So, I did a thing…

This has been a long time coming, but I’m excited to announce that on July 31st, I finally published my book, “We’re All Rubber Bands: Finding happiness with who you are.” This is a collection of some of my favorite blogs that I’ve posted over the years along with some additional comments following each chapter. As you will see on the back cover of the book,

Life can test you to your limits. Sometimes, it may even break you. We’re All Rubber Bands is about bouncing back to who you are at your core, learning to laugh at yourself, and finding strength with the beautiful, imperfect person that you have always been.

This has been a labor of love that has taken me many years to finally finish, and I’m happy to say that I was even able to self-publish it. I am excited to have created something truly mine, including the cover artwork. I have to say that it has been absolutely bizarre to see something I’ve done show up on websites like, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

As my earlier blog post mentions, it really does take a village. I wouldn’t have gotten here without the love and support of so many, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. It’s pretty amazing to be able to say you can mark something off of your bucket list.

The response so far has been pretty humbling in a fantastic way, so it makes all the work I put into it all the more worth it. I’m looking forward to a multitude of reviews and even have an idea for another book, which will probably take another few years to write. I’ve got a lot of exciting things in the works, and I am definitely looking forward to my next chapter. Here’s to turning the page.


Posted in Random Thoughts | 1 Comment

The Safety of the Street Light

Whenever I misplaced something growing up, my dad would always tell me that, “it will always be in the last place you look.” Gee…thanks, dad! After all, who would keep looking after they found what they were seeking? What about the person who is searching for something nowhere near where they lost it just because it’s easier? It doesn’t make much sense, does it? This is what is known as the Streetlight Effect.

This can best be described by a short story about a drunk man who has lost his keys. He is standing under a street light trying to find them when a police officer walks up and asks him what he is looking for. Upon telling the officer what he lost, they both begin searching together for the keys. After several minutes of looking, the officer asks the drunk man if he’s sure he lost them there. The drunk man points across the street into the darkness and tells the officer that he lost his keys over there in the park. The police officer asks him why he’s searching here, to which the drunk man replies, “This is where the light is.”

I pondered this for a while and wondered why is it in life we try to find the easy way out? Why do we search for answers in the wrong places? Why do we want the “get rich quick” scheme to work instead of focusing our efforts towards the target we’re trying to reach? It feels lately as if someone has discovered me crouched under a street light searching for what I seek most – happiness.

Sure, trying to be happy with what you have and what you’re already doing is a good thing, but trying and being are two completely different things. After all, wouldn’t you rather spend time doing some real soul searching if it meant you would find what you seek? Wouldn’t it be worth it to step away from the view and safety beneath your street light in order to find your keys to happiness? Remember what my dad said – you’ll always find what you seek in the last place you look. It’s a good thing I’m smart enough to grab my flashlight.

Posted in Life Lessons, Random Thoughts, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Spiralized Life

Not long after I started my current job, I was introduced to a nifty kitchen gadget called a spiralizer. In case you’re not familiar, this tool takes a vegetable, such as a zucchini, and turns it into long, thin noodles. It does so by turning it while it’s being cut. When you’re finally done, the resulting pile looks nothing like what you started with, but it sure can make for some good meals. This got me thinking tonight. My life is a lot like a spiralized vegetable.

I can go along for months or years feeling like my life is solid and stable. For whatever unforeseen reasons, every so often, my life can put me in a spin causing things to get all out of whack. It feels like I’m not sure which end is up and I’m just holding on for dear life. What I usually find is that after all is said and done, I come out happier and healthier on the other side. It’s a kind of personal metamorphosis. The trouble is, when the spiralizing is taking place, I’m never sure how long it will last.

I guess I feel like I’m in one of these topsy-turvy times right now. I know I will feel an awakening after it’s ended, but until then, I’m hoping that the view isn’t too dizzying.

Posted in Life Lessons, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gandalf Lives!

It’s been said that all women need two people in their lives they can trust: a hair stylist and a mechanic. I’m happy to say my hair has been taken well care of by the same person for the last 17+ years. The mechanic part…well…let’s just say I haven’t been as lucky. I thought I had that one taken care of years ago but instead got ROYALLY screwed as the result of his dishonesty. I’ve now had Gandalf with me the last 5+ years. He’s a gray Kia Rondo, and I plan to drive him until he falls apart. I thought the end was in sight this weekend, but instead, my eyes were opened to yet another dishonest mechanic.

