Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fizzy Lifting Drinks

You know that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when Charlie and his grandpa drink Fizzy Lifting Drinks and float up to the ceiling? Yesterday, Joe texted that he missed me, and I felt like I'd drank some Fizzy Lifting Drink. Just for a second. But it was definitely Fizzy. Right in my stomach. I'm not going to analyze, I'm just going to say . . . it was Fizzy goodness.

We talked forever on the phone tonight. We talked about his kids (he has 2 - a daughter who is 20 and a son who is a senior in high school.) It was sweet to hear him talk about them. We talked about my trip to the Twin Cities yesterday for a forensics tournament. He doesn't know ANYTHING about forensics - which is kind of cool. We talked about the pizza I would be making for the Super Bowl Commercial viewing party (I'm trying to trick him into watching some of the game) we have planned for Sunday. His favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni and banana peppers. We talked about birthdays. He is a Scorpio. He has a really, really good laugh.

There it is again . . . Fizzy Lifting Drink . . .

Monday, January 28, 2013

His name is . . .

 . . . Joe. He's no longer "Sauce Guy" and has an actual name. Date 3 was very good. He liked my cooking and I successfully have him hooked on HBO's True Blood. Date 4 is set for next Sunday. This brings up the question, when do I stop counting dates and just call it "dating?"

I think this is an old-person problem. Young couples make everything all Facebook official when they are dating.  I don't really feel the need to make this "official," but based on the ease with which we set up our next date, I feel like we've moved from "maybe" next dates to assumed next dates. I think this means we are dating.

No, I still don't know exactly how I "feel" about him. But I do look forward to seeing him, so that's something, right? As impatient as I can sometimes be, I'm really enjoying this "get to know you" process. And I learn something new about him every time we see each other. Yesterday I learned:
  • He hates black olives.
  • He doesn't like football, or any sport for that matter.
  • He is the youngest of eight kids. (Eight!)
  • We have very similar, really weird political beliefs.
  • We have similar viewpoints on religion.
  • He has taken a cream-pie to the face, and has pictures. (Which are hilarious)
  • He laughed VERY hard when I told him the vomit-story.
He did agree to watch some of the Superbowl next week, just for the commercials :-) I promised homemade Superbowl snacks and an episode of True Blood. So, we are not Facebook official, but we are dating. And it's kind of nice.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday musings . . .

I forgot how exhausting the first week of class can be. Ufdah. I've got to work on getting my stamina back. I teach 2 Public Speaking classes on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, and a Listening class on Monday & Wednesday afternoons. In between that is a lot of forensics coaching. And somehow, I need to fit workouts into that mix.

Wednesday, I had good intentions on working out. I conned several forensics students into going to a spin class with me. My goal was simple: Don't fall over when I get off the bike. Mission accomplished . . . because I never got ON the bike. Apparently this is "free" week at the gym, so every single spin bike was taken 10 minutes before class even started. I was so disappointed that I went home to watch TV with the cats on my lap.

In the search for Mr. Wright, I received an email from this guy:

His PoF moniker is "hotwonderfulman" and he had this to say, "im very sexy man stay in good shape." I have never meant the phrase "I think I'm looking for something else" more than I did in my reply to him. There's a part of me that wants to be his life coach. I'd tell him to put some clothes on before he takes the picture (are those shorts or boxers?) and tell him he might want to take the picture in a part of the house that is clean. Is this what people mean when they tell me I'm too picky?

Sauce Guy is coming over Sunday for supper & a movie. I think I'm making Chicken Parmesan casserole.

And you can find the recipe via my Pinterest board, or click here. I think it looks pretty amazing!

It's been so cold that I've had to put air in my tires TWICE this week. At first, I was freaking out, thinking I had a punctured tire. Then I realized it was all 4 tires. So I googled it - and super cold temps suck the air out of your tires. Google it if you need a more scientific explanation. Seriously, I don't know how we survived before Google.

And what you've been waiting for . . . the story of my worst date EVER. Admittedly, I have had a lot of bad dates - some awkward, some wierd, some uncomfortable. This date was all of those things.

I cannot remember the nick-name I gave this guy, so for the sake of this story, I'll use the nick-name Creepy Guy. I met him on PoF a couple years ago. We emailed for a couple of weeks, talked on the phone, and he finally asked me out. I was kind of excited because he was fun to talk to and it seemed like we shared a lot of the same interests. We met at a little bar/restaurant outside of Chippewa Falls. He looked like his online pictures, which was good, and he had a nice smile. We sat down, ordered drinks, and had said maybe 5 sentences to each other. Why all this boring detail? To make it clear that we had JUST met and had not yet had anything to drink . . . Out of the blue, Creepy Guy looks me in the eye and says, "I just gotta tell you - You have great tits!"

