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Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

It’s been a while, no?  I said in my last post, that for once I wanted to just  experience what I was experiencing.  To live it, but not feel like I had to write about it.  But blogging is a part of my life.  I couldn’t stay away too long.

So here it is: I’ve been dating someone for about a month.  And things are going really well. Really, really well.  Our first date was everything you want a first date to be.  Well, everything I want a first date to be.  We talked and laughed for two hours, until we closed down a coffee shop.  And then he walked me home.  Things moved from there.  And here we are.  I’m quite the smitten kitten.

So, this weekend, My Guy is leaving for a much-deserved and overdue vacation.  I won’t lie: I’ll miss him.  But  I’m happy for him to get to go somewhere with his friends and have a break in the sun.

This traveling brought to mind some of my trips in life.  When I was younger, I decided I wanted to visit all 50 states.  I thought it would be so cool to say I had been to them all.  Hey, cool as a kid is different than it is as an adult.

Anyway, I never made it to all 50 states, but I made it to quite a few.  And I had some interesting experiences in those states.  So, I present a list of interesting travel stories from yours truly.  Enjoy.

Alabama: I’ve never been to Alabama…starting off well, aren’t we?
Alaska: Ditto Alaska.  hmmmmm.
Arizona: Another state that has not been graced with the presence of Cheryl
Arkansas: I think Arkansas was more or less a “drive through it” state.  And Maybe we stopped for gas or a McDonald’s.  I’m beginning to think this exercise wasn’t a good idea after all…
California: A few years ago, my mom took my sister and me to Disneyland.  We stayed in Anaheim, flew through LAX.  No offense, but LA did not impress me.  San Diego did.  It was gorgeous down there.  My mom said she just might retire to San Diego.  I said I’d come visit.
Colorado: When I was 12 or 13 we went to Colorado and I don’t really remember it all that well.  Lately, visiting Kendra in Denver have been two really great trips.  Always filled with sushi, vodka, mountains and laughs.  I love Denver.
Connecticut: I lost a tooth in Connecticut.  No really.  We stopped there to have lunch, just so I could say I’d been there.  Well, I was 11 or so and had this molar coming out, but it hadn’t released fully.  I took my first bite of food, felt my tongue pushing against the tooth and had to excuse myself.  Wherein I went into the restroom at the Friendly’s, stood in front of the mirror and plucked out my molar.  An hour later, it was goodbye CT.
Delaware: I used to drive through Delaware between Philadelphia and DC, but there wasn’t much to report…hi, we’re in Delaware…
Florida: When I was 8, we took that magical trip every kid dreams of: Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens, the beach.  I took my first plane ride to Florida and I remember gross food and upon our return we exited via rolling stairs right onto the Tarmac.  MSP has since upgraded their Humphrey terminal to include jetways.  I’ve been back twice to Miami/Ft. Lauderdale to depart on my cruises.
Georgia: Once again, a place I have not been.
Hawaii: Hello, dream vacay.  Again, never been
Idaho: Nada here
Illinois: Yeah so I’ve lived here for going on six years.  I have way too many stories to tell.  In fact, see the entirety of this blog for Illinois, ok?
Indiana: I’ve been a few times.  The first time we stayed at a terrible hotel in Gary.  Although it was not the most horrible hotel we found ourselves in on a family vacation.  That prize goes to…Mississauga, Ontario.  Where my mother actually said the words “We can’t stay here, I don’t know if these sheets have been laundered” and where, as an adult I now have complete confidence the rooms went by the hour, if you know what I’m saying.  I’d also like to clarify that upon seeing the room and its sheets my family did NOT stay at that hotel, but hightailed it to a different Toronto suburb and nice clean, comfy Choice Hotel.  And why we were in Toronto, I still don’t know. But Gary, oh Gary.  You are quite the town and so was your hotel.  The first time I remember being less than pleased by an overnight stay.
Iowa: When I was 14, my mom and dad and I went to Iowa and saw the Field of Dreams.  I was 14 so I’m sure I was all “OMG this is so uncool.”  But that movie now always makes me think of my dad–who loved baseball, who loved that movie–so now that he’s gone, and despite all the BS that went on between us, I’m happy we went.
Kansas: We drove through Kansas once, and holy flatness.  I remember the fields of wheat waving like the ocean.  And yet, so land-locked, quite dry.
Kentucky: Um, once again a drive-through state.  Not much to report on Kentucky.  Sorry Blue Grass state!
Louisiana: Have not been
Maine: On a trip to the east coast, we drove up to Maine and stopped in a trading post to peruse Maine-y type stuff.  We did not eat lobster.  What the hell is wrong with us?
Maryland: I looked at apartments in Maryland–near Silver Spring–when I thought I might move to the DC area.  I also hit Maryland on those trips to DC and still remember the looooong tunner under the harbor in Baltimore.  Good times.
Massachusetts: On that east coast trip, we hit Boston.  I loved all the history and the red stripe on the sidewalk that took us to the historical sites.  I also remember seeing Cheers.  Here’s the thing.  Back then anyway, you didn’t get to go to the actual bar unless you were drinking and 21.  Otherwise you had to go to that Bull & Finch restaurant and see T-shirts.  My dad knew I wanted to see the bar (I used to watch Cheers reruns during my summer vacations) so somehow he conviced the bouncers to let him take me in, and straight through to the back door.  I remember darkness, smoke, noise and a huge crowd.
