Mexico or Bust

My last blog entry, Swiping Right, was well over a year ago and had me leaving off that I would continue on with my on-line dating (probable disasters) and chronicle them.

That was my intention, but the assignment was exhausting. Even though I put my efforts into three different platforms, I weeded most potential suitors out with just a few interactions. It was like a non-paying full-time job! I did meet my new friend Kibbie (no nickname there) that we determined within the first few weeks of communicating due to our goals, wants and needs in addition to our locations, we just weren’t meant for a romantic or intimate relationship. That didn’t stop us from wanting to meet face-to-face still as we enjoyed our conversations so much…so we met halfway (about a 45 minute drive each) and hit it off…just as we thought we would. We still communicate and share our dating war stories to this day. We joke about a joint podcast…stay tuned!!!

There were a handful of dates that followed. One was Mr. MILF (yes, I am still nicknaming them)…we met very briefly for a drink. Although younger, he was attractive…but he lost interest in me after he realized he was using a Mom of one of my son’s baseball teammates as a “go-to” when he was “lonely”. He was getting ahead of himself, but he thought it would be weird if he attended a game with me and sitting in the bleachers with his FWB. If you don’t know what the acronyms are, google them.

I also went on a few dates with a guy I actually know organically! More than one date! We were familiar with one another through local restaurants and had a few nice dates, but my time was not as accessible as he would’ve liked, and I would get the silent treatment if wasn’t readily available. That’s not how it works in my world, Mr. Urban Tree. Again, we remain friends…just not THAT kind of friend!

So, it actually wasn’t ALL that bad…clearly I had made some friends. I had come away with a few more stories, albeit no fairytale endings. Having a ten year old who is into a variety of sports, well, it takes up most of my would-be free time through the spring and summer, so I put down my phone and ignored those apps. Mostly. I peaked in on them here and there and entertained the idea of swiping right…but all I did was practice my left-direction swiping and I hung up the idea until the Fall of meeting my AARP Prince Charming.

September had me reluctantly picking up my phone and re-activating my dating apps, except for one. I was actually banned from Tinder (insert hysterical laughter)! There were so many fake profiles it became utterly ridiculous…how many “engineers” located on “offshore oil rigs” can there be?? I called them out every time I got the “Good afternoon, gorgeous” from some supermodel-looking GQ-like male. Once responding to their “what do you do for a living” with ” I investigate fraudulent dating app profiles”, their profiles disappeared. Ultimately, after too many times of saying that…my profile was locked. So, Facebook Dating, Bumble and Hinge were my go-to choices (FYI, Facebook Dating ended up being very much like Tinder with more fake profiles than not).

I quickly connected with someone from Bumble and we chatted for a few weeks with great banter before we got a break in our schedules to actually meet up. It was a beautiful late summer/early fall day, so we decided to meet on a deck of a local restaurant. It was a little warmer than forecasted, so my little booties and jeans had me a bit warm, but I was glad I wore a light top. He was dressed in lightweight khaki shorts, a polo, and sandals (that he refused to keep on his feet). That didn’t keep him from being super warm though, as I was soon to find out. Upon greeting him, I thought he was pleasant enough looking, however, far more feminine-like than I would have imagined. Mainly in his mannerisms. And the way he crossed his legs. He was coming off a bit arrogant and overly confident. I passed on the second glass of wine and we were going to get the bill and be on our way. At some point in our conversation…he happened to tell me that he doesn’t wear underwear. I have to guess there was a segway to that conversation, but it escapes me now. I may not have even remembered that bit of information, but just after the waiter set down the check, it flew off the table. My date got up, barefooted, walked across the deck to grab it, and sat back down. Legs uncrossed. We laughed at the fact that we both noticed between his knees was a pool of sweat drastically marking his shorts where his legs were crossed. What he didn’t notice, that I did, was that he should wear underwear. A clear outline of his male genitals’ perspiration was staring at me from his crotch as he shifted. I had an internal struggle of whether to bring it to his attention, but I opted not to. And never did. I felt a bit deflated leaving the date as I had such high hopes of out of this world chemistry with him, and it fell flat.