It’s been on my bucket list to take an automotive class so I’m better equipped to handle things myself, or at least discuss them with some knowledge. Hell, I’ve changed the oil in my car before and even, under the guidance of a good friend, changed out Gandalf’s brakes and rotors. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but there are some things that are too involved for me to do. That’s when I leave things up to the experts.

A few months ago, I was having some issues with Gandalf, so I took him in to have him looked at in hopes the issue could be corrected. I wasn’t able to go to my usual mechanic, as they are no longer open on the weekends. Instead, I went to a place, a chain, that my parents have used for as long as I can remember. I felt I was in good hands since it was like keeping it in the family, so to speak. It was discovered that the catalytic converter was shot and it needed to be replaced. (I am now questioning if that was even the case.)

The part was ordered, and when it finally came in, I waited at the store for several hours while the job was completed. Upon being checked out, and after all the work was done, I was told then that they didn’t realize that the part that was ordered was going to cause some noise that sounded much like I was driving a hot rod. I was told by the manager that if it bothered me to let him know and they’d order the other part and replace it for me.

After two days of driving my 17-mile-one-way commute, I called and told them that it had to go. How people drive a car with that racket is totally beyond me! They ordered the part and said they’d call me when it came in. I waited almost two weeks. Finally, after having to call multiple times, they confirmed the part was in and my appointment was scheduled. I waited, again, for several hours while they removed and replaced the catalytic converter, and all seemed fine.

This brings me to last Saturday.

It has only been a few months since the replacement of the catalytic converter when I began hearing some noise when accelerating that sounded much like a knocking or rattling, It was almost like someone was spinning a lottery wheel hoping to land on a good prize. It was extremely annoying, however Gandalf seemed to drive fine despite that. There was no oil light on. There was no check engine light on. Regardless, I called and made an appointment with the same place and was sure to describe the issue. They agreed that it was probably the heat shield and they could look at it on Saturday morning.

I got there right on time for my appointment. Once Gandalf was examined, this is what I was told by the manager. He said that the problem is that there was no oil in the car. Apparently there was an oil leak and no oil was showing on the dipstick. He then said that whoever did my last oil change “owes me a new engine.” (His exact words.) The knocking sound was one of the rods in the engine that was broken and that the only recourse was to buy a new car or completely replace the engine on a model they don’t make anymore. He and the other manager both felt like Gandalf wouldn’t last very long, and I shouldn’t wait to start looking. Nothing was repaired, but they did put in about 2 quarts of oil at no charge to bring me up to 4 ½ quarts. It turns out that just because there is no oil on the dipstick doesn’t mean there’s no oil in the engine. I was due for an oil change, but after being told Gandalf was done, I didn’t figure I should bother with that added expense.

The manager also mentioned that the reason that their oil changes take an hour is because they take the time to look at the car in case anything else is wrong. He said that had they done the oil change, they would have found the leak and fixed it then. He said that the lack of oil in the engine ruined it. It was broken…and so was my heart.

I spoke to the manager and district manager for the prior service center, both at the suggestion of this shop’s manager. I got nowhere. They said they noted it on the ticket. I then told the district manager that it’s ridiculous that they’ll verbally upsell you on every service under the sun, but when there’s a physical problem with your car, they simply “make note” for you. Poor Gandalf.

After leaving the mechanic, I sat, dumbfounded for a while trying to figure out where to start. Thanks to suggestions from several friends, I spent the rest of the day, until 9:00 pm, looking at cars. At a minimum, it was going to cost me around $16,000 for a pre-owned vehicle. I had not planned to spend my entire day doing this, but after the grim news from both the managers, I felt I didn’t have a choice.

Yesterday, a good friend took a look at Gandalf, and then we took him for a short drive. He seemed to think that the sound wasn’t coming from the engine, but he did notice that there was oil sprayed on the underside of the hood, so that could have been part of the issue. After his examination, I felt the need to get a second opinion, as I was not happy about having to shell out $16,000 for a car.

Today, I took Gandalf into an auto repair place I have used in the past. They have been very honest about their work and I trust them completely. Again, the only reason I wasn’t going to them was that they weren’t open on the weekends. Fortunately, I was off work today, so I was able to schedule an appointment. Pretty quickly, they noticed the oil leak, but realized that it can be fixed by getting a new front crank shaft seal kit. This runs about $15 for the part and $585 for the labor, as it’s a very involved process…which they fully explained.

