Chapter 71 – Tinder Date #16, Part Four

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

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D – Welcome T😊 Finland

 

Anna walks James Bond round the block to Kaisaniemenkatu. She spots a tall man standing by the tram stop with a suitcase and his back towards her.

Suspense is in the air.

Is he even who he says he is?? Be brave, now…! Jack Chi 007 will definitely sniff him and scare him off if he’s a bad guy!

 

IMG_2461

 

She approaches the man and says, “Hi, Christian?” with a careful smile.

He turns slowly.

 

Her heart skips a beat.

Oh……..! He’s just like his best pics! (See, Anna? That crazy, clueless selfie. I told you to take the risk and meet him in person – otherwise you’d never know!)

Christian is tall – good built, back straight.

1,82 against Anna’s 1,61.

Aww. He looks d-r-e-a-m-y. Yummy. — Inner giggles.

1 x ?

Her careful smile widens as her suspicions melt away a little bit. She can already see a glimpse of the the mysterious Englishman who’s made her laugh and feel important quite a few times in the last three weeks.

 

“There you are!” He smiles back, enveloping her in his arms. The way she likes it. Awww.

His very first embrace (Can you believe it?) is firm and nice, “transmitting human warmth,” as the saying goes in Portuguese. Christian seems to be used to hugging, and comfortable with touching new acquaintances in a natural way. A confident manner.

Score!

2 x ?

 

“Hi Anna,” he exclaims with a joyful voice, “How are you doing?

“Wow, you look exactly like the girl in the pictures!” Oh God, that sexy voice. His Queen’s English is to die for. Eurgh! She gets goose bumps all over.

3 x ?

 

Stop. This is torture! And she’s dropping her guard already.

Act cool, Anna.

 

“Really? Oh, thank you.” Anna replies.

“No.” He sounds adamant now, “You look even better!” He adds while squatting to greet James Bond, who swings his tail and sniffs him approvingly.

Surprise, surprise. This dog always loves everybody. I’m not giving Christian extra points for that!

“Hey, little one!” Christian says, patting the dog and chatting with him.

Meanwhile, careful Anna quickly scans the Englishman some more.

She checks his luggage to see whether it has recent flight luggage stickers. He could be a street bum with a smart phone, the Tinder app and a desperate need to find lodging, after all.

Good! The Finnair stickers match the story. Check. ☑️

More points? No, just relief. Same score.

3 x ? So far so good on my side of things.

 

Christian is wearing Hugo Boss glasses, a ¾ length dark gray overcoat, jeans and hiking boots. Casual and elegant. Smooth face, no wrinkles. Bald, but his remaining hair is nicely trimmed – the Karoo Desert cut, as she suggested and he promised.

4 x ? Yay.

He’s 45, but hmm, he could pass for 42.

 

“Christian, you’re so late that all the restaurants have closed down already. That’s Helsinki on Sundays for you.

“Why don’t we go to my place to have that veggie soup?” Now that he showed up. Hey, about that….. She suddenly remembers his tardiness and feels she deserves an explanation.

“Yes, it’d be my pleasure, thanks. Can we drop my suitcase at the Radisson first?”

 

“Some mysterious hotel you booked yourself there, huh?” she teases him.

“Oh. Soooo sorry. I haven’t found it yet. Please, would you show me the way?”

“I thought you knew Helsinki well, Christian! What’s happened?” she smiles, a little suspicious again.

“Oh Anna, I think I have a fever. I’m feeling pretty weak.” puppy eyes.

 

“Poor Christian. Let me feel your forehead.”

She touches him and – oh electricity, butterflies, zizzz – “Yes! Maybe you do have a temperature. Oh no! Whatever shall we do?? Talking of which…” she opens her mocca leather bag and…

“Here’s the scarf. Where are my manners. Do you like brown? It’s a gift from my mom to you!” she smiles as she wraps Riitta’s very own art form around his neck, touching his skin a little bit again. Zizzzzz.

“There you go!” says Anna, looking into his beautiful eyes. “That’s better!”

Their gaze locks for a few seconds. More butterflies. More zizzz, zizzzzz. Oh… 🎼 Tonight’s the night we’re gonna make it happen. Tonight we’ll put all other things aside…? 🎶

 

“Very kind of you. Yes. I feel better already.” English manners…

5 x ?  But what about me?? What’s my score? I must definitely be 10 points ahead, just for having been kept waiting. Ha!

“Thank your mom for me, will you? Btw……. may I buy another one of her scarves?” he asks while they walk down the path she’s leading.

“Oh, no, no. Mom has hand-knitted about 800 of them, so far. One per day. Aren’t they perfect? Her project is to make a thousand and give them away around the world.

“I help distribute the scarves to whomever wants them. Mom says she prays that the people wearing them will be blessed. You can have a few more, if you’d like.” (He later chooses a green one).

 

As Christian follows Anna, he explains that he had tried checking in at the Radisson on Mikonkatu, by the railway station.

“Oh, that’s where you texted me from, then?” Yes. When his turn at the reception came, he had been told that he was at the wrong Radisson.

“A person in the streets pointed me towards Ha-ka-niemi…!? Hakaniemi, is that how you say it? I walked there and back. By the time I came back to Kaisla, I couldn’t stand taking one more step. Until you came to save me.

“There must be at least three Radissons in Helsinki, Anna.” He protests.

