The Clockwork Penis

It’s been a long time since a guy had the audacity to send me a penis picture. One of the first things I say to a man, whether friend or casual encounter, is don’t do that!

Last night, I was talking to the guy I’m accidentally seeing. He wants a picture of me — he has it in his head that I’m beautiful and must be displayed on his phone — but I’ve been refusing. Even on my prettiest days, I am not photogenic; the camera catches me mid sentence, so I often look like a stroke victim. Not to mention the whole camera adding ten pounds excuse.

Because of the relationship I was in two years ago, I don’t send images of myself to anyone. That guy made me take inappropriate pictures for him, and I’m still having to take the occasional social media stroll to check for false profiles with my…face. Even if that had never happened, I would say no to selfies on principle.

So…this current guy asks for my picture. I say — no (giggle) I’m not photogenic! — and then I’m staring at his penis. Ugh!

Let me be clear: I like his penis. I’ve been there, and it’s a very nice ride, but I do not get the urge to strip and jump on that whenever I see it. My Blog is My Boyfriend has already posted a hilarious piece about Penis Selfies, so I’ll only say one more thing about this horrorshow: my phone has amazing resolution. When that popped up on my screen, I literally ducked. I was afraid it was going to explode in my face, which, interestingly enough, is one of my dealbreakers.

And this was NOT the most upsetting part of the conversation…

I let the penis faux pas slide. Last night, I was tired from a long, stressful week and didn’t want to fall asleep angry. He asked me what I was doing tomorrow. I told him I’m going to the library because I ran out of things to read and only have three books left for my goal. He doesn’t read, but he loves that I do. The guy is smart in a lot of other ways, so as long as he doesn’t try to come between me and my books, I won’t count his aversion to reading against him.

In response, he told me that he thinks we’re going to have a very happy relationship.

What the left field!

Relationship? I don’t have those. Where was I when things became serious? I never agreed to be anyone’s girlfriend!

He admitted we never discussed it, yet he thinks of me as being his girl…after three days.

That is terrifying.

I have only bad experiences with men who refer to me as one of their treasured possessions. I don’t want to be a pirate’s hoard or the pot of gold at the end of a nightmare rainbow. The last time I checked, sex is not an unspoken contract, and a condom is not a promise ring. Plus, there’s a reason I don’t take dating past the realm of casual: things get dangerous when emotions become involved.

I have a habit of keeping a mental list of positive and negative attributes from the first encounter with someone (man or woman). I don’t forget easily, and, even if there are fifty positives, I find it difficult to forgive one negative. A man would have to be perfection personified to win me over to the serious side. No. Scratch that. I would find a way to twist that perfection into a flaw: I’m not good enough for perfect — he must be a really good liar, and I hate liars — no one is perfect, so he’s a figment of my imagination — etc.

Th current non-boyfriend has already racked up a handful of flaws ranging from horrible grammar to substance abuse. I do like a lot of things about him; however, I already know that we can never be more than friends because of those unforgivable negatives. The biggest one: he cheated on his last girlfriend, and he has a tendency to go back to her even after he says he’s done with her for good.

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The Tragicomedy of Errs, Part 1

Picture, if you will, a woman torn apart by fear. Every moment spent in the company of others, a strain on her psyche. Born with a heightened sense of empathy and lacking the ability to understand normative social interactions, she goes each day – each week – each year of her young life wanting to be close to others but unable to withstand the brutality of their emotions. Picture, if you will, a woman who slowly learns to cope with her social disability by hiding who she is and tolerating those who love her although she has no interest in them…

chesire

If I had to choose a character that I am most like, it would be the Cheshire cat. All interpretations: the book version, the quirky-cute one from Disney, the homicidal one from Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, the creepy one from the Johnny Depp movie, and especially the annoyingly cryptic, emaciated and blood-stained one from Alice: Madness Returns. When I’m upset – sad or angry – I smile and laugh more than ever. Most people assume I’m happy all the time or just extremely immature. It’s a coping mechanism that I have perfected over the last eight years. Moms aren’t supposed to have negative emotions in front of their kids (although I’ve obviously failed that standard recently).

This week has been awful, yet I’m still wandering around the office, chatting up as many people as possible. Yesterday, I had quite a few hilarious conversations about men with a few of the women in my department. At one point, I started telling them about some of the guys I dated in college; they were laughing after every sentence, and I suddenly realized that my dating history is a comedian’s dream. (My current life is also worthy of a laugh track, but we’ll get to all that later.)

