Philly Matt

Game changer

My ex-boyfriend, Philly Matt, and I see each other two or three times a year. In a typical month, we’ll text and email several times a week and talk on the telephone every other week. Even though we haven’t dated since 2006 or had sexual relations (using the definition of Former President Clinton) in four years, we’ve grown closer. He’s my sounding board and one of my best friends.

Several readers and friends in real life have asked why Philly Matt and I don’t try dating again. I felt like it wasn’t worth jeopardizing our friendship for the possibility that we might be able to work as a couple. I was thus very surprised when Philly Matt informed me in May 2010 that we weren’t together because I was always in a relationship or getting over someone.

Thanksgiving 2010 found me in casual relationships with Best Boy and Mr. Agency, and Philly Matt in a serious relationship with Tammy from New England. When I talked to Philly Matt on the phone, he relayed to me how upset Linda, the mother of his children, was at how much time he had been spending with Tammy.

Philly Matt: Linda keeps saying that she might not want to be with me, but that she doesn’t want anyone else to be. I told her [Linda] that she had her chance. She can’t be upset that I found someone else.

I started thinking about how odd this exchange was. Why would Linda care if Matt was dating someone since she and Matt haven’t been together in almost a decade? (When I met Philly Matt in 2005, he said that he and his children’s mother hadn’t dated since his youngest child was a baby.) Wouldn’t Linda want Philly Matt to be happy?

Me: A little jealousy is normal, but it doesn’t make sense that Linda would be so upset about this. You said that she’s been making similar comments about you and Tammy since the summer, right?

Philly Matt: Yep.

Me: Have you guys been together recently?

Philly Matt: What do you mean?

Me: Well, that sounds like comments that someone would make if they still had feelings for you. Have you and Linda been together since Chloe was a baby?

Philly Matt: Yeah.

Me: You have?!?

Philly Matt: Yeah. We’ve been together on and off for years.

Me: Really?!? So…when was the last time that you guys were together?

Philly Matt: We were trying to make things work earlier this year. [My jaw drops, and my eyes become as big as saucers. I want to ask why that hasn’t come up in the past five years, but I just let him keep talking.] We tried, and she said that it couldn’t work between us. I wanted it to, but what could I do? So, I moved on.

My mind was scrambling, and I realized that I needed to collect my thoughts about this. Matt and Linda had started dating 17 or 18(!) years ago. I might not have even dated him had I known this back in 2005 since I would never get between a man and the mother of his children. It also crossed my mind that if I was just finding this news out now, did Tammy know?

I figured it best to change the topic and discuss this more in our next call. It wasn’t pressing since Philly Matt's relationship with either Linda or Tammy didn’t affect my relationship with him. But, it was definitely a game changer and reaffirmed in my mind why Matt and I weren't meant to be more than close friends.
 

What a girl wants

I accepted the fact that Mr. Agency wasn't interested in being in a committed relationship with me and focused on what would make me happy.  I sent Best Boy the following text:

What are your plans tonight? I’d love to see you…and not just for snuggling ;).

Best Boy responded in less than a minute:

Really??

Me: Yes. I thought about it and realized that I want you.

Best Boy: :)

I didn’t expand or define what “wanting” him meant, though. In the midst of treatment, all I knew was that I wanted to be with a guy who cared about me and cared for me. Best Boy had proven that he was there for me time and time again, but I hadn’t given any thought about whether or not we should be exclusive. That just wasn't a priority for me right now.

Best Boy came over that evening and again over the weekend. I was still hemorrhaging a bit and very weak. Not surprisingly, he was incredibly sensitive to my needs. (I would later learn that my iron and red blood counts were low and that I needed five days of iron IVs.)

Without me having to explain everything, Best Boy just understood and knew what to do. I had a limited amount of energy to exert, and I wanted to exert that energy with him in bed. He would walk my dog or help me get things around the house so I wouldn’t push it more than I should. He made me feel safe and special, letting me nap with my head in his lap as he softly rubbed my head with his hand.

In bed, he was gentle and loving. We spent a lot of time having sex on our sides – in the spoon position. In the midst of all the changes that I was experiencing, my physical connection with Best Boy remained a constant.

We didn’t talk extensively about our relationship, but I did tell him that I hadn’t yet spoken to Mr. Agency.

Me: I thought about it, and it doesn’t seem necessary right now. Whatever his take on our relationship is, it doesn't change the fact that I want to be with you.

Later that night as we watched television and talked about sports, Best Boy turned the conversation toward his relationship with Melanie*. Apparently, he told Melanie that they should just be friends and colleagues, and no longer sleep together. I hadn’t asked him to do that, but I must admit that the news made me smile.  I replied with a simple:

Oh.  That's good to know.

