Man #33, As Promised, Part 3

24 08 2012

Technically, in Man #33, Just Because There’s a Hole…Part 2, I didn’t promise anything in the way of kittens, but given that I took the blog beyond its normal boundaries yesterday, I feel I need to bring things down a notch and make it up to my more squeamish readers.

I am not a cat or kitten lover. I am a dog person. However, this is the one cat I like. Plus, I’m a big fan of foreign films. Enjoy.

Introducing Henri, Le Chat Noir

Henri’s second film is my favorite.

And Henri’s third film was just released in June. I love the end of this one.

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Following Doctor’s Orders – Part 2

28 08 2011

As a few of you have guessed, the second, and most important, part of my therapist’s prescription involved staying away from losers, control freaks, lost souls, and last but not least, running away from anyone to whom I felt immediate attraction.

So, I’ve been thinking lately about how well or how poorly I might have done with this, and this is what I have determined.

I should have run away from The Blues Man.

It wasn’t apparent to me right away.  I mean, the attraction wasn’t the intense, “take me now” kind of spark I had experienced when I met my STB-ex.  (The attraction between us had been so apparent to me and all of my friends that a few days later they were asking what had happened, were we seeing each other, and WHAT was going on.) No, my attraction to The Blues Man had been immediate, but not intense and fiery, so it didn’t register on any of my early warning systems.

It’s hard to follow this second part of my therapist’s prescription though, you know? I mean, doesn’t everyone want to meet someone to whom they feel attraction? How do you know when it’s a good attraction or a bad one?

Early on, one of my friends told me she thought The Blues Man was a player, but I figured she only knew him through my description of him on this blog so it still didn’t register.

I liked The Blues Man immediately for his sense of humor and his easy-going nature.  Of course, everything went sideways when he found out about my blog.  Consequently, I had to let him go, went on with my quest to date 100 different men, and had slowly gotten my infatuation with him out of my system.

Then, all of a sudden in early July, I received an email from him on match.com.  I can’t tell you what it said, but it was flirtatious and I responded. The next thing I knew, he sent me a friend request on Facebook.  This felt a little weird, since I knew that if he was my friend on Facebook he would see every time I posted an update on my blog. Given his feelings about my blog, I wondered if it would bother him.  That would be his problem I decided, and accepted his friend request.

We had a few emails back and forth, a phone call, and he invited me to come and listen to his band.  I couldn’t accept his first invitation, because I was going to be in Eastern Washington at my aunt and uncle’s place.  Once I was back, however, another friend of mine asked if I would want to go listen to his band with her. She had been talking with him on the phone about some business pertaining to the band, and she needed to go talk to him and the vocalist in person.

In listening to her, it seemed as though The Blues Man had really been turning on the charm, but I thought I would play it cool and assess the situation when we went to see him play.

To my girlfriend’s credit, she had no idea that he was THE BLUES MAN when she had been talking to him. It’s my own damn fault actually. I had introduced the two of them via email, because I thought they could form a mutually beneficial business connection.

Anyway, I went with her to hear him play, and after their set, he came and sat with us.  He spent most of his time talking with my friend, however, so I struck up a conversation with a man sitting alone on the other side of me. I tried to stay alert for any opening where I could be part of the conversation with The Blues Man and my friend, but I mostly got shut out.

When we left the bar, my friend told me that she thought I should put The Blues Man out of my mind.

“He’s a playa,” she said, “you’ll be dealing with bankers, lawyers, and suits in your life. You can do better than that.”

I knew she was right, but I couldn’t seem to shake the attraction I felt for The Blues Man.  He and I sent several more text messages back and forth before one thing became apparent. He would flirt with me but he was not interested in me romantically.

When the shit had hit the fan back in April regarding my blog, I had let him know that I liked him and wanted to go out with him.  When he contacted me again in July, there was a part of me that hoped he wanted to go out again. I wanted to believe that he was a nice guy, and as a result, I’ve let him play with me like a cat does a mouse that it’s about to kill.

Alas, I think he only contacted me to promote his band, and it’s time for me to run in the opposite direction as fast as I can.

I will not be a cat toy.





My Way Gay Weekend

17 08 2011

I know there has been a lack of stories about me and my adventures with heterosexual men lately, but I had such a fun weekend with my gay friends, I think it deserves a recap.

