Desperately Seeking Something: How to Fuck Everything Up

After I met two cool guys at the bar at which I was working, and stalked the shit out of the handsome one, I went into work that next afternoon, swooning. The mysterious Grown Up (formerly known as Handsome) was completely occupying my mind. I was always game for a challenge, and someone who couldn’t be found on social media was definitely a challenge in my book. My bartender friend and I spent the very slow work day planning my future wedding to my newest crush.

Desperately Seeking Something

I didn’t have to wait long for the first real email. Some time around noon that afternoon, The Grown Up responded to my adorable comment with just enough sass to make me laugh and just enough weirdness to make me smile. I knew responding to him was going to be fun.

He told me that I obviously had beer goggles on, as he was definitely not “adorable,” though I was welcome to call him dashing, debonair, distinguished, or even elegant. He made some ridiculous nonsensical commentary on my email signature, which referenced a leadership role in an organization and my consultant status for Tastefully Simple. It was teasing, light, and absolutely adorable. His sense of humor really nailed it for me. It was just random enough to make me think more and carefully craft a response that played off his playful tone.

I told him that he was definitely all of those things, but he was also adorable with the definitive argument that it was my word and so it would be that he were adorable.

I added a little light banter about his obvious modesty, and sent the response later that evening. As I waited for another email, I analyzed every word in his first email. I used any personal details to continue my Google search. I still couldn’t find him on social media. Maybe he didn’t have a Facebook account. Maybe he wasn’t that techy or internetty. I even sent him a chat request that went unanswered.

But he e-mailed me the next day using that same, adorable and teasing tone.

Modesty

Words turn me on.

I was seriously hooked. His word choices. His sense of humor.  He was smart. And a smart ass. I loved him. I sent another chat request before responding to his e-mail.

Actually, I sent him several chat requests that soon went unanswered. Shit. Was I fucking this up already?

If you didn’t already know, I was/am a master of fucking things up. I push buttons…A LOT. I kinda like testing my limits. It’s a thing.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent to the poor Grown Up...who was probably doing grown-up things.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent three days in a row to the poor Grown Up…who was probably doing grown-up things. I’m really bad at flirting.

My third IM (which was on the third day – and actually in the morning, and not at night) was met with an awkward response that made perfect sense. He worked at a computer all day. If he looked like he was online at night, he probably wasn’t ACTUALLY online.

Oh.

So we briefly conversed about our jobs and career paths, and I told him I wanted to be a teacher. Our conversation concluded with this little blurb of utter genius…something that I had forgotten completely until finding old conversations to use for this tale.

Grown Up: Being around young people is a good way to stay young. The company I work at now is practically geriatric. I'd say that the corporate culture is stilted... but, honestly, I think most people are kind of stilted generally and almost all corporate cultures have a chilling effect on individuality. me: yeah. The closest I came to working for a corporate company was when I was a catering manager, which hardly constitutes the corporate world Grown Up: Count your lucky stars! me: Every day!

Wise words from The Grown Up… If only I remembered this conversation before I jumped into Corporate America. It almost makes me a little sad for Corporate Chrissy…

After a three day Gmail love affair, though…life took its typical turn in relationship Chrissyland…and the handsome Grown Up didn’t respond again. Christmas was a few days away, and my last e-mail went unanswered. I failed to send another desperate IM during the busy that was Christmas.

Two days before Christmas, I met someone else…and two days after Christmas, someone from my past came back into my life, and the Grown Up that wasn’t pursuing me got pushed to the backseat by the boys that were. I suppose the saying is true…when it rains, it pours. And for me, it was raining men.

Hallelujah.

Was this the end? Would I ever see the Handsome Grown Up or Bright and Shiny again? Friends, tell it to me straight – have you ever pushed a little too hard when you were interested in someone? Do you not push enough? Tell me your tales of woo and woe!

Find out what happens next by clicking the picture below!

a long day at the bar

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When I Like Like Someone, I Internet Stalk Them

As we began our story last week, I met a couple of dudes in a bar and they invited me on a trip to Ireland. Just like that…

And I considered it for a hot minute.

And then fucking logic set in…

“But probably not. I don’t even know you guys!”

When I like like someone, I internet stalk themBright and Shiny was all, “Well give me your number just in case. Maybe we’ll all hang out again sometime or something. And then we won’t be strangers.”

So I gave him my number. I was having a good time with these guys…maybe I would end up going to Ireland with them. Maybe I would get to hang out with them again.

The brooding handsome guy didn’t say much…but he seemed really smart, and when he did speak, I’m sure he had very interesting things to say. I just don’t remember. But as they were leaving the bar, he asked for my email address instead of my number.

“Uhhh sure.” I rattled it off to him. Within 5 minutes, he had sent me a very simple email with his full name, the day of the week we met, and the bar.

So I got a number and an email address in one night. As a single, carefree 20-something, I thought it was a pretty successful evening. Even if I was way more interested in Handsome than Bright and Shiny.

Before any of us left the bar, I let my beer respond to Handsome’s email with, “you’re adorable.” And I meant it. (Yes, I emailed him while I was sitting across from him. Don’t judge me. That guy did it first!) Handsome didn’t read my email right away, and if he did, he didn’t let on.

He was attractive and smart. He had a job. He didn’t live with his parents (or anyone else’s parents). He seemed…like a grown up. And I had been dating a lot of non-grown ups. I decided then that I was interested in him. Apparently, the bartender, my girlfriend, could also tell I was into him before I knew it. She thought it was hilarious. After they left, she came up to me and teased me for my awkward flirting.

So I did what I always did when I was interested in a dude. I went home and proceeded to internet stalk the shit out of him. I  Googled his name. And searched for him on Facebook. And MySpace. And anywhere I could possibly find him on the internet. I searched by his name. His e-mail address. Everything. Anything. Every detail he had provided the night before. I was a woman on a mission.

And he was a fucking ghost. I was intrigued. Who doesn’t have a Facebook?

Do you vet potential dates on the internet before going out with them? Did you ever meet someone at a bar? How do/did you check out potential dates before going out with them?Who is this guy? Did I date him? Is this another story of unrequited crazy?

Click the pic below to read the next installment of this story

Desperately Seeking Something

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Bad Dates Illustrated With Crayons

Quirky Chrissy asked me to guest post today. All I could think to write about was a few of the bad dates I’d had in my twenties. This is me without enough coffee, obviously. Then, of course, I had to illustrate my adventures with crayons. That’s what happens when you become a parent. You have to do everything with crayons. I mean, your kids steal all of the pens and hide them so they can write on the wall when you aren’t looking. At least, that is what happens at my house.

When I was young I wasn’t much of a dater (Wait, is that even a word? I’m guest posting on the grammar Queen’s blog. It’s making me so nervous about punctuation and poorly chosen words). I was more of a serial monogamist. I had boyfriends, not dates. There was a short, awkward period, in my twenties, where I did actually try to date, but it didn’t exactly go so well. Usually, I’d just get nervous and say something embarrassing. Like this:

Super-Salad-comic

That awkward moment where you think the waitress asking if you want soup or salad is offering you a “super” salad.

Sometimes, I’d trip, or fall, or spill my drink all over the table and my date. In my defense, that one time when I did spill my drink, my date was totally looking way too hard at the waitresses cleavage. It’s not entirely my fault that Karma paid him a visit immediately. I mean, that just happens sometimes.

Bad date comic

Karma happens fast sometimes.

Dating has never been easy for me and now that I am married, it still isn’t. All of the self-help relationship books say husbands and wives need date nights to keep the spark alive. My husband and I try to do this, but because we haven’t found a reliable babysitter we often have to take our toddler with us. Whether or not a date, accompanied by a toddler, is actually a date, is debatable, but we are desperate (How many commas do I need here? Seriously, I don’t even know…). We take what we can get. We go on dates with our toddler. All. The. Time.

Bad dates: bringing the toddler

Dating hasn’t improved over the years.

Last St. Patrick’s Day, we drove an hour to a fancy restaurant and bar that promised food, green martinis, and dart championship games. When we got there the restaurant was closed and the bar didn’t have food. Plus, it’s weird to bring a toddler into a bar. I mean, everyone stops talking and sort of stares at you. It’s awkward. We were annoyed by the restaurants false advertising. We were also all really, really hungry. So, we got back in the car and headed towards the last restaurant we had passed on our 60 mile drive. Before we could get there, our daughter started crying and saying her tummy hurt. I figured she was probably just hungry. We all were. We were all getting a little cranky too. Unfortunately, I was terribly wrong. She wasn’t just hungry. She was sick. The vomiting started and would not stop. We pulled over on the side of the road. I tried to clean her up. We had vomit all over. It was kind of a disaster. We were all wearing green, looking miserable and smelling like vomit all the way home.

