Monday, August 24, 2009

The Tax Accountant Manager

The day after my date with Mr. Teacher, I go on date with another someone new. This guy is the manager of a bunch of tax accountants. I’m sure there are some jokes in there somewhere, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

Anyways, he picks me up and we go off to the climbing gym. He’s a pretty avid climber but needs to get back into it after an injury-induced two-month vacation. At first I get the impression that he might be a show-off, but as the day goes on, I change my mind.

Mr. Tax Accountant Manager is actually a very laid-back, sweet, simple man. He loves to spend time in the mountains, grew up in the hills with Native American friends who took him to the sweat lodge a lot of weekends. After school, he’d saddle up a horse and ride or go out on his own to do some fishing. He said when he first started climbing, they didn’t have any of the gear they have now-he had to go out with his hammer and pound the gear into the rock.

It’s hard to explain the connection we seem to have. There’s nothing exactly concrete I can put my finger on, but it just feels comfortable to be around him. My heart does a little leap when I mention something about my meditation practice and he says something in response that sounds like he is truly on the same page spiritually.

There’s a nice even mix between the depth and the goofiness. I get the sense that here’s a guy who could handle my silly side and has a healthy dose of it himself.

After climbing, he takes me out to lunch. We spend some time talking about some “real” life issues we’ve had going on. I love the way he openly shares of himself and love even more the way he listens. I also love looking into his eyes. You could say that I am, in a word, twitterpated.

This becomes evident when he takes me home and I, usually being a bit shy in these types of situations, pull him in for a good-bye kiss. I don’t know who is more surprised by this-him or me. But, life is too short to always play by the rules. It was nice to feel like I could let myself fall a little knowing there are other fish in the sea-some of whom I also have a good connection and attraction with.

Who knows where this will lead. Perhaps I will never hear from any of them again. In that case, it will still be a blessing just to have the chance to experience these moments. I feel very lucky to be where I am. When I walk into the house, my roommate immediately asks me what’s going on. The huge grin on my face says it all….

The Teacher

On my way to meet this guy, I get stung in the neck by a wasp. This makes me wonder what the date will be like, but mostly I’m in too much pain to think about anything else. I suddenly have a killer headache too.

Two minutes later, I pull up to Meade Street Station where I am meeting Mr. Teacher. He’s waiting for me with open arms, ready to give me a hug as I’m locking up my bike. I explain to him right away why I’m not in the best of spirits. He seems appropriately sympathetic, but there is nothing to be done to take the pain away except wait it out.

We go in and order some lunch which still tastes delicious despite my grumpiness. Mr. Teacher is just an all-around good guy. He has on a cap like the one my grandpa used to wear. In fact, in many ways, he reminds me of my grandpa. This is a good thing in the sense that my grandpa is one of the nicest guys you’d ever know. But, it sort of precludes me from wanting to date the guy if I’m thinking of him like my grandfather.

So, we have a pleasant lunch but the fire isn’t there. I let him know a couple of days later (when he calls for a second date) that I have found someone else I am more connected to. I wish him luck. I hope he understands.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Doctor

Mr. Doctor picks me up for our second date soon after I arrive home from work. He mentions that it smells like something was baking and I have to confess that I have a slight addiction to chocolate chip cookies.

We decide to go for a hike up Green Mountain. Because of all the rain we've been getting this year, the mountain truly is green. He asks me some good questions that take a little time for me to answer. I try to do so without showing that I am low on breath climbing up the hills. He uses this trail as his daily running course.

Once we get to the top of the mountain, he pulls out a kite that he recently bought. We put it together. Well, mostly he puts it together but he is kind enough to show me what he is doing and include me in the affair. Then, he hands me the handle and helps get the kite going, and before I know it I am flying a kite for the first time in my life.

Something about the experience of watching the little raspberry diamond soar higher and higher in the air makes me feel like I'm flying out there with it, like anything is possible and the world is fantastic. He has given me a little piece of childhood I didn't have before.

We sit on some rocks and he pulls out various fruit from his bag. He confesses that he has a bit of a cherry addiction himself. He recently found some on sale for 99 cents a pound, so he bought 39 pounds of them. I joke that if anybody wants to find him, they can just look for the trail of cherry pits.

We eat and talk. The conversation is easy and wonderful. I feel both at home and also inspired by what he has to say and what he draws out from me. Time flies with Mr. Doctor and before I know it, the sky has changed from heated sunny blue to dusky gray. It is a lovely place to watch the afternoon shadows play and hide across the valley and it is a romantic view of the city lights as we walk back down in the semi-dark.

