Thanksgiving: Dating Style

It’s Thanksgiving.  I’m alone.  Before you get all “awww nobody should be alone on Thanksgiiiiving, that’s so saaaad,” just shut it.  I honestly don’t care.  This is part of living far away from your family.  Anyway, it’s just a day — a fantastic one since I get the day off work!  And tomorrow I’ll go have Friendsgiving with my pals.

But since I haven’t eaten mass quantities of turkey, and thus am not in a bird-meat-coma, I will take the opportunity to do an “I’m Thankful For…” rundown of some of my dating history.  Because why not!

Milton — Oh Milton, you were the perfect first boyfriend.  Thank you for being shy and nerdy and for liking me even though I burst out laughing the first time you tried to kiss me (annnnd even though I jumped out of your car the first time we hung out because I was too shy to hug you).  You win the award for bringing out absolutely the most awkward version of me — not only back then, but also a few years ago when I flew to DC to be your +1 to that wedding, and it turned out the hotel ONLY had one-bed hotel rooms.  Remember when I built the pillow boundary down the middle of the bed so you’d stay on your own side during the night?  Yeah, I remember that too.  Also, thank you for dumping me because of my religion — that STILL makes for a great story.

Astro Boy —  You were my crush from the very first day of Astronomy 101 until the very last day of Astronomy 101.  You sat behind be in lecture three times a week, and three mornings a week my roomie would give me a pep talk in our dorm about how “today is the day you’ll be courageous enough to say hi to him!”  I never said hi to you.  I did say thank you once when you held the door for me after class…  Anyhow, thank you for making future-me a little less of a wuss.  After you, I vowed that no matter how scared I was to approach someone I liked, I would.  Because never knowing if someone would like you back is worse than knowing they don’t.

JJ — Humph.  Well, JJ, you’re one of the ones who gets talked about the least.  You know it isn’t because you weren’t significant.  It’s because of the many questions people ask (back then and still now) when I say, “I had a relationship with someone fifteen years older than me.”  Thank you for being the reason J and I are on a family phone plan.  Thank you for being the reason I looked into jobs in New England.  Thank you for being the reason I can say, “Yep, I’ve dated a dungeon master.” (For any of you who think that means I’m into some freaky shit, just go Google the term.)  And most importantly, thank you for being kind enough to let me go.

Fucking Alex — Even though this blurb is about what I’m thankful for, you’re not getting out of being called by the name given to you by my friends.  It’s too good a name — I tell people it’s your full Christian name.  Making friends in a new city wasn’t easy for me, so I am thankful to have had your friendship during my early days as a Bostonian.  While I am comfortable saying that I was the more wronged party throughout our entanglement, I certainly said and did things that I am not proud of, and thus am thankful for your ability to forgive.  Thank you for teaching me big, hard lessons about what I am not looking for in a partner, and that even when I feel completely broken, I can be strong.  (Also, thanks in advance for giving me enough drama to fill at LEAST 5 blog posts eventually.)

Chet — Meeting you, and liking you, gave me the perspective I needed to see my relationship with Fucking Alex for what it was (read: Fucked with a capital F), and that perspective allowed me to finally stop texting him back whenever it struck his fancy to talk to me.  Thank you for being genuine.  Thank you for coming along just when I was ready for someone new — a mere (ha!) 8 months and some odd days after Fucking Alex broke my fucking heart.  Thank you for being the closest I’ll ever come to sleeping with my high school celebrity crush (RIP Paul Walker…you beautiful….beautiful bad actor, you).  Oh, and after we quit dating, thanks for all those nights you’d drunk (I assume) text me to ask if I would pee on you.  That was unique.  You get points for originality.  But dammit Chet, why didn’t you ask sooner!  Did you not know I’d try anything once?

Hudson — Thank you for teaching me that my “I’ll try anything once” theory was a lie.  Your extreme kinks taught me that!!  Because of you, I had a question worthy of calling in to my favorite podcast host — Dan Savage — and he answered my question.  You did that for me!!  Thank you for reminding me that first dates can be lovely and that I don’t need to settle for people I feel “just alright” about.  Thank you for being much different from most men I’ve dated — you taught me about things I need, and things I don’t. (p.s. I’m going to try very hard to not ever post a screenshot of that time you texted me saying you wanted me to smash a cake in your face and then make you fuck it. You’re welcome.)

 

Three’s Company, Too?

I’ve been a slacker with posting.  I’ve felt a little terrible each Wednesday for not posting a B story, and then last week I felt REALLY terrible, for reasons completely unrelated to this blog.  I felt terrible because the previous night I’d watched the presidential election, and saw the US sink inch by inch into the quicksand that is Donald Trump’s campaign.  Just like quicksand, the the harder democrats fought against Trump, the more quickly we all sank deeper.

Anyhow, this isn’t going to get political, but needless to say, I’m sorry for not posting for a few weeks — with exception to last week, because I legit walked through the day as if I were a zombie.

That morning, I woke up next to Jerry and didn’t even contemplate jumping his sexy body, because  I was overwhelmed with “WTF” (ok…maybe I briefly thought about it before reverting to “WTF” mode).  I then stared at the wall and contemplated whether going into work was even possible.  I couldn’t come to a conclusion because, as stated, I was overwhelmed with “WTF,” so I asked Jerry if I ought to go in.  He suggested yes.  Possibly because it was what he felt I needed, but also possibly because he could feel the “we’re not fucking today” vibes rolling off of me, and figured it was pointless to have me laying on his bed like an antisexual slug all day.

Now that I really lay those two possibilities out there, he definitely chose “go to work” based on the latter.

I believe that last time I posted, I said I would tell a funny story the next time.  Here goes nothing.


