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Thursday, March 29, 2012

“Recognizing Social Circle Pitfalls”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater  

So how do you begin to navigate the pitfalls of inter-social-circle dating?  Obviously, when you’re faced with dating your ex wife’s friend and you share several friends in common, keeping the details of your new relationship personal and private becomes a bit of a challenge.  




My life is intertwined with Ex Wife’s and it likely always will be.  After having spent seven years together and only having split up less than a year ago, we are still neighbors, we have friends in common and she is still very close to my mother.  And because we are so closely tied, working out personal boundaries has been a learning experience since Day One of our breakup.  While we are great friends, we still have a uniquely antagonistic relationship; so naturally, when Glamazon and I began to date, my chief concern was trying to keep my personal life private.  I loathe nothing more than being the subject of talk (unless, of course, the topic is how wonderfully entertaining and amusing this blog is – in which case, TALK AWAY, friends!).

Pitfall Number One:  Glamazon’s ex girlfriend.  While she isn’t friends with my ex wife, she does run in the same social circle.  And considering the fact that Glamazon’s breakup was rather recent when she and I met, out of respect, I wanted to keep our dating as far under the radar as we possibly could to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.  Thankyouverymuch, but douche-baggery is not my idea of having a good time and rubbing someone’s nose in our new relationship just seems cruel.

Fall Out: Facebook isn’t exactly the most discreet place to begin flirting with a girl.  News of our Facebook flirtation broke at record-breaking speed and before you can say, “out of control wild fire”, Glamazon was getting an ear full from her rather unhappy ex girlfriend.  (My bad.)

Pitfall Number Two:  My ex wife talks … a lot.  And her friends talk … a lot.  Do I really want everyone running to one another, to their friends, to their neighbors, to their gay cousin’s postal carrier’s ex husband’s dog walker who only want to talk about me and Glamazon just for the sake of carrying on some meaningless conversation in order to fill the awkward silences in everyday conversation?  Yeeaahh, no.  Thanks, anyway.

Fall Out: Five days before our first date, two of my ex wife’s friends, who I have only met once or twice, literally approached me and said, “So I hear you have a date with [Glamazon’s non-superhero name]?”  Whatthefuck?  Do I know you?

Pitfall Number Three:  My ex wife is still very close to my mother.  In a lot of ways, she’s closer to my mother than I am.  Granted, it’s my own fault for not picking up the phone more often (have we not already established my deep distaste for talking on the phone?), but I’m not entirely comfortable with the two of them discussing my personal life or my girlfriend’s past, present, future, personal stats, information or any other ilk.  Umm, inappropriate much?

Fall Out:  True to form, by the time I got around to actually calling my mother, she had heard every little detail about my own girlfriend from Ex Wife before I had a chance to tell her myself.  Here I was, calling my mom to tell her that I’d like to fly out this Spring for a visit and I’d like to bring Glamazon to ‘meet the parents’ and she said that she had already heard all about her.  I was feeling ever so exasperated and annoyed by my ex’s lack of discretion, and my mother said to me, “Now, don’t get mad at [Ex Wife], it’s not her fault.  You know, we just talk all the time.”  As if that’s a valid excuse for my ex to tell my mother about my new girlfriend?  Inappropriate much?!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

“Glamazon” – Fate Intervenes

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater 

Correct me if I’m wrong but when you all were single and dating, did you find that your friends would want to set you up with other members of their social circle?  For me, it came up from time to time: so, I have this friend...’; what kind of women are you attracted to?’; ‘would you date so-and-so?’; ‘well, what about dating a guy? do you find this guy attractive?  For whatever reason, I never found myself interested in anyone tossed in my direction.  At least, not at that time.

Sometime around Christmas and just before I met Helen of Troy, my ex wife had casually mentioned a friend of hers.  She told me about this “really sweet girl” who looked as though a breakup was imminent.  She actually went on for several minutes about how wonderful her friend was and then she even showed me a picture of her friend from her phone.

Ex wife: “Isn’t she so cute?”

Me: “Yeah, she’s really cute.  But [ex wife’s name], in a million years, I would NEVER date one of your friends.”

Ex wife: “What?!  Why NOT?  You’d love her.  She’s great!”

Me: “Dude!  There’s no fucking way.  I cannot date one of my ex wife’s friends.  That’s just TOO WEIRD!”

Ex wife: “Ok, fine.  But I think you’d really like her; she’s totally your type.  And she’s really tall, just like you like.”

Me: “I’m sure she’s great but … really? how tall? … No, that’s just too weird.  Thanks anyway.”

What’s that old cliché about “never saying never”?  Fate must’ve heard me and laughed its ass off when I said that I would never date someone in Ex Wife’s social circle because, just when I least expected it, my old nemesis, “Timing”, and my brand new friend, “Fate”, came together and knocked me backward on my ass with the best surprise of my life.

I don’t recall ever being formally introduced to Glamazon.  I had seen her here and there for a couple of months, usually in large social settings or just in passing.  She first appeared at a going away party which my ex wife threw for our dog who had been diagnosed with cancer.  She appeared again at an ugly Christmas sweater party.  I don’t think we had ever even spoken a word to each other but I know we passed curious glances.  Now, I won’t deny that I thought she was really pretty when I saw her here and there (her eyes are the sort that make you do a double-take and ask yourself, ‘where the hell did my heartbeat just go?’) but because she was a friend of my ex wife’s, because I have a tendency to pre-judge all of my ex wife’s friends (some of them can be very clique-ish and gossipy), because Glamazon and I had never been formally introduced, and because I clam up in large social settings, that pretty face barely made a blip on my radar.

