Thursday, September 1, 2011

"You could write a book about how to find a loser in a pile of winners"

I've been cocky, apparently. All these years, being the bar business, constantly meeting new people, young and old, I thought myself to be an excellent judge of character (as I've mentioned in the past). And in certain respects, I am! I can pick out a hobo from a mile away. However, my last crush, really made me wonder where I went wrong. I met Steve probably 5 years ago, as a patron in the bar. He was rarely there, just for a quick beer after his shift at a nearby restaurant. I've been playing softball for fun on Sunday afternoons for the last couple years, and he sometimes attends. Recently, I thought about him differently, and we began sending flirty messages over Facebook and flirting incessantly at the games. A couple weeks ago, I was having a glass of wine with a friend in my bar, and he showed up! I was excited and pounced. I found out a few things about him that night that floored me. Firstly, he's 39 and he's been engaged 4 times but never married [RED FLAG!] He never drank or anything while we played ball, so I figured him to be a fairly responsible person. I learned that night that he's really into cocaine and drinks like crazy. I let it slide, as I always do when I'm drinking, because he didn't do any coke while I was with him that night. Of course, I ended up drinking far too much and invited him to sleepover. I told him it was period week and we wasn't getting any, but he wanted to come anyways. We had a pretty PG sleepover and in the morning, I woke up and showered and tried to make myself look as if I hadn't been drinking until 3AM on a MONDAY!!!!!!! I woke him up and said I had to go to work, and we had to get going. He said he'd escort me by bus to work so he could get some food. Okay??? When we got there, he was trying to kiss me and hug me in the bar - which I HATE. This is where I work and it is not appropriate during the day when I'm working. It makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially since everyone in the bar at that time of day has known me since I was born. It's like making out in front of your grandparents - not cool. Long story short - he spent the WHOLE DAY drinking at the bar. I couldn't tell him to go home, and I didn't want to see him anymore that day. It was too much. He invited me over for dinner, but after working all day, super hungover, all I wanted to do was go home (alone) and pass out on my couch. When I was leaving, I went through the bar and tried to say goodbye. He put a shot in front of me and then expected me to pay for it. I didn't want the shot to begin with, so I sipped it, and made him pay for it. I went home thinking "this isn't going to work one little bit". I learned later that week that he had the Monday night bartender put all his drinks on my tab. I didn't realize it that night because I left without signing off on it. He had told me to my face that night that he had settled up with the bartender before we left. This was a very shady thing to do on his part. He put my bartender in a very compromised position and took advantage of my level of intoxication. I felt a fool and couldn't believe I'd read that situation so wrong. Another one bites the dust. When will it be my turn to find love? I feel like I deserve it, after all the crap being flung at me. It's like I'm sitting in between two monkeys in a poo-flinging competition! P.S. Did I mention that Mike will not leave me alone about getting together for a drink? As if he wants to be my friend now, after all he put me through last year. He had the chance to be just friends, but he decided to continue sending me mixed signals and buying me flowers instead. And now I have to see him this weekend at work, and I'm SOOO not looking forward to him trying to be nice, while I do what I can to ignore him. ARGH!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A visit from Dean

