New

I replaced all my furniture last week, and it’s like being in a new place right now.  And since I acquire so much for free in life, I don’t mind paying it forward by giving a lot away too.  This time I put a mountain of stuff out to the curb: a bed frame, a table, lamps, sofas, books, kitchen and bath supplies, a snowblower, a wood chipper, a bicycle, computer parts, Christmas decorations, electronics and miscellaneous items – you name it.  I posted it on Craigslist and it was all gone by the next morning.

So that’s more stuff off my list, and I crossed off a few others as well.  I went to my first bar trivia night.  I went to goat yoga (as seen below).  I don’t even really give a shit about yoga, I just wanted to frolic with goats.  Another highlight was the female-to-male ratio of 25:1.  But I was still more interested in the goats, who in turn were keenly interested in my water bottle.  No sooner had I sat down did three of them clamber over me, trying to eat the plastic label.  Talk about getting up close and personal.


Now I’m busy preparing my fall bucket list, even though it’s still technically summer for another week.  A week from today I’m jetting out to California (has it really been two years since I was there?)  When I come back I’m going apple picking, going to a haunted house, going on a haunted river paddle, hosting my first ever party for Halloween, and taking trips to Block Island, Old Saybrook and of course NYC.  And now that my car is up and running again, I’m thinking about getting a second one.  Maybe even a classic car.  That would be nice.

I’m gradually retooling this blog (as some of you have already noticed from the updated blog title).  There’s going to be a new focus over time and a streamlining of old posts.  I’ve also taken down my Descent Into Dadness blog.  It’s not getting the readership I’d hoped for, it’s not coming together the way I’d like, and I just don’t feel I should be airing dirty laundry – even if I have changed names and other information to protect privacy.  So that’s that.

And… I lied again.  I always swore that Facebook would be as far as I’d go with social media, but I broke down recently and joined Instagram.  I thought it would be a good way to document my fitness journey.  As a result I’m more inspired and motivated than ever, especially now that I know people are watching and following.  I’ve made new connections, and in fact I’m actually talking to someone new at the moment…

Stay tuned.

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Quarterlife

You know you’re getting older when you start pining for the good old days.  Those days of youthful, reckless abandon.  When we felt immortal with limitless futures and endless horizons.

Christ said we must be as little children, and God knows I try.  Just the other week I fulfilled one of my lifelong ambitions by tying an old pair of sneakers together and throwing them over telephone wires.  Now it’s done, another item off my bucket list.

We were the last generation without cell phones.  We were the last ones to make the trek by foot or bike to our friend’s house to ask if he could come out and play.  We even had special knocks so we’d know who was there before we answered.

Kids today will never know the struggle of scrounging for quarters in parking lots, and searching for a pay phone to call home and say they’ll be late.  Now I see them immersed in their screens, standing at the bus stop.  That used to be me at the bus stop.  That used to be me in Walmart in August, buying my supplies before going away to college.  When did high school kids start looking like babies?

I certainly don’t look as young as I used to.  A couple of months ago I heard loud music at midnight.  I went to investigate and found 200 high schoolers partying it up, bottles of Hennessy at their feet and clouds of marijuana smoke overhead.  I thought I could pass myself off as part of the crowd, steal a drink or two before heading back home.  Then some dude asked if I was looking for my daughter.

Ouch.  Then again, what did I expect? I had my first gray hairs before my first sexual experiences.

I miss the days when I could walk down my old street at midnight and find my friend sitting on the curb in front of his house, smoking a cig or nursing a beer.  We would call up another friend, then another, and another… all of them still up at the late hour and down for anything.

We’d hang out until 4AM.  It didn’t matter that we had to be up for work at 6AM.  We were invincible.  Now we’re older, another decade closer to yelling at kids to get off our lawn.  We still work the same jobs, but now we have keys.  Now we have responsibilities.  Now we won’t come out past 10PM.

I miss when we did things spur of the moment.  Now everything is planned.  Hanging out requires consulting schedules and making appointments.  House parties when the parents are away are a thing of the past.

I remember Tim’s dad pulling into his driveway with his motorcycle and leather jacket.  Donny’s mom yelling at him, “You go through girlfriends like they’re fucking water!”  Victor’s parents laughing and swing dancing at the block party.  My friend’s parents were vibrant and full of life.

Now they stoop a little, move a little slower.  Others have had heart attacks or were diagnosed with diseases.  My own father has cancer.  None of our grandparents are left, they’re all long gone now.  Our parents – our last line of defense before facing our own mortality – are endangered.

Outside my front door are two more pairs of sneakers tied together.  On my bulletin board is a list of places to go and things to do.  And sometimes I’ll wheel my bike out of the garage at midnight and race up and down the streets, eventually finding myself in my old neighborhood.

I’ll stop outside my old house, gazing at the window of the room I used to sleep in.  Like Doug Spaulding who came back home to kill Ralph Underhill, I’ll call my younger self out to play.  Then I’ll pedal away, my tires humming along the pavement and the wind whistling through my ears as I tear up and down the hills, savoring how wonderful it is to be alive.

I may not be able to return to the days of my younger self, but at least I can still travel with him in my heart.

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Unexpected

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I lied.  Apparently I’d only disabled my Bumble profile, not deleted it.  I should have known that, given that the icon was still on the screen.  Derp.  But imagine my surprise when I was notified recently of a new match and message.  I must have swiped for her before I disabled things.  I liked what I saw, and I liked our conversation even better.  When an opportunity arose, I asked her out.  We met tonight.

I went into this date feeling good and without expectations.  I was neither pessimistic nor optimistic, and I didn’t breathe a word to anyone lest I jinx it.  I’ve been especially happy and confident lately, in the best shape of my life, and killing it at work.  There were the usual flutters of nervousness as I approached her, but they dissipated quickly.  We had the same nerdy and geeky interests, and conversation flowed easily and with plenty of laughter.  Unfortunately the place I’d chosen was hosting a “Wine Down Wednesday Karaoke Night” and it was noisy as fuck.

As we neared the end of our meal I suggested going somewhere quieter.  Most girls I’ve dated would take that opportunity to call it a night, but she didn’t.  She was game.  Another good sign.  We walked down the road to an ice cream place for dessert, and she treated me since I’d paid for dinner.  Bonus points.  Meanwhile I was admiring her from head to toe.  She looked good in her pictures, but even better in person.  Damn.  We strolled around town with our treats, eventually grabbing a bench to people watch and continue our conversation.  We swapped adventure stories, compared travel plans and talked about family.  It was relaxed and comfortable and felt right.

After two hours she called it a night.  She lived at home with the parents and grandmother, and since the parents were out she was worried about her grandmother being home alone late at night.  Hmm.  Okay.  I couldn’t stay out much longer myself – tomorrow is hell day at work and I need all the sleep I can get.  We bade each other goodbye and I gave her a hug, just as I’d greeted her.  We each expressed what a good time we had and a desire to go out again.  I promised to get in touch soon.

I’d wanted to go for the kiss, but the moment didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t see how I could do it without it being awkward.  That should have been a sign right there, and I had a funny feeling all the way home.  And I was nearly back home when the texts starting coming in.  Ping.  Ping Ping Ping.  I sighed and wondered what the story was going to be this time.  Finally I got a chance to read what she’d sent me, and I was right:

“Hey. Thanks again for a really nice evening. I want to be honest with you, because I think you’re a great guy… I don’t think seeing you again would be the best thing for me. See, my boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago, and I thought I was ready to start dating again. But as I walked back to my car I kind of just broke down and started crying. I miss him, even though I don’t want to, and I’m realizing now I’m not emotionally ready to see other people. I feel so bad, because I genuinely had a nice time with you – and I don’t want you to think I’m making this up, because I’m not. I’m more of a mess than I thought I’d be. My feelings for him haven’t gone, and I’m just really sad. I’ve deleted my Bumble account because until I get my shit together, I can’t be dating anyone. I’m so so sorry. You are really sweet, please stay positive about this dating crap we have to go through. Thank you again for dinner. It was fun talking with you.”

Christ.  Another long-winded way of saying “you’re a nice guy but you just don’t do it for me?”  Then again, maybe that really is the truth.  She did mention that I was her first Bumble date.  So who knows.  All I know is that I didn’t even bother responding.  I’m deleting her texts and number and moving onto the next girl… whenever and whoever that may be.  Disappointing, but that’s the way it goes.

