All posts by AFTERsix

I'm told I'm tasty and a tad bit hasty when it comes to changing and exchanging partners. Commitment's not my thing.

emotional REAL estate

Robyn just posted a recent sonogram as her FaceBook photo. I decide to ring her and we meet for an impromptu picnic in the park. Something we both have shirked since I left the firm we sold our souls for. It was high time for some herbal Honest Teas, huge hoagies from Saigon Sandwiches coupled with Sprinkles’ vegan red velvety goodness.

“How’s what’s-his-face?” Her affection for a particular man-in-my-life zeroes in the second we meet up.

“We’re good.” I struggle with the Built NY bags as Robyn smooths the blankets on the still dewy grass.

“Just good? You two were inseparable last time I saw you guys.” She needles. Nothing escapes this woman. Her seventh-sense is always spot-on.

“Eh, you know. Growing pains.” I’m no good when it comes to being nonchalant.


“What’s THAT supposed to mean?” I feign offense. We’re cronies. We’re past pretenses, but it doesn’t hurt to act hurt once in a while. Keeps us from tip-toeing our way through each others’ lives.

“Nothing.” Her eyes dart to the way my fingers fiddle with the loose button on my cardigan. “You know when I met my husband, right?”

“When you went online.” I still have trouble piecing together what she’s driving at.

“Yes AND no.” She pinches my nose playfully. I grimace. She caught me wrinkling it again. Key word. WRINKLE. She has none, and insists it’s because she’s met her soul’s mate. “Yes. I met him online. No, that’s not what I meant.”

I look at her blankly. She giggles. “I mean to say, it’s good that you and what’s-his-face are not so hunky-dory.” She’s resorted to riddles. I sigh. Loudly.

“Engrish. Preez.”

“The day I lost ALL my guy friends, was the day I met MY guy.”

“Huh?” I swipe my pinky against the pseudo cream-cheesy goodness of the vegan cupcake. Robyn’s deciding to slam dairy during her pregnancy still eludes me, but I’m game for trying new ways of tricking my tastebuds into thinking they’re being sated.

“Look, I know you’ve got a ton of buddies that have your back. There’s nothing wrong with your band of bros. I just think it’s great timing for you to concentrate on you moving past [the EX-factor].” She’s chattering really quickly now. I’m certain she’s been dying to get this off her chest. “What’s-his-face is the best of the bunch. I know that. You know that. We all have known this.”

“So what’s your point?” I’m edgy. The cupcake is not cutting it. I reach for a Vietnamese sandwich. Robyn’s usually succinct. It’s not characteristic for her to circumvent conversational shrubbery. I bite down hard into my hoagie. She follows suit. We sit silent for a split second. Then it begins.

“I”m just saying. I’m glad what’s-his-face is giving you room now to meet the man-of-your-dreams.”

“Say what?” I’m puzzled. If memory serves me correctly, a few years back, I couldn’t get Robyn off my back about how my best bud and I were meant to be Plato’s picture perfect definition of soulmates.

“Emotional space.” Prompt replies are Robyn’s forte. “It’s prime relationship real estate. Own it. Stop letting what’s-his-face lease it with 0% APR.”

We both sip our teas in silence. Staring at the boats slide lazily across the Bay.

Online, huh?”


“Should I let what’s-his-face know?” My best bud balked the last time we spoke of my perusing internet dating. That particular conversation is partially to blame for the “[emotional] space between.”

“You’re no longer renting, hon.” I know this. “It’s time to buy.”

TRUTH about cats & dogs

“It’s a given that all men are dogs. What differentiates each guy is how much dog is in him.”

I barely settle into my side of the cab and my college buddy starts barking his version of conventional dating wisdom at me.

“I suggest you tap into me to discern the purebreds from the strays in your life and NOT that silly book by Steve Harvey.” Davis glances down at the three copies I’ve got carefully tucked in a clear plastic bag for my gal pals. He’s determined to squeeze in brunch by the Bay before heading back to Tulsa. “You know a good guy will come along when you least expect it, or are looking for it.”

It’s obvious he’s caught wind of my recent internet dating fiasco. I suspected as much when both he and the girls were quite insistent that we meet up on this not-so-sunny Sunday morning. I try to fill him in on my latest mismatch: Mr. Persistent-turned-less-Consistent.

