….Literally anything in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer all your burning questions. I want to try something fun and different here.
Womp womp. My three month vacation is over and I’m finally back to work. No complaints, though. As much as I enjoy my time off, I also miss stacking that paper. I’ve got my eye on some more big-ticket items this year, and funds were getting light after a kitchen makeover, a new car and other purchases at the end of last year.
In other news, I’ve deleted Bumble yet again. Let’s see how long this lasts.
There was one last girl in the queue and after a couple of failed attempts we finally set up a date a few weeks ago. However, she developed cold feet the day of. Sigh. What is it this time? Well, she felt bad I was traveling all the way to meet her. Okay, why? Well, she felt more pressure if I was traveling all that way just to meet her, and maybe we should meet when I was already in the area. I still didn’t understand why she felt pressure, but I agreed to wait and talk on the phone in the meantime.
A few days of phone tag commenced, and when I finally caught her we chatted for a minute and a half before she said she had to go and could she call me back in a little bit? Sure, I said. And I never heard from her again. Either it was something I said, she didn’t like the sound of my voice, or by that point she was as over things as I was. It’s hard enough trying to date someone who’s busy busy busy all the time, but to add travel time on top of that? Not gonna work.
I feel so much better having jettisoned online dating apps again. It’s such a roller coaster and I needed the break for my mental health. And then something happened to perk me up and pique my interest. Long story short, I’d made up a joke Instagram, and a girl with a similarly-themed Instagram found my account. She lived locally. What’s more, we were both in marching bands AND played the same instrument. No way.
Then I found her regular IG. Similar tastes in geekdom, music, and wacky sense of humor? I couldn’t believe my luck. Was this really happening? A couple weekends ago our bands were in the same parade and lined up on the same street as well. She came running over to me. “Are you Tommy?” she asked excitedly. Indeed I was. We chatted for a couple of minutes before we had to rejoin our respective groups. She was cute – even better looking than her pictures.
A few days later I saw a music performance at the local theater. A lot of people from my and other marching bands were there, and I wondered if she was there too. Turns out she was! Afterwards I was in the lobby with a group of friends, and suddenly she popped up in front of us. She said hello to everyone. And then… she introduced us to her boyfriend Chuck. Seriously?? Ugh. I knew it was too good to be true. I was surprised because she posted a lot on social media, yet there wasn’t a single picture or mention of this dude.
So that takes care of that. Single with no prospects for the foreseeable future. I’ll be ringing in the big 3-5 this year. Recently I overheard someone say, “if you’re 35 and still single, you’re probably a loser.” Well I don’t agree with that. I don’t think I’m a loser – even if I did have better luck in high school. Somehow I had more girlfriends when I was thin, bespectacled, pimpled, socially hapless and poorly-dressed, as opposed to today when I have so much going for me. A bit funny, isn’t it?
Deep down I still would really like to find someone. But it’s a want, not a need. And as I’ve said before – my life is amazing in every other aspect, so if being alone is the trade-off I’ll happily take it.
We’ll see what happens, though.
Continuing from my last post, this is the story of my (so far) one and only long-term relationship. This happened when I was 17-18.
When I got to Patti’s house I stopped on the sidewalk outside. The light was on in the living room and I knew she was on the computer as always. Her mother’s car was gone from the driveway; she was working late again. I paced outside for a bit, screwing up my courage and rehearsing what I would say. When I was ready, I ran up to the front door and knocked. As soon as I did I forgot all my lines. She opened the door, surprised to see me there at such a late hour and with a trace of concern on her face.
“Hey – what’s up?”
“Uh…can we talk?” As soon as I said that a flicker passed over her face. She must have known what was coming.
She came out and we sat on the front steps, since I wasn’t allowed inside when her mother wasn’t home. In a few minutes it won’t be an issue anymore, I thought. The night air was crisp and cold since it was only the middle of March. After a few awkwardly silent moments, I cleared my throat.
“I don’t think this is going to work out,” I said. She looked down at the ground and nodded. I knew she was thinking along the same lines, and mostly for the same reasons, even though she didn’t say anything. I was going to miss that – the fact that our minds were so much on the same plane that we usually knew what the other was thinking.
But while we were so alike, we were also very different. And we were on different paths in life. We were going away to school in different states. And even if I had a strong enough desire to continue the relationship, I couldn’t have. Some people can have long-distance relationships. I can’t. I need that person here in my life, not hundreds of miles away, only to be seen for a few weeks during the year, without physical contact for long periods of time in between.
Not that there was much physical contact to begin with. We were both virgins and progress was frustratingly incremental. It was two months before she stopped freaking if I put my hand on her neck while we made out. The first time I did that she pulled away and curled into a ball and started shaking. Um, what? I poked her and asked what was wrong. “Usually when a guy does that, it means he wants something more.”
She finally confessed that she was making out with her ex boyfriend once and he touched her breast. I waited, but apparently that was the whole story. It took her a while to recover.
Three months in she was okay with ass grabbing. Four months in – and this was a big day for me – she finally allowed me to touch her breasts. Through her shirt. It was a few weeks after I’d turned 18.
After eight months of dating she graduated to groping me in return – but only through my pants. She dabbled with slipping her fingertips under the waistband of my jeans but wouldn’t go further than that. Her reason? “Well, if you came while I was touching you and it got on my hands, and then I touched myself down there and there was liquid seeping out of me, there’s a very small chance I could get pregnant.”