“Oh, really!” Coughing and spluttering like a dying vagrant in the drizzling rain, an Englishman takes refuge inside a pub. —  “Your hotel is in the complete opposite direction, silly man! Come on, let me lead you there.” Anna laughs, relieved to have their earlier missencounter accounted for.

OK. The slate has been wiped clean.

 

23:45

Suitcase drop at Radisson ☑️

James Bond returned to Mr. Ex ☑️

Christian survives the walk to her flat in Jätkäsaari – uphill with no ski lift and downhill with no bicycle basket ☑️

 

“Welcome to my humble abode, Mr. Englishman.”

Anna feels just a little shy. A little self-conscious, while making that 2D to 3D shift. You never know what will happen next, no matter how many times you’ve imagined it.

And that’s fun.

“Thank you, it’s so great to finally be here,” he says as he puts down a shopping bag on the entrance floor.

She shows him around the apartment. He likes its modern architecture.

“Yes,” Anna says. “Even though it is only 59 square meters, all the spaces look huge and have been well-planned.”

“Definitely. And I love your sofa. What a great choice!”

“Thanks.”  she opens up the practical sheet she sewed the other night, explaining the whole concept to him “When the teens are here, the apartment can feel a little small. Especially if James Bond is also with us. But we are South Americans, so we love proximity. This way we can easily hang out, talk and hug!” she giggles.

“Here, let me show you something in the bedroom. My son is an artist like me, so I’ve painted him a black board directly on the wall. A DIY.”

“Wow. You painted this yourself? Well done,” he says, touching the board with his long fingers, “Can we draw? Give me some chalk. You go and draw something, as well. There. On the other end. Don’t look. No peeping!

“Uh, no peeping, Anna! Make your own drawing. Gosh.” he feigns annoyance. Funny guy. 

Zizzz.

Anna is drawing a dog and she’s feeling curious. What is he up, too? I’m the the artist, after all.

This is fun.

 

“OK, now you may look.”  He smiles, visibly satisfied with his masterpiece.

unnamed2

 

“Oh……. What is that?”

“Can’t you see the necklace, Anna? It has your name on it. It’s you!” he is laughing now.

“What?? What is that snake?? JB is a dog, not a snake. That’s ridiculous!”

“Oh, that’s your mysterious tattoo, the snake, Anna. The one you said you have on your belly!” he teases her and they laugh.

“I don’t have a snake on my belly!!” Oh, gosh! He is looking so handsome. Anna feels the urge to to kiss him, to be hugged again.

She doesn’t lose control just yet. But all her insides are going  🎼  I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it. 🎶

“Yes, you do! It’s a snake. I know it.” he laughs.

“It is not.” Fun guy my ass, he’s a clever dog! That’s what he is. — “Hey, the soup is boiling. Let’s go and have that dinner now, shall we?”

 

Paracetamol and a convalescence dinner of strong homemade veggie soup ☑️

Christian is looking better already. Happy to be here. There’s so much his eyes seem to want to say, but Anna can’t tell what. There is no clear flirting during dinner.

Pleasant conversations – polite, smart, interesting. Kids, their separations last year. Work, hobbies. Blah, blah, some laughter, blah, blah. ☑️

He’s mysterious – what an intriguing guy – making her want to find out more. ☑️

You see, Anna is being mysterious, too. She is a bit competitive and loves a nice challenge. Oh, how I miss kissing. Sooooo much! And I like him…

🎼  I want to love you, feel you
Wrap myself around you
I want to squeeze you, please you
I just can’t get enough
And if you move real slow, I’ll let it go 🎶
.

He loads the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. “My job!” he gently pushes her away “You did all that cooking for us. No, don’t help me.”

“OK.” she retreats, putting the leftovers in the fridge and the French baguettes in a plastic bag.

“Btw, I bought the champagne I promised to. At the airport, Anna. To celebrate finally meeting my tattooed mystery! Shall we have a glass tonight?”

🎼  I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you 🎶

“Yes! And, Christian…?”

© 2017 rf

Obs. Day too happy to count.
.
I’m So Excited lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
.
.

Chapter 68 – Tinder Date #16, Part One

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

 

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

 

D-Afternoon

 

Anna is feeling as peppy as a little girl on Christmas morning since she woke up and jumped out of bed.

She cannot believe they are finally going to meet face to face after three weeks of enthusiastic chatting on Whatsapp – such heart-warming interaction. Sweet and witty! Back and forth between Finland and Germany.

Ahhh…

What if Christian really is a special person??

Please be!!

Please… Don’t disappoint me.

Well, his texts and phone calls have been quite impressive – I’ll give him that much… Expectations are high. Just saying.

Anna, let’s not get ahead of ourselves! You’ll know soon enough. 

 

If there’s one thing our Anna has learned from her previous fifteen dates, it’s that you never know what the chemistry (or lack thereof) will be like, until you spend some time together in person.

Yes.

She’s found that interesting messages usually make for an interesting person, and phone calls already give you half an accurate first impression.

Definitely.

But, you’ve gotta meet live, really… Spend time together!

Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to know.

But can the attraction grow on you as he shows you the different sides of himself little by little?

Or the opposite? Haha – surely.

It takes time to know people.

 

Then, there’s something else about guys. They have traditionally been considered the stronger, braver gender, but sometimes I think they seem to have interest in a lady, but they just quit way too fast.

