A gent to the end

Another one bites the dust.

The gut instinct is always right. Mr VP just wasn’t that into me and so he called it off before feelings developed (or didn’t develop in his case) further.

Dear men of the world, there’s a lesson to be learnt here. He picked up the phone, rang me, apologised as he felt his feelings for me weren’t developing in the same way as mine were for him. He knew what is was like to be on the other side as knew it wasn’t fair to string me along anymore. He apologised a lot, once was enough, he can’t help how he feels but I thanked him for being honest and having the balls to tell me.

He was sorry if he’d hurt me and thought I was great fun and I wanted to remain friends, he’d happily spend time with me. Meh, I have enough friends in my life.

And so ended the brief interlude that was Mr VP.

Yes it stung. More because yet again, I’d ignored my gut instinct and yet again tried to force that square peg into the round hole. Why do I keep doing that?

It hurt more because yet again, I’m the friend and never the girlfriend.

I cried because I’m scared their might not ever be a round peg for me. I look at my friends and envy their happy codependent relationships. I wonder if I’ll ever enjoy a man loving me unconditionally, in the centre of his world in the way sis and bro in law live, with the adorable niece.

I’m frustrated because my career, life in Melbourne, friendships, and family should be enough. But it’s not.

One little slip up in a tiny corner of my otherwise enviable life and it feels like I’m starting from scratch again. That pisses me off. That’s what makes me cry. I’m disappointed in myself and I hate seeing the disappointment and pity on friends’ faces. I know all they want is for me to be happy and I hate letting them down.

Scream if you wanna go faster

I’ve never liked roller coasters. I can never enjoy going up because I know there’ll be a stomach hurtling descent only seconds away.

I want it get off as soon as I feel the mal-fitting harness click into place. It never feels safe. I hate not been in control yet compelled to pretend I’m having a ball, while all the time wondering if this is it. Is this the last fall to rule them all.

I haven’t seem him for over a week. Since I jumped on his roller coaster (well that’s one I’ve never called it before!) I hate the waiting, the not being in control, the pretending to be all cruisey. I’ve not heard from him since yesterday, which now I type it out sounds melodramatic but it’s me pushing this roller coaster along.

I’m not sure we’ll even reach the top.

Ye of little faith

That evening after being avoided at work for being the social leper. I received the following message:

“Hi, I think my response last night was a bit thoughtless, sorry about that. I’ve organised xxxxxxxxxxxxx for Saturday/Sunday but hadn’t checked my calendar. How about the following weekend?”

My response:

“Good save. Following weekend sounds good.”

Said the spider to the fly

It was all anyone was talking about. Date #4: dinner and a movie at his place. The invitation was innocent enough but it was loaded with promise. His place: a 40 minute drive away from mine, completely inaccessible by public transport and he’d told me to bring a bottle of wine. He’s played the gentleman so far but the undertone of the invite and the memory of the last kiss told me food wasn’t the only thing on the menu.

And man I was so nervous. I was like a 15 year old nervous, like second guessing what to do nervous. Which is a little bit ridiculous at 37 years old. Yes, it had been a while and yes there hadn’t been anyone since Posh Boy and we’d gotten into such a home run routine, I has severe performance anxiety with someone completely new.

The layer of expectation laid on for date 4 didn’t nothing to calm my concerns. By the time I turned up (after the obligatory wrong turns) my stomach was in my mouth and I didn’t know if I could eat anything. He greeted me so calmly and poised, so at home on his territory and in his kitchen, my verbal diarrhea all but gave me away for the fraud I was. Luckily he gave me a beer to shut up, gave me the tour of the house, maybe paused a little bit too long in his bedroom before telling me to make myself at home while he sorted out dinner.

He returned announcing that it was all good and dinner would be ready in 2.5hours. What?! What we were going to do for 2.5 hours?? Oh. right. yeah.

