Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 0: Checkered Flag at the Staging Area

It's 3am. The hum of the dryer with its click of plastic along its walls is the only sound I hear - a welcome relief from the panic in my head, although tiny piles of things still sit beside me. I thought when I decided to become a vagabond in search of a new place to call home, that pairing down to nothing would be easy. But I was really effing wrong. I would accurately explain this but I'm both too tired and I think any comparison would be next to impossible - perhaps it's as simple as: I thought it would be white and it's black as night.
Tonight after packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking, packing more times than I can count over the past three months, and looking at the last of the crap I had to organize and decide what comes with me but feeling overwhelmed and pressured to be on the road early (to get to my sister's tomorrow by lunch), I broke down. Perhaps it is because I'm sick of little piles of stuff. Or perhaps that it's because I haven't had a moment to just relax and breath in a month. Today I spent time at my grandparents pool - it was relaxing - but I came back to chaos. And panic. Curtains my mother made to black out my car for the nights I sleep in it didn't fit right or the velcro didn't stick and that took hours to work out - a complete solution still in limbo.
It doesn't help that a lot of people seem to think this entire experience leading up to this should be all fun. Quitting your job? Fun. Wrong: Terrifying. All of my senses of securities are gone. Going on what sounds like a long vacation? Fun. Wrong: SO MUCH PREPARATION. Like today I'm still buying shit - in addition to the stupid effing packing - sitting by he pool I bought a orthopedic coccyx pillow.
How sexy is that? This trip just sounds so appealing right now, doesn't it? You want to come with me now, don't you? Well tough, because I just (nearly) finished packing the car and there's not room for another human.
(Re-)Packing the car tonight took about nine hours. I took a short break and ate dinner, but only got through half of it before I began to go over all the stuff I had yet to do . My car was barely packed (although if you count the number of times I took bags in and out of the car to rearrange and repack a bag and then repack it in the car, etc. then it was packed 10 fold). I put my plate down, covered it and plastic wrap and headed back to my little piles of things or bags of little things I grouped (and then didn't group) just trying to get the hell out of DC (with my poor little hatchback weighed down and packed to the brim).
Think about it this way: You know how when you move, you get 90% of it done and that last 10% just never seems to get finished and it's frustrating as all get out. But you get it done and whew, wonderful and you didn't even lose your mind. I have done this multiple times in the past few months - in addition to an enormous amount of other preparations. And tonight, it finally got to me.
My mother came down to tell me she was going to bed. Feeling entirely overwhelmed, I was sitting in the middle of piles of stuff sorting through nail polish - I was trying to narrow it down to three. "Is that something you really need to be doing right now," she asked.
"This is all I can handle. I don't want to do this anymore." What's that saying? When you can't handle a minute, handle a second - or something. I was cautiously moving in seconds, which in terms of things, meant tiny bottles of paint. But soon after, I fell apart. It had been a long time coming through these last few weeks of preparation. Thankfully, my mom helped me go through a bag and that little bit of help got me back on track. Four hours later, I finished packing the car. (How's sleep, World? I bet it feels good. I'm jealous!)
And now I look at it and wonder: Did I pack too much?
Probably. And I'm nearly tempted to remove even more stuff. But I shit you not, I have packed and unpacked two 42" x 25"D bags over three times now and I'm going to burn it all if I do it again. Whatever is in the car is going. Because as I listen to the hum and clicks of the dryer at 3am, I know this is my last night in my "staging" area - AKA my parents' house. After tonight, there is no more "home." No bed of my own. My creature comforts or simple hums of appliances are no more. And it's pretty terrifying - but honestly, if it means no more packing and purchasing and huge lists of to-do's, let's get on with it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Four Days

Window tint and short term health insurance and packing - oh my!

Had Dorothy chatted about more than three things, I probably would have added eating and garages and work. Everyone wants to take me out for meals this past week and say goodbye. It's nice, but I'm fairly certain I've gained about 10 pounds - although that will come in handy when I'm living off of eggs and quinoa - and avoided cutting more onions than a sous chef. (You know, tears? So far, I'm tear free.) On the frustrating side of things taking up time I don't have, the garage fucking up my car on repeat has been an infuriating journey. After trips and one to the dealership for diagnosis, I learned the idiots put my directional tires on the wrong sides of my car. Pisshats. It's still not fixed but I'm going to have the rear shocks changed in PA before I leave and my friend is going to pop in some new spark plugs so hopefully that makes my car/home a happier Betty. Because, as I have to continue to explain to them: This car is not just my car, it is going to be my house.

