48 Hours Into it

Morning. Hey pretty U. Goodday dear. Hi. Beautiful :-). Hello. Hi dear. Hey you look so beautiful. Hi Ms. Hot Damn! Hello there! Hey Gorgeous! How about we chat?

My best (guy) friend said it would happen. He has been telling me to get going with the on-line dating thing for years. Annoyed with my insistence to stay with the familiar, he started begging me to stop obsessing about this one loser guy in particular I’d been seeing, and go find someone more deserving of my time. “You’re acting like you live on a Greek island in the 13th century with three men to choose from Julie. Will you just set up your on-line profile and start entertaining yourself with the emails that will come pouring in?” HAHAHA… pouring in? Yeah right! Screw you I thought. I’d rather be miserable.

But now, several years later, and just 48 hours into it…I’m laughing about his prediction and thinking, I should’ve listened to him when I was so upset with loser. Not that I’m finding anyone all that interesting to replace loser, but at least I feel somewhat less hopeless about the thought of dating. I mean there are so many fish (many of them oddballs, yes) in the internet sea and needless to say, if I can avoid getting depressed over it, I am, and will be, totally entertained by them.  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve received so far…

The first guy, apparently a nerdy cook, asks if I like accents? He tells me the most beautiful ladies are from Michigan. He’s Eastern Eurpoean, 27 and wants to buy me a drink… or if I don’t want to go out, he’ll happily come to my house and rub my feet.

There’s Angelo from Cuba who thinks I’m “stunning!!!” He’s tall, dark and does research in a lab. He’s 30. He says girls in his age group play a lot of games and bs and that older women tend to know what they want and are more open, adding that he’s a “huge little perv in bed (wink wink)”.

There’s the noname with the lovely torso but I’m not sure about his head (his only photo is without one)? He says he’s “in a sexless marriage looking for a like-minded playmate for his insatiable sensual side. Not looking for a long term love affair but not a one-nighter either. More of an on-going FWB sorta thing”. He says he’s doing this on-line thing on the “down low with no plans to fall in love. This is about nurturing his need for regular good sexual and passionate compassion.” I felt sad for him because well a sexless marriage is sad but I only wrote to say I wasn’t interested in such a silly arrangement. I suggested he consider a divorce. He liked my candor but said it would be a “terrible time to break up the family”. Well, hello Torso, is it ever a good time? And how do you think this plan of yours is going to help matters anyway? He has since deleted his profile. I found myself wondering if maybe his wife is dying? Oh god.

And there’s CasssanovaBeastieboyz with unusually broad shoulders and a freakishly skinny waist. His profile is a shot from behind without a shirt making him look like a cartoon. Curious but horrified, I didn’t read his profile. Both Beastie and a guy called Chris or Christen678 say they are “Speechless” after reading my profile… and in fact, they say nothing but that and “hello”.

There’s Todd who wants a little bit of my time to chat, but says nothing else and his profile is empty.

Daniel who goes by Ima_headaches says “a beautiful woman originally from the midwest, has kids and volunteers as an art teacher” makes me one of his favorites. Sadly his profile sucks.

Ross likes my green strappy sandals and wants to spoon under the blanket I knit by hand. (He’s actually the only winner on this list. Not that my bar is super low or anything, but I honestly liked that he noticed and mentioned liking my shoes. I also am partial to anyone who both notices my knitting and wants to spoon. Spoon. That’s so much more appropriate to say to someone you don’t know than some of the other things people say they want to do under my blankets. Take notes boys.)

Jackson, the estate lawyer, knew about how critical it is to massage raw kale in a salad which was impressive. Then he said he needed a knitted scarf and added a (hint hint) which was a turn off. Knitters don’t just knit for men, especially men they don’t know. Hello!? (boys take notes). I told him that and he said he’d trade a ditty about my grandmother’s love life or an updated will. I paused and considered an updated will but decided no. In his profile he says he likes to swear. I like to swear too, but he has a photo of himself eating ice cream with his daughter titled “don’t I look like gangster fuck?”and I don’t know call me a prude, but I didn’t really like that. I didn’t get it really.  Plus he looked at least 25 years older and much different than the first picture in which he looked like a young strapping Greek god with blue eyes. I took an average of those two shots (being generous as I should’ve probably just thrown out the first as a ploy to get women to even look at his profile), and I weighed the title with the little girl in the shot and decided I didn’t need to update my will or hear anything about my grandma’s love life… at least not that badly.

