Note: This post is long and I am quickly becoming "That Girl" who drools about the guy she's dating in detail everyday. (Seriously, try having a non-Nurse-related conversation with me. I dare you.) Saturday I came to the realization that I needed something in the way of a sign that The Nurse wanted to date me. As I was re-reading the letter I’d never send to him, the things I’d never say to him, the words I wanted too much to be able to have him read, my text message notification went off. We’d been having one of our texting sessions. He’d messaged me late Friday when I was already fast asleep after eating too much pizza and discussing life over Scrabble with The Banker. I’d returned the text on Saturday and that had started it. Me with the questions, him with the short one word texts. We’d just gotten to the, “Do you have plans for tonight?” stage and I was sure that his response would be the sign I was needing at that moment. That he would get it. That he would respond coyly with something like, “I plan to take you to dinner if you’ll have me. And then I’ll cancel my Match.com membership and be yours yours yours.” And then maybe he’d sign it “L8tr.” And I’d want to strangle him for being so lame. Back in reality, I checked my messages. “No,” he wrote back. I felt a wave of disgust come over my body and I slammed my cell phone down hard on the table in the coffee shop. So hard that a woman three tables over noticed and looked up. And I tucked my head down and pretended to work on my computer, fuming that he’d been so obtuse as to not ask me out. Not wanting to think that this was the sign I’d asked for, because if it was, I wanted a do over. I plotted my next move. After a few minutes I gave in and texted that if he wanted to hang out he should let me know, because I am the lame one. And he immediately texted back that he did want to hang out and moved to make plans. So I felt slightly better, but not totally sexy and desirable. How was I dating The Guy Who Doesn’t Call? When I am with him, he is The Guy Who Can’t Keep His Hands Off Of Me. A few hours later I was pacing in my living room, fully made up and anxious because he was late. He showed up and we quickly kissed hello before jetting off to the show. I felt like part of a couple as he grabbed my leg and held my hand tight. And partway through he leaned over and gave me a quick peck on the lips and when the movie ended we waited until the theater cleared while we talked and he leaned over to kiss me again and jokingly suggest an alternate activity for an empty theater. I slapped away his hand and pulled him to his feet. And we headed out to his car, teasing and pinching and giggling like all of those couples that I usually hate because they seem oblivious to the fact that other people have to witness their overt PDAs and incessant laughter. He was in the mood for Thai, but we knew nowhere to get that at 10 p.m., so we picked up the ingredients to spice up a boxed Pad Thai dinner and some really dark beer. We knocked back two beers while I cooked. We had two cutting boards in tandem – he chopped flat leaf parsley because we didn’t have cilantro and juicied a fresh lime like a pro. And I served us two plates of Pad Thai that I don’t think he loved – but he ate it like a good boy. He took a quick call from a female friend and then turned his attention back to me. We discussed going out for some drinks and cuddled on my love seat. He hopped up to grab another beer for us to share and laughed at the prevalence of Miller Lite cans in my fridge. I explained that they belonged to a friend and he was quick on his feet, “A friend? He likes Miller Lite?” “It’s a she. Not a date.” And I straddled his lap and we kissed. “So, you didn’t have a date over here drinking Miller Lite?” “No.” And I took his bottom lip between mine and held his head between my hands. “You been going out with anyone?” he asked. I should have lied. I should have said yes. I should have told him about The Drunk Lawyer who keeps calling or just made someone up. But I said no instead. “And how many people are you seeing?” I needed to know. “I’ve been going out with women. Like, getting coffee or a drink.” I pulled back. “But that doesn’t mean I’m dating them,” he said. “I’m just going out.” He pulled my face to his to reassure me. “And my friend who called earlier is not one of them. Just a friend, so you know.” “I didn’t think you’d be so bold as to take a call from another woman you were dating while you were at my house,” I said. He laughed. “I don’t think bold has anything to do with it,” he said. “It just wouldn’t be fair. To you or her.” A little piece of me seized up inside. I should have said that I wanted him to see just me. That I wanted him to not date around, that I liked him, that I wanted him just for me. But I just let that little piece of me hurt inside. This was our sixth date and I was unsure that I could share this man, who was really starting to pull at my heartstrings a touch, who was sitting with me on a Saturday night eating dinner and cuddling and being so boyfriendly. We stopped talking and concentrated on kissing. Later we went to The Bar and ordered up a round of drinks. I met a blur of every bar regular The Nurse knew. He was surveying the crowd and his eyes landed on a woman across the bar. “Who ya looking at?” At this point I was tipsy and he was driving. “No one,” he said. “I thought I recognized a girl.” “Oh, is another one of your girlfriends here?” I teased and leaned in to kiss him. “I don’t normally bring women here. It took me three dates to get you here.” He looked at me with intensity. Was this his way of saying that of his harem of Match.com ladies, I was somehow special? “And, yes, I remember things like how many dates it took to bring someone to my bar.” It was kind of sweet. As the night wore on, I became solely focused on how much I liked The Nurse and how much he seemed to like me and put the thoughts of his dating ways away. We sang along to songs by Weezer at the Cake cover of “I Will Survive.” And we settled into bar stools because my feet hurt. I butchered the words to everything that played and he seemed to dig it. He told me that his friend I’d met a few weeks ago had excitedly asked where I was on Friday night. We were both pleased by this and I went over to his stool. “You’re too far away over here,” I pouted, drunk from the beer and the boy. And, like some sort of hysterical punctuation mark, “Let’s Get It On” blared over the speakers. “Oooooh, I loved this song,” I exclaimed. I was shaky on my feet in my favorite bronze sandals, which he’d called “not real shoes” as I’d squealed when we’d cut through damp grass in the parking lot. I leaned into him, grabbing the arms of the wooden barstool where he sat and my lips touched his. “I can feel it nooooow, baby,” I serenaded him. “Tryin’ to hold back these feelings for so loooong.” He just laughed at how un Marvin Gaye I was. “I can see you like this song,” he chuckled, kissing my cheek. I grabbed his hand. “Come on come on come on,” I twisted my body at the hips. He was confused. “You want to go now? Shouldn’t we pay the tab?” I smiled and twirled in a circle underneath our grasped hands, my eyes blazing and my smile beaming. “I see,” he grinned and stood up, pulling me close to him to dance. And he twirled me around twice and I almost fell over several times. Steadying myself, I took his face in my hands and kissed him softly. “Let’s get out of here,” he said. And we did.
