Walk of Shame

I heard from John every minute he had WiFi in the air and as soon as he landed. He landed at 3pm after a 25 hour flight and we were due to meet at 7pm. I was feeling more nervous than anything because I wasn’t certain about him. I mean, there was nothing that rang alarm bells for me but it was the absence of red flags that caught me.

I kept thinking “could someone be so practiced at the chase that they would engage that way?” Generally speaking, after years of practice, I can tell when they are after sex. It’s always obvious. Nothing about John seemed obvious to me.

I got ready. I looked hot, probably the best hot date outfit I’ve ever worn! The good thing about it was that no one but me could get it off. Normally I wouldn’t wear panties either, but I knew I needed to practice a bit of moderation if there was any hope of a second date.

I arrived first and he was soon behind. The strange thing, for me, was that I wanted to kiss him immediately! I wanted to touch him and make sure he was real and there in front of me. He looked just like his photos, and he has a boyish charm. He is very educated, well spoken and an amazing conversationalist. We quickly agreed to eat at the bar rather than a table and he soon pulled me in for a delicious kiss. We shared our dinner, though he may have done that for me rather than what he prefers. I don’t eat much so I think once he realized that he was less concerned about sharing. Our conversation was exactly as it had been on the phone – easy, casual, engaging and charged with attraction. Mid-way through the date he couldn’t take his hands from me. His erection was obvious after each deep kiss. We both like PDA so this went well and nothing was uncomfortable.

The only thing I noticed, and believe me I was looking for what I kept thinking I missed, was he wasn’t overly engaged in my stories to hear then through the to end. He often had a comment or a similar situation to offer up. Even my adoption story – which is completely unique – had a John story to counter it. Seriously, there were no other missteps or obvious red flags.

And, by the way, I caught him adjusting himself as he turned and tried to do it discreetly. Proof that the Dick Adjustor date was just a used douche in disguise.

Anyway, dinner was lovely and he asked to take me to ice cream. The line was long and he was debating if he wanted to wait. In the meantime we found a dark corner and made out like crazy. It wasn’t frenzied on my behalf, I think more so on his, but it was lovely. I hadn’t kissed with this level of passion in a long time. It felt so good to be ignited again. His hands roamed under my dress and he moaned with appreciation. I suggested we get the ice cream and he agreed he needed a distraction to calm down.

The ice cream was fine, he even shared his (mine was just ok) and we had a little stroll. He then offered me a drink at the bar we were standing in front of or to go back to his apartment. I chose the apartment. I knew it was too late to drive home and I had two or three glasses of wine earlier. I really believed we could make the night without sex.

He had a nice, almost brand new apartment that was definitely a bachelor pad. He lives two hours away from his family and friends and had moved out of his marital house and to this location for a new job just about a year ago. You could tell he only hung his hat here and this wasn’t home. He took the new job for the title and I believe he has every intention to moving back to his home-town after a few years. There was a great outdoor patio that we could enjoy and he poured us some wine.

The talking and kissing continued and the wine flowed. The kissing turned into my panties coming down and his mouth on me, which in turn led to me unzipping his pants. I started to give him a blow job and then, ultimately, sat on his cock. The position was so good, and I’ve become so strong, that I was able to climax which surprised me! John is the smallest of any man I’ve ever been with. I wasn’t sure how this would go over for me. I feel bad for saying it, but he was smaller than what I considered average. He seemed to make up for lack of size with his motions. He was an excellent lover. The sex was fabulous. He picked me up and turned me around and took me from behind. His low, guttural sounds were so sexy.

I had managed to have sex with my clothes on. I thought I escaped the worst of it. But when he went back in more wine and came back out to me, he said “you know sex is supposed to be fully reciprocal and that’s how I like it – I want you to be pleased in every way, so why won’t you get undressed for me?” I said I was uncomfortable. Then he said “I saw the bandage so why don’t you just tell me?”

Cue the tears. Not loud messy ones but great big alligator tears just escaped and rolled down my face. Truly, I don’t recall what happened or what I said in enough detail. I know I said I was embarrassed of my scars from surgery (he had open heart surgery and pointed at his scar, which is a straight line and totally skin colored, not nearly the same as a hole in your belly). I believe I also said I thought if we didn’t have sex right away then it would give me a little time to adjust and I wouldn’t be worried it was because of the wounds that I wouldn’t see him again. He shook his head at this and said “did you really think I wouldn’t call again or see you on Sunday?” I don’t recall the rest. I had drank too much and was too upset. It wasn’t a long conversation and I ultimately popped up and offered him a solution “I will put on a big T-shirt”.

I went into the bathroom and came out in my long nightshirt. No panties. He liked this better but it still didn’t give his mouth access to my breasts. I was really stressed about my belly and breasts. My breasts have lost all their shape and just hang there like empty, deflated balloons and the scars are deep and still ugly and create two pouches of flesh on either side of them. I couldn’t get over this. Yes, I had been naked 3 times before with men, and drunk each time, but I didn’t care what those men thought since I didn’t see long term potential the same way I saw with John. I was really scared that a man who does CrossFit and mentions how important a thin and sexy body is to him, would find fault in my belly. It is ugly, I have to admit. And if I was in top facing him, I would be so far out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ready for that on date one.

But he was. We had sex two more times that evening with my T-shirt on. I’m sure it rose but I had a skin colored big bandage on to cover the worst of it. He never did get to my breasts because I stopped him a few times.

