The following is the transcript of this podcast episode.:
Jodi: Hello and welcome, Jessica! Thank you for coming on the podcast.
Jessica: Thanks for having me.
Jodi: I’m excited to hear the story that you’re going to share with us. Before you do, please tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.
Jessica: I am in my mid-40s. I’ve never been married. I’m a coach and artists and I love being outside and traveling and just being social.
Jodi: Let’s get into the date. How long ago did the date happen?
Jessica: It was a little over a year ago.
Jodi: And what’s the name of the guy who you went out with?
Jodi: How did Sean come into your life?
Jessica: He was the veterinarian for my cat, Guinevere.
Jodi: He’s your vet. Interesting. I’m intrigued. Tell me more!
Jessica: Yeah. The funny thing is that I was dating online when I met him. Yeah. I had this little crush on him. I remember waiting in the room with my cat. I didn’t know the vet at all. It was just the closest one to my house. And so I was waiting in the room for the vet to come in and I saw on the wall these diplomas from the ’70s. That was the decade I was born. So I assumed this person was a lot older than me. But then he walked in. I was like, “Oh, hello!”
Jodi: “You’re not the guy on the wall. Are you?”
Jodi: What happened? Was he subbing?
Jessica: There was more than one vet there.
Jodi: What did you think when you saw him?
Jessica: I was intrigued and distracted a little bit and I thought he was really cute and had good energy.
Jodi: How did he treat Guinevere?
Jessica: He was really good with her. He’s also attractive. He’s really sweet and not all vets are like that either. He was just really natural with her and really sweet and listened to me as well. Those are all good qualities.
Jodi: What sort of vibe were you getting from him?
Jessica: I just remembered something. I was severely on the rebound when I met him, actually. So I was trying to tame myself. But I was definitely attracted to him. I even told my friends about him.
Jodi: Did you end up going back to see him with Guinevere more than you needed to in order to see him again?
Jessica: No. But unluckily, she actually had some health problems. So I went back a lot in that first year. I would always try to see him instead of the other vet because I liked him as a vet more too. I got to know him quite a bit over the year. There were some pretty intense moments where I was really emotionally vulnerable because I was afraid that Guinevere was going to die. He was great through the whole thing.
Jodi: You mentioned that Sean had a really nice manner about him. How did he help you through that challenging period?
Jessica: Yeah. He’s a really good listener. He’s patient and he just has a calm presence. We had travel in common. So after being there a few times, I don’t know how it came up, but basically we’re talking about travel and he went on a trip, a two-week trip to Asia. When he got back, I was really curious to hear about his trip and talk about it. We had this really great bond through travel and also speaking Spanish.
Jodi: Oh, the two of you were speaking Spanish during the doctor’s appointments?
Jessica: No, but he speaks quite a few languages, which is very sexy to me. I only speak Spanish, besides English.
Jodi: During these appointments, were you picking up anything from him that made you think that perhaps he was interested in you more than just as your cat’s mom?
Jessica: I had no idea because he was very professional. I knew he couldn’t make a move because he was my vet. There were a few times where I was nerve-rackingly wondering, “How do I connect with him more? How do I do this?” I was kind of cyberstalking him a little bit. Yeah. So I didn’t know if he liked me or not. But I knew our conversations were becoming more interactive about more than just my cat and about travel specifically.
Jodi: All right. Let’s go back to the cyberstalking. What exactly were you doing?
Jessica: I was just looking for more information about him to make sure he was single and learn more about him.
Jodi: You were on his social media sites?
Jessica: There wasn’t really a lot to find. He’s not really active on social media. It wasn’t a deep rabbit hole. It was just surface things.
Jodi: I get it. Makes sense. It’s what we do these days. How did things progress from the point that you were Guinevere’s mom, to the point you two were heading out on a date together?
Jessica: I can’t remember exactly how long it was after my cat was feeling better. I was trying to get up the gumption to ask him out somehow, and trying to figure out where that line is. Do I ask him for tea or coffee? How do I do this? I was really nervous about this. Finally, I was like, “Hey, if you want to have lunch some time and talk more about travel, I would love that.”
And he’s like, “Okay. Cool.” I had his cell phone number at this point because we’ve been texting about my cat because stuff was so urgent sometimes, which is really sweet of him to be open to that. But I had kept it to talking about the cat only. He texted me and we made a plan to have lunch the next week.
Jodi: Nice. How long after you initially met him did this happen?
Jessica: It was a little bit more than a year.
Jodi: So you had had an opportunity to really spend time with him during that year?
Jessica: Yeah. I don’t know how many times I was in his office during that first year.
