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InstaMessanger = InstaScammer

For the last week I’ve been on a Social Media Detox, which in a large part is due to the Messenger component of Instagram. I’ve had an Instagram account for a couple of years but since it started as part of Aunty Emz Blankets until this year the profile only had photos of my stock not of me and my Profile Pic was of one of my blankets.  It took me nearly a year to work out that the InstaMessage Symbol in the top right hand corner of the screen was Instagram Messenger Service (InstaMessenger) and the number it showed was the number of messages I had not read. In 2 years the number of unread messages had reached all of 4.  When I did look at the messages they where all “thanks for following me click this link for our Instagram Followers Discount” from other businesses (and I instantly deleted all of them because I don’t click links in messages that’s a really quick way to get your phone hacked).

When I closed Aunty Emz Blankets as a business I decided to keep my Instagram account and started posting pics of me mainly showing off things I’d made  and my ever changing hair colour but my profile pic was still not of me and my unread InstaMessage alert stayed at about 2 unread messages a month.  Then I made what I’m beginning to think was an EPIC mistake and I changed my profile pic to one of me.  It’s a nice head shot of me I took to send to a friend to show him my new blond chunks in my hair.  If I’d known changing my profile pic to one of a living breathing human would have the effect it did I would NOT have changed it.

The shit storm started almost immediately when my account got hit by some InstaFollowers Bot or InstaInfluencer desperately needing Follow Backs for their clients.  In the space of 3 days I got hit with 200 Follow Back requests from apparently New Followers to my profile.  Then after I’d made the effort to check out their profiles and Follow Back all 200 of them 196 Unfollowed me. In desperation I downloaded an app to clearly identify the Insta-Accounts who had Unfollowed me as soon as I clicked Follow Back and I ruthlessly Unfollowed them.

Then suddenly the number next to my InstaMessage InstaMessages icon spiked from a total of 2 per month for the last 8 months to 6 overnight.  As it turned out I actually had 9 Message Notifications, 3 Requests (these are from people not following you) + 6 Messages from people following me.  I deleted the 3 Request if you don’t follow me don’t bloody contact me is my view.  I then deleted the 3 messages from “click this link and I’ll show you how to make millions” type messages and unfollowed their profiles.  That left 3 guys (yes all male) to deal with and within about 2 minutes of messaging I decided to delete all 3 and unfollow them as one was definitely a bot and the other two were (drumroll please) widows with child under 10 who were desperately seeking love.  Since both of those guys claimed to be in the US Military and deployed I put up a rant about scammers using the “Lonely, Deployed, Widow with child” hook to scam genuinely caring ladies into corresponding with them in the hope they get so attached they’ll do whatever it is the scammer wants. *

WRONG THING TO DO!!!!!!!

I have no idea which # in that post the InstaScum were phishing for but within 24 hours my message count went into the teens and my Follow Back requests from supposedly single males spiked as well. So again I deleted all Requests, deleted an unfollowed very obvious bots or scammers (1 photo, almost brand new account and 1,600 Followers but 10 Following screams FAKE ACCOUNT). The ones that were left I started conversations with just to see what would happen, I mean you never know one of them might actually be a real guy looking to make connections. One guy I actually ousted in full blown SCUMBAG SCAMMER ALERT on Instagram and Facebook because he told me “I’m the online coordinator for FaceBook Accounts and Mark Zuckerberg had personally asked me to contact you regarding your winnings from the FaceBook Lottery” – seriously I could smell that as bullshit from the other side of the globe.

As for the other accounts I think 1 or possibly 2 might actually be living breathing men with real jobs, a real Instagram account and actually just looking for someone to talk to.  As for the remaining 6 (sigh) either I attract THE most unlucky guys or they are full of shit because they are all WIDOWED WITH CHILD and only 1 did not say he was you guessed it MILITARY AND DEPLOYED.  Just for shits and giggles I played along with a couple of them and one I even gave helpful feedback telling him that if he’s going to say he’s deployed in Afghanistan he might want to actually know what bases are in Afghanistan because Basra Air Base is in Iraq.

As per the Scammer Scum playbook once they got answers to the basics like “Are you single”, “Where are you from”, “Do you have children”, which I gave a whole load of totally incorrect answers to. They then started on the “Do you have Google Hangout-FaceBook-WatsApp” questions all of which got NO from me.  So then they tried the whining tactic of “but I can’t be on Instagram very much and I love you”, “Please I want to call you on……”, still they got NO. By the time I put myself on my Social Media Detox it was at the point of YOU HAVE TO GET A ……… PROFILE NOW! demands, which  got the standard no means no response.  Predictably the DOWNLOAD THE APP AND GET A PROFILE RIGHT NOW! bullying started mmmmm that brought out the bitch in me and they got the  FUCK OFF YOU TWAT rant.

