Sunday, January 31, 2010

An extremely spontaneous first date!

So, I'm officially on the dating bandwagon. Meaning I will go out with most people asking me (I would have said any, but... that's just not gonna happen!) And I ask a lot of people out. It is fun. This way you meet people you would never, ever, meet otherwise.

Take for example the date of yesterday. Let's call him Cookies. Now Cookies very spontaneously asked me over the chat if I would go out dancing with him, that very same night, i.e. about

Plus: fucking hot! Seriously. One of the hottest guys I've ever seen. Ever. Dude has tattoos and piercings everywhere. Omnomnom!
Works as a body builder and model - tall, gorgeous body.
I have never met anyone ever that has as much in common as me pop-reference-wise; books, music, movies, you name it! Several times we made the same reference (me:"look at that guys pants!" him: " Yeah like Olivia Newton John in Grease. They probably had to sew him in too". Which was what I was going to say!
Is awesome at compliments!
Brings out the fun giggly girl inside of me whilst still allowing for the rather sharp-tongued one.
Excellent kisser (ahem), good chemistry!
Send super sweet messages
At times would just stop talking and look at me in an enamored way and when prompted why he fell silent would answer "nothing. I'm just surprised at how much we have in common. This is a bit uncanny" Sweet!
Doesn't drink, doesn't use drugs. Smokes every once in a while but is willing (i.e. spontaneously said) to not do so as long as I'm around.
Is really not a boring person! Big plus compared to the earlier ones I've been out with lately!

Minus: bad, bad history. As in: been in jail and used to sell drugs for a living. This disturbs me a lot.
Has a dog (I have a cat. Not good match)
He just got out of a rather serious relationsship. I don't want to be Rebound Girl! We'll see how it all pans out. Oh, and the ex is a stripper.
He's a body builder, meaning he eats no carbs. Oh life without carbs! I could not do that. And I coulnd't cook for dude either as I'm rather bad at not eating carbs.

I think I'll just wait and see if he gets in contact again. If he does, and wants to go out, I'll probably agree to it! Since, omg he is super hot! And actually the first in this date-a-long that I've wanted to see for a second date.

An Old Friend in Town (or First Date Practice)

This past week, I read on facebook that a guy who went to my high school was in my town. I live in a fairly touristy/seasonal kind of area, so I commented on his status, inquiring what he was doing here. He responded, and suggested that we meet up for Happy Hour that night. This guy is more of an acquaintance, like, I knew who he was, but he only went to my high school for two years and was a year older than me. So I was nervous, but I don't have any friends here, so who am I to be turning down offers. Even though our meeting had no romantic undertones, I figured it was good practice for first date kind of situations.

And it was! He was just recently laid off, so he's here for a month visiting his mom. But there are some opportunities here that he's looking into and is now considering making the move. He paid for drinks, and then introduced me to the owner of a shop across the street that very well may lead to a great (SEWING!) opportunity for me.

I hope we'll meet up again, not because I like him, but it's just nice to have a friend with a little bit of history.

Lala meets Falafel again

So, this is the third time I've hung out with Falafel, and I've decided to stop calling them dates. I am not interested in this guy romantically, though he is pretty neat. My sister keeps trying to tell me that I should like him, but I just can't. I don't know. I've never dated anyone that I wasn't friends with first, and I want to make this guy my friend. What's wrong with that!?

Well, I'll tell ya what's wrong with it: I'm pretty sure Falafel likes me as more than a friend.

So last night, we met up in my town (he was visiting some friends that live here) and went barhopping on Siesta Key. His friends were always around, but the two of us hung out most of the night. When I announced my departure, I saw a glimmer of disappointment, but he didn't offer to walk me to my car, so that was the end.

We made each other a bunch of mixtapes/full albums and exchanged them last night. He titled the two disc mixtape set "Melancholy and the Infinite Gladness." One disc is melancholy and the other is very happy. He made an awesome case with his face doing comedy & tragedy (which is hilarious). The track lists and liner notes are four pages long. I kinda wish I liked this guy.

Today I got a facebook message from him that ended with "You are an amazing person and I enjoy being around you." And I agree, to an extent, so I said "ditto." Probably shouldn't have said it. But this is the third time we've hung out and all we've done is hug, so he's gotta kinda know I'm not feeling it right?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Dating Challenge!!

In honor of OKC date #2 tonight, I propose a new challenge: let's see who can work the phrase "That's what she said" into conversation the most times on a date!!!

(Hint: this would be a GREAT way to milk some goodness out of a date that's gone sour.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

January 27: Zzzzzzzz Date

Met Steve from OKC for coffee - my chai was the best thing about it.

He messaged me through OKC and we had like 3 weeks of email correspondence before he could even agree to meet with me during which time he developing an even deeper "crush" on me despite me saying "um, let's meet and SEE IF WE HAVE ANY CHEMISTRY"

Dude looks old and gray (skin and hair) and smells because he's got a cold sweat going just talking to me. One of the first things he asks me is "how tall are you?" because in heels, I'm a fraction taller.

The date was boring so I don't need to bore you as well. We talked about math, his computer graphics, his family (he's married and looking for a woman with his wife's permission), and well, him. Why do guys do that?

Best part of the date was that it was over within 1.5 hours and only cost me $4.

But a pat on the back for eloquent because when he emailed me the next day, I was able to firmly say "I'm not the girl for you".

Overall Score: D (the chai was good)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Datethisbitch #1: Montage

One down, nine to go, right?! I actually really enjoyed this one. I met my date at a bar near me that I like a lot. I got there a little early and had just a couple minutes to drink soda* and hope I would recognize this guy in person, before he came in and recognized ME. Whew. He went right in for the hug while I holding out my hand for a shake, which left us doing that awkward thing where you shake their abs while they hug your elbow. Haha. He's a lot cuter than his photos suggest, which was a nice surprise. And seems very friendly and open. He's getting into art and is totally puppydoggish about it, which was cute as well.

So we are having the why-I-love-SF conversation and he reveals that he is divorced. I was startled for like three seconds, and then I was not, and that is when it occurred to me that I am now in the stage of life where it is no longer weird to be divorced. A couple years ago I would have been like "whoooaaa, that is major;" now, I have quite a few friends who are divorced, we're all thirty-ish, people make mistakes. You know? I did think it was cool he put it right out there, and in a matter of fact way, not like he was revealing some big secret.

Anyway, blah blah, we had fun, and we are making plans to meet up again soon.

1) Gym Guy finally sent me a message; unfortunately, he is useless.
2) A new fella has been added into the mix: "R2." R2 is a book-loving nerd, but seems nice. Slightly balding. We are going to get a drink on Monday.
3) Date #2 is tomorrow night: coffee with R. The original R. The Pink Floyd fan. Uses emoticons like this =D I am just not a fan, people. I will always like dot eyes better than lines. And who goes around smiling like this: =D ? I tend to stay *away* from those people. I smile like this: :) . Not big and showy. However, I am giving him a chance because I know how emotional resonance can get lost in typing.
4) Yesterday I made Work Guy laugh so hard he spit.

Good night, people.

*I have a new self-imposed rule that I only drink ONE drink on a date, as I am a total lightweight and really, even just one will often get me a little loopy.

ETA: Oh, I forgot to say, I named Date #1 "Montage" because he spoke of wanting to make one, in film.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clover's Guide to Dating Success

Following Agnes's (datethisbitch) lead, I'm posting my list of dating tips that I've gathered throughout my dating life. Please do not make the same mistakes I did. You will be a much happier dater because of it!

1. If your date wants to take you to his favorite movie of all time, and his favorite movie of all time is a superhero movie, and you don't like superhero movies, suggest an alternative date. Or, come up with something positive to say about the movie so you don't stand there like an idiot trying to say something better than, "It was really long."

2. Don't go on a first date with a guy you met in the comments section of a blog focused on celebrity gossip, relationship advice, and fashion.

3. 5"8 on an online profile doesn't always mean 5"8. Sometimes it means 5"6, or 5"4.

4. If you end up sleeping over at your date's house, in his bed, without even kissing, something weird is going on. Either find out what it is, or end it.

5. Your first date's annoying voice and awful smelling cologne will only be even more abrasive and stinky on the second date. So if you are put off by the sound of his voice or his scent, don't go on a second date.

6. If your date tells you he's a virgin and likes anal play, don't make out with him.

7. If you do use your blackberry on the first date, be sure and tell your date that you're giving your huge, beefy, tough coworker your date's license plate number just in case you go missing. Then smile sweetly.

8. From my roommate: If during your first date your date shows you scantily clad photos of his sisters and talks about how great you'd look pregnant you need to change your phone number right away because he's going to call you 100 times the next day.

9. Don't ever, under any circumstance, give your date career advice. This will instantly move you from the "potential lover" category to the "free life coach" category.

