Monday, January 30, 2012

Next time I'll just go see the movie by myself!

So I had my second date Saturday night with the guy from last weekend, he of the magical snowy Old Town evening.  I’d been looking forward to it all week long.  I was like a giddy teenager.  I had my outfit picked out, my jewelry, how I’d do my hair.  I anticipated the possibility of our first kiss, and envisioned him grabbing my hand in the movie theater.

Saturday morning he texted me and said, “Did you know this movie is 2 hours and 40 minutes long?”  I replied and told him that I’d warned him it was long.  This was the second time since Wednesday, when we’d decided on this movie, that he’d made a comment about it, the first being a comment about possibly falling asleep during it.  I grudgingly told him that we didn’t have to see it, I would just go see it another time.  He asked if there was anything else I wanted to see, I told him the truth…no.  So he relented and agreed to go to the original movie.  But I told him no, I wouldn’t enjoy it if I knew he wouldn’t want to see it.  Entirely true.  I refuse to drag people to movies I know they are not interested in because it takes away from my viewing pleasure, and I’ve been trying to see this movie for WEEKS. 

We decided to go out to dinner then come to my apartment to watch a movie.  Fine.  I was a little bit annoyed about the last minute plan change.  I was disappointed about again not seeing the movie I wanted, and beyond that, I had to spend a great deal of time that afternoon cleaning my apartment for company.

However, my annoyance wore off and my anticipation returned, and I got myself all ready.  I looked awesome.  New outfit, straight, delightful hair, all the right details.  He suggested meeting at the restaurant.  Okay.  Kind of strange, but whatever.  As I was about to leave the house, tells me he may be about 10 minutes later than planned as he was going to walk instead.  Stranger, but again, whatever.  I delay my departure to accommodate the latest change, and head out.  I beat him there and get a table. 

He arrives and looks very cute.  The owner knows him, comes over to say hi, chats with me for a few minutes.  When he leaves, my date tells me, “That’s the nicest he’s ever been to me!”  I tell him, “You’re welcome.”  ;-)

Dinner is good.  We get along very well again.  He compliments my nail color and my bracelet throughout the meal.  Afterwards, we go to my car, and he asks if we can stop by his apartment for him to pick up beer.  Seriously.  I had told him before that I don’t really drink at home, and I never have beer on hand.  So, I’m a sucker, so we stop.  He tells me don’t worry, I’ll get a cab home so you don’t have to drive me.  Hmm.

Back at my apartment I give him the 2 minute tour and we sit down to watch the movie.  He talks.  A lot.  During the movie.  This is a movie I love to show to people if they haven’t seen it.  A movie I adore. He knows this.  I keep pausing it when he’s jabbering.  At first it’s kind of funny, but it gets annoying. 

During one part of the movie, one character tries to get another to stop smoking.  He puffs out in agitation at this.  Important note:  This guy’s dating profile said “Sometimes” for smoking.  I didn’t notice this until we’d been talking for about a week and I already liked him.  We discussed it at the time, and he told me he was just a social smoker, not an all the time thing.  I was functioning under this impression until this point.

So he actually says something about how smokers are so oppressed by society. They can’t smoke anywhere.  He likens people who dislike smokers to how he dislikes when people talk on cell phones going through checkout lines.  I point out that, no, those are totally not comparable.  Talking on a cell phone doesn’t make the person smell like an ashtray, nor does it have an adverse physical effect on others around them.  It’s just annoying, it’s not a health issue.

He disagrees, we awkwardly wind in and out of this conversation before somehow setting it aside to continue the movie.  I’m turned off. 

When the movie ends, I go to take my dog out.  He insists he wants to come with me.  We’re barely out there 2 minutes before he says, “Let’s go back in, I’m cold!”  I told him I should have just gone by myself.

Back inside, we sit on the couch and he flips through my On Demand selections for a few minutes, never taking his coat off.  I ask if he wants to go home, he says, “Yeah, soon.”  At this point I basically just watch him flip through the channels, ready to get rid of him. 