Reasonable men won’t pursue a lady if they don’t think they stand a chance. It’s as if their energy is limited, so they need a clear/mysterious sign to see that it’s worth putting in the effort.

This little Love Game is harder than it seems! Gosh.

And more fun.

And more frustrating.

And the winning prize the best there can be (but remember to put in the work to keep the prize alive through the years).

Ahhh… Anna sighs.

Ahhh…

 

It’s like the birds and their back and forth dance of love. We’re just the same!

You chat, he rings you up, you laugh together. You go a little silent – but just a little! You show interest, and then go about your normal daily business.

You live life to the full. Go on many dates, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Never! Not before he will…

He writes again, he pursues you. He finds you interesting and doesn’t go AWOL. You’re active and happy in life.

And thinking of him.

You send him a new message – show him he easily comes back to your mind. Awww. He writes to you for hours on end. Makes you laugh like at the circus. The chat flows. It feels good for both of you.

You send a couple of selfies. Tell him about your day. Wow – he’s interested! He comments. It seems like he cares and finds you adoring for some reason. Expectations are on the rise. You say Good Night 💋, he says Sweet Dreams Xx – and you sleep with a huge smile on your face. Feeling warm and nice.

It’s hot – I’ll open the window.

Sometimes both of you go silent for longer hours and you can’t really know – but you’re hoping you’re on his mind, too. Both are investing time and attention – but playing it just a teeny bit cool, as well. Just to make it more exciting.

This seduction dance goes on for days, weeks or months in some cases.

In theirs, time flies, and the three weeks since they matched on Tinder and started chatting are complete. The awaited D-Day is today. D-evening, actually.

They are going to meet up in person in six hours. Sex, på svenska.

 

Anna finds attraction, romance, passion and love amazing. Maybe it’s happened to her three-four times since she was eleven years old?

That’s why she has to be so picky. You can’t share all that with just anyone. It’s gotta be special. He’s gotta feel like the One. He’s gotta put in the effort and not be a quitter.

 

OK, I’m 40 now.

You fall in love with someone (or the same One) once per decade. That’s not much at all!! Maybe it happens more often as you grow older and approach your end?? Live before it’s too late?? OMG. Fingers crossed.

 

The clock is ticking, and as you can see, all kinds of thoughts are rushing through Anna’s excitable mind as she’s relaxing at home, listening to music on her record player, thinking of what outfit to wear. Singing, humming, swinging to the tune.

She’s on holiday – yay! Hiihtoloma. Her flat is looking awesome – everything is so new – now clean, as well.

 

Ahhh… I should go and set the table. If Christian and I don’t find a restaurant open, we can always come here and have the veggie soup…?

The one I ordered from Mr. Ex – she giggles.

Pedro makes the best veggie soup ever – he’s such a great cook! First, he carries two heavy grocery bags full of fresh vegetables and legumes from the grocery store. Twenty different sorts, for sure. Then, he sits there in the kitchen – a whole day peeling, slicing and chopping the greens. His late mother’s recipe from Rio Grande do Sul.  Extremely healthy. Delicious!

In the last year of their marriage, he would make it whenever she asked him to, while sipping chimarão. She’d freeze different portions of the soup and have them throughout the week.

Last time she went to his home to pick up the dog, she bought a huge pot of the magical soup he’d just made. He laughed at it, but OK, agreed. And gave her the recipe for any future need.

Anna defroze it over the night and tasted it this morning. It seemed a little bland, for some reason, but no problem! She’s chopped garlic, onions, celery and lots of ginger herself, being careful not to touch the garlic so her fingertips won’t stink and be a turn off.

She’s fried it all up and added it to the boiling soup. Must be perfect now.

Ha! I can make soup, too!

 

Uh…Where was I?

Ahhh… daydreaming about tonight’s date. And the Love Game. Mmm.

You talk, you smile, you’re both polite. You look at each other.

Then, look down, fast. In a feminine way.

You have some soup, you smile again, say something interesting. Laugh at his jokes.

The expectation slowly rises. There’s flirting. A little blushing.

He’s cute. He’s sm💗rt. His smile is nice. You touch his arms lightly. There is energy in the air – loads – and he can feel that you like him. His peacock feathers open up. Wide open. You melt.

It takes two to tango.

To tango, to salsa, to samba. To zumba? Definitely to cha-cha-cha.

Well, let’s see what happens.

(Tonight, I promise!!)

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. D-Day and only six hours to wait!

 

 

Chapter 57 – Who I Am?

 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016.

 

Dichotomy.

 

Not the sun – just thy moon?

I’m a lover – I’m beloved.

I am fun, I am old.

Woman, sister, mom and daughter,

I am scared, I am bold.

 

 

I’m not bitter, I am sweet!

I’m a lady,

Bittersweet.

I’m determined, I am flawed,

I am awed by thee.

 

I’m his Ex, I am deep,

I am active, I’m asleep.

I am happy, ugly, heavy.

I just want to leave.

 

I am light, I am dark,

I am gracious, I am marred.

I’m a birdie, I am barred.

I am patient, restless, pretty –

Just thy wild card.

 

North and south,

Kind and blind.

Just a girl,

I’m a friend.

I’m just tired –

I will end.