Jodi: He texts you. What did he say and what were the plans?
Jessica: We decided to go somewhere close. There’s just two options. One is on one side down the street, and one on the other side down the street. We talked about those two options and picked one. It’s a cute cafe and we made a plan.
Jodi: Excellent. How were you feeling when you were getting ready to go out and meet him?
Jessica: I was nervouscited.
Jodi: I love that! I’ve never heard that word before. Okay. So, you were feeling nervouscited. Did you call your girlfriends before you headed out?
Jessica: I don’t know. I know that I’d told people that I was going out with him. It was this lingering thing that my friends knew about.
Jodi: It’d been going on for a year.
Jessica: Yeah, I wasn’t that close to asking him out until the last part of that year.
Jodi: Got it. Tell me what happened when you showed up at the café.
Jessica: Well, it was funny because on the way to the cafe, I was driving down the road and he pulls out right beside me from the vet office. It was a four-lane road. We’re waving at each other. And then we pull in together beside each other. I’m making this mean something, just how it was flowing.
We get out of our vehicles and then we go in we walk in together and I don’t remember the first part of it, just getting there and getting settled in, ordering something. I think we went Dutch. You go to the counter and order. I think he ordered quite a bit of food. I was like, “Wow! He ordered three things!” I just ordered a sandwich or something.
Jodi: So the two of you are at the café. You’re eating. How did that feel and what did you guys talk about? Do you remember?
Jessica: Yeah, we talked about travel. We talked about where we’d been and what’s next. It was fun. Then we actually spoke Spanish for half an hour.
Jodi: Have you ever been on a date before where you switched from English to Spanish and spent a lot of time chatting in a foreign language?
Jessica: Not with a native speaker of English.
Jodi: It must have been fun.
Jessica: Yeah, it was great. It was really fun. I love speaking Spanish. It was really fun. And his Spanish is better than mine, which is also sexy to me. I got to practice my Spanish and learn a little bit. I feel like, when I speak Spanish, it’s like a different part of my brain or my soul that’s accessed. It’s like a different energy. So it was really fun.
Jodi: So, you’re feeling it. What clues, what things were you picking up from him?
Jessica: We stayed as long as we could before he had to go back to work. I think he was surprised at how much time had passed. He was actually running late at the end. That was great that he spent as much time with me as he could.
Jodi: How did the date end?
Jessica: We somehow said, “Let’s do this again.” We were back at the vehicles and he said, “If you want to do this again, let me know.”
Jodi: And your response was?
Jessica: “Sure. Yeah.” But I think he was putting it in my court because he’s still my vet.
Jodi: Was there a handshake, a hug, a kiss, at the end?
Jessica: Definitely not a kiss. There might’ve been a hug, but I honestly can’t remember.
Jodi: Did you hear from him shortly thereafter?
Jessica: I don’t remember. But I do remember that we texted. I am not sure who initiated and then we made a plan for the next week to go hiking close by.
Jodi: Take me through what happened on the hike.
Jessica: He actually walked there because it was close to where he lived. I was waiting for him to roll up in one of his vehicles I would recognize from the vet office, but he walked actually. He kind of snuck up on me and was like, “Hey!” Then we just talked about which way to go. We started walking. He knew more about that area than me, so he led the way.
Jodi: On the hike, were you getting more and more into him? Were you getting more attracted to him? How were you feeling?
Jessica: I was really looking at how he was dressed, because I was used to seeing him in professional attire with a tie on. He was dressed in an oversized T-shirt and it was not that attractive to me. So I noticed that. And then we’re walking along and the conversation didn’t flow as easily. With hiking, as opposed to sitting in a cafe, it’s really different because you’re not really facing each other. So that was a factor. And then also, the conversation wasn’t as fluid and we didn’t really have much else in common besides travel, apparently.
It was kind of like, “Okay. Well, now what?” I can’t even remember what we talked about, but I remember feeling a little bit bored. There’s a thing for me about dating. After online dating on and off for years, I learned that from the Myers Briggs Personality Test, it’s recommended¾some people think it’s a really big important thing, and I agree with this¾that when you are looking for a date or compatibility, it’s important that you’re compatible in the second letter. So the first letter is “E” or “I” and the second one is “N” or “S.” “N” is for “Intuitive” and “S” is “Sensory.” I’m an “N,” I’m very intuitive, like very deep. Sensory people talk more about what’s tangible, like, “Hey, here’s what’s happening in the external world,” and that’s what’s real to me. I realized pretty quickly on this hike that he’s probably an “S” not an “N.”
Jodi: Oh, okay. Was that a yellow flag for you?
