Bourbon, Gingers and Pizza…So It Begins…

A few weeks ago, a challenge was accepted. By mid-November, I was to find at least one date. Well, me being me…I knew this was not going to be a simple and easy feat. I may be plucky but I’m also terribly picky and not the approachable type that seems to score dates by the barrel. Then again, I’m not sure who does score dates like that. Except for girls on TV and we all know those are just pretty little LIES.

That said, I spread the word in multiple venues. At my recent birthday/housewarming shindig, I voiced my desire to plunge into the dating pool once again. And this time, there was actually someone in my midst that had not one possible suitor but TWO! Holy cash cow Batman!

As my ever supportive group of pals got into the spirit of my struggle, we all decided a group outing would be best. To even out the male/female ratio, I volunteered my at first reluctant single gal pal, J3000 to join me. After some minor threats, she agreed to come along.

A small word about my matchmakers. First off, they’re a couple. More specifically a couple of gingers, married gingers. We shall call them Mr. and Mrs. G for short. Also, I work with Mrs. G. The suitors are high school mates of Mr. G and he highly vouched for them. Good enough for me as Mr. G is good folk. We will refer to the suitors as S and F. I must apologize for the uninventive nicknames. I’m tired and I’m blogging this late tonight as I made a promise (and I like to keep my word).

Anyways, the party was on Saturday and it took me until actual Birthday Monday to recover. Life was a blur. A good blur but still…a blur. As many of my work mates came to my fateful party, they were quite excited to make this matchmaking event happen. Game as I’ll ever be, the wheels were now in motion. I’ve never done the group date thing before and so I figure this might be another interesting adventure to add to my dating annals. And so, here we are.

Let’s just say this about group dates – IT’S A FUCKING PAIN IN THE ASS TO COORDINATE SIX PEOPLE.

After MUCH back and forth Thursday was the agreed upon date of action aka tonight.

As I can’t really keep my mouth shut, pretty much all my friends were informed of my goings on ASAP. In terms of my challenge, however, this group hang didn’t count. The stipulation is it must be one-on-one. Why bother you ask? Well, it’s about dipping the foot in and also, the possibility of this leading to the tete a tete that help me succeed in fulfilling the friendly wager.

What I do love about my pals – they’re wonderfully supportive. They know my mindset and they’re ever so encouraging. All day long, I got well wishes. It was like Birthday Monday all over again but with less birthday cake emojis.

Pre-game mindset – low to no expectations. I didn’t really get a good gander at the fellas but I had a distinct feeling they wouldn’t be for me. Why squash it so quick? Well, sometimes, you just know. No matter – an excuse to socialize and drink? Why not?! Also, it seemed like a good excuse to get my pal, J3000 to join me in the crazy dating jungle. Side not on J3000 – she’s tried the online thing – slightly disenchanted. A bit wary of the dating world but curious to gain more experience. Open but cautious. Cautiously open. Not an unusual story.

Mrs. G and I had chatted a bit before the blessed event and agreed that the fellas might not be my bag but we sensed that perhaps one of the guys (specifically S) might actually be a decent match for J3000. Our chat was kinda comforting on a few levels. One, being set up by a friend with one of their friends always makes me a bit nervous. Even if the friend says no pressure, I always feel bad if things don’t work out. And as stated before, Mrs. G and I work together. Awkward, ya know. The fact that Mrs. G also felt the boys might not be my cup of tea lessened any small amount of pressure I might have felt. I wouldn’t feel like I disappointed her if I didn’t take to them and I wouldn’t feel as weird if I did. Simply put, it was good to have laid that out.

Secondly, we both also were on the same page about seeing how J3000 would interact with the boys. Gut instincts are all I got to go by these days and we both had the same thought – J3000 might hit some luck. Excitement might yet be in the wings! Oh and did I mention that one of the potential beaus had messaged her online a few weeks ago??? Foreshadowing much?

Enough pre-game – onwards!

The setting was to be a casual hang at a bourbon bar (hellloooo!!!). The boys were made aware of they were being set up but were never given any photos of us. They placed all their trust in Mr. and Mrs. G. Oooohhhh.