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Independence

While my neighbors were busy blowing shit up and lighting things on fire, I thought it would be a good opportunity to sit and reflect on things.  It’s been a year since my breakup and I’m single and loving it (for the most part).   My current status doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon, and prospects are nil since I jettisoned online dating.  (Good riddance).

A fellow blogger is preparing an anthology on handling breakups and recently asked for my thoughts on the subject.  I’ve been rejected countless times, but I’m 4-0 when it comes to dumping vs. being dumped…although it was a close call with Rebecca.  I ended up blocking her on Facebook.  I’ve tried being friends with exes in the past, but it never seems to work.  I don’t think I’ll bother trying in the future.  Cutting off all contact seems to be way forward, otherwise it’s hard to move on.

I was supposed to go on my first Meetup in months this past weekend, now that work has calmed down and I have free time again.  I’ve been absolutely killing it at work this year.  The past two months were my biggest months ever, financially.  I’m on track to make 10-15K more than I did last year, and my goal is to earn a similar increase next year as well.  I’ve certainly worked long and hard enough for this and my efforts are finally paying off.

However, the Meetup – a group hike on the beach – was canceled due to questionable weather and nesting piping plovers.  Better luck next time.  There are plenty of other upcoming Meetups and I’ve already signed up for goat yoga (which is the latest craze).  I’m not really into yoga, but who doesn’t love baby goats?  Besides, it looks like a lot of fun.

In the meantime I continue to work on myself and do my own thing.  I’ve made progress on some of the items listed in my last post.  I booked my trip to California in September.  I bought a new car.  I donated four bags of clothes and picked up some new ones.  My new bed is on the way.  Half my living room is full of stuff for a garage sale.  I completed a couple more landscaping projects around the house. I’m even looking ahead to October and planning a Halloween party.

And while I’ve been slacking on the blog front (namely Descent Into Dadness), my journal is still going strong.  There are some sizable gaps here and there, but I try to write in it every day and it’s been going strong for 25 years.  That’s right, it goes all the way back to 1992.  I’m still in the process of transcribing all my handwritten entries into one big Microsoft Word file.  At last count I have over 1.5 million words – the equivalent of two Bibles.

It’s a real trip going back and reading old entries.  One of my favorite things to do is read entries from the same day last year, then five and even ten years ago.  It’s interesting to see what’s changed.  One thing I have noticed is a greater maturity of expression than I had two or three years ago.  I give more thought to what I say now and how others may perceive it.  And while I’m still a raging horndog, I don’t converse about sex and dating as much as I used to.  I cringe reading some of my old online conversations.

Anyway, that’s about it for now.  I’m busy doing my own thing these days (as if I know anything else).  I’m excited for the summer and all the possibilities it holds.

Stay tuned.

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Feelings

I’ve kept a positive, upbeat outlook over the course of this blog, but I was in the doldrums a while ago.  Just a little bit.  It’s passed now.  Part of it was standard winter blues, but another part was my perpetual singleness.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy with myself and my life.  I don’t need “my other half” or someone to complete me. But I want more.  I want someone to share the good things in life with.  Food.  Drink.  Laughter.  Music.  Travel.  Sex.  Just to name a few.

For a short while – nearly two glorious months – I got a taste of what that was like.  I had sex (some of it).  I lost my virginity.  I finally felt like I was in the know, part of the club, part of the world, “normal.”  I stopped feeling those pangs when I saw couples.  I did things that come so easily to most people:  hugging, kissing, cuddling, massaging, holding hands, or just sitting on beach watching the sunset – things other people take for granted.  Until I slept with Rebecca a few times, I had no idea just how warm another human body could be.

Now it’s been ten months.  I couldn’t help but peek at her Facebook and I saw she’s been with the same guy for the past eight months.  Oh really.  So what happened to all that jazz about not wanting to date or be exclusive?  How come she didn’t push him away and sabotage things like she did with me?

Well, let that be a lesson to me.  And I’m leaving her in the past where she belongs.  I’m doing my best to not to dwell on negative thoughts and remain forward-looking.  Therefore I’ve been filling up my time with hobbies and activities to keep my mind on other things.

