20. Shooting Stars

Another post from my other blog, once again relevant to my journey. Here you see that once upon a time I was actually in a long-term relationship. I got off to good start with dating and relating in high school, then somehow I lost the plot.

Descent Into Dadness

November 17, 2001

Patti was my first real girlfriend.  I dated a girl before her, but she turned out to be a nutcase so that enterprise only lasted seven weeks.  The entire experience nearly put me off of girls altogether, but when I met Patti she was a breath of fresh air.  We were very much alike in our thinking and temperament.  We fit together like a hand in a glove.

That’s how we were on this particular night, hand in hand on a blanket next to the old war memorial.  We gazed upon the heavens and the best meteor shower we’d ever seen in our lives.  Fireball after fireball erupted into sight as we oohed and ahhed.  We were at the  highest point of the island and had a fantastic view for miles around.

Dad was a couple hundred feet away, sitting in his car with the engine running.  …

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45. “We’re Pregnant!”

I thought I’d share this story of old, as it relates a little to my UVM journey. Reposted from my other blog.

Descent Into Dadness

November 1, 2007

I had such a hard-on for Lisa, the secretary in my office.  She had an ass you could balance a cocktail on and double-Ds I wanted to bury my face in.  She wore tight pants that showed off every curve and she slunk around the office like a panther.  I went weak-kneed anytime she brushed past me or touched my arm.  Holy shit.  I wanted her so badly.

There was just one problem: she was a lot like my oldest sister Kathleen.  They both had a predilection for dating musclebound assholes.  All their boyfriends looked like they rolled off an assembly line; only their faces changed.  So while I was not her physical type, she was definitely mine.  I never expected to have a chance with her, but something funny happened.  We started talking.  Then we went out for coffee.  Then we spent an evening on the town.

I was in a…

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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.

#39
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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Ghost

I was stood up again tonight.  I’d have to go back and look at my date counter to make sure, but this is the fourth or fifth time it’s happened.  Those were all OKC girls; this one was from Tinder.  We’d been trying to set up a date for a couple of weeks, but things kept getting in the way.  Once Thanksgiving was over we were finally able to schedule something.

I confirmed with her the day of to make sure that we were still on.  She said yes, definitely, and that she was excitedly looking forward to it.  Cool beans.  However, we were supposed to meet at 5:30 and I was alone.  Fifteen minutes later and there was still no sign or sound from her.  She didn’t respond to my texted inquiries, and after 20 minutes I shrugged and made myself comfortable inside.

The best part was that I had zero fucks to give.  In the past I pulled my hair out in frustration whenever girls pulled this nonsense.  Now I couldn’t care less.  It just rolls right off my back.  Better yet, I got to cross another item off my to-do list tonight.  Our first date was to be at a burger joint.  We had a mutual love of burgers (not a vegan chick – yes!) and I selected a place I’d always wanted to go to.  That ensured I’d have a good time either way.

And I had a good time indeed chowing down on a double burger.  Between that and the soda and fries it ran me 16 bucks, but it was pretty filling.  The only downside was that it was greasy as hell, soaking right through the bun.  That explained why they had not napkins but paper towel dispensers at the tables.  Don’t know if I’ll be going back there.

I crossed another item off my list over the weekend.  My family and I went into the city to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  I’d never seen it before, and it was spectacular indeed.  Wow.  I kinda want to go see it again now.  And I definitely want to go back into the city.  There’s a lot of cool stuff there I want to check out.  You know you’re from Long Island when you live in the shadow of the greatest city in the world and hardly ever visit.

So now I’m making another list of shit to do, just in NYC.  Skating in Central Park (or Bryant Park, since I saw they have a rink there too), Carnegie Deli before they close for good, see the tree in Rockefeller Center, see Grand Central Station, maybe even see the Tonight Show…and a few others I can’t think of at the moment.  But let’s see how many I can accomplish before the year’s end.  And there’s something else I may be going into the city for in a couple of weeks, which involves another blogger.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

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Icebreaker

So… I went on my first date in five months.

In my last post I was indiscriminately swiping right on Bumble (and then Tinder) just to see who I matched with.  Then I starting swiping just for girls I was actually interested in.  This time I engaged them in conversation – or tried to.  Talking to most of them was like talking to the wall.  One word/one sentence answers, and nothing asked about myself in return.  I deleted each one and moved onto the next.

I finally managed to get something of a rapport going with this one girl, and we set up a game of chess for a first date.  All right, something different.  However, I had a funny feeling so I started the countdown.  Right on cue, she canceled the day before saying she forgot she was supposed to help her sister move.  I just said “no problem, let me know when is good for you.”  I didn’t expect to hear back (since I never do) and I was right.  And I don’t even care anymore when they flake out.  Losing my virginity has enhanced my IDGAF abilities.

#38
Then I chatted up another girl.  We went on yet another goddamn coffee date.  I’d sworn those off, but this time I thought it was a good idea to start small before investing in something more involved.    Good call.  Things got off to a slow start and ended up feeling forced and awkward.  It seemed like we were both just prodding the conversation along, and after an hour she called it a night.  She was actually yawning prior to that.  Either she was really tired or I was really boring, or both.

Outside I gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek and said it was nice to meet her.  Then we said good night and parted ways. I said nothing about getting together again, nor did I follow up with her afterwards.  I already knew what I would hear – the usual “oh I had a nice time and you’re a funny/interesting guy but I just don’t feel any sort of connection etc etc.”  So that was that.  But it was nice to get back in the game, even if I’m feeling a bit rusty.  I’m not really putting effort into online dating anymore, nor am I taking it very seriously.

Some of you have asked me “what are you looking for?” and I’d always struggled to answer that question.  How was I supposed to know when I had so little experience to draw upon?  And I’d always thought it unfair for some girls to reject me when they’d barely gotten to know me.  But now I get it.  The way things felt and flowed with Rebecca is my new benchmark going forward.  So if I do go on another online date, it won’t be unless I’m really feeling things.

Otherwise I’m busy doing my own thing and getting out in the real world.  I recently spent an hour on Meetup joining a slew of new groups and I went on my second outing last weekend.  It was another hike and we had over 20 people, but the vast majority were in their 40s and 50s. There were a couple of girls around my age in attendance, but one of them showed up with her boyfriend and another guy had already swooped in on the other by the time I arrived.

I watched with the tiniest tinge of jealousy as they exchanged phone numbers afterwards.  Not because I was attracted to her, but it was just the very idea.  I’ve always marveled at how dating and relating comes so easy to some people.  Some can date a different person every week, or every night of the week if they wanted, and they have no shortage of options.  They go from one to relationship to the next as easy as breathing.  How do they do it?  And how can I get there?   Not that I want to go through a revolving door of girls, but how do I achieve that same ease of attraction?  It’s something I’m still figuring out as I go along.

Some of you are frustrated virgins as I once was, trying to figure out your own way forward.  The best thing for you to do right now is to just work on yourself.  That can be as simple as picking up a new hobby or cultivating an existing one.  Good skills give you social currency.  Girls like confidence… except maybe you don’t feel confident.  But if you can find confidence simply in doing something well – whatever it may be – then that’s just as beneficial.  It’s why I devote so much time to my music and dancing and other pursuits.  At the very least, your hobbies will give you shit to talk about, especially if you find someone who shares your passions.  So if you don’t know where to start, that’s a good place.

A good analogy for me is this: say you want to develop your abs…  Now, you can spend an inordinate amount of time concentrating on your midsection, doing hundreds of crunches trying to spot reduce your belly fat.  Or you can work your whole body, targeting the major muscle groups with compound exercises.  If you do that and concentrate on your diet, then your abs will almost take care of themselves.  So if you’re struggling on dates or to even get dates, take a step back and date yourself for a while.  It’s an indirect way of achieving the same end.

