UpDATE: Everyone, Meet Alex.

Sometimes life’s adventures really knock my socks off.

Travel with me back to November 4th, 2009.

(PS – This next part of the story is really personal, but I’m definitely way past it, so no worries.  Plus, it helps set the stage for the rest of it…)

My boyfriend of almost 3 years had just dropped me off at the airport.  I was en route to Las Vegas for a week to attend a business conference.  I had never been before and wasn’t all that interested in the location, but was looking forward to the conference.

He and I were on really rocky terms at that point, and I could feel the end of our relationship almost inevitable, but our last conversation before I left town was one that promised he’d go to therapy.

Unfortunately, he made choices with another female later that night that ultimately ended our relationship.

I found this all out just two days after I had arrived in Vegas.

Imagine finding out the WORST type of betrayal when you’re out of town.  Horrible! Helpless!

Naturally, I was devastated.

Beside myself.

Destroyed.

Crying, sobbing in the middle of the Palazzo hallway at 2am because I didn’t want to wake my roomie I was bunking with during the conference (as totally understanding and comforting as she was).  For hours and hours I bawled, trying to understand what I had just found out.

But, in my true figure-it-out fashion, and after ditching day 3 and 4 of the conference by staying in bed, I finally pulled myself together enough to get some fresh air down in the casino that next evening.  After all, I was staying in a suite at the Palazzo and it was my first time ever in Vegas.  Might as well make some good use of it.

I accompanied a girlfriend of mine from the conference at the roulette table.  I don’t gamble so I sat there watching, mildly entertained.

At one point, a tall white guy with a friendly face and confident demeanor came and sat down next to me.

He places three crispy one-hundred dollar bills down on the table and gets himself in the game.

He strikes up small talk with us as they all played.

His name is Alex.

And he’s winning.

And winning some more.

Aaaannnd some more!

Dang! Homey is lucky!  Or good.  Or both.

He’s actually really funny and charming and eventually offers to buy both of us a drink at the piano bar nearby.

We are now quite entertained by our new friend and so we leave Roulette and make our way to a table to continue more conversation.

Eventually, my girlfriend says it’s getting late and heads back to her room.

I’m left there with Alex and we stay awhile longer.  The chatting turns to flirting and then I gather what is obvious interest from him.

Due to my VERY recent devastation, I candidly pump the brakes.  I tell him I’m a total mess, my boyfriend had just cheated on me and he doesn’t want to have to deal with that.

Who would?! Talk about a rebound sitch!

But he doesn’t care.  He’s really interested.  And totally shocked and almost angry that any man would EVER consider doing me wrong like that! WTH?!

And/or totally wants to have a random hook up in Vegas.  Not that THAT’S ever happened with people in Sin City before. *sarcasm* (Either way, it’s too early to tell Mr. Alex’s intentions.)

I’m due to leave to go back to LA soon, and the week was coming to a close.  He asks me when I’m coming back to Vegas because he travels there for his business all the time.  Strangely enough I have tentative plans to be back that next week for another conference.  I still had to figure some things out, so I was on the fence.

He invites me up to his suite for drinks but I politely decline.  I had so much going on in my mind at that point and being the classy-ish lady that I am, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay with a stranger, so yeah, no, thanks.

He’s cool with that and I get no extra pressure or begging.  A gentleman.

He walks me to the bank of gold elevators, pretty sure he kisses me, and then says, “I’d REALLY love to see you again next week.  Please consider it.”

Shortly thereafter, I was on a plane back to the City of Angels.

What a whirlwind trip.

My mind was reeling.

As much as I had felt someone had physically ripped my heart out of my chest, this angel type of a guy came along the last part of the trip and made me feel wanted, important, adored.

There was no denying we had a special connection, either.  During our chat we had found so many things we had in common, and already had WAY more similarities than my current  ex-boyfriend of mine.

I arrive home on Saturday AM, lug my suitcase into my room, and crash on my bed.

I’m exhausted.

Not much later, my phone rings.

It’s Alex.

He can’t stop thinking about me and wishes I had never left.

By then I had figured out I was definitely going to attend the other conference that next week and had already booked a flight back out on Monday.  I had no plans for the weekend but to rest.

He’s glad to find out I’ll be back soon, but not ok with waiting the 48 hours to see me.

