Yet again, I have slacked on posting, although for a different reason this time.  You see, I posted 4 updates within a week or so in mid-May.  While I try not to spend too much time pouring over word choice and structure (stream of consciousness seems to work out best anyways), it did take some time putting them together.  Time that could have been spent going on more dates or, more realistically, catching up on much needed sleep.  So, to my disappointment, not many people were reading after I started posting again.

Yes, that makes two posts in a row with images of someone crying. Maybe my last "relationship" has made me go all emo?

Now, I could chalk this up to the fact that I don’t actively advertise my blog, or the fact that I had gone radio silent for so long.  However, those that either WERE reading or were aware of my crazy life choices were starting to give me some negative press.  People seemed to fall into one of three camps:

1.  Your posts are too long and rambling.  Get to the point.

2.  This was entertaining at first, but I’m over it now.  On to the next thing.

3.  Now you’re going too over the top with this whole dating multiple women thing.  I think you’re just doing it for the stories and attention.

I’m inferring some here, but some of it was direct feedback.  After taking some time to think over these, here are my responses to each camp.

1.  You may have a point.  I can tend to ramble.  I’ll work on it.  However, the person who gave me this feedback also has ADD, so I have to take some of it with a grain of salt.

2.  It’s possible that I had my 15 minutes of fame.  Or maybe I was out of the game for too long.  Maybe starting the blog back up was like asking lightning to strike twice.

Sure, Screech’s crazy antics were still good for the occasional laugh or two, but look where those pity laughs landed him today.

3.  This one I had to give some serious thought to.  Was I doing it for attention?  Then I was given the advice: “You should take a month off from dating and just enjoy yourself.”  But…I WAS enjoying myself.  Take a month off from dating?  Take a month off from meeting new people, having interesting conversations, finding myself in crazy situations and living to tell about it all (so far at least)?  That sounds like pretty much the worst advice possible.  I couldn’t envision a scenario later in my life where I’d look back and say, “Man, I sure did have too much fun.  I really should have taken some time off to get to know ME.”

Ok, but do I actively put myself in harm’s way just to have something to write about?  The answer to that is no.  This will sound a bit cheesy, but I’ve kind of been approaching these situations the way Jim Carrey did in Yes Man.

Yes, I know that the point in the end is that even Carrey has to show some self-restraint and responsibility, but…shut up!  I haven’t gotten to that point in my own personal movie yet.  We’re still in the uplifting stage where everything is going right and I’m throwing caution to the wind.  I’ll learn my own personal lessons later.  Who are you anyways, the Fun Police?  Even if by the time all is said and done, everyone has tired (or grown completely disgusted) of my antics, I think at least I will be able to look back years from now and get a good chuckle out of it myself.  That has to count for something.

So to summarize this long “rambling” post: game on!  And if you’re reading this blog and made it to this point, you’re probably angry that I haven’t mentioned one word about a date yet.  Well, time’s up for tonight, but I’ll have a post up by Thursday night at the latest.  I’ll be picking up as of May 17th.  And I’m dating 5 people.


Exception 3

26May10

Out of three.  Then we’re almost all caught up to today which will hopefully make more frequent updates easier.

I had originally intended this “exception” to be about the time I drove a whopping 75 miles to pick this girl Amber up in Dover.  For some reason, I thought Dover was in northern Delaware and didn’t really bother to look ahead of time.  I punched her address into the GPS and it told me 38 miles on 95.  Ok, not great, but not horrible.  After I reached that milestone and it told me 37 more miles though, that was a bit discouraging.

We went to Dover Downs (yes, more gambling).  Chronologically though, this actually happened before AC.  Aside from some other random girl hitting on me at the bar, hugging me, and then her boyfriend immediately threatening me, there wasn’t much more to mention here.

I almost didn’t go on the date at all.  I had seen pictures of her online ahead of time, and she looked pretty fine.  Somehow though we got into a texting exchange at one point, and she had really pushed me to take a live pic of myself while out on the town.  So I did.  I then asked her to do the same.  She said she was home in her nurse’s clothes with no makeup on.  “Oh come on, I’m sure you are still super hot.”  Yea, I was wrong.  I continue to paint a pretty unfavorable picture of myself in this blog, but I feel open disclosure is the way to go (all in the name of art?)  But it was basically like finding out Santa Claus didn’t exist.  Of course, I would have had to see her without makeup at some point in order for a relationship to form, but it was much too early in the process for this.  I shrugged it off with the thought that perhaps the lighting was poor, but yea, no.