We slept nicely together l, he held me a long time and we separated when it was too hot. I always felt him touching me and he was a great morning lover, all cuddles and then great sexy to follow. I did get on top of him and was surprised I came with a bit of effort, but he said he loved it and would come for me while I was in top – which he said is rare for him.

Now for the awkward part. I had to text my friend to ask how to do the walk of shame properly! I had never actually done it and didn’t even realize it! There was very little sex where I didn’t know what the morning would bring because I was generally with the man for more time. This was clearly a “get your stuff and get out moment”. Until he asked if I wanted coffee, which I accepted.

I sat to drink my coffee while he puttered around cleaning up. It was fascinating. I had never seen a man do this before either! Well, Tony did, but it was at my house. I started to feel like I really needed to get out of there so I changed, brushed my teeth and left. He asked me to let him know when I got home. Something felt off but I can’t quite describe it.

I Don’t Even Understand How Dating Works Anymore….

I know it’s been some time since I’ve written, but honestly there wasn’t much to report.

Adjusting to work and the commute has frankly sucked. I’m between a rock and hard spot to sort of “interview” during this freelance period and show them what I can do so they may consider hiring me. Conversely, I don’t want to give away my best ideas and skills for free since they are not paying me near what I’m worth. I also find myself not wanting to work 60-70 hour weeks being paid less than what I’m worth, even if the pay is fair enough for the current role I’m performing. It’s really a catch 22 at the moment. I work remote Friday’s which I know they don’t love but it’s saving my sanity.

I also realize after all I’ve been through that I no longer have the killer instinct. I know it may come back, but for now I know I still need more rest than normal. I must take care of myself.

Finding a workout balance has been tough at best. I leave at 7am and I’m home at 730/8pm. I’m starving and need to eat which means I don’t start working out til post 8/830. I need to be sleeping by 10 to function. It’s a killer and I’m trying to figure it all out. When I missed my first day in 160 days, I panicked for a moment and then told myself this: I missed the workout because I was having so much fun with my friends. My priority that Sunday was my emotional well being. I truly didn’t feel as bad as I thought (which honestly is the bigger worry, I don’t want any excuses to slip in and take over again). Then, just a few days later, the same thing happened: I randomly missed a workout.

My workouts are simply Peloton related. It could be a quick 5 minute stretch, yoga, meditation or something active. My commitment to myself was to make it part of my life every day. When I make it a priority I always figure out how to make it happen. I can’t figure out how to get the quantity (in time and effort) I prefer but I may have to adjust my lens on what’s feasible when I’m working and commuting.

When I missed the second day, I realized it just past midnight. I missed it because I was on the phone with a man I had matched with and we had some crazy connection. He was traveling in India, so it was his morning to my night. John is the reason for the post, actually.

I matched with John on Bumble. He wasn’t exactly my physical type but he met enough criteria. He was out of my distance range so it was a surprise he came up as a match. On Bumble the woman initiates the conversation and he replied quickly. We both had a lot going on and agreed to exchange phone numbers more quickly than usual. We both happened to be going into the city with friends for the evening. Surprisingly, we kept in touch. We both found each other interesting enough to communicate while with friends. It wasn’t a lot, but it was sweet. And we were both drunk. No sexting. Just funny text.

He was leaving for India the next day. I was still in the city with my friends for another evening. We text chat back and forth most of the day and then he called me when he arrived to the airport. We spoke for over an hour through airport security and dropped calls. We just kept going. He was fun, interesting, intelligent and I enjoyed speaking to him.

I didn’t get the butterflies I’ve gotten so often in the past when a man begins to check my boxes. This didn’t feel like that. I just liked him. He wasn’t overt, it was a really genuinely easy conversation from one topic to another. We had everything in common – and I mean everything. There was nothing we didn’t see eye to eye on and that was truly the strangest part. We weren’t excitable with one another, no one was giddy or coming on to the other – it was just easy. He asked a lot of questions that showed me he was interested. He answered any question I had as well as offered up his own stories.

Off he went to the plane and the communication didn’t stop! He had WiFi and text throughout the flight while he was awake. He text me through his 25 hour journey to India. He was so communicative that I became more interested and engaged after a few days of his attention – no one had communicated like this with me since Tony. He wasn’t as flattering as Tony was (because Tony was in immediate limerence) but he was eager and interested. I started to drop my guard. Within the week I began to expect his text because he was so consistent.

While John traveled for the week, I was having a killer week at work. But somehow, we communicated consistently. No good mornings every day kind of thing, but I knew he was texting me pretty soon after he woke up and looking for me to chat while we had some crossover time. He was consistently responsive. After 4/5 days of text, the conversation had taken on an incredulous tone for both of us – we still hadn’t found one thing, not one thing, that we disagreed on. I finally threw out dance music and he admitted he didn’t like it! But seriously, that was it. Really and truly – every thing else was aligned: family, religion, politics, jobs, travel, clothing, shopping, food, music, exercise, activity, favorite places, friends etc etc etc. it felt like Tony without the limerence. It was more than clear he was attracted, but it never got over the top until the last day before he returned home.

We had avoided all sex talk and it eventually made it around to some teasing. In an effort not to tease him directly but to still share my crazy sexuality, I sent an old blog story I had written. Surprisingly (again, it was common at this point) he wrote me back a sexy story! Bobby and I used to do this and I loved it, but never thought it would happen again! And here it was, happening without any pressure. He just wrote! I had crossed over into shock as did he. We both started to say “how can you be real?” Multiple times.

