I wish they all could be California Guys! (NOT)

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Jack and I found some La Poussie at the store and had to text Sally to see if she’d tried any.  #LesbianJoke #Wine

 

The guys here puzzle me.  They talk to me for a little while, then ghost.  That is, they disappear without saying, “Goodbye.”  I’ve even had nice dates where the guy doesn’t contact me after.  It’s possible that their work became busy or they met someone else; but why don’t they send a simple email or text to say as much?  I’ve tried sending messages after a few days, and some guys respond, while others don’t.  Seems like this happened a bit in Texas, but not nearly as much.  How hard is it to send a simple text or message saying, “I found someone else.  Good luck!”?

Full disclosure: I dated two guys that were really nice.  They were home-bodies who liked to watch movies.  One was devoted to classic rock bands and cover bands; the other was devoted to his son.  They were so single-minded that after five minutes of conversation, we had NOTHING to talk about.  Nothing.  I asked them about hiking and sights to see around town, but they didn’t have anything to contribute.  So after two dates with the first guy (in January) and one date with the second guy (last week), I texted, “You’re a super nice guy, but we’re not a match.  Good luck!”

Both guys texted back, “Thanks, good luck to you, too!”

That’s how it should be done, people!  Don’t ghost!  Send a simple text.

Easy peezy, and no one is left asking, “WTF happened?  Did I accidentally say something offensive?  Was there spinach in my teeth?  Did they know that I secretly checked out the waiter, who had a really nice ass?”

Or maybe that’s just me.

The most recent guy that I talked to, Ray, expressed interest in me on Match.com.  Cool, he’s handsome and a year older than me, so I was interested in him as well.  We emailed a couple of times before he asked to talk to me on the phone.  Great, I’m happy to cut to the chase, especially after all the ghosts.

His text was a long one, which is odd.  It was more like an email!  The just was, “I’ve been busy…you seem really smart.  I’ll have to brush up on the Periodic Table before I meet you, haha! I’d like to talk to you on the phone.”

So I responded with a time that worked for me to talk, letting him know, “I like my schedules and lists; I’m a planner. : – )”

He replied, “So do I!  I’m a project manager : – ) I’ll send you an Outlook invite!  Lol”

Great!  So far, so good.

That conversation was in the morning.  That afternoon, he sent me a screenshot of one of my pictures on Match and said, “Looking at a few pics…this one is my favorite.”

This creeped me out a little.  First, he could click a heart on the picture to tell me that he liked it, much like clicking a thumbs up on Facebook.  Second, he now has a picture of me on his phone, and we haven’t met.  We haven’t even talked on the phone at this point.  Third, it’s a pic of me in a Supergirl costume at Comicon, which I don’t consider my best picture, so it’s an odd one to single out.

Then he texted, “Too cute.  Nice to see what you’ll do for family.”

I pondered this.  The picture’s caption is, “ComiCon Dallas, May 30, 2015.  What a great time!  I loved seeing the range of costumes.  Good times!”  My family isn’t mentioned.  He may be assuming that I went for my kids, but that’s a big assumption; I may have been there with a date.  An alternate interpretation is that he cyberstalked me and found this picture on my blog or Facebook page, both of which have pics of Jack and Ed as well.

Weird, right?

It gets worse.

That night, I ran errands and was late making dinner.  Rather than talk to him while my dinner got cold or try to talk around a mouthful of food, I asked for a raincheck on the call.  His answer was, “Of course.  I fly home tomorrow night.”  (He was out of town on business.)

Later, he texted, “Still can’t talk?  I take it you went out?”

Wow, big assumptions!  I could talk at that point; my dinner was long gone.  Since he was in a different time zone, however, I thought he’d be asleep.  No, I didn’t go out; I am quite single and looking for a guy.  If I had a date with a guy, I wouldn’t have scheduled a call with Ray.

I sighed and picked up the phone to call him.

