The Exes Speak

“You should ask your ex-boyfriends what they think about you. You know, interview them for your blog,” Gala Pear suggested. So I did. I asked them to speak as if talking to you, to make it easier for them to be honest. Listed by the year that we dated to preserve their anonymity, I transcribed the few words that they said before they either hung up on me or asked me out.

I’m proud to say that I don’t have *any* dates lined up. (See Rule #23)

2001 (Introduced by a friend) “Jules has all these rules, for real. She didn’t want me to do drugs. Well, I lit up a joint, and if she didn’t like it, she was welcome to leave. I’m not her kid and she can’t tell me what to do.”

2002-2004 (Met in class at Austin Community College) “After she dumped me for the last time—man, she gave me a buttload of chances—I stayed in bed for a week. I would have stayed there longer, too, if my parents hadn’t found me and taken me to psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. How she stayed with me all that time, I don’t know. The woman’s a sant. I mean, I was nice half the time, ignored her some, hiding my depression, and was mean the rest of the time. I love a good fight; you know, a really good shouting match? She only yelled at me a couple of times; wasn’t her thing. I really can’t blame her for breaking up with me. I hope you’re happy now, Pretty Lady.”

2004 (Met at a UT lecture; he was an alumni) “Jules told me about her prior boyfriend; how he was bipolar, you know. So I confessed that I was, too. Medication is too expensive, so I just deal with it. She did, too, until I mentioned my delusions. Not sure if I have mild schizophrenia or just severe bipolar disorder. Either way, she didn’t want me around her kids. Have you seen the movie, Beautiful Mind, with Russell Crowe? Ya, that movie really resonates with me.”

2006-2008 (Met through friends) “I told her that I didn’t want to date. I took her out and spent time with her because we were friends. I brought her flowers. We weren’t dating, though; I made that clear at the beginning.”

2008-2009 (Met at work) “I didn’t always listen when she spoke. I just went home and read her blog. Ok, so she posted exactly how she wanted me to propose; I had to surprise her, you know? For some reason, she didn’t like my idea. We were both going on a business trip to Santa Barbara. Why shouldn’t I propose on the beach? Ok, so it’s completely different from her ideal proposal—the company was paying for the trip, so that shows that I’m frugal and romantic, right?

“My other idea was to put the ring in a vacuum cleaner box that she’d unwrap on Christmas morning. She’d get all pissed off—she has a rule against appliances for gifts—then I’d tell her to open it and she’d see the ring. Ya, I kinda mentioned it to her, and she thought that it’d be fun for everyone except her.

“I’m glad that we broke up. She likes to kiss too much. I’d be ok without ever kissing. I just don’t like it.”

2009-2012 (Met at work) “I banked up time with her, so I should have been able to leave her alone for 2-3 weeks. I had important work to do. It didn’t matter that we lived 8 minutes apart. I might as well have been out of town working. She’s just too needy. I need my time alone; I shouldn’t have to see her every single week.”

2012-2013 (Met at work) “She wanted me to talk. I don’t like to talk, I like to play my game.” Which game? “Final Fantasy.” Shrug.

That last one was the guy that took me to Costa Rica.


Jack’s Personality Versus Hotness Versus Alternate Timeline Graph

Jack’s Back!  Jack explains all that he knows about women, in 5 dimensions.  He may have been under the influence of prescription medication at the time.  Ok, he was.  Still, his advice is solid.

Especially the advice to Praying Mantises.  That part is pure gold.

Wow.  His wisdom just–overwhelms me.

If you ❤ Jack and want to see the uncut video, here it is:

Consider yourself warned: he be trippin’!

Take a Hike!


Hiking, dinner with friends, more hiking, and visiting family = one awesome weekend! I feel happy. I feel—surprised that there weren’t any guys involved. (Well, not one physically present, anyway.)

The nominal reason for the weekend was to introduce Gala to my Denver-area friends. Gala moved just 3 weeks ago from Dallas. We’ve been friends for about 4 year. We were introduced about 3 times, “Because you have so much in common.” LOL we’re both female and mechanical engineers from the same university. Over the past 4 years, we’ve added, “divorced,” and “single moms” to that list. We both love to hike, and while I hike around Dallas as much as possible, it can’t compare to a Colorado hike.

Mission accomplished. We hiked on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, 4 hours flew by as though aliens had abducted us. We had a lot of catching up to do, apparently, because we talked the whole time. On Sunday, we discovered that my limit was 5 miles of hiking mountainous terrain at high altitude. Unfortunately, the trail was not a loop, so we had to turn around and hike back 5 miles to the car. Thank God that Gala was patient enough to allow me to take as many breaks as I needed, and that she was acclimated enough (and kind enough!) to carry the backpack.

She also kept my spirits up. “5 hours of hiking! You’ll reach your weight-loss goal in no time!”

“That’s right. I’m going to look damn good in that bikini in Destin in 2 weeks!” I answered, a little more pep in my step.

Saturday night, Ariel and her friend Brad joined us for dinner. Ariel asked the waiter about the gluten free options on my behalf. I explained how much better I felt after cutting gluten and soy from my diet. Ariel ordered a sandwich on a thick bun. Some people have that reaction when I say that I don’t eat bread—they feel as though they need to eat my share, to compensate somehow.

We had a grand time together and I’m sure that Gala will hang out with Ariel in the near future. Ariel even offered to introduce Gala to some of her coworkers, to which I replied, “You never introduced me to anyone!”

Ariel said, “You’re a player! You chew men up and spit them out. I have to work with these people. I have to face them daily. I wouldn’t set you up with any of them!” She paused for moment, then added, “The first time that I met you, you showed me a picture of your boyfriend, then a picture of the guy that you wanted to date next!”

