Tag Archives: meeting men

The Landscaper Guy, Freaking Part 4

Gas Station

I have written about this guy three times before.

Three. Times.

1.  The Landscaper  Guy — Not Digging Him  — I meet a man.

2.  The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — I give him a shot.  (I shouldn’t have.)

3.  The Landscaper Guy and A Phone Smarter Than Me — I shoot him down, and miss. I have to take better aim and shoot again.

Well, I ran into him today. Again.  Seems he has a vehicle now, a vehicle that needed gas, as did mine.

At 7:45am.

He was, again,  wearing white but topped it with a blue jacket.   No head scarf this time.

I said a passing hello like I would to a stranger, a stranger who looked somewhat familiar. He said “Hi” back with a look that said, You don’t have anything else to say?

I smiled at him, being polite, but not starting any kind of conversation.  It was, after all,  7:45am.

He followed up with a “Hellooo” drawing the word out, raising his eyebrows at me.  It was that kind of ‘Hello’ that wasn’t a greeting but rather a complaint of some sort.  It said, You got nothing else to say to me?

I gave the ‘I’m just being polite‘ smile and thought, “Shoot, I’m supposed to know this guy.  I have no idea who he is.

He said,  reading my mind–  or my face, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

“I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Are you a neighbor?”

“Yeah,” he humphed (Is that a word?  Because that’s what he did.  He humphed.).  Then he said, “Yeah, a few houses down. You live on Maple Street, right?”

“Yes.” I was starting to remember, but not his name.  “Um . . . Oh yes, we talked a couple of times.”

“What’s wrong with dinner? You didn’t want to go to dinner?”

“Um . . . ”

“You still feel that way?”

“Yes.”  What the hell? 


“I’m just not going out much lately.”  This was the response that had failed me previously. It was all I had at 7:45am.

“But dinner? What’s wrong with that?” And he let out a humph again,  “Just you and your dog . . .” (I ask you — Why’d he have to bring my dog into this?  Oh, my dog was in the car, looking at him, probably judging him, I hope.  Woman’s best friend and all . . . )

“I mean, you’re single, right? ”

“Yes.”  I refused to lie, and he refused to STFU. As discussed in Where Did I Put My Fake Boyfriend there are some aggressive men who only accept the reported presence of another guy as an acceptable reason to decline a date.

“Well, I don’t get it.  What’s wrong with dinner? I’m not talking about a relationship or anything.  Dinner,” and he wasn’t done.

He added, incredibly,  “I mean a woman like you shouldn’t be alone — for years — like this.”


WTF?   I cannot believe he said that to me.  

“I’ll be alright,” I replied and offered a purposely fake smile, one that I hope really conveyed, ‘You, sir,  are an asshole.

He laughed. “Well.”

“Well. You have a nice day, now,” I said.  This is the way Northern US women say the Southern US women’s ‘Bless your heart‘  which really means, ‘I’m done talking to you. Kiss my ass.’

“Alright,”   he replied, shaking his head, which probably meant, ‘Bitch’ and truthfully,  I don’t give a shit.

Just Me With . . . a full tank of gas, next to an ass. 


For other run-ins with the men in my neighborhood, see:

I Turned Down A Date With An Ex-Con

Another Encounter With The Ex-Con

The Landscaper Guy, Part 3 and a Phone Smarter Than Me

In The Holiday, this was a “meet cute.” Mine was not.

I had just pulled into my spot at the back of my yard after running errands. I had three gallons of milk in the back and it was hot outside. Out of the corner of my eye, I see white — a walking big white tee-shirt with a matching designed white scarf on his head.

The Landscaper Guy. See Not Digging the Landscaper Guy, Part 1 and The Landscaper Guy and The Female Chandler Bing Part 2.

Since my last post on the Landscaper Guy, I’d had some major emotional isssues (fall-out from the Ex’s pending remarriage) and minor medical issues (son’s surgery to repair a fractured thumb) keeping me busy.

The Landscaper Guy was not occupying my mind.

I do think he, as promised, called. But I also got a new phone in the interim as well. My old phone would register his call as “WITHHELD” whereas my new phone says something like “REJECTED” when it is an unreadable number. Me thinks my new phone is truly a smart phone, perhaps smarter than me, as it seemed to know that this dude should be and should have been REJECTED all along.

I did not answer any rejected calls and he never left a message and I let it go.

But today, there he was. Ambling down the alley behind my house. I was still with no makeup but I had on a fitted Victoria’s Secret Pink Tee and skinny jeans which seemed to empower me, somehow. He had on his signature tee-shirt and, of course, the sweat.

My choices were:

1. Slowly get out of the car and deal with him, or

2. Try to make a run for it.

Guess what I chose?

