Thursday, November 27, 2008
So@24: I originally planned on getting a mushroom pizza and lounging around in my underoos all day. But Lynn invited me down to spend it with her and her roommate.
Paxty: Holidays are a vulnerable time. Is this going to be the blog twist everyone saw coming?
So@24: Haha! I seriously doubt it.
Paxty: Damn. Now I kind of want to see it happen just to see all the predictions come true.
So@24: What the hell am I to you? The Truman Show??
Paxty: You're right, that's the next logical step.
Paxty: Instead of rooting for it to happen, I should pay off Lynn and her friends. Take destiny into my own hands. It will be the best Thanksgiving ever.
So@24: By paying off my exgirlfriend to manipulate my emotions in a sick social experiment to be publisized in blogdom?
Paxty: Sounds even better when you put it so succinctly!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Don't fucking show me a unicorn then tell me it exists.
Monday, November 24, 2008
But it was the home to some of my best college-partying stories. Back in school, I always made a goal to make the 5 and a half hour drive at least once a year and every time I'd come back with an epic tale of college debauchery.
When my good friends Jim and Eric invited me to join them for Apple Cup (the annual football game between the rival universities) this year, I couldn't refuse.
It should come to no surprise that my lack of physical-romantic interactions with women is well known within my circle of friends. The guys had high hopes for me this weekend and kept reassuring me, "we'll find you a nice little filly". I must admit that I was feeling particularly optimistic as well.
One thing that Wazzu has always been consistent at delivering: cute college girls that can drink anyone I know under the table.
I wish I had a story of conquest to share. I talked with a few girls where the conversations lasted more than a minute, but it wasn't a matter of trying to "get anywhere" with them. It was a matter of meeting new people, retelling the great stories of our college glory days (like the time our friend blacked out and woke up only to discover he purchased a gold plated iPod and couldn't return it because he had his name engraved with the words "Good Times."), and reconnecting with friends who I haven't seen for years.
New ladies would have been the wrong way to spend that time. And I was okay with that. It doesn't always have to be about trying to find that next one (or fix).
On the drive back to Seattle from Pullman, my buddy Jim turned around from the front seat to face me. I had just woken up from my third nap that morning, my body trying to recover from feeling like a punching bag.
"Oh man, I totally forgot about trying to set you up with a lady friend this weekend. We dropped the ball. Sorry about that."
It didn't even cross my mind.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here is the second part to Lynn's guest post. I hesitated posting this for quite sometime, because I try to make a conscious effort to post entries that only fit the theme of the blog.
Also, Lynn says a lot of nice things in here and I didn't want it to come off like I was using her Q & A as a showcase of how "great" and "wonderful" of a person I am. It's like blog masturbation and I'm not a fan of that.
However, you guys are an insatiable bunch! I received a ton of emails inquiring about when this post would go live, so I caved.
This post was completely driven by readers. These are the questions that you posted as comments or emailed to me directly. So if it's terrible... I blame you. If you don't see your specific question listed, it's because it was similar to another one and it got scrapped on the cutting room floor. My b.
Oh and Maxie, I didn't post your blow job question, but the answer was "no". It's okay, I cried a little inside too.
It’s pretty complicated, but one day I was on a friend of his’ My Space page, and on it was a link to her blog. I clicked on it, was reading her blog, and then started clicking around on her friend’s blog links. Apparently I clicked on his because all of a sudden I was his cartoon drawings and “Starting Over at 24” and knew it was him! I freaked because at this time we weren’t speaking, and so knowing what he was doing and thinking wasn’t something I wasn’t ready for!
How did you feel about him blogging about you and your relationship?
I honestly don’t mind it at all. I believe that it’s therapeutic for him, and gives a lot of people insight into his world, so it does nothing but help. As long as he doesn’t trash talk me to the public, I’m good!
How do you feel about SO and your mom being friends?
When he and I were in the worst part of our break up (not speaking) his relationship with her really, really bothered me. I actually asked my mom to stop talking to him, and so she lied and said she would… but didn’t. Lame. Looking back I don’t really blame her though, due to their close relationship, but for a while it did bug me. Now I have no problem with it. My mom was like a 2nd mother to him, and their relationship is very unique… so I respect that.
Why were you and your ex-bf in couple’s therapy?
Oh man, I knew I’d get this one! I was livid when I read that So@24 posted that on here, but looking back I really don’t blame him. It IS pretty pathetic. My ‘other’ ex and I were in therapy because we fought too much. I am a huge committer and so I was determined to make it work until it was undeniably broken. I soon after discovered that it was really, really broken. Hahahaha. Ugh. And it was just free counseling at my university… so it wasn’t super professional or anything. Does that make it any less weird?! Haha probably not.
What advice do you have for SO in order to expedite his mission of getting laid?
He needs to get the balls to approach more girls! This is his biggest struggle due to his lack of confidence. He thinks girls aren’t into him, and so he doesn’t approach them. He just needs practice, some ‘liquid courage’ IF you know what I mean… and really, just needs to be himself. I did him, so he isn’t a freaking mutant!
Do you seriously not read SO's blog?
I do read it now, now that I have his ‘okay’ and we are at a place where we are cool. Before I didn’t read it after the day I first discovered it. It just upset me too much, and held me back from moving on… which I wasn’t into. So honestly, no I didn’t read it! WILL POWER!
What did your second boyfriend have that SO didn't have?
Wow, wow, wow, ballsy question!!! That really isn’t the way it worked though. He didn’t have anything that So@24 didn’t… he was just the opposite of So@24 in every way, shape and form, and that is what drew me to him (and eventually pushed me away from him too). In my state of clouded judgment, I went for it. Lame, but that’s what happened.
What first attracted you to him?
His humor. He has in incredibly unique sense of humor, as do I, and so we were a really, really good match for each other in that way.
How do you feel about SO now and the comments he gets (most of which are "you're an awesome guy" etc)?
I admit that I feel really defensive at times. It makes me want to yell “you don’t know my side of the story!” but then I remind myself that his intention isn’t to be praised for being so wonderful, it just works out that way . He is honest with himself and knows he wasn’t perfect when we dated, so I don’t feel as much of a need now to defend my decision.
After reading So's blog did you see another side to him and maybe consider giving the relationship another go??
Give it another go? No. But what it does do is opens my eyes to how much he has grown since all of this, and therefore makes me happy knowing that it wasn’t all for nothing. He will be an amazing boyfriend to some girl some day, and I love knowing that I helped get him there.
How do you feel reading some of So's antics? Do you get all protective or are you as cool as a cucumber?
Due to the fact that he hasn’t dated a ton, I haven’t had a much of a chance to get super protective… but I will tell you now that I will be really upset if I have to watch him get fucked with. I do still care about him a ton, and so if girls start playing games with him and mess with his head and heart, it will be really hard to watch. I will just make sure to know my limits, respect our situation, but remind him to stand up for himself and his feelings.
If you could go back and change anything between you and So would you?
I would change the way we broke up. It was a messy and sad breakup, full of mistakes on my part and his. I would have not rebounded so soon, and ended things in a cleaner fashion. Could I have done that not knowing what I know now?
No way, but it would have made things a lot easier on both of us.
Have you considered writing your own blog?
I don’t write well enough to have ‘fans’ and I have no time. I am in grad school and working full time. I have just enough time for Facebook and MySpace, and that’s all. Hahaha.
If you could give So ONE piece of dating advice what would it be and why?
Oh my gosh, you do know that I ‘started over at 23,’ right?!? I have only been single for 11 months now, and so I am still so horribly naive when it comes to dating!
Honestly… have fun and be open minded, but be picky, have high expectations, learn from your mistakes, don’t play games, be honest and communicate.
Recognize red flags when you see them… and always remember: when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.
How would you feel about being portrayed in a film written from your ex-boyfriend's point of view?
I actually trust that So@24 would respectfully portray me with taste and honesty.
Why do you think SO hasn't had sex with ANYONE since you? Is it his love for you that's keepin' him from getting it on or is it a mad case of high-school-game-itis?
I really don’t know because I’m not inside his head, but I pray that it’s the latter. I want him to get some ass. As awkward as that is to say about my ex boyfriend, he needs some. Two years is a long time to go without, and I want him to get experience so he can be amazing with his future wife ;) Not to say he sucks in bed (because he doesn’t at all!), but you can really learn a lot. Oh god, he probably is going to hate what that implies about me! Bwahahaha!
Do you think you two are friends because neither one of you are seeing anyone right now, so it's easy to be friends?
Good point. We are friends in the way that we want to be right now, because neither of us have to answer to anyone. If that changes, we are going to respect our "partner's" wishes though, and will cross that bridge when we come to it.
I know that I personally will always want to have a relationship with So@24 and don’t want some new guy trying to control it, but at the same time, I will make sure to prioritize the new relationship and respect boundaries and limits. I’ve told So@24 I want him to do the same, and make sure to never put me before a new girlfriend. That’s just asking for trouble, and your future happiness is more important than past relationships!
Best trait of SO?
I love his sense of humor, creative mind, imagination, sense of style (now, thanks Amy), laugh, writing ability, weirdness… and the fact that he is yet to be tainted by the LA game playing jerks of America!
What's the dealie-o with being friends with an ex who CLEARLY still loves you?
Um, I don’t think he still loves me like that. I trust him to be honest with himself enough to know if our friendship is good for him, or not. I do my best to be aware of his intentions, motives and feelings… but I’m not inside his head so I can’t know 100% what’s going on up there. But my best guess is that he is moving on.
