All posts by Scarlett O'Casual

Eat Your Cake and Shut Up

Another void where love was, hearkening back to an old blog post about a Ghost. This time: reality check.

The post was about dealing with the ghost of a past lover. This time, it wasn’t really love…yet, but it seemed to have all the frills.

Here I went, again, letting myself get all twisted up in it with a guy who reminded me of the my old beloved, and fittingly, this time it ended badly, too. Do these two men really have to have the same voice, the same body, the same boots? Is it some kind of cosmic torture designed especially for me? It begs the question, how do you tell the difference between the Doppelganger of the beloved and the beloved himself; or is this new man, the Doppelganger, just a shadow of the ghost of the beloved? The ghost who you’ve been living with all these years, anyway. How do you describe how you feel after you’ve played with this new Shadow and gotten burned all over again?

Result: Me: a twisted up, fucking, stupid, fucked up head case. I’m always too hard on myself but why, oh why, do I have sex with the ones who I know will screw me over?

What happened to dating? Well, it was going well. Me, the star in the middle. One guy I was falling for and suddenly got intimate with, one guy who had fallen for me in the past who I could keep rejecting but still have benefits with, one guy to continue to date so casually that it just felt like a two person literary meet-up, and the guy who’s practically my best friend, who’s always been there in the background, waiting for me to come to my senses, apparently, and marry him.

Confusing? Yes, sometimes, but an immense self-esteem builder to have so many kettles on at once. (I’m putting aside any analysis for now of the effects of my actions on others; god knows I’m aware enough of that.) And no time really to keep up the dating schedule. Once again, I failed.

And then I got screwed. I liked the fucking. New fucking can be very exciting. But when it comes to my head, I’ll pass. I started to get attached, then he tells me he needs to take his “Solo Path.”

Translation: I want to have my cake and eat it too; and I want your cake as well.

Second translation: I want you to give to me as if you are my girlfriend but I don’t want to give up my freedom. I don’t want a commitment; therefore, I refuse to behave as your boyfriend.

Another skeleton to pack away into the attic. Scarlett O’Casual hurt, licking her wounds, but determined to move on. No more tangles with manipulation. And no more sex before some sort of idea that a relationship might actually work out.  Am I really going to do this? Well, maybe at least I can just be a little wiser in the future.


DATING EXPERIENCE 10: A Little Symphony, A Little Holocaust


ACTIVITY: symphony concert

VENUE: concert hall

MY OUTFIT:  eyelet-type-flower-patterned dress; brighty and Spring-y; fitted on top with sort of flared skirt; cute but chaste enough; red platform heels

AMOUNT OF TIME BEAUTIFYING: 15 MINS (I did shave my legs because I figured I better dress up a little for the symphony and I was wearing a dress but I did not try to look too wonderful since I had hung out with the dude twice before and was not super impressed

FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: none so far

WILL I GO OUT WITH HIM AGAIN: not sure (and I say this, why? because I want more dates? because of some deeply rooted insecurity?? I don’t know–the date was not exactly a success.

NARRATIVE: I met Asghar because he’s friends with the Gymnast. ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’ I say, ‘If you can’t date him, date his friend!’

I’ve known Asghar for about 3 months. First, he sloppy drunk danced on my niece and I when we went to a bar with him, the Gymnast, and another friend of theirs. I was having too much fun dancing in general to mind, and I also was concentrating on thoughts of the Gymnast, anyway. Somewhat intoxicated, I had exchanged numbers with Asghar by the end of the night.

We ran into each other again at a group outing (again with the Gymnast, et. al.), started talking about cool stuff like poetry, and he bought me gelato. So, that wasn’t too bad. Gelato is high on the list of the Food of the gods, the Food of Love.

I made excuses a couple times about going out but he had impressed me with his interest in and knowledge of high Art–poetry and music; so, we ended up going to a lovely symphony and choral performance of “Carmina Burana.”

Prior to the show and during intermission, we had a little time to kill in which he made his alcoholic interest in wine too clear, texted while not talking to me, and told me that if “anyone had a right to be racist it was the Germans,” as he was explaining that the Nazi party used “Carmina Burana” as inspiration for going into battle; and, the Germans had accomplished so many impressive feats in other areas. Who says that on a first date? Who even says that?  Was something lost in translation between first- and second-language speakers? I don’t really think so, I think he’s just really opinionated, and not in a good way. He also told me that he argued with his ex-girlfriend because he thought she should dress better and she disagreed but that he was right in the end. Really? You Little Man you, you have no idea what you’re signing up for. I’ll play the part of the demur girl in the cute red dress and nod and smile while you show what a jerk you are. Just wait ’til the Feminist, Anti-Racist come out for the fight, Buddy!

He picked a lot at his mustache during the concert. At first I thought maybe he was picking his nose, which added a whole new element to my thoughts of the date, believe me, but as I looked closer out of the corner of my eye, I’m pretty sure I it was the mustache. (I was a tiny bit disappointed.) When the concert ended to a standing ovation, he screamed like a girl.

After the concert, we finally got out of the clusterfuck of people on the stairs and, thank God, on the road toward home. I hugged him before I got out of the car because I felt vulnerable from a sixth date I’d had the weekend before in which things happened all out of sync and toyed with my emotions, and somehow I’d begun to relate to this guy I’d just spent three hours with, who was wearing too much cologne and said stupid things, but wore nice clothes and picked me up in a nice car.  I actually do know how I began to relate to him–because we talked about love, longing, and loneliness in relation to “Carmina Burana,” All very impressive with our sophistication, and I think we were feeling both very single. Plus, the getting out of the car part is sooooo awkward.  But I sure wouldn’t hug him again.

