Girl #60

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.

#60
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.

Six years of blogging

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 texted her: “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?  Was I using Instagram wrong?  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 texted me a pic of her messy kitchen (due to party prep), and I had zoomed in on the background and commented on a wall decoration.   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 they still date them.  Meanwhile, I’m put through the meat grinder for the silliest, nitpickiest little shit.

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 can communicate, as well as 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 somewhat 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.

My pants came off

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.

#56
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 came across her on Instagram (turns out we have a mutual friend) 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.

#57
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.  What the hell?  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.

#58
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 danced around 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.

#59
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.

New and Improved

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.  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.  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 the others – including the two other guys that came with their girlfriends – take 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 thought I’d walked in normally, but 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 took the opportunity to chime 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 another 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.

Serial dating

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 toilet reading the bible, then maybe they were worth getting to know.

#51

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.

#52

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.

#53

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.

#54

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.

 #55

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 ended up with 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.

Surgery

 

eyes

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.

Hookup

I’ve read so many blog posts about them over the years, but never did I think I would have a hookup of my own to write about.

It all started a couple of months ago.  My niece and I were talking about dating and swapping stories… hard to believe sometimes that she’s 21 now.   Even harder to believe she’s on Tinder.  She even pulled out her phone and swiped left and right through a bunch of guys.  Very, very interesting watching the process on the female side.  She showed me some of her conversations too.  Not to be outdone, I showed her screenshots of my old conversations.  She really got a kick out of them – so much so that I decided to go back on Bumble with a joke profile and collect more funny screenshots.

This went on for a couple of weeks when one day I got a message at 4AM:

“Hey Tommy, seems like you got low enough standards for my liking :)”

“And apparently we’re both night owls,” I wrote back.

“I think I should say that I have jet lag.  But the truth is…”

“You’re horny…?” I suggested.

“A bit.  Fancying some good old fashion missionary.  Ok… or maybe I will be on top for a little.”

Okay… this had to be a joke.  Someone read my profile and was clearly fucking with me in return.  I even suspected it was someone I knew in real life.  Plus she only had one picture, which is usually a red flag.  But we chatted until the sun rose, and during the day she sent me photos of herself in various states of undress.  After less than 24 hours of sexting and steamy conversation, I met her in a bar in Brooklyn.

#50

Right up until I walked through the door, I kept thinking it was too good to be true.  I half-expected to see one of my friends sitting there, although I doubted any of them would travel all that way just to play a prank.  And the more I talked to her online, the more confident I was that I wouldn’t end up meeting some 40yo hairy fat dude.  But sure enough, she was a real person, sitting right at the corner of the bar in blue jeans and a black top just like the said she would be.

Phew.  And wow.  She looked better in person than I imagined.  Except when I tapped her on the shoulder and said her name, she didn’t look entirely enthused to see me.  Uh oh.  I greeted her and told her I had to use the bathroom and I’d be right back.  After the long drive into the city I was fit to burst, and I went downstairs and pissed a bucket.   When I came back upstairs I wondered if she was going to give me the “you seem like a nice guy” speech and nix the rest of the evening.

She didn’t.  I ordered myself a drink and we took a seat in a booth away from the noise.  She had a beer of her own but didn’t seem very interested in it.  We made chit-chat about nothing in particular, and I was surprised to detect an English accent despite her being Chinese.  But she grew up in Hong Kong, and studied and worked in the UK, so apparently that was why.

After about 10-15 minutes I asked, “Do you want to get out of here?”  She did and we got up to leave.  I knew she had a hotel a block away, but I insisted on meeting somewhere neutral in public first.  As we walked outside I was waiting her to change her mind and wish me good night (as is my luck), but instead she hooked her arm around mine, eventually hugging it with both of hers.  Oh!  Looks like she was interested after all.  She warned me beforehand that – despite her online sluttiness – she was likely to be awkward and shy in person.

To be sure, as we walked down the sidewalk she kept stopping to stare at me with a weird grin.  I kept asking her “What…?” and she kept asking me why I was giving her weird looks.  Uh, because YOU are.  After the third time I turned and put my hands on her waist, and she continued looking up at me with that weird grin.  This seemed like the moment.  I moved my hands up to cup her face and went in for the kiss, but at the last second she turned her head and I got her on the cheek.

Oof.  More awkward.  She wrapped her arms around me and buried her face in my shoulder.  Okay.  What’s the deal?  Well,  apparently she doesn’t kiss on the lips.  Okay there, Pretty Woman.  I didn’t get much more out of her than that, although she later confessed that kissing doesn’t do anything for her.  I didn’t know that was possible, but there are all types I guess.  Maybe the other guys she’s been with were bad kissers? Who knows.  And before we resumed our walk back to the hotel, she blurted, “I might even like you as a person.”

pw
“I don’t kiss on the mouth.”

