Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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 and wanting to focus on herself?   What happened to her being too upset to even think about guys after the last breakup?  What happened to not wanting to be exclusive?  How come she didn’t push him away and sabotage things like she did with me?  What was my problem?

Well, let that be a lesson to me.  Next time I hear that stuff, I’ll know what it really means. Girls seem to have a really complicated way of saying “I’m not interested (anymore).”  But whatever.  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.

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.

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

#40

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.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.  …

View original post 1,469 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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…

View original post 1,609 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

 

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized