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!!!

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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.

Dating with a chance of puke

Good God does it suck to get sick on a date. I’m not normally a puker, but when I let loose, it’s loud and uncomfortable to be around. Just so we dive right into graphic (for this post is not for the weak of stomach), I have an intestinal disease and literally puke from my intestines.

Ok. So. Now that you have that image/ sound, let me get started with this post. This is actually my first post where I have input from some friends who were gracious enough to allow me to tell their stories, and their stories will be mixed in.

For me, this situation has not happened tooooo frequently, but the few times I have hurled on a date sure are memorable.

The first time was probably my personally most awkward. So, here’s some TMI for you (as if this blog wasn’t enough…?!): if I am drunk or even slightly tipsy, and I make out with you, I will 99.9% guaranteed puke on you.

That’s right: puke ON you. It happens quickly. That’s why I said make out instead of sleep with. You won’t make it to the sleep with part.

Be glad you’re not the person who discovered this. But then again, that poor bastard just had to test it a few times to make sure that was my trigger, so I don’t feel all that bad. He kinda saved everyone who came after (tho there has been the occasional brave/ idiotic person who has tested this theory. Here’s a friendly tip: if someone says they’re a puker, and are kind enough to tell you a trigger, for God’s sake don’t fucking test it. Unless that’s your fetish. Which is fine. Just let that person know it’s your fetish so they don’t feel awkward.).

So now if there’s a chance of making out or sex, I cut myself off after one drink. Why spoil the fun? That’s not the extra lube most people are looking for.

And now for some fun stories:

Like that time a friend was on a date, and they went for a run. He encouraged her to sprint towards the end, and she took about 2 sprinting steps and hurled everywhere. She got mega points for the effort and being that hardcore…but he didn’t reward with a kiss…because…well…yeah.

One time I had a medical procedure done earlier in the day…and I felt drinking beers in the evening was a good idea. I had a broken foot at the time, and barely crutched it over to the bathroom on the other side of the bar before I let loose. Ok. So. I didn’t actually make it. But that’s what hands are for (yes I burned those crutch handles). I thought he didn’t notice (ok, hoped and fucking prayed he didn’t), but he did. When I got back to the table, he was looking uncomfortable and was like “uh…you ok?” I, still thinking I could hide what happened, breezily said “yeah! I’m fine! Why?” To which he replied “cause you just puked in the hallway.” Oh. You noticed. Dammit.

Then there’s the friend who was on a dinner date to meet her new boyfriend’s parents for the first time. She’s not overly good on lactose, and ordered clam chowder (yes, she still questions this move)…and hurled. His mom definitely noticed.

One night I was out with a guy who I wasn’t too stoked by, but was trying to be open minded (he was a 27 year old virgin and super Christian and not a big drinker. I’m sure you have noticed these are not my traits.). He was trying to impress me and the co-workers (including his boss) that we were out with and decided to go drink for drink with me. I should mention that I was drinking beer. And he was drinking Manhattans. He puked at the table. He was kind enough to order me a cab home. I told the cab that I lived in the next neighborhood over and walked 2 miles home in heels so the guy would never know where I lived.

Another friend decided to go shot for shot with a Marine to impress her date. The rest of the night was spent in the bathroom.

Then there’s the person who found a big strong person to carry her down the stairs to her room…and projectiled All Over Them as a thank you/ parting gift.

Or that time a (slightly nauseous) friend was picked up for a date with a rich dude in a rich car…and she had to roll down the window and hurl out the side. He promptly returned her to her front doorstep.

And one of my personal faves:

A few years ago, I was on my 4th date with a guy I really liked. Ok, so I may have been shallow at that time and was more into his penthouse and luxury car. But still. I invited him to a friend’s birthday party where I proceeded to make my famous beer-garitas (equal parts limeaid, tequila, and Corona. You’re welcome.). These things are deceptively strong. And I pounded a few. I was in a mood to have fun and get laid. Both happened. But…I also found myself hurling as quietly as I could a few hours later into a very expensive toilet. I am not a quiet puker. Like, REALLY not quiet. Go back and read the first part of this post. But I did my best, drank mouthwash after, and slipped back into bed. I was sure he didn’t notice.

