Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cleanliness Is Next To?

This story was submitted by Dan:

Not long after I separated from my wife, a very good friend thought it was time for me to meet "the girl next door"—his neighbor from childhood. She had been single for about a year and was ready to meet a new Mr. Right.. She lived a couple of hours away and came into town for a weekend double date with my friend, his wife, and myself. Jen was cute, funny, and sexy in that well, “girl next door” kind of way. I always liked that subtle, playful type of sexiness. We hit it off and hung out all weekend. After talking for a couple of weeks, we decided that I would visit her at her place. She had a 2 bedroom apartment and plenty of room so she said that if I was comfortable with it she was happy to have me crash at her apartment. We would hang out, have a couple of nice dinners, play a little tennis and see what happened. Sounded great on paper (so many things sound great on paper).

I left after work on a Friday and ended up pulling into her complex right about the same time she was getting home from work. I had a little coffee on the way and by the time I arrived, I had to take a leak so bad I felt I was about to pop. I could barely give her a hug and a quick kiss before I told her I had to get to the bathroom. She opened the door, led me inside and pointed the way. As I was making my way through her apartment I noticed a very stale smell and LOTS of crap piled all over the place. Clothes in the living room, dishes piled on the counter, papers and folders literally stacked everywhere randomly. She was apparently one of those folks who walked out the door looking cute but left behind a cataclysmic mess. I didn't really have time to think about it because if I didn't get to the toilet the next moment I would have left behind my own cataclysmic mess.

I shut the door, flipped on the light, yanked up the toilet seat and "HOLY SHIT" (no puns). Cute little Jen had left a whopper just sitting there all day just for me. Even Mr. Happy had a momentary lapse of consciousness as I was so stunned my bladder held back. Well, needless to say I've emptied my bladder in worse conditions so we made out alright, but as I emptied my bladder I took a closer look around and it truly looked not just messy but pathologically messy.

Mind you, I lived in a frat house for three years and I have two daughters who really hate cleaning up. There have been many times when I have followed behind them to help clean themselves up or flush a toilet or two. As a physician, I have seen things come out of people’s bodies that just shouldn't be seen. But, I tell you this was just unbelievable. The first thing I did was flush and then I washed my hands, really washed my hands. I went back out and I was hoping that perhaps she would be a little contrite about the mess or perhaps embarrassed that maybe she left the bathroom in a little disarray since she was in a rush this morning. But, no. "Thirsty, want a snack"? I couldn't help but look around and say "looks like a tornado hit this place". She barely seemed to recognize that she was living in a hovel. It was a complete turn off. We hung out for the weekend, did some fun stuff, but whenever we were back in her apartment the mood left me. I did spend the two nights (her guest room was actually not dirty, just messy). We played around a bit but nothing too serious and I am sure that she was initially a little taken aback when I got back home and called her a day or two late to thank her for a nice time but didn't make any other plans to see or talk. What else could I say to her? "Learn to flush and get a maid".

I never did tell my buddy about the cute girl next door that he probably lusted for during his teenage years. Let him keep those precious lustful fantasies intact.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Oh, Baby

This story was submitted by Pete:

One of the biggest blunders which I seem to repeat fairly often is the one of dating someone too soon after they have become separated. This is a common theme for me. One explanation is the fact that I live in a smaller city than say Boston, NYC or even Atlanta. I moved here freshly married and ready to start a medical practice. Divorce 12 years later never crossed either of our minds and if it had we probably would have chosen a different city in the first place. The other limiting factor is the fact that I am Jewish. Now, I married a woman who wasn't born Jewish and converted and certainly would not hesitate to marry someone non-Jewish again. But, why not try to find someone with some cultural similarities for change. Maybe our parents have some wisdom after all. So, this makes the dating pool look more pond like. The other possible explanation, is that up until recently I have not been interested in or capable of establishing a meaningful relationship and perhaps this has been a way to avid it. Who knows??

After I separated and began the divorce process I began to attend Hot Yoga classes near the house. I found it a wonderful way to energize, exercise and and stretch in ways that I never imagined I would ever be able to stretch. More importantly, I soon discovered that there simply was no place on earth that had more half naked, sweaty, barefoot and health conscious woman per square foot in the universe than this little sweat box. I made a point of going 3 times a week. Not only could I touch my toes for the first time in years but my head was relaxed, I slept like a baby and did I mention the sweaty bodies? One night after class I ended up talking to a woman who had become familiar from class as she attended the same exact nights. Turned out she had three kids, recently separated and this was her sole "do something for me " activity. I suggested that perhaps she should add another component and that after class next week we get a glass of wine together. They has showers in the studio so it would be easy. She was excited, as was I, having never actually asked anyone out from a yoga class. And, by the way I suck at yoga, really suck. So here was this really pretty woman still interested in a drink despite seeing me stretch and sweat like the middle age, not very limber man that I truly was. That probably should have been my first clue.

