Hot Cowboy

I seem to be in the midst of a trend of being reminded of positive experiences with men of my past. Kind of a bummer (well, sort of) since I started this blog to share the “so bad they’re funny” dates of my past. Oh well! I’m enjoying my stroll down memory lane.

So, out of the blue, I received a LinkedIn request from a guy I met back in 2003; S was an aspiring country artist and we had a fun adventure one night that I will describe in my next post…

But, for today, I thought it would be fun to go grab some images to be used in the blog post.

COWBOY: Since S is a country guy, I googled “cowboy.” Up popped pictures of men on horses. Boring.

SEXY COWBOY: I was hoping for a sexy man so I tried again.”Sexy cowboy” brought me sexy, shirtless men. I wanted a guy with a shirt and a hat who looks like he could be a country singer. Hadn’t found him yet.

HOT COWBOY: Now… these images that made me blush! All of the men were shirtless in the pictures and MANY of them were bottomless as well. And, to make matters worse, I was truly shocked! I realize that naked pictures (and other things) are available on the web. I just tend to forget about it as that’s not my goal of search.

I have officially given up for the day. After feeling like I flipped through a Playgirl thinking it was In Style, I think I’ll try again tomorrow. Or the next day.

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Sometimes we have the unique experience of meeting someone at a special time and knowing that we have been there for them, they have been there for us, or that something special has occurred. Airplanes and airports are fascinating places to observe and engage. There is a sense of anonymity we find when we are sitting next to a stranger on a plane or in a terminal. Some people put on headphones and disconnect from it all. Admittedly, I have my moments of tuning it all out. But then there are times when I find that I was in the right place at the right time.

Mourning Coffee

I was once sitting in first class next to a man whose wife was in coach. I offered to switch seats with her so they could be together. I had my reading club book ready to go and was looking forward to quietly reading. But, my book could wait. The man must have needed to talk to a stranger right then or didn’t want to send me to the virtual “back of the bus” in the sky.

We ordered coffee from the flight attended and then he explained to me that he was flying to his mother’s funeral. It was obvious that he was incredibly sad and needed some comfort. So, I gently asked him about her and he shared as much and as little as he wanted. We talked about other things, none of which I remember. I just know that I tried to allow for any silences he might need but also to help him get through the flight as well. The flight passed quickly and, when we landed, he thanked me. It seemed I had been in the right place at the right time to help him get through that leg of travel. I had made a small difference in someone’s life that day and I felt good about it. There are definitely some things more important than books. Thank goodness I didn’t put on my headphones the moment I got on the plane and tuned him out.

Making Time for Love

Houston Hobby Airport is one of the slowest airports I’ve ever been to in the middle of the day. When I arrived at my terminal, I was convinced I was in a closed section of the airport and needed to find my gate because I was clearly nowhere near any activity. I discovered I was actually in the right place. I just didn’t seem to have a whole lot of company.

Then, Jason came on the scene. A tall, ruggedly handsome guy and the only person in a mile radius (it seemed). SI have no idea how our conversation started or how we ventured onto relationships but, before we knew it, we were sharing. Jason was having trouble understanding why a girl he was dating wasn’t more accepting of the fact that he worked long hours and that his job was and would have to be a priority. I suggested to him that he really didn’t like her that much. He stared at me in surprise. I shared with him that, if he really liked her, he would be figuring out how he could see her more. Not, telling her to “deal with it” because he was so busy with work.

That was in 2005.

We have kept in touch since then, him emailing to ask if I’ve found my Jewish husband yet, me emailing to find out if he has found a girl more important to him than his work.  He was in town a few years ago and we had a really fun night together (he was one of my Valentine’s Day dates that year, as it happens). We even talked about whether there was a way for us to consider dating since we seemed to get along so well. We decided we were better off as friends.

Yesterday, I got this text:

I mean really… How many people do you actually meet at an airport? You were just crossing my mind. :)

My reply:

You’re my one and only.

Today, I looked him up on Facebook and saw that his relationship status has been changed to “in a relationship.” It sounds like Jason found a girl worth making time for…

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A Tribute to William

William and I met at a retreat when I was 13 and he was 15. He looked like a cross between the scary kid in Children of the Corn and Ducky from Pretty in Pink. (For the record, he’s better looking than either or both combined). We lived in different cities but didn’t seem particularly concerned about that. 

For a fifteen year-old, William knew what he wanted, had no qualms about getting it, and never went after anything with a lukewarm attitude. He was all in! I think he’s still that way, too!

I recently had the pleasure of catching up with him for a brief time a few weeks ago. It sparked so many memories that I have no doubt that some immensely entertaining moments have been left out. I have had a blast reflecting on the many adventures of William. Some have to do with me, others do not. Regardless, I think everything having to do with William is quite fabulous. I hope William will forgive me for any oversights…or overshares.

I have opted to share a handful of William stories. However, there are many more!

Best/Worst Kiss

William was my third kiss and, now that I think about it, we may have kissed the night we met.  If not, it was the following day. What a hussie! Back to the longest kiss of my life… It felt like it might go on forever. When it was finally over, I was convinced that my lip had been burst by the tooth that William was using to filet my face. I had no doubt that I was bleeding. I was so embarrassed that I had to find a friend to go to the kitchen to grab some ice for my swollen lip. It really was only slightly swollen and there was no blood but, for someone so young and with such limited experience, it was overwhelming.

Alternately, William later told me that it was his best kiss. Ever. Well, for a fifteen year-old. Talk about a complete difference in perspective! It taught me a good lesson that two people may experience the same thing but have entirely different perspectives and opinions.

That was not our last kiss and nor was it representative of his future kisses. But, it was certainly quite a start!

Phone Company Trick

William and I started “dating” or whatever you might do when you live in different cities and might see each other a few times a year. Somehow he had come to realize that he knew a way to outsmart the phone company. (For my young readers out there, we used to only have land lines to make phone calls. And, any long distance calls were assessed a fee per minute that could add up quite quickly). But, William knew a special number he could dial before making a call that would ensure that he wasn’t charged for long distance calls. Brilliant plan for our long distance relationship!

As it turned out, William’s “special” code didn’t actually keep the fees from being added to the monthly phone bill… it just delayed the bill. So, when the delayed bills came, William owed thousands of dollars and had to get a job ASAP to reimburse them. Oops!

I’m Dating a… Drag Queen?

William and I didn’t typically see each other between retreats. So, each time we saw each other there was a little awkwardness. But,nothing could have prepared me for the “strip tease” he and Neil performed the first night of the next retreat. They dressed up in women’s clothes, adorned the make-up and proceeded to perform a  pseudo-strip tease. What was most distressing to me was how much William looked like a girl. Neil looked like the few cross dressers I’ve met (masculine but wearing women’s clothes) but William was PRETTY. And, it completely freaked me out. I kept thinking that I’d kissed that person who looked like a girl and I couldn’t quite cope so I had to leave the room. Took me a while to get over it!

Sexy Lingerie Scare

William and I kept in touch (obviously, since I saw him recently) even after our romance subsided. So I went to Houston to visit him somewhere close to my sixteenth birthday. My cousin was living in Houston at the time so I stayed with her. William and I had a great platonic night catching up and hanging out. At the end of the evening, he handed me my birthday present which, to my delight, I opted not to open in front of him. Thank goodness!

The card read,

I don’t expect to be the person who sees you in this so I hope whoever does enjoys it. Happy Birthday!

I unfolded the tissue in the box which revealed a white lace bra, panty, and garter matching set. My cousin and I couldn’t stop laughing when I opened it. And, of course, I turned bright red. Sadly, by the time I would have considered donning such a sexy outfit, I had already outgrown it. Bummer.

Plane Infiltration

William was dating a girl named Jessica. And, as was his pattern for a while, it was a long distance relationship. She lived in New York. She was upset with him about whatever type of thing a teenage girl might be upset with her boyfriend about. So, he decided to fly to New York to see her. Without a ticket.

