Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dating Without Gluten

No, I am not leaving my husband, nor am I cheating on him. I thought I would go ahead and repost each of the posts from my original blog "Dating Without Gluten." I bet my readers didn't know that's what started this whole journey. Unfortunately, it only lasted a few months prior to meeting my husband, and despite good intentions, it felt weird to continue a dating blog when I was no longer dating. But... it's a wealth of information about my journey in dating while on a gluten-free diet. I've posted in post in order rather than backwards so that you're not reading the story backwards or scrolling to the end first. Feel free to read it backwards anyway.  

Here you go:

Welcome to Dating Without Gluten

We all know it.  Dating is hard. I hate when people say I’m so lucky that I get to date when they’re stuck with the same person the rest of their life. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I think they did it wrong. Aren’t you supposed to choose someone that you don’t mind being stuck with the rest of your life? Someone you’d much rather spend all your time with than subject yourself to the second guessing, awkward  activity that we refer to as dating? Or maybe I’m doing it wrong ;)
So dating is hard. We know that. Dating without gluten is even harder. I’m perfectly fine with my gluten-free diet. I’ve been doing it for years. I even work in the “industry.”  I don’t plan on spending my life with someone who isn’t ok with my gluten-free diet. It’s a necessity for me because I have Celiac Disease. “Disease?!?” Ok, so I haven’t gotten that reaction from any “potential suitors” yet, but that’s what I imagine.
A friend of mine refers to me as “broken.” It’s mostly because I’m gluten-free, allergic to nuts, dairy & soy intolerant, and I don’t handle caffeine or spicy foods well. Nut allergies seem normal enough, and in the 9 years I’ve known I was allergic, I’ve never found it necessary to tell someone early on that I’m allergic. The dairy, soy, caffeine, and spicy foods thing don’t seem terribly important to bring up early either. “Gluten-free” is more of a lifestyle though. “Oh, you want to go to Red Lobster for dinner? Well, here’s the thing… I can only eat at the following three restaurants in town.” Living a gluten-free lifestyle affects nearly every part of my life. I’m perfectly fine with it. It’s natural for me. Which may be why it’s so hard for me explain it to someone. How do you explain to someone how you shower? Imagine you’re explaining it to an alien where you have to explain each and every step thoroughly. It’s something you just do—you don’t think about it—you just do it.
So how do you date without gluten? It seems different in every relationship, but I’m hoping to gain some insight from readers. My main goal is to help others in the same situation—I know you’re out there. Feel free to laugh with me or at me along the way. Enjoy!

Present Day

Currently, I’m single. The last year has been a total rollercoaster ride when it’s come to dating. The whole gluten thing hasn’t been a huge part of it, but it has influenced a few funny stories I’ll talk about more about later. (Really) long story short: a long-term relationship ended (badly), I reconnected with my first love only to find out he was an alcoholic—the drunk and puking at 2pm kind of alcoholic who lies and says they have food poisoning from your apple pie that hasn’t been touched kind of alcoholic, I met a total fruitcake on e-Harmony followed by a guy that only wanted to make out and then never called me again followed by a really really great guy who disappeared (search parties and everything, but he was never found). When I got over the disappearance I met someone else from eHarmony against my better judgment because I was super busy at work and gained “experience” in starting out a relationship while trying to explain the gluten thing only to get dumped for the very reason I planned on having a serious discussion with him about once work slowed down (nothing to do with the gluten).
I’m an optimistic person. I know I’ll meet someone at some point. I’ve been told I should be pissed off after the year I’ve had, but I see it as being a few steps closer and being a little bit wiser when it comes to finding “the one.” I learned a lot about myself in the relationship that ended badly, which I think is incredibly important. Most recently I met someone that I “met” on eHarmony months ago, but my schedule and my gut kept me from meeting him. I finally decided to meet him, and he seemed great. He really seemed to embrace the gluten-free thing even though I didn’t bring it up until our first meeting. I work in the industry, so it’s hard to explain my job without giving it away that I am on a gluten-free diet, and of course the first question he asked was to tell him more about my job.
My “gut” kept telling me something was off, but I chose to be on guard while giving him a chance because I figured it was possible that I was being overly guarded based on my last year. After three dates, he suddenly said he was really busy. It made perfect sense until he went days without contact even after I had texted him a simple question. So I moved on. I guess I could have asked for clarification, or maybe I could have given him until the two weeks of busyness he said he had were over, but I wasn’t terribly interested anyway. Maybe he was telling the truth and we’ll go on another date or more, but I’m not gonna waste my time waiting.
I’ve thought about over-analyzing it as I seem to do with everything. Did he think I was being overly picky when I was directing my friends husband to make sure nothing with gluten got near my food he was cooking on the grill? Was he offended or think I’d be too much work when I told him I wouldn’t kiss him because he had been drinking beer? Was he more interested in my friend he talked to all night while ignoring me? Did he think I was ignoring him when I was simply allowing him to have a conversation with someone else? Does any of it really matter?
So that’s where I’m at. I went back and did a search on match.com, and came up mainly empty. (Sidenote: I really wish they would let you see who had e-mailed on you match.com because I might be inclined to subscribe if I was interested in the person who e-mailed me.) EHarmony is having a free communication weekend, so I’m giving that a shot—sort of. I was subscribed for four months, and barely got any responses, so I’m not holding my breath for great results in a weekend.

The Things You Realize

I’ll say it again: dating is hard. Dating without gluten is even harder. Say you’re getting hot and heavy with someone, and as you go to kiss their neck, you begin to wonder what kind of skincare products they use.  Do they use any skincare products? You know you won’t use lotion that contains gluten because of the remote possibility it will wind up in your mouth. What if there is gluten in what they use? So you go back to kissing them (you know this is safe because you made them brush their teeth after dinner).  How long can you simply just kiss before they bored and think you suck?
Ok, let’s back up. Yes. This really happened. Yes.  I really did make someone brush their teeth before kissing me—on a third date. Yes. I really did skip over kissing his neck because of the possibility that he had applied non-gluten-free lotion to his skin. No. I never did ask to read the ingredients of any possible skincare products that my lips might come into contact with. Yes. I did wind up kissing his neck that night. It’s one of the few risk I’ve taken with gluten. No. I didn’t get sick. Yes. I learned my lesson without truly learning a lesson, and I will probably check in the future.
I tend to be incredibly careful. I don’t enjoy being glutened. It sucks. It’s been a long time since it happened, and my reaction seemed to be ever evolving anyway, but I didn’t enjoy being deathly ill on the toilet for an hour, and then being a complete zombie for 24 hours, and then getting sick off each and every single thing I ate for the next week.  It’s not worth it to me, so I don’t risk it.
After he broke up with me, I began wondering about other things too. Did he use a lip balm that contained gluten? How good of a job did he do when it came to brushing his teeth? Did he ever eat a sandwich or something similar before meeting up with me and then hold my hand thereby transferring the gluten to my hand? Auuuugggghhhh!!! Where do the questions end?