A week later, some friends and I were at his place having wine, and he made a comment about me not having too much so I don’t puke again. To which my dear friend yelled across the room, “Dude!! He noticed your yaking!!” Sigh. Busted.

I guess the bottom line is know your limits. Sometimes puke happens. But. Try to avoid it…and if you can’t, at least make it memorable.

Déjà vu for one?

Ok so this is one of those moments that I’m sure I am not alone in. One that really is a buzz kill in the moment (and for a few moments/ days following), but is eventually so worthy of a good eyeroll and laugh and a story that starts with “man, this one time…”

It’s that moment when you meet someone in public that you have been on a date with…and they have no fucking clue who you are. And no amount of you gently nudging their memory works.

My particular experience with this one was a few years ago. I’ll start with our date (because even after a few YEARS I still remember it). Our date was at a cozy coffee shop, which was perfect to create that warm romancy atmosphere on a date in the dead of a New England winter. It was our first date, and we had met over Plenty of Fish (I told you this was a few years ago). I arrived a few minutes early, and excitedly waved him over when he walked in. I had already ordered a large peppermint hot chocolate swimming in whipped cream. He walked over with a glass of milk. Yes. A glass of milk. Weird, right? Still the only person to order a glass of milk on a first date.

“Ok. Calm down, self,” I muttered almost audibly, as he took off his winter coat and looped it over the back of his chair. We started chatting, and conversation flowed easily. We were both nervous, but not in a way that made one of us too awkward to function (this has happened to me before. I guess the bonus of a lot of dating is you get good at navigating the awkward?). We talked about how much I love to play tennis and ride horses, his passion for playing and DJ-ing electronic rock music, and our other quirks that are a unique combination that makes us originals. We hugged at the end, and I walked away hopeful for a second date.

Until the text the next day that was along the lines of “sorry, I just didn’t feel it.” I was bummed, but was also glad he was that up front.

Fast forward about 6 months to the hot summer nights spent dancing your booty off in a club.

I was out enjoying myself with my roommate at a club, and we paused to have a beer at the bar and cool off for a minute. A dude came up to me and started talking and after about 30 seconds I realized exactly who this guy was…but it wasn’t clicking for him.

As he retold all of his tales, I stayed quiet, thinking “he HAS to know we went on a DATE, right?!” I tried hinting that we had met before:

“Oh wow, you totally seem like the type of guy who loves to play electronic music.”

“I bet you are a DJ as well.”

He kept commenting that I am such an intuitive person. I sighed and started giving some details about myself in an effort to not have to point out that we had been through this before.

He didn’t get it.

Or maybe I’m not that unique of a snowflake? No. Gotta be the first. Right?

I kept shooting my wingman roommate looks of “oh DEAR GOD help me right fucking now!!!”

She was too amused to help. She had the best front row seat in the house. Because it was obvious to her just listening in that we had met before. He was still clueless.

When he finally stopped talking about himself for a minute to start to introduce himself, I said “I bet your name is ___.” He was beside himself with how psychic I appeared to be. It was then I decided to let him in on it.

“We’ve met. On a date. It was at Blah Blah Café and you ordered milk. I hope to God you don’t remember my name and that my phone number is still not in your phone. Good luck with life.”

And we left. My roommate had the best abs from laughing so hard at the situation. It took me a bit to get there, but after about a week, my ego eased up and I realized that this situation was indeed hilarious, and wasn’t at all about me.

The biggest lesson I have learned in dating is that it is often not about you if someone doesn’t like you; more often than not, it’s them being in their own way and/ or still healing from their last shitshow of a relationship. I have met plenty of wonderful people, but at the wrong time–and I have probably done this to some people. It would not have been about them. At all. Dating leaves you with some wounds and scars, and you never know when they might transition from the former to the latter, or when the right person will come along to make you not even remember that scar exists.

I have always hoped that this guy took the situation in stride and got a wake up call. But if not, I hope the next girl was also able to laugh it off.

Allergic to dating, or just allergic?

Chances are, either you have allergies yourself, or you’ve been on a date with someone who has some. Allergies can pose a very real risk of someone getting hurt. And not the typical dating hurt of feelings getting hurt.

