Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Dater

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, as far as men are concerned, was cut Eric out of my life. It should have been the easiest, considering he’s a lying, cheating, manipulative, date rapist sack of shit. However, he was a date rapist sack of shit who always called just to ask how my day was and never failed to offer uplifting words when I was down (except when he was the cause of it). I can honestly say he’s the only guy to draw a smiley face on his penis in magic marker to cheer me up. The point I’m trying to make is that cutting him off was difficult for me, given his positive traits, but should definitely not have been, given his sadistic, sociopathic traits. (I know what most of you are saying: “Any idiot could do that.” Well, it was tough for me, so back off!)

The other hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, as far as men are concerned, was be best friends with a guy I was in love with for two years, hoping he would realize he was also in love with me. He never did and I’ve since realized we would be absolutely terrible together, but at the time it caused me great agony, especially when talking him through various break-ups and heartaches.

Right now I am going through something that is right up there with those two experiences. And I’m going to write about it because I don’t think I can jinx anything at this point; it’s all in the very fragile hands of that wily bitch, Fate. I also write this with the blessing of Nate (whose name I am changing because I’m still a little bit superstitious, a lot bit respectful of his privacy, and hey, I’ve never dated a Nate!). When Nate found out, on our second date, that I write a dating blog, he admitted that it was somewhat strange that he might end up on it, but said, “If I say or do anything that inspires you to write, but all means, use it.” And so I shall.

Nate and I have been "talking" for three months, dating for two months, and have not seen each other for one month. We were set-up by a mutual friend via email and shortly after we began dating and realized we were really into each other, forces beyond our control forced us into long-distance dating for the indeterminable future. Long distance relationships are difficult enough. Now imagine long distance dating: still getting to know each other’s proclivities, figuring out each other’s comfort zones, not yet sure how he feels about me and unable to see him to put insecurities and fears to rest. Phone calls are superb for heart-to-hearts and text messages do wonders for flirting, but both can only convey so much, and a great deal can be misconstrued without the benefit of face-to-face communication.

The worst part is simply not knowing when we might see each other again. I think if I had a particular date on the calendar to look forward to it might not be so bad, but at this point it’s impossible to know. It’s a very strange feeling to miss someone so much whom I’m just beginning to get to know and yes, it’s only been a month that we have not seen each other, but knowing this could continue indefinitely… that’s the kicker. At least I know that we’re on the same page, because we’ve discussed how to proceed: just go with the flow. What else is there to do? We each agree that something is there that is worth preserving, worth working toward and that what we have could really go somewhere special.

So here I am, working damn hard to make this work, and I don’t even know what “this” is. It’s not a “relationship” in the “boyfriend/girlfriend” sense of the word, but it’s something deeper than “hey, I’m dating some guy and I hope it works out” because we’ve both put in a hell of an effort so far working toward a potential future together that may or may not even be possible. It's agonizing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Anxiety and Dating: A Girl Just Can't Win

I blog for World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day and, as such, I've decided to be straight up with y'all: I suffer from Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It doesn't make dating any easier, believe me. Every girl (and guy, if he's being honest) begins to obsess when she/he realizes she's totally smitten with a new potential mate. Now take this obsessing, this "Is he thinking about me right now?" ; "Is he just fooling around or does he want something more?" ; "Who is that girl in his Facebook picture?" ; "Why isn't he calling?" ; "Is he going to break my heart?" -- take this, and multiply it x10. Obsessing complusively. A need to obsess, with no rhyme or reason, on a scale that escalates the more attempts are made to control it. This obsessing has viciously caused me to ruin more than one potential relationship by leading me to actions such as bringing up what I like to call the "Changing of the Facebook Relationship Status" Talk on a 4th date (Sidenote: this could be where the Curse of the Fourth Date originated). Why would I do something so stupid, so prematurely? Because ambiguity makes me anxious, therefore causing me to obsess.

Yes, I take medication to keep it in check. That just subues the OCD; it doesn't make it *poof!* disappear. I'm stuck with it. I've found I need to be with someone who understands anxiety and irrational obsessing, yet is completely mentally stable. Someone who is sympathetic and a calming influence yet doesn't totally freak out or say I'm over-reacting when I go batshit. I've tried the alternative -- dating someone who understands because he suffers from similar afflictions and it just doesn't work, not for me. At least one of us has to have our shit together at any given point in time.

There have only been two occasions in which I've told a guy I was dating about my disorders. Although it's extremely important to be completely open about myself and my insecurities when seeing someone, it's not exactly the easiest topic to broach. "Sometimes I feel like a crazy person. Still want to go out with me?" If you're a regular reader of this blog, you are well aware that I'm already pretty good at making men go running for the hills on my own, without the help of bringing mental disorders to light. And aye, there's the rub: just thinking about initiating a conversation in which I discuss OCD and anxiety makes me so anxious that I have to stop thinking about it.

I just started seeing someone a month ago. Everything feels different with this one. I feel the electricity with him that I've been missing with pretty much every other guy I've dated, even the ones I was really into. He makes me feel like I'm in a movie. And although he gives me the good, happy kind of butterflies, as opposed to the "oh my god I'm going to throw up because I'm so scared" butterflies, I'm not worried. I don't spend my time wondering where he is and what's he doing when we're not together. I'm not anxious about other girls or whether or not he's thinking about me. I'm actually confident that he's into me and wants to be with me. This confidence is new to me and scarier than anything else I've experienced so far, because it makes me susceptible to an even greater vulnerability than anything I've ever known. In this case, the lack of anxiety is making me anxious on a whole new level. A girl just can't win.

Like me on Facebook!  Exes And Whys

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dear Diary 10/3/95: Scientific Evidence regarding Lovesickness

10/3/95: I think I finally know what everyone means by "Lovesick." I have a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach kind of like a roller coaster ride whenever I think of Chris. But when I think of [insert name of gross kid here], I keep feeling sick, but this time as if the thought of him will make me puke! So I know that since when I think of people I despise the roller coaster goes away, what I feel for Chris must be love.

P.S. I made seventy-five cents off of Ian today. O.J. was found innocent. Ian thought he was guilty.

P.P.S. I need Chris!

There you have it, folks. Lovesickness: it's a real thing, as proven by me, sixteen years ago. I'll collect my Nobel Prize now, thank you.

