Out of the Frying Pan

Well I like someone again. And to feel for someone else after the previous debacle (the source of which I will affectionately refer to from here on out as Adolf because I truly do believe he is a depraved, psychotic asshole and I will get around to writing more in depth about it eventually, maybe) is a relief because it means I am truly over him, but there is only a dead end at the end of this tunnel and I already know it so I’m not going to bother deluding myself about it.

I was still kind of reeling from the Adolf implosion when I matched with Ben on Bumble 9 days later (August 21), but I found him especially attractive with those high cheekbones and teal colored eyes. Not to mention that he looks quite dashing in an Army officer’s uniform. He stood out from the normal Bumble crowd immediately and I was excited when we matched. I obligatorily initiated conversation soon after and we mutually engaged without hassle.

He expressed reticence very early on about our distance, which was actually about 20 miles exaggerated to the north at the time because I was at work. However even normally he does live about a 45-minute drive south of me. I guess that’s maybe far or maybe not, depending on how much a person is worth to you. In any case, the conversation kept up and we even got around to making hang out plans for the next Tuesday that same day. He expressed an interest in FaceTiming beforehand, I guess to make sure he wasn’t getting bamboozled, which I thought was pretty smart and even better than a phone call.

We ended up doing so the next night. I’m Team Android though so he had to settle for video chatting through FB Messenger. He did once again express discontent with the distance factor, commenting that he didn’t think he would be able to go without seeing a girlfriend during the week. I mean, we don’t really live THAT far where we could only see each other on weekends, but whatever, dude. It was kind of annoying that that seemed to be some big hang-up of his, but besides that the conversation was not lacking by any means.

After we hung up he followed up with several amusing video clips of him good-naturedly harassing an older female colleague at work that he had described as his “work wife.” Around that time I took it upon myself to take a glance at his FB page, and what do I spy but a picture of him in early July with a female, captioned with a seemingly excited tone with “she’s in town.” Yikes. Knowing that he had only been re-stationed in this area since June, I made the assumption that this have been some type of girlfriend from his previous assignment. Or maybe even the one before that. Or who knows. There were no more pictures of them that I had access to from his page, and there was no tag for her to try to creep on her end. Nevertheless it was clear that this was some kind of special person to him, and that it was definitely a romantic scenario as inferred from some of his FB friends’ comments.

Well, damn. Slightly disappointed, but oh well…only a guy I knew from Bumble for 18 hours. Maybe I should’ve let it go then, but it felt good to actually be attracted to someone else and thus feeling like I was almost over the Adolf hurdle, so I ended up reaching out to him again through Bumble the day following the video chat and we chatted like normal. I didn’t feel like I had the right to question him about anything like some crazy person, so I didn’t.

I met Carly at the beach for an extended weekend and ended up staying 2 impromptu extra days, so we didn’t meet up that next Tuesday after all. We were still sporadically conversing through Bumble over that time but it was mostly me just being drunk and saying stupid things or sending suggestive pictures. I had kind of already written him off as a dating prospect so I wasn’t really caring about trying to present the best impression of myself, but I was still highly attracted to him and still interested in at least something, so I suggested the following: “So I feel like we probably shouldn’t date…but should have sex though.” He said that was fine if we hit it off. And then cue several bouts of x-rated conversation. And giving him my phone # so we could transition to texting, which he did pretty promptly.

We ended up making plans to hang out that Sat (Sept. 2) at about 5, originally, I think. We talked that morning to confirm and he gave me his home address. I knew it was just supposed to be a hookup type of thing, but I still didn’t really feel comfortable starting things off that way. I suggested maybe we initially meet somewhere in public that is nearby, and he suggested a local bar. Cool. But then that afternoon he started trying to push the time back 2 hours to 7 because of “college football.” Gee, thanks. I was annoyed because I felt like it was just some type of head game, so I suggested 6. We agreed on 6:30. Fine. Oh but then I get another text right as I’m about to get ready to suggest pushing it back to the next day.

