In the almost three years since I started my blog, I’ve been told several times that the hardest way to publish a book is to start it as a blog. “You know, blog to book is the hardest way to go,” writing experts keep saying. That figures. As it would seem with almost everything in my life, I seem to be destined to do everything the hard way.
In writing these posts about Man #47, the difficulties of going blog to book have really come to the forefront. You see, whenever I start writing about someone readers dislike, like Man #47, the comments flood in and have the potential to influence the story. It’s not like I’ve closed myself off with my computer in a little room, outlined my great American love story, and have a clear direction here. The scariest part about this whole process of self experimentation is that I, like you, don’t yet know the outcome. However, I’m now so far behind in my writing that I know how this part ends and you don’t, and because of the influence your comments have had on me, I’ve been tempted to simply write off the rest of the Man #47 posts and tell you to read the book to find out what happens.
But…I like your comments. So, it’s cocktail time again, folks. Yes, that’s right. I got laid. It’s been a really long time, since my last cocktail, so I may have some new readers since then. If you’re new to the blog, the announcement of today’s cocktail is my disclaimer that today’s post will be of a mature, and perhaps,…no, not perhaps…it will be a gratuitous nature, and if you’re at all squeamish about sexual details or easily offended, today is a good day to take a break from the blog. Continue to read at your own risk.
If you’re feeling brave…or maybe just a little bit pervy, by all means, mix yourself a cocktail and continue reading. It’s always good to have a stiff drink while we’re recapping my sexual encounters. I know it certainly helps me.
Today’s cocktail is the Old Fashioned. Mix it strong. We’re going to need it. Now, I’ll be honest; the Old Fashioned is one of my favorite drinks. If I’m in the mood for a cocktail, if it’s not a Manhattan in my hand, I’m probably drinking an Old Fashioned. What can I say? I’m a bourbon girl. In this case, however, The Old Fashioned is what you would call…well…
The Friday of Father’s Day weekend, I met Man #47 at SeaTac Airport after work. (Oh, yeah, between the time of my last post about Man #47 and this one I got a job, so I guess you will need to read the book after all.) Anyway, I met Man #47 at SeaTac and drove him to his hotel.
When we got to his room, he opened his bag and started removing half of its contents. He had packed a reusable grocery bag, which he opened and sat on the bed. Next he removed a bottle of California olive oil. It was for me. He considered it the best and thought I would like it. It went in the bag. Next, there were crackers and a lavender-scented French soap. Lovely. Five cans of canned salmon were next. I had to wonder what kind of individual brings a Seattleite canned salmon, but I’m not judging. I’m not.
After the salmon, he pulled out a promotional glass coffee mug with his business logo on it. Since at this point, my mom and I had done enough internet sleuthing to discover that his last girlfriend was, like me, a long distance relationship, I wondered if there were promotional glass coffee mugs scattered across the U.S. Perhaps this was a way to mark his territory. I wondered if there were middle-aged women everywhere with his mugs in their kitchen cupboards. There were various other small gifts, primarily food gifts that he hoped I would like, and it was actually pretty sweet. We left his room to head for dinner with my new reusable grocery bag heavy with its contents and left his suitcase, open on the bed, half empty.
We chose to go to an Italian restaurant for dinner, and although I normally would have felt quite comfortable, I found myself feeling self-conscious about what I was ordering. Man #47 had told me he liked women with my body type, but I still felt inclined to search for something on the menu that seemed the most healthy. It might have just been my hangup, but for some reason I vaguely felt like I was being judged.
After dinner, we went to the U Village QFC to shop for our picnic groceries for the next day’s trip out to Sol Duc Falls. Man #47 is on a low-sodium diet, which meant that our deli meat was forty cents more per pound than I usually pay. He had been telling me for over a month that he was frugal, but at every turn in the grocery store his items were either name brand, more expensive, or both.
“I think you might be more frugal than I am,” he said. At least as far as our grocery shopping was concerned this certainly seemed to be the case. I usually shop by unit price, not always, but usually. Recently, at a Christmas party, I overheard my eldest son talking to one of my good friends about what it’s like to shop with me.
“It’s not the lowest big price,” he was explaining, “it’s the little price down in the corner.” What can I say? I’ve raised my sons to shop like me. I can’t help myself at this point. You have to shop by unit price if you have limited resources and want your dollar to stretch as far as possible.
Anyway, Man #47 and I purchased deli meat and bread for sandwiches, grapes, baby carrots, and a few other goodies for our trip to the peninsula. I had a cooler ready for the trip, so we took our loot back to my house, packed the cooler, and got the car ready so we could leave bright and early the next day.
After the cooler was packed, I drove Man #47 back to his hotel room. We wanted to get an early start the next morning.
I’m not going to lie however. In the month and a half or so leading up to our first meeting the sexual tension between Man #47 and I had been building. Yes, Man #47 sent me an unsolicited dick pic, which initially threw me off, but over time, we had talked about a lot of important things, things you must talk about in order to have a serious relationship with someone. We talked about parenting, money, exes, business, healthy living, what we wanted should we ever marry again, and yes, sex.
Add to these conversations the fact that Man #47 was just as handsome as he was in his profile picture and on Skype and…well…I wanted to throw him on the bed and ride him like I was Debra Winger on the mechanical bull in Urban Cowboy.