“Well, that could be a sign, but it also could be something came up.” Davis runs his hand through his chin length hair. Looks at my expectant expression and pinches my nose before it can wrinkle. “You should never read too much into what men do, because, quite frankly, we don’t know what the hell we are doing in most cases.”

“It just throws me for a loop. I like it when guys do what they say they’ll do. I thought we had that. It’s what I liked the most about him.” So I thought. I am SUCH the SUCKER.

“The guys you select just don’t know real talent when they have it in their grasp.” He shakes his wavy locks. “It’s just a shame.”

“You’re being sweet because you’re my friend.” My mood matches the forecast. It doesn’t help that I’m not a morning person.

“No. I’m telling you because you’re missing the point. The one thing I do know is that the more you women like a man, the more they get all scared.”

“Who does?” Davis wags his finger between himself and the driver. The driver glances back at us through his rear view mirror, his eyes crinkle in agreement. He’s got great laugh lines. He’s also got on a ring. On his left hand. Guess he’s not one of the strays.

Davis rubs the steamy window with his elbow. He squints at the street signs up ahead. “Make yourself a little mysterious. We love a good mystery.”

Here we go again. “I don’t get it.”

“Look, you know I think you are the sweetest woman I have ever met. Just real thoughtful and nice. And I am a total prick.” Davis guffaws. Maybe that’s a mark of a real man in the Midwest. Someone not afraid to carry around, then empty out, belly fulls of laughter everywhere he goes.

“So if I see it, you know darn well those soft guys you like will notice it, too.” He laughs out loud again at the look of horror I can’t seem to squelch these days. “The old adage, ‘don’t mistake kindness for weakness’ perhaps.”

This time, I groan loudly. “I barely know how to flirt as it is. Now that I’ve sorta got that down, what next?”

“What you have to do is be interested, but not seem interested. It’s a fine line to walk, but be more cat-like than dog-like.”

“What’choo talkin’ ’bout Willis?” The rain’s pounding on the cab’s rooftop now, matching the rhythmic thudding of my heart.

“You ever notice how a dog runs up to you when you come home?” I nod. He smiles. Doesn’t skip a beat and continues: “But a cat. Oh my, a cat does not seek you out. A cat has to be found.”

The gentle drum of the rain onto the roof of our cab does nothing to drown out Ra Ra Riot’s refrain ringing in my head …my bed’s too big for just me… I shake my head. Hard.

“Be more like a cat.” Just for the record, I abhor cats. Of any kind. Maybe it’s because I’m deathly allergic. “You are sweet with a heart of gold, but not every guy needs to know that from the start. And, lastly, mix it up just a little bit. Maybe you need to be more selective. A lot more selective.” No kidding.

It’s my turn to stare out the window. It’s all fogged up. So is the story of my current dating situation. Gotta love it.

“Just don’t play your hand too fast is all.” Davis hands the driver a twenty and slips out of the cab. He opens his umbrella and holds out his hand towards me. “Quality women usually get quality men. It just does not happen on the time table you may have set for yourself.”


“So this guy points out all our differences on the date…” Eddie wants a full rundown on my latest-and-greatest dating adventure. I’m trying to convince him that this taking-it-slow mantra is just not working for me. It’s not my style. Right?

“Wait, this is your second date?” He’s got his big brother glare up and running.

I nod. “So he calls me and leaves a message saying he wants to chat. I thought he blew me off. I’m so confused.” I hate being petulant. Dammit. “I don’t understand guys at all. I really, REALLY don’t.”

“He’s playing you like a puppet and you’re letting him.” It’s my turn to glare. “Do not give him the satisfaction.”

“Yuck!” It’s not my salted caramel and Meyer lemon ice-cream combo on a cone that I’m talking about. “So he’s NOT interested in me, huh? Is that what guys do? So what do I do? I don’t want to make the same mistakes in the future with other guys.”

Eddie finishes ordering his blood-red orange sorbet with creme-fraiche ice-cream in a cup. “I don’t know about that.” He thrusts his remaining two bucks into the tip jar. “But if you keep doing what you’re doing. Yes.”

I blink rapidly. The sunbeams are bouncing off the bright yellow interior of the creamery. I close my eyes to soak in the warmth of the rays on my cheeks. The caramel mixed with lemon tastes a tad bit saltier than I remember it being.

With any other person, this lull would usually drag discomfort along with it. Not with Eddie. I listen to him tossing names of some of the newer, more eclectic bands that are performing in town with the soda jerk behind the counter.

I feel a gentle nudge on my back. Eddie’s propping the door with one foot and studying my lack of expression. I step into the bright sunlight and squint up at him. Too damn tall, I tell you. He pushes my sunglasses down from my head to the bridge of my nose. I readjust them with my index finger. We start walking towards 826 Valencia. His niece’s pirate-themed birthday party is in a couple of hours and we’ve been assigned to pick up a few choice items for the festivities.

“This is what you do.” He’s not letting me off the hook so easy. Whoever said silence was golden wasn’t kidding. Too bad I’m partial to platinum. “Cherish yourself. Hold yourself in the highest regard. Always keep in mind that not any guy can have you because you’re very selective.”

“Jessica says I’m way overthinking things. That I’ve got impossible standards and I end up sabotaging my dates with them.”

Eddie stops short. I slow down and turn to look at him. My salty and citrus concoction drips to the pavement. “Is this what this is all about!?!? You know, I hate having to say this, but she’s the last person on Earth I’d listen to when it comes to dating.”

I grimace. He’s not a fan. I forgot about that. Jessica’s got this knack for rubbing people the wrong way. She claims she’s socially awkward, but still has an amazing ability to score a gazillion dates without blinking an eyelash. Even the fake kind. It floors me. Eddie knows this.

“I know she’s your friend,” here it comes. “But those guys she attracts in droves? Not the kind of guys you want.”

“Correction. That you think are good enough for me.”

He grins. Widely. I’m learning. He’s a proud Papa again. “All I’m saying is that you should hold onto these things and you’ll attract the kind of guys that you want.”

I playfully punch his left arm. His sorbet starts to topple, but Eddie skillfully saves it with a flick of his wrist. Whoops. Close one.

“Hey, I can tell you what to say forever in every situation.” Gotta hand it to him, he’s got tunnel vision. It’s a guy thing. Can’t shake Eddie once he’s focused. “But if you see yourself the way I just described…all of it will naturally come from you. You won’t need my help.”

“Nonsense.” My nose is doing that wrinkly thing again. “And miss out on all this fun?”

I toss out the rest of my cone. Just not in the mood, really. It’s a sad state of affairs. Ice-cream is supposed to make everything better. So I’m led to believe. Eddie hands me his. I muster up a lopsided smile.

“Hey. None of that. Okay? You’ll learn so much from every encounter. Before you know it, you’ll be giving me advice.”

DITCH those who go DUTCH

“How was the date with [fill-in-the-blank]?”

I get quizzed by my buddies every other day now about the last guy I’ve kept myself from swapping spit with. They’re harassing me for this new road-to-dating-recovery I’ve chosen to take. No PROMISE of SEX. Just the POSSIBILITY of it. And, quite frankly, it’s driving me nuts!

Then again, getting back into the dating groove has made me realize a lot of dating faux pas that I’ve been making. More so than blunders I’ve observed my date(s) make. It’s both refreshing and depressing at the same time. So I’ll give you ONE example.*

*Let me preface what I’m about to divulge with this simple fact: I’m NOT a golddigger.


So, ladies and gentlemen, I will say this once. DITCH those who insist upon (OR even suggest) going DUTCH on a date. And girls, if he allows YOU to pay on the first date — cut that date SO short, he’ll hear skid marks for the next few months straight.

Look, I’m not a Stepford-wife-in-training. Nor do I expect a guy to shell out for every single meal, drink or activity. NO. It’s vital that a woman push to pay for an outing once in a while, though initially, I am a HUGE proponent for guys picking up the tab. I believe it says a lot and sets the tone for how the date(s) progress(es). Really. I do.

Why? It goes hand-in-hand with Zack Taylor’s PURSUIT THEORY. That’s why.

Chivalry is NOT dead. It’s bit the dust in some circles, which is a damn shame. That’s why I’m determined to rectify it. Even if it takes one-post-at-a-time. Guess Ne-Yo is partly to blame by setting the tone with his YEAR OF THE GENTLEMAN. Chivalrous acts needs to come back. With a vengeance.

Back to my initial point: it’s just plain dumb on a guy and/or gal’s part to split the bill. Especially on the first date. Unless you’re NOT planning on seeing that person again, DO NOT go DUTCH!

Guys? It’s not too much to ask for you to shell out for that quick getting-to-know-you meal. If you’re afraid the girl is going to rob you blind because she’s a “golddigger,” then pick out a place that’s not too pricey, but quaint enough for her to be charmed into spending more time with you. Let her do the purse-pull, but INSIST on paying.

I’ve heard guys bitch and moan about how they like girls who are more independent and can pay their own way. That’s bullshit. You’re just lazy. You’re lame. AND you’re cheapskates. I’ve said it.

Girls? Don’t waste your time on men like these. No matter how HOT. How CHARMING. How O-mazing in bed he could possibly be. IF he doesn’t want to let you know he appreciates you showing up, prettied up and ready to meet-and-greet for the next few hours — DUMP HIS ASS. Don’t waste your time, unless you want to keep questioning the next five weeks, months, years if this guy is really into you or not.

DUMP HIS ASS. Really, it’s THAT simple.

Guys? If she INSISTS on paying for the first date? Think about it. Is this little act of independence really what it is? Or is it setting the tone for plenty of power plays to come? Gauge how graciously your lady of interest accepts your display of appreciation for her time and effort. Yes. She’s worth it. Let her know she’s making you feel special just by being there. You won’t regret it. The kind of girl you want to keep on seeing is the one that makes you feel like a million bucks for picking her. At least, for that particular date.

the POSSIBILITY of sex

“So you’re really back in the game, huh?” Eddie pushes the last piece of the mulberry tart towards me with his fork. I shrug. We’re both killing some time by grabbing a bite before heading out to a singles’-slash-benefit event in the Mission. I nudge the last bite towards him. Eddie’s got an insatiable sweet tooth. I wouldn’t even think of depriving him of this last choice morsel. He grins widely. “Just for that, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.”

“What’s that?” I reach for my purse. Eddie playfully swats my wrist with one hand and slips a crisp ten-dollar bill under our dessert plate. He’s quick.

I wrinkle my nose, then stick out my tongue. We’ve known each other since grade school. I’m allowed. He wags his finger at me knowingly. Eyes crinkle, followed by his killer grin flashing perfect pearly-whites. “Do NOT ever forget that EVERY single thing a guy does is ultimately motivated by getting more sex or reproducing.”

I blink twice. Really. No kidding. I roll my eyeballs and start to collect my things. Pashmina. Purse. I’m always forgetting something. Eddie snatches the coat I’ve left by the window ledge. The book tucked in my coat sleeve tumbles to the floor. It’s Steve Harvey’s latest concoction ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. I grin sheepishly and try to grab it from him. “Funny you should say that, Ed.” I playfully punch his arm. “Steve says the same exact thing.”

Eddie’s got an iron grip. He flips open to the page I’ve bookmarked. “What’s this 90-day thing?”

“Kinda-sorta along the lines of what you’re saying.” I’m beet red. Eddie scans the chapter. “Hey, we’re going to be late.”

He doesn’t look up. I try not to fidget. I clear my throat. No response. Eddie’s still poring over the pages. “Actually, this guy is right. Never give up your ‘cookie’ right away. It’s your most precious gem.”

We lock gazes. I’m silent. Then I tap the back of my left wrist to indicate the time. He ignores the gesture and continues, “You definitely should save it for that special someone.”

I blush. Again. I’m pretty certain he’s poking fun at me. “You’re my own personal PSA.” Actually, more like one of those afterschool specials. What am I, thirteen? Eddie hands me the book. I stuff it in my purse. Time to switch gears. Sort of.

“Hey, thanks for heading to this singles’ shindig with me.”

“Sure. Anytime. Do you have your game plan down?”

“I have to have a game plan?”

“Of course.” He jabs the the crosswalk button with his fist. “You’ve been complaining about how you don’t want to be a buddy-collector anymore. You need a plan so that you don’t make the same mistakes.”

He’s right. Friendliness is both my biggest blessing and constant curse. I sigh. “What do you suggest?”

“Flirt.” Eddie stoops down to play with the labradoodle tied to the corner lamppost. He’s as much of a sucker for leggy-brunettes as he is for all of GOD’s four-legged friends. “Just a little. Learn how to use your eyes to flirt with a guy.”

I grimace. Flirting is not my forte. Especially not when I’m conscious of it. “And how do you suggest I do that?”

Eddie chuckles. The light turns green. He’s got a long, lazy gait that keeps me tottering in my four-inch CFM-heels just to keep up. “As you’re saying something funny, basically advertise the POSSIBILITY of sex and you’ll have many guys all over you.” He stops at the corner turns around to look at me and grins.