When Do You Tell Them?…

Out of all of the questions surrounding dating without gluten, I often wonder if this is the most intriguing/important. I’ve discussed this with a lot of friends, but I’ve never really come up with a great answer. (It’s slightly unfortunate that the majority of my friends are married.) I even asked a guy right after he broke up with me. I didn’t care what he thought of me at that point—he was a potential source of good information and he didn’t want to see me anymore anyway.
Ok, so first there are the options:
If you’re dating online, you can put it right on your profile. This seems like it would be the thing to do, but I feel actually doing this is just asking for guys to skip to the next profile because they don’t understand. Whether they think the gluten-free diet is a fad, or that I’m just being picky, or have any other random preconceived notion about the gluten-free diet.
The next option is bringing it up in the first e-mail. EHarmony is nice because you’ve already gotten to know a little bit about them through the “guided communication,” but I don’t know that I recommend this for any sort of online dating. I once mentioned it in the “open-ended questions” because it was the answer that made the most sense for the question that was asked.
The most popular time to bring it up seems to be after a few e-mails. That way, you’re not wasting each others time by bringing it up on the date and finding out they want nothing to do with it. It also helps to tell them after a few e-mails if the first date is going to include a meal because that first date is awkward enough. I’ll explain what happens on the first date if you haven’t mentioned it in a minute. The worst response I’ve had when explaining it in an e-mail was the guy telling me that he brews beer, and he really wanted to share that with his significant other. I explained that I would be more than happy to help with the brewing, I just wouldn’t be able to drink it. I also explained that I had always thought it would be fun to brew my own gluten-free beer. Apparently gluten-free beer was blasphemy in his eyes, but he said he’d give me a chance anyway. (I ended up not giving him a chance, and we never met.)
Second to last option is explaining it on the first date. I did this once on accident. We went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner, and when our waiter got to our table, I asked for the gluten-free menu (I know you’re supposed to ask the host/hostess, but I like to give the waiter/waitress time to think about the fact that my meal is gluten free to kind of drill it into their head while they’re going to get my menu—it’s less likely they’ll forget when putting in my order.) My request was followed by a rather quizzitive look by my date. “I told you about that, didn’t I?” I said. No? Oops… I don’t recall how the conversation went, but it seemed to go ok. He took cues from the waiter and asked if I was sure it was ok he ate the bread. “As long as you don’t spit crumbs on me or my food,” I replied. I have no idea if he knew I was being funny and serious at the same time. He must have heard something about gluten-free being healthy because he commented on how healthy my meal was even as I slathered butter and brown sugar all over my baked potato. I explained that gluten-free does not equal healthy, and if I could have the fries, I definitely would have ordered those (The owner of my local Outback knows I would LOVE it if he could get a dedicated fryer and he’s working on it).
The final option is avoiding food for a few dates and then telling them later. I don’t really see this as an option for me because my life seems to revolve around the gluten-free world. It is definitely possible to do non-food related dates to see if you’re compatible first. Unless you’re not careful about avoiding gluten, and you would kiss someone who had been eating gluten, and you simply order what “should be” ok off a menu, then I feel like you’re deceiving the other person. It’s also wasting their time. (This is just my opinion for my life.)
In a later post, I’ll talk about the ways I’ve explained it to people. It’s definitely tough, but it can be done. If being gluten-free is important or critical for you, do you really want to be with someone who can’t accept it anyway? I’ll also do another post that isn’t based on telling them while online dating.

Catching the Bouquet

My cousin got married at the beginning of May. I “caught” the bouquet. I never catch the bouquet (I should say I’ve never caught bouquet until now). I’m used to everyone’s claws coming out and the bouquet being ripped to shreds because all the girls are fighting over it. Not this time. This time, all 10+ of us stood there ready, and when she threw it, it landed with a thud on the floor a few feet in front of me. I cautiously walked forward and picked it up. No blood was drawn, and no one gouged out my eyes.
I was very happy to have “caught” it. When we were in high school, we were closer than me and my real sister were. My sister is 15 months older than me, and my cousin is 23 months older. I really looked up to her as I was growing up, and I’m thankful she was always a good role model (no offense to my sister, but she was a little boring). I live a few states away, so it wouldn’t have been feasible to be in the wedding, but I was more than happy to take home the bouquet and dry it as a way to remember the evening.
The funny part of the story is what followed. I posted on Facebook that I had caught the bouquet. Here are a few of the responses I got:
“Uh-oh. ;)”
“ya Uh-Oh, Congrats J”
“Well, since you’re coming to my wedding anyway, it’s good to know I’ll have a backup if my fiancĂ© changes her mind”
“Woo whoo”
“K, waiting for you to meet the guy then the invite!!!”
My friends continued to comment on my “good fortune” for a few weeks. Do people really believe that the person who catches the bouquet is going to get married next? I suppose it’s never happened to me before, so maybe it will work.
I’m sure everyone who is on a gluten-free diet is dying to know how I handle the food at weddings. My answer is that it all depends on the circumstances. At this particular wedding, I had forgotten to speak with my cousin about whether or not there would be anything safe for me to eat. The wedding wasn’t until 4pm, so I ate a large breakfast and a late lunch, and carried snack bars in my purse to hold me over until I got home. It worked out well because it was sort of an hors d’oeuvre buffet, and seats weren’t assigned. I don’t think anyone even noticed that I never got food.
Other weddings have been completely different:
  1. A previous boyfriends cousin: This was shortly after I was diagnosed. When we got to the reception, we questioned the catering staff who didn’t seem to have a clue when it came to gluten. The only thing they came up with was that the salad was gluten-free because the croutons were in a separate container. They were unsure about any of the dressings, so I basically ate lettuce. It sucked. It taught me to be better prepared.
  2. My uncle: I confirmed there was a microwave I could use at the reception, so I froze a meal of barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes. It thawed throughout the day, and then I heated it up in the microwave while everyone else was going through the buffet. This was still early on, and my family still has a hard time understanding, but they were really bad about it then, so I received a few comments about eating some salad and picking off the croutons, but I was perfectly fine with my meal I brought with me.
  3. A close friend: This is one of two times I’ve been able to eat the food prepared by the caterers. She used to work for the catering company, so she was able to speak with the right people. When I got to the reception, I asked around to find the right person, so I could confirm they understood cross-contamination. “Don’t worry, we all wear gloves.” Ok, clearly she didn’t get it. I said it nicely, but my response was, “I’d rather someone go to the bathroom without washing their hands and prepare my food than wear gloves and possibly touch gluten and then my food. Gloves don’t prevent cross-contamination.” She still didn’t seem to get it, so I reluctantly went to speak with the bride. Good friends are such a relief sometimes. She went and got the person who would be preparing my food, and they reassured me everything would be safe, and they even brought my food out to me to ensure I knew it was prepared by them and it was ok. I realize how hard it is to get all the food out at a wedding in the first place, so I’m not sure I would ever expect this treatment again, but it was definitely nice to eat what everyone else was eating—only slightly modified and prepared carefully.
  4. A previous boyfriends friend: Once again, I froze food and brought it along. He spoke with the catering staff to ensure they were ok with me having my own food, and to see where the microwave was. They said they couldn’t allow anyone else in the kitchen, but the staff would be more than happy to heat up my food, plate it, and add some extra veggies that they were sure were not cross-contaminated. They confirmed they understood not to cross contaminate my food, and in the end I wound up with an excellent looking meal that everyone else at my table was jealous of. I was astonished that I had technically made the food—they just made it look better.
  5. A work friend: I checked with the bride prior to the wedding to see who the caterers were, and she informed me it was a local restaurant. She also said she had asked about food for me when they had met with the caterers, and they confirmed they were able to accommodate me. She confirmed with them again a few days before the wedding, and because I’m so leery of getting sick, I called them the morning of the wedding. They said the bride had already spoken with them again that day, and I would be fine. They were preparing a meal slightly different from everyone elses to ensure my food didn’t get mixed up and possibly contaminated. When I arrived at the reception, I checked in with them to inform them where I was sitting, and they informed me they had a special card at my seat that I hadn’t noticed so they would know where to bring my food. There is something to be said for not having mass produced food because everyone at my table was jealous of my food because it wasn’t overcooked or cold.
  6. A previous boyfriends friend: I didn’t know many people at this wedding, and it was buffet style and it would have been incredibly obvious that I wasn’t eating if I stayed at the table while everyone got their food. I had two small sandwiches that I had brought along as it was an outdoor wedding and there was no microwave available. I went through the line with myself and my boyfriend choosing food that “should be” gluten free. When he was almost done with his plate, we switched so that it looked like I had eaten their food when I had really eaten my sandwiches. Only those sitting right by me noticed, and it turned out one of them was on a gluten-free diet, but she wasn’t very careful about it because she had simply gotten food that “should” be safe.
So those are my examples. Each of those six were pretty different from each other, so as you can see—it completely depends on the circumstances. What tips do you have for safely eating gluten-free at weddings?

