I’m hanging out with a brilliant lady. She is 24, well read, well spoken, and we have conversations for hours with little effort. I like her and it’s early to say anything but I’m getting the kinds of butterflies I haven’t gotten in a very long time.
I can think of a thousand different ways to explain the way I miss you. It’s like the world is made of water, and all I have are lungs. It’s like the moon has forgotten its place in the sky, all but disappearing. The stars are a circus, and we are performing acrobats, flipping through emotions like wonderful experts. Only, there is no net. Only, there are lions. Only, we are the lions – and this is our cage.
I wonder if summer misses winter like this – like a season dancing out of turn, passions outstretched in a whirling dervish. I think we’re all missing something, someone. Absentmindedly, I wonder if I’ll be warm again. I wonder what it’s like to pull a feeling out by the roots. Does the heart grow emotions like weeds and wildflowers? Mine would never be roses, not even sunflowers. Mine spring up…
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Tonight’s date was fun. She’s a sweet simple little 21 year old. I felt pretty bad because this poor girl drove an hour and a half just to go on a date with me. I only found out when we were already on the date too!
We had some coffee at the same coffee shop I take every single date to, walked around the waterfront (where I take every single date to), and then got a drink at a local lounge, where I DON’T take every single date. In fact, this was the first FIRST date where I’ve ever taken a girl to a bar. There, we got $4 mojitos on special (which taste awful and which she described as “like toothpaste” which made me belly laugh in the middle of the bar). There, she also taught me how to play Yahtzee, which is a simple dumb game with little logic and based entirely on chance. Driving home, I realized that Yahtzee was actually a very apt metaphor for this girl, in that both are simple.
Not that that’s a bad thing. She’s a cutie patootie, and I absolutely wouldn’t mind having her around for a little while. Dinner’s likely. We’ll see!
This is kind of an unconventional pasta dish I cobbled together a few nights ago. We’ve got tricolore pasta with Brussels sprouts and Gorgonzola cheese. Kind of a Frankenstein dish if I’m honest, since I was making pasta and Brussels sprout separately at first and then wondered what they’d be like together. The Gorgonzola was also kind of an afterthought to add a little saltiness to the dish and it actually came out pretty interesting. If I had to do it again, I might slice the sprouts in smaller pieces since I had roasted them in halves. I might have even sauteed them.
Brussels sprouts are fantastic. I can thank the last girl I dated for showing me how to make them. I can’t thank her for how they came out when she made them though; they were awful! They were bitter and nasty and the main reason was because she didn’t season them! Brussels sprouts need salt and pepper to offset their general bitterness and all she did was toss them in some oil and minced garlic. The next time I made them with seasoning, it was like a trip to Flavortown. Roasting them in the oven at 375F for 25 minutes produces crunchy, succulent sprouts that are at once salty and a little sweet. They’re dirt cheap and make an excellent side to steak or, as it turns out, mixed with pasta.
In other food adventures, I went to get brunch this afternoon and treated myself to prosciutto wrapped roasted asparagus with two poached eggs on top with Hollandaise sauce. UNGH.
Lastly, I’ve got a date this week. So that’s fun! She’s a bit of a young’un, which makes me nervous, but no point in theorizing.
Internet, it’s been a while. I want to say that if you take anything away from my dumb blog, let it be this: don’t talk to exes.
Just don’t. It can be comfortable but there’s nothing good that will come out of it. I thought I would see if two people who used to date could be cordial with one other, hang out, and treat each other with respect. I thought it could be done.
Lots of things are weird when people who used to fuck start hanging out again. There’s a lot of tension at first and it almost feels like dating all over again because there’s so much uncertainty and gauging of each other’s expectations. But I deliberately cleared the air after one particular evening where we had dinner and I made a move. After that, there were no more expectations. We both established that future dinners would be purely hanging out. I was fine with this because I’m moving out of the state in a few months and merely wanted to enjoy the company of an intelligent woman.
Things changed when we started talking as friends though. She became a lot more distant. When we dated, we’d be in fairly regular communication throughout the day. When we became “friends”, I was always the one to initiate any conversation. Texts would go unanswered for hours at a time. Just generally disrespectful bullshit. And I’d find myself getting mad, stopping and saying, “You’re friends now.” (But that’s bullshit too.) I couldn’t get mad because that would come across as “needy” or “clingy.” So I swallowed this treatment and rolled with the blows.
This wasn’t going to be indefinite. I liked spending time with her enough that I would put up with her texting bullshit for another month or so. Today, she decided that she didn’t want to be friends anymore, citing that we didn’t have enough things in common.
“Up to you. I wanted to enjoy each other’s company while I’m here for a bit. If you don’t care, then I won’t either.”
“I just think we ended things for a reason, and maybe that reason is still valid.”
“Your reason is still vague at best. Not that I had any intention of getting back together. I won’t fight for something that never really mattered anyway.”
And so began a serious exchange of REAL FUCKING TALK. This was basically the post breakup conversation most couples have, except ours was 5 months later. After prodding, she finally told me the reason(s) she ended things, despite asking her on 2 prior occasions to be forward with me. The reasons were flawed and frankly irrelevant for the purposes of this post (though one, incredibly, accused me of being entitled), but gave me a reason to finally be honest with her.
“The relationship wasn’t significant. We never connected on any level except sex. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. You were a bandaid to help me get over a breakup. I didn’t open up to you because the last time I did too quickly, I got burned worse than I ever have in my life. Moreover, I put far more effort in this friendship thing than you ever did. I felt disrespected many a time and kept my mouth shut because we were ‘just friends’.”
We were never really friends. Friends don’t treat each other the way she did. But as I’ve come to learn, exes are never really friends. As people, we all want to feel wanted. We want to feel like we matter. Nobody likes to be an option. Cut out anybody in your life willing to disrespect you. Life is too short to tolerate that bullshit.
“You call me entitled, but at least I always do my best to treat people well.”
“Then this is the best choice for both of us. Best of luck.”
“You too. I honestly hope this has given you cause to reflect on yourself as a person and seek to improve. Pointing fingers is easy until you point one at yourself.”
I’ve never been quite so “real talk” with an ex. I think that it gives two people an opportunity to grow and improve, rather than just endure verbal blows from one another. This was an experiment to see if exes can be friends. The answer: nope, not really! Note: I know there’s caveats. I know that if 2 people were friends prior to dating that their chances of salvaging a friendship are greater than two people who met, had dinner and fucked for a few months. Still, I think that the idea of contacting an ex is tempting for most people. I hope that this tale can deter at least a few.
For whatever reason, this song gets me.