Do you miss being with SO sometimes esp. since you guys seemed to have such an emotional bond?
I missed him as a person so much when we were apart, but now I have the fun friendship part back, minus the drama and bad stuff that came with dating each other! It really works out
If you don't have any romantic feelings for SO but are content being friends, would you offer him dating advice like his other chick friends do without feeling a tiny bit jealous?
We have JUST now gotten to the point in the friendship where we are talking about dating and our experiences in doing so… so now I do think I will be able to talk to him and help him out. Before? No way. Now? I think so. I really do want him to find someone to be happy with because he deserves that, and I don’t want to let my own jealousy get in the way. Why would I be jealous of something I chose to let go of too? That’d be lame! It’s also a way to gauge our “moving on-ness.” If we are real true friends who have moved on, we should be able to talk about that kind of stuff! … and now we are!
Were you friends right after you broke up or did you have to have some time off?
In order to cope we didn’t cut things off 100% right away (it was too overwhelming and sad to think about), but the moment I realized that it was preventing us from moving on, I decided we needed to cut things off. We didn’t see each other for around a year, and didn’t speak for over 8 months. It was so, so hard, but was the right thing to do for both of us.
What would you say was the one thing that contributed the most to breaking up with SO?
I wasn’t where I needed to be on his priority list, aka he wasn’t where I needed him to be after 6 years of dating.
Did any of what a lot of the commenters have said in response to SO's posts hurt or anger you?
Like I kinda mentioned above, I tended to get really defensive and want to explain my side a lot. It did hurt, and I wanted So@24 to defend me… but I got over it and now I try not to read what you guys say too much because I know it’s only one-sided (what you hear and know).
When you two decided to call it off, who was the person that decided to reach out first and be friends? And how long after the breakup did that take? Or was friendship part of the deal for the split itself, and in that case, how and why?
I reached out first because I was the one who cut off the communication. He left it up to me, and so I made the move when I felt ready. I made sure to see if he was ready too though, because I didn’t want him being sucked back in.
We went about 8 months not speaking, and over a year not seeing each other. It wasn’t in the plan of our break up (meaning we didn’t know what was going to happen), but I had to force myself to be content with the fact that I ended it with So@24, and then it would be his choice if we were to still be friends.
It wasn’t my decision to make because of the position I was in, so I let it stay out of my hands. I tried not to dwell on asking myself “will we will be friends??” too because it overwhelmed me, and scared me into not wanting to completely break up too. I just let it be, and so far have been so so so happy with the way it’s worked out. I know we are rare and lucky.
Is SO as funny in person as he is on his blog?
Funnier. Wittier on paper, but yeah for real… just as funny. It’s not fake.
Do you prefer SO blog to be anonymous or would you not care it is wasn't?
You mean would I care if he used names? I don’t think that would be a good idea just because of the nature of the internet, but it really isn’t a huge deal in my eyes.
After so many years of dating, why, after breaking up, do you still remain friends? If you can't be 'with' someone, why spend friendly time together?
Why would anyone be friends with the opposite sex then? Because you enjoy their company as a person, but don’t match with them relationally. So@24 and I are not a good match as a couple (fought too much, had a hard time communicating, etc) but work out great as friends since our feelings are less invested and intense.
I want to know if SO ever took the blue line off his eyes when you did it. Or did you like to make him leave it on?
Hahahaha oh man, sick! No the blue line was off… that only appeared after we ended things ;)
Up until this point, you haven't had to deal with So having another girlfriend (or even getting laid - sorry buddy!) How do you think it will make you feel/how do you think you'll handle it when the inevitable occurs? Has your relationship evolved into a solid enough friendship to weather that?
For a long, long time So@24 and I avoided talking about our dating experiences and interest in the opposite sex, simply because we knew it would make both of us uncomfortable. But now it is actually a big help in the way I gauge our friendship.
True platonic friends do talk about this kind of stuff: dating, sex, relationships, etc… and so I believe that if So@24 and I are real true friends without ulterior motives, we should be able to talk about it. Speaking for myself I know I will be okay with it. I want him to be happy, and I know that one day he will end up with someone else… and with that comes stories of dating and sex.
I wouldn’t have been ready 6 months ago, but I’m cool with it now. Only time will tell, but I’m prepared. I can’t say that he is ready to hear my stories yet (being that he freaked when he found out I had slept with someone else - haha), but it’ll just be something that we ease into over time. We are on our way.
Don't you think Gancey should take SO@24 on a hogging expedition for the ages?
Do you feel like you needed to become someone on your own, outside of your relationship and separately from the person who you grew up with through college? Do you feel like you became the person you are today only due to the fact that you are no longer with SO?
If you are asking if that was what was going through my mind when I broke it off with So@24, then the answer is no. But do I agree looking back that I have learned a lot about myself now that I am away from our relationship? Then the answer is yes. When So@24 and I ended our relationship, my initial intention was not to step away from the relationship and discover myself.
