Chapter 54. I drove 800 miles to find out he had a girlfriend

I was once told that you should not fall for your roommate or neighbour because if things don’t  work out, you are stuck with a ton of ackward moments to follow. So I secretly fell in love with my next door neighbour and did not show my feelings for him for approximately two years. Then he moved to the South and I said “what the heck! I’m going down to tell him!” I drove 800 miles and when I got there (with my trunk packed with things that his mother had given me for him to eat) I found out that he already had a girlfriend.

My now ex neighbour used to live with his mother. Yes he is past 30 but I never saw him as an unaccomplished man, mostly because he is an actor and actors may spend their entire life waiting for their break.

As most actors, he is moody, particular, self centered and depressive but when he is high about a gig he can be very pleasant.

When I got to his place (with a back up friend) I found out that he wasn’t acting but rather he had found a job as a waiter. He immediately and casually told my friend (not me) about his new relationship status. The lucky girl, a 24 year old college student, was out of town so I told my self “you are a 37 year old woman Rachel, you can seduce him” but certain guys (this one in particular) are not cool around independent strong women, they prefer younger girls that they can still impress somehow and that help them feed their otherwise damaged ego.

So by the time I had paid for the third round of beer I conviced myself that a good friendship was sufficient and I started to play it cool around the increasing amount of people that seemed to hang out with us all the time.

Do you know that feeling of just waiting for a moment with someone and that moment never happening for one reason or another? That is how I felt. It was as if the universe prevented that moment from happening.

Until the last night.

I was packing my things at my hotel when suddenly I got a message that became a conversation:

– when are you leaving?

– tomorrow

– no way!

– yes, I am going back home where I can get more attention from men 😉

– you may get more but not better

– you have a girlfriend

– yes, but I want to tear off your panties

– blah blah, you had your chance, besides, I am not wearing any right now…

– 😰 please come over

– No. I’ll say hello to your mom from you, how is that?

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Chapter 53. About me

My name is Rachel. I am the middle child of three siblings, the only girl.

I never really had to fight for attention. My older brother was so problematic that I didn’t have to do much to look good.

I was a happy child. Extrovert and artsy. I liked dancing, theater but most of all I enjoyed singing and listening to the music that my older brother would introduce me to. I enjoyed clothes as well and from my early teens, I had the biggest crushes on boys from my school. Like this boy that rode on my school bus, I would stop breathing each time the bus reached his stop and would remained quiet all the way whenever he sat next to me… I also fell hard for a counselor at camp.

I grew up in Seattle and therefore, I enjoy the rain and the mild temperatures. I am a seafood lover and I have developed a taste for wine and fine living.

My father is from a small town in Wisconsin and I spent many summers in the Midwest. My time in WI prepared me for life because as much as I get to hang out at fancy places now, I never forget where I am from. I know how to tell a good potato from a bad one by just looking at it, and I mean that literally and figuratively speaking.

I started to travel at a very early age.

At thirteen I enjoyed reading and creating quite a lot.

The first book that I remember reading was Dracula, Bram Stoker. I have no idea of how that book fell in my hands, certainly not the most appropriate reading for a young girl, but I remember being absolutely fascinated by the story and getting anxious as the pages left to be read became scarce between my fingers. I just never wanted to leave that world in which I had found myself immerse and trapped for, I would say, life.

The story introduced me to the power or love and lust, to human women’s nature, to the garden of good and evil (that I also got to visit in Savannah) and for me, an otherwise angelical perfect girl, it would be of much importance in the years to come. Little one young girl knows about human condition and love at the early teen years but curiously enough, the way I have experienced love as a woman up until now, with my two divorces and children made with love, is very much in line with the story’s main female character, Mina Murray, who is loving and passionate at the same time and who like me, appears to be too advanced for her time, will do anything for love and possesses the courage to think and act as only a man of her time should if need be.

So making an art out of love, novels and writing have always had an important presence in my life.

Keep reading.

Chapter 52. So he sends pictures of his penis while you are at work?

“Yes, he did, and I was so happy with what I saw, he sent pictures from every angle and let me tell you that I had never seen anything that big before” Eva said.

I was driving my Jeep down to Baja to meet some old friends and put some distance between my day to day life and where I want to take it, that is, perspective. The long drive was giving me the perfect opportunity to make those touch base calls that you never get to make. I have a few important people in my life who don’t live  near me but whose souls are always with me because they have met mine along the way. Eva is one of them.