It got to the point that I couldn’t actually get onto Instagram without being bombarded with demands to “ANSWER MY MESSAGE”, “Why aren’t you talking to me” “I love you don’t you love me” and so on and so forth.  I’m hoping that like tamagotchi (digital pets) that if I leave them alone to fend for themselves for 7 days without attention from me they’ll either have curled up and died or gone feral giving me lots of fun screenshots for outing them as Scamming Shits all over Social Media.

Well I went back on last night and as you can see   InstaMessage I had a lot of unread messages to get through.  Interestingly 3 accounts had vanished off Instagram, 2 had blocked me (guess they didn’t like being ignored), I deleted 6 as they showed all the signs of being scammers, 1 I blocked after he started bullying me to download Hangout. Of the remaining 3, at least 1 is some sort of “I’ll make you rich” but she’s the only female to ever contact me so I’ll see what bullshit she’s peddling, 1 I think is a legit FIFO Engineer his responses are to human to be fake and 1 is well mmmmmmm yeah think he’s full of shit but I might actually be surprised for once.

* Not all scammers want money from you there are the ones who want you to either visit and then be a drug mule home, steal your identity or use your bank accounts to launder money.*

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Lonely

I woke up the other day with the worst voice-lyric ear-worm on a continues loop through my head.  Hands up if you can remember the song Lonely by Akon (2004).  It starts with what sounds like a guy who’s had one to many drinks and then sucked on a room full of Helium balloons singing

Lonely I’m so lonely
I have nobody
To call my own
I’m so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody
To call my own
I’m so lonely

For anyone who can’t remember this song click HERE (Lonely by Akon) but be warned the drunken helium singer will get stuck in your head.

I have no recollection of hearing this song recently which is how ear worms normally get stuck in my head so I’m going with the assumption my autistically wired brain dug it up to match my mood.  For anyone who follows or reads my other blog The Cutting Cookies Circus about my Autistic life and it’s problems you’ll know I’m not in a good head space right now.

The song might be as annoying as all hell but it is a good reflection of how I’m feeling right now.  I have no idea why but lately I’ve been feeling incredibly lonely to the point it  almost physically hurts.  I have friends and family who love me and I love them so I’m not lonely in the typical definition of the term “LONELY”.

What I feel is Soul Mate Lonely —> the deep ache you feel when you’re still single and all you wont is to find that one person who you connect with who becomes your friend-lover-spouse.  The person you feel comfortable enough with to let into your world and share your space.  The person you can trust to be there when you need them and who know’s you’ll be there for them as well.  The person you can let your guard down with and show your vulnerability knowing they will not see it as weakness or a way to hurt you. The person who holds you tight and tells you everything will be fine when your brain goes rouge and you feel overwhelmed by everything.

Anyone who works with relationship abuse survivors and reads this would be going “OMG red flag this is the kind of mindset the Scammers, Losers and Abusers are looking for seek help now”.  Don’t stress I might be lonely but I’m also neurologically hardwired to mistrust most people as I lack the ability to understand how to socialise correctly so I’m not going to put up an online profile on something like Tinder that screens “desperate, lonely and stupid”.

I still have no idea how to get back into the dating game and right now I’m psychologically not in the right head space for it to be a good idea so as much as I don’t want to be single I’m not planning on adding dating to my stress load. Hopefully as I get other areas of my life sorted out and my brain stops making me feel horrid about myself and life in general the Soul Mate Lonely will dissipate to a duel ache instead of the current sharp pain at which point I’ll research Single Activities in my location.

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Reality of Loving A Guy In Combat Boots

Let’s face it girls (and boys) there is a fair amount of ohhhhhh hells yeah sex appeal and romantic ideals attached to guys who wear combat boots for a living.  In the world of Romance Writing the sexy Marine, Army, Air Force or Navy guy either still actively duty or honourably discharged due to injury as the hero is one of the top 3 hero types. We have a fairly romantic ideal of this tall, fit, sexy, silent and slightly mysterious man who is mouth-wateringly sexy in camouflage gear and combat boots and cream your panties orgasm on sight sexy in their formal uniforms.  BTW from experience I can tell you that formal uniform can transform a really irritating guy into “well helloooo sexy” instantly (no idea why but it’s true).

One of the main things that possibly adds to the sex appeal of the combat boot cami gear clad guy is the fact that there is a fare about of mystery surrounding their life, their job and well just about everything about them.  If they happen to be belong to a Special Operations  unit (e.g. Navy SEAL, SAS, Recon Marine, Army Ranger, Commando) the mystery and thus sex appeal seems to go up.

So if you have your heart set on finding a combat boot wearing man (or woman) as your happily ever after read the below so you have a bit more of an idea of what you’re really in for.  None of the below bad mouths the combat boot crowed I have dated some and worked with a lot of them and they have been some of the nicest, politest and at times craziest guys I’ve ever met.

