Monday, September 27, 2010

Knowing you've moved on

It's been March.... September- wow, over 6 months since Sebastian and I broke up and I'm finally learning to move on . As you may recall, he and I were together for a very unstable year, when he all of a sudden decided to pull the plug for the second time. I admit that the second breakup didn't hurt as much as the first, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it was evident we weren't going to be together much longer.

I knew it from the beginning, but I was too weak to break off on my own, regardless of how many flags I saw going up. I might as well have been driving go-karts with all those warning signs.

I spent the next two months alone, grieving privately, finishing up with my semester at school and adjusting into my new job at the adoption agency. And when summer hit, I decided to go on a dating rampage. I dated left and right and had a very good time. I met a few guys who didn't really woo me the way I wanted to be courted. And during all those sexcapades escapades, I often thought back to Sebastian and how much of a gentleman he had been, and all the wonderful things he had done for me. I kept comparing each guy to him, wondering when my perfect man would come by.

Sebastian and I never talked on the phone or saw each other again after we said our goodbyes 2 weeks after the breakup, and I figured it would be easier if I decided to block all means of communication between us; I hid his status updates on Facebook, and never once lingered back to his page. I did realize however that he had met someone when he was no longer active on Plenty of Fish, and his profile status said that he had met somebody new. 

When I finally admitted to myself that I had reached the point of no return with Sebastian, meaning that I would not consider ever being with him again, I went back to his Facebook to take a peek.
Not much had changed in his world, but one thing was clear: his relationship status. He'd been dating a girl a month after we'd broken up.

He surely moved on fast.

But wait, he started dating me 3 months after he'd moved out of the house he shared with his wife, so I guess it was normal for him to move fast.

I saw a picture of them together, and I have to say I was not impressed. At all. You know how you always hope that the next person be ugly? She was a plain Jane. I'd been breaking myself for 5 months thinking he was dating a hottie- when I could of saved myself so much hassle had I known what she looked like......

I think it made it easier to accept things because a) she wasn't that cute, and b) because I was excited about J.

If the opportunity arose, I'd feel comfortable talking to Sebastian, just to catch up. But I'd much rather spend my time with J than conjuring up old memories.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have HSV-1

I neglected writing and for good reason.  Cowardness and fear.

I've been putting this off for almost a week because I was only considering writing when I got my results.  And now that I have them, it's time to be honest and open.

A couple of weeks ago, I started talking to a new guy who messaged me online: "J". He seemed too good to be true- blue-eyed, attractive and witty. He wanted to meet right away but I told him I wanted to see how the week went by first over the phone before setting anything up. Throughout the week, we texted and talked some more, and it was obvious that we were getting along very well. I told him about RHPS and he was sold on the idea, so for our first date, we agreed to go to the Riveroaks Theatre at midnight to catch The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

He came to pick me up at my place near 11:30, after I'd gotten home from my friend's birthday party. Tipsy and jittery from drinking J├Ągerbombs and Red Bull, I nervously greeted him at his car where he proceeded to hand over leftover brisket he'd made that day for his friend's birthday party.

First meeting and already cooking? This is great.

I'll admit I was extremely nervous, and I'm sure the Red Bull only made it worse, but I didn't exactly feel the instant connection the moment I met him. He looked exactly like his pictures, so I don't know why I wasn't completely sold. However, we got through the night and afterwards went to a 24-hour diner and had something to eat. He took me back home around 3:30am where we shared our first kiss.

I remember not feeling up to meeting him again, but decided to let go of my fears and see him again the following day. I'm glad I did.

The next day, we went to the museum district where there was a mini-Oktober Fest going on. We bared through the extreme heat and sat near the reflecting pool and talked for a while before realizing we were sweating buckets when no breeze was coming through. We later left to go get dinner and headed back to my apartment to watch a movie. We spent the rest of the evening talking and really getting to know each other. And that's when I realized this was different.

Things with Matt and Nate had always been left in the air. "We'll play it by ear" said Nate; "School's very important for me" said Matt. With J, I could feel I was getting validation and that we were both looking for the same thing: a relationship. Although his lack of experience in the relationship department put me on my guard, I felt like I was getting real answers.

J and I hung out again the following week and had a great time. J spent the night and that's when it happened. I felt a little bump on my lower lip, slowly start to grow. This is weird. I wonder what it is. When the bump didn't go away overnight, I checked it in the morning and felt my heart began to race. I told J "I need to talk to you. Have you ever had a cold sore?" J's eyes widened and he stopped dead in his tracks.

"No, why?"
"Because I feel something on my lip, and I don't know what it is." I told him
"Let me see" he asked as I showed him my lower lip.

