Failed First Dates:
This Train is Leaving the Station

Thursday, December 30, 2010
lounge car conductor
high on chatter, low on teeth
not stable enough

When I got an email from OK stating that The Conductor and I had rated each other with high marks, I thought he’d be a great match for my plan to skip the get-to-know-you phase and go straight to dinner.

I wrote him a very direct email about wanting to grab sushi and he responded in the positive, although he made me do the math to figure out when he was available (he works 2 ½ days and off 2 ½ days). It wasn’t until this week, and despite having started communicating before the holidays we didn’t really chat until we actually met up for dinner last night. I considered the date basically blind.

He started off looking quite attractive - good height, nice eyes, potentially sexy facial hair - but as I was diligently paying attention to his chatting I noticed he seemed to be lacking several teeth. In a row. Possibly on two sides of his mouth. As someone who paid for her orthodontic work as an adult, bad teeth are a huge turn off for me. They’re also very confusing, certainly something you might consider explaining to the pretty lady sitting across from you.

It’s not all about looks, though, and I thought he had some great boyfriend qualities – close with family, interested in cycling (motor and bike), chef quality cooking skills. As I learned more about him I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe he wasn’t as stable as I’d expect (or want) someone 5 years my senior to be. He seemed fairly intelligent, and clearly employable - he’d been in the Army reserves, restaurant kitchens, data processing, the Army again and currently two plus years into his lounge car job serving snacks to passengers on trains – but nothing that seemed like he’d settled on a career. In fact he mentioned possibly wanting to get his bachelors. In what, he didn’t say.

Which is odd, because he was the one doing all the chatting. I did get the opportunity to talk about my job a bit (like that’s what I want to talk about) and I inserted a few comments about myself here and there, but mostly, he talked and I tried to stay interested in hearing him.

I'm happy to give him some leeway for nerves, and I can even overlook that he spit a few pieces of rice at me while talking (although I'd rather not), but he actually cut me off twice mid-sentence when I was attempting to contribute my own story amidst his.

I have a thing for common courtesy. And a full set of teeth. And the movie White Christmas, which is unfortunate, since now my visions of a cross country train adventure have been dashed.

Really, Santa?

Sunday, December 26, 2010
All I wanted for Christmas was a boyfriend who would arrive in the stylings of all those Lifetime holiday movies I’ve been watching. I thought for sure I would get one. I mean, I was super nice this year, and that includes being honest with all the guys it wasn’t working out with. Plus, per my favorite holiday pop song by Mariah Carey, I did not wish for snow.

You can imagine my disappointment last night as I realized he would not be arriving.

What I did get was an email from the Non-Drinker (see Failed First Dates: Batter Up). He hoped I was well and wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas. Oh, and he also said that as soon as he starts drinking, I’m the first call he’s going to make.

Now it’s not a lump of coal, but either Santa didn’t get my letter, or he couldn’t quite bump me from the naughty list. I hardly think that's where I belong, but I guess it is a bit flattering to have made someone's holiday email list after only one date.

At least New Years is right around the corner.

On the Fence (part 2 of 2)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Well the good news is that the run gave me my decision. I was up for meeting The Performer, even on a school night. I was sure I’d like him, and then discover to no one’s surprise that it wouldn’t work out between us because we have no schedule overlap, but you know what? Who cares. I didn’t have anything else to do that night and I like comedy shows, even though I rarely go to them.

The bad news is that even a few hours after I had emailed (on OK Cupid) and texted him my acceptance of the date - should it still be available to me - I hadn’t heard back. I was pretty sure the show was still a few hours from then, so I left the window open and even showered on the off chance that I’d hear back in the positive. I officially threw in the towel around 8p, after hearing nothing despite noticing that The Performer had been on OK Cupid about half an hour after my email had been sent.

Perhaps I had waited too long? Technically I had seen the invite early morning Saturday (sent in the wee hours) but I had had a really busy day and truthfully didn’t get around to thinking about it until Sunday. He had asked about my weekend plans days earlier, like Tuesday of last week, so I got the impression he was a more laid back kind of planner. It’s not like I sat on the invite for several days.

Perhaps he too had been on the fence about me? I did receive a late night text from him on Sunday stating that he hadn’t had his phone with him, although I know he had been on OK Cupid much, much earlier that day. It ended with “next time, I guess”. Well, if that isn’t a clear indication that he wasn’t that interested… I don’t know what is.

I didn’t even bother replying to the text. And next time, I guess I won't bother saying yes to guys I'm on the fence about!

On the Fence (part 1 of 2)

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Should you go out on a date with someone you pretty much know it won’t work out with? Not because he doesn’t look decently attractive or because you don’t think you’ll have anything to talk about, but because of one of those likely insurmountable issues that you know about in advance. Like he lives in Canada. I’m sure the answer depends on the particular situation.
So here’s mine.

I’ve exchanged a few emails with a guy on OK Cupid, and he’s one of those performer types, which means we have completely opposite schedules. He actually put in his profile that he’s run into trouble with 9-5 gals, who won’t stay out past 10p. He’s proposed going to a comedy show followed by his buddy’s bar. Tonight. Sunday night.

My immediate thought was that it sounded like a late night, for a school night. I’m normally sleeping around 10p on Sundays, plus I’ve been trying to get up and work out in the morning. And then I thought, that’s exactly what he had written in is profile. I'm a 9-5 gal.

I probably shouldn’t have even responded to The Performer's first email, because I’m a realist, and I’ve dated this type before. I remember it being sort of impossible to spend time with that guy, because as a musician he was always at work during my free time, and I was always sleeping (or working) during his. We didn’t have enough schedule overlap and it wasn’t something that could be fixed without one of us drastically changing our lifestyle.

I did engage in conversing with this new guy, though, because there’s always that voice in the back of my head (or maybe it’s coming from my friends) saying that “this could be the one” or “what would it hurt to just go meet him and see”.

I am surprisingly torn. I would like to meet him and I’ve been wanting someone to hang out with (although I was hoping for sushi snacks). Maybe I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. But let's say I stay out late(r) than I would normally to see if we have a connection. What then? I hate to end something before it starts, but I like going to bed early. I don’t send emails at 4:50am, which is when I got his date invite. The last time I saw that time it was Tuesday morning, and I was heading to spin class, not heading back from the bars.

Had I thought of this earlier I could have used a blog poll and solicited feedback from you, dear readers. As it stands, I should have already decided. Guess I’m headed out for a run. It’s the best self-deciding mechanism I have.

Ants in my Pants

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Whenever I clear my dance card I like to wipe out any and all reminders of the guy from my email, phone, etc. I purge; it’s the best way to take control and create a clean slate.

After the exhilaration of all that deleting has worn off, though, I get a little antsy about what’s next for my dating scene. And as busy as the holidays are I find myself with some extra time on my hands and no one to spend it with. If I could keep a boyfriend around just for holiday time, I totally would.

Oh sure, I’m chatting with a few guys online and may have some dates lined up soon, but sometimes I just want to skip past all that introductory crap and go right to having someone to go out to dinner with. Like tonight.

It's not that I don’t like the getting to know you stage, especially the butterflies that go with all that hopefulness and promise early dates can have, but I think I just get tired of the formality of it all. Well, I like the formality of actually being invited to do something, just not always the planning in advance part.

I want dating to be spontaneous! And I want to waste less time! And I really, really want to go out for dinner with someone new!

As much as I think a CL post would be ideal for locating a guy with a similar sense of throwing caution to the wind (after all, dinner with someone you've barely chatted with could easily spell disaster), I must admit I'm a bit gun shy to put something out there on the off chance that Summer Boy is still lurking around. I'm not sure if he reads women's posts or just writes his own, but the thought of him reading one of mine makes me squirm.

I can’t sit still, though, so maybe I could try being more forward on OK Cupid. Find a nice gentleman who included sushi in his profile and see if he'd be up for a meet and greet. Take him somewhere with mistletoe over the door.

Which reminds me, I haven't gotten my wish list out to Santa. He better come through this year, I've been very, very good.

"Love Me or Hate Me, but Spare Me Your Indifference." Libbie Fudim

Sunday, December 12, 2010
As I thought about what to write about the 2nd ending for myself and Marathon Guy I decided to read the post I had written about our original demise. Truth be told it’s just as accurate today as it was over a year ago when I wrote it so rather than try to make it new and fresh, I’m just going to link you to it: False Starts: Marathon Guy

I wish I had more to say, but I’d have to feel something about Marathon Guy to be able to write about him. Ah, there it is.

Mutual indifference. That’s what happened between us before (and again). Neither of us was interested enough to get a relationship going. It feels satisfying to put a reason to the failed attempt, and even better to stop wasting time even thinking about it. Next!

Good Luck Chuck

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Way back at the beginning of our tryst Summer Boy had told me he was a “Good Luck Chuck”. I hadn’t seen the film but was aware of the concept. Basically a curse had been put on this guy such that all of his relationships ended, but any girl he dated (actually, had sex with) met her future husband directly after ending things with him.

Bizarre Sidenote: Duder had also thought he was a Good Luck Chuck. It never fails; the moment I hear something, it starts popping up everywhere.

Like most of the random things Summer Boy had felt like telling me, I wasn’t sure what the purpose of sharing this tidbit of personal information was. Was it more of an FYI? As in, when you’re ready to meet “the one”, end things with me? Or a suggestion that after sending several women (I think he said seven) on to their husbands that he thought he had found someone he wanted to stick with? Or was it presented as an option to me, to choose between the movie characters I wanted to be?

