Reruns of shows and love

I’ve been rewatching the first three seasons of Vikings (great show, go watch it now). As with most second (or third or fourth) viewings, I’ve noticed things this time around that I missed the first time. With some of the clues I’ve caught, I really had to know what happened later to see how it paid off. With others, I just missed some pretty obvious foreshadowing.

I realized that it works the same way when you revisit old relationships. As you know, I went back and dated Jay THREE more times after we initially broke up in the fall of 2013 (what can I say, I’m a masochist). Each time that we got together afterwards, I would find myself discovering new things about him, but I would also find myself being forced to acknowledge things that I had glossed over previously. Just like with the show, some of the things I figured out I could’ve only realized because I had already seen our ending once (or twice, etc); other things, I couldn’t believe how much I had been deceiving myself to not have seen it before.

I’ve written in the past about euphoric recall, that phase we find ourselves in when we can only remember the good things about a relationship (or job, living situation, what have you), and we wish that we could reclaim what is, in reality, only a fantasy. Then, if we do get that relationship back, we are struck with how it does not mesh at all with what we remembered. In a way, I feel this rewtaching/reliving is similar – we only remember certain aspects of things, and when we have to go through them again, we find ourselves confronted with ideas or thoughts that we blinded ourselves to before.

I write all this to say, some things are worth rewatching. Watch The West Wing until you can recite every line. Listen to Frank Sinatra until you know every beat. Make your favorite dish until it feels as regular as scrambled eggs. But maybe leave relationships in the past. We never remember them clearly anyway, we will never be able to recapture whatever it was that we loved then, and that’s okay. It ended because it was time to end.

– Finch

A Change of Opinion

I recently got a quick punch to the stomach. Back to back, I came upon two different quotes/memes/sayings – the first said, “If you don’t know where you want to be in 5 years, then you are already there.” Immediately afterwards, I came upon this gem: “You’ll never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be.” Recently I had already been worried because I feel that I don’t have a passion in my life, something which drives me forward day by day, something which makes me want to greet the dawn with a sparkle in my eye every morning. So I’m already freaking out about this when the Universe bitch slaps me with these two sprinkles of truth. Thanks Universe.

I’ve spent the past couple of days trying to figure out a five year plan, trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life. I’ve analyzed my career choice, my friendships, my downtime activities, even my eating habits to see what changes I need to make. Of course, all the while, I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, so making changes with no end goal in sight is probably not the smartest way to go.

There’s a song that I absolutely love, called “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson. I listened to this song ad nauseum while separating from Ex, while transitioning to my new job and leaving all my work friends behind, while dating (again, ad nauseum) Jay off and on for the last two years. The song always tells me that the only thing that is required of me in this life is to keep breathing. I don’t have to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife/girlfriend, the perfect employee, the perfect friend – I just have to keep breathing, to keep pulling myself together to meet the day, if not with a sparkle in my eye, then at least with determination in my heart to soldier on. And while listening to this song on my walk with B this evening, I figured out what I want to be in five years.

I want to be a better version of me. I want to be smarter, kinder, more compassionate. I want more love, more hugs, more (and better) sex. I want to create art, and cook exotic meals at home, and travel to visit my loved ones more. I want to look back on my life and know that I am in a better place than I was. I may not know what that place is at this moment, but I think by consistently aiming to be the best version of myself, I will get there. And I will probably make it more quickly and in a saner place than I would if I was trying to fit my life into some generic five year plan.

– Finch

I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist

Another Sunday, another OKcupid date. This one didn’t leave me wanting to dig my eyes out with a sharp stick, although I did go home and pass out for two hours. Let me explain…

We met up at two, but the bar he had picked was closed. We convened at another bar, got some drinks, and proceeded to start talking. We actually had a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I had four beers on an empty stomach (I wanted to look extra thin for the date – no judging!!), all in the course of about two and a half hours. I literally lost track of the time. When I got back to my car and saw that it was 5 (and I had previously told this guy that I had other plans at 6), I was shocked. I had not thought that we had hung out that long. So yes, I stopped at Maudie’s, got some insanely good breakfast tacos, and then went home and passed out until about 8. I’m too old for this!

