Tough Life lessons with S (and Blerta)

I’ve learned a few important lessons since my first post back in January:

1. Beware of Reddit.

2. Don’t forget to warn your mom about potentially upsetting content. For instance, when your co-blogger posts a particularly offensive and gross message for Message Monday, it’s good to give your mother a heads up, or she may call you, freak out, tell you she lost sleep thinking about you and your co-bloggers coming in contact with dudes like that, and ask if you want to come home (that is my mom’s go to line whenever something upsetting happens: “DO YOU WANT TO COME HOME???” To be fair, home is a 20 minute drive from my apartment so it’s not a totally ridiculous question. And real talk, sometimes yes, yes I do want to come home and lay on my parents’ couch and eat free food and watch free cable. So sue me. #almost29yearsold

bridesmaids-movie-quotes-74

3. Don’t trash a guy on your blog until you’re sure it’s over. Ahhh yes. This is an important one that I am learning in real time, literally as I write this. Please refer to this post where I introduced you all to a guy I’d been seeing named H, then proceeded to call him a “dickweed” for abruptly ending it with me and added a sassy little Kelly Kapoor gif to round out my rage. Don’t get my wrong, H acted like a jerk, and he totally deserved it. But now it’s time for me to eat crow/feel stupid and reveal to you, dear readers, that H reappeared a few weeks after that incident, apologized profusely for being a jerk, and after talking it out we started to casually, slowly see each other again.

Before you get all, ‘what the hell, S, this guy sounded like an asshole,’ allow me to fully explain the situation. H is fairly recently divorced… the first divorced dude I’ve ever dated. He was pretty open/up front about the terrible shape he was in when his marriage first ended and that he only just re-entered the dating world, intent on taking things slowly. Now clearly when he pulled a ‘oh hey I’m sort of seeing someone else, JUST KIDDING that was a mistake please forgive me’, I could tell he miiiiiight not be the most stable table on the showroom floor in terms of dating readiness. But what can I say? I liked him. A lot. I thought we’d really hit it off. And I just knew if I didn’t (cautiously) give this dude who I really liked a second chance, I’d always wonder.

So I agreed to start seeing H again, very slowly and casually, and we did just that. Here’s what I liked about him:

  • He was really smart, but didn’t take himself too seriously. H had a graduate degree, was a college professor on top of his full time job, and had run a successful start up with his two friends right out of school. He was intelligent, creative, interesting, and successful, but he also loved bad TV and eagerly ranked the best diners in South Jersey with me. There was zero arrogance, which I’m all about (take notes, Mr. Mensa).
  • He was honest. Possibly bordering on too honest. H was totally up front about the divorce thing and the fact that he was still very much recovering.
  • He was fun, considerate, and (relatively) easy to make plans with. I say relatively because any one of my girlfriends would still beat him, even on their worst day, in the being proactive category, but to be fair we are an exceptionally bossy bunch. H remembered things I said I’d wanted to do or try when we made plans, cooked for me (although sadly there was no elaborate menu this time) and even though he lived in the suburbs, always offered to schlep into the city to see me.
  • The chemistry was there. From the beginning I felt like we had that intangible thing that I talked about in my post about the points system. We just clicked. Little to no awkwardness. Easy flowing conversation. Joking, teasing, banter. The same sense of humor. Chemistry.
  • The attraction was there. H was no model (neither am I, so thank God) but he was my particular brand of cute, which is a little nerdy (much like L has a self-professed “mediocrity fetish”, I have a “mildly schlubby guy next door with glasses” fetish. Mmmmm glasses.) If I had to describe him I would say if Jack Black and the guy from Rudy had a baby, and that baby grew up to be a 6 foot tall 33 year old nerd who wore glasses, that would be H.