– What did you think about his emails? Don’t they put Fifty Shades of Grey to shame?

– Yes, indeed, but watch out Eva, I think this guy is a sociopath, didn’t you say that he is about to get married? I mean, I looked him up on Facebook, they seem like a respectable family but when I read the stuff he sends you…it just doesn’t add up. Something is off. I know that you need the rush and the excitement in your life and that you are not getting it from Luke right now, so as long as this remains virtual fine. I would not dare to take it to the real arena.

Eva is a bit younger than me, she and I come a long way and have done a lot of the same things. I remember the exact day that I met her, she had come late to class and she was wearing a white sweater with the American flag on it. I thought “She must be European” not that many college kids wear the printed flag on their clothes in the States, Europeans do.

She was from Córdoba, on exchange program to the US. It was 1997. We hit it off right away and I was immediately amazed by her ability to get the hottest guy in the club. She was very attractive but there were other girls more attractive that were unable to operate the way she did.

So a few years later she had married an incredibly hot Dutch guy, I mean really hot. Had the big wedding in downtown Córdoba and moved abroad to Shangai.

Now she was feeling like her husband was traveling too much and there was nothing left to conquer so she started flirting with a client via email…

– He has suggested that I fly to Hong Kong for a hot date. It would be a clean deal, back the same day, should I go?

– Whatever Eva, if that is what makes you happy do it. Nothing that I say would make you stop.

– You did it! You went to Milan for that guy!!!

– Yes, and how did it end? Me at his apartment with the flu, covered in a flowery duvet and watching his washing machine do the last cicle while holding a cup of hot tea. Reality strikes hard. Life is a lot more interesting in our heads at times Eva.

– I am going! Since I got those pictures I am on fire. Seriously, his penis is so big and it was not even totally hard. I am just worried that Luke will find those pictures of his huge penis on my phone. By the way, what were you saying about your August plans before?

– I forgot…

Chapter 51. Men want to be the crocodile

Catering to a woman’s needs and falling for a woman leads to having in laws, screaming children, reduced budgets and less time to play in the pond with other male crocodiles. As a result, men admire the crocodile and want his lifestyle.

Those who find themselves already in the rat race, meaning, those who are already married with children and with a used up relationship that only leads to sexual encounters once a week (if they are lucky) but don’t have the guts or the financial means to go “solo”, find hobbies or excuses to get a taste of the crocodile’s lifestyle when in fact, they would want to be like him. They would prefer to be him and say “screw this, tell me how much you want for child support, I’m outta here” and leave running straight back to their pond.

Why? Because being the crocodile rules. He gets to decide when and where to play paddle with his friends, he goes out during the week, plays soccer, plays cards, he owes no explanations to no one and he has cash to spend on whatever he wants, sports equipment, new expensive clothes…it is his money so why would he need to feel bad about spending more on himself, right? He is in his forties and has this urgent need to feel young while he can and burn life. As long as he is diligent with child support no woman will ever nag at him about something he does. Ever.

My friend thinks is ok to be unfaithful as long as he doesn’t get caught. “I like being married, in fact, I need to be married, it gives me stability. I love my wife and children, but I won’t stop doing what I do” Crocodile.

He is not the only man that admires other crocodiles that are more alpha than him, like that single American guy that landed recently in Ibiza with a plane full of models to pack his boat party and demonstrate his ubber crocodile lifestyle.

“That guy really knows how to do it” My friend says. And you know what? Most men secretly agree.

“Women are inferior to men, the only difference is that I have the guts and the means to say it out loud and to live by it” crocodile would say.

Familywise many crocodiles are well off too because as a result of being more or less married to a woman, they gain small children to call their own. Crocodile moms will always make sure to do all the “dirty work” the weekend that their son keeps the children so that babyboy does not have to get up early or cook the kids’lunch or make the kids’ beds or do the kids laundry or all those “women’s duties”. Being the mamas boy that he is, he still gets his socks and underwear from mom because his head would probably explode if he had to figure out his own size…Like the one time he bought me expensive lingerie and when I opened the box I found an older ladies kind of ensemble and a bra that was for my giant sister. Wishful thinking I suppose…

Mom will also be available to mind the kids on Friday and Saturday night so her baby can go out and have fun as a man should. In short, she will make sure to diminish the work that you, as a mother, do all the other days of the month and therefore, ensure that crocodile does not value it.