IF YOU’RE CLINGY & INSECURE FOR GET IT: Not being mean but if you are the type of person who needs to know where your partner is 24/7 and get’s shitty if they don’t text back within 2 minutes DO NOT DATE A SOLIDER!!!!!!!  The reality is that your Combat Boots will be gone for long stretches of time and he/she may not have access to any type of internet or phone system.  If they are deployed you might be able to send them snail mail (yes hand written letter posted via the Postal System) but they may not be able to send replies. It’s unlikely your combat boots is ever going to talk in detail about their job and yeah they will probably stop talking to their buddies or on their mobile when you walk in the room…….why……because they are legally NOT allowed to divulge information about 99.9% of what they do to anyone not directly related to their chain of command. So if  you are the suspicious type who goes through phone records, emails and so on trying to find out what they are not telling you it’s not going to work out. Special Operation Units partners might get a text message saying something like “going wheels up in 1 hour” and then not see or hear from their combat boots for days, weeks or months on end.  Imagine if you get the text “going wheels up in 45 min” and then 6 weeks later you come home to find your combat boots asleep on the lounge (fully dressed) having had zero communication from him/her since the text message 6 weeks earlier.  If your reaction is total drama queen and you want to scream, rage, rant and say things like “where the fuck have you been for the last 6 weeks” then burst into tears and sob out “you just left me, why didn’t you call” and so on YOU WILL NOT LAST AS A COMBAT BOOTS PARTNER.  If your reaction is to stop the door slamming so it doesn’t wake him/her up and then think “oh thank god he’s home safe” before tiptoeing upstairs to put fresh sheets on the bed, mentally run through what to cook for dinner that he’ll love and to then go make a batch of his favourite cookies (trying hard to do it all silently) YOU ARE COMBAT BOOTS PARTNER MATERIAL.

SECURITY CLEARANCE: This never seems to get mentioned in romance novels or much in life actually but it’s very much part of life as the partner of someone who wears combat boots.  Once you move from casual dating (or sex) into the realm of “partner” you will have to be security cleared.  Even low level security clearance is invasive and the clearance level you are required to undergo will depend on the level your man (or woman) has. The higher the security clearance the more information you will be required to provide and you do not get the option of saying “none of your fucking business” when they ask things like “you’re banking transactions show you shopped online at SexyGirlsToys recently what did you buy” (not kidding I got asked something like that). If you have kids they will also require clearance and unless you are a widow the children’s biological dad/s (or mum/s) will also require clearance. Be prepared for clearance to possibly be done on family members (mum, dad, siblings), close friends and if you are not at the living with your combat boots stage then your current and possibly x-housemates.  They will look into your medical history, educational history, work history, finances, places you’ve lived, places you’ve travelled, court appearances (civil or criminal), criminal history and other shit dating back anywhere from the last 3 years to your entire life depending on clearance level you require.  This process will put a HUGE amount of stress on your relationship because if you fail to get your clearance it could end your relationship. So make sure you are willing to be totally honest about anything and it helps if you’ve already talked to your combat boots about what level of clearance you’ll be undergoing and any issues that might pop up.

IT”S A SMALL WORLD: You might look at the size of say the Army and think it’s huge but trust me it’s a small community and everyone seems to know someone who know’s someone who know’s your combat boots.  The higher your security clearance the more likely it is that 99% of your social life will happen with the circle of people your combat boots works with because maintaining outside the wire relationships is hard as you can NOT talk about your life inside the wire.  Plus if say your man is for example a Commando anyone you regularly see who is NOT part of your new world will be viewed as a security threat. From the point of view of support the other combat boot partner crowed is good as they know what you’re going through when the Combat Boots are away on exercises or get’s deployed to a war zone. They also understand the stress of things like moving every few years, being a sometimes single parent, the deployment fear and all the other stuff that is the reality of being a combat boot partner. However like any village everyone thinks they know everything about everyone else life and they will discuss you. Some of it might be just gossip but most of it will be them trying to decide if you are the right girl (or guy) for your combat boots. Think of it as a cross between being the new kid at school so everyone will be curious about you and a very large family full of over protective siblings. If you get a reputation as a bitch, slut, possibly husband stealer or some other negative tag it will follow you to every base you end up living on. So be prepared to play nice even if you want to bitch slap the cow who just called you fat don’t just tuck it away for LATER.  Once you’ve put a ring on it, learnt the ropes and proved you’ve got what it takes to be a full combat boots partner hells yeah bitch slap away (unless it’s your combat boots commanding officers partner that would not end well). Be prepared for people to judge and make assumptions if you become close to someone of the opposite gender and you hang out at each others places a lot someone will inevitably decide you are cheating on your combat boots and probably tell him. To avoid issues make sure your combat boots is 110% ok with the friendship and will tell people that.