Only we didn’t because he was being the gentlemen and I was playing some ridiculous role of a nervous teenager. The verbal diarrhea returned but he let me rabbit on – and even joined in – until we’d exhausted all small talk and medium talk and the expectation of sex was almost suffocating. He’d not made one move and I didn’t want to be the one to instigate it and we’d not had enough wine to broach the subject. In a stroke of genius, he suggested we watch half the movie, pause for an intermission for dinner and then continue. It sounded like a plan.

When dinner was served, the 3 glasses of wine plus a beer had firmly taken hold and it was pretty clear I wasn’t driving anywhere tonight. Not wanting to be presumptuous I stated as much.

“Well there are two made up beds in the house and one of them is mine…”

“OK, then it’s fine for me have another glass” (I’ll work out which bed later…”

Dinner was lovely, the wine was lovely, the banter was great. The movie was pretty damn good, even if I did get a cinematography run down of the different type of shots. I might have been a bit too typsy and a little preoccupied with what happens next to really concentrate on the movie. But it was pretty good. After the movie finished, we sat chatting and I ended up giggling and being all shy as he moved closer. He went and got me a glass of water and then put his hand on my knee and took control. Thank God. Otherwise I’d still be sitting on the sofa giggling.

My fears in the bedroom were warranted as he was very different to Posh Boy. It’s terrible but I couldn’t help but compare. VP liked to chop and change position regularly which just got annoying and embarrassing and I felt well out of my depth. I was sure I wasn’t living up to expectation and given my little innocent girly act, he was probably wondering what he’d gotten himself into.

The next morning was a disastrous re-run of the night before which was exhausting and frustrating in equal measures. He switched back to gentlemanly as we cuddled (but not for long as it was way too hot!) and he got up to shower. By the time I’d gotten out of the shower, he’d made bacon and eggs and proper coffee. He told me about the commission art on his wall and we went through his other pictures. We dissected the news and then watched a WW2 documentary on the History Channel. It was a lovely way to spent time but I couldn’t get the bedroom thing out of my head. Maybe we’re just not compatible, maybe we’re just supposed to be friends, maybe he doesn’t really fancy me. It was such a shame as otherwise it had been a pretty perfect date 4.

I left about 2.30pm to let him do some work. As he checked out my car he mentioned sorting out my indicator light ‘next time’ but that was the only suggestion when I’d see him next. I drove away thinking it might have all been an elaborate one night stand.

Later after thanking him again for his hospitality, I suggested returning the favour at my place.

“Let me see how this week goes. Can I get back to you?”

Wow. He’s a player. He got what he wanted and now he’s pulling away. I was livid, embarrassed, humiliated and disappointed all at once and vented to PRP who pleaded not to write him off just yet.

I didn’t respond. That text didn’t call for a response. It screamed NOT INTERESTED and YOU’VE BEEN PLAYED louder than if he’d taken a mic and a loud hailer around Melbourne. At work the next day, everyone wanted to know how it had gone. In order to maintain some level of professionalism I spared them the details but they’re smart enough to read between the lines. When I told them about his text, most of the girls disappeared so fast in case they caught whatever singleton disease I was carrying. One remained and confirmed my belief I’d been played and how disappointing it was given his behaviour. She also confirmed my decision not to chase him. If he liked me, he’d get in touch. If he didn’t, chalk it up to experience and move on.

Through the disappointment though I was pleased she’d agreed with me. I am not a doormat, despite my previous behaviour in relationships, and I’d given too many men too many chances in my life.

If he liked me, he’d be in touch but I wasn’t going to hold my breath.

The date I shared with 500,000 Melburnians

It turned out soon meant the very next day. He liked me. Yay! I may have done a mini dance in my bed in celebration.

We agreed ‘soon’ would actually mean taking in White Night Melbourne. I’d missed out last year and was determined not to miss out this year. I was super excited about taking in the sights with Mr VP.

Safe to say I took in the sights with half of Melbourne. 500,000 to be precise all walking aimlessly, not really site what was going on trying to get a glimpse of the light show that wasn’t nearly as good as last year. It took all of 5 mins to realise this was the worst date ever.

We took a reprieve from the crowds to have a drink at Campari House. Only to be turfed out of our seats by very drunk 21 years olds celebrating. Our feet were sore, I was trying to he composure whilst overheating in the tiny bar I swear had the heating on. He must have felt the same as we moved on after one drink.

After more aimless wandering I saw the best projection of the night. It was Moses carrying an IPad holding the 10 Commandments for all his followers to see. His followers in turns were snapping away on smartphones. The irony being the hoarded of people snapping away on smartphones of people snapping away on smartphones. At least we had a little chuckle over that.

We then walked the length of the city and found another pub. Drink a few glasses of wine and got to know each other better. With both of us exhausted the sherade of being on best behaviour dropped for both of us. While talking about movies he was appalled to hear I’d never seen Goodfellas. Date #4 was promptly set for dinner & Goodfellas at his place the following weekend.

At least the rubbish date hadn’t put him off. We found him a cab after a good 30 minutes of jostling with the crowds and I spent over an hour with aching feet trying to get on a tram back home.

I don’t think I’ll be attending White Night next year.

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The downside of dating aussie men

Date #1 ended rather abruptly as two taxis stood outside the bar and we needed to grab them. He lives in the back of beyond and I’m a good girl (OK, a reformed girl!) and so the night ended with a quick, clumsy miss kiss on the cheek. He re-iterated he’d see me again soon.

Soon…

Define soon.

Cue girl brain, self-doubt, angst, convinced to poo had in fact spelt disaster and to make things worse the next day was Valentine’s Day. And I heard not a peep. In fact he let me wait til 6pm on the Saturday later to text to say Thursday had been a lot of fun and we should do it again soon.

There’s that word again. Soon.

When Mr VP? When? Would it kill you to suggest a follow up date and time? Fair enough you sorted the venue for #1 but please don’t make me do all the work. And so I took the reins and suggested dinner the following week, remembering it was his birthday and enquired if he had birthday plans? We’d talked about Cutler & Co but was that too much for date #2? It was his birthday. I suggested it and he replied saying what a lovely idea let’s do it. Shit did that mean I was paying??

Luckily Cutler & Co were booked up (saved by the gods) so we went to Meatball and Wine Bar. We text daily but only on logistical info. He said he’d make it out of work for 6.30pm. At 6.26pm I get a text saying there was a work drama but he was working on it and hopefully it wouldn’t take long. He’d be late but would be in touch. Hmm. That’s twice he’s been late and clearly he’s a workaholic.

I made my way to GoGo bar where we’d arranged to meet. I’d forgotten Friday nights aren’t like mid-week nights and it was rammed. Tonight was going to be a disaster. All the suits and hair extensions and fake nails made me uneasy. This wasn’t my scene and I was pretty confident it wasn’t his either. Plus I couldn’t hear myself think with the incessant noise of bullshit banter. Luckily Mr VP arrived just as I was drinking my glass of cider. He sneaked up behind me and kissed my cheek.

“Fancy another? Actually, you get the drinks in, I’ll sort the table out.”

Taking charge. That’s what I like. I think it’s all going to be OK.

And it was. Date #2 was a dream of a date. The food was awesome. He was impressed. He impressed me with his wine knowledge and comfort and trust in me ordering the food. We talked non stop about everything. Set the world to rights. He told me all about the joys of an American company and I told him about public health reform. Then out of the blue that question again.

“Do you want kids?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe if I found the right guy.”

“But I guess the older you get the quicker you need to decide.”

“I suppose but I’m holding onto the fact my grandma had a child at 41 and that was back then. I reckon I’ve got time.”

“I have to tell you something. I can’t have children. And that’s why my wife left me.”

Wowzers what do you say to that? So very honest and brave and devastating all at the same time. And all I could think about was I had a mouthful of meatball.

When I did manage to say something, maybe a beat too late it was “Well I don’t know if I can kids either. I’ve never tried.”

It eased a bit of tension at least and he went on to tell me his story. Zero sperm count, how he reckons he’d be a great Dad but there are other options these days. He’s grateful for the opportunity to be a Godfather and maybe with the right partner he’d look into the other options.

The evening continued in a more conventional way, I can’t remember what we talked about but I remember thinking what a cow his ex must have been to leave the man you loved and married to find someone else to procreate with. It seems a bit heartless.

After another glass of wine and a gorgeous Spanish sherry he’d found on the menu (seriously the waiter said no-one had ever ordered it before) we called it a night and went in hunt of cabs. I suddenly turned into a 15 year old as we let 2 cabs drive past. He then flagged one down and said he’d get in the next one. After opening the door, he turned to me and kissed me. A proper leg wibbly snog said “you’d better get in the cab” and packed me off.

I had a Cheshire grin on my chops all the way back to St Kilda.

I return to my phone beeping in the bedroom after  taking off my makeup.

Him: That was a fun night, thank you.

Me: That was indeed a very fun night. We should do it again soon.

Ha! Now he was to name the date.

Him: Soon sounds good.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

The date where I talked about poo

“I never knew so much poo could come out of something so tiny. It was all the way up her back!”

And that’s when I heard PRP and Gym Bunny screaming in my head to shut the fuck up. And so I did. Shit. I talked about poo.

Rewind.

It was 6.45pm and I was still in the office. The only one left in the office and the cleaner had already done two walkbys to see if I’d buggered off yet. I’d arranged to meet Mr VP for drinks at 1806 at 7pm. Not ideal as it didn’t give me enough time to go home and change and as it turns out I didn’t even get chance to grab a sandwich to line my stomach. To be honest, any food wouldn’t have settled well, I was way too nervous. All my work colleagues, living vicariously and already so invested in my love life – like we didn’t have enough drama going on in the office! – had unintentionally added another layer of nervousness to the occasion. Still, there was a little room for excitement. Mr VP had taken the initiative two night earlier to ring for a chat. It was light, easily and best of all fun and 30 mins flew by. So if the call was anything to go by, tonight should be OK.

It was a balmy 30 odd degrees outside and sticky so I was thankful for the aircon given I was wearing a black clingy dress. He was running a few minutes late. I got the impression from the off, he works hard. He’d talked a bit about work on the phone and the changes afoot. It’s it the case everywhere at the moment? It seems working til 7 every night is the norm. But then he is VP at his company and you don’t get there by checking out at 5pm every day.

I didn’t mind him being a few minutes late, it allowed me to set up my comfort zone. Sat with a good view of the door, a cheeky glass of wine and time to calm the nerves. When he did stride in, reach forward and kiss me on the cheek. My first impression was “Shit, better looking than your pic. I’d better bring my A game”.

One cocktail, led to three and again the conversation was easy. Turns out we have a lot in common. Both lefties, both slightly obsessed with world war 2, both hankering to go to South America. Turns out he’d been married before and she left him for someone else. Ouch! I didn’t give too much away, just skimmed over that at least he’d made it down the aisle. I only got so far as booking the church. The thing about cocktails is that they sneak up on you. I felt fine as I got up to go to the loo and on the way back, I seemed to only be able to find the store cupboard and not the door back into the bar. I also found this to be the most hilarious anecdote ever to be retold. Yep, I was a bit pissed. Luckily he was too.

“Do you want kids?”

“Well, you might have to buy me dinner first….but luckily the pressure is off as I am eternally grateful to my sister for giving my mother a grandchild. So I think I might be off the hook. Which is good because I kinda like my life. Do you have nieces or nephews?”

“No, no grandkids in our family but I’m a Godfather twice to my best mates’ kids. Which is kind of ironic because I’m an atheist.”

“That’s probably even better than being an uncle ’cause I bet you changing nappies isn’t in the Godfather job description is it?”

“No, I’ve never had to change a nappy. That’s just cruel”

“I thought I had the schedule down pat over Christmas as I’d offer to do the midday nappies which were just wee and leave the poo-y ones for my brother-in-law. Although he got me back on my last night…she shat everywhere…..”

And that’s how I ended up talking about poo on our first date. Once my mates’ screaming had subsided in my head and stumbled up to go to the loo again. I can’t believe I talked about poo in all it’s glory. I’d gotten up so quick that I hadn’t really taken in his reaction but I hope he was laughing. After stumbling into the store cupboard again, I returned to the bar to find him wiping his eyes.

“I can’t believe I talked about poo.”

“Hahaha you picked your audience well. I love how down to earth you are. We should go out again soon – for dinner next time.”

Oh well. Poo got me a second date.

Meet Mr VP

Men weren’t part of my Q1 plan.

Yes I have a quarterly plan. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, after my pre Christmas dating disasters I decided to check myself out of the dating world, at least for a few more months. I have bigger fish to fry, in fact the 3 Fs became my Q1 mantra: Fitness, Family and Finances. No room for men. They were outside my sphere of influence and so why on earth was I trying to control it.

It was going through one of my Fs – finances – that I noticed I hadn’t completely checked out of the dating world. It turns out you need to jumps through a few hoops to cancel your eHarmony account otherwise they just keep taking money out of your account. So there I was with another 2 months access to go.

And so I went shopping. Had a look around and ended up in the painful Q&A process eHarmony serves up with Mr VP. It was his smile that first struck me, big and laughy. He looked fun. He was also very tall. At 195cm, he was a whole head taller than me. Older at 42 seemed a refreshing change from the immature games I’d put up with in the past. I went with it. After all, it’s not like I have anything to lose.

Except maybe my sanity.

An Update On My ‘Pretty Awesome’ Life

It’s been a while.

Reading back over my last post, it’s amazing how much can happen in the space of a month. And a short month too. So let’s have an update:

1) Loving my job

Some pessimist said ‘all good things come to an end’ and unfortunately it seems I might have just wandered out of the honeymoon phase of my job. Actually I don’t believe that, the work itself its still pretty awesome, there’s just way too much of it for one day, one week or one person to manage properly. As part of our getting ready for new ownership, the powers that be are ‘streamlining efficiencies’ which = bad news when you work in a centralised function. In the space of 1 week we went from being a team of 8 to a team of 3. Still with the same workload and goals and being the golden child, much of it has landed on my plate. Whilst I feel bad for my ex-colleagues who have joined the ranks of ex Toyota, Telstra and Qantas employees in the job hunting queue. I can’t help but think they have a silver lining in that they don’t have to pull regular 12 hours days just to keep their heads above water. On Friday night, aided with a post wine and cheese catch up with PRP, I slept for 11 hours solid. I woke up at 11am cursing work for shattering me so much that I’d missed 25% of my weekend.

That work-life balance thing has gone off kilter somewhat.

2) Tina the cleaner

Tina the cleaner still rocks my world and I’d be lost without her. Seriously one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Although she’s shifted her day to Wednesday so she can attend language classes on Thursday. Never one to stand in the way of education, I now have to be careful to make sure the flat stays nice for the weekends. Such a first world problem.

3) There’s only so much pumpkin a girl can take

I’ve had to put my organic veg boxes on hold. They just aren’t built for single people. Despite all my good intentions, I wasn’t getting through an entire box a week and found the veg didn’t keep for 2 weeks. Even when I cooked up a storm, packaged all my portions into containers and played Tupperware Tetris with my fridge and freezer, the glam soon wore off. There’s nothing that screams singleton more than coming home to an empty flat after a tough day and warming through your dinner in a plastic container. Plus every box bar one I received had at least half a pumpkin. There is only so much you can do with a pumpkin and believe me I’ve done them all and would be happy not to eat pumpkin for quite some time. Sorry Aussie Farmers, I need to take a break.

4) Fitbit Fad

I’ve stopped wearing my Fitbit. Mainly because one morning it was one too many things to remember to wear/synch/charge and I was running late. I also dawned on me this morning when I saw it lying abandoned on my bookshelf it’s just another way I have of measuring my not living up to expectation. It’s another reminder of life’s little failures: i didn’t walk enough steps today or drink enough water or sleep enough hours or burn enough calories. Enough. There aren’t enough hours in my day to keep worrying about this shit.

5) The adorable niece

She’s still my niece and by God she’s adorable in a ‘I could eat you up for breakfast, lunch and dinner with extra portions of your squidgy cheeks!’ She’s 3 months old now, smiling and giggling away and I’m officially going to be her Godmother. Truth be told, I was asked to be her Fairy Godmother and my response was such that I’d leave the fairy-ness to her mother but would nail the role of Godmother. After all, I’m not quite qualified to turn pumpkins into coaches (although that is one recipe I didn’t try!) and frogs into footmen. And I’m also a little too bitter and cynical to believe in the ‘happily ever after’. This does also mean that I’ve put ‘write a modern-day children’s book with a strong female role model that doesn’t need a man’ on my to do list.

6) Dr Northern Lass

Oh it’s sooooo going to happen. I just need to say goodbye to the next 6 years of my life. But it’ll be so worth it!

7) I want back my freedom!

The goddamn grand prix has taken away by park and block my daily commute. I have to go the long way round which should be good for my training but the diminished resources at work means I’m now doing 2 other roles across 3 different sites so my office has become somewhat virtual. It’s takes lots of planning and organisation. Two things I’m not so hot on. It’s also rather cumbersome to have to factor in a bike, storage and ability to carry stuff into the equation. Basically meaning I haven’t cycled to work since last Monday – a week ago – and man I miss it. I’m still thinking about the AirBnB thing.

8) Saving the world one email at a time

So I’m doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I’m still in denial that 200k over 2 days is achievable and I’ve started my fundraising. I know only too well how hard it is to fundraise in this day and age. It was my job for a good 10 years of my life. Sending out an email to your friends just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. It’s too easy to ignore, or forget to come back to, or there’s someone else also asking. I’m trying to be creative and so I’m slowly approaching Melbourne’s entertainment industry one café/bar/restaurant/experience at a time asking them to donate prizes which will host on an online auction. The response has been slow but so far (and I’m only just getting warmed up!) I’ve got an $80 voucher for Meatball & Wine Bar, discounted tickets to the Tramcar Restaurant and free entry and high tea for 2 at Lavandula near Daylesford. So if there’s any PR, publicists or businesses out there reading and wish to be part of this extravaganza tweet me.

9) Morning person? Forget it.

It’s almost laughable I thought this was even possible. I am not programmed to even think before 10am let alone function. I do my best work between the hours of 2-8pm and when I rule the world, this is when I what I would make my working hours. The morning boot camp thing didn’t work I just ended up swearing a lot. I switched back to lunchtime PT with a new trainer who I’ve taken exactly 3 weeks to despise. She pushes me so hard I feel like I’m on the biggest loser camp. After today’s session, I actually ended up letting a few tears fall down my face in the changing rooms. She’s 23 has an unnatural hatred for food and clearly hasn’t lived yet. I’m very close to packing it all in. The only thing keeping me going to these torture sessions is that is might actually be doing me some good. I’m going to give it one more week. There’s only been an 800g shift on the scales and my diet is pretty good. My boss even suggested I get my thyroid checked as given the amount of exercise I do I should be losing more weight. I’m taking this as a backhanded compliment.

10) Not all smelling of roses

So yes, life’s not so pretty awesome at the moment. But I could live with all the above as it’s just your usual first world dramas that life chucks at your every now and again. The thing that’s pissed me off most of all and got under my skin most of all was I broke my man vow. There’s a man on the scene. He crept up and surprised me. I squeezed him into my life and I’ve got a sneaky feeling he’s an arsehole and I’ve just been played. But that’s a whole other blog post. Or two. Or three.