The past two weeks have truly been a fucking whirlwind. Trying to get everything done - including trying to wrap up and prep to leave work without leaving behind an un-fillable dent - has been insane. In fact, tomorrow is my last day. Coincidentally, it is the same exact date as when I began my job 8 years ago. Kind of crazy to think about. And as much as I thought I had been properly prepared both at work and at home, I don't think anything can really lend enough time to this kind of event.

It has been in this time that I have been called courageous more than I can count. And that I have realized the only difference between stupidity and courage is failure or success. I would be entirely full of self doubt if it weren't for the amazing people encouraging me along the way. I started this headstrong with an idea I thought was both brilliant and incredibly stupid and as the time to give up all senses of security neared and I began to question my decision, it was outside influences that pushed me into enough comfort to commit; to remind me why I thought to do this ridiculous thing in the first place.

Anywho, other items filling my shrinking time have been a dentist appointment: my cavity conveniently fell out two weeks before I lose insurance. Signing up for a short term health care plan:
Hopefully I never use it. Still going to yoga three times a week: Namaste, bitches. A dermatologist appointment: I don't want skin cancer, yo. Upgrading my AAA: I need those 100 miles of free towing. Tinting my car windows: We don't need people peeking into my house when I"m tryin to sleep n'shit (my mom's makin me Velco curtains too...sweet). I  began to pack: My room now looks like a disaster area:

And I think I may actually be done buying shit. THANK THE LBJ. I never thought I'd say I didn't want to buy stuff, but I'm tired of researching and buying things for this trip. It's a lot of damn things too. Look!

I also practice packed my car and posted a photo. From this I learned that people were even more shocked than I was that things fit where they fit in my head - and even better than how they fit in my head. However, the real test comes in just 4 days, when I load it all in and say goodbye to DC.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

12 Days & A Marked 20 Hours

Last week, a lot happened. For starters, I cut off all of my hair and donated it to Pantene Beautiful
Lengths. Five damn years in the making! (I really meant to have more updates than that, but I did it and that's all that really matters, right?) Anyway, that's unrelated aside from it being my last big calendar goal before vagabonding and the fact that I'll save money on shampoo and maybe I can wash my hair in Wal-Mart sinks now (until someone calls security on me, haha).

That same night Vanilla called me, after I hadn't seen him in a week, in part thanks to the butthole comment. I had been avoiding him and upset by my haircut (the photo is after the second cut to repair the tragedy it was at first; the guy got hella scissor happy), decided to pick up the phone and finally rip off the band-aid. At first I tried to ease into it with a "I just don't think we're compatible."

About 30 minutes worth of him saying he hasn't been himself, blaming work and stress and "I thought we were over the whole butthole thing already" and "I can be better, let me prove myself to you" I was getting warn.

"You are who you are and there's nothing wrong with that. You don't need to change yourself, you just need to find someone who is compatible with who you are." A valid point, I thought. He didn't think so and went on to tell me again he just worked to much and begged me to give him one more date to prove himself; that we just needed to do more fun things together like before. I prefaced my response by saying that you should be able to do nothing and still be happy to be with that person, but I would think about one more date. But let's be real: After the butthole comment, it was already done.

He ignored everything I was saying rambled on about how he just wants to make me happy. How I bring him out of his shell and he wants more of that from me. I told him I don't want to do that for anybody; I don't want to hold someone else's workload and if there's something he feels he needs to change about himself, he needs to figure out how to do that alone. He told me how interesting I am. I replied, "You're not."

I'm not sorry I said this but I'm sorry I had to say it. He wasn't listening and this came after he made the absurd request for me to name the thing I like about him least. After I scoffed, he said "Okay fine. Name the top three things you dislike about me most," as if my scoff was over the fact that I could just choose one, not that he has asked in the first place. What a weird fucking request. I finally got him off the phone by asking about this last relationship. When he told me it ended because he wanted it to and she didn't let him go easy, I asked him how he felt about that. He said "I wish she just would have respected what I wanted because it was really annoying." I simply replied with an emphatic OH.