But, I didn’t make it.

Damn, I need some privacy plantings. As I walked briskly to my back door looking straight ahead (leaving the milk in the car), he called out my name.


So, I ambled back down my walk and went to talk to him, hopefully for the last time.

Now that I got a better look at him, or maybe I felt a little better about myself, maybe it was my purple PINK tee, I don’t know which, and maybe you’re not supposed to say this, but, I’m out of his league. Sorry. Me with five kids, no make-up, emotional problems up the ying yang, yes, I’m saying it’s not gonna happen, not even to help me practice date.

We exchanged pleasantries. Then,

Him: “You been thinking about me?”

Me: “Not really.”

Him, shaking his head, “No, huh.”

Me: “No.”

Him: “So that means we can’t go on a date?”

Really? Is this guy serious?

Me: “No”

Him: “Why?”

Now, here’s where I wonder. Why ask why? It is what it is. Just make your exit, dude.

Then I repeated the supposedly magic words that I was told to say by a single relative of mine. Well, she’s my niece. I’m taking dating advice from my niece, the daughter of my sister!!!! (Channeling Marisa Tomei’s Oscar Winning performance in My Cousin Vinny. If you don’t know the reference, watch the movie. It is hilarious.)

Anyway, she said this would work, and I said:

“I’m just not into hanging out right now. I’m flattered, though.”

Game over — or should be, right?

Him: No, you’re not. (flattered, he meant)

Me: Yes, I am. (changing subject) So, are you on your way downtown?

Him: Yeah.

Although I didn’t ask, he goes on to tell me the date when he’s done school for the Summer (or court ordered community service, I suspect).

And then he asked, remarkably:

“So you want to give me a ride to the train?”


Me: You know what, I just got home, so . . . no.

We exchange pleasantries, much more awkwardly this time, and he went on his way.

The thing is, I’ll probably see him again. What are the chances he’ll just keep walking? I certainly hope he does.

I do feel good about saying, no, though.

Just Me With . . . a smart phone much smarter than me.

But wait, there’s more . . .

The Landscaper Guy, Freaking Part 4

The Snowman

Waiting for Spring, still. It was a rough Winter, as far as precipitation, emotionally, vehicularly (I love making up words sometimes), it was overall kind of blue.

In my part of the world we got a lot of snow this year. Snow means different things to me now that I’m in a much smaller house with no driveway. Not so bad. There’s so much less snow removal, but it is all my responsibility. I can’t always count on my beautiful ( lousy, good-for-nothing children) to help me when it actually needs to be done.

One fine, sunny, cold and clear day after a snow storm, I was out shoveling my front walk. By myself. A truck drove by and with some equipment in the back and slowed down. Then it kept going. I thought, well, this is gonna be some guy asking to do my snow removal for pay. So I wasn’t really surprised when he circled the block, came back and pulled up in front of my house. But I’m not going to pay someone to do my little front walk, though this snow was really heavy. I just got ready to tell him, no, thanks, I got this. But you know? He was pretty cute. Nice eyes. Nice smile. Had a hat on, which can mask a lot, plus, he was sitting in a truck with a big jacket on so height and weight were not clearly apparent, but still . . . As it turned out he didn’t ask me to hire him to shovel my snow. He had pulled over . . . (on a busy street, mind you) . . . just to talk.


I’ve found that nothing screams SINGLE for a woman more than doing exterior work on your house (not gardening). Exterior painting? Clearly this woman has no man. And now . . . shoveling snow? This chick must be single. Still, I was not prepared to be hit on outside my house on a snowy day with a shovel in my hand. Actually I was not prepared to be outside in the snow — NO TISSUES. My nose was running like Kobe Bryant at a Gay Pride Parade (tee hee). But lone pioneer woman that I am, my sleeve and gloves were good enough for the task at hand. That is, until this good-looking guy was trying to talk to me. And I was a — sans makeup, nose running, ugly knit hat and hand-me-down snow pants wearing — hot mess.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t look quite this bad.

He managed to find out from me that I am indeed single, own the home, not a drug user, not a church go-er and my true age (not something I generally share, not even with myself some days). The man has interrogation skills. Or, standing there in the cold, trying to control my snot as traffic was whizzing by, I just didn’t feel like being coy. I found out his age (men always tell you that and of course he’s younger than me), where he works and where he goes to church. I got a little sermon about having faith and that will see me through. Then he tried to get my number. This man kinda liked me. As he already knew where I lived, I didn’t feel like giving out any additional information (aren’t you supposed to get the guy’s number anyway?). So I got his number and name (it was a sexy, French name). He made me promise that I would think about calling. “We could have coffee or something,” he suggested. And he invited me to church.

