Red Flags and Paying Attention…

Oops, I did it again. I didn’t mean to. It’s not like I was *trying* to end up in a familiar place once more. But life is cyclic, me thinks.

I encountered a sociopath. I know only because I did it once before and caused a nine hour standoff with state police when he knew he got caught in the intricate web that he himself had woven.

This time, it’s on me partially because I didn’t delete my OK Cupid account. I didn’t use it, but it was still in existence. I just kind of forgot about it. Until I got a notification that someone sent me a message. Six days ago. And I responded.

“No, not really looking. Forgot all about this account. Yeah, you’re right, friendships are fun. Wow, we DO have a lot in common. Okay, you’ve made me laugh a lot, and we’re similarly minded, and sure, I’ll have a drink and get to know you….”

And then began the signs I know all too well, and big red flags started waving in the hot air he was blowing all over the place.

Love bombing. Learn what it is so you never have to fall for it. It’s Stage One in the narcissistic play book. They all do it..anyone with any type of anti-social disorder. They begin telling you everything you could ever want to hear. They shower you with attention, praise, adoration, affection, you name it. They begin mirroring you. Everything you want…goals, hopes, dreams, passions…omgawds! That’s their desire, too! Politics, religion, movies, books, music, etc, you two are obviously meant to be because you are so strikingly similar. They point out repeatedly that you two are meant to be. You’re everything they’ve ever wanted and then some.

We met on Friday night. He wanted me to start bringing things to his place to keep there. Or he could just go out and get me a toothbrush, and here are some jammies for me to wear, and wow, I’m so adorable, and we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that, and everything became plans for a future he didn’t even build a foundation for, just plans because in his mind, we were perfect for each other and were obviously now a couple. I was even asked to be his date to a wedding party the following night. I didn’t go…

The red flags were there. I’ve been there before you see.  But I thought perhaps I was being too jumpy or paranoid, and I would talk to him about slowing down. I mean, gosh, I really AM awesome, so of course he was smitten, haha.

But the next night, I saw him after work, and he had been to the wedding party. And he was drunk. Ridiculously so. I agreed to watch a movie. I felt incredibly uncomfortable within a few minutes, though, when he kept going from slightly conscious to unconscious, and somewhere in between there started dropping the three terrifying words, “I love you.” He didn’t want me to go, though. He would rouse himself enough when I would attempt it…and you recall I’ve become a bit shell shocked. I know how quickly it can go from being lovey dovey to bat-shit cray cray.

So I got him to his bed, and as I was trying to get him into it, he pulled me literally head over heels over him and into bed. As he began to doze off, he began giggling, and he asked when would I marry him. He’d been waiting for me forever, you see.

I think at this point, I deserved a cookie for not literally shitting my pants.

When he began snoring soundly, I got up, let myself out, and went home. Somehow, I still wanted to make excuses in my head because maybe I’m overthinking things.I liked sober him. And I liked the banter. And I’m already damaged, so maybe my perceptions are off.

Yet, I knew those flags were there, so I decided to back the fuck off and proceed with extreme caution. Not to write him off completely. But I knew I needed to listen to my gut. I’m getting better at that. Besides, drunk gibberish isn’t necessarily how things would always be.

The next night, I heard from him, and he was ready to go to bed. Hardly talked the whole day which was fine by me. I told him to rest up and that I was heading to get my girls from Jinx’s house where they had dinner and watched TV, and his overly affectionate demeanor turned into an incredibly cold and jealous demeanor. I was asked if that was my fwb, etc. I was reminded that he wants my time…all of it. If he wasn’t so bad at hiding his tendencies, it would have taken me longer to see. But he ripped through the stages as if he doesn’t have any impulse control at all.

So that night, I decided I want out. Immediately. But a sociopath will seek vengeance and keep baiting you when you try to go before their ready. Really, read up on them. So I hatched my plan to keep myself blameless. That way, I could get out without worrying about the way they attack when you go.

