About Me

About Me


Hello Dear Reader

Welcome to my blog agirlcalledbrenda.

Picasso had a blue period. These essays are Brenda’s how- desperate- are- you- willing- to- be period of dating.

I began writing this blog on middle age dating in 2010.   It was a combination of my own dating experiences along with those of my single girlfriends.  At the time, I was working on a novel titled The Dating Club and after a gazillion drafts I am now on the editing stage and hopefully will be able to launch it soon enough.

The Dating Club centers on the lives of four female characters who meet every Tuesday to discuss the Prince Charming Myth.  One such character is Missi Morgan.

When Max left her, Missi was, to say the least, a basket case. For eighteen years she had devoted her life to him and his Jazz bar. Then, out of the blue (for her, anyway…it’s always like that, isn’t it?) he left her for his barmaid, Sheri.  Worried that she would commit some kind of act that would land her in prison for the rest of her life, Campbell, a therapist in a woman’s center coaxed Missi to join the group. Missi was skeptical.  Who wants to join a club that is all about debunking the Prince Charming myth?

After all, Max was her Prince Charming and she was determined to get him back.  But as the weeks went by, her determination soon turned to gloom and Missi began to look forward to those Tuesday evenings. It was something to do. Her Max period had been filled with looking good for him: hairdresser twice a week, nails, going daily to the gym (which honestly she found excessively boring, especially the treadmill) and taking gourmet cooking classes (something Max made her take but she hated because she never got the hang of it). Besides, she really liked junk food, which explains why in her post Max period she’s put on a few pounds. But honestly, the curves look sexy on her and her clothes no longer drip off her like some Salvador Dali painting.

Missi began to wonder how to fill the empty hours of her day. She had left a half-finished degree in creative writing to marry Max (got pregnant, you see) and Max had insisted that she be a stay at home mom. It was likely cheaper for him than to have to hire a cook, cleaning lady, laundry lady, chauffeur, butler, babysitter, holiday planner, music teacher, hostess and of course play mate. Not that Missy didn’t enjoy those roles. There’s something to be said for being your own boss.

It was during this period that Missi sent a few stories to True Romance Magazine which they published. Although the pay wasn’t much, it gave her a feeling of satisfaction but when she told Max about this he blew up. “I don’t want people thinking that you have to write these trashy stories because I can’t satisfy you.”

It wasn’t until the women in The Dating Club encouraged her to go back to her writing and to start dating.  The idea frightened her. She still believed that Max would come back and didn’t want any messy pseudo romances to get in the way. Besides, Max’s comments about her writing had diminished her self-confidence.

The women insisted and even set her up on these horrific online dating sites. In the dinosaur days when people talked about online dating in hushed tones as if it were equivalent to a transsexual disease or stealing she had a profile on Lavalife.  Since then, she’d posted dozens of different profiles on other online sites. Salon.com, where she found a match and had a wonderful summer fling which ended up extracting every cavity of her neediness. On and off e-Harmony, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, where despite its shallow depths, there were all kinds of sharks roaming around ready to lure her into their net. Most of the men she dated were perfectly ordinary and boring.  Then, there were the others. The weird, unsuitable men. Not quite disasters but definitely disappointments.

It didn’t take long for Missi to  realize that the pond of available men was filled with sharks and men who made her cheating ex-husband look like a prince. It was hard for Missi to find any man attractive when Max had set the bar so high (except for his cheating). Well, if she wasn’t going to fall in love at least she could use her dating experiences as writing material and maybe make a collection of them.  She called them A Girl Called Brenda, hoping to help other women know what’s out there in the modern manscape, and how to make the most of a thin crop.

I, as author of this blog, have taken a lot of care to disguise the characters, both men and women.

Of course, there’s nothing I can do if some of you recognize yourselves through some of the characters.  That’s just good literature.

Carol Balawyder

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