Dating in Dublin …and sometimes elsewhere!

When worlds collide

I’m by the bar with a few friends and one of the guys I’ve been seeing. We are all waiting for our drinks. It’s my birthday, so I’m paying. I’m waiting for my friend’s Cosmo and then, pay and go back to the area reserved for the party.

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I’m too old for this shit

I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn to look. It’s James. I look at my friend, who’s aware of all the dealings. I look at James. I look at the other guy I’m going out with. I look at James again. I finally get out of my stupor and say hi.

My birthday started uneventful, with me working like crazy, and just running details of what was happening at night with a few friends. Nothing big, just going to a bar, dancing, listening to good music. 

I did invite one of the two guys I’m currently going out with. Let’s call him Lars (he sort of kinda looks like Lars Ulrich). And by going out I mean just having sex and fun. It’s nothing serious with either, I’ve made no promises. Still, I only invited Lars because I didn’t want any trouble. I told James I was going out to a club, even said what was the name, but since he lives far from me (another city), I didn’t bother inviting. Plus, it was the middle of the week.

So I was quite surprised when I got a message from James saying he was on his way to Dublin to say happy birthday to me. One hour before the party.

Nothing I could do, couldn’t tell him to turn back. I said “ok, meet us at the Workmans”. 

And then I say hi. And he hugs me and says happy birthday. Then the obligatory round of introductions commences. Introduce one friend, introduce the other friend, introduce Lars, the other guy I’ve been sleeping with… you could cut the tension with a butter knife. I looked at my friend and say “help me” with my eyes.

We all went to dance and talk. Talked to James a bit, talked to Lars a bit, and I could feel both trying to inquire who the other was. How they caught up on the situation is beyond me. I wasn’t cuddly with neither. I was trying to remain neutral, because I like them both and don’t want to cause any heartache. I’m pretty sure they have other people going on and I wouldn’t like it if they flaunted them in front of me. Manners, people.

My friend was able to keep Lars at bay for most of the time. I paid high in drinks for that, and I don’t regret it. And everything was ok, until James noticed Lars coming and dancing very close to me. Just being flirty in general with his dancing. He doesn’t have good moves, but you know, it’s cute anyway.

James gave him such a dirty look I thought he’d punch the guy right there, in the middle of the dance floor. He then pulled me towards him to dance. What the heck was I supposed to do? I tore away from him. It was a bit caveman-like, protecting his woman from other predators. And although I did feel valued, I don’t think he has any rights towards me, so I just took some distance and kept dancing, near both, trying to maintain a positive attitude. After all, it was my birthday.

After a while Lars left and went to talk to another group of people. Nothing I could have said or done. I figured a guy that drives all the way to Dublin to be with me middle of the week  deserves some praise. Lars is lovely, but I can see him anytime. 

Night ended with James at my house, telling me stories about his family and explaining why he stood me up those two times (after I called him a bastard to his face for doing so). Turns out reasons were far more serious than I imagined. And he had even bought me a birthday present. He was treating me like a princess, I’ll tell you. Realizing there was competition made him step up his game. For a solid ten minutes, I wished he was my boyfriend.

Oh, and did I mention I’m travelling with Lars next week? 

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James is laughing because he won this round.

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After reading Deb’s post yesterday, I realized a couple of things that made me smile.

First, I never celebrated Valentine’s before, but I know too well the loneliness of not having someone to celebrate a romantic holiday, especially when there is someone you’d want to spend it with. Even if misplaced in time, I’ve felt that. But then I realized that, for the first time in my life, I’m alone (but certainly not lonely) and happy. 

I feel free, just completely and utterly free. I go out when I want, I go out with whomever I wish, or by myself if I feel like it, and I don’t care much what anyone thinks about it, or if I’m fulfilling some sort of social expectation. 