We ran into about 10 people he knew while we were at the venue but not sitting in the concert. Well, he has friends, anyway. A couple of them asked us out for a drink but I said I was tired and had to get home. I didn’t really feel like going out and listening to him talk any longer and trying to keep my eyes open, even though there was a very nice Swiss girl who was friends with a girl who had done the Argentine tango with the Gymnast and was in the choir we had just seen. I didn’t necessarily want to hang out with her either! I probably should’ve gone on a date with the Swiss girl, instead.

Rating Him:

Face shape: 7

Body: 6

Eyes: 8

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 9 (short beard is his best feature besides his sad Persian eyes)

Voice: 4 (when he called me on the phone to tell me he was in he parking lot at my building, I realized he sounded like a small frog; oddly, it’s not as unappealing as it sounds, just sort of ridiculous)

Sexiness: if I saw him on the street, 7; after talking to him about his opinions, 2.5 (he gets 1.5 points for being moderately physically attractive, after taking into consideration the opinions)

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 7

Fashion: 9; he wore a really awesome shirt with tiny polka dots on the cuffs folded back; he wore nice shoes and a suit

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 3

Deportment: 2

Charm: 2

Amiable: 2

Polite: 3

Interesting: 5

Kiss-o-meter: Uh, no

Rating Myself:

Face: 3.5 (ran out of concealer, little time on makeup, tired)

Body: 8 (had lost weight)

Smell: 8

Fashion: 8

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 7

Deportment: 9

Amiable: 9

Confidence: 7

Polite: 9

Who Knew? Gigolos Get Lonely Too

I was just happily listening along to my Prince station saved on Pandora when The Time’s “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” came on. The title of the song pretty much says it all–who knew??? Men must feel like used pieces of meat sometimes, too, and here I was thinking I was the one who got tired of men checking out my body and ignoring my mind. Nothing could describe it better than this song.

Although I could think about this from a different perspective entirely: maybe I should try going on a date with a gigolo. Yes, a young, tight-assed, lightly oiled, perfectly tanned god of a man. That would work. If only I could afford it.


DATING EXPERIENCE 9: Dedicated to Dickens: My Non-Date with a Gymnast




MY OUTFIT: BLACK GAUZE WITH VELVET FLOWER OVERLAY SHIRT & PANTS (it’s good to wear pants on a first date)

AMOUNT OF TIME BEAUTIFYING: 25 MINS (whole lotta good that did me!)

FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: HIM, 2 DAYS LATER (offering some food he made before he went out of town)


NARRATIVE: I just can’t seem to get away from this guy; seeing him over and over has the conspiratorial coincidences of a Charles Dickens novel:

#1: Waiting for the bus on a freezing cold day several weeks ago; standing by a bush instead of with the mob of pushy people on the sidewalk. I look over to see someone looking at me–a short guy, little creepy-ish mustache, but on the plus side dark hair, olive skin, and soulful brown eyes. He approaches and asks if it’s better to stand by the bush and I say, “Yes, because it seems to be a wind break,” and explain my philosophy about not trying to crowd onto the bus. He responds favorably, we start talking.  I’m thinking this guy must be interested in me (no one ever talks at the bus stop). We continue the conversation throughout the bus ride and I discover that I like him. His car is parked at the end of the route and he asks if I would like a ride home as we have discovered we live in the same apartment complex. I say, “Thanks, but I’m used to walking,” don’t really know this guy and don’t want him to know EXACTLY where I live or accept a ride. I figure I will see him again anyway since there’s a good chance that we will be catching the bus often more or less in the same place.

#2: A week later, I’m sitting by my bedroom window with the curtains open looking like shit (no shower, pjs, crazy hair, glasses, and streaked makeup from day before) and he ends up walking his dog right outside. Oh geez. I hear him go up the outside stairs and discover that he lives in one of the two units more or less above mine, the odds of which are about 1 in 500.

#3: I keep seeing him around the complex for about a month, but we are not near enough to be forced to acknowledge each other and I just feel really shy and awkward so I decide to leave it; plus, I’m overly weirded out that we’re neighbors. It’s like, “Ack! I actually like this guy but I don’t want him up in my personal life yet.” He seems to notice me but says nothing as well. I’ve noted by this time that he does in fact live directly above me.

And I’ve coined a name for him:  The Gymnast. I’d just started complaining to friends about this crazy dude who lives above me (right before realizing it was him). Said dude likes to get up at 3:00AM, tromp around as loudly as possible, apparently doing cartwheels, summersaults, moving furniture and dropping lead weights.  Every time I start to drop off asleep, the ceiling sounds like it’s going to come down over my head, and that’s not all, The Gymnast has another skill of stopping his perambulations directly over my head and then starting again and circling through his ENTIRE apartment, like he’s caged or something.

#4: I go out of town for a couple weeks of beauty rest and return to find a small blanket with girly pink and purple designs hanging over my patio railing. Either there’s an 11-year old homeless girl who’s been sleeping on my patio or it’s blown down from the balcony above, which means it belongs to The Gymnast. This makes me wonder, since he seems to be neither a decorative Drag Queen nor an 11-year old girl–I hope it belongs to his small poodle. Now I have a dilemma: do I a) throw the blanket out into the landscaping (hoping he’ll see it and retrieve it) which seems rude; or, do I b) knock on his door like a normal grownup and ask if it’s his? Instead I do c) stare at it with annoyance for over a week as it does not match my décor and chicken out on knocking on his door

#5: Problem solved: he’s out walking the poodle when I pull into a parking spot. I have to cross his path to get inside, so we finally greet each other and play the “Oh, is that you, did I meet you before on the bus?” etc, etc game even though we both know very well that we’ve recognized each other about a zillion times since then. But it’s a good opening to inquire about the blanket, establish that we are in fact neighbors, and to exchange numbers. He invites me to his apartment “for Persian tea sometime.”

