Jerry: Iceberg, Right Ahead

If you missed Part 1 of the Jerry saga: Jerry: The Maiden Voyage

Soon after my first date with Jerry, he texted asking if I’d like to come over and he would make me dinner.  First thought: awww.  Second thought: nice try, but even as much as I like you, I’m not going over to your place for the second date.  Why?  Well:

  1. Jerry didn’t seem like a murderer, but what did I actually know about this guy?
  2. Offering to cook for me on a second date seems like a total move.  He woos the ladies with the fact that he’s handy in the kitchen and then immediately gets them into his bed for sexy sexy time.  Even if that did sound kind of fun, I wasn’t just looking for a hookup.  And sure, hooking up on the second date doesn’t necessarily make you “just a hookup,” but I knew if I went over, we banged, and I never heard from him again…I’d end up feeling crappy about myself.
  3. Ted’s first rule was the first three dates should be public.  I wasn’t living by these rules, but I definitely had them in the back of my mind.

I let Jerry know that I haven’t decided if he’s an ax murderer yet, and ask if we can grab dinner or drinks instead.  If he had whined at all about my hesitance over being alone with him, I would’ve defaulted to #1 he’s a murderer, and said #ByeFelicia.  But Jerry is understanding and suggests a bar near his house.  I understand this to be a subtle, “it’ll be convenient to go back to my place afterwards if you’re willing,” and decide that just may happen depending on whether all is going well.

Later that night, all is going better than well.  Conversation is flowing easily, and eventually Drunk Brain takes the wheel and decides it would be hilarious to tell Jerry he looks/acts a bit like my old history professor.  This gets us on the topic of WWII, which leads to me finding out that not only does Jerry listen to the same nerdy history podcast that I do, but he also looooooooves Tom Hanks.  (I feel like Jerry would probably say that he loves Tom Hanks while I am the one who looooooooves him, but who are you gonna believe? Right — me.)  I guiltily admit that despite my massive love for both TH and WWII, I’ve never seen Band of Brothers.  Jerry says we should probably go to his place and watch the first episode RIGHT AWAY.  Even Sober Brain agrees that while we could’ve said no to a regular invitation back to his place (three entirely public dates was the goal!), saying no to a handsome man who wants to watch a war miniseries directed by one of the best humans on the planet with you would be ludicrous.

Jerry doesn’t try and make a move on me through the entire episode, and consequently, my opinion of him soars through the fricken roof.  I hate when a guy knows you really want to watch something, and five minutes in, his hand is down your pants.  That said, we spend half of the episode tracing slow lines up and down each other’s arms/hands/wrists, and once it’s done we launch into what was probably the hottest make-out-session-that-did-not-end-in-sex that I’ve ever participated in.  I say probably and not definitely only because I’m not sure if our make out sessions on dates three or four were hotter.  Regardless — win, place, and show go to Jerry.

Our fifth date takes a while to happen.  Jerry is busy two weekends in a row.  I’m not an irrational monster, so I understand people get busy, but the fact that he doesn’t text me very often starts to make me a bit anxious.  I remind myself that back before texting, adults didn’t call a person they’d only been on four dates with every day to talk on the phone — that would be creepy.   Just because we have the ability to be in constant communication these days doesn’t mean we have to be, right?  He can still legit want to see me again even if he doesn’t respond to a text for several days, right?  Some people are bad texters!  I do a (mostly) good job of not overthinking his lack of texts and eventually we do go out again — as always, it’s a good time.

Sixth date happens on a Friday.  My work lets out at noon on Fridays, and my friends decide we need to go get afternoon drinks.  After going back and forth about whether inviting Jerry out with my friends is “too soon,” I decide day drinking in the summer is fun, and my friends are cool, so if me inviting him scares him off, well then his loss.  Jerry isn’t scared.  He comes, and before long we’ve snatched my friend’s phone and are passing it around the table in a group effort to see how many dick pics we can get via Tinder.  I should probably be a little worried that our childish antics will horrify the guy I’m interested in who is meeting my friends for the first time, but I’m not.  Why?  Well, it may be because I’m a total lightweight and we did a round of pickleback shots after I’d already downed 1.5 cans of beer.  However, it is mostly because whenever I am inclined to lean over and apologize for my dick-pic-collecting friends, Jerry is giggling to himself while typing out another ridiculous response to our next Tinder victim.   Clearly his maturity level is right where I want it to be — high enough to pass as an adult, but low enough to secretly enjoy soliciting pictures of penises while in public on a weekday.

One of my favorite parts of the afternoon is after we do yet another shot.  I go to the bathroom and, as I concentrate on walking as if I’m not on an unsteady boat, I think how in the hell am I going to finish the other half of my second beer?? If I drink anything else I am going to pass tipsy, collect $200, and be entirely drunk.  When I sit back down at our table, I dutifully reach for the can and realize it’s empty.  Jerry gives me a look and I say (maybe I slur…), “Did you do this for me?!”  He smiles, saying, “It seemed like the responsible thing to do.”  I silently agree and also silently really like that he’s looking out for me — or at least for my sobriety.

