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!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chapter 6: Could It Be?

Told ya I'd come back to the story :-D

I was still on a high three days later from my perfect phone call. But after three days and not hearing from him, I began to question my actions. Remember a time when we girls used to worry about whether or not we would get a bad reputation from letting a guy go to second base? Was it possible that I still needed to play these kind of games even in my 30's? Was there really no difference in being an adult compared to being a teenager? Hadn't “Tramp” initiated the frisky phone call? Hadn't “Tramp” been the one to advocate the idea that you should just be who you are, in the raw, and not try to hide anything, or dance around anything? Was he really turned off by the fact that we'd taken a phone call to that level and seriously wasn't even interested in trying out the real thing?

After four days of torture, checking my email obsessively, and making sure my voicemail wasn't "accidentally" not notifying me that I had a message waiting, I finally heard from him. Out of town, he claimed. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't. Who cares? He was on the phone now, and it was just as awesome as the first time. We talked, we laughed, we took shots at each other at every opportunity and laughed our asses off at each one. Every moment I spent talking to this man, just proved to me more and more that he was everything I'd ever looked for. I was just waiting to find out that the picture I'd seen wasn't really of him, and he looked like a troll or something... So it was another two-hour marathon phone call with the same finale. Even better. I believe at this point I was so turned on by this guy that he could have turned out to be as pathetic in reality as the last one, and it still would be incredible. We made plans to finally meet the following night and I started counting down the minutes.

The plan was that I would call him when I became available in the afternoon, even though he wouldn't be available yet, and then he would call me back when he was available and we'd meet somewhere. So, as planned, I called him, and then found myself banging my head into the wall because I had unwittingly put myself in a position to have to wait around for him. And wait, I did. I finally heard from him when it was too late to meet. And then I proceeded to listen to the LAST thing I expected to hear.

For the next three hours, I listened to “Tramp” tell me how he wasn't over his ex-girlfriend. This was a woman who had NOTHING to offer him, 10 years younger, uneducated, and, from the way he made it sound, a complete gold-digging player. But he was hooked and had spoken to her earlier and gotten into a fight with her. WHY was I listening to this? For THREE hours, no less? However, after this marathon bitch-session, he said he felt a lot better, and thanked me for talking him down. And, after feeling so connected to me, decided to try to get frisky again. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't go from "Tell me about your ex-girlfriend" and downshift to "Let's get sexy" that quick. He actually pitched a little fit over it, but realized that it wasn't the right time, and we bade each other good night and promised to attempt to meet again the next night.

Believe me, I am not a fool, regardless of how much I sound like one at the moment, and, truth be known, I felt like one at that moment. EVERYTHING about this guy told me to RUN! And run AS FAST AS I CAN. I certainly did not need to get tangled up with some guy who was obsessing over his little twit of a girlfriend. But I couldn't deny it, I was mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and physically hooked on this man, and I just had to see it play out.

Lesson Number Four: Pay attention to the red flags. They are red for a reason.

Status: Nowhere NEAR learning that one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I need to stray from the format for just a minute.

Don't worry, I will continue with the tale in the next post :)

But I've been mentally shredded for the last week now and I just need to talk about it, maybe come to some realization, conclusion, or otherwise try to make sense of this. And, as these are personal blogs, we all have license to take these little breaks in format without too much guilt or worry that the casualness of such a shift will be disapproved of.

I've been rather lucky in my lifetime, in that I've never found myself in a physically abusive relationship. Most of my girlfriends have. I had one incident about 4 years ago, where the man I was dating tossed me around a hotel room in Las Vegas a bit, but there were never any actual "blows" to either one of us. I sported a bruise or two on my arms for a few days, and the relationship came to an abrupt end.

I remember that I scared myself, in that I didn't immediately jump to "You're outta here!" I had seen my friends beaten and battered into submission so many times that I would proudly proclaim that any man who dare raise a hand to me, wouldn't be around long enough to pull it back. And the first time it happened? I found myself clinging to the possibility that it was fixable. I tried to convince him to work it out. I'm actually quite grateful that he was stronger than I was at the time, and refused.

I do not have a boyfriend, and I am not even remotely romantically involved with anyone. I started a self-proclaimed sabbatical from relationships over a year ago, and I am less stressed and happier for it. (Less complications, you know?) So I wonder, would I immediately crumple again if I was romantically involved with a man who became physically violent towards me?

