Lessons of Youth

“Beppo, I have to tell you something,” AlmostGF said to me in the back during some downtime at our part-time job. “CuteGirl only went with you to [Winter Dance] so she could try to hook up with [Very Effeminate Guy].”

I sighed. That explained why she acted the way she did at [Winter Dance]. I hadn’t talked to or acknowledged her since that night. Having a girl reject you, without an actual rejection does that.

“I’m so sorry,” AlmostGF said. “I introduced you to CuteGirl, and I feel real bad about it. I didn’t know what she was doing until recently.” She actually had tears in her eyes.

I smiled in understanding. “You had no way of knowing. Thank you for telling me. It clears up a lot.”

She gave me a hug and then went back up front. I wondered again for the umpteenth time: why did I not want to date this girl? She was into me, was cute, and was nice. That scared me for some reason. But that’s another story altogether.

More important: CuteGirl played me for months.

———–

Flashback to September. I was getting ready to go to the Homecoming dance at AlmostGF’s school. Her school’s Homecoming was a week or two before my own. She had asked me a few weeks prior if I wanted to go, and I said yes. She was very happy about it, and I was looking forward to going with her.

While we lived in the same town, AlmostGF and I went to different high schools. There was a historical “rivalry” between them. I only cared about that “rivalry” when I was playing sports against them. Though it felt sneaky to be heading into “enemy” territory. I had never been to one of their dances, so this would be a first-time for me. Also a buddy of mine from my school was also going, so I’d see another familiar face there.

The plan was that AlmostGF would first come over to my house. This would let us put on her corsage and my boutonniere, and also have our parents take some pictures. I’d then go with her to another friend’s house for punch, followed by us going to the dance. Seemed straightforward.

AlmostGF was wearing a long red dress. It went very well with her fair skin. She also had her brown hair done up, but not in the over-fancy way you see with girls who’re going to prom. A touch of makeup to accent her blue eyes and lips. Looking back, she did look good.

After our parents took pictures, we went to the friend’s house for an hour for punch. Eventually we got to the dance and got into the photographer’s line for pictures.

I looked around and caught the eye of a few girls that I worked with. They came over, said hi, and we all chatted for a bit while the line snaked forward towards the cafeteria. The sun was still up with its rays lighting up the dance floor in the gym ever-so-slightly.

Eventually we had our picture taken. With AlmostGF slightly getting flustered about remembering her homeroom number. She was a nervous as I was. At that time, I hadn’t taken a date to any of my school’s dances. Taking or being a date was new to me. Going stag was alright, it did allow you to dance with a lot more girls.

Having gotten the pictures out of the way, we rejoined the rest of our group and went into the gym. The sun was finally setting, bringing darkness to the gym. The DJ’s accent lights poured out some faint illumination on the ceiling.

While inside I ran into another guy from my school: [Very Effeminate Guy]. I never actually had any problems with him personally. Though he did do two things that rubbed me the wrong way.

First was where the nickname I’m using came from. He came across as very limp-wristed and weak (or, to use another euphemism, he was “half a fag”). One of my buddies used impersonate him by putting on a very flowery and campy gay voice. Then he’d say, “I’m [Very Effeminate Guy]” while gesturing with a limp-wrist. I used to always laugh at that.

Second was that he used to talk a lot of shit, but would shrink when called out on it. We were in the same group in photography class my sophomore year. He’d start “commenting” on others with heavy passive-aggressive snark until someone else would get to a “put up, or shut up” boiling point. From there, he’d usually wilt like a violet and be quiet for a few classes, where the cycle would begin again. He wasn’t physically imposing, which was strange. He had maybe five to ten pounds on me, with none of it being muscle. Even the slightest threat of violence would have him stammering apologies and disengaging. There were a few times where I myself stepped up and he backed completely down. In his own mind, he was a wannabe bully.

A lot of people didn’t like this guy for obvious reasons. Like I mentioned above, I had no real reason to hate him. I tried to get along with everyone, since I floated through so many different social circles at my school. But I wouldn’t count him as either a friend or an acquaintance. He was someone to talk to in a sea of people I didn’t know.

The dance went on. I danced with AlmostGF and talked to my buddy and [Very Effeminate Guy]. Saw the girls I worked with a few times (one I had a slight crush on made a point to smile and wave to me every time she saw me). I clapped at the Homecoming Court being announced. I was having a great time. Then this girl walked over and began talking to AlmostGF.

She was very cute. Shoulder-length brunette hair. Italian. In shape. Elfin features accented by her being a full head shorter than me. I was enamored.

I asked AlmostGF a little while after, “Who is that?”

“A friend of mine, her name’s CuteGirl,” she replied. “Want to meet her?”

“Sure.” AlmostGF was a great girl.

