Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Double or Nothing": How to Date Two People in One Night

Since my time is valuable and I'm always up for a challenge, I decided to do something last night I hadn't done in a while--I went two dates in one night.  If you can swing it, this can be a good thing to try.  It's an efficient way of getting two first dates out of the way and if you don't click with either, you've only lost one night instead of two.

This wasn't the first time I've had a "Double or Nothing" date.  Over the summer, I met up for a morning hike and lunch with one man and then met another for afternoon drinks the same day.  It was easy enough to do on a weekend because there was plenty of time--I scheduled one date from 10am to 2pm and another at 3pm.

Last night proved to be a challenge because I had to work until 5:30pm.  I knew fitting two dates into the night was going to be difficult so I planned to meet one for drinks at 6pm and one for dinner at 8pm.  There was some very strategic planning involved, so if you're interested in doubling up, here are some tips.

Tips for "Double or Nothing": Dating Two People in One Night
  1. Pick two dates (one you like, one you're not so sure about)-- "Double or Nothing" works best if you are curious about meeting someone but not curious enough to waste an entire night on them.  Pick one date you like or think you'll like more (Date #2) and one you're just willing to give a shot (Date #1).  If your gut instincts are right, you'll be ready to leave Date #1 by your deadline.
  2. Stagger the dates-- You need enough time to get to know each other.  An hour and a half should suffice for the first--especially if you're not super interested in them.  Make sure to compensate for traveling time.   I planned my dates 2 hours apart, giving me over an hour and a half for Date #1 and enough time to travel to Date #2.
  3. Location--For Date #1, pick a location that is near, but not too close, to Date #2--something in the middle of your point of origin and your second destination is perfect.  A place that is en route to Date #2 is good because it cuts down on driving time.  Since you're not sure if you're that into him anyway, pick a place you at least know you'll like.  I picked a place I had been to on a previous date--it has a ton of beer on tap so it's an instant hit with men.  It was between my office (where I was coming from) and the location of Date #2.
  4. Excuse--Come up with an "out" so that you can leave on time.  Bring this up at the beginning of the date.  Don't lie, just keep it vague.  "I volunteer at a place nearby so I've got to leave at 7:30" worked for me.  It was the truth (I never said I was leaving to actually go volunteer; I just let him think I was), it gives you an end time and the subject is quickly changed to asking about the excuse.  "Oh cool, where do you volunteer?"
  5. Deadline--Pick and stick to your deadline.  If you go over, you'll be screwed for Date #2.  About 10 minutes before you have to leave, mention that you need to leave soon.  This gives you a chance to get the bill settled, go to the bathroom and leaves time for an awkward goodbye.  
Date #1 went as anticipated.  I had met him on Plenty of Fish, he seemed nice enough, offered to learn who Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan are and was pretty cute in pictures.  Our emails weren't anything to brag about so I figured he would be a good candidate for Date #1.   Right away I told him that I had a deadline to leave and he took the bait and started asking me about volunteering.

Conversation flowed but there wasn't any real spark.  He was also much cuter in pictures than in person.  I thought there might be some potential when he told me he drove a truck for work (you know how I love pickup trucks), but then I noticed that he was wearing one of those thick silicone bracelets (below) with the word "Groovy" written on it.  I have a feeling there was a story behind it but I wasn't up for giving him any positive reinforcement for wearing it and didn't ask.
Date #2 went better than Date #1, which was also anticipated.  I had met Date #2 at a bar last Friday night.  I was there for an intramural kickball event and he was there at a young professional event.  He was a tall, well-dressed, Billy Baldwin look alike and came up to make conversation while I was at a table with friends--bonus points for having the balls to come up to me in a group!  We engaged in some Yankees vs. Red Sox (go Sox!) banter and I gave him my number before he left.  

I met Date #2 for sushi in the town where I'm moving this summer.   I was looking forward to seeing him so when I got to the restaurant and he was no where to be found, I got a bit worried.  I quickly picked up my phone and called to ask him where he was.  Apparently he was peeing in the bathroom. Not exactly the way I imagined a man would be holding himself while thinking of me, but I'll take it.  He was soon out and after making sure he washed his hands, we had a great sushi dinner.  He even asked me out for a second date after I knocked a glass of water onto him.  

I'm exhausted this morning but happy that the "Double or Nothing" date worked!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Thou Art More Lovely": Dating with Shakespeare

One of the funniest things about online dating is that you will invariably get professions of love thrown your way.  Sometimes they're annoying but most of the time they're just entertaining.  These emails can even make you feel good...if you're the kind of person who lies to yourself and believes that these are genuine emails and not a copy and paste from some bad modernized Shakespeare inspired sonnet that might have been better received if written in iambic pentameter.

Here are two emails from a user whose name suggests he might be the kind of man who has a dog and covers parts of his body in peanut butter late at night.

Lonely in Queens: It would be an honor and a privilege to get to know you better, and perhaps even take you out...your beauty knows no bounds and is beyond compare...please contact me ASAP. I will be waiting anxiously by my computer for your first sweet message, and I will forever cherish the moment at which I receive it and the day I receive you in my arms.
Me: Thanks for your message but I don't think we'd be a good match. Best of luck.