Uhm. WHAT?? What does a person say to that? What is the response supposed to be? Thanks? I was STUNNED. I immediately started weighing my options. I could simply get up and leave (though to be honest, I was weak with disbelief and don't know if my legs would have worked) or I could stay and end up with a really good story. I stayed.

To say that conversation was awkward is an understatement. His side of the conversation was full of sexual innuendo. My side was full of passive-aggressive comments that he didn't begin to understand. As we were finishing up dinner, he started bugging me to go home with him. He said his roommate (wait, you have a roommate??) wasn't home so we could "get comfortable." I tried nicely saying no, which he ignored, so then I told him I wasn't the type of girl who slept with someone on the first date and there was no way in hell I was going home with him. His response? "But I paid for dinner!" And yes, he was serious. It took every ounce of willpower I possessed to control the violent urge I had to punch him. It was another moment when I felt like I was in a sitcom or on candid camera.

I've been told many times that I'm too picky when it comes to men. Maybe I am. But I'd rather be single than settle for something that makes me nauseous.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rejection with a side of confusion

It is cold. Freaking cold. Stupid cold. I'm retiring in Florida cold. Cold that made my eyelashes form icicles when I walked across campus today. I really, really hope the rejection messages I sent to PoF guys yesterday didn't feel as cold as the weather.

I needed to let 2 guys know I just wasn't interested. I sent them emails that basically said they weren't my type and I appreciated their emails, but I was looking for something else. I also wished them luck. You know what was cool? BOTH emailed me back to thank them. Glad I bit the bullet and sent the emails.

Second date with Sauce Guy was fun. We toured Leines, sampled some beer, and had lunch in EC. I paid for lunch (thanks to my friend Patrick, who helped me work through the conundrum of who-pays-when-what-where) and we came back to my house for coffee before I had to go to a forensics meeting.

At this point (only 2 dates in- I KNOW it's too early for analysis, but I can't help it) I'm not sure that there's a "connection." Part of it is, we are very different personalities. He's not "funny" - but he laughs at my attempts at humor. He is very "business" oriented, while I'm very "interpersonal communication" oriented. I have no idea if that makes sense. I'm trying really hard to have patience and see if this goes anywhere . . . but I've already established I'm not good at patience. We do have a third (THIRD!) date scheduled for Sunday. I'm going to cook and we're going to watch a movie. I'm looking forward to it, I just have to figure out what to make.

In other news, today was the first day of spring semester classes. I had 2 classes this morning and I really like them both. This was the email I sent them the night before class:

"For those of you who are hoping UWEC cancels classes because of the cold . . . it won't happen. Now that I've burst your bubble, pretend for just a moment I'm your mother/grandma/uncle/significant other/anyone else who might nag you . . . IT'S GOING TO BE FLIPPIN' COLD TOMORROW MORNING!! So ditch the cute first...-day-of-school outfit and wear many, many layers of warm clothing. The best hat wins a prize. In all seriousness, you are required to be in class - even if hell has frozen over - if UWEC does not cancel class. I look forward to meeting you!" 
I think it made them laugh, it certainly got every single one of them to class. Between the two classes are 3 identical twins (none of their twins are in the class with them), one student who is the cousin of Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office) and one student who is the great-grand niece of Curly Lambeau. Oh, and the prize winners both had Green Bay Packers hats, and the prize was cereal - because it's a morning class! Tomorrow I meet my Listening class, and I'm excited AND nervous.

Tomorrow I think I'll blog the story of the worst date I've ever had. lt's a doozy.

Oh, and for the record, Sauce Guy is a good kisser. But that is the last I'm going to say about THAT area.

Carry on . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekend . . .

So, this weekend I'm at a forensics tournament. Because that's what I do most weekends of the school year. Normally, at the end of the day, I'm exhausted and just crash in my hotel room. It's odd having someone to text with. It's odd that I enjoy it. And look forward to the little message symbol on my phone popping up. It's odd to have someone who seems genuinely interested in what I'm doing and how my day went. I'm realizing how much I've missed this. I'll be giving Sauce Guy a call later so we can finalize details of our date tomorrow.

We're going to tour Leinie's in Chippewa and then go to lunch. I like "activity" based dates. I think it's easier to fill the awkward silence gaps when there's readily available distraction.