Michigan: Oh Michigan.  I’ve really only driven this state.  But I do remember seeing gas for $.98/gallon at one point.  Ah, memories.
Minnesota: Grew up there, dontcha know?
Mississippi: Once again, I believe Mississippi entailed a gas stop.
Missouri: I’ve been to Kansas City (saw a baseball game) and St. Louis (saw the arch) and Hannibal, Mark Twain’s hometown.  I couldn’t stop picturing that when I read Huckleberry Finn in high school.
Montana: Nada
Nebraska: Ironically, I missed Nebraska.  I went around it, never into it.
Nevada: Oh how I’d love a Las Vegas weekend.  Alas, I have not been to Nevada
New Hampshire: I fell in a river in New Hampshire.  In the Washington Mountains. I decided to wade in.  Well a slippery rocky and a strong current meant that river swept me off my feet–literally.  It was a long, wet drive back to Boston.
New Jersey: Oh New Jersey.  You do get picked on don’t you?  I’ve been through NJ many times.  I went to Atlantic City once–um, I think it’s seen better days.  Cause damn.  Also went to Six Flags there in college.  We went on a day where it was only open to a few groups, which resulted in being able to go on one roller coaster three times in a row.  We didn’t get off the ride, just stayed in our seats and went again.  That was a great time.
New Mexico: So, the Southwest is like a black hole to me…never been here.
New York: I’ve been to upstate New York: Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Rochester and the Finger Lakes for my friend’s wedding, Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and I’ve been to NYC many times.  The first time I went I had to run from the Port Authority to a theater to see Chicago, then had a slice of pizza (mmmmmm) and then saw Times Square before heading back to Philadelphia.  It was quite the trip.
North Carolina: Another black hole is that portion of the east coast south of Virginia and north of Florida…never been here.
North Dakota: I’ve been but there’s not much to say about it.  Sorry ND.  I was in Fargo briefly and, yeah…
Ohio: I’ve driven through Ohio many a-times (there is no other way to get from Minnesota to Pennsylvania, really) and one time we stopped in Cleveland to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The museum is awesome.  The Hall of Fame?  Well, let’s just say I’ve been to many a Hall of Fame–Baseball, US Hockey–and I didn’t even know I was in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame til I left it.  Hall to me means big hall–large open room.  Not hallway.  I wasn’t impressed with that part of it.
Oklahoma: Nope
Oregon: Nada
Pennsylvania: Went to college here for two years.  Many stories to tell.  In fact, I belive Pennsylvania is the first place I got drunk.  That’s right.  In fact one time I got so drunk I banged my head, started crying (even though it didn’t hurt cause hello booze) and then sat in the dorm bathroom crying to a friend “I don’t want to throw up!  I don’t want to throw up!”  I didn’t.  But oh the headache the next day.
Rhode Island: I went to Newport and saw the disgusting displays of old money in those “summer homes.”  I also had fresh seafood, saw a lot of ships and enjoyed the seaside town.  And ice cream.
South Carolina: Try again later
South Dakota: You know the typical stuff: Corn Palace, Mt. Rushmore.  Erin lived in Sioux Falls for a bit so I visited a couple of times.  Oh, and I got sick in Rapid City.  Like delay the family vacation sick.
Tennessee: We went to Nashville and Memphis.  I remember Nashville as being gorgeous.  With beautiful flowers and scenery.  And the Grand Ol’ Opry.  I remember Memphis as cloudy but we did see Graceland, and the Pebody Hotel with the ducks (geese? swans?  Help me out).  And the Lorraine Hotel, where MLK was shot.  Talk about a place having a pervading feeling to it.
Texas: This is probably the most ironic of all the states I haven’t been to, because I root for Texas (Hook ‘Em Horns), especially in football season.  Why?  Cause I went to a D3, all-female school.  And didn’t have a team to root for.  The Texas fans adopted me.  Yee-haw!
Utah:  Um, as far as going to Utah is concerned: Fail.
Vermont: Another state I somehow just kind of missed.
Virginia: My experience with Virginia is entirely DC-related: Arlington, Falls Church, etc.  I have a friend who lives in Arlington and have visited her a few times, more-so in or directly after college.  I liked it there, I haven’t ventured much further away.
Washington: This was my first non-parents trip.  The summer before my senior year, my friend Anna and I went (with my sister) to Seattle to “check out colleges.”  Other than the University of Washington, we didn’t spend too much time at the colleges.  We spent way more time on the water front, at touristy places, eating and drinking coffee (as there was a Starbucks every 12 feet).  Loved it.
West Virginia: My route to college included about 30 minutes in West Virginia and the city of Wheeling.  It was very picturesque, though brief.  It wasn’t long after leaving Ohio that you were in Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin: Oh Wisconsin.  Bane of my existence when I must drive home.  Land of “Are We There Yet.”  Also of cheese, fireworks and porn.  I’ve been to Wisconsin many times.  My grandmother lived there (on my father’s side) and every year we went to the rutabaga festival.  The often overlooked, but valiant veggie (?).  Oh yeah, plus there’s the Wisconsin Dells…
Wyoming: Drove through it.  Stopped for lunch with some of the worst service.  Saw a lot of open spaces.  It’s also the first (perhaps only) state I saw post a population of “4” on the town’s sign.  For real.

