#19 Don’t Look in Unexpected Places

You know how they say you find love when you stop looking for it? You remember how I wrote a post calling fate a tart? You know how I started this blog a mere six months ago because I thought my misadventures might be amusing to someone, and since they had been going on so long they were sure to continue even longer and would provide a creative outlet for years?

Don’t get excited–because I’m for sure not–but I’ve met someone…intriguing. And I actually have a pretty good feeling about this.

I have a good feeling about THIS. Except, when I met him, he was wearing a shirt. Probably because they have rules about that in most places.

I was at the library the other day (yes, I go to the library. When I don’t have outstanding fines, which I usually do. It’s pretty embarrassing having to pay any library fine over $10), perusing some classic literature titles (ok, I was looking at the newest chick lit) when I noticed this guy wandering down the aisle toward me. I staunchly ignore guys when they get close to me because 1. I am too cool for that and 2. I get nervous. But it’s one thing to ignore someone inching their way toward you and another to pretend you’re deaf.

“Any suggestions?”

I took a quick glance over–cute, a little young looking, a bit of a grunge thing going on (or is it emo?)–but only for a second because I had to make up something more male appropriate than “Good Enough to Eat.” Unfortunately, I’m surrounded by Brontes.

Luckily, the A’s are on the bookshelf behind me. I pluck out Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“Well, Douglas Adams is a sure bet,” I said. “But you’ll have to wait until next time–this is the last copy, and I’m taking it.”

I think I attempted a coy smile at this point, but I’m always pretty awkward at these things. Might have come out as a mean-spirited smirk.

“They made a movie about that a couple years back, didn’t they?” he asked. And as I’m nodding, he reaches over and takes it from my hand, flipping through the pages. As he studies the book, I study him. Definitely younger than me, but people often under guess my age. No backpack or anything, so hopefully he’s not a student. And cute. But is that mascara? Or just naturally gorgeous eyelashes?

Eye makeup? Or no eye makeup?

“Do you read a lot of science fiction?” he asked.

“I used to. I sorta grew out of it.” He closed the book and fixated on me. He didn’t give it back to me, though. He has dark dark brown eyes.

“I just read The Hunger Games, actually,” I continued. “They skew young adult, but it’s a really excellent trilogy.”

No joke, I wasn’t saying that just to be all scifi-y. They really are a great read.

“Good suggestion. Maybe I’ll check them out since you’re stealing Douglas Adams.”

“Ah, I believe the technical term is ‘borrowing’,” I corrected him.

He smiled–and it’s a boy next door smile. Not a creeper smile.

“I’m Pete.” He had to switch which hand the book is in to shake hands.

“Judy.” And then I looked pointedly at my book. Which I really do want to read now.

“Oh, you want this back?” He held it up, considering. “How about…I give you back this book if you give me your number.”

I was flummoxed. This is atypical for my life. Boys have asked for my number, it’s true. But after I’ve drunkenly made out with them or something even more audacious.

“Well, I–” I think I actually stammered at this point.

“Pretty simple trade,” Pete said, dangling the book in front of me.

So I did it. I gave him my number. And a couple days later he texted me to ask if I wanted to grab a drink (and while I usually applaud guys who call instead of text, I stuttered so much in giving him my number I barely trusted myself having a phone conversation with him. I’m awkward to the max on the phone). And while I don’t normally hit it off with rando strangers, while I don’t normally find connection in a chance meeting, while I don’t normally find the odds of meeting someone I’m actually compatible with by chance at all attractive, I decided to do something a bit bold for me.

I said yes.

The Birds and the Bees and Everything Between (my knees)

TV’s taught me a lot about life. I’ve learned that heroes always escape at the last second. If you work for the Secret Service, the FBI, or any other law enforcement agency you have a high chance of spending several years with crazy sexual tension between you and your super hot partner. And that writers will stretch realism for convenience, as evidenced by the six people who apparently never kept their New York City apartments locked.

I like paying attention to how TV shows portray certain demographics that I fall into–single white female, post-grad hot mess, writer, New York City native (I definitely identify with my NYC years–not my Jersey years).

There is one particular demographic I fall into that I’m always fascinated by when it’s put on TV. Community described it as being really rare, like a unicorn. Glee said it meant that I was naive and a bit frigid.

What’s rare, naive, and cold? I’m talking, of course, about being a virgin.

BUT WAIT, before anyone freaks out about how I’m going to talk about NOT having sex, I do feel the need to have the disclaimer. Summer and I regularly talk about boys, dates, making out, sex, and Cosmo articles, and we have made two polar opposite decisions on this. If my roomie can feel comfortable talking with me about sex, I hope you will too. This is my own personal choice, and I don’t expect others to share it. Just respect it. And, sadly, that respect is what was missing this week from an otherwise excellent episode of Glee.

Apparently it's more acceptable to act all hot and bothered in front of students than to accept waiting for sex as a real, mature decision.

Let me start off by saying that one of the main points of the Glee episode, that teenagers should be educated about sex, is something I COMPLETELY agree with. I’m not one of those people who think we should teach abstinence only. I think we need to have well-rounded sex education that includes all choices. I thought the sex talk that Kurt’s dad gave him was great, validating both who he is as a person and the choices he’ll make [If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and YouTube it, or read this article by Mandi Bierly ].

Best scene of the show, by far.

My parents are pretty shy people, and I never got a sex talk. Wait, maybe I did. I remember some sort of awkward conversation with my mom, but I don’t remember the two sentences that we exchanged about it. I learned about sex through my friends, media, sex ed classes, and Cosmo articles. Is this the best way to learn about sex? Probably not. Does it mean I’m naive, cold, and frigid? Um, no. And guess what, Glee writers, I KNOW what Afternoon Delight is.

Not only am I informed about afternoon delight, I would NEVER be caught in that skirt. EVER.

People make the decision not to have sex for lots of reasons. Some do it for emotional reasons, some health reasons. I have several reasons for not having sex right now, but the main one, the one that trumps them all, is spiritual. God says not to have sex before marriage, and since He’s God, I trust that He’s got a good reason. This is an incredibly personal decision, and I don’t hold any non-Christians, and I’m pretty generous with Christians too, to this decision at all. And most of my discussions about sex don’t even delve into the spiritual side of things because I’m talking with people to who that’s not applicable. That’s just my main reason for my choice.

But I have to ask–why is my decision not valid? Why are people threatened by people who’ve made the decision to abstain? Why are we called naive, frigid, repressed? I ain’t got no respect, and honestly, it gets me fired up. Why is it that you can choose one thing, and I another, but I’m scorned for my decision? My relationships aren’t stifled because we haven’t had sex. I am not unaffectionate or unloving or cold with a boy because I choose not to have sex with him. And I’m not a prude. I still love making out. I’m rare like a freaking unicorn, and instead of thinking that makes me a freak, I think it makes me more awesomely me.

I cannot wait to have sex [you guys picked up on that, right? I’m not staying a virgin FOREVER! Holy heaven, that is not the goal!]. One of my fears in life is dying before I have sex. But I want to have sex with my husband and my husband only. It’s going to be awesome. And I’m not going to try to convince anyone to make the same choice I have. Just give me the same respect that I give everyone else.

#18 Don’t Agree on Anything–Including the State of your Relationship

Once upon a time there was a lovely girl named Selena. Selena had a big heart and a strong character and, of course, like all heroines, smoking hot too. Selena worked at a research lab, trying to help scientists and teachers and occupational therapists better understand autism. I’m not saying she was Ma Theresa. I mean, she worked at a RESEARCH lab, and sometimes very late at night they would–well, that’s not pertinent.

