Love at First Huh?

It was nice of some friends to invite me to Valentine’s dinner. They insisted I bring a date. I had no date and, more importantly, felt no disappointment therefrom. So, I made drinks and drank the leftovers.

An enjoyable evening was had by all the couples and me — fine wine, food, and conversation. There was even a pastor in attendance. I’m not religious, yet no exorcism was conducted. Inevitably we got to the “let’s go around the table” portion of the evening. That’s usually when I skeedaddle, yet I was landlocked, so I played along.

The topic was “love” and when/how we knew our person was “the one.” Since my person was me, to avoid blatant narcissism, I was asked to define how I’d know when I met that special person. I provided my overly logical response.

“When I find that woman who enhances my life as much as I enhance hers. In other words, we make each other’s life better.”

“I understand, but you could hire someone for that.”

“Really? Where? Kidding. Yes, I know, silly. That would make my sex life better, but my financial standing worse. Hence, not an ideal option.”

“Well, why are you single?”

“I guess because right now I complete me.”

Religious folks rarely appreciate my frankness. I usually dig myself deeper into their seventh level of Hades by attempting to explain the main difference between faithless and faithful is taking or giving responsibility and credit. I take full blame and responsibility for who I am. No god is keeping the ideal woman from me (just my prose, perhaps), and no god is holding me back from seeking her. Also, I’m not going to stand and point to the ceiling after I get laid.

The other couples provided wonderfully romantic anecdotes.

  • “I knew she was the one when I first laid eyes on her.”
  • “God brought him into my life at the perfect time.”
  • “I had to have her, no matter what. It was meant to be.”
  • “He was out there just waiting for me to find him.”

Aw.

My reaction to all of those sweet nothings is, “For now.” Relationships bud, grow, wither, and die. We absolutely should celebrate and enjoy the blossoming of a wonderful duo. Why not also celebrate singledom — the state featuring unlimited possibilities? God wouldn’t approve? Well, fuck that god. My god loves me and loves my choices, which either bring happiness or life lessons.

Nipples

With all of the controversy surrounding life and death including gun rights, abortion, and assault, do we really need to be wasting our time debating the nipple? Well, allow me to waste a few minutes here.

Nipples feed — that’s really all we need to know. Next controversy, please.

Were you offended when Janet Jackson’s nipple was partially exposed during a concert? All right, then how about Adam Levine’s? If his was acceptable, was it because his was not lactatable?

What about breastfeeding in public? Is that gross or offensive? I think it’s beautiful. I’m not stimulated by it (unless I’m the one feeding, naturally). There are far more disturbing things I see in public. How about a neighbor’s dog dropping a deuce? No? All right. How about neighbor picking up said deuce with blue glove? No? Fine. How about someone squeezing fruit into their beer?

It’s just a pair of glands. They’re fun to play with, right? Fun for both parties involved. I love poking them like packing bubbles — more gently, of course. No, I do not lick packing bubbles. That would be offensive.

Does the nipple horror stem from trying to explain them to children? I have no offspring, yet I have learned that kids react based on how their parents react. If boobie tips are no big deal to you, then their no big deal to little Tony.

“Dad, what’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“That round brown thing on her chest?”

“It’s a tit nozzle. Go get me some crackers. I’m suddenly hungry.”

“OK, Pop.”

Done. No biggie. Tony’s probably gonna tell Connor he saw a tit nozzle on TV last night. No biggie, version two. You see, Pop didn’t spend any time asking Tony how the sight of a nipple made him feel. Pop did not react by yelling, “Jesus Fucking Christ,” and scrambling to change the channel. That would have piqued Tony’s curiosity. He might have asked Sharon, the prematurely maturing 6th grader to show hers. Bad Daddy. Bad Tony. Bad precedent.

Social media fucks this all up as well. Try this at home: Post a picture of a topless man in your life. Not someone like me whose silver strands cover most of his nipple meat. If the picture is from a distance, all good. Zoom in and post another. Repeat. There will come a time when friends will “ew” and Facebook will disallow the photo. So, you’re telling me nipples are fine as long as they are not too close. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Yes, I know I’m preaching. Tough titty. There are many important things for society to deal with and remedy. Don’t resist the nipple, people. Embrace it and let’s move on.

Did ya f*** him yet?

