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Monday, January 30, 2012

“Act II”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

And so we come to the portion of our program called Act II.  Act I is always our character’s development and set-up.  It’s an introduction to our leading lady, her life, her situation, her foibles, sprinkled with a few obvious jokes.  Act II, however, is distinctly different.  We introduce change, obstacle, challenge, heartbreak and, ok, a few more obvious jokes (but only because you asked so nicely).  Act II moves our heroin’s story and gives her arc.

Act II, Scene 1:  Miss-Adventures finally moves into her own apartment.

I realize now that I neglected to mention that for the first three months of my dating misadventures, I was still inhabiting the same living space as my ex wife.  Awkward much?  Oh yeah.  Tense?  You betcha.  Obviously, it wasn’t my first choice to continue living in the same apartment with my ex wife and her newly adopted post-split roommate from down under (my god, it was fucking crowded!), but rents are STOOPID expensive in this town and I had a lead on a fantastic apartment, in a great neighborhood and at just the right price.  All I had to do was wait it out until the apartment became available. 

Oh, did I mention that said new apartment was just downstairs in the same building?  Leave it to Miss-Adventures to do the unthinkable.  If I had a nickel for every time someone said, whatthefuck?! or, are you sure about that? or, isn't that going to be awkward?, I would have a whole lotta nickels (but unfortunately for me, still not enough to cover my STOOPID expensive rent).

Is it a little unconventional for two ex-spouses to continue to live as close neighbors?  Umm, yeah, I guess so.  But this living arrangement did come with huge advantages.  The first being that this would be the easiest move in the history of all moves.  No muss, no fuss!  Gay Husband, my always-willing-to-lend-a-hand brother-in-law and I finished moving me into my new apartment in under three hours!  That has to be some kind of record, right?  The second was that while my ex wife got custody of our dog and I got custody of our two cats, we could easily manage to visit “the children” as often as we wanted.  And third, despite some strange awkwardness and residual anger after splitting up, we always knew we wanted to remain close friends. 

Seven years of friendship and history cannot be replaced.  No one knows or understands me better than my ex wife, and just because the passion died and the love changed doesn’t change the fact that we both know we have always and will always have each other’s backs.  Still, coming to that realization and comfort with our new relationship didn’t come instantly.  So when I finally moved downstairs into my own apartment, we were still working through the hodgepodge of divorced-people’s emotions.  It was confusing times.

Act II, Scene 2:  Our beloved dog passes away.

She was the sweetest, smartest, friendliest, most lovable dog with the happiest face you’ve ever seen in your life and she died three weeks (!!!) after I moved into my new place.  Neither my ex or I had any clue that she was sick so her diagnosis and subsequent death 2 days later came as one hell of a shock to us both. 

Nothing puts perspective back in your life quite like the tragedy of losing a beloved family member.  It was our dog’s death that forced me to let go of any residual resentment, pent-up hostility and lingering bitterness.  In the end, we were just two people: dog owners, true friends and former lovers grieving over the loss of our child.

Lesson Learned: Life is so short.  Bitterness leaves you empty.  Love in any form can fill you up. 

For the first time in several uncomfortable, tense and heartbreaking months, I told my ex wife that she would always be my best friend and that I would always be there for her.  I miss our dog desperately and no one will ever replace her or fill the void that she left when she passed away but she gave me a great gift: perspective, and the ability to let go of my petty bullshit.  I think she would be proud.

I love you, Berks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

“Nugget” (Cont’d)

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

You may be asking yourself at this point in all of my storytelling, whatever happened to Miss-Adventures’ crush on Nugget?  What happened, indeed? 

Despite my willingness to reside in the friendzone, my silly, unrequited and sometimes obsessive crush on Nugget continued for weeks … and weeks.  It was kind of ridiculous, actually.

We occasionally hung out.  I awkwardly pined while she gracefully pretended to not notice.  We e-mailed and texted here and there and all the while I was just biding my time and praying that Nugget’s lady-friend (appropriately dubbed by a close friend of mine as “The Obstacle”) would be shown her stage left exit.

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy getting to know Nugget as a friend – I absolutely did!  I knew the very first day we met that I would have her in my world in any capacity she would be comfortable filling.  But I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that I had had grander, more romantical fantasies about her role in my life.  So, I patiently waited, “nurturing the friendship”, as my ex wife calls, what is essentially, waiting for my turn.