10. If you're on a date at a Chinese restaurant and you can tell that your date is much more interested in you than you are in him and your fortune cookie says "happiness is right in front of you" assume that it is referring to the river in the photograph on the wall and do your best to keep your date from asking you what it says.

11. Remember all the best details so you can blog about it later.

Not a date.

So, messaging.

I've gotten a couple of random messages from people on OKC, mostly from people who seem nice, but not really what I'm looking for. One lady asked me for a recipe and we're now having an interesting discussion about architecture. A couple of couples have asked me to be their third (thanks, but no thanks)...probably because I listed myself as bisexual (there's no "queer" option!). But one fellow in particular made my day. Here's what he had to say (no subject line):
Well if you're looking for depraved little hovels in brooklyn I just found an intersting place across from the film studio I work at. It's on the Navy Yard so it's where dock workers used to drown their sorrows but now it's just broken down and ocasionally you can find hassidic men getting lapdances from scantily clad back women. It's not a strip club but there's something up. Anyway I work till like 11 every weeknight and it's right across the street if your down. I'm not all that great at transcribing small talk so i guess i'll keep this short. Brevity's the best platform for sincerity, right?... You look interesting and you're a good kisser. I wanna meet you.

Mind you, I mentioned nothing about depraved hovels or wanting to check some out. The closest I came was to say that I like to take bike rides to random places. But by places, I meant like Corona Park or the Rockaways. Hilarious. And as fun as it sounds, um, I don't think so. Maybe if things get really desperate.

First Date Advice

I have my inaugural OKC date tonight! And in honor of that... Okay, a dating whiz I am not, but I have collected a few bits of foolproof romantic wisdom over the years, and here they are. (As if any of us could hope to never play the fool......)

1) Bring cash. Not only should you pay for yourself, but you never know when a cab dash will become necessary!

2) When choosing your outfit, watch the cleavage and the hemline. Anything with an eye-pleasing curve should be modestly covered. Don't sulk!! You wouldn't run right out and throw a hail mary on your first down blah blah football metaphor, now would you? Save that shit for later.

3) Do not wear your silver H&M necklace that says "Love," even if it is super cute. I will say here because I think it is relevant that I think it would be HILARIOUS to wear one of those t-shirts that says "I fuck on the first date" on a first date. I will give twenty dollars to anyone who actually does this.

4) Make sure you know what your date looks like before you go to meet them. This may be difficult if he only has two pictures on his profile, and in one of them he is mostly blocked by a combination of guitar and hat.

5) This one is courtesy of our gal Pinkie who gives the BEST dating advice on the planet: expect three things, and ONLY three things, when you go on a date---to get out of the house; a compliment; and something free, however small.

6) Wear ugly underwear. I am not a person who subscribes to the slogan of the aforementioned t-shirt, but when faced with a severe cutie, we all need a little extra convincing.
Already some of you more clever foxes are thinking "Yeah right, I can rip that shit off in the dark." Touche. You wisenheimers should plan to begin a course of yeast infection treatment.

7) If a you're on a date with a guy and he wants to make out with you and you fall down, he will still want to make out with you. Ask me how I know.

8) If your blind date turns out to be crap and you are at Borders and all you want is to go home and crawl under your bed, ask the barista to page you over the intercom and then inform you that your mother was bitten by a dog and she's okay but she needs you to drive out to the Chicago suburbs right away. The barista will enjoy doing this, especially if you then give her a ride home after work. Ask me how I know.

9) If you are on a first date that you hadn't really realized was a "date" and you go to see a play that ends up featuring ENORMOUS (like, bigger than a person) glow-in-the-dark puppets of genitalia and they perform a simulated sex act and then two nuns eat each other out and the lights come up and your date is clearly embarrassed and then chooses that moment to reveal that this was in fact a date, well, ha ha ha. (AMHIK)

10) If you just gotta be done with it, remember that the sentence "Well, it was nice to meet you!," paired with a handshake and cheerful smile, will dispel a creep and he will think it was his idea. AMHIK.

11) Most of all, just be yourself.

January 26: The Second Attempt Date

On my first date with Robert, I did agree to a second date. I have fulfilled my contract.

Since the first date, I made it very very very clear that I need some space regarding sex. He said ok but he's less than thrilled about it.

We met for dinner and movie (Young Victoria) last night. I'm not sexually attracted to him at all and by the end of the evening even found myself getting bored (never a good sign with me).

I had tried at one point to engage him in a theoretical discussion related to "The Museum at Purgatory" by Nick Bantock. The question boils down to: if there was a museum exhibit that featured both the conscious and unconscious elements of what makes up YOU, what do you think it would contain? (I love this question). He responded with: "I don't believe in Purgatory" and went on to lecture me about the Catholic/Christian origins of the concept of purgatory.

Overall, he grabbed my crotch twice in the movie, repeatedly whispered in my ear about how he wanted to lick me, asked me three times how badly I wanted him, and at the very end of the evening asked me to send him a naughty picture when I got home. Sheesh, give it a rest already!

There will be no more dates with this guy, period.

Overall score: D. I would have had more fun alone.

January 24: The Dessert Date

I went to San Diego this weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday. My less than positive experiences with Robert prompted me to communicate more with Peter with positive results for both of us. Someone that I considered consigning to the "friend zone" has definitely been promoted to, well, boyfriend zone.

He asked me whether I would have time to meet him for dessert upon my return and I enthusiastically agreed. We had dinner at PF Chang's and then went to see Legion.

What was mega-awesome was that we snuggled throughout the whole movie (my favorite!!) and he didn't flinch at all when I'd grab onto him during an intense or scary scene. He likes to hug and touch me which I really like. I feel "safe" around him. Unfortunately, he left the following morning for a 4 day trip to Sacramento but did invite me over Thursday night to meet his sons.

Overall score: A

January 22: I Should've Spent the Evening With You Date

On the heels of my awkward date with Robert, I commisserated with Peter. Well, I vented really. This lead to a long and really interesting conversation where we learned a lot more about each other and that sense of "compatibility" that I feel about him deepened. It probably didn't hurt that I admitted that I wish I'd spent my evening with him instead.

He invited me over for a casual evening. We had a great few hours of talking, snuggling, and getting to know each other (he read aloud to me, something I love). There is a strong sexual attraction too made even more potent by the fact that he's so mild mannered in person but confessed that he's got Dom tendencies. Call me kinky: instant attraction.

I didn't really want to go home (nor did he want me to leave) but I needed to get ready to go out of town for the weekend.

I'm pretty certain that Peter's a keeper.

Overall score: A-

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 21 - The Sushi/Sex Date

I will be the first to admit that I have amazingly terrible boundaries (as in, occasionally none) combined with a high sex drive. Which has sure has made life interesting!

Morning of the date with Robert, we started texting at 5:46 am up until I heaved myself out of bed at 7. We kept texting all day (yes, I totally text at work... blog too) and the convo got... sexual. Mind you, I hadn't even met this guy yet but I've seen pictures of his penis. (See above disclaimer about boundaries). So needless to say, my engine was running a little before I met him. The man knows how to flirt via text.

What I already liked about this guy heading into the date was that he's well read and able to communicate and the confidence with which he both asked me out and suggested a place to go (that was convenient for me!)

He's attractive, shaved head, one little tattoo on his wrist, tall (6'4!) and a little more heavy set than I thought he'd be but thankfully he didn't do that shy, kicking the ground with his toe thing that most geeky/nerdy boys do around me.

We walk over to the sushi place he suggested and got a spot at the bar. Now, I really like sushi but I generally never know what I'm eating so I asked him to "surprise me". We ate all kinds of stuff (was all you can eat) and when I mentioned that I didn't like salmon, he ate it himself (in a cute way) to get it out of my way.

We intended to go for a walk after dinner but it was too cold and windy so we ended up going for a drive and talking. He made it ABUNDANTLY clear that I turned him on and that he'd be MORE than willing to perform oral sex. Really, on a first date?

I liked him enough not to be totally turned off by that (see above disclaimer) and we did end up parking on a dark street (we both live with our parents) long enough for some carnal activities to ensue (but no PIV).

I am a little freaked out by how fast I went but he's been pursuing me relentlessly since then. I did make it clear (over text) that I needed way more time on the sexual front which he is accepting (if barely). He still wants to give me head.

Overall date: B+ (being a little generous but I did have an orgasm)

January 20 - Game Called Due to Bad Weather Date

Supposed to see Mr. M but he cancelled due to the horrible winter storm that hit SoCal. I begrudingly concede defeat in my ongoing war to meet him.

Overall Score: F for FAIL.

In Which We Draw Lines

Hey Datealong Gang, let's talk boundaries.