Um, no. I told him I had plans. I really didn’t, but no. Because first I got the “college football” bullshit and then now he was telling me how tired he was from running and working out. This all from a guy whose Bumble profile featured a mini-rant in it about people making plans and then not sticking to them. Right.

A minor skirmish ensued through a series of ensuing texts where he told me that if I wanted to just come to his place and bang and then leave then that was fine, but he’s just tired and not leaving his apartment today. And I, in turn, got irritated because although I knew it was kind of just a hookup, I didn’t really want it to be so overt. When I contested that, he sent me a screenshot of my fatal Bumble drunken rumblings about just sex and then reiterated in so many words that he didn’t want to date someone so “far” away. Whatever.

I stopped answering after a while and went out and ate Mexican food and drank margaritas and felt better. But then the next day I felt kind of bad because I did give him a hard time even though he was just freely going along with what I said was cool. So I tried to be nice and flirty and essentially get us back to solid ground again, but his responses were terse and I wasn’t really feeling like his interest was anything but “Eh…” The last thing I said to him was that he was a hard nut to crack. He never responded and I resolved from then on not give him the time of day any longer. So I didn’t.

I noticed later that week that he had deleted his Bumble account. Not blocked or unmatched me because the conversation was still there, but he was showing up as a “Deleted User” and I had never seen that before and so had to do some research into what that means. It definitely just means he deleted his account altogether and not me specifically. So I figured he had found what he was looking for and was now out of the game. And maybe felt a small pang of regret at not having gotten the chance to meet him, but oh well. I had started entertaining an Air Force guy  who I saw a couple of times that week and was semi-interested in for all of 4 days, but then that ended up fizzling out and I was back to the  status quo.

Ten days after Ben and I last talked, I’m minding my business at work when I check my phone to find a FB message from him. It’s a video clip of him staring into the camera with those pretty eyes while eating a sweet potato for several seconds, culminating with him waving and and blowing a kiss. WTF?!

I asked him if that was meant specifically for me and he says yes. Okay, random…but then “catching up” conversation ensues. We eventually get around to agreeing on trying the hanging out thing again and decide on that Friday evening. It’s clear his motivation is sexual, but I’m perfectly with it this time.

I get to his area on Friday around 8 PM. Although he knew I was coming at this time, somehow he is still just finishing up a treadmill run and still needing to shower, so he meets me outside of his building and gives me a fist bump as a greeting since he’s sweaty. Even still, he’s tall and broad and cute. He takes me in his building and up to his apartment, which is kind of high end and very nice. He turns the living room TV on for me and promises me a quick shower. I take that opportunity to assess my surroundings.

As I’m exploring, I notice a birthday card on top of a pile of books. The outside looks benign enough, so I decide to be nosy. I already had a feeling, and yep…there’s pretty much a love letter written inside. Someone addressing him as “my love” and declaring that the best gift she can give him for his 38th year is her love and then signing off with a pet name. Cute. Oh well. Not anything I didn’t expect, given what I saw on his Facebook timeline. Whether it is the same girl or not, I have no way of knowing.

After he gets out of the shower and gets himself together, he offers me a drink. He happens to have some vodka and 0-calorie flavored seltzer on hand – perfect! He fixes it for me but I only get a couple of sips in before he wants to show me the view from the roof. We take the elevator up to the roof level, where it turns out there is a pool and a little clubhouse setting with an outside seating area. Pretty sweet. It’s a warm, clear night so we sit outside on patio for a little while admiring the view and talking. But then I’m ready to get back to my drink so we go back to his apartment.

We settle on the couch and talk while I sip my drink. I think he had opened a beer initially, but didn’t like the taste or something, so abandoned it. He’s very talkative and we converse for maybe an hour or so before he wants to take things to the bedroom, which I was ready for by then. Decent sex, nothing mind-blowing. The first time with someone is always a little awkward. He had to keep pausing from time to time so he didn’t cum too quick, which I guess was admirable, even if annoying.

After we finished, he offered me another drink. I took him up on it and he had a beer this time and we sat on the couch talking for another 45 minutes or so. I was worried about my car because the parking is atrocious in the area and so he directed me to park in a Whole Foods lot which is only good until about 10 PM, so around that time he walked me out to my car and that was that. Good times, I guess.

I thought he was hot and nice and that the sex had potential, but I left with the full intent of leaving it at just the hookup and not making any more contact. But around Wednesday, curiosity started getting the best of me. I just wanted to see how he would react if I said something, I guess. Or if he would respond at all. I messaged him with something silly and he replied. Eventually I added on “maybe we can do it again some time.” He said he hoped so and then told me to let him know when I’m free. I asked about either Friday or Saturday. He said he’d let me know the next day. The next day when I didn’t hear anything, I asked and he said he’d tell me later because an old girlfriend was going to be in the vicinity, but that he does want to see me again. “Oh” was all I could muster….not sure what I’m supposed to say to that. He never got back to me, as expected, since Ms. Ex-girlfriend was clearly going to be the priority, and I refrained from reaching out the rest of that day and Friday.

But then on Saturday morning I sent him a video of a military-related comedy skit. He responded and we had a little bit of an exchange that was positive, I guess. On Sunday I asked if he would be up for something during the week, and he responded affirmatively and we decided on Tuesday evening.

My arrival Tuesday night was almost exactly identical to the first time. I got to the area and parked, only this time in a metered space on the street that was now outside of payment hours and thus free.  He was once again just finishing a run and thus super sweaty when he came out to meet me. We walked up to his apartment and he took a quick shower.

No offers of drinks this time though – he pulled me into the bedroom soon after the shower and wanted to get the party started immediately. We warmed up and got to it and it was definitely much better the second time around, having now a familiarity with his body and how he moves and what he likes.

He wanted to take a break eventually and so we paused and laid around under the covers talking for about an hour or so. About murderers and work and exes and lions and tigers and bears and all that good stuff. There was no cuddling, but I had a hand on his chest and he had his on my thigh most of the time. When he was ready to go again, we got back to it and finished up.

It would’ve been nice to have been offered a post-coital drink again, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. After we were dressed and back out in the living room for 20 seconds, he said he would walk me out. But maybe I was just the littlest bit disappointed and it showed because when he came over to give me a hug he commented that I’m being “awkward.” Nope, everything is fine. When we were waiting for the elevator, I had my head turned but I could feel him staring at me. I looked at him and asked what was up and he said “Nothing.” Weird.

He walked me outside and back to my car and kissed me goodbye.

As I was driving home, I realized two things: (1) I like him. He’s cute, smart, funny, fit, active, and a good lover and I like talking to him and being around him. And (2) That’s the last time I will ever talk to or see him.

I think he would be up for banging me again if I reached out, but that’s all he is interested in and it’s not a good situation for me. Any attempts for me to try to take it to a dating or relationship level when I knew what it was going in would only end disastrously. We had a good time and I don’t want to mar that with drama, so I’m just going to wean myself off of him and leave it at that. It would be nice to hear from him again, but I’m not going to hold my breath or try and force the issue.

My persistent problem with men, which I think is a function of my semi-Type A personality, has been that when they are clearly emotionally unavailable from the get-go (like he is), or even if they were once into it but start growing aloof, I have a tendency to be a chaser. Not a good look.

He’s a great guy though and I will think of him fondly.

I’d Rather Be Single

About a month ago, Scout got assigned to work in the same building as me for a 2-month period, and it has been a treat seeing him in passing every so often. Otherwise we rarely ever see each other at work.

We’ve had lunch twice so far in a common area of the building, making sure to maintain a respectable “colleagues-who-are-definitely-not-romantically-involved” distance away from each other while doing so, if there is such a thing. But he did come bearing gifts for our first lunch:

Gunz

Some girls like lingerie, some girls like jewelry, and some girls like boxes of handgun ammunition. I’m actually good with any of them. I guess I’m easy to please.

I am starting to learn one thing, and that is that the ladies love them some Scout. When we had our first lunch, maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago, a lady I know just from in passing who saw us eating pulled me aside later to swoon over how good looking he is, and how several other women have been checking him out since he got here.

The same thing happened last year at a party we were at, where a girl I’m cool with, who obviously had no idea about me and Scout’s involvement, starting whispering to me about how “rape-a-licious” he is, but that he “doesn’t cheat.”

If only they knew. It amuses me. He is pretty hot, so it’s kind of flattering I suppose.

When I ran into him a couple of ours before our lunch last Thursday, it was only because I was wandering around his office area and happened to do a double take on a gentleman sitting at a random computer because he looked good even from behind. It took me a few seconds to realize it was Scout. He and the rest of his team don’t really have a defined office space so just kind of have to work wherever there is free space, so he was just randomly sitting there when I walked by and had no idea it was him.

I told him about that later and he termed it as “cheating on him with him,” which I guess in the grand scale of cheating, is better than cheating on him with someone who is not him.

As far as my attempts to find romance with someone who is actually single, I’ve resorted back to Tinder and it is not going well. The quality of men on Tinder has gone drastically downhill, and on top of that I’m just generally less patient and/or too picky and set in my ways, so I’m swiping left way more than right and have a very short fuse with anyone I match with who rubs me the wrong way.

I had a repeat match with an attorney – “Brian” – I matched with previously on Bumble and did not get along with. Though I did remember our unfruitful interaction on Bumble when I ran across him on Tinder, I swiped right anyway just out of curiosity. He is good looking after all even if he was a bit of a tool. That was a couple of months though, so maybe circumstances will have changed, I figured.

I found he had swiped right on me as well. He opened conversation immediately alluding to our previous Bumble encounter, so he obviously remembered me, but he claimed not to remember exactly what happened.

When I reminded him that he was being a sleaze-ball and it turned me off, he responded with:

Sleaze1

I would hardly call my behavior “coy” because I don’t want to essentially sext within 24 hours of a match. But okay, buddy. And OMG – a whole 30 miles! That also seems to be a thing on Tinder…apparently anything over a 15-minute drive is considered too much effort for many people. That, to me, is a sign of a someone who is more hookup oriented. If you’re just looking for an easy piece of ass, then I suppose that is a little far to travel. People who are looking for something/someone more meaningful recognize that said person may actually not live right next door to them. I search within a 35-mile distance as I figure it would not be outside the realm of possibility that a worthy candidate might necessitate a little more travel time. And that’s okay with me. I do think that’s why cars were invented, after all.

Anyway…this fool started rubbing me the wrong way with his general negativity, and I got bored quickly with this conversation and stopped answering soon after because I settled down in bed to read. When he didn’t get a response after 10 minutes or so, he sent me a snarky remark about this being a “repeat performance.” I explained the next morning that I had been reading. He replied like a normal polite person at first about a book he was reading, then reiterated that our distance is problematic for him. I wished him good luck and let that be that. I believe that was Friday morning.

Saturday evening I’m at dinner with girlfriends and I get this:

Sleaze2

And that’s just the kind of mood I’m in. He never replied and eventually unmatched with me. Oh well. He’s a giant tool and I really don’t care.

Besides, who needs him when there are charmers like “Steve. ” This was after we exchanged only a greeting to each other:

Good Lord. The Tinder cup does not runneth over.

Hatred Cradles

I turn 35 later this year and for some reason the thought of doing so has seemed so especially dreadful lately. I feel like I’m at my peak right now in terms of beauty and vibrancy and youthfulness and for some reason, at the stroke of midnight on my 35th birthday, that all starts to automatically decline and I officially become less desirable.

In short, I guess I’m starting to feel my biological clock ticking ever so louder, and not really feeling like I have anything to show for it. There is a small part of me that still ideally would like to explore the idea of having a kid or 2 at some point in life, so I suppose what’s frightening is the fact that no matter how young I may look and feel, my reproductive system declines more every year that passes. And should the auspicious occasion ever arise where I find a suitable candidate to reproduce with, it may be significantly more difficult, or impossible, to do so. Even worse, the opportunities I’ve had so far to bring life into the world will come back to haunt me. Maybe it’ll be my just desserts.

But on the other hand, being completely devoid of romance at the moment doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.I’m starting to think love just may not be in the cards for me. I’m not bitter, I’m not unhappy, I’m not depressed really at the thought of that, I’m just starting to come to the realization that that just might be what my destiny is and maybe instead of fighting against it, I should learn to accept it and to concentrate on other things.

Life seems so much simpler and less stressful when there’s no guy for me to worry about. When I’m not anxiously awaiting texts or continuously ruminating over whether *he* likes me or doesn’t like me. Even if a tad more gray and boring as well…but what’s the alternative?

The mere thought that I am worthy to someone, that someone out there is thinking of me and striving to make me smile, is a great feeling. I’m like a cat basking in the rays of the sun, slowly swishing my tail back and forth. Content. Then his attention wanes, the sun disappears, and I’m cold and lonely again. It blows.

People frequently gush over their “better halves” and how love has made them better people or enhanced their lives and blah, blah, blah, but I’ve never been able to share that sentiment. Romance to date has never made me a better person. I’m unequivocally all the worse for it. I’m anxious and needy and moody and at my most insecure. I’m bratty and whiny and pathetic.

“Isn’t it funny. I’m enjoying my hatred so much more than I ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you. Changes its mind…But hatred, now. That’s something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It’s hard or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but hatred cradles you.”

Ingrid Magnussen in White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Now, I’m not necessarily in complete agreement with Ms. Magnussen because she was seriously emotionally disturbed, but I can see where she’s coming from. I’m not a strong proponent of “hate” but I get her point about love. Because the periods in my life like right now, when there’s no one out there on my mind, I feel at my best. I’m confident and strong and secure. I feel beautiful and confident and like a force to be reckoned with.I don’t “hate” anyone, but in having no one to obsess over, I have more time to obsess about myself. In a good way.

And to be productive. I’ve lost weight, done a lot of reading, and as of late, with all the free time on my hands due to a lackluster social life (not just dating-wise, but also in terms of general drinking, which I’ve kind of lost the taste for as well), I’ve signed up for kickboxing and to tutor elementary school children in reading. I have also booked several traveling ventures for the year, including a trip to Costa Rica in December that so far just consists of myself. And whether I end up going alone or not doesn’t really matter.

That’s not to say I’m not lonely, because I am. As a heterosexual woman, I do miss having a male or several orbiting my atmosphere. Which is why I cracked over a week ago and renewed my Bumble account. Yet became quickly annoyed with seeing the same guys I used to see before, swiping left on most of that ilk. And also got annoyed  with the time limit stipulations (24 hours to open a conversation with a guy upon matching; but then he has to answer back within 24 hours as well or the match deletes), which made everything seem forced and rushed. Plus I wasn’t really a fan of being the one to have to initiate conversation 100% of the time.

I also called them out on the fact that they censor “gratuitous” swimsuit shots from women, yet I’ve seen a myriad of bathroom mirror selfies of bare-chested men. I sent them feedback, complete with an evidentiary screenshot, and got a form response. Screw you, Bumble.

So back to Tinder. And the quality of potential suitors is not at all impressive. I’m swiping left like 90% of the time because I’m being really discerning in who I match with, and most of these guys are not IT at all. But it’s a start I guess. Not that I’m expecting any miracles.

On another note…I ran across Benji’s profile on Bumble, promptly left-swiping. Then what do ya know – he texts me for the first time in 5 weeks, his explanation being that he got a vibe from me that I didn’t want to be bothered. Which is kind of true, but I didn’t want to be mean. He asked me out again for next Saturday and I told him I couldn’t make it. He then asked about Friday and I never answered.