"Why did you say 'oh' like that?"

"You told someone you dated that you didn't think you were compatible and you were upset because she didn't just respect your feelings and let you go?"

"Oh," he said, deflated "I hear what you're saying." Shortly after, we got off the phone, but it certainly wasn't the last of him. Following the phone call and into the next day, he continued to text me, first with a random selfie and then about the date he wanted to have. Eventually I responded, "I told you I would *think* about it. And you're not giving me room to think." What I really needed him to do in this time was lay low and realize I wasn't any special and that perhaps I was right and it is time for him to move on and not beg for another chance without someone who already explained their lack of interest. We'll see how that goes, as he's currently taken direction and given me the break I had requested for over an hour - and again via text.

On a better note, last week I was also gifted a DSLR to document my travels, which meant the world to me. I had been debating the cost since a lot of unexpected costs have arisen, with vaga preparation and car repairs (which, unfortunately means I am unable to meet my savings goal for the month - in fact, I end up in the negative). However, like magic, the camera I've been dreaming of for years appeared. (I have so many incoming pictures for you all now!!)

Most notably, the day after my hair and Vanilla, I quit my job! HUGE. A lot of shit in 20 hours. And I can't explain the anxiety that rushed through me as I made that no-turning-back conversation go from practice in my head to 100% real. There is NO turning back now. And my workplace has been extremely supportive; curious and excited, even. So that was nice; both a stress and relief at once, as I come to terms with losing all sense of security.

And this past weekend I entertained my 'farewell' party, prior to which, an *incredibly* generous gift was bestowed upon me. I was gifted an amazing amount from a dear friend. I was blown away; shaking, literally. In addition to other gifted cash, this brings my total up to: $2301.77 (as GoFundMe takes 7.9% plus 30 cents per each transaction). This money is so fucking important; without it I can do none of this. But, what continues to remain so surprising by setting up this account is that each gift feels like a nudge in the right direction: 100 people behind me cheering me on, wishing me the best and 'living through me'; "make me proud" said one fellow Imgurian (unrelated to GoFund) and I will try.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Surest Way to Kill a Lady Boner

Part of – the majority of – the curious case of Vanilla Robbins is that for the past four months, half the time I want to throw him out of a window and half the time I mostly enjoy is company – as banal as it may be. I was hanging out with my best Asian and Ginger last weekend when Ginger exclaimed, “I read your post and I’m so happy for you!”

"What?" I responded, fairly confused. I had no idea what she was talking about until she informed me about reading my latest blog. I tried to paint a fair and even portrait of Vanilla Bean, but what she seemed to read was that I was falling for him. Not the case. Although, to be fair, she may have just been hopeful he would be another man to keep me here like the Turk, because when we went to the basement a bit later to check out my camping supplies, she broke down realizing I was actually leaving this time. Sorry Ging, Vanilla Robbins will not be keeping me here because he mostly still drives me nuts. 

Case and point: Friday. After a fairly obnoxious back and forth about dinner and the fact that all I had to eat that day was grapes and that he picks the same fucking three places to ask me out to dinner to, he suggests I pick somewhere. I said mussels and gave three options (because I’m not paying, I don’t like to have final say). After texting me, “You seem mad” and “I’ll eat dinner with you but only if you’re pleasant,” we can say my hunger irritation hit a tip, but I keep my cool and he says he's on his way.

He comes over with a bottle of wine. Points for him! Only, nope, no points. He refuses to open the wine before we go out. With all the public transportation options, he wants to drive. I know what this means: this means we’re going to dinner and coming straight back.

Hi. Hello? (Semi)Reformed party girl here. DO NOT send me out on a weekend and not expect me to stay all night with vodka and dancing. 

When we returned from dinner – over which he complained for an hour about losing the password to his external hard drive – he took off his shoes and plopped down on my bed. “It’s 10:30p! Don’t you want to go shoot pool or something?” I asked.

“No, I’m old,” he responded, shifting his hands under his head, which was now laying on my pillows.

