Monthly Archives: April 2014


Red Zone

My ex is named Bruce, so it kind of gives me the heebie jeebies to write that excited title.  Despite the exes’ BIG ego, this BRUUUUUUCE!!!!! is the one and only Bruce Springsteen. Let me just say, if the 64-year-olds on Match and OKCupid looked and acted like this man…. I’d agree to their overtures.

I hadn’t heard from Inspector C for a few weeks. That was fine. Our meet and greet went well, but he’s tall, thin, and definitely not alpha type. Nor is he an asshole; I seem to have penchant for them.  He’s a nice guy, and he likes live music, so though the Match algorithm was off, we decided to keep in touch and see some shows together.

Inspector C:

Hey there, Hope things are going well.

Heading to the beach for some sun.

Would like to see Bruce Springsteen tonight. J  Are you going?

Red Zone:  No… I was out of town all week, and just returned last night. I didn’t get tickets.  

Inspector C: If I get tickets, would you go with me? I think it might be sold out, but I can look on Craig’s List.

Red Zone: I’ve seen him before, and I loved the show. I still don’t want to spend too much, but I’m interested. Let me know.

Ooops, and I had plans to go out dancing with my sister and some friends that evening… but my skipping out wouldn’t ruin anyone’s evening… so … I was definitely interested if the price was right.

Inspector C: I want to take you. This is my idea, and I really want to see him but don’t want to go alone.

I normally will not accept a date on the same night it is requested;  it sets up ugly precedents, but this wasn’t a real date… so …




Red Zone

long winded email

This email arrived as the first one once Douglas shifted from messaging to emails.  It continues for three pages, and because it looked canned, I didn’t respond.  Douglas is now messaging me again on Match (yes, the paid site), where we started this email exchange to begin with.  I still have the same photos up, and they are in the same order.  His messages prove that he hasn’t figured out that he’s already tried his magic on me.   🙂

As you have noticed, I have learned to take and insert screenshots….   Look out!

Trader Joe

Red Zone

Like Steel Blue, I am not averse to dating offline. The problem, of course, is meeting dateable men in “real life.”  What’s that old saying? “Don’t shit where you eat.” Yeah… I know the other one too, but I have nothing to dip, sooooooo… anyway, I don’t date people from work. However, much of my time is spent at work. Even when I am not AT work, I often grade… at home. There are no likely candidates in the neighborhood even if I moved away from grading to wander down the street. I’ve been divorced a while, and my friends have given up on setting me up. It seems our ideas about dateable differ. Even my youngest sister has stopped introducing me to single males she knows… all the while telling me I am not getting any younger. That is indeed true; still, I have no desire to date someone… just to date someone. Can you see why I turned to online dating?

Still… out there in the wilds of the real world, sometimes, even I run across a dateable man.

Not too long ago, I did a run to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and, sorry EA, Total Wine to stock up on interesting appetizers, crackers, cheese, and of course a little vino for a family gathering. I opened my phone to read the grocery list as I started through the vegetable section of Trader Joes. Thunk! Where did that shopping cart come from? The man driving the cart smiled showing an even row of white teeth that complimented blue eyes. And damned if he didn’t have silvery grey hair too, but don’t get me wrong, he did not look old in the least. Niiiiiiiiice! I reined myself in… apologized again, glanced at my list, and finished in the vegetable section.

Because I don’t go there weekly, I never stick to the list when shopping Trader Joes. I enjoy wandering through and seeing new products, and even though I don’t usually like grocery shopping, I find so many interesting products there that it never feels like a chore. Although I had visited Total Wine before stopping at Trader Joes, I still explored the beer and wine aisle last. My son, the beer connoisseur, is always pleased when I do as I arrive home with a few new IPAs or stouts for us to sample.

I was holding an Abita when my cart took a hit. I looked to see Mr. Silver and Blue grinning at me. “Now, we’re even,” he said. His comment was so unexpected, that I laughed out loud… or as I respond on the dating sites: LOL.

“Do you like beer? Most women I know drink that Michelob Ultra or some other light beer. That stuff tastes like piss.”

“Drink much piss?” I countered… ooops… too soon? No… He responded with his own LOL. My smartass remark hadn’t fazed him.

I continued, “My son has ruined me by teaching me to drink good beer.”

“You have a son? I have two; only one is old enough to legally drink though. What’s your favorite beer?”