Truth is there wasn’t a lot of drama (sadly for this blog). I don’t think I’ve ever felt less sweaty palms about a date thing before. My only concern was what shoes to wear during a supposedly rainy night (it didn’t rain a single fucking drop).

Left work with Mrs. G and headed off to the bar. Got there early. The bar JUST opened and we were the ONLY patrons. Slowly others trickled in. Mostly those that were in the party. Mr. G showed and soon after J3000. The boys (F & S) were held up at work so we were forced to drink while we waited for them. Yep. I was forced to drink.

Luckily the bartender was quite the chatterer and led a mighty interesting double life. Bar owner by night and some sort of crazy award-winning burger chef during the day. Suffice it to say, speaking to him made me incredibly hungry.

Eventually, the fellas showed up and casual introductions were given. Seriously. Very low-key. Also, within those few minutes, I knew – no love match tonight for moi. But it’s cool. With brown liquor in hand, nothing can be wrong. And nothing was.

Not sure about you but when I drink, food must follow. In this case, pizza was king! J3000 and I quickly scooted to the pizza joint next door (I love NYC!), got some slices and quickly did an assessment of our current situation. Neither of us felt any particular predilection/attraction for any of the guys but we ware both happy to spend a nice evening in their company anyways. J3000 also noted they had very nice personalities.

Well after drinking some more and now eating, a connection did seem to slowly be growing. At least from the outset. S finally zeroed in on J3000 and soon, they were chatting so hard, the rest of us left them to their own devices while we quibbled about serious world issues (i.e. Do you think Werner Herzog really didn’t ever see any episode of The Simpsons before guest starring on it? The answer to my mind – yep. The guy never saw it).

More about this possible burgeoning love connection. When S did arrive, I had a funny notion (and Mrs. G did too!) that he had a hankering for my pal but wasn’t the type to act on things ASAP. But like any person, if given an opening, he will make the most of it. J3000 can be a chatty gal and apparently so was he. There didn’t appear to be many lulls (although J3000 claims there were a few but not awkwardly so) and well, it was just kinda cute. Low pressure and cute.

I’ll say this – maybe cuz I’m a bit sentimental and maybe because I have no real stake in this affair but it’s kinda sweet sometimes to see a guy be a little smitten. And it’s even sweeter when it’s because of your friend. By night’s end, S got J3000’s number and I’m fairly sure he’ll be using that info sooner than later. I think S was a bit bummed the night had to end. He had a slight look of bewilderment when he realized we had to all split up. Corny but true. Cheers to J3000 for generating that sort of emotion, even if it’s just for the night.

And yes, it’s even sweeter when I can personally be in the thick of it but truth is, when I am, I can’t catch these little gestures. I’m too red in the face to notice the nuances. Without the pressure of a love match, it was kinda fun to observe. Observe and send some extra hope and energy to our lovely friends.

Well what about F you say? His personality was slightly suited better to mine but not by much. Real nice guy but the connection wasn’t really strong. I felt a little bad cuz there were moments where he was definitely trying to start or continue a conversation. And maybe it was the really loud music or maybe I was simply content as I was, I couldn’t generate the greater energy to keep a chat going longer than it was supposed to.

At the end of these dating adventures, my ultimate goal (besides the obvious) is to just not get depressed about things NOT working out. At this point, I know it’s hard to always be hopeful and maintain that cool, optimistic attitude. It’s hard when guy after guy turns out to be someone you just don’t want to spend time with. Not because they’re duds. Not because they’re jerks. But because they’re just not for you.

Tonight was a little reminder of that. Things didn’t work out for me tonight but that’s ok. Not entirely sure how things will pan out for J3000 but truth is, that doesn’t even matter. I liked seeing the glimmer of possibility, even if it wasn’t happening to me. It’s just knowing it can. Remembering how I was able to generate that type of smitten-ness not that long ago and to remember that feeling of tenderness. It’s why I keep going and why I keep trying, even when it’s easier to just stay at home and eat a tub of popcorn.


Born Yesterday

One day into my 38th year and crazy thoughts already plague me.