This was during that time in our history that my younger readers might not even know existed. Friends, family, and whoever else could go to the gate for flights versus have to have a ticket in hand in order to pass through security. So, William was able to get to the gate of the plane he targeted, no problem. Then, all he had to do was get on the plane. So, he tossed his backpack into the boarding walkway when the flight attendant wasn’t looking. Then, he told her he’d left his backpack on the plane and needed to retrieve it. Next thing you know… he was on! Crazy, huh?

William’s Professional Goals

William and I saw each other at least once a year until I went to college. He even went with me to my prom as my platonic date! Frequently, our long term goals would come up.

I’m going to be a psychologist.

I’d say. He would reply:

Psychologists are screwed up. More than everyone else.

This was coming from the child of two psychologists who definitely felt like he got the raw end of the deal. When I asked him about his future plans, he would reply with two words:

A bum.

You’re not really going to be a bum. What do you really want to do?

Be a bum.

Haha. Funny. Seriously – what do you want to b when you grow up?

A bum.

End of conversation. So, what did William end up deciding to do with his life? He became a research scientist. And, for the last ten years, has been working on developing a vaccine for cancer. 

That is All

William is awesome. I could keep going, talking about the time he tried to teach me to drive a stick shift on his Volvo, the time I saw him naked (accidentally) when I was fourteen, the time he took me to prom, the time he kissed me when he shouldn’t have, and the time I went to his wedding on the wrong night so missed the whole thing. But, I will save those stories for another time. For now, I’ll take a moment to be grateful that he’s still my friend. More than twenty years later…

 

 

 

 

 

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IMPORTANT Information About Shampoo

I just heard this very important piece of information. I’m not quite sure where it originated but thought it was worth sharing.

When was the last time you read your shampoo label? 

Have you noticed that, when you wash your hair, shampoo runs down your whole body? And, now that you’ve checked your shampoo label, I’m sure you saw the warning:

FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY!

NO wonder I’ve been gaining weight!!!

I know you’re wondering how you’ll get your hair clean if you get rid of your shampoo. There’s a solution!!!  Dawn dish soap!! Their label reads,

DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.

Problem Solved!!!

 

 

If I don’t answer the phone I’ll be in the shower!

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Blind Date with George Hamilton

They said I had to go out with him. They said it didn’t matter that I had a boyfriend (since they new we were having issues and I was on the other side of the country.) They said he was a great guy.They said he was divorced. They said he looked like George Hamilton.  They were wrong.

Lucy (Jennie), You’ve Got Some Splainin to Do…

I mentioned that I had a boyfriend. It’s true. We had been dating long distance between Dallas and Austin and, next thing I knew, I found myself in Milwaukee for the summer.

We were struggling. We came from different religious backgrounds. He didn’t know if he ever wanted to get married. But we loved being together. And we loved each other.

We knew we had long term issues. He preferred to pretend they didn’t exist. I was tormented by them. And, here I was, across the country from him, struggling.

For the record, I told him about the blind date the same day it happened. I felt incredibly guilty. I felt like my arm had been twisted and I had been pushed into this situation. And, boy was it not worth it…

Triple Threat

There were three primary issues with my George Hamilton look-a-like.

  • Inappropriate Conversation

George LAL (look-a-like) lived in Chicago so he was undertaking a reasonable drive to come see me. He called when he was on his way to chat and give me a head’s up on his progress.

Very thoughtful! However, the conversation took a pretty strange turn when I mentioned that I had a cat.

His quick reply:

That means I can ask you if you’re stroking your p@$$y.

Huh? What did he just say? I was in shock. Who says that? And, to someone they’ve never met before? I was speechless and told him as much. He said something about a line from Johnny Carson. I was appalled.

I’ve never heard that.Oh.

We should have cut our losses there. But, then came part two of the frustrating triumvirate that made this date a terrible idea.

  • George Harrison… where?