 

I am loyal, I betray:

I’m a sinner, I’m a saint –

I’m forgiving, I’m forgiven,

Though now drained.

 

Hot and cold (not really)

I’m a teacher, so silly!

I’m a playful mystery…

I am strong, I give up,

Direly need thy hugs.

 

I am human – there you go.

You won’t judge me,

So I’m told.

 

I am crazy, I am biased.

Fired up,

Wise, wired and hooked.

I am Tinderella Anna.

I’m thy secret, open book.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 59 of who am I’s?

 

 

Chapter 49 – Christian 1/ Tinder Date #11

 

Sunday, 14 February 2016.

 

Day 56

 

Anna is getting used to sending messages to Christian, Englishman #2, first thing every morning.

8:45   Morning! Slept 10 hours. Gosh, couldn’t take it anymore. My body even started to hurt from the discomfort! Going to work out soon.
For how many days are you staying next week?

Just a rough idea, because I’d like to organize my holiday week. The thing is, the teens will be with their dad. And since I’ll be on holiday and they’ll be on holiday, I know they’ll ask me to do something nice with them. It’s a pleasure for me. But, if I have an idea of the days when you’re available, I can plan special things for my teens, too.

In case we do want to hang out a lot! But having said, let’s feel free not to meet me again after the first time (though I’d love to at least make a friend). Happy Friends’ Day again! It’s today. ☺️

hook – kopio

 

10:44   Good morning and Happy Friends’ day to you too!
10 hours? You really do like sleeping! Beautiful hook! 😊

I’m going to let you know my movements a little later. Still figuring out a few details. Don’t want to take time away from your kids.

10:51   Of course not. Just let me know about your movements this week because then I can plan. My kids care a lot about my needs, and they know I need my own time. As long as I’m also there for them during the week, no problem.

Just yesterday my son was so loving. We were hanging out alone at home and he was leaving and then he stopped everything and said: “Mom, I love you so much! You’re so wonderful. You totally deserve an awesome boyfriend and you will get one in the right moment.”

   They know I’ve been on Tinder dates. At first they thought it was hilarious/ embarrassing, but then they started to get it. They support me even in this. Great teens! 😊

11:27   Wow. Special kids. That’s really amazing. 😊

13:36   Off the top of my head, I am free evening 21st, then all day Tue and Wed. Poss free Wed pm, then business trip 24/25th. Helsinki again, so free morning of 26th.

Back to Germany from 3rd-8th, then back to Helsinki for a week or so. China prob April now.

Hope you’re having a nice day.

15:59   Good to know! I’ll try to make plans around that. ☺️
Just finished watching The Revenant with son. So bloody. But well made.
How’s your day coming along?

16:10   Don’t you feel like you could use an extra warm hearty hug today? I’m kind of more emotional. Valentine’s mode.

But strong girl here, though.
Looking forward to finally meeting you in person on Sunday.  😊

16:28   One more week. I will give you that hearty hug. If you let me. 😊

If you don’t, I may just grab you by force. ☺️ Beware.

17:02  Please do. ☺️ I’m coming on 21st with no plans to work. I’m coming to meet you. 😊 Work starts late Wednesday.

Great.

Need to get to bottom of the tattoo mystery. Among other things. 😉
Any ski lifts nearby? I’d love to see that.

18:09   I mean you on/off one. 😉 Remember you told me how you can’t get off? How you slide backwards and fall?

Hahaha. We could make a day trip. Would be fun!
But are you sure you want to risk me dying before solving the tattoo mystery?

18:10   I’ll solve that one quickly. Then we’ll move on. 😊

Good one! I have to go out now. Speak later?

18:12   Enjoy! Talk soon.

Good to have company on Friend’s day! Especially being a bit emotional today…

What are friends for? Exactly.

I would totally hug you today. You wouldn’t have a choice.

Oh. That would be nice.

Women and their cycles.  😊

18:14  Choice or no choice. 😊 I’m coming at the wrong time then. Anyway, enjoy your day!

 

Anna goes out with another Tinder date – one of those she had booked days ago. Another Christian (but American, this one). Says he’s an ex-police officer, now a counter-terrorist agent lending services to the Finnish government.

He’s strong, good looking.

They go to the Nepalese restaurant in her neighborhood, the same where she’s been with Riku, her blind date.

She has a small soup and he a full-course meal. It’s nice to have company. He gives her a nice French kiss at the end and promises to invite her out for dinner tomorrow. She says she’ll think about it.

 

In the meanwhile, Christian sends Anna a montage and a recording, finally:

19: 43   🇩🇪🇬🇧 + 🇺🇾🇫🇮 = 😊😊☃️❄️🍴🍴🍾🍕🍰⛷️🍷🎲🎲💋

“Hello, only me. Just want to wish you a Happy Friends’ Day.  Hope you’re having a nice day with your loved ones. And, can’t wait to see you seven days from now. Ah, it’s crazy. One week from now. Yeah, really can’t wait. So, have a nice night and get lots of sleep. See you soon!”

19:58   Almost forgot:

20:07   🔥🔥🔥 and 🎆🎆🎼🎹🎬💤💤

21:34   My montage was not as creative as yours.

 

His messages feel more interesting than her date.

 

21:42   Yes it was! 😍

Earlier today, I went running with James Bond, my son’s dog (6 km).

22:15   Loved the montages, especially the double everything.