A few years ago, I was single like a Pringle, living life and having fun hanging out with friends.  Mostly with one friend who had moved to the same little burb-within-the-city that I lived in.  We were two peas in a pod, except she was SUPER outgoing with a big personality, and I’m ever-so-slightly-shy (though totally down to act like a fool in public WHEN. EVER.) in new situations.  It was her birthday, and she wanted to go to the bar and then a club.

Even when I was in college, I wasn’t really a club person, so being in my mid-twenties, this wasn’t going to be my kind of night.  BUT, when it’s your friend’s birthday, you do what she wants!  Also, my friend was in grad school at the time, and at the bar, it was mostly her classmates.  They were all reveling in a night away from the books, and were getting smashed.  I am not really the type to get smashed, because someone needs to keep their wits about them, and, well, nobody else ever wants to be that person!

I wound up talking to my friend’s bosses for the first two hours at the bar.  While in school, my friend was a nanny for a rich couple in their mid-thirties with a few kids.  I’d thought it was odd that they were invited to her bar/clubbing birthday party, but they were nice and I was having more fun chatting with them that I would’ve had watching her friends knock back shots…sooooo…win!

The husband, Mark, owned his own business.  We talked a lot about the town I’d gone to college in, because he’d gone there too!  He also told me to send him my resume at one point.  Mark was good looking enough, but not so good looking that he was intimidating.  Traditionally handsome, but not do-a-double-take-when-you-pass-him-on-the-street.

His wife, Rachel, on the other hand, was smokin’!  Total MILF.  Like, how she had the body she had after birthing three children is beyond me.  My body isn’t as good as hers and I’ve birthed nothing. Womp…  She had a cute pixie cut and was smart and funny.  Basically, if I were a guy, Rachel would’ve been the total package for me!  And even as a girl, I had a bit of an “omg you’re so pretty and cool,” crush on her.

My friend announces it’s time to head to the club.  Mark and Rachel were only staying for the bar portion of the evening, so I’m bummed and say something like, “aww man who am I going to hang out with now?! hahaha.”  Mark announces that maybe they can come to the club a little while.  YAY!

We all walk a few blocks, and Mark — who is between Rachel and I — throws his arms around each of our shoulders.  I think it’s a little chummy but WHATEVER! I’m tipsy and YAY OLDER COOL FRIENDS!  We get to the club and the line is long.  Like, at least 50 people long.  I’m annoyed, since waiting an hour to enter a club I’m not even sure I want to be in sounds lame.

Mark walks to the front of the line and then comes back to say all 20 of us can jump the line and go in because he paid the bouncer. Whaaaaaat!  Mark is awesome!  All hail Mark!

Once inside, we’re all dancing in a group.  At some point, I feel someone take my hand and look over to see it’s Mark.  Silly Mark, he’s too tipsy to know that is wife is on the other side of him!  I slide my hand out from his and continue dancing, laughing awkwardly.  He smiles back and yells over the music, “Sometimes my wife and I have threesomes!”

My response is to smile wide and nod enthusiastically the way you do when you have abso-fucking-lutely no idea how to respond.  At the time, I imagined that it came off very obviously as, “oh wow, what an incredibly random thing you’ve just said!  I’m trying desperately to pretend it’s very normal and not kind of weird that you’ve shared this thing with me,” but, in hindsight, it’s possible that it looked like, “COOL! That sounds like it might be fun!”

Because I am shocked and unable to believe that the couple my friend BABYSITS FOR has maybe asked me to join them in bed, I tell myself he was just sharing.  Then I look around for someone else who I can go talk to.  Unfortunately I missed everyone else splitting off to go buy drinks at the many bars lining the large room.  I’m alone dancing with smiling Mark and Rachel.  FML.

I excuse myself for the bathroom and grapple with whether to tell my friend that 1) her employers are swingers and more important 2) THEY MIGHT WANT TO SWING WITH ME!  When I rejoin the group, I gravitate toward the other folks I know, but Mark is soon by my side, saying he and Rachel are going to leave and want to know if I’d like to take a limo back to their home in the burbs to fuck.  Welp, scratch the “might” from point 2) above.  It’s a “definitely,” now.

Thoughts that go through my mind within seconds:

  1. If I want to have a threesome in my life, this is probably the ideal situation.  Why? Because they’re the couple and I’m the unicorn, meaning things will be less complicated for me.  They’ve obviously done this before and can take the lead.  I’m genuinely attracted to both of them — especially the female (which is not my preferred gender, so that’s a huge bonus!).
  2. They want me to go back to their home where their KIDS are sleeping!  What if we’re having a bang session and one of their kids has a nightmare and comes to knock on the door?!  Am I spending the night?? Who will they tell the kids I am in the morning??  Are their kids USED to strangers being in the house in the morning?  Do they KNOW their parents are swingers??
  3. How will I get home?  Their house is at least a $40 cab ride from my house.  Will they drive me home in the morning?? That’s waaaay too weird.
  4. I can’t leave my friend’s BIRTHDAY PARTY to go HAVE A THREESOME WITH HER EMPLOYERS!

Ultimately, I’m on my period, so even if I was okay with all of the squicky facts brought up in #2, could get over #4, and figured out #3, nothing was going to happen that evening.  I tell Mark that there’s no way I can bail on friend’s birthday evening so early (which is true!).  He asks for my number.  I laugh and he asks again.  I am unsure how to say no without being offensive to MY FRIEND’S EMPLOYER, and figure there arrrre those points made in #1, so even though I’m 99.9% sure I never would, it doesn’t hurt to give the # and then say no later?

My friend walks Mark and Rachel out, and I follow not-too-closely but close enough so that once they are gone, I can run over, catch my friend alone, and say “oh my god…I don’t know if I should tell you this, but Mark and Rachel just solicited me for a threesome!”

