I Think I Am Learning…

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Last winter you taught me how to trust myself and my judgement. You were my trial run. The relationship that had bookends. I knew the expiration date from the first date. It didn’t matter, it was reality. 

That made you safe. 

Yes, I loved you. I still love you and cherish the role you played in my life. You are my Tinderbabe. 

You never said things you didn’t mean and I learned feelings won’t kill me. I had lots of feelings. I spent too much time worrying about saying goodbye. 

The day came and you helped me load my car. Tetris taught you well. We went to dinner and then had a talk about feelings and other gross stuff. I’ll never admit that it may have helped a little. Even if it all seemed so dramatic. Then, we kissed goodbye and I drove away. 

I didn’t die. 

I may have cried a little. I had wonderful memories of you giggling during Deadpool, our trip to NYC, and many other fun times. You even introduced me to Game of Thrones. 

I managed to stop crying when I stopped listening to Adele on repeat. I was prepared to fall apart. I didn’t. 

I had a wonderful group of friends meet me in St. Louis. I swear, I’m not making that up. The distraction helped me transition from a winter fairy tale back to the real world. 

Now, I still freak out at the thought of relationships but I am willing to try them on and see what happens. 

That’s because of you. I learned to try and live and love in the moment. I don’t have to know what the future holds. I know I will be okay. I may even end up great! 

I continue to learn from so many experiences. Even the ones that are a little harder are good in the long run. I’m learning to trust myself and other people. I think it’s a step in the right direction. 

It’s New and Exciting

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I don’t have a crystal ball. 

Life would certainly be easier if I could have some guarantees.

I am ridiculously happy these days. I walk around grinning at my phone like a fool. I have lost all ability to play it cool. I don’t even think I want to. What is this madness??? 

New relationships are hard enough if you live close to each other. Forget about the fact I work 12-14 hour days. We are forced to make a real effort to make this work. 

Slow down heart. Stop pounding when you hear his ringtone. Stop counting down the days until you are both in the same state. Don’t read too much into the butterflies and warm fuzzy feelings. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Keep your eyes open. Be realistic. Don’t take off your shoes just yet. 

Yes. I know. It feels different this time. Doesn’t it always feel different when you meet someone you like? Give it time. I know you are just waiting for him to be like everyone else who has disappointed you. 

But, what if he doesn’t? Then what? 

That may be the scariest thought of them all. I know what to do with men that turn out to be douchebags. That’s easy. It has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t mean I am not awesome. It’s their fault. Not mine. They just can’t handle the awesomeness surrounding me. I don’t have to feel bad because it didn’t work out. Maybe I didn’t want it to anyway. 

I constantly tell myself I am independent and I don’t need a man. I’m very happily fulfilled being single. These things are still true. I am still okay if he never turns out to be Prince Charming. I don’t need him to complete me. 

I am having such a good time though. I know for today I don’t want it to end. For some reason I am willing to make the effort to get to know him. I want to make time to see him. I may even want to hold his hand in public! 

I like him. I like him a lot. 

This is new and exciting. Maybe I’ll stop gushing about my Spy soon. Secretly, I kinda hope not. 

Gosh, I just love Maryland. 

Kindness 

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We all know I hate flying. I’ll drive for days to avoid taking an airplane. However, it is not a good use of my time to drive as often as I am traveling now. So, I fly. 

If there is a heart decal on the outside of the plane, I always reach out and touch it. No. I don’t actually think it will keep me safe. I’m not that ridiculous. It’s just a thing I do. 

The lady behind me caught me this time. She asked if I was superstitious and I just chuckled and shrugged sheepishly. Maybe a little. I hate flying. 

“I heard you on the phone, it sounds like you fly a lot. That’s brave.” 

Thank you. You made my day. Who would have thought a stranger would know just the thing to say? I don’t typically consider myself to be brave. I’m really terrified most of the time. 

There are so many people talking about the pervasive hate in our country. They speak of being afraid. I have experienced the opposite. So many people have been so kind to me. 

It makes me feel a little less alone on my travels. I wonder what would happen if we all just took a moment to say something kind to the stranger standing or sitting next to us. 

It doesn’t cost anything. Just open your eyes and notice the people around you. Make eye contact and smile. You could help someone have a better day. 

It’s a Choice

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Okay. I admit it. I lied. Or I was wrong. Horribly, terribly mistaken. For all my blustering and posturing about what I don’t want from a man and how much I think it’s weird for people to want to be in a relationship… maybe I do want to see what this is going to be like. 

No. Of course it’s nothing serious. We are getting to know each other. Testing out the waters. Seeing what happens. 

