Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't

Anyway, I went on a couple of pretty good dates with a guy about three weeks ago. I thought it unlikely things would work out (just as that's the norm - there wasn't anything specific that was off putting), but didn't see it as completely impossible either. He was going on vacation to visit family, and said he'd call/text regularly. He didn't. I figured that he Wasn't That Into Me, so didn't really bother to text/call either. I mean, eh, things happen, it had only been a few dates, who knows? Maybe he forgot, maybe he met his Dream Woman in the airport, whatever. Either way, I wasn't going to harass the poor guy on his rare trip to see his family if he wasn't going to reach out to me first.

Last night, I promptly got a series of texts about how apparently I didn't like him and he wouldn't bother me any more. WTF, dude? You didn't contact me for two weeks. I mean, I didn't contact *him* either, so fair enough, but why not just be like, "Hey, I'm back in town, want to grab drinks sometime this week?" Like, what's with the accusations?

I think I responded with something like, "Well...I didn't  hear from you, so figured you weren't interested, but would still be up for doing something..." just to get back *more* accusations and just. Yeah. No.

IDK. I feel like this whole thing is unwinnable. If I like someone and so make even the vaguest effort at pursuing him (asking him to do stuff, texting daily (this is like 1-2xs a day, not blowing up the phone), talking about the future in even vague ways - even if, y'know, he's speaking about the future in more *specific* ways), I'm ~*OMG, TOO CLINGY*~. But then if I *don't* do that, then I'm clearly disinterested and an icy bitch.

I give up. This whole dating thing is clearly unwinnable.

July is Booked!

Not completely booked but...yeah. Right now, I have a friend's party EVERY WEEKEND (sometimes both days of the weekend) BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF JULY.

This is kind of crazy.

A year ago, a friend at Sakura-Con saw me greeting person after person and said, "You're the most popular person in Seattle!"

I'm sure this isn't true. But it's...weird. I've been wildly unpopular my entire life, and now I'm actually having to turn down invites as I'm getting so many. It's...well, again, it's kind of weird.

I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing differently this time that's making the difference. My guess is this:

1. After things ended with Job, I pushed myself to do at least one social thing a week. I could do more, but I *couldn't* do less, no matter how much I wanted to stay indoors playing video games. This meant that I'd at least make an effort to make it swing dancing/board game playing/hiking/whatever. Which in turn meant that I'd go and occasionally meet someone. (Often I didn't, but then I'd leave early.)

2. I pushed myself to regularly organize and host things and invite basically everyone who might be interested to come along. This, too, resulted in making new friends (when people were brought along to stuff I organized) and strengthening existing bonds of friendship (when people showed up a second time at an event).

3. When someone invites me to something, unless I have a good reason not to be there, I show up. Even if I get two invites, if they're both 5 hour long events, I'll try to make it to both. Again, this strengthens friendships, shows I care about people, etc.

4. When I *do* show up, I always bring a bottle of wine and, if possible, something else. (A snack, flowers, whatever.) Again, I want to be perceived as a good guest rather than someone showing up just to get a free meal.

5. Also, at parties, while I talk to the host, I also make a real effort to meet new people, to befriend the person who's not talking to anyone else, ask people lots of questions about their interests, and to otherwise be a charming and friendly guest. Again, I want the perception to be that I'm a *good* person to invite to things, vs. someone who's going to act sullen and surly in the background.

6. When someone expresses an interest in something (hiking, tea, whatever), I make an effort to reach out to them particularly for an event that I'm hosting that corresponds to said interests.

It's weird in that I think some people (probably all the naturally popular people I was insanely jealous of in school) do this naturally. I don't. I really, really, *really* don't. But I kind of forced myself to interact with people, be gracious, etc. seems to be working. I have a lot of friends (who seem to genuinely want me to celebrate with them). I'm seen as outgoing, bubbly, and popular.

It's kind of surreal. But I guess it shows that persistence pays off?

Or maybe my charisma made a jump from like 5 to 14 somewhere in my early 30s?

Day Five - Valley of Fire

Before I left Zion, I checked out the "neary by attractions" board since, why not? Maybe there was something cool we could stop at. One, Valley of fire, was near Vegas (and on our way), and looked pretty cool. I mentioned it to E, who also liked the idea. But then, we made it by so late that it was closed.

The next morning, though, we woke up early. We had two choices for the morning. Explore Vegas or explore Valley of  Fire. Guess which we chose? ^_^

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Day Four - Zion!

After several days of hiking, E was quite worn down. I wasn't and really wanted to check out the signature hike of Zion - Angel's Landing! (Well, that or the Narrows, but the Narrows weren't exactly doable since snow melt off had massive flash flood warnings. So there.)

I had this fantasy of checking out Angel's Landing at dawn, so decided I'd wake up early, head out there, catch the morning light, then head back and have breakfast with E. We can all guess how well this went...