I do want you to like me. Because I am really starting to like you a lot. And I think we could have a lot of fun together.
I like that you are completely relaxed around me and I like that I feel fairly relaxed around you – to be honest, I’m unable to completely relax around any man, because I always have my guard slightly raised because my emotions alternate between fear of rejection and worry that I’m doing the wrong thing and that my thighs are too big and that this is too much cleavage and that you are going to notice how my over confidence goes away when you look at me like that and I just feel my insides slowly melt and I think that if you knew that I was starting to care you might worry that I was going to become needy and that I was going to crowd you.
And if I could change that I let the physical aspect of this escalate so quickly, I would. But I can’t and I don’t think losing sleep over it is really going to make it better. Frankly, I don’t really regret it all that much.
I like that you kiss me in public when I see you. I like big smile that spreads across your face when I walk up. It makes me feel special and wanted and sexy and all of those things are very important to me. I love when you wrap your arm around me and when I am with you I know that you are focused on me and only me and that isn’t something I am used to and I never thought it would feel this good and, to be honest, that scares me more than anything else.
I feel like I have to pry things out of you. And you never make plans in advance, or at least not with me. And it feels very undignified for me to constantly try to pin you down – your kiss says you want me, your behavior makes me wonder. Do you find your desire for me at the bottom of a bottle of beer? I can’t change that, but I surely want to know. Because I’ll be alone for forever before settling for that, my friend.
Dating at this age is hard. When I was 16 and I liked a guy, I wondered if he’d ask me to a football game or to be his date to a formal. Ten years later, I think, “His job is stable and that would be a good basis for raising a family.” And I try to go into these things with my heart and not my ovaries, but we’re not juniors in high school anymore. And I wish I could go back to those days when a corsage was all I needed, but I am a realist. And I am not going to pretend to be content being anyone’s plaything, arm candy or convenience.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this and maybe I’m rewarding your non-planning lifestyle by continuing to see you. Maybe I’m just conditioned to be fearful because I wear previous letdowns close to my heart. And I will never forget them and that isn’t your fault, but if you could just try to reassure me or send me some sort of sign that this real and not something I’ve imagined, then maybe I would just let go and freefall and dive into your arms and tell my mom about you and introduce you to my friends and not worry about looking like a fool. Yet again.
That is what I really want to do. It’s what I’ve wanted for a long, long time. I just need a sign.
For more than a week I have been getting a lot of random calls on my cell phone from numbers I don’t recognize. As a proponent of call screening, I do not answer numbers I don’t recognize on my personal cell. And I have a longstanding policy against returning strange calls if someone doesn’t leave me a voicemail. They come at odd times – like at 11 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. and then 2:30 a.m. on the weekends. And they’re not local calls. Today, I got three during the day. And I was livid. So livid that I almost answered and yelled at the caller. But I was at work and I just wanted to leave and so I silenced the phone and finished up my e-mail and left. As I was about to make a phone call when I saw that a voicemail was there. The mystery caller had decided to reveal him or herself. “Hi, [Charming],” said man who sounded kind of unsure of himself. “This is [Drunk Lawyer]. We met at [Bar in New Orleans] a few weeks ago and you said you would be coming into town again and, you know, I wanted to see when. Please return this call.” Thankfully I had not left the parking spot or I think we would have had a dangerous situation on our hands. I cackled at the thought of me going to meet Drunk Lawyer in New Orleans for a night. This was the same Drunk Lawyer who was a terrible kisser and tried to unzip my pants in a bar. Who was not so cute and terribly dorky. I immediately saved his number in my phone and scrolled back through my call history. He had been calling a lot, but this was his first message. He was getting braver. So I called one of my friends who’d been out that night. “Oh! A boy called,” she said, always the Polyanna. “I don’t remember him. Was he cute?” “That night he asked me to go see his Historic Courtyard, which I think was code for his penis,” I deadpanned. “And he was a bad kisser and he tried to unzip my pants in the bar.” “Oh.” She was dejected. “He’s been calling a lot,” I said. “A LOT.” We discussed options for getting rid of him and his mass calling, ranging from saying I was married to faking my death to (and this one is my favorite) having a man answer the phone and yell, “Why are you calling my girlfriend! STALKER!” In the end, we decided call screening was the most humane option.
