Sunday, December 30, 2012

Long Absence

Hello, my ever-patient readers! Yes, I am still here in Richmond, and still loving it. I know it has been a long, long time since I've posted last. This is due in large part to the fact I have fallen in love with the guy I've been dating since last May. Remember the blind date? We've been inseparable ever since. He's got everything I've been looking for for so many lonely, single-girl years: brains, good looks, a great family, ambition, great sense of humor, similar goals, similar beliefs, common interests.......and he's a great kisser. What more could a girl ask for?

We spend a great deal of time together (he only lives 5-10 minutes away) and I would not feel comfortable blogging around him (I'd feel I'm being rude) or talking about him without his knowledge, so I have not been blogging. But I will tell you that I am very, very happy, and so is he. Yes, we have talked about getting married and having babies. I have had my last first date. :)

Other than that, not a lot has changed this year. Here are some updates:

I still have the same job, and it's ok. Not the greatest job, but not the worst. I'd love to change careers or get into a job that is better suited to my talents (I really REALLY miss supervising), but I'm enjoying all the low-stress and time off that my current job provides. So it's not the end of the world.

My family is the same, although my brother, Fat Dog, and his wife had a beautiful baby girl, so now I am Aunt VB. Yay!!!It is difficult to suppress the urge to buy My Little Ponies for a 4 month old. I like to joke that I've already started a prom dress fund for her.

I have caught the running bug and now prefer that to all other forms of exercise. I sprained my ankle pretty badly last September, which meant I had to cancel my plans to run a half marathon. I was really disappointed, but it will be on my bucket list for 2013.

Speaking of being in shape, I am a is round. Nothing like being in love over the holidays (read: double-up on family get-togethers) to pack on the pounds. Ugh. I am dying to get back out there, but am super busy. And being busy = more restaurant food. It's easy to do the math, even for me. I am trying to get organized and run errands while I have a few days off work, so the next couple of days are not looking good. Hopefully, it is not too cold to run outside this coming week, as the gym will be packed with New Year's "Resolutioners" until further notice. Also, I got this for Christmas, and I'm dying to use it. (Good gift, boyfriend!!!!)

One of the things the boyfriend and I have in common is a shared interest in Russia. We are both fascinated by its history and culture. To catch up with him, I have started to learn Russian.  He's practically fluent in Russian, after spending 3 summers there in college. It's not coming to me as easily as I'd hoped. It's my first Slavic language, and my first non-Roman alphabet, so I'm definitely out of my comfort zone. But I can say several things at this point.

I have paid off my car. Woo hoo!!!!

Sammy injured his eye (big corneal scrape) when he escaped through the fence at boyfriend's house, but after 3 months, at least 8 vet trips (including a vet eye specialist!) and $1,000 (yes, a grand), his eye is fine.

I have met several girlfriends and enjoy hanging out with them, but most of my social life involves my boyfriend. He's my favorite person to hang out with, and vice versa. I have been trying to make a bigger effort on the girlfriend front, but it's hard, since most of them are single and want to go out and meet guys in bars late at night (not really my scene anymore). The ones who are not single are super busy, so double dating is difficult to wrangle. So I do the occasional lunch and have joined a book club. I like a lot of the girls I have met, but no one has really clicked with me yet.

I think I will work on this for the new year. Maybe I'll add it to my bucket list, although it may not be a good candidate. A girl I met here does an annual bucket list: 3 things every year she needs to accomplish/do. None of the goals should involve assistance from/reliance on others, so you can't blame anyone else if you don't accomplish them. She has so much fun doing it, and I have been inspired. I only have 2 things thus far: 
  1. Run a half marathon, preferably in a town that is not Richmond
  2. Take more photos (if anyone has any advice on how to make this goal easier to do, as well as how to make it more specific and measurable, that would be great! I never take photos and I need to change that.)
  3. TBD....I need to think of another goal/change to make. Any ideas, readers??? I am learning Russian right now......perhaps I can continue on that. Or is that boring because I have already been doing that? Perhaps I should get my finances in order or take a trip..........

Ok, I have to go and get some things done. I just wanted to let you know I'm here, and I'm happy and I love living in Richmond. I'm not sure where this blog will go next, but I think that as long as I can leave the vast majority of my love life out of this blog, I will be ok with that. I hope you all understand. Everything else is on the table, though!