I paused. What year did I meet Ariel? Was that Noah and Kevin or Kevin and Jacob?

Her words really hurt me. I consider, “Player” to be an insult. A player uses women (or in my case, men) as quickly and callously as possible and moves on to the next one.

Gala assured me later, “Ariel didn’t meant it like that. She meant that you know how to play the game—how to date. Face it, you have gone out with guys that you knew weren’t long-term material. Did you really see yourself marrying that 27-year-old?”

I paused to consider the question. “Yes and no. I mean, sometimes, I thought that he was perfect for me: we talked for hours during our hikes, he told me when he disagreed with me, he was handsome, and he’s an engineer. We have a lot in common.”

“But he’s going to want kids someday, and you’re done with that part of your life,” Gala said.

“You’re right,” I agreed.

“See? So you are a bit of a player, by which I mean in it for just a little fun, and that’s alright. Plus,” she said soothingly, “Ariel was kinda drunk. I think that she’s a lightweight.”

On Monday, Gala went to work. My younger older brother Ryan (aka brother #2), my favorite sister-in-law Stacy, and their 5 kids took me to the Denver Museum of Natural Science. We had a wonderful time! The kids were loving and well-behaved, the museum was fabulous, and the café had a full salad bar. (Yes, I’m all about the food. Or, at least, partially.) I took lots of pictures and even more hugs.

Gala and I had one last dinner together before she and Mr. Pear took me to the airport.

“Sally, my daughter, asked me to get a tattoo. We’d have matching tattoos, and it would be a first tattoo for both of us. I swear, if that girl asked me to jump off a bridge, I’d consider it.”

“Ya,” Gala said, “You showed me the sketch. It’s cute.”

“Well, Ryan said something that made me re-think the whole tattoo thing.”

Gala responded, “Did it involve the word, ‘permanent’?”

“Ha! No, though that’s also a good point. The words that made me reconsider that tattoo were, ‘Soy. Based. Inks.’ “I stared at Gala meaningfully.

She laughed. “OMG, that would suck for you!” she said, understanding my soy allergy.

What a great mini-vaca! I fit a lot into 3 days. And it was great to see Ariel, Ryan, Stacy, and the kids. I didn’t miss what was absent: a traveling companion, a Denver love interest, or even flirting. Well, ok, Ariel said that she loves me to pieces and Gala has always admired my Super Power, but besides that there wasn’t flirting.

My friends and family make me happy. And wine. And hiking. Ok, the whole vaca was amazing. Without a guy.

Text flirting with Ryan “Sandy” Oranges doesn’t count. He wasn’t physically there. Altho, it was really fun ❤


10 Ways to Earn Bonus Points on a Date

If dating is a game, then there must be points. Of course, it’s a subjective system. What I think is worth 10 points, Lilly Peach might take for granted. What she thinks is worth 50, might be only 20 to me.  Special thanks to Gala Pear for her contributions!  Love ya, girl!

  1. Remember something that I said on the last date.  “Oh yes, Allie Apple – she’s the one restoring the mustang, right?” (10 pts)
  2. Remember my allergies.  One boyfriend made a notecard to keep in his wallet, with food allergies on one side and flower allergies on the other.  Oh, yes, I have that many allergies!  One doctor told me that I’m allergic to grasses, trees, and dust – essentially, all of Texas! (30 pts)
  3. Have a hottie body that just won’t stop.  Again, this isn’t a requirement, it’s just a bonus.  (50 pts)
  4. Make me a laugh.  Ok, so a little laughter is a requirement.  Making me laugh so hard that I get a ab workout, is definitely worth bonus points!  (50 pts)
  5. Understand my nerdy references, ie, “They’d be able to fix that machine if they had a sonic screwdriver.”  Or “What’s the difference between Texas Time and Destin Time?  Unity, or should I multiply by the identity matrix?” (100 pts)
  6. Hold open the door for me.  Yes, I’m an independent woman and I can open the door myself.  However, I still appreciate the gesture.  And for the record, you get negative points for walking through the door ahead of me.  Especially if it’s raining.  (10 pts)
  7. Notice me shiver and offer me your coat, before I even realize that I’m cold.  Empathy is sexy. (40 pts)
  8. Ask the waiter for a gluten free menu so that I don’t have to.  (50 pts)
  9. Plan a unique date.  Instead of dinner and a movie, pack a picnic and take me to Shakespeare in the Park.
    1. Bring red wine. (50 pts)
    2. Remember to pack the wine opener.  Forgetting it: (-50 pts)
  10. Be prompt – don’t keep me waiting.
    1. 10 minutes early (10 pts)
    2. 10 minutes late (-10 pts)
    3. 1 hr early (-50 pts, you weirdo)
    4. 1 hr late (I left 45 minutes ago, where have you been?)
    5. 10 minutes late, but you text to apologize 5 minutes til (0 pts)
  11. Bring me flowers.  But be careful, this is complicated!
    1. White or pink roses, no eucalyptus (25 points)
    2. Red roses – only if you’re in love with me, and it had better not be the first date!  (75 pts/-25 pts)
    3. Daisies (10 pts)
    4. Orchid (50 pts)
    5. Mums/carnations (0 pts – take these to your mother!)
    6. Wild flowers (10 pts)
    7. Anything with eucalyptus (-50 points; I’m allergic!)
    8. Tiger lilies (-50 points; I’m allergic to these, too)
    9. Anything with lavender (-50 points.  Allergies again.  This is why you need a list for your wallet).

Ladies, add your point-earning items below!  Gentlemen, how many points did you earn on your last date?