Oh, and that damn Ian never paid me my 75 cents.  I could really use that laundry money. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Facebook and the Ghosts of Crushes Past

Facebook has proven very helpful recently in helping me keep track of the ghosts of crushes past (figuratively speaking; they aren't actually dead). On the same day that my now married (not to me) one-time love of my life joined Facebook, an old crush friended me. Said crush (let's call him Jared, because that's his name) was a class below me in high school and I don't think we ever exchanged a single word... in person, that is. Back in '98, Mark Zuckerberg was a mere boy of 14 and AOL was the hottest method of communication. It was super easy to do a search for someone, discover their screen name and start a friendly conversation. The summer after I finished sixth grade I spotted Jared at a carnival in his blue and orange Adidas wind pants and I was smitten. I didn't know who he was, but I was in deep smit. When the school year started up again I discovered his locker was right outside my homeroom, and the daily sightings only served to increase my desire for him. At some point during my infatuation, I IMed Jared on AOL. I pretended I had no idea who he was, but was simply commenting on a quote I liked in his profile. I am not proud of this, but I was 14 and the hormones of 14 year-olds hardly make sense. We chatted from time to time and I worshipped him from afar, but nothing ever came of it.

My sophomore year of high school we finally had a class together, but never exchanged a word. Actually... I think he bumped into me in the hall once and said, "Oh, sorry," but I'm not going to count that as real interaction. And then, two days ago, Jared friended me on Facebook. All those years ago, I must have meant something to him after all! Just kidding. I am not so disillusioned anymore that I take his friend request for something other than, "Hey! I recognize that person's name!" But of course, I accepted.

There's another crush from the past that I have searched for on Facebook numerous times. Chad was the foster son of a woman with whom my parents were friends. He'd had a lot of sadness in his life and from the moment I met him, I subconsciously felt the need to "fix" him. I didn't realize this until years later while being psychoanalyzed by my mother. Chad was three years older than me, but we really connected. It didn't seem to matter that I was 15 and he was 18, which is kind of a big difference during teenage years. He didn't reciprocate my feelings, much to my chagrin, but that's something I'm grateful for now since it would have been illegal. But we got along well and always had a really good time together. When he went to college I wrote him letters and when we inevitably lost touch I was sad, but recognized it as just the way things go as people grow up and move on with their lives. And I realized that Chad, especially, might always be running from his past.

But with the advent of MySpace, Chad and I were able to reconnect. And from there we began speaking on AIM on an almost daily basis. Sometimes the conversations were very flirtatious, bordering on racy, but that was okay because by this point I was 21 and he was 24. He swore he never knew about my crush on him, but I think he was feigning ignorance to be nice. In high school, I once wrote his name in glitter pen and stuck the paper to the refrigerator... and he happened to stop by later that day. And got a drink from the refrigerator. But I digress. We hadn't seen each other for about five years and decided to meet up. We had a really nice dinner together and he paid, and though we never labeled it as such and there was nothing physical other than a hug, it very much felt like a date. I like to think it was a date.

Chad joined the marines shortly after that and it was the last time we saw each other. That was six years ago. I look for him on Facebook all the time and last night, I finally found him. He had accepted the request by this morning, along with a message that said, "Oh shiiiiiiit! Look who it is! How have you been?" Alas, he's married now. Also not to me (I'm noticing a trend here with my loves from the past). But he looks extremely happy and successful, and I can't ask for anything more! It's just nice to be back in touch, albeit through Facebookland.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Give me a siiiiiign... hit me baby, one more time

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I hate dating, as I've blatantly stated that fact numerous times.  But it is due to this fact that I'm sometimes prone to looking for signs that say my date with a new suitor will be my very last first date.  Fostering false hopes makes dating somewhat more bearable, though it admittedly also creates greater heartbreak when yet another situation just doesn't work out.  I recently mentally reviewed some of the reasons that I was absolutely, positively sure that I had finally found my soul mate, and though they may seem ridiculous, well... I can't promise you I won't do the exact same thing in the future.  Alright, if you must know, I'm doing it right now.
Bachelor #1: We spent our first (and only) date exchanging Mitch Hedberg impressions and talking about our mutual three loves: tacos, the Phillies and Obama.  I just assumed that equation equaled everlasting love, but it apparently didn't even warrant a second date.
Bachelor #2: On our very first date, he made laser sounds ("pewpewpew!  pew!  pew!").  It is a little-known fact that although it is not a prerequisite, it is a preference that my man make random funny sounds, not in the Tourettes sense, but in the silly, spontaneous sense.  (I'd like it to also be noted that Eric refused to do this, so I should have known from the start that he was a creep.  "No, someone might laugh at me."  "What do you mean?  I'm the only one here."  "You might laugh at me."  "I won't."  "Whatever.  I don't have to do whatever you say."  But considering this guy is a total sociopath who should be in prison... I digress).
Bachelor #3: I thought we were meant to be because he stopped me on the street to ask if I could whistle.  It was completely serendipitous, which is exactly the problem.  I've seen the movie "Serendipity" and assume that chance meetings are just the way it happens... it is, in fairy tales, which is apparently not what I am living.
Bachelor #4: "Legally Blonde" is one of his favorite movies.  Anyone who can appreciate the genius of that screenplay is worth my time.  Any man who can admit it's so brilliant that it's among his favorites... I thought he was my soul mate.  And then I found out he voted McCain/Palin.
Bachelor #5: I finally found a catch that not only matched the "needs" on my list of criteria, but fit all of my "wants" as well: He shares my political and religious beliefs, doesn't smoke (needs), is close with his family, speaks and writes using proper grammar, prefers cats to dogs, likes to cook and is an excellent cook, loves playing boardgames, calls when he says he will, makes me mixed CDs, laughs at my terrible jokes (wants)...  He is everything I always wanted, so naturally I believed it was meant to be, but... oh, I forgot to mention he just wants to be my friend.
Bachelor #6: We both keep track of the songs that we wake up with in our heads because we're fascinated by the mysterious phenomenon of why certain songs get stuck, playing on repeat in our minds.

Yes, these ridiculous traits have all made me think, at one time or another, that the guy displaying them was my intended.  Because why else would we have something so bizarre in common?  We wouldn't have met by chance just to remain in each other's lives for a few weeks, right?  This one, small, insane thing must mean something because otherwise, why would it even exist?  The truth, good readers, is simply thus: I am not the only weird person out there and somewhere there is a weirdo waiting for me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Best Date Ever: An Exes and Whys Digression

The 4th of July is the holiday that, more than any other, makes me long for love. Sure, it would be nice to have a Valentine (see Previous Post: Reflections on Valentine's Day), someone with whom I can exchange Christmas gifts, or to share my turkey with at Thanksgiving, but for me, it's good old Independence Day that succeeds in filling me with the greatest amount of yearning, and perhaps a bit of wallowing, too. I adore fireworks and want nothing more than to share the happiness and blissful contenment they bring me with a man who loves me and will hold me close while we watch thundering bursts of light and color explode above us. There has only been one year when my dream came true, and instead of writing about another dating disaster (believe me; there will be more to come), I'd like to tell you about the Best 4th of July Ever.

