Chapter 32: One Hit Blunders, Part V – The Joker

Creepy clown makeup not included.

The first guy that I actually went out with after getting back on Tinder and Bumble upon my return to Boston was a guy that I’ve decided to call Clark. 

Clark opened up by asking me something about robbing a bank – I don’t remember exactly what the situation was, but in any case it was a good ice breaker and I thought it was funny and original to start planning a bank robbery (which I’ve never done and will never do), so I went along with it. This is also why I’ve decided to refer to him as “The Joker,” because The Joker from Batman robs banks, plus, this was clearly a joke that we should rob a bank – right?

Clark isn’t really what I usually go for physically, but he was cute and at this time I was just looking to meet new people so I wasn’t being very picky. He was funny, though, and he has a good job and seemed decent so after a bit of back and forth, he asked me out and I said yes. 

We made plans to get drinks at a bar near Quincy Market on a Sunday night, and then about 45 minutes before we were meant to meet he told me he would be running a little bit late. He was having some car issues but he’d let me know when he was leaving. So, at this point I figured it was something fixable but he’d just be late, so I kept getting ready. 

When it was getting closer to our meeting time, though, I texted him again (got to love that Google Voice number) and told him to let me know when he was leaving so I knew when to leave my place. At this time I was completely ready – hair, makeup, all that – since he had never made it sound like the date wouldn’t be happening. Then, a few minutes later after we were scheduled to be meeting, he texted me that he was very sorry but he had to cancel because to fix his car he needed to go get a piece from his mom’s house, and he wanted to get it fixed before he went away at the end of the week.

Honestly I was probably more understanding than I should have been, but he said he was sorry and offered to make it up to me another night that week, but I did think it was a little weird that he didn’t at least offer to get an Uber or something, and that he HAD to fix it at that very moment when he knew I was ready to go. But, because I’m nice I gave him a second chance and we decided to go out to the same bar later that week. 


On the night of our date (for real), I ended up getting there before him, but not having to wait too long. When he showed up he was a bit shorter than I expected, but cute. It was weird because of COVID times we couldn’t hug or anything, so we just kind of walked in and found a table. I got a hard cider, and he got a vodka soda. 

We ended up also ordering an appetizer to split, just some buffalo wings, which were pretty good, and the date itself was decent. Nothing to write home about – I definitely wasn’t feeling a major spark or romantic chemistry or anything –  but he was funny and I was having a good time just being out of my apartment. 

After a bit, though, I could tell that I was ready to go home because it was way past my bedtime and I knew that this wasn’t really going to go anywhere, but it just felt very weird trying to find a way to nicely tell him I was ready to wrap this up and go home. 

Photo by Akshay Anand on Pexels.com

Finally I found a way to get that message across, and this is where the biggest problem with Clark came to be. As I’m sure y’all know by now, I’m old-fashioned and expect to be paid for on a first date. So when the bill came and I did my customary offer of splitting and he said, “Yes,” I was not pleased. But not just because I’m traditional. Because he also said, “Let’s do 50/50,” despite the fact that my hard cider was nearly $4 cheaper than his vodka soda, and he’d had two of them. And the wings we ‘split’? I ate maybe two or three, while he ate more like six or seven. 

And on top of that, he was telling me how his company and industry have been “thriving” during all of this while then listening to me talk about being unemployed and trying to survive off of unemployment. I’m a big believer that if you can’t afford to eat out you shouldn’t eat out, which is why I ordered a cheaper drink so that if he did say we should split it I wasn’t paying for overpriced liquor. He was the one who suggested the appetizer, too, and he ate so much more of it. Plus, the fact that he was basically gloating about now having to experience the stress that millions of people have had to experience lately… it was a major turnoff that essentially, he was letting me pay for him since his drinks were more expensive. 

Also let me just remind you that he basically stood me up just a few nights before, and promised to “make it up to me.” So his idea of making it up to me was letting me pay for part of his vodka and wings on a first date? I just think that’s tacky. 


However, he did offer to walk me home so I was almost willing to give him just ONE more pass. That is, until we started to get close to my place. When I told him I was right across the street so we could part there, and I could clearly see the look on his face that showed he was very much expecting me to invite him up. Even though I really don’t think any of our conversations had been very flirty, and he didn’t even attempt to woo me, so this felt very weird to me. I was very unimpressed with this and even though I lied and said we could hang out again, I knew we would not be. 

When I got back to my apartment, I brushed my teeth and got into bed. A bit later he messaged me that, “I’m cute and we should hang out again soon.” Yes, I am cute, but I just said thanks and good night. And, luckily, I never heard from Clark again.

Chapter 28: The High School Crush

Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Everyone remembers their first real crush, and I’m no exception. Of course, my high school crush also ended up being my first big disappointment with men, so maybe that’s why. 

For those of you who don’t know, I went to boarding school. My older brother went, so it just kind of made sense that I’d go, too. The school we went to was in Boca Raton, Florida, which, let’s just say, has a very particular vibe to it that really didn’t fit me, and is why I ended up transferring to another boarding school in Asheville, North Carolina after my sophomore year, when my brother graduated. 


I was a bit boy-crazy in my youth, and this definitely started for me in high school (okay, middle school). My freshman year, I mostly focused on my brother’s friends because I thought that I was SO cool because Junior boys knew who I was. But of course, being an older brother, he probably told all of them I was off-limits, plus I’m pretty sure that dating your friend’s little sister violates some kind of bro code rules, so I knew none of them were going to work out. But a girl can dream, right


My sophomore year, I decided to set my sights on the boys my own age, figuring that maybe I’d have better luck with them since they didn’t know my brother very well. This meant they couldn’t be deterred by him or know to be afraid of him. 

While there were a few boys who caught my eye and I certainly wouldn’t have been opposed to any of them being part of my little high school romance fantasies, there was one that I was particularly interested in. He was tall, had dark hair, and was French-Candian, which to me at the age of 15, was pretty exotic (despite the fact that I literally went to a boarding school with dozens of international students). You know that he’s French-Canadian because he has two names, and the first name is a common name that’s spelled differently. For the sake of the story, I’ll call him Luc-Arthur, or just Luc.

Luc-Arthur was technically part of the “popular” crowd, but I was a floater in high school, so that didn’t really make a difference in my mind. I had at least one or two friends in just about every clique, plus a few girls that I was very close with and were my best friends. I’ll call the three of them Betsy, Emma, and Alanna. 

Luc and I had a couple of classes either together, or in the classrooms next to each other, so we did interact on occasion. I’ll be totally honest and admit that I am absolutely not one of those girls who peaked in high school, I very much went through an awkward phase (like when I read in Seventeen magazine that it was “so cool” to wear two different color metallic eyeliners, so I did that for way longer than I care to remember) but luckily, I had mostly grown out of at least that part of it by this point. I definitely didn’t have very high self-esteem, but I was cute. Not gorgeous (yet!) but pretty enough, and luckily for me despite puberty being absolutely awful to me in every other way, it did help me have much bigger boobs than most of my female classmates. So, at least I had that going for me. 

In any case, I’m saying this because I want it to be clear that it was not delusional of me to think that he could maybe have a crush on me, too. And the more we talked outside of class, the more I thought that he did, and also, the more my crush on him grew. 

(A few photos of baby Madeline – I still have and fit into that first dress!)

One day, my roommate Melanie was in our room with a friend of hers, Kelly, when I came back after class. I had a class or two with Kelly, too, so I knew her and I liked her, so we all talked for a bit. It’s important to note, though, that Melanie and Kelly – especially Kelly – were very much part of the “popular” crowd. In any case, as we talked I mentioned something about having a crush on someone and after lots of pleading on their part, I finally gave in and told them that it was on Luc-Arthur. They both swore they wouldn’t tell a soul, and, because I thought we were at least friendly, I believed them. 