The group eventually disbands (note that my friend whose phone we used continued getting messages with more dick pics for days!) and Jerry and I go to his place.  You know what we did.  Afterwards, I start getting anxious.  Not because of what we did or how it went — duh, it was hot. We’re so hot.

I know he has friends coming to town later in the evening, though I’m not sure what time.  If it’s soon, I feel like I should offer to leave, because I don’t want to be that girl who won’t fricken leave.  But if it isn’t soon and he wants to hang out longer, I totally want to hang out longer.  Maybe I should ask if he wants me to leave?  Is that weird?  That seems kind of weird.  Why am I being so weird!!  He’s also being really quiet.  Is he being normal post-sex-I-am-resting-because-cuddling-is-nice quiet or is he being weird quiet because he wants me to leave and I won’t fucking leave?  I’m not sure.  Logically I know that I can’t be sure because unfortunately I can’t read minds — believe me, I’ve tried so hard — so in an effort to distract myself from my inner worryfest, I start talking (read: I probably start rambling).

Eventually the universe takes mercy on me, and Jerry’s friends call him: they’ve arrived.  He goes to pick them up and I head home.  As I sit on the subway, I can’t keep from texting my friend one thing: Ugh, I really like this guy.

Jerry and I text the next morning (Saturday), and later that night I say, “How was the rest of your day?”  No response. I don’t think much of it at first.  He’s with friends, and even I occasionally read a text and then forget about it.  However, by Thursday I’m annoyed.  Even if he forgot about the text, and even if he hasn’t been able to hang out, it’s been five days.  He hasn’t wanted to say a single thing to me?  I give him the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe at first he forgot to respond and now he feels too awkward since it’s been a few days.  I shoot him a simple, “Any fun weekend plans?”  He doesn’t respond about weekend plans.



I’m officially being ghosted by Jerry.  Y’all know I hate ghosting based on my rant in my last post.  I was now two for two being ghosted by Bumble boys.  The worst part was that Jerry did not seem like the type to ghost someone.  My gut had told me he was a nice person, but nice people don’t ghost, so my gut was wrong. I hate when my gut is wrong!

Ghosting blows because saying you aren’t interested in dating someone doesn’t have to be a big deal.  Sure, saying “I don’t like you” seems mean, so you’d rather avoid it, but unless the person is CRAZY, what are you afraid they’re going to do?  I personally am an adult, and I understand that not every person on the planet wants to date me — I’m totally at peace with that knowledge.  Being ghosted makes me feel like the ghoster thinks I’m a “crazy girl” who will go batshit over them not wanting to see me again.  Newsflash: unless, “Thanks for letting me know.  It was nice getting to know you,” is going batshit, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

The following Wednesday (it’s now been twelve days since I’ve heard from him), I am not getting any less pissed.  My friends are not helping my anger subside, as they agree he’s a butthead :

Most people would say Fuck this dude! and move along.  I definitely did say Fuck this dude!, and I definitely did not have much interest in someone who wasn’t able to take ten seconds out of his day to treat me with a pinch of respect.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but once you’ve been inside someone a couple times, I think you can spare ten seconds of your life to say, “Sorry, I won’t be entering you again.”  However, even considering my anger, letting things end without any sort of closure wasn’t going to feel good to me.  I knew that sending one last message would probably make me look desperate/nuts/stupid (choose your adjective), but ultimately I told myself If this is going to make you feel better about moving forward, then who the hell cares what Jackass Jerry thinks?

My final text :  Not sure if you’ve been super busy or aren’t interested in hanging out again.  If the former, I’ve enjoyed spending time with you, so let me know if your schedule frees up – even if you’d rather just be friends.  

When I told J what I had written, she scolded me for going easy on him.  My response:

The Jerry boat’s hull was slowly tipping up toward the sky as it sank into the cold dark waters of the dating pool.  Would there be any survivors?  I’ll fill you in next time.

With love, B!

P.S. I had this conversation with a coworker today, and it’s incredibly timely:

Creepy McDavis, The Creepiest Kid on the Block 

When I meet a guy, I always ask myself one thing first, and that is, “How will he get along with my brothers?”

No offense to my brothers, but I ask myself this question not because it is as important to me that they all be best friends, but because my brothers are going to make fun of the poor bastard forever–no matter what.  I guess the question really should be, “Can I, or this new man, deal with it?”

Now when I say forever, I do not mean they will stop after a little while. I legitimately mean forever. I learned this 11 years ago when I was 18 and dated one guy in particular, who my brothers still make fun of to this day.

George and I met through a mutual friend, and our first interaction was me sharing an irrational rant about how I wanted to get married and have a family. Thank you to the high heavens, it never happened, because at 29 the thought of getting married and having a family is still terrifying to me. I was reminded of this the other day when I was babysitting my nieces and they were playing with dolls.  My 5 year old niece said, “This is my wedding day! And this is my soon-to-be husband Chuck!” She then asked me, “Auntie J, how old should you be to get married?” to which I responded, “Well, I am 29 and not married.” She looked at me and after some thought decided, “I think I will be 23….”