I say all this as a lead in: About a week ago, a man who I met just over six months ago, turned violent on me. He is EXTREMELY gay, and with me on sabbatical, our friendship just made sense. We grew quite close rather quickly, and intensely, closer than I can say I've had in many many years, maybe decades. We are both currently experiencing hardships in our lives, albeit in different areas, and are both looking to sort of "start over." He needs to leave his current living situation, and was moving in with me, as my roommate.

I've never had a roommate before. My MOM lived here for the first 4 years I had this place, and even though our relationship became much more liberated than most mother-daughter relationships, she was still my mom, and not really a roommate. And then there was my husband for about 5 years, obviously not a roommate. So this was going to be a challenge to me, and I knew there would be some growing pains. So did he. (Who, by the way, had almost all his life lived with a roommate or lover, and rarely alone.)

Okay, long story short, we were not able to work through the growing pains. It got bad. I got pushed down the stairs, clothes ripped and even blood running down the side of my face before it was over.

I find myself in a unique position, that I would imagine very few women would ever be in. This man was not my boyfriend. I was not in love with him. We were not physically intimate with each other. We did, however, have an unexpected, deep, and intense friendship, and cared about each other a great deal. I am no fool. I know that there is no fixing it. He crossed a line, and you just can't uncross it. He may have never hit a woman before, and he may never hit a woman again, but he did hit me, hard enough to bleed. His mind has been there, and it can go back. It's not "forbidden" territory anymore.

But I was able to better understand why women are so quick to forgive and attempt to make the union work. The act itself was so enraged, so unplanned, and so impulsive. In mere seconds, our entire relationship was wiped out. Neither one of us really had a say or input into this result, and yet, we are both forced to terminate our friendship without warning, without discussion, and without a goodbye. I'm not used to having to make such large decisions without a sufficient amount of thought, debate, and reason. I have to accept this outcome and I don't get any say in it. It's a helpless place to be and I can't help but feel stunned and traumatized from it all. I don't WANT it, at all! I still love him dearly, still worry about the issues he's having to face on his own now, without me there, as I have been for the last six months, every step of the way. I still worry about the issues I now face alone, when I had thought my best friend would be standing by me so I didn't have to deal with it all alone, either.

I do want to call him. I do want to just forget that it happened, go back to the way things used to be. I want to convince myself that we are two mature adults that can certainly keep that kind of thing in check, it will never happen again. But no. We went to a place that had been "forbidden" and now it's tainted, like butterfly wings. I know that this is the case, I know that I can't change it, I know that I must accept that he can never again be a part of my life.

But I tell you what... It fuckin' sucks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chapter 5: Stubborn? Or a glutton for punishment?

Okay, so after that disaster, and a few more weeks, I quickly began to realize that sucks. (Yes, this my shameless endorsement - DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!) I was at home, poking around on this useless site, completely regretting spending any money with them, when a commercial comes on the TV for So I thought, "Why the hell not?" And signed up. (One more shameless endorsement - If you're looking for exposure, looking to be able to meet A LOT of people, and looking to have a lot of fun? Try I'm not saying you will meet the person of your dreams there, but you will have a lot of fun trying. :-P )

So here we are, now in April, and I find myself signed up on THREE, count 'em, THREE internet dating sites? For someone who thought that the whole idea was weird, how did this happen??? So I set up my profile, uploaded a few pictures, and let Match do their thing. Who was out there that fit my criteria and also looking for someone like me? My "Mutual Match" list came up and at the top of the list, with an 80% compatibility was a picture that actually made me stop and hold my breath for a second. Wow... look at this guy... I couldn't click fast enough to read his profile.

And wouldn't you know? CHARMING! UTTERLY CHARMING! The whole thing, everything he said. Just the right mix of honesty, sarcasm, humor, and wit. He conveyed confidence, intelligence, and magnetism. Now, don't get me wrong, he wasn't some Adonis-Brad Pitt look alike that I figured I would have a snowball's chance in hell with. But he was *MY* type: tall, lanky, with just the right amount of cocky, geeky, sexy, and swarthy all rolled into one. Without hesitation, I sent him a virtual "wink". And then I found myself obsessively checking about once an hour after that to see if he winked back or sent me an email.

The next day, I got my return "wink" from “Tramp.” WHOO HOO! He was interested. I'd love to be able to write that it turned out as a faery tale romance that rode off into the sunset, but here we are, over six months later, and I'm writing this blog, so it's safe to assume that things didn't happen that way. However, the proper build up is required here, and I think I will stretch this one out into several chapters.

Okay, time to turn on the charm! I'd never sent an email out like this before. How should I approach him so that he'd be jumping through hoops to meet me? I decided on a safe approach. If he was interested, maybe he'd like to know a little about me? So I wrote him an email, telling him how incredibly charming his profile was and how much I enjoyed reading it. I told him a little about me, where I went to college, and a few extracurricular activities I enjoy.

Three days, no response. What had I said wrong? How could I possibly have turned him off so quickly? My practical side told me to walk away. But my stubborn side said, "You said you were forward and aggressive on your profile... Why not just ASK “Tramp” what you said wrong? If you can't have him anyway, why not at least get some constructive criticism on how to do this in the future?" So that's exactly what I did: I wrote to him, and asked him for some advice on how to approach men in the future, since whatever I had said or done had turned him off.

Well, he responded... QUICKLY. I was ecstatic. We bounced a few emails back and forth and agreed to talk on the phone later. He gave me his number and I proceeded to sit on my hands as long as I could possibly stand it before I grabbed the phone and called him.

It was awesome. We talked for over two hours. About anything, everything. We laughed, we joked, it was like no holds barred. He held nothing back. He had no problem exposing who he was, warts and all. He was so comfortable about who he was, that it made me comfortable to just be who I am. I felt like I could just be myself, in the raw, with him. And, frankly, he preferred it that way. He would call me out on it if he sensed that I was holding something back. If this phone call never ended, I was fine with that. Sooner or later, as always seems to happen, the conversation got frisky. I'm not about to deny it: I wanted this guy. I wanted this guy like I hadn't wanted anybody in YEARS. Had he pushed me to meet him that night, just for sex, I probably would have said yes. But he didn't. :) However, when he took our phone conversation to an even friskier place, I certainly didn't stop him.

Let's just skip to the punchline. It was incredible. I always thought that phone sex was cheap and weird and stupid. I mean, how can you possibly enjoy anything with a phone attached to your ear? Okay, NOW I GET IT. It was awesome. I was officially smitten. “Tramp” was smart, he was sexy, he was stable, and I wanted him to be mine....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chapter 4: Moving On...

So my first Internet date was a bust. Well, that’s okay. Try, try again, right? I could see that I wasn’t going to get much action on No new matches had been found for me since I signed up. It occurred to me that Internet dating was so popular because you had such exposure to so many people across any given area. When I went out with my friends to the local places that we enjoyed to frequent, I realized very quickly that you end up seeing the same faces over and over again. There was no way that I was going to meet anyone new or exciting by remaining in the same network of people.

I was sitting at home one night, surfing around on Comcast’s On-Demand features, looking for a movie to watch, and I saw an option that said “Dating on Demand.” Huh? Dating on Demand? Oh, I had to check this out. And that’s exactly what it was! It was a collection of videos to a dating service. You didn’t get a whole lot of information about where each individual lived, but it kept directing me to the same website:

So I got online to check it out. sponsors those Speed Dating events you hear about, where you get like 5 minutes with a person and then move to the next table. But you didn’t have to attend one of these events to sign up with them. You could create a profile and upload some pictures to meet people strictly from the site. Why not? I signed up. I listed all my “statistics” and then listed all the “stats” I’d prefer in a date. Let’s see what comes back. Considering the claim they had of their clientele, I didn’t receive back nearly as many matches as I thought I would… There were only about twelve. I looked over all of them, and there were two that struck my fancy. They had two ways to initiate contact. You could send an email to someone, or you could send a “virtual drink.” This was, of course, the quick way to point out to someone that you noticed him without the pressure of coming up with something witty and charming to say in an email. I sent a “drink” to the two men that struck my fancy. Neither one responded.

Then, I was contacted by “Horace.” He was blonde, pretty cute, and I was intrigued. We exchanged a few emails, and then graduated to the phone. It was a nice conversation. Not great, but not bad. He seemed a little dry, but we agreed to go out to dinner the following night. We met at Brio in Buckhead, Atlanta’s premier uptown area, so I was impressed with his choice. Dinner was a little awkward and there were lulls in the conversation, but overall it was nice. I hadn’t been mistaken, he definitely had a dry personality, but it wasn’t unbearable. After dinner, we did the after-date shuffle of, “What do we do next?” He wanted to come back to my house with me. I’m no fool. I knew what he wanted.