Unfortunately, I am quickly realizing I can’t be flitting around dating all these people while I trying to get to know this one. OMG! What the hell is wrong with me? Why was I on a date with a perfectly cute, charming, funny guy who was sending all the right vibes and thinking about My Spy? It’s completely inexplicable. 

I am 36 years old and I feel like I am in completely uncharted territory. I don’t have a map for this. I have no idea what I am supposed to do. So, to hell with the rule book, I’m going to just be me. 

I don’t even feel the need to be all cool and nonchalant. I want to be my goofy, moody, ridiculous self. He just laughs anyway. What is this madness??? 

I know! I’ve been ranting and raving about the perks of dating lots of different people, refusing to even consider the alternative. I would like to say I am just tired of all the stupid drama from all these loser men. I still like dating… it’s exciting. All the flirting and having people try to impress me is fun. I just can’t seriously explore anything meaningful while I am engaging with too many other people. It gives me an out and allows me to keep my walls up. It enables me to assume no one could ever make me happy. Worse, it gives me an excuse to make very little effort to make him happy. 

So, I am making a choice to see what happens. I’m going to abstain from seeing other people for a bit. I suppose you could say I am willing to risk being a little vulnerable and taking a chance.

It doesn’t mean I am forgetting who I am. I am not giving up anything about me. I am choosing to take a chance. Here we go… 

You are not 45

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Okay, look fellas, sigh It’s cute that you think younger girls are hot. It’s even a little flattering that you think I am cute. 

But give me a damn break! 

You are so obviously not 45. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, except it shows you are a liar. Unless it’s that you think I am stupid. 

It makes me feel a little ageist, but come on. Seriously???? Time has been marching across your face since before my mother was born. No. I don’t want to meet you for “fun.” I don’t even know you! 

When did “fun” become a euphemism for meeting a strange man in a strange city in the middle of the night? Oh, everything is closed! Why yes, I think it’s a swimmingly good idea to come to your hotel room. Of course you have no ulterior motives. You sound like a super nice guy. How would you feel if your daughters were up for this kind of activity?  Sure, I considered meeting you for a drink. I like meeting new people. 

I was obviously born last night. 

No. It doesn’t sound like fun. It sounds gross and degrading. 

Does this actually work? What kind of woman is looking for this? 

I’m not judging other women here. Maybe a little. I can’t help it. Come on girls, get it together. We deserve better than this.

I deserve better than this. 

No, I’m not meeting you at your hotel room. Stop lying about your age, you are obviously not 45. 

And… unmatch. 

I Just Don’t Know

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I’m just a girl. 

I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life, I have a hard enough time deciding what I want for dinner. 

I don’t want to be forced into making decisions that I cannot undo. 

I like my freedom. 

I don’t want to be trapped. 

I am always going to be more obstinate than you could be prepared for. 

I’ll drive you crazy with my hot and cold moods. 

You won’t own me. 

You’ll make me laugh by singing that damn song. I know I pretend to hate it… but I really kinda like it.

You called me beautiful, brilliant, and outrageously funny before you told me to go to work. Granted I was really late. 

So, I am going to attempt to maintain my cool and collected exterior. Shut up, I am cool. You have no idea what I am thinking. Stop smirking at me. I can feel it. You can’t read my poker face. 

I guess it’s no secret. 

I really do like you. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you. 

History

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I love Maryland. I am on the Eastern Shore and it feels like I have been transported to a place time is trying to forget. Apparently the chain stores and restaurants are relatively new. They seem out of place when they are so near the places I only knew about from history books. 

Easton was established in 1711 when the courthouse was built in Talbot County. 

I imagine the young people move across the bay to chase excitement and fortune in the big city, leaving their families safe in the past. I would. 

Well, maybe I wouldn’t. I am drawn to both the rural and urban lifestyle. My fantasies flip-flop seamlessly from one to the other. 

For now, I am just going to enjoy soaking up the history while I marvel at my good luck. 

Life is good today. 

Rockstar Superhero

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I have been walking around all day with a ridiculous grin on my face. I have felt confident, competent, and strong. 

This morning was my first day at my new Locum assignment. I had no trepidation or fear when I waltzed into the hospital with no idea where to go. I had a strut in my step and felt open to meeting any new person I contacted. 

I spent some time last night talking to a potential suitor I have been texting. He was charming and funny. Pretty much knocked my socks off. I didn’t feel like I needed to watch what I said or put on some mask of the girl I thought he would be interested in. Nobody has time for that shit. People either like me for me… or I am not their cup of tea. It’s not that big of a deal. 

Then I met the doctor I was working with today. She’s a force of nature. After a little while she put her glasses on and turned and peered at me. Her eyes opened a little wider and she said, “Oh! You’re a pretty girl!” I was pretty much struck speechless. Not sure why she was surprised… but okay. 

