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You’re a Lucky Girl

17 Sep

Hi everyone – Happy Fall!  Clearly, I took a summer hiatus from the blog.  I spent nearly every weekend out of the city at the beach and, to be honest, didn’t do much dating.  However, I recently got back in the game with an end-of-summer date.  Here are the dirty details:

I met Luke online and we went through the requisite steps before meeting up for our date.  He informed me that he would only be able to grab a late-night drink over the following couple of weeks because of a busy work schedule.  I was fine with that, but wasn’t prepared for him to be completely unable to plan it.  That evening, we engaged in a drawn-out text conversation about where to meet:

Luke:  I work at X St. and Y Ave.  There are lots of bars around here, and I assume you’ll be passing through this area.

Me:  I’m actually back up by home already.

Luke:  Okay, I could head up there if you had something in mind.

Me:  Well, I don’t know much near X St. and Y Ave., but have you been to This Bar, which is in between the two of us?

Luke:  No, I haven’t – but there are lots of bars near X St. and Y Ave.  I could suggest something if you come down.

Me: (Feeling annoyed, but knowing I just need to stop this texting).  Okay, I can meet by 9pm – just let me know where to meet you.

Luke:  Let’s meet on the corner of X St. and Y Ave.  We can figure it out from there.

Apparently “lots of bars” were too hard for him to choose from, so we needed to meet on a corner.  Okay, not the best start.  But hey, it’s a date.  I gave myself a little pep talk (“Don’t judge, you may end up having a good time.  This isn’t easy for anyone.”)  Upon exiting the cab, I noticed Luke walking towards me.  He approached with an ass-out, one-limp-armed hug, said “Hey” in the most blah voice ever, and began walking down the street.  His greeting seemed appropriate for a girlfriend who had cheated on him with his best friend, a girlfriend who he was meeting with to have “one last talk” before she officially became his ex.

We went to bar on the corner of the exit of a really busy bridge, so traffic was whizzing by our outdoor table.  A full half-hour passed before Luke asked anything about me.  By that point, I knew where he lived, what he did for work, what school he attended (both grad and undergrad), and his dog’s name and favorite walk route.  Even so, most of his descriptions were limited to a few words.  When I asked him what he’s been doing on the weekends over the summer, he replied, “Not much.”  That was it.  When I asked if he has friends from college in the NY area, he replied, “Yeah, some.”  That was it.  He also went on to mention his ex-girlfriend twice in the span of an hour.

Then I asked about his job – he had moved to NYC a few months earlier and had begun working at a new place.  As a follow-up to the “not much” response regarding his weekend activities, I wondered aloud whether he may have to work a lot on weekends since he’s at a new job.  Luke’s response:  “Yeah, I want to make money, so I work a lot.  Actually, I want to make a lot of money, so I work a lot.”  Well, that’s attractive.

While I was hearing about his college experience, he let me know that he lived near the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.  I responded that it must have been such a strange time to be in New York, and that I could only imagine since I was out of state for school.  Since we were on the topic, I mentioned that my dad actually worked in the World Trade Center and was there on September 11th.  I received a blank stare in response.  Feeling awkward and confused by the lack of response, I nervously added, “Yeah, he worked above the 100th floor and had to walk down.  It was really terrible waiting to hear from him to find out whether he got out, and we were so lucky that he did.”  Luke’s response?  A flat “Yeah, that’s a lot of stairs.”

Ten minutes into this date, it was clear to me that this wasn’t going anywhere.  During the first drink, Luke stepped to the street side of the barrier near our table to smoke a cigarette.  Somehow he slipped through the internet-matching cracks, as I don’t typically get matched with smokers.  Nothing against smokers, but I just know it’s a non-negotiable for me in the dating world.  Later in the evening, I returned from the bathroom to find him smoking again on the street by our table.  As he talked to me, a girl approached him and asked him for a cigarette.  She took it from him and then turned to me. “You’re a lucky girl!”, she exclaimed.  “Oh really?”  I replied.  “Why’s that?”  The girl explained it to me very simply.  “He smokes Parliaments!  Nobody ever smokes Parliaments anymore.  Whenever I bum a cigarette, the person always pulls out Newport Lights.  Newport Lights are disgusting!  Parliaments are the best.  Seriously, you are one lucky girl.”

Yes, I sure am.