I'll try and post again soon. I hope you're all having lovely holidays and will have a glorious New Year, full of hope, luck and fantastic experiences!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

RVA Should Stand for "Richmond: Very Awesome"

Greetings, readers! Flattered any of you are still here, as always. I have many many updates for you, as a lot has changed since my last post. I'll do my best to be brief. I think I am in love. I am in love with Richmond. I should have moved here YEARS ago. I have met so many great people, I get to see my family all the time and there's always something fun to do here. It's a great size, there's great shopping and restaurants, there are lots of young people and so much to explore. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'm done moving. I don't see myself leaving RVA any time soon. I'm so much happier here than I was in Savannah.

Have I talked about my job at all? I can't remember. I don't like my job. I miss my old job in Savannah. I had things to do there. I felt like I was with a team and we all had projects and ideas to work on together. Here....not so much. I strive to fill my day with something, anything. The work is not challenging at all (seriously, you could have a high school diploma and do what I do at this gig). I spend most of my day totally alone, which does NOT work for me, because I'm a social person. I don't really supervise anyone, even though technically I am supposed to. First of all, the people I supposedly supervise don't need me because no one uses our library. We can go for days at a time when no one even comes in. Second of all, my boss signs their time sheets and approves their leave, leaving me with nothing to use for ammo when it comes to supervising them. I really like my boss as a person, and she likes me, but I don't think she's a very good supervisor. I don't think she likes being the supervisor, either. There are so many things I could say about this job -- I am just scratching the surface, honestly. I should devote a whole post to it one day. I don't mean to complain, as I am grateful for this job, and it is extremely low-stress, but as a good friend of mine stated when I was describing my new job to her: "Wow, what a complete waste of your talents and abilities." It's not that this is a bad job. It's just not a good fit for me. I plan on changing careers with my next job. To what? I have no idea.

One of the things that is kind of awesome about this new job, though, is that for the first time in my life (yes, since my first job at age 15), I do not work nights or weekends. This, combined with the barely-40 hours a week and the low stress levels of this job means I can really focus on getting back in shape and my social life, which is what I want to do in a new town anyway. Yipee!! (I have already lost about 15 pounds. WOOT!)

After a few months of loneliness/dating douchebaggery, I found a group just for women in their 30s. There was a happy hour event in March, so I went, halfway dreading it because I was worried they'd all be married mothers and I'd end up getting invited to baby showers (no offense to any mothers reading, but attending baby/wedding showers stopped being fun for me about 6 years ago. They only serve as reminders of how I am not where I want to be at age 33. But don't get me wrong -- I am happy for you. I just want to mail a card instead. Is that ok?). So I get to this happy hour event, and end up sitting next to a group of girls who are all my age, all single/childless/never married AND most of them just moved back to Richmond after living away for some time. Ding ding ding! We have a winner! 4 of us really hit it off, and we've been hanging out ever since. They are so much fun and it's so awesome to see that you're not the last single 33 year old woman in the world. Every time this group gets together, we meet more cool girls, so my social circle is expanding all the time. Sweet!!!

But I am not just relying on them for my social life. There are daughters/sons of friends of my mom who I have been meeting, too. I met with one of them for after-work drinks the other day. I was especially excited to meet with her, because I hadn't seen her since I was in about 8th grade, I was told she's super fun and also because The Czarina told me she would have good career advice for me. And she did! But what I wasn't expecting was that she's also all about fixing people up. Score! A few minutes into our conversation, she asked me if I'm single. I nodded. "You have to meet ____." I asked her to tell me about him.

He sounds awesome! Smart, kind, funny, attractive, no kids/ex-wives, owns his own home, from Richmond, close to his family but not too close, has a good job, he's the same age as why wasn't SHE interested in him? After all, she's 33 and single, too. "He's not my type. I can see why people would say he's attractive, and he is. But I'm not attracted to him. He's like a brother to me. I've known him for years and years."

"So why is he single?" I asked. There had to be a catch.

"Well, he was engaged about a year or two ago. Then, out of nowhere, she broke it off. He was pretty crushed, because he didn't even see it coming. Actually, none of us saw it coming. Then he dated this other girl for a while, and she ended up getting back with her he's had a rough go of it."

"Poor guy. He sounds great, though. Sure, fix me up," I said.

"Ok, let's do this right now," she said, getting out her phone.