In other dating news, I learned the hard way that I shouldn't respond to an email until I check out someone's profile. I got an email from a random guy on PoF a couple days ago. It was funny and interesting and I immediately responded back with something flirty and funny. Then I checked out the guy's profile. Not really my type (actually, I have no idea what my "type" is - but it's not this) - he is obsessive about bicycling, (I like biking but would never be able to keep up with this guy), is vegetarian (which is fine for others, but I am a carnivore through and through), is a staunch Republican (and very vocal about it) and listens to a lot of techno & dubstep music (the last thing I would listen to for enjoyment) He responded to my fun & flirty email almost right away, letting me know "I am looking for somebody who would love driving to Seattle /Bremerton, Washington this summer stopping at state bike trails on the way for rides and exploring Yellowstone. " I have not responded to him yet. I can't shake the feeling he's a serial killer who just wants an easy victim.

This brings me to a conundrum I frequently have. While I appreciate it when a guy lets me know they are not interested, I have trouble doing the same. It drives me crazy when I've been emailing someone and they suddenly drop off the face of the planet. But I now find I am becoming that person - ugh. Which means I have to figure out a way to let a couple of guys (including the aforementioned Serial Killer Guy) that I'm just not interested. Which means I have to "reject" someone. Rejection is just something I'm not good at. Guess I should suck it up.

In non-dating related news, I'm not smoking and it really sucks. OK, not really, really sucks - I'm just bitter that there are others are smoking, and I'm not. I had a bit of an "ah-ha" moment a few days ago. It's always irritated me that something so bad for you (smoking) is so enjoyable - it dawned on me that it's not enjoyable, but it is comforting. Smoking is the equivalent of a toddler having a "lovie" blanket. Except lovie blankets don't give you cancer. Unless they are crocheted with asbestos, which I don't think happens much anymore. Anyway - I've had my lovie blanket yanked away and I'm mad about it. But like any 2-year old, I should eventually adjust.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More than butterflies in my belly

Oy - I have had some kind of stomach bug that has wiped me out. I think I got a little dehydrated because now I have an incredible headache that I can't get rid of. At least there was no vomiting in the car. And thanks to Amazon Prime, I've become completely addicted to Falling Skies. So . . . there's that . . .

In dating world news - a second date with Sauce Guy is planned and on the books. Yes, you read that correcly - A SECOND DATE!! It's not until Monday, which gives me plenty of time to plan what I'm going to wear. In the mean-time - we text all the time. I never understood how someone could send/receive 500 texts in a month . .  until now! We text each other pictures of our cats - I mean seriously, could we be bigger nerds?!?

There's no news on the eharmony or PoF front, but I'm ok with that for now. If the 2nd date w/ Sauce Guy is horrible, I'll go back to the drawing board. But for now, I'm just going to take my time and see how the 2nd date play out.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A sign?

I was on my way to meet Sauce Guy for our first date. I liked the outfit I'd chosen, had put on lipstick (my dear friend Karen will be quite proud of this) and had "get to know you" questions planned in case there was a lull in the conversation. It was lightly snowing and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. I was sitting at a red light, trying to figure out if I was nervous, when I saw it. A rainbow. I've seen many rainbows on rainy summer days - but have never seen one in the snow. It was beautiful. And I immediately decided it was a sign.  

It was a good first date. We talked about a lot of stuff - his kids, family, vacations, jobs - normal first date stuff. But here's the thing - it was comfortable. I get the feeling we are both looking for the same things, so it will be interesting to see how this develops. Whoa! Is that a bit of optimism?

I was pleasantly surprised that he looked like his online pictures - that is RARELY the case. I think he looks like Jason Alexander.
Take away the beard and put him in a turtleneck and he could almost be his twin. He has a nice smile. He does yoga and would like to take a ballroom dancing class. I'm pretty sure there will be a second date, which would improve my conversion rate :-)

So - after this good first date, I got home to find another message from a PoF guy. We have been emailing for a couple of weeks. He casually asked if I wanted to get together for coffee sometime. I still don't have his phone number (nor does he have mine) and I usually like to talk to someone on the phone before meeting them. However,  might just take the risk and meet him without a phone call. Who knows, I may have another first date story soon . . .

Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Date #1 . . .

Note that the title of this post assumes there will be so many first dates to come that I will have to number them. It's odd that I really do think of myself as an optimist.

But the good news is - I HAVE A DATE TOMORROW!!!

Oh the pressure . . .

Sauce Guy & I have been texting back and forth all day. He works on Saturdays and I've been a complete bum, watching HBO's Rome and crocheting. (What a sexy image, I might add) I figured he'd call me when he got off work tonight. Instead, he called on his lunch break and asked if I wanted to go out tomorrow for lunch or dinner. Duh. I said yes. So we are meeting tomorrow at 4. I have no idea if this is for drinks, late lunch, dinner?? Whatever.

