Unicorns exist.

I pinky swear promise.

Ok, I should interrupt here to say that it has been a ROUGH past week since the election and I am personally still reeling. While we need to laugh, and laugh a lot, I thought that a hopeful post might be fitting.

So, unicorns.

I have had the absolute pleasure and joy of being on dates with two of them.

What is a unicorn? To me, a unicorn is that mythical magical person that you wind up on a date with who shakes you to your core in ways you didn’t know you could be shaken up in. They check boxes you didn’t know existed. You are shaken up in all of the best ways. You question all past dates. You question yourself for having ever been with anyone else (except for the explicit purpose of learning about yourself and what you want…and more importantly, what you don’t want).

When you meet a unicorn, you aren’t expecting it. They come out of left field, and usually at a time when you most need it, but most don’t believe it will ever happen.

The first time this happened to me was a few years ago. I had just relocated to the west coast (again…I move around a lot and usually swap coasts. Sorry, Middle America, I’m just not that into you). I had been in my new city for about 2 weeks, and decided to hit up the local free music scene at an outdoor venue.

I felt his energy before I saw him. When I looked up at him, I felt my world move. I could see it in him as well. The rest of the night, though we were surrounded by people, we didn’t notice anyone else. We were on our own date and no one else existed. I found out later that everyone could see this happen so clearly and they just let us be. We went on to have a beautiful but rocky relationship; the timing just wasn’t in our favor and we weren’t meant to be together as partners. But he’s still someone I hold so dearly in my heart, and someone who will never leave my life. He has been my rock in so many situations, and I have been his support as well. My love for him will never fade.

But, as hard as it is, sometimes your unicorn isn’t your mate…but they can be something closer than a best friend because they know your soul, and accept it without question. More than chicken soup for your soul, they hold your soul in a cloud of love.

I recently met another unicorn. She’s just incredible. She soothed my soul and made my heart smile. She made me feel shiny and bright. She came into my life during a hellish week (in the few days before I met her, my dog almost died and I broke my foot). So when I met her, I wasn’t expecting to feel too much emotion—I had been already feeling too much emotion that week. But she held my pain and my true self in a way only one other person has, and my world moved for the second time in my life. Her kindness, compassion, and ability to let me be me without fear has been one of the most incredible things. Being vulnerable with her, and allowing her to see my truth, was the easiest thing. Normally when I open up, I am in the fetal position the next day (or 5) because I don’t know how to go there and be ok with it. As it turns out, life got in the way and we were done as quickly as we got started. But in the end, I am just grateful to have been held in her presence for a little while. And ever since, I have found a whole other gear for holding space for people and for keeping an open heart.

I know this blog is about bad dates. But sometimes you need to remember the good ones. And sometimes you need to just have good ones. These are the ones that renew your faith in this process, and allow you to keep going through the bad ones. When you talk about them, your friends quiet their energy and listen—and are just happy for you. They can feel the change in you when you meet a unicorn.

Even after you put that hilarious spin on the bad ones, and keep laughing, there’s an emptiness that can be overwhelming, and a loss of faith that only those in our shoes understand. So be inspired. And don’t lose hope or your sparkle.

Your unicorn is out there. And with any luck, you’ll get a few—or even better, it works out with your first. ***<3***

Blast. From. The. Past.

So I was all set to write about another topic for this week…but then I got a very interesting FB friend request. I had to check the profile to confirm that it was actually that guy friending me.

Because I never knew his last name.

I received this invite while I was running out to door to an election party turned condolence party and it was probably one of the very few things that could make me pause and laugh out loud. Morbid curiosity made me accept.

So why was this so funny? Well I’m glad you asked. Let’s back up to 4 years ago.

I was recently out of grad school and in a prestigious fellowship (read:  broke and single AF). I finally had time and (relatively more) money to (slightly) spare, so I hit up OK Cupid. I was messaged by a cute guy with a high match percentage, and we agreed to meet sooner than later, which is how I prefer internet dating to go. He told me that his favorite restaurant is one of the super high priced elite places in the city I live in, so we should go there.

Um…ok…hope you’re paying, buddy!!

