Man #100, My Stalker/Super Fan

29 07 2012

You may have noticed that today we’re going out of sequence. I’ve been holding out on you, dear readers, about something, which could prove to be important to my future physical or emotional well-being.

I have a stalker/super fan.

It all started quite a while ago, last year in March, in fact, the night I placed my Craigslist ad. I received a ton of emails, and amongst those emails I had a message from a man informing me that he couldn’t possibly date me at Man #4, because, quite frankly, I would fall hopelessly in love with him and he would screw up my therapy.

He also asked if I knew what I was getting myself into by placing a Craigslist ad, and if I was ready for my inbox to be flooded with a thousand penis pictures. He said he had considered providing a picture of his own, but the last time he had tried to send a picture of his penis the internet had shut down for 2 hours because of the file size.

You may recall that I suspended any further communication with him, on that particular night, because I feared I was only one email away from receiving a naked picture of his package.

Anyway, after my Craigslist Crap Shoot post, I heard from him again.

“I just read your blog! How cool you mentioned me, and referred to me as a “gentleman”. Now I must say my feelings were slightly hurt (being the touchy, feely, metro-sexual that I am) when you “feared” my next email might contain pictures of a graphically gratuitous nature.”

And, as I feared, this email contained a picture of his cock (seen below), and he signed his email with “#100.”

I couldn’t help but be intrigued though. He obviously had some of my favorite characteristics in a man.

Confidence. I like that. In My Stalker/Super Fan’s case, I had no way of knowing if his was the delusional self-confidence of a sociopath or if his confidence about making me fall in love with him was based on some sort of actual charisma, which I would find utterly irresistible.

Sense of humor. Back when I was tracking my dates in an Excel spreadsheet, the attribute that most often appeared in the men I liked and wanted to date again was a sense of humor. Check. I am such a sucker for a sense of humor, and humor appeared in every one of his emails. Some of them even made me laugh out loud.

Intelligence. Let’s face it. A sense of humor of this caliber takes intelligence, and he writes well, which, as you know, is a big thing for me.

A dirty mind. This, coupled with a sense of humor, is, apparently, one of my favorite combinations and could also explain why I’m always picking the wrong men.

Anyway, for all I know, he could be a 3 foot tall, 80-year-old man with Morton’s toe, and yet, I find myself looking forward to his emails.  Over the past year, I have heard from him periodically after traumatic dates or big events. (Getting my MBA) He almost always makes me laugh, and, at times, has shown a more serious side. Basically, he’s cyber seducing me, it’s working, and anyone who has done online dating knows this is dangerous, dangerous territory to get into.

A few nights ago, in an email, he said he was going to have dinner at a local restaurant, and I found myself fighting off the urge to go to the restaurant, park my ass on a seat at the bar, and see if I could figure out which patron might be My Stalker/Super Fan. I did not follow through however. I wussed out.

In an ironic twist of fate, I am becoming My Stalker/Super Fan’s stalker.

Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with me? I know better than to start fantasizing about this guy. Just a couple of weeks ago, on Dr. Flora Brown’s show, I was warning listeners not to get their hopes up for anything but a first date before actually meeting someone. It doesn’t matter how amazing the emails might be. When you meet in person, there may be no chemistry whatsoever.

And yet, I’m falling for him.

I am a sick puppy……and my therapist worries about me now more than ever.

Photo here. (Note love rule #2.)

My Stalker/Super Fan’s Cock


Man #22, The Suitor

11 10 2011

While pushing me out into the dating world has definitely been an effective cure for getting me out of my house, away from nights spent alone with high-carb snacks and red wine, I’m not sure it has been particularly effective in convincing me that there are many men out there with whom I would want to spend more than a few fleeting hours. After dating over 20 men, I’ve only met a few who I was interested in seeing again, and, ultimately, none of them were men who would make a good long-term partner for me.

My enthusiasm for dating has certainly dwindled as I’ve dealt with bad manners, sexual aggression, unresolved anger issues, and as of late, gum disease. The thought of a night spent alone, watching a movie while sharing a bowl of popcorn with my dog, Thor, ranks much higher than the thought of another night gambled on a date with a stranger. To be quite honest, if it weren’t for the fact that this blog has become a bit of a “project” I doubt that I would bother dating at all.

And yet, I try to keep an open mind and open heart.

So, in an effort to keep moving ahead with my dating prescription/project, last Friday, I finally responded to an email I had been neglecting in my inbox. Man #22 was a respondent to a Craigslist ad I had placed several weeks ago. We had sent a few emails back and forth, but I had lost my enthusiasm for the volley of emails that ensued.  As I’ve said before, I’m not good at texting or emailing excessively before being asked on a date.  Once you’ve exchanged pictures and an email or two I figure you pretty much know whether or not you would be interested in meeting someone. If a man doesn’t quickly move things to the next step and ask for a date, I’m already looking for other options.