Here's a bit more about Sauce Guy: He has 2 kids, one grown & out of the house, the other a senior in HS. He likes to cook. He doesn't like football. He has 2 cats and likes to cook. We share a love of coffee and similar taste in TV/music/movies. He's kind of funny and laughs when I try to be funny.

From his profile info, he is short - about an inch taller than I am. Which means I am re-thinking the first-date outfit I have had picked out for a month as it includes high-heeled boots.

If I'm honest, I'm not really that nervous. I'm sure that will change tomorrow when I start obsessively worrying about spilling a drink down the front of me or getting salad stuck in my teeth.

I don't have a great record when it comes to conversion rates of 1st dates to 2nd dates. In about 15 first dates in the last 5 or so years, TWO of those have gone on to 2nd dates. Am I too picky? Do I freak guys out on a first date? I wish there was a way to study "films" of previous first dates, you know, like football teams do. That way maybe I could figure out why my conversion rate is so sucky.

Maybe it's my attitude going in to a first date? If it's a bad date, I always hope it's a REALLY bad date - that way at least I come out with a good story.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Patience . . .

I have very little. I'm the type of person who decides to do something, then gets it done as efficiently as possible.

Efficiency is not possible in the world of internet dating.

Sauce Guy texted me last night - yea! Short conversation, but good. Tonight, he called. We talked for about half an hour. It was comfortable & easy. I enjoyed talking with him. But now I'm wondering . . . if it took a dozen emails to get to a text, how long will it take to get to a first date? That's my impatience showing. I wish I could just relax and have fun with the "process" - but that's not how my brain works. I've made a decision (Find someone to date!) and want to efficiently identify the best candidate.

There s another guy from PoF I've been emailing almost as long as I've been emailing Sauce Guy. I may have to just brazenly (hussie) give him my phone number to get thing to move along. Again - impatience.

I've successfully scared 2 guys on eharmony off. Both just quit "communication" somewhere in the middle. I'm kind of OK with that as neither lived close, but it does make me wonder what made them lose interest.

This is usually the point I get impatient with the whole process and decide I'll try and find someone "later." But I'm not going to do that this time. I really feel like I'm supposed to be putting time & effort into this process (I've prayed about it and am trying to trust my "gut") so I'm going to work hard at staying positive about it.

And after I hurry-up and proofread this blog post, I'll work on slowing down and being more patient.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One of the bravest things I've ever done . . .

 . . . happened today.

But first . . . an update on the search for Mr. Wright . . .

I popped in to PoF to check for new messages. I've been emailing back and forth with a guy I shall nickname "Sauce Guy." Because in one of his first emails, he mentioned he liked to cook, but doesn't know how to make a good sauce. I thought that was kind of adorable.

Anyway . . . as I'm getting ready to respond to his latest email - a chat box appeared! It was Sauce Guy! I am much better at chatting than I am at texting. And it was a good conversation. He seemed genuinely interested in me, asking some great questions. I had some good questions of my own. (OK, to be honest, all the questions were regular "get-to-know-you" questions) As the conversation lulled a bit, I took a chance and let him know I'd love to talk to him and gave him my phone number. After 30 long and agonizing seconds, he sent me his!! Which is great! Except . . . does that mean the ball is in my court or his?? Who does the first calling?? See, I thought by giving him my number, that meant he had to call me . . . but then he gave me his number . . . so . . . ???

Yes, I know, I'm neurotic.

Still with me? Yes, I was incredibly brave in giving him my phone number. But that was not the most brave thing I did today . . .

I've been going to the university to swim laps. Open swim is 11am - 2pm weekdays during break (lame hours) and I usually go at noon or 12:30. Today I went at 11:30. I changed into my new Speedo racer-back pink & black swimsuit, walked into the pool area, and nearly hyperventilated. All but 2 lanes of the pool were full . . . of hunky, chiseled swim-team guys. I didn't lose my breath over the hot guys (seriously, beef-cake hot) but over the fact that I was not wearing a neck-to-toe covering mu mu.

See, here's the thing. As a chubby girl, I try to keep my body as camouflaged as possible. As a chubby girl who lost a crap-ton of weight after gastric-bypass surgery, I also have a lot of extra skin that I usually keep tucked away. (Try and get that image out of your head) Usually, I wear a swim suit that has a little skirt that hides my saggy, chubby legs & belly. But not today. Today, I was wearing a suit that would make actually swimming easier, because it had LESS FABRIC. I wanted to run and hide. I wanted to cry. I wanted to say something funny that would make everything all right. I wanted the ground to open up underneath me, swallow me whole, and never let my thighs see the light of day again. I was horrified and terrified. I really, truly wanted to cry.