What is appropriate, and what is safe, when you're dating someone new? What is inappropriate or unsafe?

Example 1: On OKC, after a date has been agreed upon, I have had a couple of guys offer me their phone number and then ask "what's yours?" (And a couple have just given me theirs without asking for mine.) Maybe this is common practice in online dating? But I just don't feel comfortable giving my phone number to someone I've exchanged a couple messages with online. What do you think?

Example 2.
The other day I broke things off with Flavor of the Moment. I did it via Facebook chat. Yes, ha ha, let's all have a good laugh at that. But that and text has always been our primary means of communication. So fb chat, as usual, was funky and slow and it was hard to tell how well my message ("I would like a relationship, you wouldn't, so let's call the whole thing off") got across. But I know he got at least that much. He then signed off completely and texted me saying he was going out, but maybe we could talk in person later in the week? Having a face-to-face convo was what I wanted to do in the first place, actually, and I resorted to chat because I didn't know when I'd see him and things were just dragging out, so I said sure.

The next day (yesterday) he texted and said he could come over to my place for tea that evening, if I was free. I said okay but suggested a later time. Later, but still a couple hours before we were supposed to meet (and not coincidentally, as I was leaving my therapist's office), a thought occurred to me: why was this man who I just broke things off with coming to my house? Maybe I should alert a friend that this was going on so they could expect to hear from me. But something else kept nagging at me: the fact that every time he had ever walked me home (I guess four times?) he came in to use the bathroom, and I think he only asked permission that first time. The other times, he walked me to my door and then said "I'm going to come in and use your bathroom" and walked in with me.
Which could, in all fairness, be indicative of nothing but a tiny bladder. But still, it kept nagging at me---this is a guy who had gotten into my home three times now without waiting for my invitation, and now he was coming over to be in my home, alone, where I would tell him we would no longer be fooling around. Which, as memory serves, I had already TOLD him. What exactly were we going to be talking about again? And why was this a conversation we needed to have at my house?

I will reveal myself here as a Gift of Fear devotee---this is the kind of situation de Becker points out over and over in his book, and says "you knew you felt uncomfortable, but you walked into this situation anyway. Why?" He stresses *trusting* those little twinges of thought and instinct instead of dismissing them as paranoia.
So, I thought, why don't I ask him to meet me at a coffee shop instead.
Except that he would probably STILL walk me home, and probably once again gain entry to my apartment to use the bathroom.
Stop it, says brain. You and this guy have fooled around in your apartment before, and you said no to "going all the way" (do the kids still say that?), and he accepted it. If he had wanted to pressure or try to force you into sex, he could have done so, easily.
But just because he didn't try it before doesn't mean he won't try it this time.

Feeling on the spot, I did a dumb thing and made up a lie. I texted him with a story about a plumbing emergency (see? because then even if he DID walk me home, he couldn't use the bathroom, eh? eh?) and named a cafe we could meet at.
His response was that now he felt like a beer.
So, the situation had now gone from "we are done fooling around" to "we are done fooling around but he is going to come over to my house" to "we are done fooling around but he wants to take me out and get me drunk."
During this mental process stuff I had called a friend (a GOOD friend) who very bluntly pointed out that I was AGAIN making plans to go out with this person who had made me feel disrespected and objectified, and that I now felt the need to make up a lie because I did not trust him not to attempt to pressure or force me into sex. Oh, well, when you put it that way.

I canceled; I called and left him a voice mail saying I would not be going out that night, but if he wanted to talk more he should call me, but that really there were no hard feelings, we just wanted different things, and that was fine and I'd see him on the way to work Thursday. His response? He was disappointed, because he really wanted to see me that night. Call me crazy but I kind of doubt his disappointment sprung from the fact that we were not going to have a thorough debriefing on why we did not work romantically and how we were totally just gonna be friends now and not mess around anymore. Sounds more like he thought he was gonna get some.

And it really freaks me out how close I was to walking right into that situation. I LIKED the guy---which of course means I had a decent amount of trust in him, and that made it that much harder to allow myself to listen to my "paranoid" instincts. Yikes.
I'm not saying I think the guy's a rapist. But I do know that little bells were going off in my head that this person was pushing for more than the situation (post-facebook-chat-break-off-debriefing?) really warranted. And maybe he did not plan to use FORCE per se but I could certainly see him making a move, perhaps one motivated by the knowledge that this was probably his "last chance" (ahem, it was NOT a chance), and might not take no so easily this time.

Thoughts on that whole thing, I'd love to hear 'em.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hello, my future dates!

So, I've been following this crazy group saga since the beginning with rapt attention and not a small amount of jealousy. But I knew I couldn't join in until well after the holidays, because I was going out of town. Now that I'm back, I'm super-excited to get in on the action! (Yes, pun intended.)

Since I moved back to NYC this fall, I've been taking steps to meet new people and put myself out there more. I've been adamantly single for a couple of years now, which I think has done me a lot of good. I'm a bit more laid back and optimistic about relationships now. I have a pretty good idea of what I want and don't want. And most importantly, I'm kind of ready to jump back into the pool. Last week, I joined up on OKC and have been having a lot of fun ogling people's profiles and secretly adding to my favorites list. I will soon send messages to a bunch of them and start getting out there.

I do have one question I want to throw out there for discussion: what do you do when you get a message from somebody who seems nice, but you have a gut feeling that they're not your type? Judging from the OKC blog, it seems like a lot of people just don't respond to messages from people they're not into. My gut tells me this is kind of rude, but on the other hand, perhaps there is a whole other etiquette calculus to online dating: don't respond unless the person has a chance with you. What do you do?

ETA: I'm from G*, but this is not my G name. PM me if you really want to know!

Clover's Date #5 - Incredibly Hot

Brown Eyes or "BE" made up for bailing on me last weekend by being completely awesome this weekend. We spent the day walking around a section of town I particularly like and enjoying the unseasonably good weather. We had dinner and enjoyed some people watching. BE is great to talk to and seems genuinely interested in what I have to say. (Which is better than I can say for myself. I think my life is pretty damn uninteresting.)

Then we went to my place. We fooled around on the computer for a while and then fooled around not on the computer. Have I mentioned how incredibly hot he is? He's incredibly hot.

After, uh, that, we decided we want to continue this, but we decided we're going to tell each other if we sleep with other people. We've both been adamant through this whole thing that neither of us wants a Super Serious Relationship.

But I'm new to the whole "open relationship" thing. I might be going on a date with someone new this Friday. Am I supposed to tell BE about the date? Or only say something if I sleep with him? Or am I supposed to say something if I want to sleep with him?

Falafel date #2

I went up to Tampa again yesterday with a bunch of my friends to do some mountain biking, and I invited Falafel Tattoo to go with us. I was super nervous to invite him along with all my friends, but they know that I'm trying to meet people online and I thought they'd all get along just fine. I mean, my friends are pretty cool and all, so it would have worked. Except, it didn't. He thought we'd be riding the paved paths, but we were riding the wooded trails. So, he had his road bike, and we all had mountain bikes. We discovered this through a phone call, about a minute before we took off on the trails, so oh well, he didn't come with us.

Then the plan was to meet back up at his apartment to watch football. I had to separate from my buddies on the trail in order to get back in time, and as I was riding on the paved path past the ranger station, I heard the pop and violent hiss of my rear tire shredding to pieces. Falafel offered to pick me up, drop me off to shower at his apartment, and then go get - wait for it - falafel sandwiches for football grubbin. We watched my team win the AFC championships (yay, go Colts!) and then part of the NFC game before I made my awkward transition to leave.

It was kind of boring: as much as we both love football, it was just a bit weird watching my favorite team with someone who isn't as fanatic as I am. I just felt awkward, and my insecurities were manifesting into anxiety issues, and well. It was just awkward. I feel awkward about it, which in turn, makes me feel awkward about him. I don't see a romantic relationship there. And, though I thought I might be attracted to him, I'm not really.

He's coming down to my town next weekend to hang out with one of his buddies, and then to ride bikes with me. I'm hoping this just turns into a friend thing naturally, without me having to say it. Because I'm a big, insecure, self-conscious baby who shouldn't be dating at all because I can't handle it. That's all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Luckiest Fellas

Days and times are yet to be confirmed, but here is the cast of characters at whom I will be throwing myself* this week:
1)** "R." Graphic designer, 34, likes comics. Has glasses. Appears to be enamored of Pink Floyd. Has already sent me more than one youtube clip of "The Wall." Can this marriage be saved?
2) "E." Dullsville. I can't even remember anything about him. But he mentioned wanting to try a bar of which I am quite fond, so, why not. Seems nice. And the bar is only like three blocks from my house. Is holding a guitar in one of his pictures.
3) "S." 29, law student at popular local university. Enjoys talking about R. Kelly with me. Tipped me off to Michael Jordan's twitter feed, for which he deserves at least a high five if not downright props. Has already informed me that he will be drinking tea, not coffee, on our coffee date. Is it true that a rebel will only break your heart??

