Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lovedate (not to be confused with Stardate) 14 July 2012 . . .

So I've continued my voyage into, on and through . . . online dating.

First things first:

1.  There are great guys on these sites.
2.  I don't know why I can't find them in bars.
3.  I don't know why I haven't found the one yet for my very own, but I certainly haven't.

But what I'm writing about today is the horror I go through before I meet someone for the first date.  It doesn't get easier.  I know, you'd think it would, but it just doesn't.

Today I found myself driving to meet a great guy for lunch (turns out he's nice, smart, good looking and successful - but no chemistry.  UGH.).  We'd hardly had any contact prior to the date, just some very light emails and texting to make a plan.  (Caveat, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE PRELIMINARY PHONE CALL!!!  Actually in all the dates I've gone on, I've been through two exploratory calls before just going for it and meeting.  And guess what?  Neither of these calls ended up evolving into a meeting.  What the hell can you REALLY tell from a phone call anyway?  I can barely remember the first one, but the second happened just last week.  The guy was really nice.  He'd looked at my profile just before we got on the call so he could ask salient questions - which he did - and he was enthusiastic.  But the whole thing ended up feeling more like an interview that I just couldn't keep up with or relax into.  I'm sure he was nervous and I was exhausted.  At the end of the call he said:  "So maybe we should meet for coffee…oh wait, I'll let you decide that."  I didn't know what to say so I said:  "I'll be in touch on the site."  Ok.  Not good.  But the whole call had been so...disjointed.  I went to email him that I didn't think we'd had a lot of chemistry on the call (lame) but that it was nice to speak with him and wish him luck two days later…and when I looked for him on the site, he no longer had an account.  I'm hoping that either:  1.  His leaving the site had nothing to do with me, OR THAT, 2.  He blocked me so it looks like he's left the site.  Either way I wish him luck!)

But back to my initial point - the dread on the way to the first meeting.  It usually starts in the car for me.  Up until that point I'm getting ready, running late, trying to look fabulous, you know, just regular girl stuff.  Then I get in the car and I think, "What are you doing?"  Or, "Why are you doing this?"  And then I'm filled with dread and I can't imagine how I'm even going to get there.  And the vision of walking in and wondering, will I recognize him?  Will he recognize me?  Will he even show up?  

Then I'm walking towards the bar/restaurant/coffee shop and my clothes aren't right, my make-up's not right, I don't feel right.  I want to turn around and run into traffic, stop and adjust my clothes, make a call, or scream for help but - for some reason - I just keep walking towards my destination.

And you know what?  They've all shown up.  And been nice.  I've never sat waiting, wondering if someone's going to recognize me or vice versa.  We've always recognized each other.  But this knowledge never makes the 'journey' on the way to the date comfortable.  I don't think it ever will.

Some of my friends that haven't done this online dating dance think I'm brave.  I sometimes think I'm just too pragmatic.  I make a plan and say I'm going to show up, so I show up.  Regardless.  Who knows?  Maybe it's both.  And each time I meet someone and it's a NO I think I'm going to stop doing this.   But I haven't.  And probably I won't until I meet someone.

I asked the guy I met today how he liked online dating.  He looked at me and said:  "I hate it."  I agree.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I'm back.  And now I'm writing about Firsts.  First Time Ever Experiences.  So...I'll begin with...GUNS!

Me plus a gun.  There's really no ring to it.  I'm against the death penalty.  It's a combination of feeling like we (people) aren't god (or the universe or whatever you believe or not), so how can we take a life?  This along with the fact that error occurs all the time.  There are no take backs in the death penalty.  This second fact, the error fact, should negate the whole death penalty thing in my opinion.  I'm also not down with war.  However, if someone I love is killed, I'm gonna want to kill the person(s) that did it.  I think that's natural.  But to behave like that on a society-level has far reaching consequences.  And I'm not suggesting we become vigilantes either.  I'm just saying I understand feeling that way.  Ok.  Enough about that...

My first experience with a gun was when my friend Robert showed me his 357 Magnum.   It actually made me feel sick.  And really scared.  I kept thinking it's a death machine, a machine made for killing humans.  I watched him pass the gun back and forth with my boyfriend at the time.  They checked the barrel each time to see if it was loaded.  The gun never left their sight, it was just habit.  From the army.  A super wise habit.  As I watched them, a change came over me.  I wanted to be photographed with the gun.  Yeah.  It didn't happen, but interesting how quickly things can change.

Jump 20+ years into the future - I just went to the LA Gun Club with my friend Mitch.  He's an expert with guns.  Thank god.  I can't imagine going to the range (yeah, I call it the range now) with someone who wasn't.

We cruised in on a Saturday morning.  I might have been wearing lace up motorcycle boots, a black miniskirt and a tshirt.  In fact I was.  The walls were covered with shotguns and machine guns.  The glass counters were filled with hand-guns.  I was immediately scared.  Truthfully, I was scared before we got there.

They had us each fill out a form.  I can't really remember what it said, but I'm sure there must have been a clause stating that I took responsibility for the chance that someone might just shoot me, I might just shoot someone, or myself (maybe not...).  What I do remember are the three little check boxes about what your expertise was.  And of the three I checked:  Beginner.  Mitch checked:  Expert.

We got a little plastic carrier/basket that had a Walther PPK in it, ear protection and eye protection for both of us as well as ammo.  I carried the Tactical Remington 12-gauge Shotgun that we chose at the last minute “for fun.”  You have to carry it with the barrel pointing towards the ceiling.  I couldn’t believe how heavy it was.  And I kept having the sensation it was slipping out of my hand.  I was afraid to put it down when we entered the range, so I just stood there holding it until Mitch took it from me and set it on the counter.

When we entered the actual range, there was a moment of silence, not because of us, it just happened.  We approached Booth 6.  And then someone started shooting – a shotgun.  Holy crap.  So fucking LOUD.  So loud you could FEEL IT.  Thank god for the ear protection.  And even with that, I jumped every time the guy shot.  Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  How the hell was I going to shoot the shotgun?

But first, the Walther PPK (of course I had to have the James Bond gun).  Mitch showed me how to load it, showed me the safety, how and why to cock the gun (to make it more automatic).  And how to aim.

Ok.  Here we go.  I stood back and watched Mitch shoot the first ten rounds.  Watched the casings fly out of the gun, sometimes followed by a little flame.  He was good at it.  Made it look easy.  Ok.  Now it's my turn.  I loaded the clip.  It wasn't easy.  The spring was really hard.  I actually felt like a bit of a weakling at the range.  I have to say though, jamming the clip in, once loaded, made me feel like a hard-boiled detective or at the very least an Angel of Charlie.

And then we sent my target downrange.  You get a wide selection of targets.  I couldn't choose one that looked like a person - even if it looked more cartoon than man.  So this day, we were gonna be hunting zombies.  I took my stance, pulled the hammer back, aimed, took a deep breath and as I exhaled, I pulled the trigger.  BANG.  WOW.  SCARY.  At this point, I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it all the way through the ammo.  I kept thinking these are like cannons.  Tiny, hand-sized cannons.  But I did it.  10 shots, downrange, right at my zombie nemesis.  I was surprised by the kick of the gun.  The noise.  I kept thinking that anyone in the booth could just turn and shoot their neighbor…but then I’d redirect my focus to the zombie in front of me.  Focus.  When I gave the gun back to Mitch for his second turn, my hands were shaking.

We made it all the way through the ammo.  (It took me getting to my second round of ammunition before I realize that I needed to close one eye to aim.  I was almost cross-eyed by the time I figured this out.)  I felt a little victorious.  I did it!  But I couldn’t be relieved just yet, I knew what was coming next… THE SHOTGUN.  I really didn’t think I could do it.  I was so shaky from shooting the handgun, how would I be able to manage the shotgun?  What if the kick was so big both me and the shotgun went flying?!

Mitch showed me how to load it.  Way easier.  Kinda fun.  He showed me the safety, how to hold the gun, everything I needed to feel safe and sure.  I didn’t feel safe and sure.  (By the way, the shotgun was half my size. I’m small.)  We had ten bullets.  Mitch took the first two shots.  Holy shit.  And after each shot you pull the pump action and the used casing flies out.  Cool.  And the pump action alone, Totally Cool.  That's a sound we all recognize from the movies.

I took my stance and aimed the Tactical Remington 12-gauge downrange, took a deep breath and pulled the trigger.  Mitch was standing right behind me.  It’s a good thing as the kick from that gun was huge.  I took a giant step back from it.  Cannon is RIGHT!  I went to hand the gun back to Mitch and he said, “Are you sure?”  I wasn’t.  I shot one more time and then handed the gun back knowing that was enough for me that day.  That was my limit.  But I did it.  And I’d do it again.  In fact, I will.

When we got near the counter I asked Mitch to take a picture of me cuddling up to the shotgun.  The guys behind the counter, who were fabulous by the way, offered to let me pose with an AK-47.  But I declined.  The picture with the shotgun turned out great.  I looked super sexy and shockingly comfortable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Walk of Shame…

There was a time when I was wild for a performance artist.  Wild.  He (Rupert) was 14 years younger than me.  And in a relationship when we first met.  Actually the mutual friend who introduced us told me that Rupert was either recently single or in a relationship that was ending…soon.  Honestly, you're either in or you're out and all of this should have immediately added up to DO NOT GO THERE.  But I did.  Of course.

At first, we were just flirting.  Harmless.  Super fun.  I mean flirting is delicious!  And he was gonna be available…soooooon.  (I cringe at this thought and the energy/sentiment behind it now.)

The flirting went on for a while.  All the things we couldn't do were discussed.  Someday was discussed.  And then…Yes.  They broke up.  And I thought, TIME FOR ME!  However, Rupert was thinking something more like, TIME FOR ALL LADIES.

Shortly after the break-up Rupert was scheduled to perform out of town.  Coincidentally I had work out of town…in the same town.  D.C.  Nice.  He sort of knew I was going to try come see his show, but wasn't positive.  I was pretty sure I was gonna make it (no question, definitely, but trying to maintain some semblance of cool).  It all sounds wrong already, right?  Right.