I reach his four strides in sixteen steps. Pathetic, I know. The cost of cute kills me. He gently grabs my elbow to avoid tripping over a nasty pothole, “But NEVER have sex with anyone quickly or easily.”

“Wait,” it’s my turn to push the button to cross to the other side of the intersection. “I’m confused. You tell me to flirt with the guy. Promise him SEX…”

“… the POSSIBILITY of sex.”

“Same thing.”

“Nope, it’s not.”

“So you’re telling me to be a tease.” I’m sure that my cheeks are fire-engine red at this point. Not so much from exertion.

“No, I’m just giving you advice on how to get guys to fawn over you.” We’re outside the venue now. He reaches for his wallet and motions for the bouncer to reject my attempt at paying. “Guys will bend over backwards if they think they have a chance… however slight.”

Eddie hands the coat-check girl our belongings. I slip the claim ticket into my purse and glance up at his six-foot-four frame. I quickly bat my eyelashes. He grins like a proud Papa and rumples my hair. “Ready?”


I’ve come to rely heavily on Depeche Mode’s take on GOD’s bizarre sense of humor — especially when it comes to my dating life. It’s been six months (give or take) since the scolding I got from Karen at the clinic for not practicing better cootie control. I cried abstinence, so I guess GOD decided it was high time I partake in taste-testing some crow by exploring what Mr. Ethical Slut coined as “camel sex.”

Sure, I’ve been dating. Just not seriously. I’m not ready to be serious. At least, that’s what I tell myself and all my busybody buddies.

Speaking of which, I recently stumbled upon a bizarre realization that all my engaged/married friends expect to live vicariously through me. Which is sad. As of late, I really haven’t got much to offer in terms of entertainment value. It hasn’t been pretty trying to explain what it means to have camel sex. Those dinner party points drop faster than Tiger scoring down by Pebble Beach.

Last weekend, one of my favorite married couples invited me over to meet the newest addition to their family. I absolutely LOVE kids, so I couldn’t wait to meet baby Noah. Little did I know that three other married couples (and their kids) felt the same exact way. Oh joy.*

*Look. I have NOTHING against happily married couples. I’m simply stoked when they start popping out kids. I really, truly LOVE babies. Just not when they poop. I can handle barf. I can’t stand poop.

Which brings me back to another thing I can’t stand: how SMUG couples get. It’s inevitable really. They can’t help themselves. I’m convinced of it. The moment your friends enter couple-hood, they conveniently forget what it’s like to have the “-itis.” As in SINGLE-itis.

Had I known I was going to get ambushed with FOUR sets of happily-married-couples, I would have been better prepared for the emotional onslaught to come. HELL, I would have printed and passed out copies of Potted Plant’s 7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Single Friends!

Alas, I was not clued in this time around. So I braced myself for the worst. If you’ve seen BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY — just imagine that dinner scene with all the couples. It promised to get THAT bad.

The funny thing is, I’m not writing this to bitch about married couples. I also want to point out that I’m not an instigator by nature. Nor am I a trouble-maker. I’m a peace-loving kind of gal. Just don’t EVER patronize me about my SINGLE-itis.

I state this because I’ve come up with the BEST way to deflect attention from my SINGLE-itis. I’m going to share it FREE OF CHARGE. All you have to do is ask all the happy couples to relay the “STORY OF US.” It’s quite comical to see how extremely squirmy the adults get. Especially those of the male gender. I mean, you’d think that after making us SINGLE folks watch those damn wedding videos delineating the time frame from which person A was born to meet person B — they’d have their story down pat.

NOPE. Not at ALL. No WONDER they have those damn videos.

Let’s just say, by the end of the evening, I quickly thanked GOD for the sense of humor only GOD has. To place me in a situation where I initially was dreading to quickly finding myself thanking each and every lucky star that I have SINGLE-itis. That I still have ample opportunities to connect-the-dots around town and find someone worthy of memorizing the “STORY OF US” the way it’s supposed to be. By heart.

NEXT time

“To be happy, drop the words if only and substitute instead the words next time.”

— S. Banton ( 1882-1966 ) American physician


NEXT TIME: I’ll make ample “heart”space for the man in my life.  Whatever way, shape or form he chooses to come in.  He won’t have to compete for my FULL attention.

