“You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I love this quote. It transcends sports and applies to all walks of life. Life is a numbers game and the more attempts you make the better your odds of success. As it applies to my dating life, I am batting 0.0%. Admittedly, I haven’t taken many shots or swings but I have whiffed like Charlie Freakin’ Brown so far. 2 crazy chicks and one quiet one with a boyfriend. I give up. Single is fine. Single is good. Single is easy. It’s the lifestyle that best suits me. Funny, now matter how many ways I say it, it’s a lie. I hate being single.
I thought about renewing my Match profile but that was a miserable experience the first time around and I was glad to cancel it when it expired. If I liked them they didn’t like me and vice versa. The few that did like me…well I hate to be superficial but the pictures really didn’t do it for me. I’ll leave it at that. The rest, the ones that swiped and kept going, I know why they did that. The words “financially secure” were missing.
I get it, money is important. Being “secure” is important. Having your own place is a must and living with your mother is a serious turn off. Even if I got past that, my brutally honest Match profile doesn’t include the terms “dialysis patient”, which I’m sure would be a real “deal-sealer” over a first date cocktail. “Why be so honest?” one friend asked me. It’s easier. I like to get it out of the way.
Goddamn, Bella. Why did you have to fuck me up so? You made me feel things that I had forgotten how to feel. Yearning, heartache, desire, intimacy, a fire in my loins and a fire in my belly. All of those things that my loveless marriage stomped out like the remnants of a campfire. I had done so well without feeling those things for so long, I had convinced myself that I didn’t need them. Only to be awakened and painfully unrequited. As Meatloaf once lamented, I was all revved up and no place to go. Now I want those things again. Alas, I fear it is not to be.
I need to focus on my health. I need to just get a hobby. I need to spend my money on my motorcycle. I need to spend time with friends. They’re safe, I don’t feel the pain of rejection when a friend doesn’t call me for a few days, weeks or months. I need to get the idea of a relationship out of my head, it’s just not going to happen. If I keep telling myself this, eventually I’ll believe it.
Now, Universe are you listening? I am putting it out there that I don’t need or want a woman in my life. Now would you please see to it that I find it in the last place that I look at a moment when I least expect it? I think it’s called Serendipity. Yeah, I need that.
That, I think, is the only way it’s going to happen.
I don’t know how to act around women anymore. Or do I? Come to think of it I’m not sure I ever did. If I really think about it, it seems plausible that my awkward and goofy self just got lucky to find someone to marry me. I’ve always been awkward, a little goofy and insecure with people in general. I guess it worked because regardless of long term success ratio I did date a lot of women before I got hitched and some of them were out of my league in a lot of ways. Despite my perceived shortcomings.
Something changed over the years. At some point in my marriage I found that my reservations about my ability to speak to women diminished a ton. Maybe it was because I could hide behind the cloak of being married, and it needs to be said that I never flirted with the intention of cheating, I just got caught up in what I call “the Dance”. Flirtation is natural, generally harmless if both parties know the rules, and is way more common than any married man or woman wants to admit. Long story short, I became fearless. Not intentionally brazen, just completely uninhibited and I began to speak as freely with women as I did with men. It was liberating, and just a bit too successful. As it turns out, women really are attracted to married men.
I was the king of fidelity despite a very unhappy and physically ungratifying marriage. I really don’t know how many men could survive 10 sexless years (yes, your read that correctly) without seeking a mistress. But I did. It was extraordinarily difficult. To have an attractive wife that you can’t touch is torture. She rejected me entirely but I still had urges. Not just for sex, for intimacy in general. One thing people don’t know about me is that I am a mush, I love hand holding, hugs, kissing…well you get it. It was very difficult for me to be deprived of it. It was a need unfulfilled. When it became clear that my marriage wasn’t going to improve, I set my sights on the orgiastic delights that I could look forward to once eventually and inevitable divorced. With my brazen and unfettered ability to speak confidently and flirtatiously to the superior sex I was bound to meet someone, or many someone’s and get that part of my life back.
Here I am. Divorced and single. I know how to talk to them now. Unfortunately I have developed a new neuroses…second guessing myself after every encounter.
