~Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Last night I was Uptown at a painting studio with Jenna. Before us was a picture of Venice that we were both trying to copy. This painting involved a little more drawing than painting for my taste.

I dipped my paint brush in yellow and twisted as I pulled it out to coat the bristles evenly.

"You remember when Harvey called us asexual a couple of weeks ago?" she asked, unprovoked.

"Mmm hmm." Damn that little arched window on the Venice building.

"Well, I wanted to say that I'm not asexual. She doesn't bring any guys around for us to look at!"

I laughed.

"I didn't think I should say that at the time."

"You should have!" I encouraged. "Harvey would have liked that."

"I would date, but I just don't think about it because I don't have the time. I don't even know where I could fit it in," she continued.

"Yeah, you are the busiest person I know." I moved on from the window and began working on the water. "We do need another guy in our group though."

"Why is that?"

I placed my brush down and faced her. "The numbers are uneven. We have you, me, Katie and Harvey," I counted on one hand for the girls. "And Harvey's husband, Swayze and Governemnt Mule," I counted on the other. "We need another guy."

We went back to our paintings.

"There are guys at my work, but they don't go out or do anything," she remarked.

Harvey, the de facto leader of our group, apparently lit a fire underneath Jenna by calling her asexual. All of a sudden, I'm a whole lot more excited by Fall. Fall always seems like a new beginning to me. Maybe its because that's when each new school year started, so Fall was always a time to buy new shoes and reinvent yourself into whomever you want to be.

Fall also seems to be the time people start getting together. Spring is for breakups, Summer is for flings, and Fall and Winter are for dating. Jenna and Mel are on eHarmony with me, so I feel like I have fellow teammates taking the field with me, because Fall is also for college football.

~Monday, September 27, 2010


I've been complaining about PoF and on-line dating, so what I did do? I got more immersed and signed up at eHarmony. I did the exact opposite of what I said I was going to do.

Mel had signed up on the site again. She had found some website with a list of codes. After trying a few, she got seven months of service for roughly $8 a month. Well, I was willing to try the site for $8 a month.

She sent me the website and never having used eHarmony before, the best deal I could get was one month for $19.99. I did a little investigating on the site and learned that if I did not choose a free magazine subscription, I was eligible for a $10 mail-in rebate, thereby lowering my one-month subscription to $9.99. Once I was a member of eHarmony, I then qualified for a 6-month extension for $4.95 a month. All in all, I got 7 months of service for $39.69. That comes out to $5.67 a month.

(The website I used is here: http://eharmony-blog.com/470. It has codes for other countries as well. If you live in the U.S. and want to know what codes I used, just e-mail me. The $4.95 deal expires on 9/30. And I am no way affiliated with the code site or eHarmony; I just like saving money.)

After I handed over my credit card, I about died when I saw my confirmation page. My eHarmony subscription expires on my 30th birthday. I felt sick. Mel laughed and said it was perfect timing.

What I immediately liked about eHarmony over Plenty of Fish is that it weeded out all the people I'm not interested in, so it actually turned out to be less time consuming for me. For example, this time around I only want to date a college graduate. As Curvy says, someone who can meet me where I am. No more fixer-uppers. And with eHarmony it is a pre-requisite that the person has a working credit card, so that is immediately an advantage over the last two people I dated. Also, I kind of like the stigma that the site has: it's for people serious about dating.

Two days into it, I am pleased. The matches it has sent me are people I would actually date. I am also in the third stage of communicating with one guy and it seems like it might lead to a date.

Update: Jenna has joined again too!

~Friday, September 24, 2010


My mother is spending the week visiting my sick grandmother in the nursing home. She had been telling me that her gentleman friend called her while she was out of town and begged her to return early so they could go out.

"He just would not stop talking about it," she said.

"Yeah, well, I got an e-mail from S today," I shared. "Apparently they have Internet access in rehab and he's discovered Facebook."

"What did he say?"

"'Hey, it's S. I hope your doing good.' Your y-o-u-r. And 'good' instead of 'well.' Ugh."

My mother scoffed. "That's just like him to put the guilt trip on you. Not, 'how are you doing?' but 'I hope your doing good.' Like you should feel bad for him."

My mother had read all the books my therapist told me to read, and then jumped on a women self-help bandwagon and reads about anything that deals with oppression from Man.

"Did you respond to him?" She asked.

"Oh god no. I didn't even know it was from him until I read it 2 or 3 times."

Government Mule has the same name as S. Their last names even start with the same letter and have the same number of syllables. I had e-mailed Government Mule earlier that day and was trying to figure out why he sent me a one-line response with so many grammatical mistakes. I honestly thought Government Mule was angry with me.