When my ex wife tried to convince me to ask out her “very sweet friend”, I was utterly convinced that Glamazon was going to wind up being just another one of her douchey friends.  Not only that, but dating a friend of your ex’s opens your life up to a whole hell of a lot of gossip and talk, and while Miss-Adventures is totally willing to open up her personal life for all the www to see, I also like having the choice to keep some things private and sacred.  So I continued on my merry way of online dating, meeting lots of new people and suffering through the trials and tribulations of dating attachments.

And then Glamazon appeared again … on Hookah Night. 

[Internal Monologue: ‘Ohhhh yeah, that’s the girl that ex wife wanted me to ask out.  She really is tall.  Oh man, her eyes are so pretty.  Ok, back to the task at hand …] 

Me: “Does anyone want a glass of wine?  I have hummus!”

Fast forward one week later and Miss-Adventures is getting dumped by Helen of Troy.

Fast forward five days after that and Miss-Adventures is checking her Facebook feed.  [There’s that girl ex wife wanted me to ask out again!]  Ex wife had posted a very cute picture of Glamazon on Facebook posing next to a U-Haul van parked right outside of our own apartment building (insert inappropriate stereotypical lesbian joke here).  [Internal Monologue: Is ex wife moving in a new roommate?  That girl is super cute.]  So right there on Facebook, for the whole world to see:

Me: “New roomie?”

Ex Wife: “Nah, she’s just picking up some things I was storing for her in the garage.”

Me:Too bad.  She’s kinda cute.”

Glamazon: “’Kinda?’  Rude!”

I love a girl that’s sassy and that was all it took to hook my interest.  So Glamazon and I bantered back and forth just a couple of times on Facebook when not more than five minutes pass and my ex wife is calling me at work!

Ex Wife: “What is going on with you and [Glamazon’s non-superhero name]?”

Me: “Nothing.  I don’t even know this girl.”

Ex Wife: “Well it looks like you’re flirting with her on Facebook.”

Me: “Yeah, well, maybe.  So what’s her story?”

Ex wife and I talked for a few minutes, she told me a bit of what she knew about Glamazon and then I asked her if she really thought it was a good idea for me to ask Glamazon out.  I mean, it was still pretty fucking weird to ask out a friend of my ex’s and despite all of her good intentions, I still wanted her to be ok with it.  And she reassured me that, yes, it was a good idea and yes, she was totally ok with it.

So I mustered up some courage and sent Glamazon a Facebook friend request.  I realize I could have sent her a message asking her out without a friend request but I also wanted to test the waters of her interest in me and stalk research her photos as much as I possibly could.  What?!  Don’t judge me – you know you all do it too!

Thirty seconds later: “Facebook Notification: [Glamazon’s non-superhero name] has accepted your friend request”
[A very good sign.]  So I immediately sent this message:

Me: “So... if I'm not in the dog house permanently, and if you're free tonight, I'd like to invite you to come out to [Club] for [Lady DJ’s] birthday bash. I'll be there with some friends but it'd be nice to see a new friendly face there. [Ex Wife] mentioned that you're moving into a new place today, so if you can't make it, I totally understand.

I won't lie though: I do think you're cute.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

“So Students, What Have We Learned So Far?”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater 



I’m a big believer in taking stock, deep reflection, utilizing perspective and
applying lessons learned as often as possible towards personal growth. (Hello,
blogosphere, did you know that you’re all passive participants in my own
personal spiritual growth?) In more than six months of dating, here’s what I’ve
learned so far:


(1) Timing is everything. I know I keep repeating myself, but you all know it’s true.


(2) Have some fucking fun! Dating isn’t always fun. In fact, most of the time dating just blows. But what I’ve learned is that if you go into the process with expectations of any kind, you’ll never be satisfied with what you actually experience. So have some fucking fun (or some fun fucking, whatever)! If the date isn’t fun, if your date isn’t fun, if dating isn’t ever any fun, try and find ways to extract amusement from it. In my case, most of my dates weren’t any fun because I was expecting too much from it. But then I started to talk to my friends about them. And then I started to realize just how amusing and sometimes downright unbelievable my stories turned out to be. So I decided to write about it. And then the writing became enough of an excuse to continue to put myself out there. BINGO! I found my fun.


(3) Journaling (or in my case, blogging) may, in fact, be your salvation. Write it all down. Write down your heartbreak, your amusements, your observations, your frustrations, your loneliness and your pain. Then go back and re-read it all when your head and heart are in a better space. Then write down how your perspective has changed, and the lessons you’ve learned both about yourself and about your past and present loves. It’ll shock the shit out of you when you realize what you’ve picked up along the way and what has led you to this point.


(4) Enjoy the hell out of your friends, both old and new. They’ll be the ones to pick you up when you’re crumpled in a heap on the kitchen floor. They’ll be the ones to not only remind you that you are sexy, funny, worth being around, and a hell of a lot of fun to be with, they’ll be the ones celebrating you when you don’t have the strength or good humor to celebrate yourself.


(5) Suffer fools gladly. Yes those bad dates, bumps in the road, bruises on your heart and ego, and humiliating experiences of one catastrophe after another suck (boy, do they!). But after the sucking is over (keep your minds out of the gutter, I meant that innocently!), after you’ve laughed about your bad dates, after your arse has healed from one too many bumps in the road, and after the bruises on your heart and ego have all begun to fade, you’ll begin to understand that it was not all wasted time. Those fools helped shape you. Those fools helped shape your mind’s picture of the person you know that you deserve. And those fools will help you to recognize and appreciate the absolute goodness once you do find it.