HOUSING: Once you move from casual whatever to partner the issue of housing will need to be delta with and it’s way more complicated than deciding if he just moves in with you at your current digs or do you move out and the two of you get a place together. The military lets their combat boots live in 3 types of accommodation and none of them are moving in with you and your housemates.

  1. Barracks – normally it’s where single combat boots live and could be anything from 4 to 12 people in a room with a bathroom at the end of the hall all the way up to officer quarters which is normally single room with own bathroom. Mostly they are gender segregated so you doing sleepovers tends to be a no no and your sure as hell NOT going to be moving in. As you can imagine this also means there is not a lot of privacy so if you are snuck in for a sleepover keep the noise down and try to keep phone or video calls decent because combat boots may not be the only one listening.
  2. On Base Housing – mostly this tends to be for the married combat boots and could be a small apartment or if they have children a house. If your combat boots wants to transition from Barracks to On Base Housing there is a shit load of paperwork, a lot of pretty please sir can you help and you will need to have been fully security cleared before they even consider the application. On Base Housing has some upsides like it’s secure, you quickly become part of the combat boot partner community and it tends to be discounted. There is also downsides to this type of housing some of which are you don’t get to pick furniture, decor or utility providers. You’ll probably find your internet activity is monitored or filtered through key word systems and blocked if it’s found to breach the agreement you will have to sign. So if you are an avid blogger but your topics trigger alerts you will find yourself having a “please explain” meeting with security which is NOT good for your combat boots as what you do on base affects his/her job. Security Passes and Lockdowns are something you’ll have to get used to.  To get on or off a base you will need to be cleared at the gate EVERY TIME and god forbid you forget or lose your pass (trusts me spending 3 hours in the Gate House waiting for someone to say yeah ok let her/him in or out is not fun). If a Lockdown occurs and you are off base you will not be allowed back on base till it ends.  If you are on base and the Lockdown happens you can not get off the base.  Lockdowns are not advertised in any way they will just happen so be prepared because you could wake up and find you can’t go to work or can’t get home or can’t go collect the kids and it could be anything from 2 hours to several days depending on what triggered the Lockdown (if it’s days they do make special allowances to collect kids who are outside the wire).
  3. Off Base Housing – this option entirely depends on the base size (not all bases have On Base Housing) and IF your combat boots get’s approved to do this. As per most things in the Military it will take a shit load of paperwork, lots of pretty please sir can I do this and you having already gained security clearence.  If your combat boots is already living off base (normally share housing with other approved combat boots) and you move in before you’ve been security cleared and he/she’s been given permission to allow you to move in then your combat boots will get in a shit load of trouble.  Not the bast way to start your life as a combat boot partner or make a good impression on the rest of the combat boot partners set.

MOVING: Unless your combat boots is about to retire he/she will be transferred to where ever the hell the Military decides they are needed so get used to moving.  Combat Boots rotation in his/her position will normally last between 9 months and 3 years then they’ll get rotated out to their new position which could be on a base in the same State, on the opposite side of the country or on the opposite side of the world (it depends mostly on their skills, who’s military it is and who the heck they’ve pleased or pissed off).  The USA Military has a lot more places than say the Australian Military to rotate people through but that doesn’t mean you won’t move, it just means you might not end up in a totally different country for 3 years.  Hopefully you and your combat boots have had a chance to get all the security clearance stuff done and managed to be allowed to live together before he/she rotates out of their current position. Sometimes if you are lucky you’ll get a couple of months warning that the move is about to happen and have time to do all the paperwork, organising movers, getting kids prepared, resigning from your job and so on. However there is always the possibility that the  warning will be 2 weeks (or less) so your combat boots will go first and you are left to deal with everything else (this is more likely to happen if you are not yet an offical partner who has been security cleared). If you are not an offical partner who’s been security cleared following your combat boots will be 100% your problem you will get zip, zero, zilch assistance from the Military, depending on where your combat boots is being rotated to you may not be able to follow (e.g. US Marines rotating through Darwin don’t get to bring partners). Making friends with other Combat Boot Partners is the best way to find help in solving all the little shit that will come up like what forms to fill in, quotes for movers, information on the new location you’re going because most of them will have been through it probably more than once. Technically the Military will help with organising some things like movers, school admissions, breaking lease and they might help you shift jobs if you work for Dept of Defence (or another government agency). However there is no guarantee they can or will help with any of those things as it depends on a lot of variables including if you are officially classified as your combat boots partner.