I immediately texted B to share this story with her, saying, “At 29 I am still terrified of marriage, especially if it is to a man named Chuck”

I am glad I have grown up since I was 18, because I do not think the names Chuck or George would be acceptable for my future husband!

Anyway, after our first night out, George and I went out once or twice more before we broke up–the first of 8 break ups that would occur over the next couple of years. We never had a very healthy relationship, and looking back he was such an asshole.  Evidence to support this conclusion are the time he told me I needed to lose weight, or when he told me that I was not allowed to have fun unless he was with me–and he was very serious.

We had good times, too.  You know, like when I would go to his house–and by “his house” I mean he was 24 and we would go to his bedroom in his parents basement–and play Guitar Hero. If you’re thinking we would go there and do other things, you are mistaken, because even though I had lost my virginity, he had not, and the most intimate we would get was the romance of hand jobs and dry humping.

Then there were his sisters.  I think they may have actually been sent from the devil. The night I met them I had come down with the flu, but George would not let me cancel, so we go get cheap pizza at the bowling alley, which I immediately dropped on the floor because I did not have strength to hold it when it was handed to me.  His sisters thought it was because I was a moron, and rolled their eyes at me. Thanks. Even once they knew I was sick, they did not care.  They thought I was rude and for the next 2 years were never nice to me again.

Ever since that experience, if I am dating someone and they tell me they have sisters, I am instantly terrified, and I vowed that day to never be “that” sister to my brothers’ wives! I have certainly failed at that at times, but once I remember George’s sisters I try to straighten up!

As if his sisters didn’t suck enough, there were his parents.  The traveling team of truck drivers with the class of hillbillies and attitudes worse than their daughters. They hated me as well, and come to think of it, I have never had a good relationship with any of my boyfriends parents.  Maybe the trend was set by George’s parents.

For whatever reason, George and I continued to date, then we’d fight, then we’d break up, and then we’d date again. He worked days in a department store and I worked nights as a server, and we lived an hour away from each other which did not help our already terrible relationship.

The first nickname he received from my three brothers was, “Johnny Cash” which he earned because he wore all black to work every single day. That is a nickname that I could have lived with, however my brothers are never ones to disappoint, and eventually came up with something they thought was better–meaning I thought it was worse.

George and I finally reached the end of our relationship after a few breakups that looked something like this:

  1. He sent me a text and broke up with me.
  2. We got back together and then he picked a fight with me about my job, on my birthday, and refused to see me that night.
  3. I broke up with him and gave back everything he’d ever given me, and he gave me back my stuff.
  4. We got back together, un-returned each other’s stuff, and then he once again broke up with me and threw all of my things in the dumpster

That should have been it. That end would’ve been unclassy enough. But if that was the end, George never would’ve gotten a nickname upgrade.

He started trying to get me back.  We never did, however that wasn’t for lack of trying on his end, cause he started to stalk me. I did not know it at first, but he would sit in the cul de sac across the street from my house and watch me.  I found out once he wrote me a 6 page letter and showed up to my place of employment.

I pulled up to work one day and saw him sitting in the parking lot. I hoped he would get the hint that I did not want anything to do with him when I walked right by and went in another door. He did not. He marched into the restaurant and proclaimed he would not leave until he gave me the letter. A co-worker asked if he should call the cops, to which I said no.

It’s a little ironic that this co-worker who was trying to protect me is now in prison for murder.

George sat in the parking lot for the entire afternoon and finally left, but only after he had 2 dozen long stemmed roses obnoxiously delivered to my work. I remember when I got home and gave the flowers to my mom and told her and my dad about my ridicuolous day, my Dad said two things:

  1. “If he pulls something like this again, I will call the cops and get a restraining order.”
  2. “If someone ever brings you flowers again, and you do not want them, give them to me first and I will give them to your mom as if they are from me!”

After that night, George and I were finally over, but the damage had been done.  He earned the nickname Creepy McDavis, and my my brothers have never let me forget that past bad dating situation even today. Out of fear of their ridicule, one would think I would improve on picking out potential men, however based on the many stories I have shared, and the ones that will continue to come, it is clear that I did not learn from this situation!

With love, J!

 

Jerry: The Maiden Voyage

Preface

This past spring, as the snow was melting and the squirrels were fucking (do squirrels fuck in springtime?), Truthful Ted and I somehow began texting again.  After the requisite “how’ve you been the past two years?”,  I shared my latest lament about men — the boring accountant (he’s not even getting a name) I’d been on half a dozen dates with had recently decided to introduce me to the world of being ghosted, and I was royally pissed.  Not because I was particularly upset about never seeing him again (we’d kind of exhausted the possibility for interesting conversation about our short list of shared interests), but because I believe in being a decent human being.