“So change my ticket for me then,” I tell him, chuckling to myself on the phone.

No way is some guy I just met going to pay to change my flight info.  I had plans to be back shortly anyways!

“Send me your itinerary and I’ll do it,” he says.  “We can spend the weekend together.  You’ll have the best time.”

Oh SNAP.

This dude is serious!

Umm….I panic.

“Really?! But I literally just got off the plane from Vegas and you want me to come right back?”

Well, folks, I’m sure you can guess where this story goes.

I thought, “What the hell…” and grabbed my suitcase.

A few short hours later, I was flying back to Vegas.

The story continues…

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upDATE: Mr. Can I Get a Vowel

After 7 months of not seeing each other, I agreed to finally see Mr. Can I Get a Vowel again.

The fact that his name is literally missing a vowel and is spelled incorrectly (yet….not…cuz that’s how his mama spelled it) still bugs me.  However, we did have some crazy chemistry and I remember both dates that we had last year like they were yesterday.  Might as well, right? He told me he’s completely single and still wondering what I’m up to.

We met at a place in Venice for drinks.

As I began to walk in to meet him, I realized that he hadn’t seen me (or even a pic of me) with my new haircut.  I’ve been told I look pretty different now, and I agree.

Oh, great.

I immediately felt the anxiety of the “First Date Nerves” all over again.  That beginning part where you’re meeting someone in person after communicating mostly via text or message or phone.

Sure enough, I’m walking towards who I think is him, sitting at a table towards the back.  The place is packed.

The guy turns and looks at me walking towards him across the room.  He doesn’t respond.

Oh, CRAP! He totally doesn’t recognize me! Wait.  Is that even HIM???

I literally keep walking towards this guy, getting closer and closer.  I’ve committed to it.

Still NO RESPONSE. Not a smile, but a look of confusion, perhaps?

I am now literally AT the table and I’m 98% sure it’s him but need him to say something so I can recognize his voice.  Or a smile, or something! ANYTHING!

I decide that it’s him and pull up a chair next to him and say, “Hi! Yeah, it’s me.  I cut my hair….”

The look of wonder starts to fade and he smiles a faint smile.

He totally didn’t recognize me!

Ha!

Awkward.

He looks at my hair, me up and down, back at my hair.  It’s funny and random.  He says he likes it, he just didn’t recognize me.

We begin to catch up and our nerves dissipate.

He’s still super attractive and I love his style and designer jeans.  The man can dress.

He asked me what happened to the guy I last told him I was seeing (umm…that would be The Doc, last year).  He has a great memory.

I tell him that that guy was great, but that he didn’t want a longterm, serious relationship with me.

He says, “Yeah, welcome to my world.  That’s woman’s problem in LA.”

Umm, excuuuuuze me?! I thought that was just MY challenge!

Apparently he’d been meeting other people off of Plenty of Fish who were a bit bat*** crazy.  He says that most women here don’t know what they want.

I love hearing the men’s perspective on dating.  It’s usually a topic on 80% of dates I go on.

He’s an affectionate guy and we’re flirting.  He puts his hand on my knee as we watch the NBA game that’s on and talk.

After he buys us a round or two of drinks, we close out our tab.

Since we’re a block away from the ocean, we head to his car to put our stuff away.

I recognize the same black BMW he had last year, and it felt nice to see something “familiar” when I haven’t talked to him in so long.  Our connection is definitely there and I feel very comfortable with him.  He has a very quiet, calming presence.

He grabs a blanket out of the trunk and we walk around the pier and almost empty boardwalk of Venice.

After about an hour of hearing waves crash on the beach, we parted ways with him promising me that I won’t wait another 7 months to see him again.

I made the promise, and I’m sure it won’t be 7 months, although I’m not exactly sure why or when we’d see each other again.

As much as I enjoy our connection on the chemistry side of things, he’s lacking in a few other areas that are very important to me.  Ambition and career track.  Plus, he may be moving to Puerto Rico for 4 months to go work for his brother who’s a professional basketball player (and former LA Clippers player).

Nothing longterm is really there, but we’re still in communication and I won’t blow him off or lose his number anytime soon.

(Fun Fact: As I started to type this blog about him, I remembered on our date that he said his birthday was yesterday! And he turned 40! That was a big deal! OOPS! I feel like a total jerk.

