The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction - An Introduction

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction - An Introduction

My first foray into the Social Networking world was some years ago, in 2005 I believe, with Yahoo. They had a site called Yahoo 360° that was their own attempt at MySpace, which, at the time, was all the rage. I hadn't been bitten by the MySpace bug yet, but I was already an active member of Yahoo, so to get my feet wet, I set up a Yahoo 360° profile.

Blogging was an extremely attractive prospect to me. I love to write, I love to give myself that type of "outlet" to my problems, fears, joys, and experiences. I've kept diaries and journals off and on over the years and they've always been therapeutic when I took the time to keep them up. But this... a public diary? How do I approach such a thing? How much do I divulge? And what, praytel, do I write about that would actually entice people to read it?

Browsing thru existing blogs, one thing was an absolute MUST: I could not, would not, write about mundane things that no one but myself would care about. I needed an angle-- Something that I could write passionately about. Something that people, in general, have an interest in. Something that would grab the attention of the public. And something that had a "theme." I found that, to me personally, a blog that jumped around all over the place was difficult to read. A theme would keep me in check, and allow me to focus, rather than a stream of conscious that I was sure would bore to death anyone who came across my page.

The idea came to me fairly quickly. I was newly divorced and discovering the delights and annoyances of being single and dating in my 30's. It was perfect!
Love, sex, relationships, dating... The overall general interaction between men and women has always been a fascination and a sure-fire hit to our society, if not our entire species! I had my topic, I was ready to roll...

Yahoo has since shut down their 360° forum, and the experience I had there was both rewarding and therapeutic. So I am going to retell my adventures in a retro-active tale here, and see if I can gather the same, if not bigger, audience I did there. Maybe I can even get inspired enough to bring the whole thing up to date and wrap it all up into a happy ending? We shall see...

So, here we go! Hello, my name is Jennifer. I am 37 years old and I've been divorced just over 6 years now. Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls, it's gonna be one hell of a ride!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chapter 52: Not-So-Happy-Halloween

The next day, Sunday, I wanted to see "Thumper" again, and I called him to tell him so. He apologized and said that he had other plans, but would call me when he got home. I assumed he had plans with the other girl, and now it was starting to bother me. I began to think about the fact that I wanted more attention from him than he could probably give, if he was dividing his time up between two women.

For the last three months, I had been completely focused on "Tarzan", and "Thumper" was certainly a welcome distraction. But I couldn't just immediately go back to playing the field after having gotten used to focusing on one person. And I'm not so sure I wanted to. "Thumper's" constant attention, yet lack of commitment was confusing to me. I didn't need heart/head-confusion just then.

So when he called that night, I told him that I wasn't so sure he could give me the attention I needed. I realized that this was a subtle and indirect ultimatum, but he had so often shown me that he was an all or nothing person, and I had to know if it was going towards "all" or "nothing".

Never in a million years would I have suspected that he would have chosen this other girl over me. After all his talk about how I had captured his heart, he proceeded to tell me that he wanted to explore his relationship with this other woman. He said that they were so comfortable with each other, like they had been old friends for years. He feared the intensity of the connection between us. He suspected that we started out with so many fireworks that we would just crash and burn, and his heart would be broken.

So you're choosing her because she's SAFE? You're kidding? I would never give up the hot intensity of the beginning of a relationship! It's the best part! How could he so willingly just walk away from that? But walk away from it, he did.

Who does this?  Who goes that far out of their way to convince someone of a lie?  Thankfully, I got out early....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chapter 51: Happy Halloween

Over the next two days, my email and cell phone were drenched with messages from "Thumper". If I hadn't been enjoying it so much, I might have been annoyed at his persistence. Therefore, I was surprised to learn that he was still seeing the girl he met for dinner the night he met me. After all his declarations and overtures, I couldn't imagine that he was able to spread that much of himself around.

He attempted to explain to me, over and over, that he was in a very strange place. Never before had he had two wonderful women interested in him at the same time. And, while I absolutely had captured his heart, his brain was screaming at him not to let this other girl go yet... That she deserved a chance to see what might develop, too. However, at the end of the day, he was still completely smitten with me, and he had no idea how to end the war between his heart and his brain. Maybe it was a false sense of security, but considering how much of an emotional person he was, I didn't think it would take long for him to realize where his heart wanted to be, so I didn't mind.  I kept it casual, and kept him at arm's length.  At least emotionally.  Physically, there were pretty much no boundaries...

We went to my brother's Halloween party and had a blast. He was comfortable with everyone, even though he knew no one but me. This was a refreshing social relief from "Tarzan", no doubt. He was affectionate, but not clingy, and I had a wonderful time.

We went back to my house after and made love again. It was even more intense than the first time. Fortunately, there was no more intense talk that made me suspect he was going to tell me he loved me again. But it was still incredible and amazing. I could get used to this. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chapter 50: Perfect Evening

"Thumper" was on my email before I even got to work in the morning, asking me over for the following evening, a Wednesday, for dinner. He wanted to cook for me. How could I say "no?"

After work, I eagerly drove to his place, and was not only surprised, I was highly impressed. His house was impeccable, and his creativity for a meal surpassed anything I could have dreamed up. We had Yellowtail Merlot, and a spinach salad, garnished with walnuts, strawberries and feta cheese, topped with a homemade balsamic vinegarette dressing, and for the main course? Cedar-plank grilled salmon fillets glazed with a garlic-maple-soy sauce, and a side of honey-dijon mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus. (Yes, we are talking about a straight man here!) He had bought some Key Lime Pie for dessert, but we never made it that far.

All the romantic gestures, the longing gazes across the table... I allowed myself to be swept up into the faery tale evening. I could just say that we had sex, but it wasn't like that. We made love. It was sensual, and sweet... we were exploring each other, getting to know each other on a deeper level. I couldn't remember the last time sex had been so intense. Or rather, I couldn't remember the last time a man had been this intense.

We lay there afterwards, and here came the tears again. (Wait, this IS a straight man, right?) Okay, yes, we definitely were connecting on an intangible and indescribable level, but I just didn't know if I could handle the tears at every turn. He talked to me with desperation in his voice, to accurately convey what he was feeling. He told me that I had touched him in a way he never imagined. I had his heart, 100% complete and pure. For a moment, I thought he was going to tell me he loved me. How would I handle that? I would not, could not say it back. This was ridiculous. I turned the conversation around to a lighter, more joking arena, to avoid the possibility that he might let the "L" word slip out. And it worked. Whew!

I asked him if he was free Saturday night if he would accompany me to my brother's Halloween party. It was a date, and he was already professing how much he couldn't wait.

Yes, it was moving quick, but I wanted to enjoy it and not analyze it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 49: Too Soon To Jump Back In The Saddle?

The day after "Tarzan" and I broke up, I reactivated my profile on Match. I also signed on to eHarmony. A few weeks back, eHarmony had sent me a match that had sounded quite intriguing, but since I was unavailable I had put "Thumper" on hold. I knew I was probably acting out of rebound-anger, but I reactivated the connection with "Thumper". To my surprise, he responded immediately. By the end of the day we had already gone through the five-step guided communication process, and by Monday morning, we were already talking via email and Yahoo Messenger.

"Thumper" was completely taken with me, and he let me know this in no uncertain terms in every communication. I don't really know exactly what it was that I said that made him so smitten, but I was willing to go with it. I needed a little "awe" in my life.

He wanted to meet me immediately, but he had, unfortunately, made a date that night with another girl he'd met on eHarmony at the same time he met me. He made it obvious that he really didn't want to go on this date anymore, and wanted to meet me instead. While this was very flattering, it wasn't exactly a great character-trait to me, to cancel on a date on such short notice and for such a manipulative reason. I encouraged him to go on the date. But he was meeting her early for dinner. So I suggested a compromise: IF and only IF the dinner date ended early, like 10-ish, maybe he could call me and we could meet for late night drinks?

He loved the idea. I didn't really expect to hear from him that night, but he called at 9:30, claiming that she had needed to leave early anyway, and very much wanted to see me. We met at Applebee's for drinks, and the first words out of his mouth were, "You are BEAUTIFUL!" We talked and had a lot of things in common. I asked him how his dinner date was, and he said that it was better than he had expected it to be, and he would probably see her again, but admitted that, all evening, he couldn't wait to see me. He held my hand across the table the whole time and gazed at me with an amazing look on his face. I really couldn't believe that he could possibly be THIS taken with me so quickly!

We eventually had to agree that it was getting late and walked out to my car. Not wanting to say good night just yet, we sat in my car to have a cigarette, and kept talking. He leaned over and kissed me, and it was a passionate, longing, very sensual kiss. When he pulled away, he sighed and said, "I just knew that you would be a good kisser." When I looked into his face, there were tears on his cheeks.

Tears??? Are you serious? He didn't try to hide them. He said he felt this amazing connection to me, that I had touched his emotions and his heart so fervently that this one kiss just allowed it all to bubble up. This was all very sweet, but just a tad over the top. Or was I so jaded at this point that I didn't believe you could connect to someone so deeply that quick? Maybe he believed in love at first sight, and I was too cynical to allow the possibility? It was a pleasant distraction from "Tarzan", though, I had to admit.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chapter 48: Can't Say I Was Surprised

Over the next few weeks, I felt this distancing from "Tarzan". It wasn't completely tangible, just a feeling. We still talked on the phone, saw each other several times a week, and spent the weekends with the girls.

We had a WONDERFUL day with the girls that month. We took them to the Conyers Fall Festival, then went roller skating, and finally, took them to Piccadilly for dinner before getting them home to their mom on time. It was easy to ignore the distance growing between "Tarzan" and I when we were with the girls. For the first time that day, they told me they loved me, and I was elated. I loved them, too, more than I ever thought I could love a child. "Tarzan" expressed his approval, too. He would constantly remind me how wonderful he thought it was that I accepted his girls as much as I did. This surprised me. Why wouldn't I? They were a package deal. However, he explained, there are a lot of women out there that refuse to compete with children in a relationship. Whatever! They don't know what they are missing!

The following week we all planned to go to the zoo. "Tarzan" called Friday night with the girls there, and let me talk to them so we could squeal and giggle together about how much we were looking forward to going to the zoo the next day.