One day Selena was giving a lecture to a group of teachers about the newest discoveries in autism research. At the end of the lecture, a ruggedly handsome and smolderingly vulnerable man approached her. His name was Justin, and though he wasn’t a teacher, he was an architect who had just returned from three years building houses in war torn Uganda, his newborn nephew had autism, and he wanted to be as informed as he could be so as to provide his nephew with the best support he could. Selena’s soft heart was touched, and she offered to meet Justin again for coffee to give him more information.

It did not take long for the relationship to turn romantic. Justin persistently but non-stalkerishly pursued Selena, taking her out to dinner, sending her flowers, texting with sweet excitement about their dates. And when Justin introduced Selena to his sister’s family, and his adorable little nephew, she knew that he was falling in love with her. Also, it was good that he was into that late night stuff too.

OMG, aren't they like, SO super cute?

Selena and Justin delved into a wonderful, lovey-dovey, sickening to their friends relationship. Justin was sweet and attentive and would come over to shovel Selena’s driveway in the winter. Selena was supportive and understanding and was just naughty enough to make Justin feel like he was dating a seductress and not a slut. After two years, they moved in together.

After four more years, Selena had resorted to online auctions to ice the sore spot in her life.

Selena wanted to get married.

Some people don’t want to get married. I have opinions enough of dating and marriage, hooking up and living together, but I also hold, for the most part, that if two people agree on the state of their relationship, there’s no problem. If two people want to live together, raise children, build a home, and never get married, that’s completely their prerogative. The problem sneaks in when the two individuals want DIFFERENT things.

Whenever anyone brought marriage up to Justin, he would grunt. Not in an assenting or even noncommittal way, in a “shut-the-hell-up-no-one-gives-a-baby-panda’s-ass” way. Justin’s family had been through several divorces, and he just couldn’t see the value of marriage in today’s transient culture. And because Selena was level-headed and mostly reasonable, she didn’t push or manipulate. She loved Justin and respected his opinions and only faked a pregnancy once.

She thought he was going to propose that night. He just sang her some dumb song.

But now she was in her late 30s, with a man she loved but who didn’t share her life dreams, and she had to make a choice–stay with Justin, a dreamboat in a fantasy river, or end it and look for a lover who wanted the same life she did.

Ok, so, the story of Selena and Justin may not be exactly accurate, but I do know a couple who has been together for over five years, and the guy has zero interest in proposing–not because he doesn’t have enough money or because he thinks he’s too young or because he has something else he wants to accomplish first. He just has no intention of getting married. And he doesn’t want children. Ever. And my friend is caught–stay with a guy she loves who won’t marry her or move on.

Here’s the problem, and this may seem a little harsh, but I’m just going to say it–Justin is never going to wake up one day and realize he wants to marry Selena. For the most part, people resist change. And if Justin is comfortable–if he LIKES the state of his relationship–he’s not going to spontaneously become interested in matrimony and shared names. So for Selena to hang around, hoping that one day his eyes will be opened to the beauty of legally forever, is stupid.

She has three options–

1. Stay with him. If Selena decides she loves Justin more than her own dreams of marriage and babies. And that is totally cool–if she REALLY decides she wants Justin more than her own family. But Selena does want a family. Really really badly. And usually, when we sacrifice our dreams for another, seeds are planted. Resentment. Frustration. And sadness. If Selena stays with Justin, it’s not a compromise. It’s a complete surrender.

2. Give him an ultimatum. This is dumb. If he proposes, he’s only doing it because she forced him into it, and that just seems… bad. If he doesn’t propose, either they break up or she sticks with him, her bluff called and everyone knowing it.

3. Leave. Just leave. Just tell him, “Hey, I’ve love you, but I know that what you want and what I want are different. And I need a relationship with a guy who wants what I want.” And then it’s over.

Selena compensates for her lack of an engagement ring with other obnoxious jewelry.

Yes, it will suck, but if Justin is going to recognize the value of marriage, it’s going to be because he lost a girl he wanted to be with forever. And I’m not saying that he will. Door #3 is a risk–Justin may never connect the sadness of the breakup with his inability to commit. And it’s very unlikely that if he DOES change, that he’ll pursue Selena again. The most likely best case scenario is that, by Selena dumping Justin, the next time he’s with a girl who he wants to love forever, he’ll let her know. In every way possible. He’ll take the chance with her and risk his love on marriage.

And Selena, the wonderfully chic, awesomely cool girl that she is, will meet an guy of comparative character, who’ll want to give her everything she’s dreamed of.

#17 Dismiss the Potential

When it comes to choosing a drinking establishment, if there’s a pub in town, that’s where you’ll find me, just beyond front row of the live band, drinking a cider, and bouncing my curls. I don’t know why I love pubs so much, maybe because I lived in England for a while, maybe because their historic community presence lends a thin mask to alcoholism, but we have a lovely Irish pub here in town, and half the time that’s where we spend our Friday nights.

Last time I dropped by Nelson O’Donnel’s, I went with my roomie Summer, her boyfriend, and my best friend Anne. I was anticipating a good time, but I don’t always know what that means when I go out. Going out for me means trying to strike a weird balance between quality time with the friends I went with and getting to meet someone new. And in truth, a bar [or a pub] is not a good place to talk to anyone. The music is too loud, and my processing skills are… sluggish.

Since I was out with a couple and my taken best friend, I anticipated a low key night. And I didn’t mind. I hadn’t seen Anne in nearly a week and was looking forward to catching up.

Summer had other plans.

“So, who you going to hit on tonight?”

“What? No, it’s not going to be like that tonight.”

Summer crinkled her nose at me. Like my behavior was some how reprehensible.

“Why not? You look hot, there are lots of hot guys here, go get ’em.”

I protested. I wanted to talk to Anne. It was loud. I didn’t see anyone cute. But most of all, I wasn’t interested in losing out on talking to people I actually know and love to hear about some MBA student from Ohio who likes watching NCIS and going to the gym in his free time.

Booooooring.

Well, friends, guess who got to eat her words.

Mere minutes later, I laid eyes on a tall, scruffily handsome, built, tattooed, tall guy. And I turned to Summer, poked her in the ribs, and said, “Well, if I was going to hit on someone tonight, it would be him.”

Tell me that if you saw that smile from across the room, you wouldn't be interested.

At which point she started incessantly taunting me to go talk to him. At THIS which point I realized–

I have zero game.

I couldn’t talk to him. I couldn’t. Even after I made eyes at him, after him and his wingman walked by, HESITATED by me, then kept walking. Even though I wanted to, I couldn’t think of what to say. Summer threatened to do it for me, and I’m pretty sure the only thing worse than being unable to construct your own opening is to have your friend do it for you.

But I turned my back on her, and when I glanced over at Mr. Tall and Tattooed again, Summer was there. And I barely had enough time to grab Anne and whisper, “WHAT DO I DO?” before he sauntered over.

Let me tell you, friends, he was no MBA student from Ohio.

Jake was a veteran, lived in Germany for two years, did two tours in Afghanistan, and currently lives in BAGHDAD as a BODYGUARD for American diplomats. He works three months, then gets a month, and had just flown in that day after spending a few days on the way back in Dubai.

One would almost think this was too fantastic to be real. But it also seemed way too complicated to make up.

He was nice and funny and interesting and tall. And then, at the end, so lovely, he asked for my phone number, which I hope I programmed into his phone correctly [don’t laugh, it sometimes happens when I’ve been drinking]. And he said goodbye, then leaned in, kissed me twice, and walked away with a swagger and confidence that left me dizzy.

I’ve met boys at bars before, sometimes nice and interesting, sometimes boring and kinda rude. I’ve kissed boys at bars before, somethings the nice and interesting ones, sometimes the boring and rude ones. But this was the single most perfect bar encounter I’ve ever had. And I didn’t even mind if he never called me, either because he wasn’t interested or because I had accidentally given him a wrong number, because, as a completely contained moment, I found it wonderfully surprising, refreshing, and satisfying.

I didn’t need a follow up. I didn’t need to go out with him. I didn’t need to hope for more and be disappointed [cynicism is integral to single shiksa-dom]–and even if it did work out, I didn’t need to be involved with someone who was only available one month out of every four. What I need was an excellent hope that there are interesting boys out there who can keep up with me, ones worth meeting, ones who would want to talk to ME, and who know how to execute a perfect goodbye.

Intimidatingly attractive, and he wanted to talk to ME. Not gonna lie, I'm proud to brag.

Later I found out Summer’s opening line had been, “Hey, my friend over there needs a new drink.” And while it wasn’t the suavest opening, it sure made possible one hell of an ending.

#16 Worry about the Girls

The problem with having an amazing community of women to go through this whole single thing with is that sometimes you come up with a conflict of interests.

Especially when you’re all on eHarmony.

My lovely friend Rachel and I are single sisters. We both have a lot of the same wounds from past relationships, we both want a lot of the same things in our future relationships, and we both joined eHarmony around the same time. Despite being in the same Bible study, where we talk a lot about boys and dating anyway, Rachel and I usually get together once a week to talk dirty specifics.

Both of us are at the end of our eHarmony subscriptions, and we’re hesitant about renewing since we’ve had zero luck so far. But the best stories always start in the eleventh hour, and we’ve both recently connected with a match. Yesterday we got together to log onto eHarmony in public places and swap stories. After Rachel shared about her slightly older, sophisticatedly handsome concert pianist, we turned to my match, Josh.

Rachel lit up. “I was matched with him! He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes.”

You cannot tell the color of his eyes from his profile pictures. Which caused me some concern.

“Wait,” I said. “You were matched with him, or you went out with him?”

“No, I sent him a message but he never responded to me. I’m a little bit jealous. He’s SO cute.”

“So… How do you know what color his eyes are?”

Rachel looked at me, a little surprised. “He came to the church picnic in the fall. Didn’t you meet him? I thought he was so cute.”

Beautiful eyes, beautiful smile, beautiful--well, you know.

This is not the first time someone in our Bible study has been matched to someone else in our church. Rachel had previously gone on an eHarmony coffee date with a guy who’s an associate pastor at our church. And it gets even better, because when she related this story at Bible study, ANOTHER of our other members piped up, “Hey, I was matched up with him too!”

In FX’s show The League, you and another guy sleep with the same girl you become Eskimo brothers. In our church, if you and another girl get matched with the same guy you become Match Sisters.

This does not actually promote sisterhood.

Josh is a straight shooter, and he asked me out for a drink right away. I gave him a few possible times and waited to hear back. And while needling another friend for information about Josh, since she too had met him at the beginning of the year at that church picnic where I was too busy talking to Zamboni Driver about plastic bag littering, she said–
“Oh, Hilary was matched with him on eHarmony!”

No way. NO WAY. I didn’t mind that Rachel was matched with Josh, but Hilary? Hilary of Logan persuasion? Is Hilary always going to have some prior–if vague–claim on the guys that I’m interested in? Is she always going to have some involvement in my relationships here in Michigan? I feel like we’re circling each other over guys. Kinda like vultures. Or tigresses. Some sort of metaphor that involves boys being either dead or lunch. Just BACK OFF!

Hello, I'm Hilary. I'm exceptionally pretty and funny and fashionably hipster, and I can look at ease and adorable at any sporting event.

The awkward thing is, I don’t know how much Hilary knows. If she knows that I was spending a ridiculous amount of time with Logan. If she knows that we talk all the time. That we hang out after midnight. She definitely doesn’t know about Josh. But I do. I know it all, and it makes it really difficult to sit next to her and have a small talk conversation. I feel bad. I feel bad for her, and I feel bad about myself.

I know it’s dumb. I know it’s just a match from a dumb computer compatibility software program, and all of us in our church get matched with the same people. It’s just an understood consequence of a group of women looking for the same thing in guys. We’re going to find, literally, the same guys. But it’s HILARY. And I have a history with there being “other girls” in a relationship. Another girl that likes my boyfriend or a girl that an ex sleeps with a week after he told me he loved me or a girl in another country or WHATEVER. There’s always another girl, and Hilary’s starting to feel like the other girl not of any relationship I’m in, but of my life.

She’s really nice, but she recently applied for a job in Boston, and I hope she gets it. Hilary, maybe we could be sisters, but I think first I’m going to need a little time and a little space.

** If anyone has a better term than Match Sister, hit me. **

#15 Drink and Deflect

PART TWO

I’ll give anyone at least one date.

In fact, I’m not sure I’ve EVER turned down a first date. Maybe strongly discouraged people from asking me out, but once it’s out there, usually I’ll take the offer up.

The thing with Rick is, I’m not used to the people I make out with taking me on dates. Even the repeat offenders, make out buddies, Ethan the Fireman (we’ll get into that, don’t worry), we would rarely go on DATES. Even if we hung out together, the boy would never pay. And because I used to think dating like a boy was a good idea, I’d let this slide by. Because I was that cool girl who didn’t force labels.

Anyway, I decided that in order to give this date the best shot, I’d not be my naturally ambivalent self about it. I picked a cute outfit, I curled my hair, I plastered my make up on all nice. Rick picked me up on Tuesday in the middle of a blizzard. Excellent, Midwest, thank you for FINALLY getting your winter act together.

Because of said blizzard, Rick was a little late in picking me up. This might not have been so bad if my roomie wasn’t having her own dinner date in our apartment and I was trying to find the right balance between not be a recluse creeper and giving them their privacy. When Rick finally arrived, we spent a few minutes kissing in the car before he pulled away and said, “We’d better go, or we’ll end up staying here in your parking lot all night.”

No one has ever buckled a seat belt faster. Girl’s gotta eat.

He held my hand, which was nice. He ordered margaritas, which was excellent. I was hoping that the lack of sparks between us was MY fault, my reluctance to open up, and not an actual reflection of the relationship. I was hoping that what I had interpreted as clinginess before was simply a nice guy who was being genuinely interested.

Margarita. Always a good choice.

Except… There were a few moments that stuck out as winners in an otherwise pretty blasé conversation.

The Too Forward Thinking Moment–

We were talking about places we had traveled to, and Rick’s only European conquest was the only Western European country I hadn’t been to, Germany. I, of course, went on and on and on about how I’d love to go.

Rick: Well, maybe if you play your cards right, I’ll take you.

Me: Hahaha—WTF? Is that something you really say to someone on a FIRST date?

The Too Clingy Moment–

Rick: So, since you’re not working, there’s no reason why you can’t text me all day long.

Me: I hate texting.

I DO dislike texting, for many reasons which we talked about so he wouldn’t feel like I was shutting him down, and the one reason we didn’t talk about. Namely, just because I’m not WORKING doesn’t mean I can just fritter my day away texting. I’m not that accessible. I have stuff to do. I have a blog to write, dammit!

The too Intimate Moment–

My birthday was that weekend, which I mentioned to him as I was turning 25 and it had been been kinda dominating my thoughts.

Rick: Oh man, now I have to do something nice for your birthday!

Me: No you don’t.

Rick: Of course I do!

If he wanted to do something extra for me in an attempt to woo me, I get it. But there’s zero obligation for a guy I’m on my first date with to do anything special for my birthday. I hadn’t even invited him to my party yet.

Rick. Not as mysterious as Bob.

