Monthly Archives: July 2014

TallDarkandHandsome

Red Zone

Several months ago, TallDarkandHandsome (yes, seriously, that’s his profile name; look it up on OKC) messaged me after winking (I don’t respond to winks), and then systematically liking each of my photos over a two-week period. I don’t respond to photo likes either. An untrained monkey can hit links on a webpage. If I am going to spend time messaging, I want to know there’s a fully functioning, adult brain inside the creature on the other end of the keyboard.

I ignored his first message as well: “Hi.”

Pretty, tall, yet monosyllabic didn’t cut it.

I guess he found my lack of response intriguing; the next message was lengthy. In addition to the information visible in his profile, I learned he ran a local Navy contract business, which he said was small but lucrative. If his photos were real, the BMW, large  and beautifully landscaped in-ground pool, HUGE decked out Harley, and travel locations that included sunny beaches with blue-green water, snow skiing and lodge, Rome, Dublin, Toronto, and several other cities I couldn’t immediately identify, they were testimony to a disposable income that fell in the “very comfortable” range. He has two children, one a teenager, the other a pre-teen, who both live with their mother in another state. He sees them monthly and for lengthier visits over Christmas, spring break, and the summer. He has a brother who lives in the area and they see their mother, who also lives nearby, regularly.

I found his message incongruous with his photos and profile, which were masterfully arranged to sell himself to as many women as possible. The message seemed to be from a decent man; whereas, the profile was from a “hey, Baby”… you know, the guys that go to bars to pick up a different woman every night…two if they can get the first one over with quickly enough… Quantity not quality seems to be their, and his profile’s, aim.

Anyway, I was curious, so I responded. I asked if his photos were real and current. They showed a very handsome, lean-jawed, sandy-haired man of about 40. He dressed nicely in each, and he didn’t include any shirtless photos. One photo showed him in a tight t-shirt, which indicated a fit physique. He did not like my question, took offense, and cut off communication after saying he could ask the same.

Oh well… Next.

About a month ago he messaged again. At first, I thought he hadn’t recognized me from our previous tête-à- tête. He did, however, and after a few “Hi, how are yous?” he apologized for his behavior during the previous go around. OK… I accepted his apology, and we chatted easily via message before switching to texting.

Curiosity remains one of my dominant personality traits; it’s helpful when I learn new skills, and it pushed me to earn each of my degrees. My strength can also be a weakness though… sucking time from a busy schedule to appease the questions bouncing around in my head and distracting me. I was very curious about him, so I met him at Starbucks last week.

His height is 100% accurate. His photos are fairly accurate; the most recent shots are well angled to hide a smidgen of grey (which most women find sexy, so why hide it?), crinkles around the eyes, and a loosening jawline. He’s 45 and his skin shows he has seen a lot of tanning.

When I entered, I saw him sitting to the left. He had two teas on the table in front of him; he’d already asked my favorite, so he wasn’t being presumptuous. He stood and smiled when I entered, “Red Zone.” A big smile spread across his face revealing more lines, pleasant ones though, and two rows of even, white teeth. He stretched out his right hand to shake mine, and pulled the chair out for me. Nice manners too.

Our conversation was easy. He smelled good as we leaned toward each other to share photos. He showed his children, who are currently visiting him, and I shared family photos from a party the previous weekend.

Since that day, we’ve walked the boardwalk and stopped for drinks and met at Burtons Grille for apps and wine. He’s nice, and an easy conversationalist. However, I am learning he’s used his looks as a crutch all his life, and the aging process is hitting him hard. He’s bright and obviously capable, but this very visible insecurity reminds me too much of my ex for me to tag along for the ride.

 

Weird Beard

Red Zone

After five or six messages that I had ignored, the heavily bearded man sent me a sincere request: “We seem to have a lot in common. Is there a reason you won’t answer me?”

Arrrrrgh!

Ok. I did answer: “I know this is going to sound rude, but I don’t like your beard.”

He replied, “You don’t like beards?”

“I like beards. I just think yours is too heavy.”

He responded immediately, “I’ll trim it.”

Then a follow-up, “Will you have dinner with me if I do?”

How could I resist?

I agreed to meet him last Thursday, but on Wednesday, I realized I already had plans on Thursday. Oooops.

I texted him to let him know of my error. He suggested we meet that afternoon for a beer instead of waiting. What the hell? I agreed. We narrowed it down to Gordon Biersch at 7 because I was meeting an old friend, KB, at Sonoma earlier.

