Five

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Just marked the five year anniversary of my blog.  Wow… I can’t believe it’s been that long.  I’ve come a long way since I started this, although in some ways I still feel like I’m in the same place.  While I’ve finally shaken the albatross of virginity, my sexual experience is still frustratingly limited.  Another year has ticked by with little to show for it.  However I did have a flurry of dates after my experience with Jane.  Unfortunately they were all a bust and I consigned Bumble to the rubbish heap once again.

#44
First one up was a 37yo nurse.  85-90 percent of the women I see online are teachers, nurses or social workers, so she fit right in.  And once again I seemed to hit it off with someone older.  Only four years older, but still.  She messaged me saying my pictures were awesome, that I seemed like a fun/funny guy, and that she’d love to chat.  So we chatted, and before long things were pretty flirty.

We met a few days later during her work break.  I’ll be happy never seeing the inside of a Starbucks ever again, but it was quick and convenient.  We were also keen to meet and didn’t want to put it off any longer.  I liked her and thought we got on well, despite her dropping a bomb about being married before.  I had no idea.  She had to get back to work at the end of the hour.  She gave me a quick hug, and when I asked about seeing her again she said “we’ll see” and trotted off.

I knew what that meant.  Sure enough, she went from texting 24/7 to complete radio silence.  Didn’t respond to my follow up either.  Apparently that date didn’t go as well as I’d thought.  But I had an old instrument I’d wanted appraised and the music shop happened to be right across the street, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.  They told me they could fix it for 300, or buy it from me for 100.  I went with Option B, and that’s another item off my longstanding to-do list.

#45
I double-booked for the second time in my life.  A few hours after I met Nurse Ghost, I went out to dinner with a 32yo who worked for a nature conservancy.  It was nice to talk to someone with a unique career, and in a field of great interest to me.  We also had much in common with our musical and artistic backgrounds.

She warned me that she was shy and awkward, but that she was also very forward and didn’t have a problem making the first move.  Shy and awkward, but forward?  Uh… okay.  However when we met she was neither shy nor awkward nor forward – just disinterested, evidenced by several glances at her phone. I’ll admit my own interest was dampened when she disclosed that she was a single mom.

talk to girl with kids

Buzzkill.  I did my best to keep things light and fun, but I didn’t seem to be making any headway.  She asked little about myself in return, and by the time the check came it was clear neither of us was keen on prolonging the evening.  Afterwards we hugged good night went our separate ways.  By the time I got back to my car I’d already removed her from my contacts.  I’ve added and deleted more girls’ phone numbers than I can count at this point.

#46
I was almost ready to throw in the towel but I had one more lined up – a young hot 26yo.  I almost couldn’t believe she was interested in me.  She was a teacher (the number one profession of online daters).  We had a shared love of animals, the outdoors, being adventurous and trying new things.  We compared our to-do lists and decided to try an escape-room challenge together.

We settled on the “Killer Countdown.” She joked that she scared easily and might be clutching onto me.  Then she wanted to FaceTime to make sure I wasn’t a psycho before we got locked in a room together.  I’d never FaceTimed before.  It felt a bit weird but it was cool at the same time.   We chatted for ten or fifteen minutes and expressed our excitement about meeting.

The next night I met her outside the escape room place.  She came round the corner already looking less than enthused.  Turns out she reread the description online and learned we started the challenge chained to the wall, and she didn’t like that idea.  Before I could worry about that, we still had to figure out how to get into the building since the doors were locked.  I joked about that being part of the challenge, but she didn’t make a sound.

We ended up having to go around the back, and she was even more uncomfortable when she discovered we were the only ones there.  It’s common to be part of a group, but it was just the two of us.  You should have seen her face.  Well, I’d bought the tickets online and they were non-refundable.  There were five other rooms to choose from so I suggested we try a different one – maybe something less scary like the Game Room?