The date was certainly fun, and even if I never hear from him again, he gave me a great piece of information. We were talking about our past OKC experiences, and he said, “I’m sort of the opposite of a serial-monogamist. You know, so many of my friends can’t go five minutes without dating someone, but I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life. The rest of the time, I date a little here and there, but mostly, I’m happier when I’m single.” PEOPLE! This is literally me!!! I’ve only had one serious relationship in my adult life (okay, or maybe two – Tripp and Ex). I will date for a couple of months here and there and then be single for a year or more. I stated all of this to him, and told him, “I thought I was the only one.” He replied that nope, there were plenty of us out there.

And here’s why that is so important to me. I live under a constant fear that I will never be with anyone ever again, that I will never fall in love again, and that there is something seriously wrong with me because I don’t constantly have a boyfriend. However, this guy gave me this nugget of truth that I am not terminally unique, and that it is perfectly normal to find more happiness and contentment in your own company rather than in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I love being unique and one of a kind, but it truly sways my fears to know that there are other people out there like me in this regard.

As for the guy himself – I don’t know. That’s not true – I do know, but it’s a scary feeling. He was cute, incredibly smart, had similar interests, and was really great. But I just can’t picture anything with him. Okay, yes, I can picture some drunken sex with him, but that’s not exactly the basis of a relationship. I think there’s someone out there who is a better fit, and it will be difficult to find him if I spend my time with someone I’m not crazy about (and sure, feelings could grow, but there are other factors there that I don’t want to get into of why I won’t be pursuing this). So, my Sunday Date, thank you for a lovely time, and showing me that four beers is way past my limit when I haven’t eaten anything, but most especially for showing me that I am not damaged and that there is hope for me yet.

– Finch

I’m not really into the whole materialism thing

I had a date this past Sunday, and there was just no connection whatsoever. And y’all know my policy – as long as the guy didn’t do anything out of line, I’m not going to blast a guy for just appreciating different things/ideals from me. However, he did make several comments that I feel need to be addressed to the dating world at large. I realize that online dating directly leads to a lot of snap judgments – “Oh, not that cute, I’m passing,” “Doesn’t like dogs, can’t have that,” “Likes Miley Cyrus, oh hell no!” However, I think that there are some snap judgments which need to be evaluated a bit further before basing an opinion on them.

Sunday’s guy (I’m not even giving him a nickname) made several comments about driving an older car, thrift store shopping, and the like. Then, at one point, he literally said, “I’m not really into the whole materialism thing.” Okay, first off, you’re not The Dude (bonus points if you’re catching my reference). Second off, I was not at the date dripping in diamonds or Louis Vuitton. I was dressed perfectly normally – jeans, sweater, leather jacket. Finally, I was not spouting off about having bought a new car last year or a buying my condo. So I wasn’t really sure where he was getting this whole “materialism” vibe from, or what he was trying to tell me.

But here’s the thing – who cares if I am materialistic?? I make good money, and if I choose to spend a portion of that money buying myself diamond earrings rather than investing in microloans, so be it. I will say, this guy had a good job, so maybe he had been taken to town by several gals looking for a sugar daddy. However, I am not one of those women. No one else pays my bills – if I feel like shopping every week at Whole Foods, I’m not going to ask for help with the grocery bill, and if I decide to hit the Outlet Malls every weekend, you won’t find my credit card statements on your doorstep. So, even though there really wasn’t a connection to be ruined, because this guy had made some sort of snap judgment about me, he really lessened any chance he might have had.

I’m perfectly fine with someone expressing their values on a date; that’s kind of what we’re there for. However, when you repeat the same sentiment in several different ways in a one hour time frame, I’m going to assume that you’re trying to send a message. I would just ask that you ensure that your message is properly suited to the recipient.

– Finch

They’re supposed to happen organically

I was celebrating my 4th in classic girl style (sunbathing) and texting with Dan when it finally came – the invite over to “hang out.” Now this would only be our second time seeing each other, and I was not about to jump into bed with him, but I am also not an idiot (or a nun). There was going to be some action. I ran home, showered the smell of pool off of me, and headed over.