I had a really nice day on the boat with a nice, attractive and age-appropriate woman. We talked for hours. I know that we are very different. She is quiet and very composed. To be fair, she was much more outgoing that day then when I first met her. But she is VERY different from me, which can be a good thing. I ended the day feeling good about things.
Now, two days later and one unreturned text offering to hang out, I am thinking the worst. And I really have no reason to feel insecure. But here I am…
I’m sure she’ll get back to me. It’s just an example of how much I hate my neurotic and insecure side. In every other area of my life I’m confident and bold and I almost never look back at the trail of destruction in my wake. But the period between a first and second get together with a woman that I am interested in? Fucking neurotic city.
Sigh…my grandfather always joked as our family dog chased a car down the street. “What’s he going to do with it when he catches it”?
It’s been a few years since the 4th fell on a weekend. And if memory serves the last 3 years it rained on the 4th. I remember because I live in the region of vacation homes and every time it rains on Memorial Day, The 4th or Labor Day I always remark that I’d be pissed if I was a weekender and it then rained. One advantage of being here year round I suppose.
Holidays haven’t been huge for me lately. The distance from my fam and friends, the virus, living in an area where I don’t know many people all contributed to a blah attitude about holidays. But not this year. 4th of July 2020 was going to be different. I HAD PLANS.
A couple weeks before, my awesome friends Jeff and Leanne asked if they could spend the 4th with us. I jumped at it. Spending the day at the lake with friends is my idea of Paradise. A few days after that my youngest daughter told me that she and her boyfriend were coming up for the weekend. YAY! Then a few days later I learned that my youngest boy was coming up also. YAY! But his amazing girlfriend wasn’t. BOO! Then 3 days later Abby got the day off. YAY! (these yay’s are a nod to a certain blogger, you know who you are). To top it off the weather report called for a gorgeous day. The planets were aligning nicely. Now if Jeff and Leanne were to cancel I would be fugging pissed off. Not Jeff, he won’t let you down.
The day arrived. My kids got here early Saturday morning. I had already bought a metric shit ton of food and there was some setting up and cleaning to do. The boat was ready, I had reserved a table at the beach, I was scrambling around. A stressor was my mother. I love her dearly but she is a fanatic about her house and every time I opened a bag of Dorito’s she was looking for a container for it. I felt like a dog must when he’s circling to drop a deuce and the owner is following closely with a poop bag. But by the time Jeff and Leanne rolled in with Jeff’s son Johnny and Leanne’s daughter McKenzie we were good to go. Boat here we come.
I gave them a good tour of the lake. Everyone had a blast. We headed back in around 3 because the call of all of that amazing food and drink was irresistible. Jeff had promised an assortment of meats in his legendary marinade and I had a backup batch of sirloin and chicken breasts. Add to the mix Macaroni salad, a ton of snacks and a cooler full of booze…yea moor the fucking boat already.
The men hung by the grill, commenting on the meat and making guttural grunting sounds. The women congregated on the farmer’s porch and occasionally mixed. I went to find my daughter’s boyfriend and told him to come be with the guys, not hang with the Joy Luck Club. He did. He and I have a complicated relationship. He thinks I hate him. I don’t. But there wasthat time that I told him I was going to cut his balls off. Water under the bridge. He’s a nice kid, he’s good to my daughter (all a dad should care about) and he has a lousy home life with no good male role models. So I’m trying to get to know him. He joined us. It was cool, all the guys around the grill. Or maybe it was the bag of weed. Did I mention that? Yeah, I started the day with a half ounce of stinky weed and I rolled a bag of fatties in the morning. My daughter smokes once in a while, usually only with me and I knew a few others there did (no names) and I don’t really drink anymore…I decided to fly the friendly skies with anyone that cared to join me. So yeah, father of the year getting baked with my daughter and her boyfriend. What are you going to do, we all had fun. And the boyfriend loosened up a little.
After the feast was consumed and cleaned up we all ended up on lawn chairs enjoying the late afternoon sun. We talked about movies and current events. Jeff, Ryan and I talked about music, ranking musicians and bands all the while I had my bluetooth speaker on and phone in hand putting on great song after great song. Everyone was having a blast. Unfortunately, all great things come to an end and Jeff and Leanne had to pack it up. It was the end of the day for them but I still had my kids there so I could continue on. And we did.
What a day. What a weekend. I thank God for all of the blessings I have received in family and friends. This one made up for all of the lonely and uneventful holidays that I’ve had in a long long time.
My buddy and fellow blogger Steve of MSich Chronicles paid me the ultimate compliment yesterday when he linked his post to my blog. Just an aside, please check out his blog, he is a great writer and has a very cool story to tell. I found it amusing because he mentioned my blog with particular reference to a series of posts I have written about yet another failed attempt at finding a meaningful relationship. As it tends to happen, it got me to thinking.
I have been divorced for almost 3 years. For the first two I don’t even think I tried to meet anyone. I was content in being alone as I tried to deal with the most pressing matters of my life: multiple hospitalizations, starting dialysis, battling the Social Security Administration over my disability claim and adapting to life 100 miles from all of my friends and family left me worn down and very cynical. I also think it is safe to say that I didn’t like the way I looked or felt and really believed that nobody would want to be with me. With the additional variable of living in an area where most of the age appropriate single women weigh a metric ton and have a better mustache than I could ever grow, it all adds up to single.
Last year I decided to dip my toe in the dating pool so I created a MATCH profile. As in real life, it was honest and to the point. Sure, I mentioned my sense of humor and my love of movies and blah blah fuckin’ blah but I also touched upon my health issues and my financial situation. By that I mean that I live with my mother. It took me zero time to realize that most, to be fair not all, women were looking for the words “financially secure”. My profile bordered on having actual crickets. Nothing. Zippo. Jack shit. It was abysmal but very telling. I had no regrets however, my attitude was and is that I would rather be honest up front than have a awkward conversation later. Then I “met” Bella. A fellow blogger and I developed an amazingly strong bond despite many miles between us. The prospect of her pending divorce and ability to possibly relocate gave me hope and consequently I allowed myself to feel actual feelings for her. It ended badly. BUT, I don’t regret it for a second. She did me a favor, she awakened feelings in me I hadn’t had in ages. It felt good.
It took me a while to bounce back from that. I let my MATCH profile expire and decided to do some work on myself. I got back to the gym. I started a little part time business detailing cars to boost my bank account. I joined some local organizations to keep busy and be available in the event someone has a sister or cousin they could fix me up with. Then one day while playing poker at a friends house I met her. She was the best friend of my buddy’s new wife. I was enthralled by her as she walked by and it wasn’t long before we became FB friends and then in real life. We became fast friends and soon we were talking daily. I will admit it now, I read into our blooming friendship. I wanted more. We started to hang out but soon it became evident that I liked her more than she liked me. We talked about the prospect of dating. She wasn’t ready. I don’t think I listen very well because I pursued her anyway. She asked if we could just hang out as friends and see what happens. I tried, I really did. But it didn’t work. She wasn’t ready and I couldn’t operate that way. The sound in my ears of me liking her more than she liked me was deafening. We parted ways. It’s too bad. I miss her. But I have no doubt that it wasn’t going to happen no matter how long I hung on.
So here we are. My romantic woes, as it were, are so notorious that Steve felt compelled to mention it in his blog. And that’s ok. It’s a good thing. And I’m in a better place. My own assessment of my romantic viability has changed for the better. I wasn’t rejected, I simply met women that weren’t right for me. It’s not an indictment on me. One didn’t care that I was broke and both thought I was a nice guy and attractive. And as usual, I have a trick up my sleeve. I met someone a few months ago. I did some work for a very nice woman, the first attractive, age appropriate woman I have met since moving up here. She has been quietly reaching out to me through FB and text all along but I did little more than politely respond. I was kind of seeing someone and I don’t like to confuse things. Now that thing is dead, I called her.
It is said that how you treat people says everything about you. Especially those that can do nothing for you. The other day I met someone whose treatment of others, my friends and I, whose behavior spoke veritable volumes about her character. And not a single word of it was remotely favorable.