Hopefully the above has given some idea of the reality that goes with loving someone who wears combat boots for a living.  If this is the path you have your heart set on or your just at the getting to know each other stage think long and hard about things like

  • your career – how will moving every few year impact on your career path, can you get a new job in whatever location he/she’s deployed in, if you give up your career to accommodate their needs are you going to hate them for it later
  • moving your kids from school to school every few year’s or do you send them to boarding school (not all kids cope with constant change).
  • special needs children if your child is say autistic or has some other type of disability are you going to be able to access the services you need in different locations
  • if you co-parent you kids how will moving around a lot effect their relationship with their biological mum/dad
  • is there any reason you CAN NOT follow your combat boots around the globe (carer for ageing parents, carer for disabled sibling, legal agreement with x-partner about children, you’re studying to be a doctor and can not transfer to another university)
  • feeling isolated, alone and scared – can you handle being away from your friends, family and other support networks when the going gets tough and it will get tough.
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Statistics Can Prove Anything! (Apparently Not)

For all 3 of my university degrees I had to take classes in Statistics and Statistical Analysis  both subjects I hate but am oddly talented at doing. My Bachelor of Information Technology was the first degree and it was all about Engineering Statistics and Probability Statistics e.g if you send x amount of data over y distance using copper wire what is the minimum and maxim amount of data corruption (also called data package lose) likely to be?  For my Grad Degree in Libraries and Information Services the emphasis was on consumer habits statistics and quality assurance statistics e.g. Consumer Habits – Has the number of times the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy been taken out/reserved/stolen gone up since the movie came out. QA – How many books in the last month have come back damaged and what is the cost of repairing them compared to the cost of replacing them? My final degree was my Grad Degree in Psychology and we had to learn to analyse population statistics as well as how to write surveys and then statistically analyse the data.  Psychology Statistics is were I first heard the phrase “Statistics can prove anything” for example you can statistically prove that the more churches in an area the higher the murder rate (seriously it works simply because the higher the number or churches the higher the population and thus the higher the murder rate).

At the time I spent just about every lecture, tutorial, assignment and exam muttering thing like “seriously why do I have to learn this shit it’s not like I’m EVER going to use this in real life”.  I’ll now sheepishly admit as it turned out I did end up using a lot of what I learnt since until now my career was as a top level Information Management Specialist.  People are normally to polite to ask “a what”?  Basically my job was to do things like figure out why the data in your database was not producing usable reports or does any of this information have a pattern that can predict something.  A guy who used to randomly drop into my life to ask if I could find patterns in the data he showed me used to call me his Unpuzzler since I seemed to be able to find patterns everyone else on his team and every system he ran the data through missed.  In actual fact it’s simply how my autistically wired brain works it likes patterns.

So being the data geek that I am I decided to do some simple research to find out if it’s worth putting time and effort into dating with the view to get married in my local area.  So naturally the first thing I wanted to know was  — “How many single men live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia”?

And discovered this is actually not a findable statistic?  Seriously I plugged the above phrase into Google and got a million dating site ads but no statistics.  So then I went to the Australian Bure of Statistic website and discovered something very odd.

There is no Statistical Category for SINGLE ……….Nope not kidding have a look below and you will see that they gather information for everything except SINGLE.  If you go to the ABS Website for Statistical information for the Sunshine Coast from 2016 Census you can find out the number of people per dwelling, number of Catholics vs Anglican, populations education level and so on but not one statistic about SINGLE people.

This leads me to ask two questions

  1. Why does the ABS not have “Single” as a category?
  2. If you can’t actually find out how many single people live in your area how do you know if it’s worth signing up for dating services?

It also raises the question of how do dating sites get away with saying things like “1200 new singles signs up with us monthly” or “15% of Singles in Australia use our App” because they actually have no way of statistically proving the people signing up or using their App are actually “single”.

Below tables are copied from the Australian Bure of Statistic website, since this information is freely available and used by everyone I decided using it does not breach copyright of any kind.

Registered marital status
People aged 15 years and over
Sunshine Coast % Queensland % Australia %
Married 143,159 50.3 1,775,920 46.9 9,148,218 48.1
Separated 10,062 3.5 134,953 3.6 608,059 3.2
Divorced 31,419 11.0 354,382 9.3 1,626,890 8.5
Widowed 16,507 5.8 184,671 4.9 985,204 5.2
Never married 83,550 29.3 1,340,580 35.4 6,668,910 35.0

Of people in Sunshine Coast (Statistical Area Level 4) aged 15 years and over, 50.3% were married and 14.6% were either divorced or separated.

View the data quality statement for Registered marital status (MSTP)

Social marital status
People aged 15 years and over
Sunshine Coast % Queensland % Australia %
Registered marriage 125,730 50.1 1,546,502 46.7 8,001,141 47.7
De facto marriage 28,262 11.3 394,739 11.9 1,751,731 10.4
Not married 96,734 38.6 1,367,026 41.3 7,024,973 41.9

In Sunshine Coast (Statistical Area Level 4), of people aged 15 years and over, 50.1% of people were in a registered marriage and 11.3% were in a de facto marriage.