"With both of those men contacting us like that, it must be a full moon out," my mother remarked.

"I had walked The Femme Fatale earlier before I called you and noticed the moon was big. I just don't know if it was big enough to be a full moon."

"You just watch. I bet it's a full moon tonight. Strange things always happen on a full moon."

Later that night I was clicking around CNN.com and I happened upon this article: http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-22/living/harvest.moon_1_autumn-full-moon-optical-illusion?_s=PM:LIVING

Super Harvest Moon: Autumn phenomenon is a rare treat

September 22, 2010|By Jack Maddox, CNN
  • The last day of summer 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere coincides with a full moon.
    The last day of summer 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere coincides with a full moon.

Tonight is the night of the Super Harvest Moon.

It's the last day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the beginning of the autumn season and it perfectly coincides with a full moon tonight. And it's the first time in almost 20 years that the stars have aligned for an event like this. (We fully acknowledge that the moon is not a star but it's not very often we get to use the phrase in such close context).

When the summer sun starts setting this evening, it will blend with the rising autumn moon to produce a unique "360-degree style" twilight. The two low-in-the-sky light sources mix together and illuminate the sky all around you, unlike than the typical one-at-a-time approach you see when you drive home from work. And it's from this extra twilight lighting that the Harvest Moon gained its place in the celestial calendar. With farmers depending on moonlight to harvest their crops they would note the autumnal full moon. Thus the phenomenon's name.

It was the effing Super Harvest Moon. The mack daddy of full moons.

I called my mother back.

"Make sure your doors are locked."

~Monday, September 20, 2010

Without a Paddle

It's another Monday morning and again I'm exhausted. In weekend-warrior fashion, Katie, Jenna and me piled in the Jeep and headed for the Tennessee state line. There we white water rafted down the Ocoee river. We don't have big rapids in the South; the Middle Ocoee river is mainly class III and a few class IV. Luckily we had another good tour guide who let us take some of the riskier routes. Coming out of a class IV rapids, he shouted instructions to spin the raft for the 360 spins which were fun. We did end up getting stuck in the hole at the bottom of Double Suck (hence the name) and I lost my oar in the process (embarrassing!) but we were able to retrieve it downstream.

The rafting trip was a bit impromptu; I didn't call and make the reservation until Wednesday afternoon. The only spot left was the 5:30 evening time. At first I was disappointed because every prior rafting trip I had done in the morning. I severely underestimated the time slot. Halfway down the river, we were treated to a sunset behind the Great Smoky Mountains, which lit up the sky in pink. We rafted the last third of the course by moonlight which made the trip more fun because we couldn't see some of the smaller rocks because of the glare on the river. We pulled out our raft in complete darkness. I don't think a lot of people have shared that experience, so I highly recommend dusk rafting.

Then we piled back in the Jeep and headed towards the closest Starbucks which happened to be back across the state line and 30 miles away. The state line was in the center of this small town, so that one side of the red light was one state and the right-hand turn we needed was the other state. As we stopped at the light, we shared the being-in-two-places-at-once experience a la A Walk to Remember. True city girls, I don't think we relaxed until we had our mocha cappuccino fix. On the ride home, we took turns debating whether our next adventure should be caving or rappelling, and what our costumes should be for next year's Warrior Dash.

Sunday was the kickoff (pun intended) of our kickball league that all seven girls in our group joined. It's a co-ed league. None of us have played since elementary or middle school, so we weren't really that surprised when we lost big time. We had no idea that there are people out there who have stayed with the same team and have played all Spring, Summer and Fall seasons together for the past three years. We took it as a victory that we even scored one point when we found out we were playing the league champions. Everyone was a good sport, except for one guy on our team who had a competitive streak to put it nicely. He yelled at us a few times. Jenna got a black eye by being barrelled down by a runner on the other team, but I think she was okay with it because he was cute and he helped her back up.

I'm a little sore today, and I have no idea if this is from white water rafting or playing kickball. But I'm taking that as a good sign that I do so much, I can't even place my injuries.

~Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Out Dating

Monday night I was sitting in one of those out-dated sports bars with wood paneling, Golden Tee and not quite enough flat-screen TVs. I was surrounded by Government Mule, Harvey, Swayze and Jenna. I wore a very old Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt a la 1999 that's Jets' green. Everyone else was rooting for the Ravens.

I told the story of my date and asked exactly how pissed off I should be regarding this whole tennis thing. The boys immediately told me that it was actually an exciting match and that I shouldn't be offended. Harvey asked if he paid, and if he did, I should give him another chance. Jenna said no way.