Eventually the time came: The Obstacle was no longer.  And I pounced like a cat stalking her prey!  But, Miss-Adventures, being the awkward, clumsy, somewhat slow and gimpy version of an over-fed house cat that she is, pounced and missed!  What the hell made me think that I could catch this sparkling, shining and rapidly moving target?  I hadn’t practiced my stalking in years!  I’d been a happily fed, fat and lazy house cat raised on kitty kibble, not at all the agile, lean and clever lioness I needed to be to catch this gazelle.

Ok, so pouncing clearly wasn’t my game.  I needed to just be direct.  I’m actually very good at direct communication and I appreciate the fine art of complete, yet well-mannered honesty (years and years of therapy, thankyouverymuch).  But I also know that how well honesty is received is always a big variable which can either deliver huge rewards or dire consequences.

So after a few attempts and failures at trying to plan a real first date, I finally resorted to absolute directness and asked Nugget if she had any real interest in seeing me.  I just had to have a clear answer, otherwise, I could have continued playing (lazy, fat and clumsy) Cat-and-Mouse for far too long.  And with as much care, diplomacy and grace as I imagine one could muster, she gently, politely and very clearly let me down. 

I was actually impressed.  Letting someone down gently is not an easy thing to do and I admired her artful exit.  Despite feeling some disappointment, I was not going to cower away or give up our friendship for one second.  So I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, cast my minor discouragement aside and proposed that from that day on, we would become the best of friends.  Awesome chick that she is: she accepted, and I never looked back or regretted the decision. 

Folks, like I said in Nugget (part one), every now and then, under a blue moon and a wide horizon, you meet someone who you know is going to play an integral and pivotal role in your life.  Nugget has become my sounding board, my most masterful and creative wing-woman, my go-to online dating guru and platonic bestie.  She is, in short (but in fantastic three-inch heels), abso-fucking-lutely fabulous.  She is the Thelma to my Louise, the Gayle King to my Oprah Winfrey and the Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte to my Carrie Bradshaw.

Please welcome to the Miss-Adventures Blog-O-Sphere my darling little Nugget (one of less than a handful of recurring characters in my dating misadventures).  She deserves a hearty round of applause and absolute adoration.

What are you waiting for, readers?  I can’t hear you.  Start applauding, goddamnit!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  

Thank you, Nugget, for being a shining distraction through my divorce heartache, a new friend to help amuse, enlighten and entertain me, and my all-time favorite online dating guru/partner in crime.  This blog is dedicated to you.  And I still think you should be the one writing down YOUR stories; you’re a better writer and you have far more interesting and juicy stories to share with the world than I.  I love you more than my luggage, Weezer.” (Not that you would even understand that quote).

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Cougar Bait"

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

There are few things as flattering as a beautiful young girl pursuing the hell out of you.  I won’t lie: it feels bloody fantastic.  Some things to know about me: I know it’s something of a fault of mine but I simply LOVE to be flattered, have my ego stroked and be reminded how valuable I am.  My closest friends and family will all agree with me here: despite my penchant for self-deprecation on this blog, Miss-Adventures is a shameless cat; stroke my fur and I will purr for you.

That said, out of the blue one day, I received an e-mail from pretty young Cougar Bait.  She was twenty years old.  Now, I’m not going to say that I’m older than dirt, but compared to this girl, I may as well have been.  I’m comfortable in my mid-to-late thirties.  I love where I’m at in my life and career.  And I’m proud to say that I don’t think I look too shabby for thirty-[mumble- mumble- mumble].  I’m fully convinced that I’ve only gotten better with age, even if my knees will argue with me on that point.  (Shut up knees, I know that skiing, hiking and trampoline-ing pisses you off but I need you to get on board, bitches!)

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my age (with the exception of when my aching bones scream at me for behaving like a teenager) but when a girl fresh out of nappies sends me a flirty e-mail, I cannot help but pause, scratch my head and ask myself, “Ummm … why?  I’m old enough to have been her mother!

So I returned Cougar Bait’s e-mail and told her how flattered I was but that she must’ve made some sort of mistake because I was clearly outside of her appropriate dating age range and I lived nearly three hundred miles away.  And she e-mailed me back:

“I know I must seem young to you and I live kind of far away, but my family lives in the area, I’m up in your direction at least once a month and I would literally walk three hundred miles to back my ass up into your hips or wrap my legs around them.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?  But wait, there’s more!

“And if that’s not enough to convince you, I’m smart, funny, ten different kinds of fun and I look spectacular on a leash.”

A WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?  But wait, there’s more!

