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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chapter 47: Speed Bump

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter 46: Comfortable, Easy... Perfect!

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

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

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

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

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

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

"So say it," I said.

"I love you."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chapter 45: We Girls Like 'Woo'

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter 44: ...And With Flying Colors

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chapter 43: Winks and Spontaneity

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

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

Oh, boy...

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chapter 42: *Sigh*

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

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

Moving on...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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