My social butterfly flitting around has continued, and Saturday night I attended the FABULOUS Crazy Birthday Hat Party of one of my friends. The demographics were thus: approximately 35-40 gay men, 8-10 women, 7-8 married men, and 1 straight single man. (More on this in a moment.)

Since I knew the party would be attended by a mostly homosexual crowd, I considered creating a Lady Gaga-inspired beef jerky hat.  However, after I had sketched out a couple of design ideas, I was reminded that the birthday host had two dogs, and perhaps a hat constructed of meat would not be in my best interest.  In the end, I went for simple and elegant and donned my black sequined beret instead. Better to be safe than sorry.

I arrived fashionably late and was still the first woman to show up.  The birthday boy hugged me and walked me into the kitchen to introduce me and announce my arrival.

“Everybody, welcome the first lady to arrive!”

“Whoo!” a chorus of ‘hellos’.

“Oh, please, I’m no lady,” I said.

“Let’s get you a drink,” said the host, immediately setting to work to get me a drink from a countertop stocked with about twenty bottles of hard alcohol.  Now, this is my kind of party, no messing around.  Walk through the door, and a minute later I’m standing there with a vodka-based cocktail in hand.

Cheers!

Before long, the house was packed, more women arrived, and interesting conversations started to occur.

“Why is it that the ugliest gay man is still better looking than the best looking straight man,” one woman inquired.

“I don’t know, but there isn’t a bad looking man in here,” I replied.

It was true.  I have never seen so much male perfection packed into one venue in my entire life.  I never realized before that my friend had so many beautiful friends.  It did not bother me in the least that none of them would be interested in me.  I just enjoyed taking in the scenery.

“How good is your gaydar,” one guy asked me.

“Usually pretty good. Why?”

“Well, there’s one straight single guy here. Can you figure out where he is?”

I started scanning the room.

Sure enough, there he was in the thirty-to-forty-something hetero male uniform.  While most of the men at the party were pretty fashionable, there was one guy wearing a fisherman’s hat, t-shirt, cargo shorts, and Teva sandals.  Too easy to pick out, really.  I mean, shit, you don’t even need gaydar to figure that one out!

The truth of the matter is; he was really a pretty good-looking guy, taller than me, fit, slightly long, dirty blonde hair, nice face.  If I was into meaningless sex with a stranger, I would have totally done him.  But, I’m not, so I didn’t.  Still, I took the opportunity to talk to him briefly when he was holding one of the dogs in his lap. 

Dog guy. You know how I love that.

Later, I posed the question asked of me earlier to a gay man wearing a tiara, “why is it that the ugliest gay man is better looking than the best looking straight man?”

“Competition,” he said, “It’s a very competitive community.”

“Interesting. I had always heard it was because of the opportunity to have sex at the gym.”

“No, it’s mainly competition.”

At this point, another man had approached. I have to admit; I don’t remember what he said, but he exposed his six-pack to me and invited me to feel it.  Now, this is the second time in a little over a month that this kind of opportunity has presented itself to me.  You may recall my assessment of the hairless twenty-year-old on the Fourth of July.  Just as I had taken advantage of that opportunity when it occurred, I took a moment to feel the rippling abs of this fine specimen.  I may have even tweaked his nipples, but I will not confirm nor deny any of my actions beyond the abs. 

Then, as if to confirm his competition theory and not be outdone, the man in the tiara also lifted his shirt to show me his abdominals.

Ok. Can I just say it? 

I really like my life right now.

I mean, statistically speaking, how often do you think a married woman in her forties gets to, not only see, but touch washboard abs?

I rest my case.

Anyway, the party was a blast.  There was also a princess piñata filled with tiny bottles of booze, Tootsie pops, Starburst candies, and glow stick rape whistles.  I grabbed one of the latter for my walk to my car.

Since I had drunk a fair amount, I had waited to leave until I felt I was sober. It was 3:30 in the morning, and for some reason, I got the wild idea to text my favorite musician.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Maybe I wasn’t as sobered up as I thought.

I am now on phone probation.

I slept in until 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. This is a record for me. I’m usually up at the crack of dawn, but I felt I needed to capture as many ZZZs post party as my schedule would allow.

My way gay weekend continued on Sunday with a concert in Marymoor Park.  The Swedish band Arrival was playing the music of ABBA.  They were pretty damn good. My friends and I took our feather boas with us, and danced and sang with all of the songs.  “Gimme, gimme, gimme a man after midnight….”

A couple of us even ended up getting our photo taken because we looked so festive. Note to self: Wear makeup to concerts because you never know when you will show up on a concert sponsor’s website.

I had a great weekend. I probably should have spent the weekend catching up on my sleep, but I figure I can sleep when I’m dead.

Finally, I want to give a plug for the It Gets Better Campaign.  The ignorance, hatred, and intolerance surrounding homosexuality really needs to stop.  My LGBT friends are some of the most loyal, loving, dependable people I know. I don’t know where my life would be without them. Take the pledge.

Photo here.





Rebalancing

30 04 2011

Earlier this week, I realized that I have been being way too nice.

I hate it when that happens, and it seems to happen more often than I would like.

Do you know what happens when you’re too nice?  People will take advantage of your good humor; that’s what happens. 

Perhaps I need to be more specific.  There are a few observations I have made in the past few weeks that need examination.

First of all, until my catastrophic blunder with The Blues Man two weeks ago, neither my match.com dates nor my Plentyoffish dates knew that I was chronicling my adventures.  Since I did not want a repeat performance of my mistakes with The Blues Man,however, late last week, I went on both match.com and Plentyoffish and changed my profile to include information about my blog.  As much as I felt I needed to do this for moral, blogging reasons, I was hesitant to reveal this information for a couple of reasons.

First, what I’ve found in dating my Craigslist dates (who DID know about my blog) is that men will be on MUCH better behavior when they know you’re going to be writing about them.  Well, I should preface that.  They will be on the best behavior of which they are capable.  (Believe me; there is a huge difference.)  You may think that good behavior on dates would be a good thing, but I’m starting to think that it does not give an accurate picture of the behaviors that are out there.  I compare notes with my girlfriends; I know.

Second, I have found myself trying to be much more diplomatic in how I write about my Craigslist dates as opposed to my match.com and Plentyoffish dates.  This has had serious implications and this is where I have realized that I have been far too nice.  And, perhaps this being nice shit needs to stop.

Let me offer some examples and illustrate the subsequent events that have brought the error of my ways to my attention.

There have been a handful of dates from Craigslist that I have erroneously reviewed as good dates just because they didn’t totally suck!  Two in particular come immediately to mind.

The first was a date with a gentleman who was probably my mom’s age.  The venue of the date was nice and the conversation was ok, but he seemed to be one of those people who is an authority about everything.  There was nothing in particular that he said that set me off; it was the way in which he said things.  He had a rather condescending air about him, and the last thing I want to be around after escaping my machismo soon-to-be-Ex (STB Ex from here on out until the divorce is final) is someone who is incapable of treating me as his equal.

To further compound my mistake of being too nice, and not calling this behavior out in my post-date post, I later emailed him and ask if he could provide some reference materials we had discussed while on our date.  In my email, I was cordial, but not flirtatious.  My philosophy was that, although I could not see myself in a long-term relationship with him, overall, he was not a bad guy, and I should be able to shoot him a friendly email.

I was wrong.  I received an email in response, which informed me that although he was interested in seeing me again, the fact that I was not divorced yet bothered him,and he was not interested in dating me.

Well, ok.

That’s actually good, because I was not in the least bit aware that I was interested in dating his old, know-it-all ass.  I thought this was mighty presumptuous to say the least.  This is one of those cases that supports the “men and women can’t be friends” argument from “When Harry Met Sally.”  Apparently, there are men who think that just because you email them, you must want them.

Not true guys.  Not true at all.

Next we move to another Craigslist date.  Again, the venue of the date was great, but the conversation was horrible. Do you want to know why?  Because it wasn’t a conversation.  This date blathered on so long, talking about I don’t know what all, that I had one of two choices.  I could either stab my eye out with my drinking straw to keep myself awake, or I could be what I consider to be rude, and interrupt him for a few brief seconds to get a word in edgewise.

This tendency to talk, more than ask questions and listen, is a very common issue with men.  At least 7 of my 13 dates so far have talked so much during the date that I’m sure they walked away thinking that I have much more personality in the blogosphere.  They did not bother, in the least, to find out anything about me.  In fact, most of them could not shut up long enough to take a breath, let alone ask me a question and then wait for an answer.