Summer Lovin’

28 May

Happy Memorial Day!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted – mostly because I’ve been very busy with work these past couple of months, but also because I haven’t had any new bad dates to report.  This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and hopefully also the unofficial start to a new dating season.  If you look at the J.Crew website or even the Land’s End catalog on your parents’ kitchen table, you’ll be bombarded by images of happy couples, young families, or groups of young people looking carefree and in love.  But if you’re entering the summer season as a single girl, there are some roadblocks along the way.  Here, a list of my gripes about why summer lovin’ is not always about havin’ a blast (sorry, Danny Zuko).

1)  Summer attire.  Summer is the season for weekends at the beach and days spent on boats.  This means baring most of your body in swimsuits.  We’re supposed to accept that it’s just the norm in the summer – if we’re fun, active girls, these are things we do!  Boys like activities – and we like boys who like activities!  But think about it:  Would you ever do this in the winter?   Imagine yourself parading around the streets and walking into bars in lingerie in broad daylight.  Not normal.

2)  Sweat.  New Yorkers relish those first spring days – the thermometer climbs above 60 degrees, the girls pull out their sundresses, and the guys break out the flip flops.  But those temperate days are short-lived and suddenly the pea soup-like humidity descends upon us.  Unless you have jumped on the Botox injection bandwagon, sweating ensues.  I’ve heard about girls out there who “glisten” or “glow” in a beautiful way when they sweat.  I’m not sure this is really the norm.  In fact, I think it’s a myth portrayed by ads in which the girls have been sprayed with a light-mist water bottle, infused with Nars Orgasm blush.  Most of us sweat – it starts on the upper lip and takes over from there.  God forbid you’re wearing a gray cotton shirt or dress.

3) Hair.  See #2 above for the way heat and humidity takes over.  If you’re lucky, you’ve been blessed with some sort of waves or curls.  And even if your hair is pin straight, it likely takes on some sort of funky kink during the summer months.  The humidity wreaks havoc on hair, creating what I like to call a frizz halo.

4) Waxing.  Enough said.

5)  Sunburn.  Ahhh, those women of Latin and Italian descent really have it made when it comes to skin tone.  If you saw me in early summer (i.e., today), you’d have no idea I have Italian ancestors.  My mom could be mistaken for someone from a  country close to the equator.  My brother has a deep tan as of tonight, this third day of “summer.”  Although I can develop a decent tan after several weeks of sun exposure, I am prone to burning in the early days of May and June.  Some people may get a really red chest or fiery shoulders.  Not me.  I know I’m not alone in this one – I’ve seen other women out there with the same affliction.  The blotchy burn.  Random spots on the chest.  A streak here or there on the back.  There is no hiding it during these early days.

6)  The makeup conundrum.  We’ve all been there.  The fun/dreaded social group outing to the beach.  Sure, when you lounge around the pool by yourself or head down to the beach with your two married girlfriends and their kids, you don’t bat a fake eyelash when thinking about makeup.  You don’t wear any.  But what happens when beach time collides with social time?  A group is heading to the beach for a day of fun in the sun, including catching rays and catching waves.  Friends are bringing friends…and maybe there will be single guys there.  You never know.  If you’re the aforementioned Italian woman with bronze, sweat-free (just dewy) skin, you’re A-okay.  But if you’re like the rest of us, you have to weigh your options.  Although sun sometimes helps burn away those pesky breakouts, sweat and sunscreen also lead to serious pore-clogging.  Do you wear some makeup and risk the foundation-colored sweat beads dripping down your face as you chat up the prospective guy?  Or do you just let the blotchy burn and breakouts shine through?

7)  Dehydration.  You’ve been in the sun all day.  You had a few beers on the beach or in the park.  You probably haven’t had enough water – and even if you were chugging water all day, it still isn’t enough.  You leave your friends to go home and get ready for a first date.  You get to dinner and decide to split an icy pitcher of refreshing sangria.  You drink two glasses over getting-to-know-you conversation, and then you excuse yourself to go to the restroom.  You stand up, and it hits you – you’re wasted.  You realize you have a splitting headache and you feel nauseous. Dehydration – it will get you every time.

So, consider yourself warned – there is a lot to consider when it comes to summer dating.  That being said – in my opinion, summer is the best time of the year.  It’s a time to kick back, relax, and really enjoy your weekends.  After spending this past weekend at the beach with family, I am reminded of what summer is really about (at least for me) – being transported back to the carefree months of each year of my childhood when I ran around barefoot, hopped in and out of the pool all day, and rode bikes around the neighborhood with friends.  Despite the difficulties of being a single adult female in the summertime, I have to admit that the magic in the summer air helps me feel like the best version of myself.  Whatever your dating life brings this summer, I hope your version of summer magic outweighs the perils!