I had my first date with Peter on July 2 and happened to mention to him my excitement for Independence Day's impending fireworks display. Date #1 went well so when he asked if he could be my date and watch the fireworks together, I happily obliged and we made plans to watch the display from the roof of my apartment building. Pete showed up for our July 4th date with a surprise: a romance playlist that we listened to together, slow-dancing around the roof and waiting for the fireworks to begin. It felt magical, like a fairy tale, the kind of thing that I previously thought only happened in the movies, not on a second date! It was a fantastic playlist, too: Buddy Holly, Ben Folds, The Swell Season, Dean Martin, Etta James, Iron and Wine, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Salett, Otis Wedding, Weezer, the Muppets, Nina Simone, The Ramones, The Shins, and so on. A truly great assortment of amazing artists and songs. I still love listening to it... which sometimes feels odd, listening to a romantic "mix tape" from an ex, but if it's great music and it does't make me sad, then why not?

Peter and I were together for three months after that, and it was the best three months of dating in my life. He voluntarily gave me foot rubs, left love notes in my purse when he left in the morning that I'd find once I got to work, reminded me regularly that I was beautiful, routinely brought me small, thoughtful gifts (burned movies, a book, a Fozzie Bear figurine). We definitely had our problems, thus the termination of the relationship at the three month mark, but I am still grateful to Peter for showing me what a functional, affectionate relationship feels like. I held on to him longer than I should have because it felt amazing to have a boyfriend who appreciated me and treated me well. It was not enough to sustain us, and so I returned to the horrible world of dating where I'm constantly treated like crap. But despite all of the horrible dating experiences I've endured and the number of times I've nursed my poor, broken heart back to health... I hold on to the hope that there is someone out there for me that will treat me as well as Peter did, and with whom I will not have irreconcilable differences. Someone that I will actually be in love with, not just think I'm in love with because the attention is so nice. And of course, that someone will snuggle close to me as we watch fireworks and even as they fizzle and burn out, we will not.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Signing cards as a couple & The Fire Hydrant Theory: thoughts on Singledom

In one of the few episodes of Sex and the City I've seen, Carrie attends a wedding and laments, "two people are committing to a life together and I can't even get a guy to sign a card with me." I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as I just attended three weddings in just as many weeks. I love weddings, so this is not a complaint by any means... but it does cause me to stop and ponder my current situation. Like Carrie, not only have I failed in finding a man who wants to commit his life to me, but I can't even find someone who wants to sign his name next to mine on that congratulatory greeting card. I've found someone who threw a chair on our first (and only) date, someone who took me on a shopping trip to Diesel so I could watch him try on clothes for an hour, someone who later dated my roommate, someone who sent me a breakup playlist, someone that hurt me so deeply that I picture him being dismembered in various ways when I can't fall asleep at night... but never anyone that I would even invite to be my date to a wedding, let alone with whom I'd like to spend the rest of my life.
And so I'm left to ponder why men do the things they do.


I met Kevin at a bar in December; we talked for a couple of hours and he asked for my phone number. I started dating someone shortly thereafter so while Kevin and I chatted a couple of times, nothing ever came of it. But when I was dumped and Kevin texted me, I acted on it and agreed to meet him for a drink, something he said he'd been waiting on for months. When the time came for said drink, I was stood up. I didn't hear from Kevin for four months until today when he texted to say he's back in town (I wasn't aware he had left) and would like to get together.


My roommate and I attended a wedding in November. At the very beginning of the night, she picked out a gentleman that she thought was cute with whom she'd like to dance. By the end of the night, they had not only shared multiple dances, but hung out in the hotel bar for a while. He said he would like to see her again and invited her to visit him in Boston sometime. Except he never even asked for her phone number!


Another friend of mine has been asked out multiple times by a guy who does not remember that they have already dated!

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, folks... and yet I try to decipher that pesky opposite sex again and again. Whoever said men always say exactly what they mean and don't send mixed signals is full of shit. And that, my friends, is why ladies are left to read into things: because men are cryptic little devils.

But I know that women have their idiosyncracies as well. Allow me to introduce The Fire Hydrant Theory: Instead of telling a guy how they feel, women have begun to use men's Facebook walls as a means of staking their claim, hypotheticcaly pissing all over the wall to show ownership the way dogs stake claim on fire hydrants: "Back off, ladies! I have 'poked' and posted a link to a picture of a cute kitten and sent a clip of a movie with the message, 'LOL! Brad, remember this???" so that the world knows that Brad hung out with me! And we share a love for adorable kittens! Plus, the added bonus of a poke's sexual inuendo...hands off, ladies. This one's mine!" And so poor Brad is left soaked in the urine of a crazy chick's Facebook mania.

With two genders this cracked, how will anyone find someone who wants to sign a card with them?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sometimes your words just hypnotize me...

Craig and I went to high school together and at the time, I felt as though he was kind of my male equivalent: we both had close friends in the popular crowd but were by no means card-carrying members of the cool squad ourselves. We were both "athletes" in the sense that we played a sport, but weren't the varsity stars. Neither of us really dated, though we both nursed crushes on individuals that were just out of our reach. Craig and I were your classic "in-betweeners" and I thought we really understood each other. I was talking to Craig on Instant Messenger one night and he began asking me questions like "what does it feel like when a woman gets turned on?" Since women don't get erections, he didn't understand how our bodies respond to sexual stimulation. I answered his questions but it was all very innocent.

Then Craig asked me if I'd assist him with an experiment he had read about. He wanted me to hypnotize him so that he could only get an erection when I spoke a certain trigger word. His penis would only respond to that one word, and only when spoken by me. Craig admitted to having fantasies of me whispering the word to him in the hallway at school and thus being completely at my mercy. I was a mix of flattered and terrified, but realized that this fantasy had nothing to do with sexual desire for me personally, merely that I was the person he felt comfortable admitting his sexual fetish to and he knew I wouldn't make fun of him or reveal his desire to others.

While I don't shun most sexual fetishes (to each his/her own), I do think his request was a strange one to make to a high school girl... especially one he was not romantically involved with and had never even hung out with outside of school. It was a very raondom request, even given the conversation that had preceded it. Nevertheless, I told Craig I'd be happy to comply with his request... of course never intending to follow through! I just didn't want to say "no" because then he might think I wasn't cool and... sexually awesome, or something like that. He brought up the matter a few times after that, but only online and I always replied with a line like, "oh yeah... we should totally do that... sometime... I'm really busy this weekend... working on the Homecoming float and all..."