Hives. Trouble breathing. Anaphylaxis.

My experience has been of being the allergic person in the room. I had allergies early in life, before allergies became trendy. Before everyone actually understood them. Before people grasped that lying about having eaten a Snickers bar a few hours ago so you can get that goodnight kiss can really do some damage.

But, as with all awkward dating moments, I have some truly awkwardly hilarious moments surrounding my allergies.

To fully disclose, I have had a nut allergy since I was a little kid. I’m allergic only to tree nuts, but with peanuts being processed so closely with them, I’m allergic to peanut chunks by default. But…smooth peanut butter is ok. As is if I shell peanuts. And peanut oil is a-ok. However, these caveats confuse the fuck out of any normal person, so I just say I’m allergic to all nuts. I’m also allergic to fruit, carrots, and peas…but this is only in the last 8 months, so even I am still getting used to these.

First dates are always the hardest. You always want to present your best face, and allergies are so difficult to bring up. I usually spend half of the first date trying to figure out how to smoothly disclose this fact. And in case you haven’t noticed from my other posts, I’m not exactly a smooth operator.

Here are some examples of the awkward moments.

One of my more memorable experiences was a few years ago. I knew the guy was coming to our first date from a café, which made me nervous that he could have eaten a nut-laden goodie. We went for a walk and wound up sitting in a park. It was clear he was working up the nerve to kiss me, and I was trying to figure out how to ask if he had eaten nuts that day. He finally just dove in and I pulled back saying “wait wait wait!!” but he was just going for it. I mean, kudos to him. I finally resorted to putting my hand in between our mouths. He was mortified. I explained about my allergy and he said gruffly “I have the same allergy too—can I just kiss you now?!” He hated that story. We went on to date for 7 more months and that story came up frequently when people asked about our first date. He also benchpressed me on that date to show how manly he was. I think I hated that story more than he hated the kissing part.

So with people who are outwardly men, it’s usually the ‘what have you eaten today’ factor that I have to worry about. With women, I also have to ask exactly what chapstick they use. So many chapsticks have almond oil in them. Good times. I should be a fucking professional detective by now. Or at least an interrogator.

Women tend to use allergies as a subtle hint that the date isn’t going well. One woman I went out with a few weeks ago ordered a coffee drink and put almond milk in it, and we had already had the allergy conversation. Her first drink didn’t have almond in it, so when I said something, she fidgeted for a minute, and then said, “yeah…that was my hint for I don’t think we have a great connection and we are clearly not kissing at the end.” Ouch. Check please. And a shot of whisky for my ego.

Another time, I was out with a guy who ordered a quesedilla that had almond slices in it. As he ordered, I blurted out “you know, I’m allergic to that.” His response was “you’re not the one eating it.” I felt so rejected and confused and out of sorts. I thought the date was going really well, and took it to mean that he didn’t want me near him. At the end of our date, he leaned in for a kiss. I was surprised, and told him that since he ate almonds, I couldn’t kiss him. His perfect response: “oh shit! You move fast! I just wanted a hug!!” It covered the awkward moment wonderfully and we both laughed and were able to joke about it for a while after. He offered to go buy a toothbrush so we could kiss…but we both knew the moment was long gone, and we had just created one of our first stories.

Fuck—dating is hard enough without having to track all of your date’s food and drinks on a date! But if handled with kindness and humor on both ends, it can be the thing that makes you bond a bit.

For instance, I recently had a new dating buddy make dinner for us. He texted to see what my allergy list was, knowing it was large. When I apologized for being such a pain, he said that he was looking forward to the challenge of finding yummy things to make that I could eat stress-free. What a relief.

Then there’s the person who used to sit and list off all of their food for the day so I could screen it. My favorite line: “uh…a bagel…and…a Starburst. Let’s get it on!”

Some days I wonder if I’ll ever get allergic to dating, or if each date is like getting an allergy shot and it gets more tolerable over time.

Tho it’s still helpful to carry the EpiPen of dating: humor.

Surprise!

SHIT, are some dates awkward.

But what about the dates that you didn’t know were going to be a date?

