Monday, February 28, 2011

Jacques, encore

In the days after the first date with Jacques, we exchanged a few short emails about the plan for the next date. He asked if I’d like to go to a burlesque show. Sure – I’m game to try anything once -- and I appreciated his creativity in planning.

Friday night rolled around – it had been a busy week at work, and I’d been out with friends every single night – by that time, my ideal evening would have involved lounging in front of the TV, catching up on Jersey Shore. But there was no way I’d consider canceling on Jacques on such short notice, so I put on a cute outfit and some red lipstick and headed out.

It turned into a fabulous night – one of those classic THIS-IS-WHY-I-LOVE-NEW-YORK nights. The burlesque show was fun and sexy – I loved that most of the women were on the curvy side. When I mentioned this to Jacques, he said that was typical in traditional burlesque… and that he happened to prefer women who weren’t rail-thin. Score one for me! (though I really, really am planning to lose at least 15 lbs in the near future… more on that another time).

After the show, we hopped in a taxi and went to the restaurant where he’d made a reservation. (He had asked earlier in the week if I liked this particular spot). The little voice inside my head was whoo-hoo-ing with excitement that he’d planned this – he thought of something, and took action. [note: Jon Hamm almost never took initiative like this...]

Great dinner, sexily rustic atmosphere, fabulous wine. It was about midnight when we finished, and I contemplated going home. In lieu of dessert, we decided to hit another bar for one last cocktail. En route to the intended cocktail lounge, we passed a bar with a dance floor that played all 80s music – we just HAD to go in. I hadn’t been to this bar in over ten years, and had fond memories there.

We danced up a storm. I didn’t care that I was becoming a sweaty mess – this was just way too much fun. After an hour or so of this, we found our faces coming closer together, and finally had a very sexy first kiss. This led to lots more snogging, shamelessly standing in the middle of the dance floor … til the music stopped, and we realized we were the last customers in the place, as the bar was closing.

More smooching out on the sidewalk, til Jacques escorted me home in a taxi. A bit more kissing outside my building, til I said I had to call it a night. He did not ask to come in, and I liked him all the more for that.

He texted me the next day, saying he’d had a great time, and hoped we could see each other again before I go out of town for work later this week. A few texts back and forth, increasingly becoming more and more flirty, and plans were put in place.

It’s really refreshing – a year ago at this time, when I was aching for a serious relationship and saw every potential new guy through those kind of tinted glasses, I might have viewed Jacques in that light. Now? Right now, I really just want to have fun, with a fun guy. Or guys, plural. Haven’t sussed out any other potential candidates just yet. In time. Or not.

Work trip coming up this week to an exciting, warm-weather spot… so dating (and related stories) will have to be put on hold til the end of next week. Do stand by!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Date #180: Jacques

A few days after the breakup with Jon Hamm, I logged back onto the dating website, to see what was out there -- but was really in no hurry to start dating again. I saved a few "favorites", but marked them as private. (for those not familiar with the system, you can mark a "favorite" so the recipient gets a note informing them that they've been chosen - kind of a nudge that you're interested, without actually going through the effort of writing a note. I did this with Jon Hamm way back when -- I saw it as simply a way to bookmark a profile, but he took it as a nudge that I wanted him to make the first move.)

Anyway. That has nothing to do with this story, so...

Let's-call-him-Jacques (oui, a Frenchman) wrote to me. I can't recall why, but I wasn't particularly interested, and deleted his email. A week or so later, he wrote again, joking that our scores had risen, and maybe we should see if there was some truth to the science -- he seemed interesting and charming, and after a few email exchanges, we had a date set.

It was my first "first date" in over eight months. It was a strange feeling -- like I was repeating a familiar pattern from long ago. I wasn't nervous -- more like, self-conscious about the fact that I've put on a few pounds of late, and I'm not thrilled with the way I look right now.

Overall, a nice enough date -- lots to talk about, though I found myself getting bored after the second drink (but that may have been just me being tired). He walked me home, kiss on both cheeks, asked if I was free for dinner sometime during the week -- I said I'd let him know.

The next day, I worried that I came across as standoff-ish. I wrote to him suggesting a night to get together later in the week.

Next time: details on how the "kiss on both cheeks" evolved into us being in a room with mostly-naked women, drinking lots of wine, then smooching on an empty dance floor...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I really really really want to kiss this guy.