Anyway, after letting his last email sit and marinate in my inbox for well over two weeks, I finally decided I might be ready for a date.  I emailed Man #22 and asked if he was still interested in going out.  Luckily, he responded right away, and said, “Yes! Thought I wasn’t going to hear from you. How about tonight? Dinner? Movie?”

I couldn’t believe my luck. Finally. Decisiveness.

I responded, “Yes, tonight would work.  Typically, I think movies make bad first dates because you can’t really talk, but I would really like to go see Moneyball. Maybe we could talk before or after.  Let me know what you think.”

This apparently scored points as Man #22 responded that he also wanted to see Moneyball, but had thought that he would have to go see it by himself.  I let him know that it was playing at Big Picture and he suggested that we see the show and then head to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

Again, decisive. I like that.

I agreed to meet him at Big Picture for the 6 p.m. showing. We exchanged cell phone numbers in case anything came up, and he sent me a text, “BTW, I’m 6′-3″ so feel free to wear heals if you want.”

A bit odd, but I responded, “I’ll take that under advisement. Thx.”

I wore flats. Since I knew I would be climbing the hill from The Spaghetti Factory up to Belltown, I decided I wanted to be comfortable.

I hate running late, and I was cutting it close as I drove to the movie theater.  Since I could not find parking on 1st Ave, I sped down Wall Street and turned north onto Western. As I rounded the corner, I spotted a space on the opposite side of the street, so I zipped acrossed three lanes of traffic to snag it before anyone else could sneak in and grab it. I pulled my trusty little Jetta into the space and manuevered into place. As I did, I looked up and saw my date standing on the sidewalk. He had been walking by when I zoomed in.

I rolled down the window and said, “You didn’t see that, did you?”

“I didn’t see a thing.”

“Good. I happen to be a great driver with a good insurance rate. I can’t have witnesses to the contrary.” (Apparently, at this point, I’ve become a bit nonchalant about first impressions.)

He smiled as I rolled the window back up and got out.  Suddenly, like a magician, he produced a huge pink carnation from inside his suit jacket.  It was lovely.

“I asked a woman I work with what kind of flower I should get for a first date, and she seemed to think it was a bad idea,” he said.

To which I responded, “You know, there are women who feel insulted if a man opens a door for them or offers them a seat on a crowded bus. I happen to NOT be one of those women. Thank you. This is beautiful.”

We started to walk toward the movie theater. At the stop light, The Suitor turned to me and said, “You really threw me off when you said you wanted to see this movie. It’s not exactly a chick flick. So, I have to ask. Do you want to see it because you like Brad Pitt, because you like baseball, or did you read the book?”

“None of the above. I’m getting my MBA and last spring my project team in statistics tried to determine what it would take for the Mariners to win the World Series.”

The Suitor looked a little confused, like when Thor perks up his ears and tilts his head to one side. Uh?

After a brief pause, he said, “Cool.”

“And if you really want to know the truth, I do like Brad Pitt. There’s no place I would rather be on a summer night than the ballpark with a hotdog and a beer, and, no, I didn’t read the book. But, for the most part, I’m interested because of the stats.”


We watched the movie, which I would rank a 3.5 out of 5. It was entertaining, but there wasn’t enough about the statistics in it for me. (I know. I’ve always been a bit of a geek.) Then, afterward, we walked to The Spaghetti Factory for dinner.

Now, the other night amid glasses of red wine, one of my friends was actually reading my blog to me. Don’t ask me why, but it’s an interesting experience to have your own work read back to you. She was reading the post about Man #21, and said I sounded like a snob.  (I find this interesting, considering that I don’t recall ever seeing her with a date who was missing his teeth.) At the risk of sounding like a snob again, however, I have to say I’m not a big fan of The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Despite the fact that I’m not a fan, I was not going to complain. I graciously accepted, and decided I would make do with whatever menu options faced me.  So, yes, maybe I’m a snob about this, but here’s the deal.  I lived in Italy for a short period of time, and while I was there, in addition to taking some language lessons, I took cooking classes. The result is that it has ruined me when it comes to most Italo-American dining.  The Olive Garden…The Spaghetti Factory…these sorry excuses for Italian cuisine usually just leave me feeling sort of disgusted. When I go out to eat, I tend to choose dishes that I typically cannot make for myself. This means I usually don’t order pasta, risotto, or salmon, just to name a few.