Harvey ordered the next round of Blue Moons. "Sarah, I'm so glad you date so I can live vicariously through you. You," she pointed to the remaining three, "need to start dating. You realize my husband and I are a year and a half away from having kids.

"You know, my husband and I were talking about how this group is asexual--"

I snorted so belligerently that beer went up my nose and I slipped off my chair and into Jenna's bosom. Harvey used the exact same words to express the exact same sentiment.

Laughter died down and everyone looked at me expectantly. "Uh, it's just, you know, I was told I talked about dating too much," I explained.

"Who said that?" asked Harvey.

I dangled a finger towards Government Mule. "When?!" he exclaimed.

"When we were in the hot tub! You were all 'Sarah, you talk about dating too much.'" I slurred the words to emphasize that he had had a few when he said that.

"Wait a minute. The only person drunk in the hot tub was you," countered Swayze. Swayze, however, was asleep in a Lazy Boy when that happened.

"No! He said it! I swear!" I pounded the table.

"Nope, you were just drunk and that's what you decided to hear," said Government Mule smugly. Even though GM and I were the only people present during the conversation, I had lost all credibility.

I swear, he really did say that. But the dating ban has officially been lifted.

~Monday, September 13, 2010

Date #1

Early Saturday afternoon I'm at Harvey's house and watching our alma mater lose at our first conference game of the season. Needless to say, it was a frustrating game. I heard my phone chime with a text message from inside my purse in the kitchen. I was sprawled across Harvey's plush black leather chair with my legs dangling over the side. I leaned my head back until I got an upside-down view of the living room. I bit my lip. Everyone on the world who would possible send me a text message on a Saturday afternoon was in this living room. My phone chimes again.

I climb out of the chair and step over my sleeping dog. I don't recognize the number of the text messages. It's the Biologist, the guy I was supposed to meet up with last Monday. He wants to meet up that night. I already had plans that night. I told him so. He tried to get me to cancel mine. I refused. He tried to tag along with me. I declined. Instead I decided to skip going to my mother's house and drove back into the city to meet him after the game. Thank God I just happened to get up early Saturday morning and washed and styled the hair, applied some makeup and just happened to put a dress on, otherwise I'd been majorly screwed time wise. And let me assure you, that is not my normal Saturday morning routine.

Driving to a sports bar near my apartment building, I was feeling a moderate amount of anxiety. I wasn't looking forward to this date. I had absolutely no time to prepare for it. He came across as pushy over text. And something weird happened with Government Mule at the football game that I am not even close to being ready to talk about. So I called Mel, my oldest friend in the world, and chatted and made dinner plans next weekend to distract me from the impending date.

Then he texted me and told me he might be a few minutes late. I told myself that he was being kind and considerate and forced myself out of the dark clouds I'd been dazed in.

The Biologist stood up from the table to meet me. He smiled and gave me a warm hug before I could even introduce myself. Okay! I can do this! I thought. The Biologist wasn't as stocky as I gathered he was from his photo. He's actually much cuter in person. He wore a baby blue Joseph A. Banks polo with a brown leather Swiss Army watch and he smelled of cologne. His nervous energy was contagious. He immediately pulled his straw out of his bourbon and Coke and began twisting and knotting it.

He immediately began drilling me. Had I ever been on-line dating before? How long had I been on PoF? Do my friends know I'm on it? Had I met anyone on it before? I reciprocated his questions and found out I was the first person he has ever met from on-line.

I grabbed my Sweetwater Blue and took a sip. "Ah! I got your cherry!" I laughed.

He chuckled and relaxed.

He told me I looked familiar. I said I get that all the time and must just have a friendly face. He asked what movie stars do people tell me I look like. I said I got Zooey Deschanel a few weeks ago and loved it. He said I looked like Mandy Moore and that I should take it as an even greater compliment.

He pointed to the couple being seated a few booths down. "That's my biggest pet peeve."

I swallowed hard. "Interracial couples?"

"No!" he laughed, embarrassed. "People who sit on the same side of the booth. I'll do it when I'm drunk, other than that, I want to look at the person." He smiled.

He grilled me, controlling the conversation. What am I looking for. What happened in my last relationship. Whether I was close with my family. He showed me pictures of his dog and his boat. Said he couldn't be with someone who didn't love my alma mater's football team.

His eye's flicked above me to the TV playing behind me. It was a tennis match. "You like tennis?" he asked.

"No. I'll watch all the college football you need me to, but not tennis."

He looked above me again. "The U.S. Open is on right now."