<<<Dickensian-style coincidences will be put aside momentarily until I have finished describing THE DATE.>>>

So, I get tired of waiting for those brown eyes to envision me sitting in front of him and I text a week later to see if he’s up for getting coffee/tea. Going out seems a wiser decision relative to entering the apartment of a guy I still hardly know.  We set a date.

#6: Wait, one more in honor of the D-man: The very day that we are go out on the date, he’s boards the bus with a colleague (when I haven’t even seen him since that first fateful day). He says “hi” and introduces us but it’s awkward, as they talk shop while she stands right in front of me and he next to her, as  we’re squished in like sardines. I just feel shy all over again and I don’t want to see him like this, when I look like crap after a hard day’s work–I want the Romantic-coffee-shop-gaze-into-each-other’s-eyes-experience. But by the time the main mob has left the bus (and the Colleague has as well) he sits next to me and we talk and then I allow him to give me a ride home this time from the bus stop. It’s weird when he drops me off and we’re like, “Well, see you out here again in 2 1/2 hours!” Dating your neighbor is certainly convenient.

Ok, so the actual date: We went to a coffee shop more or less in our neighborhood–old wooden flooring, eclectic chairs, hipsters and hippies, students staring at laptops, a few people chatting intently here and there as we ended up doing.

We talked for about two hours, the time going by quickly yet feeling like an expansion as the girth  of subjects we discussed covered politics, government, ethics, literature, and music. The conversation came easily, felt like we were seeing eye-to-eye.

Gazing into his soulful, deep eyes didn’t hurt my general feeling of well-being either, although it may sound trite.

Toward the end of the “date” a bomb dropped in my lap in the form of the words, “my girlfriend.” Included in a sentence with his accent throwing me off (or my wishful thinking), I heard what could’ve been “my past girlfriend.” If it really was just “my girlfriend,” why be here with me? And more importantly, why did I pick up the Interest Vibe from him in the first place? For him, it must’ve just been friends going out for coffee–apparently I’m just too intense, reading too much into it. His life sounds pretty busy and as an immigrant, he’s probably homesick and perhaps lonely. He should be able to go out for coffee and conversation with his neighbor, right? If I picked up a more-than-friends vibe it could be more my fault than his. On the other hand, am I making excuses for him? Is it a universal principle that when a guy singles you out at the bus stop to start a conversation, he is hitting on you?

I reacted in the moment by taking the girlfriend  comment in stride and the conversation went on. But then in the car on the way back he said that he is thinking of asking her to immigrate so they can be together; well, there could be was no wishful thinking for me to toss this aside!

Part of our coffee shop conversation included how we are very similarly troubled by making decisions, even big ones. Then in the car he referenced this in saying that he was having trouble with the decision to invite his girlfriend into the next phase of their relationship by trying to get her to immigrate to be with him. Oh geez! Now what the heck should I think? Maybe he thinks I’m a safe bet to allow him some companionship because he’s seen me in the parking lot with Lawrence and knows that he comes over, figures he’s my boyfriend. Who knows??

Of course, there’s a thought in the back of my mind about if I were That Girl who would try to use my obvious geographical advantage over the Girlfriend to steal his heart away. (Evil laugh, rub hands together.) But, I’m not, which maybe makes me a little sad because he is nice-looking and smart.

Might as well admit, I’ve been a cheater and been cheated on, and worse yet, lied to. And I’ve been the Other Woman. If I can’t trust someone’s honesty and personal integrity, it’s a no-go at this point in my life. As long as he isn’t asking me in the future to aid and abet cheating and is just going for intellectual discussions; that could be okay, I guess we’ll see.

On an interesting side note, he did ask me about his noise level tromping over my head and I told him my experience diplomatically, without of course telling him that he is The Gymnast. What I really want to ask is, what has he heard coming from my place, but it somehow seems inappropriate (not to mention personally mortifying) to ask someone on the bus if they’ve heard, for instance, any strange vibrating noises coming from your apartment. Maybe there’s a lesson here about dating your neighbor.

There’s certainly a lesson about keeping one’s mouth shut until you know who’s in a public place with you…and this my absolute Last Shout Out to Dickens:

#7: Today, which was exactly two days after my Date-Non-date with The Gymnast, I went out to lunch with my co-worker near work.  I told her about him: that’s he’s cute, what country he’s from and how I like him but he has a girlfriend. And of course as soon as all those words are out of my mouth, I see him two tables over!! He’s at lunch with a friend as well; why should I even be surprised at this point?? I can only hope he didn’t hear anything because he would surely know I was talking about him. I don’t actually know that he even saw me. It was noisy and crowded and I couldn’t hear him talking so it would stand to reason that he couldn’t hear me either. Please, oh please, I don’t need to feel any more dumb.

Rating Him:

Face shape: 9 (he has a very nice nose)

Body: 7

Eyes: 8.5

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 5 (better off without the stache, but at least he’s got a nice hair color)

Voice: 6

Sexiness: 7.5

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 8

Fashion: 6

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 8

Deportment: 9

Charm: 7

Amiable: 8.5

Polite: 7

Interesting: 9

Kiss-o-meter: Ha!

Rating Myself:

Face: 3.5 (got home, looked in the mirror and realized that I looked like a ghost because of how I’d done my makeup: awesome!)

Body: 7

Smell: 8.5

Fashion: 8

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 5

Deportment: 9

Amiable: 8

Confidence: 5

Polite: 8

DATING EXPERIENCE 8: The ONE: he must be out there (??)