One downside of online dating is that when you meet someone and you start dating them, there is still the possibility that you are still dating other people.
And both of you know it.
I haven’t been out with any other men since I began dating The Nurse. None of the men who have messaged me lately have been good prospects and I’ve neglected the process of messaging men myself.
Last night I was at a work function and The Nurse was celebrating passing a test he’d been studying for all week. We met up for a drink and ended the night at my place.
As we stood in my messy kitchen snacking, he commented on the dishes in the sink.
“I cooked last night and didn’t do them.”
“So you cooked?”
“Yep, tofu stir fry with noodles and mushrooms.”
“Oooooh,” he said, raising an eyebrow.
“What?” I leaned into him and tugged on his untucked shirt.
“You don’t have any left?”
“No, I didn’t make that much.”
“You had a date over here,” he teased, wrapping an arm around my waist.
“No, I didn’t make that much.” I twisted from his grasp and began clearing the counter.
He picked up an empty popcorn bag and shook it.
“You DID have a date over here,” he said, waving the bag like evidence.
“Nope, just ate popcorn for dinner one night.”
“It’s okay if you had another man over here. You can date.”
I just rolled my eyes.
We snuggled in bed later and he started giggling. I inquired as to his laughter. He told me about a scene in “My Super Ex Girlfriend,” which he’d seen that night, in which Luke Wilson’s girlfriend breaks the bed during sex.
“We thought that was really funny.”
My ears perked up at the “we.”
“You don’t strike me as the ‘My Super Ex Girlfriend’ type,” I said, fishing for information about this “we” of which he spoke.
“It was cute. We enjoyed it.”
Again with the “we.”
I didn’t ask who he’d seen the movie with because I didn’t want to be the jealous type. But as I fell asleep, I just had to wonder -- Who’s dating other people now?
I'm just saying.
Friday night I had dinner with a friend of mine that turned into drinks with a group of friends. I'd been telling myself all week that I was not going out and that I was not going to drink, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The theme of the night was "I don't care that The Nurse didn't ask me out for this weekend." And I was trying my hardest not to care, but it was clear to everyone that I was a touch hurt, because my crush is quickly becoming more substantial.
Saturday I ran errands and enjoyed relaxing. I regularly go on "e-mail silence" until Saturday afternoon as a way to not feel as if I am working too hard on the weekend. So I was pleasantly surprised when I had an e-mail from The Nurse apologizing for not calling and saying he hoped I was feeling better. We exchanged a flurry of text messages later that evening.
Since B didn't have to work on a Saturday for awhile, I was to meet him and some friends at a bar. By the time I'd dressed and left my apartment, they'd decided to go home because they said the bar wasn't fun. So I strode into B's house in my favorite dark jeans and a stretchy shirt with batwing sleeves that is oh-so late 70s/early 80s chic. I'd deep conditioned my hair and let it air dry for an hour or so, so the pretty natural curls and waves that it has when I just let it be were bouncing down to my shoulders.
"Damn, it has been awhile since I've seen you," B said.
"What do you mean?"
"You have long hair now."
"I've had long hair for awhile."
"But, um, it isn't always, so wavy."
"I know. I deep conditioned."
"It's very pretty."
I beamed and grabbed a Dos Equis from the fridge. I'd hoped my friends would at least be lively, but they were lounging around being boring.
"You're very smiley," he said.
"I'm sort of casually seeing someone. Very casually."
"Oh … so you're not seeing him tonight?"
"I might see him later. I didn't want to look too eager."
And then The Nurse sent a text message that he was finished at the hospital (it was almost midnight) and he was going to a costume party at the bar where we'd met last week.
I joked about what his costume was and we bounced messages back and forth. B's ears seemed to perk up each time my phone notified me of a message. (I might have imagined this, but it would have been cool.)
After some chit chat about what each of us was doing, The Nurse messaged asked what I though about seeing a play his friends were in next month. I played it cool in my response, but I was secretly thrilled that he was making plans with me so far in advance and to do something that seemed very girlfriendy. (I keep trying not to get attached, maintain my distance, but it is hard.) Plus, the good kissing.
A few minutes later I bowed out gracefully and left B's house to meet The Nurse for one last beer. I walked into the crowded bar and made my way through women in animal ears and various hats and capes.
He smiled when he saw me and gave me a sweet kiss hello.
And he barely let go of me for the rest of the night.
Apparently, I have official ceased being cool and have officially become old and crotchety.
I set out for my regular Saturday morning errands – the produce stand, various stores, returns, etc. I enjoy not having deadlines and meetings and conference calls and the fact that my most important task of the day today involved locating the new Snow Patrol CD.
So, with my face properly scrubbed free of all makeup and dirt (I wear only moisturizer and Burt’s Bee’s lip balm on Saturdays), I headed over to Best Buy to purchase said Snow Patrol CD because I am obsessed with the song “Chasing Cars.”
I ended up getting Gnarls Barkley, Julie Roberts and Snow Patrol and I was pumped that I had some new music to listen to. I immediately listened to “Chasing Cars” about a four times on the way to visit my parents.
“I have CDs you might want to listen to,” I offered to my sister when I arrived.
She looked at me like I was crazy. Because apparently since I don’t routinely listen to The Fray and Deathcab for Cutie, I have suspect taste in music.
“I know, CDs, like actual CDs. Not iTunes. I’m so, like, old school,” I said.
She looked at me like I should never say the words “old school” again.
She did seem pleasantly surprised with my purchases and moved to quickly put them on her iPod. (I swear, I’m the only living person without an iPod.) She was less impressed with my dancing to “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and looked away, embarrassed, like the entire junior class of her high school was hiding in the closet witnessing my dorkiness.
While she fiddled with her laptop, I strapped on her iPod to listen to some of this stuff the younguns like these days. I made it through about 10 seconds of Panic! At the Disco before my ears went into a state of Panic! And not in a good way.
“Oh! I love this song,” I exclaimed as I switched on “Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls and danced seductively around her bedroom.
“You keep pushing all my buttons, baby,” I harmonized loudly with the iPod.
My sister looked at me like I was from some other solar system where they didn’t have MTV.
“What did you say?” she demanded.
“You keep pushing all my buttons, baby.” I punctuated the line with a groin thrust, just to completely mortify her.
“That’s not the words.”
“Of course it is, I have heard this song before.” I didn’t know where, but I had.
She put it on in iTunes and turned the volume up.
“It is ‘LOOSEN up my buttons,’” she said, like she was trying to explain addition to a first grader.
“No. It sounds like ‘PUSHING’.”
“[Charming] it is ‘LOOSEN.’ The way you sing it doesn’t make sense.”
“It could make sense.”
“Oh really? All of this time you though it said, ‘You keep pushing all my buttons’? HOW WOULD THAT EVEN WORK?”
“Well …” I didn’t want to have to explain anatomy or innuendo to my younger sister.
“I mean, seriously, what did you think?”
“I thought it was just a generic sexual reference.”
And then she laughed so hard that she actually fell over on her bed.
Then she made me a CD with songs by
Note from CBS: It’s been awhile since I wrote one of these open letters … and I am definitely in need of one, methinks.Dear Charming,
And the chemistry is there.
That said, I encourage you to stop the freefall plunge into Attachment just yet. It is perfectly fine to want things to work out. You do deserve a nice guy who is capable of having an adult relationship. But you can’t confuse this lusty flirtation with anything more than the beginnings of a really good crush with fun extracurriculars.
Because at this point, that is all that it is.
And until he shows his hand, hold yours close to the vest. Call me a cynic, dear, but there’s nothing that says that slowly giving into your desires and developing feelings is bad. In fact, truth be told, it is probably much better to take a step back and wait for his next move. You are stuck in the haze, my dear. You are having the inappropriate daydreams about his involvement in your life, aren’t you? (I know you are. And that one about a rainy Sunday was fantastic, if I do say so myself.) You are settling for his last-minute plans with you when you are deserving of some forethought.
Make sure he’s right before you get attached. Don’t put the dreams of a relationship before the right guy.
Put down the phone. Stop checking your e-mail obsessively. He will call. And while you’re waiting, you should plan a date with another suitor for sure.
And if he doesn’t call, then we SERIOUSLY have to talk about your approach to dating.
Right after we have a cosmo and two Camel UltraLights.
From CBS: Probably not the details y'all were hoping for ...
“Does anyone have a cigarette?”
“You don’t smoke,” I said, the words floating playfully from my mouth.
His friend agreed with me. The Nurse got a devilish grin on his face and the tapping became more intense.
“She doesn’t either,” he told his friend, motioning to me with a nod. “But look, I’m sure she has some.”
He squeezed the back of my neck, just below my hairline, seeing my playfulness and raising it with a smug grin.
I set aside the leather flap on my hobo purse so he could see inside, proud to prove him wrong.
“Sure don’t,” I beamed as he peered into my straw bag and around my lipsticks and cell phone and compact. I rubbed his knee as to punctuate my smirk.
The friend passed a single Marlboro Red across the wooden table top and I moved closer to him on the corner bench. I watched The Nurse light the cigarette and take a long, slow drag, enjoying it like a smoker who only reluctantly quit because he, like me, was too smart to start to smoke in the first place. He paused to let tendrils of smoke swirl out through his pink lips and rise upward to the ceiling and his hand grasped my knee tightly.
I looked up from the cool brown bottle and nodded and he slid his hand over to my mouth, touching the cigarette to my shiny lips as it balanced between two of his fingers. I took it between them. It felt sexy and intimate to breathe in the smoke through his hand. Almost warmer than the quick peck we shared when I found him at the bar, when our bodies had barely touched, but I could feel his hand almost rest against the brown fabric of the shirt covering my stomach.
Taking a drag felt like the beginning of intense, teasing foreplay and the small bit of nicotine I allowed myself went straight to my brain and I felt clouds moving in like before an afternoon rain shower.
The fingers from his other hand drumming on my leg quieted the voices in my head that chided me for dabbling in the nasty habit I’d worked to quit.
I let my hand graze his arm as I pushed it aside, tilted my head away and shot him a sideways glance, our eyes meeting in a shared stare.
And I quickly forced a column of smoke from my half-smiling mouth and into the bar in one long breath.
Note from CBS: Edited for grammar. Don't blog while running fever. I entered the weekend with some doubts about the status of things with The Nurse. He hadn’t asked me out for the weekend after our second date and I was questioning his intentions. I was psyching myself out and the best thing would have been to not think about it and go out and have dinner with a friend.
But when have I ever done the best thing?
So after dinner, I sent off a text message asking what he was doing. He was at work until 11 and then he was going out with friends he hadn’t seen in awhile.
I was crawled up in bed and, of course, took his response as a blow off since he didn’t invite me or suggest we hang out on Saturday. But my work week had been long, and before I could think of an appropriate response, I was fast asleep.
I shouldn’t have been so offended, but I was. Perhaps it is because of the flurry of e-mails exchanged and the time we’d spent together. Perhaps he hadn’t felt the chemistry I had. Perhaps Match.com had lulled me into a false sense of intimacy. (I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first to fall this way.)
Saturday I had plans to go out with Southern Belle and some friends. I relaxed all evening before pulling myself together to head to the bar with my friends. The Nurse had text messaged to find out how my car shopping was going that day. (I’d told him that I was looking.)Around 9:30 p.m., as I brushed a golden shadow across my eyelids, The Nurse text messaged to announce that he got off of work at 11. We volleyed messages back and forth as I finished prepping for my evening out. I left things open, not promising to meet him, but not saying that I wouldn’t.
I had two beers with my friends, who quickly decided that they wanted to go dancing. I wasn’t in the mood and The Nurse had texted where he would be, so I decided to meet him. (My friends understood.)
As I pulled up to the bar where he was, I was underwhelmed. It was clearly not my scene at all. I took a deep breath, clipped back my long hair and applied a light layer of Clinque gloss to my lips and a thin layer of powder over my face. I stepped out of the car and balanced on my high heel, adjusted my shirt and headed into the bar.
As I reached for the door, it swung open and a guy I know from childhood came lumbering out in a black bowling-style shirt with some sort of motorcycle cross on the back of it. A big hoop hung from one ear and a stud was in the other – clearly his straight-laced mother had a heart attack when she saw that. I chuckled at that thought. But his face and his slightly curly hair were the same as when I knew him years ago, when we swam on the neighborhood swim team together.
We both stopped and smiled. He looked me down and said, with disbelief, “What are YOU doing here?” motioning to the bar with his eyes.
“Um, I’m here to meet a friend.”
“Oh, well, okay.”
We talked for a few minutes and he seemed weirded out by my presence.
I entered the bar, which seemed to have a relatively normal crowd, a little less polished than what I’m used to for sure. But no one bit me, although a few people did toss a glance my way. The bar was small and it was decorated with skull and crossbones that were more Pirate than Harley Motorcycle Gang. I figured that with that new Johnny Depp movie, pirates could possibly be the new black.
I found The Nurse, he gave me a hug and snagged us a booth. The fashion was still very much lacking (untucked polo and khaki shorts that were possibly a bit too small), but he had come from work, so I guess that I should be glad that he wasn’t in scrubs, right?
He was drinking PBR out of the can, but I settled for a microbrew I love that I don’t think can be legally sold where I live. We had a nice chat and bar regulars came by to say hello. The Nurse introduced me as his friend, but it was clear (to me, I think) that he was interested in me as a date. He was quick to include me in his conversations and explain things to me and I felt him rub my knee under the table when he flirted or thought I needed reassurance. We talked to another regular, The Waitress, and her boyfriend for at least a beer or so.
We paid out, I went to the surprisingly clean ladies’ room and joined him outside of the bar. He gave me a sweet kiss.
“You know, when you weren’t looking, [The Waitress] told me that she liked you,” he said and kissed me gently again.
“Really?” I said with surprise. I hadn’t thought the regulars would be impressed with my dressy shoes and taste for wine, especially since I’d joked that I normally order cosmopolitans at bars.
We kissed again.
“So, where are you headed?” I asked softly.
“Well, that depends,” he said. “On you.”
He rested a hand on my hip.
“Well, my place is just a few minutes away,” I said.
He pulled me to him and kissed me again.
And I just giggled and pulled away, swatting his hand away.
For all of the kind words of support and the personal e-mails over the past few days. Lurkers coming out of the woodwork and sending me kind thoughts and everything. My word!
Y'all are refreshing like a mint julep on a Saturday afternoon.
We had a great second date. There's been some texting, but no formal second date set. I am starting to worry – we had our second date on Tuesday night and he didn't ask me out for the weekend? I thought we had a great time.
Also, can you text message from a hospital?
Yes, a guy from Match is talking to me and asks me to karaoke on the first date.