I just text him “Happy Birthday” wishes and hope he had a good weekend and we’ve been texting back and forth.

Thank God I’m blogging! I probably wouldn’t have remembered til sometime next week when it randomly hit me! Thanks, Single Girl Shenanigans.  See – I blog for you guys, but I also blog for me.  It helps me remember things.) 🙂

Frustration, an Ex and the Deleting of my Plenty of Fish Account

Valentine’s Day is this Friday.

As of today (Monday morning), I have no plans with anyone special and I’m doing my best to not flip my lid.

Not that I think the world will end if no one asks me on a date for Valentine’s Day, but with all of the recent shenanigans activity you would think SOMEONE would make a move. But, no.  Nothing yet.

Let me update you.

Since my last blog, there’s been MUCH going on.  With several people.

I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time with Mr. Architect lately, and also saw The Doc.

Both are special men who I have a unique connection with, especially The Doc, for those of you who’ve been reading our 8-month-long journey.

Also, last night a guy I used to date briefly a few years back got together with me and told me that his world stops and time stands still whenever he sees me, and that he’s never wanted to be with anyone other than me and how special and connected he feels with me. “If you’re ready for a relationship, I’m sure you’ll pick me.”

Ummm, no.

You’re not the one, buddy.  We had our moments, but that window has closed.  Thanks for pouring your heart out to me, but I can’t help if I know in my heart you’re not the one, and now I’m even MORE frustrated because you’re a nice guy offering me what I want, but I have no feelings for you.

So, hence my frustration because no one seems to be willing to make any REAL moves here.  Well, correction – the guys I WANT to make moves, aren’t.

Or my Prince Charming just hasn’t arrived yet and I’m still being taught how to be patient.

Patience, my ass.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

(Ok, that was probably the most ironic statement of all time.  So, just kidding.)

So, on Saturday morning, I had logged on to my Plenty Of Fish account.

POF shows you who’s “online” of the guys you’ve been talking to, messaging, or in some cases people you’ve met in real life from POF who still have an active account.

I log in to check my messages and see what’s going on.  It’s kinda become as routine as checking emails.

Who do I see “online?”

Mr. Architect.

Again.

I’ve now seen him “online” every day for the past two weeks or so and it’s obvious he’s still using the site.  In fact, there have been a few times where we’ve both just seen each other, and 20 minutes later are both logged into “Plenty of Fish.” That can’t be good, right?

So I see him logged in on Saturday.

That’s fine.  We’re not married, but for some reason this really starts to bother me.

His communication with me lately is still pretty good, we’ve seen each other a lot, we text and email all the time and he’s “serious about this” with me, so it’s always weird to see someone say and do these things yet continue to log back into the dating site that brought you two together in the first place.

I can’t stand it any longer.  I actually thought Mr. Architect and I were heading down the path of only being interested in each other (he even has told me that his intuition told him I was “the one” when he first saw my profile online, among other serious conversations we’ve had about what we’re both looking for, etc).

Yeah, so why be online so much?

So I delete my Plenty Of Fish account.

I need a break.

Too much to figure out, lately, and I need answers.

Ok, I don’t need answers, I’d just really like to know what’s going on inside the heads of a few people.

I feel more comfortable with stability here, and guessing what’s going to happen, or waiting to see what’ll develop gets old real fast.

Deleting my POF account helped relieve some of that stress.  I’ll no longer have to know if this dude is online talking to plenty of other fish in the sea everytime I log in!

(Side note: I DELETED MY POF ACCOUNT! Did you read that part?! Not sure if you realize, but for me, that’s like the equivalent of a smoker giving up cigarettes.  Oh wait.  I just made the analogy of dating to quitting an addicting, disgusting disease that makes you smell nasty and could eventually kill you at some point.  Hmmm….gulp.)

So there ya have it.

A brief update on the love life.

(Second side note: I did talk to my sister who lives in Nebraska for quite awhile this weekend, too.  She’s married and has been off the market for awhile now.  She asked why it was so tough to date in LA, and I’ve broken it down to two reasons, but that’s best left for another blog.)

Thanks for reading, my friends.