Later on that evening, Mr. Sweaty Balls and I chatted and I asked him what his takeaway from our date was. His first response was that he didn’t like my boots. Ummm…okay? And he thought I was far heavier in person than my pictures depicted (all photos are current and I am open…and sensitive…about any weight gain, but still, my pics were accurate). “Bet you have those knee high riding boots, too…I like girls who wear Birkenstocks”. Well, yes, I did actually have a pair of those riding boots, in black and brown, currently being shipped to me! I hadn’t even had time to respond to him before all that was blurted out. I told Mr. Sweaty Balls that it was safe to say, things didn’t go as planned…and to have a nice life. He did reach out after with extreme apologies. He said he was on the defense thinking I didn’t like him, he said he didn’t know why he said that about my weight and that I was very attractive and wanted to know if I’d give it another try. Again, Mr. Sweaty Balls, have a nice life!!! (for the record…we did NOT remain friends).

And now, my finale. For this entry, anyway. I introduce to you, Mr. Mexico.

Where to start… OK, Facebook dating is where I believe it started (I questioned this because he deleted his profile almost immediately after we connected). Early Octoberish. Decent looking guy, local, the app showed a ton of mutual friends…let’s give this a whirl? We exchanged numbers and then our texting relationship began. Daily. All-daily. Morning, noon, and night. One of our first conversations had him talking about his upcoming trip to Mexico in January and that I should join him. I laughed it off and told him that I didn’t have a passport and he would have to choose another online date to join him.

Moving forward, it took us a few weeks to actually meet face-to-face due to schedules and family illnesses. We met for a drink (him water as he doesn’t drink alcohol usually) and a snack. It was a little awkward, but he seemed nice enough and we continued on with our texting. I was greeted nearly every morning with a “good morning beautiful”, “hey, sexy” or something of the like and always a “good night and sweet dreams”. Sometimes in the middle of the night when he woke up I would receive a random text as well. Selfies of him at work and so on. More hints that I should get my passport. I was clear that a vacation was not in my budget…especially so close to Christmas, never mind the passport issue. He assured me that everything was already paid for, and he’d buy the airline tickets (as a Christmas present) and even take care of the passport fees. No, but thank you.

Next date was to see the Bruins in Boston (second row…and as I recall, I was made aware with a giggle the price of the tickets…along with the price of his vehicle…and the price of the bed he bought his daughter…and his annual income…). I tried to do some fact checking on him, but even though he was tightly tied to the community (18 years at his job locally) and married last to a friend of mutual friends…no one could give me an actual “review”. He is related to friends of mine, but I didn’t feel comfortable prying there. He was connected and known enough that I knew he was safe, just not sure if he was boyfriend material. More talk about Mexico. More texting throughout the days and nights. More selfies and videos of everyday life and holiday parties. A few dates here and there…dinners, bowling, etc. There still wasn’t a whole lotta chemistry. I will be honest, at this stage of the game, I am used to someone that can’t keep their hands off me. Quite the contrary in this situation. It was foreign. But out of all my previous relationships, zero lasted. So, different isn’t necessarily bad, right?

Mid-November, after continuing to chat with me about Mexico and a passport…I figured I would go ahead and apply for the passport, it likely wouldn’t come in time for “Mexico” anyway, but I have been wanting to get one for years, maybe this was the push I needed! Lo and behold, the passport (that, yes, I funded) was issued in only a few weeks! Mid-December. He thought it was great! He asked if I could get the time off of work. I was able to. I chatted with the kids and they were on board for taking care of the littlest while I would be away. I was getting a constant stream of photos of the luxury rooms (suites all with two beds, thank you) and itineraries of the country music ‘fest that was the draw to Mexico. I was honest with how I was uncomfortable and nervous about traveling with someone I barely knew along with him paying for the whole thing. He very nicely explained that he was looking forward to an amazing time in a tropical place and wanted to share his vacation with me, and what better place to get to know each other. That was good enough for me. We continued to chat all the time. He came into my bartending gig a few times after he got out of work. There weren’t any fireworks…good or bad…and that was ok with me. I was questioning if there was enough depth to his being…but I thought we would figure that out as time went on.