Later that night, I signed onto Match. I have no idea why. My profile had been hidden for two months when "Tarzan" and I agreed to take both of them down. My mailbox was empty, and my "Who's viewed me counter" was not moving. I guess there was a part of me that wanted to see how active some of the people I'd met in the past had been, like "Tramp", "Goofy", "Mickey", "Shrek", or "Aladdin". Were their profiles still active? Had they logged on recently? Yes, Match makes it pretty easy to do a bit of online stalking if you are so inclined. :-P

I logged on and felt like someone had just thrust a knife in my stomach. There was "Tarzan's" profile, upfront, active, and very visible. Are you serious? He just decided to start dating again without even talking to me? I knew that we were having a little stormy weather lately, but how could he do this? My stomach felt like it had cinched up into a double-knot. I wanted to call him that instant and ask him what the f--k he thought he was doing. But I restrained. I decided the best course of action was to call in the morning, before I went over, and clarify our relationship before I spent all day long at the zoo with him and the girls, pretending like I didn't know he'd done this.

Well, he claimed that he had signed on to cancel his membership altogether, and must have hit the wrong thing. This wasn't altogether implausible, as Match had recently reconfigured the site and the activating buttons were all different, but it was still a lame excuse. Regardless, though, I needed clarification from him, and I wanted it before I committed my entire day. As you can imagine, the conversation was not a pleasant one. One of the girls was not feeling well, and the zoo trip was off, so I was advised not to come over at all. I hung up knowing that our relationship was hanging in the balance, but not completely sure if we had broken up or not.

He called later that night after the girls went home. This conversation was much more calm and rational, but the result was still the same. He was no longer comfortable in this relationship and feared we wanted different things. After being upset, worried, and crying all day long, I was rather numb. He wanted to stay in touch, he still wanted me to be a part of his life. I didn't know how I wanted to handle it, but I just agreed to let things settle as they may and I said good-bye to "Tarzan".

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chapter 47: Speed Bump

Every year in October, my next door neighbor and I would have a joint party to celebrate our birthdays, which are relatively close together. Both of us, and all of our friends, eagerly anticipate this party, as it has become a bit of a tradition. We routinely would have between 30-40 people who attend, and it was always a success. After "Tarzan" and I celebrated the twins' birthday, it was time to start putting together *my* party, and I couldn't wait.

For the first time, since my ex-husband left, I was in a committed relationship, and here was the perfect opportunity to show off my new boyfriend to all my friends at one time. It was perfect. I was happy, I was in love, and I wanted to show it off to everyone!

Over the previous two months that "Tarzan" and I had been together, we had done very little socially. We went out to dinner a lot, spent time with his girls, and maybe, on occasion, with a friend or two of mine. "Tarzan" had no close friends. He never really had. I won't pretend that this didn't concern me. Who could possibly live for 36 years and not accumulate a friend or two? I was only 32, and I had DOZENS! Maybe even hundreds!

So I was concerned about "Tarzan" and how he would conduct himself at my valued social event of the year. I knew that he was uncomfortable around crowds, but I convinced myself that he would understand how important this was to me. I felt that he might understand that everyone in attendance was someone that was important to me, or to my neighbor, or to both of us, and he would put aside his own instincts and stand by my side, like any man would do for his woman when she really needed him.

Needless to say, I was wrong. There was no question about it: I was a social butterfly, ping-ponging around to every person who was there, and "Tarzan" was a hermit, standing in the corner, silently sipping on a beer. He only spoke when spoken to, and refused to mingle. I tried to include him and pull him around with me, but his feet were rooted exactly where he stood. Occasionally people would approach him and start idle chit-chat. He was always polite and courteous, but by no means was he interested in sustaining a lengthy conversation with anyone, and his body language just radiated outwards, "Leave me alone!"

By 11:00, he was ready to go home. I was wired, I was a little drunk, and I didn't want him to. We hadn't even brought out the cake yet! I begged and pleaded with him to stay. He was having none of it. I was highly disappointed, and felt highly abandoned, but I let him go. I wasn't exactly gracious about it, though. I let him know with extremely disapproving looks how disappointed I was that he was leaving so early. I didn't want to fight, I didn't want anything to turn into a yelling match, but I wanted to make sure he knew how I was feeling. Being a "little" drunk after he left just wasn't going to cut it... I went back in and got VERY drunk.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter 46: Comfortable, Easy... Perfect!

Throughout the month of September, "Tarzan" and I had a blast. I met the twin girls and fell in love with them immediately. We spent our weeknights together, and our weekends with them. We went shopping together for their birthday party that was at the end of the month. We hopped around Toys R Us like two kids, buying two of everything that they had so meticulously listed out for us. We wrapped their presents together. We played soccer in the front yard with them. I amazed myself at how willing I was to step into a "stepmother" role. Never before I had even fantasized about having children. And here I was - Very much in a position to inherit two of them, and I wanted it. I wanted the whole thing. The family outings, the bedtime baths, brushing their hair, coming up with little art projects for us to do together, playing childhood games... All of it. There were no games between us, no guessing, no wondering or waiting by the phone. This was the kind of relationship I had been waiting for.

About a week or so before their birthday, we went out to dinner and "Tarzan" said that he had procrastinated on buying supplies for their birthday party. After dinner, we just HAD to go back to the house and get on the website and order some things, and he wanted my help. :) No problem!

We made a little "detour" before we actually got to my computer. As we lay there, talking and cuddling, I had such a rush of emotion. I wanted to tell him I loved him, but I was scared. Everything was moving so smoothly. What if it freaked him out? What if he thought I was getting too close to him and his girls? I saw the same dreamy look in his eyes, but how could I be sure? I held my tongue. Finally he said we had to get dressed and get on that website.

Before we left my bedroom, I turned to him in the candlelight and slipped my arms around him. "What?" he asked.

"Would it freak you out terribly if I told you I love you?" I held my breath and waited for his response.

"Not at all," he said, "because I wanted to say that very thing just a few minutes ago."

"So say it," I said.

"I love you."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chapter 45: We Girls Like 'Woo'

Over the next several weeks, "Tarzan" proceeded to take up so much of my time that I didn't even have the opportunity to see anyone else. I was okay with this. It was nice to get that daily phone call (or calls!) at work, nice to have a man asking to see me several times in a week, and most definitely on weekends. Other than the time he spent with his girls, he wanted to see me as much as possible. Sometimes we went out, sometimes we stayed in, it didn't matter. We were having a blast - both in deep "smit."

I was very respectful of the time he had with his girls, and made conscious efforts to stay away during those times. He had made several comments about me meeting the girls, and I would always recoil at the thought. Even though I knew we weren't seeing anyone else, we had not made any "official" exclusive commitment yet, and I didn't feel that adding the children into the equation was prudent just yet. He seemed to have no problem with the idea, and couldn't seem to wait for me to meet them, but I was still hesitating. Kids? How would I approach that? Kids can be even more judgmental than parents, and they don't always hold back, either. I convinced myself that I was doing the right thing by waiting to meet them, but, in truth, I was terrified of meeting them. They were these beautiful 6-year-old little girls, Daddy's girls, who had been through a bazaar divorce, and already had a new stepfather. "Tarzan" had told me several times that they kept asking him when he was going to get a girlfriend, so one might think that they were ready for that. But what if they weren't? What if my limited experience with children wasn't enough to win them over?

We'd been seeing each almost a month when "Tarzan" had to take an overnight trip to Augusta for work. And who should call me but the Swiss pilot? He tried to convince me to come over for "a glass of wine." And, let's just say that he wasn't nearly that charming about it. I could have... He may have been arrogant, but he WAS sexy. And "Tarzan" and I weren't exclusive. But I just didn't want to. The pilot kept asking, and I kept shrugging him off. In the end, I just never called him back.

Then it occurred to me: If I didn't want to hook up with the sexy Swiss pilot, maybe I was more committed to "Tarzan" than I was admitting to myself? When he came back into town, I told him just that. I told him that I had the opportunity to go out with someone else, and that I just didn't want to go, and how would he feel about "officially" making it exclusive. The broadest grin crossed his face and he said, "Are you kidding? I've been wanting to call you my 'girlfriend' for weeks!"

So it was official - it was the end of the summer, I'd been divorced for just over six months, officially dating for about five of those months, and I had a "boyfriend." :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter 44: ...And With Flying Colors

The next morning, I had an email waiting for me before I even got to work. "Tarzan" thanked me for a fantastic date, told me I was a "phenomenal" kisser, and wanted to go out again as soon as I had time. He was chasing, and he was courting, and I liked it. This is how it was supposed to be. I had the perfect opportunity to do it right this time. Of course, the big question was, "Could I?"

We planned a date for Friday night, and then continued talking via Instant Messenger and phone for the rest of the week. Okay, the accent was still annoying, but it was getting easier and easier to get past it to see the person he was underneath. And the more I learned, the more I liked. He was intelligent, knew how to be serious, knew how to be funny, financially stable, and he had this way of getting slightly giddy when he talked about us together, almost in the same way he got giddy when he talked about his girls. It was just enough to tell me that these were subjects that made him happy, and that was a very comforting and flattering feeling.

We met at Pappa Deux for dinner that Friday night. It started out slow, like our previous date, but then we both started to loosen up a little, sharing a bit about our day and the like. Maybe he was trying to impress me, or maybe he just liked wine, but I was really surprised when he suggested that we order a bottle of wine with dinner. I'd had a glass or two of wine when I'd been out before, but I couldn't recall ever being asked to pick out an entire bottle before! And he wanted MY opinion as to which wine we should get.

Another surprise, "Tarzan" liked Merlot. Again I was reminded of the stereotype I had attached to him because of his accent. Most rednecks wouldn't consider Merlot with their dinner, now would they? I chose a bottle of Clos du Bois, a brand that I'd been wanting to try, and I was delighted that, not only was it as good as I'd hoped it would be, but he enjoyed it too! I would have felt like crap if he'd just spent $40 on a bottle of wine and then hated it.

