Monday, September 27, 2010

Online dating - The first date...and then some.

Thursday afternoon, as I was looking over a printout of eye shadow selections and shooting the shit with my favorite godmom , I received a lovely text message from the guy that’s now stood me up not once, not twice, but (as of Wednesday night) three times. “Hey. Sorry about last night. I had a rough night.”

I thought to myself, “Self, you should really hear him out. He could have been gang raped by a group of bikers and be in the hospital recovering from reconstructive asshole surgery.” Then I smiled and typed “No biggie.”

“I got a job offer in a ‘big far away’ city and I was thinking about it. I need to walk and clear my head.”

I couldn’t help myself – I snorted. It was definitely not one I’m familiar with, and I pride myself on having an excellent repertoire of excuses. He went on to say how he hadn’t slept the previous night and had to make a decision by Friday evening. Really? I admit I went into a mini tantrum - ranting to my godmom about what a dickface he is and how it must be so hard to text someone and say “I can’t go” because you’re too busy thinking.

While she went to help a customer and I sat silently stewing, glaring at my text messages, up popped a new one from someone unexpected. The original online dating candidate – Mr. 39 year old (whom we will from here on out refer to as Sam). I wasn’t necessarily surprised to hear from him because he’d been texting me sporadically over the past few weeks, trying to set up a dinner date, but I’d been so wrapped up in trying to get things off the ground with dickface that he’d slipped my mind.

“Have dinner with me tonight.”

It was last minute and I swore to myself that I wouldn’t accept a date on those terms. However, weak and irritated at being stuck in a constant cancellation rut, I immediately agreed. I moved around a few things, got a sitter for the kid, rushed around the makeup store fixing myself up, and off I went.

That’s when the nerves hit.

The closer I got to my destination, the more nervous I became. I have no idea where it came from or why, because I’m not usually like that. By the time I was in the home stretch, about two miles from the restaurant, I’d resorted to talking to myself.

“You’re going to be fine. Just be yourself. But not too much like yourself! Don’t say vagina...or masturbate...and definitely don’t call him a menstrual chunk. He’s not your friend – nasty name calling is not appropriate. Unless he really insults you...then it might be ok. Shit. Deep breaths, deep breaths.”

I sent him a text letting him know that I arrived and without waiting for his response, got out of the car, straightened my skirt, and walked purposefully toward the door. We were meeting in a popular Mexican restaurant that is usually filled to the brim with people I know and would rather not run into – especially on a blind first date. Seating is by choice, so I hoped to see him as soon as I walked in the door rather than standing there awkwardly or walking from section to section, inviting people to ask me what I was up to.

Two Mexican men smiled at me as I clacked across the tiles, looking left and right. “Sit anywhere”, one said. “How many”, said the other. Still glancing around, now getting a bit more nervous because no one was coming forth to claim me, I mumbled that I was meeting someone. My phone buzzed in my hand. “Had to stop for gas. Five minutes.”

I had a tiny flash of annoyance since I’d driven all the way from downtown and managed to make it on time, yet he lived virtually next door and was late. But I quickly reminded myself that tardiness was not something I could fault anyone else for, and made my way to a booth visible from the reception area. The waitress dropped menus on the table and asked for my drink order. I needed alcohol, that much was clear, but I didn’t want to order anything strong or expensive. I settled on a Mic Ultra in a bottle and leaned back to wait.

I felt awkward, sitting there sipping my beer and staring at the door, so I started texting my sister. “My hands are shaking”, I wrote. (She has been oddly supportive about my foray into the world of online dating and has spent several evenings stretched out across my bed, listening and chiming in with words of encouragement.) “You’ll be fine. Relax.”

I glanced up from my phone, a half smile on my face over the fact that my 17 year old sister was giving me dating advice, and there he was. Infinitely better looking than his pictures, which I hadn’t expected, and with a grin on his face that immediately put me more at ease. “Hi”, he said, sinking into the opposite seat, “I wasn’t sure whether you’d decide to wait in the car or not.” I reached across the table to shake his hand, which seemed to surprise and amuse him. He ordered a sweet tea from the waitress and I briefly regretted the beer, then inwardly shrugged. At least I hadn’t ordered Jack.

The conversation was comfortable, normal, at first. We covered the usual topics – work, family, geography, and kids. Contrary to my earlier belief, he hadn’t been scared away by the single mom stigma. He asked questions and relayed stories about his nephew who is around the same age.

Then it moved into hilarious territory. We somehow got on the subject of gay men, which turned into me relaying the story of the 40 something man in women’s underwear that was online stalking me, which turned into him telling a story and so on. We covered a wide variety of topics – from homosexuals to bums, go-cart racing, books and movies. The only part that gave me a minute’s pause was when the story of my amorous drag queen turned into a discussion on men that wear their wives underwear, which turned into a discussion on violence in the bedroom.

“Sex is like...vanilla ice cream. It’s already good. All that other stuff is just toppings, nice to have sometimes but not really necessary. A little chocolate syrup – alright. Some whipped cream – ok, yeah. Sprinkle on a few chopped nuts – alright, but that’s probably enough...let’s not get too crazy. This hitting shit, I don’t know. A little slap on the ass and tug on the hair occasionally should be good enough, but not every time.”

It was on the tip of my tongue to say, “If you won’t bruise me, you can’t use me”, but I refrained. I was, however, a little worried about all this vanilla sex talk. I happen to like toppings. But we continued to laugh and I wiped that part of the conversation from my mind for the time being. I told myself that I shouldn’t be concerned with his sexual prowess at the moment anyway. Besides, he fascinated me. He was so confident and relaxed. When our eyes met there was undeniable chemistry. We would periodically lean across the table toward each other and every now and then, though I wasn’t certain if it was purposeful or not, his foot would brush mine.

We sat there long after the waitress placed the bill on the table (which he snatched up immediately) and I was so loathe to end our time together that I’d been delaying a visit to the bathroom for a good thirty minutes. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore; I excused myself and he went to pay. When I returned he was sitting on the edge of his seat and I was disappointed. It was time to call it a night. I perched on the edge of mine and gathered my things.

“Are you in a hurry? Do you have anywhere to be”, he asked.

“Not really”, I replied nonchalantly.

“Do you want to hang out some something else?”

“....sure. Ok.”

“What do you want to do?”

I shrugged, assuming we’d just go to a bar and have a few drinks. “Doesn’t matter.”

“Do you want to come over and watch that movie we were talking about?”

I paused to consider my answer, my thoughts going back and forth, weighing the good and the bad: “I shouldn’t – I don’t know him. But I like him. But I shouldn’t because I’ll be tempted to sleep with him. What if he puts the moves on me? What if he doesn’t put the moves on me? I’d be an idiot to go. But I want to go. But an invitation to “come over and watch a movie” is an invitation for sex. Or at least in my experience it’s usually been that way.”

I smiled and said, “Ok.” Adding in my head, “I’m not fucking you...even if your green eyes are making me all tingly. Damn it.”

I followed Sam around the corner and into a neighboring subdivision that, coincidentally, I take the kid to every Halloween for trick-or-treating. I wondered if I stood on his doorstep and smiled at him last year, without even noticing him at all.

Pulling into the driveway of a simple brick house, I cut the engine. I was nervous all over again as I stepped out of the car and walked toward him, my heels tapping on the pavement and echoing down the dark, quiet street. He smiled and turned to lead me up the steps. “It’s a little messy”, he said as he unlocked the door.

It wasn’t messy at all. It was lovely. The kitchen was light and airy with a breakfast nook and a tall, two-seater table. A large wine rack was stocked with glasses and bottles next to a high backed wooden bench with hooks for hats. I followed him down a short flight of stairs into the living room. A huge, squishy looking white sofa was in the center of the room, one corner angled out like a chaise lounge. Black and white photos decorated the wall, along with an astounding array of movies and pictures on a wide black shelf. There was some sort of contraption in a corner that’s point swirled designs in a plate of sand. It was comfortable, yet modern...and exactly the sort of thing I’d do in my own home (should I ever again have the chance).

When I asked if he was a “techie” because of the seemingly large amount of equipment around the entertainment center he smiled and said, “I like gadgets. C’mon...I’ll show you.” I followed him back through the kitchen and into a side room. There were glass patio doors on one wall, a computer desk filled with monitors on another, and what looked like a lot of high tech audio equipment and huge speakers on the remaining wall. I thought of asking if he was in a band, but didn’t because I couldn’t remember if it was on his profile or not. I didn’t want him to know that I might have confused his stats with another’s.

Through another doorway I caught a glimpse of a big, gleaming black piano with the lid propped open. I’m ashamed to say that on our trek back to the living room I may have had a mini Pretty Woman fantasy.

We chatted about the house while he grabbed me a beer and squatted in front of the TV to find the movie. “Make yourself at home”, he said over his shoulder. The couch was so big that I had to wiggle back into it, my feet lifted awkwardly off the floor. I decided to angle myself on the chaise portion, stretching out my legs and crossing them. “Those are hot shoes, by the way”, he said, smiling as he walked toward me. “You can take them off if you want.”

“I’m alright.” They were black, caged high heels; I don’t know why I didn’t want to take them off. He flicked the light and settled down next to me, but not too close.

And then....

We watched the movie. I’m not even kidding. Occasionally one of us would make a comment about what was going on, but for the most part there was contented silence. About halfway through he told me I could take off my shoes again and I couldn’t find a reason not to. It seemed silly by then that I hadn’t. I had to scoot all the way to the edge of the couch to unzip the back of them and slip them off. I could feel him watching me, but I ignored it and wiggled back into place.

A short while later he stretched out and pulled me to him, put his arm and a pillow under my head, and spooned with me, his hand stroking my hip. But he didn’t try anything else and I relaxed, leaning back into him and feeling his chest rise and fall against my spine. I was entirely too content when the end credits rolled and he excitedly asked if I’d liked the movie. “I wasn’t sure you would”, he said, “but I hoped...”

I rolled over onto my back and propped up on my elbows, his arm draped casually over my waist. “Yes, I liked it.” We smiled at each other and discussed all the clues that led up to the surprise ending. I was charmed that he’d not only behaved throughout the whole thing, but that he’d wanted me to like it so much that when he asked, his face had been creased with something akin to worry.

Movie rehashing over, we stared at each other. He shifted a bit, half sitting up, and drew me toward him. I closed my eyes as his lips softly touched mine.

And for a long time he kept that soft, sedate pace, brushing his lips across my neck and back to my lips again, just barely teasing my tongue with his, until my mouth was begging for more pressure. I don’t know if I’ve ever been kissed quite that way. It was delicious.

A few minutes later we became more urgent and he pressed me down into the couch. My skirt was twisted around my hips, my legs wrapped around his waist. My phone buzzed on the seat by my head as his hands wound themselves in my hair and his lips found my ear. I sighed, knowing exactly who it was. Mom had been texting me all evening, wanting to know when I was planning on coming home.