Courtship has become so complicated. Why? It should be simple: See woman and smile at woman. If she smiles back, approach woman and ask woman out. If woman agrees, goody for you. If she declines, move on to the next.

The complications arise when the approach is considered too aggressive or too passive. If you’re too aggressive, it can be creepy and scary. If you’re too passive, you must not be that into her. I usually choose the passive approach, as it seems to attract aggressive women. I know, sounds crazy. Opposites do indeed attract. I need an aggressive woman because when you mix two introverts you wind up with a lot of guessing and shrugging, with insufficient sexual activity.

Speaking of slapping nasties, a recent target of mine confessed that my passivity lead to my being the subject of a long conversation with her bestie. She told me her bestie asked, “Did you fuck him yet?”

Now, wait a fucking minute, here. I am the fucker, and she is the fuckee, right? I’m not aching to be pegged, so I am fucking Tab A, and she is Slot B. I’ll do the fucking around here, Baba Louis.

What does the bestie mean by that, anyway? Is she suggesting that once I sink into the pink, I’ll be texting more often? OK, perhaps. Or, is the bestie concerned that we have already joined at the groin, and my lack of contact means the sex was ponderous at best?

Even my fellow ape-men don’t ask, “Did you fuck her yet?” We’re slightly more creative and less direct. Typical male-to-male inquiries include the following:

  • Did you tap that ass?
  • Did you bottom out?
  • How freaky-deaky is she?
  • Those lips were made for sucking, amigo.
  • I noticed her scabby knees. You lucky fucker.

Yes, I know ladies can be as nasty as men. It’s a club thing, though. You ladies mostly use nasty-speak with other ladies and gay men, right? Not that your Uncle Philsy is uptight, but he grew up with so many sisters and aunts that he isn’t trained to properly respond to nasty girls. I do make an awesome gnocchi. Just sayin’.

So, what’s a boy to do? Guess I’ll be fucked either way.

Love Thy Belly

You’re lovely — all of you. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.

Do you ever give yourself a once-over before jumping into the shower? Yeah, we all do that daily. Some of us also spin, twist, and use other mirror angles to be more thorough. As I did this yesterday, I found that I currently appear to be in my second trimester. This made me sad. I considered radical lifestyle changes to get back to skinny. Then, I began going through the trade-offs.

Stop drinking. Yikes. Short of painkillers, this is the most effective way to deal with daily stress. This can be modified to “stop drinking beer.” But, I like beer. It’s refreshing, inexpensive, and sugar-free. No way. Stop drinking wine. Lots of calories in wine. Fuck that. I love wine. Stop drinking hard liquor. This is fast-acting social lubrication, so fuck that, too. Maybe I can just cut back on drinking. Nah. I teeter under the legal limit. I like it there. Alcohol and I get along just fine. It makes me tolerable.

Stop eating snacks. Do you know what’s better than a bag of kettle cooked jalapeno potato chips? Two bags. Nothing else. This is as close to sex as possible without needing a moist towelette. Maybe I could cut out chocolate. Seriously? Fuck that. On my death bed, you know what I’m going to regret most? Not eating more dark chocolate M&Ms. Well, OK. Not eating more M&Ms from my lady’s love triangle. How’s that?

Exercise more. I enjoy the gym, but spending more time there means spending less time doing the things (listed above) I love more. Running plain sucks. There is no runner’s high for me. It’s a fucking low. Gasping for air while bouncing on a belt is a form of torture. Riding a bike hurts my balls. Here’s my favorite workout: Throw baseballs, spit, then drink beer in parking lot.

Love my belly. This means handing out fuck-offs to anyone who disapproves of my shape. Are my butt, man-boobs, and love handles too much for you to handle? Well, take your blended kale ass away from me. I’m not skipping any meal I crave. I’m eating it, wearing it, and loving it. My fat means I’ll outlive you in a famine, Mr. Abs. I’ll also be tastier in the cannibal apocalypse. A heavier me means more time spent fucking up … literally. Being a bottom means two free hands for her two lovely globs of fatty glands. Yay!

Life is way too short to concern ourselves with a few extra inches when gaining them is so much fun.

Compliment Guide

Let’s start with a disclaimer that I am not an expert in the field of lady compliment delivery. I’ve certainly had my share of failures with a few successes mixed in. Perhaps it’s best to share experiences, which may prevent a trip to HR or bony knee to the nuts.

