Author: rachelscott (page 1 of 3)

Why I’ll never tell another stranger they have food in their teeth…

Have you ever gone to the bathroom only to look in the mirror and discover there’s giant fleck of pepper or worse… broccoli stuck in your teeth?

Yeah, we all have. And it’s horrifying. You instantly wonder how long it’s been there and why no one told you.

HOW DARE PEOPLE LET YOU WALK AROUND LOOKING LIKE THAT, RIGHT?!!

Well, here’s the thing… I will never, ever again tell a stranger they have food in their teeth.

And here’s why.

I was at Chipotle one day. (I know, I know, I’m so basic!)

I was standing in line, about to order when this young guy behind the counter smiled at me.

I smiled back 100% ready to place my order, but immediately noticed he had something in his teeth. That’s when my brain was like, “Oh, no! He’s smiling so much, I can’t let him keep working his shift like that. I’d be mortified if that were me.”

So being the person that I am, I said, “Hey, not sure if you know, but you’ve got something stuck between your two front teeth.”

He gave a sheepish smile and said, “Actually, I have a gap. I get that all the time though.”

TOTAL AND INSTANT MELTDOWN ON MY END. I felt like the world’s biggest @$$hat. I turned that horrid shade of red that you see on cars when men are having a midlife crisis and apologized nearly a bazillion times.

I didn’t go back to that Chipotle for over a month. A MONTH!

And THAT is exactly why I will NEVER EVER tell another stranger they have food in their teeth. I don’t even care if I can identify what food it is. It could be a whole steak and I wouldn’t make a peep!

It’s staying there until either they notice it or a friend tells them.

I still feel bad about Chipotle guy. To this day, I want to find him and apologize again…

Now the real question is, what kind of friend are you? Would you tell your friend they have something in their teeth, or do you pretend to not notice it? Be honest!

Not sure how to tell someone about that food in their teeth? Stephanie Lee over at Lifehacker has got you covered!

And as always, thanks for stopping by The Sassy Flamingo.

5 Goals I Have For 2017

Let me start by saying I don’t make resolutions—not officially any way. I do however keep a list of goals and tasks that I would like to accomplish at all times. Maybe that’s the same thing, but I think it’s a little different, so… here are the 5 goals I want to achieve in 2017!

Goal #1: Live Roommate Free

My first and easiest goal to accomplish in 2017 will be to live roommate free. Ever since I was 19, I’ve had roommates. Some of them have been great. Others… not so much!

One roommate had a dog that I had to listen to cry constantly and when you picked him up, he would pee all over because he had separation anxiety from being alone all the time. Another roommate was also a co-worker who slept with numerous other co-workers (making both our living situation and work situation horribly dramatic) and a third roommate had this extremely racist and sexist boyfriend that would stay over all the time and treat the apartment like his own.  None of the situations were ideal.

Needless to say, I’m ready to only have to worry about my actions in the apartment. So say goodbye to wearing pants and having dirty dishes in the sink! Not to mention, I can set the thermostat to WHATEVER I want. Really, it’s the little things in life.

Goal #2: Gain Muscle And Lose Inches Around Waist

Getting those gains are going to be a bit trickier! As I mentioned in my last post about accomplishing goals, it’s never been easy for me to see the results I want from working out. This will take an even stricter diet—possibly even less pizza….(this breaks my heart!) and a more intense workout plan.

Wish me luck!

Goal #3: Find Out For Certain Whether Or Not I Have Breast Cancer

This isn’t something I’ve broadcasted to a ton of people, but about two years ago, I discovered a lump in my breast. I had a mammogram, ultrasound, and an attempted biopsy. The most recent conclusion my doctors have come to is that it’s fibroadenoma (a non-cancerous tumor) that was caused by my birth control.

Over the years, I’ve monitored it and while nothing significant seems to have happened with the lump, I think it’s time to officially have it removed and biopsied so that I can know without a doubt whether or not I have breast cancer. That way, I can deal with the situation accordingly.  

Really wish me luck on this one!

Goal #4: Travel More

I’ve been to A LOT of places, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and the U.K. included, but most of that was when I was younger and my father was in the military. Since I graduated high school, I’ve been swamped with work and school—you know, the daily grind—which left me little time to travel.

But, now that I’ve crossed school off my to-do list and have more free time, I want to get out there and see more of the world like Italy, France, Greece, Arizona, New Mexico, and Montana! Got any specific travel suggestions? Send them my way.

Goal #5: Finish The Book I’m Writing

I’ve been working on this darn book for FOREVER and I’ve wanted to finish it for FOREVER. But, let’s be honest… While school and work has kept me busy, I probably could have finished it. I was just a bit lazy, and a bit scared.