<start rant> After a first date, go ahead and never talk to someone again.  It’s still kind of shitty to ignore them if they reach out, but you’ve spent 2-3 hours together max; you owe them nothing.  Once you’ve hit the 3 date mark you no longer have an excuse — in my opinion — for not sending  a quick text.  “Sorry, this isn’t what I’m looking for,” is short and sweet and puts responsibility on neither party.  Any of you ghosters out there — feliz cumple-fucking-años, I’ve written your goodbye line for you so that you can start using your words like an adult.  Take a second and put that in your iPhone Notes app and all you have to do is copy/paste for the rest of time.  You’re welcome.

And if someone you’ve said that to comes back with a litany of questions (wait what happened?, did I do something wrong?, I thought our date went well why don’t you like me [yes that’s legit been said to me]?) then you have my permission to not respond.  You don’t owe anybody you’re not actually committed to a long explanation, and you don’t have to pat their hands and soothe any insecurities they have over your “rejection.”  But you do owe them one line that acknowledges their existence — which, thanks to the invent of texting, you can literally send while you’re on the toilet and unable to do anything else fun or exciting.  <end rant>

tl;dr — don’t be a cunt, send a quick text.

Ted agrees that ghosting is rude and shares his own lament: he wants to have a foursome but doesn’t want to round up the girls.

Well, I think, good to know Ted hasn’t changed.  I pull my eyes out from the back of my head (they got stuck from rolling them so. damn. hard.) and give my sympathies, as his situation does sound exceedingly traumatizing <drip drip drip goes the sarcasm>.  Ted offers to give me tips on how to get men to stick around in the beginning of a relationship if I’ll help find three women he can romp with.  I text “Ok” while physically shaking my head no.  I’d love to help, but I just don’t think I have the appropriate friend network for the kind of assistance he’s requesting.  He reveals the first three (of seven total) rules:

First rule: no private dates (i.e. be out in public) for the first three dates.  It sets the precedent that you’re in a public relationship and not a booty call.

Second rule: make physical contact and kiss him goodnight on the first date.  It shows you are interested and puts the idea of a physical relationship in his head.

Third rule: make plans for the second date at the end of the first date.

Say what I will about Ted’s head being full of arrogance, it also contains some wisdom, because I read those and thought, huh, yeah those all makes sense.


Flash forward a month or so and I’m getting ready to go out with Jerry, applying mascara while mentally searching the attic of my mind for helpful first date do’s and don’ts (they’re packed away between trunks labeled “interview do’s and don’ts” and “other times when we should do our best not to look like a nervous weirdo”) when I stumble over Ted’s three rules.

Rule number two can be hard for me, so I make it my goal if the evening goes well.  I’m one of those people who is comfortable being my genuine, uncensored self any time any place, with one stipulation–I’m either in a familiar situation or in a new situation with at least one familiar face.  When alone in unfamiliar territory, my natural inclination is to become a 6′ tall mute capable of smiling.  Through practice, I’m much better than I used to be, but initial confidence/comfort is still very much a learned habit, not a natural skill.  Unsurprisingly, when fully engaged in fighting off shy mode, “when can I touch them/kiss them” is not the leading thought in one’s brain.

As I’m on the subway en route date destination, I occupy myself by playing a rousing game of pros and cons surrounding the question “will this date go well?”

Pro: The night I contacted Jerry via Bumble, I was feeling pretty silly and opened with, “Not sure what the best part of your day was, but my kangaroo onesie arrived in the mail!”  He responded quickly with, “I don’t know how I can compete with that,” which let me know his priorities were in the right order, because he understood that nothing he could have done would be better than my new ability to hop around my house with a floppy tail dragging behind me.  That’s important!  I was also glad to see that he didn’t find goofiness to be a turn off, because, well…have you met me?

Con: We hadn’t talked very much.  Usually I’m the type who wants to text for several days before meeting, because I like to know the conversation can flow for more than a few back and forths before I commit to sitting through multiple beverages with a person.  The morning after Jerry and I first chat, he asks if I know of any fun stuff to do for Cinco de Mayo,  and I kill it with a flirtatious, “getting drinks with a cute guy falls under “fun stuff to do,” right?”  We agree to meet seven hours later.

Pro: At least we haven’t wasted any time if it turns out we aren’t compatible.

Con: Based on his photos, I find him incredibly attractive.  That may initially sound like a pro, but attractive people have high standards, and what if he thinks I’m ugly?  What if I’m one of those girls who puts her very best pictures — not accurate pictures — on her dating profile and he feels catfished?

Pro: I’m going to arrive at the bar first.  I hate arriving second and being the one who has to find the other.  It makes me antsy in the way you feel antsy when you walked into the middle school cafeteria and had to stand awkward and alone, scanning the room as quickly as possible for your friends.

Con: What if I’m wrong and arriving first is the worse option?  What if he glances around the bar, looks right at me, and keeps on searching in hopes that I’m not his date, because (let’s go back one con) he thinks I’m ugly? Fuck.

I lock overthinking me in her cage when I arrive at the bar and tell myself the same thing I tell myself before every first date: I hope this either goes really well, or goes so badly that it makes for a good story.