I figured he would move along...but he sent another email a week later.

Lonely in Queens: A lovely lady of your exceptional calibre surely receives countless messages everyday. They are probably so numerous that you likely don't have enough time to open them all, let alone respond to the ones you actually enjoyed reading. Despite this, and the strong likelihood that you will never respond to this, I felt compelled to write to you anyway. I simply had to. Your profile, what you had to say along with your gorgeous pictures really caught my eye. I believe that if we were to meet, sparks would fly and the earth would shake. Planets would become realigned and flowers would bloom. There is something indescribable, something intangible about you that has attracted me very strongly. Hopefully you will be able to wade through the morass of mediocrity in your inbox from insincere players and find this letter, and then like me enough to respond. With any luck we can meet soon and I can romance you all over our great city. If this were to happen I would be the luckiest man on earth. At the very least I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Putting aside the cheesiness, it is a very nice email, but still a no go.  Considering that my profile is 2 sentences about how I value honesty and a zest of life, the fact that he thinks we'd be a good match based on what I wrote is highly unlikely.  Just tell me you think I'm pretty, also value honesty and would like to meet for a drink, dude.  Also, the fact that I don't live in "our great city" (NYC) shows that while he might do a good job wooing, his reading comprehension is lacking.

I did enjoy reading this, Mr. Lonely.  I think my readers have too!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dating Games (Part II)

As I mentioned in this post, my friend Greta and I are playing a dating game.  At this point we have each nominated 3 men for the other to contact in hopes of securing a date.  

I spent some time last week writing emails to my potential suitors from Plenty of Fish who Greta picked out for me.  I have nicknamed the men NJman, BeachDude and SarcasticDude.  Here are the results thus far.

I emailed NJman but never heard back, despite the fact that he has logged onto the website.  He was a little too old for me (yes, that's possible) so I wasn't offended that his 45 year old self didn't want to take a chance on a cute 27 year old blonde.  Ha, who am I kidding.  Seriously NJman?!  Did you think I was some spammer looking for a Sugar Daddy?  I'm not after your money old man, I had legitimate selfish blogging interests at heart when I emailed you.  Looks like this one is out.

BeachDude and I sent some emails back and forth but his hectic work schedule (he's in law enforcement) makes it difficult to keep in touch.  So far, his emails are boring.  Perhaps if he posted a picture in uniform I would be more interested.

SarcasticDude and I sent some good emails back and forth before he asked to take it offline.  Since my time is precious, I agreed, hoping we could meet up next week so that I can meet one of the 3 super cute guys who emailed me after I started this Dating Game for the next installment of this blog.

Even though I have a GoogleVoice number to give out at bars now (thanks Greta for this awesome tip), I still haven't figured out how it works and gave SarcasticDude my real telephone number.  Thankfully, Verizon has an awesome free blocking feature in case things get out of hand. The texts started off normal but didnt take long for him to progress to asking for pictures.  Since I only have two pictures on my profile and one is of me in a furry hat, I'm not terribly put off by someone asking for more and I sent him a couple recent shots--selfies of mostly my face and torso.

I guess that wasn't good enough because SarcasticDude kept asking for full body pictures.  Apparently it's an internet phenomenon to post pics of faces only and then show up with an additional 300 pounds from your neck down.  While I understand that attraction is part of dating, I find it ridiculous that men are so insistent on asking for full body shots, especially since they rarely offer them themselves (with the exception of creepy shirtless mirror pics).

At this point I made the decision that someone who was pushing so hard for additional pics was a person I wouldn't get along with.  After marrying someone who told me his biggest fear was that I would, "let myself go" and then yelled at me when I packed on the newlywed nine (true story) I don't give second chances to people who are jerks about weight.  If you can't love me for who I am (cellulite and all) then I don't want your love.

Naturally I took this opportunity to be a jerk and teach him a lesson about asking for full body shots.  I sent him the pic of me at the Rascal Flatts concert here.  Ask and you shall receive, although you won't be going out with me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dating Games (Part I)

My friend, Greta, from Dating Without a Net, and I are playing a dating game.  We rationalized that since we keep picking the wrong men for ourselves, we will pick dates for each other via Plenty of Fish.  Figuring that this plan cannot be any worse than the system we currently employ, we provided each other with our zip codes (I live in NJ; Greta lives in TN), dating radius, a few non-negotiable attributes and gave each other free reign.  

The rules were to pick 3 men from our respective geographic locations who fall within the set criteria (who we haven't dated), email, secure a date with at least one and, of course, blog about it.   Greta and I set to work yesterday, but the first task of finding potential dates was more difficult than originally anticipated.  

While I thought that I had a tough time navigating through the hoards of wanna-be-guidos, the dating pool near Greta posed its own challenges.  In her neck of the (back) woods, I found most of the men to be either in the public service or transportation industry (read: cops/security guards and truck drivers) so it was a good thing that education wasn't a deal breaker for Greta (note: education wasn't a criterion of mine either--we tried to make the pool as large as possible).  I found may of the men in her tri-state area of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas to be redneck hillbillies that even this country-lovin' girl wouldn't let buy me a beer um....unimpressive.  

