Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turns out I can't even BUY myself a boyfriend

In May 2009 I ventured to the Canal Room to see one of my very favorite singer/songwriters perform. I wasn't familiar with the act opening for him, but enjoyed her performance as much as the man I'd come to see. Rose was backed by four gentlemen: a keyboardist, a guitarist, a drummer and an upright bassist. When Rose introduced her band at the end of her set, she announced that 3/4 of the men were single (sorry ladies, the keyboardist had a girlfriend!) and she'd auction them off to the highest bidder if we approached her with an offer. I was so pleased! I'd had my eye on Phil, the string bassist, for the past hour. Tall, dark, handsome, sophisticated, and could he move those fingers! Watching him play was poetry in motion. However, I couldn't tell whether Rose was joking about the auction or not... either option seemed equally plausible to me.

I found Rose mingling with the crowd between sets and told her how much I had loved her music, admitting that I had never heard of her before but was now a fan... "and by the way, I'll give you five dollars for Phil." Rose looked absolutely delighted. She said she'd attempted the auction at every stop on their tour and I was the first person to take her up on it. She began searching the crowd for Phil, but he was nowhere to be seen. That was just fine with me, as I hadn't expected her to grab him immediately and declare he'd been sold (and that the highest bid was a mere five bucks)! She then told me to meet her at her merch table at the end of the night.

Before heading out after the last band, I made my way to Rose's merch table as promised. There was a line, but when she looked up and I caught her eye, she beckoned me to the front. She dialed her phone and simply said, "hey Phil, she's here" then hang up and said to me, "he'll be over in a minute." And in less than sixty seconds, there he was. Rose continued to ignore her waiting fans to introduce me to Phil, and then we talked for ten minutes or so. I apologized for only bidding five dollars, but said I hoped he could understand the life of a starving artist. He laughed and asked me about me: What part of the city did I live in? How often did I go to shows? What did I do for a living? He was adorable and sweet and took my number, putting it directly into his phone and asking for a precise spelling of my first and last name for accuracy. He said he was honored I had bid on him and that we definitely had to get together for a drink.

Of course he never called. And it was such a fun experience that I almost don't mind, and yet I do. Wouldn't that be the best "How I Met Your Mother" Story to tell the kids? "I was auctioned off at a concert and she bought me for five dollars." I've seen Rose perform a couple of times since then, but she now has a new string bassist. And I now have my eye on the drummer...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lessons Learned From An Eight Year-old's Broken Heart

I’ve been on a series of good dates recently with several gentlemen (two of whom actually paid, which I have found to be a rare thing these days and -- call me old-fashioned -- I think the man should do on a first date).  But, not to fear, for regardless of  the recent evidence that there just may be some decent men left in the world (whether or not they are my perfect match, they’re at least out there), this blog is not doomed, for I was having my heart broken long before I knew the first thing about the birds and the bees.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the tale of my very first broken heart.

His name was Charlie.  And for a few fleeting days I was the envy of 40 eight year-old girls because Charlie was mine.  He was my boyfriend for two or three days when we decided the next logical step was to get married.  This was something I took extremely seriously, perhaps far more seriously than I will someday take my real wedding.  Charlie asked his friend Andrew to be the Best Man and I asked my best friend Elisha to be my Maid of Honor.  The ceremony was set for the following day at recess, by the swing set.

I remember rushing home after school to tell my mom the good news.  She was, of course, quite ecstatic for me and made sure my favorite dress was washed and ready to serve as my wedding gown in the morning.  She even french-braided my hair, something we rarely took the time to do before school.  Only for very special occasions, to be sure.

When I got to school I approached Charlie, batting my eyes and twirling in my dress to ask if he was ready for our big day.  Charlie responded that he had changed his mind about marrying me and that Dana was now his girlfriend.  I turned and walked away, devastated.  I still think of that moment every time I think of complete heartbreak.  Charlie moved away a few years later and I never saw him again.  However, with the recent advantages of Facebook I found him recently -- he shares a Facebook page with his girlfriend.  Why don’t you twist the knife a little deeper, Charlie?  Though in Charlie’s defense I must say that he taught some very valuable lessons: Never get married on a day’s notice, or to someone you’ve been dating for three days.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dear Diary 1994: He loves me, he loves me not. I love him, I love him not.

A series of diary entries from last week and this coming week, 1994.  You’re welcome.

Nov. 14, 1994: NATHAN KINDA LIKES ME!  Amanda is going to take me skating on Friday.  Nathan’s going, too.  He said that he will couple-skate with Amanda first, then Kristin, then me.  Should I say yes?  Maybe - Maybe not.  See ya!

Nov. 17, 1994: Nathan doesn’t like me.  I don’t like him much either.  He’s only couple-skating with Mandy.  He doesn’t like Kristin much anymore either.  I’m starting to get a crush on Jason.  He was a new boy last year.  He’s really funny and sorta cute.  He’s number 6 on my Top 5 List of Guys.  Got to go!  See ya!

Nov. 18, 1994: I changed by mind about not liking Nate.  I LOVE him.  Tonight he asked Amanda to couple-skate and she said “no” because she can’t skate good.  Then he asked me and I said “yes.”  So we did.  Half-way through the couple-skate Nathan said “God, how many times do we have to go around this thing?”  One of my friends was skating around the middle of the rink clapping at Nate and I when we went by.  When Mandy and I left she said, “Bye, Nathan.  I love you” and Nathan said, “Bye, Mandy.  I love you, too.”  When we were at the rink I wanted to tell Nathan I loved him.  I just couldn’t, though.  So I said, “Nathan, I really really like…” I was so embarrassed I skated away before I could say “you.”  I told Amanda that I was never going to wash the hand Nathan was holding to skate.  Amanda told him and he made a weird face.  I said I was sorry and he said, “That’s okay, I like when people talk about me like that.  It makes me feel good.”  I LOVE NATHAN!

Nov.  26, 1994: Amanda called me today.  Yes, she couple-skated with Nate last night, but I don’t care.  There is an all-day skate on Monday.  Nate told Mandy to bring me.  That made my day.  If I forgot to mention, he KINDA likes me again.  Just KINDA.  Oh, at our pizza party on Friday at school, Jason didn’t want his soda.  He asked who wanted it.  He gave it to me!  How romantic!  (Not?)

Nov. 28, 1994: Nate doesn’t just KINDA like me.  He loves me.  Today he dumped Amanda for me.  Then he started to like her again.  So now he’s two-timing us.  This may sound pretty strange, but we don’t care just as long as he still likes us.  Nate and I have this thing that every time we see each other we say, “Hey Baby.”  Mandy dared me to mouth “I love you” to Nate.  He said something like, “Don’t be embarrassed, I love you, too.”  I was so grateful.  He says he likes Amanda better, but I don’t care.  Just as long as he likes me.  I MISS NATE SO MUCH!  We’ve only been apart about seven hours.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sloppy Seconds

Two years ago I went out with a man named Hunter. We ate tacos and drank margaritas, moved to a second location for a round of drinks, then moved to a third bar to top off the evening. We discussed everything from baseball to politics and spent a good chunk of time trying to outdo each other with bad Mitch Hedberg impersonations. I considered it an excellent sign that he was interested in spending so much time on a first date; after all, it was a weeknight and we had hit up three bars! Totally living on the edge. If a dude really wanted to escape, wouldn't he chow down on his taco and hightail it out of there? Thinking that perhaps I'd been scaring men away by coming on too strongly on a first date, I decided to play it cool with Hunter and not go in for my usual "I know it's only been one date, but I like you so please call me" kiss. Much to my delight and surprise, Hunter initiated said kiss instead, and what a lovely kiss it was! He also said he'd like to see me again and would give me a call early the next week.

Monday: no call.
Tuesday: no call.
Wednesday: no call.
(It was no longer early in the week, but maybe he was really busy...)
Thursday: no call.
Friday: no call.

I gave up hope and cried, nay, sobbed myself to sleep. It wasn't Hunter I was crying over, really. It was men. I was exhausted from too much disappointment and heartbreak and angry for allowing myself to be lead on and get my hopes up so many damn times. My sister came in and comforted me as usual and I felt a little better... but someone who's been in steady relationships since she was 13 can't really understand the way it feels (Note: Sister, if you're reading this, I by no means wish to make light of your own heartbreaks. I know that you, too, have suffered. I'm just emphasising how alone I felt in this particular type of heartbreak. End note).

As with all such heartaches, I got over it.

A month later, I disembarked from the train and walked right by Hunter. I took several steps before realizing I had passed him, then turned around to see if he had noticed me. He was staring right at me. Feeling awkward, I kept walking, then decided to turn around again. He was looking away, but then looked back at me. We both kept looking at each other, then away, until I had walked far enough that he was no longer in my eyesight. That was the last I saw of Hunter. For a while, anyway.

