Category Archives: Back peddling

Pregnant pause vs. the awkward silence

..sometimes a good idea...

I’m learning how to be comfortable with silence in conversation.  Traditionally, this goes against my natural chatty instincts, so it’s a work in progress for sure!

I began this lesson with my ex husband years ago.  My daughters and I actually often fondly refer to him as The Pauser.  He is the King of Pauses.  He knows how to utilize the effect a moment of silence can bring to many situations, as an employer, a father, a husband/bf, etc, etc…  He is so effective at this, that he doesn’t ever need to actually say words to make a person doubt themselves or start to worry and get paranoid…  even if the paranoia is about the phone signal (Umm…hello??? Are you still there?) or gets as awkward and disconcerting as frantic paranoia about the underlying thoughts in the conversation (OMG… ummm…WHAT???!  Did I just make an ass out of myself?  Did I just say the most ridiculous thing ever?  Is my foot in my mouth?  Umm….Why isn’t this man saying anything at ALL?).

Over years of dealing with the ex husband and his excessive pausing-business, I’ve realized how truly priceless it is in many situations and I almost envy his confidence and genius to both utilize this simple technique to his advantage and to just pull it off in general.  I mean, he is gooooooood at this!  In difficult or serious conversations, it’s unnerving to say the least.  In everyday casual conversations it’s frustrating and annoying.  But either way, I have to give him fat kudos for being a literal genius at this conversational method of staying one-up (or two or three “up”?) on his conversation partner of any given situation or moment. 

As a result, the man rarely needs to apologize or bother to explain his words (ever!), because he simply chooses them so carefully, it’s almost painful at times to be on the other end of these conversations and his “pauses”.  For the person who has just said something of utter importance (to them), the pauses feel like horrific awkward silences…that dreaded empty space you suddenly feel frantic to fill in to further explain, throw in comedic effect, plead for a response…whatever…anything will do; while to him, this is merely a very effective pregnant pause.  So you can gather how successful mastering this technique can be:  while he’s slowly and silently contemplating his every carefully chosen word, you tend to start babbling ridiculously, filling the space with chatter that offers even more information before he has yet responded at all! It is truly a brilliant conversational tactic in all situations and relationships for him.

I am not this person by nature though.  At all.  I’m a very open and expressive type, much to my frequent dismay in situations when I’ve said too much or said something easily misunderstood (yet again) or any of the bazillion faux pas that can arise from being extraordinarily open, chatty, and honest.  I’m training myself (via so much regular conversation with “the master”) though, to sit quietly through the pregnant pauses, see them for what they are, and not start nervously rambling.

However, I deal with this conversational silence master-mind on such a frequent (and frustrating) basis, that I no longer can adequately decipher the difference between a pregnant  pause and an out-n-out awkward silence.  I can appreciate the value of a moment of silence in a conversation and leave it at that.  I’m a ponder-er type, so pausing to reflect on either what has been said or what you’re about to say is, in theory, always a good idea. Awkward silences on the other hand are still dreadfully uncomfortable for me and I feel a responsibility to fill that space asap either to put the other person at ease (my strong southern breeding) or perhaps merely to put myself at ease…  Either…or…both…and…all of the above!  Thankfully, I’ve not had many cases in my entire life of “awkward silence”.    I’ve a number of natural tools in my conversation toolbox to either avoid this altogether or, at the least, work my way through it quickly and painlessly.  It’s just not something I’ve had to deal with much….for whatever reason…

Umm....soooooo..is it hot enough for ya?

Talking last night for the first time with Gabe, I discovered this phenomenon:  Lots of awkward silences!  How truly odd to experience this with a person whom I can write to with such total ease, at such length, and about so many different things!

Was this a “normal” first-time conversation thing?  Or was this a strange and difficult to decipher possible conversational “issue”?  When you add my chronic dealings with the master mind of intentional pregnant pauses to the mix of experiences with first conversations and dates and meeting new people in general, it’s truly hard for me to tell exactly what’s going on….  I certainly want to honor the prgnant pause types, but still don’t care much for the awkward silences…  Hmm..how to differentiate in these situations?