ACTIVITY: visiting a backyard “museum” of junk, coffee and walk

VENUE: some dude’s backyard; coffee shop in the hip part of town; hiking area

MY OUTFIT: Adorable blue thrift dress with tiny silver stars, rain boots and ridiculous giant boot socks that went over the boots and sort of matched my leggings (hey, when it’s cold, it’s cold); changed into jeans, sweaters and tennis shoes for walking

AMOUNT OF TIME BEAUTIFYING: 30 minutes, included a timely eyebrow and weird facial hair plucking

FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: too soon to know


NARRATIVE: I realized right after the fact that our date was like a guidebook example for our city: we went to some guy’s backyard (by appointment) to gawk with other couples at a three-story sculpture of junk. Then we went for coffee and sandwiches at a slightly snobby, hip, crowded coffee shop filled with young people from that neighborhood (I guess this could be anywhere). But then we went on a hiking trail (after I had changed into something more outdoorsy). And this is all within a pleasant drive-able distance on a Sunday.

I felt a real level of comfort with this guy. Is that good because I know him through mutual friends so was even trusting enough to let him see where I lived and invite him in while I changed clothes? (I did not change in front of him, BTW, for those of you with dirty minds.) Or is it bad, because I felt few nerves in his presence? Or, is it good because I felt comfortable and relaxed around him? Or, bad because not having nerves means no chemistry? ANYWAY….

I found out he had kids about two hours before our date was set to begin and was like, “Oh no! (bang head on wall) Why did I not ask the person who set us up about that?!?” I haven’t been planning to date any one with kids because I have been in relationships before with people who had them and it just did not work out. That’s not to say it never could, but I really do want to find the right person and the right situation for the sort of relationship I need. But, I guess for the purposes of this blog, a date is a date. It doesn’t mean I have to get into a relationship or marry the guy.

I felt it would just be too late to cancel the date anyway without being rude. Then, darn it all, we had fun. Oswald was just very nice and easy to talk to, which is why I asked our mutual friend to set us up after having recently met him at one of her parties.

Three good things that happened:

1) he paid (I have been a bit broke lately and it’s just a nice gesture anyway)

2) we seemed to strike a chord talking about religion of all things; we’d both grown up in a traditional religion and then went non-traditional and seem to have similar motivations and perspectives (as much as one can tell in a 15 minute conversation)

3) we both want to travel/live in other countries in the future

The kid thing honestly terrifies me but his are growing up and they’re not around all the time; thinking of moving to another country seems to indicate that he’s not too tied down.   ?????????????????????

Once again, I may’ve found a good comparison point between two guys. My last date, Leopold, is not a ton older than Oswald, who’s close-ish to my age. They are both mature and smart enough to be entertaining, engaging and fun dates. Unfortunately, I am not attracted to Leopold physically but he’s free as a bird with no kids. Oswald is much more my physical type but has kids. Guess I’m figuring things out more and more through an applied process (dating) of elimination (certain traits or things that a person would bring into a relationship).

One more thing is, why must the end of a first date always be awkward? First, I had to get out of his truck to get into my house; so, I just got out. But then he felt he had to get out. So then I thought maybe he would try to kiss me (he had mentioned chewing gum and offered it earlier) and it would be weird because there was no working up to it. So, I probably ruined it by jumping out of the truck. But, I also didn’t want to kiss him because of my doubt on the kid point, and I wouldn’t want to start LIKING him unless I knew it was okay. (Geeeez, too much thinking!)  So I guess it’s okay that I ruined it.  We met on my side of the truck and hugged–it was standard–the hug went fine, we said we had fun, said “bye,” he left, I went inside.

Rating Him:

Face shape: 8 (his beard covers a lot of face, so it’s hard to tell the structure underneath but it looks like he probably has a good jaw, which could elevate him to a 8.5; however, I could live with his nose being a little less hooked

Body: 8 (may also be too early to tell) but he’s got the basic shape I like: thin but doesn’t look like an anemic weakling; tall; some guys canNOT  pull off cowboy boots, this one can

Eyes: 5 (there’s some light there but they are a bit small)

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 4 (hair: shoulder length, which can be sexy but it’s too thin in comparison to the forehead and beard so gives the triangle head effect; trim the stash! the beard works)

Voice: 8.5 (tonally pleasing)

Sexiness: 7

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 5.5

Fashion: 5

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 6.5

Deportment: 10

Charm: 9

Amiable: 10

Polite: 10

Interesting: 8

Kiss-o-meter: N/A

Rating Myself:

Face: 8 (facial blemishes but I had one of those glory days of makeup settling perfectly)

Body: 6.5 (recent weight gain is upsetting)

Smell: 7 (how do my old hiking clothes smell? I’m not sure)

Fashion: 7

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 7.5

Deportment: 10

Amiable: 9

Confidence: 9

Polite: 9

The One: he must be out there >>check it out<< without the babies

DATING EXPERIENCE 7: A mishap here, a mishap there


ACTIVITY: dinner, drinks/bar, hookah bar

VENUE: nice restaurant, sort of dive-y bar, hookah bar

MY OUTFIT: sort of short, possibly vintage, tank dress in thick cotton lace flower pattern with fringe at bottom; red leather platform heel sandals

AMOUNT OF TIME BEAUTIFYING: 15 mins (extra makeup and costume change in the bathroom at work, how exciting)

FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: him, next day, said he had fun, said we’d go out again soon


NARRATIVE: This date seemed doomed to fail when I looked up the wrong bus schedule before leaving work and went about 4 miles in the wrong direction. Which I then had to walk in 95 degree, 85% humidity, near heavy traffic and in platform shoes. My date offered to pay for a cab, which I was unable to flag and was too mad at myself to seriously pursue chasing one down the street anyway. I arrived an hour late and a sweaty mess, but I must’ve had a healthy, glistening glow because he said I looked great and actually meant it!