Supporting Players:
4) Gym Guy. Okay, so OKCupid has this feature where you can see who looks at your profile, and there is this one fella who has looked at mine, like, twenty times. Seems cute, but no contact has been made. So the other day I'm at the gym and I see this guy I always think looks familiar, but I can't place him, and he always seems to be kind of looking at me too, and then it hits me: THAT could be HIM. I mean, between the profile photos and the physical person of Gym Guy, we are dealing with two rather nondescript tall bearded men here, but there is definitely a resemblance. And maybe he is trying to figure out if the girl in the profile is also Gym Girl. (Though that should not take more than a couple of seconds, as I have visible tattoos.) So this raises a whole new question about this online shizz. What is the proper comportment when one thinks one recognizes someone from an internet dating site? If one has viewed their profile and thinks one (the other one) seems nice? Should I write him and say hi, and not mention the gym, nor the fact that I am the girl on the elliptical trainer with the unbrushed ponytail who always ends up soaked sternum to bellybutton in her own sweat? I don't see who could be not drawn in by the allure of that.
Also, I recognized one of my coworkers in a thumbnail on OKC and like a dumbass, I clicked on his profile. I was halfway through it when I realized he was being informed, possibly at that moment, that I was checking him out. (Note that I am decidedly NOT interested in this person.) Sure enough, a few days later, he showed up on my list of visitors. Awkwarrrd.
5) Party Boy. Friend of a friend who I met at a party last week. We were ships passing in the night, me being about to sail my ship back home just as he was arriving, but our brief funny chat must have impressed him because he sent me a facebook message the next day. He's read my comics! Anyway, we have chatted a bit since then, and I have sorta thought about asking him to hang out...... Interesting factoid, he has the exact same rather unusual name as "S."
6) FOTM aka Dog Drama. See previous week's post. I was just cut off about halfway through breaking things off with him because, no kidding, facebook chat gave out. So he texted me and asked if we could talk more later in the week. I texted back and said that was fine. What? Have a phone conversation? Get outta town!!
7) Work Guy Number 2. This guy actually is very funny and sweet and seems into me, in that he is always blushing and making googly eyes at me and then looking away quickly and giggling. This has been going on for months. (We don't work together all the time, so, it's been on and off for months.) He makes me laugh a lot. However, not only do we work together, I am sometimes kind of his supervisor. Ah. Yeah, maybe not.

Wish me luck, datealong gang!!

**Note: I feel it is an intrinsic mistake to assign a nickname to a boy before you have seen him in person. What if Karate Guy and you are out to dinner and it turns out he doesn't know how to use a fork? His name will have to be Fork Guy. You just can't know this shit about a person.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let it be said no more....

...that I can't get a date! 'cuz I've got three next week!! Maybe I will be super cool and line them all up in hourly blocks in the same bar, like Pinkie. Maybe not. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 18 - The Friend Date

Last night I met Peter. I met him through OKC, which predicted that we had a 92% chance of being friends (87% chance for a match). Indeed we have many similar interests: reading, travel, cooking, and computer games just to name a few.

We met at a local coffee shop at 6:30 pm (I came straight from work) and went for dinner (sushi) at 8:15 pm. I called it an evening just before 10 pm.

We talked about politics, travel, the World of Warcraft, and some basic details of his past relationships. Well, he did most of the talking. I managed to talk a little about my family, WOW, and my travel experiences in Europe. I really wish that he'd folllowed through on some of my thoughts with meaningful questions to show that he was interested/curious. Instead, I get the impression that he was waiting for me to finish my sentence so he could talk.

I left our encounter feeling a little bored and warm towards him but not warm and fuzzy. I do think that we could be good friends once we resolve whether we'll be friends or more so I'm gicing this a chance to breathe and grow.

Overall date grade: B

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This is not only an update on my datealong progress, but, I hope, an illustration of how flippin' ridiculous my love life can get. I just want to give y'all a little taste. So, flavor of the moment and I were supposed to hang out after work the other night. On the train ride from work to where we live, he told me he had to go home for a few minutes before we went out because he had to talk to his roommate. I'm all, "okay," and in my head I'm thinking "yeah right, we are not going out tonight." So I went home, ate dinner, and went over to a friend's house. Sure enough, at 10:30 (two and a half hours after we left work), I get a text saying he is having "dog drama" and he does not know what time it will "be over."

This started a lively discussion between my friend and I on what "dog drama" could possibly mean. (Note: FOTM does not have a dog.) Could he have found a dog outside that was having drama? Could "Dog Drama" be the slick new AMC series from the creators of our favorite, Mad Men? Was the SPCA involved? Did he mean "bitch?" Was dog drama easily resolvable? Or was it likely to drag on for days? Around 12:30 I got a long, apologetic voice mail explaining that he was asked to take care of a dying dog and would call me the next day.

Today, my friend Kiwi Sam and I discussed and we sussed out the meaning of FOTM's unusual taxonomy:

does your dog have drama, sam? ;)


dog drama = balls deep in ex's ass

last time i checked



yes, i believe so


i might have to have some dog drama when i get back


hell yeah, i want some damn dog drama

i mean, the inverse of it



Had a couple of OKC responses, still trying to hammer out actual dates. Arf, arf, arooooo.

Lala's okc date #2

Inspired by everyone's forward movement here on the datealong blog, I decided to revise my OkCupid dating profile, and give it another go. I switched some things up, and added that you must be local to the "you should contact me if" part. With my first date, I got caught in the trap of nearly a month of chatting and getting to know each other, only to find there was no chemistry upon meeting each other. Locals = easier and faster meetups = more rapid fire dating, er something. Right?

Anyway, I contacted a few quiver matches and quickmatches, and a few responded back. I really liked everything about a certain guy's profile, but again, he was in Tampa. But he has a FALAFEL SANDWICH TATTOO! I couldn't NOT contact him. And this all happened two nights ago. He responded yesterday afternoon. I said sorry 'bout the short notice, but let's do this tonight. And he was down. I have been meaning to go to Tampa anyway, because my town doesn't have an IMAX theater and, if I was going to see Avatar at all, I was gonna go all out. He was also down with that.

So yesterday afternoon, I drove up to Tampa and met him at Cigar City Brewing because we both have an affinity for craft beer. Normally, the tasting room is only open til 5, but we got lucky because it was opened til 11 for a special tapping last night. My first impression was a good one; he is very good looking, tattooed all over, has a beard, and a gray patch! We had lots to talk about, since ya know, we hadn't actually communicated much at all besides reading each other's profiles. We nearly lost track of time, had to haul-ass to the theater, sat through almost 3 hours of action movie, and then came out of the theater very hungry. So we went looking for falafel, everywhere was closed, and ended up getting some sushi (which was difficult for me, as it was the first time I've done sushi as a vegetarian). We ended the evening with a hug and a discussion about the distance and our busy lives. I'll likely end up in Tampa for whatever kind of schooling I decide on, so we're just going to keep in touch and maybe see each other again.

Not a total fail, but not a win (yet) either!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things They are a changing....

Earlier today I thought about dropping out and trying to do the datealong in February. I've been sick off and on the last week and the last thing that's been on my mind is meeting someone new or trying to keep up with emails for potential dates. Then, through the magic of email, I have the potential for at least 2 dates and possibly even 3, so I guess I'll play along after all! The date with the most potential is someone that is a little older than I would usually consider, but we have a lot in common ( I rarely find vegetarian guys my age, never mind older) and he sounds like he would be interesting to get to know. We have tentative plans for Monday. Potential date # 2 is someone I had a coffee date with a couple of years ago. We actually spent over 3 hours talking over coffee and then I really didn't hear from him again. He recently contacted me again and I told him that I wondered why he didn't get in touch with me back then after spending three hours talking and he said that he was traveling a lot for his job. He doesn't travel now. I agreed to have coffee with him again, but haven't set a date. Then,there is R, the potter. We were in fairly constant contact for a couple of weeks, and now I haven't heard from him for a few days again. Makes me wonder if he's the moody type. He says he never rushes into anything- I don't want to rush, but some consistency is good, so I don't know what's going on with that.I really enjoyed his company and will probably contact him some time soon, if I don't hear from him. I'm on the fence about the whole thing, I guess. It could go somewhere or maybe I won't hear from him again- at least there are options.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Introducing... kittenmittens!

I've never really 'dated', mostly just hooked up with friends and then we're in love... and then it ends and I'm out a boyfriend AND a friend. So I'm giving dating strangers a try.

