Follow-up: Romantic Joy and a Cookie

This is a follow-up post to one from Wednesday of this week, where I expressed eagerness and excitement about seeing a man again.

I expressed happiness that my guard wasn’t up. There isn’t a thing about this guy that is making me nervous.

Our evening together on Wednesday was wonderful. He’s an absolute delight to spend time with.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner together. When we were considering dessert, I mentioned how much I had been craving a chocolate chip cookie all day. As we got up from dinner, he jokingly said, “Let’s go find you a cookie.” I jokingly replied, “Okay, Cookie, let’s go.” I was quite purposefully being ridiculous.

My goodness, though. He loved it. His face lit up with joy and adoration.

I’ve called him Cookie a few times since, mostly via our text conversations. It makes him melt every time. And making him melt then turns me to goo. It’s revolting how incredibly cute he is.

The nicknames for him that I’ve thought of for use in this blog haven’t felt suitable. With the other men I’ve mentioned (the sexy professor, the dogwalker, Benedict Cumberbatch), the nicknames came to me easily.

None of the nicknames I’ve thought of for him yet have seemed quite right. But, apparently, he’s going to be Cookie.

It doesn’t feel like a truly appropriate nickname. It has nothing to do with his appearance, or profession, or anything obvious. And yet, he likes it, and the degree to which he does absolutely delights me. Thus, Cookie it is.

After dinner, it didn’t feel at all uncomfortable or odd to decide to walk the few blocks to his apartment.

(See “Safety Habits for Online Dating” section below.)

We had been talking about the story arc in season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it prompted wanting to re-watch the pilot episode together.

Screenshot showing online chat with friends, letting them know where the Muppet lived.
Alerting friends to location is a must. As is letting them know when I’m drinking wine from a winery we all love (Zerba Cellars).

He walked me back to my car at around 10. Upon arriving home, I was so elated about how enjoyable the evening had been that it took a long while for me to settle down and get to sleep.

There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and noticing daylight streaming in around the edges of your curtains when you know your alarm was supposed to go off before the sun came up.

Sure enough, I’d overslept by two hours. It was 8am, and I had an important meeting to get to at 9am.

Thus began an incredibly frenzied day. I didn’t shower that morning. I threw some clothes on, wrapped my hair into a quick french twist, tossed some makeup in the air and hoped it landed on the right spots on my face, and ran out the door. I was on time to my meeting, but just barely.

The day did not calm down much after that.

I had plans to get together with a different new guy after work. His nickname is easy: the Runner, simply because he’s an avid runner. I’ll write more on him some other time. Nice guy, though. I’m sure I’ll see him again sometime soon. I was not in top form for a date, but it went fine, all things considered.

I got home around 7pm, sat down on my couch, and took a deep breath and relaxed for the first time since waking up.

It had already been a week when my brain was feeling fried. In part, this is because I haven’t yet gotten back into good habits with my sleep schedule after the chaos of the holiday season, even though it’s been weeks since the holiday season ended.

But also, it’s that time of the month, and that often causes me to feel burned out in and of itself. It’s fairly common for me to be emotionally off during this time. I tend to be sad, to think less of myself, to be quick to upset. And behaving in a somewhat normal way, being the fun, quick-witted version of me that I am during other phases of my cycle, requires a lot of energy.

Wednesday evening with Cookie was relaxing and nice. Thursday, however, was far from being a relaxing or nice day. He texted me a few times, but until after 7pm my response time was consistently a good 90 minutes or more. That’s not usually the case with me.

After 7pm, when I was able to respond more promptly, my brain was so fried that I was barely able to communicate anyway. The brief exchange we had was awkward.

I tried to make up for it on Friday morning, and we had a nice exchange then. But on Friday night, I was tired, feeling emotional, and really just wanted quiet cuddle time if I was going to engage with him at all. He texted, I texted back, the conversation was weird, it didn’t last long.

It’s clear to me that I embody the Wise Woman archetype right now. I am focused inward. I am sensitive. I am emotional. I am slower and calmer, and, unfortunately, I don’t have interest or ability to participate in the silly, irreverent, or intellectual topics that have become the usual dynamic with Cookie.

The 4 Seasons of a Woman’s Cycle

Today, Saturday, I am sad and upset.

However, while it might feel as though the cause is things with Cookie having been a little weird over the past few days, I know that’s not the actual reason. The truth is I would feel this way regardless, and if I’d never met him, there would be some other thing in my life that would feel like the cause.

This is simply how I am right now. In a few days, a different version of me will emerge. I will be playful again and far more flirty.

Old me likely would have struggled against these feelings I’m having now and tried far too hard to appear as though things were okay, which would inevitably have resulted in things actually not being okay, rather than me just imagining them to be so.

New me is taking a step back and honoring my current state. I’ve set social media and texting habits aside for the day. I’m doing a bit of writing, and then I will lie on the couch and watch movies. I’m thinking Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia 2 will fit the bill nicely. Perhaps I’ll open some wine later. Who knows.

The point is, there isn’t anything about Cookie that is causing any yuck for me. There isn’t anything about him making me nervous or making me feel bad.

I am feeling yucky because it’s the stage in my menstrual cycle when I feel yucky. Cookie has nothing to do with it. It’s a tough thing to remember and internalize. I’m working on it.

Safety habits for online dating:

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  • I have two friends in a Facebook Messenger chat who have agreed to be my safety people. I alert them any time I’m going on a date. I like for there to be two friends, so any potential burden is spread between them rather than one feeling they always have to be “on duty” any time I’m going out.
  • My date alert includes the following information:
    • Name,
    • Photo(s),
    • URL for the gentleman’s profile page,
    • Location and time of date,
    • Time to expect a check-in from me.
  • My set check-in time is usually two hours after the date’s start time.
  • If the guy and I decide to go to a second destination, I always let my friends know where we’re going. (Going to someone’s home, as I did with Cookie, was a first. As soon as we got there I asked him the name and address of the apartment building and let him know I had to do a check-in with my friends “or they would get worried.” I’m sure there’s some truth to that statement, but for the most part, it just seemed wise to let him know I was letting others know where I was.)
  • Lastly, I reach out as soon as I get in my car to let my friends know when I’m on my way home.
  • I don’t make any attempt to hide any part of this from the guy. I feel no shame about any of it. In fact, I see it as a litmus test. If he judges me negatively for taking actions that make me feel safe, that tells me a lot about the kind of person he is.
  • Note that I do all of this EVERY SINGLE TIME. I never, ever, act on thoughts like, “Oh this guy is totally safe, I’m sure I can skip this one thing.” Note, however, I have those thoughts every single time. If there was anything about a situation that didn’t feel safe, I wouldn’t be in it. And yet, what is the likelihood that someone unsafe would be open about being an unsafe person? Thus, even though it often feels a little silly and like total overkill, I follow the same safety habits for the first few dates with every guy I meet.

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[Postscript: “the Runner” ultimately became known as Goatee Guy.]

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