He takes me out to a fun Mexican place near there, which is also near where he lives. It looks like Casa Bonita minus the cliff divers but the food is much better. Conversation continues in the same vein. I'm a little amazed that it is coming so easy and yet is so good. We seem to have a lot in common and seem to have a good understanding of each other.

I'm not sure if this means anything, but his birthday is four days after mine-same year. We are both born under the sign of Pisces and I feel like at the moment we're two fish swimming side by side in a lovely quiet stream.

We gently circle around the idea of us being in a relationship. Although we never make full-impact with the notion, we talk about where we are at in general, what we are hoping for and what we want to avoid.

He gets me home right when I wanted to be back (I'm an early bird and have had some trouble sleeping lately, so was happy to be home early enough to try to get some good sleep). We both said we'd like to see each other again soon.

I hope we will, and I also hope that I can hold myself back from hop scotching ten spaces forward. No matter what happens, even if I never hear from him again, I want to enjoy the moments that have been given to me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Personal Trainer

We meet at a local Starbuck’s about two blocks from my house. When I get there, I find him sitting under an umbrella outside. I greet him, go in to get a drink, and sit down.

The first thing I can’t help but notice about Mr. Personal Trainer is his huge biceps. This is a feature that always impresses me. I hope one day I’ll get the chance to squeeze them. They are so huge he could probably do curls while I hold on.

As soon as I put my drink down, he looks up from the notepad he had been busily writing in. He shows me what he was working on-something I’d suggested to him in a previous email conversation.

You list on one side of the paper your great joys in life-all the things that bring you the most satisfaction. On the other side of the paper, you list what you feel are the world’s greatest needs. Then, you try to find where the two lists intersect and spend at least a few minutes every day trying to do something that speaks to both.

His greatest joy is seeing his daughter laugh. We talk a little about her and he seems to have all the best qualities of a good man and good father. He will do anything for her. Good for him.

I’m impressed so far. He’s simple, speaks eloquently but doesn’t seem to be showing off. And, did I mention his biceps?!?

We talk about his experiences overseas in the Marine Corps. By the way, if you ever find yourself needing to jump out of a helicopter with nothing but a rope, here are two helpful tips: 1) don’t hold on too tightly to the rope, but of course hold on; and 2) keep your feet turned out, ankles together so that when you land you don’t break any bones.

My one complaint about Mr. Personal Trainer is that I can’t totally tell if he is really listening to me because he doesn’t respond much. We talk about the book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” I think he and I are both at opposite ends of the spectrum-he being the man and me the woman (in case that wasn’t obvious).

But, opposites attract. I think I am drawn to his sturdiness. He feels to me like someone who would be very dependable, very what-you-see-is-what-you-get. We talk about spirituality and Karate (he has a black belt).

He has a kind face and I am attracted to him. However, he also mentions that he’s pretty much been in a slump (depression?) for the past little while. He seems reluctant to make much of an effort to try dating me but he also seems interested in me.

He strikes me as someone who’s been hurt one too many times and is not in a place right now where he wants to make himself vulnerable. Lucky for him, I’m not planning on making a big thing out of anything so the pressure’s off.

We’ve partaken in some email volleys since the date, but no subsequent meeting has yet been suggested. He did mention that he might try coming to the church I attend, so perhaps we will reconnect there.

The Mystic

Everything about this man is a little odd, but not necessarily in a bad way. I like odd. Let’s face it, I am odd.

We meet at a local park-his idea, which I really like. What a good way to avoid the whole who-pays-for-what thing. Also, it’s beautiful outside and where I’d want to be in any case.

Since I don’t have a cell phone and we’d never met in person, it is a little challenging to find each other, but we manage it alright.

He is sitting in the grass eating some Japanese food when I find him. He smiles, I sit. We talk.

He does a lot of silent little breathing exercises in the middle of our conversation. But, he laughs at my jokes, makes lots of eye contact, and seems to be attentive.

I feel very peaceful around him. He tells me about the class he teaches on mysticism. To make money, he also sells electronic devices on E-Bay.

Much of our conversation is taken up in talking about my experiences in Africa and then his experiences at Burning Man. He pretty much convinces me that this event is a must-see.

We walk around the park, we sit on different patches of grass, we talk to the ducks and the squirrels and a German Shepherd that keeps reappearing. He says he thinks the dog is drawn to my gentleness.

