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, 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....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chapter 16: Is this something?

I had teased "Mickey" about the fact that he didn't even have to take me out to dinner to get lucky. And after he left that night, I questioned myself, my morals, and my own actions. What did I do? Hadn't I learned my lesson yet? Granted, I hadn't exactly been sleeping with every guy I'd met, but the countless encounters I'd had with no follow up phone calls and disappearing acts should have been a giant neon sign that said "GET A CLUE!"

But then my conscious went into a different mode. What was I worried about? I hadn't been totally sure that he was someone I wanted to get involved with anyway. I was horny, I wanted to get laid, and I did. It would be nice if he called, but if he didn't, would it really bother me? The truth was: not particularly.

But to my surprise and delight, he called. The very next day. Very nice - show a little class - points for "Mickey!" I think I mentioned previously that there was some drama going on in other aspects of my life, which doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on my dating world, so I won't bother illustrating it. But "Mickey" earned a lot of points with me by picking up on the fact that I was distracted by other things and wanted me to talk about it. I didn't really feel like telling him, and I never really did, but his consistent offers to listen if I wanted to talk, or even just to give me a hug if I needed it, were very comforting. I actually kind of liked it. Having a man be concerned about me, even making an effort to be around - WITHOUT the obvious ulterior motive of getting laid at the end of the night. Color me: "Impressed!"

A couple of days later, and I was still receiving a once a day phone call. It was nice. I was feeling particularly lonely one evening when he called, so an invite to his house was welcome. He didn't imply anything more than offering me a drink of a special liqueur he had recently obtained, and maybe hang out and watch some TV. Quality cuddle time! So I went over.

And that's exactly how it happened. We had a few drinks, talked, kissed, and cuddled. But I wanted more... and I let him know that. I needed to be wanted, and loved, and it didn't take long before we ended up in his bedroom. I didn't go over there to have sex with him that night, but it was exactly what I needed. And as I drove home that night, I began to question myself. Was this me falling for someone? Or was it just my desperation to have someone pay attention to me? He had some red flags that bothered me, and he wasn't, by any stretch of the imagination, the man of my dreams. Was my vulnerable state of desperation setting myself up for heartbreak or, more likely, was I setting HIM up to have his heart broken by me? Was I just using him because he was paying me a little bit of attention? Or was this how relationships start?

Maybe I could just let this one ride for a little bit and see where it was going. Easier not to over-analyze it and let it either grow or wither on its own.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chapter 15: Lookout! A live one!

Another contact on I'll be perfectly honest, I tried to blow "Mickey" off in the beginning. I thought he lived too far away (as commuting has become the bane of my existence) and, according to his profile, he was interested in someone of a Christian faith and who doesn't smoke. I am neither of these. And I told him that upfront, thinking that it might turn him off to keep contacting me. After all, weeding through all these men in an efficient manner had become crucial. The less time wasted on communication if you aren't interested, the better, right?

Well, my tactic for turning him off didn't work. "Mickey" pointed out that we actually were only about a 20 minute drive away from each other, (MapQuest said that it was more like 45 minutes) and that his desire for a Christian wasn't really based in any deep-rooted faith. As far as me smoking, he proceeded to tell me that his mother died of lung cancer. While the actual act of smoking didn't bother him, he just was still very emotional about what it did to his mother. (Which, by the way, made me feel about 2" tall.)

And he kept pursuing. Nothing I said would deter him, and, in most cases, was actually drawing him to me more. So when he finally asked me out, I just couldn't say no. We didn't have a real plan, but he was to pick me up and we would decide where to go when he got here. The internet rules of safety had occurred to me, and that I shouldn't have let him come to my house to pick me up. All of this was still very new to me, though, and I was still exploring how to handle being safe without coming across as being paranoid.

So "Mickey" arrived (on time) and I invited him in for a drink so we could discuss where we were going to go. We had some wine and were just gabbing away, not really discussing where we were going to go at all. He was better looking in person than his pictures, and he had a great body. He looked very sexy in his rich black cotton t-shirt and beige slacks. Did I really find him sexy or was I just getting desperate to get laid?

