so, I finally got some…

It’s rather pathetic, don’t you think, that I feel the need to announce publicly each and every time I get a little action?

The lobbyist was in town, we exchanged some texts and, after scrambling for a babysitter, found time to meet for a cocktail. And when someone invites you to meet in the lobby bar of his hotel and you agree, it’s pretty much understood what’s on the agenda.

So, it was all good (not great). I was struck by noticing that it’s simple human touch that I miss the most. I just loved being kissed and caressed. But, truth be told, we’ve always had this insanely hot undercurrent of chemistry…the kind which might lead a girl to believe that a man so straight-laced and mild-mannered might be an absolute animal in the bedroom. I mean, I kind of hoped he might have really wild and kinky proclivities underneath it all. Guess what? He didn’t. He was just a straight-laced, mild-mannered guy — exactly what you see when he wears a suit.

And it was still lovely to be touched, kissed and appreciated, and to lie in a man’s arms.

on drunk dialing / texting

Last weekend…

I’m home from a Memorial weekend barbecue and I’ve had two whole drinks which, when one imbibes as much as I do (rarely or not at all), can render me word-slurring inebriated. And of course my natural instinct is to dial up or text Chi-guy or more-like-it or some other obscure item from my past. So I thought I’d see if I can write instead and make a go of musing about what sort of foolish crap might come out of my mouth if I actual did dial someone up.

First of all, if I did dial Chi-guy, would he be amused or annoyed with me? He no longer drinks at all, remember. He is charming and sweet and long-suffering, as far as I can tell. And, the last time we were together, he suggested I order an after-dinner drink…which were listed under “Happy Endings” on the menu. I thought briefly about suggesting that he might give me one instead which, frankly, might have opened that whole discussion a little less awkwardly. In any case, Chi-guy treats me with a certain combination of “you’re so sweet!” and “you’re a total slut!” and condescension. I know that sounds bad, but it’s actually a great balance of hysterically funny and positively charming, without being syrupy sweet. Sure, I’d watch the tone very closely if ever I were to spend time with him, but the jabs that could be mean are so well timed and outright hilarious that it’s difficult to imagine that he could ever mean harm. That said, a couple years into a relationship, one views things entirely differently…

If I texted more-like-it, would he respond? I haven’t told you that we communicate regularly, weirdly. What is that, anyway? What is that “I know you’re looking for something special, so I’m out. Hey how’s your week going?” WTF? A man who wants to be friends, really? So why are we always talking about sex? Especially when his online dating profile clearly stated he didn’t want to be friends with benefits? Yeah, I’m a little confused about that one.

But all that’s cool. Here’s why:  because I’m not chasing men. If a guy is interested, he’s going to be absolutely certain I know. Hell, even the guy in the adjacent cubicle at work has made clear he finds me attractive, even without saying anything out of line. If anything, it’s me who’s exhibited the appallingly bad behavior. I am simply not cut out for corporate HR departments…how the hell would I deal with me in a similar situation?!

So thank you for listening to my mojito-induced blather…and for keeping me out of trouble! Good night.

the hammer (part 12)

About six months ago…

Chi-guy and I communicated loosely through email and text, still flirting, keeping the energy flowing.

I confided to him that I had an interview coming up for a more analytical role. On the big day, I woke up to find a message with a fully nude photo of Chi-guy, in profile, holding a hammer erect where his privates should have been. The caption read, “Nail that interview!”

Ultimately, while inspiring, it was ineffective.

Of course I described it to all my girlfriends (and even showed a few of them). “Oh my God, he’s creative, clever, witty and smokin’ hot!” one exclaimed. “Perfect for you!”

It seemed that, just as I was retreating in my desire to get physical with Chi-guy, he might be warming to the idea…


can’t wait to get me some Chi-guy (part 4)

About 8 months ago…

All this flirting with Chi-guy was beginning to show some promise. I had finally made up my mind on the sex question and the answer was Yes! I was definitely excited by the thought of getting physical with him, and I was beginning to think that he might actually be ready to go there, too.

Thus, my texts, emails and conversations with him, while entirely genuine and from my heart, were definitely directional in nature. I wanted to feel confident, when I next traveled to Chicago, that we were on the same page. I was leading the conversation, looking for proof positive that he was thinking the same thing.

Meanwhile, the work I was doing this trip would require a day of running around, doing errands. I asked Chi-guy to spend the day with me; I needed a local with a car to assist, I argued. He would be compensated, and it would be a win-win, costing less than the car rental, parking and lost time if I were doing it all myself. I would take him out that night — off the clock, of course — to celebrate his upcoming birthday over dinner. He agreed.

I made flight arrangements, thinking ahead to fly in early Friday and fly out mid-day Monday, so that I (we) would have the opportunity sleep in that final morning.

Things were going well. I was feeling confident. He texted things like:  “Good morning, Goddess. What are you up to?”