The next year, I was living in a new apartment with new roommates and the three of us often compared date stories. One of my roommates had just gone out with a new guy that she was really digging and was gushing about the great time they'd had. I asked her his name. It was Hunter. That's how small New York really is, ladies and gentlemen: my random roommate and I ended up dating the same guy. My face visibly registered shock so I told my roommate about my own experience with Hunter. Then I went to my room because I finally had a boyfriend and he was waiting for me on my bed. Boo-yah!

But back to Hunter... my roommate told him about the crazy coincidence and he claimed to not remember ever dating someone with my name. That's either bullshit, or an illustration of what a jackass he really is. Sure, we went on one date, but only one year had gone by since then. Is it really that difficult to remember the first name of someone you spent several hours with, laughing and having a good time? Maybe I just take it for granted that I remember the name of every person I've ever met.

My roommate's relationship with Hunter didn't last very long, either. On their second date, he told her he'd like to be friends. Which they were, for a few weeks. He was coming out of the apartment once as I was going in and though he nodded to me and acknowledged my presence, showed no sign of recognition. Their friendship fizzled shortly after that. I think my roommate realized that, like myself, she had enough friends and no room for gigglefests with men who don't want to date us. At any rate, I was more than happy to offer this girl my sloppy seconds. Sucker.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eric - The Saga's Final Chapter

It is finally time for the final chapter in the Eric Saga for which you have all waited to patiently.  (If you're new around these parts, I recommend reading posts from May 22 and July 26 first).  So without further ado...

To recap: Eric had left me alone in his apartment (the morning after I realized I was in love with him) while he went to coach a track meet.  In attempting to check my email on his computer, I found cyber sex IMs between Eric and an anonymous internet lover.  I fled the scene and Eric returned to an empty apartment and proceeded to get furious at me for invading his privacy.  He maintained he had done nothing wrong.

A while after the IM incident took place and I abandoned camp, Eric emailed me these liner notes from the Pearl Jam album Vitalogy:

I waited all day, you waited all day, but you left before sunset.  And I just wanted to tell you the moment was beautiful.  Just wanted to dance to bad music, drive bad cars, watch bad TV... should have stayed for the sunset, if not for me.

And I cried.  Even now I tear up when I read those lines and think about it.  Things like that always got me crawling back and he knew it; he knew my weaknesses.  (Note: I thought the above lines courtesy of Eddie Vedder were just for me, but I noticed one day that Eric had posted them on another girl's MySpace Wall.  The same girl he had the inappropriate IM chat with.  Awesome).

The sad truth is that it took far too many fuck-ups for me to learn my lesson.  So after avoiding his calls, but listening to his voicemail begging and pleading for three months, I gave in and called him.  I missed the sick bastard.  There is absolutely zero explanation for this because not only did Eric treat me like shit, but he was arrogant, manipulative and unattractive.  But somehow, despite all that, I found him irresistibly charming.  I saw his constant calls as pathetically sweet: He misses me that much?  Instead of seeing them for what they were: Wow, you are one sick bastard who preys upon women by manipulating them and you get off on it!  I refuse to take full responsibility for the suffering he put me through.  Yes, I was a complete idiot to go back so many times, but he was so damn persistent in his manipulations and knew how to get me to give in.

But yes, I did give in and eventually called Eric back.  We talked on the phone periodically and two months later he came to visit me.  I was working in a Barnes & Noble at the time and he met me there about an hour before closing, sat on the floor of the Children's Department and read Dr. Seuss while I worked.  It was around Halloween, so we went back to my apartment and he read me Poe's "The Black Cat" by candlelight on my fire escape while we imbibed in some delicious wine.  It was romantic (even though I had sworn off further romance between myself and Eric) and I was genuinely happy to be in his company once again.  I couldn't deny that we made a good team (when he wasn't being a sociopath).

I drank too much that night and ended up getting pretty sick, but Eric was a trooper and took care of me.  He rubbed my back and held my hair while I knelt over the toilet.  I woke up in my pajamas, in my bed, my face nestled safely in his armpit, and I was happy.  We went for a long walk in the morning, a perfect Fall day and I was sad to see him drive away that afternoon.  Fall is Eric's favorite time of year and we had some pretty amazing days together during that season: apple picking, throwing football, reading Poe, going for walks to admire the foliage.  Eric once told me that Autumn always made me think of me.  I hope it still does.  And I hope when it does, he realizes he's pathetic and I was far too good for him.

So yeah, things were going pretty well for a while.  We talked on the phone almost every day (and I hate talking on the phone).  Even though we were not romantically involved anymore, we used each other as outlets for sexual frustrations... but since we never saw each other, this consisted only of what could be achieved through the use of telephones.  I refuse to elaborate because I'm ashamed of it, but you can draw your own conclusions.  Eric always maintained he was single, a point I was adamant about because I did not ever want to be the other woman he was getting his kicks with while actually dating someone else.  I had been on the other side of that and it wasn't a fun place to be.  So we played our little games.  Sometimes I enjoyed it and sometimes he guilted and manipulated me into getting his way.  But giving in was easier than dealing with his whiny guilt trips.  Oddly enough I considered him one of my best friends.  I told him everything about my life and went to him when I was upset.  Somehow, when he wasn’t the thing that was making me upset, he always managed to make me feel better.

While things were going well, I kept trying to get him to come up and visit me again.  He seemed eager to do so, we would plan for a weekend, but he'd call Friday evening around the time he was supposed to be leaving and cancel on me.  He always had an excuse.  Once it was because his dad was sick and he had to stick around to look after him, once it was because an uncle unexpectedly came to visit, once it was because the week had just been so busy and he was behind in grading and grades were due on Monday... you get the idea.  I was suspicious, of course, but he always sounded so damn genuine!  God, I am a sucker.

The final straw came in January when we had a weekend visit planned.  By this time I knew to expect a call on Friday night to bail on me.  And sure enough, my phone rang around 6:00:

"Hey... I just don’t think I can make it up tonight."
"I know, I know.  And I'm really sorry, I am, but...
"Okay, what came up this time?"
"I had a doctor's appointment and he found a lump.  I don't have the test results yet, but he thinks it's probably Testicular Cancer."
"What?  Are you serious?
"Yeah, so I probably have Cancer and I just don't really feel like making the trip tonight."
"Oh.  Wow.  Okay.  But it might not be Cancer.  You don't know yet.  So yeah, take it easy this weekend and let me know when you hear something..."

That was the gist of our conversation.  So I hung up, but remained suspicious.  Was it possible Eric really had Cancer?  Sure.  But after the excuses and other various stunts he pulled I the past, it seemed unlikely.  I wasn't convinced enough that he was lying to blatantly call him out on it, but skeptical enough to call him back and question about it further.

I asked him more questions about his doctor's appointment and though he gave satisfying answers, I was still upset that he stood me up yet again.  I argued that if he really might have Cancer, wouldn't he like to be with someone who has always been able to cheer him up (me)?  Apparently not.  Sure, I felt a little bit guilty to be giving him such a hard time, but I was feeling very let down and didn't quite believe the story he was feeding me.  While on the line, I heard a door slam, immediately followed by a girl screaming at him.  Well, this was certainly an interesting turn of events!  What the hell was going on?  Eric asked me if I'd hold on a minute and presumably slipped his phone in his pocket, but I was still connected on the other end.

I proceeded to listen to twenty minutes of fighting between Eric and girl (whose name I think was Maria so that is what I will call her).  What I learned from the angry shouting match was that Maria was not only Eric's girlfriend, she lived with him.  I do not know exactly what they were fighting over, but she was extremely pissed off and called Eric "controlling" and "manipulative."  Even though I couldn't tell what the fight was about, I found I agreed with everything Maria was saying about Eric's nature and took her side.  Before my connection was lost I heard Eric yelling that he wanted her gone and she better not take her set of keys.

I waited a while and called Eric back and asked, "what was that all about?"  His reply: "What was what all about?"  I hadn't realized until this point that he had completely forgotten he'd never hung up the phone after talking to me.  I informed him that I had listened to no less than twenty minutes of the verbal warfare.  Of course, he once again berated me for invading his privacy, but couldn't put up much of an argument since he was the one that forgot I was still on the line.  He nonetheless tried to make it all my fault.  After that futile attempt, he moved onto other excuses: "We aren't even dating!  She's just crazy."  And my personal favorite: "I don't know how she even got in!"  I told him she probably came in the front door with her set of keys, at which point he became flustered and I informed him I was hanging up.

Suddenly, it all made sense.  The reason he always cancelled on me at the last minute was because he couldn't very well tell a live-in girlfriend he was going to New York to visit a friend with "benefits" for the weekend.  The reason he always called me at 3:00 in the afternoon and left voicemails that said "Hey, what are you up to?  Thought I could catch you now."  (Of course you won't get me at 3:00 in the afternoon!  He knew damn well I worked a 10-6 and couldn't take calls during that time).  But he couldn't very well call me while he was at home in the evenings with Maria, could he?  What an asshole.  I was beyond livid.  I don't know if there are adequate words to describe the anger and betrayal I felt.