A delicious dinner and a bottle of Clos du Bois Merlot later, and we ended up back at my house. Yeah, I was doing the mental debating again. Should I, or shouldn't I? With "Tarzan," things felt different. He really was smitten with me, and I was certainly getting there. He had made absolutely no moves or comments that insinuated that he was just after a one night stand, and it was hard for me to picture that he could be that type of man. Maybe I was deluding myself, maybe I wasn't. Either way, I took him upstairs, (will I never learn?) and it was wonderful! He seemed even more smitten with me after. There wasn't a shred of nervousness or regret floating around inside me. I felt completely comfortable. I didn't even ponder whether or not I would get the "day after" phone call from "Tarzan." When he left, I had every confidence that I would.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chapter 43: Winks and Spontaneity

So as you can imagine, I was feeling a little despondent about this whole thing.  I was certainly losing my enthusiasm, and I had pretty much lost my faith in the idea that I would actually find someone again. I was at work when I received a new "wink" from "Tarzan". Hmmm... he looked familiar. I bet he'd winked at me before. He was a nice-looking guy - I wondered why I hadn't responded. I'd noticed his picture, too, in some of the searches I'd done on Match, but had never received or sent a message from or to him. The fact that his picture stood out to me counted for something. I didn't normally respond to "winks," but maybe I'd see what this guy had to say.

He was eager and excited to hear from me. Within minutes, we were messaging on Yahoo, and within the hour, we had agreed on meeting for dinner that night. I liked the way he conducted himself on Instant Messenger. He was polite and respectful, quiet and shy in his own way, but willing to speak his mind when properly motivated. I could tell just from the wide variety of words he used that "Tarzan" was indeed intelligent. He asked if we could talk on the phone before we met for dinner, and I gave him my office line.

Oh, boy...

What had I done? The voice on the other end belied the intelligence I had been reading in our Instant Message session. I was listening to the slowest, most dim-witted, back-woods, country bumpkin Southern accent I'd ever heard. I realized that I shouldn't pre-judge someone based on their accent, but the man I was speaking on the phone with didn't talk with the same ease and comfortability that he had typed with. How was I going to put up with that accent and the awkward silences all through dinner? However, I had already agreed to go, so I went.

It started out just as awkward as I had thought it would. But I had a few drinks and loosened up a bit, and we both started to relax. We shared some divorce war stories, and he told me about his twin 6-year-old daughters. I could see the pride in his eyes and hear it in his voice every time he mentioned their names.

When it was time to go, we both agreed that we wanted to show off our cars to each other. He, with is custom collector Mustang, and me, with my special order TransAm. We started at his, and ended at mine. Sitting in my car, we were just talking and laughing, when he leaned over and kissed me. It took me a bit by surprise, but he was strong and passionate. His hands tangled into my hair and his fists clenched, telling me in no uncertain terms that he wanted me. I liked it. The front seat of my TransAm wasn't exactly the most comfortable situation, but we didn't seem to notice. We kissed for what seemed like hours.

Finally, we grudgingly peeled ourselves apart and admitted we needed to go home. Never would I have expected this date to turn out so well! Never had I been on a date that started out so wrong and turned out so right! I drove home feeling elated, but not overly confident. He still had to pass the "day after phone call" test.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chapter 42: *Sigh*

By now, I was starting to roll my eyes at almost every contact I got. Make no mistake about it, I was still receiving daily "winks" or emails, but I was getting jaded. I kept looking back over the last six months and wondering what in hell I was thinking!?!?!

Who was that girl that met a man at a Valentine's Day party and ended up on the balcony of a room in the W Hotel with a stranger under her skirt? Who was that girl that got so clingy and desperate to hang on to "Tramp", when he made it so obviously clear that he didn't want me? Who was that over-reactive psycho that kept insisting on some sort of explanation from "Goofy" when he refused to talk? And WHO IN HELL was that slut that slept with every man who crossed her path over the last month? Certainly that couldn't have been me? A good, long, hard look in the mirror reminded me that it was.

I needed to be more picky. And, more importantly, I needed to be less available to these men. But I didn't want to be TOO picky, and I didn't want to be "un"available, either. There was certainly no shortage of men out there, contrary to what most women seem to say. I no longer felt I needed to give every bonehead that crossed my path a chance for fear that I "might be passing up a good one." They needed to impress me, dammit. Anything less than that was just a waste of my time. And theirs. So what was the big picture? What did I really want? Defining this question to myself seemed even more important than I how I should begin conducting myself around my suitors. So what DID I really want?

I wanted companionship. I was lonely. And the more casual interludes I had, the lonelier I felt. Sure, it was fun for a few hours, but who was there to say, "Good morning," who was there to send me random emails throughout the day, and, most importantly, who was there to stand by my side if there were some drama in my life that I might need a hug for? I wanted to believe that I was over the casual sex phase, but I wasn't exactly looking to get married tomorrow either. I just wanted to spend time with someone who wanted to spend time with me. No games, no cageyness, no standoffishness, no disrespect, just enjoying being in someone else's company. Was this really too much to ask for?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chapter 41: Let's Meet, Greet, Eat...

Moving on...

"Quasimoto" sent me a message through soon after. His email was just a bit, uh, over-enthusiastic. Every sentence ended with an exclamation mark, and he went on wondering how he could have "missed" seeing me, and then kept saying we should "meet, greet, eat, etc. at the Waffle House!"

For those of you who aren't from the South, or the North-East suburbs of Atlanta, more specifically, the Waffle House is the 24 hour restaurant that is on just about every corner. It's the default place to go when the bars close. The place is quaint, and the food is greasy - just the stuff that hits the spot when you've had too much to drink.  For our North-Eastern American readers, equate Waffle House to your Whitecastle, and there you have it.

Now, "Quasimoto" was, by no means, attractive to me, AND he was a good 12 years older than me, WAY out of my age range. Now, I'm not so cold-hearted as to tell someone that I don't find them attractive, so I'll find some other reason to give if I'm going to turn someone down. Something that, hopefully, dictates some logic and leave it at that.  You're too old, you live too far away, you said you wouldn't date someone who smoked, I'm not a Christian, I'm allergic to camping, You're still married, etc... Anything to get them off my back. (This technique, by the way, has worked maybe 3% of the time.  I just haven't found another technique yet to test out.)  Since "Quasimoto" lived in the same city as me, I couldn't use distance, so I told him that he was out of my age range and left it at that.

Like the stray dog that you give a treat to, this one was NOT going to go away.

(Brief tangent:  By the way, I would love to know how responding with a "NO" gives these men reason to think that, just because you responded AT ALL, this is an open door they need to force their way through? Ladies, as bitchy as it feels to do, it's easier to just not answer them at all than to try to turn them down.  For some reason they think you are offering up a challenge to convince you to change your mind.  I have yet to discover the reasoning behind this....  Okay, soapbox away, and we continue where we left off....)

So "Quasimoto's" response consisted of explaining to me, in detail, his entire workout routine (proving that he was not old and feeble), and then he threw his resume at me, explaining all of the famous people he'd rubbed elbows with, all of the companies he'd started, and how he'd managed to retire early. And, of course, ending with his catch-phrase:  "So let's meet, greet, eat, etc. at the Waffle House!"

Again, I guess I was being too nice by responding. I wrote him back and told him that I didn't say he was too old and feeble, just that he had 12 years of LIFE on me, and that I've had bad experiences with significant age differences before. I also told him that I didn't need him to recite his entire resume at me, and I was sorry if he felt the need to do so. Make no doubt about it, I politely turned him down again.

He came back at me, claiming that he would bring news articles to support any and all claims he had made, adding a few more bits to his resume, and then interjecting his signature, "Let's meet, greet, eat, etc. at the Waffle House!"

This was getting obnoxious. Okay, time to get bitchy. I wrote him back and told him that I was not too thrilled with the idea that someone would want to take me to the Waffle House on a first date.

"Quasimoto's" response?
I'm not trying to impress you with amenities, I'm going to impress you with my intelligence, wit and charm! I need to meet at the Waffle House because it's some place I can walk to. I don't have a car right now. Oh, and, by the way, would you mind giving me a ride home after? Let's meet, greet, eat, etc. at the Waffle House!
No car, I'm supposed to chauffeur him around, and he wants to wine and dine me at the Waffle House?  Yeah, now here's a real winner, ladies, take note!  Did you move back in with your Mommy when you so gallantly retired early? I could NOT waste anymore time on this lunatic. For the first time I utilized the "block" feature on Had this tactic actually ever worked for him???

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chapter 40: Anyone Order Swiss?

So it took a few days to come down off the high of my fantastic evening with Aladdin. I had no preconceptions about him. I knew exactly where he was, and he was not playing in a "committed" field. As a matter of fact, he was playing in a "me" field, and much more interested in concentrating on making his own life better. I respected that. I knew that we would, in all likelyhood, continue having occasional, casual rendezvous. As long as he remained respectful of me, I was okay with that.

The good thing, of course, was that this left me open to pursue other prospects. This sexy Swiss commercial airline pilot had been talking to me online for a while, and he wanted to hook up. The French accent, the pilot's uniform, and the blonde hair had me melting. He was flying home on a Sunday night and wanted to take me out. Say no? I don't think so!

His flight was horribly delayed, and he didn't get back to Atlanta until quite late. Too late to go to dinner. He called when he landed and convinced me to let him come over. My bells went off again. It was unsafe to allow yet another stranger to my house. And, considering my self-control track record, I didn't think he was exactly coming over to "talk."

I should have been jaded and bitter, considering the encounters I'd had with men over the previous month. I should have played hard to get, mysterious and coy. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. My wiser self was telling me I was repeating a destructive cycle, but I chose to ignore it. Again. Apparently I had not yet learned my lesson. And when he showed up on my doorstep, still in his pilot's uniform, I knew that I wasn't ready to learn my lesson yet.

I wasn't nearly as blown away as I thought I would be. And, to add insult to injury, he ends up telling me a couple of days later that I wasn't aggressive enough "orally" and not submissive enough in bed. Nothing like being critiqued on your sexual skills. Which, I must say, I get complimented on a lot, and am quite confident, so I knew he was full of it. I so badly wanted to tell him that he was no Gladiator in bed, either, but I let it slide. No point antagonizing the situation. I guess he needed his ego pumped up even more after this, because he proceeded to tell me that he had a girlfriend (a fact he failed to mention up to this point), and she was a bit of a prude in bed. So what he was really looking for was someone he could keep on the side to get kinky with. As attractive as this was (not), I turned him down. Six months later, and he was STILL contacting me, trying to get me into bed again. I couldn't have been all that bad, now could I?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chapter 39: Didn't Expect That!