I turned around and looked at the TV. "Yeah, my friend set up three TVs in her living room so we could watch all the sports that are playing today. But I didn't pay attention to the tennis TV."

Pause. Pause. Pause. He's watching the tennis game.

"Sorry. In tennis there are five sets and they each won two. They are playing the final one right now."

"Wasn't there a tennis match a couple of weeks ago that lasted 12 hours or something?" I asked.

"Yeah." Pause. Pause. Pause. More TV watching.

The conversation ground to a complete halt. I tapped my fingers on my pint glass. I read everything on the table.

"You know, if you're bored, I can leave," I finally said.

"No! Sorry! I'm just hanging out. It's just the last of the tennis game."

Complete silence. I decided if he wasn't going to talk to me, I was going to get good and drunk. I ordered another pint. About a half hour after that, The Biologist wakes up from his tennis coma and asks for the bill.

We walk out to our cars. "Okay, so I'll give you a text later," he said. "Or you can text me."

I was confused. I just spent the better part of the last hour counting things. "I felt like you didn't have a good time," I said as I looked down and shuffled my feet.

"God, no. That wasn't it. I feel like an asshole if I gave you that vibe. I was very rude. I'm sorry."

Then he turned and got into his truck.

And for the second time this summer, I'm left with Jesus Christ, what the hell was that?

As I drove away from our date, I smelled like The Biologist and I hated it. I hated how I felt, sitting there in silence.

Around midnight The Biologist texts me and asks if I enjoyed the rest of my evening. I said that I accidentally fell asleep and decided to stay in. He asks if I want company. I said no thank you.

~Friday, September 10, 2010


Bad news! After filling my body of crap for 72 hours, I got a debilitating virus that brought me to my knees and had me crying for my mommy!

Good news! My pants from college now fit better than ever!

Good news! I had scheduled a date with a guy from Plenty of Fish!

Bad news! Said epic virus meant I couldn't go! Now he's dropped off the face of the earth!

Good news! I decided that God gave me a break! He was all "Sarah, you've dated enough doucebags that I'm going to cripple you so there is no way you can meet another one!"

~Thursday, September 02, 2010


NOTE: Thank you for everyone's comments; they were each helpful and gave me a lot to think about.

NOTE: Inspired by Hope.

It's approaching 5 months since I've been on a date, and a part of me wonders if I am ready. (Honestly? Most days the answer is "no.") My experience with guys the last several years has been so bad that I feel shy about trying to open that part of myself to someone else only for it to be destroyed again. (Twice bitten, four times shy.)

I've tried to overcome it by talking about it to my friends. Acknowledge my serial dating in a self-deprecating and joking manner. (See: 500,000 men on Facebook.) But Government Mule (recently made guy-friend and owner of the Facebook profile I wrote on) and I were sitting topless in a hot tub drinking gin and tonnies at 3 a.m. one night when the subject of dating comes up again. He tells me I talk about it too much.(Hey, buddy, you just joined the group... last November.) So I went from not talking about it at all, to talking about it too much.

To be fair though, Harvey is married and therefore never talks about dating. Katie and her sister have no interest in dating and therefore never talk about dating. (Both did stints on eHarmoney with no results.) Government Mule and Swayze (the boys) don't date for whatever reason and therefore never talk about dating. (GM did all of his dating before joining the group and Swayze is delightfully and endearingly awkward around girls.) In the four years we've been hanging out, I am the only person to bring along a date. And in my group, that makes me the weird one. (But I don't feel weird. Why can't they be the weird ones?)

We also never talk about sex (which I have to say has been really bugging me lately). I miss the days in college where Harvey and I did some pretty wild things and then swap stories the next day. Harvey and I will still talk when we're alone (reminiscing on those stories from college), but it's like the group is asexual and my attempts to not make it asexual lately have not gone unnoticed. (Bah. The whole thing is making me feel little dirty.)

So we were sitting in the hot tub topless (once again, my attempt to spice things up and remind everyone that we just share the love of beer and college football, we also have girl parts and boy parts) and he tells me that I'm brazen. (Well yes, we're both topless and I'm the only one where it counts.) He tells me I ask the questions that no one else does. (I'd like to thank my years spent as a journalist.) And he says it's because of this that I'm not going to do well on Plenty of Fish or even eHarmony. (Humpf.) He said I needed to be friends with someone first and then build a relationship off of that. (I think that was a really long-winded way of saying I have diarrhea of the mouth and need someone who already knows this and can get past it.)

To which I have called the whole experiment a fail and have abandoned talking about dating to my friends. (Munch, munch, munch and eat more of my feelings.)


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