So now I was faced with a choice. I was over 30, not in high school anymore, and officially divorced. I didn’t have to say, “No, No, No,” anymore for fear of the bad-girl reputation I had in high school, right? This is 2005, and casual sex is quite common, if not accepted these days. The question was: did I want to have sex with THIS guy? I didn’t really feel any strong mental attraction to him, but I thought he was attractive. I knew that I would not have some great relationship with this man, regardless of what happened the rest of this evening. After being with no one but my ex-husband for the last seven years, part of me thought that I just needed to do it: Get that first one out of the way. It was against my better judgment, but I agreed, and he followed me home.

“Horace’s” finesse was less than stellar, to say the least. He made comments like, “This is a nice house, why don’t you show me the upstairs?” How classy. And I was still hesitating. It was all so contrived. Was this really how things went? Had I really been out of the loop this long? Did men really think it was okay to act like this? I even pointed out how cheesy it was that he kept making comments like, “Show me the bedroom,” but it didn’t make him stop doing it.

Alright, let’s skip to the punchline: We ended up in bed. And it was just AWFUL! I mean, it was really AWFUL! This man had no technique, no style, no stamina, and I swear that his idea of foreplay was, “Are you ready yet?” It lasted less than five minutes, but, I am an understanding woman, and these things happen. I was perfectly willing to allow him a Second Round to make a first impression. The second round was worst than the first. I couldn't get him out the door fast enough. When I finally DID get him out the door, he said, "I'll call you," and I said, "Sure," praying that I would never hear from him again. Thankfully, I did not.

I remember coming back inside and not sure how to define what I was feeling. Sort of a combination of embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed. What a wasted notch on my belt! Was it just a "first time out" experience, and it didn't matter who it was, it would have been awful? Or was this guy truly just the most pathetic lover in Atlanta? Or, an even more chilling thought: Was this indicative of the standard of lovers there were out there? It scared me to think that I might actually regret getting a divorce.

Lesson Number Three: Be WAY more picky before you invite someone new into your bed, regardless of how cute he is.

Status: Learned. Learned WELL.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chapter 3: Internet Dating?

I attended a couple more Square Hatter’s events, and ran into my two new girlfriends. That was fun, but I didn’t meet any more “Jacques’.” And it was becoming obvious that attending Square Hatter’s events were going to become costly and time-consuming. It had been suggested to me that I try This was, of course, going against everything I believed when it came to meeting people online, but I decided to do a little research and see what it was about.

The service is not like most dating websites. You do not “browse” through available profiles, and you don’t just start talking to people out of the blue. They have a very intense screening process that they put every member through before you are even allowed to sign up. Based on a personality profile, they match you up with people that they feel you would be most compatible with, based on your answers during this profile test. And, should you decide to communicate with a match, there is a 5-step process you go through before you can start openly communicating and exchanging contact information. I took the forty-five minute personality test and then waited patiently for to show me who out there was my perfect match.

I got three hits. I had not yet paid any money to I looked over the three profiles they gave me, and still wasn’t convinced that this was something I needed to spend money on. I knew that I needed to purchase a membership if I was going to attempt to communicate with any of these individuals. There were no pictures available for me to look at, either. I read through the statistics of these men, and decided right off the bat that one of them wasn’t for me. The second one was a possibility, but certainly didn’t make me want to read more. The third one, however, “Timothy”, looked intriguing. I was still hesitant about paying for a membership. Maybe I’d think on it for a day or two.

The very next morning, I arrived at work to find an email from, telling me that “Timothy” wanted to communicate with me. Wow, that didn’t take long. Out of the three matches they’d given me, “Timothy” was the one I liked, and he obviously liked what he saw, as well. To start talking to him, though, I had to put up some money. So I caved. I signed up and agreed to the 5-step communication process with “Timothy”. It was rather intimidating, to be honest. First you select five closed questions, with multiple choice answers for your match to answer, as does he. Then you select ten “Must Have” criteria, and ten “Can’t Stand” criteria that you require from a mate. If you both feel that you meet most, if not all, of these standards, you move on to the next step, which is choosing three open-ended questions that your match can answer in their own words. After all this, if you still want to talk, you are allowed to communicate openly through the service with emails, maintaining anonymity.