I’ve been hitting the gym hardcore for the past three months.  It’s a great outlet for my pent up sexual energy and frustrations.  I continue to set personal records in deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.  I’ve stacked three, four, or even five 45lb plates on the weight sled and pushed it back and forth across the floor until my legs gave out and my arms shook.  My buddy and I tried a class last weekend that nearly wiped us out.  But my body is responding and I’m tipping the scales at 187 pounds – a number I dreamed about for years.

The gym is not my only arena of success these days.  I’ve been out there marketing myself and I gained ten new clients, so this should be my best year financially.  I had a great parade season and a triumphant return to solo performing.  I’m practicing several instruments a week and I sound better than ever. (I find playing music as cathartic as going to the gym.) My passport arrived and I’m planning some more travel.  And I’m giving my life a complete overhaul – new car, clothes, furniture, appliances – everything.

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Throughout all of this I’ve had Bumble running in the background.  The last app standing.  There was that one awkward date a couple months ago, and since then I canceled on two more because I’d decided I’d rather go to the gym instead.  I just used the always popular, vague line of “something came up.”  I felt a bit shitty doing it, but deep down I felt those dates would have ended up like all the others, so why bother?

But there was one final Bumble date.  I tried to keep the online chatter light and flirty and save all the getting-to-know-you questions for in-person.  As Matthew Hussey says, “if you’re using texting to ask, ‘How many brothers and sisters do you have?’… you’re doing it wrong.”  So I gave that a shot, but it didn’t matter.  Once again I met a girl who checked out of the conversation after five minutes and I was the only one left making an effort.

I’d talk, I’d ask questions, she’d respond… and I’d wait.  Nothing.  Nothing asked about myself in return.  Scratch that – she asked literally two questions, almost as afterthoughts:  what was my job, and did I live alone?  When I realized she kept glancing at her phone on top of her purse on the chair next to her, I bade her farewell.  I know a lost cause when I see one.  And thus concludes my online dating efforts.  Permanently.

After so many years, I’ve come to conclusion that it’s a supreme waste of time.  There’s always the anecdotal success story, but I could never get it to work for me.  It never felt right – always forced and awkward and unnatural.  Personal experience and informal polling of friends and fellow bloggers tells me that meeting people in real life is the way to go.  Not to mention that I had more success with Rebecca than all the girls I met online put together.

Now that spring is finally here I’m compiling a bucket list, which includes several upcoming Meetups.  I’m trying to get to that same sweet spot I was in last year, where I found the perfect balance of doing my own thing and not worrying about finding someone.  Then BAM, it literally happened when I least expected it.  In the meantime I feel I’ve grown content with the status quo again.

I also continue to work on myself.  It’s almost comical… I’ve had thirty years to work on myself – how much more time do I need?  There’s always room for improvement, I guess, like with my conversation skills.  That’s partly why I’ve been filling up my calendar with things to do – gives me shit to talk about.  I’m doing my best to be more social and to fight reverting back to my natural introverted state.

So I guess that’s all I have to say for the time being.  I’ve had this blog post drafted for weeks and weeks and I kept revisiting and revising as my thoughts and feelings ebbed and flowed.  Now I’m finally ready to publish, and we’ll see what happens next in life.

Stay tuned.

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Awkward

That could have gone better.

I keep swearing I’m done with online dating, but I’ve had Bumble running in the background all this time.  So I’m still swiping through, matching with a bunch and chatting with a few.   Recently there were these two girls of Irish descent, but apart from a shared love of our heritage I wasn’t sure what else we really had in common.  However they seemed keenly interested in me, and I’m fairly confident in my abilities now, so I decided to take each of them out.  Not to mention it’s been two months since I’d been on a date and I wanted to keep the engine warm.

I unmatched with Girl No. 1 because she was too much of a fussbucket with her schedule.  She said between 4:30 and 6:30 on weekdays was best for her – after that she had to be home with her dog and she “wasn’t great at going out on school nights.”  Then she said she was busy on the weekends.  Good lord.  Next.  Not to mention she lived 30 miles away.  Had she lived closer I might have tried to accommodate her, but it seemed more trouble than it was worth.