After a whole year of dating she felt comfortable enough to put her hand all the way down inside my pants – sometimes even pulling my penis out to squeeze it or run her fingers along it. Only for brief moments, though. Every time we fooled around she’d get me all hot and bothered, and then she’d pull away and we’d have to stop because she was afraid of going too far.
Whenever Patti was at my house I’d have to coax her over the threshold like a nervous stray cat. She was scared that my neighbors would see her going inside and tell my dad who would in turn tell her mom. *eye roll* This wasn’t 1955. This was 2002. Not only did we not talk to our neighbors, we avoided eye contact if we went to the mailbox at the same time. They didn’t give a fuck if I had a girl over.
Her fears weren’t without merit, though. One day Dad came home early and nearly caught us fooling around. We took shelter in a closet until the coast was clear. Dad had ladled out enough Catholic guilt over the years and I didn’t need any more helpings. And Patti was a nervous wreck when we were at her house. Every 30-60 seconds she’d race to the window in a panic thinking her mother’s car was pulling into the driveway.
However, one day we started getting really hot and heavy. Shirts came off. Her bra came off. Then she took me by the hand and led me downstairs to the bed in the basement. Holy shit, after a year and a half this was finally it! We lay down on the bed and continued making out, but after a minute I saw the familiar look in her eyes. She was getting spooked again. Sigh. So I suggested she gave me a hand job. Or a blow job.
Soon I began wishing I hadn’t. She didn’t seem to have any clue what she was doing. She moved my dick around like it was a joystick (I know… it is). She rubbed it between her hands like a Boy Scout trying to start a fire with a stick. She blew on it. No, she didn’t blow me. I mean she literally blew air at it. Then she squeezed it so tightly that the head turned purple and I was waiting for it to explode and confetti fly everywhere.
This went on for about ten or fifteen minutes. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore.
“All right, stop.”
She let go of me. Phew. “What’s wrong?”
“That’s not how you jerk a guy off,” I said, trying to hide my exasperation.
“Show me, then,” she said, sitting back on her heels and folding her hands in her lap.
So I did. I sat up on the bed, jerking off in front of her with my tighty-whiteys around my knees. And she just sat there looking at me. The whole time I just kept thinking to myself: this sucks… this really sucks… I could be doing this at home…
“Okay,” she interrupted. “Let me do it now.” And she took my dick in her hands and started over.
Five minutes later she was still at it. “Nothing’s happening,” I said pointedly.
“Well, it’s getting really hot…” she observed. Yeah, because it’s getting really pissed off, I thought. I wrapped her hands around my dick with my hands and moved them up and down to give her the idea. She still wasn’t quite getting it, and it definitely wasn’t doing anything for me. Finally I’d had enough. I pulled my clothes back on and said I had to go. Then I went home and finished myself off.
I thought about what to do next. Over time the spark had faded between us and it felt like we were just going through the motions. Our late night chats were rare and conversation was dwindling. All we had left was fooling around, but it was proving to be frustrating and unsatisfying. So three days after President Bush started dropping bombs on Iraq, I walked back over to Patti’s house and dropped a bomb on her too.
She took it well at first, and then broke down in tears. And that was that. She moved on to date (and have sex with) other guys. Then she later dropped a bomb of her own:
She was gay.
Except… she still liked guys.
So she was a gay man trapped in a girl’s body. She eventually moved to Canada, had all her equipment changed over, and began her new life as Paddy, aka The Boy Formerly Known as Patti. And that’s the last I ever saw or heard of her.
After I dumped her, I started feeling ashamed of myself. Did I really break up with her because I couldn’t get sex from her? What a horrible thing to do. I remembered how I always had to initiate fooling around or making out. Nearly every single time. While she would reciprocate and get into it, she almost never made the first move. I started feeling like a monster as I reflected upon that fact.
For a couple of years I felt like I didn’t deserve to be with another girl, lest I treat her like a piece of meat too. I spent half of my 20s looking for someone, and the other half not looking and not caring if I ever did. But I didn’t go on another date for at least ten years. I was year into this blog when I finally dated again. 30 was looming uncomfortably large on the horizon. I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old virgin, but 31 proved to be the magic number. Perhaps blogging is what helped me succeed.
Anyway, now you have the whole story.
I thought I’d take a break from regular programming to give you a blast from the past. I don’t think I ever really delved into the story of my one and only long-term relationship (so far). It was in high school and lasted nearly a year and a half.
Patti was my first real girlfriend. I’d dated a girl before her, but she turned out to be a nutcase so that enterprise only lasted seven weeks (click here to read that story). That experience nearly put me off girls altogether – so much so that Patti spent months trying and failing to get my attention. I was hopelessly oblivious, and it didn’t help that I was very conservative at the time and turned off by her liberal views.
Eventually we had occasion to talk about other things and found that we were very much alike. We even kept a notebook that we passed back and forth to document all the ways in which we were frighteningly similar. After a couple months of friendship, I took the plunge and asked her to the homecoming dance. She said yes and we were a pair of grinning idiots from that point on. Everything went perfectly. We danced. We slow danced. I walked her home. She took my hand in hers. I wanted to kiss her under the streetlight in front of her house, but chickened out.