But I didn't. I walked my chubby ass to the super-awkward steps. And I GOT IN THE FREAKING POOL. And then I started to swim. Did you know that you cannot swim and cry at the same time? Because you will choke on water. There is nothing that more effectively stops a potential crying jag than the threat of drowning. So I swam. And swam. And swam. I swam slow and steady. 17 laps. 1/4 mile.

Getting in that pool is one of the bravest things I have ever done.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ms. Judgy McJudgerson

I did it. I texted NY guy. And he texted back!! So I texted him again! And he texted back!! Then I realized I suck at texting, so I texted that maybe he should call me . . . And he did!!!

So we talked . . . where do you work (he works in sales) . . . do you have kids (he has twin 11 year old boys who live in Superior) . . . what NFL team do you root for (Giants - at least it's not the Vikings or Bears) . . . what do you like to do for fun (he rides a unicycle (!) likes to bike, do outside stuff) . . . The conversation was at times awkward, and easy at other times.

OK, I admit, I overanalyze everything. Dating is no exception. I get all Ms. Judgy McJudgerson. I tend to think in terms of "green flags" and "red flags" - and if there are more green flags than red flags, I'll continue forward. After one conversation, here's NY guy's talley:

Green Flags
  • Gainfully employed
  • Shares a lot of the same activity interests
  • Likes football
  • Seemed genuinely interested in me
Red Flags
  • Avoided answering questions about his relationship history, though he asked many about mine
  • Had a "driving incident" and lost his liscense - doesn't get it back for 3-4 months
  • Lives 2 hours away
  • Has kids who live 4+ hours from him & he travels to see them 4-5 times a month
  • Doesn't have a religious viewpoint
  • Avoided questions about his family. He mentioned he was raised Jehova Witness and left the faith/family when he was 19

I'm working very hard on "following my gut" - and I'm not referring to the pizza I may or may not have ordered for lunch today. I'm trying to trust my instincts. My instincts tell me this isn't the guy for me. Yes, I'm being judgmental. I can't help it. Being "religious," having a close connection with family, being able to physically see someone - these are things that are very important to me. My instincts are, this isn't the guy for me.

But I'm OK with that. I did have one moment of clarity during our conversation. NY guy asked what I'm looking for, and I told him that I missed having a partner. I basically said the same thing that is in my PoF profile:

 "I am tired of being single! I'm looking for a partner in crime (not actual-end-up-in-jail-crime, just to clarify), someone to have adventures with. I like simple things - fireworks, rollercoasters, cookouts, watching a movie, taking a bike ride, browsing the farmer's market. I love to cook and would sure like to find a guinea pig for my culinary experiments."

He told me it sounded like I was looking for a friend instead of a romantic relationship. And I had a bit of an "Ah-ha" moment. My profile really does describe a friendship instead of an intimiate, romantic relationship. Duh.

CAUTION: more overanalyzing ahead.

I'm afraid to admit I want a deep, personal, fulfilling relationship. And I think it's because I don't have absolute control over someone else's feelings. It's a whole lot of left-over insecurity from a failed marriage. But as my friend Megan O. once said, I have to be able to say it if I want it to come true. The next few days I'm going to work on re-doing my profile on PoF and eharmony to more clearly reflect what I'm looking for. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Well, crap

It's not bad news. It's good news. It's terrifying news.

One of the PoF guys I've been emailing GAVE ME HIS PHONE NUMBER. He said if I was interested, I should text or call him.

Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap.

I LOVE IT when the guy gives me his phone number. That also mean the ball is in my court and I've NEVER been good at basketball.

Do I dribble? Fake a pass and go for the 3 point shot? Hope and pray the coach pulls me out so I don't have to decide? OK, enough of the basketball analogy. What causes me such anxiety is figuring out when to call . . . or text. Is texting now the pre-flirt norm before phone flirting? How can I get across that I'm witty and intelligent and flirty in a text? Is there a flirt font?


Here's some basic info on who I will call New York Guy (NY guy for short). He's 5' 9", a Gemini and grew up in NYC. He moved to the midwest about 6 months ago and works in sales. His picture is adorable. I'm probably going to send him a text tomorrow night. Then he'll have my phone number and the ball will be officially in his court. I hope he plays basketball.