I really just didn’t think that we were a good match for each other, and so I thought we shouldn’t be together. Now that I have been away from the relationship and have grown up as a person on my own, I do think that it was a good choice on my part for myself to take that step back. I did need that push to be on my own and see what it was like to live for myself, instead of another person (So@24 really was my world).
Regrets that our relationship is over? Sadly and bluntly, no. I think great things grew out of our break up for both of us, and we are much better people now because of this experience.
Regrets about how I handled myself in the breakup? Yes. I regret how I went about handling our break up, and for moving on so fast. I hate that my rebound-relationship expressed to So@24 that I didn’t love him as much as I did (I understand why though), and that I hurt him so much in all of this. That was never my goal, and if there was SOME way to break up with someone WITHOUT hurting them, then that’d be exactly what I’d have done… but sadly, that isn’t the case. There is no such thing.
I did things the best I knew how in that moment and time, but hindsight is always a killer. I didn’t know better at the time (meaning I had never gone through a break up before and didn’t know how to approach it, deal with it, or cope with it), but I do now… and all I can do is learn and apply to prevent pain for the future!
What are the top 5 absolute best things about dating SO?
- He never criticized me or tried to change me. Over the years, many people in my life have felt inclined to inform me that I am “too rigid and overly serious,” and so it was nice to have that one constant person love me just for who I was.
- He got me. 100% he got me. My humor. The weird way I explain things. Things I think are funny. Things I enjoy. He got it without me having to explain it or justify it. It’s rare to find, and I truly appreciated it then and even to this day
- His favorite activity with me was to “lay.” We literally would spend days and days just “laying” around, doing nothing but watching movies, eating junk food, and sleeping. This is a trait hard to find in society’s busy, non-stop, must-be-doing-something-
active-all-the-time culture! Some may think it’s boring, but I appreciated it (especially after dating millions of “lets go do something all the time” type guys).
- His taste in music. Although he could be horribly closed minded to new music (and he only became open minded after we broke up, likely just to be nice), he and I have the same taste and I love that. It isn’t until you date someone else with a shitty taste in music do you then really begin to appreciate it though.
- His gift giving abilities. When he really applies himself and wants to express his feelings, he is the best at finding silly, unique ways to show it. And when I say ‘gifts’ I don’t mean expensive presents. I mean thoughtful ways to show you care. From weird packages in the mail, to mix CDs full of lyrics about you, to silly cartoon drawings left on your doorstep… his presents are heartfelt, and I always appreciated them.
What makes you want to be a guest blog at your Ex's blog?
I felt like everyone wanted to know so much more about me, and that it would give everyone a good insight into ‘the other side.’ There are always two sides to every story, and I felt like it would be good for his readers to know both? I admit my intentions were originally a bit selfish in my desire to ‘defend’ myself, but honestly now I just thought it would be fun, entertaining to see the reactions, and even good for So@24 to see my thoughts out on paper!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Via text messaging, Brandi told me that she was with a friend down at a bar called Happy Endings (I swear that's the actual name) which is in the heart of Hollywood's bar scene. I texted back, "I'm on my way".
Not surprisingly, the bar was packed with 20-somethings; all young, all beautiful, all looking to "get their drink on". I greeted Brandi with a hug and shook the hand of her friend Chase. Brandi and Chase were already 3 sheets to the wind (I hate playing catch up), but extremely nice and welcoming. I bought a round of drinks for all 3 of us and Brandi and I talked about the friends we both had in common.
As the night continued and the drinks continued to flow, Chase was constantly trying to pull Brandi on his lap. She'd playfully pull away and push his hand aside. This exchange had to have happened probably 15 + times during the entire evening. I got the feeling that Chase had been working on her for awhile now.
Meanwhile, this other guy with the absolute worst British accent ever, kept whispering in Brandi's ear. It was so obvious that it was fake. "Why was this guy trying to speak with a British accent?", I thought to myself. And then it hit me, "Holy shit. This is a fucking ploy to pick up girls who love foreign men with accents".
"She has great tits, eh?"
I spun around in my seat and was eye to eye with the impostor.
So@24: How can you tell? She's wearing a tshirt and a hoodie.
Impostor: Oh, I can tell. They are magnificent. ... You aren't banging her are you?
So@24: No. I just met her tonight. She's a friend of a friend.
Impostor: Too bad.
That's it, fucker.
So@24: Wait, before you go. Come on, the gig is up. You clearly aren't British.
Impostor: Yes I am.
So@24: Come on, dude.
Impostor: Alright, alright. Fuck, I was hoping it wasn't obvious. Girls LOVE it though, I'm telling you. I do it all the time, you should try it.