We got introduced and started talking in a group. While I was there with AlmostGF as her date, she knew that I was smitten with CuteGirl and helped me along. There was only one problem. I was also competing with [Very Effeminate Guy] for her attention that night. I saw this happening and I pushed that thought to the back of my mind. Being the better guy, so I thought, I shouldn’t have any problems.

I ended up dancing with her later. Since this was before I knew what I was doing, we didn’t say much to each other while dancing. I did know that I liked her and wanted to see her again. The night went on and the dance eventually ended.

While we were waiting to get picked up, AlmostGF asked me with a slight smile on her face, “You like CuteGirl, don’t you?”

I shrugged my shoulders, but I could feel the heat at my cheeks from blushing.

“She seems pretty cool,” I replied.

“Okay, I’ll see if I can help you out with her.”

I was taken aback. “Really?”

“Yeah. I’ll see if she’s single or not. Promise.”

“Thank you, AlmostGF.”

“You’re welcome, Beppo.”

———–

AlmostGF did follow through with her promise: CuteGirl was single. Going by the note she wrote me on the back of her picture (an “individual” from her swim team team photos of her in her team bathing suit), she seemed very interested. More important, she wrote down her number. I did a mental fist-pump.

“You should definitely call her soon,” AlmostGF said when she gave me the picture.

I was in uncharted territory at the moment and was both scared and elated. “I will,” I replied.

It did take me a few days before I gathered enough courage to call her. The first call went well, we chatted about nonsense for the most part. I was walking on clouds. The conversation then started to wind down.

“I have swim meets tomorrow and all weekend, but I can talk again on Tuesday,” she said.

“Sounds good, I’ll call you then. Good luck at your meets!” I replied.

“Thanks! Bye!”

“Good bye.” The line clicked off and I heard the dial tone.

I held the phone receiver in my hand for a moment before placing it back on its cradle. It felt like I had run a mile. My heart was racing and I could feel the burning at my cheeks. I was still nervous. Hopefully I didn’t mess up too much or sound like an idiot.

Over the next few weeks the calls got easier to make. AlmostGF tried to get CuteGirl to come out for Halloween, but it didn’t happen. Even my own date requests got brushed off with noncommittal non-answers. This was strange. I had fulfilled the last tic on my “stuff necessary to be able to date list” with getting my driver’s license. She was having none of it, and always gave some excuse for being busy.

Later in November, AlmostGF brought along CuteGirl to [Redacted] as a part of [Redacted] to hang out. To her credit, AlmostGF was doing all she could to help me out. CuteGirl was very hesitant. She seemed as if she wasn’t as interested in me as she first seemed. Gave one word answers to my open-ended questions. Didn’t stay in proximity to me. Didn’t try to start a conversation. I was flummoxed.

While we both were members of our school’s respective Indoor Track teams, I never saw her at any of the meets. They were at the same college’s indoor track every time and the same schools always showed up. She wouldn’t even come over to say hi to me and chat for a bit.

Looking back, I now can see that she had the “I’m just not that into you” vibe. I refused to see it in my idealistic, hormone-ruled teenager state. Catharsis is good for the soul, but I digress.

In spite of the coldness from CuteGirl, I decided to ask her to my school’s [Winter Dance]. She accepted, and I was elated. AlmostGF was going to be there too.

———–

The night of the [Winter Dance] arrived and I was standing on CuteGirl’s porch about to ring the bell. Since I didn’t take Driver’s Ed that summer, my Dad was driving us. I had a license but it wasn’t the “unrestricted” license to drive after 9PM. My parents were strict about me driving after 9PM with my “restricted” license unless I was coming home from my part-time job. I even had a note in my wallet from my manager to produce in case I got pulled over by cops (which never happened).

Standing there in my pleather jacket and while holding the container with her corsage in it, I rang the bell. For some reason I had a lot of expectations about what was going to happen that night. I was psyching myself up. Taking a date to a school dance was something I hadn’t done before. Her mother answered the door.

“Hi! You must be Beppo, come on in!” she said while smiling. “CuteGirl is just finishing up getting ready. How are you tonight?”

“I’m alright. How are you?” I said while feeling my cheeks beginning to flush.

Pull it together Venerdi!” I told myself while taking in a deep breath and letting it out.

I ended up chatting with her mom and her sister for a few minutes before CuteGirl came downstairs. She was wearing red and had her hair done up in a bun of large curls at the nape of her neck. I blissfully ignored or didn’t notice the “let’s get this over with” look she tried very hard to conceal on her face. She put on the corsage I bought her (small roses), which her mom and sister complimented and admired. With that we were ready to go.

The drive over to my school was a quiet one. She really wasn’t that talkative, even with my Dad trying to prompt some conversation out of her. I probably should’ve took note of that as a red flag. We arrived at my school and my Dad dropped us off.

“I’ll be out here to pick you both up at 10,” he said.

“Alright, we’ll see you then,” I replied.

He smiled. “Have a good time.”