Well let's see... I could be one of the random women, who, after ending things (or having them ended for her) gets married to whomever I dated next, or I could be a blonde and hopefully less clumsy version of Jessica Alba's character that gets slightly stalked by Chuck. And then stuck with him in Antarctica studying penguins. Not sure either option is all that great.

Turns out I wasn’t either of the ladies in that movie, and neither Duder nor Summer Boy was the Good Luck Chuck they proclaimed to be. At least not for me... followed by The Bowler and Marathon Guy, respectively, and we know how things are going for the latter. Or not going, I should say.

Ultimately I think the Good Luck Chuck phenomenon was presented more like a silver lining, floated to me as a way of apologizing for being someone I didn’t see things working with. Or even worse, as a way of apologizing for oneself in that self-deprecating manner I simply cannot stand. Summer Boy even brought it up again when I officially re-ended our communication. His exact words included “toast to the fact that you were able to rid yourself of me” and “if your past history plays true at all you will probably be falling in love within the next couple of months anyway”. Ugh, good riddance I say.

As to falling in love in the next few months, I hope I do.

The Answer to Your Question is Yes.

Friday, December 3, 2010
Yes, I still have feelings for Summer Boy. Yes, I still talk to him (although I haven’t seen him). Yes, I think my indifference to Marathon Guy’s declining interest in me is being made possible by this chatting. Yes, I know I should cut if off. Again.

I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t ask those questions, did you? You should have, dear readers, for you should know as well as I do that there’s no such thing as a clean break in matters of the heart. For all my bravado in the face of Summer Boy’s rejection I had really fallen for him. I really thought things could have worked out, and possibly still would.

They won’t, of course, I know that now (read: am still working to convince myself this is true). And although I’ve appreciated the Fantasy Football advice he’s given me, it’s clear that he’s on the receiving end of this relationship. That man needs friends like I need a tight end that consistently gets into the endzone.

I do sort of feel bad for him, he’s obviously missing the part of one’s social scene where one has people to talk to about their lives with, to ask advice and bounce ideas off of. I myself don’t need a new friend, I very fortunately am blessed in that area, but I sense a trend in my dating life: MEN WHO NEED WOMEN TO LISTEN TO THEM.

I can rattle off a string of men who want to talk to me all the time but not actually date me… Summer Boy, Marathon Guy, Surf Dude. They like to tell me about their day, about their friends, about what they had for dinner. They are happy to text about sports and they want my opinion on work situations. They often want to know what my plans are, but they don’t ever suggest that they be part of those plans. What am I doing to keep finding myself in this situation?

I am a lot of things, but a therapist isn’t one of them. I don’t have the patience for it, and honestly, I’m not even that good of a listener. I do take a pretty hard line on personal boundaries and standing up for one’s self, and I’ve often been able to find a socially acceptable way to call people out on their inappropriate behavior. It’s been helpful to my engaged girlfriends, so why not single men missing an intelligent, decisive female in their lives?

Yes, that’s exactly what Summer Boy had needed. Someone to encourage him to move if that’s what would make him happy. Someone to support him in removing himself from the crazy, dangerous situation his friends kept dragging him into. Someone who understood him and thought about his best interests when responding.

I can see how someone like that would be someone you’d want to keep around. I can see, too, that I need to stop being that someone, until I find someone who is capable of playing the same role for me.

I hope he got everything off his chest, though, because yes, he’ll now be getting the swift kick to the curb that he deserves.

It's All Coming Back to Me Now

Monday, November 29, 2010
I remember what happened with Marathon Guy last year. I kept inviting him to do things and he kept declining without reciprocating invites. I felt like he just wasn’t that interested in me, especially since at first he seemed perfectly capable of suggesting we get together.

I remember now because the exact same thing is happening. Ever since I got back from being out of town (shortly after he had been out of town) we haven't hung out as much. And when we have it’s always been at my suggestion. There’s a ton of texting and emailing, but he hasn't made any real advances. So now I’m right back where I was before, thinking he isn't really into me. Again.

Come to think of it, maybe my hesitation at inviting him to future events, or events with friends, is less about being freaked out about taking some kind of step in our relationship and more about good old fashioned fear of rejection. I have a decent amount of self-confidence, but eventually you gotta stop banging your head against the wall. For the record, my Bears game invite for two weeks out has already been declined, because of a race he’s doing earlier that day. Which wouldn’t actually overlap with game time; he could definitely do both if he wanted to.

Huh. What do I do now?

I know what I did last time; I just stopped inviting him to things. I think I still replied to his text messages, but those stopped pretty quickly. Within a week or two it was all over. This time around our communication is regular and ongoing, despite the fact that he’s completely stopped pushing to meet in person. So that won’t work.

I do remember him saying something before about having thought that I wasn’t interested in him, that he’d stopped pursuing me as a result of that. I’m not sure what else I can do to convince him of my interest though.

I shouldn’t have to, either. If he wanted to spend time with me, he would. Right?

“In the Arithmetic of Love, One Plus One Equals Everything" Mignon McLaughlin

Monday, November 22, 2010
For years, one of the things I’ve missed about not being part of a couple is not having someone to fill my “plus one” spot at events. Certainly there are the big events like weddings, but I even miss it at casual get togethers and dinner parties. There is something about an even number of people that to me seems more complete than an odd number.

Lately I’m finding more and more social scenarios where I’m short one. Say for example, Bears home games, in which I’m sitting on two tickets for a game, or I’ve got all four and another pair of folks who is in for the game but I can’t find another single to fill the gap. It makes me feel lonelier than I believe I actually am, not being able to put one body in a seat.

I think it’s one of the driving reasons behind my pursuit of a relationship, wanting a default person to attend events with (and travel with and make dinner with, etc., I’m looking for more than a dance partner, obviously). I usually don’t like anyone long enough to think about inviting them to group events, but I’m starting to think Marathon Guy would make a good plus one.

Having not had one in awhile, I find I'm unsure how to proceed.

First, the timing is tripping me up. I’m not sure how far in advance I can invite him. Two weeks? Three weeks? The more notice I give for the event, the more likely he’ll be able to attend. The farther out the event, the more likely I won’t be dating him by the time it comes around anyway.

I’m also worried about the implications inviting him to meet friends could have on our perceived level of commitment. Meeting friends is traditionally a big step, and while I tend to use it more as a helpful insight as to whether a potential mate would fit into my social scene, I can see that he might think that it was a sign I wanted to move towards exclusive dating. Which I don’t.

Of course even more terrifying than Marathon Guy thinking I like him more than I do (or at least am willing to admit), is the idea that he might want me to meet HIS friends. Which would mean that he is thinking about exclusively dating me. A double standard, yes, but while my friends would humor me and my maybe-boyfriend screenings, I’m sure that Marathon Guy wouldn’t have such a ridiculous pretense established with his friends about me.

And let’s not forget that all of these musings completely overlook the option that he might not want to go to events with me, might not want to meet my friends. I could be working myself up over nothing!

What am I saying? I have Bears/Jets and an Ugly Christmas Sweater party coming up. Marathon Guy would be a FOOL to pass on these awesome activities! Well, assuming I get around to inviting him.

If You Don’t Leave, How Can I Miss You?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I don’t know if it was because we sort of already knew each other, but it seemed like things with Marathon Guy were moving at a much faster speed than I was used to. That first week after reconnecting we saw each other three times. Three times! And that doesn’t even include the additional email and texting communications. I didn’t feel smothered… yet… but I found myself thinking it was a good thing he had a week-long vacation planned.

The thing about being a single is you get used to not having someone around all the time. You don’t have to coordinate schedules, to come up with new and interesting date ideas, to look casually adorable in both work and non-work outfits. You aren’t expected to recap your day, every day, in fact if you don’t have to talk to anyone when you get home from a long day if you don't want to.

You can’t jump right back into that, no, you need to transition into it. You should transition, because truthfully, on a daily basis, I’m simply not that interesting. And neither is any guy I’m dating after the first 10 hours of conversation.

Despite looking forward to the forced break, I actually made an effort to squeeze in a late night rendezvous with Marathon Guy before his trip, since I knew I wouldn’t see him for awhile. The effort did not go unnoticed and I felt good about sending him off, sure that he'd still be thinking about me when he was away.

I know what you’re thinking, cause I’m thinking the exact same thing. Who is this girl and where did she come from? Could I have actually found someone who I not only did not feel smothered by but (gasp) wanted to spend time with? It’s too soon to tell of course, but given the magnitude of that kind of progress I can’t quite figure out why I’m not freaked out about it.

Maybe it’s because I feel pretty comfortable around Marathon Guy and have been acting like myself. Maybe it’s that I can see him fitting in with my circle of friends. Maybe after dating so many men who didn’t seem to have their act together, I am enjoying normal dating.

Whatever it is, I don’t think I missed Marathon Guy when he was out of town, but I was ready to see him again when he returned. And he definitely missed me. He even brought me back a present from his trip.

It's Not a Contest, but I'm Winning

Sunday, November 14, 2010
At least I wasn’t the one to fold first. Isn’t that what’s most important, after all? The one who can hold off without you the longest wins?

I have to give it to Summer Boy for choosing an appropriate subject for re-entering chat mode, feigning interest in my alma mater’s football game. I say feign because later that day, when I decided to respond, he rescinded his good luck wish for my team when I smartly refused to support the team he supports. What? He didn’t even go to school there. And we had covered that I hated Notre Dame. The only time I’ll cheer for them is when they play OSU, which they weren’t, and even then it was a lesser of two evils situation.