Fortunately, prior to my decision to go to grad school, I had a very large income, and I had splurged on pricey stylish clothes, so I could dress the part. I felt pretty good in my boots that cost as much as my old Boston rent, perfectly fitting jeans, and dressy but not (too) slutty top. I even busted out my fancy make up and managed an updo for my hair.

Yep. I was ready. I felt beautiful and ready for a fun night.

Until I was walking in the front door of the restaurant and fate punched me square in the tit:  a rain gutter emptied itself on my fucking head. Like, water, dirt, leaves, and small sticks were all over me.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Passersby got a solid laugh. And the personal waiter for my date (yeah, you read that right) raced over and exclaimed all over how awful that was. He was a gem and helped me get all the shit out of my hair, fixed my mascara, and we used a hand dryer on my shirt.

Though this isn’t a trait I have now, I used to be early for everything. For that moment, I am still So Glad I was early.

Before we could do more with my wet hair than shove some bobby pins back in it to get it looking tolerable, the waiter nudged me hard and whisked me over to my date who just walked in. My date narrowed his eyes, and hesitantly said my name with a question mark at the end. I nervously exclaimed “yeah!! So nice to meet you!!”

His response:  um…I thought you were blond?

Yeah. He’s one of those guys. The guys who want a hot blond on their arm and that’s it.

That was the sink or swim moment for the night, and the ball was squarely in my court. I straightened up, laughed, and said “Ha! Yeah! A fucking rain gutter emptied itself on my head and my hair looks darker wet! What are the fucking odds? Crazy, right? You know what? Let’s DRINK!!”

The waiter gave a small thumbs up and seated us before my date could really respond.

You know what the best part was? We hit it off. I gave zero fucks, and he only wanted a platinum blond, so the pressure was off. We traded stories and jokes for the next few hours and the date ended in a win.

We wound up going out once more, and I took him to his very first dive bar. It took a few pitchers, but he relaxed and managed to loosen his tie and have a fun night there. Soon after, I met a lovely human who I dated for the next bunch of months, and I had not heard from this guy again. But I never held any grudges, and actually wound up with a soft spot for him. I feel like I had somehow opened up his eyes to what else is actually out there on so many levels, and he was open to it.

I have no anticipation around us dating–we come from such different worlds that I do not have any interest in that. But sitting down for a drink with dry hair at a reasonably priced bar with him sometime sounds like a fun time.

Awkward AF

So, many of these posts are probably a little accusatory of other people’s awkward moments. Just to show that I’m not some snob who feels everyone else is the weirdo, here’s a perfect example of my own evening this past week where I’m sure I created a fantastic story for the other person (and all of you).

My ‘big’ excuse was that I spent the day having a pile of medical tests and some not so fun conclusions, so I was a bit distracted and not feeling so hot. If you recall an earlier entry, situations like this have led to me puking on dates before. Spoilers, I did not puke this time. But maybe I should schedule my procedures a bit better around my dating life?! Oh to have that luxury and foresight… 🙂

Ok, so onto the date. One thing I really pride myself on is my sense of direction. It’s overall really great and rarely fails me. I love road-tripping, and am good at finding obscure places. On this particular evening…all that went out the window. It was pouring rain, and I was meeting my date in a neighboring city that I am not at all familiar with. My iPhone was being a bit of a fuck, and indicated the café was closer on the block to where I actually was, so I pulled into the first parking spot I could find and dodged raindrops into the place. A few minutes earlier, I got a text from my date that she was in the café near the fireplace. Can’t miss her.

I’m sure I would not have missed her…had I showed up at the right place.

I wandered around looking for someone who vaguely resembled the Tinder profile pic, and found no one. I finally texted her, hoping she was just in the bathroom. The text back was “uh…I don’t see you either. You at the right place?” She then did a Share My Location.

Nope. Wrong place.

Shit.

I proceeded to walk back into the pouring rain and off to find where she was camped out. It was on this walk that I stepped in a puddle and discovered my boots were no longer waterproof.

Awesome. Night just keeps improving.

By now, I wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. But that was so not fair to her (or I), so I slogged on and eventually found her. This time when I saw a fireplace in a café, it was the right one. We ordered some warm goodness from the café and sat down to get to know each other

I. Was. So. Out. Of. It.

My foot was freezing and soaked, my body was in pain, and my stomach was in knots. And then I realized my tenseness was making my poor date tense. I decided to relax, and just dive in. We eventually recovered from my awkward early tone, and finally found our stride with things in common.

Until I realized that some of the medical stuff I had done earlier left my back itchy and sore…and I was unconsciously rocking back and forth to itch it on the back of my chair. Fuck. I looked nuts. I wound up dishing on my shitty day, and she was really compassionate about it and understanding that I was so not at my best…but definitely raised an eyebrow that I knew I was going to be a bit out of it and agreed to hang anyway. All I could do was apologize and keep slogging forward with this date that I was feeling worse about by the second—and it had NOTHING to do with her. She was lovely.

We then agreed to go to dinner because we were finally feeling a bit more relaxed around each other, and that came my final are you fucking kidding me moment. I just wanted a glass of water. Literally the easiest thing to get, right?

Wrong. Because life wanted to be a dickhole that night.

I couldn’t work the fucking water dispenser. And I was in plain view of my date while I struggled, swore a few times, turned red, and just felt like sinking through the floor. The servers were gleefully taking bets on when I would lose it and cry. After (I kid you not) about 5 minutes, I figured it out.

If this is the technology of the future, I’m gonna be a very annoyed, thirsty individual.

But I guess the bright side is that I was vulnerable for once on a first date. I so rarely do this—I’m not an easy person to get to know. Because I was already emotionally wiped when I arrived, I didn’t have the energy to hide it. And she responded with humor and compassion and patience. So maybe being open on the first date is the way to go?

I would just like to do it with dry socks for the next time.

Dear texting: you’re a mo-fo

Ok. So. Texting. I’m sure I’m not alone in this angst.

For meeting someone on Tinder, how long do I want to text before I just fucking meet the person?

How many emojis?

How many exclamation marks?

What do they mean by …

What do they mean by a slow response even though they have an iPhone and I can see they read my text?!

Why did texting get created to make me even more awkward?!

I mean…fuck. Dating was bad enough when we had to use the actual telephone. But at least with that it was semi-straightforward. Though, even with that, there was the bullshit game of when do I call and what do I say.

Speaking of what do I say…I literally write out a script for the phone because I’m awkward AF. And when they go off script…Fuck. My. Life.

Ok, back to texting and its struggles. Take today for instance. It’s super stormy out, and for once I wasn’t working, so I curled up with my pup, never-ending cups of tea that transitioned to wine as the day progressed, and binged on Netflix.

And because I’m single and trying to mingle, I had Tinder out and open and ready for some action.

A woman that I liked a few days ago liked me back this morning, and within minutes of the match being made, she sent a “hi!” Texting progressed from here. But I was so nervous about how to “play it right.” I mean, how long do I wait, how desperate and without a busy weekend do I want to seem, how real do I get right away, and when the fuck will one of us just ask the other out!? Literally 10 hours have gone by and we are only just getting to the ask.

Sigh.

Every single new possibility is a new opportunity for a relationship…and a fuckpile of angst over texting and getting that relationship off the ground.

There are the over-texters. There are the never text you backers. There are those that send you a pic of every fucking activity they do within an hour of meeting you (which is good or bad, depending on how you feel about them). There are those people who are waaaay wittier and more open on text than in person (me, at first, before I get more comfy and you find my awkward endearing).

And that’s just the start of dating someone. There are the relationship-maintenance texts that occur next. Or you go straight to being dumped over text.

If you have only been out a few times, dumping via text, especially depending on some circumstances, is A-OK. I have been on both ends of this and it’s kosher in many circumstances.

But. I have also been on the receiving end of a dump via text in which we had been sleeping together for over a month. Definitely not a relationship yet, but I also felt I was worth a bit more than a fucking text. Then again…it’s like ripping off a bandaid and at least it’s over. It’s more of when you read that fateful text that can suck. Like the time I was hanging with an ex…and got dumped via text…and needed a hug but I sure as shit wasn’t going to ask him!

But because I try to stay positive at the end of the day, here are some texting wins:

Recently, I went out with a woman, and we clicked on both ends pretty quickly and we had a great evening getting to know each other. As we were walking away from our first date and she texted, “ok, I can’t wait! When can I see you again?!”

Perfection. And I didn’t wait a second to respond.

Another win was when the person texted me on the way home to say that they and their dog thoroughly enjoyed meeting me and my dog, and that we should get together again…for the sake of the dogs.

Adorbs. And again, no hesitation.

Then there are the hilarious “uh WHY didn’t we sleep together??? I get that it’s the first date and you have standards…but day-um.”

Win. That one is always mixed with a slight regret, but better to keep them wanting more…?

I guess texting is a great way to set boundaries, to get a feel for the other person, and to share some of your life a bit early on. Yeah, it’s stressful as fucking shit…but it does provide a lot of insight into another person and how they operate. It’s also a great way to involve your friends in your relationship as you have them screen your highly angsted over texts. I’m not proud of it…but I have So Many texts edited by friends (and I’m sure I’m not the only one!!).

Just remember to SEE the other person once in a while…cause that part is pretty good too.

Landscaping

Oh the things we do for dating and relationships…and society’s expectations. The primping, the filtering of comments, the late nights.

The removal of hair.

So in my last post, I mentioned that I got a very complete wax job for a guy. It wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected, and it was indeed convenient (minus the increased proneness to camel toe in a bikini). At first, I was embarrassed, and even a little ashamed, that I did this for someone’s judgment of a particular beauty standard. So I tried to convince myself that I did it for me. And got a few more. Somewhere along the way, my body decided to reject this treatment, and I developed some insanely painful cysts, which rapidly turned to abscesses. Long story short, I had to resort to two major surgeries on my lady bits to scoop them out. I have two 4” scars on the outside, permanent internal sutures, and I am also missing a sweat gland. All for a guy I dated for only 6 weeks (and slept with for 2 years on and off).

On the bright side, this reaction seems to be rare. And I have since learned to tell anyone who remotely hints at a wax to suck it. But because of my experience, I find myself very curious about how other people handle society’s current demand for a lack of hair. And it’s amazing the lengths we go to…and the stories that come out of it are often fairly amusing and so relatable.

I had not really planned on tackling this topic due to my personal shit-tastic luck in this department…but a friend’s recent panicked group text sent me into interview mode:

“YOU GUYS!!!! I just did the most horrific thing I’ve ever done in my whole life!!” She went radio-silent for the next 70 minutes while our other friend on the text and I sat and demanded answers. She finally checked in with,

“I CUT A CHUNK OF MY VAGINA OFF.”

Uh. *hurl*

She was trimming a bit before her wax appointment…and her safety scissors weren’t safe enough to save her vag. The description was that there was a piece on the scissors.

“A vaginal horror movie.”

Again. *hurl*

The kicker? She’s such a champ that she finished the wax.

This time, just silent awe and respect. And now that I knew she was ok…peals of laughter.

Fortunately, as I have learned, that area is resilient and fast-healing.

Still. *shudder* In one fell swoop she made my worst fears about touching up that area come true.

So then I started asking around for other FML moments.

One particularly magic story is the one about the guy a friend lost her virginity to. He had shaved his chest. So the first night was fab. The stubble the next night? Not so fab.

Another friend got wasted in college and shaved his back…only for it to grow back in insanely thick. He now has to shave a collar at the top to keep his perma-sweater from poking out of shirt tops.

One guy I dated almost made himself a uniballer from a mishap of shaving his balls.

It’s not restricted to below the belt either. I had friend who got a horrible eyebrow wax right about the time she was getting her driver’s license renewed. One eyebrow was a bit higher than the other, resulting in a few weeks of her looking permanently surprised in person…and forever immortalized as a surprised driver’s license pic.

Another friend tried to use a razor on her eyebrows, and they haven’t been the same since.

I’ll end with my favorite visual, even though it isn’t really related to dating. My good friend was scheduled for a c-section and wanted to clean up a bit down there before the world saw her in all her glory. The (obvious) catch? She was 9 months preggers. And couldn’t easily reach her hoo-ha. So she sat flailing in the tub until her husband wandered in and caught his huuuuge naked (self-described) walrus of a wife flailing awkwardly in the tub. Not a sight he’ll soon forget!! And she never did succeed in losing that hair pre-kiddo…

None of this is meant to scare you off from trying a new hairstyle or to render judgment for waxing, shaving, or going natural. It’s more to make us all feel not so alone in the angst over extra fuzz and the fact that mishaps happen. The vast majority of us have been there. The important thing is to be YOU. Do I regret waxing and the ensuing medical issues? No. I made my peace with it long ago—and it was, at the end of the day, my choice. And my nethers are pretty resilient:  the scars are barely visible and I can ride a bike with no discomfort. And it gave me a great are-you-fucking-kidding-me story with “I got a wax, got dumped before he saw it, and then had 2 major surgeries.”

A friend posted an inquiry a while ago on Facebook about what people’s thoughts are on this topic, and I loved one person’s response about women’s curlies: if a woman is kind enough to show me her lady bits, I can’t complain about the styling around them!

And as for a parting thought, just remember that your worst fear of lopping off your vagina is actually a possibility, so be careful!!!

The Friends With Benefits Sitch

I always swore I would never be that person. That person who sleeps with that one repeat customer (who is not their partner) because they show up. Or call.

Or text.

I have seriously had sex because someone sent me a “?” text, and I sent back a wink face. And we weren’t in a relationship.

But we had been…so that’s ok. Right? Exes are for hooking up with. Right?!

The answer is: as with all dating and intimate situations, it’s up to you. For my FWB years, it was with a person I had at one time dated for a few weeks. He ended things, and then one night showed up at the bar I was at and I wound up taking him upstairs to my apartment (sometimes I miss living above a bar…). That started a 2 year long pattern.

But I should back up. Because…the reason I even initially agreed to it is kinda funny.

So this guy was my first relationship after my divorce. In that relationship, I was able to let myself go in some areas (closing the bathroom door…that extra little flab…not hiding a fart…being kinda proud of some farts…etc.). After 8 years with the same person, you forget that things like waxing exist. The first time I slept with this new guy, he made a very rude crack about my bush. I didn’t think it was that bad (I had made some effort at containing it), and in retrospect, it wasn’t (tho I’ve been in the PNW for a bit, so maybe my opinion of what a reasonable bush is has changed???). But since I had not done much dating except for my long relationship, I felt shamed into addressing it. So I had it waxed.

All. Off.

Not just a Brazilian: a Sphynx.

I was so proud of my big brave step (yes. I now know I was an idiot and should have had some backbone about this. But I was 25. I was an idiot at 25.). I had this done while he was out of town so I could surprise him when he got back.

When he got back from his trip? He called me. To break up.

FUCK. I literally stared at my crotch for the entire breakup phone call trying to figure out how to say “but…I fucking got a fucking wax you fuck!”

Spoiler alert for future posts: my luck is not usually so great.

So when he showed up at a bar that I lived above 2 weeks later, I jumped at the chance to jump him.

The big reveal was everything I had hoped. I made him lay on my bed to watch me undress, and when I grinned and pulled my panties off, his eyes literally bugged out of his head and he yelled “get over here and sit on my face!”

WIN

And that, my friends, was the start of a 2 year long FWB stint. He always seemed to know when I was single, and the texts went from “hey! Miss you! Dinner and hang out?” to “?”

Call me a slut if you want. I honestly don’t care, and anyone who has this situation shouldn’t care either. I always had fun, and was with a safe person for me emotionally and physically. And I ALWAYS knew where he and I stood. To this day, he and I are still friends. The FWB ended years ago, and he is now married with two beautiful girls.

I have talked to other women who have FWB deals. Women always seem so judged by it–people assume they do it out of desperation or because they can’t commit, and I’m always curious to see how it works for others. Some do it out of hope that their person will come back to them, some do it because they don’t think they deserve a relationship, some do it because they aren’t in a place for an actual relationship, some do it because without the pressure of a relationship some fun kinky shit can be experimented with, and some (like me) just plain old enjoy sex and have learned how to not get emotionally involved.

I’m honestly not sure if I could do that situation again, though. In the 9 years since this deal was made, my ability to be physically and emotionally vulnerable outside of a relationship has changed and I am looking for a more traditional relationship.

Although….

Sometimes it really is a situation I miss. I mean, I always got a free dinner…and breakfast.