I wore stiletto boots, jeans and a light green, backless sequin top.  It was unseasonably warm, I was unseasonably fabulous.

So, off to the show.  I was incredibly nervous and saw him before he went on.  He was happy to see me, but slightly standoffish with a dash of inconvenienced.  These are signs that I hope I would recognize today.  But back then, my brain was like a freight train that neither Chris Pine or Denzel could have derailed. 

I saw Rupert perform.  I thought he was brilliant (of course).  After the show I joined him and a crowd at a nearby bar.  He introduced me to a 'friend,' a woman.  I picked up some vibe immediately and just as quickly pushed it away.  Drinks were had, topics discussed and I kept trying to size up Rupert’s ‘friend.’  It dawned on me that the 'friend' he introduced me to might actually be with him.  Then slowly through the haze of the late hour and cocktails I realized it was a competition.  It was going to be her (Frieda the ‘friend’) or me.

The other revelers drifted off slowly, one by one and suddenly the three of us were the only ones left and in the lobby of Rupert's hotel.  I can’t really remember how we got there.  And interestingly enough, Frieda was staying in the hotel as well.  Surprise?  No.  And I said something genius like, "Should I stay and hang out, or is it time for me to go?"  Rupert said something like, "It's probably time for you to go."  So I left.  Feeling like an absolute idiot.  Fool.  Fool.  Fool. 

I caught a cab and sat quietly while my brain melted.  After 10 minutes, I of course called Rupert.  I left a very hurt/angry message.  (But wasn't this just as much my fault?  Of course.  But I was feeling VERY injured.)  While I harangued on, Rupert called back.  I picked up.  He suggested that maybe I should come back to the hotel and hang out.  Ha!  Genius.  I hung up and asked the cab driver to turn around and take me back to where he'd just picked me up.  For a moment I was sure the cabbie had never experienced anything like this ever, then I realized that was one of the most naive thoughts I'd ever had in my life.

I got back to Rupert's hotel and he and Frieda were doing bong hits.  They offered me a hit.  I declined.  (A very smart move on my part.  Perhaps the only smart move of the night.)  Frieda hopped out the window to sit on the fire escape and smoke a cigarette.  I guess it's OK to smoke pot in the room, but regular cigs are restricted to the outdoors.  We all hung out for a while, I can't even remember exactly what we discussed, possibly Rupert's brilliance and the fact that I had a pedicure and Frieda didn't.  As you can imagine, it was really elevated conversation.

FYI, Frieda did NOT like me.  But I didn’t like her either.

At one point, I stood in the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and said out loud, "What are you doing here?  You've got to leave."  This was all stupid and should have been happening to someone else.  I didn't do this kind of thing.  She wanted him.  I wanted him.  He was loving it.  You know he was hoping for a threesome…

I came out of the bathroom and Frieda had fallen asleep.   Rupert patted the spot next to him on the bed.  I cozied up and we looked at digital pictures taken of his performance earlier that evening.  Wow.  And yes, Rupert and I started making out.  While Frieda was asleep at the end of the bed.  This went on for a while and I'm not sure why, but maybe I was coming to my senses (probably not) or one of us needed to use the bathroom, but we were standing when Frieda woke up (THANK GOD).  I think she must have overheard what we were saying – some inane sexy talk for sure.  She sat up, walked to the door, turned to Rupert and said, "You're awful.  You're an asshole."  Then she started to sob and left.

Ok.  Yes, Rupert is an asshole (I found out later he’d slept with her the night before).  Unfortunately, I’m was an asshole in this scenario as well.

And what did Rupert decide to do after Frieda ran out of the room sobbing?  Chase after her of course while saying over his shoulder, "Is there any way I can make this up to you when I get back to L.A.?" 

So there I was.  In the hotel stairwell as Rupert pounded up the steps after Frieda.  By now it was 8AM.  I had a plane to catch and needed to get back to my hotel, pack and get to the airport.  I had no idea if I was going to make it.

I went outside to hail a cab, but it was morning drive time.  Absolute Friday morning rush hour.  Not a cab to be had.  And it was sooooo cold (the unseasonable warmth of the night before had disappeared).  So I only had one option - to walk the mile back to my hotel through the financial district in my backless sequin top and stiletto boots.  Everything about me screamed One Night Stand (and I hadn't even gotten lucky, thank god.)  It was my most obvious Walk Of Shame amidst the hustle and bustle of suits on their way to work (walks before, and possibly after, have included only short dashes to and from my car…or maybe a cab).  There was no end to the sidelong glances and knowing smiles.  I was so cold and so uncomfortable but walked with purpose - as if I thought I was fabulous.  My Sex And The City Moment.

And I barely made it to the airport.  As I approached the gate limping, the flight attendant asked why my stiletto boots were clutched in my hand.  I handed her my boarding pass and said,  "Wrong shoes.  Long walk.  Wrong night." 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blast from the past…

Alternative Titles:  "The Dangers of Facebook" Or "It was 50% your fault for engaging in the first place…"

I love Facebook.  Love.  I'm on LinkedIn as well, but I'm not really into it - which is probably unwise.  Anyway a man, John, asked to Connect with me on LinkedIn.  I think I've mentioned my lack of skill in recognizing people in previous posts.  I also have an issue with my past.  As in I remember so many details, just not the same details others do.  Sometimes my memory bugs people because I remember so much…well, I guess it bugs them when I don't remember what they do as well.

