Monday, September 27, 2010

Is He Just Not That Into Me?

Dating in mid-life is not easy. As much as we like to pretend we're strong, happy individuals without any baggage, the truth is at this point in our lives we're all a little damaged in some form or fashion. And it affects how we process and deal with dating issues, like last minute cancellations.

Last week with Les was pretty good. We had a bump, but we were able to work through it. It was simply a case of miscommunication – or rather, poor communication. We got through it with flying colors – and important first step was conquered.

We had a nice date on Thursday at the drive-in, and then on Friday night we rented a movie to watch at his place. I simply don’t know why we bothered – we only saw about ten minutes of the movie, and before I knew it, I was excusing myself at 1:30 a.m. so I could go home. I had the option to stay, but the truth is I wasn’t feeling all that great, and when that happens, my own bed is the best remedy.

We had tentative plans to try watching the movie again on Saturday night. I had a busy day ahead of me, and he had plans to meet with friends for Street Vibrations. My day consisted of getting up far earlier than I wanted to in order to drag my butt to DMV to get my car registered. After a four hour wait and running some errands afterward, I honestly didn’t feel like going to Les’ to finish watching the movie. So when I got home and saw he had emailed me from his phone asking if we could postpone until Sunday, I said yes. He actually gave me the option – he said we could still do Saturday night as planned, or move it to Sunday. I opted for Sunday, as a nap was calling out my name.

Sunday morning, my toilet tanked out on me again. Instead of paying every spare penny I have to a plumber, I decided to fix it on my own. I went to Lowe’s to get a snake, and while I was out, ran a few more errands. I got home, tackled the toilet, took a shower, and then sat down in front of the computer. I found an email from Les, stating he either partied too hard with his friends or was coming down with the flu – either way, he was feeling unwell and said he would have to cancel out on the movie for Sunday. He said he was going back to bed and would call me later.

Later never came.

Now, perhaps later never came because at some point, me being me, I emailed him the following: Do you realize that we haven't even been seeing each other a month, and you've used that excuse three times already? Either that's your go-to excuse, or you, my friend, have the body of a 72-year-old. Hope you feel better soon.

When I wrote it, I thought it sounded light-hearted, but later when I never received the promised phone call, I decided I probably sounded bitchy. The fact is, I felt a little bitchy. And this is where my past with Mr. Kim catches up with me.

See, for the most part I believe I’m being honest when I say I’m healthy and happy and ready to date. And when I say I’ve got baggage, but it’s safely stored away, that is true – at least for the most part. But, see, something about that last “I’m sick” triggered something in me – that feeling that perhaps he wasn’t sick, or maybe he was simply sick of me.

No matter how far I’ve come and how much I’ve conquered, the truth is I’m still that 16-year-old who was cheated on by her boyfriend. Repeatedly. And I’m still that twenty-something who didn’t have a relationship last longer than six months. And I’m still that thirty-something year old who thought she found the love of her life, only to discover that there are some hurdles love simply can’t jump, like distance. And I’m still that 46-year-old who discovered that the man she considered her life partner was looking elsewhere for a partner.

In other words, while I think and believe I am a great catch, there is evidence to prove otherwise – that is, if that’s how I choose to look at all the failed relationships I’ve had. Oh sure, I know that in most cases, the fit just wasn’t right. My boyfriend in high school loved me, but his hormones had trouble being true to a girlfriend who lived in a different city. And the relationships that didn’t last over six months in my twenties didn’t last longer for reasons that had nothing to do with who I was, rather than who I picked. And the long-distance relationship I had in my thirties didn’t stand a chance in the first place – it was just a hopeful romantic heart that hoped it could. But the last one, yes that last one was supposed to last. And it didn’t. And I’m still recovering, even though for the most part I think I’m over it.

So now I’m in this brand new something (I hesitate at calling it a relationship because it’s only a month old), and I question things. Does he really like me for me? Was I too easy? Should I have held out? Is he really sick? When he says he can’t take me out because finances are tight, is that the truth? Are we moving forward or is it just an illusion?

I have no answers – and that frustrates me to no end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rain Check

Les has been gone for a week. A whole frickin' week. Seven long days. Okay, maybe not so long. I mean, let's face it, I'm not your average stay-at-home kind of gal. I do have a life. But that life seemed more colorful and vibrant whenever I spent time with Les. And I didn't get to do that for a whole week, because he was traveling around the country receiving training on various aspects of his new business.