I turned my back to the guy looked around the bar as I swirled the last few, warm gulps around in my pint. Ever since I had walked in, there was this one short, arrogant-looking guy making his rounds. And always, two steps behind him, was his more attractive girlfriend (always happens that way doesn't it?). He barely acknowledged her, but you knew that they were together. What was with this submissive shit? It bugged me.
I went and grabbed a seat next to Chase and Brandi. Chase was now blatantly "honking" Brandi's boobs. Brandi laughed it off and told him over and over to stop "grabbing her tits". I cringed. Girls calling their own boobs "tits" has always weirded me out.
It was time for me to go. I paid my tab and told Brandi and Chase to hit me up the next time they went out.
Outside, a girl in a tight dress and heels shivered next to me as we waited for the crossing signal to change. When it finally changed, we both started to cross. An expensive looking BMW waiting at the light rolled down its window, "Yeeeeah, girl! What are you doing tonight?" She continued to cross without paying any attention to the cat calls.
BMW Douchebags: Hey! Is that your girl?
I shook my head.
BMW Douchebags: Well, fuck! You gonna get up in that? Ow! Ow!
I took a page from this girl's book and ignored them. I felt terrible for the girl, she obviously heard everything these drunk bastards were hollering.
As I drove home, I reflected about my evening in Hollywood. Maybe I was just in one of those moods where I get hypersensitive about the little things. Where I nitpick the things that I normally wouldn't think twice about.
But goddammit, the guys I was surrounded by tonight were the guys that I'm ultimately competing with, right? This is the pool that girls in this town are choosing from? Is this what quality girls like Lynn, or Violet or any of my other girl friends are going to settle with when finally they throw up their arms in exhaustion and say, "Well, he's not that bad... he only made two fart jokes." Or is this just something that you have to come to accept as a social norm for this age?
I'm far from the type who only has his horse blinders on for pure romance. I'm not the guy who won't settle until I find "the one". I know it's not all butterflies and sonnets. I don't necessarily want butterflies and sonnets. At least, I don't have to have that now.
But it can't be what I witnessed tonight. Maybe I was just getting forced fed it all too much too soon.
My car radio was tuned into the local oldies station. Ray Charles "Georgia on my Mind" faded in. I gave Ray the benefit of the doubt for a few seconds before I turned him off.
It just didn't seem right to be listening to a song like that on a night like this.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
So@24: What are you doing?
The Gancer: I'm checking your Facebook page for girls you should be poking.
So@24: Hahaha! Well, anything catching your eye?
The Gancer: Susie for one.
So@24: Hahahaha! She's a blogger! Everyone Loves a Boston Girl!
The Gancer: Really? Even better. Get in that ass.
So@24: Yes, Susie is a cute girl.
The Gancer: What about _____ ?? If that's her on the left of her profile picture, you should bag it. Tag it. And sell it to the butcher at the store.
So@24: That's my exgirlfriend Lynn!
The Gancer: Oh. Oops.
The Gancer: Wait. She's THE girl??
The Gancer: Wowie zowie.
So@24: I'll take that as a compliment.
Part 2 of Lynn's Guest Post will go live on Friday.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"Why are you so far away from me?A few weeks ago I received an extremely nice email on my So@24 account. From a girl in Denmark.
I need help and you're way across the sea
I could never touch you - I think it would be wrong
I've got your letter
you've got my song"
- Weezer's "Across the Sea"
A Danish bird eh? My interest was immediately piqued.
I emailed her back (as I do all my emails) and we shared a brief exchange. Eventually we became Facebook friends and I saw pictures of my Danish reader.
You know how people use the expression "my jaw dropped", but they don't mean it literally? Mine actually did. Piercing blue eyes (I'm full of cliche's this evening, but trust me on this one), cute dimples, and a natural blond. Be still my blogging heart.
Since then we've been exchanging emails. Like paragraphy long emails! You have to understand, this is exciting shit for a guy like me.
This gorgeous girl went through and read my entire blog. A blog that doesn't hold back revealing the most humiliating mistakes with women, failure with online dating, or how I've gone on and on about a two year drought. And she still wrote to me. And continued writing to me.
When she wrote me, "Jeg var også jaloux over din "date" ;)"*
You couldn't wipe that stupid grin off my face. I totally geeked out like a giddy school boy; I can admit that.
Bah. Again, I'm a realist. It's most likely just harmless flirtation. If it was possible, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to ask her out for a drink, but Copenhagen isn't close (damn that Atlantic Ocean). And besides, I'm not sure the US dollar would do too hot over there.
But fuck, it's nice to have a cute, smart girl give a damn or give me the slightest bit of attention, even if it is in the form of electronic mail. It's fun! It feels good!
