Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Bright Spot in a Dreary Day

I had to take the kid to his first dentist appointment. His dad came too. Kiddo wanted no part of it, his dad and I had to restrain him Guantanamo Bay style to allow the dentist to brush and check his teeth.
Through his tears, Kiddo kept saying, "I want Daddy." Over and over.

It broke my heart that he was so upset about the dentist situation, but it also stung that he was asking for Daddy and not me. On my way to work Jack and I were texting and I mentioned the horror show at the dentist. I asked my mom-friends on Facebook who reassured me that this is just a phase and I was feeling mostly better.

But he had flowers delivered to  me at work. The card was so sweet and said, in part, "Not all days are gonna be perfect, but you're pretty close!"

I love this man.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Number

Obviously I'm referring to the number of men I've had sex with. And let me tell you up front that I am not sharing that number with you. I know it and that's enough. I used to be super hung up on not wanting to add to the number. I used to be super concerned with what his number was.

Until I was having a conversation with a guy and he declined to share his number because he didn't want to know mine, "Its not fun imagining your girl with all those other guys."  Which is true I guess. I don't really think about all the other women he's been with. But I do agree now that its a stupid conversation. What purpose does it serve? I'm trying to be a more sex-positive person, which to me means that as long as everyone was consenting and of age, I don't care how you get your kicks. I don't give two shits if you've slept with 2 women or if your number is in the triple digits. I only care that you're clean and safe.

I grew up extra-strength Catholic. I'm non-practising now but some of that mindset is stuck in my brain. I've clearly given up on the whole "no sex before marriage" part because I am divorced and have a kid. The jig is up, I'm not a virgin. Shocking I know!

Accept, forgive, change. Live where I am now, not back where I was.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Second Sleepover with Jack

Jack and I were supposed to go to a comedy show after work one night. We missed the show so we stayed at his place, ordered take out, watched a show and then talked. I could talk to this man for hours.

I love his place. He has everything organized. Obsessively almost. It makes me feel mischievous. I want bring a little spontaneity to his life. I don't know....not a lot to tell you guys because about 80% of the time we are together we are talking and/or kissing and the conversations are either 1) stuff you would find boring or 2) too ridiculous or personal to share.

But I will say that when we went to bed, Jack had moved all his alarm clocks and stuff to the left side of the bed. "Because you sleep on the right. Right?"

He switched sides of the bed for me.

For the record, I don't really have a side, its more about placement of the bed and the door. If I'm the only one in bed, I have to sleep on the side closer to the door. If there is a man in the bed, he has to sleep on the side closest to the door. Its a paranoid/home invasion/no basis in reality thing.

But still. He remembered what side I sleep on, and then switched accordingly. Jack is ridiculously adorable. Such a keeper.

I leave tomorrow for my week long solo vacation. Jack offered to pick me up at the airport, he asked me to send pictures and call in the evenings. I'm absolutely going to miss him. I was saying that I'll miss him and I wish he could come see a certain museum that would be like heaven to him. His response, "Well it would be $800 for me to come out for the weekend. Maybe next time."

You know how I know I'm crazy about this man? That didn't freak me out at all. He does things that if any other man did, I would be running in the opposite direction, but when Jack does it, my heart melts.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Giddy as a School Girl

Jack and I have seen each other at least every other day since the barbeque at his house. I'm absolutely sold on this man.

One day this week, he came over after work. I made dinner, we sat at the table and caught up on our days, like an actual couple. Then we sat on the couch and ignored our phones and the tv and just talked. Talked and talked and kissed and kissed. Finally at 11:30 we decided to call it a night. Its so hard to have him leave. I know I'll see him again soon, but I feel comfortable with him. It's hard to send him away.

The next day, we talked about having him spend the night. Adorably, Jack was just as nervous as me. I'm loving the contrast between Jack and I and whatever it is we're doing, (I hesitate to use the word relationship because it seems like too big of a word, for now) and every other relationship I've had. Jack and I are upfront and communicative about anything and everything. There is a great give and take. We have so much in common. So so so so much. But he balances me.

The day after we talked about having Jack spend the night, he came to my house again. I picked up take out and we watched a movie while we ate. Then we spent hours talking and kissing and talking. I said, "I don't want you to have to go home, but it's getting late."

He said, "Ask me to stay."

