Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Drop In

Last week I requested a meeting with a client and suggested Monday.  The time I asked for was 11:00, have a meeting and then go for lunch.  She told me the only time she wasn't free Monday was between 11:30 and 1 because she was volunteering serving lunch at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.  She told me I should come.  I said sure.

We met at the parking lot across the street and walked in.  You can't get into the centre unless you're an employee, volunteer or have been approved entry (by way of bio-metrics).  Up the stairs and into the volunteer holding room we went.

Jorge came in and explained to us all that the centre is now 10 years old and originally was meant to house around 500 people/night but has been expanded to house almost 1200 people.  Many of these people are working homeless, in transition or down on their luck in general. 

The kitchen has a staff of 2 and welcomes volunteers from their client base and various volunteers from in and around Calgary to make meal services work.  There were approximately 15-16 people there today and they had 8 in the kitchen and 8 out serving the meals.

Jorge explained to us that the clients come and sit down at a table prior to the meal times and that the volunteers bring the food to the table instead of making people go through a line.  Portions are controlled and it also gives the clients a certain amount of dignity.

We were serving the tables today.  The kitchen team rations out the food and then puts the plates up on the counter.  The servers grab the cutlery from a bin, put it on a plate and then start serving the meals.  During the meal, an announcement came on to thank the volunteers and everyone gives a round of applause.

I have to say everyone was extremely appreciative of the meal they were served, quite friendly and made the experience amazing.  When we (the volunteers) were walking back through the tables to go retrieve our stuff from the volunteer room, we received another round of applause the whole time we were walking out.  Tears were in my eyes and everyone was saying "thank you so much" - person after person was so grateful for us being there.

From what I can see and what I learned, the Drop In Centre relies heavily on volunteers and I plan on going back as often as I can.  It is humbling and rewarding knowing that I'm giving back to my community.  It's also nice to see that the people who go there are being treated with respect and dignity and kindness. 

I think Calgary is an awesome place to live and it made me really happy to be able to give back.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Plenty Off-ish

So I have taken the plunge and have tried to start dating again.  I signed up on match.com only to be matched with men whose sole criteria in a partner was that they were thin or athletic/toned.  Sole. Criteria.  Glad so many men have their priorities in check.  Waste of $60.00, that's what that was.  And when I tried to tell them why I was leaving them, they just wanted to give me another 3 months free.  Why?  So I can continually be reminded that 90% of the men on your site are shallow and can't look at the woman within? 

I thought then, why fight it?  I'm a big girl, there has to be a website out there for men who like big girls, so I joined bbpeoplemeet.com.  I met one guy who I thought was pretty awesome only to be told that he has issues with self-confidence and that's why he thought he would try dating a fat chick (he didn't call me that, I'm calling me that).  I'm so glad I could be some dickwad's science experiment.  Goodbye bbpeople.

On to singleparentsmeet.com - hey, guess what?  I'm a single parent too!  Let's get together and do some family friendly activities - perfect for me who has my son full time and never gets to do very much outside of momville.  Oh, no, we're back in the shallowness, where men only care about superficial things.  Apparently, one has to be a MILF to be on this website, and I don't fit the bill.  There are also a tremendous amount of men who don't actually have children on this website - they just like single moms - why?  They think we put out?  Go to Hell.

Do I dare?  I'm so tired of paying someone to look at other people's pictures and deal with their bullshit lies.  So I caved.  I went on Plenty of Fish.  It's free.  It's also full of weirdos.  You would think out of all the people on there that there might be a few good men.  Like Greek Guy.  I shot him a quick message to tell him he was handsome and I liked his profile.  Pretty easy breezy, nothing big.  He writes me back telling me he thinks I'm cute.  Excellent!  We're off to a great start.

I suggest we move off POF to our phones where we are now texting feverishly, like 2 school kids.  He's an engineer, been married, has a teenage daughter, sounds responsible.  Wants photos of me (tasteful) and goes skiing for the weekend with his buddies, texting me all the while.  He's totally into me (I think).  Fast forward 2 days and I'm in Minneapolis out for dinner with a co-worker and I get this text:

"Tara's blowing me - wanna see a pic?"

Uh. Huh? What just happened?  Apparently, he's making a joke with a buddy and doesn't know how to text.  Nope, dude, you just got caught.  I don't care who's blowing or not blowing you, but it's not something you share with me.  It's rude, distasteful and disrespectful.  I get called a prude.  I ask him how he would feel if 2 guys were texting eachother about his daughter that way.  All of a sudden I'm right, he's sorry.

I'm so not interested.

What's a girl to do?  I resort to Twitter - why not give this online dating thing a bit of a break?  I see a tweet from Perez Hilton about okcupid.com.  How bad can it be?

Well, this is a to be continued, because I just joined up and so far, I'm kind of liking it.  The more questions you answer, the more it can match with others who feel the same way.  My favourite part so far though is the determination of how bad enemies you would be with someone.  It's interesting to read your similiarities but even more intriguing to see how you differ from someone.  So far, I'm very attractive to men in Oklahoma, but I think I'll give them a pass.  Since I have such limitation on time, I'm picky about who I see and when I see them. 

I do know if this doesn't work then I'm taking a good long break and will just love the crap out of my little boy and hope something comes along off-line.

Wish me luck!