You know there's a million articles out there about "the seven types of friends you should have," or "the friends every woman needs in her life," etc. Those are always an interesting read, and happily, I have a pretty diverse group of friends in my life. If you read the blog, you are pretty aware of the major players: Kim, who keeps me motivated and challenged and firmly grounded in reality (and besides fitness and romance, I have thrown some of my most petulant single-parenting fits at her - she is probably extremely grateful she lives a state away); my BFF Nancy and the rest of my "family," the core group of friends I hang out with on my free time; Sabrina, who is always challenging me to be my most-glamorous self and is chock full o' spot on love/life advice (she has never actually been wrong, and she'll remind me of that when she has the opportunity, such as when I balk about her advice, haha); my Sugar Daddy, Don; my fellow stair ninja Barb; my always up for an NPR-event friend Tina; etc. I have lots of wonderful friends and they are all just tremendously positive forces in my life in some of the same, and different, ways.
And believe me, I need positive influences in my life. :) Look at my time spent with Cappy, when my alcohol and nicotine intake skyrocketed! I am weak, weak. Cappy is still out there, by the way - he is definitely carrying on as part of my friendship posse. But as Sabrina says, "slacks before skirts." Hmm, Cappy doesn't wear skirts. You get the idea. I have been spending all my free time with Sparky and lamented not seeing my friends (actually, I was lamented upon by a friend for being absent). Thus, I am following Sabrina's advice to not get bogged down in worry about not seeing my friends, and am greatly enjoying the newness of it all with Sparky.
Oh! This post was about positive influences. Well, I tell you, when I was hanging with Cappy, we were really eating and drinking a lot. And eating *out,* so it was more calories, too. Although we were mostly eating sushi...less calories. But totally offset by the alcohol calories.
I digress. I am happy to report that Sparky and I will be a positive influence on each other. I mentioned earlier that he had mentioned he had lost weight since his divorce. Well, he's lost quite a bit of weight! Close to fifty pounds! He's working hard at another twenty-five pounds or so, with an ideal goal of losing 80 pounds all told. Major positive influence for me, yes? He's been working out, using the treadmill, packing salads for lunch, all good things. I tell ya, if this man didn't smoke, he'd be just downright perfect.
Anyway, so we were talking yesterday (it was my kid weekend but I abandoned them at my parents' for a few hours) about weight loss and ugh, ugh, ugh, Julie's free-hanging super-nasty-awful loose belly skin. Of which she can be rather freakish about and usually insists on it remaining covered in eight layers of spandex. I had mentioned to Sparky that there is a boob job and tummy tuck in my future. REALLY! I am wearing SIZE FOUR JEANS TODAY - YOU SHOULD SEE MY ASS!! But then, ugh, ugh, ugh, all this belly...hateful, really. But not hateful in a "boy, I sure regret losing all that extra weight, cuz now I have to rock size four jeans but have a wrinkly belly under wraps" way. Not at all, I assure you. ;) More of a dayum-if-I-got-a-tummy-tuck-and-boob-job-wouldn't-I-just-be-hot-shit way. Or at least wouldn't-I-not-hate-to-see-or-be-seen-with-this-skin-mess way.
So Sparky, whom you will just adore, oh-so-tactfully (this man is smoooooooooth, I tell ya), talks about working out, and building muscle tone, and there's so much we can do to affect our bodies, even as a prelude to plastic surgery, and when he works out regularly he sees amazing changes in a very short time and do you actually remember working out and has it really been since November since you climbed the stairs with any regularity you lazy beeyatch (OOPS! Those are my own damaging thoughts slipping in there, haha).
Positive influence. We have agreed to be workout buddies, and not just in the very fun ways that we have already discovered. >;) Logistically, this might be hard, but in spirit, we'll figure it out. And really, even if it just means eating well together and not getting me drunk every night as I was with Cappy (OH, I EXAGGERATE. Creative liberties for the blog's sake. You get the idea), well, I'm already ahead of the game.
So this morning he texted me that he got up early and did a couple miles on the treadmill, which he does every morning. I reciprocated with a not-empty-threat to climb the stairs today.
And if you can stomach more talking about him, I will say that I broke one of my cardinal rules and let him meet my kids ever-so-briefly this weekend. Apparently I am all about cardinal rules of dating unless I meet the right person, then I throw the nonexistent rule book out the window! He picked me up on Saturday to go for a picnic and drive. I had him in for just a few minutes to meet the kids. My youngest, Reid, uhhh, well he apparently figured any friend of mine was a friend of his, because within 30 seconds of saying hello, Reid was tapping on his tummy to get Sparky's attention and dragging him over to the computer to see a game. Blake was quite chatty with him, Alli was very nice but pretty shy.
When I've talked to the kids about me dating, they are all for it. Blake says, "Are you kidding? I'd love to have another man around here." (Implication being that he is the only man in the house, haha, which I love.) Alli and her BFF have been *demanding* that I start dating, and specifically requested that I date a man with a 14-16 year old son. (Sparky has a 16 yo son.) Reid is generally just happiest whenever any man is around. He's sort of a "women are for feeding you" sort of guy. Since he was a baby, he has gravitated to any man over any woman in his life. ;)
As Sparky dropped me off, I had him in for a few minutes again, which was RISKY, because you never know what state the house will be in upon re-entry. But it was great, and the kids were great. They really liked him. He's one of those hard-not-to-like people. He liked them. I assured him Alli is, in fact, quite obnoxious and loud, and not a shy person. ;)
So I never would have figured I'd have someone meet the kids this soon, but I did and I survived. I asked the kids what they would think about having him around sometimes and they were genuinely all for it. Such nice kids. We'll see. Sparky is out of town my next kid-free weekend, thankfully, which gives me some time to adapt to the idea and continue to get to know him better.
This weekend we are going to the ocean for two nights to go clam digging. His friend has a cabin we are expected to be able to use (pending availability from the co-owners, we should hear today). I am excited, excited, excited. Long walks on the beach with a hot guy, here I come!
(Oh, I should say, speaking of hot guys - Sparky may be taking off more weight, but he really turns my crank as he is. Purrrrrr. He is so my type - tall, football player build, all muscles and yumminess. He has a bit of a belly on him but he wears it well. And I am really glad we will be good influences on each other to continue taking off the extras.)