And yes all you cynics (e.g. Leo), I haven't forgotten what happened with the Irish girl, Caitlin. That whole experience was like the time when I came back from a soccer game, grabbed a bottle of refreshing Kiwi-Strawberry Snapple from the fridge to quench my thirst and began chugging; only to realize that my mom was using the bottle to keep her chicken broth. I haven't forgotten that disappointingly, salty gulp... but it wouldn't stop me from enjoying a tasty Snapple in the future. I just have to inspect the bottle closer for floating chicken bits before taking an enormous pull.
Okay not my best metaphor, but you get it.
I really can't help but wonder I pissed off some gypsy and as a result, got stuck with this curse. Why is it that when a gorgeous, intelligent girl shows any interest in me... she happens to live on the other side of the world?
$9.56 still remains untouched on my Skype account.
Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to use it up one of these days.
* Translated from Danish = "I was also jealous of your "date"
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I received a text message from her the following night. It was 11:00pm and she was reminding me that she still had my shorts and t-shirt that I let her borrow. Did I want to go over to her place and pick them up?
"All Signs Point to Yes", Magic 8 Ball.
During my drive, I kept getting phone calls from Amber.
Amber: Where aaaaaaaaaaare you?
So@24: You just called me 10 minutes ago. I'm on my way.
Amber: Well hurry up and Tokyo drift your ass over here, boy!
Well then. She was indeed drunk. Very drunk.
When I arrived at the steps of Amber's apartment, I could already hear the cacophony that always accompanies booze-fueled gatherings.
Amber and her friends gave me a warm welcome, but I immediately knew I was out of place. Their jokes were crass and juvenile, there was a drunk dude slumped over, completely passed out. In a word, the whole scene was trashy.
Amber presented me a shot of rum and a tall can of Monster energy drink.
"Play catch up," she smiled.
I was not going to argue with that. I was definitely an uncomfortable stranger in an even stranger land. This was solidified when the hooded drunkard suddenly popped up, grabbed the car keys and ran out the door. Amber's friend took off after him saying, "He's going to drive drunk again. I hate when he does this shit."
And then... we were alone.
What the fuck was I doing here?
Amber and I both took a few more shots and I found myself in the middle of a second make out session.
It got a little more heated this time, but again... my instinct was telling me that something was off here. And no, it was not a matter of me trying to force my mitts in places and her having to push me away. It was completely based off that feeling you get.
When she traced her finger along the waistband of my boxers shorts, I almost melted on the spot (let's go ahead throw that up there to the recently-growing list of "things I miss about girls").
But she stopped there.
My mind was racing. I know I've been out of the game for quite sometime now, but something wasn't adding up. With a pinch of frustration and a giant dollop of confusion, I rolled over and let the remaining rum in my system put me to sleep.
The next morning, I threw on my wrinkled jeans and wrapped my watch around my wrist. Like the night before, the conversation and atmosphere wasn't at all awkward or uncomfortable. As I was stepping over her giant mounds of clothes, I caught a glimpse of her creamsicle colored vibrator. "What the...? What is this girl's deal..."
I gave Amber a hug, thanked her for the drinks and was about to step out the door when she asked, "Could you take a seat?"
So@24: Uh... sure.
Amber: I just wanted to explain about the last couple of nights. I have a problem with intimacy because I was raped last year.
I instantly broke out into a cold sweat. My combined time of hanging out with Amber was less than 48 hours; I didn't know anything about her. I had absolutely NO idea what to say.
So@24: Hey, you don't need to explain anything to me. I had a good time.
Amber: I usually don't mention it. Guys just think I don't like them, but I didn't want you to think it was you.
I was completely caught off guard, I didn't know if what I said came off well or if I even said the right things. What are you supposed to say? I've never known anyone personally who has gone through such a traumatic experience.
My brain was going a mile a minute during my long drive home. This was something I naively never thought I would encounter when I reemerged in the dating world. Never even crossed my mind. Statistics show 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. It's a very ugly reality, but... it happens more than people (including me) realize.
After a physical recovery, Amber is still a twentysomething woman who deserves to be able to date and have sex. And to have that taken away from her is incredibly sad.
As someone who has a lot of good girl friends, it's heavy stuff to think about, but all the more reason to acknowledge it.
Dating. Fuck. You have to be prepared for that occasional knuckle ball.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"So, did you vote for Obama?"
I sensed the disdain in Amber's question and I didn't like it. I raised an eyebrow and pushed my tongue forcefully to the inside of my cheek.
"Why yes I did. Who did you vote for?" She had only been in my place for 10 minutes. This was already over before it begun.
Amber: Well, I actually didn't like either candidate.
So@24's Inner Monologue: Alright, time for the backup chute.
So@24: What did you think about Prop 8?
Amber: Oh it was a tragedy that it passed.
Whew. Alright. I can focus on that.
This exchange would prove to be perfect foreshadowing for rest of the evening. Me forcefully looking the other way about a variety of Amber's "quirks" and trying to zero in on the stuff that just "wasn't so bad".
This was to be expected, I knew that coming in.