“Well, I’d hope that you’d like me as a person.  I’m not just a piece of meat, you know.”  She let out a loud giggle and quickened her step until we were almost race-walking.  We went right into the elevator and up to her room.  She swiped her card and in we went, with me in a bit of a daze.  This was totally surreal.  Was this really happening?  Never in my wildest fantasies did I imagine something like this could be a reality.  And from my ridiculous online dating profile!

She was still a bit awkward, which was making me awkward.  I’d vaguely pictured myself making out with her and slowly removing her clothes piece by piece.  That kind of foreplay is important in helping me determine what someone likes.  But with kissing off the table, there went one of the tools in my toolbox, and it was a bit of a buzzkill as well.  Plus when I looked up from taking my shoes off she was already pants-less.  Somebody was eager to start, apparently.

There was a bit of fumbling about and then we were lying on the bed, first side by side and then me on top of her.  There was more awkward fumbling about as I tried touching her lady parts, but couldn’t seem to get that right.  First she told me to be more gentle, but then she was pressing my hand into her indicating I should use more force.  Then she put one of my fingers inside her, but after a minute of that she wanted my fingers on the outside again.  Finally I hit pay dirt when I started sucking and kissing on her neck and tits.  All girls seem to like that, but she was practically orgasming from it.

We were a bit limited in what we could do.  In addition to no kissing, there was no oral either – for her or for me.  So that basically left condom-only P-in-V sex.  She couldn’t wait any longer and wanted my dick inside her, but she didn’t think she was wet enough.  After leaking pussy juice profusely for an entire day, she was running a bit dry.  But I put on a condom and she slathered lube everywhere, and then we started fucking.  Finally, an area I seem to excel at.  At least, I’ve never gotten any complaints in that department.

She got really wet before long, and it felt so good being inside her.  (Skyn condoms are great, btw).  I’d already jerked off twice that day looking at the pics she sent me, so I lasted a decent amount of time before I unloaded in her.  It was really intense.  I don’t remember it feeling that intense with my ex Rebecca, but it’s been so long that it’s hard to remember exactly.  She came too – loudly – and it was funny because even though she sounded British she would orgasm in Chinese.   It was like I fucked her into another continent.

Afterwards we lay there for the longest time, just talking about stuff. She asked me a million questions, including, “Am I asking too many questions?”  She dropped a bomb about being divorced. She also claimed I’m the first person she’s had sex with in two and a half years.  Wow.  So she’s had a longer dry spell than I’ve had.  Who would’ve thought?

All the while we played with each other’s hands, stroked each other’s arms, and touched each other all over. I gave her a back and shoulder massage because I love doing that.  The entire time I did my best to relish every moment, telling myself that it might be a long time before I get to touch anyone like that again. Sure enough, I remember thinking that exact thing when I was with my ex, and then two years went by.

Eventually she started jerking me off, but it wasn’t doing anything for me. She didn’t have the right touch, even after I gave her some instruction. Then she was telling me to cum even though I was nowhere close, and her telling me that had the opposite effect.  It’s like when the doctor asks you to pee in a cup, and the more you try the more you can’t do it.  Then you start feeling pressure, and in this case I was starting to go soft.  She noticed and started making efforts to get me hard again, which also had the opposite effect.

Shit.  I went back to work on her neck and chest and soon I was almost rock hard again.  We had sex a second time, we both came again (her at least twice) and we managed to snag a couple hours of sleep before morning.  We tried some other positions but they weren’t really comfortable for either of us, so it was mostly missionary. There was one more round of equally satisfying sex before I had to hit the road.  It felt a bit weird waking up in the city, and I drove home in a bit of a daze.  That might have been more due to exhaustion, as I had to pull over and take a nap for an hour in order to make it the rest of the way.

I didn’t jerk off for the rest of the week.  We met for Round 2 the following weekend, and I wanted to save up an especially big load for her.  This time I met her right at the hotel.  She left a key at the front desk for me so I went upstairs and let myself in.

She was waiting in bed in a black lace negligee.  “John McCain died,” were her first words to me as I entered the room.  Wow, you really know how to turn a guy on.  But I did enter a celebrity death pool at the beginning of the year and he was on my list, so he earned me 24 points.  Yay for that, at least.

We got down to business right away.  I was more than ready for her.  I attacked her neck and chest and played with her pussy.  “How did you get so much better at this in only a week?” she gasped.  Easy – I simply remembered what she liked and didn’t like from last time.

