Feb 10

Single in the city

When I was married, I enjoyed watching Sex and the City. From the comfort of my relationship, I was amused by the women’s dealings with trying to find the right guy. Thank God I don’t have to go through that, I thought in my suburban apartment, my husband in the next room. But when I became single, I found the show depressing.

I quickly learned that dating was not fun. The most fun part was writing my online ad, and maybe that period of time before anyone contacted me, when there was still potential. Then it turned into why isn’t anyone contacting me? Or, why aren’t the guys I want contacting me? Okay, I’ll contact them. The usual response? Crickets.

My very first post-divorce date was the summer of 2005. He was British and loved opera. We were supposed to meet for drinks at six, and the awful manager I had at the time liked to schedule 5:30 meetings. He scheduled one on the night of my date.

“I can’t stay,” I told my co-workers. “I have to leave.” I felt like if I didn’t have this first post-divorce date, I might never have any.  Luckily my co-workers were nice enough to cover for me.

The date was so so. I was incredibly nervous. We met at Pipa, and I was the only one drinking. Who agrees to meet for drinks and then doesn’t drink?

He was pretty nice, and I went out with him twice more. But by the third date, I knew he wasn’t for me. I just wasn’t attracted to him.  He was barely taller than I was, had a paunchy face, a paunchy belly, and arms that jiggled like an old lady’s. I mean, my triceps were more toned.

I liked Tobey the acupuncturist much more. I met him through speed dating. It was my friend’s idea, and for some reason I had to pose as her sister’s friend. It was her sister and this friend who had the membership; otherwise it’d have cost us some fee (probably not a lot).

The first guy I talked to worked for a competing pharmaceutical company. That was weird. But he was very nice with lovely manners, and attractive despite his “Gordon Gekko hairstyle,” as my friend put it. I can’t really remember who else I talked to; the guys start to merge together with the one other speed dating event I attended.

When I talked to Tobey, no sparks flew. In fact I thought he was gay, as did my friend. But then when we shifted partners, and my new guy was a complete weirdo who said nothing even after the bell rang, Tobey caught my eye and laughed, and I thought, Wow, he’s cute!

On our first date we ended up making out in a bar, something I’d never done before. He was an excellent kisser. But even by the second date, I sensed some weirdness about him. He already seemed distant and too in himself (probably a sign of depression).

One Sunday I didn’t have anything to do, so I called him to see if he wanted to hang out. “Oh, um, maybe,” he said. “What would we do?”

“I dunno,” I said. “It doesn’t matter.” I began to regret my calling him. “You can say no, you know. It’s not a big deal.”

“Oh, no. It’s okay. We can hang out. If you want.”

Gee, thanks.

We had a very nice time, and at the end of the night, he said, “I wish you could stay,” but I still felt weird. Another time I invited him to a friend’s improv show, and again he had a strange response: “Where is it?”

I wasn’t sure. Midtown maybe?

He hemmed and hawed, and said he’d think about it. In my mind, I took this as a no.

Later he called and said he felt bad about his response, that he should have said yes right away.

“Only if you want to go,” I told him. I had been disappointed that he seemed to not want to, but that was that. Now he was saying yes because he felt guilty?

“And about dim sum on Saturday,” he said. “You can invite your friends if you want.”

“Why would I want to do that?” I asked. Dim sum was a date – why would I want my friends there? I did not get this guy at all.

We ended up not going to my friend’s show (I was feeling lazy), and dim sum was fun. But things still felt not quite right.

His birthday came up around this time, and I got him a gift certificate to a spa near his apartment. He told me all about the birthday party he was having, yet didn’t invite me. We hung out one more night, he chucked me under the chin, and then I never heard from him again.

Yeah, dating really sucked.

When I watched TV, I didn’t really want to be reminded of my own life. That was why I turned away from SATC and became obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Gilmore Girls.  I’ll take ass kicking slayer and living in Stars Hollow over dating any day.

Sep 07

Honest Anna May

So my date on Thursday was pretty fun. The guy, BH, is rather soft-spoken and has an endearing laugh. He laughed at most of my jokes, which is a plus for me. He’s a musician/software programmer, and is from Australia, and you know I’m a sucker for that kind of accent.

I was having a good time up till the end, when he became, uh, overly enthusiastic, not in a physical way but an asking way, and I politely yet clearly said it was too soon for that. Afterwards, I was rather turned off, though I guess you can’t blame a guy for trying, and I assumed he’d go the way of the history professor (ie, no nookie = no dating).

But then last night he called. Actually first he emailed me because it turned out I had written my phone number incorrectly. (That’s what two glasses of wine will do to me.) When we spoke he said, “I was sad when the number didn’t work,” and I joked that he must have thought I gave him a made up one.

And then basically he apologized for jumping the gun. He said he tends to make up his mind about things pretty quickly, but sensed that I probably wanted to move more slowly. I confirmed that, explaining that I’d gotten into situations that were too much, too fast, (ie, H.) and that just died out, and that if I could help it, I didn’t want to go through that kind of thing again. Not that I want a guaruntee that something will last forever, but at least first get to know the other person and where they’re coming from.