(6) Acknowledge the pivotal roles that your rebounds have played. There are those rebounds who hurt your heart and there are those that heal your heart. I had one of each and I’m grateful to them both. The One Who Got Ran Away hurt my heart – she hurt it to the point that I didn’t know that I could continue to date again, but what she did was give me the perspective to be able to recognize the goodness when it eventually came along. Helen of Troy helped to heal my heart. She brought sexy back into my life.  She gave Miss-Adventures her groove back. She made me think that I deserved to be happy, desired and fun again. And she showed me that people can still be good, even when they’re rejecting you.
________________________________________________________________
Dedicated to Gay Husband, who has been my emotional rock, my superhero and my sounding board throughout it all and who deserves to find his own true and deep romance.  Dedicated to Nugget, who brings the diamond sparkle to my social life, who continues to push forward in the same search and who always manages to find the humor in bad dates.   Dedicated to Ex Wife who helped shape the woman I am today, who loved me for seven long years and continues to love me, support me and bring me to hysterics like only a true bestie can do.  Dedicated to Helen of Troy for bringing sexy back, for being the first to truly see the fire that burns deeply inside of me (in so many different ways) and for being a truly decent person who forges through her relationships with class, dignity and honesty.  And especially dedicated to the upcoming recurring character who I pray will forever be my recurring character, my pivotal person, my go-to for love, support, understanding, laughter and really great sex.  After suffering so many fools and even being a fool myself, you make it all feel worth it.  I love you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

“Helen of Troy” – The End of The Affair

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

Things had been going well with Helen of Troy for a couple of weeks.  I loved spending time with and getting to know her.  She was fun, intelligent, relaxed, interesting, and we had an easy, sexy chemistry.  I had gone on a date with a new person but she hadn’t interested me.  I had emailed with a couple of people from the dating website but I just wasn’t feeling into it at all.  I was happy dating Helen and my focus was on sustaining that happiness.

I had decided that it might be fun to have Helen and a small gathering of friends over to my house for a relaxed dinner of Mediterranean food and hookah smoking.  Because of the nature of my friendship with my ex wife and given the fact that she lives just upstairs, an unexpected encounter with her and my new ladyfriend was too great a possibility and I didn’t want to take that chance.  So I asked my ex wife to make sure she stayed out of sight for the evening.  I didn’t want her popping in to say hi to me or to one of our mutual friends who would be downstairs in my apartment.  I think I probably offended her with my request and because of that, she antagonized me by threatening that she would do just that.  The more she antagonized, the more adamant and grouchy I became.  Eventually, the disagreement turned into a passive-aggressive attempt at making a fool of me.

On Hookah Night (as it came to be known), just as my friends, Nugget, Lady DJ, and The World’s Cutest Transman were arriving at my house, we encountered a group of my ex wife’s friends on the stairs (including a very attractive friend of my ex wife’s whom she had been wanting to set me up with and also happened to be a mutual friend of Lady DJ’s [Readers: take note of this "attractive friend", she'll become a recurring character]).  After a round of hugs and ‘what are you doing here?’, ex wife’s group goes into her apartment and my group goes into mine.  Umm… awkward much?  Oh, you betcha.

Later on in the evening, Gay Husband, Helen of Troy and I were hanging out on my back deck talking and laughing when we heard what can only be described as a wild heard of hyenas stomping around on the upstairs deck and carrying on drunkenly.  My ex wife decided to pour water(?)/beer(?)/urine(?) [who the fuck knows?] off the side of the deck just to antagonize us.  That’s just like my ex wife too: she’ll bend the rules as far as she possibly can without actually breaking them.  She was specifically banned from walking downstairs towards my apartment but I had never said anything about partying loudly directly above us and pouring water within inches of where we were standing.  (I really ought to have drawn up a more thorough contract with specific social interaction clauses.  What was I thinking?)  In any case, ex wife’s exceedingly stupid behavior did little to affect our evening.  We still managed to have a nice night and no one was scared off by the wild heard upstairs.

The End of the Affair

About a week after Hookah Night, Helen of Troy and I had plans to spend an afternoon together.  The night before our afternoon plans, I had a minor motorcycle accident while on my way to see some friends at a club.  It wasn’t too bad (thankfully!); the bike and I were only a little banged up.  So on the day I was supposed to be seeing Helen, I was feeling pretty sore and was nursing a mildly sprained ankle, a bad back and several bruises.  I wasn’t feeling particularly active or up for much so I texted Helen saying so.  She was sympathetic and offered to come over early with lunch in hand (how sweet!).  I suggested that we lie low and watch one of my all-time favorite movies, which she had never seen but expressed interest in watching.

When Helen arrived at my house, I was so glad to see her.  I was feeling pretty miserable physically, so a visit from my favorite blonde carrying lunch and a bouquet of flowers was exactly what the doctor ordered.  We sat at the kitchen table and started to eat.

Helen:  “So, there’s something I need to talk to you about.”

[Conversations that begin this way never end well for Miss-Adventures.  It’s on par with ‘I’ve been doing some thinking…’]

She went on to tell me that she had been seeing someone “casually” and she felt strongly that she needed to explore this relationship.  I was confused.  I mean, I knew she was out and dating (that was all part of the agreement, after all) but the part that confused me was that I couldn’t figure out when this could have all happened when just days earlier, Helen was reassuring me that I wasn’t a “booty call” and that our dating did, in fact, have evolutionary potential.  So I asked her when did this happen?, how did you meet this person?, how long have you known them?, is this official – are you already exclusive?, and then I asked her what all of this meant in terms of “us” and she explained that she thought we shouldn’t see each other any more.

[… ahhhh fuuuuck …]

Me: “Are you saying that you want to be in a relationship with this person?  Do you think you’re falling for them?”

Helen: “I don’t know.  Maybe.”

After all her talk about wanting to stay single for a really long time, wanting to explore who she was as a single girl and wanting to date people casually, here she was: breaking the very rule she so firmly established with me in order to explore a relationship with another person.  Ummm… OUCH!

So where did that leave me?  Stunned?  Totally.  Saddened?  Yep.  Rejected?  God, yeah.  Did it suck that it happened to be the literal, actual, fucking day after my motorcycle spill or that it happened to be two days before Valentine’s Day?  Oh yeah it did!  Timing is a motherfucker.