I gave myself the weekend to cool off, all the while ignoring his repeated efforts at communication with me.  I knew I had to put an end to it, but dreaded that final call.  Sweet lord I hate confrontation.  Monday night, rehearsed dialogue in mind, I called Eric and said those four words no one ever wants to hear: "we need to talk."  He was attentive and did not try to interrupt me as I told him that I had been on both ends of his betrayals.  I knew how Maria would feel if she knew about me and I couldn't stand that he had put me in that position without my knowledge.  He had been incredibly dishonest, and furthermore, I had put up with his deception, manipulation and emotional abuse for far too long.  In closing, I said, "If you really do have Testicular Cancer, I wish you the best, but please do not ever contact me again.  This is where it ends."  He put up no argument.  In fact, in a rare show of complacency, he said, "You're right.  I'm so sorry."  And that was that, but unfortunately even that was not the last I'd hear from him.

He texted me five minutes later to say that his life was in shambles and he was a confused idiot because of it.  He told me I deserved someone a million times better than him and wanted nothing but the best for me and thanked me for staying in his life as long as I did.

I did not respond.

However, a week later I received a desperate voicemail from Eric, begging me to call him because he really needed to talk to me.  Fearful that the Cancer prognosis was in fact true, I called him back immediately.  The Eric on the other end of the line was calm and collected: "Hey, thanks for calling me back so quickly!  How are you?" -- "I'm fine!  But how are you?" -- "Great!  It was a really good day.  I just wanted to hear your voice."

Furious that I'd allowed him to pull one more over on me, I told him I had to go and hung up.  I am quite happy to say that was nearly two years ago and I have not talked to Eric since.

That's not to say he hasn't tried.  A month later I had to have his phone number blocked because I was tired of ignoring his constant calls and texts.  I preferred to not even know when he was attempting to get in touch with me.

When the calls failed, he resorted to email.  I received an email from him about once a month for eight months until I realized that I could also block emails.  I've now been completely Eric-free for a year, though (not to flatter myself), I assume he still tries from time to time.  That dude does not stop!  It's like the line in Austin Powers when, after many futile attempts to kill one of Dr. Evil's cronies, Austin screams, "Why won't you die???"

Still, I have a sick feeling that I haven't heard the last from Eric.  I feel as though some day he will find a way.  I know he has friends who live in this city and it's entirely possible I could just run into him on the street.  I often imagine that confrontation and though it would make me sick to my stomach, I've rehearsed the hell out of it.  Sometimes I even check New Jersey headlines to see if he's dead or in prison.  Neither would surprise me too much.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Curse of the Fourth Date

And once again I find myself without a boy to kiss.

I've noticed a very upsetting pattern in my dating experiences and I call it the Curse of the Fourth Date. Other than Eric (who I am not taking into account because in all of our stops and starts, we were never "on" for more than four dates before we were "off" again), I have only made it past a fourth date on ONE occasion. ONE. But even more disturbing than that fact alone is what occurs on this fateful fourth date. Here's the setup: A gentleman and myself have just finished a.) watching a movie, throughout which he alternately held my hand and stroked my hair; b.) drinking a bottle of wine in his bedroom while listening to music and making out; c.) walking around the city at night, talking and kissing; or d.) eating a candlelit dinner. As the date comes to a close, I expect the usual goodnight kiss and vow to call me to plan a future date. At least, that is what I used to expect. Now I expect to hear the very worst as night closes in on the fourth date, for after each of the above referenced scenarios, I have instead heard some version of the dreaded "let's just be friends."

This is excatly what happened to me last night just as I was settling into a comfortable dating routine with an adorable male who was clearly enjoying my company. Apparently he was enjoying my company a little too much and everything else I have to offer not quite enough. Sometimes being friends is a good thing. In fact, my two closest male friends are results of dating experiences that just didn't work out and yes, we decided to "just be friends." But I have enough friends now. Hear me, loud and clear: "I do not want to be your friend!"

The worst part is probably that, as described above, the friendship invitation comes completely unexpectedly. There has never been anything that I can look back on and interpret as friendship gestures rather than romantic or passionate. And then out of nowehere... BAM! The guy that I was seeing up until last night prefaced his declaration of independence by saying, "So... there's something I should probably tell you. And I know that makes it sound like it's probably going to be bad, but it's not!" He then explained that he was in a six-year relationship that just ended four months ago and while he thought he was ready to date again, he apparently is not. He told me how much he really does like me and how much fun it is to spend time with me and he hopes that we can still do so... in a friendship capacity.

I understand, I really and truly do, and I was of course flattered by his compliments, but... how is that not bad? I knew exactly what was coming when he began his speech and it would honestly be so much easier to hear "I just don't like you and this isn't working" as opposed to "I like you so much that I want to be your friend! Isn't that great?!?"

He also told me that as we continue to hang out, maybe something will evolve and that it would be "serendipitious." And while I think that the possibility therein presented was sincere, I know how these things work. The first time I encountered the Curse of the Fourth Date, I thought that being friends was a fantastic idea! Obviously we would continue to spend time together and he would eventually realize he was hopelessly in love with me. I waited for that day for two years and it never came, so I promise you that I will not make that naive mistake again. Sure, I'll continue to hang out with this former suitor who tramped on my hopes for a future together last night, but I know how it will end because once you enter the Friend Zone, there's no going back. And I can guarantee you that when he's ready to start dating again, I'll be playing the role of Wingman instead of Girlfriend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dear Diary 8/27/96: "Yo Homie! Why haven't my prayers been answered?"

On this day fourteen years ago...

Dear Diary,
Christian means everything to me.  He looks even sexier this year than last.  Amanda told me that today when coming out of a class, he said, "Yo Homie!" and slapped hands with a friend.  That is just the thing I would have done.  I LOVE his personality.  But even though I've been praying since last November that we'd have a class together, we have not.

(Note from 8/27/10: I was going to comment on the multitude of reasons this entry is ridiculous, but I feel that would be redundant, as hopefully those reasons are fairly self-evident.  I will say that at the time it was written, I had never even spoken to the boy in question that I claimed meant "everything to me."  Yet in defense of stirrup-legginged seventh-grade me... Christian was a pretty smokin' twelve year-old).

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Are A Puzzle

Alright friends, I've been a bit of a delinquent poster as of late, but here is the latest installment. It's a long one, so grab a Snickers!

All of the stories with which I have regaled you so far have been tales from the past. It's much easier to write about burns once they no longer sting. Now I wish to tell you about my latest run-in with the heartbreak monster.

While walking back to the train from a friend's apartment last month, I approached a handsome stranger, standing on the curb, clutching a camera and staring up at a balcony. Being accustomed to passing goodlooking men on the street, I paid him no mind, other than the customary glance in his direction. However, this time proved a little different from previous instances of walking by a hottie because this time, the hottie spoke to me: "Excuse me, can you whistle?"

I'm really not a very good whistler. Not at all. And I am particularly poor at performing on command, but I'd rather good-naturedly make a fool of myself in front of someone than let him down... especially a fine male specimen such as the one I found standing before me. I gave a feeble attempt at whistling and was met with disastrous results, but at least succeeded in making Studly McStudlerson laugh. He then explained that there was a giant great dane that lived in the apartment we were in front of and he was trying to lure it out onto the balcony to take a picture of it. The dog (whose name we found out is Charlie) eventually returned to the balcony, the handsome stranger (whose name I found out is Marc) snapped his photo, and Marc and I ended up walking up the street together.

He explained that he was only in town for a few days and did not know anyone in NYC. We spent several minutes talking as we walked together, so when I reached my train stop I offered Marc my phone number so that the next time he visited NYC he would know someone to call. Marc countered my offer with an offer of his own: "Do you have to go somewhere right now, or would you like to join me for a drink?" Luckily, I did not have anywhere I needed to be and I wanted nothing more than to join this mysterious man for a beer.

Over drinks, I learned a number of things about Marc: the source of his extremely sexy accent (Zimbabwe), his job (travel writer / photographer), and two of the three things he generally looks for in a woman (must own less than 13 pairs of shoes and have that special spark in her eye that says you can tell her anything and she can be trusted). Marc also romantically read my palm, lightly trailing his fingers over my skin, spoke intelligently about literature and current events, laughed genuinely at my lame jokes and made me laugh heartily at his own. He had gorgeous, lucid light blue eyes and looked like Cary Elwes circa 1988. I was extremely taken by this man, but not yet 100% convinced he wasn't just a smooth operator.