“Sam”, I said reluctantly.

“Mmm”, he replied, still nuzzling my neck and pressing closer.

“I can’t stay long. I mean...I can’t...I don’t want you to think that I...”

He chuckled and kissed me again. “It’s ok, I understand.”

“Good”, I said, relieved, kissing him back.

He leaned back and sat up, pulling me with him so hard that I tumbled into his lap. We laughed. And then we were at it again, his hands pressing down on my hips and my hands clutched in his hair. I pulled away a few minutes later, breathless, and he flopped back onto the couch with a sigh, leaving me straddling him and grinning. “You’re killing me”, I said with a laugh.

I reached over and picked up my beer from the table, taking a huge swallow while he laughed underneath me. I clambered off of him, tugging my skirt down and perching on the edge of the couch to put on my shoes. While I slipped a foot in one and zipped the back, he picked up the other and turned it over in his hand. “Yeah...I really like these. You were killing me by not taking them off.” We laughed and he handed it over.

I clacked across the living room and up the three stairs to the kitchen, with him hot on my heels. Picking up my purse from a chair, I turned to tell him goodbye. He wrapped me in a tight hug and held me up on my tiptoes. “I had a really good time”, he said.

“Me too.”

“When can I see you again?”

“I don’t know”, I replied a bit glumly. “I have a wedding this weekend that’s going to keep me busy.”

“I’ll be around. Let me know when you have some time.”

It took forever for me to get out of there –because my resolve was crumbling and every time he put his lips on me, I forgot where I was for a moment. Finally, pressed up against the wall next to the front door, I found the willpower. “I have to go. Really.” I dunked under his arm and backed out smiling. He grinned back at me and waited until I was in the car to close the door.

I drove out of the neighborhood in a state of barely suppressed agitation. My arms were covered in goose bumps and tingles ran up and down my spine. I lit a cigarette and attempted to calm down, but nothing could stop the squeal that came out of my mouth. “I’m like a fucking teenager”, I thought. But I didn’t care. My face was started to hurt from the grin that wouldn’t move.

My phone buzzed in my lap and I jumped. It was a text message from Sam. “That was really hot.”

My grin stretched even wider and I knew I was in serious danger of cracking my face in half.

“I agree”, I replied. “Though now I am incredibly frustrated.”

“Don’t take this the wrong way”, he said, “but I kind of like the idea of you going home all hot and bothered.”

Sleep did not come easy that night, but I was bright eyed and ready to go Friday morning. And luckily, I get off early on Fridays, because I was very distracted. I was home by 3:30 that afternoon and in the shower to get ready for the rehearsal and dinner. I had to be at the church by 6.

Arriving right on time, I stood around and waited for things to begin. The wedding was outside on a point overlooking the water and it was still quite hot outside. I was chatting with the bridesmaids when my phone buzzed. It was Sam.

We texted back and forth for awhile before I told him I’d get in touch with him after the rehearsal. I knew I was going to try to sneak out early to see him and it was making me antsy.

Around 8:30, after I’d socialized at the dinner for an hour and had a few drinks, I sent him a message.

“What are you up to?”

“Just finished dinner. Headed back home I guess. You?”

“Finishing up at this rehearsal dinner.”

“And then?”

I grinned as I typed, “No plans.”

“Not the right answer”, he said.

“I’ll be there shortly.”

“Much better.”

After several high fives from the bridesmaids and one “No more ‘Since January’ for you!” cat call, I was on my way to the car. There were tons of people there and I wouldn’t be missed. Besides, there was always the reception the following night.

I realized on the drive to his place that I was a little more tipsy than I originally thought and I had to be extra careful. I was relieved when I finally pulled up in his driveway. For about half a second. Then I saw him sitting on the steps, talking on the phone, and it hit me. I was there for one reason and one reason only. He knew and I knew it. And it had been such a long time...I was suddenly nervous.

There was a heavy night breeze as I got out of the car and my dress sucked to my legs as I walked toward him. He smiled and reached out his hand, still on the phone, and I took it. He squeezed my fingers and rolled his eyes in the direction of the phone.

“Where’s your bathroom”, I whispered.

He pointed to one side and mouthed, “Hallway.”

I went inside, dropped my purse in a kitchen chair, and walked to the bathroom, closing the door softly behind me. I stared at myself in the mirror – a mass of curls around my face and eyes wide. I turned the water on and rinsed my suddenly dry mouth, then took a deep breath and went back outside.

He was still on the phone and made an apologetic motion at me. I felt awkward standing there, listening to his conversation, but I didn’t want to sit in his house either. Instead I leaned on the railing and looked up at the sky, tuning him out. The moon and the stars looked particularly bright, but I imagine that had more to do with the closest street lamp being out and my level of inebriation, rather than anything else.

Finally he said goodbye, stood up and came toward me. “Hi”, he said smiling.


He gathered me in his arms and kissed me, right there on the front steps. And as I kissed him back, as his hands stroked my shoulders and my hair, I realized I wasn’t nervous anymore. Not at all.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time management can suck it

I am fully aware that I need to be awake by 4:30am in order to have a shower, look decent for work, and arrive on time. This doesn’t change the fact that, 9 times out of 10, when my alarm clock starts blasting, I will reach over and beat it like Ike beat Tina. Like a teenage boy after he gets his first look at a naked woman. Like a convict...