Not too long after that, I got a Facebook (or maybe even MySpace or AIM, I don’t even remember) message from Luc’s best friend, Aidan, basically just telling me that he knew that Luc really liked me, and that he was planning on asking me out pretty soon. I wasn’t dumb, so I refused to believe him for quite awhile until he could give me some sort of solid proof that he wasn’t lying, and basically begging him to please not be fucking with me. I refused to admit that I had a crush on Luc, too, until the next time that he messaged me, which I think was later that week. He passed it all off as basically being a good wingman and making sure that if Luc asked me out I’d say yes so that he didn’t embarrass himself. 

After this, I was pretty excited, obviously, but still wanted to play it cool. I remember that after that there were a couple of times when I’d be outside a classroom waiting to go in, and Luc would be in the class next to me and he’d go drop off his backpack and then go back outside and talk to me while I waited to be able to go in, which I thought was a sure sign that he was going to ask me out soon.

You also need to keep in mind that at this time in my life, I was VERY innocent. I think it was the end of my freshman year that I heard people gossiping about one of the girls in our class giving a boy a blowjob at someone’s Bar Mitzvah, and I didn’t know what that was so I had to ask Emma. That’s how little I knew. I had to use UrbanDictionary SO much in high school. I was very much the sweet and innocent one, thinking that even if I got to make out with a boy that would be a big deal. Times have definitely changed, but at fifteen/sixteen, that was absolutely where I was at. 

At this point, Luc-Arthur still hadn’t asked me out, but I felt like it was coming because Aidan, and some of his other friends, kept telling me that it was. I remember we all had History together, and one day, this kid Jack F., went up and whispered into our teacher’s ear trying to get him to say something that our teacher refused to say, which made me think it was about me. It made me even more sure when throughout the rest of class, Jack F., Aidan, and Jack R. would randomly get up and walk behind our teacher to “throw something away” while holding up a piece of paper that said ‘Luc likes Madeline.’ I was mortified, but also figured they wouldn’t be embarrassing their friend like that if it wasn’t true, right? 

Wrong. A while after all of this started, my roommate Melanie somehow heard through her friend group that all of this – everything Aidan and Jack F. and Jack R. and Luc had been saying and doing to me for the past several weeks – was a joke, and she immediately ran to Emma and Alanna to tell them that they needed to tell me because she didn’t know what they were going to do, or when.

That day, I came out of History class to find Emma and Alanna waiting outside the door. I smiled and said hi, and they both just very calmly but sternly told me to go back to my room and they’d be there soon. I could tell something was up, so I went.

The second I got a few feet away, all I heard was yelling. I clearly heard Emma and Alanna’s voices, but I couldn’t really understand what they were saying. But I was smart enough to figure out that they were yelling at all of the boys, since that was the one class we all had together. I found out later that they both got in the face of this one kid who is actually now a pro-boxer and at the time towered over pretty much everyone, so he was pretty big, but apparently they got so angry when he tried to defend all of them that even he just kind of slid away to escape their wrath. 

After that amazing verbal smackdown, they came back to the dorm and told me what Melanie had told them. Emma also told me that after Melanie had told her, she had Chemistry with another guy kind of in their “group,” but that was actually a decent guy, so she asked him if he knew what was going on and he said yes. He told her that he’d only found out what was happening a day or two before, but he did think they were going to embarrass me publicly at some point, and told her to tell me before they did. He and I had a class or something together, so he knew that I was a very nice person who definitely didn’t deserve that, and he told her pretty much everything that he knew so she could yell at them all on my behalf, but also have answers so that I believed her when she told me. 

We literally had fireworks at our Homecoming game.

When they told me, I cried. I was really disappointed, like most sixteen-year old girls would be. I had been bullied when I was younger for my weight, but I’d never had someone basically just choose to basically bully me for no reason at all. I wasn’t close with Aidan or either of the Jacks or anything, but we talked in class before all of this happened, so I always thought we would at least be decent to each other because I’d never given them a reason not to be. I was also upset that Luc had let all of this happen, and didn’t really understand why he’d go along with something like that. And I was just mad that he didn’t like me back like I thought I did.

Then, Emma made it even better by telling me that she’d also found out that apparently, Aidan was going around telling everyone that I not only liked Luc, but also that I liked Aidan, too. Which was absolutely not true. This pissed me off even more, and I decided I was too emotionally distraught (aka dramatic) to go to my next class, so I skipped it and stayed with Betsy for my next period. Later, I went to the Dean (who loved me) and told her what had happened and she wrote off my absence as “Excused” and told me she’d never liked any of those boys, anyway.

My Favorite Ways to Stay Positive

I am a firm believer that attitude is everything, and that maintaining positivity in your life can bring you some of the best gifts the universe has to offer. Over the past several months, I know that it has been hard for a lot of people to stay positive given the circumstances and uncertainty that has been surrounding so many of us, myself included, so here are some of my favorite ways to stay positive, no matter what.


1. Gratitude.

For me, gratitude is one of the most grounding things and it always immediately puts me in a better mood to take a moment and remind myself of all of the amazing things that I do have. Every morning before I get out of bed, even before I check my phone, I say three things that I’m grateful for and three things that I’m looking forward to that day. 

Even if it’s something simple, like being grateful for my extremely comfy bed, or looking forward to watching something on TV, the little things count, too. Also, I keep a gratitude journal and at the end of each day, I write down one specific thing from that day that I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s an event, sometimes it’s something about myself. 

The point is, remind yourself everyday that you have at least SOMETHING to be grateful for – because you do.

2. Start and end your day on a good note.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles to get out of bed in the morning, and sometimes loses motivation halfway through the day, so to combat that, I like to plan my day so that I do the two things I’m most excited about first and last. 

I love to workout first thing in the morning – it gets my blood moving, I already feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I have more energy in the day. Plus, it’s my time to completely zone out and focus 100% on myself. So, every morning right after making my bed and having my first cup of coffee, I workout. Sometimes it’s just a 15 minute yoga video, but it’s better than nothing and it makes me feel good for the rest of the day. 

Especially right now since during the day I’m busy with LSAT prep, law school applications, job hunting, and blogging, I like to have one thing at the end of the day to look forward to. I’m like a little kid, and I need to always have something to be excited about. Even if it’s just a new episode of “The Bachelorette,” or making my favorite mug cake recipe, I make sure to do one nice, fun thing for myself to reward myself for all the work I’ve done that day and to end my day on a good note. I also find that I sleep better when I do this.

3. Surround yourself with positive things.

Your environment can absolutely dictate your attitude. Personally, I’m a brat when things are cluttered or not clean so I know that my area needs to always be clean and organized for me to be able to focus. 

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

Also, I make sure to have things that I like around me. I have a little “hippie tray,” as I call it, on my dresser that has all of my crystals and sage spray. My desk organizers are all in my favorite colors. My bookshelves are full of books and photos and other random things that make me happy. I don’t keep things that make me think of bad times, or moments where I was sad, or that just don’t make me feel good. When I’m surrounded by things that make me happy, I’m happy!

4. Affirmations.

I absolutely love affirmations and they have changed my life in so many ways. When I was on my second College Program at Disney and spending the entire drive to and from work every day, and most of my breaks, sobbing because I was so miserable, I would pull down the visor in my car or go to the bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror while I recitd my favorite “I am” affirmations until I could regain focus and was able to make it through the rest of the day. 