The sexy talk continued, I admit I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to stop but I didn’t. It wasn’t too crazy but it was a tease. He loved it. I loved it. We made plans to meet Sunday. In between it all we had normal conversation. Some he initiated and some I initiated. I began to get a little excited because I hadn’t met a man like this since Tony. He was arriving home on Friday and then driving up to see his son Saturday. He would come to me Sunday after he saw his son on the way home from his trip.

But, at some point he began to tell me there was just no way he could wait til Sunday to meet me. He wanted to meet me now! I felt like everything was entirely genuine about our connection. I wanted to meet him as much as he wanted to meet me. I had no concern we wouldn’t be attracted. We already wanted to sleep together. He was willing to get off the plane from India and drive the hour to meet me.

That didn’t feel right or fair to me. 24 hours of travel would kill me. I agreed to see him and offered to drive to him. I spoke to my girlfriend about this and she agreed and told me to throw an overnight bag in just in case.

Now I began to worry. The chemistry was off the charts, I knew it would be in person, and if it really did work between us – I was going to have to explain my scars before getting undressed. Because I was getting queasy of this, I finally decided I just wouldn’t get undressed on the first date – even if I did stay overnight with him – that I wouldn’t have sex with him. I should have known myself better, but I kept telling myself I could hold out.

So while I was debating internally – I sent him this text at the same exact time he was typing a text with the exact same thought:

Exchanges like this happened pretty frequently – we were just in the same wavelength.

I included some snippets of conversation – just to show you how equally engaged he was be the end of the week:

I was convinced by his repetition of his interest in me and his consistency in his language.

So, I totally agreed to drive to him on Friday night and wear a sexy pair of heels (part of the discussion above). I was really excited and hadn’t felt the butterflies in so long that I actually wasn’t even sure what I was feeling.

My emotions were saying “hell,yes, real potential here!” And my brain was saying “how good is he at convincing a woman to sleep with him? And if he repeats the body type during the conversation more than once, will he be able to manage my wounds? I don’t think so, he’s going to get grossed out by my naked self”

And those are the thoughts that kept me awake Thursday night. Would I disappoint him? I was so confused.

He’s Definitely Not for Me

For anyone that assumes I’m overly conservative, I hope this post reflects differently.

I am not prejudice. I do believe all people should be allowed to love whomever they want and and exhibit their identity in any way that makes them feel comfortable. Humans are humans regardless of sexual orientation, religion or skin color. To think of a human being, in my humble opinion, any other way, differently means you are biased.

Is it ok to be biased? I don’t think so and my values guide me here. This post is specifically about a conversation around sexual identity that pushed me over the edge with Rob2. Some of you have commented that you couldn’t be with people of differing political opinions and this probably falls into that camp. However, it was much less about his opinion than his inability to see he was prejudiced.

If you choose to be prejudice – I say own that fucker. Don’t hide your values. Speak your truth. No one needs to agree with you and the people that don’t agree also don’t have to interact with you if they choose not to. Don’t pretend you are not homophonic when you are. Back-pedaling on your values is bullshit in my opinion. I lived with a man for 22 years who did that and now claims he’s the most open minded person on the planet, while still cracking racial, ethnic or religious jokes. I call bullshit.

Ok, anyway, back to Rob2.

After our date we kept in touch and he called on Saturday morning from the beach. He asked what I was doing for the weekend. So, I told him “blah, blah, more blah and then going to a large Pride event.” His reaction was instantaneous and definitely surprising “Wait! Are you gay?” A pause. “or bisexual?” Another long pause. “I mean I think I have a right to ask that.”

Why did those questions bug me? Because he immediately assumes going to a Pride event was sexually related. How sad you don’t know anything.

First off buddy, no you have no right to ask that because we’ve been on two dates. Secondly, what a douchebag! Because I choose to participate in a Pride event you immediate correlate that to me being gay? If I go to a black Pride March or to an Autism event – am I black or autistic? Does it matter?You stupid ass.

I am an Ally. The rest isn’t any of your business. He didn’t even know what an Ally was.

I was literally about to tell him that I didn’t think it was working out right before this question, but my fire was lit and I was going to see it through.

Now he had to prove his point so he moved on to a poor analogy. He started with “I used to be homophobic and biased but Ive learned I HAD to accept it”. His language was getting worse by the minute. I paused an politely said “you are still those things if you feel you HAVE to accept it, as if accepting it is your right.” He was inflamed by this response and I got a 20 minute long speech that I didn’t understand what he was saying and “of course all people need to learn to accept change” while he focused on his argument being over the word ACCEPT.

My debate wasn’t over the word accept. My debate was his reaction and then his actual wording of “HAVE TO ACCEPT”. You don’t have to do anything if you own up to your values. And if you think you “HAVE” to accept another humans choice of sexuality or sexual identity then you are, simply put, homophobic.

He used an example of a postman delivering mail on one side of the street for 20 years and a different postman on the other side. His postman gets fired and the other postman now needs to deliver on his side of the street and service is not the same. But he HAS TO ACCEPT this change. My only reply to this inane analogy was “that’s not about a human life”.

So he compared it to our country in the 50s when white people HAD TO ACCEPT black people. Ummmmm wtf dude.

The entire idea of inequality due to sexual orientation or race is wrong from the beginning – and YOU, dude, don’t need to ACCEPT anyone and can go on your merry fucking way. No one is oppressing you. His final clincher was comparing his need to accept others and the impact that acceptance had on his life to being oppressed himself.

I was done. He was arguing the ridiculous and he was forcing the argument on me when I said multiple times “let’s drop this.”