Apart from my renewed Meetup activities I’ve also started volunteering at the animal sanctuary, the one my old friend is at.  We started super early at 7:30 AM.  On Sunday.  Ugh.  Kill me.  But we were the first two there and I was glad for the chance to talk to her alone as we fed and watered the alpacas and turkeys.  Then our conversation was interrupted by a father/daughter duo who showed up to volunteer as well, and will be joining us every weekend.  Of course.  Not that it really matters, because I’m pretty sure she’s still with the boyfriend.  And even if she’s not, she’s militantly vegan and our lifestyles would clash horribly.  But I’m there to spend time with the animals more than anything else.

Later that same day Vegan Girl posted some animal pics to my Facebook, and as always my friend Don was right there commenting on her post and asking her questions.  Every time a girl leaves me a comment, or vice versa, he sees it in his news feed and he jumps right in with his two cents, stepping all over my dick in the process.  It’s annoying as shit.  I’m afraid the time has come to block him, especially now that he’s mining my friend list for more girls to add. He already has a thousand as it is.

In a way, I almost have to give him credit – even if he did hit on my sister Mary (who’s ten years older and looked at him as if he were a bug).  He leaves absolutely no stone unturned, but I guess he has to when he’s the weirdest and most socially awkward person ever.  I stopped dining out with him because last time he was staring creepily at random girls and blowing straw wrappers at them.  He actually thought he was being flirty.  *facepalm*  (Another bit of advice for you virgins: don’t be like Don.)  Yet somehow he finally managed to lose his virginity too.  And get this – he did it a full two years before I did.  How in the fuck.  I’m still trying to process that.

So that’s the round up.  I’ve also made up a list of things to do and places to see, which has now grown to two pages.  So far I’ve crossed off a good number of items.  Most of it is just fun silly shit, but I consider them accomplishments nonetheless.  I’ll detail them all when I do my end of year post.

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Doldrums

It’s been a few weeks since Rebecca and I broke up, and by and large I feel… nothing. Strange, I expected the one who took my virginity to have left a bigger impression.  I guess I wasn’t as into her as I thought I was.  Of course, she didn’t waste any time moving on, which probably contributes to my lack of feeling.  I just found out that she’s been seeing another guy since almost immediately after I ended things with her.  Makes me wonder when he came into the picture…

Perhaps it’s best not to know the details, but I can speculate.  And so much for all her jazz about not wanting to be exclusive and not wanting to get distracted from her career… I guess that was just a fancy way of saying she wasn’t interested anymore. Well, if she was trying to get me to dump her then mission accomplished.  Now I’m the wiser for it.  Next time I’ll know that I’m just being fed a story.

I’m more than ready to move on myself, but not with online dating.  I’m done with that scene for now.  In the end I had more luck making a real-life connection (even if it took a little push from Meetup).  Of course, that didn’t stop me from giving OKC a quick gander.  I sent out a message or two and made contact with a girl who told me she had left the convent.  Oh?  Assuming she was the real deal, then she could be a freak – maybe even a nymphomaniac.  This demanded further investigation.

Within 2-3 messages she gave me her number and told me to call her.  I figured she literally meant “call” but she was surprised when I did instead of texting.  At least I earned points for that.  Unfortunately she turned out to be a chatterbox.  Ugh.  I’ve dealt with several of these by now.  While I like their energy, I find it aggravating to have to compete for airtime. No bueno.  Good listening skills are a must, so add that to my list of things I’m looking for.

Yet for reasons unknown I still set up a date with her.  I guess I was still thinking she might be a sexual deviant.  We set a time and place for the weekend, but then she called me the night before to cancel.  She claimed she had some weird allergic reaction and wanted to temporarily put a hold on dating.  Yeah yeah yeah.  I’ve heard this script a dozen times from girls who’ve “fallen ill” at the last minute and wanted to reschedule.  I never heard from them again, and Sister Act was no different.

***

In other news, my friend Don invited me on a pizza outing recently and I jumped all over it.  He had me at pizza, but I knew there might be girls there too.  But there was only one and she had a boyfriend, along with a whole host of issues that she was in therapy for.  Worse yet, she was another chatterbox.  Just running at the mouth like verbal diarrhea.  She monopolized the next two hours, spending half of it going on and on about her friend Shelly who manipulates and uses people and causes drama.  I was on the verge of finally telling her to shut it but one of the other guys beat me to it.