NEXT TIME: I won’t struggle so much with my intuition and my gut instincts RE: reaching out and digging deeper within — when it comes to allowing him in.

NEXT TIME: I’ll know.  I won’t spend SO much time agonizing over PERFECT timing.  I also REFUSE to settle for less than AMAZING chemistry.

NEXT TIME: I’ll be ready.  I won’t be so wishy-washy.  I’ll dive with both feet in.  I’ll remember to shut the door behind me.  We won’t have any closets to clear out, or ghosts to chase away.

NEXT TIME: I want to breathe easier.  I’ll laugh often.  I promise to be much naughtier than nice, and free myself from institutional inhibitions.

NEXT TIME: I won’t depend on him to be my BEST FRIEND, but I will expect us to be there for one another when we need each other.

NEXT TIME: I will NOT pursue.  I will say NO.  I won’t measure him up to UNREALISTIC ideals.

NEXT TIME: I’ll love him for him, and I won’t fight so hard when it comes to allowing him to love me for me.  Changing one another is NOT an option.  Being and becoming the better partner for the other is.

NEXT TIME: will be much SOONER than later.

Dating Definition: a GUYS’ girl

Function: noun

Definition: A woman who ONLY hangs out with men, but is NOT a tomboy.  She may be able to chitchat with women who are in the vicinity (though she’ll stay somewhat aloof around them), but she chooses not to keep other females around.  She’ll seem cool because she”gets” the opposite gender, is a gamer, into comic books, wrestling with the guys or loves sports and action flicks.  A guys’ girl does NOT have a core group of great, solid friendships with other women who they can relate to or be kept accountable for their actions with.  Other women usually do NOT trust these kinds of women, especially around their significant others.


SMARTASS FRIEND: “She’s trouble.  I mean, she’s cool to hang with in a social setting, BUT she’s a guys’ girl — NOT a girls’ girl.”


SF: “You know, the kind of girl that will be the only female in a posse of guys.”

CG: “So… what’s wrong with that?”

SF: “There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you’re OK with her one day sleeping with your soon-to-be-former-best-friend OR bastard-of-a-roommate.  Then it hits you that she surrounds herself with men because she always needs attention FROM guys AND doesn’t have what it takes to make good solid female friends. Any girl worth her salt will spell it out to you: females who can’t hold a true friendship with another gal pal are T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

what FACEBOOK tells me

You’re an asshole.


Not so simple.

In fact, you’re an insecure narcisist with no less than 50 uploaded profile photos of your various pouts and poses to prove it.  You even catalogue your ex-girlfriends with captions below.  Sexy.

I never knew FB was a vehicle for name dropping, til I perused your profile.  So what if you’re some hotshot Hollywood hack!  Pitch me this: why the hell should we keep dating — since you spread your ego so thickly all over your page, there’s really no room for my space in your life?

You dress like the devil.  Literally.  Lots of red.  A little too much.  Santa gets away with being adorable in a little red suit.  You?  Not so much.  Though I get it: seduction’s not your strong suit. I also get that you’re all about the chase, NOT so hot on the finish.

You’re a friend poacher.  I’ve noticed you’ve already plunged into my picks and made plenty of them your own.  Without the vested time and interest of course.  Gee, how convenient for you.  And that’s only after meeting them on our psuedo-date # 2.  To you?  Friends = colleagues.  Everyone you know is someone you either worked with or worked up.  No sense of history.  Do real relationships elude you?


The ratio of females to males are raising both my eyebrows.  Especially the scantily clad ones.  And not just those of my gender.


Que mas, que mas, que mas?

You’re definitely amusing as fuck.  Your postings keep me rolling.  Not just the eyeballs.  I could do without the status updates, though.  What I now know of you that I wish I didn’t?  You have a VERY small bladder.  Which can only lead one to wonder…

BTW, if you’re going to date multiple girls at once, you may not want them to find out you double-booked via FB.  Seriously.  At least spread ’em out.  Girl # 1 gets added to your MySpace.  Girl # 2 to Friendster.  Girl # 3 to Klamour.  Girl # 4 to LinkedIn.  Girl # 5 to Hi5.  Girl # 6 (yours truly) to FB.

See?  I should be your personal dating consultant.  I’d watch you doggie-paddle for a bit.  Maybe I’d throw you a bone or two, before pulling the plug to keep you from drowning in dating drama.  It’s fun letting you think your suave and saavy.  Because, you’re not.