Regarding the knocking, it was discovered very quickly that it was NOT coming from the engine. In fact, it was nowhere near the engine. I stood with them under the car and saw for myself the source of the sound. It was coming from the REAR catalytic converter. It was BEYOND obvious that was what was making the noise…even to me! They confirmed that the issue is either with the heat shield or with something that was knocked loose when the front catalytic converter was replaced and is now rattling around inside. The cost to fix this would be no more than $562 for the part. Given the location, it was much easier to replace if need be, so the labor would be much less. Because they may not even need the part, it could be an easier, and less expensive fix.

My gratefulness to these guys was diminished in part by the pure FURY I had for the prior shop. HOW ON EARTH can someone who works on cars day in and day out not be able to locate the source of a noise that is not only BEHIND the front wheels but is located in the middle of the car with nothing around it?!?! The other shop almost cost me $16,000 (at a minimum) when the cost to repair these FIXABLE issues won’t cost more than $1500 for both the catalytic converter and the oil leak. The technicians who looked at Gandalf today were dumbfounded as to how this was missed. They simply couldn’t explain it given how obvious it was. All I can say is that this place now has a loyal customer for life!

I have already reported this to the Better Business Bureau and will be posting a negative review on Yelp and any other place I can find. I have emailed their area manager with all the details as well. I will never step foot back inside that place again, which is sad given that my parents have always been loyal customers for as long as I can remember. How this was missed is totally beyond me. I put my trust in that company and in people who clearly do not know anything about cars or how they work.

I couldn’t be happier that it now appears that Gandalf and I will still have many happy years together. He has been a great car, and knowing he’ll be well taken care of makes me beyond happy. In addition, I am currently completely out of debt and plan to stay that way for as long as I can. I now know that I need to start planning for the day when this weekend’s events become a reality. Until then, I will be forever grateful for great family & friends with not only amazing advice and support, but incredible senses of humor!

Posted in Life Lessons, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In My Dreams

He came to me last night in a dream. I awoke in tears. It has been so long since I’ve seen him, so this vision of him caught me completely off guard, even in an unconscious state. Our last visit together was nothing but loving and a bit bittersweet, but it’s a memory I will always cherish.

I’ll never understand why certain things or loved ones show up in my dreams, but this vision was so vivid. Even now, I get choked up thinking how unfair it is that I won’t ever see his face again and how real everything felt. Loss is very different for many people. We all react to it in different ways. My friends and family mean everything to me, so to lose someone I love is absolutely heartbreaking.

In my dream I was at a friend’s house talking when I looked outside across the yard. There, coming out from behind the fence, I saw him. He looked just like I remembered. I turned to my friend and shockingly exclaimed, “Is that Max?!”

Without a hesitation, I knew it was my sweet boy, and ran for him calling his name. He saw me and ran to me. I was happy beyond words to get to see his beautiful face in front of me. Upon connecting, I walked with him towards a bench, my hand never breaking our touch, so I could pet his head and love on him once more. When we got to the bench, he had changed into a human form and I was able to hold him in an embrace that I never wanted to end. It was then that I woke up.


Posted in Pets, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My three-letter tradition

You’ve probably heard of many traditions over the years. Some are religious in nature, some have to do with family, but I doubt any involve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Well, my friends, that is all about to change. Tomorrow marks a very significant day for me, as I will be getting the key to my next home. My actual move-in date is Friday, but tomorrow evening I will be dining on PB&J’s as I start the process of creating new memories in a new place.

I didn’t just choose this childhood delicacy randomly, but rather I specifically chose to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to continue my tradition of celebrating my independence. This all stemmed from the fantastic 80’s movie, St. Elmo’s Fire.

Many of you may be unfamiliar with this movie, but it is one I highly recommend. It features the brat pack – Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, & Mare Winningham. It was a scene with Mare Winningham, who played Wendy, which started this whole thing back in 2012. Wendy was the daughter of rich parents. Her problem was that they wanted to run her life. When she finally stood up to them, they cut her off financially. This meant she had to learn to fend for herself for the first time ever. She managed to get herself her own apartment without the aid of her family. One night Billy, played by Rob Lowe, came by to see her. As they’re talking, Wendy says,

“Yeah…ya wanna know what’s great? Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…and ya know, it was my kitchen, it was my refrigerator, it was my apartment…and it was the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I have had in my entire life.”

This scene was burned into my brain. When I finally moved into my very own place for the first time ever back in 2012, something about this quote came to the forefront of my mind. After all, I had gone from living with my parents, to college roommates, to being married, but never during that time did I live alone for a significant amount of time. That all changed once I got divorced and moved out on my own.

When that happened, I had to find a way to support myself. I had to learn that, despite the fact that I had (and still have) an INCREDIBLE family, I needed to be able to stand on my own two feet. There was a lot of fear that came with that discovery, but there was also an immense sense of accomplishment with every milestone I reached. THAT is why peanut butter and jelly sandwiches serve as a powerful symbol of strength and a reminder of what I’ve accomplished on my own. This is one tradition I’m proud to continue and will do so with each bite.

Posted in Divorce, Life Lessons, Random Thoughts, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrity Sightings

I recently went out to dinner with some girlfriends. As two of us we were walking towards our dining destination, we passed by the window of another restaurant. Sitting there at a table was someone I immediately recognized. It wasn’t a friend or someone famous, but I do consider these encounters “celebrity sightings.” The man I saw was someone I had chatted very briefly with after receiving a message from him years ago online. The reason he stood out to me was the nature of what he was looking for in a relationship.

Now…to each his own. I get that. I guess though, if I’m being honest, I’m just more of a traditional girl. It turned out that I got a message from him and started chatting with him before first reading his profile. BIG MISTAKE!! I quickly discovered that the guy is married, but they have an understanding, as he is a dominant and is looking for a submissive. Upon learning this, I immediately wished him luck on his search, but withdrew my application to further the conversation.

These types of sightings happen to me all the time. What’s funny is that despite the fact that I live in Austin, TX, I have only had one real celebrity sighting since I moved here back in 2000…and it took me until a whole day later and a lot of internet searches before I realized who the actor even was. The majority of the time, my encounters have included running into someone who I’ve either gone out with, chatted with, or avoided like the plague.

A few years ago, I was at one of my favorite karaoke spots having a fabulous time. I was there with a large group, mostly people I didn’t know. If you know me, you know that I rarely meet a stranger, so it definitely made for a fun night. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed I had a message waiting for me from another potential suitor. When I opened it, I had to laugh. The message was from one of the guys I’d been hanging out with that evening. He told me that he’d been staring at me all night trying to figure out how he knew me. The minute he logged onto the dating app, it hit him. He just wanted to say hi and that it was nice meeting me in person. Well…whaddaya know?!?! I was the celebrity this time!!

I guess when you’ve spent years perusing dating profiles from various sites that this is bound to happen. Some encounters bring back funny memories, while others make me glad I dodged that bullet. There have been times that I see a guy and initially think, “Wow! He’s attractive!” Then my mental Rolodex reminds me that I actually went out on a date with him several years ago, and I remember why it didn’t go anywhere.

There are times that a celebrity sighting happens, and I can see the guy staring at me trying to figure out why I look so familiar. That happened one time while shopping in HEB. As I walked past the poor pensive person, I start giggling to myself because I immediately recognized him as the 24-year-old who made a pass at me after I’d met his girlfriend the weekend prior.

I will admit, there are some men I’d like never to see again and others I’d enjoy bumping into from time to time. I guess that is one good thing about online dating. It gives you the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise run into during the course of your day. Maybe these are just a way of keeping my mind sharp as I get older. After all, I definitely don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.

Posted in Dating, Life Lessons, Random Thoughts, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ummm…you’re not all that!

I’ve gone on my share of dates over the years. Sometimes you have an amazing connection, while other times you may not feel that spark, but the person you’re with is just fun to be around. With the latter, you may become friends, otherwise you both cut your losses and move on. There are instances, however, when you meet someone and begin trying to figure out how quickly the date can end. That was the case this time.

It had been a long week at work, and I was looking forward to the weekend. I had started talking with a new guy online and we decided to meet up Friday night for one of my favorite pastimes – shooting pool. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but I can definitely hold my own. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had his own pool cue. I was excited at the thought because it made me think that if he owns his own cue, he must play often. If he plays often, he’s probably pretty good, and I’m the type who would prefer to play with someone better than me in the hopes that I might up my game.

We both arrived at the pool hall at the same time and ended up greeting each other in the parking lot. Upon meeting him, I realized that while you can find someone’s pictures attractive, they don’t always seem the same in person. Maybe it’s how they carry themselves. Maybe it’s seeing them at a different angle. Maybe it’s their personality. Most of the time it’s the whole package that just tells you it’s not a fit. What’s weird is that I know from experience that you can have great chemistry with someone online, via text, and over the phone, but it just doesn’t translate in person. I’ve been on both sides of this coin, so I know what it feels like. It’s not something I can really explain, but when the mutual connection is there, it’s obvious. When it’s not, you know it pretty quickly. It became very apparent in this situation that the attraction was one-sided…and I was on the wrong side.

We walked into the pool hall, him with his case in hand, and we quickly found a table towards the middle of the room. We talked for a few minutes and decided to start our first game. It didn’t take long for me to realize that owning a pool cue does not automatically mean you are skilled in the ways of billiards. I’ve been playing on occasion for several years now, so I typically study the table, think about how one shot will set up the next, carefully aim, and hope for the best outcome.

My date couldn’t have been more the opposite. He awkwardly walked up to the table and, without much aim or planning, quickly made each shot. He fumbled with the cue a few times, almost dropping it. He missed the cue ball a few times and just didn’t seem to be very confident in his playing. All this came as a surprise given he had his own billiards equipment with him. Part of the way through the second game, his cue tip broke, which got him pretty flustered. He took the cue and just threw it in the garbage.

What made this encounter more awkward was the fact that after his shots, he would come up to me and put his arm around me in an affectionate manner. I really couldn’t have been more obvious with my body language that I didn’t reciprocate his advances, but he didn’t seem to be paying attention. Each time he’d attempt to be close, I would conveniently find an amazing shot to take from the other side of the table. I didn’t do this in a rude manner, but I was very surprised he wasn’t reading my stiff, closed off stature. I guess I was doing my best to be perfectly clear that I didn’t feel the same. The conversation was a bit awkward as well. Maybe it was his nerves, which I get, but, again, lack of confidence in a man is something I have a hard time with on a date.

We played a few games, and then he suggested we switch to darts. I was ready to go home, and had been for a while. In all honesty, I was actually pretty tired, but I wanted to be nice, so I agreed. He seemed like a decent guy, but unfortunately that extra something just wasn’t there for me. After a few games, I told him that I was really getting tired, as it was approaching midnight, and was ready to head home. If the night wasn’t awkward at that point, it was about to take a nosedive into the land of awkwardness.

Despite the fact that we’d been chatting, sort of, all night, he said he’d like to just talk for a few minutes. Ugh! I just wanted to go home already! They have several couches all around the pool hall, so we headed towards the ones near the bar. I was hoping this would be short-lived, as I was pretty exhausted, but I was willing to give him a few more minutes of my time.

We sat down on the love seat, him to my left. Before I could say anything, he grabbed my legs and laid them across his knees. He then took my hand to hold it, but did the “interlocking finger” manner, which seriously caught me off guard. Then to top it off, he laid his head on my shoulder. He was all cozy and comfy, and I could not have had stiffer posture unless I was petrified. I felt a bit bad for the guy, as he obviously was looking for a connection with me. The problem was, it just wasn’t there…AT ALL!!

After about five minutes of this insanity, I mentioned again that I was really tired and should be heading home. In a very disappointed manner, he sat up and removed my legs from his lap. We gathered our things and headed out the door. He walked me to my car, and I managed to dodge a kiss goodnight. Again, the guy was nice, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

I got home a little after midnight and sent him a text to let him know I made it. I said, “Thank you for a fun night. You’re a fierce competitor.” I figured that was my way of saying thank you, but not giving the hint of another date. I crawled into bed and zonked out.

Twenty minutes later, I was startled awake when I got a text from him that said, “That’s good to know.” I briefly looked at it and put my phone back down. I was out again in about 30 seconds.

Twenty minutes after that, I was startled awake again when I got a text from him that said, “I’m free Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening if you’d like to get together again.” I honestly didn’t read the text then because I was just too tired and figured he’d fall asleep soon too.