I have so many apps on my phone that are dedicated to affirmations and I start every single day with them. Before I check social media or anything else, I read my affirmations for the day. When I get sad in the middle of the day, I go back to them. If I can’t sleep, I say them to myself. There are so many places to find good ones that help you with whatever you need to focus on, and they really have helped me stay positive even in the worst times.

5. Maintain perspective.

It really is a cliche, but it is true that someone always has it worse. But that’s not to say that you’re not allowed to be upset about something, or that your feelings or experiences aren’t valid. They are. Besides, I absolutely think that honoring your feelings – even the bad ones – is necessary.

But whenever I want to throw myself a pity party for something trivial, I think about if whatever that problem is will matter in five days, five months, or five years. That’s something a teacher in high school taught me, and it really does make a difference. It helps me to reframe my problems and realize that most of the time, they’re extremely temporary situations that I’ll get out of soon. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. When I realize that something isn’t going to impact me forever, it helps me realize that I can get out of my funk and go back to being positive sooner.

6. Do something nice for someone else.

I like helping people. That’s why I worked at Disney, and that’s why I want to be a lawyer. When I do something nice for someone else, without a secret agenda or hopes that I’ll get some sort of reward for it, it makes me feel good and instantly improves my day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking home from the grocery store when a woman walking a bit ahead of me was struggling to hold her daughter and her plastic bag of groceries when the bag broke. Her things went everywhere, so after helping her collect them, I gave her one of my reusable bags. That bag cost me about 10 cents and it took me less than three minutes to help her out. But it made me feel better to know that I did something to make someone else’s day easier, even if it was just with a reusable bag.

So buy someone a coffee, hold the door for the mom you see struggling to push her stroller through, or give someone a reusable bag. Reminding yourself that you matter, that your existence has value, and that you’re able to make the world a better place – one small step at a time – should always cheer you up. I know it does for me .

7. Take care of yourself physically.

You can’t feel good emotionally and mentally if you’re not feeling well physically. So, hydrate! I am never without my water bottle. Eat good foods. I don’t believe in diets or clean eating, but if you know you’re lactose intolerant, don’t have lactose. If you know that having too many french fries makes you bloated and unable to move, don’t eat too many french fries.

Also, make sure that you’re moving your body every day – even if it’s just a short walk – and get enough sleep. When I was going through my insane doctor visits trying to figure out why I had vertigo for six months straight, the one thing every doctor could agree on was that I needed to sleep more. Sleep is key. Take care of your body – it’s the only one you have.


I know there are lots of other great ways to maintain a positive attitude, but these are my top seven! Ever since I got out of the toxic situations that were holding me back, I feel much more like my old self – the self that was obnoxiously optimistic and always able to see the silver lining. I like being positive and I like being able to look back at a challenge and say to myself, “I made it through that and I did it with a smile.” So, whatever your methods are, stay positive. 2020 is almost over and 2021 is almost here – we can do it!

Chapter 27: The Runaway, Part II

Sometimes people come back into your life…

Sometimes men come back into your life right when you need a new story, and that’s what Elijah, The Runaway, did for me. 

If you don’t remember, Elijah was the guy from Orlando that I went out with last year, had a great time with at the arcade bar, but then on our second hangout he literally got up and walked out of my apartment without a word when he realized that I wasn’t going to put out that night. Here’s a refresher if you need it.

So, are you ready to hear about his reappearance into my life? Good, because I’m ready to tell you.


Not too long ago, I woke up to a text from Elijah simply saying, “Hey.” I was bored, so I responded, and he asked me if I was in Boston still, and I said yes. We started talking a bit, and eventually when I had the perfect moment to do so, I called him out on what he’d done to me a year before and asked if he was going to do that again. He said no, and he apologized for the way that he’d left things that night.  

We talked for a bit, and he really seemed to have changed. He seemed genuinely sorry for what had happened, and kept saying that he was surprised but very happy that I had even responded to him. I told him that while it sometimes bites me in the butt, I do try to give people two chances most of the time. But, after those two chances, you’re done. 


Ultimately, after talking for a bit and catching up, we made plans to hang out. Elijah is not the biggest movie buff, apparently, and he has a whole list of movies he’s never seen and was asking me for my favorite Halloween movie so he could add it to the list. Mine is the original “Friday the 13th,” and he said he’d never seen it. So, we decided that he’d come over and we’d watch it together and maybe I could help him cross some more movies off the list as time went on. 

He kept telling me how excited he was, and honestly, I was, too! I had really enjoyed my first date with him, and while in the moment I was too drunk and too focused on my hash browns, I was disappointed when he walked out on me. He was funny, we had a good time, and it wasn’t fun to have him disappear like that. I was really looking forward to getting together again. 


He came over a few nights later, and pretty quickly we picked things right back up where we left off. It wasn’t weird at all, and even though just to be safe I had my pepper spray in my pocket, I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t need it. I felt comfortable and safe, and it was really fun to just have someone to hang out with, joke around with, and cuddle. 

I made a bunch of chocolate chip cookies for him and opened up a bottle of wine, and after catching up for a bit, we started the movie. After a bit of watching, we ended up cuddling, which was totally fine with me. I’d told him going into the night not to expect anything, and he kept saying that he’d be happy even if he got to hold my hand. When I got scared, he hugged me, when he got scared, I hugged him, we laughed at the amazing fashion featured in the movie (apparently I have a thing for jorts?), and he got to cross a movie off of his list.

My cookies are better than these.
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

While we were talking before the movie started, he was telling me a bit about some things he’s been working on in therapy, and explained how something they’d spoken about recently made him think of me, which is why he reached out. I don’t want to violate HIPAA and tell you what that is, but I thought it was sweet that he still thought about me and that I was the one that came to mind when he realized he needed to take some responsibility for things. He kept saying he was grateful I’d answered and that I’d invited him over, and I said there were no hard feelings – it was in the past, we can’t change it, we were both drunk, and it was okay. Let’s move on. 

After the movie, he started to give me a massage. He’d offered beforehand, and I’m never one to turn down a free massage, and he said like how I bake for people to show affection and appreciation, he offers massages. Plus, he wanted to show that he really did appreciate me forgiving him. The massage was amazing, and it definitely relaxed me even more, and it was just really nice to be close to someone again after almost 7 months of social distancing. After a bit, he asked if it was okay if he kissed me, and I said yes. 

We kissed, and after a bit, we decided to go into my room. I made it explicitly clear that we would NOT be having sex that night – I wasn’t ready, and it was not an option – and he kept saying that even by kissing me he’d already gotten to do more than he expected. We kept things pretty PG-13/high school for the most part, but it was actually kind of fun and very different from what I’m used to with guys trying to go straight to third base. 

We realized that the T was not running that late, and I didn’t want to make him get an Uber, and honestly I was happy to be borrowing some body heat from a human body and not my pillow so I said he could stay. He ended up spending the night, which was nice for me, the cuddle queen, and in the morning, I made waffles, we ate, and then he left.

While we were eating, I told him about my blog and that he was on it and he thought it was cool, and pretty funny, though I’m not sure he’s going to think it’s very funny now.


Over the next few days, we talked a bit via text and actually, a few times, he even called me on the phone just to say hi, or because he missed my voice. It was so sweet and given how some guys I’ve dealt with make me feel like asking for a phone call is like asking for a marriage proposal, again, it was just nice. A breath of fresh air. 

Even though we had already made out and everything, I did try to keep the talks not too flirty. I didn’t want him getting the wrong idea, but at the same time, I’d said multiple times at this point that I wasn’t ready to have sex, and wanted to take things slow right now, and he’d agreed. But, I felt like it was okay to be kind of flirty from time to time, and I just made sure to reiterate that this was an “if/when” kind of thing, not a “next time I see you” thing. 