Of course that wasn’t the end of it. Text messaging about football loyalties shifted to why we were chatting at all which shifted to me sharing more of my angry feelings I hadn’t shared before when we ended things. And then he actually gave me his side of things.

It was your classic I’m going through my own “stuff” and don’t want to add any complications or drama to my life and I wouldn’t be able to give a relationship the time and attention it needed so I didn’t want to lead you on in any way.

> Except he did, kind of, because he hadn’t mentioned any of that to me, despite me having brought up the possibility of a relationship.

He also mentioned having started with an open mind about where things might lead, until he decided he was going to move down to central Illinios, at which point he “shut things down”.

> Except he hadn’t, shut things down, that is, until I pushed him to choose one side or the other.

I had wanted his reasons, but once I got them it was so clear that I didn’t actually need them. Not because they were so vague, but because it didn’t really matter. We wanted different things, and while I do wish he would have told me sooner, I (fortunately) don’t think I wasted any time on Summer Boy. He was, in a lot of ways, exactly what I had needed.

So what if he didn’t want to date me. The summer of fun was over and I was well on my way to replacing him. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the fall?

So… My Bad?

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Marathon Guy and I may not be able to recall the particulars of why our initial sparks died out, but it seems all of my girlfriends do. When relaying the story of my recycled find I received the consistent response that I had been to blame for things ending the first time. They touched on the same reasons I remembered, although R may have captured it best: “I didn’t want to say anything at the time, but I think you were the one that screwed that up.”

Uh, thanks gal pals. Perhaps the time to have told me this was last year? When I was still dating Marathon Guy?!

All right, so maybe I was to blame (and maybe I wasn’t), but what was with the overwhelming support Marathon Guy seemed to have within my circle? Almost everyone was in support of reviving this particular interest, having only good things to say about him despite us having only gone on two dates and talked for at most a few weeks. I can only assume they loved the stories I told about him, because of course they hadn’t met him. And let’s touch on that for a minute. I tell a good story, but it’s entirely colored by how I feel about someone, as I’m sure everyone’s stories are. They liked him because I liked him.

It’s funny, how we ask our pals to weigh in on guys or relationships, when at best they’re only getting one side of the story. A side very possibly crafted to place the storyteller and/or the guy in the best possible light, often by omitting very relevant, if unflattering, details.

Really I should wait until they can form their own opinions, by directly interacting with that person. Which is exactly what Marathon Guy said to me on our (second round) first date. He wasn’t referring to my friend’s opinions about him of course; it was about not wanting to read the blog. I had told him about it during our extended, drunken chatting, but he said he didn’t even want to read it, that he preferred to get to know me for real, the old-fashioned way. It was sweet.

As was the date, an unintentional recreation of our original first date in which we played bar trivia. Only this time we ate dinner as trivia had unfortunately been canceled. It felt... like the start of something that had somewhere to go.

Fingers crossed that I don’t mess this one up. Again.

No Trees Were Harmed in the
Making of this Love Connection

Sunday, November 7, 2010
So I wasn’t ready to meet someone brand new. But what if I re-met someone I’d known before? Maybe someone I’d only chatted with but hadn’t actually met... someone I’d liked but perhaps the timing had been off... someone who had decent potential but had been overlooked back in my finicky dating days.

Surely in all the men I’d dated there would have to be someone who fit that bill? Turns out there was.

Marathon Guy. Without rehashing all the details, there was a theory that my decline in interest was directly related to the resurfacing of a previous crush around the same time I had met Marathon Guy. I also seem to recall going through a very high maintenance dating mode surrounding text messaging.

It couldn’t hurt to see what he was up to, I mean in the entire year since we’d dated I had only run into him once (earlier this summer, Maifest). At the very least it might make for a good blog post.

So I sent him an email. I told him I had run across an old email (which I had, in my sent box where I was looking for his email address) and that I had remembered he was planning to train for the triathlon or marathon or both. Since it was just past the Chicago tri, I wondered if he’d done it, and how it went? I threw in the obligatory “not sure you remember me” as well as a statement about him not needing to respond given the randomness of the email.

But he wrote me right back! Email chatting ensued that same night and into the next day, and a mere 3 emails later he asked if I was seeing anyone. Since I wasn’t I was happy to send him my number (initially he apologized for losing it in a phone transfer but after I told him I’d deleted his he owned up to having done the same) as well as text him while I enjoyed my usual pizza/wine Friday night with friends.

I think you know what happens next. Marathon Guy shows up at the bar I’m at, ironically with one of the marathon runners I had run with the year before. He hits it off with her, chatting about FOID cards and the different gang signs from the shady neighborhoods they grew up in, but more importantly he hits it off with me. We can’t quite remember why things didn’t work out between us before.

We stay way too late at the bar, and after walking me home we stay up even later talking at my place. We also make out. And it is good.

We hadn’t really made out before, and it’s unfortunate, because it might have been the factor that tipped the scales. I had an early morning planned so I dropped him off on my way out for a run, pretty pleased with the progress I’d made in the last 48-hours. I am nothing if not resourceful.

Failed First Dates: Batter Up.

Thursday, November 4, 2010
I didn’t waste any time moping over Summer Boy but instead revamped the text on my OK Cupid profile and prepped myself for the weeding through of undesirable prospects that inevitably comes with online dating.

It hasn't been too bad, though. I’ve been contacted by some seemingly decent men and am thinking about reaching out to some even better seeming men myself. I even agreed to go on a date!

It was to one of the last Cubs games, which is a bit of a stretch given how long they can run, but as all of my gals kept reminding me, how bad could it be? I’d just be sitting there drinking beer and eating hot dogs.

Except my date doesn’t drink.

Oh of course he insisted it didn’t bother him when other people drank, and indeed he seemed fine while I drank a few beers during the game, but I was pretty sure this one fact alone would be a deal breaker for me. The truth is, alcohol is part of my regular social scene, and it would make me very uncomfortable dating someone who didn't drink. I would feel like an alcoholic. All the time.

That’s the reason I used when I said I didn’t think it would work out between us, but I could have chosen one of many, as it turns out.

Like say, introducing me to family. On the first date. Turns out his brother was at the game, too, and he came over to join us mid-way through the game. He’s a police officer at the station right by my house! And a cuter version of my date, I might add.

Or inviting me to his cousin’s wedding for which he was a groomsman. I politely declined, not because it was “serious” as he suggested, but because it’s weird to invite a stranger to a family wedding. Plus, I don’t think it would be any fun for me to show up at that kind of event not knowing anyone (including him, even). Don't get me wrong, I'm great with a crowd of strangers, but it's not the right venue.

Or displaying a startling lack of knowledge about the career one says they are pursuing. After a few years in landscaping-type sales my date was trying to get into the Sheriff’s program for a leg up into getting into IT work for the Justice industry. “IT” he says, “you know, computers and stuff”.

Okay, that last one was a bit mean. But as someone who actually works in IT and can explain the “stuff”, it was hard to continue that conversation without making him seem like an idiot.

Truthfully I think I just wasn’t ready yet to meet someone new. This guy wasn’t Summer Boy, but pissed as I was at that jackass I couldn’t help but make comparisons.

There’s such a thin line between wanting to feel wanted and actually wanting to meet someone new. At least I had toed up to the plate.

Oh No He Didn't!

Sunday, October 31, 2010
In the end I went with drunk texting as the mechanism for ending things with Summer Boy. I had started with a simple email on Sunday stating that I thought that whatever was happening between us had run its course. I was too riled up to blow him off entirely, but I thought I’d “take the high road” by ignoring the questionable timing of the CraigsList posts entirely.

Of course I didn’t hear anything back from my email, so Monday when I got home from work I hopped right onto CL to see if he had posted anything. He had, that bastard.

There he was, with his stupid same picture he always used, looking to see if anyone wanted to go to the open mic comedy night at this bar by his place. An exact date he had suggested he and I go on a few weeks earlier (but never followed through with).

Oh how he was hurting my pride! Oh how I wanted to scream and shout and stomp! Oh how I should not have had so much sangria!

The text messaging that ensued next was not my finest moment in breakups but it did help me get a much clearer perspective on Summer Boy and how detached from the reality of our situation he seemed to be.

Me: I would have gone to the comedy show with you! But I hope you found a new friend.
Him: Well... I would have asked but as you put it 'things have run their course'.
Him: But just so you know... I am at the comedy show by myself.

Right. He hadn’t mentioned getting together on Monday as late as Sunday evening when I sent him my “it’s over” email but I’m sure he would have. Eventually.

Me: Look, the timing of your posts makes you seem shady. Or like I’m your last resort. Which is fine, just a bummer for me. Plus I am looking for someone a bit more available. So it seemed like a good time to stop trying to see you, and find someone who was more into me.
Him: Well... I can tell you I am not seeing other people and up until the email I got from you I was going to see if you wanted to join but next thing I knew I was being stonewalled.

Stonewalled? I sent one email saying I thought things were over. It's not like I'd been refusing to talk to him about it.

Me: Then why all the CL posts? I would have believed you b/f I saw them. Seems you are looking for someone else. I didn't like the feeling so I thought I would cut out.
Him: Posted and then never really read the responses... just deleted them.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Practically the only reason to post on CL is to read the ridiculous responses!

Him: And you tried to make me feel bad for posting yet... seems like you were checking…
Me: Please. I only just saw them. I was out there b/c it seemed things weren't going anywhere with you.
Him: Funny... same reason I was out there... hmmmm
Me: Bullshit. I try to see you all the time.

Is it me, or has his whole defense been to blame me? I’m being shady because I’m out on CraigsList reading his posts? The ones he posted while he was texting me about being somewhere else after turning down my suggestion to do something that same night?