I told her because I had to tell SOMEONE.  Why didn’t I tell someone else at the party?  Well, I didn’t want to tell someone who might be judgmental about people who have threesomes, because then they’d think negatively about the people my friend worked for.  Buuuuut maaaaybe I should’ve told nobody or told someone else, because my friend was pissed. At ME!  She said she’d seen me talking to Mark and Rachel a lot earlier in the night (at the bar) and that I must’ve been flirting with them, etc, and secretly wanted to have a threesome with them.

It’s been years.  My friend and I worked it out.  Mark and Rachel never contacted me again (thankfully!).  But what do you think?? Was I at fault here??

Bad Habits

Memory is a weird thing.  Some people’s are good, some people’s are bad, some remember names, and some remember faces.  When I think of my own memory, it’s like Google.  I think up a search term, mentally hit “enter,” and  memories pop up in order of most to least relevance.

Unlike Google, sometimes we don’t even have to submit any search terms for memories to come flooding into our brains.   It may just take a certain smell, song, or, you know, a few too many drinks and then WHAM!  Memories right in your face.  Doesn’t matter if you want ’em or not.

Last week I had my first apple cider of the season, and even before the delicious caramel-colored liquid hit my tongue, I thought of my grandma.  As soon as it was autumn, my grandma would have cider in the house.  And I don’t mean she’d have it a few times throughout the season.  My grandma was incredibly habit-based when it came to what drinks she purchased, and was maniacal about keeping the appropriate liquid stocked.

Available year-round:  Barq’s Root Beer, milk, and water.

1-2 months after every trip to Ohio: Barq’s Red Cream Soda**

Summer months: pink lemonade — never yellow

Fall months: apple cider

Winter months: egg nog (gross)

**I’m not sure why, but this variety wasn’t sold in my home state.  This meant that when my grandparents drove to visit my aunt and uncle, they would intentionally leave room in the trunk so they could load up on Barq’s Red Cream Soda before they came home.

Needless to say, memories of my grandma’s house will forever be linked to root beer, cider, and red cream soda (it really was delicious).

This train of thought about my grandma’s drink habits started me thinking about my own habits.  Since I was also trying to think of a good topic for my blog post this week, naturally my mind went to dating habits.

When I first think of dating habits, I think of people who have a “type,” physically.  I don’t think I have that — the guys I’ve dated have had a variety of hair color/height/build/etc. (I guess they have all been white.  But don’t worry, I’m not one of those ‘I’m only attracted to those within my race’ girls.  How do I know? Because Michael B. Jordan. Don’t know who he is?  Look him up.  You’re welcome. )

Anyhow, because the guys all looked different, I always thought I didn’t have a “type.”  Enter Dan Savage — the Relationship Advice King.  He often talks about how if all of your exes are “crazy,” then you need to consider who was been the common denominator in all of those relationships (hint: it’s you).  Now all of the men I’ve been interested in haven’t been crazy, but many of them have been unavailable in one way or another.

Examples: One lived halfway across the country.  One was much older than me and didn’t have his shit together (I don’t mean he just didn’t have every detail planned, I mean he often didn’t have a job).  One had a long-distance girlfriend (I KNOW, I’M TERRIBLE.  I was young, please don’t judge me).  One told me that while he liked me and was happy to be friends with benefits, he didn’t see us dating.  One was incredibly charming and so enthusiastic about our potential relationship whenever we talked, but he would only talk to me once or twice a month.

I’m not a person who has ever needed to be in a relationship in order to be happy, but I would like to have a partner to share things with, so I sat down and took a hard look inside myself.  Sure these guys weren’t all unavailable in the same way — I wasn’t ONLY going after men who had a girlfriend, or ONLY going after those who just wanted to bang — but something was attracting to men who, if I was being honest with myself, I knew would never give me the kind of relationship I wanted.

So why did I keep waiting around for them?  Maybe part of it is that I’ve watched too many romantic movies and read too many novels where if you just keep hoping things will work out long enough — just past the moment when you should probably let go — then everything will fall into place and be easy.  I can’t say that never happens in real life, but it sure hasn’t ever worked that way for me.  Regardless, I wasn’t satisfied with blaming my unfortunate habit of betting on something I knew would probably fail on that simple fact that Hollywood conditions us to think that romance is “beating the odds to be together.”

There is the classic, “women with shitty track records with men have daddy issues,” trope, but my father is wonderful, so I knew that wasn’t my issue.

Pinpointing the ways in which you’re keeping yourself from finding what you want to find is hard.  It’s hard, in part, because it’s always hard to uncover habits that may not even be conscious ones, but it’s mostly hard because it can be difficult to admit to yourself that you might be the reason your relationships aren’t working.  It’s easier to blame it on the other person, or those ten pounds you need to lose, or timing, etc.  Making an excuse and believing it doesn’t involve unearthing a characteristic within yourself that you maybe don’t want to know you possess.  And let’s be honest, once you acknowledge that an unpleasant attribute exists, it’s nearly impossible to go back to pretending it isn’t there.  So most people don’t go looking.

If you’re brave, and if you’re sick of falling into relationship after relationship that doesn’t turn out the way you want it to…start that search.  Maybe you’ll excavate all of your subconscious feelings and worries and insecurities, and none of them will have anything to do with why your relationships haven’t worked — maybe your exes really did just suck, or the timing really was off.  That’s possible!  But don’t be afraid to check.  You might find something that does matter, and that is impacting your relationships.

So what was my issue?  I’m scared of not being enough for someone.  This may sound silly, since, to some degree, everyone is scared of showing their true self to someone they like and then having that person walk away.  However, I was so scared of not being enough that I developed a habit of starting relationships that are doomed from the beginning.  Why?  Because then when they end, it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the actual and obvious reason(s) it never would’ve worked out (e.g. he lived halfway across the country, he already had a girlfriend, he wasn’t a steady communicator, etc).  Not a great game plan, but one that makes sense if the person making the plan is a people-pleaser who finds the idea of personal rejection absolutely horrifying.