"That doesn't look like a cold sore. Cold sores are supposed to be clear and with puss. Yours doesn't look anything like that" he reassured me. "Well how do you know if you've never gotten one?" I asked him. "Cause I've seen pictures" he told me.

Out of precaution, I didn't kiss him as we parted ways that morning. He checked up on me a few times later during the day, asking how I was feeling and if my symptoms had changed. On my way out of work, I told him the truth and told him that it had grown more and was starting to form a fluid-like blister underneath, white/clear/yellow in color. I told him I was on my way to the clinic to get tested that evening. He continued reassuring me over and over, and told me not to get stressed as it could bring on more problems.

I was scared. What does this mean? Is this a deal breaker? How did this happen? Who gave it to me? So many questions were flying through my mind, leaving me hopeless and confused. I waited nearly an hour to be seen by the doctor who said "Yep, it most likely is a cold sore. We can get you tested if you want, but it's not necessary, and it's kind of expensive" she said. "That's fine. I'd rather know now for sure. How much?" I asked. "$90" the assistant said. "And that's for both 1 and 2 [HSV]?" I asked. "Yes" she answered.

I had already tested three weeks prior for the full STD pannel when I'd mysteriously gotten sick, except the doctor who checked me saw "no need to test for herpes since there are no symptoms and so many people have it. Will knowing you have it change anything?" she said.  I didn't know she hadn't tested me for HSV-1/2 until I got the results in the mail the following week. When they tell you "everything came back normal" over the phone, it only matters on what they actually tested you for. Apparently in my case, it wasn't EVERYTHING, and I'll never know if I already had it before I met J.

Throughout the waiting period, J kept reassuring me and comforting me that having oral herpes would not be a deal breaker. "I can tell this is bothering you and affecting how you feel because you're not calling as much. It's ok. So many people have it. There's a good chance I have it too, but have never had an outbreak."

We continued seeing each other and hanging out, but not kissing. The blister slowly started receding while I used Abreva for the days after my visit at the clinic. On Tuesday, I called out sick from work after feeling incredibly sore and called the clinic for my results. "The doctor noted on your lab that the test for HSV-1 came back positive." "So it's oral herpes then" I said. "Yes," the assistant said, "but you shouldn't worry too much about it. About 80% of Americans have it."


Upon hearing the news, I immediately called J to share the results. "I tested positive for HSV-1" and broke down in tears. J felt hopeless and tried to comfort me as much as he could over the phone. "I'm sorry. I wish I was there to help you feel better. Please don't be upset. It's going to be ok. It's not so serious."

At the moment, I felt fear, anger, weakness and most of all, shame. "I took care of myself for 25 years. I had a pretty good run" I told him. "It's okay, you just need to take care of yourself now and be more careful with your health. Don't get stressed, keep your immune system in check so you can prevent future breakouts. I really didn't want you to think that this would be a deal breaker because I noticed how quieter you had gotten over the last few days" he said.

After getting off the phone, I felt a great moment of relief. I'd finally let it off my chest, and I slowly started putting the worry away. I talked to Nate about it who immediately freaked out (just as I had) and went to get tested the following day. His results had been negative on his last visit as well, so I'm waiting on him to see if he has it or not; but at this point, the issue is rather moot. I could have caught it from him, Matt, Jordan or any cup I'd sipped from, though unlikely.

I confided in BEG who had also admitted to having the virus to me last year, but never having a cold sore. The more we talked, the more he reassured me and eased my mind and fears. "Welcome to the 80%" he said, "and don't worry about that one guy [Nate.] Fuck him for being ignorant on the matter."

Later that night, I called my mom and told her the news. "Herpes on which lips?" she said, and we both started laughing. "Be careful cause you can get them down there too!" she said. I have to say that I was happy to open up to my mom. She reminded me that she had  herpes, though in her case, it affects her chin, and hadn't had a breakout in almost ten years before she had one this past summer. [Heat triggers her breakout] "It's something you'll have for the rest of your life, but it's not something to get too worked up about" she said.

Though I'm not thrilled by the result, and the stigma that comes from it, I feel better about it today than I did last week or last year. It's not an STD. It's an unfortunate virus I got from sharing spit with someone who probably didn't know they had it at the time either. I'm done trying to put the blame on someone, and I'm hoping people will learn to be open about it and get rid of that ignorance. Chances are your favorite actor has oral herpes cause of all that smooching for the silver screen.

J came to see me yesterday and took me out during my lunch hour. I felt better and happier to know that he was still there. I couldn't help but smile when he said "So when do I get to kiss you again?"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Twinkies and Sex

I, Renrexx, am guilty of so-called Booty Call. I behaved like a man, and quite frankly, enjoyed every second of it. The suitor in this story? Matt, the Marine, my Plan B mishap.

