I told you a few days ago I'd show you the emails Ned and I exchanged when I first picked him up online early this year.
I was on a site called OK Cupid, which if you're in the market for an online dating site, I highly recommend it.
The point is, it was January 5, 2012, and I was perusing the mens on OK Cupid and I saw Ned's profile. He had recently moved back to Greensboro after many decades and didn't know anyone, so he put himself on there and his profile was funny. Under the question, "What's the first thing people notice about you?" he said, "One thing people notice is my Panera card. But probably the person who notices this the most is the waitress at Panera."
That made me snicker, so I wrote him.
To Tufguy 45: I am
messaging you because I cannot resist a man with a Panera card. I am a
Thanks for the Panera card love. I
am messaging you back because of said card love, and because you are a very
funny woman. I am a good-writer-digger.
[Note to y'all–Ned had looked at my profile, which if I do say so myself was effing hilarious.]
To Tufguy 45: You understand I would totally be
using you for your chicken salad connections. Are you
actually tough? Or would it have been like me naming myself mathgirl?
You wouldn't be the first. And define
tufguy is a name my friends and I used to use derogatorily for each other when
playing pool. It's not a particularly exciting story. The 45 part, however, is
an absolute lie. I'm 46. It wasn't a lie when I created this profile, back
before I realized that time did still move forward despite ill-considered
dating site nicknames. I've checked, and I have another birthday coming this
year as well.
To Tufguy 45: Nice. And this is what I like about
men. Women wouldn't be able to do that–taunt each other during a game.
"What's THAT supposed to mean? I can be tough! What about that time in
fifth grade? …You know what? I'm just gonna go."
is why women are a pain in the ass.
Oh my GOD.
We're gonna be 47 this year. I hadn't even thought about that. You know what?
I'm just gonna go. Here is
the part where you have to chase me out to the car.
To June: Yelling, Wait, wait, I didn't mean
it? And I
suppose men are okay. They're really only good for one thing though.
To Tufguy 45: JUST LEAVE. ME. ALONE! I'M FINE
men good for, in your opinion? I enjoy you all for setting up my DVD player,
and I am also using men of your gender this weekend for helping me lug my giant
fake Christmas tree up the attic. I am allergic to NC trees. So I have the most
fake, glittery, white, Liberace tree on planet Earth.
way, I am an annoying iPhone person, hence my odd prompt replies. Am not
sitting here like Miss Havisham in my Panera Forever T shirt waiting for you to
now I am going to a party and will not be an annoying look-at-my-phone person
in public. I just want to smack people over the head with their phones when
they do that. …Do I seem hostile?
I was thinking pickle jars, but
your examples of men of my gender endeavors seem valid as well. I find your
hostility towards the public use of smart phones to be quite charming,
actually. So if you ever need a hand smacking rude people over the head, that
might be yet another example of something that men of my gender are good for.
name, by the way, is Miss Havisham, so I'll be spending my Friday evening
reading on the couch. Until I find a good reason to turn on the TV. In any
event, I hope the party's a blast.
To Tufguy 45:
Oooo, what did you read? I mean,
unless you were reading the handbook of how to molest children and/or lizards,
in which case I'd rather not know.
The Human Stain. I'm a big fan of
Philip Roth, though I have to admit I was a tad tired to make significant
progress. And lizards, I'll have you know, are another one of my faves. Molest
lizards, really, ick.
To Tufguy 45:
See. The phone. It is right here
next to me while I edit a statistics textbook. Like I'm not going to stampede
to it, because hello. Statistics textbook.
never read that book, but loved Portnoy's Complaint. Which is super extra
original of me. I also liked ET. And Tom Hanks. I know!
asking–the party was fun, although dinner was not served till 10:00. Where
were we, Europe? I met a woman who had been a doctor but got MS and had to give
it up due to her health. Among other things she's blind now. This week I
discovered they've discontinued my favorite lipstick but didn't tell her that.
I didn't want her to see how petty her woes are compared to mine.
have you got planned this wknd? A very short angry dog trainer is on her way
here to supposedly remove the assyness from my dogs. Assyness is a fine word.
I am so sorry to hear about your
lipstick, sometimes words just can’t…wow. It was strong of you to keep your
suffering to yourself without unloading on that whiny doctor.
this weekend? I've had a productive day, for me, so far. Electronic recycling
(Patterson Ave., who knew?) and a bicycle ride. As soon as my legs stop
wobbling I'm going to attempt some lunch.
dog trainer come and gone? I've found that most dog trainers tend to be angry,
though I have no evidence as to why this is so. What's on your agenda?