We talked on Sunday night and made plans for Tuesday. We were going to go to Wild River Grille for some salmon/crab cakes and beer. And then we were gonna, well, catch up. Close and personal like.

We talked again last night. He couldn't wait to see me. He would pick me up at five p.m., and asked me to please send my address one more time.

We sent several emails after our phone call and I found myself giddy with anticipation.

This morning, I got up at 4 a.m. Had some coffee, and then proceeded to vacuum and put stray items away. I freshened up the bedroom, made the bed, and put candles in strategic places.

I burned incense.

I Febreezed the couch.

I used Zero Odor on Purrscilla's nasty spots.

I found myself being a little apprehensive. It has been absolutely AGES since I had a guy over - I mean really "over." I had two different guys over for dinner, but pretty much only dinner. Allowing someone into my "space" is a very personal thing. I don't even invite too many friends over - I have to really trust someone before I let them through the front door.

Well, that, and I have germ issues, so I need to make sure they aren't the type of person to think less of me for making them kick off their shoes in the hallway before coming into the house.

Before leaving for work, I took time to make sure I was well-groomed and clean. I wore a dress to work - unnecessary as work attire, as I work in a business casual atmosphere. Still, I wanted to take no chances, just in case I got off work later than expected. I wanted to be dressed and ready to go come five p.m.

Around 10 a.m., I received an email from Les. I eagerly opened it up, scanned it, and saw something that made my heart stop: "I need to take a rain check on tonight." What? I read it again. Yep. Rain check. I quickly read the rest of the email... "because I was away..." blah, blah, blah, " difficulties..." blah, blah, blah..."money's tight for the next week or two..." blah, blah, blah, "...I will talk to you later."

I was pissed and disappointed at the same time.

Now before you go judging me, let me first state that I've never been "that" woman. You know 'that" woman - the one who won't go out with a guy unless he spends a ton of money on her. Most of my life, money has been tight for me, so I totally understand budgets and restraint in spending, etc.

I know that being with Mr. Kim spoiled me a bit. He had an interesting relationship with money. He viewed it as a renewable resource, and with him, it kind of was. I don't know how he would do it. He could be worried about making bills, and next thing we knew, he would be offered a $100-an-hour contract, with expenses. Problem temporarily solved, and the cycle would repeat over and over again.

He loved extravagant meals out. He often bought me little gifts and flowers. We enjoyed good wine and "top shelf" condiments and groceries. Yes, I got a little spoiled - and then I was laid off and broke up with him all around the same time, and I was back to where I had been for years: budgeting money, buying groceries at Winco and clothes at Goodwill. So, believe me when I say I understand budgets. Streamlining. Cutting back. I honestly do.

What I don't understand is not having an alternate plan. "PJammy, I can't afford to take you to Wild River Grille tonight, but how about we meet for a walk around the Marina?" Or perhaps dinner at his place. Or "I'll bring a bottle of Ménage if you cook dinner." Nothing like that. Just a blanket offer of a rain check.

We haven't seen each other for a week. Sure, we've talked almost daily and sent countless emails - but jeepers, what about actually GETTING TOGETHER as planned?

So yes, I'm pissed.

My co-worker said I'm acting as if I'm already his girlfriend. Maybe I am, and perhaps I have no right to do that. Yet, another part of me says it's just good manners to come up with an alternate, low cost, plan.

It is possible.

If he wanted to.

Which makes me wonder if he really wanted to get together in the first place...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Sunday Seven

1) I visited my dad this weekend and helped him set up his computer. When I got home and called him to let him know I'd arrived safely, he said, "I think I'm on the Internet." I asked him what the screen looked like. He said, "I was visiting JC Whitney, but now it won't let me leave." "What do you mean," I asked him. "I keep hitting the delete key, but the page is still up."

I couldn't help but laugh.

2) The ride home was one of my easiest in months, despite lane closures on 80E. I listened to "London is the Best City in America" on CD. The drive didn't afford me enough time to listen to the whole thing - and I can't hardly wait to get to the end.

3) When I arrived home, I had one phone message and three email messages from Les. I am so in like I can't hardly stand it.

4) He comes home tomorrow.