Yes, I found the request odd, but I did not think Craig was odd. I thought it was cool that he felt comfortable being so open with me.

So the hypnotism never took place and Craig and I went our separate ways after graduation. One night when I was a freshman in college I was talking to him online and he told me that he gave the hypnotism a try with a girl at his university. He said it didn't work, and that I should come visit him because he really thought I'd be able to accomplish it. I reminded him that since I went to a different school, I wouldn't see him on a daily basis and he therefore would never be able to get an erection. He said he still thought it would be fascinating if I randomly called him and said the trigger word and hung up, giving him an instant boner. This time I declined.

Craig and I eventually lost touch, as tends to be the case with high school friends when people go away to college. But that was not the last of Craig. During my junior year of college I was walking through a friend's dorm on our way to play in the snow on a very blizzardy day. I was wearing three layers of clothes underneath my giant puffcoat and certainly looked like the Michelin Man when, lo and behold, I see Craig walking towards me. We had a very brief encounter during which he told me he was visiting a friend and had completely forgotten I also attended school there.

Later that night, Craig IMed me to tell me how sexy I looked when we ran into each other. Sexy? Really? In four layers of clothing manufactured to incubate body heat? He then proceded to ask me out and I declined, finally realizing that Craig did not find me trustworthy and a kindred spirit, but rather was a horny boy that for one reason or another thought I would be desperate enough to accept his strange advances. Now I do indeed think Craig is odd, and he is definitely not my male equivalent. Sometimes I am way too generous when giving people the benefit of the doubt... especially men whose bizarre tendencies I mistake for cute and flattering.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Read Any Good Books Lately?

What better place to find a sexy sophisticated suitor than the library?  Unfortunately, I've never had the privilege of meeting a man in the library, but that doesn't mean I've given up hope.  Should this opportunity ever come my way, I am prepared.  Surrounded by some of my lady friends earlier in the week, we developed a list of pick-up lines that are surefire ways to catch that studious man (or woman) of your dreams. 

1.    Is your name Dewey?  Because I've been looking you up and down.
2.    Put down that book and check me out.
3.    Let's play a little game of non-fiction.
4.    I'd like to run my fingers through your pages.
5.    Excuse me, do you know where I could find the graphic novels?
6.    Care to examine my stacks?
7.    Would you like to solve my mystery?
8.    I found you in the card catalog filed under "sexy."
9.    Do you know where I can find Moby Dick?
10.  I lost my call number; can I get yours?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dating: It's Not A Game

Tonight I attended an event called Love Is Blind that not only featured a male dancer who stripped down to his goggles, snorkel and swim trunks, but also several rounds of the Dating Game, complete with three contestants and bachelor/bachelorette mysteriously hidden behind a curtain.  Alas, my raffle ticket was not selected, which would have enabled me to participate, a fact that is most unfortunate not only because I therefore did not win a fabulous date with a handsome man, but also because this blog entry would be far more exciting had I been chosen.  However, watching the others on stage answer the questions posed to them by the men/women searching for love made me contemplate what three questions I would ask a potential suitor, had I only three questions to ask.  At first it seemed quite obvious, as there are three major things I look for when dating:

1.  Do you smoke?
2.  What is your political affiliation?
3.  Are you religious?

I won’t tell you what the “correct” answers to these questions are, but I can tell you that they are my only deal-breakers.  And #3 is open to some debate depending on ethnicity vs. moral obligation.  These questions, however, would not make for a particularly entertaining dating game.  While the answers to these questions remain of importance to me, there are three additional questions that would not only go over far better within the Dating game scenario, but also have answers that would honestly make a difference to me:

1.  If you were a word, what word would you be and why?
2. What is the weirdest tradition in which your family participates?
3. Name one child that has had a positive impact on your life.

And now, allow me to explain.   First of all, the word “love” or “hope” will not gain you any points here.  Please.  There are so many remarkable words in the English language.  What about “menagerie” or “waffle” or “placenta?”  Just feel the way those words roll of the tongue.  I don’t care if the word is selected simply because it’s fun to say; that is a far better reason than the Miss America response of, “because it’s a beautiful thing and what we all live for blah blah blah.”  Men give those answers to because they think it’s what we want to hear.  They are wrong.

As for question number 2… loving your family and bonding with your family is important to me.  Maybe you grew up in a dysfunctional family but turned out okay.  There still has to be some kind of tradition your family adheres to, even if it’s chasing each other around with the butcher knife every Thanksgiving.  Let’s keep it exciting, people!  My answer to this question would either be Drunken Boardgame Fest with my cousins or the Ceremonial Passing of the Collared Pecary.

And lastly, children.  I do not want a child today or tomorrow or even in the next several years.  But I want a child some day.  I know plenty of people who have not had an abundance of children in their lives, but I feel it’s impossible to have never had your heart melted by a child.  Did a baby ever smile at you on the subway?  Did a little girl or boy in a film ever move you in the slightest?  A child somewhere must have had an impact on you at some point, one way or another, no matter how small.  Three years ago, this would not have seemed important to me, but since then I have dated far too many men who, in their 20s, were already contemplating Vasectomies.  Seriously?  You’re not even 30 years old and you want to get snipped?  Preposterous.  I need to at least know there is the possibility of children at some point in the future.

I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m pretty fed up with the whole dating scene and ready to find someone with whom I see a future.  And who sees me in his future.  I don’t date for fun.  Of all the things that dating is, “fun” is not one of them.   I have kept an open mind and dated smokers, dated men who voted opposite what I voted in the 2008 election, dated men who were estranged from their families.  And you know what?  I have not fared well.  I know that relationships are all about compromise, but one should not have to compromise her/his ideals.  Yes, relationships require sacrifice, but likewise they cannot exist in the first place without harmony.

What if the Dating Game consisted of the questions people really wanted to ask?  Oh, Jim Lange would have been in for such a treat!  Though I much prefer Chuck Woolery.  I wonder if he’s single… and how he would answer my questions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Diary 4/25/95: Couple-skating at the roller rink

The below was artfully sketched on April 25, 1995:

The accompanying diary entry is from April 23, 1995:
Dear Diary, on Friday I went to the roller rink.  I couple-skated with (drumroll please!)  Jason!  As friends, of course.  Now I can't get him out of my mind.

