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Posts Tagged ‘date’

This post is actually a little power-tagged because, regret to inform, I actually didn’t end up going out with the guy I met on the T after The Slutcracker. Bummer, right? I was really psyched!

We were supposed to go out on Wednesday, but the snag was that we couldn’t meet until 10pm (which, considering we met on public transportation, raised the sketch to perilous new levels), because I had class ’til 9:30, and Wednesday was the only night I didn’t have jam-packed.

We’d texted a bit on the night that we met — just, like, “nice to meet you!” stuff — and on Wednesday I waited with, I hate to admit, embarrassing earnestness for a follow-up text. Nothing. Finally, around 6pm, I texted him: “We still on?” and twenty minutes later he texted to say he had an early meeting the next day and going out starting at 10pm was just way too late, but “wanna go out tomorrow?” But my Thursday was already overloaded, so I texted him: “Totally booked tomorrow.”

No response.

My female friends did the right thing and tried to convince me that it was impossible he would have lost interest a few days after seeing me, and that he made an earnest attempt to reschedule, etc, etc, etc, but I mean, dudes, he’s just not that into me. It’s cool. Really, there’s nothing lost here: I picked him up in a T station, like a crazy person, and we didn’t even know anything about each other, so, y’know, no big deal.

Man, though, I had been really psyched! I’m usually cool-to-lukewarm on people when I first meet them, and can’t abide touching, so it was pretty thrilling to meet someone whom I immediately wanted to, like, rub my face on. Whatever, though. There will be other guys, not on other trains, whom I’m sure I can rub my face on in future.

Leaving for Vegas in a few hours, to spend Christmas with the fam! So, dude, if you’re a Vegas person I know irl and want to go out and have an adventure, let me know! Otherwise, see you cats on Monday with some uncharacteristic Vegas craziness.

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NTKOG #61: The kind of girl who — you all knew this one was coming — meets someone through an online dating service.

I am: pretty happy being single, and, that aside, difficult for guys to favorably impress at the best of times.

I am not: terribly lucky when it comes to meeting guys on purpose. The only formative and positive relationships of my life have come during times when I was specifically not looking for anyone.

The Scene: OkCupid. I’ve heard great things about sites like eHarmony and Match.com, but at the end of the day, OkCupid is funny, it attracts a younger demographic, and — big point in its favor — it’s free. When I first made my profile, I was totally thrilled: not thousands, sure, but quite a few guys messaged me. Some of them wrote really clever and charming things! And I wrote them back equally clever and charming things! And then … they kept messaging?

After about a week on OkCupid, I realized online dating is way too much work for this girl. It was like having a keychain full of Tamagotchis: cute on the ride home from the store, but then they keep friggin’ wanting you to pay attention to them. I was bored yet flustered and about ready to call it a day, when I got a message from a guy who fulfilled, on paper, every single absurdly specific requirement I have for a man:

Over six feet fall. Culturally Jewish. Well-read. Into wordplay. A PHYSICIST.

I mean, holy shit, right? It’s like someone went through my bizarrely detailed personal want ad and checked every box. I was giddy for days. We messaged back and forth a bit, then started chatting on AIM, and soon we’d set up a date at (sigh!) the Museum of Science.

The day of the date, however, I was hit hard with my standard pre-event ennui. Still, I put on a decent outfit — four-inch heels, no less — and got on the T. Then somewhere along the way, it occurred to me: I haven’t had a first date with anyone since I was 18 years old. I’m … I’m not good at dating. A quick peek into my bag confirmed this. Inside, I was carrying two copies of Oprah Magazine, a blonde wig (explanatory post later), and a circa 1965 single-girl cookbook with the subtitle: “Dazzling Bachelor-Bait Recipes!” Good thing I wasn’t taking in a set of knives to get sharpened, or else I’d probably end up on a national registry somewhere.