Thirty minutes later, we were still sipping Merlot and chatting with not even a suggestion as to what we were going to do or where we were going to go. I went into the kitchen to refill our glasses and he followed me. When I turned around, he was standing very close to me, slipped his arms around me and began to kiss me. Kissing turned to necking, necking turned to petting, and before I knew it, I was dragging him upstairs to have my way with him. Unlike my previous experience, "Mickey" was fabulous. Twice. ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chapter 14: Next?

Another day, another contact on Tall (always a plus), cute (with a boyish charm) and quite down-to-Earth (quite attractive quality). By this point, the whole email/IM dance was becoming old and time consuming to me. The quicker I could ascertain whether I wanted to get to know a guy better, or put him on the cut list, the better off I'd be. So we graduated to the phone rather quickly. He asked me out to dinner right off the bat, and I accepted. Then we talked for a bit.

"Sleepy" had a less than animated personality, and I found myself wondering if I should regret accepting a date so quickly. I tried asking questions to draw him out, but his answers were short and there were a lot of awkward silences. Grrrreat. Let's not jump to conclusions - some people are just not phone people. Maybe he'd be better in person?

We met at a Mexican restaurant, and my fears were confirmed. Conversation was not his strong point. My inquires accelerated into his past, hoping to draw him out some, and the next thing I know, I'm listening to his monochromatic voice telling me a tale of woe about his whole family, his estranged father, and the death of an uncle that was about to cause some major estate disputes amongst him and his kin. How was I supposed to react to this? I listened, tried to be understanding, asking for clarification about things when it didn't make sense, but in all, it was more drama than I was willing to handle on a first date.

I excused myself right after dinner, claiming some other responsibility that needed taking care of that night, and he was gracious about it. Here's a hint: Weekday dates give you an opportunity to leave early, as work or other errands are perfectly understandable for an early night.

Lesson Number Ten: The email/IM/phone dance is annoying and you may feel at times you'd rather have a root canal than start over ONE MORE TIME, but it has its purpose.

Status: Learned.

Follow-up: "Sleepy" did call for a second date, but I was so frustrated by it all that I told him that I wanted to take a break from dating for a while. (There was some other drama happening in my life too, but I shant go there....) I did take my profile down off Match for a few days, but it was becoming an addiction, and I had it back up within a week.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chapter 13: This looks promising...

So, thankfully, "Manny" didn't try to call me again. Something tells me that Caller ID would have come in QUITE handy if he had. Maybe not. I try to pride myself on being honest and upfront in all cases. I suppose I would have told him that I didn't feel a connection the next time he called, and if he insisted on contacting me, then I would have to start avoiding him. Fortunately, I didn't have to find out how I would have handled it.

I'd been contacted by "Buzz" on Yahoo Personals. He was a self-admitted sci-fi geek, but he was really adorable. And he was smart. He may have been interested in role-playing games, but he wasn't all-consumed with it to the point that made him "weird." And he was too damn cute to be "geeky". :)

We exchanged a few emails, graduated to Instant Messenger, and I was becoming more intrigued with every conversation. Due to my own naivety, my inexperience in this adult-dating world, and, I suppose, my own lack of self-restraint, several of the Instant Message conversations got frisky. I'll admit it, I was getting ancy. While I had seemingly had plenty of dates, quite a few kisses, and even a little play mixed in, I had not actually been sexual with anyone except for that one disaster with “Horace” that was so awful. Here I've been officially back out in the dating world for over 3 months, and I haven't gotten any action yet? There HAD to be better out there, right?

We set up a dinner date, and I had every intention of having dinner with this guy and then taking him home with me. I had essentially let him know this in no uncertain terms as well. We met for dinner at the Macaroni Grill. Dinner was great. We seemed to have a good bit to talk about and the conversation flowed without any awkward silences. I was feeling a connection, and I was just weighing my options on how to act on them. The bill came and the first awkward silence came as the unspoken question of, "What do we do now?" floated between us. I asked him if he wanted to go somewhere else, not sure if I should be so bold as to ask him back to my house.

