men and shoes.

There was:

Justin

Another Justin

Camden 

Brian

Michael

Jonathan

Kevin

Austin

Johnny

Nick

Dave

Andrew

Josh

And a doctor who took me to Folly Beach. 

As we walked down the pier I contemplated throwing myself over in hopes that Moby Dick would swallow me whole and take me to a foreign land where boys didn't say things like, "You'd look really good in a white Mercedes," or "If this goes well you can have all the botox and lip injections you want." 

I'm leaving a few out. A few plus a few, probably. That's besides the point. 

These aren't men I've had relations with (no sex, people). These are men that I've sat across tables from most likely while eating Tex-Mex. Asking the same questions I've asked before. Questions that seem interview worthy. The questions are only a formality. Same with the first date, the second, the third. Because only time can give us answers to questions that can't be asked. 

If dating were a profession I'd be a pro. I've gotten good at saying no to second dates, dodging unwanted lip locks, and not feeling awkward when I clearly know I'm being awkward. 

The list is sprinkled with nice men. A few assholes. One that I liked that didn't like me back. One that I should have loved. A few gave me flowers. One gave me four bottles of wine and two packs of cigarettes (I don't smoke). One of them took me to Waffle House when I asked for pancakes. One of them smelled like maple syrup.  One almost made me commit suicide on the Folly Beach Pier. One was passionate about wallpaper. One was passionate about me and her and her and her. One made my heart hurt. And one reminded me why I shouldn't give time to someone who makes my heart hurt. They've all said similar things. They are all different. 

There's about a 50/50 split on who opened doors. 32 and younger generally don't. 33 and older generally do. 

It's starting to feel like I'm at Saks and I've tried on too many pairs of shoes. I loved the third pair. 

The third pair was comfortable, reliable, and reasonably priced. I should have just stopped there, but I kept looking. You see, I had the same pair for so many years, I loved those damn shoes, and was really sad when I had to give them away. So I guess, now I just want to make sure that I get the right pair. 

I know what I'm looking for. The problem is I always want the pair that I know I'll pay for later; a little out of my budget and wildly uncomfortable. But, God, do I. LOVE. THE. WAY. THEY. MAKE. ME. FEEL. I can never wear them long because they are painful and unrealistic. I always regret when I go with that pair over a pair that would actually be useful. 

Now that I've bridged the gap between men and shoes. I'll leave you with a few words of advice from a self proclaimed dating pro, which means I'm not a pro, which means I really have no idea what I'm talking about, but I can say the advice below has been tested (multiple times).

Follow:

1) If you meet a man who idolizes Dan Bilzerian or Hugh Hefner no more information is needed. RUN. FAR. FAST. Choose a pair of running shoes and SPRINT.

**Unlike Dan and Hugh the guy who idolizes these men will not have boats or jets or houses on crystal clear waters. He'll be all headache and no perks. 

2) Never order mozzarella sticks on a first date. Unless your exit strategy is to choke to death. 

**Or unless you are on a date with guy from number 1. Order them for him (extra cheese, please).