Jessica: It was a deal breaker, in a way, because I was like, “Yeah, if I’m already a little bit bored, that’s not going to work for me.”
Jodi: When the hike ended, how did you handle things with him?
Jessica: Yeah. He’s still my vet. So I’m like, “Okay, how do I do this?” We’re standing beside my car talking. Somehow art came up, or maybe he brought it up. He said, “You know, sometime I’d love to show you my art.” And I was like, “Oh, he makes art!” I got this like burst of, “Whoa! That’s cool! I didn’t know he made art. Maybe there was more here than I thought.” And so I was like, “Yeah, sure.”
Since he lives so close by and I had driven, I said, “I can give you a ride now if you want to show it to me.” He said, “All right.”
So we hopped in my car and we drove to his place, which is just a few minutes away. I go inside and I’m like, “Oh my God!” This guy’s place is…the way I’ve described it to friends is…it looked like a frat house that had just had a bunch of guys move out of it. Not like there were beer cans or anything like that, but there was hardly any furniture, there were kayaks and mountain bikes and workout equipment and miscellaneous kinds of stuff sitting on the floor that were random. My brain was really analyzing the environment.
Jodi: How old is this guy?
Jessica: Near my age. He’s in his mid-40s as well.
Jodi: Has he had kids before? He has been married?
Jessica: I don’t think either.
Jodi: So you walk in and you see chaos in front of you and your perception of him is so different all of a sudden than what it was when you walked into the vet’s office and saw this guy with his tie and his nice suit. What were you thinking about him when you saw all this chaos in front of you?
Jessica: I was like, “Definitely not my partner” I was really intrigued because I feel like someone’s space says a lot about them. So I was mostly just like, “Whoa! This is so interesting,” from a sociological perspective. (Laughter)
Jodi: He went from being a potential future partner to being a case study. (Laughter)
Jodi: Do you think he was picking up on your shock at what you were seeing?
Jessica: Oh, I wasn’t shocked yet!
Jodi: So tell me more. What made you more shocked than the mess of his life that he had sprawled all over his place?
Jessica: I saw in the corner this pretty thick stack of stretched canvases that had paintings on them leaning against the wall. I walked toward it and I saw a couple other smaller ones around as well. They were all monochromatic. I walked up and I was like, “Oh, cool. They’re all monochromatic.” I started flipping through the bigger canvases, and these are probably two and a half by three feet, or three by four feet. They’re pretty big.
I started flipping through them and he says, “Before you touch those, you might want me to tell you what it is.” My first thought was, “Oh my God! It’s animal blood or something,” because it’s this brownish color. Then he proceeds to tell me that he has these nosebleeds, and that the painting is from his blood!
Jodi: No way! So when he gets a nosebleed, he goes and grabs a blank canvas from his closet and starts spraying it all over the canvas?
Jessica: Eventually, that’s what happened. The first thing I said was, “How much does your nose bleed?” (Laughter) The amount of paintings that were there it was more than a dozen!
Jodi: I have never heard of anything like this in my life!
Jessica: I’m sure there are some artists who’ve done some crazy stuff before that maybe had to do with blood, but their own nose blood, that’s pretty interesting! (Laughter) He wanted to know what I thought of his art. I’m looking through it, and I’m evaluating it, as if I’m a fellow artist who can give some feedback, or whatever. I’m just playing it cool. Blood doesn’t freak me out. I looked through some of the paintings and I talked about which ones were my favorites and why. And about 20% of them were actually good composition. (Laughter)
Jodi: No way! (Laughter)
Jessica: And then I asked more questions because, I’m like, “Okay, so how did you start doing this? Where did this come from and how much does your nose bleed?,” because it’s actually disconcerting.
Jodi: That’s what I was wondering.
Jessica: He hadn’t had the nosebleeds in a while at that point, because he’d learned that if he puts certain kind of oil in his nose that will stop it from bleeding.
Jodi: Was he really engaged with you, telling you his technique and what he was trying to achieve with these different canvases? Or was it just random how he sprayed these things?
Jessica: I got the beginning story of it. He had said that he was working out one day and his nose started bleeding. He was frustrated or something, and just kind of blew it on the wall. It was still on the wall!
Jodi: Was that an inspiration for his evolution as an artist?
Jessica: I guess so, because I asked him, “Well, since your nose stopped bleeding so much, have you tried other mediums?” And he’s like, “No.”
Jodi: He’s a nosebleed artist, or not an artist at all.
Jessica: Yeah. Then he opens up the closet in the area where the workout bench was. The closet, with a shelf…above that part were stacks of canvases, smaller canvases, one by two, and square ones. It’s just stacks of them! My mind is like, “How much did this guy’s nosebleed, and how did he do this, and then how did he control it?” (Laughter) For me, my artist’s perspective, I’m analyzing it as I’m standing there, getting more of a tour of…
Jodi: His nosebleed art.
Jessica: …collection. Yeah.
Jodi: Did he explain how he did it? Was it that all of a sudden he’d start to bleed, so he’d run to another closet, get a blank canvas, and then drop it down and press on his nostrils?
Jessica: I mean, it was that simple, I guess.
Jodi: Did you get the sense that he had this technique down because he had done this so many times and was trying to project different concepts and ideas and designs through his different canvases?
Jessica: Yeah. It was pretty impressive considering how limiting it would be to see how many different ways you can actually bleed on canvas, and different tools you could use, like the spraying, or the thick blood, and just like moving it, or letting it ….(Laughter)…. it was gross, but also very interesting. It’s like, “Whoa!” With that many canvases, there had to be a lot of variation. Some were more landscape looking things and some were more abstract. It was pretty amazing what you can do with one color actually, now that I think about it. (Laughter)
Jodi: Why go to the paint store? Why go to the art craft store? You can just rely on your nose.
Jodi: And your own hemoglobin.
Jessica: It’s organic!
Jodi: I know sustainability is a really big thing these days and it’s so important, but that is a whole different way to do sustainable art.
Jodi: Because he had so many canvases, was he going to hold some art show somewhere in some gallery? Did he tell you anything about that?
Jessica: No. And I asked him, “Have you ever put this out there or done anything with it?” He said, “No.” He wasn’t painting anymore because his nose stopped bleeding so much.
Jodi: Darn. (Laughter)
Jessica: But I mean, I really think people would come see this because it’s so interesting and the art wasn’t that bad because it’s so amazing. It’s so unbelievable!
Jodi: What happened next, Jessica?
Jessica: On the way to the date that day, I was asking the universe, “Make this clear. If this is going to be something or not,” because I was thinking about him a lot and had him in my mind a lot. I wanted to either move forward or let it go at that point. And so I was walking out of his place and I remember walking up the stairs to the sidewalk from his place and I thought, “Well, that was clear!” (Laughter) I asked for a very clear message and I got the whole “S” thing. I thought that was clear, but then the nosebleed and the apartment thing.
Jodi: When you choose to say goodbye, did you think he was able to read where you were at with things?
Jessica: I have no idea. He’s kind of hard to read emotionally. So I don’t know. I was still processing all that just happened.
Jodi: There was a lot!
Jessica: Yeah, that I didn’t pay attention to that much. He might’ve said, “If you want to get together again,” I think he actually did say that. But I knew that I wasn’t going to hang out again beyond my vet thing, beyond the vet relationship.
Jodi: Did you hear from him after your second date?
Jodi: But he was your vet?
Jodi: How did you handle things with him from that point forward?
Jessica: I don’t think that I got a chance to see him again as my vet because…I think we texted casually just like, “Hey, what’s up? How are you?” Whatever. He had some stuff going on with his family. He ended up moving out of town for that, out of the state actually. So that was what the conversation was after that second date because he was about to move to go take care of a relative, actually.
Jodi: Let’s kind of step back here. You met this vet. You had a crush on him. Then you got to know him and you thought things were promising. Then you spent more time with him and the universe said, “No, not your man.” What did you take away from the whole experience?
Jessica: There’s a few things. One of the biggest things is that these little things I was noticing about him were signs of a bigger thing. Like, one time I noticed he had his nappy belt on, and I was dying to get him a new belt. And then I noticed on his motorcycle there was a patchwork seat. It wasn’t that taken care of it. It was kind of older. Those kinds of things were a precursor to seeing his apartment.
Jodi: Those were tells. Those were hints.
Jessica: Yeah. So that was one thing. And then the other thing is that, between that and another date near that time, I learned that people can be one way professionally, and then their personal life is not indicative of how they are professionally.
Jodi: How has that shaped your dating since you met Sean?
Jessica: The way I frame that is, people can look good on paper. But really the connection and the energy and the compatibility and lots of other things are more important than what it looks like on paper as far as what you have in common and professionality and lifestyle stuff overarching. It opened me up to dating people who were different than I would’ve thought. They look different on paper than I would think and it just opened me up to different possibilities.
Jodi: That’s a tremendous takeaway from this experience.
Jessica: Yeah. It’s true.
Jodi: Thank you for that. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. The story you shared is quite a memorable one, (Laughter) and I don’t think I’ll ever look at a nosebleed the same way again. (Laughter)
Jessica: My pleasure. Thanks for having me on the show.