So I get this request, but I don't recognize the name.  I look to see who we are mutually linked to.  Grad school friends.  Hmmmmm.  Still can't remember.  I decide not to Link.  Just let it go.

Next stop.  Facebook.  The same person, John, sends me a Friend request.  Dammit.  Why can't I remember?  The request sits there for weeks (where it should have remained) but I finally accept it.  As soon as I accept, an email comes in saying, "What have you been up to?"  Ugh.  Who are you?  I don't reply.

Cut to voting day.  I take a picture of everyone going out to vote for Barak or McCain.  The line was huge.  Long.  (We really did come out and vote that day.)  I post the picture on Facebook and John writes, "This would be a good day to catch up with old friends."  He's obviously not going away.  Fine.  FINE.  I write him and say that I'm so sorry, but I can't remember him.  That his name is familiar, but that's all.  Can he give me a clue?

Yeah.  So it seems I not only starred in a play with him in grad school, but we might have made out as well.  The thing is, I had a very serious boyfriend.  The whole time.  So part of me not remembering could possibly be guilt - it's the only time I've ever cheated.  It was only kissing, but that's still cheating.  Of course the other reason could be that he was the wrong choice.  Always the wrong choice.  But back to our story...

From this inauspicious re-beginning, John and I started emailing back and forth.  A lot.  And then, as sometimes happens, it got very flirty.  Very fast.  Then we upped it to speaking on the phone.  It was like a runaway train.  And I can't really explain him.  I'm sure there are others out there of his kind, but I'd never quite experienced this…and hope never to again.  First of all, I think the crazy attracted me.  (I hate to admit I was probably crazy at this point in my life too, drat.) And his desperation.  I was the only one that could fix things or have the right answer.  It wasn't even that I thought I was all knowing, it was like putting my finger in the dam and hoping to save the dike.  It was suddenly all declarations and ultimatums….  You see, we lived across the country from each other.  He had kids, so he said he could never move until they were all 18.  I understand that.  Absolutely.  It is important to note here that he moved to my state not long after we stopped "seeing" each other for work…  It's also important to note that we'd not even seen each other when we had this conversation.  For god's sake.  CART BEFORE HORSE!!!!

I digress.

We began talking everyday.  For hours on end.  Reconnecting, "getting to know each other."  I told him my life.  What I'd been doing.  My beliefs, my friends, my family.  He did the same.  It also came up at some point that he had a team of psychiatrists.  I probably brushed this under the carpet because my mother was a therapist, but still - how idiotic did I need to be?  A TEAM? 

He wanted all my attention.   If we were chatting when I was on the way to meet friends, he didn't want me to get off the phone when I arrived.  I'm not sure if he just wanted me to sit in the car and talk…wait, yes I am.  Because he did.  And I did.  Quite a bit.  It seemed a bit odd, but I went along with it.  Willingly.  I remember before we'd even seen each other that we had a discussion about how long we "could go on this way" without one of us moving.  I suggested that we could do it for a year or two.  He literally gasped.  He said he could never be in a relationship like that.  He would need me there.  Within 3-6 months.  I was surprised.  Everyone has done or does long distance, right?  For some reason I suppose I thought this meant he really liked me…

Then we upped the ante…as one always does.  John and I made plans for me to fly to him.  I remember being really scared when I booked that Southwest ticket.  But I clicked the PURCHASE button.  (Oh dear.)   But then we couldn't wait.  So we made plans for him to fly to me the week before.  Yes, this is all SO genius.  So now we've booked two trips, yet we haven't seen each other for over 20 years.  Yeah.  Positive thinking.  Or psychotic thinking.  Guess I was on the crazy train.  100% committed.  Bring it on. 

He came to visit for a holiday weekend.  My friends were having a party on the night he arrived.  I was there and he took a taxi to the location.  Quite brave of him actually.  And we had a great time.  He met my friends.  He was nice…but slightly inappropriate.  Or just plain inappropriate.  I think he suggested to my best friend that she be in our wedding (wow) and that she might be next after me.  But I was on the roller coaster.  Red flags be damned.  He asked me to marry him.  On that first visit.  He told me he had never asked anyone to marry him since his ex-wife.  In retrospect, I bet this is an enormous lie. 

I was occasionally freaked out during the visit.  Too much too fast.  But before he left, I took my dog for a walk and thought, fuck it.  Give it a chance.  And when I arrived back to my apartment I said, "OK.  Let's really give this a try (I might have mentioned six months) and see what happens."  He said, "Oh.  Wow.  Now wait a minute."  Uhm…this is after he'd asked me to marry him two days before and I was merely suggesting long distance dating.  It's not a red flag, it's a red sheet, a red tsunami.    Basically, as I got more comfortable with him, he distanced himself.  Have I mentioned how hot I USED to think unavailable guys were? 