My Dad drove off and we walked up to the main doors to my school.

Now you might be thinking: “No problem. You both go inside to the dance without a hitch. After that was where things start getting weird.”

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

My school had a policy that you needed to have ID to get into the dances. When you bought the tickets, they were sold numbered. The person you got them from would write your name and your date’s (if applicable) name down next to each number. You needed both the ticket and some form of picture ID to get in. Most people used their school ID. There was also a safety aspect to this policy too.

Keeping that in mind, I did tell CuteGirl a few times before tonight that she did need to bring ID with her. The problem was that I didn’t check to see if she had it with her before leaving her house. Silly me for thinking people are responsible for themselves.

I pulled the [Winter Dance] tickets out of my pocket. “Do you have your ID?”

“No. Was I supposed to bring it?”

I bit back a curse. “Yeah, you were. Let’s see if we can still get in.”

This was 2001 and cell phones weren’t ubiquitous. And I didn’t have a quarter for the payphone.

What happened was that it took 20 minutes for me to get her in. Normally you breeze through, depending on the line length. My math teacher at the time had to take us down to the school office. This was so he could call CuteGirl’s home and make sure they knew she was going to the [Winter Dance] with me. I was both embarrassed and fuming.

“Next time, remember your ID,” he told us after hanging up. “Enjoy your evening.”

“Thank you, Mr. Smith,” I replied as we walked out of the office to the cafeteria to take our coats off.

She didn’t even apologize to me for the mess up. A normal girl that legitimately forgot something would say “I’m sorry” at the least. Another red flag I should’ve noticed. I didn’t care, even with my enthusiasm beginning to drop.

We put our coats down on one of the tables and got in line for pictures. While we were waiting, I tried to make some small talk with her. She wasn’t having it, lots of one word or short answers. I gave up by the time we were next in line to be photographed.

A few weeks later, when I got the pictures you saw two different people in it. First was myself. I had a big genuine smile on my face and I looked happy. The second was CuteGirl. There was a forced smile on her face. A smile of obligation. One of “I don’t want to be here.” I kick myself thinking how blind and stupid I was. Live and learn.

We finished up with pictures and went into the gym. It was already dark and the music was playing. The clustering of groups of people chatting and having a good time. We found my friends and joined their group. Later on, AlmostGF and the guy she came with, [Stoic Guy], came over to join us too. It was a good time.

Throughout all this I’m talking to my friends. And while trying to include CuteGirl in the conversation. I don’t really remember exactly when I noticed she was gone. Around the time of the first slow dance, I couldn’t find her. She had disappeared.

“Where’s CuteGirl?” asked [Stoic Guy] while he was dancing with AlmostGF.

“Beats me,” I said while shrugging. “Maybe she went to the bathroom?”

“I don’t know. I was just in there a few minutes ago and didn’t see her,” replied AlmostGF.

“Shit.” I stood where I was and looked around for her as the last notes of the song faded away. A fast pop song started playing.

Where did she go?” I thought.

The rest of the night was a repeat of that. She’d be around for a little while and then disappear for long stretches. The disappearances happened around when the slow dances would come up. I was not amused at this.

I danced with CuteGirl a total of two times the entire night. Both times were when AlmostGF brought her back onto the dancefloor. She didn’t look at me or say anything. I was pissed, but I didn’t have the balls to address the elephant in the room: “Where did you go for most of the night?”

Pissed because of the disrespect. Pissed on the money I had metaphorically flushed down the toilet. Pissed on my expectations not living up to reality. Pissed at myself.

The lights came up. The [Winter Dance] was over.

“C’mon, let’s go,” I brusquely led her to the cafeteria where we got our coats.

She followed in my wake to my Dad’s car. We got in the back and he drove us back to her house. I was seething and staring out the window, knowing I’d been slighted. How I was slighted was the real question.

We got back to her house and I walked her to her door. I’d at least keep my dignity.

“I had a good time,” she said hollowly.

“Yeah, me too,” I replied. “Good night.”

With me saying that she opened the door and walked inside. I turned around and walked to my Dad’s car. Sitting down with a thump in the passenger’s seat I buckled my seatbelt.

“What happened?” he asked.

“Nothing,” I said while looking out the window.

He was silent for a moment. “You can’t expect everything to work out the way you want it to, Beppo.”

“I know, Dad. Thanks.”

I felt the car shift into gear as my Dad backed out of the driveway to take us home. I tried not to look at CuteGirl’s house as we left.

That one question remained: Where did she go?

———–

After the [Winter Dance] I never spoke to nor saw her again. I knew deep down that something else was going on. AlmostGF letting me know I was played (and for a guy that I deemed lesser than me!) gave some clarity and closure.

I did keep CuteGirl’s picture (I still have it in an album in a box). Using it as a reminder of my Dad’s words: “You can’t expect everything to work out exactly the way you want it to.”

The Lessons of Youth.

Mia

In reading through many manosphere blogs, you often hear about the successes and triumphs of the author.  For instance, in between banging bikini models, he breaks every single PR in the gym and goes to his location-independent job where he pulls in $10,000 a month for two hours of work.

Entertaining as these stories are, I find that there are few guys that talk about how they fucked up and how they learned from it.  I make no bones about the fact that I screw up a lot.  Rivelino’s entire blog chronicles both his successes and failures.  Krauser also has had a series where he specifically talks about recent failures.

I find that you can learn more from someone’s failure stories than those of successes.  Verisimilitude is the key.

Since this blog is a chronicle of both my successes and failures, the story has to be told.

And also, catharsis, because it’s good for the soul.

Disclaimer for the Aspies and online Mega-Alphas:  I don’t care if you think that either I’m beta or that it’s beta for writing a long, detailed post on how you fucked up with a girl that you considered “girlfriend material.”

I’ll warn you right now: stop and don’t read any further.

No pedestals were erected during the time period covered.

———–

Location:  My Local Corner Bar, Columbus, OH

Time:  Friday, 4 October 2013, Around 22:00

I was sitting at the bar as I usually do, nursing an Angry Orchard.  My tolerance was still shot to shit from being sick and coupled with the weight-loss, I handled my booze like I was eighteen all over again.  Had to make a conscious effort to take it easy or I’d regret it the next day.

A band was playing and there was some sort of game on the TVs.  I had plenty to look at to keep myself from getting bored.  I don’t go out specifically to meet girls, that’s just a bonus, but more to socialize.  Having not been out for some time, I had to “get in the groove” of going out again.

Somewhere around the bottom third of my bottle, this blonde takes the empty stool to my right.  I look over, smile at her and then go back to people-watching for a moment.  She was cute and by her clothes, I noted she was thin.  Two checks in the plus column.

The girl got the attention of one of the bartenders and looked over the drinks menu, finally deciding on an Angry Orchard.  She got her cider, took a long pull from the bottle and set it down.  Noting that she didn’t get right up meant that she wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I could open at my leisure.

However, the girl leaned over and opened me first.

Blonde:  “Hey, are you here alone?”

Beppo:  “Yeah.  Are you waiting for your girlfriends?”

Blonde:  “No, my friends bailed on me tonight, so I figured I’d check this place out.”

Beppo:  “It’s an alright place.  I’ve come here enough to know.”

Blonde:  “Oh, you must live in one of the [Community’s Name] apartment complexes then?”

Beppo:  “Well, I used to.  Specifically at [redacted], but now I have a condo just down the road.  What about you?”

Blonde:  “I live at [redacted], just moved there recently.”

Beppo:  “Across the street?  I’m assuming you didn’t walk here?”

Blonde (smiling):  “Well I could’ve!” (giggles) “But, yeah, I didn’t walk here.  What’s your name by the way?”

Beppo (sticking hand out):  “I’m Beppo, you?”

Blonde (grabbing my hand):  “Mia, pleased to meet you!”

Beppo (shaking her hand):  Same here.

Note:  Mia had a slight resemblance to certain pornstar, hence the name.

mia
Except smaller eyes and drop a cup size

We started talking, if you count leaning into each others ear to be heard talking.  I had her repeat herself a few times since I didn’t catch what she said.  Inwardly frustrated at not hearing her (thanks grad school!) and for some compliance testing, I had her move her stool closer to mine until there was no gap between us.  An outside observer would have seen a guy leaning back with his arms crossed, talking over his shoulder to a girl leaning into his ear.  Textbook.

Now, she had put her iPhone on the bar in front of her but didn’t immediately pounce on it when the screen or the LED on the back flashed (another plus).  During a pause in our conversation she’d check it, occasionally reply and then re-lock the screen.  I marked this as a plus, but still raised an eyebrow.

Beppo:  “You expecting a text from your boyfriend or something?

Mia:  “No.  I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Beppo (raised eyebrows):  “Really?  A girl as cute as you?  I don’t believe you’re single.”

Hat-tip to Danny for the line.

Mia (dropping eyes):  “But it’s true though, I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Beppo (disbelieving smirk):  “Alright, if you say so.”

She smiled and we talked for a little while longer about random stuff, mostly stuff about her job as a OR nurse.  Later, it ended up that we were standing behind our stools.

Mia:  “Do you like to dance Beppo?”

Beppo (shaking head):  “Not so much, usually I have to be very drunk to dance.”

Mia:  “Well, I’m gonna go dance…”

I had no desire to dance, and didn’t want to make a fool of myself.

Beppo:  “Will you be coming back?”

She smiled and shrugged.

Beppo:  “Alright, more specific.  Will you come back to me?”

Mia:  “I’m not going home with you tonight, if that’s what you mean.  I’ll give you my number though.”

The “I’m never having sex with you” or “you’re creepy” subtext wasn’t there.  So I audibled.  Leading her to a more lit and less loud part of the bar, I got my phone out.

Beppo:  “Okay.  What’s your number?”

We exchanged numbers.

Beppo:  “You seem cool.  I’d like to see you again if possible.”

Mia (smiling):  “Yeah, I’d like that too.”

Beppo:  “I’ll text you Sunday and we’ll figure out something during the week.”

Mia (smiling):  “Sounds good.”

We were facing each other at this point and I was looking deep into her eyes.  Slowly, I moved in for a kiss.  She gave me a cheek with a slight smile.  Feeling amused, I moved back and smiled.  Gave her a hug and bade her goodnight.

———–

Due to some availability issues because of her work schedule and with my parents visiting me for Columbus Day weekend, I wasn’t able to set up a date with Mia until almost two weeks later.

Mia (10/15/13 11:21):  I finally have a real day off tomorrow tho

Beppo (10/15/13 11:26):  Cool.  Would tonight or tomorrow night be better for you?

Mia (10/15/13 11:27):  For what?

I sighed.

Beppo (10/15/13 11:29):  To grab a drink.

Mia (10/15/13 11:35):  I’m not sure.  So I will let you know.

And with that vague non-committal text, radio silence.

———–

The next day I was sitting on my couch reading when my phone chirped.

Mia (10/16/13 18:48):  I ended up working 9-3 today then had a massage appt. just got home.  Sry I didn’t get ahold of you sooner.

Beppo (10/16/13 18:52):  Still like to meet up for a drink?

Mia (10/16/13 18:53):  Well I already had a drink here at home. :/

Mia (10/16/13 18:54):  I shouldn’t drive anywhere.  Lol

I half expected her to say she needed to “wash her hair” or was “too tired to go out” at this point.  Shaking my head, I responded.

Beppo (10/16/13 18:55):  I’ll pick you up.

Mia (10/16/13 18:55):  If you want.

Beppo (10/16/13 19:00):  I’ll come get you at 8, sound good?

Mia (10/16/13 19:01):  Sounds good

I had her text me her address and then jumped in the shower.  Arriving at her apartment a little after 8:00; Mia smiled at me when she opened the door.

Mia:  “Hi.”

Beppo:  “Hey.  Ready to go?”

Mia:  “Yep!”

We talked as I drove us to a nice Irish bar in downtown Dublin.  I got a draft Smithwick’s and Mia scanned the menu, deciding on some fruit-flavored beer.

From there were just started talking, basic get-to-know-you stuff.  I made sure to have her talk a lot about herself, which was easy since I was genuinely interested in what she did as a nurse.  She smiled a lot, laughed and playfully hit me a couple of times when I teased her.  Textbook first date game.  A couple of times I fell back on the old “Her reply -> Statement -> Question” routine to keep things flowing.

After finishing our second round of drinks, we closed out our individual tabs and left the bar.  I took her hand as we were crossing the street to the parking lot.  My loins stirred when she squeezed my hand back.  So far so good, she was into me.

I knew I’d be kissing Mia when I dropped her off, the question was if she’d invite me into her apartment.  As always when I go out, I had a condom in my pocket, because you never know.  I have missed out on a notch previously since I wasn’t “prepared for rain” that night, but that’s another story altogether.

Semper preparatus

During the drive back we chatted and this one exchange stood out:

Mia: “(…) and I think you’d get along really well with [Girlfriend’s Name], you’re alike in a lot of ways.”

Beppo:  “Oh?  So you want to introduce me to your friends?”

Mia (beaming):  “Hell yeah I do!”

As I parked in front of her building and shut off the engine, there was no hesitation on her part.  We got out of the car and I followed her inside of her place.  No “you can come in for a minute” from her or a sleazy “can I use your bathroom” line from me.  Although, I actually had to use the bathroom, so it wouldn’t have been a lie if I said it.

Mia had a very tidy apartment.  Her bed was made and the bathroom didn’t look like shit.  I nodded to myself as I washed my hands.  Another check in the plus column.  Walking back into the living room/kitchen area, I saw her pouring a glass of wine.  I took off my glasses and raised my eyebrows.  She stuck her tongue out at me.

Mia:  “I start work later than you!”

Beppo (laughing):  “That you do!  Is that the wine you were telling me about earlier?”

Mia:  “Yes.  Would you like to try it?”

I moved in front of her, accepting the offered glass and taking a drink.  It wasn’t bad, sweet but not too sweet.  We were facing each other with Mia leaning back on the counter.  I set the glass down and closed the remainder of the small gap between us.  She had a slight smile on her face as I put my hands on her waist and her eyes spazzed slightly when I leaned in to kiss her.

She didn’t turn away this time.  Her arms went up to my chest and we made out for a little bit.  I broke the kiss and looked into her eyes.

Mia (hesitantly):  “I feel I don’t know you very well…”

Beppo:  “What do you want to know?”

Mia:  “I don’t know, something about yourself.”

Beppo:  “Ask me something, then I’ll answer it.”

Mia:  “Like what?  I can’t think of a question!  Tell me something…pleeeeaaase.”

Beppo (slight smirk):  “Alright, alright…I’m gainfully employed, I love my Mom and Dad, and I wear nice clothes (usually).”

She laughed at that and buried her head in my chest, then laying on my shoulder.  I stroked her hair for a moment then raised her chin with my hand to kiss her again.

The rest of the night was more of the same on her couch.  We’d make out, talk for a bit, she’d lean on my shoulder, I’d eyefuck her and the cycle would begin anew.  If she was conscious of my erection, she didn’t let on about it.  What’s the worst that could happen, she knows I find her attractive?  The horrors!

It was getting late and I did have to get up to go to work in the morning, so I grabbed my stuff, put on my shoes and looked back at Mia.  She was smiling.  I kissed her again.

Mia:  “You have to get up early.”

Beppo:  “I know.  I want to see you again.”

Mia smiled and nodded.

Beppo (smiling):  “Great.  Goodnight, Mia.”

Mia (smiling):  “Goodnight, Beppo.”

One last embrace and I walked out the door.  Only to go home to remedy a terrible, painful case of blueballs.

———–

Location:  La Casa di Venerdì, Columbus, OH

Time:  Monday, 21 October 2013, Around 23:00

Mia and I had gone to go shoot pool at the only hall that was close to my place.  The one I’ve been to multiple times before closed up earlier this year.  She was as bad at the game as she told me earlier.  After about an hour or so, we were looking to leave.  Mia went to the bathroom and I paid up for the table and drinks.  I drove us back to my place and we chatted or made out on my couch while Dean Martin sang virtual duets in the background.  The CD eventually ended.

Mia:  “…The music stopped.”

Beppo:  “I know. (standing up) Come on.”

Mia:  “Where?”

Beppo:  “Someplace more comfortable.”

Mia:  “Okay.”

She took my hand and I led her to my bedroom and onto my bed.  I wanted to push as far towards sex as I could, backing off when I encountered actual resistance from her.  We began kissing, with me exploring her lips, face and neck with my kisses.  Her breathing was getting heavier and she was responding more to my kisses and caresses.  It took a little bit of effort initially to get her shirt off, but I managed it.  She unbuttoned my shirt, I took it off and we went back at it for a while.

Shortly after I unsnapped her strapless bra one-handed (a worthy skill to perfect), I was finally on top of a half-naked Mia.  She then got shy and turned slightly, pressing her small but firm breasts into me.  For some reason, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how soft a girl’s skin is.  It’s a sensation that always brings a twinkle to my eyes and a slight smile to my lips.

A little later we were laying with me on my back and Mia in my arms.  I was rebuffed the two times I moved to undo her jeans, so there was the wall.  No sex tonight.  To be honest, I didn’t mind since I wasn’t in a hurry.  My dick disagreed to that.

Mia was absently stroking my chest while I was caressing her stomach and lower back.  She looked up at me.

Mia (smiling):  “You just stole second base.”

Beppo:  “Wait…(goes over mnemonic in head:  ‘French, Fondle, Finger, Fuck’)…yeah, I guess you’re right.  Haven’t heard that since High School.”

She giggled, kissed me and laid her head on my shoulder.  I stroked her hair.  Glancing at my clock-radio on my nightstand, I kissed Mia’s forehead.

Beppo:  “It’s getting late, I should take you home.”

Mia:  “Mmmhmm.”

Mia gave me a peck on the lips and then sat up.  I teased her when she covered her breasts with her arms after getting off of the bed.  She laughed and we got dressed.  I drove her home, gave her a kiss and said goodnight.  As I was walking up my stairs to my living room, my phone chirped.

Mia (10/22/2013 1:07):  You might need a nap tomorrow 😉

I smiled and did a mental appraisal of Mia.  She ticked a lot of the plus boxes and I thought to myself “I’d like to date this girl.”  I did a mental double-take and thought through again, coming to the same conclusion a second time.  Outside of the sexual side of the calculation, Mia was girlfriend material.  Although I still needed to have full carnal knowledge of her in order to actually move forward with that conclusion.  Feeling content, I went to bed not caring that the coming workday was going to be a long and tiring one.

———–

A couple of days later, I texted Mia about watching a movie and drinking some wine.  I was just looking for a low-key night.  Yeah, I know, two dates a couple of days apart might sound thirsty or beta, but she has the right of first refusal.  Mia was into me and I genuinely wanted to spend time with her.  Also, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Mia (10/24/13 20:17):  Okay. I should be good by 9. If I hurry anyway. Lol

Beppo (10/24/13 20:18):  Take your time.