The phone call contained the usual getting-to-know-you chit chat, plus these zingers:

  • I mentioned that my daughter was coming to visit me. He said, “I thought your daughter lived with you, and your son lived elsewhere?”
    • How did he know that I had a daughter & a son? My profile says that I have two kids, but I never specified their genders.  And up to that point in the call, I hadn’t discussed my kids at all.
  • He said that lives at the corner of X and Y street.
    • THAT’S WHERE I LIVE!!
    • Either it’s big coincidence, or he’s STALKING ME.
    • I told him that we must be neighbors; I didn’t confirm or deny that we were in the same apartment complex.
    • He may work for the NSA and be tracking my cell phone’s every move.
      • Eeek! What if he listens to my phone convos and reads my texts?!
      • If he does, he might be super bored. He’ll be sending *me* a good luck test soon!
    • He admitted to guilting me into calling. “I really wanted to talk to you,” he said.
      • On one hand, he is a manipulator.
      • On the other, he owns it.
    • “I travel Monday through Thursday. I think that’s why I’m single.  Could you handle that?”
      • Um, chip on your shoulder, much?
      • “I work Monday through Thursday, attend yoga, and play softball. I wouldn’t miss you during the week anyway,” I told him honestly.
      • “I see where I stand,” he replied huffily, then tried to laugh it off.
      • Ok then!
    • “I don’t believe in dwelling on the past,” he said, moments before asking, “Why did you get divorced?”
      • I answered, “I’d rather not discuss that, at this point. I will tell you that my divorce was final in 2001 and I am well over it.”
    • Since this was Wednesday, I asked if he wanted to meet for a drink on Friday. He countered with, “I have plans with a friend on Saturday, but I might be able to reschedule that, and meet you instead.”
      • He was finding out if I was free on Saturday.
      • He never committed to anything.
    • Later in the call, he asked if I had been to the local winery. “Sundays are fun there,” he said.
      • He was finding out if I was free on Sunday.
      • He never committed to anything.

I am a planner.  I don’t like to sit home alone on Friday and Saturday, and I don’t like to be jerked around.

On Thursday, Ray texted, “You’ve been on my mind a lot today.”

Um, ok?  What do I say to that?  “We’ve talked on the phone once and you haven’t asked me out on a date yet,” I thought.  “I’m thinking about you, too.  Wondering if I should worry about you showing up on my doorstep, stalker!”

Instead of that, I texted an answer to another comment that he’d made.

On Friday, Ray texted, “I’m staying home tonight because I’m exhausted from my travels.  My weekend opened up; let me know if you’d like to grab a drink.  I’d like that very much.”

“Well, Jerk, if you’d like that sooooo much, why don’t you ASK ME OUT ON A PROPER DATE?!” I thought.  “Show some respect!  Don’t treat me like an after-thought or a booty call.  I deserve better than that!”

I might be getting jaded and cynical.  Just a tad.

I answered, “Ok, enjoy your quiet evening at home.”

Which is just what I did.  I poured myself a glass of wine, made myself some nachos, and binge-watched “Elementary.”  I spoil me sometimes.

And *that* is why I didn’t have a date this weekend.  To all you guys who thinks that women can get laid so easily, THIS!!  If I don’t have a date, I don’t get kissed, etc.

On days like this, I call Elizabeth and she expounds on the latest sin that her husband Daniel committed and why she’s so angry at him.  Daniel is a super great guy, but (like most of us) isn’t perfect.  I let her rant, she feels better, then she says, “See?!  Aren’t you glad that you’re single?”

“Thanks, Elizabeth,” I tell her.

“You’re welcome,” she says.  “Any time.  No, really, I can bitch about Daniel any day of the week, just call back if you need to hear more.”

Cheers!

Jules Rules

  1. Do not ask a person why they got divorced in the first call. Or on the first date.  In fact, don’t ask; if they feel like confiding in you, they will.
  2. Don’t infer that a person was with family if they’re dressed as a superhero. Ok, in my case it was true, but I could’ve been there on a date!  Any Doctors in the house?  (Preferably David Tennant-era.)
  3. Ask the person out if you’re interested, to a specific place and time. Don’t feel out whether I have any plans at all, then leave me hanging.
  4. Don’t be a dick!

 

 

Californication

 

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View from my balcony early one morning

San Diego, California, has been my home for three months now.  I can hardly believe it!  I’ve done more in that time than some people do in years, because I feel like every weekend is a vacation.  My hardest decision has been, do I go to the beach, or hike a mountain?!

