41 and dating in 2020

Less than a month ago I turned 41 years old. Some men at my age have grown kids. Some might even be grandparents! But me?

It’s not for lack of trying. I had a handful of good dates in 2019. You see, success (meaning: getting any date at all) started quick in 2019. As in… January 1st I had my first date of the year. We met at The Well Coffeehouse in Nashville and had an enjoyable conversation. I remember thinking, “This is a good way to kick off a new year!” We talked about meeting up again…

Never. Never will I see this woman again.

This quick start to 2019 was an exception to the rule. I don’t think I had another date for a long time after that. Most of 2019 went this way, and the other day it dawned on me… most of my dates were first dates. Rarely was there ever a second date. Before you have pity on me, though, I’ll admit sometimes all we ever planned was to make-out, and one date was enough.

It’s now middle of January and so far, it’s been about the same. I’ve had a couple of first dates but I’ll commit to this right here and now… 2020 is about the elusive second date!

So here’s to less first dates in 2020!

-Out of the Wilderness

I Was 4 Years Old Again

When you have those rare moments that shut you up, what do you think about? When you’re not close to death, but your life flashes before your eyes, what do you do next? Are the experiences you least expect the ones you remember the most? I wasn’t expecting to get all nostalgic and deep tonight, but on the way home from work “Unglued” by Michael Tate was playing on my iPod. About halfway into it, I saw a Pinellas County license plate. All of a sudden I was a 4-year-old at Sheridan Hills Christian School. I was hearing Chariots of Fire for the first time on the piano. I was encountering my first bully. I was playing with a spritely beagle puppy named Belle. I was hugging a giant teddy bear that Mom-Mom and Pop just gave me. I never thought of being a 33-year-old guy. But if I did, would the life I imagined back then look anything like what it is now? I don’t feel like an adult. But I don’t feel young. I’m rich in some ways and poor in others. I’m wise sometimes and others, a fool. I have moments of pure genius and others that set me back 5 years. I’m happy but frustrated. I’m strong but naive. Life is good, but not as good as it could be, or will be. Alanis Morissette would call that ironic. Katy Perry might call it being hot and cold. I just call it being 33 years old. I just call it a 33-year-old with the giant teddy bear he still has and the belief that the little 4-year-old he once was is going to turn into something great.

The Bachelor Brad Womack, Episode 7: Shawntel State of Mind.

Valentines Day is over, so put the leftover Chinese food in the fridge, get on your pajamas, get a tub of ice cream out and read along to my recap of episode 7. This blog post is the most controversial ever (until next week), because Brad’s getting closer to the biggest decision of his life. What would you do faced with a choice that’ll affect the next year of your life? It’s a big deal, this Bachelor show. So who went home without a rose tonight? Who went topless at a photo shoot? And who is single-handedly ruining my Bachelor Fantasy hopes and dreams? Read on to find out!

Episode 7 was in the tropical paradise of Anguilla. Unlike previous shows, this one had 3 one-on-one dates and one group date. Date 1 went to the fan favorite, Emily. And if you weren’t aware, she’s a Brad favorite, too. They took a helicopter ride from a field close to the girls house out to Sandy Island. It’s a small island of sand. Oh wait. Ohhhhh, ok. Now I get it. The date started out with a bit of tension, they were both nervous but after Brad fessed up about his feelings, things went much better. The biggest impass they had was on the subject of Emily’s daughter. She’s extremely cautious about letting guys meet her, so Brad, in his obvious interest for Emily, and even breaking the show rules, told her he’d give her a rose at the rose ceremony later. He told her that just to put her at ease about the whole daughter thing. Classy move, Bradenator.

The next one-on-one date went to Shawntel N. It started with a bike ride to the farmers market. A sigh of relief was heard across the market when locals learned it wasn’t Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looking to adopt again. It was Brawntel (cool! I just did a Brangelina name combo!). Brawntel danced. They drank. They jumped rope. Shawntel admitted she’s falling in love with Brad.
Brangelina and family

Brawntel ate dinner at Dune Preserve (a bar owned by reggae singer Bankie Banx). According to the sign, it’s at Lower Rendezvous Bay. They talked about their parents and how tough life was as a teenager. If only Katy Perry (Album: Teenage Dream) could’ve serenaded them back in 9th grade. Or Keenan Cahill. 

Instead, they got the next best thing, Bankie Banx himself! He’s the most famous singer in Anguilla. Brawntel kissed and they danced. They clapped for Bankie. Then, in classic white American style, they stripped down and swam in the night ocean. “When you’re with Shaaawwnteehheellll, sharks and big fish won’t harm you.” Yes, you should sing that to the tune of “Empire State of Mind.”

The final one-on-one date went to Britt. Call it what you want, but it was a last ditch effort to make any sort of non-you’re-more-like-my-little-sister connection with Britt. You know the date’s probably not going well when the guy won’t even come pick you up. They swam out to a yacht where Brad later dumped the heck out of her.

Highlight of the date when they were cliff jumping.
Britt: I’m scared.
Brad: 3,2,1 jump.
Britt jumps into ocean, doggie paddles to Brad.

She really was in over her head, figuratively speaking. She literally swam just fine. In fact, she’s probably a better swimmer than any of the other girls, but Brad doesn’t seem to care about buoyancy or her dog paddle speed. He seemed just as content to give her a side hug as he would’ve been to leave her up atop the cliff. I’m sure producers wanted her to jump so she could catch her flight home that night.
The group date began at 2:07am when Brad surprised 3 sleeping girls (Ashley H., Chantal O. and Michelle). At sunrise, they hit the beach for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot. It’s for the Swimsuit Edition, conveniently on store shelves around the country February 15th. Ashley vocalizes her concern about her own boobs, Chantal O. is feeling self-conscious and Michelle struts around like a clucking chicken. Anyway, this date obviously didn’t go well because all three of these girls are competitive, slightly emotional and at one point, two were topless. Yes, Ashley and Chantal decided it would be awesome to take their tops off. Brad didn’t like that the date started off bad and went down hill from there. Despite all the drama, Brad gave a rose to Ashley H. “I’m headed for a breakdoooown!” classic song by the Veggie Tales now joined in the chorus by Chantal O.

After all the drama, topless photos, crying, and back tattoos, roses went to: Ashley H., Emily, Shawntel N. and Chantal O.

Sent home were Britt and Michelle.