On the eharmony front, I got sent a set of "questions" from one of my matches. That's how eharmony works. I answered the 5 multiple choice questions and sent him the 5 I've chosen. If he likes my responses (Oh, the PRESSURE) he'll answer the questions I sent, then we move to the next level. I don't know what that level is, because I have not gotten there yet.

I did get a couple of other emails on PoF, but they were awkward - I'm pretty sure that at least one of them was from a chat-bot and the other quite possibly just looking for sex. I deleted them both. I'm trying to be open minded, but have to draw the line somewhere.

Oh, I just had a thought . . . What if NY guy is a JETS fan??? What if he hates football??

Friday, January 4, 2013

This popped up in my PoF inbox just a bit ago:

"Merry meet!! I am a dominant, Pagan, who is very creative artistically and with words. I smoke marijuana, and drink moderately.  We hit it off, we go to your place, or mine, we make passionate love, and we are a couple from that minute onward!!"

I'm trying to figure out what part of my profile would make this person think I'd be interested. I clearly state I'm Christian, don't do one night stands, drink rarely and am not an illegal drug user. He looks kind of like the guy who plays Rumplestiltskin on "One Upon a Time" - not unattractive, just . . . interesting.

I also received a response to one of the PoF guys I emailed. (I erased his email before I could copy it.) He very politely let me know he appreciated my interest, but was looking for someone who is slender and has long hair. I immediately emailed him back to let him know I sincerely appreciated his honest response.
No, it's not easy to hear that my extra curvy body type is the reason someone would dismiss getting to know me. But I really do appreciate it when men can be up-front and honest about this issue. We all have types of people we find attractive, some are more discriminating than others. I'm working on viewing this as a personality type instead of a personality flaw. I tend to want to react as a chubby girl - "No one will ever love me because I'm a cubby girl!! Waaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" And I know that's just chubby insecurity rearing it's ugly, fat head. He also didn't like my hair. My hair?? I always thought I had good hair! See, here's the catch 22 . . . I appreciate when guys can be honest that they aren't interested, but it also causes me to overanalyze. My confidence takes a hit.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3 emails and a story . . .

Why did I pay money for eharmony? So far, I'm striking out there. However, on the PoF front, I've gotten several emails and have responded to 3 of them.

Here's my question . . . how many times do I email back & forth with someone? At some point, I get tired of the emailing and need to talk to the potential date - I need to know if he is capable of carrying on a conversation or can at least do more than grunt in response. This is where my shy gene kicks in again - I want the guy to give me his phone number and ask me to call. But sometimes I get really tired of waiting for that to happen.

And now, it's story time . . . I've had several people tell me I should write down the crazy things that happen to me. So from time to time, I'll break up the monotony of not having a date to record a story for prosperity. The story I'm going to tell happened recently, and I'll only change details to protect the privacy of any other people involved. I shall call this story "Vomit"

I went to Ohio for Christmas, and drove back to EC on Dec. 30th. I left at the crack of dawn, hoping to get home in time for the Packer game at 3:30. I stopped in the Chicago area to pick up a student who needed a ride back to EC after spending holidays with family. (I shall assign this student to the male gender, and call him "Joe." And no, you don't know him.)

We chatted about Christmas and family - yadda yadda yadda. About 30 miles down the road, Joe mentioned his stomach hurt. I told him to let me know if I needed to pull over. He assured me he didn't need to throw up, his stomach just hurt. About 5 minutes later, he said "Oh no" and I asked him if I should pull over. He answered "Yes" and then immediately vomited all over himself and the passenger side of the car. I did what any sane person would do. I immediately rolled all the windows down and pulled over.

So, there we sit, on the side of the road. Windows down, Joe covered in vomit, and I have a total of 2 napkins in the car. I made Joe get out, take off his sweatshirt (he had a t-shirt on underneath) and clean the chunks out of the car. Joe, in a haze of post-vomit insanity, cried that he was ruining his favorite sweatshirt. Cold hearted bitch that I am, I made him throw his sweatshirt in the ditch when he was done cleaning out the car. His pants were covered in vomit, so I made him get clean pants out of his suitcase - and this is horrible because it was a windchill of, like, 80 below zero - I made him strip on the side of the road and change pants. Vomit covered pants also went into the ditch. Looking back, I am honestly amazed that I was so calm, cool and collected. I was freakishly calm. But really, what could I do? Freaking out would not get my only 4-months-old car clean.

