Just when you think something is all coming together... No, "cruisegate" is not like what Ginger or Andrew have been through but still. I've been rather proud of myself in how I've handed things this year. Maybe it's because, everything considered, last year turned out pretty much like I had hoped, at least in the end, and I got it out of my system? I clearly have not been putting that much effort in and the effort I have put in I've not reported here. A few weeks ago I actually went out on three dates in one week. That might be more dates than in the last six months. Interesting what a deadline can do for one's motivation. Read my 8/20/19 post above for how the deadline finally was even provided. Yes, that deadline is supposed to be this Sunday or more likely this Monday. We'll see if it holds or not. They've already extended things for the general public to October 8 so perhaps this extended deadline will apply to me too? However, at this point I'm just kinda over it.

So I was pretty quiet here and even to most all of my friends. I finally made some decisions with four women and decided to put it into action. For the longest time I wasn't even sure I'd be able to make a decision short of throwing a dart at a board with names on it. But then #1 started to emerge somewhat clearly as the front runner, at least in my mind. I've known her for like 6 or 7 years. We've casually dated or "hung out" now and then. I see her like 10 times a year maybe a little less? She's not had a BF in that time. D'd for about 10 years, S18 and D16. She knew about last year and even about Wild Girl and seemed very excited when I asked her to go. I asked her in person so I could see body language, etc. She was clearly excited and interested. However, she already has a trip booked to Florida at the end of January - so like a week after we'd get back. Her D16 I guess doesn't like it at all when mom goes away, in part because then she has to take care of the dog and really doesn't want to. #1 even commented "I've not even told her about my end of January trip yet." Really, another mother afraid of her kids? WTF? Still, she was clearly very excited and somewhat flattered that I asked her. I asked if she could let me know within a few days. It really all made great sense on paper. She's self employed so can get time off, kids are old enough, no husband or BF, age appropriate (I think she's near 50). Not a head turner but cute and fit. I was cautious enough not to tell anyone but was already thinking, wow if this works out, it was really easy - no drama, not much anxiety, it sort of all just felt very natural and I even felt good about asking her - like I really made the right decision. I also figured if she really didn't want to go she'd just have said so right away and her body language would have shown it. She even texted about 24-hours later - a good sign I thought. "So I decided I shouldn't go [sad face emoticon] I can't miss more work in January and also the kid/dog thing. It sounds like an amazing time and I'm bummed I can't make it happen! Thank you again... blah blah blah" Didn't really see that coming, but okay I'll move onto #2.

#2 is a FWB although we've only done the friends thing for about three years now. She had a BF about the time I met Wild Girl until this Spring and I've only seen her a couple of times this summer. We get along well although I'm not hugely attracted to her but not unattractive either. She is a meeting planer/convention management for a large company with events around the country. She works from home most of the time and doesn't have to travel all too much anymore. Never married, 46, no kids. Not nearly as outgoing or bubbly/friendly as #1 but I know her pretty well and it would be fun. Did this one on the phone. She didn't seem as excited as #1 but defiantly interested and again knows my life, the last cruise, etc. She's never been on a cruise and I even tried to get her to go in 2013 - the last large group cruise I ran. When is it?, she asks. Turns out, her largest client has their event starting Thursday of the cruise. Just no way she cannot be there - not even worth asking at work about. Hmmmm okay, I guess we'll move to #3

#3 I've known for 30 years. We dated but she may have been a teen then? She's the niece of a former best friend who died suddenly 15 years ago. She lives out West but her and I reconnected when i did gigs out there a few years ago and have gone out when I was there and she comes here. Her mom still lives in my area. I don't think she's ever been married. Has not dated anyone in a long time, doesn't even try. Yet she's very pretty, somewhat outgoing. perhaps a bit quirky but hides it well. Even some of the people on the cruise will know her (from years ago) and she knows them. Except, she's taking her mom and dad on a two week cruise to Greece this October. She started a new job (after 20 years at her previous one) this March and had to really negotiated to even get time off for October - including giving up a pay check for one of the weeks. She's not yet a firm no but doesn't see any way she can get another 6 days off in January. By now I'm starting to think, you've got to be kidding me!!!

#4 Which, there really was not a firm #4 but I thought, well maybe things happen for a reason and I should try the newly D'd friend of my brother and SIL. Might be a bit of a stretch but we've known each other for about 8 years, she's vacationed with my brother and SIL. She's fully D'd now. Sounds like her husband cheated but no one wants to come out and completely confirm that. Just turned 49, pretty, tall, (a little taller than me I think) very outgoing, loves to travel, makes friends easily. However, the kids ( I think 9 and 11) are not doing well with their new life at all. She just moved into a new home, D9 refuses to stay with ex H (no abuse or anything like that, that I can tell) They have 50/50 custody but again the child seems to be running the show and getting her way. Still, I totally understand - and it's hell for a 9 year old who if the adults didn't see anything coming, the kids likely didn't either. I guess she even pulled out of an overnight girls trip due to it. Both my SIL and brother said "I don't think that would be a good idea." I had come to that conclusion after hearing my SIL tell the story before they even said it. So I didn't even bother asking her - though I'm rather certain it would not work or if she did accept, bad things and drama would happen between now and then. Just not the right time.

#5 or Plan E - um yeah, I really have no #5 or Plan E. I mean I guess I do but was out with one in that run of three and was board after a couple hours - what might 9 days and 8 nights be like? So no. I guess that means Plan E is to go back to the crusty old guy and see what he says. If he can give me until October 8 that will help but not a whole lot. Otherwise I'll just take my chances and if someone pops up figure out how to get them down to Florida. Especially if I take someone like the girl out west or another possibility now living in Florida or someone on say the East Coast, as long as we can get them down there and back, the name on the cruise cabin won't matter. If they fight me on wanting to force me into a room mate I'll not go. That will create a whole other set of issues but I'm not sharing a cabin with someone I do not know. I'd be better off taking the boring girl who at least I do know. When I added it all up for #1 it totals very close to $2,000. It will kill me to more or less light 2K on fire. It will beyond kill me to put more than $500 into the pocket of the goofy jerk that tried to force things three weeks ago.

It's really sad how such an amazing gift like this brings stress and heartache. I guess I was luckier having wild girl than I realized. I have such an amazing life in so many ways. How many people would kill to have a job that allows them to bring someone on a $2K vacation - yet I can't give it away. Yes, this is my sarcastic personality coming through - at least 95% of it is - but what kind of loser can't even find a date for a free week long cruise? Now, don't correct me on this - i know that's not really the case - I'm almost totally joking about that - I know it has a lot to do with being as picky as i am and not actively trying to date - but a tiny part of me is still like... WTF.

Will talk with the others this weekend and then find out what the promoter has to say likely on Monday. I already knew this year would not be as much fun as last - not as many people I know going, not as many fun people I know who are going, Not taking someone I'd dated for 5 months straight and spent 4 or 5 weekends with so I completely knew we were compatible and ended up having a really great time together. So I knew this would not be as good as the last. Didn't think it would end up like this though.

Hope you all enjoyed the reading. I'll let you know if anything develops.

Me 56
Met 11/95 / Married 5/00
Bomb 6/20/05 / She Filed on 6/2/06 / Divorced on 10/9/06
4 who'd qualify as GF since D & dated about 25 women since D