The following week we went out and had a nice time. She ended up coming over to the house after and we engaged in a short couch session. Heavy petting, litttle of this, little of that but clothes on the entire time. All good. I learned she was separated about 4 months, had three kids. Either I failed to ask their ages or she didn't tell me. I can't remember but I still did not know how old they were except I had the impression they were in grade school . She was 39 and a retired news caster from Oregon. Her ex was a banker but that is as much as we got into.
We did the same basic gig for another 2 weeks and it became apparent that we were clicking on a couple of different levels.

One little thing kept on happening that bothered me. She would get texts and/or phone calls frequently while we were out. At first I figured it was the sitter and at one point I asked her how old her sitter was. "Well, my sitter is my ex" . I then figure that this was their current situation--he would watch the kids while she did her thing at yoga. Why not, she had them all day, etc. Seemed fair. There seemed to be more to this but rather than talk more about it we ended up in bed and the topic didn't come up again for a week.

I called to ask her out on a proper date--dinner and movies-no yoga. At this point I was getting sore and had pulled a variety of things so as to not look like a complete idiot out there on the mat anyway. i could use a break. She hemmed and hawed about child care and then I realized that this was more of an issue than I thought. I have two kids but have worked out a pretty fair arrangement with my ex--doesn't always work that way for other couples. She finally agreed to make arrangements but she would come over my house. Another fair request, happens a lot, better this way than meeting kids, sitters, whatever until things move farther along. I totally got it plus that way at the end of the night there was a better shot at ending up romping around here.

Went thru the usual pre-game routine. Shower, shave, clean up, wine and cheese at the ready, good music. The doorbell rings and lo and behold there she is holding a bottle of wine and something that I could have sworn was a baby in a baby seat. Holy shit!! I was about to go out with a complete MILF and her 6 month old. So, the story I finally learn after about a month of dating is that she has 3 children the youngest is 6 months old and her ex still lives at the house. He is suffering form some type of neuromuscular disorder that is progressive so is out of work also. Essentially, she is caring for him as well. This evening since the plan was to be out later she decided it would be best to take the baby rather than leave him with all three children. Anyway, "baby's are portable, she'll sleep right thru the movie". It was a lot to digest naturally. We changed plans, ordered in, drank the wine, and ended up not letting small things get in the way of an enjoyable evening.

It was also the last time we dated. I see her every once in awhile in target. Very cordial, kids are all in school now and she works full time. Never did ask about her ex. Funny thing is that if we had met at this point things could have been different but that was the first of many "too sooners "that I've had a relationship with.

Friday, January 30, 2009

So Close and Yet So Far

This story was submitted by Penelope:

After a long dry period, I met a really interesting guy. He was smart and mature and nothing like the men I'd been dating, who to me seemed inconsistent and whiny. This guy was sure of himself--he was tall and broad-shouldered, full of good stories and easy with a laugh. I met him in a bar one sultry September night. It turns out he was friends with some of my friends, but he'd spent the previous few years studying and working in London, and so we'd never met.

I was instantly smitten. Good conversationalist? Check. Handsome? Oh yes, check. Good job and a future plan? Yes, that too. He'd even had a long-term relationship with a woman of whom he spoke fondly (but not wistfully), which led me to think he had a pretty high EQ.

We made a point of seeing each other on the next several weekends. He didn't ask me out on a date, but that seemed normal. We'd go out with our groups of friends but made sure to coordinate ending up in the same place. Once together, we'd seize a table away from our larger groups and talk and talk and talk--laughing and drinking and having a great time. The sexual tension grew each time we met, and the attraction was clearly mutual. I spent several of those fall weeks enjoying the high that accompanies that sense of possibility you feel when you think a new relationship is developing. Everything was electric.

One night, after several hours of enjoying each other's company, we decided it was too loud to talk in the bar, and that we should go to my apartment. We walked there, holding hands and crunching fallen leaves. It felt like a storybook first date.Once inside, he kissed me. We kissed for a good long time, and I was really enjoying it--he was in no rush, which I really appreciated. What a nice change to meet someone who would take it slow.

We chatted and giggled and flirted and kissed some more. Taking his time, he moved his hand under my shirt, which gave me shivers. This lasted for a while, and then he moved to my legs. I was delighted--here was someone who would touch me in more than two places! Funnily, though, he became unusually focused on my left knee; stroking it up and down, over and over. After some time, he moved his hand an inch or two up my thigh, almost meeting the hem of my short skirt, but still below it. The stroking became even more intense, and for a while I thought he would gradually move his hand upward, underneath my skirt. That didn't happen. While this leg rub was nice, I found it confusing, since he wasn't following the normal course these interactions usually take. And in truth, as the minutes passed, I was beginning to cool off and get sleepy. I wasn't going to sleep with him on the first opportunity anyway, so I began to think I might start to wrap things up. But strangely, he was stroking the inside of my mid-thigh with vigor. I was beginning to think of some way to nicely redirect him, when he whispered in my ear, "Are you close?" Close to what, I wondered? He knew he was rubbing my mid-thigh, didn't he? "Er...what?" I stammered. Then, he said, uncomfortably "Are you going to have an orgasm soon?". Oh, reader, I couldn't help it--i laughed at him, right then and there! Not a huge laugh, more like a startled chuckle. He really did think he was doing all the right things to bring me to orgasm--either that, or he had a very strange mental map of the female body. I did manage to say something that conveyed that no, I wasn't "close". As you might imagine, things got awkward very quickly. He stopped rubbing my leg, and a few minutes later, he mentioned that he had better head home anyway, because he didn't have his contact lens case with him. He kissed me politely, ever the gentleman, and said goodbye.

I didn't see him again for a couple of months. When I did, we chatted for a couple of awkward minutes: how've you been, very busy with work, ha ha, amazing how busy you can get in this city. It's been years since I've seen him, now, though I wonder about him often. Did anyone ever teach him how to push a girl's buttons--or where the buttons are located? I'd love to know.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Imaginary Boyfriend Married Someone Else

You know it’s bad when your imaginary boyfriend marries someone else. The actual person wasn’t a figment of my imagination, but the vision of the two of us as soul mates was all mine. I met him at a new-agey retreat center in New York. He was taking a class called “opening your heart” and who wouldn’t immediately fall for a straight man who traveled all the way from Kansas to open his heart? I initially approached him to find out what time it was—he had on a nice watch so I instantly ascertained that he was financially solvent on top of his unique focus on a part of his body not covered by his pants.

I think it is fair to say that initially he had some interest in me, too. He proposed that he skip out on part of the evening workshop and meet me for coffee. We talked about our recent divorces, how he planned to volunteer for Planned Parenthood, an organization I’d worked for for many years (a straight man working for choice and opening his heart—unprecedented!) and he was into tennis, hiking and biking and thus managing to avoid the typical post-40 midline crisis. He even walked me back to my dorm-style accommodations after we talked, promising me that his work brought him to the New York/New Jersey area at least once a month. We e-mailed almost daily for a few weeks and talked on the phone but the promised trips East never did happen. Eventually I sent an e-mail that went unanswered and I let it go—though my ever sneaky subconscious must have figured that he had simply changed personal e-mails as we all do when Comcast’s prices make Verizon look like robber barrons or vice versa.

I suppose I was inspired by a few bad dates in a row (see other blog posts for details) to try e-mailing again—this time at the work e-mail. First, I did google him just to see if there was any major reason for the radio-silence—but he had been quoted in the newspaper related to the same job he had been doing two years ago so I sent a totally appropriate note. I didn’t even mention my continued very, completely, totally single status but I suppose that was implicit in e-mailing him at all. Within an hour of e-mailing I had constructed the response I was hoping for—he was taking over his company’s office in New Jersey (or New York or even Philadelphia might have worked), had been meaning to contact me and couldn’t wait to take me to dinner when he came to look for houses in a week or so. And, could I think about some towns that might be convenient and worth considering? Luckily I was able to go to a yoga class to pass some of the time while I waited for a reply. And, considerate man that he is, he put me out of my fantasy quickly with his update. “I got married last December. Lisa is a physician at a local hospital and grew up in New York so we’ll be buying a house there in the not too distant future.” So, he would be spending some time here—with his actual, real life wife. Next time I need to remember to have a truly fantasy boyfriend—because then and only then could I make sure he didn’t marry someone else.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Red or White?

When I first saw him, I flashed on those photos where one person morphs into another—George Bush becomes a monkey or the young, beautiful women becomes an old hag. I couldn’t accuse him of using someone else’s photo, though I’ve heard that is not uncommon in internet dating. Instead, I could imagine how the younger, thinner person preceded the man. The chipped tooth and the unfortunate combination of a checkered shirt with striped pants were features unrelated to his profile photo, but I was trying to be “optimistic!” and “open minded!” as counseled by my mainly-married friends. So, I mentally gave him credit for being on time.

Once seated, he inquired, “Red or white?”

“I’m pretty flexible but I’ve been more into red recently,” I replied.

“I checked it out online so I know just the one—the Craggy Creek chardonnay!” he declared.

“Uh, sounds good,” I said.

I’d remembered to re-review his profile before showing up so I’d have a couple of ready topics of conversation. Too bad I had to dip into those even before the wine arrived.

“Where is the best place you’ve ever been scuba diving?” I asked.

“Well, I haven’t really gone diving since law school” he said.

“Oh. When you did dive, where did you like to go?” I asked, the math between now and law school eluding me for the moment other than knowing that it was quite awhile ago.

“I liked going to Kauai. You could just walk into the water off the beach and see great stuff” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii,” I said.

“We’ll get married on the beach in Hawaii,” he proclaimed, gazing longingly in my direction.
Fortunately, the wine arrived that very moment. The maitre d’ unscrewed it with a perhaps not totally necessary flourish.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bad Date, Good Story #1--Slug Kiss

I really wanted to like Arnold. He was, it was quite evident from the start, a nice guy. We bonded on the phone around our liberal politics and he brought an Obama ’08 button to our first date along with a set of pink roses. An auspicious start! On top of that, he was decidedly taller than me and I realized I could have actually worn heels, something I’d been avoiding since the time I towered over someone who insisted he was 6 feet tall in his profile but didn’t quite see eye to eye with me even though I am only 5 foot 3.

Arnold was a decent conversationalist when the topic was himself. I asked and learned about both of his failed marriages, his struggle to train his dog and his relationships with his mother and father (easily summarized as good with dad, bad with mom). The first time I went to the restroom, I thought this might actually someone I could connect with. I came back to the table ready to relay much of the same information about my own background.

As soon as I sat down Arnold said: “I was just thinking about this great youth group trip I took in high school.”

“Really, “ I replied, purposely not asking a follow up questions in the hope he’d get the message and ask me a question about myself to lead off our second hour together.

“Yeah, this funny thing happened where two of my friends missed the bus and jumped into a cab which chased the bus all the way back to our hotel. It cost like 200 dollars.”
“Wow,” I said flatly.

“I was also thinking I should tell you about the time I told my neighbor that this woodchuck in my yard wouldn’t bite. He went ahead and touched it and it bit clear through his hand. I still feel kind of badly about that.”
I began to consider that some people have just lived alone too long, without the benefit of enough adult company. I wondered how many childhood stories a 50 year old might remember in the space of one brunch. It will give you a good gauge of my other prospects when I tell you that I did go out with Arnold again. But, this time I was ready. My friend Ann had suggested a perfect question to ask him: “So, what would you like to know about me?” and I knew that if I could deliver that without an edge, things might go better.

Sure enough, I felt I had something like equal time that night and I started to think that Arnold was the kind of person who would grow on you. I kept trying to peel my eyes away from the solo hairs sprouting now and again on his otherwise bald head and wondered if he might come to notice how other men tend to shave those away. But, going in to date three, I started to hope that maybe his awkward appearance and composure masked someone of great sexual prowess like the dorky reporter that becomes Superman. That’s why I decided that if he tried to kiss me, I’d kiss him back.

At the fateful moment after walking me to my car, he leaned down to me and first kissed me somewhat shyly on the mouth. I responded with a slightly more open lipped kiss. And then, he thrust his tongue straight into my mouth full force like he was going for my tonsils and—left it there. Just left it sitting there, no movement. It was as if a big slug had landed in my mouth only I had no real say in removing it. And, then, mercifully it retreated, only to be thrust forth once again. I pictured a kid sticking out his tongue hard in kindergarten and tried to picture the relief I’d feel when it was over and I was telling Ann about it.

“Well, goodnight,” I managed pushing him firmly away with both hands on his shoulders and turning to open my door as quickly as I could. Apparently, Arnold was not going to be my Superman.