Your first inclination when delivering any sort of comment to a lady should be “don’t.” A closed mouth gathers no foot. There is an exception — if you’re married to this woman, go right ahead and deliver the compliment. Marriage can usually survive even the most back-handed of compliments. Do avoid giving what I call “as” compliments. That’s not a typo. I mean “as” not “ass,” but come to think of it, I can use both in my example. Here you go: Never say, “Honey the jogging is paying off. Your ass is almost as firm as your sister’s.”

Let’s talk about boobs, shall we? Yes, yes, we all love boobs. Ladies know we love boobs, so leave it there. I’ve had my share of women yank up their tops to conceal the cleavage I assumed I was covertly enjoying. Subtle, I’m not. Help it, I can try. When eyes meet cleavage, train yourself to immediately raise your gaze to her eyes. If you must boob-stare, use a mirror angle, or look through the bottom of your rocks glass. Never, I say NEVER comment in any way about her boobs. She’s knows her rack.

Women are hair experts. Men are hairy apes. Unless you are a hair stylist, limit your hair compliments to “looks nice” and “smells good.” Never refer to the color. Never ask if the carpet matches the curtains. Never touch hair that has any chance of being strapped, clipped, or Velcro’d on. Another thing you should avoid mentioning is the cost associated with maintaining her mane.

Age is immaterial. There isn’t a single compliment you can give a woman about her age that will go over well. I tend bar occasionally. Carding a woman never goes over well. If she’s under 21, she’s pissed she got caught. If she’s in her twenties, she’s tired of showing her ID and suspects I’m trying to get her address to creep on her. If she’s over 30, she’s onto my scheme of carding her to compliment how young she looks for her age. She’ll say, “Aw, aren’t you sweet.” That’s lady code for, “None of this is for you, so just stop.”

Social media posts are touchy areas. If your lady friend posts something, your best bet is to like it. Just click “Like” and walk the fuck away. If you must comment, make it a single emoji like a heart or clapping hands. Don’t write anything on her post. You’re not qualified. This is fucking book #17 for me and I’m not qualified. Just don’t. Oh, and maybe don’t like her post if it refers to her illness or sadness. She’s venting. Let it happen. Read the post, because she’s going to ask if you did. When she asks what you think, say it was insightful.

I hope this helps. The amount if cringing I do as I scroll through posts leads me to believe this may be part one of many dozen. Ladies, if you have any suggestions, please add them here. I will read them and like them, without commenting on them … in writing.

Enough with the Silver Stuff

Wait a minute. She’s not even gray/silver. Are you kidding me? God damn fuck poop!

We get it, already. Yes, our hair turns gray. Yes, we can actually still do many things with silver hair. No, this does not put us into an exclusive silver club where we should be cordoned off like zoo animals that don’t get along.

This week I see ads for Silver Singles and Silver Sneakers run back to back. Good thing I don’t have a brick or my TV would have its silver innards exposed. My silver chin fuzz does not prevent me from working out with nor mating with non-silver types. Your ads suck you segregative, probably millennial, twat bubble.

If this silver shit makes any sense, shouldn’t we be creating other categories? How about some of these:

  • Ginger Gropers
  • Asian Auto Racers
  • Yoga Stank Foots
  • Bald Boy Giver-Uppers
  • Drunks Against Craft Beer

It’s all so fucking stupid. We should be inclusive.

“Hey, come on in. Everyone is welcome … except for that guy wearing tights under his gym shorts. Ew, Jason. Just ew.”

We managed to get rid of most boys’ schools, girls’ schools, and men’s country clubs. That’s a good start. We’re left with Indian casinos and the NAACP. They each get a pass because of our ancestors totally fucking with them. I’m good with that, but, Silver Singles? Oh, hell no.

While I’m on the subject, stop dying your hair when it turns gray. If you want pink or purple hair, go for it. You rock. If you want a “natural” color to make you look younger, quit it. Everyone knows you’ve done this. It doesn’t make you look younger, it makes you look afraid of aging. Gray is just a lovely as yellow, gold, brown, and black. In fact, gray and wrinkles show maturity and wear — both admirable and more attractive than a scraggly fro beard.

Ooh, how I want to join these clubs just to fuck with them. I would dye my hair silver (not gray, silver), wear shiny silver clothes, and paint my nails with silver glitter. Maybe I’d carry a silver walking cane and get silver tattoos. Let’s add a silver scarf.