Of course, most of The Spaghetti Factory’s menu consists of pasta. I took my chances and ordered The Manager’s Favorite, which allowed me to order pasta with two different sauces. I ordered the meat sauce and the clam sauce. I knew I was taking a risk, but I didn’t let on to my date that I was having any anxiety about my choices. I also noticed that they had spaghetti squash with marinara on the menu.  I asked the waiter if I could substitute brown butter and mizithra cheese for the marinara, so we ordered the spaghetti squash to share.

There aren’t a lot of good things I can say about the meat sauce or the alfredo-like clam sauce that came on my pasta. It was food, and it was filling, but that was about it.  There is a very easy way to tell if a restaurant knows anything about Italian cuisine.  Italians do not put cheese on seafood. Therefore, an alfredo-like clam sauce is a kind of blasphemy you will typically not find in Italy.  The spaghetti squash with brown butter and mizithra was good though, and it’s pretty much impossible to fuck up the free spumoni ice cream that they serve at the end of every meal.

The Suitor was completely unaware of all of these thoughts that were swimming around in my head, as I concentrated on having a good conversation and being polite to both him and our waiter.  I do care enough about first impressions to resist the urge to sound like a picky bitch, and in the total scheme of life, there are a lot more important things to make a fuss about than fleeting alfredo-like clam sauce.

We had a great time and a good conversation. He wants to see me again, and I just might let him. He has all of his teeth. I might try to influence our next food experience though.

Photo here.

Man #21, Knight in Wrinkled Clothing

25 09 2011
“It’s just a flesh wound.”

Judging from the dental records of my last two dates, it appears I am now dredging the bottom of the dating pool.

I know that as I get older the men who are interested in me are also going to be getting older. I know I may need to start dealing with health issues and problems that were never part of my relationships before.  I may occasionally encounter someone with an enlarged prostate or perhaps even be forced to deal with erectile dysfunction.  I’ve faced the fact that women typically live longer than men and someday, maybe when I’m 80 years old, I might have to deal with a man without any teeth, but for now…

…I’m 43…

…and my last two dates have been missing front teeth!

What the fuck!

It’s not like I’m old for fuck sake! Is it seriously too much to ask that my forty-something year old dates have all of their teeth? I knew I needed to be suspicious of men who only send pictures of themselves in baseball caps, a clear indication that they are bald, but now, do I also need to watch out for the close-mouthed smile?


The actual date with Man #21 was pretty good, but I can’t go out with a man who is missing teeth more than once.  I just can’t. In fact, I would have to say that my preference is to not date men who are missing their teeth at all.  Crowns and onlays are ok, but I’m too young to kiss anyone whose lips retreat to their gums when they go to kiss me.

Receding hairlines I can do. Receding gumlines, not so much.

Is it just me or is anyone else disgusted yet?

But let me go back to the beginning.

The date almost didn’t happen. I had an appointment in Tukwila on the day of the date. As I was driving along I-405 that afternoon, a man in a beat up car with a custom daisy painted on the side rolled down his window and pointed at the front of my car. (This is never a good sign when someone in a piece of shit car starts pointing at your car on the freeway.) I pulled over to find my trusty, little Jetta’s belly pan dragging on the ground. Half of it was chewed to bits.

I was supposed to meet Man #21 at Wild Ginger in downtown Seattle by 5:30 p.m. and I knew if I had to call AAA for a tow, I would never make it.  I called Man #21 to let him know what was happening.  As luck would have it, he was in the area, and offered to come see if he could help. He was coming to save the date.

I have to say; I sort of liked that he was coming to my rescue. I’ve probably mentioned this already, but I like chivalry and I wrote an entire post on how I wanted to find a man who can fix things.

Man #21 arrived just as I finished my phone call with AAA. It was going to take them almost an hour to get to me, and by that time, Man #21 and I would miss part of the show we were hoping to see at Triple Door.

My Knight in Wrinkled Clothing got to work assessing the situation. He got down on the asphalt to peer under my car, and said he thought he had something in his car that could fix the situation.  He went to rummage around in his trunk and returned with a canvas strap.  He got back down under the car and tied the belly pan into place by fastening it to the front grill with the canvas strap.

At this point, I had not yet noticed the missing tooth, and he was my hero.

I called AAA back to cancel my tow, and Man #21 and I headed to dinner.

We went to Wild Ginger for dinner.  Although I felt the Knight was rude to our waiter, which is a major turn-off, overall, dinner was good and the conversation seemed to flow fairly well. Until…

“You’re probably wondering what happened to my tooth.”

I didn’t say anything, but grabbed my water to take a sip and tried to get a peek at his teeth.  How had I not noticed? Well, what do you know. There it was, a gaping hole where his left incisor used to be. Man #21 proceeded to tell me a tale of bad dental hygiene and the desire to play the french horn.

