Ok, Cupid

It had kind of slipped my mind that Valentine’s Day is this week. I stopped looking forward to it long ago…too many disappointments, too many unmet expectations, too much sappy love everywhere. After my divorce, I started jokingly referring to it as Singles Awareness Day. It was much easier to poke fun at the holiday than to admit how much of a drag it really was. But really, this holiday sucks when you’re single. You get bombarded with ads from jewelry stores and candy shops, knowing full well the only way you’re getting either is if you buy it yourself. It’s hard to read all the Facebook posts about the husbands and boyfriends who didn’t drop the ball {as mine always did} and not feel a little twinge of resentment.

So I was kind of surprised, this year, to discover that I’m not dreading February 14. It’s been quite a little bit since I’ve had a sweet, romantic Valentine’s Day, but to be honest, I love the whole idea of it. The romantic in me loves the idea of hearts and gifts and surprises and LOVE. I like the little candy hearts and the big red heart-shaped boxes of candy. I love the decorations and the little valentines that kids exchange every year in school. I really like making homemade treats for my co-workers and friends, and I like surprising my daughter with sweets and cute cards.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t entirely given up on Cupid. Yeah, I’d love to be surprised with flowers at work or a sweet card in a red envelope. But it’s also ok if I don’t. It’s not so much that I’m celebrating being single, but my life is truly full with so many blessings. I have people who love and care about me, who make me feel treasured and special every single day.  I find plenty of reasons to laugh and I get hugs from my sweet daughter every morning before work and every night before I go to bed. Life is good.

Happy Hearts Day!
xoxo

Santa Baby

Santa baby, slip a good man under the tree, for me
I’ve been an awful good girl {some of the time, anyway}
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, if you could make my wishes come true,
I’d kiss you.
I’ll wait up for you, dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I’ve missed,
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed.
Next year I could be oh, so good
If you’d check off my Christmas list

Santa honey, some sex that’s hot and really,
that’s not a lot
I’ve been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, a good man is just what I need — agreed?
One who loves me for me.
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a guy who’ll call and not just text
{unlike my ex}
Not one who’ll give me some line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With a tall, dark, handsome man sent just for me
I really do believe in you
Let’s see if you believe in me

Santa baby, I guess a nice massage will do,
{back and feet, too?}
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight…

Mama Needs Some Sugar

Maybe it’s because winter is upon us, maybe it’s because Christmas is right around the corner, or maybe it’s because I am, by nature, a very affectionate person. But more and more lately, I’m craving physical contact. I miss holding hands and kissing and being in someone’s arms. I miss just being close to someone, running my fingernails lightly down his arm, or getting a back rub {one of my guilty pleasures, for sure}.

For the most part, hugs from my daughter are all I get. Don’t get me wrong — I love and cherish every hug, especially at her age. But I realized last week at the hair salon how much I really do miss just being touched. As my stylist was washing and styling and drying my hair, I was struck by how nice it felt to have fingers running through my hair. Stop it — I’m not attracted to my stylist! But I do love having my hair played with, and I could have sat there all day getting prettied up.

Christmas is coming, and it’s bittersweet for me. I love the music and good cheer and the get togethers that seem to spring up at this time of year. But I long for someone to spend it with, to drive around looking at Christmas lights with and make snow angels with and watch corny Christmas specials with. It’s only been about 3 months since I’ve been with a man, but I seriously feel like I’m going through withdrawal.

Maybe I should get a sign like this guy and walk around getting hugs from strangers. Actually, when I was in Vegas a few years ago, I was heading back to my hotel room alone at 3am because my ‘friends’ had decided they’d rather hook up with some random Irish guys. I was exhausted and bummed out and frustrated, trying to figure out how to cross these bridge things to get to my hotel, when I came upon a guy with a ‘free hugs’ sign. At that time, I was nearing the end of my marriage and hadn’t been physical with my {now} ex-husband or anyone else in at least a year. The guy looked at me and smiled, so I walked over and got my hug.