Photo by Maria Lindsey Multimedia Creator on Pexels.com

We made plans to hang out a few nights later, the night of the NBA semi-finals, because I have access to cable and he wanted to watch. We also decided to play Never Have I Ever, and since I’d recently been apple picking and had so many apples still, I made us mini apple cobblers and apple cider moscow mules (which were amazing). He did come over with a backpack, which I thought was kind of presumptuous, but I brushed it off. 

We played Never Have I Ever, which was fun to spend more time getting to know each other after playing the question game last time, my moscow mules and apple cobblers were delicious and gone very quickly, and it was nice to just hang out. We cuddled and he gave me another massage, and just like last time, he asked me if he could kiss me, and I said yes. 

After a minute, he asked if we could go into the kitchen. I said yes, because I figured a change of scenery is nice, plus this way, none of the neighbors in opposite corner units from me could see me like I’m sure they’ve caught me having solo dance parties before. On the way there, I said again that we wouldn’t be having sex, and it wasn’t personal. He basically scolded me for saying that, saying that saying “it’s not personal” makes it sound like it is personal, so I apologized. I think that was the moment when it started to really kill my vibe. 

Once we were in there, though, I could tell even with that there was something he wanted me to do. While I did consider doing so for a minute, just to get it over with, honestly, I realized that I didn’t want to, and just because in the past I’ve given into things because it was easier than causing a scene or having a fight, I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wasn’t in the mood, and I still wasn’t ready. 

He could tell I wasn’t in the mood, but instead of reading the room and being like, “Hey, let’s just not do anything tonight,” he then directed me back to the couch and asked if I wanted to show him the kind of porn I watch. Honestly, I don’t watch porn, it’s just not my thing, but I’m not naive enough to not know where to find it or what the types of categories are, and I figured that this was a much more hands-off approach and more my speed at the time, so it was a better alternative. Then things got weird in a way I don’t even want to write about, and AGAIN he could tell I was not feeling it, but AGAIN he tried to steer the night into the opposite direction from where I wanted. 

This time, he asked me if I could show him my toys, and I just went with it because I figured if I did this right and made some juvenile jokes or something, maybe I could kill his mood. I did not succeed in my mission, unfortunately, and we ended up getting into my bed.

Meal Prep Tips

On Sundays we meal prep.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen my meal prep photos pop up in my story, for which I only kind of apologize. 

I absolutely love meal prepping. It saves me time during the week, it saves money, and I’m much more likely to eat healthy meals if I already have a bunch made. I also think it’s a lot of fun – I enjoy planning out my meals, I like grocery shopping, and then I just put on a good playlist or podcast and get to work!

Since I know that meal prep, or really cooking in general, are not everyone’s favorite things to do I figured I would share some of my tips and tricks to maybe make it a little bit easier to get into it. They say it’s easier to form new habits than it is to break them, so why not start to get into a habit that will help you save money and time, and keep you healthy?


Preparing for Prep

  • To start, it helps to have good resources that you know you can go to to find exactly what you want to cook. My brother and sister-in-law got me an InstantPot for Christmas last year (which I HIGHLY recommend investing in if it’s within your budget) so lately, most of my recipes for dinner have been coming from this book: Ultimate Instant Pot Healthy Cookbook
    For lunches, my dietitian recommended this book and I’ve been loving it so far: Whole Bowls
    Of course, you can also use Pinterest or Google if that’s more your speed. I find a lot of recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie, SkinnyMs, and random Pinterest boards.
  • Choose simple recipes to start, this way it won’t seem so overwhelming and you can work your way up to the bigger things. Don’t try and tackle something that will take 50 steps and 4 hours your first time – it’ll just discourage you. I love to cook, yet no matter how hard I try, I cannot make a good meatloaf (ask my brother) so I’ve just learned that it’s not something I should have on rotation. 
  • Mix it up. If you’re having chicken for lunch, don’t have it for dinner. If you made Mexican last week, make Chinese this week. You’ll get bored too soon if you do too much of the same thing and it’ll be harder to stick with it as you go on. Trust me, I’ve been there. 
  • I also recommend having a meal prep planner to help you organize what you’re planning on eating throughout the week, especially if you aren’t going to have the same thing every day. I also just feel like it looks very “adult” to have it hanging on the refrigerator, and it makes it easier for me when it’s time to go grocery shopping. Right now, I have this one: Knock Knock What to Eat Pad. but I’m almost out of paper so I have this one coming from Amazon soon: Bloom Weekly Meal Plan Pad.
  • Make sure that you have enough Tupperware and containers to store everything. There are lots of meal prep containers on Amazon, but I actually got some really good glass ones from TJMaxx that are a great size, good quality, microwave and dishwasher safe, and affordable. Just find what works best for you and the types of meals you’re planning on making. I typically make salads for lunches, so just one compartment is good for me, but if you’re more into other types of meals, it would be helpful to have at least some containers with more than one compartment. I also like having little glass bowls for breakfasts. Now that I’ve been home more, I just have a bunch of big containers and I put each part of the meal into that and serve it up on the day. Just do what works best for you.
  • Be willing to go to more than one grocery store if possible. Sometimes I end up needing some super random item that I can only get at Whole Foods, but no way am I buying EVERYTHING there because I cannot afford that. I like doing the bulk of my shopping at Trader Joe’s and then getting the meat and most produce at the grocery store by my apartment building because I think it’s better quality. It’s a bit more time consuming, but worth it for me to spend money and make sure that the money I’m spending is buying quality food. 
  • Finally, pick a day to go grocery shopping and then another day to do the actual prep. I like to split it up, personally, but totally your call if you like to do it on the same day. Make sure you have everything you need on your grocery list before going – I’ve totally made that mistake before. I also find it really helpful to always have certain staples in my pantry (which I’ll list below) so that I don’t have to get them every time I need them. 

Prepping

  • My number one tip for meal prep is to clean as you go!! It really does help SO much! I also like to take everything that I need out right away and then put things away as I use them. Have a scraps bowl nearby as you chop fruits and veggies, and while one thing is cooking, clean up the prep from it before you start on the next thing. 
  • Turn on a good playlist or podcast to keep you entertained. Meal prep can take a while, so music or some sort of audio helps me to pass the time. For me that’s usually Crime Junkie, but you do you.
  • Read all the recipes first and pick the longest things to make first. This way, you can make your dressings or whatever while the veggies and meat are in the oven or on the stove, and everything gets finished around the same time. 
  • Whether you pre-portion into individual containers to pull out at meal time, or you like to put everything in one big container and serve it when the time is right, make sure that you let things cool to room temperature before storing them in the fridge. This is not only proper food safety protocol, but it keeps things from getting mushy or soggy. 
  • Organize your fridge so that things in the front are what you’ll be eating first. It’s a silly thing, but it makes it easier to remember to grab things in the morning. 
  • Take a picture of all your hard work! Meal prep can be tough, but it’s so worth it. Go ahead and brag about yourself.

Pantry Staples

  • Canned chickpeas. I use these ALL the time so I always have a bunch on hand!
  • Canned black beans.
  • Grains – quinoa, whole wheat pasta, rice, and couscous are my favorites. I also recently discovered that I might be gluten-intolerant so I might be updating this list soon. 
  • Oils – avocado, sesame, olive, and flaxseed are my go-tos. 
  • Canned coconut milk and coconut cream. Great to make a recipe dairy-free/vegan if needed, and also much easier to constantly have than heavy cream. 
  • Balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. 
  • Nut butters. I am addicted to peanut butter and find a way to incorporate it into at least one meal per day, but whatever your favorite is is always good to have on hand! I do like to have some sort of natural nut butter as well to help make marinades or dressings.
  • SPICES! Garlic, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika… whatever you like, just make sure you have spices!
  • Canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, and/or diced tomatoes. 

My Favorite Recipes

If you feel like you’re ready to start, but need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite recipes to begin with. I should say that I tend to eat like a vegetarian most of the time just because it’s difficult to cook meat for one person, so feel free to substitute any of the plant-based proteins, or just add in some chicken or whatever it is you like. 

Breakfast

  • Chocolate Chip Breakfast Squares – I LOVE oats and could eat oatmeal every day and be happy, but these things are so fricking good. I’d make a big batch and then portion them out (and freeze the leftovers) and mix up my fruit and spread combos (strawberries and Nutella, banana and peanut butter, pear and almond butter) and have a perfect little breakfast to bring with me to work. These things kept me full until lunch time every time.
  • Overnight Oats – There are a million ways to make them, but for me, my favorite recipe is: ½ cup rolled oats, ¾ unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, ½ mashed banana, and a dash of cinnamon mixed up in a mason jar. Then top with the other half of the banana (sliced), melt 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle on top, and finish with a bit of honey. So, so good. 
  • Smoothies – I’m weirdly obsessed with smoothies, no matter the weather, and it’s so easy to just bag up some of your favorite frozen fruit and a handful of spinach and throw it in a blender with whatever liquid base you like when you’re ready to have it. 

    Lunch
  • Salad with arugula, roasted chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and kalamata olives topped with Greek dressing. 
  • Honey sriracha glazed meatballs.
  • Turkey & hummus pinwheels (just a wrap sliced into bite-sized pieces), with carrots & celery, grapes, and cheese slices. 

    Dinner
  • Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – I’m also a huge fan of sheet pan meals – they’re so easy to make and very minimal clean up afterwards.
  • Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna Soup.
  • Pasta e Fagioli – I added zucchini to mine to get some more veggies in, and also because I’ve been on a weird zucchini fix lately.

Other Tips

On weeks when I don’t feel like eating the same thing every day, but I do want to have some easy-to-make things on hand, there are a few things I do on my meal prep day just to get a headstart on being healthy and prepared for the week.

  • If you have a slow cooker, one of my favorite things to do is get some chicken breasts (between 1.5-2 pounds, I just buy them wherever they’re on sale that week) and place them in the crockpot, season, and cover with chicken broth or water (just enough to cover completely), and then cook on low for about 6-7 hours. Once they’re done cooking, I take them out, use two forks to shred, and then after it’s cooled, portion out the chicken into freezer Ziploc bags and store them until I’m ready to use them. They defrost in less than an hour, and I’ve made quesadillas, burrito bowls, chicken salad, and more with this.
  • Chop up a bunch of fruits and veggies (again, I usually buy what’s in season and on sale) so that you can easily grab them for snacks or to add into your lunches and dinners. There’s also nothing wrong with frozen vegetables!
  • Cook up a big batch of quinoa or rice, and make a homemade salad dressing or marinade (like one of these) so that if nothing else, you can mix some with some arugula or kale, whatever veggies you chopped up, some defrosted chicken or shrimp (I also always have cooked frozen shrimp on hand for a quick defrost), and toss some cheese and dressing on top to make a good lunch or dinner. 

I hope that this helps! Enjoy!

Chapter 26: I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

Just because it’s spooky season…

How to survive being ghosted, and why I don’t ghost

You meet someone, most likely on a dating app, you go out and have a great time, talk a bit after, and then as soon as you ask them to hang out again, they seem to have suddenly disappeared into a deep abyss, never to be seen again.

We’ve all had it happen to us. And worse, a lot of people have done it completely unintentionally.


So, how do I survive being ghosted, and why do I not ghost myself? I’m glad you asked. Since quarantine has kind of put a damper on my dating life and I’m currently working with a small pool of stories I haven’t already told (don’t worry, I’m working on getting more soon), I figured that this would be a good time to address the one aspect of modern dating that is probably the absolute worst. 

I honestly would love to know who was the first person to ghost someone and make all of this a thing, because I’d like to have a serious talking-to with them. Let’s all establish right now that ghosting someone, whether you’ve been on a first date or not, is rude, inconsiderate, and unnecessary.

I have been ghosted – and trust me, it’s happened a lot – and at every stage of a relationship (including the infamous ghosting by The Cheater at literally the most cruel moment a girl could ever be ghosted) so I know that it sucks and sometimes it hurts, a lot, at first. 

But then I just tell myself that clearly this person was just way too intimidated by my beauty and general amazingness and that’s why he disappeared.

Just kidding, that’s not what I do. 

First of all, I give myself one day to have a mini pity party. Even if you haven’t been out yet, or you’ve only been out once, it is still definitely a blow to your ego and confidence to have someone that you really thought you were vibing with just disappear. Also, just throwing it out there, that most of the time when I give myself a day to just be sad about it and focus on making myself feel better – wine, bubble baths, face masks, the works – they usually end up texting me the next day.

But for those who don’t, I move on to stage two. I do like to give people second chances – clearly this is a pattern of mine, and it’s up for debate whether or not this is a good quality – but after my pity party day, when most of my negative emotions have already been drained, I reach out to them one more time. Here’s the key, though, you have to reach out CALMLY. Listen, I have gone from my slow simmering level 2 of craziness to a straight up 10 in about 30 seconds flat before, I get it, it’s hard not to, but again, this is why I give myself a day to just feel the feels so that when I try one more time, I’m not going full on psycho. Also, sometimes people do have genuine reasons to disappear for a bit – family emergencies, work, etc. 

Photo by Ryan Miguel Capili on Pexels.com

First of all, if the person is extremely rude, makes you uncomfortable, or this is not the first time you’ve tried to break things off, then I give you permission to go full on ghost mode. However, if none of those things are true, then I recommend using my line.

Usually, I’d say something like, “Hey [name], I really don’t want to assume anything, but I haven’t heard from you in [insert general time frame, we don’t need the seconds]. I hope everything is okay with you, but also, if you’ve just lost interest I would appreciate it if you could just be upfront with me about it.”

I do tailor this to the person a bit if needed, and let me just say this – while I have not had the misfortune of being ghosted by someone just after sleeping with them for the first time, if that happens to you – DO NOT TEXT THEM. At all. I don’t care if he/she was the hottest person ever, best sex ever, or had amazing Ninja Turtles bed sheets. Sorry, but anyone who does that is scum and doesn’t deserve even one more ounce of your attention or energy. No excuses. In that case, call your best friend to come over, eat lots of comfort food, and watch some good movies until you feel better. 

Overall, the point is not to be rude. You know the phrase, “You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”? This applies to being ghosted, too. I get it – you want to be a bit sassy/petty/bitchy, and of course I have felt the same way on occasion. But they are not worth it. Not at all. And people who ghost like that probably want a reaction and when you give them any level of sass they’re just going to be like, “Wow, glad I ghosted that one.” Think of Juan Pablo after Clare told his ass off on the finale of “The Bachelor.” While that was amazing, this is not the time to do that. Just be the bigger person and let it go. Say something, and don’t be a doormat, but be nice enough that they feel a little guilty about what they’ve done.

This is something I used a lot at Disney, actually. When guests were yelling at me about how I ruined their vacation, I would just give them my best Bambi-eyes and then smile and put on my super over the top customer service voice and it was hilarious how quickly they would start being nice to me. People don’t like being mean to nice people. 

