Sexy weekend. Not!

It’s the middle of summer, a beautiful weekend here in the PNW, and I’m dog-sitting for a friend.  A friend who is doing something this weekend.  Oh, and this wasn’t my only invitation to dog-sit, either.  Another friend is also doing something fun this weekend.  But, I couldn’t take two, so I took the one most urgent, and the one I know I can count on to dog-sit for me someday, should I ever get a life.

End of pity party . . .

It’s actually been a nice weekend.  Really quiet.  Lots of me time.  I like that in a weekend from time-to-time.

Yesterday I started my running class.  It was a success in that I wasn’t the slowest runner in the group.  I was happy being at the top of the bottom one-third of the class.  I mean, really, not bad for being pretty much sedentary for the past four years (because if I left the house to run or go to the gym, my sociopath Ex accused me of cheating, so I just stopped doing anything so as to avoid conflict) and only being back to moving my body since April and running since May.

There are no single men in the group of at least 50 people.  All of the men are either old or they are there with their girlfriends or wives.  Which reminds me, I’d love to find a guy who runs.  Anyway, seems like a nice group of people and this is helping me get out there to meet people in real life, which I need to do after my four years of solitary confinement.

After the run, I took the dogs to the river and the dog park to get them tired so they wouldn’t completely thrash my apartment.  Then I rented movies and ate junk food until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.  It was kind-of awesome.  Finally, I had a really nice — the nicest in a long time — sleep, and for the first time in ages, I woke up feeling great.

The extra dog is going home in a couple hours and I’m looking forward to it.  Not that she’s not a nice dog.  She is.  But she has lots of bad habits that annoy me, and she’s wearing out her welcome.  Plus, I have errands to run (like baby shower shopping) and really need to get out of my apartment.

No dates lined up for the week.  I have some changes to make on my profiles and I’m going to start contacting men instead of waiting for them to contact me.  I mean, shit, why not?  What do I have to lose?  More about that one later . . .

Why I need to get out of this town

I went to Fourth Thursday last night. The web definition is:

Every last Thursday of each month,  Alberta St. turns into a public art show with booths that line the street from NE 14th to NE 31st. You might see some DJ’s on the corner sidewalk shaking beats well into the night, maybe even a few fire walkers, street performers or the March Fourth marching band throwing down great grooves for all to enjoy.

It’s basically like going to a square on NYC, maybe in Chelsea, except the people of Portland try too hard to be different, artsy, whatever.  You can see them looking around like, “Whose watching me be funky right now!?  Look everyone!  I’m dressed in a gnome costume!  And, I’m dancing . . . in the middle of the street!  OMG, who does that?!  I do!  I’m weird and different!”

I’m more of a live and let live, mind your own business type of person, so I’m not a big people-watcher by nature.  And, I find it much more interesting when people are just being for the sake of being, not for the purpose of gaining attention or purposefully being different.  Plus, I’ve been around and seen a lot of stuff, so maybe I’m desensitized.  It was fun and all, and nice to be out of my little bubble for awhile.

Being on the prowl, I was, of course, scouting the place out for guys, and I was deeply disturbed by the was the lack of decent men.  Disturbed, but sadly, not surprised.  Skinny jeans, skinny jeans cut-offs, fat (not chubby — we’re talking sloppy here), goatees (aka the prison pussy), thrift shop clothing (the obvious “Look at me!  I shop at Buffalo Gap!  I’m so cool and sustainable!” kind) and really just a lousy selection.

After a bite with friends I went home and hopped online before bed.  Finally, a message from Match.com (I’m not having a lot of luck there)!  In the body of his email, he admitted that he failed my requirements and wanted me to guess which ones.  It didn’t take long . . . he was 5’6″ tall and probably in the 300+ lb range.  He had a major prison pussy, too.  Seriously?

Sigh . . .

OK, so I’m being totally down on Portland, and really, it’s a great city in many ways, but the more time I spend here, the more I miss the east coast (and the men on the east coast).  I’m frustrated.  And, let’s face it, I’m not a good fit here.  I’ve known that for a long time.  And now, I just need to do something about it — either learn to love it or get the hell out of town.

