All posts by newyorkvagal

About newyorkvagal

Originally from NY but have lived in Virginia for over 30 years. I have been divorced for over 20 years. have a great family , with 3 kids and 5 grandchildren... so far. Enjoy my family and my work for a research organization. Enjoy writing and started this blog when I realized what is out there in the single dating world!

True Crime and Maybe Dating

Not a combo I recommend. Though, if you look into many true crime stories, they do  begin with dating more often then we would like to acknowledge.  This is not to say all dates are serial killers, but I have read many stories that began with dating and ended up being a true crime story. 

But this isn’t really about dating. It is about my true crime fascination and all things related.
It does seem to be a current craze. Netflix, docuseries, books, and of course a deluge of true crime podcasts.

crimes

And I am a true follower now of many of these podcasts. I listen in my car. I listen at work with my headphones, of course. Don’t want to scare the co-workers away! Well, maybe some of them, but we can get to that another time.

I do have a few co-listeners, so we can go over details and give our brilliant thoughts on these killers and their craziness.

There are so many different types of true crime podcasts to choose from. Some are true-crime comedy podcasts. To many, that may sound contradictory, but as the ladies on My Favorite Murder (one of my favorites) say, some of use humor to get through serious events and stories and I will happily admit, I am one of these people. When my mom died, my dad and I both used humor to get through such a painful time. It doesn’t diminish your grief, but certainly helps to deal with it and get through the tough days.

There is also Small town Murder. They go from being funny to being pretty crude, but they make me laugh . Sometimes dark humor, but as others mention as well as this podcast, never about the victim . Always about the criminal or the town itself.  These stories are crazy and so unbelievable that these things have actually taken place around the good ol’ USA.

laughter

Both of these podcasts, and I am guessing others as well, curse a lot, which doesn’t bother me (I curse like a sailor sometimes), but there are a few words that always bother me and I ignore and move on.

I do listen to quite a few others, a lot more straightforward and serious. Right to the story, no banter. Just the facts ma’am. (P.S. old 60s show called Dragnet)

These podcasts are from all over. US, UK, Australia, Canada. Really, there is crime everywhere so don’t think your town, state or country will be left out.

Another favorite is Casefile, from Australia. Right to the point. An extremely thorough picture of the crime and all the details we could hope for. Really, sometimes not so pleasant. The good thing is, you can always fast forward!

Real Crime Profile and Best Case Worst Case, are also straightforward with a different twist. These are former FBI and prosecutors so we get a different aspect of the crimes.

I experiment with others, and found a few docuseries that are limited but so very interesting. And there are updates when something new occurs with the case so we stay caught up. Dirty John, Serial, Teacher’s Pet , all highly recommended.  

Once in a while, I do have to break from crime ,and I actually listen to a podcast about Hallmark movies, Deck the Hallmark.  Sometimes you just need a light-hearted break and a few laughs that have no crime or murder in them at all.

I have been a true crime obsessor since I was a child. I should clarify. Not in the sense that one may think, but in the sense of reading about and learning about people and their crimes. I started reading Nancy Drew, yes, back in the 50’s, when they were extremely popular. Now a collector item apparently! And I am happy new generations get to read these as well.  I read all the mysteries I could get my hands on starting as a kid when I used to read at night before bed. Still do as a matter of fact. And still mysteries of some sort, whether they are fiction or nonfiction.

So back to the dating. I don’t think I have dated a criminal, but looking back to previous posts, there were some sketchy guys. Really something to be on the alert about. It could be all the true crime I watch and read and listen to, but know your own gut and your surroundings. A little true crime helpful hint.

Another aspect of true crime and dating , is opening up to your date about your true crime obsession. Doesn’t always give them a warm fuzzy feeling. I will admit, I haven’t blurted it out to previous dates, but I have mentioned it. Well, they did ask me my interests and I really don’t like hiking and camping!  I don’t even mention it to everyone I know, because one does get some strange looks. My kids don’t share the same curiosity but they embrace mine. One recent Christmas in my stocking were serial killer cards. They love me.