What I mean to say is – I will pound it quite vigorously and with apparent relish, effectively putting it out of commission and, consequently, I am often late. My alarm clock has now taken so many beatings that the volume won’t stay at one level and the radio stations skip around on their own, likely seeking to dodge the next blow.

Obviously work is my biggest issue since I’m about the furthest thing from a morning person you will find. I sleep like the dead and when woken suddenly, tend to swing first and ask questions later. But my violent tendencies aside (unless you’re into that sort of thing...’sup.), I have issues with time in general.

My boss is in a constant tizzy over my lack of time management skills. “You have got to get here on time”, she says at least once a week. It’s only thanks to her leniency and my apparent charm that I’m able to continue trucking along at a snail’s pace, popping in, breathless and disheveled, with the next excuse on the tip of my tongue.

I like the idea of a schedule; it’s the execution that eludes me. See, I’ve been a top notch procrastinator since I was a child (though I can’t remember a time that I ever willingly missed a meal...). It was generally the mundane, everyday tasks that were neglected – like homework and chores. As an adult its mostly important paperwork, phone calls, making dinner, and other household related things.

It was all well and good when I was putting off the boring tasks that had to be done, but I’ve now started putting off the stuff I enjoy doing. In the past, when there was something I was really looking forward to, I’d jump up and go through all the preparations to get me to my goal as quickly as possible - including vaulting out of bed when the alarm went off. However, my procrastinating has reached an all time high. It is no longer selective.

Take last night for example.

I was texting my would-have-been date from this past weekend. (For those that don’t follow my every move on Twitter, he had to cancel because he and his child came down with strep throat.) We were discussing having dinner together tonight. It was decided that we would catch up this afternoon and if we’re both still available we’ll go, and I will stay in the city at The Grandmother’s house so I don’t have to drive all the way home so late on a work night.

A seemingly simple plan, yes? No! There is a part two that the man has no idea about. Preparations, people! And as soon as we ended our conversation I began laying it all out in my head:

“Ok. Since it’s highly likely that this is going to happen tomorrow night, I need to get moving and get some shit done. Let’s see....laundry! I need those black lace boy shorts. Just in case, it’s not like I plan on removing them or anything, but what if the wind blows my dress up? He should know that even though I have no intention of sleeping with him on the first date, I’m wearing the underwear that says ‘could if I wanted too bitch, HA’!

Um, I need to pack options...clothes to change into after work. I’ll get ready at The Grandmother’s. I’ll already have my hair and makeup done so that won’t take long. Let’s see, feel the! That’s shameful. I won’t have time to do it in the morning so as soon as Glee is over it’s time to shower and shave those bad boys. And should I maybe make sure the rest looks good? No. No, if I do that I’ll probably sleep with him. I mean, yes! I should...just in case there’s a freak accident and we end up in the same hospital room and the nurse doesn’t cover my bits. That is a completely valid excuse.

So let’s put it all together now, tick it off on the fingers: Glee, laundry, shower, shave, exfoliate, pack, go to sleep and wake up thirty minutes early in order to have time to do my makeup extra well. Go to work, go to TG’s, model three or four clothing options while TG frowns disapprovingly and asks questions about his religious background, meet him for dinner, go to the bathroom at some point to check nose for boogers, teeth for food, and Tweet about how drunk I’m getting on wine.

Should I write all of this down? Nah...Totally got it.”

However things didn’t exactly happen that way. As soon as Glee was over, I launched into full procrastination mode.

“I’ll just finish this one episode of Mad Men that I was watching before Glee came on. I won’t watch the other two that are on this disk. Just the one.”

A little over two hours later:

“Fucking fuck – its 11:15! Sigh. Oh well, I’ll just set my alarm for 4am. I’ll have plenty of time to do everything in the morning.”

4:30am this morning:

“SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! SLAM! Fuck you, Tina!”

6:15am this morning:

“SHIT! 15 minutes! SLAM! This is all your fault!”

And that, my friends, is how it is done.

That means that its 11am and I’ve done none of the preparations on my list, other than throwing all of my outfit choices, makeup, and toiletries in a bag and running out the door. On the plus side, I was only four minutes late for work this morning. Unfortunately, I’m now going to TG’s to shower on my lunch break so my hair will look decent by this evening, then going back after work to finish the process. You know, if I was a dude and I didn’t have to go through all of this grooming stuff, I probably wouldn’t be such a procrastinator. Maybe. It’s so tiring!

Anyway, my mother says that there is something mentally wrong with me, that no one can knowingly put off things that are really important without having a screw loose. “You just sit there with your damn book! Get up! Get up! What are you looking at? There’s nothing there! Did you pay that bill? Did you get the clothes out of the dryer? Did you call and make that appointment? Well, did you?!”



“I dunno. I was...hey! Listen to this! Do you hear that? ‘Dun nuh! Dun nuh, dun nuh, dun nuh! I want it with whipped cream on it baby gimmie gimmie gimmie your loooooove!’ OMG, Ma, I love this song!”

“I’m going to kill you.”

Apparently, shocker of shockers, my mother is actually right. Not about killing me, I don’t think she has the stomach for that. But behold this sentence from Wikipedia: “Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder.” Sigh. Of course, I’m forced to believe it because Wikipedia is the internet Bible for gangstas. Wicky wicky.