Great to hear your voice. Really lovely! Tell me more about your German side.

Love and miss this little friendly, playful dog! Look at this picture – how cute!

jb
23:36   Ahhh. He’s cute.

Wonderful. I never had a pet as a child. Apart from goldfish. It killed itself. Love James Bond – what a fun name! You had a good active day, I can see. I walk a lot. More in Helsinki.

23:36   Hopefully you can show me more.

Here’s a tiger I drew with color pencils:

IMG_2402

 

And some more of my art:

Had a box of leather leftover pieces. Created this bag with glue and scissors and sewing, and gave it to mom.

23:39   Wow. I am impressed. Love it. You should be a designer. Our designer!!

 

IMG_2393

So cool. I can see your future.

P.S. I love hugs too.

😊 Wonderful. This one’s not mine, but I love it:

IMG_2395

That’s quite funny. I like it.

It’s very creative, isn’t it?

Yep. Do you know who did it?

It says Terry Border was the artist.

23:44   May I flood your phone with pics like this? You can delete them soon. Otherwise I’ll eat up your memory space.

Please. Flood me. 😊

IMG_2397

This is my daughter’s kind of art!

23:49   A proper baker. 😊 Getting hungry. You are killing me!

She should totally bake wedding cakes.

I wouldn’t resist that.

 

IMG_2398

I love taking pictures, as well. And I love Finland!!

Beautiful!

IMG_2399

I have a nice camera, but have no idea how to use it.

Nowadays I just use my phone.

Yep. Like me. New iPhone takes great pics.

My favorite place in Majorca:

IMG_2400

Looks familiar. V Spanish.

Favorite game (it’s called Ingenious):

IMG_2401

I want to play. I’ll probably win. 😊 Maybe we can play? You have to teach me. Is that in your flat?

No, not my flat. A game night I hold at church, sometimes.

I hope you win! I like to play against smart, competitive people.

Otherwise it’s no fun!

00:01   I always play to win.

After midnight, so 6 days to go. 😊

And the art of selfies. Here you go.

 

Anna sends him a couple of good ones.

 

00:03   Beautiful. 😊

Teach me. I need to learn how to take good selfies. Night night. Thanks for all the pics. 😊 Sweet dreams.

00:05   I’ll teach you. Ah! Where is that smile selfie I asked for? (Sorry for the flood).

I loved the flood.

Had a kind of nostalgic day today.

Keep flooding! 😊

Looking at the kids as small babies, etc.

Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Ah, yes. Here is chubby me as a baby!

00:07   OMG!

Me. Then my son.

HOW CUTE!!!

Haha.

I told you he looks just like you!!

Definitely mine. 😊

I love all your pictures.

And I guess you have an older sister?
Send me as many pics you want as well. Love them.

Sleep tight! X

00:12   Night night x

© 2017 rf

 

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

 

 

Obs. Day 56 since moving out… And 6 days to go!

 

 

Chapter 42 – Under the Sun

 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016.

 

Day 51

 

Anna is spending the week with her teens. Always so lovely!

Her daughter Kristiina is 17 now and these are exciting times. She’s in the second year of upper secondary school, and her Vanhojentanssit is coming up.

Vanhojentanssit, that is, the Ball of The New Seniors, is a beautiful formal prom held in Finnish high schools to celebrate the passage of becoming the lukio seniors, the day after the third-year students stop attending to start studying for their matriculation exams in February.

They’re going to be fetching Kristiina’s long dress on Thursday. That’s something really nice to look forward to. Anna and Kris are going to have coffee somewhere and chat from the joy of their hearts and their amazing friendship.

Aww. Her little girl is all grown up now.

Oh, how the years fly!

 

Yes, this week Anna is spending quality time with her teens, but they’re teenagers. They don’t need her or even want to spend all their free time with her. An hour or two per evening seems to be more than enough for them these days.

There really is a time for everything under the sun…

Not going out on dates this week, but there’s a lot of time for chatting online. And dates set up for next week. Yay!

Thank God for hobbies and friends.

And for Tinder.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 51 of yay – life is good after all.

 

 

Chapter 31 – Nothing Much

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

Nothing much.

It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it turns out.

We’re too different. Apparently he needs to sleep early and I go to bed late…?

Anna’s looking pretty as she turns the key and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy and frustrating expectations.

 🎵 I was going out tonight, still feeling alright…🎶

OK, I practiced some dating skills. Not a complete waste of my time, then… An OK guy – this Riku.

 

Yes, it’s been only a month of Tindering and she’s already been on 8 dates.

Forty-six days since moving out, since the separation. Hmm… Out of their last home together… It’s just Mr. Ex’s now. And the teens’.

And God knows who else’s?

Oh, cringe!

Hurtful bleeding bloody ouch.

 

Stop.

That’s a ridiculous understatement.

Grotesque.

 

How about this?

From last June to January, Anna has at times felt lunged at, knocked down, assaulted by fate. Stabbed with a knife that life has “thrust, jabbed and skewered” her lovable heart with – until near death.

Sigh. She knows she’s not a victim, and takes responsibility over her choices, mistakes and actions…

Still, I can’t help how I feel!

 

Well, I’ll tell you this. If you ever find yourself in this same predicament, there’s just one thing you should do. One.

Forgive.

Now.

Full stop. Categorically.

Move on. Just move on.