And he did. Jack brought a tiny overnight bag. We went upstairs and got ready for bed. I was a little nervous, but I'm sure Jack was more nervous. But somehow, it felt almost natural. A little awkward changing in front of each other. But we got our teeth brushed and got into bed. We are such chatter boxes that we mostly just talked for another hour or two, but we did fool around a bit. We haven't "sealed the deal," so to speak.

Snuggling up with Jack all night felt right.  Unfortunately, we talked so much that we only got about 3 hours of sleep. The next day at work was a struggle to stay awake and be somewhat competent at my job. But interspersed with all the yawning, Jack and I hashed out some things. I think we are making progress towards being a relationship. And a healthy, possibly long lasting one. I guess time will tell. I'm excited for the potential future we have together but I'm also trying to just enjoy everything as it unfolds.

I'm so very very happy right now.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

First date with Jack

I kept meaning to write about this while it was fresh in my mind. But I didn't. So this is what I remember.

All week leading up to it, I was nervous. The morning of the date, I hated all my clothes and had nothing to wear. I felt sick to my stomach with nerves all day at work. I wanted to bail and spend that Friday night on the couch in my sweats. This was a good sign because it meant I actually cared about the outcome. I've gotten nervous before dates on other occasions and eventually got a mindset of "Fuck it, at least I can get drunk and it will turn out fun one way or another."

Jack picked me up from work and we drove to the East Side for dinner. His GPS got us lost and I could tell he was frustrated and embarrassed. I kept assuring him that being lost didn't matter because we weren't on a strict deadline. We found the restaurant and had a nice dinner of Thai food and exchanged funny stories. After dinner we still had a lot of time before the comedy show would start so I suggested Frozen Yogurt. His GPS got us lost again.

No matter, we had froyo, and went to the comedy show. Shared a brief kiss at our table. We weren't done hanging out so we went to a bar. And kissed a little more. The bar was noisy so we sat in his car in the parking lot and talked and laughed and kissed for hours. It was getting too cold in the car but I still wasnt ready for him to go, so we went to my house to sit and talk and kiss on my couch.

No sex. Scouts honor!

But Jack stayed until about 3am. I had the best time and still wasn't ready for him to leave.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Very Happy Girl

I know I'm behind on telling you the story. But Jack and I are so obnoxiously happy. And we see each other about every other day. I'm sitting here at my desk, smiling like a Cheshire Cat with a special song on repeat.

Its so fucking cliche, but I swear to God that once you let go and accept being single, the right person will cross your path.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

BBQ at Jack's

So as I mentioned, Trish had spent months trying to get Jack and I in the same room because she thought we'd be a cute couple. A barbeque at Jack's apartment was thrown together. Trish, her husband and her puppy would attend, as well as another couple of their friends. And Jack, and me, and my son. Of course, 99% of the time my son and my dating do not overlap. Since this was a barbeque with other people present, and not really a date, I decided to bend the rules a bit.

The kid and I went to the barbeque. Prior to the barbeque, Jack sent me a video showing a few spots I could park in when I arrived. I thought that was very thoughtful and sweet. When I pulled up to his house, before I could even gather up my bags and the kid, there was Jack, ready to help me carry in the desert I (actually, my mom) had baked. I felt nervous and on edge the whole time, not sure what to do or say around Jack. Kiddo had a great time playing with the puppy and some toys we brought from home.

Jack tried to engage me in conversation a few times but I was so nervous that I couldn't  hold up my end of the conversation. Plus, I was hyper-aware that besides my kid, everyone else at the barbeque knew that this was a set up. It felt like a lot of pressure!

We had fun, we ate, we played Cards Against Humanity and it ended up being a decent time. Eventually, it was late, we all had work the next day and my kid asked to go home. So we said goodbye to our friends, packed up the kid's toys, and prepared to leave. My hands were full so Jack offered to carry some of it to the car. I buckled the kid into his carseat and put all my junk into the car.

"We should hang out some time without my entourage," I said gesturing towards my car with the kid. Jack agreed and said he'd call me this week. I went to hug him goodbye and he pulled me in for a quick peck of a kiss on the lips.

I'm very excited and hopeful about this one. He is well aware of the whole "kid situation" and still wanted to have me over for the BBQ. He made an effort to talk to the kid and tried to engage him in playing. And he's clearly interested in me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Steve #4

So when I left off, I had spent the night with Steve. I liked him and he seemed nice enough. The next time I saw him, I went to his apartment.  It was the last time we would see each other because he was going to be away for about two months. We had sex and then I was basically shown the door. 