That cut into our drinking time, so I downed a margarita in 10 minutes instead of 50 so we could get to our restaurant downstairs on time for the reservation–my second mishap was that I was already well on the way to intoxication. Dinner was great, the food was excellent; I felt very pampered at this fancy pants restaurant, especially finally sitting in the air conditioning.  The conversation was good, although I won’t pretend that everything was not pretty blurry, what with the dehydration and working into that second drink.

Then he gets this brilliant idea to take me to a dive bar, where we talk some more and, you guessed it, drink. I’m at three strong ones at this point, which could’ve been okay since I ate, but I just got started all wrong with my death march from the bus. So, then he makes his move in the parking lot, pulling me in and kissing me, even with some tongue as he goes to load me back into the car. “Mmmmmm, salty,” he comments about my margarita-flavored lips. It hardly seemed that my taste would be all that attractive,  I would’ve much preferred to have a mint first, but by this time I’m really too intoxicated to worry. Luckily he’s driving me all over town in his little sports car, which did feel pretty cool. (And he paid for everything.) Who knows how long it’s been since I’ve even been in a car like that, or if I’ve even dated anyone with such a car. Guess I’m not really that kind of girl though, when it comes down to it. He’s more Status Guy, I think and I’m just more Hippie Girl.

So he threw me a little bit of a curve, albeit a pleasant one, by wanting to go to a hookah bar next (this was a long date!) He was quite impressed by my skin show-age while stirring up the hookah’s coal. It’s definitely okay with me to have a guy be flirty like this when he is a bit turned on as long as he’s classy about it. Well, the hookah part was good, chatting some more–I think he was testing the waters perhaps for an unending night but I was firm on getting dropped off at home.

Leopold is quite intelligent, with a golden laugh that makes everyone around him happy. We were set up at a party by mutual friends and he even showed up there later just to meet me, which was nice. Unfortunately, he’s pretty overweight and just not very attractive to me. To make it worse, he’s this really wonderful, got-it-together guy with tons of friends; the kind of guy everyone loves but who still apparently winds up alone; probably due to his taste for a decent-looking girl but with his weight in the way of that. What I do know is, he’s been working on it, he’s lost a ton of weight and I give him major props for that. I think we can be good friends. There’s a lot of value in ending up with many awesome friends who were dates at one time.

Maybe Leopold and I are not really compatible anyway, he has guns for Pete’s sake!!! And maybe even in spite of the weight, there just isn’t enough chemistry. Here is another guy I can’t quite read. Something tells me he protects his heart. Something is starting to tell me that I guess I expect a guy to wear his heart on his sleeve more. But can I really expect that if I’ve also been burned and keep my own heart so well-guarded at this point?

Rating Him:

Face shape: 3

Body: 2

Eyes: 8.5

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 6

Voice: 7.5 (big points for the laugh)

Sexiness: 1.5

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 3.5

Fashion: 7

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 4.5

Deportment: 8.5

Charm: 9

Amiable: 10

Polite: 10

Interesting: 8

Kiss-o-meter: 6

Rating Myself:

Face: 8

Body: 8.5

Smell: 5

Fashion: 9

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 7.5

Deportment: 8

Amiable: 10

Confidence: 8

Polite: 9

Upon Further Examination….

A lot has happened while I’ve been offline. It’s really just a hazard of being  Scarlett O’Casual—I get super involved in a project at the beginning, fail to do the hard and most important work in the middle, and then leave a bunch of loose ends dangling. Also, I’ve repeated the same mistake I’ve made so many times before that this dating/self-improvement project was supposed to help me avoid—I fell head over heels for Lawrence. Well, anyway, at least this time I made a better judgment and I do think that might be half the battle. In the past, I would repeat the pattern of getting quickly involved with someone who was incredibly wrong, wrong, wrong; while this time I got quickly involved with someone who could’ve been very right.  This occurred in the interim of the two months when I haven’t been posting. I’ve felt so low and conflicted by the whole situation that I didn’t want to write about it, so I let myself off the hook.

Also about two months ago, I started reading date or soul mate? how to know if someone is worth pursuing in two dates or less? by Neil Clark Warren. I was immediately (and perhaps unfairly) annoyed by the book. I’ve seen Warren advertising and both he and it seemed cheesy. The cover of the book is unbelievably bad. Everything is in lower case letters, which unless you’re e.e. cummings, is probably not acceptable.  From an aesthetic standpoint, there is way too much white space on the left side of the cover. And there’s the fact that the couple on the front look vaguely incestuous. This did not surprise me since many of the couples in the eharmony commercials look like cousins; to the organization’s credit, they have recently updated with more diverse-looking couples, but for a long-time I was opposed to trying out eharmony myself because as I kept telling everyone, “I don’t want to meet my soul mate who’s also my third cousin.” I’m not even going to go into tearing apart the poor guy on the front cover of the book who was (I hope) forced to pose with such an expression on his face.

The reason I even found this book in the first place is because I went to the library to seek out corny dating books that I could enjoy reading and making fun of in this blog. I guess I thought I was so smarty-pants that no dating book could ever give me advice but I was wrong. At first, I had a hard time getting advice from an old, white, Christian guy, the type I would usually distrust (I’m not claiming that this is a fair judgment). But when I started actually paying attention to the book, I realized that it gave me an answer to what I am actually looking for.  It has the reader make lists and do assessments about one’s deepest self, and then think about the ideal person who could be your match based on this information. Then, and this is he really fun part for us OCD-ers, you get to make two lists, respectively, of the top ten characteristics you “must have” and “must not have” in your match. Since I had already been formulating the first list for a life time, that part was super easy.  The book also gives 50 common characteristics that people tend to pick, some of which I pulled for my list. Making the list of the things I will not tolerate was pretty easy as well—I guess you know by now that I definitely know what I don’t like.