Much to my surprise, "Aladdin" called me that week. He said he was back in town now, and things were calming down for him and he'd like to go to dinner. I put aside the bitterness I'd experienced over the last few weeks and recalled the amazing night we'd had on the 4th of July (see entry "Fourth of July Fireworks"). I recalled the FIVE hour conversation we'd had on the phone the day before that made me late to my mother's bar-be-que. Given these statistics, I would be a fool to carry around a few weeks of baggage to claim a strike.

We met at the Five Seasons for dinner. It was a gorgeous summer evening, and threatening one of those electric summertime thunderstorms. When I walked up to the restaurant, "Aladdin" looked incredible. Toned and tanned, with just the right amount of snugness to his jeans. I found myself wanting to be classy, yet irresistible to him. We'd already been to bed, though, so deciding how forward I should/could be was a challenge.

The looming summer storm made good on it's promise and the lights went out a couple of times through dinner. I thought it was terribly romantic. The conversation through dinner flowed well, but there was a hint of awkwardness and tension in the air. Damn. I hoped that this wasn't a pity date. The obligatory second date he felt he had to make because he'd slept with me? Damn.

I took the plunge when dinner was winding down and asked if he wanted to go back to his place. (He lived very close by.) He agreed, but was ever so slightly hesitant. Damn. We went back to his place, played with his cat for a while, and he suggested a movie. We lay on the couch, cuddling, watching the movie. He held me, but his hands did not wander. Damn.

After much mental debating, I decided to just ask. I turned to him and plainly asked him, "So, I was wondering why you are being so careful. You are acting like you don't want to have sex with me again." I'll admit, I expected the "not feeling the chemistry talk." So I was pleasantly surprised when he brought up our marathon phone conversation from almost a month ago. I had told him that, while I don't expect exclusivity out of someone I'm just dating, I do prefer to only be intimate with one person at a time. (Obviously, I had not been following my own rule over the last month.) He told me that he respected that decision of mine, but that he couldn't give me sexual monogamy right now. He said he very much had wanted to see me tonight, but fully expected to not have sex with me for that very reason.

I blushed and lowered my head. I said, "Yeah, well, I've sort of revised that theory." He asked why. "Because I've been having a lot of fun." He smiled, and kissed me, and said, "Well, then, if that's the case, then I very much want to have sex with you!"

And, to maintain his perfect record, "Aladdin" rocked my world one more time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chapter 38: But... I... Ummm... HUH?

"Timon" would be home Saturday! I couldn't wait! We talked about seeing each other Sunday, after he'd had a chance to settle in. Finally! A decent man to spend a little time with!

Sunday came, and when I finally heard from "Timon," late in the afternoon, he was out and about, running around, and heavily distracted. I didn't even want to ask if we'd be getting together. It was obvious he either didn't have the time, or just didn't want to. I'll admit, I hung up confused and upset. For three weeks he had been diligent in calling me everyday, and now, when we were finally in the same city at the same time, he had no time for me? How did this happen?

Well, take a step back. He had a life, too. Perhaps I should give him a little room to breathe. He'd been out of town for a good while.  There might be things he had to tend to that were taking a couple of days of playing "catch up" to put them right again?  Tuesday was his birthday, so when Tuesday came I sent him a text message on his phone, wishing him a fun day. No response. I tried to call, and got his voicemail. This was ridiculous. I'd had enough. Not only was it pointless to try to figure these men out, I was damn tired of doing it.

The FOLLOWING weekend I finally heard from him. He said he went to Virginia to visit a friend and CLAIMED to have left his phone at home. Games. I didn't have time for this. If he didn't want to see me, that's fine. But why take off to Virginia to see friends without even mentioning it to me?

Two weeks ago I had five men chasing after me, and now there wasn't one I should even condescend as to give the time of day to. I wanted to give up. It was hardly worth the effort anymore.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chapter 37: "I got the town wired"

So I had been on the Internet dating circuit now for only four months. It seemed much longer. How many men had I been out with? How many had I slept with? Certainly way more than I ever could have by using conventional methods. The internet was proving to be an efficient and reliable method to meet an endless number of people from backgrounds I never would have crossed otherwise. As with anything though, you have to take the good with the bad. My screening processes absolutely had a little something left to be desired.

"Timon" continued his daily phone calls while he was traveling that week. I was increasingly getting more and more excited to see him during the upcoming weekend. Finally! But hold back, don't put too much of your emotional stock in one man. I learned that lesson with "Tramp." "Tramp," by the way, still plagued my thoughts from time to time, and I still felt helpless to the unknown knowledge as to why he cut me off so abruptly. I wondered what he was doing, how things were going for him. Had I come across as the most clingy and needy woman he'd ever met? Or was he back with his ex-girlfriend, and that's why he refused to talk to me? This was, of course, the most likely scenario, but still aggravating as hell not to know for sure.

So I was at work late one night, and contacted by "Zazoo" via Yahoo Messenger. He had seen my Personals Ad and was intrigued. I looked up his ad, and was intrigued. "Zazoo" was one of those, "I got the town wired" kind of guys, but his energy and enthusiasm was amusing. He was into making and producing music and had been doing so for quite some time. He pushed to meet for dinner when I got off work. I had no idea when I was going to finish, and I tried to explain that to him. But he was insistent. He wanted to take me out to dinner. Well, shoot, nothing wrong with a free meal, right? So I agreed.

This, I quickly discovered, was a mistake. Since I had agreed to dinner, and I had no idea exactly when this rendezvous would happen, we agreed to keep in contact by phone. I then began receiving phone calls from him every 15 minutes, wanting an update as to when I would get finished. Of course, this only delayed my progress each time. He ended up at the Outback restaurant we had agreed upon and asked if, perhaps, he should just get something to go, and bring it to my office. I still had work to do, and everyone had already gone home. Bringing a stranger to my place of business was ludicrous. But I was hungry, and it was late, and I DID work in a secured location that wouldn't be readily accessible should he turn out to be a stalker or something.

Yeah, I did it. And was beyond disappointed. Bringing me dinner to my office was incredibly sweet, and it did give us an opportunity to talk, but the picture he'd shown me was probably 10 years old, and at least 50 pounds ago. I did my best to be grateful and gracious, but I was completely turned off by him and his "I got the town wired" attitude. He had an egotistical quality that was irritating when I clearly didn't think he had any reason to be so. When "Zazoo" left, I tried to make it as politely clear as I could that I was not interested, and I thought he understood. However he attempted to contact me for a couple of days and finally got the hint. How do I seem to attract these weirdos?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chapter 36: Welcome Home to Me

"Timon" called me everyday while I was in Chicago. We enjoyed some late night talks after everyone else had gone to bed, and I was truly looking forward to seeing him again. Maybe all those other "up in the air" guys wouldn't really matter? I'll admit, I started allowing myself to entertain the idea that, once both of our traveling schedules died down, "Timon" and I might be able to start something of substance. But, at this point, it wouldn't be until after next weekend before I could find out.

My last day up there, though, it occurred to me that I didn't have a ride home. I knew I could take the train up to Doraville, and it would be fairly easy for anyone to pick me up and take me home. Mom was still in Pennsylvania, and was actually flying home the same day I was, but her flight didn't arrive until later in the evening, and her boyfriend was picking her up. I couldn't very well ask him to pick me up, just to have to turn around and pick mom up. I had a plenty of friends, and I could ask any one of them. But why? ;) I had boys galore to choose from!

"Timon" was traveling, so he was out. I called "Aladdin", but he had plans and was unable to break free. I didn't WANT to call "Basil," at all. He had sent me an email while I was there, with some non-sensical email about being freaked out. Whatever. Good riddens, buddy. "Kawena" was also unavailable, with apologies, and the conversation turned into a "not really feeling the chemistry" talk. Geez! I wasn't asking for marriage, I just needed a f--king ride! I wasn't so sure I wanted to call "Slim." I was feeling uneasy about what had happened and I wasn't so sure that was a connection I was interested in maintaining.

By the time I was sitting at the airport, waiting on my flight, I started to feel uneasy. How was it possible that, out of all these dates I'd had, not one single guy was willing to give me a stupid ride home from the train station? There was an episode of "Sex and the City" where Samantha (definitely the character I'd been identifying with as of late) had just moved into a new place, and she'd contracted the flu. She hadn't hung her curtains yet, and was too sick to do so, but couldn't rest during the day because of all the daylight pouring through her windows. She went through her little black book and called all the men she slept with to come to her aid, and not one of them came through for her. In the end, her best friend's, Carrie's, boyfriend, came over and hung her curtains for her. When Carrie arrived with chicken soup, Samantha was reduced to tears, realizing that none of it meant anything if you didn't have a man in your life that you could depend on. This episode flashed through my head as I scrolled through countless numbers in my phone, in a desperate attempt to get a lousy 10 miles from the train station to my house.

My flight was delayed. I broke down and called "Slim." Since I didn't really know what time my flight would actually arrive in Atlanta, he said to call him when I landed and he'd "see" if he could make it. I was NOT impressed. So I called my next-door neighbor, who conveniently happens to be one of my best friends, and she said that she would come and get me. About damn time.

Well, between the 2 1/2 hours my flight was delayed, and the 1 1/2 hours we ended up sitting on the tarmac, awaiting takeoff approval, I ended up landing in Atlanta about 20 minutes before my mother did, so I just caught a ride home with her and her boyfriend.

I think it's time to take some emotional inventory, and possibly do some house-cleaning, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chapter 35: Off to Chicago

So, I mentioned a few entries back that "Timon" was coming into the Atlanta airport about an hour before my flight to Chicago. We planned to rendezvous at the airport to see each other for a few minutes. It had been over a week since our interlude and he had been rather diligent in contacting me in some form or fashion almost everyday. With "Timon," I seemed to have escaped the "Sex on the First Date Curse." Hell, it wasn't even a date, it was more of a spontaneous booty-call, in reality.

So "Basil" showed up to take me to the train station, as promised. As I suspected he would be, he was wound up and short on time. He was ushering me out the door and shoving me and my luggage into his truck immediately. His phone went off several times and he seemed to thrive on taking his calls and sounding all important, giving orders to his subordinates. Maybe it was an act, maybe it wasn't. Either way, I sat in the passenger seat, quietly, thinking to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?" The whole situation made me feel like a HUGE inconvenience and very uncomfortable. But I reminded myself that I had given him every opportunity to back out. After all, I had only asked for a favor, and made it clear that he could have said "no."