I’m a Stubborn Woman

I decided I should write this one up and post it before I realize how embarassing it is and change my mind ;)
First some background information about eHarmony for those who are unaware. Non-paying members can look at their “matches” which are “based on 29 dimensions of compatibility” (or something like that). Unlike other services, you can’t merely search for anyone, eHarmony matches you with people you should be compatible with, and you can choose from them. So non-paying members can look at profiles, but they can’t see pictures or anything like that.  They can also send “Icebreakers” which are short messages that you can choose from. You can only send one icebreaker to each match.
Their “Guided Communication” takes you through four steps:
First you have your “1st Questions.” Each person selects from a list of multiple choice questions. Whoever initiates conversation chooses their 5 questions, and sends them. The recipient answers them and then chooses their own 5 questions to send. After the original person answers the questions, they move to the next step.
Second, you have “Must Haves & Can’t Stands.” They have a long list of statements such as “I must have someone who shares my desire to have or adopt children.” After the person who initiated conversation answers the 5 multiple choice questions, they choose 10 “Must Haves” and 10 “Can’t Stands,” and send those. After the recipient reads them, they choose their own, and send those. After the original person reads those, they move to the next step.
Third, there is the long answers. There is a list of questions, or you can write your own. The original person chooses/writes a total of three questions, and sends them. After the recipient answers the questions, they choose/write three of their own questions, and sends them. After the original person reads the answers, they move to the next step.
Finally, there is open communication. After the original person has read the three long answers, they can send an e-mail, and then you’re basically free to do what you want. You don’t have to go back and forth with communication at that point–one person can send two e-mails in a row if they want.
So now that we’ve covered the basics, I’ll tell my story. This last weekend was a “Free Communication Weekend” which means anyone can communicate through the Guided Communication. Non-paying members still can’t see pictures or take advantage of some of the other perks, but it gives you a chance to get through some of the steps.
I sent 5 questions to an individual I was interested in based on his profile. He then sent me an Icebreaker. At that point I was confused. How did I relay to him that he needed to answer my questions? I found the Icebreaker that did the best job of hinting that I wanted to talk, and it worked–he answered my questions…the next day. I was really interested after reading his answers, so I anxiously awaited his Must Haves/Can’t Stands after I sent mine. The next day was Memorial Day–the last day of the Free Communication Weekend.
I have three reasons I don’t think I want to actually subscribe again:
1. They ticked me off when they automatically renewed my account after my three month subscription was over. I was incredibly busy, and I didn’t have time to be looking, and I figured I’d resubscribe when my schedule opened up. They refused to credit me back saying it was in the terms and conditions that it defaults to automatically renew. It was completely my fault, but I was still mad.
2. I haven’t been matched with very many interesting people, and hardly anyone responded during the three months I was subscribed anyway.
3. I’m cheap, and I can’t decide if it’s really worth it.
I got sort of neurotic about checking my e-mail most of the day on Memorial Day. I wanted to make sure I responded right away in hopes we could get through the communication steps so that I could send him my e-mail address. Around 3pm, I was bored, so I decided to see if I could find him on Facebook based on his first name and city. I didn’t have any luck with that, so I thought I’d go one step further and see if I could find him on the internet because he has a slightly unusual career.
That was when the stubbornness kicked in. Armed with his first name, age, city, and occupation, I was bound and determined to find him. It wasn’t because I was incredibly interested in him, it was more so that I was curious if I could actually do it. Over an hour later–yes, an hour–I had found his last name, phone number, address, and employers name. It was essentially dead end after dead end, but once I started finding details, I had everything else within 5 minutes.
During this time, I received his Must Haves/Can’t Stands. I had mine sent to him within 2 minutes in hopes that he was still logged on, and we could move to the next step right away. (Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard from him.)
So now I have a random guys name, address, phone number, etc. I have no idea what he looks like. I have no idea what his personality is like. I know eHarmony thinks we’re compatible, and I know I’m really interested in some of the things he had to say on his profile. I also know I resemble a stalker even though it was actually my stubbornness that got me to keep looking rather than craziness (ok, maybe a little craziness).
I had a dream that I sent him a text message–how creepy would that be. He might like the boldness, but it seems to me it’s still creepy. I was hoping he would have a Facebook page because I figured I could send him a message asking if he was the same person as I had seen on eHarmony. If he does have one, it doesn’t include any details that make it obvious it’s him, and I’m not about to e-mail everyone with his name to see if it’s him. (That would definitely make me a stalker.)
I actually find it slightly ironic that eHarmony has one of their “Questions” that can be on your profile as “Would you date someone on a strict diet?” I saw he had answered that one, so I answered to see his response. The options were:
a. Yes, Maybe they’ll influence me.
b. No, they’re just being picky
c. Only if I get to eat what I want
I chose A. He chose C. No idea what that means, I just thought it was ironic. Had he chosen B, I would have immediately moved on–or my stubbornness would have come out yet again, and I would have wanted to meet him to show him a strict diet isn’t always pickyness ;)
So that’s my stubborn story. I’m sure I’ll have more. Hopefully future ones don’t make me out to sound like a stalker, or I might start believing I am a stalker that won’t admit it.
I am curious–where would you go from here? Be bold and call him, or just drop it and move on?

There’s a bat in my house!

Well, there was…
Sometimes I love being a girl. I was sitting on my couch, responding to an e-mail from someone I met on eHarmony that I’m not really interested in when a bat came out of nowhere and landed on my dining room floor. As I sat there frozen, my cat ran up to it, and started playing with it. My initial instinct was to grab a box and try to catch it, but then I realized my neighbors were home, and I could avoid all interaction with the bat by fleeing next door. (I have an irrational fear of it getting caught in my hair even though I’ve heard that’s an urban legend.) I bolted out of the house, and knocked on their door. The kids were very excited, and they wanted to go in and see it be caught, but I informed them we could watch from the window.
As my neighbor headed inside, I asked him to please be careful of all my baked goods in the kitchen if he was able. I had spent a few hours baking cakes and cookies, and the last thing I needed was for them to wind up on the floor. A minute later, I felt like an idiot when he opened up the front door, and the bat went right out. I could have done that.
I rewarded him and the kids with my famous double chocolate brownie cookies. (They’re not really famous—I just started calling them that when people exclaimed how good they were even when they had no idea they were gluten-free. The truth is that they’re made from the recipe on the side of the Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Brownie Mix.)
Back to the bat. I’m a perfectly capable, independent, 30 year old woman. I’ve caught bats in my house before (twice if I’m remembering accurately). So why do I run for help from a male whenever that option is available to me? I once sat cowering under a blanket in my front entryway calling every male that lived anywhere near me until I was drenched in sweat and out of men to call. At that point, I grabbed a broom and caught the bat myself.
I guess at this point, I’ll have to thank my lucky stars my neighbors were home to take care of it for me. I was also fortunate to have had freshly baked cookies (sidenote: I like to bake when the weather is cool so that I have homemade baked goods in the freezer if I want them on a really hot summer day without having to heat up the house. I thought it was definitely a good idea to have them right now so I can prove what a good baker I am if I do meet a decent guy. I also like to prove how great gluten-free food can taste.)
I’m also lucky I’m a girl—I can’t imagine many men running for help to get a bat out of their house ;)