Apparently one tooth too many can throw off one’s embouchure.

I couldn’t believe my luck.

We finished dinner, and headed downstairs to Triple Door to see Storm Large. She was amazing.  If you’re easily offended, her show is not for you. If you are afraid of the C word applied to the female anatomy, then you might be better off staying home to watch a PG-rated DVD. As you know, however, I am not afraid of the occasional dirty word and I have not laughed so hard at a show in a long time. Not only that, but live, her voice and dynamics are incredible.

Except for the rudeness to the waiter and the missing tooth, the date was pretty enjoyable, and The Knight in Wrinkled Clothing wanted to take me out again.

The following weekend, I had a barbecue at my house with my teammates from school. As my friends were leaving, I showed one of my male classmates my car. I told him about Man #21.  I showed him the canvas strap and explained that I was planning on taking the car in for an oil change in a couple of days, so that replacing the belly pan would be free. He knows how badly I would like to meet a man who can fix things.

“Well, he can sort of fix things,” he said of Man #21.

Unfortunately, sort of’s not good enough when it comes to teeth.

I think I’ll have to stay away from brass players, and stick to dating guitarists and drummers.

Man #20, Spicy Italian Sausage

1 09 2011

Mamma mia!

It is so hard…

…and I mean hard

to find all the desired qualities one wants in one man.


As I mentioned last time, I was really looking forward to meeting the Spicy Italian on Monday afternoon.  Although shorter than me, he had a rock hard body, sounded like a total romantic, and was Italian.  It would appear as though I’d hit the online dating trifecta.



Well, not completely wrong.

The Spicy Italian did indeed have a rock hard body.  He does, in fact, seem like a total romantic, and there is no doubt that he is Italian.  So what’s the problem?

I suppose I should just start at the beginning where most good stories start.

I met the Spicy Italian on Monday afternoon.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, and since I knew from pictures that he was a muscular guy who liked to hang out in the gym, I suggested we meet in front of Jamba Juice at the University Village Mall.  It’s not a particularly romantic setting, but I figured if the need for protein powder were to arise, we’d be set.

When he first saw me walk up, he broke into a smile, and said, “Wow, you are gorgeous! People are going to wonder how I got so lucky to hang out with you.”

So, you see, he scored points immediately. 

We order a couple of Jamba Juice shakes. He did actually order his with protein powder, so, you see, suggesting Jamba Juice turned out to actually be a good call on my part.

We sat and talked at a table for quite while. Well, mostly he talked.  I don’t know what it is about men, but they seem so much more interested in telling their dates about themselves rather than finding anything out about the woman they are with.  I know a lot about the Spicy Italian from our conversation, but I bet, if pressed, there is little he could recall about me. 

First, he is an Italian from New York City, so his accent is not the sexy European Italian accent I am accustomed to. It was more like a Vinnie Barbarino from “Welcome Back Kotter” kind of accent, and this unfortunately, made him sound a little stupid in spite of having a Master’s degree. I don’t want to be shallow, however, so I can get past the accent.  It is even possible that it could grow on me. (As long as I don’t start picking it up, I think I would be fine.)

Second, the Spicy Italian is definitely a romantic. He wants to hold hands, kiss, snuggle.  He has kind brown eyes. At one point in our conversation, however, he said, “At this point in my life I’m looking for a long-term relationship. I don’t feel like having my heart broken again.”

Oh, fuck. You know all sorts of alarm bells went off for me when he said that. I’m not ready for a long-term relationship. Over the summer, I realized that maybe I wouldn’t mind dating in a more serious way again, but to be quite honest, I’m still trying to figure myself out. I still have loose ends (like a divorce) to tie up, and to top it all off, I have 80 more men to date!  If I were to meet the right guy, there are solutions to all of these reasons why I can’t be in a long-term relationship, of course, but at the moment, I’m not compelled to make any major shifts in the way things have been. So, I hear him say this thing about not wanting to get his heart broken, and I have a little internal freak out. I’m not someone who likes intentionally hurting people, and he seems to really like me.

Breathe, breathe…

He continued to talk, and I realized there were also some key differences around the issue of money, which would make us completely incompatible.  First of all, he drives a big SUV, and I’m a bit of a tree hugger.  I don’t believe in spending a lot of money on cars or gas and an SUV just seems like a lot of wasted resources.  Only once in my life have I ever purchased a brand new car, and it was a mistake.  I always buy my cars one or two years old, and then drive them until they have no more life left in them.  I’m not one of these people who has to have the latest model car, purse, shoes, or jeans so that I can impress people. I really don’t care what people think of me in my trusty little Jetta. It’s paid for, it gets good gas mileage, and it can fill a gap in traffic faster than any other car I’ve ever owned.