To Tufguy 45: I probably shouldn't have shared
something so personal and important so soon after meeting you, Mr. Miss
Havisham. But it's heavy on my mind. I will always miss that lipstick and I'll
remember the good times.
was incredible. INCREDIBLE. Have I mentioned that? My dogs are cowering in the
living room right now. She said they're actually really submissive dogs and
eager to please (really? because…really? when?), and they were just lacking
manners. By the time she left, we had a plate of food in the middle of the room
and the dogs put their ears down and slunk away. Slinked? Slunkded?
they ignored the food.
I see you
made me a favorite and I made you a favorite. This is very meaningful and you
should probably call your parents.
Sam Hill is your name, other than Mr. Miss Havisham?
you electronically recycle? A bunch of email? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
unfavorite me now.
To June: What the…? You must have ESPN or
something, because my name is Sam Hill Miss Havisham. Uncanny, really. Odd
name, I realize, but then, you should meet my parents.
productivity continued today, oddly enough, and went on to include running a
vacuum (and, AND, changing the bag) and doing laundry. As a reward I think I'll
take myself out to dinner tonight.
And Ned. My name is Ned.
To Tufguy 45:
Ned. Ned Miss Havisham. It's
My friends Chris and
Lilly just left here. Lilly had a bad cold and sounded like Harvey Fierstein, and
I am looking forward to coming down with said cold in the next day or so. But I
really like them so it was worth it. I say that now. Wait until my throat
starts hurting and I get the aches and so on. Then I will be cursing that
blonde heifer's name.
and I know each other so well, and are favorites and I have shared with you the
secret pain of my lipstick, I will tell you the terrible awful thing that
happened tonight. You know how I just spent the $220 on dog training and the
trainer was so good and so forth? She really was, and the dogs were stellar,
mostly, except I put the lasagna together before C&L got here, so that I
could just pop it in the oven when they arrived.
into the kitchen to find stupid Edsel with his front feet on the counter,
eating the meat sauce off the top of the lasagna. I had to hurriedly spread the
remaining sauce around before anyone saw.
ever accept an invitation to eat at my house. Good gravy.
I have always heard, though I've
never seen any laboratory results to prove such a claim, that a dog's mouth is
much cleaner than a human's. But I must admit that if I'd walked in to find a
person, let's say Miss Havisham, with her front feet on the counter licking the
meat sauce off the top of the lasagna, I might be a bit put off as well. At
least Lilly was already sick.
Edsel's a great dog name, and I'm sure he's not stupid. Hey, the short, angry
dog trainer preventing him from eating food earlier. I'm sure he was hungry,
and perhaps she split her fee with him as a bribe.
Hope you've been able to avoid the
oncoming cold so far. I've just come from seeing Tinker Tailor et al this
afternoon. A bit confusing, but a pretty good movie overall, I think.
I'm off to Raleigh to see my alma mater play basketball with my brother. I
mean, they're not going to actually play basketball with him, I'm just going
to–oh, I think you know what I meant. In any case I hope you're feeling well
and having a good Sunday.
To Tufguy 45: Caught a
dreadful stomach virus and have been ill all night/day. I haven't been sick like
this since I was a kid. What I'm doing right now is bringing sexy back. Holy
day is less, you know, violent.
To June: Oh man, that blows (maybe not the
best word choice there, sorry). Being up all night, nothing worse. I hope
you're feeling better. This doesn't sound like the same thing your friend Lilly
had. How is Edsel feeling?
To Tufguy 45:
I'm up. It's 1:00. In the morning.
This is stupid–what am I supposed to do now? I guess I could read something.
been deeply concerned about my well-being, except when someone walks by, then
he BOUNDS out of bed to bark, which is restful.
your sporting event? Was your brother the victor? My uncle used to play
baseball and we'd go watch, and his team always won, and my mother would say,
"Wasn't that great? Jimmy won again!" and I'd think, man. He beat all
those people AGAIN. I had no concept that he was on a team. That pretty much
sums up my sports knowledge to this day. And my team-playing abilities.
My brother did not win, no. In many
ways it could even be said that he didn't even try, did not compete, gave less
than a half-assed effort. All quite literally true.
to hear you were still not feeling well last night. That's a stubborn virus you
managed to attract. I'm hoping it's bid adieu (French!) by now. Up at 1am
though, it's rare that I am not. I'm a lousy sleeper.
Monday's in the books, and that's a good thing. Do you do your editing from
home often, bring work home with you, or is that your usual protocol? I suppose
that would mean no sick days, which would sort of suck. I am going to go ahead
and assume you've rid yourself of that awful malady and are now happily
munching bag after bag of beef jerky. Good stuff.