View the data quality statement for Social marital status (MDCP)

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True Body Acceptance and Love

*For anyone who also follows my The Cutting Cookies Circus Blog, you will have already read this.  I decided it was relevant to both areas of my life so I cross published it*

Blonde StreakHello this is me with my new blonde chunk in my hair.  This photo was taken on 29 December 2017 after I’d worked a 35 hour week in a hot humid Industrial shed in temperatures averaging 36C (97f) daily, rushed home to have a cold shower and change in under 5 minutes before dashing out again to spending 2 hours at my hairdresser for my wash, bleach and cut.  I’ve got no makeup on, used no filters, I’m sitting on the edge of my bath tub in really bad lighting and I’m so tired I had the shakes so I’m amazed I could hold the camera still long enough to get a usable photo at all.  I took this photo to send to someone who’s currently deployed somewhere not very fun and that was the ONLY person I ever planned on showing this photo to.  After taking it and looking at it  I very nearly deleted it but the thought of having to get all dolled up, find good lighting, take another photo (or 10) and then edit it so I looked “perfect” was just to stressful.  I couldn’t not send a photo because I’d promised I’d send one showing my new blonde chunk so I printed it, posted it with the weekly letter and forgot about it totally.  Then a friend of mine found it on my phone and told me to put it up as my FaceBook photo because I look frigging awesome in it.  At the time I thought she was bonkers because what I saw in this photo was a nearly 44 year old woman, who was dead tired with bags under her eyes, red skin tone not helped by the fact I’m wearing a red top and chubby cheeks.

img_8567Life progressed and on Sunday 14 January 2018 after I’d finally finished my Santa Muerte Dress I got my mum to take this photo.  Again the photo was to send to Sarah  ONLY.  Sarah owns and runs  Sewology and she tracked down the materiel for me in the USA and imported it via her business so I wanted to show her the finished product.  As you can see it’s bright sunlight, which is not the golden hour to take photos and again no makeup, no filters, no bra and it was done in a hurry because I forgot to put sunscreen on and was getting burnt.

However this time around I didn’t look at this photo and see fat arms, small pudgy hands, small wide set boobs, reddening skin and a jiggle tummy.

I looked at this photo and saw a sexy 44 year old woman, with amazing skin and few wrinkles, a lush pare shaped body with jiggly bits but solid enough for long hard err *cuddles*, small boobs that don’t need a bra and tinny feet.

So what changed in the space of 3 weeks?

The internal monologue is what changed!  

Somewhere in that 3 weeks I stopped hating my body and viewing it through the twisted lens of what social media, publishers, the clothing industry, advertisers and society in general think is “beautiful and sexy”.   I read Tess Holliday book The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl: Loving The Skin You Are In, which was amazing and a true soul cleansing view of life as a Fat Girl.  I also read Sarah Knights book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck: How To Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have With People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do and realised I’d started caring about unimportant shit like was I thin enough, was I too autistic or not autistic enough and so on.

My brain has finally figured out that I don’t need external approval to be sexy and beautiful all I need is internal approval, which only I can give.  I’ve had a sexy lush pare shaped body with wide hips, big ass and small boobs since I hit puberty at 11 and no matter how many hours I spend exercising or how much food I don’t allow myself to eat it does not change it will always be that shape but now instead of hating it and avoiding mirrors and photos I’m loving it just as it is.

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Soul Mate – What Do I Really Want?

From the time most girls hit puberty or hight school society starts the subtle and sometimes not so subtle message that it is time to start the process of finding your soul mate with the end goal of settling down and popping out a couple of offspring.  Flirtatious behaviour and casual dating are encourage and rewarded (mostly) and over time young ladies learn what their preferred TYPE is.

By their mid-20s they will have been on enough good or bad dates to give you a list (occasionally a very detailed list) of what they find attractive or unattractive in their prospective soul mate. They could also probably produce a detailed description of what they find desirable or undesirable in their soul mate including physical appearance, cultural background, hobbies, belief systems and so on ad-nauseam.

I was always considered a little odd because I didn’t date in my teens, early 20s or even mid 20s.  I’ve had more than one person quietly ask if I’m gay and just kept my dating on the down low.  I’ve had others who do not know my family assume I came from a home with strict rules or religious beliefs that meant I was not allowed to date.  In actual fact I didn’t date because I’m autistic so I don’t read body language, facial expressions, tonal voice changes so flirting was and still is a total mystery to me. If I did go out with any guy or girl I just assumed it was friendship and had no clue if they were flirting with me so date things like snogging never happened it was just a fun night out.  As a consequence I was often baffled as to why one week someone was really nice to me and the next week wouldn’t talk to me – apparently it was because I didn’t follow the date behaviour script that eventually leads to snogging and they got upset and thought I didn’t like them.