Bless him; wish him well – you won’t regret it. For the teens. Co-parent like Mary Poppins would.

Don’t you dare dwell on loss. Onward march! You deserve it. Be really happy. Abundantly. Survive at all costs. Stay resilient. Think selfishly of yourself too, now. Have loads of fun. As much as you can. Look at the bright side, at all the perks. Raise that dopamine, but be safe. Don’t be alone. DO NOT ISOLATE YOUR SOUL. Hug all your friends and relatives. Let them splash their affection over you. Take care of your kids. Love them with all your being. Let the tears roll down sometimes. But laugh out loud much, much more. Infinitely more. Watch lots of comedies. New hobbies? More volleyball please. More jogging. New friends? Please, maybe find a good guy. Believe he’s out there. Someone who wants you, sees you. A nice person. A powerful healing embrace. Chemistry. Just do it, come on. Postpone the frightening mourning, the deathly grief. Don’t you feel lonely tonight.

Quick!

Urgently Suffer Later.

L-a-t-e-r.

When you’re stronger.

That’s what Anna’s doing, anyways.

And the only way to go if you’re sane.

 

Sigh.

This whole separation thing is so very recent.

Deep in her heart, Anna has no doubt – whatsoever – that it’s for the best. The very fairy best.

It will most certainly turn out to be a super clear, mega blessing in disguise – eventually. There were just too many things they couldn’t take anymore. Betrayal. No attraction. No romance. Twenty more years of friendship? Nobody deserves that. To please society, the church?? Don’t you want more?

Honesty!

Honestly…

One

Life

To

Live.

They were over each other. They lost faith?

 

It’s not that…

So, what is it, then?

What is there to be sad about? Why can’t Anna just enjoy a peaceful pleasant home-alone Thursday evening? “Read a book, relax!”

 

Well, fathom this for a second.

I can’t!

Your recent home – now previous…. The place where your teens are spending this very evening with their father… The place that you’ve recently redecorated in style and with the loving work of your hands…

Where you hung the curtains you’d just sewed… The place you cleaned and decorated for Christmas just fifty days ago…

The place where your youngest child is probably devastated, hurting, missing you – feeling “Where the heck is mom and why isn’t she here?” …Trying to be brave to pull through… The place your own family lives without you two weeks a month…

Oh my God.

After two decades of making a house a home – with love, with passion. With joy. And lots of human imperfection… History.

That place…

…Is a place where you’re no longer expected. You’re not really welcome there anymore.

 

So… nothing much.

Just that.

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Still day 46 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 26 – Ding! Plo-Plim. Ding! Ding!

 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016.

 

Day 45

 

Ding!

Plo-Plim!

Anna feels enthusiastic every time her phone dings.

Ding!

 

Yay…! Connecting with new people has been so interesting…

Sharing ideas, discussing big subjects, some intellectual topics, too. Being a little flirty at times (of course)! It’s all novel stuff, so our Anna can’t help but get all wired up.

There’s a time for everything, and this is the first time that Anna is free, you see? Free to explore, play the field – free to rediscover herself. Who am I now?

I don’t know, but this sure is fun! Yay.

Ding!

 

Don’t get me wrong, my dearest reader. When someone conquers her passionate heart, she’s ever the loyal and adoring type – aren’t twenty years proof enough, huh?

It’s exciting, too, being that passionate. And she’s undoubtedly a daydreamer.

Ah…!

Plo-Plim!

 

Yet, her personality type adores to explore.

Excitement, creativity, laughter, flexibility, sensations, curiosity, energy, drama, novelty intelligence, feelings, fun and unpredictability. That’s what I’m talking about, baby. That’s the kind of stuff that delights her.

Ah…!

Ding!

 

Besides, I’ll let you in on a little secret now.

Anna has yet to understand that about herself, but truth be told, our Anna’s a bit dopamine-driven. She needs a couple of challenges from time to time to ignite her adventurous problem-solving mode.

Yes, she even needs a tiny little bit of drama in her love life. Otherwise she’ll feel bored.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 45 since moving out.

Chapter 15 – Tinder Date #6

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

 

Saturday, 23 January 2016.

 

Day 34

 

So, Luukas and I text. 

How can we have this much in common?

He’s a teacher too – physics; his father is also a retired pastor; he’s divorced with adult kids; loves volleyball and running (well OK, he runs marathons – I struggle to jog 5km). Just as I have, he’s lived in Oulu, Jyväskylä, Porvoo and Stockholm, and lives in Helsinki now. And more. 

He convinces Anna to call her up immediately. She’s intrigued and a phone call would be a first. Why not?

Oh, no! He sounds soooooo formal. And laughs exactly like Santa Claus, Ho, Ho, Ho. Anna, you are so adorable! Ho, Ho, Ho.”

Still, he seems like a good person. Plus, he’s in very good shape, in his really blurry pic. So Anna decides to accept his invitation to have tea the next evening.

 

Oh, Thank you, thank you. Ho, Ho. Where?”

🎅

She’s slowly started to feel that, when unsure, why go all the way to the other side of the center. Let them come to me.

She doesn’t tell him her neighborhood, of course, but suggests a gaming restaurant on Tyynenmerenkatu.

 

 

Day 35

 

On Sunday, after a pleasant day with a little jogging, she’s not feeling too excited, but still, when a human being gives you their precious commodity of time, the least you can do is get nicely groomed for the date and look as cute as possible. It’s a matter of respect.

