28 June 2010

Experiences at the 'Flirk'place

I used to roll my eyes at shows like "House," "Grey's Anatomy," "ER," "Scrubs," etc. because romance within the hospital among employees was so ridiculously and unrealistically rampant.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  Never have I been in a place where flirting was so constant and widespread, even more so than the dorms.

I already mention my SA about a week ago, as well as my flirting attempts in the even more distant recent past.  What I didn't know at the time is how these instances were just drops in the bucket.  While I've started to recognize compliments directed towards me, I've broadened my horizons as well.

I've begun to talk to a new girl in a way that the average observer would describe as flirting.  While, I admit, I'm guilty as charged, I think I take a different approach.  As I observe my fellow hunters in action I can't help but see that all of the talking and joking is just an attempt to bait the prey into accepting a date.

I have to admit, in my strategy, I spend more time trying to figure out if I'm interested in date than if she is.  I've never been the kind of person to go out first and ask questions later.  I'd rather get to know someone and then take them out rather than ask out a stranger and burn a perfectly good evening on a crappy date.  Does this severely cut my prospects and opportunities? Yes, but, in my opinion, the only two dates I've regretted have been the two instances I didn't or couldn't follow this model.

I guess I'm a curious person, my flirting AND first date consist almost entirely of asking question after question.  Someone once told me that a first date in like a job interview, I agree, and treat as one.

23 June 2010

Not a Chick Flick

Yesterday was Liz' wedding which means it's the honeymoon, but I'm not thinking about that.  I'M NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT.  I'M NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT.

I can't say I felt any of that relief, emancipation, or closure that people tell me finally comes from your Ex getting married.  Honestly, I just kind of quietly floated into indifference.  Now that it's all in retrospect I have to ask myself the tough questions:  What's the deal?  You've got Hannah(more or less)!  Liz and I have been apart for two years!  You're not ready for marriage anyway!  Well I know what the deal is, it's more like a lot of medium-sized deals clumped together.

  • Liz was my first love.  Mushy right?  Sure I dated Ashley for a long time, but I'm well aware that it was one of those high school things where I was immature and just doing things that I perceived to go on in a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, monkey see, monkey do.   
  • Liz was the first girl who dumped me.  Simple as that, it ended before I was ready for it to end.  Plus it was slightly "out of the blue" as far as I was concerned at the time.  Those two firsts combined...
  •  The regrets.  I can look myself in the mirror and say that I didn't do my best with Liz.  Because of this, as my Dad would tell me, I contracted the "shoulda-coulda-wouldas" and can't help but wonder what if I had done my best, or even just better than I did.  This was a real wake up call for me, I always thought my Dad was being annoying when he'd say stuff like that.
  •  No second chances.  Unfortunately for me at the time, I don't live inside a chick flick or romantic novel.  We're told "Love conquers all!"but I'm pretty sure that only applies when both parties are involved.  Whether I had confessed my undying love, challenged the new guy to a duel, or interrupted a wedding it wouldn't change a thing, I knew it, and it sucked.
  • Smaller deal:  Liz had a quick turn around.  While I was still having internal issues months later, she started dating the man who's now her husband about three weeks later.  Kind of like salt in the wound. (Yes, the were internal issues, my mom didn't even know until two months later when she asked, "Why don't you bring Liz over here anymore?"  Yeah, my Mom is a pro...)
I mentioned to Hannah a few weeks ago that I had gotten Liz' wedding announcement, and how it was a little depressing for me.  True to form, she had my back.  Hannah is really cool like that, no matter how quirky, eccentric or just plain odd I think or feel, she always understands what isn't always easy to express.  I know it's a bit strange to have had all those feelings about Liz, but all the while I was going to bed thinking how much I missed Hannah, and that I knew, given the choice between the two, it would be an easy one.

On a happy note, Donna got married today.  She looked great, and is obviously very happy.  That also means the countdown begins today, if a child is born to her on or before Aug. 24, 2011 I will make her name it after me!

19 June 2010

The Club

I dedicate this train of thought to the future generations of male "waiters".

I pity you.  Obviously I have been in your shoes.  If your girlfriend is on a mission now, you probably fall between the ages of 21-23, as I do.  If, like me, you also live in Utah, all of your friends and buddies are married or getting married.  You've probably realized that, now that your sister missionary is in the field, you suddenly have no friends.  I'd like like to welcome you back to the Mormon Singles Club, you are now a social pariah.  Soon you'll find out that you have to construct an entirely new friend base if you're going to survive and remain sane.