Up here in NJ, I deal with men who swathe themselves in the Italian flag, rock fake tans and faux hawks but these men are no match for Greta's potential suitors.  Between the mullets, missing teeth and hunting prize pictures (I stopped counting after 5 dead animals and one hog-tied pig), I can see why she's having trouble picking the right men.  There were a few attractive men, but they either hadn't been online in months or Greta had already dated them.  Our exchanges went a little something like this:

Me: Here you go--let me know if you've blocked or already talked to them: Johnny, SomeDude, OtherDude.
Greta: I emailed Johnny a while back, wanna switch him out for another?  Here are yours: HotDude, BeachDude, SarcasticDude.
Me: I've already met and um, hung out, with HotDude.  We're good friends.
GretaNo way!  The foot fetish guy?  I thought he was the hottest and totally my type.. you go girl!  I'll pick an alternate for you.
MeNo, the guy with the tiny dog.  Don't know if I told you about him.  He drives that hot truck and is super sweet.  No foot fetish.  Ok, sub BadCop for Johnny---if you haven't already talked to him.
Greta: Good one but BadCop guy hasn't been online since October! #notthatmanyfisharoundhere  Ok, sub this LawyerDude for the HotDude.
Me: Ugh, LawyerDude is "JD" the one who got drunk, said he wanted to swing and tried to get me naked!    I blogged about it here.
Greta: Omg, you have dated every guy in NJ already either that or we totally have the same taste, Let me try one more time...
Me: Ok, so what about Sean? Aside from the weird dog pic, he's pretty cute.  Hamm looks promising too, although I see a radio on his lapel (are you done with dating cops?)
Greta: Sean is the cop I went out with on Friday!!  lol  Ok, last try, have you dated NJman?
Me:   NJman is kind of old but we're running out of options.  Is Sean the cop whose partner got shot while you were on your date?!   What about Tim?  Might be a freak--not a good face pic but his tattoos are kind of sexy.  Or what about Frank?  He kind of looks like a meth head but he has a Masters Degree so it might just be the highlights in his hair that are throwing me off.  OMG we both need to move! 

After way too much time surfing Plenty of Fish, Greta and I have our dates nominated.  I emailed my 3 potentials--BeachDude, SarcasticDude and NJman--and now we wait.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

False Alarm

I had a first date with a man from Plenty of Fish last night.  He had first sent me a message in December but because of the Bar Exam (and other men I was more interested in meeting first) we didn't get around to meeting until, well, last night.  I had a strange feeling about the date after realizing that I had no idea what his name was until the day before our date.  Oops.  Thankfully he was smart enough that when I emailed him with my name and number, he provided his name in kind.  Since I don't disclose names, I will just call him Chief.

Getting ready for my date, I tried to remember a bit about Chief.  Most of our emails were older than 20 days and had been deleted by Plenty of Fish.  His profession was listed as "Entrepreneur" which means anything from stinking rich sugar daddy to drug dealer, so that was no help.  I did seem to remember that he made wine, or his family owned a winery, or something else that had to do with wine--selective filtering at it's best.  Other than that, I was at a loss.

Aside from the fact that I had just learned his name and had no idea what he did for a living, planning to meet for drinks with Chief proved more difficult than necessary.  We communicated via text message and, even though he had asked me out, I got nothing but a series of one word answers when trying to set a time and place.  I had hope that he was just busy and would be more talkative in person.  I was wrong.

Talking to Chief was like pulling teeth.  I'm a pretty easy person to talk to.  I've lived in 6 states, 3 countries and survived sorority rush, yet I could barely get the man to speak.  I managed to find out that he's a Fire Chief (hence the nickname) of his town, makes his own wine with his family (I knew there was wine there somewhere!) and I *think* he might own some sort of construction business (hence the "entrepreneur").  After telling me that his job made it necessary for him to respond to every fire call, I spent the next 2 hours praying for a forest fire, gas leak or other disastrous explosion to get out of possibility the most boring date of my life.  Note: If after everything you say, I respond, "That's funny," I'm referring to the fact that you're now in the running for my worst date ever contest.  

It was obvious that this date was going nowhere so we finished our drinks and left.  We exchanged an awkward, "I hope I never run into you in public" hug and parted ways.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Analyze This

Last night I spent 40 minutes on the phone with BR breaking things off with him.  Apparently the email I sent in which I explained how he insulted me and made me realize that we weren't compatible wasn't good enough.  He called to try to figure out if the issues I had weren't a result of not knowing each other well enough and could be something we could work on.   They're not and they can't.

After about 20 minutes of explaining why I was upset at the weekend's conversations, I realized that he still wasn't getting it.  He was arguing semantics, explaining that I had misunderstood him.  In reality, I understood his stupid comments quite clearly--he is relationship stupid, I get that.  But the semantics weren't the big picture...the fact that we're simply not compatible is.  I told him that there were just too many things that were missing for me but he didn't seem to understand.  I think if I hadn't gotten off the phone after 40 minutes that I could have been explaining myself until I was blue in the face...more like red in the face because I was getting really impatient with his requests for clarity.  The conversation was a a combination of me saying the following in between his feeble attempts to explain that these are all things we could work on.

Dude, I'm not that into you...I don't know how else to say it...It's just not enough for me...We're not compatible...No really, trust me, we're not... I promise these are big issues for me that can't be worked out...Yes, really...No, I'm not willing to compromise on these issues...Honestly, this isn't working for me...We're really not compatible...Do you really want to be in a relationship where I'm forcing myself to make things work...Really, it's not going to happen...and how can you not like country music??? 

I'm giving myself a big ol' pat on the back for this conversation for two reasons.  First, I managed to stay calm and not curse or scream throughout the 40 minute conversation in which I essentially repeated the same things over and over and over again.  I even told BR the self control it was taking me not to strangle the phone out of frustration that I had to justify myself to him.  True story. You'd think at that point that he would have gotten the hint--but we've gone over how he's relationship stupid.

The second reason I'm patting myself on the back is because I stood up for myself.  I recognized that there were greater issues than "just not feeling it" and articulated those well...regardless of the fact that they fell on deaf ears.  There are some things that are not negotiable for me.  That includes being thoughtful and considerate.  Like when you know you're having a woman over for a drink before dinner, you should text her to ask what she wants to drink or pickup a couple options and not just say "screw it."   Instead BR hoped that I would just drink Jack on the rocks because that's all he had in the house and didn't feel like going to the liquor store after spending an hour buying softball cleats at Sports Authority.  Yes, BR, to me that is indicative of the kind of person you are.

BR tried to argue with me that his actions were not a reflection of the man he is.  I countered that if his actions weren't who he was, then perhaps he should change them.  After my divorce I realized that someone who refuses to pick up his own dog's crap (I was the designated poop picker upper for years) is someone who will always run from a problem.  Actions are an insight into the person themselves and if you don't think enough about me to consider what I'd like to drink, or to ask if I'd prefer crushed or cubed ice (cubed, the crushed ruined my drink doofus), or even realize that this is an issue, then you're not the right person for me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

You Can't Fix Stupid

I broke things off with BR last night after a great few dates followed by a series of unfortunate self-sabotaging moves on his part.  I discussed what had happened with my friend from Dating without a Net, and she said to me, plain and simple, "You can't fix stupid".  Truth be told, she did this over Twitter so it was more of a #cantfixstupid, but the point was well received.

BR isn't stupid by any stretch of the imagination, at least not book-wise.  He's a highly intelligent and successful man slaving away for corporate America.  He does however seem to be relationship stupid.  After a failed marriage based on a number of deal breakers and really poor communication, I can't deal with relationship stupid again.  BR told me his longest relationship "tapped out at about a year."  I'm of the mindset that if you're a moderately attractive, intelligent and able bodied individual who hasn't had more than a year long relationship by the age of 42, then something is amiss. 

BR did a lot of great things.  He treated me like a lady.  He called when he said he would, opened doors for me and never let me pay.  He was witty and liked to do things and always had a plan for the evenings spent together.  However, this couldn't compensate for the lack of social graces that he had that make him, at least in my eyes, relationship stupid. There's something to be said for knowing when to speak and when to hold one's tongue...or at least not make dumb and insulting comments.  BR had a habit of saying thoughtless things and, to add insult to injury, he took those things one step too far.  I will illustrate with some examples that all took place this weekend. 

Anti-Country Music
The first strike against him was his vehement anti-country music sentiments.  As you should know by now, I'm a huge country music fan and love listening to my Sirius Satellite country stations.  I realize that not all of my potential suitors will be country lovers, but I do expect a certain respect for my music choices, especially if I tell you that I like to play dress up with my cowboy hat. 
Thoughtless commentHe went on an anti-country music tirade, complete with telling me the songs all sound the same and the lyrics are asinine.  Those lyrics gave me a lot of strength through my divorce, jerk face. 
Taking it too far:  He picked me up in his Sirius-subscribed car (after I lamented that I missed my country stations while my car, with Sirius, was in the shop from my accident) and announced, "Oops, my satellite radio broke on the way here--no country music for you!"  I certainly won't be riding your "Big Green Tractor" anytime soon!

Past Loves
Aside from his hatred of country music, BR made the mistake of telling me too much about past relationships.  However, until Saturday night, he failed to mention that that none of these relationships lasted more than a year...and that he'd never lived with a woman.
Thoughtless comment:  He told me about a woman he dated and mentioned the number of times they had slept together.  Perhaps he did this to illustrate how short their relationship was, but it was information that was really unnecessary and made me uncomfortable.
Taking it too far:  He proceeded to tell me that the sex was bad (ok, I get that) and why it was bad.  I can appreciate a mention that they had poor physical chemistry, but he described another woman as a "dead fish." How old are we?!