Despite all that, however, I respected the hell out of Helen.  She realized what she wanted, realized what she needed to do in order to be true to herself and had the class and courage to come to my home and say it directly to me.  There was nothing (beyond just the really unfortunate timing of it) to be angry with her about.  And while it hurt because my optimism was crushed … yet again, I could see no reason to hold that against her or to be unwilling to continue a friendship with her.  So even after she told me she didn’t want to date me any longer, I still proposed that we continue with our plans for the day and just hang out as friends. 

Me: “Do you still want to watch a movie?”

Helen: “Are you sure you’re ok with that?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s totally fine.  I’m still feeling kind of sore though, and if I promise to be good, can we lie down in my bed and watch the movie instead of on the living room couch?”

Helen: “Ok.  Wait, what was the movie called that you wanted to watch again?”

Me: [insert ironical laugh] “The End of The Affair.  Isn’t that apropos!?”


Monday, March 19, 2012

“Helen of Troy” – Testing the Waters of Casual Dating

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater 

What happens when two clueless daters decide to try and navigate their way through “casual dating”?  What happens when you set out with the intention to keep things easy going and in the moment when it goes against both persons’ natural instincts?  On one hand, it sounds perfectly logical, rational and normal to want to take things slow, see where dating takes you both, keep your relationship as breezy and uncomplicated as long as you can, and enjoy the early stages that are filled with wonder, butterflies, sexy energy and romance.  But on the other hand, when you have two monogamously-minded girls who thrive on one-on-one connection but they have both just come out of long term relationships that made them too gun shy to even commit to a dinner date much less an exclusive relationship, it becomes a tricky proposition.  There’s an awful lot of gray area to work with!

In my twenties, I was a fairly active dater.  I enjoyed singledom for many years before I met my wife.  I can’t say that I was ever a good dater, but I did enjoy being single, meeting people and coming and going without accountability.  It suited me well ... back then.  Naturally, I assumed that when my wife and I split, I would be able to slip right back into my old role of single and actively dating gal.  Hmph!  I obviously hadn’t realized how much my personality had changed during the course of my marriage.

At the end of my first date with Helen of Troy, she made it clear that she was feeling gun shy about coupling up again after having just gotten out of a long term relationship.  Totally understandable!  I was in a slightly better state of mind when she and I met but I had certainly been in a similar mind-set not long before her.  So when Helen asked me if it would be alright to take things slowly while also continuing to date other people, I was more than willing to say yes.  It made perfect sense to me. 

I was super excited about Helen.  She had a lot of really great qualities that you would want in a lady friend: she had brains, beauty, humor, a sense of fun and passion for all things in her life.  She was a charming and merciless flirt, and someone you would be proud to introduce to your friends.  She had all that, and we had really good chemistry.

A week after our first date, we finally had plans to see each other for a second date, which was to be a peaceful walk on the beach on a sunny day and then a whole day of just playing it by ear.  In retrospect, a week doesn’t seem all that long but when you’re excited about someone, and all you had for a whole week was flirty texting, suggestive emails, and memories from your first night together, that week can seem to drag by in dog years.  So by the time Helen made it to my place for our date, we wasted little time in deciding to push the beach walk until later on in the afternoon and we headed straight back to my bedroom and shut the door.  Clearly, we had important business to attend to.

Not long at all after we started dating, I asked Helen what her plans were for Valentine’s Day.  Knowing she was feeling skittish about anything too "relationshipy", I didn’t want to put any pressure on her and I was open to doing anything she felt comfortable with.  I proposed that we could be as romantic as she’d like and I’d be happy to take her out and “romance the shit out of her” or if that felt too much, we could do something silly and un-romantic, like bowling or bouncing at an indoor trampoline park.  My bottom line was that she was single and I was single and wouldn’t it be a shame to let that day pass without doing something fun together?  Her answer: “Can I think about it and get back to you?

For the next week or so, we managed to see each other a few more times but I wouldn’t necessarily call it dating.  In fact, we rarely went out when we spent time together.  In retrospect, I’ve come to the conclusion that our relationship wasn’t really “casual dating”, it was more like casual sex and ordering in.  I started to realize that fact when Helen finally got back to me about making Valentine’s Day plans. 

Helen had decided that she didn’t want to get together on Valentine’s Day and that she would rather spend the evening with her friends attending a V-Day burlesque show.  I was totally ok with her wanting to forego the holiday altogether and I understand the implications of spending Valentine’s Day with someone you’re trying to see casually, but then she asked me if it would be alright if she stopped by after the burlesque show so that she could “kiss me madly”.  Now, on one side of the token, who doesn’t want to be kissed madly?  Doesn’t that just sound like a wonderful proposition?  But on the other, the fact that she wanted to spend the evening watching burlesque dancers and then sneak over to my place late on a Tuesday night somewhat smacked of “booty call” to me.

My reply: 

Your evening sounds like a lot of fun and I hope that you have a really wonderful time with your friends.  Gay husband and I have decided to spend a very romantic evening together: we're going to go bowling and get drunk on cheap beer that probably tastes mildly of rental shoes.  That's just the sort of romantics that we are.  ;-)

As for your very sexy suggestion of coming over after your burlesque show to "kiss me madly", as appealing as that sounds, I think I would rather like to save that for an evening when we can spend a little more time together and not feel so rushed.”

Not long after sending this e-mail, we were at my place talking and I brought up the fact that I felt like we could be slipping into “booty call” territory.  I’m not sure it was ever her intention (she swore it wasn't) but the thing is, when you’re casually seeing someone, there’s this very slippery slope you have to be conscious of.  While I was really enjoying our time together and experiencing this fantastic chemistry, I wanted to be sure that we were actually dating and that whatever we were doing at that moment had evolutionary potential.  I knew I did not want to be a late night “booty call” because I liked her.  And I knew that I wasn't interested in becoming friends with benefits because we all know that FWB only works when neither party has any interest in the other outside of the bedroom and, true to form, I could already feel myself getting attached.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

“Helen of Troy” – How Miss-Adventures Got Her Groove Back

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater

2011 was my year of tragedy, loss and earth-shaking life challenges.  December was terribly lonely: I was still smarting from being jilted by The One That Got Ran Away, I had only been living alone for about two months, my dog had passed away six weeks prior and I was still trying to adjust to the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the rollercoaster of elation followed by the devastation of singledom and dating.  By New Year’s, I was more than eager for 2011 to be over.  I was looking ahead to 2012 with a small sense of optimism, hope and romance.

Mid-way through January, I received an email from the type of girl that would never usually look twice at a girl like me.  Now, I don’t mean to say that I’m not attractive or intelligent, or I don't possess any other great dating qualities.  I’m aware of my self-worth and I also know that I have a lot to offer someone.  But the thing is, I’m not necessarily the kind of girl that stands out in a crowd (unless that crowd is made up of a group of midgets and then all 5’10” of me stands out like a fucking sore thumb) and when “the crowd” is an online dating pool of thousands, I don’t expect much attention except from people that I wouldn’t ordinarily find attractive or consider dating.  (Hence the dating difficulty.)  So imagine my surprise when a stunning, young, bright, funny and ambitious woman emails me to tell me that she finds me appealing.

Helen of Troy’s email was deliciously charming.  She had just a hint of flirt and a whole lot of adorable in her writing.  Her photos were beautiful in that girl-next-door, high school cheerleader sort of way (fresh-faced with a natural, easy smile).  I read her profile: self aware, down to earth, very charming, and… oh shit … she’s into androgynous women?  Damn it!  Wait – What the fuck is she doing emailing me?  I’m not even the least bit androgynous – I can barely pass for a tomboy.  There must be some mistake. 

I emailed Helen immediately.  I’d love to say that I played it cool and waited a while to return her email but that’s just not the case when I’m dealing with a girl that hot.  I told her that I thought she was very pretty and I really liked reading her profile but that I was concerned about the attraction towards androgynous women because that is most certainly not me.  And within minutes, she e-mailed me right back.  (I always take it as a good sign when someone emails me back within twenty-four hours.  It’s an even better sign when someone emails within twenty-four minutes.)  She said that what she saw in my profile was attractive to her and who the hell knows what that means in real life, but she wanted to meet up sometime.  (Ummm… hellz yeah!)

Helen and I emailed and texted fairly often for nearly a week before we had our first date.  We made plans to meet privately for a drink and then head to a club to go dancing with some of my friends.  Brave girl!  First of all, I’m not a great dancer (yes, I forewarned her) and secondly, meeting a group of your date’s friends on your first night out together?  Major bonus points for class and bravery.

I was kind of nervous on the day of.  How could I not be?  Despite all the flirty emails and texts leading up to our date, I couldn’t help but feel like Helen was still out of my league, and that she would catch a glimpse of me in real life and wonder what the hell she was thinking.  On top of all of that, we were going dancing, and I am probably the least confident dancer on two legs. 

The club where we were planning to go dancing was having a “Prom Night” theme.  Club-goers would be wearing bad prom dresses and bow-ties (I opted for a button down shirt and a neck tie).  Knowing this and trying my best attempt at pulling off ‘charming’, I ran to the florist and bought Helen a corsage of miniature white roses (I had no idea what she was planning to wear, so white seemed the safest color choice) with a hot pink ribbon that matched the tie that I would be wearing that evening.

The weather that night was miserable.  Heavy rain and winds forced me to taxi over to the bar where Helen and I would meet for a cocktail before heading over to the club.  As per my usual, I arrived early and waited for my date to arrive.  I ordered her a cocktail and sat, fidgeting and nervously waiting.  When she walked through the door, I had to consciously keep my jaw from hitting the floor.  Whoa – she’s even better looking in person.  This could spell trouble for Miss-Adventures.

So we sat, and we drank, and we talked, and we smiled, and we laughed… things were going really well.  As soon as I presented Helen with her corsage, I felt myself relax.  She was pleasantly surprised and she accepted it graciously.  Yes, things were going really, really well. 

We made our way to the “Prom Night” themed club event where a friend was DJ-ing and my little posse were waiting on me.  When I walked in the door with a devastating blonde as my date, my friends waiting for me with enormous smiles and hugs, and my friend, the DJ, playing some fantastic old school hits, I felt just a little bit like a rock star. 

Helen and I sat in a corner and we talked, drank and laughed.  Eventually, I mustered up enough courage to ask her if she wanted to dance.  Sweet girl that she is and knowing that I wasn’t a confident dancer, she was totally willing to let me off the hook and told me that if I didn’t want to dance, she was perfectly happy to keep talking.  No – we were at a club, she was amazing and fun, and I wanted so badly to appear cool and confident.  I dragged her by the hand to the dance floor and attempted my best white girl hip shake.  Half-way through the first song, I caught Helen giving me a thorough look straight up and down.  I’m not sure she was even aware that she had done it but I caught a glimpse of the look and I took that as a very good sign.  So I slid my hand around her back, pulled her in and danced with her long and lean body pressed up against mine.