Now that I know this, I can do a better job of checking-in with myself at the beginning of a new relationship to make sure I’m not continuing to engage in this habit.  And theeeen, hopefully after a while, my (bad) old habit will be replaced by my (good) new habit of paying extra attention so that my anxiety over being rejected doesn’t lead me into stupid relationships!  Yay self-improvement.

Sorry this wasn’t a hilarious story!  I’ll do one of those next time, I promise!  But dating isn’t all about the crazy stories of other people being ridiculous/horrible/weird.  Sometimes it’s about getting to know yourself more in order to find a good match. 🙂

Love, B!

P.S. Thought tangent about staying in unhealthy relationships — Isn’t it kind of incredible how long you can survive on brief blips of happiness in a relationship?  How those blips can keep the embers of hope alive through extended periods of hurt and confusion?  It’s absurd.  I’ve definitely been there.  For me the cycle only ended when one day, the pattern went on too long and I realized the bad times weren’t just something I had to endure in order to get to the good part–in order to deserve the happy ending.  I woke up to the fact that, no, this is what it is.  This is how it’s going to go.  This isn’t “what we’re going through”…this up and down mess of a situation….this is…it.

Monkeying Around

I feel compelled to mention that while I am writing this blog post on half of my screen, on the other side is a timer counting down until I can take day 2 of the Jeopardy! adult online test.  I’m not delusional enough to think that I will actually get on Jeopardy! — if I did, I would make a fool of myself [unless the categories were all geography or all about animals].  Anyhow, I like trivia, I like learning new things, and I think it is fitting to start this post off with the statement “I’m a pretty big nerd.  Not huge, but pretty big.”


Last Sunday I was horny.  Of course I was also on my period — hormones are not fair.  I decided to go shopping because 1) I want to find a new dress for an upcoming wedding and 2) shopping is just as fun as sex, right?  No. It’s not.  (ok ok sometimes I’d rather shop and yes some shopping is better than some sex…but in general, shopping will not satisfy a sex craving.)

Shopping doesn’t go great.  Not only do I not come across any good dresses, but at one point I find myself standing in a department store watching a sparrow fly repeatedly into a window.  He looks confused.  He can see the outside but cannot get there.  I start getting sad.  I begin to edge closer to the bird, trying my best to emit “I want to help you” vibes.  My loose plan is to get close enough so that I can throw the dress I’m holding over the bird and then sprint out the door to release him.  I realize that 1) I may smother him to death and 2) I may find myself having to explain to police that I wasn’t shoplifting and was in fact rescuing an avian friend.

It’s probably for the best that the bird isn’t picking up on my helper vibes, and flies away.  I sigh, wondering how many birds die of starvation or dehydration in stores each year.  Having lost my taste for shopping (and my will to live — hormones + the bird incident = I’m throwing a huge sad), I leave.  In a last-ditch effort to have a successful shopping journey, I hit TJ Maxx.  That ends with me sitting pants-less in a fitting room for twenty minutes texting my BFF Coco about how my deepest darkest desire is to call a cab to drive me to Shake Shack (hormones think food fixes everything).

I don’t call the cab, as that seems very pathetic.  Instead, I remember that I packed myself some candy as a pick-me-up (because 50% of all shopping adventures end in disappointment!).  I gobble all the candy and immediately feel the sugar kick in.  Using my newfound energy, I head home and realize the best place for me is actually the gym — endorphins are everyone’s friend.

However, once I get home from the gym, shower, and watch a few quality hours of Netflix, I’m back to being horny.  I start texting Jerry and don’t last very long before I tell him I want to take an Uber to his house dressed in only a trench coat and then give him head until he comes all over.  I’ve always thought the idea of driving over to someone’s place in only a trench sounded exceedingly hot, so why not do it now!

Jerry is, needless to say, pretty receptive to my idea.  Soon I’m in the back of Enrique’s fairly dirty (by Uber standards) Camry, on my way to Sex Village.  I worry ever so slightly that this will be the one time my Uber driver is actually a crazed maniac who wants to rape and murder me.  How unfortunate would it be if that time overlapped with the time that I had only one layer between my naked self and the entire world?  I’d throw myself out of his moving car and would end up in a naked scraped up heap on a busy Boston street.  No, you don’t need to tell me that I have an overactive imagination.  I’m aware.

Enrique proves to be very nice and I arrive at Jerry’s safely.  I find him in his room, on his bed, wearing boxer briefs and a plaid shirt. Hooooooot!  We great each other the standard adult male-female way — lots of kissing and touching — and then my trench comes off.  Even if I’m not going to be getting laid (damn you, uterus…), I’m super turned on.  Very into the whole “I’ve just come across town like a tart, dressed in basically nothing, all to seduce and sexually satisfy this attractive-as-hell man” scenario.  Making out continues, but then Jerry asks if I knew that we’re currently in a dorsal position (i.e. face-to-face), and the only other animal known to copulate this way is the bonobos monkey.

I did not know that.

I also didn’t know that the bonobos are our closest relative (assuming you believe in evolution), though historically the chimpanzee has often been toted as such.  Nor did I know that female bonobos have larger clitorises compared to other mammals, and often engage in genital-to-genital touching as part of socialization.  Or that bonobos are known for their hyper-sexuality — a trait humans share.  In fact, I even did not know that bonobos do not form permanent monogamous sexual relationships with individual partners.  Apparently, both males and females use sexual interaction for the purposes of socializing much more frequently than other animals.

Jerry also goes into the concept of concealed ovulation.  Bonobos do not have concealed ovulation, but humans do (i.e. not much changes physically to announce that a female is ovulating).  I learn about the development of concealed ovulation in human women and the theories surrounding why it developed.