Things went a lot smoother this time, and there was no need for lube whatsoever.  She was positively dripping downstairs.  She wasn’t kidding about that. I’d never seen anyone get wet like that – not that I have much experience to judge, though.

Finally she couldn’t take it anymore.  “Get a condom,” she gasped.  I did, and ten minutes later I filled that bad boy to near bursting after not jerking off for an entire week.  But truth be told, I didn’t need to jerk off.   After the previous weekend I found myself feeling fully sated and satisfied.  I didn’t even look at porn or anything.  However, I was ready and raring to go now.  She came many times, and after the third round of sex she took the baby oil I brought with me and dumped it everywhere.  She proceeded to massage my body with hers.  It was amazing, and she ended by jerking me off until I spurted a fourth time. Practically repainted the ceiling.

She wanted to keep going.  Unfortunately, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.  I was surprised and disappointed I couldn’t go more than four times.  Apparently sex is more intense and draining than regular ol’ masturbating.  We’d also been at it for five hours by that point.  And we were getting pretty hungry, so we got dressed and headed out to the diner.  She watched in amazement as I downed a plate of pancakes, a bowl of home fries, ham and eggs, and a bagel.  Apparently sex also whips up quite the appetite.

We held hands on the way there and back, which was really nice.  Honestly, I was almost as happy holding hands as I was to have sex again.  I miss that kind of touch and intimacy. We learned more about each other as we walked and talked, and I also learned that a lot of people leave books outside their homes in Brooklyn.  Apparently this is a thing they do there.  I suppose it’s a take-a-book, leave-a-book kind of thing.  Heh – maybe they should call it Booklyn.

We got frisky when we were back at the hotel again.  I was ready to go a fifth time, but exhaustion overpowered us and we fell asleep.  We did have one last glorious round of sex in the morning.  I woke up with her hands on my penis.  In fact, she could barely keep her hands off it all night – even on the way back from the diner.  She said she couldn’t resist squeezing it and that I had a really nice one.  Why thank you.  I think it’s rather swell too, if I may so myself.

And thus ends the best two weekends I’ve had in a long time, and certainly among the best ones I’ve ever had.  She was only in town for ten days and we made the most of her time here.  Now she’s back home.  There’s a possibility she may return in the future, but when that will be I have no idea.  In any case, my scratch has been itched and I’m feeling exceptional nowadays.

Reproduction

childfree

I do not want kids.  Not now, not ever.  Nor do I want to deal with anyone else’s kids.  Even if I liked kids, I couldn’t rationalize a single reason for having them – between the emotional and financial burden and the possibility of the world facing a Mad Max-like dystopian future.

Some people feel that children give their life meaning, but I do not feel my life is meaningless without them.  And I do not feel for one second that I’m missing out on anything.  I see other people with kids and all I can think is: “Thank god that’s not me.”

This provokes a variety of reactions, ranging from confusion to consternation.  And I’m a man.  I can only imagine what childfree women have to deal with.  I’m especially amused by people who accuse me of being selfish.  Okay, so… what’s the problem?  Shouldn’t you be glad I’m not having kids then?  Do you want me to be a shitty parent with an unwanted child?  It’s not like we don’t have enough of those already.

Speaking of parents, people like my dad think it’s my religious duty to have offspring.  Of course he would think that.  Thanks to him, I spent my formative years picketing and praying outside abortion clinics, absorbing rocks and bottles and insults from passersby.   Sorry, but slavish devotion to religious dogma is not going to work as a reason for me either.  I gave up religion a long time ago and couldn’t give two flips about “be fruitful and multiply.”

Others smirk at me and go, “Well, you say that now, but just wait until you meet the right person.”  Huh?  How does the “right person” suddenly make me like or want kids?  And if she wants kids, then how is she the right person?  Why would I even be dating someone who wants kids in the first place?  Which brings me to dating.  I’ve been adamant about not wanting kids over the course of this blog.  What I had been less certain about was when and whether to disclose it during the dating process.

Part of me thought that honesty was the best policy.  The rest of me thought that was an exceptionally bad idea.  I was already having horrible luck with women; shooting myself in the foot wouldn’t help.  But I also didn’t think it was fair to lead anyone on or waste their time. I didn’t have the heart to lie, even though some encouraged me to do just that.  The first time it came up on a date, I was honest and it tanked the rest of the evening.  After that I did my best to waffle or avoid the subject altogether.