After dinner we went back to his apartment to watch a movie. I picked Iron Man because he had it on Blu-Ray and he had an HD-TV and I’ve never actually seen such high res in action, but also because I had seen the movie before and knew I wouldn’t be missing anything while we made out. Which was what happened.

And then he pulled back and said, “At the party you told me you wanted to kiss me from the first time you met me.”

I froze. “No I didn’t.”

“You most definitely did.”

“No way.”

“Yes way.”

And I started to laugh. “I did, I did.”

This is what was really going through my head–OH SHIT.

It’s true. I did want to kiss him from the minute I met him. But this is why. It’s complicated and probably more than just a bit shady.

Rick used to be good friends with Ben. The Ex. The Engaged Ex. I never met him when he was friends with Ben, but I knew about him. And when I was in my angry revenge mode post breakup, Rick was one of the guys that I thought would be a perfect revenge date. And even though it’s been years since I’ve had that thought or felt those feelings, this instinct to want to kiss Rick remained. So what I really meant when I told him that was that I had wanted to kiss him for YEARS. And THEN I met him.

But that’s not something you tell someone. Especially when you’re in their bed and they’re saying, “Don’t be embarrassed, I had basically the same thought too.”

Um, I don’t think you did, Rick.

Maybe this should have been a sign to me. Maybe I should have realized that I’m not meant to date this guy. Maybe the lack of emotional connection should have tipped me off. But I think if you haven’t been bored, creeped out, or emotionally scarred in a first date, if the guy asks you on a second date, even if you haven’t felt the fireworks yet, it’s completely acceptable. First dates are awkward, and everyone deserves a second chance.

Except, I almost felt bad about going out with him again. I felt like I’m leading him on. But I also really wanted to give this time to develop. I wanted something to work–with a NICE guy. If only he realized that his strong statements (like, “What do you like about me?”) are actually pushing me in the other direction.

I went with him to his friend’s birthday part. And this is exactly how our night went down [don’t worry, I’m just cutting out the boring bits. Which I think is ALSO a sign]–I showed up at Rick’s apartment as soon as he got back from work, SuperSmash Brothers, make out make out make out, quick dinner, party, back to Rick’s where I completely ruined him at Mario Kart even while drunk, make out make out make out, break up.

Only, as I pointed out to him, we weren’t really breaking up because we never really dated dated.

Here’s the thing, the most astonishing thing of all, and how Rick went from a level three (out of five) clinger to a really respectable guy. We were all snuggled up together, and he says, out of completely nowhere–

“I don’t think I’m what you want.”

And it was so completely honest and out of the blue, that I didn’t really know what to say. Besides, “What?” I think I said “What?”

Ad naseum discussion about what that really means aside and whether or not we were far enough into knowing each for it to be accurate, never ever has a guy who’s been getting what he wants out of me thought enough about what I want to even discuss it.

Once Rick realized that he and I wanted different things in our relationships and our lives, he had two options. He either could have continued to take me out on dates, pay for dinner, then manipulated my emotions to get what he wanted out of me. Or he could just man up and break it off clean. I don’t know why he did it. Maybe he was protecting me. Maybe he was protecting himself. Maybe he was scared of what Matt would do to him if I got hurt. But regardless, it was the right decision, the decent choice, and the most hopeful outcome.

Because, Rick, you restored a little bit of my faith in guys, that some of them actually want real relationships and that some of them see me more than just a pretty girl to spend the next few hours with. So for that, and the giant margaritas at Casa de Fiesta, I thank you.

#15 Drink and Deflect

PART ONE

Since LoveAddict recently posted about her “favorite” Mr. Smother and Lizzie regaled us with her non-prostituting love slave, I thought I’d chime in with my own recent story.

My platonic friend Matt works nearby, and when I’m not working I try to get lunch with him every week or so. A few months ago, when I was feeling very single and a bit desperate, I followed him back to his office to meet his coworkers. I only met Rick very briefly, but long enough to believe something could work out there if pursued. I would see him once or twice in the following months, but never more than a “hello” was exchanged.