Also, the Spicy Italian likes to occasionally go to the casino. Oh no! I don’t like throwing my money away like this either.  I don’t play the lotto. I don’t play bingo. I don’t go to Vegas to gamble.  I don’t know what amount of money I would need to have to feel like I could just piss it away at a card table, but I know it’s not happening for me any time soon.  I also know myself well enough that I would have serious issues with a partner who did, so Spicy or not, we are not destined for a long-term relationship.

Confession here. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a cheap skate.  I even buy single-ply toilet paper.

Don’t hate me.

Finally, one thing that was not apparent in his pictures and didn’t become apparent until I was sitting across from him is that he’s missing a tooth.  You can tell he’s self-conscious about it, because he keeps his hand in front of his mouth when he’s talking.  Apparently, he had a false tooth for that spot and it accidentally got thrown away at a restaurant.  It will cost a little money to have it replaced, so he hasn’t replaced it.

So here’s my issue.  If he utilized his money more wisely and chose a cheaper car, maybe he would have money left over to fix his tooth.  Or, at least he could buy a pack of dominoes or some Chiclets to use as a replacement.  I have never had a lot of money, which is probably why I’m such a penny pincher, but I have always tried to make sure that I looked professional.  Missing a tooth is a major thing.

If I were to actually consider dating this guy, I would feel like I was dating down, and quite honestly, a woman needs to feel respect for the man she’s with or the dynamics just don’t work.

I left the date feeling pretty conflicted though. For the most part, I enjoyed the date, the Spicy Italian seemed like a really sweet guy, and he does, in fact, have a hot body. I considered the possibility that maybe I could go out with him again, or maybe just have sex with him.  I know I’ve mentioned that at 5′-8″ tall he’s “too short to ride the ride,” but then I got to thinking. Some of the best sex of my life has been with men who were a couple of inches shorter than me.  It seems like taller men get lazy in bed, like they just want to lie there and be served.  Short men, on the other hand, have always seemed, well,…

…more ambitious.

I know I’m not supposed to get serious with anyone, but as a friend of mine pointed out last night over dinner, just because you have sex doesn’t mean you have to get serious.  The problem, of course, is he likes me.  If I were to have sex with him, there is the chance that he might fall madly in love with me, and I might break his heart.

I couldn’t have that on my conscience.

Finally, it has just come to my attention that My Dating Prescription has been nominated for the CBS Seattle’s Most Valuable Blogger Awards 2011.  Please VOTE every day through September 9th.

Man #18, The Burner

1 07 2011

Before weighing in on Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #2 and swearing to the one drink a week rule, I had met Man #18 for drinks at The Scarlet Tree.   It was truly refreshing to meet someone who was both intelligent and good-looking.  (The two attributes so rarely occur together.)

I typically don’t tend to go for the good-looking guys. Quite frankly, they intimidate me a little.  Well, maybe it’s not really that they intimidate me so much as I’ve just always been hesitant to date them.  I always assumed they would know they were good-looking, and therefore, would be players. 

I’m a very competitive person, but I try to avoiddrama, conflict, and competitions.  Does that make sense?  I get ugly when I get competitive.  I become someone I don’t really like when I get into a competitive situation.  It’s not that I get rude or violent. I just become sort of like my pit bull; I’m tenacious. I don’t like to give up.  I’ve never liked the idea of competing for a guy, so most of the time, I’ve just stayed away from the good-looking ones.

The one exception, ironically, was my STB ex. Cute, cute, cute, and trouble, trouble, trouble. Yep, my STB ex was a good-looking one, and you see where that got me.

But, I digress.

Anyway, Man #18 was good-looking, but I am not going to hold that against him.  Besides, what I was most impressed by was his mind. There were moments in the conversation where I felt like I was struggling to keep up, and it wasn’t just the Manhattans I was drinking. It’s not like I’m some dumb bimbo. I’m smart, like Magna cum Laude smart combined with some good, common-sense, street smart. (Most of the time.) It’s just that Man #18 was also very smart and some of our areas of knowledge did not necessarily intersect.

Imagine our two brains as a Venn Diagram.  The overlapping area in the middle is where most of our conversation happened. Most areas did intersect, and it was a very enjoyable date.  We talked about the business case for One Laptop per Child, how program managers have a tendency to get romanced by technical solutions when they should put more focus on user experience, and how both of us had spent time guarding the U.S. government’s secrets.  We shared similar religious ideologies, believing that Agnostics are spiritually passive-aggressive, and we also have similar political views. The conversation topic that really stuck with me though was that of Burning Man.

