The One Who Raised the Bar

When I first started going to BBW parties, I didn’t really know what to expect. I admit, I was a bit jaded after years of a very unromantic marriage, and I really didn’t have high expectations of meeting someone special. It was mostly an opportunity for me to get back into the social scene and figure out all over again how to date.

At the very first party I went to, one of my friends told me about a guy she knew whom she thought I would like. She said he was a big guy {former minor league football player} and that he was a gentle giant. Toward the end of the party, I noticed a guy fitting that description who came in and started dancing. I was pretty sure it must be him, but I couldn’t find my friend to ask her.

As things were winding down, people were leaving, and the lights were turned back up, I was talking to my friends when this guy came walking over. He said hi to the ones he knew and gave my friend a hug. She turned and introduced me to Ben. He looked down, smiled, and shook my hand, then it was almost as if I had said, “HEY!” He had started to look away but quickly looked back down at me {he was easily a foot taller than me} like he was really seeing me for the first time. Then he started turning on the charm. He was talking and flirting and kept asking for my number. I didn’t know what to do, and certainly wasn’t used to any guy coming on to me like that, so I finally said, “Give me your number and I’ll call you.” He didn’t believe that I would, but eventually gave me his number.

The next afternoon, I called him. When he answered, I said, “Hi, do you know who this is?” At the party, my friend had teased him about being terrible with names and said he probably wouldn’t remember mine. But he immediately guessed who I was, name and all {score one point for the gentle giant}. We talked for a while, and he asked if I wanted to meet for dinner later that week. I accepted.

We pulled in at the same time, and he immediately came over to my side of the car before I was even all the way out. He had this big smile and gave me a big hug and kiss. I loved being wrapped in those arms. We walked together to the restaurant, which he said he had worked at years before. A few people there remembered him, and he introduced me to all of them {score another point}. During dinner, he held my hands across the table and gazed at me like a big lovestruck kid. He said that when he had met me, he took a double take because he had been mesmerized by my eyes. At one point, he said he wanted to show me where the restroom was in case I needed to go while we were there. I followed him over there and as soon as we got around the corner, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me. He said he just wanted an excuse to kiss me, not to show me where the restroom was {points scored all over the place}.

After dinner, he tucked my arm in his as we walked back to the car. He held me and kissed me, and I was loving every minute of it. He called and texted every day, and we made plans to meet again. After talking for a week or two, I went over to his apartment one afternoon. We were on his bed kissing, touching, fooling around, and it was so nice. At one point, I looked at him and said, “You’re gonna make me fall for you.” He kissed me and said, “Go ahead and fall, I’ll catch you.” Hook, line, sinker. He had me.

As we were fooling around that day, he wanted me to go down on him. I didn’t know him well, but I knew him well enough to assume I wasn’t the first girl to be in his apartment. I also assumed I wouldn’t be the first girl in his bed to blow him. Something had to set me apart. So I ignored his request. We kept fooling around, and he ended up going down on me. My ex-husband had never been very good at oral sex. He only did it occasionally, and I was never really comfortable having his face downtown anyway. One time, when he halfheartedly did, I asked if he even enjoyed doing it. He said he only did it because he thought I wanted him to. So I told him not to worry about it anymore. I think both of us were relieved. But when Ben touched me with his tongue… I discovered for the first time what all the fuss was about. He had me digging my heels into the mattress, gasping, moaning… He was amazing.

The next time I went to his apartment, all bets were off. Naked, kissing, touching, making love…it was so good. We went on dates, and every time, he was holding my hands across the table, being a perfect gentleman. It was as if I had conjured him out of a dream. THIS was what dating was supposed to be like! He was courting me, wooing me, and winning me with every kiss, every gesture, every moment that we were together. He came to a bar he had no interest in, just because he knew I’d be there. He went out of his way to be wonderful, paying for me on our dates and being so sweet and attentive.

I should have known this was too good to be true.