5) I can't wait to see him...but I think I have to wait until Tuesday.

6) To dull the pain, I'm on my third glass of wine.

7) Who am I kidding? I wasn't in pain. I just wanted wine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ho Hum. It's Tuesday.

Maybe it's because my next boyfriend is out of town. Or maybe it's because I lost out on a free bike. Or maybe it's because I didn't get the job I wanted. Whatever it is, it's left me feeling utterly and completely apathetic. Here are the top five things that I really couldn't care a hoot about:

1) Penelope Cruz is pregnant. Whoop-de-doo. Her voice is annoying and grating, and I wish she'd go back to whatever country it is she came from.

2) George Michael will be jailed for eight weeks. Really? Only eight weeks? No offense, GM, but you really should have gotten a longer stint. And look at the bright side: you won't have to go to any public parks for free sex. I think you can get plenty of action right there in jail. Oh and do remember to wake up your cellmate before you go go.

3) Lady Gaga wore a meat dress. So what? I wear meat every day. It's called "skin" and cannibals love it.

4) Bill Maher claims it is atheism that prevents him from getting an Emmy. Bill, are you completely sure it's atheism, and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you're boorish and completely unfunny? Jon Stewart has you beat hands down. (Although it could also be because he's one of the Chosen People...)

5) Oprah is taking her audience to Australia. Is there anything this woman won't do to get herself in the news? Really, the only way that broad will ever impress me is if she gives a whole audience full of unemployed people jobs. Now that would be a feat worth talking about.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Minute by Minute

This is my horoscope for today: Tick tock. Tick tock. Is this what your day feels like? It probably will definitely feel like time is crawling today. As you experience minutes feeling like hours think about what you are doing. There is in fact nothing so compelling as to keep you from indulging in a little recreation, PJammy. Your tasks will still be there tomorrow - for now, cut yourself some slack. It has to be better than this!

As I type this, it is 8:21 a.m. In less than 12 hours, I'll be with Les. But... this day is already going by so slowly. There is no work in the queue. No emails to answer. Nothing at all is going on. Just the tick, tick, tick of the clock taunting me with its slowness.

It's odd to think we've only known each other for just less than two weeks. We talk almost every day on the phone. Email often. We have shared so much, and yet still have much to share.

My mind races forward and jumps ahead. Will I miss him when he's away next week? Will we be together come October? November? December?

When I catch myself doing this, I reel myself back in. "This is only going to be our fourth date," I tell myself. "Stop it!"

And I do stop. For a while, anyway.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick... can we at least fast forward to tonight?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fourth Time is a Charm

I have a date tomorrow night. It will be our fourth. I am counting the hours, and that makes it seem even further away. I know that in all actuality, it's just a little more than twenty-four hours away, yet it seems like it'll never get here.

We had a great phone conversation last night - and at some point, he said I was only the second person he's gone out on a date with since his divorce. He said he's not much for dating around - that when he finds someone he is interested in, he devotes his time to seeing where it will go. And let me tell you, he has been devoting some time to me - and I could seriously get used to that.

I haven't felt this way about anyone in absolutely years. I'm giddy. I smile at strangers. I don't flip people off when they cut me off in traffic. I'm keeping my place tidied up, just in case he has free time and wants to get together. I think about his smile and his voice and his steadiness.

I like him.

A lot.

And so, during our phone conversation last night, I went ahead and said it first: "I really like you. You're a nice person. You're sane. You've got a good head on your shoulders." As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I panicked. Was it too soon?

He said, "I really like you, too."

I smiled and the panic went away.

We're getting together tomorrow night to watch Avatar (neither of us have seen it). He told me he would have wine for me, and asked me if I trusted him enough to pick out a wine for me, or would I rather he just have my favorite. I told him I trusted him. Then he said, good, because he had something special in mind - but just in case I didn't like it, he would also have my favorite (Ménage a Trios) on hand as a Plan B.

Then I asked if we were really going to watch a movie. He laughed and said yes, and added that he was pretty sure we could get through two hours together without pawing each other. Then he laughed again and said, "Well, maybe just a little bit of pawing."

Hopefully more than a little.

We'll see.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Karma...It's a Bitch

As I mentioned, I've been employing the Pair and a Spare method of dating. My spare is always someone different, but recently my Pair consisted of Eddie (lives in Winnemucca; I met him through Match) and Les (I haven't talked much about him yet; I met him through CL).