He dropped me off at the train station, and suddenly seemed to remember that he needed to be sweet. He kissed me, and told me that I looked pretty. Then he wished me a good time in Chicago, and I thanked him for the ride, and bade him good-bye.

"Timon" and I missed each other at the airport. His flight got in early, and I got held up at security. His ride showed up early, too, so he couldn't hang out and wait for me, and, for some reason, neither one of our cell phones were allowing calls to go through.

"Kawena" called while I was waiting at my gate, though. Surprise, surprise! I truly had not expected to hear from him again, and certainly not before I left! On the flight up, I allowed my mind to engage OFF of AutoPilot and contemplate my current situation. This was getting out of hand. I needed to make a list of them all! Let's see:

Aladdin: Can't forget about him. He would be back in town soon.
Timon: Who was being attentive and charming
Basil: A bit high strung, but certainly still in the picture
Kawena: A surprising phone call that might put him back in the contest
Slim: Not really sure where he fell into things yet

Maybe a weekend away would do me some good. I think I needed to put some distance between myself, Atlanta, and all the boys!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chapter 34: Running on Autopilot

Is exactly what I was doing - "Basil" called me the next day at work, which was a surprise, but I took advantage of it. I needed a ride to the train station that would take me to the airport the next day, and I asked him if he'd be available. He said he could, but then his true colors came out. He started stressing and obsessing how he was going to do it. I told him over and over that if it was a problem I would find another ride or call a taxi. He insisted that he'd be able to give me the ride, but the stress in his voice was obvious. I regretted asking him, but now I couldn't back out. No matter how much I tried to explain that it was okay for him to say "no," he seemed to thrive off of having to "deal" with this unexpected responsibility. Whatever. I gave him the opportunity to back out. If he wasn't smart enough to take it, I was going to accept the ride.

"Slim" and I exchanged several emails throughout the day about our rendezvous that night. "Slim" lived way too far away, and I'd told him that when he first contacted me. But he insisted that he would come out my way, with no questions asked. What was it about these men that they would drive 40 minutes or more to meet me? I certainly wouldn't.

He came to a bar that was close to my house. When he pulled up, he was even cuter in person than his picture. I say cute because he was a bit younger, and he looked it. He had that little boy shyness about him that was irresistible. And, much to my pleasure, was all of the 6'-5" he'd promised. It was after dinnertime, so we had agreed on drinks only. He offered dessert, though, on which I passed, but he ended up ordering a slice of pie for himself, and then a second slice, which he fed me bites of. It was a cheesy move, but it worked. I took the first move and leaned over the booth to kiss him. After that, I stayed on Autopilot and let him lead.

When we walked out to the parking lot to say "Good night," we kept kissing. He asked to come home with me. Autopilot: Don't think, just do. The Punchline? I glamorized that someone who was a few years younger would be hot and exciting? In reality, I forgot about the fact that inexperience leads to premature finishing. And he wasn't a "spring back to life" kind of guy, either. During the after-talk phase, I learned that he was a late bloomer and had had little to no spontaneous experience like we'd just had. Great, this explains a lot. He may have been chronologically 29, but sexually, he was about 21, if that. At least it was legal. :-\

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chapter 33: Hoo Boy, ANOTHER?

I was contacted by "Slim" while I was at work that day. We started Instant Messaging and I just couldn't resist. He was a bit younger, 29, but he was a lawyer in his own practice and he was 6' 5", which completely turned me on.

He asked me out for that night, and I had to say "no," of course, because I already had a date with "Kawena," but I just couldn't say no and agreed to meet him the following night. I felt like I wasn't taking ANY of this seriously, but then again, I argued with myself, why did I have to take it seriously? Wasn't the point to have fun?

I met "Kawena" for dinner at Barnacle's. We sat outside on the deck, as the July weather was more than gorgeous. The first thing I realized was that he didn't look at all like I expected him to. He wasn't unattractive, by any stretch of the imagination. But all of the pictures he had posted were taken from somewhat far away, and he just looked different than I expected. Dinner, however, was great! Easy flowing conversation, no lulls, and constant laughter. I'll admit, though, that I felt insecure. Which, for those of you who have been following, is not like me at all. Was it my own insecurity, or was I picking up a vibe from him? I felt like I wasn't good enough for him. Was I not pretty enough? Not thin enough? Not classy enough? Maybe I just wasn't enough of a Buckhead princess for him? I unconsciously found myself attempting to impress him, sitting with my back straight, legs crossed, and not being too open.

What was I doing? This wasn't me! I never try to be someone I'm not when I meet someone new. While I will admit that there was a part of me that wanted to impress him, there was also a part of me that made me uncomfortable to the fact that I felt unworthy to this man. He wasn't exactly "all that," and I had no intention of becoming pretentious just for his sake.

I didn't even have to try. He admitted before we called it a night that he wasn't attracted to me. So, the vibes I was feeling weren't so far off. Was he not attracted to me because he felt my insecurity? I had a hard time believing that, considering how many dates I'd been on. Reacting insecurely must have been a result of something I was feeling from him. However, my bruised ego needed a boost as I drove home. I needed a booty call. Damn, why did "Timon" have to be traveling this week? Damn, "Aladdin" was traveling, too. Wasn't there anyone else?

"Basil." I didn't even want to give myself time to think about it. I called, he was home, and I weaseled an invite over out of him. His place was modest. Half of a duplex. But he owned it and normally had the other side rented out. He offered me wine and we played with his cat. Too much time had passed, and my inhibitions were taking over. I couldn't make the move. In the kitchen, on a wine refill, he pushed me up against the wall and started to kiss me. My inhibitions instantly dissolved and I allowed him to lead me into his bedroom. He was extremely turned on by the "taboo" of what we were doing. I enjoyed myself, but as I drove home, I realized that it wasn't exactly the ego boost I needed.

Was it him? Was it me? Was it morality? Whatever it was, I wasn't ready to admit that I was going about this all wrong. So, in denial, I stayed.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chapter 32: The Week of Juggling

So I was home for three days, and I had three dates scheduled. Not bad, huh? I wondered if I was going to get lucky with any of them? I felt almost as if I was moving outside my body, as an observer. I didn't want the entanglements of a boyfriend, or emotions, or loyalties. I felt myself looking at "Samantha" from "Sex and the City" and thought, "THAT'S how you do it!" Just do what you want, and don't bother to think about it too much. It's more fun that way. I am an intelligent, attractive, successful woman. When the right man comes along, I won't have to work at it. At least not initially. He will accept me for me. So why not have fun in the meantime?

I met "Basil" for lunch, and I was impressed upon meeting. He had that lanky build that I'm so attracted to, and those smashing blue eyes. His hair was flecked with grey and his southern accent was not overwhelming and charming in his own way.

But I learned very quickly that he was extremely high strung. He was fidgety and talked about his company and the general problems he was having at the office. He had that "Push To Talk" thing on his phone and had to take several calls. While I appreciated the concept of him having his own business that was obviously thriving, I suspected he might have been a little too proud of it and wanted to make sure he conveyed that he was an "important" person. Maybe he was just hyper? Maybe he was just nervous? At the end of lunch, we walked out to our cars and he gave me a very tight hug. I might have lingered there in his arms an extra second or two. After all, aside from his flagrant attempts to impress me, I still found him very sexy.

We instant messaged later that day. He confessed that he was nervous at lunch and that he's not usually that high strung. That was refreshing. I don't think I could have handled him being like that ALL the time. He asked me if he had kissed me in the parking lot, would I have kissed back? I admitted that I would have. Okay, so we were turned on by each other. Not bad.

He knew I would be in Chicago for a long weekend, so it was fairly understood that we probably wouldn't see each other again until I got home. Now it was time to focus on my date with "Kawena" tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chapter 31: This is getting addictive

"Timon" didn't call on my drive up, but he did start sending me text messages the next day. He was sweet and flirtatious, knowing that I was spending time with my extended family for our annual reunion. I thought it was rather charming the way he was keeping in contact, not wanting to intrude, but letting me know that he was thinking about me. We ended up on the phone a few times, and I discovered that his job was going to have him traveling during the week for the next three weeks, but he would be home on the weekends. Unfortunately, I was traveling on the weekends. It looked as if we'd have to just chat on the phone for about the next two weeks or so before we'd actually be in the same city at the same time.

And then I discovered that I had a free high-speed internet connection at my hotel. I couldn't stay away. When the day was done and it was time to drift off to bed, out came the laptop, and I logged onto to see who'd been looking at me, winking at me, or if I had any messages. And, wouldn't you know? A hot white-collared guy sent me a message. "Kawena" was a clean-cut, all-American white boy in real estate, and wanted to see what I was about. Hmmmm... OKAY!

And there was a second message, from "Basil": A tall, blue-collared business owner with smashing blue eyes. And writing them both back didn't seem wrong. After all, you don't just send your resume to one company at a time, right? You sent out several dozen and wait to see who calls back. "Kawena" and I graduated immediately to instant messenger, while "Basil" and I stayed on email. "Kawena" knew I was in Pennsylvania, and he promised to call me on Monday to keep me company on my long drive home.

I felt pretty popular on my ride home. I got calls from "Timon", "Kawena" and even heard from "Aladdin". I was only going to be home for three days and I had dates lined up almost back to back! I was meeting "Basil" for lunch on Tuesday, "Kawena" for dinner on Wednesday, and "Timon" was coming into the airport on Friday about an hour before my flight out to Chicago. We planned to rendezvous at the airport.

What was I doing? All of a sudden I had four different men contacting me. And you know what? I was going to have fun with it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chapter 30: I admit, I like the attention

So "Shrek" was officially out of the picture, and it was obvious "Aladdin" wasn't going to be available for some time. I wasn't exactly the most available person, either, as I was driving to Pennsylvania the coming weekend, home for three days and then flying to Chicago the following weekend. But I admit it: I liked the attention that I was getting online. Why should I have to spend the next two weeks alone? I looked over some of the contacts I'd gotten recently and one caught my eye. "Timon" was blonde, cute, and very new to town. Why hadn't I responded to him when he first contacted me? Probably because I was already being torn in too many directions. Well, it had only been a little over a week - Maybe he was still interested?

