Just Maybe

At this time there may be someone with potential on the horizon. We will just have to see how things play out.

It’s someone from work. We’ve been Facebook friends since some time around last summer. He sent a friend request and although I couldn’t recall ever meeting him, I could tell by our mutual friends that we were colleagues, so I accepted him. It didn’t hurt that I thought he was kind of cute.

I did some cursory exploration of his page and he looked like he may be young. Plus I’m not really one to initiate Facebook conversations with guys I don’t know, cute or not, so I left it at the add and that was that.

We had one brief conversation that he initiated last August regarding a work conference I was at, but otherwise it’s been nothing but distant Facebook interaction through sporadic picture and status likes.

Early last week I made a post in a Facebook group that is closed to all but people in my profession, and it became really popular. It was actually a screenshot of a Tinder conversation that was relevant to the industry and it got numerous likes and comments and all that jazz. Guy – let’s call him Vander– started messaging me through Facebook (this was Tuesday) regarding said post and from there we fell into conversation that extended over the course of the next several days. (I also got unwanted attention from some creepers as well – lucky me!)

I found myself slowly but surely starting to enjoy his conversation and it wasn’t too long before he started inserting flirtatious overtures into the mix from time to time. But I wasn’t quite sure how to take them being as it was apparent from Facebook tags on his page that he had a regular lady friend in the picture. I just didn’t really know how serious they were or what have you, but from pictures it was clear that they’ve been hanging out since at least late last summer.

I went over to a girlfriend’s for an indoor girls’ night with she and another friend on Friday night. We sipped on some wine and I talked here and there through Facebook with Vander over the night. At some point we decided to exchange numbers and some texting ensued. He made vague mention of being at an outing that I learned the next day, through Facebook, was some type of extended bachelor/bachelorette celebration that he was in attendance at with his lady friend.

I let on that I knew he was there with her (who I bitchily affectionately deemed “Liberal Schoolteacher”) and he acknowledged that he was, but said “thanks for the reminder” in kind of a way to imply that he wasn’t overly enthused about it. Which was already obvious given that we texted here and there throughout that day, even in the midst of some type of scavenger hunt that was going on (this was apparently a 2-day event).

It was Sunday evening when I started dropping hints about maybe hanging out, and he suggested Monday evening. I was off from work and my day was free and clear, so I was good with that. Only, when I tried to pinpoint a time for later on Monday around noon, he said he actually wasn’t sure that he’d be able to hang out. Grrrr.

I was a little peeved (or maybe slightly jealous), wondering if he turned out to have a date with Liberal Schoolteacher or something, but I didn’t push the issue or really show any irritation. Besides, he made up for it later that night when he asked if he could call me and we ended up talking for almost an hour. He apologized several times for backing out and said that there was a friend going through something that he had to attend to.

It occurred to me on Tuesday that I seemed to be just the slightest bit interested in this guy. I felt myself starting to look forward to his texts and to flirting with him, only there was the probable girlfriend issue at hand, and I didn’t want to engage in another “Chad scenario” – where I would be dumb and give the benefit of the doubt to someone about being involved and it turns out to be way more serious than I estimated or that he let on.

So I did some more snooping through his page, during which I noted that they were not “Facebook official,” and that 100% of the pictures of them together were those that she uploaded and tagged Vander in. Most tellingly, his body language in the majority of  their pictures – like 90% (not that there are that many) – read as kind of aloof. She always made sure to angle her body toward him with a hard cheesy smile, but he tended to be more straight-on toward the camera. It’s hard to explain, but it was visibly obvious that he didn’t seem to be that into her.

Or was it? I couldn’t be sure if I was actually reading that correctly, or if I just WANTED that to be the case because I was starting to feel a burgeoning interest in him. But funnily enough, when I decided to bring it up to him, he already knew what I meant. I only said I find his body language “interesting” in his “couple pics”…he himself described it as “standoffish.” When I asked why, he only responded “…………………..” and I knew right then what he meant.

Last night, we ended up talking on the phone again for quite a while in the evening, and he got more explicit about his relationship. He’s basically just not that into her, but she’s a nice girl and he doesn’t want to hurt her. They’ve been together since last summer as previously surmised, but had broken up for a month at some point when he had previously told her he wasn’t feeling it. But they ended up getting back together somehow. Yet, as he says it, she’s definitely not for him, and even friends of his have commented on how distant he looks in their pictures together, so it’s not just me who has noticed.

But it also turns out that he has a conscience and doesn’t want to be “that guy” who starts entertaining someone new while he is in a relationship. But along the same vein, it seemed like he was also worried about what kind of impression that would make on me rather than just merely being concerned about the relationship aspect itself. I told him I kind of understood….that naturally if you’re not into someone that you really haven’t been with that long, then feeling attraction toward other people is normal. But it would be up to him to resolve (or dissolve) his relationship before pursuing something else (whether with me or not). He agreed.

That’s all I got.

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.