The next step is to remember the most important of all of this – it is nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. You didn’t do anything wrong, and even if you did, adults should be able to talk about that sort of stuff, not just storm off and disappear. It doesn’t mean you’re unworthy, or unlovable, or that you aren’t good enough. In fact, it means the opposite. Why would you want to be with someone who ghosts people? Personally, good communication skills are a major turn-on and I can’t imagine a relationship with someone who’s unable to talk about and work through issues, so someone who ghosts really isn’t worth my time. Lacking the courage and decency to tell you that they lost interest is a them problem, not a you problem. I promise. 

So, after you remind yourself of all of these things while you wait for the text back from them that in all honesty, will probably never come, it’s time for the last couple of steps. First, get your girl or guy friends together and hang out – I don’t care if you just watch Netflix or if you go out to a club (remember when we could do that?), or if you just Facetime your best friend while drinking a glass of wine, the important thing is to not spend too much time alone with yourself and be in your own head. Let your friends build you up and tell you how great you are (you are pretty great) and just have fun with them.

And finally, get back to dating. Don’t ever let someone who’s too immature to use their words get to you or keep you from finding someone who does deserve you. They’re out there, I promise. 


I feel like it’s pretty easy to sum up why I don’t ghost people unless I have a safety concern or I’ve tried to tell them to back off and they haven’t so I was left with no choice – I’m just not a crappy person. 

But, it’s more than that. Admittedly, some of it is a bit selfish in that I hope that by making sure I do not ghost people, I won’t get ghosted or have my heart broken anymore. So far that has not proven to be a good tactic, but I still try to be a good person because it’s the right thing to do!

Really, most of it comes down to the fact that I know how it feels to be ghosted. It’s aggravating, frustrating, upsetting, disappointing, all of the above. It’s hard to not feel like it’s a personal attack or wonder what’s wrong with you. I know how it feels to be on that side of it, I would really never want to make someone else feel that way if I can avoid it.

I have talked about my “go to” line before, but I’ll say it again. Whenever I realize that the person I’ve been talking to isn’t the one for me – which I usually try not to do until after at least one date – I say, “Hey! I had so much fun [insert date activity or “talking to”] with you. You seem like a great guy/girl, but I wanted to be upfront and let you know that I just didn’t feel the spark that I’m looking for. Best of luck!” 

You can add more if you feel like it, but I believe that less is more and for the most part, I’ve had good success with saying just these short three sentences. Most guys have appreciated the honesty and responded pretty well. It’s just a good, concise way to send the message that you had a good time (even if you didn’t, again, just be nice) but you didn’t feel it – but still wish them luck in their future dating endeavors, because if nothing else, you can at least offer them that.

Moral of the story, be nice. Do unto others as you wish to have done to you. And whether it’s spooky season or not, don’t ghost. 

For an upcoming post, I’d love to do a Question & Answer piece! So, ask me your questions in the comments – no topic is off limits! 

19 Things I’ve Learned During Quarantine

2020, am I right? 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has used the pandemic as a chance to reassess certain aspects of my life, learn new things (I was baking bread before it was cool), spend more time with family, and get back to the basics, more or less. So, in honor of 2021 being less than 3 months away, I wanted to share 19 things that I’ve learned during the pandemic and quarantine.

Some of these are pretty general, some are more personal, and some are things I’ve already known that were further proven over the past several months. But, I think that pretty much all of these are things that just about anyone can relate to.


1. Family is the most important thing.

I feel like this one should be a given, but, just in case. Part of why I wanted to leave Disney and hospitality in general is because I was tired of missing birthdays and holidays, and I needed a job that allowed that. I am so lucky to have a mom that loves me so much that she pretty much forced me to come down to Florida the second that things started to get bad because she didn’t want me to be in Boston alone. I would have gone CRAZY if I’d been up here by myself! As much as I missed Boston sometimes, I had so much fun spending time with my parents and family. I got to see my niece’s first steps, and hear some of her first words. I got to take my other niece on our first aunt/niece date night which was easily the best “date” I’ve ever been on, and such a fun night. I binge-watched like five shows with my mom, and got to spend more time with my dad. At the end of the day, jobs are temporary, but family is forever.

2. Life rarely goes the way you planned.

Oh man, at the beginning of this year, I was done with school, I had accepted an amazing job that was going to allow me to travel and give me more autonomy, I had just met a guy that I was convinced was the one, and I was happy with where things seemed to be heading. Now, I’m unemployed and single, but guess what? I’m still happy! I thought that everything at the beginning of the year was a set-up for all the things that I had planned for this year, and now pretty much none of them have happened. And that’s okay. The universe has other things in store for me. I just need to go with the flow.

3. Never be loyal to a job that isn’t loyal to you.

This is something that my dad has told me for years, and is why I once quit a job that was just destroying my mental health after about three months of working there, but I feel like in light of recent events that some of my friends are going through, it needs to be said again. Again, jobs are temporary. EVERYWHERE is a business. No matter how much you love a company, or how great they seem when you get hired, things are not the way they used to be.  Your #1 job should be to take care of yourself – if you can’t do that, you’re not in the right career.

4. Make pursuing your passions a priority.

I’ve told myself for years that I wanted to get certified as a barre instructor, that I wanted to learn lettering, and that I wanted to blog more. It took the quarantine to get me to start doing any of those things, and I feel more fulfilled now than I have in awhile! Make the time to do the things that you just WANT to do, not what you need to do. It’s so rewarding, and maybe you’ll find what the next step in your life needs to be through that. 

5. Self-care is ALWAYS important.

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Y’all know that I’m the self-care queen, so of course I had to throw this in! I don’t care if it’s a five minute meditation, a bubble bath, journaling, or just lighting your favorite candles while you eat dinner – I want you to do some sort of self-care every single day. YOU are the most important person in your life. You can’t help others, you can’t do your job, and you can’t do your other tasks if you aren’t taking care of yourself. It doesn’t have to be much, just do something to take care of yourself. Make the time for it. It is vital.

Chapter 23: One Hit Blunders, Part IV – The Cheapskate and The Funcle

Welcome back to another week of One Hit Blunders! Today, you get to meet two men – one from Boston, The Cheapskate, and one from Florida, The Funcle. Let’s go. 


The last date I went on in Boston before the world shut down was with Charles, I guy that I accidentally matched with when I went back on Hinge for all of about 36 hours way back in February (man, that feels like years ago) and ended up going out with.

Charles is an accountant for something important, I honestly cannot remember, but I do remember that I definitely did not mean to match with him because he didn’t seem like what I was looking for, nor did he really match the physical attributes I usually go for. But, I matched with him nonetheless and I’m too nice to be like, “Whoops sorry meant to swipe left!” so we started talking.

To be totally fair, I wasn’t really interested in ANY of the guys I was matching with because I was already 100% positive that I was already in love with someone else that I’d met just before this, The Rollercoaster. He’s coming up next week, but he lives on the West Coast so to be realistic and not obsess over him too much, I was still exploring other options in Boston just to protect myself. Fair warning before next week’s post, get yourself LOTS of wine. I will absolutely be drinking a very big glass of it while I write next week’s post to get me through it, and I can only imagine how long next week’s post will be — but, I don’t want to give TOO much away. For right now, all you need to know is that I was in love with him and didn’t really want to be going out with The Cheapskate, but my friends convinced me to go out just for kicks and giggles and I figured it couldn’t hurt. Anyway, let’s get back to the story.

So, Charles and I talked for a bit, and he asked for my number. Considering I didn’t even want to match with him, I pulled my classic trick of giving him my Google Voice number, which turned out to be an excellent decision. 

He asked me out to lunch, and since he lives and works near Beacon Hill, which isn’t too far from me, I told him to pick a spot he could get to easily after his morning at work wrapped up. He picked a restaurant that turned out to have some very interesting food, but I went with it. 