Love and hearts and roses and stuff…to you all.  If I don’t have a Valentine by Friday, I’ll be sure to choose you guys instead, deal? 🙂

Facebook Is a Snitch (upDATE: Mr. Can I Get A Vowel)

It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve turned into a Private Investigator and gone to social media to find somebody to stalk,… err, I mean, look at.

We all do it.

And with new dates popping up faster than the Orville Redenbacker popcorn machine at the movie theater, I’ve got to find extra info on these boyz STAT, yo!

Remember Mr. Can I Get A Vowel?

Well thank goodness he’s missing a vowel in how to spell his name cuz he was the ONLY guy on Facebook that came up in my search. How convenient!

He’s still texting me everyday, calling me “baby” (Btw, what is that with guys? I’m not your baby until we’re exclusive! Do you know how many people’s “baby” I am?? It’s getting watered down.  Ugh.), and he’s tried to see me again (I already had plans that night) .

Let’s see what this guy’s REAL story is…

His profile? Pretty barren and locked down. Most recent profile pic was from 2011, and it was one of the same ones from his dating profile.

I couldn’t see or learn anything else, really. I flipped through a few old pics in an album on the red carpet with his brother, the guy in the NBA. Meh. Whatevs. Nothing too shocking. No women in his pix, just a bunch of guy friends. He still looks good, though.

But THEN… I see it.

A picture on his timeline from 2011, a selfie of a woman he had tagged as “my friend.”

She’s a pretty Asian girl and right away I remember him saying on our first date that he has a crazy, Asian ex. Whatever that means.

So naturally I click through to her profile and lo and behold, her current default profile pic is both her AND Mr. Can I Get A Vowel all hugged up together.

Further, her cover photo is of him and her at a zoo.

Busted.

I dig deeper to find the dates these pics were taken. Turns out, it was awhile ago but she had just re-uploaded them a few weeks back. I can read a public comment thread and see her tell her aunt who commented on how cute they are together that she “loves him very much!”

Hmmm.

Either they just broke up recently and she’s not quite ready to let go of their 3+ year relationship, or they’re still together.

Either way, I ain’t the one!

Too messy. And as I told him, I’m looking for a more serious relationship. I couldn’t expect anyone to be ready to jump right back into one.

I ended up questioning him about it. He said he had already “explained” the situation me. (No, playa, you didn’t. I’m pretty sure I would have recalled that info.)

So I told him I ain’t the one, and he said he wishes me the best and that I deserve the best.

Yes. Yes, I do.

Vanna, out.

Next!

upDATE: Mr. Can I Get A Vowel

Well, life is exciting and full of surprises.

One of the things I always try to keep in mind while dating in Los Angeles is to have no expectations.  I know what I want (both in a relationship as well as what I’d like to experience while dating).  So it’s always interesting when you’re about to meet someone for the first time IRL (translation – in real life) from first meeting them online.

This blog update is about the guy I briefly blogged about here.  Catch up if you need to.  Here’s what happened:

It’s Thursday.  I get home from work, grab a quick bite and then start getting ready to meet him at the place we’d decided to meet at in Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Hotel.

First, I have to tell you how much I appreciate a man with great communication.  PRICELESS.  This guy has that part DOWN, and I’m so grateful.  I get a text from him while I’m getting ready – confirming we’re still meeting.  Nice.  Yes, yes, we are.  (One of the biggest source of nerves when it comes to meeting someone in person is the fact that they might just flake on you.  Rude, but it happens.)

I text back to confirm, but need an extra 15 mins from initially planned.  He’s cool with that, too.

I’m getting ready.  Now, as much dating as I’ve done, how “dressed” I get depends on a few things: How interested I am in the person, What mood I’m in and Where we’re meeting.  Today? Shower, hair, makeup, and a dress.  Yes, a dress.  We were going to a nice hotel lounge in Beverly Hills, after all.  I’m totally fine wearing jeans anywhere I go, but based on this guy’s pics on his profile I felt dressing up was probably a good call.

He texts me that he’s on the way.   I LOVE this text the most.  That lets me gauge how long it’ll take him to get from his house to the hotel, and how much time I need to leave my house so we arrive at the same time.  No one wants to wait awkwardly by themselves at the spot.

I look good.  I throw on my 5″ heels, too.  Hell, why not.  He says he’s 6’2″, which means I’ll be juuuuust a bit shorter than him still, even wearing heels.  #winning

He texts me again to let me know he’s arrived…he’s “sitting down.”  I am LOVING the play-by-play.