Went to a fun dinner party with the wonderful, amazing Lucky Girl tonight. Always a great time, these dinner parties. Ridiculously good food, friendly people, wine flowing like oxygen.

And I ran into this guy there -- let's call him Beach Boy, til I come up with a more creative name. I met BB last summer, when I started going to his beach house on occasional weekends. We realized we had lots of friends in common, from random locations -- I worked with his junior high friend, and so on. And from the start, I sensed that there may have been a bit of a connection, and maybe he was a bit flirty... then a friend told me that he just tends to be flirty with lots of women.

Shortly after, I started seeing Jon Hamm, and soon paid no mind to other guys. I also heard that BB had a policy of not dating women in his house -- smart man. Over the winter, I found that that after the summer, he started dating someone from the house -- well, so much for that rule, but whatever. Good for them.

A few weeks ago, I saw BB when we got together so I could give him my payment for the beach house for this summer -- nice to see him, but it was all business. Mostly. As always, he gave me a big, close hug goodbye. Mmm, I like his hugs.

So -- tonight. It was a pleasant surprise to see him at tonight's dinner party. I typically enjoy mingling at these parties, meeting new people, but also was enjoying just talking to *him* for a while. Only a minute or so after we started talking, he mentioned: "I don't know if you heard about me and E" (the woman he'd been dating). I said, "you mean that you're dating, right?". He said: "well, actually, that we broke up". I mentioned that Jon Hamm and I had also broken up.

At the dinner, we sat next to each other. There may have been some brushing of legs against each other. There may have been some sitting closer than was really necessary. I might have fed him some pâté.

Things seemed to cool when we walked to the subway together with Lucky. Back to normal, back to as it "should" be. But the second he left, I just *had* to tell Lucky about this tension, this buildup. I really wanted to kiss this guy. And Lucky said she got the feeling that he wanted to kiss me as well.

Most likely, nothing will happen here. I'm better off NOT having anything happen. If we started fooling around and / or dating, and broke it off by the summer... well, that would be really awkward to constantly see him in his house. And even if we DID date into the summer... well, that could be awkward as well.

It's probably better to just let this flirty tension hang in the air. To just enjoy the way he smiles at me. The big hugs he gives me when we say "hello" and "goodbye". And NOT imagine the excitement of that first kiss...


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dear Single Women of NYC: It's Not Them, It's You.

This Village Voice article has been a real eye-opener -- very timely, given my breakup with Jon Hamm.

This part especially:
If you're like me (and I think a lot of us are), you might say you can't stand drama and that all you want is a nice, stable relationship with someone who loves and treats you well, but "nice" and "stable" have hardly the appeal of words like "exciting" or "passionate" or, well, "drama." Our status as single, independent, financially solvent New York City women in the year 2011 has us sitting on a mountain of unprecedented options.

Options: Those are exciting. So we want all the options, bigger and better and faster and shinier, or taller or sexier or stronger or smarter, and yet somehow also different and completely our own. We want the tippy-top of what we can get —- why shouldn't we? And we want to push those boundaries.

I need to think about this more.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The end.

Not "the end" as in happily-ever-after for me and Jon Hamm.

More like -- the end of "us", which brings me back to this blog.

It was my doing. Only now can I admit here (and especially to myself) that I had been having doubts about us for some time. I just can't explain it -- he's (generally) a sweet, wonderful guy, but IT just wasn't there for me. And it didn't feel right to post anything here (or really mention it to anyone for that matter -- that would have made it "real"). Denial much?

My friend Shmuttie Weber hit the nail on the head:
It's so hard, when things don't feel right, to figure out whether it's this-isn't-perfect-but-overall-it's-working or this-just-isn't-right.

That doubt grew quickly over the past few weeks, and once I began to express that to him, things quickly snowballed downhill. Naturally, he was hurt, upset and angry. And when he began to use mean, bitter words towards me, that sealed the deal. This was not someone I wanted to be with for another day.

So I ended it -- yesterday. I sobbed for about ten minutes, then immediately began to feel relief that I had absolutely done the right thing.

I'm in NO hurry to get back "out there". I'm really looking forward to some alone time for a while -- some time for self-reflection -- and even a return to therapy.

So - there we are. Sorry not to have kept up on all YOUR blogs - will be working on that post-haste!