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“I had four glasses of wine last night,” I declared to my friends on Sunday evening.

“Nice, where were you,” was the typical reply.

“On a date.”

“How’d it go?”

“I had four glasses of wine!” I’d remind them.  And realization would cross their faces.  “Oh…Dating sucks.”

Yes, yes it does, but let’s back up a bit.  To Thursday.  I went to a holiday party, with an open bar.  I found out later well drinks weren’t open, but wine was and I went for the red–a pretty good Cabernet.  Know what happens when you offer me free wine?  Like completely and totally free with no strings attached other than show up for work, which I do anyway.  I partake.  In three glasses.  In two hours.  Let me tell you, I was feeling that.

Saturday night was the aforementioned date.  I had a glass of red to take the edge off, because as stated above, dating can be tough.  Then I was off to what I can only describe as a bad date.  I knew it was bad; he knew it was bad.  There wasn’t any one particular thing that made it bad.  We just didn’t click.  There were long, awkward stretches of silence where he didn’t even look at me (come on, I’m cute, right?!).  And then, well then it got interesting.

Three men who’d been selling Christmas trees at their kids’ Catholic school down the street showed  up.  All I can say is that these men must have been nipping at the Jameson all afternoon.  They looked pretty toasted when they arrived.  Maybe two sheets to the wind. And they started to chat us up, especially as I began lamenting the choice of the OU qback for the Heisman.  But I digress.

And as the night wore on, I polished off three more glasses of wine and something called a chocolate cake shot (it was good).  No food; some conversation around the drunkeness surrounding us.  And I began to drink water to counteract my vino.