So let’s drop what the argument was about. I can tolerate a difference of opinion. But here’s what I couldn’t tolerate:

1. He asked me if I was gay straighten up – and stated he had a right to ask.

2. He argued til he was out of breath.

3. He told me I shut him down and wasn’t Listening to his defense.

4. He backpedaled and changed the argument to the word “accept” which wasn’t where the disagreement started – but he was so busy defending himself he didn’t hear me clearly state it was in his wording.

I don’t actually know if I’m expressing this quite the way it happened because he was so blind and I was tuning him out mostly. He was debating with himself.

And then, of course (as he’s done this multiple times with sexual innuendo) he says “I’m sorry if you think I’m being difficult, I really don’t care, I’m just arguing the other side of the point because I love a good debate”

The Pride Parade was fabulous. The happiness, positivity and joyful vibes made everyone feel good. You couldn’t help but be happy in these throngs of strangers hugging one another and enjoying the scene. I’m so glad I went and participated. Watching our world change for the better is amazing and it’s incredible how far we’ve come, yet still sad how far we have to go for basic human rights.

This dude didn’t understand that’s what Pride is all about, love is love and everyone deserves their god given right to express their sexuality however and with whomever they want.

I didn’t expect to hear from him again because I think he got the hint I was disgusted with him.

I blocked and deleted him. See ya’

He’s Nice, but not for Me.

I met a nice guy last week, his name is Rob. Since I’ve had one Rob already I guess this one is Rob2. We matched on Bumble and started and easy conversation. He was engaging and attentive.

Rob had many of the qualities I am immediately drawn to. Good looking enough for me, tall, decent shape, well traveled, older child, divorced and one long relationship behind him. He seemed to have a good perspective on relationships and a good group of friends. So we moved to the phone call easily enough.

When we matched he was in a town close to me, but as I discovered, he lives about 2,5 hours from me. He said he doesn’t mind as he’s had no luck finding anyone closer and his best friend lives in the town where we matched. He was more than willing to travel to me as long as I was willing, in the future, to stay at his place occasionally. I could consider that.

Initially, the only “red flag” I noticed at the start was that he was retired law-enforcement and owned a landscaping business. So far, this type of background has never worked out for me. I’m not judging a person by their career, it’s more about the stereotypical person that chooses a career in law enforcement, especially in a large city. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t fit the stereotype. I generally stay away from engaging a man with a career in law enforcement. But, Rob felt like he broke the mold a little bit and I was interested in meeting him. So, we planned a date where he would drive all the way to me, then stay overnight at his friends so he didn’t have to worry about the long drive back.

Rob is a consummate gentleman. Holds doors opens, pulls out the chair, makes sure the woman is settled and attended to. My drink was waiting for me when I arrived. You know how I love all this things so I notice them quite quickly. We were able to hit off an easy conversation and chose to order some food. I even got the bonus where he cut my food and fed me a few forkfuls. I know it’s silly but I love this kind of attention.

He leaned in to kiss me at the bar and I willingly accepted his kiss. Pretty much a perfect kiss and I don’t mind PDA. There were several more kisses throughout the night and eventually his hands found their way to the back of my head and into my hair. There really is nothing better than when a man pulls you in for a kiss with their hands tangled in your hair and pulls your head towards theirs!

Rob was batting a thousand.

We left the bar hand in hand and went to my car. He pressed against me for some deeper, more intimate kissing. I felt his approval quite firmly against my leg. Then he picked me up and held me against the car. I forget how light I am now and how this is possible so I am startled when it happens. My head goes right to “omg they are going to groan when they try and lift me” and that I must weigh a ton. For a strong and tall man, my weight and body type are not difficult to lift. We stayed there several minutes before he leaned back to let me drop, stepped back away from me and very obviously stuck his hand down his pants to adjust himself. And, as if I didn’t notice, commented on it.

Ok, I don’t know why, but this pulled me right out of the moment. It seemed so crass all the sudden. I know men need to adjust themselves but I guess it was so indelicate that it bothered me? I don’t know. Then it made me think: has this happened before? Well, yes, of course men have adjusted themselves when they are hot and bothered around me but perhaps not so obviously. He also stated the obvious which made it even more obvious! I don’t know, this clicked a weird switch inside me.

We kissed goodnight and parted with the promise of a second date. He threw a comment over his shoulder that I now forget, but whatever it was, it made my hair stand on end. I recall it was less so the comment than how it was delivered. It made me think “there’s more to his pleasant facade than meets the eye.”

The next morning the requisite “good morning” text came through and we chatted on and off via text during the day. We had established, during our date, things we both liked in a relationship and he was clear to say sexual banter was important.

I had a flashback. I distinctly recall a time when all I wanted was sexual banter. That it was an important attribute to starting communication. Oh, how we live and learn! I still occasionally hear from my favorite banter-boy, Randy. A then young 31 to my 46, was hands down all time best at text banter. We had some of the most clever and fun conversations I’ve ever had in my life. When he pops back up now I go a round or two with him just to keep the clever banter juices flowing then ignore or block him for months and months. He ALWAYS comes back. Anyway, while it was a hallmark of my early dating days, banter now is easy and carefree and doesn’t carry as much sexual innuendo and pressure. Every comment is not interpreted into a sexual situation. I don’t even like that as much anymore. I want to be able to have a conversation that isn’t interrupted by a consistent barrage of sexual innuendo (oh hello M, did you grow up much?!). But Rob, well he loves to do this. Many conversations start out with some comment to some reference turning sexual. When I ignore it and he repeats the joke he also then apologizes when he doesn’t get the requisite reactions and says “I hope you know I’m only teasing.” Yes, I know, but I don’t care for it much. Why? Well I assume there are two reasons: I’m not fully attracted to him and I know, could be wrong but my guess is, if I start he will NEVER stop. Every initial conversation starts this way. He does stop after this type of interaction but sometimes gives it a second or third try. I mostly ignore it unless I can make it cute.

him: “I’m hopping in the shower”

Me: “I just got out”

him: “So we are both naked! I would be behind you right now…”

Me: “Handing me the soap?”