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Onto Girl No. 2.  The subject of burgers came up, so our first date was a no-brainer.  However, like Girl No. 1 she also lived 30 miles away, so I gallantly offered to drive to her area.  She arrived just before I did and I met her inside the door.  I approached the date with trepidation since her pictures didn’t include a clear full-body shot, but I was relieved when I saw her.  She was hotter in person than I expected – so much so that it made me a little nervous.

Unfortunately she didn’t seem as impressed with me.  Things got awkward.  While our online banter was light and fun and a touch flirty, our real life conversation was anything but.  I kept tripping over my words, and then I found myself second-guessing having food on a first date. I seemed to have a mouthful whenever I wanted to speak, and she would silently wait for me to swallow each time.  It also didn’t help that we had little in common (as I suspected). Try as I might to keep things going, I had no choice but to fall back onto the staid topics of work/school/family and “what do you do for fun?”  Zzzz.

She was clearly restless by the end of the hour. Jimmy legs under the table and fidgeting all over the place, plus a couple of glances at her phone.  Then I choked on my last bit of drink.  Once again she sat there in silence watching me splutter and whack myself on the back.  My airway finally cleared a couple minutes later, by which time my eyes were streaming and I’d accidentally knocked a couple of condiment bottles to the floor.  More awkwardness.  I cut my losses and called it a night.  The date was not salvageable and I was making a horse’s ass of myself.

I walked her outside, said “nice meeting you,” gave her a hug good night and we went our separate ways.  I kicked myself all the way back to my car.  A bit of forced awkwardness is inherent in online dating, but what the hell was that?  I’ve had some bad dates in the beginning, but after further experience and then losing my virginity, I didn’t think I’d ever again end up feeling like the dog who caught the car.  Better luck next time – along with a little more vetting.

When my friend Don heard I went on another date, he shook his head and said, “Man, that’s gotta be rough on you.”  I thought he was referring to my multitude of rejections, but he was referring to my wallet.  He assumed I was treating all these girls to expensive dinners, and when he found out I wasn’t he said, “Dude, no wonder you’re struggling then!”

Yeah…no.  I’ve done a few dinners on first dates, but it’s ridiculous to splash out on every first date when you don’t even know if there’s a connection yet. If you don’t like someone, you don’t like someone.  Spending 45+ bucks on a meal isn’t going to change things, and even if it did then why would I want to be with someone like that?   But had I listened to him I’d still have the same string of bad dates, except now I’d be out 2-3 times the money.

Then again, it made sense for him because he never went on online dates.  He met all his girls in real life and actually ended up marrying the one next door.  I’m still trying to go on real-life dates myself.  It’s a completely different dynamic (and how I finally found success).  But I haven’t met anyone else that way yet.

I’ve been to some more Habitat for Humanity builds, where I ran into the same two girls from last time and confirmed they indeed have boyfriends.  Of course.  I’ve been on a few more hikes through Meetup, but the ages skewed into the 40s and 50s.  I’m also busy gearing up for the St. Patrick’s Day season.  Eight parades, two parties, one music session, and my first solo performance in two years.  I’ve been practicing like crazy and I’m finally returning to the open mic circuit next month.  I’ll see some old faces there and hopefully some new ones as well.  And finally, I’ve applied for a passport and it should be here any day now.  I’m still working my way around the lower 48, but I want to start exploring internationally as well.  Good stuff.

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Accomplishments

Happy New Year.  2016 was a year of accomplishment for me, both big and small.

After 16 years, I finally met my dance idol on Broadway.  I spoke to him, shook his hand, and took a picture with him.  I saw the Radio City Christmas spectacular for the first time.  I went on my first Meetup.  I joined a gym.  I went kayaking on the river.  I attended my first sports game (baseball).  I went to my first bachelor party and accompanying strip club (not a fan).  I visited Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida.  I jammed at my first Irish music session.  I tried yoga.  I ate at White Castle, Waffle House and Denny’s.  I turned 32.