It was a delightful conversation with gabe for the most part and yet, I kept wondering if maybe I was ridiculous both for what I was saying and/or maybe  how I was saying it.  Yeah, I babble.  I do.  When getting to first know someone, I just don’t hold anything back really.  Well, I try to be in good taste and only discuss appropriate topics of course…  but I don’t carefully ponder my words;  I just talk… about Vegas weather, Vegas energy vibes, my love of peace frog stores, my fascination with the human psyche and the development of the conscience…and I ask questions..where did you grow up, what’s your family like, what are your thoughts and opinions on *this* or on *that* or whatever…and I always try to listen as much as I talk too.

I’m currently of the opinion that it’s often humor which stands smack-dab in the middle to differentiate between preganant pauses and awkward silences.

Ahhhh humor…..  Humor is often so difficult to convey or translate via the written word, yet rarely so difficult in verbal conversation with the added benefits of tone and inflection.  However, I arrive at three possibilities here regarding my conversation with Gabe: 1.  He just doesn’t share my (admittedly odd) sense of humor,  2.  He doesn’t “get” my humor, or 3.  He just doesn’t think anything I’ve said was funny, while I think it’s hysterical.  Or perhaps any combination of the three…?

It is the very definition of awkward when you tell a funny story and a person you don’t know that well anyway just sorta sits there in silence..  Ummm…again, we can blame cell phones for this: Hello?  Are you there?  And when we’ve determined that the signal is fine, then the silence from before and after this determination becomes excruciatingly awkward…  Ohhh…okay, so you heard me but I guess that just wasn’t funny to you…? Ummm… Okay…well…ummm…

But dammit, I'M laughing...or trying to...or was gong to....umm...guess not:-/

Then suddenly it’s no longer nearly as funny to me either….  Hmm……  oooohhhhh-kayyyy then…

This was definitely awkward and happened a few times. Seems that while emailing was a simple thing for Gabe and I, actual conversation was considerably more difficult… Ughh…   

Add to this,  that I shared a personal “experience” with Gabe that perhaps is not a gem of a situation from my distant past, but was merely in theory and therefore not actually any kind of issue past or present.  Not to mention, in my humble opinion it wasn’t some kind of dreaded confession of horror either… nothing all that horrifying overall and merely a conceptual thought at that.  Ohhh gosh, never mind..why am I being so mysterious about this?  It’s really not a big deal!  Here it is:

Once during my senior year in college, while newly married and struggling to catch up on my husband’s (now ex) difficult credit card bills, I contemplated

Yeah, yeah..I thought about it ....once!!

stripping (yeah, as in removing my clothes while dancing and accepting money for said effort) for a few months just to get the money to help pay off those bills which he was behind on when we married.  Yeah, I did

 I actually thought about it enough that I discussed this possibility with my husband.  Of course that idea was tossed out almost before I got the whole thing out of my mouth in a conversation with the husband, but I confess, I did truly and sincerely ponder doing this once.  I was pretty much laughing at this little confessional story…or starting to….  When I get the….DA-DA-DUMMMMMM…

Big fat silence.

Hmm…..ohhhhhhhkayyyyy…

Awwwwkwarrrrddd.

Zeppelin, HD1-2, and head-spinning madness

I’ve been enjoying a couple of kinda fun  email exchanges and text-servations this past week, in spite of all that other M-whatnot and whatnot…   

Zep: cool snowboarder/surfer dude, exactly my age who shares a love of Led Zeppelin and classic rock in general with me…  fun, cool conversations…appears attractive in his photos, has a child and seems to understand and share my priorities as well… Good stuff!  We are meeting tomorrow for some drinks and Zeppelin.  I’m actually a bit excited to see what he’s like in person!   

Not so sure about these two dudes...hmm...

HD dudes:  hmm…..?  I am emailing/texting with two HD motorcycle guys. (HD1 and HD2?)  Both seem pretty cool.  I get borderline vibes from one and semi-borderline vibes from the other, but quite honestly, I have to re-check their profiles out to remember which is which, as they are fairly similar and I’ve no plans to meet either yet.  Although the one that seems “better” (for whatever reason?!) has invited me several times on a ride.  I very much want to go soon, but haven’t been able to squeeze that in just yet.   

...back to just mystified...

  Two (or three?) OMGWTF moments:   

  M started texting me Friday night as I was leaving with kids for a festival.  Yada, yada, yada….another lengthy and frequently misunderstood communiqué with M via text (sighhhhhhh…) These are truly getting so redundant and lengthy that I don’t even want to bore anyone by posting them anymore.    

Summary:  M says he’s back home and having drinks at the pub and hopes I have a nice weekend.  I say good for you; wish I could join you.  He says I don’t wish I could because he is too “busy and defensive”…    

WTF?!

(GAWD that makes me mad!  Don’t isolate something and act like it stands in a vacuum void of everything else I took the time and patience to text and/or email!  It makes me feel like I’m wasting every moment even bothering to try to “discuss” something with him…ughh!)   

I reassure him I do wish that because I like him and that I feel confident he knows I do as well, so I’m not going to explain it all again in a freakin’ text.  OMG…   

He explains how all this travelling isn’t his “usual” schedule and how his daughter needs him a lot right now and he does need someone who understands that.   

Umm…okay…I understand that.  To a point….  And then, I merely understand that while I might be able and willing to deal well with those things, when we add the defense mechanisms and “proving” his whereabouts, and not having much time with him (for whatever the reason is), it’s just too much for me and doesn’t balance out in the big picture.   

But dammit… I like him.  Geesh…  Wtf?!     

So…since my car was left in his neck of the woods, I suggested we not have another text (OMG….I can’t/won’t do it anymore…ughh) session and instead I stop over to actually discuss all that can’t be conveyed via a freakin text-servation….  So, I did… and I stayed.  And we laughed and talked and just hung out innocently.  I told him about my Hoover Dam date and the sleeping pills. He was whiney that I’m dating other people while he gives me his every spare moment and hasn’t once seen anyone else since he started seeing me.  Yeah, shut the front door, I said…I do not want to hear it! Blah, blah, blah…   

Yeah..so it's not this...unfortunately!

  And dammit, I like him.  It’s not some hot and heavy passionate thing either, I just like being around him.  I’m almost wishing it was some crazy wild sexual attraction thing…I could understand and deal with that.   In fact, no sex at all has happened in a while….that part is just not really all that intriguing to me(and has created a whole separate phenomenon which I’ll share in another post someday).  Overall, although I like being around him a lot, I’m just not all that interested in the sexual aspect and M’s flirty and suggestive about sex, but doesn’t push it at all either; which I like about being with him too.   This, this whatever-the-hell-this-is, I just freakin do not know wtf is going on?!   

And then I left in the morning with him saying let’s go to a movie this afternoon.  (I said maybe but then later remembered I couldn’t…)  I smile for a while and feel pretty good about the M thing…whatever it is, it does make me smile sometimes!   

And after being home and away from him for a few hours of being away, I have only two chronic and troublesome thoughts:  1. DAYUMM, my ex boyfriends’ new “girlfriend” is one lucky chick…  And I kinda want to hate her for that…  but I just can’t…  sighhhhh…   

And 2.  WTF is M ‘s freakin deal anyway?  More importantly, does it even matter what I decide to do?  It just sort of seems to have a whole life of its own anyway.  Perhaps instead of making any choices, judgments, or decisions at all, I’m just better off to flow with the current, whatever that current is, whenever it flows…?  Hmmm…..   

Ohhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy  GAWWWDDD, as I was just finishing up typing this post (yesterday afternoon), M texted me some garbage about how he doesn’t know what he wants, but he doesn’t want a relationship right now or to waste my time and he hopes we can be friends!    

Photo via Johnny-Depp.org

...what M looks like in my mind now...truly MAD!

 OMFGOMFGOMFGOMFG    ….is this shit for REAL??? Well, the friends thing has clearly been decided because now this has become a game of epic proportion!  I was shocked and befuddled..WTF??!!  So I text back, ummmm…wow..this is the craziest, most childish game I’ve ever dealt with, I wonder if he has some bi-polar issues and I don’t  bother  with having “friends” who just flip my head around seemingly for the fun of it alone; there’s really no room for game playing in my friend-arena, I do not know WTF he is talking about, and I wish him the best, as this now is just too fucked up across the board.  

 Here is where it gets truly EPIC:  M texts back that he’s offended by this.  (Reiterates yet AGAIN that) he hasn’t been seeing anyone else since he met me, and that he just didn’t want to waste my time, but is sincerely offering me his friendship………  

 Umm….I really, REALLY hesitate to ever call anyone “crazy”.  Anyone who reads my blog knows my feelings about that overly used and mistaken label.  BUT, I really am starting to think it applies here!! M is one crazy fucker! 