Post the first date, this becomes another reddish flag.

We decide on a second date and, again, he offers to come down to me which is generous considering it’s after work for me and therefore probably won’t be a long date.

I figured I could wear a pretty dress and some hot new stilettos I bought. I sent the photo of the shoes (he had expressed an interest in sexy shoes and pedicures) and asked if that was acceptable. He replied with a “hot” and “I better put on a nicer shirt!”

Once again, everything is perfect upon my arrival. He dressed accordingly and looked good. Cold beverage awaits, he stands to greet me and takes my bag and sweater, pulls out the chair and the first appetizer arrives within 5 minutes.. (My favorite food at this particular restaurant, which I had mentioned to him on the last date.). He’s paying attention. The conversation revolves around my new job as it’s parameters are not identified and he’s trying his best to understand and offer advice. I appreciate this, but there are several times where he tries to over-identify a pattern and it doesn’t really correlate to what I’m saying. I wish I could better explain, but it’s as if he’s trying to understand in order to offer me the best suggestion on how I can fix it or approach it – but not in a kind way – in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t looking at my own role properly. It was the bulk of our conversation that evening. I tried, multiple times, to turn the conversation more inward and personal. I asked questions about his family, his childhood memories, his fatherhood in the early years, his travel but all these questions were met with bland, boring answers that had to really be thought about. When I said “tell me one of your funny childhood stories” he couldn’t think of one, then he told one that wasn’t at all funny. Even he didn’t laugh. (His childhood was fine by the way, no trauma so that’s not it). When I asked his favorite things about raising his daughter, he couldn’t come up with anything. Typically a person with an older child will immediately say “I miss my baby” or something like that. It was as though he didn’t have any depth in his life or any depth of expression. He struck me, in that moment, as someone who is totally in their present – I’m not saying this is wrong, just different from what I’ve experienced.

I started to realize I was bored and not laughing. And not one comment about how I looked or the shoes. Maybe not the most important thing, but strange after the shoes had been a topic of conversation.

We left the restaurant after bumping into a friend of mine for a quick chat. My friend immediately commented how fabulous I looked, which then made me think “why didn’t Rob?” It’s a second date, there should still be compliments that are not revolving around sex. He asked if I could take a walk, if the shoes would be ok (oh so he did notice!) and I said yes. We walked to a nearby park and went to a covered veranda and started kissing heavily. While there was nothing wrong with the kisses, I wasn’t excited. He was and was becoming more adventurous with his hands. I had to stop him at my underwear as I had just gotten my period. I cracked a funny joke and he pulled back, made a big show of adjusting himself and said “yup, that was a mood killer”. When I didn’t react the way I suppose he wanted me to – he apologized and said he was just joking. He also talked at length about how he wouldn’t pressure me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I assured him it wasn’t pressure that I simply was inconvenienced. But he kept going. He talks in a meandering pattern that I tune out and I caught myself doing this more than once on Thai date.

By this point I had started to feel apathy towards him. I wasn’t really interested. It was time to go home and I just wanted to go to bed. We parted with a nice kiss and went out separate ways.

I’ve been thinking about the date since.

While I haven’t pointed out any massive alarm bells, something in me is saying “he’s not for you” and I can’t seem to get past that little voice in my head. By three weeks in and two dates I should be more excited than I am, especially when the selection of men is so poor! I also promised myself I wasn’t going to settle out of loneliness and I think that’s part of what’s driving me.

I had resolved to speak to him Saturday and politely exit.

But that’s not how it happened….


Deep Breaths

The first 3 weeks of work have been interesting to say the least.

The role has changed back and forth multiple times. I have been unclear on what the role should be so I’ve done my best to contribute where I can and lie low.

I know from many years of experience with design groups to cultivate a relationship before I show my skills. They just don’t want to know. It’s the most ass-backwards culture on the planet. Fucking Fashion.

They landed on the role late last week and my office location changed. I’m back to a 1,5 hour commute each way. So much for any kind of financial or time break for me. That one thing, saving an hour a day, really might have been a saving grace for me. In any case, it’s done and gone.

So I move into the new role yesterday and get the clarity that it’s exactly similar to my old role in that design doesn’t want the role and design doesn’t want operational boundaries. Different from the first year of my previous role, there is no executive support on the design side. I now know what it feels like to be supported in a difficult or impossible role and then to be unsupported and be the fall guy. Being that fall guy nearly cost me my sanity and my life. I am NOT going back there.

I get the sneaky suspicion this is exactly what they want me to do. Go in, see what can be changed for operational profitability and force the change down designs throat.

No thank you. I cannot do it again.

That year was the worst of my life. I spent days crying and sobbing how I couldn’t be effective and how my boss was cruel to me. I hated that design didn’t like the “edicts” passed down through my department. While some of those rules still exist a year after my departure, and the boundaries are still in place, no one cares (meaning my boss) that a human was lost in the equation. I was a small price to pay for his success in this area. Oh, and the CEO was fired a month after me – so most of what I was working on went out the window with that CEO.

