Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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Misadventures in MidLife Dating: On Lost Keys, Overestimations, and Vegans

Misadventures in MidLife Dating: On Lost Keys, Overestimations, and VegansHi, y'all. It's been a while. In fact, it's been so long, I forgot how to use the Producer platform. 

I'm sure it will come back to me. 

There hasn't been much to talk about on the dating front. I just sort of let it fizzle and die.

 In fact, if it weren't for a lunch with Melissa Hughes, I probably wouldn't have bothered writing this.

Feel free to blame them.

The header image is from that lunch. No, Melissa (who is quite the nutbar, BTW) isn't groping me. I think that's called foreshortening. It's an optical illusion thing.

What looks like quite a belly is also an optical illusion thing.

Or is it?

Anyway, let's get to it.

I've been alone for a touch over two years now. I'm getting used to it. Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing. You can be just fine on your own. You can also feel lonely in a crowd.

Maybe it's time for me to look more seriously... maybe not.

Whatever. You know what they say, "There are plenty of fish in the sea." Mind you, I'm not a big fan of fish. Besides, my hook is getting old and rusty.

That said, RANT MODE ON...

Beautiful women have it rough. 

Don't laugh. It's true. 

Here's a case in point. When a certain stunningly beautiful woman of my acquaintance posts a picture on Facebook, she invariably gets 50+ likes and comments. 

When she posts a thought or an idea... CRICKETS.

I find it annoying. She thinks it's normal. 

No, Hon, it isn't.

I call that the "Lost Keys Syndrome"

We've all heard someone say that when they lose their keys, the keys are always in the last place they look.

No shit, Sherlock. Why would you continue looking once you find them?

Beautiful women are like those keys. We see their beauty and stop looking. There can't be anything more to them, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong. 

What's even worse is when the woman herself subscribes to the same assumption.

Beauty will attract attention (and usually from the wrong people). It's temperament and personality that holds the attention. Remember, Coco? She was a stun blast in whom I initially lost interest within minutes. Only later did she let her real self out.

The question is, are you a beautiful woman who is intelligent, funny, and fun to be around, or are you an intelligent, funny, fun-to-be-around woman who happens to be beautiful?

There's a difference... a fricking big one.

Don't sell yourselves short, all you beautiful women. Level up already.

You make it tough on yourselves too

Beauty, no matter how stunning it may be, can only go so far. Over surprisingly little time, it becomes expected, assumed, and not so big a deal. The novelty wears off.

Don't buy into your own bullshit. You get no points for being beautiful. That's just coming out lucky in the gene-pool lottery. Attractiveness and beauty are related, but they are two completely separate things. 

How many beautiful, but unattractive women do you think I've met? Tons! 

How many women do I know who would be just as attractive even if they were much less beautiful? Many, but fewer than you may expect. Many just carry around a sense of entitlement that does not exist.  

Maybe it's just me. 

I was raised by a beautiful woman, raised with a beautiful woman, married a beautiful woman, and together, we raised a beautiful woman.

Maybe I just developed an immunity.

In general, women put far too much stock in beauty, their own and that of other women. Which is an excellent segue into this post's dating misadventure story.


The Militant Vegan Date

Many of you know that I'm trained as both a chef and pastry chef. It would be safe to assume I like food. I'm also a dedicated carnivore. So, now that you know all that, can you explain why a female friend who has known me since high school would set me up with a vegan? 

You read that right.

She didn't just set me up with a vegetarian. That would already be an unlikely match. Oh, no... she set me up with a militant vegan! 

I'm not big on militant anything, frankly... but militant vegan???

The date started off okay. I made a reservation at a decent restaurant -- not too fancy, not shabby either. It was a Greek place. 

She ordered a Greek Salad, no feta cheese. I thought nothing of it. Women often salad-out, although I prefer women who are actually human -- you know -- they eat. I wondered about the no feta thing. Feta is tasty yet very low-cal. No worries, to each her own.

As I always do in Greek restaurants, I ordered lamb chops. I like my lamb chops blue i.e. rarer than rare. 

She said, "I'm getting grossed out watching you eat."

WTF? I don't eat with my mouth open, so what was the problem. At this point though, I didn't know she was vegan. She let me know soon enough.

She launched into a whole "meat is murder" monologue.

I'm a pretty level-headed guy. I don't lose my cool easily. I can get annoyed, but I rarely get angry or rude. I told her I respected her opinion but didn't share it. 