A few weeks ago, Dean's father died. It was his 27th birthday, and he was supposed to be away for the summer. I delivered my wishes via text, only to learn that he was in town because his dad had had a heart attack. He died shortly thereafter, never waking up again, and leaving Dean without the chance to say goodbye. We hung out, about a week after. He was still hurting and wanted a distraction that only I could provide for him.
I've known Dean for several years. Referring to older posts, he pops up from time to time - mostly to satisfy me in every possible way, in between dating other potentials. For a very brief period, an outsider might have viewed us as a couple, but now we keep our relationship behind closed doors, between the sheets.
When we hang out, it's as if we'd seen each other everyday before that. We keep in contact all the time, but it's always via text since he's usually away somewhere else. He's working now, which is an improvement from when we were together before. He's also finished school and found something he loves to do - work outside with nature. Mostly, he chops wood and does landscaping at a kids' camp. (I can't help but picture him as a lumberjack all sweaty and ripped.....sorry, mental tangent).
He's "joked" before that one day, he'll marry me and we'll find me a gayboyfriend to replace the emotional maturity that he lacks. He's aware, and I've told him before, that the reason we were never really together was because I was afraid he’d break my heart. He had cheated on all his prior girlfriends, once was with me, so I would keep him at arms length because I didn't want to get hurt. I pushed him away, probably subconsciously wanting him to push back.
I think the turning point for us was after I ended “things” with him to date Shawn. Since Shawn and I quickly fizzled before Christmas of that year, Dean and I began hooking up again in February. One night, while house sitting at my parent’s remote country house, we had what we now refer to as Sexapalooza. We were finally able to really open up to each other. We divulged all skeletons and we made a pact that night to continue sleeping together, as long as each of us was single. He was still in his lazy, unemployed phase, and I didn’t want to deal with that. That night was over a year and a half ago.
Now, and for the past year, there has been no one else on his end. It's kind of nice knowing that I'm the only one he's had the desire to be with over the last year. And it's not for lack of opportunity - he likes to tell me about other girls that hit on him. Likely, he's trying to see if I'll get jealous (inside, my heart swells) - but we aren't together, so he's free to do what he likes. He knows that I've been with other people, but we've always had that open relationship, with rules and boundaries.
I know, deep deep down, I love him. When I found out his dad died, I was secretly hoping it would be the catalyst that sparked his need for family and proximity to them. Right now it seems that he's running from that. I feel so stuck. Sooooooo much of me doesn’t ever want to let him go, and the rest wants to run forever in the other direction. I know if I don’t decide what I want, and give him the opportunity to respond, I’ll regret it forever. I’m just not sure I’m ready to hear “no” and let him go for good.
He is both Superman and kryptonite.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This week on an all new episode of.........

On Friday night when I arrived at the bar, I felt as if there should be a camera crew with me, because I couldn’t believe that what was happening would actually go down in real life. It had to be scripted – the fates were not this cruel.
After a loverly BBQ with some friends from Dodgeball, I decided to go to The Bar. Wish I hadn’t, but I’m glad I did because I got some much needed answers. I arrive, and Ross and Harry were hanging out, drunk; but who was I to talk. (Harry is another employee who I had a very brief sexual affair with a while ago – but it ended well and we’re still great friends {pattern much?}) The girl from last Friday arrived shortly after – Sandra. She was ecstatic to see me! She said she had had fun the week before and was glad we were getting another chance to hang out. I looked right at Ross and I knew at that moment I had all the answers I needed. She was a nice girl but becoming the BFF she wanted me to be would be too hard. Not too long after that, Aaron arrived. When I saw him, I pinched myself. Was this all happening this way? I shook my head in disbelief and got myself another beer.
The rest of the night seemed to happen in front of me, like I was watching the rerun on MTV. It was already late, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I had to see how this was going to play out. Ross was dating this girl, in my bar, right under my nose and he didn’t for one second speak to me or allow me the opportunity to speak to him. Coward.
Aaron followed me around all night – clearly trying to get in my pants. We chatted affably – I’m a forgiving person by nature, probably too forgiving. But if he’s going to be there, I’m not going to get angry and cause a scene. I’m fine with trying to become friends again, but at best that’s all we’ll ever be.
[Aside: Harry is a smart guy and because we had spoken about the nature of our relationship before we started fooling around, when it was time to move one, we both did. We had mature, adult conversations about what we were doing, so neither of us was hurt by the other and we both understood the circumstances. Knowing that we couldn’t continue without it getting super serious, we ended things. He valued his job and we valued our friendship too much to risk ruining that. Now we hang out and have fun together as friends; we share a lot of similar interests so it's great that we we're able to return to that.]
Since I was there by myself, I couldn’t explain the stressed out look I was sporting. With the exception of my prior relationship with Aaron, no one in the room knew about the trifuckta I had gotten myself into. One of the other staff members (Dave) kept asking me to smile – thinking I was stressed about work. HA!
The night was quickly coming to a close. Harry left. I announced I was going to grab a cab and take off. {Shoulda just left!!}. Before I knew it, Dave, Sandra, Ross, Aaron and I were all climbing into a vancab together. FML!
First stop – Ross and Sandra. It was like a punch to the face! Without uttering a word to me, he climbed out of the cab and walked away. It was unnecessarily cruel. I was the next stop and I made sure to hand Aaron $5 (knowing he’d be last out) so he wouldn’t get out at my place. I stumbled up to my apartment, washed my face, crawled into bed – hoping when I woke up this would all go away.
I could hear birds chirping outside and the sun was coming up. I think I learned a lesson tonight.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Men are from Mars. Women are from Reality. Part 2