Thinking about and writing about last year causes me severe anxiety. I feel the tightness start low in my belly and come up through my chest. While I was sitting in my temporary space listening to the challenges ahead of me, the feeling crept up on me. That’s not good when my body is reacting before my mind has actually fully processed the pros and cons of this role.

The role is temporary with an opportunity for full time. I was covered to hire a maternity leave and now I’ve been placed into a brand new role that has never exhausted before. All my spider-senses are telling me to run for the hills.

Except. Except I need money because I have a family. Except I need money because I have a home. Except this company was in my top 5. Those 3 reasons alone are enough to suck it up buttercup.

So now the question is, how? How do I keep my mouth shut? How do I NOT demonstrate my strongest skills (the level is significantly below where I’ve been operating). How do I not make waves? I’ve been a leader for so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be entirely self sufficient. This is clearly a side effect of always being a leader of a large dept. I actually don’t even like some of the minutia I have to do because I haven’t done it in 20 years. That causes simple frustration on top of a learning curve.

My friends and family help to remind me I must work and this is a good job until I find what’s right. I also recently read an article in The NY Times about commitment bias and how we tend to stick with bad decisions because we are letting past actions dictate our future even when we know it’s irrational. I stayed in that role last year because of commitment bias: I was convinced I could correct my mistake. I couldn’t. I have since accepted that and learned from it. However, now that’s putting the fear of god in me for any new role. The article was short but impactful as it went on to say how overcoming these mistakes can manifest themselves as physical pain. I am learning that what happened to me last summer was truly a perfect storm of bad choices culminating in a final breakdown and inability to cope with anything. It’s frightening that it happened to me when I have been so strong all my life and certainly helped me reframe where to focus my priorities.

So while I’m not happy, I’m not totally unhappy. Someone who is exiting the company to raise her children gave me excellent advice yesterday: “No one has ever been in this role and no one is really watching, make it your own. Blaze a new path and do it through relationship.” I thought it was very insightful advice. Also, very scary because I don’t build immediate relationships as I’ve always been an acquired taste – so this is something that would put me out of my comfort zone and tools I need to develop.

So we shall see where this leads and how much newness, change and pressure I can truly tolerate. I realize my mind isn’t where it used to be, nor is my level of ambition. I don’t think I’ve lost my ambition, but it’s still on vacation at the moment. I’m not hungry right now as I’m still nourishing my body and soul.

It’s such a shame our culture, the city I work in, and the industry I work for all use people up and spit them out. There is no real work life balance here and I have to ultimately determine if I can live with that and very little income, or go back to what I’m used to.

The Woes of Internet Dating

I’ve been dating on line for going on 5 years. Yikes. I realize I’ve become “one of them.” The people you see online forever and wonder why they are still there. Maybe you should stay away from these people because they are clearly not relationship material? Yup, I bet that’s what some men think of me.

But I’m not here to talk about me. I’m here to entertain myself with some juicy repetitive and hysterical internet dating behaviors.

Some of these behaviors are just a mystery to me.

The idea of internet dating is to put your best foot forward and sell yourself in a few photos and perhaps a short bio. This would leave an intelligent person to believe that photos should be recent, clear and single person head shots.

Nope.

You get alllll kinds of awful first photos. Photos of old photos already framed (dudes we can see the reflection, we know). Photos so grainy it tells us either you are hiding something or you don’t know how to take a photo (hello 2019). Group photos where we don’t know which one is you but there is that one really good looking guy (turns out, it’s never you). Photos of your kids. This one really, really disturbs me. I understand your a family man, but I’m not dating the kids. I actually don’t even think it’s acceptable to put young children/teens on any dating site, never mind photos of just the kids without you. Just weird. But, I think my all time favorite photos are the college photos, or perhaps your all time favorite photo of yourself from 20-30 years ago.

Why?

Just why?

I don’t care how good looking you are 20 years ago when I’m dating you today. I want to see a clear photo of you TODAY.

Some examples:

Next up, filters. Ok, everyone uses them today to tweak a photo and I bet women are even more notorious for it then men. But, generally speaking, when a man does it he has no idea how to use the filter and virtually eliminates all signs of aging and makes himself look like a portrait.

Case in point:

The angry man. They actually don’t belong in online dating anymore. They’ve had enough and probably need a break because writing out your obvious displeasure with previous dates makes everyone else NOT want to date you.

And it’s not that we haven’t all been through some bad dates, but the point is: best foot forward. Who will you attract by being negative first?

Grammar and spelling. Yes. It’s a big deal. Use it.

I also always believe that the ones who write “no drama” are clearly the ones who attract the most drama.

You know how I feel about a man taking care of a bill on the first date. I am not an equal opportunity dater, and I never will be, period. But this guy advertises his displeasure. He also doesn’t really want to leave his house – so cheap and boring?

This is just funny but it happens – check your photos boys – you never know what’s in the background. Lots of men don’t crop out the old girlfriends hands etc. This ones for giggles:

If you do decide to write to someone, maybe try not to lead with sex? This is one of the creepier notes I’ve gotten and it’s even creepier because it’s so serious:

Politics. I bet I can write an entire post and there will be some that ONLY read this part. I’m moderate leaning towards conservative. But because I live in a metro city I’m surrounded by very, very loud and outspoken liberals. Which pretty much means that anything I think or feel is wrong. Period. It’s reverse discrimination here. I don’t think it belongs in a dating profile – it’s fine if you say liberal, conservative, middle-of-the-road, But there is no need to start with all the angry Trump terms. It’s a turn off. Even to the liberal women I know. It’s rampant here because it’s become so divisive. These particular ones speak to Trump directly which is different than the ones that state “no conservatives” (couldn’t find any of those today). It’s making the conservatives now write “no socialists”. Just ugh. My point is, leave the politics to a discussion.

Now, my all time favorite thing to see in a post is: I don’t live in my mother’s basement. For those of you who know, my x is moving in with his mother (into the same time) shortly. While I understand his reasons, it disgusts me and just reminds me how glad I am to be away from him. He has learned to justify his lack of drive in every way possible, but this takes the cake. What kind of example are you setting for your children?

To prove my point (to myself), I started collecting profiles that stated something about living at home – it’s clearly a “thing” as I’ve collected dozens. Men don’t respect other men who live in their Moms basement, no matter what the reason. My guess is other women don’t respect it either if the men feel so compelled to write it in a profile.

Honestly, this is just more entertainment than anything else. I don’t contact or interact with these men because, in my opinion, something is off if they feel the need to do/say these things. I feel like they have a chip on their shoulder.

My first impression needs to be: are you attractive to me? Are you taller than me? Is there something in your profile I can identify with? Basic matching criteria. If I’m dating you and you want to show me your college photos and tell a story, that’s great. If we speak and you want to tell me your an invested father, and talk about your kids, that’s great.

But guys, please, let’s stop trying to fool everyone.

There are plenty of good profiles that don’t have to be pages long, just enough to spark interest:

Werk, Werk, Werk

The first week back to work was good. I like the location of the office (office is super old but that doesn’t bother me much) and it’s a small group to interact with. I like the people. The designer wouldn’t look at me the first week (as they do) but was chatting me up by yesterday and engaged.

Last week was a 4 day week and this week is only a 2 day week so it’s perfect for easing back into the swing of things. I’m doing better than I thought. My mind turned on pretty quickly though I have forgotten a lot of names of things and notice my recall isn’t so good – but I have noticed this declining over the years and assume it’s partially due to age or simply just my mind. I’ve never been good with recalling names of anything.

I walked into the middle of a botched reorganization and there have been plenty of uncomfortable moments. Not necessarily for me, but the people who I’m working with. The one guy I’m shadowing is so lovely and kind and has been a pleasure to work with. I find myself wanting to help him succeed even though I was initially meant to replace his current role. It’s been a strange set of circumstances.

Having literally been through this the past 2 years, I can see the writing on the wall and several execs have already dropped hints to me. There may be a full time role but the reorganization needs to fall into place first. If I had been brought in full time I know exactly what I would get started doing – it’s as clear as day to me. But I’m not so I’m much quieter than normal (which I find is a skill I need to practice more often) and I also find I don’t mind not being a full time employee and not worrying about the politics of all of this. At this moment, I’m looking at this like a 3-6 month contract. If more comes of it, then great. For now, I like less pressure and visbility. It feels good to add some value. I don’t actually do much yet, so they will need to give me a specific directive soon, but I’m good waiting another week or so as I settle in.

It’s been a struggle to figure out the work-out schedule. I know it will come. I’m happy to say I have more energy for a few reasons:

-Wellbutrin was added to my anxiety meds and I can definitely feel the difference. Seems like the combo of meds is working better for me. The anxiety meds were tapping my energy and shutting me off, so combined with all my other physical issues I couldn’t get the energy I needed to get out of bed some days.

-Early iron transfusions – about a month sooner than the past years. I don’t feel it yet, but in a week or so I know that will help immensely.

-Exercise and Meditation – I’m working on adjusting down all the cardio I’ve been doing and incorporating balanced strength training. However, while the workouts leave me feeling gratified, it’s really the meditation in the evening that’s helping calm my mind and focus. I totally knocked meditation when it was suggested to me and couldn’t make it work for me. I think I’m in the right head space now to make it a powerful tool.

I believe all things are moving in the right direction and I like that I am an active participant in making my life better. I’m still not over Tony, but have even learned a little self talk to stop obsessing over him. Maybe I never get over him and it’s just something I need to accept.

This is How a Big Girl Takes Getting Dumped

Maybe I have put on my big girl panties or maybe I knew they weren’t the right fit, either way I had two “break-ups” within the week.

I met a nice guy, Tom, had a great fun date and he was a super amazing kisser, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was not jiving for me. Since I’ve learned that when a man is interested he will pursue, I held back and waited. He would engage and then not follow up. I didn’t put much stock into it because there was something off about his whole story and he wasn’t communicative enough for me.

I went down to the beach to visit my cousins and we were going to a fun bar with a great band that night a week after that first date and we had been texting back and forth. He made a comment I was having fun while he was bored, so I invited him. It was a long drive for a short night and my cousin offered for him to stay. We had a lot of fun singing and dancing at the bar but I was already mostly drunk by the time he arrived. My cousins liked him and he fit in well. When we went back to the house I invited him to my room and then (I didn’t know this until the next morning) I stripped down, asked him to go down on me (he declined) got my jammies on and crawled into bed. He wrapped me in his arms and we fell asleep. He was a great cuddler. I vaguely remember stroking his cock.  One thing I can say in hindsight: I should’ve been embarrassed, I wasn’t.  And, although I was drunk, my wounds didn’t even cross my mind, so there’s that!

He had to leave early for work the next morning so we had a good laugh about my behavior the night before and he insisted he was taking it slow and being a gentleman. I’m telling you, it’s not that I didn’t believe him, but it still wasn’t settling right with me.