I'm in the early chatting phase with a couple of fellows and still optimistic but I'm starting to notice a troubling pattern of messages received:

Hopefully 2010 will be the year of less meh (also less creeps) and one day we'll all look back and laugh and wonder what we were so worried about.

Clover's Date #4 - Where SHE Becomes the Date from Hell

I went on a date this evening even though I didn't want to. I should've known it was a waste when the bartender carded me and I didn't have my ID. 75% of why I went was to drink alcohol. 25% was because Agnes "datethisbitch" wrote "the whole point is to not put too many eggs in one basket" in her post.

The guy was less attractive than his OKC photos suggested and it was apparent with the awkward pauses in the conversation that it just wasn't happening.

Also, I broke The One Cardinal Sin of Dating. Yes, ladies and gents, I checked my blackberry. Obsessively. I then apologized profusely and tried to explain the work-related emergency I was dealing with. What's an "emergency" in my line of work is not actually an emergency to well, anyone else in the world, so that made it difficult.

It was barely a half hour after meeting that my date said he had to leave and jetted out of the bar. I don't blame him really.

But all is not lost because Brown Eyes (or as my roommate calls him "your new hot guy") wants to see me on Sunday. Hopefully there will be lots more yummy kissing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I stalled out a little, because I have been sort of casually seeing someone, but today I was like, okay, the whole point is to not put too many eggs in one basket, no? So I just took the plunge and messaged nine people! (Burned out before I hit ten) Now we'll see who responds.......

Guy-I'm-seeing is good at frequent texting, bad at setting up dates. I like talking to him a lot, and the day after I see him I'm always excited about him, but the time that lapses between dates (2+ weeks!) makes me bored....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Date Recap(s)

Wow. Let me catch up. This week has been kind of a whirlwind. I have been on... 2-3 dates with The Astrophysicist since our first date, depending on what you consider a date. And wow.

He emailed me the day after our first date, just to say that he enjoyed meeting me and would like to get together again sometime soon. I agreed and we email-chatted back and forth and set up a second date for this past Wednesday. 

Date 2 with The Astrophysicist

The Setting: A coffee shop, followed by a funk band at a venue across the street.
I texted him when I got off work and we agreed to meet at 7:30 at the coffee shop. While I was driving over, he called to say that he had already gotten there, and it closed at 7 during the week. WTF? So we changed plans slightly to meet at a nearby bakery that is 24 hours. We met and both got a coffee and I got a salted caramel brownie (yum) and sat down at a table to chat for awhile. We got into a little deeper conversation than our first date- religious beliefs (he's an atheist, I'm agnostic), plans for school/career, family, more nerdiness. A couple of coffee refills later, he checks the time to see when we need to leave for the show. It's 10:36. The show started at 10:30. Had it really been 3 hours already?

So we weigh our options: Going back down the street to see the band, which both of us agreed sounded fun but neither of us had ever heard this band before. Or, I brought up the suggestion of watching a movie I told him about that he hadn't seen (The Aristocrats.) We decide on the latter. I had kind of hoped to go to his house, because my roommate was home and I DEFINITELY had not planned on company and had not cleaned at all. But I own the movie, and neither of us knew where any rental places were near his apartment, so off to my house we go around 11. (I texted my roommate on the way to give him the heads up, luckily he was already in bed.)

So we watched the movie. And drank a little- not much, only a little. And watched a couple of videos on YouTube. And talked. And talked. And talked. You guys, he did not leave until 4 in the morning. And it didn't even feel like 4 in the morning. And we kissed when I walked him out to his car, and then he texted me when he got home to tell me goodnight. =)

Date 2: Mega Success!

Date 3 with The Astrophysicist

The Setting: A (different) coffee shop, an art museum downtown, burritos for lunch

Astrophysicist texted me Thursday night to ask if I wanted to hang out Friday. I didn't work until 6, so we had the whole day. He suggested an art museum, and I agreed, so he said he would call me when he woke up the next day and we would go from there. 

He called around 10 am, and we planned for him to come pick me up and go to a coffee shop near me to wake up with some caffeine. We hung out in the coffee shop for about an hour, then headed back to my house so we could park and take the train uptown. It was freakin' freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth, and we hugged for warmth while we waited 7 minutes on the train. Then we walked a freezing 3 blocks to the museum. 

The museum. Was so. Much. Fun. By this time, we were so strangely comfortable around each other. I really felt like I had been on way more than 3 dates with him. We spent an equal amount of time admiring and discussing the art seriously, and making ridiculous jokes and giggling like 12-year-olds. A moment that still makes me laugh is when I was standing looking at a painting, and he came up behind me and said in my ear, "It looks like a spork." And it did. And then I tried to hold in my laughter so they wouldn't throw us out.

We stayed at the museum for a good 2-3 hours, and then decided we were starving. So we took the train back to my neighborhood and went to a nearby burrito restaurant. We did not get burritos, but quesadillas, and chatted about the museum while we ate. We then took the short walk back to my house, and just kind of... hung out. Lounged on the couch and talked and did nothing. And made out. Finally it was time for me to go to work, so he dropped me off on his way home. 

Date 3: =)

Date 3.5 with The Astrophysicist
The Setting: His house
After work on the same day as the museum, I had only been home about 20 minutes when he texted me and asked me if I wanted him to come pick me up too, so I wouldn't have to walk home from the train in the cold. =)  I said I was already home, but asked what he was doing then. He was just hanging out at home reading blogs. I asked if he wanted some company, and he said sure, so I went over there.

Our evening pretty much consisted of reading   
ThisIsWhyYou', showing each other funny YouTube videos, and drinking hard cider. We did spend a good amount of time making out as well, but decided to take things slow, so nothing past First Base. Before we knew it, it was almost 3 in the morning. He asked if I was tired, and gentlemanly offered me the couch, but also said I could join him if I wanted. I joined him and we went to sleep. Fully clothed, no hanky-panky, just spooning. 

Date 3.5: I'm A Little Giddy

So, in conclusion, I may have to drop out of the Ten Dates Challenge, because while we have not formally discussed any kind of relationship or commitment, I am smitten and do not want to date anyone else at this time. He starts the new semester at school tomorrow, and my time with him will significantly drop off, but I am not interested in dates with other people, and I'm not sure it's in the spirit of the Ten Dates Challenge and this blog to continually gush about the boy I found.

Clover's Date #3 - Striking Dating Gold

Yesterday I had my second date with the very sexy Brown Eyes. It was like winning the dating jackpot or striking gold in the dating mines. We saw a movie that we both enjoyed, followed by drinks and conversation at a bar, and then more conversation and kissing at his place.

It's been...well, I'll just say it's been too long since I've engaged in that much kissing, but apparently I'm not too rusty because Brown Eyes mentioned a couple times that I'm good at it. His style was a little different than I'm used to (used to? Does one get "used to" a kissing style?) but still very enjoyable. And I've had some bad kissing in my day. There was one particular individual who kissed with his lips very flaccid and suction like. It took me a while after that to actually convince myself that kissing can be pleasurable.

I invite you to share your worst kissing experience in the comments.

My usual M.O. is to do a little more than kissing. Ahem. But Brown Eyes wants to take it slowly and I'm happy to go along with that. It means there's more to look forward to...perhaps next weekend?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finally We meet in person!

I've found that guys my age (40's) seem to want a long term email pen pal before they every want to meet for coffee or whatever. I don't know if it's just guys that age, but that's been my experience so far. I had one guy that I wrote back and forth with for almost two months. He seemed nice enough,but he lived about an hour away from me and I sort of lost interest after awhile and stopped writing to him. Instead of writing me a short note asking why I had stopped writing, he wrote some pitiful note about how we live in a society that makes people disposable. WTF? I almost didn't even respond, but I was truthful and told him that I was looking for a long term relationship, not a pen pal and that I really wanted to meet people in person. Also, I do not think people are disposable. He apologized, but I stopped writing to him. Then, there's another guy, I'll call him R. I had corresponded with him over a year ago on POF and stopped before we had a chance to meet. More recently he contacted me on and we have been corresponding for a little over a month. We've also been talking on the phone. Not really often, but when we do talk, it's for about 2 hours at a time. We tried to get together a couple of times before the holidays, but the timing wasn't right. We didn't talk over the holidays, but got back in touch afterwards and talked on the phone again. I sent him an email telling him I was sick on Thrusday and that afternoon, when I was at the pinnacle of feeling sorry for myself being sick and miserable about being alone, he called me to check on me to see how I was feeling and to see if I needed to whine- what a guy! Anyway, the next day, I was feeling much better and asked if he wanted to meet for coffee. He agreed and we met at his cafe after I got off of work. It was a little overwhelming to me at first, because it was his territory and his employees would no doubt be curious, but it worked out fine! He's also a potter and gave me a beautiful raku pot that he had made. I finally left after almost 3 hours because I was started to feel kind of bad again and wanted to get home and I knew he was busy with work. So, I think this may be off to a good start, but I never know how these things will work out. He asked if I wanted to go out for dinner and a movie some time soon, but that has happened so many times with no follow through on other first meetings, that I can't be sure if he meant it or not. I hope so, I did enjoy his company!
Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Date #1 didn't show up. I waited a good chunk of time. It seemed like this was a big stretch for him, I think all the way around--blind date, downtown bookstore, all of it. Can I still count that?