HBOhhhh No

31 Mar

Long time no post – sorry for the lapse!  This next post is not so much a “story” as it is a recent personal reflection.  Coming off a six-week stint of dating a really great guy, I was feeling a little bummed earlier this week after we mutually agreed that the “connection” just wasn’t there.  It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized my TV-watching may be to blame!  

The beginnings of this story date back to exactly one year ago, when I met someone who whisked me off into a whirlwind romance.  The night I met him through a friend of a friend, we were out at a bar and there were Jameson shots involved.  He was loud, obnoxious, and 8 years older than me…but somehow, his overly forward nature and flirtation had me intrigued.  Three days after we met, he called to set up a date, and things went from 0 to 60.  I was hesitant about his extreme immediate interest (how could he like me without even knowing me yet?), but I was having fun and told myself that maybe this is how “older men” date – they just “know when they know.”  Within one month, we had been out for dinners, out for drinks, to the comedy club, and to an early season baseball game.  I met his friends, I met his co-workers, and I went out of town with him for the weekend to celebrate his friend’s birthday.  There was a Bachelor-style fantasy suite (okay, there were not roses strewn about, nor was there a hot tub, but still) and there was filet mignon.  This romance ended as quickly as it began, but in the midst of all that, we discovered that we both wanted to find out what the whole Mad Men craze was about.  Towards the end of our month-o-luv, I had season 1 of Mad Men as first in line in my Netflix queue.  Disc 1 arrived, and we cozied up under the down comforter to watch Episode 1.  After the weekend away, we arrived back in the city and promptly watched Episode 2 that night.  Like Don Draper, my whirlwind romance man was tall, dark, and handsome.  Unlike Don Draper, my whirlwind romance man was loud, obnoxious (yes, yes, I knew this from the start)…and proved himself to be a pretty cruel individual. The “relationship” ended, and I was left with Episode 3.

My DVD player taunted me from the other side of my room – “Watch me, watch me!  You need to finish this disc before you can get another one!” (I am a cheap Netflix subscriber with the one-DVD-at-a-time plan.)  Those Mad Men writers already had me hooked, even before Don Draper’s secret past was revealed!  Although it was clear that my whirlwind romance man was a complete ass, the whirlwind romance nature of that previous month left me feeling glum about its end.  It almost felt like Mad Men was part of that month, and I had to purge it from my life.  Thankfully, my DVD player’s taunts won out, and I bravely pressed play.  By the end of Episode 3, all thoughts of Mad Men’s relevance to the whirlwind romance vanished.  I saw something in that dowdy-yet-sassy Peggy Olson – I knew she was going places – and I had to see her through.  Four or five months later, I finished all 4 seasons and was waiting with baited breath, along with the rest of the Mad Men fans, for Season 5 (yes, I was on my couch for 2 hours last weekend).

Fast forward one year, and here we are today.  I joined an online dating site a few months ago and went on my first date with Chris in February.  This was not a whirlwind romance, for which I was glad, as I now know most of those are the rule rather than the exception to it.  Chris was a really great guy who did everything right.  He called instead of texted, asked me out to dinner dates rather than “meeting up out”, and remembered things we had discussed on previous dates (i.e., I don’t like seafood, and my favorite ice cream is cookies-and-cream…very important.)  However, after going out for six weeks or so, we came to the mutual realization that things just weren’t clicking.  We both acknowledged appreciation for having met each other and frustration that “it” wasn’t happening despite the fact that it’s rare to come across a genuinely good person.  With that, we parted ways.  There I was, lying down in bed under my down comforter, with a very familiar feeling.  About to press play on the DVD player remote, I experienced a sudden hesitation.  What was this feeling about?  And then it clicked.  While dating Chris, we discussed our respective must-see TV shows.  I mentioned that I had just caught up on all available seasons of True Blood and commented on how much I enjoy HBO-type hour-long dramas.  Chris mentioned his love for Six Feet Under and strongly suggested I watch it.  So, towards the end of the short time we dated, Six Feet Under took first place in line in my Netflix queue.  I watched Episode 1 on my own.  Chris spent the afternoon with some friends and me on a recent Saturday afternoon, and then he and I came back to my apartment afterwards and watched Episode 2 together.  Sure enough, we stopped dating just after that.