What if I finish the book and it sucks? What if it doesn’t get published? It’s a risk I’m going to have to take! Especially if I want to be that accomplished writer I’ve dreamt of becoming.

Anyway, those are my main goals for 2017. Some of them easy, some of them not, but with any luck, I’ll add all of those goals to my list of accomplishments.

Got any resolutions or goals in mind for 2017? Let’s hear them—just leave your goals in the comments below. By the way, thanks for stopping by the Sassy Flamingo. I appreciate it!

5 Goals I Accomplished This Year

We’ve all got goals—or at least I hope you do! And let’s face it… It’s super easy to let the banal, day-to-day activities distract you from completing those goals. I know there’s a few I haven’t marked off my checklist yet, like finishing my novel or starting a side hustle.

And while I do think we should all work just a tiny bit harder to complete our goals, I think it’s even more important for us to congratulate ourselves on the goals we DID accomplish in 2016.

Check out the 5 goals I completed in 2016.

Goal #1: Lose 15 lbs

Originally, I moved down to Florida for a healthier lifestyle. (And to be near the beaches of course!) But mainly for the healthier lifestyle and while that might seem like a simple thing to do, I’ve always struggled to lose weight.

I’ve never been one of those girls that could make minor diet changes or simply start exercising and lose weight. No, for me, it’s a combo of exercise and watching my food intake VERY closely. It sucks and I seriously envy those girls that lose weight by snapping their fingers, but it also makes me that much more appreciative that my efforts paid off this year!

Now it’s time to bulk and get lean. 😉

Goal #2: Cut out negative people from my life

I’ve met a TON of new people since I moved to Florida and not all of them for the best. My first year here, I thought the more friends the better because I didn’t know anyone when I moved to the Clearwater area. However, I soon discovered that most of those “friends” weren’t ideal for me.

I had a coworker spread lies about me, a roommate that brought endless drama into our house, and a few others that just weren’t a good fit. So while I wanted to have more friends in my life, I decided that I needed to change my life for the better and cut out the negative people. I’ve successfully removed these people from my life and have WAY less stress now. Makes it easier knowing my real friends have got my back even if most of them are over 1000 miles away.

Goal #3: Read 20 books

At first, I laughed at this goal.

I’m an avid reader and I thought this goal would be child’s play. Boy, was I wrong! Around June or July I realized I’d only read 6ish books. I wasn’t even ½ way there. THE HORROR!

I kicked it into overdrive these past few months and have read some great books like, Another Day by David Levithan, Dead Ice by Laurell K Hamilton, 500 SEO Tips by Silvia O’Dwyer, and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

I’m way past the 20 books mark now and show no signs of stopping. I’ll probably even hit 30. WOOHOO! By the way, let me know if you have any good book suggestions because I’m always looking for a good read.

Goal #4: Get a new job

The first job I landed when I moved down here was a good one. It was in the field I wanted, doing the tasks I wanted—mostly.

As the months went on, they kept changing my job description and asking me to take on tasks I wasn’t comfortable with. It’s not something I’m upset about or resent. In fact, I value those lessons a great deal. It simply came down to the fact that I wanted to learn other skills and grow further in my career field.

After a few months of job searching, I found a position I was interested in, interviewed, and landed the job. I’ve been there 3 months now and couldn’t be happier!

Goal #5: Get a pay raise

This ties in with goal #4. When I switched jobs earlier this year, I asked for a pay increase. I won’t get into specifics on the salary, but basically I negotiated myself a hefty pay increase, more than 20% but less than 30%.

I wanted to chalk most my goals up to luck, but what it really comes down to is dedication, hard work, and persistence, so I deserve a little pat on the back, even if it is from myself. 😉

And now that I’ve bragged on myself enough, I’d REALLY love to hear the goals you all have accomplished this year. So humble brag a bit in the comments below and tell me what you’ve done this year that you’re extra proud of. I’d LOVE to hear it.

As always, thanks for stopping by The Sassy Flamingo—I hope you enjoyed the read and I’ll see ya next time!

What’s This Featured For You Section On Facebook?

That my friends, was the question of the day for me. All of the sudden, my boss asks me about this ugly ad that had popped up on one of our coworkers pages. It was all stretched and distorted. HIDEOUS I TELL YOU!

Immediately, I started sorting through all of our ad accounts and ads to make sure nothing wasn’t spending that shouldn’t be and that none of my ads had any accidental images or links.

Turns out they didn’t.

So then, we set about trying to find where this ad came from and why it popped up. We opened up our business page, and boom, there it was in this little “Featured For You Section” right at the top that looks like absolute crap.