We took a break from dancing, we sat and talked some more while my friends periodically chatted with us or danced on their own.  I was having a great night and couldn’t believe that a date with a perfect stranger could ever go so well.  And then a miracle happened.  Ok, ok, it was a minor miracle in the grand scheme of miracles, but it was miraculous to me: my pal, the DJ, played my all-time favorite sexy song, “Pony” by Ginuwine.  I practically squealed with delight, grabbed Helen’s hand and dragged her to the dance floor as fast as I could.  Once we were on the floor, I pulled her close one more time.  With my cheek pressed against hers, I lightly brushed my lips against her neck and without so much as a second of hesitation, she turned her face to mine and I kissed her right there on the dance floor.  (Thank you, lady DJ.  You had my back that night and you may not have even realized it!)

Aaaaand just like that, a night of epic make-outs was born.  We kissed on the dance floor, we kissed at our table, we found a more private corner in the club on top of a heap of jackets and kissed there too.  We kissed for what seemed like hours without much regard for the other patrons at the club.  (I had heard from a friend some days later that one club patron asked the bartender to retrieve her coat when we were finished and that she would pick it up another day.)

I confess, I was not the world’s greatest friend that evening.  My little posse went largely ignored for the better part of the night.  So it’s without great surprise that when they found us kissing on top of a very large pile of club-goer jackets, they gave me a round of quick hugs and left for the evening.  Now, on one hand, I could feel guilty about being a shitty friend and not paying them more attention.  But on the other, they are the world’s greatest wing-men/women and I know that they were happy to see Miss-Adventures get her groove back.  (Those are great friends, if you ask me!)

After my little posse left the club, it wasn’t long before Helen suggested that she drive me home “so that we could keep kissing”.  I was never so glad to be without my motorcycle.  When we arrived at my house, we sat on the couch and continued making out, only occasionally stopping to talk or catching our breath but then getting right back to the epic kissing we had been so enjoying. 

Mid-kiss …

Helen of Troy:  “I think this might be more comfortable in your bed.”

[Cue Miss-Adventures sense of shock.  Cue parade music.  Cue the ‘oh shit! – I haven’t done this in months butterflies!’  Do I still remember how to do this?]

Helen of Troy (probably sensing my utter disbelief):  “Is that ok?”

Me:  “Only if you can promise that this isn’t the last time I’ll see you.”

Helen of Troy:  “I think I can make that promise.”

Me:  “Ok, then follow me.”

Yep, that could have been one of the best first dates I’ve ever had.  It was filled with surprises, much like Helen herself.  Just when I thought I had it figured out, just when I thought I had her figured out, she always managed to surprise the shit out of me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Prospective Dates as Trading Cards?”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater   

It’s no secret that Nugget and I met on my favorite dating website.  It’s also no secret that ever since we met, we’ve been each other’s sounding board, sources of amusement for dating hilarity, and all-around supportive wing-women.  I could not have asked for a better partner-in-crime to help me navigate through the cold, murky waters of the lesbian dating pool and I’m grateful for her friendship every day. 

Where Gay Husband is my emotional center; quick to lend a hug, a listening ear and a strong shoulder to cry on, Nugget is game for anything; she’s fearless and unafraid to try every possibility to meet new people, and she’s pragmatic in her approach.  These two people, while opposite in nearly every possible way, bring the yin and the yang to Miss-Adventures.

As established in my prior post (“The Craigslist Experiment” Part Two), Nugget and I are, more or less, looking for the same person in entirely different packaging.  I’m a sucker for low-maintenance, high-femme women while Nugget prefers to date on the polar opposite end of the spectrum.  So on occasion, if either one of us received an email from an individual outside of our preferred dating pool, we’d give each other a heads-up and send that prospective date their way.  Think of it as prospective date trading cards: Need it, Need it, Got it, Need it, Got it, Got it… Hey, do you want your gum?  Ooh, is that Brian Wilson's baseball card? 

In December, I had received an email from someone who seemed quite sweet and charming in a puppy dog, please I’ll do anything for you to love me kind of way.  Her emails were laced with far too many emoticons to be taken seriously, her all-time favorite films were all of the Sylvester Stallone “Rocky” movies, she was a corrections officer at a juvenile facility by day and a rent-a-cop for a 24-hour pharmacy by night.  She had three children from a prior relationship and lived in the suburbs.  To top it all off: she looked exactly like a boy.  To say that she was NOT MY TYPE would be the understatement of the year. 

I told the rent-a-cop that I wasn’t interested – hell, it was even in my dating profile that I was only interested in dating femmes.  And I told her that I appreciated all the flattery and attention that she heaped on me and while I thought she was a very sweet person, she just would never be the type of person that I could be attracted to.  On the other hand, I could think of someone who might just entertain the thought of meeting her.  So I told Nugget to check her out on our favorite dating website.

Around that same time, Nugget had received an email from a socially awkward, feminine musician, to which she never replied.  Physically, the musician was more my type, and do I ever have a thing for artists.  She was slightly nerdy but we’ve well-established that nerdy can be a big turn on too.  This would be the perfect time for Nugget and I to start trading cards!

So Nugget directed my attention towards the musician and I sent the rent-a-cop in her direction.  Nothing ever really came out of either trade but it sure was fun.  I never told the musician that that’s how I found her on the dating website and when my friends joined me, the musician and her friends for a night of dancing, I was just dying to see if the musician would recognize Nugget from having cruised her profile just a few weeks earlier.  No, she didn’t.  Damn, I was really hoping she would – awkward introductions always make for great story-telling.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

“The Craigslist Experiment” (Part Two)

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater 

Killing time one day, Nugget and I were having a conversation about the types of people we wanted to date.  She and I basically have the same personality criteria for the people we want in our lives: kind, funny, drama-free, well-spoken and intelligent, etc.  The only difference we have in our search for potential mates is in the packaging.

Me:  So really... we need to find the same person to date. Except you need the boi version and I need the hyper girly version.  I think we should write one joint CL ad. The bois are yours and the femmes are mine.

Nugget: Okay!

Me: It could be a genius plan

Nugget: Let’s do it!