Age 30=Time to work out

I’ve always been naturally thin. Before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I was VERY thin. I was constantly accused of being anorexic. I made it a point to use the bathroom before eating meals because I didn’t want the anorexic accusations turning into bulimic accusations. The undiagnosed Celiac Disease made this quite tricky considering everything I ate upset my stomach.
I gained 15 pounds (slowly) after I was diagnosed and changed to a gluten free diet. This still left me very thin (which was a nice improvement from VERY thin).
Then I turned 30. I was noticing definite weight gain in the last year or so, but I had been trying to gain weight to get myself to a normal size for as long as I could remember. I hadn’t realized how much my body was changing until two recent situations. The first was putting on a bikini to go to the beach with friends. My back side is not fat, but it used to be non-existent, and now it’s definitely there, except there is no tone whatsoever.  My stomach seems to keep growing too. The worst part is I haven’t actually gained any weight—it’s just shift or transforming or something.
A day or two later, I went to put on a pair of shorts. I couldn’t get the first pair past mid-thigh. Same thing with the second pair… and the third… and the Bermuda shorts.  I wanted to scream. I knew my hips were getting wider, but this seemed a bit ridiculous considering I bought most of them last year. I’ve also been able to wear the same clothes since high school (maybe I shouldn’t admit I’ve had some of my clothes for 15 years).
Now before anyone starts getting mad at me for how lucky I am, trust me when I say I know. I guess I’m not so much complaining as I am…adapting to the change ;)
I decided it was time to start doing something about it. I didn’t want to lose weight, I simply wanted to tone up and actually resemble something that was close to being “in shape.” I decided I’d get up early and walk the dogs…3 weeks later, I hadn’t accomplished that once. When I realized that, I decided I would just start doing push ups, sit ups, and wall sits. I only did it once because I did so many that my muscles ached for the next week.
Fast forward to my most recent idea. A friend posted that they had finished their workout for the “100 Push up Challenge.” I checked out the website, and it looked simple enough so I did the initial test. Then I found that they also have a challenge for squats, crunches, and dips. I did the initial tests for those too. My plan is to do the 6 weeks of training for all four programs. So much for starting out simple to make myself more likely to continue.
Why am I blogging about this? I’d like to be in shape when I meet someone. I’d like them to be in shape enough that we can do active things without dying afterward. Also, once it’s “down on paper,” maybe I’ll see that as enough incentive to avoid feeling like an ass for giving up. (Feel free to ask me about it later.)
This also proves that the gluten-free diet isn’t a weight-loss diet, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Suddenly Nervous

So I’ve been chatting with a guy I “met” on eHarmony ever since the first day of the Free Communication Weekend last weekend. I’m curious if we made it through the Guided Communication steps in record time–especially considering we were both at work.
For some reason, I’ve had it in my head that I’m not very interested in him this whole time. I continued chatting with him because everything I’ve read has said you should give someone a chance even if you’re not completely interested. Now that I’ve written that, I cannot for the life of me remember why they say that, or why I thought it made sense, but I’m doing it anyway.
I made it through the communication steps with two different men last weekend. The first one is the one I referred to earlier. He’s 38 and has an 11 year old son. The second one is 26. These are the details that have completely stuck with me. These tiny little details are the reasons I’m not interested in them… or so I thought.
I received an e-mail from the 38 year old today, and I decided it’d be good practice to tell him about the gluten-free thing. I’m not interested in him anyway, so what did it matter if he had a bad reaction to it? But then I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to explain it. What if he did have a bad reaction to it? Was I realizing that I may actually be interested in him, or was I more worried about being denied by someone?
I began to do some reflecting while I waited for my work computer to quit malfunctioning, and I realized I had no idea why I wouldn’t be interested in him. I’d prefer to date someone no more than 9 years older than me, and he’s only 8 years old. While I’d prefer to date someone without kids, I have to accept the fact that I’m 30, and a lot of men I’m interested in may have kids (I’ve dated many men with children in the past with no issues). He has a stable job that he loves, his description of his relationship with his son is a good one, and  I enjoy chatting with him via e-mail.
So now I’m faced with explaining my gluten-free diet. For all I know, he’s on a gluten-free diet too. Because that possibility is terribly unlikely, I’m faced with the more likely scenario of him never having heard of a gluten-free diet. I’ve done this a million times. Why am I so nervous now?

I asked him out…

I asked a guy out on a date. The same guy I said I wasn’t interested in. We’ve been texting back and forth quite a bit, and I really enjoy talking to him. I suppose we have only been chatting with each other for a week and a half, but usually guys will bring up meeting by this point. I appreciate that he’s not being pushy, but that could also be his “trick.” (essentially playing hard to get)
At the moment I’m writing this, he hasn’t answered. I’m nervous. I’d rather get it over with and figure out if I am or am not interested.
I asked him if he’d like to join me for a very specific event (a home tour in the area). I figured this was better than an open invitation so that he could easily say he was busy if he’s not ready to meet. I also really want to go on the home tour, and I’ve been so busy at work that I forgot to ask anyone to join me. 
And there’s a text message…
(A few hours later…)
Good news and bad news. I always ask for the bad news first, so I’ll tell the bad news first: He is headed out of town this weekend so he had to say no, but the good news is he wants to meet another time soon. 
He also said that he liked that I was bold by asking him, and he thinks it’s a good quality. I suppose I should admit that I’m not normally a bold person. I once told someone I was getting more and more shy as I got older, but I’m beginning to wonder if the opposite is true.  
Now I just need to tell him about the gluten thing. Still not sure why I’m nervous about that. 

First Date

I wound up going on a date with the guy I wasn’t really interested in (or so I thought). From here on out, I’ll refer to him as “B” instead of “the guy I wasn’t really interested in” even though I’m still unsure if I’m interested in him. I originally thought he couldn’t go on the home tour with me because he said he was going out of town this weekend. We wound up talking on the phone that night…for nearly two and a half hours. During our conversation, he found out the home tour started Friday night, and I found out he wasn’t leaving until Saturday. Perfect!
We met around 4:30pm in centrally located area where he left his motorcycle. I’m glad we didn’t take his bike because it was hard enough finding each of the locations in a car. It dawned on me that I had my GPS in my car after we had gone through about 5 homes… oops.
Ok, first impression… eh. I’ve never been one to go for looks or be shallow. I’m far more into personality than I am looks. I think his clothing had a lot to do with my reaction. I had done my hair, I had nice jeans, a dressy shirt, dressy shoes, and I was wearing fairly nice jewelry. He was wearing old faded jeans, tennis shoes, and a polo shirt. In his defense, he even commented that it was “casual” day at work, and he knew he looked “frumpy.” I was kind of surprised that he didn’t try harder knowing he was going on a first date.
We had a great time. The home tour was actually an excellent idea because we had something to talk about the whole time. I will say his navigation skills are lacking. I’m glad we weren’t on a time constraint because I get really frustrated when people can’t tell me where to go if it’s going to make us late, and I hate deciding if I should cover up that flaw of mine or just let them see it. We definitely made a record number of U-turns that night.
The home tour ended at 9, and I was famished by 8pm, so I asked if he wanted to go to a nearby restaurant I knew could accommodate my gluten free diet after we went through the last house. I wasn’t sure if we should have gone elsewhere because the location I chose was moderately expensive (most meals aren’t under $20). I figured if nothing else, I would just pay for my own meal.
He didn’t seem put off by my gluten-free “demands” as I spoke with the waitress, and our great conversation continued through dinner. (He didn’t even think it was weird when the waitress brought me gluten-free crackers and I didn’t eat them because I was unsure if they were actually gluten-free.) Something was definitely missing though. I couldn’t seem to put my finger on it. We got along so incredibly well, and I could talk to him for hours upon hours upon hours. At the same time, I was still kinda “eh” about being with him. (He did pay for dinner.)
After some reflection this weekend, I think I figured out what it is. The one physical feature I’ve always been attracted to is eyes. Not necessarily those totally strikingly beautiful eyes, just “normal” eyes that I wind up getting completely drawn into. I don’t recall ever deciding I wasn’t into someone based on their eyes, but I think I may have now. I feel horribly shallow, but he has a “lazy eye.” I think it was throwing me off because I wasn’t able to gaze into his eyes.
I’m going to go on another date with B. I had far too good of a time with him to not give him another chance. Maybe I’ll figure out it was something else, or I’ll grow to really like his eyes like I normally do. I’d hate to give up on him for something so seemingly insignificant when in all other respects, he seems perfect for me.
Any advice from my followers/readers?