Mr. Agency continued to text me on a daily basis, and I sent casual responses in return. I tried to seem blasé, as though it didn’t matter if and when I saw him again. But, in my heart, I felt differently. I hadn’t loved Mr. Agency, but I definitely cared about him. And, I didn't know if reconnecting with Best Boy and seeing Mr. Agency on occasion were mutually exclusive.

As my website redesign and blog fundraiser neared, I wasn’t sure if any of the men in my life would be attending. Philly Matt and I had talked about him coming down to help me out during an upcoming chemotherapy week, but he had asked about the party in our last conversation. Best Boy had told Autumn that he might be able to attend. And, when I first posted about the event on Facebook, Mr. Agency commented that he would try to be there.

When it comes to Facebook party invitations, I realize that a reply of “maybe” typically translates into a “no.” I also recognized that Philly Matt lived out of town and Best Boy and Mr. Agency had hectic work schedules. I thus assumed that none of the three guys would end up making it to the lounge in late October.

As luck would have it, though, one guy did attend. And, it was the guy who I least expected to see.

To be continued…

* I gave Best Boy's girl the nickname of "Melanie." In retrospect, that might have been confusing since my web designer's real name is Melanie. They are not one in the same.
 

Quite A Day

After my breast biopsies, I returned home to rest.  Mr. Exec called me when he was out of his meetings to check on me.

Mr. Exec: Do you need anything?

Me: I’m okay for now.  Mind coming over when you’re done with work?

Mr. Exec: Not at all.  I’ll be there in a few hours.

Later that day, when Mr. Exec arrived at my place, he did something that he hadn’t done since we first dated:

He took care of me!

I was surprised and touched.  We ordered some food and relaxed on the couch in front of the television.  After all the volatility of the past month, it felt like Mr. Exec and I were in a calm place.  We didn’t talk about the past or the future.  He wasn’t drunk, narcissistic or belligerent.  It was easy and fun to be around him.  I was reminded of our early dates and why I had been attracted to him in the first place. 

My phone vibrated with a few blog comments to a recent post that I had written, and we got on the topic of my blog.

Mr. Exec: Are you making money off of the blog yet?

Me: A little. One of the companies whose rep I met at the conference asked me to do some freelance articles for them.  And, another company has started giving me toys to review every week and offered to help get me into workshops and radio.

Mr. Exec: We should brainstorm one evening about ideas to see how you can really make some money off of this.  I’m sure that there are ways I can help you.

Me: Sure.  That sounds good.

I was thankful that I was sitting next to Mr. Exec, rather across from him, so he couldn’t see my knowing smile.  Philly Matt and I had called it that once Mr. Exec realized that I had started blogging about him, he would finally take the time to actually sit down and read my posts.

I didn’t need to ask Mr. Exec whether he enjoyed my blog.  His offer of assistance was all the answer I needed!  I knew Mr. Exec well enough to know that his idea of help would involve a 10% cut of any deal, but I found that more amusing than insulting.  I was intrigued about what he would say when we had our brainstorming session, but didn’t want to discuss business then.

After Mr. Exec and I finished watching a movie, we went into the bedroom.  I was in some pain and had to keep my bra on with ice packs over the areas that were biopsied.  But, I still wanted to have sex with Mr. Exec.

Mr. Exec and I had to be a bit creative when we had sex since I needed to stay on my back or right side, but we made it work.  And, it worked a lot that evening.

What had started out as a very rough day turned into a great night!  Sometimes, life is funny like that. *smile*

Changing my ways

My birthday was behind me. Philly Matt had gone back home. Mr. Exec was trying to reach out, but after he had failed to be there for me following my concussion, my interest in him had waned.

April 2010 brought some unexpected intrigue into my life, though, when I met Dutch Boy at an embassy event. He wasn’t my normal type. Picture a nice-looking white guy, 5’11” with a very lean build. Dutch Boy is a scientist, doing a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He loved sports and writing so we had some shared interests, but that normally wouldn’t be enough to pique my interest.

What did attract me to Dutch Boy then? He oozed sex. He wasn’t particularly sexy, and yet, he had that indefinable magnetism. I commented as much to my girlfriend in the ladies’ room, and she heartily concurred. I tried not to monopolize Dutch Boy’s time at the event, but I wanted to converse with him as much as I could.

After talking to Dutch Boy for 30 minutes, I learned two unfortunate things:

Dutch Boy was returning to Amsterdam in a month…

And he had a girlfriend back home.