Here are some of the places I’ve been:

  • Torrey Pines State Park is famous for its view of the ocean. I scrambled down a steep path (I would say, “hiked,” but I wasn’t that graceful) to the water.  Still, I wasn’t impressed.  Sorry, California, but it was just a walk, which I can do anywhere.
  • Black Mountain was better. Sally & Penny joined me for this one, back in December.
  • Iron Mountain was better still! I’m hitting it again today, because it kicked my ass last time.  In a good way.
  • Woodson Mountain was another good hike.
  • Little Italy, a neighborhood in downtown, was my home for two months. The food was superb and I love how walk-able the area is!  The farmer’s market on Cedar Street is open every Saturday; if you get a chance, go!  Buy some fresh fish or a tie-dyed shirt.  Or maybe some beef jerky.
  • Gas Lamp District is a famous neighborhood downtown. It’s full of clubs and bars; I visited during the day and said, “Reminds me of Austin’s 6th
  • La Jolla has some beautiful beaches. And sea lions.  And a Dr. Suess Museum!  It’s a magical place.
    • I took Gary Mathews there and he didn’t want to leave. I spent 20 minutes pushing him into his rental car.
  • Los Angeles is a two-hour drive, so I visited it, too. It’s crowded, dirty, and the beaches aren’t as nice.
    • Walking around the neighborhood checking out the area, a nice old man approached me. He was well dressed with a friendly smile, so I thought it was nice when hugged me and said that I was perfect.  “Oh, your boyfriend is so blessed to have you!  If you have one, that is,” he told me, then proceeded to kiss my neck.  Seriously, two seconds after I met him, he’s sexually assaulting me on the street, on a Sunday afternoon, in broad daylight.  THAT’S L.A.
    • Exception: my darling, talented, beautiful friend Amy Arrow lives there. She’s an artist actor and an amazing person.  If you ever get to see her in a movie or in person, do it!
  • Fashion Valley is a huge mall. One of my friends invited me to go shop there; I was so excited that a handsome man wanted my opinion on his pants, that I jumped at the chance.  After sitting in traffic, then circling the parking lot for 20 minutes, I realized that it was Christmas Eve.  DOH!
    • The mall is open air, which means that shoppers walk on the sidewalk outside to get to the stores. Why?  Because the weather here is so perfect so much of the time that you don’t need a roof over your head!
    • We saw “Rogue One” at the theater there. Although I hated the ending (he said that it fit), the movie was awesome!

As beautiful as it is here, it is definitely not Texas.  As I said in my last post, people don’t greet each other here like they do back home.  However, once I get a person talking, they are just as nice as anyone from the South.  It became a game to me, to see how many people I can get to smile and say, “Hi,” in the hall at work.  More and more are coming around.  My first week here, I made some new friends, and invited Heather and Heather over to watch the movie, “Heathers” (Winona Ryder and Christian Slader, 1998).

I visited Dallas a couple of weeks ago and saw as many friends as possible: Allie Apple, my sister & nieces, Elizabeth & Daniel & their darling children, Therese, Gabby Gumbo, and Andrew.  Each one is precious to me.  Visiting them was visiting home; spending time with them was like a shower to my soul.

Allie and I went to Billy Bob’s Texas, the World’s Largest Honky Tonk, in Fort Worth.  I’ve two-stepped there since I was 18 years old, and visiting it was like stepping back in time.  Yee haw!  (The cowboys are just as handsome as ever, only now they look so young !)

Next blog post: the guys I’ve met since I got here.  Peeps be cray cray!

Cheers!

PS For more pics, follow me on Instagram (jules_strawberry_rules) or Facebook (Jules Strawberry).  I also tweet, though not as often (JulesSberry).

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CA doesn’t allow as many billboards by the highway, so the views are spectacular!

 

 

Southern Hospitality

 

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Drunk Jules went shoppin’ at Billy Bob’s Texas on Saturday night.  That’s a whip in the middle.  Why she thought I needed a whip, I don’t know!  

 

“Bless his heart!” is a Southern phrase used to mean everything from:

  • If he were any stupider, he’d be a stump.
    • Also known as, “When God was handing out brains, he was at the back of the line.”
  • If she were any uglier, little children would run screaming.
    • Also known as, “She was beaten with the Ugly Stick.”