TWENTY MINUTES LATER – it is now after 1:00 am – I was startled awake for the last time by him with a text that said, “But I don’t know if you want to see me.” It was then that I realized that I was unfortunately going to have to let him down easy or he was not going to stop. Through sleepy eyes, I texted him back to tell him that I really appreciated the offer, but I just didn’t feel the same connection that he obviously did. I said that didn’t mean we couldn’t hang out again, but I just wanted to be clear of my feelings. I was hoping that would be the end of it.



I got text after text from him.

“What do you mean you don’t feel the same connection?”

“What’s wrong?”

“There’s got to be something wrong!”

They kept coming. I replied back and said that there was nothing wrong. Sometimes it just doesn’t translate in person.

He insisted, “What’s wrong?! There’s got to be something wrong! I was married for eight years. I don’t understand.”


I very calmly replied back and said again that there was nothing wrong. I told him that I just didn’t feel the same attraction for him that he felt for me.

His response floored me!

He said, “No attraction?! Good luck finding better!”

I replied and asked him what he meant.

He said, “Ummm…you’re not all that! Good luck!”

I stared at my phone like Ferris Bueller would stare right into the camera.


If I’m being honest, I had a bit of a chuckle at this one, but I was so beyond tired at that point that I put my phone down, turned it to silent, and zonked out.

I guess I can now rest assured that I don’t have to put too much pressure on myself moving forward since I’m not all that. Whew!


Posted in Dating, Life Lessons, Random Thoughts, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do I Need To Be Here For This?

Someone once asked me what’s worse on a first date – no attraction or nothing to talk about. In my opinion it would be the latter. To me, there’s nothing worse than an attractive man who has nothing to say. There is one exception to that – when my date is doing all the talking and the conversation is completely one-sided.

A few years ago, I began chatting online with a very attractive man who fortunately didn’t live too far from me. It wasn’t long after that before we scheduled our first date. We met at a sports bar to have a drink and visit for a while. I liked the atmosphere of the place and had been there before. It had a good energy yet wasn’t too loud for good conversation.

I met him just inside and was very pleased, as he looked just like his pictures. We found a table inside close to the door for the outside patio. We each ordered a beer and he ordered a burger and fries, as it was closer to dinner time. We continued our conversation that had started that afternoon, and it all seemed to be going well…

Very quickly, the conversation took a turn, and it began to revolve around my date’s ex. Let’s just say he did NOT have nice things to say about her. This continued for a good 15 minutes before I tried to steer the conversation in another direction by asking about his family.  He followed my detour, but apparently the conversation cruise control clicked on and we were back to talking about his ex again.

My interest in this conversation was so over. At no time was I asked about myself, my interests, my work, how my beer was, or anything remotely off topic. He seemed very angry, and I began to wonder if I even needed to be there. After all, he could have the same conversation with himself, and I could go do something else like bang my head against the wall or play in traffic.

The painful visit finally came to an end. Any attraction I felt for him upon meeting was long gone. In fact, I found him rather ugly at this point. Personality really does make a difference. We said our goodbyes, and I breathed a sigh of relief that the date was finally over. The best part about that night was that I knew I would never have to see him again.

Posted in Dating, Life Lessons, Random Thoughts, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ken Without A Barbie

I don’t know why I do, but I remember the first four men I met online. After that, I’ll be honest…it’s a blur, but the first four are still very vivid in my mind. Of them, the one that stands out the most was Ken aka “#3.” This is not because of an amazing connection we had or how he swept me off my feet but rather because my date with him was the worst date I’ve ever had.

Shortly after we started talking, Ken told me that his best friend and his best friend’s wife were going to be in town and asked if I’d like to join them Saturday night on a double date. The plan was to go to dinner and then dancing downtown. In an effort to be adventurous and to meet new people, I said sure!

The afternoon before the date, he texted me while he and his friends were at lunch and said, “Missing you!” I thought, “Ummmm…dude…we haven’t even met yet.” I let it go, as I was doing my best to keep an open mind. The plan was for us to meet up at his apartment and then we would ride together to dinner and then downtown. Ken didn’t live too far away, so I had no trouble making it to his apartment in plenty of time.

Now, before you say anything, I know that going to his place was not the smartest idea, but I am still here to tell this harrowing story, so let us move past that snafu.

