When it rains… (update)


In my effort to tell a fairly short, somewhat amusing story I left out a lot of important things and didn’t get into detail on others.  As such, I’m a little concerned that people are getting the wrong idea -which is mostly my fault since I’m the one trying to tell the story.  I think it was the tone, it was light and silly where I should have had more variance.

So, for a moment, lets back up to before Stephanie came to visit.

Oh yeah, my dog died.  My constant companion through thick and thin, my best bud, my awesome rescue buddy that definitely saved me more than I saved her.  It’s hard to describe the intensity of the grief and loneliness that I’ve been going through for months.  Not only that, my dog was an important part of my relationship with both Jane and Stephanie, though I don’t particularly want to go into that right now.

I still have a memorial on my kitchen counter, photos and toys and things.  You can imagine how Stephanie felt seeing the toys she’d bought, the conversations we had about the dog, etc.  It wasn’t easy.

The first night that Stephanie was here I 100% planned on sleeping on the couch and giving her the bed.  And that’s how we started out the night.

But here’s the thing with loneliness/depression (whatever mental stuff is going on), you can distract yourself all day but those five minutes before you fall asleep are the worst.  I was just staring at the ceiling of the living room, feeling so sad and alone… but there’s this other human being, who’s kind and understanding, not ten feet away in the bedroom.

I went into the bedroom to cuddle.  Seriously.  I couldn’t stand having someone that close and still feeling that alone.  And one thing led to another…

Like I said, I knew she was a bad candidate for FWB.  But I couldn’t help myself.  I couldn’t.  I kind of played it off like it was a guy thing in pt 1 but that was a small part of the equation.  I was trying for light and funny rather than depressing.

And hopefully that gives you all a better idea how all this happened.

When it rains… pt 2


(You can read part one here.  Quick summary: I slept with my best friend, Stephanie, while she was visiting, might have messed up that relationship.)

After I broke up with Stephanie last year I realized I wasn’t in a place for relationships.  Mentally, emotionally… with the impending move and everything, I just couldn’t do it.

But I didn’t want to be celibate either.

Enter Jane. Continue reading

When it rains… pt 1


So, I’m not entirely sure how it happened but in a few short weeks my life went from simple, easy, and predictable to something very different.

I’m really tempted at this point to copy and paste some of the text conversations to illustrate what’s going on… but I’m not sure anyone would believe me.  Without understanding the backstory and the ladies involved, I wouldn’t believe it either.

Let’s rewind a few weeks and lay it all out in order. Continue reading

Just Another Night


So, I have a bunch of stuff I should probably write about, I’ve even started several posts, but I just had an interesting experience and I want to write about it.

Tonight was my first philosophy class.  Woohoo, I know.  It’s really cool that I got back into school.  Anyway, the class didn’t start until late so I didn’t get back home until late.

I pulled into my parking spot about ten o’clock at night.  As I walked toward the apartment building I noticed that there was a light on in the car beside mine.  It wasn’t a big light, it was almost invisible from outside the car, it was one of the little ones for the back seat in a sedan, but it was definitely on.

Now, I don’t know where you grew up, so what I’m about to say might sound weird, but in my home town if you see something like that you make sure to say something about it.  Where I’m from, a dead car battery is, no shit, a life or death situation.  And with the cold temperatures, someone leaving their headlights on (or dome lights, or whatever) can kill a battery way faster than you might think.  Sometimes it only takes ten minutes and the car won’t start.

But where I live now it’s definitely not a life or death situation.

I hesitated, I’ll admit it.  It was late at night, I didn’t know those neighbors, and most modern cars have circuits that will turn off lights before the battery dies.

((A quick side note: the reason I don’t know these neighbors is because they’re renters that just moved in.  That unit has a really high turn over rate.))

I only hesitated for a moment though.

Now, nobody likes having a stranger show up on their doorstep after 10 o’clock at night.  I know that.  I also know what’s worse than having a stranger show up after 10 o’clock is having a big, strange, white dude with a shaved head and tattoos show up.  (What made it slightly easier for me was I’d just come from class and was dressed nicely, a polo shirt instead of my usual black T.)

Another relevant detail, while we live in a gated apartment complex the neighborhood outside gets pretty sketchy when the sun goes down.  We all lock our doors.