After things with Aaron ended, and I was back to singlehood yet again, I was feeling like I’d been through the ringer and was looking forward to a summer of prowling.
I said as much to my very good friend, Ross. He knew all about the whole sitch with Aaron, and was very supportive through the whole break-up. On Easter Sunday, he sent me a text. I was blindsided. He said he had feelings for me and wanted to talk about the potential of “us”. Whoa!
I haven’t had a guy tell me that in a VERY long time. He admitted that he was looking for a girl that wants settle down and that he’d been into me for a while. Heavy! I told him I wanted us to have a one on one, soon, to ensure that if we go down that road, it would be for the right reasons. AGAIN an ex-employee of mine – although he’s more of a temporary current employee. (I knew I’d never learn any lessons). This could get complicated. Fast. I hate complicated.
Days passed after the initial reveal of new feelings and I hadn’t heard anything from Ross. I was beginning to question his intentions. I asked him what was up. I knew he’d been going through a rough time lately; he just started a new, full-time job and was trying to get his life in order, financially and personally. He said he was really shy with this kind of thing, and that he needed some time to sort through things but he wasn’t backing out, just taking things REALLY slow. [Hein? Then why tell me about it at all!]
He knew I was fresh out of a relationship, and this was all looking too familiar. A good friend, possibly turning into something more, having worked for me for a while; I couldn’t wrap my head around why he was distancing himself after telling me the truth about his feelings. I bumped into him the next night. “Distant” isn’t a long enough word for the space between us. We chatted; he was obviously surprised to see me there (at my own bar!) so he became super shy. After a little while, these girls showed up. I had no idea who they were. Friends? Maybe. I didn’t ask. One of them left after a short time, and the other girl stayed. I’m a good judge of people and could tell that this girl was there just to see him. I couldn’t tell whether or not he knew she was coming that night. I left, alone, about an hour later.
I wanted to know, but I didn’t question him. It’s not my style. Instead I decided that I wasn’t going to wait around for him. If he made a move, and I was still available, then we’d jump off that bridge when we came to it.
This weekend I was feeling restless – I had been cooped up for weeks. I was on the rebound and needed someone to satisfy me on a short term basis. It wasn’t too hard to find someone when you’re on the prowl like I was that night. I had run in to The Bar to fix something and noticed that Ross was working – he said he was just filling in while one of the other guys left for a few hours. I had left some friends at another bar, so I didn’t stay long at The Bar. When I got back there for last call (tradition!), a few more cocktails in, Ross was gone. I found the hottest guy in the place and made him my prey. It didn’t take much, and we left shortly thereafter. I knew the staff had seen me leave, but I still don’t know if that was news enough to make the inner-office gossip column. None of the other staff know about what Ross told me, so they would have thought nothing of joking around about it.
It’s now been a week. No communication whatsoever. I’m having trouble understanding why he would tell me and then behave this way. I’m losing respect for him every minute that goes by and I don’t hear from him. Did his superior on Mars tell him to go down that route?
Considering what I know about people, I believe myself to be a great judge of character. I never would have anticipated this type of behaviour from Ross. Now I’m left worrying that I’ll drunk text him later tonight with no regard for the friendship we once shared. I think they should install a breathalyser for smartphones to prevent such incidents. Is there an app for that??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Men are from Mars, Women are from Reality. Part 1.

