Baggage


 
 
KATE DAVIS
Baggage

Bohemian Gemini, 53

I’m creative, intelligent, a good cook for a bloke. I crave vitality, spontaneity, and I love to dance. 
I am a 3D designer and sculptor, among other things…
I ski as much as I can in the winter. I sail as much as I can in the summer. I’m open to trying something new. What’s your passion?

I’m looking for

Females aged between 43 and 53.
I’m looking for a lady that I can love, respect and adore.
So if you are an educated, eloquent, elegant woman who likes romance, knows herself in every way, is confident, infectiously happy, has a sparkle in your eye, a big smile, looks to the future and buries the past—have stored your baggage—then we may have a positive match.  
Naturally, all the normal pre-requisite values of honesty, sincerity and trust must apply.
She read a lot of profiles before writing her own. She took on board the major themes expressed, the likes and dislikes, collated the data and then tailored her profile to fit. Once she found the perfect profile for her requirements, the man who at least on paper would be her Mr Write, her paper mate, it was only a matter of editing a few lines to make her perfect for him.

Aeroman, 42

Dinner, movies, a DVD cuddled up on the couch. Someone who could stay the night cuddled up in my arms. Is that too much to ask? Is it selfish? Is it wrong? I am not looking for sleazy encounters but a long-term lover and someone to socialise with. A girlfriend. I do not wish to get married straight away or move in with you. I have my own life and expect that you have yours. Forgive me for laying this out but life is going by so fast. Into kayaking, travelling, camping, skiing and also enjoy the occasional beer.
I’m looking for
Females aged between 27 and 40.
An intelligent and healthy woman. Prefer the natural look of a girl over one who is too done up: just be yourself. No need to cake on the makeup or spray yourself with chemicals. Not covered with tattoos or excessive piercings. I am healthy and clean and want to stay that way so no players please. Nobody who would be cheating; married but separated is OK. Definitely NO smokers or druggies. NO BAGGAGE.
It wasn’t just the profiles she had to go on. She also had the years of advice and helpful comments from her friends and family. She had, after all, been single for a long time. With her fortieth rapidly approaching and the advice of her friends echoing loudly in her ears, she knew she had no time to waste. She didn’t really think turning forty was a big deal. She had reconciled herself to the fact she wouldn’t have children but, as a friend recently pointed out, dating years were like dog years, and after forty she was more likely to get shot by terrorists than find a mate. She had increased the amount she spent on her appearance and had started getting regular shots of Botox, and now she had decided to bite the bullet and try online dating.

YEY_ME 51

Well, my female friends would describe me as a genuine, humorous, kind, compassionate and generous person. I tend to sometimes be a little OTT when it comes to things like dinner parties or weekends away. But no one is perfect so I’d say I do get frustrated with laziness and people who don’t keep their word, but that’s mainly on a business level.
I try to make an effort to get to the gym and do a few laps in the pool 3 to 4 times a week, I LOVE good food and enjoy the finer things in life.
My background has been involved with 4-5 star hotels so camping would be a challenge. Ha Ha. Enjoy social times with friends, weekends away, weeks away, dinner parties, doing anything spontaneous and quiet nights with a movie, maybe a wine and some good French brie.