“Well, I’m not,” I shot back, irritated at the drag down. “And I don’t want to waste my life going to bed at 11pm on weekends!”

“Well,” he said in a baiting little huff, “I’m sorry that you think spending time with me is a waste of your life.”

“WHOA THERE, LADY BITS,” I exclaimed, agitated and wondering how men can accuse women of such melodramatics when this shit exists, “Don’t put words in my mouth!”

I should also point out that he has begun to leave things at my house. First, a contact case – because that doesn’t fit in his pocket? And now, a travel bottle of saline – because I wear contacts and have plenty of solution? Do people really do this: Leave a trail of their things to try to establish – I don’t know, a territory? Don’t do this, people.

After taking a shower and going out for an hour for a boring dinner and directly returning home, I relented the fight and laid in bed. I put on a movie I’d already seen and poked around on my phone a bit. That is, until he told me how rude it was. We weren’t talking. Or snogging. We weren’t even touching. And yet, he had decided that the movie needed my undivided attention. (Fast forward to Sunday and he’s on his computer while I’m at his house, to which I point out it is the same thing he told me was “rude” two days before.)

Now, let’s wake up on Saturday, shall we? Okay. 8am, which if you know anything about me is a ridiculous hour for me to be awake at, but considering I went to bed at fucking 11:30p, totally reasonable. Due to the fact that he bitched about my TV being on when he was trying to sleep before, I got up and left the room to watch TV while he was still in bed. I relocated to the living room with a cup of tea and early morning television. An hour later he texts: “Where are you?"

“The living room.” So, naturally, he gets up and comes out to the living room to say hello. Haha! I’m just kidding, no no, he texted me:


“Because I was done being in bed.” About 20 minutes later he ambles out grumpy and grumbling. He asks (for the 9th) time if I wanted to drive three hours to Busch Gardens that day, somehow expecting a different answer. When I said no, he begrudgingly informs me he would be going and meeting up with his brother and his brother’s kids there. Suddenly, it occurred to me that he had been asking to go to Busch Gardens for weeks as a way to hoodwink me into meeting his family. NOOOO THANKS, TRICKY BITS! A few minutes after that I get ready for yoga; put on my shoes.

“Are you leaving?” he asks.



“You know I go to yoga every Saturday at 10a. And you know where the damn door is!”

“That’s not the point,” he said, as the lady bits fell back out of his boxers.

“Oh my god,” I responded to myself, but loud enough for him to hear. “This is fucking ridiculous” I said as I slammed the door shut behind me.

Ginger was there when these came though;
she thought it hilarious enough to screenshot
While in yoga, he texted me to ask if I wanted to do something, because the traffic was too bad for Busch Gardens. This ‘relationship’ was getting seriously bi-polar, even for me. As a break from Vanilla, I met up with the Turk on Saturday night after he texted me for the third Saturday in a row (and I had spent the day drinking with Ginger and the Asian so maybe it seemed like a good idea). Out of curiosity and fodder, a friend and I went to meet up with him. I don’t know what I expected, but it was incredibly blah – and his hair looked terrible.  His friend was a dick and they left in the two seater they had, while the Turk, mildly torn at my solidarity (since my friend had stayed behind because she also disliked the Turk’s friend) gave me 38 dollars for a cab. 

For the record, I came back with 10 more dollars than I left with that night. Go me!

On my way home, Vanilla texted that he was at my favorite bar, and not to waste and outfit (see: recovering party girl above), I went there, demanding a bourbon ice be waiting. I ended up back at Vanilla’s house, but needed to get back in the morning. After a quick hook and sporting some free shades, a black mini skirt, a large man's shirt turned inside out, and heels in hand, I walked back into my house at Sunday AM, greeting my friend from the night before who was in my bed.

Later in the day, with nothing better to do, I headed back to his place. Laying on the couch, I was feeling a certain kind of way; asked if he wanted to make out. (Hello. Dudes. ALWAYS SAY YES.) He said no. So I took a nap. We woke up and went to dinner. Just after dinner was finished, he said, “I have to go to the bathroom again.”