When things with Aaron ended – it wasn’t great. I hadn’t anticipated things ending since I thought (and he led me to believe) everything was peachy. He told me, more than 4 weeks in, that he was hunting for a job in NYC. It wasn’t just a job, nor was it a hunt: it was his dream job and he was already arse-deep in interviews! He told me it was what he had been working toward his whole life.
After a great date one night, which we spent the bulk of talking about the job and the possibilities, it kind of hit me: I was just a time-filler for him. I wasn’t on his radar in the foreseeable future. He never told me as such, and if I hadn’t brought it up, it probably never would have occurred to him to tell me.
I asked him where I stood in this haze of planning, and he basically said he was choosing the job, even though I was a “swell girl” (his words). This was someone who I was friends with, who worked for me before, and who all our mutual friends raved about to me. He acted as if what he was doing and saying just normal – and tried to continue with me as if nothing was happening. I distanced myself, but hung on because I had strong feelings for him (and there was still a small chance he might not get it).
The day he left for the final interviews (which would make or break the whole process), I went in for knee surgery. I was then living at my parent’s house for a couple of weeks while I recovered and until I got my new apartment. I didn’t hear from him AT ALL for over a week. No questions about how I was recovering, what the surgery was like, nothing like that. I also noticed he’d been active on facebook: posting pics from his trip to NYC, and all the fun things he was doing while I was at home, bored to tears.
Friday night: one week after my surgery; I was going crazy! I fought through the pain, and drove into town, announcing to the world (via facebook) that I was coming to town and heading to THE BAR: this being the one in which I’m the manager of. I met up with a couple of friends, stayed sober because I was driving. Just being able to interact with friends again was just what I needed to get my mind off Aaron and his lack of communication.
At 2am, I’m about halfway home, and I get a text from Aaron – “surprise, I’m at THE BAR, where are you?” Pissed off, and knowing that texting while driving, and in a fragile state is just a terrible combo, I pulled into the Timmies parking lot. I proceeded to tell him how over it was and that I thought I deserved more than just a SURPRISE after not having had any communication for over a week!! I’m glad I stood up for what I felt I deserved, but it didn’t settle my annoyance with him or his behaviour.
We spoke another week later. I told him I wanted to talk to him, settle things (get that awkward first-time-seeing-each-other over with). I ended up having to see him all night because he was going to the same concert as me. I hung out with the band, avoided him – but he wouldn’t seem to leave me alone. I was hurt by his actions and he was basically dismissing them.
All is said and done now. He’s moving to NYC in a couple weeks and we aren’t friends anymore. It never had to be that way and I wish he’d never started anything with me to begin with – knowing full well that he was seriously pursuing for a job in another country. I wish I could learn from this – that getting involved with staff (old or current) and getting involved with friends is messy. I won’t learn from this. If he hadn’t left, there’s a very good chance that we’d still be together. I don’t want to deny myself the opportunity to date someone I know is already a great person, who shares similar interests, beliefs, sense of humour, etc.! It’s the reason why I never did well with online dating – I like knowing someone before going on dates with them (the opposite applies to random hook-ups)!
I’m beginning to question what it is that goes through a man’s mind when he meets a woman he finds attractive. Does he dwell entirely on the initial attraction, regardless of circumstance or anything else going on around him? Does he look forward into the future at all like a woman does when she meets a man she’s into? Even now, I always like to know what a man’s last name is to know if it would go with my first name if we ever got married. Remember when you used to scribble your initials all over everything, with little hearts drawn around it? Do men have an equivalent emotional labyrinth they go through? I don’t know if that’s a question I want to know the answer to – but wouldn’t it be fun to catch them, just once, admitting to being smitten over you and expressing it with hearts and last names?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Free as a bird

For the first time ever, I have my own apartment! I can walk around naked (which I do far too often and with total disregard for windows and neighbours), not do the dishes, have random people over whenever I want (like at 2am *wink!), and I always get first dibs on shower time and the remote. It’s so freeing, I never knew how good it could be!

Since I was 18, I have had a very random configuration of roommates. There was the 16 year old Indonesian roommate I had in residence; I think I’ve forever scarred her by showing her a life of drinking (and violently throwing up), promiscuity, and illegal drugs (relax – just pot). In second year I moved in with four other girls – one bi-polar, one who should have moved in with other Mormons (that was unnecessarily insensitive toward Mormons – but she was a real downer). Then there was the one who was so self-involved she hardly realized it was her roommates cleaning up after her. The fourth roommate, Katie became my ultimate partner in crime. [Of course by crime, I’m referring to the reallocation of OSAP funds to drinking and partying.]

