Date #11 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Craig M.

Date #11 was not only the second Craig of my 12 Dates of Christmas, but my second set up from Janet. (She also connected me with Date #5, Bart.) When I found out we were going to the Zoo Lights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, my first thought was, and I quote, “brrrrrrr.” Although now that we’re in the middle of January, and the daily highs are 12, or some ridiculousness like that, that night seems like it could have been a balmy summer evening.

Date #11 Craig M

But trust me, it wasn’t. Now I’ve lived in Utah off and on for   ::ahem:: 14 years ::ahem::   and have NEVER been to the Hogle Zoo! Can you believe it? It’s actually been on my summer bucket list book for the past few summers, but I’ve never made it. So despite the cold, I was actually pretty excited to go check it out.

Since I live in a place that’s a little bit off the beaten path (it’s not really, but if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I live in Idaho or southern Canada), I met up with most of my dates. I mean, I felt kind of bad about asking them to take me out AND make the trek out to get me. However, Craig M. was very generous and offered to pick me up. He said it wasn’t out of his way at all.

The reality? It was very out of his way. His gesture wasn’t lost on me.

Knowing that it was going to be cold, I wanted to dress appropriately. I’m not much of a hat wearer on dates, but I thought this might be a good time to make an exception. So I went to my coat closet and found this gem:

Date #11 Fuzzy Hat

Now I’m sure you have plenty of questions at this point, so I’ll answer them now.

1. Yes, the ear flaps DO pull down and tie for maximum warmth and comfort.

2. Yes, this WAS a gift from my grandma.

3. No, I DON’T know why my grandma thought I would use this.

4. Yes, I have kept this in my coat closet for YEARS.

And finally,

5. No, I DIDN’T end up wearing this on the date.

When Craig M. picked me up, one of the first things we talked about was concerts. Apparently he is a big concert goer and has driven all over to see bands play in different cities. I used to work for a radio station back in the day, so that was pretty cool. I do love a good concert. Although, I’ve discovered that I can be an awkward concert goer. Should I sit and watch? Do I stand up and dance? Is singing along at the top of my off-key lungs appropriate? I just never know. At any rate, I love concerts just the same, so it was fun to chat about them.

The zoo happened to be PACKED that night. I mean, it was just a few days before Christmas, so I don’t know what I was expecting. So we saw tons of people wandering around. But you know what we didn’t see tons of? Animals. Apparently they thought it was cold too.

A few of the animals did have the courtesy to show up (not the polar bear though. Come on, it’s winter! Isn’t that supposed to be his season?). The bad news is that while I took a ton of pictures (45 to be exact), onlyapproximately 1.5 of them turned out. Boooo! So, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

Date #11 Zoo Lights

I guess the flamingo theme from Date #3 was carried on in Date #11 too. The tunnel of lights was actually my favorite. It changed colors looked amazing.

Ok, so we did see a couple of animals. When we made our way into the reptile/monkey/random small animal house, we found warmth and animals.

Date #11 Animals

Of course the pictures I took of the cute cuddly animals came out blurry, but the ones I took of snakes? Yeah, crystal clear. Blech!

Date #11 Snakes

Craig M. said he was a cat guy, and that was proved when this blur of a kitty-like creature walked up to the glass where he was standing. No, I didn’t get a picture of that. Thanks for asking.

Date #11 Cat

Cat whisperer, indeed. In fact, he said he had a cat that would climb onto the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in the summer to keep cool, and occasionally would accidentally get shut in there. Admittedly, the thought of a cat in my house, let alone in my fridge, is kind of horrifying to me. But, good for him? [INSERT APPROPRIATE AND TACTFUL THING TO SAY HERE]

The evening wound down with a trip to the zoo cafe to grab some hot chocolate and chat. We talked about Craig M’s job, about how he lived in California for a bit, about the time he took a trip to New York, and about how he once had to kick his roommates out because they’d turned his house into a druggie hangout. So, you know, the usual stuff.