We exchanged information and contacted each other that weekend, keeping all of our correspondence casual. Dutch Boy and I alluded in our emails to seeing each other again – without throwing out a time or place. I wanted to get to know him better, but I also didn’t want to complicate my life. He was moving back home, and he had an old girlfriend there. (For once, I made the right call! For once!)

Three days later, I sat down to meditate. When I was done meditating, I came out of the session with one strong thought in my head:

I’m supposed to contact Improv Boy and go out with him.

“Improv Boy?!?” I asked myself with a baffled expression on my face.

What was my subconscious trying to tell me? I didn’t want to go out with Improv Boy last month, which is why I stopped corresponding with him. He wasn’t my type at all, but maybe it was time to think out of the box? It’s not like dating my type had been working out well for me.

I decided to send Improv Boy an email. I figured that I would answer the questions that he had asked me in his last email and invite him out to a small, informal Happy Hour. (He had repeatedly asked me out on dates in March, but I felt like that type of one-on-one activity was premature. A small get-together seemed like a better way to gauge if I wanted to go out with him.) I wrote:

Hi Improv Boy,

I know…it’s been a while. A lot has been going on with me (out-of-town, concussion, birthday and speech at an event), but that doesn’t excuse me from not being in touch.

How are you? I hope that you are doing well!

I’m an attorney, but I took time off to finish another degree. My thesis got approved in February, and now I’m pursuing some freelance writing. I miss my clients, but I’m keeping all options open.

You’ll have to tell me more about your possible new venture in person!

A few friends and I are going to watch the Caps game on Friday at Clyde’s. Any interest in joining us?

:), City Girl

The following morning, I heard from Improv Boy. He wrote about last night’s hockey game and indicated that he was free to come to the Happy Hour on Friday night. He also extended appropriate congratulations for my thesis approval and concern about my concussion.

We emailed each other once a day for the rest of the week. In one correspondence, he inquired as to my thesis topic. I gave a basic one-line response regarding my esoteric topic and was surprised when Improv Boy came back with follow-up questions. It took me a few minutes to realize that he had done some online research to learn more about the issue, which I found endearing.

I mentioned that to my friend, Julie, and said:

Improv Boy seems really nice, but I’m not sure if I’m attracted to him. He’s really funny, too…as one would hope since he’s a comedian. Maybe if I don’t like him, Autumn might?

Julie: You invited a guy to Happy Hour to fix him up with your friend?

Me [laughing]: Well, who knows? I’m trying not to over-think things like I normally do.

Happy Hour with Improv Boy and my friends was set. And, the following night, I would be at another embassy event — with Dutch Boy.

This month was looking up!

Stage 1. Not so fun.

I've been thinking a lot about the different hats that I wear. I'm a relationship and sex blogger. I'm the in-house product reviewer for Dascha Boutique and a sexuality educator for Fascinations at Fun Love. I'm a non-practicing attorney who will still talk about the law ad nauseum and answer her former clients' calls at any hour of the day. I'm a sports fan, a dog lover, a cupcake and pizza fiend, a girly-girl, and an anal ambassador. And now, I'm a 37-year-old with breast cancer.

I don't want my cancer to define me, but for the past few weeks, cancer has dictated my schedule. I'm not looking for this blog to turn into a blog about cancer, but ignoring it is about as easy as ignoring "Buckeyes" Boy or any proverbial elephant in the room.

Since last I wrote about my diagnosis, I've had a few more tests, and the doctors have gathered some additional information. A second area of cancer was found so instead of DCIS non-invasive breast cancer, I now have Stage 1, invasive breast cancer.

This was still found early, and I know how lucky I am. But, the fact that there's now cancer in my breast tissue complicates things a bit. My surgery — originally scheduled for today — has been postponed. I need more biopsies this week and am waiting for results of the breast cancer gene test (BRCA) before I know the plan of attack.

I continue to feel my feelings as I need to without dwelling on them. And, I'm thankful for so many blessings, including my friends, great health care and early diagnosis. But, since I received the call from the doctor yesterday that the cancer is now in my breast tissue, I've wondered:

Will I lose my hair?

Even typing those words brings tears to my eyes. I admit it, I'm vain. I love my hair. What did "Buckeyes" Boy first notice about me? My hair! How did people on Twitter recognize me in real life even though I've never posted a picture of my face? By my hair! Why did the modeling agent think she could book me for work? Because I'm a tall redhead!

Is there a theme here?

Philly Matt
told me this evening that he thinks I would be sexy if I was bald. And, I love him for that. But, it doesn't change the fact that seriously thinking about chemotherapy brings tears to my eyes. It's not a given that chemo will be the recommended course of treatment for me, but I don't like that it's even an option.