I created a fake profile on ok cupid as a single woman with no kids who never wants kids and only loves her fur baby. I viewed his profile, then I logged out. I knew he would message me because sociopaths are always looking for prey to keep their emotional void filled. The next morning, while ignoring the real me, he messaged the fake me. I got him to say he was unhappy with the couple dates he had been on. He would *never* date a woman with kids now because they have such limited time. He doesn’t even know why single mothers are on there trying to date when they suck at it.  He said he wasn’t involved with anyone at all, and that the two he met were only trying to hook up. Then he proceeded to tell her/me that they were a rare breed and so on. I asked him how he would handle a girl who went through specific things I had gone through. He laid it on thick. I responded as the indignant friend and told him I was telling me. Confused yet? He blew up at fake me and started back peddling and telling her/me that he was excited about asking me to commit, but she/I had ruined it. “Good job.” Anyway, within a few minutes, I got a text from him telling me my friends are crazy and had hit on him and he didn’t want to hear from me anymore, so mission accomplished.

I deleted the profile and said that’s that. I got out without becoming the target in a different way, and I remembered that it’s important to delete your dating profile when you stop dating versus just ignoring it exists.

And that’s all she wrote…

My Cup Floweth Over…With Awesomeness.

“Hey woman! Why the hell aren’t you over here watching a movie with me?”

“I miss you. Don’t make me bust up in your house like Al Qaeda on a mission.”

“Dude, I just saw two squirrels fucking and IMMEDIATELY thought of you.”

“Ok. Well just tell me what you want pampering wise. Food, booze, whatever you want. Do you want me to make dinner?”

“You’re fucking magical.”

These are text messages received over the past couple of days from my tribe members. Slowly but surely I am reconnecting with everyone. My goal in life for many months has been to spend as much time with people that make me happy doing things that feed my soul. So far, so good.

Last night I went to see Jinx in my pajamas. I just didn’t feel like putting on pants. He fed me pizza, watched a couple spooky episodes of American Horror Story with me, and we discussed broad topics ranging from the roots of paganism to the crack-cocaine-like properties of Utz Smokin’ Sweet chips that I inadvertently got him addicted to. Then we raided his loot crate and he gave me some things he’s had put aside for me.

When he went to put my awesome new bobble in my car, he said, “Holy shit, you’re so small. You’re like a Shetland Human!” because getting into my driver’s seat was a task.

Swoon!!!! Isn’t it adorbs???

Then he gave me a couple shirts of his that he thought I would dig because Invader Zim, that’s why.

TACOS!
Doooooooom!!!

I, in return, brought a case of Angry Orchard, snacks, and my sparkling company.

We laughed, and we laughed, and then we laughed some more. And it feels so good being able to just chillax with those that get me and cherish their time with me and vice versa. There’s been that settling after a shift where my thoughts reorganize themselves and I reevaluate what matters to me and go after it. Right now, life is amazing. Last week sucked, though…you know…fever and delusions and vomiting and other disgusting stuff. But now it’s all gravy.

I’ve been filling up my dance card again. Even though I am in a transitional period once more, I feel as if so much weight has been removed from my shoulders. My company has closed, so I’m technically jobless right now, but I have several job offers to pick and choose from. I am continually working on homework and studying, but that ensures I am a straight A student. Nothing less will suffice. My kids are driving me insane with all their activities and trying to figure out how to accomplish everything as a single, solitary human void of self-cloning technology, but they’re well rounded, social, dream-chasing humans on a mission. I am surrounded with people who show me that they care and make it feel safe for me to care for them just as much. Honestly, there’s a lot to be said for having just one person give you the security you need to be vulnerable and open, but when you have multiple people filling that role, then you have indubitably struck gold, son.

Life is so amazingly good. I am a happy little Squirrel.

A Week In My Life… The Cliff’s Notes Version.

Sick. So sick. Then better. Then significantly worse. Almost died. Possible exaggeration. Slightly.

Was supposed to catch up on missed homework, but he fed me burritos and watched Halloween movies with me instead.

Decided the next day we would do that homework I need to work on. Instead, we went to see Pan (Loved it so very much), then we got Chinese food, discussed zombies, watched Hocus Pocus, and discussed the laws of attraction.

I still have not caught up on my homework.

Worked the last wedding I will ever work. My company is closed. I suppose I now have time for my homework.

Read my horoscope. Didn’t like it. Checked twenty-three more horoscope sites until I found the one I could jive with.