The day we met up, I immediately knew I was in for a future dating blog story. He was wearing a very strange trench coat despite the fact that it wasn’t even really that cold at the time, and he seemed very concerned about not letting it touch the floor even for a second. We sat down at the bar, which was at least a kind of good distraction from the fact that he was shorter than I thought (seriously, guys, AGAIN?) and he ordered a beer and asked me what I wanted, and I said I’d get a hard cider since I don’t drink beer.

Apparently, this was offensive to him and I “should have told him before” that I don’t drink beer, which I just rolled my eyes to because it isn’t a big deal to me. The bartender overheard me say this and offered to give me a sample of a beer he thought I’d like, I thanked him and said that would be great, thanks. He went and got me a little glass for the sample and sets it in front of me, and Charles took it and had the first sip, even though it was for me! It was so weird.

The food was awful but the only thing worse was the conversation. Half of me felt like I was in a job interview while the other half of me felt like I was some B-list celebrity being asked weird questions on the red carpet hoping I’d say something scandalous so that the reporter who asked it could feel special. It was weird, he talked an awful lot about himself, and anything that was asked about me immediately got brought back to him. No, thank you.

Even better, I remember that he only ordered an appetizer – that he had to ask the server 50 questions about before he’d agree to order it – and made some really judge-y comments when I ordered a burger and fries. I know I’m not a Victoria’s Secret model, and guess what, I don’t want to be – I love my body. So to any guy who thinks it’s okay to comment on what a girl orders and eats, and actually DOES comment on what she eats, I say this to you from the very bottom of my heart – I hope you remain single forever. No girl deserves to deal with an insecure jerk like that.

But the real kicker was when the bill came. As you know, I always offer to pay my half but never expect to actually do so. Now, keep in mind what I said before – Charles is an accountant for a big company, and he lives on Beacon Hill (which if you don’t know, is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston) in a place where he can park his luxury car easily. So, he is not hurting in the money department. Meanwhile, I’d been telling him about my woes of being unemployed until I started a new job at the end of the month. He didn’t let me pay, but he did tell me I could cover the tip (which was still a considerable amount), and left me with a, “You can pay the next time.” How about no, because there definitely will not be a next time?

I had told him while we were eating that I wanted to go shopping on Beacon Hill at some point soon, and he offered to walk me since he was heading home, but I fibbed and told him that I couldn’t go that day. Instead, I went back towards my place a couple of blocks until I figured he couldn’t see me, hid in a shop for a bit, and then came back out and went shopping.

Later that day, he messaged me about getting together and I pulled my go-to line, trying to be nice but firm. His response was literally just, “Oh come on, I know you’re into me.” I was none too pleased at his attitude so I pretty much just said, “Actually, I’m not. I didn’t enjoy our date at all. Bye.” He tried to respond to that, but I didn’t answer. I blocked him. Just another story for the book… well, blog.


When coronavirus started to get bad, my mom told me she did not want me to be up here in Boston by myself, so she told me to come home to Florida, which I gladly did.

After awhile, my family all made the collective decision that I needed to go on Bumble or something while I was there, if nothing else, to make new friends and just get me out of the house since for most of the five months I was there the two people I hung out with the most were my mom and my three year old niece. So, I went back on Bumble. 

My sister in law had a grand time living vicariously through me, since dating apps didn’t really become a thing until after she met my brother, so she did some swiping for me which led to my parents – mostly my dad – feeling left out. My dad wanted to know how Bumble worked and I said we could mirror my phone to the TV in the living room and he could help me. We were kind of joking, but actually, that’s exactly what we did.

A few nights of quarantine, my parents and I gathered in the living room and I’d set my phone up to display on the TV, and remind them of my rules:

  1. No more than one fish photo.
  2. No more than one mirror selfie.
  3. I don’t play Guess Who – if all of the photos are group shots, it’s a no.
  4. No kids (too complicated). 
  5. Proper use of their/they’re/there and your/you’re. 
  6. Actually has at least something interesting in their bio, and/or at least a question or two answered. 

Really, these are not too crazy of guidelines – yet it was very difficult to find decent matches.

But, I did match with Eddie, who we all liked because he called himself a “funcle” and had some cute pictures with his nieces and nephews. As someone who is also obsessed with their nieces, I figured we’d get along. 

We talked a bit, and then he asked me out and I figured I was being smart about being around people, and I was okay with doing a semi-socially distanced date so long as we were outdoors. We met at a tiki bar, and he got there a few minutes before me which allowed him time to order a drink without me – I don’t know, is that weird that it kind of bothered me? 

He seemed nice enough, but guess what, I had ANOTHER height liar! Maybe I’m just really bad at estimating people’s heights, but he definitely seemed shorter than he said, or he had really bad posture. He also did not look a ton like his photo in general, but I let it slide and decided to try to have fun regardless.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

I did not have fun. Again, the conversation was lagging, with way too many awkward silences for me to count and a lot of me just staring at my drink hoping that it would magically give me inspiration on literally ANYTHING to talk about that would result in a conversation longer than two minutes long. It failed. I had also told him beforehand not to take it personally if I didn’t hug or anything, I was trying to be safe with corona, and to please respect that but he still hugged me like three times over the course of the night, and it was that awkward thing where I kind of just stood there with my arms at that weird “caught by surprise” angle not knowing what to do. Overall, it was just not a good night and I finally told him I had to be home soon (my brother did give me a curfew, after all) and left.

And I never heard from him again. Another little thing I like is when a guy at least makes sure that I get home safely after a date, but he didn’t even do that. I just never heard from him, which was fine with me. I unmatched with Eddie, and called it another loss but also a gain because at least I got a free drink out of it. Honestly though, I hope that he’s more fun with his nieces and nephews than he was with me. 


And that brings us to the end of another One Hit Blunders! Don’t forget the wine for next week – see you soon!

Chapter 10: The Cancer

As things were fizzling with Al, I decided to get back on dating apps – mostly Bumble and Hinge – and I matched with a few guys that honestly, were entertaining me more than anything else, so I didn’t really pursue any of them . But once Al ghosted me, I realized I needed to really put myself back out there because I didn’t want to think that all guys were jerks, and I deserved to meet some good ones. So, I decided to start actually going out on some dates. This is what led to me meeting PJ, otherwise known as The Cancer. PJ is an engineer, not from Boston originally, and had recently moved to the area, and is the epitome of the Cancer sign he was born under, hence his nickname. 

PJ and I had been chatting for awhile, first on the app, then via text, and one night, he asked me if I was free for a drink. While I had already kind of settled on that night being a Netflix and early to bed night, I decided to be spontaneous and say yes. He lived a bit outside the city, but offered to drive in, so we decided to meet at the Tavern in the Square for a drink. I quickly dressed, and got there a few minutes early where I witnessed an interesting interaction with a VERY drunk patron and one of the hosts there. After the drunk guy left, I stood and joked with the host about it while I waited. PJ showed up a bit later, and almost immediately had something rude to say about the “pretty boy” host not doing his job and talking to me instead. Clearly, he was jealous. Strike one. But, we had a drink there, talked a bit, and overall, he seemed pretty nice. I wasn’t super attracted to him, but I was trying to be better about not ruling someone out immediately just because of non-existent physical attraction, so I kept the date going. 

After a drink or two there, we decided to go to a bar in Faneuil Hall that does karaoke. We didn’t end up singing, but we met some cool people at the bar and hung out for a bit, talked a lot, and then decided to wander a bit more before ending up back at Tavern for a night cap. We said good night, and I went home.