Dating Rules

A player (also pronounced and sometimes spelled, “playa”) is someone who intentionally manipulates others. I picture a guy who convinces a lady to sleep with him and doesn’t call her the next day, because he’s moved on to his next victim.  That’s just not me.  Now, if you think a player is someone who knows how to play the game and isn’t necessarily evil, than maybe I am. Dating is a Game, and like any game, it comes with rules. The ones listed here are written from the female perspective, but they apply to guys, too.

Special thanks to Gala Pear for her help – Love ya, Woman!

  1. Don’t call/text/email too soon or too often, because you’ll look desperate or clingy.  Seriously, texting him the minute that he walks away, is a little clingy.  Especially when the text is, “Miss you already!”
  2. Don’t appear too eager, because you’ll look desperate. “When can I see you again?” is a valid question. Asked in a whiny, needy voice, it’s the same as yelling, “RUN!”
  3. Don’t do anything to appear desperate. Asking ten times when he’s going to call or insisting that your parents will love him, might be a little desperate.
  4. Avoid talking about your exes for as long as possible. Sure, the last guy hurt you; tell it to your therapist. Or write a book. Or start a blog. Just don’t discuss it on your first date with a new guy.
  5. Never compare your current BF/GF to a prior one; that’s guaranteed to piss him off. “My ex-husband liked that band,” might seem innocent, but it shows that you’re thinking about your ex. “My ex-husband wouldn’t open the door for me, either,” is a sure way to start a fight.
  6. Don’t look at other men when you’re on a date. Ok, I was looking at the hot fireman; Gala Pear was looking with me, and it wasn’t a date!
  7. Discuss something of interest to him/her.  Remember Billy Ray? He kept talking about things in which I had no interest.  If he had asked me questions about myself, we may have found some common ground.
  8. Don’t cancel plans with a friend to go out with a guy.  For one, you need your friends.   For another, being too available makes you less interesting.   You need time apart so that you have something to discuss when you’re together. I’m really looking forward to telling you about my Denver trip!
  9. Don’t sleep with a guy on the first date.  Or the second.   The exact number is situational, IMHO.   Don’t listen to your friend who told you about her friend who slept with a guy on the first date and they got married 6 months later. They got divorced. Seriously, I know the guy, he told me so himself.
  10. Flirt!  Compliments can go a long way to making someone feel special and bringing yall closer together. You look beautiful, by the way – the color of that blouse really brings out your eyes. 😉
  11. Don’t bring a friend on a first date.  One guy brought his brother.  His ugly, living-at-home brother.  Why? “He wanted to go rock climbing too.”  No, honey, leave him at home.
  12. Make an effort with your appearance, but don’t overdo it.  That is, do put on clean clothes.   Don’t wear a prom dress to go out for dinner at Chili’s.
  13. Minimize the work talk.  Yes you spend most of your time at work and your job is something you can talk about for hours. No you shouldn’t bore him to death talking about coworkers that he’s never met or technical work that he doesn’t understand.   Unless he really does care what Jane said about Sally dating Kevin. Then he might be gay, or writing his own book. 
  14. Don’t brag about working out. Either you look good, or you don’t. I don’t want to hear about your time in the gym, just like I don’t want to hear about how long you spent in the bathroom: good for you for doing both. Everyone should do both, every day. If you have to talk about either topic, it better have been extraordinary, prize-winning shit.
  15. Don’t interrupt. I don’t care how interesting your thought is: if you’re not listening to me, I’m dis-inclined to listen to you.
  16. Lift me up, don’t tear me down. Which would rather hear, “You look so old, you’ll never get carded again,” or “You’re so young-looking that you probably get carded all the time”? I’ll give you a hint: the one that sounds like a compliment, not an insult. If you can’t say something nice, keep your damn mouth shut.
  17. Don’t quote me, to me. I’m flattered that you read my blog – really, I appreciate it. Don’t take notes and ask a series of questions—that’s just kinda creepy.
  18. Don’t force a kiss, when you’re obviously not clicking. It will not help the situation.
  19. Don’t proposition me if you haven’t kissed me. That means, kiss me first. If that goes well, then you might initiate other things. If you just look at me and say, “Wanna go to bed?” without any kissing, then the answer will always be, “No!”
  20. Use perfume sparingly.  Although if your date is allergic, don’t wear any at all.  “I didn’t think that you were serious,” or “I forgot,” is no defense!  For goodness sake, ask someone if they can smell you from 3 feet – if so, take a shower!  (Submitted by Kevin P.)
  21. “You remind me of Mom,” is NOT a compliment!  I don’t to hear it!  If you have mommy issues, leave me out of it!  (Submitted by Laura A.)
  22. “You remind me of my ex,” is also NOT a compliment!  Y’all broke up, and there must be a reason.  I don’t want to have anything in common with her!  (Submitted by Laura A.)
  23. Never date someone from your hometown if you got out of there as quick as you could.  After all, you may end up being stuck back there again!  (Submitted by Mallie R.).
  24. If you don’t have a time and a place, you haven’t got a date.  If you tell me, “Let’s hang out on Friday,” and then text me on Friday morning, don’t be surprised if I have other plans.
  25. If you want to see me on Friday or Saturday, contact me by Wednesday.  Past that, you’re sending the message that I’m Plan B and your Plan A fell through.  Probably b/c you didn’t set a time and a place! 

There are more, but most of ‘em are basic etiquette (ex. Don’t chew with your mouth open or pick your nose at the table). Good luck on your next date!

Next time: how to earn bonus points.


Dancin’ Dan (TBT)

Originally written in January of 2012, here’s a story for Throwback Thursday.  Enjoy this strange tale, and I hope that it isn’t too long.  I cut out as much as I could.  Warning: it’s a bit risqué!