At the beginning of the night, I had high hopes for the date given that he was two years older than I was. I figured it might be nice to go out with someone older and more mature than the previous guys I had met prior to online dating. I knocked on his door, and when he opened it and greeted me I realized he didn’t quite look like his pictures. He was quite a bit heavier and shorter than his pics made him out to be. Now, I have no height requirement when it comes to dating, but I do ask that your pictures are current and your profile is accurate. It turned out that Ken was shorter than me which caught me off guard. Again…this fact was not what was listed on his profile. After all, I’m only 5’4 ½” and was wearing a slight heel. What made it even more awkward was the fact that his buddy was at least 6’4”. Talk about the odd couple.

The other thing that set off a red flag was the fact that his best friend and his wife who were joining us were in their early 20’s. They were a very sweet couple, but I thought it was odd that someone who was 40 was best friends with someone who was barely legal to drink. Two things popped into my head upon meeting the other couple – 1. They were very mature for their age, or 2. My date wasn’t. Take a guess which is the right answer.

We all headed to a Japanese restaurant for some sushi before heading downtown. I enjoy sushi, so again, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt that I’d be proven wrong with my hypothesis. We ordered a couple rolls and Ken decided to partake of some sake. I felt trapped, as I was at the mercy of this man who was our driver for the night, and I quickly realized that he was drinking a little much that soon. I’m not much of a drinker, so going out with someone who feels they need to drown their feelings is not my idea of a good time.

The food really was good but we ordered a bit much, so a to-go box was filled with the leftovers. Ken paid the check and we all headed back to his truck for phase two of our evening. Now I need to give you an idea of the area where this restaurant was located, as the reason for this will quickly be revealed. We were in a very highly developed shopping area. There were stores all around us like a Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, etc. You know, your typical suburbia. The reason I say this is because after I had climbed into the truck (thank goodness!!) and despite this being a paved, somewhat busy area, my “date” decided it would be appropriate to pee next to his truck. Yes ladies…this was my date!

We all headed downtown and parked in a lot that was a bit out of the way. Fortunately, being in a truck made parking easy since it was almost like off-roading. We proceeded to walk to our first bar and in the process, Ken’s belt broke. He had a huge belt buckle (it is Texas after all) and it apparently pissed him off. He pulled off his belt removed the buckle and threw both of them into the shrubs. His buddy, who had given him the buckle dug through the greenery to retrieve it as he figured his buddy would want it the next day when he was sober.

We made our way into the first bar and ordered drinks. We didn’t stay long and soon made our way to a country bar complete with a raised dance floor and mechanical bull. For whatever reason, Ken felt it would be appropriate to try to shove ice down my shirt. Yeah…he’s a classy guy! He also made a rude comment to a woman walking by. Upon hearing his remark, the woman stopped and turned to give him a very deserving look to which he replied, “What are you looking at, bitch?” I. Was. MORTIFIED!!

Ken’s buddy was nice enough to ask me to dance, but being that he was a foot taller than me, it proved to be a bit challenging. We took a few turns around the dance floor, as I tried to avoid my date as much as possible. It was finally time to call it a night, and I was breathing a sigh of relief. Ken was in no shape to drive, but thankfully his buddy was sober. The three of us walked back to the truck while Ken staggered as best he could. I got into the truck and buckled up and then it happened again. Yep…that’s right…Ken peed next to his truck yet again. He finally climbed into the cab, unfortunately next to me, and his buddy and his wife got in the front seat. I was glad to be in good hands as far as driving goes, but Ken was trying to be affectionate in the back seat. I was having NONE of that! He figured since he had a snack sitting there that he’d finish the rest of the leftovers from dinner. The thought of him eating after not washing his hands made me a bit nauseated.

We got back to his place finally. I thanked his buddy for driving and said it was nice meeting him and his wife. I waved goodbye to Ken from afar and quickly got into my car before I became the third location of him relieving himself. I had never been so happy to be home in my entire life!

The next day I was going about my day and got a text from Mr. Pee-body. He said, “Hi there. How are you feeling today?” It was as if he thought I might have had too much to drink or something the night before when in fact I was STONE SOBER when I left his company. In fact, after the first bar I had nothing to drink but water in case I needed to drive us back. I didn’t dignify it with a remark and quickly deleted his texts. I could not believe I actually thought that with age comes maturity. The sad part of all this is that I discovered a year later that he got married. I can’t imagine what kind of woman would marry someone like him, but I guess I figured if even HE could find someone then there has to be hope for me.

Posted in Dating, Life Lessons, Starting Anew | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment