Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

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MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: Coco Revisted and Cyndi Answered

I didn’t want to
fall in love,
not at all.
This post is partly a continuation of "MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating, the Male View: The Ambush" and partly a response to Cyndi wilkins' comment on that same post.

It also marks the reappearance of Colleen -- "Call me Coco."

Okay, so the picture is of Cindy Crawford, not Coco. Take off the trademark mole and it's so darned close as not to matter. Think a "better-endowed" Cindy Crawford with dark auburn hair, and you've got Coco.

Coco doesn't mind my use of her real name,  but pictures are too much apparently.

Anyway. . .

Cyndi Wilkins made reference to the idea of "friends-with-benefits," which both  Coco and I thought was pretty funny. I'm not a big fan of the concept. Coco had never even considered the idea. Let's circle back to that topic later

How Coco came back into the picture

I had posted a picture on Facebook of the sunset over Lac de l'Achigan where I'm currently volunteering to cook for at-risk youth. I think it was this picture, not that it really matters. . .



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As it happened, Coco was at a friend's house on the same lake. It's a darned big lake, though. From the angle of the sunset,  and the shape of the mountains in the distance, she deduced that she was staying just off the right edge of the picture. Coco looked me up on Messenger and we talked a little. She seemed like a completely different person, well-spoken, intelligent, and pretty funny too.

There was no mention of "The Housewives of WhoGivesaCrap."  There was no mention of any celebrity gossip at all. 

Not even a peep.

I was mystified. I was surprised that Coco could actually deduce my approximate geographical location relative to hers from that picture alone. 

Frankly, I was surprised Coco could deduce anything from anything.

NOTE: Coco read this post prior to my publishing it. A six-foot-tall, athletic Amazon can punch a guy in the shoulder pretty hard. I found that out the hard way. 
NOTE 2: Coco added edits (everyone is a critic). They are marked as such.

Coco estimated I was about 4 kilometers away as the crow flies. Silly girl, I was actually 4.2 kilometers away according to Google Maps.  She was only 200 meters (about 220 yards) off.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, indeed.

Did Coco have a smart identical twin? 

Not possible. There's no way two women could win that big in Gene Pool Lottery.

There was a mystery here. 

We agreed to meet the next day and that I would bring some brioche dough to make the cinnamon buns that are shown on my FB profile picture. Check them out here. They look yummy, and Coco has a self-confessed sweet tooth.

I figured I would solve this mystery, have a drink or three, and finish off with a nice dessert. 

Sheesh, people, you really have to get your minds out of the gutter.  I mean the cinnamon buns, not that other kind of dessert, nor do I mean any other type of buns. 

May I continue? 

No? Ok, I'll wait. 

How about now? Are you done giggling and smirking? 

Good, back to it then.

The fact that I needed to return to the kitchen within 3 hours provided a built-in escape plan. 

Coco's Edit: You had a #^%ing escape plan?!? I wasn't a random blind date, we already met! And, we spoke for about a half hour on the phone!
Paul's Addition to Coco's Edit: Yeah, but, when we met, I lost interest in a short time and stopped paying attention. The first time just wasn't you. This was exactly like a first meeting. The call just confused me since you on the phone didn't match you in person.
Yes, that addition earned me another punch in the shoulder.

The Meet Up 

Coco in a golf shirt and short skorts was nearly painful to look at directly. Coco in a string bikini and translucent cover-up was a coronary just looking for a place to happen. 

It was a near thing, but I survived.

While the cinnamon buns were proofing, we chatted on the deck. Coco read the other posts in this series and wanted to know more about the No BS Zone. I told her there wasn't all that much to it. All people need to do is tell the truth and be themselves. That way, the other person in the nascent relationship can like them for who they really are, not for some fictional character they are portraying. . . OR NOT. 

Either eventuality is preferable to living a lie.

I went first, "Coco, the other day you were stunningly beautiful but uninterestingly dim. Today you're still stunning, but also intelligent, well-spoken and even funny. WTF?"

Coco said, "Guys don't like smart girls."

That's just silly and dead wrong. Sure, some guys don't like smart women but not the ones a smart woman will usually want to be with, in the first place.