“You should date one of the handsome engineers around here,” my coworker Ben said. He had thinning gray hair, so he may be in his 50’s.

I snorted. He didn’t need to know that I had already dated more than one of the engineers from our company and found each one lacking. Instead, I summarized my findings from those experiments by saying, “Engineers are uncommunicative and unromantic.”

“That describes all men!” was his retort. He thought for a minute, then added, “You need to meet my friend Dan. He’s a dance instructor part-time and works here for his day job. He can introduce you to people outside the company.”

I shrugged. “Sure, that sounds good.”

The next day, Ben handed me Dan’s number. I was surprised; I had thought that he might forget. Now I had the onus of calling a stranger and asking about dance lessons? I put it off a day or two, then left a message for the guy. The following is a transcript of our text message conversations, which sum up our time together nicely.

Dan texted, “Hello Jules, this is Dan Dover… I just sent you an email… I am very sorry I haven’t responded to you sooner about your dancing inquiry…Feel free to email/text/call/carrier pigeon/smoke signal me at your convenience…”

Ha ha! Ok, he has a sense of humor. Excellent! We played phone tag and work got busy for both of us, so it was another month and a half before we scheduled a date.

Dan texted, “Interested in dancing Thursday night?”

I texted, “Hell ya!”

Then I thought better of it, and texted, “I mean sure, I guess (Playing hard to get)”

Dan texted, “lol. I’m thinking I could pick you up around 8, if that works for you, then we could get there before it gets too busy and I can show you some steps and get some practice in while there is still room to move on the dance floor…”

I texted, “Awesome.”

Dan responded, “Just make sure you hydrate and stretch before head out :-)”

I answered, “Will do :-)” While I was thinking, “What a strange thing to say. Are we going to dance or run a marathon? Actually, sounds like he plans to have marathon sex. Not on the first date, buddy!”

Dan texted, “Do you have boots with leather soles?”

“Yes, broken in, too :-)” was my response. I mean, REALLY. I am a Texan, what did he expect?!

“Sweet :-)” came his reply.

On Wednesday, I texted him, “Where r we going? Cowboys RR?” Referring to Cowboys Red River, a popular dance club in Dallas.

Dan responded, “That’s where I was thinkin’…That alright?”

“Yes, just curious :-)” I sent.

“I promise I won’t leave you there…No need to know how to get home from the bar ;)”

“ha haha!” I responded. “We’ll see if you’re singing the same tune after I step on your feet a few times. Are your boots steel toed?”

“My work boots are but my dancing boots aren’t, however, I’m sure we will be just fine :-)” Dan texted back.

“:-) see you tomorrow at 8!” I replied.

“I’m out dancing tonight so I’ll be all warmed up to teach you :-)” the response came.

Who was he out with? Why didn’t he invite me? Did he go out every night? And how was I supposed to answer that?

Thursday at 11:29 p.m. Dan texted, “Thanks again for a wonderful evening…I could have kissed you all night! :-)”

“Thank you, and I definitely agree, that would have been nice xoxo,” I responded.

“Next time we will extend the session :-)” Dan texted.

Ok, how to answer that? “No, thanks, we kissed quite long enough” or “Any longer and I would have gotten bored” or “Um, I’d rather talk and get to know you more first.” Those seemed like inappropriate answers, so I simply said, “Brilliant idea 😉 sleep well.”

Dan, “You too :-)”

Dan, Jan 6 (Friday), 11:35 am “Did you sleep well last night?”

Me, “Not really. Could have danced longer 🙂 What about you?” Or maybe I was thinking about kissing. Or replaying our perfect date over and over in my head, wondering why such a great guy was still single, wondering what he thought about me.

Dan, “I was going to offer to practice some turns there in your living room but wasn’t sure if it was past your bed time already…I also got distracted by us saying goodnight to each other… :-)”

Me, “Hee hee. Next time. How’s your schedule look? (saying goodbye was more fun anyway 😉 )”

D, “I’m not sure if I’m going to my grandmas on Saturday after work so I may be available if I could find someone to say goodbye with :-)”

What I should have said was, “Let’s get to know each other better, before we kiss more.” Of course, that sounds like a prude and is the opposite of flirty. Also, it was super sweet that he traveled an hour to his grandma’s house to fix it up every other week; it was a little strange for him to offer to cancel. I was enjoying the flirting, so instead I answered, “I could rearrange my plans if that was on the table. Let me know when you know for sure Xo” I was going to see my friend Reggie, who would understand if I had a date.

D, “If you already have plans I don’t want to interfere…How about doing something on Sunday? Rent a movie and order some pizza or cook up some dead cow or chicken if you have a grill?”

Why was he inviting himself to my place? I mean, he could invite me to his place, but it’s a little soon for us to just hang out at the house. That thought depressed me; my last two long term relationships became *just* hanging out at the house watching movies, we rarely went out. I’d hate for a relationship to start that way. Plus, cooking at the house was usually reserved for the “we’re going to have sex” date or later. Was I overly sensitive (read: cynical) or was this a red flag?

I shrugged off my reservations and answered, “Sunday works. I can cook gluten free pizza. What time r u thinkin?” Urgh, I hate cooking for a date so soon; he might expect it. But then, I didn’t want to answer with, “I can’t eat pizza, because gluten is another one of my allergies.” That’s so negative, and it was way early to be like that. Really, I hate to be like that any time. Positive is always better, I believe.

Dan answered, “Afternoon sometime…Say around 4?”

“I’d rather go dancing on Saturday,” I answered honestly. There. I’m being assertive. That’s much better than pouting and resenting the fact that he wants to invite himself over, thereby making me clean the house and cook, two of my least fav activities.

