Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just when I thought life couldn't get any more awkward

I may be leaning on the line of was is and isn't acceptable to blog about.  I'll walk delicately.

I had a doctor's appointment a couple weeks ago.  I lady bits type of appointment.  It was just a annual check up.  It was with a doc who came highly recommended and wasn't that far from my house.

I took a morning off from work to go.  Got to the office on time and after filling out paperwork, sat down with an old people magazine. As I flipped through, someone left the offices and entered the waiting room.  It was the mother of one of my ex boyfriends.

He and I had dated when I was about 17.  We met at community college (where I completed all my classes the last two years of high school). We decided to keep dating while I went away to university, at which time he decided to cheat on me.  As you might imagine, my 18 year old self took it pretty badly.  It is a moment I think back to and realize it changed my plans.  There have been many of those.  He went on to marry the girl he cheated on my with, and last I heard they were living in South Dakota.  Whew, dodged a bullet there!

His mom recognized me immediately and asked what I was up to, how I'd been, yadda, yadda.  I was happy that I was all dressed up for work, looking great, which she said.  I made sure to say I'd been living in other countries, etc. Her response was "Wow!  You should totally call ****, he'd love to hear from you".

Right lady, like I care about him any more.  Like I have his number.  Like I would waste my time.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Beige again!
I've talked about the vanishing act in recent posts.  I'm finding a situation that is just as strange and occuing again and again.  After the Vanishing act, weather it's after a good date or a bad one, I assume that is it.  I assume I won't hear from them again, and to be honest, I don't really care if I do. There has been a surprising number of guys that reappear.  Most recently, Beige messaged again.  It was just a "how are you" message but it always leaves me thinking "REALLY?" We had a lousy date, we haven't spoken for weeks but now you want to message?  It's too bad you haven't found someone more amazing than me (amazing, if I do say so myself), but just because you haven't managed to arrange another date for yourself doesn't mean you should begin messaging me again.
"Moto" did the same thing after not so awful dates.  Weeks later there was a What's Up? message.  Is there something I am missing here?  If you're interested why would you wait three and a half weeks to text?

I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that my post on mediocrity has the most views of all my posts in the last two months. Mediocrity is even better than I thought!

Chaos at work
The levels of misdirection and confusion amongst the upper levels in my project at work are expanding again. It's late July, as in almost August.  I'd love to make plans for August.  The problem is that I don't know what my schedule is.  That's right.  My life ends in an inky black abyss starting in August. I can't plan dates because I don't know when I working.  I've been warned that during the first week (s?) of the month I should plan on eleven hour days.  Yep, ELEVEN hour days. . . hence, not wanting to make plans because I might need to collapse. It's starting to look like a less positive thing that I am one of the last men standing in my division.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Canceled Week - Date Fail #8.2, 8.5 and 8.8

I've learned over the years not to get too attached to plans I make because they are often more fluid than I realized. Everything is subject to change and being back in a first world country doesn't make plans more solid than when I was in Indonesia. This week has been a reminder of that.

I may have jinxed myself by posting a facebook status about my plans this week.  I updated my status to say "Four dates in five days, what could go wrong?"   O, how I know the answer to that question.  Tempting fate really.

For an explanation of Mondays events, see the "Date Fail #6 - Man up!" blog.  He didn't so much cancel as totally flake out.  Tuesday my plans were with my sister and her partner.  They didn't cancel but I nearly didn't make it.  Obama came to town and that shut the freeway into town.  A ride that usually takes forty-five minutes took and hour and a half.  I arrived just before the play started.

Wednesday was to be date two.  He had the sense to text at least.  It was the classic " Long day, tired, blah, blah, raincheck blah". Sure, I'll give you one more chance but I am not going to cancel my other dates while I wait for you.  I just might meet Mr. Fantastic before I meet you. Case in point, another guy I'd been texting messaged that night to ask what I was up to.  When I mention that my plans had fallen through we found a lucky coincidence that his had too.  Sub in another first date!  This isn't one I'll talk much about other than to say it went well and I think a follow up date is in the works. 

Thursday was a girls date night.  The girls made it despite the car fire that delayed them.  The girls are proving to be more steady.

Friday was going to be first date number three.  He had thumb surgery the day before and I I suspected, was still more under the weather than he thought on Friday.  Raincheck, sure.  NEXT!!!

Saturday, first date number four,  is going to be another short entry because the date went great.  I was starting to wonder if I would ever have a great date but I did.  Again, I hope date two is in the works so I'm keeping a bit mum.