This is what I love about Nugget.  She is game for every stupid idea, shenanigan, antic, hijinx and the ilk that I can propose.  We weren’t even drinking when we agreed to write a joint Craigslist personal ad!

Our Craigslist ad:

"Not Your Run of the Mill Ad"


Let me break this down for you simply:  We are two attractive, smart, professional, witty and devastatingly charming single girls who are strictly platonic besties trying our best to navigate our way through this crazy, mixed up and often unforgiving gay dating pool.  Please don’t get the wrong idea.  This is not a solicitation for a three-way romp.  We’re each looking for our own lobster, soul mate, girlfriend, ladyfriend, Friday night gal, or whatever phrase you’d like to choose for “someone to date”.

About us

Girl Number One (also known as “The Tall One”)
[         ] years old with brown hair and hazel-brown eyes, a motorcycle-riding girly tomboy who’s most comfortable in her jeans, boots and long hair pulled into a ponytail.  She’s honest, direct (sometimes to a fault), kind-hearted, active and adventurous, girl-next-door, sassy and sarcastic, down-to-earth, totally laid back, loyal and fiercely protective of loved ones.  She has a special weakness for girls with a great sense of adventure and an adrenaline streak.  She also loves long intimate, existential and tangential conversations combined with hysterical fits of laughter over wine, coffee or long walks and is the world’s greatest fan of cuddling, spooning and prolonged snogging.

Girl Number Two (also known as “The Little One”)
A [          ] year old femme brunette who’s as tiny as she is fierce. She climbs rocks, yells at football games, and owns power tools, all while looking fabulous in heels and a skirt. Take her to the farmer’s market and she’ll cook you a brunch that will have you writing home to mama. Take her someplace that shows her your exceptional personality on the first date, and you’ll have HER writing home to mama. She’s a coffee snob, a wine lover, and a book worm. She’s got a laugh like champagne, a disarming smile, and will definitely beat you at Scrabble. Don’t get this one wrong, she may look like a diva, but she’ll treat her partner like a prince.

Who We’re Looking For
The Tall One is looking for someone between the ages of [     ] to [     ], while The Little One is after [     ] to [     ]. While The Tall One would prefer a [  city   ] resident, and The Little One a [  city   ] resident, concessions can be made for those willing to commute.  Low maintenance femmes or tomboys make The Tall One weak-kneed, and The Little One gets starry eyed over tall butches, genderqueers and FTMs who are clean-cut with an edge.  Please be independent, emotionally and financially stable, smarter than the average bear without being pedantic, quick-witted, drug and drama free, self-aware but not self-conscious, spontaneous, capable of laughing at yourself and deeply passionate in every sense of the word.  Please don’t bring your U-Haul and, for the love of god, please keep your emotional baggage limited to a carry-on (e.g., talking about your ex in excess of 5 minutes is cause for immediate ending of date).

Game players need not apply.  Poly’s need not apply.  Threesome seekers need not apply.  We are not equal opportunity daters.  You should be single, available, unattached, and every other euphemism for emotionally and physically available.

Here’s how this is going to work
Both The Tall One and The Little One want to hear from you.  Neither of us has veto power over who the other chooses as her date but we can guaran-damn-tee you that we will be comparing stories, swapping notes and giving each other feedback as only a bestie can do.  Send a photo along with your reply and please indicate in your RE: line which of us strikes your fancy.  Tell us a little about yourself.  Bonus points go to you if you can make either of us laugh and your photo may get one in exchange from your chosen girl.  Please be sure that your photo is recent and includes your face.  Fair disclaimer: X-Rated photos can kill a great sense of anticipation and may not be met with enthusiasm or interest.

We didn’t get very many replies or e-mails that were interesting.  I’d like to think it was because we posted this during the busy holiday season and NOT because my idea was anything less than genius.  Then again, we did get these two responses posted directly to the Craigslist Message Boards for the world to read, so I could be wrong (but am I, reeaally?):

“You two sound like a nightmare.” 

Forgive me for saying so, but duhh!  That's why we're on Craigslist!  Next?

“Sounds like a damn Rubik’s Cube.  Then the “tall one” will request that you jump up and down on one foot under a full moon while her “bestie” sizes up the jiggle factor of your boobs.  The two will convene for 16.24 minutes.  If white smoke emits from the Vatican you are free to join the “tall one” for 15 minutes of conversation and a beverage of her choosing.

Your post should be called “We Will Put You Through The Mill.”

You are respectively [     ] and [     ] years of age?  Really?

Someone needs a wing-woman check.”

This response alone was worth the placement of our ad.  I hadn’t laughed so hard in months!  Thank you, people of the interwebs!  Getting ego-checked on the Craigslist personals site is like having a toothless redneck tell you to mind your manners while you're walking through the flea market.  By god, I love you people.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“The Craigslist Experiment” (Part One)

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater
December was a lonely month; I’m not going to lie.  I think the holidays already tend to bring out the melancholia and the loneliness in me but the fact that this was the first holiday season that I would spend post-breakup made it all the more difficult.  I wasn’t really meeting a lot of new people and I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about a lot of the people who had been contacting me through my favorite dating website.  So what’s a girl to do?  Well, this girl decided to start having a little fun with online dating.  We’ll call this “The Craigslist Experiment”.


My Craigslist ad:

"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"


The Good:  I'm honest, direct, kind-hearted, adventurous, professional, girl-next-door, sassy, very down-to-earth, confident, loyal and fiercely protective of loved ones.  I like long intimate, existential and tangential conversations combined with hysterical laughter over wine, coffee or long walks.  I’m the world’s greatest fan of cuddling and prolonged snogging.

The BadI have no patience for fuckery.  I will fully call you out if I sense bullshit or game-playing.  I’m kind of a smart-ass, foul-mouthed, terrible at planning, sometimes cocky, learning to not take myself so seriously and a work in progress.  I’m a merciless flirt but only when I’m confident that my flirting won’t be met with the sound of crickets.