Yes, he was still as cute (if not cuter) than I remembered. Yes, the heat and the chemistry were still very much there. He met me at the car, we kissed, we went inside, and there was an incredibly hot make-out session up against a wall, with my leg wrapped around his waist and all kinds of groping. When we finally came up for air, I gently pushed him back. “Yeah, we’re doing a great job of behaving ourselves.” He laughed, took my hand and led me to the couch, where we sat and talked for a little while. It was great – comfortable, easy, fun. Then, in a classic guy move, he began to tickle me, which turned into more making out, which turned into some serious heavy petting on his part, and made me an incredibly happy woman (twice)!

But then he lost points. It would have been impossible to not tell that he was excited, and I had already begun to think about how I would help him out in that department, when he said, “You know, I can’t stop thinking about you being on your knees.”
“Do you want to see if the expectation matches the reality?”
“Yes.”

So, I went down, and he was a happy man, and that was all well and good. But for some reason, something kept bugging me the rest of the day. Let me qualify – it’s not as if I went down and then he kicked me out; nothing like that. I hung out for a further two hours, we watched Jeopardy (I won), we chatted, we cuddled… But there was an awkwardness in the air. It was not until a few hours later when hanging out with B that I was able to put my finger on it.

In the midst of retelling my story (yes, girls tell each other everything), it suddenly dawned on me. “You’re not supposed to ask someone for a blowjob! They’re supposed to happen organically!” B wholeheartedly agreed, and we continued to dissect the afternoon’s activities.

Let me say, I’m not saying that one can never ask for a sexual favor. However, I do feel that maybe you should be in a more established relationship before you get to that point, and maybe there is a better time and place for it than when and where Dan asked me. Because wouldn’t we have both been happier if it had happened organically? He wouldn’t have felt like it had to be requested, and I wouldn’t have felt like he was rushing me to do something which I was maybe not yet ready for. I also don’t think that sex should have negative emotions surrounding it – it should be be something which feels good and right, and once you start coloring it with guilt, regret and other negativity, it ceases to become quite as fun.

We’ve talked several times since then, and we’re meeting up in a couple of days, so we’ll see what happens. I actually have a date (today!) with someone else from OKC, so who knows how this will all end up. I won’t say that it’s been nothing but angels and hearts, but this is definitely a lot more fun than I’ve had in years!

– Finch

And sometimes they surprise you…

A few days after my exquisite date with Dan, and following many text conversations, I began to wonder if I had done the right thing. I was looking for something more than a sexual relationship, and perhaps by going as far as I did that night I gave him the wrong impression.

Now trust me, this was not some random thought which just popped into my head. We had been texting about some different sexual situations and what we would do in them, so there was fuel for the fire. In the past, I would have had no problem turning into the Ice Queen and freezing him out – complete disappearing act. However, after the craziness which I felt when Catcher did that to me, I decided not to give karma a reason to smack me upside the head.

I sent Dan a message through OKC, telling him that I was so sorry for having given the wrong impression of what I was after, that I was looking for something more than just sex, and that I needed to walk away now. But I did thank him for a lovely time, and relayed that I had obviously enjoyed myself with him.

Now, after that kind of message, the response I expected was something akin to “Fine, you’re nothing but a tease, and I don’t want you anyway.” So when I saw his response pop into my inbox 20 minutes later, I was braced for utter disappointment. Instead, this is what I got:

“I am so sorry that I gave that impression. I actually feel sick reading this. I do not want something based solely on sex. I can see that we went down a sexual path too soon, but that was due to sheer excitement. If we were able to better control ourselves, would you reconsider? I have greatly enjoyed our conversations, and I think you are totally worth it, and I don’t want to lose someone so perfectly amazing. Please let me know what you think.” (and yes, that is directly quoted)

To say that I found myself in a state of shock would be putting it mildly. I would never, never, have expected that response, and I was absolutely overjoyed with it. I messaged him back, we started texting again, we saw each other a few days later (that is a whole other story!), and it’s been like a fairytale ever since.

I think that we get so used to disappointing situations that we begin to expect them to be the norm, and it becomes more and more difficult to recognize good when it is right in front of us. Now I’m not saying that this guy is a prince, or anything like that. There are already reasons why I won’t be spending the rest of my life with him. But it gives me hope to see that there are still good guys out there, guys who possess kind hearts and sexual attraction in equal measure. Someone very close to me always says, “Life is too short to not be adored.” I gotta tell you, after a week of being adored, I could get used to this!

– Finch