My Better Dating Through Engineering series

Were you aware that I have a two-book series called Better Dating Through Engineering? It’s for single men and women in midlife who are trying to find someone to spend the rest of their lives with. I wrote it because I started looking for a new husband at the age of 50, after I was done with 25 years as a single parent. The dating scene had changed to the point where it was unrecognizable! I didn’t know how to find a guy, but I did know safety engineering, so I modified a quality assurance process and used THAT to guide my search. My online girlfriends, who were my cheering section and kept me honest during the search, convinced me that what I was doing was so different and unusual but I should write a book about it.

I ended up writing two books, because the minute I’d written a book for women in midlife looking for a husband, I had men in midlife who decided that made me a “dating expert” and kept asking me how they could find decent women, too. I did all the hard work for you by doing cost-benefit analyses of various online dating platforms, and narrowed down what sorts of

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter Thirteen: How to Say Goodbye to a Mismatch

Let’s have a little talk about letting inappropriate men down easy.

The two catch-phrases to remember are (1) I’m afraid you are not my type, and (2) We are looking for different things.

Simple to remember, right? Good. Because those two phrases will get you out of all manner of uncomfortable situations.

Is he married?

I’ve had lovely dates where the man spoiled it all by telling me he was married. Yes, I wanted to know but not after I’d already gone out with you!

If a married man slipped through my screening, I’d tell him We’re looking for different things. On the inside I was feeling: I’m not looking to be an adulteress, a homewrecker, or a fool—I was a cheated on wife once and that’s against my religion. But I didn’t say that because it just sounded so unpleasant, and who wants to cause a scene?

Note: if you merely suspect he’s married you can tell him what you are looking for, that marriage is your ultimate goal. Married men will hear that and often disappear faster than a cat at an all-dog kennel.

Is he looking for casual sex?

I didn’t always manage to weed these guys out, either. I had a few dates where, at my age, I was pressured to get into the back seat of a car. “C’mon, it’ll be fun!” they said.

And they all got the same response: We’re looking for different things. I told them I was looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with. That they were very attractive but I am not into that on the first date. (My experience was that such men did not want a second date if I said no, so that worked for both of us.)

On the inside I was thinking: What part of my emails and our phone conversations did you not understand? I told you I was going to say no to this. You’re not so overwhelmingly sexy in person that you’ll make me change my mind. Get a grip on reality, man!

Maybe I was too courteous, but I doubted that saying what they needed to hear would alter anything, so I went the polite route and wrote them off. If such a man pestered me I could block his email address.

Problem solved!

Is he repulsive in any way?

I’m afraid you aren’t my type covers a multitude of serious problems: anything from a frightening temper, to offensive tattoos, to looking like Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum.

If the man pontificates and never lets you get a word in edgewise, if he boasts about his ties with the mob or cheating the IRS, if he has self-destructive habits (like diabetics or heart patients who don’t watch what they eat and drink heavily), if he lacks gainful employment (oh I’m just on temporary disability he says…and an ambulance is nearly called to your table for him), if he kisses like he’s giving you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (badly), if he lives in a shack that shrieks mental illness or if he boasts about his enormous tabs at the tavern—and all of the above are all within my experience—”Not my type” can make it sound like simple mismatched chemistry.

An actual, unretouched photo of two of my dates

Ah, that elusive spark was missing and you have no control over that!

(end excerpt)

You can learn more here: Better Dating Through Engineering Series

Your Friday Moment of Zen

It occurred to me that I am posting this feature every Friday on Facebook, and I should be sharing it on my blog as well. Sometimes touching, sometimes humorous, here is… your Friday moment of Zen.

A nice new Review of Confessions

This reviewer gets it: I liked to call safety management preventive medicine.

Confessions of Female Safety Engineer 5.0 out of 5 stars. A well-written, informative, and sometimes funny memoir on a little-known profession

Wendy S. Delmater tells the story of how, left in a terrible position as a single mother with children, she first discovered her possible calling and then made it her profession: safety engineer.

A safety engineer is a person who watches over all major project sites to ensure that the work is being done properly and safely — which means doing anything from simply ensuring all the right forms and clearances are obtained to stopping work outright if they see a dangerous situation developing. In construction, where the author worked, this is a vastly male-dominated field (and was even more so when she began), and some of the book deals with how she evaded, confronted, or leaped over the pitfalls caused by that.

But the majority of the book simply tells, in smooth prose, about her path to becoming a safety engineer and the various situations — good, bad, and worse — she had to address in this profession. It is also an educational book, telling readers a lot about the kind of work that has to be done in the construction profession as well as the specific work of a safety engineer. Though leavened with a lot of humor, in some ways it’s quite scary to realize how very many ways there are for the apparently-dull field of “building stuff” to go hideously wrong, and not just for workers on the site. Old contaminated asbestos sites, destabilized railway bridges, potential for fire and collapse… this is the kind of thing that a safety engineer has to worry about every day.

On the positive side, Wendy S. Delmater also points out that a good safety engineer *saves lives almost every day*. Sure, you don’t charge into burning buildings to drag people out (one hopes); instead, you save them in the FUTURE. You change a situation that would likely get someone injured or killed into one where everyone goes home safe.

This is a really fun book, a surprisingly quick read, and one that’ll teach you something too! Highly recommended!

(Thank you, sir!)

Small presses and agents

Had I known what hard work finding a small press that might be interested in would be Writing the Entertaining Story would be, I would’ve allotted more time for this exercise. I’m also doing an agent search, which I have never done before, in the face of some people telling me that “all agents are dishonest and I shouldn’t go the agent route.” Of course I will not need an agent if I find a small press that will publish WTES but the practical side of me says I should probably be looking at both agents and small presses… and work with whichever one bears fruit first.

But honestly, it irks me that if I’d gone the Indie route WTES would be published this very week. I hope I am making the right decision.