When Southerners are little boys and girls, we learn the more direct insults.  But then our parents beat us to within an inch of our lives with a hickory stick (not literally, that’s another idiomatic phrase), and we learn to be more respectful.  Some of us take longer than others to learn the lesson, and have more bruises on our behinds to prove it, but most of us eventually learn that we can say, “Bless his heart!” without any painful side effects.

Why are Southerners more likely to likely to greet you when walking past?

I’ve been in California for 3 months now, and I am appalled when I walk down the hall at work.  My coworkers avert their eyes, as though they must—MUST—not acknowledge my presence.  At first, I thought maybe the company had gone a little overboard with Sexual Harassment Training.  After all, a good way to avoid getting trouble with a female coworker, is to not look at her.  But then I realized that even the ladies would look right past me.  This happens on the streets, too.  Hmmm, must not be the training; it appears to be a cultural behavior.

I mentioned this to one of my female coworkers, who always smiles a big smile and makes eye contact when she sees me coming.  She moved from Dallas about two years ago; she’s good people.

“My theory is population density,” she wisely informed me.  “See, in the South, people are more spread out, and there are smaller towns.  So the people that you pass by, you see all the time, and there’s a small number of people in that group.  Conversely, in a large city such as San Diego, there are a LOT more people.  Therefore, it’s more difficult to greet everyone and to know everyone.  If you tried to say hi to everyone, you’d never get anything done!  You’d spend all day making small talk.”

AH!  That makes sense!  The small town in Louisiana where I attend middle school and my first two years of high school was Sulphur, Louisiana.   At the time, Sulphur had a population of 20,000 people.  While I didn’t know everyone (obviously), I saw the same people at church, school, and around the neighborhood.  Plus, contrast that with the 1.4 million people in San Diego.  That’s .02 versus 1.4 million.  Sulphur had less than 1.5% of the current population of San Diego.  Yep, that’s a BIG difference!

Another way of looking at this is, imagine you live in that small town.  You have a fight with Millie, the baker’s daughter.  At church, your mom says, “How come you ain’t sayin’ hi to Millie like’n you usually do?”

You can blow her off by asking, “What’s for lunch, Momma?” But it’s your Momma; she’s going to find out eventually.

“Daryl told Emma Jean who told Bobbi Jo who told Elvin that you crossed the street to avoid her on Friday after school,” your sister will not-so-helpfully offer.

Brother chimes in (because this is the South and we believe in having large families), “She gave you the Evil Eye when you wurtn lookin’, too.”

Then your other sister will add, “I heard from Kelvin who said that Millie stole your beau.”

And if you manage to wiggle out of that conversation, you’ll see Millie at school the next day.  And at the grocery store.  And at the church picnic.  It’ll get to the point that it’s either the Hatfield and McCoys (i.e. a blood feud that lasts generations and involves a few gun fights), or you make the peace.

Face it, making the peace is easier.  So you may end up making a statement like this, “Millie, I’m sorry that I blew spit wads at you in class after you talked to Jimmy.  Even though I had my eye on him, I had no true claim—I mean, I didn’t brand him like a cow or anything—so let’s just be friends, ok?  Momma made some peach cobbler, come on over.”

And so, Southern people are friendly because they can (low population density) and must.  ‘Cause you see the same folks all the dang time, so to the keep the peace you smile and say nice things.  Bless their hearts!

Cheers!

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I have lived in the South most of my life: Alabama, Louisiana, and my beloved Texas.

This post was in answer to a question from Dr. Gary Lum, “Why are Texans so friendly?”  If you’d like me to answer your question, email JulesRulesStrawberry@gmail.com.  My specialty is dating advice, but I have opinions and theories on just about everything.   Thanks, Gaz, for the question!

Next up: a summary of all the places I’ve visited in San Diego.  There’s a long list, my friends, because I don’t like to sit still!

Be good.  And if you can’t be good, be good at it!

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Wipe your boots before you come in side, y’all.

Sex is Just Scratching an Itch

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“Sometimes you need sex like you need to scratch an itch,” my date told me.  “I told that to my 15-year-old son.  He believes that you need to be love to have sex, and that just isn’t true.”

