Learning to Love Me

This reminds me so much of my marriage. It’s funny how you think that loving someone is enough to make things work. I can’t honestly say I was in love with my ex-husband, but I did love him at one time. We got along pretty well, and I thought it was enough. But over time, I realized that I was the only one being supportive and I was the only one who could be counted on. I convinced myself that it was better to be in a marriage like mine — which wasn’t really based on love — because I knew that if something were to happen to him, I would be ok. Of course I would care, but our marriage had taught me that I could do just fine on my own.

But I was afraid to actually be alone.

What if no one else wanted me? That was the main thing, plus the unbearable thought of splitting holidays and time in general with my daughter, that kept me in my empty marriage for so much longer than I should have.

I actually remember when the turning point was. I was talking to a friend of mine one night, whom I hadn’t spoken to in some time. She had moved out of state so we hadn’t seen each other in at least a year or more. She asked how things were going, and the more I opened up and told her, the more she saw how unhappy I really was. She finally said, “You are in danger of losing your spirit. That part of you that makes everyone love you. You’re losing you.” I thought a lot about her words in the days and weeks and months after that conversation, and I knew something had to change. I didn’t want my daughter growing up thinking that marriage was separate bedrooms and very little laughter or real conversation or meals shared together as a family. I didn’t want her to grow up remembering me being miserable and short tempered. Not only had I stopped loving myself, I had definitely stopped liking myself. How could I expect anyone else to love or even like me, if I couldn’t look in the mirror and think of a single positive thing to say? I had to change.

One little change at a time, I started finding myself again. I started wearing clothes that fit me properly, rather than hiding under baggy, shapeless outfits. I started wearing makeup {which I seldom did before that because I didn’t see the point} and making more of an effort with my hair. And something changed. Men began to notice me and flirt with me when I went out in public. My confidence grew a little. People began to see the change in me, which didn’t go unnoticed by my {now} ex-husband. He accused me of having a boyfriend I was trying to impress. I said, “Did it ever occur to you that I’m doing this for me? I’m trying to take more pride in myself.” He didn’t seem to like that. Looking back, I wonder if he wanted me to stay overweight and miserable because it ensured that I would probably never leave. I believed no one else would want me, so I stayed. And even though he hadn’t been thrilled with my appearance over the years, he didn’t want to be alone either. He had also resigned himself to an empty marriage.

I don’t see myself as some beauty queen, but I like myself far more than I did five years ago. I like the person I’m becoming, and I’m so much happier than I was back then. I know that it shows because people have told me as much. A friend of mine at work, who I hadn’t seen in some time, saw me after my divorce and said I looked lighter. I thought she meant I looked like I had lost weight but she said,”No, you used to look like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders. But now you have some pep in your step. You just seem like a load has lifted off.” And it really had. My dad, who had tried to convince me not to get divorced because he was sure that my daughter and I would somehow end up on welfare and living in the projects, admitted how much happier I seem. He said that for a long time, it was like I was plodding through life — kind of a shadow of myself. But now they genuinely look forward to me coming over and the old me is back.

The old me is back, only maybe with a few upgrades. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It hasn’t been easy and some things are still a struggle. But I’m on my way. And it’s satisfying to think my ex-husband must have looked at me at least once or twice over the past few years and wondered what the hell happened. I’m no longer that person sitting around on the couch all the time. I’m no longer hiding behind baggy clothes. I don’t dress up when I know I’ll see him, but I do make a point to be put together. When we split up, I swore I wouldn’t be that bitter divorcee who gains a bunch of weight and lets herself go. On my worst day, I still look better than I did on many of my best days with him. He never brought out the best in me, and I think now he realizes that. I woke up and realized there had to be something better in store for me.

I took a very scary leap into the unknown, and I flew.

Letting Go

“I believe it’s time for me to fly…”
~REO Speedwagon

I officially ended things with Michael yesterday. Things just weren’t working, and the relationship wasn’t making me happy. I was feeling more and more distant from him, and part of me wasn’t really interested in reviving things. I told him I was feeling very distant from him, and he said hopefully we could reconnect when he came back to visit {he was due to arrive right after Christmas}. I wasn’t so sure, but I figured it was worth a shot.

The day he arrived, he said that one of his suitcases hadn’t made it and that we’d have to come back for it {the airport is an hour from my house}. He said the Christmas gifts he had bought for my daughter and me were in the lost suitcase. The first night was fine…we fooled around, and I had to admit it was nice to see him again. The next day, he wasn’t feeling very well. I knew he was a little under the weather before he came to visit, but he insisted he was ok for the trip. He said he had called the airport and that his suitcase still hadn’t arrived. I didn’t worry too much about it at the time. On the third day, I started to not feel so good, either. I assumed it was just a cold or a sinus infection, but it started getting worse. We were both cold all the time and exhausted. The rest of his visit pretty much consisted of us laying around and sleeping under piles of blankets.

Ringing in the new year is usually something I look forward to. I always buy a bunch of Elvis food and my daughter & I watch the ball drop, toast with sparkling cider, and shoot the poppers all over the living room. This year, however, I could barely drag myself out of bed to watch the ball drop. But we listlessly rang in the new year, had a few sips of cider, and went back to bed. What a drag! On New Year’s Day, he was scheduled to fly home in the afternoon. I was so sick and exhausted that I didn’t feel like I was ok to drive the hour there and back in a blizzard to drop him off. He finally {thankfully!} called a cab and paid $98 to get to the airport while I spent the day sleeping on the couch. Incidentally, his suitcase never did make it, so he flew home without it, assuming it would eventually reach him. After he got home, he said it had finally caught up with him and that he would mail our Christmas presents in a day or two.

After he left, I barely heard from him at first. I knew he still wasn’t feeling great, so I dismissed it. After a week or so, I mentioned something about how he must have other priorities since I wasn’t really hearing from him much. Suddenly he started pouring it on really thick, calling me “honey baby” and “my sweet” and leaving me voicemails about how wonderful I am. It seemed almost contrived, like he had rehearsed what he wanted to say, and I wasn’t really sure how to respond. I wondered if he was busy talking to anyone else since he hadn’t really been talking to me for all that time.

Two weeks passed, and there was no mention at all of the Christmas presents. Now, I’m not one to have a fit about something like that, but I really started to wonder if there were ever any presents in the first place. I had never heard him talk on the phone about the suitcase to anyone at the airport myself. It was always him saying he had finally reached someone when I was in the shower or not in the room. I really did a lot of thinking about the relationship, and it wasn’t sitting well with me. I thought about the time, a few months ago, when I said something that upset him. He had talked about wanting to marry me before, and said, “Well, that’s real nice. Tomorrow I was going to go pick out your ring, and here you are thinking blah blah blah…” {again with the shaming}. There was never any mention of a ring again after that, and I never brought it up. I thought about how he flat out refused to acknowledge our relationship on Facebook, despite professing his love for me and saying he wanted to marry me. I thought about how he got so defensive about unhiding his friends list. I thought about a lot of things that had really been bothering me, all of which I had discussed with him multiple times, to no avail.

I realized this relationship was doing the opposite of making me happy. I realized that it didn’t feel so good to be involved with someone who insisted on keeping me a secret, despite knowing how much it hurt my feelings. So I wrote him a long e-mail explaining how I had been feeling, and basically ending things with him. I removed myself from his friends list {and told him so} and basically said that I couldn’t do this anymore.

When he read the e-mail a few hours later, he had a fit. He acted like this came out of left field, like this was the first time he was hearing any of it. He didn’t like that I didn’t answer when he tried to call. He chose certain parts of my e-mail to respond to, and completely ignored other parts. He said that couples talk things through, they don’t just send e-mails and disappear. I couldn’t believe what a prick he was about it. He pretty much turned the whole thing around to be my fault. I responded to his e-mail and again brought up certain things, reminding him that we had, in fact discussed them before and that he had totally disregarded my feelings. Again, he ignored certain topics {namely, anything having to do with Facebook} and attempted to lay a serious guilt trip on me. Interestingly enough, when I woke up this morning, I was in a great mood, as if a huge load had been lifted from my shoulders. I think that speaks volumes.

here we go again...

I admit, sending him an e-mail might have been the cowardly way to handle things, but to be honest, I’m much better at getting out what I want to say in writing rather than an actual conversation. There were no distractions and I was able to really think about what I wanted to say. As my friend Ace said, Michael didn’t like that I had taken control of the relationship from him and was having a tantrum. He didn’t like it one bit.

I just know that I can’t be in a relationship with someone I constantly have doubts about. I can’t be involved with someone who dismisses my feelings repeatedly. I was married far too long to someone who did that, and I won’t do it again. I told Michael I need a man who is proud to tell the world I’m his, who won’t insist on keeping me a secret. Apparently, Michael wasn’t that guy. Onward and upward.

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.

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

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

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

The Drought Breaker

As you can probably gather, this was the one who ended my three years of self-imposed celibacy. I didn’t go looking for him, but I can safely assume he was looking for me. Or someone kinda like me. Oh, let’s be serious. I could probably have been just about any female walking by and he would have acted the same way. The difference is, he approached me on the right day in the right month of the right year when I was totally willing to say, “Come ‘n get me.”

Grocery cart

I went to the grocery store one night, as I often do, with no list and wandering up and down the aisles trying to remind myself of what I needed. As I came down one aisle, I passed a guy and smiled as I went by. He said, “You have a nice smile.” I paused, said thank you {smiling again} and went on my way.

At this point in my life, it had been a very long time since a) I had felt attractive, and b) a guy had complimented me. For much of my marriage I tended to dress in very baggy, shapeless clothing. I knew my ex preferred thinner girls {which I was not} and I was always self-conscious. Sex was ALWAYS with the lights off. I didn’t make much effort with my makeup because I didn’t see the point. But in the months leading up to this encounter, I had started making more of an effort with my appearance. I had lost some weight, begun wearing makeup {not a ton, but still enough to make a difference}, and started dressing in clothes that actually fit me properly. I had stopped hiding behind my weight and my clothes.

Anyway, I kept walking through the store and remembered something I needed back near where I had seen the guy. Sure enough, I saw him again. This time he approached me and struck up a conversation. I ended up getting his number and went on my way, kind of stunned at what had just happened.

The next day, I called him and we made plans to meet for lunch. I felt nervous and awkward. I hadn’t been on a date in a really long time! We made small talk, but mostly focused on our food. When we were nearly finished, he said he had an apartment nearby and asked if I wanted to go over there. I said I didn’t have much time {I had to get back to work}, and he smiled and said, “We don’t need much time.”

I looked at him, considered what he was saying, slowly put down my fork, and said, “Let’s go.”

{I know, I know, I barely knew the guy and shouldn’t have gone. But dammit, a girl’s got needs!}

We went to the apartment, and let’s just say…
The heavens opened up, the angels were singing, the DROUGHT WAS OVER!! I had no idea sex could be that good. Now, I’m not going to use this space to bash my ex, however… I will say that in all the time we were married, our sex life was pretty vanilla. But this guy, whom I had only just met, knocked my damn socks off in less than 15 minutes. I went back to work feeling naughty and sexy and just plain incredible. Were my buttons fastened the right way? Did my hair look ok? Who knows?? Who cares?? I just had sex, everybody, and it was FANTASTIC!

girl%20happy

We hooked up off and on for a while, and even though I wasn’t always…satisfied {wink}, it was always better than any I’d had before. Turns out he had a serious girlfriend, though. I never had any delusions that we were in a relationship, but the last thing I need is some crazy girlfriend chasing me around with the Cheaters camera crew because I’d been messing around with her guy. So I told him I was done and moved on.

Oh, one more thing…
I would be remiss not to mention one important detail about this guy. He had an a•m•a•z•i•n•g body. I mean, he seriously looked sculpted. When we met at the grocery store, he was wearing baggy jeans and a loose rugby shirt, so it was hard to tell what kind of body was under there. But oh, my stars, when he took of his clothes… his body was simply incredible. I couldn’t stop looking at him.

Ok, maybe not exactly like this... He didn't have a beard or a trident, and he wasn't white. But you get the idea.

Ok, maybe not exactly like this… He didn’t have a beard or a trident, and he wasn’t white. But you get the idea.

Next up: Booty, Caboose, Apple Bottom, Badonkadonk

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