Here it is:

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-4-26-57-pm screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-4-27-24-pm screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-4-40-31-pm screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-4-54-17-pm

AND THEY ARE RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE PAGES’ WALLS!

So I got to thinking… since some of these ads we’re seeing on ours aren’t anything we created recently, maybe this is a new, test feature Facebook rolled out. I did some research and couldn’t find a dang thing on it, so then I started searching other Facebook business pages and BOOM! There were MORE!

What does that mean?

From the looks of things, there’s a brand spanking new Facebook algorithm that’s pulling ads, posts, and events from the business page you are visiting and plugging them into the top based on what they think you want to see or what has done best.

Ideally, that could be great, but, like I said, a lot of these look like crap because the images are stretched out.

I totally understand that websites, especially social media platforms have to test new features, but this latest one blows—especially if you’re a social media specialist like myself.

I spent a few hours today searching through old ads and Facebook posts trying to figure out where this crap was coming from and whether or not it was something that was spending money and shouldn’t be.

For all of you who are/were freaking out… take a deep breath. It’s all good. Well not good because it’s ugly, but your ad budget is safe.

Hopefully this helps some of your social media managers and specialists out there trying to figure out what’s going on with your Ads Manager account.

Good luck and as always, thanks for swinging by The Sassy Flamingo!

Good guys do exist.

It’s something I genuinely didn’t believe until relatively recently. And yes, I’m well aware of how jaded that sounds, but without delving into my past and boring you with the oh-so common stories about dating jerks, I’ll tell you what changed.

 

I met someone. Now stop—don’t you dare roll your eyes. This isn’t your typical, he swept me off my feet and now we’re madly in love story. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We don’t even talk anymore.

 

But… I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up to our first date. He was late. Over 15 minutes late and while that in itself isn’t charming at all, I’ll tell you what is. While I sat at the bar with a drink in hand, waiting for my date (We’ll call him Brad) to arrive, an older gentleman sat next to me. Never did get his name, but he was very sweet and asked me if I was waiting for someone. When I said yes, he smiled knowingly and told me he’d keep me company until my date arrived.

 

True to his word, he did keep me company. Kept me laughing and told me all sorts of stories. When Brad did arrive, he thanked the guy and we dove into the process of getting to know each other.

 

Are you wondering where the sweetness comes in at? It’s coming…

 

About thirty minutes into our date, the older gentleman got up to go to the bathroom and asked us to save his seat, so we did. In that time, Brad took it upon himself to order the guy another beer. Why? Because he wanted to thank him for keeping me company while I waited.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of guys and I don’t think many, if any, would have done that. They might have verbally thanked him like Brad did, but that probably would have been the end of it. Not with Brad. No, Brad wanted him to know how much he appreciated his kindness.

 

But I’m still not done yet. On that same date, he refused to let me pay for anything, minus the one drink I’d already paid for while waiting. We walked around downtown St. Pete for hours just chatting and anytime I spoke, he listened to what I had to say. GENUINELY LISTENED. And asked questions.

 

On top of that, he wouldn’t even let me walk on the left-hand side of the sidewalk. Why? Because of old-school chivalry. It used to be, and I guess still could be, dangerous to walk on the side where vehicles are. Puts you at greater risk of getting splashed or even worse, hit. Say what?! It’s true and I KNOW most men wouldn’t even think of that one.

 

And that’s still not it. He asked to hold my hand. Not because he was afraid or too nervous, but because he respected me and wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the idea. Not once did Brad make me feel pressured to do anything I didn’t want to do and I cannot express how much that means to me.

 

Beyond that night, Brad and I had another date where he, yet again, didn’t let me pay for a single thing, opened doors for me, and did all the things you see guys do in movies. Up until Brad, I’d thought I’d stayed pretty positive about the dating scene, but I was genuinely surprised someone like him existed. I’d always thought that guys like him were just a romantic’s version of how things should be.

 

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “If this Brad guy was so great, why isn’t it one of those madly in love, swept you off your feet kind of stories?”

 

Because life isn’t always fair. You see, it’s not that we didn’t like each other, or that we had a bad time, or that he did anything wrong. In fact, he did just about everything right including texting me good morning and goodnight damn near every day.

 

What it really came down to is the fact that Brad is in the military and was only in town for a short amount of time to begin with. Which he didn’t hide this from me either. He actually told that to me within minutes of starting our date. Props for honesty, right?

 

With that knowledge in mind, we decided to make the most of his time here in town and when it came time for him to pack up and head on his way, we said goodbye and wished each other luck. He even sent this as his last parting words, “Sorry things weren’t different.”

 

Me too, Brad. Me too… Heavy Sigh

 

And even though Brad and I aren’t together and will probably never speak again, it’s because of him that I have a little bit of faith in dating again.

 

So to all of you ladies and gents out there who’ve given up hope on finding someone who treats you with respect, just know that they’re out there. They’re rare, but they do exist.

 

As always, thanks for stopping by the Sassy Flamingo. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you’ve got any good dating stories, I’d love to hear them—leave them in the comments below.

3 Weird Quirks Of Going To School In The Midwest

Going to school in the Midwest was weird, and that’s coming from somebody who spent a majority of her childhood in Missouri and Illinois.

(For those of you who don’t know where the Midwest is, allow me to enlighten you!)

map

See that map right there? All that red, that’s Midwest America!

Don’t get me wrong—that little red area isn’t THAT crazy. In fact, no matter where you go, there will be weird quirks and traditions that will surprise you. As someone who’s lived in 6 different states, I’ve seen my fair share and have even grown accustomed to the unique differences that make up each area. Truthfully, while I was living in the Midwest, I didn’t view all of these quirks as quirks. Some of them were actually pretty normal to me.

And now that I’m living in Florida and have had a chance to look back on my youth, I’m seeing things a little differently. Want to know what the 3 weirdest quirks of going to school in the Midwest were? Just take a look!

There you have it. Those are the 3 weird quirks of going to school in the Midwest that I could think of. There’s definitely more of them, so keep an eye out for video number two!

If you’ve got any strange traditions that you saw while going to school, don’t be afraid to share them. If I get enough of them, I’ll make a video where I talk about the weird quirks you all experienced. Otherwise, I highly recommend checking out my last video where I talk about my horror stories and opinions on dating!

Sleeping Together: An Excerpt From A Story I’ll Never Write

We’d never slept in the same bed before and as you fell asleep, I felt you twitch as if you were fighting it.

First your fingers, then your legs. Every movement felt as if it were my own as I lie there pressed up against you.

It wasn’t long before your breathing was deep and even and at first I envied how quickly you were able to fall asleep, but the longer I laid there, the more content I became. You were so peaceful in your resistance and it’d been so long since I’d let anyone share a bed with me that I couldn’t help but marvel at how much I enjoyed simply having you next to me.

I wanted to lie awake all night and watch you sleep, but my body had other plans.

I don’t know when exactly it was that I fell asleep, but throughout the night, one of us would wake and we’d move and we’d remind the other that we were there. On several occasions, you would kiss me when you woke. A kiss to my arm, my cheek, my neck, my shoulder. Really anywhere your lips found, you kissed.

If I knew you’d always do that, kiss me like you needed to feel your lips against my skin, I’d make any and all efforts to get you back into my bed. To keep you there for hours or maybe even days.

Couch Conversation

She was curled up on the couch, a blanket wrapped around her small frame. Her lids hung low as sleep fought to pull her into its crutches. It wasn’t even midnight, but we’d both had long weeks, putting in nearly 60 hours at the office.

Inglorious Bastards was still playing in the background, but neither of us was really watching it anymore. I was staring, not at the screen, but at her. Maybe I’d thought I’d get away with it, but it wasn’t long before she noticed I wasn’t paying attention to the movie and gave me one of her infamous half smiles while tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

I sat close enough that I had to fight the urge to pull her into my arms, “You look like you’re about to fall asleep.”

She shook her head and laughed, “I know, I don’t know why I’m so tired. I really am having a good time with you.”

It was my turn to smile, “Me too.”

She stifled a yawn and a tinge of guilt struck out at me.

“I should get going…” I said lamely.

Her brow furrowed and she chewed on her lower lip. It was cute, not because the expression was cute, but because I felt like I could watch her thoughts play out across her face. She ducked her head for a split second and then those pale blue eyes met mine head on. “Stay.” It was one word, packed with so much meaning.

I arched a brow and eyed her cautiously, “Erin…”

She sucked in a deep breath and I watched her face fall. I could tell that she’d been rejected before. My chest tightened.

I couldn’t help myself. I reached out. I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and then cupped both sides of her face. Her lips parted in surprise and I found myself leaning in. Before I knew it, her lips were under mine— soft, needy.  Her hands roamed, tugging and pulling gently at my clothes. The blanket fell between us and I wanted her hands on my skin. I wanted her beneath me. I wanted my body pushing her into the soft cushions of the couch. I wanted everything she wanted to give me and more.

When I pulled back, her eyes were darker, more blue, but shining with desire. “Jake” she murmured as her eyes searched mine.

I pressed my forehead to hers and closed my eyes. “I can’t.”