I don't know where the tradition of shedding all your single friends when you get married started.  I can tell you that  it will be the most difficult part of these 18 months.  To be honest, there have been times where I've thought about hooking up with a rebound, and keeping her around, just so I can still hang out with my friends.  These thoughts bring me back to the most ridiculous part of the Couples Club, your friends don't even have to like or accept your date, just as long as you have one you are welcomed.

I vow that, once married, I will have at the least semi-monthly gatherings with friends both single and spoken for.  Yes it will be hard to resist the urge to dishing the same treatment to those of my friends who will inevitably get divorced, but I'll show some compassion, while still reminding them how they were totally douche-y towards me while they were married, which was probably a contributing factor to their divorce.  Now I'm in no means saying that if you forsake all of your single friends once you get married that you're going to end up in a divorce; I'm saying that if you do end up in a divorce the fact that you could so easily forsake your less-fortunate, single friends was probably a largely contributing factor.  It's called the pride cycle....

The Wall

I'm pretty much at the 1/4 mark, it's the first major milestone. However, it's a little bittersweet. While I'm thinking, "Wow! 1/4 of the way through! I can't believe I've already made it this far!" I also think, "Only 1/4? I still have to wait three times longer than I already have? What the Heck!?"

17 June 2010

Shadow Games

An interesting thing happened today at work.

I'm coming back from my break, when I get to where I left my stuff I notice something's off.  Upon further inspection I noticed there was a paper towel stuffed in between some things.  I pulled it out, and on it was a note, written in obviously female handwriting, which said:

You're pretty

A secret admirer note!  Now some may think that a secret admirer note in your 20's is totally lame, but I thought it was awesome, it made my night.  I think it was so nice because it was forward.  Guys always have to do most of the work when initiating a relationship with a female they are interested in.  Forward can be nice because: 1. It's a nice change of pace; and 2. It goes against common gender roles enough to make a guy feel special.  Of course being forward with a guy you're interested in is walking a thin line, you want to be forward enough to make him feel special, but not so forward that he wonders how many guys you've tried this on.

Anyway, now it was my move.  I love a good mystery!  I thought about the girls who work in that area who are within my age range and unmarried, I was able to narrow the suspects down to two.  In all honesty I was hoping for one over the other, and after further thought of previous interaction, I was pretty sure the girl I was looking for was the desirable one.  Unfortunately, It was impossible to be sure, but I didn't want whoever it was to think it went unappreciated, so I did the only thing I could think of: I wrote a note of my own.

I put a lot of thought into it.  It needed to be something simple and indirect to the general population, yet obvious to the author.  So I grabbed a paper towel of my own, wrote "Thanks!" in red Sharpie, and left it right in the middle of the break room table for that area.  I guess it will be impossible to know if SA will see it or not and, even if she does, how things proceed from here.  I guess time will tell

13 June 2010

Black Sheep

I've always been the different one in my family.  All of my siblings turned out exactly the same, then I ended up almost the opposite.  I think deep down I express myself the same way, but I communicate differently, which makes my parents treat me differently because they don't really know how to treat me.

I went home for the first time in four months(even though they only live 15-20 minutes away) for some family stuff we had going on, family in town, birthdays, graduations, etc.  It's a weird feeling coming back home when you've been in your own place, you don't really feel welcome,  like it's "home" but not "your home."  Anyway, I took Liz's wedding announcement with me, I knew my mom would want to see it, my mom loves to hear about how all of the girls I've dated and lost have done so much better than me...(except Ashley of course, I'm pretty sure the only thing my mom would like to see about her was an obituary.)

Before I continue, let me say, after my whiny post pining for Liz I realized I was being dumb.  Of course Liz seemed great, I only made a point to remember the good things, and even though I couldn't conjure up any negative memories about her I'm sure I have some, and I'm sure they're horrible!  I mean she dumped me!  I'm gonna win a freakin' Nobel Prize!  That'll show her!  At least Hannah isn't so ridiculous that she can't recognize what's right in front of her nose!  But seriously, I was emotional, when I actually stopped being a little girl and thought about it I realized, Sure, I would've been happy with Liz, but I learned things about myself during that break up that will bring me more happiness than I would've had otherwise.

Back to the story.  So my mom takes what feels like five minutes, looking at the picture.  Then she shows it to my little sister.  Then she puts it back in front of her face, I see her mouth start to open, I know she's going to tell me what I learned so painfully last weekend, that I'm better off.