My first offical date happened when I was 27 (nope not kidding) and he defiantly didn’t follow the standard flirt, date, snog, sex rules.  I’d  only just transferred to a military base on the out skirts of Melbourne in Victoria Australia when I met C (I’ve deliberately not written his name he’ll just be C).  Anyway every morning I caught the train from where I lived to just outside the base and entered the base at exactly 08:00.  To get from the base gates to the building I worked in I walked right past the Base Shop and like clockwork at 08:15 I ordered a large soy latte to go and took it with me to my desk.

There was always in the Base Shop guys in uniforms getting coffee or food and if they said hi I would absent mindedly say hi and smiled in their general direction.  Someone always seem to open the door as I approached and I’d smile in their general direction and say thanks.  I had no idea who they were and at that time in the morning I couldn’t have cared less I was 100% focused on getting my caffeine fix.  Every now and again someone would ask me questions and I’d answer them politely but still not paying much attention to who I was talking to (by the time I got to my desk I couldn’t even tell you what gender they were let alone anything else about them).

Then one Thursday morning I as per normal got in line to order my coffee and before I could open my mouth the girl behind the counter handed me my coffee and a note.  This was defiantly a WTF moment and very much out of my routine.  The note said “Hi training started early today, I’ve already paid for your coffee see you tomorrow morning. C” .  I was actually a little cranky as this totally fucked up my daily routine and I had no idea who this C was.  Then it turned into one of those days where shit didn’t just hit the fan it exploded like a volcanic eruption and I  totally forgot all about the coffee incident.

The next morning (Friday) as per normal I’m in line at 08:15 behind some tall guy in army camouflage gear waiting to order my coffee.  I mentally catalogued that he was very well built and then switched my mental capacity to trying hard not to yawn my head off or fall asleep in line and face plant into his muscly back.  Next thing I know sexy uniform turns around and hands me a coffee, which I took while doing the look from coffee to sexy uniforms face with total confusion.  He holds out his now free hand and say “Hi I’m C sorry I couldn’t stay yesterday”, I’m 99% sure there was a one of those everyone goes dead quiet longer than socially polite pause as I mentally went WHO but then my manners kicked in and I smiled and said “Hi I’m Dominique and thanks for the coffee”.

By now I had realised two things:

  1. This was the guy who paid for my coffee yesterday
  2. Everyone in the shop was now watching what would happen

I put a smile on my rapidly reddening face and said “um I don’t mean to be rude but I need to get moving I have to be in a Staff Meeting at 08:45”.  I was expecting him to do the open door and let me out thing while making pleasant small talk routine but nope yet again he didn’t follow normal behaviour rules.   He did open the door but he followed me out and walked me all the way to my desk, which turned a few heads.  In the short time period between exiting shop and arriving at desk  I relaxed so when he asked me if he could take me on a dinner date that night I said yes.

I found out after we’d been together for a bit that he’d been trying to flirt with me every morning for 2 weeks, which I missed totally I don’t even remember talking to him till he handed me a coffee.  Then one afternoon while taking his frustration at my lack of response and possible disappointment that I was attached out on the punching bag in the gym he’d got talking to one of the guys I worked with who told him that no I wasn’t attached I was just a little odd and to try a more direct approach.  This lead him to think up the buying my coffee idea, which worked and for a short time made us both happy.

After C and I broke up I dated, well kind of more like got involved with two other military guys neither of which lasted very long but they were fun.  Then I started the epic Husband Hunt, which the entire Surviving Cookie Cutter Dating blog is about.

You would assume after having filled out what feels like a gazillion “preferred partner” forms & questionaries and gone on enough bad dates that I’d have a rock solid idea of my TYPE!  Oddly I do not.  If anything the  be more specific, narrow it down to a specific type, give more specific details, pick the top 10 must have attributes or whatever I constantly get asked for from everything from websites to love spell casters has made me less picky.  I mean isn’t the whole point of a SOUL MATE that your souls energy recognises and connects to their souls energy, which is an unseen force not dictated by their eye colour or job?

I have 5 very simple criteria for my soul mate:

  1. He is single
  2. I find him mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually attractive
  3. He finds me mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually attractive
  4. We’re there for each other through good and bad
  5. Mutual respect – neither of us is better or worse than the other we are fully formed adults with past lives that we might or might not want to discus but moving forward we are equal in the relationship

Not exactly a huge long list is it!

I don’t need him to complete me, to be my protector, to save me from fire breathing dragons or be by my side 24/7.  I don’t care if he wears designer suits or combat boots so long as he likes what he’s doing.  I don’t need to know where he is 24/7 so if  travels for work or get’s deployed for months at a time it’s not going to bug me.  I’d worry about him and if he’s deployed I’d send regular care packages but I’m not going to expect constant text or phone contact.  I’m secure enough as a fully formed adult to not feel threatened if he shows another human being affection and I expect him to respect and trust me the same way.