Oh shit, and would you look at that. We’re already over 1200 words, which means you need to get yourself another cocktail, and I’ll be back with the juicy details in the next post.
This post is brought to you by my new sponsor and favorite neighborhood restaurant, 50 North. Since my first visit in June when I met Man #48, I have been there several times with friends. It’s got a grown-up, contemporary atmosphere that’s sophisticated but not pretentious. They’ve got friendly staff, a cute bartender, and great, good food. Go check them out, because My Dating Prescription readers get a 10% discount on their bill by using the coupon code DATE NIGHT. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there!
Man #48 and I found each other on eHarmony. I know! e-fucking-Harmony! How could this happen after all of my ranting about their evangelistic, anti-gay platform for online dating?
Chocolate martinis. That’s all I’ll say. Four of them to be exact. Mix in Sam, Really, Really Nice Guy, and a free promotional weekend on eHarmony and you have a recipe for disaster. I was spending another evening at Sam’s and she was on another rant about me and my dating.
“You need to just suck it up and get on eHarmony. Everybody I know who has ever met anyone online has met them on eHarmony, and don’t tell me about your allegiance with your gay friends. I don’t want to hear it. You’re spending all this time and money on dates, and you’re never going to find anyone on OkCupid or Plentyoffish.”
“eHarmony’s too expensive.”
“It’s more expensive to go out on dates with men who aren’t serious about finding a relationship.” Sam was right about one thing. Almost everybody I knew who had found a long-term relationship through online dating had found it on eHarmony. Sam met Really, Really Nice Guy on eHarmony. Her argument had ammo.
Just sending me home to sign up and fill out my profile was not good enough for Sam though. She started mixing chocolate martinis and then took control of the computer. The idea was to get a few drinks in me and then ask me to answer the questionnaire in a looser, more “honest” fashion, as if my usual sarcasm would not suffice. Basically, through a process of vetoes, editing, and censorship, Sam and Really, Really Nice Guy filled out my questionnaire and profile and chose my photos. They are not the same photos I would choose for myself, but then, I guess that was the point. There’s one of me playing urban golf with a foam golf ball in the streets of Georgetown and another one from Halloween where I’m dressed as Beatrix Kiddo. If any man can find me attractive in a yellow jumper with a kung fu practice sword and fake blood on my forehead, I suppose he’s a winner.
After my profile was set up, Sam went to work sending out “ice-breaker” questions to men on my behalf. After each transmission, she was sure to point out how, “That one has a master’s degree,” “He’s a doctor,” and “All of these men so far have been professionals.”
Ok, point taken. The pickings did seem to be of higher quality. And so there you go. The next thing I knew, Man #48, an engineer, and I were making a date.
The weather was warm the day I went to meet Man #48 at 50 North. It was early June; the sun was shining; and it was a perfect day for a walk. I dressed in grey slacks, an aqua printed tank, and aqua sweater. I had just had my toenails painted, so I slipped on some cute sandals and walked down to the restaurant.
Man #48 was seated right where I could easily spot him at the end of the bar when I walked in. I went over and sat next to him. He was a pleasant looking man, but I found my conversation with him to be sort of weird. He kept asking me to ask him the most embarrassing question I could. His point was that he was comfortable talking about anything, but his insistence on asking him an embarrassing question actually made me uncomfortable. It went sort of like this.
“Ask me the most embarrassing question you can think of.”
“Oh, I don’t know. What’s the worst date you’ve had,” I asked, trying to ask a question but not send the conversation into an unwanted area. He answered the question and the conversation continued in a pretty normal way, but then he said again, “You still haven’t asked me a really embarrassing question.” There was an awkward pause and I could tell he was waiting for me to come up with something.
I said, “You know, I’d rather just get to know someone through the course of normal conversation. I think the embarrassing stuff comes out soon enough anyway.” He seemed disappointed and reassured me again that he was comfortable talking about anything.
Ok. Whatever dude.
He was a nice guy, probably too nice in fact. He had taken care of his wife for years before her death, and now spent a good deal of his time watching his adopted daughter’s children and taking care of his mother. There seemed to be some very important women vying for his attention and I didn’t know how much of that I could deal with long-term. If you haven’t noticed, I like to keep my life as uncomplicated as possible, and it sounded like he had a lot of care-taking duties going on.
Because of Sam’s insistence that I “stop being so picky,” I decided to go on two more dates with The Caretaker, but I could tell the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Whenever asked, I would offer date ideas that would almost guarantee we wouldn’t spend any intimate time together. For our second date, we went to the driving range on a Sunday morning followed by brunch. Afterward, I had a very busy day ahead of me, so by 11 a.m., I had to be going. Our next date was a day of blueberry picking with 8 other friends of mine. We had some good quality conversation between rows of blueberry bushes, but at the end of the date I knew I couldn’t go out with him again. I could tell he was expecting things to move along, and I just wasn’t attracted to him in that way.
The next time I saw Sam she asked me how The Caretaker and I were doing.
“I’m not going to see him again.”
“What? Why not?” She sounded really perturbed.
“He talks all the time and laughs at his own jokes, which aren’t funny,” I said, “and I know you’re disappointed, but he’s not fuckable.”
“That’s important,” said Really, Really Nice Guy.
“Yes. Thank you.”
Some things are just binary, and The Caretaker’s one was not getting anywhere near my zero.