“If it makes you feel any better, I’ve always been attracted to older ladies.  I find them so much sexier than girls my own age and if it helps, I’ve already been broken in by an older lady.”

Did you get all of that, readers?  Let me highlight some of those finer points for you in case you missed anything:

… back my ass up into your hips …

… look spectacular on a leash …

… am attracted to older ladies …

… already broken in by an older lady …

I don’t even know where to begin to address these points!  But let me try.

First things first, I can certainly appreciate the directness and boldness of Cougar Bait’s proposal but enough cannot be said for innocent and artful flirting, which she clearly is incapable of employing (obviously an unfortunate bi-product of her tender young age).

Second, I would be lying through my orthodontially-corrected teeth if I said I wasn’t intrigued by the leash but frankly, I couldn’t get past the image of her in diapers to even begin to possibly imagine how great she must look on a leash.

And third, if her goal is to wrap her legs around my hips, the least likely method to achieve that mark is to call me an “older lady”.  Is that what I want to hear?  Is that supposed to seduce me?  I’m sorry but ‘Mrs. Robinson’ I Am Not.  And the sad fact is that, at her tender young age of twenty years old, she’d probably never understand who or what Mrs. Robinson was since she’s probably still living in her parents’ home and watching cartoons with her after-school snack of milk and cookies.

Game over. 

No more e-mails and definitely no leash.  I’m more of a cat person anyway.  I’m not really all that interested in adopting a puppy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

“Naughty School Teacher”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
Interesting.  Artistic.  Boundary Pusher.  A school teacher.  Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.

I need to preface by saying that I have a serious thing for pretty school teachers (you can add firefighters, EMTs and some police officers to that list, as well).  No kidding – pretty school teachers make me completely weak kneed.  I blame my high school French teacher, Madame La Vert.  She was my first teacher crush: beautiful, refined, elegant, so very kind and she spoke four languages.  Need I continue?

Part two to my preface: I have always gravitated towards artistic types.  Actors, musicians, writers, photographers, painters: you name it, I’ve either dated, crushed or fallen for it.  You can keep your laborers, athletes and most professionals – I want artists, school teachers and civil servant superheroes and I usually go for them with reckless and shameless abandon.

I think you can guess where I’m going with this … Naughty School Teacher was an art teacher and an artist.  Best. Of. Both. Worlds.  (Can I have two or would that just be greedy?)

So I e-mailed her.  I tell her that I love school teachers and artists and I would love to meet her sometime … No reply.  Radio silence.  Crickets.  This is no big deal to me.  Nine times out of ten, you send an e-mail and never hear back.  I don’t take it personally as this always comes back around to type and preference.  I have a type, you have a type; it’s not really about who you are as a person and if you let ego get in the way, online dating will never work for you.

A couple or three weeks go by and I’m still thinking about NST.  So I break from my usual rule of one unanswered e-mail and walk away, and I decide to send her another.  (See? – reckless and shameless abandon!)  I explained to her that I’m breaking my rule – I just had to try and reach out one more time because I am ever so curious about her.  It was a pretty good e-mail, if I say so myself.  I told her that if she doesn’t want to reach out, she doesn’t have to; if I’m just not her type, I’d be open to meeting a new friend; and if it doesn’t work out in any way shape or form, I respond to “fuck off” really well.

And so, I get an e-mail back.  She apologized for not e-mailing sooner and explained that she was planning to reply to me after my first message but that she was side-tracked by the new semester which had just begun.  I’m elated – I really, really wanted to meet her.  I poured through her profile, her photos and her multiple-choice questionnaire at least a half dozen times.

On top of all of the lovely characteristics I noted above (interesting, artistic, boundary pusher, school teacher, gorgeous), she had a very, very naughty streak: sexually confident, open to anything and seriously erotically charged.  And this is just what I picked up from her profile!  What would I find if we met?!

So we e-mailed a few times and she’s cordial and very cautious and very happy to talk about her work as a school teacher.  I suggested that we try to meet up for coffee or a drink sometime and she tells me that she’s decided to shut down her dating profile and that I should e-mail her at her personal e-mail address.  So I do.  And in one of my e-mails to her I casually asked her what made her decide to shut it down so soon after creating an online profile and she tells me that she only opened the profile because her ex boyfriend (a “polyamorous asshole” who cheated on her and broke her heart) is on the same dating website and she wanted to get even with him.

Ohhhh my god.  How does one even respond to that?

I’m going down the list of things to say.  What should I do?  I’ve got a hundred different things running through my mind: this chick is obviously a little crazy; she’s vindictive; she’s immature; she’s hurting; she’s vulnerable; she’s using people to make her ex boyfriend jealous … whatthefuck?

Now, here’s the thing about me: I don’t do game playing, I don’t engage in fuckery and I will not be used or toyed with to make anyone jealous.  In everything I do, I always try to bring honesty, maturity and integrity to the table.  Is that exciting?  No, probably not.  Is that sexy?  Um, probably not.  But I need to keep my conscience clear and I need to be able to sleep at night, even if that means I’m sleeping alone.

So I e-mailed NST back.  I told her that I can clearly see she’s not ready to date me, or anyone for that matter.  I told her that while I understand the pain of heartbreak (god knows!), I think she’s behaving immaturely and that she ought to have been able to recognize that since she works with teenagers on a daily basis. 

Cue Miss-Adventures 2.0 – she can be such an asshole.

I realize it was kind of a low blow, especially since we were still perfect strangers.  It wasn’t really my place to judge her and tell her that I thought she was acting childish, but I felt like I was about to be used as a pawn in her game and I reacted emotionally.  So sue me.

I offered my hand in friendship and one last piece of parting advice: move on, forget your ex boyfriend and don’t give him the satisfaction of your vengeance.  Sage words of wisdom, no?  She didn't exactly tell me to "fuck off" but her passive aggressive radio silence said it for her.  That was the last I ever heard from her.

What a shame.  How I do love a naughty school teacher.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

“The Relationship Guru”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
Let us move onward to the next casualty date, shall we?  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, “The Relationship Guru”.

At first, I was struck by this girl’s photos.  She’s beautiful in an earthy sort of way – no, not in a hippie dippy, pot smoking, dances barefoot in the Height kind of way.  I mean, she’s beautiful in a legitimately earthy sort of way; like, she seems grounded, calm and approachable.  She has long flowing red hair, an abundance of adorable freckles and a smile that completely changes the way her face looks from one photo to another.  And ohmygod, do I love a girl with a great smile.  So I e-mailed her and said that I thought her smile lights up her whole face.  (It’s one of my better introductory e-mails, if I do say so myself.  See, I’m growing!)  So we shared a few pleasant e-mails and I gave her my number.

Now, let me break away from this train of thought for one moment and tell you that I absolutely detest talking on the phone.  I hate it.  I’ll text you all damned day and write you a novel of an e-mail but I will avoid talking on the phone at all costs.  So when I give out my number, it is always with the caveat that you should text me.  Now, I realize that that probably raises red flags with some people.  There are a lot of online daters out there who want a “voice verification” to prove you are, in fact, a real person, not a scammer, or worse: a basement dwelling geek who gets his/her kicks from mind-fucking real online daters.  And when someone says to me, I’d like a “voice verification”, I’m likely to respond in kind – I’m not totally unreasonable.  But when someone just decides to call without having texted at least once, I get slightly annoyed.  Also, you are 100% guaranteed that your call will be screened and directed straight to my voicemail – Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200.

So on that note, readers, I think you can imagine what happened next:  RG decided to call me.  No text before hand.  No e-mail warning ahead of time.  Nope, she went straight for the voice verification without so much as a heads-up.  Strike One.

So I texted her back after listening to her voicemail and told her that I was busy at the moment (which I was, it wasn’t bullshit) but that I got her message and she should text me later that evening around 8-ish.

“8-ish” rolls around and guess who’s calling me again?  Christ on a stick!  What about “you should text me later” didn’t she understand?  Strike Two.

But I decided to pick up this time – evidently, this girl was not getting my message well at all.  So we talked for a few minutes and here’s what I learned from our telephone conversation: she’s an independent “couples and relationship coach” (no, not a marriage & family counselor, but a “couples coach” - translation: no degree and no license to practice), a part-time nanny and an aspiring hip hop dancer (a what?!  A ginger-headed hip hop dancer?  Is that even possible in nature?).  Yep, you read that right: she has three jobs … and she’s thirty-two years old.  (Oh come on, just grow up and learned to focus your career already.  *Eye Roll*)

So we talked about trying to meet up sometime.  Coffee?  A drink?  Lunch?  Oh no, RG invited me to her monthly ladies meet-up movie night at her house.  “If you’re not too intimidated by that, I’d love for you to come.”

Now, it’s not my policy (at all) to make first dates with a girl AND her group of friends, but on the other hand, when someone casually drops the words, “if you’re not intimidated”, I take that as a personal challenge.  Hell no!  I’m not scared of anything!  I’m a cape wearing superhero single girl bad ass!  You cannot scare me with your silly girls’ movie night!  But you know that secretly I was really fucking intimidated.  Little ol’ me in a house full of strangers sitting in judgment of their friend’s newest date.  Will she have vodka at this movie night?  Will I be able to find a large plant to hide behind?  Ohmygod, so much pressure.

So I put on my metaphorical single-girl superhero cape, stop by the liquor store for a lovely bottle of wine and then to the grocery store for “movie food group” items (M&Ms, microwave popcorn, etc., none of which I actually eat myself) and then I made my way to her house.

When I walked into her teeny tiny shoe box-sized house, I gave her a friendly hug hello and after a quick introduction to each guest, I politely shook their hands.  Once introductions were over, RG made a beeline back to her kitchen where she was making dinner for her guests.  So I sat and made small talk with about a half a dozen ladies and all the while my palms were sweating, and I’m wondering: how long does it take to make dinner?  When will I actually get to talk to my date?  And where’s the nearest bottle of Grey Goose?

Since my date was preoccupied with cooking in the kitchen and not engaging in any actual conversation with me, here’s what I learned through careful observation:  photographs of RG and the same man were displayed everywhere; as RG’s friends arrived, they all asked the same question, “Where’s Rico tonight?”  Hmmm … Rico … Rico … uhhh, who the hell is Rico?

As the night wore on, I realized more and more that RG is making zero effort to talk to me.  And then I started to think, other than during my arrival, she hasn’t made so much as even eye contact with me at all!  I had more eye contact and conversation with everyone else in the house, including RG’s cat, than with RG herself!

Later, RG and her friends are discussing “Sex & The City”, a personal favorite television show.  So I listened intently, curious to know what my “date” thought of the show.  (I’m not kidding, I loved this show so much that I bought and still own all six seasons on DVD.)  RG began to complain about how, as a “couples coach”, she was appalled and disgusted by how dumb the characters are, how they bounced from bed to bed, relationship to relationship and never really learned anything.  And I’m thinking, ‘well yeah, because mature and stable relationships would make for a terrible comedy.’  I also couldn’t help but wonder how successful her own independent couples coaching business would be if her clients knew she invited me over for a date with a group of her friends and photos of her and her gentleman friend strewn about her home.

And just about the time I was about to announce my early departure (because clearly this date was going nowhere), who arrives at her house?  You guessed it: it’s Rico.  And then it became abundantly clear that this is not just her boyfriend, but her live-in boyfriend.  Strike Three!  You’re OUT!

I am not a judgmental person in general.  Yes, I have my judgey moments like anyone else, but I don’t live in judgment of people.  How people live their lives and how and whom they love are really none of my concern … that is, until they invite me into the folds.  I’m not sure what RG’s motivation was for inviting me to her home when she clearly has a live-in boyfriend and said boyfriend would be joining her and her friends for a movie.  Was this a polyamorous relationship?  Were they seeking some sort of three-way?  I never asked.  All I know is that neither of those options were appealing to me and they never would appeal to me, especially considering how the rest of the evening was conducted.  Sufficed to say, I high-tailed it home and I never looked back.

I did hear from RG one more time after that night.  She invited me over to her home again.  I politely declined with no explanation whatsoever and wished her well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

"The Foreigner" (Cont'd)

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
Two or three weeks after receiving The Foreigner’s ‘Oh shit! I can’t do this! panic email’, I received another e-mail from her on the dating website.  Well, color me shocked!  There was nothing meaningful in the e-mail itself; just a “Hey how are you? I like the new profile picture you added.” kind of thing.  But I wasn’t expecting it … Not. At. All.  So I replied in kind and we went back and forth over the course of a day.

There are times when I’m e-mailing, talking with or dating a girl and I know she’s blowing me off.  I know that:

I’ve been busy” = I’m seeing other people that I find more interesting than you.
I have a lot on my plate” = I would rather polish my spoon collection than see you.
I’m in a complicated relationship” (my current favorite) = I have a crush on someone else and I don’t see you ever changing that.
I’m not ready to date” = I AM ready to date, just not you, not now and not ever.

In this case, though, “I have a lot on my plate” was not code-speak at all but actually literal in nature … to be fair, though, how the hell would I have guessed that?