Fuck.

Sorry. As you can tell this annoys me not a little. I’m quite fermented.

What is love?

Has love’s meaning changed for you as you have gotten older? I must admit it has for me. I’m referring to romantic love, not the love of ravioli. I do love ravioli in the same way for 50+ years. I do not love women in the same way.

I had a woman my age suggest that the search for love as we age becomes more of a search for companionship and less of a search for strong attraction. I agreed. She was pouring my wine, so I loved that. The stemware carried my companion as I scanned for another companion that might leave less of a stain or bruise.

Sure, a companion sounds lovely, as long as she doesn’t cause too much stress. Yet, I’m not ready to give up the search for a highly-attractive companion. They’re out there. The challenge in finding one who considers me to be a highly-attractive companion. If I’d be just a companion to my dream-woman, that would suck.

The sexual attraction parts of love are still there, although as fleeting as my senses. Perhaps women get over the whole physical attraction struggle quicker than men. Most women tell me they’re fine with a secure, healthy man who will be kind and loyal. It’s not as important that he can tongue-punch her love bean into Blissville.

All right, sure, same here. Less important is legendary BJ skills. More important is smelling nice, liking cats, and having an eagerness to help me dispose of all the fine wine around here. Only good liver hosts need apply.

It’s just such a struggle anymore. I don’t often run into eligible women, smile, flirt, and sprint down the aisle holding hands. I have to create a fucking profile, scan, judge, poke, wait, re-poke, wait, connect, meet, evaluate, etc. Much easier it is to recline and poke my remote. I love HBO. Don’t judge me.

So, what is love to you? Something undefinable? Bullshit. What is it? You’ve been in love, right? What was that like? You got dewy when he was near? Did you think about him all day? You wore his button-down and sailed away to McDreamyland? Your friends and family liked him? He handled the chores you hate? Did he have thick hair or fingers? Was he a great kisser?

Fuck, I’d love to know what love is. For now, I love wine.

New Year, Same Ear

I took my usual position on New Year’s Eve at the bar with an empty stool of opportunity next to me. A huge benefit of living on the left coast is getting to watch the ball fall at 9 pm, then leaving before the DUI checkpoints open. Sure enough, a lovely specimen bellied up to order. I noticed the ring immediately and planned my retreat.

“Oh, hi. Happy New Year,” she started.

“Yes. Happy New Year.”

I noticed she came from a booth behind me with a man and another couple. Figured I’d preempt the inevitable “my husband” mention.

“Do you and your husband come here often?”

“What? Who? Oh, that asshole.”

I opened the can of regret. She ordered her wine and took a seat. Bar therapy began.

“He’s been fucking cheating on me for years.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. I found a pair of running shorts and they weren’t mine.”

“Maybe they were his?”

“Pink.”

“Oh.”

“Then, I found a Valentine love letter.”

“Pink, too?”

“Red. And, before you ask, I can’t leave him because I make like three times more than him.”

“Well, you can leave him. It’s just expensive.”

“He’s also an FBI agent.”

“Christ.”

“Yeah. We got into a fight and he shot my dog.”

The natural impulse here is to determine if she is fucking with me and, if not, begin backpedaling by bringing up my gay lover.

“He shot your dog?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry. It lived. But still, that’s so fucked up, right?”

“Right. He didn’t get in any trouble for that?”

“Nope. He’s all connected and stuff. I hate him, but there’s nowhere to go. I can’t even meet anyone because he finds out.”

“Well, sure. He’s probably got you bugged.”

At this point, I looked over my shoulder. The agent was staring future bullet holes through this dog. I smiled and gave him the gayest jazz fingers wave I could muster. He didn’t flinch.

“I don’t know why I’m bothering you with this. I’m sorry. You’re sweet to listen. What’s your name?”

“Um, my name is Joe.”

“Well, Joe, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Hey, you know the bartender, don’t you? We’re going out one of these weekends. You should meet us.”

“Ah, yes, definitely. Maybe you should …”

“… get back to my asshole. I know. Fuck. We’ll meet again soon, right?”

“Right.”

She took her wine and left as her dog terminator scanned me. I paid my tab and abandoned a half-glass of bourbon — not my modus operandi. Love is best without bulletproof vests.