Great job ladies, great job.

Chapter 50. Virtually nothing

Virtual love is on, from sexting to Instagram to video Skype, it appears that going out on a real date and having a real conversation to get to know one another is a thing of the past.

Many men and women are becoming socially ackward as a result. They feel more protected behind their social networks than they do across a dinner table so they choose to avoid being phisically present.

So what happens when you devirtualize your crush? Most of the time nothing.

You have this hunger for love, you want to be liked and get the attention and you want the chemical reaction that having a crush releases. But you don’t want to actually get involved. So you fantasize about someone, you like their status updates, pictures and even dare to send flirtatious messages that become instantly sexual at night. You open up to your crush about your “feelings” and call each other pet names surrounded with love and kisses emoticons.

But one day, as you are having drinks with your friends who know everything about your crush by now, you decide that enough is enough. You are not willing to delay a personal encounter one more second, you decide that tonight is the night, the moment is now. So you grab the courage to pick up your stuff, grab your friends, put them in the car, drive 80 miles to meet your crush in person for once and for all and what do you find?

Virtually nothing.

Chapter 49. Staying together for the kids

Is what many adult couples do when they discover that they no longer feel anything for each other, to put it nicely.

Something that would seem unthinkable in your twenties becomes a reasonable option in your mid thirties when you find yourself out of love, with a huge house that is proportionate to your mortgage, and a good school that your kids are attending after applying for two years to get admitted and to which they are fully adjusted.

Pragmatically speaking, staying under the same roof and sharing expenses is a good option, provided that you are ok seeing your ex totally naked in the nursing room when he casually asks you to warm up some milk and bring the baby bottle to the nursing room upstairs. I could not stand that kind of stuff or to feel like I was cheating if somebody asked me out on a date. So I moved out to Santa Barbara and took my kids with me.

Breaking that perfect setting for my kids was perhaps the toughest part of my second divorce. Not so much the emotional strings to my ex, those were long gone but rather, telling my 7 year old that it was time to move….again, man that was hard.

Now that they are older and spending a few months with their respective fathers, things seem a lot easier. I have the chance to move to London for a few months to complete a Phd. I can have a crush again and most importantly I don’t have to see my ex naked around the house.

I often wonder about my married friends who went with the staying together for the kids option and wonder how they are doing…

Chapter 48. I have a crush on my professor

Big time. I look up videos on the Internet on his dissertations and lectures. I fantasize about he and I going on a real date and I can’t stop wondering about his marital status.

That is what happens when you come out of a long relationship or failed marriage, you risk falling for anyone that can make you forget about the bitter aftertaste of failure. Who wants to admit the consequences or take responsibility for a break up? No one.

Better to pack your things and move to a foreign country, become a PhD and have a ridiculously intense crush on your thesis director.

I know as much as the Internet can spit out about him while he, on the other hand, doesn’t know what he is up against yet. A 37 year old woman determined to seduce him, move in together, have his child and then come to Northen Spain in the summertime for a family vacation.

I have not even gone on a date with him yet and I already wonder if getting romantically involved with a Brit is a good idea because lets admit it, US girls and British girls are very different. Not to mention the teeth issue. Will he have good dental hygiene? European teeth freak me out for the most part. Uneven, small, yellowish teeth that are supposed to instill personality? No thanks.

I am used to American men that shower three times a day and have perfect teeth but I supposed that I can get used to my professor’s flaws assuming he has them, and just fall in love with his accent. So hot.

I arrive in London in September. My friend Sarah, who is the most efficient flirt on earth, advises me to play it cool until mid November and limit out conversations to work related topics, his past projects, his fabulous accomplishments in the sustainable architecture field and urban planning, men like to be adored. Then, phase two will involve sharing some personal details about adjusting to life in London and relying on his advice for this or that. Phase three would start in early December. By that point we will already have a more or less established rapport and the unexpected visit of a friend who is in town introducing the most sought after varietal of Spanish white (godello) according to wine guru Robert Parker , will be the perfect excuse for an anticipated Xmas present to him that he, of course, will want to share with me.

First date under my belt. Stay tunned.