Checking through my archive of photos, I found one from the night of the first date I went on after my last breakup, and the timestamp says “May 10, 2009”. I realize it sounds a little weird that I’ve been single for over 6 years now. Hell, I’ve been on dates with women who were still in middle school the last time I was in a relationship. That said : 6 years in your 30s feels like 6 months to folks in their early 20s.
I’ve been (rightfully, to some degree) accused of shirking some of my responsibilities within these stories. There’s a lot of “well, I didn’t know any better”, or feigning ignorance or shouting mistreatment when there was little or any of it. That’s human nature, though. People, myself most certainly included, will often come up with justifications for their actions to make themselves feel better, and in some cases might bend reality to come out the other side as the “good guy”.
This is not one of those stories.
Whenever people have asked how my last relationship ended, I’ve often said “it’s a long story, but it’s about 92% my fault”. The percentage waxes and wanes from 88% to 98%, but I think 92% is a fair estimate. I leave it as an exercise for you, dear reader, to decide your own percentage.
I met Melinda 1she’s always gone by a nickname, so I went with a name similar to her real name on my internet-broadcast TV Show Aural Salvation. She was on as part of a horror-alt-porn website (called Headsick Pinups), where she was one of their initial models. I made mention of this in my story about Tina : The Pimp of Alt-Porn. When she appeared on the show, she mentioned that she had a fiancé who was watching from home. She was worried about flashing her tits on the air because of this. Shortly before the end of the show, she and another model — a close friend of hers, whom I’ll call Jackie — did a “Okay, on 3!” and unleashed the beasts. It was a good night all-around.
That would’ve been the end of it, but Jay — the owner of the site — messaged me after the interview to thank me for having them on and asked if I wanted to do that again. I agreed, and dropped a remark that I didn’t know how he maintained professionalism around women as gorgeous as Melinda. Jay decided to take this tid-bit and forward it off to Melinda. I knew none of this, of course. But, Melinda’s an enterprising little researcher type. She visited my personal website where, at the time, I had a “To Do List”. It was a list of things (and people) I wanted to do in my life. Amongst the “To Do : Sexual” category, I had things like : “A Russian Woman”, “A woman in her wedding dress”, “3 Women at the same time”.
The first moment of correspondence with Melinda was a day or two later on my MySpace wall, where she wrote only this :
“Thanks for having me on your show! So much fun! Also… I’m Russian, and I have a wedding dress”
Although she was engaged, I couldn’t just let a remark like that go unnoticed. I messaged her, saying it was amusing — but also “dangerous and feisty” — and flattering that she took the time to look through my website. It was either in that message, or a follow-up shortly thereafter, where I said “aren’t you… engaged?”. When she first described it, she said it was more of a friendly “let’s get married for tax purposes” thing, and wasn’t that serious. She was also peeved that she could’ve had more fun on the show had she known he wasn’t even watching in the first place. She was also upset that he decided to go out drinking instead of watching the show, which she felt was pretty rude and — in her words — showed he didn’t have respect for her interests. Although I never figured out the details of this engagement she had, I get the impression that it was mostly a “ohhh.. fuck it, why not?”, but she still took it semi-seriously. Much later, she told me “basically, I was done dating and just wanted to get married”, after describing the 3 other times she’d been a runaway bride. Spoiler alert : I’m still the only man she dated in her adult life that didn’t propose to her.
We exchanged numbers, and quickly became one of those “texts each other all the time” people. We set our first date for Halloween, 2006. Since my birthday was a few days prior to that, I’d planned on going out to Vegas with a longtime friend of mine : Sean. I ended up doing that, but I accidentally totaled my car a few hours before we left, so there was a last-minute scrambling car rental situation. All the while, Melinda and I texted and she was surprisingly interested and compassionate for a woman I’d only ever met once. I had them ol’ butterflies in the tummy for this girl, even via text. We texted while I was in Vegas, and she sent a few “happy birthday weekend” titty shots, and smiles.
On the drive back from Vegas, Sean and I swung by a hotel room where Melinda and Jay and a few other models/staff from Headsick were hanging out. We were immediately comfortable, kinda half-cuddling off to the side of the main area of the room where people were hanging out.
On Halloween, she drove out to see me in Hollywood. We were going to go to the WeHo Halloween festival. If you’ve never seen Halloween in West Hollywood, you’re missing out. They block off several streets and it’s just madness and flamboyancy and fantastic costumes and drunkenness in the streets. When she showed up, she got out of her car — while it was still running — did a quick stand-and-turn modeling of her outfit for me, then said “okay, let’s go!” and jumped into her passenger seat. I was so impressed and flattered by how quickly she trusted me to drive, and how smoothly she made the process, instead of some unnecessary “hey, uhh… do you wanna drive?” discussion.
We tried to get to WeHo, but traffic was so insane that a drive which normally would take 10 minutes ended up taking 30 minutes and we were still about a mile or so out from anywhere near a parking structure. She turned to me and said “you know… we don’t need to go to this thing. We can just grab some food and see a movie or something”. I said “would you… wanna just grab some fast food and hang at my place? I’ve got plenty of horror movies”. She said “yay! horror movies and taco bell!”. I asked if she was being sarcastic, and she said something I’ll never forget : “I didn’t come out here for this WeHo thing. I came out here to be with you”.
Back at my place, in my room lit only by a string of red lights along my ceiling, we tore into Taco Bell while watching Halloween, and then just spent the rest of the night playing with each other. I didn’t even ask her if she wanted to stay the night, and she never asked if she could. We just fell asleep wrapped up in each other, and went a round or two again the morning after.
I haven’t had a date — let alone a first date — that awesome since, and it’s probably why I fell in love with her almost immediately.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||she’s always gone by a nickname, so I went with a name similar to her real name|