I had never dated a carrot top until my excursion with the Ginger Viking awhile back but somehow in the first half of 2017 I morphed into the proverbial flame for the red-headed OKC moth. There must have been a bit of an accelerate on the ignition because I flickered bright enough to spend the deep recesses of winter with a Jaunty Ginger and the buds of spring with a Gingerbread Man.
On the surface the two had a lot in common besides just their fair complexions and red-hued follicles. Both were a few years younger than me, in the 34-35 year old age range, just enough difference to be standing on that bridge to Millennial Land without quite claiming residency. Both were separated, though Jaunty was inches from signing the final papers after two years of legal limbo sorta singledom and the other…. well…. we’ll get to that. Both had procreated and seemed loving and devoted to their spawn, always an admirable trait. That is where the similarities end, my friends, fiery follicles and a few checked off demographic boxes.
Jaunty was my cure for the winter doldrums, a spot of flingy fun status post What the Fuck Did We Do (?!?) Election and Inauguration. Not for nothing OK Cupid added questions to the tune of “Did you vote for Trump?” and “Would you be open to dating a Trump voter?” I’m sure no one would be shocked to learn I am an emphatic no on both scores. Unless maybe for really angry, cathartic sex. Like the world is ending and I’m going to punish your happy stick with the sheer force of my vagina kind of sex since apparently you’re so afraid of its power we’re a treacherous few steps away from completely defunding Planned Parenthood, letting employers of public companies claim religious grounds to choose if female employees have access to birth control rather than the employees themselves, etc., ad nauseum…… Sorry. I’m prone to political tangents these days about the Head Pussy Grabber in Charge. Before I skip too far down this path of discussing how the sight of my ‘elected’ leader sends genuine shivers of revulsion through me, the blustering buffoonery leading us to the precipice of finding out whose nuclear button is bigger, let us return to Flingy Fun. Bring on the shenanigans! Shenanigans!
Jaunty was truth in advertising, a quasi-hipster just looking for someone with whom to have a few drinks and a little fun. I like drinks. I like fun. His face is a trifle hazy a year later so now all I can picture is a cartoon character from a Match 3 game I play to zone out. This guy here:
It’s not that this is Jaunty’s exact digital matrix doppelganger but it does remind me of his essence. Doesn’t he just ooze quasi-hipster fun? His profile pictures were all irreverent and light-hearted, including one in which he was behatted in the quasi-hipster wardrobe staple fedora, slanted atop his head just so. (Side note: Merriam-Webster says behatted is a word. I swear I didn’t just make it up. Like covfefe.) I told him it made him look like quite the Jaunty Ginger and thus took to starting any texting conversation with “Hey Jaunty”. See, not all my nicknames are unknown to those for whom they are bestowed. Just most.
Our brief moment in time started Christmas Day when he sent me something that made me laugh and quickly evolved (or devolved depending on your current puritanical leanings) to some very adult flirting that would most definitely land me on the penultimate Naughty List. For those that have been playing along at home for a while, he is the gentleman that tried to lure me away from my 2017 Single Girl New Year’s Eve but, alas, the lure of pajamas and shrimp was too strong for this introvert, even against a quasi-hipster vegan who makes his own wine.
Yes, my friends, a man who used words appropriately like a grown-up, made me laugh, admitted to having a sex swing in his home at one point in his life, and made his own wine. Why yes, I am also surprised I didn’t just answer the door naked the first time he came over and scream “Take me now!!” I refrained. Barely. One might attribute my reluctantly clothed status to the fact he was an hour late the first time he came to my humble abode. Apparently, the quasi-hipster was running on full hipster time.
Type A, Tiny Logic Person carrying a clipboard in my brain me finds extreme tardiness disrespectful of others and was buttoning up to my chin, clucking “No skin for you, Pal.” Annnddddd then……. And then he showed up with a Jug O’ Homemade Wine. Not a highfalutin bottle, nor the déclassé box that I’m prone to stocking in my budget friendly fridge but a straight up Jug O’ Wine. Were those my bra hooks I just heard unsnapping themselves?
Jaunty stood on my doorstep that first time looking dapper in dress and leisurely in demeanor. He was sans hat but in a particularly lint free black pea coat. My winter coat is that material but it’s also riddled with white cat hair and various other suspicious particles, even after using a lint roller, which is a thing I would totally use if I could find it….. The nattiness of his wardrobe seemed to be his only Type A tendency. Otherwise, he was affable to the Nth degree, starting with the fact he was completely nonplussed at being an hour late. To him “7ish” really did mean a window ranging anywhere from 6:30 to eternity. Or at least 08:30. Did I mention it was a work night? It’s hard for two adults with lives to get together, especially when one of them has shared custody. I had suggested a Thursday not knowing his lackadaisical relationship with time. The impending early alarm had Tiny Logic Person tapping those impatient fingernails double time on his tardiness. Then he grinned and held up his Jug O’ Wine and hugged me. Swoon.
This particular ginger was tall enough to tower over me but no Viking lest the loyal readers start to think I have a ‘type’. He was so thin he bordered on concave, making me question his ability to toss me around, but books and covers and all. I was getting ahead of myself anyway. I mean, I was 98.7% positive there would be mutual nudity sooner rather than later but at that point the man hadn’t even taken off his snazzy coat.