"She's so cute, Oh she's so cute!"

WTF? ! ? !

What the heck mom!?  Thanks for the pat on the back!  Thanks for the words of support after I find out the girl I dated for a year is getting married to the guy she dumped me three weeks before dating!  I mean seriously, I thought Mom's knew better!

But you know what?  I don't care, Hannah's picture is still on the fridge, and Hannah won't sacrifice her ambitions to get a husband.  Luckily I texted Donna, she and my "refound cousin" are the only two girls I text since the Brandy fiasco.  I told her my Mom's ridiculous reaction, but at least Donna had my back and knew what to say.  "Why do you even care?  I've met them both, Hannah is way better.  Plus you look happier with her than you ever did with Liz!"

She was right, I shouldn't care, I don't care.  Like I've said, sometimes I just need to hear what I want to hear.

06 June 2010

Don't hate the game either...

There's a phrase I hear a lot that I'm utterly confused by.  I most hear it from married or engaged people.

"I'm so glad to be out of the dating game."

I guess I'm confused about what made their dating experience so horrible, especially since it resulted in earning a marriage for themselves.

I've really enjoyed the game, sure I've had my heart breaks, lows, just plain horrible experiences, but I've enjoyed the experience as a whole.  I can say that once I'm married I won't miss the game, but I will look back on it fondly.  I've always believed the saying "We are the sum of our experiences" I see it everyday.  I know that those highs and lows made me who I am, and have shaped the person who will eventually be my wife.

Why do people look at "the game" with such distaste?

Maybe I don't hate the game because I've never stressed about being with anyone, I've never stressed or worried about getting married.  I've dated because it was fun, I did it for the experience, I did it to get close to someone.  Though I won't miss the game when mine has ended, I think I'll miss getting to know people on such a personal level, hearing their stories, and learning from them.

04 June 2010

Why Wait?

On one of my previous entries someone asked me why is was waiting.  That's a pretty good question, most people probably think I'm a total d-bag for telling some sweet, faithful sister missionary I'd be here when she got back, then immediately going out on dates and actively flirting with girls from work.  Most girls who promised to wait for an elder said they'd save themselves for them, they would be prepared for a temple marriage, and that they wouldn't even look at another boy for the next 24 months.  Then what happens?  They get married five months later to the first RM that smiles in their general direction at the singles ward.  It's easily happened millions of times, they say they know he's the One, but didn't they know their missionary was the One?  That's a textbook way to get gobbled up by the yearning.

How do things like this happen?  Easy, guys are guys.  As soon as you mention you're waiting for a missionary you become the forbidden fruit that must be tasted.  If the aforementioned "failed wait" happened to you and your husband knew you had a missionary, ask him if that knowledge played a part in his motivation.  If he just said "no" he's a liar, you should probably get a divorce now that you can no longer trust anything he says, what's worse, you're entire relationship has been based on him seeing severing your connection to your missionary as a challenge.

Which brings me to my first point: I don't tell the girls I meet that I'm waiting for a missionary.  If they ask, I tell them that the last girl I dated left on a mission, and leave it at that.

I've never understood how girls waiting for missionaries assumed they'd be able to go two years without dating and then be normal at the end, or that they could even make it two years in the first place.  By going about it this way, they'd only repress themselves and stunt their social development and dating experience.  Beyond that, I've always wondered how people could be so ignorant of life experience.  I'm a curious person, I want to learn and know as much as I can.  Because of this I've always found people who share their only kiss with their wife, not make-out, cuddle, or date anyone but their spouse as ridiculous.  How can people be so happy in their ignorance?  Once you're married how can you honestly say that they are the best person for you when they've been the only person for you?  Now before anyone says, "well if they're the only then they're the best because you've never been with anyone better."  To that I say, using that same logic you could argue that they could be the the worst since you've never been with anyone worse.

I plan on living it up while I can, I have a list of dating experiences that I want to have in the next 14 months so that once Hannah gets home I can know, without a doubt, that she is the One for me or not.

Hannah knows all of this.  We discussed waiting before she left, she told me she didn't want me being a hermit while she was gone.  I told her I'd only be "waiting" in a sense that I wouldn't be married or engaged before she got home, and that I guaranteed her we'd go on a few dates.  For me this wasn't really that big of a promise, I wouldn't be married in a year and a half even if she didn't go and we continued dating.  Because of this, "waiting" hasn't really been hard at all, but the separation hasn't been easy in the least.