I’m not even picky about what kind of hug I get. It could be a friendly hug, a quickie hug, a one-armed hug, or a hug with a pat on the butt {or, as I like to call it, a hug with an exclamation point}. Just gimme some sugar {and don’t get me started on kissing}!

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.

Falling for Him

It’s my favorite time of year, when the air is crisp, the leaves are gorgeous, my sweaters seem snugglier, and hot cocoa is never more than a whistling tea kettle away.

It’s also the time of year when I feel myself yearning more than usual. Wishing for someone to snuggle on the couch and watch football with, someone whose hand fits perfectly with mine.

Some women have a very specific list of what their ideal man must be: salary in six figures {or at least high five figures}, nice car, certain height, certain hair color, etc. I admit, I do have a list, but who he is to me is much more than what he earns or drives.

He’s taller than me and likes to laugh. He works hard for his money and wouldn’t mind that I’m a goof. He’d like my cooking and wouldn’t mind fixing things for me — hammering a nail, changing a lightbulb, working with his hands…

He’d hold the door for me and his kisses would make my knees weak. He’d slow dance with me and hold my hand when we’d go walking. My birthday could be as simple as a list of reasons why he loves me, or as romantic as a room full of candles and soft jazz.

He’d look at me like I’m the only woman in the room and his arms would feel just right around me {hugging me from behind would be a bonus}. He’d call me baby and want to know how my day went. He’d like snuggling on the couch together watching movies and he’d playfully pull me back into bed if I got up too early.

He’s the one I’d grow old with, sit on a porch swing with, and laugh over the same old stories with.

I’ve seen glimpses of him in some of the guys I’ve known and dated, and many times I’ve wished I could take all of their best features and make the perfect guy. I’d combine Eric’s gorgeous body, Winston’s bedroom skills, Charles’ tenderness and amazing kisses, the intelligence and sense of humor of Ace {a very good friend of mine}, Ben’s strong arms that felt so right wrapped around me, and of course Sonny’s sweetness and beautiful heart.

Who knows, maybe I’ve already met him or seen him. Or maybe he knows someone I know. The romantic in me will keep looking.

The Perfect Analogy

Before my ex-husband and I had even gone to court to end things once and for all, I found out he had created a Match.com account. He didn’t exactly do much to cover his tracks — our bank accounts were still linked and I saw the charge for the membership fees plain as day. It didn’t upset me. We were a month or two from our court date, so the wheels were already in motion and there was nothing that would change my mind. But I thought it showed a real lack of class on his part not to even wait til he was actually single before looking for my replacement. When we split up, my first priority was my daughter, and helping her through the whole transition of our family breaking up. His first priority was finding someone new.

A month after our divorce, he met ‘Shirley’ online. Their first date consisted of dinner at Red Lobster and a visit to the Super 8 down the street. How do I know? The bank accounts had not yet been separated and I saw the charges. I shook my head but didn’t think much about it. After all, I was busy sowing my own oats. Their relationship quickly progressed to the point where she was introduced to my daughter and spending the night with him while my daughter was there. I was less than thrilled when I heard about that, since they had only been dating for a month or so at that point. I knew that if it had been the other way around, he would have had a fit if I had a guy spending the night with my daughter right across the hall.

Shirley was very much like my ex monster-in-law: controlling, bossy, overbearing, opinionated, and generally a pain in the ass. When I first met her she was nice, but it didn’t take long for her to start stepping on my toes. She had an opinion about everything, including how my daughter’s hair and clothes should look. Ironic, considering that her own hair and wardrobe looked borrowed from a frumpy middle-age mom from the 80s. I tried to be nice and get along for a while but she disrespected me one time too many and I finally told my ex-husband I didn’t want her around me anymore.

After they had been dating for several months, I admitted to Stacy that it surprised me a little that he found someone before I did. After all, being married to him had been like having a teenage son. I couldn’t imagine any woman getting excited about taking on that kind of guy. Yet there he was, in a seemingly happy relationship, while I was still dating and looking for Mr. Right. I’m not gonna lie — it stung a bit how quickly he was able to move on {not to mention how eager his family was to forget that I ever existed}. Don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t regretting our split. On the contrary, I was happier than I had been in years. But it hurts to feel replacable. We had been together for nearly two decades. I needed time to get used to just being me without being part of ‘we.’

Anyway, when I told Stacy how I felt, that I had kind of assumed that I would meet someone and be in some kind of relationship before my ex, she said, “Think of it this way. You’re both looking for a new car. YOU are taking your time, researching online, test driving different cars, and figuring out exactly what you want. HE bought the first car he found for $100 on Craigslist.”

Well said. This is why I heart Stacy. She also said that even on my worst day, I’m cuter than Shirley. I’m not generally one to toot my own horn, but I have to agree with her on this one. It wouldn’t matter at all if she had a great personality but alas, she does not.

Yeah, it's catty, but I couldn't help myself.

Yeah, it’s catty, but I couldn’t help myself.

I no longer feel hurt about him moving on so quickly. He’s now married to Shirley, who is essentially a younger version of his mother. He has to sneak junk food and check with her before making plans to do anything, sometimes including spending time with his own daughter. She is absolutely in charge of that house. He has made comments to me, all but admitting that she is a bossy control freak, which tells me that perhaps he is second guessing his rush to find a new wife.

I might still be single, but at least I’m calling my own shots and answering to no one but myself. That feels pretty damn good.

The Catch

I recently read He’s Just Not That Into You at the suggestion of one of my friends. Before I was even halfway through it, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the book and some of my unsuccessful relationships/dates. What resonated with me most was that if a guy really wants to get in touch with me, he will. How many times have I accepted the excuses of how busy he was, or he was out of town, or he lost his phone, or he had poor reception? I pretty much stopped chasing people around when I saw the movie version of this book a couple of years ago, but reading the words in black and white really clinched it.

My friends have told me over and over that I’m a catch, that I’m just meeting the wrong guys {who clearly don’t deserve me}, and to have faith that there’s someone out there for me. It’s discouraging to get my hopes up over and over, only to realize I’ve been kidding myself. I’ve met guys who just didn’t find me worth their time, and I’ve met guys who just wanted a piece of ass. I’ve tried to give my heart to guys who tossed it aside like a crumpled piece of paper.

I think my problem is that I’m too much of a romantic. I listen to love songs and imagine that maybe someone might think of me when he hears them. I’ve read so many romance novels and watched so many romantic movies, where the guy realizes he loves the girl and comes through in the end, defying whatever odds — crowded airport, boat leaving the dock, impending wedding, etc — to get his girl. I WANT TO BE THAT GIRL!!! I want to be the girl the guy can’t be without, the one he will go through hell trying to win, the girl worth fighting for.

Am I being unrealistic? Do I need to lower my expectations? Or do I stand my ground and say that I do deserve that and that I am worth fighting for? I have to hold out hope {such a dangerous little word} that my other half is out there, looking for me, feeling like he’d be the luckiest guy in the world if he had me.

One can only hope...

One can only hope…

No Time for SpongeBob

Back when I told my parents I wanted to get a divorce, my dad said that I would be like a walking target. He said that because I had a house {which I have since sold}, a degree, and a good job, that guys would be out to take advantage of me. I rolled my eyes and dismissed it as just another one of his ridiculous assumptions.

Little did I know.

Not long after my divorce, when I had started looking for love {or something like it} online, I met Lennie. He was kind of cute, said a lot of things that I liked/needed to hear, and was a passionate kisser. I soon realized, however, that he had a few strikes against him. First, he had no job. He was taking classes to be certified in HVAC repair… or, at least, he wore the shirt from the school he supposedly attended EVERY time I saw him. He also had no car, which meant that he either took the bus to meet me or I picked him up somewhere. Oh, and he didn’t have his own place. He had been going from relative to relative, sleeping on couches. I didn’t know this about him until after we had been talking for a little while.