It also did not go unnoticed that he flat out ignored my accusation that he had lied the prior Friday (in texts not re-printed), which only made it seem more likely that it was true. And I’m not sure what he thought he would gain by constantly pointing out that he wasn’t seeing other people. We were ALLOWED to see other people. We had a NO STRINGS ATTACHED relationship.

It was stupid, initiating a texting war while angry and tipsy. It was childish, him throwing back all my questions instead of simply answering them. And it was infuriating, he had completely missed my point, which was that he wasn’t interested in spending time with me, which, by all accounts, he wasn’t.

It was useful, though, because it gave me what I needed. It was over.

Eyes Wide Open.

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Over the next few weeks Summer Boy and I did sort of take steps towards more of an actual relationship, we scheduled to hang out in advance and even went out to dinner! Mostly, though, we continued to have trouble meeting up in person.

Although it was split pretty evenly between him and me not being available when the other tied to initiate something it started to feel like I was the only one making any effort to make room for him in my schedule. As much as I liked him it was getting kind of pointless, all that chatting and texting but never spending any real time together. What was the point?

I reached my breaking point one Friday when Summer Boy had told me he was booked for the rest of that week and weekend. We ended up texting that Friday – I thought we might be able to meet up later – and he told me he was babysitting. In the suburbs. For his friend.

What grown man babysits for friends who live an hour away, in suburbs that are teeming with teenagers willing to babysit, unless it’s an emergency? Clearly I wasn’t ranking anywhere on his priority list. Clearly I never would.

So the next morning I turned my dating profile back on and checked CraigsList. And there he was. Everywhere. All posts exactly like the one I had originally responded to. Sunday morning - before he had asked me whether I had "missed" an email from him, and mid-week, and even the night before. He had posted about wanting to go out for happy hour drinks approximately 2 hours before telling me he was babysitting in the burbs.

I AM AN IDIOT. Obviously he wasn’t available to do anything with me because he was looking for someone else to do things with. Even on days when I had tried to see him. I mean, it’s fine if he was seeing other people, and certainly it was fine he was looking for something other than what I had to offer, but I couldn’t get past feeling like he’d lied to me.

Lied about where he was that Friday, specifically, for no reason whatsoever. He’d always given me all this detail that I never asked for - I assumed it was because he used to date someone who always made him give them the where / when / with whom. And I didn’t care, truthfully, if he wasn’t available I would have been happy for him to just say "No". But now I was thinking maybe it was so I wouldn’t ask any questions, so I would just take him at his word.

I AM A COMPLETE AND TOTAL IDIOT. I had believed him, because I hadn’t had any reason not to, and now everything he’d told me was thrown into question. Certainly whatever I thought was happening between us was not.

My eyes were open, but I could barely see through the tears of surprise, hurt, anger and indignation that were suddenly overflowing them. Who the hell did Summer Boy think he was?

And more importantly, just who the hell did he think he was dealing with? I am a lot of things, but I am nobody’s fool. I felt like an idiot, yes, but I wasn’t one. Looks like Summer Boy was due for some eye opening of his own.


Sunday, October 24, 2010
I realized why I had kept missing the window in previous relationships as soon as I told Summer Boy that I would be interested in dating him. Telling someone you want to date them basically means you’ve requested that the relationship move forward, even if it’s at some nondescript point in the future. The other person has to decide whether they want to move forward with you, and they can’t take forever to decide.

Having never told a boy before that I liked him first I had had no idea! In not wanting to miss the window I had actually started the clock. And it was counting down.


Even less exciting, it seems I had not correctly interpreted Summer Boy’s non-stop chatter about relationships. He rejected the idea that he was a relationship guy… saying he hadn’t called anyone his girlfriend in years, that he hadn’t introduced any of the recent gals he’d been involved with to any of his friends (something about them not being able to hold their own – although he added he thought I would be able to) and that he wasn’t sure whether he was ready to adjust his lifestyle to having a girlfriend again. He didn’t fully reject the idea of dating me, mind you, just completely disagreed with me when I explained where my statements about wanting to date had come from.

Actually, I think I interpreted him just fine. Whether he thinks so or not, relationships are on his mind, otherwise he wouldn’t constantly be talking about them. I think it’s entirely possible that Summer Boy is even more terrified of relationships than I am.

I had meant what I said to him, though, about not wanting to move immediately to a full-blown dating relationship, so technically we could keep going as we were for awhile. If it turned out we wanted different things, I’d at least have made my intentions clear.

I had no idea how much time the Universe put on relationships clocks, but I couldn’t imagine there was any reason to panic. Yet.

Baby Steps.

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Once I started thinking about the content of all the chatting Summer Boy and I were doing, I realized something. He talked a lot about relationships. A LOT about them. I submit the following into evidence:
  1. He told a lot of stories involving the phrase "I was dating this girl at the time"… and definitely referenced exes who continued to be interested in him long after he had cut ties
  2. He called me from a bachelor party that he found tedious, and later assured me that at HIS bachelor party they would not be going to a strip club (they would be golfing)
  3. After giving me the low down from a wedding he had attended that got way out of hand (The bride punched some dude. At a bar. In her wedding dress.) he mentioned that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to top that at his own wedding
  4. He said his friends were “living the good life”, with kids, a dog and a big house
  5. He suggested that if and when either of us started seeing someone else, even casually, that we tell the other person about it. Originally I had agreed, but then I rescinded my agreement when I realized that sounded a lot like a no-strings attached monogamous relationship.
I’m pretty sure I can chalk up the prior girlfriends speak to him wanting to make himself seem desirable (or believing he was that desirable), but was I missing something? Was Summer Boy trying to suggest that we move towards an actual relationship? The thought was worrying on several levels.

I have a long and storied history of missing signals... of ignoring where relationships are leading only to miss the window of opportunity and be saddened later to realize (a) that I had really card for someone and (b) that I had missed my chance. I didn’t want that to happen here, I didn't want to lose Summer Boy.

I’ve also recently been considering the possibility that I have a serious road block to relationships that has everything to do with me and nothing to do with the men I’ve been involved with. That when I’m faced with a relationship that has somewhere to go I do something that would be destructive to it. Like meeting up with an old flame or disappearing for awhile, and almost always refusing to share or address my feelings (with him, with myself, with the friends who don't know me well enough to know I'm full of it).

It was terrifying, and ridiculous, being so afraid to tell someone you liked them.

But then it just happened. A perfectly normal, flirtatious conversation about sexy time turned into an admission that I'd be interested in being seen outside of the bedroom with him, in the context of an actual relationship. I said it wasn’t something I thought we needed to do anytime soon, but something to consider.

I felt nauseous. But also proud of myself. Baby steps to dating. Maybe I should get a gold fish.

Pillow Talk

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
All that nonsense with the Karaoke King happened during the sexy time blackout with Summer Boy. Despite the blackout, communication remained high – emails, texts and even a phone call towards the end of my lake house vacation.

Communication was actually one of the reasons I liked Summer Boy so much. Even from the beginning there had been lots of pillow talk mixed into the sexy time. We covered all the bases – work, family, social life – and I had kind of gotten used to talking to him on a regular basis.

The longer our scene went on, though, the more I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. I definitely liked the chatting, and I’m pretty sure without it I wouldn’t have been as into him in general. I was worried he just needed a friend, though, that he just needed to talk to someone, not that he wanted to talk to me, specifically. And even if it was me that he wanted to talk to, I wasn’t sure the content of our chatting fell within the bounds of our loosely defined relationship.

Offloading about your crazy work day, fine. Discussing your latest running split times, completely appropriate. But breaking down the last few times you’ve eaten meat (a burger the night the Hawks won the cup and once or twice where he had a slice of pizza with some meat on it) even though you had decided to give it up and how you were waiting to give up sweets because you were a sucker for cake and your niece’s birthday was coming up? That’s not sexy or interesting.

If I was going to have to keep up with all the going ons of his friends (and also their names) shouldn’t I get something in return? Like dinner? I certainly wasn’t getting extra sexy time for all that listening.

Ah, there it is. That nagging feeling that my carefree, no strings attached summer fun scene was creeping into the realm of relationship land. That’s not what I had signed up for! Maybe once our schedules aligned better we could lay off the chatting and get refocused. I certainly hope so, I don’t think I’m ready to start reading Summer Boy’s food journal.

The Chicken Dance.

Monday, October 11, 2010
karaoke king
overwhelming love ballads
this one’s out of tune

It took me almost as long to cut thing off with the Karaoke King as it took me to get this next post out. When it came down to it, I sort of chickened out.

I’m a firm believer that in early dating it doesn’t really matter why you don’t want to date someone, it just matters that you let them know you don’t want to date them. I think it can be done in a way that is mature; basically you’re freeing both of you up to find what will work for you, instead of wasting time with each other. Not everyone subscribes to this philosophy, though, and I’ve had lots of guys reject my reasons and try to find loopholes when I’ve given them the honest reason I don’t want to date them.

Having had some good times with the Karaoke King I was pretty sure he’d reject my initial reasons for not pursuing anything further. I wasn’t as direct as I normally am, hence the repeat attempts.

My first try was during an IM session. I alluded to the high volume of messages from him with the low (read: no) volume of messages back from me. I said I felt it was a bit much. He said that was just how he was! And I said that was great and I didn’t think he should change that. He agreed that he wouldn’t, but that he’d try to tone it down.

Actually I think he left things entirely in my hands, which was convenient since I promptly went back to the lake house for 10 days where I didn’t check my email or phone and therefore didn’t contact him. He was undeterred, and after waiting an impressive week or so to get in touch with me himself there were a series of emails and texts that didn’t… go… well.