For a long time (well, pretty much my whole adult life to this point), I always had this anxiety related to doing my part in what people consider to be a regular life: study, find a job, find love, get married, have kids, get old, die. All these things are nice if you want them – except the dying part. But if you don’t, they can be toxic. And sometimes you’re not aware of not really wanting them, because you’ve been bombarded your whole life with needing to do exact the same thing that everyone does. And then you’re unhappy because you’re doing things you don’t care about.

It’s like having a job you only keep because you need to. You don’t like it, but you were told that you need to work to earn a living and that work isn’t play, so it will probably suck. Not completely true. You can actually have fun working. And you can be happy without being in love, marrying and having kids.

I don’t want to be cynical and say that this is something I’ll never want: marriage, kids, etc. Right now, it’s not, but never say never, right? To anything. But Valentine’s day is a glorification of exactly this: love that’ll lead to these things. It doesn’t celebrate having fun with a handsome stranger you’ve met in a bar/online (thought that happens quite often in Valentine’s day 🙂 ).

Love can take many formats, and can have different lengths. I fall in love for a short while with someone and maybe next week I don’t want them anymore. Is it not “love” love? That really just depends on how you look at it. There are too many kinds of love and none is more important than the other. The most important one is the one that matters to you.

Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I’m not romantically involved or platonically in love with anyone, and that’s a first. I said that to a friend of mine and complained “how come no one told me I’d be happy like this?”, and she replied “we probably knew that, but the message was drowned among all the happy-lovy ones”. 

Now I can hear the message loud and clear: being happy doesn’t require a second person. If you need someone else to make you happy, you probably will fail in the long run, because you need to be able to live with yourself happily. You’re not attached to anyone 24h a day. There will be times when you’ll be on your own, and you have to have fun in those times too, not just suffer through it until someone new comes along.

Valentine’s day is a cute thing, but not my cup of tea. I’d rather celebrate that I’m finally content with the life I have.

Pancakes, anyone?

For those in other areas of the world and who may have never heard of this (as I had never), Tuesday, Feb. 12th was Pancake Day. While some people are celebrating the beginning of Lent, others are eating pancakes until they feel sick. That’s my kind of celebration. Where I come from, Lent is supposed to be about fasting until Easter, so it’s the total opposite and I love it.

I couldn’t eat pancakes, because every single pancake place was brimming with clients, obviously. But that’s alright, I celebrated in my mind, dreaming of a stack of wonderful pancakes covered in Nutella and banana. And then of the beef pancakes my mom used to make, covered in cheese and tomato sauce… yum…

Pancakes are better than sex. At least than bad sex.

Pancakes are better than sex. At least better than bad sex.

I’m going somewhere with this pancake business, bear with me.

 

After the whole canceling-twice-then-wanting-to-show-up-when-it-was-convenient, I didn’t contact James anymore. Didn’t send any messages and was hoping the whole thing would die out. For the first time in my life I was actually going to let a man go without desperately trying to keep him. The men pipeline in my life right now is that good, yes. There’s a first time for everything, I suppose!

To my surprise, I woke up this morning to a text from James. He said, and I quote: “Had any pancakes yesterday???”

IF I HAD PANCAKES YESTERDAY? THAT’S WHAT YOU FREAKING ASK ME AFTER BEING AN ASSHOLE?

I may be blowing this a bit out of proportion,  but that was my first reaction.

And I really wanted to be pissed, but after a few seconds I just started laughing. I couldn’t hold myself. I keep imagining that he thinks I wasn’t mad or anything about what he did, and that inquiring about pancakes after Pancake Day was just moving on with business as usual. You have to laugh.

It is funny how we take things in a certain way and people take it in a completely different one. People will endlessly surprise me.

I ended up replying and being nice to him, I didn’t see the point in ignoring or being jerkish. I like being a nice person, and I have to say, he’s quite hot. He replied right back to me, which is something that doesn’t happen very often. He often takes his time. And he replied with “what are your plans this weekend?” That has long been his way of asking if I wanted to get together. Maybe he wants to make amends, but my dance card for this weekend is full anyway. And I don’t intend to make any concessions to him, since he is clearly making none for me.

I don’t know when this became a game, but it has, and I am playing. Now, what should I reply to him? Any ideas? I wonder if I should just say “I’ll let you know when I’m free” or just be clear that “I’m coming back tomorrow, but I have other plans”… 

Since I am in the middle of the most pointless meeting of my entire life, I would like to let you know of some recent developments and also share an epiphany I had:

  • Seven-hour chat guy (please see WTF 2): excitement cooled down, as it usually happens to me. I feel bad for this. I always do this. I have excellent conversations, but then I realize there’s some sort of hurdle and it just gets me uninterested. In his case it’s the distance, which is not terrible (still within the same country), but there’s so many interesting men around here, that I fail to see why I would move my butt all the way over there. If he wants to come around that’s fine.
  • Random guy appears!: A random (not super random, still a 76% compatibility) guy sent a message last week, saying we had some similar interests and if I’d like to have a talk about it. Sure, I am always game for a chat. So we’re meeting tonight for what I thought were a cup of coffee and a muffin. Turns out the place is a wine bar and a sort of fancy one. I have a class before, so I can’t dress up. Let’s hope he doesn’t hold it against me.
  • 45 message guy: this does not merit talking about too much. The only thing worth mentioning is that this has been the first guy who went straight into sexy banter, instead of the whole “hey, we like the same stuff” spiel. It was fun and we exchanged 45 messages in the space of two hours, because all messages were pretty much one-liners. 

I realized there’s a weird thing about online dating that I haven’t been liking: most of these guys are quite interesting in terms of what they like, how they think. And they’re not bad looking. I would certainly waste an hour or two with them, had we met in a bar or club. But given the amount of stuff I already know about them, it’s putting me off. I don’t feel like I want to meet them, because then it will be either disappointing if there’s no chemistry, or if there is, there’s that pressure to turn it into something meaningful. If I had just met them in a club, I wouldn’t have any reservations about just having fun and leaving it at that.

Amanda is emotionally unavailable at the moment. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you whenever possible.

Just to keep all my six readers updated on this: James called to apologize. I accepted, because I have a hard time being a bitch, even when it’s completely called for. I tend to be nice even to people who do despicable things. it’s just my nature.

I was so pissed at the whole thing, and then, I spent the last seven hours talking to one of the most interesting men I have ever met online, so I kinda don’t care as much anymore.

Like the saying goes, nothing better to get over an old love than a new one, right?

And I obviously didn’t get any work done today. I wonder why I am strapped for cash lately… OkCupid is detrimental to my financial well being.

WTF?


I was just put on a very “men are scum” mood by James. After telling me twice he was coming to see me and canceling both times, he sends me a text today to tell me he’s coming by around 8pm. It was 5pm.

I’m sorry, I’m not available at a moment’s notice just because you feel like it. Plus I’m still wearing my pajamas and haven’t showered today.

James Hetfield

Bastard

I told him not to come. I’m obviously gonna miss the good night I’d have with him (they’re always magnificent), and it’s my own fault for letting him think he could just come by whenever he pleases. He could, when it was convenient for me to let him. That, of course, led him into thinking any time was a good time.

He didn’t seem fazed by my refuse to see him. Maybe it’s the best thing to do. It was not gonna go on forever anyway. It couldn’t.

Oh, but I’ll miss his muscles… and his tattoos… and his… well, let’s leave it at that.

Soundtrack for today:

Dating a musician? Some sound advice

This funny “don’ts” list from the Chicago Reader gives you an idea of what not to do, should you start (or already is) dating a musician in a real band. This does not count if you’re dating a guy who has a guitar and plays when friends come around. Does apply when you date a guy who has a real drum kit and spends his days tuning it for the next gig.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/02/09/dating-a-musician-relationship-donts

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