We went to our school’s pancake breakfast the next morning, followed by the big game after that. We had such a good time. This time I took her hand on the way home, but I was still too scared to go in for the kiss. Finally she got tired of waiting for me to make a move and went for it herself. I was so shocked I forgot to close my eyes. It was awkward but all kinds of wonderful, and just enough to break the ice. It gave me the courage to go for the second kiss a half-hour later.
I floated home after that. Things went swimmingly over the next few weeks. I walked her home each day after school, sat and talked for a bit, and kissed before parting ways. With Mom’s help, I took her out for dinner and a movie. Then I cooked up the greatest date yet. And there we were on a cold November 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.
This time I got Dad to chaperone. He was a couple hundred feet away, sitting in his car with the engine running. He spent the next two hours listening to the radio to stave off boredom while Patti and I had the time of our lives. I would have preferred being alone with her, but we were teenagers and had to deal with hovering parents. Dad was parked facing us to make sure there was no hanky-panky. I was too self-conscious to put my arms around her with him watching.
We finally called it a night (morning) as the shooting stars faded into the approaching sunrise. Dad had dozed off by that point so we knocked on the window to wake him up. The three of us went to the diner for breakfast. Then he drove us back to her house. He was gracious enough to head down the block a little ways to turn the car around, giving me a little time and a modicum of privacy to kiss her goodbye. I wrapped my arms around her waist as she smiled at me.
“You know, I’m going to marry you someday,” she stood on her tiptoes and whispered into my ear. I grinned in reply and gave her another kiss before Dad reappeared at the curb.
We drove in silence for a couple of minutes before he started the inquisition: “So, uh, what religion is Patti? Is she Catholic?”
“No,” I said.
“Well, what is she then?”
“She isn’t anything. She doesn’t have religion,” I answered. We drove in silence for another minute while Dad chewed his cud.
“You know, if you two ever get married then you have to raise the kids as Catholic,” he said. I gaped at him. It was almost as if he knew what she had said to me.
“Yeah, I know,” I replied. Dad brightened up.
“Good! I’m glad to see you’re thinking about these things.”
No, I’m NOT thinking about these things. I’m fucking seventeen, Dad. I only said “I know” simply to show that I knew what the Church taught. I didn’t mean to infer that that’s what I intended to do. And why the hell was he even bringing it up?
“Because when your sister got married, I had a talk with her and her husband,” Dad continued, pronouncing the last word with venom. “And they agreed to raise their daughter as Catholic. And now your sister is divorced, so I guess being Catholic and obeying the commandments doesn’t matter to some people,” he ranted. Oh boy. I had to listen to a treatise on the faith during the rest of the ride home. Not only did his marriage fail and his family walk out, but now his daughter’s marriage failed as well. Dad took that as yet another personal failing and a further step down the road to his eternal damnation.
Unfortunately for Dad, there was another commandment I was interested in violating. It happened whenever I looked at Patti. I was incredibly lucky to have her. There were a lot of guys trying to get with her, but for some reason she wanted me and she didn’t give up until she got me. We were the talk of the school when we started going out. Guys and girls alike came up to me asking, “Is it true? Are you and Patti really going out?” They were agog when I answered in the affirmative. Patti proudly wore my jacket around school, silencing any remaining doubters.
A few weeks after the meteor shower she invited me to the Christmas party at her karate school. There was good music, good food, and of course good company. Shortly after we arrived they turned the studio lights off and the black lights on. Patti and I settled into a darkened corner. I sat behind her and wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into me. I brushed her hair aside and gently breathed on her neck while I ran my fingers along her stomach. The effect was immediate. She tilted back to give me greater access and I gave her a neck a few experimental nibbles. Her breathing grew heavier and I could feel her pulse pounding in her wrist as she placed one of her hands over mine.
After the party we took advantage of the backseat of her mom’s car to continue our foreplay. We sat side by side and I grabbed her hand and pulled it towards me so I could lightly trace my fingertips up and down her forearm. She did the same to me and by the time we arrived at her house we were all breathless and flustered. Her mom parked in the driveway and went into the house first, leaving the two of us outside to say good night. Privacy – thank you!
“You have no idea how much I want to jump you right now,” she grinned up at me.
“That’s good,” I said. Then I pushed her up against the garage door – out of view of the front windows of her house – and French kissed her. She eagerly returned the favor and we made out for several minutes. I ran my hand down her back and grabbed a handful of her nice round ass before we broke apart. She gave me a mischievous smile before she reached behind me and squeezed my ass in return. After two months that was the most physical we’d been yet. Then she gave me one last peck before turning around and darting up the walkway and into the house, nearly tripping over her own feet as she did so.
I walked home. No Dad around to spoil the mood this time.
I wanted her. And I was going to get her.
(to be continued)
My latest go-round with Bumble is winding down, but I met another match over the weekend. I ignored the rules and red flags with this one. Not to mention her pictures were all from the head/shoulders up, which is almost always a warning sign. We added each other on Instagram and her pictures on there were the same. In fact there are quite a few girls from Bumble that I’ve stopped talking to but are still lurking on my Instagram. I’m paying them no mind because I’m also a whore for followers.