I lose track of time with Mr. Mystic and tell him rather abruptly that I need to leave. I had left something in his car while we went walking, so I walk with him there. We have an awkward moment of looking into each other’s faces almost about to kiss and then hugging and me sort of scampering away.

There seemed to be an attraction there on both ends, but I decided after the experience with Mr. Minister that I would wait and see if I heard back from this guy. So far, I haven’t. Perhaps it just wasn’t in the stars.

The Small-Business Owner

The first thing I notice about this guy is that he likes to rock climb. I’ve been really getting into this sport myself lately and have been looking for more people to climb with.

Initially, we meet up at the climbing gym not really as a date but just because I wanted to climb and he was going to be there with a group. We have a few moments alone before the others show up. I learn that he was an international reporter for CNN for about 8 years. He speaks a little about his experiences and the people he met along the way. This sounds exciting to me and I am eager to hear more. However, another climber shows up and we focus on other things for the rest of the night.

When I move to leave the gym for the night, he walks me to my bike and asks if I’d like to go to dinner with him sometime. We make a plan for later that week.

He picks me up right on time and as we enter the car he informs me that I have three choices for where to go eat. I pick the Vietnamese joint (one I’d been to before and really enjoy) and off we go.

The conversation is a little less flowing than with my previous Denver Dudes. This guy seems nervous and pretty socially awkward.

As soon as we sit down at the table, he informs me that he could never date a vegetarian woman because he needs to be with someone who is willing to try a variety of foods. A lot of red flags go flying off in my head. He insists on ordering for both of us.

There are a lot of ways in which I like to make my own choices, but probably none more than what I put in my body. I could have and probably should have insisted on ordering for myself. But, I don’t. I end up with a big platter of fried meat. It's a two-person meal that he ordered because it is what he likes to eat.

The rest of the night continues in a one-way conversation between Mr. Meat and himself. I think that I would rather have it that way than to be stuck in awkward silence all night. Still, I am kicking myself for saying yes to dinner before having a shorter coffee date with him first.

Funny enough, he says several times throughout the night that he knows he talks too much. He invites me to just jump in anytime I feel the urge. I try once and he interrupts me almost immediately.

Well, you win some and you lose some. I can honestly look at this date and this man and say it’s a lost cause for me. I wish him lots of luck on his journey and appreciate the fellow climbers I was able to meet through him.

The Doctor

Mr. Doctor and I meet on He makes it very clear that he is dating a lot of ladies looking for the right one and wanting to take his time. Perfect! We are on the same page.

We talk about where to meet up for our first date and finally settle on him just coming to my house and walking to a coffee shop from there. He arrives and looks just like his pictures. He’s of Indian decent and has warm brown Aladdin eyes that take me away on a magic carpet ride every time I look into them.

On our way to the shop, I realize he’s a pretty fast walker. I wish I’d swapped my cute on-a-date shoes for some sneakers! He runs an average of 5 miles a day and has run in 14 marathons or something crazy like that, so I’m not at all surprised that it takes a bit of effort for me to keep up with him.

We have an easy start to conversation. He seems intense, but in a way that I like and can relate to. We talk about all sorts of things and have a really insightful dialogue about past relationships, what worked and what didn’t. He seems very kind in regard to his ex which tells me that perhaps he’s a somewhat enlightened, good guy. But, of course, only time will tell if that's true or not.

We seem to have had the same lessons continuously slap us in the face. Something to do with forgetting to take things one day at a time and let things come about naturally. We both share in common the go-getter-ness that has served us well in so many other parts of our lives but that seem to work against us in romantic endeavours.

He asks a lot of questions of me regarding my lifestyle choices. Thankfully, two of those choices are ones we share in common-vegetarianism and not drinking alcohol. The veggie in me has come and gone, but I am meeting him right at a time when I’ve been grappling to get back to full no-meat-eating, so this fits nicely with where he’s at (been vegetarian for many years).

His queries have more to do with me not having a cell phone or car. He makes some points as to why he thinks these things are useful, at least for him. He isn’t rude or judgmental in his asking. He seems genuinely curious.

We seem to have more things to talk about than we have time for, and by the time we get back to my house and I see how much later it is than I’d intended to stay out, I give him a hasty good-bye hug and call it a night.

Mr. Doctor and I have another date coming up. He’s been great so far about keeping in touch and things seem to be well-balanced. I guess this one is to-be-continued.

The Minister

My first date came about through OK Cupid. This is a person who I had been talking with over a year ago, the last time I was single. We never met up then, but he still seems interesting to me. I like his spiritual bend, and I appreciate his writing skills.