Until Matt texted me one night to see if I was interested in going to a party at Rick’s apartment. Rick was trying to get rid of all his New Year’s Eve alcohol. I, of course, was a more than willing helper.

Somehow, I convinced myself from the onset that Matt only invited me because Rick wanted me there. I blame the fact that my first recollection of Matt was his arrogant “I don’t call people; they call me” life mantra. This, perhaps, influenced my actions for the rest of the party.

I went to the party and had a great time. Did you know that Jenga can be played as a drinking game? My mind was completely blown. As for getting rid of that New Year’s Eve alcohol–let me say, I can handle my liquor, but it was amazing even to me just HOW non discriminating I am when it comes to kinds. Vodka? Yum yum. Rum is a fav. Gin is an excellent palate cleanser. Bring on the tequila!

Each tile has a rule written on it, and you've got to play the rule you pull. Also, there's no way the game would be this advanced if it was drinking-Jenga style.

Suffice to say, I was most definitely not driving home. Matt offered to drive me home, but the complication of leaving my car at Rick’s and the fact that Rick was obviously too eager to keep handing me drinks with a certain ulterior motive made my decision very easy. I think Matt was barely out the door when Rick leaned over and kissed me.

Let me tell you something. Other people were staying over, but I was the only one who got to sleep in a real bed.

BUT, before you get ahead of me, no sex was had. Just four hours of making out. Until SEVEN AM, people.

The problem was, is, that I meant to stop drunk making out. Without getting into my philosophy now, I usually just feel like I’m getting used, and I’m finding it less and less, ahem, fulfilling. HOWEVER, that did not stop some very memorable moments.

Like when Rick kept saying, “Oh, girl, oh girl.” I mean, I’ve heard using babe or baby to avoid mixing up names, but can we get any more generic than girl?

Or like when Rick said that he liked me, I laughed in his face and said, “You don’t even know me.” This might have happened more than once. I may have intimacy issues.

Or like when Rick said he’d like to take me out I said, “Well, then DO IT.” Like a dare. Because most people like to be challenged into taking someone out.

Or like when Rick said, “I told Matt you had a HUGE crush on me” I tried to think up a less honest answer than, “Only in the same way I have a HUGE crush on a bottle of vodka. Nominally interested but surprisingly desperate.”

Or like how when I woke up at 8AM, after only an hour of sleep, I tried unsuccessfully to sneak out and was delayed an hour and a half.

And then, after I had finally detangled myself and navigated the passed-out partiers in the living room to find shelter in the cold fresh air of a Michigan morning, Rick sent me a text message that simply said, “I think you’re really cute.”

Ok, I liked that.

I'm going for similarities in hair style here, not musical talents.

A few days later it was Sunday, the day we had tentatively set for our date after I said, “Well DO IT,” and I received a shy little text asking me if I was still up for “hanging out.” I pushed it back. I was exhausted from getting seven hours of sleep the entire weekend and knew that going on a date in my glazed-eyes state would be a disservice to everyone. He accepted my excuse gracefully and said that while he really did want to take me out, if I wasn’t interested that was fine.

I had just needed to buy myself time. The only proper dates I’ve been on recently have been eHarmony dates that have gone…so far into nowhere they’ve gone backwards. Add in the complication of my current feelings for Logan, and I was just unsure if I wanted to pursue something with Rick.

But then I called myself out as a coward and made myself woman up. I had kept following the comments on LA’s Mr. Smother post, and a few commenters had suggested that we dismiss genuinely nice guys as being clingy and smothery because we’re scared. It’s true, while I had plenty of physical sparks with Rick, I hadn’t felt any emotional fireworks, but maybe I was too busy protecting myself from wombats to see a truly nice guy. I don’t want to be my own best sabotager, so on Monday I texted Rick my free nights to see when he wanted to go out.

And he picked Tuesday.

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