And a happy four-year anniversary to my blog!  I can’t believe it’s been that long.  Two and a half of those years I spent in dogged pursuit of my goal until I finally succeeded.  I lost my virginity.  While I crossed off a few more accompanying firsts with that event, I still have a lot of ground yet to cover.  There’s so much I still haven’t done sexually.  Next time I need to find someone more adventurous, enthusiastic, and horny.

However, I’m not sure when next time will be.  It’s been six whole months since my last encounter and there’s nothing new on the horizon.  Sometimes I find myself wondering whether my fling with Rebecca was a one-off, a bolt of lightning, a fluke?  On the other hand, I haven’t exactly put in much effort to find anyone since then, and the last two months of 2016 I was so overwhelmed with work that I had little time for anything else.

Now I’m two weeks into my winter vacation.  I’ve put in a lot of work to catch up on my other blog and I update on Tuesdays and Fridays now.  I’ve resumed going on Habitat for Humanity builds and I’m fortunate that there’s one right here in the neighborhood.  There are two cute girls working on that site, but according to my internet sleuthing they both appear to have boyfriends.  As always.

I met a girl at the gym.  Kinda.  Bumble is the last app standing, and one girl I matched with posted a selfie at a gym that I recognized as my own.  We got to talking about it and ended up doing a class together.  She said she went to the 7PM classes on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays.  Tuesday was coming up first and I said that one worked for me and she said great.  Tuesday came and I messaged her to confirm but didn’t hear anything.  So I just went anyway, figuring she’d be there like she said.

It was a little weird.  I showed up for the class and there were about 25 people there.  I saw one girl who looked vaguely like her, but I wasn’t sure.  Then the instructor partnered us off and we embarked on an hour of circuit training.  She noticed me looking at her when I came in, and our eyes met a couple of times across the room during the hour, but she gave no sign of recognition so I was still unsure.

Finally the class ended and I walked over.  I tentatively said her name and she looked up from her phone.  “Hey,” she said.  I apologized for not coming over sooner but that I wasn’t sure if it was her or not.  “Yeah, I saw you when you came in,” she said.  Um, okay.  And you didn’t come over and say hello, because…?  Whatever.  I let it slide and she asked how I like the circuit training session.  We made chit-chat on our way out of the room.  She asked if I was doing any more, indicating the weight training area.

“Nah, I think I’m done for tonight.  That class kicked my ass.”  Then I looked down at myself and realized we were both soaked with sweat.  Hmm.  Perhaps this wasn’t the best idea.  “Why don’t we get together when we’re not all hot and sweaty?  Let’s do pizza,” I suggested. She’d written that she was a big fan of pizza on her Bumble profile.  She even had a pizza T-shirt she wore to the gym sometimes.  Too bad she didn’t wear it that night; would have helped me identify her.  She looked slightly different from her photos.

Anyway, she said that sounded good.  In girl speak that usually means no, but I just nodded my head and by that time we were at the locker rooms.  She was about to duck inside, so I told her to message me her number on Bumble and we’d work it out that way.  Well, not only did she not message me  but she unmatched me altogether.  All righty then.  Jesus, did I really make that bad of an impression in that short a time?

Again – whatever.  I tried a class at the gym, so that was another item off my to-do list.  And I tried something different with online dating.  Didn’t quite work out, but it was worth a shot. But she was passive and quiet and weird anyway, so had we met someplace else I doubt things would have gone much better.   I do keep hearing that the gym is a good place to pick up girls, though.  The only problem is that every time I try it, they scream at me to put them down.  I dunno, maybe I’m doing it wrong.

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A few weeks later I met another girl from Bumble.  I went back to a traditional date with this one.  Our messages were fun and flirty and she said she was excited to meet me.  We met at the crepe place near my house, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite date spots – not only for the close proximity but because of the variety of fun and games they offered.  After we ate we delved into four competitive rounds of Jenga.  The conversation was flowing and there were a lot of laughs, but when we moved onto Scrabble I suddenly sensed that I had lost her somewhere along the line.  The atmosphere had changed subtly.

I wasn’t sure what had happened.  Perhaps it was because the well of words was drying up a little.  I was considering moving to another venue for drinks or something, but she seemed ready to wrap things up.  Dammit.  I blazed through the rest of my tiles and started packing up the game once we finished.  She went to the bathroom put on he coat when she returned.  We’d been there almost two hours.  She said she was tired and was going to get going, and I said the same.

I walked her outside.  Things had gone so well at the beginning that I was sure I’d be going for the kiss.  I told her I had a great time and wanted to see her again.  “Yeah, that’d nice,” she said.  Sigh.  I knew what that meant.  She told me to message her, and I barely got a hug in before she started trotting away.  We had been messaging on Bumble, but she unmatched me the next day.  However, she had given me her number.  We had kept talking on the app, but now seemed like a good time to use it.

I texted her a couple of days later and said “Hey, it’s Tommy.”

“Tommy who?  I know a lot of Tommys lol.  Sorry I lost all my contacts.”

I said it was Tommy from Bumble from the other night, and I offered up some second date suggestions:  Ice skating?  Bowling?  No response.  Another girl down.

Up next was another Bumble match.  We set a date for Friday night.  Turns out she was only in town for a week visiting family for the holidays, and then she was flying back to the West Coast.  Hmm.  Every other girl I’d met lived in the area, this would be my first out-of-towner.  This could be interesting.  What was she looking for, I wondered…?

Prior to meeting she had asked for my last name so she could look me up and Facebook and confirm that I was indeed a real person “who’s not going to kill me and wear my skin ;)”

I gave her the link to my page and then I said, “I promise not to kill you as that might put a damper on the evening.  However if things go well enough I might consider making out with you a little.”

She gave me her number after I gave her mine, and then she said, “I’ll be honest, you’re gonna have to work for it… and by work, I mean those sweet dance moves have to come out.”  I told her she had a deal.  Friday arrived, and then a few hours before we were supposed to meet for drinks and dancing I received the following:  “I’m so sorry to do this but I have to cancel tonight.  One of my friends who wasn’t supposed to be home just surprised everyone by coming home for the weekend, and this is my only chance to see her before I head back to Oregon.  Sorry!  :(”  God dammit.  She left town two days later, and I never got to meet her.  Oh well.

Fortunately I had another girl in the wings.  Out of all my matches on Bumble, I kept up contact with 15-20 and zeroed in on three of particular interest.  This girl was the last of those three.  I really liked what I saw.  She was a painter and sent me links to some of her work.  I have a thing for artsy girls – not just painting, but singing, dancing, writing, music, etc.  Anything creative. Plus we had the same literary interests.  And she was hot.  Sold.

Unfortunately she  wasn’t available for the next few days.  We had to wait until this past Monday.  We continued texting in the meantime – not too much, but enough to sustain interest – and I confirmed with her early Monday that we were still on.  Nonetheless I was getting a funny feeling, and sure enough at 4PM she texted me again:  “Ahhhh I am so sorry to do this, but they just bumped up my logo meeting from next Tuesday to tomorrow morning, so I have to produce a bunch of prototypes tonight for them to approve. 😦  Can we reschedule?”

Can we reschedule?  Of course.  Will we?  Doubtful.  But I just told her that I understood and to let me know when was good for her.  “Ok I’ll let you know,” she replied.  Once again, I knew what that meant.  I was determined to sit on my hands and wait it out, but on Thursday I broke down and texted to ask how she was, and how did she make out with the logos?  Two days later and still no word.  Another one bites the dust.

I say none of this out of bitterness.  All I’m saying is that I’m older and wiser now.  I’m down, I’ve got the 411… or whatever today’s yutes are saying.  I’ve grown to learn and accept when I’m getting the boot.  Of course, I always give them a chance to prove me wrong, but so far no one has.   But this is another reason why I stopped investing time and energy into online dating.  Too much flakiness on there.

That’s why I’ve been going on Habitat for Humanity builds ever since.  Meet people in real life, then go on dates.  Seems to be the winning formula for me.  I’ve been scouring Meetup for additional activities, but there are fewer options this time of year than in the warmer months.  I’m certainly not lacking for things to do, though.  In addition to catching up on my writing, powering through my to-do list of new burger joints, and practicing the three instruments in my rotation, I’m also embarking on a couple of trips during my winter break.  At this rate it’ll be spring before I know it.  Whoever the next girl is, she’ll appear when the time is right.

Stay tuned.

 

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