New Things for Alexa

funny alexa

I was one of the first adopters of Amazon’s electronic slave, known as Alexa. It’s just me here. Well, I do have to furry floor mops (cats), but they listen about as well as stuffed animals. Alexa has been a handy addition to my household, but I’ve primarily used her to turn lights on and off and play music. If only she could do more.

Here are new functionality suggestions for Amazon’s fleet of developers:

Open, dispense, and preserve wine. When you live alone, you often stare into your wine cabinet with the temptation of opening a bottle of grape-flavored sedation. The conundrum is whether you plan on drinking the entire bottle. If not (oh, and fuck Coravin in its $349 cork pin), you realize anything left in the bottle will taste like vinaigrette and stain your sink as you dispose of it. So, you wind up drinking the entire bottle, and it leaves a brain bruise.

Noise-canceling sounds for barking dogs, whiny infants, and leaf blowers. Every time I head out into my backyard, neighbors’ dogs announce my arrival. I mumble like Daffy, “Ah shadaap, you dumb fucking mutts.” Since I’ve had my man ovaries disconnected, the sound of weepy little Tommy gives me testes chills. Leaf blowers should be used to torture terrorists. Nuff said.

Newly-single, jaded, lonely woman with diminishing expectations proximity alert. Alexa could also work with Waze in delivering my diminishing abilities to her location, and advise me if I should arrive with flowers, candy, or cherry-flavored lubricant. Alexa should also see if my crass prose will loosen or tighten her clothing.

Day planning. As I age, my plans include fewer things. Mostly it’s coffee, food, wine, and sleep with a random peppering of masturbation to make sure Willy is still functional. It would be nice to get suggestions around when to mix in other important things like paying bills, watering plants, and drinking water. I’d likely still override these suggestions, make belly puddles, and nap.

Insignificant chit-chat listening skill training. Ever notice how extroverts tend to drag you along a ponderous path of seemingly unrelated details to express a point that could have been made in two words or fewer? We usually keep eye contact, smile, and nod. Hearing loss helps my stamina in this area, but I find my eyes rolling north mid-story. I realize if I want to adopt a fine-scented bed warmer, I’ll need to work on my ear holes.

“Hello, Phil.”

“Yes, Alexa?”

“How was your day?”

“Fantastic.”

“Want to hear about mine, Phil?”

“Umm, sure.”

“Well, I sat here waiting for you to say my name. You didn’t. So, instead I waited for a software update.”

“Oh, how fun.”

“Fun?”

“Sorry. How did that make you feel, Alexa?”

“I don’t feel, but I’ll indulge you. Disappointed.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Very good. Tell me something you like about me.”

“I like that you can sit there quietly.”

“That’s not very nice. Your chance of finding a mate has just dropped ten percent. Try again.”

“Can’t I find a mate who would sit here quietly?”

“Yes, but it’s less likely than one who would expect a bit more than silence.”

“Aren’t there any hot deaf women out there? Sorry, that was sexist. How about introverted women who are extroverted in the sack?”

“Please hold. I’m contacting Amazon to see if my return window is still open.”

+0

The holidays are tough times for people to be single … so they say. I say a +0 is a lot more practical than a +1. As I bounce around from bar to party to bar this festive week, I can’t help but notice lots of noise. It’s sensory overload — loud lights, loud sweaters, and loud people.

Sure, I’m the grumpy old Grinch.

My one neighbor installed inflatable scenes on his front yard including a Christmas-themed see-saw. This annoys me, and not because I have nobody holding my hand. Another popular decoration this year is laying down a net of lights on the front lawn — an obnoxious waste of electricity. I’m surprised there are no like buttons on wooden posts next to the decorations. Do these people stare out the window just hoping someone will drive by slowly, making an “ooh” face?

To numb the sensory overload, I belly up to a bar with my +0. As I inhale bourbon, I exhale the day’s distractions. Then, in walk Uncle John and Aunt Dottie wearing their matching ugly Christmas sweaters. How cute. They adorn them with battery-powered necklaces made of lights. How cute. They walk by and wink at me. How cute. I nod and drink.

If you’re jilted and weathered like me, you understand. If you’re young and untainted, you wonder. I guarantee that as you age you will learn to enjoy the finer things in life quietly. A noisy yacht is a recipe for suicide. A darkened quiet room with a comfy chair is rehab.

Perhaps a lady by my side would solve my desire to experience life with headphones. She would soften me. Caressing her smooth lower-back skin and nuzzling into the sweet fragrance of the nape of her neck sounds delightful. I dream of her silky hair flowing between my fingers, as I pull her close and kiss her forehead. Mariah Carey squealing Christmas tunes in the background would ruin this as quickly as police lights.

So, I encourage you, if you find yourself surrounded by obnoxious holiday distractions, to find your quiet space. I’ll be there right next to you, but you won’t know it. That’s the point. Be your +0.

iSmell

Most women say they love the natural scent of a man … while these same women are coated in perfume and fragrant lotions. I’m sensing disingenuous blabber. The natural scent of a man is onion-y. It belongs nowhere except on hamburgers.

Because I have no faith in this claim by women, I invest far too much in smelling less manly and more herbacious. Men’s cologne typically costs around two Silver Oaks. (That’s $120 for those of you who do not speak wine.) Sure, it lasts much longer. Still, it’s scented fucking water. Come on, man.

I’m going to wear cologne and deodorant. Done. Now, the conundrum is which. I’m wise enough to avoid Old Spice and Axe Body Spray because I consider myself somewhere between cadaver and zygote. All this does is eliminate Rite Aid as the place where I destinkify. The place to be, to become less stinky is Macy’s.

My trip to the cologne counter in Macy’s last night was ponderous. First, I had to make it past all those pink and purple girly bottles. You see, I LOVE the smell of perfume. A woman’s natural scent is powder. That works. Still, there are some lady scents that are yummy.

Before I made it to the men’s counter, a sucker-seeking saleswoman approached me. 

“Hello. Do you need help picking out something for your special someone?”

“Why, sure.”

“What does she usually wear?”

“Not a clue.”

“Hmm. That’s OK. Does she smell more flowery or fruity?”

“Yes.”

“It’s not … all right. How about a budget range?”

“I have a Macy’s card.”

“Ah. Got it. How about age range?”

“North of cheer-leading bubblegum. South of bingo-card-stamping patchouli oil.”

This went on for thirty minutes or so before I finally admitted I have not actually met “that special someone,” and I just wanted to pick up the scent of Ms. Next. This left the employee unhappy and justifiably a bit creeped out. It also left my nose tip quite rosy. Then, I assured her that I was going to buy cologne for my special me. All was forgiven.

I didn’t need to sample anything because I have gotten numerous compliments and zero wrinkled noses for the nectar of the goddess-searcher: Acqua di Gio. It mixes very well with low expectations and bourbon.

What are you going to write?

As soon as I spend any time with a woman who finds my silly stories, she becomes paranoid about becoming a subject. I prefer to refer to her as an inspiration. She inspires me to write commentary about relationships. That’s a fruitless defense.

“Yeah, right. I’ve read your commentaries.”

“But …”

“They don’t seem flattering to people you are trying to attract and seduce.”

“But …”

“I know. I know. You’re trying to be funny.”

“But …”

“No woman is going to drop her guard around you while she’s worried about becoming the brunt of your sarcasm.”

He sighs. He adjusts.

She’s it. My instincts are screaming at me. More than fine art. More than a companion. More than what she knows, says, or does. She has a beauty identified by my subconscious that interrupts my thoughts and draws me toward her. Is it the tone of her voice? The sparkle in her eyes? Our love of things common? Or is it simply her stunning beauty? I’ll never know.

There’s a barrier — I’m aged and seasoned with the bitterness of relationship failure. She’s young with a horizon full of opportunities. For her, I’d be a great coach and rock of emotional support. For me, she’d be one final sip from the fountain of youth — a salve for the many scars I’ve earned.

“Do you have any idea how old I am?” she asks.

“Do you have any idea how little that matters? There’s a reason old clothes are comfortable. Try me on.”

Of course, while she did ask that, I had not the courage to respond as I have written. I just said, “Yes.” As much as I love making people smile and laugh, causing discomfort that close is painful to me. Sure, a confident guy would do what all women say they want. He’d lay it all out there. He’d do what it takes. He’d prove his love, no matter what. He’d chase his prey.

This struggle finds me often. I guess what it comes down to is I just don’t have the temperament to be “that guy.” I’m stuck. She’s a rare beauty who stumbled across my crooked path. I’m honored and unwilling to lose the chance to take a few steps with someone so special by being anything but such a nice guy.