They said he looked like George Harrison. George Harrison is tan with a nice smile and a great head of hair. George LAL was a caricature version in reverse. Instead of having lots of hair, George LAL had minimal, thinning hair. Instead of a great tan, George LAL was pretty pale (due to Chicago winters, I’m sure). And, instead of being filled out, he was a slight, incredibly thin guy. I know this sounds shallow but the point isn’t about his looks per se, it’s about the fact I was shoved into this date on the pretense of a number of things, including his strong resemblance to George Harrison. A lie.

But then came the clincher.

  • Married with Children

It turns out that George LAL was in the process of a divorce. Kind of a big deal. The guy was still married and no one seemed to think they needed to tell me. That’s just wrong. And then he mentioned his kid. George LAL had a son.

Moral of the Story

Don’t push me into going out with someone when I have a boyfriend. Be honest about what the guy is and isn’t.  And, know your audience. I am not the kind of girl to use the P-word with. Ever.

If only I could say this were my only blind date with a good story… but, if I could, then this blog might be boring one day. And there are so many stories that still haven’t been told.

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Facebook Sucks

Facebook is the place where I’ve learned about pregnancies, births, engagements, and new jobs. However, it has also become the place where I learn about the deaths of children, the loss of jobs, and natural disasters.

Somewhere in the middle lies all of the information that we don’t need to know:

TMI (Too Much Information) on People I Hardly Know

Over six months ago, I found out from Facebook that Bill’s girlfriend told him she had been dating him until she found someone better. I know him socially but through professional organizations so I wasn’t quite sure how to handle that wall post. Flash forward to today and I met Bill’s girlfriend (same girl) at a recent event and they live together now. I still have it in my mind that she dumped him in the hopes of finding someone better. Next thing I know, they’ll be engaged.

 

Virtual Relationship

Dixie shared with me how she watched her potential life unfold as someone she had a crush on began posting all of the firsts of his new relationship:

their first trip, their first visit to the beach, their first everything.

And, there she was, powerless, voyeuristicly watching as someone else began living the life she wanted to be hers. Without Facebook, her feelings would have been spared.

 

Cyber Stalking

We are so quick to let people know where we are. Facebook places allowed us to share with the masses of our friends where we were at any given time (FB shut it down so it doesn’t exist anymore). I was friends with a recent ex on Facebook but began discovering that I didn’t want to know if he was at the W Hotel at midnight or continuing to take the class we were in together. But, the day that led to my unfriending him on Facebook was when I discovered that he checked in to an obscure restaurant that I had checked into the week before. I have a hard time believing it was a coincidence given where he lives. It creeped me out. I started reducing my check-ins and unfriended him right away.

Romantic Pains

I recently happened upon the Facebook profile pic of my first love. Last I knew, he hadn’t posted a single picture on Facebook. Suddenly, there he was… in a picture. Not alone. He was standing next to a thin blonde woman in a red bikini.

Slowly, I began to feel the twinge of pain in my heart signaling that, no matter how much I logically know that he and I won’t be together, he has moved on. And I haven’t. Maybe I know he isn’t my Mr. Right so I’ve moved on in general. But, given that he was my first love and their hasn’t been a second… well, it feels like I’m stuck. Stuck in the cycle of bad dates that are the reason for this blog. Stuck looking in from the outside at happy couples. Stuck babysitting babies but not having any of my own.

Without Facebook, I wouldn’t know that he has a girlfriend. I wouldn’t know what she looks like or where she’s from (they grew up in the same small hometown in East Texas) and I wouldn’t be wondering if the man who said he would never get married is now going to be married before me, the one who has always wanted to settle down.

Facebook Sucks

I have now decided that Facebook sucks. I don’t need to know this much information. It is overwhelming and awkward. It makes me feel like a voyeur and also like I know things about people who, if I ran into them at the grocery store, would be unlikely to share so very much information with me. And, if they wouldn’t tell me directly, why is it ok for me to glean the information online?

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Keeping it in Perspective

We have a choice of how we interpret the way we experience the world around us.  So, the other morning when I stepped on something foreign in the shower and looked down to find out that it was a cricket (YUCK!), I had a few choices…

First, before my brain kicked in, I screamed. However, I then tried to mute my screams, reminding myself that I wasn’t being attacked and I didn’t need/want to alert the neighbors. So, in that capacity, I made a choice.