Top 5 guys:
1. Jason
2. Jamin
3. Thomas Ian Nicholas
4. Nate
5. Marc

Note from me, April 25, 2011: Come on, I was a hottie, no?  Who wouldn't want to coupleskate with that hot piece of ass?-

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dear Diary 4/6/01: In which I ask my first love to prom

Before I begin the diary entry itself, I'd like to provide a little background information that will prove helpful: the conference mentioned is a seminar for high school students in which half the week is spent in NYC learning about social issues at the UN. The second half of the week is spent in D.C. lobbying senators/representatives.  Chaperoned, of course, but with a good deal of freedom.

And now for the main event!

4/6/01: Dear Diary, No guy has had me so whipped for a long time! I think the last time I was this crazy about a guy was over a year ago when I liked Justin (again). But now... Adam. We were together nearly the whole week of the conference. He always waited for me so we could walk together [to and from seminar sessions]. We get along so well -- our personalities totally mesh. I'm crazy about him.

I asked him to prom and I'm writing down the conversation so I don't forget it. After working up much courage and finding my balls:

Me - "Adam, would you go to prom with me?"

Adam - "That's an odd question."

Me - "It's an odd question?"

Adam - "Not odd, just... unexpected."

Me - "I'll warn you next time... Adam, I'm warning you."

Adam - "Warning me about what?"

Me - "I'm going to ask you to prom."

Adam - "...yeeeeaaahhhhh..." (Said like "rrrriiiiiigggghhhhht" not like "Sure! I'll go to prom with you!"

*The Next Night*

Adam was going to take the elevator [up to his hotel room], but I decided to just take the stairs instead, and he followed me. We were alone, so I brought it up again.

Me - "Adam, sorry for catching you off-guard last night."

Adam - "Oh, it's okay."

Me - "But... I was serious, so if you could mull it over, I'd appreciate it."

Adam - "Okay, I'll mull it."

* Then we started making jokes about mullets. *

When I asked him to prom we were on a ferry. It was so beautiful and it was just the two of us standing there, and to be honest, it was kinda romantic. I thought I'd scared him. On the ferry on the way back, I was inside the third level talking to my friend Phil and Adam was standing outside the third level. I told Phil I thought I scared Adam and he said, "There are three levels on this ferry. If you really scared him, do you think he'd be outside the window?" That really helped. :) [I actually drew a smiley face in my diary at this part.]

Adam promised me before the conference that he'd dance for me there. [He was a breakdancer.] I'd been asking him all week and he hadn't yet, but after we got back to the hotel from the ferry ride, he danced and kept doing it until the end of the week! Coincidence? I don't know. I don't want to read into anything, but it sure drove me wild!

I never asked a guy out in person before, but I think there's something to say for not getting a yes, and not affecting our friendship. Nothing was awkward; we just kept on joking around and hanging out. How often does that happen? When I left the conference, I gave him a hug and told him to e-mail me, so I'll let you know what happens. My hand is really tired.

Note from the author 4/6/11: The prom in question was for my junior year of high school. Adam was (still is, go figure) a year younger than me and attended a different high school about an hour away.  He declined my invitation to be my date to my junior prom, but accepted a year later when I asked him again and he danced the night away with me at my senior prom.  Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, that night remains one of my finest memories.  The boy I had loved for over a year went to my senior prom with me, gave me a huge bouquet of flowers and danced with me all night long.  It was glorious and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!  Since he lived too far away to drive home that night, he slept over at my house. We went home after prom and started watching Big Daddy in my family room and since that room of my house is completely secluded from the rest of the house, I was hoping for a little making out action.  Isn't that what you do on prom night?  However, halfway through the movie when I started to yawn, Adam informed me that I should probably go to bed... so I went upstairs to my room and he slept on the sofa.

Adam and I hung out that summer before I went to college and before his senior year of high school.  At this point, I had been head over heels for the guy for two and a half years.  I pulled him aside one day that summer and laid it all out for him, something along the lines of, "I'm going to college in a couple weeks and will probably meet a guy there and we'll fall in love and get married... but not if I still have a chance with you.  I can't move on unless you tell me there's no way you'll ever change your mind."  I remember Adam's response word-for-word: "I think we'll just always be really good friends."

And so I went to college a few weeks later.  I honestly thought that everyone who hadn't already found his/her husband/wife found that person at college simply because that's where my parents had met.  I assumed that's just the way it was done.  I never dreamed that I'd be no closer to finding true (reciprocal) love ten years later.  But I really and truly was in love with Adam, and not just puppy love.  We were extremely close and my feelings for him were deep and unconditional.  I think I've been in love twice since then, but Adam was the first. My first love.

So where is Adam now? Well, we continued to talk and hang out throughout my freshman year of college, but the communication became more sporadic and we gradually drifted apart.  He actually randomly ended up as the college roommate of another friend of mine, a guy who knew all about my love for Adam and who I had cried to about Adam on at least one occasion... so that was kind of weird. A couple of years ago Adam married that friend's cousin, a girl I was also friends with... so that was also kind of weird. 

She once tried setting me up with some guy named Ed.  I'm not sure if it was because she really thought that Ed and I would be a good match, or if she felt guilty about taking my first love, but there are no hard feelings there.  She and I were friends, but not the super-close kind that have rules about stealing men from one another (and it wasn't stealing since he never wanted me anyway).  My only sadness stems from the fact that Adam was one of my very best friends and I have not talked to him in six or seven years.  I do miss his friendship, but everything else played out exactly the way it should have. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Terrible Poetry

Last night I came across poems that I wrote at some point in my past... unfortunately they were not dated.  But FORTUNATELY, they are terrible, and so now I share them for your enjoyment.

My best estimation is that this one was written in 8th or 9th grade.  I give you, Lovesick:

My chest is aching
I can feel my heart breaking
Why won't you give back this love you are taking?

You're in my every thought
You're always on my mind
No one knows how hard I've fought to leave this love behind

My only wish is for you to feel
The way I feel for you
But in my heart and in my mind I know it won't come true

I've tried to forget my feelings
Again and again
Because I know that you love me, but just as a friend

I've never felt a love like this
A love so strong and pure
I have a disease called Lovesickness for which there is no known cure

The second piece was written while I was experimenting with un-rhyming poetry.  Embarrassingly, I believe it was written when I was in 11th grade.  Warning: it's a little dark.

You Don't Love Me
If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen
If you can't stand the hurt, there is no place to hide
You make me feel important
Your smile lights up the darkest room
Your face is always bright and shining,
Never full of tears
You make me laugh
So hard I cry
But you don't love me.
My feelings are like a whirlpool
Swirling all around me,
Filling me up,
Choking me,
Drowing me,
Killing me.
I love you
But you don't love me
And it breaks my heart.