You may’ve noticed the word could’ve a few paragraphs back in reference to the Lawrence relationship. The book came at the right time because it hit me over the head with the realization that he does not meet all the criteria on my lists. There’s more to it than just this (read the book) but basically, Warren says that there is a real temptation to settle for someone who seems to have all the lists’ qualities except one or two but under no circumstances should you do this. I know that I’ve settled too many times in the past—jumping in to be with someone just because and for too many of the wrong reasons. It can only lead to unhappiness in the end; and, from my own experience, resentment, after finding in a year or so that you really just wish you could tweak the other person to get them to fit your ideal just so. This is neither realistic nor fair, to either party. I know by this point in my life that people very rarely can and are hardly ever willing to change the very essence of who they are. If someone does not fit what you’re looking for, it does no one any good to pursue that person. This doesn’t mean the trivial stuff, like smacking their gum or something. It means a character trait or major part of his or her identity that could make it onto a top ten list, like how they communicate, clearly a biggie.

So, here’s the beef with Lawrence. Dang it all on him for being so beautiful, so nice, patient, and generally wonderful, but I can’t talk to the boy. We just don’t have that sort of communication that I, as a writer, and an intellectual striver, need, want, and desire above all else. For me, communication leads to verbal and emotional intimacy and this is the one thing I can never have from him. So, we’ll see where it’ll go from here, but I have a feeling it’ll have to be nowhere.

DATING EXPERIENCE 6: Mental vs. physical: My internal struggle


ACTIVITY: coffee and movie

VENUE: downtown coffee shop; awesome old, downtown movie theater

MY OUTFIT: I don’t remember my shirt, it’s been a long week; took a little risk with fishnet stockings, slacks that are shorts and tall boots


FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: him, via e-mail


NARRATIVE: We met for coffee at an old, shabby-hip building downtown. It was a very urban setting, and thus began an urban date between two urban people. We sat near a windowless window, hearing the traffic go by and smelling cigarette smoke.

As pre-arranged, he had bought our movie tickets so I bought his coffee. He got a basic black–I got an excellent half shot espresso blended into a milkshake.

He was there when I arrived on the dot of time, so he was early. I wondered if I would be able to pick him out easily as we had not seen each other for over a month since Speed Dating but it was a breeze.

He had already gotten a delicious, rich piece of chocolate cake and offered to share. Much to my chagrin, I had developed a huge fever blister on my lower lip the day before. I didn’t want to be weird and turn down the cake offer, so I split it in half (for hygiene purposes) with my fork before eating, hoping he wouldn’t notice and be offended by thinking I’m a big germ-a-phobe.

Just like Lawrence, he wore a button-up shirt with the top button undone to much the same effect. Too much chest with intermittent curly black chest hair hanging out, ugh!! Weirdly, I appreciate chest hair in the right time and place–namely with NO shirt and if it’s not intermittent but more a mat distributed evenly on the chest and stomach. Yes, I have analyzed my opinion on this issue and to hell with the recent obsession in our culture with hairless bodies!

Anyway, I didn’t gag over the hair or anything; and I have completely overcome this problem with Lawrence because he has absolutely perfect chest hair, I later came to realize. Oh wait, I’m supposed to be talking about the date with Magnus, crap.

Magnus is the sort of guy you don’t get to know all at once, he plays it close to the chest and I had very little idea what he was thinking in regards to me–interest level, attraction, etc. There are not too many men I feel this way around, generally I can pin down their thoughts in the first five minutes. “This one is a smart one,” I thought to myself. I have to admit a bit of intrigue on this note, instead of a puppy-dog-young or dumb guy, or one who’s drooling on his shoes over me. Part of this really is age and the experience that comes with it, I suppose. Young guys (around their 20’s) are starting to seem just that–YOUNG–as if young in itself is a dimension, just one limited dimension. “Older” guys (40’s-60’s) are starting to seem more interesting as experienced human beings, even capable of sensuality/sexuality (which seemed icky to me back in the day).

The downside of this is a paunch, balding, and grayness, all of which Magnus has–I put him at around 40. Balding and grayness can be ok but with him it just makes me un-attracted. Too bad, since his personality is very intelligent and we have common interests to discuss with a great amount of depth. The fact that he knows literature and quality/classic films so well is incredibly attractive. It really is too bad; I used to think I could get around physical appearance entirely but can’t anymore. I’m not looking for a god, a model, even a head-turner; I just want someone who I feel attracted to enough that I want to get close to them. Physical repulsion won’t work–I know, I’ve tried it. One great physical characteristic that Magnus has is a beautifully shaped upper lip. It almost hangs with sensuality–I just couldn’t help going on a couple fantasy rides of deep, multiple kisses. The lip was so lovely that I could place it in a world all its own and stop thinking of the rest of the face in front of me.

We seemed to have a good feel for walking together as I had to re-park my car and we got to talk more before going to the movie. I was very excited that someone else was so into going to see “The Maltese Falcon.”

So, now what? He has already sent me a couple e-mails about going to more movies. That may be just what we have together, a friendship based on movies and books–I could almost say there could be more but I just don’t think there’s relationship potential. The date was fun anyway and I hope he will accept being my friend so we can hang out.