Amber was not as bad as I had remembered her. Perhaps in those two years she matured a little bit. But she still has a long way to go.
We both had little to go off of so the main focus of conversation turned to an unspoken agreement of "well, let's take shots of alcohol and see where it takes us". This was just going to be physical. But we already knew that. Wink.
I invited my friend Jenny and her boyfriend Danny to join us. I knew ahead of time Amber and I would run out of things to bullshit about, so I needed the extra support. The restaurant we agreed to meet at was busy, so Danny came up with the great suggestion of heading back to Sexy Dojo and ordering in pizza.
As the tally of rum shots began to climb, so did my perspective of what Leo has been trying to tell me for the past few years. I was beginning to see through his lenses. I didn't really care what happened at the end of the night either way. If she wanted to stay over, great. If she didn't, well that was fine too. When you don't care either way, when nothing is really invested; your confidence level sky rockets.
So after Jenny and Danny leave and after about shot 8, I go in for the kiss and a make out session began.
However. I forgot how to transition.
Amber was wearing one of those dresses where the giant belt comes right up under her boobs. Her boobs were pouring out of the top like an opened can of Pop n' Fresh. It was actually quite beautiful. I almost wept.
I digress. The problem was, I forgot how you move from making out to... well, other things. Especially when the girl is wearing a dress with a giant, awkward belt. And, let's be serious, the dress is essentially just a giant piece of cloth. It's very difficult to maneuver.
When she was kissing my neck, I actually furrowed my brow and contorted my face trying to work out how I was going to solve this dilemma. I haven't had to solve a problem this difficult since my days of The Incredible Machine.
And like The Incredible Machine, when I couldn't get those fucking pulleys to work in my favor, I succumbed to my frustration and gave up. It came back to me (very quickly) what it is like to make out with someone and have to try and gauge their responses... to read into their ever action in order to figure out if they want to go further. You have to go with your gut and while we were having a good time drunkenly sucking face, I got the sense she was content with where we were at.
When I was in the comfort of a committed relationship, I remember hearing stories from people saying "We just made out. Nothing else." I grabbed my sides and pointed at my friends, laughing at their misfortune. "How can you just make out?? We're not 7th graders. We're adults now. I just can't visualize a scenario where it just stops at making out? It's impossible."
I got a giant dose of my own medicine. Because I learned that it's very possible.
Again, I was fine with it. I didn't care either way. A makeout sesh was cool. We passed out like drunk kittens. She left in the morning without any awkward goodbyes.
I forgot how much I miss girl hair. The smell. And nothing beats running your fingers through it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
There are numerous reasons, but one of them being (which I've stated before) is that when I went through the breakup; I wanted to create something to show others in my situation the progress of going through it.
I was surprised when I got a phone call tonight that would actually put my experience through the test.
Mama So: So?
So@24: Hi mom.
Mama So: Can you give your brother a call?
So@24: What's wrong?
Mama So: I think something happened between him and Celene [his long term girlfriend].
Mama So: Well, you've been through this! You can talk to him!
So@24: Thanks, Mom! Alright, I'll call him.
When I got my little brother on the phone, he was huffing and puffing. I've never heard him so livid in all my life. That's including the time I peed on his Castle Grey Skull playset.
So@24: You okay?
Lil' Bro: No man. I'm not. I'm so fucking pissed.
So@24: What happened?
Lil' Bro: She broke up with me yesterday. And then she FUCKED some dude that SAME NIGHT. God. I can't believe this. How could she do this??
So@24: I know, man. I know. Well... what are you going to do now?
Lil' Bro: You know what I'm going to do?? You know what I'm going to do??
So@24: Uh oh...
Lil' Bro: I am meeting up with her to confront her about this. And you know what I'm going to do? I have a fucking tube of strawberry lube and 4 condoms in my hand. I am going to throw them in her fucking face and say, "I hope you have fun!"
My brother was angry. Very angry. And he was being dead serious; he was going to throw this bottle of strawberry lube and four contraceptives at his ex girlfriend.
It took everything in me not to bust up laughing. I composed myself and said the only thing that came to mind.
So@24: Um. Do. not. throw. the lube. at her.
Lil' Bro: No, man. I'm doing it.
So@24: Wait-- why do you have strawberry lube?
Lil' Bro: Because I use it!
So@24: Alright, alright back to the topic at hand. You need to calm down. You don't want to do something you're going to regret later.
Lil' Bro: How did you do it? How did you do it??
Now Lynn didn't sleep with someone while we were dating. But she did date someone right afterward and then flew him back to our hometown for Christmas break all within a month. So, I could relate to my little brother to a certain degree. I know what it's like to fume with white anger, to feel completely helpless, and betrayed.
I told him my story, not as a means to compare who should be more hurt... but as a means to let him know that "Hey. Someone close to you has been there before."
I told him what kept me from not going completely ape shit. What made me keep my cool and think of the bigger picture.
So@24: How did I get through it? Well, you first have to ask yourself... do you never want to speak with her again? Is that what you really want?
Lil' Bro: ... no.
So@24: Well, don't you think that throwing a tube of sexual lubricant at her face might burn that bridge? This shit will pass, trust me.
Lil' Bro: If you saw it, you'd think it was funny.
So@24: Not gonna lie, that would be fucking hilarious. But I know you and I know that Celene means a lot to you despite all this shit. Go meet up with her, get your questions answered, but leave the lube at home.
Lil' Bro: Alright.
So@24: And the condoms.
Lil' Bro: Okay, okay.
Lil' Bro: Thanks for talking to me. I actually do feel a little better.
So@24: Where is the lube and the condoms?
Lil' Bro: They are back in the drawer.
So@24: Good man.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
One evening back in the early (darkest, most bitter) stages of my breakup, Leo and I threw a house party. At this particular shindig, I was taking shots of Jim Beam like there was no tomorrow. Jim and I still haven't made up since our big blow up from that night. Bastard.
I had met a girl there who happened to be a friend of a friend of a friend. Amber was relatively attractive, drank like a fish, but there was something particularly... "immature" about her. I was in a very dark place, so throughout the evening I pretended to listen to her as I took pull after obliterating from my pint o' whiskey. She was very nice and maybe I would have been more receptive to her if we had met at a different time.
At around 3 in the morning, I decided to pass out in bed. Amber followed me into the room and crawled under the covers with me. She kept going on and ON about how she hated living with her boyfriend ("There used to be so much passion! So much PASSION!") while I laid awake staring at the ceiling hoping that she had somehow miraculously gained powers of telepathy, would read my homicidal thoughts and leave me alone to wallow in my own depression.
That was two years ago. I haven't spoken or heard from her since that party.
In the back of my mind, I have always wondered what would have happened between her and I if I wasn't in that weird "immediately out of a six year relationship" stage. Over the weekend, I got to thinking about ol' Amber. Maybe it was time to be proactive and not be so picky. Maybe I do need to just "get laid" and bitch slap that fucking monkey off my back.
Impulsively, I text messaged Amber and to my surprise, she replied back. I had opened a dialogue with a girl who I can barely place a memory on due to a thick mental fog of Jim Beam. I discovered that she lives about an hour and a half away (not a quick trip) and is no longer living with her boyfriend or dating anyone.
After about 15 texts and a few emails back and forth, I asked if she wanted to grab a drink this Friday. She agreed.
I think the circumstances are pretty black and white here. I believe that Amber and I are on the same page. This was going to be a "hey, let's get completely smashed together and we don't really know each other and see what happens" Friday night.
I haven't ever had one of those.
Time to get insight from my best friend Leo.
Leo: After careful thought and reconsideration of certain themes on your blog, I've come to the conclusion.
1. You can't look for a girlfriend now
2. You need to have sex.
So@24: We're supposed to have drinks this Friday. It's been forever since I've done something like this.
Leo: You're GOLDEN! A few drinks, it's game on.
Leo: ...But seriously wear a condom. You don't want to jump into the LA River without a hazmat.
So@24: I don't remember ANYthing about her.
Leo: Here's the key. You're a condo owning baller making a little time out of your baller schedule to entertain this lass. You walk the walk, wear that confidence. It's all over.
So@24: And since I don't really care what happens anyway, this confidence thing will be a breeze.
Leo: ... I'm walking a real thin moral line here.
Leo: Basically, all I'm saying is, finding The Next One takes a lot of time and significant trial and error. We'd like to think it happens the way it does in The Notebook, but the truth of the matter is we try people out and see if they fit. You're basically seeing if Amber "fits".
Leo: That might be a bad way of putting it, but you see what I mean.
So@24: Well, what if I already know that she is NOT a fit?
Leo: Then you do it anyway to increase the size of the data pool. It's all in the name of science. At least that's what I tell myself. Besides, she could very well be fine with just having sex and that being that.
So@24: Maybe you're onto something...
Leo: I can safely say that for all women I've slept with recently, I knew that I was not interested in any of them. Sometimes I feel compelled to let them know it before (without being hurtful... "I don't think I have the time a relationship requires") and sometimes it's an unspoken agreement that we're both here to get each other off. But in every case, I'm settling in a way. Because I know these girls are not for me.
So@24: -scratches chin-
Leo: So. I think it's time for you to settle.
So@24: Oh fuck. Prof. Leo is making us buy TWO of his textbooks. I hate when they do that.
Leo: Dude. Residuals.
I guess the final moral question remains: If the opportunity presents itself, should I sleep with a relatively attractive girl (who may not be that bright) who I barely know with the slight chance that I'd get to feel her boobs? Discuss.
Leo's answer? See below.