Workout #1

I’m teetering between that post-work-out high and thinking I’m insane for doing this. It doesn’t help that it’s 78 degrees in my house—I don’t even want to know what the temperature is outside. I haven’t decided for sure yet if I’m going to do all four of the challenges. For today, I started with the push-ups and squats. I don’t want to do all four each day I do it, so I’ll either start the sit-ups and dips tomorrow, or in a few weeks.
I was slightly insane (and maybe a little drunk last night), when my neighbor bet me he could do half as many one-handed push-ups as I could do regular push-ups. I made it to 15—he fell a split second after trying the first one. He wound up doing 30 regular push-ups. I’m regretting that choice now because this program says you should rest one day between workouts. Oops ;)
I was outside doing some yard work earlier today when one of the neighbors on the other side of my house was outside doing his workout. He has a really nice body…really nice. It was one of those things you watch someone do, and you say to yourself, “I can do that.” I suppose it’s more of an “I want to do that,” but whatever. I would never date workout neighbor.  He’s young. I have no idea how young, but he’s in college, and I’m fairly certain a few of the guys that live there aren’t even old enough to drink.
I like impressing men with my strength. No idea why. I just do. I’m a very petite person. I’m constantly being asked if I need helping lifting heavy items. Sometimes I enjoy sitting back and letting people help me. Other times, I enjoy the fact that I can say, “No, I’ve got it,” and then watch their jaw hit the ground when I manage it with ease. Maybe that’s part of my goal with working out… being able to lift just about anything with ease. It’s one thing to drag an 80 pound carry-on across the airport and onto the plane because I’m too cheap to pay for a checked bag, but it’s another to NEED to ask for help because you can’t lift it into the overhead compartment. I’ll probably always enjoy being petite because the majority of the male species has no problem helping me out, but at the same time I truly enjoy being a strong, independent woman.

Undateable and a Little TMI

I’m currently a total mess and appear to be completely undateable. In an attempt to simplify my life I tried learning how to put my hair into rollers. It took me about an hour to get the first one to stay in and now I have nine random large rollers all over my head. I used a semi-decorative scarf to hold the rollers because everyone says that you’re supposed to use a head wrap. It didn’t entirely cover all of the rollers so I used a second decorative scarf to cover the remaining rollers. It’s not remotely attractive, and I have a feeling I’ll be washing my hair and dealing with a mess of hair tomorrow anyway because I’m 99.9% certain I rolled them wrong.
Moving on with my current “undateableness,” I managed to get a splinter buried deep into the top of my thumb today while doing some work outside. After pinching my thumb and trying to squeeze the splinter out, I realized that I wasn’t succeeding so I’d look it up on the Internet to see how to get it out. The first advice it gave was to never ever try to squeeze the splinter out. Oops…
My best option for removing splinters seemed to be a baking soda paste. Then I read that you need to leave the baking soda paste on the area that has the splinter for 24 hours. There’s no way I was going to be able to wrap my thumb in a bandage with the baking soda paste on it for a full 24 hours. I decided it would be sufficient to wrap my thumb before I went to bed and then hopefully I could remove the splinter in the morning. So I currently have a cotton ball with the baking soda paste on it on top of my thumb with a ridiculous amount of bandaging tape holding the whole bandage on to my thumb. It’s quite ridiculous looking.
Last but not least, I managed to give myself horrid gas whilst saving about $.20 last time I went grocery shopping. I know soy gives me gas and causes me to be incredibly bloated. But the kielbasa with soy was cheaper than the kielbasa without soy. A whole $.20 cheaper. Kielbasa seemed like a perfect addition to my gluten free spaghetti. Trust me when I say you don’t want to be anywhere near me right now.
Add this all up, and I’m just glad I don’t have a date tonight. Then again, that whole “for better or worse” thing would be proven by anyone who could love me tonight ;)

What if he tries to kiss me?

I was out with my friend K tonight, when we got on the subject of B. She asked if he had kissed me, and I said no. I told her I was glad he didn’t try because he had eaten bread during our date, therefore I wouldn’t have kissed him.
We joked about how awkward I would have been attempting to dodge the kiss, and then trying to reassure him that I did want to kiss him, I just couldn’t. I jokingly told her that this would be my next blog post. So of course my brain started going in a million different directions with it once I left her house when it really clicked in that we have our second date tomorrow night. Therefore my joke became reality.
So now I’m left pondering…
1. Should I explain to him ahead of time that I can’t kiss him if he’s been eating/drinking anything I can’t have?
2. Should I request that he doesn’t eat anything I can’t have?
3. Do I even want to kiss him?
4. Should I explain the whole cross-contamination via kissing thing, and then say that we should just take things slow physically? Supposedly relationships work out better that way, but I can’t say I’ve ever waited beyond the 3rd date for a first kiss since, hmm, probably 8th grade. I’m not even sure I’m interested in him anyway, so would kissing confirm things one way or the other or just confuse the matter?
As Liz Lemon (from 30 Rock) would say, “Blurgh!” Now that I wrote that, I’m note even sure if I used it right, but I’m going with it ;)
I’ve never been unsure about kissing someone. I don’t know what to think of that. I’ve heard so many people say it was “different” with “the one,” so maybe that’s what’s happening, and I’m confusing it with disinterest. But shouldn’t I be really really into “the one?”

Evolution of Date #2

9:15pm I’m not sure I want to be here. I’m kind of annoyed. I said I’d be available between 8:15 and 8:45. I texted him at 8:45 to let him know I was leaving for the restaurant we agreed on and would be there in 10 minutes.
I received a text 15 minutes later that he was leaving in two minutes. Really?!? Sigh… He works at least 10 minutes from here, so maybe I was expecting too much, but I thought he’d be ready.
I think I’m cranky I think it’s been a really long day and I should have not scheduled a date. I think maybe I’m not interested enough in him to be going on a date, much less on a day that I’d rather just go home and go to bed because I’m exhausted.
11:00pm I just got home. Maybe it was the wine, but I had a great time. I was actually happy to see him when he arrived even though I had just set my phone down after writing my cranky entry above. I’m gonna take care of some stuff around the house and see how I feel then.
11:30pm Dogs are walked, mail is in, blah, blah, blah. I’m not as intrigued with B as I was when I was driving home/got home, but I’m definitely more interested than I was before. I was kind of surprised at my reaction when he showed up. It wasn’t a forced smile, it was an actual genuine smile that came naturally. As usual, neither one of us could shut up during dinner, although I think I did the majority of the talking because I had such a busy day, and I should have taken a little time to wind down and/or talked to a friend to get all the “jibber-jabber” out of my system.
Long story short, when we left (well after closing time after our waiter said we could stick around as long as we wanted), he gave me a hug goodnight at my car. After we talked for a few more minutes, he said he felt awkward asking, but he didn’t know if kissing me could make me sick. He hadn’t eaten the bread the restaurant serves, but he had lasagna for dinner.
I don’t know. Maybe that’s what really won me over tonight. I told him I had discussed that with my friend yesterday, and that unfortunately I could not kiss him. He said he was going to kiss me the other night until he was about to and realized he had been eating bread.
The guy deserves credit for doing a good job of “getting it.” He said he would remember that what he eats could affect me, and said he’d happily settle for a second hug.
Who knows…maybe I do like the guy. Or maybe the waiter overpoured my wine. Or maybe it’s a combination of both. Date #3 should be Thursday. I guess we’ll see what happens then.

Go ahead, laugh at me

So I was driving from my first job to my second job when I grabbed the lip balm that had been sitting in my car all day. It’s the kind that’s in the tube that you squeeze.
So I squeeze and squeeze and can’t seem anything out of the almost empty tube. Finally, I start from the bottom, and work my way up like they tell you to do with toothpaste. As I got to the top, I move it to my lips, and SPLAT! A huge gob of it lands on my lower lip. It was very hot from sitting in the sun too.
I used the top of the tube to spread it around, rubbed my lips together, and called it good. A minute later, I checked my face and hair in the mirror to make sure I was presentable. That was when I saw this:

Ok, I’m aware of how bad it looks, but please continue reading.
Done laughing? Ok.
I snapped a quick picture while I was at a red light (I figured it would make someone laugh–I used to wear one sock inside out because it made a friend laugh once, so it was my backup for when someone was having a bad day), and then quickly wiped off the excess. I can’t even imagine what people would have thought if I hadn’t noticed and walked into work. I often wonder how often I look like an idiot and no one bothers to say anything.
Such as the other day, I was doing yard work with my hair in a ponytail and then held back with a headband to keep the shorter parts out of my face. Hours later, I was sitting outside doing some work on my computer, and I chatted with a few neighbors who walked by.
I later decided to run to the store to buy hair rollers, so I grabbed my purse, keys, and sunglasses and just as I put my hand on the doorknob to leave, I decided to check my appearance in the mirror first. I was a mess. My hair had blown forward over the headband, and the rest of it was in a huge puff over my head. It looked like I had rolled out of bed, and then stepped into a wind tunnel. I’m not sure how many of my neighbors I had talked to, but one of them surely could have told me to go fix my hair.
Blurgh!  (am I still using that wrong?)