Nope, she didn’t even want to do that.  She grimaced at me and suggested we go somewhere and for a drink instead (which had been the plan for afterwards).  Sigh.  So I talked to the guy there and managed to switch our tickets to the next night, but I already sensed she wouldn’t be joining me.  As we walked out of the building she hinted that going for drinks would have been a better way way to get know each other than an escape room challenge.

I felt like a total ass when she said that.  Was this really a bad idea?  Then I was annoyed and bewildered, because I had included her in the decision-making.  This shouldn’t have been a surprise.  I didn’t spring this on her out of nowhere.  And what happened to all that jazz about being adventurous and trying new things?  What happened to the bubbly, energetic girl I had FaceTimed with?  She was walking along with a somber expression like we were going to a funeral.

I tried cracking another joke to lighten the atmosphere.  I’d stalked her Facebook and knew she was political, so I said, “meanwhile there’s a real life escape challenge going on in DC – they locked 100 Senators in a room and they have until midnight to prevent a government shutdown.”  Still nothing.  Tough crowd.  We made small talk and then we were accosted by a homeless person.  I didn’t understand any of his rambling speech except for his last sentence when he asked for some money.

I was in a charitable mood – plus she was watching me – so I fished out a dollar and gave it to him.  Then she gave him a 20-dollar bill.  “Wow, that was really generous of you,” I remarked as we continued down the sidewalk.  That finally animated her.  She launched into an impassioned speech about how she doesn’t judge people for their circumstances and it’s hard to ask people for money and why shouldn’t he have enough to get a meal, etc. etc.  Okay, I get it.  Just tell me I’m stingy then.

Before we met the homeless guy I was already wondering why I was bothering with this chick.  Apparently she was wondering the same about me, because she was texting every two minutes at the bar.  Each time I’d stop talking and wait for her to put the phone down.  I asked her about her teaching and her eyes lit up as she gushed about working with developmentally disabled kids.  Otherwise she was a bit clammed up.

Another text came in.  She picked up her phone yet again and I was stunned when she asked if I minded her friend Zachary joining us.  Apparently he lived in the area. Say what?  Were things going that badly that she needed the phone-a-friend lifeline?  I was so caught off guard that I didn’t know what to say besides, “um, no, I don’t mind.”  I figured she must have been really uninterested to pull a stunt like that.

In retrospect I should have just said good night, but I stupidly sat and continued talking to her.  I had a tall glass of beer I didn’t want to waste, and a small and silly part of my brain that thought I could still salvage things.  As soon as we finished our drinks she asked if we could cut things short so she could go meet her friend elsewhere.  Fine, whatever.  I waved her off, and erased her from my phone before she even reached the door.

Thus concluded one of the weirdest and worst dates I’d ever been on.  At least she bought her own drink and gave me the money for the escape room ticket, so I didn’t spend a single dollar on her ass.  I’ll give her credit for that much.

***

I was in a bit of a funk after three bad dates in a row, but a good night’s sleep cured all.  But upon reflection, many of my online dates went like that.  Either I thought they went well but apparently didn’t, or we got on well in text but there was a disconnect in person.  I’m sure most of those dates would have flopped regardless, but at the same time I can’t help think I should have had a little more luck out there.  Especially when I read about the online dates other bloggers are going on.

Of course, dating is harder as a guy.  I’ve also had more success offline than online, as I’ve noted before.  I’m still convinced that I’m better served getting off the apps and putting in the effort meeting people the old-fashioned way.  Half of what we communicate is through body language.  Chemistry is best figured out in person, without pretense or expectation.

So I’m shifting focus back onto the real world:  I went to another jam session, talked to some new people and may potentially join a new band.  I attended my old band’s fundraiser.  I’m getting back on the open mic circuit (I mean it this time).  I signed up for a Habitat for Humanity build.  I’m volunteering at my friend’s animal sanctuary next weekend.   I’m scouring Meetup for new activities.  Things are happening.

Fortunately my escape room tickets did not go to waste.  I had a do-over the following night with a friend visiting from out of town.  Second time was the charm for the Killer Countdown, and this time we were part of a group.  Of course.  And it wasn’t scary at all, nor did they lock the door or really chain us up (fire code regulations).  Not to mention we were on camera the whole time.  It was a hell of a lot of fun.