By midnight or so, Mr. Tree man was beyond three sheets.  His buddies had left, his wedding ring disappeared and he was groping one of the drunken girls who had showed up behind us and were soon slurring “Cheryl, you’re cool!  Yay Minnesota.” (don’t ask).  It seemed like a good time to call it a night.

Now, I’m no expert on dating, but a word of advice to all the guys out there.  If you had a bad date, if you’re on the precipice of second date (or maybe even second shot at a first date), and you’ve gone to a bar/restaurant halfway between yours and your date’s house and that means 3-4 blocks, and it’s past midnight and icy, and you’ve had a socially awkward evening with her thus far, do NOT point her in the direction of her house and say “Well you’re going that way and I’m going this way, so goodbye.”  Offer to walk a girl home.  Just offer.  It could mean a lot.  Like the difference between getting that second chance.

As I wrap up, I’ve realized that in a matter of just over 48 hours, I drank seven glasses of red wine.  And some vodka, and did a shot.  My liver can’t be happy with me.  So I think I’ll refrain from drinks this week.  At least until my next holiday party.

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Never

I’ll never know why.  And that’s the hardest part about it all.  Because “things happen” doesn’t explain to me why I wasn’t enough.  Or how it could spiral from something you called “amazing” to nothing.  Why you were so full of contradictions in this whole thing, that my head is still spinning.  Or why, in the end, you couldn’t muster up the courage or respect to have a conversation but sent an email while I was at work.  Or how you could be so coldly flippant with my emotions, and selfish.  Or how, after years of knowing each other in some way, hours of conversation and a connection that seemed to transcend the physical distance between us, and strengthen when we were together, you could dismiss it all as “just a weekend.”

I’ll never understand the person you turned out to be.  So now, I’m mourning the loss of the person I thought you were, and the idea of what I thought we did have and the direction I thought we were headed.

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Ouch!

You know those commercials where the perfectly nice people are rejected by eHarmony?

Yeah, me too. “Unable to match you at this time.”

I feel like I’ve reached a new personal low in dating when even a Web site doesn’t want me…

Update:  Now the matches are a-coming in.

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The One Where I’m a Dog

Or, Why My Friends are Awesome

Kid logic. I heard the term once on NPR. It’s when a kid makes what to them is a perfectly logical conclusion, but is just totally wrong. We’ve all been there. When I was two or three years old, I would watch my dad pick up the phone and talk to my mom. I would then pick up the phone and eventually, hear it ring and then the automated, female voice would tell me to hang up the phone. Being a little tot, I figured that woman’s voice must be my mom’s if Dad could pick up the phone and start talking to her. So I tried talking to the woman. “Hi Mom!” I’d call out. Then wonder why she wasn’t answering. The concept of dialing had not yet been introduced to me.

I find the story funny, possibly charming. It illustrates a cute picture of little Cheryl. I thought.

Last night I told it to my date. He proceeded to stare at me like I was an idiot.

“I was like two or three,” I said finally. “It’s kid logic.” I was grasping to explain. I fumbled through my conclusion again. Dad picks up phone and talks to Mom…Mom is woman…Woman on end of line must be Mom…

“And when my dog watches me pick up the phone and talk for five seconds, he goes to the door cause he knows someone is on the way up,” he said.

“Did you just equate me to a dog?” I asked. He replied no. “So, you’re equating three-year-olds to dogs?” His explanation fell somewhere to intelligence, that three-year-olds aren’t smart. I myself was a damn smart three-year-old.

After more disjointed conversation I tried to fill in, and which unfortunately ventured into the no-no subjects of religion and politics, I was saved by his phone. A client was calling and he needed to go back to the office.

As I made my way home, I began to text and call people about how I hate dating, especially after a night like that. Because to top it off, he was supposed to call me at 5:30 to tell me where to meet him and I waited in my office until 6:00 and didn’t hear from him. I had called him to tell him I was going home. But he caught me before I got on the el and off I went to dinner.

On my way home, as I neared my stop on the el, my friend called back in response to my text. “Come to trivia night. Lakewood and Schubert. See you in 15 minutes,” she told me. She and another friend had started. And neither would take no for an answer.