So, with all that in mind, I struck a pose as submissive and apologetic as I could and knocked on the neighbor’s door.  This is America, I assume everyone has a gun.  And, honestly, I’m one of the most easy going dudes you’ll ever meet but if I was home with my family and some stranger knocked on the door after 10 I’d be tempted to answer with gun behind my back.  So, as the person knocking, I want to try and put whoever answers the door to ease as quick as I can.

A very cautious, young, black woman answered.  Now, I knew that the reinforced screen door (“bad” neighborhood) was locked because I tried to open it so I could knock when I realized they didn’t have a door bell, so I wasn’t surprised when she opened the inner door but made no motion towards the outer door.  Smart woman.

From her body language I’m sure she was alone.

I quickly apologized for interrupting her evening and explained that there was a light on in her car.  She looked like she was still in shock over having a white dude on her porch, either that or she thought I was trying to pull something over on her, so I ended up explaining the car-light-battery thing a couple times.

It was a very quick conversation.  When I was sure she understood what I was talking about I said good night and turned to leave.

I was listening for it, she didn’t leave her apartment to check the car until I was halfway to my place.  She wasn’t going to step outside until she was sure I wasn’t anywhere near her door.  Smart girl.

Now, part of me found this whole thing totally ridiculous and at the same time totally justifiable.  It’s almost hard to explain.

I was trying to do this family a favor… but I was scared I might get shot for being a strange dude knocking at night… and she’s scared because there’s a strange dude knocking at night.  (The Luis C.K. joke comes to mind, “Men are the worst thing that ever happened to women.”)

For both of our safety we have to do this established dance.  I make sure I leave at least an arms length between me and the door so I’m not in their face immediately, keep my hands visible, communicate clearly and make no moves that might be taken as too assertive or aggressive.  For her part, keeping a locked door between me and her, making sure she didn’t leave any openings or vulnerabilities, waiting for me to leave before opening the door, etc.

I mean, those are the kinds of practical precautions that I would teach my son or daughter – for both sides of the situation.  I did what I could to keep a potentially tense situation from escalating, she answered the door but took practical precautions.  It makes sense.

And yet, at the same time, it’s really kind of ridiculous that a two second favor requires that dance.  It seems silly but I can’t think of an easy alternative.  Ridiculous but justifiable.

Just had to share.

 

Shitty day


I’ve been collecting thoughts about grief today, writing down all the crap I’ve been through in the last two weeks.  Eventually that will be a post, probably, but I need to write about today… well, today.

Losing Georgia was, and to a large degree still is, devastating.  She was such a huge part of my life, every part of it every day, her loss left a huge hole.  I was seriously a fucking mess for the first week.  There was the whole roller coaster of emotion, my head was a pit, I could hardly get through the days.

My ongoing mantra was: It’s okay to be sad, just don’t let it control you.  (I’ve had problems with alcohol and loss before, I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat those patterns.  And I haven’t.) Continue reading

Just a quick note to say…


This has been a horrible, shitty, no good, very bad, terrible week.  The worst week I’ve had in a long time.  I feel like I’m falling apart.

My dog died.

Seriously.

It was very sudden and totally unexpected… and completely devastating.  Super Dog has been the most important part of my day to day life since I adopted her from the Humane Society.  Best dog ever, I couldn’t have asked for a better girl.  She was there for me all day, every day, with a wag in her tail and a smile on her face for the last three years.  It’s barely been two days and I can’t even put into words what it feels like that she isn’t here anymore.

I’m going to write a long memorial post for her probably later this week.  I write, that’s how I process and remember the big stuff.  I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t up for reading it, I imagine I’ll be sobbing the whole time I’m writing it, but it’s going to happen.

R.I.P. Super Dog

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A Little Tease


This afternoon I was at a coffee shop with a friend.  It’s a weekly thing we do, just to get together.

This week, at the table next to us was a beautiful, older woman.  Where we were, in that area, right outside the college, there are always a ton of young, hot women around.   Granted, she was a bit older than the usual college crowd but nothing that far out of the ordinary.  Both me and the friend are single but that’s not why we go there, it’s just a convenient location, it does make for fun scenery though.

