What’s the Buzz?

My good friend asked me if I wanted to join her for a 5K last weekend, to which I had to reply with “well, I’d like to, but I’m going out of town with a guy. There’s a guy. I feel weird I haven’t told you about him yet.”

I’d seen her a few times since meeting Buzz and this is the same friend who had the CTJ with me about Lucky, so it’s definitely in our realm of girlfriend chatter, but each time we were in big groups and I don’t know how to bring up good things like this. She, again no holds barred, told me I SHOULD feel weird. And that’s why we’re friends.

I prefer self-deprecation and dating stories that are so bad they’re good, but this one is just good. I was walking the line of it being so awesome I wanted to tell everyone and their mom about it and it being so awesome I wanted to keep it all to myself. So, yeah, either way it’s awesome.

So this is my way of also awkwardly telling you something that is only getting more awkward based on the fact that I’ve been holding out for so long.

How long? Seven weeks, not that I’m counting like a 16-year-old girl.

The deets? He’s a very age-appropriate 30. We met on Match, but depending on our level of intoxication, you may get another story if you ask. We did the standard progression of dates and on our third, I found out he’s a good cook and a great kisser. He’s smart and funny and sweet and will admit to nerding it out at times. He’s tall and a cuddler, which works well because he’s perfect to cuddle into. Oh, and last week he made it Facebook official, which worked out FAR better for him than the last guy who tried that one.

Why Buzz? Fortunately we really enjoy each other’s company, but UNfortunately, we have sometimes-opposite schedules, so so far, our relationship has been fueled by Starbucks, 5-Hour Energy and Red Bull. I’m buzzing 🙂

All Those Dates

The 34-year-old marrying kind

This guy interrogated me. I felt like I was being screened for the position of wifey – did I live close by to have a convenient relationship, did our work schedules and sleep schedules mostly match, did we like the same foods, how many kids did I want. This was all via text btw. Heaven forbid we waste our time having a beer if I wasn’t willing to split Thanksgiving and Christmas between out two families. Okay, he didn’t ask that, but he may have eventually and it would have been too soon!

The 33-year old professional golfer

Despite having hair, he told me to look for the bald guy – hardy har har. He could have just told me to look for the guy with the awesome sock tan. It wasn’t bad, wasn’t good, wasn’t much of anything. He was too meek for my tastes.

The 22-year old baby manager

Yes, after our kiss in the rain, he hung around for a while. I decided it could just be fun, but he made it decidedly unfun. He wanted to date, but didn’t want to TALK to me and wasn’t very giving if you know what I mean. Ultimately, he broke up with me via text because he kept inviting me out with him and his friend, so I became friends with him and went to lunch with him because he works up by me. I actually think it’s a pretty funny story.

The 38-year-old bald westsider

I know. I know. In my last post I discussed how being from the westside is a flag in and of itself. Something about this guy’s smile reminded me of an ex, so I went for it. He was 25 minutes late. It was a totally dead restaurant and I was sitting at the bar, so I had to wait for the bartender to walk to the other side so I didn’t feel as lame and left at 20, then got a text while I was driving away that he “got there early and to look for the guy that’s 300 pounds.” First of all, making a cliché joke about online dating is lame, but for some reason popular with these guys, second of all, he was so late, but given that it apparently was a misunderstanding – he had set the time a week in advance and in confirming the date that day, neither of us confirmed the time – I turned back. Before I could give him shit for being late, he apologized, saying he thought the restaurant he picked was more expensive, which is kind of a lame excuse since there are ways to check on that if it was important to him and it wasn’t important to me. He then said we should have gone to a place two doors down, that yes, was more expensive, but that he wasn’t dressed for and he didn’t actually mean it because we stayed there. And THEN I got to tell him about his massive failure. His profile was a little misleading and the convo wasn’t all that great…I felt like I was being interrogated and he badmouthed Arizona and Scottsdale (pet peeve) and criticized my yoga approach even though he’s never done it. The date wasn’t bad enough to walk out on and I don’t have the balls to just call it an early night, so I put up with it and then he hugged me, asked me out again (wtf do you say?) then hugged me again and kissed my cheek and I was free. Fortunately the next day, he acknowledged he put me on the spot and did I actually want to go out again? So I said no.

This is why he’s single.

I started back up on Match. Ugh. My super optimistic plan is to fail in the first six months I’ve paid for to get their free six month guarantee.