I answered, "No, stupid guys don't like smart girls. Smart guys prefer smart girls. It's just like how weak men don't like strong women but strong men prefer strong women. This explains your poor history with men, Hon. You choose weak dumbasses. Just be you. If you scare them off, you're better off without them."

The No-BS zone revealed more. 

"Wendy," our mutual friend who set us up, played fast and loose with the truth, or, maybe she just suffers from temporary dyslexia. Coco is not 43, she's 34. I'm 59, not 43 as "Wendy" told Coco. 

What is it with "Wendy" and the number 43?

Also, Coco was married and divorced twice, not four times. Yes, both hubbies cheated. No, neither was the one who filed for divorce.

Over the next hour or so, it became apparent that Coco and I would be better off remaining just golf buddies. We also cut a deal that she could run any future love interests by me. I would be her weak man/dumbass filter.

Friends with benefits?

I don't know who brought the conversation around to Cyndi Wilkins' comment about friends-with-benefits or when. I'm not a fan of the idea, so it may have been Coco. 

Coco's Edit: Moron! And you thought I was dim-witted?
Paul's Edit: Hey! (followed immediately by, "Ouch.")

To put a friendship at risk for casual sex seems wasteful to me. Either the "benefits" are not up to par, and/or the friendship withers away. 

Neither is optimal. To my way of thinking, better a stranger-with-benefits than a friend-with-benefits.

Besides, if the "benefits" are more than simply casual, isn't that a possible foundation for something else?

Whatever, I just don't get the logic of friends-with-benefits.

Coco admitted that she had no experience with being a friend-with-benefits but hinted at being curious. That led to an awkward few seconds -- I got married the year before she was born. My son is only four years younger than Coco. My daughter is only six years younger. Some of my kids' friends are Coco's age. I couldn't see myself dating a friend of my daughter's. 

That's just creepy.

I know it wouldn't be cradle-robbing, but it would sure feel like it. 

EDIT FROM COCO (and I am to put this in verbatim, on pain of another shoulder punch): "Hint," my ass! I offered --you turned me down! Seriously? (Then she giggled.) I left her edit exactly as she put it. Personally, I would add "perfect" between the second and third words, bolded here for your convenience. 
Yes, that got me yet another shoulder punch. (But a huge smile as well)
Yes, I think I have a bruise.
No, friends-with-benefits is not on the table.

Why not?

Yeah, Coco, seriously, I turned you down. Yes. I understood the inference. 

Believe me when I say I argued with myself all the way back to the camp. My steering wheel took considerably harder punches than my shoulder. I thought of turning back twice, but I didn't. 

You see, Coco, there are extenuating circumstances.

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time with someone else. To tell the truth, (and we are still in the No-BS Zone) it's actually only been 2 meals --  she says 1-and-a-half, I'm not sure what that means.) and near-daily phone calls. 

I look forward to those near-daily calls, I miss them if they don't happen. She has the talent of relaxing me within a sentence or two (it's her soothing voice, goofy laugh, and quirky sense of humor). 

She is completely and utterly effortless to talk to, yet she makes a fantastic sounding board for bouncing ideas around. She 's sharp as a tack and has no problem presenting her opinions.

Yes, the G-Test is now officially renamed the C-test.

Too bad she is mentally unavailable, so there's really nothing going on. There seems to be a lot of that going around. It must be spread by mosquitos, or, maybe, weak dumbass males. 

Then again, I'm like a foot fungus. I grow on people over time, so who knows?

The way things are, being with you, Coco wouldn't be cheating, but it would sure as hell feel like cheating. And I don't cheat, ever. . .  Never have, never will.

So, tempting as it may be. No, scratch that, tempting as it definitely is, I have to pass. 


Coco's Edit: Why not? I'm already public with this (I can't believe that I did that. You pulled me out of my comfort zone.). Just remember that rainchecks have a time limit. 
Paul's Addition: (Not a damned thing. The warning look on her face precluded any smart-ass comment that may have found its way to the tip of my tongue.)

Here's what it boils down to.

When I started this series, I used this picture. The text reads, "I didn't want to fall in love, not at all. But, at some point, you smiled, and holy shit, I blew it." 

