Peeking out of my protective cocoon

By Mir
January 12, 2006

I suppose we all tend to cling to the familiar. Even though sometimes the familiar sucks donkey balls. I know that–for myself–if the familiar isn’t actively irritating the crap out of me, I pretty much want to keep it. And when the familiar is something that WORKS for me? Well, I’d give it up, sure. If you could pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Tonight I’m realizing that I need to embrace change more. Sometimes, change is good! Yes!

Well, no. Not usually. But I’m trying to convince myself. And I may have found the perfect reason to almost believe it.

Hi, my name is Mir, and I’ve just discovered The Office because apparently I live underneath a rock. See? Change is good. I have not laughed so hard for a very long time. I may like it even better than the ORIGINAL Iron Chef, and you KNOW that’s high praise from me.

This will not necessarily be enough to make me excited about other changes, but you do know how I love a good television show.

Potential Change #1: My babysitter is taking her driving test tomorrow. Which is unfair and wrong and just BAD. Good babysitters are supposed to be UGLY, first of all, and PAINFULLY SHY, second of all, to ensure that they remain dateless and available for use. I have long fretted over this sitter because she is cute as a button and incredibly gregarious and I just knew that once she got to high school, some greasy BOY would lure her away from me. But so far, so good. If she’s dating anyone, she’s not telling me about it, and it hasn’t interfered with our schedule.

Slowly, her life has become more busy, she’s become involved in more activities. But for the most part I’ve remained unaffected. She’s had to cancel sitting maybe, I dunno, 3 or 4 times in the 4 years that I’ve been using her. With a driver’s license, though? She’ll be a ticking time bomb. Her parents have already gotten a beater for her. Pretty soon she’ll be driving all over town, finding things like “hanging out” much more important than coming over here to watch my darling children.

I need to find a subtle way to delay the inevitable. I guess we missed her birthday a couple of weeks ago, and she always brings presents for the kids, so perhaps I can get to work on a belated birthday present. Say, a nice dime bag of weed with a little note suggesting she smoke it right before her driving test…? No?

Potential Change #2: I am still quite strongly opposed to this entire idea of DATING, because so far as I can see, it pretty much involves a constant process of hoping and being disappointed. But at the urging of a friend I did finally take a look at one of those online dating things that, uh, rhymes with, um, GeeFlarmony. I filled out eighty seven gazillion questionnaires before it would even tell me how much it costs to be a member, which–let me tell you–is about what I spend to feed myself and the children. So, basically, we can have groceries, or I can potentially have a few stalkers supplied to me so that I can see a movie or two at the theatre now and then.

Anyway. I have not PAID for this matching service thing. I probably never will. But you can get your free profile and let them go find matches for you, and then elect to pay if you want to talk to anyone they’ve found for you. So, the first day, it send me a hundred matches. Maybe not a hundred. But a whole lot. Because apparently I had forgotten to tell it that I wanted someone, you know, LOCAL. Oh, they had matches for me. In Florida! In New Mexico! In Minnefuckingsota! Once I went back in and pointed out where I live, I never received another match.

So it may be true that I am so completely impossible, there really is no man out there for me. Or that I’m actually going to have to WORK to find someone, and really, am I going to do that? Probably not. Isn’t it enough that I get dressed every day? I mean, most days?

On the other hand, I should really start getting out more. To the movies. Or something. Plus bad dates are great blog fodder.

Then again, with these impending changes, maybe I should just catch up on all of the episodes of The Office that I’ve missed up til now. Wouldn’t want to be too hasty about anything. Maybe everything else will just stay the same.

As you were. Unless you have any other ideas about how I can make sure my sitter fails the driving test, in which case, lemme know right away.


  1. mama speak

    Irronically, I met my husband on one of those services. But it was a cheap one (matchmaker). I really met his friends, but he was on it too and he and I were this really high match, but didn’t like each other’s bio so never wrote to each other (go figure). Because his friends wrote to me and we started hanging out I ended up having a conversation with him. Once we spoke in person that was it. We’ve been together ever since. Maybe it was just dumb luck, but there may be something to all that crap you fill out. (Then again,maybe we were a high match cause we’re both smart a**es). I guess my point is don’t knock it till you try it.

  2. wendy

    I haven’t got any ideas that don’t involve duct taping yourself to the underside of her car, but I did want to let you know that anything you do end up doing I would find perfectly acceptable as I DO believe keeping a good babysitter is of the highest importance… maybe you could sneak some alchohol into her morning cereal bowl? ooo! that’s it! new perfume…. Eau De Jim Beam…. ? no?

    see? I told you. I got nothing.

  3. Allison

    Love The Office. I was highly skeptical at first because I loved the original British version and so often the Americanized versions of things suck, but The Office? Just as lovely and delightful set in Scranton!