And I’ll be honest — throughout the entire half-hour-or-so long spiel about bonobos and sexuality, part of me (the nerd part I previously mentioned) was very interested in this conversation and the information involved.  And his cuteness levels achieved through nerdiness?? Off. The. Charts.

But the other part of me (the woman part) was like WHAT. THE. FUCK. is happening??  I just rode in a dirty Uber with some creepy (sorry Enrique, you weren’t really) dude in a fucking trench coat and now I’m here and willing and sexy and you want to talk about science?!?!?!?  Really making a girl feel super sexy and wanted, Jerry! <punts Jerry out window>

I then asked Jerry whether…as a 16 year old…or 18 year old…or whatever ages he was a virgin, he ever laid in bed masturbating and fantasizing about a girl coming over to his place scantily clothed and ready for sex stuff [that’s how a virgin talks, duh], and thought, I can’t wait to get her in just the right position and then START TALKING ABOUT MONKEYS ENDLESSLY.

Jerry laughed, laid back, let me open my mouth, and shut his (except for the dozen or so times he started whispering to Jesus).

There is a time and a place for learning.  There is a time and a place for sex.  In my life — the life of a weirdo — sometimes those times overlap.

I’m going to end with this perfect quote by author John Green:

With love, B!

P.S. after writing this, I was reminded of my favorite article of (maybe) all-time by Katie Heaney. I read this back when it first came out in 2011 and have re-read it so many times when I’ve needed a laugh: My Period Takes Me Shopping

Wally the Weirdo

It’s easy to not care about dating during the summer.  Or at least I find that to be the season when, if I’m not seeing someone, I’m least likely to go looking.  There are so many activities and hobbies and trips to be play or participate in or go on.  Also, nights are hot and sticky and my A/C unit barely keeps the room cool enough when I’m not pressed up against someone else all night.

However, once fall rolls around, it starts to get cooler and I start to think it might be nice if I had someone to put their arm around my shoulder, or go to apple orchards with, or to hold my hand while sitting around the fire-pit in my backyard.  Fall-induced male companion syndrome is what led me to OkCupid when I met Wally.

I wouldn’t say I have a “type,” really, but Wally was definitely on the outer rim of the realm of qualities I usually go for.  But whenever I think, “nahhh not my type,” I always hear this little voice in the back of my head that says, “B…clearly what you’ve gone for in the past has never worked out, so maybe what you think you need and what you really do need are different!”  Fair point, Devil’s Advocate B, fair point.

So what wasn’t ” my type” about Wally?  Well:

1) He was on OkCupid, which has never been a hotbed of potential (for me, anyhow).

2) All of his pictures looked pretty old.  I know men don’t always have as many photos of themselves as women, but for dating site purposes, get a buddy to take a few recent shots. Thanks.

3) He was not making a move.  I’m the type who likes to have several days of short back and forth convos before meeting someone off a dating site.  I’ve even kept in text contact for 2-3 weeks before meeting if we’re both busy and scheduling is difficult.  So I’m not expecting anyone to say “let’s meet” three sentences in, but Wally was sending me OkCupid messages that were 6-7 paragraphs long (full paragraphs with 3-4 sentences), and after several of these novellas, I was on team Let’s Meet Already.  Why keep investing time if we may not even like one another?

I suggest we meet, and we settle on getting a drink at a local bar that coming Sunday.  From the moment I walk to the bar, things are not going swimmingly.

Homeboy has a shaved head.  Now I don’t care if someone has a shaved head — plenty of men look attractive that way — but all of his photos showed a full head of hair.  I don’t know about you, but I feel that’s a noteworthy change that should be included in photos, or at least mentioned, if only for the fact that finding someone in a crowded bar is hard when you’re looking for someone who has hair and they in fact do not.  It’s also hard to find someone when they don’t stand up when they see you.  I’m not a huge hugger on first dates because I don’t always want to physically touch someone I don’t know, so I’m down to skip that part.  However, I think it’s polite to stand up and greet the person instead of staying in your seat while you sit there already having your drink.  He doesn’t offer to get me anything, so I go up to the bar alone to buy my beverage.

I come to the early conclusion that this will be a one-drink-then-leave kind of night.  This plan hits a road-block when I realize my drink is 3/4 gone and Wally’s is barely 1/4 gone.  Why?  Because he’s babbling on and on, and apparently when he’s talking he isn’t drinking.  What is he talking about?  Oh, you know, he touches on a variety of things (musical interests, his hometown, how he works with kids).  Once he hits on the working with kids angle, he veers off into story after story about them.  This wouldn’t usually be a problem — I used to work with kids and found it to be highly enjoyable, and so very often, working with kids provides funny or cute anecdotes.  But Wally works at a home for foster children and the story he is most invested in telling is one about a little boy who was brought in because his mom was a drug addict and his step-father was molesting him.  While he begins delving into the deep and dark details of the molestation, I am certain that everything he is saying is a massive breach of confidentiality.

I am also longing to be rid of him.  His drink is still 1/3 full.  I come up with a brilliant plan: go to the bathroom!  I do, immediately send “good lord help me,” texts to any friend who will listen, and take my sweet time so that Wally can guzzle that beer.  Proud of my ingenuity in fast-fowarding this date, I practically skip back to our table, only to feel my stomach sink to the floor when I see a full beer in front of him.  “I ordered another!” he announces happily.

I switched to water after my first drink in an attempt to convey, “I’m not having a great time.”  Throughout the slow process of him drinking 3/4 of this next beer, I lay down more hints.  I fake a yawn and ask what time it is.  He says 9, and I say, “Ooooh it makes sense why I’m so tired, then, it’s almost time for me to get to bed.  Early Monday morning!”  I mention a couple other times how, “I can’t believe I’m so tired,” and I try to talk more so that he’ll stop flapping his lips and instead wrap them around the neck of that bottle and gulp gulp gulp.  Around 1/4 to go, I need a mental break and excuse myself to the bathroom again.  This time I don’t even go into the stall, I just stand in a corner texting and tapping my foot.