  Seriously pal, REALLY?  YOU’RE fucking offended?  You pull all this random weird nonsensical crap and YOU’RE fucking offended??????  Umm, I learned that tactic in Psych 101 my freshman year of college pal.  Yeah, you’re offended…  So, I say, I’m not the one playing stupid games, you’ve no right to be offended in the slightest (you freak..no I didn’t actually call him that but I certainly implied it).  I say I don’t know why he keeps telling me he’s not seeing anyone else when I keep telling him that I AM dating other people.  In fact, I have a date for Sunday even…..but what does that have to do with anything?  WTF are you even talking about here pal?  You’re making zero sense and I’m to the point of not making any more excuses for his sporadic and strange behavioral whims anymore.  It’s. Just. Fucked. Up. And sadly, way too fucked up to carry on as friends now (which for GAWD’S sake is pretty much what we were doing anyway in my opinion…mostly).   

I mean NO KIDDING – WTF IS THIS SHIT ANYWAY?   (No I didn’t text that either, but you know, pretty much in so many words).  M actually texts me back “not to text him ever again”.   

ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDIN’ ME??!  HE IS TOTALLY FUCKED UP… And I’m so irritated at him by this crazy-ass point, that I text back ANYWAY (merely because he told me not to..and anyway at this point, I truly could just care less wtf this man wants, needs, or thinks about me or anything at all..hehe). I text, “No problem.  Your game.Your rules. You win.”

Bye-byeeeeee! 

But (forcing myself back to the important stuff here), I get to have drinks and Zeppelin with a new guy today!  Let’s just hope he’s even half as cool as he seems! Hell, after this ridiculous effed-up M-crap, as long as he doesn’t suffer from bi-polar schizophrenic disorder, there’s no way he can’t at least be a refreshing change from this amazingly disturbing, fucked-up garbage with M!   

Yes, I enjoy Whacking-the-Mole…

Wow..umm…M really surprised me last night..caught me off guard…rattled my cage….

I don't know this boy...but I envy him

I am smack-dab in the middle of a ton of suppressed dating worries…successfully keeping them just outta reach…  Those traditionally ridiculous thoughts and concerns that as a female, seem to be far too prominent and actually don’t mean anything at all, aside from excessive, ridiculous worries.  It starts with that strange feeling I get about M…those wonderings which have no real purpose or validity…those things which just annoy me that I’m even thinking about them, much less allowing any kind of worry to settle in…  It’s an absurd thought process and I’m annoyed with myself about them, so I refuse to allow them to get above the surface.  I play that Whack-A-Mole (Clobber- A-Hedgehog? Pound-the-Groundhog? ) carnival game with these.  The very moment they creep up even just a bit, I BASH them mercilessly over the head, knocking them back down into the “Ridiculous Thoughts I’m Not Even Going To Acknowledge” hole of oblivion…and I skip along my merry way onto the My Frog’s Gonna Kick Your Frog’s Ass (na-na-na-na-boo-boo)Water Races!

A few of these moles I’ve bashed since my lovely evening with M just this Friday past are: 

Why doesn’t he ask me on another date before the last one is over?  Why have I never gone out with him on a Saturday night (Saturday night has always been considered “date night” in my little part of the world)?  What in THE hell was he doing last Saturday night anyway?  Why am I thinking of these questions?   Why would they even matter?  Do I really care about the answers?  Or (and gawwwdd forbid!) do I just have to worry about something…all the time?

(I beg of you to bear with me through this, my ex husband has made my life a living hell recently and quite honestly, I’d rather think/worry about ANY thing except the nagging-like-a- dog-at-my-ankles sneaking suspicion that moving my family across the effin’ country was perhaps, NOT the right choice!?  UGH…boohoo…fear!…panic!…etc, etc. etc…)

So Saturday, I go on the dating site to look at M’s profile and see where I must have missed the “married and seeking” status, the former “serial killer” checkbox, or the “three-four-five-some’s are my favorite activity ever!” proclamation.  …or maybe it was just to peek through his photos again and get in tune with my inner psychic knowing?  …hell, I don’t know..whatever…I was on there to (double and triple) check him out, right?  And LO and BEHOLD:  

 
 

WTF?

His profile has been deleted! 

Yeah, that’s right.  DEEEEEEEEEE—LEEEEETEDDDDDDDD!