And so, through the course of my e-mail exchange that day with The Foreigner, I realized that I hadn’t been blown off, per se, but rather, that she actually did have a lot on her plate and was not in any position to try to date anyone at that time.  (Side note: it was at that exact moment that I became ever-so thankful for being tactful when I told her that I was open to friendship if she was.  Because I could have easily come off as the world’s most insensitive asshole had I not gracefully accepted her last-minute date cancellation e-mail.  It is a rare and celebratory moment indeed when I’m not swallowing my own foot.)  So I listened … and I sympathized … and I understood perfectly: she is going through hell. 

She was apologetic.  She was sincere.  And she was … hold the phone … interested in seeing me again?  Say what now?! 

T.F.: “I hope that I didn’t just confuse you more.” 
Me: “I’m totally confused.  Do you want to see me as a friend or as a friend with potential?” 

And she said simply, “Yes.” 

Hmmm … still no clear cut answer, but I decided not to push and agreed to see her again.  The plan was to have a quiet lunch at her home.  And when was this confusing lunch to take place, you ask?  The actual, literal fucking day after I had just had my head spun by Nugget.

To say that I showed up for lunch even half dedicated would be an overstatement.  The ego-bruising unreciprocated lean in for a kiss continued to play over and over in my mind.  The red flag that was her ‘Oh shit! I can’t do this! panic email’ was still waving itself proudly.  The cautionary bell that was her hell-on-earth overloaded plate was deafening in my ears.  And the fact that I had just met this dynamic glittering super star, which prevented me from getting one minute of sleep the night before, was swirling around my head with diamonds and miniature heart bubbles. 

But you know what?  I showed up.  I showed up because I promised I would show up, because there was still a sliver of a chance that we could have hit it off, because despite all the obstacles in our way, I still found her attractive, because I actually felt real sympathy for everything that she was going through, because even though my head was in the clouds and there were stars in my eyes for an entirely different girl, I knew that there was no chance in hell that Nugget was going to run off and join the circus that is my life, especially since there was another woman in hers.

And so … lunch was lovely.  Lunch turned into long and easy conversation.  Long and easy conversation turned into a movie on the sofa.  A movie on the sofa turned into two hours of innocent and friendly cuddling.  And throughout the entire day I kept telling myself, I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to make the lean again and suffer another blow to my already fragile ego.  So the time came … and I headed home; no lean, no kiss, no definitive plans to see each other again. 

And so, students, what did we learn from the dating miscues of Miss-Adventures and The Foreigner?  Timing is fucking everything. 

Spoiler Alert: You’ll begin to recognize this as a running theme going forward.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Nugget"

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
Folks, let me tell you something.  Every now and then, under a blue moon and a wide horizon, you meet someone who you just know is going to play a big role in your life.  You don't know exactly what kind of role they'll play, whether it be comedy, romance, or tragedy, leading lady, quirky best friend or out-and-out villain, but you just know: this one is pivotal.  This such pivotal person is my little Nugget: a tiny diva with a giant sequin and rhinestone personality.  She is, in short: abso-fucking-lutely fabulous.

I have to confess: I'm not usually one to reach out and start e-mailing cute girls.  As bad as my game is in person, it is no better via e-mail, so I usually wait around for them to notice that I've stalked their profile a couple or three times and hope that they contact me first.  It's terrible, it’s chickenshit, it’s … so pathetically me.  I have tried to initiate e-mails.  I really have, but then I become gripped with writer's block and insecurity and every word I type sounds like it may have come out of the mouth of a knuckle dragging cave dweller.  I'm that new hybrid mammal: part Neanderthal, part Homo Sapien, Same-Sex Dater.  You can just call me "Troglodyke".  But here's the thing: Nugget's profile charmed the shit out of me.  I simply HAD to e-mail her.

This girl had perhaps the most charming profile I had ever read.  She may STILL have the most charming profile I have ever read.  Her humor was quirky and sprinkled with equal parts absurd and adorable.  She was witty and so very clever.  So the time had come to put on my big girl britches and initiate conversation.  And in my typical fashion, I think I probably said something irresistible like, 'hey you're funny'.  (God, I’m so sexy, I can hardly keep my hands off myself.)  To my surprise though, she actually e-mailed me back.  And so, we went back and forth e-mailing.  Before long, we'd exchanged phone numbers and we're texting like mad fools.  And every single text message from her had me hysterically laughing.  Her humor, again, was witty, charming, sometimes irreverent and often absurd.  My kind of girl!