Post drinks, I walked him back to where he was staying and he invited me in, insisting he had a book to share with me. I was hesitant to follow him inside, but the hallways were full of people so I felt rather safe. Up in Marc's deserted hallway I became less sure of myself, but held my ground and did not follow him into his room, even after he got my blood flowing wildly by pushing me up against the wall of the hallway and kissing me harder (and much better) than I'd been kissed in years. Marc and I made out in his doorway for quite some time, and after several attempts to lure me further inside I decided it was time to go. I was not in the mood to play that game. However, Marc surprised me by suggesting that if I was not comfortable in his room, we should go back out and get dessert so we could at least still spend time together. I agreed that this was an excellent compromise, so we decided to venture back outside to search for the closest frozen yogurt vendor.

BUT FIRST Marc wanted to show me his third criteria he looks for in a female companian. He lifted my arm, placed his nose in my armpit, and sniffed. I laughed at his silliness and of course immediately began making protests... after all, I'd been walking around all day and it was 95 degrees outside! However, Marc informed that I had passed his test. He claimed that if a woman could spend the day outside in that kind of heat and still smell as sweet as I did, then she was worth keeping around. So there you have it: my armpits smell rockin'!

But anyway... we found a Pinkberry and walked our delicious frozen treats to Central Park to enjoy them. We sat on a bench and Marc told me that he was planning on moving to NYC from his current home in Los Angeles. He had previously been 99% sure he was going to make the move and had just been waiting for the final sign to tell him it was the right decision. He claimed that after meeting me, that sign had hit him right in the face. I told him I was flattered and would of course love if he lived closer and I would be able to get to know him better, but that he should never base such a drastic decision on a woman, especially one he had just met. Marc came on very strongly, but I liked him. I was by no means smitten, but he was extremely fascinating and it seemed clear he liked me.

(I never did get that book he wanted to share with me, though he claimed that was not simply a line and just forgot to give me the book. His arguement was that if he wanted to feed me a line he'd come up with something far better than book-sharing).

We parted that night and I awoke to a text from him the following morning: "12 hours and no text - I feel used for my kisses!" I replied that I felt equally used for my awesome whistling skills and we texted on and off throughout the day, agreeing to meet for lunch the next day before his flight back to L.A. At lunch, Marc recited me the poetry of William Butler Yeats. The date was very laid back and just a little awkward because we: 1.) had just met, and 2.) were soon to part ways for the forseeable future. After we parted again I received the following text message: "You are a good egg, renewed my faith in people. I don't know what the future holds, but you gave me Central Park by lamplight so I wanted to share the gift of Yeats. He had his Maud Gonne (his love), but she didn't look nearly as sensational in pearls."

I know that sometimes girls have a tendency to read into signs from men, but I thought it was pretty safe to say that this guy was totally digging me. However, he was returning to L.A. and I was going camping and would be off the grid for the next week. I decided that it would be nice to hear from Marc upon my return, but if I didn't, well... at least it had been a fun whirlwind romance that went nowhere.

As it turned out, I did have a text from Marc when I returned to civilization. He wanted to let me know he was back in NYC, but would be leaving again the morning after I returned from vacation. He agreed to meet me at Penn Station when my train got in so that we could spend several hours together until he was once again whisked away. We walked to a pub and shared tales of our various adventures over a few beers. He was very flirty, but announced that he still hadn't quite made up his mind regarding whether or not he should sell his house in L.A. and make the move to the East Coast. I was a little surprised since he had previously seemed so sure of this decision, and even more surprised to find that I was disappointed.

At one point Marc turned to me and said, "You are a puzzle." I replied that I am certainly not a puzzle. I am completely honest and straight-forward; all one needs to do is ask. He said he didn't have a question for me per se; the puzzle was that he didn't want to sleep with me. That was not at all what I had expected to hear. "You don't want to sleep with me now? Or ever?" I asked him. Marc answered that he did not want to sleep with me now, which was a relief because I also did not want to sleep with him at that precise moment. He further elaborated by explaining that he could tell I was a "gentle soul with a good heart" and wouldn't want to take that step with the future unknown, as it could potentially hurt me emotionally (Work with me; I'm paraphrasing here).

Some people I have spoken to think that was a weird thing for him to tell me. I don't. It was an observation and he hit the nail right on the head, so to speak. I do not jump into bed with just anyone, and I'm not at all quick to get under the covers with someone I really like. There are many factors contributing to that thought process, but yes, one of them is that I know I would get very hurt if the relationship fizzled quickly thereafter.

Eventually Marc had to head back to his hotel to pack, so I walked him "home." At the door, I realized I had to pee. Badly. I wasn't sure I'd even make it back to the main street to look for a McDonald's or Starbucks. With this in mind, I followed Marc up to his room with the sole intention of using his bathroom, Girl Scout's honor. But after doing my business I decided that while I was up there... well, it couldn't really hurt to fool around just a little bit... So I told Marc that I could leave, or we could make out for a while. His choice. To my surprise, Marc said that he didn't think that would be a good idea because he's very persuasive. Though I assured him that if anything happened it would be because I wanted to and it was my choice alone, Marc wrapped his arms around me, pulled me onto his bed, and... did nothing. For twenty minutes we lay intertwined and he made not a single move. No one spoke. It was kind of awesomely perfect.

I eventually broke the embrace, said my goodbyes, gave Marc a final kiss and reached for the doorknob to make my exit. Halfway through the door, Marc grabbed my arm, pulled me back inside, pushed me up against the wall and with a growl announced, "I changed my mind." Various articles of clothing went flying, though certainly not all of them. I was fully prepared to stand by my previous decision to not sleep with Marc. Or do too much other stuff. Oh, but he wanted to. He tried damn hard. And Marc was just like a delicious slice of chocolate cake. You want it; you know if you have it that it will be the best thing you've ever experienced, but that cake is so bad for you. Resisting the cake got more and more difficult, so I again prepared to make my exit. Marc released me from his clutches, but again wrapped his arms around me at the door. I asked when I would see him again and he said he didn't know. So I said, "But will I see you again?" He again said he just didn't know, that I shouldn't think about it.

Confused, but proud of myself, I went home.

Mark texted me later that night to say, "May love and fortune shine upon you." I never heard from him again. I know I never will. And I'm okay with that... it just bothers me that I can't figure out what this guy's motives were. Did he genuinely like me and decide that it wasn't nice to string me along if the move to NYC wasn't going to work out? Did he originally think that I was easy bait to lure into his bed but as he got to know me decided he couldn't go through with it, thus his hesitations? Or was that the intention all along, the "nice guy" shtick merely a routine, and when I repeatedly turned down his sexual advances, he tired of me? Marc, you are a puzzle.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear Diary 7/31/01: Woe is me. Boys are poo.

On this day nine years ago...
The following is a diary excerpt regarding Ryan, an itty bitty crush and Adam, the first boy I truly loved (as opposed to all the crushes that came before him with whom I thought I was in love).  Nearly a decade letter, I can recognize the feelings I had for Adam as the real deal.  The below entry was written about half-way through this bout of unrequited love.  

Dear Diary,
Wow, so much has happened since I last wrote!  Where to start?  Well, I found out Ryan wasn't on a date when I saw him at the movies.  Way to go jumping to conclusions!  Anyway, on the last day of school I gave Ryan my phone number and screen name.  He never called, but he did IM me and we've been talking online a while now.  Tonight I asked him if he wanted to hang out sometime and he said no because he's kinda seeing someone, but maybe some other time.  He was so nice and told me he'd talk to me tomorrow.  Am I sad?  I don't know; kinda.  It sounded kinda like I'm his choice B and that's just fine cuz he's my choice B, too.  I still have faith Adam will come around.  I still talk to Adam online several times a week and I actually get to see him on Sunday!  I am so excited cuz I have not seen him for 4 months!  I have a list of 40 things I love about him.  40!!!  The only thing which bothers me about him is he talks about himself a lot.  However, that could just be because he knows how interested I am in his life... or maybe that's just what I want to believe.  Ryan actually showed interest in what was going on in my life, which was something that drew me to him.  I really want to ask Adam if I'll ever have a chance with him, but I don't want to mess up our friendship. Of course, there's always the chance it could get better!  Plus, the last time I asked him out, things were completely normal; not weird at all.  I just don't want to count on that happening again, only to be disappointed.  Oh, I am so confused!  Adam is the only guy I can remember having made me cry, and it wasn't cuz he'd hurt my feelings, but because I was so sad to leave him.  He is just such a great guy!  I haven't seen him for four months and the yearning for him remains.  Woe is me.  Boys are Poo.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Want to find love fast? Don't try Speed-Dating.

I am not embarrassed to admit that I've tried speedating once. I am, however, slightly embarrassed to admit that I've tried speedating twice. On the first occassion, I ventured into the unknown with my friend Rebecca. The evening provided a good deal of handsome men in suits that thought they were out of my league because they had salaries and health benefits. To be honest, they were out of my league. I was a newbie to NYC at that time and had just started a job which paid a weekly stipend of $50. I was also decidedly not cute. There were some gentlemen in the mix that, in the five minutes I was allowed to converse with them, seemed to be worth giving more of my time. Somehow I managed to match with four men, though I honestly think they probably selected "all" on their ballots to increase match quantity, in the event of less than stellar match quality. This belief is further supported by the fact that three of them, when contacted, ignored my advances. Danny, however, called me to set up a lunch date, so my first speed-dating experience was not a total bust.

Or was it?

Danny had the amazing ability to hold one's attention for no more than five minutes. Since that was the maximum amount of time we were permitted to speak at the speed-dating event, my dating radar did not pick up on this fact. While on the date, I found myself fighting to keep the conversation going, which is something I rarely struggle with. At one point, when I asked the typical first date question: "What do you like to do for fun?" Danny replied, "Smoke the hookah." He offered no further information so I asked if there was anything else he did in his free time and he said, "I go to Astoria. To smoke the hookah."

And that was the most exciting conversation I had with Danny. At least he paid for lunch!

Despite the letdown of my first speed-dating experience, I had fun at the actual event and so decided two years later to rally some friends and give it a second go. The pickings were slim, but I selected two men that I was interested in speaking with further. As these were the only two guys that were worth a second look, my friends all picked them as well and when the matches were sent out, we were met with very incestuous results. I planned a date with Mark and so did my friend Valerie. We both went out with him in the same week, promising that it would cause no rift in our friendship if we both decided we liked him. Though we each had a decent time with Mark (I met him at a bar and we played Connect Four and he offered decidedly better conversational skills than Danny), luckily neither of us were interested in pursuing anything further and therefore did not have to release the claws for a girlfight.

A few days after Valerie and I had our respecitve dates with Mark, we were discussing the humor of the experience in the kitchen at work. A co-worker came in, began making her sandwich and soon had a confused look on her face. "I'm not trying to eavesdrop," she said, "but... did you two date the same guy?" Valerie and I just looked at each other and giggled, embarrassed to divulge the secrets of our speed-dating shenanigans.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Eric - The Saga Continues

Back in May I posted "Eric -- The Saga Begins."  I think it is now high time the saga continued.  Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts; this may be a very bumpy ride. 
After my initial horrible experience with Eric at the Poe reading, I decided not to talk to him anymore because he refused to acknowledge he had done anything wrong, let alone apologize.  At first, he honored my wishes by not contacting me, but I would soon realize that following directions was not exactly Eric's forte.  Three months later, he IMed me with an apology so heartfelt that I decided I could let him back in, but only in a friendship capacity.  After all, people make mistakes, they realize their wrongs, say they're sorry and don't deserve to be punished for all eternity for one screw-up, right?  Am I right?  And thus communication with Eric resumed and two months later I found myself driving back to New Jersey to visit him.  And the month after that, too. 
I had found myself back exactly where I hadn't wanted to be, but soothed my own fears and uncertainties by assuring myself that everyone deserves a second chance... which I still believe to be true, on an incident to incident basis.  Forgiving Eric, however, only paved the way for suffering through further incidents.  The beginning of this particular weekend in May began just lovely.  We drank some beers on his balcony while he played the guitar and I hummed along.  It was a very chill Friday evening and once again, everything with Eric fell back into place and I was not just content, I was happy.  At some point throughout the evening, I realized that I was in love with him, and instead of frightening me (which falling in love now does), I only became happier.  But of course I did not divulge this information to Eric. 

Eric was a high school track coach and had a meet in the morning.  He had invited me to wake up early to go with him, but I declined in favor of sleeping in.  My decision also had to do with the fact that Eric did not want his students to see him with a girl that he would later have to explain to them, yet another issue I convinced myself was unimportant.  He never wanted to hold hands in public and was always cautious when we went out to dinner, the mall, etc. for fear that we would be spotted and he'd have questions to answer from hormonal teenagers.  I pretended to understand, but in actuality thought, "Why can't you just tell them you're dating someone?  What's the big deal?"  I'm no psychologist, but I'm pretty sure what Eric really meant was this: If he had to define the situation to his students, he'd also have to define it to himself.  And while, despite all the shit he put me through, I still believe Eric truly cared about me, he never knew what he wanted.  He never wanted to be exclusive; he never even wanted to talk about what we "were."  On-and-off we dated, for two years, and he was never open to that conversation.  And I pretended to be okay with it for two reasons: 1.) I never fully trusted him and was therefore cautious, and 2.) I'm a complete idiot who excuses blatant warning signs as personal paranoia.

But back in May 2007, I was sleeping in Eric's bed while he gently kissed me goodbye and headed to his track meet, set to return in the early hours of the afternoon.  After I woke up and got dressed, I decided to check my email.  I sat down at Eric's computer and saw he had left an IM window open.  My intention was not to pry, but it was easy to see from a simple glance that the conversation was with a girl and the conversation was not only racy, it was the same conversation he'd recently had with me.  This was obviously something he got off on.  My heart was racing; I felt sick.  I had to read more to allay my fears.  Maybe it was just a joke, an old friend he was just goofing around with.  Nope... it only got worse. 

And then I started to notice other things that had slipped past my vision previously: A hair tie on the living room floor, an earring on the bathroom counter... Yes, it's possible they had merely been leftovers from female friends who had visited, but everything began to add up.  I sat down to collect my thoughts.  Was I over-reacting?  After all, we weren't "exclusive," but on the other hand, he had told me he wasn't seeing anyone else.  I took a few minutes to weigh my options, grabbed my overnight bag and left a note next to his computer: "I was only trying to check my email, Asshole."  And I left. 

Instead of driving home, I drove to Sesame Place to meet up with my sister and her in-laws.  If a sister and Sesame Street can't cure heartache, nothing can.  En route, Eric got home, received my charming note and called me, claiming to have no idea what my cryptic message meant or why I had left.  I felt pangs of guilt when I pictured him arriving home to his empty apartment, going room to room looking for me and finding me gone.  He said he thought I had been playing a trick on him, hiding, which I admit is totally something I would do, but not in this case.  He finally fessed up to the IM, but insisted it was nothing and instead berated me for invading his privacy, which only served to infuriate me further.

I tried to enjoy my time at Sesame Place and I spent the rest of the weekend with my sister, who has been there through every single male I have ever shed a tear over.  (I think she's getting a little tired of it, but remains supportive, regardless).  Eric called incessantly throughout the weekend, but I ignored his messages, finally composing a speech to him that I left on his voicemail when I knew he would be at work and I wouldn't have to deal with actually speaking to him.  I told him he had betrayed my trust by being dishonest with me and he had broken my heart because I had discovered I was in love with him, yadda yadda yadda.  It must have been a damn good voicemail because Eric will later tell me that it made him cry.  Good; I'm glad.

The bottom line, of course, was that for the second time, Eric had no idea he had done anything wrong and so for the second time, I told him not to call me anymore.

And for the second time, he will not listen.  But that's a different chapter in this saga.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't go around breaking young girls' hearts

The summer before my junior year of college I came home to a new love interest: his name was Jeff and I discovered him at my favorite hometown coffeehouse.  I spent many a summer night there with various friends and on one special occassion, there was Jeff with his guitar, behind a microphone.  This was no open mic night, ladies and gentlemen, this was a gig.  This was big-time!  And oh boy, did he make me melt!  Those eyes!  Those sandals!  His voice was heaven and Jeff could rock an acoustic Billie Jean years before the idea ever crossed the mind of Chris Cornell.  Jeff had me under his hypnotic spell and I knew I just had to do something.  And so, at the end of his set, I nervously slipped my phone number into his tip jar. 
I held onto the hope that I would hear from Jeff, but part of me knew we would probably never again cross paths.  The following night I accompanied my mom to a dance recital that featured one of her students and as we entered the auditorium, a familiar voice filled my ears.  I didn't even have to look at the stage to know who was up there providing pre-show entertainment.  A sign!  It was at that point I knew that Jeff and I were meant to be.  Luckily, the show's program provided further information on this mysterious and beautiful creature.  A performer bio, how fortuitous!  I found out he graduated from a neighboring high school three years before me and graduated from a university a town over from my own college (another sign!), but the most glorious piece of information: his website.  I went right home to look up when and where his next shows would be. 
He was playing at my coffeehouse again the following week and of course I was there.  And the next time.  And the next.  I'm not sure exactly when or how it happened, but eventually Jeff knew who I was.  Perhaps I finally summoned the courage to introduce myself to him after a set, perhaps he just started to recognize me.  I'm surprised I don't quite remember this juicy piece of information, but somehow we came to be somewhat of acquaintances.  It wasn't the dream-wedding I'd been envisioning, but for the moment it was good enough for me.  I'm not sure if he ever made the connection that I was the girl who left my phone number in his tip jar... but I suspect that he did.
I returned to college in the fall and though I did not forget all about Jeff, he moved to the back of my mind and I thought of him only with passing pangs of unrequited love when listening to his CD.  And then one day, lo and behold, I received a MySpace friend request from Jeff!  It was so glorious.  I was flying high the rest of the week.  Jeff wanted to by my friend!  More importantly, he had not forgotten about me.  We communicated sporadically and a few months after that Jeff sent me a message on MySpace inviting me to a show he had near my campus.  Delighted, giddy, filled with hormones, I grabbed my roommates and we headed off to see Jeff.  He was already playing when we arrived, but he looked up and smiled at me as I made my way to a table, friends in tow.  An hour and a half later I introduced him to my roommates, he thanked me for coming, I bought his new CD and we had just started to casually chat when... Jeff peered around my shoulder, then back at me, then over my shoulder again.  "Can you hold on just a minute?  I'll be right back," he said as he touched my shoulder (sigh) on his way past me and out of the room. 
One minute.  Five minutes.  Ten minutes passed.  Fifteen minutes later I gave up hope that Jeff was to return and glumly exited the premises, only to find Jeff outside talking to a girl and asking her phone number.  "Uhh... thanks again for coming!" he called after me.  Devastated, I cranked Rob Thomas' This Is How a Heart Breaks on the drive home.  Back in my apartment, I screamed and threw the new CD against the wall and never once listened to it.
Just for the record, I'd like to state the following: I now live in NYC and have a great job that I absolutely love in the film/television industry.  When I was home for Christmas 2009, I hit up a local bar with a friend.  And guess who was sitting in the corner behind a microphone, playing his guitar and singing along while people sipped their hot toddies and waited for underage girls to slip past the bouncer?  That's right: Jeff.  It's a terrible thing, but sometimes silently gloating is all one really needs to feel better.

Friday, July 2, 2010

OkCupid Hall of Shame: Part 2

I am leaving for vacation tomorrow morning and will be blissfully off the grid for the next week, but since I am told people are actually reading this, I couldn't leave without providing some serious insight for you to reflect on in the week ahead.  And so, since I apparently have not learned my lesson and still believe men of quality and substance use the internet to meet women of quality and substance, here are some OkCupid messages I have received since my last OkCupid post.  Ladies, these men are out there and they want you to love them.  Watch out.

When eating french fries as part of my meal, I can sometimes be seen picking up french fries that are similar in length to maintain my image as an equal opportunity ketchup consumer. Why should a short fry miss out on the ketchup just because it was picked up with a longer spud? Although, I can also be seen with french fries on my plate and no ketchup whatsoever.
(I love french fries more than most things in life, but do you really have to devote that much time to french fry reflection?  However, in this guy's defense, I would like to commend his spelling and grammar.)

You seem like my cup of tea, so let's get this private party started, okay?
(Okay!  Earl Gray with two lumps, please).

I am honestly looking for a long term relationship but you cant say your not open to short term relationship b.c what are long term before they are long term you know what i mean?
(I never said I was opposed to a short-term relationship, but now that you mention it...)

I hope you a nice person to talk to and get to know and not the other way… lol.  I hope we can soon or later sit and talk and have a normal conversation, laugh, and smile and have fun.
(What other way?  You think maybe I is not a nice person to sit and talk to?)

i know how to cook things lololol you seem pretty cool so i would really like to chat with you sometimes and see what happend would you like that?
(No, I would not like that, primarily because you sound like a creeper, but also... WHY DO THE MAJORITY OF THESE MEN FEEL THE NEED TO TYPE "LOLOL" IN THE MIDDLE OF SENTENCES?)

i live at home but rep non of the benefits
(I live at my home too, but my home does not include my parents, which is the point I think this gent was trying to make.  Sir, if confessing you still live with your parents is your opening line, I fear for you.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Very First Date (Continued...)

This is a continuation of a previous post.  Please read Disaster Date #6: My Very First Date; The Dating Disasters Commence first.

Several weeks later I came home from school and found Kyle's hot little red car parked in my driveway. He had stopped by to ask me to be his date to the Homecoming dance. I accepted his invitation, shocked that I had not completly sabotaged myself on our first date as I had thought. The plan was to go out to dinner before the dance with a group of my friends and their dates. We thought it would be hilarious to get all gussied up and go to eat at Wendy's in our gowns and suits. However, the evening of Homecoming threw a curveball when several of my friends decided at the last minute that they'd rather eat somewhere nicer than Wendy's. I felt badly about changing plans on Kyle at the last minute, but alas, we had been outvoted.

My first inclination that things might not be going well came when Kyle's dad showed up at the restaurant to bring him more money. Since we had intended to eat at Wendy's, he hadn't bothered to put more than $20 in his wallet, and why should he have? It really wasn't a big deal, but I could sense his embarrassment and wished we could both crawl under the table to hide. The rest of the meal, however, went on without a hitch and I'm fairly certain we all had a good time. I don't remember specifics from the dance itself, but I know it was so nice to have someone to join me for every dance and a gentleman's arm to hold onto for the night.

Kyle invited me over after the dance to watch movies with him and another couple, but again, my anxiety won over and I declined in favor of a sleepover with a group of my girlfriends. That served as Kyle's cue to give up, and I certainly don't blame him. I had provided him with every signal that I was absolutely not interested and though I was interested, I was scared to death. I wanted the excitement of first love, but having experienced nothing remotely close to it in the past, the idea of it was completely overwhelming. For most people, perhaps it is an innate sense that tells them what to do and say in the presence of someone they are intersted in, but I did not have that instinct. I fear I might still lack it. And so, while I believe Kyle would have been a wonderful, fun, sweet, attentive high school boyfriend, I missed my chance. I have only myself to blame.

That was years ago and of course I am over it, but that doesn't mean I don't still have regrets. I later learned that on the night of Homecoming, the trunk of his hot little red car held a fancy tablecloth, silverware and candlesticks. Kyle intended to set a romantic table for me at Wendy's! That is one of he sweetest things I have ever heard, let alone experienced. I still cringe when I think about his disappointment when his plans were thwarted and he was unable to follow through with his romantic scheme. I also very much regret that I was not able to experience that sweet gesture.

As this site only proves, my romantic encounters have very much gone downhill throughout the past ten years. Perhaps I cursed myself. I didn't appreciate the charming man I had at 16; am I now doomed to experience the worst men in the universe for the rest of my life? Probably not. But I haven't yet been convinced otherwise.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Very First Date; The Dating Disasters Commence

Every girl has a special fondness in her heart for the first boy she dated.  For me, that lucky bastard was Kyle.  Though we went to the same high school, Kyle was a year ahead of me and we never had any classes together.  Therefore, we did not become properly acquainted until summer camp.  Yes, I am among the millions who found love (or at least flirtation galore) at summer camp.  I spent the week swooning over Kyle and his neon green electric guitar.  I giggled when he tried to teach me to play some chords.  My heart went pitter-pat when he sat down next to me at the dinner table and during games of keep-away in the pool. 

So after that week of camp I did what any self-respecting 16 year-old girl both obsessed with and terrified by the opposite sex would do: I emailed Kyle.  Luckily, there was an inside-joke from camp about asking someone out via email, providing me with the perfect opportunity to appear adorably ironic.  The email in question looked something like this:

Hi Kyle,
I had a lot of fun getting to know you at camp.  Would you like to go on a date with me?

Check: [yes]   [no]      or          [never email me again]

Corny as hell?  You betcha!  But I knew my audience and held fast to the possibility that it just might work.  A few hours later my Juno account was hit with a reply from Kyle:

Check: [ X ]    [no]     or           [never email me again]

Score one for little ole me!  My first attempt at asking out a boy since the 5th grade was met with success!  The next day Kyle called to plan our date.  A date!  A real date!  I thought that was something only DJ Tanner had the luxury to experience.  In keeping with the feeling that I was suddenly living a sitcom, my 7 year-old brother found it necessary to pick up the phone receiver in a different room of the house and chant “She loves you, Kyle!  She loves you, Kyle!”  Kyle, being the gentleman that I am sure he still is, took my pesky little brother’s teasing rather well, laughing it off and agreeing to pick me up on Friday.  And ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you that Kyle had a hot little red car.  I was beyond ecstatic.  And scared to death. 

The plan was for Kyle to pick me up and we would then decide where to go for dinner before hitting the movies.  Assuming he would ask me where I'd like to eat, I made sure to have several options in mind for him to choose from.  My older sister even gave me the list of what one should and should not eat on a date (to account for as little as possible chance of embarrassing spills, food stuck in teeth or bad breath).  One of the number one no-nos was pizza, for while it may seem simple enough, pizza can quickly become disasterous! Tomato sauce stains, oregano in your teeth, garlic breath... But alas, Kyle was hungry for pizza, so pizza it was.  I am happy to say that I believe I performed well and escaped unscathed by food-induced embarrassment.

There was, however, an awkward moment at dinner when Kyle remarked that he had not been on a date in a while.  Seeing this as my opportunity to provide an excuse for my nerves, I replied by saying, "Don't worry about it!  This is my first date ever!"  And while Kyle seemed flattered that he was the subject of my very first date, that comment set the tone for what was to come: As a newbie to the world of dating, I just didn't know how I was supposed to act.

Pizza was followed by a venture to The Perfect Storm.  I harbored a secret wish that Kyle would put his arm around me or hold my hand, but was equally relieved when he failed to do so.  He then drove me home and walked me to the door, at which point I invited him inside.  After all, that's exactly what DJ Tanner would have done.  We chatted with my parents in the living room for a while before moving into the family room to watch tv.  Just Kyle and me.  The two of us.  ALONE.  In my house the family room was cut off from the rest of the house, so we had total privacy.  Given this fact, I did not want to appear as though I was throwing myself at Kyle or coming on too strong.  So while he made himself comfortable on the sofa, I chose a seat on the other side of the room.

I'm an idiot, I know.

We watched an episode of Alf I had on VHS (because I am just that awesome) and then Kyle prepared to leave.  I walked him to the front door, thanked him for a lovely evening, he told me I looked pretty and then he left and I closed the door behind him.  My parents were watching from the living room: "Why didn't you walk him to his car?" and "Maybe you can still catch him!  He won't kiss you with us sitting here!  Go!"  But I didn't.  I had made my umpteenth mistake of the evening and chasing Kyle out to his hot little red car would only make things worse.  In trying to appear interested while maintaining my distance, I had ruined the perfect opportunity for a first kiss or second date.

Or so I thought.

Several weeks later I came home from school and found Kyle's hot little red car parked in my driveway.  

(To Be Continued... I'm afraid you won't finish reading if this post gets any longer.  Tune in next time for another installment of "My Very First Date")

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Diesel Date

Through my various encounters I’ve formed the unfortunate opinion that short men feel the need to compensate.  I really wish my experience proved otherwise, and I am quite sure there are plenty of truly wonderful short men out there, but so far that is not what I have observed.  Tyler was no exception.

Tyler took me on a date to Diesel.  Yes, Diesel.  As in the clothing retailer.  I waited for an hour while he tried on various pairs of jeans (ranging $400-$700) and grossly overpriced t-shirts.  As with previous dating disasters, I said nothing because I did not know what to say (although “I’m getting the hell out of here” would have been a good place to start).  Tyler felt the need to show off that yes, he had money.  This could be because men think that women are impressed by money, which is sometimes true, but I think it had more to do with the fact that Tyler is 5’5” and incredibly conceited.

After the Diesel debacle, I tried to weasel my way out of Tyler’s clutches.  Unfortunately, due to prior poor judgment on my part, I had already told Tyler that I was free all day, so he would hear nothing of my excuses.  He suggested we get pizza and gelato to take back to his apartment to hang out and I begrudgingly complied, promising myself to escape as soon as I had finished eating (it would also buy me time to come up with a better excuse).

Back at Tyler’s apartment we ate our food (which was the only good part of the date) and I attempted to make my great escape.  I was thwarted by Tyler pushing me up against the wall and kissing me, while looking at me with the creepiest expression I’ve ever seen and I am positive he thought was incredibly sexy.  He was slobbery and disgusting and it was the absolute worst kiss I’ve ever experienced.  I may be insecure in many ways, but I know that I am a good kisser.  I have been told so on quite a number of occasions.  Tyler, however, did not think so.  In fact, he told me that I was the one who was a horrible kisser and tried to coach me on how to better satisfy his salivatory needs.

But oh, it gets better.  Tyler then told me that I wasn’t his type, he felt no romantic connection, and did I have any friends I would mind setting him up with?  I said, “no.”  Of course, he wanted to know why.  Instead of sugar-coating my response by saying something along the lines of, “I don’t generally set my friends up with guys I’ve gone out with,” I said, “because I think you are extremely full of yourself and I wouldn’t subject any of my friends to your company.”

Tyler promptly responded, “You should leave now.”

And so I did.  Happily.

I like to think my judgment has improved in recent years and though I’m still no good at lying, I think I’ve at least become better at not being a fucking doormat.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's a very fine line between sweet and scary

My best friend from high school went to college about two hours from my own institution of higher education.  She thought that Tom, a new friend she’d met at Penn State, would be perfect for me.  I listened intently while she gushed about all the reasons Tom and I would make a perfect couple.  Of course, I excitedly gave her permission to give Tom my screen name, as living two hours apart didn’t make it very easy to simply meet for a drink to dip our toes in romantic waters.   Besides, she knew me better than almost anyone, right?

And I liked Tom enough.  It’s hard to say through AIM and phone conversations alone whether or not you’re truly compatible with someone, but it seemed as though there could be potential.  We had only been talking for two or three weeks, tops, when the IM chat one day turned to my hunger.  I mentioned a craving that could only be satiated by Diet Coke and Peanut m&ms.  Tom replied by saying he’d be right over, but living two hours apart, I assumed he was kidding and promptly returned to studying.

Two hours later my phone rang.  It was Tom, downstairs, asking me to let him in my dorm.  I was beyond shocked.  Flabbergasted.  When I went down to meet Tom (for the first time, mind you), he stood before me proudly bearing my sought after Diet Coke and  Peanut m&ms.  Under normal circumstances, this gesture would have been perceived as incredibly sweet and romantic.  IF Tom had been my boyfriend or even just a friend I had known for a long time.  BUT he was neither, so instead of feeling giddy, I was freaked out.

It didn’t take me long to realize that Tom also expected to spend the night.  I know this because he said, “I brought things to stay overnight.”  When I told him I didn’t think that would be appropriate (though I probably cited my roommates as excuses, not the fact that WE’D NEVER MET BEFORE), he said, “So I’m just supposed to drive two more hours back?”

Umm… yep.  Precisely!

Tom and I never talked again after that night.  And though I’m sure he meant well, it was just too much.  I’ve been told once or twice that I come on too strong, but Tom wins the blue ribbon in that category.  There’s sweet, and then there’s scary.  Unfortunately, Tom landed on the wrong side of that fine line.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dear Diary 5/28/01: I get groped for the first time! If only I'd been promiscuous.

On this day 9 years ago...

Dear Diary,
Prom!  I got to ride there in a limo!  I danced with Luke and we had our hands on each other's ass.  It's nice to be good enough friends with someone that you can touch their butt for fun and they won't get freaked out.  With Luke, Amanda jokingly put my hand on his butt and he did the same to me before I could take mine away, so I just left it there.  It shouldn't be such a big deal to me, but I guess it is 'cuz no guy has ever touched my butt before.  If I were a promiscuous teenager I'd definitely do Luke.  But I'm not, so I won't.

Monday, May 24, 2010

First Date Fiascos

In reflecting upon first dates recently, I was reminded of several questions from various men on our first (and last, not surprisingly) date.

These two beauties both came from Mitch:
"So, is your mom hot?"
"What's the most you've ever weighed?"

And from Randy:
"How many dates does you usually go on with someone before you'll sleep with him?"

I'm sure there have been many more, but those are without a doubt the three best.  Or worst.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Eric - The Saga Begins

There were many problems throughout my deranged relationship with Eric, but in November 2006 the only one I cared to dwell upon was that I lived in Pennsylvania and he lived in New Jersey.  As this did not allow for us to see each other very often, I cherished the weekends we could spend together.  I planned an exciting Post-Halloween weekend for Eric to come visit me and bought us tickets to attend a Poe reading in a “haunted mansion,” complete with characters in costume reciting the works of Poe.  I don't care how nerdy that sounds; to me and my darling English-teaching beau, it was bliss.

It should herein be noted that I do not tolerate smoking in romantic relationships.  Eric had assured me, even before we began dating, that this was not a problem because he did not smoke.  So imagine my surprise when, while visiting Eric one weekend, he excused himself late at night to buy a pack of cigarettes.  I was angry at him for smoking, angrier that he had lied to me for months, but agreed with him when he said that he was afraid that if I knew the truth, I wouldn’t have given him a chance.  No, I probably wouldn’t have.  And it would have saved me a hell of a lot of trouble.  But I was a silly girl and I was falling in love, so I forgave Eric, making him promise that he would not smoke in my presence.  He eagerly complied with my request, thankful to be forgiven and accepted for his faults.

Back at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fairegrounds where the Poe evening was to be held, Eric and I were finishing dinner at the Swashbuckler Pub when Eric announced he needed a smoke and would like to purchase a package of cigarettes.  I was not a fan of the situation I had suddenly found myself in.  For starters, Eric was clearly trying to break his promise to me.  In addition, parking had been a bitch and as there was nowhere to buy smokes on the Fairegrounds, the only option would be to leave and come back.  Furthermore, our show was to start in twenty minutes, which hardly allowed enough time to pay for our dinner, find the car, leave the parking lot, locate a convenience store, buy cigarettes, smoke said cigarette, drive back to the Fairegrounds, re-park and then find our way to the “haunted mansion.”  
And so I said, “No.”