Sidenote:  He drank 2 drinks at the restaurant, and 3 beers at my apartment.  Told me he’d walked to the restaurant because he wanted to drink and he couldn’t risk driving since he has a security clearance.  Note also that he took a cab to our first date as well, for the same reason.  Pattern.

Finally he says “Should I call a cab?”  Subtle.  I tell him no, I’ll take him home.  I’m annoyed.  I gather up my purse and coat quickly, lead him out the door.  I speed to his apartment.  We pull up, he gives me a hug, thanks me, gets out, and I depart immediately. 

I get home and bemoan the fact that I just wasted all this effort on looking nice for nothing. 

He texts me.  Tells me he feels like he left really abruptly, he doesn’t know why because he was having fun.  I reply, “You did.” He asks if I’m bitter with him.  We have this weird text convo where he basically tells me he left because he wanted to smoke, and he knows that’s “a big deal for me”.  I am NOT impressed.  He can tell.  He gets defensive. 

He says, among other things:
You seem to have incredibly strict standards on that.  I’m not a pack a day smoker.  I do like one or two on a Saturday night. It’s not the entirety of me.

Sorry, I like a smoke now and then.  Whoopsy daisy.

I’m not a Mormon.

I feel trapped if I can’t smoke.

At this point I’m feeling the not very subtle hostility.  He begins to remind me of my most recent ex.  The scary one.  The one whom I chose my words carefully with to avoid sparking his anger.  Red flag.  I am just responding “Okay then” over and over. I’m not taking the bait.

We wrap up, with him telling me he’s sorry.  He was disappointing.  He would liked to have stayed.  I looked stunning.  Whatever.  I go to bed.

Sunday sucked.  I slept in until 11, woke up with a migraine.  Took a pill, went back to sleep about 2.  He’d texted me a couple times prior to that, I responded very briefly.  When I woke up at 5:45, he’d asked me about hanging out again that night.  At first I waffled.  Then I thought of everyone I know telling me I don’t give people enough chances on these early dates.  I rule people out too quickly.  So I said okay.

He came over.  He smelled like smoke.  Gross.  Instant turn-off.

We watched a movie.  He talked less this time, probably because I didn’t actually give a damn about this movie.  He sat with enough room in between us to hold another person.  After the movie he said he had to go home, gave me a hug.  I gladly escorted him out my door, and that was done.  Done, done, done.

I should have trusted my instincts after Saturday.  No harm, no foul, really, save for the nasty cigarette smell I was stuck with for 2 hours.  Now I know for sure, and I can close that tiny little book and toss it into the dating fire for kindling!  And I can go out knowing that I did look stunning on Saturday, and it is his loss, and we all know it…me, him, and the restaurant owner from Saturday night.  ;-)

Just goes to show you, one great date does not a boyfriend make!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


On Friday night, I had dinner with a lovely fellow.  We met for tapas and sangria in Old Town, finishing with an exquisitely delicious Tres Leches cake.  The conversation flowed.  I laughed.  A lot.  I found myself illogically smiling throughout the evening, pleased with my good fortune.  I felt happy and flushed with anticipation, even though the evening was already in progress.

There was a moment during dinner where I said something that came out wrong.  I reached out across the table in a gesture of clarification or apology or something.  We were both laughing, but he grabbed my hand and held it for a moment and told me it was okay, he understood what I meant. 

When we left the restaurant, it was snowing.  Just a little bit, but it was beautiful.  We walked a block over to another restaurant to have a drink.  Old Town is so lovely, anyway, but in the snow, on a sparkly, shiny, happy, new date, it was positively glowing.  It was quieter than usual, perhaps because of the weather.  We got a tall table by the front window of the restaurant, which meant we got a view of the snow beyond the window, the awning of the restaurant, fluttering down beneath the streetlights. 