A drink and a half in, things are going really well.  Jerry is adorable.  I thought so the second he walked in wearing his plaid button down and tan pants (I really appreciate guys who dress nicer than T-shirt and jeans on a first date), and I think so even more once I’m tipsy and we’re having animated conversation.  Our small corner table for two demands that I sit to his left rather than directly across, and because I’m turned toward him, our thighs/knees are interlaced.  Over the course of one vodka cran, the inevitable (and sometimes intentional?) brushing against one another in this his-mine-his-mine pattern goes from “aww we’re cute” to “I want to climb into his lap right now.”  Even minus our legs, I accomplish my goal of physical touch with no problem — though he was the first to break the personal space barrier (within the first five minutes of meeting, that hussy!).

Aside from the physical connection, our discussions are touching deeper than the basic first date laundry list of topics: what do you do for work, how many siblings do you have, what are your hobbies, etc.  He shares uncertainties he has about a friend who recently started a relationship with someone quite a bit older than her, and I find myself telling him about the older man I had a relationship with during college.  The thought hmm…is bringing this up going to ensure that he never talks to me again? does flash through my mind, but I feel it might be nice for him to hear a positive age-gap story, and thankfully my fear was unfounded.

We also discover that while neither of us are particularly religious now, we both spent childhood surrounded by Christianity.  To a large extent, who cares if you have that commonality, but there are some perks.  As someone who grew up around and within the church, my perspective on Christianity is different than that of someone who grew up never believing.  I like being able to share a story that includes the line, “once at church camp,” and not having the person I’m with start squawking about OMG you went to church camp?! What does that even mean?? Were you a loser?? Did you all hold your hands in the air and cry while the pastor lifted up a cardboard cutout of George Bush like in that movie Jesus Camp??  No, we didn’t.  It was mostly just like regular summer camp.

I slow my drinking down, because I haven’t eaten anything and don’t want to embarrass myself, even though seeing double would mean there would be two of his handsome face, and that sounds fantastic.

Once I finally finish my drink, it’s late, but we both seem hesitant to leave.  Jerry asks if I’d like to go to a different bar, and happy Drunk Brain runs around in circles shouting, “Do it!  He’s so cute and nice and cute and funny and cute and you’re having fun so why leave and did you forget how cute he is look at that dimple once more and I bet you can’t say no and oh his eyes too you probably can’t tell how nice they are because it’s kind of dark in here but they’re brown like chocolate and we love chocolate so you should go plus OH EM GEE he’s so cute.” (Drunk Brain doesn’t know about commas and rarely uses punctuation because she’s super uneducated.  She also laughs way too loud and is a huge advocate for taking obnoxious selfies.)

Sober Brain sits us down for a logical chat, “B, we know you’re having a fantastic evening in the company of this gentleman.  We’re even willing to concede Drunk Brain’s points about the truly magnificent dimple and warm chocolate brown eyes.  However, you have a professional obligation to appear at work tomorrow at 8:30am, and you should do so well-rested and showered, not hungover with post-sex bedhead.  Remember rule one, which you thought sounded smart earlier: the first three dates should be entirely public.  We’d also like to point out that Drunk Brain has lost her right shoe and is currently passed out on the floor drooling, so consider who you’re going to listen to.  P.S. What would your dad say?”

I decide that Sober Brain is right.  If we’re having a good time then we can see each other again — it leaves something to look forward to.  I let Jerry know that I ought to go home, though I would love to get together soon, and we go outside where we’re headed in opposite directions.  The cool night air is refreshing, but quickly diminishes the warm ambiance felt inside the bar, creating space for shy awkwardness to slip back into the picture.  Bad timing since part two of the second rule is to kiss goodnight.  I’ve never been particularly good at assessing whether someone wants to kiss me, and I’m probably also inept when it comes to releasing please-kiss-me vibes, so we both stand there for a few awkward moments.  Jerry, being the smart guy that he is, ultimately closes the distance between us, kissing me twice.  They’re short and sweet kisses, which seems appropriate for the end of a first date, but does nothing to relieve any of the sexual tension we’ve created.

According to Jerry, I then “practically ran” in the direction of my subway station.  However, since this isn’t Jerry’s blog, you’re all going to believe me when I say that I merely “walked with purpose as any confident lady does.”

I know this post is absurdly long, so I’ll end it here.  If you think everything went too well to be interesting, just wait until my next post.  I promise things get more dramatic.

With love, B!

 P.S. Once I was on my way home, I immediately texted a good friend from college who I hadn’t spoken to in years.

Me: Jess! I went on a date tonight and I liked him a lot, but for the first thirty minutes or so I couldn’t fully concentrate on the date because I couldn’t figure out who he reminded me of…

Me: Professor Brian McNeil!  He has the same speech pattern and cadence to his voice.

Jess: You did always have that random crush on PBM!

Me:  Suuuuuuch a crush!  I loved how hard he tried to make everyone excited about history.  I wonder if Jerry knows anything about the Magyars…

Jess: I hope he doesn’t, you history freak!

Noah: The Final Chapter, “Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll” 

If you’re new to The Story of Noah, don’t miss Part One and Part Two.

I understand that it will be hard to believe what I am about to say after Noah Part 2, however it is true: I break up really well. You will undoubtedly hear other stories of this in the future, but today comes the ending to the story of Noah. Yes, he cheated on me, yes I went crazy and broke into his phone, and yes, we are still friends. Perhaps it is because we work together, perhaps it is because I went above the call of duty to commit B and E in order to save his dog when he was MIA…whatever the reason, things worked out.

Noah and I broke up on a Tuesday and a week and a half later we were supposed to go to the mountains for a weekend of fun and a BBQ challenge–the first of the two vacations we had booked while drunk and convinced we’d last forever!  I tried to re-rent the condo but did not have luck, so Heather and Robby said, “Screw it, we will split it three ways and all go together!” Best decision ever! By the time we got there after spending two hours in traffic, listening to Taylor Swift for way too long, we were ready for the weekend.

We checked into our condo and then immediately went down to Main Street to check out the BBQ fest, but got distracted by lots of alcohol. At one point I remember sitting together at a patio at a bar, and I was smoking a bowl (because in my mind that seemed ok). The waitress walked out and said, “Are you guys smoking weed?” Despite the fact that we were the only people on the patio, I respond with, “What! That’s crazy!” and pointed to a table inside the restaurant, even though it was very obvious that it wasn’t them–boy I thought I was sly.

The next morning we wake up and I am ready for round two or the party, however Heather and Robby decide they need some time to recover. I decided they have an hour and go to make some incognito drinks and sneak them in water bottles while I talk everyone into hitting the BBQ again, mainly because Robby was so excited to watch the Pig Races. Obviously.

Flash forward couple weeks later, after many happy hours with those two, and us being dubbed the Three Musketeers at work, and Heather and I were grabbing drinks when Noah calls me.

He said that he was unable to go to Telluride (our second vacation) and he genuinely wanted to be my friend and for me to have the condo stay and the tickets to the music festival where Pearl Jam was the headliner. It could have really just been him being nice because he could not re-rent the condo, or if could have been that he had just booked a trip to Hawaii with his new girlfriend and felt guilty, but whatever the reason, we didn’t care.

Heather and I made plans to leave the Mile High City at 6AM, however I did not end up getting to her house for our pre-vacation sleepover until about 3AM. Oops. By 8AM we were out the door, coffee in hand, headed down the highway. The ride there was beautiful and we were so excited. So excited that we had to stop and pee like every hour, which we decided was either due to excitement or due to us slowly aging!

After a 6 ½ hour drive we pull into town and find ourselves at a bar prior to even checking into the condo. We are sweaty and exhausted wearing yoga pants and no makeup. We order some pizza, salad, and of course drinks–I mean it’s already like mid-afternoon and we haven’t had anything to drink, so we had some catching up to do. By the time the salad comes the bar is full of people and conveniently a group of guys has appeared to my left. One guy leans over and asks if we got the spinach salad and my sassy side comes out as I say, “Keep your eyes off my salad, boss!” Later he gets his own salad, one with fried goat cheese balls on it, and asks me if I want one of his balls, to which I respond, “You want me to put your balls in my mouth? Is that appropriate in the middle of the bar?” I then yank the ball off the plate and give it to Heather, and offer some of my spinach to my new friend. He takes a bite and says, “I am getting strong already! Wanna see?” I say, “Way to go Popeye!” He smirks and says, “Why don’t you call me Brock.”

The drinks keep coming and the laughter thickens as we start to make new best friends for the weekend. After exchanging a few made up memes with the tagline, “They’re Fucked” via text, we part ways. Heather and I go check in and shower, then continue getting ready for Eddie Vedder by way of a bowl and some drinks.

Later on, we are in the crowd jamming out and a couple walks by and accidentally spills Heather’s drink. We were already peeved about people running into us and with her attitude from Ohio (yes, Ohio people have quite the attitude!) Heather gave them a look as if they just murdered her son. The boyfriend tries to hand Heather money as the girlfriend profusely apologizes. I encourage her to take the $8 from the guy and they go on their way. Heather rolls her eyes until she realizes the $8 is really $18, so she’s gets us more drinks. Somewhere between Better Man and Black I get a text from Brock that just says, “Let’s Fuck.” I reply with, “Is that supposed to say ‘They’re Fucked’ or do you actually want to fuck?”

Who asks that? Who asks that when they are as un-sober as we were? Me. I ask that. After many inappropriate and flirtatious texts, I pass out–because I am a good friend and decide inviting him to the couch of a one bedroom condo would be unfair to Heather. I did not want that Ohio attitude on me!

As Heather I wake up the next morning, she’s squinting at the bright sun and says she wants to get brunch. I respond and say, “Agreed! A Bloody Mary sounds great!” Apparently drinking was the last thing on her mind, but I was ready! After breakfast I talk her into another bar–where she says she will take it easy, but before long is going drink for drink with me. I made plans for us to go meet Brock and his gang at their condo. Prior to leaving the bar I send a text, like the lady I am, that says, “Let’s just fuck all weekend, then go our separate ways at the end of it, deal?”