Dates

My online profiles (Match.com, OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish) are up and running.  I put up a few new images, and changed my profile to be less demanding, less intimidating and less sexual.  It’s bland, really.  I took down my “MySpace photo” (per OK Cupid’s scientific research, men are most attracted to the “MySpace photo” — self-made photos looking directly into the camera and flirting).  I just couldn’t do it.  I’m 36 not 22. 

The good news is that I’m receiving more responses, and not just from the young guys (looking to get laid) or the fat rednecks that unfortunately seem to make up the majority of the Portland Metro area.  That doesn’t mean I’m getting anything good, mind you, but at least it’s not pissing me off on a regular basis.  I have a potential meeting/date next week.  He’s going to call me first because he can’t stand a screecher (WTF?) and he hopes I’m nice.  He invited me out for tea, which sounds totally gay.

I’ve (re-)learned my lesson

I tried the online dating thing years ago.  I was an insomniac, a workaholic and I’d just moved across the US.  I knew no one.  This was before cell phones and when IMing (on AOL, nonetheless) was the thing to do.  I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spent online getting to know potential male suitors.  There was lots of witty banter, flirting, deep conversations with strangers, and back then, having a photo online was a rarity so you asked a lot of questions and hoped for the best.  Often, after hours, days and even weeks of online communication, we would meet.  Usually it was awkward and uncomfortable.  Someone was too fat or too ugly.  Secrets spilled on the keyboard made things weird in person.  There was nothing left to discuss and everyone was suddenly shy and embarrassed.  So much time and hope was wasted and the disappointment, though a little ridiculous, was very real.

Since then I’ve been in a string of serious relationships so I haven’t done a lot of dating, online or otherwise, but I have learned my lesson.  It’s just too easy to get carried away by words and your imagination.  I am very attracted to literate men and if he can engage me in short, witty emails, texts and instant messages, he’s at a serious advantage.  I use words to flirt and I love to communicate in writing.  Because of my tendancy to get a little carried away when it comes to the written word, I need to push for a meeting as soon as possible and STAY AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.

I had been doing a great job at keeping the pre-meeting communication at bay with all of my online potential dates.  At one point the communication with a certain guy (let’s call him Sunglasses Guy as he wears them in many of his photos) was getting a little out of control.  He was traveling, he was working, he was too busy, he had lots of excuses not to meet.  He contacted me, so I thought this was a really crappy plan on his part.  I told him that when he came back to town and wanted to meet, he should contact me.  He said that was fair, and we stopped.

A few weeks went by and I had my drama with the Ex, JK and I hooked up, I had gone out on a few lousy dates, and things were pretty much status quo.  Sunglasses Guy often popped up on my IM, so eventually I couldn’t resist and I said hello.  Truth is, I thought about him a lot; he was just my type and I really enjoyed our conversations.  Dangerous territory, I know, but what can I say?  He was once again out of town for work.  Against my better judgement, we spent the entire week texting and emailing as much as we could and sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.  We flirted, we chatted, we had a good time.  We even talked on the phone once or twice.  He wished me sweet dreams every night, told me good morning and “checked-in” with me during the day, as he would promise to do the day before.  We didn’t dicuss anything too personal, so that was my excuse to keep things moving along — as long as it was at a superficial level, I told myself.

After a week, he came back into town (texting me once his plane touched down).  Sunglasses Guy had a day or two back in town, a houseguest who was around for business and home-basing it at his condo, and then was taking off to travel again.  I was busy, so it didn’t bother me that things weren’t going to work out for us that week.  We stayed in constant contact while he was home and when he went out of town again, and again once he was back and during the time his houseguest was with him.

He was still non-committal, but brought up a potential meeting on Sunday once his houseguest finally left.  On Saturday we were both busy, but he texted me that morning and again that evening to tell me sweet dreams.  On Sunday morning I texted him back and didn’t hear a word until Monday night when he texted me something short and sweet, but said nothing about Sunday or the week ahead.

I decided we either needed to meet or end this thing, whatever it was, so I texted him: “By the way, I’m free Wednesday and Thursday this week if we are still planning on meeting up.”  That was Monday evening and I haven’t heard a word from him.  At least 1,000 texts, some emails, some IMs, a couple of phone calls and the guy totally disappears on me.  What the fuck?