There was a really cute at the bookstore though. I need to figure out how to talk to guys in person.

this is good for something

So, in the course of all my emailing, I'm learning, sadly, to give men much less credit than I always have when it comes to communicating. I don't really like how that sounds, but it's running true. I'm learning about how men think in some ways though. It's entertaining. Case in point, this string of attached emails with one guy. Read it through, the laugh is at the very end.

From: s
To: c
Sent: Mon, January 4, 2010 3:50:54 PM
Subject: ten date challenge

I thought I'd give this a shot!! I'm a single, white male, 6' brown eyes and hair, 31 years old. I'm a professional and educated (at least have the paperwork!).

It's cool in Austin today--I thrive in it!! Let me know if you'd like to know more...


Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 08:59:58 -0800
From: c
Subject: Re: ten date challenge
To: s

I'd love to know more. What are you into, what are you interested in trying?

From: s
To: c
Sent: Thu, January 7, 2010 2:05:29 PM
Subject: RE: ten date challenge

Hi there!! Thanks for responding!! Well, I've only been in Austin a year and a half, and am ashamed to say that I've been to busy to do a lot of exploring!! Let me tell you a little...that'll give me time to think!!

I'm a pretty laid-back guy. I am just as happy in a suit at a formal affair as in jeans and a t-shirt at a backyard BBQ. I tend to have fun no matter what I'm up too--why bother with being upset when one lives so short a life.

I love conversation, tea, Sunday mornings, especially Sunday drives, the outdoors, cooking, a good drink, and building old cars that go really fast in my spare time...

Haha!! All that is sort of random!!

Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 15:16:41 -0800
From: c
Subject: Re: ten date challenge
To: s

Since you enjoy Sundays, would you like to make plans for something on a Sunday? This one is booked already, but how about next Sunday, the 17th? You mentioned exploring and that got me thinking about the Duck tours. Those are actually quite pricy! There are free downtown walking tours though the Visitor Center, or they provide walking tour brochures for other neighborhoods.

You also say you like tea. I was going to suggest going to Zhi Tea for a tasting, but then I googled and they are not open on Sundays. So, now I'm stuck... I love Sunday drives too, though, that's not really a first date, just met you, kind of a thing.

Hmm, I need to do some more research.


From: s
To: c
Sent: Fri, January 8, 2010 12:45:12 PM
Subject: RE: ten date challenge

Hi Caroline,

Pretty name by the way... :)

I have an about we have high tea in the English tradition--tea, tiny sandwiches and cakes, etc...

I know a few places serve high tea in Austin.

What do you think?


From: c
Sent: 1/8/2010 7:13:25 PM
To: s
Subject: Re: ten date challenge

Not many guys would be up for that sort of thing Sam, but I like that you are. I was thinking about suggesting that myself. I've been to The Steeping Room, though I havent' had the tea service. If there are other places that do it, it would be fun to try something new.


From: s
Fri, January 8, 2010 1:40:40
To: c
Re: ten date challenge

Haha! I'm strange I guess!! Thank you! What would you wear?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

dating hurts my brain

Trying to plan multiple dates all at once is very difficult. It takes a lot of time and brain power. I'm about to need a chart. Well, I already need a chart.

1/8 -- Book reading with B, or maybe dinner with D. D is a backup if B doesn't say yes to the book reading.

1/9 -- art gallery opening? I'm working on a date for that one maybe.

1/10 -- coffee and movie downtown with A

1/13 -- outdoor ice skating with B (different B)

1/14 -- culinary academy food challenge with D (different D)

1/17 -- maybe brunch with S

1/18 -- maybe a daytime date with yet another B?

1/21 -- Third Thursday at the art museum with J

1/23 -- I have several requests to go see Avatar at the IMAX. I need to set one of those up for this day I think.

salsa dancing TBD with C

some as yet determined thing on some as yet determined date with L. I need to do some research and come up with something fun.

I can also already plan out a date for February, with another special event at the art museum.

dang, if all of those come through, that's 10 easily, or more. And there are still people whose emails I have not yet responded to or guys who I've exchanged emails with but not made plans with. So far, Craigslist is successful with the numbers. I got 40 or so responses in the first two days, with an occasional new response still trickling in. Now it's about seeing who all these dudes are.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cheat Date

I started the DateAlong early because I am impatient and once I've talked to a guy for a little while I like to meet up with him fairly soon to stop any sort of false intimacy developing (this happened once, it was deeply awkward). So I actually had date 1 in December, before Christmas. He is a PhD student from a town about 25 miles away. And I'm going to call him PhD Cutie.

He'd shown up on OKC via the QuickMatch and we'd both rated each other highly. I sent him a silly message about it and he replied. His reply made me a bit less keen. To be frank, he sounded like a bit of a tool and a couple of bits of his profile made me think "tool" as well. But not everybody comes off well on the internet (one of my best male friends has an OKC profile which makes him sound like a total douche) so I carried on writing and he wrote back and we got into banter. We chatted a bit via IM and got on pretty well. We made plans to meet up in the new year and exchanged numbers. At a drunken party, I was bemoaning my lack of dates and texted him to meet up early. And he agreed! We talked a bit more via IM and it seemed better to meet sooner rather than later

We met for coffee in the city and then sort of gently wandered around looking at Christmas lights and the festive markets before stopping for tea and cakes. Having met at 1pm, it suddenly was 7pm and as he had to get the train back and the weather was pretty awful, we decided to call it a day.

Yes, there was a definite spark with this guy. He definitely has a killer smile and he is super intelligent as well (top three turn ons for CraftyFox : Killer smile, intelligence, good arms) and we had a rather passionate kiss whilst waiting in the cold for the tram.

I should also confess to a second date with him. Again, sparky Let's Screw vibes were in abundance.

The moral of the story, tool-ishness might just be the fact they're quite shy nice guys who are even more anxious about online dating than you.

I'll try anything once! (this will come back to haunt me)

I have a weekly happy hour group. It's more of a professional thing than a social thing. I mean, it's social and it's professionals that I like, but it's not a place where I'm likely to meet men. There are men at the bar outside of our group, but well, a lot of them are their with girlfriends and I'm a wimp about approaching people in person. I need to work on that.

Anyway, this whole thing came up in conversation last night. At first it was just with a couple of the women in the group, but then it was with a couple of the men. That was a humorous conversation. One man, my former supervisor, in his mid/late-30s I think, has been married for a very long time to the women he met early on in college. He hasn't dated in 15 years or more. The other, a co-worker in his early 50s, is a confirmed bachelor sort. Previous marriage, possibly tempestuous, and a string of relationships that are long term, but never come with a ring.

Talking about being 31 and dating was interesting. They like me and want to be helpful and supportive, but live in a complete other world. I'm going to hound my boss about some of his hockey teammates though. The take of the bachelor, when it was all said and done, is that men are lazy. He talked about once trying and giving up when he tried to type something in French in his profile, which the system didn't allow. Clearly, this is the crux of the issue for some men.

(I've had a funny email exchange with one of those--he responded to my ad to say, "Wow, great idea, good luck," but told me, when I asked if he wasn't interested in being one of my dates, that he can't be one of a string of guys and he's waiting for his one and only princess. This is an AHA! moment. Too many people are doing this--sitting around waiting for one perfect person to fall in their lap. I include myself in that, I've done it. But now that I'm trying to take a different approach, it irritates me. How do you ever meet that person if you don't try out people? Hmm?)

But, back to my point.

I get an email from my former boss, from his wife initially, who heard all about this last night too. It's a news article about a new website here locally.

I'll try it of course. Why not, right?

Have any of you ever tried ? I know it's not everywhere, but Agnes could do it. I've been on three. Same sort of experiences as dating everywhere else--one date, not with anyone that I see any serious potential in but wouldn't mind having a second date with, but nada from their end. It's still a fun thing though. The complete mystery and unknown of the whole thing. I need to pick some evenings this month and set some up. Those could help me bridge the gap to 10, right?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clover's Date #2 - Wowed Over Brunch

This date was actually on Sunday but I chose to wait to write about it, which is probably a good thing given recent turn of events. The man will henceforth be known as "Brown Eyes" because I'm feeling uncreative, was exceedingly attractive despite having more facial hair than I'd usually like. I was also given the full chivalrosity* treatment, which was nice for a change, and he seemed genuinely intersted in my life. Bonus points: he's taller than I am.