“Stop announcing it!” I pleaded. Then I sat there for 15 minutes while he pooped and I stared, embarrassed at a paid check, contemplating leaving. This damn kid was seriously ALWAYS pooping and has absolutely no poop etiquette: any single will tell you, you wait to poop; hide it. It’s common damn courtesy. No romantic interest finds poop appealing, mk. So, I was going to head home after that, but he offered a back massage, which I’m never against (or so I thought). We went up to his place and I sat on the couch. Moments later he said the most unattractive thing a man has ever said to me:

“My butthole hurts,” he announced without prompt.

"Why would you tell me that?!" I questioned in mild horror. I'm usually all about overshare but this crossed a line I didn't even know I had. 

“It hurts because I pooped four times today.” And then he opened his legs and patted the couch before him like this was a good introduction to back massages and foreplay.

“No, I don’t want you to touch me now! Why would you tell me that?!” I replied as I pulled a blanket tight around me.

“Because I pooped four times today,” he said as he shifted uncomfortably on the couch.


An hour later I left, still horrified, and as he tried to kiss me goodbye, I couldn't.“I can’t kiss you; all I can think about is your butthole now.” I opened the door as he tried to figure out if I was serious and continued with, “Just so you know, the surest way to kill a lady boner is to talk about your asshole. Byyyyeee.” As I walked out and down the hall, hoping desperately now to not go back. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

30 Days.

I did end up signing up for a gofundme account, per the suggestion of my friend, which if there are any stranger readers out there, please feel more than free to contribute. i offer my gratitude in the form of virtual hugs. This is how I feel today, a FB update to my page-o-begging: 

I'm homeless in 30 days. Holy balls! I'm not going to lie and say I'm not anxious or apprehensive. I am. So far I have saved enough to cover 1.5 months of vagabonding. But I wouldn't be able to say that without the help of my amazing friends and family (and friends and family of friends) who have donated thus far. I honestly can't thank them enough. More than the money, it serves as an uplifting feeling of support (a virtual hug or high five, if you will) every time I get an email saying I got a new donation (no matter the denomination). Each time, a little stupid smile spreads across my face and my heart warms. That people believe in what I'm doing (or appreciate the notion) enough to take the time (and cash) to donate, means more than I can express. It helps me believe I can (and should) do this on the nights I lie in bed now, completely exhausted and enjoying all of my creature comforts, wondering if this trip is the right choice. Knowing that in days, soon nearing the single digits, I will be voluntarily giving up my comforts, home, and the security of a job in order to search for something I won't know until I find it. Thank you past (and hopefully future) supporters. THANK YOU so much.

The past few weeks packages of random items have been arriving to my house. (Don't judge the pink knife; it was $5 cheaper okay?) Deliveries including a case of butane - that's a normal, every day delivery, right? I took my last trip to my parents house with bins last weekend, filling as many nooks and crannies of my car as I could because I knew whatever doesn't fit next time with all my camp gear and life-out-of-a-car, was going in the garbage. And my nerves begin to rattle as I can no longer say "in a few months" or "next month". Tomorrow it is "this month." This month is the month where everything changes. Hold on to your mother fucking boots, self.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Curious Case of Vanilla Robbins

Post that ghosting dipshit, Walter, I returned to Tinder in late-March. The Single Dad was making his last pleas. I saw him so often that last we saw each other was the last week of February and last we spoke was just after I returned from Cozumel the end of April in a conversation that ended like this: 

Him: I really want to see you. You should skip yoga on Thursday so I can come over.
Me: Oh really? You should get a sitter on a day I don't have yoga.
Him: Yea, I can probably switch a day with his mom.
Me: Yea. Do that. 

I was very heart broken about our end and before the last lack of hurrah [sarcasm], I had been swiping on Tinder looking for a new hook-up/meal; nothing serious having just sworn off men thanks to Walter. (Now, here you have the choice to either judge me for saying it's nice a man pays for food or applaud me for being honest about it. Your choice.) A Tim Robbins-looking man I gave a courtesy swipe to - it's a rule of have to not swipe a man with a tribal tattoo or with a picture of a car and he had a photo with a car - messaged me. A few benign messages passed, including him talking about lifting. Sweet bro! My eye rolls were nearly audible. He asked for my number, then asked me out.

