and miss, at least you'll land among the stars (I never really agreed with this saying because it was said before people knew that stars are even farther out of reach than the moon). If I don't make it to the best option for this incentive, at least I will have earned a lot more money than I have in the past, and I may even make it to Florida on the company, but just not stay as long as I would with the top option.

So here's to dreaming big and working hard! Perhaps my New Year's Resolution should be to make more phone calls for my business and put more shows on my calendar. I may not go to Walt Disney World on my company's dime, but I might just make it that much easier to reach next year's goal.

(P.S. If you're interested in helping me reach my goal of going to Walt Disney World and would like to host a party for the above un-named direct sales company, you can reach me by clicking on my profile and sending me an e-mail. Sorry, doesn't hurt to ask for business.)

My fearless child, friends and I on Tower of Terror at DCA

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