Example. I’m out with pals at the local pizza joint when he texts to see what I’m up to. In the course of the conversation he says that I’m welcome to come by his place. I respond in the negative, saying something like “boys come to pretty girls, not the other way around”.

I was bitchy and kind of self-assuming, but I did get the point across that I wasn’t really interested in pursuing anything with him. There wasn't any reason to be mean to him, so I did end things officially with an email, citing the age old “timing” as the cause.

It wasn't true, but it did have a nice touch of irony to it since I had originally expressed interest in him when he wasn’t actively seeking a relationship. I do like an ironic finish.

And It Only Got Worse.

Friday, October 1, 2010
Lunch with the Karaoke King went fine despite his recent admission of wanting to smother me… I was quite distracted by my get groceries / work Friday / meet friends for dinner / head out of town plan, but he couldn’t have been happier with the Mediterranean place I had chosen so he was content to listen to me babble while eating hummus. We parted in front of my office (no kiss, thankfully!) and then things went downhill in rapid succession.

First I got a text message later that same afternoon saying he’d had a “wonderful time” at lunch followed by an emoticon that I couldn’t decipher. The magic of the internet and K’s little brother’s know how later we arrived at a translation that definitively required clarification from the Karaoke King. He said on his BBM it had meant hugs. Translated onto my phone it meant vagina. I obviously didn’t tell HIM that, but I didn’t have much time to chat because I really did have a million things to get to before the weekend.

Friday afternoon he sent me a text message stating the following: that he couldn’t wait to see my hair (I had gotten it cut Thursday night), that he hoped I had figured out my shop/pack/travel plan and that he hoped my day was going well. I didn’t even see the message until I left the office after 5p, at which point I received a second text, which said he hoped I was already on my way and to have a safe drive up to the lakehouse. And he signed it “smooches”. Oh, and he also included a picture with the message, which was of his face looking into his phone. It was creepy, and I was running late, so I put my phone in my purse and kept moving towards my weekend.

He called me about 3 hours later, when I was in the car (still on the way to the lakehouse) and left a voicemail. For those of you following along at home, that’s 3 messages in the span of approximately 7 hours, with no response from me.

Saturday morning I received a text saying he hoped I had a good run and that he would be rooting for Ghana in soccer later that day (they were one of my teams in the office pool). And now the count is at 4 messages in less than 24-hours with no response.

You all know my rules! This was a serious violation. I sent him back a friendly text Saturday morning, but made it clear I didn’t check my phone at the lakehouse (i.e. stop stalking me!). Sunday morning I received a message around 3 AM. Paraphrased it read: I know I can’t talk to you right now, but I just want to hold you and kiss you. You’re the woman I want to be with!

Oh. My. God. Around this time my cousin and mom sent me a photo text of themselves, saying they missed me while I was out on my run. And then later that day, the 4th of July, I received a photo text from the Karaoke King, saying something like “here’s where I am” with a picture of a firework.

The Karaoke King had pretty much destroyed any inclination I had towards dating him in a mere 72 hours. It wasn't a record, but I was going to have to put the brakes on the excessive texting. Immediately. Perhaps a text message poem might do the trick?

I do not like your constant pings, I do not like them Karaoke King.
I do not like them late at night, I do not like them left and right.
I do not like to see your pics, your mushy words make me quite sick.
I will not reply to your constant pings, stop sending them to me Karaoke King!

The Coping Mechanisms of a Thirtysomething

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Karaoke King wanted to see me before I went out of town for July 4th weekend so we made plans for lunch on Thursday. During the conversation about when/where to go he insisted on being extremely flexible. I get it, he’s super laid back in general and was only working part time since finishing up his MBA. I, however, was busy and was therefore forced to make all the decisions (which I didn’t have time for). I had to mention it, which led to him asking me what my sanity reclamation activities were, given that he’d forgotten his since he hadn’t been in the real world for so long.

Overlooking the obnoxiousness of someone who is so relaxed he can’t even remember being stressed, I genuinely answered his questions. The condensed version went like this:
  1. Running. Regular running usually takes care of any general stress I may have accumulated during the day. And when I'm running regularly, I often don't get to the point where I need to escalate my stress handling. If it does, though, we go to (2).

  2. Toss up between alcohol and good friends. Usually one or the other helps, or often I find the combination especially useful in at least offloading (if not finding solutions to) extra negative energy.

    The trick to me is, sometimes I don't want to be consoled. I just want to vent and yell and be fussy. Usually when I am in that mode I opt for alone time, see below, because my well meaning friends want to tell me things will be fine and I won't have it.

  3. Alone time. I need a decent amount of alone time in general, I have a tendency to start to feel smothered when I am constantly surrounded by people, so when I'm really stressed I usually need a break and I hide out a bit. Sometimes canceling plans and just doing whatever I feel like doing completely re-sets me.

  4. Cleaning. When my house is clean my life is in order.

  5. Food. Usually in combination with alone time, ordered directly to my casa. This is not a preferred coping mechanism as it negatively affects my waistline while only marginally making me feel better.

  6. And finally Crying. When I have not appropriately handled stress over a period of time I usually end up crying.

Here’s what he wrote back: Well I hope to be part of the solution whether you're venting down the phone or in person, need a running mate, a dinner date or just a snuggle bear.

Did he just write snuggle bear?! What about the above list could he possibly have taken as an indication that I wanted to be smothered? Did I not, in fact, explicitly indicate I have a tendency to feel smothered? And I’m pretty sure I was clear that alone time was key. Why would I want him to go with me on my runs? And what about actually responding to my coping mechanisms? I took time to write actual personal insights and he just wants to be part of the solution. But he's clearly going to be a problem.

I’m starting to get a bad feeling about him. Especially since I have to leave to meet him for lunch. Right now.

A Nice Save

Sunday, September 26, 2010
Either I had misinterpreted The Karaoke’s Kings propensity to smoother me or he picked up on my low tolerance for it during my early morning mumblings, because when I heard from him next it was Saturday morning and he invited me to watch some soccer with him. Not only had he chosen a during-the-day activity (with substantially less likelihood of slipping into drunken making out), he chose a location that served PBR (which he knew I loved from my OK Cupid profile) and had free popcorn (which he soon realized was another fave of mine). Obviously I accepted.

In the sober yet still dimmed lights of the Irish pub, I tried to analyze whether I had a connection with the Karaoke King that extended past delicious Italian snacks. Truth be told, once I got past feeling guilty about having gone out with someone other than Summer Boy I wasn’t even sure whether I had genuine interest in him. I would have loved most of our first date no matter who had been sitting on the balcony with me. I felt mixed about whether we had a good physical connection, too. I mean, he had a decent amount of facial hair, which is not my scene.

I remained on the fence; throughout the ridiculous - and terribly unclever might I add - soccer chants being yelled as the US sadly got beat, as we walked around his neighborhood, stopping in at the Walgreens to pick up band-aids for the knee I had skinned earlier in the week falling off the bus in the rain, and even as we ate mini-burgers and talked about what had brought him to Chicago from New York (combo of girlfriend and job opportunity, neither of which had worked out as planned).

I declined his offer to go up and see his place, so he somewhat reluctantly kissed me on my check and put me in a taxi before the sun went down. I couldn’t put my finger on why, but I definitely felt a bit of relief as I sped away down Lake Shore Drive.

I had enjoyed spending the afternoon with him, but I was also feeling that dreaded difference in interest level. He was sure he wanted to spend more time with me. I wasn’t sure we were a good fit. Or whether I would be able to get past his snoring if it turned out we were. Or whether I wanted to rock the boat with Summer Boy.

Wait a minute. The Karaoke King had made a nice second move, and he deserved some credit for that. I was the one getting ahead of myself, and I deserved a swift kick in the ass for falling back into that trap. Done. And done.


Sunday, September 19, 2010
The first thing I thought when my eyes opened in the pre-dawn hours to the sound of the Karaoke King’s alarm (I vaguely recalled he had said something about a part time job requiring him to be in the office at 4am) was “I need more sleep. And an Excedrin.” The second was “Shit.”

When I woke up a few hours later I had a bit of a headache. Also, I felt guilty. Guilty about harmless making out with the Karaoke King. It felt like a violation against my sort of spoken but not really enforced agreement with Summer Boy that if and when we got involved with someone else we would tell the other person.

But I hadn’t. Gotten involved, that is. Not enough to warrant having to tell Summer Boy about it. And certainly not enough to feel guilty about. In fact, now that I think about it, it’s his fault I needed the extra making out in the first place!

I should mention that around this time Summer Boy and I were heading into a series of weeks/weekends where at least one of us was unavailable. We were both of out of town one weekend and then the next weekend he had a wedding. He was dog sitting out in the burbs one week, I was away at the lake house the next. We had discussed our schedules so we both knew it was coming, but although I attempted to make more of an effort to see Summer Boy before the sexy time black out it didn’t seem to be a priority on his social calendar.

It was a teeny bit frustrating. You can’t give a girl access to awesomeness and then take it away from her cold turkey. Especially not to watch someone’s DOG. I had figured it wouldn’t hurt to just meet the Karaoke King. So it stands that I shouldn’t feel bad about making out with him, either.

I am going to have to do something about this headache, though. The Karaoke King is a snorer, so despite all the wine I got a terrible night’s sleep. I’m also a bit nauseous, but I think that’s because as he was leaving he whispered something mushy and smothering like “Let’s do this again at my place tonight. What time shall I call you later darling?” Excuse me while I go throw up.