Stay Tuned

Hear ye Hear ye. Gather around. I am not dating now. It’s simple. No desire to try, no desire to look. Nothing deep hidden there. I got to the point where there were more negatives than positives so I am going to move forward without stressing myself out about finding a date. It is like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I have gotten to the point it is easier for me to not deal with the BS, then it is for me to deal with it.

When I joined, I was ready to date, and maybe even find a relationship. I do believe that ship has sailed.  Of course, it doesn’t mean ships don’t return to port. Doesn’t mean I am locking myself in a room. Sometimes, one just feels pressured. You should meet someone. Why haven’t you met someone? Do you want to be alone as you get older? Well meaning friends and family on the lookout for my well-being. I get it.  It is easy for friends married 30+ years to project what they want for me. I am touched.

I started on dating sites because I thought, well if I sit around , what is going to happen? Nothing.

Maybe if I were 10-20 years younger,  I would be more apt to focus. I was married for many years, had children and now grandchildren. I am in another phase of my life. Been there done that. Life is short and I am going to focus on what makes me happy. As soon as I figure that out!

Understand, I am not recommending this for others. Do what is right for you. Do what you feel.  Dating, especially on these dating sites, has taught me what I want, what I don’t want, and a little bit about who I am.

As of now, I am still on a couple of sites. Clearly, I haven’t cut ties completely, and we can analyze this until we are spent, but no need.  Aside from a few scam type messages, believe me you have heard them all by now, I get mostly so and so wants to meet you. Keep in my mind, on my profile blurb, it says, “Do not put you want to meet me, send me a message, because I do not have that feature.” Well, it goes back to who really reads the profiles?

One site, for example, OK Cupid, changed their format a while ago and now you have to scroll though the lists to see who messaged you. And you have to choose yea or nay to move to the next one. Not a fan. I am straightforward. Send a message, see the message and go from there. Simple and effective.  

Location makes a big difference. I moved to a small town from a big city area, and the choices, I have to say, dwindled. I think age factors in as well, at least in my case. Dating is always hard, and  it is difficult to trust and expose yourself. Attitude, hell yes. Big factor, and mine has certainly taken a turn. When something is not fun, time to stop.

Things change, attitudes change. I am happy to wait. I do not have to settle for anything. If it isn’t happening, then my thought is , if it happens it happens. Profound or what?

Please stay tuned.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Flowers, candy, jewelry. Cards . Romance is in the air.

Many celebrate . Many don’t. Put on a red sweater. Put on anything red. Valentine Solidarity.   These days, I truly only know a few people that go all out for Valentine’s day. No one I know makes reservations to eat out in a special place anymore.  Why spend a fortune for a mediocre meal, they say. I think My Husband (ex) and I did that the first year we were married, then got wise. And of course, it was downhill from there, hence the EX part.

Quick aside. One year I received ½  price candy form the drug store, the DAY AFTER Valentine’s. Need I say more?

But what I remember even more, was that every year my dad would bring us a heart of candy when I was little. My mom got a big heart, and we would all get a smaller version.  Something that stays with you. (the memory, not the candy. That was gone in 5 minutes) I like to keep the good memories handy. My dad would bring out this plastic heart for my mom every year. You would wind it up and it would “beat” . It  says “My heart beats for you“. Then they would put it away for the next year. And that is all they needed.

Gift are nice to receive, oh and of course to give. Even a token of, “ I am thinking of you” does the trick for some. Then we have those that will accept a Happy Valentines Day, honey and move on.  I say whatever works for you!

My daughter tells me of her 7 year old sitting down to write valentine cards for the class. What memories that brought back too. Picking out class valentines. Ninja turtles, strawberry shortcake( yes it was that long ago). Everyone gets one. She was so excited to get them filled out for their class party. Until she got bored with it and took a break before the next ½ were finished.. The older boys don’t even know the holiday exists. Well, until they get a girlfriend and if they know what is good for them, they will!

It brought back a flood of memories of kids enjoying Valentines day. Getting little candies with sayings on them, receiving  20 + cards from everyone in the class and going home with so many sweets.

So enjoy. Spend time with your loved ones. Have some candy.

