Chapter 47 – Extemporaneous Tinder Date #10

 

Friday, 12 February 2016.

 

Day 54

 

Diary of Mine,

 

Today has been a good day. 🙂

Just coming home from our Youth Group (my way to contribute).

I started these youth evenings twice a month a year ago, as a way for Kristiina and Joey and other young people to make new friends and have some Friday fun in a safe environment. We play board games, talk, have a snack, play hide-and-seek in the dark and anything else we can come up with.

 

It’s not easy to be leading the youth group at the moment (separation and all), but I told the pastor I’ll give it a try. The young people appreciate it so much and my teens have made some nice friends. And they seem to have no one else yet who could do it instead…

Last time, I had to tell the group about my separation, as they know Mr. Pedro (he used to help me with these gatherings sometimes). So I spoke about forgiveness and determination and the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Kate, one of the oldest teenagers there, was very touched. She came to hug me and say, “Anna, you are always so inspiring. Thank you very much for your words.”

I think she is inspiring. What a great person and talented artist Kate is. Some people just know how to shine their light. 😊

 

This time father was our special guest. He held a short devotional – and tried to turn us into an instantaneous choir (dad is so cool)! We weren’t that successful with the singing, but ended up having great laughs.

Tonight’s theme was seeing the good in others and letting them know it. I repeated a “building up your self-confidence” dynamic I sometimes have with my pupils at school. Will tell you more later.

 

Today has been a very good day – yeah.

Sunny. I looked cute – better yet, I felt it! And we all know how fantastic that is for a woman. 😁

 

As for random updates:

Remember Frederick, Tinder Englishman #1? I think we’re becoming friends. We chat on Messenger and have started ringing each other sometimes, too. Nice guy. Wise. He‘s a good listener and sharer. He tells me his thoughts and general feelings concerning his recent separation – still feeling pretty angry at his ex – childcare, immediate goals and such.

His voice is manly and pleasant, but we haven’t flirted at all. Not even once. He lives in Reading – England, and since neither of us is planning on meeting in person any time soon, virtual friendship is the option.

I think what we have feels like some needed encouragement – comparable with divorce therapy groups? Appreciated and retributed.

 

With Christian, Tinder Englishman #2, it’s been intriguing to say the least – very curious to meet him soon. Chatting daily from Good Morning to Good Night…

I love that!

It inpires the artist in me. Triggers good feelings with dopamine.

 

This is a new life phase and I won’t complain about the attention I’m receiving from some interesting men. Won’t complain too much! 😊 Sooner or later I’ll find him. I just know it. ❤️ ‍No hurry.

I do have some dates set up for this Sunday to Friday. 😅 Guys who seem eager to meet up…

…I booked them in a long time ago – one at a time – for this coming week, since the teens will be going back to their dad’s place. My only chance!

This is my project at the moment. When I decide something, I go for it. Obstinate me!

 

However… today I broke one of my own rules. Had a shorter day at school and went on a coffee date straight from work. Number 10.

Yes, I know I wasn’t going to meet anyone when the teens are home with me, but this guy insisted the whole week!

I caved in.

So busy, sorry! 🙁

Kids at my place this week, other dates next week… But all right.

If you’ll come to IKEA in a couple of hours – it’s on my way home – I can meet you for a coffee straight from work. Would that be OK?  🙂

How it went?

Oh, extemporaneously…

Cute foreigner. Muslim. Pianist – very artistic, very cultural. We had a long chat and he smiled a lot, looking appreciatively into my eyes.

But, was Tom right about perfume…! 😷 😟

Seriously, Soner’s perfume was sooooo strong, and to his misfortune, I really, really disliked the scent. Made it very hard to relax and concentrate on the other aspects of the date.

Soner asked to meet again soon, but I told him I really didn’t feel the chemistry.

Smelled it? 😂

Eurgh. All the best to him!

 

Anyways, today has been a great day.

My workouts have been working. Finally!

I’m back to jogging two-three times a week (usually 3-6km). I think it’s such a perfect workout because it takes 20-30 minutes, but feels great and gives nice results.

Going to the gym, playing volleyball, lots of brisk walks. And on top of that, I just go by bike everywhere I need to. Even well dressed and in high heels. Haha. I haven’t had a public transportation card since I moved back to Helsinki three years ago.

OK, if it’s raining reeaaally hard, I’ll take the tram. Otherwise, steps it is.

