Flirting 101 (Video Blog)

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“You should offer more dating advice,” Jack told me.

“Only if you help,” I said.

“Why don’t we start with one of your most recent dates?” he suggested.

Tale of Two Dates Flashback

“Let’s snuggle,” Billy Ray said about an hour after meeting me. He hadn’t kissed me and the date really hadn’t been going that well.  (Tale of Two Dates)

Unfortunately, I’d been in this position before. And I found myself in a similar situation the following week.

“Kissing someone for the first time is hard,” Sandy told me.

Ya right. He rubbed my shoulders until I was ready to say, “Yes,” to just about anything, then he kissed me. Seriously, that man has skills.

What were we talking about? Oh ya, some guys try to skip kissing and just throw out propositions. This has to stop. So, gentlemen, here’s a little advice from the Strawberries on how to flirt and read body language, so that you know whether or not to go for that first kiss:

Flirting 101 

Flirt with your eyes, words, and touch. Read her reaction. If she’s into you, go for the kiss. If she’s not, don’t.

Jack insisted on adding advice on how to dress for a date. Gentlemen: Use this advice at your own risk. The Strawberries aren’t responsible for any injuries caused by women throwing themselves at you. From “Drowning in Testosterone,” heeeeeere’s Jack!

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Jack’s Date Night Outfit

For personal lessons and/or more advice, comment below, email me at julesrulesstrawberry@gmail.com , or contact me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julesstrawberry?ref=hl

Next week: Crazy Redheads: Fact or Fiction? (Video Blog).

Cheers!

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PSS And on Instagram: @jules_strawberry_rules

PSSS Videos by Sandy Oranges, September 22, 2014, Dallas, Texas.

The Break Up

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Sandy Oranges and I broke up after realizing that we don’t live in the same state and neither of us owns a jet. Or has the money to buy one. We broke up via email, after a wonderfully amazing weekend then two days of not being able to talk to each other. The week went something like this:

Monday

The alarm woke me up at 5 a.m. Instead of jumping out of bed to go for a run, I rolled over and whispered to Sandy, “Time to get up.”

He smiled at the sound of my voice and said, “Good morning!” Then he pulled me over a kiss. The moment was wonderful and terrible at the same time: waking up next to him was nice, but waking him up to say Goodbye was dreadful.

“Do you want me to make you an omelet?” he asked.

Surprised, I said, “As your hostess, I should refuse. As someone who wants one of your yummy creations, I accept.”

By 6:30 a.m., we were fed, clean, and packed up.

“Goodbye, I love you, text me when you stop for gas!”

He texted me faithfully. The first text of the day, though, was, “Driving away from you sucks.”

He arrived home safely approximately 12 hours later and we Skyped that night.

Tuesday

“I’m heading home. I’m either sick or VERY sore from the drive,” he texted me.

Another notable text from the day was, “I know you are super busy today, but can we Skype tonight? Maybe plan my move if you’re still willing to keep me?”*

I freaked out. No way to sugar coat this: I freaked the hell out. The conversation that I had with Allie Apple went something like this:

“Oh wow! Check out this text from Sandy!” I told her, holding my phone out so that she could read it.

“Is he serious?” she asked.

“I think so. I mean, we’ve only been dating 3 and a half weeks, which is waaaaaaaaay too early for a move in. But it makes sense: we get along great, we practically finish each other sentences, and being so far apart sucks. But, we’ve only been dating 3-and-a-half weeks!” I paused for breath. Here is where I shift gears and name all the reasons that we could break up. This is a self-defense mechanism, but also part of the Pros-and-Cons list that I make for big decisions. “And he wants a boat. I’m not aquatic; I don’t like going out on the lake! I burn too easily and I don’t see the point.”

“Did you ask him why he wants a boat?” Allie asked. She likes to see things from both sides before making a decision. Most of our conversations start with, “What do you think he meant by this?” and the reading of a text message from a love interest or an email from a coworker.

“He said that he’d like a pontoon boat so that we could barbeque. If you want to barbeque, do it in the backyard,” I said.

“Ya right! It’s much easier!” Allie agreed.

“But consider the fact that he lives on the beach because he loves the water. I can’t take him away from that, ask him to move away from someplace he loves, then tell him that I don’t want to get a boat. Those are big sacrifices.”

Allie asked, “Did you tell him that you don’t like boats?”

“Oh yes! On the dolphin boat ride in Florida, I got boat sick. Well, I didn’t throw up, but I did feel miserable. I told him that my daughter was surprised that I even stepped foot on a boat. He said that we can try going out on the lake, and if I don’t like it, we don’t have to go. But still, I feel like I’d be depriving him of something he loves.” I took a deep breath. I felt like I was hyperventilating. “Three weeks is way too early to move in. I was thinking one year or later.”

Allie agreed.

Reggie was more sympathetic to Sandy. “I wish I’d been dating someone for almost a month,” he texted. “I freaked out a lot of the girls I dated.”

“Not helpful, Reggie! I’m freaking out!” I texted back.

“Just tell him that you’re twice divorced and moving so quickly scares you,” Reggie replied.

Finally, I simply texted to Sandy, “Slow down, Lover Boy.”

His answer was, “Yes ma’am.”

That night he went to bed early, so we didn’t Skype.

Wednesday

Unfortunately, my mind didn’t quit with the Pro/Con list. I mentally went over every conversation, trying to predict how long a relationship would last if he were living nearby. Trying to picture us dating normally. After having two wonderful mini-vacations with him, the exercise made my brain hurt. We didn’t have normal dates; we had 48-hour super dates.

I texted Lilly Peaches to plan our next trip to Destin. At first, October 17th seemed to work for us. But realistically, Lilly just moved into a new place and has four weekends straight booked to visit family out of town. She doesn’t have the funds to go on another long trip. Do I?

“I can either call this a date or a vacation,” I told her. “If I call it a date, it’s a very expensive date. We’re talking $220 for the gas alone. If I call it a vacation, well, I already had my vacations for the year: San Francisco was the big one in July and then Destin in August. I can’t afford to take a vacation every other month.”

So it came down to economics. With a heavy heart, I emailed Sandy.

“Lilly and I cannot visit you in October.   She’s got bills, I’ve got bills, and together we can’t afford the gas.

Moving in together is something that I think should be on the one-year – or – later timeline. Since I assume that you can’t afford to visit me every month, that leaves Skype dates. I don’t think that I can be satisfied, or expect you to be satisfied, with a relationship where we see each other only on Skype and a couple of times a year.

Your thoughts?”

His email response was short.  He agreed that neither of us should be satisfied with that.

I had expected him to argue. I had expected a phone call or a text or a request for a Skype date to talk about it. Part of me was relieved that it was so easy and we could be logical adults. Part of me wanted to tell him to move in.

Thursday/Friday

8 p.m. was the time of our regular unofficial Skype date. Last night, I scrubbed the kitchen and listened to an audio book. Tonight, I write this.

And so that’s the end. Sucks, doesn’t it? I mean, we had a great three weeks, and we’re still friends, so this isn’t a major tragedy. Long distance dating just sucks; I just confirmed it. Again. See Jules Rules’ Rule #9, “Must live within 30 minutes drive.” Now, if I could just follow my own rules…

The rules will be repeated until they are learned.

Friday Night

Clarification from Sandy: he didn’t mean that he was ready to move in today.  He meant, let’s talk about the future.  LOL, I guess I should have picked up the phone and called him rather than freaking out!!

Cheers.

PS Follow me on Facebook for more frequent posts and more pictures: https://www.facebook.com/julesstrawberry?ref=hl .

PSS And on Instagram: @jules_strawberry_rules

Lovers in Dallas II

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“I had the most beautiful dream. I was with you in Dallas. Then I opened my eyes, and I’m actually here! How often does that happen, that you have a wonderful dream, then find out that it’s real?!” Sandy asked me, then reached out and wrapped his arms around me.

Now that’s how every day should begin!

Pictures in the Park

My favorite part of the weekend was taking pictures in the park. Sandy loves to take pictures and I love to pose, so we both have fun. Just take a look!

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You turn me right round, baby, right round!

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Red Headed Sunset

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Playful (B&W)

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Sultry

Cookin’ Up Something Good

“I want to learn how to cook for you,” he said a couple of weeks ago.

I laughed. “Oh, wait, you’re serious. Given my allergies, that’s a lofty goal. I don’t eat gluten (wheat, barley, rye), garlic, or soy. I avoid white onions, pork (except for bacon!), rosemary, and more. It sounds like an impossible diet, until I turn it around and say what I *can* eat: grilled meat and veggies. Easy and healthy.”

“Great, show me how!” he said.

I emailed him my Gluten Free Handbook. It’s just 40 pages that I threw together explaining my allergies and giving a few recipes. “You don’t have to read the whole thing,” I told him. “Just skim it and look at the recipes.”

“I like learning about you,” he said. After he read it, he added, “This was EXCELLENT. That’s a TON of information and it’s very well presented. Now I want to cook the chicken stir fry :)”

My heart fluttered a little. I found a man who likes to read my writing in multiple genres, from GF to dating to blog entries. Not just the fun stories, but the serious stuff, too. Sigh, he’s so sweet!

Home improvement projects, road trips, and cooking are excellent tests of relationships. The couple has to work as a team towards a common goal, often with two different ideas on how to complete it. Tension can come if there isn’t adequate communication, or if one person is heavy handed and thinks his way is the only way.

A woman would never be forceful. And of course my way is the best way!

So while he was here, we made enchiladas together. He asked questions when he didn’t understand, like, “Why are you cutting the pepper that way? No, really, I want to know why; I’m not saying that you’re doing it wrong. Oh, you’re deseeding it. That makes sense.”

When I said, “We have a food chopper thingy under the sink,” he replied, “Oh, a slap chop? Cool.” I mean, how many people would have known what the hell I was talking about?! It’s pretty cool when that happens, when you don’t have to say a complete (or sometimes, coherent) thought for the other person to understand. ❤  The fact that we connected like this several times over the weekend, was exciting and scary at the same time.

The enchiladas turned out perfect. Better yet, I’d cook with him again. He even helped with the dishes! My sink has never been so clean!

Out for a Stroll

We went for a walk on Saturday night. I showed him where I had spotted PePe during my morning runs. He really like the picture that I had taken, with the street lights in the background. (See below.) I was proud that I could take a picture that a photographer might enjoy. And I love that he didn’t nitpick and tell me how to take better picts!

“I love that you take walks, and that you think, ‘Oh, that’s within walking distance,’” he said.

“I love that you’ll take walks with me!” I said, and I meant it. Holding his hand, walking to the park, talking about whatever comes to mind – that’s heaven.

We had so much fun walking around my neighborhood, that on Sunday I took him to nearby McKinney, Texas for a stroll through historic downtown. I discovered that he likes to sift through thrift shops, too! McKinney has a fair number of antique shops that we visited before stopping for a glass of wine at the Pub.

“This is a neat little town!” he said. “I really like the architecture. I wish they had the plaques on the buildings, so that I could read a little of the history.”

“I’m so glad that you like it! It’s a great place to visit to get a glass of wine and listen to live music on a Friday or Saturday. We’ll have to do that next time.” I smiled. I loved that we could talk about his next visit so easily, as though it were inevitable.

PePe

PePe

Saturday

The only big thing that I planned for the weekend was a visit to the Dallas World Aquarium with Jack, Allie Apple, and her date. Allie wanted to meet Sandy, of course, after hearing all about him day after day for weeks. And I wanted to meet Allie’s new boyfriend, too. Unfortunately, he had something come up and we only got to meet him briefly. But the DWA was awesome and we had a good time otherwise. More about that in a future blog – there are too many pictures to share in one blog! Here’s a jellyfish, as a sneak peak:

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Jellyfish at the Dallas World Aquarium

Wonderful Weekend

The whole weekend was a wonderful dream. Sandy Oranges was here from Friday night to Monday morning. We visited the Dallas World Aquarium, walked around picturesque downtown McKinney, and snuggled on my couch watching movies. Then we indulged in our favorite activities: he took pictures while I modeled. The whole weekend was wonderful, and even better because it was real!

Cheers!

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PS Follow me on Facebook for more frequent posts and more pictures: https://www.facebook.com/julesstrawberry?ref=hl .

Blowing you a Kiss!

Tomorrow I’ll post a proper blog.  Today, a sneak preview of the pictures that Sandy Oranges took of me in a nearby park.

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Blowing You a Kiss!

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Did you say, “Sultry?”

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Spinning around, having a blast!

You’ll get more a full report of Sandy Oranges’s visit tomorrow, and more pictures at the end of the week.  The short version: I love him, he loves me, and we had a great weekend together! ❤ ❤ ❤

Cheers!

Lovers in Dallas

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The Dallas World Aquarium, pictures in the park, and video blogging: it’s going to be a fun filled weekend!

And like the picture implies, there may be some smoochin’ too 😉

Sandy Oranges is driving 917 miles to see *me*!  And there’s not even a beach nearby that he can use as an excuse 😉  He left Destin, Florida for Dallas, Texas to see me!  Woot!

“Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White T’s,  “A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they’ve got planes and trains and cars, and I’d walk to you if I had no other way…”  Queue The Pretenders,  “I would walk a Thousand Miles.”

Seriously, this is how Sandy and I have been texting each other all week: song dedications and current events. Most of which are, “I miss you,” and “Just __ more days!” And now it’s a mere number of hours!

I promise to post picts no later than Monday. I may be a bit busy between now and then 😉

If you only had 2 days to spend with your lover in Dallas, what would you do?

Cheers!

BLAH I’m sick :-(

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Jules Strawberry in a Straw Hat, August 2014

Another of my favorite pictures from Destin.  Has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

Dear Friends,

I’m sick, so I won’t be blogging tonight.  Although, technically, I’m blogging now.  Does this count?  I shouldn’t be writing this, because my head is fuzzy and I’m sure that I’m going to say something that will come out wrong.  I hope that you can laugh with me, if that happens.

Furthermore, I’ll be changing to a once-a-week blogging schedule.  This will allow me to focus on Book 2, on the nights that I’m not blogging.  (I’m in the middle of chapter 7 now.)  Plus, when I do blog, I can make it higher quality because I’ll have a week to come up with the perfect topic.

Sandy will be here on FRIDAY!!  Expect pictures and mushy stories about how WONDERFUL he is!  He said that if I’m not well by then, he’ll take care of me.  How sweet is that?! 

Have a super great night and a wonderful week,

Cheers!

Jules

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Wild Weekend with Amy

July 2001, Austin. “Do you want to go out?” Amy’s voice said on my answering machine. Shit, when did she leave that message? I just got home.

I quickly dialed her number and breathed a sigh of relief when she picked up the phone. “Yes, I want to go out!” I nearly shouted into the phone. “Especially after the day that I had! It was a rough day at work, and then I went to happy hour with some coworkers.”

“Happy hour, cool. Wait, why are you home at 8:30 if you were at happy hour? Shouldn’t you still be there?” She asked. Amy was a 5’0” firecracker. At first glance, she looked like a Barbie doll with her long blonde hair and clear blue eyes. With a closer look, her muscles and the chip on her shoulder are more evident.

“OhMyGod I sat next to the Most Boring Guy in the World!!” I said. “He should’ve been interesting, ‘cause he’s a film student, but he’s a data entry guy, and we had NOTHING to talk about. Like, really, NOTHING. The guy was soooo boring that I moved to the other side of the table and talked to the old man just to get away from him.”

“Yuck! Shit! No wonder you’re home early!” Amy sympathized.

“Oh wait, it gets worse. The Cute Boy from work that I’ve had my eye on, he showed up and sat next to me.”

“Cool!”

“Ya, it would’ve been cool, if Divorced Lady hadn’t showed up and sat BETWEEN US!!!” I may have howled in frustration. “Then, Old Man suggests that I go back and talk to Boring Guy!!!”

“Yikes!” Amy said.

“Right. I had to get out of there. And I’m soooooo glad that you called! Let’s do this!”

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Jules Strawberry, March 2001

We dressed up and went to downtown Austin, Texas to find some fun. And boy, did we ever!! Made up for that Happy Hour that was really a Sad Disappointment Hour!!

First, we swung by Antione’s to see what was happening. Jimmy Vaughn, brother of Stevie Ray, was on the stage. A few minutes of flirting with the bouncers, and we got in for free. Man, Jimmy can grind an ax. (That’s slang for playing a mean guitar, right?) If his brother was better, wow! We hung out there for a drink or two, then Amy got restless, so we went back out to 6th street.

Across the street, a new dance club was celebrating a Grand Opening. This is kinda a joke in Austin, where some clubs change owners and names as often as some people change their jeans. Still, we headed over to see what the drink specials were like. They were decent, so we decided to stay for a little while.

A DJ walked over to us and said, “Welcome to Club Gonna-Change-Its-Name-In-A-Week-So-Don’t-Bother-To-Remember-It!! I’m from the radio station and we’re giving away Free Tickets to the Depeche Mode Concert if you can show me an Ace!” He spread a deck of cards face down on the table in front of us.

Amy quickly reached down and turned over a 2 of spades.

I took my time and carefully considered which card I should pick up. I felt the cards for their auras. (This was all show; I don’t have any psychic powers, but don’t tell Amy that!) Then I selected the Ace of Hearts and gave it to the DJ.

Amy gasped. “How’d you do that? Is this game rigged?!” She started turning over cards, one after another, trying to find another ace.

The DJ was flustered by Amy’s sudden burst of energy. “Stop it! Stop messing up my cards! I’ll give you both tickets if you just stop!!”

A guy at the next table came over and said, “Hey, what just happened?”

We told him, and he bought us a round of drinks. WHOOOO! The rest of the night was a blur of drinking and dancing.

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Ryan (brother), Jules Strawberry, Jack, and Sally. July 2001. Rose’s wedding.

Concert

The Depeche Mode Concert was in San Antonio, just an 1.5 hr drive from Austin. We didn’t care; we were excited to have free concert tickets.

Just inside the door, some Bud Light girls were holding auditions for a live commercial. We shrugged and stepped in front of the camera, saying our names and that we’re from Austin. We looked at each other and giggled. The thought of being in a commercial, on top of the rest of the awesome weekend, was just too much!

Amy wasn’t content to sit on the lawn. She found a cute guy who was sitting in the good seats and arranged it with some guys that we could move up front. “Everyone is standing anyways,” she told him, “No one will realize that we don’t have seats, if we’re standing next to you and your friend.”

He was ecstatic to have two hot ladies stand next to him during the concert. He smiled so widely, that I’m sure he was picturing us as his entourage!!

Confession: I didn’t like Depeche Mode. So I thought. When we won the tickets, I couldn’t name one of their songs. But hearing them play, I realized that I knew almost every song!

“Reach out touch faith! Your own…personal…Jesus! Someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1xrNaTO1bI

Amy tried to get us into the After Party. That is, after the concert was over, we stuck around by the stage. A roadie took pity and told us, “They’re old, they went home to their wives, there is no after party.”

Bud Light Call Back

“Jules Strawberry?”

“Yes, this is she.” I said.

“This is the Budweiser Corporation. We’d like to know if you’re still interested in appearing a commercial in San Antonio…”

I was so stinking excited! After the call ended, I called Amy.

She was pissed! “I’m 24 ½, and you must be at least 25 to be in the commercial. I can’t believe that! They wouldn’t make an exception. Hey, I’m over 21! What the f***?!”

Hey, cool, a perk to being older! I was sad for my friend, but excited for me. I’M GOING TO BE IN A COMMERCIAL! ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!!

Commercial

Filming a live commercial was boring. That is, hours of practice for 5 minutes of film. Sit and wait, stand around in the heat, smile, tell each other jokes, sweat. By the time it was done, I didn’t want a beer; I wanted a shower!

The next day, my coworker told me, “I had to pee so badly! But I couldn’t leave the couch, because I knew that if I did, your commercial would come on. And I saw it! It was the third commercial break, but there it was, I saw it during Friends!!!”.

Here’s the video. Pay attention to the bucket o’ beer: I’m the red-head standing at the bar laughing at about 20 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex_qq7IaYP8

The moral of the story is, even a crappy day can have a happy ending. And even if it’s not the best day on earth, you may still have a kickass story to tell!  Because, ya, I’m a Bud Light Girl!

Where my girls at?! Time to go OUT! WHOOOO!

Cheers!

Learn more about Jules by following my Facebook page, Jules Strawberry.

P.S. Sandy is visiting me next weekend!  YAY! 

P.S. S. Lilly, Allie, and I are planning a road trip to see him in October!  YAYAYAYAY!

P.S.S.S. I know that I told you already. I’m excited!!

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June 2001

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June 2001