I’m looking for
Females aged between 40 and 48.
From 1 to 10 … Doesn’t sweat the small stuff, Takes care of herself, Smart, Attractive,
Loves a Laugh, Enjoys the finer things, Independent, Likes to Travel, Enjoys good Food,
Has a fun group of friends … that should mean you’re fun as well … PERFECT Ha Ha
So if you have checked your baggage … message me.
There had been some boyfriends along the way but they never seemed to last more than a few months. It wasn’t her that ended the relationships, it was always them. She was happy enough, she supposed, but they always seemed to grow weary or irritable or bored. There was always something. In her twenties her friends had put it down to her just not meeting the right one. In her early thirties as all of her friends and family became more entrenched in their relationships, and as the last few singles found love she started to notice a change. Instead of blaming the fates for just not providing the right guy, the comments started to focus on her and what she was doing wrong.
With every year that passed in her thirties her friends’ advice became less and less sugar coated. The comments once candied were now just plain candid, but still framed by disclaimers. ‘I’m just trying to be honest’ or ‘It’s for your own good’. Often her friends were going through relationship trials and tribulations of their own, and yet because they had children and relationships, even failed ones, they felt they had a right to point where she was obviously faltering. From the smug sanctity of their own coupled and recoupled domestic dogma, they coached her like a team. A team that just couldn’t win.  
On the outside she soldiered along, taking it all in her well-organised single stride. She was successful in her work, financially independent, freehold and she made a point of saying yes to almost everything she was invited to. She went to the gym and she regularly attended concerts and shows, often paying for a ticket to take one of her married-but-mortgaged friends along. They repaid her generosity with motivational tips on how she might alter in order to become coupled like them. Outwardly she didn’t react to the plethora of comments, but inside each comment entered into her ledger of self-esteem like a purchase on a credit card that was already approaching its limit. With the same attention to detail she applied to her household accounts, she remembered every single charge.
‘What have you done to your hair? That colour doesn’t really suit you.’
‘Do you have to be so political?’
‘Have you put on some weight?’
‘I’m not saying to act dumb, but you don’t always have to be so smart.
That’s all.’
‘Have you lost weight? Your face is looking really gaunt.’
‘Don’t tell them about your past. Divorced guys that value commitment will be put off because you haven’t been in a long-term relationship.’
‘Are you doing a lot of weights? You’re getting really muscly. It’s not very feminine.’
‘You know when you’re upset you can get such a bitchy tone.’
‘I just think men probably find you really intimidating, with your job and your opinions and everything.’
‘You’re always so dressed up. You need to look like you put in less effort.’
‘Oh my god, you get so assertive and loud when you get excited.’
 ‘Are you wearing that? Really?’
‘Are you still collecting those old bears? Christ, why don’t you just start feeding stray cats.’
Now here she was at thirty-nine, spending a rare Saturday night at home. She was wearing sweats, with a blanket over her knees, the TV was on but muted, and she was slowly indulging in her secret passion for really, really good quality ice-cream. She was on to her second tub. She didn’t notice the quiet as her head was buzzing noisily trying to balance the bios from the online dating site while reconciling her friends’ statements. Diligently studying the online world of dating, she was so engrossed in her search for Mr Write that she didn’t even notice she was dangerously in the red. She ate the ice-cream in a steady rhythm of tiny teaspoon tasters, letting each morsel slide down her throat soothingly. She was so absorbed she hardly felt the brain freeze. That was when she found him.

