Left on Read

ghosting

I don’t mean to… honestly I don’t. I read the messages when they chirp in. I just don’t remember to respond for a while… or ever. The first sign of stalking, the first inappropriate comment or out of context proposition, or after receiving an unsolicited dick pick… I ghost them all.

I don’t mean to be rude, but if I’m already feeling disrespected or annoyed, I’m done talking. That whole “Good morning, Gorgeous” crap they do now is not my favorite, either. After four days of receiving that text, what is there to say?

D- Good morning, Gorgeous.

J- Awwww, thanks.

D- Good morning, Sunshine.

J- Awww you too.

D- Good morning, Beautiful.

J- Thank you! Happy Tuesday.

D- Good morning, Pretty girl.

No.

Not just no. Fuck off with that. It’s annoying, generic and I can’t help but wonder how many other ladies are on these “Good morning” texter’s list. There’s also something unnerving about always being referred to by your physical appearance. I have some damn ugly mornings and I’m so much more than a pretty face. Now if he said “Good morning, you bad ass knitter. I’d have something to say. That guy is getting a date.

It’s difficult to navigate boy feelings when asking them to stop doing something other girls have encouraged. Some of you must love these early greetings? I can’t understand why, but to each her own. The last guy I was seeing was a constant fixture in my phone. Morning, noon and night, I was on the receiving end of a hurricane of compliments. The first three days were great… and then it got weird. If I didn’t respond within a half hour, he was worried I was mad and it became a discussion.

WTAF.

Texting is my preferred form of communication, but it can be a full time job with a boyfriend, or even worse if you’re dating several people at once. They have nicknames but I can never keep them straight and frankly the onslaught of digital love notes leaves me dry and angry. The quickest way to get ghosted is to inundate me with attention, novel length messages and phone calls.

I should spell that out from the beginning… and I’ve tried… but men listen as well as women do when we don’t want to. After a week of hearing those messages rapid firing into my phone, I set him to silent, a tiny moon pops up by his nickname and I forget he exists. This is why I don’t date locally… because running into them at the grocery store after you ghost them is AWKWARD. I smile at everyone, so when I’m caught mid-grin by the realization that the man glaring back at me is the weirdo I ghosted after a horrible date, I’m mortified.

Ghosting isn’t nice… but it works, dammit. Some of them reappear after a few months of silence, but that little moon is forever. The Heathen sent me 19 text messages yesterday and I’m sorry- but what do you think is going to happen when you harass someone with your interest?

Fess up… do you tell them you aren’t interested? Or do you vanish into the ether like me??


Derek the douchebag.

I knew when I agreed to this date that Derek was not my current type. I actually picked him for that reason. Let’s be honest… I’ve been ass deep in heartache and begging…. the least attractive a lady can be…. so I didn’t expect this to be a fun choice.

This was a date based on vice, not vision.

I have had a horrifying week full of sore muscles, financial bombs and vomit. My little Dumpling caught the worst of it this week and I’ve been juggling a million nightmares while smiling through feeling marginalized by the one person who can turn my frown upside down.

My stupid car broke down and I had to go pick it up tonight. Three guesses who I called and the first two don’t count.

Already sick to my stomach with nerves over a date I don’t want to go on, sitting beside the reason I have to go in the first place, I fought back tears and was grateful for the dark of daylight savings. He wasn’t paying any attention so it wasn’t hard to just sit silently and breathe through the cold and disinterested side of him. He’s like the moon, shining on me when he wants and never when I do. I’m itching to touch him and he could not be more prickly.. when hot tears break and spill down my cheeks. I brushed them away and bit my lip to stop the flood. He sat silently and I prayed for the minutes to turn into seconds.

We got to the mechanic and I bolted. I didn’t even thank him… and we all know that’s not like me.

Into the safe haven of my car, I absolutely bawled. Great. Puffy, red-eyed glory for my date. That’s awesome. I just wanted to cancel, pull on my ugliest and most comfortable pajamas, and go to bed at 7, with the Dumpling. My date was driving over an hour to take me to dinner, so I needed to pull it together and put myself back together as well.

I flew home, put a pizza in the oven and ran for the shower. A quick 10 minutes and I was blow drying and painting myself into a misleading version of pretty. I clean up well.

The babysitter arrived and I was off to meet my next bad choice.

I’ve been craving my favorite hippy food lately so I took him to a place I don’t usually take a date, in order to eat what I wanted. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I walked in and saw a dozen people I knew, I kicked myself.

He was waiting at a table and looked like the only dessert on the buffet. I could see women eyeing him and whispering to their friends.

I really have spectacular taste in douchebags when I’m being shallow.

Derek is 27, 6’5″ and reminds me of chocolate pudding. I got to the table and held out my hand to shake his. He hunched over and kissed my cheek. He reeked of whiskey and we’re in a hippy bar… so I knew it wasn’t recent.

J- Hi. How was the drive?

D- Long.

J- Hungry? This place has horrible service and great food.