Bad Dates: St. Patricks Day

Little Toad Creek not even open when we got there at 3pm  (LIARS!)

Last St. Patrick’s Day was probably my worst bad date ever. Between the restaurant being closed, the cranky husband, the cranky toddler and the ode to vomit perfume (not to mention we ended up having spaghetti for dinner) it was spectacular in all the wrong ways. Still, at least I didn’t have to worry about getting a second date. I mean, we sealed that deal years ago. Thank God. Now we can just call bad dates life.

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Break the Hearts of Drug Addicts

Note: In this post, I am clearly showing off the stupidity of my younger days. The way I see it, these tales are over and done with…and they gave a story to tell. That is all. In no way do I ever condone the use of drugs.

When I was at the Bears game a few weeks ago, I was excited to see that I would get to watch my all-time favorite half time show. Kids vs. The Mascots. I couldn’t find a video of this year’s show, which included Staley the Bear and Benny the Bull dancing to Gangam Style, but I did find this gem:

There is nothing funnier than watching little kids get tackled by goofy team mascots.

Of course, watching the mascots got me thinking about one of my exes. Well, several of my exes, actually. (Pathetic right?) But I’m only going to talk about two, today.

Staley the Bear

This was the day that Staley the Bear gave me his phone number: 867-5309

The first, we shall call Staley. Everytime I see Staley the Bear dancing at Bear games, I think fondly of “Staley…” sort of. The way Staley moves completely and utterly reminds me of this guy, who I met on Halloween many years ago. I was dressed as Wonder Woman and he wasn’t dressed up at all. But he thought I was spectacular.

Halloween Wonder Woman Costume

With some of my pals–no, “Staley” is not in this picture.

I was going through a phase at this time in my life… I had finally and officially finished with Rockabilly and I was out having lots and lots of fun. I had recently been left in the dust by this really beautiful and charming guy, who we called 6’6″ because of his height. One day he just stopped calling, and I found myself drawn to this guy who kept calling me Pretty Lady and Wonder Woman.

Little did I know that Staley had recently been dumped pretty hardcore, and was also a recovering heroin addict, who smoked a whole lot of not-cigarettes. So he had his fair share of baggage.

We had a relatively long “relationship” that consisted of me heading over to his house after the bars closed to watch movies and hang out. This was a time that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. I would leave there at like 5 AM and go home, shower, and go straight to work. I’m not proud of the drinking I did back in those days, but I’ve very much outgrown that stage in my life. In addition to his drinking and smoking, he would occasionally feel the need to find some additional extra-curriculars. I remember going with him to Galway’s (The late night bar for a big portion of DuPage county barhoppers) while he was in search of…stuff. I wasn’t a fan.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t Staley’s biggest fan, but we had a fun thing going for a while there. Until he started to fall in love with me. I remember him whispering in my ear when he thought that I was asleep about how he wanted to be That man, the one deserving of me… I remember he repeated himself over and over, saying that he just wasn’t there yet, but he would work really hard to be that man for me. The next day, I decided that was the end of that. But he still called. And pushed. And tried really hard to see me. And I was busy. I had shit going on. And I was over it.

Several years later, right after The Bartender broke up with me, I was feeling a little down. And I started doing the internet dating thing again. Katie and I called this: Experimental Year. I’m not proud to admit that I found this guy on Craigslist, but so be it. I did. He seemed awesome. He was smart. Funny. His picture was attractive. We talked on instant messenger for far too long though. I liked him before I even met him.

And then I met him. And his teeth were all messed up (likely from the drugs). He smoked a lot. Of everything. He put whatever he could find up his nose. But I didn’t know all of that yet. He reminded me of Staley, but he seemed smarter. Funnier. And like, you can get teeth fixed. The Drug Addict was a special breed. He lived with his grandma. He owned his own business doing computer-y things. He seemed like a responsible human being. Until one night I went on an adventure with him.

He was supposed to take me out on a proper date. Instead, he took me to a bar about 45 minutes away where he was to be meeting a “friend.” I told him that I had to work really early the next day (I was serving at a breakfast restaurant, so 5:30 start time), and I wanted to be home by 10. “Oh sure! No problem!” I think he may have even called me Pretty Lady. Seriously.