So I wrote "Timon" a note and apologized for it taking so long to get back to him. He responded and I was pleased to find out that he was definitely still interested. Being so new to town, he really hadn't had the opportunity to meet many people yet. We went ahead and moved to Instant Messenger and started chatting. He was a really interesting guy. A fresh transplant from New York and worked in the emergency medical field. No, he wasn't a doctor, but he had a lot of interesting stories to share. Unlike some people who go on and on about their jobs, his stories were really captivating. It didn't take long to progress to the phone.

What was I doing? I knew exactly what I was doing, but I wasn't completely proud of myself for it. "Aladdin" wasn't exactly waiting in the wings for me and I didn't want to wait around for him, either. Up to this point I had, for the most part, concentrated on one person at a time, even if I was communicating with others simultaneously. I didn't want drama, I didn't want commitments, I just wanted to meet people and have fun. Should I tell "Timon" this up front? I decided that it was better to get a feel for the kind of person he is before I went there.

So it was the night before I was driving to Pennsylvania. I had decided to burn several audiobooks to CD for the drive back, as my mother was staying the night over that night and driving up with me the next day. It was rather boring and tedious work, and I called "Timon" to chat. He knew I was leaving town the next day and started implying that he'd like to see me before I left. Well, it was already late, and I still had a lot of CDs to burn. I couldn't go out, and wasn't it a little late to be getting together? No, he insisted, he was just as much of a night owl as I was.

I mentioned that I was going to run out of CDs and have to run up to the 24 hr. Wal-Mart and buy some more. "Timon" offered to give me some blank CDs he had that he wasn't going to use. Uh, wait a minute? The Wal-Mart was just up the road from me, and he lived 20 miles away - he wanted to drive all the way over here to avoid me having to run to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night? Having some company while I burned all these CDs was certainly an attractive prospect to me. And my mom WAS sleeping in the room down the hall. What the hell? I invited him over. He saved lives for a living, how dangerous could he be?

For a while, we just sat at my computer and talked, keeping our voices low so as not to wake up Mom. It sort of felt like we were in high school again, sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. At one point, I noticed that he was leaning far over while he was talking, and I looked him square in the eyes and said, "You really want to kiss me right now, don't you?" He said he was thinking about it. So I kissed him. And he was sweet and gentle, and our kissing eventually found ourselves entangled on the floor. Instinct took over and I didn't even feel like trying to argue with my morals. I tip-toed down the hall to my bedroom to get a condom, and tip-toed back, closing and locking the door. There was a fun and dangerous quality about what we were doing, with my mother sleeping in the guest room, and it was fun. It WAS like high school, with the door locked, having to keep quiet, and trying to avoid the rug burns. The urgency and the fear of being caught was exciting, and exhilarating, and it made the sex a lot of fun.

Mom actually DID wake up (fortunately!) after we were finished and I was back to burning CDs. She was a little tickled over the fact that "Timon" was there, as we had been on the phone when she had gone to bed. It was some ridiculous hour when "Timon" finally went home. He knew that I'd be on the road all day, which was a Thursday, and would be on the road all day driving home that Monday. We'll see if he calls... Anyone care to take any bets?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chapter 29: Well, that was easy...

"Aladdin" called the next day. Points for "Aladdin"! (Remember that "day after" phone call, guys. You don't realize how much that says to us, about you, your character, morales, upbringing, and more!) We both knew that we met at a rather inconvenient time, as he was going to be traveling for work for the next several weeks and I was going on two trips over the next two weekends. But we vowed to keep in touch and hopefully be able to sync up our schedules some time within the next three weeks or so. I liked that; that we had established that up front. Now I could go the next three weeks and not hear a word from him, and I wouldn't think twice about it! No obsessive internet-stalking sessions wondering if he's home, will he call, why is he signing onto Match but not saying anything to me? (Internet-stalking is one of my favorite pasttimes, by the way...) No, I could relax. "Aladdin" said it would be three weeks, and I figure I'd give my brain a good month before I started obsessing over it.

And when I got home that night, I called "Shrek" to check in on how he was feeling. He was doing better, although not quite ready to go back to work. Again, I asked him if he needed anything, or wanted me to come over. Again, he said he just wanted to be alone. So I jokingly asked him if he was going to miss me since I'd be away for the next two weekends in a row.

Considering I was attempting to stay light and breezy with him, this elicited a response that got him very serious very quick. He began stuttering and hesitating, trying to find the words to say. Finally he expressed that he was concerned - concerned that I was more "into" this relationship than he was. Apparently I had attempted to be too close to him by offering to care for him while he was laid up. And the fact that I asked him if he was going to "miss" me while I was away. And my aggressiveness that night that I had tried to be intimate with him.

I'll admit, I was a little dumbfounded while "Shrek" was going on about this. Was he serious? My attempts to be caring and nurturing with him led him to believe that I was falling for him? Part of me wanted to shoot back at him the fact that if I was so "into" him, then why did I have sex with another man last night? But I didn't. I let him fumble his way through his break-up speech, and at the end, he asked me what I thought.

I said, "Actually, I've been wrestling with the very same thoughts, because I thought YOU were more into ME."

"Oh," he said, "Well, then - I guess I was wrong." I could hear the dismay in his voice, a strange combination of surprise, bewilderment, and relief all at the same time. We agreed that we'd be better off friends, promised that we'd still talk from time to time, and wished each other luck in finding love.

This break-up thing might be getting easier with time, you think?

Lesson Number Fifteen: It doesn't have to be a drama-filled struggle! You CAN walk away calm cool and collected, without hurt, rage, and dignity still intact.

Status: WANT to learn immediately!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chapter 28: Fourth of July Fireworks

I woke up and immediately began rifling through my clothes, trying to find just the perfect outfit to wear to lunch to meet "Aladdin". I wanted it to be casual, but nice; sexy, but not trashy; confident, but not too revealing. I wanted to convey that I was indeed the same person that had spent five hours on the phone with him the day before. I wanted him to see that I was indeed an open-minded and adventurous woman, but still maintain some class and decorum.

I settled on a summery mini-dress, black with big white retro-looking flowers on it, and summery sandals. My make-up looked great, I was having a good hair day and I got in my car and drove down to Buckhead, feeling confident and giddy. We met at "The Tavern", and his pictures did not deceive his good looks or his boyish charm. He had a shy quality about him that conveyed that it would take very little scratching at the surface to unleash his wild side. And it was drawing me in by the minute.

We had a few too many drinks at lunch, and decided to walk it off by walking around the outside of Phipps Plaza for a while. Neither one of us wanted to finish the date, but "Aladdin" said he wasn't quite able to drive yet, so I offered to take him to a bar near my house that has a couple of pool tables. Which is exactly what we did. I think we got through one game, but by the second game, we kept pausing to talk, flirt, laugh, and, yes, kiss. He was an amazing kisser. And so sexy.

And here I was, in my mental torment again. My "id" (for those of you who know Freud's work) wanted to take him home. My "SuperEgo" said to wait. It was too soon, it wasn't proper, the connection would be ruined if you give in to your inner desires so soon. He wanted it too, (let's just say I could "feel" it) and I knew he wouldn't turn me down if I offered. What should I do? I wanted to give in to my desires and say, "Screw what's 'proper'!"

I gave in. "Aladdin" was amazing. He was an expert when it came to a woman's body. He knew exactly what buttons to push and how. He kept my body in involuntary jerks and convulsions until I was cross-eyed. Exhausted and spent, we fell asleep in each other's arms.

It was about 10:00 when we woke up, and agreed that he needed to get back to his car and get home. We hoped that the Lenox Mall fireworks' display traffic would be gone, and set out to Buckhead. We were wrong. Lenox area was a zoo. It took us forever to get to the parking garage where his car was, and I felt his tension mounting with each passing minute. I tried to joke around, make the best of a bad situation, but it was obvious that traffic was a push button issue with him and he didn't even want to loosen up.

When we FINALLY reached the parking garage under Phipps, it was closed off. How could he get his car?!? He jumped out of the car and called out to the attendant that his car was inside. The attendant motioned him in, and he started to take off, but then paused, turned around to me, motioned that he'd call, and I waved back, and kept going, so as not to hold up traffic. I couldn't help but wonder, as I drove home, if I'd ever hear from him again.

To add insult to injury, I checked my voice mail on the way home. "Shrek" had called just to wish me a "Happy Fourth of July", and said that he was sure I was somewhere, watching fireworks and having a good time, but not to bother calling back as he was going to pop a few pain pills and crash early. Can you rub a little salt into that wound, please?

This, however, wasn't enough to ruin my "after glow" on the way home...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chapter 27: Three-Day Weekend

So, a three-day weekend was looming ahead, Fourth of July weekend. Mom was planning a BBQ at her place, and was really ancy about my brother and me being there, because her boyfriend's family was going to be there, too. They'd been dating for over a year, and our families had yet to meet. There was no backing out of this one!

It never fails, though, that family gatherings are always a "couple" fest. I didn't want to be the only solo there, and with all the men I'd been meeting, why did I have to be? "Shrek" was obviously the one I'd been seeing the most of, and the one I'd been connected to the furthest, so he seemed the logical choice. I know I'd been having reservations about him, and I know I was questioning his absolute nature when it came to love and relationships, but maybe taking things to the next level with him would help facilitate our connection into something he could grasp onto? After all, meeting the family is always a big step, right?

So "Shrek" and I made plans to go to Mom's house on Sunday for a BBQ. However, the day before, he calls me up, sounding completely spacey. I immediately sensed that something was wrong, so I was instantly concerned. He told me that he'd spent most of the morning at the hospital because he did something to his back and was laid up and on a lot of pain medication. And, as a result, knew that he would have to cancel on coming to Mom's for the BBQ the next day.

Well, it was obvious in his voice that he was in a lot of pain, so I was genuinely concerned about him, and made sure that there was nothing I could do. Could I come over and bring him something to eat? Did he need someone to be there for anything? No, no, no... He just wanted to be alone and sleep it off. Then after I got off the phone, it occurred to me that TWICE in the last MONTH, I'd been cancelled on due to back injuries. (Remember "Goofy's" excuse? See Chapter 22: "Oh yeah, SERIOUS Dé Ja Vu") Was this the new excuse of the year, or was this a giant sign that I was indeed getting older, and back problems are simply something I would have to deal with now that I was dating men in their mid- to late-30's? Regardless, I left "Shrek" to his own devices and resolved to go to the cookout alone.