If I was inclined to give them a break–and I already have by being too nice–I could speculate that what is happening is that men are reading my blog and, because I have written so many of my insights here, perhaps they feel like they already know me.  Therefore, when it comes to the date, maybe they feel like they need to tell me all about themselves or that they need to impress me.

To be honest though, I think these guys are just clueless as to how rude they are.  They lack interpersonal communication skills, and they wouldn’t know an intelligent woman if they met one.  They’re too busy talking.

Finally, with this second Craigslist date, he seemed to think that he should be able to exert some sort of editorial control over what I wrote about him.  He started freaking out about what I considered to be a minor detail, written in the way in which I had perceived it.  After a few extremely verbose emails where he argued that what I wrote was not a “statement of fact,” a phone call, and a comment on the blog, he won out and rather than continue to deal with him, I eliminated the two sentences in question, his comment, and deleted him from further communication.  It was better to just cut him off swiftly and cleanly.  Personally, I think he came off as much less of a prick in the blog post than he did in real life.  He was much more interested in being right than in how he would be perceived long-term.

So, you see; I feel like I’ve been too nice, and I feel like these guys tried to take advantage of that.  It seems as though they either a) thought that I was a pushover or b) thought I was hot for them.  Neither of these things are remotely accurate.  I’m ashamed to say that I have not been as forthcoming in my reporting of my dates, because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Well, that is about to change.  I’m not out to massacre 100 men, but I’m not going to continue to sit back and let their borish behavior go unnoticed either.

To all of this, I will simply say; this is my blog, written from my perspective.  I’m sure that if my dates were to write about me, they would have their perceptions too.  Some of those would be good. Some would be bad.  Those would be their perceptions. 

But isn’t that what we do with people everyday?  We make judgments base on our interactions with people all the time.  Certainly, going on these dates and assessing what I like and don’t like, what works and doesn’t work, makes me more aware of how I might also be perceived.

For me, that means I will try to ask intelligent questions of my dates and listen more…

…if I can get a word in edgewise.





Battling the Blues

19 04 2011

Has anyone noticed yet that maybe I suck at dating?  

Today’s article is brought to you by Serial Daters Anonymous.

They say that when your addiction affects your relationships, you may have a problem.

I’m feeling extreme melancholy today and I’m feeling like maybe this whole process of dating 100 men before getting serious with anyone is just bad, bad juju.  Forget the fact that over the past 26 years of my dating life I have probably had dates with well over 100 men in the hopes of finding a good one.  What would it matter if I date 100 more, right?

Of course, the way my luck would have it, I would meet someone I like right out of the gate.  Why couldn’t The Blues Man have been #99 or #100 instead of #1?   Why?  WHY?

You’re probably wondering what happened with The Blues Man and whether or not I got my kiss, right?  Well, in response to my request for a kiss, The Blues Man asked if a kiss would also involve a movie.  So we had another date, and it was just as nice as the first.  Nicer in fact. Only I can’t tell you anything more about it, except to say that I got my kiss and it was wonderful.  Made my head spin a little, if you know what I mean.

I knew I had a moral obligation to tell The Blues Man about my blog before seeing him the second time, but I knew it was going to be awkward; I was afraid he would hate me for it; and I was being selfish.  I think there was also a part of me that didn’t believe that I would get that second date.  Like I said before, I didn’t know if he was attracted to me in a romantic way, so I was really ill-prepared when he actually said yes to my request.  Plus, if I wasn’t going to get a second date, what was the point in telling him anything.  If he wasn’t interested in me, he would just fade from the blog like every other date without knowing.

Regardless of my reasoning, there was really no good excuse for me to put off telling him.

When I finally did tell him about the blog, he joked about it, liked the idea of being referred to as The Blues Man, and seemed sort of flattered, but I told him, “Look, I think you should read it and see what you think.  I like you.  My readers like you, but you may feel uncomfortable with it once you’ve read it.”   I told him I would email him the link, and if he never wanted to speak to me again after reading it, I would understand.

After a day and a half, he let me know that he had finished reading.  He felt I had taken advantage of him and the situation.  I could understand that.  I had been afraid he might feel that way and I was sorry.  Really, really sorry.  I tried to call him, but he wouldn’t pick up.