So it got to be 7:30/8 and I still haven’t been taken to dinner. I get crabby when I’m hungry and I started getting angry. So The Drug Addict bought me bar dinner. And we continued to wait. Finally, he got what he needs or whatever. But then wanted to go to someone’s house. I told him that I want to go home, but somehow I got talked into hanging out. I started texting my brother to see if he would come pick me up. No one was available to rescue me. I tried everything I could think of, but somehow still couldn’t manage to get The Drug Addict to leave.

Finally it was about midnight, and I finally got the dude to go. After I threatened to take his car without him in it. That apparently worked. I will never forget the ride home, though. I obviously had to drive…and the idiot was doing lines in the passenger seat. I was so over that dumbass.

So the next morning, when he sobered up, I told him that was the end of whatever that was. And he cried. A lot. And I had never broken up with someone. And I felt really bad. And he promised to quit doing the really bad stuff. And I was a fucking moron.

So I dated him for a little while. I never let him call me his girlfriend. I never let him get too close. He replaced his original unhealthy addiction with a different unhealthy addiction: me. I got bored. And annoyed. And officially ended it with him. And then he cried more. And was mean. And I was actually a little worried for a while there that he might do something crazy. But I never heard from him again after that. And I was thankful.

Those are the only two hearts that I’ve ever broken. Crazy, right?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

My Ex-Boyfriend: The Pike

Another ex-boyfriend story for your reading pleasure…

When I was fresh out of college and “on the outs” with the on-again/off-again boyfriend (Rockabilly), I was jumping heavily into the online dating scene. This was in 2005, before it really hit big and fast. Of course, I was still sort of seeing Rockabilly, but he kept pushing me away, so I kept looking elsewhere.

While Rockabilly lived in Peoria, and I was trying to get a job in Peoria, I thought it best to find a new boyfriend in Peoria as well. Cue The Pike. The one and only real-life ginger that I ever dated. He was tall and sweet and seemed intelligent…and he kissed like a rockstar. I figured I’d keep him around for a bit.

The Pike had graduated from Bradley at the same time I did, and he was a former Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike). He was also a hockey player, so he was super strong and seemed totally bad ass to me…At first.

Within two weeks, he was asking me (over the phone) to be exclusive. He would drive all the way up to Chicago just to take me out on a date, and then drive all the way back home to Peoria the same night.

I was a wicked bitch, because even though he was technically my boyfriend, I didn’t want him to come to my home. I had very strict dating rules that included a meeting the family clause (this was supposed to only happen after I had been with someone long enough to know that he wasn’t going anywhere for a while). So he would meet me in Joliet (thus also minimizing his drive time to see me without making me drive all the way to Peoria.

I would also drive down to Peoria for job interviews and to hang out with my girls…and as a second thought, I would go on a date with The Pike. He lived with his grandma and little brother, so I opted not to stay with him while I was down there. One night we went out on a multi-date with two of my besties (Katie and Claire) and Claire’s BF/now hubs. Katie’s BF/now hubs was living elsewhere at the time, so he could only be there in spirit. The girls thought he was OK, but they judged him because Katie was single girl at the table, and The Pike didn’t offer to pick up the check. Really, the problem was that I just wasn’t that into him.

Strangely enough, at this dinner, Rockabilly decided to express his jealousy crazy by texting and calling all three of us, asking what was going on. As a dude who kept pushing me away, it was shocking (and gave me those stupid happy butterflies) to see his reaction. It was then that I realized my purpose for dating The Pike had very little to do with The Pike. We dated for a few months, and during that time, I learned a few things.

  1. Apparently a lot of hockey dudes shave. (Like shave everything shave). Gross. So I’ll never know if the carpet matched the drapes.
  2. Dating guys who brag about shit is not cool. The Pike would often brag about how much money he was making at his multiple jobs, and unwittingly make me feel bad that I couldn’t find a job. Then he would insist on going halvsies.
  3. If you’re not into PDA with someone, it’s entirely possible that you’re not into that someone. I mean, there’s definitely a level of PDA that is acceptable vs. unacceptable…but if you don’t even want to hold their hand…they aren’t the dude for you.