To Tufguy 45:
I went to Harris Teeter and got
fried rice. This may have been a mistake.
I have a
regular full-time job. Then, to
supplement my now suddenly single income, I do freelance work as well. I always
did this, even when I had a dual income, but then it was for fun. Now it is for
necessity. Anyway, am grateful to have it even though it sometimes means
working all day and coming home and working all night. It's just editing, not
Are you from here? You don't seem from
here. But if you have a brother here then you might be local. Did you get hot
dogs? If I had to go to some sports thing I'd be all up in what I could get at
the concession stand.
remember if I told you this, but Peg, the woman who had the party I attended
Friday, called to tell me almost everyone who went to her shindig got terribly
ill. She herself had been ill all day and had written it off to food poisoning.
Thanks! It's like that Monty Python where Death comes to the dinner party.
To June: So
do you think it's a poisoning of some kind instead of a virus? Either way, I
hope you shake it before much longer.
for thinking that I'm not from around here. Makes me feel better about being
from around here. I grew up in Greensboro and moved to Raleigh long ago with
the intent of staying there. But then (cue the violins) the economy went to hell, I had an opportunity here, and here I remain. I had (string crescendo) a job I loved with people I liked. Now I
do…something else. But like you, it's not brick laying, there are a lot of
people out there in a lot worse shape, and (diminuendo) I'm pretty fortunate.
I've been here about a year and a half, but none of the people I used to know
live here anymore. So there's my story.
To Tufguy 45: I enjoyed
the whole concert I got to listen to while I heard your life story.
I get my
hair done in Raleigh. Nice town. Good hairdressers. Was worried sick I'd move
here and end up having to get perms and tall bangs or something. Was sort of a
snob about LA stuff. Have gotten over it. Think I may have been insufferable at
first. Now my LA friends seem kind of insufferable. "Oh, you went to the
ballet? There are ballets there?" Like the entire state is filled only
with the cast of Hee Haw and lynchings.
Oy vey, LA to Greensboro, I would
have been insufferable too. We lynched the cast of Hee Haw long ago, but it
remains Greensboro. I assume you made the move with your soon-to-be ex, but
it’s still… Greensboro. How long have you been here?
hoping you’ll be eating egg salad sandwiches comfortably before the end of the
To Tufguy 45:
God, egg salad sounds delicious.
See? I WISH to be eating, and yet? Tragedy when I do.
I got here
in late 2007 and yes, it was the ex's fault. Before I lived in LA I lived in
Seattle. So for my whole adult life I'd lived in pretty progressive places and
then I got here and all the gay men are married and play organ for their church.
It was an adjustment. Now I totally expect it. "Girlfriend, is that a
Prada? Oh, snap! You should totally come to church with my wife and me this
week–I'm playing something from Phantom!"
know. LA was trafficky. And expensive. And the person I miss the most is my
cleaning lady. Seriously. What does that tell you? Okay, (a), my cleaning lady
is hilarious, and also that there are very few real friendships to be had in
Los Angeles, although I had a few. And I like how I had an (a) but not a (b).
To June: I didn’t know gay men were big
church-goers here, much less that they played organ there, a statement from
which I’ll quickly back away. Most of the organ players I’ve seen in churches
are blue haired old women, but then, I’m not much of a church-goer. Or maybe I
watched too much Andy Griffith when I was a kid. Did people in other parts of
the country actually watch that show?
that’s true about the traffic and expense in LA, but Seattle had to be nice. As
far as I know, there’s not one independent bookstore in this town at all, nor
record store. One independent movie theater, I think. But it does sound as if
you’ve managed to carve something of a social life out of this place, and as
you seem to imply, that’s worth a lot.
Is it only
things have improved on the gastrological front.
To Tufguy 45:
I loved Seattle. Everyone loves
Seattle. Once in awhile you get some yahoo, "Oh, the weather!" Shut
up. It rains. Who cares? It's the coolest place on earth. What do you need
graduated college, I picked Seattle to move to because they read more books per
capita. "It's the weather! Who wants to go out in all that rain!"
Again, shut up. Anyway, I knew no one when I got there, and it was such a good
decision. I was back last year because my friend had cancer and thought,
"Why the hell did I leave? Oh, right, that spouse." (It was nice of
me to concentrate on myself like that and not old One-Boob.) (Anyway she's fine now and no one's
discontinued HER lipstick.)
made friends here, although the majority of them come from my blog. So basically I guess I could have moved anywhere and made friends
because of my dumb blog.
ever go to Aperture in Winston? That is a very cool and also pretentious movie
theater and it's independently owned. And you can drink wine with your movie
and get all tanked. I like it there. Pretentiousness, dark art movies, drunk
people. What more could you wish for?
it's nearly Wednesday.
Blog? You have a blog? Let me
understand this correctly. You have three domesticated animals, two jobs, and
you have a blog you keep up with as well? Man, it's all I can do to get by
having one job and one animal. Sounds like it's served you well though, if it's
allowed you to make connections. What's the blog called?
you go to school, by the way, what did you study there? Where are you
been to the aperture in Winston, and I like it there as well. Reminds me of the
old Studio theater in Raleigh. Odd screen placement, but you forget about it
once the movie's underway. Good popcorn too. Lousy ice though.
To Tufguy 45: Four. Two dogs, one normal cat and a blind
kitten. I know not what to tell you about the chaos I invite.
And I will
show you my blog one day, but I've been writing it every day for five years,
and if you read it it would be like a June explosion, and I think I am best in
small fits and starts. It would be like you were Soupy Sales and I was hitting
you with the pie of my life.
what's annoying about the Relatively Acceptable Cupid app? Is it doesn't let me
see your email so I can't address what you said. Michigan State. English
degree. Of course. As opposed to that degree in nuclear physics I was
And I grew
up there, Michigan. Where everything is flat, including everyone's affect.
the dogs and the nausea returned and even I am bored with this now. At first it
was fascinating. So maybe later I will poach an egg.
To Tufguy 45:
Wait. Lousy ice?
Big, clunky, dense. You could crack
a tooth if you're not careful. Plus, in positioning such pieces of ice between
molars for crunching, you'll often inadvertently allow fluid unchecked into the
esophageal tube, causing a gagging reflex. Nobody wants to hear someone choke
during a film. It's distracting. Hey, could ya take it outside pal? Lousy ice.
ice is better, but shaved ice is the Cadillac of frozen water. It takes on the
flavor of the fluid it is meant to cool, while reducing the volume of said
fluid due to the fact that shaved ice occupies a greater volume of movie issue
beverage container, thereby reducing calories, and, AND, extending cup time vs.
popcorn bag by virtue of the fact that it involves chewing and shaking last
bits of flavor laden ice bits into salt dehydrated mouths rather than a gravity
avoid all that by having a glass of wine, sure. I'm just saying.
To Tufguy 45:
God, I agree. This whole discussion
has DRIVEN me to drink, for goodness sake. Which ought to please my boss as
much as me being on Ehhh, Cupid at work.
you go to school? In Raleigh? Were you one of those drunk dorm people who was
always good for being the guy who'd get a Minor in Possession?
So I'm assuming from the work
message that you're feeling better? That first day back after being sick can
still suck though. Hope it went well.
Raleigh, yes. NC State. Mechanical engineering. Why did I choose that major? I
haven't a clue. Fortunately I was a terrible student, and so didn't bother with
it too often. I was much too busy being in college to actually study.
So was I
that guy? No. But I did hang out with him. A lot.
To Tufguy 45: Oh, perhaps we met, then. I tutored
people in mechanical engineering across America.
had to go to the doctor for anti-nausea meds, then I called my boss after with
a very phony, "You need me to come in?" and he said yes. Fortunately
that medication really works.
you have one of those science-y brains.
See, 1am, and up I am. I wish I
were one of those people who could sleep.
had a science-y brain at one time, but like everybody else, the 18 yo me that
made the decision to study engineering is a lot different from the me now. Not
too science-y now, let me tell ya.
hope you're starting to feel better soon. For my part, I'm going to see if I
can somehow lose consciousness sometime soon.
To Tufguy 45: The doctor said the part where my
neighbor was ill all day, prepared gazpacho which then sat in the fridge for
hours, and served it to everyone was the perfect storm of a virulent bug and a
way to expose it to just everyone at the party.
Have I MENTIONED this is the first time in 30 years I was sick this way? Thirty
So do you
ever take Ambien or anything?
remember who I know who majored in what he majored in because it came first in
the alphabetical list of majors. Who was that? I also know someone who changed majors because he threw up in the mouth of the daughter of his current major's dean.
To Tufguy 45:
P.S. Here is my real email address.
I know it is forward of me, suggesting we move from email to…email.
…So that was it. A week later Ned asked me out, which is another clever story but this is the longest post in the history of time, so I'll end. Also, how sexy was I, continuously mentioning my vomiting and nausea? Ask me out! I'm a volcano! Pretty.
Aw. Still. That was so exciting. I knew I really liked him by the time I called him Mr. Miss Havisham. I loved myself way before that, of course.
June. Out. Out of lipstick, and out.
P.S. Dear Chris and Lilly: Sorry about the Edsel incident. Love you! Come back and eat here soon!