That’s like asking me my favorite pair of shoes… it depends on the outfit and the occasion. However, I answered… pretty thoroughly… as we stood blocking the beer aisle of Trader Joes. I bought some beer, so did he. Then he asked if I liked wine… yes. I did. We shifted from the beer to the wine section… and our conversation continued.

At the check-out counter, he stayed in my line to continue our chat even though there were shorter lines. I was interested, and I could tell he was interested, but this was uncharted territory for me. I had of course checked for a wedding band, but a lack of band is meaningless. He didn’t seem crazy. But what psychopath would wear an “I’m a lunatic” flag while hunting down his next victim? I kept trying to think of a way to proceed.

“Hold on, and I’ll help you load that in your car,” he stopped me as I finished and paid. Perhaps I wouldn’t need to be the one to proceed; in this case, I might be able to follow. I saw no harm in him seeing my car in a busy parking lot in full daylight, so I waited, and we continued our chat.

He eyeballed my half-filled trunk then turned to ask, “You really like your wine don’t you?” The case from Total Wine was the giveaway, I guess. I explained about the upcoming party as he ribbed me with, “Sure… likely story.” Once he closed the trunk, he looked at me and said, “Now what?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’d like to take you for a drink, or take you out, but I’m sure you have to go. If I give you my number, will you call me?” My thoughts must have shown on my face: I couldn’t see myself calling him to ask for a date, despite my interest and usually assertive nature.

“How about you give me your number?” he asked.

I have memorized my Google number, so with little hesitation, I provided it. He gave me a card containing all his information. “Google me,” he insisted…as if I hadn’t already planned to!

Once again, it looks like I might have found something quite interesting at Trader Joes.

My Friend Bob

Red Zone

Each Tuesday, I play trivia at a local pub. It’s fun, and our team is filled with a mix of people that allows us to win fairly often: all are college-educated (not that the degrees help… but the diverse backgrounds provide a broad knowledge-base), three live in the exact vicinity, so they know the local questions, one is a sports nut, two are political junkies, two speak foreign languages and love linguistics, at least one is a fucking genius, two are into the same type of music as the host… you get the picture.

After 2 months and over 200 substantive messages exchanged on OkCupid, Tapman mentioned that he had a friend who played trivia at the establishment where I play. On the next Tuesday his friend played, Tapman was going to meet him there and play on his team. I suggested he say hi to me when did.

Another week passed with daily messages that far more than scratched the surface. I learned that he rarely drank, but liked cider, which threw me a bit because of his chosen online name. His separation was discussed stoically; she had fallen in love with another man. He didn’t hate her or him, and the separation was going amicably. I liked the way he discussed the loss of her affection without rancor and the way he continued to speak respectfully of her. He’s fit… really he’s a total hard body. As a result, many of our messages described the day’s workouts, but he also likes to be socially active. This guy was becoming a friend before I even met him.

He recently separated, which is usually a red flag indicating a guy who is chasing booty, but surely no one spends 2 months exchanging messages, in the hopes of a piece of ass, right?

During this final week of exchanges, I tried to figure out who Tapman’s friend could be. His name was Bob, and he was tall. His team usually won. I’m short, so tall is a relative term, but I mentally stacked up the “tall” male players from the team who on occasion gave us a run for out money. Not a soul on the team topped 5’6”.

“No way!” I called foul. Tapman insisted, “Bob’s team wins most of the time.” “That isn’t true,” I countered. My team was in the sixth week of a winning streak. I decided to drop the discussion. After all, I hadn’t even met the guy, and despite wonderful conversations, he could still turn out to be a troll, and well… my standards are well above the troll bar.

Tuesday arrived, and Tapman was to meet Bob at trivia. I drove two of my teammates, and my friend Rob pulled in right behind us. We entered together. I was second in line, and saw Tapman stand from the bar to walk toward us. Two thumbs up… he looks like his photos. I walked over, shook his hand and said hi…as he waved to Rob, and said, “Hi Bob.” CLICK!  And Doh!