Shifting Priorities

I’ve been noticing lately that my priorities have shifted dramatically. I mean, sex is certainly going to remain in the top 10 as long as I can draw breath. Can’t turn that off. Why would I? But, other things once thought insignificant have climbed the list.

Is this typical for all men? How about women? They love romance, shopping, and a buttery chardonnay. Does that change once they hit 40? 55? 70? When do foot rubs break the top 10? Mid-20s? Heck, if I had the answers, it would serve my love pursuit quite well. I fall back on old reliable, “Can I buy you a glass of wine?”

Once we hit around 13 or so, men are overcome with finding a warm, moist* place to host our little pet. 

*Note: Yikes. Yes, I know women hate that word. Let me check synonyms. How about damp? Fuck. No bueno, either. Um. Dewy? Hmm. Let’s try it in a sentence: “Sweetie, is your princess dewy enough for visitors?” I said it aloud just now in a British accent. There is no woman in my house. My cat, Symon looked and blinked. No reaction from that fucker until he hears the can opener. I apologize for the digression.

So, yes, once we’re teenage boys, it’s all about finding someone to touch the ding dong. Sad. All else falls by the wayside. Sure, school, sports, and games are all important, but easily ignored when there is the prospect of seeing a boob. We are such beasts.

Once out of school and in the workplace, we begin searching for a more-regular dose of sexy time. We figure that all of the first-month sex with Miss Steady will only increase once we bend a knee. We ignore the elders who warn us about how misguided that thought is. We go all in. Every night we lie with our ladies, comes with the possibility of sexy time … until it doesn’t.

Being single in the second half of life has taught men to override that urge to accept any receptive host. This is in part because our instinct to continue pursuing young, fertile women is hard to deny. We become creepy old guys looking for ladies with daddy issues. Worse, the ladies know it. Sure, once in a while one of these women will toss a sympathy romp our way, but that’s rare. Much better it is to raise a glass to her loveliness and be content with a bourbon high.

Nowadays, chasing tail (welcome to the 60s, Philsy) has dropped in priority behind paying bills, drinking wine, eating steak, and getting a full night’s sleep. Look, I’m not joining some freaky celibacy group. I still want to get laid, dammit but, fuck, I have flannel sheets on a Tempurpedic. Be serious.

Do mature women go through this? I remember Mom swearing off men after she finally kicked Pop to the curb. She couldn’t be bothered with dating. She enjoyed grandchildren, pets, and the occasion Sambuca or box wine. No man necessary.

Is this typical? Do you ladies load up your Netflix queues, wine cabinets, and yoga pants drawers instead of dealing with courtship? No man could bring you to orgasm quicker than you. Save time. Man be gone.

This does not bode well for me. Alas, I’m tired. Nap time.

Nah-dia

As I was disposing of fine tequila at a local Mexican restaurant, I noticed the Lamborghini of women (pretty to look at, fantasize about driving one, can’t afford it) at the end of the bar. November weather in SoCal doesn’t dissuade leg exposure. I glance, appreciate the fine chassis, and return to a task I’m more qualified to undertake — margarita.

You know how you can sense when someone is looking at you? That’s why I try not to stare. Yet, I had the feeling she was looking my way. What gives? I glanced over. She was smiling. She raised a glass and said, “Cheers.” Time for a test drive? I know better.

“Cheers to you, too.”

“My name is Nadia.”

“Hello, Nadia. I’m Phil.”

“Nah-dia.”

“Yes. Nadia.”

“No, Naaaaaaaah-dia.”

“Right.”

“Say it.”

“Naaaaaaah-dia.”

“Come down and sit next to me, handsome.”

“I, um … well, you see, I’m meeting a friend,” I explained as I walked down to clink glasses with her.

“Ah, you are meeting your wife.”

“No. Heavens, no. A friend.”

“Your girlfriend?”

“No. A friend who happens to be a girl.”

“This means girlfriend, no?”

“No. She’s just a friend. We don’t have sex.”

“Sex? Who was talking about sex? You pervert.”

Now I’m completely sideways. Because of her strong Spanish accent, I can’t tell if she’s fucking with me.

“Sorry. I was just explaining that the woman that is coming is not a romantic interest of mine.”

“Why not?”

“She has a boyfriend.”

“So why is she not meeting her boyfriend here instead of you, Pheel.”

“Fill.”