You can also choose at what stage your match can see your pictures. I had mine visible from the get-go, but “Timothy” chose to wait until we were at the open communication stage to reveal his. And, HALLELUJAH! He was HOT! We exchanged phone numbers and finally managed to sync up on the phone on a Sunday night in Mid-March. Our first phone conversation was about two hours long. We were so much alike, it was almost creepy. By the end of the two hours, we were practically finishing each other’s sentences. Needless to say, I was excited! We discovered that our offices were only about two miles away from each other, so when he asked me to lunch on Tuesday, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.

He invited me to his favorite sushi place that he frequented for lunch. We bade each other good night and I immediately started mentally filtering through my closet to decide exactly the perfect outfit to wear. It couldn’t be too glamorous or revealing, as I would be at work. But I didn’t want it to be too casual, either, even though we all dressed rather casually at my office. I settled on a scoop necked top, a basic skirt, and my trusty boots.

Lunch was great. Great conversation, great food, and a great date! I will admit that he was not as tall as I’d thought he’d be, and he was a bit on the scrawny side, even for me. While I am a rather voluptuous woman, I tend to gravitate toward the tall, lanky men, but “Timothy” had an extremely slender build that his pictures had belied. However, we got along so well, I was truly looking forward to possibly exploring something more.

When lunch was over, and we both had to return to our jobs, we walked to our cars and did the end-of-date “shuffle,” trying to wrap it up in an acceptable way. He gave me a hug and little peck on my cheek. I guess I didn’t really expect a kiss, considering it was a lunch date, but it would have been nice. I had a feeling he’d be a good kisser. He said he wanted to see me again, and I mentioned that I was going to a party that Friday night, did he want to accompany me? He said he was interested and we’d be talking soon. I went back to work on a bit of a natural high. This might turn out to be something! As much as I hated to play the game, I knew I had to wait for him to call me. Friday was only three days away. I could wait.

Wednesday came and went with no word from “Timothy”. Was this normal? Should I be worried? What had I done wrong? What hadn’t I done right? Easy, now, don’t over-analyze, and don’t obsess. It’s not like he was required to call me the next day. But all day at work on Thursday, and still no word. I knew that I wasn’t about to make every man I dated spellbound, but what could I have possibly said or done that led “Timothy” not to even pick up a phone? Or send an email? I thought I had played this one perfectly. We had talked, flirted, and in general kept up a connection that I thought deserved a bit of exploration.

As I drove home from work, I decided to stop into my favorite little bar and have a drink or two. It was St. Patrick’s Day and there were several people there that I knew, celebrating the Irish holiday. So I posed the question to my acquaintances at the bar: What should I do? The girls all, of course, said to walk away. If he wanted to see me again, he’d have called by now. The guys, surprisingly, all said I should give him a call. This wasn’t the 1950’s, and guys like to know that a woman is interested before they give chase. This debate did NOTHING to help me figure out where “Timothy’s” head was, though, and I went home still analyzing what might have happened.

To my delight, I came home to a voice mail message from “Timothy”. He said he was just checking in, see how my week had been going, and, if it wasn’t too late when I got the message, to give him a call. I looked at the clock: it wasn’t yet 11:00. I dialed quickly, but got his voice mail. Well, okay, maybe he’d already gone to bed. I left a message and told him I would call him in the morning to see if he still wanted to accompany me to the party that night. My fears were waylaid. I felt a wave of relief wash over me. I was so glad I hadn’t called! I had over-reacted and obsessed prematurely. If I was going to do this dating thing, I needed to get a handle on my emotions.

In the morning, I called, just like I’d said I would, and got “Timothy’s” voice mail again. I left another message. After I got back from my lunch break, and not having heard from him yet, I started thinking. If he was going with me to a party that night, we needed to make some plans. I tried again, with no answer. Since I was calling from my office phone, I knew he wouldn’t recognize the number and I chose not to leave a message. Okay, now I was getting irritated. I was getting stood up, wasn’t I? I know he hadn’t said that he WOULD go with me, but he could have at least touched base with me by now to tell me that he didn’t want to go. Hell, at this point, he could have made up some cheesy excuse as to why he couldn’t make it. I could have asked someone else to come with me if I’d known he wasn’t going to go. But now, with only a few hours left before I had to be there, there was no time to consider another date, or even just to bring a friend. I gave him one last opportunity and called him on my drive home. Again, no answer, and I left one last message. I ended up going alone and had a decent time. The hardest part was the drive there and back alone. I poured over the details once again. What had gone wrong? How could he have been so rude as to completely ignore me today? My emotions flipped from anger to rejection, and back again. So how would I react if I ever heard from him again? My first reaction was to let him have it. However, I knew that was not the appropriate way to handle it. Maybe I should just not answer the phone? Who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to hear from him again. Write him off and move on.