Unfortunately, though I searched for quite some time, I was unable to find a website that claims procrastination is hereditary. In fact, several of them shockingly claim that there is no possible way it could be. This was most disheartening and I’d all but given up on my plans to print out an article on the subject and share it with my mother. Until I read this sentence:

“Procrastinators often have great difficulty in seeking help, or finding an understanding source of support, due to the stigma and profound misunderstanding surrounding extreme forms of procrastination.”

In your FACE ma! All you had to do was be an understanding source of support, instead of nagging me all the fucking time.

“Why haven’t you found a new therapist? Why can’t you make a stinking appointment with a therapist? Huh, huh, why!”

It’s simple! I can’t, it’s too difficult to seek help! I am doomed to circle the drain of task aversion (including, but not limited to, the task of finding a new therapist) until I’m eventually sucked down into the rusty pipes of underachievement and overwhelming failure. Whereupon I will be committed, someone will finally have done it all for me, and I can blame it all on my father in the therapy sessions they haul me to three times a day in a straight jacket. I win.

Sweet! Lunch time!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Which one keeps fucking it up?

You ask questions you already know the answers to. It’s like a drug, this need.

You know when you plunge in the needle that its going to hurt you in the end, but you can’t stop. The rush is in the asking, in the moment before you get your answer, because you think that maybe…just maybe the answer will surprise you. But it doesn’t. That moment was the high – the answer your inevitable crash. You watch the puncture mark bleed and you immediately begin thinking about the next question – the one that will give you the answer you’re killing yourself for. Because you’re a junkie.


I’ll tell you a secret – I spent a lot of time building this unfeeling person. Every tear, every taunt, every disappointment went into the making of her skin, so that it would be strong enough to withstand more. Insult and indignity shaped the bones of her feet and the planes of her face, to help her smile as she walked away. Her brain filled with distractions and responsibilities, her mouth filled with lies.

But I made a mistake.

See, I thought I could cut out the weaker version of myself – make a better one. But it doesn’t work that way. I created my own worst enemy. Someone that knows the secrets I keep from the rest of the world, that taunts me with her sarcasm and flippancy.

Here we sit in limbo, staring at each other over this bleeding arm, and I don’t know who is who anymore – I don’t know which one is crying and which one is smiling with derision and disgust.

Who’s hand pushes the plunger?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Online dating - the saga continues

So, this is day what in the online dating chronicles? I don’t even know.

I haven’t spent much time at all researching matches or browsing through profiles. I haven’t had to. That’s not an ego thing, it’s just a fact. I’ve been bombarded with messages since day one, hour one. I think this has less to do with them finding me attractive and more to do with the fact that I’m young. I can just see the wheels turning in the brains of these older men that are so gung ho about meeting me. “She’d fetch my beer and make me sandwiches a hell of a lot faster than those older broads. And she’d put out more too.”

During the first two weeks I received some pretty unfortunate messages. (I shared a few of them already here.) I was sorely disappointed in the quality of the site I chose to try first. The only decent candidate stood me up last weekend. Well technically we had no concrete plans, but we’d discussed doing something and then after Wednesday of last week, he never messaged me again. I was a little let down, but I had a feeling that he wasn’t as interested when he realized I had a daughter. Apparently he didn’t read my profile very clearly.

The other weekend, after the millionth request for sexual favors, I decided to try a different website. And I was immediately reassured. The matches were much, much better. Though, of course, there’s no keeping away all of the strange, disturbing, and borderline illiterate. There are also a lot of different features that make finding matches easier.

The neat part is seeing who looks at your profile. I’ve come across some interesting people – an English teacher, a Marine, and a man that prefers to live his life on the go, selling things out of his trunk. Anybody need a watch? But the most interesting by far is a 40 year old married man. All of his pictures are taken from the back, waist down, and he’s wearing women’s lingerie – black stockings, garters, high heels, and a thong. When I first saw it I simply stared with open mouthed horror, but before long I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face. His entire ass is covered in black hair.

I’ve never been a fan of hairy men to begin with, but really? It’s bad enough that your profile picture is of you wearing heels and stockings, meaning that the thumbnail is unavoidable, but why would you put up a picture of your ass when it looks like the face of a particularly ugly gorilla? Not cool, dude. No wonder he’s out seeking another playmate. His wife is probably in intensive care with the only 3rd degree rug burn on record.

He’s viewed my profile approximately 7 times now and has marked me as someone he’d like to “get to know”. The scary part is that he lives in this city. I keep looking around as I walk downtown, wondering if one of the suits passing by is hiding his hairy ass. See, my face is on my profile. His isn’t. Freaky.

But, like I said, it’s not all bad. This past week I started talking to a seemingly perfect candidate. We were matched by the site and both happened to read the other’s profile and rate each other highly.

He’s 32, divorced with two kids, and runs his own business. Though I’m not a huge fan of kids in general, I can’t rule out other parents. It would just be hypocritical. Not only that, but if they have their own kids they’ll probably be less likely to want another one...which makes my uterus breathe a sigh of relief. I really don’t want to have to explain to a man that pregnancy and childbirth is on my “never do again” list, right along with anal sex and the cha-cha slide.

Anyway, we’ve started emailing and recently progressed to text messages. And he’s funny. Not just funny, but my kind of funny. He’s witty, inappropriate, and smart. He reads as much as I do. And he writes. Not anything big, he says it’s just a journal, but c’mon...he writes! Finding a man that reads (things other than Field and Stream or Reader’s Digest because it’s on the back of the ‘shitter’) and writes around here is like winning the lottery.

