VDay Vibe

So it’s no “surprise” that I wasn’t really looking forward to valentine’s day this year. I’ve been doing pretty well emotionally lately, but yesterday my mind was swimming with thoughts of my ex. Not necessarily sad thoughts, but thoughts nonetheless. Luckily, I had an extremely hectic day at work, so I didn’t have a lot of time to sulk or dwell on it. Hopefully he had a good day with whatever it is that he did or didn’t do.

After the craziness of work yesterday (including the departure of a good work friend–it was her last day!), I met up with some friends for dinner. As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do anything for valentine’s day, but something told me to stop being a grouch and go out anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? I was having dinner with a group full of people, who like me, were single too. Why not enjoy each other’s company?

A good friend of mine coordinated this dinner of the lonely heart’s club. I didn’t realize until I got there, that he had invited a person or three that I hadn’t met before. While I wasn’t in the mood to “pep up the perk” with the new people, I sucked it up anyway and gave it a go. I sat right next to one friend of his and introduced myself. Turns out that was the best thing I could have done that entire night.

The friend (he was a guy) and I hit it off immediately and started to talk like we had known each other for years. He seemed to be very friendly and genuine. He looked really sharp in his work attire–a navy sport coat, tailored dark gray pants and brown dress shoes (similar to the outfit below):


I was immediately drawn to him by all of his travel stories. He had recently gotten back from India and told me about all the amazing things he experienced there. He also mentioned having pretty much gone to every Asian and European country over the course of ten years with the goal of traveling as much as he can while he’s “young”.  Some travel was for business and some was for pleasure. While talking about his travels, he happened to mention that he was originally from Milwaukee, WI…which is where my ex is from, ha.

oh my gosh

(In reference to the meme above, Check out the manitowoc minute here)

I pretended to not have been told “everything I’ve ever wanted to know about the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin the state (in general), The Packers and “Da’ Rodgers” ” prior and let him explain his hometown to me in his own words. Luckily, he had a different perspective of Milwaukee, so it was like hearing about it for the first time (no, he does not have a Wisconsin accent and neither did my ex, unless he was frustrated and then he did and it was funny–but that’s irrelevant to this story). He even told me about this “speakeasy” place I should checkout if I ever go there.

After dinner, everyone seemed pretty tired and called it a night. It was pushing closer to 9 and after a long workday, that made sense, but tailored suit guy asked if I wanted to join him to walk a few doors down to a chocolate shop. I had nothing else better to do, so why not?

“After all, it’s valentine’s day…what’s valentine’s day without chocolate?,” so off we went to grab chocolate.

We managed to snag some truffles about ten minutes before the shop closed and we were booted out at which point he asked if I wanted to grab a drink some place. Through conversation, we realized that we lived about ten minutes from each other on the other side of town. He suggested we meet at this cozy dive bar on our side of town to continue the evening, so off we went.

After meeting up at the dive bar, we spoke another two hours or so about traveling, our jobs, our friends, our random adventures, how terrible hitting 30 felt, how difficult it can be to make friends at this age and so on. We even found out we share a birthday week. He told me some funny stories about how he and his friends bought a sailboat one year with the plan to sail around for a week, but none of them knew how to sail and the boat sank within the first six hours they were on it (no one died).

The conversation was so fascinating and the more we spoke, the more I wanted to know about this guy. It was so interesting. He kept me on the edge of my seat the entire night, but just as equally seemed interested in my life stories as well. Not only was he interesting, he was very kind, patient, non-judgemental and down to earth. I felt like I speaking to someone I’ve known all my life.

Our night came to an end around midnight when we both realized that we had “grown up jobs” and needed to get to bed. We exchanged numbers and made our newly cemented friendship, “facebook official”.