About 10 minutes later, Dan answered, “Let me make sure that my grandma wants to postpone my visit and I’ll let you know before you rearrange your schedule. Dancing again would be fun :-)”

“Ok :-)” Now I wondered, did he mean “grandma” or “girlfriend”? Because if he really meant his 86-year-old grandma, she would be fine with him visiting on Sunday, wouldn’t she? Why didn’t he just call her and find out? 86-year-olds usually don’t leave the house. Ok, I needed to stop second guessing and trust him, at least for now.

I pinged him on IM and said, “We should check out the Down Under Pub”

Dan answered, “Allen or Frisco?”

“Frisco. Didn’t know there was one in Allen,” I told him.

“Oh ya, total cougar den,” he answered.

How did he know? Did he go there often? “Ha ha, I’m told that I’m a Puma, which is a younger cougar!”

Ping. I had a text message. Dan sent, “I’d say more of a MILF :-)” Translation: Mother I’d Like to F___.

I answered, “You are bad!!!”

Dan sent, “But oh so good! :p” and a few minutes later, “Do you know what that means?”

“Yes <blush>,” I answered.

“Why are you blushing?” he asked.

“I’m not sure how to feel about being called that – thanks, I guess?” I really wondered how to take being called a MILF. On one hand, it wasn’t the first time. On the other hand, it was mildly offensive. I didn’t want him to talk to me about the “F” right after our first date. I want to be treated with respect; I wanted him to get to know me.

On Friday I texted, “Ok since I haven’t heard from you, I firmed up my plans for tomorrow. We can go dancing next week; Thursday, maybe?” I’m a planner; I want to know what I’m doing, as far in advance as possible. And I’ve found that if I wait for someone else to determine my schedule, two things happen: (1) I give them power over me and (2) I get pissed off that they haven’t made a decision yet. So it’s best for all involved if I draw a line in the sand and say, “Ok, I’m tired of waiting, I’m making a decision.” Voila, the decision is made, I don’t get pissed, and I retain my power.

Dan answered, “I’m sorry I haven’t heard back from my grandma yet…We can definitely go dancing next Thursday…If you want I can come over one night prior and we can work on some things at your house…Are we still on for Sunday?”

I was surprised that Sunday was still on the table. I didn’t want him to come over, but I guess I hadn’t said that, so how was he to know? “Sunday we can go out to a movie, would rather not hang at my place.” There, assertive and to the point. Non-judgmental and positive. I was proud of myself.

Dan responded, “No worries…I’ll text you Sunday and see what you have going on :-)”

“Ok cool, have a great night and Saturday!” I texted.

Dan texted back, “You too!”

If he had just left it alone right there, we would have been fine. Great, even. I knew that he was eager to see me again, he wasn’t playing games or trying to hide the fact, and we had a date set. I could have danced off and looked forward to seeing him.

Instead, he sent this message, “Make sure you have my number handy in case you need someone to drunk dial :-)” About 10-20 minutes later he added, “No lol? I’m so disappointed ;)”

“Lol I was on the elliptical, at the gym. Ya, that’s right, picture this hard body. Who’s drunk dialing now? ;-)” I texted. Ok, in hindsight, I should have stuck with, “lol.” I was a little miffed that he even mentioned “drunk dial”; like the “MILF” thing, it made me feel disrespected.

Dan texted, “I don’t need to be drunk to want that body :D”

“<blush>” was my only response.

“Why blush? You’re the one who just told me you have a hard body :-)” Dan replied.

Ok, so it’s my fault that he’s coming on strong? “True. Your honesty is refreshing and unexpected.” And it’s making me uncomfortable. Quick, say something witty and end this conversation. “And I love how you kiss. I’d better stay sober tonight ;-)” Ok, D, say something sweet and then go away.

Dan texted, “I’m too old to play games so honesty is all I have to offer…I love how you kiss…I hope you don’t stay sober :-)”

“:-)” I responded. Short and sweet.

Again, I should have left it at that and walked away. But I had a nagging question at the back of my skull, and damn it, texting is way too easy. I added, “Games or not, I can’t decide if you’re a romantic or a hound dog. Maybe a hound dog with romantic tendencies?”

“More so a romantic with a very sensual/sexual side that ranges from tender touches to S&M spankings,” Dan sent.

Oh my. Why would someone that I barely met say that? Let’s clarify the question. “Good to know. The real question is: what is your goal? Hot sex or soulmate? One weekend or more?” What really disappointed me about his answer was that he never asked me what I wanted.

Dan responded, “My ultimate goal is to get married…However I don’t have a goal with you. My plan when seeing someone new is to take each day as it comes, make the most of it and see what happens. I’m not a one night stand kind of guy but I can’t promise that we will end up in a serious relationship either. I can promise to be open, forthright and honest.”

Hmmm. I’d rather that he said, “I’m looking for a serious relationship and I really like you.” Of course, life isn’t always like the movies; people don’t give us the answer that we want, or that we expect.

I sent, “Then let’s take this slow, ok?” Meaning, “back off. Quit talking about drunk dialing.” Again, trying to stay positive.

Dan texted, “Whether we are just friends, friends with benefits, casually dating or in a relationship…”

Red flag! He mentioned FB! It’s never a good sign when a guy mentions that, because it means that he’s considering me for that position, and that means that a serious relationship is much less likely. As in, not gonna happen.

I answered, “Can’t do the friends with bene thing. I get too attached.” Pause. That was definitely a negative statement, however, it’s a clear message and that’s important. Now, to follow up with something light-hearted. “You hate slow, don’t you? :-)”

“I’m not a real aggressive guy until I’m comfortable with someone…I like how you pulled me in close while dancing and initiated the kissing. Both things I am hesitant to do on a first date…” Dan texted back. Oh, no, did I send him message that I’m a slut? Shit. “I wouldn’t say I hate taking things slow but I am a very sexual person and do enjoy getting to that point.”