From that house of debauchery, I moved back home with the ‘rents (shocker!!) for a very brief time, before they decided “the sticks” was where they wanted to be. They moved about 45 minutes away, east of Ottawa – I was going to Algonquin at the time (west of Ottawa). My Grandparents (may they rest in peace xoxo), offered us up their basement. My brother and I shared a giant room; beds, the Green Monster (couch), a TV, and a bathroom at the end of the hall. This basement scared the bejeezzus out of me when I was a child and even in the two years I lived there, I never really warmed up to it. My uncle (a 40-yr old virgin type) also lived there.....enough said. That ultimately led to living with my BFF.

I said after I moved into my big girl apartment that I felt it would be life changing. It’s only been 2 official weeks and already I’m happier and I feel more in control of my life. I was worried at 20 that I needed to start being more financially responsible – but I think it just kicked in now. I’m focusing on getting the most fun out of the life that I’m currently living; such as christening my apartment in every aspect from first ladies’ night to first overnight guest!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New year. New outlook.

Time. It's a funny sort of beast. It stands still sometimes and you think you'll never get past a certain point of reference. For me that point was 2010. I looked back on my posts and saw the negative energy that surrounded them. It didn't sound like me, I wasn't the person I wanted to be, but I don't know where I would be today without that realization.

Things have changed for me since September. I woke up one day and took back the life I used to have, back when I was happy. I reassessed the things that were dragging me down, and I made changes to support becoming the person I wanted to be. I can't say that I cleared everything up with my roommate, but we're not living together anymore and now we're back on track to being the friends we once were, which is all I can hope for.

Taking back control feels to frigging amazing! I hated feeling like my grip is constantly slipping, so finding my strength again was empowering. I told myself that finding "Mr. Right" shouldn't be a chore, and that I should be able to have fun while hunting! Reading stories of friends and their dating experiences gave me a boost to know that I wasn’t being singled out and tortured. I would be able to date again and one day rival both their great and horrible experiences.

I noticed that there was an imbalance between what I was looking for in a man and what I was finding. I did find plenty of men to satisfy me while I hunted for a satisfactory relationship, but realized after a terrible New Year's Eve hook-up, that I couldn't continue on that path either. Granted, casual encounters can make you feel wanted, but the feeling is fleeting and transient.

In mid-January, I ran into an old friend; truthfully an ex-employee of mine. Aaron was older, successful, but had run into a year of bad luck. Basically his 2009-2010 bent him over and made him pay for his lifestyle and choices. We hung out that night - a non-date. I didn't want to get involved with (unfortunately) ANOTHER employee, so I told him as much. But he was charming, fun, outgoing, and adventurous. He checked off a lot of my boxes, but I withheld THE box, knowing I wasn't fully there with him. I think it was his cool, no-drama approach to living (that he learned from life kicking his ass) that I admired most. I couldn't stop thinking about him, but I wasn't sure if it was true feelings, or friendship blossoming. Being a tech-guy, I knew he would be able to fix my laptop (it blue-screen-of-death-ed me). So I made up some excuse for a neutral hang out to fix it in a safe place - knowing I'd have an "out" if I didn't want it to be a romantic night. We met up and within the hour, his lung collapsed. He was calm and cool, no fuss - he drove himself to the hospital and I stayed with him until they wouldn't let me anymore. I called his parents (broke the ice early on that one) to tell them he was alright but filled them in on the situation. After that, I heard from him only to hear that he was alright but then, nothing. I figured, okay well he's been dealt a crappy hand (again!) and I will give him space and time.

A month later, hanging out with some friends at a pub, he messaged me out of the blue. He met up with us, and since then I haven't been able to pull myself away from him. It made me open my eyes and see that when you spend all your time focusing on what you don't want, and what others are thinking, saying, and doing - you lose the ability to see what it is that makes you truly happy. He makes me happy, and for now that's plenty for me. We've been on some great ACTUAL dates, both knowing we're on the same page with each other. I hate to admit it, but for the first time, in a VERY long time, I can say with total certainty that I'm happy - and I never want to lose that feeling again.