A week after my passport came in he asked the information needed to book the flights, which I provided. I contemplated paying for them, but when he told me he booked 1st class round trip flights, I was like….ummm…definitely not in my budget. He walked me through downloading the two different airline apps so I could keep up with everything and get my boarding passes. He gave me the information for the resort and asked that I register myself there. It was official. I told the kids and even though I didn’t want to “blend families”, I was thinking it would probably be good that my older kids at least meet him before we go away in less than a month.

A few days later, I actually venmoed him for 1/2 the plane ticket fare so I felt like I was at least contributing a little at this point. That was the first shift I felt. Texts were a little less frequent right after and response time was lagging. I asked if he had a problem with me contributing. “Of course not, but I know you need the money for Christmas”. That was that.

The next day, which was midweek, he asked if I wanted to go up to North Conway and go Christmas shopping on Saturday and he rattled off all the outlets. Sure! (Weird a guy wants to shop, but okay!). Texts were back to usual and on Thursday he said that a snowstorm was coming that weekend. He offered to pick me up on Saturday instead of me driving north in the storm. He would be getting out of work close to my home, and would drive us together to his house before going to Conway. He lives 30 minutes north of here. “Maybe I will even kidnap you for the night”. I arranged my daughter to be home, just in case I was not able to be back for my little guy that night. Then, “would you like to go look at the model homes near my work before we head to North Conway Saturday?”. I joked that he was moving us in together already, but thought it would be fun. So, that was the plan.

Friday day was normal, but then I stopped hearing from him. Typically, I would get a message that work was over and he was headed home…then several messages once he was home. Silence. It was strange. No good morning text… I knew he would be at work at seven (because he messaged me every day before, during and after…) so I messaged a bit later to see if he was ok…eventually he responded that he was at work, but had a stomach bug. I suggested to alter plans for another night and that was agreed. I was bummed because Christmas shopping in North Conway for the first real snow of the season sounded a bit romantic (maybe we would finally find some romance!). Then later in the day he sends me screen shots of a communication with him and his 20ish year old daughter. She is saying she can go to Mexico now and asked for the dates.

“I guess she’s coming now, too LOL”.

“Will I be sharing a room with you and Wendy?” she asked.

“Yes”.

LOL?? Ummmm…what? I immediately message my bestie. I am thinking of telling him I don’t want to go. I was freaking out enough with not knowing him very well. I was hoping to learn more about him and maybe develop a romance. But now? This is just awkward. But, then I slow down…. I think, it may take some pressure off. I have met her and she is super sweet…and I would have a drinking buddy! So, after a few hours, it took me that long to digest the information, I joke about a family vacation to make light of it. I get very few messages and then another night of no contact. (I am now really trying to decipher what is going on).

Sunday…less than a week after plane tickets were purchased for me and registered at the resort…and we still haven’t seen each other to have had any falling outs or a chance to rub anyone the wrong way…all I hear is deafening silence. I message a few times asking if all is ok…I finally get a message in the evening that, “Sorry, I was watching football on my phone all day”….dipshit, then you saw my messages come in on your phone! I was at work and just asked if he was coming in as he usually does and I got “that’s the plan”. Ok, then. I can see him and see what is going on. About 20 minutes before closing time I get a message from him asking to put in a to-go order and he would be there soon. In hindsight, I think his intention was to chat with me that night about me not going to Mexico and then get out of Dodge, but chickened out. Why a to-go?? We chatted a bit and tentatively talked about heading to Newington together after work the next day (him asking if I had a sitter) to run a few holiday errands. It would be December 21st.

Monday…no “good morning” …no “I am at work”…no selfie…no “How’s your day, gorgeous?”… Evening falls and I am pissed because I have, yet again, secured a sitter, and I can’t even get a response to the few texts and calls I have made. I finally get a “I am out shopping with my daughter”. Ok. “Enjoy your time with your daughter, but we had tentative plans, what going on?”. Crickets.