Why?  You leave NO room for mystery.  You’re cute in that hobbit kind of way, but there’s NOTHING that keeps me wanting to get to know you.




busting the BUDDY system

“Just so we’re clear, I’m not in the market for new guy friends.”  I try to make eye-contact.  I figure I’ve got nothing to hide, since my new motto is to live like I’ve got nothing to lose.  “We’re either dating OR we’re not.  There’s no friendship fallback at the end of this tunnel.”

“Huh?”  Grant shifts uneasily in his seat.  He spins his fork for the third time.  That reminds me, we’re on our third date.  Perfect timing.

“Look, I’ve got more than enough guy friends.”  Thirty-plus years worth to be exact.  “I’m not planning to pick up more platonic pals in the near or immediate future.”

Grant finally meets my gaze.  “Well, I like you a lot.  I love spending time with you.  If things don’t progress from here, I don’t want it to be over between us, because I really believe we’re meant to be friends.”  He picks up the fork, changes his mind and sets it down.  He reaches over and then switches the salt with the pepper shaker.

I wrinkle my nose.  I do that when I’m about to sneeze, or patronize.  “Not to belittle your belief system, but my hard-earned conviction still stands.”  I try to change.  It’s tough.

“So that’s it?”  Grant doesn’t sound surprised, though he knocks over the salt.  “Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”  He creates a tiny salt circle with his spoon.

“It’s a tough enough market out there as it is.”  I try not to grit my teeth.  Another bad habit of mine when I get antsy.  I wonder if I grind them in my sleep?  I push the menus closer to the edge of the table.  “I’m not just talking in terms of financial — the relational market is pretty cutthroat.  I’m hitting my thirties and not appreciating in value.  Substance seems to be falling short of the superficial more often than not.”

Grant sets his spoon down next to his circle of salt.  I’ve got his full attention now.  “You have lots of friends that are guys.  Actually, I’ve met quite a few of them.  They all care a LOT about you.”  He looks tired.  Or sad.

One thing I absolutely can’t stand, is being called out on my shit.  Good thing I’ve been rehearsing:  “Those guys are like family.  We’ve got history.  They made the cut.”

“What cut?” OK.  This part was not part of the practice runs.  The diner is playing Katie Herzig.  How appropriate:

…I’m in a love affair without a love song / I’m in the habit of having what I don’t want…

“Cut off point.” I don’t hesitate.  Duh, right?  It’s my turn to give the salt shaker a spin.  “After my last relationship, I realized I’m done investing in platonic relationships.  I’ve got the attention span of a hyper three-year-old.  Commitment to one’s significant other is enough of a challenge for me as it is.  I’m also in the process of weeding out my existing pool of platonic pals.”

“That’s not fair.”  Grant’s not pouty.  What’s worse, is he’s overly steady.  Other than spinning his utensils or petting condiments, he’s not easy to get a rise out of.  No fun.

“You’re right.”  It’s not.  I am fallible.  I get this.  What I don’t get is why this guy is making it SO difficult to shake him off.  “That’s why I’m certain that it’s not fair for me to have to be the fallback every time one of my guy friends’ ‘more-than-just-a-friend’ fails to meet his expectations mentally or emotionally.”

“So you’re saying…”  If we were characters in a comic book, I would draw a big baseball bat next to his light bulb.

“I’m saying I’m tired of being such-and-so’s GIRL FRIDAY.”  I’m pouty and DAMN proud of it.  “I’m no longer OK with the GAL PAL status.”

“Why be so black-and-white about it?”  The waitress brings our orders and Grant reaches over and nabs one of my curly fries.  I say nothing.  The waitress forgot the spicy brown mustard I asked for.  I think twice about pissing her off, since our drinks are still coming.

“I’m exhausted of fighting the WHAT IF factors of each and every opposite gender-based relationship I’ve got.”  Grant grabs another three curly fries and shoves them into his mouth.  He grabs the Heinz and proceeds to pound the 57 on the bottle next to my fries.  I try not to wince and scoot my chair to save my blouse from becoming a ketchup casualty.  “It’s time to up the ante for access.  I’m ready for membership status to the blocks of time I’ve still got for meaningful relationships.  I’m realizing I’m a worthy investment.  I’m no longer okay with being the emotional corner convenience store.”

“I still think we’re meant to be friends.”  Grant motions the waitress to come over.  There’s no more ketchup.  “I’ll still be here when you change your mind.”