Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Pick Up Artist

It's been awhile since I've written, which might make you think I have nothing relevant to blog about. That's not entirely untrue. My new search: the perfect apartment.

My least is up in July, so I've been devoting my time to seeing men... about apartments, but not men about dating. For the most part. So it's no surprise that once I start looking for them, I find them.

After an apartment viewing at the Chocolate Works in Old City two weeks ago, I stopped in to see my bartender buddy at Mac's Tavern. I thought I'd have a drink before a happy hour with my new Avalon share house roommates. Instead, I had many drinks and met a guy named Comcast 1--Comcast because he works there. And it factors in later. Anyway, we texted a few times, then went out this past Mon to The Belgian Cafe. It went well.

On Saturday, I went to the Phillies game with the 'rents. Forecast was 70 and sunny, but it was 55 and rainy. We ate outdoor at McFaddens, then went to the 400-level seats, and after 2 innings I got cold, and went back to McFaddens to seek shelter from the storm (and alcoholic beverages.) There I met two guys with whom I drank and chatted until the game ended, with us beating the Braves the only time in this series. One of the guys took my number, texted me a half hour later, then didn't respond to my text.

While at Belgian Cafe with Comcast 1, this guy called. When I got home, I called him back, we chatted for almost an hour (during this conversation, ironically, Comcast 1 texted), and made a plan to get together.

So last night we met at Kite & Key (which I hate) and in true fashion, staff were rude, slow, and we left before they took our order. We ended up outside at McCrossens, had dinner, good/fun conversation, and ended the night with a "raincheck" for a drink I won in a bet about our server's nationality. (BTW-I'm calling him Comcast 2 because I found out last night that he also works there.) I'm looking forward to hanging out with him again, but there is this one thing...

We haven't discussed our ages.

This continues to be an issue for me here. A good issue, but an issue none-the-less. Guys don't ask how old I am, assume I'm younger than I am, by usually 7-10 years, then it gets awkward for one--or both of us--when we finally reveal our ages, like with the Sexter.

Or, worse, the really young ones try to convince me that our sex drives are on par, and they tell me they like older women--or call me a cougar.

So, at what point do I bring this up?

Thinking if we go out again, and I like the guy, I should just ask him, and tell him. His friend at McFaddens was 33, and I suspect he's around the same age, which is not an issue for me. If younger, could be an issue for him.

Advice?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Lost Art of the Gentleman

I thought I had it bad when a guy who asked me out for coffee didn't pay for my coffee . This weekend, when catching up with an old high school friend, and doing what I do best--complaining about my dating life--she blew me away by telling me one I hadn't heard before.

This story is 3rd-hand (if not 4th) so the details may be false, but the outcome is true.

My friend, let's call her LS, ran into her neighbor in their hallway last weekend. They had a mutual friend who neighbor set up. LS hadn't seen mutual friend in awhile, so she asked neighbor how mutual friend was--and how did that set up go?

Neighbor replied that that was done.

They went out, and when the bill came, not only did he NOT pay for her, but he actually asked her to pay for him.

She did pay for herself, but not for him. She said something along the lines of him having nerve to ask her out, then ask her to pay, and that was that.

Now I'm no gold-digger, but my mantra is you ask me out, you pay. At least on the first date. And probably second. Once you're dating, you can play that by ear. But be a gentleman. At least at first. Cause the beginning's the best it's gonna get, and if you're cheap then, well, it will only go downhill from there.

Along the same lines, a guy asked me out last week for "coffee or tea." I appreciated the inclusion of the lesser-appreciated caffienated drink as I'm a tea drinker, and thought it was kind of, I don't know, British of him. I replied with the nights this week when I was free and asked him to confirm when worked for him.

He said Monday after work was good, and without even asking what location or time worked for me, suggested his corner coffee shop (on Manayunk) at 7:30. So basically, he'll hang out if I make it convenient for him. I wrote back that didn't work for me and suggested we try for the weekend, but I didn't mean it and have no intention of seeing him as the least he can do is be a gentleman and make a date that's convenient for me. It's not like I was asking him to come get me in Brooklyn.