When I got to the venerable museum (half an hour late — I hate the green line) and the guy and I met, my terrible-at-dating streak continued. He seemed very nice and we both pretty enthusedly went through the exhibits. But my first-date patter was Lifetime Movie bad. I mean, I kind of came off as a crazy person? Some truly stellar things I revealed within the first hour that I am commemorating here only as advice to you lovely people not to ever use them as first-date ice-breakers:

  • I have a thing about people. I don’t like to stand near them, in case they accidentally touch me. (Deals with the first-date kiss dilemma, anyway.)
  • I learned to read as a kid by going through my father’s joke books. I know the punchline of every joke ever and I will stop you if I’ve heard it.
  • Upon looking at an exhibit of vehicle engines: “I like looking at machines because they animate without any sort of governing magic. So they’re kind of like humans, but at the same time really sort of underscore the patent weirdness of the human experience. Our, y’know, awareness of. Said experience.”
  • When I’m trying to do something that you can’t do as well if you’re concentrating on it, I mentally repeat the US presidents in chronological order repeatedly until I am done.
  • I’m intensely afraid of fish. And thank god he didn’t want to see the butterfly exhibit so we didn’t have to broach that one as well.

Um, I’ll take “Shit That Makes You Sound Totally Crazy” for $1000, Alex. This would have been much more normal if I had been nervously word-vomming or totally flustered, but I really wasn’t. I was totally confident. I just — I guess I feel like I was trying to throw the fight for some reason. Like, frontloading this hurricane of neuroses to push him away.

Anyway, he wasn’t totally scared away, weirdly. After going through the exhibits, we hung out and chatted for about an hour, and the conversation was nice. He asked if there was anything about him I wasn’t expecting, based on his profile, and I said I thought six feet was a bit taller, then instead of asking him back, I just told him: “I talk more than you thought I would and I’m crazier, right?” To which he replied: “You talk about as much as I thought you would. About different things, though.”

Near the end of the date, I was checking my watch to see if I would make it to a Flip Your Wig pub crawl on time, then told him, “Look, let’s make this an event for the first-date hall of fame — do you mind?” So he held my coat while I went into the ladies’ room and reemerged with a headful of shiny-synthetic cascading blonde curls, then waved goodbye from the foyer (NO TOUCHING!) and dashed out into the rain.

I’m memorable, at least.

The Verdict: Online dating? I take away everything I’ve ever said about it. It seems like a perfectly safe, perfectly pleasant way to meet people whom you already know you have something in common with. As with all dating, just because you have a lot in common with someone obviously doesn’t mean there will be a love connection, but I guess it at least improves your odds. I would online date again. But I wouldn’t do it soon.

I spent yesterday, the day after the date, plunged in a weird quagmire of semi-depression, and not all of it can be blamed on the weirdly muggly coldness eating Boston right now. I realized I was completely terrible on the date because — this is probably a big surprise only to me — I’m not ready to start dating yet. I know I’m only three months out of a very happy four-year relationship, but I thought I was totally healed. I was weirdly, amazingly, inhumanly fine during the break-up. The Ex and I knew we were going to break up for the last six months we lived together, but things never got weird, we stayed in love, and I didn’t cry. Not even once. Not even when I was alone or on the phone with my mother or listening to Postal Service. I was eerily happy the whole time. The only tears I shed throughout the whole demise of my four-year relationship were after dropping him off at the airport on our very last night. Then I took my heartache and put it in a box and forgot about it.

And now, of course, it occurs to me that said box was shipped with the rest of my junk to Boston and very probably it would be in my best interest to unpack it. Not that the break-up itself was so very tempestuous or difficult, but it wasn’t nothing. My zero-tolerance policy for personal weakness (just my own; I’m okay with yours) might be a bit overbearing.

It’s not the break-up, or not just and concretely the break-up. I’m fine with The Ex and I going our separate ways, and I’m happy to be on my own. But when I think about it, I spent four years falling, every day, more in love with the same wonderful man. And he was just one (one very wonderful!) in a series. There has not been a single goddamn minute of my life the past ten years, maybe more, when I have not been or thought I was in love with someone. My adult life has been a sustained hysteria of want. And right now, what I want is not to want anything that requires anybody else.

Which … is a pretty heavy reaction to a single pretty-okay date. So maybe physicist would be right to assume I’m a total crazy person? (Also, ladies who have online dated, what is the protocol for telling someone you’re probably not in a good place for a second date? Do you have to facebook defriend? Why has the internet made etiquette so hard?! Share your thoughts, please!)