She said we had to salvage my evening. So I headed to the bar and drank wine and played trivia and kicked ass on the TV round which won the three of us shots. And ended the night on a higher note, which was good because until that dinner, my day had gone quite well.

It’s good to know you can always count on friends, especially because you can’t always count on dates. Friends like those are loyal. Sort of like dogs.

“Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?…Yes…Who is the dog?…You are…. I am. I am the dog. I am the dog.” ~When Harry Met Sally

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Makes Me Wonder

I’ll be the first to admit, I am definitely not the most open person when it comes to dating.  Lately, I’ve realized I’m so terrified of rejection, I close myself off.  So I am really trying to make an effort to be more open.  In the end, I wind up doubting and second-guessing myself.  So, is it wrong

  • To question, just a little bit, when a guy’s response to the fact that I’m available for dinner is “YAY!” in a slightly feminine manner?
  • To be a little irked if a date makes a deal out of the fact that I didn’t “let him” open the door for me, later makes a show of opening the door for me and also proceeds to order me a drink I don’t want but he doesn’t know I don’t want it cause he never asked?
  • To not like it so much  when someone I went out on one date with calls, leaves me a voicemail and immediately texts me “Call me”?  Cause I want to say “calm the frick down…”
  • To question the gut feeling that our personalities just don’t mesh?
  • To wonder if a date that’s good on paper doesn’t mean much without chemistry?
  • To think maybe he’s a little too into me?

So, is it wrong?  I really need to know where to draw the line between being open and trusting my feelings.  Or better yet, how to balance the two.  Cause I can’t tell any more if my feelings are real or fueled by fear.  And that scares me.  Cause I really might just end up alone. 

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So a little more than two months ago, I joined America’s #1 online dating website (they say). And a little less than two weeks ago I went out on a date with a guy. It was…interesting, to say the least.

We had been in touch and fell out when he emailed me to see if I wanted to go out. I said sure and two Thursdays ago found myself heading half a mile or so south to Lincoln Park for a drink. I received a text on my way to the bar saying he was at the Chipotle across the street and would be there soon. I finally, finally found a parking spot and made my way to the bar where we were, essentially the only two people. I sat down with him at a table as he barely took note of my very existence.

I went to the bar to order a drink and the bartender asked if I was paying cash or starting a tab. I headed back to a table and as he watched, grabbed my purse, headed to the bar, and paid the nice bartender. And then we sat. We sat for what felt like an enternity but in the end was really only 45 minutes. He said not much. He barely cracked a smile at what I said, let alone laughed and let’s face it, I can be a humorous girl. His attitude could be summed up as “whatever…” And then I noticed the glossed-over look in his eyes. Coupled with his nonchalance, I found myself wondering…”Is he high?”

I’m usually oblivious to people being high, drunk, tipsy or whatever. So, if I’m wondering if you’re high, you probably are. Finally after 45 minutes he asked if I wanted to leave. I said I was going to the restroom quickly where, instead of using it I texted my friend to tell her I thought my date was stoned. Then we went across the street for another slow hour.

At bar #2, my date asked if I was hungry. I said I could eat. To which he promptly grabbed the menu, didn’t share it and ordered food before I could even say “dinner.” Let’s all remember that he was also apparently at Chipotle before the date…um, munchies anyone? He then proceeded to check his phone, not ask questions and generally act like he’d rather be anywhere else. It was a very boring hour, following a boring first hour. All I could think was “I’m missing The Office for this?!”

Finally, finally, finally it was 9:00 and we left. I asked which way he had to go and he said up to Fullerton to grab the el. I said I was going the opposite way to get to my car. And then it happened. “Maybe you could just give me a ride to the train.” Fine. Whatever. Just please, God make it end. And 30 seconds later, “or you could just take me home. It’s only a mile out of your way.” Only further south, when I need to go north but I did it. Cause I didn’t know how to say no.

I pulled over to the corner finally and said “here you go, stay warm.” He left and I was free of him. Free, that is, until Saturday night when at 7:30 or so I got a text message telling me he was going to a bar, if I wanted to join him. I laughed my ass of with my friends. I guess we weren’t on the same date. Either that or his experience was different, what with being high and all.

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