I told her repeatedly. 

She didn't even slow down.

I told her in different ways.

I don't think she heard me.

Even my patience has its limits. After about a half-hour of meat-is-murder, why-does-an-animal-have-to-die-for-you, and eventually, cow-farts-cause-global-warming (oy!), I couldn't take it anymore.

I called the waiter over.

"The lady will need another table."

She left in a huff and I was able to finish my meal in peace.

Her salad wasn't bad, but it needed that feta.

The Why of it

On the way home, I called the friend who set us up. I had a single question, "Why the f!ck did you set me up with a vegan?!?"

Given the subject of this post, I'm sure you can guess the answer. "But she is so pretty!"

Yes, she was.

I don't particularly give a crap.

That's one friend who is no longer allowed to set me up.

Cheers, all.

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Louise Smith

1 year ago #29

Yum I'm going to try it

Louise Smith

1 year ago #28

Thankyou @Melissa Hughes and Phil Friedman

Louise Smith

1 year ago #27 I miss those old beBee Days so much ! I drop in periodically but the look now with all those ad buzzes really does my head in Imagine (or not) my absolute surprise when after former in vain forays even checking @Paul "Pablo" Croubalian 's Blog I found NOT 1 BUT 2 new episodes of MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating I have read this one but am savouring it and will keep "Misadventures In Mid-Life Dating: Heartbreak, Pain, COVID, and WTF?" till I need such a read given the sparsity of such adventures over a prolonged period until recent times Obviously there was not much social distancing going on at the lunch BTW I'd love to have lunch with Phil Friedman too ! Just an Ocean away ! I have to say that "The Militant Vegan Date" does not just apply to gender and to dates It is not one of life's simple pleasures unless it's at a Vegan Restaurant (Yes even here Down Under we have those) Then there's the risk it may not be one of life's simple pleasures even if it is at a Vegan Restaurant Please Consider Beware of non Feta Greek Salads Greeks not bearing gifts Beware of those unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims ie: Terrorists Beware of being set up with "Friend's Choices " It's worse than internet dating ! Beauty is in the "eye" of the Beholder The Complete Series So Far On Love, Relationships, Loss, And Mind Hell How To Build Your Own No Bullshit Zone MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: The Male View MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating, the Male View: The Ambush MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: Coco Revisited and Cyndi Answered MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: Enough is Enough MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: The Talk, The Result, The WTFFF? And this one: Misadventures in MidLife Dating: On Lost Keys, Overestimations, and Vegans

Lisa Gallagher

1 year ago #26

I would have asked for another table for her or walked out even if we were meeting there to eat & talk biz. Yikes. Great photo btw, where did you all meet up Paul \

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #25

Hi, Fay Your comments carry a heavy amount of truth. To be sure, I rarely notice that inner beauty grows over time. It's either there or it ain't, much like the physical variety. However, it rarely fades.

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #24

Paul \ So right ... and this works both ways ... substitute handsome for "beautiful" Beauty will attract attention (and usually from the wrong people). It's temperament and personality that holds the attention Attractiveness and beauty are related, but they are two completely separate things. I was at a trade show recently where an "anti-aging" product line was being sold for over $1,000 ... which testifies to the "stock that women place in beauty" Aging can NOT be reversed ... although with care it can be gracefully slowed All external beauty fades ... while internal beauty (should grow) over time When time-talents-resources are focused on externals ... that "internal beautiful GROWTH is lost, stunted or under developed This is the world we live in: people value the externals ... Aletheia: the life journey to become fully who we are created to be includes growing in soul & spirit ... heart & mind This is attractive in any relationship along with gratitude, grace and God's goodness A Greek salad with feta & a side of Spanikopita please ;~)

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #23

I knew I liked her! Tell her I said Hi;-) Love ya Paul! Lookin' forward to golf season;-)

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #22

Hi ya, Cyndi! It isn't so much that beauty fades over time. It's also that familiarity breeds ennui. One gets used to it and it no longer intrigues. Re Coco: I saw her a bit before Christmas. It ain't meant to be. Still the DoLR, though (Date of Last Resort). I'll probably see more of her when golf season rolls back in. Coco has a strong personality and is fun to be around. She tends to steamroll over guys with her character. They rarely can hack more than a few weeks.