We said good-bye.  He was comfortable.  I was suddenly off balance.  Power shift.  He went home and I was to visit the following weekend.

He contacted me the first day or two after he left…then…radio silence.  Hmmmmm.  I gave him space.  I did not change my flight.  I waited.  And frequently felt nauseous.  (God I hate the word nauseous.)

Finally, the night before I was going to fly, I called him.  He answered the phone and said:  "So are you ready for your trip?"  Huh?  Ok.  Was I over-reacting?  I've over-reacted before.  Countless times.  Hmmmmm.  (I love that when I'm not over-reacting, I jump to this thought.  I should have burned that E-Ticket and fled to Guam, but…)  So I flew out the next morning to see him.  And overall, I had a very romantic weekend with him.  …There was the story about how an ex-girlfriend took out a restraining order on him.  That was strange. And I did have a moment of utter calm and asked him if he felt like all of his ex-girlfriends had fucked him over.  He really thought about the question and then answered, "No."  (I think he was lying.)  In retrospect, I now believe that he was only able to be a certain person, the person he was being for me, for a finite amount of time.  He was a good actor.  (I think he was accepted to one of those very prestigious acting schools.)  And yes, if you must know, he asked me to marry him again during the second weekend.  He even had suggestions as to what the neckline of my wedding dress should look like...

On the last day of my visit, we had a cozy lunch, a boozy dinner and then went to hear jazz music until 4AM.  Yes, I might have mixed red wine and vodka diet cokes (evil, evil, evil).  At the jazz club we might have met people and told them the story of how we reconnected on Facebook.  All smiles.  It was magic, right?  But it was just a load of play-acting, though I didn't know it yet.  And…Yep.  I was super the next morning when it came time to fly.  I might have had egg nog thinking it would go down easy on a hang over.  FYI, NOT.  And I believe what happened next should have summed up the whole "relationship."  As John was hugging me good-bye, I suddenly realized that I was going to vomit.  Right outside the airport doors.  Where everyone was dropping off visitors.  I just said:  "One second," and turned around and vomited into a trash can.  I don't know how it was so close to me, but I believe God had a hand in it.  John came up behind me as I was puking, touched my back and said, "Are you ok?"  I waved him off (gracefully or forcefully, I can't quite remember)…as I continued to yak.  When I was finished, I wiped my mouth with my hot pink, cashmere pashmina and apologized profusely.  That was our good-bye.  The last time I saw him.  It seems so fitting now.

I flew home thinking he was the one even while I had to lie to the flight attendants and say I had food poisoning so I could use the lavatory before take-off.  They MUST have thought I made the most amazing recovery halfway home.  Not.

He started texting less and less right after I got home.  One text said:  "I miss talking to you."  I texted back, "Then why don't you call me?"  He was a victim, constantly in pain and I just accepted it.  Until I just couldn't anymore.  Self-respect and pain combined are a couple of harsh, but good mistresses.  They did the trick!!!  I ended it…well maybe he ended it, but I pushed the issue.  I remember we talked just a couple days before my dad came to visit.  I was outside when I got the call and he started the conversation acting like everything was normal, but I broached the subject.  He talked about his team of therapists.  I asked what they said.  He said, "I guess I'm just not ready to be in a relationship."

I was devastated.  But got over it.  It was wrong twenty years ago and it was wrong now.  Enough said.  But he wanted to stay in touch.  Remain Friends on Facebook.  I remember the day I finally UNFRIENDED him after one too may bizarre comments appeared on my page - he sent me an email that said:  "What did I ever do to you?  Now we can't even be Friends?"  And then a full year later he wrote on the weekend he'd come out to visit me saying, "I can't help but think of you this time of year."  Ok.  Enough.  Gag.  Could someone show the card that says…THE END and put the closing credit music on?  Oh wait, I guess I did!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Debunking the Chemistry Myth…

If I like a guy, as in, if I'm really attracted to him, then he MUST be attracted to me.  That's the way the universe works, right?!?  No.  It doesn't.  I used to believe this to be an absolute truth.  I'm not sure where that optimism came from.  I realize it's idiotic, yet somehow sweet and naive but admittedly creepy.  I don't believe it anymore.  And haven't for quite some time (maybe two years…tops.  Slow learner).  Of course in my early twenties I thought the only real difference between men and women were their reproductive parts.  Yeah.  I don't believe that anymore either.

I went on a date with Chet last week.  Successful.  Generous.  Kind.  Interesting.  NO CHEMISTRY.

I was early.  AGAIN.  Am I changing?  Or just lucky?  Probably lucky.  Anyway, I cruised into the Moroccan themed bar and ordered a ridiculous drink.  Headache in my future.

I texted Chet that I was seated directly across from the entrance.  White sweater.  Then I just sipped my drink, answered work emails and didn't get nervous about waiting for my date and whether I'd recognize him.  Nice.  Being early just might have it's perks.  AKA Control.

While typing on my iPhone a head suddenly appeared in my peripheral vision.  "Hello!"  I look up, smile and dammit, it's a 'No.'  I don't usually know that quickly.  But I did.  In an instant.  I'm not even sure I can explain why.  It wasn't a looks thing, there was just no zing.  And then he sat down and there wasn't one moment in the next three hours when I felt any differently.  Yes.  Three hours again.  How do you leave?