We drove about 10 miles to a gas station. I sent Joe in to clean himself up. I bought Febreeze, paper towels and Lysol. I cleaned the car as best I could, nearly emptying both the Febreeze and Lysol, because I was starting to realize that whatever Joe had, I was at risk of getting. Most of the mess had ended up on Joe and the floor, so I figured I could rent a steam cleaner and clean the floormat when I got home. Joe got cleaned up, got plastic bags in case he needed to vomit again, and we were on our way. Thankfully, Joe soon fell asleep . . .

But that's not the end of the story folks . . .

About 2 hours later, Joe woke up. I asked him how his stomach was feeling and he said, "Better!" He then turned his face forward and PROJECTILE VOMITED ALL OVER THE WINDSHIELD. Because his vomit was warm and it was negative 180 degrees outside, all my windows immediately fogged over. Vomit was everywhere, I was driving 70 down the interstate and I couldn't see a thing. Somehow, I made it safely to the side of the road. I had Joe get out and used the remaining paper towels to clean up as best I could. There was vomit EVERYWHERE. When I turned on the defrost, little puffs of vomit sprayed out. There was vomit in the air vents, vomit in the CD player, vomit in the cup holders. The only thing I had to clean the windshield was Febreeze, which is not exactly a streak-free product. It was seriously like a bad 1980'd gross-out flick - except IT WAS REAL!!! I still feel guilty about the horrible vomit-covered litter I left in the ditch. Joe was pretty hysterical at this point, unable to believe that he had now vomited TWICE in my car. I was just wondering what the hell happened to the plastic bags I made him get after the first vomiting incident.

We got to another gas station, and once again I sent Joe in to get cleaned up. I promptly called my mum and cried hysterically for 2 minutes. I had to hang up because I needed to stop crying. Crying meant I would have to wipe my nose/eyes and I didn't want to touch my face because I didn't want whatever Joe had!!! I also realized that it was going to take professional help to clean my car, so I called my dear, sweet, amazing friend Cindy (her real name - she didn't vomit in my car) and asked her to text me the numbers of car detailing places in EC. I was relieved and grateful that one of the places had an open appointment for 1pm the next day - WHEW! Joe got back in the car and I made him open the plastic bag and keep it in his lap in case he needed it again. I may have threatened to put the plastic handles on his ears so the bag would hang below his chin. (By the way - I have no idea why the bag wasn't used in the 2nd vomit incident) Once again, we were on our way . . .

I should mention that Joe felt TERRIBLE. First, he was terribly sick and felt horrid. Second, he was terribly embarassed. I recognized that I had reached a point where I needed to laugh or cry . . . and I didn't want to cry because I didn't want to touch my face . . . so I proceeded to laugh hysterically for about 10 minutes at the absurdity of it all. We also played the "what would be worse" game - and decided that uncontrollable diahrrea would definitely be worse. Projectile vomiting on a bus full of people would also be worse. That was all we could come up with.

After more hours of driving with the windows down (the smell!), trying to see through the vomit streaked windshield, we were finally back in EC! I was so excited!! I had started to think that we were stuck in the Twilight Zone, a never ending continuum of projectile vomiting and driving . . . We pulled up to Joe's residence, and as soon as he got out of the car, . . . he projectile vomited in the street. I was just thrilled he didn't do it in my car. (Once home, Joe slept for 15 hours and felt fine.)

It was a long, horrible, gross, smelly trip home. But at some point in the trip, I had a moment of grace . . . Whenever friends with kids talk of having to clean up the biological messes their kids make (Hey mommy, I just puked all over my bed!) I have responded with "That's one of the reasons I could never be a parent!" I realized that I had cleaned up someone else's vomit not once, but twice. And it seriously didn't phase me. My moment of grace was realizing that you will do whatever you have to for the ones you love. Dear, sweet, sick and vomiting Joe is one of those I love.

I did get my car detailed on Monday. It smells and looks much better. There is just the slightest smell of vomit that can be detected when the heater is on high, but I can live with that. *Note to self: don't run the heater if you have a date in the car*

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Setting some ground rules . . .

So, apparently some people read my first blog post yesterday. Pretty cool. Pretty freaky.

It made me start to wonder what I'd gotten myself into. Then I realized maybe not much since I'm still waiting to hear back from some of my eharmony matches. (More on that later) I do think I should do some explaining of the process and set some ground rules for myself. So here we go . . .

I signed up for a year of eharmony for the bargain basement price of $90. What does that get me? Besides angst? I get 6-8 new matches sent to me every day. I read through the profiles and decide if I want to "communicate." If I do, I can either "send a smile" - which I imagine is a smiley face icon announcing I'm possibly interested OR I can send a set of 5 questions for the potential guy to answer. This is how eharmony works - I think they call it mediated communication.