If you live anywhere near NH you may have heard of the Fallen 7. Last year, a group of Bikers on a charitable ride for USMC causes was rounding a corner in Jackson, NH and found a heavy-duty pickup and attached car carrier in their lane. Having nowhere to go, no escape route as bikers call it, a bloodbath ensued. 5 bikes, 2 with passengers met a tragic death. 7 dead in all. The operator of the truck, a illegal with several moving violations including a recent DUI, with multiple drugs in his system, had crossed the lane. It was a huge story and one that struck a decisive blow to the heart of anyone who, or knows anyone that rides a motorcycle. The tragedy was made worse by the truck operator’s lack of remorse and the fact that Registry backlog and poor communication between state DMV’s had caused his CT DUI to not be processed in MA. If it had, his license would have been suspended.
A beautiful memorial was erected on the site of the motel they were staying (they died mere yards from the motel, a further tragedy) and since the accident many a group of bikers have made the pilgrimage to the site to pay respects. Sunday, some friends and I set out on ours.
We have been under a drought for a few weeks. Each week the weather apps on on our phones predicted rain but it never did. So when the forecast called for rain we set out anyway on our 100 plus mile ride. As luck would have it, the heavens opened up on about 10 miles short of our destination. Rain is manageable on a bike, but this rain was torrential and it stung our eyes so bad that we were forced to take cover. The first place we saw was what looked like a abandoned motel and we pulled into the parking lot. We found a unit with a sufficient overhang and took shelter.
It wasn’t long before we realized that it wasn’t abandoned. A woman who identified herself as the owner approached us. We apologized for our presence and assured her that we were planning on moving along once the rain let up even a little. She was a bit annoyed but said ok and walked back to her unit. Not ten minutes later she came back and she was highly agitated. She began shouting at us, calling us filthy scumbags and ordered us off of her “fucking property”. One of my buddies asked her why the sudden change of heart and she ramped up her agitation. She screamed that she was going to start “dumping bikes”. I was horrified to see her heading towards mine, the one I had owned for exactly a week. She had both hands on the right hand grip and had it off of the kickstand when I realized that I was armed. I pulled up my shirt and revealed my 9MM. I said “Lady, get your fucking hands off of my bike or I will be forced to exercise my 2nd amendment right”. Not taking any chances I grabbed the bike away before she could dump it. She swung at me several times until I unsnapped the button of my holster and doubled down on my stance. She turned her attention to my buddy Tom who had a travel mug of coffee in his hand. She screamed at him and slapped the cup out of his hand. He told her to back off, that we would leave. We pulled out as she screamed obscenities at us.
It took a while for it all to settle in, it was a while longer before we were able to laugh about it. But it wasn’t funny. We completed our trip, paid our respects and made it home with several more stops to get out of the rain. We’re still talking about it 3 days later.
Several years ago I read a story about a Jackson, NH innkeeper who was sued by a Moroccan couple for refusing them service on the grounds that they were “Muslims from the Middle East who had no business being in our country.” NH had only recently passed hate crime legislation and she was the first person sued under it. After some research, yup you guessed it, it was her.
We engaged her on Facebook, gave her several poor reviews despite not being technically guests. Almost every review we read of her place was critical and often scathing, detailing tale after tale of verbal abuse and poor service. She was clearly a horrible person. She went after us and our reviews, doubling down on her “filthy biker” language. This was not good for her at all because us “filthy bikers” are a huge part of her business, largely due to the fact that she is ten miles from a very popular memorial site. But it didn’t end there. She tracked my friend Tom’s Facebook profile. On Tom’s cover page is a photo of his deceased son. The woman went so far as to say,”your kid is dead, how many others around you have died because of your behavior?” Tom was floored. The hate of this woman is overpowering.
I am still a little worked up over the incident. At the base of it all I know that we were on private property. But we weren’t hurting anyone, she had initially told us it was ok after all.
In the world I grew up in, shelter is given to strangers in duress, comfort is given to the weary and respect is paid to all until it is deemed unworthy. I have never been treated like that and I hope never to be again.
My mind is whirling with new and creative ways to get back at her, including filing a police report against her. I’m not sure what it will accomplish but it may make her think twice before she treats otherwise decent, respectful people like the piece of shit that she sees every day in the mirror.