The Lure

Dear POF, MATCH, OUR TIME, and probably most of the other dating sites,

Go to any retail store and you find that typical business practice is to lure potential customers in however they can.  Stores will put colorful items up front like candy, festive items, and sparkly displays to lure you in, and then make you walk through the store to find what you need. Walmart, for example,  is notorious for placing things in odd locations, so it isn’t obvious to the customer, to, let’s say, go to household to find light bulbs. No, they want you to walk to the other end of the store, pass every department, and then spend another 15 minutes looking for someone that works there, only to find light bulbs are in automotive. So now you have shopped all over the store and picked up a few things for the cart that you had no intention of buying.

Dating sites lure you in by photos. Some advertise free, but that is to look at a few pictures and if you really want to see someone’s full profile, or, in some cases, be able to message someone, they want you to pay. Fine. This is a business. Just like Walmart or other retail stores where they want your business.

I get advertisements constantly for retail stores and dating sites included. My question is, where are the guys they show me? I walk into Walmart or Target and I see clothes, household items, and  Holiday items and it makes me want to go into those departments.

But on a dating site, I look at these photos, showing me who I can meet and chat with, and when I go in , the old bait and switch is there in black and white. For those of you lucky enough  who have not experienced this concept, or heard of it, here is Wikipedia’s version of the explanation:

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are “baited” by merchants’ advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items (“switching”).

So we have POF, or Our Time, to name two,  that use photos. they show us somewhat good looking guys, dressed nicely, big smiles on their faces, and we think, Hell yea. I’m in.

Now I am in and I start looking. Wait. Where is the guy with salt and pepper hair with a fun smile? Why am I seeing someone in his bathroom taking a picture in the mirror? Why do I see a dogs, cars and  shirtless men who shouldn’t be?

I know it is business, and I also know if they put “bathroom man” on the advertisement, or “man with fish”, they would be out of business in an hour. But, we go in. We browse. We shop.

 

Holidays

You love them or hate them. Probably both. How fun to see family. How fun to see family go home.  Everyone knows the stress level of hostesses and guests alike, rise to astronomical levels. Why? Family for one. We love them and yet they drive us mad. Perfection. We all strive for it and very few achieve it. And the cooking. So many dishes to coordinate with baking times and have everything ready at the same time.  Then we set the table and it looks so beautiful. Dishes that were grandmas, that can’t go in the dishwasher. Glasses we use twice a year, that can’t go in the dishwasher. My grandmother’s dishes has individual salt shakers for each place setting. I used them one year, and pretty much everyone said where is the salt? I tried.

Everyday dishes? Sure why not?  Maybe there are no Grandma’s dishes . But do you have enough plates? And the chairs? Do we have enough? How can we fit everyone at the table?

family1

For years my family had about 22-25 people at Thanksgiving dinner, give or take.  There was always a kid’s table. A long folding one or round kitchen table dragged to the end of the dining room table. All with different tablecloths. It is a holiday. Had to use tablecloths.

At times when we did have 25+ , we added at least two tables to the end of the dining table, and it was sort of like a table train, adding more as we needed it. Grabbing chairs from desks, vanity tables, stools.  I always sat at the kids table when I was a child, and it seems nothing has changed for the kids now. But they love it. They mess around and eat what they want. But do they get grandma’s wedding dishes. Nope. Everyday dishes. Sorry, kids.

We stopped years ago trying for perfection. Sweating in the kitchen for 8 or 9 hours, preparing, cooking, drinking. But who cares. We don’t need the gold rimmed plates, individual salt shakers, or the crystal that is so delicate that I have already broken 6 glasses over the years, just by putting them in the sink to be washed.

Oh we all bitch and moan. Got to drive somewhere, or prepare beds and plenty of snacks to have BEFORE we eat a ridiculously large meal. But we love it. It isn’t family if there isn’t an argument or three. Or complaining. My dad (RIP) used to sit at the table , while we were cooking our asses off, and say when is it going to be ready? He would hold his fork and tap it on the table. Drove me crazy , but I sure do miss that. Meanwhile, cheese and crackers, chips and dips, veggies all are being consumed while they are waiting to eat. My mom (RIP) would want to play backgammon or cards while we were cooking and recruited anyone that wasn’t in the kitchen helping

This year we are down to 10 people. I feel sad about that. Sure it was always a fiasco when 25 of us got together in one house. And loud. Understatement.. New York Jewish family. Quiet is not a thing. And any guests would sit in shock for a while, and then most would jump right in. You wanted to eat, you had no option. When in Rome……

But this year Mom and dad are gone, others are not joining us for various reasons. I can’t say it will be quiet, but it will sound that way., compared to years gone by.