Instagram Girl

Even after she flaked on a date we were supposed to go on, she’d message me every once in a while and we’d chit chat.  Eventually she made noises again about getting together so I took the opportunity to ask what happened.

Me:  “I know we were supposed to go on a date a couple of months ago but then you said you couldn’t make it… I didn’t think you’d be interested in meeting me after that.”

IG Girl:  “I’m sorry, I have issues hahah.  I really overthink a lot when it comes to the opposite sex.  Negativity consumes me.  I always choke up at the last minute.  What if he didn’t like me?  What if he finds me annoying?  What if I’m not cool as he thought I was?  That kind of stuff.  I’m working on that, though.  My confidence with myself is slowly getting better.”

Then she apologized because her hormones were all out of whack and she was feeling lonely.  Good grief.  So I still feel like a dodged a bullet.  If nothing else she sounds like work.  I’d rather be involved with someone with more confidence and less issues.  Otherwise… been there, done that, didn’t work.

I haven’t heard much from her since, nor have I reached out.  I’ve moved on.  And that’s the round up.  So there’s nobody else on my radar, no prospects in the pipeline, and I look to be sexless and single for the near future.

But, as I’ve found out, things can turn on a dime.

Her

This is the story of how I met her.

I’ve been on Meetup.com for a couple of years.  I joined a bunch of groups and received regular email updates, but I’ve scarcely put in more effort than that.  But as I’ve said, I’m determined to get out and do more things and meet new people this year.  So I took a second, more serious look.  There was a hiking group that intrigued me and I went to one of their excursions a few weeks ago.

It was my first ever Meetup.

There were half a dozen of us and I was the only guy who happened to show at this particular hike.  The odds were in my favor, but looking for a girlfriend was the furthest thing from my mind that day.  As a result, I was totally and unabashedly myself.  I kept the group entertained with my wisecracks and anecdotes.

Rebecca liked my jokes.  I thought she was cute when I first met her, but at some point during the hike we  clicked.  It was just one of those things.  Now I know what people mean when they say that.  When we came to a grove of dogwoods I plucked a flower off one of the trees and gave it to her.

“Here, this is for you,” I said, presenting it to her like the cornball I am.  She couldn’t stop grinning and stuck it into the strap of her backpack, where it remained for the rest of the hike.  We stuck together for the last mile, asking each other questions and sharing stories.

Later that day she sent me a message through Meetup telling me how much she enjoyed meeting me on the hike.  I had noticed she had posted a couple of pics on the Meetup page, so I asked if she had taken any more?  I was fishing for contact information.  Turns out  I didn’t have to try too hard.  She said she took a bunch of pictures, and if I gave her my number then she would send them to me.

I was in.

By the next day we were Facebook friends.  By the next night we were swapping flirty and sexy messages.  By the next weekend we were going on our first date.

We live some distance apart, so I drove out to her area and we went to the wildlife preserve.  Once we checked out the birds we set off on one of the trails. I took her by the hand.  We found a bench by the water and I suggested we sit.   After a few minutes of talking I pulled her in for a kiss.  We made out for a while.  It was perfect.  I remembered her saying she liked ass grabs, and she nearly straddled me after I grabbed both cheeks.  Unfortunately we had to stop when we heard other people approaching.

It started to rain right after that and we had to hustle out of the park.  We went out for burgers (my kind of girl).  Then we went to see The Jungle Book, but we saw very little of the movie as we were too busy groping and fondling each other. That was the first time I ever did dinner and a movie for a date.  It was also the first time I gave a girl an orgasm.

When we started watching the movie, she had her legs crossed and my hand was resting on her thigh.  As the lights went down I pried her legs apart.  I ran my hand along the inside of her leg, back and forth, going further and further until I was brushing against her crotch.  Eventually my hand made its way down the front of her pants and I started massaging her.  I’d rub for a little bit, then stop and just rest my hand there as she writhed about in her seat trying to muffle her cries.  Finally I kept going without stopping, going harder and faster until she came.