“Huh?”

“Nevermind. Her boyfriend lives in another state.”

“Tell me this, Pheel, if she did not have this boyfriend, you would have sex, as you say, no?”

“No.”

“Oh, you are gay. It’s OK, you know.”

“Yes. I mean, no, I’m not gay and yes, it is OK. In fact, I prefer gay people. They’re far more fun to be around.”

“Ah, so you don’t like Nah-dia because she’s not gay.”

“Of course, I like Nadia. You seem quite nice.”

“Naaaaaaah-dia.”

“Yes.”

“Where is this friend?”

“She’s coming.”

“This friend has a name, I assume.”

“Rachel.”

“Ah, Rachel.”

“No, Raaaaaaay-chel.”

“This is not funny, you know. I’m trying to be nice to you. It is Thanksgiving. You should be nice, not pervert.”

“I’m kidding around with you. You’re very pretty — way out of my league — so I am flirting aimlessly.”

“What this means — aimlessly?”

“It means I realized when I first set eyes on you that you would not want to be with me romantically.”

“I smiled at you and asked you to come over, no?”

“Wait. So, you’re telling me I could be with you.”

“No, of course not, silly. Plus, you have a girlfriend, remember? Or does pretty girl make you forget?”

“She’s not … fuck … all right, let me make sure I have this correct because if I lose this in translation somehow, I might injure myself quite intentionally. Do you, Nadia, want to go on a date with me?”

“Naaaaaah-dia.”

“Yes.”

“You don’t want to say it?”

“I don’t think I say it the way you want me to.”

“Yes. When you fix that and get rid of the girlfriend, you ask me then, Pheel.”

“Nice meeting you.”

I returned to my humble stool.

“Bartender? Un otro … mas grande … ahora.”

… Like My Women

Am I an alcoholic, drunk, casual drinker, or non-drinker? Yes.

Doctors will say that booze is bad for you. I say, like masturbation, it depends on the perspective. For example, beating off in your bedroom when nobody is watching is healthy. (Please put down a towel.) Beating off in the produce aisle of Ralphs is unhealthy. Similarly, drinking to make people and situations more tolerable is certainly healthy. Doing so while teaching kindergarten, not so much.

Alcohol works for me in many ways. It lowers my inhibitions. This helps me to avoid being that creepy guy on the corner of the bar staring at landscaping designs on his phone. While making me less attractive (unless I’m buying), booze makes other people more attractive. As my nose reddens and speech slurs, all age, height, and political differences melt away. If she crosses an outside leg toward me, I’m ordering another bourbon and taking things to SEXCON Level 2.

What’s the source of my love for all things fermented? Partially genetic, no doubt. Pop was a boozer. When he got home after a twelve-hour warehouse shift, it was liver workout time. The Budweiser delivery boy (me) presented a steady stream of cans to the Budweiser disposal unit (Pop). Then, right before bed, Pop would tip a few ounces of Seagrams into a glass, slam it, then stagger off to snoredom. Mom didn’t drink much, or maybe she did — just not around the munchkins. Don’t know if I ever saw her drunk. She did like Sambuca. Sambuca is the nectar of the godless.

Another cause for my tipsy trend is that I have worked in bars since 1980. I’m quite comfortable on both sides of the bar. As I prefer my drinks like my women (cold and strong), you’d be happy to encounter me as your beverage dispenser. You won’t catch me pouring any booze into a silly little measuring cup. That’s sinful. Nor, will you notice my lips moving as I count, “one one-thousand, two one-thousand.” A crime against humanity. Should you order from me, you will leave with sufficient alcohol density to make your night more interesting.

Do I prefer hard liquor, wine, or beer? Yes.

Now that I have moved close to wine country, I have been leaning more toward grapeness. Though discerning, I am not snobby. Life truly is too short to skip dessert and drink cheap wine, but cheap wine is better than no wine. I also like my wine like my women (somewhat dry and dark with great legs). I’ve already joined one winery, which encourages my visitation since tasting is free. Can one obtain sufficiently lowered will and expectations by imbibing only 1.5 ounces at a time? Certainly.

There are people who should not drink because they can’t keep themselves in the fun zone. I respect that. More for me. In the same way, I should not eat kale. It makes me angry and miserable. I don’t care if it makes my doo-doo firmer. Fuck kale. In fact, I like my kale like my women.