But it is family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

This week a coworker of mine was sentenced to 3 years in prison, 32 years suspended. And a year probation. He had been under house arrest for almost a year, after spending months in the county jail.

The charges are possessing and distributing child pornography.

Over a year ago, in February 2017, police came to our office building, went into his office ( 2 doors down from mine),and 15 minutes later, escorted him out. I was in his office when the state police showed up, arranging a meeting we were going to have that afternoon. I was asked, with merely a look and a nod from one of the officers to leave. I did without needing to be told twice. They all drove away and that was the last we saw of him.

The police did return the following day and seize his computer from his office. Apparently when they had gone to his home with him, they found his home computer, phone and a camera set up in the living room to watch kids play outside and record them. Evidently, they needed all the devices he had access to.

I cannot describe the disbelief on everyone’s faces. And, of course, there were the questions and rumors flying around.

No one had any idea. Initially we thought they came and got him because his elderly mother must have fallen ill or, maybe fell down. Or maybe his alcoholic sister had crashed and killed herself or someone. None of these are good reasons, but child porn was the absolute last thing on our minds.

The next day, he was fired. Still no explanation to anyone.
We all started searching online . Took a bit of time, but found out he had over 20 child pornography charges.

Yes, he was now in the local county jail in the county he had been living in. He pleaded guilty to all charges. In the end, half were dropped. Apparently, he had been perusing child porn sites and the police were doing a sting in the area. Lo and behold, they traced his IP address and found him.

My heart went out to his Mom and sister. He was basically their caretaker. Visiting when he could and helping around the house . His mom was 86 at the time, and now in 100% denial. Claiming false charges, he was set up, I am sure he only looked once, and on and on. It was sad and we needed to give her time to absorb the shock. I cannot imagine her grief then, and even more so now with his sentencing.

A few of us who were closer to him then the rest of the office, were asked by his mother, for a character reference letter for the courts. I agonized over this. His moral character was in the gutter at this point in my opinion, but I agonized because I wanted to do it for his mother. She was in pain and thought this would help him. But I couldn’t. I could not write what a great guy he was and how helpful and caring he was. Not when he is looking at child porn and videotaping children. One person did, but I could not agree to it.
.

I, as well as others who considered him a friend, felt so betrayed. And more so duped. A man who we thought of as a good guy. A man who always offered to help when someone asked. We chatted many hours over the course of the 20 years I knew him as a friend and co-worker.
But, a man who, in his own words, was attracted to young girls between 6-12.
Moved to a family oriented community. A man in his 50’s and never married or in a serious relationship. Never dated. Good with kids. Kids called him Uncle. A man who joined a community theater. All individually, not bad things. But now that we know his “other side” it all made sense.

Hiding a complete side of your self takes talent, or is it manipulation? To never suspect or even get an inkling of any kind to me is astonishing. You ask yourself, how could I not know? How could I have not seen signs? But when you are not looking, you won’t see them. And why would you be looking? People always said he was a bit odd. How odd? Just someone who would be nice quite often, and then suddenly stop speaking to you with no explanation. Someone who offered to help, yet kept to himself. But really, does that translate to the crimes he committed?

Clearly, there are other sides to everyone. You see people at work, in their work mode, and work behavior. They get home and shed the work persona and become, mom, or dad, or roommate. But do you ever wonder what other personas they become when work person is done for the day? I didn’t, but I sure do now.

You Are Stupid

Not sure this is something I should be proud of, but for the first time I have been blocked by a user. Some may think that is not a positive thing, but I think it could be.

So, Mr Blocker sent me a message asking how my day is going. “Fine,” I answered. “And yours?”