The day went fantastic. I loved the view out the window and the job was challenging and fun. I felt like I knew what I was doing! On the first day! Holy crap! 

At the end of the day we were wrapping up and she called me confident and told me how great that is. Once again dumbstruck, I just laughed and sashayed out the door. 

More flirting and fun chatting with The Spy. He’s not really a spy… but I think he could be. Hehe. And he thinks I am cute with nice eyes. So, I have pretty much been blushing all day. 

Met a hairdresser who said my hair is fantastic and she would love to do my blowouts when I am here. 

I spent a good part of the day yesterday reminiscing about my friends and our adventures. They liked the little blurb I wrote about it. Telling them how much I love them gave me such a peaceful and content feeling. 

You wanna make a girl glow and strut around like a woman who knows she has good things to offer? Tell her. Tell her you are excited to meet her. Listen to her. Share things about you. Invest in the relationship. Make her feel like she is worth the effort. I promise she believes in reciprocity. She will make you feel like you are worth the effort too. 

I guess I have fallen into the trap of underestimating a phone call. There is an intimacy that encourages excitement when you are obviously paying attention to each other and not doing 35 things at once while texting. 

You want to make a girl work hard for you? Do you want her to actually meet her potential? Acknowledge the good parts of her personality that she has been ostracized for her entire life. Appreciate her gifts. Help her learn and grow so she can overcome her liabilities and shortcomings. Offer to teach her the procedures she has honestly been too scared to learn until now. 

So today I feel like a rockstar superhero. I have not magically changed overnight, I just got the right amount of awesome compliments at the right moment. When I looked in the mirror tonight while I was removing my makeup I didn’t see a tired mess of a girl. I saw a confident, strong, cute girl with nice eyes. 

It feels good. 

Tell the people in your life what you love about them. It will help them be the person you have always known them to be. 

Secret Agent Man

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I’m not going to lie, The Professor irritated me. It would be disingenuous for me to insinuate I was still all that interested anyway. Don’t forget I get bored easily. I need fairly consistent interaction or you run the risk of getting replaced.

While The Professor was fun and I enjoyed our first date very much, he made a critical mistake. He decreased contact and failed to keep the excitement going. Granted, he did say he is not good about texting and calling. In hindsight this feels like an excuse. Besides, did he really think making out a little in the car meant I didn’t still need to be actively pursued? 

Unfortunately for him, The Spy had decided to strike. He has been texting and calling regularly. Not excessively, just often enough to keep me a little thrilled. Good morning texts and phone calls in the evening. He is witty, handsome, and disarmingly charming. He is respectful and curious about my day. Our conversations have a natural flow and we are interacting with each other, not at each other. 

The Spy sends me funny selfies sporadically through the day. He sends memes. He references things I’ve mentioned before. It feels like he is paying attention to me. He acts interested in my thoughts and perspective. We discuss things. Our date is planned for tonight and he periodically sends me the hourly countdown. He is obviously smart; he is making me feel like he can’t wait to see me. He is flirty and sprinkles in just enough innuendo to make me blush and grin like a fool. 

Seriously, someone needs to teach men how to be a little risqué without resorting to vulgarity. Don’t ask about my cup size or pubic hair when I have not even indicated an interest in getting naked with you. I am not sending you pics of my boobs, and I don’t want to see your penis on my phone screen. I promise. 


Sigh. I love a man with a beard. 

Maybe it is unfair to compare men to each other. How do you evaluate two very different personalities in a fair manner? Is it possible The Spy only seems so awesome in comparison to The Professor because left me wondering how he felt until it was too late? 

What are the rules to dating? How do you know if you are doing it right? 

How do you know if someone is truly interested or if they are just on a conquest? 

Why does it feel like The Spy already knows me? 

Who told him I love Dwight Yoakum? How did he know I eschew “Nashville country?” 

Who told him to send me a joke about C-diff and to drop the word propofol correctly into conversation? 

How did he know to joke about following me back to Texas? (To insinuate you plan to do that will get you dropped in a hurry.) 

How did he know my deep appreciation for the many ways the word f*ck can be used in a sentence? (Mom, the edit was for you.) 

I guess you can tell I am having a good time. I’ve been in a ridiculously good mood for the past five days. It’s exciting. Even though I have no idea how things will turn out, I am thrilled to be on the ride. 

Dude. 

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Wow. So sorry that I did not provide an adequate enough alibi for needing to cancel our plans. 

Oh, I needed to justify my need to reschedule. 

Huh. I did not realize I owed you any explanations. 

Oh, it’s a respect thing. That makes sense. Sure. I owe you respect because of what was that now? 

Ugh. Red flags. You overreacting to things at this stage means you don’t get to go to the next stage. 

So long Professor. It was fun.