That was pre-virginity loss.  Now with that out of the way, and plenty of dating experience under my belt, I have less fucks to give.  My luck with women may have marginally improved since then, but I care a lot less about the results.  Now I don’t hesitate to say, “I don’t want kids.”  I’m not going to hide anything.  If they don’t like that, then too bad.  We’re simply incompatible for the long-term.  However, I’d still consider a fling.

Speaking of flings – you may remember there were a couple of girls I was eyeballing as potentials.  I mentioned them in previous posts.  Long story short, I lost interest and moved on.  I figured that was that and things would remain as they were.  But then things changed in a way I never expected or thought possible.  I met someone, and have an exciting new story to tell.

More on that next…

Fish

I had the best Fourth of July in a long time.  My sister’s boyfriend has a place at the beach and we went there for a barbecue.  There was a professional fireworks show at dusk, but the neighbors up and down the beach lit huge bonfires and set off their own fireworks.  It was like being at a tennis match; I didn’t know which way to look.

Actually I knew which way I wanted to look.  It was everything I could do to not stare at the brunette beauty by my side.  My cousin is dating this chick, and this chick has a daughter.  Well, the daughter and her friends unexpectedly showed up at the party.  Turns out she’s close with my sister’s boyfriend’s family.  Talk about a small world.  Maybe it’s fate.

She and her friend and her friend’s boyfriend spread a blanket out on the sand when the fireworks started.  I brought down a plastic lawn chair from the deck for myself but she said, “You can sit with us if you want, there’s room right here.”  She patted the spot on the blanket next to her.  Well, I Frisbeed that chair into the sand dunes.  I don’t shy away from opportunities anymore.

Her friends cuddled and canoodled in front of us, and I was seized with a strange urge to put my arm around her.  It almost felt like we were two couples on a double date.   I hadn’t seen her in a long time and she is quite a knockout.  But I kept my composure.  Stay cool, don’t say or do any dumb shit…  I just leaned back on my hands, and as soon as I did another crazy thought entered my head:  How much do you wanna bet she touches my hand?  I waited in that pose to see if my hunch was correct.

Sure enough, a few minutes later it happened.  She shifted her weight on the blanket and put her hand down right on top on mine for a moment. “Oh, sorry,” she said.  “That’s okay,” I grinned to myself in the darkness, wondering if that was an accident-on-purpose or what.  And now my brain was going into overdrive.  Would she or could she be interested in me?  We’re potentially step-cousins, or something.  I might not just get friend-zoned but family-zoned.  There’s also an age difference (which doesn’t bother me).

Still, I chatted with her trying to feel things out, until my sister came along and interrupted and wrecked my flow.  Thanks a lot.  We rubbed shoulders a couple more times that night.  Afterwards we started following each other on social media.  I’d like to get another conversation going but she’s rarely online.  A bit unusual for someone her age.  Damn.  This girl is intriguing.

***

In other news, I was looking forward to attending a friend’s pool party but it was canceled.  Shame, because according to the Facebook guest list there would have been a number of attractive single ladies there.  Figures.  Just my luck as always.  I was working out like crazy in preparation, but getting in better shape never goes to waste.

And in other news,  I ran into a spot of bother with the girl who cuts my hair.  I’ve had her as my stylist three times in a row now.  I like the familiarity, and it turns out we went to the same high school.  I couldn’t find her in my yearbook (would have helped if she remembered what year she graduated – how do you forget that?), so this time I asked what her last name was.  When she told me I suddenly realized: “Oh, you’re Deborah’s sister!” I exclaimed.

She put her hands on her hips and gave me a look.  “Okay, first of all, I have a name.  It’s Mandy, it’s not ‘Deborah’s sister,'” she said.  I just stared back at her in the mirror. Didn’t seem like she was trying to be funny.  I said nothing, partly because I was trying to figure out if I was somehow being an asshole, and partly because I didn’t want to get a shitty haircut.  Still… my brothers are well-known in certain music circles, and when people find out I’m related they go, “Oh, you’re Johnny/Patrick’s brother!”  I just say “yeah” and that’s that.  I don’t get snooty about it because I don’t see a reason to.

I dunno, maybe it had something to do with her being a “strong, independent woman.”  She gave a speech about that during one of my haircuts.  Maybe it’s me, but I feel like if you’re such a strong, independent woman, then you don’t need to tell everyone about it.  But she had ranted how men suck and “can’t handle strong independent women.”  I’ve heard quite a few women make that claim.  While I’m sure it’s true in some cases, it’s more likely your confrontational or bitchy attitude that sends men running.

Anyway, I promised a post on the subject of having kids.  That’s still coming up next, I just got a little sidetracked.