The weekend hit a low point with his third and final over the top comment.  Note to men: No matter what a woman looks like, do not tell her that she should be exercising more...unless she's paying you to be her personal trainer.  How BR's testicles have managed to survive 42 years without being kicked to oblivion, I am still bewildered.  To add insult to injury, he's one of those horrible people who actually loses weight when he doesn't work out and although he probably can't appreciate the idiocy of this comment, he should still know better. 
Thoughtless comment: After a particularly feisty make out session, BR laid his head on my chest and commented that my heart was pounding very fast.  I'm not sure about your experiences buddy, but that's typically a side effect of amorous activities.
Taking it too far:   He followed up this comment by saying, "Wow, you better get back on that Spinning bike!" Instead of saying something like, "Wow, I really got you worked up," or letting it go, he said, essentially told me I was out of shape.  Not 20 minutes later, he made another comment to me about how I need to exercise more...and no, it wasn't a cute way of saying he wanted to engage in some "cardio".  

I get that men can be idiots (because, well, it's true) but after 20 some odd years of dating, you'd think that BR would have figured out how not to sabotage his chances of dating a woman.  I'm sure that if I had stronger feelings for BR, I would have brushed this comments off as silly and not as deal breakers.  But stupid comments, compounded with his inability to ask me how my day was (after I listened to him go on and on and on about buying softball cleats at Sports Authority), I was done.  You just can't fix stupid.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giddy Up

I swore off dating lawyers after both my ex-husband and creepster, JD, who tried to undress me on our first date.  But, since I tend not to listen to myself very well, I started talking to another attorney, who I will just call Lawyer NYC, a couple of months ago from Plenty of Fish.  He is a cute intellectual property attorney in NYC with a sexy geeky look who, aside from having a penchant for calling me "counselor," did not appear to be a complete weirdo.  Between the Bar Exam and his jaunts down to visit family in Florida, we haven't had the chance to get together but have graduated from emails to text messages. 

We've corresponded at length about going to school in the Midwest, having dual citizenship and international travel--all things we have in common.  When the subject of music came up, I made sure to tell him I like country, as that seems to be a dealbreaker for some close-minded individuals.  Their loss--I go wild wearing a cowboy hat--yeehaw!  Lawyer NYC seemed open to my music taste (brownie points) so we continued talking.  I even sent him a picture of me from the Rascal Flatts concert when he asked how it went. 

I've been busy over the past month and texts between Lawyer NYC and I have died down.  This must have struck a nerve with him because I started getting strange text messages from him filled with legalease and 2am invitations for hot chocolate.   A little strange, but nothing that I couldn't get over. 

However, over the past week, I must have really been on his mind...and I'm starting to wonder what he's doing with my pictures.   While I'm glad that he's open to my love to country music, I think he might be putting the cart in front of the horse.  Sexy text messages can be appreciated in certain instances--like after a number of great dates and a satisfying romp in the hay--but not before an in person meeting.  That's just weird.  From the sounds of it, Lawyer NYC might be a really fun rodeo cowboy, but I think I'm going to pass.

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Revelry

This weekend I engaged in a day of St. Patrick's Day debauchery.  It seems to be a growing trend to have St. Patrick's Day festivities on every weekend in March save for the actual holiday weekend.  This year, St. Patrick's Day is on a Saturday yet this past weekend I went to a parade in Morristown on Saturday and the weekend before marked Hoboken's green-infused craziness.  While the festivities may have been a week early, that didn't stop the revelers (present company included) from well, reveling. 

I had planned on starting the day with some new friends from my intramural volleyball league and then meeting up with BR, who I have continued talking to.  It was crisp and in the 50's so I dressed in as much kelly green as possible, which is surprisingly difficult for someone whose favorite color is lime green (thanks Old Navy for saving the day with a Friday kelly green lunch break shopping spree).  If you can't appreciate the difference between the colors then you are missing the obvious challenges I faced getting dressed on Saturday morning.  First world problems, they're real.

To compensate for my lack of green layers, I clipped on a hair extension, tossed on some beads and headed out.  Knowing that an all day drinking fest would render me a hot mess, I took a "before" picture and sent it to BR.  We were set to meet up in the afternoon and since I didn't trust my eyes not to be blurry by that point, I wanted him to recognize me.  He was coming back from a business trip in Europe so I sent him the following email: "Woohoo, you're home!  Now shower, sh*t and come out for drinks.  I'll be this girl (below) but sloppier :)" 

I met up with my volleyball friends at a house party at 10am and we had a traditional New Jersey Irish breakfast of bagels and Irish coffee (that's just regular coffee with booze in it, right?).  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was an actual parade to supplement the drinking fest.  Never one to miss a parade, I piled on some more necklaces, slapped a glitter shamrock sticker on my face, a fake tattoo on my hand and grabbed my ridiculously annoying but super fun St. Paddy's Day whistle (another Friday lunch break purchase) and headed out into the sunshine! 

My friends and I took pictures and danced to the bagpipe bands that marched by while I blew my whistle in time to the music.  For those of you who have never attempted to blow a whistle to bagpipes, let me tell you, this is no easy task.  For the record, there is a ridiculous number of bagpipe bands in New Jersey.  Whoever thought New Jersey was just Italian-descended guido wannabes is sorely mistaken.