And, that's not the only thing that's on my mind:

A few weeks ago, I was on top of my man having sex and as he kissed my tits and sucked on my nipples, I thought to myself:

Will these be my breasts in a year?

I'm (thankfully) able to displace my emotions during sex, but later that night, I cried openly about that concern. My tits are a part of me and are inextricably linked to my sexuality. I don't want to lose them, and I'd much prefer to keep my big naturals than trade them in for a shiny, perky pair. Mastectomies might not be the recommended course of action for me, but again, I don't even like the option!

I didn't write this post to be Debbie Downer or make any of you worry. I realize that cancer won't keep me down for more than a few months. I know that I have dealt with far worse things in my life and come out the stronger for it. (If you've been reading my blog, you know that I've had much more toxic things inside me than this!)

I WILL beat this, and cancer will NOT win in the end! I see the future, and there's more more for me to do as a sexuality educator and a lawyer. And, although my goal to adopt a little girl is on hold, all of my doctors are aware of my plan to adopt. I've told them that I will do whatever they recommend to ensure that I'm around for decades to come!

For those of you who might be skeptical that I'm letting this get the best of me for too long, I'll leave you with this:

What DC relationship and sex blogger had anal sex when she got back home from her breast biopsies?

This one.

I might be a bit down, but I'm not out. Not even close. I'm not going to give up what I love to do if I can help it, even if that means that I have to be a little creative while doing it. (It's better to have sex with your bra on and ice packs inside your bra than not have sex at all!)

PS For those of you who have emailed, called, texted, commented or Tweeted, your support means more to me than you could possibly know. For my friends in real life who are my family, you are a huge part of what I'm fighting for! And, you know me well enough to know that I'm not going to miss out on any laughs, girl talk and gossip with you all. I love you with all of my heart. xoxo

Are 3am texts ever sincere?

Following my concussion in early April, I canceled my plans for several days to recoup. I wasn't sure when I would hear from Mr. Exec again. I couldn't tell if he had realized that I was disappointed that he had offered to come by to take care of me, but then didn't follow through.

So, imagine my surprise when I heard from Mr. Exec everyday but one that week. I would wake up to a text, asking how I was feeling or saying that he was thinking of me. He seemed sincere in his concern, inquiring if it was normal to have symptoms several days later (it is, for me) and whether or not I should see a doctor.

I tried to reconcile the fact that he was checking in on me with the fact that something seemed lacking. Three of the four nights that week, he was at meetings or out with friends within a 10-minute drive of my place. On two nights, he mentioned coming by my place to check in on me, and I replied that I'd like that. (When I'm home for health reasons, I'm always up for company.) Then I wouldn't hear from him until 11:30pm…or 1am…or 3am.

The 3am text said:

I'm sure you're asleep, but I wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and hoping you're feeling better.

You're out drinking with your friends in Georgetown until 3am, but you're thinking of me?!? I wasn't sure whether that was a booty call, a half-assed attempt to pretend he was there for me without actually being there for me, or what! I might have taken the text at face value, but for the fact that this was becoming a pattern — and not a good one at that!

I didn't respond to him at 3am, but waited until normal business hours to send him this text in return:

I appreciate that we had only gone out a few times, and I had no expectations of you taking care of me this week. But, it doesn't make me feel very special when you say that you want to come over and check on me, and then you choose to go out with your friends. Hope you can appreciate that.

Mr. Exec wrote back that his intention wasn't to make me feel as though I wasn't special, but rather, just to let me know that he was thinking of me. I guess that would be fine for some girls, but not me. Given that we had only gone out four times, I would rather Mr. Exec had just texted me and said:

I'm sorry you hurt yourself. Take care and let's go out when you're feeling better.

A couple of girlfriends knew about Mr. Exec and the post-concussion texts, and I would forward them our text exchanges with a few added thoughts:

Seriously? Is this guy for real?
Same text, different night, but this was at 1am! Lol.
Does he want a post-concussion booty call?

The icing on the cake for me happened a week after my concussion. It was my 37th birthday, and I was speaking at an event in Northern Virginia. More than 1000 people were attending, and I had a dozen loved ones coming to support me. I was excited, but I was also very nervous. This was a BIG deal for me, and I had been worried all week that the effects from the concussion would impede me from giving my best presentation.

When the clock struck midnight on my actual birthday, Mr. Exec texted me and asked if I was out celebrating. (I wasn't. I was still not 100% and was resting up before the main event.) A half hour later, he called me. In both, he wished me a happy birthday and told me that he'd like to take me out to dinner to celebrate that week. I was awake when his text and call came in, but I didn't want to speak with him. I waited to reply via text until lunchtime the next day. I kept it short, as I realized that I didn't want to go out with him again.