Anyways, I babbled on about that longer than planned.  There are lots of other little crazy things I could talk about, but I want to start moving forward.  And I want to do it by first taking two steps back.

What do I mean?  Well, when I really started dating Ashley more seriously, I hit pause on the other girls I was talking to.  This left each of them in a different state of limbo.  Out of sheer laziness to repeat the whole cycle (plus the fact that a few of them have some real promise), I’m going to attempt to hit unpause.  Given the fact that it’s been 2-3 months, chances are they won’t give me the time of day, but hey, why not?  So I’m going to break protocol here and post some pics.  Chances are one of these girls is someone’s cousin and this will mark the beginning of the end for me.  I mean, there are 100 reasons why this is a bad idea.  Without further ado:

Alex: Exchanged several emails, just left her hanging without any message as to why.  Current plan of attack (but am open to suggestions): email her and tell her I was in a relationship and didn’t feel “right” continuing our conversation.  Honesty is the best policy?

Kristina: went on one date with her.  Nevermind the fact that I was pretty tanked since it was March Madness and I had been drinking for a few hours already and still slammed down 3 margaritas during the date.  She dug it.  She followed up with me after, I didn’t respond, and she followed up again.  I told her I liked her and had fun but was involved with someone now.  I also mentioned I’d contact her if it didn’t work out.  Well, she chose not to respond to that creepy (or maybe slimy is the better word) message, so I’m not counting on this one panning out.  Plan of attack: a less slimy email?

Kristen: also went on one date with her and it went well.  We kissed at the end, she said she had fun and wanted to do it again.  I did too, but the timing just wasn’t quite right.  Damn you, conscience!  Plan of attack: we had exchanged a number of texts, so I’m just going to go with an apology and a date request.

Neomi (yes, with an e): just a few email exchanges, a failed attempt to meet up on St. Patty’s.  So it’s been some time, but perhaps the most promising.  Plan of attack: an email sans apology – think I’m fine skipping that here.

Elisa: Ahh, the Holy Grail.  Yes, this is the same Elisa I had talked about many times before.  We talked on the phone several times.  I canceled plans on her once, she canceled them on me once.  Since we didn’t talk for another 2 months or so, the window may have closed.  Plan of attack: Email, limit the groveling and relationship excuse talk.


Exception 2

24May10

If I haven’t already destroyed any notion you may have had that I am a respectable, well-balanced, kind, mature individual…well, this will probably do it.

Ashley had been mentioning going to Atlantic City for awhile now (can you see why I like this girl now?  Anyone that can not only tolerate my bad habits but actually encourage me to participate in them even more is a winner in my book).  She called and booked our room at the Water Club at the Borgata.  Apparently she is such a degenerate gambler that she got the room free right on a primetime weekend from Fri-Sunday (see?  See?)

The plan is to gamble like maniacs Fri and Saturday, but then use most of Sunday to just enjoy the attractions and each other’s company (gag).  We get up there on Friday, and she sits right down at a slot machine and plunks in $100.  Wow, ok, I guess here we go.  Now, I personally don’t get the appeal of slots, but I suppose me looking down on her for it would be equivalent to Ronald McDonald questioning the King’s life choices.

She’s teaching me craps (I’ve been taught five times or so but can never quite remember, which may have something to do with alcohol consumption at the time).  She makes like $400, I think I make $50.  Clearly I should have done what I usually do: just blindly follow someone else’s lead.

Sunday hits, and we squeeze a little more gambling in during the morning.  The plan is to have dinner at one of her favorite restaurants, Izakaya.  She has been going on and on about how awesome this place is and how she’s looking forward to us having some QT later, so I’m into it.  After that, she has tickets to a comedy show for us – bonus.