Meaning, if sex is inevitable, let’s just do it now. RED FLAG.

“Ok I haven’t dated in about 3 years. Was in a couple of long relationships. I’m not looking for a purely sexual relationship,” I texted. There, I clarified and kept it positive. I didn’t say anything negative, even though I’d kinda like to say, “Whoa, Boy! Keep it in your pants!”

Dan texted, “However I’m fine with whatever pace you are comfortable with.”

Geez, this conversation got serious. Yuck. I’d much rather go back to the light flirting. Ok, now to say something cute and end the conversation. “Ok now you know: I’m a real engineer: gotta have specs” Actually, I’m a woman who knows what I want and I want to be sure that we’re on the same page.

Dan texted, “It’s good to talk about these things especially since we work at the same place. If things didn’t work between us I wouldn’t want to have hard feelings. Knowing each other’s expectations and desires is essential to ensuring no one gets hurt or taking as much of the hurt factor out of the equation.”

“Right. Glad you understand,” I texted back. Whew, we’re on the same page. Good. Back to the plan: quick, cute flirt and then say goodbye. “Ok now I need a drink J enjoy the rest of your evening, Cowboy.”

Dan extended the conversation by adding, “That said I really love how you kiss and very eager to get my hands on your body…When you’re comfortable with more you can let me know but my intent is to never make you feel uneasy with me”

Too late! Why did you have to go and say that? Why couldn’t you have just said “;) Good bye xoxo” or something cute?

Shocked, I tried to keep it light. I texted, “Thanks, I appreciate the offer. Still taking it slow.” Ok, does that sounds like a prude? “Although you are tempting ;)” There, I stated my intentions then flirted to save his ego.

“Enjoy your evening too and if you’re looking for some lips to connect with in the later hours of the night you had better text me,” the text came.

Not gonna happen! Ok, stay positive. “Until then.” Meaning, “Maybe another time” or “Keep dreaming.” Not, “Sure, I’ll call you later.”

Dan continued, “I’d rather have you savor the force of my lips on yours, how my tongue is so eager to explore your mouth, the warm wetness of our kisses…”

Oh, man! He’s laying it on thick. Quick, say something pithy. “Now I need a cold shower!” Actually, should have said, “Go take a cold shower!” Again, staying positive. Keeping it light. He should realize that I’m not encouraging him and he should laugh or at least back off.

Dan texted as though I hadn’t sent anything at all, “The feel of our embrace and how our hands roam over each other as our mouths stay locked neither of us willing to back away or able to as our kisses grow deeper and deeper.”

He’s not getting the message.

I tried a joke, “Are you writing a romance novel or copying one?!”

Again, as if I hadn’t sent a word, “My hands in your hair then gently touching your face, the way our eyes lock as our tongues tease the other and entice them to come back for more.” He paused, then answered my question, “I have a very active and creative imagination when it comes to sensual pleasures :-)”

At that point, I walked away. He wasn’t listening and I didn’t know how to be more clear without being rude, mean, or both. As in, “What the F*** part of ‘Slow Down’ do you not understand?!” or “Ok, you are creeping me out” or “We’ve only had one date. Are you SERIOUSLY sexting me?!”

At 9:42 pm, he texted, “You never told me how that cold shower was? ;)”

An hour after that, he added, “Just wondering if I should be heading home or somewhere to make out with you? :-)”

I read the last two messages at 5 a.m. when I got up to go to work. That’s right, Saturday morning I got up at 5 a.m. to go to work; we had a deadline to meet.

As for Dan, I was furious. Seriously, what part of “Take it Slow” is unclear? Why would he think it’s ok to use me for a bootie call after just one date? And why did he keep texting after I stopped responding – wasn’t THAT enough of a hint?

I took a deep breath and sent the nicest text that I could compose at this early hour. Ok, so maybe I should have waited and sent something nicer, later. Or maybe I shouldn’t have sent anything at all. Like I said, I strive to be assertive and clear in all my communications.

Feeling disrespected and dirty, I texted, “You can delete my number. Hope you get to church on Sunday. Goodbye.”

Four hours later, his response came, “Wow…I didn’t think my offer to kiss you again would bring that response and I’m sorry it did. What an ass I am to be willing to drive to see you for just a kiss at the end of the night. Request granted, number deleted”

Really?! “Just a kiss”?! So much for his promise to always be honest with me. Few men would drive 5 miles for “just a kiss,” and my house is at least 20 minutes out of his way. If he were being honest, he would admit that he was hoping that the kissing would lead to more. He’d let me initiate things, like he said. But realistically, if he wanted to kiss me that night, he should have asked me out. And if he respected me, he should have waited until Sunday.

We had a perfect first date. I don’t see how I could have, or would have, done much differently.

One of the women that I work with said, “He’s a womanizer; but he’s a lot of fun.”

I said, “He made an ass out of himself.”

She repeated, “But he’s a lot of fun.”

I agreed, “I’m sure you’re right, in the way that a used car salesman can be fun when he’s not trying to sell you a car.”

Tale of Two Dates

Two blind dates in one weekend.  Two very different blind dates: one with a real cowboy who lives down the street from my friend and another who lives down the street from the Gulf of Mexico (in Florida).  Two very different outcomes.

Daniel’s Excitement

“Jules, there’s a guy that I want you to meet! Billy Ray just broke up with his fiancée!” Daniel said.