She stilled immediately and I hated myself. I felt her start to pull away and my eyes flew open. I held her to me, “Erin—“

“Don’t.” she said. Her voice trembled with emotions, but that one word was laced with more of her false confidence. She pulled away, spine stiff, eyes bright with sadness and said, “I don’t need you to tell me how I’m not what you want. How I’m not good enough. How there’s someone else. Don’t give me some lame response. Don’t. Just go.”

I sighed. Not because she was right, but because I didn’t know how to explain that I wanted to wait with her. I didn’t want to jump into bed because I wanted her more than anything else. I had wanted her for longer than I should have. I had wanted her when I was involved with another woman. In fact, she was what made me realize I needed to end things with Tiffany.

I let my hands fall and watched as she fidgeted with the edge of the blanket. I couldn’t leave, not like this.

“Please don’t stare at me,” she begged. “It makes this all that much worse…”

I laughed and her attention shot to my face, anger contorting her features.

“And what’s so funny, huh?”

“You.”

Her eyes narrowed, but she didn’t say a word.

“You really think I don’t want you, huh?” I asked.

Her gaze started to slip downwards to the empty space between us.

“No, look at me,” I commanded. “I want you to see the truth when I tell you this.”

Slowly, she dragged her attention up the length of my body and I felt myself hardening.

I took a deep breath and met her head on. I raked a hand through my hair and let the words fall out of my mouth, “Erin, I’ve wanted you for a long time, for longer than I should have. Hell, even when I wasn’t single, I wanted you. And right now, as much as I want to take everything you’re willing to give me, I want more than that too.”

“Then why don’t you take what you want?” Her question sounded so innocent, but it was jam packed with meaning.

Even though I didn’t want to, I smiled, “Because I want you to give it to me. Willingly.”

She cocked her head and gestured at her body with both hands, “What do you think I was going just now, Jake?”

I shrugged and leaned back against the arm rest of the couch. “Sure, you were offering your body to me, but you’ve still got your walls built so high and so strong, that I’m not even sure you realize how distant you are to everyone, to me.”

Again she chewed on her lip. For a long minute, she was quiet and when she did speak, her voice was stronger. “So what does this mean?”

I leaned closer and trailed my fingers across her arm. Her skin was soft beneath my fingertips and I felt her shiver. A second later, I pressed my lips to the area just below her ear and felt her hands curl into the front of my shirt. “This means,” I paused and kissed her neck again, “that for now, we take it slow.”

Erin pulled back just enough so that I was forced to meet her gaze, “Are you sure this is what you want?”

I nodded and touched my lips to hers. “Yes.”

I felt her smile before she spoke, “You are probably one of the strangest men I have ever met.”

Mixed Signals

As I lay there, I looked at him, really looked at him, and I knew. It wasn’t a conscious thought, but later when I had time to think to myself, I knew that I had to say goodbye sooner rather than later. It wasn’t that I didn’t care for him. In fact, that was entirely the problem.

In his own words, he told me that it didn’t matter that we’d spent the entire summer sharing a bed and dream, or that we’d caressed each other intimately. We were friends. Really-really, good friends. Fuck buddies, he’d called it. Hearing those words had hurt a part of me that I hadn’t expected—my heart. Somehow, I had managed to convince my brain that I had felt the same way, but later, when I was alone, it struck me that it was a lie. I really cared for him. Not loved him. Neither of us had allowed that to happen, but he still meant something to me and that made it painful to think of letting go.

It didn’t help to see him lying across from me in my bed and it especially didn’t help that he wouldn’t take his eyes off me. He’d always looked at me how I’d wanted a boyfriend to look at me, but I kept reminding myself that that was just him looking at me as a friend. For a very long time, I struggled with how to act towards him because of those looks. They made me want to reach and touch him to make sure that he was really there. They made me want to tell him things I’d never told anyone. Like how I secretly loved scars because they told me about the kind of risks those people were willing to take.

But I’d learned differently. So rather than tell him my secrets or allow my finger tips to draw invisible figures across his skin, I tucked an arm under the pillow and placed the other one flat against the sheets.

__________

Let’s go back to the beginning of summer.

I was lying in bed, pushing back the moment when I had to throw back the covers and drag myself from bed when my phone began to vibrate. Its loud buzzing resonated in the silence of my room. A glance at it caught me off guard. His name flashed across my screen and my heart raced. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks, months. With shaking hands, I reached out and brought the phone to my ear.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Sara, how’s it going?”

I let out a deep breath, one I hadn’t realized I’d been holding, and snuggled deeper into the covers, “Not a lot. I’m just having a lazy day here at the house. What about you?”

I could hear the dull roar of a television in the background as he responded. “Not a lot. I was wondering if you wanted to hang out today.”

My breath caught and for a moment I didn’t know what to say. A part of me really wanted to, but that was the part of me that wasn’t hurt by the fact that I hadn’t heard from him in ages. The other part of me that was hurt wanted to say I was too busy and never talk to him again, but instead, the first part answered. “Sure.”

“I’ll be right over!” he responded.

Before I could say anything back, the call ended and I stared straight ahead, completely dumb-founded. A moment later, when I’d recovered and realized he was going to be there in less than fifteen minutes, I flung back the covers and slid out of my platform bed. I fumbled my way through the dark room, around a desk chair, and over some piles of clothes. I should have been cleaning my room—not seeing Brian.

When I made it to the attached bathroom, I reached out to finger the light switch. Right before I flicked it on, I squeezed my eyes shut and counted quietly aloud, “One, two, three.” Even through closed lids, I could feel the intensity of the light. Slowly, I pried one eye open and then the other. A few blinks cleared my vision and brought to attention the remnants of last night.

Mascara and eyeliner lay smudged under my eyes and the curls I had carefully constructed were a tousled mess. Quickly, I rubbed at my eyes to wipe away the raccoon eyes, managing to only smear it further. An exasperated sigh escaped me as I made another attempt to clean myself up.

 

 

By the time he arrived, I had just sat down, but because I didn’t want it to seem like I’d made a big effort, I took a deep breath and shuffled slowly across the room. Without even glancing through the peephole, I swung open the door.

There he stood on my doorstep, a smile in place and in six-pack in hand. He didn’t bother waiting for an invitation to come in. He stepped through the doorway, scooping me up in a one-armed embrace. My feet dangled above the ground as he held me and I fought back a giggle. “God, I missed you so much,” he whispered against me neck.

A small smile I couldn’t fight turned up the corner of my lips. “I know.”

Setting me down, he pushed the door shut with his foot and made himself at home. It was hard to believe he was really there and I didn’t take my eyes off of him as I settled into the couch. I watched him move about my house, his walk more of a saunter than a strut. His walk was one of those weird quirks he had that I liked… It was kind of sexy…

When he finally made his way back over to me, he plopped down on the couch and laid his head in my lap like he hadn’t been gone for a ridiculously long time. I shook my head as he nestled his head against my thigh and smiled up at me. His scruff tickled my leg. “How’ve you been?”

“Good,” I said with a shrug. Even I was surprised by how even my voice came out. “Just keeping busy with work. What about you?”

“Oh you know, same here.”

“Yeah, I know, I haven’t heard from you in forever.”

“Sara,” he mumbled, “don’t be like that. You know I was busy and that I was out of town.”

I sighed and turned my attention towards the TV.  Images of Jeremy Wade fishing off the banks of some third world country flashed across the screen, but I didn’t actually see any of it. “Yeah, I know.”

Reaching up, he gently tilted my head back towards his, “I thought about you every day and I missed you. I called out the moment I got back to town, didn’t I?”

I couldn’t answer. My feelings were hurt, so rather than choke on my words, I nodded.

“I knew you’d understand,” he said as his hand dropped to my leg.

Silence filled the room as he rubbed his other hand along the backside of my calf. The feeling of his warm hand against my smooth skin sent a heat wave through my body to my core. He always made me feel that way ands and I hated it. It reminded me of the first time I’d seen him. It’d been at one of my friend’s house parties and all he’d done was look at me from across the room and I’d felt it. My body was a traitor.

“Brian,” I said softly.

“Yeah?”

“I missed you too.”

Sitting up, he leaned against the back of the couch and wrapped an arm around my shoulder. “I know.”

 

 

My arm rested around her shoulder and for a moment I felt content. I used to want to drink for days on end when I came back to town, but then it changed and it became moments like that that I craved. It made me hate that I always had to leave and go out of state for dive trips, but it wasn’t anything I could control. It was just part of the job and I knew that deep down she understood—it was why she always let me come back into her life.

Gently, I leaned in and kissed the side of her neck. It was one of her spots, sent a chill right down her spine and made her squirm. I liked that I could make her react that way. It wasn’t that I couldn’t make other girls react like that, but something about Sara struck something deep in me. I wanted her all the time and not just in that primal way that makes a man want to bed a woman. I wanted her in a way that made me think of ways to make her smile and laugh. She was the driving force behind me to make me work faster and harder. I never wanted to leave her. But that right there was the same reason I had to keep myself from calling her when I was out of town. She was the worst distraction.

“Brian,” she murmured breathily, “stop it.”

Pulling back, I smiled, “Why?”