And what aspiring poet's repertoire would be complete without a Haiku?  Without further ado, Untitled:

My heart, full of pain
My body yearns to touch you
You're near, yet seem far.

That one is pretty deep, so I'll just leave you now to digest the symbolism.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...

Last weekend I overheard a woman in a cafe say, "My dating stories are just ridiculous. I really should start a blog. I think I could get a pretty good following!" As I am not open to sharing readership with a blog of a similar nature, my first thought was, "Back off, sistah friend!" I then heard her say, "Of course, I never tell them that I'm single!" My female intuition told me she was no longer referring to dates. Her friend then left and my currently single, potential blog competition was soon joined by a gentleman that she was clearly meeting for the first time. It quickly became apparent when she began asking questions such as "How do you react when you first meet a woman?" and "Have you tried on-line dating?" that this woman was a matchmaker. I decided to eavesdrop on her conversation, though I hardly consider it eavesdropping as she was sitting two tables away from me and talking at a volume that facilitated easy listening-in. She also asked: "When do you go out to meet new people?" and "What is your social outlet?" and "Do you like to be challenged in a relationship?"

The matchmaker I was observing was in her late 20s and cute, not the babushka grandmother I usually envision when imagining a matchmaker (though I suppose Patti Stanger has already done the legwork on putting that stereotype to bed). Patti Stanger, the Millionairre Matchmaker herself, is also single. Her viewers went nuts when her six year relationship with fiance Andy Friedman fizzled. With all of these single matchmakers running around, it does cause one to wonder whether or not they are qualified for their jobs. It's slightly disconcerting to think of someone who has failed to find a successful relationship for herself getting paid to find successful relationships for her clients.  Would I trust that type of person to find a match for me? Are matchmakers too busy finding love for others to find it for themselves? Do they simply put work before their personal lives? Are they living vicariously through their clients while searching for something they have thus far been unable to find on their own? So many questions! However, my roommate made an excellent observation when she pointed out that plenty of music producers are terrible musicians, but know how to create amazing hits. Something to think about.

Matchmaking is still a common practice in many cultures and I have to admit that I have often thought that life would be much easier if I lived in such a culture. No messy dating world! Far fewer broken hearts! The downside to this is that I once asked my mother who she would choose if she were to arrange a marriage for me. Her response was a close friend of mine whom I adore, but who is gay, so I'm pretty sure that marriage would have ended fairly quickly. And still, it's something I think of from time to time. I recently saw a news piece in which a young Muslim woman living in the United States elected of her own free will, by no coercion of her parents, to have a matchmaker find her a husband. You find someone suitable, you get married, and over the years you fall in love. Who doesn't tear up in Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye and Golde realize that after twenty-five years of marriage, they are in love? In a way, I am envious that the young Muslim woman was raised in a culture where such marriages are acceptable. Yes, I live in America, the land of the free and the brave, but I no longer enjoy the dating freedom and by no means do I feel brave.

Meanwhile, back at the cafe, I overheard Little Miss Matchmaker say that there are three rules that make for a successful relationship:

1.) Internal validation. One must be emotionally stable.

2.) Full life outside of couple-dom. Oh god, yes.

3.) Be the best that you can be.

Nice advice; but really, these items are common sense. Do I need to pay a matchmaker to tell me such things? I think not. And yet, I was torn between deciding if this woman was a total nut or if I wanted to ask for her business card.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tending to the Bartender

Once upon a time, in a bar far, far away, there worked a dashing bartender named Roger. I first encountered Roger in March 2009 and was immediately struck by his charm and flirtations. Enchanted though I was, I did not allow myself to be swept away by his dreamy demeanor; it is a bartender's job, after all, to be alluring and charismatic. That's how they make the dolla dolla bills, y'all. Still, when I paid my tab and noticed a night of free drinks had come my way, I was thrilled. Not only was my purse happy, but I had succeeded in scoring several rounds of drinks on the house and all I'd had to do was smile my winning smile. This was new territory to me, and I liked it.

Roger's establishment became my favorite bar, not only due to the free drinks and the hot as hell bartender who flirted with me, but also because I really enjoyed the vibe of the place and its close proximity to my apartment. I went back many times and was always greeted with a big smile and a bear hug from Roger and left with another huge bear hug from Roger after paying for far less drinks than were consumed. The hug was usually followed by a kiss on the cheek as well.

Sometimes weeks would go by between my visits and it was so nice to see Roger's face light up when I returned. It just felt good to frequent a bar where I was known and appreciated and where the service kicked ass. I stopped in for Happy Hour one night with a friend and Roger was really on fire with his flirting and making various innuendos. At one point I overheard him talking to a girl on the other side of the bar who was trying to get him to take off his clothes This was an extremely reasonable request, considering Roger is a total Adonis whose biceps are bigger than my head, yet Roger declined. The next time he sauntered over to me as I was casually playing Photo Hunt, I remarked that I had overheard the girl telling Roger to take off his clothes. Roger snickered and said, "Yeah right, like I would take my clothes off for her? I'm tired of obnoxious drunk girls. But you... I would get naked for you."

Whereas I generally responded to Roger's lines with a blush and a giggle, this time I decided to challenge him. "Oh, you would not."

"I totally would! I would get naked for you. Because you're different; you're not like those girls. Follow me."

And with that, Roger stepped out from behind the bar (leaving it completely unattended) and walked toward a door in the back, only glancing over his shoulder to see if I had followed him once he reached the door. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was definitely curious to see what was going to happen and so, taking solace in the fact that my friend knew exactly where I was going I said, "If I'm not back in five minutes, call the police."

I followed Roger through the door into a courtyard area stacked with empty beverage crates. After he shut the door behind us, I just stood there staring at him, not really sure how the scenario was going to play out. "So, you didn't think I'd get naked for you?" he asked. "I still don't believe you," I replied. And with that, Roger took off his shirt, unzipped his fly and pulled his pants down. And his underwear, too.

Roger did not require anything from me; he apparently just wanted to stand up to my challenge. And stand up, he did. We made out for a couple minutes: he naked, me fully clothed. At one point I commented, "I bet you take all the girls back here," to which he replied, "Nope. You're actually the first." Then we went back inside and he returned to the bar as though nothing had transpired.

I'm not sure whether or not I really believe I was the only girl he had taken out back up to that point, but it didn't matter to me either way. I didn't have any romantic feelings for Roger or wish the relationship to progress past "bartender/favored patron" status. It was just nice to be desired and sure, I continued to get free drinks when I went there. Icing on the cake.

But the story is not over.

A couple months after that happened, I found myself with a boyfriend... who made me happy most of the time, but who is ever happy all of the time in a relationship? On this particular night, I was not happy. I was, in fact, very upset. And I just wanted to be with someone who made me feel sexy and wanted, so on my way home I decided to swing by Roger's bar for a little chit chatty confidence boost. I couldn't find Roger, though... in fact, no one was behind the bar at all. Highly suspicious. As I was turning around to leave, I saw Roger come in from the back door... with a girl. So I just left.

I told him months afterward that I had seen him come in with her and he just laughed and said she was a friend who was upset after a breakup and needed to talk. He assured me I was still the only girl he'd made out with in the courtyard. I assume that is probably not true, but again, it doesn't really matter. Sometimes you just need to make out with a hot bartender! ...And I did make out with Roger on one other occasion, but only those two times. It was fun, and I don't regret it, but I'm looking for more than a roll among the crates with Mr. Bartender. I still go to Roger's fine drinking establishment, however. Just last night I went to see him and had a few beers. He still gives me a round on the house.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How many more do I have to weed through? How many steps are there, anyway?

“It’s a process of elimination and I’m one step closer.”  So says Oona, the protagonist searching for her soul mate in the 2009 romantic comedy Timer.  Oona is, of course, optimistically commenting on the end of a relationship, for though upset that a certain man is now out of her life, she knows he is not "the one" and can continue her search.  My sister said something very similar to me during my recent breakup: “At least now you know he isn’t 'the one' and you have one less asshole to weed through."  And brothers and sisters of the internet, ain’t it the truth!  These hopeful expressions do succeed in making me feel better about my experiences with lameass douche bags, but also begs to ask the questions: Just how many more will I have to weed through?  Yes, I’m one step closer, but how many steps are there, anyway?

Alas, it is true; yours truly was dumped about three weeks ago.  So while I should be mature enough to be held accountable for my own actions without making excuses, I am going to blame my lack of recent posts on him.  Not because I’ve been crying into my pillow every night for the past month, but because writing a dating blog wasn’t at the top of my agenda while so freshly removed from the dating scene.  However, I am now ready to soldier through and provide myself with a little therapeutic blogging.  No, my heart was not completely ripped apart by this one; we had dated for only two and a half months so definitely not the worst heartbreak I’ve ever experienced… but yes, it was the cause of some very bitter disappointment.  I’m not sure if you’ve picked up on this, but not a lot of guys have stuck around me long enough to reach the two-and-a-half month mark, so this dude was kind of a big deal for me.  And he was normal.  (Though, as my sister pointed out, “Obviously I don’t think he’s normal, considering he broke up with you.”  She always knows what to say).

And while we’re on the topic of insightful proverbs from wise women in my family, my mother keeps telling me to stop saying I was “dumped” because I am “not some piece of garbage that someone just tossed to the curb.”  But that’s exactly what I am, is it not?  After nearly three months of spending time with someone who appreciated my straight-forward manner and said my intelligence was a turn on and told me I was pretty and totally adorable, who eagerly met my friends and introduced me to his, who wanted to simply spend time with me even if it meant just sitting on my sofa wrapped in my Slanket writing math tests for fifth graders while I sat beside him and played Scrabble on Facebook… after nearly three months of spending time with such a person, all I got was, “I don’t see this going anywhere… sometimes people just don’t click.  I’ll pick up the tab for dinner.”  Yup.  Trash.  Rubbish.  Refuse.  Debris.  Tossed to the curb to be picked up by burly men in a big, smelly truck.  And though I respect his manner of breakup because he didn’t feed me any crap lines or, worse, ask if we could still be friends, I’m still forced to think him an asshole for dicking around for over two months when he clearly knew we didn’t “click” (which is a point of contention I would like to argue, but really, why bother?).

So yeah, I cried.  And drank a lot of margaritas.  And danced around the bar to “Single Ladies” by my girl Beyonce.  But yeah, I got over it.  It may not sound that way, but remember this was nearly a month ago and I’m catching up on lost time here.  I’m over him.  Another fisher lady can have that one because I’ve thrown that guppy back in the pond and am waiting for my swordfish to come along.  Or my sperm whale, tee hee hee.  Maybe all this time I’ve just been using the wrong bait.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thanks and keep reading, loyal followers!

Just a simple note to thank everyone for reading Exes and Whys!  If you are not a "fan" of the blog on Facebook, you can become one here:  Your Newsfeed will alert you every time there is a new post -- it's glorious!  And as always, feel free to pass me along to your friends that you think will find amusement in my heartbreak.  That's why I'm here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reflections on Valentine's Day

I've always loved Valentine's Day, despite the fact that I've never had anyone with which to share it. Yes, it's true: although I've had dates a-plenty and even a boyfriend to speak of from time to time, I've never been with anyone on Valentine's Day. But I shun the complaints that it is merely a commercial holiday invented by Hallmark blah blah blah... the commercialization of St. Valentine's life is no different from the treatment of Jesus' birth and death at Christmas and Easter, and many other similar holidays that boast themed chocolates and tokens of affection to bestow upon loved ones. Valentine's Day receives a bad reputation simply because people like to feel sorry for themselves and being lonely on February 14 provides adequate means to do so, wallowing in one's own self-misery.

I like Valentine's Day because, yes, we should ensure those near and dear to us know they are loved every single day, but sometimes that becomes eclipsed by other aspects of life, such as work, family, personal crises, etc. Valentine's Day reminds us why we have committed our lives to someone, if we have thus chosen to renounce all others and spend our lives with another human. And despite my lack of Valentine dates, I think this is important. Christians do not say, "Why celebrate Christmas? Shouldn't we love Christ and honor and remember his birth every day?" And if you have made the decision to be a follow of Christ, I assume you should. People do not say, "Why celebrate Mother's Day? Shouldn't we love our mother and honor and remember her every day?" And if you have a wonderful mother then yes, I assume you should. That does not mean those holidays should go ignored. The celebrations make people feel good and, dammit, they're fun.

Fun. I LOVED Valentine's Day parties in elementary school, getting my creativity on by crafting those little valentine mailboxes from paper, paste and heart-shaped stickers (and, one year that I was feeling especially crafty, a cardboard detergent box). I chose the valentines I would send my class from a catalog, my mom ordered them for me weeks in advance, and when they arrived I could hardly wait to select the perfect valentine to go to each classmate and inscribe them all with personal messages. Valentine's Day parties were the best in school and I always went home feeling appreciated (and full of red velvet cupcakes). Even in fifth grade when I sent my crush a Bananas in Pajamas valentine on which I had scrawled "I love you" and his to me said, "You are a cute and funny girl" I was elated. Did it matter that he did not love me? No! He thought I was a cute and funny girl! (And I AM! I am damn cute and funny to boot)!