So I was going out with H until two weeks ago, and having a great time. I was also (half-heartedly) talking with and going on a few dates with other guys. In hindsight, I think I was doing this more to try to keep things breezy:

H had been pretty clear about wanting to keep things casual, which at first I was totally kosher with, but I as time went on I could feel myself starting to really like him. After our last date a few weeks ago, I just knew. I knew I’d have to have the ‘are we exclusive talk’ with him, and I knew how it would go. So being the BREEZY woman that I am, I naturally wrote out a FULL SCRIPT of what I wanted to say (actually super necessary because my mind goes blank in situations like this), called H and blurted the entire thing out in 12 seconds. And it went down exactly as I predicted: H said that as much as he liked me and was having a great time, he just wasn’t ready for an exclusive relationship yet. And I knew that unless I cut things off completely at that point, I’d be too tempted to keep seeing him. So I told him we had to stop seeing each other and asked him explicitly not to call or text me. And then I basically hung up on him because I was flustered and about to cry.

have a lot of feelings

Real talk, I was pretty bummed, you guys. I liked H a lot, probably more than anyone I’ve met via online dating. I was having a lot of fun with him and I could see trying to make a go of it long term. And truthfully I was really surprised by how hard a call this was to make. I knew intellectually what I was “supposed” to do as a strong, independent woman with a reasonable amount of self worth. But I liked this guy so much and was having such a genuinely great time with him, it was not easy to let that go, especially as an almost 29 year old single girl. I was so so tempted to just keep seeing H casually, not rock the boat, and try to ease him into the idea of something more serious.

But while my romantic self was concocting all sorts of fantasies about how that would totally definitely 100% work, my pragmatic self was like listen, home girl, you’re smarter than that. You know what you want, and you know that H either doesn’t want that or isn’t ready for it, and if you compromise on this you will feel like shit about yourself. I felt like I had an inner sassy gay friend guiding me:

look at your life

Also, as L pointed out (she’s so wise) this thing between us would have still inevitably ended, but probably in a much more miserable, messy way somewhere down the line. Ugh. Being a mature adult is the worst, isn’t it?

So now that it’s really over between me and H, I can officially go to town, tell you all some really embarrassing shit about him, and pull out as many sassy gifs as my heart desires, but of course now I actually have no interest in doing any of that. Damn it. It’s helping to remind myself that H was far from perfect. His apartment was a pigsty. He also owned and once wore in public, in my presence, with a straight face, a Google glass.

google-glass1

I mean.

Speaking of things H wore, perhaps revealing one little embarrassing detail about him to the internet will cheer me up. And never fear, I know just the thing to share with the class. H suffered from sleep apnea, so to help him breathe at night he had to wear something really…. unique to bed:

cpap

That super attractive piece of equipment is called a CPAP machine, and it’s something that I unfortunately became all too familiar with over this past summer. Fun fact: it not only makes the wearer look like Bane from Batman, but also sound like him, too. Between that and the Google glass, I did sometimes feel like I was dating a legitimate cyborg.

bane

Confession: when I wrote the bulk of this post last week I was going to end it by sharing this clip from Girls:

and telling you all that this scene is exactly what I do when my love life is not working out as planned. Basically: feel sad—> wallow in my sadness—> listen to some embarrassingly dramatic melancholy tunes—> get tired of being sad and dance it the eff out to some Robyn.

I was going to end with that. Until Tina Fey hosted SNL last weekend and bitch slapped me out of my walking Zoloft cloud trance.

I mean seriously, the whole thing is hysterical, and so true, but when they parody that exact scene at 2:35, I DIE. Once again, Tina wins at life. #Blerta

I’m doing my best to try to forget about H. I had a lot of fun with him, so I don’t regret giving him another chance for one second, but it’s time to move on. This will undoubtedly involve a lot of fall TV and white wine spritzers. And one October goal of mine, BESIDES blogging more, is to get back in the OKC saddle again. If Mr. Mensa would ever stop taking IQ tests and get his act together (he is STILL. MESSAGING ME. wtf) I would honor our survey results and start with him. Until then, bring on Season 2 of Nashville!

Have any of you lovely readers ended it with someone you really liked because you wanted different things, or because of bad timing? Leave a comment and tell me about it. Maybe we can form a ‘people who make grown up dating decisions even though they suck’ support group. I’ll bring the wine spritzers.

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4th date with K: We see a play about fishermen and S writes a dear john email

When we last left our heroine, me, she was being wined, dined, and made to watch a fantasy TV show. Now for the dramatic (actually not at all) conclusion to this dating trilogy:

K and I continued to chat for the next few weeks, but we were both busy and hadn’t been able to schedule a date. This is one tough thing about online dating, and I guess dating in general: It’s hard to keep the momentum going when there’s a lot of time between dates. You don’t want to be texting or emailing back and forth 24-7, because who has time for that, but you don’t want there to be complete silence between the two of you either. In case you were wondering, this is what 40% of my conversations with K revolved around:

kev convo

He could not have been more serious about that show. Do you like how he legitimately scolded me for watching the episodes out of order?

