Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Dana Wants - A to Z

I typed this list while watching The Bridges of Madison County. I have to be selective and not settle. Because I don't want to end up like Francesca, 80 years old, nursing my dying husband who was just "so-so" for our 50 years of marriage, while my soulmate is off somewhere in the world without me. No thanks.

So, in the spirit of "not settling", here is my A-Z list of qualities a guy must possess to be the future Mr. Dana's Husband.

Anchor – I am a strong woman, but I want (not “I need”) an anchor, just like with ships. I can be eccentric and sometimes I need somebody to bring me back down to Earth. I know I can be the anchor if need be, but isn’t that one of the job descriptions for guys?

Blithe – He needs to be joyous and carefree. Not one of those ultra-serious types who makes me wonder during dinner, “Is he still thinking about work? Or is he thinking he must have been crazy to agree to be my boyfriend? Or do I smell bad? Which one??”

Cavalier – I’m a southern girl. I need a gentleman.

Debonair – A self-assured man is so very incredible. I have dated my fair share of “Sloppy McSloppersons”, therefore I can appreciate a sharp-dressed man.

Exhilarating – I want to be swept off my feet. Over and over again.

Fit – If our bodies are temples, do I really want someone who throws trash into the temple? No thanks.

Green – I hope to have a guy to help me remember to bring my re-usable bags to the grocery store.

Horticultural – True to my old-lady form, I love my garden and I love my plants. I don’t want someone who is jealous of the time I’m spending with my plant friends. How about someone who puts some gloves on and helps?

Impromptu – I would just adore someone who doesn’t live a strictly planned life, and who can wisk me off somewhere with no notice. Even if it is just to the park.

Jocular – Someone who loves to laugh is someone who has my vote. There is no other way to be.

Knowledgeable – He needs to be able to throw trivia at me that is harder than “Guess what the Statue of Liberty is made out of...” And I’d be okay with him beating me at Jeopardy every once in a while. Well... maybe.

Leery – I know this sounds strange, but I need someone who is just as leery as I am. I don’t trust many folks. The last thing I need is our life savings wasted on some shady guy who promises my guy a great return on something like Chrysler stock.

Mature – There is a time and place for everything, but if I have to fight the Xbox for his attention, we have a problem.

Neat – I am a neat freak in most instances, and we’re going to rumble if I have to move his boxer briefs off the couch for a guest to sit down.

Observant – How nice it would be if he could immediately identify a shift in my mood, instead of me being upset and him asking “What’s wrong?” only after days of my brooding and withholding important things from him. (Sidenote: as open as I am, this is unlikely to happen for 3 days… but you get the gist.)

Passionate. ‘Nuff said.

Quiet – I love to talk (probably too much), but I would love to be able to have someone who embodies the song “Easy Silence”, someone who can be silent with me and there is no need to fill every void with talking.

Ready – I’ve never been one who is looking to get hitched immediately. No way. But when I have the guy and I’m ready, the last thing I need to hear is “I think I’ll be ready in about 5 more years.” Ugh.

Serene – Someone without a temper has my vote. My feathers don’t get ruffled and I don’t want someone I have to hold back from punching something or someone.

Thrifty – I am a thrift queen and have been my entire life. I don’t see that changing, so I am going to need someone who doesn’t run up credit card bills on frivolous things like a ton of Xbox games (see Mature).

Understanding – Sometimes I have moments where I feel like the poster child for kookiness. Hence the need for understanding.

Veracious – Webster says this means “speaking the truth.” No question – this is of utmost importance.

Well-rounded – A true renaissance man is the best.

Xenophobic – I would love to have someone who hates foreigners. Just Kidding. That would tick me off in a hurry. (X-words were slim pickin's.)

Yogic – If he can downward dog with me, then I will be thanking my lucky stars.

Zestful – Everyone loves a little spice.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The 5 S's

After reading a book on the subject, I firmly believe in the 5 requirements a man must meet for me to consider dating him. Ladies and Gentlemen: the 5 S’s.

Single, Sexy, Successful, Saved, Sane

These are all good, and I have adopted them as my mantra. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Single is always a plus. Who needs the stress of dating a married man, always looking over your shoulder, wondering when you are going to have to dodge a bullet from the wife who (with very good reason) will try to find a covert way to commit attempted (or not) murder. Besides, it’s so wrong. Boo to all the ladies out there who are doing this very thing. Quit it now, girlfriends.

Sexy… well yes. Not to sound like looks are so important (because they are not), I have to have no hesitation to want to … what’s the word for making out in the Harry Potter books? Ahh yes, I have to have every desire to snog, anytime/anyplace (thanks Laura). Which means that attraction is key. I can’t date someone I can never imagine kissing. Who can?

Successful is so important. I am driven and I am going to make something of myself, and I look forward to the day where I have an equal in that department. I am very competitive, so how cool would that be to have a partner that is in constant competition with me to do bigger, greater things in this world? Unstoppable.