This woman was one of those almost ageless types.  The kind where you have to give a generous range when trying to guess an age.  I’d have to say, somewhere between mid-40’s and early-60’s.  Seriously, it could be anywhere in those two decades.  Mature but hot and in terrific shape.

So, I kept half an eye on her while she was there.  I try and go for “appreciative of a beautiful woman” and polite rather than “leering” but it’s hard to judge one’s own behavior.  PG on the outside, whatever NC17 stuff is going on inside my head.

About half an hour after she arrived she opened up some boxes she brought with her.  I thought maybe she’d just finished some shopping and was looking at her purchases but then she started setting things up.  Some speakers, a little projector, a laptop.

She had even less technical know-how than I have, so I ended up helping her.  All the while I wondered why anyone would be setting up speakers and a projector in the middle of a coffee shop, but I put that question aside while helping her find outlets and the right cords.

Best guess, this woman was a little younger than my mom, probably early to mid 50’s, blonde, leggy, and attractive as hell.  She was wearing this sun dress that clung to every curve, and she had some nice curves.

We chatted a little bit, she was really nice.  I was tempted to put some moves on until I found out what she was doing…

With permission from the owners, she was showing an educational film about the wonders of having child birth at home… and those of use in that area of the coffee shop were warned that the film was quite graphic…

In a coffee shop.  At four o’clock on a week day.

Yeah, that’s a quick libido killer.

Me and my friend made some quick goodbyes and beat feet out of there.

Too bad, I liked her.  There’s just no way I could sleep with a woman who goes around to coffee shops and shows movies like that.  Nothing against the movies themselves, or the ideas behind them, but that’s just too much for me.

Gimmicky BS


I wasn’t planning on writing anything tonight but I’m so pissed off and disappointed that I needed to get this out before bed.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here but I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead.  It’s literally the only show I watch on TV each week.  Or, at least it was.

**Spoilers ahead, kind of**

This last season has been a fucking circus of shitty writing, bad directing, and idiotic characters.

What drew me to the show in the first place was the quality of the writing.  They didn’t play to the lowest common denominator, it was dramatic but also thematic and smart.  You cared for the characters, which was why you tuned in every week to see what happened to them.  And the characters were consistent.  They might make dumb choices sometimes but they made sense in that moment.

But this season they traded all the quality and smarts for bigger explosions and gimmicks.  Rather than the plot being driven by necessity (as it has been for much of the story, based around surviving), it’s being carried by supposedly smart survivors making stupid decisions and getting themselves into deep shit.  Over and over.

(A couple examples real quick.  Rick outsmarts and traps the Terminus gang that’s stalking them a couple seasons ago, fucking clever and unexpected.  But this episode walks over and over into a massive trap set up by Negan?  Or Daryl being stupid and suddenly losing all his ninja skills in the woods, getting caught by Dwight… twice.  How many times have these ‘badass survivors’ been trapped or captured this season?)

As fans, we already care about the characters.  That’s why we watch and why the show has been #1 for so long.

So, why have the producers and writers stooped to idiocy and cheap tricks?  Because the writing has gone so far down hill.  Good writing hooks an audience into the story and the characters, no tricks needed.

It reminds me of Jurassic World, which is really fucking sad (wrote a scathing review here).  If you take away the dumb decisions and you don’t have a story then your writing is crap.  Anything else is just excuses.  Sorry Gimple and Kirkman, but your explanations on The Talking Dead rang hollow and LAME.

Shit was bad enough with Glenn’s “death”, leaving all of us hanging for a month without knowing what happened.  Blatant emotional manipulation, intentionally bad camera angles and a poor explanation.

But this?  The end of this season?  This is fucking bullshit.  It’s gimmicky, cheap, manipulative bullshit.  There were two soft, fluffy, wussy episodes leading up to… what?  A mystery ending that won’t be resolving for six fucking months?  We deserve better.  This is not the show that most of us fell in love with.  They took a quality show with good writing, good ratings and reduced it some soap opera style, cliffhanger, #WhoIsIt bullshit.

If some other show did this than they’d have a massive, furious audience that would be leaving in droves, but because this show is already a behemoth they’ll probably get away with it.  That’s sad.  I really hope that enough fans are pissed that this cheap shit will stop… but it probably won’t.  Just like Jurassic World.

If this is what we have to look ‘forward’ to in Season 7 then I’m done.  There’s enough crappy programming on TV already, I don’t need this.  I never thought I would say it about TWD, but it’s rapidly joining the ranks of average, shitty shows… that I don’t watch.  It’s saddening, depressing and frustrating to see something so loved fall so far.

Conversations to avoid with your FWB


Just in case you were wondering, yesterday’s post was an April Fools joke.  Though apparently “I’m voting for he-who-shall-not-be-named” was a popular one yesterday, and you all know me too well, because I didn’t get any freaked out responses.

I mean, c’mon, I won’t even name the guy here because he doesn’t need any more free publicity.  He’s either he-who-shall-not-be-named or maybe-anti-christ, which is a little ironic because so much of the Republican base is composed of fundamentalists.

The only reason I bring this up, other than to point out yesterday’s joke, is to talk about conversations you should avoid with your FWB.  Or, in my case, ex-FWB.

Jane and I have maintained the friendship part of our FWB arrangement even though we stopped having the benefits.

What’s kind of amusing though, is how little we know sometimes about the people we have casual relationships with.  I mean, I thought I knew her pretty well, but when the conversation turned to politics last week I was in for a surprise.

He-who-shall-not-be-named was in the headlines for some of his usual ridiculousness.  I made a joke at his expense.

Her response?  “Yeah, but he’s still better than the other options.”

I did the whole comical double take, mouth hanging open.  Whaaaaaa?  Are you kidding me?

To clarify a little bit on why I was shocked; Jane is a minority, she’s young, she’s educated, she’s very open minded in certain areas.  In my mind, none of those things are associated with you know who’s supporters.  However, she’s also religious.  Now, I’d never really thought about her faith in any serious terms because, well, we were very kinky FWBs for a while, she’s divorced, and she doesn’t really talk about her Church.  But apparently, it plays a much larger role than I suspected.

The conversation went on for a while and her argument boiled down to “Well, who else is there?”  And, to a small degree, I can empathize with her situation.  I mean, I have a hard time imagining ever being a Republican, but if I was I’d be pretty f***ing disappointed with the current options too.

Cruz is a a sniveling little, back stabbing, lying, greasy wannabe who’ll do and say whatever it takes to get ahead, no matter how despicable.  If you google “most hated man in washington” the first page is all articles about Cruz.  And that’s what his contemporaries have to say about him.  You think he’s going to be able to convince all those same people to vote for anything he proposes if, god forbid, he becomes the leader of the free world?  How is he going to get anything done?  And even if he does, he’s so fundamentalist his ideas are terrifying.

Kasich seems like a mostly reasonable dude but nobody thinks he’s got a chance in hell.  Bush or Rubio would have been half decent candidates, for Republicans anyway, but they were shot down fast.

So, who does that leave?  I mean, the Republicans are truly screwed this election cycle.  There are no good options and even the “least worst” are terrible.  The pundits wonder how maybe-anti-christ can shake off the massive blunders that would have killed any other campaign but the reason is simple, who else have they got?

The conversation with Jane was actually quite interesting.  We agreed on most points, we’re just different parties.  That might have bothered me if I thought he-who-shall-not-be-named had a chance in hell of winning.  Sure, he’s at the top of the polls in his races but that really doesn’t mean shit these days, especially considering a large percentage of his “base”, Republicans, are just as against him as the Democrats are.  What other candidate has a #NeverXXX that’s trending among his own party.

I’ve got some liberal friends that are terrified of the guy, but I just laugh.  He doesn’t have a chance in hell, and I’m not just talking about the polls that show he’ll lose no matter who the democratic candidate is (stats).  He’s too divisive, even for a Republican.

Look at it like this, pretend for a second that the US hasn’t been trending more liberal over the last decade and just look at the population breakdown (reference).  More than half the US adult population is women.  He has a 71% unfavorable opinion among women, so already he’s got a major handicap.  Sure, some will hold their nose and vote for him anyway but we’re not done yet.  40% of the US adult population is composed of minorities.  Who polls poorly among minorities?  You guessed it.  There are around 80 million millenials in the US, most of which lean liberal.  That’s where Sanders has been getting most of his votes.  They overwhelmingly poll in favor of the democrats.  Who does that leave?  Middle aged, white, male, lower middle class, republicans.  That’s a tiny, tiny slice of the cross section of the US population.

The bottom line is that He-who-shall-not-be-named is part of a party with a base that’s already dwindling and he’s gone so far to alienate those that remain he’s just shooting himself in the foot.  His slice of the American pie shrinks every time he opens his mouth.  He’s a joke and doesn’t seem to be aware of it yet.

That said, now I know not to bring up politics or religion with future FWBs.  It’s a good thing me and Jane aren’t fooling around anymore, I don’t think I could bring myself to sleep with someone who’s on the wrong side of my politics.  Actually, I could but I’d probably be conflicted about it afterwards.  Maybe.

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The cost of sex


When my last FWB, Jane, broke things off so she could do some “real” dating, I was happy for her but torn for myself.  I’m only going to be in my current location for about six months before moving a few thousand miles for work.  I’d already decided that dating was off the table, it would have just complicated things, but I didn’t want to be entirely celibate either.  So, should I get  back into the search for a new FWB or just lay off until after the move?

I was lucky with Jane, despite how short the fling was.  She was exactly what I was looking for, someone who knew what they wanted, were comfortable with the conditions, and was a ton of fun.

Knowing I was unlikely to get that lucky again, I decided to just wait until after the move.  It sucks but seemed like the best option for the time being.

Well, it’s gone surprisingly well so far.

Last night I was bopping around the apartment, getting some spring cleaning done with a spring in my step, whistling a tune and thinking that life was pretty good.  Looking back, I’ve gotten more positive improvement done in my life in the last two weeks than in the last six months.  Seriously.  I got myself enrolled in classes for my Masters, my apartment has never been cleaner, and I’ve even picked up the slack in my workout routine.

I’ve lost ten pounds in two weeks.  No shit.  And I feel great.  I’m less stressed, I’m happier, it’s like going on anti-depressants without the side effects.

All this got me thinking, was dating holding me back all these years?  Was the time, effort and money put into getting sex and looking for relationships actually detrimental to my quality of life?

The answer wasn’t obvious so I decided to meditate on it.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Dating is a lot like going to the mall every day with a particular purchase in mind, but it’s never in stock.  Some days you see something that looks promising but it turns out to be the opposite but most days there isn’t even anything close.  It’s frustrating, it’s depressing, and generally going to the mall that day wasn’t worth the time or effort.  It’s like having a goal that is constantly frustrated and isn’t really achievable.

In other words:  Fuck yes, dating was detrimental to my life.

Why should I get back into that turgid pool after the move?  Why risk all the positives that I’ve gained?  Why bother when I’m happier without it?

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That’s when I decided I needed to write this post.  But not just that, I wanted to do some research to see if I could back up my opinions with facts.  I know I’m not the only one that’s decided he’s better off without dating.

Well, it’s surprisingly difficult to find studies on how many people stop dating and it’s affects on their mental health.  Most of the results were click bait titles like “Stop dating men in their 30’s who pop their collar” or other bullshit like that.

But I also found a few articles like this one:  http://elitedaily.com/dating/im-guy-stopped-dating-found-next-best-thing/954714/

The search also led me to a large online group of men who’ve also decided to give up dating.  While it didn’t have much in the way of statistics it had a lot of opinion pieces from guys who’ve come to the same conclusion as I have.  It’s called Men Going Their Own Way.  While some of their articles are a little weird, there were also some that I found quite interesting.  It’s always good to get a variety of opinions.

And that’s when I had something of a Eureka moment.  Over and over in the articles I was seeing the same things, the same stories, the same frustrations.  Men are truly f***ed in modern American society.  No wonder so many of them just decide to stop playing the game.

It’s not just dating, it’s society that puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on men to be successful, to fill certain roles, to shoulder the burdens of the world while being constantly harassed about not doing enough.  And we’re constantly told that we’re not good enough.

How is that fair?  It’s not.

Things have got to change and fast.

And you know who is the only presidential candidate standing up for men’s rights?  Who understands the difficulties and doesn’t put up with all the political-correctness bullshit?  Who isn’t afraid to point out when a woman is being a B****?

You guessed it.

Make America Great Again.