Thought I’d at least get a break for the week. :)

Was walking about town and had this idea – so much advice is contradictory. You’re told not to judge too quickly but then you’re also told to go with your gut. It’s good to venture outside of your comfort zone but if you don’t have time for that shit, you don’t have time for THAT shit.

And I think – what the fuck is a girl supposed to do then?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the hypocrite. I see some of my single gal pals hanging back and gun shy to make moves. I encourage them to run wild and test the limits. It’s ok to make mistakes.

Then I look at certain opportunities given to me and how uninterested I am in taking a bite of that apple.

What I’m realizing is that all advice and no advice is good. A few years ago, I just had too much noise in my brain. I was asking and taking in what everyone was saying but it all just became noise. When I was able to filter, certain gems shone through and other gems…well, it had to take a moment before I understood what it actually meant.

I have major impatience lately. With people. With Friends. Frustration perhaps. I don’t know. At this moment, I’m prone to blaming my irrational hormones. While that has something to do with it, I also never want to lose sight of my own particular brand of hypocrisy and how I can work to make it less so.

Advice is a good thing. I like to give it. I like to receive it. In my life, I also consider myself lucky. Very few of my friends are prone to giving horrible advice. Instead, they make me question my actions. They encourage. Sometimes they push a little but that’s usually when I need it. They can be honest, brutally but necessarily so. It’s not always easy to take. I think the times I don’t take it well boil down to two scenarios. Either my friend is wrong and I get pissed off. Or I just don’t fully understand what they’re telling me. I need a moment to process.

My emotions have been a bit more even as of late. Times like these I do feel a secret need to create some drama to spice it up. Just to have something to chat about.

But tonight, I am a little tired and just wanted to get out this nugget before I forgot.

As for things to talk about…I’m never fully at a loss and surely, some excitement will come my way soon (I hope). Cuz if I remember something someone told me – you just gotta be open to the adventure.


Another Year Older…

And a little better than I was.

Hello 38!

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A good reminder and perhaps a harbinger of things to come. More on bday celebrations later. Time to start ringing this one in! (Monday be damned)


Complacency

Was listening to one of my podcasts. Slow day. Still jet lagged after a red eye a few days ago.

 Anyways, they were discussing cultural ruts (ie listening to the same music, watching the same TV, etc) and how to get out of it. And I found the advice heartening and as always, enlightening to all areas of life, not just my media consumption.

The gist is to go outside of your comfort zone. Duh. Not exactly groundbreaking. But the way they broke it down was so relatable that it caused me to feel a bit fuller…I felt more uplifted because of it, in spite of my fatigue.

They talked about how you sometimes don’t know you are in a rut or self-imposed box. And to actually go ahead and read or listen to something you wouldn’t normally…something outside the wheelhouse. Read a book from a non-American author or ya know, Moby Dick (I don’t think I’m there yet). And maybe you won’t get it but there comes a sense of accomplishment from it.

That said, they also said to be forgiving to yourself IF you happen to not like it. It’s ok to just try it and then…deny it.

While I was essentially nodding the entire time during this discussion, this was the moment, I just felt a surge of emotion and nostalgia. It’s the one thing I always falter on.

I consider myself fairly open to trying new things but I am also fearful that I’m not THAT open. That I do stay within my box. Over the years, I’ve been able to justify this cuz I do know what I like and what I don’t. But, if I’m fully honest, there are gaps within my knowledge – some things I am curious about and some I am not.

I have moments and streaks where I do end up indulging in these whims. Some I have taken a liking to and some, not so much. I’ve spent so much time feeling bad for not liking it. Not liking the “cool” thing. And the fucked up thing is, nobody is really judging me on it. It’s just me bitching on me.

So many things and experiences in life are universal. Not the same exact circumstances but emotions – well, there are only so many. And while they might be simple talking about pop culture, my mind makes connections and tends to wander into my actual life choices (and sometimes including my entertainment ones).

 Been exhausted and not as hyped about my dating challenge. My birthday looms (it’s Monday) and festivities begin soon (tomorrow is my housewarming/bday party!) and so everything has been occupied in that realm. 

I’m still physically tired (I need to sleep earlier) but my soul feels a little bit of rejuvenation and it seems to have arrived just in time. 

Sometimes stepping outside the comfort zone can sound so scary from the outset but listening to my lovely podcasters, it made me remember not so much the fear but the joy of discovery. And the rewards I gained from simply trying. And I do mean rewards and not the deficit. Perhaps I am just an eternal optimist but even discovering you don’t like something helps to further define or redefine your boundaries. 

You never know until you try? Sometimes you do. But the point is…to try.

 


Rising to the Occasion

One of my best pals recently moved back into the city. In a last minute move (it’s how we be), I showed up to his bare apt to help him gather up some toiletries and so on and so forth. It’s our lame ass tradition (me moving him in) but I was eternally grateful for the gorgeous weather. Trust me, this man manages to move on the worst weather days of the year. Blessings. Let’s count them.

So I digress. During the midst of the toiletry gathering, we naturally started to catch up on our lives. Our deal was that when he returned, we would attempt to hit the bar scene (one gay bar for him, one straight bar for me) and meet people IRL. As an attractive gay dude, he needs NO help from me but he always likes to explore options and so, why not I say? In the meantime, I get some much needed help on my end too. Now…if this transpires, I’ll let ya know but keep in mind this is a plan that has been at least a year in the making. Oh life, so much keeps happening.

Single me this. Single me that. Probably tired of my bitching, the excellent pal that he is…he offers me a challenge. He proceeds to count of the months to the end of the year and ixnays the 6 weeks before end of year as that’s holiday hell time. What did he offer? Basically, he believes the world needs another one of my lame/amusing date stories and so I have to get at least ONE date by mid-November.

Challenge accepted.

And what happens if I don’t manage to land one fucking date?! Apparently my “well” will dry up. Yes, he’s definitely gay and his familiarity with the female anatomy is astounding.

Good friends that I have – they’ve all been resoundingly supportive and trust I have the ability to accomplish this. Me, I go through periods of duh, of course I can IF I actually try and OMG, how the hell do I get asked out in the real world sans inter web help! But all that aside, it’s oddly revived my spirit – now that I have a goal in mind. This is the thing about my friend and how I know that not only is he a great friend but an intuitive one. He knows I’m secretly competitive (when I’m in, I go all in – this half ass shit is for assholes) and he threatened me (look above at the well drying up). New motto – I WILL NOT DRY UP!!!

Perhaps it’s also the right time – life is all about timing, yes? Coming out of the renovation, etc., I finally am getting the oomph to go back out into the world and just have fun. Cuz yes, even though I’ll bitch and moan about dating…at the end of the day – it IS supposed to be fun. And generally, I find it IS fun even if it’s just a single date. I can turn lemonade out of lemons from most situations and who doesn’t love another silly blog post?

I put my feelers out there. Called my friends to arms (as good ol’ Liz said, “Maggie the cat is ALIVE!!!”). I’m open currently to blind dates and simply painting the town. At this point, I’m staying off the online radar as the thought of that makes me a little depressed (still). For that, I’ll give myself until the end of the year to decide whether I’ll jump back on. However, if desperate times are upon me come Nov. 14, I might have to just grab some random online fiend and hope he’s not the murdering type.

I am, in essence, putting myself out there as openly as I have SINCE I was hitting my stride online and BEFORE I got sidetracked. I am open to younger fellows (but please be of drinking age), fellas with kids, divorced dudes, etc. I won’t say I’m open to anyone with a pulse. I still have my standards but since the goal is simply to hit ONE date, well…it’s just a date. If he’s an asshole, I’ll just finish my drink, get up and leave. Or maybe I’ll throw the drink in his face and let him foot the bill. Oh dare to dream!

The not-so-secret subliminal goal of this though is simply to get me over my current hump and out of my dry spell. To remind me that life is to be lived and the way I want it. Do I still want a relationship or simply to be a cougar? Honestly, why can’t I be both? One doesn’t eliminate the other but one doesn’t necessarily include the other. I’m good with either/neither.