The show is at 9:30, so our plan was to grab food at 7, but we weren’t quite able to tear ourselves away from the tables until 7:25.  No big deal.  We get to the restaurant at 7:30 and they still have room for us.  We sit down, get our menus and order our drinks.  She points out two appetizers I “simply have to try!”  “This place has the best oysters I’ve EVER had!”  Ok, I got it.  So we order a few apps and give the waitress our meal orders as well.  I look at my watch and say, “7:45.  We have plenty of time to eat and still make it to the show.”  She responds with, “Oh shit!  I need to pick up the tickets and the box office closes at 8!”  Me: “Ok, well how close is the box office?”  Her: “Like a 5 or 10 minute walk.”  Me: “Ok, no problem – why don’t you go and I’ll just hang out here and wait for you to get back.”  Her: “Sounds great, off I go!”

The appetizers come a few minutes later and look awesome.  But being the outstanding guy I am, of course I wait.  The oysters don’t matter.  The beef skewers and shrimp might lose a little warmth, but it’s not the end of the world.  It’s been 15 minutes now, so she should be back soon anyways.  Luckily I have my phone to keep me occupied.  I play with that for a bit, and then the entrees come out.  Ok, it’s been 25 minutes now.  If it was truly 10 minutes away, this isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, but I better check in.  I send her a text: “Almost back?”

A minute later she responds with a text.  “Don’t kill me.  I sat down at a machine cuz I wasn’t feeling too hot and I won 50 spins!”  Wow.  I don’t even know what to say.  So I don’t say anything.  Anger was probably the first emotion to pop up.  But then I thought of the absurdity of the situation and almost couldn’t be mad.  Disbelief was instead setting in.  How could this really happen?  I mean, who does that?  Leave me hanging at dinner all by myself for 25 minutes and decide it’s ok to sit down at a slot machine and start playing?  And if you really “didn’t feel too hot,” perhaps a text to me would have been called for?  Just…wow.  So I start eating.

She doesn’t show up for another 15 minutes.  Guess she had to finish out her 50 free spins.  Of course, how silly of me.  She apologizes, but it feels quite half-hearted to me.  I expressed my frustration over the situation and I didn’t really get back from her the response I had hoped for.  I don’t even know what I was hoping for at this point.  Groveling maybe?  The waitress comes and asks if we need anything else.  I’m just about done eating at this point, but Ashley is just getting started.  I ask for another beer and give her my credit card and just tell her to close out the check since we have a shot to catch soon.  I get my beer and excuse myself to the bathroom.

Except I’m not going to the bathroom.  I mean, I walk towards it, turning the corner and heading down the hallway.  But I make a left.  I’m back out on the casino floor.  Hell, I feel pretty lucky at this point.  Time to play some Blackjack.

Again, I did warn you that this might shatter the perception that I have any ounce of maturity in my bones.  But I must say, it felt quite good.  I had debated getting into a shouting match in the restaurant, but this approach seemed strangely more rewarding.  She sends a text 15 minutes in, saying “I’m so sorry.  Should I just give you your credit card and we leave?”  In my grand scheme to be slick, I somehow forgot to grab my card back.  What a putz.

We trade a few texts.  At this point, I really don’t feel like going to the show, but what the hell.  She says she’ll meet me and asks where I am.  I say the poker room.  I plop down on the couch there and wait.  22 minutes later she replies saying she doesn’t want to go anymore, but she’ll play poker with me.  I ask her if that’s where she is now (knowing she’s not) or if she stopped off to play more slots.

Perhaps the most damage I do to my perception in sharing this story with you is the fact that we somehow got back together and dated for another two months after this.  The current theory a few people have offered me is that I love the drama.  I don’t think so, but it definitely helps with the material for the blog.


Sidebar

19May10

I’m breaking protocol.  This is not about my dating exploits.  This instead is about today, which happened to be the second day at my new job.  I really wasn’t sure how to dress, but I figured better to overdress than underdress.  I have a pair of pretty nice gray slacks I’ve had for some time but just haven’t had the opportunity to wear.  This is my big chance!

Being a new pair of pants, they have a few tags.  I remove them, and then proceed to scrutinize the pants for any other tags or stickers.  That would be the last thing I’d need.  All set.  I throw them on, put my shirt on, tuck it in, put on my shoes and add the final touch: the belt.  Hello full-length mirror.  I do look fine if I may say so myself.  Off to work.