Internally, I groaned. The words, “Just broke up with his fiancée!” rang through my head, repeating like an echo. Notice that he didn’t say, “girlfriend,” no, he said, “fiancée.” As in, engaged to be married. As in, he must be in a bad place right now. REBOUND!!

Externally, I laughed. “Really, Daniel?! Really?”

Elizabeth, Daniel’s wife, added, “Daniel has a guy-crush on Billy Ray.”

Daniel ignored both of our comments and continued his excited rush of words, “Billy Ray and his fiancée were on again, off again. She decided to stay in Florida instead of coming home. Billy Ray is a farmer, a real good-old-boy, and he works 12 hours a day, every day.”

I laughed again. If this is Daniel’s way of getting me interested, he sure was failing hard! Who wants a boyfriend who works 12 hours a day? Every day? No wonder she stayed in Florida!!

“He’s a great guy. Like I said, a good old boy. And he’s a bar fly, like you.” Daniel smiled, pleased with himself.

I was shocked. He was calling me a bar fly?! I answered, “I can’t remember the last time that I was in a bar. Ok, last Thursday. But still, I’m not a bar fly. I drink at home more than anything. Wait, that makes me sound like an alcoholic. What I mean is, I don’t drink that much!”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes at her husband and told me, “Don’t listen to him. He’s been married for years and never dated anyone but me. So he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

I sighed. I love Elizabeth and Daniel dearly; they’re my closest friends. If Daniel thinks that Billy Ray is good people, then he’s good people. “Daniel, since you like him, I’d love to meet him.”

Daniel quickly back pedaled. “This isn’t a set up. He’s just a great guy, that’s all. A real good-old-boy. He tells fun stories. You’ll like him.”

Seriously, I’ve never seen Daniel so wound up! I said, “What does this guy look like?”

Daniel answered, “He’s a cowboy. He has a farm down the road, with horses and cattle. He has some great stories. And he rides four wheelers and drinks Coors Lite.”

I swear, Daniel sounded like a little kid describing the favorite toy that he got for Christmas.

“Ok,” I said. “But what does he look like?”

“Oh. He’s about my height and about 190 lbs,” Daniel said.

Translation: about 5’10” and average weight. Ok. I laughed. I still knew very little about this guy.

“Are you going to wait until you’re sure that he broke up with his fiancée? Or are you going to set me up while the bed is still warm?”

We agreed to dinner at Daniel’s and Elizabeth’s house on Saturday. Daniel would grill. Of course, he’d have to see if Billy Ray was free and if he really was broken up and not making up with his fiancée.

I laughed again. Good or bad, I’d have a story to tell!

Hair Salon

On Thursday, I visited my hair stylist for my monthly haircut (trim). As usual, we gossiped while he worked, so I told him about my blind date.

Laughing, I summed it up. “I don’t know how old this guy is or what he looks like. He could be brown, black, blue, or yellow. His hair could be black, white, or blonde. All I know is, he’s a cowboy!”

“What does that mean?” he asked skeptically.

“I don’t know. He could look like Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’ or Yosemite Sam in the old cartoons. He could be handsome or fat.” I laughed. “I have no idea what I got myself into!”

“What’s his last name? We’ll find him on Facebook. That way, you at least know what he looks like,” my friend said.

“I don’t know his last name,” I said regretfully.

“Text your friend and ask!” he ordered.

So I did.

Daniel called and said, “His last name is Gatecliff. But he doesn’t have a Facebook page; he barely knows how to work his phone. He’s a good old boy who drinks Coors Lite. Not Miller Lite – I tried to give him one the other day and he said that he wanted Coors Lite. Anyway, he’s a white cowboy. I told you, just a good old boy.”

Ha! “My toothless redneck uncle is a cowboy. So was Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club.’ Saying he’s a cowboy doesn’t tell me what he looks like!” I said.

“Well, he’s not toothless. I don’t know what your uncle looks like, and I don’t know Matthew.”

My hairdresser and I tried to name other movies that the actor had been in, but Daniel didn’t know any of them. So I told him that I’d see him on Saturday and hung up the phone.

Guess what? Bill Ray Gatecliff does have a Facebook page! There’s only one picture on it: a selfie taken from waist-level of a white cowboy in a black cowboy hat and sunglasses. He has a reddish-blonde mustache with the line of hair on either side of his face, like John Rich of the band Big & Rich ( From that strange angle with the sunglasses and hat, he looked like a cowboy. Couldn’t say whether he was handsome or not. But he wasn’t blue or black or yellow; he looked as white as me. So I knew a little more than I did before we cyberstalked him, but not much!

“I guess this really is a blind date,” I said, and shrugged. “At least I know that he drinks Coors Lite. Daniel said it more than once, so it must be important!”


Facebook Friend

On Friday night, my friend Lilly Peach came over. We drank wine, made me an author’s page on Facebook, and flirted with Ryan Seacrest. Ok, so it was Ryan Oranges, but he’s still cute. Ryan is a guy who graduated from my high school, but I didn’t know him back then. We have several mutual friends on Facebook, though. I got to know him through the sarcastic comments that he would post on their pages. He’d sometimes respond to the sarcastic comments that I’d leave for them, too, so before long we were official FB friends. That happened several months ago, and since then, we’ve messaged each other and exchanged snarky comments on our respective posts. It’s been great fun.

But on Friday night, we took our friendship to a new level. We had a virtual date.

And it truly was a blind date, because we couldn’t see each other. He was in Florida, I was in Texas. Neither one of us had a webcam.

So we texted each other, then jumped back on FB and messaged each other. Lilly grabbed the keyboard and pretended to be me, so I opened FB on my phone and warned Ryan in a different message. LOL! Poor guy didn’t know who he was talking to. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hey, baby, whatcha wearin?”

