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!

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?