I couldn’t help but to smile on the way home because of the social interaction. I haven’t had such a great and engaging social interaction like that in months and I’ve been longing for that level of connection for some time. While I’ve been dating here and there, I’ve realized lately that there’s something missing…and it’s this spark of being engulfed in engaging conversation to the point of losing track of time (and reality). The guys are nice (and some are fun), but just not extremely interesting conversation wise. I haven’t felt this same level of excitement in speaking to someone since I met my ex. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met so many people over the past few months (friends, flings,  otherwise, etc) that have held my attention (and have even been fun), but maybe not to this extent. The funny thing is, I’m not even holding this guy in a romantic light in anyway shape or form. He’s so damn cool that I just want to be his friend. Sometimes it’s just cool to have someone to vibe with platonically and I feel like he’s someone I could hangout with and could always guarantee a good time.

Since last night we’ve spoken back and forth today about how we both had a great night last night. I’m even inviting him to my birthday dinner in two weeks and he’s invited me to his later on the same week.

So no, while I didn’t get to skip around last night , hand in hand with a “bae”, I did make a new friend and that to me was a nice way to end such a potentially shitty day.


The Teacher

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a “date” with this guy I’m going to nickname, “the teacher” for lack of me being too lazy to come up with something more creative. He’s a high school teacher, so that suits him well enough for now.

The Teacher and I had spoken back and forth for a week or two, but never settled on plans for a “date” due to each of us fighting off nasty viruses that have been going around (well, more so being busy on my end). I had semi forgotten we had pending date plans until he reached out to me to see what my weekend was looking like…and then I realized my weekend was getting kind of full and fast.

He suggested we meet for drinks at a brewery on Saturday afternoon, on the edge of town. Sort of a happy hour of sorts, minus the food (though I think there was a food truck somewhere on site).

I wasn’t sure what to expect—well, I should say, I didn’t have many expectations from this, “date” mostly because we hadn’t spent a great deal of time getting to know each other beforehand. We exchanged very basic information about one another (our careers, where we were born, our hobbies, etc), but that is it, so the success of the “date” was truly going to ride off conversation, which can be hit or miss in person.

When I walked into the crowded brewery, I saw him standing against the wall nervously. He looked like the textbook definition of a teacher. He had on one of those sweaters with the buttons and pockets, glasses and a bashful grin.

sweater button down

I greeted him with a one armed hug (those hugs I give to co-workers or distant relatives I barely know or to people when my hands are full), we said our introductions and hopped in line for beer (the line was outrageous). There were people and dogs everywhere. I figured while we stood in line, we could chitchat about various things, just to pass the time, but instead, he stood BEHIND me and said nothing. This was reminiscent of guy #1 from last week. I turned around to him a few times to drop bait in hopes of starting a conversation, but he would mostly respond with somewhat of a short answer and then not follow up with anything further. Conversations to me are like playing catch. To keep it going, you’ve got to participate (i.e. catch the ball and toss it back). In this situation, it was like I’d throw the ball to him, he’d catch it and then set it down in the grass just walk away. This happened about three times until I gave up and just waited in line in silence.

This was going to be interesting, if he wasn’t going to talk…

We finally made it to the front of the line (side by side this time) and ordered our beers. I at least got him to recommend a stout from the menu. That was one topic he elaborated on. I already had my wallet out, because I wasn’t sure if he was treating or not. He wasn’t.

I have a rant about this, but I don’t feel like going into it now…in a nutshell though, I’m OK with paying for myself (or even treating if I’m seriously dating someone), BUT if I’m “invited out” for a DATE (especially if it is some place the guy wants to take me to and it’s early on, like our first or second date), it sort of shifts my expectations for the rest of the DATE, which I’ll now consider a hangout, which to me has zero undertones of romance.  Which, I’m good on new friends for now bruh…you see where this is going…

Anyway, the brewery was far too crowded and there were no open seats. With it raining outside a bit, there were no hopes of sitting at the picnic tables either, so we huddled under the very crowded porch where the smokers were hanging out. I hate the smell of smoke. He apologized several times for this, but I rolled with the punches, because he couldn’t control any of it.

Our conversation started out very slowly, but eventually picked up over the next hour or so. Turns out, he’s far more interesting than he originally came across and opened up quite a bit more as the evening went on. He was in the army and did some IT work while he was enlisted. Once he got out, he decided to go get his master’s in teaching and the rest is history. He told me stories about how he’s basically lived all over the U.S. and all of the cool places he go to travel to while in the military and how he is finally starting to consider this area, “home”.