I choked on my wine.  “I’ll take awkward conversations for $1,000, Alex,” I said, pretending that I was on a game show.  This wasn’t a conversation that I wanted to have on a second date.

“This is awkward?  How is this awkward?” he asked. “Oh!”

The San Diego Gulls missed making a goal.  Or, rather, the goalie for Oakland was too good to let the puck through.

My date wouldn’t let the subject drop.  “It’s like scratching an itch, right?”

I took a deep breath.  I really liked this guy, up to this point.  I could agree with him, just to keep the peace.  But…I’m not a passivist; I believe in speaking my mind and he was asking for my opinion.  So I gave it to him.

“I believe that women in general, myself included, form emotional attachments easily.  I can’t do casual sex.  I tried; it’s just not for me,” I said.

There, how’s that for side-stepping the issue?

But still, he wouldn’t let it go.  “You don’t think that there are just times when you need sex?”

Wow.  He REALLY was seeking buy-in here; I just couldn’t give it to him.  “I believe that we should teach our kids to be better than us.  I would tell my kids—and have—to wait to have sex after they find someone special.”

What really bothered me about this conversation was the implications of his statement.  Consider that if I have a muscle cramp, I’ll go to a massage therapist.  If I had back aches, I might go to chiropractor.  If one considers sex to be an itch, then one might also pay a professional for a fix.  I wonder if he has frequented prostitutes; he mentioned frequent trips to Las Vegas earlier.  It’s a cheap, 45-minute plane ride from San Diego, he had said.  Of course, the two conversations may have been unrelated; but maybe not.

But, may be.

Another, more logical, thought process it to consider FWBs (friends with benefits) to be normal.  Hey, if you have one, that’s great; enjoy yourself. (Cough, NADIA!)  As I told my date, that arrangement never worked out for me; I always grew attached.

Was he gaging my reaction, to see if he could introduce me to his FWB in the future?  Wondering if I’d be cool?

“He wanted to sleep with you,” a guy friend told me.  “It’s a little sick that he used his kid to bring up the topic, but he was feeling you out to see if you’d be open to the arrangement.”

For the record, this particular guy friend is in another state and happily married, so he is not trying to get into my pants.  Or, at least, I trust his assessment as much as I trust anyone’s.

Or was my date trying to justify an affair?  He mentioned only vague reasons for his marriage ending.  Maybe when he said, “my marriage was over, so I walked away,” he meant, “We weren’t sleeping together anymore, so I found someone to scratch that itch.”

Supposition aside, it really bothered me that he’d teach his kid that.

“He’s teaching the kid the way the world works,” my friend Allie Apple said, “but, wow, some things, kids need to find out on their own.  Parents don’t need to tell kids that.  Is he trying to teach the kid how to be a player?”

I’m not sure of all his reasoning.  I only know that I disagree.  I’ll scratch your back if you ask nicely, but I have to a bit more involved with you before I scratch other things.

Next

On the way to the grocery store yesterday, I met a guy.  I live downtown now, so I walk to the store with my empty backpack and canvas bags.  I love that I don’t have to drive on the weekends. (Although I did drive earlier yesterday to hike in Torrey Pines State Park.)

A nice man said hello to me at the corner near the grocery store.  Turns out that he was going there, too, with his empty backpack.  As we chatted, we discovered how much we had in common: both engineers, both in the same industry, both writers, both interested in science fiction.  He bought me a gluten free chocolate chip muffin and we exchanged numbers.

That night, he showed me around our little corner of downtown.  He introduced me to a fabulous restaurant (Seasons 52), then showed me where Top Gun was filmed.

Y’all, I had a glass of wine in the bar where Tom Cruise sang, “You lost that lovin’ feelin’!!”

AHHHHHH!!!

The place is a small dive bar, nothing fancy, called Kansas City BBQ.  The way that my date explained it, the owner sampled different BBQ sauces in Kansas City and made his version based on the best.  I’ll have to judge another day; I was full from dinner.