WTF?  Seriously?  Umm…what does that even mean?  Why did I come here to check this?  I don’t want this information right now.  I don’t want to think of these possibilities…umm…I can’t even imagine the possibilities…

Did his wife over in Paris/Russia/Indonesia discover his dating profile?  Did he meet his 5-girl harem quota? Am I considered #5?  Did he have a date tonight (it IS Saturday after all!) who qualified in every category he could hope for?  Did he find the perfect S&M dominatrix to kick his ass?  

What. The. Fuck.?? (yeah, I just typed the f-word out loud there…that’s what I LOVE about blogging best so far…didn’t you know…I can say the f-word without ever even having that word come out of my mouth!!  Yayyyy blogging!)

Hmm….no word from M Saturday or Sunday.  I’m okay with that.  I like my personal space…yeah, even on Saturday night. Yesterday around 5 PM I get this text from M:

M: Hi <Kay> if ur free Thursday maybe we can see a movie

Me(a few hours later): That sounds great!  What do u want 2c?

M:I’m open.  Whatever you want.

Me: Ur awesome.  I really wanna see Inception or The Other Guys… u can choose from those 2 if u want…

M: Inception

I don’t respond to this.  It’s already been decided at this point, right?  It’s perfect!  Embarrassing disclaimer insert: Not to mention, I’m dealing with ex-husband CRAP I haven’t had to deal with in 10 freakin’ years!  Know something I’ve prided my self on for years now? NO ex-husband drama…NONE.  So between you and me, I’m bawling here actually…and that’s  mixed up with just a bit of swearing under my breath in the shower to calm my sobbing- pissed- off-, frustrated-to-tears self down.  FYI: I’ll deny this to my death though, should you ever try to accuse me to my face.  Understood?  Good

Psh...NO..these aren't MINE!

M(a few hours later: thankfully after my “moment” and my soothing trying-to-get-back-to-my-happy-place-shower):  ok?

Me: Perfect

M: What ru up to?

Me: Just dealing w/stupid drama n kinda wishin I could just get drunk or run far away instead…oops is that tmi? What ru doing? Wanna sneak off n drink something stupid w/me later?(ohhh gawwwdd…did I really text that?  REALLY?)

M: I’m in bed.  What drama?

Me(back peddling/recovering/etc/etc): I’m kiddin.   The x is just actin stupid.  No big really. Just haven’t seen or dealt w/this n 10 years n I’m just outta practice.  Its all good.  How was ur day?

M:  tired.  Wish u were n bed w/me.   Night.

Me: me too. That would be so nice…but hoorayyyy 4 Thursday……night 🙂

M: Yes.  Miss you.

WHAT?  Re-check, re-read, rub eyes…….cough…cough…ponder my response in a mild state of panic…a nice panic w/ a bit of “awwww the little butterflies”….but also with some “WTF do I say to THAT?”  panic too.

Me: 🙂 🙂 🙂  (Ummm…was this response too obvious that I’m at a total loss here?)

Then, after a few minutes of thinking, gasping for air, and mind racing all over the damned place at the  speed of light and frantic disorientation…

Me (2nd recovery in one text-servation):  miss u2.  Sweet dreams.  

Looking forward to Thursday….  All discombobulated….  And  I just might make a voodoo doll out of whole wheat penne pasta of my ex-husband. 

Can you see the resemblance?

And then OVER boil it…I’m talking to mush here.  Yeah…..it’s floppy McFlopster all. the. way. for you pal…..yeah… I may not be crazy enough to boil your rabbit, but I’ll sure as HELL boil your noodle!

Accidentally, inadvertently, mistakenly…LOVE your toaster

It's not like a sexual thing...or anything...

Although it pained me for two reasons (1.  The outrageeeeeez accent and 2. M was back from Paris), I kept to my prior commitment and my overall “mission” and hung out with Word Man last evening.  You all were right, his accent sorta faded into the background after awhile…  Thank GAWWWD…I could not have handled an entire date with that mind-abrasion of an accent if it had not at least softened throughout the evening.