Our allotted 2.5 hour time slot came and went actually quicker than I anticipated and I respectfully announced my exit. I just told him I had another engagement with friends that evening and needed to get going, but that I enjoyed his company. He very respectfully walked me to my car and gave me a hug. He nervously exclaimed that he had fun as well and asked if I wanted to, “do this again sometime”.

Did I feel sparks or an “instant connection”? Not really, but something about him seemed charming enough to give it another go, so we’ll see.  We haven’t planned anything yet, but while I was out with baby face, I got a text from him saying that he’d love to see me again (I obviously waited until he was in the bathroom to answer this text message).

I was obviously a bit (*ahem*) “tied up” Saturday night, but reached back out to him with a bit more of a substantial response regarding date #2 this morning, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully well. I’m trying to remain open minded.

Tonight (well, Monday–depending upon when I publish this actual post), I have rescheduled dinner (Indian food) plans (was set for last night (Sunday), but a migraine took me out the game for a good portion of the evening) with this other guy, who I barely remember hitting it off with friday (or Thursday) night while out with friends and in line grabbing a cider in another brewery downtown. Let’s just call him, “SamIam“. The only thing I remember about him was that he was quite charming, tall, had a nice smile and worked in IT, but preferred creative writing (just like me). I’m taking it he also enjoys cider???Hopefully he can carry on a conversation sober…

Maybe it’s the Hummus talking…

I’m about to spill some much needed T down this page…even if it’s just for my own reality check.

Sidebar: I’m eating hummus in an attempt not to eat junk food.

So ok, I was reading a Twitter thread this morning about the slow death of a situationship/relationship.

The man speaks mad truth & his entire thread was relatable, but it got me to thinking how I have a bad habit of focusing too much on someone’s potential  and not the “here and now” version of them acting a fucking mess right in front of me. This also got me to thinking how I often don’t hold people accountable to even CHOOSE to feel and exhibit/communicate said feelings like an emotionally mature adult. I’ve always tried to see everyone’s good intentions and “hope” that they will eventually act like they have some fucking sense, but in the meantime, I’ll just patiently wait until they do and that can be emotionally frustrating to me.

Fuck. All of that.

That idea of thinking has (at times) landed me in situations where I’ve gotten burned. I was actually in a situation four years ago exactly like the Twitter thread above. I went along with a situation that seemed to be going somewhere and to have it kind of crumble just as quickly as it blossomed.

A little wiser now, I’ve learned a lot from that situation and grown from it. I have a better idea of what I want and more importantly what I need.

It would be easy for me to fall back into old habits with this guy (dating, but sometimes in a relationship, but then situationshipping it), but I deserve better than that & I would hope he realizes he does too. I’ve kept a considerable amount of  distance (technology wise- since we already live in different towns) from him lately, mostly just to back off and do my own thing. No, I’m not angry or upset at him, I just want to kick back in my own thoughts for a spell. We’ve spoken on the phone or through text (mutual initiation) weekly in the past month and I’m A-ok with it.

The hardest part for me is dismissing his horrible habit of selling dreams. He’s such a sweet guy, but he often gets carried away in saying all of this highly sentimental bullshit, which I believe is true, but 50% of the time doesn’t always have the “balls” to back it up/doesn’t know how to show it.

I’m an “actions” person. There is only so much you’re going to be able to say to me before I ask you to “prove it”.

Additional Edit: All the bitter rambling aside, he’s really impressed me with how much he’s grown over the years. He’s almost becoming that guy (emotionally) that I WISH he had been when I dated him. I often wonder what things would be like if things between us actually progressed again.

A Favor/Advice 

Do yourself a favor and remember this bit of advice :

Anyone who values you and genuinely wants to get to know you/continue a relationship with you (friendship/otherwise), will make it a point to stay in touch with you without you nudging/asking them to do so. Period. Don’t entertain anyone who is not willing to make that effort and invest their time in you. You matter.