Then there’s the African American guy with a pink octopus hat who says “something feels dirty about summarizing myself, like if I do it too much I’ll go blind”. LOL. I actually loved his entire profile– if he were a standup comic…just not my date. Or maybe I can go back to him at some point? He was hilarious!

There’s the guy called areopresssvitamixx who likes my garbage cans, but then his profile was deleted.

There’s Edward who thinks we have a lot in common, being divorced and having two kids and all. He rambled something about his joint custody fish and said I’d look better without a hat.

There’s the crazy looking 65 year old man originally from Chicago who thinks, because I’m from from Detroit, we’d make a handsome couple.

There’s Longmanny in Calgary who can’t do without his bible and wants to talk.

There’s the guy from Texas and the one from Maryland… and several from New York.

There’s Shawn the doctor who said ” your genuinity makes your profile easy to read”. (Say that ten times real fast. LOL) He likes my knitting and would love to “know me”. Call me picky, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that he used the word genuinity in a sentence and didn’t put it in quotes. And you call yourself a doctor?

There’s Toby with an introduction (one he admitted in an immediate follow up message was idiotic) that said it looks like I mostly “knit, lie in a chaise lounge and kiss my dog”.  He wants to know where to sign up? and if he can be my dog? (At this point I wasn’t responding to losers so I just figured this one is going on my blog…)

There’s the guy from Sonoma in a light blue tux. He likes to sip red wine and play with his three boys. Sorry but more than zero kids and the Brady Bunch theme song starts playing in my head…you know the one… “There’s the story, of a man named Brady, Who was busy with three boys of his own, They were four men, living all together…” I can turn it down for up to two kids, especially if at least one is a girl, but then it’s hard to hear anything else plus, I sort of hate light blue tuxes (boys take notes).

There’s Lawrence who likes to be dominant and Sam who is submissive. Oy.

There’s John who is in a “very healthy happy marriage to his beautiful dream wife” and he’s looking for another. (Hello John, Are we in Utah?)

But seriously, I had no idea there were so many amazingly darling men out there who have traveled (random question: unless your a Brit doesn’t that word have one “l” or did I miss the memo?) the world, love to cook healthy meals (and do the dishes!), who love their mothers, have successful careers, enjoy living life to the fullest, play guitar, like to rub feet, enjoy long intimate emotion-filled conversations with their female partner, do yoga, fly airplanes, hang glide and ski and on top of all that they even list “sex” in the things they are good at. Yawn.

I hope this gets better because right now, boys, 48 hours into it…Detroit chick, she ain’t impressed.

(note: All true except I changed the names at least somewhat… though man there are some serious winner user names out there and I hated altering any of them. I bet some of these guys have no clue how good their user name is. LOL. Also, I feel compelled to say, in case anyone wonders, the referenced “loser”, who will never be named, is absolutely not my ex-husband. My ex-husband is not a loser.)

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One Night Hand

Two Tweets

I had a boyfriend for a short while today on my flight from San Francisco to Detroit. He was funny and smart, a techie who loved his job. He wore a light grey t-shirt with the classic blue Twitter bird printed on the front and jeans. He was good-looking with smooth brown skin, a well-groomed beard and mustache, perfect white teeth, and an easy smile.

We chatted away on the runway and through take off…laughing, comparing notes on stuff, like where to get the best burritos in the Mission. He was on his way home to New York after two weeks working in the San Francisco office. He told me about his work. I was impressed with his example of why it was meaningful to him: “It connects people in ways unimaginable a few years ago. People really depend on it to transmit critical information during times of political unrest for instance or storms”. He asked about my work too. I told him about my work advocating for babies, birth to 3. We discussed how far behind the U.S. lags in social policies, things like paid parental leave and quality affordable infant care. He seemed genuinely interested, like he “got it”, without much need for explanation. Younger people usually do get my work.