Burning Man is a temporary city, where 48,000+ participants gather for one week each year in Black Rock Desert. Man #18 is a burner. I have never been to Burning Man, but if there was ever a year when I should be going to Burning Man, it would be this year. This is my transformational year, and Burning Man has the potential to be, if not transformational, at least a profound kind of experience. Unfortunately, the tickets are already up to $320 and climbing, and I really can’t afford it.  On top of the financial deterrent, I have the fact that my body is not Burning Man ready.  I’ve seen the pictures.  I’ve seen what people wear, or don’t wear.

Believe me. Nobody wants to see this big ass half-naked out on The Playa!

This big ass would really like to be there though.

It turns out, The Burner has been involved with the event for many years.  He explained that it’s best to find a local group, get to know them well in advance, ask questions, find some way to participate, and then just go enjoy the experience.  Seattle actually has one of the largest “burner” communities next to San Francisco, so it wouldn’t be difficult to find other people who could school me on how to make my Burning Man experience a good one.  I actually have several friends who have participated too, so it’s not like I’d be out in the middle South Dakota or some place trying to find other burners.  I’m in Seattle: home of all great things alternative.

It’s not only that I’m interested in the participatory experience; I’m also interested in the large-scale art installations.  Check out this photo from Burning Man 2007.  How cool is that?

And that’s nothing. You should check out the Gallery on the Burning Man website. The scale and detail of the art is truly incredible.  I HAVE to go see it in person.

As for Man #18? I liked him, liked him enough to kiss him.  I won’t be dating him, of course, there are 82 others, but I should probably keep his contact information for next year when, fingers crossed, I’ll go to Burning Man.

Photo here.

Man #16, The Dog Whisperer

27 05 2011

I may be biased, but when I find myself sitting across the table from someone who rescues big, slobbery mutts that no one else wants, I feel I’m in the presence of someone with some character and a big heart. 

One of the first things Man #16 did when he responded to my Craigslist ad was send me a picture of himself with three big Saint Bernards.  I felt immediately comfortable, knowing that he would be covered in more dog hair than I am. 

In talking with him, it turned out that he’s provided a foster home for several large breed and bully breed dogs over the years.  Like me, he’s accustomed to people crossing the street when they see him coming with his dogs, but also like me, he knows better than to judge a dog by its breed or its size. 

You’ll just have to excuse me while I climb on my soap box for a moment about the ignorance surrounding big dogs, like German shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans, and bully breeds such as Bull Mastiffs, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Boxers.  These are the dogs that make for sensational headlines, because, yes, they are powerful and when they have irresponsible owners horrible things can happen.  However, small dogs account for more dog bites every year than big dogs, and I can honestly say that my pit bull, Thor, is the smartest, most loyal dog I have ever had (and I’ve had dogs my whole life, everything from toy poodles to Australian shepherds.)  The difference between a good dog and a bad dog has less to do with its breed than it does with the responsibility of its owner.  I’ll just say that when I met Man #16 it was nice to find myself in the presence of someone who understands this.

Since Thor came into my life, I’ve met a lot of dog rescuers and its rare to find bad or mean people among them.  The desire to rescue and meanness just aren’t characteristics that tend to go hand in hand.  The Dog Whisperer was a really nice guy.  We met at Bahama Breeze in Tukwila for dinner and talked at length about dogs, dog training,  and the reactions of people who don’t seem to understand them. 

He told me a story about an encounter he and his dogs had at a dog park.  He said his male Saint Bernard is very calm and will take a lot of stimuli without reacting, but his female is more apt to get impatient when younger, smaller dogs are aggravating her.  She’s more prone to “correct” a dog she feels is out of line in its actions.  For anyone not familiar with dogs, a correction is the equivalent of a mother letting her children know that their actions are socially unacceptable.  For dogs, it often takes the form of a quick growl or snap, and can often be mistaken for aggression by people who don’t know any better or haven’t seen the difference in action.

Anyway, there was a Chihuahua who had a Napoleon complex at the dog park.  Man #16 said he had warned the owner that his female Saint Bernard would not take any abuse and tried to move away from the smaller dog.  The Chihuahua kept coming, even after a correction from his St. B, and the next thing he knew his dog had picked up the Chihuahua, which disappeared under the jowls of the big dog, and tilted her head as if to start the head shake.  (The head shake would most certainly result in a veterinary bill.)

He said, “Drop it!”

He said his female Saint Bernard looked at him with big brown eyes that said, “Oh, come on.  Let me do this just this one time. Please,” and spit the aggravating little tyrant out on the ground.  He said the rest of the day, his dog kept looking at him as if to say, “You should have let me teach that little shit a lesson.”