Here's where I have to admit I'm a bit old-fashioned. I want the guy to initiate conversation. Honestly, it's because I'm terribly, horribly shy when meeting people. Yes, it's true and probably something that surprises people. So I guess it's not that I think a guy should make the first move, but that I'm usually too shy to do it.


I also have my profile on a free website called "Plenty of Fish." It's free, so it attracts a different group of people than the gotta-pay-for-it matching sites. Here's the comparison:

Plenty of Fish gets you this

While eharmony gets you this
*No, those are not actual pictures from either website. I simply googled "scary trucker" and "suave businessman"
It kind of cracks me up that the nickname for PoF is 

And more often than not, the profile pictures include some sort of dead animal. Like this:
Anyway - the point I'm making is different sites, different types of guys.
On to my self-governing rules . . . 1. I'm trying very hard not to be so picky, so unless there's a huge red flag, I'll respond to every email or contact I get. Here's an example: One of the eharmony matches I was sent today stated in his bio that he couldn't believe that a "Muslim born outside the US is the President." Uhm. I can't believe you would put that in your bio. This guy? Red flag!

2. I will note each day what communication I've received, and if I've responded. Today, I had 4 emails in my mailbox on PoF. One I red flagged as he only sent one sentence, suggesting we meet for sexy-time. Two others I wrote back to, writing just a bit about myself and asking some questions of them. One I'm still pondering - I'm very intrigued with his letter and profile, but he lives 2 hours away and I just don't know if I'm up for that distance. As for eharmony, well, I'm waiting on responses to "smiles" or "questions" I've sent, but nothing so far.
3. If I get to a first date with a guy, he will get a nickname, like "scary trucker guy" or "gluten-free guy." I won't ever use real names or actual pictures of dates on this blog.
In completely unrelated news, I am completely pissed off about quitting smoking, I swam laps for 30 minutes today, and WEAU wants to interview me about #26Acts - so my New Year's resolutions are still going strong.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Well. Here it is. A blog. My blog.

This is me:

Cute, right? That dimple in my cheek? Yep, I still have that. Unfortunately, I have no idea where the sparkly hat or twirling uniform are. But I digress . . .

Why a blog? Why now? There are seveal reasons, actually. I've had friends and relatives tell me for the last several years that I should have a blog, a place to record all the funny stories and strange happenings that seem to follow me like a rabid squirrel. Sure, it would be fun to record these stories, but I just didn't have the motivation.

But motivation slapped me upside the head when I wrote out my list of 2013 New Year's Resolutions, which are:

1. Complete 26 acts of kindness each month. An explanation of which can be found here.
2. Quit Smoking
3. Lose 50 pounds
4. Be more active in my church
5. Actively work on my dating life

It's #5 which has inspired this blog. I have signed up for a year on eharmony. A YEAR! That's a year of potentially horrible first dates and the stories that go along with them. A year of weeding the creepy guys out from the potentially good guys. Let's be honest, I kind of suck at both identifying guys who are possibly interested in me and figuring out how to let guys know I'm interested in them. My thinking is this - by documenting the process, I may be able to view the search to find "Mr. Wright" in a different light. And maybe, if anyone reads this blog, I can get some help/feedback/advice/criticism/encouragement for how I'm approaching the whole experience.

So let's start now. Here are the pictures I posted on eharmony:

OK, This picture is the one I have on the main page. Yes, I know, Buffy is no longer with us, but I kind of like the picture anyway. Is it too morbid?

And this picture is included simply to illustrate my love of the Packers. I think it would also give me "cool" points.

I like this picture, though my hair is not that short anymore, but I think it's a good "fancy" picture.
OK, bear with me here. I know it's odd to include a picture of myself with Johnny Depp, but the picture shows the shape of my body. I feel the need to let interested guys know I'm not a small woman. 

This picture? I just like it, I guess.
OK, I know this isn't the most flattering picture. I included it because I feel like, because of my size, guys don't believe I'm pretty active. Besides that, I feel like it can provide a talking point if I ever get to a first date. There's even a funny story to go along with the picture. I was so proud that during the swim leg of the triathlon, I passed several people. During the bike portion, I also passed several people - one had a flat tire and one crashed his bike - BUT I PASSED THEM! During the run portion, I was lapped by a 10 year old, but I finished and didn't come in last. I came in 2nd to last, thanks to the guy who crashed his bike :-)
 So, what I'd like to know is - what do you think of my choice of pictures? Be honest, I can take it. If you are my friend on FB and there are any pictures of me that would be better choices, let me know.
And don't expect all my posts to be this obnoxiously long. Some posts will just be screams of frustration, I'm sure.