Today wraps up the week.  I have first day number five on the schedule but it's still  two and a half hours until we meet so anything can happen.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Date Fail #8 - Non-online dating Fail

Any one who knows me, knows I'm active and BUSY. I like it that way.  Part of my plan for moving back to the States was to be busy and to participate in activities where I might meet new people.  Enter Meetup.com.  It's a website where organizers pay a menial fee to use the site and get people together based on their interests.  I am part of several Meetup groups; two for hiking, a scuba group, a couple of social/happy hour groups and two volunteering groups.  They are a good way to get out and meet people, and occasionally to meet a date.

I met "Ins" at a Meetup meet up.  It was a billiards night at a cool place in the city.  We hit it off and talked for a couple hours.  We exchanged numbers. We kissed good night. The texting and calling commenced.  Now Ins actually predates a couple of the other date fails I've blogged about but I waited until now because he's a combo date fail. 

He didn't man up and ask me out for one.  The first time we saw each other after the meet up was another meet up that we'd both planned to go to independently before we met.  That was a fun time except that he started the party several hours before I did so he was a little less sober than me.  I waited a but and then arranged a third date. He seemed happy to see me and enjoyed the date.  Then I decided I'd wait. It was his turn to make a date.  He never did. 

That was about the time that he pulled a disappearing act.  The fifth date that never was. 

Interesting that often meeting someone in person isn't a better indicator than meeting someone online.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Date Fail #7 - The Vanishing Act(s)

I don't know if the guys I'm meeting are closet magicians but a surprising number of them disappear.

A benefit of online dating that I've just recently realized is that it filters out some guys.  If they email and email but never ask for your number - DONE.

If they get your number and text but never ask you out or make plans -DONE.

If they make plans and never follow through - DONE.

What is it about guys that make them think they can totally disappear for a couple weeks, then text again and I'll jump up excited to hear from them?  Do I look like a puppy? (Don't answer that.) If you want someone you can ignore who still thinks your amazing, get a dog.  If you're really interested in seeing me, don't vanish.

I will regale you with an example of the vanishing act:

"Moto" and I met online.  Started texting and talking on the phone, an act that always earns a bonus point.  If you remember you can call and not just text, you're moving up the ranks already.

We went out on a first date of go kart racing and mini golf. He turned up just as represented in his profile, another nice surprise though it shouldn't be.  It's amazing how short six foot often is, eye roll. At the end of the date we hugged and said we should do it again.  The next week was a Mariners game.  Good time, good convo.  At the end there was another "we should do this again".  In a text a couple days later we set up for Tuesday after Memorial day.

Tuesday came and went without a text, a call, a carrier pigeon.  Ok, wrote him off.  Whatever.

Then comes the reappearing act.  Three weeks later I get a text on a Friday evening asking if I wanted to get together for billiards that night.  Needless to say I already had plans.  Then a week later I got another text that just said "Just checking in to say hi". 

That's a head scratcher.  He'd blown off our date, hadn't talked to me in weeks but felt the need to check in??  Huh.  Um. Oooookkaaaaaayyyyyy.

If you drop off the face of the earth while it's still the "courting" part of our relationship, don't bother calling four weeks later.  The only take away I get from that is that you didn't find me an adqeuate match, which is your right and decision, but after several more weeks of looking you don't find anyone else who is a better match so you scroll through your old messages, stumble upon my name and hope that I won't remember you blew me off for something better.

This isn't a single act of disappearance. I've had a couple other dates show that maybe there are more magicians out there than I thought.  Expect to read about those in the next couple posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Warrior Dash!

A short break from dating woes and dilemmas.

I ran in my first Warrior Dash Sunday.  It was five kilometers with approximately ten obstacles, then last was a mud pit that was deep enough it was easier to swim through than wade through.  I signed up and ran it alone but met some cool ladies along the way.  My final time was roughly 46 minutes.  I was proud that I didn't stop and walk at all.  My only war wound is a (barbed wire?) cut on my hand.

The Warrior chant: MUD, SWEAT, BEER!!!!

Obstacle two





Ten. Almost everyone got in carefully and tried to walk.  Most of us quickly abandoned that and swam.  There was less slipping and it was faster that way.

Michelle and I ran more than half the course together.  This is just after we crossed the finish line.

How to remove some of the mud you ask?  Why, this lovely firehose should do the trick!
My only complaint was that the only beer available when I cashed in my free beer token was Miller Lite.  I actually pitched it after just a few sips.  It was totally tasteless and not even that cold.

The event was well run and had plenty of staff.  The cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie and their residents we kind enough to host.  Traffic and parking wasn't the nightmare I expected.  I'm not even cripplingly sore.  Now I've got to find another one to sign up for!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Date Fail #6 - Man Up!

I usually wait a couple weeks between when the date fail happens and when I blog about it just in case.  In case he stumbles on the blog and recognizes himself.  In case we do end up hitting it off, we won't have a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy style fail. Mostly, just in case.

Today ticked me off enough that I'm blogging about it today.

B.E. messaged me through an online dating site.  He's younger, not really my physical type but I try to give guys the benefit of the doubt online.  Sometimes charisma doesn't transmit over the internet well. We talked a bit on there and he asked what it would take to talk to me.  I hinted he might need to ask for something and then he got the clue to ask for my number.  Maybe that was MY first hint.

We've been texting for over a week.  He finally asked to see me last week.  I tend to book my schedule a week in advance so I told him that today, Monday, was my first free day.  He balked at it until I told him politely but concisely that if he wanted the option he should act soon.  He confirmed that same day.  He's been texting daily since.  Mostly the "how was your day" kind of chatter.  I have randomly received two pictures of him, head shots, looking nearly identical with kind of a plastic quality.  The only other photos were of racehorses. (puzzled face)

Today was to be our date. He'd messaged Saturday, he messaged yesterday.  Today?  Nothing.  I get a message at 730pm that just said "Batman was intense".  I finally messaged back a couple hours later and he gave me a line about not hearing from me to make plans.  HE asked ME out, therefore he should make the plans.  If I asked him, I'd make plans.  I wished him well and won't message him again.  His response? You weren't a match, don't take it personally.  Oh honey.  If you only knew that I don't give much a shit about you. We've never even met.

I am going to occasionally slip in TIPS TO MEN FOR DATING, as I did in a recent post.  My very obvious tip? If you are interested and she's emailing/texting you back, don't wait to long to make a date. Find your cojones and ask, then make a plan.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Date Fail #5 - You're gay right?

As a straight female I know a date has gone poorly if I walk away from it fairly certain that the guy I was just with is gay . . . he just doesn't know it yet.  I told a friend about this date and her words were "are there still guys like that at our age?"  Apparently there are.

"Rick" messaged me through an online dating site.  I was a bit reticent because the email made me think of those overboard Indonesian men.  "You're so beautiful.  I want to meet you.  Blah blah, so beautiful, blah. ."  Not that I mind being told I'm beautiful but when you haven't even seen me in person, it feels a bit much.

After a few emails, we switched to texting.  That was a mistake on my part.  I found myself in the word of "check in" messages.  In the morning I'd get a "Good Morning/How did you sleep" message.  Then a mid day "Hope your day is good" message.  After work a "How is your afternoon" message.  In the evening a "Sleep well" message.  There were other random texts sprinkled throughout the day as well.  I don't text someone I'm interested a hundred times a day and I don't want that in return.

I wasn't all that sure about him from his profile but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Not everyone comes off great online even if they are in real life. I should've followed my gut.

We met at a local restaurant/bar. His profile said 5'10'' but I looked him straight in the eye. He was slim, slender, thin even.  Not my type. His voice was the first give away.  You know the one I'm talking about.  Not that every gay guy has "that voice" but his was the sterotypical one, higher than most guys, a little breathy, lots of ummms.  He was awkward sitting in a bar stool, didn't eat and only had one beer.  The conversation stalled numerous times and was buoyed by talking to the bar tender about drinks. The awkwardness only accelerated as he began to unravel his life's story.  Some info on a first date is good.  All your dirty laundry and sob stories aren't.

I thought it couldn't get more awkward than his excuses about not having money to pay.  I put it on my card and he insisted on giving me all $17 cash from his wallet.  I was wrong.  We walked out to the parking lot and had a light, clumsy hug.  As I said goodbye, turned around and took two steps he said, in a voice that made me think of a thirteen year old "IwanttokissyoucanIkissyou?" while grinding the toe of his shoe into the cement. Um, no.

I can't fully illustrate the situation but I doubt few of you would have guessed him straight either.  Of course, the less you want a guy to call after the date the more apt he is to.  I got a message the next day saying what a great time he had (maybe he hit his head on the way home) and asking to see me again.  I politely and tactfully declined.

Apologies for my excessive use of the word awkward, but when the shoe (or slipper) fits. . .

Monday, July 16, 2012

Date Fail #3 - Beige

The color beige is fairly non-descript and non-offensive.  It's also not interesting.

I was contracted through an online dating site by Beige.  He wanted a date to his military ball, the next Friday.  I figured, for good or for bad, it would be an interesting first date so why the hell not?!  It took three days before he mentioned the details and we realized that the ball started in Tacoma at 5pm.  I didn't finish work until 5 in Renton.  That meant with changing and driving through traffic, I wouldn't arrive before 7.  The ball on Friday was scrapped in favor of a Mariners game on Thursday.

He picked me up and instead of ringing the doorbell he sent me a text from the car.  Strike one.

On the drive up he told me all about his military disability (hearing loss), the pneumo-thoraxes he got in high school, the vertigo he suffers from, how he'd been hurt before and didn't trust people.  Strike two.  

I picked out and paid for the tickets.  He paid for the food.  The weather was nice, the Mariners weren't winning but that's wasn't a surprise.  We found our seats and the conversation ran out about fifteen minutes later. 

Our neighbors in the bleechers were three familys with five young kids among them.  Since I attract children like flowers attract bees it wasn't long until I was talking with the kids and their parents.  One mom was a school teacher.  The kids shared their cotton candy.  Then Ray struck up a conversation about beer.  He was the cutest of the three dads.  He was friendly but not overly so.  We talked about different types of beer and local microbrews.  He asked if we were together and I said it was a first date.  He asked how the date was going.  It got so quiet I swear I could hear the umpires blinking. 


All the wives and kids disappeared to the play area.  I talked with all three dads about beer, the upcoming Freemont street fair, etc.  As they were leaving Ray asked for my info so we could hang out. Yup, just got hit on by a married guy while I was on a date with someone who couldn't maintain a conversation.

I only traded a couple emails with Ray but it served to emphasis how bland Beige was. 

The drive home wasn't as awkward as I expected but the drop off was.  Beige pulled up to my house and left the motor running.  I opened the door and was half out of the car when he said "What? No hug?"  He was still in the car. Nothing more romantic than an "in the car, over the stick shift, first date ending hug".  My hands were full and I said that it was not an easy way to hug.  He didn't make a move to get out of the car.  Strike three. You're out.

I was relieved that he never called.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Date Fail #4 - Babe

My friends had the best of intentions.  I'd never been set up before, they know some single guys so they set up a date. 

Babe works second shift so he's not off work until 1 am usually.  I had a random Wednesday off from work so we arranged lunch.

The Mongolian grill was alright, nothing special but convenient location.
Babe was also alright, but nothing special.  Mostly he was 22.  A 22 that has never seen another country, that spent four years in the military, that seemed intimidated.

Anyone who knows me, knows that, at times, I can be intimidating. I'll cop to that. I could not be involved with someone who is intimidated by me from the word go.

Last nail in the coffin was no call/text for three days. When he did send one it was "hope the week went well". Men, take note. If you want a reply, ask a question or make a witty remark. The above example is a perfect example of a message i might recieve and think ". . .and?"

He was nice, but justly, has fallen by the way side.

New dating strategy

I went to dinner at a friend's house recently.  We were seven ladies, all in varying degrees of singleness.  Invariably the conversation moved to dating and men. Several of us participate in online dating. We shared horror stories and interesting events.  We agreed that often one can tell if a man will be worth your time and energy in about five minutes.  When you make a date, it's difficult to make a five minute date.  Even a coffee date is a half an hour, more if you drink the bucket-sized venti.  My new plan is to institute the coffee ordering date.  Instead of ordering coffee, sitting, drinking it, talking, the man will get five minutes, give or take, to order coffee. 

Obvious signs he won't make it past this truncated round one?
He spends more time talking to the barista than to me. 
He orders a drink with more than three instructions. That means a "grande half caf, soy, two pumps caramel, three sweetners, iced frappuccino with whip and he's out.
He smells stronger (good or bad) than the coffee.
He's late.
He's poorly dressed.
He asks me to pay for his coffee.
He pulls out a secret flask to add to his coffee, and it's before 9pm.
He's uninteresting/boring/ugly/other obvious observation here.

Am I wrong to think that if you can't make a good impression in five minutes, what good will another twenty-five minutes do?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Date Fail #2 - Unlucky lephrechaun

I met "Patty" at an Irish Bar on St. Patrick's Day.  I was out with my friend Amber, having a blast and met him in the bar.  After chatting for a few minutes, he asked for my number, which I gave him, and then I drifted back to my group.  Lo and behold, he actually caleld before the night was out. He called the next night as well.  Patty definitely earned some brownie points for calling, not just texting.  After a week and a half of texting we set a date and met for drinks and dinner.  Things went well.  We agreed there should be a second date, which there was.  The second date was a movie at his place.  Afterwards we fell asleep on the sofa.
It was either shortly after the second date that Patty got lazy.  He'd text late at night, after having dinner with his friends, and ask me to come over. He didn't want to meet out anywhere, only at his place.  <EYE ROLL> Less than a month in and he'd on auto pilot.  I insisted that the next time I saw him it would be out.  He wanted to see me Saturday but ended up working 12 hours that day.  I gave him and out but he insisted.  Bad idea.  He was beat and less than entertaining.  A quick bite and he wanted to head home.  I let him go, alone. 

He said he'd call.  He didn't.  I didn't care.  The strange part was that about four weeks later I got a text message. "Hey, how's the new job?  I hope you're good".  I had to write back asking who it was.  He replied "Wow, it's Patty.  Forgot me already?"  My hint was obvious enough even he got it when I replied "Oh, It's been a while so I didn't figure I'd heard from you. . . How are you?"  

That was the end of Patty.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Independence Day

This is the first time in five years that I'm on American soil for Fourth of July.  My world has expanded greatly in those years.  As I type AMERICAN I am reminded of a Colombian friend who would take me to task for using that phrase.  He always noted that America includes countries crom Canada to chile and everything between.  The US is simply one part of  America.  That being said, I've had more Spanish speakers ask me if I'm from America than Los Estados Unidos.  One phrase does trip off the tongue a bit easier than the other.

Fourth of July is more personal and freeing that BBQ and fireworks can illustrate.  I am independent.  I live alone, I make enough to support myself and pay down my debts. I am great company for myself and don't hide at home because I don't have someone to accompany me to events.  I am actively seeking my bliss, on trails, rivers, lakes, as well as in bars, concert halls and theatres.  I'm making friends and keeping in touch with those in Indonesia and Spain.  Dating is an option but I will not settle for less than what I want/need. Even if it takes a hundred first dates to get there.

Enjoy your picinics, read up on Richard Henry Lee, listen to the 1812 overture and ponder why it symbolizes American Independence day and not a Russian military defeat, have some ribs instead of just hot dogs, consider weather Samueal Adams would have endorsed the Sam Adams your drinking.

To you Seattleites specifically, take photos.  We all know how rare a sunny Fourth is.  It won't happen again for an eon.

I hope to join you all once I'm released from the dungeon, I mean work.

Happy Fourth!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The year of a thousand first dates

That might be a little bit of an exaggeration.  Maybe I should rename the blog the year of a hundred first dates.  I've been back in the States just over four months now and I'm making the most of the time in all realms, including dating.  I debated about writing on really personal stuff, aka dating and relationships, for a while before posting this.  I've allowed glimpses of my relationship disasters in the past.  I may be a bit gun shy due to lousy romantic comedies (which I have boycotted for years) that presume anyone I meet will stumble on this blog, realize I've written about them and calamity will ensue. The good news for all of you is that I'm not meeting many promising options so as they fall by the wayside I have new batches of stories.

Work has really ramped up and I refuse to sacrifice my social/active life leaving me little time for blogging. I'll try to run down the dates one or two at a time, hopefully allowing me to blog quickly and often.  Since I've decided to blog about the dates, I'll have to go back and start from the beginning in March. Today's installment is Preggers.

I met preggers at a Meetup event.  It was a bar night meet n greet.  We chatted about work, why he'd move to Seattle, yadda, yadda. By nights end some four hours later at 1:30 am he was trying very hard to convince me to stay "on his sofa" for the night. Eyebrow raised, riiiight. he got my number (before the drunken persuasion began) and we parted ways.  A date was made for a week or so in the future and we met at Japonesa, a Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant.  The conversation was middle of the road and the night wrapped up with a good night kiss, but me driving to my house alone.

Pregger text me a lot.  I've learned I'm not a needy girl and if anything I tend to shy away from someone who calls or texts multiple times a day everyday, especially at the beginning of things.  Some from him were "how was your day" style, some were "it's ten pm, come over". Some were unusual. Preggers text me from San Fran where he was visiting some friends. He said he'd had a meal of Indian food.  I asked if it was good and he said "I feel pregnant".  Not I feel stuffed, or like i have a food baby (also slightly suspect) but I feel pregnant.  Now if he were Mr. Fantastic I could over look it but this was the straw the broke the camels back.  I wasn't sold before that point and left shopping to others after.