Yeah, it's been a while.
Remember how I was going to speak a lot more openly my dating life, back in January? Funny thing happened, as I was penning that post, I was chatting with a guy from the online dating intrawebs and he asked me out for a beer. Seven months later I'm living in Las Vegas with him. Let me bring you up to speed, because even though the horror stories of past dates are gone, things were not exactly fireworks from the get go with my new Sin City Roommate, henceforth to be referred to as Manfriend/Homeboy/etc (just follow along, okay?)
It's a cold Saturday night in the Windy City and Homeboy from the dating site and I agreed to grab a few drinks at a watering hole we both enjoyed and watch the NFL Playoffs.
My first impression: He's much taller and balder than his photos
Homeboy: Damn, that's a yellow jacket. (I told him I was wearing a bright yellow jacket, I failed to mention I loaned it out to O'Hare to guide in 747s in dense fog.)
Anyway, we are both clearly nervous and Homeboy grabs a few pints of porter from the bar as we both idly pretend to watch the 49ers while nervously sipping (chugging) our beer and sizing each other up.
Just as my girl Frances arrives at the bar to stalk the first encounter, we decide to leave for a quieter environment. Yes, I have a friend who stalks first dates. I cannot do her work justice, perhaps I can get her to guest blog sometime. Note: Chicago singles, if you ever see a female Judah Friedlander stalking you on a first date, know you are being live tweeted. You've been warned...
The next watering hole is quieter, we grab a table and the server tells us that Carbombs are on special. Being a girl that has her whole apartment decorated in Guinness, I perk up. Homeboy, being someone that was Bar Mitzvahed, perks up at the word "special." We down a round of the unholy chocolate milk-tasting concoction before I, declaring that as a Buckeyes fan, cannot spend another round in this Wisconsin Badger bar.
We bop around from bar to bar. Naturally, I am being engaging and charming, but homeboy seems disinterested. He sat observing me and it never occurred to me that 1. He might just be listening or 2. Mama got a new pair of cutlets and a low-cut dress that drew his attention else where.
It's midnight and we're at another bar. Conversation is at all lull as all I can think about is eating, I assumed our meet up meant dinner, he (foolishly) thought meeting up for drinks meant just that. Note: Always feed the Fat Girl. Always. I decide to call it a night, bummed in the lack of chemistry, exchange a sloppy Carbomb-fueled kiss, give him a swift slap on the ass and get in a taxi.
I go to the Nutcracker's, who cooked me a proper midnight dinner while I bitched about another lame date. Homeboy met up with his friends who were at that same bar and listened to them tell him how the date seemed like a dud.
To my surprise, Homeboy texts me the next day saying how he enjoyed meeting me, yada yada yada usual post-date bullshit. We both expressed an interest in bar trivia, and as one of my New Year's Resolutions was to give nice guys a better chance, I told him I wanted to do trivia with him sometime. This is where it gets fuzzy: Homeboy invited me to go on Tuesday night trivia with him. He maintains he told me it was with a usual group he plays it. I was under the impression it would just be the two of us. He invited me and I accepted, assuming it would be a second date of sorts.
Tuesday night I groom and primp, making sure my knee-high camel leather boots match my scarf and earrings just perfectly. I show up and see Homeboy, along with 5 of his friends. Great.
I quickly order the beer with the highest ABV on tap and brace myself, I'm in for the long haul.
Homeboy does not talk to me on a personal level. Or, talk to me at all, really. I sit, nursing (read:inhaling) my microbrew stout, secretly lamenting that I wasted a Friday night outfit on a Tuesday while trying to make painful small talk with his friends. Homeboy can see that this is going well as the Hindenburg, but chooses not to act but rather watch the carnage unfold. Trivia ends, the check comes, I promptly throw my cash on the table and leave without so much as a polite hug.
Ten minutes later I on my way to meet a friend for drinks and regale him with the nightmare as I am telling KB over the phone over the mess that was a date with five of his friends.
KB and I hang up as I meet my buddy for beers. I start in with how terrible of a date it was as Homeboy texts me, asking me to come to dinner at his place Saturday night, I read it, look at my friend and say, "Ugh, I really do not want to waste a Saturday night on this guy."
I respond with a polite, "Thanks for thinking of me, I'll have to get back to you" sort of brush off and dismiss him. Meanwhile, my friend say, "Cari, you're always so quick to judge people, he seems nice, give him a chance." On cue, Homeboy texts and says, "I know tonight didn't go well, but I enjoyed being around you, and would like to see you again."
Sigh. Fine. I'll consider giving you Thursday.
I get up the next day and head off to meet with my personal trainer for some weight lifting (Yeah, fat girls can be fit, too. It's called over consumption, not laziness. Note: I once had a doctor who was helping me get my weight managed say, "You're not from dainty people, are you?" No, no I am not, we are designed to do the work of 20 oxen in a field, not float around in a delicate manner.) But I digress.
So I am at Belmont waiting to transfer to a Brown Line and there are no trains coming. I try to catch a cab and am unsuccessful. I call my trainer and learn that due to a shooting at Merch Mart the Brown Line is not running.
Oh Chicago, only your random act of violence could lead to love.
I find myself at home with time to kill, text Homeboy to see if he'd want to get lunch, because my friend the night prior convinced me to give him one last shot.
He agreed and suggested a vegetarian diner. Despite my reservations, I agreed. Note: What the Hell was someone who cooks for a living thinking when going out with a lactose-intolerant vegetarian? Really. Talk about a glutton for punishment.
Homeboy and I arrive at said restaurant at the same time, I brace myself for scarfing down my meal and being on my way so I can officially write this one off. However, after 2.5 hours of talking, laughing, taking entirely too long to eat my vegan Reuben (blasphemy) and ordering dessert, I realized I was genuinely drawn to Homeboy, and I liked him.
I accepted his second invitation for dinner at his place on Saturday night and ended up falling for this guy who can't eat lactose and chooses not to eat delicious (DELICIOUS!) cows.
We both fell hard and quickly. By May, I was bringing him back to Ohio to parade him around like he won Best-in-Show.
On our last night in Ohio, we went to dinner with my Mom at a local Mexican joint. Over Margaritas, Manfriend/Homeboy regales her with the story of how his Mom was glad I was from Ohio because we would want to move back east someday (They are from Philly, and this was in the same conversation of him telling them he had a new girlfriend.) My mom offhandedly busts out with, "Why back East, why not Vegas?"
As natural as yawning I say, "I've always dreamt of living in Vegas for one year." Because I did always dream about. Just like I dreamed about meeting the Tooth Fairy, taking a pill that consumed the calories I ate and finding a viable Congress that could actually work for the country. Total pipe dream.
Conversation moved on, we said our goodbyes and I didn't think twice about the evening's discourse.
The next day on our drive back to Chicago, Manfriend says, "So you want to move to Vegas."
"Yeah, but just for a year."
"Wanna go in August?"
"We've only known each other since January."
"Okay, I'm in."
And that's pretty much how I landed in the city that was designed for a girl like me. But I could not just stop writing about crappy dates and start writing about life in Vegas without letting know how we got here.
(Un. Very Un)Fortunately, the Manfriend left for two weeks in Asia a few days after we landed here, which has given me plenty of freedom to eat as many animals as I can consume.
So if you will pardon me, there is some bacon in my fridge that needs to find it's way to my belly. While the vegetarian is away, the carnivore will play!
The adventures of Fat Girl in Vegas are officially on.