I bet you can guess what happens when I go back out.  Yep, he has another new beer.  FML.  In hindsight, this is when I should’ve said I had a lovely evening but have to go.  Nowhere in the first-date handbook does it say: and the date, whether going well or poorly, must last the length of three beers drank at a snail’s pace.  Unfortunately, I’m too nice and felt it would be rude to leave him sitting there alone.  I was past the point of being able to talk to try and make him drink more quickly.  Instead I sat there and took my punishment.  I did go to the bathroom 2-3 more times.  I wondered if he thought I had a UTI or bladder infection, because who goes to the bathroom that many times, but I didn’t give a shit what he thought of me.

Eventually a small miracle occurs — I return from the bathroom and he says the waitress came to ask if he wanted another drink but he probably shouldn’t because he had an hour drive home.  Yay!  Freedom.  I remind him that I paid at the bar upon arriving so my bill is all set and he says, “sounds good,” and stands up to put on his coat.  We get nearly to the door when the flustered waitress comes running over and reminds him that he didn’t pay his bill.  I’m not sure if he was planning to skip out on the check or if he legit forgot, but how do you forget to pay for your 3 drinks??

He hugs me and says he had a really great time.  I mumble something similar because saying, “OMG YOU ARE THE MOST SOCIALLY UNAWARE, SLOW-DRINKING, AWKWARD CONVERSATIONALIST I HAVE EVER MET AND I HOPE ONE DAY I FORGET YOU EVEN EXIST,” doesn’t seem appropriate.  Then he points in the direction of my house and says, “I’m parked a few blocks this way, where do you need to go?”

I don’t miss a beat before saying, “Oh, I’m the other way.”  We head in opposite directions, I walk around the block before doubling back toward my house.  On the way I stop at a 7-Eleven.  It’s 10:30, meaning I was on that awful date for 3.5 hours.  In order to compensate for my terrible evening, I allow myself to buy Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, and a pack of chocolate frosted Donettes.  I lean against the side of 7-Eleven and one-by-one eat all three cellophane-wrapped treats, not even caring about how much saturated fat I’ve just consumed — I deserved it, dammit!

Then I walk home and promise myself that I’ll never sit through three drinks with someone that bad again.  Aside from texting Wally to say I’m not interested in going out on a second date, I never had another interaction with that weirdo.

Love, B!

The Austrian

Is it just me or are J’s stories wildly more entertaining (and just plain more wild) than mine?  I’ll be honest that I am definitely more internal-awkward-cautious dater to her jump-head-first-into-situations-while-drinking-a-ton dating style, so I’m not going to try and convince you that any of my stories will ever rival hers in the shenanigans department.  That said, I have had a few encounters that were spontaneous and fun and involved the loss of inhibitions through consumption of alcohol.

This story is about one of those encounters.

Five days after I graduated college, I jetted off for an internship in Eastern Europe.  There was some miscommunication over what exactly the internship involved, and so instead of a full 40 hr work week, me and the other 2 American interns had maaaaybe 8 hours of work a week.  Maybe.  If we wanted to work that much.  My internship was basically me going into 3-4 high school English classrooms a week, answering student questions like “what are the 3 most used swear words in the US? Write them on the chalkboard and describe what each means,” and then going to check out what weird snacks were in the cafeteria.  My personal favorite (due to hilarity, not due to taste) were the chicken flavored Cheetos — they were drumstick-shaped!

While not busy with our vigorous work schedule, we three Americans took in the local culture, made friends with our dorm room suite-mates (note: if you ever thought your dorm room in the US was small or gross or fell short or acceptable living standards, just imagine what our dorm that was built and maintained behind the Iron Curtain looked like.  Yuh, your US dorm was a palace.), and immersed ourselves in common Eastern European pass-times (read: dancing to techno music and drinking SO.MUCH. vodka).  The kids in the dorm would legit make their own vodka by buying menthol candies from the store and boiling them down (or something like that).

Being the Cautious Cathy that I am, I rarely drank more than a shot or two when we were out and about.  My two intern friends would always get thoroughly trashed, and I never thought it was a great idea for all three of us to get blackout drunk in a foreign city where we were relying on strangers to get us home, and where I didn’t even know what # to dial for the equivalent to 911 if we got in trouble.  I know, I’m such a fricken loser.  J would’ve been tossing back those free vodka shots like a champion.

Now one weekend, we all went to visit the city of Krakow.  Shameless plug for Krakow — it’s one of the best cities I’ve ever been to.  Forget about Paris.  While it is cool to see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame just to say you have, Krakow is charming in a subtle way that Paris, with it’s larger-than-life reputation, just cannot be.

We stayed in a 12-person room in a hostel, and the first night the rain poured and poured.  Amazingly, this hostel had an attached bar, so we decided to have a night inside.  Uncharacteristically, I decided I wasn’t going to care about sobriety.  I felt a sense of safety knowing that my bed was quite literally 3 rooms away from the bar, so no matter how drunk I got, I wasn’t going to get lost/separated from my group/adultnapped (it’s kidnapping but for adults).  It also helped that the bartender was a gorgeous guy named Bentley from Tasmania.  Whose name is Bentley?!  Who is from Tasmania?! I told him I didn’t like to taste my alcohol, and Bentley did a damn fine job of providing suitable options.  The first drink I sucked down tasted like a green apple Jolly Rancher.

