Gap Year: Intro

Hello, my lovely unintentional readers who have wondrously started to follow and read my blog, I have some news for you. One of my very greatest friends is the type of friend who knows everyone and is friends with them too. She’s charming, beautiful, and driven. I think her best quality, however, is her ability to encourage her friends to be exactly who they are. Readers, meet Honey Never Rots. Enjoy!

I always have a plan. No, really I do. I have the type of friends that ask “So,Now What?” So a plan is usually a must. At least an outline of a plan.  I don’t always Never follow the plan but I still like to have one.  We ambitious girls sleep a little better with one. Makes us feel better to have answers when people ask us the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when and (most importantly) WHY.)  

So last October my plan was simple.  Quit my mentally-draining-shithole-first-outta-college-job.  Move in with my grandma.  Save money and move to Chicago in 6 months.  I think I told anyone and everyone that would listen. Mind you I’ve only been once on a girls trip and only did tourist shit but I was determined to get there.

Granted, I left myself a lot of room for whatever serendipity would come.  So that’s how October 2013-October 2014 became my “Gap Year” so to speak. Growth was the only thing I felt like I had to do within these next 365 days.

So….

I have traveled…A LOT. Paid off a bill or two. Hired a personal trainer. Lost 20-ish pounds. Thought seriously about saving money. Quit another job. Started a safe job (By safe I mean: decent pay, close commute, doesn’t make me feel drained).

Oh and I met Handy. 

 

XOXO ,

 

Honey Never Rots

“Actually, I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel like that anymore, or ever again. So I changed. Just like that.” –Instagram meme lol

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Dang It, Pete!

Have you ever had a fictional relationship? The guy you sat next to in your Intro to Poli-Sci class with the hipster backpack and the rolled pants leg that wouldn’t get caught in his fancy bike. Or the older business guy that knows all of the baristas at your local coffee shop by name. Or even someone like Hugh Jackman, who you know is perfect for you because not only can he play Wolverine, but he does musicals. Obviously he is well rounded and would be in love with you if given the chance (and he was not in love with his wife of like 14 years or whatever).

My fictional boyfriend was not truly that. It was more of an idea of someone. The guy that fulfills about 25 of the 27 things you’ve listed on paper as your “dream guy” when you tried to put those vibes out in to the universe after you watched an inspiring TEDTalk about falling in love. He was that one.

Except he was real. Real, but not mine. And maybe not that real either…

His name was Pete. Pete was a good friend of my best friend’s man. They went to college together. They attended one of the military academies. BFF’s man, let’s call him Big Sexy (Which we do. In real life.), anyways, Big Sexy showed my picture to Pete one day and Pete added me on Facebook. He was a guy’s guy, a big teddy bear, intelligent, soft spoken, tons of male friends, but still considerate with his words towards and about women. He had a big family with whom he was close but they didn’t consume his life. He talked to me about things he liked: football, family, and traveling. He asked about things in my life: my job, grad school, family, my BFF. Then one day he drunk called me in the middle of the night. This is not normally charming. But he was at a cabin with his best friends and wanted to talk to me. What about you ask? Faith. He wanted to talk to me about growing up Protestant like him. He asked me about my values and kept apologizing and then telling everyone to be quiet because he was talking to a pretty woman. He texted me every day for 2 months straight.

Then we faded. What else did we have to say to each other when living far away?

That’s how he became fictional to me. For months he was all of the things I wanted in a guy (strong, friendly, Godly, kind, big family, intelligent, loving, attractive), but the truth is, I didn’t truly know any of those things about him. I just assumed. I more or less created Pete in my head. Then, with my close friends, we made a little inside joke. Every time that something didn’t go right with my life romantically, we would say “Dang it, Pete!” in an over exaggerated way to show that it was his fault for being my dream guy and not being there instead of these other hobnobs. Eventually, it became enough of a joke that I could laugh about whatever goofy/hard/dumb romantic mishaps occurred.

That’s why I wasn’t expecting to tear up today. Today, I saw that he was engaged. Facebook informed me from a sweet post that his father wrote and tagged him in. She looks normal and in love. I had no idea. This is the first mention of her. I teared up over my fictional non-relationship, which is embarrassing and sad. It feels like my idea of the right man for me just got engaged. Dramatic and silly, but true. That’s the point of writing this blog right? Catharsis for all of the things we all feel, even for just a moment, but don’t cop to.

Dang it, Pete. Seriously. Dang it.

Half Plus Seven

Half plus seven. Have you heard of this rule? It’s how you determine if someone is in your dating age range. Example, Joe Hottie is 28. Half=14 PLUS 7= 21. 21 is the youngest that Joe Hottie can date while still being socially acceptable.

I’ve applied this rule loosely with my friends, but always strict with myself. I capped my oldest age range at ten years older than me.

Imagine my surprise when in my inbox I receive “Does my beard make up for the fact that I’m a few years outside of your age range?” Okay, I’ll bite. You have intrigued me sir. His profile shows that he is a 34 year old teacher that writes about books, traveling, and God. He has kind eyes, a thick beard, a newsboy cap, and skin that ages him in ways that make it apparent that he’s more advanced than my early-20s-year-old-self. People would probably be able to tell there is a difference in our ages-I think to myself.