He has been my most intellectual date yet and it was refreshing to be around someone age appropriate after my Cougar experience. I can’t believe I thought that John would even possibly want to date me again! And I am fine with that, I do not want to be an older sister/mother figure. These two dates have been a great exercise in the value of comparisons.

Rating Him:

Face shape: 7 (I would say 5 but The Lip gains 2 points by itself)

Body: 3

Eyes: 6.5

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 4

Voice: 8 (good phone voice)

Sexiness: 2

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 3

Fashion: 7

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 3

Deportment: 10

Charm: 7

Amiable: 10

Polite: 10

Interesting: 8.5

Kiss-o-meter: N/A

Rating Myself:

Face: 4 (fever blister)

Body: 8.5

Smell: 8

Fashion: 7.5

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 6 (fever blister)

Deportment: 10

Amiable: 10

Confidence: 6 (fever blister)

Polite: 10

DATING EXPERIENCE 5: Do cougars drink coffee?


ACTIVITY: coffee at college-y, hipster-y neighborhood coffee shop

VENUE: outdoor/indoor coffee shop

MY OUTFIT: red low-cut-ish hippie shirt w/ lace edging and long sweater, short leggings w/ tall black 80’s boots and a favorite necklace


FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: hasn’t happened yet

WILL I GO OUT WITH HIM AGAIN: unsure, no plans were made

NARRATIVE: I was waiting in line for food, coffee and him when he walked in and we did the “let’s try to look each other over subtly to figure out if that’s the person I’m meeting” thing. It’s been almost exactly three weeks to the day since I met him at Speed Dating (he was my first date there). We both acknowledged that it was a bit difficult to recognize each other due to how many people we had met there, and it was a bit awkward at first standing in line. By the time we sat down and started talking the conversation warmed and we were able to jump from topic to topic and have a good conversation, but I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on behind his eyes. It’s funny how with some people you can tell and some you can’t. He would sometimes look at me intently during pauses in the conversation and I couldn’t tell if he was concentrating, or thought I was good-looking, or if that is just a typical every-day expression for him. He did seem to think I was funny and interesting. I do believe he also thought I was too old and may not want to date me again because of that. I saw him as too young—10 years my junior. I suspected he was pretty young when I met him at Speed Dating, outside of the range I have chosen for anyone to get involved with unless it’s just a unique and special sort of person. When he started talking about college a lot and just having started his career two years ago, I started seeing flashing neon lights in my brain—“Cougar, Cougar, I am a Cougar!!”

It was funny that what attracted me to him in the first place at Speed Dating was his look of youthful innocence and attitude of openness/enthusiasm. He did not look like someone who’d been ripped up and spit out by life yet, like those of us who have been on the planet long enough to have had more of those experiences. Unfortunately, there may be only so much John and I can talk about. My gut tells me that he would just not be enough to entertain me and I may be too much for him—too experienced, just plain too old. He needs some nice, little girl in her early 20’s to feed him that pure sort of love.

You never know though. He has a sexy nose and maybe he uses it for close up (face) shots in a secret porn career on the side. Computer guru by day, porn star by night sort of deal. He wears glasses and looks all straight-laced when he comes over to fix the plumbing but THEN….

Why is it always the “plumbing” anyway?? Well, I suppose we know the answer to that but that’s not what this blog is about.

Or maybe he’s super into S&M or something–cuffs, whips, collars, the whole bit. He could have a quirky, freaky-deaky side that doesn’t show in casual dating. I doubt it (sigh) but that might be more interesting. It was nice to go out with a nice young man though. I feel like someone’s Old Maiden Aunt now. Hmmmmm, well I guess I’ll just rack it up to more of the dating experience.

Or maybe the problem with any real down and dirty chemistry (at least on this first date) was the fact that he didn’t seem to know quite what to say sometimes as well as the fact that we don’t seem to have any hobbies/interests in common, except for liking dogs and warm weather. (Could a relationship be built off of that if we became crazy dog show people, like on “Best of Show”?) It also reminds me of one of the stupidest car commercials ever that I saw years back hyping a car’s ability for dual climate control, when that used to be a big deal. It went something like this:

“He wears wool. She wears cotton. He likes such and such. She likes this and that. They never agree but with the new [insert name of car manufacturer/model] they can both be satisfied.”

It also laid it out on the line for us stupid viewers that women are always cold (maybe because she’s wearing freaking cotton and it’s Fall in New England, do you think??) and men are always warm (maybe because his feet are in a sweat bath in those wool socks while he’s pushing the accelerator pedal too fast. (We know he’s going too fast and not asking for directions because he’s a man and of course he’s in the driver’s seat, too.)

Why didn’t they just wrap them up in pink and blue respectively and sell us that gender stereotype?? Barf.

Anyway, my actual point is: John likes ping pong, I like to write. He likes chess, I like classic movies. He likes computers, I like art. Hey, we’re both bored by Math but not meat (as non-vegetarians), Lord above, hallelujah!!

On another topic, I seem to have an uncanny ability lately to sniff out guys who grew up in neighboring states to the state I grew up in, now that we all live far from that area. Statistically, that’s been half of my dates so far, this time with John and before with Lawrence. Weird. Maybe I need to diversify.

Well, he is a bit cute and I did have a good time talking to him—maybe we could be friends and he could teach me to not suck at ping pong.