Eric pouted.  I stood my ground.  He made excuses.  I stated my additional reasons.  He attempted to refute them.  I reminded him of his promise.  Eric pouted some more.  
Again, I said, “No.”

We set off in the direction of the mansion.  I tried to take Eric’s hand on the walk over, but he promptly shoved his hands in his pockets.  I tried to make small talk and crack jokes while waiting for the show to begin, but he ignored me.  I decided to give him some space until the start of the show.  When we were told to take our seats, I couldn’t find Eric.  Anywhere.  Becoming increasingly distraught that we would miss the show, I set off in search for him and eventually found him sitting in a corner of one of the unused rooms, slumped on a bench.  After trying to convince him to join me he said, “I don’t like being told what to do and I’m really not in the mood for the show anymore.”  I argued that he was over-reacting, that we had been looking forward to the Poe reading for so long, that I had spent a lot of money on the tickets, that we should just enjoy the evening and talk about the disagreement afterward, but he would have none of it.  He got up and walked out, and I had no choice but to follow. 

(Looking back, I wish I had gone to the reading without him.  I was the one with the car and the keys.  I could have had a nice evening while he froze outside in the parking lot for two hours… but it wouldn’t have been a nice evening.  I was already in tears and trying to figure out if we could salvage what was so broken).  And so, to the regret of my present self, my past self joined him in the parking lot.
It is difficult to drive through a haze of tears.  One missed exit and the twenty minute drive home that I knew so well became a hysterical ninety minute drive.  All the while Eric refused to talk to me except to demand to know where we were ("I'm lost!") and why we were lost ("I can't concentrate when I'm upset!")  Fortunately, I evenutally made it home.  Unfortunately, it was very late and Eric had no intention of driving back to New Jersey that night.  Again, the regrets... Why didn't I kick him out?  Why didn't I make him get a hotel room or sleep in his car?  But I didn't.  I left him to sleep on the sofa and locked myself in my bedroom.

But of course I couldn't sleep.  An hour later, my phone signalled that I had received a text.  It was Eric, downstairs, telling me it was silly to sleep separately.  "Can't we just enjoy tonight?" he wanted to know.  I laughed.  "Enjoy tonight?  Honestly?  Does he even realize what he's saying?"  But then my thoughts went in a different direction.  I was sad.  I was hurting.  It was obviously over between us because he turned out to be a horrible person.  Why not at least use him for one night to make myself feel better and dispose of him in the morning?  Because I apparently wanted yet another regret attributed to that night, I went downstairs.  And it was pleasant.  But I can't help but wonder that if I had just left the situation alone... if I had only ignored him and remained locked in my room... how much heartache could I have spared myself?  Because though I pushed him out of my life and moved on, three months later he apologized.  He admitted he was a huge jackass.  He told me he missed me and thought of me constantly and wished he could un-do the horrible way he had treated me.

So.  This blog is not only about the stupid things men do when dating, but the crazy things women do as well.  It would not be fair for me, as author of this blog, to editorialize and omit my own personal faux-pas in the world of dating.  And so, I regret to inform you that there will be more Eric stories to come.  There is, however, a happy ending to the saga: Eric is now out of my life.  For good.  His phone number and email addresses have been blocked.  He may have continued to haunt my life for two years following my initial mistake of forgiveness, but that mistake will not be made again.  

Thursday, May 6, 2010

OkCupid Hall of Shame

I'm not ashamed to admit I've given several online dating sites a go. And while I'm still on the prowl, I can't say that they've been altogether negative experiences. eHarmony got me laid, ActForLove got me a best friend and OkCupid found me a boyfriend... at least for a few months. OkCupid has also, however, been the source of many hilarious introductory emails from wannabe woo-ers. The following are excerpts from emails I received on the site. Gentlemen, these are not good ways to grab a lady's attention:

You are pretty- but you look high maintenance.
(Wow, I wonder what lucky lady that guy found!)

you're a phillies fan i hate u already lol. Something tells me that you're probably getting about 50 emails from loser guys.
(Immediately telling a girl you hate her is probably not a good method of seduction, loser guy.)

ur quite yum. well done.
(...thank you?)

you seem great but... I'm a gun toting NRA member. If I need to be predominately left wing/liberal, this isn't going to happen.
(You're right; this isn't going to happen.)

what a lovely sight you are to stumble upon. you have a fantastic smile and great neckline. thanks for sharing
(...for sharing my neckline? You're quite welcome.)

you look lucious.. very attractive sweet. Im loving your smile.. all in all very sex.. its a pleasure seeing your site.
(Lucious? Very sex? I think I'm supposed to feel flattered. Well, okay, I do enjoy the smile compliment.)

hi myself from India and i do my work as a painter (art work). 33 year old not a rich and much educated but i think god made must a girl there for me for my life so i am seeking a honest girl to marry but i know it is not fair to contact u like this but i have no any way to contact u and have lot of time to time pass so i just want to come on the main point to be here .but i think u would take it like a fun ,i am serious and i am seeking a life partner since 5 years but i think no body want to like me.but i am doing my best .but i need a long term relationship not time pass and flirt. after get this message please don't feel urself cheaper ,i know u deserve a great one in u r life but i need also a great one ,ha ha ha ha so don't be mad at me. i am introducing my self like this message so if u r not interested then just erase this message and forgive me for wasting u r time. god bless u for ever and may give u all that u want to get in u r life.
(I'm fairly certain this guy just proposed to me. My favorite line is: "but i think u would take it like a fun ,i am serious and i am seeking a life partner since 5 years but i think no body want to like me." I actually feel really sad for him in that way one might feel sad for a lost puppy... but not sad enough to accept his marriage proposal.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I should have thrown a drink in his face, but he did a fine job of soaking himself with alcohol

I met Mike through a mutual friend.  She gushed to me about how sweet and sincere he was and that she thought we’d be a good match.  He showed up one night when said friend and I were at a bar and it seemed she had been correct; Mike was great.  After a few drinks, he offered to walk me home.  He kissed me goodnight at the door and asked for my number, which I eagerly bestowed upon him.  I heard from Mike the very next day, something I’ve found quite rare.  I reject all rules of dating, particularly that silly rule regarding how long to wait to contact someone you’re interested in, so I found it incredibly refreshing that Mike adhered to a similar train of thought.  He liked me and wasn’t afraid of coming across as too eager!  Score!

And so it was that Mike and I were out again several nights later at one of my favorite neighborhood establishments.  It didn’t take me long to realize that at 9pm, Mike was already drunk.  He confessed he’d already been out with some friends before meeting up with me.  Although he certainly wasn’t wasted, I started to worry when he ordered another drink.

And then another…

…at which point Mike began to make me extremely uncomfortable by raving about how beautiful I looked.  For one thing, it was hard to detect sincerity through the haze of alcohol that was probably beginning to cloud his vision.  For another thing, he just wouldn’t talk about anything else.  Sure, I like being told I look nice and I‘m pretty good at accepting compliments, but what is there to say other than “thank you?”  Especially when returning the compliment would just be a lie.

And then another…

…at  which point Mike tried to lure me back to his apartment with the classic line, “I’ve got some music on my computer I want you to listen to.”  Though I tried to let him down easy and excuse myself by saying I was really tired, Mike apparently was not taking rejection and he soon proved he was not leaving without a fight.  We argued about the situation for the next half hour, all the while I was just trying to get out of there.  I’ve never been very good at being assertive.

And then another…

…at which point Mike got up and walked to my side of the table, stood behind me, and proceeded to shove his hand down my shirt.  I was sitting in a restaurant, with people at the tables surrounding me, with a drunk asshole behind me who had now worked his hand into my bra and was feeling me up.  Shocked, appalled and pissed off is an understatement.  I just couldn’t believe it was happening and try as I might, I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I honestly don’t remember what I ended up saying to Mike, but I made it clear that his behavior was inappropriate and it was time to go.  He apparently had enough of the rejection at that point because he returned to his chair, threw it to the ground, and stormed out.

Leaving me with a bill for $70 that was primarily his drinks.

Our waitress came over after he was gone and asked if I was alright.  Still in complete shock and recovering from the disaster, replaying the night and trying to figure out which part was the worst, I said, “yeah… bad first date.”  She looked at me in utter disbelief and replied, “That was a first date?  Honey, I’m bringing you a beer on the house.”  It hardly made up for the preceding events, but it definitely helped.

I had a text from Mike before I even got home that night that simply said, “Had a great time tonight!  Let’s do it again soon, babe.”   I don’t think I even have to tell you that I didn’t respond.  Or that I never again allowed our mutual friend set me up on another date.