Ready2MoveOn, 54

Men are often defined by their amount of baggage, their level of emotional maturity and their financial prowess. Having succeeded at conquering all three, I have a unique view of what makes a relationship successful. I have no baggage (my wife got that in the settlement. LOL). I manage a successful business and now I’m looking for the perfect woman who can manage me. LOL. If you wish to survive the many perils of dating in your forties, then it might pay to drop me a note (in English, not smile language) so that I can show you what a generous, successful and sincere looking man looks like.
I’m looking for
Females aged between 35 and 45.
Attractive, slim 40-something women who are just coming into their prime. Someone who is independent and yet appreciates old-fashioned values. Must love to have fun, share my passions but also have hobbies of her own. Fun to be with but not opinionated or bossy. Someone who is keen to muck in, but is still elegant and likes to dress up. Someone who still wants to be treated like a lady but is still in touch with the little girl inside. Someone who wants to spend romantic weekends away, but also loves romantic nights and dinners in. Someone who hasn’t let herself go, looks after herself, slim, and well put together. Preferably petite. NO BAGGAGE. Only messages with a recent photo will be responded to. If that sounds like you and you’re ready to be treated like a princess then don’t be shy. Say hello.
He was perfect. Older, divorced and he owned his own company. He lived nearby in an equally affluent suburb. He had two teenage children whom he loved dearly and couldn’t imagine life without, that he wouldn’t trade for the world, and he spent as much time as he could with them once a month. He didn’t want more. His photos showed a lifestyle she thought she might enjoy. Skiing in Queenstown, standing on a tropical beach, a variety of photos taken in front of iconic landmarks around the globe. Many of the photos had one of his arms cropped, or a disembodied shoulder of a petite brunette. He wasn’t good looking in a conventional sense, or even an unconventional sense, but he looked confident. He looked like he was in control.
All she had to do was tweak the profile she had constructed and she would be Ready2MoveOn to the next stage of her plan. Just as she finished that thought the timer on her phone went off. She picked it up and silenced the alarm and then stood up from the couch, throwing the empty ice-cream containers into the rubbish on the way to the toilet. Pushing her hair out of the way she bent over and put her fingers down her throat. The ice-cream was still cold coming back up, and that made her happy as she knew she hadn’t waited too long. That was one of the reasons she loved ice-cream. It still felt nice on her throat coming back. When she finished the process of repeated purging she washed her face, cleaned the toilet and went to the kitchen, where she made herself a cup of green tea and then returned to her spot on the couch.
She felt empty and light. As she read over her completed profile and started to neatly edit it to fulfil the requirements of Ready2MoveOn, she found herself believing her own responses. She filled in the blanks, drank her tea, and felt started to fell less empty.
The only thing left to do before activating her online membership was to select a name. It didn’t take her long. The men were looking for an ideal, a princess. She needed a name that would reflect that. They also wanted someone to rescue and build into the ideal woman. So when she finally went live under the name of Cinders she was being neither ironic nor metaphorical.
When she sent Ready2MoveOn a smile J she felt nothing but optimistic.
As she tidied away her cup and straightened the cushions before going to bed she glanced around her immaculate but cosy apartment. Obviously it was time for her to pack away things like her antique teddy bear collection. Actually she thought she should probably pack up all the knick-knacks she had collected from her travels. She would start boxing things up in the morning. She went back to the bathroom and pulled off her tracksuit pants and brushed her teeth. Even though she examined herself intently in the mirror she never noticed the little bit of sick caught in the ends of her hair.
The next day she started packing up. She had begun collecting the antiques bears as a child. She only had around thirty, but still, she could see her friend’s point. She looked at their worn and sometimes scruffy condition. Occasionally one would be so pre-loved a little of the straw might be sticking out of a threadbare arm or belly. They were all individuals, purchased for the individuality of their expression. As she took each one from the shelves where they had been proudly displayed she couldn’t bear to consider each little face looking at her. So without allowing any emotion to penetrate her packing she started to stuff the bears roughly into the boxes. Once she started, she realised just how much she needed to do.
She sent an email to her work alerting them to the fact she was packing and unable to come in. By the end of Monday she had stripped the lounge, filling the boxes and then taking them downstairs and stacking them in her formerly unused storage locker. Then she started on her wardrobe. She pushed things into rubbish sacks and dropped them at the Salvation Army. On Tuesday she went to an expensive store and bought some elegant dresses.
Then she stopped at a gardening centre and bought some practical-looking gumboots. On the way home she called in at a friend’s and explained she needed a photo. Her friend complied enthusiastically as she put on the elegant dress and the gumboots and they took a photo of her pulling a weed out of her friend’s garden. Elegantly mucking in. They uploaded the photo to her profile immediately.
It wasn’t until the Wednesday night, when she was stuffing her photo albums and school yearbooks into the trash that she saw the alert letting her know she had received a new message. There had been several messages so far, but she hadn’t opened or acknowledge any of them because they weren’t from him. Finally, Ready2MoveOn had responded to her smile.
For the rest of the week he sent messages and she responded. She never initiated, she just waited. Packing, cleaning and preparing responses. By Friday he suggested a meeting. Lunch at a café on Sunday. On Saturday night she declined an invitation from friends to attend a barbecue and stayed home. She didn’t even buy any ice-cream. She began deleting folders on her laptop, cleaning the only thing left in her apartment that hadn’t already been purged. Now even her hard drive was devoid of a past and her browser showed no history. By Sunday she was ready.
After ensuring she was looking as elegant, feminine but casual, totally together and not-let-herself-go as possible, she set off to meet Ready2MoveOn. She arrived five minutes early but waited in her car until he sent her a text saying he was in the café waiting. Then, leaving both phone and handbag in the car, she went to meet him.
He was sitting in the front of the café at a large table designed for six. He had pushed his chair out and had one leg resting on an empty seat. He was leaning back and talking loudly into his phone. He laughed and said something about his future wife arriving and then he stood to greet her. As he leaned in to kiss her cheek he made no attempt to disguise the fact that he was examining her from tit to toe.
‘Nice, very nice indeed,’ he said as his hand dropped from her shoulder to her caress her hip. A waiter approached and when asked what she wanted she looked straight to Ready2MoveOn, who answered for her. He ordered two cappuccinos, and even though she normally drank her coffee black, she didn’t mind because she had forgotten.
They sat and exchanged pleasantries. He didn’t really look like his photos, which she now realised must be a few years old. He was tall, almost bald, lean shoulders and limbs, but his belly unexpectedly soft, escaping over his belt. His teeth were yellow and quite large. There were little bits of dried saliva at each corner of his mouth. His breath was rank, like that of an animal that lives on dead carcasses. Carrion. Indeed, he hunched his tall frame over, slightly vulture like, as he sat telling her how relieved he was that she was almost as attractive as her photos. She spoke little but laughed prettily, elegantly, in a feminine and girlish way. When he mentioned his bitch of an ex-wife he sprayed spittle and then laughed menacingly.
She smiled and laughed and nodded. Listening intently so she would be able to respond appropriately. His eyes were hard, bloodshot and blue and as he fixed them on her it flashed through her mind that they were completely unlike the eyes of a teddy bear. No bear would ever have eyes so cold and hard. He leaned toward her, sharing his menu and asking what she felt like eating, and she tried to imagine his mouth on hers.
‘What do you feel like, Cinders? Hope you’re not one of those women that pretend they don’t eat. I like a woman with an appetite,’ he said lecherously.
‘Ice-cream,’ she replied.

Published in Landfall 228, November, 2014

 
 

           

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