The next day, much to my surprise, he called. I played it cool, and felt cold. However, I so badly wanted to hear his excuse. He proceeded to tell me that didn’t get a chance to discuss this with me at lunch, but he generally makes it quite clear from the start that he dates other women. Well, I had no problem with this, but what did it have to do with his actions last night? Here it was, his excuse: He went on to explain that he has now decided to get serious and exclusive about one of the women he was dating. Oh, I see. Then, to make sure his ego was fully pumped, he added that I was just one of three phone calls he had to make that day with the same speech.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. I know I was new to this dating thing, and I had every intention of dating around. Hopefully I would one day be in a position to have to tell a man or two that I had decided to become exclusive with someone else. But I considered “Timothy’s” position. We initially talked less than a week ago, and he seemed to do all the normal pursuing techniques one might expect to get a date. If he was considering becoming exclusive with this woman, you’d think it was something he’d been thinking about for more than a week, wouldn’t you? And when you are already dating three women, and you pursue a fourth, I can’t imagine that exclusivity is the utmost thing on your mind!

I’m not completely naïve, however. I realize that this was, more than likely, a brilliant line that he uses for any woman that he’s just not that jazzed about. And think about it: It IS brilliant! I vowed to remember to use this line in the future. Deciding to become exclusive with someone you are already seeing lets everyone walk away with no debating, no questions, and everyone’s ego stays intact. We vowed to keep in touch, and wished each other luck. Unsurprisingly, I never heard from “Timothy” again. At least I only wasted a week on him.

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: Still to be learned.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a quick note

I know these posts have been rather long. I know that anyone who stumbles across it wouldn't take the time to read all the way through to the end. If it's any incentive, they WILL get shorter. When I originally wrote this tale, I received so many comments and questions regarding the idea that I should write a book.

So I tried. I decided to rewrite each post to be a little more in-depth, detailed, and more like a "chapter." I thought that this would make it more professional to present to literary agents with the idea of publishing. I only made it through the first few posts doing this. So they WILL get shorter. Promise :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chapter 2: The Social Dinner Club (PG-13)

I stopped in my favorite little local bar one night after work to get a bite to eat and have a drink. As much as I hated to admit it, my next door neighbor and I had been in there enough times that the bartender knew me by name, and I was, indeed, considered a “regular.” I began chatting with a woman sitting at the bar that I’d never met before, but she was animated and fun to talk to. I guessed her to be about my age or a little older, and she, too, was divorced, although she wasn’t as “fresh” as I was to single life.

So I asked her, “How do you meet men?” She began telling me how her social calendar was filled with events that were sponsored by a social dinner club called “Square Hatter’s.” They had a membership fee, but you need not become a member to attend their events. Several times a month they organized and sponsored events all over Atlanta. These events could range from something as simple as “happy hour” at a trendy midtown place to something as elaborate as a week-long cruise in the Caribbean. I was intrigued – Tell me more.

She went on to explain that you usually had to buy tickets to an event, through their website, whether it was a movie premier, or a book discussion, or what have you. Paid members got their tickets for a discount, or even for free, depending on the event. The majority of the people who attended these events were 30 – 50 years old, single professionals, just looking to network with a variety of new people. There wasn’t a lot of pressure to date, and indeed, this woman had, many times, made connections with new girlfriends as much as she had with potential dates.

Well, this sounded perfect! You got all the benefits of having a wide variety of people in one place, without the exclusion the single people feel from being thrown into a sea of couples. And there wasn’t the anxiety of the unknown like there was when you meet someone online. This was something I needed to check out!

I looked at the Square Hatter’s February calendar and decided to attend their annual “Cupid Is Stupid” party at the W Hotel. It was tradition to wear black to this party in protest of the red holiday, and who doesn’t love dressing up in a sexy black outfit? I put on my favorite black top that showed off my ample bosom, my favorite black skirt that was long, and made of a crinkle material that tended to cling ever so slightly, but flowed and rippled around my legs with every movement, and my favorite black boots. Walking in to the hotel lobby alone, and I felt like I had landed on Mars. Make a bee-line for the bar, right? At such a swanky hotel, the drinks were about ten bucks. Okay, pace yourself on the drinks, unless someone else is buying them. I wandered around, trying to start idle chit-chat with people. I had no clue what to say, and I felt like an idiot. Occasionally, someone would approach me and offer to buy me a drink, but no one that made my heart go “pitter patter.” My failsafe social move is to join the smokers. At least we all have something in common, right? We’re all banned to the outside.

The social move worked. Well, it worked half way. I met two women out there that were fun, tipsy, and having a good time. They were all too happy to include me, and my night began to look up. I didn’t need to meet a man tonight, did I? If I made two new friends, then the night would still be considered a success. We laughed, we drank, we danced, and we people-watched. I can say that I was honestly having a good time. And the more fun I was having, the more comfortable I felt, and the more my confidence began to rise.

I went outside for another cigarette and walked up to three men that were smoking and talking and asked for a light. This apparently immediately gained me an invite into their circle of conversation. One of the men disappeared rather quickly, but the two that were left turned out to be roommates, and were attending this function by way of a woman friend that had a membership to Square Hatter’s, and a hotel room to party in for the whole night. Both men were awfully cute, although one was too young for me. “Jacques”, on the other hand, was the same age as me and appeared to be quite successful in the real estate business. I found myself intrigued with him to find out as much as I could. Time to flirt! Very quickly I discovered that he lived near me, owned his own house (his roommate was more of a tenant), was not seeing anyone, and was actively looking. The more I listened, the more I smiled. He was cute, he was stable, and he was attracted to me. Score on the first time out! My two new girlfriends eventually found me and gave me the silent “Way to go!” when they saw that I was making progress, and then graciously said their good-byes for the evening.

“Jacques’” friend came out and announced that everyone was leaving the party in the lobby to continue it in the hotel room. “Jacques” invited me up. I briefly had some flashbacks about some of the stupid things I’d done in high school, putting myself in a situation with strangers that could have put me in harm’s way, but then I quickly realized that there would be many people there, including guys and girls, so the risk factor was minimal. They had a lot of alcohol stocked up there, and I was already tipsy, so I paced myself to get sober again. After all, I had to drive home at some point! And what normally happens when nine people gather in a hotel room to drink? They play drinking games. I had to sit that out. I’d never get home if I got that drunk. So I went out onto the balcony to have a cigarette.

“Jacques” came out to join me. He started giving me boyish smiles and kept inching his way closer to me. I’m not a shy person, but I’d never been able to make the first move before. I’d always needed the guy to open the door and then I could take over from there. But tonight, I was tipsy, I was single, I had just attended my first mixer, and met a man who was attractive. I leaned over and kissed him. I felt the tingles start at my lips and wash all over my body. I had not kissed a man in over six months, since my ex-husband moved out, and I had not kissed anyone but him in seven years. “Jacques” responded to me hungrily, moving his way to my neck and my ears, his hands wandering up my back and into my hair. My hands found a similar path down his body and I drank in the attention, thirsting for more. It may have been February, but the cold weather was no longer a factor. He buried his head into my breasts, and I felt like I was starring in my very own episode of a racy sitcom. Pinning me against the railing of the balcony, he began to move down my body.

I may have paused to consider that I was allowing him to take things too far, but at that point, I didn’t care. It may have crossed my mind that I was coming across as someone who was “easy,” but this was exactly what I needed. Yes! I was attractive, and I could walk into a singles’ mixer and find an attractive man who wanted me. The more he touched me, the more my confidence rose, and the more my desires told me that I wanted this man. My morals needed to just shut the hell up.

Eventually “Jacques” dove under my long and flowing skirt. With it draped over his head like a tent, he proceeded to set up camp. This was amazing! And he was GOOD at it. I grasped onto the railing, arched my back, and closed my eyes, feeling all the amazing sensations shooting through my body as I ached for this man. My knees shook, and I’m amazed I managed to stay on my feet in heels as my breathing became jagged, and I exploded at the expertise of his tongue. My mind was swirling as I came back into focus. The desires and basic instincts that had been buried inside for so long had bubbled up and broken out when I wasn’t looking, and I liked it. “Jacques” stood up and continued to kiss and caress me. I briefly wondered why we hadn’t been caught out on the balcony, but who knows? Maybe we had and I just hadn’t noticed? It sounded like things were winding down inside and we agreed to go back in.

Several people had already gone to bed in the two-room suite, and, of the few that were left, we got some knowing looks as we walked in. I hoped “Jacques” wasn’t embarrassed. After all, I didn’t know any of these people, but some of them were his friends. He was still pretty drunk, though, and didn’t even seem to notice. One by one the remaining people left, and it was again just “Jacques” and I. He couldn’t keep his hands off me, and he told me over and over that he wanted to taste me again. How could I say no? WHY should I say no? And he gave me another earth-shattering orgasm with his amazing tongue. The last thing in the world I am is a selfish lover, so I flipped us around and began moving my way down his body, eager to give him as much pleasure as had given me. I may have been out of practice, but it’s kind of like riding a bike. It didn’t take long for me to get into a groove. After just a few minutes, though, he stopped me, saying that I was turning him on too much and he wouldn’t be able to hold out.

Forget what’s proper - I asked him if he had a condom. I had a very strict rule when it came to sex: Absolutely no condom-free sex before marriage. I had several reasons for this rule. Aside from health risks, and pregnancy risks, I felt that it was something I could offer my future husband, knowing that I had not been with anyone condom-free since I got divorced, and before I got married, I had not been with anyone condom-free since I was engaged to another man in my early 20’s. Unfortunately, I had not brought any condoms with me, because I didn’t actually expect to get lucky the first time I went out on the hunt! Unfortunately for both of us, “Jacques” didn’t have one, either. He tried telling me that he had never been able to enjoy sex with a condom, anyway, which raised a few red flags for me. Let’s put the obvious aside for just a moment and say we started dating? I wasn’t about to have a sexless relationship because he couldn’t use condoms. And I wasn’t about to break my rule for the first guy who came along – even if he could give me orgasms standing up in the chilly February night air.

So we would not be having sex tonight. Well, bummer. “Jacques” seemed okay with it, though, and then told me he wanted to taste me again. Well, as attractive as this sounded, it was approaching 6am, and I needed to get home. “Jacques” wasn’t too happy that I was leaving him and he tried like hell to get me to stay. I, on the other hand, just wanted to go home and fall asleep in my own bed. We exchanged our business cards and I drove home, wondering if I’d ever hear from him again.

The truth was, I didn’t really care if I heard from him again. I got exactly what I needed, and not necessarily sexually. I needed all of it: the mingling, the meeting, the flirting, and the ability to attract an intelligent, attractive man who wanted me. I wasn’t ready to turn around and commit myself to one man so quickly. I needed a boost to put myself back out there, and know that I was, in fact, worthy of a man who was worthy of me. Was “Jacques” that man? It was doubtful. Did such a man exist? In a city of over 5,000,000 people, I suspected that I would have a lot of fun finding out.

“Jacques” did send me an email three days later. Just sort of a quirky, “What’s up?’ sentiment. I responded, and asked if he wanted to get together again. He never wrote back. No surprises there.

Lesson Number One: Always be aware of what you’re getting yourself into, and have no expectations, either for the evening and especially beyond. Keep in mind that your actions should be those that you know you will not regret later.

Status: Learned.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Setting the Tone

So, it is probably important to illustrate one "cutesy" little nuance about this upcoming adventure.  Most, if not all, of my potential suitors were told about the blog.  It was never a secret, it was never meant to be some sort of exposé, and it most certainly was not meant to invade on anyone else's privacy, with the exception of my own.

However, keeping anonymity in check could pose a potential problem.  Sometimes the smallest thing could give away someone's identity.  I could divulge nothing specifically personal; about looks, where they lived, family life, or even the type of car he drove.  I would use no names, of course, but how would my readers (not to mention me!) relate to each character, when they didn't even have names?  Use their occupation as a name?  Nooooo...  The chances I might have a date with more than one lawyer, or more than one police officer were so great it was almost a certainty.

I fumbled through the first several entries.  I tried to keep each date confined to one entry, but it didn't take long before I realized there would be return appearances after I'd already written an entry, thinking it would be closed.  Then the solution was presented to me from the most peculiar source.  One of the men I met, and even though we never quite hit it off romantically, we did want to be friends and remain so to this day.  I was even invited to his wedding.  :)

He suggested that I choose Disney character names to tag each man.  This way, I had an almost endless list of options to choose from, and I could further personalize each one by choosing a character that mirrored the personality, or looks, or both, of each one.  It was fabulous!  And it was perfect!

I had my topic, I had my theme, and I had more material, and the ability to acquire more material, than I could ever possibly write about.  This was gonna be fun....