While mentioning that I may have accidentally started seeing someone this week, I went off on a tangent about younger guys. It went something like this:

I’ve only ever dated three guys who were younger than me. One was during college, and he was an alcoholic. It wasn’t the normal college partying; the guy loved vodka, and he was a poet. Not a good combination. He thought he was the next Jack Kerouac – not something he should have ever bragged about – and his poetry was that awful “woe is me” crap. In fact, I remember reading one with the word “woe” in it. At least he was too drunk to notice that I was lying about how inspired I was. That guy actually dropped out of college his final semester, thus becoming his dream.

No. Wait! I’ve dated four guys who were younger than me!

The conversation at the end of the day was also fun. More of the ladies are getting into the whole “let’s set Jane up with someone” game. A couple of them started asking me what I was looking for in a man: my ideal.

He would preferably participate in No-shave November even when it’s not November. (Yes, that really was the first thing I said.) No smoking or drugs. Intelligence is a plus. He doesn’t have to have a degree, but he should enjoy reading and know how to carry on a conversation without making me cringe. Attractive. Older than me if possible, but, if not, he should at least look older because I hate feeling like a cradle robber. I don’t care if he has kids, as long as he likes mine and is capable of outsmarting the boy who thinks he knows everything. Non-violent. Handy…because things seem to break around me. Observant or detail-oriented because I’m oblivious.

Maybe look for someone who’s the opposite of me; then, he can make up for all of my shortcomings.

When I was in high school, I couldn’t talk to anyone. People would say hello, and then I’d just look at them until they got uncomfortable and went away. No exaggeration. Now, my bosses call me the socialite; barely a week goes by that I’m not getting stern looks for being chatty. I get my work done, however, so I’ve never been officially reprimanded. They would have to write themselves up first, since they wander around way more than I do.

I almost wrote just now that I don’t know when I stopped being a recluse, but that’s not accurate. I remember specifically when and why. A year ago, I started getting to know a certain astronaut (and learned said astronaut was mid-divorce). But the biggest change in my social demeanor happened in February, when I realized that a lot of people actually liked me, and some even believed in me.

My coworkers have become my family, which is only a little strange, all things considered.

The Semi-metro Astronaut

My self-proclaimed best guy friend is one of the most attractive men on the planet. Beauty, of course, is subjective, but in the eye of this beholder, mmmm…. He is tall and muscular with dark hair that starts to curl when he lets it grow. During this inspired month of November, he is especially yummy with that dark bit of awesome scattered with just enough white. And although I’ve never seen him with his shirt off (curse the gods!), I have seen enough of his chest to know that I would enjoy running my fingers through that perfect blend of salt and pepper.

Yes. I like chest hair (in moderation) and facial hair (in less moderation).

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is a man who shaves or waxes his body. I am not a girly girl, but I do try to at least look appealing; I shave my legs daily, paint my nails, wear skirts and eye shadow, and at least comb my uber-long hair most of the time. However, when a man has less body hair than me, or buffs his nails to where I feel the need to hide mine for shame, I just cannot deal. Yes, Mr. Metro, you are very attractive, but I have an insatiable fetish for body hair so you just can’t compete with men like my Astronaut.

My best guy friend is not actually a spaceman (insert lame “out of this world” line here). I haven’t even caught a whiff of Axe Apollo, although he does smell very good. This blog will not have any real names, so I’ve decided to have some fun. In all seriousness though, if you saw this guy you would think he did just stepped out of a magazine – not the creepy perfume ads where you’re not sure which one is the woman, but the sporty ones for deodorant or snowboarding. (Did I mention he’s athletic?)

I met my Astronaut last summer. We just randomly started talking during lunch one day. The next time we ran into each other, we continued the conversation as if five minutes had passed instead of five weeks. I believe he began by saying something like, “hey! Do you still live in a van down by the river?” Now, we can rarely go two weeks without seeing each other. If too much time passes, he’ll email me asking what’s up because something must be wrong if I haven’t stopped by with a smile after X number of days. I’m fairly certain he has an app that shows when he sees everyone he knows…at least I hope so because if it’s just for me, then it’s creepy, even for him.