  4. Heather

    The Office cracks me up, as does My Name is Earl. A friend got me hooked…but because I’m usually out on Thursday nights, I’m really gonna have to learn to program my VCR. *sigh*

  5. dawn

    Are you watching the original UK version of The Office? Or are you watching the American version? Personally, I think the UK version is so much better. There is something to be said of the dry, cynical humour of a Brit. Love it!

    I’ve heard about GeeFlarmony. And I heard about the epic questionnaires. Good on you for making it through to the end.

  6. DebR

    Perhaps you could convince the babysitter that stop signs don’t really mean “stop” exactly but more like “slow down to a gently rolling almost-stop while looking carefully in both directions before driving on”. That’s how I failed my driving test the first time around anyway. I scored a 2. That’s 2 out of 100. Seriously. You should’ve seen the look on the guy’s face when he told me my score. Ahem.

    (I’m a good driver now though, honest!!!)

  7. mc

    Hey, look at the babysitter thing this way: If she’s got a beater, it ‘s going to break down, so she’s going to need income. And she’s also going to need income for all that cool stuff she plans to do once she can drive… like, uh, hanging out at the mall. So maybe this whole driving thing will turn out to be GOOD for you? (I tried…)

  8. buffi

    I had a great babysitter when SugarPlum was little, then she got to high school and went and made the cheerleading squad. We never saw her again. I’m with you on homely, shy girls making the best babysitters.

    Our last great babysitter was a nursing student who lived with her grandparents. She had a boyfriend, who she had been dating for a year and they had never even kissed. Stick *that* in your GeeFlarmony! She was the best babysitter EVER, that one. So, of course, we had to move.

  9. Greg

    Take her out for “coffee” beforehand. Nothing like a little bailey’s in your cup to loosen you up before a difficult test. Heh Heh Heh. A little careful editing of her drivers ed book couldn’t hurt either.

  10. Theresa

    *snort* …a nice dime bag of weed with a little note suggesting she smoke it right before her driving test…? No? That’s how I failed my first driving test!

    And you do need to get out more often. How is Mr. Right going to spot you from across the room and fall madly in lust/love with you if he never sees you??

  11. Heather

    I have been saying the same thing for a few years now. I have been divorced for 4 years now – still haven’t “gotten out there”. I think I have spoiled myself – I like the just me and my kid dynamic at this point in time. I did break down and try GeeFlarmony, also, but once I realized that I would actually have to sell my son to afford it, I decided against it!! Good luck in your endeavors!

  12. EverydaySuperGoddess

    I had scored the perfect, socially-awkward but totally trustworthy sitter for a while… and then she went to college. Even under the best of circumstances, sitter shelf-life is tragically short.

    And as for the online dating thing, I made one good friend, dated another guy for over a year, but met my current sweetie (who is probably the keeper) the old fashioned way–by getting my ass out of the house and meeting new people (even though, as a rule, I’d much rather hide under a blanket on the sofa and watch movies on Bravo…)

    We had mutual interests, a mutual friend, and hooked up in that totally unplanned way that, while both difficult and seemingly unlikely, is I think still the best way to go.

  13. Karen

    The original British version of The Office is so far superior to the American version that you won’t be able to go back. Ricky Gervais (the boss) is PERFECT.

    I know a few other bloggers who’ve had some luck with the Salon personals. I think they’re free.

  14. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    Darn those babysitters, growing up and getting popular! It’s so hard – you have to catch them when they’re in the 12-13 year old range. That’s when they don’t have social lives or after school jobs. So go stand by your local middle school and whisper, “Pssst, kid! Wanna come home with me?”

    Er, on second thought, that might not be such a good idea. You might get thrown in jail – which, though, might solve your other problem. I’m sure you’d meet plenty of single men in jail!

  15. ben

    I happen to like sucking donkey balls!

    Er, what I mean to say, I like familiar things. Yeah.

    I can’t offer any dating advice, electronic or otherwise, my wife and I have basically stayed married for nearly twenty years cuz neither one of us can stand the thought of dating again. Or, something like that (familiar donkey balls, ya know)

    Baby-sitter – My oldest is eight and has known exactly two babysitters. One kept them one night and when we returned home ran out of the house yelling “oy, vey!” never to return. Then five years later we’ve suckered some poor high school girl into coming over (twice, now! a record!) and we pay her $10 / hour to watch TV while the kids play gameboy. It’s nice. I’m afraid that she, too, is about to start driving and that will screw everything up, but she has a little sister who is about the same age as my middle child so I’m thinking of hiring her to come watch them play gameboy. Think I can get a discount?