So after his last trip to the Chi, in which we met in Romeoville with his little brother and my buddy, Cletus in tow, and ventured to the Museum of Science and Industry for an afternoon of museum fun at my fave Chicago Museum. Cletus still teases me about this afternoon, and laughs whenever it’s mentioned. Not because of The Pike, but because of my lack of feelings for The Pike…and how I non-verbally expressed the feelings. Of course, The Pike was a little awkward, too, though…gettin’ all PDA with me when PDA was SO. not. my. thing. He was all into me…but he was also The Marrying Guy. He wanted to settle down and make babies. Like relatively soon. I was definitely not there with him. I knew it was only a matter of time before L words started flying…and I feared L words.

I broke up with The Pike over the phone. I told him that I still had feelings for my ex (true) and that I just couldn’t get over him (true). I led The Pike to believe that I would be getting back together with my Rockabilly, even though out of spite and jealousy, he too had gone and gotten himself a girlfriend.

Within a month, The Pike had a new girlfriend…Less than a year after I allegedly broke his heart, he was married…and a few years later, he was divorced. Was anyone else surprised by this?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Man-Wife’s Bitch Finds Someone New

Maybe that title was a little much. It’s not that I’m angry. Or jealous. I mean… it all worked out, right?

As this is the second in a to-be-continued…we can also call this “The Bartender- Part II.” But let’s be honest. My original title is way better. (And the security in my current relationship allows me to write about those feelings which I no longer feel).

After many months of dating, and not an ounce of jealousy on my end (which was relatively unusual for Chrissy…just wait until I tell you about “the crazy years” I don’t think Brian’s ready for that…), The Bartender went back to school for the fall semester. Things were supposedly progressing quite nicely…he had planned his schedule around mine, so that we could have more time to go out and spend together.

It was then that I started hearing about Kirsten (Keer-sten), which I think is the dumbest name on the planet. (I’m really sorry if you are reading this and your name is Kirsten. You probably think Chrissy is a dumb name. Which is okay… Meanie.)

Kirsten’s family had season tickets to the Bears, just like Mom’s friend has season tickets to the Bears. They apparently bonded over the fact that they were both going to the pre-season game that I was taking The Bartender to. As if you couldn’t already tell, I was a little jealous. But not a lot.

For his birthday, I took The Bartender to a Blackhawk’s game. Where we ran into Dennis Savard on our way to our seats. It was really fuckin’ cool.

But shortly after his birthday, The Bartender started getting weird. He was a little more distant and I could tell something was up. So we talked about it. And he wasn’t sure. About the us thing. He told me that I seemed so sure and he just wasn’t. I told him, truthfully, that I wasn’t sure either, but that getting there was part of the fun. At the time, I couldn’t imagine going through the dating scene again.

So, I fought. I fought for him, even though I hated the way he gambled. I hated the way he always chose Man-Wife. I hated that he almost never seemed to have anything interesting to say. I hated that he never listened to me when I offered help or made suggestions. I hated that he wouldn’t accept academic help from my physical therapist friends (his chosen future profession). I hated the way he got super pissed (like scary mad) when I kicked his ass at Scrabble. I hated his obnoxious commentary on the Cubs, just to piss me off. I hated that all of his conversations went back to horse races or gambling boats. I hated that he never wanted to just hang out and snuggle. I hated that I felt like I was so much smarter than him.

Then a few months later…(while I was treating him to a fancy pants dinner that the secret shopping company was paying me to eat) The Bartender told me that he might be able to buy tickets to the Packers/Bears game. Oooohh! Exciting! Oh…right…and that he wouldn’t be taking me.

He was going to buy them to take Man-Wife.

WTF?

He was going to buy them from Kirsten.

WTF?

So I got a little upset. Though I was reasonable. And the subject was moot, because he wasn’t sure.

A week later, I excitedly told The Bartender that I was getting FREE Bears/Packers tickets.

He still bought tickets from Kirsten. He still planned to go with Man-Wife. This time, I was not reasonable. I was really fuckin’ pissed, and sad, and upset, and confused, and bewildered, and a million other things that I didn’t even know how to verbalize.

After a pretty hefty fight, The Bartender finally agreed to give Man-Wife and his brother the tickets as an early Christmas present and attend the game with me.

It was at that game that I discovered several things:

1. Tiny little Kirsten and her tiny little girlfriend, both wearing pink Bears clothes (ICK), were also in the seats. Apparently, The Bartender was not only fighting with me to pay to see a game with Man-Wife…he wanted to pay to see the game with Kiiiiirsten.