Yesterday I volunteered to take a quick break from work and fetch lunch for me and a co-worker from a place down the street, so I could breathe some fresh air and move around a bit. I was enjoying my two block walk and generally keeping to myself as I entered the building, pretty oblivious to everyone else.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone I knew. Little Mister Small Town. I wasn't sure that it was him, so I went to the counter and ordered the food and waited. I shot a sideways glance toward the table by the window – it was him, he was looking at me, but he was with a group of people.
I fussed with my bags, slid my wallet back into my purse and slyly fixed the hem of my shirt so that it laid flat against my body. And I put my shoulders back and turned to the door, walking by his table.
He looked away from the group, smiled and mouthed "Hello."
I mouthed "Hi" back and slid my sunglasses on to head out into the world.
Another chance encounter and I couldn't help myself from wondering if there was a reason I kept seeing him places. I am hopelessly romantic and I've seen too many romantic comedies, perhaps. I went to put it out of my mind.
But on the two block walk back, I decided that I let these opportunities go by too often. I don't act on them and then I wonder.
I returned to my desk, dug into my salad and drafted a coy e-mail.
To: Little Mister Small Town
Hi, we met many moons ago at a bar with [Friends' names]. You gave me your card (did I seek your official counsel at the bar that night?). Anyway, I just saw you at lunch but I didn't want to interrupt you. I feel rude not saying hello since we work near to each other. Maybe next time I'll get to say hello in person.
He hasn't e-mailed back, but I'm not freaking out. Either he does or doesn't, but at least I made a bold gesture. If he's interested, he'll e-mail back. If he's not and the hellos and coy smiles are just friendliness, he won't.
I am proud of myself. I never make such bold moves. I just let things fester until they drive me insane. I don't know where this new surge of confidence is coming from. But I like it.
It has been brought to my attention that I am lacking in the morals department. That perhaps because I drink and dance and go wild (at times) and kiss boys, I am a bad person, deficient of character. That I am a slut.
I gave up a long time ago on trying to please people with my conduct. I could be morally sound in the eyes of the judgmental, uptight few who look down on others to make themselves feel better for their own shortcomings or I could feel happy and whole and not worry about pleasing others as long as I could look myself in the mirror each morning when I rise and each evening before I go to sleep.
Sunday morning I woke up and when I looked in the mirror my hair was mussed beyond belief and my eye makeup was smudged from sleep. And I maybe wasn't asking for a medal for my exploits from the previous night, but I certainly wasn't going to beat myself up about drinking (I had a designated driver) and kissing (I stopped the situation from escalating into something more). In the hard fluorescent light of the morning, I might have made different choices.
I am honest on this blog. I delete some details and I don't share everything, but for the most part, this is what it is like to be me. To be a young, single woman with an active social life, dating men, going out – warts and all. This life is mine. Much like I choose my shoes and clothes, I have chosen to live how I live and the last time I checked, I stand alone in these shoes and suffer when this goes poorly. This blog helps me see my life up close and I don't always like everything I do. Imagine if you put your own life in black in white on display. Would you like everything you see?
Little comments about my shirt (which, if you read closely, you would know was a wrap shirt on top of a black camisole, so it is hardly as if I was overly exposed when the tie slipped open) have somehow been given some sort of importance because I mentioned them. Really, it was a bathroom conversation that I thought was a cute slice of life and an example of women been chatty. (Also, it is what "writers" call a "flashback" or a "theme" or "humor.") The fact that I participated in a conversation about casual sex somehow makes me slutty in people's minds. Never mind that I sleep alone most nights. (We also talked about our careers, mortgages and played shuffleboard on Saturday night, so I guess in addition to being slutty, I am also a candidate for assisted living.)
I write because it is cathartic, because it is fun, because it helps me gather my ideas. I can (and do) take negative criticism. Commenting when because I think I've been misjudged doesn't make me thin-skinned. I was merely trying to add some context, but I suppose some people have made up their minds about me being a bad person based on a handful of incidents and comments from a small segment of my life. It is easy to judge some anonymous woman you don't know. And, I stand by the statement that if you dislike what you read here or how I act, you can read someone else's blog. (I hear there are, like, millions of them.)
Why waste your time hating me when you can be actually enjoying something else?