He said the owner of the Chihuahua, of course, accused him of bringing dangerous dogs to the dog park.  This is typical of owners of untrained, unsocialized dogs that start shit at the dog park.  They don’t train their dogs. They rarely walk them. They don’t socialize them to people and other dogs, and then, for some reason, they think that they should take their dogs out to the dog park.  It boggles the mind.  The ignorance astounds me.

This is also why few pit bull owners will take their dogs to dog parks.  No matter who starts an altercation, in today’s society, the pit bull will always be the one that’s blamed.  I take Thor to the dog park on a limited basis, because he loves it and I feel that it’s a key component in keeping him well-socialized with other dogs.  I tend to limit our visits, however, and I always make sure we’re out of there before 10 a.m. when the riff raff seems to start arriving.

Going back to the Chihuahua story, I will just say that one of Thor’s dog park buddies is a little Schipperke named Aussie.  When two dogs are mentally well-adjusted, a Chihuahua and a Great Dane can successfully play with on another.  In this case at least, size does not matter, but socialization and temperament do.

During our dinner conversation, it was also nice to meet someone else who had trained his dogs to receive their Canine Good Citizen certificates.  Thor has his, and its one of those things that as soon as you hear that a dog has successfully passed the exam, it brings comfort to know that you’re dealing with a responsible owner with well-trained dogs.

But enough about our four-legged companions.  The other thing that I liked about The Dog Whisperer was that he really likes the great outdoors.  I’m much more of a dayhiker, but I could tell that being in the outdoors is something that Man #16 was really passionate about.  There is the possibility of a hike with him and his dogs and me and Thor in the future. (When I get a chance to have a life again outside of school.)  This photo is one that he sent me from on of his climbs.

The photo above is not one of Thor.  He is secure enough in his masculinity to wear pink, but I don’t do that to him.  The above photo was found here.

It’s good to find time to write again.

Man #15, Fresh Kill

12 05 2011

Man #15 wanted to meet at the same bar where I had met The Blues Man.  He is also a musician, and I think he wanted to check the place out.  We arrived around the time the bar was opening at 4 p.m. and the bar was empty except for the bartender and another guy who had set up a laptop at the far end of the bar.

We sat at the bar and ordered beers.  The first thing Man #15 said to me was, “I have something I need to tell you.  I figure it’s better to tell you now, because you would probably find out anyway.”

I looked at him sideways and said, “You realize that’s a terrible thing to say at the beginning of a date, right?”

“Well, I have to tell you that you are this (index finger and thumb an inch apart) close to being a musical lyricist.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“I took your lyrics, and wrote the music for your sad song.”

“What?? Are you serious? Oh my god, that is so cool.  That’s exactly what I was hoping would happen by me putting the lyrics out there like that,” I said.

“Let me tell you, that song is really pathetic.  All that baby, come back stuff.”

“Yeah, I know, but it was supposed to be sad.”

He told me it was difficult to take the lyrics and put music to them.  Usually the process happens the other way around.  The music comes first.  However, he explained that Elton John and Bernie Taupin had written music and lyrics separately.  Bernie Taupin would write the lyrics first and Elton would write the music later.  Some of Elton John’s biggest hits were created using this process in collaboration with Taupin.

I’m waiting to hear the results of Man #15’s work, but he said that the resulting song has a B.B. King sort of vibe to it.

But more about the date…I know I blasted Bitter Boy for talking about his ex, but I needed a completely different approach for my date with Man #15.  I didn’t realize when I set up my date with Man #15 that he had only separated from his wife three weeks prior.

What??? Are you f*%king kidding me?

Yeah, you read that right.  Three weeks ago.  I can’t even imagine.  I just remember where I was three weeks after my husband announced that he wanted a divorce and there is no way, at that point, that I was ready for a date.  At this point in my post-marriage journey, I’m finally getting the art of dating down and feeling pretty confident (at least as far as first dates go), but I’m still FAR from ready for a relationship.  Three weeks after the ball dropped though, I was still sitting on the couch  in my bathrobe all day, flipping through the channels in a semi-catatonic state, crying, and letting my dog lick the tears off my face.

What I’ve realized since I placed my ad on Craigslist, however, is that it seems as though I’m attracting a lot of what I’ll call “misfit daters,” men similar to me and where I’m at, who, for a variety of reasons, are just trying dating on for size again after a long hiatus.  Because I’m not looking for anything but a date, I think a date with me feels sort of safe for some of these gentlemen (even if there’s the possibility that I might blast them in a blog post afterwards.)  It’s just a date, a blip in time, and a chance to get back out there without any additional pressure, hidden agendas, or expectations.