After these plethors of stories, I want to tell these guys what I think. That they need to pay, and offer to pick their date up, and walk us home, and be gentlemen. Maybe watch some James Bond (can you imagine Sean Connery asking Pussy Galore to buy her own martini?) But I'm afraid gentlemanry is an art lost on today's dating male. Where is Cary Grant when you need him?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Obsessed with Dating Studies

Of late, people have been drawing my attention to dating studies they've found. One friend sent me an article in the Scientific American whose subhead suggested that to "create uncertainty" was the best dating tactic. We've been hearing for years that playing hard to get is best, and this article and related study confirmed it. While it nods its head to the notion of being truthful, straightforward, and not playing games, that theory is proven false here. As it's a scientific study, I suspect it holds some water, and this isn't the first time I've heard this advice (though I rarely follow it.) Perhaps THIS is my next experiment...

The next "Study" someone mentioned to me, was on a popular Chicago radio morning show. I didn't hear the entire original piece, but they summarized it on their site. Topics include: What Kind of Women Get Married? And The Six Basic Guidelines for Women to Get Married.

This type of piece bothers me. Someone who calls themself an expert (present company excluded) makes grand, sweeping generalizations, as well as spouts off common sense, and packages those thoughts into some big *AHA!* "article" so that people listen, and heed their advice. I cringed when I read that you should stay in shape if you want to get married--how about you do it for yourself and so you don't die of obesity? After seeing that, I realized this piece could teach me nothing, and moved on.

The last one I came across as a bunch of people tweeted a link to it. And I love it. It's from OKCupid's blog, which has hilarious and insightful trending data and infographics on dating. As an aside: For kicks, view the one on that page about profile words used that relate to whather someone likies rough or gentle sex. The latest study they did showed that people who tweet have shorter relationships. That's irony, Alanis (and rain on your wedding day is not. Man I hate that song about coincidence.) And a new question on my repetoire for dates. I'll let it speak for itself.

Come across any other interesting articles, studies, or just have some stories to share, please paste them in the comment area of this post.

And have a good weekend dear readers!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crazy Notion

I texted a guy to non-confirm our second date the day before we agreed to meet up. It was a non-confirm as I knew we weren't going, but I wanted him to get some balls and tell me. You see, J and I went out the prior Thursday to Southwark for cocktails, and found we had a lot in common: we both love to go to the Wissahickon, went to rival high schools, he lives in Germantown--which is where I lived in high school--, his company does business with mine, and we even know people in common. After the two-hour date, he waited til the next morning to ask me out again, and I agreed. While we had things in common, there were big differences, like he doesn't like the city and I'm planning to move more into the thick of it this summer. But he was cute and active, and I felt comfortable with him because he got where I came from, and vice-versa.

So we made our second date. But when the day before it came and I hadn't heard from him, I knew he had no intention of keeping it. Even though we only went out once, it's rude to blow someone off, and I was not about to get stood up.

Me: Hey, J-are we still on for tomorrow?
Him: S-gotta b honest w.u-met someone & I want to devote my time to her. sorry for the late notice.

It was fine, and I didn't write back, but it got me thinking: maybe I'm not as great a catch as I think I am.

And I told my friend this over wine and cheese yesterday afternoon.

Good friend that she is, she told me I am. She enumerated reasons I am a catch, and enumerated reasons why it didn't work out with me and J, or whomever else.

I told her I had this crazy notion once that would be a great experiment; go out with every guy who asks me out.

People say I'm picky, so what if I become UNpicky. Go out with guys who I think are wrong for me. Don't fit what I'm looking for. Not my physical type.

She laughed and said it would be interesting, but unrealistic as you can't go out with every guy who asks you out. But maybe my goal should be one a week. I agreed that's a good target, so here I go. We'll see how/if this works.

And if any of you want to help me with this project, let me know--open to suggestions and set ups. Also open to your thoughts and if yo think this is a bad idea... though I'll likely do it anyway. I'm stubborn like that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crazy Cat Lady Guy

I realized why I blogged so infrequently in NY--I dated much less, and recalling past bad dates and writing about them is much harder and more time consuming than blogging about something that happened last night. So given my two-week dry streak on the dating front, here's an old date I've been meaning to post, but hadn't quite finished til now.

I used to run a Bedtime Stories program for kids who lived in a shelter in Fort Greene through NY Cares volunteer group.

The program occurred twice a month, and since there were so few volunteer projects in Brooklyn, it was popular. So I had a bunch of regulars who used to ask me to sign them up for the next one before it was posted on the site to secure their spot. One of those regulars was Crazy Cat Lady Guy.

CCLG was caring (he was volunteering his time to read to kids) got along well with the kids, and funny. While not traditionally good-looking, those other qualities made him seem cute. But none of these things occurred to me, as I was living with my ex when we met.

A few months later, though, a break up was brewing. So when CCLG asked me if I wanted to grab a drink after the project one day, I agreed. He suggested Death & Co, which was a newly-opened, popular speakeasy-style spot in the E Village (near my ex's place where I was living as I packed to move out.) It was my first even semi-date in years, so a bit awkward, until we imbibed a few of the potent cocktails, then conversation came much easier.

Inevitably relationship history came up, and I shared what I was going through: I was right in the midst of a break-up, and looking for a place to live in Brooklyn. He lived in one of my desired neighborhoods (Cobble Hill) so he told me he'd keep an eye out for me.

At the end of the night even though I knew he wanted to kiss me, he didn't, but he hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. I sort of felt something, but was obviously not in a place to get involved, so he respectfully asked me to keep in touch.

The next two weeks were a whirlwind of staying with friends and moving, and I ended up in Carroll Gardens, the neighborhood next to CCLG's. So when he texted me to check in a few weeks later, I told him where I moved, and he asked if he could take me out in our 'hood. And we made a plan for Thursday night. I liked Thursday night dates because there was a built in "out" if it wasn't going well--it's a school night.

We met at Bar Great Harry and talked a little. But it was, again, strained, so we played Battleship. After a drink I knew that initial interest was probably curiosity and nervousness over dating again. When he asked if I wanted a second drink, I agreed because I felt like it was too obvious (and a little rude) to go out for a half hour.

As I finished up my second cider, I yawned, and he asked if I wanted to go home. I said something along the lines of "blah blah blah up an early morning meeting." He said no problem, let me walk you.

This bar was literally two blocks from my apt. And a walk didn't mean a walk in this case, it meant the make out he didn't get in the East Village. I protested (and so did he) and he won, as I wasn't comfortable telling him right then and there I wasn't interested and didn't want to kiss him. So he walked me.

A minute and a half later we were at my front door, and he kissed me. He tasted like beer (but not in a good way) and was pretty handsy considering we were outside of my apt. I pulled away, but before I could say anything he said "That was fun."

He tried to plant another one on me, but I said I felt uncomfortable making out in front of my landlord's window.

Just then, a cat started mewing. He whipped around to look for it. That was my cue. I went inside. But not before he said, "I'm going to go look for it" as if rescuing this cat made him Superman, and was an aphrodisiac to me.

I wished him luck and happy went inside.

Two minutes later he texted me: it's under a car. What should I do?

I'm not callous, but there are stray cats all over. And some cats have owners but are just outside cats.

Leave it alone, I replied.

I wanted to substitute "it" with "me," but didn't.

He texted again saying it wouldn't stop crying and he felt badly leaving it.

I never responded.

And a week later when he texted me for a date, I told him I was going out of town.

So two weeks later, when I was back, he texted me again. I finally said I appreciated the offer, but I didn't see it working out.

The problem with dating someone who lives nearby is that you see them after you stop dating. I saw him, sweaty and out of breath at the gym a handful of times, but we ignored each other.

So you'd think I learned my lesson about dating someone in my neighborhood? Apparently not. Should I stop dating people in my zip code? Would hate to weed them out like that since it's so hard to even meet someone you like, let alone worry about where they live. I think living close is better than living far, right? Or is it too close for comfort?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Not So Happy Rooster

So I said I met "the one" yesterday. That was a lie. But for a good cause 9April Fool's Day.) I did meet a guy IRL at the Happy Rooster last night who asked me out. He was 50 and paunchy and so creepy that when he came over to say goodbye, my guy friend at the table remarked that the 50 year old made his skin crawl.

This is the only guy I've met in the past two weeks since I stopped online dating. It begs the question of whether I should try another site, do something else, or leave it alone. I hear all the time that "it happens when you least expect it."

Perhaps that's what the call I got Thursday was about. The number was a NY one I didn't recognize. When I answered, the deep male voice said: "Is this the beautiful and talented S?"

I replied, taken aback, that it was.

Turns out, it's a guy I used to know from my days working at the library. He's attractive, and successful, and we have a good rapport. But frankly, I was never quite sure what team he played for. Before I moved, we only ever saw each other at library events, but since then, I've heard from him via email a few times as he was in the area to visit clients, or, potentially, visit Wharton for a business school interview. I did not hear from him either of those times, so was surprised to get a belated bday call from him.

We talked for about a half hour, caught up on what's going on with him, Wharton (he's not going,) and he asked about life in the 215.

He said he looked forward to meeting up next time he's in town, or I'm there, and we got off the phone with me being pleasantly surprised.

Last night at the Corner, I was checking my phone and got a text from him: I enjoyed our convo. Looking forward to a live session. Again, happy birthday and abundant blessings in 2011. To be continued...

It was a nice surprise, and not something I'm holding my breath about but a nice surprise... when I least expected it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dancin in the Dark, Walkin in the Park and...

My 37th birthday was two days ago. It's always a reflective time for me when I look back at what I've done, where I've been and what I still have to do. Hence the post title. (For those of you who know the rest of the chorus, you must be as old as I am. For those who don't, it's from the Little River Band's "Reminiscing.")

Last year at this time I was living in Brooklyn. Working for the library. Living in a sweat box that I paid way too much money for. And dating almost never, and having sex less than that.

Since then I've moved to Philly to a bigger and somewhat better place, work for a company where I learn a ton and it isn't unhealthy, have met great friends, and broke my dry spell. So I've accomplished a ton. But there's still another thing I feel I need to do to be complete. Not happy, mind you, as I'm happy, but despite my snarky posts and pickiness, I do want to be in a LTR.

I've been "off" online dating for almost two weeks now--I say it like I'm dieting, or an addict--and hadn't met anyone and was considering going back online.

But then it happened. Everyone says it does when you're not looking. At lunch at with my mom at Distrito the other day, I saw him. He was dining with his friends or co-workers, and we stole glances at each other in between sips of the most amazing wintermelon margarita ever. (Admittedly, my only wintermelon margarita ever, but it was amazing...) He had thick, brown hair like Mc Steamy (or McDreamy--never watched that show but it looked like the guy from "Can't Buy Me Love"), green eyes, and was on the thin side, but seemed like he worked out as he had on a button down that showed some muscle definition in his arms. I might have drooled a bit.

I went to the bathroom once to check him out. When I came back, I noticed he was looking for me. I smiled, he smiled, I sat down, and looked over every once in awhile. After my amazing fish tacos, I went to the bathroom again even though I didn't need to just to walk by. I did the "look back" thing people often do when walking by someone on the street, and looking back to see if they're checking you out. He was.

When I returned from the bathroom, though, I noticed he was gone. I hoped he had gone to the bathroom, too, but the check was on the table, cash sticking out of the presenter, and I was sorry I didn't get a chance to do more than look back.

I sat down, probably looking a bit deflated, and my mom asked me what happened. I told her the guy I was scopin over lunch had left and I regretted not doing more than looking.

She said I shouldn't worry, and handed me a business card. I was thrilled! And flattered. I looked at my mom and she smiled at me. Then I looked at the card to see his name, where he worked, if he wrote a note and it said:

April Fool's!

Have a good one, all!