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I’d consider yourself lucky. A few years ago, I moved to a new city and didn’t know a single soul. I found this online forum called “Meet Up,” and decided to give it a whirl. There was an event that piqued my interest—an 80s dance night at a local club. I was so in!! I figured I would meet some cool people, dance out my moving stresses, and see some more of the city.

I arrived and it was a total sausage fest. And not just a sausage fest, a sausage fest filled with some of the worst movers. Sigh. Typical.

I pounded the brew purchased by a desperate sausage, thanked him, and fled back to the dance floor. I found the two other decent dancers, and we hit the floor hard. (I actually wound up making out with one of them in a dark corner that night. Jamaicans are my weakness.) At the end of the night, after chatting with a few other people there, I was giving my number to a woman I met , and realized a few people were eavesdropping. Creepy. But…they wouldn’t actually call…right?

Wrong.

Both of us received calls from eavesdroppers wanting dates. And…we both said yes. Cause…why not?

Oh right. Because those guys got our numbers by eavesdropping.

The guy who contacted me said that a few people from the dance were meeting up for Mexican food in two days and I should totally come. I said yes (did I mention I was a bit desperate for new friends?).

I arrived at the restaurant and saw the guy sitting there waiting. For me. Only me. Because he was at a table for two.

Um…what the fuck?

I sat down and asked if we should have a bigger table and he turned a bit red and shifted around and said we would move if more people showed up. I clued right in to the word IF. I called him out on it and he just looked awkward.

The jackass really thought he could go on a date with someone who didn’t know it was a date. Unbelievable.

And yet.

I know I’m not alone in these creepster stories. You just gotta put yourself out there for dating sometimes, and sometimes you show up to a hang out that’s really a date. You can bitch all you want, be horrified all you want, throw water in the jerk’s face all you want…but let’s be real. It’s a hilarious story.

And as pathetic as we feel when it happens, at least we weren’t the one desperate enough to trick someone into a date.

The worst pick-up line. Ever. EVER.

Ok, so, that title probably has your expectations set pretty high. I promise, I will not disappoint. And this will not be a super long post so you can get right to the punch line.

But first. The scene needs to be set.

I was at a close friend’s wedding. Ok, well, I was in the wedding. Which is always hard when you’re single. But it was a beautiful day, a perfect day to watch two dear friends get hitched. The ceremony was at a local city park and the reception was on the rooftop of their apartment building. It was such a love-filled day, and everyone there was over the moon happy for these two. During the reception, I sat down with one of the other bridesmaids to nom on some potluck goodness, and her date and another guy joined us. The other guy wasn’t exactly who I wanted to be sitting near, but I figured that if he earned an invite, he probably had something going for him other than his faux-hawk, ripped cargo cutoffs, and beater under a short sleeve button up.

Ok, so you have the image?

He pointed out that I was the only single girl at the wedding, and a bridesmaid ta boot. I started drinking a bit more. He said he had something to ask me, so I looked up and the next thing I knew, he cupped my face in his hands and leaned in. I was feeling a bit panicked that he was going to kiss me, and in retrospect, I wish that was all he did. Instead, he pulled me in close, and whispered in my ear,

Can I touch you where you pee from?”

I screeched and flailed…and flailed and screeched some more.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

Now, I am usually the one to crack off a filthy joke and watch people squirm, but this was beyond a line and a limit for even me.

Instead of smacking him, which to this day I can’t believe I didn’t do, I asked if that line had ever worked (I recovered fairly quickly and was kinda curious).

He winked in the grossest I’m-a-future-pedophile way and said, “we’ll see later.”

Spoiler alert: he did not find out.

I later found out that he had done a classic wedding crash, and was not at all invited or welcome there. He also had a gun on him. So fucking classy. I also proceeded to drink tequila like it was water and called the bride a guy during my speech (in front of the groom’s Mormon family. I am so happy this couple is still friends with me.).

But the even more magic part? Right as I let out my first screech and flail, the wedding photographer whirled around and snapped a picture. It features prominently in the bride and groom’s photo book from their special day so we all can remember that glorious moment in my life and be simultaneously squeamish and amused.

I could say that I am so annoyed that this happened. But…in the grand scheme of things, it was hilarious.

And I will never lose at the worst pick up line contest. Ever. EVER.