 

Healthy foods, good thoughts, support from my parents. Determination.

Life’s to be lived happily now. I’ve just had enough hard times.

 

Aaahhh, best of all, I’ve gotta tell you this –> even my hair has been looking exactly the way I like it. 😁 😁

That’s no small feat, you know. Mom and sis tease me about it all the time. They say I’m never happy with my hairdressers, nor with my hair.

Is it my fault that I’m usually very unlucky with the results??? Mom and sis seem to think I’m fussy about it. Very funny. 😑

The tenure position I fought so much for is something else I’m grateful for. A flat I love, a broken loving heart under repair, quality time with daughter and son.

Joy.

Don’t you just love Fridays, Anna?

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. Day 54 of life comes in waves, good days, bad days. Good years, bad years? It’s all part of the journey. Just enjoy it.

 

 

Chapter 21A – Anniversary

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that both in words and action.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017.

 

Day – Does it Matter? Love stops time.

 

It’s our one-year anniversary and he’s promised to call a little later.

Anna is looking out the window of the cottage she adores so much. The sun appeared from behind the heavy clouds just now, as if to celebrate their special occasion. Its rays are resting over the cleanest of snows. And when you live in Finland, you value each second of sunshine, isn’t it so?

 

Some friends were here with Anna over the weekend, but had to go back to work in Helsinki. For Annita, this is Spring break from school, 9 days off for ‘hiihtoloma’.

Since Mr. Boyfriend and I can’t be together today, that’s how I’ve planned it: I want to be alone!

Alone. To feel. To reflect. She needs to reminisce, in order to continue writing this book she’s recently begun.

 


 

Omar and Anna chatted on Messenger earlier. He’s been reviewing her first drafts and has some constructive criticism.

“Anna, there in Chapter 2 where you say you like practical gifts. I’m not quite buying it. Nobody’s that pragmatic. Come on!

“Gifts make one feel seen… It’s about feeling valued and important to others at the end of the day. But OK, the socks are nice. Romantic.

“Amiga, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that you’re anonymous? Be fully honest with yourself, tell the reader everything. You’re an Alias, it’s a diary. It’s safe to pour your heart out. And we’re curious.” 🙂

 

The next few days are going to be her first holidays alone.

Ever.

Anna had been afraid to be here like this, in such secluded surroundings. The pitch-black darkness of night. Well, she’s been locking all doors, even though you don’t really need to do that in the middle of the forest in this country.

Mostly, she had been afraid of feeling lonely out here without him – every corner of the place bursting with memories.

So far so good.

Always face your fears! Don’t run away from them. And… solitude and loneliness are different things!

This is solitude.

And what a wondrous place this is.


 

Back to work then, Chapter 2, where did it end?

Ah, here it is… Eggs, Light Coke, Diesel, Lindt. She is reading over her Ray Ban glasses.

Socks. Yes!! Socks… Someday I’ll share my life closely with somebody again (but it will have to be someone as special as me), and we’ll give each other good socks for every birthday and every Christmas. One pair each. And sometimes on a normal day too, just to be romantic. ❤️‍😍”

I’m changing the verb tense. There. This sounds better: “And we’re wearing them all.”

 


 

I like that part, it’s sincere, hopeful, simple and romantic – like me. Hope Mr. Boyfriend takes the hint. Haha.

 

OK Anna, challenge of the day: be honest with yourself. Think of this whole situation. The whole mess. Dreams, frustrations, the longing. Everything you and he shared in a year.

She leans back on the couch and is suddenly in far-away-heartland. For a loooong time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away…

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 428 – but love does stop time!

 

 

Chapter 13 – Swiped Out

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Saturday, 23 January 2016.

 

Day 34

 

Dear Diary,

I’ve just had a nice jog and morning coffee. It feels good!

Swiping for over two weeks now. 150+ matches. Lots and lots and lots of simultaneous chats, of which maybe 10% end up being really interesting (i.e. entertaining, deep and wise, funny or flirty – things like that), but…

I’ve only been on 5 dates and Tinder is telling me “There is no one else near you!

Say, what??

That’s all there is?? Are all the other men in Finland taken???

What??!

Apparently, I’m all swiped out.

Haha. Maybe I’ve played Tinder to its last phase. Uh-oh.

Game over – oh, no!