Whenever I’m depressed or stressed out, I try to avoid him; I don’t like to mess his day up with my continuous problems. It’s stupid for me to do that though: I cannot have a conversation with that man and not laugh. It’s just impossible! The funniest thing he ever said to me was, “if I put a big ol’ steak in front of you, what would you do with it?” It was an incredibly innocent comment about my eating habits that turned into a long-standing, not-at-all-innocent inside joke.

Anytime I need a boost in my severely depleted self-esteem, I go to outer space. He’s always there with a compliment about my dress or my shoes. He’s always there with a gorgeous smile (and all his teeth) to brighten my day. He’s always there with witty comebacks to rival my own. The man is a god, and I love almost everything about him.

The best part: there is no pressure to fall in love with him and no fear that he will fall for me. As far as I know, we’ve never been interested in each other past friendship.

A couple of years ago, I made a wish: I wanted a true friend: someone I could have fun with but never have “fun” with. A number of men have failed me on this; they say they value me as a friend and then start groping. It’s very annoying, especially when they try to kiss me and then suck at it, sometimes literally. I don’t fully trust the Astronaut – my trust belongs to a man from earth – but I do know that he would never betray mine in this way. And not just because he isn’t attracted to me.

Unrequited

Men are everywhere lately. Have you noticed it too? Their current infestation rate is higher than that of fictional zombies, and I’m starting to feel threatened. It would probably be okay if it weren’t for the women where I work. In my department there is a 50:2 ratio of women to men; several of the women and at least one of the men keep pointing out the more attractive zombies or, worse, try getting me interested in dating again.

I like men. I notice them without help. My fantasy life is quite rich and I often pull subjects from real life to make it more gratifying. There are numerous attractive men in my world, but I have no interest in doing more than thinking about how it might be. To further the point: there’s nothing they can do that I can’t already do myself without all the emotional nonsense and potential police involvement.

I’m not saying that the man in a hypothetical relationship would be the cause of this; I am hyperemotional and have a terrible dating record, so it would most likely be my fault. For some psychological reason, I say yes to the guys who are the exact opposite of my type, especially those that have that added creep factor…I think it’s just a girl thing really, but that may be an excuse. The best thing for everyone not involved is to stay that way. Let me play out my kinky internal dialogues while the creeps keep creeping and the few decent men remain pretty and unspoiled by my drama.

But seriously, have you noticed that men are everywhere lately!

The sweet librarian (mmm…books) walks over from his desk and asks how I’m doing and if he can help me find anything. He mostly ignores everyone else unless someone checks out a book, but I’m on a first name basis with most the librarians, so I’ll let that one slide.

I cut through the housewares section of Walmart and hear “mm-mmm-mm,” and I have to fight the urge to ask the guy if he’s thinking about all that mac & cheese he could make in that new skillet. I’ve been thinking about getting one myself; I love mac & cheese! The cart pusher says “hey there” and smiles: that’s courteous. The guy who was looking for an oil filter in automotive waves to me from his truck as I’m climbing into my own, and all I can think is: I have to stop going to Walmart!

Work used to be a haven – all women in my department. I cannot stress that enough! – but men from other parts of the building keep using my haven as a highway. The air conditioner guy is incredibly hot and seems to be around all the time now. I went to get coffee, and he was there with a perfect white smile and a matching hello, and then my best guy friend (who is also gorgeous) walked in and started talking to me, and there was all that hothothotness in one room……I had to go away. This was the same day – the same hour – that my supervisor decided to start pointing out the guy she thinks would be perfect for me: one of those nice-to-look-at individuals now using my personal space to get from point A to point B.

I need to amend my earlier statement: have you noticed that ridiculously attractive men are everywhere! When did this happen? Where I come from, men look like pumpkins and marry their sisters. This probably doesn’t say much about my looks or the branches of my family tree (I haven’t posted a picture yet, so have fun with that mental image). Perhaps that’s why I spend so much time at Walmart; it feels like home no matter how far you move away.

This influx of beauty is not helping my conviction to remain solo. I did, in fact, lapse in my resolve about six months ago, but that is a story not even worth telling another time. It has been more than a year and a half since I’ve been in a relationship, and I’m in no rush to break my record. I love men, especially those with dark eyes, deep voices, and enough height to still tower over me when I wear heels. I love the way they walk and how they look in jeans. And I LOVE No-shave November; whoever thought of that slice of awesome should get a prize. But more than anything, I love who they are before I touch them; that is why I have no interest in dating; as soon as I get involved everything becomes tainted, and I have destroyed enough beauty in this world already.