We met once before I went to Mexico. After putting off meeting a couple of times, one Sunday, mid-April, I woke up hungover and probably half drunk, rolled over to my phone and decided that would be a good day to finally go out with him after he asked for a couple of weeks. Exhausted, I said coffee would be good. I thought the date was going horribly - as I was dressed wretched and he wasn't saying much of anything - until he asked if I wanted to grab food. Of course I wanted food.

Now, I was fairly certain of my plan to leave the area by then and was not looking for anything involved thanks to my paradigm shift, and thus made little effort to sugar coat anything. Perhaps it was an experiment, perhaps I wanted to make sure this didn't go far so I could keep focus on me, so when he asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was bluntly honest: "happy and a mother." Still thinking men in their 30s are like they are in their 20's, I expected him to recoil. Instead, his eyes lit up and he asked how many kids. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck. I think he named our children right then and there. 

Fast forward to Mother's Day. (The day I learned the most interesting fact about him, which tells you how interesting he is: His mother was featured on an episode of Hoarders. Although, to be fair, that's pretty interesting.) Neither of us live near our mothers, so he asked if I wanted to go to dinner. And yes, I do, because I'm as poor as a South American banana farmer and trying desperately to save to become homeless. As we sit down to dinner, he says, "Happy Mother's Day."

I can't even imagine what kind of facial contortions I made, but he quickly added, "Like negative four years, right?" Apparently, I had been more honest than I recalled and said I wanted to have kids in four years when that conversation was happening on our first date. 

"Uhhhh," I grunted and paused, "more like seven," I lied, trying to get him to not see me as the mother of his children, then changed the subject (which lead to learning his most interesting fact). This wasn't the only time something like this happened. The following week, he put on a baseball cap and - slightly graying - I told him he looked like a middle-aged father of four. 

"I'm practicing," he quipped without laughing. Oh man. This was new territory for me and a fucked-up double standard that a man decides he's ready for a marriage and a family and he's 'mature', a woman: desperate. But I digress.

Immediately into us "dating," he started to invite himself to sleep over, even though I gave no indication that was okay aside from him sleeping on my couch on our second date because we went hiking for four hours and then he had claimed he had too many margaritas during a post-hike dinner to drive. The following day over lunch he deemed that "officially his longest date ever." (I must have a knack for this or something.)

A week or two later, he invited himself over for a movie and pizza after he called and I said I was at Redbox renting a movie. My response? "You can come over, but only if you leave when the movie is over." He agreed. Before he came over, he asked if I wanted to get pizza. "That's fine," I responded, assuming as an offer, he was paying and put my frozen Ellios back in the freezer. When he got there, he asked me to order it. (I need to be in this to save money, not spend it. I am not in a financial position to be my normal sort of kind.) So to make a point and encourage deattachement, I responded, "No. I'm not going to do that. I'm in a really selfish place and I don't like to do anything that doesn't serve me" as popped my Ellios in the oven, offering him one.

My freezer pizza not enough for his refined palette, he responded, totally coolly, "Okay, mind if I order it?" 


A couple of weeks later I let him sleep over again, but this time I had a caveat: "You have to keep your shirt on." The first few times he invited himself into my bed, he stripped down to nothing but boxers. His forwardness had forwardness, particularly for a guy that hadn't even gotten to second base yet. 'What a bro,' I thought, 'Presumptuous as his saucy texts of words he'd never say to me in person.' (Those stopped once I call him out on it.)

His immediate response to the shirt caveat was, "Are you serious?"  I was, I am. No one likes to sleep with their face in the crook of armpit hair - and he was really into cuddling. This conversation about him sleeping in a shirt went on for a good 40 minutes, about 64 are you serious's, and seven I'm leaving threats. It ended when I came back from brushing my teeth and he was laying on my bed in just boxers, smiling at me like the Cheshire Cat.

"I think its time for you to leave," I said tersely, yet surprisingly calm - considering I was, at this point, incredibly livid. To answer yet another are you serious, I reiterated all of my previous arguments: "You are at my house and not respecting my wishes. This is my bed and I want you to wear a shirt because it makes me comfortable. I don't have to give you a reason. My asking should be reason enough. This is incredibly disrespectful." 