He actually tells me slightly over halfway though the date that he wants to see me again. I'm agreeing in my head but I give a nonchalant ambivalent sort of response. Later I'm thinking this maybe wasn't the best idea since I tend to be very stoic and hard to read and the poor guy may have not been able to tell that I was actually having a very good time.

So later when he texts me I respond saying that I had a great time and definitely want to see him again and I end up inviting him to this house party. He says he's up for it, and I'd been feeling a bit meh about the party but thinking I should go anyway to meet people, so at this point I'm looking forward to it more.

Then of course it's after I tell the host that I'm bringing a date for the party that Brown Eyes tells me he actually has prior commitments he completely forgot about. He asks if I want to hang out Saturday despite the hangover I'm sure to have.

Now despite having to tell the host that I'm no longer bringing a date to the party (ugh, embarrassing!) I have another date with someone I actually like. I call that successful.

*I like to make up words.

a different approach

Since the guys on okcupid here seem to have some sort of dysfunction, I'm giving up on it. Seriously, I have a .1% return rate on my investment. I'm willing to concede that maybe part of it is me, what I say in my profile, but I can't believe that it's ALL me. That would be too depressing. It seems that people here use it as a means to say that they're trying to date, but really they're not actively dating. At some point, I intend to go to a pay site. I haven't decided which one yet. I suppose that I'm letting the need to decide stall my actually doing something, but I also am adjusting my budgets and need to see how that goes before I commit to any website that I have to subscribe to.

So, my approach at this point is good ol Craigslist. I posted elsewhere that I was having issues getting a posting at CL to not be flagged. Men here are apparently suspicious as well as lazy about dating. Or something. I don't know. Men must must get an awful lot of spam or auto-bot responses to ads they post. I've never gotten any of those, at least not obviously.

Here's the ad that I successfully posted yesterday:

(clearly this is not spam as I mention the Museum of Ephemerata and why in the world would spam pick up something that obscure?)

I've been challenged to go on 10 dates in January. That's a lot of dates. I haven't got a single one lined up yet and it's time to get cracking!

I'm turning this challenge into an opportunity to do things around town that I've never done before--like see the Museum of Ephemerata, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, go to the B-Scene at the Blanton, maybe take a duck tour. I could easily come up with some restaurants and bars I've never been to. I don't go to small gallery openings or special movie screenings as often as I'd like. I think it's too late for ice skating at Whole Foods, but I've also wanted to take dancing lessons.

What about you? Is there some place you've never gone that you've always wondered about, some romantic movie you secretly want to see, some cheesy tourist place you're curious about? Want to try cooking or art lessons but don't want to go alone?

This is about opening myself up to adventure and life and maybe, if I'm lucky, love somewhere down the road. For now it's just about meeting new people and just going out and having fun. There's a list of things I usually look for in men, but for now, I'm keeping that to myself. The list of requirements for this challenge is short. You must be:

-willing to actually meet in person, and soon, without a lot of emailing, this is about meeting people and doing things

-able to pay your own way (I do okay, but I can't pay for 10 dates in a month, let's go Dutch)

-open to possibility and adventure

All I expect from any one person is one date. No pressure or expectations for anything more. If more happens that would be awesome but totally a bonus.

You will meet, in return, a gal who is cute, fun, funny, intelligent, and charming. I dare you to find out if I'm telling the truth.

I've gotten about three dozen responses so far. And only one from a guy being a complete ass and telling me that I need to post this in casual encounters and no one is going to respond if I don't post a photo. Joke's on him...

Now, my challenge is to sort through those responses and figure out who I want to respond to and go out with. Some of them are no-brainers--the guys who immediately get the concept and respond positively, also showing their own intelligence and humor and throwing out specific suggestions of, "Let's do this!"

On Sunday afternoon, I'm going with a guy to see Mel Brooks' "History of the World". Done. Easy. I'm waiting to hear back from a guy who was really interested in the Museum of Ephemerata about whether he can go on Saturday. Two dates with different guys in one weekend? Crazy! By the end of the day I will likely have an ice-skating date for next week.

Some of the responses are clear "No"s. Like this one got a pic ? if you are in good shape, we can get it down to 9 pretty quick.. I'm not opposed to trading pictures of course, but really, "if you're in good shape"? Next.

Then there are some others that fall into a place where I feel less sure. Frankly, if I'd posted a more traditional ad, looking less for one time, let's have fun sort of dates, I'd reject them. The way I'm trying to approach this falls very much in line with when my therapist had me do speed-dating. I didn't want to go and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't find any guys that would interest me, but that was beside the point. The point was to go into it having as few preconceived notions as possible and practice putting my best dating self forward. In some ways, the latter was easier because none of the guys were attractive to me--I had to spend 7 minutes chatting with them anyway, no matter what!

So now I'm looking at longer periods of time spent with some guys I know nothing about. And interestingly, it's an easier stretch for me to make plans with guys that tell me minimal information and don't show a photo. I have no idea what my movie date looks like. I know his name, his age and that he has a job. A lot of guys have sent photos and that, in some cases, makes me hesitant--seeing someone and thinking that I won't feel any attraction to them and so why bother spending a couple of hours with them. I know that's the wrong approach and I'm going to try and work my way past that. But there are other things:

*age--normally, I would not be interested in dating a guy 13 years older than me. One of the best emails I got was from an older guy though. I think that would be a big impediment to me wanting to go any farther, but I should try it for one date, right?

*the guys who uses the word "kewl". I can't stand this. Especially when every other word is the actual word in real English. His email is great and he's excited about ice skating. But he uses the word "kewl". It hurts my brain to read that. But I should look past it for now, yes?

*the guy who responded to my post twice, once clearly intending to respond to another post. Both emails are exactly the same except for one sentence. This morning I find that he has his own post on the website, with the exact same body. He's a type of guy that I would not come across in most of my regular doings though and that's a place where I should overlook the inability to write personal emails, isn't it?

This has gotten long... I had a lot of thoughts to pour out though.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1 down, 9 to go!

The Setting: A local diner for snacks/beer, and a nearby lounge.
The Boy: will henceforth be referred to as The Astrophysicist.

Astrophysicist and I met and messaged a few times over OKC, but he returned home over his break from school and I didn't hear from him much. So I was pleasantly surprised the other day to get an email saying he was back in town and we should hang out. I demanded that we go to a famous diner called The Penguin so I could introduce him to fried pickles. (Never had them? Give them a shot.) He was excited because he had heard of it, but never been.

We met up after I got off work, around 8. I think there was a little awkwardness at first, on both our parts, but after the pickles and beer arrived, I'd say we hit it off nicely. Both of us ordered entrees but not much eating got done, we were talking so much. We are both self-admitted nerds, although in different areas, and I felt very relaxed being my dorky self around him.

As cheesy as it sounds to say, I really did not notice time passing, but before I knew it, it was 12:30. The diner wasn't closed, but it was emptying out and we both agreed they seemed to be turning the heat down little by little in order to freeze us out. So we left and took a short, freezing walk to a nearby music and tapas lounge because I knew they stayed open late. The conversation kept up and again, before I knew it, the lights were turned up and there were only employees left besides us. 

We have already been emailing today, mostly YouTube clips of comedians referenced last night, but a second date is in the works!

Date #1: Success!


Like a herd of turtles

Okayy, it is January 4 and time for me to stop dragging my feet on this! One of my reasons for being slow about starting the datealong is the presence of a "maybe," a cute fellow who has figured rather prominently in my last few weeks.... but we've both backed off a bit, and things might still happen, but I also know he's fresh out of another relationship AND planning on moving away in a few months, so it's good for me to check myself and remember that whatever happens will probably not be serious or long-term.

Which brings me to my goal in doing this datealong project: to learn to take dating more lightly, take things less seriously, and not put tons of pressure on myself or the dude when I like someone. I get wrapped up in people I like too quickly, and could really benefit from learning to be patient and back off a bit. I have been able to achieve that best in those times that I've been dating more than one dude. So, the idea here is to go on LOTS of dates, with LOTS of dudes, in a short amount of time. And internet dating, your one-stop love-shop, is a great way to find just that: lots of dates with lots of different people.

So here is my strategy. I've been (secretly) marking people as "favorites" for a couple weeks now, and am currently at 19. I figure I will pick out 20 favorites, then send 10 messages in one day, 10 the next. I don't know whether I should do them right together, so I figure I'll send the first 10 and see how many respond in a day or two---I have found that lots of people just plain don't respond on OKC. (Of course, I have hardly responded to ANYone who's written ME so far, so I probably show up as replying "very selectively" on searches which probably scares people off...have I mentioned I could also benefit from being less picky?!)