And I:  “Oh, the usual Goddess stuff…listening to a little Kate Bush, dancing in the kitchen, saving the world, etc…”

We had even exchanged some suggestive (though less risqué than prime time television) photos, which is how I know the specific brand of boxer briefs he wears.

The week before my trip, I took a road-trip with my children. As we drove through the countryside, I saw an exit sign for a town with Chi-guy’s last name on it. I texted him a photo.

He shot back:  “Oh, yeah, I’m also the Mayor there in my spare time.”

I texted:  “Well, your Honor, what do I have to do to get into your CKs?”

Him:  “Nothing. You don’t even have to say ‘please.'”

Even writing about it today, I can feel the joy flood through my body. I was immediately relaxed, happy and confident that things were going my way. As a matter of fact, when my girlfriends asked about my prospects in Chicago, I smiled coyly and used the words “locked and loaded.”

The few days before my trip, I coasted on this confident knowing. Chi-guy was silent. Finally, two days before I flew, I texted him:  “SO EXCITED to see you this Friday!”

He texted:  “Oh, sorry, change of plans. Can’t make it.”

After an initial moment of shock, I thought it must be a joke…still, I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t know him that well…

Me:  “Bummer!”

Him:  “Just kidding. Looking forward to seeing you, too.”

This is what I call douchebag humor. Douchebag humor is when a man has a perfectly decent opportunity to pay an amazing compliment and, instead, chooses to try to be funny because it’s more satisfying to his own ego. In other words, if you are the woman on the receiving end of douchebag humor, you know how un-funny it is!

And, even though he had paid me a half-assed compliment in the end, “looking forward to seeing you” was stiff and formal compared to my “SO EXCITED” gushiness. He was running hot and cold, sending mixed messages…something was going on with him…

I decided to stay positive. After all, what single guy — after more than a decade of married sex — would turn down the opportunity to go to bed with a long-time crush?!


me or Max, misunderstood

About 14 months ago…

It was actually before we broke the news to our children that their father was moving out that I had a “lovers’ quarrel” of sorts with Max. Of course we weren’t lovers, and it was more of a misunderstanding that went something like this:

I misinterpreted a joke (I took it too literally) and thought, with disgust, “Who does he think I am? Does he really think I’m that stupid?!” I probably should have responded with this thought, but I’m sure my reply (I no longer recall exactly) was something more passive-aggressive in nature.

He replied with a text, “One of the things I always liked about you was your sense of humor.”

In a haze of loneliness and hormones (read PMS), I escalated, lashed out and started a drama cycle that lasted from one evening through the next morning from text to email and back again. I confess I spent a few hours in tears for, during this “spat,” three things happened:

  1. I recently mentioned a conversation about being alone with a divorced colleague who asked me if I’d ever feared being alone for the rest of my life. Well, this emotional crisis, this exchange with Max took me there. Somewhere in the midst of it, I experienced that horrific fear that maybe, just maybe, I would be alone for the rest of my life. I had connected with another man, but connecting with unavailable men was only going to get me to where? Alone.
  2. I realized how emotionally dependent I’d become on a man who was not available to me. And then I realized this was my pattern. Many of my relationships had been long distance, I had crushed on too many fellas that were gay or already in relationships or, for whatever reason, were not going to be able to commit to me. And, as part of this realization, it dawned on me once again that…
  3. I don’t want to be anyone’s fantasy. I want to be a wonderful man’s wonderful reality. And if he’s not in a position to commit to me and be in a relationship and create a real life together, then I want nothing to do with it! I mean, I can flirt and play, but I’ll be in control and I’m not going to let myself get attached to or involved with another man who sees me as a distraction, a daydream or fantasy. The men can fantasize all they want, but I’m going to keep myself from being emotionally drawn into it.

And with these realizations, I knew that my relationship with Max could not go on as it was, that I needed to be less dependent on him. As much as he and his attention had been gifts and had helped me to reclaim my intuition and confidence, our flirtatious friendship — or, rather, my reliance on it — was now doing me as much harm as good. To him, I may have been an intelligent, beautiful, attractive woman with whom he shared chemistry and mutual crush. But no matter how much he respected me, our relationship could never be one of equals, because he was going home to his wife and step-children each day, while I was sleeping alone.

the 20-year reunion

About 17 months ago…

During the time that my textual flirtation with Max was going strong, I attended my 20th class reunion. By this time, I was open with others that my marriage was in trouble.

Some context:  I had grown up in a classroom full of rowdies in a small town. In the class ahead of mine, it was very cool to be athletic and intelligent. In my class, it was cool to be an underachiever, rebel or class clown. Indeed, many of the guys in my class had become blue-collar workers, some with two-year or vocational degrees, and most had stayed close to home . . . and what a delight they all were! These trouble-makers had become kind, friendly, engaging, successful and responsible men. Most were married with children, committed husbands and fathers. They were generous both with drinks and laughter. It was an unexpected pleasure to see them all again, particularly in this light.

