We kissed in the daylight. And then he met my friends. Tricky!

I had intended on getting in touch with Penpal around Thurday to see what his weekend plans were. He beat me to it and we agreed to meet up Thursday night. Until 5:30 am. As I was leaving at the end of Thursday night (Friday morning) I asked if he still wanted to have dinner that night (he had asked me earlier, but I didn’t want to be overwhelming). He said yes and texted me later that night. With TWO dinner reservations–very impressive, which of course makes me all the more hesitant. He let me pick which restaurant I preferred, both very nice.
This time, he had no car, so I picked him up. When I pulled up, he leaned and kissed me hello. Is that normal? We’d kissed before, so it’s not that it was unwelcome, just unexpected – sober, daytime, a bit public (even though no one was around…). It’s possible my anti-commitment tendencies make me a bit sensitive, but it seemed a bit relationship-y. Hmmmm. Dinner lasted three hours. Despite the inordinate amount of time we had spent talking the previous 2 times we’d met up, including the night before, the conversation never lingered.
We met up again later, when we were both out at bars with friends. He texted me to say he was outside the bar I was at so I hopped out to meet him. This time greeting with a kiss was more expected and the drinks made me not think about it too hard at the moment. I was with four close guy friends. One of them I’ve been friends with nearly a decade, and he’s pretty protective of me. He immediately starting talking shop with Penpal, testing him a bit. The others were quite drunk, including one very affectionate friend who kept kissing my head or cheek and putting his arm around me. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do. I don’t care that my guy friend kissed my head, and I have no commitment to Penpal, but he was there hanging out with me. Panpal put his hand on my knee or held my hand or kissed my cheek. It was almost as if he was reassuring me that he was okay or something. Whatever, it worked. He got along with my friends well. I’m happy about that, I think…although it’s a bit early to decide if I care if they like him. One of my guy friends and Penpal exchanged numbers. I’m going to chalk that up to over-inebriated enthusiasm. If they actually get chummy, I will find it a bit odd. I fell asleep with Penpal (in a PG way…) at his friend’s apartment. My alarm (thank goodness!) woke me up at 6 and I called a cab. Even though he was completely out of it, also having been asleep, he walked me out. I texted him that evening to say it was nice to see him and I hoped he had a good week, as I was leaving town so I assumed we wouldn’t talk. Summer simmering is heating up, but I don’t want to get too carried away with this whole pseudo-relationship-act. Or is this how dating in the real world works? You just act like you’re in a relationship to an extent until you decide that you actually are in one, or not at all, or you see them making out with someone else?

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Hiking until sunrise > Sleeping

I felt recovered from my surgery enough, so on Friday I texted the boy I’ve been emailing to see what his Saturday schedule was. (Let’s call him Penpal.) He had been planning on being in my neighborhood to see a friend but said that had been canceled, so I told him if he did end up going out to the bars near me, let me know, otherwise we would try to figure something out for Sunday. He texted me Saturday evening to say he would be around, so we agreed to keep each other posted on where we were. I arrived around 11pm, and about an hour later I texted him to say that I was arriving at the bar he was at. He was at the bar waiting for his turn on the bull. I was glad to have his location before mine so that I could check him out (creep on him) before walking over. He was talking to a friend at the bar and quite attractive. My friend kindly obliged in being my wing-man and walked over with me. We all shook hands, but almost immediately he had to go ride the bull.
My wing-man friend said that one time she had been dating a guy, and seeing him ride the bull made her realize how great he would be in bed…i.e. I had to watch Penpal on the bull, even though that thought was pretty far from my mind, this being the first time we had ever met…for the record, he did pretty well.
We talked from then on, until the night ended. We ordered drinks and talked. Fortunately, it wasn’t awkward at all! We had a lot of chemistry (yes this is such a cliche phrase, but it’s fitting). When the bar was closing around 1:45am, I told him I didn’t want the night to end, it was still early, etc. so he invited me to his friends apartment with him.
Our cab driver was definitely drunk. At one point Penpal politely asked him to, please, stay in one lane. The cab driver had a Chinese girlfriend in the passenger seat who let us know she was a “dancer” and stared at us smiling before letting us know we were a cute couple. Um, thanks…we just met, kind of.
As I had expected, all of Penpal’s friends at the apartment spoke Spanish, but politely refrained for my sake. They were really nice and we had a lot of overlapping friends from Uni. At some point, Penpal and I decided to go hike at a place that was a little over 3 miles away. In our tipsiness, it perhaps wasn’t the most thought through plan. A cat followed us for at least 2 hours, even crawling under the fence, as we climbed over it. It was cute, and a bit odd. At this point, we realized we both needed to pee. You take this bush, I’ll walk up a bit, don’t follow too soon–so romantic for a first date!
The hike was adorable. When I think “hike,” I think outdoorsy, maybe a bit tough, fun, etc. but this one was adorable. I was barefoot the whole time, choosing little pebbles in my sole over 7 miles in heels, and Penpal kept checking to see if I needed to be carried, and if my feet were ok (they were just fine). We held hands and talked about so many things. (You can cover a lot of topics in 7 hours.) Summer camp. How he ended up in the US. Friends that start failing at life. The random but not useful knowledge that studying latin provides. Franz Joseph Haydn and my dislike for the waltz (as a genre, not as a dance). Birthdays. And of course, after 5 hours to get comfortable with each other, there was a lot of making out. He would spin me and pull me in for a kiss. Or put his arm around me as we walked and kiss the top of my head. We looked at the clouds (at first we looked at stars, but then the sun came up…). We left the hiking area around 7am and called a taxi that never showed up.
At this point I was mildly concerned about getting home, mostly because I wanted to arrive before my parents woke up so they wouldn’t ask any questions. They wouldn’t get mad at me or punish me or anything, but I still feel funny about them seeing me walk in at 8am, heels in hand. A random man struck up a conversation and offered to give us a ride. Penpal politely declined, but at this point we were stuck. I suggested perhaps if this stranger dropped us off where we were before, Penpal could drive me home so I wasn’t alone with the random man. So we hopped in his car. They both spoke Spanish, and the man asked if “we” went back to Mexico a lot. I smiled and didn’t say anything and Penpal talked about his family. I was glad to get home safely, and before anyone was awake. I’m not usually so old-fashioned, but I do think a guy should be the first one to get in touch after a first-meeting. And he did, so I feel confident we’ll be seeing more of each other. What an unexpected and exciting introduction : )