I ate pie. Lots of pie. Then I felt guilty, so I did five sit-ups and said screw it before I got to six.

I painted my toenails pink then doused them in glitter.

Discovered glittery toes are incredibly uncomfortable in socks.

Removed nailpolish. Now have naked toes. Meh.

Got drunk on Moscato. Not my fault the stuff tastes like kool-aid.

Texted The Vaping Viking to arrange to see him tomorrow. So…you know.. THE TALK. I hate THE TALK, but I hate the thought of leading someone on even more. And, you know, being a gaping vagina who ghosts or acts like a chicken instead of a decent human that lets someone know they’re not on the same page emotionally is kind of a sucky thing, too, so I’ll avoid that.

I cuddled my kids. I washed some laundry. I did the Thriller Dance in the living room with the curtains open because I do what I want.

And I owned it. You know, the Awesomeness. I owned the shiznit out of it. Just because I can.

Might seem like boring nothingness, however, it’s that boring nothingness that makes us who we are and the life we are leading. It all passes so quickly…gotta do whatever it is that makes your heart happy before that heart stops beating forever…even if it’s nothing of great consequence. It’s all an adventure if you think of it that way, after all.

That Pooh Bear…smart little bugger…

Do Whatcha Gotta Do

Maybe it’s the hormones, or it’s the fact I’ve run a fever for a full week now, or perhaps it’s because I am lethargic and have a constant ringing in my ears and can’t remember the last time I was this sick…but today, I deleted my ex’s name from my phone’s dictionary.

His name popped up as soon as I opened a chat…right there…a recommended word…as if I had used it too much. Often, my autocorrect would change the chosen word I wanted for his name for no reason at all but to screw with me, I think.  And even though I was okay with the fact he threw me to the side again because someone came along, and I only matter when there isn’t someone there who matters more..I would see his name and roll my eyes a little at most. But today, ugh, today…I saw his name, and it pissed me off because my phone is like a Jewish mother telling me I need to go get that last train before it rolls away for good because I’m almost forty.

So I deleted his name from my phone completely like any rational woman would.

In other news, I am super sick and super over it. I missed school the past two days because I am too dizzy to stay upright for long. There’s so much congestion that my ears are completely stuffed, and I can barely swallow because there’s nowhere for the pressure of air to go. I literally gag myself by trying to swallow my own spit. As my kindred spirit Jinx said, “I know you must be dying because you’re an apple polisher. If you miss school, I need to buy a black suit for your upcoming funeral.”

He also told me I’m absolutely gorgeous…even with vomit spewing from my mouth.

That’s why I like him more than you.

I’m gonna go die a petty death now which is what petty girls who very pettily delete their ex’s name from existence do when they get sick. Much love…

How To Survive Raising Teenagers: A Demonstrative Speech

(Taken from the Power Point Presentation I am giving soon in my speech class)

They Have Messy Rooms

If you can’t charge wild animals moving into their closet rent, and you haven’t had a tetanus shot recently, perhaps you should just shut the door and have a glass of Pinot Grigio. Light, sweet, refreshing. A wine glass is a grown up sippy cup.

They Talk Back. A LOT.

So you must learn to negotiate with terrorists! So very un-American! But survival is the law of the land, and turning off data to their phones and changing the wi-fi password goes a long way in the battle.

They Eat All Your Food.

No, seriously, bottomless pits. My grocery bill is higher than all my other bills combined.

So I started buying only healthy, organic foods. Oh, you’re hungry again? There’s some quinoa in the fridge you could heat up. Or perhaps you would like some kale chips I just made? No? You’ll wait for dinner? Good plan.

They Date. And They Have More Game Than You.

You’re waiting up for one or more of your teens to get home from a date on a Friday night. You’re in pajamas. With a stain. And a hole in the butt. And you’re wondering how come YOU don’t get to go out on a Friday night. I suggest a Merlot for such occasion. It’s mild and easily gulped down. None of that sipping crap. In fact, don’t even use a glass. You should just throw a curly straw in the bottle and try not to cry.

They Grow Up So Fast.

The moment my family became complete. My now teenagers meeting their youngest sister for the first time a few moments after birth.

When they have sufficiently taught you why some species eat their young, just remember them when they were little. Recall sweet kisses and “I love you Mommy!” called out over and over again. And take solace in the fact that someday, they too shall be parenting teenagers. If karma is real, that is.

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

“Be open, LeeAnn! Quit waiting for the other shoe to drop! You know if you keep looking for something wrong with them, you’ll find it!”

Meh…

Sure, maybe I’m jaded. Sure, I’m quite possibly talking to a guy who is just helping someone out like the amazing guy he portrays himself to be. Or, you know, he’s Cheater McCheater McCheaterpants.

I’m just gonna go with the latter because I’m not twelve, and I have this alarm that sounds whenever someone is bullshitting me. Like right now. There’s not a single word in this exchange that makes me want to give the benefit of the doubt.

I ain’t even mad. I’m so used to this type of behavior that it’s only blog worthy because I worked all day and didn’t post a thing and needed something to write quickly so I can go the fuck to sleep.

Should I Stay, Or Should I go?

James, the cute boy who owns a vape lounge, invited me back over last night to his bachelor pad which he has already talked about being his own private sanctum that he doesn’t like invaded. By the way, he’s going to be known in this blog as the Vaping Viking from this point forward since his Nordic features are all I can really focus on.

He told me to wear my pajamas, so I did.

We watched the A-Team…

That’s the best picture I could get because by the time I took it, well…Ugh, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.

I came over. I parked in an unfamiliar area. I walked over to his house where he was waiting outside to meet me. We headed upstairs where he had A-Team queued up. I knew as we were snuggling up that it didn’t matter that I specifically put on my ugly panties reserved for the times I’m trying to ensure no one in the world will be getting my pants off…I had probably made a bad choice in coming to his house knowing full well it wasn’t just to watch tv. I haven’t had sex in nine months. I think he’s sexy as all get out with his Nordic features and flowing, long hair…like Fabio with a better nose.

So we were giggling and talking and his hand was suddenly on my leg. He was watching my reactions, and I was becoming more flustered because he was watching me so closely with an open intensity. We continued talking, he discovered I’m ticklish, I discovered he’s just as ticklish,and we were tickling and laughing and wrestling around quite a bit, and before I knew it, I was tucked so closely into him that I couldn’t really tell where he ended and I began.

Then he was kissing me. I must admit, that was one amazing kiss. And it was followed by another, and another, and another, and hands were all over the place and clothes were kinda being tossed wherever all willy nilly, and then I remembered that I couldn’t have sex yet, so I stopped him.

“Wait! We can’t have sex tonight!”

He pulled back and looked slightly disappointed but recovered quickly like a gentleman. He was okay with it and didn’t try to push me further!

“I mean, it isn’t you, and it isn’t me. It’s my vagina. You can’t put your penis inside it because it’s already full of tampon!”

Then he’s laughing, and I’m laughing, and then there’s kissing and touching and a reminder that you can do a whole lot of stuff without actual penetration. And so we did. A lot. Several times. For hours.

Then he asked me to spend the night. Just. Like. That. And I did.

He doesn’t bring girls home. He hasn’t had sex in two years out of pure choice because he had other focuses and girls in York County are…well…not really all they’re cracked up to be…and so I know he’s not this horn-dog that was simply trying to boink me and send me home. Because while we had fun, we didn’t boink. He brought me into his home and played and teased and joked and kissed me like he wanted to devour every ounce of my being. Then he wanted me beside him all night.

This morning, he made coffee, and I fell back asleep, and then I woke up as he was just about to leave for a meeting. I grabbed my shoes and threw them on real quick, and he walked me down the street to my car. I was half asleep and a little miffed that he didn’t wake me up in time to have more coffee and get my bearings. It didn’t dawn on me until my drive home that he hadn’t planned on me leaving yet. He had his meeting and was coming right back home where he had hoped I would still be. I verified through a text. I was the girl who runs out first thing in the morning. He’s the guy that wanted me to stay.

When we got to my car, he pulled this off the windshield:

I had to pretty much grab it out of his hand…he was insisting on paying it for me. And yes, those are Hello Kitty pajamas. Don’t judge me.

He opened my car door, hugged me close, handed me a vaping juice he had mixed just for me before leaving his shop yesterday. He closed the door behind me, and he watched me drive away. And we’ve been texting all morning since I got home.