Meh

Okay, I did it.  I went back to online dating.  Four weeks, three apps and two dates later, I called it quits.  It was the same nonsense all over again.  There’s been no change in my experiences with – or opinion of – online dating.  It works for some people, but apparently I’m still not one of them.  And I have neither the energy nor the desire to continue with it.  So I’ve kicked it to the curb for the hundredth time, and feel loads better as a result.

Here’s how it all went down this time.

I haven’t been on OkCupid for years.  Back in the day it was the source of most of my online dates.  Well, they’ve made changes and not for the better.  You can still message anyone, but they can’t see your message unless they “like” you back.  And the number of users has dropped precipitously.  Last time there was an endless supply of matches.  This time I exhausted all possibilities within a few days.  I collected 35 likes but only one was mutual.  Her profile didn’t give me much to work with, and this was our exchange:

Did we date once?  Did we talk once?  Was she trying to be funny?  We certainly didn’t fuck, I know that much.  But I never heard from her after that, so it will forever be a mystery.  Two more weeks went by without any new matches or messages. All I had to show for my efforts was that head-scratching conversation.

*delete account*

Next up was Tinder.  I never had much luck with it in the past and it was the same this time around.  Little activity, lack of conversation, flakiness, suspiciously fake-looking profiles… Meanwhile I had over 50 matches on Bumble and a slew of conversations going.  Goodbye, Tinder.  I burned through many of my Bumble matches, not hesitating to unmatch with those who failed to impress.  I was most popular with 28-35 year-olds and it didn’t take long to line up two back-to-back dates.

#47
She was 35 and a police officer.  Only a couple years older than myself but seemed more mature than that. Byproduct of her job, perhaps.  We met at a sports bar for dinner and drinks and quickly settled into nice, easy conversation punctuated by a number of laughs.  We seemed to be enjoying each other’s company.  Midway through she casually mentioned she was recently divorced.  This is the second or third time that’s happened on a date.

*theme from Jaws starts playing softly in the background*

jaws

Yeah, I’m starting to encounter this.  Well, she didn’t mention having kids, so I guess it wasn’t as big a deal.  Although, that’s something else I’ve been running into.  There’s a number of single moms out there who don’t disclose they’re single moms until they think it’s safe.  That happened several times during my latest stint on Bumble.  Sorry, but your personality is not going to overcome my dislike of kids.  Best to be upfront about it and not waste either of our time.

But I digress.  We stayed there for an hour and a half, and then I suggested going across the street for brews and board games.  It was a really cool spot and a popular hangout for people in our demographic.  She enthusiastically agreed, but in between getting up from the table and reaching the exit she changed her mind, saying it was late and she ought to be going.  I walked her to the parking lot and hugged her good night.  She texted me the next day and we went back and forth a little, but eventually things dropped off and that was that.


#48
This one was cute as hell – and she confided that she thought I was too – so I was pretty excited to meet her.  We met at a cheesecake place near my house and I liked what I saw.  She seemed a little more my speed, but the more we talked the more she appeared to be a homebody.  Nothing much in the way of hobbies or activities either.  Hmm.  I wasn’t sure what I could do with her, although certain extra-curricular activities came to mind as I eyed her up and down.  We called it a night after a couple of hours.  The next day I invited her to see a band play at a brewery but she politely declined, claiming other commitments.  Then she unmatched with me.


#49…?
I wouldn’t really count this as a date.  It was hardly even a meeting.  I was suspicious from the start, since her Bumble profile was nothing but pics of her performing and links to her music website and YouTube videos.  We talked music and she said I should come see her play at a bar that Saturday.  I did, but when I got there I saw that I wasn’t the only one she invited out.  I barely got to speak to her either.  My hunch appeared to be correct.  She was using Bumble to promote herself and her gigs.  Not the first time I’ve run into that either.  I’ve seen bartenders do the same.

I had two other hot prospects after that.  I really wanted to meet them both, but for reasons unknown they suddenly stopped talking to me.  One of them asked if I had an Instagram, which I thought was a little odd, then went quiet after I supplied my handle.  I didn’t post anything untoward on there, so I don’t know what happened.  The other unmatched with me after a few days of silence.

Eventually I ran out of Bumble matches, and I deleted the app a short while later.  So I got that out of my system.  I’m sure this is the point where my readers are going to suggest Match or Zoosk or Hinge or Coffee Meets Bagel or Duck Meets Goose or Nut Meets Bolt, or some other dating app.  Not interested.  I’m just going to do like my friend told me:  “Don’t date.  Just go out and meet people.”  Which is exactly what I’ve been doing, and it’s already bearing some fruit.  More on that in the next post…