Now I realize with H. that he wasn’t ready for what I was ready for, a long-term relationship. I was the first person he had a connection with after his horrible breakup, and I think he was from the beginning in the mentality that this would probably not last for very long. If we had waited and talked more, that would have revealed itself, and maybe I’d have been smarter about getting involved so quickly.

Lesson learned.

My goal here is to be honest honest honest and take things slowly, and if he doesn’t like that, then he’s not the one for me. And not just honest about myself, but to be nosy and ask lots of questions. At the right time, of course, and in a mellow way, not like a psychotic journalist. That’s part of the taking things slowly.

In the past I’ve held back and have just wondered to myself, fearing I’d offend. Fuck that shit.

We’ll be having dinner on Thursday.

~ ~ ~

I’m planning on a very mellow day today. The last couple of weekends were so busy, I’m glad for the reprieve. I was going to go to the ‘rents’, but they’re out tonight and I have plans tomorrow afternoon so it seems silly to go home for such a short time. Next weekend probably.

Try to write this morning. Shopping this afternoon? I want boots! A run around 5 or 6.

Sep 07

Another rambling post

My boss was such a jerk yesterday. He totally chewed me out in front of a couple of other folks for something small. We’re all on a learning curve here, people! He apologized later but we are not in agreement about the nature of a new role I’ve taken on. At this point, there’s no way for me to win, and I don’t care enough to fight it. One day at a time.

On the up side, I got some praise from some folks my boss deems important on the very thing he flipped his lid on. These expectations do not compute. It’s some consolation to know that I’m not the only victim here.

Library school here I come!. . .or writing school. . or j-school. . .wait. . .
I reached out to my most recent writing teacher about a recommendation. He very graciously agreed, then said, “Of course what you should be doing is pursuing writing,” though he’s ambivalent about MFA programs (and also forgot I already have one).

Then he wrote that he himself wishes he had gone to journalism school, and *that* got my head spinning. Shoud I? Should I? Prolly not. Still I emailed a former classmate who I know is in j-school and want to pick her brain.

My teacher also said that he mentioned my memoir to his new class, not the subject – not that I would have cared – but the structure and imagery. I’m beyond flattered. Amazing how a little bit of external validation can do wonders on the ego.

I signed up for another memoir class, not his, a shorter one. Starts in October.

Boys on the side
So I have a date tonight. Erp. He’s quite a bit older than I am, though he looks pretty young.

And that supercute boy wrote me again! He was like, “Hey, what happened?” and asked if I still wanted to get together. His last message was from a week ago, and I didn’t answer. In that email I had asked if he was born the year of the monkey, and in his reply he didn’t even answer, just asked if I wanted to get together, which irked me.

This time he signed off, Monkey Man. So he *did* read my message! Sure, why not? It’s just a date.

Sep 07

Weekend highlights

Wow, I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since my last post. I guess work was pretty busy last week.

No half-day for me, which was okay since I feel like I accomplished a lot.

After work YP and I went to his friend’s art show in Brooklyn, which was far better than the one in NJ last weekend, and then dinner and drinks afterwards.

Apparently the bar we were in was a gay bar, but it didn’t seem very gay. Maybe cuz it was virtually empty since it was so early and it’s new. It was still fun though. Had a couple of gin and tonics, and played some pool. I suck by the way.

In the morning helped YP with a photo shoot for his flyer for his next stand up show before heading up town for my haircut. Yay, finally!

Grabbed a late lunch with SB. Ridiculously expensive dim sum. Shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, turnip cakes, and fried squid – for $50! In Chinatown we would have paid like a third of that. Last time I’m eating dim sum in my area.

Had a run in the late afternoon. Gorgeous day. Wanted to do 8-10 miles, but was kinda hungover and sleep deprived. Did 6.1 at a 8.34 minute mile.

Was up early again for another photo shoot with YP since the pictures we took on Saturday didn’t work out. Then out to the Brooklyn Book Festival.

I almost never run into anyone I know, but as PL and I were standing in line waiting to get into an event, guess who came out of the crowd. The history professor. We totally made eye contact so there was no way to avoid each other. Like a civilized person, he did come over and chat a bit though probably for too long. It was really really awkward but pretending to be normal. Whatevs.

After the festival, PL and I grabbed some dinner near me, as well as dessert at Pinkberry.

Tonight I’m supposed to go to the movies with a coworker. When it rains, it pours!

The dating front
This super cute guy wrote to me, but his emails sucked. He didn’t ask me anything about myself, and in his very first email, he asked about getting together. That might be okay for someone else, but I personally need a little back and forth before agreeing to meet up.

Still, I wrote back with some questions for him – just making conversation – and said sure, getting together sounded like fun. He responded a couple of days later, not even answering my questions, just: “So when do you want to get together?”

Um, never.

I’ve been in correspondence with a couple of other guys. One is probably too old for me, though he looks young, and the other seems cool. We’ll see.

Aug 07

There I go again asking for things while I’m unconscious

So the history prof sent me an email yesterday saying that while he was glad to have met me, he didn’t have time for “serious dating” right now.

Hmm, I must have blacked out during our second date since I don’t remember asking for that at all. Or even discussing anything remotely related.

It doesn’t matter anyway since I wasn’t that into him. Just cracks me up.

Very quiet today what with the upcoming 3-day weekend. Looking forward to a run this afternoon.

Aug 07

Ugly is as Ugly Does

So that’s that for the history professor. Why? I’ll tell you:

1) He hasn’t contacted me at all since our date on Friday. Now before you say, “Why don’t you call him?” let me move onto the second reason.

2) I don’t think I could have gotten past his, um, face. Yes, his unattractive face. His unattractive, ugly, ugly face. I was being generous when I thought there might be a possibility, that I’d give him a chance. But I actually woke up Saturday morning thinking, Could I get used to that mug?

There was that study recently which showed that throughout history women have found men with Neanderthal-like features to be more attractive. Think small face and large brow, like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Orlando Bloom.

The history prof did not look Cro-Magnon. He kind of looked like a primordial dwarf. Do you know what a primordial dwarf looks like? Tiny head, beady close-set eyes, beak of a nose (which on another face might be appealing), tiny mouth, weak chin.

After our second date, I saw a show on primordial dwarves and I couldn’t stop thinking they looked like him. :( On top of that, he had a double chin and a mouthful of crooked teeth.

Not that the other guys I’ve dated have been models, but at least they were – cute! Pleasant looking. C. had lovely brown eyes. DK’s were bright blue, and he had excellent bone structure. H.’s were a beautiful green, and he had that small face action going. Good-sized brow, strong nose and chin.

But I was willing to get to know the history professor. Love conquers all, right?

3) Not so much. Friday night’s date consisted of his inviting me over to this apartment he was housesitting, which made me feel a bit odd. Earlier we talked about going to a movie, and then he was inviting me over and offering to cook dinner, which is very nice, but maybe a bit early.

Still, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, and said how about dinner before and the movie afterwards, to put a timetable on the “in the apartment” action, if there was to be any, which I wanted to keep at a minimum since it was only our second date.

We did kiss, which was fine. I mean, despite being aesthetically-challenged, he was actually a good kisser.

After the movie I was nervous about how I’d make my getaway. There was no way I was going back to his place. I said, in what I thought was a casual tone, “What street are we on? Oh I can catch my bus here!” He even waited with me.

So why no contact afterwards? My conclusion is that he realized that I am not that kind of girl, or at least trying not to be (okay for other people, not good for my self-esteem), and that perhaps we want different things (him: a roll in the hay, me: casual, slow dating). Or that he wasn’t as into me as he thought he was. Here I was thinking I was being all generous, while maybe it was his interest in me that fizzled.

Nah. I’m awesome.

It’s actually a relief that he hasn’t contacted me again. I kept imagining five or six dates from now, and the possibility of having to dump him.

If I have a choice, why not go with cute?

Aug 07

Shouldn’t have had that gin and tonic

My brain has transformed from desert to cotton field.

So my date overall was pretty fun. When it started I was unsure. We arranged to meet at a bar downtown, and I got there super early – which I hate but can’t seem to help – so I went to the Whole Foods nearby and downed an Odawala juice since I was a little hungry and would be having a drink. By the time I returned to the bar, he was there.

The first thing I thought was that he looked rather different than his picture. Then again, his picture was kind of hard to see. If he walked by on the street, I wouldn’t turn my head, but he has the body type I like, tallish and slim, also fit.

Second thing I thought was either I’m overdressed or he’s underdressed. What I wore: jeans, cute short-sleeved button-up black top, and high-heeled boots. What he wore: T-shirt, shorts, sneakers. Hm. Whatever.

He talked a lot and a mile a minute, which was sort of a relief because I hate those silences. And he did ask me some questions about myself, and vice versa. What I liked was that he’s really into movies and has read a lot, and is not discerning in his tastes. Like he’s into both art house and mainstream flicks, as well as literature and lighter reading.

He seemed to know more trivia about movies than I do. I always feel like the one freak who knows some random fact about an actor or movie, but he seemed to be that way too.

Then somehow we started talking about children’s and young adult books, and he mentioned Madeleine L’Engle, who I LOVED as a kid, and still do now. I’ve met people who have heard of her, and maybe even read her, but not anyone who was as into those books as I was.

I mentioned that I liked the last book in the Wrinkle in Time trilogy best, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and we started talking about it in-depth. He kept mentioning characters from it – Meg, Calvin, Calvin’s mom – which cracked my shit up because again I thought I was the one freak who practically memorized the book.

“I don’t think the words, ‘Branzilla,’ have ever passed through my lips,” he said.

Branzilla was another character in the book. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard it said aloud,” I said.

And we both thought a novel one of the characters writes in the book was real, and as kids both did research trying to find any info on it.

We’re supposed to hang out again, see a movie or something.

Aside from that, my weekend was pretty uneventful. I had a long run on Saturday – well, long for me – at 9.75 miles. Once around the Loop, twice around the Reservoir. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and cool, but the sun was a bit of a challenge, as was climbing stairs afterwards.

Also some writing, some shopping. Now I’m hungover, like I said. I have one short meeting and one longer meeting, both this morning. Not so bad I guess.