2. Kirsten’s seats were just a few rows away from the seats I frequent. (This would later become a problem.)

3. I hated Kirsten.

Less than a month after that encounter…Just two days after New Year’s… (The New Year’s that my boyfriend refused to request off to spend with me)…My boyfriend dumped me. I should have known based on the fact that my boyfriend of almost a year gave me a DVD for Christmas…(and gave my parents an autographed baseball). But I didn’t. I had no clue.

But he did. And I was…surprisingly okay. I cried some. I drank a lot. I escaped to Peoria to spend time with my lovies. But for the first time in my relationship life, I was okay within a week. The crying just…stopped. Easily. It was like I knew all along that he wasn’t the one.

Being Dumped Didn't Stop Me From Rockin' Out

And it wasn’t totally easy… I mean, I still got super panicky going anywhere near The Bartender or his place of employment. Like physically ill panicky. It was bad. And when I had to watch the Bartender and pink-clad Kirsten making out at several of the following season’s Bears games, I was less than thrilled.

But when I think I saw The Bartender a few weeks ago, I was fine. (I could barely tell if it was him. But I think it was.)

Of course, I’m of the belief that everything happens for a reason. If it weren’t for The Bartender, I wouldn’t have felt that I was worthy of the amazing-ness that is Brian. I would never in a million years thought that I was good enough for him. But I learned from The Bartender that I needed someone smarter than me (OK, just as smart, but in different ways). Someone who liked nerdy things. Someone who would think my quirks were adorable. Someone who had endearing quirks. Someone who I could love unconditionally. Someone who just…got it. Got me.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Bartender

Good morning friends (I figure if you’re reading my shit, we’re buds now, right?) We’ve been playing this oh-so-fun Chrissy’s life blog for a while now… It’s time I started telling you about boys. I think I’ll work backwards and start with my last real relationship before Brian.

Let me preface this by telling you about my state of mind when I met The Bartender(Please see my post about nicknames). I had just left my full time job as a catering manager to pursue a master’s degree in education. I was on the verge of claiming bankruptcy, I lived at home with my parents, I had no job, no money, and didn’t exactly feel “on top of the world.”

I met The Bartender at a Jaycees event, where he was bartending. We flirted all afternoon, and he seemed so adorable, I couldn’t help myself. The fact that he was flirting with me, even though I was covered in chili and wearing a hoodie…spoke volumes.

When I met the bartender

I’m pretty sure I hadn’t washed my hair in a few days, either…

The day I met my ex-boyfriend

You can’t see it, but there’s a HUGE chili stain on that hoodie…

I walked up to the bar with a plan. My bestie, Lily, and another friend, Ana, were there at the far end of the bar cheering me on. I strutted my bravado over to the bar and called The Bartender over. He asked if I wanted another pitcher, but instead of replying, (mostly, because if I didn’t do it immediately, I would lose all balls) I shook my head “no,” and used my favorite pick-up line at the time, “So,” insert the most sickeningly sweet, unbelievably adorable, irresistible smile “If I gave you my number, would you call me?”

Now, I’ve used this line, dozens of times…and to be perfectly honest, this is the ONLY time it worked and the guy actually called. We chatted. We flirted. He asked me on a date. It was kind of cute.

I dated The Bartender for a little under a year. But I knew for the better part of that year that I was, in fact, settling. As evident by the fact that I am no longer with The Bartender, it all worked out as it was supposed to. But at the time, I really would have stayed with him, for fear of never finding someone else to love me.

Except that…my quirks weren’t adorable. They were annoying. His quirks weren’t endearing. They were ridiculous.

The Bartender lived in this weirdly fucked up situation that I didn’t quite understand at first. He was in his early 30’s working towards his bachelor’s degree and bartending. So we were both in school. We were both poor. I lived at home with my parents…

He lived at someone’s home with that someone’s parents. Who? You might ask… Well I called him Man-Wife. Man-Wife was an older gentleman…I never discovered Man-Wife’s age, but for all intents and purposes, let’s say he was in his early to mid 40’s. Man-Wife and The Bartender shared a room. Two queen sized beds in one grown up room. I should have run screaming. But The Bartender was nice. And I needed a little nice in my life.