In seventh grade, however, I dumped my boyfriend of three days on Valentine's Day. I knew it was wrong of me, but the "relationship" just didn't feel right and I thought it would be unfair to string him along any longer. I think he took it pretty well, considering he gave the teddy bear he had bought me to my friend Kristin and asked her out instead. They remained together for a number of years.

This Valentine's Day is the first one in which I'm a little disappointed to be spending it alone. For though I am dating someone, we decided not to make plans for tonight due to various conflicts. So, though no bouquet of flowers or candlelit dinner is in my future for this evening, I plan to take Ben & Jerry on a hot date to the movies, and they are better dates than most.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

OK Cupid Hall of Shame Part #3

I disabled my OK Cupid profile today for a number of reasons.  Mostly, I'm tired of the annoying emails and less than stellar "matches."  But also, those little internet algorithms actually succeeded in finding me someone whose presence I enjoy so instead of continuing my search, I'm content for the moment to sit back and see what happens... but as I don't write about men I'm currently dating, that's all you're getting for now.  To mark this momentous occasion, let's take a look at some awesome messages I have received recently from OK Cupid's Most Ineligible Bachelors.

You definitely look hot, but unfortunately I only date black girls.
...That works out pretty well for us because I tend not to date pricks.

Why don't you like dogs? Seriously?
...Nowhere on my profile did I state that I don't like dogs (but to be fair, I do prefer cats).  

I am a 31/m from NJ. I am a paid/ volunteer firefighter/emt. I am currently pursuing a career in law enforcement as well. I am a very atletic person. It's nice to meet you! What is your name? I am interested in getting to know you better as well. I have three tattoos as well. love kids as well! i ALSO ENJOY SHOPPING! I ALSO LIKE NYC. I ALSO ENJOY MUSIC! I ALSO LIKE TRAVELING AND ROMANCE! I am a good heart guy that is genuine and knows how to treat a lady. WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXCHANGE PHONE NUMBERS AND CHAT ON THE PHONE!

Sounds like you have nothing to lose by accepting a date with me.
...With all due respect, I think I have a lot to lose.  Here is a short list of things that I regret losing on dates: My temper, my self-respect, $60, a contact lens and my virginity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can I Get Your Number Baby? Hit Me With The Seven Digits!

I've never been shy when it comes to giving my phone number to a man and making it clear that I'm interested, a character trait that is in direct conflict with the fact that I'm pretty much terrified of men. Especially ones I like. If you've read any previous blog entries, it should be fairly obvious why, though men make me giddy and giggly, they also set me a bit on edge. There's no telling what these strange, erratic creatures are going to do next. But that hasn't stopped me from putting myself out there from time to time. I'm pretty sure the first time I slipped a guy my number was when I dropped my digits into Jeff's tip jar (See: "Don't Go Around Breaking Young Girls' Hearts;" posted July 21, 2010), a move that I still argue was totally suave even though it didn't score me any dates.

There were a number of guys in college that I asked out, though I really don't remember if there was specific phone number distribution going on. One of these instances totally backfired for me because not only did Jim not take me up on my offer, but apparently dudes talk to each other in the football locker room. I was embarrassingly whistled at and catcalled every time I walked by the football table in the cafeteria for months, and I can assure you it was not in response to my extra-baggy hoodie emblazoned with our school's name.

I very clearly remember the first time a guy gave me his phone number and asked for mine in return. Alex and I met at a bar and realized we had a mutual friend, so when he scrawled his number on a napkin, I wasn't sure if his advances were strictly platonic or if they carried romantic undertones. I left the bar and he called me within the hour, so I decided he was probably into me... a hypothesis that was not supported when he took me out for coffee the next night and didn't even pay for my $1.10 cappucino at Dunkin Donuts. I don't think we ever spoke after that (well, until he came to pick up his tax returns when I was working in an H&R Block office two years later in a completely different city, but he definitely didn't remember me or recognize my name).

Then there was Steve, who cleaned the rugs at the bar and grill I hostessed at. Every Friday afternoon at 3:00 he'd come pick up our rugs, load them in his truck and replace them with clean ones. He always greeted me with a winning smile and he had totally gorgeous blue eyes that I couldn't stop staring at... but how to ask out this beautiful carpet-cleaning creature without attracting the attention of the entire waitstaff and restaurant patrons? Apparently the H&R Block office I was also working at was intent on providing me with opportunities to meet men or rekindle old flames, because Steve walked in one night to have his taxes prepared. He recognized me from the restaurant, we chatted and on the way out I slipped him my number. He never called, which made for some awkward Fridays, but I soon moved to a new state anyway.

There have been a handful of waiters who have been the lucky recipients of my number, too. In June, one such waiter became the first man to actually call me after receiving a scrap of paper with my number jotted on it. Ryan texted me within a half hour of receiving my digits: "I'm beyond flattered that a girl as goodlooking as yourself would give me her number. What should be do about this mutual attraction?" He then immediately asked me out for the coming weekend. He was a very attentive texter, giving me every indication that he was looking forward to going out. We met up late Saturday night and simply walked around his neighborhood, ending up in a park talking for two hours, leaving only when the park closed and city authorities kicked us out. I got on the train and before I even reached my apartment an hour later, I had a text from Ryan: "Get home safely! I enjoyed the conversation and look forward to doing it again." He asked me for a second date a few days later and we made weekend lunch plans.

The day of said second date, Ryan texted me to say his roommate totalled his truck and though unhurt, he was going to help him out, ending with, "Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?" Such a noble cause to cancel a date! I told him I was disappointed because I looked totally cute, but of course he was forgiven. He replied with, "I know, you always look fantastic! Thanks for understanding. I'll call soon."

Ryan never called. Did the roommate really total his truck or was it an excuse to get out of a date he didn't want to go on? I think it was true. He sure acted like he really wanted to go out again and if he didn't, why not just ignore me sooner? I think it's more likely that he let "too much time go by," a common theme I have recently observed. I've had a number of guys not call me back, only to tell me when I run into them weeks or months later, "I really did want to go out with you. But I forgot to call when I said I would and then I let too much time go by." I believe 100% that this is what they are truly thinking and not just a convenient excuse (I've done my research), but what a crock of shit. Maybe I'm in the minority of ladies, but I'd rather have a guy eventually call if I was looking forward to hearing from him than never hear from him at all. At any rate, Ryan was the last time I distributed my phone number to a near-stranger. I should probably count it as a near-success and quit while I'm on top.