After we were sufficiently thawed out (ok, after I was sufficiently thawed out—apparently Craig M. doesn’t get cold), we headed back outside and called it a night.

Craig M. was an all-around nice guy who gave me the chance to finally check the Hogle Zoo off my bucket list. Totally worth an evening in the cold.

Date #10 of My 12 Dates of Christmas: Sean

It’s hard to know what to say about Date #10, Sean. Why’s that? Well, because we’ve still never met.

Confused? I’ll clear it up for you . . .



This is normally the part of the post where I put a picture of him or the two of us. Since we never met, I’m just going to post a picture of what I imagined he looked like. I was positive he would resemble one of these fellas:

12 Dates, Sean Lowe, Josh Duhamel, Garrett Hedlund, Jesse Metcalfe, Justin Bruening, Rick Malambri

Now that I’ve been stood up by him, I think he probably looks more like this:

12 Dates #10 Quasimodo

The truth is I wasn’t totally surprised when Sean bailed on me since he’d been pretty flaky from the beginning. Sean’s sister is a friend of my tech genius friend, Sarah. The sister was one of the first people to contact me to say her brother was on board for a date. But after I didn’t get a response to my email or voicemail, I started to feel like I was stalking him. I contacted his sister again to ask if he had changed his mind. She reassured me that he was still on board.

After finally exchanging a few texts, we set up a date.

That was the last I ever heard from Sean.

The day of our date we still didn’t have a game plan, so I sent him a text.

12 Dates #10 Sean Text


No response.

A couple of hours later, I left him a voicemail.

Still no response.

That night I sent this text:

12 Dates #10 Sean Text 2


Aaaaannnd, he never responded.


I actually don’t care that he changed his mind about the date. I get that going on a date that gets blogged about isn’t for everyone, and I would have understood if he wasn’t up for it. But the fact that he just went silent is not cool at all.

But as soon as I started thinking he was a jerk, I realized that maybe something happened to him that made it so he couldn’t respond. These are the top three theories I came up with:

  1. He was pushed off the Frontrunner platform and landed on the tracks. There was a train approaching (an express, of course) and a UTA worker jumped onto the tracks, rolled him to safety, and saved his life. Unfortunately, the accident left him in a coma. Due to a misunderstanding, Sean’s family thought he and the UTA worker were engaged. The family invited the UTA worker over for Christmas, and she ended up falling in love with Sean’s brother. In this case, when Sean wakes up from his coma, the truth will be revealed (most likely at their wedding), and Sean and I will have another chance at love. Oh, and the UTA worker will finally get a stamp in her passport.
  2. A crisis at the North Pole meant that Christmas was in jeopardy. Santa sent his elves to Utah in search of the Christmas spirit. That’s where they met Sean, a workaholic who no longer believed in the magic of Christmas. The elves set a plan in motion knowing that if they could make him believe, Christmas would be saved. Unfortunately, the elves were unaware of Sean’s plans with me, and instead scheduled him to wrap presents and deliver them to orphans. The good news: the plan worked and Christmas was saved. The bad news: I got stood up, which shook my faith in the magic of dating. I suppose it’s time for the elves to set another plan in motion.
  3. Sean’s nephew was starving, so he stole a loaf of bread and ended up getting sentenced to five years of hard labor in prison. That five years turned into nineteen years. When he was finally released, he stole some silver from a priest, who forgave him and made him promise to become an honest man. Sean was changed from that moment, but had to hide his identity. He started a factory and became the mayor, but because he had broken parole and was a fugitive of the law, he was unable to contact me and cancel our date.

Uh, it’s possible I watched too many movies over the last couple of weeks.

So what did I do instead of going on the date?

12 Dates #10 Chick fil A Old Navy

I treated myself to some Chick-fil-A nuggets and a new workout jacket from Old Navy, then sat in front of my fireplace and got some work done. Best of all, I didn’t have far to go at the end of the night, and there was no awkward doorstep scene.

As for you Sean, I hope you come out of your coma and continue to have the Christmas spirit. Oh, and good luck with that factory.