 

On the positive side, I seem to have nice matches on my list. I feel there’s potential with some of the upcoming dates (I’ve booked a few… 🤓).

It’s surprisingly easy. Guys are eager to meet up face to face and happy to go out for a coffee. A few of them have even told me that it’s cool that I actually want to meet them in person, because there are many ladies who just want to chat. That’s so strange. 🤔

 

Ah, let me tell you.

There’s this one guy I matched with who seems so nice! Really. 😊 For one, his profile text is adorable. Check this out:

 

“Frederick (40)

Smart, loyal, romantic, dad, 5’10, enjoys travelling. Goes to the gym to keep fit. Enjoys the great outdoors. Enjoys eating out, especially curries. After friendship and hopefully more. I read other people’s profiles rather than just looking at the photos. If this appeals, then swipe right.”

 

How sweet is that?? 😻

I’m quite impressed, tbh. Then I realize he’s…

 

 

 

…1868 km away!!

 

 

 

And think to myself, that explains it – he’s not from Finland…

Hey, maybe that’s good news!

In Finland, most guys write nothing in their profile. I hate that! Laziness? Put in the effort, Finnish dudes!!

Privacy? Fear?

I’m not wasting any time:

Hi Frederick, you sound great!

Hi Anna, how is life? Are you in Finland? Fred x

 

Blah, blah, blah. Distance. Family. Board games. Jobs. Blah, blah. Pastimes. He is nice!!

 

Oh, I absolutely love the outdoors, too! I usually walk 5-15km a day, cycle around, jog a little. Enjoy picnics with bonfires in the snow, cottages in the middle of nowhere. Nothing could be better. I’m only half-Finnish, but I live in one of my favorite countries. Do you ever come to Finland?

I explored Scandinavia when I was younger. Would love to go again. I recall Finland is a beautiful country, with beautiful girls. 🙃

If you are half-Finnish, what’s your other half?

Now you guess my other half! I’ll just say it’s to the left of Europe. And that I speak five languages (four fluently)!

 

He guesses correctly.

My first guess. What a star! 🙂 You have a dark complexion. And Anna is a Spanish-type name…

I’m impressed by your language skills!

 

Blah, blah, blah. And then we discuss our divorce and letting bygones be bygones.

Yes. I saw it coming for many years. But I’m also loyal and romantic and just held on for life. For the family ideal, for the ideal of marriage. And hope…

But I wish him all the happiness, healing and success that life can bring. I want no bitterness for this new phase of my life!

Well, sounds like you believed in marriage.

Best way to be. Let the resentment go. My ex-wife and I were together for fifteen years, but I now have the chance to fall in love again, and the mad chemistry that love brings.

 

He looks handsome in three of his pics.

(1) Nice beard, jeans shirt, looking sideways – kind of in the diagonal – with a big smile.

(2) B&W. He’s drinking coffee, looking very intelligent.

(3) He’s cute and youthful, wearing a cap in a close up. With a cool expression, there’s warmth and joy in his eyes.

(On the other hand, I  h-a-t-e-d  the pic where he’s dressed like a teenager: boots, cargo pants and a hoodie. Sunglasses and a cap. NOOO!! That’s how my pupils dress).

 

I see you sometimes like to dress as a rapper. Caps, hoodies. Is it always?

Oh, the hoodie pic was just to show you all what my body looks like. I do generally dress my age, though I wish to be young.

 

Well, nobody’s perfect. Hmm. I wonder how he likes my pics. Maybe he’d have a few improvements to suggest, as well, huh?

We’ve been chatting daily. He seems super 👍. Tech manager, two kids, lives in England, loves board games ➡️ one of my favorite hobbies!! Besides, (and I’ve told him)…

I love guys who speak with the British accent. Gives me goosebumps. 😅

(You can blame Hugh Grant for that – 😍😍😍)!

Oh…! I wish Fred – and Hugh – lived in Helsinki!!!

He seems genuinely interested in making friends, which I find very honorable, so we want to keep in touch.

As for coffee dates, I’ve had to be careful not to over-book or double-book. 😅 Especially because I’ve decided to just go out when Kristiina and Joey are with their dad.

When they are here, I want to focus on them.

Of course!

Oh, how I miss those two! They’re coming back to my place Sunday evening: happy!!

 

© 2017 rf

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

Obs. Day 32 since moving out. I wonder what now?