I joined The Lawyer and friends in New Orleans for some drinking and dancing on Saturday night. Three of us dressed and primped at The Lawyer’s house before. I had forgotten how fun it was to try on outfits and pick shoes and accessories with the girls. (I’d packed four pairs of shoes, three purses and several shirt options for my night of city fun.) After some intense hair straightening and struggling to apply an almost midnight blue eyeliner (works well with my blue eyes; it is almost black and is a lot prettier than it sounds), we slipped into our heels and tucked the essentials – a digital camera, lip gloss, debit card, emergency cash – into our cute purses and headed out to find some mischief. We strolled confidently into a small bar that played host to a mix of people our age and older and swayed back and forth some to the canned blues and Al Green songs that blared over the speakers, pausing to groan when “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan came on, before skillfully commandeering an area of worn leather club chairs and couches for our crew. I fiddled with my phone, paused and wrote a text message to The Nurse. Short and sweet: “Just thought I’d say hello. Hope you’re having a good time at the wedding. Later, charming.” I ducked into the bathroom to check my look. I was wearing jeans, sandals with an ankle strap and three inches of heel and a satin camisole underneath a sheer black wrap top with flutter sleeves. The top did little to cover the camisole and I turned to check my profile and make sure the lace ties holding the top shirt closed were secure around my waist. “I like that top,” a woman powdering her face in the mirror next to me said. “Thanks … just trying to make sure it doesn’t come loose,” I said, finishing my spin. We both laughed. “That could come in handy later if you need easy access,” she joked. “Yes, at midnight it is presumptuous to think I’d take the shirt off,” I said. “But come 3 a.m., the fact that this is held together by a flimsy belt may come in handy.” We wished each other well and I glossed my lips before rejoining my friends. After a few hours of subdued drinking and some R-rated talk about the ease with which both genders can find a lay, we headed to a very crowded, nondescript bar full of people our age and younger and plastic cups of bottom shelf liquors and some very loud hip hop and pop music. This wasn’t my ideal location, but once a cool, crisp gulp of Red Stripe passed my lips and joined several glasses of pinot grigio in my system, I felt like dancing. And dance I did … around puddles of drink and broken pieces of glass on the dance floor, swigging Red Stripes like they were water and doing shots when they were placed in front of me. I shook my humps, dropped it like it was hot and generally made a fool of myself. The beauty of all of this is that I knew no one in the entire bar save my friends, meaning I could dance without being embarrassed by my less-than-stellar drunk girl dancing moves. So inspired by the dancing was I that I soon found myself trying to force my friends to dance on the small wooden stage and then on the bench of a booth we’d taken over. They laughed and egged me on, knowing I’d reached that critical time when there’s no turning back, when I simply must dance and release the stress that builds in my system. And the next thing I know, I am dancing with a very aggressive, very dorky guy on the stage. And he is kissing me and he is a terrible, forceful kisser who thrusts his tongue around my mouth with no regard to rhythm or speed or intensity or if I’m even enjoying the kiss. We move to a booth, because I am drunk, but I am not about making a spectacle of myself on the stage. And I try to talk to him – he is 29, a lawyer, originally from New York. And then he is licking my neck and swirling his tongue in my ear – attempting to give me a lobotomy with his kiss, I imagine. My friends hover by and check in with me, asking if I’m okay. And I, for some godforsaken reason, am. I miss making out with boys. And so my friends, ever supportive, took some very embarrassing pictures of me. (Thankfully they forgot that the digital camera is mine and the pictures will safely be filed in my computer’s recycle bin.) I am trying to pull myself from this boy when he asks to unzip my pants. I think not. Thankfully, my friends picked this moment to unceremoniously pluck me from his grasp and leave the bar. It is nearing 3:30 and it is time to leave. He asks when I’m coming back to the city and scribbles his personal numbers on his business card. I write down some string of numbers that I am almost certain was not my cell number, smile and stand to gather my purse and camera. And my damn shirt is untied.
We all have moments when we misjudge a situation or a person. We think someone is flirting with us when they are not. And we put the cart before the horse.
Today's a day when I don't mind feeling like my horoscope. My romantic daily horoscope from today:
Yowza! If the stars have anything to say about it, you're extra-adventurous, super-creative and totally inspiring at the moment. And, yes, all this equals completely burning hot. Make the most of your fine self!
Another possible man on the horizon. (Not from online dating!)
Not to be obnoxiously optimistic, but when it rains it pours and right now it is sprinkling men for La Charming.
When I leaned in to The Nurse and gave him a light peck before pulling away and smiling shyly, I didn't do it because I wanted to tease him or play hard to get or leave him wanting more.
I didn't kiss him because I was uncomfortable standing in front of a shopping center, afternoon traffic, more than 100 cars and the summertime heat. There were people with children, for crying out loud!
The thing is, I don't think most guys like it when you play hard to get. Maybe as a bit of foreplay … being coy with a boy, acting shy and sweet when he knows you are far from it –- I think this can be a fun form of flirting. But I'd hardly base my entire dating philosophy on the idea that because some people like the thrill of the chase and the agony of wondering when the teasing will stop I should my physical feelings and those of my date.
No thank you. If I want it, I go for it. Truth is, I could have pushed him up against the car and made out with him. And I would have because I have no qualms about going for what I want.
That said, I think restraint can be sexy. Leaving something to the proper time and place is worth it. Timing is very important. Why self consciously kiss in a busy parking lot where I'm uptight and nervous when I could wait and ultimately have a better experience later?
And, I hardly think my unwillingness to kiss The Nurse made any difference to him either way.
He called on Tuesday.*
* I was at a family function. When I spoke to him later, he had wanted me to come help him pick out a shirt and tie for his sister's wedding before he left to go out of town until next Monday. He'd already been shopping, so I had to decline. My friends are split on the appropriateness of this, with some thinking it is a bit early for such a "girlfriend" kind of activity, while others think this means he just wanted a cute way to see me again before he left. And talking about this all day via e-mail to the Dating by Committee girls has made me giddy to see him again.