One of my NYR is to go on 12 dates. It’s not many, but it sets a standard to go out at least once a month and Match is a good way to meet at least one guy a month to go out with without feeling like I’m going overboard and dating for dinner (although, skipping ahead a bit, that’s what I felt like this week).

However, since starting back on Match and in theory telling the universe I’m ready, I’m finding other options popping up. But that’s for another time. This post is really about how if I keep up with the bullshit of online dating I’ll get fat.

Not only will there be a lot of drinking and eating on dates, I tend to promise myself I’ll stop for a sweet treat if the date’s a bust. This week my first date since being back was no exception. I feel like everything about this guy screamed, “this is why I’m single!”

He lives in Glendale. A red flag I somehow missed in the qualifying stages.

He looked good in most pictures, but there was one that made me question it. The unfitting pieces sticking out in the one picture stuck out even more when I met him.

But, the date was set – and let’s be honest, month #1 was wrapping up and I appreciate staying on track – so off I went (to the place where I got dumped, then didn’t care that I got dumped because I had Lucky, ugh). And more NOs popped up.

He had bad teeth.

And he is 33 with four roommates.

And he has a terrible laugh (one of those, like uh huh huh huuuh, does that make sense?).

And he talked about himself, bourbon and sports (the boring ones) excessively, using “like” to pepper his sentences like (a proper use) a valley girl circa 1993.

And he had no clue I was sooo checked out the entire time. He was too busy burping.

Eventually the night ended, not early enough, but still with froyo piled with chocolate.

And now it’s been a few days and I haven’t heard from him. Um, he can’t reject me, I’m rejecting him!

What’s my age again?

After going out with a boy who looks young enough to be my son, a guy interviewing for a quick, cozy high school relationship and a guy who skateboarded to our first date, I was ready for a man and Mr. Grocery Store was wearing me down so I agreed to go out with him again. Don’t judge me. I was contemplating ways to ask him to buy me shiny things. That’s probably not helping with the judging thing.

On our planned date day, I didn’t hear from him to make plans. Yes, I could have texted him, but part of looking forward to dating a man is that you feel pursued and you know things will be handled.

I went for a run after work, probably too late to get ready for a date, but by that point I was over it. Apparently so was he. I heard from him at 6:45: “Sorry can’t make it another time.”

Wait, what?! I kinda think maybe it was part of a game…like I made it so hard for him to see me, that he decided to give me a taste of my own medicine and take back some of the power? I also kinda think I think too much. I didn’t respond.

The next day, I got this: “Emjaye. What a wuss!” Now I’m not even sure what this means. I was a wuss because I didn’t call him on his Wednesday bullshit?  Again, thinking too much to explain men who just don’t make sense. Again, didn’t respond.

Remember when I said I’d probably run into him everywhere after the last time I called things off? I didn’t. Apparently things weren’t awkward enough yet. After this most recent failed date, now it’s awkward enough so of course I ran into him! On Friday on my way into the gym I saw him before he saw me as we were walking toward each other. I waved and said hi and his reaction was priceless.

His initial reaction was to smile and his body language was open, but then I could see him remember the past few days and his shoulders hunched and he gave me a “I’m too cool” head nod and changed direction! Someone’s a sulky little boy.

So, my question is…WHAT would the point of dating someone old enough to be my dad be if he still acts like the late-20s dudes I am at least more attracted to and are better kissers anyway?!

No Points for Persistence

Here’s the thing…men who repeatedly ask you out can fall into two categories – awesome or annoying. I’m sorry that was mean. We’ll call it persistent. That’s a nice way to say annoying, right?

The only difference is if you like them and you hear from them and you go out, it’s awesome. If you don’t like them, aren’t into it, aren’t attracted, are distracted by some other shiny object and they are just not picking up what you’re dropping down, they’re “persistent” or annoying.

And then you start to feel a little bad for them that they’re so oblivious and maybe a little pathetic and you start to wonder if maybe you should give them a chance, that maybe there’s something you’re missing and when the guy you actually like isn’t following up with you, it’s nice to have someone to remind you that you’re not totally unfortunate.

I have three of these men in my life right now. Well, had. By the end of the post, you’ll see it’s actually down to two.

1. Mr. Grocery Store will not go away. I’ve ignored him AND flat out told him that I’m not interested and he keeps at it. And yes, it’s my fault for allowing him to and for responding, but I actually did enjoy him about 80% of the time, so another date wouldn’t be terrible, although I mark him as persistent because the relationship is definitely past its expiration date because it’s not moving any farther.

2. The baby manager I worked with a few years ago for some reason has set his eyes on me across social media and decided we need to go out. He’s a short 22-year-old ginger, so you can understand my hesitation. We’ve never been out, but in the spirit of saying yes and dating a bunch, I caved and we’re going out tonight.

3. Mr. No Name/No Personality who I met TWO YEARS AGO on Plenty of Fish also will not go away. It’s a twisty, complicated story of him being annoying and too cool and too busy but still apparently wanting to hang out. But his (non)personality is grating and two years have not been kind to him, so although I was kind of like, “yeah okay, we’ll hang out sometime,” a few days ago this finally had to happen:

He actually still persisted, as if that’s surprising, but a few more blunt statements from me and a final ignore I guess have solidified my stance on the situation and he’s given it up. For now.

What do you do with persistent men? I’m pretty sure I have to stop being so damn nice (previous text message screen not included).

The Face Grab Kiss

So, I’ve been on threeish dates with Yogi and while I still have some terrible online dating experiences to share and Mr. Grocery Store decided to pop back up (persistent like a game of whack-a-mole), I was thinking I just don’t have much to say because it’s smooth sailing. It’s fun and easy, I’m totally myself around him and I’m not going crazy trying to figure out how he feels.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time and relax and enjoy it, but then on date three, he kissed me and everything changed. Not everything changed like Mr. Grocery Store’s dead fish of a tongue sent any chance of our May-December fling down the drain, but like wow.

Yogi invited me over after work to let my dog run around in his yard and I can’t say no to exercising that little demon (as evidenced by his relentless pestering of Yogi’s old, patient, super calm dog and the fact that even after an hour of playing, the young one just started sprinting in figure eights around the wet yard). On the way over there, Amy Laurent the matchmaker popped in my head telling me to never accept same-day invites, but then Amy Laurent the reality star reminded me she’s done it before herself, so I didn’t feel too bad.

We hung out all night, a little close sitting and I knew he wasn’t letting me leave without a kiss. He came in with a very assertive and sexy face grab kiss.

Note: I wrote this after date three and since then we had date four (more kissing), BUT I think Amy would be proud of me for keeping myself, ahem, busy, at a Halloween party at a bar last night and keeping options open in this early stage.

Under the Belt

My Match subscription is up next week and I have definitely not used it to its full potential. I thought maybe I was just underwhelmed by the men on there – not attracted to them, not excited by their profiles and they seemed to be into endless emails that I struggled to keep going – but there’s been a shift and I don’t think it’s in the men.

Since I signed up, I’ve had pity parties, I’ve had girls nights, I’ve been out on a few dates, I’ve been kissed (in both good and bad ways), and I’ve seen Lucky in a professional context without turning it into a very personal, intimate context, so I think it’s time to get going again. I’m more emotionally ready to actively date now. It had to start somewhere and I had to get that first online date (of this “round”) under my belt.

There was one guy I was interested in, but I was NOT interested in touching base every Monday to talk about how my weekend WAS and every Thursday to talk about my plans for the NEXT weekend and it had literally been a month of that. Blah. So, I told him as much and he took the hint that wasn’t really a hint and asked for my number and actually called. I’m not great on the phone and I’d much rather use it to make plans, then chat it up over dinner or drinks, but we talked for an hour one night, then a half hour the next day, so that’s a good sign!

We talked about yoga – how he thought he should try it but was intimidated, so I asked him to join me for a sesh.  What has gotten into me? I don’t ask men out (but it IS on my Dating Bingo card, check!) and I don’t need a guy watching me do yoga the first time I meet him, but I was going and wanted to meet him and it just felt natural to invite him.

Yogi gets major points.  He agreed, he showed up, he did his first yoga class ever on a first date in the middle of an outdoor mall at a fairly busy time. Oh yeah, it was a lululemon class held in the courtyard in front of their store (I’m tempted to count it as an “outdoorsy” date, but I don’t think that’s what I truly had in mind for that square, so I’ll leave it open).

Our actual class…we just didn’t make the Facebook pic.

His willingness to try something new and potentially look stupid on a date was pretty attractive. Speaking of attractive…based on his pictures, I felt like it could go either way, but when he walked up to me, I mentally heard an immediate “yes,” another good sign!

After we made it through the class – with only a few giggles from both of us and the instructor telling him she loved him, but he could learn from me – we walked through the center (score one more point for Yogi…when I ended up walking on the street side, he gently guided me to the inside – guys still do that?!) and stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a beer and to watch the end of the ASU game. Overall, a fun, easy night and I will be seeing him again…this time he asked me out!