“Oh, fuck…” she whispered, nearly rolling over the armrest into my lap.  She grabbed my arm and bit down on my shoulder, nearly putting a hole in my shirt in the process.

After the movie we drove down and parked by the inlet.  We sat there watching the water and talking for about two hours before  calling it a night.  We’d been together for over eight hours and neither one of us wanted the day to end.  But she wanted to take it slow and not rush things.  She wanted to try, at least.

I was really attracted to her.  She was a no-frills, no makeup, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of girl.  Simple tastes and easily amused like myself.  We both valued nature, fitness, and keeping it real.  We had the same kind of spirit, energy and sense of humor.  We just got and understood each other.  Things were comfortable from the start.  Everything felt right and natural.  Maybe it was because we were both the same sign (our birthdays are ten days apart).  I don’t really set stock by that sort of thing, but it’s always fun to think about.

We kept talking throughout the week and we went out again the following weekend.  This time she came to my area.

And things got a little steamier.

 

First dates:  37
Second dates:  4
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  9
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 3

Crush

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Over the weekend I had a semi-date with a girl I’ve been crushing on for a long time.  She’s recently single and I made a move.  This was my chance at last. I asked if she’d like to get together and grab some food and sit and chat.  We’d been Facebook friends for a long time, and while we talked a lot and knew a lot of the same people our paths had somehow never crossed.  So I was a nervous wreck to be meeting her properly for the first time.  All last week I was dropping stuff, knocking things over, running to the bathroom to pee 20 times a day… feeling heart flutters, stomach flip-flops, and shortness of breath… She was the first girl in a long time that seriously interested me, and someone I could actually see myself with.

The big day finally arrived and I did absolutely everything I could to get ready.  I got a haircut and even bought a new pair of pants just for the occasion.  I met her at the local diner and when she walked through the door I was just – wow. I was quite taken with her.  We slid into a booth and I could have sat there all night just drinking in her image.  I barely took my eyes off of her.

Things started out well, but as the evening progressed I just got more and more tongue-tied.  That was the effect she was having on me.  I didn’t make any serious blunders and I avoided putting my foot in my mouth, but overall I felt like I didn’t make a very good first impression.  

After almost an hour-and-a-half we hugged and parted ways, and I said “maybe we should get together again sometime down the road…” She responded with a “yeah, maybe” but didn’t sound very enthusiastic.  And with that I went home with a heavy heart.  I felt like I just blew a very important job interview.  Ugh.  And now that she’s no longer sitting in front me, I can think of hundred things I could have said, could have asked about, should have said instead…as always, I think of the best responses hours or days later. FML. 

So that was that.  I’d like to give it another chance.  Maybe I’ll ask her if she wants to get together again.  A while back I’d clued her into a cool local nature spot (we’re both into that kind of stuff), and once the weather gets a little warmer I’ll drop her a line and see if she wants to come along with me to check it out.  I didn’t get any sense when I met her that she was interested in me like I was interested in her, but we’ll see.  In any case, right now it looks like I can probably cross her off my list.

Unfortunately, there’s nobody else on my list right now.  Not only have I not received any new messages on OKC, but nobody’s even visited my profile lately.  I logged in for the first time in almost two weeks and there wasn’t a single notification waiting for me.  I’m wondering if I should revert to a previous version of my profile, because what I have now doesn’t seem to be working this time around.

I’m already involved in various groups/organizations/activities.  Most of the girls I meet there are already in relationships, engaged, or married.  The few that are available are either not appealing or not interested.  I’m not sure what else I can do right now to meet new people.  I can’t fill up my social calendar any more than it already is – I’m already out and about 4-5 nights a week, and now that my job is picking up I’m going to be working like gangbusters from now through December.  

30 is starting to loom uncomfortably on the horizon.  I don’t have a deadline for being in a relationship (and consequently losing my virginity), but I really don’t want to have spent the entirety of my twenties being single with a total of only one or two dates to show for it.  I follow blogs by my peers and I read all about the dates they’re going on and the great sex they’re having and all the fun things they’re doing with their significant others, and it makes me sad.  This is time of my life that I want to be experiencing these things, and I feel like I’m really missing out.