Self-respect, mainly.

 

And what if he ends up being Mr. Boyfriend, huh? I don’t want to regret not showing up looking good.

Nothing over the top. Just the usual.

Shower. Hair, light make up. A casual outfit. A nice overcoat and a beautiful, fashionable scarf.

A sincere smile, self-confidence and eye-to-eye contact are anyone’s most important accessories.

 


 

Evening has come, and Luukas walks up to her on the dark street, blond, tall, handsome and… shy! Poor dear.

The restaurant is closed, so change of plans, and they go to the Little Big Café inside Verkkokauppa.

Anna can’t remember anymore all the things they talked about that day. She does remember, however, that he was timid, and…

… kept on talking about all the wrong topics.

 

(a) His upcoming unemployment and no stress in looking for another job.

Oh, my. His hair looks so oily. Didn’t he wash it for the date?

(b) His illnesses. The pain and discomfort.

This keeps getting better.

Hey, we all have our conditions, but please! Your charm, first.

Slowly. No hurry. A little mystery is good.

 

Hey you Mr. Wanted out there: win me over and then I won’t mind your brokenness. I have my share, too.

Skills, people, dating skills!

I’m here practicing mine. Hmm.

Oh, poor dear. You have good attributes, but why are you wearing a cheap, old-looking, hoodie? The color doesn’t suit you. It’s too small and has a couple of holes in it. It looks like a teenager’s hand-me-down.

From the last decade!

Dating is comical.

 


 

Saturday, 30 January 2016.

 

A week later, Anna goes to the Educa Messu, an education fair for teachers. Guess who she bumps into there?

Yes, him.

He gets all happy and excited to see her and grabs her hand, pulling her to see different stands.

Walking hand in hand, she panics on the inside and is shocked into passiveness. Wide-eyed.

Akward – does he think we’re on a date??

What if my teacher workmates spot us like this? Some don’t even know I’ve separated yet. They’ll think I’ve found myself a teacher-lover.

Help!!

She has the idea to seem deeply mesmerized by a pedagogical book displayed opposite them, and thus has to let go of his hands to flip its many, many pages. Phew.

He finds ways of grabbing her hand again, so she repeats the trick.

He finally stops taking her hand in his again and she feels better.

 

Anna has been fasting today and is feeling quite weak. The fair is over and Luukas invites her to have a hamburger at Sävel in Kallio. They’re on the tram and she’s feeling so weak that she goes there with him.

Ravenous!

Besides, she’s told him he’s nice, “But sorry, I realized I’m not ready for a relationship or dating yet.”

 

They have a chat about work while they dig into their burgers. He’s OK. And he gulps his beers.

Then, after eating he brings his chair – that has been safely opposite hers – to her side of the table. What the heck?

He hugs her and starts kissing her cheeks.

At a burger restaurant?? People are watching!

She shows him with her body language that she’s not interested, but he licks her ear and whispers, “I’m a very passionate man! Must be my half-Russian blood!”

“Sorry! Stop! I’m not ready.”

“Oh, Anna, you’re simply wonderful.”

“Thanks, but no. Thank you for your company. I’m feeling tired, so I really have to go now.”

Being free to go on dates feels exciting, but so far, eurgh, such bad luck!

 

They bump into other once more, when Anna is with Kristiina at Stadium in Kamppi. Anna introduces the two, and the three of them chat for a minute.

“Mom, he’s so handsome and nice!”

“Yes, he is. But he’s not for me.”

I’ll really have to do that research on how to politely let a man go.

Urgently!

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. He is nice, but there’s just no chemistry.

 

 

Chapter 14 – Be Active… Stay Happy?

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

 

Hard work runs in the family. Granny, mom, Anna, daughter Kristiina… Sister, aunts, all the ladies!

Granny Anna (who our story’s Anna is named after) is amazing! At 93, she’s calm and very active. It’s no oxymoron, you know.

Granny, affectionately called Mummo by everyone, has survived cancer twice in the last ten years. When the doctor gave her two months to live, she asked people to pray for her cure, because she loves life and isn’t ready to die. 😍 So far, she’s been cancer-free in all her yearly check-ups. Yes!

Still living alone, every time Anna goes there unannounced, Mummo’s home is clean and tidy. She often cooks delicious lunches for twelve-fifteen of us and has lots of other pastimes, such as having coffee with friends, baking and sewing in large quantities. It’s out of this world, really.

Mom is cut out of the same cloth. Her current project: she’s hand-knitting and giving out 900+ scarves. Almost one per day, and they’re beautiful!

 

What about our Anna? Oh, she’s definitely used to being super busy, too.

In the last years, she had her family and home to take – almost – impeccable care of. A full-time job, hobbies, friends (you simply have to make time for them, don’t you). And all the while pursuing her dream to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

So, full-time studies, too.

She wonders why some women who neither have a job nor studies, can’t even manage to keep their home tidy!

And some single students don’t have kids, don’t work and take forever to graduate.

Anna graduated in six years.

When she had exams, she’d sleep only six nights a week. She’d study all night long after work and family, drink a Red Bull and go to the university. From there, straight to work. Great grades, happy, creative work.

Intense.

But she made it! With joie de vivre, really. And lots of playground time with constant adventures with her kids. ❤️‍

 

After graduating in 2012, the family moved around the world for a while – long story. Maybe later (or… maybe better not).

Back in Finland, she fought for a job, went on many interviews, got a teacher’s tenure position and has had time to try to start the new habit of a little jogging and going to the gym. Then came the divorce.

Gosh.

Point is, Anna’s used to being surrounded by people and very, very efficient with her time.

Yes, she’s the productive type.

Yes, it does run in the family. True.

Nevertheless…

Anna knows that she became more focused on, let’s call it ‘efficiency,’ because what she really, really longed for was to stop, as often as possible, for love and affection. ‍

Busyness is a sort of escapism. It keeps you from being too sad about reality.

 

Mummo’s a widow, she has to fill her time! It’s healthy – Anna thinks to herself.

But when you’re married and you don’t stop… is it because of the lack of romantic chemistry, the lack of that wonderful emotional bond?

Sigh.

You must fill your time with other activities. 😏

Things weren’t as they should and sex was just a hobby between Anna and Mr. Ex – like a sport of sorts. You know how to play well. You do it often. But where’s the excitement?

 

Anna’s life has changed drastically. From a full-time everything, she’s now an only-two-weeks-a-month-with-the-teens kind of mom.

Work and hobbies, too, but there’s not enough to do!!

All of a sudden she’s feeling she has too much spare time in her hands.

You see, Anna has a big, joyful heart, and she thinks she is ready to love again.

I am!!

She’s also got a dark empty flat when she turns the key in the lock after work and pushes the front door open.

A heart, a place and time.

 

And love can stop time.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Love, come and make me stop!

 

 

 

Chapter 11 – Tinder Date #1

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

 

Sunday, 17 January 2016.

 

Day 28

 

What do we have here?

Jani is good-looking in his pictures. Older, over fifty for sure. Good posture, well dressed.

His facial expression isn’t dead – haha – but doesn’t reveal much either.

Anna and Jani have been chatting a little and he seems respectful and intelligent – qualities she admires in a man. The chat flows for a couple of days and doesn’t get dull, so when he invites her to a morning coffee date, she cheerfully accepts.

Finland is such a small country that when she googles his first name along with some personal info he’s hinted at, she easily spots him on Google pictures and finds out he is a high-rank military officer.

After meeting Anna, he’s going to be catching a ferry to Tallinn at the West Harbor near her home. She suggests the Little Big Café inside Verkkokauppa, just across the harbor – practical for both of them.

 

She takes a long shower, feeling just a teeny bit nervous.

It’s my first date ever, after all! At 39.

She met her ex when she was just 17, remember? They had no money for dates. Besides, they were teenagers, hanging out with friends and lots of relatives in South America (which was awesome, btw).

By the time they started going to restaurants and trips, just the two of them, they were already engaged to be married, and knew each other really well.

So dates with strangers like in the American movies?

Yes, my very first. Yay! 🦋🦋

 

She blows-dry her blondish highlights nicely in front of the mirror. Anna’s going for loose with natural waves.

Her makeup is subtle and she’s wearing deep-red slim jeans and a long-sleeved basic matte black blouse. The finishing touches are her best black woolen overcoat, a nice scarf, new gloves and leather boots.

Casual, but cute. 🙂

She’s asked her friend Tom for any dating tips he could muster from the top of his head, and he said never to wear perfume on the first date. Or then very, very little. If the person doesn’t like the smell, you’re done.

That makes sense. So, no perfume.

 

Anna spots Jani immediately after going up the escalator. He’s very tall, elegantly dressed and his overcoat looks expensive.

He greets her with a firm handshake, keeping his back really straight at all times.

She smiles, he grins.

 

They are standing in line, small-talking, when he turns and asks, “So, coffee or tea?”

“Coffee please,” she answers with a friendly smile, feeling those butterflies in her stomach. This is so cool!!

And so weird.

She hears him ordering a coffee for her and a tea for himself, and quickly changes her mind. If we end up kissing, the coffee taste in my mouth won’t be so great. 😏

“No, no, wait. I’ll have tea, too.” she says in a friendly way.

He turns to her, visibly impatient, and asks again, irritably this time, “Which is it? Coffee or tea?”

 

To be honest, she can’t even remember what she answered. She’s just thinking, wide-eyed, how very military of him!

Well, at least he’s insisting on paying for our drinks.

They sit down to have their tea (I think), and his well-mannered questions feel like an interrogation, not a date.

Hey, I’m being scrutinized, but I’ll humor him. What a stiff type!

Amused, she’s trying to imagine what a military relationship feels like. It occurs to her that at 50+, he looks much older than in his pictures.

But handsome...

After a few minutes he says he needs to leave and she offers to escort him to the harbor, in her normal social manner.

“That won’t be necessary. Nice to meet you. Bye.” A final handshake and he marches away: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4.

1 – 2 – 3 – 4.   Yes, sir!

That went, uh…?

 

That night they send each other their final messages. She politely asks him about his cruise and thanks him for the coffee  no, tea!

He is polite, too, but says he didn’t feel any chemistry.

Uh, really?

They wish each other well and unmatch.

Had I only been decisive about what I wanted to drink, Anna sulks.

Yeah, right. 😂

Next time, I’ve got to be better prepared: always know your coffee from your tea, Anna!

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 28 since moving out.