The Best Date Ever?

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Despite passing on polka and some hesitation on my part, the Karaoke King was insistent that we meet in person. We eventually settled on lunch plans which I had to break last minute so I could work from home and wait for the air conditioner repair men to do their thing. Not melting trumped pretty much everything as soon as the weather started warming up.

We tentatively rescheduled with drinks that same night and while I was sitting on my couch in my finally cool condo I tried to think of outdoor bars with a view that were close to me. I couldn’t help but think the best place was my deck, which overlooks the harbor. On the one hand, I had never met this guy so it was possible he was a serial killer (although, really, I think any crazy dude worth his salt would play down the craziness until he was invited into your house, even if it took a few dates to get the nod up). On the other, I did have some fantastic wine at my place and it would be SO easy to just meet at my house. I mean, I was already there.

He had said I could pick anywhere, so after a nod of support from E. I proposed my balcony as the location. It was accepted, although with some concern on his part. I assured him I was cool with it – it is the summer of no rules, after all! After meeting up at an Italian market in my neighborhood to pick up snacks first we headed back to my place.

It was the Best. Date. Ever. Sitting outside, with the gorgeous blue lake and the season’s first sailboats dotting the landscape, we sipped on delicious wine and a feast of olives, salami, caprese salad, cheese and bread. The Karaoke King was completely interesting. He’s lived all over and has had a few different careers in his life (he’s about 5 years older than I). We had overlapping interests and the conversation flowed easily.

The wine flowed easily, too, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise when the date transitioned right into making out. Making out followed by me wearing these ruffled panties that a neighbor had given me to spice things up with Summer Boy followed by a sleepover.

What had I been thinking?! The thing about a date at your house is that you’re already at your house. I had been worried about the danger of having a stranger in my house, but I completely forgot about the whole end-of-the-date-deciding-about-making-out-and-inviting-people-up scene.

Eh, I'm not going to sweat it. I had a really great evening, failed foresight notwithstanding. But maybe next time I’ll save this particular date idea for #3. Okay, maybe just #2.

Beer + Sausage = Love

Sunday, September 12, 2010
Right around the time I found Summer Boy I heard back from a guy I had emailed on OK Cupid some three months earlier. He’d shown up in my matches but hadn’t been online for awhile, and I had apparently emailed him suggesting that if he did come back online to let me know. When he did, I looked back at his profile and couldn’t quite figure out why I had reached out in the first place.

He turned out to be an interesting guy, though, professing to be a Karaoke King, a runner, and the owner of NFL season tickets (sadly not for the Bears). I had mentioned in our conversations that I was heading to Maifest that weekend, the sister event of my most favorite festival in the city, German Fest. He suggested we meet up there to share some delicious brews and if things went well, perhaps I’d give him a polka lesson. Obviously I’d be hoping for a better result than last year’s debacle.

It seemed like a good idea, especially since I was already planning to be there and could always slip into the crowd with friends if it didn’t work out. It wasn’t until the day of that I started to second guess myself.

For starters, Summer Boy and I had spent some time together that morning. Things were going so well with him – I didn’t want to do anything that would throw a wrench in that well oiled machine. I was also pretty sure that The Bowler was going to be serving beer at the festival. I could only imagine how awesome (read: awkward) it would be to buy beer from him, with some new guy, just after I’d ended things with him. Oh right, I’d be drinking all that beer, too. Who knows what I’d feel like saying or doing after the 2nd stein!

I did see The Bowler, with the very first beer purchase I made. He was on the other side of the beer counter and fortunately I saw him with enough time to drop to the ground and hide instead of making eye contact. I’m a lot of things, but mature in front of an ex is not one of them.

I also saw Marathon Guy, blast from last year’s past, sitting with a group of friends. Again, I was quick enough to maneuver myself out of his line of sight. I’m not sure he would have remembered me, but why chance it?

I even got some texts from Summer Boy, who was getting mystery texts from someone and wondered whether I was sending them from someone else’s phone, which I obviously had not.

The only guy I didn’t see was the Karaoke King. He bailed, saying something about the rain forecast and not wanting to get wet on his bike. He would have gotten wet, it flat out down poured for about an hour towards the end of the night, but then he also would have gotten to huddle with me underneath the big tent, sharing a pretzel.

I should have known better! No matter how many guys I run into, the only love match to be found at German fests is bier. And we are a perfect pair.

Summer Lovin’, Had Me A Blast

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
When we last left our dating heroine (me) she had rid herself of a dud (The Bowler) and found herself a stud (Summer Boy). Not too keen on the effort it took to formally date while blogging about said dating, I went on a break. I didn’t just take the summer off from blogging, though; I freed myself from making any actual relationship decisions as well. It was awesome!

Turns out there’s a market for a lady without an end game, who doesn’t ask herself (or her date) questions about where they see themselves in 5 years or whether they want kids. Turns out you can really enjoy getting to know someone who you find interesting, but know you’ll never see again. Turns out there really isn't a better aphrodisiac than good old-fashioned alcohol.

In refusing to entertain the possibility of a future I was able to really enjoy the present. I worried less about how my actions would be taken and instead did exactly what I felt like. Not every decision was a good decision, and navigating the casual relationship world requires a very different skill set than the one I’d been cultivating, but I have no regrets.

I do have some good stories, though, and before summer ends I think a little kiss and tell is in order. Consider the next few posts your online trashy beach novel.

"I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows." Andy Warhol

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
For the first time in a long time I find myself not wanting what it is I thought I wanted. It’s a surprising revelation; that after having spent the last year basically dedicated to finding and sustaining a relationship that I no longer want one.

Well that’s not entirely true. I think if I met someone who I wanted to spend time with I would. And if that developed into a relationship I would embrace it. I don’t need it, though. I don’t have that craving for it or that desire to cross it off some life checklist. Most notably I don’t have that nagging feeling that I’d be more if I was part of a pair.

I wouldn’t be, you see. There would be more in my life if I was in a relationship, but there would also be less. Less flexibility in my schedule, less freedom to spend my time however I chose. It all evens out, I think, and there’s room in my life for periods of both. Maybe right now it’s more ‘me’ than ‘we’.

It wasn’t a total waste, either. On the contrary, putting that kind of time and energy into dating made me seriously address some of own insecurities. Writing about it gave me a good dose of humility and perhaps a much needed reality check. I finally think I know enough about myself to be successful in a relationship.

I don’t want to continue spending the time, energy and money on actively pursuing one, though. It’s hard work hunting for a boyfriend! Its summer and I want to enjoy it without the pressure of putting dates on my calendar.

What does my dating future hold? I don’t know, but I’ll be taking the summer off from blogging while I give myself the freedom to figure it out. When something does happen I want to enjoy it, not analyze it.

Don’t worry, dear readers, I’m sure I’ll have stories to share with you in the fall…


Friday, June 25, 2010
I just found this old email chain from a CL post from way back and couldn’t resist sharing it. It’s no wonder I keep going back to my old online hunting ground with quality finds like this dude.

His initial email was pretty wide ranging in content:
  • I enjoy most music even country, is that a crime? I am also bilingual.
  • So I have this handwritten note above my office desk that reads: “This is the month that great things are going to happen.” I ask you, how long is too long to keep it there?
  • I’m reading this book on global warming and slowly starting to realize that my liberal arts graduate degree, progressive policy advocacy, and sunny idealism might not be enough to save the world. I guess I shouldn’t have rolled my eyes through all those biology classes.
I can only assume I found him attractive or was in a giving mood because I responded. His next email indicated he was tired and still had to work out so he had to keep the email short, followed by the below:

So here are a few questions I'd like to know from you so we can discuss and perhaps argue about the issues I pose.
(1) Should corporate punishment be used in schools?
(2) Are the exams necessary? Are they aimed at checking our knowledge or just causing stress?
(3) Should religious education become compulsory at schools?
(4) Can China's planners and politicians do something to increase the area of arable land?
(5) Does China have enough arable land and water to feed its projected population of 1.48 billion in 2025 - even at currently available levels of agricultural technology?

Hope these questions peak your interest. If you can please answer my questions with more than yes or no. I want to know how your thought process work out.

My interest wasn’t peaked, but my “crazy dude” radar was going off pretty loudly. A quick search of my email unfortunately reveals that I didn’t keep whatever response I sent but I’m certain I had no intention of filling out an essay test that early in our communication.

I tell you what, though, in re-reading it after all this time he does sound like he’s got some depth to him, and I can appreciate that. I wonder if he’s still single?

Kingpin Down: The Bowler

Monday, June 21, 2010
nice guy, easy dates
gutter balls in the bedroom
too old for bumpers

Turns out The Bowler got back on Friday, but because I was still working through a fierce case of strep that came out of nowhere (and hate the break up conversation) I was able to push him off until Sunday. I had thought when we talked he would invite me to do something again, at which point I’d be able to drop the ax. Instead I had to bring it up myself, after enduring half an hour of really boring conversation. It was pretty standard.

“I think you’re great and I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with you but…”
He said he gets that a lot. I offered that the dating relationship is tricky, you’re looking for a particular fit and we just didn’t have it.

“I just don’t think there’s a connection, for me.”
He said he thought things had been going really well. I said I was sorry, but it takes me awhile to figure out my interest level, and I knew now that I wasn’t going to develop romantic feelings for him.

“So I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
He said it wasn’t the outcome he wanted, but it’s my decision and he’s not going to fight me on it.

He actually said something similar when I kicked him out last weekend, after I had commented that he was being very understanding. I’m glad he didn’t throw a fit, but to be honest, I think I kind of wanted him to push back on me a bit. I mean, if he really thought things were going well wouldn’t he have wanted to know why they weren’t? Asked a few questions?

I would have answered them honestly. I don’t need the personal validation of being wanted, but the last time I had put myself out there and gotten rejected I’m pretty sure I demanded reasons. For the record, the last reason I got went something like “you’re a risk, and she’s a sure thing.” Ouch.

Still, I’m a passionate person and I want to be with someone who fights for what they want. In ending things with The Bowler I’ve discovered he isn’t a fighter. And since he wasn’t a lover, either, I know I made the right decision. He'll need to improve his handicap before attempting to play in this league again.

Hey There Summer Boy

Friday, June 18, 2010
Although I had decided things were over with The Bowler last weekend, it took me awhile to let HIM know that because he was out of town, road tripping with friends to help them move. In the meantime I happened upon something sparkly to play with.

It started the way it always starts. Sitting on my couch with my laptop, a glass of sangria in hand and trashy reality TV on in the background, scrolling through the miscellany that is the CL personals section. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting in “LTR” so I hopped over to “Casual Encounters”. Mostly I read through it to figure out what the kids are doing these days, followed by looking terms up on Urban Dictionary, but this time I found a gem: A post from a runner who was home recovering from a big race and looking for someone to chat with.

No details on his intentions, just the invite to chat. He was CUTE. I was bored. I don’t think I’ve ever had success responding to a post, in fact I don’t think I even get responses back to my original emails, but I sent him one anyway. To my delight he responded back.

We transitioned to IM chatting, where I asked him about the Casual Encounter posting. He said he meant to put it in LTR, which led us to the “what are you doing on CL / what are your intentions” type conversation. Let’s say we established that neither of us was looking for a serious relationship, per se, but that we were basically open to a wide variety of options. One of those options being a casual sexy time get together. That night. At my house.

We have the sangria to thank for my initiative, and The Bowler for my most recent frustrations in the bedroom, but full blown throwing caution to the wind? I can only cite a gut feeling that he wasn’t a psycho.

I was not wrong. And I was not disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed the next night, either.

I’ve never pulled off a casual relationship successfully, but this level of commitment sounds about right given all I've put into dating lately (and how little I've gotten back). I think I’m entitled to a little summer fun.

A Tough Break

Sunday, June 13, 2010
There are a lot of things about relationships that make me squirmish, but one of the most uncomfortable is when I feel like the interest level between myself and my other isn’t equal. I first experienced this in high school, when I started dating my aptly named High School Boyfriend.

He had had a crush on me for months, it seemed, but I hadn’t really thought about him romantically until right before we started dating, when it was presented by a friend of his. I liked him well enough, but my interest was new and I had to end something with someone else to start things with him, so I eased into it. For him, though, it was like he’d gotten this gal he’d been pining for, and he went right into relationship mode. I got roses for our one month anniversary and he cooked dinner for our two month. He also bought me a stuffed animal from his spring break, and a sweatshirt from the college I was thinking about going to.

It always felt like my attempts at showing emotion were never enough, and in part that was because he was mushy gushy (and I most certainly was, and still am, not) but mostly I think it was because we didn’t have the same level of affection for each other. When I broke up with him, he seemed devastated, and continued being that way for the rest of the summer. I still think some of his friends hate me for breaking his heart.

It was all for the best, of course, and I would never stay with someone just so I didn’t have to hurt their feelings, I would just prefer if breakups could be mutual. As in both parties see the relationship is clearly not going anywhere, and then part as amiable social acquaintances. What? I can pretend it’s possible.

I know now that things with The Bowler aren’t going to work out. Saturday night I asked him to leave after we watched a movie, citing a headache. I did sort of have one, but I also wanted to stop the awkward attempt at making out so I could order pizza.

I’m just not into him romantically. I gave it plenty of chances, but it’s not there. And I feel I am right back there in high school, hoping not to crush his feelings along with our budding relationship.

I could be misjudging his interest level, but I’m pretty sure he was hoping we would work out. He’s taken down his OK Cupid profile, invited me as a FB friend (reserved only for serious, serious boyfriends) and started texting me status updates (he’s on a road trip of sorts, they just left!). The last time he was over he left beer – saying he was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be the last time he saw me.

He’s going to wish he took it with him when he’s back in town.

Houston, We Have a Problem

Sunday, June 6, 2010
Let’s talk about the sexy time scene, because realistically the difference between a good buddy and a boyfriend is what happens between the sheets. I myself struggle with the appropriate timing for escalating the sexy time activities, but there’s a couple of fundamentals that I don’t think should be messed with.

In early dating, I want to be wanted. I want there to be flirting, complete with suggestive talk and suggestive body contact. I want there to be some restraint, but if I give a guy the green light, he better step on the gas.

The Bowler started out well in this category, but on date #4 things started to fall apart.

First I wasn’t into him. It was a movie date at his place, and almost immediately I was thrown by the early 20’s dude feel of his living room. It wasn’t so much the mismatched furniture, or even what appeared to be a complete set of Cubs’ bobble head dolls. No, I think it was the 50+ shot glasses lined up on the window sill that simply turned me off. Just because you don’t have room for a man cave doesn’t mean you can substitute your living room for your stupid guy stuff.

I knew I would not be entering his bedroom (would there be plaid sheets and a cotton comforter, a la bed-in-a-bag?), and probably not even the bathroom. I never recovered that night, despite his encouraging neck massage and the delicious margarita I had drank. I practically bolted after the movie, flat out shooting his sexy time intentions down.

Sometimes things are just off, though, and I’m not one to throw out a good man because he has bowling pin trophies all over, so I gave myself a pep talk and tried to rebound. And that’s when The Bowler dropped the ball.

He was in attendance at a little get together at my place and after things had winded down, fueled by plenty of tequila, I attempted to again see The Bowler in a romantic light. I couldn’t tell whether he was being respectful or just plain didn’t know what to do, but outside of his relatively uninspired kissing technique he didn’t bring anything to the table.

Ugh, I had not anticipated this. I was hoping bedroom compatibility might be the push my lukewarm feelings needed, but now it seems I may have to do all the initiating and possibly even some skill teaching. That seems like an awful lot of work.

I guess it's always something.

Easy Does It.

Thursday, June 3, 2010
After what can only be described as an unending series of crappy dates, frustrating email chains and downright rude boy behavior, I have to say its remarkable how easily I transitioned into what feels a lot like “regular dating” with The Bowler. I can’t believe I didn’t have more hang ups. Maybe I have been learning something this past year.

I should explain “regular dating”, since my belief system is clearly out of line with mainstream single America. In regular dating, it’s clear to both parties that you’re interested in each other. You talk – via phone, email, text – depends on the relationship, and you hang out in person. The hanging out is usually initiated by one party, and accepted by the other. You agree to do something at a specific date and time. And then you actually get together and do those things. Over time, you figure out whether you’re developing deeper feelings for each other. Oh, and you usually make out. A lot.

I guess that’s what I’ve been doing with The Bowler. Our lunch date led to a movie date, which ended with old school high school making out on my couch. We moved right into milestone date #3, which turned out to be a traditional dinner date. We hit a little snag in the restaurant choosing process – as the Bowler appears to be extremely limited in his cuisine interests (rejecting the entirety of Japanese/Chinese/Thai/Indian dishes), but I let him choose, and then went so far as to let him pick me up… in his car… at my condo. This is practically unheard of in my city dating experience, even more so because the restaurant we were headed to was between us, not on the way.

Seemed okay, though. As did extending an invite to join me at a friend’s birthday party after dinner. Now, to be fair, this wasn’t my core group of friends, and I was pretty sure I would know a maximum of 3 people at the bar including the birthday gal. I needed some backup, but it also seemed like a natural progression. And he did great, moving up a notch in overall attractiveness.

I don't know yet. Whether I like him, that is. I haven’t flipped that all important switch from “I don’t dislike him” to “I like him”. Normally it comes a bit sooner, like immediately, but normally I don’t make it to date #4.

It's taken me a long time to get here, though, so I don't want to get ahead of myself. As it turns out, when you meet someone you think you could really like, you don't actually worry about where it's going.

Second Dates are the New First Dates

Sunday, May 30, 2010
People are always stressing out about first dates, wanting to make a great first impression and feel those new crush butterflies. Until recently I have been one of those people, but my focus was all wrong. It’s not the first date you should be worrying about; especially if you don’t spend weeks building someone up with emails or phone calls (don’t do that, either). You’ve got nothing to lose on a first date. No, no, if you’re going to get nervous it’s the second date you should focus on.

Assuming you liked someone enough to go past the first date only means there’s more pressure on that next date. You could get lucky on a first date and have a great time with someone but your luck won’t hold out for two dates in a row. No, on the second date you have to see whether you still like them, whether that first date was a fluke or not. And if you had a great first date, you’re in even more trouble. You have to at least match the success of Date #1 otherwise you’ll be left deciding whether one great and one not-great date equal moving on to the all important Date #3.

The physical interaction stakes rise on the second date as well. If your first date had a physical aspect, then, again, you at least want to match that. If it didn’t, then you probably should be prepared to at least kiss. If you haven’t had any physical interaction throughout two dates maybe there isn’t any chemistry between you. This can get tricky the other way as well. Let’s say you definitely had chemistry on the first date, but don’t want to go too far on the second date. Where do you draw the line?

I’m not advocating panicking about your dates, mind you. In an ideal world you wouldn’t get nervous at all, you’d just “be yourself”. I write about real life, though, and I’ve been realizing that as I make it past the first date, which has been a primary focus of my dating, that there’s a lot more to worry about around the bend.

The Bowler and I are going to the movies on Friday for Date #2. Fingers crossed!

Mark It.

Thursday, May 27, 2010
And then it clicks. You meet someone who you’re instantly attracted to. You act like yourself around them, right from the beginning. You can tick off a whole list of reasons why you like them – some of them make sense and some of them have nothing to do with anything.

He calls. You talk for over an hour (and agree that’s waaay too long). About personal things, about random things. He doesn’t have the sense of humor you normally go for but he seems genuine. A guy that is close with friends and family. A guy with interests and a life of his own. A grown up.

He suggests you meet in person. You go out. He’s not as cute as his online profile, but you withhold judgment for the time being. You are able to chat through lunch, with no weird pauses. And then he kisses you in front of your building, during the day, after your first date.

You find the move bold, but impressive, despite the unwritten no-kissing-anywhere-near-the-workplace-when-coworkers-could-be-around rule. You decide you will definitely go out with him again.

I’m talking, dear readers, about The Bowler. Not some Lebowski quoting fan, no, this guy’s a card carrying, tournament playing, little kid coaching, glove wearing bowler. He hasn’t even seen the flick. But knowing how much I like themes, perhaps the Universe is sending me a little sign of approval?

The "I Like You" Filter

Sunday, May 23, 2010
When you like someone, it’s like the whole relationship is seen through rose colored glasses.

Case in point: Let’s say you go out on a dinner date and each of you brings home leftovers. The next day you get an email from the guy saying that he’s enjoying his leftovers, but not as much as if he was eating them with you. If you like this guy, you probably just smiled. If you don’t like him, you just threw up a little bit.

On this blog I spend a lot of time railing on guys for their bad dating form, and in most cases their form would be unacceptable no matter how much I liked them. But mostly I think all those qualifications and behaviors I have outlined for my new boyfriend are just my mind’s way of letting me know I don’t like someone.

Take two guys I recently chatted with on OK Cupid.
  • Guy #1 was an attorney who had just relocated from New York. I responded to his IM without reading through his profile (don’t do that, by the way), just saw his teeny photo and age. Early in the chat he told me his divorce was going to be finalized the next week (as to why he relocated) and I told him that probably meant we weren't going to be a great match. I didn’t even want to learn about him – if he was still technically married I presumed he hadn’t distanced himself enough for a new relationship.
  • Guy #2 was a guy who had shown up in my Quiver Matches and whose profile I found really amusing. I also thought he was cute in his pics. I basically already liked him, and when in our IM chat he told me he was unemployed it didn’t even phase me. Nor did the fact that he practically lived on the opposite corner of the city (outside of realistic taxi fare range).
They’re not the same situations, but the point still stands. I appreciated the honesty of both guys, but Guy #2 got past all initial, surface verifications even though he didn’t meet a number of my usual standards. If I had liked the profile of Guy #1 I probably would have given him something of a chance.

Should you throw out your wish list of qualifications? Of course not. Just treat it for what it is. A wish list.

The Stand-In

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Every so often you meet someone who you don’t actually date, but you end up chatting with over an extended period of time. The Gentlemen turned out to be that kind of dude. Even though we never met up after our first date I sporadically received late night calls and text messages from him. The other day he popped up over IM and we ended up having quite the conversation. It started out pretty standard.

The Gentleman: What’s up?
Me: Hey stranger. How are you?
The Gentleman: I'm good and you? You're too busy for me these days?
Me: I'm good, thanks. Not too busy, but have been taking a little dating break. I appreciate your random late night texts, though.
The Gentleman: What's the reason behind the break? Found Mr. wonderful...
Me: Hardly. Just found myself not feeling as resilient and open as one needs to be.
The Gentleman: Okay... Well if you are ever in the mood for a casual hang out buddy, with no strings attached, and no pressures, let me know.

We chat a bit more about the ins and outs of dating. And then it gets interesting.

The Gentleman: So what happens when you have needs? You'll start dating again, or is there a stand in guy already as to why you don't answer your phone late night? :-)
Me: Too funny. I actually do have a stand in guy (technically) but I'm not really that into him.
Me: I don't answer my phone late at night because I'm sleeping, usually. You and I have very different schedules it seems.
Me: Are you offering to be my stand in guy?
The Gentleman: I'm definitely interested in being your stand in guy, I think... what’s wrong with the one you have now?
Me: You think? Would it change if I threw in that key chain I actually did pick you up when I was on vacation?
Me: The other guy is someone I'm not into physically - or personally, really. We almost went out on a date a very long while back, but he was really emotionally needy and so that didn't happen.

And then we very candidly discuss the details of our stand-ins. How we schedule, what the roles are, etc. His arrangement is substantially more structured than mine and seems more like a training program for the bedroom than regular access to a casual hook up. It’s an enlightening view into at least this male’s psyche.

Ultimately he offers to bump his scheduled appointment later that night with his stand-in if I’m interested. I consider it, but I decline.

It’s funny. I would definitely have been into him as a stand-in, but knowing how many he has, and how specific he is about the activities makes the situation substantially less desirable. Too much information about his personal life. Too much pressure to perform, I think.

I'm not deleting his number just yet, though. It can't hurt to have a stand-in while I'm looking for my stand-up guy.

Back in the Saddle?

Sunday, May 16, 2010
I don’t know if I would go that far, but I’m at least circling the horse. I turned my OK Cupid profile back on even though I still feel pretty anti-dating. A bit contradictory, but I’m not planning on reaching out to any men, mind you, I’m just browsing. Occasionally. If, and only if, someone interesting comes my way will I have to decide what, exactly, I’m doing.

I don’t know what I’m doing, you see. I’ve spent all this time over the past year making an effort to date, putting myself out there (online and in the real world), going out of my comfort zone, having drink after drink while getting to know all these men and really, what do I have to show for it?

Not a boyfriend, which was the primary goal. Not even a string of fun, exciting dates with engaging and handsome men, which would have been a nice consolation prize. And although I’ve been disappointed and frustrated, I actually don’t think those are the overriding feelings I’m left with.

No, I think what I have is doubt. Doubt that deliberately seeking a relationship is the best way to find one. Doubt that analyzing dating leads to improved dating. I even have some doubt as to whether I genuinely want to be in a relationship, whether I wouldn’t push it away even if it was presented to me on a silver platter.

I don’t see myself as a failure though; I’m simply following a normal evolution of thought. Doubt is part of the process. The cloudy, unsure, obnoxious part.

I will get back on the horse soon. Oh yes, as soon as I find myself a glorious stallion, I will hop into the saddle with no hesitation. And then I will take him for the ride of his life.

Postscript to The Big Ledateski

Thursday, May 13, 2010
This blog is not always written in real-time and due in no small part to the disaster that the Hobbes situation ended up being I have been trying to shift away from real-time posting altogether. The Big Ledateski is one such series that was posted after it had played out. And after finishing THAT tale I needed a little break.

I did have a discussion with my friend (the law school buddy of the co-worker of the friend of Duder) and she was wondering what had happened that caused him to suddenly retreat. I told her I didn’t even care to speculate. And I don’t, because it doesn’t matter.

I can’t say that I have a good read on Duder, but I can tell you emails that I received from him while posting The Big Ledateski led me to believe we were on entirely different pages. Nothing was taken as it was intended, it seemed. I hate that... I always want people to see my perspective and understand my position, whether they agree with it or not. I didn’t think I could get there with Duder, so I just stopped trying.

And truthfully, I think he’s kind of an asshole. Not on purpose, and not the mean kind, but there’s an attitude to the way that he presents himself in writing that is really off putting. At least to me.

It’s ironic, actually. Things ended with Duder almost immediately after I watched The Big Lebowski, so I never got to share my enjoyment of the film with him even as it became the backdrop for my blogging. I did enjoy sharing it with you, though.


Q: Is it being prepared to do the right thing, whatever the cost? Isn't that what makes a man? A: Hmmm... Sure, that and a pair of testicles.

Monday, May 3, 2010
The conclusion to this tale is somewhat anticlimactic. After giving Duder more leeway than I’ve given anyone I’ve dated in at least the past year it turns out that he is not interested in dating me.

When I put our last date-planning disaster on hold I had every intention of planning another date. I had even followed up with a phone call the next afternoon and the previously suggested text regarding meeting up for basketball watching that Saturday. He returned with a voicemail over the weekend which had not yet been returned by me when I got his “I don’t want to date you” email.

Immediately I breathed a big sigh of relief. As all of our interactions have made clear, I’m not interested in dating him. Not at all. Then I actually read the email.

He wants to know if we can be friends. No, no I don’t think we can be. Not after you’ve wasted my time and all my good will.

He thinks we have a ton in common. I can only assume he means we both like NCAA basketball.

He gives me carte blanche to blog about our date, adding that he doesn’t think I owe him an explanation for what I end up writing. I certainly hope not, because I’m going to tear him a new one.

I almost do in my response, because as I re-read the email I get pretty ticked that he’s the one who got to pull the plug. Let me explain something to you. If I didn’t think the Universe had something up his sleeve I would have never have given Duder a second glance. I made a sincere effort to see if we had a connection, overlooking really immature dating behavior on his part, because I knew (and he knew) that I was really negative about dating.

Instead I simply thank Duder for his honesty and the courtesy in regards to the blog. Besides, I was obviously planning to include everything I hadn’t told him directly in the blog version. He reads it, so he should have been expecting that. And frankly, he should have known better than to get involved with someone writing a blog about dating.
Nobody fucks with the Jesus.