After the drinks, we left out onto the street, and it was snowing pretty well by then.  The sidewalks were slick with a mix of the snow and some freezing rain that had mixed in.  I'd worn these brand new, lovely suede ankle boots, which I'd luckily treated before wearing, LOL.  Nonetheless, they had a bit of a heel, and it was a little slick.  I asked my date if I could borrow his arm for balance, and he obliged.  We walked to my car with my arm looped through his, our shoulders touching with each step.

When we parted, he hugged me.  A short time later he texted to make sure I'd gotten home okay.

I felt puzzled.  He didn't even try to kiss me?  Did he not like me?  What was wrong?  I went over the events of the evening and all signs pointed to him liking me.  I couldn't figure it out.  My thoughts wandered from what was wrong with me to what was wrong with him. 

Then I realized what I was doing.

This man, this date, had been a gentleman.  And he was shy.  I made him nervous.  I could tell.  Even if I hadn't known on my own, he told me as much in advance, and again while we were out.  It was puzzling, but endearing.  I knew that during the date, but somehow after, I'd forgotten.  It would have been out of character for this shy man to kiss me on our first date.  And that was okay.  It was okay to part with a hug.

I am historically attracted to a very specific type.  There is no physical type, as each person I've dated for any measure of time has looked dramatically different from the others.  It's a personality type.  Sarcastic.  Cocky.  Charming.  Smooth.  Knows just what to say and when to say it. 

This new guy, he was an anomaly.  He was out of type for me.  He was charming in an awkward, nervous way.  He was funny, but not in a sarcastic way.  He was smart, but not in an overbearing way.  He was sweet.  Just sweet.

It's amazing the things that your brain internalizes over the years, the things that become a habit, an expectation.  I'd become accustomed to a way of being with someone.  Layers of heavy sarcasm over almost everything.  Intense highs and lows.  Tiny, almost imperceptible digs at my intelligence.  A feeling of never having enough experience, or the right experience. 

I want to break my patterns.  I don't want to wonder what is wrong with a man when he is polite and well spoken and gentlemanly.  I want to appreciate those things, to know that those are things that I want in a man, and to *expect* them.  I shouldn't be surprised when I encounter them.  I should be surprised when I don't.

It's a process.  I have to remind myself often of all of these little things.  I deserve better than what I've had.  I deserve more.  I am worth more.  And beyond me, I try to remember the other things.  Waiting can be a good thing.  Anticipation can be excellent.  Taking it slow can be exquisite. 

I'm not saying this man is my soulmate.  I'm not saying he is the answer to all of my previous relationship woes, the one who will redeem my faith in everything.  I'm just saying that on Friday, I had a positively lovely, luminous date with a very nice man. It was like something out of a book or a movie, so scenic and perfect, like a moment in time captured in a bottle.  The world became so small and snug, and I was happy in it's cocoon.

We have a second date on Saturday night. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stolen words

A friend posted this on facebook, and it struck me, and I had to steal it and bring it here for safekeeping.
She Let Go...
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of judgments. She let go of the
confluence of
opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the
‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the
anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it
right. She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public
announcement. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her
friends to
discuss the matter. She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or
No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her
face. A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go…
There’s only one guru ~ YOU.

Jennifer Eckert Bernau

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Today has been a huge blur of pain and sleep.  Damn migraine basically ate up the day.  I spent twenty minutes sitting in a hot shower, letting the water beat down on my sore neck, my old standby indicator of a migraine to come, and the gift that keeps on giving for the duration of the headache.  I took one of my pills, didn't work, tried hydrating with water, didn't work.  Forced myself to eat, took more meds, icepacks, sleeping off and on.  Somewhere along the line I woke up and felt somewhat better.  Now I just have that migraine hangover.  My body is tired, my eyes are tired.  I'm in bed, going to sleep again soon.

I am SO overdue for acupuncture, and I'm so glad I have my first appt. back tomorrow.  I swear I've had more and they've been worse since my financially induced lapse in acupuncture began.  Glad I'm back on track.  I also have an appt. for a physical tomorrow morning, and my semi annual chick Dr. appt. wednesday.  SO MUCH FUN to be had.  Glad to be insured again, though.

Sigh.  My body is so, so tired.