“Because.”

“Because why?”

She smiled back, her cheeks flushed, “You know why.”

“Know what?” I asked coyly.

She laughed and pushed me away. “You’re turning me on.” Her voice was breathy and I grinned.

“Why’s that a bad thing?”

“Because.” She said again.

“Because why?” I enjoyed this game we played. She wanted me and I wanted her and we both knew it, but we both pretended it was this big secret that the other one didn’t know.

“Because I don’t want to be just one of your girls that you sleep with when you come back to town.”

Hearing those words fall from her lips stung, but I knew why she was saying it. On our first date I’d made the mistake of telling her how many girls I’d been with. It was a high number—almost triple-digits—even I know those numbers were enough to scare most people, but under the stars, she looked so innocent and sweet that when the conversation arose, I couldn’t lie. I wanted her to like me for me. All of me. Especially the messy parts.

 

__

 

Let’s go back to last summer.  

He stood in the open doorway waiting for me. He’d been pestering me for weeks to hang out with him and each time I made up a lame excuse not to go, but tonight had been different.

Part of it was that I was tired of hearing my friends tell me I should stay away from him, another part of it was that I was more than intrigued by his persistence, it was something I wasn’t used to. Not at all. The other part was that I was bored. I’d been sitting at home, all day, by myself when he had called, so rather than say no again, I said sure.

“’Bout time you came around, girl,” he called out teasingly as I trotted up the walkway. I was in running shorts and tank and didn’t feel the least bit sexy but the way his eyes watched me told me otherwise.

“Oh hush,” I replied teasingly. Breezing past him, I entered the apartment. “So this is your place, huh?”

I turned around in time to see him smile sheepishly. “Kind of.”

Arching an eyebrow, I asked. “What do you mean kind of?”

Shrugging, he grabbed my hand and led me into the kitchen. “Well I live here with my sister and three other girls. And trust me, I know that sounds lame and weird, but it’s because of my job. I’m always out of town and it seems pointless to have my own place when I’m never there.”

Nodding, I pulled my hand from his and leaned against the yellow counter. The kitchen was dated and dark and everything you’d expect to find in a college town. If it hadn’t been the town we lived in, I probably would have been grossed out, but being that I was also on a budget, I understood. “Oh, okay.”

He smiled at me from across the room and cocked his head to the side. “So what made you finally decide to say yes?”

“I dunno,” I said with a shrug. His smile turned to a grin. “So what’d you have in mind?”

It was his turn to shrug. “How about a hike?”

My eyes widened and I glanced to the microwave display beside him. “It’s eight. Is that safe?”

“Are you serious?” he asked with a laugh. “Oh God, you’re coming with me.” Before I could protest, he led me across the house and right back out the front door I had just entered and  to his car. It was dark grey sports car with low slung seats, further reminding me that he was a bad idea “Get in,” he said as he slid into the other side.

I climbed in and we sped off. Within minutes, I was myself standing to the entryway of a trail I had never been to or even heard of before. I glanced down at my flip flops and then over at him, “Brian, I’m not wearing the right shoes.”

He smiled again and shrugged. “Neither am I.” He shot me a look out of the corner of his eyes and then proceeded down the trail.

Not wanting to get left behind, I hurried along after him. “Well don’t leave me out here by myself!” We had barely disappeared into the trees when I large rock formation came into view. “Are we climbing that?”

“Don’t be a baby,” he teased.

“Oh, I’m not,” I shot back at him. “I was just making sure.” Pushing past him, I began the ascent. It wasn’t steep enough that I needed to climb it using my hands, but it wasn’t a gentle slope either.

By the time we reached the top, it was nearly dark and we were both breathing harder. The moon was out and dusk was fading fast. “I can’t believe I’m out here in the woods with a stranger,” I said. “For all I know, you could be taking me out here to kill or rape me.”

He chortled and asked, “Are you fucking serious? Why would you even think that?”

“I dunno, maybe because I hardly even know you. I’ve met you like one time and here you are dragging me into the woods at night.”

Shaking his head, he grabbed my hand and pulled me along. “Shut up, I’m not trying to rape you. I just wanted you to see something.”

I kept my hand in his, enjoying the warmth of it. It’d been a long time since I had let someone hold my hand. Two years to be exact.

“There’s this really cool spot just ahead where you can see for forever.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, I think you’ll like it.”

We reached an outcropping of rock that jutted out a little further than the rest of the trail. Pushing a handful of branches aside, he allowed me to step out onto them.