In a huff, he put all his clothes back on to leave, waited for me to stop him, and when I didn't, he removed everything but his shirt and boxers, plopped down on the bed and grumbled: "I'm too tired to drive home." Ten minutes later, he rolled over and complained that I wasn't affectionate enough. This man was proving to be incredibly high maintenance. The next time he slept over, he kept on his shirt, but after texting an apology the following day for something benign I did (but felt I should take ownership of), he (for the second time) took at as an invitation to air his grievances against me. He complained that I slept with the television on (which I do for anxiety) and the contrast didn't work for him and I should turn the television off or try sleeping with the light on if the television is on because that's how he sleeps. 

"I sleep with the lights off, thank you," as I made note to never apologize again.

"Also, I really don't like sleeping in a shirt." Yep, definitely done apologizing ever.

My patience was wearing a bit thin as weeks went by. He'd ask me to hang out, I'd say okay. Or maybe I wouldn't and then he'd offer to buy food. Clever girl; he knew where to hit me. He was boring, but well enough. "Maybe he'll grow on you," my mom said in May when I told her about him. By June, to my surprise, she was becoming kind of right. He was milk toast and vanilla, but he was coming around to understanding he had to adapt to a partner, not change them. And I began to see that he wasn't a 'bro' like he tried to portray; he meant well. And he was putting up with my antics - whatever they were (still trying to make sure he got out of this unattached and unscathed). Still, I wasn't comfortable telling him I was leaving; it hardly seemed worth it to tell him. I was still had moments of wavering, plus, I didn't want another aggressive reaction like The Turk and his 'I'll make you fall in love with me so you can't leave approach' after I warned him last fall. All Robbins knew was that I was going on a camping trip of some sort, still skirting around his other inquiries.

I figured, I still had months to go so I had time for him to organically drift away before I left. I mean, nothing on Tinder lasts longer than three months anyway, right? Six months, tops. Then we hit July. He asked if I wanted to go with him on his family vacation to Nag's Head in September. 1. Family vacation?! and 2. September!! That's months away! Around that same time, he was at my house before we were heading somewhere and got a call from a friend to which he replied, "She's like three feet from me." Fuckity fuck, he's talking to his friends enough about me that they're asking where I am. That's when it got real.

Suddenly, I realized I was in trouble. What was supposed to be a summer Tinder fling for food and company (and a rooftop pool), turned into a man who tells his friends about me, wants me to not only meet his family, but go on vacation with them. And even more startling was the discovery that I really cared about hurting his feelings, as that was never my intention. I never thought it would get this far.

Sure, he's Vanilla, but he is nice. He is as exciting as his condo refinance being his animated topic of choice for weeks, but stable and structured. He was frustratingly set in his ways, but learned to be willing to adjust to meet my demanding comfort. (A helpful tip he can take to his next relationship.) Through this, he has made me understand that whole comfortable life thing. I get the appeal now of marrying for children and contentment: He would offer me the attention I crave, provide for the children I want, and give structure to my flailing limbs of a life I lead. But while there would be provision, there would not be passion, nor adventure. And that is not the kind of life I envision for myself right now; perhaps in five years, that would be more than appealing.

But for now, as time winds closer to September, I'm wracking my brain. I'm trying to figure out a good way to let down a man who is so infatuated that all of my tactics for not letting him get attached, where turned into endearing little quirks. A guy that grew on me a little more than I thought he would and, while he still drives me nuts sometimes, is an incredibly good sport about absorbing my wisecracks and putting up with my shit.

None of this is what I expected. It leaves me speechless to his spellbound. I'm out of tactics; frozen in half-truths and the potential to hurt someone. I'm unsure how to traverse the course from here, but I hope it turns out okay. It is a curious case indeed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I lied.

Correction: I spoke too soon. I apparently underestimated even my own draw.

He's like a cute, little, red-bearded boomerang gnome. The strangest (most amusing) part about this is definitely that he was so very adamant about, "I never go back," last September, when he asked how I was in a break up and I responded with: Kind of like this, but any man who has ever stopped dating me has always come back. And yet, here we are almost a year - and some imaginary friends - later.

Apparently, I like to very passively prove people wrong, as I have yet to initiate a conversation with him, but here we are again. And why haven't I just told him to piss off? You know this is just good of blogger fodder.