It is mid-July. I am house sitting for some friends in Golden. Mister Minister and I agree to meet at a local coffee shop. Neither of us know the town very well since he’s from Boulder and I’m from Denver. But, a friend of mine took me there the day before so I have a general sense of the place.

While sitting in the shop waiting for my date, my friend comes in. We chat for a bit and I let her know that I have a blind date. Just at that moment, he walks in. He’s a little frazzled because he was 20 minutes late. But, I tell him I understand and although usually this would bother me, I realize that on this particular day there is a lot of construction and Golden is having their big annual parade (Buffalo Bill Days) so the streets are closed off.

He rode his motorcycle and has a black smudge across his nose. I have never met this guy in person before so I’m not sure if the black nose is a birthmark or dirt from riding his bike. I decide not to say anything just in case. Besides, it calms my nerves a little-kind of like how they say if you have to give a speech you should picture your audience naked.

I introduce him to my friend who is standing next to me, and she then gracefully glides away as he and I move to get drinks. He is kind enough to pay for my tea and we go outside to sit at a sidewalk table.

Conversation ensues pretty readily. I realize that in spite (or because?) of the black smudge, I find this man pretty attractive. He doesn’t have hair on his head which in the past has deterred me. But, it looks really good on him. He’s got kind eyes and a stronger build than I’d imagined. He seems in good shape and smiles easily.

We talk about things that I love to talk about-religion, spirituality, relationships, life philosophies. We seem to have a lot of good things in common and I feel pretty relaxed around him. Every once in a while, he brushes his hand across his nose and a little more of the black smudge wipes off.

I finish telling him something about my previous job and he says, “I have to change the topic for a minute and tell you that your pictures don’t do you justice. You are striking.” Well, thank you very much Mr. Preacher-Man. You’re not too bad yourself! This awakens a sense of sexiness in me that I’ve not felt for quite a while. It feels really good.

We continue talking and after about an hour we stand to leave. He tells me he feels drawn to me and seems to imply that he’d like to get together again. He asks me if I like to see live music, dancing, hiking? I tell him I’m up for anything. We end in a warm, embracing hug.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be the first and last date with Mr. Minister. I contacted him a couple of times and he responded but never took the next step to setting up another date with me. I’m a modern woman, but I still need for things to be pretty even as far as putting ourselves out there and taking initiative. His email responses were short and far-between and they were always responses, never catalysts.

So, goodbye Mr. Minister. Good luck on your search for love!

Introduction to Dating in Denver

Dating in Denver! Here we go: it's July 2009 and I am back on the dating trail. I've always thought it would be fun to read about other people's dates, and now that I've got fodder, I figured it could be fun to write about my own adventures in dating.

I started out on the dating trail by hooking up with two different dating websites: OK Cupid and OK Cupid provides the opportunity to answer myriad questions posed by other members. An example question might be, "Do you think it's OK to kiss on the first date?" Your answers are compared to those of the people you would be matched with and the results are given to you for each match. There are quizzes and other fun things to do on OK Cupid. is probably more familiar to more of you. Where OK Cupid is free, Match costs roughly $16 per month. I figure I spend at least that much on other forms of entertainment-movies, going out to dinner. I also put a high value on anything educational. I'll spend a fair amount on a class that seems worthwhile. Of all the many subjects I could stand to learn more about, dating and men are right at the top of the list. So, if at $16 per month I can walk away with some fun stories and good lessons, I will consider it a bargain.

I could compare my experiences on OK Cupid to and probably will do that after I collect more data. I could compare the different dates-locations, activities, overall experiences. I will do that too. But probably the biggest comparisons I'll be making will be between the people I date. Who are these different individuals? What makes them unique and interesting? What are some of their similarities? What sorts of patterns can I discern about myself, my reactions, and the situations I find myself in while on the dating trail?

These questions and perhaps many more will be explored as I take you through date-by-date. Since I want to be fair and not "out" anybody who doesn't want to be named, I will be referring to each of my potential suitors by their occupations. I figure this is a somewhat telling and yet anonymous way to categorize them.

Lastly, I give this disclaimer: the things I am about to tell you are just my view and not necessarily the whole true story. Perhaps one of you reading this will discover that you are one of the Denver Dudes being described. I hope not to offend anyone, but I've hoped for that before and despite good intentions my truths sometimes hurt other people. I apologize now, in advance, for any trouble I may cause.