Rating Him:

Face shape: it must have been non-descript because I don’t remember

Body: didn’t notice anything incredible or anything bad, it was cold so he had a lot of clothes on but he seems in shape and with youth on his side I’d give him an 8

Eyes: 3

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 4

Voice: 6

Sexiness: 6

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 6.5

Fashion: 5

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 4

Deportment: 7

Charm: a boyish 7.5

Amiable: 10

Polite: 10 (concerned that I was freezing to death, so we went inside to continue our talk)

Interesting: 6.5

Kiss-o-meter: N/A

Rating Myself:

Face: 8

Body: 9 (image of such is improving with less eating and more walking)

Smell: 8.5

Fashion: 7.5

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 8

Deportment: 9

Amiable: 10

Confidence: 10

Polite: 10

DATING EXPERIENCE 4: Trouble with Techies





AMOUNT OF TIME BEAUTIFYING: 45 MINS (I had no expectations due to my earlier anxieties but figured I should look decent and tried to dress up a little because I figured he was that kind of guy)

FOLLOW-UP DONE BY: N/A; has not happened yet, the date was today


INTRO: Lots of gluten and conversation to chew on.

NARRATIVE: As of this moment, I am having trouble thinking because of a gluten-induced food coma from being dumb enough to eat at an Italian restaurant and not ask to go somewhere else where I could eat my usual hunter/gather-ish diet. However, the date itself was thought-stimulating, which is a good thing for someone like me who needs to be entertained.

Damon is entertaining, very techie/nerdy/smart, funny, and quirky/weird in a good way. We had an interesting conversation based on these things, except the techie aspect of his personality may be a bit overkill for me since I am a technical dinosaur and positively inept when it comes to the physics projects, games of strategy, video games and computer topics he was talking about. I wanted to call out in the restaurant, “I know I’m a nerd but you’ve got the wrong girl! I am the stupidest person you’ll ever meet–I have battles with touch screens because they don’t know I’m alive!” (Day in my life: touch the button on the screen, nothing happens; touch again, nothing happens; third time, nothing…I go into Cave Woman mode and start stabbing the screen.)

But then again, he had me laughing at his weird wit and sense of fun. I greatly enjoyed hearing from a fellow cerebral character about the myriad of ideas that his brain constantly pumps out. He’s also sarcastic and blunt (self-described). I can usually deal with blunt because I appreciate honesty and like to know what the other person thinks, even if it’s not fully pleasant. I want to be communicated with. I also enjoy sarcasm and making fun of people (in good humor) and situations, as does he.

Unfortunately, he has little physical appeal for me. I don’t like his round little dimpled chin, his almost apple-shaped round face and his dorky short-bangs oriented haircut. The judgments are just rolling out here. I should say though that he  has intelligent, kind of piercing brown eyes. And I did agree to go on a date with him in the first place because he has something interesting to say and is so smart that I respect him. I figured if nothing else, he could end up being a fun friend to hang out with.

He wore a really nice shirt, which is always impressive. But he went to church earlier today (I didn’t ask about that). Church-going itself is not necessarily a problem, it’s the religion that usually goes along with it (sometimes, not always). I don’t want any Gentle Readers to be offended here.

He has a good job, stability, and I suspect some money (especially with his fancy watch and talk of buying a new car and Good Golly, I think he may even have a house!) I hate, hate, hate being the typical female sniffing out a Provider but gee it sure was nice to have someone care enough about his impression on me to pay for lunch. He didn’t flaunt his money or job about either as dating currency.

He had initially asked me out on a longer date in which there would’ve been pool and drinks after lunch but I didn’t accept what with my anxiety problem. I also had a crap ton of stuff to do today and now am writing instead of getting it done. He was a little bit miffed, but still agreeable when we talked about it. I did at least feel that it was worth at least one more shot and would be fun to talk to him again so I brought up the idea of date #2 and we came up with some ideas.

My conclusion is that smart can be sexy, as I have always known but I also know that I need someone who is a bit less of a Tech and more of an Artist. This is tricky because the Artists I have been in relationships with either had deep-seated issues, a selfishness problem, or they broke my heart into millions of tiny pieces. At least with a Tech you know where you are. But, I think I may just get bored. Too bad.

The other thing I learned today is that I did the right thing. I feel self-affirmed to have gone out on another date after (probably) getting in too deep with Lawrence. I felt relaxed and enjoyed myself–it was very good to just talk and start all over casually getting to know someone and appreciate that person. I am not deliberately trying to make comparisons but it gave me some perspective on Lawrence to be sitting at that table across from someone else who is entirely different. Now I can be more objective in regards to him, see his strengths and faults more clearly and I hope, move forward more secure in however this whole deal turns out.

FYI, the hug is the new accepted urban greeting. Or maybe it’s been around forever and I just didn’t know it, not having been very urbane. The hug is also acceptable in lieu of a kiss that would be too awkward at the end of a first date.

Rating Him:

Face shape: 2.5

Body: 3

Eyes: 7

Hair or lack thereof/Facial hair or lack thereof: 2.5

Voice: 5

Sexiness: 3

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 2

Fashion: 9

IT-ness (the IT factor, you either have IT or you don’t): 5

Deportment: 10

Charm: 8 (sense of humor and politeness add a lot)

Amiable: 7

Polite: 10 (did everything right, including opening doors and paying for lunch smoothly, e-mail etiquette, offering a hand so I could get unpeeled from the restaurant booth)

Interesting: 8

Kiss-o-meter: N/A

Rating Myself:

Face: 8.5 (spent some time on makeup to make it successful)

Body: 8.5 (feeling  better about body image from eating less, working out more & being overall a little slimmer)

Smell: 8.5 (it was cold today & no problems with sweating, I also used perfume)

Fashion: 7.5 (I looked cute but he was sophisticated and I was possibly too young-retro)

Overall Physical Attractiveness: 8.5

Deportment: 8.5

Amiable: 9 (I laughed a lot and was generally nice to be around)

Confidence: 8.5

Polite: 5 (I lost big points, at least with myself for not responding to his e-mails trying to set up the date and I neglected to take the hand he offered to help me up from the booth)