On My Own, Pretending He’s NOT Beside Me

I’ve had some great experiences in the past few weeks because I started saying yes. Not like that, dirty ones. I unfortunately spent the past year feeling very isolated and lonely and kinda boring because I was in a relationship in which I was the only one in that relationship and I didn’t go out and I didn’t really do things. Funny how a little time and distance can give you such perspective, although truth be told, I knew it in it, but wasn’t really to admit it or give up or who knows what else.

One of those experiences was dating a 51/52-year-old man and while, yeah, it was kinda fun, it wasn’t going anywhere and for me that’s my cue to exit. However, on our last date I got the full-court press to “be together” and “enjoy it for what it is” and “have fun” and “learn from each other what we’re meant to learn because obviously we were put into each other’s lives for a reason” all with “respect and care for each other” because we have “great chemistry.”

Translation, “I’m old and the fact that I’ve kept you somewhat interested for three dates has given me the idea that I might get lucky, so can I please, please have sex with your 28-year-old self?” No. “How ’bout now?” No.

I politely told him we’re better off as friends, he pushed still and asked what I was looking for, to which I kind of surprised myself by responding, “I’m looking for a big spark that leads to a relationship that leads to marriage and an exceptional life that includes babies.” I think my surprise was in that when he first asked I was like, “oh shit, I don’t know” and then I realize that yeah I do and it’s simple and shouldn’t be a lot to ask for and I might as well put it out there in the universe.

I think women get a bad rep as being wedding- and baby-crazy, but I didn’t say, “I want to get married next month and pregnant by the end of the year,” it’s just an optimal, long-term plan, but you have to start somewhere. Mr. GS’s flaw wasn’t that I didn’t think he’d want to get married or that I was afraid he couldn’t get it up to become a dad, it was just that there was a medium spark, bigger than I’ve had in a while, but it wasn’t IT. I don’t write men off for not being IT right away, but as soon as I know they’re NOT IT, I’m ready to move on, and yeah it happens quickly, as it should.

OMG, I might be crazy…does that even make sense? The difference between not IT and NOT IT?! I’m sure you’ve been there!

Anyway, after THIS convo was when he gave me that full court press and I just kinda kept thinking, but WHY? The relationship had outrun its usefulness. That might sound cold, but I don’t need to be with the first guy who comes along, I can wait and I like to be alone. Not any more or any less than I like to be with someone, but I don’t mind it. On my own, I get to do my weird single behaviors, I get to train, work when I want, hang out with my dog and say YES to life without checking with someone else first. Mr. GS and a lot of men I run into online seem to hate being alone, but that’s not my problem!

[Blogging breakthrough! While writing this, I realized I may be protecting myself from getting into the same situation I had with Lucky – emotional attachment to a relationship that’s not going anywhere – by jumping out quickly, but I don’t think I’d be afraid to jump IN if it was right.]

Sometimes I worry I’ve been single (or as good as single) for so long that I’ll be a disaster in a relationship, but for now I think it helps. I don’t miss it enough to go diving into the first thing that comes along to get back to it. I can say thanks, but no thanks to guys who try to get too familiar too fast and the relationship will progress naturally (which, for me is quasi-traditionally).

Are women better at being alone than men? Do you stick around to have fun in the moment in a relationship you know is not right for you?

Phoenix Dates!

Since I had made plans to see Mr. Grocery Store before I found out how old he was and got skeeved, I went out with him again last week – still fun, still a bad kisser, but this time, the punchline was, “and then I got carded.”  Yes, the waitress thought I was under 21 and said later that she thought it was a set up because he looks like a cop and apparently it seemed odd. I’ve decided he could pass for early 40s, that’s about where I thought he was when I met him, but he obviously did NOT get carded. Still unsure where this one’s headed.

In other news, I joined forces with some other Phoenix area single ladies to document our dating adventures on a new blog…check out the humor, horror and hope that is dating in your late 20s and early 30s at www.phoenixdates.wordpress.com.

Don’t worry, I only stroked his ego.

Last night was my date with Mr. Grocery Store. I will admit I had a little pre-date freak out thinking about it being my first date since the break up and longing for the comfort level of an old relationship and the person I so wished Lucky was… but he’s not, so I calmed down and took the first step toward really moving on.

Side note: I am unabashedly a TSwift fan again (I like the early “Tim McGraw” stage, but I couldn’t handle “Love Story” and jumped ship, but I just got back on) and just yesterday I heard her new “Begin Again” song and it felt fitting.