During these months, my mind has not really remained idle (like it ever could). I do not know if I will ever be in a solid relationship or ultimately get married. I really do want those things but I’m also not counting them to happen or bring me some perfect happiness. I like my life as it is and while it seems a little sad to think or even say, I might live out this life alone. Fuck it. I might. It’s a possibility. Just as its possible I’ll go through several more relationships or just THE ONE (dun dun dun). All possibilities are out there. And at this moment, with my current goal in mind, I’m letting go of the expectations of things and just living in the possibility of whatever is out there and also whatever is already here. It’s the healthiest attitude to have right now and one I hope to maintain for these “challenging” months.

Fears still reside in my belly and I’m working through them as they show themselves. I still retain some semblance of idealism when it comes to finding a mate. But as I say – if it’s just one date…let the fun begin.

Wish me luck cuz fuck if I know if I can actually do this. One might seem like nothing but for me, one is not always an easy number to achieve. But the drive to work is back and so I’m hoping there will be at least more than a little payoff. Let’s see what 8 weeks can bring.


Accustomed To My Face

A few weeks ago, I was going thru some egotistical crisis. I had such a desire to be validated for my beauty. It was an odd moment.

Beauty is such a subjective thing and yet I find myself struggling with it more than I care to.

They say when you hit your 30s you become more comfy in your skin. And I am but certain other anxieties have arisen too. The bloom of youth is gone. I can feel my body deteriorate a little more with each injury I get. Things will no longer rise – everything will fall. Slowly but surely.

And yet, most of the time I can live with that.

When I was younger, I always felt that however I ended up looking would just be indicative of the badges I’ve earned through my life. Now that I’ve earned some, that’s not quite as assuring as I thought.

But sometimes, the youth have it right. I find myself so busy concentrating relentlessly on my flaws and pay only passing heed to the good bits. It seems like I should do the reversal, shouldn’t I? I look back at pix of myself in my 20s and I was adorably doofy. Truth is, I probably look better now. I stand straighter. I feel healthier. In all ways, I’m more of a complete person. And yet still…

What I do know – the ones I care for care for me and how I look is inconsequential to the equation. My head knows this. But my insecurities like to fuck around with the other bits of my psyche. I want validation from people I can’t really get it from. Past lovers. Passing fancies. Some men make you feel like you’re golden. Others, they show up but you don’t really know what they see in you.

I consider myself a fairly confident person but my confidence lies mostly within my intelligence and my wit, not necessarily with my outer shell. I consider myself pretty on some days and plain on bad days but most days, I’m normal. I’m simply just used to my face. But no matter how I feel on the outside, inside, I know I am a smart person – ALWAYS. Growing up, I was constantly validated for my intelligence that to this day, I don’t really question the truth of it. It just is. I guess you could say I received such validation for my smarts that I don’t really require much validation (if any) today. On that same note, I don’t ever recall anyone calling me pretty during my childhood or adolescence.

The sad thing – I wish it didn’t matter. The sadder thing – it does matter (to me) more than I wish it would.

The good thing – being smart isn’t affected by gravity the way my boobs will be when I hit senior citizen age.

Watching this newest generation grow up – it’s like a brand new world. They’re constantly being reassured of their intelligence and beauty. Even my mom! Now that she’s a grandma, she’s so generous with the beauty compliments to my niece. It’s weird to see how times have changed and how things my parents would never have said to me are now the norm for this newest generation.

And I wonder – how will this balance out? The good thing – they’re all smart kids and hopefully, will continue to be so. Their attractiveness – I wonder how good/bad they’ll feel as they age. Will they feel the same things I am now or will they surpass it because they have confidence ingrained in them about this aspect of their life? I’m curious to see how their lives will play out. What will I recognize and what won’t I know?

Listen, I’m not exactly sitting and weeping about all my imperfections. It’s just I want to be able to look past that…or learn to embrace it. There is so much weight put upon how a woman looks – damn the expectations of our society. And while I try not to fall prey to all the propaganda (cuz I know better), I can’t help but enjoy some of the accessories that go along with it (hello red lipstick!). End of the day – I do enjoy being a girl.

Do I wish beauty had less weight? Yes. I wish it had less weight with me.