Not too long and we've got a first date on the books.  Now here's the thing about me: I'm not kidding when I say that I'm ridiculously choosey.  As excited as I was to meet Nugget, I was already talking myself out of a possible romantic connection.  Call me shallow, call me romantically timid, call me whatever you’d like but here’s the thing: I knew in advance that she was only a hair taller than actual legal "little person" stature.  And I'm something of an Amazon creature from hell.  So my brain is already ruling out any romantic possibilities because how the fuck is that going to work?  Am I supposed to carry her around in my pocket?  Should I get a Baby Bjorn?  Do I need to invest in a step ladder in case there's an end of the evening smooch?  Aww fuck, but whatevs!  She's hilarious.  I still have to meet this girl in person because no one is that clever in real life ... except maybe Tina Fey and I'm not convinced that she's an actual earthling.  Tina Fey's too good to actually be one of us.

So we've got plans to meet at a nearby wine bar and then a "play it by ear/no obligation to stay if you think I'm a troglodyte dinner" to follow.  I'm ridiculously excited - drinking wine with a girl who makes me squeal with hilarity.  Does it get much better than that?

Literally, the day before my highly anticipated first date with Nugget, she tells me that she's been casually seeing someone for a few weeks and that as of about ten minutes ago they decided to exclusively date.  'Sorry it's bad timing, but I still want to meet you as a friends thing because you seem rad.'

Do you hear that sound, readers?  Listen closely.  It sounds like, WHOMP WHOMP.

But of course ...  as of ten minutes ago ...  she's decided to exclusively date someone!  Because that is the bountiful good fortune that Miss-Adventures has become accustomed to.  (Eye Roll.)  But ya know, I still had no idea whether or not we would hit it off and I did still really want to meet her – if nothing else, there's wine and guaranteed laughter, so I agreed to meet ... as a friends thing.

So the day comes.  And I'm aware that I've already been banished to the friendzone before having even met her.  So fuck it.  I don't bother worrying about what outfit looks best on me, which jeans flatter my ghetto booty, or which shirt is just low cut enough to give away a peak but not give away the farm.  I throw on a pair of ho-hum jeans, a white tank top, my ugly-as-hell but oh-so-comfy Dr. Marten's boots, and my favorite hand-me-down army green jacket from my ex-wife.  Now you may ask yourself, how the hell does Miss-Adventures remember exactly what she was wearing six goddamned months ago?  Because, friends.  When you meet someone who totally fucking rocks your world, you cannot help but obsess, wish and kick yourself for not having put more effort into your fucking attire!!

My wine bar friendzone date with Nugget was a hell of a lot of fun.  After a slightly bumpy start to our meeting (confusion as to where in the bar we would actually find each other, followed by fifteen to twenty minutes of waiting around and wondering if either of us had been stood up, followed by a text message of, “did you change your mind about meeting up?” and then, “oh you’re here, where are you?”), we rebounded nicely.  We talked, we laughed, we people-watched and we laughed at the people we watched.  Afterward, we headed off for just a quick bite.  And all the while, I am killing myself for not having met this girl a week sooner.

Despite the difference in our height (almost a whole foot!) and despite the fact that there was already a lady-friend in her picture, I was completely and totally knocked off my feet.  I managed to somehow drive myself home that night and couldn’t get over the fact that I felt literally intoxicated the whole way home and I had had hardly anything to drink.  Holy hell – what just happened to me?

Once I got back home, I texted one of my best friends: he’s always there for me, he’s a giant love bug, a great big ball of emotional support and I love him madly.  He’s my “gay husband”.  You know what a “gay husband” is, right ladies?  He’s your date when you’re going stag, he’s your mirror when you’re dressing for an evening out, he’s your sounding board when you need relationship advice and he’s everything a husband should be with the added bonus of emotional maturity and accessibility, which is utterly lacking in straight dudes, and minus the sexual attraction/confusion.  Gay Husband needs his own fucking superhero cape.

So after my text to Gay Husband, he calls me right away.  I pour over every detail of the evening, lament about my shitty timing, ask him what I should do and then I burden the poor man with every insecurity and neurotic obsession until nearly two in the morning.  Gay Husband needs a superhero cape and his own ice cave.  I am the Lois Lane to his Gay-Ass Superman.  He is that good.