I got so into the holiday spirit with my Irish coffee that I needed to use a Port-A-Potty.  Gross, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  While I don't mind peeing in the woods (yes, this blonde has gone camping!), Port-A-Potties just aren't my thing.  Aside from the obvious gross-out factor, my uber-sensitive olfactory glands and photographic memory make it an experience that stays with me much longer than necessary.  Thankfully I've got strong quads, so I was easily able to squat while praying there was no splash back.  I sanitized my butt and legs, just in case.

After the parade we headed back to the house party for a BBQ lunch and Jameson, which goes surprisingly well together.  Fresh off of a transcontinental flight, BR met up with me at the party.  I introduced him to my friends, who, for some reason or another thought he was a State Trooper and proceeded to ask him law enforcement questions.  Definitively not a State Trooper, BR, a jet-lagged slave to corporate America, took the interrogation in stride.  He was was extraordinarily patient with me and my drunk friends as I threw some necklaces on him, made him down a hefty dose of Jameson and we headed out to a bar. 

As it turns out, the chemistry that BR and I both thought wasn't there previously just needed a little liquid courage to come out.  There's something to be said for alcohol's ability to overcome awkward nervousness and before we knew it, we were really hitting it off.  We met up with some of BR's friends at a bar and ended up dancing in the bar like college kids on Spring Break.  I don't know how, but for some reason I didn't have an epic hangover on Sunday.  Irish coffee, for the win!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Baby

It's no secret that women are often the objects of unwanted attention.  Since I've been single, I've mistakenly given my number out to men who I have had no intention of talking to or dating, simply because I've been too polite to say "no" when asked.  I'm still trying to determine how to tow the line between respectfully declining attention and being a bitch. 

Case in point:  Over the summer I gave my number to a former NBA non-starter who now coaches at a local college.  While I had no intention of ever getting together, for some reason (either the booze or his ridiculously intimidating height) I gave him my digits.  I ignored his first 5 text messages before telling him that I wasn't interested and apologized for misleading him.  That has not stopped him from texting me an invite to every event he has attended since August.  I consistently ignore his messages, but could have gotten a chance to accompany him to countless collegiate and professional sporting events. I declined every one.   I almost accepted the invite to the Barclay's PGA tour, but I'm holding out for NBA playoff tickets instead. 

My mistake with the NBA retiree taught me that it's ok to be firm and reject someone I meet at a bar...especially the kinds of men who I've met in bars.  Taking my own sage advice, I was out one night with my girl friend Katie at her local watering hole.  I found a seat at the bar (uncommon on a Saturday night) and started talking to a a girl next to me while Katie was gallivanting around. 

A man sidled up next to me and struck up a conversation.  I wasn't interested, but not wanting to give up a seat, I entertained the conversation for a few minutes and hoped he would go away.  I assumed that he'd be smart enough to recognize my curt answers as disinterest...but you know what they say about assumptions.  So there I was, held hostage on a bar stool. 

I had two choices: (1) wait for Katie to come and rescue me or (2) reject the man staring at my breasts and trying to get into my pants.  Since option (1) wasn't going to happen until the either bar closed or the men disappeared, I was stuck coming up with something to say to let the guy know I wasn't interested.  Knowing that a band aid approach is easiest, I simply told him, "I'm not interested." and hoped he would leave me alone. 

But it wasn't enough.  He wanted to know WHY I wasn't interested and complimented some part of my body, presumably as a means of making me change my mind.  I told him, "No trust me, I'm really not interested." but he just kept talking.  At this point it was do or die.  I wasn't about to let some annoying guy who can't take a hint make me give up my chair and so I did something that I'm not proud all...but nevertheless think is genius.

At this point it's important to let you all know that while I might not be terribly large in stature, I possess a strange ability to puff out my midsection, especially after consuming food or drink.  My family and friends lovingly begrudgingly refer to this as my "food baby".  At this point in the night, I had been drinking vodka sodas for a few hours and so my belly was rather full.  Realizing that there was no other way I was going to get this man away from me, save for telling him I had a penis (a close second choice) or leaving my barstool (not a chance), I made a decision. 

I puffed out my stomach and turned toward him.  After swirling my drink and taking a sip, I looked him in the eye, put my hand on my belly and said, "One drink won't hurt the baby, right?  It's just vodka!"  I've never seen a man run away from a woman so fast!

Food baby (watch out, she kicks!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Plenty of Freaks

Lately I've had some discussions about the differences between the paid and unpaid online dating sites.  In the past I had only used paid dating sites like JDate and Match, however now that I'm single again and casually dating (i.e. not actively looking for a husband) I decided to give the unpaid sites a shot and signed up for Plenty of Fish (aka POF aka Plenty of Freaks).  I had previously posted some POF gems but I have received too many not to add these babies to the list.  Enjoy my recent emails from Plenty of Freaks.

Note: Some of these emails have been edited for cursing and obscenity.

Subject: Friends with benefits
hi there ---
very nice to meet you, i'm kyle ;-)
i just want to say that i think you are *extremely* sexy!! i realize that this is a weird 1st question but, would you like to meet a well hung guy who can **** you for hours and hours and make you **** like crazy?
let me know if you are interested.