We have plans to go out this Saturday night for drinks, dinner, and maybe some live music and I’m incredibly, uncommonly nervous. I think it’s because, unlike the first guy I was supposed to go out with, this one has most of the qualities that I’m looking for. I went into this with low expectations and I wasn’t disappointed, I was having a good laugh. Now, who knows? This shit might work after all.

He’s been trying to nail me down all week for a lunch date or a walk in the park, but I’ve been too busy. And I also kind of want to wait until Saturday. It gives me more time to plan, you know. Anyway, if we don’t click in person it won’t be the end of the world, but I find myself hoping that we do. Even at the risk of losing the opportunity to write a hilarious post about a horrible date. Yep, I said it.

Surprisingly, Mr. 39 year old that sort of stood me up sent me a message a few nights ago. He wanted to know if I wanted to go grab some dinner. I’d chalked him up as gone. I said no, of course. Last minute plans are not something I often agree to, or even that I’m able to agree to because of the kid. He said, “No worries, there’s always next time :).” And after thinking about it for a minute I said, “Yes, there is.” Because if he ever asks me a few days in advance and sticks to it, I may consider it. At least for the experience, right?

There’s one other possible interest in the pipeline, but so far it hasn’t gone further than a few emails – which is fine because I don’t know how people have time for all of this business. It’s one thing to juggle a few booty calls – you don’t have to necessarily do any talking there. This getting to know people stuff is a little like work. Not that I’m complaining...yet.

Coincidentally, how many dates do you think it’s appropriate to have before you throw caution to the wind and do the horizontal mambo? And by throw caution to the wind, I mean make it as far as the car. Not like going for it without protection or anything. I’m no maverick when it comes to that. I know all about the pullout method – it just turned 5 in April and answers to the name of “PUT THAT DOWN”. Not that I plan on sleeping with any of them. Ever. I’m doing this the right way. I’m just curious is all.

So...I’ve got the dress. I’ve got the shoes. I’ve got the date. Now all I need to do is relax and try not to get drunk accidentally on purpose and fuck it all up. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Love is blind. Friendship tries not to notice.

There are all sorts of friendships. And, though it’s safe to say that some are preferable to others, I believe that the way we communicate (IE: email, text, video chats, etc) in this day and age has changed the way we rate their importance.

It’s so very rare, I think, to have a friendship that stands the test of time, but what about distance? Are friendships like romantic relationships in that respect – near to impossible to keep going when you aren’t sure when you’ll see that person next? What about if you’ve never even met that person?

My best friend in elementary school was my cousin Ben. He was three months younger than me and, consequently, in the same classrooms until about the age of 10, when they suddenly realized that separating us would not only benefit our learning abilities, but the sanity of our teachers. Unfortunately for our parents this was not an option at home as we happened to be next door neighbors.

We spent many an afternoon discussing the merits of karate vs. street fighting or seeing who could spit the farthest. I was pro street fighting, Ben was pro karate and, though I’ve often had reason to believe he cheated, he always spit the farthest. He would pull me, blinking and irritable, away from my latest paperback and out into the sunshine. We were the last of the Mohicans running through the woods, he in his bare feet and I in my navy Keds, only discarded when I was a safe distance from my prissy mother and her entirely rational fear of snakes and poisonous spiders. We raced bikes, played horrendous games of basketball, and made solemn promises with sticky handshakes.

Over the years our friendship changed, adapting, like so many boy-girl relationships, to make way for the things puberty claimed we needed. He became my protector rather than my sparring partner, and I became his sounding board for all things female – an idea as preposterous now as it was back then.

Though we remained close through the few teenage years we were allowed, and though I continued to call him my best friend, we branched off and found people that met with our often changing qualifications and fads. While I dabbled in a particularly heinous Goth phase, he was trying his hand at the All-American jock. While I practiced the art of the hanger-on, he took up afternoons with the fishing club. However, by the age of 15, we seemed to be moving within the same circle once more. The common circle, collector of teenagers everywhere – trouble.

I was only just discovering the feeling of constantly having him around again, of being on the same wavelength. Afternoons were spent using every curse word we knew, playing video games, burning rap CD’s that would make our mothers faint, and smoking cigarettes on the sly. My favorite pastimes were riding in the car with him next to me, singing Afroman at the top of our lungs, and lying in his bedroom at night giggling over things that only made sense if you were stoned. I’d barely begun to appreciate our new relationship when he was killed suddenly in a jet ski accident.

Losing my very first best friend – my brother – my blood – in such a terrible way, crushed me. But after the anger had run its course, after the hurt dulled to a controllable throb – he managed, in death, to give me something. He pulled me out of my shell again.

In the years that followed Ben’s death, I made friends with an ease I’d never had before. I still disappeared behind my books from time to time, but I wasn’t the same withdrawn child being coaxed to come out and play. Interacting with all those different people was necessary.

When I think over all the friends I’ve had since, there are only a few that even bear mentioning and I’m glad - glad that I had so many imposters, so many which passed through quickly. It’s made it much easier to recognize the real thing.

Rachel, whom I’ve written about before, was the next person to make a big impact in my life – helping me move into adulthood with honesty (I had a significant problem with that.) and much needed hilarity. And though she’s still my best friend, things seem to be at another turning point. I’ve changed yet again, and I suppose when that happens, you need new people in your life to reflect that change.

I’ve recently (over the past year) developed some unexpected, unconventional friendships. At times, especially in the beginning, I couldn’t think of them as anything special because it would just be too weird. But I’ve since readjusted my thinking.

I’m talking about my friendships with you guys.