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Grand Canyon and Zion - Day Three - Zion!

The nice part about the drive from the Grand Canyon to Zion is that it's almost all through national park. You head along the south rim, then wind further off until you cross Navajo Bridge (passing by Antelope Canyon and Lee's Ferry along the way). Then you're on the north rim and not far from Zion whatsoever. It's a very scenic drive.

E is hanging out at one of the many stops along the way.

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If You Want to Ask Me Out, Ask Me Out

Ugh.  So over the last month, I've gotten at least several dozen comments like these from male "friends":

  • You're extraordinarily beautiful, we should hang out more (note without any indication of when/where/doing what)

  • We should totally give each other long massages (yeaaah....)

  • You're the most amazing person I've met. Smart, beautiful, interesting. You make me want to be a better person.

  • I'd sleep with any of my female friends. (*long pause*)

  • You're so accomplished! And gorgeous! And amazing! You're everything I'd want in a woman!

  • I'm really hoping to hang out with you more often in the near future! You're my ideal!

  • Your eyes are such a lovely color. I could lose myself in them.

  • Etc. etc.

And sure, it's flattering. It's also kind of creepy (basically being told, "Oh, yeah, I'd totally bang you." is still "I'd totally bang you" whether or not it's clouded in a compliment or random statement.) and every last one of them has been rejected. You know why? It's not because I am deeply committed to a life of celibacy. It's because what these guys are doing is obnoxious.

Ugh. Seriously guys? If you like me, ASK ME ON A FUCKING DATE. It's not that hard. Find something you (and I) would both like to do. Ask me to do it. Bonus points for paying (since nothing looks stingy like saying, "I'd love you to accompany me to a really awesome museum exhibit. Now cough up $10 for your ticket."), actually taking the time to find something I WANT to do, not including other people (since, yeah, NOT a date if there are 10 other humans there), and being charming the entire time. (Which none of the bulleted behavior IS.)

Another advantage of asking me on something THAT IS CLEARLY A DATE is that if I'm not interested I CAN SAY NO AND YOU CAN STOP FEELING LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO HINT MORE AND MORE STRONGLY AT SOMETHING THAT I'M IGNORING. (Since guys, I get it. I'm not as dense as I pretend to be. Just the truth is, even if it's someone I WANT to hook up with, I'm not going to based on one of the lines above, or a biweekly "hi, what's up?" sent to me via Facebook messenger. There are a number of reasons for this - but the primary one is that I want to feel like someone who's worth 15 minutes of planning and $20 in museum tickets (or whatever) vs. someone who people sleep with purely because she's breathing and what the hell, why not?)

Grand Canyon - Day Two - Rim to River (to Rim)!

Anyway, let it never be known that I'm sane. Or sensible. Or any of these things. Ahem. E and I decided that we'd do the grand tour from South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel trail head. Because we're crazy like foxes. Or, um, people who randomly jump off buildings for no reason. Your choice.

(I advised getting cool scarves before the descent, because you just never know how hot the canyon will be. I swear, not a double entendre. Anyway, my Mom - mistress of desert hiking - recommended that we soak them over night. We did and...woah were those scarves erect! It's amazing what you find hilarious at 3:45 in the morning as you get ready to get on a bus to get to a trail head to hike. Just, um, saying.)
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Grand Canyon - Day One - The Rim

After getting into Vegas the night before, E and I woke up very early to buy groceries and make it out to the Grand Canyon. The drive was typical desert loveliness (I think I liked it better than E, although he got to appreciate it towards the end), but nothing too spectacular. It took about four hours, but after that, we made it to the Grand Canyon, parked, and went out to have lunch at Maher point.

(I've had far worse views at lunch, just saying.)

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So the REI garage sale was today! I hit Redmond first and was pretty disappointed. There were some crappy chairs, some sleeping pads that weren't especially discounted, and other junk I didn't want. I looked at it all, decided no, and was about to leave when I passed by the bikes. I've been wanting a bike for a while. Probably not an REI quality bike (more a beater that I could ride to and from work, or around town if I felt so inclined), but eh, I was here...

As it was, there just happened to be a returned bike for $300 (what I was looking to spend), marked down from $700. I did a test ride and it handled like a dream, I guess why not? I  mean, I wanted a $300 bike...why not get a *really awesome* $300 bike?

Met up with J later in the day to hit the Seattle garage sale. My hopes were none too high. There wasn't much in Redmond...then again, Seattle was the flagship.

J showed up just before I was let in. The place was picked pretty clean, but there were still Nordic skis (my preferred type to buy, since honestly, I kind of prefer Nordic to alpine) as well as boots. I got a set for $100...which is pretty good since rental is like $50/trip. (And buying the whole set new would be more like $400, I think.) J found nothing other than a pair of gloves, which kind of sucked for him.

And yes, I am slowly becoming the little old lady who endlessly searches for sales, but eh. Almost 40. Gotta go with what I've got.