Some Random Thoughts Amidst Dating

vintage-date[Hi spinster friends!  It’s been awhile.  For those of you with whom I’m not acquainted, pertinent things about me are thus:  I wear cat necklaces, I drink 5 cups of tea a day, I keep a poison garden, I tend to tell stories that involve TMI, and I’m currently braving the online dating scene for the second time (take pity on me).]

My armpits are probably the softest this side of the Mississippi.  The latest manfriend hasn’t shown any affinity for armpit nuzzling, but by God, armpit exfoliation seems important when I’m primping for a date.  And please, none of that apricot scrub crap.  If you’re serious about this type of thing, only a firm bristled body brush will do.  Think of it like a boot scraper, but for your armpits.  Ignore your tears the first couple of rounds.  It gets more bearable, I promise.  But under no circumstances should you apply a prescription strength antiperspirant following said exfoliation.  DON’T DO IT, TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

My latest horror is also the state of my feet calluses.  My favorite sporting activity started up which means disgusting, painful blisters.  And so, I let my calluses flourish because I don’t want to feel like my feet are falling off when I play.  But this puts a wrench in the Getting Frisky process.  Just when I want to start writhing in ecstasy (TMI?), and I’m ready to start rubbing my legs against the other person, I recall my toes and freeze.  God forbid my toe should snag against his khakis, or worse, maim his bare leg (I have fierce calluses, y’all).  Just last night I was in danger of this very thing!  Thank goodness for socks.  Selection of them is key and you must sell the excuse for not taking them off, “I’m allergic to carpet, isn’t that wild?!  Hives every time if I don’t properly protect myself.”

I’m also becoming an expert at the application of concealer.  It’s almost a necessity when one has a chin like Sarah Jessica Parker.  That thing gets in the way of everything, and kissing a guy with sexy facial stubble is like rubbing against coarse sandpaper for hours.  I’ve even scabbed over after a particularly amorous night (Marcus Aurelius, 2003).  The next morning arrives and my chin is flaming red.  To arrive at work like that would be like wearing a giant sign, “I Made Out with a Boy Last Night.”  Sure, I’m kind of happy to know I was up to Fun Happenings while my coworker was at home watching Dora with her 5 yr. old, but they don’t need to know that.  And thus, I’ve carefully mastered the technique of concealer, powder, foundation, concealer, foundation, powder.  The Chagall of concealer, right here, folks.

It would be really great if dates could be scheduled a few weeks in advance.  Some of us don’t place dishes directly into the dishwasher after use.  Sometimes it take a couple weeks.  In those instances, one might need time to procure a surgical mask to ward off errant mold spores.  One might also need to organize the three foot tall and tipping stack of magazine.  And throw away the mound of Reese’s wrappers from last weekend.  And Swiffer the bathroom.  And steam clean the sofa.  And fix that broken blind.  And put the suitcase away, that one from three weeks ago.  And hide the cat foot cans.  Hell, hide the cat litter box. And the toys.  And that special grass I cultivate for them.

Oh God, what will the cats do when I finally wrangle a man into my bedroom?  Should I be concerned?  I should be concerned.


You Put Up A Door For Me & Other Romantic Tales

Professor McGregor brought me iced tea.

Your knees didn’t properly go weak there, so let me explain. If there is one unerring truth in the universe, it’s this: Grace loves unsweetened black iced tea. When your ancestors move to the South, then don’t leave for four-hundred years, this is the result. It can be below-freezing outside and I’d still like ice in my leaf water, thanks. Professor McGregor has picked up on this.

Monday afternoon, I’m sitting in his backyard, playing with his new puppy and waiting for him to get home for lunch. The plan was thus: he’d pick up sandwiches, we’d eat them, then I’d leave for Austin. In my overly complicated ordering instructions (Ham & Swiss, with lettuce, on wheat, plus olive oil & any salad vinegar…unless they don’t have any, then just meat, cheese, and the tiniest bit of mustard on white. Yes, I am that ridiculous, kittens.), never did I mention a beverage. Yet, when the screen door opened, my delightful boyfriend held a gigantic cup of iced tea. If the Great Lakes were to suddenly dry up, this cup could have refilled them. The man not only quizzed the sandwich maker about types of vinegar, but remembered my love for vast quantities of tea!

Y’all, my insular cortex swooned. I know that women are socially conditioned to want flowers, chocolate, and unreasonably sized teddy bears, but they don’t really do it for me.  Flowers and chocolate are lovely, but I regularly buy those for myself, and I’ve always been vaguely nervous about cuddling with bears. If I were a witch, out to seek revenge on mankind for a great wrong done to my sisters, my opening volley would be turning all stuffed animals into actual animals. (Not that I believe in witches, but I still only sleep with small, easily subdued stuffed creatures. ONE CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL.) Never having had a boyfriend who strayed outside these socially accepted displays of affection, I didn’t realize how happy legitimate gestures of love would make me. My heart, it pittered and pattered.

Professor McGregor, it turns out, does these things all the time. If he’s not bringing home iced tea, he’s grabbing me bottles of water at a football game or insisting I take his sweatshirt, because I’m the human version of permafrost. Kittens, a couple of weekends ago, he even put up a door for me. Friends were staying with him for the weekend, which meant my usual use-the-guest-bathroom routine was disrupted. Because he lives in an old house, full of both charm and a weird lack of three-hole plug outlets, the door to his bathroom has been missing since he bought the place. Knowing I would be sharing with him all weekend, he bought and hung a door, before I came in town. A man who is both handy and considerate? I don’t even know how to handle that!

I’m not really sure what the point of this blog post is, except that, sometimes, iced tea is more romantic than roses. Sometimes, the man you’re dating in real life is better than Ryan Gosling’s latest character. Sometimes, you just have to write a blog post talking about how awesome your boyfriend is, because if you tell him you “think he’s neat” one more time, he might realize how poorly you process emotion in real life.

– Grace