He responds with, “Here is my number so we can email and text, cos i don’t get on here very often. ”

If this was my first rodeo, I may have had a fleeting thought to respond. But I wrote back, yes, in my haste, “Stop scamming people with these lines and get off this dating site”. I also told him I had seen this line too many times to count, Especially with “cos” being used, not to mention ‘I am not on here too often.’

Heard back a few days later and he told me “You are stupid. You will be single forever and will never meet anyone. You are stupid. “

Was that a curse he put on me? I didn’t feel any different. Do you feel a curse when it is cast? We will have to wait to see if it holds.  I could tell him I have been single longer than I was married, but, wait, I can’t!

 

Call me stupid once, but not twice.  Of course I had a comeback, but I WAS BLOCKED. And I became indignant. How dare he not let me get my last 2 cents in! But I had more to say. I did type them, but then I got the fateful message BLOCKED. You see, the main problem was, that I was going to write one last thing and then block him. He beat me to it.

block

Of course, I then second guessed myself. Was he legit? Was I hasty in assuming he was another scammer? I guess I will never know, but I am OK with it. But I still wish I could say just one more thing.

 

HE GOT LEGS

 

Riddle me this batman. What do we make of a guy who won’t answer simple questions?

His picture shows only his legs.
The angle of sitting on a couch with your feet up on an ottoman while wearing shorts. (nice legs by the way)
Starts off by commenting on one of my pics and asks, “ so do you get romantic too? Caught me in a playful mood, so I said “ I can be”

He says “let’s go for a test drive, Darling”

In my head I am picturing a rugged, sexy guy, dark hair, 6’2” with a slight drawl, maybe a tilted cowboy hat, who actually leaves off the G in darling, because darlin’ sounds so much better. I snap out of my fantasy thinking and said “Not without more information.”

rugged

See? that works.

His profile has very, very minimal information. As in “I am a good guy and I have a great sense of humor.” That, my dear man, is not enough for me.

Now we move on to ‘Babe’. He says, “Well babe, I’m an IT guy with a great sense of humor”
I mention “all I see are legs”, legs  and he comes back with “and you can see it all.” BE still my heart.

He then offers his email address and says, “I will send you a pic”
RED FLAG alert. Not like there weren’t 12 before this one.

I sort of had enough BS at this point, so I asked why he wasn’t posting a pic on the site. “Married?”, I asked him.
Comes back with an “LOL no divorced. Want to get together?”

I reiterate my original thoughts. “ My original question remains. Why the mystery? I need more than a pair of legs to go on.”

Are you wondering why I am still encouraging this? Me too.

So, in his brilliance he comes back with, “LOL understand darling. Here is my email and I can send you a picture back babe.”
This is serious now. Darling and babe in the same message.

My reply, “ well BABE, you still haven’t answered anything I asked and I am not switching to email”

“I’m just going to email you a pic…darling . We will still text on the site so let me know when you are ready. You will enjoy yourself.” ( I guess he figures this Babe can’t figure out that no matter what is sent, he will still have my email)

No I did not respond. No I am not going to. A simple, hey I have a high profile job in DC and cannot post pictures, or my boss is also on dating sites and I don’t want her to see my pictures, may have extended the chat. The annoying BS of never answering my direct questions and repeating the same lines did not work for me. I bet they weren’t even his legs.

Lunch, Anyone?

I am back in the saddle. A pony saddle. More like a merry go round with a strap to hold me in. I am checking profiles, getting messages. But really, the scammers are still in the forefront. I swear I must be a magnet. I know I have said this before, but come on. They can’t all navigate to my profile, can they?

You know, the usual, “I can’t wait to read from you”, and “here is my phone number and my email address. So we can keep in touch and send photos”
My new responses are “SPAM and SCAM”. Then a report, and a block . Seems I am a bit tired of these types.

On another note, the other day I was chatting with one guy, whose opening line was “we must have lunch.” Alright then. I asked him why he was so adamant about having lunch and he said because we need to meet and we will have lunch. Forceful little fellow, isn’t he? I told him, sure we can meet. My idea was a coffee, but I figured I can manage a lunch instead. We don’t live super close, so I mentioned I work full time in another town separate from here I live, so it may be hard to figure out unless it is a weekend. His response was, well I work full time too but one has to eat, right? OK I will give him that.

lunch

Whenever I am going to meet for a meal with someone I don’t know, or have barely met, I need to mention that I have Celiac disease. (Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.) 