Mia (10/24/13 20:21):  Can I set something straight please…

Beppo (10/24/13 20:22):  What is it?

Mia (10/24/13 20:24):  I’m not going to have sex with you. I really would like if you didn’t come on so strong. It makes me a bit uncomfortable. Just had to tell you.  I need to know you a lot better before that is even considered. I don’t mean anything negative by telling you this but I don’t want to feel pressure.

A normal, lesser man would be angry at this point, I am not one of those.  I had the confidence that she was into me, so I had no worries.  It wasn’t that big a deal (my dick disagreed).

Beppo (10/24/13 20:25):  No problem, I don’t want you to be uncomfortable. I’d still like to see you though.

Mia (10/24/13 20:26):  I think you are a nice guy and I like you. And most guys can’t help it. But I just have to say whoa. Lol

Mia (10/24/13 20:27):  That’s fine. Is like for you to come watch a movie.

Mia (10/24/13 20:27):  It will be fun. Bring your fun factor 🙂

I was fairly straight-up that I found her physically attractive and I did push fairly hard, so I wasn’t surprised she threw up a STOP sign.  That she was careful with whom she slept with was an overall positive trait.

[Note:  Mia had a couple of older brothers, was from a small town and she had a bible in a nice leather cover sitting next to her reading/lounging chair.  I gathered she was traditional to some extent, or at a minimum not impulsive.]

Anyways, I had to figure out what I was going to do.  Try to push for sex?  Or, just back off sexually and just enjoy her company?  The latter option seemed to best choice and my dick reluctantly agreed.  Just put a night of comfort in, and go with the flow.  Nodding, I grabbed a spare bottle of White Merlot from my shelf and drove over to Mia’s apartment.

———–

Mia greeted me at her door with a smile.  She was wearing pajama pants and a tight t-shirt but was slightly done up (freshly showered, perfume, dry hair combed and pinned up in places).  It wasn’t sloppy and all in all, I thought she looked cute.

After I popped the cork and poured two glasses of wine we sat down on her couch to figure out what to watch.  Since she had Netflix, I suggested we watch a few episodes of the BBC TV show “Coupling.”

She’d never seen the show and was laughing throughout the first two episodes. It was a laid-back night. I put my arm around her and she scooted over to lay on my shoulder.

After fixing a freeze in her blue ray player due to pausing Netflix too long, I refilled our glasses while Mia made popcorn. We moved from the couch to her more comfortable reclining reading chair to watch another episode. She snuggled into me again, looking up to give me a kiss and squeezing my hand when I put my arm around her.

We watched another episode and made out for a bit after it ended.  I left Mia’s later on feeling good, with hopeful outlook for this budding relationship.

———–

I guess I backed off a little bit, a ping text and short conversation on Saturday where she really wasn’t giving me anything to work with.  For the most part, it made me feel kind of weak that I was basically sending questions for her to respond to.  I texted first pretty much every time.  Bad game on my part, but she maybe wasn’t a texter.  Or it was something else…

Beppo (10/30/13 14:12):  Hang out later?

Mia (10/30/13 14:17):  I’m gonna be honest.  I like you but I don’t really think we have enough in common to date.  I tried a few dates because I thought, maybe, but I think we really are way to different.  I would like to be your friend tho!

I was sitting in my office at work when I got that text.  The first thing I felt was a flash of anger.  She could decide we have nothing in common after three dates?  Just my goddamn luck.  Fuck me.  Taking a deep diaphragm breath, I felt the anger leave me as I exhaled.  My racing heart betrayed my nervousness though.

I started to reply, deleted it, started again and deleted that too.  Putting my phone aside, I went back to do some work, mentally composing what I would say in order not to sound angry or butthurt.  Finishing what I was in the middle of when my phone chirped, I typed out my reply:

Beppo (10/30/13 14:32):  That’s a snap judgement when we’re still technically getting to know each other.

Beppo (10/30/13 14:33):  But if that’s how you feel, I understand.

Beppo (10/30/13 14:33):  I’d like to be friends too.

While I did get a slight dig in, there was no response from Mia.  No “great”, “I’m glad you understand” or ” 🙂 “.  Nothing.  I was perplexed.  Was this just her being skittish or was it the real thing?

I held off until a week later, to see if I could talk to her about it if possible.  That got squashed decisively:

Mia (11/6/2013 16:04):  I meant what I said.  I still feel the same.

Sweet.

———–

Well, that was that.  Am I bummed about it not working out with Mia?  Yeah, she was a great girl.  Am I completely shattered by it?  No, I’m not.  Hell, if I came to the same conclusion as she did, I probably would have broken it off too.

Honestly, I’ve been trying to type this out for almost a month now (first draft began on 14 November) and I can’t think of anything else I could comment on.  So, I’m just going to end it here and if you have anything to add or have advise for the next girl, leave a comment.