Anyway, I met this one at a bar not too far from where she lived. As soon she walked in she confirmed my suspicions. I looked at her and was like… no. Just no physical attraction. She was nice enough, but nice is not enough. And while our online chats were fire, in person our conversational styles and personalities clashed. Not to mention it was hard to talk in a noisy bar. “No bars” is another rule of mine, but it was a handy meeting spot plus I knew the band that was playing there.
We stuck it out for an hour before parting ways. Short and painless. Afterwards I couldn’t help but wonder if I had gotten a glimpse at how dates view me when I walk through the door. Some of them have certainly looked disappointed from the get-go. In any event I’m trying my best to make myself fuckable. I’ve been hitting the gym and the kitchen big time during my vacation and am very pleased with my progress. Still have a ways to go yet…
In the meantime I’m thinking it’s time for another break from Bumble. I also just realized that Valentine’s Day is upon us. I don’t remember whether this is a good or bad time to be online dating. All I do remember is that I haven’t had a Valentine since 2003. Wow, has it really been that long? Damn. But we’ll see what happens. I also have some stories to share that predate this blog, so look for those soon.
Happy six year anniversary to my blog! I can’t believe it’s been that long, and I’ve certainly come a long way. I seemed to have caught the tail end of the craze though, because it’s a lot harder to find dating blogs on here nowadays. It’s a shame that many of the ones I started with are no longer around. One by one my favorite bloggers fell by the wayside as they found significant others, or at least better things to do with their time.
I’ve considered shuttering this blog too. The month after I lost my virginity, my views went down by half and have continued their decline. At my peak I received 3,000 to 4,000 views a month and an inquiry from a Washington Post reporter. A slow day would garner 100 views, a new post would bring 200+. Now a new post won’t even crack 100, even though I have more followers than ever. I guess my journey is not as interesting ever since the climax. However, I do enjoy writing and interacting with my fellow WordPressers, so I’m sticking around.
Bumble is sticking around too. I’m on the verge of deleting it for the 20th time, though. I don’t know why I keep trying, but until I have more luck meeting people the old-fashioned way it’s better than nothing. I received a shit ton of matches from my recent trips into the city, but I’ve been eliminating them left and right: Minimal and mediocre conversation? Shitty availability? Using the app to promote their Instagram or music and bartending gigs? Undercover single mothers? Goodbye.
Then I had another one of those 1 in 100 conversations. Finally someone else that matched me in goofiness and witty banter, whom I really seemed to click with. And then it all went to shit. Everything was fine until she added me on Instagram and I scrolled through her old posts. All I did was swipe with my finger for a minute or two to get to the end and remarked, “I see you were into fitness coaching back in the day?”
“Whoa, you went through my old posts??” she said. Uh, yeah. So what? Who doesn’t do that when they add someone? It really weirded her out though. I didn’t even like or comment on any posts, I simply asked a question. What’s more, she had sent me a pic of her messy kitchen (due to party prep), and I had zoomed in on the background and pointed out that we had the same bottle of dish liquid with the duck on it. That didn’t sit right with her either – that I was looking in the background of her photos.
Add to that me playing the piano and not eating seafood, and it was too many red flags for her. And just like that I was back to square one. Just as well – if that’s her bar for weirdness then we were in for a rough ride. But it amazes me sometimes – I hear so many women airing laundry lists of serious grievances about their men, yet for some reason they hang in there. Meanwhile, I’m put through the meat grinder for the silliest, nitpickiest little shit. I’d list more examples but there are too many.
In some ways I feel like I’m still in the same spot as when I started this blog. Yes, I’ve finally swiped the V-card. However I’m still yearning to put at least one long-term adult relationship under my belt. And I’m going be 35 this year. Once again I wonder why it hasn’t happened yet and why it’s so frustratingly hard for me. And I feel like I have a lot to offer the right person.
I have a job, a car, my own place. I can cook and would love to do so for someone. I’m cultivating hobbies and a social life. I communicate and respond in a timely fashion. I’m honest and open about my feelings. I do my best to get to know the other person. I’d be a supportive partner. I’m not argumentative but I’m no pushover either. When it comes to the bedroom not only do I have good stamina but I’m eager to please, ready to learn, and open to trying new things. I know how to have a good time and plan fun activities. I like to think I’m funny. I even think I’m fairly good looking.
Of course there’s always room for self-improvement and I’m always looking for ways to do so. But I feel like there’s more working in my favor than against. I just don’t seem to have that elusive “it” factor yet. I don’t know. In the meantime I’m going to do my best to meet people and keep putting my best foot forward. We’ll see what happens.
For a hot minute I thought I was going to get laid again, I really did.
I made a snap decision to rejoin Bumble a few days before Christmas. However I was tiring of the crap I was wading through and I remembered my hookup over the summer. I could do that again, I thought. I definitely missed sex. And while I’d ideally like to find something serious, if something like that came along I’d definitely consider it. So I posted a picture of me in a holiday suit, declared I wasn’t looking for anything serious, and joked about having a Red Room of Christmas, donning a Santa hat and engaging in elvish kinkery.
I created my profile at 8 in the morning, and within a couple hours I already had an interested party. She was 28 and lived a few miles away in my old hometown. We met for coffee that afternoon. Profile creation to first date in five hours. That’s a new record. She was cute as hell and even better looking in person. We chatted for an hour before parting ways with a quick kiss. Her lips felt amazing. I actually got hard, not going to lie. I would have kissed her longer but we were outside and it was pouring rain.
The plan was to meet for drinks the next night and then back to my place. She wanted to see this Red Room, or at least this kinkery of mine. We would have done so later that day, except she was stuck with the kid for one more night. That’s right, she was a single mother, which for me made her a candidate for something casual. However it was not to be. We messaged back and forth the rest of the day and then my last message went unread (Bumble now indicates when your messages are read).
A week went by with no further response from her, so I shrugged and unmatched with her. Then I put my Bumble profile back to semi-normal, excising the lines about not wanting anything serious and engaging in elvish kinkery. It was funny while it lasted. A week later I looked her up on Instagram again and noticed she’d updated her bio to include the handle of the guy she was now dating. Well. That was fast.
I took another trip into the city the weekend after Christmas, bouncing all around Midtown and the West Side before heading back home again. It seemed like everybody in the world had the same idea to go into the city that day. What a zoo. But I had Bumble running the entire time I was in there and I returned home with 90 matches. Within a couple of days I had whittled it down to a couple dozen and two or three hot prospects. I set up another date later that week.
This one was 28 and lived a bit of a distance from me. We picked a halfway spot at Dave and Busters. For those of you who don’t know, D&B’s is basically an adult arcade, along with a bar and restaurant and bowling alley. I got there before she did and she messaged that she’d be there in a minute. A minute later a girl walked through the doors, glanced in my direction and continued inside. Her phone was in her hand and I noticed Bumble on the screen, and she was turning this way and that looking for someone. Was that her? She looked a little like my date. I dithered about and finally went to ask her, and it wasn’t her. Oops.
I got back to the front doors just in time for my real date to walk through. Ah. This was definitely her. She looked a little different in person but it was definitely her, and she was definitely cute. I liked, and I admired her assets as we sat at the bar and took off our jackets. We had a drink before proceeding to the games. I held my own but she whooped my ass at most of them, and as we waited for the basketball hoops to open up I put my arm around her and she immediately reciprocated. Yes! That was a good sign. And I got hard again. Seriously, that’s all it takes with me sometimes.
We bowled a couple of games, had something to eat in the restaurant, and then browsed the shop to see what we won with all the points we’d earned. Not enough for anything good unfortunately. But we’d been there for four hours so we called it a night. Outside I gave her a hug good night and then I went in for a kiss. Second first date in a row that I went in for a kiss. I have no qualms or hesitation about doing so now. However all I got was a quick peck. Huh? I went in for another. Another quick peck.
I was so surprised that I very nearly said, “That’s it…?” We had such a great time and she seemed to have really enjoyed herself, laughing and joking around with me and touching me in return. I thought for sure she’d be into more than a lightning-fast smooch on the lips before doing the familiar trot across the parking lot to her car. I said good night and drove home with a pit in my stomach, replaying the entire night in my head and second-guessing everything I had said or done.
Then I waited. Sure enough I got the following message the next day, right on schedule: ““Hey! So sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had a lot of fun, thank you for a nice evening. Unfortunately I don’t think we’re the right match. Best of luck!” Dammit. That stung. Sigh. Well, at least I still had a large pool of matches to draw from. The next weekend I was back in the city, this time to meet one of my matches from the previous weekend.
This one was a 27yo au pair from South America. She worked for a family on the Upper West Side, so we met at this place called Mom’s Kitchen not far from Restaurant Row. We met out front and she looked just like her pictures, but seemed a bit quiet and passive. Hmm. Things got off to a slow start but eventually warmed up to a semi-decent conversation. But despite her proclaimed excitement about going to a place with all-day brunch, she ordered… a salad. FFS, really?
There was an Irish pub down in Hell’s Kitchen called O’Neills with live Irish music, so I said I was going there and asked if she wanted to join me. Basically I gave her an out, because I wasn’t sure what else to do with her and I wanted to ensure that I at least had a good time. However she elected to come with me and I bought her a drink, and we took a seat near the back where it was quiet enough to talk but still able to hear the music. Eventually I ran out of things to talk about with her, and she asked me very little in return. Yet she stuck around.
We were there until midnight when the session ended, and before it did I jumped up and did a quick step with the rest of the group that was dancing to the music. She seemed totally unimpressed and uninterested. The hell with her. I was still going to have fun. It was another four hour date for me, and I walked her back to her subway stop. Nice to meet you, hug good night, and away she went. Then I took a seat in Times Square and started swiping, collecting 30 more matches before I started walking again. (Full disclosure: I indiscriminately swipe right and filter them out later.)
The Nanny continued to text me for the next few days before things dropped off. I was surprised she did, because I didn’t think she was really interested in me. I’d decided I wasn’t. Plus the whole time we were out she didn’t make one motion or suggestion to split the bill, or offer a round of drinks on her or anything. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but it left a really bad taste in my mouth, especially considering the distance I covered to meet her and the time it took me.
And finally, I come to the story behind the title of this post. This past weekend I took part in Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride. It’s a public prank that is exactly as it sounds. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time but missed it each year. This year I finally made it. There were six starting points around the city and I chose the Great Hill in Central Park. Hundreds of people showed up, and were divided into groups and assigned subway cars. Of course I was sorted into the group without any of the cute girls that had gathered.