This makes it a challenge to find a place to eat that is safe for me, especially in small towns. Not every small town place is on the gluten free bandwagon in a serious enough manner for me to try it. Even larger cities are a challenge. That is another post for another time.

In response, he sends me a title of a book, The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity. He says he lives by it. That’s great. To each his own, but that still doesn’t let me pop into any restaurant and eat.

(Here is the link for those who want to check it out. You may even get a lunch in the process)

I am not dismissing the idea of following a TAO way of living, nor am I indicating that this is not a good way of living. But celiac is celiac, and if I could avoid hot soup, and eat spicy chilis, and get rid of this, I would give it a try. So I told him thanks, I would take a look at this sometime. (No i haven’t bought it, but that is just me.)

His next line is , “so when is lunch?” I responded with, “well we just need to figure that out” He then says ,”It is.”

Sometimes I feel lost in the forest!

forest

No I didn’t say it out loud, but, I was thinking , why is this conversation getting painful? It should be really easy. I said “What is?” Lunch?”

And he says….. “I love your hair. It is to die for?”What

See what I mean about being lost in the forest? My first reaction. Step away from the messaging. Nope. I said “why?”. He said short red hair. (p.s. Mine is brown) I basically told him that and he said “it’s ok. That works too”.
I didn’t respond right away, because he was slowly losing me. and I get, “perhaps I can run my fingers through it.”

Perhaps we are done. I wanted to ask would that be before or after lunch? I didn’t. I didn’t say much except I need to get to sleep. He said “nite, ” and that, my friends, is all she wrote!

I think I will stay lost in the forest. Nuts and berries are gluten free.

BIRTHDAYS ARE OUR FRIEND

I just had a birthday.birthday-cake-cupcakes-3title As in yesterday.  One candle for safety. Don’t want to bother the fire department.

I am only saying this because I am, at a point in my life, where I have decided it is best to go backwards in age. Oh, I really am embracing it. Nothing wrong with pretending I am a different number to ease the pain of inching up into my 60’s. I know I am not going down the Botox route or face lift route. I have decided I will embrace my age and go with it. But, doesn’t subtracting every year, sound so much more appealing? We all know time marches on, and the aging process will keep happening. Even if you get a tuck here and a tuck there, time is still marching, whether you want to see it or not.

I am chicken anyway. My fear is I would decide to eliminate some wrinkles and something would go wrong and I would be scarred for life.

Physically and mentally. I know it happens, and I also know there are thousands that have good results. But I also know that once you start, there is no stopping. And having a smooth face that doesn’t match your hands or neck, eventually looks just plain silly and so very obvious
(apologies to all who go the other route)

A friend whom I reconnected with on Facebook , who I hadn’t seen in over 35 years, asked me if I had “work done.”. I happened to be having a deck put in at the time and that is where my brain was. I thought it odd she would know about my deck, since we had only been catching up on what we had been up to for the last 30+ years. Where do you live? What have you been doing? Married? Single? Kids? It took me minutes to realize she meant my face! “Why do you ask?” , I said to her. She said , “Well you look great. I just had to ask you.” I won’t deny that made me feel really good. Then, in true form of woman to woman I checked out her pics and realized she definitely was not embracing her age, which is the same as mine. No I didn’t ask her. It was painfully obvious she had indulged….often. So I politely, and with hidden glee, said oh thanks that is so nice of you to say.

And in helping me embrace my age, a guy on a dating site started a conversation with me. He was younger, but only late in the previous decade, or so I thought. UNTIL he informed me he lied about his age, because the dating site wouldn’t let him look at older women and message them if he desired. So, subtract about 15 years from what he said, which now puts him in the previous decade, and there we have it. About a 30 year difference, which put him at just about the same age as my daughter.

I gently declined. I know I could have embraced that, but , you know, I think i am finally moving forward, and flattered as I am, 30 years is more that I can and want to deal with.

Truth is, I am hoping for many more birthdays. Many more wrinkles. And secretly, (not really) 40 year olds to keep asking.