He paused, took a deep breath, and smiled at me while telling me that he wanted to be honest in that he just wasn't feeling a connection between us. My first reaction was, "Well, shit..." But then I realized that I appreciated him being upfront more than he could know. He wasn't feeling it, and he let me know that. No promises of a phone call tomorrow, no avoiding, or ignoring, and no disappearing act. THIS is what adult dating should be like, shouldn't it? Honest, upfront, mature, and no games.

So I was rejected, but at the same time, given a new cause for hope that dating in my 30's might actually have some merit. I don't actually know why "Buzz" wasn't attracted to me. Maybe my laugh was too loud, maybe I was too heavy for him, maybe there was a piece of spinach stuck in my teeth all night. But you know what? it doesn't matter why. Because he told me with all honesty, I accepted it, and never thought twice about the fact that I never heard from him again. Way to go, Buzz!

Lesson Number Nine: Keep it casual, don't take rejection personally, and all will be well that ends well.

Status: Ehhhh... Only half-way learned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chapter 12: Full Disclosure?

So I was starting to get a lot more attention on I failed to mention earlier, also, that a friend of mine convinced me to sign up with Yahoo personals, too. She was apparently having a lot of luck there, but so far, I can say that I haven't been too thrilled with it. I've sent out my share of messages, and I've received my share of messages, but it's a very rare occasion where someone I'm interested in responds to me, or I am interested in someone who contacts me. But Match was proving to be a lot of fun. I was exchanging emails with quite a few people, and I could see how it might be an excellent way to meet a lot of people. I was starting to wonder how people actually met before the Internet was invented? How else could I possibly meet so many different types of people from so many different backgrounds? This was proving to be quite interesting!

So I was contacted by "Manny", who seemed really outgoing, fun-loving, and a bit of a redneck, but he sparked my interest. So I gave him my phone number so he could call me. And call me, he did. Now, normally I would not dedicate an entire entry to someone I didn't even meet in person, but this was just too good not to share.

We were on the phone for about 20 minutes. And I do believe I said all of 7 words in that entire time. For 20 some-odd minutes I listened to a stream of consciousness from "Manny", a seemingly well-rehearsed speech of: this is who I am, this is what I do, this is what my business is like, this is how I treat my employees, this is how much money I make, this is how I handle my money, this is what I like to do for fun, these are my hobbies, this is what my last girlfriend was like, this is why we broke up, this is what my experience on Match has been like, this is what my ROOMMATE'S experience on Match has been like, this is what my dog is like, this is the kind of girl I like, and this is what I like to do on a date.....

By the time I hung up, I was cross-eyed... Did I want to meet? I THINK NOT!

Lesson Number Eight: Not going well? Cut it loose sooner rather than later!

Status: Done well... Maybe not totally learned, but achieved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chapter 11: Redirection

So "Goofy" was really distracting my thoughts away from "Tramp". Since he was on the Force in the same city I worked in, I found myself scoping the streets everyday on my way in, or at lunch, or even on my way home if I got off early enough. I would see him most mornings, in that sexy uniform, on the side of the road having pulled someone over. (He wasn't a very forgiving cop.) Once or twice we saw each other on the road, or stopped at a red light next to each other and exchange some flirty smiles and chat.

A couple of phone calls later, but no second date. I'll admit, I tried prompting him to tell me if he wanted to see me again. He proceeded to tell me that he'd had a lot on his mind and admitted that he'd been offered a job opportunity in another city in another state VERY far away. He was sincere, and I believed him. While this wasn't an official "kiss-off" conversation, it was easy for me to read between the lines. It made me feel a little easier about letting it go knowing that his main reason for not pursuing me was that he didn't want to get tangled up in a love affair if he knew he was moving. At least, that's what I told myself.