I wasn't 100% sure at this point whether I wanted just companionship from a guy or something more serious. But, based on Mr. Exec's actions over the past week, he wasn't fitting either bill.

As I was scrambling to get ready for the event, Mr. Exec texted me at 3:30pm to wish me luck. He also reiterated that he wanted to take me out to dinner and that I should let him know my availability. I kept my responses curt.

I had things to do, places to go, and people to see.

Did I mention that Philly Matt would be attending the event? *wink*

Teddy Ruxpin

Last Friday morning, I was trying to motivate out of my warm bed and into the shower when the telephone rang. I looked at the Caller ID and saw that it was Philly Matt. Given the timing of his call, I realized that he had just read my latest post about us.

When we spoke earlier in the week, Matt had told me about Tammy, a girl he recently met. His voice was giddy when he talked about her in a way that I hadn't heard since he and I had dated. I was excited for him on the phone, but when we hung up, I felt melancholy. What would happen to our friendship? How would our relationship change with a girlfriend in the picture?

I thought about texting or calling Philly Matt that evening, but instead, I just wrote a post about it. In retrospect, that was a passive-aggressive move on my part since I know that Philly Matt reads my blog regularly. But, I figured that the conversation would come soon enough, and it did.

Philly Matt [hearing the groggy tone in my voice]: Did I wake you? I'm sorry. You can go back to sleep and just call me later.

Me: No, I'm good. Just waiting for my migraine meds to kick in. What's up?

Philly Matt: So…I read your post.

Me [with a bit of nervousness in my voice]: Yeah, I figured.

Philly Matt: I read everyone's comments, too. I thought about writing one of my own as Philly Matt, but I decided that I should just call you.

Me: Okay. You know you can write one anytime you want, though, right? Even if I disagree with it, I'll still approve it.

Philly Matt: I know that, but it just made more sense to talk to you directly.

Me [exhaling]: K.

Philly Matt: I want you in my life until the day I take my last breath. You are a very important person to me and anyone I date will need to know that and be okay with that. If you call me in the middle of the night and need me, she's going to need to understand that I have to go. Staying friends with you is not negotiable.

I paused for a few seconds after he said that because I had tears in my eyes. (And, yes, being the sap that I am, I have tears in my eyes again as I'm writing about this.)

Me: Thanks. I figured that's what you would say, but it means a lot to me to hear that. I couldn't imagine my life without you.

Philly Matt: And you won't have to.

We talked for a while about how our relationship doesn't make sense to most people.

Philly Matt: Maybe they haven't found a way to make it work. Or didn't break up amicably.

Me: Well, it's not like we were friends right after we broke up so I understand. But, I feel closer to you now than I did when we were a couple. We've been through a lot over the past few years.

Philly Matt: Exactly. I know that no matter what, you're there for me. And, you know that the same is true with me. Anyone we date will need to understand that, too.

Me: Thanks. That makes me feel better. I still feel bad that I even considered not having you come on the ski trip with "Buckeyes" Boy.

Philly Matt: Well, you guys were in a serious relationship. You couldn't make him uncomfortable. I knew that you and I would stay friends no matter what, but I just felt bad that I wouldn't be able to go on the ski trip or see everyone else [in our group] anymore.

Me: Yeah, I know. I'm glad that didn't happen, and I've learned my lesson for next time. I don't want to lose you or isolate you from the group. The Crew wants you around, too. And I also realize that I'm acting pretty selfish to be whining about a girl that you haven't even really started dating when I've called you about several guys over the years and you've always rolled with it. I guess I just worried that I would lose you if you got serious with a girl…that she wouldn't understand.

Philly Matt: That's never going to happen with us. She's going to know about you. I feel closer to you now than I did even a few months ago after having met your Dad and Rhea [my Dad's girlfriend at my birthday party in April]. . . .And, you realize that I've barely spent any time with Tammy one-on-one. I don't even know if we'll start dating!

Me: Yeah, I know. It just caught me off guard to hear how you talked about her. Tammy's your first crush since me, and I guess I got a little jealous and a little confused, even though I'm happy for you. [Pause.] I'm okay with us never hooking up again, but losing your friendship would be too tough for me. You know me better than any guy I've ever known. [Pause.] But, I will miss snuggling with you. You are very snuggly.

Philly Matt: I'm a regular Teddy Ruxpin! [We start laughing hysterically.]

Me: You pulled out Teddy Ruxpin?!? Hahaha!

Our conversation shifted gears to work, friends, his kids and my latest guy adventures. When I hung up the phone 30 minutes later, I had a huge smile on my face and wiped a few more tears of joy from my eyes.

I wish I knew the secret to how Philly Matt and I have managed to make our friendship work. (Trust me, I would bottle that formula if I could.)

As I texted Philly Matt this weekend,

I love you, Teddy Ruxpin!

And, I do. With all my heart.

Did you try it out and then the friendship fizzled over time or when a new significant other came into the picture? Do you regret not maintaining a friendship with any of your exes?

Why didn’t I blog in real time?

A friend, Lisa, approached me and said the following:

A lot of people don't get your blog.

Misty: What's not to get? [I nod my head.]

Lisa: You don't blog in real time.

Me [with a confused expression on my face]: So?

Misty: She's a storyteller.

Lisa: Well, I get it, which is why I read it so you don't have to convince me….But, 8 people — in PR and Marketing — have come up to me recently and talked about how you don't blog in real time. They don't understand it.

Me: What is there really to understand? It's not that cryptic.

Lisa: You have to have noticed that some of your commenters have been frustrated with the same thing and how you write about things that happened a few months ago.

Me: Yes, I've noticed. But, I just kept telling the story, and it seems by the numbers of hits that I've received that people keep reading.

Lisa: But, I bet that you could quadruple your hits if you blogged in real time.

Me: Really? With the amount of hits I've gotten recently? I doubt that.

Lisa: But, you need to blog in real time if you want to be a successful blogger.

Misty: But, she doesn't want to be a successful blogger.

[I nod my head in agreement. And, yes, folks, Misty is right. If I can turn my blog into something more professionally in the next year, I will. If not, I'll go back to representing my clients since I miss my clients.]

Lisa: You are a blogger now, though. And, you've used social media to promote your blog. You've said that. [I nod.] Social media and Twitter are about getting information in real-time, and you're not blogging in that manner.

A longer discussion ensued, but it got me thinking about what I do and how I do it.

Why don't I blog in real-time?

1. I didn't start blogging in real-time.

My friends have been telling me for years to write down my guy stories. When I broke up with Lawyer Boy at the end of 2008, I had the time and the inclination to finally do that. I wasn't in a relationship at the time so I started writing about past events. Word-of-mouth about my blog grew, and I just kept on writing;

2. I'm a storyteller.

I see myself as a storyteller, rather than one who blogs about her day. Some events warrant several posts, while other quieter weeks don't warrant a mention. Misty commented that some days I would just be writing, "Didn't go out on a date. Didn't have sex." I love my life, but the rest of my life doesn't always make for a good read;

3. Would I be able to date in a small city like DC if I did blog in real time?

I don't think so, and Lisa and Misty both agreed with me on this point. Why is that? DC is small. Lilliputian small. If guys knew that whatever happened that night would appear in a post the following day, I doubt that many guys would want to date me. By not blogging in real time, I also can see if a relationship evolves.

For instance, last Thursday night, I met four guys. I'm currently exchanging e-mails with three of them. I don't know if I'll end up dating any of them, though, so is it really worth describing our first encounters or e-mails on my blog? There might not be a story there since I don't know if any of them will amount to more than just a guy I met at a event. Who knows if a casual encounter is blog-worthy?

That also raises another issue. I just admitted that I'm in contact with four guys from last week. All of them have access to my blog. What if by the sheer fact that I met other guys that night, I lose the chance to go out with the guy with whom I'm the most compatible?

In a similar vein, in the past week, I've been in contact with Philly Matt, The Baron, JAG Man (yes, he's back, too), and Mr. Executive. Out of that group, I could see seriously dating two of them. (No, I'm not saying which two right now.) If I put every detail in real time about my interactions with them and feelings about them, then I might miss out on the opportunity to spend time with each of them individually and see what happens next.

If you know me, you realize that I don't engage in casual sex. (I've had a single one-night stand in a decade.) But, I do believe that a double standard exists in the dating arena. I'm trying to explore my options respectfully. Real-time blogging wouldn't allow me to do that without feeling like all the guys on deck were watching over my shoulders. Writing my stories down the next day might also spark jealousy and resentment or cause a guy to act uncharacteristically.

4. Do you really want real-time?

I have this vision of my man behind me and my laptop in front of me. In that scenario, I'd be blogging as my man is having sex with me. The title of that post would be: Is This Enough Real-Time For You?

Sex and love don't always follow a story arc, and my stories are detailed and explore things from every angle. As "real" as I am in my blog, I think that "real time" would detract from my posts.

Mr. Executive also made a good point that if I was to blog in real-time, then I would need to have an itinerary before every post. He joked:

So…are we going to have sex, watch a movie or get in a fight tonight? I need to figure out what I'm going to write about next.

I prefer to let whatever happens happen organically and then write about it after I've had time to digest it. And, yes, I realize that I was blogging about the end of my relationship with "Buckeyes" Boy three months after we had split up. But, I have to believe that my readers (and not just my friends) care about me as a person. I don't know emotionally if I would have been able to handle writing about everything as I was going through it with "Buckeyes" Boy. I also wouldn't have done well with all the criticism in the moment. Isn't it better that my relationship with "Buckeyes" Boy ended as it was meant to, rather than by a huge fight over the comments that he read or something I put in a post?

5. What else should I do?

I initially started to write down my stories just for me. But, now, I'm writing for a larger audience. I feel guilty when I don't blog for a few days in a row. My readers are invested in my stories, and I don't want to disappoint. Many of you have shown me by your comments, Tweets and e-mails that you care about me. I feel that, and I want to give the same back at you!

Isn't the purpose of social media to exchange information to a broader audience through the Internet? And, isn't that what I'm doing? Yes, social media provides news and information in real time, but whether or not I have sex with a guy isn't news; it's entertainment for my friends and readers.

Social media has grown in every sense of the word because it isn't formulaic, and it's constantly being used in new and visionary ways. It's ironic to me that I've received criticism (albeit through a third-party) that I have used social media in a way that it wasn't intended to be used. Who defines the norm in an ever-changing market to infinite consumers? More accurately, does there need to be a norm? Isn't the beauty of social media that we all have the power to create and exchange personal and professional information over the Internet in whatever manner we choose?

I'm not cooking one recipe a day to blog about it. Likewise, I'm not sleeping with or dating one guy a day to prove a point. That's not my love life as an adult, and it's not my writing style.

I've always done it my way (that was the title of my autobiography back in 6th grade), and I blog like I fuck (out of the box). I'm a storyteller and an advice-giver, and I'm just going to keep on writing. xoxo

So…what are your thoughts? How do you define "successful blogger?"

The reveal

It was New Year’s Eve. My hair was done, and I had my party dress on. I had Tweeted that I was heading to Georgetown for dinner and then drinks at L2 Lounge. All that was left was to feed my dog, Nutter, and I was off to ring in 2010. My phone vibrated, and I thought it was another BBM from Misty, but it was an e-mail…from “Buckeyes” Boy.

I was simultaneously infuriated that he was writing me after I had asked him not to contact me and curious as to what he had to say at this point. He wrote:

I know you asked that I not contact you and I will certainly not do so beyond this email. I just wanted you to know that I’m sorry for any way in which I’ve hurt you or mislead you. You deserved more and because of me got much less.

Thank you for being you and the wonderfully sweet, thoughtful, caring, and all around amazing person you are. I hate using such a dated cliche, but it wasn’t you, it was me. I noticed the way I was responding to what you needed or by the way you phrased certain questions. It hit me that I wasn’t really able to handle the relationship that you needed. Whether that be because of the new job or time or whatever, it wasn’t enough for you and I could feel that.

In the end, it should have been communicated to you differently and more respectfully than the way it ultimately played out. Whether you believe me or not, I did not pack my things with the knowledge that I was not coming back.

On the eve of a new year, let me again say I’m sorry and I wish you nothing but happiness and success in all things you do in 2010 and beyond. You deserve nothing less….

Me

***

I sat on my kitchen floor with tears in my eyes and called Misty.

Me: Why the hell would he do this to me on New Year’s Eve?

Misty: Because he’s a manipulator.

Me: Why is he still signing our e-mails as “Me?” It’s so not cute anymore.

Misty: Maybe he does that in all his e-mails? [We laugh.] Just let it go. We’re going to have fun tonight. Don’t let him spoil that for you.

Me: You’re right. Thanks. Can we meet in like 30 so I can regroup a little?

Misty: Of course.

I hung up with Misty and called my friend, Z.

Me: Why the hell would he do this to me on New Year’s Eve?

Z: He’s scared. He knows that you’re up to something since you haven’t indicated on Twitter or your blog that you’ve broken up and that you’re writing about this big news. He knows that you’re going to bust him.

Me: Yeah, that makes sense.

Z: He has a guilty conscience, too, and is probably realizing that he lost the best girlfriend he will ever have.

Me: Yeah, he did. [We laugh.]

And, then, Z and I started discussing about how insincere the e-mail was. If “Buckeyes” Boy really wanted to make amends, wouldn’t he have sent that note with a check for the parking tickets or an offer to come to an event at the Convention Center? But, he didn’t. He just wrote more of the same bull-shit.

My ex and close friend, Philly Matt, had a different take to why I heard from “Buckeyes” Boy on New Year’s Eve.

Philly Matt: Because he’s alone and doesn’t want to be.