Matt and I stopped talking sometime during the summer before I met Nate. Things with us didn't work out- we both stopped calling each other. It was a mutual falling out, a courtship that quickly fizzled.

I'll admit I was incredibly upset to see Matt go, mainly because he had been the rebound after Sebastian, and I had formed an attachment to him. Even though I glanced at his Facebook every once in a while, I quickly put him out of the picture once I'd met Nate.

I'd messaged him on AIM some time ago to see how his summer semester had ended. We made small talk for a few minutes and saw nothing more of it. Last night, I saw him online again, and dropped a simple "Hi."

We made small talk again about his sisters, school and his roommate. We didn't ask about each other's dating escapades, and began shooting the breeze with dumb comments back and forth. Somewhere along the way, our conversation took a turn to the "dirty side." Since I'd had previous experience in dirty messaging with BEG, as well as phone sex conversations (sorry I never shared it; pictures were included as well,) I felt I was prepared to tease Matt and see how he'd respond. I expected him to shy away from it, but what he said completely took me by surprise.

Matt: We are like twinkies
Ren: How so? Maybe you, cause you have white stuff inside
Matt: Lol.
Ren: I don't know about me though.
Matt: Lol, you could. Hey-oooo.
Ren: Tempting.
Matt: I can give you some of my white filling and we really will be like twinkies!

I'm not going to share more.... only because it became pretty graphic afterwards. The conversation heated up so much, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. After roughly 30 minutes of "foreplay", Mark said that he wasn't joking and was serious about what he was saying; if I really wanted it, I could have it. I told him I was serious but that I wouldn't drive all the way out to his place tonight- I had work the next day. He said he was getting dressed and was going to come over to my place instead. I was skeptical about it all, and didn't want to fall for the joke; I was hoping he would actually call to prove me wrong, but he hadn't. Knowing he was still 45 minutes away, I decided to hop in the shower and quickly shave, just in case he wasn't bluffing.

About halfway through my lathering, I hear the dinstinctive ringtone. I pickup and hear the ambient noise when someone is in a car.

Oh shit. He's driving.

"I hope you know I wasn't joking" he tells me.

"You better not" I answered.

"Cause I am on my way over...." he said.

I was extremely excited. He was actually going to come, but best of all, he was already on the road!

I rushed to get ready, clean up the last of my apartment, and about 30 minutes later, Matt was knocking on my door.  My heart beating hard and fast, nerves pulsating, I took him into my room and kissed him. Things heated up quickly, and he roughly took off my bottoms and my shirt. He threw me on the bed and we continued kissing. We proceeded into the act and **CENSORED < CENSORED> CENSORED**

It was... exciting, and felt great. I felt no emotional attachment to Matt at the moment, but I was happy that I was having sex with someone I'd previously had a connection with (and also done the deed), and someone I was incredibly attracted to.  The kissing was amazing and continued throughout our "activity."  Once finished, Matt sat at the edge of the bed for a while, trying to catch his breath. Unsure of what he was feeling or if he was about to leave, I asked him if he was ok.

"Yeah, I'm just really tired" he replied.

He laid out naked on the bed, trying to cool off under the fan, breathing heavily. I put my clothes back on, and laid out next to him and gradually fell asleep. Somewhere around 2 am, I woke up again, and looked at him, fast asleep. I moved around to kiss him, and slowly awoke him. He started fondling himself, and unsure as to whether it was sexomnia (Sebastian) , and still with fresh memories of drunken sex (Nate), I just watched him to see what he would do next.

He could be just masturbating, right?

It wasn't either. He rolled over and went at it again. And for quite a while, even after he came. After we finished, we both fell back asleep, him snuggled up on me, while I lay straight on my back, staring at the ceiling until I drifted off to sleep again.

In the morning, I began getting ready for work, while he continued sleeping. Once I was ready, he woke up, and I gently caressed him. He snuggled up with me one last time until I told him I had to go to work.

I didn't hear from him for the rest of the day, but I didn't mind.  I wasn't insterested in having "the talk" about where this was going, or what it meant. I preferred to leave it as-is: a fun and exciting night.  Moreover, I didn't see Matt as the conversational type. He remained fairly quiet, and the only thing we shared in common was sex.

Later on that night however, I received a text from him saying "Hopefully you weren't too terribly tired today =P."  I minded my manners and thanked him for coming, to which he responded with "lol. No thank you =P"

Overall, this experience went by a lot smoother than I could have expected it. I'm glad it happened. I definitely had that extra bounce in my walk the next day.

