So first thing… if you want an amazing chili recipe. Go here: http://www.food.com/recipe/the-best-bowl-of-chili-ive-ever-had-178865.
It really is the best chili I’ve ever had. No joke. And you’re welcome. Also, if you’re dating anyone who happens to like chili… guaranteed to impress them with minimal effort. Oh this, yeah I slaved away all day. Really, not really. Ha.
So a few days after Joe walked away, I was chillin’ with my homie B… Feeling sad and dejected and heartbroken. Obvi there was wine involved. She suggested that I get right back on that horse named Tinder and just flirt with boys to distract. Nothing like a little harmless flirting and ego boost to help you forget an asshole. Amirite?! That’s always a grand idea. Of course, the second I signed back into my account, I saw that Joe was logged in too. Ugh. I guess he had already moved on. Again. You’re an effing asshole, Joe. So I was like alright, I’m gonna do this. Nothing really came of it that night, just a lot of laughs from ridiculous dudes with lots of bathroom selfies. There was the guy who looked like he went to Brooks Brothers or Banana, took constipated looking selfies in clothes that he did not own in the fitting room, and thought hey this is how I’m gonna get the ladies. He also tried to tell me he was a redneck who wore pink plaid shirts with white shorts. Anyway, no. I don’t know what guys think, when they decide, yes, these will be my profile pics. Done and Done. Genius. No dude, no chic is that dumb (well, maybe some are). Seriously… Stop it. So lots of laughs but I was definitely still feelin’ down. Next day as I am about to swear off Tinder all over again and accept my sad single status, someone messaged me. You know, it’s always exciting when you actually swipe right on someone (after swiping through about 38 big N-Os), and the app screen flashes, “It’s a Match!” It’s like getting picked for the Price is Right. Come on down! I actually say, “It’s a Match!!” out loud. I mean isn’t dating a fucking game show anyway? I picked Door Number 2. Shoulda went with the first door… or even the solo vacation cruise. Can I change my choice, Bob?
So anyway, this guy messages me with more than just, “Hey.” I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for a little more depth than ‘hey, sup’ … Mostly, just make me laugh and you’re in. Now I don’t mean tell me your everything in your opening message. That’s not normal. No one walks up to someone at the bar or on the street corner and says, “Hi, my name is Andrew, I’m a Virgo (psycho perfectionist. I’m on the cusp of Virgo/Libra, so takes one to know one), I love backpacking (I really only go once every 2 years to update my profile pic standing on some rock), training for IronMan (Lies…), I love to cook (I only know how to cook grilled cheese), watch football (I’m borderline obsessed but no big), drive a bad ass classic car (code for its in pieces in my garage and that’s how I spend all of my free time). It’s important that my special someone likes my family as much as I do (we’re roommates). I have an adorable Boston Terrior (named something cliche like Bella). I’m looking for someone to share my life with (once a week or less) and begin a family, settle down (oh I don’t actually like children). You have a beautiful smile (like every other girl I tell on this site), message me back if you want to get to know each other. Can’t wait to talk to you beautiful.” And copy, paste, repeat. Obvi my little interjections are in parentheses. But…. Slow. It. Down. There is a precious balance between witty and interesting, and being a creep, a liar, or just a straight up D … or sending D pics two messages into an innocent conversation… Which may I add, is pretty much sexual harassment/assault. If you can’t flash your dick in public without getting cited by the POLICE, what makes you think texting your dick to pop up onto my screen is okay? REALLY. I didn’t ask to see it up close and personal, so please God no, do not send unless i ask. And by the way, no one wants to see it all magnified with the camera flash on. So anyhooter, I don’t remember what this guy said, but I remember it actually made me truly laugh. He had my intrigue, for sure. So we proceeded to message fast and furious for about 4 days. Now I know what you’re thinking, what about Joe and your oh-woest-me broken Joe heart? Honestly, after we broke up, I really was going to just be single for the rest of 2016, do not pass go, do not collect $200, try again next year. Really. But I was like oh why the hell not, he seems nice, he’s funny, we have stuff in common, and I don’t have to take a ferry to see him. Alright sure, let’s meet. Honestly, I was looking for a distraction but my interest was definitely piqued with this guy and I wanted to see where it would go. I mean, when it comes to online dating, I feel like you have to meet about 14 weirdos until you finally meet one that doesn’t make you want to join the witness protection program.
So here I am a week post-Joe on a date with E. Our date went surprisingly well. We had our first kiss playing shuffleboard, which I proceeded to kick his ass on. Which by the way I never, ever win at anything requiring coordination, so I don’t care if I am gloating. We ended up hanging out almost every day for a week before I left on my camping trip. Yes, same camping trip that Joe bitched out on… I know the timing was close. Whatever. So the night before I left, E asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, but also said I wanted to make sure to take it slow. The hard thing with all of this is that here I am sad and still healing from what happened with Joe, and I have a shiny new boyfriend. I felt like a two sided coin. I didn’t know how to feel, moment to moment. I missed Joe a lot, and I remember missing E when I went camping. I actually was sad for a second when I texted E after camping for 4 days and he took a few minutes to respond. I was automatically thinking, it’s over. And then he surprised me with ‘hey beautiful.’ He makes me smile. I’m really not one of those girls, who has a new boyfriend every other week. I’ll fully admit I am a serial monogamist, but I am usually pretty single for months on end in between.
Things are progressing nicely with E. I had another 30-something birthday. Had a great birthday, best one in years. And he was there for all of it. He even met my parents. And they loved him. Finally a guy who wants to see me all the time, meet my friends and family, calls me his girlfriend.
I was starting to bury Joe in my mind. Then I had a little trip up in my step. E and I were out to brunch after an obvious sleepover. Hungover, yoga pants and sweatshirt, perfect for a Saturday morning to gorge ourselves and find some hair of the dog. Joe and E live in a pretty small town. But who runs into anyone you know, right? Right. So we went to brunch the morning after my birthday. We were just about finished, when I heard his voice. Joe’s voice. I turned and saw him but I can’t remember seeing his face or what really happened. I just know that all of a sudden, he was there. The waiter had seated him at the very next table, about 5 feet away. All I saw was that he blatantly turned the chair so his back was to us. I just remember my heart was pounding in my ears and everything just seemed to be shell shocked or under water. I told E we could go when the waitress came back with the check a few minutes later. He didn’t see the rush and then I had to tell him we really needed to go. I had to get out of there. Had to. The worst part, or maybe not because the alternative would have been pure awful, Joe was by himself. Out to Saturday brunch, table for one. And he saw E. Not that I have anything to hide, he ended things and I never cheated on him. He knows that. But things as he said were, “good.” Sure they were bittersweet now that it was over, but I felt like that we both knew what we had and it was still good. Now running into him a month after things ended, makes me feel like it’s all been tainted… Misunderstood. I told him how I felt about him… but him seeing me with someone else so quickly, made me feel as if maybe he now felt like I was full of shit and everything I said, wasn’t real. That it wasn’t good or real. And what do I care what he feels or thinks. At the end of the day, he walked away, he didn’t want me, I wasn’t the one, he did this. But somehow, it crushed me. I wanted him to know that I was going to be ok, but I didn’t want to rub it in his face while he dined by himself on a Saturday morning. I was at E’s the rest of the weekend and when I came home to get ready for work Monday morning, Joe had left another present on my doorstep. The stupid s’mores sticks. A blanket I hadn’t realized that he even had (from our horrible movie in the park night). And then a container full of our camping shit. The box itself had memories tied to it because he had ripped the handle off the container numerous times before finally breaking it… I had teased him and started calling him Baby Huey for it. So there was that. Then the citronella candle we had bought for camping. The sunblock, that actually I’m glad he gave back because that shit was expensive. Baby wipes from camping. And the leftover shower tokens from our campsite. It’s too coincidental to NOT think that he literally threw the rest of our memories in a box to say a big Fuck You to me. His reaction just makes me think maybe he regrets what he did… I know that’s on him and he has to live with his mistakes. I have to go with the facts, it’s over. And honestly, it’s all pointless speculation at this point. I still can’t help but wondering about him. Not that I miss him specifically. Well that’s a lie… It’s really that I miss what we had together. I know that is gone though. The Joe I wanted, doesn’t want me and I don’t think he’s even there anymore.
I’m sick in the head. Clearly.
It’s been almost a couple of months with E. I feel lucky to have met him. We have a great time together, he always makes me laugh. As B says, I’m uber enthusiastic about him. Clearly, I should be more enthusiastic. I know. I don’t know what it is. I’m still healing from the wake Joe left. Maybe because E doesn’t drive me batty and the chase isn’t there. Funny, because Joe said he needed the chase. I get it now. The one thing that haunts me, is I feel the void of Joe most, when I’m cuddled up next to E. It’s not the same, and I miss That Feeling. Even when Joe and I got back together the second time, and had our first sleepover again, that magic cuddly feeling was always there. But then I have to keep reminding myself, that maybe it was one-sided all along, that I was bat shit and he wasn’t, that i felt the cozy warm snuggles and he didn’t. He left. And maybe that cuddly feeling with E is there, but my guard is up so high that I can’t see over the wall yet. I know I need to let him in. Truly let him in. I like E a lot and I want to give it a fair chance. I’m not going to let Joe stand in my way. Or more realistically, I am going to try not to let Me stand in my own way. I tend to do that. It’s a defense mechanism for sure. But it’s easy with E, I get what I want from him as a boyfriend, I like doing things to make him happy. I get the good morning beautifuls and I’ve even become the couple who we bitter singles like to call, the same siders. Ya know, the couples who sit on the same side of the table at restaurants and are all kissy and cute in public. That’s what I’ve turned into. And that’s what Joe saw when he saw us out to brunch. Btw, nothing worse than running into your ex when they are dining by themselves at a place you used to go together to (okay only a couple of times…). I have never really done that stuff before as in same siding, or more specifically, dated someone who wanted to do that. Not that it’s a bad thing, at all. It’s sorta cute in the no-you-hang-up, no-you-hang-up way. I don’t know what’s holding me back. I think i’m just terrified of another one not working out. Or maybe I’m terrified that it will work out this time. I don’t effing know. Ha.