The Bartender was a sports fan (Bears, Blackhawks), but he was also a Cubs fan. This, I’ve discovered, tends to be a deal-breaker. It would have been fine, if The Bartender had ceased the obnoxious ranting on and on with stats about the Cubs. I couldn’t have cared less.

Now, the bartender was also a Bears fan… I even took him to his very first game. Lucky Bartender. He bought me a Bears jersey for my birthday. My first real-ish (non-Walmart) jersey. Of course, he informed me later that the only reason he could afford that fancy pants present was because he had won big at the boat. This was not endearing to me.

I really don’t like gambling. I went through a brief phase in my life in which I would spend a few dollars at the boat in order to procure free hotel rooms in Peoria. This seemed reasonable. But if I lost money, I was always very mad at myself…and I missed the shoes that I could have bought with that money.

Man-Wife loved gambling. Man-Wife, his mom, his dad, his brother, and The Bartender all loved gambling. That was their thing.

That and being crazy. The Bartender let Man-Wife and family dominate his world. This is probably a testament of The Bartender and I not being right for each other, but if The Bartender and I tried to make plans or he wasn’t going to be home when he said he was, he would have to call for permission. And sometimes Man-Wife would bitch at him for being late. For not coming home to cook dinner. For not going grocery shopping as a family.

Man-Wife. Noooo thank you.

The Bartender lasted for a good percentage of my adult life to date…so he warrants a two-part story…

To be continued… The Bartender Part II

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Which One Was He?

In order to make forthcoming blogs make a little more sense, I thought it important to explain the history of the ridiculous nicknames that boys and men in my life have acquired.

Ever since high school, it’s been important to have nicknames for the guys in our lives. At first, it was so that we could talk about our top-secret crushes in front of them, giggling and smiling, like they had no idea we were talking about our undying love for them. Freshman year, they were all named after cars. Sophomore year, they were named after candy bars. I remember secretly loving a boy we had nicknamed “Snickers,” for no other reason than a Snickers bar was delicious. Junior year, we had a bazillion created nicknames for boys, and my future high school sweetheart was TS (Tango Stud as we had been tangoing in Spanish Class).

As the years progressed, though, nicknames became more of an endearing way of referring to our men. In college, Penny was dating the Moose (God only knows why), Sheila was dating the Viking (for his blonde hair and giant Norseman-ish size), Claire was dating the Lumberjack (for his plaid shirts and big burly man facial hair), and I was dating The Ethiopian (who was just really really skinny, and referred to in this blog otherwise as Rockabilly for his Johnny Cash-loving, PBR-drinking, vintage car-driving…you get the picture).

After college, though, the nicknaming became a way for my friends to remember some of my boyfriends/guys I was dating. Of course, for me it had a lot to do with not wanting to get too personal. If a guy met a couple of my friends, he wasn’t just a fling. If he met a lot of my friends, he was a little important. If my friends called him by name, he was insta-important. The nicknaming system was a great way to keep track of who we were talking about.

Everyone has that one friend who is constantly moving on from guy to guy. Maybe not even stopping to call one a boyfriend, maybe trying it on like an okay-looking dress that you’re not really going to buy. You know, “Wait, which one was he?” syndrome.

I was the master of that game. I played it very very very well. I really loved dating. And then I really hated dating. I went through some very distinct phases. The really crazy phases (where the nicknames became incredibly important) were always post boyfriend. I really don’t think I could handle another one of those, so lets hope Brian intends to keep me. 🙂

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The Dating Game

If you’ve ever seen How I Met Your Mother, you know the “Have You Met Ted?” game. I discovered this amusing “game” while watching HIMYM with Mark, who replaced Scrubs with the cast of Barney and his pals. Not going to lie, Barney makes that show. In fact, the BF makes a really great point: Why bother watching the show, when you can watch clips of the funny parts later? Which is what he’ll say right before we look up the video about the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal (which CLEARLY makes perfect sense).

Anyways, so the Have you met Ted? game translates pretty well in real life. In fact I’ve used it often. One of my most entertaining evenings, was several years ago at a dive bar in Lombard. My pal, Molly, and I were out drinking. While I was in a relationship at the time, Molly was trolling for dudes. Of course, maybe we should have known better than to be trolling for dudes at a dive bar…but we were young.

While I’ve always found a great deal of enjoyment in the chase, Molly is one of those ladies who prefers to be chased. But the shy girl thing doesn’t always work too well without additional help. That’s why girls like Molly have friends like me. To increase the chances of “the chase.” Among other things…

Cue a tall, attractive man sipping on a cheap draft. Molly scopes, then points him out to me. Oh, this should be easy. Without a second thought, I grabbed Molly and dragged her up to the bar. I squeezed in next to the cutie and ordered a drink. As I was waiting for my beverage, I turned on the Chrissy charm.

“Hi!” I grinned at this tall thinner-than-I-would-go-for guy.

He smiled back at me. “Hey, what’s up?”

“Not a whole lot. Have you met Molly?” I asked as I pulled Molly in towards my spot at the bar.

“No, I haven’t. I’m Tom.”

“Hi, I’m Molly” she whispered with the shy girl, I-have-no-idea-what’s-happening smile.

I looked at the two of them, and giggled to myself at the awkward silence that followed their sort of self-introduction. “OK, Tom, this is Molly. Molly, this is Tom. A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss.” And with that, I walked away.

Fifteen minutes later, Molly was back at my side as I was chatting with one of my other girls, Becca. “Not so much?”

Molly shook her head. “I didn’t know what else to talk about.” Then she laughed. “I can’t believe you just did that!”

I shrugged, “Just doing my thang…”

She laughed. Just then, Becca’s douchebag boyfriend and his roommate walked up to us. His roommate seemed a little f*ed up, but harmless. He proceeded to shower Molly with compliments and affection. By the end of the night, the were canoodling and kissing. And I barely had to put in any work into that one!

Of course, he wasn’t really boyfriend material. So, even though he continued to call Molly for several weeks thereafter…and pester Becca about Molly…nothing ever came of that night. But hey, Molly had fun. I was entertained. I call that a winning night for a couple of early to mid 20-somethings.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Rude Awakening

Sitting at my kitchen table with my flavor of the week and my parents wasn’t exactly how I envisioned Thanksgiving 2006. But there it was. The four of us, sitting there, talking, if you can call it that.

Brad wasn’t exactly everything my parents ever wanted for me. He was a republican. He was very much not Catholic. And he was a Nascar fan who cheered for the Cubs. Politics. Religion. Sports. The three most controversial subjects known to man. Or at least to my mom. She loves to argue her point(the only point). So of course, she loved him. Not because he agreed with any of her points. No, he argued with her and didn’t back down. Not once.

My dad hated him. That made Brad feel really bad. He knew that he was blitzed (I had picked him up from his parents’ house to save him from whatever was pissing him off at the time). He knew that he had fucked up, but really, I didn’t care. I knew he wasn’t going to be around in my world for too long.

So there we were in my parent’s kitchen and he was rambling the drunken ramble. And mentioned his dog tags. Dog tags. Mom got up from the table. “Did Dad tell you we got dog tags in the mail?”

“What?” I looked at her. Knowing. But not knowing. Wondering. And thinking. And feeling the inner turmoil spew its way up from the depths of my heart. She dropped a set of dog tags in front of me on the table, along with some pins and a chevron. I stared at them. Brad  kept talking, but I didn’t hear a word he said. It was as if I was overcome with this feeling. By far, the strangest out of body experience I’ve ever felt. I was in another place. Tears welled up in my eyes. “Did she send a letter?” The boy kept talking. I had no clue what was going on outside of the inner sanctum of my mind.

Back in the 80’s, it was apparently very popular to wear camo, army gear, dog tags, just about anything relating to the army. My teenage sister(yes, older sister) took Daddy’s army stuff and wore it. For the 10+ years since we had last heard from her, she had kept these things. You see, Deven disappeared from our lives when I was 12. She was 10 years my senior, and I adored her. As a kid, I literally worshipped the ground she walked on. But after she graduated from college, she left and never came back.

So that Thanksgiving evening in my kitchen, Mom pulled out an envelope and showed it to me. I stared at the handwriting, not unlike my own. The tears almost fell. I stared. And just as abruptly as she had mentioned it, she pulled the envelope back. And somehow Brad reappeared, as if I had forgotten for those minute seconds that he was there. In my kitchen. With my parents. And Brad. And I was finishing a bottle of vodka. Except, the vodka bottle was empty. And the things my mother had just shown me were gone. And everyone was still drunk. It was almost as if a dream had pulled me out of existence only briefly, to be shoved back into reality with a force that could not be reckoned with.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!