I meant it to be funny. I thought it was funny. Ha ha ha . . .

It's not so funny when it actually happens. 

Not funny at all. 

But, it is awfully fun in a scary sort of way.

We'll see.



The Complete Series So Far

On Love, Relationships, Loss, And Mind Hell

How To Build Your Own No Bullshit Zone

MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: The Male View

MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating, the Male View: The Ambush

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Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #23


Louise Smith

3 years ago #22

cradle snatching

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #21

Thanks, Jerry. Honestly, I have no idea why that would be so, hey, I own a mirror you know. It's not like I get mistaken for Brad or Denzel. Mind you, at the Jazz Fest a woman thought I was George Clooney LMAO! She was so sauced that if I'd said, "No, I'm Selma Hayek," she would have believed me. Maybe it's because physical beauty doesn't overly impress me? Maybe it's because I don't intimidate worth a damn? Who knows? Who cares? Some men want to be a man among men. Personally, I'd prefer to be a man among women

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #20

Hummm, I wonder if they could be air freighted to Minnesota. Or, I haven't been to the Boundary Waters in ages. Bears thinking about.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #19

Cool, I love meatloaf! FYI: no one on this planet is competition for Coco in a bikini. . . some come close, but oh so very few

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #18

Paul, Smart and a gentleman. What a combination. I notice that the ladies all are keen on your kind of guy. Stick with it my friend.

Cyndi wilkins

3 years ago #17

Awe...that's sweet of you to say;-) But trust me when I tell you that my bikini days are definitely over! I'd be zero competition for Coco in that department...and I suck at golf. I do make a mean meatloaf though...(wink, wink, nudge,nudge;-) Lol!

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #16

hahahaha....move over Coco :)

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #15

I think Coco will go off-market soon now that she's decided to just be herself. I think I may do the same.... this dating shit is was too complicated. I have enough on my plate.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #14

TRhanks, Aaron \ud83d\udc1d Skogen, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #13

Well, Cyndi wilkins you don't seem like a slouch in that department... just sayin'

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #12

Smart, Lisa Vanderburg

Cyndi wilkins

3 years ago #11

Oh I wish I looked like her! I do have the mole though...It's just located beneath my right eye...not the lip like sexy Cindy C;-)

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #10

I am NEVER gonna bitch again about being with the same man for 40 years...

Cyndi wilkins

3 years ago #9

Now hang on here a sec...she's 34?!?! Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, indeed!!! Now that's a horse of a different color Pablo my man...and you're right...CREEPY! But listen...she did surprise you right?!?!...Just like I said she would;-) Coco you sound like a hot ticket girlfriend! And very fortunate to have a real man like Pablo here as your 'wingman.' BTW...Just for fun you should watch the movie "Friends with Benefits"...Starring Justin Timberlake...I think you'll get a kick out of it;-) Very honored to have participated in inspiring this very fun installment of your dating series Paul \...Lets face sucks when you reach a certain age...but if it inspires more stories like these I hope you stay on the market for a while;-)

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #8

Cyndi wilkins is mentioned in this post

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #7

I hadn't made the connection to 42. Hummm, worth thinking about. Would that make 43 the answer to more than everything?

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #6

Agreed. I think the real key is openness and honesty. Better to find out early that it isn't meant to be rather than find out 20 years later. But then again, I'm not a psychologist, just a guy who's been around the block a couple of times

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #5

Coco is definitely cool. If it weren't for the "other woman", who knows, I may have bent my "she's way too young" rule

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

3 years ago #4

Thanks, Pascal Derrien. It was even more entertaining to live it, even though I got a sore shoulder out of the deal

Wayne Yoshida

3 years ago #3

I wonder if Wendy confused "42" and "43"? Because, you know, 42 is The Answer to everything..... I am impressed by Coco's new openness on this adventure. And I hope she learned something. Never pretend to be stupid. (Or pretend anything else.) There are guys like us out here seeking smart ones, and just looking for people being themselves.
There's never a boring word when it comes to your stories, Paul \! 🤣 Coco appears to be a "kool" person!

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #1

that was entertaining to read to say the least :-)

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