Ryan: “Boxers. I’m home for the evening; ain’t goin no where.”

Me: “Ok, just wanted to get the awkward texts out of the way early. I’m going to start drinking soon and there may be some drunken texts later.”

Ryan: “Text away! Entertain me!”

Me: “LOL you got it! Lilly is coming over to drink with me.”

Ryan: “Ohh are you going to get in your PJ’s and have a pillow fight? Lie to me. Please.”

Me: “We don’t wear PJ’s, just t-shirts and t-backs.” This is a blatant lie. We were wearing t-shirts and shorts.

Later, Lilly tried to take a selfie while hitting me with a pillow, but it was too awkward an angle. Instead, she licked my arm and sent him a picture of that. Yes, it was that kind of a night! We laughed and teased poor Ryan—poor, loving-every-minute-of-it, Ryan!

When Ryan sent me a picture of a tabby cat with multiple tails, it took me a while to get it. But then I did, and laughed hysterically. It was a cat o’nine tails. LOL!

It was the best date that I’d had in a while. A long while!

Dinner with Billy Ray

For about an hour, I had listened to Daniel and Billy Ray talk about boots, bar fights, and beer. I wasn’t interested in any of these topics, and Billy Ray had yet to talk directly to me or to ask me any questions about myself. I was sitting on the corner with Billy Ray on my right. Daniel was on my far left, facing Billy Ray across the length of the table.

I finally jumped in with a couple of stories of my son getting into fights in middle school. These stories were about 10 years old, and while I hated to go back that far, I also hated to be left out of the conversation.

The guys went on to talk about cattle, hay, and such. I checked my cell phone messages and sent a text. I hated to be rude at the dinner table, but it was that or fall asleep. The food was delicious, at least. I couldn’t really talk to Elizabeth, who sat in front of me, because the guys were talking over us. Besides, she was busy feeding her toddler.

After dinner, the guys went outside to talk. I told Elizabeth that I wasn’t happy about the way that things were going. I told her, “Billy Ray is nice enough, I suppose. But he doesn’t seem interested in getting to know me.”

The guys came back inside. Billy Ray saw that I was drinking wine and said, “I have a bottle of red wine at the house that you can have. I won’t drink the stuff.”

“Ok,” I said, “I’ll trade you a six pack of Coors Lite for it.”

He seemed surprised and answered, “You don’t owe me nuthin. You can have it.”

I smiled. “There’s already a six pack in the fridge for you. I brought it because Daniel said that you wouldn’t drink the wine that I brought.”

So we decided to get in his truck and drive five minutes down the street to his place. The most interesting part of this trip was when he said, “We could go back, or we could go back to my bedroom and snuggle.”

I laughed. This guy hadn’t kissed me yet, and he thought it was ok to proposition me. And he wasn’t the first guy to do this, either!

Billy Ray frowned and said, “We don’t have to have sex. I really do like to snuggle. You can just hold me. I’d like that.”

Needless to say, we did not snuggle. We went back to Daniel’s house, hung out for a couple more glasses of wine, then called it a night. Billy Ray said, “Get my number from Daniel and call me. We’ll go to Midnight Rodeo.” (That’s a country western dance club/bar in Dallas.)

“You’ll call it a night at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, but you think that you have enough energy to go dancing?” I teased him.

“Oh ya. I like to dance,” Billy Ray said.

I laughed. Dancing equals snuggling in public. Of course he’d like that. You don’t have to kiss a girl before you dance with her.

After Billy Ray left, I talked to Elizabeth while I drank some water before hitting the road. I told her that it wasn’t a love match. Then I mentioned my “date” the night before.

“Lilly and I were talking about driving down to Destin to see Ryan,” I said. “It’s about a 12-hour drive; we could do that in a long weekend. Drive down Friday, drive back Monday. What do you think? I mean, he’s probably not a serial killer. That is, he isn’t a random guy off FB; we have several mutual friends. And I’m not going down alone, I’ll be traveling with Lilly.”

“Sounds like a lot of fun. Jules, you deserve to be happy! And you’re single, go for it!” She said, then paused. “He doesn’t expect you to—you know—sleep in his bed, does he?”

“Oh no! I told him that I’d crash on his couch, then he offered his guest bedroom,” I said.

“Then go for it! A road trip would be fun, Destin would be fun, and meeting Ryan sounds like something that would make you happy,” Elizabeth answered.

Two blind dates in one weekend, and of course I like the guy that lives 714 miles away.

Billy Ray Revisited

On Sunday (today), Billy Ray texted me and invited me to a movie. I politely told him that I wasn’t interested, that we don’t have enough in common. He answered, “But u don’t know me.”

My response was, “Darlin’, I know that you didn’t ask me one question about myself last night. If you knew where I worked or what my job title is, I would be surprised. I also know that you dip and I find that repellant. So I think that it would be best if we don’t date. (smiley face)”

He answered, “U work with Daniel wife and ur son got in a fight”

Ok, wow, really? He lists two facts and thinks he knows me?  And one of those facts is wrong. “No, I don’t work with Elizabeth. I did, over a year ago, but I don’t now,” I clarified.

“No hard feelings. Ur a looker and go a fun personality. Ok am I bad I was just really tired yesterday sorry,” he answered.

It’s also a pet peeve when someone uses really bad grammar and types “u” instead of “you.”

“Thanks Billy Ray, I appreciate that. Take care.”  Thanks for the compliments.  Bye bye.

“U too,” he answered.


Lilly Peach and I scheduled our Road Trip for August 29 to September 1. Watch out, Ryan Oranges! Here we come!

Please don’t be a serial killer. That would suck. Seriously, it would ruin our vaca. So, be nice, ok? (smiley face)