I left it at that.  It’s never good to push a man when he’s mulling something over.

I haven’t heard from him again and I don’t think I will.

So you see, I’m feeling extraordinarily unhappy today.  On top of everything with The Blues Man, I knew April was going to be an incredibly difficult month for me.  April had been my husband’s and my month.  Every year when the cherry trees bloomed, we would walk to the Quad at the University of Washington and have a picnic.  Last year, for Easter, we had driven down to Portland for the day just to eat at Andina and visit the Rogue Brewery.  His birthday was yesterday, and mine follows, a week later.  We always had our friends over for birthday barbeques in the backyard.  And, as much as I want to hate him for wanting a divorce, I somehow felt compelled to send him a  text yesterday saying, “Happy Birthday.” 

He wrote back, “You know exactly how sweet you are.  Thank you.”  It immediately made me break down crying, like REALLY crying, tears streaming down my face crying. 

That fucking asshole!

So, it could be that it’s April.  It could be the fact that I’ve decided to go cold-turkey on my coffee consumption.  (A poorly timed recommendation from my nutritionist.)  Or, it could be that right now, I feel like a shitty, shitty serial dater who has hurt someone she cares about.  Anyway, I’ve got the blues and I’ve got them bad.

As snarky as I am, I don’t enjoy hurting people.  Most of the men I’m dating will just be anonymous blips on the radar.  I’ve been letting this process evolve organically, and I wasn’t prepared for what would happen if I met someone I actually liked.

So what happens when a writer feels horrible about something?  Well, she writes.  I wrote some song lyrics (otherwise known as a poem when you don’t have any music), and they go a little something like this…

One More Time

Baby, I get the blues
when I think of you
to think what I’ve done to your trust.
I didn’t know
where this would go
or I would not have said things I said.
 
Chorus:
I didn’t mean…to hurt you so bad,
I wish I could take back my selfish words. 
I hope you see, I meant you no harm,
and I wish we could talk one more time.
 
It tears me apart
that I hurt your heart
and I wish you could feel my heart-break.
But I’ll swallow my pride
and just say goodbye
but I wish we could talk one more time.
 
Chorus:
I didn’t mean…to hurt you so bad,
Oh if I could take back my selfish words. 
I hope you see, I meant you no harm,
and I wish we could talk one more time.
 
Bridge
If I could have your love
I’d be careful next time.
I’d avoid those mistakes
that betrayed you.
So I’ll swallow my pride
and beg you to come back.
 Oh baby, come back
Please baby come back.
 
Chorus
Oh I didn’t mean…to hurt you so bad,
If I could take back my selfish words. 
I hope you see, I meant you no harm,
and I wish we could talk one more time.
 
I wish I could sing with you again.
Yes, I wish I could see you one more time.
Oh, oh, oh, I wish we could kiss one more time.
 
(rinse, repeat and fade out like songs do….)

Ok, so I realize that these lyrics are overly dramatic for a man with whom I’ve only had two dates, but drama sells songs, and when extraordinary, inspirational sadness strikes for a blues song, you have to go with it.

On that note, I will be crawling into my bed now to have a good cry.  Thank you very much.

Photo here.





The Dating Blues

5 03 2011

It had been over a week since I had last heard from The Blues Man.   No second phone call.  No additional emails.  No date.  

What the hell?

I thought our first date had gone really well.  He had even said we should go out again.  Twice, maybe even three times if I remembered right.  He had said it once when I came back from the restroom, in the bar as we were putting our coats on, and again when we were saying good-bye in the parking lot.

But nothing.

I really didn’t know what to think.  Why would someone go to the trouble to say such a thing if they had no intention of following through?  It did not make sense.  It was like, “I’ll call you,” only worse.  I didn’t get it.

I don’t understand why men do this.  What’s the point?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply say, “It was really nice meeting you, but (insert reason here).  Good luck in your search.”  Maybe men are just trying to keep their options open when they do this. Maybe they think they’re being nice.  Or, maybe it’s simply the strategy they feel will ensure them the easiest, drama-free exit. 

Not that I’m prone to drama, but there’s no way a man on a first date would know that.

Of course, I found myself doing what a lot of women do in this situation.  I started to think about what it was about me he must not have liked.  With almost 80 pounds to lose, of course, I figured it had to be that he thought I was too fat.  No amount of Spanx compression could hide that amount of weight.  That had to be it. 

