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When his car pulled up, the man inside was clearly not the man in the photo. The voice that came out of his mouth was indeed the phone voice, but instead of the tall, good-looking man was a morbidly obese and homely-faced person. My shock turned to confusion and pity within seconds. He started to explain, something like "Just give me a chance..." But before he could finish, I turned on my heel and walked away. Normally, my "polite" demeanor might have kicked in so far as to give him a chance to explain, but every instinct in my body told me to not get in the car -- it was more than his obvious lies and my own bruised ego that I'd been so easily fooled, I had a very real instinct that getting in his car would have ended very badly. Of course, the disconnect between his photos and who he really was shocked me; I was humiliated I had been duped and genuinely hurt that I felt emotionally manipulated by a liar. Even though I could empathize that this man maybe had a difficult time meeting woman or finding women that would give him a chance past his looks, my own need for self-protection (do NOT get it the car with a man who carries on a string of lies over the course of a week and who immediately gives you a DANGER vibe) made me turn on my heel. I hurried home, shocked, hurt, and enlightened about people in general and online dating.
Over the next few days he emailed and tried to call, but after I responded once with an email saying basically that I didn't appreciate being lied to and deceived and that he'd creeped me out and please don't contact me again, he did stop trying to reach me (after a couple more days of calls).
Looking back, my naivete was astounding -- it never occurred to me he would lie about something so obviously easy to de-bunk on first meeting. Lessons learned and all that. I'm just glad I went with my instinct and didn't get in the car, as opposed to hearing him out and prolonging issues.
When I went to Vegas (granted, years later, but still during the Big Sell of Vegas as Family Fun Place), I saw parents pushing strollers way too late between casinos and through all tourist traps (and the kids crying their eyes out, probably exhausted and on sensory overload), the aforementioned escort cards shoved into your face and littering the streets, lots of public drunkeness (do Aussies get some kind of bulk liquor discount I did not qualify for on the Strip?) and all-around ADULT behaviors everywhere. Frankly, I was often most disturbed by the parents dragging crying and obviously tired children out late at night, which, on the continuum of Things Parents Should Not Do, is maybe one step better than leaving them alone in the hotel room unattended. Maybe. And I mean, it didn't seem like these parents where in a hurry to get the kids back to the hotel and in bed, but were Wal-Mart-style yelling at the kids to shut up while "Mommy and her friend enjoy the Fremont Street Experience."
Currently (and not by design), all three of my cats have similar-colored fur. In my house, it would take a CSI team to determine who won a wrestling match by fur clump color. If I come home to the telltale signs of cat fighting, I just assume the scrappy little one won; she's good. She is a tiny badass.
As for the squirt bottle...I currently have three cats and have had cats my whole life and for me, the squirt bottle thing has never worked. Unless you count cats running for their lives if they THINK you are reaching for the squirt bottle (or any bottle, after awhile). In my experience, they head for the hills upon bottlage and then resume all negative behaviors as soon as they feel the coast is clear. I'm convinced they don't make the connection between that sort of projectile negative feedback and their behavior. Also, I had one cat who, like honey badger, just didn't give a shit. He'd sit there while you squirted him like a bullseye.
This is going to sound hippie-dippie, but in my opinion, having a good relationship with the cats in question goes far toward less-frustrating basic discipline. By that I mean, I have a lot of positive interaction with my cats, talking to them/praise/baby talk (I'm a cat lady. OK? I said it) and plenty of pets and love. When a discipline issue does come up and I actually raise my voice or even give them A Look, they know what's going down and stop whatever crap they're pulling. Seriously. It's sort of funny, like scolding a bad kid.
The only time the mild scold doesn't work is if there is a full-on personal issue cat-on-cat war/tussle for whatever feline reason. Usually that ends with a lot of fur pulling and rolling like a giant mewling tumbleweed in mutual headlocks under the bed until someone emerges victorious. And then they take a nap.
Oddly, the first time we entered the exit, I clutched his arm and held my breath, almost waiting for Her Majesty's Swedish Armed Guards to escort us out of the building. I like to follow directions, and all the signage (and massive traffic flow) clearly shows which doors are ENTRANCE and EXIT so I felt naughty. People looked at us like lunatics as we fought our way upstream through the exit until we got past the check-out to the actual shopping areas. But you know what? This strategery works so Wile E. Coyote genius, that I will forever employ it at IKEA unless I feel the need to wander through miles of bedroom interiors and bathroom fixtures I don't want or need before I get to the cheap Swedish chef kitchen accessories and bedding. Because I'd rather feel naughty than like a chicken being shoved through some unending chute to slaughter, which is roughly the feeling I get when I'm made to go through the IKEA maze the "right" way.
Also, I am a fan of their open-faced shrimp salad sandwiches. I feel cheated if I go to IKEA and don't stop for one. Nom.
#2 choice: Eating as much of any food as I want and never gaining weight, always maintaining a fit physique. Hi, Chinese buffet. Oh hello, Cheetos Family Size. What's that? A trip to Paris and all the pastries I can stuff in my face? Don't mind if I do.
[youtube rnSU2AalfKg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnSU2AalfKg youtube]
[youtube ymT8PGiqPP8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymT8PGiqPP8 youtube]
When she friended me on Facebook (ok, I friended her, whatever) last year and then sent me an email, too, I actually squeed with delight like a 13-year old. I seriously have crushed on her for the last almost-30 years.