He offered me a choice prior to the date of dinner out or him cooking.  I chose dinner at his house.  I love to have someone cook for me! I am filled with gratitude and respect for any person who offers to cook for me.  I subscribe to the “ice water phenomenon” even.  What is it about someone else cooking or making a sandwich or even a  glass of ice water, that just tastes better (even if it really doesn’t) merely because someone else made it?   Post hot-n-heavy sex, my ex boyfriend always grabbed a glass of ice water for me and it never ceased to be the most deliciously refreshing glass of ice water I’d ever had.  I used to have the sneaking suspicion that everyone in the entire world must have better tasting water than I.  Until one day when he went into my kitchen after a rowdy romp and still delivered a most scrumptious glass of water, far more luscious that any I’d ever made for myself in that same kitchen, using that very same water supply.  It was then I realized that it wasn’t that I was permanently cursed with less tasty water than the rest of the world, but everything just tastes better when someone else makes it for you.  It could be Kraft mac n’ cheese, a PB&J, or Top Ramen noodles…it just tastes better!  So although I’m a far more terrific cook than he, Word-Man did rack big bonus points for offering to cook for me!  Thanks again,  WM!

…And we played games.  I love board games!  They are one of the greatest date activities ever! It covers any awkward silences, tosses around ample communication, sprinkled with tiny tidbits of get-to-know-you-better information, all mixed in with some vigorous competitive energy!  It doesn’t get any better than that for a healthy, productive, and informative first date…

Contradiction here is that I enjoyed the games, liked him enough as a person, got over the obnoxious accent for the most part, but felt zero – not a dash, not an iota, not inkling, not a speck – of chemistry.  Confound it… that damned chemistry anyway!  I’d venture that freakin’ thing is responsible for more problems in the whole dating thing than anything else.  Why can’t we have an inner switch inside so that when we’re having a terrific time…or even maybe not such a terrific time…but just hanging with a terrific person,  we could just choose to flip the switch?   How many dating problems across the world would be solved if chemistry wasn’t so damned elusive and  we could just turn it on for ourselves whenever we felt it should be there?  Or wished it were there?

Oh...your mother picked out these sheets? FLIP THE SWITCH!

Ummm you’re such a nice guy. Nothing.   My grandma would so approve.  Nothing. Ummm, my uncle might approve too?  Nope..nothing.  You have a million terrific qualities I adore and admire?  Nothing.  Hmm….okay…what did you say?  You’re a zillionaire and horribly generous?  Nothing.  You’ve won the Pulitzer?  Nothing.  Wait! ….the Nobel Peace Prize too???? Nothing….ahhh c’mon….there’s gotta be something there?  Nope, nothing…..flip the switch…ahhh……yes… okay……. AND you’re sexy too…I just gotta have you right here on the stairs, in the library…no, I’m not hungry because I must have you here on this very table right this freakin’ second! The museum? Yeah…  The movies?  Yup!  Your car?  Umm yeah, you’re so fabulously sexy, I want you there too!  I want you every where!

Oops…forgive me please, I got lost for a second there, fantasizing out loud because it wasn’t there for me with Mr. Wordmeister.  WTF?  He’s my kind of attractive, enjoys so many of the same things I do, cooked for me, made me laugh a few times, and…nothing.  Just nothing….

Who needs a date anyway?

Could it be that he talked incessantly of his mother?  It’s adorable that she decorated his entire house for him and changes the décor every now and then, right?  Actually, I could just be jealous; I’d like to have a mother who does that for me…  Could it be his overwhelming allergies to his cat and thus, his chronic nasal drip and nose- blowing?  Could it be that when he wasn’t talking about his mother decorating and redecorating his house, he was talking about how much he loves his cat?  How he explained in vivid detail that he gets mega-annoyed when dates don’t put the toilet lid down because he’s petrified his beloved cat will get curious and drown in the toilet? 

Ms. Snuggle-fluffy doesn't know how to swim!

 Awww but that shows his capacity for responsibility and devotion! Right?   It’s beautiful…ding, ding, ding, we have a match…I love cats too!  He told me how he loves sex…  Ding! Ding! Ding!I love sex too! Don’t worry, he safely explained how he draws the line at bestiality; that if he ever felt sexually attracted to Miss Snuggle-Fluffy, he’d do the right thing and proceed to cut “it” off with a kitchen knife….  That’s charmingly reassuring, rightIsn’t itNothing. I felt nothing…except of course, a strong and compelling desire that he not,  in any way, attempt any physical connection.

another theory on Ms. Snuggle-fluffy in the toilet-perhaps she wants WM to get a life?!

I’m not so sure you can even fully imagine my utter horror when as we sat at the dining table playing a game of Scrabble (Ding! Ding! Ding!  I love Scrabble too! ), my foot accidentally    inadvertently   mistakenly slid over his.  OMG….I didn’t want to YANK it back, as though I was just disgusted at touching him.  So I casually just moved it away, trying to be slow enough that my aversion to this kind of contact wouldn’t be too obvious…intentionally avoiding the knee-jerk reaction to snatch my  foot away from his as though I’d just brushed it up against an open flame. 

Big mistake. He totally misconstrued my attempt to be considerate of his feelings as a desire to play footsie!! GAWWD!  After my big-oopsie-footsie mistake, he kept rubbing my foot with his under the table… ever so slowly and gently…in a sexually charged invitation-like fashion. Umm… AWKWARD…  I didn’t want to encourage this, but hate to be rude.  After all, it wasn’t like he was rubbing MY Miss Snuggle-Fluffy or anything.  And were I attracted to him, I would have enjoyed a little bit o’ the footsie action.  But I wasn’t.  And I didn’t.  And he continued…and continued…and continued.  My only recourse was to not look him in the eye whenever he did this, in spite of the fact that I could feel his stare blazing on me,  begging me to look up and return his gaze.    So I just ignored every one of them.  I suddenly became very interested in organizing and reorganizing my rack of letters, talking to Miss Snuggle-Fluffy, randomly watching the television- commenting stupidly at whatever was there, and admiring his toaster with sheer fascination…anything I could think to do to avoid his gaze and politely ignore the footsie action he was desperately trying to get going.

My, my, my, that is a TRULY lovely toaster you have!

Flub number 2:  As he was walking me to my car, I was really hoping to avoid any kind of good night kiss.  Thinking I would make that clear easily by just giving him a quick smooch on the cheek as I jumped in my car.   No.   I timed it all wrong and accidentally inadvertently   (ahem) mistakenly got his NECK!  Yeah, it was brief enough (I hope) that he didn’t get the wrong idea of my intentions and feelings, but seriously?  How in the hell did I accidentally inadvertently mistakenly get his NECK?!  How does that even HAPPEN?  What unfair glitch in the universe did I stumble on to make two totally misleading, mistaken, and inadvertently sexually-oriented gestures such as these??  In one night?  With one date????!!??

I don’t know.  I probably never will.  …but I did…  And I was horrified!  Ohhhh stars…why didn’t I just go with M?

Dating etiquette, morals or TMI?

I was raised in very, strict “proper-like” southern values fashion.  We don’t cut more than one bite of our meat at a time, always offer refreshments to visitors (sweet tea y’all?), never swear in public or mixed company (if one simply must swear at all), and always follow up every even mildly unkind remark with, well bless his/her heart.  I’m typically a die-hard for values and manners; these were literally ingrained in the very fiber of my being.  My first “grown-up” book was even Amy Vanderbilt’s (oh so antiquated even then) Complete Book of Manners. No, I’m not kidding either.  In my home growing up, we behaved every day like it was a genteel dinner party of sorts.  There simply was no appropriate time to relax on manners….and no excuse for poor manners.  In hind sight, it was all rather ridiculous.  However, Momma did an effective job of pounding them in.  I’ll tell you, the first time a boyfriend in college passed gas in front of me and actually laughed, I was appalled and broke up with him very shortly thereafter. 

Our family Bible

While I don’t enforce these strict and archaic rules in my home today with my children..at least not the horribly ridiculous ones… I definitely still abide for the most part by the “rules” and have taught my daughters accordingly.  As a parent, I realized one very challenging concept to effectively demonstrate is the importance of maintaining good manners while also maintaining our moral obligation to be honest.  As in, “yes, it’s okay that you don’t like Sally’s new haircut, but you don’t so much need to be totally honest about that even if she asks you”.  Or, “At dinner tonight, I don’t care how much you dislike carrots in your spaghetti or whatever, don’t you dare say that, even if Mrs. Smith asks you!”  As toddlers, manners and honesty were a challenging balance to teach my children.  It’s a slippery slope teaching the delicate balance among etiquette, morals and TMI! 

And I now, with my recent re-entrance into the dating world,  find myself in a similar conundrum.  Stars alive, I don’t know appropriate dating etiquette…or how to balance my commitment to honesty along with Amy V.’s 1950 or 60’s-something complete etiquette guide (which is otherwise Cliff-Noted in bold type directly in the deep recesses of my brain).  I’ve already told one little white lie to my father-figure date and he was so gracious and flattering to me in return for my “honesty” that I felt like a real POS. 

As I realize yesterday that I’ve double-committed myself with Word-Man and M, I’m wishing I had Ms.  Vanderbilt’s great-great-granddaughter’s number in my phone, so I could have a reference for this type of situation.  Yes, Word-Man’s accent annoyed the living bejeezus  outta me, but I’ve committed to meeting him in person and I feel compelled to keep that commitment, even if I get a splitting headache a half hour into it and have to exit early.  And M…I like him…and I agreed on Monday to give him my one free night this week upon his return from Paris.  My mind starts racing with excuses the moment I realize my inconsiderate error.  Technically, I made the date with Word first, so he gets first consideration.  

I text M that I’ve made a mistake, forgotten something, and I won’t be able to meet him Thursday or Friday..to be straight, I don’t know why I included both days in there.  Actually, it gets a tad confusing…  At any rate, my stumbling about to balance this error politely and with consideration (I opted for mere vagueness) got a little more challenging when after some text-servation, he politely asks me why I’m not available Thursday or Friday as I previously agreed. 

I know I don’t owe him an explanation.  However, I would probably want to know too if the situation were reversed, so NUNYA isn’t appropriate.  I want to balance the fact that I like him (by far the best at this point) without inflating his ego, want to be honest (that’s my policy) and yet don’t want to come across as some kind of serial dater, as in implying “Hey Mr. M,  no matter how much I like you, I’m going to continue to go on 4-5 dates per week and work getting to know you better around those”. 

I’ve never been comfortable dating several people at once..  I’m not dishonest enough and I’m not practiced even in the art of vagueness enough to pull those kind of amazing circus feats off.  I’ve always been a steady one-guy-dater-girl.  Yes, to my chagrin, always.  And I suppose this kind of balancing act (we all know from the experience with Mr. Favorite just how great my balance randomly isn’t) is precisely why I’ve always just dated one person at a time. 

I opted to tell him the truth, keeping it as vague as possible and mixed in with just a smidgen of, “I kinda wish I hadn’t already committed to this”.  He handled it well….maybe too well? 

Did I do the right thing?  Well, okay, I know I did the right thing, but did I do the right thing?  After a few great dates together, do guys want to hear, “I have another date lined up”?  Would I have been better to have claimed I couldn’t get the night free after all, instead?  Or should I have gone full force with the vagueness and just said “…ummm…that’s really NUNYA”…?

Proof that Stumblers CAN text

Follow up on Mr. (sorta)Favorite…this texting sessions begins with his sweet check on me after our date and continues through all texting since, a period of 24 hours post-meeting:

Mr. F.:  did u make it home ok?

K:I did…was just pulling n garage when ur text came in..hadda pee..red bull makes me hafta pee!!  I think ima little tipsy…hehe:)  (totally TMI..seriously after watching me stumble around like LL on St. Pat’s Day (thx Miki for that one btw!!) did I really somehow think  he was interested on the effects Red bull has on my bladder??!?) 

Mr F.: well good thing u didn’t get pulled over then tipsy one

K: Sooooo good:):)  …glad ur home safely too!

K (sent next day):    Thx for meeting me last night…nothing was wrong w/my shoe btw…I think it was just clumsiness from takin allergy meds and then drinkin…gosh!

Mr. F: Really????  So it was the same leg/foot each time?

K: yup I really thought my shoe was torn or something..but nope..was just me…just that leg/foot..WEIRD…I’m not usually THAT clumsy…geesh..hehe…

Mr F:  Riiiiiiiiiiight…

K: LOL…I’m clumsy sometimes yup…but THAT clumsy?? Nahhh…not even *I* am THAT clumsy usually..or maybe..?  hmmm…. ??J

Awwww…he really is such a sweet guy and a great catch!!  I hope some precious, sweet girl who knows how to walk and act right, snatches him up soon into blissfully mutual happiness…  He’s just a true gem!

If I were him under these circumstances, no matter what he texted me, I would respond with “So have you learned to walk yet?” 

-Hey, what’s up today?

-So, have you learned to walk yet?

-how was your weekend?

-have u learned to walk yet?

-I’m fixing fajitas for dinner

-really?  U r amazing! …So have u learned to walk yet?