If dating had done nothing else for me, it had made me suddenly care about my appearance again.  I had gained a lot of weight while I was married.  Sixty of my 80 extra pounds had been packed on as I had become increasingly stressed out and depressed about my marriage.  I had simply given up.  Rather than face the cold, hard facts about my marriage, I had chosen to sit at home alone every night waiting for my husband to come home, and  drown myself in a fog of carbs.  Red wine, pizza, red wine, popcorn, more red wine, more red wine, more red wine, pasta, beer, pizza, beer, red wine.  You get the idea.  I had stopped cooking dinner for him, and opted for greasy take-out and whatever alcohol was in the house to take the edge off.  It had been my upright, functional version of what I really had wanted to do, which was to crawl into bed with a bottle of vodka, some painkillers, and a box of Kleenex, and cry myself into a long, dark sleep.

But, a weight had been lifted almost as soon as my husband moved out of the house, and I was starting to feel happy again.  In fact, I was happier than I had been in years.  The fact that I now wanted to start working on myself again was actually a sign that I was snapping out of my depression, and I realized that this was what my therapist had been talking about when he said dating would be good for my self-esteem.  Rather than watch me give up, he wanted me up, off of the couch, and out there living my life.  Somehow, it was working.  The old me, the one before I was married, who valued her health and her appearance, was making her comeback.

I had to get back to my dating weight.

I had been working out almost every day, and in fact, I had lost 4 pounds since my date with The Blues Man the week before.   The possibility that The Blues Man had rejected me because of my weight didn’t really matter.  The important thing was that I was finally motivated to make some changes for the better.

The sad thing about The Blues Man though was that I had really liked him.  He had made me laugh and had seemed like the down to earth kind of guy I could have just hung out with doing karaoke, practiced playing music together, or talked with for hours.  If nothing else, he had seemed like he could have been a truly good friend, and the absence of that possibility gave me the blues.





Man #1, The Blues Man

23 02 2011

Finally, amongst all of the other online dating activity there came a “wink” that caught my eye.   For anyone not accustomed to online dating, the wink is a feature of Match.com, which allows a person to let someone know that he or she is interested without going as far as sending an email.  PlentyofFish.com has a similar feature called “Meet Me.” 

I am personally not a big fan of the wink or the meet me.  To me, they seem sort of non-committal. In my opinion, they are really not much better than the less than 50 character email.  I’m a woman who prefers that a man do the pursuing in a relationship, and when I receive one of these winks or meet me’s, I feel like the man is asking me to pursue him without giving me enough information to make that decision.  For this reason, I will never email in response to a wink.  The most a man who winks at me will get is a wink in return.

So I checked out the winker, and since he liked dogs, liked to dance, and appeared to be musically talented, I winked back.  I should also add that he was kind of handsome.  He was a tall African American man with what appeared to be nice teeth and dimples.  What’s not to like about that?

In response to my wink, he sent an email.  It contained more than 140 characters.  Now we were getting somewhere.  We sent a couple of emails back and forth and before you know it we were making plans for our first date.  That’s when my nerves set in.  It would be my first date in over five years.

All of the sudden, I was terrified that once we met in person, he would think I was too fat.  I’m not comfortable with the extra 80 pounds I’m carrying, so I don’t really expect anyone else to be either.  I completely lost sight of the fact that this guy’s chances of being the last man standing in this little project were 1 to 100.  If he did blow me off, why should I care?  I could just proceed to man number two.

But I did care.  I still wanted to put forth an effort, and I still wanted to be seen as attractive.  I had to figure out what I was going to wear.  Marriage had done my wardrobe no favors.  Most of the things I had that were remotely decent looking were really more appropriate for the office than for a date.  I did have a pair of gray skinny jeans (an oxymoron in my case) that I could wear.  They hugged my thighs and butt and I was hoping Man #1 would be your typical black man with a preference for a large bootay.  Large bootay was something I definitely had.

Gray jeans. Check.

Next, I found my gray, high-heeled boots with the criss-crossed straps and peep toes. Check.  I painted my toenails silver to pull the whole gray lower body thing together.  I had to say I was pretty happy with how the look was coming together.