I did think about calling him. I still do. I figure, I can only get better in his eyes — I wonder how much more smitten he’d be if he saw me without snot, breathing through my nose instead of mouth, and maybe with a little lipstick on and dressed up in maybe — say — shoes — instead of snowboots. But I didn’t call, still freaked out about being single. (Translation: chicken-sh*t) But I have the number, right here in my phone.

Just Me With . . . the digits of a snowman.

Maybe if he had shoveled that heavy snow for me . . . More importantly, maybe this Spring . . . as I resume my exterior painting . . . I’ll be ready . . . for . . . anything.

Online Dating — What am I looking for?

I’m single. I’m free.  I should be out there, right?  Wrong.  I have some real logistical problems in getting out what with all those people I made (the kids).  But this post isn’t about that.  Even if I could get out of the house, I just tiptoe around dating.  Except for my Transitional Man, the only men I’ve dated since my marriage ended have been guys I’ve known since college.  I think about branching out.   I create online profiles but don’t pay.  I don’t have a lot of extra money right now, but it  isn’t really about that either.  I check out guys’ profiles and  get messages but I never respond.   Why?   Am I afraid of meeting a stranger — is it a safety issue?  Nah.  I don’t mind talking to strangers.   Truth is,  I can’t even get through the “What are you looking for?” questions online — let alone in person.    I  don’t know what  I’m  looking for.  I’m not looking for  anything.   I know I’m not looking for a husband.    I can’t take care of another living thing.  I can’t imagine being anybody’s girlfriend.  I could go on a date, though, if I had time.   But in the meantime . . .  I guess I need to be single, free for a bit.    Doesn’t hurt to look, though . .  heh heh heh.

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend — Part Two

So if you read my earlier post, “Facebook Mutual Friend With The Ex’s Girlfriend — Part One” you know that sitting at Starbucks I found out for sure that my Transitional Man –the first man I had dated since my separation — who I’d met by a chance encounter on the street, had also dated my Ex-Husband’s Girlfriend.

When I told him he was freaked out. I do believe he stuttered a bit, “Wha Wha What?” This dude is an ambitious, self-assured lawyer. The fact that he was at a loss for words is no less than extraordinary.

“Yes,” I said, “My husband is living with her.”

“Living with her?” He was astonished.

“Yup.” I was still getting used to it.

Now here’s where I tread lightly. I don’t want to bad mouth the Girlfriend . After all, she is not the woman my Ex left me for (that relationship didn’t work out, surprise, surprise) and though she has done some things that have overstepped for sure, I don’t want to use this post as any kind of venting situation. So I will condense and dilute his comments.

Actually, I didn’t ask him anything about her. He just started talking. It felt like he wanted to be my source of information. First he assured me that they had not slept together. (I find that quite hard to believe, he buys his condoms in bulk).

Then he said something very interesting. He said he didn’t think she’d be very “kid friendly.” Next, he made a most caring comment– he said, “It must be so hard to have another person around your kids who you don’t know and you have no control over.” He added, “I guess you end up just having to trust your Ex and that’s gotta be hard.”

God Bless my Transitional Man — he hit the nail right on the head. Then he repeated that the Girlfriend wasn’t the kid type and volunteered some additional information I won’t repeat. It was somewhat worrisome since he described her as not kid friendly and expressed sympathy at my situation.


In any event, my Transitional Man turned out to be very sensitive and thoughtful. By the way, he has no kids, never married — so this was particularly insightful. I really appreciated that.

Though he may have been exaggerating his stance for my benefit, it was clear that he was not impressed by my Ex’s choice. Again, I’m not going to repeat all the things he said, but after describing The Girlfriend as “harsh” he said,

“I don’t get it. Going from you to her is [a huge step down].” He compared us to two celebrities but in retrospect the comparison was unfair so I won’t repeat that part. But suffice it to say it was comparing someone currently popular to someone who was, at the time, considered villainous. I’ll still take it as a compliment since he had “experience” with both of us.

Just Me With . . . a Smile on My Face.

Postscript. Not only did my Ex marry the Girlfriend, but they have procreated. So much for her not being the kid type . . .

And the Transitional Man has also married and I believe has children. I mean I could check Facebook and find out, but I’m not going there.