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When Bad Grammar Gets in the Way of Good Flirting

I have been emailing with someone for about six months. I was in the Midwest and he was in CA and when I was home, we kept missing each other. Now I’m finally back in CA for good so I’m excited to finally meet him. We would each take about a month to respond (there really was no rush given the geographic distance…) but still, the duration of contact is impressive. There’s no way to predict chemistry in advance of actually meeting someone face to face, but from his messages, he seems to possess many characteristics that I admire:
– He is educated, holds a stable job and seems emotionally stable and sane
– He is a planner!! This gives him many brownie points.
– He is super busy. Also, wonderful! While I am happy to plan things, it’s nice to meet someone who already has a lot going on in their life. New people should be like sprinkles, not the flour for the cake, yes?
However, as always, I have a few apprehensions.
– I just had surgery. Only in the last couple of days have I ventured out in public, and been able to eat mushy foods. This is a huge upgrade from only liquids! But it’s not quite date-ready–can you imagine? “I would like the mashed potatoes, a smoothie, and a side of the soup, but can you bring that with only the broth?”
– I heard from someone who knows someone who knows him that he mostly hangs out with Hispanic people (as he is.) That’s fine, except that I’m white. Also, I don’t speak Spanish. Not to get too far ahead of myself, but let’s say I’m hanging out with him and he says bkdjf;aljf;asudfodslfkjdsjf (words I can’t understand.) Well, wouldn’t that be awkward! I tried to learn a language for a boy before, and I am not doing it again, unless it’s really serious. Learning a new language is far more work than flirting with a new person.
– We have been talking for quite a while, so I feel that us-meeting has definitely been built up. He better be AWESOME. And vice versa. Also, there’s none of the “so what do you do” questions to default to, because…well, we already know that much about each other. Hopefully, he’s as charismatic in person as he in in email.
By far my biggest concern…
– In the history of our correspondence, there has been some minor neglect for grammar. He used the word “alot.” I am aware that English is not his first language but he was educated in English, etc. so that really isn’t an excuse. I read it and I wanted to respond and say THAT ISN’T A WORD!!!!! But that would have been extremely rude (I haven’t responded yet). Even worse, he was using it to say that he hoped I would have “ALOT” of fun on a trip that I told him about, so the word was in caps. The only word in the entire email that was in caps, as if he wanted to highlight his misspelling. Because the emails have been spread out, I don’t remember the other nit-picky grammar mistakes, but I assure you, there were others. Luckily, I kept them to myself so that he won’t know what an English snob I am, until he knows the more redeeming aspects of my character.
If I’m more recovered from my surgery, I’ll text him this weekend, and keep you posted!