Date #3

This is going to be short, but I had to get some of my thoughts out. What is wrong with me? Why don’t I like this guy more? Why isn’t there a spark?
B and I just had our third date. On paper, we are probably the “perfect couple.” He seems to fit every single thing I’m looking for in a significant other, but there is something missing. He even kissed me tonight. It was one of those two second kisses followed by the short pause followed by one more kiss. I really liked it, but usually when I kiss someone for the first time, I get that fluttery feeling in my chest followed by a daydreamy look on my face for the next hour. After he kissed me, I remember thinking “that was really nice.”
That’s not how I want to feel about a significant other. Am I being too picky wanting more? I told a friend the other day that most people complain that the “spark” fades, so I don’t want to start a relationship out without one. She responded that her and her husband still have that “spark” after 8 years. Maybe it doesn’t fade.
He’s fine with the gluten thing, we can talk for hours, I haven’t found any dealbreakers, blah, blah, blah. Why don’t I like this guy more? Would I be forcing it to keep trying, will it never show up, or could something come out of this and I’m being impatient?


I’m sitting here with an ice pack on my head. Occasionally I move it to my back or stomach. I had this genius idea to wait until the last day of the week to do workout 3 of my push-up and squat challenges. It’s 77 degrees in my house, so I’m a bit sweaty. My second genius idea was to go do yard work after my workout. It’s 90 degrees outside.
I figure the ice pack will slowly cool me down at least a little bit. No idea if it’s actually working.
I feel really bad because it’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and besides eating breakfast (around 1pm), walking the dogs, and doing my workout, I haven’t done anything today… because I woke up at 12:30pm. In my defense, I was up until close to 2 chit-chatting with my neighbors. I also drank almost an entire bottle of wine. My idea to pour small glasses didn’t work out in my favor because I just had to refill more often. I’m going to have to buy this wine more often because I actually didn’t have a headache this morning, and I’m pretty much guaranteed a horrid headache after I consume half a bottle with most types of wine.
This is the wine
I was up really late with the neighbors last weekend too. It wound up being just me and “C” both times. Last weekend, he told me that he wasn’t sure about his relationship with his girlfriend. I had to try hard not to laugh because he hadn’t really dated anyone in approximately 10 years, and then suddenly he was dating someone 15 years younger than him. His roommate thought he was insane, especially considering this girl was apparently not at all his “type.” Apparently this girl broke up with him this week, so he got lucky and totally avoided having to do the dumping himself.
Anyway, last weekend, at some random point in our conversation, he told me he was going to tickle me when he was done setting the alarm on his phone. Huh?…. I found it quite odd. Who randomly tickles someone? I told a friend about it, and she confirmed my thoughts…he must like me. It was still odd.
Same thing happened last night (minus the alarm part). Of course then I had the conversation with myself on whether or not I like this guy, and what do I do if he tries to kiss me? He was very inebriated both times, and he was drinking beer, so I wouldn’t have been able to kiss him. I’ve always had a minor crush on him. A few days after they moved into the house next door, the house on the other side of me caught on fire. That’s how I met them. We were all being nosy at one o’clock in the morning. I was also concerned that the fire would spread to my house, but it was mainly nosiness.
Over the years, I’ve talked to them more and more, and now we hang out occasionally (mainly during the summer because it’s too damn cold to be outside in the winter).
So just when I didn’t need anything else to complicate my life, I have this. I’m being very indecisive about a lot of things lately, and I don’t want to make another decision. I don’t want to stop hanging out with them. I definitely hesitate because I do not want things to be weird with my neighbors if I gave it a shot and it didn’t work out.
Your thoughts?

Why you’re still single… or not

You know when you see an article online, and you think, “this is the answer I’ve been looking for!” And then you’re sadly mistaken when you read the article or watch the video? That happened to me the other night.
I saw a video on Yahoo! titled something to the effect of “Why You’re Still Single.” I figured I could get something out of it. I was wrong.
So here is the video:bad video about dating
If you don’t feel like watching it, they basically give three reasons why single women are still single:
1. You’re a bitch
2. You’re a slut
3. You’re selfish
I actually asked B if he agrees with these, and he said the only common would would probably be #3 when it comes to women he’s dated.
I guess I’ll have to wait for the next “miracle article” to explain it to me ;)

He’s Growing on Me

For the first time tonight, I thought about B, and I wanted to see him. Usually, I just kind of want someone to hang out with or to talk to. Before, I really enjoyed his company, but I wasn’t feeling that pull towards him.
I’m not sure what changed either. We’ve hung out a few more times since my last post. I definitely need to write a few more posts to include details, but for tonight, I’m gonna focus on the evolution of this.
I’ve never had a relationship like this before. I once dated someone I had been friends with at work for years before we started dating. When we first met, I just didn’t see him that way. He wasn’t bad looking, but I wasn’t attracted to him at all at first. He took me out for dinner one night after work–something he had done multiple times before–and told me how he felt about me. Within a month of us dating, I was aware that he wasn’t super attractive by normal standards, but I was incredibly attracted to him.
Unfortunately, that relationship ended…badly…very badly. I was so mad at him at one point that I chased him out of the house screaming obscenities at him. Anyone who knows me well knows it takes a lot to get me mad, and even when I am mad, I usually don’t show it. I’m not proud of what I did, especially because I didn’t want to be known as “that” neighbor. Hopefully he’s not proud of using my credit card though. I guess we both made mistakes. ;)
I guess that relationship is the closest thing to this except I’m starting this out with the intention of dating, and hopefully it won’t end as badly if it ends. B is a really great guy, so my biggest worry is hurting him. Unless he’s covering up some pretty major flaws, I don’t know why I wouldn’t want to date him.
I guess time will tell.

Trusting Someone With Your Food

So the other day, I was at my second job. I was exhausted after a long day, and the last thing I wanted to do was go home and cook dinner when I knew it was probably at least 85 degrees in my house. I was texting with B, and I had mentioned how good Chipotle sounded because he had mentioned going there the night before.
We didn’t have plans that evening, but he asked if I’d like it for dinner. My response was: ”Do you want to meet up there or would you be comfortable ordering for me if I give you instructions? You’ll have to sound super picky and watch them like a hawk but I think you could do it if you’re comfortable. I understand if you’re not. “
His response: “Up to you…. It’s ok by me. The last thing I’d want to see you is sick.”
My (super long) response:  ”You’d have to say the it’s a gluten free order, make sure they wash their hands and change their gloves and dont do anything else before making my food. I want a carnitas bowl with whichever rice is newer (it will be fuller), they should get a new serving spoon for each thing they dish up. I want pinto beans, sour cream, guacamole, and then they should grab new lettuce and mozzarella from below because they grab that with their hands. Just watch the rest of the process for any possibilities of cross contamination.  You can have any of the “bowls” since you’re bringing it to my house. The only thing that they have that contains gluten is the tortillas.”
His response: “Alright…I got this. I’ll probably leave here in 15-20 minutes.”
What?!?!?!? I thought for sure he’d get that super long text and be like “screw that!”
I’m pretty sure this was our 6th date. The night before he had come over to help me put together a new shelf for my kitchen. That night he was there to help me install some window AC units and watch me clean because I was having friends over the next day. Yes, I’m counting putting together a shelf and cleaning the house as dates. Technically it was the 5th and 6th times we had hung out, but I’m calling them our 5th and 6th dates because I can ;)
When he got to my house, he told me how amazing it was when everybody sprung into action when he said he had a gluten-free order. Apparently they had a very knowledgeable staff working because he said he didn’t have to give any additional instructions–they automatically did everything that was on my text.
Yesterday I said he was growing on me. He definitely impressed me with this. I need someone who is willing and capable of doing these things. I’m still so unsure if why I’m so unsure about him, but I guess I’ll figure it out.
Stay tuned for my next post which is about date #4… it’ll be a doozy.