And a big smile.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An old flame continues burning

I spent some time a few months ago writing about the older man in my "younger" years. His name was Chris, and he was a service rep. for the shop where I used to work with my dad.

I admitted to you, my readers, that I'd recently caught myself daydreaming about him while at work, wondering what had become of him after the last time we'd talked over 2 years ago.

Some personal changes happened during the summer, and I quickly put him out of the picture, realizing that I wouldn't be able to accept the 20 year difference between us right now.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I missed a call and received  a voicemail.

"Hello Ren, this is Chris, from California. I used to service your shop when you used to work out there with your dad. Anyway, I just wanted to give you a call and see how you were doing. I'd love to hear from you. Take care, bye bye."

I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth agape, blood rushing to my face.

No way. What are the chances??

That weekend, my dad had come home and my cell phone was low on its battery, therefore allowing me more excuses not to return the call right away. I texted him back to let him know I'd received his call, but wasn't available to talk.

About a week later, I finally managed to get back in touch with him, and we chatted for a short while. He was still doing the same work, living out in Palm Springs, single and kidless. We exchanged email addresses for good this time, and bid each other "good day."

A couple of weeks later, Chris began texting me on a daily basis, checking in to see how my day was going, and what my plans were for the weekend. At one point, he asked me to send him a picture of myself, saying that it had been years since he had last seen me.

And that's when the compliments started rolling in.......

"Wow Ren, u r a beautiful lady!!! You really are absolutely gorgeous! You have really grown up. When I used to stop by to see u i thought u were a very pretty girl, but in 5 years u have matured into a stunningly beautiful woman!!!"

I mentioned that I wasn't used to flattery to which he responded by saying "I can't see how! If u still lived in So. Cal. i would have asked u out for sure!"

Over the next few days, Chris would continue complimenting me, dropping subtle hints about his interest in dating, and asking me if I'd be up for accepting his invitation to dinner if he lived closer to "hopefully get to know each other better and see if there is any chemistry to pursue things further. Despite the age difference."

When I didn't answer right away, he picked up on my hesitation and I mentioned that I would rather date someone within my age group, to experience new things together. Plus, saying "It's proven that women outlive men. So where does that leave me? You've already got a head start!" most likely didn't sit too well with him.

He got the point and I told him I'd only be available to offer a friendship, to which he gladly accepted.  He asked if I could keep an open mind about his thoughts regarding me.

Essentially, we began talking a bit more and sharing details about our families. When he continued to compliment, I asked why he was crushing on me, seeing as to how I was in Texas and he was all the way over in California. He admitted that he'd found me attractive 4 years ago, and that I had been on his thoughts from time to time.

When he asked me for the second time if there was anything about him that I found attractive, I decided to set my foot down.

"It's starting to bug me that you keep pushing the issue.  I said I could be friends, but it's evident that it's not going to work" I texted him.

Apparently, he must have understood me crystal clear, because his last message to me was "No problem Ren, my apologies! take care and have a wonderful day."

It's ok to fantasize, but not actually follow through with the fantasy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Men have become difficult

Just like men will say they don't understand women, I sometimes can't understand men either.
My labor day weekend was....... confusing, and it was all because of men.

Nate and I hung out on Friday night after my class at the college, and he decided to take me to the nice wine bar just down from his house. We had a great time. We tasted a variety of wines, cheeses and had scallops and ceviche. I don't think the meal could have been more perfect. It was past midnight, when we decided to leave. I was slowly gearing up to head back to his apartment, when his body slowly started leading me out towards the bar across the street.

"I feel like it's a waste to go to the bar, especially after the nice wines we just had" I told him.

"Come on, it's a ritual to go to the bar" he said as he grabbed my hand and walked up the stairs.

I told him not to get me anything to drink as I headed to the bathroom, saying that I would pick something when I came back. Already feeling tipsy, I wanted a break from the drinking. I came back a short while later, to find a Cosmo, and a J├Ągerbomb just for me. I sighed and let out a small hint of frustration.

I told him not to get me anything.

We talked out on the balcony, and continued drinking. At one point, Nate met up with some of the waiters that had been out at the Wine Bar and struck up a conversation with them. I was beginning to get very quiet because of how tired I was and Nate got mad.

"You're being mean right now. I'm the only one talking and you're not saying anything. Usually you're more talkative than this" he pointed out.

I calmly told him that I was tired, seeing as to how my day had started at 6:30 that morning, and that it was past 1:00 already. I wasn't ignoring him, I just didn't have the same amount of energy after all those drinks.