Does it matter what the opposite sex thinks then? Yes and no. During this mind fuck of a time, I probably got more stranger on the street validation than ever before. Either that or I finally paid attention and noticed men noticing me. Go figure.

The oddity – I find myself very disconnected from the idea of me being attractive. When I walk down the street and men would say what they will or gawk, it feels out of body. Like it’s not me they see. Or I wonder – what is it that they see? And why do I not feel that? Why am I not connected to this? It’s as if I’m in third person mode. I recognize the signs of attraction but partly my guard is up and partly, I’m thinking – are they really looking at me? What the fuck do they see?

I’m still a little weird when I get compliments. Sometimes I can handle. Other times, I’d rather change the subject. I like dressing up and looking nice but when someone mentions it to my face, I get flustered. I try to take it more in stride but inside, that little girl is quietly pleased while the big girl just wants it to go away.

A friend of mine once told me he thought he wasn’t the kind of guy women found attractive right away. He just kinda grew on people. Made me giggle but in some ways, I feel the same way. I think it’s also an easier way for me to understand why men might be attracted to me. If they spend time with me or I allow them to see how funny/smart/charming I can be, then I can find a reason for their attraction. But being into me just by looking at me – I don’t fully get it. I do (cuz duh, I’ve been attracted to dudes like that) but I don’t. Working this out as I write, I think it’s just a distrust. To be attracted to me, in some part, I feel it has to be a totality but clearly the guy walking down the street isn’t going to have a chat with me about recent world events.

Gawd. The thing is – one day nobody will look at me when I walk down the street. I should appreciate it more. I do not seek it but maybe I should simply appreciate it. While I still got it. Whatever “it” may be.

I read something that it’s better not to look so much in the mirror. It just ends up stressing the person out. Better to go with how you feel than how you look. I like that idea. If I go with that idea – there will inevitably be bad times but mostly, I would be on the up and up. How many times have I felt great only to have it ruined by looking in the mirror and seeing what I deemed less than perfect?

My friend once said that age is the great equalizer. Whether you’re beautiful now or not…it won’t matter much when you’re 83. My problem is…I’m a long way from 83.

What do I want? I don’t want to want validation. I want to just let it ride and let it be. At times, I think I am close to that. Other times, I’m just human and racked with some measure of neediness. It’s just learning to wallow for a bit then move past. If I circle back a few more times, so be it. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to drive out of the roundabout completely. Or, at the very least, care a little bit less and just enjoy the ride.


All Quiet on the Westside

It’s only been dark about an hour and I’ve already run out of things to do.

For the past few months, it’s been non-stop in some way or another.

And now, my kitchen/bathroom are done. The family matters have happened and are learning to settle. All that’s left is me. Alone.

It’s been a REALLY, REALLY long time since I’ve felt this type of loneliness. It’s not crazy heartbreaking. My heart isn’t broken this time around. For lack of better word, it’s the ennui of a single gal in a great big city.

Dramatic enough?

Gawd, I didn’t fully realize how nice it was to have constant projects for the first half of the year and now with things mostly settled, I don’t know what else to do.

Sure, there are still tidbits left to take care of but really, it’s more about pulling the trigger on the final touches. It’s nothing super pending (like having your entire house covered in dust and constantly cleaning a pathway but having it dirtied up the next day anyways…repeat). It’s all so very still.

I’ve always been bad with time periods. I have many memories but I don’t have an easy time placing them in any chronological order. I can tell you details but not the year. Maybe the month but it could have been last year or five years ago. It’s all going so fast and yet staying so still.

My rhythm is still off-kilter. Not a bad thing but I can’t seem to figure out where and what I need to be doing. The core friends remain the same but the off-core ones rotate here and there. Change isn’t something I necessarily fear. I try to go with it when I can.

A friend remarked that I looked like I was ready to burst. Well, that was last week. But…that desire is ever present and only now and again does it rise to power. I need an impetus. An inspiration. Until then, it’s just ever so dormant. Ever so latent.

Maybe I’m full of shit.

Maybe I’m not.

This post is bordering on twee and that just annoys me.

I stop now.


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