Many of the women from my class seemed content, too. Most had achieved a higher level of education than the guys. Most were happily married with children. And none of them seemed as stressed out as I was, in their personal lives nor in their professions.

Observing this made me wonder about the life I’d chosen — ambition, a private, liberal arts college, international travel, art museums and theatres, my urban lifestyle . . . I wouldn’t have been happy staying in my hometown, yet most of my classmates seemed to find more fulfillment in their more modest life choices than I was experiencing in mine.

In the midst of our mirthful reminiscing, my best friend from high school and I were sitting at the bar. I was filling her in on the events of my life, telling her about Max, the one thing besides my children that seemed to put a smile on my face. Another classmate had joined the conversation. After quietly listening for awhile, he said, “‘Work crush,’ is that what you call it these days? It used to be known as adultery!”

Wow. That seemed a bit harsh. It hit me like a slap in the face. And it gave me something more to think about:  Was my emotional attachment to Max — or our attachment to each other — crossing an inappropriate boundary? It tried to be very cognizant of his marriage, but on some level, I maintained fantasies of our being together. Was the mere act of continuing correspondence with him morally reprehensible? Did trying to be a decent human mean I had to sever ties with Max completely, and now? And what if this doomed flirtation was the only thing I had going for me at the moment? Did it matter if this was my lifeline?

flirting in 160 characters or less

About 17 months ago…

If you’ve been following and reading about my attraction to Max, you’ve read that we’ve shared some powerful words via text. And so began our flirtation, in 160 characters or less.

Who knew this genre could be so complicated? I soon learned to edit my thoughts into a single, 160-character message, as well as how many ways I could possibly communicate in this abbreviated form:

  • start an exchange,
  • keep the conversation going,
  • end a conversation,
  • have the last word (and realized this was not entirely desirable)
  • and more.

We texted almost daily. Nothing inappropriate, just flirtatious. It became such a lifeline for me that I began checking my phone in the middle of the night to see if Max had texted me. After all, we were in different time zones and he often texted after I had gone to sleep. It was nice to wake and get a sweet message like, “I have a hard time believing that the man in your home doesn’t appreciate you” or “How did it take this long for us to find each other?”

There was never a time when I took any of these things to mean more than the sweet thoughts that they were. A flirtation blossomed.

Were we crossing the lines of what was appropriate, given that Max was married? I suppose a few times we did. But one of us always brought the conversation back into the realm of what was safe and appropriate.

miss you already

About 17 months ago…

Two girlfriends and I were having a few cocktails after work, one of whom has been married for more than a decade — really married, and the other successful, single and not dating. In other words, I was clearly providing the conversation / drama / entertainment.

No one really ever wants to talk about divorce in public. The heartbreak, the pain — it’s all better swept under the rug lest the weepies rear their ugly heads. And so I told them about Max and what happened since I’d last seen him.

“You texted WHAT?,” Cynthia asked. “How could you?!”

“What?,” I asked innocently, “‘Miss you already’ is perfectly innocent. I would say the same thing to a girlfriend or a niece or my own children.”

“He’s not your girlfriend or niece,” Cynthia pressed. “It was suggestive. And he’s a married man!”

Seriously, it’s not as though I told him I wanted to get naked and rub my body up against him,” I argued.

Cynthia:  “No, that would have been being direct.”

Kristine, meanwhile, was doubled over with laughter and merely kept repeating, “Miss you already. Miss you already. That is priceless!”

They asked what happened next, they made me show them photos and then I told them about Max’s wife:

“You told her you had a crush on her husband?!,” they asked incredulously. I generally gravitate toward honesty. I may not always be appropriate or have the best boundaries, but I have my ethics.

“Yes,” I confirmed. “And she was cool, she was fun, and she was as inappropriate as any of us. And she would fit in perfectly sitting right here with us in this empty chair. We would have a grand time!”

Even as we put on our wraps, paid the tab and walked out of the bar, the girls were still laughing and giggling over what would become our inside joke:  “miss you already!”

how I became a text maniac

About 18 months ago…

As I boarded my flight home after my trip to Max’s region, I texted him a quick note: “Miss you already!”

I didn’t think much of the casual salutation — it was something I would have said to my children or a girlfriend — just a fun, breezy farewell. By the time I landed, there was a message on my data phone. It was from Max:

“You have no idea. We have a special relationship.”

Wha…? I reeled. Max had feelings for me. Here, in the palm of my hand, was actual confirmation that this gorgeous man reciprocated, in some form, the feelings I had for him. My heart was pounding; butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I didn’t know what to think. I could barely resist the urge to board a flight back to Max. Of course in reality Max would be home with his wife and daughters…but he felt something for me!

There was so much I wanted to say. I tried to capture what I was feeling, and then edited and edited it down until it fit into the 160 characters of a single text message:

“I do have an idea…several, in fact. I will content myself with the quantum possibility that in some parallel universe we are free to explore them.”

Several hours later, Max texted back. “LOVE the way you put that. Talk soon.”