 

Next, I realized that the thing under my foot was the reason my sleep had been interrupted many times the night before.

Upon reflection, I decided that the GOOD NEWS was that the cricket wouldn’t be bothering me anymore and the BAD NEWS was that I found that out by stepping on a cricket when I was in an unprotected and vulnerable state. In my mind, the best part was knowing the next night’s sleep would be better. And, the second best part was keeping it in perspective.

 

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Lessons from Scotty McCreery

Baby lock the door and turn the lights down low…

How many times did Scotty McCreery repeat that same song lyric during his pursuit of a group that would accept him during American Idol’s group night. It was painful to watch him his rejection over and over again. But, he persevered. With a smile on his face and the charming enthusiasm as he sang the same ten words to anyone willing to listen. Over and over again.

Flash forward however many months to Scotty McCreery’s pinnacle moment of being named the highly coveted title of American Idol. He kept his eye on the prize.

While Josh Turner probably has a larger audience because of Scotty’s commitment to using his song to gain entrance to a group that night, no one has held onto Scotty’s initial rebuffs or even talked about how many times he was rejected before he found acceptance. The moral of the story? It’s where you end up that counts.

For my fellow single ladies experiencing any type of dating failure, take a note from the Scotty McCreery play book. Keep trying. Put that smile back on your face after every bad date. Continue to tell some of your favorite stories. Be glad they’re longer than ten words. And, when you get discouraged, appreciate that your trials and tribulations aren’t being recorded and shared with the masses. Most of all, keep your eye on the prize: Mr. Right for You.

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First Dates will Never be the Same

The name is the same but the game has dramatically changed.  First dates have taken on a life of their own. Whether a website, a person, or fate bring two people together face-to-face, there is a wealth of information we can learn about a person before stepping onto that first date.

In 1997, I went to a party and met an attractive, smart guy named Joseph. Joseph and I chatted for a while so I gave him my number. When he called, one of the first things he asked me was,

What would you say if I told you I knew things about you?

I was speechless. My body was rigid.

What? What do you know about me?

He replied, unconcerned:

I know where your brother lives. I know your father’s name and what he does. And I know your address.

This was my first introduction to how creepy the world of the internet could be. I didn’t go out with him. He had freaked me out. I didn’t realize that it was only the beginning of the amount of information someone might be able to discover about me without my choosing to share it with them.

I recently Googled LOL as its use and misuse is on my mind regularly (see my previous blog post about LOL for one of my rants) and discovered a list of rules regarding social media etiquette. # 17 sparked this blog post.

17. Don’t bother going on first dates anymore. Skip right to the second or third date. Why? Because if I have your full name, I will Google you, Facebook you, check you out on Tumblr, read your tweets, and see what your favorite YouTube videos are. The only thing you can learn about people on a first date is how good they are at pretending like they don’t already know everything about you. Read More

The new world of dating makes it difficult to allow relationships to develop and grow naturally. I suggest that potential mates avoid spending vast amounts of time learning about one another prior to connecting in person. It removes the mystery. It sterilizes potential chemistry. It changes the rules of the game.

I miss the good ole days.

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The saying goes, boys will be boys, but can’t they just be normal sometimes? And, especially when they haven’t known someone for too long? I have decided that it is time for a list of general recurring pet peeves that must be addressed. Maybe, one day, someone committing these annoying, heinous errors will come across this list and change their ways. If not, hopefully it will bring a smile to at least one knowing person’s face. :-)

Patience is the Name of the Game (but he doesn’t know that)

For some reason, there seems to be an entire crop of gentlemen who believe that the way to a woman’s heart is to make sure she doesn’t forget about him. As such, we ladies end up with a continual string of communication that, for me, makes me feel pressured to respond. It also says that the person on the other end of the communication doesn’t realize that patience is the name of the game.

Here is a real life example. Please note that I was in the middle of things and didn’t want a constant string of texts so was waiting to reply.

TEXT #1:

Can I pencil something in on your schedule the following week? Lol!