"Like, right now? Do I have time to brush my hair?" I asked.

She laughed. "No, I mean like let's set it up right now." She began texting him. "Are you free tomorrow?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Ok, he's free, too. You're meeting him here tomorrow at 7," she stated matter-of-factly.

And just like that -- BOOM -- I had a blind date.

We have our second date tonight. I'm really excited. I'll tell you all about him in my next post....that's all for now, kids. I have to get ready for the gym!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Another Successful Interaction With a Man

Long-term readers of my blog are familiar with my verbosity, but I have a treat for anyone out there who might prefer that I include more visual aids to my posts. Today I have not one but 2 videos to illustrate this post.

This one explains where I got the title for the post.

Allow me to explain why I can relate to this clip so much.

I should have seen it coming. That was stupid of me. After what he did on New Year's Eve, I knew in the back of my head he'd do something again. But after two months of blissful dating, I let my guard down. And I paid for it.

For the first two months of this year, I was floating on air. MM was great! He was super into me, we really clicked, he was a great kisser and really fun to be around. He even wanted to be my Valentine and took me out to a really nice restaurant. I bragged to my mom about how how he always turned his cell phone off when he was with me and was always wholly focused on me when he was with me.

The thing was, something about him made me not trust him. Yes, the NYE stunt was part of that. But eventually I began to realize that
A) He was a little too good to be true. Any guy that seems to always tell you what you want to hear is bad news bears, in my experience. He seemed to look for reasons to tell me I was doing something "hot". Last time I checked, a girl watching football isn't "hot". She's just watching football. I think he was just trying to butter me up. He would text me during working hours, telling me he can't stop thinking about me. He told me that seeing me once a week was not enough and he definitely could see me every day. He would talk about taking vacations several months from now and "if we're still together, you're definitely coming with me!" Like an idiot, I lapped all this up like a hungry little puppy. This was my reward for being so forgiving after the NYE let down! This guy was all about me! Thank goodness I was open to giving him a second chance. He was obviously worth it. *mental pat on the back*

and the other thing bugging me, waaay in the back of my mind was....

B) I was not in any way, shape or form, being included in his life. After 2 months of dating, I had yet to meet any of his friends or anyone who knew him at all. And based on a phone conversation with his sister that I overheard, I could tell she didn't even know I existed. I was sitting right next to him when he said he was "just hanging out with a friend". Apparently, despite the fact that he'd seen me with some of my clothing removed and we made out all the time, I still only qualified as a friend. WTF.

Now, I am not a pushy kind of girl when it comes to dating. I am fairly patient with all the various stages of dating. But after 2 months, you don't feel the need to introduce me to anyone you know? Or at least tell people you're seeing someone? I was starting to feel like a secret. For all I knew, he could have some other girl or a girlfriend or who knows what else?! It began to bother me. I could wait on meeting family, but I can't even meet your 2 best guy friends? We can't even double date with them and their girlfriends? Your sister can't even know you're dating someone?

About a month ago, we went to Williamsburg and went to the outlet malls there. I was flattered that he decided to spend his whole day off with me. And you don't drive an hour out of town to spend the day shopping with someone if you don't really like them. I mean, this is something that couples do! We were definitely on the way to being a couple. I could feel it.

But he acted a little funny that day. He seemed really self-absorbed and preoccupied. For the first time, he was on his phone when he was with me. Something crazy at work. But what bothered me the most, I think, was that he was not affectionate with me at all. Come to think of it, he had never been publicly affectionate with me! I started to get annoyed after realizing all of this on the way home. I had made dinner, so he came over to eat with me, and we talked. I dropped a hint about feeling like a secret and wanting to meet his friends. He said that would be fun and we could do it on Saturday. Whew! That's a relief. See, it just hadn't occurred to him yet, that's all. He stayed at my house as late as he possibly could that night (yes, there was serious making-out -- I told you he's an excellent kisser!), and then kissed me good-bye and told me he hoped I would have a good day the next day. All perfectly normal.

I didn't hear from him the next day (a Tuesday), which was normal and fine. But by Thursday night, I was feeling anxious. I texted him. Turns out, he was sick. Ah, yes, of course. No worries. I asked him if he needed anything and he said no. I told him I hope he feels better and went to bed. The next day, I asked how he was feeling. He said he was better, but would probably have to work all weekend to make up some stuff from work. Guess that means hanging out with his friends on Saturday was out of the question. He said that was probably true, but he might be able to finish in time to still go out.

I didn't hear from him on Saturday. On Sunday morning, I log into facebook, and find that his buddies have posted all these pics of them hanging out together the night before. I was crushed.

After moping around most of the weekend, I went into work the next Monday. It also happened to be my birthday. MM texted me to ask how my weekend was. Seriously??! Why do men pull shit like this and then act like nothing is wrong? Do they think that a woman has the memory of a goldfish?

"Well, I'm having a good birthday so far," I replied.
"Oh, I'm such a bonehead! It is your birthday!" he replied.
Yes. It is my fucking birthday, you piece of shit. You are definitely a bonehead, I thought.
I didn't reply.
A few seconds later, he texted me again: "Did you defriend me on FB?"
"Honestly, I didn't think I'd ever hear from you again," I replied.
He claimed to be shocked and confused, despite the fact that he had blown me off for a week. He said he didn't want to have this conversation on my birthday and that he'd call me later in the week. Fine. Whatever.

Two days later, he called and apologized, but the conversation was definitely tense. I was still pretty pissed off and hurt. We caught up briefly and he said he'd call me again later. And that was the last I've heard of him. Which brings me to video #2, an awesome song I just discovered (sorry, I'm probably the last person on Earth to discover this song, so bear with me!) -- this song pretty much captures exactly how I felt at the time:

Considering I am 33 and this is the first guy I have dated (heck, the first guy I have WANTED to date) in 2 and a half years, it was kind of a blow to me, I'm not gonna lie. I'm just now feeling like I am over him and it took me several tries to write this post. I've been running. A lot. I think I've lost about 10 pounds, actually. But I digress.

I'm just so mad at myself. I broke all my own rules:
1. Don't date a guy who is ok with disappointing you
2. Don't date a guy who makes you cry
3. Wait, wait, wait and wait some more to get nekkid with a guy. At least until you have girlfriend status and have met some of his friends.
4. If a guy tells you everything you want to hear, it's because he's blowing smoke up your ass and it's coming out through your empty, idiot head and into your ears.
5. Listen to your gut. My gut said, "Don't date him, you will regret it." I chose to ignore this particular loud-and-clear gut warning. Dumb, VB. Very dumb.

The part that hurt the most was the disappearing act. Right around my fricking birthday. At the age of 34, you'd think a guy could grow a pair and break things off quickly, honestly and humanely. But no. He pulled a stunt that no one had pulled on me since I was in my early 20s. When I realized this, that's when it all started to make sense: As a recent divorcee, he is starting to date again after being off the market for approximately 7 years. So emotionally, he's a frat boy. Which is why he basically hit it and quit it. I'm just one in what will probably be a long line of new toys for this boy. (Like the rhyming? Cuz I can keep going. No? Alright.) Glad I can be of service in helping you get over the fact that your ex-wife left you. I'm here to please. No really. My feelings don't matter. Just do whatever you want to me. Because I have s-u-c-k-e-r written in Sharpie, right across my forehead, apparently.

But let's talk about possible reasons his wife may have left him, shall we? Because this list made me feel waaaaaaay better once I put it together.
1. bad credit
2. baggage. Baggage for days and days. And I'm not just referring to his 2 kids and ex-wife. (I actually don't mind the kids, just for the record.)
3. beer gut (normally I don't mind that, but he should really hit the gym)
4. possible binge drinker (based strictly on his own descriptions of fb photos)
5. Well, I can't really put it any better than Lily Allen, so here's a song you can listen to which describes many of the things I am too nice to spell out directly to you. *ahem*

After my moping phase was done, I got to the point where I had to decide the extent to which I wanted him erased from my life. FB was already taken care of, thankfully, so I would be prevented from stalking. Then, I got a new phone, so all my old text message conversations are all gone. But do I delete the number, exposing myself to a surprise call from an unrecognizable number? Or do I keep it there, as a depressing reminder of yet another failed relationship, so at least if he calls, I will know not to answer? I could fight off the temptation if he ever called. At least I wouldn't get caught off guard.


I had a better idea. I thought of a way to make sure I would not want to answer the phone if he called. I wouldn't want to answer because I would change his name into something that would remind me of why I have no interest in ever talking to him again. A genius moment, for sure. Every time I think about it, I grin like a fat kid at Baskin Robbins. I'll delete it entirely one day, but for now, I will enjoy the daydream of seeing his new name come up on my phone.

Tiny Penis.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Virgin Territory

Now, now, don't get excited. This post has nothing to do with anyone's V Card. I know I am not the only perverted person out there, so I figured I'd establish that right off the bat.

I figured I'd summarize my first month or so of living in Richmond. It's kind of a surreal experience, moving back to a town you haven't lived in since you were 12. My hometown is only an hour and a half away from Richmond, so I've visited many many times since then, but as a visitor, I have never actually driven in Richmond. So although the street names are familiar, navigating them is something else. But that's the fun part. What I forgot about were the toll highways. You don't really see them down south. And people don't let you in when you need to change lanes. Guess I'm not deep in Southern Hospitality anymore. Although I will say that men here do open doors for ladies, something I've always appreciated. A guy actually apologized to me the other day for not getting the door for me. *sigh* Southern Gentlemen are the best.

So far, overall, I love Richmond. It's bigger, so there are more shopping, cultural, recreational and dating opportunities. Hooray for that. Richmond is also a pretty classy town, I have to say. Savannah and even Columbia were both a little raggedy, with litter everywhere, poorly maintained streets and just a general air of poverty and sadness. Richmond is clean and neat and well-maintained, from what I have seen so far. Gone are the hipsters of Savannah and the Good Ol' Boys of Columbia. People here seem to be more genteel, as cheesy as that sounds. Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my best friends are hipsters and Good Ol' Boys. But I will never really be part of either of those groups. I just feel like I fit in here better. People here are less pretentious than hipsters and more cultured than Good Ol' Boys. It's a good balance, in my opinion.

The city has a lot going for it, and I can't wait to explore everything it has to offer. There's all kinds of parks and activities on the James River, which cuts right through town. There's a neat old part of town called Shockoe Slip, full of bars and restaurants and shops. I live near Carytown, which is a great boutique/cafe area of town. The state capital and all the state agencies are here, as well as a major university (VCU). One of the things I always liked about Columbia was that due to the state government and the major university being there, it always made the city full of life and activity. It's the same here. There are several museums and tons of historical things here, like the church where Patrick Henry gave his "Give Me Liberty" speech -- pretty cool! There's lots of Colonial America and Civil War history around here. Today I am going to visit the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. One of my friends from Savannah is doing a reading there today, so I told her I'd stop by and see her.

It's a good thing my family is so close by, because otherwise, I'd be super lonely. I don't really work with anyone who's in my demographic, unlike my job in Savannah. And I haven't met too many of my neighbors yet -- it's not fun to strike up conversations when it's 30 degrees outside. So I spend most of my time alone. I know it's only temporary, and I have ideas for how to meet people, but it still stinks for the time being! I guess I had it easy in Savannah -- there were tons of young professionals to hang out with. It's just going to take time. I'm going to join the gym and also this organization (looks like so much fun, but they don't really do much until March). I also need to find a church (I've been church-shopping with no luck so far). There's also a roller derby team here, but I would have to psych myself up for that. It looks like fun, and a great way to meet girlfriends, but I am such a wuss when it comes to pain and haven't been on rollerskates since I was about 10.

Speaking of being 10 years old, on Monday, I am going to have lunch with my best friend from 4th grade. How's that for crazy? She and I have been facebook friends for a while, but I don't think I've seen her since then. She now lives in Richmond, too, so I suggested we meet up.

Next weekend, The Czarina is getting married, so she's all in a tizzy. It should be fun, though. If there's one thing my mom is good at, it's throwing parties. I'll see pretty much every friend of my family. (Is it a sign that I'm getting older when I say that I like hanging out with my parents' friends as much as I like hanging out with my own?) I'm really happy for my mom. And my stepdad is great.

I absolutely love my new place. It's like it was designed to hold my stuff -- everything fits perfectly. As soon as I get most of the decorating done, I will share pics. The only thing I wish it had was a fireplace. Then it would be perfect.

It's totally freezing here, and my wardrobe is not equipped for it. I've been hunting for sweaters like a fiend. From what I've been told, I won't be able to get out my flip-flops until April. Aw, man!

I'll blog more about my new job and my dating life soon. Thanks, as always, for reading! Please leave comments so I can feel connected to human beings and not continue to have full conversations with my dog! I am so lonely!