Tuesday. More crickets. I am NOT happy…I have messaged a few times and I tried calling once with no response, leaving a message to please call me. Tuesday eve I messaged and bluff that I am going to head to his house (30 minutes away, not really going to) so we can talk face-to-face because “This is just weird, what is going on??”. He bites and says he’s shopping with his other daughter. And I flat out said just tell me what the “F” is going on.

“I am just not feeling romantic feelings with you and not sure I can get there…and with the added pressure of Mexico, I just don’t want to lead you on…I will return the money you sent me”.

WHAT??! I can’t even comprehend what is written before a “ding” goes off and there’s the money returned to my account (kudos for returning my out of pocket investment…and for the push to get my passport).

There still, to this day…despite a few attempts by me…has not been a conversation with him. Not even a text. I am still dumbfounded that someone who was so insistent, despite my reservations, ghosted me. I looked back at all the conversations for some clues and all I saw were “romantic” gestures and greetings. Messages inviting me to spend time with them and talk about looking forward seeing each other next. Within just a handful of days…with no warning…poof!

I am only left to guess what the situation was…I have given him several weeks to reach out to me to have an adult conversation, but there has been zero contact. Maybe he needed a travel buddy and once his daughter was able to go, I was not needed? I know in the past he has paid for others to join him on other excursions (friends and family)…but what a stinking weird experience!!!! Maybe another woman came into…or came back into the picture? Maybe it’s something I have not even thought of?

Thankfully, I was not completely emotionally invested with my heart. I was invested with my hopes and wishes that a vacation in a beautiful location would help us explore a more romantic side of things (It could have been anywhere, but how cool that is was in Cancun). I am more upset I lost a friend I thought I had and was talking to incessantly for a few months…nonstop…just dropped me like a bad habit and didn’t care to even give me the time of day about it! Ummm dude, I am a human here with feelings and deserve some sort of conversation about this whole thing??

Anyway, I was hoping writing about this would give me some clarity on this situation. I was wrong. I think it’s funny that the few people who knew that I was seeing this man regularly have asked what happened. I just have no explanation! One day he was here, then he wasn’t! I’ll just chalk it up to another nickname on my list. Bye Mr. Mexico!

Back to the apps…I promise the next entry is not another year away!

(Maybe it will be from far away, though, those plane tickets were non-refundable and non-transferrable, so he was out the cost he paid for them. Meaning, I have some decent credits to fly wherever I would like! After all that craziness, I guess it was a Merry Christmas to me!)

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Swiping Right

A month or so ago – a few months into my single status – I was evaluating my life and past relationships…as I often do. I am completely content with my family dynamic as is. And I want it to stay that way. I/we need it to stay that way. But I know that I like companionship. That is how I am wired.

I was reflecting on my “single life” back just after Brayden’s father passed (roughly 8 years ago). After about a year or so of healing, I started dating. On-line dating. It was a shit show. And that is putting it mildly. I was looking for people outside my circle and I was looking for love (insert eye-roll). Needless to say, I did not find it. What I did find was dates…and when I pluralize this, I am doing so meaning several different people. Not several dates with one person. With two exceptions. I think I made it to two or three dates with “Mr. Disney” (yes, I nicknamed them all). If you read this Mr. Disney, correct me if I am wrong about that number. He, long after our date(s), did end up moving down to Florida, getting a job at Disney World and proposed to his wife in front of Cinderella’s castle!!! I dubbed him properly…and that’s a little too Disney in a mate for my liking. I wish him the best! We are still friends. As I am with “The Hawaii Guy”. We actually made it to more than one or two dates…maybe five or so? I finally had to ask him to give me our first kiss goodbye on what would be our next-to-last date in the parking lot of the restaurant…as he was NEVER going to make the first move!! Why his nickname? On what would be our last date, he finally suggested that we do something other than just meet for a drink and a bite at a local restaurant after he got out out of work (finally, yay!!!). He lived in or around Manchester, I think, and it was about an hour long date each time before he headed home right after. He suggested maybe a walk, so we headed to Gonic Trails for a stroll. Which would leave him half way into the hike letting me know he had a work trip to Hawaii coming up and he had decided he was bringing his WIFE!!! Yes, wife. They were living separately for a long time, but never signed papers….and he felt guilty that in their nearly twenty years together he never took her on a nice vacation because he was too busy working. Nice time to be a good husband (insert another eye-roll). So, we spent the time walking out of the trails with me explaining to Mr. Hawaii that if there is room for a vacation with a wife in his life, there is no room for One Date Wendy. Yes, I earned my own nickname, too.

Then there was the Prius Guy, the Too Many Martinis Guy, the Comma Guy, the T-Rex Guy (mean…but his arms couldn’t reach around me for a hug…pre-covid…don’t fret). And countless others including ones that never even made it to the One Date because, gentleman, girls don’t want dick pics. Not this one anyway. (Sorry Mom and Dad…and kids…it happens).

Sooooo….. After some thinking and discussing with a few close to me recently, we thought…how fun would it be to go on some pre-determined disaster dates from an online connections…and write about them? I am not looking for love this time. Keep that L word away from me! I just wanted F. Fun, kids, get your heads outta the gutter….

First it was POF. Plenty of Fish. I crafted my clever little profile…found some pics of mine that were unfiltered…except one cartoonish pic I thought was cute…took a few “real” selfies and posted.

“Testing the water”

Me

Newly single

Looking for friendship and company for a date(s)

Four kids, all grown but one

Two dogs

Allergic to cats

Tries to be on time… I fail a lot

Always finds the silver lining

Has baggage

Tries to be healthy… I still fail a lot

I dish it out, and can take it

Independent… sometimes to a fault

My family is my everything

You

Not looking for a heavy relationship right now

Understands a single mom’s responsibilities 

Likes dogs

Are smart and well spoken, calm and kind

Respects and maintains your health

Can be respectfully sarcastic

Have your life on track and are independent 

Take care of and are involved with your children

Wendy via POF

Clearly the ratio of men to women is way off. I definitely had the upper hand. I have since learned that the actual ratio is 7-10:1 in my favor depending on the site! My inbox was flooded immediately. About a week later I expanded my quest for a dinner date and blog material to Tinder. Yes, I know the stigma of this app…but I made it clear in my profile (which I have since learned a lot don’t bother to read) that a “hook-up” was not my intent. The pool here is FAR better than that on POF…if anyone wants to know.

And an even better pool is that of Facebook. For those of you that don’t know, Facebook has a dating app connected to your page that will not introduce you to people on your friends list. It will, however, show mutual friends. You’re welcome.

All that being said, I have been on several dates this time around, from all platforms with a different mindset than years gone by. I am no longer disappointed on my way home (except once…I was pissed! But after a few apologies and days, I let it, and him, go). Sometimes it was nice, sometimes very nice, sometimes I was just amused. Please know that I am upfront with everyone that there is a fortress around my home and family. These are just dates for a a bite, drink and conversation…and a potential blog post. And, hopefully, some chemistry, so we can do it again. This time around there has been Short Stuff, Captain Quiet Time, the Local Contractor, the Married One….the Other Married One (You can’t make this shit up), and Ancient Greece. Not to mention a good amount of fun conversations that still linger on right now for a possible future meeting. Some I had to block. In doing this type of dating, you have to be open to the idea that you will meet all kinds of people. Most are respectful. Some are not. One conversation that was tough had the guy belittling me and my photos claiming I was misrepresenting myself (before even meeting me). He was criticizing my weight, my filters (which I had none )…crazy mo-fo…and when I think about it even now, it still rattles me a bit. He was so mean. I hate to think what would happen if he gets his hands on a lady with already low self-esteem…that will be a whole separate blog. I deleted and moved on…knowing some people are just assholes.

Moving forward, I believe I have decided, along with continuing this journey, I will do a more detailed account of each date…what led up to it and what actually transpired. This being encouraged by loved ones (who might want to refrain from reading!!). I would do this by individual blog posts…on another site…anonymously. So, that being said, if you see an account out there in the blogging world detailing these types of events…it might just be me…or not. You decide.