It’s 10:30.  I’ve been sitting in a meeting for 2 hours at this point.  I’m at a conference table across from one guy and next to one other guy that’s doing most of the talking.  My upper leg itches, so I scratch it.  What?  That was odd.  I scratch my leg again.  Um.  I look down.  And I see what is quite possibly the worst scene known to mankind.

Yep, that’s a gaping 3 inch hole in the crotchal region of my pants.  Note the inner thigh has been replaced with my palm in this picture both for ease of photo-taking and to prevent reader-nausea.  What’s worse at this point: having gone 2 hours like this without knowing who has seen it, or the thought that I have to make it through another 7 hours here?  I’m really not sure.  But I have meetings lined up literally back to back to back so I won’t even be able to have some time to investigate the situation/find a ledge to jump off of.

There really isn’t much more to say or any way to truly convey the awkwardness of the situation that I had to deal with the rest of the day.  It was my impression that squeezing my legs tightly together, while highly uncomfortable, provided me with protection from discovery.  This didn’t hold true though when I would to have to later stand up to move to new conference rooms, walk to people’s desks to meet them for the first time, get in this guy’s car to drive to lunch, or grab an afternoon coffee with someone else.  Then at 6, just when I thought I was free to run home and hide and also to craft my 2 week resignation notice, my new boss invites me to dinner.  Super.  Bring on 3 more hours of awkwardness and constant second-guessing.  Did he see the hole or didn’t he?


Exception 1

19May10

Sometimes knowing where to start the post is the most difficult part, especially considering that I’m writing about something that happened 2 months ago.  Do I start with “Ashley” (we’re going to continue with that being her name for consistency’s sake) showing up at my place for our 3rd date with a shrimp salad sandwich her mom made for me?  That would nicely highlight the ridiculousness of how fast our “relationship” progressed.  Or do I fast forward to early on in the date in question when we’re at the comedy club and Ashley helps herself and houses some chicken fingers the people at the table left behind?   Maybe I talk about the spectacle we created on the dancefloor at the bar afterwards.

Let’s just skip all of that and get to the juicy part.  I take Ashley back to her house, and by her house, I mean her parents’ house because she has moved back in with them as of a week ago.  I make the turn into their place and drive down to the back of the house (it’s a pretty long driveway) and put the car into park.   We weren’t quite ready to part ways yet, so, how can I say this… we proceeded to “engage in a heated political debate.”  Naturally with such intense discussion, you can get lost in the moment.  At one point, I look out my car window and thought “I don’t remember it being that windy.  Why are the trees swaying like crazy?”  Weird.  But I can’t let this distract me from the discussion.  Then I feel the car jostle a bit.  “Wow, it must be REALLY wind – waaaait a minute.  We might be moving.  Shit – we’re moving!”  The car was quickly rolling down the driveway.  The “jostle” was the car transitioning from driveway to lawn.  In the most indescribably quickest reaction time of my life, I grab the wheel, yank it to the right and pull up on the emergency brake.  Whoa – that could have been worse.

Alright, guess I’ll just drive back to where I was, drop her off and get the heck out of here.  I drop the parking brake, put the car into 1st, and start driving.  Strangest thing though: I don’t appear to be going anywhere.  This is a problem.  I gun the engine.  Not even budging.  One of us is going to need to get out to try to push this thing and I’m guessing it isn’t going to be her.  Oh, and also of note: it was pouring.  And Ashley doesn’t know how to drive stick.  What more could you ask for?

I give her the quick 30 second lesson.  Hold down this pedal called the clutch, put this thing into what we call 1st gear which is up and to the left, then fun the gas while slowly letting off the clutch.  Easy!  I get out of the car and am basically already drenched before I get to the rear of the car.  I push, she does a pretty good job of revving the engine…and the car goes nowhere.  It’s only 2am, I’m sure her parents don’t mind the sound of squealing wheels in their front yard.  “Gun it more!” I yell.  She does, I push.  Nothing.  Rinse repeat about 10 more times.  Fuck.