  16. Aimee

    My husband and I met online, although not at GeeFlarmony. It was PlamericanJingles. We were not typical though — I joined on Saturday, met him on Tuesday, we had our first date the following Saturday, and we’ve been together ever since. Good for you for taking the leap. There’s someone out there for you.

  17. Cele

    Consider stuffing yourself…(err not yourself but someone else not related to you) in her trunk then they will bang on the trunk lid when she’s driving…errr no don’t do that either…you’ll be back to that single men in jail thing. Maybe you’ll luck out and ….er no…I’m discouraging aren’t I?

    I once wrote the singles ad – Slightly used mother of one, seeking good home. Comes with papers.

    I got a lot of laughter

    My sister finally took pity on me with a blind date Easter of 1992 – he’s still here.

  18. chris

    I just discovered The Office too. I am still laughing over the car accident scene last night. I almost fell off my couch I was laughing so hard.

    I can’t even find a babysitter to venture over to my house… sigh.

  19. Zuska

    My current babysitter isn’t a teenager; she’s a 35 year old single friend who adores – and is adored by – my children, and whose biological clock is ticking and who actually considers it fun to spend time with CurlyGirl and MegaBoy. And oddly enough, even after three hours with them, she STILL wants to be a mom!!! So my babysitter advice is…befriend a friend just like mine (I’m loads of help, aren’t I).

    I have no dating advice, none. But knowing that you’ll have lots of interesting stories to share once you DO start dating, I think you should dive right in!

  20. Shash

    Mir, you rock. I just read this post and made my husband have to come over and check to make sure I was going to survive laughing so much. “Dime bag of weed”. Inspired! Now I have ideas for when my sitter gets ready to take her test.

  21. Deana

    get Arrested Develpment on DVD. Funniest. Show. Ever.

    And as for the babysitter…it’s time to subtly undercut her self-esteem so that she is afraid to date boys. “Wow, those jeans kinda make you look fat.”

  22. Nancy

    Good luck! I have some friends who have tipped a toe into the online dating pool; some dates are great while other would-be suitors are so deliciously awful in their intro email that their letters get immediately forwarded. To wit: “I like my girls thick and girly but polite.” or “You are my fancie princess — let me rescue you because I M ready for the dream to come true!” Horrible. Who knew basic things like proper spelling and punctuation would became such good screening tools?

  23. Stephanie

    I am married, but I tried the FleaHarmony personality quiz out of curiousity. They actually said they couldn’t help me. Anyone else ever get that answer? No? Is it just me that is the most pathetic loser on the planet?

  24. Vicky (Desperate to be a Housewife)

    Love The Office! Watching last night’s episode actually caused me to choke with laughter…knew I shouldn’t have eaten that one last Toblerone bar! Burning one’s foot with a George Foreman grill…nothing could be funnier. Oh, oh, I know…date Steve Carell (the star of the Office)…he’s funny and he’s a virgin! Wait, just checked imdb and he’s taken…

  25. Genuine

    Hint: You want me to read the whole post? Put donkey and balls and sucks in the last sentence of the article.

  26. Amy-GO

    I have nothing for you. I am useless. I can’t find a babysitter to save my life and I’ve been with my husband for half of my life (literally!) so I know nothing. NOTHING! But I can send happy little thoughts your way. So I will. Chin up, Tulip!

  27. Dawn

    Filled out the gazillion questions on the dating site you mentioned. SEVEN MONTHS LATER got one match. One lousy match. I am not mortgaging my house to talk to the guy, which is probably a bad idea because he’s probably the love of my life, yada, yada, yada…

    As for the babysitter? I got nothin’. Does she have a younger sister? Cousins? Friends? My kids are long past needing a babysitter (in theory) but I remember well the angst of losing another one to a social life.

    Good luck, Mir. On both issues.

  28. sarcastic journalist

    One of my friends did Yahoo singles and met some…intereting people.

    My personal favorite was the girl that was penpals with people on death row.

    She loved hearing I’m from Texas.

  29. Nothing But Bonfires

    Didn’t you just buy her purple monkey socks? Can you use Chickadee’s yarn horse thing to whip up another identical pair, except fill these ones with itching powder? And then SEW THE TOES TOGETHER so she can’t get them off?

    The Office is brilliant. The British version moreso, but I’m biased.

  30. Shiz

    Ok, make your babysitter a fruity drink with alcohol in it. Score!
    And you MUST watch the original Office, darling. Rent it. Seriously. So good. You can like both, but please, see the BBC version. For your own good.

  31. Peek

    The Office rocks. You should try to see some of the older episodes if you can get your hands on them. This is one of our favorite shows. I think you have to see a few episodes to truly appreciate Dwight.

  32. Lisa

    I’ve met my soon to be husband on that site. My mother got me a 3 month trial and I met him in the first month. Good luck

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