Out of sheer curiousity, I click on Kyle's profile with a picture of his face covered by a baseball hat.  Kyle states that he's not looking for a one night stand, but rather "I am looking for an exclusive friend and lover with the hopes that eventually she will become my one and only."  If you're offended, he even included a disclaimer that introductions aren't his forte, even though he runs a "successful marketing business in the tri-state area".  Thanks for the heads up, Kyle.  "I am usually bad with first contact, so if what I wrote appeals to you, don't hesitate to drop me a note to say hello."

Subject: A Great Relationship Sought
It's time for me to settle down and start a family and get married. I am a gentlemen that treats a lady as a gift from God and always places her first and foremost.
Can we get to know each other

This man's profile indicates that he likes antique watches and has a high degree of self confidence.  "My social skills and morals will cement our friendship into love."  In other words, I will hypnotize you with my pocket watch and make you fall in love with me.

Subject: I Got Just What You Need
look no further,
the way you posed makes many things come to mind you have very sexy nice smile. pretty eyes. You are the kind of girl most guys cannot get out of their heads even if they met you on a bad hair day.. .

look at those sexy eyes It's like they're talking to me. but what are they saying I don't know, but whatever it is, it's by far the most fascinating eyes I ever seeing in my life, look I'm convince! tell me more! anyone who kisses you is in for a long, intense ride. you seem like a very infatuate kind of woman to be with you be my desire, I will be your delight I adore the way you look, you are ABSOLUTE BEAUTY… stunning eyes and an amazing gorgeous smile wow… you have got a very mysterious look about you haven’t you; I want to hold you in my arms and kiss you a long passionate kiss. our tongues dance a hot tango while they explore each other.. I would love to see you up close and personal.

Mr. Webster needs to redefine the word "SEXY" in his dictionary with your name and your pictures! on it you are truly an outstanding! absolutely sexy AWESOME! SHOTS AND YOU ARE TRULY LOOK LIKE a MODEL I can not give you enough thumbs up , There are 20 angels are in this world, 10 are sleeping, 9 are playing and 1 of them is you left behind for me.

I live alone no kids never been married have my own car love children and animal I am 6tf 190bls and low hair cut carry myself well like to have fun. that is it about me. I am looking to make a real connection here. you have the most exquisite eyes I’ve ever seem and everything else looks so perfect
I cannot give you enough thumbs up to all your picture! I love them all awesome you are an ABSOLUTE BEAUTY you have such gorgeous smile. a stunning eyes and an amazing face.

close your eyes and imagine life with me. us two being together how wonderful it would be I want my heart, belong to you I’m sure with a fine. family oriented classy articulated woman like you sweet heart my heart, will never feel- sad nor empty must I tell you gorgeous I don’t even know you yet, but you got me. falling for you already, and having a lot of good thoughts and thinking words like wow! be mine.

Remember you can look everywhere and never find what you are looking for, but if you just listen to your heart and believe that God is near, you might just find what you are seeking without knowing it!

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and a terrific. day...!
have a wonderful night,
bye now….

Yours Truly

This would be have been super creepy if this was the first email Mike had sent me, but Mike had sent me another obvious copy and paste in a similarly cheesy form 2 weeks ago.  In his previous email, he compared me to an apple on the top of the tree that other men are too lazy to get to--but don't worry, he will climb the ladder and pick me.  He also sent the apple message to a friend of mine who is on POF.  In case the email wasn't compelling enough, Mike included pictures of a zebra print bed with scattered rose petals, a photo of him with a friend making obvious gang signs and one of him dressed in his Sunday best in church.  Too bad I'm Jewish--we could have been the perfect couple!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blame the Ex!

One of the best things about taking a Bar Exam (aside from the obvious ability to practice in a specific jurisdiction if you pass) is celebrating the end of the exam.  For whatever reason, last time I took the Bar there was no big hooplah after it was over to celebrate the months of hard work I put in.  For those who are wondering, I took and rocked both New York and Massachusetts in 2009, while planning a wedding AND prepping for an international move.  While my friends were jet setting off to get drunk in exotic locales in 2009, I ordered pizza or participated in some other decidedly anti-climactic activity that I cannot recall with my now ex-husband.

This time, I was determined to have a better post Bar Exam celebration. For those not in the know, you must take a Bar Exam for every state (unless you can waive in).  So, even though I'm licensed in NY and MA, I must take NJ as well. 

While an exotic vacation wasn't financially feasible, I planned the second best thing--a weekend in NYC with my amazing girl friends.  As it turned out, a friend of mine, M, had recently relocated to NYC from San Francisco and she was also taking the Bar Exam.  Knowing that we would be stressed to the max and celebrating in NYC after the Exam, M and I invited some girl friends from law school down for our semi annual law school girls reunion weekend--woohoo!

After a harrowing two months of exchanging encouraging but increasingly frantic emails, text messages and phone calls, M and I took our exams our girls weekend began.  Two of our friends (L and N) arrived from Boston and the four of us took to the streets of Manhattan.   We had a blast catching up on life, reminiscing about law school and talking crap about former friends (yes, horse-loving-trust-fund-sour-puss, I'm talking about you!). 

Just a funny pic from SoHo--intended for no one in particular.