Anyway, I was still on the fence about K. He was great in a lot of ways, but I just wasn’t feeling any crazy connection with him or like we had a ton in common. I decided to give it one more shot because honestly, how many single 20 something dudes would come to your apartment to make you a gourmet dinner on your third date? I needed to be totally sure before I let this one go.

We finally found a free weekend. K surprised me by telling me we were going to see a play by a writer who I had mentioned I liked. I’ll give it to him, K was a thoughtful dude. I had actually wanted to see this play so I was excited, except two days later he texted me that it had sold out before he could get tickets. Womp womp.

Well, he tried. A for effort. I started to throw out other date ideas, but K had a plan:

K: I found another play for us to see.

Me: Awesome! What is it?

K: It’s about fishermen.

Me: O…kay?

The play was as terrible as it sounds. It’s literally about English fishermen dying at sea. For two hours. It was some depressing shit for a Friday night, let me tell you, although K claimed he loved it (wtf). The upside was there was a free wine tasting beforehand in the lobby of the theater, so mama got her buzz on before the show started. Also worth noting: we were the only people there who were ineligible for a senior discount on our tickets.

Afterwards we grabbed dinner, and the conversation was notttt flowing so easily… we had essentially run out of things to talk about in three dates. We went back to my place and yadda yadda yadda, only this time I knew I didn’t want him to sleep over. I was all “sooooo my mom’s coming into the city super early so it would be best if you didn’t stay.” Which was true, but the real reason was, “You snore like a grizzly bear and I’m kind of over you. Please leave.”

I had officially made my mind up about K. He was a nice guy, really thoughtful and sweet, but that wasn’t enough. I just didn’t feel a real connection with him and the fact that he lived so far away was an added pain that I didn’t like him enough to deal with. Also, I could definitely tell he was into me, which should have thrilled me. I’ve wanted lots of guys to like me as much as K did, but the fact that it just made me uncomfortable I think was very telling.

Now I had to end it. And I know I acted all high and mighty in a certain recent post, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider pulling a fade away for a hot second. It is tempting. But once I decided that a guy who BYO’d a broiling pan to my apartment deserved better, the next question was, how to do it? And what do I say? Full disclosure: my longest run with a guy on okcupid, a guy named J who I was seeing last summer, ended when he broke it off with me in a crowded bar. Frankly I am still getting over that trauma; beyond the fact that it was humiliating, it was so unnecessary. To me, you need to be in an exclusive  relationship for a measurable period of time (which we weren’t) to warrant breaking it off with someone in person like that. A seven date run (or in this case, four) does not call for such theatrics.

So I decided to send K a good old fashioned Dear John email. Luckily I already had his email address from when he sent me a certain document that referenced cooking things to ‘tender perfection’. I crafted my email with L’s help, wanting to be brief, honest, and sensitive at the same time. I hit send thinking I would never hear from K again because honestly, would you reply to a creepy Dear John email from someone you went out with four times?

Well, he did. He sent me the nicest response ever, thanking me for my honesty and saying he’d “remember our time together fondly”. It was so nice that 5% of me regretted kicking him to the curb. Then I remembered the awkward conversation from our last date and quickly came to my senses. I will say this, though: K was a class act, especially for a self proclaimed ex-hippie who was once way into shrooms. He was a genuinely nice guy, and I wish him the best.

Also, after mocking poor K for his obsession with a certain TV show (which literally resulted in backlash from readers in our comments section), I need to get something off my chest:

kev convo game of thrones

You were right, K. You were right all along. And I can only assume that you were the mastermind behind this.

3rd date with K: Guess who’s coming to dinner (and watching game of thrones)

After our second date, I got a text from K saying that he’d like to make me dinner. What in the what? This had never happened to me before. I knew he was into cooking… he had mentioned on our first date that his dream was to open his own restaurant. Having a man prepare food to for me while I do nothing is essentially my dream, but the fact that the K lived an hour away with his brother and sister in law made the logistics… tricky. I asked if he would mind cooking at my place and he said that was fine. He also said he’d send me some ‘entree options’ soon.