I feel it is important to interject for a second and note that every drink I consumed this night was made with a type of Polish vodka that cannot be sold in the US.  Why?  Well, it is flavored with an alcoholic extract banned by the FDA in the 1970s.  Wikipedia says the extract is banned because of it’s “hepatotoxic effects” (a hepatotoxin  is a chemical substance that damages the liver), but I’m convinced what it really does is get lightweight white girls SUPER drunk SUPER fast.  At least that was my experience…

At my current age, I have no filter at any time.  When I was 22, I did.  I had the ability to be a raunchy sarcastic sass-machine, but in new situations and around new people I was a polite Midwestern girl.  However, alcohol completely tore down that polite wall.  So I go back to grab something from the 12-person hostel room, my mind buzzing, my liver being attacked by toxic death chemicals, and in walk these 4 guys.  At this point I have no idea  where they’re from (Austria), how old they are (my age), or anything else.  All I know is one of them is tall and incredibly attractive.  That information processes in seconds, and without missing a beat, I point at him, announce “I find you very attractive!” in an assertive voice that sounds nothing like my own, and walk back to the bar without another word.

Bentley the Trusty Tasmanian is waiting for me there, and makes me a drink with strawberry and banana juice.  It tasted like an alcoholic smoothie!  The Austrians find their way to the bar and we all start chatting, having a great time.  I have no idea how many things I accepted from Bentley (I just know all drinks cost $2-3 in USD, so woohoo!!), but after a while I realize the room is pitching from side to side whenever I move my head.  The hostel provided free bread and jam in the morning, so I go to the kitchen, grab an entire loaf of bread, and head back to the bar taking very deliberate steps so as not to look schwasted.

Back at the bar, while eating carbs to soak up the alcoholic fish bowl that is my stomach, I roll up a little piece of bread and chuck it at one of the Austrians (not the cute one).  He throws one back. After this happens a few times, a hostel employee comes over and snaps at us to stop.  Well geez, I think, sure we shouldn’t be throwing bread, but we only threw like 4 pieces!!!  Then I look at the floor and there is bread littered everywhere.  Easily 50+ little balls.  That’s when it hits me that I am Drunk with a capital D, because I had no recollection of such a prolonged bread siege.

Embarrassed that I’m “that annoying drunk girl,” I slink back to put the rest of the loaf in the kitchen.  Cute Austrian meets me halfway back to the bar and we wind up going to the one private place in the hostel — the individual shower rooms off of the main bathroom.  The front half of the little room is a bench and space to put your dry clothes and the back half is the shower.  Cue hot topless make out session with a 6’4” stranger.  At some point, we hear someone calling our names from the main bathroom, but we giggle and are drunk quiet (read: probably not quiet).  They leave and when they do, they turn off the lights. Now in the dark, cue more hot topless making out in with a 6’4” stranger.

The Austrian kept on whispering about wanting to shower with me, saying he found showering with a woman very sexy, and that he, “wouldn’t even try anything further.”  Drunk B was fully on the shower-with-hot-foreign-boy train, but unfortunately there was one small problem — my uterus was  under construction.  Every woman knows the awkward discomfort of having to decide whether to bring up the dreaded P word or not – and if you do, how is best to do it.  On the one hand, once men reach a certain age/have had a girlfriend of any length of time, it’s usually safe to say they know periods exist and won’t run away scream-barfing in disgust.  So saying ‘hey this thing you know happens to ALL women is currently happening to me right now, so woohoo if you want to continue with sexy time (I’m convinced this is why showers were invented) but also maybe you’d rather not,’ shouldn’t be horrifying, but that doesn’t stop it from sucking.

Nowadays, I’m almost 30…I would feel pretty comfortable owning up to my own uterine shedding schedule (while suggesting yes let’s commence showering), but at 22 I was reluctant to inform a stranger.  My solution was gigging a lot and said things like, “I don’t know…” which led to him asking if I was very religious. HA!

Quite a time later, we exited the shower a few minutes apart so as not to raise suspicions of where we’d been (we were classy drunks!) and hung out a while longer, and nobody was the wiser.

Love, B!

Jerry: The Ghost Ship Resurfaces

IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE STORY OF JERRY, DON’T MISS PART ONE AND PART TWO.

Alright, let’s get back into this Jerry action.  Where were we in this tale?  Oh right, the uber Mr.-Nice-Guy I’d been on half a dozen dates with and had (I’d thought) ridiculous chemistry with decided to ghost me the day after first meeting my friends.  Twelve days later I had sent precisely three texts — the last of which included a huge out if he wasn’t interested — and received radio silence. Everything was awesome! (I’m trying really hard not to type out some Lonely Island lyrics right now.)

I was still annoyed, but decided to just forget Jerkface Jerry.  Forty-eight hours after my last text (14 days after his disappearance), I’m getting ready to hit the gym when whose name lights up my phone?  Of course.  Before I even read what he has to say, I text J with: Ugh, Jerry just texted me!

J: What?!??!

Me: He said, “Hey there – sorry it took me so long to respond. Yeah, I’m not really feeling the connection so much anymore, sorry.  I still think you are pretty cool though, so I would be up for being friends.”

My initial super bitchy thoughts?  Ohhh well thank GOD you still think I’m “pretty cool,” otherwise how could I face another day?  After all, I do derive all of my self-worth from the opinion of men who have known me for two months. Ugh, don’t be an ass, B…you know what he means, he’s trying to be nice.  

J’s opinion echoes my first feelings: send him this: <middle finger emoji>

Me:  I should’ve.  Instead I went with, “K. So that’s totally fine — absolutely no hard feelings about not feeling it — but not responding for two weeks was a pretty dick move.  If you honestly want to be friends, that could be nice.”  I think that’s fair.

J: That’s perfect.

J’s right that it’s perfect.  I’m a huge people pleaser, and usually I go along with whatever someone says they’re willing to give — even if what I want is vastly different.  Six months before I met Jerry, I probably would’ve responded with something like, “No worries. Yeah, I’d like to be friends,”  so I’m proud for saying I understand while also asserting that his actions were not okay.  I wait for his response, anticipating an excuse; some reason why he’s not a dick and I’ve simply misunderstood.