I text him “Ok…5 mins” and take off to leave, since I’m done getting ready and live just down the street.

I pull up to valet and ask the gentleman with the fancy hat and vest where the bar/lounge is.  I enter the doors and walk down the hall.  I see him out of the corner of my eye.  He’s secured a corner area, with a couch, table and a few chairs around.

He stands up to greet me with that million dollar smile I recognize from his profile pictures and gives me a hug.

He’s dressed up! He’s wearing all black – a collared shirt, black dress pants, black leather dress shoes and a Gucci belt.

Dang.  Too-Young-Tyson-Beckford has competition in the “Most Gorgeous Man I’ve Met in LA” category and I am again reminded that Los Angeles is full of beautiful people.

OMG.  He’s so hot…

I sit down beside him on the couch and for the next 5 minutes we work out the normal “first date” jitters.  We’re both nervous.  The thoughts that normally come into my head start fluttering around…

What does he think about me? Does he like how I look? What should we talk about? Is he really that gorgeous? Is this real life??

I’m normally a pretty confident chick and rarely feel intimidated, but sometimes people get to me.

He waves over the waitress (whose name he got when he first arrived) and politely asks to see the drink menu.  We both order some fancy $17 martinis and then launch into conversation.

The jitters leave pretty quickly because he compliments me early on.  He tells me how beautiful I look and that he’s glad we finally had the chance to meet. (Finally? Ummm…you just sent me our first message online 4 days ago! But I’m not complaining.  I like to meet people IRL sooner than later to determine if there’s that in-person chemistry.)

We talk about a lot – our upbringings, how much he loves his 84-year-old granny, and what his friends call him as a nickname.  (“Pretty Boy” is one of them. Big surprise!)  This is where I find out how to pronounce his name…lol.  It’s what I thought, and it’s actually a pretty cool name – even missing the vowel that should be there.  😉

We also talk about what we do for work.  This is the part that gets “Hollywood” and for those of you reading this blog who don’t live in LA, you may enjoy this part a bit more.

So it turns out his brother is in the NBA and used to play for the Los Angeles Clippers.  He was his personal assistant, which means he had a front row seat to about as “Hollywood” as you can get here (at least on the sports side of things).  Athletes are also celebrities and that life epitomizes my favorite saying, “Work hard. Play hard.”  Those in their inner circle, live pretty much the same life.

He launched into numerous tales of what it was like to have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan come hang out at his house, how the hoochie mama groupies would always show up at their hotels, and how crazy that lifestyle is overall.  I’m sitting there listening, both impressed and not-impressed as I’ve had my own moments of this lifestyle in LA, including standing next to Blake Griffin in the player’s parking garage after a game at the Staples Center.  Heck, I probably saw my date at one point or another during a game.  I use to live downtown LA and my friend who works for the Clippers would always hook me up VIP style.

He also tells me that his ex was Whitney Houston’s hairstylist.  And also, was the one who sadly, found her the day she died.  Strangely enough, we were sitting just across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel where it happened.  Talk about epic Hollywood stuff.  Once again I think to myself, “Is this real life?”

I was born and raised in the Midwest with no television or interest in Hollywood, and here I am (again), smack dab in the middle of another now-normal conversation.

More Hollywood talk and a few more stories, and it reminds me of an important question I asked him on a previous phone conversation.  I ask him again:

“So, you’re not still involved in that lifestyle, right?”

His brother ended up getting hurt, traded and out for surgery and then rehab, so it’s been awhile since he was last “out on the scene.”

He repeats that he no longer lives like that and he never really loved all of it.  He’s more of the responsible, focused, quiet, laid back and humble kinda dude.

I’m glad, and reiterate that I wouldn’t be sitting here meeting him if he was still caught up in all that.  Just not my thing.  Been there, done that when I worked in the music industry.   It gets old fast.  I express how sad it makes me feel for those women whose identity is 100% attached to being seen with a “baller” and how it’s unfortunate that they define their self-worth by being associated with these guys and do almost anything to try get their attention.  Uck.

Frankly, that’s why my date first sent me a message.  I have a part in my dating profile that says “I’m not your typical LA chick!” And it’s true.