What I received was a full blown menu in a Word document that was so comically serious there’s no way I can avoid sharing it with the world. Behold, K’s menu choices:

kev menu

You guys. Can we talk about this document for a sec. The descriptions (tender perfection!). The recommendations. The options. The SOUP OPTIONS. Omg. I basically died. Accompanying the menu was, no joke, a checklist of kitchen items so intense it could have been for this:

and an email that made me slightly uncomfortable in its seriousness. I don’t mean to sound like a cold bitch; the whole thing, while over the top, was really sweet, thoughtful and honestly, very Lloyd Dobbler. The problem was, I could tell from his uncomfortably enthusiastic email that at this point K was more into me than I was into him, which honestly never happens to me. I had no idea what to think. I started to wonder if I was one date away from a grand gesture like this:

Or this:

(Okay sorry, that scene actually bummed me out because how great was Heath Ledger?)

Confused, I immediately turned to L and D for their expert analysis:

kev convo with d

kev convo with l

They both came to the same general conclusion I had: K was really sweet and charming, and the menu, while hilarious, was also adorable. But the level of seriousness he was displaying after two dates was slightly off-putting. I still very much was trying to get to know K and figure out how much I even liked him. At the same time, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t flattered by this romcom-esque turn of events.

The night of our date, K arrived at my door carrying (no joke) a broiling pan, huge steaks, clams, and all sorts of other shit, including flowers. Wow, I thought. How many single gals dream of this? It’s honestly what I’d secretly hoped dating would be like all the time: men wining and dining me, bringing me flowers and presenting me with comically elaborate dinner menus. Unfortunately the cold hard reality is that most single dudes out there can barely handle scheduling a time and place to meet. Some of them can’t remember where they parked their cars. So I resolved to enjoy experiencing the opposite end of the spectrum for once, because God knows when (or even if) it would come along again.

K cooked an elaborate dinner while I glugged wine and watched him work. The food was delicious and the wine continued to flow while we ate. Afterwards, we debated what to watch or at least pretend to watch before we started making out. I’d known from the very beginning that K was a self proclaimed “huge” Game of Thrones fan. The ‘you should message me if’ section of his okc profile actually reads: If you can’t stop thinking about Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. On our second date K gasped in horror when he discovered I had HBO but had never seen the show. He then made me promise him (seriously) that I would give it a chance. So really I shouldn’t have been surprised when the following exchange occurred:

Me: What do you want to watch? Any ideas?

K: (Excitedly) We could get you started on Game of Thrones. We could watch the first episode.

Me: * sigh* Okay.

This was K’s reaction:

tom-haverford-amirite

Fantasy medieval warfare was not exactly my idea of sexy date fodder, but my hands were tied. This dude had just lugged large kitchen equipment up my stairs and cooked me a steak that made me see God. And the idea of me watching this show literally seemed to be turning him on (which in hindsight was slightly troubling), so how could I say no? We watched the first two episodes, which were full of more tits and beheadings than I can possibly explain. At this point we were two and a half bottles of wine deep and it was getting late. So we started making out and yada yada yada

Then I faced a dilemma. We were both a little tipsy and I knew K was in no shape to drive. It was late and I felt bad kicking this guy who had been so sweet to me to the curb. So I invited him to stay over. Which is not a big deal… I’m 28, we’re all adults here. But it’s also not something I generally do because mama likes her space, especially when I’m sleeping. I’m a tosser, a turner, a kicker, and a flailer. Basically I sleep like this:

starfish

And if you disturb me from my slumber, God help you (L and D can attest to this). So I honestly should have foreseen there being an issue and made him sleep on the couch, but I was tired and in my red wine stupor thought, ‘It’ll be fine.’

It was not fine. K snored. Actually ‘snored’ is not an accurate description. I know snoring. This was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced… a buzz saw at full volume. It was so. Effing. Loud. I laid there, tired and frustrated, considering my options. First I tried to wake K up and make him sleep on the couch, but this dude would not. wake. the hell. up. I was shoving him full force and getting no response. If it hadn’t been for the terrifying noises coming from his body I would have pronounced him dead.

So finally I moved. I slept in my roommate’s (empty) bed. And I was not pleased. I heard him get up early the next morning and walk around my apartment, no doubt wondering where the hell I’d gone. I came out to find him in the living room, sheepishly putting his shoes on.

“Oh man, I’m sorry. Did my snoring wake you?”