Lying in bed under my duvet cover, about to watch Episode 3 of Six Feet Under, I came to the realization that I suffer from HBO Drama-Inflicted Romance Disorder (yes, I realize Mad Men is on AMC…but it may as well be an HBO drama).  As a psychologist, I am strongly considering proposing this disorder to the writers of the upcoming DSM-V, the newest edition of the diagnostic manual for psychological disorders.  Despite my awareness of being afflicted with this syndrome, I pressed play and soldiered on.  I am happy to report that I recently finished Episode 7 of Six Feet Under and am eagerly awaiting the next disc’s arrival.  Although this is a drama centered around the death of a new person every single week, I won’t let that get me down.  I’m sensing a Peggy Olson-like perseverance in Claire.  This will tide me over, at least until the DVD release of Season 4 of True Blood when I can start relying on Vampire Eric to keep me company during my single days again.

Three’s a Crowd

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day, daters! Here’s a little v-day treat for all of you out there who are going it alone tonight…a reminder that, sometimes, staying home with a glass of wine, pj’s, and a Netflix marathon featuring Tim Riggins/Vampire Eric/insert-your-fave-here is the best way to spend good old February 14th.

Late last summer, an old co-worker/friend, Morgan, was kind enough to think of me and set me up with her friend Mark. Mark was an old high school friend of hers, and their group of high school friends hung out on a regular basis. Morgan said that Mark had recently been talking about wanting to meet a girl, and she knew I was always game for a set-up. She described him as a really sweet guy who also liked to have a lot of fun. He also got good reviews by others – Morgan’s friend Tina, also from their high school, really encouraged the set-up when she heard about it over drinks with Morgan, me, and some other friends. I was glad to hear that this guy sounded pretty cool and, after a few texts (of course) back and forth with him, we set up a date. We went to a local bar and had a couple of casual drinks – it went well, as far as first dates are concerned. The conversation flowed, we laughed, and we had more than one drink (no escape attempt evident on either side). The night ended well – he walked me back to my building and we actually had a not-too-awkward hug goodbye. He was heading out of town that weekend on an annual Labor Day Weekend getaway with his high school crew, but said he’d be in touch when he got back. The following day, before he headed out of town, we exchanged texts about enjoying the night and, again, he said he’d talk to me when he returned. I got an email from Morgan that day, too – she let me know that Mark spoke to her and gave her a rave review of our date, saying that she did a great job setting us up and I was “totally his type.” Of course, I had only met him once at this point, so I wasn’t invested or super excited about him – but I was glad to have had a good date with someone who seemed interested in going out again.

The following week passed by without any word from Mark. Morgan actually had to skip the Labor Day Weekend away with Mark and the rest of the high school crew, so she didn’t have any updates for me on the situation. I was a bit confused, as Mark had independently given good reviews to Morgan without being asked the day after our date, but I figured that he must have just lost interest or gotten lazy – I’d seen this happen with other guys before. Little did I know, everything would become crystal clear the very next weekend.

Morgan’s husband was celebrating his birthday that next Friday night, and a large group (really large – 25 people) gathered for dinner at a downtown restaurant. I hadn’t spoken to Morgan that week, so I wasn’t sure if Mark was coming to dinner. He did end up coming – we exchanged a casual hello and hug during pre-dinner drinks at the bar in the midst of the rest of the crowd. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wondering if we’d have any further conversation, but I wasn’t freaking out about it. I left for 10 minutes or so while we were waiting for our table – I had to go to the ATM to get out some cash. When I returned, most of the group had been seated and there were a few empty seats at the end. I didn’t know many people in the group (most were Morgan’s and her husband’s high school friends), so I was glad when Morgan’s friend Tina sat down on one side of me. A few chairs on the other side of me were empty, and I was pretty surprised when Mark came over at sat directly next to me. “Okay,” I thought “I guess we’ll be talking.”

Mark and I talked casually at the table – he told me the Labor Day Weekend had been pretty crazy and that he came back exhausted. He said that he was sorry he hadn’t gotten in touch that week – that he ended up crashing early every night. At one point, I went to the bathroom and Tina came with me. Since she had been in on the set-up, I was excited to fill her in and let her know about the “awkwardness” of the night – that I had gone out with Mark the week before and that this was the first time I was seeing him again, without having heard from him. I was surprised by her lackluster reaction – she said something like, “Oh, well we were all away this past weekend.” It was unlike the fun/girly enthusiasm she showed when she originally heard about the set-up, but I just dropped it and went back to the table. That’s when everything changed.

I sat back down and everyone was mingling around the table during a break in between appetizers and entrees. Another friend from the company at which Morgan and I used to work had been sitting next to Morgan during dinner at the other end of the table. She came over to me, biting her bottom lip and looking at me with hesitant dread and pity. She told me that Morgan had just found out some information I needed to know: Tina and Mark hooked up during the big Labor Day Weekend. My friend let me know that Morgan spoke with Mark that day – he reported that this was the result of a very drunken night. Mark knew that Tina was interested in pursuing things further, but he said that he wasn’t interested. Furthermore, he told Morgan that he really liked me and had a great time on our date – it was just a fluke that this drunken weekend followed. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. Tina and Mark hooked up. Tina and Mark, who had known each other for years and had been nothing but friends until 2 days after my date with Mark. Mark, who chose the seat next to me at dinner when others were available. Tina, who had encouraged me to go out with Mark when Morgan wanted to set us up. Tina, who I just attempted to have a girl-talk session with in the bathroom about my date with Mark and how I hadn’t heard from him since. Tina and Mark, who were sitting on either side of me at dinner, which was about to be served as everyone took their respective seats again.

All I could do was laugh at myself and the situation. We finished dinner and, of course, I didn’t mention anything. Based on Morgan’s report, it sounded like Mark may actually really be interested in going out with me again. Although I wasn’t chomping at the bit to go out again in the first place, never mind after hearing about the big weekend, I wouldn’t have ruled it out. He wasn’t the only one who has ever had a drunken weekend. I was fine with taking things as they came, maybe going out again if he asked – I would see what happened.

Mark left dinner early to meet some other friends. Everyone was finishing their drinks, and Tina went outside for a smoke break with a few others. About 45 minutes later, the rest of us left the restaurant. There was Mark (45 minutes after he had “left”), close-talking with Tina on the sidewalk and kissing her goodbye as they parted ways. After a brief one-minute foot stomp, I shook my head and laughed. Clearly, I wasn’t mad or hurt – I hardly knew these people and neither of them owed me anything. To be honest, I was rooting for them in a way – who doesn’t like a good “we’ve been friends for years, but now we realize there’s more to it!” love story. At the very least, I had recently started this blog, and smiled at the thought of yet another story.

Where it’s at

26 Jan

Hey Manhattanites (and fellow borough-ites)!  A friend shared this with me a few days ago…a map of the ratio of single men to single women in different neighborhoods of the NY boroughs.  Check it out – Best Neighborhoods in New York to Meet Singles.  Three observations:

(1) My neighborhood, the Upper East Side, is apparently a place where single women go to die surrounded by their cats (thank God I’m allergic to cats).

(2) I’m starting to understand recent experiences I’ve had while visiting some of the single male-dominated areas for work:

– A mystery man paying for my sandwich in a Washington Heights deli

– A shout-out (“Be-yoo-ti-ful!”) from a man on the street in the High Bridge area of the Bronx

– And my personal fave, a passing comment from a man in the Mott Haven area of the Bronx – “Hey there shorty…”

(3) Perhaps a part-time job running the Cyclone at Coney Island is in my future.

How does your nabe stack up?

 

Should I Text Him? – A Comprehensive Flowchart

6 Jan

I know a few people who could use this app...

Happy Friday!  So, I deleted my last post due to some family-related feedback.  One piece of feedback was that the verbatim text log was too mean.  The other piece of feedback was that, since I really know nothing about the Texting Bandit, it is entirely possible that he could come across the blog post and stalk me down.  With that scary thought, and the desire to make 2012 a better year (which would require me being alive), I removed it.  

On a texting note of a different nature, I got this link from a friend this week.  I appreciate her willingness to add to the blog, even though she is happily married for several years.  She is not a “smug married”, a la Bridget Jones, but rather someone I like to think of as a “fun married” – goes out with me on her own, as well as with her hilarious husband.  In fact, just last week, the three of us shared a bowl of soup at a restaurant – and I’m not kidding (sadly).

So, check out this flowchart, Should I Text Him?, posted by user “beccaclason” on the website visual.ly.  Be sure to take a peak today – this one is just in time for the weekend!  Perhaps you should add it to your phone, connected to “his” name in your contact list, so that it pops up just about the time you’re about to send that fateful text.  Enjoy!

Where do they get these things??

18 Nov

Sorry about the "clipart" - this pic really just does him justice.