I get back into the car.  “Do you have any type of wood or two by fours I could try to prop under the wheels?”  Her: “Maybe – here are my garage keys, you can go check.”  I run back to the garage.  Yea, this rain is pretty terrible.  I unlock the garage door and step inside.  Some alarm begins beeping.  That could be a problem, but I’m just going to ignore that.  I actually manage to find a two by four!  After a little more hunting, I find a wooden square of some sort.  Perfect.  I run back to the car, place them under the wheels, and we try again.  And: still no luck.  Not really sure what to do next, I return the two pieces of wood to the garage to contemplate the plan of attack.  I notice that the “wooden square of some sort” turns out to be a portion of a kitchen countertop.  Ashley informs me that her parents were planning on remodeling the kitchen before putting the house up for sale.  No matter, the mud and skid marks will give the house that rustic look that’s so popular nowadays.  We decide to take her car and go back to my house for the evening and just deal with the problem the next morning.

Wait, you couldn't get your car out of that? No, no I couldn't. Wanna fight about it?

And the next morning inevitably comes.  Damnit, this is gonna suck.  We drive back to her place, park, and go in.  She says hi to her dad.  So do I.  He asks why a car is in his front yard.  She mentions it was dark and it was hard to see where we were going.  He’s just staring.  I don’t think he bought it.  But it was so believable!  He speaks.  “It’s ok.  But you’ll come back and plant seed on my front lawn you tore up.”  Guess I’m coming back to plant seed.

But for now, I’m getting the hell out of here.  Right after this fine gentleman from AAA helps me.


The Return

11May10

I’m a pretty friendly guy.  I treat people well, am respectful of others’ opposing viewpoints, and really don’t pick unnecessary fights.  As a result, I find others generally treat me the same.  So the sheer animosity my friends directed towards me really hit home.  “Relationship?  What’s wrong with you?!”  “Do you plan on living with this one for six years before making a decision too?”  “You barely even know this girl and now you’re changing your Facebook status?  Who even does that, 15 year old girls?”  “The blog was your only worthwhile contribution to society, and now you’ve killed it.”  “You have really small ears.”  Ok, come on, that last one wasn’t even related!

I shrugged most of those off at the time (the ears comment really stung though, I can’t quite shake that one).  After all, my “girlfriend” was supposed to be leaving for Florida any day (which got postponed no less than 87 times).  My thought was that I liked her and was having fun, would ride it out for a little while, and then she’d move and life would go back to less than normal.  That happened, it just took a little longer than expected.

My initial thought was to give the rundown of what I’ve been up to over the last 3 months and give you some insight into how crazy this chick was (and believe me, it was pretty effin crazy).  But I don’t think I’m going to do that.  For one, it would probably be pretty assholish of me considering we did date for a few months.  Wait, you have a conscience now?  You go and date one girl and now you get all emo on us?  WTF?  But two, I would rather live in the now than in the past (you can chalk some of this up to laziness).  I will make three exceptions though.


Lame

27Apr10

That is the general consensus of my most recent course of actions.  But as many of you know, I’m in a “relationship” now (and if Facebook saying so doesn’t make it official, I don’t know what possibly would).  Even better that that has somehow led to my friends now becoming friends with her on Facebook.  Worlds are colliding!  They’re killing independent Rick!

In any event, the blog is on hold (although maybe not posting in over a month tipped that one off).  It’s not you, it’s me, I swear.  This isn’t goodbye.  We can still talk, I promise.  What’s the deal with guys always feeling the need to spit into urinals?   Maybe I’m breaking guy code for even talking about this, but it is one phenomenon I’ve never quite understood.  Have you just been walking around all day, dying to hock a loogey, and now this is your chance?  See, we can still have normal conversations outside of the standard dating drama!

Ok, maybe this is more awkward than I thought.  But I just felt employing the ignore technique wasn’t fair to you anymore.  I tried that once and it didn’t work out so well.  We need to learn from our mistakes, right?

Seriously though, thanks for reading.  Believe me, if we break up, I still have that “backlog of material” I promised (which only grows deeper), and will also hit the scene twice as hard.  But for now, I’m going to be a good “boyfriend.”  Just watch out for the inevitably uncomfortable “Rick is now single” status update and ensuing flurry of comments from all the same stooges that had to comment on my relationship status.  And then check back here for some good stuff.