Jerry: I know. I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to reply.

Huh…he agreed with me and apologized.  Unexpected.  I give him a few points for that, but then my snark rears its head and I think, “you didn’t know what to say? You say the same damn thing you just said!” I must’ve been high on the fumes of my first foray into sticking up for myself, because I say just that!

Me: Well for future reference, you say exactly what you wound up saying–only earlier. Before the other person feels like shit for a few days wondering what they did that was offensive enough to warrant being ignored.

As I stare at what I’ve said, I feel a mixture of pride and horror.  The latter feeling causes me to add a, “sorry if that seems harsh,” before sitting back to wait for the defensive anger that I figure I’m in for.

Jerry: No I know, you’re right. I’ve been through that before myself. I’m sorry.

If you ever want to make someone’s anger with you dissipate rather quickly, be like Jerry.  Every time the other person accuses you of something, agree and apologize.  It’s pretty hard to stay upset when your opponent is nodding along with your points of contention instead of balking about them.  Unsure of what to do with this apologetic man — an elusive creature, for sure — I say, “Apology accepted,” and figure we’ll never talk again.  Sure there was the mention of being friends, but in my experience that’s usually just what you say to sound nice.  Besides, as my friend recently told me, I probably don’t need to add to my menagerie of friends who used to be a POI (person of interest).

At one point, J mentioned that she “breaks up really well.”  Now you get to learn about something I do really well: make up my mind “for good” and then reverse that decision once I’ve had time to toss an idea around in my head long enough.  However, I don’t think this is due to my being indecisive or not having willpower.  It’s because once I get some distance from a decision, I can look at it intellectually instead of with emotion.  I’m a weird combination of being prone to strong feelings (thanks mom) and being able to detach completely to examine things with acute logic (yay dad) — qualities that seem to contradict one another.  I’ll admit, this pairing can lead to some interesting internal debates about “what’s best” or “how to proceed” at points in my own life.  It may also be the cause of some jarring interactions for new friends who haven’t grasped that I’m a strange blend of sensitive and completely not.

Anyhow, I digress.  On Friday I packed up Jerry in a suitcase and threw him off the balcony, and on the following Monday I was bending over the balcony railing to see just where exactly the suitcase had fallen.  I was bored (read: horny) and had decided that while, yes, Jerry was still kind of a dick, he also had quite a lovely dick (my response when J asked why I contacted him again was, “because that dick’s a work of art!  And mama’s taking a trip to the museum!” [okay, I only actually said the first of those two sentences]), and why can’t two adults have no-strings-attached consensual sex?  They can, right?  Right!

Problem…how do I know if he’s still interested in having no-strings-attached consensual sex with me?  I consider being direct, but wind up going with coy flirtation (ok, ok, I said one coy thing and was then forward as fuck).  Lo and behold, he’s on board.  Great!  We make plans for him to come over, and I figure this is going to be a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of encounter.  Two people having fun and then he’ll be on his way.  Seems likely since he’s, “not really feeling the connection so much anymore.”

We wind up talking for hours.

Some generic interesting conversation and then I go on a tangent (that happens when I’m drinking) about dating.  I say that I really hate the constructs of modern dating where you meet someone online and have to decide within a few in-person interactions whether you could be seriously interested in them or not.  I’d much rather a situation where I can get to know a guy slowly over time and see if feelings evolve naturally, and not on a timeline that’s sped up because you’re trying to vet someone quickly so as not to waste your (or their) time.  It’s hard!  Sometimes I may like a guy after two dates but if I don’t feel lots of chemistry, I won’t say yes to a third date for fear that I will have led him on if romantic feelings don’t ever develop.  Maybe they would’ve though, if there weren’t the pressure of deciding definitely yes or absolutely not so early on!

I also mention that I am incredibly happy with my life exactly the way it is.  I have awesome friends and fun hobbies and I go on great vacations.  Would I like to share my wonderful life with a companion?  Sure I would!  That sounds lovely.  But it isn’t something I need so badly that I’m willing to fill that role just for the sake of filling it.  If it isn’t right, I don’t want it.

 

“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude” -Warsan Shire

 

I’m not sure what part of my long meandering spiel it was that resonated with Jerry, but when we eventually go inside and I assume he’s going to kiss me — to commence the banging and leaving — he instead hugs me and says, “I’m really sorry for how I treated you.  I like you a lot.”

I don’t know how you react to a handsome man apologizing and then hugging you tight with their face against your neck, but I silently sighed a long ermigerrrrrd and then poked him in the side saying, “Yeah, WTF was up with that?! I’m so nice and understanding!  What were you thinking??”

Jerry’s “I don’t know!” was muffled by a series of kisses as he walked me backwards toward the lifeboat (read: my bed).  Then I wooed him with my sexual prowess until he wanted to cry.

With love, B!

P.S. Later, while we were lying in the dark, I shook my head and sighed sadly, “it’s just too bad that we don’t really have a connection.”  Jerry chuckles and says he had felt like it seemed awkward at the end of our last hang out, and admits he was probably being a little too skittish.

Part of my wants to balk that I’m never awkward, but life rule number one is “be honest,” and that would be quite the lie. Quick flashes from the last time we were together go through my mind — me lying there silently stressing out about if he wanted me to leave or not — and I realize that even though I always think my anxiety is contained within my own head, I probably send out awkward vibes whilst my mind freaks out.

I pull “a Jerry.”  I acknowledge that I had been acting awkward and apologize, but tack on, “sometimes I’m gonna be awkward! That’s going to happen. If/when that happens, say ‘hey, stop being so fucking awkward,’ and then I’ll stop.”

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:

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!

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!