As my date sat there and talked about his plans to move to LA or Canada, he’s not sure which, I soaked in the atmosphere.  Bras hung from a ceiling fan.  Ball caps from various sections of the Navy were tacked to the ceiling.  And, oh yes, there was movie memorabilia everywhere.

And, yes, my date is probably moving back to Canada.  So don’t expect a long-term romance.  I don’t like to date guys who live more than 30 minutes away; a different country would definitely be a deal breaker.

Still, it’s a fun story, right?!  He may be a famous Hollywood writer one day and pitch my book to some television execs as a mini-series.  He mentioned it, so it may happen.  I dream big.

The best part of the night was when Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” came on, over the speakers.  I shouted out, “Everybody, I’m from Texas, and we sing along to this song!”

“Go for it!” several people told me.

“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black-tie affair!” I sang.  And then I sang along with the rest of the song.  Heck, this may be the alcohol talking, but I did a damn fine job!  The bar patrons applauded after every verse.  All that karaoke finally paid off!

Later, when I recapped the evening to my friend Allie, she said with a laugh, “You Texas-up California!”

“Huh?” I asked, eloquently.

“A bunch of Californians moved to Texas, and are making it more like California,” she explained.  “They’re California-ing-up Texas.  So you are in California, bring some Texas to them, and Texas-up California.”

Took a minute for that to sink in.  “You’re saying that there are so many California transplants in Texas that it’s starting to feel like California, so I should make San Diego feel like Texas?” I asked.

“Yes!” she said.

“I can do that!” I said with a laugh.

And I will.

But don’t expect me to go around scratching itches.  I sing at the top of my lungs in little dive bars when Garth comes on, I’ll cuss like a sailor when the moment calls for it, but I’m still a lady, damn it.

Cheers!

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more pictures and up-to-date info.

Moving Day

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Today, the movers packed up the house.  Tomorrow, they’ll put the boxes and furniture onto the van.  Then, the adventure truly begins.  Our Journey will take us to these fabulous cities:

Midland, TX – known as part of the Midland-Odessa area, which has a plethora of oil drills.  Also known as West Texas and The Middle Of No Where. We plan to visit the hotel and that’s it.

Tucson, AZ – Home to Corvus Tomatillo!  Can’t wait to see him again!  Of course, it hasn’t been long since we went to Utah together, but he’s been around the world since then.  Maybe he has some thoughts about Carol’s Rules.

San Diego, CA – Our final destination.  Jack and I will live in a condo downtown while we look for a place to buy.  It’ll be difficult, but we’ll manage.  :-D.

The decision to leave Texas was a difficult one.  I wanted to find a new job, which would challenge and interest me more than the one that I accepted just over a year ago.  I wanted to follow my passion, which is primarily worked on the West coast.

Plus, I need a change of pace.  I’ve been living in my surburban home, writing about past relationships, wondering if I’ve kissed all the frogs that I can stand.  I want to visit a new pond with new frogs.  Heck, I don’t want to just visit, I want to live there!  I’m looking for a condo downtown where I can walk to the bars and really be a part of the action.  The prices are high, so Jack and I may end up in a small two-bedroom place without much room to move.  You know what? I plan to be outside, experiencing life, kissing more frogs!

Just in case I’m sounding like a mad person (which happens more than I like to admit), I mean that I’m going to het out there again and try dating in California.  I’ll go by Carol’s Rules, because they make sense, but also because I don’t have anything to lose.

Many friends (and even aome coworkers) have promised to visit.  Something about having a condo near the ocean appeals to them.  Who can explain it?

I’m starting a Grand Adventure and I am excited!  And nerveous and OhMyGod I’m leaving Texas!  Eeeek!

Jack is pretty calm, all things considered.  He’s visited Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  However, he’s only ever lived in Austin and Dallas.  He’s reserving judgement until he’s had a chance to experience California firsthand.

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram for up-to-date posts on our progress.  Should be interesting.  Today, Jack explained how yellow firetrucks are the runts of the litter, and how the red paint helpa firetrucks move faster.  That’s right, firetrucks are born in litters.  You know the utility boxes by the sides of the road?  Those are firetruck eggs.

Yep, it’s gonna be a wild ride!

Cheers!

PS Love to my fabulous friends!  They werr too busy to come together for a big party, so they’ve been visiting with me one or two at a time.  These gatherings have been very precious to me.  And I get to drink wine!  Score!  ❤ ❤ ❤

PSS Kevin sent me another text, “I’m kinda drunk.”  Wow. Didn’t he get the message after my last blog about him? Apparently he should have, bc our coworkers gave him shit about it!  Oh, ya, they figured out who he was!

So my response to him this time was, “You may need rehab.  Or a new hobby.”

Cheers!

 

Cali or Bust! Married in a Year!

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“I can have you married in a year!” Carol Courgette told me, assessing me with her serious gaze.

Shocked by her confidence and her words, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or run.  “I don’t want to get married!  Been there, done that!” I said.

“Oh, you just want to get laid,” she said, putting down her wine glass.

We sat on the deck of a wine shop in Seaport Village, San Diego, California, overlooking the water.  The weather was a perfect 65F and I was buzzed from the wine that I’d already imbibed.  Mary and I were in San Diego on a house hunting trip, and Carol was sitting next to us.  She had jumped into the conversation when she heard us talking about neighborhoods, and as usual with me, the conversation had turned to dating.

That’s right, I was in San Diego to look for a condo.  I’m moving to Cali!  On Facebook I joked about moving to become an actress; that’s not strictly true, I’m moving for my day job.  If I get discovered one day while looking fabulous in a coffee shop, well, who am I to question fate?

Until then, I’ll see if Carol knows some magic tricks that I don’t know.

“Um, no.  I would like a boyfriend,” I answered.  “What’s your formula for getting me hitched?”

Carol Courgette’s Rules for Snagging a Husband

  1. Don’t put out for a while. Make him wait for it.  Ok, we’ve heard this one before; The Bitch’s Guide to Dating stated, “Don’t give away the jujubes; make him want the candy store.”  Or was it, “Men Love Bitches”?  You know, I get those two books mixed up.  Anyhow, I’m sure that rule has been around for a while; it’s just not very fun, so people choose to ignore it.  Hey, I didn’t say that I ignore it, I said   You know, in general.
  2. Let him pay for the meals. “Wait a minute,” I said, “I like to pay, so that I don’t feel obligated.”  Carol snorted and said, “Guys like the old fashioned shit.  Trust me.”
  3. Create a very specific Match.com profile. Ok, I feel like I’ve been there & done that, then widened the search because the guy I wanted, didn’t exist.  “Trust me,” Carol said.  “I wanted a guy over 6’ tall, blue eyes, professional.  Here sits my husband, the lawyer.”  Can’t argue with that evidence, counselor!
  4. Join clubs, so that you can meet people. Ok, so I feel like I’ve done this before.  Maybe all the engineering clubs are full of men, but they’re either too young, too married, or too…well, not my type.  I need a cool engineer, like me.
  5. Wear sandals; you get used to them. Hey, Mary and I walked all over the city, and through several condos, so I wore sneakers with my dress.  I wasn’t there to pick up guys.  So what if I looked like a tourist – I was one!

I asked a couple of bankers what they thought of these rules (ok, not the last one—that one’s solid).  Yes, bankers—they were nice, we were having a good time, and so I asked ‘em what they thought.  They were married, so they had no vested interest in whether I used the rules or not.  The convo went something like this:

Banker #2 said, “I’m sure it’ll get you married, but it might get you divorced.  You should be yourself.”

Wait, I should be myself and put out as soon as possible?  What kind of a slut does he think I am?  And does he expect a guy to divorce me because I love sex?  Or does he think that I’ll get married and go back to wearing sneakers with dresses?

“Well, uh, I’m not going to comment on whether you should or should not put out.  I do think you should join clubs, so that you can meet people who share your interests.  And then, if you hit it off, great!” the first banker said.

The second banker said, “No, don’t join groups just to meet people!  Join them because you want to be there and want to be doing those things.  If you meet someone, they don’t have to love all the same things as you; you should share some interests and have some things that you do, that he doesn’t, and the other way around.”

“That’s what I said,” Banker #1 (the hot one) said.  Too bad he’s married!  “Join a running club, meet some people, and if you find a guy there to date, then you know that you have running in common.”

