Calamity House

I’ve been a bit of a crank this week. I made the mistake of
taking on the very large task of house sitting for a friend who has
both a dog and cat for 12 days and, it’s been trying to say the
least. The dog has been easy but the cat has been a real drama
queen. She’s an indoor/outdoor cat (which, I don’t approve of but
that’s just me) and disappears for long periods of time when let
outside. Right after my friend left for the holidays I had let the
cat out and she didn’t come back until very late that night. When
she did come into the house she was limping holding one paw up.
This was Christmas Eve at 10:00 to be exact. I didn’t relish
spending the night at the all night emergency vet so I checked her
out pretty good. Everything bent ok, the claws came out ok, the
pads looked fine. Perhaps she just sprained it. I didn’t want to
call my friend right away and worry her on Christmas Eve so I
waited until the next day. The next morning I flew out of bed
hearing the dog bark to be let out and the cat whining at the back
door. “This is bullsh*t” I thought. It was 6 a.m. on Christmas
morning and I had really hoped to be able to sleep in for once,
especially since it was on a holiday. The cat was still limping
around holding the paw up. (I checked that paw out so many times
now it’s not even funny.) I wasn’t going to let her out but the
dog. I went to the back door and as I tried to open the door the
doorknob came off in my hand. Great. I tried to put it on again
just enough to turn it and open the door when the knob on the other
side fell off and landed on the porch. I had to go all the way down
into the basement to let the door out into the back yard. I padded
into the kitchen to make coffee and my friend only had a French
press. This has proved to be waaaaay too many steps for me to do in
the morning. My coffee needs are that the coffee be made the night
before, timer set and be waiting for me when I get up and that it
be strong, dark, rich and HOT. The French press coffee that I
attempted to make – yeah, not so much. There were grounds floating
around in the coffee (which, I hate), it has the consistency of tea
and I had dribbled water all over the floor trying to fill it up. I
did actually give it the old college try the first two mornings but
I eventually gave up before it got thrown out the kitchen window.
Since the cat was still limping, I called my friend and asked her
what she wanted me to do? Should I call my vet on Monday and have
her come out? My friend said to just watch it and see if it got
better. I replied that I wasn’t letting her out for the next three
days whether she liked it or not. So, the next three days was
constant cat whining to be let out. She knows how to open doors,
too, which brings me to the next story. I usually go over there
right after work and let the dog out and feed them both before
going to my own house to feed my cat and do any chores that need
done and then back to my friend’s house to spend the night. It’s
been hectic to say the least. I haven’t gotten sh*t done this week,
that’s for sure. The other night I was out watching football with A
and was almost tempted to just go home and sleep in my own bed and
then get up extra early the next morning and go over there. I
longingly drove by my house and said, “No, I’d better go there.”
When I got there the back door was standing wide open and the dog
had been outside for hours and the cat was nowhere to be found. I
hadn’t locked the back door so she got it open and let both her and
the dog outside. I was frantic looking for the dog thinking he
might have ran off but he was still in the yard and came running up
when called. Good dog! I called and called and called for the cat
to no avail. Oh well. I went to bed and left her out all night sure
she would be frozen to the deck the next morning. The next morning
she was by the back door ready to come in. I’ve learned she only
comes when hungry but other than that f*ck it she’s staying out.
Last night I was in a dead sleep and I heard a door slam. It was
the cat opened the basement door and it slammed against the wall
waking me up – at 2 a.m. I thought someone had gotten into the
house and was coming up from the basement as it was the basement
door right beside the guest room I was sleeping in. I came running
out and there she was standing in front of the door. I cannot tell
you what I wanted to do at that point. I slammed and latched the
basement door, made sure all the other doors were locked and went
back to bed only drifting off after my heartbeat slowed. This
morning the cat was crying to be let out and I said, “Ok, knock
yourself out – literally!” As I opened the door and she darted out
I said, “Bye!” The paw seems a bit better and I had gotten the
green light from my friend to let her out. So you can see it’s been
one thing after another over there. I am so over it. I want to
sleep in my own bed with my deaf cat who the only annoying thing he
does is meow really loud because he can’t hear. I also want Lee to
be back. I am getting worn down by the texting, phone talking etc.
– not that there’s a lot of it – quite the opposite, really. I’m
tired that it’s our only means right now and of her being gone. I
know I’m really whining here but I don’t care. It’s been a trying
and somewhat lonely holiday for me. I feel ambivalence over the
parties I’m attending both Friday and Saturday. Things seem really
dull and actually a grind until she gets back on Sunday. When she’s
back I won’t even mind that I have to do one.more.day at the
pet-calamity house.

not looking back

It never fails that when you meet someone it’s right before one of you are heading out of town for a long trip.

New girl is going to get a name now – let’s call her Lee. We had managed another date after the girl interrupted debacle. It was a low key one, sitting in front of the fire talking and then curling up and taking a short nap together. It was very nice. The next day I was to take her to the airport for a very long visit with her family in Ohio. This, again, is the universe slowing things down and putting distance between us.

My phone vibrated and it was Lee saying she was home and I could come over anytime I wanted. I was trying to get in a little last minute Christmas shopping before she left. I said I needed 15 minutes and then I would head her way. I wrapped a Sarah McLaughlin cd and a bracelet that had a token of a tree on it. It was so easy to shop for her because I knew she liked some of the same things I liked. I took out a funny snowman card and wrote a short paragraph in it, signed it and put it with the cd. Once that was done I drove over to her house minutes away and picked her up. (Thankfully, the ex/roommate wasn’t there) After loading her bag into the back of the truck she paused before getting in. There were two wrapped gifts in the seat.

“What’s this?”

“Just a little something to open at Christmas and think of me.”

“I don’t need gifts to think of you but thank you.” she said, smiling.

We headed for the airport wanting to get there early and have lunch before she took off. Driving in the car I felt her put her hand on my leg. I flashed to the previous evening laying by the fire. I felt a pang of not wanting to say goodbye and in my mind I saw the holidays stretch out for eternity. (I know, I can be a little dramatic) I parked in front of Delta and went around to pull her suitcase of of the back. As I set it on the curb I had to brush all the remanants of my last landscaping job off her bag. We had a laugh over that.

“Oh fine mess up my bag why don’t you.” she joked.

Sorry, sorry – you might take some bamboo with you to Ohio.”

She went to go check in and I went to park. By the time I came walking up she was waiting for me inside the doors. We walked through the big atrium area of the airport and headed for a chain restaurant that served bar food and cocktails. We had been holding a very spirited conversation with pauses for laughing the whole way there.  After ordering food the server came by and set down plates and napkins. I happened to glance down at them and thought at first they were heart shaped plates. (They were actually triangle shaped which was almost just as weird)

“What? You stopped talking.”

“Uh yeah, I saw the edge of the plates and initially thought the server brought us heart shaped plates and thought, ‘Aw, how did she know?’ ”

We both broke up laughing over that. I again had to really concentrate to keep from spitting my beer on her. I have no idea why we thought that was so funny, maybe because so many weird things have happened since we had been going out. The lady at the table next to us smiled and said, “You two are a riot.”

After lunch we went out into the atrium and sat on a couch and talked some more. Lee kept looking at her watch from time to time. We spied the security line and it didn’t appear to be too long. I leaned into her and kissed her right there in front of everyone who happened to be in that large atrium area at the airport just then. In front of people walking by with their bags, people waiting for their planes, people checking their tickets. Everyone. And, I didn’t care. We pulled away and smiled at each other. Just then a man slid into the chair right next to our couch with a grin on his face. Obviously, he had seen the display, too, and before he could open his mouth to ask us something and waste what precious little time I had left with her I shot him a dark look and grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s go walk around a bit before you take off.”

Once it was time for her to go I again kissed her and watched her walk to the security gate. I stood there and watched to see if she would look back at me – she did, smiled and we waved to each other. I still stood rooted in my spot to see if she would turn around again and she did. Same thing smiled and waved then I turned and headed to the garage. Not looking back.


hockey shots and second shots

I was tingling the whole day. That morning I had gotten a text from new girl on the scene about her friends going to a hockey game that night. I texted back asking her if she wanted to go, too. When she said, “Sure” I was on the phone with a woman on craigslist within minutes arranging to meet her on my lunch break to get club seats along with a parking pass to the CNN center.

I couldn’t wait to finish my work day and see her. I practically ran out of the office and drove home to get ready for the game while she fought traffic across town to get to my house where I was to drive us downtown. I pulled on two long underwear shirts to wear under my hockey jersey and gave her my Thrasher’s sweatshirt to wear. She walked in the house taking off her sweatshirt showing off a grey turtleneck and jeans. For the first time I was able to check her out without the many layers of winter clothing we had donned since meeting. I liked what I saw. I handed her the sweatshirt, she slipped it on and we hopped in the truck to drive downtown. Pulling into the parking deck right across from Phillips area we easily found a parking space near the bridge entrance.

Once at the door they scanned our tickets and I grabbed her hand leading her to the club level. Inside we found our seats just in time for the Thrashers to skate out of the tunnel and to stand for the National Anthem. Once the game started we made our way to the restaurants and decided to share a pizza. We sat and ate a sausage pizza and watched the game on the TV monitor above us.

We went back to our seats and watched the rest of the first half and then went to find her friends. We walked hand in hand through the main arena area and found them standing outside the very last tunnel. Introductions were made and we stood and talked until the beginning of the second half. After the game (we lost, btw) we made our way back to the truck. In the truck we sat and talked and then I replayed our kiss from the previous time in the truck. Time flew and by the time we pulled apart the parking garage was empty. I started the truck and headed for the house but at the last minute turned up Boulevard and headed for Oakland Cemetery. I wanted to have a moonlit walk. Needless to say, we unknowingly walked right by the guard shack and ended up getting kicked out of the cemetery.

Back at my house we made out in my bedroom. I mistakenly thought I could resist taking things further. As we were in a crucial moment her phone started ringing. We tried to ignore it and it finally stopped. It was 2 a.m. in the morning. We continued and it rang again, stopped and then rang again. Finally, she jumped up to answer it, at an even more crucial moment. It was her roommate/and also a distant ex wanting to know if she was coming home that night. I felt my arousal plummet as she stammered that she would be home in a little while. I got up and went to the bathroom and when I came back out she was still standing there looking at all the messages on her phone. I said, “Either get back in bed or get dressed and get out.” I was angry. She hurriedly gathered her clothes apologizing as she did. I tossed an undergarment at her and said, “Just go.”

I walked her to the door and she paused looking back at me and asked if she wanted me to call when she got home. I said something about not knowing where my phone was and closed the door in her face. Yeah, I can be a real bitch when I want to be but I was disappointed. Disappointed that we were interrupted and also at myself for letting things progress faster than I intended. I really wanted our first time to be special and it was blown. I also didn’t want the ex to be in the bedroom with us – ever. I fell into bed and instantly slept. I would deal with this in the morning.

The next morning I found an apologetic email from her. I called her on the way to work and explained that if her living arrangement was going to cause problems with her and us then maybe it wasn’t such a good idea that we progressed. The long and short of it is that things were discussed (between her and the ex/roommate) and she managed to placate me with a promise that it would never happen again. In hindsight, I thought, maybe it was a good thing that it did happen – that we were interrupted. Maybe it was the universe saying to slow things down a bit, take it slower and to, yes, make the first time more special. “Hell, if we ever get to that.” I thought.

I thought if she were anyone else, I would have completely blown her off and not returned her phone calls. Eventually,when I cooled off I would have said something to the extent of just being friends. But, I just couldn’t with this girl. I really think we have a good thing going and I refuse to cowl to the ex girlfriend (who screwed around on her while they were together – with men, no less). So, yeah, the girl deserves another shot.  I hope I’m right about this, about her.

Merry Christmas to me

First of all, if you’re reading this then I want to thank you for following me over here and continuing to be a great support. Now, on to the good stuff –

Despite all the horror stories we have all read of online dating I managed to meet someone on an online site that I have really clicked with – this is new girl on the scene.

It all started out as an innocent email from me. I saw that she had viewed my profile and I checked hers out as well. I liked what I read so I shot her an email that she returned within the same day. We had been emailing for a week when she sent me her phone number for me to give her a call. When I did call once we got over a momentary nervousness of speaking to someone new the conversation seemed to flow and we were joking and laughing in no time. She asked what I was up to that night and I said that I was meeting some friends at a local pub and to join me if she wanted. She said she’d see what was going on and look up the pub on her iPad to see where it was. (she lives in another section of town but inside the perimeter). Later, pulling up to the pub I got a text from her saying that she was on her way. I walked in and joined the group at a large table. I saved a few seats next to mine as a few other of my friends were showing up but I hoped that she would arrive first sitting in the one next to mine. Ironically, that did happen as the two friends of mine who were to show never did. A text came in saying that she was there and I stood up to see a tall, brunette walk through the door. “She’s even cuter in person”, I thought. I waved and she came over and pulled out the chair next to mine. She was smiling when she sat down and I noticed that, too. “Wow, she has a great smile.”

The service at the pub was minimal that night and I suggested that we ditch it and go to another nearby because I had a craving for nachos. We walked to my truck and I drove us over there. Dinner was in a booth at a local sports bar hunched over the table with easy conversation with the occasional fit of laughter.

“Wait. Stop or else I’m going to spit my beer all over you.”

“Well, there could be worse things you could spit all over me – say those nachos.” She said.

That date led to another that she talked me in to. I had been frantic at work all week and was getting ready to go out of town the next day for a conference in Florida. I was tired but I wanted to see her. We agreed to meet out for a movie at a local theater. Once there we realized that we had time to kill before the movie and I suggested we go to a bar nearby. She ran out to her car to get her i.d. while I went inside the bar to scope us out a seat. When I opened the door I noticed go-go boys in underwear dancing on the bar and being tipped by older men. Everyone looked up at me, the music seemed to stop, I gently shut the door and started walking her way.

She ran up and said, “Ok, I have it. Wait – why aren’t you in the bar?”

“Uh, we don’t want to go in there.”

When I explained why we both had a laugh over it. Which, was the first of many funny stories of things that have happened on the nine dates we have had so far. We ended up at a restaurant up the road and missed the movie talking for hours. As the restaurant started to close we took our conversation to my truck and sat there and talked until 2 a.m. watching the rain run down the windshield of my truck. I wanted to kiss her that night but I didn’t want to push things and scare her away.

The next date was the night I got back from Florida. It was icy in the city and I almost slipped and fell several times on the way into the Irish pub we were meeting at. Once inside, I slid into a booth in the corner across from her. It was crowded and noisy in the pub and I initially wished we had chosen a quieter place – until, later when she shoved into the booth beside me saying she could hear me better sitting next to me. Just then some guy came up and asked if we were sisters. This was a friend of a man that had hit on her on the way to the restroom earlier. It was obvious he was scoping out the scene for his friend. When we shook our heads and said no we weren’t he then asked how we knew each other. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into me and said, “We’re girlfriends” I could feel her tense initially and then relax into my hold. She nodded and said, “Yes, yes we were girlfriends.” Going along with my ruse. The man then asked some more rude questions and we became short with him when it was apparent that we wanted him to go away. What made it funny was at this point we hadn’t kissed or held hands or anything. My ruse was the first physical touch between us. Noting her tenseness I thought that perhaps she just wanted to be friends and that she wasn’t interested in anything else. I was fine with that – she was fun to be around and I could see a potential friendship. As we left the pub I looped my arm with hers to keep us from falling on the ice and walked her to her car.

The next date we ended up at the same restaurant as before, closing it down and in my truck once again talking. I had a Tears for Fears cd in. As my favorite song came on I took her face in my hands and kissed her. She kissed back long and passionate. I guess this girl was looking for something more than friendship, afterall – and so it goes. I got everything I wanted for Christmas – the wonder of someone new to my life, the excitement, the texts and the laughter and, that kiss and many more. Merry Christmas to me!