So, there I was with Man #15, Fresh Kill.  Overall, I like Man #15.  There were a couple of things that made me uncomfortable about him, but, for the most part, I think he’s a good guy.  When we initially arrived at the bar, I felt like he was a “loud talker.”  Maybe it’s just because there weren’t many people in the bar when we first arrived; maybe it’s because after singing and playing guitar next to huge speakers he’s lost some of his hearing over time and can’t tell how loud he’s talking, or maybe he was trying to get attention. At any rate, it made me uncomfortable.  As the bar filled up with people, however, it became a non-issue.

The second thing that made me uncomfortable was the rate at which Fresh Kill drank.  It didn’t take long before he had consumed twice as many beers as I had, and it made me wonder if he might have a drinking problem.  After Happy Hour ended, he insisted on asking the bartender to tell us which of the neighboring bars sold hard alcohol.  (For anyone outside Washington State, Washington has these VERY conservative liquor laws.  Taverns sell beer and wine, but you need an extra license to sell hard alcohol, so some places have the licensing and some don’t.)  Asking the bartender to recommend another bar seemed rude and unnecessary to me, and after consuming three beers, I felt I had drunk enough.  I considered going home at this point.  The conversation was going well though, so I agreed to go to the second bar.

Unlike my usual avoidance of discussions about the ex, this date was different.  Obviously, the transition from marriage to singledom was so fresh for Man #15 that the topic of that transition warranted some discussion.  I’m certainly not cut out to be anybody’s therapist (although I may not be as crazy as my own therapist) but I can lend an ear and talk about what things have been like for me.  I guess if that helps somebody, I don’t feel so bad.  I normally choose not to be that vulnerable on a first date though, and that was the key difference between this date and most of the others. 

Fresh Kill rides a Harley.  It’s his primary mode of transportation, and once we were settled into the second bar, he asked me if I had ridden on the back of a motorcycle.  I explained that the last time I had ridden on the back of a motorcycle was with my father when I was about 9 years old. (Actually, if scooters count, it was about 8 years ago, when I hiked my dress up so I could wrap my legs around this sexy Italian friend of mine, and race through the streets of Rome.)  Mmmmm.

But I digress.

I asked Fresh Kill how many accidents he’d had, and then I told him about my most recent experience with men and motorcycles.  Last year, my STB-ex had purchased a motorcycle.  For the three preceding years, he had told me that he planned on dying by the time he was 45, and pictured himself going out in a blaze of glory on a motorcycle.  This is just one of the fucked up ways in which my husband chose to let me know that he did not plan on being married to me long-term.  When I got tired of fighting with him about whether or not he should buy a motorcycle, I did what any intelligent woman would do.  I purchased a life insurance policy. 

Then, last year, on Memorial Day weekend, my husband had an accident.  He had dropped the bike a couple of times prior to this, but nothing as major as this accident.  He was taking a corner too fast in the rain, and lost control merging from Highway 520 to I-5.  The bike was totalled, but surprisingly, my husband walked away with nothing but a bruised knee.  I was so angry at him, however, I could not be there for him, and from that point forward, my husband used the fact that I had not stayed home with him on the afternoon of that accident as the reason for our divorce.  Apparently, I didn’t love him enough.  (Several months later, I reminded him that he had chosen to go play role-playing games with his friends on the day that I had a major bicycling accident, an accident that left me unable to lift or turn my head for over a week, and that he had never once taken me to the doctor or helped pay any of the mounting medical bills that resulted from my physical therapy.)

Anyway, my recent experience with motorcycles is pretty fucked up, and as I was telling Fresh Kill about this, I started to cry.  He quickly grabbed my hand, and said, maybe riding on the back of a motorcycle is not something we need to talk about right now.

The whole experience made me acknowledge a couple of things about myself.  First, there is good reason why I prefer to not talk about exes on my dates.  I cry easily. (Don’t take me to a sad movie unless you have plenty of tissue to offer me.) But primarily, I prefer to not talk about exes because it is very apparent to me how raw some of these things still are for me, even 8 months after my husband’s decision to get a divorce.

Second, I am in no way ready for a relationship that extends beyond friendship.  I realize that every person is different, but I honestly believe that the advice to wait at least a year before getting into a relationship after a divorce is good advice.   It takes time to get your shit back together after going through the death of a marriage, and to rush it seems, to me, to be both irresponsible and neurotic.  In retrospect, it’s a good thing that things didn’t go anywhere with The Blues Man.  It’s very possible that he would have just ended up being a rebound man, and it’s not fair to use another person to try to work through your own issues.

Finally, my date with Fresh Kill left me feeling pretty vulnerable.  I enjoyed our conversation, however, and, at the very least, I’m hoping we can collaborate on some music.

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