We get to their condo and as his friends make drinks I ask Brock to “Give me a tour of the condo.” We made it to the master bathroom counter and that was that. A while later we go back up to the others and the meme “They’re Fucked” was turned into “They Fucked” and then I pop a combination of weed candy, percocets, and caffeine pills before we head to the bar.

This is when things go blurry. Based on the stories from Heather and some photos I saw the next day on my phone, I believe the following happened: Brock and I play darts and lose, I puke in the bathroom and tell the guys we need to go take a nap (because Heather tells me that have to go take a nap) and then as we walk back to the condo, I hop on the Hot Mess Express and puke my way there. The picture Heather showed me the next day was the icing on the cake. It was me, passed out on the couch, wearing a fedora on, covered in a fur blanket in the July heat. I have no idea what time it was when that happened, but I had intentions to go see Cage The Elephant, only to wake up close to 11 at night after the festival had ended. I immediately yelled to Heather, “I am going out! Are you going with me?!”

An exhausted Heather tells me she is not, but asks me to bring food when I get back. I meet Brock at the bar and am convinced the drink he got me was pure vodka (probably from a plastic jug).

We go back to his condo and as soon as we walk in, I run to the bathroom and throw up everywhere. I clean up the vodka soda, hide the towel, and meet him back downstairs like an adult.  He asked if I was ok, I laugh it off, and we spend the rest of the night naked and rolling around in the sheets until 5AM when he has to fly back home. He gets up to shower as I find come to and begin searching for my clothes.  Once I have my things I knock on the door to the shower–not to the bathroom but to the shower–and as he opens it I say, “Well nice to meet you, travel safe!”

He stares at me and says, “That’s it?” Like a man, I say, “Yep!” I momentarily consider giving him a high five but decide against it, and stumble back to my condo for a short nap before we leave to meet my aunt and uncle for lunch.

After a weekend of drinking and drugs and all-night sexcapades, the last thing I wanted was a 6 ½ hour car ride.  Lucky for me, in true best friend fashion, Heather drove the entire way as I complained of being sore while smelling of alcohol and sex.

I am not sure what made the weekend so awesome.  Maybe it was the memories and laughter with my best friend, maybe it was the regret-free sex, or maybe it was the combination of the first two and the fact that it was done while on the dime of my ex boyfriend who cheated on me. Regardless, it was amazing, and as my favorite t-shirt of the weekend said: “It doesn’t get Eddie Vedder then this!”

With love, J!

Truthful Ted

Before I can tell you the story of Jerry, who J made mention of in a recent post, I have to tell the story of Ted. You’ll understand when you’re older. (Seriously, when you’re a week older and read the Jerry story, you’ll know why I introduced Ted first.)

Ted’s reputation among my friends is incredibly divisive.  One of my friends will burst out laughing and shout, “Yesssss! Big Dick Ted!!!” in anticipation of an absurd story whenever his name is mentioned, while others nod and say, “Oh yeah, Ted,” in acknowledgment before shaking their head and muttering, “he was an asshole.” The latter reaction always surprises me a little. My own opinion is that Ted definitely walks the line of being intolerably overconfident, but isn’t exactly an asshole. I’ve had exes who are incredibly nice and sensitive at first and then reveal a profound capacity for assholery when they are no longer interested in a relationship.

Ted Quote #1: No kissing during sex.

Ted wasn’t like that. He was the same boldly honest semi-vain guy from beginning to end, and I feel certain saying that he presents this way to most everyone he’s ever met. What you see is what you get, and while that doesn’t negate his inclination toward cockiness, you have to respect someone who puts on no airs. Or at least I do.

I’d much rather the guy who says, “yo I want to fuck you but I’m not ever going to be your boyfriend” than the one who pays for all of your meals and cooks you dinner and sends you cute texts all day every day for two months and gives every indication that a relationship is on the horizon and then acts completely fucking horrified when you want to discuss the idea of dating exclusively.  Blunt truths can be jarring, but they’re rarely as devastating as feeling deceived (whether the deception was through the presumed intent of actions or an outright verbal lie).

I won’t keep ranting about that, but it is a relevant rant, because I met Ted the year after I had been emotionally destroyed by someone who had no idea — no. god. damn. idea. — what he wanted.  So meeting someone who knew what he did and did not want and could lay that out for me was beautiful in the way a flight path entirely over land would have been beautiful to Tom Hank’s character in the sequel to Cast Away.

Ted Quote #2: You’re not allowed to wear clothes in my bed.

I met Ted on Tinder.  He was intelligent, witty, and wise (like any self-proclaimed Ravenclaw should be).  We chatted for a week or so, and him finally asking me out went something like this:

Ted: If you’ve decide I’m not some weird Tinder guy and ask me to go to trivia with you, and then if you impress me enough with your knowledge, I may let you have a Harry Potter marathon with me.

Me: Wait, I’m sorry…I have to ask you out and impress you?

Ted: Oh, did I not warn you?  I apologize.  I don’t make the first move and I flirt like a middle schooler.  I think it’s endearing.

Apparently I thought it was endearing, too, because Ted and I went on said trivia date, and then a few more.  But when I asked him to hang out the next time, he said he didn’t know.  He explained that his busy season at work was going to start the following month, and he’d be working twelve hours six days a week, and knew he would have zero time or ambition to put into a relationship.  He said he could tell I was not the type of girl who slept around (I am not), and he assumed I was looking for a boyfriend (I had been), and when things between us slowly burnt out once his work picked up, he didn’t want to carry any guilt for having led me on.

I was disappointed.  As a semi-awkward, semi-picky woman, finding a man I’m comfortable with and also want to date isn’t always easy.  I wound up deciding that I could try my hand at having a friends with benefits relationship with Ted as long as I wasn’t turning down opportunities for dates with people who wanted a real relationship.  I based my decision upon 1) my valuing his sense of decency in not wanting to mislead me and 2) the fact that I’d had sex exactly three times in the previous 16 months and really wanted to get laid.

Ted Quote #3: People lie about their intentions so they can get what they want.  I’ve found that if you’re just honest with people, they’re usually so grateful for the honesty that they give you what you want anyway.  Bonus: no guilt afterwards.

And get laid I did.  I won’t go into all of the details, but there were times when I legit wanted to stop Ted and ask what exactly he was doing to my vagina because I wanted to know how to do what he was doing.  I never did that, because even I won’t rise to the level of awkward required in order to ask someone how to operate your own vagina, but damn. And not to say I hadn’t liked sexual things I’d done to that point — I had — but it was usually me going along with what my partner wanted.   Ted asked lots of questions, and ruminated on my somewhat-hesitantly-stated preferences and desires in order to figure out exactly how I ticked.  And then, like the fricken Sorting Hat of Sex, he would yell out different conclusions and I would join my selected sex house. (Okay, that last sentence was just me wanting to make another nerdy HP reference).

So what a guy, that Ted!  Right?  Honest.  Helpful in revealing one’s own sexual interests.  He was also the one man I’ve ever met who was perpetually cold, and he owned a home with forced-air heat, which was really clutch since at the time I lived in an old house (read: drafty) that used oil heat (read: very expensive).  Am I saying I pimped myself out in order to save money and sleep in a warm house that winter?  No. But maybe. But no.

Ted Quote #4: [when I asked if he’d gotten many trick-or-treaters for Halloween] Quite a few.  The last girls who came by were high schoolers.  They wanted my dick.

Eventually, once his busy work season waned, Ted revealed that he had been on a few dates.  He didn’t think it was fair to keep seeing me as he pursued someone else.  It was a bummer in the way it’s always a little bit of a bummer when the other person “moves on” first, but truth be told I’d started seeing someone I enjoyed spending time with more than Ted, too.  And the best part?? No hard feelings because he’d been clear about where things stood from the beginning!

To date, Ted is the only truly successful Friends with Benefits relationship I’ve had.  My definition of successful when it comes to FWB is, “we both got what we wanted and nobody’s feelings ever got hurt.”  A while after we’d stopped talking, I read 10 Rules for Friends With Benefits, which is a guide for having a, “mess-free friends with benefits affair.”  I read halfway through the rules and zip-zip-zip scrolled up to the top of the page.  It said written by Georgia Wisdom, but I swear that Ted could’ve written this.  Our relationship met basically every rule:

#1 Ted was my type in some ways, but also not my type in a lot of others.  We had good conversations, but no big common interests, and I never had the thought, “aww I want to introduce him to my friends!”

#3 We only texted in order to make plans to hook up.  Except the time he texted me after I said, “Alright headed out!” with, “bring me soda, I’m thirsty.”  I was dumbfounded.  Was this guy serious?  Booty calls deliver their bodies to your door; not groceries. I took a screenshot and sent it to my friend with the caption Fuck him! (Then I got halfway to my car, groaned, and ran back inside to grab a can of pop.)

#5 We certainly didn’t make pancakes together.  Once after hooking up, I laid in Ted’s bed trying to fall asleep while he went downstairs.  He came back to bed eating Pop Tarts, and before I even realized what he had, he says, “You can’t have any.”  I narrowed my eyes and shrugged, “I don’t even want those.” (I kind of did, they were the s’more kind)  “Good, they’re mine,” he said.

#6 We didn’t kiss goodbye.  Most of the time I’d slink out in the morning while he was still asleep.

#7 We did break it off after 3(ish) months.

Ted Quote #5: If I had a son, I think I’d be too competitive with him.  If I had a daughter, then once she turned eighteen I’d have to worry about making things awkward for her if I fucked one of her hot friends.

When I started this post I thought that by the end I would finally lay to rest the question of whether Ted was an asshole or merely an egotist.  I still don’t know.  What I do know is that he taught me a lot about myself, he thought pretty damn highly of himself, and he was always truthful.  What do you think — is Ted’s patronus an asshole?

With love, B!