Flower Power

Steel Blue has been holding out on you Gentle Reader. Not really. Just slacking on the writing end. It is really hard for her to write about someone during the dating process; it is much easier to slam on exes. Steel Blue met Flower Power online in January. They texted and emailed for a few weeks; that’s about the extent of Steel Blue’s patience for texting. Her profile very clearly says, “I do not need a penpal.” Texting and email is work to Steel Blue. Flower Power is interested and employed, so he and Steel Blue meet. He is honest; his pictures revealed that he is quite old for his age, but he is active and a superb conversationalist. A great sense of humor goes a long way too. So in the course of the last two months, Steel Blue has been wined, dined, and treated to a major dose of local culture. Not just pop culture, but refined culture. Like she whipped out her fur coat which she has not worn since the Peta demonstration at the Norfolk Zoo ten years ago.

 Flower Power took Steel Blue to see Blue Man Group, a must-see, and a huge, juicy cheeseburger cooked to perfection. Because the first date was 45 minutes away, Steel Blue let him pick her up at her home on the first date – a very rare occasion! He waded through the moat around her castle bearing flowers. Oh Prince!

 A week later an Edible Arrangement was delivered. Yum. Fresh fruit in winter. Who knew? A week later a colorful spring bouquet was delivered by the local florist. Happy Valentine’s Day Gentle Reader! A week later, a live show preceded by dinner at the abbey and flowers. Are you seeing the pattern here, Gentle Reader? This guy is a real gentleman; it is not just words on paper!

 A week later, more flowers, a fabulous wild game dinner, and the symphony. By now, Steel Blue feels like the recipient of “A Partridge and a Pear Tree” Christmas song, and her house is looking the part. Every vase has flowers, some two bouquets in one. She has disposed of the first few bouquets, but they just keep coming. She offers to meet Flower Power halfway since he is not only spoiling her with flowers, and allergies, he is driving her all over the seven cities for these fabulous shows. Hoping that the halfway meet will decrease the chances of more flowers, she waits patiently in his driveway. Flower Power does not like to talk on the phone, so texting is the modus operandi. But he did not receive the text offering to meet in the middle before he left. So Steel Blue waits. He whips around the corner, backs into the driveway, and voila! He produces more flowers. Steel Blue kindly thanks him yet again while she tries to figure out how to gently ask him to save the flowers for special occasions. She is almost out of zyrtec even though he bought her a new bottle.

A week later, another Edible Arrangement. Still. Yum. No phone calls recently; Steel Blue may have hurt his feelings or his pride by driving.  But the fruit is delicious. Steel Blue learned to make smoothies with greens and plain nonfat yogurt. Got the idea from all those meet and greets at Tropical Smoothie. Flower Power definitely is trainable. Great kisser. Flower Power has potential. Any suggestions on how to decrease the flower power without hurting his feelings any more than they have already been hurt? 


Some profiles are very revealing and informative, so anyone really can start up a conversation with so many possibilities. Then there are those that are so slim even an English teacher struggles to find a starting point. Guess what Dart Man likes? Yup. And tight jeans. Steel Blue should have known from the start…but I do have a penchant for throwing a good game of darts every now and then. A few text conversations led to a few phone conversations which he is very good at.  He is interesting to talk to, he’s very funny, and even asks me a question every now and then. Good start. We agree to meet and greet at a local pub for darts one Sunday afternoon.  I love when a man’s conversation starter is, “Do you have any horror stories from online dating?” because you know he has a doozy! I generally laugh and say, “No, I’ve heard much worse stories about the women online than the men.” What I do not add is that I am so particular that I’ve never come close to meeting any wackos – translated, I am a bitch at the gate. Dart Man proceeds to tell me about some funny women who think they are ready for dating even though they are homeless, or struggling just to take care of a child or children without a father, or starting a new job that takes all of their time. Gentle Reader, you must have your act together before you have something to offer a partner. Then Dart Man says his funniest dates are when he knows he is with a woman who is much too beautiful for him so he knows this is his one and only date with her. “I let my hair down (figuratively, he is balding), and have a ball with or without her.” Since he was doing shots of Jack on a Sunday afternoon while I drank water, I assumed that shots might be part of that ball.

 Dart Man won three games; he even taught me a new game. After two or three hours, I had had all the stimulating conversation I could handle and I said goodbye, wondering if I would hear from him again. Am I beautiful enough for him, or too beautiful? What a weird way to feel, for him and for me. He did text me later and thank me for meeting him and said he’d like to go on a date. Hmmm. I guess that means I’m pretty enough but not over the top.  Date #two?