“No!  Don’t do that!  If you like running, then join the group, fine.  But don’t do it expecting to meet someone!” Banker #2 (the funny one) said.

“Um, I think you’re saying the same thing, in different words,” I finally said.

Banker #2 wasn’t sure, but he quit arguing.  “So, do you know anyone in San Diego?” he asked.

“No, I don’t,” I answered honestly.  “I’m going for a new job.  It’s exciting and scary and OMG I can’t believe I’m leaving TEXAS!!!”

“Have you visited yet?” Banker #2 asked.

“Yes, my friend and I went house hunting,” I said.

“Ah ha!” he said.  “So you DO have a friend there!”

I just looked at him.  Then I explained verrrrry slowwwwwly, “My friend and I bought tickets and boarded an airplane, so for the short time that we were in San Diego, yes, I had a friend there.  However, since we are now back in Texas, having returned from our trip, I no longer have a friend in that city.”  Like, DUH!  I imported a friend for the weekend!

Ok, that sounds a tiny bit pathetic.  Stay with me here.

“And who is your friend?” he asked, voice dripping with suspicion, leaning forward and glancing slyly at Banker #1, as though saying, We’ve got her now!  She has to confess!

I wonder what I was supposed to be guilty of.  Having a friend?  Having a lover?  Did he think that I was hiding a hot guy in my closet?  Well, sorry to disappoint!

I answered, quite honestly, “My friend Mary.  She’s a 65-year-old grandma, who is a dear friend of mine.  I was very grateful that she agreed to house hunt with me.”

Sigh.  I wish my travel partner had been a hot guy!  (No offense, Mary.  I’m sure you wish that I was a hot guy, too.)

The movers will be here on Monday and I’ll drive into the sunset on Tuesday.  Ok, I’m driving west, so technically, I’ll be driving into the sunrise.  At any rate, I’ll be leaving my beloved Texas, friends, and family behind to start a new life on the west coast.  As much as they’re sorry to see me go, several have promised to come visit.  It warms my heart to have such great friends.  Ah, who am I kidding—they’ll be visiting San Diego, not me!!

And who can blame them?!  The city is gorgeous, the weather is fabulous, and there’s so much to do!  Legoland, the zoo, Balboa Park (which is 140% the size of New York’s Central Park and boasts 17 museums PLUS gardens, and more!), Little Italy, the Gaslamp District, Old Towne, and…what else? Hmmm, what did I leave out?

THE OCEAN!!

Jack told me, “Mom, I don’t like the ocean.”

I answered, “Sweetheart, you’ve never seen the ocean.”

“Yes, I have,” he answered, “I’ve been to Galveston and Port Aransas.”

I stared at him in silence for a moment.  Oh, no, the boy was serious!!  “Um, Jack?  Those are Texan cities on the Gulf of Mexico.  Comparing the Gulf to the ocean is like comparing a bathtub to a swimming pool: they both have water, but they’re verrrrrrrry different.”

He said, “I reserve judgment until I see it.”

His sister first saw an ocean in 2010, on the east coast: she ran to it, jumped up and down like a child (she was a mature 12 years old at the time), and insisted that I splash in the waves with her.  Then we had to build a sand castle—YES WE HAD TO!  It’s MANDATORY when visiting a REAL BEACH for the first time.  At least, that’s what Sally I-Love-the-Ocean-And-I’m-Never-Going-Home Strawberry told me!

So now you know why I haven’t posted in a while.  And now you know that you have much to look forward to: stories of my adventure in a new state with foreign customs!  Ok, so California isn’t really “foreign,” per se, but Trust Me when I say it’s a different culture!  Who knew that you’re not supposed to wear sneakers with a dress!

(Ok, so I knew that.  I was just throwing out a convenient example.)

And I may just have to try Match.com again, with Carol’s pinpoint precision instructions.  Who knows – maybe I’ll actually meet a guy.  And maybe—just maybe—I’ll want to marry him.

Hey, I’m a dreamer!

Cheers!

P.S.  “All my exes live in Texas.  That’s why I hang my hat in San Diego!!”

P.S.S. It’s not strictly true, but I’m going to say it anyway.  Sorry, King George, for misquoting you!

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My sad face when I had to get on the plane leaving San Diego.