That’s when we established he was, in fact, exactly half my age (23 years old)… which, other than the fact that he understood why investing in babies matters, came as a total surprise to me. Coincidentally, my aunt recently explained to me over the phone, in reference to this phenomenon I’ve noticed lately of talking to men and being suddenly surprised that I could be their grandmother, “I’m afraid it always does (come as a surprise) Jul”.

We shifted our discussion to matters of parenting and family. I was thinking if I couldn’t date him, I wanted to know how someone raises a child like him? Was I doing it already with my two children OR were there secret ingredients I might learn from him that I could add to my parenting mix? He told me about his mother – how she shared my love of hot yoga and healthy eating, having no shame in calling him on a business trip to ask what he was eating and if he was taking care of himself? He said it was sweet not meddling, and he added that she has always been this way. He said, in fact, her interest in conscious living was so deep-seated, she and his father were currently in Nepal on a “healing retreat”. (Time out: Married people in their 50’s together on a healing retreat? I was already in love with them and didn’t even know their names.) He went on to tell me about his sister who just graduated from Juilliard as a ballerina. I think he told me about other siblings as there were 5 and he was the youngest, but some of this is a blur. I started to go into my own little Fantasyland at Nepal. I do remember he talked about his love of all things nerdy and how I should continue to support my son’s interest in coding in particular and my daughter’s gift for the performing arts. He said it sounded like I was doing everything right as a mom. I was getting a pep talk from a 23 year old and it felt good. By now I was ready to sit down to dinner with his family and ask them more questions… “How did you do it?” I’d begin, while sipping hot tea.

I really admired what a confident and alive young man he was…well, until the turbulence started and suddenly, without any warning, he grabbed my hand with his, which was cold and clammy. With a look of shock (at himself I think or maybe in reaction to my look of shock at his grabbing my hand so unexpectedly?) but not letting go, he said “I’m scared. Can I keep holding your hand?” At this point the whole left side of his body was pressed against the right side of mine. I hadn’t noticed it before but the armrest was up. His thighs were bigger than I expected. His body was strong and warm other than his hand, like I mentioned, which was clammy and cold. It seemed a little forward and odd of him to want to keep holding my hand…but i said sure, of course. I mean what else could a good person say? That’s when I noticed he was holding his breath. I suggested he close his eyes, try to think about something relaxing and breathe with me. He did and we breathed together. I told him to concentrate on breathing out (I know from consulting my best friend who happens to be a therapist, the problem lies not in breathing in, the problem lies in not breathing out.). We breathed together…in… and out… in… and out…in…and out. Eventually, his breath calmed down and was in sync with mine. We kept breathing like that until, well, I finally had the nerve to look over at his face (before this point, I didn’t want to look directly at him and hold his hand and breathe with him. It all felt just way to intimate somehow) and that’s when I realized he had fallen asleep… holding my hand!

The really awkward thing was my sister was sitting several rows up. I kept wondering what she would think if she walked by and saw me holding a random guy’s hand, someone I met just twenty minutes ago. She’s too nice to say anything—plus I’m going through a divorce and while she has historically been exceptionally generous and patient with me, she has been particularly so lately, as I’ve begun to navigate the dating world. Would she think it was all prearranged on-line? I couldn’t help but imagine her look of total disbelief. At the very least, she’d give me a “WTF?” with her eyes. His grip was strong and I worried if I pried his hand loose to avoid all that embarrassment with my sister, I’d disturb him and he did look awfully peaceful. So, I just decided to enjoy it…because really, WTF?

So I closed my eyes too and pretended that I was on my way to Paris for the weekend holding hands with a new lover (instead of on my way to a memorial service in Detroit, holding hands with a stranger). When he woke up (what seemed like a really long time later), the turbulence was gone. He thanked me and smiled and we unpeeled our hands. The rest of the flight I felt a little cheated somehow…like that was it?

And that’s the story of the boyfriend I had for a short while on a flight from San Francisco to Detroit.