D- and no liquor.

This is where I should have left. I should have just cut my losses and gone out the back door he doesn’t even know exists. I’m starving and determined to shake this heartache off, so I ignored my inner voice and ordered my favorite mahi-mahi zucchini wrap.

Awkward silence at the table has me looking around for a lifeline… and there are only nightmares from the past, bobbing all around me. I excused myself to the bathroom and did the unthinkable.

I sent the sober version of a drunk text to the guy I’m suffering through all this bullshit for..

Silence… nothing but deafening silence from him.

I went back and sat at the table while Derek told me how lucky I was to be there. I ate the one thing I felt like I could actually stomach after another week from hell.

I didn’t even cry. (Go ahead and clap.. … because it was touch and go there a half dozen times.)

Our inattentive server brought the check and Derek eyed me smugly.

D- Your place?

Once upon a time, I could have said yes. Ten years ago I’d have been only too happy to ignore his shitty character in trade for screaming orgasms.

Now?? Not in the slightest.

J- Thank you for dinner. I appreciate you making the drive to take me out, but no. I’m not taking you home.

D- Why not? I wanna fuck you.

J- Charming as that is, I’m not interested, but thank you.

D- Your loss.

J- That’s debatable, but ok. Have a nice drive home and thank you again.

I bolted for that beautiful back door that led to my freshly repaired car and the ticket to climbing into my bed, by my own damn self.

Single never felt so good, even if tears are more common than satisfaction.


First date hesitation.

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Since I gave Mr. Tinder my number, I’ve woken up to great stuff. Funny stories he thinks I might like, updates about the political debates and pictures of him out hiking somewhere wonderful. Daily good morning wishes, frosted with a compliment or three.

I never text him first…. or last for that matter. He responds instantly any time I do. I remember now how to play all these dumb games and am all too aware that I’m completely in control of this situation. I don’t love that, but I’m trying to.

He takes a walk every day just to enjoy the ability and beautiful view. He’s really, really nice. The kind of bone-deep nice that I am. The kind of nice that bores the hell out of me, if I’m going to be honest. I’m trying really hard to want this for myself, in hopes I’ve finally learned something from all the hard lessons I’ve waded through.

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Part of me is sad at how attentive and interested he is, because it illuminates how little I’ve ever gotten in return from the man I’ve been pining for.

Mr. Tinder texts me early and often.

T- Any exciting plans this weekend?

J- Just a hot date on Saturday night.

T- I can’t wait…. but that’s it? That can’t be it. I’ve only “known” you a couple days and I know that can’t be right.

J- Well….I’m canning marinara and pears, too. Want to learn to can?

T- I’d love to actually. I’d may only be in your way but I’m a quick learner and I can reach all the stuff up high.

Yikes. I love a pretty face and he’s cute. I am particularly struck down by a certain man’s devastating smile… but intention slays me more than anything. I’ve spent a year begging for 5 minutes to spoil a man who could barely acknowledge me, so it’s refreshing as hell to be pursued intently by an interested charmer of a man with all of his shit together.

A man with a plan is the man for me. Not that I have a huge interest in teaching him to can vegetables, I’m more stunned by the realization that he wants to hang out with me. I’m embarrassed by how foreign that feels.

Tonight is our first date. He asked me if I’d be uncomfortable if he brought me flowers. I said no and he asked for a list of my favorites.

Now here’s where I decide if I’m going to be a spoiled brat or a doormat. I can tell him I love sterling roses. They’re lavender and $12 a dozen at the grocery store. I LOVE them. Or I can tell him the truth. I love tuberose and gardenias. They’re my favorites. They’d cost him over $100 if he could get them at all, and I have one blooming in my kitchen right now.

So I tell him roses… and make it easy.

Old habits die hard…

He pays attention to what I say and asked how the Dumpling was. She’s been sick all day and I’ve been unavailable, which can bring out the worst in men, too. He’s been cool.

Ignoring the similarities between him and he who shall not be named is impossible. It’s why I swiped right and impossible to ignore if you met them side by side. They look related, but the similarities stop there. Mr. Tinder is a checklist of what I want in a man. I may have chosen him because he looks like the man I can’t get over, but I think I may have stumbled across a boyfriend.

He’s already asked for dates #2 & #3.

T- Will you have ice cream with me on Sunday afternoon?

J- Uhh… that’s awfully brave? What if it goes terribly and we have another date to get through?

T- No worries, I like ice cream enough that it’s still worth it.

J- I do love their coffee ice cream.

T- It’s a date then. Forgive me if I’m being too forward. What I know of you so far is amazing and I’m not going to waste an opportunity to have you in my life.

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He sent me a message on his way to bed.

T- I can’t wait to have dinner with you tomorrow.

J- See you then 🙂

I’m heavy hearted but determined to get over this enormous burden. Reluctant only because I’m loyal to a fault and far too hopeful when it comes to believing in happily ever after.

As much as I want to read my favorite book over and over again, I’d never have found it in the first place if I hadn’t had the courage to try new things and explore different pages.

Here’s to new stories with much happier endings.

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I Don’t.

“Leave his texts on read, leave his balls on blue…put it on airplane mode so none of those calls come through….”  – Cardi B ♥

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to playing the villain in a few boys lives. I ghost them all.

K- Are you in the mood for something sweet?

J- Nope.

…………………………

M- Wanna Netflix and chill?

J- No.

………………………..

C- I’d love to fuck you until sunrise.

J- Damn it, Chad… you make a girl wanna say yes… . … but I have to be up at dawn for work and I quit eating arrogant frat boys years ago.

…………………………

Sidenote: if your name is Chad and you like to golf, we are not a match. This is the guy who has to repeatedly tell you everything he owns.  <eyeroll> I bet you a million dollars he has a micropenis and can’t golf, either.  Sorry Chad- but really… we both know who’d be changing the tire if you got a flat while we were on a date and as patient as I am- I can’t blow a man who’d let me do that.

I deleted my Tinder and put my headlamp on with a few coats of mosquito repellant. It’s in the high 40’s at night this week so I have a snowsuit on as well. The Tinder notification popped up letting me know I was paid until the 22nd and they were going to continue letting me know every three seconds that someone new liked me. I was exasperated and logged in…

I was a little shocked when I realized that I’d collected three Jason’s. They’re all a lovely shade of stunt double and I’d subconsciously combined them into one Jason. I had messages stacked up from all of them, and went through to see who was more interesting, because a couple of them had to go.

Jason #1 is funny and works hard.

Jason #2 goes to the gym and relaxes a lot.

Jason #3 looks exactly like the man I’m trying to replace.

I unmatched #2 & #3 and messaged back #1… a week and a half later to apologize for vanishing. I can’t wait until this Tinder headache is over.

Which is when Frank showed up.

Not really.

I don’t want to train an old dog new tricks. Not if we’re talking about man skills. If they don’t have the basics by 30, they never will. For some women, that doesn’t matter but for me it’s everything. I need him to be able to chop wood, change his oil, carry my heavy stuff and kill all the intruders. I’d rather have a dirty skilled one than a rich pretty one, any day.

If you see red flags before you see his face, save yourself the trouble and run like hell. It’s the silver lining of internet dating. You can spare yourself a lot of really bad dates with depressingly bizarre people. If he’s crazy and off-putting before I’ve eaten stale bread with him over boring small talk? I’m going to spare myself the wasted carbs.

I’m not at all interested but I’m making an effort and that counts for something, right? I’m wading through the frightful messages and breathing through my frustration.

and canning myself a rainbow of healthy distractions for good measure.

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Ask… and you shall receive.

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I deleted Tinder. Or at least ghosted a few dozen hopeful men and let it default to my being away on vacation. Someone recommended Bumble… and I love bees so I was immediately pleased with the little hive icons and the fabulous feature that only allows men to contact you after you’ve made the first move.  No rif-raf, frat boys or dirty old perverts… amen.

In the space of a week, my hive filled up with a beautiful brown assortment of men far too young to take seriously, a few educated men my own age and two exceptions.

One shark and one gentleman.

Now once upon a time I only dated sharky men. You know the type. He looks at you intently and you feel undressed. He’s confident, successful, wealthy and bold. He has a plan for you and it’s not always in your best interests. He smells incredible, kisses like he made it up and has the sexual repertoire I crave in a man.

Bachelor #1 is a Great White shark. He’s well traveled, extremely successful and well read. He wants to take me to dinner, dessert… and breakfast the next morning if I’ll let him. (Don’t worry, I won’t) Pictures AND video(s) of his equipment…He’s very interested, has already scheduled out to date 5 and is pulling out all the stops to impress me. I have a scorching hot date with him on Saturday night and am actually excited for the first time in a long time. He’s short, pretty and owns a bookstore complete with yarn. Be still my heart.

But I haven’t ended up anything but injured as a result of my Shark habit and I’m supposed to have grown up and learned from my hardest days, right?

So a gentleman doesn’t sound awful.

Bachelor #2 is a tall black gentleman making it very difficult for me to want to swim with a predator. I wake up to sweet, respectful wishes from him, that I have a great morning. He texts me at lunch with hopes my day is unfolding easily. Facetimes me while he makes incredible dinners for one. No dick pics or discussion of anything sexual. He wants to take me out for coffee after he gets through his finals. He’s graduating from a prestigious university this spring and is every bit as interesting as he is genuine. His intentions have been made as well, and he would like to date me exclusively… before the first date. Over the top, whines about his ex and is… well… a bit boring.

Internet dating is bizarre. Whoever thought you’d see his dick before your first date? Technology isn’t always the most romantic and I’d rather not see it pop up on my phone, to be honest.

Saturday should be fun, weird… or both.

Monday morning coffee with the gentleman should be sweet, boring… or both.

I’ll let you know. 🙂