After finishing off the 4th drink at the bar (because he got me two more), we went back up to his apartment and I started getting ready for bed. I brushed my teeth and changed clothes and laid out on the couch. Nate came back with a red solo cup full of Lemon Drop. That cup is 16 ounces.

No way. I'm definitely not drinking this.

"I can't drink that. I just brushed my teeth" I told him.

"So?" Nate said, asking for justification.

"It's lemon, and I just had toothpaste in my mouth....." I said. Duh. "It's not going to taste good"

He gave me a look suggesting "And....?" and rolled his eyes and walked away.

I ended up dozzing off a few times during the dawn hours, with Nate trying desperately to keep me awake and get me to watch things online and on youtube.

"Come on, please wake up. I want to hang out with you" he commented. I did manage to get up a few times to watch what he wanted me to see, but would ultimately fall back asleep. At 5:00 am, Nate finally decided it was time to go to bed, and I crawled in to snuggle with him.

At 7:30, his phone starts beeping repeatedly, and I kindly ask him to turn it off. He opens his eyes, and completely ignores me.

Ok, he's drunk. Whatever. I took the phone, turned it off, and got my iTouch and started checking my messages and navigate towards Facebook. And that's when I notice it:



Around 3:30 am, around the same time he was talking about my status update for the wine bar, a sober man's thoughts became a drunk man's words.

I felt upset, and quickly said "I don't think this is going to work out" as he laid passed out next to me. I went into the bathroom, got my things together, and came back to wish him goodbye.

"I had a lot of fun with you, and don't regret anything at all. Take care" I said, as I gave him a kiss and headed for the door. He opened his eyes one last time, completely glazed over, and closed them back.

I went back to my apartment, a bit disappointed about the events of that evening, but determined that I wouldn't let it affect me. I thought about it for the remainder of the day, and on early Sunday morning, sent him the following text, knowing that he would be at work:

I hope you're having a good day at work. I can't explain how I felt about leaving you on Saturday. Saying "sad" doesn't quite justify it.  I had exciting times with you and am bummed not to have you there anymore. Big Hugs.

When I didn't receive a response for the rest of the day, I pushed it aside, and decided that he had spoken and was done with me. I went back to OKCupid, and began my "re-search."

****

The following day, a really cute guy named J contacted me, and we spent most of the afternoon texting and chatting online. After a while, we exchanged Facebook profiles to get a better look at each other and liked what we saw.

Around 9pm, as I'm chatting with J and talking with my mom, my phone starts ringing.  I check the caller ID and see "Nate."

WTF? Is this for real? Is he about to chew me out?

I answer the phone, and he gently greets me as usual. He asks me how I'm doing and what I've been doing this weekend, and then fills me in on what he did.

"Yeah so, I don't know when you sent me that text, and sorry for not replying sooner but..... I've been in jail this past weekend" he said.

"What?? What happened?" I ask him.

"Well, I went out on Saturday night with Renee (the neighbor), her boyfriend and her brother to the bar, and had a few drinks. We split ways when the bar closed, and I decided to get in my truck and go buy some cigarettes just down the street. Well, turns out there was a raid operation because of Labor Day weekend, and they were pulling over a whole bunch of people. I declined to do the field sobriety tests, and they took me into a mobile blood bank bus and withdrew blood, and yeah, well..... I got charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)"

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry" I admitted.

"It's ok, it's not your fault. It's mine" he said.

I don't know what I felt at that moment, but it wasn't anger, happiness, or fear. It was peace. Although having a DWI sucks big, I felt that this would possibly help control him and tone him down on his drinking, and become more responsible.  He had spent 30 hours in jail, and had been released earlier that Monday morning. He explained that he'd have to go to court on Friday, and would most likely plead guilty, and have his license restricted for 6 months, to driving to work only.

I asked him if he remembered what had happened on Saturday and if he knew why I'd left. He said he knew that it was because of his Facebook posting, but he never gave an apology, simply stating it had been what he felt at that moment. He said he hadn't talked or seen his ex since they'd broken up over the summer.  I asked him what he wanted with us, and if he wanted to keep it going.

He simply gave me the response "Let's just play it by ear."

Play it by ear? Does it look like I want to make music??

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quick update

I need to quickly update you before I go "away" (to Nate's) for the weekend.
Nate and I are still hanging out, despite having had a tense moment last weekend. Drunk, but tense in my opinion. I swear, a sober man's thoughts ARE a drunk man's words. Anyway.....

I must also admit that someone else came into the picture- someone who I wrote about this summer. An unexpected phone call came thru. (No it wasn't Sebastian....) And I have to say that although it's not quite possible to have things progress with this particular person, it definitely is a nice feeling to be paid attention to.

It's all due to a lack of options I must say....

[sigh]