From there we took the C train to Times Square, and switched trains to go to Union Square. The looks people gave us were priceless, but since the event garners a good amount of media coverage it’s not such a surprise anymore. In fact we had a reporter from one of the major networks embedded with my group. She didn’t take off her pants though. I on the other hand relished the opportunity to show off my sexy legs. The gym has been paying off.
There was an impromptu pantsless dance party in Union Square despite the cold, and I stuck around to watch before putting my pants back on and going down the street to gorge on junk food. I spent the third weekend in a row swiping on Bumble and collected 80 matches. This time, though, it was early enough to meet someone before heading back home.
She was 39 and lived on the Upper East Side. Coincidentally my sister and her boyfriend were also in town, over at a rooftop bar in the meatpacking district. So I met them for a quick drink before meeting the latest Bumble chick. When I told her i was gorging on junk food she was like, “you should have invited me!” Well, I can always squeeze in more, I told her. She said there was a Shake Shack near her so that’s where we met. Man, I love me some burgers. At least she didn’t order a salad, but all she had was a burger with a glass of water and no sides. Women don’t like to eat on dates, do they?
We talked for an hour about our lives, families, politics and culture. Stuff like that. And only for an hour because she said she had to get up at 4:45 for work. Hmm. Okay. I know what that means when they call it a night after only an hour. Sure enough, she unmatched with me on Bumble afterwards. Oh well. Guess I failed to make a good impression.
So that’s all for now. There’s more to write about, but this post is long enough as it is. I’ll save it for the next one.
Your boy has been quite the social butterfly over the past few weeks. First I went into the city to see an old friend perform with her band. I hadn’t seen her in at least ten years and she looked the same as ever. After the show we went out to eat at a soup and burger place just down the street. It almost felt like we were on a date (except I’m not attracted to her like that). Then we took a cab back to the train station. My first ever NYC cab ride. There’s an item that wasn’t on my bucket list.
Next up was a wine and cookie swap. It was hosted by that friend of mine who broadcasts all her relationship drama on Facebook, the same one who planned several other parties throughout the year but canceled each one. I half-expected this one to get the ax as well, but she followed through and I was glad. The guest list was mostly female and I didn’t want to miss out. Plus it was an opportunity to wear my ugly Christmas sweater, and several others wore theirs too. (Closest I’ve gotten yet to an ugly sweater party.)
Procuring wine was easy but we were required to bring homemade cookies. Well, I’m a bit of a whiz in the kitchen so I had no trouble making my first batch ever. However I didn’t realize the recipe would yield so many (pro tip: read the fine print). I found myself sitting on my kitchen floor at 1:30 in the morning eating cookies until I could fit the rest in the container. They were a hit though, so now I can add baked goods to my list of talents.
We spent most of the night playing “Have You Ever?” type drinking games – all of a sexual nature. In the past I would have excused myself to save face, but I was happy and relieved to be able to take part now. I’m no longer on the outside looking in. However my cup sat mostly idle in my hand. I watched as the others – including the two other guys that came with their girlfriends – took drink after drink in response to the questions. There are a LOT of things I haven’t done yet.
I recently turned 34, but sometimes I feel like I have the sexual and dating development of a 21 year old. At the very least I wish I was in the place I am now at that age. As the game unfolded I sized up the others, especially the guys. They didn’t seem that different from myself, so how did I miss out on all this stuff? Why am I still lagging behind? And the girls… turns out they were pretty freaky, especially the one sitting closest to me. She was cute as hell and caught my eye, but she barely acknowledged my presence.
The conversation later turned to astrology and her friend asked me if I was a Sagittarius. Surprised, I answered in the affirmative and asked how she knew. “I could tell by the way you walked in. You were working the room.” I was? I thought I just walked in normally. But okay, I’ll take it. Wasn’t sure how to respond to that. The matter was forgotten entirely when Frosty the Snowman came on and I made a wisecrack about that being the next holiday song people take offense to: “Next year it’ll be Frosty the Snowperson.”
The guy next to me chimed in with his thoughts on sex and gender and rape culture. Turns out that Astrology Girl is also a super-feminist sex therapist and women’s studies professor and she just went off on him. Oh boy. They went back and forth for ten minutes until she finally threw up her hands and stalked off to the kitchen in high dudgeon. She later ditched out with her cute freaky friend to hit up another party. Oh well.
Aside from that it was a rollicking good time, and I went to another party the next day. This one was a White Elephant. I’m learning about all new kinds of parties now. It was also a potluck so I brought my garlic roasted potatoes. They were a smash hit. But with the exception of the co-host it was a total sausage fest. I still had a good time. I went to my marching band’s holiday party later in the week, spent Christmas Eve with the family, hosted a couple of people for New Year’s… and now I’m just about partied out.
In other news, I’m on vacation from now until April. So I’m using the time off from work to cultivate my hobbies and get things in shape around here. I’ve already fixed my car, bought my mother a new car, redid my kitchen (complete with new table and chairs), went to a jam session, restarted my gym program… all within the first week. I’m kicking ass over here. I’m even thinking about getting back into dancing once classes resume on the 29th.
But while I’m putting my place in order, I’m being mindful of things. I once read that if you want someone in your life, make sure there’s space for someone in your life – literally. Leave an empty drawer or closet space for her to put her things, make sure there’s room to get out on her side of the bed, etc. While I’m not looking to live with anyone, I do want to make sure things are clean, comfortable and accessible should I have an overnight guest in the future.
I also read a Wall Street Journal piece on Peter O’Sullivan, a former Google exec who went to great lengths renovating his house to accommodate a future family. “He asked for two kids’ bedrooms and lots of bins for toys. In his master bedroom closet he created spaces for high-heeled shoes; in the master bath he made velvet-lined makeup and jewelry drawers, going so far as to wonder whether his future wife would wear hoop earrings or bracelets. Realizing he tended to date women around 5-foot-7 in height, Mr. O’Sullivan asked that all the home’s furniture and cabinetry accommodate [that].”
“In early 2008, when everything was all planned out and designed and the house was under construction, Mr. O’Sullivan met Nava Gabbay, a cosmetic dentist. On an early date, Ms. Gabbay got a peek at Mr. O’Sullivan’s then-unfinished home and said she was impressed by his thoughtfulness in creating spaces for kids and a wife. ‘I thought he really had his act together,’ she said. They got married in 2009, just after the house was finished, and now live there with their 8-month-old baby.” So while he may have taken this to an extreme, it did work out for him in the end.
And finally, I intended to break from Bumble at least until after the holidays, but I broke down a few days before Christmas and found myself back on the app. That means I have some more dates to blog about. Coming very soon in my next post…
Well, guess who was back on Bumble and scored a bunch more dates? Yours truly. Yup. I know, I know… I keep saying I’m done forever and never going back, yet I keep returning every few months like an Alzheimer’s patient. I guess deep down I think a 3-6 month break to regroup will result in better luck next time, but (spoiler alert!) I still haven’t cracked online dating.
Of course, I wasn’t taking it seriously this time either. I put up a joke profile in order to collect more funny screenshots of my conversations. However I also collected dozens and dozens of matches along with my first hookup, so maybe I was onto something. People appreciated my sense of humor so I started screening them for first dates. If they enjoyed a pic of me sitting on the bowl reading the bible, then maybe they were worth getting to know.
First one up was a 36yo teacher from a few towns over. We met at a bar/restaurant where I’d met a few other dates from the same area. She came across way older and more mature than I expected. I felt like I was having a sit-down with one of my teachers from high school. It was a little off-putting. We sat and drank and talked about a bunch of shit for two hours and… nothing. Didn’t feel anything. We called it a night and she told me to call her if I wanted to get together again. I think she was just being polite, but I wasn’t interested. However she did introduce me to Blue Moon. Pretty tasty and went down very easily. I put away two of them and ended up very giggly. After the date I had to sit in my car for a while before I felt ready to drive home.
Next one was a 29yo social worker. She lived locally and we went to the nearby crepe place – another venue I’ve met a few dates at. I approached this one with caution. All of her pictures were from the neck/cleavage and up, so you know what that means. She was waiting outside the place, and I parked a little bit away so I had to time to appraise her as I approached. “Hmm… okay, I can work with that,” I thought to myself. Things got off to a strong start conversation-wise but dropped off after a while. We were only there for an hour, hour and a half at most. I was mildly interested in seeing her again and reached out afterwards, but no response. Another girl down.
34yo, worked in sales for some health product company. And she was a former Mormon. Very interesting. We had similar strict religious upbringings, so we could relate to each other a lot. She was even more sheltered than I was though. She was a recent transplant from the city and lived in a town that I knew very well. Unfortunately, I didn’t know it as well as I thought because the mac and cheese place I took her to was still under construction. Whoops. My internet research told me it was open.
Fortunately I knew a sports bar in the center of town. In fact, it was yet another place I’d taken a few dates to. Apparently I have regular date spots, but they’re good spots so why fix what’s not broken? And they had a mac and cheese dish she really liked so… hero! I was rather taken with her too. She was the hottest girl out of this latest bunch. But I was relaxed and comfortable with her and conversation flowed well. Only at the very end of the two hours did things start to peter out. I suggested another place just down the road, but she passed. Damn.
We walked to the parking lot, exchanged nice meeting yous, hugged good night and went our separate ways. We stayed in touch for a couple days and then things fizzled. Oh well. I thought she might have been fun to spend more time with. But she also might have been a bit too conservative for my tastes. I don’t mean politically, because we covered that topic on our date and we were mostly on the same page. I just need someone with a bit more edge.
29yo lawyer, and you know what lawyers use for birth control… their personalities. Okay, it wasn’t that bad. She looked just like her pictures and it was pleasant enough, but she was kinda “meh” to me. Apparently the feeling was mutual because while I did my best to keep the conversation going, she hardly asked a single thing about myself. At least she bought her own drink while I had myself another Blue Moon. She called it a night at 9:30. Then we walked to the parking lot, exchanged nice meeting yous, hugged good night and went our separate ways.
I seem to be see-sawing between 29yo and 34yo here. This one was 34 and worked in the events and activities office at her college. And she lived all the way in Brooklyn. Oof. Apparently we matched due to one of my trips in and out of the city. I normally wouldn’t consider someone that far in, but she was being all flirty and winky in our conversations so I thought it was worth investigating.
We met at a halfway point but the place we agreed upon was noisy as fuck. Oh hell no. I suggested a bar down the street which had live music but was marginally better. This is why I don’t like to do bars for weekend dates. I want to have a nice, relaxed, fun and flirty conversation – which is hard to do when you have to shout everything. Not to mention I have to sit or lean in so close to hear that I feel like I’m invading personal space.
She looked great though. She also had some of the spirit and energy I was looking for. That was because she was a stereotypical Italian. Yappity yappity yappity. Never a quiet moment with her. But she was a bit of a conversational steamroller, crushing all other words and sentences in her path. Between that and the increasing volume of the place (I swear the guitarist was increasing it one notch after every song) I was getting aggravated and not feeling things anymore. After two hours I also had a headache.
I called it a night. Then we walked to the parking lot, exchanged nice meeting yous, hugged good night and went our separate ways. The usual story. I debated with myself on the way home, wondering if I was making a mistake casting this one aside. I kinda liked her, but I didn’t think I could manage the distance. I also wasn’t sure what else I could do with her. I slept on it, and when I awoke in the morning I realized I was fine with not seeing her again.
I got along really well with the next girl I talked to. Twice I tried to set up a first date but she kept sidestepping my attempts. Finally she confessed that she connected with someone else and wanted to explore things. Okay. Goodbye.
The next one lived even further away than Brooklyn Girl, but she was the first one in ages to match me in silly and witty banter. We talked for two weeks and set up a date for a Sunday, but she developed cold feet a few hours beforehand. First she made noises about rescheduling, then asked if I didn’t prefer to meet someone closer? She went on and on about how she doesn’t typically meet guys from my area, this isn’t going to work in reality, etc. etc. Jesus. This didn’t occur to her at any time before during the past two weeks? The whole thing collapsed like a house of cards, but on the bright side I had a Sunday all to myself.
And lastly, I had a really hot prospect that I was talking to for the past three weeks. We even graduated to the phone and had hours-long conversations, something I’d never done before. I was really excited to meet her and we were supposed to meet this past Saturday, but she went cold turkey on me come Thanksgiving. I texted her a couple of times over the weekend and got no response. So I have no idea what happened, but I figure someone more interesting came along.
That’s all for now, folks.
I’ve been a little quieter than usual lately. That’s because I had a little downtime as I recovered from surgery. Eye surgery. LASIK, to be precise. A month later it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now the nightmare is over and I’m finally free. When the school nurse told me 24 years ago that I needed glasses, I felt my world crumbling around me. The kids already made fun of me to no end, and they didn’t need more ammunition.
I’d read that carrots were good for eyesight, so for the next week I devoured them like my life depended on it. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to stave off my first prescription. But I only needed them to read the blackboard, so it could have been worse. However it got worse. Over the years my eyesight deteriorated, going from 20/80 to 20/400. I ended up wearing glasses nearly all the time just to see the world around me. I hated the way they looked and how they made me felt.
When I went on dates I’d put my glasses on and quickly scour the bar or restaurant to find her, then hurriedly stash them out of sight before I was seen wearing them. If there was a menu I’d read it online first so I’d already know what to order. Style before comfort. Finally I’d had enough. Once I saved up the necessary cash (nearly $4000 – I got a discount) I went for a consultation and scheduled the procedure for a few weeks later. My sister had it done two years ago and highly recommended the doctor. I had very little idea what to expect since I didn’t ask my sister anything and purposely did no research.
I didn’t get nervous until I was in the waiting room, but even then they gave me a Xanax and suddenly I was too busy examining the wallpaper and laughing at nothing. Then I was led inside where they put numbing drops in my eyes and swung this big contraption over me. The doctor put in some kind of plastic speculum to hold my eyelids open and then he did something and everything went blurry. I was told to stare at a blinking red light and that I would hear a loud ticking sound as the laser operated. And that was it. He spent a minute or two on each eye and I was in the room for less than ten minutes total. Quick, easy, painless.
When I was upright again, I could see the clock on the wall with my naked eye, something I’d never been able to do. Things were still a bit blurry and watery but they cleared up over time. I kept my eyes closed on the ride home and went right to bed. For the next ten days I did two sets of eyedrops three times a day, and wore eye covers at night. The morning after procedure I removed my eye covers and sat up in bed. I could see the books on my shelf across the room. I could even read the titles.
It was so amazing I nearly cried. For those of you who already see for free, you have no idea what a miraculous transformation it was. I could see! I kept exclaiming that aloud over the next week, marveling at how I could read street signs and menu boards at fast food joints, how I could type on the computer or watch a movie unaided. That wasn’t the only difference. I’d never noticed how blue my eyes were until now, because I could never see them properly. I couldn’t hold things close to my face anymore to read them, I had to hold them a foot or two away.
To top off, when my family and I went to the Chinese buffet to celebrate a few days later, I caught a girl looking at me. She was working the front desk in the dance studio next door and our eyes met as I passed by the window. Her expression was hard to decipher, but… was it possible? Was this one actually checking me out? Have others been checking me out? Have I been missing things over the years because I literally couldn’t see them? Now I find myself constantly looking about, taking in every details, looking for things I might have missed before.
Ditching the glasses gave me a nice confident boost. I stand a bit taller now, comforted by the fact I don’t look like Harry Potter anymore. In fact I went on a new string of dates to test things out, which I will update you about in the next post. I don’t have to limit my screen exposure anymore, so it’s time to get back to writing.