Now that you know the how, I'll move on to the why.

I'm really good at board games, especially strategy games, so good in fact that people just won't play with me anymore.  The key in any strategy game is the ability to look several moves ahead.  You can approach life much the same way.  Life is like a giant strategy game there is a desirable outcome that you shoot for, using guile, diplomacy, and teamwork.  Hannah is the kind of girl that, no matter what is thrown at you, is the best choice.  We differ all the ways you want to differ, and we're the same in all the ways that matter.  We're both our own, independent people.  

Since she's left I've started to realize how much I miss hearing her opinion.  I've always been the kind of person who has never had an issue with making decisions for myself, but when I started dating Hannah I began to realize that even though we agree on many things, our reasons for thinking the ways we do is quite difference.  Because of this I started to get Hannah's view on any decision I was mulling over, not because I need her to make my decisions for me, but because often her opinion might give me new insight.  She began to do the same thing, I think this is a very good practice for a couple, however, I think the best thing about this is that if I disagreed with her, or she disagreed with me, we'd do what we were planning to do anyway.  Sure, when you're making decisions that effect both parties you have to come to some kind of agreement, but when on your own, I think the ability to disagree is just as important as agreeing with your partner.  I've been told that you want to marry young, before you or your future spouse get "too set in your ways."  But why shouldn't you each be your own people?  What's the point in talking at all if you're the same person with the same thoughts.  How can you learn and grow when there is no one to challenge you.  How can you appreciate a spouse as an equal if they always submit to your point of view?

Physical attractiveness is also of large importance, I've read that, as cause of divorce, lack of sex is right behind financial woes in the "irreconcilable differences" column.  I assume, that being physically attracted to your partner is a factor in the activity.  Not only that, you have to realize that in our world attractive people are more successful statistically, and on that note, you have to keep in mind that your future children will look like one or both of you.  Think of the animal kingdom, the most attractive individual get's the girl, and proceeds to produce the most desirable offspring.  A lot of people say that appearances of a partner aren't important, but I say it is, both on a psychological level, and from a genetic and instinctual point of view.  Hannah has a classic good look,  I noticed all of the time how she looked great even just wearing a t-shirt and jeans, as well as having great skirt legs.  She was happy whether we were hiking to the top of a mountain or lounging around watching movies and cuddling.  She's affectionate, she first truly won me over one night when we were just watching TV and she nonchalantly started raking her fingers through the hair on my head.  Sure it felt good, but I think the thing that made me feel the best about it was how much of a passive thing it was for her at the time, she didn't have an agenda, she was just absent-mindedly showing how she felt.

I could probably go on making a list about all of the things, big and small, that make waiting seem worth it.  The short answer to why I'm waiting is simple, I dated Hannah long enough to know she's not a girl I can let get away, if I can help it.

03 June 2010

Just some Flirkin'

Guys flirt in many different ways, some guys are touchy feely, some just constantly make jokes, so like to talk about how tough they are.  I'm a little too shy for those approaches, so I've figured out the perfect strategy for instantly winning a girl over.  It's a process, so it takes time, but it's so far been effective.  I'm even in this process with two girls at work.

As we've learned, I'm not the type who can walk up and get a number on the spot, some guys have the charm, or body, to overcome the creepiness of that strategy, I don't.  Just like all strategies it's important to pick one that fits your strengths and weakness.  My strengths almost all reside on or in my head.  I don't have the hottest body, genes have decided I should remain a bit skinny, so I don't have those huge muscles the ladies love.  I do have cool blue eyes, boyish good-looks, and,what many women over the years have said is my most irresistible trait, dimples.

I'm a shy person, I'm not a smooth-talker from the get-go, I like to learn things before initiating a conversation, or allow the conversation to come to me.  At work, finding opportunities to talk or learn anything about an attractive girl is a bit tough.

Like I said, this is a process.  I like to start out by smiling as soon as we make eye contact.  For some reason girls are totally drawn in by this move.  I let this continue for a few days, then I go to the "Hey, I recognize you!" wave along with the smile.  Then finally finding an opportunity to pass in close enough proximity to get a "Hi!" in.

Wow, I sound like a 6th grader dealing with his first crush now that I see this in writing, surprisingly, it's totally working.  The final phase is sealing the deal and opening a dialogue.

How do I plan to do this?  Easy, girls love compliments, and now that she recognizes me whenever we cross paths I won't seem like I've been scouting her out.  Even though I may or may not have been...