Who’s That Girl?

When I first got divorced, I was so starved for physical contact and attention that I soaked it up like a sponge. I was flattered by the attention I got and loved feeling sexy and pretty, even if there was ultimately no emotional connection behind it. My confidence grew. But little by little, it started to not feel so good. I started to realize I was nothing more than a piece of ass to most of these guys, and that was the opposite of the progress I was attempting to make in my life.

I started being more choosy in whom I spent time with. I stopped responding to the booty calls that once made me feel wanted and desired. I decided that being alone sometimes on the weekends was preferable to feeling cheap and nameless.

A week or so ago, I ran into Eric at the grocery store. I’ve bumped into him a few times before, and every time, he wanted me to go somewhere to hook up. Every time I said no. This time, though, I was disgusted. I initially tried to just be nice and walk away, but he kept appearing in whatever aisle I was in, making comments and looking me up and down. The final straw was when he actually pressed up against me and said, “See, you got my dick hard.” I quickly walked away from him and he said he was going to wait for me in the parking lot. That really scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, he was nowhere in sight when I left, and I texted him saying to leave me the hell alone. He replied back saying I was crazy for thinking he was being anything but nice and that he only hooks up with pretty girls. Whatever, dude. Those ‘pretty girls’ can have your nasty self.

That incident made me realize just how far I’ve come. A few short years ago, I very likely may have gone and hooked up with him anyway. A few short years ago, I just wanted to feel wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve kind of given myself a gradual makeover since my divorce. Now I hardly recognize myself. A few weeks ago, I was walking down the hall at work feeling pretty good in a cute skirt and top with wedge heels. I suddenly had this surreal moment of seeing myself through the eyes of myself from 9 or 10 years ago. If someone had shown me back then how I’d look and feel now, I would have never believed it. If the me from 10 years ago, in comfortable baggy jeans and shapeless t-shirt, had seen the me of today,  not only wearing clothes that fit properly, but wearing heels and makeup (voluntarily!), I would have assumed it was a mistake. Without realizing it, I’m slowly becoming the me I always longed to be but never thought I could be. I’m confident enough to wear more girly clothes, to show a little leg, and to feel ok in my own skin. Several years ago, I heard someone say, “Whatever it is you are — tall, short, skinny, fat, black, or white — own that.” I think now, I’m finally living by that advice.

Last year I went to my class reunion and decided to wear a maxi dress that made me feel sexy and pretty. At the previous reunion, I wore jeans and a casual top, hoping to blend in and go unnoticed. This time, I wanted to feel good. Sure, I’ve gained some weight since we graduated from high school, but so what? Lots of girls from my class have put on a few pounds. I walked in there feeling great and was surprised to realize I really didn’t care if my classmates noticed my weight. I saw that several of the other girls were wearing clothes that covered them up (like I used to wear), hoping to conceal their larger middles or more ample behinds. None of them looked comfortable or confident. I walked in there and owned who I am and I felt amazing. Maybe they thought I looked good, maybe they didn’t, but I had a great time and felt unstoppable, and it made all the difference.

 

 

Many times, my friends have said my ex-husband must see me now and wonder what happened. I never looked or acted like this, even in my twenties when I weighed considerably less. There’s much to be said for shedding one’s skin, dumping one’s baggage, and looking forward. I used to look back with disdain for my old self. I was embarrassed at how much I had let myself go and how I didn’t care at all about how I looked. But now I realize I needed to go through that to get here. The old me is someone to be proud of, doing the best she could with a shitty situation. Now I embrace that old me and hope that she would be proud of the new (and still improving) me and know that she helped me get here.

I know all of this might sound incredibly conceited, but really, I’m in awe of all I’ve accomplished. I’m a better me in pretty much every area of my life: my job performance has drastically improved, my general attitude has improved, and I’m definitely a much better mom now. So no, I won’t apologize for tooting my own horn occasionally because for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I have something to toot about.

 

Advertisements

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}!

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.

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.

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

The Boomerang {aka, the one I’m never ever ever getting back together with…like, ever.}

{I must apologize in advance for the length of this one. It’s kind of a complicated story, but one that bears telling.}
I met Todd on a dating site when I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for. He was good looking but struck me as kind of serious. I can be serious, but I’m pretty lighthearted and tend to laugh a lot. We talked for a while on the phone before deciding to meet.