My cranky, sleep deprived self had to bite my tongue to avoid a snarky response like: “Wake me? No. That would imply that I actually was able to FALL ASLEEP, which I was not.” The rational part of me knew that snoring isn’t anyone’s fault. K couldn’t help it. I’ve been told I snore before… what can you do? Switch beds, that’s what you can do.

So instead I answered: “Yeahhhh, it’s okay, no big deal.” At this point I was ready for homeboy to GTFO. Besides the fact that 12+ hours is a long time for two people who barely know each other to spend together, I had not brushed my teeth (which we’ve learned many men actually think is normal) or had my coffee. So I was desperately clinging to the single shred of faux cheerfulness I had managed to muster. At any moment, Morning S was going to rear her head, and let me tell you, Morning S is not a nice person.

Except K wanted to shoot the shit. He asked me what I was doing all day (I had plans), if I wanted to get breakfast (thanks but I’m good), and when I was free next (I’d check my calendar and let him know). Finally I scooted him and his broiler pan out the door but not before he could attempt to full on make out with me when we said goodbye (again, NO ONE had brushed their teeth at this point. Gross).

Date rating: 7/10. K had a perfect 10 before he forced me to watch Game of Thrones, snored me out of my own bed, and overstayed his welcome in the morning.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of S and K: a dating story. Our 4th (and final) date will be posted on Friday.

2nd date with K: Scenes from an Italian restaurant*

*I actually hate that song, but my brain is fried post holiday weekend and I couldn’t think of a better title. Forgive my laziness!

As you’ve probably noticed, so far I’ve only blogged about first dates. True, this is partially because the majority of my dates never make it to the second, but it’s also because I’ve felt a bit weird about sharing more…intimate details on the interwebs. But honestly, this is a dating blog, so I think it’s high time I blogged more about, well, dating.

Click here for a refresher on K, the guy who sparked an impassioned debate about who pays on a first date. Also the guy who brought sake to a BYOB. When we wrote our ‘who should pay’ post, I was still seeing K. Now I’m not. Which means I’m free to dish to you fine people about all the fun and awkward details!

For our second date K and I met for dinner at a brick oven pizza place. Conversation was definitely better/less awkward than on our first date, I think partially because I had fairly low expectations this time around. PS this may be the key to dating, period. Set your expectations right above ‘I’m thinking my date probably won’t mug me’ and (most of the time) you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I definitely was with K, even after I uncovered some…unique facts about him:

  1. He had long hair in college (gr0ss)
  2. He’s a self-proclaimed “ex-hippie” who used to throw “epic parties” when he lived with his friends in Philly. Also, while he didn’t flat out tell me this I’m pretty sure he used to be super into psychedelic drugs.
  3. He’s currently living with his brother and his brother’s wife, Three’s Company style, over an hour outside the city.

anthony hates it

But. He was also smart, funny and sweet. And despite all the evidence he had given me to the contrary, he had a good job and seemed to have his life together. Dinner was fun, and afterwards I asked him back to my place. To watch a movie, you dirty birds. I let him pick from my DVD collection (which is comically rife with coming of age girl movies and period dramas) and he went with Say Anything, a great date choice. Honestly, ladies, is there anything more romantic than watching Lloyd Dobbler for two hours?

Mmmmmm. Dobbler. Needless to say, that + a bottle of wine put me in the perfect make out mood, so we made out. For a long time. It was really fun, save for the fact that K’s stubble kind of destroyed my face. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the stubbly mountain man look, but for the next three days I sported a significant beard burn/’stache rash on my chin and neck that multiple co-workers grilled me about. Small price to pay though, AMIRITE ladies?

arrested development wink

Sidenote: who else thought Kristen Wiig as a young Lucille Bluth was perfection? (Let’s hope D’s Message Monday guy doesn’t find me on okc, quiz me about this and then disappear.)

arrested-development-rogen-wiig

Anyway, after destroying my face K told me he’d love to see me again (which, as you all know, I’ve heard before) and we said goodnight. But don’t worry, dear readers. This was no fade away.

Date Rating: 7.5/10: Big improvement on our first date (not just because he paid, but that certainly didn’t hurt): better conversation, less awkwardness, and the marathon make out sesh was fun. Unclear at this point how much we had in common but definitely worth exploring more.

Stay tuned for my third date with K, which I’ll be posting tomorrow.