The first time we met was at the beach, so no money was involved. The next time, he called and said his car {which ended up belonging to someone else} broke down, so I had to pick him up and he was kind enough to let me pay for his lunch. We only went out one other time after that, and I decided that ‘Sugar Mama’ wasn’t a title I was anxious to have.

When I was seeing Todd, he was extremely cheap. Many times, he’d ask if I could pay when we went out, and at first I didn’t mind. But after a few times, I saw the pattern emerging and I brought it up. He got very defensive, saying that I was acting like he never paid for anything. Ummm…maybe because that’s exactly how it was? In our last go-round, we always stayed in, either at his place or mine. He would occasionally buy groceries for us to have dinner, or ordered pizza, or bought beer, but in general, he was pretty tight with his wallet. He claimed it was because he had bills to worry about and child support to take care of. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m very understanding and very low-maintenance. I don’t need to be taken out to eat all the time or to the movies. But an occasional date is nice. I never asked anyone to break the bank. Many times, we went dutch when we did go out to eat.

Todd told me a few times that he wasn’t letting me go this time, that he was going to sweep me off my feet. He said he wanted to take me on a real date to a nice restaurant. Try to contain your shock, but none of that ever occurred. Still here, waiting to be swept off my feet.

Then there was Russell. I spotted him online and immediately made it my mission to meet this guy. He was really good-looking and an ex-marine. I sent him a message and we started talking, and he told me he was working part-time while he was going to school to get his degree so he could become a teacher. That was admirable. I started to waver when he said he had no car. The first time I met him, I was very physically attracted. We got along really well and he made me feel so sexy. We tended to stay at his apartment rather than go out, which I didn’t entirely mind because it was nice to stay in and watch movies etc.

After we had been talking/seeing each other for a few weeks, he called me one day while I was at work. He was being very sweet, asking about my day, calling me ‘beautiful,’ etc. Then he hit me with the reason he called: he wanted to know if I could give him money to pay his cell phone bill. My heart sank. I said I didn’t have it, even though I did. He said, “Well, if I don’t pay my bill, you and I won’t be able to talk til next week.” I still didn’t budge. Someone else must have given him the money {if indeed he needed it for his phone} because we still kept talking. But now I had my guard up. Several days later, I told him it bothered me that he had asked me for money and he said that he had asked me out of respect. He said he didn’t want me to be upset if I found out he had asked someone else. Wow. What a romantic, wonderful, thoughtful load of bullshit! We stopped talking soon after that, and several months later, he sent me an e-mail saying that I had thrown away a good man. If that’s a good man, I guess I don’t need one after all.

My favorite of the sponges had to be Alphonso. Or whatever his name was. He said he was an assistant law professor at the local university and also had his own legal advice business. We had spoken several times before making plans to meet. The day of our date, he texted me saying that someone had stolen $500 out of his wallet, and that he wouldn’t be able to pay for our date that night. He also supposedly had something wrong with his car so I would need to drive. Now, before I go into the rest of this date, I just want to say that I’ve come a long way since then and have stopped being the nice girl/doormat.

Anyway, despite my MANY reservations, I drove downtown and picked him up. He was in a suit and tie and was carrying a briefcase. That looked semi-legit, right? The Chinese restaurant he wanted to go to was about 25 minutes away. I didn’t know why he wanted to go that far when there were plenty closer to where we were. But I went along with it. On the way, he said he wanted to come back to my place after dinner, so why didn’t we stop and get some snacks? We stopped at a dollar store, and he proceeded to load a cart with about $20 worth of snacks, which I ended up paying for {ah, yes, the mysterious stolen money}. We went out to eat, and he actually paid for part of that. During dinner, he said that he had boils all over his body. Ummm… not exactly the magic words to make me forget all my other reservations about this guy.

After dinner, the last thing I wanted was this guy anywhere near my house. I told him I was going to take him home instead. He seemed very taken aback but said okay. I knew the name of his street, but he directed me to a different street, saying his grandmother lived closer and that he would just crash at her place. When I dropped him off, he took the entire bag of snacks and went in the house. Yeah, that happened. Needless to say, $20 was a fair price, in my humble opinion, to get rid of this fool. After that ‘date,’ I mentioned the whole thing to Stacy, who just so happened to know some professors in the Law department of that university. Turns out no one by that name {or anyone even looking like him} worked there or in any other department. Yes, I was an idiot for even going out with him in the first place, but at least I had the sense to boot his ass to Grandma’s curb instead of taking him home with me, right? A few days later, he sent me some fairly psychotic-sounding text messages, which pretty much confirmed that this guy was not all there, whoever he was.

Stacy has said she thinks that some guys find me intimidating because I’m educated and have a good job. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t act superior to anyone. And the guys I’m most attracted to are more the blue collar type. I think it’s sexy to watch a man work with his hands…changing the oil, fixing a leak under the sink, hammering a nail… But many times, the guys I’ve talked to who have blue collar jobs also haven’t gone to college, and I’m totally ok with that. Yeah, I like to have a good conversation, but I don’t need to spout algorithms or have a spelling contest to have chemistry with a guy. I’m very generous with my time and I love to spoil people that I’m close to, whether family, friends, or romantic interests. But I’m not about to be anyone’s meal ticket. I have a decent job. I’m not financially wealthy, but I do okay. I take care of myself, my daughter, and my bills, and I expect any man I’m involved with to do the same. Is that too much to ask? Maybe so.

Take that empty wallet and get to steppin', pal.

Take that empty wallet and get to steppin’, pal.

Kiss the Girl

I absolutely love kissing. I’d almost prefer a great kiss to sex itself. I’ve been kissed badly, I’ve been kissed passionately, and I’ve been kissed awkwardly. I’ve had kisses that curled my toes and kisses that nearly turned my stomach.

Here are my most memorable first kisses, from worst to best:

The Tongue
Jeff was a guy I met in high school at a dance. I’m not really sure why I agreed to go out with him because he was very obnoxious. I guess, even back then, I was too nice to turn people down. He called me and asked if I wanted to go to the mall. That sounded innocent enough, right? He picked me up and proceeded to drive down into our local metropolitan park. I asked where we were going and he said he thought we could go for a walk instead. We started walking, and I dumbly failed to realize he was steering me farther away from where other people were. We sat on a log and he started kissing me. If you can imagine kissing a snake, or a lizard, that’s pretty much what it was like. His lips were pressed tightly together and his tongue darted in and out of my mouth like he expected there to be a mousetrap in there. Then he started pushing my head down, and I never realized how strong my neck muscles were until then. Seriously? A blow job in the middle of a crowded park? Not bloody likely, pal. I ended up reluctantly giving him a messy handy j {I think you know what I mean}, and when we headed back to the car, he smiled and said, “You’re a fun girl.” Ummm….thanks? Needless to say, that was my first and last time getting together with him.
This might have been preferable.

The After-School Special
Matt was a guy I knew from a couple of my classes sophomore year in high school. He awkwardly flirted with me, but I didn’t pick up on it. One day after school, I was heading to volleyball practice when I ran into him in the hall. We started talking and walking {in the empty halls} and ended up sitting on the stairs kissing. At this point, I had only been kissed once before, and it was just a quick peck on the lips. Matt moaned as we kissed, which was odd, and he was the first guy to ever French kiss me. After that experience, I swore I’d never do it again because it felt pretty gross to have someone else’s tongue in my mouth {thank goodness I’ve since gotten over that initial revulsion!}. He slid his hands up the back of my shirt, and when I felt his hand reaching for my bra, I backed off. He later asked me to the homecoming dance, but I made up an excuse not to go. I was very inexperienced, and the whole episode scared me off, at least for a little while. I later discovered how nice a good makeout session can be.

The Floridian
The summer I turned 15, I went with my parents on a cruise to the Bahamas. One afternoon, I met Patrick. I had wandered from the sunny deck into one of the bars to get a Coke, and we started talking. After that, my dad referred to him as ‘the wolf’ because it seemed like everywhere we went, Patrick was around {which delighted me but worried my overprotective dad}. We spent a lot of time together over the next couple of days, and on the last night of the cruise, we sat together at a small table, talking. He kept gazing into my eyes, making me blush. We exchanged addresses {too bad that was way before the days of texting and Facebook} and promised to write. He walked me to my cabin, and just when I thought he would walk away, he leaned in and kissed me softly on the lips. It was just the briefest touch of his lips to mine, but it was my very first kiss and I knew I’d never forget it. We actually did keep in touch for a while, lost track of each other, then started talking again when we were both in college…
Can you hear the Love Boat theme song playing?

The Return of the Floridian
In my last year of college, Patrick and I had been talking quite a bit. At one point, he told me he had gotten a free flight anywhere in the continental US because he had been bumped from a flight. I jokingly said, “Well, you could always come see me!” Surprisingly, he thought that was a great idea. I was nervous and excited. We decided that he would fly up that summer, on a weekend when I was supposed to go visit a friend at her lake cottage. Oh…I suppose I should mention that I was dating someone at the time. But things were pretty blah, and there was no way I was passing up an opportunity to see Patrick. I picked him up at the airport and he looked amazing. The same, but much better. When I first met him, he was wiry and somewhat awkward and dorky. But now… Now he was a bit taller, muscular, sexy as hell. We drove to the cottage, catching up, talking, laughing, and I was smitten all over again. The first night, we were all sitting around drinking and having a good time {my friend had invited several other people up that weekend}, when we saw a movement against the curtains. We thought it was a bat but it turned out to be a monarch butterfly. I got it to land on my hand, and Patrick opened the sliding door so I could take it outside. We sat down on the steps, and I was in awe of the fact that this delicate butterfly was so calmly resting on my hand, trusting me not to hurt it. I looked over at Patrick, and he leaned over and kissed me. The whole world ceased to exist. This was what I had wanted since we had met 7 years earlier. We ended up doing much more than kissing that weekend, but then we both had to go back to our lives. A few weeks after that unforgettable weekend, the guy I was dating proposed. I said yes {I guess that’s a story for a later date} and the rest is history. I always thought of Patrick as the one who got away. If only we had lived closer to each other, if only circumstances had been different. If only, if only, if only. We recently got back in touch on Facebook, and he’s a happily married Air Force doctor with two or three kids. Sigh.

Mr. Holiday
During one of my several failed attempts at online dating, I met Charles. He seemed to have his head together. Serious family man, not into playing games, etc. We didn’t talk long before deciding to meet. He was tall, dark, and sexy. When I pulled up, he got the biggest smile on his face. We sat on a bench at a mall, talking for a long time. At one point, he saw someone he knew, and he actually introduced me. That scored big points with me because when I was married, my {now} ex-husband very rarely introduced me to anyone. He’d run into someone and stand there talking for 10 minutes without ever turning and saying, “Oh, this is my wife.” When I got upset about it later, he always said he had forgotten the person’s name who he was talking to. Whatever. Anyway, Charles and I talked for an hour or so, and I had to get going. He walked me to my car, hesitated for a minute, and then proceeded to curl my toes, knock my socks off, and blow my mind. He put his hands on either side of my face, tilted my face up toward his, and kissed me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that kind of kiss. So simple, but so amazing. I thought my knees might buckle. I refer to him as Mr. Holiday because he lives here but works out of state. So he’s only here once a month, if that, and often on holidays. So, many times on a particular holiday, I’ve heard from him, asking if I want to get together. Often, I have. There are so many things about him that really appeal to me, but I don’t think he’s emotionally available. He’s got so much on his mind with his kids, various family issues, health issues, and the fact that he works eight hours away. I don’t know if things could ever work out with him in the long run, but I really could see the potential.

Maybe I’m too much of a romantic, but what I dream of, what I long for, is my last first kiss. Something like this or this or this. Until then, there are more frogs out there waiting to be kissed…

S.W.A.K...sealed with a kiss

Next up: The One Who Raised the Bar