Happy Friday!  This is a story from my early days in San Diego.   My first year out there was full of meeting new friends, settling into school, and getting used to wearing flip-flops year-round (not too difficult to do).  That year in romance included a bunch of time being single, a short stint of dating someone for a couple of months, and then focusing on training for and running the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon where I went back to crushing on skinny runners like I had in my early college days on the track and cross country teams (somehow those crushes were always just that – crushes.  I think I need someone with more body fat than I have).  Suddenly, it was the fall of 2005, and I had just come back from a summer of fun lifeguarding back on Long Island and enjoying all the things that went along with it (sand, sun, fit & tan boys, and every night being a weekend night).  It seemed like a good time to try out match.com again, so on I went.  Once again, I joined with a friend.  She met a guy who liked to go on picnics and fly kites (I know – what?  But she liked that for a week or so).  I met this guy:

It was the second time I tried out match.com – the first being when I was living in DC and just a couple of years out of college.  This time, I told myself, I was ready to meet someone.  I sat with my friends and analyzed and re-analyzed my profile:  Does that sentence sound stupid?  Will he be intimidated if I’m honest and say I’m in graduate school?  Wait, are thunderstorms supposed to be a turn-on?  Does the picture of me with that stupid hat on make me look like fun, or like a dumbass?  I finally approved and submitted some form of myself, and the “winking” began. 

After a week or so, I got an email from “an older man.”  Not the creepy self-named “silver foxes” from whom I was accustomed to getting the occassional email, but rather a 31 year-old teacher.  I was 25 at the time, and I hadn’t dated anyone more than 2 years older than me.  He only had one picture (red flag!  Who knows what he really looks like!?) but his email seemed okay.  It basically was some version of saying hello, commenting on something I wrote in my profile, and asking a question about something I mentioned.  In the world of online dating, that kind of email is a diamond in the rough, a gem among emails like SUBJECT:  Just had to let you know…  BODY:  …you are absolutely stunning.  Or better yet – SUBJECT:  (none)  BODY:  DAMN girl!  Maybe at 22, the 31 year-old teacher with one photo and a simple email wouldn’t have caught my attention.  But at 25, this wasn’t my first rodeo…I knew I should run with it.

A couple of emails were exchanged and he asked me if I’d like to meet up.  He said he’d come to my neighborhood, so I suggested a casual bar/restaurant where you could sit and grab a beer, order food from the counter, and play shuffle board if you wanted.  Upon first meeting him, I decided that his sole picture must’ve been taken when he was 25 – he looked much older in person.  At the age of 25, this scared me a little bit because I didn’t really even have friends over the age of 30 at that point (yes, I now realize this was totally naive and stupid of me).  But, I put that thought behind me and we went inside. 

We made small talk for a while at the bar.  We were ready to order some food, but he had never been there before so he asked me what was good on the menu.  I told him that the teriyaki steak sandwich was incredible.  I mentioned that I get it almost every time I come in because it’s so good.  He asked me to describe more about it, so I was raving about how it has this really good sauce on it, is perfectly cooked, etc.  After giving him a chef’s description of the sandwich, he got up to go over to the window to order and said to me in a goofy voice, “Okay…that’ll be one chicken salad for you, and a flounder sandwich for me.”  He laughed as if he was telling a joke – and I was left thinking, “Wait, was that supposed to be funny?”  I figured out after a minute that he must’ve thought it was funny to pretend he’d order something other than the steak sandwich for me when I had just raved about it.  “Okay,” I thought, “not exactly funny, but whatever.”

He returned to the bar after ordering and we continued talking.  Since we were on the apparently hilarious topic of food, he asked me if I’d ever tried the chicken tacos at a particular restaurant.  I hadn’t, and he began telling me how amazing they were.  With excitement in his voice he said, “They are the best chicken tacos in the world!”  “Wow”, I replied, “I’ll definitely have to try them sometime.”  I barely finished getting that sentence out of my mouth when he interrupted me and said in that goofy voice again,”Okay, okay, wait – not the best chicken tacos in the world…the best chicken tacos in the galaxy!”  Oh jeez, another “joke” that is apparently supposed to be funny, but isn’t.  I laughed politely and, thankfully, our food arrived shortly after that.  He did order me the teriyaki steak sandwich, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Needless to say, the date wasn’t a thrilling success, so I conveniently decided I had to leave earlier than expected to pick up a friend at the airport.  He went to the bathroom as I got ready to leave, and we met at the front door of the bar.  As he came out of the bathroom, he approached me with a big, goofy smile.  In that same goofy voice he asked, “Ready Freddy?”  I forced a small chuckle in response to that and said, “Yes, I’m ready.” 

His reply?  “Wait a minute…YOU’RE not Freddy!”

I can’t even comment on this story.  What could I possibly say to follow the true ending of that date?