After two hours of indulgence on his part, I finally let Gay Husband go back to sleep.  I crawl into bed, snuggle up to my little monsters (also known as “the ferocious felines”) and desperately try to drift off to sleep.  Two o’clock turns to three o’clock.  Three o’clock turns to four o’clock, and so on.  After lying awake all fucking night, I finally get up and out of bed around six o’clock in the morning.  And this is the first time I had experienced what I have since come to recognize as the absolute, sure-fire, tell-tale sign that I’ve crushed on a girl: motherfucking INSOMNIA.  

And I know: I’m doomed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sensitive Mess

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

I have come to realize that what people share on their profile is very often not at all who they really are.  I try to not subscribe to that method of false self-promotion.  What would be the purpose in that?  If all you’re trying to do is score as many first dates as you possibly can, then sure, you should totally run with, ‘I look like Charlize Theron, have the wit and charm of Tina Fey and fuck like a porn star!  But you and I know that the minute you sit down for your first date, your dinner companion is already scoping out the emergency exits because you really look like that fat Hobbit from Lord of the Rings, have all the wit and charm of an lumpy old office chair and you can forget about the way you fuck because before you’ve had the chance to utter the phrase, “your place or mine?”, your date has just jumped out of the restaurant's bathroom window and leapt into oncoming traffic waving down anyone who would give them a ride as far away from you as they could possibly get.

So on that note, where do I begin?  Oh right, "Sensitive Mess".  Heavens!  This gal was gorgeous, witty, sensitive and … confusing as all fuck.  I obviously had no inkling just how messed up she was by reading her profile but it wouldn't take me long to surmise.  At first glance she was endearing and charming.  And did I mention she was gorgeous?  Good lord.  So we began in the usual way.  First e-mail went something like this. 

S.M.:Hey you’re really pretty and you seem great. 

My reply: "Thank you very much.  You’re not so bad yourself.  You seem pretty great too. 

Gripping stuff, no?  Can you feel my heat?  I mean, honestly, do you see what I mean?  I’ve got no fucking game.  But we had a few more e-mails back and forth.  These are the things I find out through our e-mails: she’s a serious foodie and an aspiring chef (which, in this town, is akin to aspiring actors in Los Angeles), she’s sarcastic and funny, she works two jobs in the food service industry, she’s looking for a new apartment, she’s stressed to the max and she’s going through a divorce too. (Welcome to our thirties, folks!) 

Maybe it’s my codependent nature to want to nurture.  Maybe it’s my own divorced soul wanting to reach out and bond to another.  Or maybe it was that crazy sexy and somewhat kinky streak of hers which she proudly displayed in her profile questionnaire that roped me in.  (Yes, I’m fully aware that I used ‘kinky’ and ‘roped’ in the same sentence.  Can you blame me?)  Let me tell you something, readers: after a long term relationship with all the passion of flannel footsie pajamas, a self-identified switchy girl with a whip can really grab your attention and imagination!  (Sorry, Mom.  I know this is more than you ever wanted to know about your little girl.)

Focus, Miss-Adventures ...  focus.

After weeks (yeah, weeks!  can you believe that shit?) of flirty, suggestive and yes, sensitive e-mailing, what happens?  She blew me off!  She stopped e-mailing cold turkey.  I was kind and thoughtful as she poured out all of her regret, sorrow, loneliness and bitterness over her divorce, only to be blown off.  I realize now that being inexplicably blown off is an unfortunate and common occurrence but having just re-entered the dating pool and being very naive about online dating, I was utterly confused. 

So after a couple of weeks, I decided to check in.  I asked how she was doing, had she found a new apartment yet, how the job search was going.  She e-mails back (in what seems like a fucking eternity but was really probably a week or two) and tells me that she’s decided that she’s not ready to date, she's overwhelmed and under too much pressure, her divorce was just finalized and she’s going to take a break from the dating website but when she’s in a better space, she’ll definitely contact me.

Folks, let me tell you something I’ve learned:

1.         When someone tells you they’re “busy”, they want you to fuck off.
2.         When someone tells you they’re “not ready to date”, they want you to fuck off.
3.         When someone tells you they’re “taking a break from the dating website”, they want you to fuck off.

Are you getting what I’m saying?

Any one of these things would have clued me in to fuck off.  This girl brought them all to the party.  As if to say, don’t just fuck off, but ‘you need to fuck off and don’t ever think about contacting me’.  So whatthefuck did I miss?

And in case you were wondering: no, she did not ever take a break from the dating website.  That girl updates her profile on an almost weekly basis, which, if you ask me, smacks of desperation.  And I should know: I update mine almost as frequently.