We had good conversations.  About travel, real estate, our jobs - his was very interesting.  He started reaching out and touching my arm for emphasis.   He's not feeling what I'm feeling.  He's feeling chemistry.  Oh crap.  He also gave me some 'High Tens" - what's up with that on a date?  It's not a sporting event…oh wait…maybe it is.

As the evening continued, we started talking relationship stuff and online dating.  Chet said that you know within five minutes of meeting someone if you have mutual chemistry and smiled knowingly and touched my arm again.  He doesn't realize this isn't mutual.  He's in it alone.  I immediately divide half my brain.  One half is listening to what he's saying and the other half is wondering how long I've been on the date and how I can I end it in a nice way.  I'd been yawning, but hiding it, but suddenly I yawed outright.  "Oh, I'm sorry," I said.  "I'm so tired.  I don't know why."  He said, "Don't worry, you've only yawned once."  I said, "I yawned earlier, as well."   He suggested that I get another drink.  So hinting was not successful.  Then he told me about a date he'd had the night before.  He met a woman who was nice, but he said to me, "You know, you just know.  I bought her a drink and then an hour in I just said (he slapped his hand on the bar for emphasis), I've gotta go.  We'll be in touch."  Wow.  Maybe I could learn something from Chet.  Although that seems harsh.  I wonder if she's still waiting for him to call?

I drank my second umbrella-garnished beverage quickly.  As we were finally leaving I kissed his cheek so that he wouldn't move in for a real kiss.  Then he said, "We'll do something next week, yes?  I'll call."  I smiled, and nodded. 

I called four girlfriends on the drive home…and only got answering machines.  I left some ridiculous messages and I probably sounded like I was on cocaine, not wine.  I'm not sure why I was so panicked, but I was.  I suppose it's the combination of not meeting the right guy, continuing to meet the wrong one and feeling trapped on the dates - even if the guys are nice.  My herbalist once said to me, "You only need one, right?"  Yes, I only need one, but where the hell is he?

When someone else is excited and full of possibility and they look at you, eyes wide and full of hope and you don't feel that rush in return, how do you manage that?  And in retrospect, how many times have I done this?  Countless, I'm sure.  How many men must I have sent screaming into the night over the years, calling their friends in a panic?  Yikes.  And let's be honest.  I'm just not good at this.  I have a friend whose brother told her after a major break-up that she had to go on 30 dates in 30 days.  She went on 28.  Now she's good at this. 

The date with Chet was on a Wednesday.  By Sunday night I'd not heard a peep from him.  Maybe he wasn't interested.  Phew. Good news.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe he didn't feel any chemistry…and then he called.  I let it go to voice mail.  I waited about 90 minutes before listening to it.  Just feeling generally shitty.  The message was nice and he wondered what my week ahead looked like and said he hoped I'd had a nice weekend.  I emailed back a couple hours later and said what I've said before, that it feels more like a friend vibe than a romantic one and wished him luck on the site.

It's important to reiterate:  A)  I'm paying to do this and B) There's no explaining chemistry.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


There are three basics in online dating:  You reject them, they reject you, or you go on a scary blind date…willingly.  Easy as 1, 2, 3.  And if rejected, one shouldn't take it personally (it's the internet for god's sake, it's not personal).  Seriously, these online dating guys don't know who I am after two or three emails and/or a meeting or two.  But let's be honest, we frequently take things personally.  I have.  And unfortunately frequently do.

There are a list of things I'm looking for in a man, but just because I want them, doesn't mean I'll get them.  There are guys I've met the old fashioned way and had relationships with that I probably wouldn't have chosen from a picture online, and yet, I fell for them.  For a time.  Sometimes too long a time, but surely that's a different issue - and a different story.

I went out on a date recently with a yachtsman.  Blake.  He was nice.  We actually chatted over coffee for two hours and 45 minutes, but two hours in, I realized I wasn't interested.  How did I know?  Thoughts of, "How do I end this?  When can I end this?"  started rapidly running through my brain.  And it had nothing really to do with Blake, he didn't say something rude or outrageous, it was just what was going on between us - or the lack of it.  No chemistry.

Eventually the date ended.  I think I referenced plans for later in the day and then a bit later that I needed to get moving.  But before that, we discussed online etiquette.  Subject:  When someone contacts you, if you aren't interested, do you write back or not?  Blake believes the recipient of his email should absolutely write back.  He wants a reply - whether the lady is interested or not.  Even if it's through an automated message.  By the way, the automated message says something like: so and so isn't interested, their loss, but here are some other possibilities.  (Yuck.)  Suddenly a software program is my relationship cheerleader?! 