The next day, I was puttering around the house, killing time until I needed to go to Mom's. The phone rang and it was "Aladdin". "Aladdin" was someone I'd been passing emails back and forth with for a couple of weeks. I'd contacted him, initially. He was really cute, and had caught my eye on Match some time back. He had a logical approach to life, and seemed straight forward and upfront. Since "Tramp", this had become a VERY attractive quality to me. "Aladdin" and I started talking, and, this being our first phone call, we had plenty to say. Our conversation began probing all aspects of each other's lives. He told me a lot about his past, which had a few skeletons, and then professed in amazement that he couldn't believe that he'd told me all of it. But, as he was quick to point out, I was so easy to talk to, and seemed understanding on just about anything.

Before I knew it, I looked at the clock and we'd been on the phone for FIVE HOURS! Even "Tramp" and I had never gone on for that long! I was elated! We made plans to have lunch the next day, Monday, the 4th of July, knowing we'd both be off of work and would have lots to time to spend together if we chose to do so.

Did I feel a pang of guilt toward "Shrek" for making a date with yet another man? Maybe a little, but I couldn't deny this connection I'd felt with "Aladdin" right off the bat. I went to the BBQ and never gave a thought to the fact that I was there solo. All I could think about was my lunch with "Aladdin" tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chapter 26: Wandering Eyes

"Shrek" was obviously not giving me all I needed or wanted in a relationship. Sure, he was being a gentleman, but it all goes back to my complaint about how men go to extremes. Either they want to get busy on the first date, or they want to wait until we're all "serious and in love"... Blah, blah, gag, gag, barf, barf. :-P For me, there are shades of grey in almost every situation. Always going to extremes takes too much work.

My point is that I wasn't getting my needs met, emotionally or physically, from "Shrek," so when I was contacted by "Mowgli" on Match, I was intrigued. He didn't have a picture up, but he sent me one via email. He was pretty cute. We'd just been talking by Instant Messenger and emails for a few days, and he was really charming. He had just the right amount of flirty, humorous, and intelligence that really charmed me.

He told me one night that he had to pick his brother up at the airport later that evening, and he'd love to have a quick drink with me before he had to drive down there. I didn't have plans, so I agreed. I knew it would devastate "Shrek" if he knew I was meeting another man, considering how adamant he was about only seeing one person at a time, but it seemed innocent enough. "Mowgli" made it very clear that he just wanted to meet. A quick drink before he had to go to the airport. It wasn't really a date, just a "Happy Hour" kind of thing.

We met, and "Mowgli" was great! He was charming, funny, successful, really had his act together, and, above all, he seemed really taken with me. He told me how beautiful I was many times, but didn't overdo it. He liked listening to me talk, and laughed at my jokes. He was good looking, too. He was tall, which totally turns me on, well groomed, and built. He wasn't a hard body, but he had bulk in all the right places. I was quickly realizing that this guy not only would be able to give me what I wanted in a relationship, but he was more than ready and willing to do so.

So in our conversations, he mentioned his kids. He had three. Hmmm... Three kids is a lot of kids, but I get along with kids pretty okay. So I asked him how long he'd been divorced. (Considering the rebound disaster I'd had with "Tramp", I was cautious.) His answer was the last thing I expected:

"Oh... Uhhh... didn't you notice on my Match profile that it said 'Separated'?"
"Ummmm... no... actually I didn't."

DAMMIT! DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT! All the weirdos and whackjobs that I'd met, and the first guy I meet who is good-looking, funny, charming, intelligent, successful, and VERY into me... But, oh, wait... He's still MARRIED!?!?! I just can't win...

Lesson Number Fourteen: Pay attention to detail!

Status: Still learning

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chapter 25: Time to take the top off the cookie jar!

Alright, I wanted some action. I didn't want to analyze my feelings, or over-define my relationship with "Shrek". I wasn't falling for him, and, honestly, didn't think that I would. But we had a good time together and I was attracted to him. It would have been easy for me to start weighing the pros and cons. He was a very committed person, so I was probably asking for more than I wanted if I took our relationship to the next level. But I was tired of tying myself into knots over these men. Girl! Just be selfish for once! Act like they do! HA!

So I came home from work, called him, and invited him over. No plans, no dinner, just come over, keep me company, have a few drinks, and see where things might go. After all, he'd let me call the shots all the other times. It was I who decided when to talk on the phone, it was I who opened the door to start dating, and it was I who initiated some pretty groovy kissing sessions.

So he came over. I fixed us some drinks, put on some background music and we commenced with some idle chit-chat. It didn't take long before I made my way over to his lap and started putting on the moves. And wouldn't you know? No matter how hard I tried, he would not take the bait. Not at ALL! Wouldn't even let me run my hands up underneath his shirt. And he damn sure wasn't going to put his hands up mine. So after all that, all I got was another groovy kissing session.

This was probably shaping up to be a bad idea, "Shrek" and me. I wanted to take things casually and have fun, and he took everything so damn seriously and absolute. Well, give it a little more time - after all, relationships are all about compromise, and maybe, sooner or later, "Shrek" and I would find some common ground.

Time to take a cold shower and hit the sack...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chapter 24: Still playing it safe

"Shrek" asked me out again, and we made plans to have dinner and a few drinks at this little Mexican joint I like to hang out at. He came and picked me up and we did just that. Nothing particularly notable, it was a nice dinner and we talked a lot and laughed. As always seems to happen, we started diving a little further into each other's histories. He had a fairly cynical approach on life. Most of the time it was humorous, but occasionally it was a little over-dramatic and exaggerated. He sort of had that tendency to be a bit over-self-righteous about things. But I could overlook that, right?

We came back to my house, and I thought I might get a little "smooching" action going on. :) And smooch we did. And that's ALL we did. Again, no matter how many green lights I gave him, he wouldn't even let his hands wander. As a matter of fact, it became obvious that he was painfully taking great care not to even ACCIDENTALLY let his hand wander to my butt or my chest. Which, in turn, made me self-conscious about letting MY hands wander. One of my best techniques when kissing is the "well-placed wandering hand," you know? This was cramping my style!

Well, that's okay... Even though we'd been talking and flirting for some six weeks online, this WAS only our second date. Waiting... What a novel concept!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chapter 23: Too Committed?

So "Shrek" and I had been talking online for probably about six weeks at this point. I had purposely kept this one at arm's length for a couple of reasons. One, between what happened with "Tramp" and then my recent stint with "Goofy", I was on enough of an emotional roller coaster that I didn't think I could handle another one. Two, I had been juggling enough of these boys, that I just didn't want to add any more drama to the mix. And three, "Shrek" had made it plainly clear, over and over, that he did not fool around with love. He was a hopeless romantic, one-woman man, and that's the way it was. It wasn't fair to me or him to even attempt to be anything more than friends with him until I was ready.

However, now I was thinking about it. I came to look forward to our talks online, and I offered to talk on the phone one night. I asked him why he had never asked for my phone number, and he said that it was because I told him I'd wanted to talk online for a while. Okay, not bad, he was going to let me call the shots. Allow me to progress at whatever pace I saw fit.

He wanted to take me to see "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith". Normally, I shy away from someone who suggests taking me to see a movie on a first date. After all, purposely planning a date that includes a lengthy activity where you can't talk to or see each other does not scream out to me, "Yes, I want to get to know you!" But considering we'd been talking for quite some time, it was okay.

We went out to dinner, and had a few drinks. He was unhappy about his job and had suspicions that he was about to get laid off, so that was the primary topic of conversation. I understood, though. After all, work-drama can tend to take its toll on one's mental health! Afterward, we had some time to kill before the movie started, so we walked around the shopping center a while. He asked if he could hold my hand, and I thought that was sweet. I couldn't remember the last time I'd walked around anywhere just holding hands.

He held my hand all through the movie, and then drove me home. I invited him in and we just sat and talked for a while. I asked him if he wanted the "grand tour" of my house, and he gave me this little hesitant laugh and said "I don't think so." This threw me off. Did he actually think that I was inviting him to bed just because I offered to show him the upstairs? Whatever, I let it slide. When I walked him out to his car, he asked if he could kiss me. That was a little much... Asking permission? Sort of takes all the spontaneity and romance out of it, doesn't it? I know he said he doesn't fool around with love, but a little spontaneity never hurt anyone, did it? Or, maybe this was just his way of being a gentleman? S'alright, we were just getting to know each other after all, right? We shared a few kisses, and he didn't even let his hands wander.

Okay, what was happening here? Was this what it was SUPPOSED to be? All proper and cautious? Or had I just been dicked around so much that being treated properly caused me to get paranoid? That's cool, let's see where this takes me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chapter 22: Oh Yeah, SERIOUS Dé Ja Vu

So "Goofy" did not call the next day (Thursday). I thought that was a bit tacky. After all, the "day after" phone call really ought to be a requirement, regardless of where the relationship, or lack thereof, is or isn't going. It's just a sign of respect, I think. But I didn't fret over it too terribly much. After all, we had the date planned for the next day, so maybe he thought that the "day after" phone call was null-and-void in this situation.

The plan was that he was going to call and give me directions to his place so I could come over straight from the office, and we would go out to dinner. I waited all day at work, obsessing over why the phone had not yet rung. I gave in at 4:00 and called him to get directions. I got his voice mail and left a cutesy message asking if I needed to telepathically figure out where he lived. I wonder, of course, if the message came across as breezy as I intended it to, because inside I was fuming. At 6:00, I tried again, and again got his voice mail. I didn't leave a message that time, because I knew I couldn't even fake not being pissed off. To add insult to injury, I could see that he had been signed into several times that day, so I knew he was around.

At 6:30, I was furious. So I sent him a nasty email expressing exactly how uncool it was for him to do this. Aren't we supposed to be adults? If he didn't want to go out, why couldn't he have AT LEAST sent me an email to cancel? Why stand me up like that? I drove home, completely amazed that men still do this well into their 30's.

When I got home, there was, in fact, a message waiting for me on my home voice mail from him. He had called that afternoon to tell me that he threw his back out and had to cancel. My first reaction was that I had reacted too quickly. But, no, wait - He KNEW that I was coming from work. Why make me drive all the way home before I find this out? He had my work number, my cell number, and my email. There was no reason for him to call my house and leave a message there. In short, the only reason for him to do that is because he wanted to avoid talking to me.

I went to the computer and saw that he had, in fact, received my email already AND responded to it. He accused me of not caring that he was in a lot of pain, and that, if I had bothered to check my messages, I would know that he had not stood me up. I wrote him back and tried to explain why I was so upset, but he refused to respond. I sent another email over the weekend in an attempt to get him to talk and try to smooth it over, but he apparently didn't want any part of it. Great, now I have a cop in the city I work in to avoid. Although, the fun part of this was that he would probably go further out of his way to avoid me. :-P

Lesson Number Thirteen: Don't overreact, don't let your emotions run away with you.

Refer to Lesson Number Two: Don’t invest too much emotional stock in one person too quickly. It takes up a lot of your time and energy, and closes you off to other opportunities that might arise.

Status: Probably will never learn

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chapter 21: Dé Ja Vu?

And who should I start chatting with again but "Goofy" the cop? His out-of-state job offer was still up in the air, but he was more pacified with the situation, knowing that it might take up to a year to fall in place. Initially, we were just Instant Messaging, and he asked if I really wanted to get involved with a guy who might be moving away? Since it might take a year, I told him that it would really suck if we really hit if off, but what was the harm in having fun in the meantime? This seemed to open him up a little to be more flirty and wanting to spend some time with me.

It was a Tuesday, I believe, when we were discussing this, and we planned a date for that Friday. The next night we were Instant Messaging again, and we got a little flirty, which turned into frisky... (Have I no control?) And he started asking whether or not he could come over that night. I playfully asked if I let him come over, would I still get the date on Friday? He enthusiastically said "Absolutely!" I hesitated some more, but I knew I wanted him to. Did I give in? Of course I did.

When he arrived, he got shy. It was kind of cute, actually - This 6' 5" police officer being shy... We talked and gabbed, and didn't even approach the reason why he came over. Finally I confronted him about being so shy. He said that he always gets shy around women, which is why he is attracted to aggressive women that make the first move. NEON SIGN: Open door! And I walked through.

He was actually a much more gentle lover than I had expected him to be. He had passion and expertise in his touch. Afterward, with the usual post-bliss talking and laughing, he just kept running his hands down my body and over my hips. It was sweet and affectionate. It made me feel like he really was there for more than just the sex.

We planned out our date on Friday. I was to go to straight to his place when I got off work about 7:00, because he lived rather close to my office. And then we'd go out to dinner from there. When I walked him out, we were laughing, hugging, kissing, and we said good-bye. He said he'd talk to me tomorrow and see me on Friday. I was already looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chapter 20: Adult Much?

So I got winked at by this Freddie Prinze Jr. look-a-like on We'll call him "Simba". I don't usually respond to winks on Match, but who wouldn't want to meet someone that looks like Freddie Prinze?

We played e-mail tag for a while, and couldn't seem to sync up. But we finally got to the "exchange phone numbers" phase. Now, "Simba" certainly was no "Manny" on this first phone call, but he certainly had no qualms about laying it all on the line.

He was 33 years old, and still lived with his parents. Now, there are many instances when I can see where living with your parents might be warranted:

Had he just moved to town and was staying there while he diligently looked for a place to live? No.

Had he just been through a divorce and let his ex-wife keep the residence? No.

Had he lost a job and was having trouble getting back on his feet? No.

Did he have a couple of kids he was paying an astronomical amount of child support for? No.

The fact was that he was 33 years old and in college. Was he in graduate school getting a higher education? Wrong again, honey. He was living with his parents because he spent the majority of his 20's partying. Never went to college like the rest of us did, and when he hit 30 he decided that the party lifestyle was over and it was time to get his life on track and go to college and think about a career. And what easier way to do that than to continue living at home until it was "safe" to venture out on his own?

Now, I will say that his decision to put his life on track was an excellent decision. And a responsible one. But for me, at 31 years old, with an ex-husband and a stable career, I was really looking for someone who ALREADY had their life on track. Not someone who was still searching for the right track to follow. I realize that this is a rather snobby position to take. Who was I to pass judgement on someone who had made the conscious decision to better their own life? So what if he didn't come to that decision at the same time I did? My ex-husband had this problem, not really had ever grown up, or decided where he wanted his life to go, and it was a huge obstacle in our marriage. So, as you can imagine, there were LOTS of foghorns going off in my head. And yeah, this was my baggage, not his, but I just wasn't going there. Not again.

Well, we talked a couple of times, and he never asked me out. Just as well, I didn't really WANT to have to turn him down. But damn, he was cute. Oh, well, onward and upward, matey!

Lesson Number Twelve: Don't fall for a pretty face.

Status: I think I learned this one while I was still married... He had a VERY pretty face!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chapter 19: Whatha?

So I was contacted by a guy that was not on "Mr. Toad" actually just IM'd me on AIM one day and we started chatting. I told him right off the bat that he was too old for me and lived too far away. It was at least an hour's drive between us, and he was 47 years old. I was 31 at the time.

Significant age difference may be acceptable to some people, but it's not to me. I've had some experience with dating men significantly older than me, and they have all been BAD experiences. I have even had some experience dating men that were close to my age, but had dated women significantly younger in the past, (like “Tramp”) and it has just proven to me over and over again that men who want a woman that much younger than them are looking for something that a woman just can't give them. Maybe they are trying to hang on to their youth? Maybe they feel they've made a mess of their own lives and being with a younger woman gives them the opportunity to sort of "do it all over" again? Maybe they are just immature. Who knows? Granted, I realize that not ALL men who date much younger women are like this, and I know of couples that have managed to make it work for many years. But I fear that I have discovered that I am not one of them.

The other thing I get yelled at about often is distance. Yes, an hour's drive is just too damn far away! I don't plan on spending that much time commuting to see my boyfriend, and I certainly don't expect him to always make the trip to see me. I need attention in an exclusive relationship, and having that much driving time in order to see each other cannot possibly give me the kind of attention that I am looking for.

Now, all that being said, back to "Mr. Toad": He kept pushing... What could it hurt? Why can't we just have dinner? I'll come to you. Well, how could I possibly argue with that? No, it wouldn't hurt for us to have dinner. It surprises me how men will insist on taking you out even after you've told them that you aren't interested. Then they ask "What could it hurt for us just to have dinner?" How do you answer that? Well, of course it wouldn't hurt just to have dinner...

So I agreed on dinner. We met at this little sports bar near my house. He had injured his ankle earlier that week, so he was hobbling on it pretty bad. But we had a nice dinner and stimulating conversation. He certainly didn't look 47 by any stretch of the imagination. When we decided to leave, and he was hobbling through the parking lot, I noticed that his ankle was visibly swollen, and I felt bad, knowing he had an hour's drive ahead of him. I'm sure he thought there was hidden meaning in this, but I suggested that we go back to my house and put some ice on his ankle. It was REALLY swollen. And that's exactly what we did. We just sat on the couch for about an hour talking while he put an ice pack on his ankle. He finally said that he needed to head home and I walked him out to his car.

He gave me a hug good-bye and it was a really nice hug. And as he pulled away, he kissed me. I hadn't anticipated kissing him, and I wasn't really attracted to him physically, but the kiss was really nice, so I kept kissing him. We stood out in my driveway, with long kisses and wandering hands, and, to my surprise, it was really nice. But he kept grabbing my hands and putting them on his chest. Now, when I'm kissing someone, I like to let my hands wander... shoulders, neck, through the hair, down the back. But he kept pushing my hands to his chest. Finally, I pulled away and asked "Mr. Toad" what he was doing?

"I just love to have my nipples played with! If that's the only oral I get tonight, I'll be happy!"

Ummmm.... Oooookaaaaaay.... Well, it's getting late and I really should be getting to bed. You have a safe ride home....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chapter 18: Isn't This Just The Way?

Didn't have to wait a week. He beat me to the punchline. I was Instant Messaging with him one night and expressed a desire for some quality cuddle time. This prompted "Mickey" to get serious awfully quickly and I wasn't sure why. Of course, he was drunk, too, so he was rambling in circles.

He said that he wasn't feeling the "sexual chemistry" between us. It was hard to believe considering the "sexual chemistry" we already had. And he had a difficult time explaining it. Being drunk wasn't helping, but he kept rambling about how beautiful I was (okay... thanks?), how much I have to offer a guy (well, I do try), but that he didn't think he could be with me (this makes sense?). He claimed he was a mess (tell me something I don't know...), a mess I didn't want to get involved with (okay, I was already thinking that), that he was shallow (did this mean he thought I was fat?) and that I would be better off without him (that line is older than me).

Whatever, I don't have time for those kinds of complications. He said he wanted to keep in touch, I said sure, and bade him good night. If he wanted to keep talking, he could call. I had better things to do with my time than to chase a lost cause, one I was unsure of from the start anyway.

The classiest part of this? Was this over dinner? On the phone? In a letter (even an email?) No, I actually got broken up with on IM... Welcome to the 21st Century.

Lesson Number Eleven: Listen to your instincts. They are usually right.

Status: Might need another lesson or two, but pretty much learned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter 17: Can You Say, "Red Flag?"

So I was getting to know "Mickey" more each day. And I was really starting to worry about whether or not I wanted to get involved with him. Initially, his lifestyle seemed attractive to me. He had a stable job that gave me the impression that he was in a respectable income range, and he owned his own house in a pretty nice area. It wasn't a swanky place in the middle of midtown or anything, but it was nice. He dressed nice, kept a clean house, and liked to spoil himself with the little extras. On paper, he seemed to be a pretty good catch.

But the more I talked to him the more I found out that his lifestyle wasn't something I wanted to be involved in. He liked to... shall we say... self-medicate a lot. Almost every night he would drink to the point of getting drunk, which is usually about the time he would call me. I also listened to several stories about him obtaining prescriptions for pain killers, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, and sleep-aids.

The clincher story was when he told me that his buddy would pass through town every once in a while and he liked to buy an 8-ball off of him for fun. I wondered how often this guy was actually sober. My ex-husband had a marijuana addiction, so I was perfectly aware of how destructive addictions can be. Was it worth it to put myself right back into that position?

But on the other hand, I wasn't planning on marrying him. We weren't even "exclusive" yet. And we had fun together. He was always so flattering to me, during phone calls, in emails, and being together. I liked the attention, and I was lonely. As long as it stayed casual, what was so wrong with spending a little time together?

Maybe give it another week....