One afternoon, we were at his apartment in bed. I was contentedly lying there, with my head on his chest, when he dropped a bombshell on me. Oh, by the way, he had sort of a girlfriend who used to live here but was now living in Canada for work. They talked on the phone a few times a week, said the “L” word, and what he was really looking for was someone who was not only okay with him having someone else, but who would ideally have her own guy on the side so he wouldn’t feel bad about it. I slowly pulled back from him and felt myself inwardly withdrawing, like a turtle into a shell. He saw my reaction and tried to be sweet but I didn’t even know what to say. He had been acting like I was his girlfriend, but here he was telling me all he wanted from me was some no-strings-attached fun??

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

We continued talking, and after several days, we were back to going on dates and fooling around. Despite what he had said, he was acting so romantic, so caring… like a boyfriend, not a friend with benefits. I stupidly let my guard down, thinking maybe he cared about me more than he was willing to admit. But one evening, we were at his apartment, sitting on the porch and having a glass of wine, when the same discussion came up again. He said he hadn’t misled me, that he had made it clear what he was looking for. I said I didn’t like knowing I was nothing but a convenience to him. He tried to say that wasn’t the case but what else would you call it? He asked if I wanted a relationship. I said I didn’t know what it was that I wanted. I was getting more angry and feeling more and more foolish. I asked what he would have said if I’d said yes when he asked me about wanting a relationship. He said, “I would have said I’m not ready.” I looked at him angrily and said, “You’re damn right you’re not ready.” I took the last sip of my wine and said, “We’re done here.” I calmly {but purposefully} walked back inside and put my glass in the sink, intending to walk out of his apartment and out of his life. He tried to stop me, looking like he really didn’t like being the bad guy, but I left anyway. He told me to call him when I got home. I never did.

He texted me a few days later and I ignored him. I did my best to put him out of my mind, but too many things about him were exactly what I was looking for in a guy. I couldn’t forget him.

A few months went by, and I was out at a club one night with my friends, when who should walk by but Ben. I had sworn I’d never hook up with him again, but seeing him after all that time, all the memories came rushing back. We started talking, and I was trying so hard to just act like we were friends, nothing more. But then he asked me to dance. We had gone to this same club together before, and he had never really been into PDA. But this time, he got me on the dancefloor and couldn’t stop kissing me. He kept telling me how much he had missed me.

Needless to say, all of my bravado went right out the window and I ended up in his bed that night. It was better than it had ever been. The sex was incredible. He kept telling me how beautiful I was, how much he had missed me. The next morning, he had to drive his cousin somewhere very early, and he told me to stay there and he’d be right back. Before he left, he leaned over and kissed me on the forehead. I was lost all over again.

The second honeymoon didn’t last long before we were right back to square one. I distanced myself without much fanfare this time, and even though I would occasionally hear from him, we didn’t see each other again…until several months later when he invited me to his cousin’s wedding. I was surprised and flattered and accepted the invitation. We had a good time until I noticed that he couldn’t keep his eyes off one of the bridesmaids. Every time she went by, his eyes went too. I finally saw him for what he was — a dog in his late 40s, still chasing tails. I knew I was done.

Ain't nuttin but a hound dawg

Ain’t nuttin but a hound dawg

For the longest time, I couldn’t put him out of my mind. I was mad at myself for giving any thought to a guy who clearly thought of me as nothing but an option. I couldn’t figure out why I was still thinking about him, but it suddenly dawned on me. He set the bar for how Mr. Right should be. Ben may have turned out to be nothing but a dog, but he was also so many things that I’m looking for in a man: attentive, romantic, sweet, great lover, funny, sexy as hell…

I’ve had plenty of dates, and while I’m not super picky, I do have certain standards that I’m pretty set on. Yeah, I’ve gone out with some guys who weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I’ve tried to be less demanding and not automatically rule out a particular guy just because of one thing or another. But the fact is that my marriage was 17 years of me constantly lowering my expectations. I’m not looking for the perfect guy, just the one who’s perfect for me. I have to be true to myself and hold out for what I really want.

Next up: Chocolat

The One Who Got Stella’s Groove Back

Shortly after I got divorced, I went to a BBW Halloween party a couple of hours from home. I hadn’t dressed up for Halloween since college and had no clue what to wear. My friends came over and helped me put something together. Black cami, borrowed flowy black palazzo pants, and jingly belly dancing scarves tied about my waist and around my chest {kinda hard to picture, I know, but it was cute}. *Poof!* I was a gypsy.

On a whim, I decided to get something dramatic done with my makeup. I told her I wanted smoky eyes and some kind of design around my right eye. The result was pretty cool. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to show my friends.

At the party, most of the other girls were dressed way sexier than I was, but I had a blast. We had a few drinks, mingled, flirted, laughed, and had so much fun.

I kept noticing one guy now and again… He was kind of tall, stocky, and really cute. I’ve never been very assertive {or aggressive?} with guys, but I couldn’t stop looking at this one. My friends kept encouraging me to talk to him but I had no idea what to say. I was no good at this!

Finally, after a couple more drinks, I got up the courage to talk to him. I walked over to the bar where he was sitting and said hi, and asked if he was from my hometown because he looked really familiar {lame, I know, but hey, it worked}. He smiled and said no, and asked if I wanted a drink. I said sure and sat on the barstool beside him. We started talking and he was very sweet.

I don’t remember how it came up, but at one point I asked how old he was. He said 28. 28?? I had just turned 40 a few months earlier and seriously thought he was much closer to my age. I said, “You’re just a baby!” and told him how old I was. He said he’d always preferred older women. Oh? Game on.

We hung out and talked and kissed a little for most of the rest of the night. He asked for my number and I gave it, not entirely believing I’d ever hear from him again. Eventually it was time to go and we parted ways with one more kiss.

The next morning, my friends and I left fairly early to head home. I was half asleep in the backseat when I got a text message. It was from ‘Winston.’ He wanted to know if he could take me to breakfast. I was so surprised to hear from him, but said {with much regret} that we were already on our way home. He lived an hour or so south of where the party was and said maybe we could meet in the middle sometime.

We continued texting and occasionally talking on the phone for a couple of weeks, and on a weekend when my daughter was to be with her dad, we arranged to meet. I was excited and nervous. He got us a pretty nice hotel room in a decent hotel, not far from the place where we met. He was sweet and sexy, yet totally laid back and casual. I was so attracted to this guy!

One thing led to another, and next thing I knew, we were all over that king-sized bed. He had me in positions I’d never been in before, talking dirty, smacking my ass, and I couldn’t get enough. I thought sex like that was only in the movies! I was exhausted, panting, sore, and… satisfied. Oooohhh my, was he talented.

When I headed home, I was feeling like a new woman, but also a bit like a cliche. My ex had told multiple people that my reason for wanting a divorce was that I was having a mid-life crisis. Really? {no, no, no, not gonna bash the ex} Yet, here I was, heading home after a sex-filled weekend with a guy who was 12 years younger than me. What a delicious little secret!

We continued talking and texting, and a few weeks later, made plans to meet again. This time, the hotel room he got us had a hot tub in it. He definitely had my attention and I couldn’t wait to try it out. Again, we made good use of every square inch of that king-sized bed. We moved to the hot tub, and I sunk down into the bubbles while he sat beside it, watching me. I had always been self-conscious being naked in front of my ex, but with Winston, I was completely uninhibited. I liked the way he looked at me, like he couldn’t wait to devour me. It was such a turn-on. He made me feel beautiful, sexy, irresistible, and naughty. I was discovering a side of myself that I never knew, never explored. For the first time, I felt like a sexual being, and it was nothing short of fantastic.

I was in touch with Winston for another month or so after our second meeting, and then never heard from him again. Nothing probably ever would have come of it anyway {relationship-wise}, but he definitely awakened something in me that was too-long dormant and a long time coming {pun semi-intended}.

Next up: Friends Shouldn’t Let Friends Beer Goggle

Booty, Caboose, Apple Bottom, Badonkadonk

For most of my life, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my butt. When I was little, my mom affectionately called me “Toots,” and somewhere in my baby book, there’s a comment about my dimpled little bottom and chubby legs.

In 2nd grade, I remember my teacher asking me to deliver a message to another teacher. I was in cutoff shorts because it was track & field day {I went to Catholic school, so any day without the uniform was a rare treat}, and I remember one of the kids from that class commenting later about how my butt stuck out as I stood waiting for the teacher’s response.

In 5th grade, a boy whom I had a crush on measured my rear end {unbeknownst to me} when I was leaning over, exclaiming at how many inches wide it was. Nah, that wasn’t embarrassing at all! Asshole.

I liked the fact that my butt was round, but it was always hard to find jeans that fit right because of my curvy hips. I bemoaned my ample backside many times over the years, trying desperately to keep everything covered and silently cursing my skinny sister, who never had trouble finding clothes that looked good on her.

So imagine my surprise to discover, after years of hiding, covering, grumbling, and groaning, that there are men out there who love a big butt. What the… WHAT??

In the year or so before my divorce, I became friends with some girls {sorry, but ‘women’ sounds like we had a quilting circle, and some of them sure ain’t ladies} who are part of a BBW group. I had never heard of such a thing, much to their amazement.

BBWs {Big Beautiful Women} have groups, fan pages, calendars, parties, admirers… How had I never heard of this? My parents had pretty much raised me to believe that bigger was absolutely NOT better, so in my mind, a BBW party was another way of saying, “Fat Girls on Parade.” I imagined heavyset girls awkwardly trying to have a good time at a party while skinny people pointed and laughed. As someone who was extremely bashful as a child {and even now has moments of shyness}, not to mention very self-conscious about my weight, this sounded like my worst nightmare. My new friends assured me that there are many men out there who not only like bigger girls, but PREFER them. I admit, I was skeptical.

After a few months of badgering, they finally convinced me to go to a Valentine’s Day dance. Dressing up for me back then pretty much involved some kind of semi-dressy top and black dress slacks. I didn’t own any heels, so I wore my black loafers, which had a very slight chunky heel. Sexy, huh?

I hadn’t been to any kind of social thing like that since college, and I completely froze. I spent almost the entire evening by the wall, occasionally talking to people if they came near me, but not knowing what to do with myself. My friends kept asking me to come out on the floor and dance, but I couldn’t. I was honestly frozen to my seat and couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.

A few guys did notice me, especially one {that’s a story for another post}, but I was a total wallflower.

Despite my being a social failure that night, the party really opened my eyes to a whole new world — one where it’s ok to have a big butt and chubby legs. I learned that even though I’ve spent my whole life thinking of myself as fat, what I am is more often called ‘thick.’ There are girls bigger than me at these parties who love their bodies and have all the confidence in the world. If only I had met some of them years ago, but better late than never.

I still occasionally go to the parties, but the bar scene really isn’t my thing and I’m still not big on hitting that dance floor very often. I feel a little more confident {and sometimes, dare I say, sexy} when I dress up, and I’ve even started wearing skirts and dresses {something I hadn’t done since my now-teenage daughter was a toddler, and those were borderline muumuus… shudder}. I’m coming to terms with my curves and I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve stopped hiding my ass under oversized shirts. No, I don’t dress trampy, but I’m owning who I am. Guess what? I have a big ass! And for the first time in my entire life, I’m ok with that. My daughter is built just like me, and because I’ve always made a point to reassure her that she’s perfect exactly the way she is, I don’t think she’s ever given a second thought to her butt {except one time several years ago when a little boy in day camp sang “Baby Got Back” to her. I laughed and told her to take it as a compliment.}.

The majority of guys I’ve met since my divorce have liked my curves and have shown me that you can absolutely be attractive and sexy, even if you’re not built like a swizzle stick. Thanks, guys.

butt

Next up: The One Who Got Stella’s Groove Back