I don’t spend the night. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent the night beside someone. I don’t know what I was thinking or why I wanted to sleep beside him and wake up more than once to find him also awake and covering me back up under the blankets that I kept kicking off. I don’t know why it was so nice or why I wasn’t scared. I’m always scared when it becomes that intimate. And let’s face it, there’s not much else that’s more intimate than sleeping in the arms of someone…fully trusting that while unconscious, they won’t murder you. Or worse…look at the messages and pictures in your phone…

I know it isn’t forever with the Vaping Viking. He’s selling his shop and leaving PA within the year. And I don’t have those “OMGAWDS” kind of feelings, either. I mostly just have the “I like him enough, and I like how I don’t feel pressured, and he’s pretty, and I forgot what it was like to sleep in the arms of another all night…to have someone make me coffee and walk me to my car and kiss me like he has waited his whole life to kiss someone like that” kind of feelings. I don’t know if that’s wrong, either…to be so intimate when it’s such an indefinite thing. Or is this really embracing the moment and one of those living for now come-what-may experiences that I sought after to begin with?

I asked myself if I should stay or go, and I stayed. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing it again…

Say Cheese!!!

Psssst. Hey boys. Psssst….hey! Yeah, you! Did you know your profile picture on a dating site says a lot about you? Do you know most the pictures on certain sites are absolutely terrifying? I’m not talking about the blah ones like in front seats of cars or from an angle down near your waist looking up that is possibly the single most unflattering angle in the entire plethora of angles and perplexes me ever so much that there are so many of you that utilize said angle. I’m specifically talking about how scary some of you look. There’s murder in your eyes, I can see it.

You’re growling when you pop up in my inbox. I automatically make your scary eyes go away.

*Shivers*

Let’s also take into account that the average woman on a dating site gets dozens upon dozens of messages per day. She has options. If you look pissed when she sees you, it’s human nature to walk away as quickly as possible.

So let’s go over things not to do when choosing the picture you want to wow a female with.

1) Stop scowling! I’m serious. Don’t choose pictures that look like you’re a giant, mean, poopie-head who probably pushes little old ladies down for fun on Tuesdays.

2) Out of focus pictures won’t make me click to see more. This is the picture that is the FIRST IMPRESSION we have of you. Could you at least TRY to impress?

3) Stop taking topless photos in the bathroom mirror. Stop it. Stop it now!

4) Pictures while in the driver’s seat….really? Why? Don’t you know one person who could snap a picture of you somewhere other than in your car?

4B) Also…stop taking pictures of your car. I don’t give a flying fuck how much you spent on your rims. I really, truly don’t.

5) Close ups that reveal every pore on your face aren’t that grand, either. Back up. A little more. Okay, just a little bit more. There, now you may take the picture.

6) Oh, awesome. You go to the gym. Then you flex while still in the gym and take a picture. Every single one of your pictures is of you. Flexing. In a gym. How original.

7) Are you really posing with a gun? Sweet Mary Mother of God…NEXT!

8) Stop posting pictures of you with your children. On a dating site. For the love of all that’s holy, why would you post pictures of your innocent children on a website for perfect strangers, some who are undoubtedly unbalanced, to see???? Why would you DO that???

Here are a few collages I made of actual profile pictures that have popped up in my inbox today. I did not include the ones that have children or guns because I will not perpetuate the inappropriate decision to use them to get dates, nor did I include the ones with firearms because I don’t want to get killed if they see this and stuff.



Don’t make Hulk angry! You won’t like Hulk when he’s angry!

Now…to end on a positive note, here are pictures that have ended up in my inbox full of quirkiness and smiling faces and artsy poses and the overall feeling that they’re nice and fun and worth a second look. DO try and emulate these photos, boys. THESE photos get your foot in the door for a girl to at least look at your pictures and read your self-promotional write-up. More on how you should present yourself in your “About” section later. Yup yup yup!!!

Fun, fun, fun!!!! Sign me up!!!

(I have dinner plans with one of these guys this week. I’ll let you try and guess which one)

In conclusion, seriously, exert some actual effort and stop being scary. And trim your nose hairs. That’s totes important, too. Just sayin’.