I’ve beat myself up over it because I knew it wasn’t a good idea.  It was a complete waste of time.  I’ve been wondering what I did wrong, but I know that it’s not me, it’s him, and it could be a multitude of issues.  I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume he was a dick, a liar or a cheater, but it’s getting harder and harder to maintain that stance.  If anything, I think he’s a pussy for not manning up and telling me what the deal is.  I’m really trying to believe that not all guys are like my Ex, I’m really trying to trust in people, and I’m really trying to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but things like this make it really hard.

No winners

I’ve met five men from the internet since my break-up with the Ex.

I met one guy for drinks, but he sat in the dining room of the restaurant instead of the bar, so I was his captive audience through drinks, appetizers, dinner, and dessert.  His online photos were old and he’d gained at least 30 lbs since they were taken.  I could have lived with that, as he carried it well and seemed to be doing something about it.  Bitching and moaning about all of the people who had done him wrong in life was a huge turn-off, on top of the fact that I’m 95% certain that he was gay.  He asked to see me again, I said no thanks.

The second one was close to 50 years old even though he told me he was 37.  He confessed after a few martinis, but he didn’t have to.  It was perfectly clear.  I didn’t go out with him again either.  Fucking liar.

The third one was a nice guy, I guess, but we were like night and day.  He was semi-hippy and kinda artsy.  We didn’t hit it off at all.

I went out with someone new in town.  He was only 40, but looked older.  His dragon breath just about knocked me out and he had a tic.  It was like mild turrets.  He thought he was the bees knees, but beyond his trendy jeans (that he clearly bought in the young men’s section at Nordstrom) he was kinda gross.  He tried to kiss me when he walked me to my car (gag!), but I refused and never heard from him again.

JK and I . . . well, that’s working out better than not, but I don’t see that lasting much longer.  Our libidos just don’t mesh — something he’s openly acknowledged — and I know that he is looking for a wife to have babies with.  Not that I wouldn’t be open to that, should the right person come along, but he’s just not it.

I took down my profiles in frustration, but recently, I’ve re-posted them.  I don’t know why.  I’m pretty happy with the way things are.  If JK and I saw each other more, I may not have re-posted them, but sex every six weeks is just not enough for this girl.  I also feel like I should just be open to possibilities, even if I’m not necessarily persuing anything.

Paper or perception?

When you are young you care only about the chemistry.  As we age, chemistry being as elusive as it is and with people being marriage-minded, we tend look at the paper and ignore the importance of a connection.  I believe those are the people you see trolling Craigslist for the butterflies, excitement, and magical sex they are missing in their marriages.

Me?  I did things backwards.

My first real, adult relationship was paper-based.  There was no chemistry whatsoever.  But, we had a lot of fun together.  I think that was mostly because, being ten years older (I was in my early 20s) and owning a software company, he treated us to weekends at B&Bs, vacations, dinners out, and shopping on a regular basis.  It was easy to have fun together when all you do is have fun together.  Eventually the sex felt pretty gross, and after several years, with no real commitment or future, things sort-of died and we both moved on.

After him, I had a lot of relationships that were a mix of paper and chemistry, a few that were just chemistry, a few that were just paper.  My marriage . . . I don’t know what that was unless turning-30-and-panicking-about-being-single-without-kids is a category.  Not that it keeps me up at night, but I still wonder what I was thinking when I did that.

My Ex was chemistry only.  We didn’t even want the same thing at the same time.  He looks terrible on paper.  My strategy was that chemistry like that didn’t come along but once in a lifetime.  I threw caution (logic, intuition, pretty much everything, except my heart and nether regions) to the wind and jumped into that hot lava-filled volcano relationship with two feet.  Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done . . .

Someone recently said to me that in everything, there must be a mix of emotion and logic.  You have to balance what looks good on paper with how you feel.  I think that’s true, in the long run.  But, following that philosophy is harder than it sounds.

Finally!

JK (read more about him here) and I have unitentionally been playing a game of cat and mouse over the past several weeks.  I finally pinned him down . . . I needed to in the worst way, and when he told me he was out of town until August, well, it became more urgent, since he’s my only FWB at the moment.

Good news is that he lasted much longer than the two-minute-man he was the first time.  Bad news is that JK is just as annoying as he was the first time.  Back to more good news though — the best part about a fuckbuddy is you can cut the chit-chat and get up and leave when you’re done. 

I’m exhausted, but satisfied.  And even a little sore “down there”.