For the life of me I’ll never understand why so many girls wallow in this… this shit, instead of just cutting it out of their lives.  When I was out to dinner with Rebecca a couple of months ago I overheard one of the waitresses complaining how her boyfriend doesn’t want her working all the time and he’s always telling her what to do and what an asshole he is, etc.  Going on and on and on to her co-worker while they cleaned the tables.  I was on the verge of turning around and going, “THEN WHY ARE  YOU WITH HIM?”  Jesus.  It just boggles my mind how girls waste so much of their time with people who don’t deserve it.  Maybe there are guys that do it too, I don’t know.

Anyway.  We eventually moved things out to the parking lot where the conversational imbalance finally evened out a bit.  Chatterbox was still going strong and when she mentioned her sister I jokingly asked if she was single and hot.  Yes to both, actually.  Oh yeah?  I whipped out my phone and looked her up on Facebook and she was indeed hot.  Hmm.  Long story short I friended her and we’ve been talking on and off.  She’s fresh off a breakup herself, though.  And I don’t feel we have much in common.  But she’s not the only girl I’m talking to at the moment.  There’s also Missy, the young girl from my dance class I mentioned several months ago.

Aside from that I haven’t really pursued dating much.  I’m mostly doing my own thing.  My business continues to grow.  I have a couple of trips planned, one to Florida and another to California.  I recently spent a weekend upstate for an Irish festival and I’ve been preparing for my grand return to the open mic circuit.  Last but not least, I’m still hitting the gym at least three times a week with my friend, continuing my progress towards buff and sexy.  That’s what I’ve been up to and I’m very happy with how things are going in my life.  I’m not concerned about finding another girl.  It’ll happen when it’s meant to.

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Restart

Well… that was fun while it lasted.  Things got off to a great start with Rebecca, but her trust issues, jealousy and insecurities got in the way.  She was afraid of getting hurt again, and to be fair she did warn me at the outset that she would try to sabotage things.  But I was confident that once she got to know me she would relax and let her walls down.  And for the most part she did.  I did my best to be patient and caring and understanding.  I had to coax her down from the ledge a few times, but then we’d talk some more and things would be fine.

Eventually it got to a point where things just weren’t working anymore.  It was getting too serious for her and she wanted to back off.  At least that’s what she said.  With girls there always seems to be more to the story.  In any case, she said she didn’t want to be exclusive.  Well, I did.  And if she wanted to see other people then that meant she wasn’t 100 percent into me.  So I broke things off.

It was an amicable split.  I have no regrets.  When things were good, they were great.  I’m glad she was my first, and it was a great first adult relationship.  I have fond memories of our time together.  She wasn’t able to give me what I wanted in the end, but being with her went a long way towards helping me figure out what I truly do want.  Now that losing my virginity is out of the way, I can be more picky.

For starters, I’m going to steer away from anyone with trust issues.  That’s something I generally did anyway, and my experience with Rebecca solidified this desire.  I have no interest in having to constantly explain or defend myself, or feel like I’m under a cloud of suspicion, which is what started happening near the end.  Having to watch what I say or do is a non-starter for me, and that’s another reason why I broke things off.

Secondly, I’d rather date younger than older.  Rebecca was several years older and she confirmed that the older you get, the more baggage you carry.  (At least I lucked out that she was never married and had no kids.)  I also need someone who can keep up with me sexually.  Losing my virginity did a lot to calm my libido, but even with my diminished sex drive I still wanted it more than she did.  And she went to bed at 9:30 or 10, so not only did our sleep schedules not align, but if I didn’t get a move on early enough she would simply be too tired to do anything.   Plus she rarely took the initiative, which was frustrating.

Finally, when I started going out with Rebecca I knew that I wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend and not just a casual thing.  I’m still open to something casual, but either way it has to be exclusive.  And I need someone who’s not afraid to put a label on things like she was.  So that’s my big update.  Looks like I’ll be posting my continuing adventures after all.  As far as the blog title goes, perhaps I should change it.  Thoughts, anyone?

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