Blake found me via the search engine and emailed me.  His profile looked good, i.e. he was smart, nice looking, well traveled, wrote well and was…5'7".  Hmmm.  I'm not tall.  At all.  But a friend of mine says whenever guys are vertically challenged, they always lie up - especially on dating sites.  I think the 5'7" yachtsman was really … 5'5".  Maximum.  And he was…slight.  He told me sometimes he has trouble finding clothes that fit because he's so small.  Interesting.  But hey, all of these things are completely fine and actually wouldn't matter at all, if there were chemistry.  But there wasn't.  FYI, you get to put in all sorts of options when you are searching for online love:  zip code, distance from where you live, age, relationship status, hair color, astrological sign, height, body type, ethnicity, religion etc., etc., etc.  When I search I look for location, age range, picture (they MUST have a picture - I think the guys that don't are cheating.  Definitely.) and relationship status - this is key.  They cannot be listed as Separated.  No way.  Got to be Single, Divorced, or Widowed.  I'm not here to help you through your divorce.  I do not need extra baggage.  I've got enough of my own! 

When I arrived for the date, Blake was already there.  Seated and drinking coffee.  I saw him and made my way towards him…he didn't stand to greet me (I like it when they stand).  I sat down for a second and said hello.  After a moment I took out my wallet and went up to the counter to buy a cup of coffee.  After the date, he stood, and it felt like we were the same size.  I think we were.  It occurs to me now that he might have purposely hid his height from me until the end of the date.  Look, we're all self-conscious about stuff (yes, I have a list of things I'm self-conscious about but I'm not going to enumerate here…at least not today), but I don't lie on dating sites.  My age is really my age.  My pictures are recent and are actually of me.  I don't try to sell something I'm not.  I feel like that would only end badly.  But I get it.  Guys want to be big and strong.  We like them that way.  At least I do.

So the yachtsman and I walked out of the cafe and he said he'd had a good time.  I said, "Me too," because it was true.  Nice easy conversation. Then he said, "Maybe we can do this again.  I can take you to dinner.  But if you don't want to, you can tell me now, I won't take it personally."  Gulp.  I mean, he put himself out there.  Impressive.  But I must admit, I wasn't cool enough to say no in the moment.  So I said yes, got into my car and headed home.  I think he would have taken, "No," personally.  I would have.  Maybe he knew that.

So now I needed to write the dreaded email.  And I did.  But he beat me to it and wrote saying how much fun he'd had.  Shit.  I wrote back and said it was fun but that it felt more like a friendship vibe than a romantic vibe.  He wrote back and said he totally agreed.  Felt the same way.  Ok…but hadn't he asked me about going out again?  Never mind.  Doesn't matter.  All good.  Let's all save face!

But Blake had got me thinking.  So I also wrote back to another guy on the site who had written me previously.  When he wrote, I'd read his profile and I wasn't interested.  But I didn't write him.  I just let it go.  And yet, he kept looking at my page.  Then he Favorited me (I don't quite understand this aspect of the online dating thing, why would you have favorites while you're looking for the one - unless you want a stable full of ladies?).  Then he wrote me again over the holidays and said some very nice things about my profile and mentioned that he'd written to me before.  Nudge.  So after writing to Blake, I wrote to Raffie and said "Thank you so much, but I don't think we're a match."  Rejection doesn't make you feel good.  Whether you are the rejector or the rejectee.  And actually, both emails made me feel crappy, but better to be honest. 

I've definitely had my fair share of rejection.  I've emailed people (many) that never replied.  I've corresponded with people that seemed interested, suggested meeting and then disappeared.  And I went on a couple dates with a guy I really thought was a contender.  Both dates were super fun and it all seemed quite promising.  This was just before Thanksgiving.  During one texting session I told him I was making pumpkin pie and he kept texting that he'd love to taste my pie.  (Sorry.  That just sounds SO wrong.)  He also texted that he’d like to try my Brussels Sprouts as well (stop it).  So, so many texts about tasting my food which intimated (to me) that he wanted to see me again.  And there was even a follow up after Thanksgiving checking to see how the pie turned out…  And then radio silence.  I'm not sure why, since I'm not psychic.  But there you have it.  No one wants to be unkind.  No one wants you to feel like crap.  Sometimes they just disappear and it doesn't matter why.

Many people say rejection is God's protection.  I've been protected a lot in my life.  Luckily.  So back to the drawing board:  to rejecting them, being rejected or going on a blind date willingly.  And I've just got to remember not to take any of it personally.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He really, really liked me…

So.  I got an email from a guy.  Bob.  He wasn't my type visually, but he could write.  His email was charming, funny, irreverent.  His bio too.  So I thought, why not?

We decided to meet for drinks at an outdoor mall, near a fountain.  I was on time.  Impressive.  He was waiting.  Nice.  We decided on a restaurant and cozied up to the bar.  Wine turned into dinner.  The conversation was fun and interesting.  He seemed nice, had a job and I was still at the "who knows?" stage.  So I stayed open. 

About halfway through the evening we started talking about our families.  I was telling a story about my mother when suddenly I noticed…Bob was crying?  I mean, just one tear.  But … wow.  I said, "Are you crying?"  He said, "Yes, but you were too, girl."  I didn't know what to say because A) It was an emotional story, but I absolutely wasn't crying, B) I was just sort of shocked that he was and C) "girl?"  And then I remembered that he'd written he was an empath in his bio…  OH NO.  After a quick moment though, I decided to chalk it up to first date stuff.  Forget the empath bit.  Moving on.  And move we did.  To another bar for another drink and then he walked me to my car.  He quickly pulled out his smart phone and took our picture.  Probably a little soon for a picture, but I take pictures all the time.  So I let it go.

He texted me a little later and said he'd had a fabulous time and wanted to take me out again.  I thought, this could work.  Magic could happen…

The next day he emailed and told me that he'd posted the picture he took of us on his Facebook page.  Argh.  I wrote back and said something non-committal: "Wow, I guess everyone knows you made a new friend."  I was hoping he'd get some sort of tone from that email that I didn't approve.  But let's face it, there is no tone in email.  Dammit.  He responded, "Yea!"  I then wrote and said that I wasn't comfortable having my picture posted on his Facebook page.  That it felt too soon.  Note to self:  I should have said something like this in my first response, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings (oh crap, is this a theme?).  Anyway, we went back and forth about it and he kept explaining why it was OK and that I had nothing to worry about.  That his Facebook page was a very friendly place…  But then I didn't respond to that and he wrote a bit later that he'd taken the picture down.  A couple hours after that he wrote and said he should have asked me before he posted it.  And said he was sorry.

At this point, I'm not sure why, I decided to go out with him again.  Five more times.  There were lots of ridiculous emails, strange behaviors, effort-filled discussions, and uncomfortable exchanges I could recount, but I'll not go into the gory details - what I will tell you about is the end.

You see, Bob's a Life Coach.  And in the end he thought he could tell me my life.  He was one of those people that if you told him something about yourself, something you knew you needed to work on, that you are aware of, he'd use it against you at some point.  Charming.  The gift that keeps on giving.  I told Bob that in the past I'd sort of been attracted to unavailable men.  (FYI:  "sort of" is an understatement.)  Bob was anything but unavailable.  If I didn't write back to his texts or emails, they'd just keep right on coming.  Many times they were signed XO.  It always felt too fast.  Like he didn't know me yet, but that he'd decided on me already.  We were never on the same page, but when I'd mention it (which I did multiple times in an effort to get on the same page), he'd say we were in the exact same place.  That he was just enjoying the "sizzle."  That I was just plain old wrong.  Ok.  Fine.  I'd been wrong before.  I'll be wrong again.  But actually, I wasn't this time.

I had to leave town on business after our last date.  It wasn't a good date.  I knew then that it wasn't going to work.  The date ended with him saying, "And now I'll never see you again."  Perhaps Bob was psychic?  Just before I boarded the plane two days later I got a text from him saying, "Wouldn't it be creepy if I were three rows behind you on the plane trying to convince you that I'm not too into you?"  Yes.  That would be creepy.  The text went on to say: "You've got to stop telling me I'm too into you because it's stressing me out and I don't want to be stressed out."  Ok.  Then why is he texting me this?  And aren't we told to pay attention to behavior?  He'd already said good-bye three times in the last two days!!  I didn't respond.  I actually didn't contact him for days.  I was working my ass off out of the country.  And became completely exhausted.  And then I felt vulnerable and wanted some attention… which lead to an email.  Stupid of me.  Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.  People talk about a breathalyzer for drunk dialing, emailing and texting.  I think there should also be a mechanism I can breathe into that tells me I'm about to do something stupid.  That I'll regret.  But there isn't such a device.  And so, I wrote.  And he wrote back.  Three times.  Fuck me.  We decided to go to dinner when I got back.

But when I woke up the day after returning to L.A., I was really sick.  Like no-one-would-want-to-go-to-dinner-with-me-sick.  And I knew it just wasn't going to work.  That I was just not into him.  That I emailed because I was lonely and exhausted.  And now I was back in town and even though I was sick, I simply didn't want to see him.  But I wanted to tell him in person.  It seemed the right thing to do, but I had to cancel our date.  Too sick.  And putting him through another week of waiting to hear that I didn't want to see him anymore, thinking everything seemed fine in the meantime, would have been plain old mean.  So I wrote and said that I had to cancel dinner.  That I was sick.  That I had wanted to see him in person to tell him that it's me, not him, that I wasn't ready to be in something.  That work was all consuming right now and I had to put my focus there, etc., etc.  And was it bullshit?  Yes.  Was I trying to be kind?  Yes.  Did he respond well?  No.  He did not.  I wrote once, he replied three times.  He said that if I was a client of his, he'd tell me to "push through."  PUSH THROUGH?  Eeeeek.  That I had issues with available men and there was something between us.  That I was just "scared."  Well, now I certainly was.  That I was "damaged and if he was shopping, he wouldn't purchase me" (FYI, I'm so NOT for sale).  And then he said, "but hey, I like you.  I'd like to continue seeing you."  Sexy.  I wrote back and said that I wasn't a client of his.  I wasn't telling him his life and I didn't appreciate him telling me mine.  That I found it offensive.  I wished him luck in the future and all the best.  Yes.  I got three more emails back enumerating my flaws, but again suggesting that we keep seeing each other.  Ugh.

I never wrote him again.

And sometimes he still looks at my profile. 

Online dating can be magical.