I respond with “Probably makes up for a year. Your newsboy cap makes up for the other year. And the fact that you read actual books makes up for 5 years. So you’re essentially 27 in my book” and then I laugh to myself because I think I’m funny.

Our conversation proceeds as follows:

“27, eh? I like the way you do arithmetic!
So…..now that I don’t feel like a creepy old dude, how are ya? Are you a teacher? Traveled anywhere lately?
Have a great day!”

“Ha! Not creepy. Funny old dude 😉 I’m currently under caffeinated, but good. I work [for the local university].
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to travel much this summer. Had to attend quite a few weddings. What about you?
You too!”

“Yeah, I remember 5 years ago when I was 22–that’s about the time all my buddies were starting to get married off. Ah, nostalgia….
Anyway, I asked you the travel question hoping you’d ask me because I wanted to impress you. I spent my summer backpacking through the Balkans. It was the greatest adventure I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back!
Btw, my profile pic is me standing inside the old bobsled track from the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. Pretty cool huh?
Have you always lived in [small Texas town]?”

“5 years ago I was 17…the age of the students you teach in high school…this is getting mildly inappropriate now. I’m telling you, I need coffee.
Oh good. I’m glad I could set you up perfectly for that one. I am completely jealous of your backpacking trip. What was your favorite part? Did you go by yourself? The bobsled track is legitimately impressive.
Definitely not. I came here when I was 17, for college (hey look, nostalgia again). Graduated in 2012 and stayed to work at my wonderful job. I moved around quite a bit growing up, but finished high school in a small town near [larger town]. Yourself?”

“Le Distraire,
I’ve always dug the name Le Distraire. Very cool. Hopefully you’ve had a few cups of coffee by now. And for that matter, isn’t there something kinda cool about dating a hip, mysterious, ruggedly handsome older guy? Or is it just me…….
My trip: yes I went solo which was the best decision I ever made. I met so many cool people along the way. I visited Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. I loved them all. My favorite city was Sarajevo; my favorite country was believe it or not, Albania. Lots more to say about that…..
A little town near [larger town]. I actual taught at a small town near [large town] for 9 years….so I know it’s not that one. Hmmmmm……
So, if you could go anywhere, where would you go?
What do you make of this online dating stuff?

-Mr. Kerouac (his nickname will become obvious in the next paragraph…just keep reading)
*currently enjoying my first conference period of the day”
“Mr. Kerouac,
Thank you. I like my name too. No coffee, but some down time with no meetings this morning, which has been refreshing. Listening to some good music and catching up on paperwork. Well, I’ll need a list of how you are hip, mysterious, and rugged before I agree. Also, I just saw that I’m outside of your age range too, so maybe I should be the one asking what makes up for the difference in your age requirement?
Thats amazing! I feel like its always a little hard to talk about travel through typing. Pictures, gesticulation, and good questions are needed to truly capture any story about adventure (well, unless you’re a great author. then ignore the previous statement). How many months were you gone?
Definitely not my town. Where did you teach?
I really want to go to Greece. Preferably when it’s a bit more stable. Also, New Zealand and Australia both. Australia would require the wardrobe worn by Nicole Kidman in the movie by the same name. Which most people hate, but I found charming and odd.
Online dating makes me a little embarrassed honestly, but I feel like it is hard for me to meet people that aren’t students or someone I’ve known for 6 years and already ruled out in the dating field. What are your thoughts?
-Le Distraire
*Do you get more than one conference period?”

“Le Distraire,
Oh yeah, I get two (kinda three) conferences. Jackpot! Plus, none of my classes have a standardized test, so I actually get to teach. Needless to say, I’ve got a pretty sweet gig going.
A list of what makes me hip, mysterious, and rugged. Just look at my beard again…..isn’t it all 3 in 1.
But I digress. Actually, I think the best way you’ll see those traits is to meet me in person. See what I did there……
So you’re 22. I give you 1 year a piece for noticing my cabbie hat and my books. Now you’re 24. You used the words wit and adventure in your profile. Now you’re up to 26. You used Protestant to describe your religion–that’s 4 years. According to your profile pic, you are extremely pretty–that’s 20 years (*See note at end). Lastly, you write me back in a timely manner–that’s 10 more for a grand total of 60 years! Dangit–still out of my range!
Anyway, I grew up in a ranch in the middle of nowhere.
I actually stepped foot in Greece while I was in Albania, and met a lot of people who had traveled through it, and they had no problems whatsoever. Maybe this summer I’ll spend more time in Greece.
Yeah, I feel the same way about online dating. In a way, it makes me feel like a failure. Oh well. Have you actually met anyone in real life? Any horror stories?
What music were you jamming out to? And speaking of movies, I really, really want to see Gone Girl. Looks so good.
-Mr. Kerouac
*I almost deducted 20 years due to your prettiness because, according to my favorite author Jack Kerouac, “pretty girls make graves.” ”

Obviously, I was forced to bend the Half Plus Seven rule after that quote. Books forced me. Literature forced me. Witty men that quote their favorite authors forced me.

I saw him in person. What’s two years anyway?