Cuffing Season?

Looking back at my last few posts, I guess I’m overdue for a progress report. I’m still talking to Michael, and after some very intense conversations, I feel like we’re in a better place. I feel like he’s understanding my insecurities in general and I’m understanding his. He has since unhidden his friends list, which helped. It wasn’t so much that I had this burning need to see who he’s friends with. I just really have a hard time with secretive people, and me wanting him to unblock his friends list was more a matter of principle. If he was really serious about wanting a future with me he’d unblock it, and he did {I didn’t put it quite that way. I’m NOT one for ultimatums}.

We still talk every day and he’s talking about coming to visit again in the next month or so. I’d say things are going better. I think we both have emotional baggage we’re dealing with. When we first started talking, he said he was suspicious of my motives because he couldn’t figure out why a woman as attractive as me {his words} would be interested in him. We’re working through some things and I’m hopeful.

With that said, I’m suddenly finding myself getting attention from every direction and it’s so foreign to me. I’ve never been the girl with the guys chasing her, but now I’m hearing about this guy or that guy who’s interested in me. Huh. As far as I can tell, I’m still the same person. I don’t know what’s changed that’s got guys noticing me.

First, there’s Joe, who I had kind of a FWB relationship for a while. He’s probably the best cuddler I’ve ever known. He’s about 6’5 and his hands are as big as my feet {which are not little or dainty}. Joe makes me feel small and safe in his arms. Romantically there wasn’t much there, though. We fooled around a few times, but sexually I wasn’t really into him. For one thing, he referred to his package as his “li’l wee-wee” several times. I finally told him to stop it. I told him that’s not sexy. He’s not small {more like average} but I don’t know any woman who would be turned on by a guy calling his dick a wee-wee. Anyway, I haven’t seen Joe in maybe a year or so, but lately he keeps poking me on Facebook and texting me from time to time. Maybe he’s lonely, I don’t know.

Then there’s Finch, who messages me every other week or so, saying he dropped the ball and hopes I’m single soon {I had told him I’m talking to someone} so he can have another chance. I suppose I might be flattered if I didn’t know that he messages me after each failed attempt at a relationship with someone else. I see him posting on Facebook regularly, looking for women and referring to himself as a handsome chocolate teddy bear, just in time for winter cuddling. I don’t know if he thinks I don’t see those posts or what. I told him I can’t offer him anything more than friendship but he still persists.

Next there’s Freddy, who I talked to for a while and had a couple of meh dates with. He also knows I’ve been talking to someone but messages me every few weeks, I guess to remind me that he’s still there. There was no chemistry at all when we went out, and he had a weird habit of staring at my elbow while he was talking to me. At least, I think that’s what he was looking at.

Another one is Calvin, whom I met a year ago at my friend Keisha’s house on Thanksgiving. He’s a friend of her uncle’s who happened to be there. They were all playing Pokeno, which I had never played, so he was coaching me. Nothing at all happened with him, other than playing cards and laughing a lot, right along with everyone else. Well yesterday, when I was at her house on Thanksgiving, Keisha’s uncle told me Calvin was down in Louisiana with a bad attitude. I asked why, and he said, “Because he knows you’re here and he’s not.” I was really surprised. A whole year had passed since I had seen Calvin, and like I said, our interaction was nowhere near romantic in nature. But Keisha’s uncle said Calvin sure remembered me, and was not happy that he wasn’t able to make it home {he’s a truck driver}.

And finally, there’s Nate. If anyone is a temptation, it’s him. We became friends on Facebook within the last couple of months or so. He’s seriously good looking and we’ve had a few good chat conversations online {some flirtatious, some not}. He lives much closer than Michael does and told me he’s recently single and would love to meet me. Of course, REBOUND was the first word that popped into my mind when he said that, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tiny bit interested in meeting him face to face. I was good and told him I’m talking to someone, but damn. He definitely caught my attention. That’s all I have to say about that one {for now, anyway}.

I suppose this all might come off sounding conceited or vain. But on the contrary, I don’t get it. I’m actually perplexed by it. I’m not overly flirtatious. I don’t wear clothes that show all my business. I don’t hop in the sack with every guy who smiles at me. I’m friendly…I pay attention when people speak to me…I’m generally kindhearted and I love to laugh. Maybe it’s just that Christmas is coming and people get sentimental when they don’t have a special someone. Maybe they’re just looking for someone to fool around with. Who knows? But I’m definitely not used to the attention, and I’m humbled by it for sure.

On this day after Thanksgiving, I’m grateful that I’m in a place emotionally and mentally where I can be selective about who I spend time with. I’m ok with spending an evening on my own and don’t feel the need to constantly find some random guy to validate me or to stroke my ego {or to stroke my…*ahem* never mind}. I’m grateful to have a good head on my shoulders and friends I can count on. The past few years have been quite a ride, but I see myself evolving, and I gotta say, I kinda like who I’m becoming.

Out, Damned Spot!

It’s been a while since I thought of him. I suppose I went through the stages of break up, not necessarily in the correct order: anger, sadness, more anger, apathy, rebound sex, acceptance. I admit, I truly thought things would be different with him. Despite our near-constant bickering, there seemed to be something underneath that held us together — chemistry, amazing make-up sex, or some kind of shared brokenness that we both understood.

When we split up, it was kind of a relief. Being with him had stopped bringing me much joy and I had stopped smiling when his name popped up on my phone. Sex had become less about physical love and more about his own enjoyment and release. I lost count of how many times I was left unsatisfied while he seemed blissfully oblivious. His carefully chosen words in his last few texts were like poison darts, hitting each mark and digging in under my skin like little barbs. But I never responded. As much as it stung to read those words and to know he was deliberately trying to hurt me, I knew my silence would hurt him just as much.

Occasionally, I’ll see something that reminds me of him and momentarily forget that we haven’t spoken since Valentine’s Day. When the new Thor movie came out {swoon} I felt a little melancholy because we’d both enjoyed watching all of the Marvel movies together. I knew he’d probably be going to see it as well, and I wondered if seeing that movie or the new trailer for Captain America made him think of me.

Sometimes I do wonder if he’s written me completely out of his memory banks or if I ever cross his mind at all anymore.

But I do know that thinking of him at all feels unwelcome, as if he snuck in and whispered hello in my ear before dashing away. His presence is not welcome in my thoughts anymore, and it annoys me that he still has a place there at all. In a way, I feel the same about any reminiscing about my ex-husband. There were some good times earlier on in our marriage, but as the years wore on, I felt like my face was becoming the way Bill Cosby described his wife’s face after they had children, saying that the corners of her mouth had drawn down into a permanent frown.

Only it was my marriage causing that face, not my child. I frowned for way too many years during my marriage, and I felt myself becoming much the same way in this relationship. It had stopped bringing me any kind of joy and it had to go.

So why, if this relationship made me miserable, would I waste a single thought on this man-child? No, I don’t want him back. And if he were to come looking for another chance, he wouldn’t get it. Maybe because, as with my marriage, I was deeply hurt by someone I never would have thought would hurt me. I guess, like anything, it takes time to heal — especially with emotional scars. It takes time for those thoughts to fade and find their proper place in my distant memory. Until then, I’ll mentally scrub and scrub like Lady MacBeth in hopes that one day they’ll finally be gone.

Angels, Devils, and Players

Last weekend, Stacy and I went to a Halloween party. This was my fourth time going, and it’s always a lot of fun. We started planning our costumes at least a month ago, and were really looking forward to cutting loose and just having a good time.

Back in August, we went to a party with the same group of people, and I met Aaron and Julie, a married couple whom I had seen before but never met. They were very nice and seemed very much in love. The night I met them was the night before their first anniversary. I remember telling them they gave me hope for finding someone myself. When we walked in to the Halloween party, we saw both Aaron and Julie right away, and they were happy to see us.

Several of our friends, whom we don’t get to see very often, were there and we were all drinking, laughing, and dancing. There was a guy sitting at the next table, whose chair was right beside mine, and I commented to Stacy that he had nice shoulders {in case I haven’t mentioned it, nice shoulders on a guy are a big turn-on for me}. He turned and commented on something Stacy said, and we started talking. He was cute and really nice. He said he wasn’t into playing games, that he was looking for something more long-term. We really hit it off and he asked me to slow dance.

After we went back to our table and kept talking, Aaron came walking by and I gave him a hard time for not having worn a costume. We joked back and forth for a minute, then he leaned over and said that if he had met me before he’d met his wife, that we’d be dating. I was so surprised at what he said that I don’t know if I even responded. He went on to say, “You’re a beautiful woman and you have an amazing body. Trust me, you’d be a very happy woman.” He walked away and I was standing there completely dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe he said that to me with his wife sitting right across the room.

Randall {the guy I had danced with etc} and I kept talking, and he said I was exactly his type and he wanted me to be his girl. I was really enjoying hanging out with him. He was 40, single, and retired Navy. Suddenly, we heard a commotion on the other side of the ballroom, and saw that there was a fight starting. There were both men and women involved, yelling and hitting and carrying on. When I saw the scuffle moving toward our side of the room, I tapped Randall on the shoulder and said we should get out of there. He was intently watching the fight, so I got up and left him sitting there and made my way out to the hall, where Stacy was.

Apparently, it had all started because two people were having sex {or were trying to} in the hall. Someone saw them and reported it to one of the moderators, who tried to kick them out. Their friends all joined in and it turned into a brawl.

This is the second time I’ve seen such a fight at one of these parties, and both times, Aaron was involved. The first time, he had come dressed like a cheerleader {complete with fake boobs and a wig}. Right after he won the costume contest, he got in a fight with a big girl dressed like a caveman. It’s kinda hard NOT to laugh at a grown man dressed like a woman trying to act tough and yelling at a woman who was easily nearly a foot taller than him and had to outweigh him by a good 80 lbs.

This time, Aaron was involved because he was acting as security/bouncer for the party and was trying to remove the offending parties. There was a lot of yelling and hitting and people holding other people back.

Again, it’s just comical to watch people so furious and fighting when they’re dressed in costumes. The girl who started it all was dressed as a devil, one girl trying to break it up had changed out of her gangster costume and into footie pajamas, another girl yelling and carrying on was dressed like Snooki, and a variety of superheroes stood around watching.

The police were called and eventually the whole thing broke up and everyone was told to disperse. Randall was getting ready to head home, so we exchanged numbers, kissed a little, and said our goodbyes. He said he’d call me the next day.

True to his word, he texted and then called the next morning. He made it clear that he was very interested in me and said that he would definitely come see me {he lives a few hours away}. He said he usually came to my hometown once a month or so for his job, so it wouldn’t be difficult to make plans to meet sometime.

It didn’t take long, however, before he showed his true colors. Later that evening we were talking on the phone and I mentioned that I was home alone because my daughter was still with her dad. He said, “Aw, too bad I’m not there. We could be bumpin’ and grindin’.” I said, “Umm, no we wouldn’t.” He seemed very indignant and asked why not. I told him I’d only just met him the day before and that I don’t just jump in the sack with guys like that. He tried to say that he wasn’t talking about sex. Sure… I don’t know about you, but I don’t describe hanging out and watching movies as ‘bumpin’ and grindin’.’

Needless to say, I haven’t heard from him since, which cracked me up. He sat there at the party talking about how he’s not looking for booty calls, that he wants something serious etc, but totally shut down when I made it clear that I’m not a sure thing. He might not have worn a costume, but I know a dog when I see one.

What a crazy freakin’ night, seriously. Can’t wait til next year’s party!