Before you know it, two hours have passed! We had no idea! We were having such a good time chatting that time just flew by.  That’s always a good sign.

We decide to get up and walk around the hotel a bit.

Just outside the door to the lounge, I hear piano music.  OMG! I love it!

We walk around the corner and find the luxurious “Living Room”, where there is a legit older guy in a suit, playing classical music on a piano.  I almost squeal out loud because I’m a classically trained pianist and miss playing so much.  Any chance to hear it live is a treat.  He’s excited that I’m excited and wants to listen, too.  I like his laid-back and go-with-the-flow vibe.

It’s late now….about 11:30pm and there are only a handful of people around.  We find another great couch to sit at so we can listen to the guy playing piano and also chat some more, but first, I excuse myself to use the ladies room right around the corner.

I mentioned how I love his communication style, but I also love how polite he is.

One of the ways you can tell how polite someone is, is how they treat the waitstaff.  All night he’s been saying “Please” and “Thank you, ma’am”…”No ma’am…”…”How you doing, sir?”… to people around us.

He’s also SO polite that when I return from the bathroom, he STANDS up and waits until I sit down before he sits back down on the couch.  Ummm, hello, Mr. Gentleman! He was raised right and as much as a progressive, independent woman of the 21st century that I am, I LOVE old-fashioned chivalry.  It is not dead, ladies and gentleman.  It’s just rare.

At this point in the date, it’s clear he’s interested and enjoying my company.  Same with me.  I ask if I can sit next to him and he’s happy to have me cuddle up and sit next to him on the couch.  He puts his arm around me and it’s a very romantic scene, folks.   The opulence of the hotel, the chandeliers, the mirrored marble fireplace, the music from the piano….mmmm.  Nice.

So nice, in fact, I pull out my phone and grab a short video for Instagram/Facebook. 🙂

We chat more about what type of music we both like.  He likes it all – just like me.  I quiz him on giving me a few names of country artists (just to see if he’s full of it) and he comes through.  Very nice.

We’re sitting there, cuddled up a bit, our faces very close to each other.  He’s staring at me and then gives me the sweetest kiss on the lips.  Just one.  Nothing crazy.  Quite nice.  We both smile and then go back to watching and listening to this man play more Mozart.

So it’s now getting late and we both have to work in the AM, so we get up and leave to go get my car out of valet.  He’s parked nearby so I tell him I’ll take him to his car.

The end of a first date is weird.  If you’re not having a good time, clearly it’s a bit easier to just bail.  But it things are going well, what do you do? If there’s chemistry, what then? You don’t want to drag it on too much too fast, but you also don’t want to cut a good thing short, either.

So he points to where he’s parked on the street.  I pull up behind his BMW and park.

(Shenanigans Blog Bonus: I normally don’t post the “kiss and tell” parts of the story, but you’ve read this far and want the good stuff, I get it.  So here you go.  You’re welcome, ladies. And guys reading – you can stop now if you want and just know it was a good date and I went home shortly after. :))

He reaches over to kiss me goodbye and it is no longer just a quick, small kiss.  Instead he proves to me that he wasn’t lying when he said earlier in the week that he was a good kisser.  I prove him just as right, by confirming he had met his match.  His lips are SO SOFT.  Omg.

We say goodbye about 5 times and then he wants a proper hug goodbye, so we get out of my car.

He’s all smiles.  Well, we both are.  He’s a very affectionate guy and he’s holding me and looking at me, smiling that infectious smile.

I shake my head and just giggle and say, “You’re so handsome.”

He smiles back and says, “And you’re so beautiful.” Then he starts kissing me again.

So now it’s really, really late and I have to go.  But he doesn’t want to let me go.  I don’t want to leave, either.  So we proceed to stand there, in between our two BMWs, on the pretty empty streets of Beverly Hills, outside of The Peninsula Hotel, kissing.  I’m in the arms of a gorgeous, tall, charming man.

My life is officially a movie.

We say goodbye about another 15 times, and then finally, we mean it.  He opens my door and I get in to leave.  He says he’ll text me when he gets home so I know he’s safe.

And I drive away, smiling, with my hand over my mouth, saying, “OH MY GOD.  That just happened.”

Is this real life??? Yes.  Yes, it is.  🙂