He was very communicative the next few days then disappeared again. This time I sent a text to ask if he was disinterested just to let me know. He came back with a call and text to ensure he was absolutely interested just trying to get his life settled (again parts of his story were not lining up for me).

Two days later he called and sent a text that he was “out” and had been lying to me about his situation with his x-girlfriend. That he was still drawn to her even though they had broken up and he had seen her that week.

When he started to tell me more than I wanted to know about his situation with her I cut him off with a polite, “thanks, you’re a great guy, it’s too bad, take care.” Deleted his text messages and didn’t look back.

Was I bummed? Yes. He met a bunch of my criteria, especially because he was funny. I knew I sensed a rat all along though, so my instincts are right on. Thank you, next.

A few days after that I received a text from August – quite a long text – apologizing for his lack of consistent communication and letting me know he settled into his new apartment and was surprised to find that he was having a great social life locally, and although I was a fabulous person, I just lived too far away and he didn’t want to deal with that. I sent a text back that said “Good luck” and deleted him as well.

I’m not happy about either of these two because it feels like I just can’t seem to find a match and that causes me to miss Tony. Then I find myself overthinking about Tony and it’s really hard to pull myself out of those negative thoughts. I literally have to keep repeating to myself that I will find the one for me in my time. These men were not the ones and I already knew that but it did stink to hear it twice in one week!

It also creates a little flurry of dating site activity and then I get frustrated by the lack of worthwhile choices. Is every man 5’8″ or living in the city and doesn’t want a woman outside the city? I don’t live on mars and I work in your city, why not give it a shot?  Then there are a bunch of men who refuse to talk before meeting and I have learned my lesson the hard way with this -I won’t do it anymore.  I am really trying to be flexible lately, but flexible within guidelines that feel comfortable to me and where I don’t waste my time meeting someone I haven’t made any connection with (this is very true of men over 55 for some reason).

The feeling of rejection is minor, I expected both August and Tom not to work long run, but wouldn’t have minded some dating.

In any case….next. 🙂

Back in the Saddle Again

Today is back to work day!

I put the exclamation point there to convince myself this is a good thing. It is, right?!🙄

I secured a freelance role to cover a maternity leave. The isn’t what I’m accustomed to, but it’s fair. The role can be anywhere from 3-6 months and it’s a company on my top 10 list. I’m not sure how much I will like the role itself, but I’m pretty certain it’s well within my wheelhouse.

I felt excitement when I interviewed and pleased that the man who hired me did so because he knew me and my work ethic from many moons ago.

The office is much closer than my previous office, shaving off at least 25 minutes each way each day. That’s a huge time savings I can dump back into my work out efforts.

I don’t know why I’m not excited. My friends and family are more excited than I am. Lots of support from the home team. I feel sort of nothing. I don’t think my brain is turned on yet.

I am going to approach this the same way I approached my fitness, one step and one day at a time. I cannot allow myself to get to invested or emotional, I need to focus and do a good job. I don’t need to be the best, I just need to be good at what I do. I will not kill myself and push myself to a breaking point again. I cannot afford to lose the new found sense of self I’ve gained.

So, hi-ho hi-ho it’s off to work I go.

Wish me luck!

When I’m the Needy One

If you read my blog I’m sure you think I’m needy all the time. But that ain’t so – I’m pretty independent. I manage my home and children on my own. When I’m working I commute and travel long distances. Things get done.

But when I’m sick or sad I’m super needy. And there’s no one that fills Tony’s absence.

I guess it’s pretty normal that when I’m happy and busy that I think of him much less. When I’m sad and depressed he’s at the front of my mind.

A long, long time ago Anne questioned how much I loved Bobby or just loved the experience of Bobby or how he made me feel. In the end, I did have love for Bobby but in hindsight he turned out to be much more about how he made me feel.

I think about that with Tony too. I want to feel absorbed by someone again I want that person to call and tell everything to. I got a job. I got sick. I worked out and did good. Or bad. Whatever. I want to share these things.

So first, let’s get out of the way, I got no answers at the surgeon today because he’s baffled. Now it’s a waiting game. If it’s a fistula it will either resolve on its own (unlikely but not impossible) or make itself known clearly (pain, vomiting, fever). Until then, watch and wait. He wants me to change nothing in my diet or exercise. The only concern at the moment is the skin around the wound is very, very thin and close the bowel and could tear. I just need to pay extra special attention to the wound area as it’s aggravated from the leaking.

I weigh less than I did in my 20s right now. Every day I lose more weight. He says this isn’t the first problem as long as I feel fine.

And, I do feel fine. Other than this damn wound I feel better than ever.

So there’s that. I’m a leaky faucet at the moment.

Oh – and this isn’t exactly related to the VSG surgery. It’s a side effect of any abdominal surgery and there are reasons why it happens in some and not in others. I’ve had multiple same site surgeries and there is a lot of scar tissue and adhesion. There is also some leftover flotsam and jetsam from my childhood surgeries in my body – foreign objects. Never heard that before. But I saw it on the scans and it’s one of the reasons my belly is so disfigured from surgery in 1970.

Of course after the surgeon today I called my family and friends – the Mexico Unit I call them. The ones who brought me through and stand by me and made it clear they love me and want me around. I spoke to them. They listened and offered advice.

But they were not Tony. They don’t love me the same. The feeling isn’t there. I miss being so enveloped in his love. I really do ok on the other days…it’s just days like this….I miss him and how he loved me.

I suppose the good news is – I don’t go looking for that in someone else because I’m missing him. I’m not on the apps or reaching out to anyone else because I feel needy. I just feel needy and miss him.

And I try to care for myself. ❤️