Ah, the innocence of youth

4 Nov

Just a quick share from last night:  I was out grabbing drinks with my roommate and her younger boyfriend (who is a great guy, btw).  We tried to round up some others and even thought a couple of them might meet up.  But, it just ended up being me, the two of them, and a guy friend of her boyfriend’s – who happens to be 24 and who was waiting for his own younger girlfriend to arrive.  “Okay,” I thought, “this isn’t the kind of night I had in mind, but who cares – it’s Thursday, we have margaritas (and mine is pomegranate hibiscus!), my roommate and her boyfriend are great, this guy is nice, and I’m sure his girlfriend will be, too.”  While waiting for his girlfriend to arrive, the 24 year-old friend (who hadn’t learned much about me at this point) says:  “Ugh, I was walking over here just now to meet you guys, and I passed a bar.  It was full of people our age, and it just looked so awful in there.  It just made me SO glad I’m not a part of the NY singles scene!  I mean, if I was single now, I’d probably end up being single for the next FIVE years – it’s horrible!”  I didn’t think that was the best time for me to say, “Hi, my name is Melissa, I’m single, and I’m 31.”

We’re not alone!

2 Nov

A friend recently sent me this link.  I was glad to see that even celebrities have bad dates.  This is a link to Tori Spelling’s site, where you can read about her worst date of all time.  I don’t know about you, but this guy sounds like Mario Lopez to me…dimples, just getting popular at the time, and they WERE on Saved by the Bell together when she played Screech’s nerdy girlfriend Violet! (Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about).  Check it out…and remember, send me YOUR stories!

Click here to see Tori’s worst date

We met at a bar…

24 Oct

This next story is my own – a blast from the past from my first foray into online dating.  Looking back, it now seems fitting that my first online dating experience was comically disastrous.  It was just a sign of things to come!

For the first two years after college, I lived in DC with all of my college friends.  It was like an extension of college – all the same people, just in a different place.  I lived in a brownstone that was divided into four apartments, three of which were full of girls from school.  We had barbecues on our back deck, went out to the bars together in Georgetown and Adams Morgan, and watched “Autobiography”, the sensational MTV reality show about Ashlee Simpson.  It was a wonderful couple of years and, looking back, it seems ridiculous that I tried online dating at that time.  But, I think it was boredom that eventually led my good friend and I to match.com.  Although we were having fun, we were constantly spending time with the same guys we had been around for the past 6 years.  We knew there was more out there, and we thought it would be fun to jump into the online dating world together.

I got my first email from Alex Sampson months before we actually met.  He was new to online dating too, so we exchanged a million emails before moving on to the actual meet-up.  I learned a lot about him during this time – about his family, his job, his friends.  Once we exchanged information about the colleges we had attended, he revealed that he worked with someone from my school.  When he mentioned Jonah’s name, I could hardly believe it.  Not only did I know Jonah, our groups of friends spent a lot of time together in DC.  There had always been a harmless flirtation between Jonah and I, but there was nothing more to it.  I immediately wanted to email him to ask him to give me more dirt on Alex, when I was stopped in my tracks by a sentence in Alex’s email:  “Jonah doesn’t know I am doing match.com – nobody in my office does.”  I laughed at first because I knew that Jonah was an avid Jdater, already searching for the perfect Jewish girl.  I also knew that Jonah advertised this fact the same way he talked about what he ate for dinner the night before, so I mentioned it to Alex.  Alex knew all about Jonah’s online dating – he shared some funny quips about Jonah’s sharing profiles with his office mates.  Still, Alex was not comfortable telling Jonah, or anyone for that matter, about his own online dating life.  Although I wasn’t going around advertising my match.com membership, I didn’t mind if people knew – but I respected Alex’s wish for privacy and held back from asking Jonah about him.

Shortly after the revelation of the Alex/Jonah connection, Alex finally asked me out.  I got an email from him on a Wednesday.  He asked me to meet him at Clyde’s, a popular bar/restaurant, the next Tuesday.  I said yes, and received an email back saying he was looking forward to it.  But, Alex was no dummy.  Also in the email:  “So, I couldn’t resist asking Jonah about you!  I told him that I randomly met you out at Clyde’s this past week.  I figured it wasn’t too much of a lie since we’re actually going there next week.  So, if he asks, just go along with it!”  Greaaaat.  Although this actually gave me an “in” to be able to ask Jonah about Alex, I preferred to say nothing because I have never been a good liar.  I just wanted to avoid seeing Jonah between Thursday and Tuesday so that I wouldn’t have to discuss it and blow Alex’s cover with my inability to keep a straight face.  In the meantime, I began thinking about what I’d wear on the long-awaited date, how I’d do my hair, etc.  I had fashion shows with the girls at home and began getting excited (remember, this was my very first online date).

That Saturday, my night started off in a pretty typical way.  A bunch of the girls and I went over to Adams Morgan to pre-game at our friend’s apartment (pre-gaming was a very important ritual at the time).  About 30 minutes into Power Hour, I went to the bathroom.  Halfway through peeing, two of my girlfriends busted into the bathroom, nearly taking the door down.  “What?!”, I screamed.  Their faces held expressions of shock, gravity, and amusement, all at the same time.  “Alex Sampson is here”, one of them finally said.  I was so confused.  It was my turn for an expression of shock and gravity, but there was no amusement in it for me.  “He just walked in with Jonah and two other guys”, they continued.  Of course.  Jonah was also friends with the pre-game hostess.  Of course this would be the night that he happened to bring a few co-workers along with him.  I knew from Alex’s emails that he lived 45 minutes outside of DC, so he didn’t make it into the city to go out much.  Why tonight?!  My thoughts and comments to the girls went from, “Why is he here?” to “This is NOT the outfit I was going to wear on our date!” to “Oh no, I have to pretend that I already know him!!”  I took some deep breaths and left the bathroom as calm, cool, and collected as possible, nonchalantly tossing my hair over my shoulder and laughing, as if the girls and I had just been touching up our makeup and sharing funny stories.

I entered the living room and spotted Jonah talking with three guys, one of whom was clearly Alex Sampson, just as he appeared in the photos.  Jonah began introducing me to them:  “This is Chris, and Max, and, of course, you already know Alex!”  I think the awkwardness of the moment has blocked out my actual reaction from my memory.  I can’t clearly remember what kind of fake response I mumbled to go along with the fact that I was supposed to know him, along with trying to manage my reaction to actually meeting him for the first time.  I do know there was a very awkward hug involved.  We ended up sitting on the couch and talking for a while.  He was perfectly nice and was attractive, and although it was somewhat fun, the strangeness of the situation overtook the enjoyment.  When he went to the bathroom, Jonah cozied up next to me on the couch and peppered me with questions:  “So…tell me everything!  How did he approach you at the bar?  Did you like him right away?”  Ugh, it was my lying nightmare, taking me back to high school when I had to lie to my parents about there being boys at the party.  But, I kept Alex’s secret.  We all went to the bars and Alex left shortly afterwards because he had a long drive home.

As if the night wasn’t tumultuous enough, there was even more fun to come.  After Alex left, Jonah came over to talk to me.  He asked me more questions, and I finally turned it around on him and asked him to give me the dirt on Alex.  He basically told me all good things about their work relationship but didn’t have much info other than that.  Throughout the rest of the night, I couldn’t help but notice that Jonah was being more “touchy-feely” than usual.  As I mentioned earlier, there had always been a harmless flirtation between us.  However, this seemed different.  And I knew I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it.  By the end of the night, he called it like it was.  He told me he was interested in me, that he’d like to go out on a date, but now he didn’t want to step on Alex’s toes.  Could this night get any more ridiculous?!  I wanted to scream out, “I NEVER EVEN MET ALEX BEFORE TONIGHT!!!  WE’VE EXCHANGED NOTHING BUT EMAILS!!”  But, I really did want to go on that date with Alex and get to know him, so I didn’t want to out him.  Still, being 23, I was enjoying the attention from Jonah and didn’t want to close that door for someone I had just met in person an hour earlier.  So, after a few harmless, tension-filled “forbidden kisses” outside Jonah’s building doorway, I got in a cab and headed home.

The hijinks basically ended there.  I did go out with Alex the following week and we had a handful of dates afterwards.  I put Jonah on the back burner and tried to see where things with Alex would go.  After several dates, I just wasn’t feeling it with Alex and I had to let him know I wasn’t interested in dating anymore.  Once it was over, Jonah and I “gave it a go” (read: a few drunken nights out with friends).  We quickly realized that there wasn’t much more there than flirtatious tension, which was a good thing since me not being Jewish would’ve been a deal-breaker for the son of a rabbi.  I was Alex-less, and Jonah-less, and had been catapulted into the exciting world of dating to come for the next 8 years (and counting).

Well, I hope you all enjoyed some laughs at my expense.  And, I hope that this story will inspire you to share more of your own!  An important comment about this story – Alex Sampson was a pretty great guy.  Looking back, I was just not at a point in my life where I was actually looking for a relationship, although I didn’t really know it at the time.  Strange as it seems, Alex Sampson gives me hope that there are some good online dating prospects out there!  Hmmm, I wonder where Alex Sampson is these days?  This might call for a Facebook project.