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NTKOG #32: The kind of bold, vivacious creature who, standing on a street corner, catches the eye of a stranger, banters for a moment, then asks him out right then and there.

I am: shy. Deeply shy. Surely by now you all know that I’m an extreme introvert?

I am not: convinced I’ve ever even actually been on a date with a guy whom I hadn’t been seeing exclusively for at least several months.

The Scene: Wednesday after work, and after my hyper-uncouth spitting adventure, I was wandering around Harvard Square, trying to kill an hour before my creative writing class. I decided to cross the street and get a cupcake, and waited for a light, standing next to a tall, nice-looking Asian guy.

Also, for context, I was wearing my Alice-in-Wonderland dress, a light sweater and flipflops, and basically freezing my eyelashes off.

Stoplight Guy: Aren’t you cold in that?
TKOG: Yeah. But I just moved here from California, so I’m just pretending it’s an unseasonably cold summer day. In late September.
SG: Where in California? I’m from [Prestigious West Coast University’s rival school].
TKOG: Oh, I went to Prestigious West Coast University. I guess we hate each other now. Where are you headed?
SG: Nowhere, really. You?
TKOG: I have an hour to kill before class; I was going to grab a coffee. Want to join me?

And guys! He absolutely said yes!!!

We found a cafe — where it transpired that neither of us actually drinks coffee — and both independently asked for the orders “for-here”. So no awkward-out escape hatch.

There was a moment in the line. I felt like I should pay for his order because I’d totally instigated the hang-out, but the line was confusing and I couldn’t find my wallet. At one point I asked if we were even in line, to which he responded: “Well, I am. And you’re with me.” in the sort of paternalistic way that I don’t really hate, and I resolved to pay for his drink, but then lost my nerve.

As we waited for our mugs o’ seasonal beverage, we talked about our academic and career trajectories. He’s currently pursuing a law degree from Hahvahd, but claimed he wants to retire early from corporate law to focus on oil painting. Whenever men say things like that, I wonder whether it is only what they think we want to hear, and if so, why the devil they think we want to hear it.

He was very frank about money — wanting to make it, and lots of it — in a way that, on paper, would have seemed crass. But I have a soft spot for men who are appallingly forthright with a hint of egotism. Similarly, he gave the obviously overworked barista a hard time about making him wait for his drink, and although I hated it, I kind of admired it.

We ended up sitting outside and talking intensely for about an hour. It was all the standard terrible first-date stuff (undergrad experiences, the weather, out-of-reach career fantasies), but done quite well. The conversation was mile-a-minute and clever. He did not make me laugh, of course — very few men do — but we enjoyed each other’s company. It was all the terrible first date conversation, true, but I felt we were working through it. I could see the first-date slipping into a second date with the same natural flow, but more off-the-wall, engaging, whimsical, real.

Then I mentioned growing up in Las Vegas, which is always a mistake: it always, always causes men to grow slimy and disrespectful, at least a little, even the nice ones (let alone barista beraters). I had mentioned not knowing Cambridge well, and we talked about finding a bar and going out for post-work drinks one day. But after the Vegas discussion: “Oh, when is your class over? We could just have drinks at your place…”

Sorry. Did I miss some sort of critical transition in the evening? We made tentative plans to see each other again for drinks (at a bar, not my apartment, obvi), exchanged information, then I had to book to my class.

The Verdict: I would absolutely, totally, 100% do this again! It comes off sounding a more negative experience than it was: to be fair, it was nearly entirely enjoyable, and only took on a weird tone right at the end.

As of right now, he has called a few times, but I keep missing his calls. I texted and he responded with a voicemail asking what I was up to (and for my blog address — whoops, shouldn’t have mentioned that). I think I’m going to ask him if he wants to grab drinks on Monday.

But truly, guys, it was totally pleasant and there was no awkward at all. If you’re reading this and you’re single, I totally encourage you to stop a stranger this weekend and ask them to hang out. Just try it! You’ll feel like a ballsier, better person. (Unless the person turns out to be a total sketchmonger…)

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