Saved is crucial. I am a Christian and I need someone who shares my beliefs. I want there to be no question where we are going to be on Sunday mornings. And someone who doesn’t let me get lazy and stay home when I’m tired.

I can’t even tell you how many crazies I have come across in my dating adventures, so Sane is an unquestionable must. No further explanation necessary

The way I look at it, why stop at S?

Tune in tomorrow for Dana’s 26 Musts to Look For in a Guy (A to Z).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man in the Mirror

I am always looking for ways to improve myself, from the inside out. Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror epitomizes what we should all be doing. Starting now. For someone who really lived a tragic life at times, he had a big heart for other folks, and his humanitarian efforts are to be applauded. If I take any note out of MJ's book, it is this: If you want to make a change in the world, start with yourself. None of us are perfect and we can all improve drastically inside our hearts. This is what God urges us to on a daily basis, and this is one message that Michael Jackson left with us that leaves a mark.

Man in the Mirror

I'm gonna make a change, for once in my life
It's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right.

As I, turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind
I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat
Who am I, to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs
A summer's disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man's soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
They follow the pattern of the wind, ya' see
Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change

I'm gonna make a change
It's gonna feel real good!
Come on!
Just lift yourself
You know
You've got to stop it. Yourself!
(Yeah!-Make that change!)
I've got to make that change, today!
You got to not let yourself...
You know-I've got to get that man, that man...
(Man in the mirror)
You've got to
You've got to move! Come on! Come on!
You got to...
Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
Gonna make that change... come on!
You know it!
You know...
Make that change

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Complacency at its Best

1. A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.
2. An instance of contented self-satisfaction
(thanks YahooEducation)

So I guess I have a desire to be complacent at the moment. I go through many stages of want and need and then I get lucky and it hits: complacency with what I have been given.

Outwardly, I have been doing way too much of all the things that I am normally not into:

working out to the wax
using hair mask
keeping my toenails painted

just a few examples. Although I am a girly-girl at heart, I have been known in the past to boycott face serum because of two reasons: (1) living in the sunny south, fighting wrinkles is useless and (2) the word "serum" kind of weirds me out. I didn't even know what "hair mask" was until I decided I was going to go on this latest beauty kick. I have always prided myself on being the low-maintenance girl who can throw something on and head out the door in 5 minutes flat. I can still do this (and do it often), but it's the "behind the scenes" stuff that is starting to get tedious. And starting to get old.

I have a few theories about this sudden change of beauty attitude. The most prominent theory - I'm single.

In other words, I am always wandering what I'll look like when Mr. Wonderful runs into me. You know how it happens in romantic comedies. I don't want to be the girl who runs into Mr. Wonderful and is all disheveled with crooked glasses and my hair up in a scrunchie (for the record: I haven't owned a scrunchie since 1999, but with my luck a neon green one would mysteriously find its way into my hair immediately before meeting said Mr. Wonderful). And we would inevitably run into each other physically - I'll be carrying some heavy load and we will fall in love instantly while bent down picking up my books or groceries or whatever I'm carrying. So now I have to make sure I smell divine at all times as well... You see where I'm going with this.

Okay, maybe I have an active imagination, but the bottom line is no matter where I am and no matter who I am seeing that day, it is becoming increasingly important to me to look my absolute best. You truly never know who you are going to run into - Maybe the great guy I went on a date with last week. He'll think "Oh there's that great girl who made such a good first impression... wait, is that a scrunchie? Is her skin normally that ashy? But she looked so GOOD on our date!" Yikes.

Granted, he might not think that, and people most likely don't notice this stuff, but I would know that it was happening and frankly, I would rather feel 100% amazing and fabulous, ready for all encounters that may come my way.

However... it is exhausting. So while I was exfoliating my entire body (for the 3rd time this week), I had a thought. If I worked this hard on my inner self, would that overtake any glamorous look I have going on that day? I think it would make a bigger difference to the people that I know and am meeting if I exuded more inner confidence. I think the tan and the soft skin would be deeply overshadowed by a genuine smile, because I know I am in an amazing place as a person and as a Christian, not a smile that says "My hair is the perfect texture this morning, so I feel better about myself." No, I'll take the genuine smile instead.

Something is wrong with the picture when I spend more time beautifying myself than I do in beautifying my soul with prayer. So here's the deal. Today I choose to be complacent with my appearance and I vow to spend more time working on myself and cultivating myself as a person than I spend in a beauty routine. And no, I am not giving up on beauty. I do have limits - I am not going to turn into Zoolander's "Derelict", but if my toenails aren't painted, I am not wasting another second thinking how atrocious it must look.

Who knows? Maybe the disheveled look is in. There is, after all, an entire line of products called "Bed Head." I have that every morning, with no effort!