This whole online dating fiasco I entered into recently? I’ve been pretty embarrassed about it, depending on who I’m talking to and what day it is. But in all honesty, it’s not that different from blogger. Sure I don’t have any romantic intentions as far as the lot of you are concerned, but I’ve formed some pretty close attachments despite myself – without even being aware of it happening at first.

Every comment and every reader has a special place in my heart. I love all of you guys for giving me the validation I wasn’t aware I needed until I started this blog. The support I’ve received here, through some of the most difficult times, has occasionally been the push I needed. Your comments are always encouraging, more often than not hilarious, and usually better than any anxiety pill. See, even having a great group of “in-person” friends, I just don’t get much encouragement on the writing front. I needed that, and you all gave it freely – so thank you.

But as with any large group, there are always a few standouts – a few people I’ve gotten to know a little better than the rest. A few people who started as encouraging strangers, and ended up becoming close personal friends.

Mr. London Street, whose real name I wish I could use here, if only to make myself sound more plausible, has been, in a manner of speaking, the driving force behind almost everything you’ve read on this blog since spring of last year.

I’ve always been an ok writer and I knew it was something I desperately wanted to do, but it wasn’t until I read his site that I realized just what possibilities really lay behind blogging. I was using my site to vent and occasionally tell a funny story or fill out a meme. And here was this man, writing so beautifully about everything from humorous bus expeditions to painful childhood memories. It was a wakeup call.

He gave me the courage to write in a way even I had no idea I was capable of and encouraged me to push boundaries. And I will be forever grateful, because one of the best feelings in the world is seeing something you’ve written and thinking, “I can be proud of that.” It might be “just a blog”, but it’s also a record of just how much I’ve improved. I’m a long way from reaching my full potential, but I have a feeling I’d be even farther away if we hadn’t become friends.

And I do consider him a friend...a real one. A mentor of sorts, obviously, but a friend first. Not a week goes by without an email or a twitter message that makes me laugh, think, or roll my eyes in amused exasperation. We have quite a bit in common for all our surface and cultural differences and, of course, our geographic distance. I plan on remedying the latter sometime in the first months of the new year, if only for a brief visit, and I can’t tell you how excited I am at the prospect of meeting him in person.

There’s another blogger that I’ve become close with, though I prefer not to name them as they’re quite funny about their privacy. Suffice it to say that if a few days go by and we haven’t spoken, I wonder what’s going on. They make me laugh constantly and even, on occasion, irritate me to the point of insanity, as friends are wont to do. Our phone conversations often leave me in stitches, but even when they turn serious, I’d be hard-pressed to find someone I enjoy talking to more. I genuinely hope that this is one friendship that will prove the distance theory wrong. (Note to person in question: Just because I’m being nice does not give you license to torment me about it later. I will retaliate, as you well know.)

There are others that I have occasional correspondence with and would love to get to know more. I believe there’s a wealth of possibilities here. A great big world of people that share the same sense of humor and aren’t afraid to say what they think. People that are open-minded and intelligent. People that when you finally meet them for the first time, it feels like the twentieth. And people that, even if you never get the chance to meet, change your life for the better.

Every now and then a commenter has said, “You should stop giving this stuff away for free.” And in the beginning I felt inclined to agree. But as you can clearly tell, if you’ve been paying any attention, I’ve been getting a lot more in return than meets the eye.

I have no idea how long I’ll continue to blog. I suppose as long as it continues to be something that makes me feel good, that makes me feel like I belong to something bigger. And, of course, as long as it continues to introduce me to some truly wonderful people.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I'm guest posting at my Blog Girlfriend's site today while she's away on vacation. Do check it out.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Online dating - the saga begins

Day One

While filling out the required profile information, I notice that some options are quite limited.

Apparently I can only choose “I prefer not to say” on the drop down box labeled “Do you want children?” That’s not an option under the labels of smoking, drinking, height, body type, or religion. And frankly I find it disheartening that my options to choose from under body type are only thin, athletic, a few extra pounds, and Big and Tall. None of those describe me adequately at all. I debate on whether to email the company and suggest the choices “voluptuous” and/or “how you doin’”, but ultimately decide that there’s just no time for that.

It takes me the better part of an hour to write the three small paragraphs that make up the “about me” section because I keep changing my mind about what to say. I decide against using quotes from Wedding Crashers at the bottom, hit save and move on to picture selection. This is where it gets tricky. I don’t really have many pictures that A) look good (I’m not very photogenic and only manage to take one decent picture every blue moon), B) don’t show cleavage, and C) don’t show me engaged in drunken revelry.

I eventually decide on four pictures total, only one of which was taken while sober, but at least my makeup seemed to be holding up ok. The cleavage turns out to be largely unavoidable. Pun intended.

I go ahead and save all of the work I’ve done so I can get a basic overview of what it will look like. I can edit later.

There are three messages in my inbox already. I have no idea how that’s possible. Either these men have lightening fast fingers or this website is very sneaky and publishes as you’re writing. I don’t think I approve of either of those choices, but I click on the first mail anyway.

It’s from a nice looking guy with a shaved head that looks to be about my age. But even though I have a particular fondness for shaved heads, I recognize the cocky, “this is my come hither you lucky woman”, face immediately. I laugh. When I read the one line message, I laugh even harder. “u wanna have sum fun”.

Oh dear. Not even two hours into this and I’m being harassed by the illiterate. No, I don’t think I do want to have “sum” fun. I’ve never much liked numbers. Although, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a lesson when you so very clearly asked for one: You – Brain + Creepy Come Hither Face = Never Going to Happen.

The second message is from someone named Matt (with a bunch of numbers behind his name all alluding to his, I assume, favorite sexual position – one which I myself have never been very fond of due to concentration issues etc.) who doesn’t have a picture. It says, “Hey girl you lookin’ good”.

Aside from the fact that our sexual preferences may not be found on the same page of the Kama sutra, there’s one other issue. Terrible though it may sound, I have no intention of getting involved or meeting up with someone that won’t display their picture. As I said in my recent I-can’t-believe-I’m-about-to-do-this-shit post, there’s a possibility that the creepy SpongeBob is lurking. And however farfetched it may seem to you, I wouldn’t even take that risk with your body, let alone mine. I am perfectly capable of putting lotion on my own skin, thank you very much. Yes, Matt, I believe I picked those pictures specifically because I was lookin’ good. Unfortunately I cannot return the compliment. Your blank square is...a nice shade of grey.

The third email is from a man, captured in profile, leaning casually against the side of a car. He’s wearing a blazer with jeans – a look I’m quite fond of, knowing how hard it is to pull off without looking sloppy or pretentious. It’s very ‘That sexy college professor I always wanted to see privately after class’ esque. “We are almost neighbors”, his message says. “P.S. – Cute pics.” Intrigued by both the picture and his claim of closeness (no one is ever my “almost neighbor”), I click the link to his profile to investigate.

He lives one town over, very close indeed, and after looking at two profiles that nearly sent me into a serious rant on the abuse of the English language, punctuation, and the sad state of our educational system, his is a breath of fresh air. Witty, informative, the correct use of “there”, and not one single “um” to be found. The only misgiving I have, so far, is his age – 39.

I’m certainly not a trophy 20 something woman and I have 4 feet of (visible) baggage. What would a divorced, 39 year old man that doesn’t have or want kids, want with me? Probably sex, I think, but I decide to message him back anyway. At least he can spell. Standards – the only form of birth control that’s free and self deprecating.

We are soon involved in prolific back and forth emails – he plays the piano, is a transplant from another state, and gets my sense of humor right away. (I’m not all straight forward vagina jokes, you know.) I’m genuinely interested in what he has to say, which doesn’t happen as often as it should, even with people I know. (No, I don’t mean you Aunt Christie. You’re very interesting, of course.)

We promise to contact each other again soon, as it is now getting late and someone is whining about not being able to use her laptop for hours. (That’s you, Aunt Christie.) And so ends my slightly successful first day of being a complete failure at meeting men the normal way – by bar hopping.

Day Two

I immediately begin giggling when I see the picture attached to my newest contact. He’s an Asian man, standing in a bathroom wearing black jockey shorts and nothing else. And while he’s certainly attractive, I vowed long ago to never take a man seriously when there’s a toilet in the background of a half naked picture. After all, Myspace was so five years ago.

After a few moments of deliberation, I decide to respond to his message anyway. How do I expect to get any material if I keep avoiding all the crazies? His message says, “Hey hey there beautiful. How are you doing?” And I respond with, “I’m well, thank you. How are you?”

“I am alright. I think I just mess up my shoulder at the gym. Hahahaha oh well. Anyway, what are u up to?”

“That sucks”, I reply. “Nothing much, just on my way home from work.”

“Cool, what do u do? Nice, now u can hang out with me.”

Hang out with you? Your pecs are clearly larger than your IQ if you think three unimpressive sentences is going to get you anywhere.

The afternoon continues to go downhill when I receive a message from Paul, whose profile states that one of his interests is “God”. Paul has chipmunk teeth.

“hey whats up? my name is paul i’m single i love sports, the great outdoors and having a good time.i’m a straight forward type of guy who is honest, loyal, respectful, caring and someone u can trust no matter what. i hope to hear from u soon so we can talk. do you have a facebook or myspace?”

Sigh. Paul, my love, haven’t you heard of capital letters? Not only that, Paul, but are you aware that you copy and pasted that entire spiel from your profile, aside from the last line, into this message? No? Have you heard of the word “effort”, Paul? What about “vagina”?

I decide to see just how far being at least semi honest, like some of my readers suggested, would get me with Paul.

“Hi. I like some sports and the great outdoors are, I suppose, alright as long as that doesn’t include camping. I’m straight forward and honest as well. I do indeed have a facebook and a myspace, but I prefer not to share them with people I haven’t yet met. I do hope that doesn’t sound harsh, but obviously, being a straight forward person yourself, you must value that in others. I’m sure you understand. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to messaging through here for the time being.”

Paul, as it turns out, did not understand.

I contemplate adding “not God” as an interest under my profile, but quickly change my mind after a small flashback of Christian, jeep sex. I must remember to keep my options open.


I’m lying across my bed, reading, when I receive a new message. I’ve already had several after Paul that don’t bear mentioning (Except the one from a man that looks suspiciously like a friend of my father’s. Eww.) and I’ve become rather cranky.

I glance at my phone, half heartedly stab the open button and let out a heavy sigh when I see the picture. “What do you want, piggy?”

Just as immediately, I start laughing at how utterly horrible I’ve become in a span of only two days. I’m simultaneously amused and horrified with myself.

So this, I think, is online dating. As far as I can tell, the only differences between this and the real thing are that I’m not wearing any beer goggles and applying makeup is optional. Apparently, all you really need to be accepted is an orifice and a keyboard.