It took me less than 30 minutes to realize that “Buckeyes” Boy’s e-mail changed NOTHING! He was a pathological liar and a guy who knowingly took advantage of my generosity. So, what did I do in response?

Just what he deserved…nothing!

So, yes, folks, my boyfriend really did break up with me on Twitter. He played me, and after the initial shock subsided, I decided to play the story. I was a 36-year-old who met her boyfriend through Twitter and got broken up with on Twitter. This was blog gold!

In writing up my little speech for my Blog Party at Black Finn last night, I realized that I ended up with a different kind of Twitter relationship story out of this experience, though. If it wasn’t for “Buckeyes” Boy, I never would have become active on the site…I never would have gone to my first Twitter Happy Hour…and I never would have met many of you whom I now call friends.

I can’t regret dating “Buckeyes” Boy because it led me here. I feel blessed to have so many wonderful friends through the Twitter and the blogging communities — both virtually and in real life. And, it looks like my blog might (fingers crossed) lead me in a new professional direction so I’m not returning to the law this year.

My relationship with “Buckeyes” Boy also taught me that I needed to put my goals first. This City Girl hopes to be a City Mom in a few years. I attended my first informational meeting about adoption earlier this year and plan to start the process in the spring. To say that I’m excited about adopting a little girl would be an understatement.

Thank you again to everyone who came to my party last night and all of you out there in the blogosphere who expressed your concern about my well-being! I appreciate your support more than words can adequately express! xoxo

It’s Friday and I’m still in love

Friday, September 18, 2009

Buckeyes Boy
and I couldn't stop smiling and giggling as we got in my car to go to Safeway. I hoped that my wallet was there, but the store manager said that no one had turned anything in that evening. We walked back to the car.

Me: Did you search all over the car? [Buckeyes Boy nods. I crouch down to look more and sure enough, my wallet is under the floor mat.]

Me: Did you look here? [I pull up the wallet to show him, laughing.]

Buckeyes Boy: I did! It wasn't there. [We laugh and I go around the car to hug him.]

Me: I'm just happy I found it. [I kiss him.] At least one of us has a credit card now! [He had lost his wallet that week.] Let's go inside and get some stuff.

Grocery shopping is rarely fun so it might sound odd to say that we had a great time in the supermarket! We were in the first aid aisle, looking at things to help heal the colony of cold sores on my bottom lip.

Buckeyes Boy: Let me call Nikki [his younger sister]. She had a huge cold sore last month and put some patch on it and it was gone overnight.

His phone didn't have service in the store (we were far from the city, after all) so he borrowed mine and left her a message.

Me: You realize that Nikki is so going to call Tina [his older sister] tomorrow, saying that you just called her about your new girl's cold sore! [We start cracking up, as he hands me back my phone.]

Me: Umm…you didn't end the call!

Buckeyes Boy: What? [Our eyes get really big as we wonder if our conversation and laughter just ended up in the voicemail.]

We were laughing so hard by this point that we had tears in our eyes. He had told me that his sisters never approved of the fact that he dated white women, and we both wondered if the "Cold Sore Call" would just exacerbate the situation.

Nikki called him back in a few minutes and told him which cold sore remedy she used. She didn't mention anything about the message or our discussion afterward. Maybe she just called him right back without listening to everything? Hopefully…

When Buckeyes Boy and I stopped laughing, we returned to shopping. In one aisle, I decided to do a little provocative dance for him with my scarf. He seemed to enjoy it, but I had to bring things down to a PG-13 rating when a teenage bag boy walked down the aisle.

We went down another aisle and Buckeyes Boy stopped me. He put his hands on my face, smiled and looked me in the eyes. He thanked me for dinner and for helping him out since he didn't have his credit card. He told me that he's never met anyone like me…that he feels like he's the lucky one…and how great the past eight days had been.

I was so touched by what he said that I started crying right there in the supermarket. We stayed in the middle of the aisle for a few minutes, hugging and kissing. And, it might just have been the fluorescent lights, but I think I saw his eyes getting watery, too.

Me: I love how we can go from laughing so hard that we have tears in our eyes in one aisle to a heartfelt discussion in another. I also love how you are a strong black man, but you are also comfortable enough to lean on me. [After my experience with Philly Matt, I really liked the fact that Buckeyes Boy didn't feel emasculated if I paid for things.]

We kissed again. (And, yes, all of our kisses were with really open mouths so my yucky bottom lip didn't touch his lips.)

We finished our shopping and headed home. It didn't take us long to get back into bed. I loved our lazy mornings of great sex and long showers together – I could definitely get used to this!

When we were in the shower, I almost asked him to pinch me because it felt like I was dreaming. Everything was perfect!