We had arranged to meet for dinner at a restaurant nearby, and when I got there and saw him, I did something completely out of character for me. I walked right up to him and kissed him. He seemed surprised and didn’t immediately kiss me back, making me feel very foolish. He later said it was because he was catching a quick smoke before I got there and had a mouthful of cigarette smoke. At first glance, he reminded me of Carlton, from Fresh Prince of Bel Air…very straight laced and business-like.

We found a table, and I was amazed at how quickly I felt completely comfortable with him. We were sitting sort of facing each other, and my leg was between his. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. I really wanted to kiss him and told him as much, but he was hesitant because he was still married {separated, but still married} and was worried someone he knew could be around.

After we ate, we decided to go for a drive. Near the restaurant we discovered a small park. We pulled in… and proceeded to make out like teenagers. I couldn’t get enough. At one point, he was kind of on top of me in the front seat, then reached down and reclined the seat. I immediately went from semi-upright to being on my back, and it was so sexy. The logical, grown-up part of my brain was worried that a cop would come by and bust us for public indecency or something. We were both dressed, but still. How embarrassing would that be to get arrested or even fined for making out in a car??

How very, very naughty...

How very, very naughty…

He had me so turned on. I was very close to throwing caution to the wind and letting him take me right there in the front seat of his Corolla. He was rock hard and I wanted him so badly. I don’t know what came over me. I was never that girl who got loose on a first date, but it felt so right with him. Finally, we both knew we better be getting home. We got out of the car for a minute and he pressed me against it, kissing me. I was so turned on, I was half out of my head.

After that night, we tried to see each other whenever we could, but with work schedules and family lives, it was tough. We had some great conversations and could laugh together. We met for lunch a few times and often ended up making out in the car. It was never enough. I wanted him.

We both played hooky and met at a hotel room one afternoon. It felt so illicit, so naughty, so perfect. We had both agreed to take our time, but once we were behind closed doors, alone, all bets were off. Our clothes were off in a matter of minutes. We were all over each other, kissing, touching… It felt so good to finally have him, feel him… We had sex a few times that afternoon and dozed in between, exhausted.

Sex with Todd was unbelievably good. He may have looked like Carlton, but he loved like a wild man. I always thought of him as the male version of ‘lady in the streets, freak in the sheets.’

We saw each other for only a few months when he got some bad news…his company was downsizing and his branch was closing. I tried to be supportive but he was extremely stressed about how to pay his bills and trying not to lose his house, not to mention paying for his kids’ tuition. I was a factor that he just couldn’t deal with and he broke things off. It hurt to know he could walk away from me so easily, but I tried not to dwell on it.

A few months later, he got back in touch with me, saying he missed me. We picked up right where we left off, and it was good, but some of that excitement of a new relationship had faded. It also didn’t help that he was still technically married and was back living with his wife, even though he claimed their relationship was very platonic.

I was in the process of trying to sell my house and was under a huge amount of stress. My ex wasn’t helping at all to get the house ready to list {we both still owned it}. So it fell on me to clean, paint, fix and organize everything myself. My relationship with Todd wasn’t exactly a priority, and I think he felt that. We kind of drifted apart, and I didn’t really mind so much this time.

Several months later, I was messing with my Yahoo account when the messenger box popped up. I hadn’t used it in some time, but back when we were together, Todd and I chatted on it regularly. There was his name, with the little dot next to it, indicating that he was online. I thought about it for a while, and decided to send him a quick message. I just said hello and asked how he was, not knowing if he’d even bother to respond.

He did. We caught up a bit, making small talk, and mentioned maybe meeting for lunch sometime. Weeks went by, and I was busy with work and my new place. We were still chatting online a few times a week, but no solid plans had been made. Finally, one Saturday, we agreed to meet downtown for lunch. I deliberated for a long time over what to wear. I didn’t want to look like I had made an effort for him, but at the same time I wanted to look damn good.