Phil Friedman

1 year ago #21

Yep, Cyndi wilkins, it's part of my program of counter-trolling. Just asking them to cease and desist never works, so I'd taken to writing negative reviews of what they're advertising. :-)

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #20

There's a lot of that going around here...Unfortunately, these trollers are common on this site.

Cyndi wilkins

1 year ago #19

Eh, physical beauty only last so long...Believe me, I just got my licence renewed and couldn't believe the difference ten years made...Looks like I've done some 'hard time!' No is in the eyes of the beholder right?!?! Just be a beautiful person at heart and you always win! BTW...How is Coco? Do you stay in touch? Oh, and just one final question...If cow-farts-really-do-cause-global-warming, then we should be eating them...Right?!?! Anyway, great to see you back Paul \...I've missed you;-)

Randall Burns

1 year ago #18

I'll clarify; I can relate to dealing with a militant vegan, LOL

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #17

Dear "Jessy" I have a paper due on "The adverse effects of plagiarism on academic standing and eventual professional standing and reputation" Thoughts?

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #16

Well, it was great meeting Melissa Hughes. I just couldn't resist that little dig. Mel is a lot prettier than you are.) In all seriousness, it was great meeting them both. Melissa is a comedic nutbar. Her a wacky sense of humor proves that a beautiful woman can also be smart and funny. Melissa sure ain't no lost set of keys! She's even better in person than I expected. Meeting Phil was less visually appealing, but just as satisfying, in some ways more so. It isn't every day that one gets to meet a childhood hero. I owe/blame my love of all things nautical to Phil. In my mid-teens, I would collect empty bottles, return them to the corner convenience store and stock shelves for an hour or so. The owner would "pay" me in that month's Canadian Yachting magazine wherein Phil had a monthly column. I needed my Phil Friedman fix. Phil wrote his column fairly young because he doesn't seem all that much older than me. Maybe it's all that salt air?

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #15

LMAO! Funny, my brudda from anotha kitchen, I couldn't relate at all HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #14


Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #13

Speaking of Tarpon Springs... I love that little town. I don't remember the seafood place I ate at, but they had their own boats. Talk about fresh fish! I may just retire there.

Hi Phil! Yes, I've had a Greek salad prepared that way in Tarpon Springs many many years ago.and it was superb. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

Phil Friedman

1 year ago #11

Ah, but Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador, is a Greek salad with feta laid on a bed of potato salad still a Greek salad. That's the way it's done in Tarpon Springs, FL where Greek sponge divers settled in the 40s and 50s, and where the Greek cuisine is terrific. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

1 year ago #10

I reviewed what SpeedyPaper Adviser [sic] has to offer, and as a former univerity professor judge it to be crap. I also object to Jessy White (no doubt a pseudonym) trying to use this thread for his own advertising purposes. Buzz off, Jesse!

Javier 🐝 CR

1 year ago #9

Great picture ! cool !

Randall Burns

1 year ago #8

Haha! Great post Paul \ I can definitely relate to the "Militant Vegan"!

Pascal Derrien

1 year ago #7

Great to have you back Paul , how lucky you were to meet Phil and Melissa in person :-)

Phil Friedman

1 year ago #6

Yep, I agreed to Paul using the photo. It happened during a moment of bad judgment -- to clear the photo, not to meet for lunch in Weston, FL -- spurred by the euphoria of meeting a couple of long-time online friends for the first time in person. Most of the time, I can look at everybody else and remark to myself about how much older they are looking these days. But when you precipitously allow your own photo to be published, well... Seriously, it was a truly delightful get-together. Which once again bolstered my view that strong online relationships can morph into what promise to be lasting friendships. As they say, try it, you'll like it. My best to you all. And cheers!

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #5

Melissa Hughes are mentioned in this post... heck they suggested it

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #4

Agreed, that's a big reason why I have more female friends than male. I'm pretty sure Vegan Warrior Lady won't be among them

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

1 year ago #3

I hear you, Franci. A Greek Salad without feta is just a salad

Hi Paul! It's good to hear from you! A Greek salad without Feta is not a Greek salad, IMO.

Jerry Fletcher

1 year ago #1

Paul, Reminds me of a line I used when I was much younger and the foreshortening hadn't yet occurred: "I just want to know if your mind is as beautiful a the rest of you." Damn few of the ladies were witty enough to have an intelligent comeback. A couple of them became lifelong friends. And so it goes.

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