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

A Chance Meeting

My ex-husband and I had been separated for a while but the divorce was not yet final. We had married young and been married for a long time. The break up was difficult and not my idea. Drama ensued. Eventually friends told me I needed to get out, go out with someone – anyone — not to find a boyfriend or husband or any real relationship, but as a first step to moving on and feeling single instead of just, well — jilted. See, The Best Advice I Never Took

On an extremely rare holiday downtown shopping trip with my sisters, I had a chance meeting with a guy while looking for a parking spot. We had asked him if we could take his spot as he was about to pull out. He was reasonably attractive and had a law school sticker on his car. So I (also a lawyer) thought, “I’m going to be forward and strike up a conversation.” I found out that he was an associate with the very same law firm I had worked for in a previous life. (This was an amazing coincidence since he is Black also and there have been very few Black attorneys employed at this firm.) He was friendly, seemed nice and let’s face it – good on paper. I asked for his card. Oh, and did I mention that he appeared to be at least 10 years younger than me?

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

It took me two whole months to get the nerve to email him. When I did, he remembered me right away. It was just the ego boost I needed. We went out. Long story short, I knew him in the Biblical sense (in hindsight, probably too quickly). I wasn’t emotionally equipped to build a relationship and didn’t know how to date. Plus, I had no time what with all those people I had made over the years (the kids). And, I was still a wreck. It was a struggle to maintain the face of normalcy for extended periods of time. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do the fun activities he suggested we do –so it kind of became a very short-lived — arrangement.

But I had met my secret goal: I had been with a man, not my husband, who had not ever known me as someone’s wife. It didn’t hurt my self-esteem either, that after five kids and a nervous breakdown, I was able to snag, albeit briefly, a younger man who would have been “a catch” for any woman. It was just what I needed at the time. So when it fizzled with him, it was okay. He’d been my — my Transitional Man.

Fast forward a couple of years. The Ex announces he has a girlfriend now (he’d had them before but this time he was bringing one around the kids). So I did what every woman with a computer and Internet access would do – I electronically stalked — I mean — researched her. First stop? – Facebook. Success. I now knew what she looked like, what her hobbies and interests were, and that she was 10 years younger than me. Seeing her picture didn’t bother me. But as I scrolled down I saw something that did bother me. We had one mutual friend. ONE MUTUAL FRIEND. Not my Ex, of course not. I’m not his friend on Facebook or anywhere else. No, our mutual friend was my Transitional Man!!! Aha! That’s why her page yielded so much information. You see, most of the Girlfriend’s entries were accessible to me because I was a “Friend of a Friend.” Hmm. But then I realized that the”Friend of the Friend” stuff works both ways. Most of my settings were already “Friends Only” (I had a stalking issue I’ll blog about later) but just to be safe I took down pictures and personal information. It wasn’t long before the Girlfriend changed her settings to “Friends Only ” — meaning she’d probably looked at my page and discovered our Mutual Friend as well.

The real issue, however, remained — One Mutual Friend. I told myself that since The Girlfriend and my Transitional Man graduated college the same year maybe they knew each other from some professional group, even though she’s not a lawyer. The voice in my head was screaming WHAT IF THE GIRLFRIEND WENT OUT WITH MY TRANSITIONAL MAN TOO? I mean, that would just be wrong on so many levels.

I tried to dismiss the thought from my consciousness. How unfair and sick would that be? My chance, movie-like meet cute with my good on paper Transitional Man—and maybe he’d been with The Girlfriend, too?– Ew. That would be way too much exchange of DNA in a small world with not nearly enough degrees of separation. In short, it was just freaking me the hell out. And this is not a small town, mind you. We live in a large metropolitan area. What the hell? Yet I could find no common ground – school, work, etc. between the Girlfriend and my Transitional Man that would administratively explain their Facebook friendship. I resigned myself to leave the question unanswered. Transitional Man and I sometimes exchanged Facebook pleasantries (I “liked” his new “in a relationship” status) but I did not think it appropriate to approach him and ask.

A few months later (and after Transitional Man’s relationship status was back to being single), I got a text out of the blue from him about some law stuff. We chatted and had the “let’s catch up” conversation. I agreed to have coffee with him. (I hadn’t seen him since our last “date”). Since Transitional Man initiated the meeting, however, I thought it now appropriate to ask him ever so casually, while sipping over-priced coffee at Starbucks, about how he knows his Facebook friend — the Girlfriend.

Just Me With a Question: So, how do you know [the Girlfriend’s name]?

Transitional Man’s Answer: Oh. Yeah, I’m not that good friends with her but I’m really good friends with her cousin.

(Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .)

And we went out a couple of years ago.

In case it is in any way unclear: My Transitional Man had indeed dated my Ex–Husband’s New Girlfriend.

Just Me With . . . A Heart Attack — (Oops there it is.)

I thought Transitional Man was going to have a heart attack too . . . See Facebook Mutual Friend Part Two

Postscript: By the way, The Ex and the New Girlfriend are married now.

Postscript: The Transitional Man is married now.

Postscript: I am single. I am quite contentedly single.

See also: Happy Birthday to My Ex-Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend