This Man

Miles away,
he sleeps.
My mind can’t rest.
Each smile and laugh,
each touch of his hand.
Can it be?
He calls me beautiful
and I’m blushing,
falling.
Arms tight around me,
espresso eyes on me.
He took my smile
and filled it
with laughter.
Each kiss,
each moment —
I am his.

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 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

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

Weiner

I met Weiner on a semi-dating, semi-hooking up site I used to be on {in my defense, I thought it was a dating site}. I was really surprised when he started flirting with me, partly because he looked like an all-American guy {which made me think he might be out of my league}, and also because he’s white. The majority of guys who have shown any interest in me since my divorce have been black, so this was unexpected.

We talked on the phone a few times, then met one evening for dinner. He was several years younger than me {am I sensing a pattern?} and his personality made him seem even younger than that. But he was very sweet and we had a nice time. We wandered around this quirky shop that sells all kinds of old vintage toys etc, and then went down the street for some Thai food. After dinner, he walked me to my car, stood there awkwardly for a few seconds, then leaned in for a kiss. It was kind of like this:

Sadly, this is not much of an exaggeration.

Sadly, this is not much of an exaggeration.

He came at me open mouthed, tongue in attack position. The kiss was sloppy and awkward, and when it was over, he smiled and enthusiastically said, “That was nice!” in kind of a Gomer Pyle way. A day or two later, we were talking, and he said, “I bet you’re a good tongue kisser!” Tongue kisser??? Who the hell says that? I said, “Umm, you should know.” He seemed surprised and asked if we had done that. Now, how do you come at someone open mouthed and NOT realize you “tongue kissed” them??

A week later, I agreed to go on another date with him, even though the first date didn’t exactly knock my socks off. Yet another example of me being too nice for my own good. I didn’t have the heart to tell him no, so I decided to give him one more chance. We went to Dave & Buster’s and had a fun time, playing air hockey and video games and getting a bite to eat. At the end of the date, he walked me to my car and we stood there talking for a few minutes. I wish I could remember what we were talking about because for some reason, which could never possibly make sense on a date, he brought up John Wayne Bobbitt {remember him?} by saying, “Remember, he’s that guy whose wife cut off his weiner.” Weiner? First tongue kissing, now weiner? I felt like I was on a date with a nine-year-old.

This time, when he leaned in for a mouth assault kiss, I deflected by leaning in for a hug and I kissed him on the cheek instead. He asked me out a third time, but this time I fibbed and told him that I didn’t think I was ready for a relationship yet. He was sort of understanding.

At some point we had become Facebook friends, and I would see his various postings in my newsfeed. One day, he posted a picture of himself with a blonde, which said, “Me and my new awesome girlfriend, Kelly.” Less than a week later, he announced that he was single again. Not long after that, he started posting about another new girlfriend. A month or so later, that apparently ended badly, and he posted several curse-filled rants about what a horrible person she was. Soon the posts disappeared, and he sent me a message asking if I was single. I lied and told him I was seeing someone.

Within a few weeks, he was posting again about another new girlfriend, and once again, when things went sour, he sent me a message asking if I was still seeing someone. I saw a few of his rants on Facebook, sometimes directed at an ex girlfriend, sometimes at his dad, before I decided this friendship needed to come to an end.

I kind of think Weiner might have been bipolar because he’d be happy-go-lucky one minute, then cursing in all caps the next minute about his father refusing to lend him some money for rent. I’m glad I bailed on that one when I did, or I’m quite sure I would have been the target of his string of obscenities when things ultimately didn’t work out.

One good thing did come of my brief friendship with Weiner. He introduced me to the Shazam app, for which I will always be grateful. I use it nearly every day.

Next up: Why I Want to Smack That eHarmony Guy