Date #4… Fiasco?

Last Friday, B had asked if I wanted to hang out Saturday because he had to drive up to the office for a few hours anyway. (He lives about an hour away, but he works in town.) I wasn’t sure what I would be doing at the time, but I said we could definitely hang out at some point.
His coworker had a sick kid, so he wound up staying home, but he said he still wanted to hang out. Around 5pm, I said I was going to hop in the shower , and I was available afterwards to hang out if he wanted to do something simple.  We agreed on him picking up a movie and some food, and I would cook. I told him he could pick anything for dinner, and I would let him know specifically what food to get to ensure it was gluten-free. After deciding on spaghetti, I told him to pick up some meat for the sauce, and I already had gluten-free noodles and spaghetti sauce. I told him to make sure it was fresh, unseasoned, unmarinated, “un-messed with” meat.
I’m not sure what caused the delay, but he ended up leaving his house a little after 7. I was already hungry at this point. An hour and a half later, I texted him to see what time he would be here, and he said he was at Redbox. Forty-five minutes later, he said he was just down the way at the grocery store, but they didn’t have what he normally gets. At this point I was starving, and I was starting to get really pissed off. I also couldn’t believe he was at the grocery store by my house. I even texted back that had I known he was going there, I would have given him directions elsewhere because I WILL NOT eat their meat. I told him to just leave and we would have it without meat in the sauce.
I was pacing back and forth in my dining room, because I was tired, cranky, and absolutely starving. If he hadn’t just drove over an hour to get here, I would have seriously considered telling him to skip it and go home. For some reason he clarified where he was at, and he was not at the grocery store near my house. I was relieved that I was able to tell him to just grab some ground beef, but I managed to find another reason to be upset—there was a Redbox in the grocery store he was at. Why hadn’t he just gone to that one?
He finally arrived around 9:30 or 9:45. I have a hard time being rude to people, so I covered up my attitude and just jumped into action making dinner the second he arrived. I really didn’t want to watch the movie considering we wouldn’t be able to start it until at least 10:30, but again, he had driven all the way up here.
Part of the reason I had asked him to come over was that I wanted to say something about how I was unsure about us. I didn’t want him getting too into me if I didn’t feel the same. I had no idea what I was going to say or how I was going to say it, but I wanted to say something.
Dinner and the movie went fine. I calmed down considerably after I got some food in me. I was slightly annoyed during the movie because he kept commenting on things during the movie. I think I was more annoyed with myself because I do that all the time, and I realized how incredibly annoying that is ;)
I never ended up saying anything to him. There was never a good opportunity, but honestly I chickened out. He gave me a kiss goodnight, and I actually sort of got some butterflies. I wasn’t sure what to think of that. He left around 2am, and I honestly would have kept chatting away with him because he is so easy to talk to, but I was exhausted, and he still needed to drive home.
I was kind of surprised he didn’t think I was a total bitch that night. I’m not proud of the way I acted even though it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’m sure some people would have acted in the same situation.
But here’s the kicker. When he was at my house a few days later, I asked him when his birthday was because I knew it was in June, and I was pretty sure it was in the next few days. I wasn’t sure I would be getting him a gift or anything, but I wanted to do something for him though I didn’t know what. His answer?… June 16th. Last Saturday. The day I was cranky and rude.
My jaw dropped when I realized that was last Saturday. I kept apologizing, and he kept saying it was fine. He said he was really glad we had gotten to hang out, and that was enough of a gift. When I asked him why he didn’t say anything, he said he didn’t want to draw attention to it because he was having trouble dealing with the fact that he was 39.
We’re going to hang out today when he gets out of the office. I’m considering pulling one of my frozen cakes out of the freezer, sticking a candle in it and singing him happy birthday. I just need to decide if that will make it worse or better.
I’ll let you all know what I decide and how it goes.

Date #7…I’m kinda smitten

Remember that blog post where I said I normally get a fluttery feeling in my chest and I walk around all daydreamy for an hour after a first kiss? Well, it finally happened.
B came over yesterday to hang out. We were supposed to go to a bonfire at a friends house, but I had managed to somehow build my own bonfire. Long story short, I had this weird weed that grew out of a tree stump that grew to be at least 20 feet tall. My neighbors helped me chop it down last weekend, and my goal this weekend was to get the stump out of the ground so it wouldn’t grow again. After an hour of digging, I noticed a lot of carpenter ants, and I realized it was going to take forever. I decided to try to burn the stump rather than dig it out to try to kill the carpenter ants if they were living in it too.
I had a pretty good fire going by time B arrived, but after he helped me keep it going for a few hours, I realized we weren’t going to make it to my friends house. I grabbed a couple chairs out of my garage, and we sat and chatted in front of my tree stump bonfire…until 4am.
At that point, I had been thinking about inviting him to stay over for the last few hours. I felt bad that he had to drive over an hour to get home, and for some reason, I wasn’t nearly as unsure about him. Nothing specific happened that caused this change. Suddenly I wanted to stand close to him, and hold his hand, and kiss him for no reason.
The fear of getting hurt really settled in once I made this realization. I went so far as to ask him what his “dealbreakers” were in hopes that he would also ask me mine. (He did.) I wanted to cover my bases with all of the little details that could possibly cause this not to work.
Note: I wrote the above on Sunday, June 24th. I got distracted when B called me, and we talked for hours…as usual ;)
It was incredibly nice to sleep in his arms. We slept fully clothed, and he didn’t try anything. I’ve been wanting to take things slow, and even though I haven’t told him that, he’s been very respectful about it.
Waking up next to him felt incredibly right. We laid there and talked for about an hour, and it was at that time that I found myself just gazing into his eyes. There were times when we were just laying there looking at each other for minutes at a time without saying a word.
I don’t know what changed, and I’m not sure if it even matters. I’m happy.  Really happy. Unless he’s doing a really good job of faking it, we’re both at exactly the same place in what we’re looking for. I don’t doubt his sincerity in anything he says either. Part of me is somewhat scared of getting hurt, but it’s not so much that I’m afraid of him hurting me as it is that I’m afraid we just won’t work out.
I’m going to go ahead and enjoy the rest of my day with the goofy grin on my face that hasn’t left in a few days ;)

I’m in Love

Don’t ask me how it happened. I fought it. I doubted it. I pushed him away. I didn’t see this coming at all.
B stayed at my house last Wednesday and Thursday after hanging out Monday and Tuesday nights. It was weird sleeping alone Friday night. My bed has never seemed so large before.
Saturday I woke up with a fever, sore throat, and every single thing in my body that could hurt did. I texted B to warn him assuming he wouldn’t want to hang out and risk getting sick. He came over anyway. I can’t imagine how horrid I looked. I felt so horrid that I didn’t care. He was more than happy to do anything and everything I needed to help nurse me back to health.
That was the day that I knew I loved him. As a member of the female gender, I’m well aware of the fact that the female should never say they love the male first.  The male must say those words first. He was so incredibly helpful and caring that I thought for sure the words were going to slip right through my lips anyway.
I was fairly certain he felt the same, and B doesn’t really seem to be the type to get scared and run, but I didn’t want to take any chances, so I waited. Monday night, I noticed an eyelash on his cheek, so I told him to make a wish. I felt like a silly little school girl as I secretly hoped he was wishing something about me loving him. I later noticed another eyelash on his cheek and I did the same thing.
Tuesday night (yesterday), I thought I was going to burst. Apparently I wasn’t hiding it well because at one point when we had been gazing into each others eyes for a ridiculous amount of time, he commented that it really looked like I had something to say. I admitted that I did, but it was something I needed to hear from him first.
“I love you,” he said as I melted right into his arms. “I love you too.”
We sat there holding each other, just enjoying the moment, for about an hour. I asked if one of his wishes had come true, and he said yes. And then he got up and made me gluten-free spaghetti because I was too sick and weak to get up and cook for myself. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

I’m back!!!

I’ve been away for a while. A long while. Life has been a total roller coaster. One of those really good, fun rollercoasters that has moments of anxiety, but you still have a smile on your face for the entirety of it. I’ve been on the rollercoaster before. It was different though. I wasn’t smiling the whole time, and I was either flying through the twists and turns alone or I might as well have been.
I’ve heard so many people say you “just know” when you’ve met “the one.” Between those who said it with each new person they started dating, and those that would wind up going through a horrific divorce with “the one,” I was losing faith that it was even a real thing. I was often one of the former. I wanted so badly for it to happen that I thought I knew I had met “the one” many times in my life. So many times in fact that I think my friends stopped believing me.
This time truly is different. Even my friends tell me I’m different. So much had happened. In the last few months since I “announced” I was smitten that I have no idea where to start. I need an outlet. I need to gush and ooze my happiness all over everyone.
Part of the reason I stopped blogging was that I couldn’t figure out how to write about “dating without gluten” when the original purpose was to give advice whilst telling my stories about dating. For some reason, it seemed like I wash no longer dating because I wasn’t looking. I had also gotten really lucky in meeting someone who was more than happy to do everything he could to accommodate me.
It recently dawned one that I still have a lot to offer to the “dating without gluten” community including how to travel, how to handle non-gf children, etc.
So…I’m back!

Traveling Home (Part 1)

Back in July, I took a week off work to make the ten hour drive to see my family and friends. B had recently moved in, and while he wasn’t able to get the time off work to join me, he was going to do his best to take the train and join me for part of the trip later in the week. 
I left my dogs/cat and house in his care and hit the road. I normally do all sorts of pre-planning so I know exactly where I will eat, and give meticulous instructions to anyone who wants to cook for me. I had been incredibly busy prior to leaving, and I honestly didn’t even know who I was staying with any of the days I was going to be gone, therefore I didn’t know where I would eat. 
I packed four sandwiches, a case of water, and a bunch of snacks. I normally stay with a friend who lives about seven hours away and complete my trip the next day, but she just happened to be moving to my final destination that same day.  I sent a text to a friend who lived slightly out of the way but was at about the halfway point the morning I left. Thankfully she responded quickly and informed me that I was more than welcome to stay there. 
Whew! At least I wouldn’t arrive at my final destination late at night due to no place to stay along my route. I hadn’t seen this particular friend in almost ten years. She had been through a cheating husband, a divorce, a marriage, and became a breast cancer survivor in that time. I had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, graduated from college, and broke off an engagement. We had a lot of catching up to do despite our infrequent phone calls over the years. Then again, we were wearing the same shirt in different colors. 
We managed to find gluten free options at one of her two favorite restaurants in her tiny Wisconsin town. The best part was they had GF pasta and pizza with good practices to avoid cross contamination. We enjoyed dinner with her husband and two close friends, and stayed up late for some much needed girl talk. 
This was basically how the trip went. I was able to spend some quality time with friends I had rarely seen in years while trying out all kinds of new restaurants. My trips “back home” are usually rushed trips for holidays birthdays, weddings, etc. This one was proving to be exactly what I needed. 
To be continued…

Traveling Home (Part 2)

My total trip was ten days. I was having an excellent time, and while I missed B dearly, I really wanted him to join me so he could meet some of my friends and join us for our family dinner which was scheduled for my second to last day which was a Saturday.
Late Thursday afternoon he finally sent me a text saying he was able to take Friday off work, and take the train to join me. He topped off my cats food and water, dropped the dogs off at my best friends house, and boarded the train early Friday morning.
I was incredibly busy Friday, but I was also filled with anticipation for his arrival. I was at my aunt and uncles home Friday evening when they invited me out for dinner. I informed them we would have to drive separately as we might not make it back in time for me to get my car and still make it to the train station in time. My uncle then informed me that B should meet him before my dad anyway, so we could all go together if we were running short on time. I should have known my dad’s brother would do this considering their competitiveness.
This ended up being the case–dinner went long, and the three of us went to the train station together. I sent B a text to give him a heads up, and of course he was fine with it. Of course the train was also delayed, so we would have had plenty of time to get my car.
As usual, B hadn’t consumed any gluten on the train because he wanted to be able to kiss me when he saw me.  Introductions went well, but we didn’t stay at my aunt and uncles long because we needed to get to where we were staying because Saturday was fully booked.
We stayed up for some wine with Amanda, and then headed to bed because I knew from experience her children would wake us up early–especially because we were taking them to Chuck E Cheeses in the morning to try their new GF pizza.
To be continued…

Engaged Without Gluten

He proposed! I knew it was coming at some point. I had no idea when. I knew he had talked to my dad and asked for his blessing. I still didn’t know when.
It was Wednesday evening before thanksgiving. My parents were scheduled to arrive in approximately 45 minutes. I was rushing around getting dinner ready and getting myself dressed because I had postponed showering until later in the day to get other things done first. I had just gotten dressed and finished fixing my hair, and I was standing in front of my jewelry table picking out what to wear (I sell jewelry so I have a LARGE selection.)
“Should I wear this necklace?” I asked.
“No, this one would look better,” he replied as he walked up behind me.
“Ok, what else?” I asked.
“Why don’t you wear this?” He asked as he reached his arm around so I could see the ring box.
I’m lucky I didn’t strangle him considering how quickly I swung around to wrap my arms around his neck. I kissed him before he had a chance to say the words, but then he said it, “Will you marry me?”
I’m not even sure what my response was at this point. It was somewhere along the lines of “Yes!” or “Of course!” or “Absolutely!”
I was so busy holding him and kissing him and being held by him and being kissed by him that it was probably 5 minutes before I even looked at the ring for a second time. It’s stunning! It’s simple, yet unique. It looks perfect on my finger. It’s exactly what I wanted with a little bit of personalization thrown in so that it is uniquely mine.
Now I get to plan a wedding. A 100% gluten-free wedding. I’m convinced it can be done even though we don’t live in a major metropolitan city. There are no dedicated gluten free bakeries here, and I will accept nothing less for my cake.
Did I mention we are currently planning on June 8, 2013? 194 days to go ;)

The Original Proposal Plan

He originally alluded to some grand scheme surrounding his proposal. I had no idea what he had planned, and I was suspect at almost all times. A few days before the proposal, we were on our to see the musical Avenue Q. He was acting funny on the drive there, and it suddenly dawned on me that we had first met in the parking lot we would be parking in on our first date.
Was he nervous? Was he going to propose when we got there? On our way out? Sometime in between? I tried to walk slowly to give him the opportunity.
After the musical, as he drove us out of the parking lot, I had him stop around the spot we had parked our cars on our first date so I could kiss him. Whether he was proposing or not, I hadn’t kissed him on our first date, and I wanted to make up for that. I was a little bummed when we made it all the way out of the parking lot and nothing had happened.
It turns out he was going to propose that night. He wasn’t nervous, he was upset. Throughout the musical, one of the main characters is looking for his purpose. There is a scene where actors come out on each side of the stage each holding a letter of the word “purpose.” As he sings, they flip the letters around to say “propose.” The plan was for him to go onstage and drag me up with him (possibly with the insistence of his coworker I was sitting next to if I refused).
I would have been mortified. He knew this, but he also knew I would have secretly loved it. He was devastated that it didn’t get to happen. I go back and forth when trying to decide which proposal I’d prefer. Ultimately, itdoesn’t matter, but it’s fun to tease him.
He was able to coordinate this proposal because one of his employees was also the technical director of the musical.  All the details had been worked out, but the director had always been a little unsure about doing it. He received an email 3 hours before the musical that they weren’t comfortable doing it. He was devastated.
I asked why he didn’t just propose in the parking lot, and he said he was too upset that night. I don’t blame him. I would have been devastated too.

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