Anyway, so the date turned into a two+ phase date…four to be exact – check out my updated BINGO card :). His idea was to start with Mexican apps and margs, then sushi and sake, then froyo, then we heard live music and wandered into a mostly empty lounge for a listen and a nightcap. We went to a big center that had all of those things, so it was just a walking multi-phase date (I feel like the driving denotes more commitment). Every now and then, I really actually like a big, formal, go-ahead-and-try-to-woo-me type of date with men I’ve met organically somehow v. the job interview dates that usually come from online guys.

And it was nice, we didn’t run out of things to talk about and we didn’t end up talking too much about working out – something we both enjoy, but I hate to focus on during dates because I start to think the guy is one-dimensional and I have to assume he gets the same impression of me when that happens. We talked about things that would be great to do together and I had no concept of time during the evening – quite surprised we snuck into the yogurt shop right before I closed because it seemed like no time had gone by at all.

So, if the date had ended there, this post would end here and we’d all be happy and hopeful.  But, it doesn’t. I don’t really know what to say or even how to feel about the rest.

He walked me to my car (he had offered to pick me up, but I’m not cray cray) and we hugged, made plans for date #2 and then he kissed me. And it was nice, until he started to really kiss me.  To say his tongue was like a dead fish would be insulting to the sashimi I had in my mouth earlier in the evening.  It was much more exciting than that kiss.  I actually laughed a little and tried to push him away. Today he texted me that I have nice lips and then we talked on the phone and he said it was a great kiss and I just didn’t know what to do with that.

And if this story ended there, this post would end here and we’d all be a little disheartened, but we’d all think he did well enough for the whole rest of the evening to deserve a second chance. But it doesn’t.

I need to fill you in on some things I’ve left out of the story so far…he’s in great shape and from what he says, super active, but I could tell he was older. His hair is shaved short, you know how balding guys do it, and what’s there is pretty much all gray. During phase one, I decided he looked like Bruce Willis. An attractive man indeed, but Siri tells me Bruce Willis is 57.

All night, I caught myself saying things that made me feel like I was displaying my young age in an awkward way, but at some points I was maybe kinda trying to get him to ask me how old I am or tell me how old he is.  He didn’t. During the kiss, while I was laughing, I was also trying to figure out how it’s possible to be THAT old (age, still unknown) and such a bad kisser.

Anyway, I was curious, but not dying to know, I was more concerned with figuring out how I felt about the kiss bomb to be thinking about the age bomb that was about to go off. When we met at the store, I gave him my card, so he had my full name and I assumed he had done some online homework (who wouldn’t?) and this morning, I got a nice, little email from LinkedIn telling me that Mr. GS (+ his last name) had viewed my profile. Thank goodness for LI telling you who’s creeping on you, right? Of course, I jumped on Google and clicked on a YouTube video of a news story about him training to climb a big, snowy mountain…

At 1:02 in the video, the voiceover says, “48-year-old Mr. GS…”

Hold the fucking phone. It gets better. Did I mention the newscast was from 2009?! In 2009, I thought my 30-year-old boyfriend was robbing my 25-year-old cradle. What a difference three years makes.  And what a HUGE difference 23 years makes.

Thoughts I had today:

He is old enough to be my dad. (My parents were older when they had me, so he’s not actually my dad’s age, but he’s a heck of a lot closer to my dad’s age than mine.)

What if he has kids older than me? (We didn’t talk much about our pasts.)

I’ve never known a world without the keycards in hotels, but he has. (This was after one of those super weird stream of conscious thoughts, but that’s how old he is y’all.)

OMG OMG OMG, I kissed a man in his 50s.

Yes, age is just a number, but I’m not sure 51 is a number I want to deal with.

Well, it works for Bruce Willis. (She’s exactly 23 years younger too!)

And of course…at least he got a nice ego stroke out of going out with a hot 28-year-old.

So, there it is – the good, the bad and the old and decrepit. I’ve skeeved, but I don’t know if it’s a deal breaker, because it didn’t bother me until it was a real number and I do find him interesting and attractive. But dating just 10 years old hasn’t really worked out for me recently, and I’m trying to shoot for the 29-33 sweet spot. And 51 is a little off of that, you know? And while I don’t want to make assumptions, what a still-single man in his 50s and a hopeless romantic woman in her 20s are looking for are possibly worlds apart.

Is it a deal breaker? How would I even go about breaking the deal? It probably wouldn’t be shocking to him if it’s an issue for me, but it just seems petty and close-minded to judge him based on something other than who he is.