As I started figuring out what to wear on top, however, I ran into a speed bump.  That speed bump is called my belly.  I carry my weight primarily in my ass and my stomach.  I look like I’m about 7 months pregnant.  I had to find something drapey and I needed to find my Spanx.  Times like these call for serious compression.

Back to square one. Everything off.  Starting over with the Spanx.  I got my right leg in and wrestled it up to my knee.  Then, carefully tried to balance as I brought my left foot up to insert it into the other leg of the Spanx.  Of course, anyone with half a brain knows better than to try this.  Be smart.  Sit down on a bed or a chair.  My foot got caught up in the super-duper elasticized fabric of the left leg opening, and I proceeded to hop around until I toppled over and landed on my right knee.

“Mother……!” 

Imagine explaining THAT in the emergency room. 

But, I got up, sat my ass on the bed and finally got both legs into their casings.  At this point, of course, my legs felt like they were rubber-banded together, and I still needed to wrestle the Spanx up to my crotch, past my ass, and over my belly.  Note to self: ask the therapist how the FUCK this is beneficial for my self esteem.

Deep breath, and “Whoo – ah!”  Ah.  There we go.  I looked like a tick that was about to pop, but at least my smoother/shaper was finally in place.

Gray jeans, check. Drapey mult-colored print blouse, topped with olive green faux leather jacket.  Hair.  Makeup.  Cute boots.  All set, and out the door.  Whew!  I was SO nervous.  I didn’t even know if this person was worth all this hassle, but I was freaking out just the same.  I silently hoped he wouldn’t be there yet.  I wanted to get there first so I could sit down, and avoid having him check me out as I walked in.

I had suggested that we meet at a pub located between our respective residences.  It’s a place with a great beer selection, heavy wood beams and columns, and Johnny Cash playing in the background.  It’s not popular with  twentysomethings, and the noise level is low enough that you can still carry on a conversation without yelling.

When I walked in the door, there he was sitting at the bar watching me walk towards him.  Great.

Man #1 seemed to really like the bar.  He had never been there before, but it was the kind of place where he could go play a gig.  He had explained to me on the phone that he did not look like his profile picture.  He was in the process of growing his facial hair as well as his afro out for the cover of an album he was recording.

You see, papa sings The Blues. 

Well, he teaches special needs kids during the day, and plays and records music in his off time.  (The Blues Man just has a nicer ring to it than The Special Needs Man.)

Although I’m typically more attracted to closely shaven men, I do admire someone who can get into character for their art.  And even with all of the facial hair, he was not a bad man to look at.  It was not a deal breaker.  The dimples still showed through. 

We got a table, ordered beers, and talked and joked easily about a lot of different topics.  We covered past dating nightmares, favorite hangouts, kids, parents, karaoke, musical instruments, even the usually avoided topics on a first date of religion and politics. 

The conversation was flowing naturally when I suddenly realized the beer was quickly flowing to my bladder.  I really needed to use the restroom.  This brought on anxiety for me for a few reasons.  First, I needed to finish my beer.  It’s never wise for a woman to leave a drink unattended with a stranger.  Ted Bundy was cute too, remember?  Second, when I got up it would mean that Blues Man here would be able to watch my fat ass walk to the bathroom, and I was still feeling seriously self-conscious about this.  And finally, once I finished using the restroom, I would need to wrestle with my Spanx in the bar’s restroom.  None of this was working in my favor.

The surprising thing was the first words Blues Man said upon my return from the bathroom were, “This is going pretty well.  I was wondering what I would need to do to ask you to go out with me again.”

In my typical sarcastic fashion, I replied, “Well, first, you would need to ask me out.  Then I would have to say yes.”

“Well, you wouldn’t HAVE to say yes.”

“I would if I were to go out with you again.” 

He laughed, and shook his head.

“But I probably would say yes.”

It was true.  The night felt completely natural, and before we knew it, we looked at the time and realized that five hours had passed like minutes.  It had been a completely acceptable first date back in the dating world.

He walked me to my car, gave me a hug, and said we should hang out again.  I awkwardly hugged him back.  I did note that he didn’t try to kiss me.  I’m hoping he was just trying to be respectful, but I thought this might be an indicator that he might not call again.  Besides, I actually really hate it when a man assumes that he has any right to kiss me at the end of a first date.  Maybe this guy’s mother just raised him right.  We’ll see.

If not, Man #2 wants to meet for coffee.








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