Missed Opportunity

On Friday, a tweet by AudioRebellion dredged up a memory from when I was in Chapel Hill:

Location:  Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC

Time:  Various, 2007-2008

I had moved from my first, relatively crappy, Chapel Hill apartment and into a better one in Carrboro.  Interestingly, this second place was originally my first choice when I was apartment hunting with my parents back in June 2006.

Now directly across the street from my complex was (not surprisingly) another apartment complex.  As such, a whole bunch of people would get off the local bus system at my stop.  So eventually I started to see the same faces on my ride home from “work.”

In my year of living in this second apartment before leaving North Carolina, I can specifically recall only two faces from riding that bus.  One was a cute Jewish brunette that lived a building over in my complex and the other was a cute blonde that lived in the complex across the street.

I’m going to talk about a missed opportunity on my part with the blonde.

To provide some background for myself at this time I’ll say this:  I was finished with my classes and focusing on my research project, hence, I was “working.”  However, the fact that I was essentially banging my head against the wall with my reactions* didn’t exactly put me in a happy state-of-mind.  So, at the end of each day, I’d stick in my earbuds to occupy my thoughts and exhaustedly ride the bus home to left-over pasta (or chili) and unfulfilling sleep.

At the time I really wasn’t in the right state to really do anything and that showed in my appearance during the week.  You have to realize that working in a chemistry lab you cannot wear nice clothes, since they can be wrecked by the various solvents and reagents used daily.  Although, I suppose I could have, but I didn’t want to wear a lab coat all the time (I couldn’t even afford good clothes for that matter).

For the most part, my wardrobe consisted of long- and short-sleeve t-shirts (no holes), jeans (also no holes) and casual shoes (Adidas sneakers/Chuck Taylor’s/Sketchers).  I shaved once or twice a week (what I jokingly called a “hobo beard”).  Thanks to the low humidity in the Piedmont region, my curly hair didn’t get frizzy which saved me some money on hair stuff and would allow for my hair to curl naturally as it air-dried.

Now, going home in the evening, I’d usually get on the bus at a less “popular” stop, so I could get a seat.  Stinking of chemicals and sweat (I walked at least 2-3 miles over the course of a day), I’d fall into an open seat near the back exit and veg out, enjoying the heat or air conditioning and trying not to think about work.  The bus would pull out and then go to the next stop where there were always a lot of people queuing up.

I usually got lost either in my thoughts or the song I was listening to, but kept aware of my surroundings.  I’d see people getting on and sitting down.  Recognizing those that I’ve seen before (like the Jewish girl, for instance).  Overhearing a louder-than-necessary personal conversation or the gossip from one of the health sciences majors, which were interesting but forgotten easily.

It took a few times for me to actually notice this, but this blonde girl would usually take a seat such that she was directly across from me.  Sometimes I’d feel eyes on me and look up to see her quickly and demurely drop hers.  She’d usually have a slight smile on her lips and a slight blush to her cheeks doing this.

Blatant IOIs.

Now the blonde was a typical “sundress and pearl-necklace” Southern girl and, if my memory serves me correct, I never saw her dressed sloppily.  Skirts (long- and knee-length), sundresses, good jeans, shorts, coordinating tops and different shoes/sandals (no uggs).  She was cute and thin.  And as per my usual preferences, I loved her bright blue eyes.

My interest was piqued, but what to do?

At the time, I had zero confidence in myself and the stress/anxiety of my work was starting to develop into a mild form of depression (one of the reasons why I took a Master’s).  To boot, I was broke.  Even going out for something cheap like coffee would severely kill my budget.

[Note:  If you’re going to say, “Why didn’t you have her come over to your place for a cheap movie and wine date?”  I’ll say two things:  one, hindsight, and two, I didn’t know how “traditional” this girl was.  Yes, they do exist.]

Many times after getting off the bus I tried to muster the courage to catch up to and talk to her, but I failed each time.  Basically my belief that there would be a “perfect” opportunity where everything would be right ensured that I pre-ejected from the approach each time.  So I’d see her walking in front of me, I’d feel myself bitch up, tell myself either “she probably has a boyfriend” or “next time” and then cross the street to go home, kicking myself mentally with each step I took.

To be completely honest, I was scared.  Scared of what to say, scared of how I’d talk, scared of how I’d act, scared that I’d look like a dork, scared of what the other people would think, scared of rejection, and scared that she’d accept.

I had no idea what I was doing and it made me fearful.

Eventually, I graduated with my Master’s and then moved back to my parents’ house in Buffalo, having never talked to the blonde girl at all.  She continued to look at me until my last day on the bus in May 2008.  A simple “hi” and a smile on my part and maybe things could have turned out differently.

I regret not doing something then, but without regret there is no personal growth.

*I reinvented the wheel a couple of times, infuriating to say the least.