The next day, he asked me if I liked brunch, which of course I do, so we made plans to have Sunday brunch the following day. We went to a place in Somerville called Rosebud, and while there I started to see more signs that this was not exactly going to be a love connection. We seemed to have different values and priorities, and the attraction was just not there for me, but again, he seemed pretty nice so I decided to just keep enjoying it for what it was and broach the subject when it came up. He drove me home after brunch, and I went about my day.


After that date, I kind of avoided him for a while. I didn’t think I was feeling it, but finally, after him asking to see me several times, I finally gave in. My friends convinced me that I should give someone three chances to decide how I really feel about them, and being totally honest, considering how hard it was to get the guys like Christian and Al to commit to making any plans with me, it was kind of refreshing to have someone so into spending time with me. I decided to give him one more chance.

Cancer – The Crab.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We went to dinner at Faneuil Hall, then got ice cream, and while I was ready to go home after that he convinced me to go to this outdoor space called The Lawn on D, so we hung out there for a bit before going to a dueling piano bar across the street. It was actually really fun there, so I was happy I decided to stay out, but PJ had some serious issues with other guys there simply smiling at me or apologizing to me for being in my way. Again, the insecurities and jealousy were coming out in full force. Strike two. Besides which, I felt like at this point if he was really into me he would have tried to kiss me or something by now, but he never even touched me. I will never judge or get mad at someone for being respectful, but it was sort of weird seeing as he seemed to want to date me, but I’d never gotten any sign from him that he was attracted to me either.

After that third date, I was positive that I wasn’t feeling any kind of romantic connection with him and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time anymore. So I texted him and said that he was a great guy, but I wasn’t feeling the spark, and wished him all the best. But he wanted to be friends. I know that 9/10 times that a guy still wants to be “just friends” after being rejected he’s going to keep trying, but I thought maybe, just maybe, he would be that one out of ten. He was not.


This was around when I began referring to him as “The Cancer.” He was borderline obsessed with me. And while I consider myself a confident person, I really don’t understand it. By the last half of our third date, I was disagreeing with everything he said just to get him disinterested in me, and shutting down on him because I didn’t want him to get too attached before I had to tell him I wasn’t interested in him, but apparently to him this was just me playing hard to get because it somehow made him even more interested. He continued to ask me to hang out in settings that seemed much more like a date than two friends just hanging out. He tried to get me to come over and cuddle. A few weeks after me telling him I didn’t see a relationship coming out of this, he asked me to be his roommate – even though I’d never given him ANY kind of hints about wanting or needing a roommate (especially one who didn’t live anywhere near the public transportation I needed, and who has a dog that was way above my apartment’s weight limit) – saying he thought we’d be great roommates after three months of knowing each other… no. He did NOT seem to get that I was simply not interested, no matter how many times I tried to tell him. He was just coming on way too strong, and I felt like I couldn’t get him to back off, no matter how obvious I tried to make it without being downright mean. 

I feel like here is where I need to give a brief explanation of astrology, for anyone who isn’t familiar. I’m a Sagittarius, which is a Fire sign, my rising sign is Cancer, and my moon is Libra. So, while to the world I come across as emotional and sensitive, caring, and intuitive (which I totally am), I see myself as fair, balanced, and idealistic, but who I really am is honest, independent, adventurous, and optimistic. Cancer is a Water sign. Fire and Water do not and cannot coexist in nature. But, a lot of those traits that are due to me being a Fire sign make me very attractive to Water signs. Especially Cancers. When talking to someone who knows even more about astrology than I do, it was basically explained to me that because of my Rising sign, he thought I was more like him than I am, and then when my Sun sign traits started to come out more, they both attracted him but also made him want to stifle me in that area to equal the playing field a bit more. Which then made me mad because above all, autonomy and independence are two of the most important things to me. So once I started to pick up on him trying to make me seem more like what he was because he couldn’t have the same Fire traits as me, the more I got angry and was ready to cut him off. 


Anywho, back to the story. PJ continued to try to get me to hang out with him, even though by this point I felt like I had been extremely clear that nothing was going to happen. I wasn’t interested in being friends because I don’t like being disrespected when I say no, and I was getting very aggravated that he just didn’t seem to care what I wanted because his desperation was more important. I hate not feeling listened to and being forced to be the bad guy, so this was all really getting old and his Cancer-ness was starting to REALLY get to me. 

Finally, I guess my standoffishness finally got through to him because he stopped texting me. But this didn’t last forever. Earlier this year, he texted me yet again asking me to get drinks. I thought that maybe he’d changed, maybe he wouldn’t be so annoying. Besides, I had quit my job that was essentially taking over my life because I had no time or energy to be social, and I really needed to get out of my apartment. So I agreed. 

Sagittarius – The Archer.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He picked me up and we went to Earl’s in the Prudential Center, and had some drinks. Yet again, his jealousy showed up when he made a face because the bartender was extra nice to me. Side note – why would a guy ever think that’s attractive? It’s not. We actually had a semi decent time. He was still single, I told him about some of my failed dates from the few months before, we laughed at my misfortune, and it wasn’t too bad. I finally told him that he was way too much of a Cancer for me to ever really get along with, and he tried to argue with me and defend himself but he actually just proved my point even more, which I thought was pretty funny. 

Then, he asked me if I’d been intimate with anyone lately, to which I responded it was absolutely none of his business, and he more or less (definitely more) tried to convince me to sleep with him that night. He kept talking about how great he is in bed (maybe this is just me, but I feel like the more you feel like you have to say you’re good in bed, the worse you actually are) and how he’d never left a woman “unsatisfied.” I tried to change the subject or at least steer it away from him bragging about himself, but again, he didn’t take the hint. I told him I wasn’t into that and didn’t care about his “skills” with other girls, but for some reason he still felt like on the way out of the restaurant, he just had to say to me that, “It would be really good if I ever changed my mind,” or something like that. Ew. 

Afterwards, I was hungry so I bought us each a slice of pizza from Eataly. It was there that he tried to bait me into a political argument for reasons unbeknownst to me. He was being very insensitive and not very open to other opinions, including mine. Both of which are serious pet peeves of mine. I also just don’t get why you’d try to start a political debate with someone at 10:00pm. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to scarf down this pizza as quickly as possible so I can get home and away from him. 

The last and final strike came on the drive home. I offered to take a Lyft but he refused, so I went ahead and let him give me a ride. He was so crude the whole ride, very obviously STILL trying to get me to invite him in so he could get in my pants. Then, at a red light, out of nowhere he reached over and tickled me. Fun fact, I HATE being tickled. It’s not like, “Oh haha don’t tickle me,” I actually start to panic and feel like I can’t breathe after awhile, and especially considering how uncomfortable he’d been making me for the past hour, I was not enjoying it in the slightest. I also just don’t like anyone thinking they can touch me without me at least sending some sort of signals that it’s okay, and I can’t think of a single time that I sent him a signal that that would ever be okay. His inability to read the room is unparalleled. 

I freaked out and told him to stop, which he did, but after that, I was officially done. I’d tried being nice, I’d even tried being kind of mean, but he was just. Not. Getting. It. When we got to my building, I barely said good night before getting out of the car and going upstairs. The next morning when he tried to text me, I blocked his number and then blocked him on all social media, too. 

While I still stand by my theory that he’s just the epitome of a Cancer, I’m not convinced that he just also lacks any social awareness. I can’t think of any other reason why he’d continue to text me trying to hang out after I’d been both upfront and passive aggressive about not being interested. Maybe some people are into that kind of borderline obsession, but not me. So, if you’re a Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, or a Scorpio in search of a sensitive soul who’ll “satisfy your needs,” I’ve got a guy for you. Me, on the other hand? I’ll be holding out for my Leo or Aries.