Note to self – why is that funny?

Text #2:

Hope you have a good evening. I am going to finally relax a little. Busy Saturday. Talk to you later.

Text #3:

Good morning! Hope you have fun today.  Just got in and exhausted but going to the lake for a while. Talk to you soon.

What class taught that the best way to get a girl to respond and be happy about it is to just keep texting?

Lol! LOL. Lol :) LOL!!

It appears that many grown men never learned what LOL really means. It is an indication that the recipient of a text/email/etc. laughed out loud upon receipt. It is NOT an opportunity to say, “I’m so funny!! I’m so funny!” I think I’m hilarious so you should too!!” However, it seems that many a man seems to think that it is a way to keep things light and a number of them seem to use it in every single communication.

Inappropriate Conversation

It is amazing to me to discover that a number of men don’t think that any topic is off limits.  I am in shock by how crazy inappropriate some men can be and they don’t seem to understand why this might be a problem. But, this is best illustrated with some examples.

First, we will consider Seth, a gem who emailed me via an online dating website. We were exchanging our favorite places in our respective cities. Here is his unedited reply:

not a big fan of the bar scene here … always a sausage fest if you catch my drift. sausages that are really old, loud and obnoxious and are like white on rice the moment any females enter. yuck! but, for some reason i like to sit on a stool and have a few brews and just listen and watch from time to time.

i can drink bud, abita, steinlager til the sun goes down (and after) but never been into wine. a few glasses and the cheeks get all red and stuff. plus is wine supposed to turn you into a hornball?!? maybe i’m just not drinking the right stuff … heck, all i know is that there is white and red. so with wine i have to be careful, take it slow: red faced and pitched tent might not be the most attractive way to roll!

Let’s evaluate this for a moment. So – Seth is fully comfortable talking about men as meat and offering TMI on why wine might not be the optimal alcoholic beverage for him.  I, on the other hand, am not comfortable being on the receiving end of all of this information. Whatsoever. I never replied.

Our second example comes from Bill. Bill and I met through a non-profit we would be supporting. We spoke on the phone and decided to have dinner. The day we were planning to go to dinner, I texted him to let him know that I had eaten Mexican food for lunch since he had mentioned that as an option for our dinner.  His reply:

Are you saying you will be gassy? Lol!

I was shocked and appalled. I’ve never even met this guy and this is his reply? Maybe someone would think this was funny. Not me. And, the Lol!? Ugh! My response:

I can’t believe you just said that. You mentioned Mexican for dinner so I was giving you a head’s up.

He then said:

It was funny though. Mexican food makes most people that way. It’s a function of the body. That’s cool. I appreciate it. Plan B it is.

I couldn’t believe he was defending why it was okay to bring that up. And, I was really wondering if dinner was such a good idea with someone missing out on a little refinement. I cancelled.

Mr. Fix It

There is a phenomenon going around the male circles that, when they ask a woman about something going on in their lives and the woman replies, they think they should try to fix it by adding platitudes into the mix. So, if my cat hasn’t been feeling well and I’m worried about her, the idiot guy will respond by saying, “she’ll be okay.” How does he know? Some direct link and knowledge about her condition?

Or, if a girl is looking for a job, a guy might say, “the economy is getting better so I’m sure you’ll find something soon.”

What I understand the least is why, if he asks and she answers, he then feels the need to make her feel better. She didn’t ask him for advice. She didn’t complain in despair. He wanted to know. And she (or I) answered. Ugh!

I’v certainly been in situations when I was very upset and shared with someone who wanted to fix it. But, when you’re not dating, and you’re not sharing too much, it seems the guys are still so clueless that even a non-complaint becomes something they want to fix. And, in essence, they’re saying:

I’m not paying enough attention to you to have a clue as to how to make you feel better so I’m going to say something that makes me feel better. I didn’t notice that you weren’t complaining. You were just updating me. But, no one taught me that saying nothing is better than saying something that shows that I have no idea how to handle a woman.

What are your dating pet peeves? Have you found something intolerable and then determined that it became tolerable over time?

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