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Try to be a better wing man next time

(Not for me…I don’t need a wingman)

I saw my friend Matt on Friday night. Some of my friends were at a local bar, where Matt works. I stopped in and gave him a hug, said hello, and then let him get back to work while I went to a booth with some of my friends. A little later, he texted me “come over here” so I went back to the bar. He told me he wanted me to meet his friends. He’s my friend, they’re his friends, it made sense to me. Three guys, all seemed nice, normal, we had insignificant but pleasant conversation. I talked mostly with one guy, Sam. I learned that he has lived in this Midwestern state his whole life, he studies something to do with golf courses, he dropped out of his previous school, and he wants to move to Santa Cruz, CA. As I was about to head back to the booth, I told them that there was an event the next day and if Matt was going, I would be happy to get them all guest-passes. Matt said, “I have to work tomorrow, but you should definitely exchange numbers with Sam and meet up tomorrow.” Subtle. Not to be rude, I said sure, we exchanged numbers, he texted (from across the room) that it was nice to meet me.
The next day I was happy not to hear from Sam. I would have been happy to hang out if Matt was coming but as I’m only going to be living in this town two more weeks, I don’t have any interest in pursuing anyone new.
On Wednesday I saw Matt at the gym. We caught up and he casually mentioned that Sam had gotten a DUI on Friday.
Me: Did you tell him he’s an idiot?
Matt: Well, it wasn’t really his fault. The guy who owns the bar kicked him out so he didn’t really have anywhere to go, and he was pissed off and such.
Me: Mmhmm not his fault at all…

Also, Matt mentioned that Sam drove into a corn field. It just makes it that much sadder.
After the weekend had passed, Matt texted me about Sam again–I think you should talk to my friend Sam. You guys would get along. I’m not trying to be a matchmaker but he just asked about you again.
I politely said given the short amount of time I had left here, I wasn’t interested unless I was hanging out with Matt.

There are several key factors in this whole interaction, other than my leaving in 2 weeks, that have left me terribly unimpressed:
1. Sam, really: Never tell a girl you “dropped out” of school. You’re back in school now! Just say you transfered. Maybe even come up with a legitimate-sounding reason such as that the first school “didn’t have the major that I wanted” or “wasn’t diverse enough.” I don’t really care, but just say something to appease the questions that are provoked when someone switches schools. (Did he rape someone and get asked to leave? Did he cheat on a test? Maybe he slept with a Prof…actually, that might be kind of hot.)
2. Matt, you are a really awful wing man. On the off chance I needed a wing man, I would pick someone else. (Well, actually I would pick a girl, but that’s besides the point.) Matt should never, ever have told me that Sam got a DUI. And left pissed off, thus “justifying” driving away. Not only does this make Sam look completely stupid, it squelches any chance that Matt ever had with me. And be real, he wants that chance.
3. There are more subtle ways of promoting interaction between two people. For example, Matt could have omitted that he was definitely not going to be free on Saturday. If Sam asked for my number, I probably still would have given it to him, but without Matt’s awkward catalyst for the exchange. Also, I’m pretty sure if your friend asks about a girl, it’s man-code not to tell the girl.
Better luck next time Sam.

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Catch Up

So, it’s been a long, long time. I’d like to say that this is because I’ve found someone amaazing who is occupying all my time with endless flirtation, something less innocent, and deep, engaging conversations. But alas, it’s more that the dating pool of my tiny town has dried up so I go to a bar and meet someone new – they’re good looking, they have an accent. They’re 19, they’ve never had a job, they don’t know who they are, they are a child. Dammit.
Distance has evolved: he’s more like the previous hookup, now a friend, but if I saw him again we might make out. The kind of guy I consider a friend until I’m in a relationship (with someone else.)
This past weekend, I had an interesting flirtation. He’s a marathon runner. I don’t normally do skinny boys, but wow is he cute! He’s also years out of college, and a teacher in the town next door. So sweet! He grew up on a farm, and all of his high school friends are married to their high school sweethearts. I think he’s still figuring out how ambitious he wants to be – he moved away from the town he grew up in, but he’s still in a tiny, Midwestern town, so in my opinion he hasn’t stretched his paradigm too significantly. I might see him again, or not. I will be here for about three more weeks, so maybe he will leave a little mark on my life in this time, or maybe in five years I won’t even remember kissing him, hard to say at this point. But for now, it was nice to flirt a little with someone who’s not a freshman in college.

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3 boys, 1 night…not like that

My night started low key and tipsy at a friend’s place. I was home for the holidays so I hadn’t seen a certain guy for the past month. He’s the one I made out with a couple of times, super cute…younger. Let’s call him YB. I had decided before I went home that this break was good: it would give us time apart, so that when we saw each other again it would be purely platonic. Or at least that was my thought process. It was a bit awkward between us at first but eventually I felt our conversations were normal and friendly. I mingled, and I was talking to a new guy friend when one YB’s best friend came up to me to tell me “it’s difficult for YB to see you talking to him.” Him being the guy I was talking to. Who has a girlfriend. And who I have known for a week. And who is very much just a friend. “Excuse me? What are you taking about?” I responded (The tone was innocent-polite, not defensive-bitchy which the words might imply). But ugh! Apparently the transition from slightly flirty to just platonic was not going as smoothly for him. Later in the night, a group including YB went to a bar where he sulked and I avoided him until it got too exhausting and I left. I felt awkward dancing with other guys in front of him even though I wasn’t pursuing anyone and there’s no reason not to anyways. Lesson learned. Guys are immature enough as it is.

When I got home I pulled the drunk-girl move (ohh silly me) and called Distance to tell him how much I like him and how frustrated I am that we aren’t in the same place. Then I laughed and said soo you’ll probably never talk to me again. I assumed the classic girl-tells-guy-she-likes-him-scares-him-off scenario…but I guess he likes me too because he sweetly reassured me that he liked me and we would still talk and you never know what could happen in the future. In my head: false. I do know what will happen. I am not the kind of person who runs around willy-nilly following my emotions around like a reckless hyena. I’ll continue talking to him as long as he is sweet and interesting and it will either fizzle out on its own as time squanders most nice things, or when I move to a more urban place in six months I will cut ties, save my losses and look for a shinier (or maybe just as shiny…) pot, but one that is more geographically desirable. Obviously I didn’t say that. The conversation ended abruptly when someone knocked on my door.

Three boys arrived at my door at 2:30 am (this story does not end violently). Two of them were friends of mine and one was someone I had never seen before. One of my friends I had a crush on a while back. He is quite attractive, athletic, smart and most importantly his political views are rare around these parts and quite in line with my own. In his inebriation he immediately jumped onto my bed. (Note onto, not into. He remained chastely above the covers. They wanted food, which I lacked. Two boys departed, leaving the one above my covers. We talked for a while before I announced that I was going to sleep. I suppose I really do like Distance to a certain degree if a guy I used to have a crush on can spend the night and the most he got out of me was bed-space. (I woke up to him leaving at 10:30 am and cordially greeted him “yeah, go sleep in your own bed.”)

What an interesting night.

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No long distance for me

My weekend visit to a boy was fun, fun, fun! This boy is actually getting to me enough to merit a name – let’s call him Distance. I have a very strict no-long-distance policy. I did it once and it ended painfully and horribly. It made me realize that long distance is really not for me, particularly at this point in my life. If I’m ever in a situation where long-distance presents itself, the best thing for me is to wish the other person well, and agree to see how well we like one another upon being in the same place again. I like this boy I went to visit a fair amount.
He does many of the “right” things: sushi date, good cuddler (seriously, this is very important), happy to hold my hand in public, very cute/sweet comments, and we also mesh well – those things that make it so you actually like someone, separate from acknowledging that they would hypothetically be a good boyfriend or girlfriend. He makes me laugh and I can be silly and he listens when I’m excited about really random things, and we have intelligent, interesting conversations.
Awesome! For one weekend. We are not in the same place, and we’re not going to be in the same place anytime in the foreseeable future. Also, I think that sometimes I get overexcited about something that I know can’t happen, because then it’s not actually threatening my independence, and I still get to enjoy the excitement of a possibility and someone new.
Here are some choice moments from over the weekend, leading to the obvious conclusion that we left the weekend feeling mutual contentment with the lack of commitment involved.

Distance: I’d say I’m more like that, where I don’t see the point of pursuing someone unless it’s going somewhere.
Me: Then… [hand gesture beckoning him to continue talking, implying then what the heck am I doing here?]
Distance: Well, I mean if we were in the same place, there’s a high probability that we would date. Even if it’s not now, who knows where this could end up later in life.
Me: mmhmm
Distance: So now we just have to decide who’s moving to the other coast, because I’m not moving.
Me: Haha well work on your five year plan because I’m not leaving California.
/We’re not a couple! Why are we talking about this? And seriously, maybe he doesn’t fully understand that I’m really not the kind of person who makes life plans around others.

Distance: [Some comment fishing for an emotional response from me…I forget the exact words.]
Me: Well obviously I like you. I’m here.
Distance: You do?
Me: Sure. [Shrug.]

Distance: Any chance you can come visit again?
Me: Ummm no, probably not.
Distance: I feel like I owe you a visit.
Me: I’d be happy to see you, but don’t feel any obligation.
Distance: No, no I don’t, I want to see you.
How sweet is that!?

So I suppose this all prompts the question, how often can you talk to someone and visit someone before the lack of relationship becomes a relationship where one person is a cheater?
I like this boy. I like talking to him and I have a lot of fun when I spend time with him. But, we are far away. And even if we weren’t, I have no idea how long I would maintain this level of interest. And, as this is not going to become a relationship, I’m happy to keep other pots simmering. I just hope that this pot doesn’t get burned.

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