So why am I still single?

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I’m out of ideas!

As you would have noticed I haven’t written for this blog site for a while.  It’s not because I’m lazy it was because I was a little busy trying to fix my mental, physical and emotional health problems.  Why did I stop the whole husband hunt side of things while I was doing this?  I realised while having a massive mental health crisis that there wasn’t much point in husband hunting to find someone who’d love me if I didn’t even really like me let alone love myself.

As it turns out I’m high functioning autistic with communication difficulties and co-morbid ADHD so fixing me isn’t going to happen but learning to love me as me has happened.  Medication for the ADHD means I can now sit still for more than 2 minutes and have a conversation without it taking a huge amount of effort to stay on topic.  No medication will help with my autism but behavioural therapy is helping me learn that emotionally and mentally I’m wired a little differently so I’m never going to be “normal”, which is fine and I’m leaning better coping skills, social skills and how to not make stupid chaos making decisions.  If you want full details on the whole autistic side of my life go read The Cutting Cookies Circus my blog all about my diagnostic journey and autistic view of life.

So I’m now closing in on 18 months of being in the care of my amazing Psychiatrist and 14 months of working with my incredibly paitent Psychologist for behavioural therapy.  I’ve started my own business Aunty Emz Blankets started joining social networks with the help of my business buddy Crystal C & A Beauty By Design both to meet people and to build business contact here on the Sunshine Coast, joined 2 book clubs and so on and so forth.  Basically I’ve started to build a life here on the Sunshine Coast and for the foreseeable future I will be staying here so I decided it was time to put my big girl panties on and gratefully glide back into the dating world.

As you’ve probably guessed by the title of this blog I’ve hit a bit of a glitch with my plan to gracefully glide back into the dating world as a fully formed, loving thy self goddess that I am.

WHATS THE PROBLEM

I have no idea how to find eligible bachelors to date on the Sunshine Coast!

  • Bar/Pub/Club – ah no because I don’t drink alcohol, I’m autistic and frankly if you’re over 30 and still looking for husband material in bar/pub/club you are in all probability going to end up with an alcoholic fuck-wit or a toy boy looking for a sugar mama
  • Match Maker (Relationship Consultancy Service) – they either no longer exist because they’ve been wiped out by the Online versions or the Sunshine Coast doesn’t have any I’m not sure which but either way I can’t find even one to go talk to.
  • Internet Dating Sites/Mobile Apps – The free to use ones are frankly shit I know I’ve tried most of them and if I’m going to pay for the privilege of been sent on bad dates I at least want the ability to walk into an office and talk to a living, breathing human about improving the process.
  • Speed Dating – not one speed dating company runs any events on the Sunshine Coast.  Closest event I can find is in Brisbane (roughly 2 hours south of where I live) so the event might cost $20 to attend but add in petrol, parking, post event stress triggered therapy and I’d be looking at upwards of $150 in real costs.  Plus if I did actually make a mutual match with an eligible bachelor he’d be living anywhere from 2 to 4 hours drive away from where I live so not exactly a good start (especially when you’re unemployed yet again and petrol is around $1.25 to $1.38 a litre).
  • MeetUp Groups – yeah nah one thing I’ve learnt about being autistic is I am never going to be comfortable with meeting a whole bunch of new people at once and unfortunately all my girl pals here on the coast are not single so they can’t join and come as my security blanket. Plus looking at the age groups at 43 I’m in the no group for you range.  I did look and found social single groups for 25-35, 30-40 and 50+ all of which make a point if telling you that you must show proof of age when first attending and if you’ve fib on your application and are too old/young for the group you’ve attempted to join you’ll be removed from the group and blocked from their social media sites.
  • Table For 6 (or similar) – ummmm no for a couple of reasons like cost because you have to pay either a 6-12 month membership fee plus you pay for your meal every time you attend an event.  I’m currently unemployed (again) and the Aunty Emz Blankets as yet isn’t making money so what little money I have is being spent on things like food, petrol, medication, Psychiatrist visit and other things I need to stay alive and healthy.  Plus when you start digging into the T&Cs they state that even though you’ve faithfully paid your 6 or 12 month membership fee there is no guarantee you’ll ever actually get a spot on a table in the time period of your membership it all depends on the amount of people in the age group they will put you in so to many or to few in your age group and you miss out on a spot.
  • Team Sport or Group Anything – do not even go there people I’m autistic I don’t do TEAM or GROUP anything.  Hell I even have a mini panic attack turning up to my pilate classe at CGM Pilates and I’ve been going there for 2 months so it’s not like I’ve never met my class mates or instructor before I see them every week.

So I’m 100% out of ideas – please feel free to comment with suggestions, advice and possible good ideas oh hell even possibly bad ideas would be welcome at this point in time.

 

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