I relieved him of said coat and he uncorked the wine. By uncorked, I mean unscrewed the cap. My kind of wine! “It’s rhubarb,” he said. Ummm. Wait. What? Look, I’m a born country girl that’s milked a cow or two, sucked roadside honeysuckle late in the summer, and helped hoe a garden or three but the only thing I know about rhubarb is some people use it for pie with strawberry to sweeten it up and it sounds like an awful drag queen name. Now coming to the stage— Miss Rhubarb! Maybe this wasn’t my kind of wine given I wasn’t really sure what flavor is the flavor of rhubarb. On the other hand, it was free, there was plenty of it, and all wine tends to make me loose of muscles and morals. Pour away Jaunty!
So….rhubarb wine is….. earthy. I’ll leave the pretentious tasting notes at that. Not quite a mouthful of liquid dirt but not my favorite. It was still free though and free is for me, so Jaunty and me imbibed as I gave him the ten cent tour of Chez Huh House. We swilled away as we sat on my couch and talked amiably about life. He sat a respectable distance away and made no moves closer. He started to feel more like a beta male and I was sighing internally as I calculated the 98.7% chance of mutual nudity diminishing despite the great conversation. It flowed naturally and was light and fun while still feeling real. We talked about his kids and his impending divorce interspersed with Netflix binges. We talked about him wanting to open his own wine shop and having PKU (Google it, I can’t pronounce it) and it’s enforced veganism. Turns out meat can kill you, or cause seizures, or severe mental delay in a very tangible way, not just a slow, I’m maybe giving myself colon cancer, kind of way. Not just meat, but any food too high in protein. For once the pseudo vegetarian (aka me) got to be the asshole asking “Sooooo…. what do you eat then?” I don’t know where I would be without my legumes. Or my cheese. Wine and cheese are probably the main reasons why I felt like Jack Sprat and his wife sitting there, with all his angular points and all my sturdy farm girl rounded flesh.
As the night shuffled on the abacus started sliding towards negative numbers for the chances of our clothes landing in a heap on the floor. I was highly suspicious I had a onefer on my hands (see here for a discussion about the ever elusive threefer). I kept my body language inviting and open as I am wont to do when interested (he did bring me wine) but he hadn’t strayed from his end of the couch. The virtual flirting didn’t seem to be translating to the physical world as is too often the case. I couldn’t tell if it was pure disinterest in the flesh and bone reality of me or his incredibly nonchalant hipster vibe. Tiny Logic Person started calculating how much sleep her and I could get if we led him to the door within the next half hour with his natty coat in hand.
We had drained the Jug O’ Rhubarb Wine down to a few scant droplets so I carried the glasses to the kitchen sink, knowing this was the make it or break it moment, thinking it was the break it and good night moment. I turned to find him behind me, broaching the space he hadn’t earlier. Oh. Hello. He filled the air around me, saying “I like that you’re pocket size,” as he leaned down to kiss my forehead and then my cheeks. I sunk into the counter as he moved to my lips. I told Tiny Logic Person to tuck herself in for the night. Laissez-Faire, Fuck It, Carpe the Damn Diem Me had it from here. Turns out quasi-hipsters who own sex swings and spreader bars only seem beta until they move in for the kill. Next thing you know, you’re showing up at work with your hair down to hide the hickey he gave you like you’re 14 fucking years old again, feigning a headache as the reason it’s not back in its normal “I’m not getting puke in it, I work in a hospital, I’m a professional” fashion. Not to rationalize, but yes to rationalize, I really did have a headache given the Jug O’ Wine and sleep deprivation from being handled for hours like a marionette puppet, proving that Vikings aren’t the only ones that can toss a farm girl around. Books, covers, and concave quasi-hipsters, eh?
We hung out for a few months, sharing homemade wine, hipster cocktails out, and quite a bit of Adult, with a capital A, fun behind the closed doors of the Huh House. His divorce was finalized. We celebrated with aforementioned spreader bar. Google is your friend if you need clarification but be aware it may be labeled NSFW. Then it started to fade. He was truth in advertising, after all. Drinks and fun and I expected nothing more. Anything deeper was a nonstarter. He was so annoyingly positive about everything it was to the point of irritation after a few months. He wasn’t just glass half full. He was a glass is full and look, it’s bubbling over with champagne (!) kind of positive. The pragmatist in me rebelled.
He wished me a happy birthday in the spring and I wished him a congenial Father’s Day at summer’s beginning. He told me he was thinking of me as he tried making his first box o’ wine for a family reunion. The next time I tried to message him on the new-fangled messaging app I use with gentleman, so I don’t have to share my personal phone number, it bounced back as “account not found”. At that point I had already started to love and then lost a Gingerbread Man, so it didn’t matter much. I was just looking for a few drinks and a little fun. I can get that anywhere.
*****Stay tuned for Ginger Snaps Part Two: Bake Until It Cracks to learn about my time with the other Ginger in my life back in 2017.*******