Now that I was officially able to let "Goofy" go, it didn't take long before my thoughts wandered over to "Tramp" again. It occurred to me that I was probably attracted to "Goofy" because he took my mind off "Tramp", but then it also occurred to me that I was able to let Goofy go so easily because I had some closure with him. And I hate having to say that. It is the cheesiest girl-thing out there... this whole craze about "closure". Sometimes I just want to slap MYSELF upside the head and scream, "HEY, BOZO! NO ANSWER *IS* YOUR ANSWER!" But no, my irrationale kicks in and has to "hear" the words, hear the rejection, feel the finality of it. Not knowing or understanding why “Tramp” disappeared like he did was still consuming me from the inside out. The only thing that was going to help was to put some serious distance between me and the “Tramp.”

Hence I began a "First Date Feeding Frenzy."

Go back and read Lesson Number Six: Don't obsess. Move on.

Status: Still Oblivious

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chapter 10: Is it hopeless?

So over the previous few weeks, I'd been in contacted by this police officer through I had to admit that “Goofy” was doing "the chase" and it was quite flattering. With everything that had gone on with "Tramp" I had been too consumed to invest any time into anyone else, really. But we had kept up some casual email banter, and now he was itching to talk on the phone.

I wondered if my bust of a date with “Dumbo” was indicative of any date I might try to have until I could get “Tramp” out of my head. Would my unconscious "bar" be set to “Tramp?” Would I be able to be interested in someone that I didn't find as intelligent, or sexy, or charming? Regardless, I had to try.

So “Goofy” was certainly working it. He was attentive and funny, and he seemed quite interested in me. After all, he'd been diligently chasing me on email for several weeks at this point and had not seemed turned off that I had kept him at arm's length. I wasn't extremely physically attracted to him from his pictures, but he was kind of adorable in a goofy (pun intended) kind of way. He had great personality, though, and I could tell that he seemed like a genuinely happy person. By amazing coincidence, he served in the same city that I worked in, so a lunch date was the obvious choice. We agreed to meet at a cute little hole in the wall place we both knew of that served really amazing food, as cute little holes in the wall tend to do.

When I arrived at the café, I was pleasantly surprised. He was better looking and even more charming in person. He was no fox, by any stretch of the imagination, but the uniform certainly didn't hurt. We girls like men in uniforms, you know. I found myself smiling and playing with my hair A LOT. I felt a tad in the spotlight while we ate our lunch, as people kept staring at him in his prestigious uniform. What? Do people think that cops don't eat? Or maybe it's because we were at a real restaurant and not a Dunkin' Donuts or a Waffle House?

It was a great lunch. I hated having to leave. But alas, both of our jobs were demanding that we return. He walked me to my car and opened my door for me. I've had my door opened plenty of times when I was getting in the passenger side of my date's car, but no one had ever opened the door of MY car for me to get in and drive away. We shared a very tight hug and agreed to talk soon. As I drove back to my office, it occurred to me that I had not thought about "Tramp" in over an hour... And I liked that.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chapter 9: What is the best way to get over an old love?

Find a new love, right? So “Dumbo” starts contacting me through Match. He was a little different than I would normally go after. A little southern, built, not scrawny, your typical jock. And he was a jock... He told me he was a basketball coach for a large college here in Georgia. (Keeping it anonymous... won't tell you the school :-P) He also told me that he had a PhD in physical education administration. A PhD? Really??? As I've gotten older, I've realized that intelligence is quite the turn on to me! I realize, of course, that a PhD in Physical Education isn't exactly your Nobel Prize scholar, but a PhD is a PhD, and they aren't easy to get, regardless of the field!

We passed emails back and forth for several days. “Dumbo” was flirty, confident, and very eager to meet me. I thought it might be adventurous and spontaneous to try not talking on the phone first. We kept it on email only, and decided to meet one evening in a park. We ended up spending a lot of time kissing and very little time talking. Which, in reality, I had to admit that it was for the best, because every time he opened his mouth, he had the vocabulary of a 10th grader. PhD? You CAN'T be serious???

During this kiss-fest, I realized that I was trying (very poorly, mind you) to capture the intensity of the connection I'd had with “Tramp.” Maybe I was being a bit vengeful, too. Not that he would know it, but something, somewhere, in the miniscule corners of my brain, told me that if I could get excited about someone else, I wouldn't obsess over why he vanished so abruptly. But even while I was kissing “Dumbo,” I couldn't help but compare how great the kisses were the night “Tramp” came over.

Eventually I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I called it a night with “Dumbo.” He claimed he had to go anyway to catch an early flight to do some recruiting at another college, and he'd call me when he came back in town. Of course I saw him online most of the day the next day (early flight, huh?), and didn't exactly go out of my way to contact him. And it should come as no surprise that he didn't exactly go out of his way to call when he supposedly came back into town.

In retrospect, I realize that I was so desperate to find someone that would take my mind off of “Tramp,” that I didn't really bother to take the time to get to know “Dumbo.” Call a spade a spade. It was a rebound, and I would imagine that he realized something was REALLY off. But let's face it... His 10th grade vocabulary wasn't about to sustain me on ANY level for any length of time.

Lesson Number Seven: Don't romanticize the idea of someone just because they look good on paper. Do some homework, and listen to your instincts.

Status: Pretty well learned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chapter 8: Exactly at what point did I lose my spine?

So it should come as no surprise that I never heard from him again. Did I try to contact him? You bet your booty I did. I don't really believe I turned "stalker" on him or anything. First, I was pissed that he never contacted me to let me know whether or not he was coming with me to the party, and I let him know that. Then I just wanted to know what went wrong, and I tried asking him that, too. I would have to say that, over the course of the next two weeks, I probably called 2-3 times and sent 3-4 emails. Excessive? Yes. But psycho? Not hardly.

About three weeks after the night he came over, he did contact me. A simple email that just said "Hey, what are you doing?" as if nothing had ever happened. I responded playfully at first, then apparently I got a little too snippy for him when I asked him to what did I owe this honour, and he cut off all contact again.

Yes, I was crushed. I was beyond crushed. How could I have invested that much time and energy into one man, only to be completely snowed over by the fact that he was just looking for kicks on a Wednesday night? How could he have spent that much time on the phone with me, talking to me, opening up to me, getting to know me, only to run for the hills with no explanation at all? What could I have possibly said or done that left “Tramp” no choice but to disappear off the face of the Earth like that?

If any of you have ever watched "Sex and the City", you may recall an episode where Carrie's boyfriend assessed a first date that Miranda had been on by saying, "He's just not that into you." All of a sudden, it became so clear to Miranda. Guys don't send mixed messages, they don't analyze things, they don't manipulate actions or situations to predict the outcome. If a man is into a girl, he calls, he books the next date immediately, he shows that he's interested and he chases. And if he's not? No amount of overtures from the girl will change his mind. This simple phrase, "He's just not that into you," inspired a book, written by two of the writers of the show. I have read this book. There is a whole chapter on the "Disappearing Act." And Liz says it perfectly as to why this is so hard on a woman:

"Breakups are horrible. But what's even worse than a breakup is knowing that you weren't even worth a breakup."

Any woman will tell you that the QUICKEST way to turn the most laidback, easy -going woman into a complete nut job is to ignore her. Works on most guys, too, really. It's so incredibly cheesy to me, and I hate to even admit it, but it's absolutely true: We need CLOSURE. We don't WANT to leave loose ends hanging, with no idea what may or may not happen in the future. Will he come back? Should I let him? Is he angry about something? If it's a misunderstanding, I ought to be able to at least clear my name before he takes off, shouldn't I? If he doesn't have feelings for me, shouldn't he just TELL me that? Why do something SO CRUEL as to leave me in the dark, wondering? Why would anyone want to be SO CRUEL to another person?

Excessive? Obsessive? Grandiose? Good grief, yes it is. I HATE it when my mind starts spiraling like that. But I admit it, I've done it. With absolutely no input from the other person, my mind will just spiral into the craziest places and I just HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT! I'd much rather get that "closure" and just know that it's done, or know that it's just not the right time, or just know that the guy is an absolute prick, or just know ANYTHING! But no, men avoid conflict at all costs. It's much easier for them to just avoid the discussion that will probably cause her to cry, maybe even yell and scream, but guys, this one act will make it easier for us move on afterward. So nut up, go ahead and listen to the crying and take the insults and screaming that she throws at you, (admit it, you probably deserve some of it, if not all of it) and end things properly. It's a few minutes' worth of your time, compared to the weeks, or even months, of mental torture we go through when you pull the Disappearing Act.

Lesson Number Six: Don't obsess. Move on.

Status: Still Oblivious

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chapter 7: What Kind Of Game Is This?

So, the deal was that “Tramp” and I were going to try again to meet the next night, right? WRONG! We ended up on the phone AGAIN, discussing this twit AGAIN. During this conversation he tells me that he realizes that now is not a good time for him to be starting anything with anybody. Gee, ya think? He tells me that he likes me too much to do that to me. (Nice move, that.) He tells me that he respects me too much to get me involved in his drama. (Again, nice move.) So we agreed to "just be friends." When I hung up with him that night, I figured that was that.

Well, okay, I did stop to consider that if he put some distance between himself and this girl, and was able to regain a little perspective on himself, he would start remembering all the great talks we had, and I thought I might hear from him in about 2-3 weeks. Didn't take 2-3 weeks. Took 2 days.

He started sending me flirty little emails and we did the virtual flirting thing for about a week or so. And then we graduated to the phone again. No freaky-freaky this time. This time, it looked as if we were actually becoming friends. Don't get me wrong, I still wanted to do this guy six ways to Sunday. But I was okay with just being friends, too. The more I got to know him, the more I knew that he was someone I wanted in my life, regardless of the capacity.

So I'm at my neighbor's house one night, drinking an awful lot of wine and having a pretty good time, when my phone rings. Do I really need to say who it was?

"Hey, what are you doing?"
"Over at my neighbor's house, hanging out."
"Oh, I didn't mean to bother you."
"You're not bothering me. What's up?"
"I just had a fight with her."
(Rolling my eyes)
"What happened?"
He goes into the whole scenario.
"Do you want to come over?" (YES, I know! I was drunk and stupid, okay?)
"Thinking about it..."
"Well, why don't you come over here to my neighbor's house? We'll all hang out and have some wine."
"No, I don't want to be around a bunch of people."
"Okay... Do you want me to go home and you come over?"
"I would really appreciate it."

Even drunk I knew that it was a very stupid thing to invite him over when he was pissed off at his ex-girlfriend that he was still in love with. But as giddy as I was, I ran home and primped, waiting with bated breath for my door bell to ring. And then “Tramp” was there.

Okay, I'll admit that I didn't find him as foxy in person as I had imagined he would be based on his picture. A little scrawnier than I'd imagined, a little geekier than I imagined, and a little goofy to top it all off. But I didn't care. It was HIM. He was in my house. I wanted him, and I knew I wanted him. We talked and laughed for a while, but eventually my wine-buzz got the better of me and I took a chance. I made the first move. Hell, I didn't just make the first move, I flat out attacked him! And he was not unresponsive to me, either. He was an even better kisser than I imagined he'd be. So things got a little hot and heavy... But before they could get REALLY hot and heavy, he stopped me.

"I can't do this to you. I care too much about you to drag you into my emotional mess. If I didn't care, I'd be upstairs banging you right now." (Again, nice move. You can't ever be really sure if a line like that is the truth, a really good line, or just a flat out rejection.)

So we hung out and talked a little more and eventually I walked him out to his car. We hugged and kissed for a little while longer. He said a lot of really wonderful things to me then. He told me I was a really good friend. He thanked me for putting up with him. He was worried I wouldn't want to talk to him anymore and asked if he could call me the next day. I assured him that I still wanted him to be a part of my life and asked him if he wanted to hang out that weekend. (I had a party to go to Saturday night.) He said he was interested, bade me good night with a few more kisses, and left.

As you can imagine, I was floating on air. I had myself convinced that, with a little patience, a little tolerance, a little charm, and a little finesse, “Tramp” WAS MINE.

Lesson Number Five: Spontaneous DOES NOT have to mean Impulsive. Take the blinders off!

Status: Oblivious