Thank you, my few people, that have been taking (and encouraging) this ride with me! Buckle up for more…

Clearing the Blog Fog…

us

I sit here with all sorts of thoughts running through my head (which if you know me…is pretty typical) and not sure what direction to go in for a blog. I just knew it was time to write.

I re-read my “about me” section this morning and over the past few weeks have visited some of my older posts. It’s fun (and a little scary) to look back and see where my head was at on those days and at those times. I’m glad I get to see my journey and growth through grief and dating dilemmas sprinkled with who I am at the core, a Mommy…with a passion for cooking.

I am happy to say (ok, more like ecstatic) that my dating is now not a dilemma…and my grief and pain is being lessened and eased. This man who was right under my nose has unexpectedly put his arms around me and made me feel, for the first time in my adult life, that I have someone to lean on. Lean on and not fall flat on my face. Safe. Effortlessly he is healing wounds that I thought were just a part of who I was and learned to just carry on with. There is no possible way I can fully describe how that feels.

Our relationship is still new. Filled with butterflies in the tummy and goodnight kisses that last hours.  Filled with laughter.  Lots of laughter.  Filled with learning what each other likes and dislikes, wants and needs. Funny, we spent the early weeks after our first tequila tainted kiss getting to know each other by texting question after question. We wanted to know everything about each other. How do you like your eggs? Steak? Coffee? Movie type? Beach or lake? Mayo or mustard? Hours and hours of this. I think we know more about each other than many people dating years.

Our relationship is also mature. We have been catapulted into squeezing as much as we can into the times that we have. Between chemo treatments and obvious side effects and looking at a date in September that is going to drastically change things for a time. We are left with a seriousness and a fast track in our bonding. Again, effortlessly. It’s allowing me to see how this sweetest and sincerest man I know can handle such adversity…and it’s pretty impressive. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the softness and strength that exists at the same time within the same person.

This September date coming up will be a Stem Cell Transplant. The Cure. Buh-bye Leukemia. I knew nothing about this procedure before…and it’s still something I am gathering information about as I go. I also realize that there are not a whole lot of blogs about it and what’s out there is a lot of medical mumbo-jumbo that an inexperienced person like me doesn’t fully understand (Wheels spinning… cancerdotcalm.com?). I am happy I will be joining him to the next big visits so I can understand a little better…both what he will go through and what to expect.

So, I guess where my blog was going is that I found a love I didn’t know existed in a man that already existed in my life. He is doing incredible things for me and has incredible things to go through. Our love story isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly okay (I’ll say this a million times).  He’s got this. We’ve got this.

The Beginning of a Love Story

28Life gaurdLifegaurd (Love) Shack, Short Sands, York, ME

I know with that headline in my blog…those reading are probably expecting a sarcastic little article here or think I am referring to one of my children.  However, (clearing my throat) I actually did meet a guy.  Well, technically, I have known him for years.  And technically again, I have met a lot of guys.  This guy, though, has not sent me running for the hills in a panic nor has he left me scratching my head wondering what the hell just happened as he darts off to a tropical location with his girlfriend and/or wife (Yes, two different guys, same experience…I never got to blog about. I assure you that both men were “unattached”, or so they said, when an interest was sparked). Anyway, back to the Love Story.

It’s only been a short time.  A very short time. But something’s different here.  And I mean different in the absolute best possible way imaginable.  And I also mean different in the absolute worst possible way imaginable.

Today he is in his hospital room at what we call the “Hotel” Mass General in Boston.  He and round three of chemo in one corner, Leukemia in the other.  He is fighting one hell of a fight.  The big “C” doesn’t stand a chance.

The beginning of our Love Story isn’t perfect, but that’s perfectly fine.  I am not sure if this is just going to be a summer romance that fizzles out, a love story turns horror story…or if it will be our Happily Ever After.  We both have broken roads that led us to where we are today…because of that we cherish every minute and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Pretty good combination if you ask me.

The following is a glimpse into the very Beginning of a Love Story.  Ours.