I felt cheap and stupid. I spent hours wandering around downtown. Stopped in a tattoo parlor and considered getting some ink. My mom happened to text me and ask what I was doing. I told her and she responded, "Nice girls don't have tattoos." 

All I could think is, "Good thing I'm not a nice girl." But I couldn't commit to a tattoo. So I kept walking and then stopped in a Catholic church. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school. So it was a familiar setting. I thought I could clear my head, I tried to pray. Nothing felt right. So I walked a few more blocks and stopped in a bar. I claimed a seat and sat and drank and watched football for hours. Until I felt pathetic and decided to go home. 

Steve and I texted a bit after he left.  Sporadic and about nothing in particular. Sexting on one occasion. And then he ghosted. Meh. 

Then one day in March, I get a text from him:

Tell me that's not a booty call. Seriously. Look me in the eyes and tell me what other kind of discussion that was meant to be.

I wasn't awake so I didn't respond until later the next day. Steve says he'll be back in town again in May, doubting I'll hear from him, but I don't really have much to say to him.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

This Could Be Something

I have a co-worker, Trish who I've become friends with. She's great and we talk daily about anything. Our personalities just click and I think she's awesome. For several months, at least since before December, Trish has been talking up this single friend of hers, Jack.

I stalked Jack's Facebook page. He is handsome, I'll admit. But I was still in the middle of my shit with Tom, and Jack had a long distance relationship that was falling apart. I was interested, but the timing felt wrong. In December, Trish had a birthday party that Jack and I attended. It was my first time meeting him instead of just hearing Trish talk him up to me. I think Trish must have talked me up to him too because it just felt forced. I felt like I was expected to talk to Jack and hit it off. I over thought everything and was shy.

Jack and I ended up talking for a total of 10 minutes about a Julie Andrews movie. I have no recollection of how that came to be the topic. I have no strong feelings about that particular movie. I was late for another party, so I cut our weird conversation short and left.

I was sure I'd blown it. Trish said Jack thought I was cute. But a few weeks later, after the Tom situation imploded and then resolved, I thought I was serious about Patrick. Trish said Jack had a new girlfriend too. Oh well, wasn't meant to be I figured.

After I decided that I couldn't stand Patrick or his needle dick, I was back on the hunt. Trish mentioned Jack was single again. I had in my head that Jack was a good guy, that there might be something there, but I wanted to get this one right. So I waited. I was still working on myself and knew I wasn't relationship ready yet.

Then one morning on the bus, idly swiping through Tinder, Jack's picture popped up. Swipe right!
Later that day, Jack popped up as one of my OKCupid matches. I thoroughly scoped his profile. Then later noticed that he had viewed mine. Finally, I summoned the courage to message him. Turns out, we both thought we blew our chance with each other because of the awkward Julie Andrews chat.

So after a bit of chatting, and Trish acting as a go-between, a barbeque was arranged for the upcoming weekend. And the barbeque is a story for another day....

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Matthew- The End

Eh, we had a good run. Conversation was always a little hard to carry with him. So I just kind of faded away. I'd respond when he texted but that was about it. But even before I started The Fade, we had a free weekend and he didn't ask to get together. So I was "meh" about the whole situation.

Then came Matthew's birthday. Because I'm not a monster, I texted him to say Happy Birthday.
He replied instantly, "Thanks, I miss you."

Ohhhhh fuuuuuuuuck

I told him I was sorry. He said it seemed like I wasn't interested anymore. #accurate.
He started saying that he understood because he was 6 years older than me, with two kids, and a divorce, and he worked night that he wasn't a catch.

I spent about 5 minutes telling him that he is attractive, I don't see him having children as a negative, and his age isn't the problem. I told him also that I didn't want to invest myself in a situation where I was the rebound girl.

A relationship with Matt would never go anywhere. He had moved out of his house 6 months ago. As much as he claimed to be fine, I couldn't help but think about my mindset 6 months after my separation. I would also have insisted that I was fine and ready to move on, but now a year and a half removed from the situation, I see that I was still a wreck then. I feel so much stronger and more capable now, and maybe 18 months from now, I'll be even stronger.

Either way, Matt and I were not going to work. I feel bad, because he has a lot of issues to work through and because he asked if we could stay friends, which, sure fine. But after his little stunt of falling asleep and being hours late to a date, he didn't attempt to make plans with me, and never said anything future tense (Example: "We should see that movie" regarding a preview of something that opens in a month.) I don't think he was that into me either.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Matthew #4

Matthew and I had plans. He was to come over to my neighborhood and we'd have dinner and whatever else. But there was radio silence. I knew Matt had been out drinking the night before. And not just, "drinking," but "DRINKING." So I assumed he had a hangover.

But I was done with work....nothing.

I rode the bus home....nothing

I sent a text or two, "we still on for tonight?".....nothing.

At this point, I'm pissed.  I do not get stood up. I'm not having that shit.

I change my plans and resolve to go for a run instead. Go home, shower, put on sweats.  I mentally prepare myself for the realization that this guy is blowing me off. I get irritated, not even mad anymore, and kind of let it go. I wasn't that invested in him, I wasn't making long range plans around him. Oh well, on to the next.

Then magically, Matt texts. He's apologetic and says that he was very hungover and sick and is very sorry that he didn't respond earlier but still wants to get together.

Ughhhhh. Fine. I agree to meet up with him, mentally making a note that this is his Strike 1. There is no Strike 2. I know, I'm harsh, but listen, I don't have room in my life to have a relationship with another fuck up. Matt says he'll pick me up in two hours.

TWO. HOURS. 2 hours, like 1......2....?

Fiiiiiiiiinnnnnne. I'm not please but I get dressed, do my hair and make up. Again. And then sit and wait and wait and wait for him.

Matt comes and picks me up. He opens the car door for me, he lets me pick the restaurant, he picks up the tab and waves away my offer to pay. But he's not very good company. He's still semi hungover and I'm just irritated with this whole situation, partly because of his behavior, but partly because I was hangry from waiting for Matt's late ass to meet me for dinner.

We're sitting, I'm trying to make conversation, when a group of 5 guys walk in. Matt knows them from college. They all say hi to each other, just pleasantries, and Matt introduces me as his, "Friend." Barf.

Matt didn't need to say I was his girlfriend, I'm not wanting that, or ready for it. But "friend."
Dude. Just say, "This is Natalie." Don't fucking friendzone me when you've seen me naked.

So after dinner, I have Matt drop me off, he walks me to the door, I give him a compulsory kiss and call it a night. I'm pretty much over this dude.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Poor Mother

My parents worry about me, bless their hearts. They worry about me living alone. They don't like me to stay out too late. They don't like me meeting up with strange men from the internet. I think if they could have someone chaperone me, they would.  So as much as possible, I don't tell them what I'm up to. Gives them less to worry about right? I don't discuss dating with my dad. At all. Ever. I'd happily let him believe I'm still a good catholic girl, and a virgin, but since I have a 3 year old, the jig is up.

I talk to my mom if there is anything of note to report. Multiple dates with the same guy, anything especially cringe worthy or sweet. But most often when I tell her about a date, she tries to remember what guy I'm talking about. She never guesses right. In her defense, I've been going through men very quickly. I'll identify them to her by their profession, "the lawyer, the finance guy, the cop, no, not him, the other cop."

So I don't talk to her about my dating habits a whole lot. But every time we do talk, she says, "I need a scorecard to keep track."
First of all, that's kind of rude
Second of all, she's totally right.

Last time I told my mom I was going on a date, she texted me to say, "Have fun, don't drink or swear too much and act like a lady."
Jesus. Its like this woman doesn't know me at all. If I don't drink, how fun will it be? I swear all the fucking time, so any guy I'm interested in might as well know that up-fucking-front. And I'm sort of ladylike....I mean if you take me to meet your parents, I'll act right. Probably.

Also on one occasion, I told my mom about a particularly drunken first date I had. She scolded me for getting drunk with a stranger I met on the internet.  I decided she didn't need to know that he spent the night...

After a successful date, Mom always wants to know what he does for a living, where he's from, and how tall he is. If I answer those, she can come up with another set of questions, and another, and another. I know she means well and is just trying to see if these are suitable guys but its exhausting. I might as well record the dates and send her a transcript.

I keep my mom in the dark about the men rotating through my life for a few reasons, but mainly because I don't see the point in getting her up to speed on a guy who probably won't be in my life next month. When something is serious, I'll let her know. In the meantime, my poor mom will keep getting her hopes up, unnecessarily, about the flavor of the week.