I walked in and gave him a hug. I could tell he was a bit apprehensive, but I acted very casual, as if we were just two friends meeting for lunch who hadn’t seen each other in a while. It was nice to see him, but I didn’t have any expectations of anything more.

He texted me later that day and said he’d wanted to kiss me but didn’t know if I wanted him to. I realized at that moment that I did. We met for dinner a few nights later and this time there was a definite vibe in the air. I could see him looking at me with that same old hunger in his eyes. When he walked me to my car, he kissed me, and it all came flooding back. I didn’t want it to end.

He said he and his wife were again separated, he had gotten an apartment, and they were talking lawyers and divorce. I tried not to get my hopes up. We started seeing each other, yet again, and this time something was different. It all felt brand new…familiar, yet new and exciting. We talked about a future together, how he had planned to just remain alone, but now he really wanted a future with me. I could actually see it…bringing him to family events, going on dates, and having a real relationship. At last, we both seemed to be on the same page.

At first, things were fantastic. The sex was better than ever. We were trying new things, and couldn’t get enough of each other…sexually, anyway. It bothered me that we only saw each other every other week or so. There was no real reason for it. I could understand crazy work schedules, or if he had his kids, etc. But when I brought it up, he said that when he got home at the end of the day, he just fell into his routine of fixing his dinner and getting his clothes ironed for the next day, etc. Seeing me just wasn’t really in that routine. It didn’t seem to bother him that he only saw me occasionally, but I wanted and needed more. I needed to feel like a priority, not a convenience.

Another problem was that he was very cagey about what information he would share with me. To this day, I have no idea if his divorce was ever final because he refused to give me a straight answer.

He was also physically attached to his phone. Any little beep and he had to check it, even if it was just a weather update. He couldn’t understand why I thought that was rude. On one occasion, when I fussed about him checking his phone every 10 seconds, he said he might be getting a text from his kids, and said bluntly, “Yes, I have other priorities that are more important than you.” Funny how spoken words can feel like a slap in the face. I pretty much paid my half of the bill and got up and left at that point. He later apologized but it still stung that he said it at all. He made almost an identical comment a few weeks later, and yet for some reason I still didn’t kick him to the curb.

He claimed to love me, saying he honestly couldn’t see himself with anyone but me. He promised to make more of an effort to see me. He promised that once he had more money {he had picked up a side job to supplement his income} he would take me on a real date. Months went by, and nothing changed. I began to feel sad about the fact that I was apparently not worthy of his time or effort. I was also bothered by the fact that he would mostly just text me. We very rarely spoke on the phone, which struck me as odd since he had his own place. When I was married, I resigned myself to accepting scraps of attention from my {now} ex. It made me sad to realize I was back to square one, accepting scraps from Todd.

But I’m a much different woman than I was when I was married. Then, I accepted scraps because I genuinely didn’t think I could do better. Now, I’ve come to the realization that I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person, and I refuse to settle ever again. I refuse to be with someone just for the sake of being with someone. I have to believe I’m worth more than that.

I think, because certain things about our relationship were so good, I was really trying to make it work with him. Granted, any relationship is gonna take work, but in my opinion, it just shouldn’t be that hard. He said and did things a few times that made me wonder if he was trying to get me to break up with him so he wouldn’t have to do the dirty work.

The last month we were technically a couple {and I say ‘couple’ in the loosest sense of the word}, we never spoke on the phone or even saw each other. We’d had a stupid misunderstanding, and instead of trying to patch things up like we usually did, he turned it into a big issue. We texted back and forth for a month, and finally, on Valentine’s Day, of all days, we broke up. He said some intentionally hurtful things, which I know were said because he, himself, was feeling upset and hurt and was trying to hurt me. I just couldn’t get past that. In any relationship I’ve ever been in, I have never resorted to insults or intentionally hurtful words. But Todd had a way of saying just the right thing to work under my skin like a barb. I refused to stoop to his level, no matter how tempting it was.

And so, as much as it hurt to do it, I walked away from Todd for good, with my dignity intact and trying to convince myself that there was someone out there would see me as worthy of their time. Sometimes he crosses my mind, and I can’t help but wonder if he feels stupid for letting me go, for throwing away something that I think could have been amazing. I’ll probably never know.

Next up: Kiss the Girl

Friends Shouldn’t Let Friends Beer Goggle

When I initially decided to tackle this subject, I had a specific story in mind. But something happened last night that I can’t NOT share with you. So today you get a 2-for-1 deal. First things first…

Last night, my friend Stacy and I went to a party. We were both long overdue for a girls’ night out. We knew many of the people there {it was a going away party for a friend}, but there were a few new faces, including two young, nice-looking guys.

At some point, Stacy struck up a conversation with them. They were both cute and somewhat flirtatious. We discovered that they were 19 years old. Oohhh dear.

As I mentioned, we’d had a few drinks and were feeling pretty good, not to mention looking pretty good. We had both dressed up, but everyone else at the party was in jeans. As the night wore on, we found ourselves hanging out more and more with “Chip” and “Chad.” Chip was shorter with a very cute face and always smiling. Chad was tall and goofy and funny, also with a very cute face.

Initially, Stacy had all of their attention, at least partly because… Well, to be honest, they were both admitted boob guys and Stacy’s got me beat in that department. Because they knew we were quite a bit older than they were, they kept saying we could teach them things. How very, very tempting… I jokingly said that Stacy should let Chad motorboat her since he’d likely never been near boobs that big before. She surprisingly obliged {much to Chad’s delight}. Chip whipped his phone out to capture this epic moment, which neither of them are likely to forget anytime soon. Stacy had applied body glitter to her cleavage, so when Chad finally emerged from his journey into her decollatage, his face was covered with the glitter. Possibly my favorite moment of the night.

But gradually, Chad decided I was his date. He kept standing behind me, wrapping his arms around me {did I mention that I LOVE when guys do that?}, and pulling me to him. I could feel his erection pressing against my ass. His hands mischievously kept wandering to my chest, but he announced that I had changed him to a butt man. Score one for the booty! They both kept asking if we could go to a hotel room.

Long story short, nothing happened with these young scamps, aside from some groping and lots of laughing. We were all just having a really good time. Not beer goggling in the traditional sense of the word, but definitely not something either of us would have done sober. Or, at least, I don’t think we would’ve.

I suppose I should mention that Stacy is married. No, she doesn’t run around on her husband, but she is occasionally flirtatious {no harm in that, right?}. On this particular night, she was not happy with hubby and was basically blowing off steam. Hey, it happens.

I also want to mention that Stacy told a bunch of people at the party that when she spreads her legs, diamonds pour out, the sun shines on it, and sometimes there’s a rainbow. Not because it has anything to do with this story, but because it was too awesome not to repeat. Love you, girl.

Now, back to my original tale. Shortly before my divorce was final {as in, less than a month} and a week before my 40th birthday, I went to a party with my friends. As with the Halloween party I mentioned previously, this was a couple of hours from home, so I didn’t know most of the people there.

I’m not usually terribly outgoing when I go to these parties. At that time, I was still pretty new to this whole scene and often just stayed close to my friends. At this party, however, I was in rare form. Maybe it was the giddiness of my divorce FINALLY being over soon, maybe it was because I was about to turn 40, or maybe it was just time for me to cut loose and enjoy myself. Whatever it was, I was ready to mingle.

I was telling random guys that they should buy me drinks since I wouldn’t get to see them on my birthday. Hilarious, since I wouldn’t have seen them anyway, but whatever. Needless to say, I received quite a few free drinks that night, including one from the DJ. I’m normally more of an occasional/social drinker. I might have three or four drinks over the course of the night, and I very, VERY rarely drink enough to get more than a buzz. But this night? I was feeling no pain.

At one point, I noticed a guy who {in my drunken mind} looked just like Cedric the Entertainer, whom I love. I started talking to him, not bothering to remember his real name when he said it, and kept calling him Cedric. He didn’t seem to mind. My friends finally decided it was time for us to leave, so I gave Cedric my number, made him promise to call me, and stumbled out.

A few days later, he called me. He seemed like a really nice guy, and he lived near where the party had been. He wanted to take me out for a belated birthday dinner, so we agreed to meet halfway a few weeks later. He had gotten a motel room {probably wishful thinking on his part}, but I had no intention of staying over.

I got to his room, expecting to walk in and find Cedric the Entertainer.

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

What I walked in and found was more like Fat Albert.

ummm...

ummm…

He was sitting on the side of the bed and didn’t even get up when I walked in. He was easily twice as big as my previously drunken mind had remembered. Now, I’m not opposed to dating a bigger guy. I’m truly not {I’ll get into that later}. But his boobs were bigger than mine {and I’m a double D}. That just ain’t sexy. We talked for a few minutes before leaving for dinner.

After dinner, we went for a walk in the park, and he was bragging the whole time about his expensive cars and his expensive jewelry, and I was tuning out more and more. I really can’t stand bragging. It’s so obnoxious. Honestly, if he’d had a better personality, I might have been able to overlook his size. But I’ve known guys like that before and it’s really a turnoff. We eventually said our goodbyes and I headed home.

My friends are usually pretty good about steering me away from poor judgements. But I admit, I’ve had a few lapses that I’m not proud of. It happens. But you live and you learn and you move on. Preferably with a guy who’s not young enough to be my son or a guy whose bra size puts mine to shame.

Next up: Weiner

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

A Brief Intro

When I met my ex-husband at the tender age of 19, I hadn’t had many boyfriends. In high school I was somewhat awkward. Of course, at the time I thought I was cool and maybe quirky — a trendsetter, even. But I was just kind of a goof, as most of us are in high school. I had crushes on many boys through the years, but most of them didn’t really notice me. Anyway, I only had two semi-serious boyfriends {by high school standards} before I met the one I would eventually marry, so I wasn’t terribly experienced in dealing with guys.

Fast forward to 2010. My ex and I had circled the drain for a while before finally calling it quits, and hadn’t been intimate in any way {including hugging, kissing, hand holding, meaningful glances, and especially sex} in three years. THREE YEARS. Oh, I had been tempted to stray many times but I didn’t. Some tiny, old-fashioned part of me couldn’t do it since I was still technically married. But a chance encounter at the grocery store changed all that. And then the floodgates opened.

flood

But I digress. Jumping back into the dating world after roughly 20 years away from it {3+ years dating, and 17 years married} is a surreal thing. I find myself thinking about things I didn’t worry about for much of my marriage, such as whether I should get a pedi before sandal season. I never thought much about my toes before, or anything else girly, for that matter. I spent years dressing almost androgynously… I’m not proud of the fact that I once owned 3 or 4 identical top/bottom combos from WalMart in different colors, and that I thought it was a great idea because I could mix and match them for work. No, there’s nothing wrong with WalMart clothes. But c’mon, now. How attractive is a grown woman in what are essentially Garanimals?? I didn’t own a single pair of jeans for years because I had gained some weight before and after having my daughter, and comfort was key. Maybe someday, once we know each other a little better, I’ll share some ‘before’ pics with you. But not today. Too soon.

Now I’m slowly learning how to be a girl again. I’m dipping my toe into the shallow end of sexy, still figuring out what looks good on me and that it’s perfectly acceptable {and, to some guys, preferable} to have curves. Thankfully, I have a friend who regularly advises me on what not to wear and to see myself as more than I’ve ever given myself credit for. I’m discovering that there’s a woman under this mom costume, and she’s pretty happy to ditch those stretch pants and oversize sweaters. After years of trying to cover myself up and hide, I’m peeking out a little, and for the first time in a long time, guys have noticed.

In the past couple of years I have met many guys — some never made it past texting, some went way beyond. Not all of them have been bad. I’ve met a few genuinely sweet guys. But the majority of my encounters have not ended well for one reason or another. I’ve gotten my hopes up and had them dashed against the rocks. I’ve threatened to call it quits and start acquiring cats, but there’s still some fight left in me. I haven’t given up hope.

I'm not quite there yet!

I’m not quite there yet!

Yes, I’m still single, and yes, sometimes I’m totally okay with that. I hope that Mr. Right is still out there, somewhere, looking for a goofball who laughs at ridiculous things, is a pretty decent cook, loves a good thunderstorm, would choose an actual book over an e-reader any day, and melts under the power of a great first kiss.

Next up: The Drought Breaker