The first date with the Nurse went well. He was running late, but he called and warned me in advance, which was the polite thing to do.
The first minutes were awkward. Ordering coffee and getting situated always is. The first thing he did was bump the table and spill coffee everywhere – except for on me, fortunately.
The conversation flowed well. He tells a good story and is easy to talk to. We hit on both of our jobs. He told me about nursing school (to clarify, I knew that he was in nursing school and not already a nurse). He works in a critical care unit and finishes in December. (The down side being that he lives with his mother, but he was quick to point out that this was an arrangement made only so he could focus on his studies, that he'd lived on his own for many years when he decided to change course and go to nursing school and that he was moving as soon as he graduated. So, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because I appreciate that he has a plan and is obviously working toward something. If he were working at a bar and mooching off of his parents, I'd feel differently.)
We had a few cups of coffee and moved to an outside table. He again suggested a walk, but we were in a very populated area near a strip mall and so the only walking would be past a nail salon and a few restaurants. (As an aside, men should realize that we pick public places for first dates for a reason.) But, knowing that he'd a big fan of walks, I may suggest a short hike at a nearby swamp/wildlife area, which would be a fun way to do some walking and some talking, I think.At first I was iffy because he seemed a bit standoffish and had some challenges in the fashion department (untucked polo with jeans and dirty tennis shoes). But I quickly warmed up to his humor and had a really nice time.
He was explaining how he used to brew his own beer when a woman at a nearby table interrupted us. We would talk and she would chime in, as if she were completely oblivious to the fact that we were obviously on a date.
He was chiding me about my age, seeing as he is almost five years older than I am. The woman chimed in.
"Honey, you have nuthin to worry about," she said. "I'muh almost to da big FOUR-OH and people still think I'muh yung."
She then proceeded to tell us how she was 37 and she had a boyfriend who was 27 and how people didn't believe she wasn't in her mid-20s herself. This woman was wearing black stretch pants, a striped long sleeve T-shirt and brown sandals with her hair messily tossed into a ponytail. She looked like she'd spent far too many hours in the sun, had a thick country accent and looked like she was well over 40.
She was either delusional or drunk. Possibly both.
As she left, the Nurse leaned over and said in his best hick accent, "She's hot stuff, Miss I'm Not 40. She's got herself a 27 year old and everything!"
We devolved into laughter and the casual touching started. A hand on my knee or my shoulder. All good date signs.
We parted after almost three hours of coffee. (I thought I was going to turn into a café au lait.) He walked me to my car and we hugged. (He also hugged me when he got there, but we're from the South and we do that, so it wasn't odd.)
And then, in the middle of a busy parking lot in a strip mall in the plain day of the afternoon at the end of our coffee date, he leaned in for a kiss.
I could see him close his eyes, a clear kiss signal. I gave him a quick peck. He clearly wanted more, as he'd rested a hand on my hip and was pulling on my blouse.
I pulled back and smiled, thanked him for the nice date and said we should hang out again. He was leaving town for a few days, but promised to call when he returned.
I smiled as he walked away and climbed in the car, wondering if I am a prude for not wanting to play tonsil hockey in front of an office supply store and a family of four eating beignets on a lazy afternoon.
I have just accepted a first date with the Nurse, who is 30 and has a nice profile. He’s been very furiously e-mailing me for the past few days and dropped a hint that he wanted to hang out on Saturday, but I was going dancing with the Girls. So, we’re having a coffee date tomorrow afternoon. (Four-day weekends rule.) His online flirting has been impressive. He quickly commented when I uploaded a new photo as part of my profile makeover. (Although he said something about my cheeks, which was a bit odd. Guys, commenting on how my cheeks are round makes me think that I need to pick a less pudgy picture. Stick with “You’re eyes are pretty” or “You have a nice smile.”) He suggested lunch a walk or coffee. I mentally vetoed lunch because I want to work in the morning and because I wanted a cheaper first date in case we didn’t hit it off. And I also thought a walk was a bad idea, because it is hotter than Hades here and I like to look perky and well made up on dates. (Plus, I haven’t been to the gym in weeks – WEEKS! – and I think me huffing and puffing and reaching for my inhaler would be bad. And the potential to smell bad is high.) So, coffee sounded good – an inexpensive first date in a laid-back environment that has a low risk of my hair becoming frizzy. I’ve been assembling date wear options. This is my third date from one of these online dating sites, so I’m more comfortable with the process. I am to wear something cute and demure, emphasizing my assets, covering my flaws. Enough make up to look pretty and polished, heels to make me no taller than my date’s profile says he is, earrings to dangle, big sexy sunglasses so that I can enter the place with an air of cool confidence. And straight hair, because that's what's in my profile picture. My planned outfit is jeans with a white camisole and a sort of delicate floral thin wrap blouse with low black heels because this guy is only three inches taller than I am. Casual cute. I also started my methodical dating practices a few days ago. I favorited about 30 guys and I started by winking at a few and then e-mailing some in blocks of three or four. It’s been interesting to see who responds – guys who I thought were certain to respond have left my winks unreturned while guys I thought were probably unlikely to give me the time of day have e-mailed. It goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover or a single man by his Match.com profile.