The best thing about my weekend with my girl friends was discovering their fierce loyalty.  Although we've been close since 2006, I realized that these women were true friends as they stuck by my side through my divorce this summer.  Now that I'm starting over and moving on, their devotion to me has been realized through a fun game that they made up over the weekend called, "Blame the Ex" (i.e. my ex--his name is used for the purposes of this game in in real life, but I will protect his privacy over the internet because I'm nice).   Note: none of the following are actually his fault.

Any foible in our weekend got chocked up to the fault of my ex even though none of these things could be attributed to him.  Traffic in the city? Blame the Ex!  Long line at the bathroom?  Blame the Ex!  N got food poisoning?  Blame the Ex!  Flight back to Boston was delayed 5 hours?  Blame the Ex!

By the end of the weekend we had six-pack abs from laughing so hard, way too few pictures, plans for a summer get together and a super fun blame game! 

View from Sutton Place--our future homes (after we all marry millionaires)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why Can't We Be Friends?

The Bar Exam and ensuing drinking fest have rendered my blog with some abandonment issues lately.  My blog hasn't been the only one feeling abandoned though.  BR, the man I met online whose entire wardrobe is from Banana Republic (yet still needs better jeans, by the way), spent last week sending me books worth of emails.  While this usually wouldn't be an issue, this was on the heels of our my "let's just be friends" conversation.

It's a strange thing, the "let's just be friends" conversation, as it can go several different ways.  To be honest, the conversation is usually less of a "let's just be friends" and more of a "I'm blaming my divorce on not wanting a relationship with you because I still can't find those big girl panties and tell you I'm just not that into you" one.  Until I met BR, this conversation resulted in either an understanding conversation resulting in never hearing from the person again or a caustic bitching out about how I'm a terrible human being.  BR did something entirely different--he called me out on it and then proceeded to analyze what went wrong.

After weeks of awesome emails and a great first two dates, BR and I got along well, but I was starting to wonder whether we had the chemistry I was looking for.  I figured the 3rd date would be the deciding factor as to whether things would progress further (i.e. get freaky by the end of the night).  However, after dinner and drinks, I realized that this wasn't going to be the third date that he likely had great expectations of...if he had expectations of getting freak nastier than an awkward make out session on his couch listening to Joss Stone...yeah.  Note to men: If a woman tells you that country music makes her panties drop, it's usually a good idea to put on said panty dropping music to put her in the mood.

After an awkward 3rd date, I did what any woman recently back on the dating scene who wishes to avoid an uncomfortable conversation does.  I told BR that I wasn't ready for a relationship and got off the phone quickly.   As expected, he sent me a follow up email, but instead of wishing me luck or telling me that I was a raging bitch for leading him on, he called me out and analyzed our dates.  He cited the awkwardness of our 10th grade make out session that he also felt that something was "off" between us.  Great, nice to know you think I'm a bad kisser too.

Then BR sent me a few more emails examining our 3rd date that made me question *just* how many therapy sessions he had been to over the years.  While a bit of a behavior breakdown could be helpful in working though what went wrong, he took it to a "Dear Diary" level.  Fortunately I was too busy trying not to freak out over the Bar Exam to respond, ignored the onslaught of text and planned to let things naturally fade out.

Unfortunately, my good plan was foiled when, on the second day of the Bar Exam I got caught in the most horrendous traffic on my way to the test.  After traveling 8 miles in 45 minutes, the possibility that I would be late and miss the exam became a harsh reality and I had no option but to ditch the highway for surface roads...through none other than BR's town.  Not knowing the town well, I unsuccessfully consulted Google Maps (jerks) and started to panic.

I sat in traffic in an unfamiliar town with less than 20 minutes until the exam started and my panic turned into a full on freak out fit of hysterics.   In a moment of desperation, I picked up the phone and called the only person who could help me navigate through the back roads of whereever-the-hell-I-was.  I called BR.  Why he picked up the phone after I had ignored him for two days, I will never know.  Truth be told, neither does he, as he later wrote in a long email entitled "Panicky Blonde" detailing his thought process and internal negotiations as to whether he should pick up the phone  (except he said this in about 3 times as many sentences as my quick summary)   

There's nothing as humbling in the dating world as ignoring someone and later having to rely on them for something.  I gave a quick, "Ok, I-know-I-owe-you-an-explanation-but-I'm-late-to-the-Bar-Exam-and-got-stuck-in-traffic-and-now-I'm-lost-in-your-town-and-freaking-the-fluck-out-so-can-you-please-please-please-help-me-out?!" intro.  Thankfully, BR took pity upon me and guided me through his town, down a surprisingly not so ghetto MLK Blvd and to my Bar Exam.  I got off the phone realizing that if he had wanted to date me before my call, the chorus of "fluck, fluck, fluckity fluck!" that I shouted in between hysterical sobs would have solved that issue.

BR was nice about my call and we spoke at length over the weekend about our new friendship.  While he's still not convinced that there can't be something there, we are proceeding as friends.  I figured anyone who was nice enough to help me in a Bar Exam crisis after ignoring him for days is someone who could be a good friend...or at least a novella writing penpal.