Boo

I knew it was too good to be true.

Let me rewind a few weeks:  Not long after I joined Instagram, I started combing through other users who’d tagged themselves at my gym.  I followed a few of them – men and women alike.  One girl went to my gym, albeit at a different location.  It wasn’t long until she followed me back and soon after that we started messaging, swapping workout tips and discussing our progress.  She suggested working out together sometime, but I was about to depart for California.  When I get back, I promised her.

I didn’t go on Instagram to find someone, so this was an interesting turn of events!  Was this a real possibility…?

I was a bit under the weather upon my return, so last weekend was out.  In the meantime I had another idea.  How about a haunted house this weekend?  I made it clear that it was a date.  She was totally game, agreeing to it right away and joking that she’d probably be sharing my shirt.  And she liked that I’d chosen something unique.  Conversation was fun and flirty up until that point.

That was last Saturday.

Sunday night she posted an Instagram story.  She had gone out pumpkin picking with some guy.  I didn’t see him, but I saw his shadow while he was filming her goofing off with the pumpkins, pretending they were kettlebells.  Well… okay.  That didn’t necessarily mean anything.  Could have been a friend or family member for all I knew, but I made a mental note of it all the same.

Tuesday night she posted another Instagram story.  One of the clips was of her flipping through the pages of a new workout book.  I noticed “To Katie” scrawled on the inside cover.

“Awesome book!  Gift?” I messaged her.

No.

“Oh.  Autographed?” Maybe the guy who authored the book signed it for her.

No again.  “What’s with the questions lol.”

“I saw ‘To Katie’ written inside…”

“You’re very observant lol.”

I guess I am.  And I wasn’t asking out of suspicion, just genuine curiosity.  However she never did say who gave it to her, which seemed a bit evasive.  I didn’t press the issue beyond that exchange, but I did make another mental note.

Thursday night arrived. We’d still been chatting throughout the week, but not as much nor as flirty as it had been in the weeks prior.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but something felt slightly off.  Then I saw her latest Instagram story.  I swiped through and suddenly I saw some guy’s mug, captioned with “three days late but here’s my #mcm.”  (Man Crush Monday, for those of you who don’t know.)

Dafuq?  “So who’s your man crush?” I asked.

“Oh that lol.  It’s just a dare.”

“A dare?”

“Yeah a nice guy I talk to on here.  Into #gymlife and all that too.  He sent me this pic on here and I told him I’ll post it on my stories.  He said no you wouldn’t, so I did lol.”

“Gotcha,” I said.

But no matter which way I turned it, I couldn’t swallow it.  I’m not stupid and I can connect the dots.  It was time to tell this chick to pound sand, because I wasn’t going to be played like a sap.  I was busy all day Friday, but I messaged her Saturday at noon and gave her the standard, vague “something came up” line.

Unsurprisingly, she messaged back with: “Okay.  I actually can’t make it either.” LOL.  Of course not.  Probably doing something with this other guy.  So that’s that.  Another one bites the dust, but it was worth a shot.

Instead I called up a couple of friends and the three of us had a blast at the haunted house.  I jumped a few times, but for the most part it was hard to be scared when I knew to expect people hiding in the corners and such.  It was still pretty cool.  At one point we walked across a gangway inside a spinning tube, and we were dizzy and disoriented as fuck afterwards.  A couple of rooms and hallways were completely dark and we had to feel our way through, and it was those times that I was startled by horns and loud noises like firecrackers.   And naturally we made Samantha walk in front, because she scared the easiest and was great entertainment as a result.

And with that I crossed another item off my bucket list.  We did the haunted corn maze last year, but I wanted to do a proper haunted house.  So that’s done.  Next up I’d like to go apple picking while there’s still a little bit of time left and before everything’s picked out.  Hey – there’s still the rest of the weekend!  And the invitations to my Halloween party have gone out.  A few people have RSVP’d that they’re coming, but it looks to be a small, intimate gathering.  Well… gotta start somewhere.

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New

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

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


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

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

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

Stay tuned.

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.