Eddie is sweet. He's gentle, funny, and has been moving very slowly. He likes me a lot, or so he indicates, but I rarely hear from him. I don't know how else to put this, except I think he's just a bit beaten down. I don't know how his two relationships ended (one marriage, one four-year long-term relationship), but I know they both left him, telling him there was something "better" for them. I haven't pried - but I know that he proceeds very cautiously.

I get it, I really do - yet had he moved a bit faster, we might be at a different place in our relationship right now. As it is, we aren't, and so here I am, dating someone else as well. And baby, this someone moves very quickly.

Les doesn't second guess himself - and if he does, he keeps it to himself. He just moves right on through. After our first date, he called to make plans to get together again. And last night? He wanted to get together again - and this is just in the span of one week.

And so... I had plans with Eddie today. We were supposed to go to the Rib Cook-Off and see the Gin Blossoms. But... I couldn't stop thinking about Les. And the more I thought about Les, the less enthused I became about seeing Eddie.

Now... had Eddie called me last night like he was supposed to, I might have had a different feeling about today. Eddie emailed me twice: once on Thursday and once on Friday to let me know he would call on Friday night so we could talk about a meeting place, etc. By 10 p.m. he hadn't called, so I went to bed.

However, earlier that night Les not only emailed - twice - but he called. We had a fun phone call, joked around, and talked for about an hour. I found it refreshing that we could have such a fun conversation and talk about absolutely nothing in particular, yet still have a good time. After our phone call, he emailed me. Twice.

I went to bed with conflicting emotions: a bit of giddiness from having such a good conversation with Les to confusion at why Eddie hadn't called. At 10:37, I was awakened from a not-so-deep sleep to the sound of a ringing phone. I felt disoriented. Who could be calling? From my bedroom, I couldn't hear the message that well as I had Coast to Coast AM on the radio. At some point I realized I couldn't get back to sleep, so I walked into the front room and hit "play" - it was Eddie.


I didn't call back - instead I went back to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I found that I didn't want to see Eddie. And it's not because I don't like him - I do. I just found myself thinking more about the emails I received from Les (which he wrote last night, but I didn't read until I woke up this morning). He wanted to see me again. Today if possible. And I found myself smiling, and then frowning, realizing that I would have to say no.

Or would I?

I left the house to think about it. I had plans with Eddie. I couldn't renege - or could I? It wouldn't be cool, but would it be fair to be with him while thinking about Les. Or would I be thinking about Les?

I couldn't make up my mind, but the longer I thought about it, the more stressed I felt. Should I or shouldn't I?

When I got home, I made the call. When he answered, I said, "Eddie, don't hate me.." He said, "I could never hate you." Ugh - now I felt really bad. "I just can't make it tonight. I'm not feeling well, and as much as I tried to get better, I just am not there, so I won't be able to meet you tonight." (Not a complete lie - the stress of wondering what to do did put me into quite the state, and I wasn't feeling well because of it.)

He was so sweet - and said no problem, he would hang out with his friend Tony, who wasn't as cute as I was, but he was sure they'd have a good time. He told me to get better.


I felt bad, until Les contacted me shortly afterward. He wanted to see me today, but was fairly certain I had plans. Did I? Would I be able to see him?

I told him yes.

He said he'd call after he returned from the gym. So, I started getting ready. I took a shower (as I had been at the gym myself). Washed my hair, then began the long, arduous task of straightening it. I made sure I was shaved. I put on my best pheromone-laced body lotion. Found some sexy underwear that still fit. And waited for his call.

I have no idea how I missed his call - perhaps he called while I was blow drying my hair - but around six-thirty, I noticed the light on my machine was blinking. What? I listened. It was Les. He ran a race this morning (which I knew), but of course went to the gym, anyway. He found himself feeling lightheaded and nauseous, so he was on his way home. He would call me "later" when he felt better, but wasn't sure we would be getting together after all.

Karma bit me in the ass. Again.

So here I am, watching a movie I rented and still wearing my sexy underwear. Not sure why I didn't take it off - perhaps I was feeling hopeful. Now I'm just feeling stupid.

And alone.

Karma - I get it. I really do. Now stop laughing at me and move on to someone else, okay? I honestly didn't mean anyone any harm.