The UglyI’m a hopeless romantic with no game.  I’m not always easy to get to know and I tend to follow my head more often than my heart.  I’m incredibly picky, hard to impress and quick to put potential dates/mates into the friend-zone, which often leads to extended periods of singledom.

You:

25-45 years old, city resident or able/willing to drive into the city, femme-of-center, independent, emotionally and financially stable, smarter than your average bear without being pedantic, quick-witted, drug and drama free, self-aware but not self-conscious, spontaneous, capable of laughing at yourself and deeply passionate in every sense of the word.

Let’s be honest:

I’m not looking for a ‘just add water relationship’, nor am I looking for anything too casual.  I’m a one person at a time, take our time to really get to know each other and see where things go kind of girl.  Please don’t bring your U-Haul and, for the love of god, please keep your emotional baggage limited to a carry-on (I don’t want to listen to you talk about your ex for more than 5 minutes).

Game players need not apply.  Poly’s need not apply.  Threesome seekers need not apply.  I am not an equal opportunity dater.  You’d better be single, available, unattached, and every other euphemism for EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE.

Your photo gets mine.  Please be sure that your photo is recent and includes your face.  Fair disclaimer: X-Rated photos can kill a great sense of anticipation and may not be met with enthusiasm or interest.

Surprisingly, I got a few nibbles.  None of those nibbles manifested into face-to-face meetings but, as with most of my online experiences, there’s always at least one good story to share. 

Hi,

I read your ad and screwed up enough courage up to respond.  I didn't even know the word "fuckery" existed but I like it!

About me, I'm single, yes SINGLE.  I have been for quite a long time.  No baggage here.  I work in IT.  Networking mainly, routers and switches.  So that means GEEK.  It's a good gig, pays the bills and gives me the ability to pursue my passion, travel.  I scuba dive so most of the places I travel to are tropical locales.

I like a woman with spirit and wit.  Would love to hear more about you.

Attached a pic taken this Thanksgiving time.

Have a great rest of the day.

Her photo was alright, so I e-mailed her back.

Hi,

I'm also a lover of all things travel.  I can't say that I'm a great fan of diving though.  I'm phobic of fish and sea life... yeah, go ahead and laugh!  That said, you could pretty much point to any place on a map and I would be willing to go.  Currently contemplating my next international destination.  

Glad you liked my word.  I can't really take credit for "fuckery" but it is a personal favorite.  I have an extensive vocabulary of four-lettered words and will often take creative license when I see fit.  It's a quality that I both love and hate about myself... sort of a guilty pleasure., I suppose.

I'm glad you "screwed up enough courage" to email me.  I liked your email and I'm curious to know more about you.  Let's see if I pass the photo test and we'll go from there...?

It didn’t occur to me until after we had e-mailed for a few days that I should probably ask her what her age was.  Judging by her photo, I was assuming 40 or early 40’s (boy was I way OFF!).  Her reply:

About my age.  I just turned [         ] in [              ].  Yeah I'm old, but I'm aging well because I'm a Latina.  That doesn't mean we still can't be friends.  What you said in your ad, I'm not going to bullshit you.  Ask whatever you want.  I have nothing to hide.  It is what it is.

I was put off by two things in that last e-mail.  First, she was terribly defensive about her age before I even had a chance to react to the fact that she was too old for dating material.  And second, when someone says, “I have nothing to hide”, I automatically suspect that there IS something to hide.  Generally, people who legitimately have nothing to hide don’t even think to say something like that.  So, naturally, my bullshit detector was sounding alarm bells and I half-assed attempted the “friend-zone” proposition.  I didn’t mean it and I probably could have just said so, but, despite wanting to ditch this shady character, the good girl in me wanted to be nice.

So, can I be honest?  Our age difference is a bit of a concern for me.  You're right: the difference in age doesn't mean that we can't be friends.  But I really am looking for a romantic connection with someone and with [     ] years between us, I think friends is just about all we should consider here.  It's just too much of a gap for any relationship potential.  But ... I do think you're really interesting and would I would be very glad to continue getting to know you and hang out with you at some point.  We have a lot of common interests and I imagine we'd probably have a great time hanging out, if you'd be open to that.

And she replied:

Hey,

No worries.  I think I responded to your ad more because I like the way you wrote and you had a good sense of humor.  I have commitment phobia (another phobia) so I don't really do relationships anymore, anyway.  I've tried but I hit a point and it's all over; I just can't commit.  I keep good friends and get an occasional piece of ass and I'm good to go.  I do think we have a lot of common interests as well and I'd still like to get to know you as a friend.

The photo I sent you really was taken this Thanksgiving.  So I didn't engage in any "fuckery".  One thing about me is I'm fairly honest. And you can always be honest with me.  I'm pretty thick skinned.

Have a great evening.

You have to admit: how one reacts to rejection is awfully telling of a person’s character.  If I was half-assing the friend-zone proposition before, I was completely and irrevocably disinterested after I read her last e-mail.  First of all: “commitment phobia”?  Then why in the name of the sweet baby jesus would one reply to a girl who specifically wants to date “one person at a time” and “take our time to really get to know each other”?  Likewise, I believe that commitment phobia is in direct conflict with keeping “your emotional baggage limited to a carry-on”.  Secondly, did she just fucking say, “get an occasional piece of ass” to me?  Oh yes she did.  That’s just disgusting!  Last, but certainly not least, again with the honesty thing?  I don’t need to be reminded of how honest someone thinks they are, especially when I don’t believe it for a second.  When all prior e-mails were cordial, polite, sweet and innocently flirty and then the last e-mail says “piece of ass”, I already know that she is capable of misrepresenting herself.

I never e-mailed again.