“Sit,” he said. I settled down on the ledge, my feet dangling over and watched him take his place beside me. When his eyes met mine in the dim light, I couldn’t help but smile. He raised a finger and pointed out, “I know it’s a little hard to see know, but that’s a good view. One of the best in this rinky-dink town”

Begrudgingly, I looked to where he was pointing. The town was behind us, and ahead lay the hills. They were covered in trees that were lush and full, I could only imagine what it looked like during the fall. I wanted to see the Missouri hills in all their autumn greatness with hues of the most vibrant oranges and reds imaginable. It was easy to picture as I stared out into the vast expanse of land.

“Just wait until the stars are all out,” he said. I was turning to say something when he leaned in and captured my lips. It was a soft kiss that I couldn’t help but respond to. He brought a hand up and rested it against my cheek. “Thanks for coming out here with me.”

__________

As I lay there, I looked at her, really looked at her, and I knew. Things were different. Something had changed in the months I’d spent out of town. I’d thought about her every damn day, to the point that my boss had repeatedly had to remind me of the task at hand.

I soaked in the sight of her—she looked good. She always did. She wore little to no makeup, with her long hair down, and a simple outfit, shorts and a black tank. I shook my head. I shouldn’t have called.

But I’d known that the moment my fingers and dialed her number. I’d fought with myself for all of twenty minutes, telling myself I needed to put the phone back down, but once I’d heard the ringing, I knew I couldn’t just hang up. Even though she deserved better. She deserved a guy who could actually spend time with her. Who wasn’t always on the road. Who didn’t have a sleazy background with nearly a hundred girls. But I wanted her more than any of girl I’d ever wanted. Despite the fact that she wasn’t my type. She was too sassy, too mouthy, too smart.

She was the kind of girl who’s good at using her words to throw out witty and sarcastic retorts in the blink of an eye. She was the kind of girl who shuts guys down, who drives them away. Hell, she had turned me down countless times. I should have let her go the first time…

But still, as I lay there next to her, I couldn’t help but be excited. I’d been thinking about that moment since the last time I’d seen her. Crawling out of her bed and not knowing when I’d see her again was the one of the hardest things I’d had to do in recent years and I should have kissed her goodbye that day or left her a note, but I hadn’t wanted to wake her, so instead, I’d left without a backwards glance.

My mind raced. I needed to feel her body against mine, but the tension in her shoulders kept me at a safe distance.

“Brian,” she called out softly.

“Hmmm?” I asked as I looked over at her. Her hair lay in soft waves—a look she didn’t wear often—down past her breasts. I loved her long hair wavy. There was something about her untamed curls that made my fingers itch. I wanted to reach out and slide my hands into those strands and relish in its softness.

“You okay?” she asked. “You seem kind of distracted tonight.”

“I know, I’m just thinking about some stuff.”

“Oh… Do you want to talk about it?”

Shaking my head, I reached out and pushed a lock of hair off her cheek. “Not really.”

“Okay,” she said softly. Her eyes glittered with unshed tears as she dipped her head. Something tightened in my chest and rather than lying there looking at her, waiting for her to come to me, I grabbed her and pulled her against my chest. Her body was soft and warm, just like I’d remembered and she snuggled into me. One arm lay tucked under her head and the other trailed fingers across my skin. It was one of her nervous ticks, but it didn’t only calm her. It calmed me and made me feel like I’d found home for the first time in a long time.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she murmured. She wasn’t.

I squeezed my eyes shut tight and fought the urge to coax it out of her. Instead, I pressed my lips against her forehead and held her, hoping that she’d get the message—that I’d changed my mind about her and about us. There was no way I could be just friends with her. I needed her.

Dating: My Horror Story And Opinions

Dating… Now I’m no expert on dating—that’s for darn sure—but I’ve had my share of experiences, and it all started at the ripe age of 14.

My first date ever was a double-date to go see a movie. To this day, I can’t remember what the name of the movie was or even the name of the other girl that was on the date with me, but I do remember it was as awkward as any first date should be…

Sweaty palms, nervous glances, bad kissing, and all. (Yeah, that’s right mom and dad; I DID kiss on that date! The truth had to be told.)

Anyway, that was just the first of numerous awkward dates. I’ve been on a few more since then. Not really that many though since dating doesn’t seem to REALLY be a thing anymore, but that’s beside the point.  They’ve all had their moments (good and bad), which is why I even thought to ask if anyone wanted to see a video on dating.

And since you all said ‘yes,’ that’s exactly what I did. Without further ado, here’s a video by yours truly debuting the story of my worst date ever as well as a few thoughts on dating.

I hope you all enjoyed my video. If you’ve got your own horror-dating-stories and want to share them or want to have a little debate about dating with me, leave your comments down below! And like always, thanks for stopping by—I’ll see you next time!

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