KB and I hadn’t caught up the whole summer, so it was a pleasure to see her. I’ve missed her wit and good sense. I told her about my scheduling goof, and she laughed at me. She’s well aware of the 52 Dates project and tells me it would be exhausting. It usually isn’t; I normally go out to meet someone about three times a week. That’s not exhausting, and my summer schedule makes it easy most weeks.

While sitting at Sonoma chatting with KB, EDT471 sent me a text, “Hey, my buddy and I will be on your side of the water in a couple of hours. Want to hang out and do something?”

Have I mentioned I like EDT471? I’d just been telling KB about him, and we were dissecting my interest, his availability…or likely lack thereof….when his text arrived.  I seem to have a thing for unavailable men. He also lives in Williamsburg, not an unreasonable distance, but with summer traffic, always a pain in the parts.

I asked EDT471 his ETA. “About 8. Will that work for you?”

I replied, “Yes,” while KB laughed at me. We returned to catching up on her family events, my family events, and our summer illnesses.

My next text came from the bearded dude:” I just want you to know I am a little out of shape right now. I had an injury from when I served, and I’ll be working at getting rid of it. I know you said you are fit and I just wanted to let you know.”

His photos had been beard shots. I should have asked for a body shot because a little out of shape can mean many things on Match and OKCupid. I didn’t know what to expect, and part of me wanted to just ditch. Yes. I am that shallow, and damn my curiosity because instead of ditching, I went ahead with the plan to meet at 7.

KB and I finished up shortly before 7, and I walked down to Gordon Biersch… where I saw a VERY large man with a dark beard that reached mid-chest, and it aimed away from his face toward his shoulders. Yowza!  If that was his trimmed beard, I would have hated to meet the untrimmed version.

He wasn’t just a little out of shape. He was at least 350 lbs. and shaped like a gourd with most of the weight centering around his middle and hips. At about 5’10”, he definitely fit the definition of obese.

I wanted to leave, but I chided myself to be polite.  I still do not know how to handle those awkward “you grossly lied to me “ moments. If I hadn’t run away at first sight, I definitely would have after listening to weird beard’s tales of memory loss, PTSD, and other health problems. Whatever was he thinking?  Oh wait….whatever was I thinking?

Definitely NOT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz5yGv–uVQ

insta-date

Red Zone

On Monday, he fixed the leak in my geothermal unit.

On Thursday, he washed my car.

On Friday, he visited me after I returned from minor surgery.

Late on Saturday, he texted, “What are you doing in the morning?”

“Nothing. Why?”

“I mean early. Want to go fishing?”

“How early?”

“4:00 a.m. leave your house early.”

I like fishing, and I like this man, but it was after midnight when I received the first text.

“I would love your company,” he sent at 12:37 a.m.

Oh what the hell.

“OK.”

“ 😀 I can’t wait to see you and maybe catch some fish.”

It was a great morning, and we didn’t even catch one fish.

Warn Fuzzies

Red Zone

Yesterday EDT471 invited me to his house to watch futball: Germany against Argentina, the final game of this year’s World Cup. I agreed and brought a couple of projects along to keep me occupied in between the exciting bits. I’m not much of a futball fan. I’m equal opportunity though; I don’t like football either.

I enjoy watching live baseball, while sipping a cold one and hanging out with friends on a hot summer day. I don’t care who is playing; it’s more about the camaraderie, tradition, and face it… those fit young boys of summer.  I can watch and usually enjoy hockey. Despite my Canadian roots, I do not know much about the game. It’s exciting live though, and this past spring, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the rivalry between the Blackhawks and the LA Kings with MJ while he was visiting. He’s from Chicago and a diehard fan, so it was fun watching him yell at the TV. Anyway… that’s a long-winded way of saying, I don’t watch much sports on TV, so I thought I’d need something to keep me busy.

When I arrived, EDT471 provided CokeZero. Points for his memory.  We sat on the sofa facing the LARGE flat screen TV. I took out my first project: a bracelet that needed a split ring. I added the ring and slid my favorite bracelet on my arm. It hasn’t fit right ever since I broke my arm. One project was completed.

Next, I took out my knitting… a Kelly green tank shirt for me… on which I keep trying to add rows. Work, grading, and dating…rarely give me time for it. EDT471 and I were chatting. I leaned against him; he’s big and warm. My knitting sat in my lap as he explained different fine points of the game. It was chilly in his living room, so he brought out a red, black, and white crocheted blanket and covered me. His arm was around my shoulders. About an hour later, I woke up with my head on his lap. He teased me a little, but let it go quickly as we prepared to go out for sushi. When we returned, it was time for me to head home.

Later he texted: “I bored you so much you fell asleep on me, and by on me, I mean you used me as your pillow.”

“No. No. I was just tired and warm, and I wouldn’t say “used.” That word has negative connotation.”

“I would,” came his immediate reply.

“I’m reframing the situation. I cuddled you, and I felt so safe, I had warn fuzzies and fell asleep.”

“Warn fuzzies?” he asked.

Damn auto correct; however, there’s some truth to the word warning.  “LOL… yes. I’m being warned to be careful about you.”

 

Those are Distracting: Boob Dazzled Again

Red Zone

Steel Blue is in a knee brace, so tonight, there was no dancing for her…. Well not on the floor. She rocked the seat dancing. She’s my official date for the evening: I changed out of gym rat attire to meet her…that’s the rule.

We headed to the Beach to see Gridlock 64 and the fireworks. I drove, and her brace scored us premier parking in the employee’s lot at Calypso. I’d forgotten that the fireworks had been rescheduled because of Hurricane Arthur, so the brace really helped us out. We’re thinking about taking turns wearing it to snag preferred parking for future events. Calm down; we’re just kidding.

When we arrived, we sat with her neighbors, a group of couples and one single female. Behind them were Navy dudes. One wore his white rimmed Ray Bans in the bar.  A target.

I caught his eye, and then dropped my sunglasses from atop my head. I smiled. He realized the joke and laughed. Then he pulled his glasses up to wear them on his baseball hat.

As usual, I needed regular bathroom breaks. On one return trip, Sunglasses at Night was walking across the dance floor. We stopped and paused. Then we both started dancing together. Cool move, Mr. Sunglasses. We returned to our separate corners.

A few minutes later, he walked up with some sort of ploy to chat. Whatever it was worked. He stood next to us chatting alternately with Steel Blue and I. Meanwhile his friends scored a table near the boardwalk. He told me his favorite band… or so I thought. “Santana,” he said over the chatter from the table and Gridlock 64 rocking out behind us.

He headed to his friend’s table. About 20 minutes passed before he joined us again. “My friends dared me to come over here.”

Steel Blue and I gave him a ration; he’d chatted with us for at least a half hour earlier… all of a sudden he needed his friends to dare him?

“No. No.” He turned to me. “Can I ask you a personal question?” Siggggggggghhhh the eye drop gave away his question.

“NO!” Steel Blue and I said at the same time.

Surprise moved across his face…slowly like wave. He’d been drinking…apparently heavily. “Come on, you don’t even know what Santana is going to ask.”

“Santana?” I asked.

“Yeah. That’s me.”

“Oh! I thought you had told me your favorite band,” I laughed. He did too.

“Ok… let me ask you a question.”

“NO.”

“It’s not what you think.”

“Alright…?” I was doubtful about that.

“Mumble mumble mumble band mumble mumble?”

“What?”

“Mumble mumble favorite band mumble?”

“Oh; my favorite band is Rancid.”

“No.”

“Mumble mumble position?”

The World Cup game between the Netherlands and Costa Rico was on, but I didn’t get the impression that’s what he was asking about.

“Need to know basis, and you don’t need to know,” I typed on my phone after several attempts to say it.

He laughed. “No FAVORITE BAND position?”

“Oh… I don’t have one.” Is there such a thing?

“If that’s what you thought I was asking, I’ll just go ahead and ask…. So are they real? My friends want to know.”

That too is need to know. And here I’d thought he’d joined us because of chatting abilities.

 

 

Puking

Red Zone

FF is at least 6’4” with red hair and beard. He’s golden retriever friendly.

Date 1: Meet and greet at Mahi’s. His suggestion. Points for him. We met for drinks, but enjoyed each other’s company, so we stayed for dinner.

Date 2: Walk on the beach… the whole boardwalk on a sunny day. A small plane flew quite low overhead, and FF who likes to fly, mentioned that flights were supposed to be 2000 feet or more above the ground in populated places. The beach, that sunny morning, was packed with people covered and not covered in oil. I was one of the crowd who had not worn enough sun screen, and I had a sinus infection that was causing incessant coughing. I needed a drink of water for the return trip. He was concerned about my coughing, so he stated he wouldn’t try for a kiss.

Date 3: Gringos… his surprise hole in the wall… that I already knew thanks to Steel Blue. He called it a dive. He’s clearly not made it to any of the seedier bar/restaurants in Tidewater. We ate deliciously authentic fish tacos and had a cerveza. Loud sniffling from the child at the next table bothered FF far more than me. I coughed enough that a hug was still required. Smart man.

Date 4: Walk at Sandbridge at sunset. It sounds a lot more romantic than it was. He’s a talker who doesn’t know a stranger. This meant he constantly stopped to chat with random folks who were walking or fishing at the ocean. I’m a talker too, so no big deal. Then we went to Baja for calamari, pizza, and a few beer. Tourist karaoke was in full swing, so was my coughing… even after a week on medication. No kisses.

Date 5: Late afternoon walk on the beach and a stop at Ocean Eddies for a beer. My coughing was somewhat under control because I was taking Musinex, Sudafed, and a prescription. Without the beer, I would have been parched. He asked whether I was still coughing. I had to say  yes. After all, what if I really was contagious instead of not contagious as the doctor had stated?

Date 6 (today): this is the date he had angled for from the beginning. We went flying in his small Piper Cherokee. It was a beautiful day. The combination of Musinex, Sudafed, and prescription medications were doing their tricks, or is it one collective trick? Anyway, I was not coughing. I drank one cup of tea knowing the flight would not allow for potty breaks. A slight haze in the air obscured the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel; at first it looked like two slightly crooked, parallel columns were rising to the sky. It wasn’t until we approached, that the parallel columns turned back into parallel roads that skimmed over the calm bay water.

I’d been warned to wear light clothes. I had, but because I am always cold, I had started the flight with a jacket. As we completed a touch and go at Norfolk International Airport and turned to face the bay again, the sun’s angle bore down more strongly. I slid my jacket off.

FF explained all the instruments and showed me how to fly: Hold the throttle… he’d done the hard part.  We cruised down the oceanfront parallel to the shore… I continued to feel warmer. My mouth was beginning to be parched. Musinex, Sudafed, and prescription drugs were doing triple duty.

The air traffic controller said to fly at 500 feet. FF was shocked. He retook the controls; we were flying too low for mistakes. We skimmed over trees and houses; I loved the aerial views of the neighborhoods, but FF mentioned he was flying the lowest he had ever flown over a populated area. The sun was bright and magnified, greenhouse style, through the windshield and side windows. I was sweating profusely, something I hardly ever do. I wanted water…badly.

Finally, we left Oceana airspace and returned to Chesapeake where he was told to rise to 1500 feet. The landing, shortly thereafter, was as smooth as the take-off. FF explained what he was doing the entire time. He taxied back to his hanger and called in an order for gas. I waited next to his truck trying desperately to cool down. I was feeling a little dizzy, and I was sure I was at least slightly dehydrated. FF offered me a water and a Diet Coke from the hanger’s small fridge. I took both, but started by slowly sipping the water. The air conditioning, which had felt too cold on the way out, was making me feel better as we headed away from the airport.

Still thirsty, I grabbed the Coke and continued to sip. Then my stomach started to churn. “I’m feeling sick.” I said.

FF looked at me. “Should I pull over?”

“Uhhh . Yeah… I think so…” He aimed for a shopping center. Too late… I could feel it rising  Arrrrggggggh! I clamped my mouth shut, slapped my right hand up to cover it, and used my left to slap his arm to indicate: STOP!  NOW! Or puking will occur in this immaculate truck!!

I dove out the door and spewed my guts into the grass in front of one of Dr. Konikoff’s many offices. I stood and apologized to FF, not Dr. Konikoff. I stayed standing for a minute… then a second round… it was almost projectile, but thank heaven all liquid. I had already realized FF has a weak stomach, so I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t immediately get out to help. When he did, after the puking had subsided, I quipped: “No help needed; I’ve been puking alone since birth.”

He laughed as I reentered the vehicle. “Gum?” he asked.

“Definitely,” I replied as he handed me a reusable shopping bag to act as a barf bag should I need it as we continued back to Virginia Beach.

I didn’t need the barf bag.

“You’ll do anything to avoid kissing me,” he teased but gave me a bear hug as consolation.