I hate when people say things to me like, “Oh, don’t worry, so-and-so didn’t find someone until he was almost 50.”

50.

Um, yeah, that doesn’t cheer me one bit.

First dates:  2
Second dates:  0

So close, yet so far

First, an update. Jumping Jack Studios had a good bit of advice for me: instead of asking people out on OKC, move the conversation to the phone and then ask them out. Well, I’d already been trying to move conversations onto the phone, but now I’d make more of an effort to do so before suggesting meeting.

So here’s the rundown of the latest:

Fashion Girl 2
She initiated contact. After two weeks of messaging I asked for her number, and I got it. But when I called her she didn’t answer so I left a voicemail. She didn’t call back, but she did view my profile at least a half-dozen times in the days immediately following. And that was that.

Science Girl
She mentioned on her profile that “you should message me if you’re not embarrassed easily,” among other reasons. She was a really fun, goofy type and sounded awesome in every respect. And smoking hot, too. I dithered about for a few weeks because I wanted to approach with caution. I didn’t want to risk messing it up. Finally I came up with this and sent it to her:

“One time I went into Best Buy dressed as Napoleon Dynamite and did the whole dance in the middle of the store. With music. I’m sure that qualifies as ‘not embarrassed easily.’ Although I did have some cover with the fact that it was around Halloween. But I digress. So is that in line with the sort of thing you’re into?”

She wrote back the next day saying “this is the greatest message I’ve ever received on this site.” Yes! I was in! And then she took her profile down. FUCK.

Music Girl
Wasted two weeks with this one. I sent the first message, and while she kept writing back, she almost never asked me anything about myself in return.  I take our one-sided conversation as a lack of interest on her part. So her last message to me is languishing in my inbox and it will soon die of natural causes.

Art Girl (from previous post)
She finally returned my phone message… weeks later. Left a voicemail telling me she was really busy which was why she never got back to me. I just deleted her message. Too late. Surely you could have found 30 measly seconds during all that time.

Library Girl 2
She wrote me first. We really hit it off – we had the same wicked humor, we liked the same books and the same music, we were both outdoorsy types and liked the same nature spots in the area… it was while we were talking about nature spots that the conversation drifted to other favorite locales, and then she mentioned this coffee place she really liked. Couldn’t have asked for a better opening. I’m not really a coffee drinker, but I can pretend when a first date depends on it. We’d been talking almost three weeks by this point, so I suggested meeting AND asked for her number at the same time so we could talk on the phone first and then hash out the details. Apparently she wasn’t keen on this idea, because not only did she not respond but she took her profile down the next day. Dafuq…?

Single Mother 11
She sent me a message that she thought I was one of the most interesting, intelligent, and attractive people on the site, and wanted to get to know me. I just nodded my head in agreement. But apparently she missed the part about me not wanting kids. Sigh. What to do with this one…

Yoga Girl
I invested almost an entire month in this one. Three weeks on OKC. One week on the phone. THEN I suggested meeting. Dinner and a movie, the old cliché, but she left an opening when she told me she likes going to movies but needs someone to go with. I’d have to be a complete numbskull to miss that one. And she was totally down for it. She even told me I had voice like chocolate (whatever that meant).

There was only one problem: she completely stood me up. I never heard anything from her since.  And guess what else? She took her profile down the next day.  (For some reason that happens to me a lot.)  And this is the second time I’ve been stood up.  Five-and-a-half years on this site, and the closest I’ve gotten in all that time is getting stood up twice. Meanwhile, every time I log into WordPress and open my Reader tab I’m bombarded with posts from bloggers I follow, describing the people they’ve met and the dates they’ve gone on. Shitty dates, maybe, but at least they’re going on dates. I don’t get it.

It don’t mean a thing…

‘Twas time for swing dancing!  It’s been a while since I’d gone, and a while since I’d been out of the house, so I killed two birds with one stone tonight.  This time I arrived early and derived the benefits of the half-hour lesson that starts the evening (I missed it last time).  I learned some new steps and brushed up on the old ones.  I wasn’t worried about losing anything during my long absence; I spend most nights sliding around my house in my socks and underwear like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.  You know – practice.

Swing dancing is great  I finally get to dance with girls, and they actually seem to enjoy dancing with me!  Awesome.  Not only that, but the people there are all so friendly and outgoing and approachable.  It’s almost unnerving.  I’m not used to that.  Maybe I’ve unwittingly stumbled across a cult…  But what’s nice about swing dancing is that you can ask pretty much anyone there to dance and nobody turns you down.  You get a turn with everybody in the room.

Once again were a few young lovelies in attendance, some I recognized from last time and some new faces as well.  I took a few spins around the dance floor with each of them, which was great.  I was really getting into the “swing” of things.  They also play an occasional non-swing dance tune throughout the night, which mixes things up nicely.  I was in the middle of dancing with this real pretty girl when a waltz came on.  Ho, boy!  I may not know how to really swing yet, but I sure as hell know how to waltz.  However, the girl I was with didn’t.

“It’s easy,” I told her, putting one arm around her and holding up her other arm.  “Just follow my lead…” And away we went!  In fact, all the couples formed up into one ring encircling the entire dance floor.  It was awesome.  Probably the closest I’ll get to being in a Viennese Ball.  But what I wouldn’t give to find someone I could do this with all the time.

The girl in my arms sighed contentedly at the end of the dance.  “You’ll have to show me how to waltz sometime,” she said.  “I just wish my boyfriend could dance like that…”

Boyfriend.  Of course.

But whatever.  Tonight was easily the most fun I’ve had in some time.

She wears an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny yellow polka-dot bikini

I don’t understand why people on the checkout line always have to be right up my ass with their purchases.  Nudging me with their shopping carts.  Breathing on the back of my neck.  And as soon as one measly square inch of space opens up on the conveyor belt they rush to start piling on as many things as they can, vertically if they have to until it resembles a Jenga tower.

Really?  Is that somehow going to get you out of the store faster?  You do know there are still two people in front of you on line and you’re still going to have to stand here for six more minutes until they’re finished, right?  Sigh.  These are probably the same people that are burning rubber out of the parking lot because they’re in a big rush to get to the red light.

Assholes.

So I was at the store tonight, and sure enough I could sense somebody shifting back and forth behind me, and out of my peripheral vision I could see someone peeping around me.  Finally there came a nudge in my back.  I turned around.

“Hey, do you mind if I cut in front of you?  I’ve only got this one thing…” this girl asked me.  She held up her hand and dangling from her finger was a hanger with the tiniest bikini I’d ever seen.  And she had the body to wear it.  Wow.  Holy crap.  My jaw dropped open, and I think my eyes might have bugged out of my head a little.

“Uh… yeah, sure.  Go right ahead!” I finally squeaked out.

She laughed and put a hand on my upper arm.  “Oh no, I’m not really in a hurry!  I just wanted to see what you were going to say.  I thought you were going to give me a dirty look or something.”

My brain whirred frantically, struggling to produce a witty response.  I came up with: “Well, I might have given you a dirty look if it was a Monday or something…”  Huh!?  What the hell does that even mean??  However, she thought it was funny.  Strangely enough.

The line was at a standstill at this point, so she looked over and muttered to me, “My God, what is the hold up?”

“Who knows?” I said.  “Maybe they ran out of quarters or something.”

“Ha!  Don’t say that!  You don’t want to jinx us…” she told me.

“Well, usually when I’m on a non-moving line like this it’s because there’s an old lady at the front who’s rummaging in a purse the size of a potato sack trying to find a nickel or her 15% off Rice-A-Roni coupon,” I said.  She thought that was hilarious, and she started gripping my forearm instead.  By this point she wasn’t standing behind me anymore; she was right next to me. Huh?

Finally the line started moving again, and guess what happened when I got to the register?  No quarters.  So I had to stand there and wait for someone to bring them over so I could get my change.  Bikini Girl and I laughed about that, then we bade each other smiley good-nights and I walked out of the store in a daze.

As soon as I was outside on the sidewalk the fresh air hit me and I stopped in my tracks.  I stared unseeing at the parking lot in front of me.  I felt my brain running in overdrive.  That was one of the most bizarre things that’s happened to me in a long time.  What the hell just happened?  What was that all about?  Was she… hitting on me?  Is that possible?  Nah, that’s impossible.  Girls who look like that… don’t even talk to guys like me, let alone hit on them.  Or do they…? 

Nobody else had come out of the store yet, so I turned around and went right back in.  She was gone.  Completely went ghost on me.  Whoa.  I still have no idea what I was going to do or say when I found her, but she was nowhere to be found.  Dammit.  I turned back around and trudged out of the store, my heart hammering wildly in my chest.

Ughhhhhh….

Please tell me that I’m just reading way too much into this, as usual.  Please tell me I didn’t just miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

Getting into the Habitat

This weekend I continued my efforts to get off the computer and back into the real world to meet new people.  After tackling swing dancing (which I can’t wait to get back to), I spent today doing something else I’ve long wanted to do: volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.  And it wasn’t just any old volunteer project, it was a wall-raising!  Yes!  Exactly what I wanted to do.

Last month they were sponsoring a Valentine’s Day build for young single professionals, held on the weekend before V-Day, but a monster blizzard forced them to reschedule it for two weeks later.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make the new date.  Oh well.  That would have been perfect for me though – just what I was looking for.  But no matter.

When I arrived at the build site this morning it was pretty much what I expected: mostly middle-aged men with beer guts.  However, there were a few people my age there as well – including a couple of girls – and I introduced myself all around.  Turns out I wasn’t the only person there for the first time.

When I came around to the girls I looked the first one up and down:  designer jeans, overcoat, hat, scarf, nail polish, heels

“You’re a little overdressed for this, aren’t you?” I inquired.

“Oh, I’m just here to see my boyfriend off.”

Boyfriend.  Of course.  And moments later I saw her turn to one of the guys and give him a big sloppy kiss before she flounced away.  I just shook my head.  See him off?  You’d think they were two lovers saying goodbye at the train station before he goes off to war.  I thought it was a little odd, but maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the head honchos from Habitat were there and before we started work they spoke to us and gave their little spiel about what the organization does and how it works, and then they introduced us to the family whose house it was going to be, and told us that the family would in fact be working alongside us today.  Cool beans.

I found myself occasionally working alongside the other girl that was there and we exchanged a bit of small talk now and then.  At one point I happened to glance behind me.  Whoa.  I leaned my head in towards hers and said, “whatever you do, don’t turn around.”

“Huh?  Why – ?” she asked, turning around.  “Oh God…”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” I said.  “Some people here are suffering from PACS.”

“PACS?” she shot me a quizzical look.

“Plumber’s Ass-Crack Syndrome,” I replied simply.  She burst out laughing.  I grinned.  “Either that or they all bought their pants at The Gap,” I continued.  Now she was in a full-on fit of hysterical giggling.  Geez.  I didn’t think it was that funny.

Later on we met again at another part of the house and I asked, “did you say this was your first time volunteering?”

“No,” she said, “I’ve worked with Habitat three or four times before.  I’d like to get my boyfriend to come with me but he’s always busy.”

Boyfriend.  Of course.

So after that I was able to relax once I found out she wasn’t single.  I always find it much easier to talk to girls then.  But never mind that – today I was more interested in the work we were doing for this family.  In between our short chats and banter I also got to work alongside some of the other men, including the foreman and the various family members who were helping us erect their house.  It was very interesting talking to each person and finding out how they got involved in Habitat.

Then before I knew it, we had the whole frame of the house up.  And then everybody was gone.  I couldn’t believe how fast the day went.  But what a great feeling!  I can’t wait to do this again.