Okay. Going to the gym now, then.......... launch time. Will report back.
(And a date tomorrow night with maybe-boy... but I think it will only do me good to know there are other options out there!!)


Scientific luncheon.

Ok, so I went for lunch with The Scientist on Monday. We were both early and thankfully, he was the only tall chap with his arm in a sling and cast.

I knew from the moment we met that the chemistry wasn't there instantly. I don't have a type, all the men I've dated have been physically very different, but I really really hate a certain type of haircut, which I call the Ian Brown haircut. So, his haircut was a little off putting. But you know, I'm not totally shallow and we all have bad hairdays so it could have been a one off.

Anyway, we had lunch and talked and drank soft drinks for a couple of hours, but the spark (or the Let's Screw vibe as it is also known) still wasn't really sparking. We had quite a bit in common but conversation was a bit stilted on his part. He'd said he was quite shy when he first meets people and I also think he felt a bit awkward because of the arm as well. He said he hadn't been able to wear what he wanted because he can't get his arm into most of his clothes.

He texted me yesterday to ask if I wanted to do something this weekend, but I have plans everyday this weekend so I said I'd let him know. So, I'm going to give him a second date on the basis that he had a lot of pressure on him on the first one and see what happens.

(Confession time. I started the date along early so I have a date from December that I need to write up. In fact two dates with him!)

Lala's okc date #1 - The Lowdown

So... there was no chemistry. Just thought I'd put that out in the open so you're not all dying of suspense while I tell the story.

We ended up meeting at Ceviche, a tapas place, because the other spot wasn't open for lunch on Sundays. Conversation flowed easily, likely because we've spent the last almost-month getting to know each other. He paid the bill, though I did attempt to pay my half. After lunch, we walked a few blocks down to see the bay (Hillsborough, not Tampa - there are a lot of bays in the area, I guess?) and then briskly walked right back. The temperature actually only made it to the mid-40s, and it was cloudy and gross. I read recently that the temps haven't been this low in Florida for the last 9 years or so.

After that, we went to the Florida Aquarium, where we saw tons of fun stuff, including a two-day-old baby sting ray. I took a lot of pics, not of the baby sting ray, but of other fun stuff.

After leaving the aquarium, we walked a bit to Stump's Supper Club for some beers. It was there that I noticed how loud and geeky he sounded. I'm not saying he is a geek, I'm just saying, he spoke very loudly and geek-like, that's all. We had two beers each, and then discussed what should happen next. He suggested renting a movie, I suggested going to another public spot. So we hopped back in his car and went to Four Green Fields, an authentic Irish pub in his neighborhood. Lucky for us, every first Sunday of the month, they have an open jam where a large group of people play traditional Irish music. It was awesome. And I kept saying how awesome it was and how much I loved it. Definitely the highlight.

So while I'll probably keep chatting with him, I'm definitely not interested in advancing the relationship. It's a bit of a relief that we live an hour away from each other, because I feel less pressure to go on a second date with him. In none of our conversations have we ever mentioned dating or romance or anything, so I don't have to break it to him that I'm not interested in him romantically or anything, right?

I thought I might be stumped after this, wondering who my next person of interest might be, but while The Professor was in the bathroom, I checked my email to see that someone I responded to on Craigslist almost two weeks ago finally responded back to me. He's local, and the subject line in his post was something along the lines of "Beards, tattoos, and music," and yeah, I like those things too. So, maybe he's next up!

That expression sums up my feelings on both dating and my new hair cut. Dubious.

It's an ominous sort of day to write an introduction here. Just before my alarm went off, or actually as the alarm on my phone in another room was going off (for 14 minutes, whoops) I had a bad dream. It involved my ex-boyfriend, people from high school I was jealous of, work (which is stressful right now). It was a nightmare. One of those dreams that you're grateful to wake up from, but also feel lost about it because you'll never get resolution of the storyline.

It was a dream that made me think, "I can NOT do this dating thing." That's a 'can't' feeling based on not having the skills or abilities to date and also a fear that if (when) it goes bad, I am not able to easily handle things without falling apart. That's largely where my fear of rejection lies--it's about not wanting to see a lot of things about myself. That's a simplified way of putting it. But that's what makes it really too easy for me to excuse myself from taking proactive steps over things like my hair being cut shorter than I wanted it.

This was not the intro post I intended initially, but maybe it's a good one--to air all the negative feelings out, make room for the positive. Or, whatever. I have, somewhere in my crazy head, grand plans for all this, now it's just about making those happen. The hardest part, no big deal.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Foxy's Lunchdate

Tomorrow I have a lunchdate with a man who henceforth be known as The Scientist. We've been talking for a couple of weeks through OKC and had a couple of lengthy IM conversations culminating in me asking him to go for a drink. He agreed and then went and broke his arm. Thankfully this was not an elaborate ruse to get out of a date with me but the result of a rather perilous slip on the ice. Now he's not on tonnes of painkillers, he felt fit enough to face the world again and also me.
We're going for lunch tomorrow at the arthouse cinema in the citycentre. It's good food, not too casual and not too fancy and hopefully we should be able to continue the good conversations we've been having online. I'm a little nervous but at least I won't have to have the worry of not recognising him in person. He's the tall guy with his whole arm in a cast!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A little bit more crafty than foxy

So, hi. I'm Steph, I'm 29 and in 22 days time it will be exactly one year since I broke up with my long term partner of almost 10 years. I started dating again in the May and since I have kissed some men, quite a lot of frogs and realised I am about 67% clueless about dating. That is a whole other blog though which may never be written. The majority of my friends in this fair city, both male and female, are either coupled up or happy singletons and none of them seemed to have anymore of a clue than I did anyway and thus are useless to either hook me up or to do the "eeekk, I have a date what should I wear" thing.

So I too am embarking on the date along project. As a hapless hopeless romantic with the biggest cynical side you ever saw, I need the help of these fine ladies to give me a kick up the arse and stop me getting too carried away or from being a total grump.


I want to make a cute formal intro, witha fab photo of myself, but I'm not picking up my neighbor's wi-fi this weekend... I'm limited to the iPhone and I haven't yet figured out how to post to blogspot from here and include photos and all. Alas, you shall all have to wait. I just wanted to post to say that. I'm such a tease.

Clover's Date #1 - Friends Without Benefits

Yesterday I went on a date and it was very impromptu. Guy (to be known henceforth as Pitas, because that's what we ate) asked me if he wanted me to have dinner and I didn't have any plans so I agreed to it. It's about going along with the moment, I thought.

We spent about half the time driving around trying to find someplace to eat, and then we ate and the food was good, and the conversation was good, but there was no chemistry. Also, Pitas was shorter than I am, even though according to his profile he'd be a bit taller. I've dated shorter guys before, but it's annoying to expect someone to be two inches taller than he actually is.

Then I went home and talked to Pitas on IM for a few hours. I think perhaps I'd like to be friends with him, but not continue to date him. I'm not sure how to go about this. Should I say something to him now? Would it be bad of me to go out on another date, or could I chalk that up to "testing the friendship waters" more?

Lala's OkCupid date #1 - What to Wear?

Alrighty. I've been on OkCupid for a little under a month. Within the first day or so, I sent three guys an identical message, the typical I'm new to the area and online dating, just thought I'd say hey kind of thing. Only one guy responded, and he's the lucky guy that gets to meet me tomorrow for lunch! He's the winner, right? That's how I'm going to choose to think of it. He will henceforth be referred to as The Professor.

So, we've been chatting through gmail for the last almost-month and I definitely like him. Because I'm a skeptic though, I can only really consider it a friendship until we meet face to face and see if there's that HOT DAMN LET'S SCREW chemistry that Clover previously referred to.

We're meeting around 11am for lunch at a Mediterranean place. We both enjoy the cuisine, and he wants to make sure there are veg*n options for me. Sweet! Then maybe the Florida Aquarium or something else. So since it's a daytime thing, but the high is only 51 degrees in Tampa tomorrow, I'm going casual and warm. Which sweater option works best here?

Oh deary, still working on figuring out formatting and blogging and html and all that silly stuff. Anyway, your thoughts?

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Turn

My name is Jane and I would like a date or 10, plz. I have been out of my last serious relationship for going on 8 years now, and I'm ready to get the ball rolling again. I'm also just looking to meet new people and enjoy activities around town with a different perspective. If I meet that somebody special, great. If all I do is make new friends and get out of the house more, that's great too. Let's get this started.

Meet Clover

Hi, I'm Clover, and this is my introductory post. I did quite a bit of dating several months ago, but never found what I was really looking for. So I stopped for a while, and then I started again.

What is it I'm really looking for? Chemistry. I want to be on a date and staring at someone straight in the eyes and know that we're both thinking the same thing:

"I can't wait for this date to end so I can screw you."

Is that too much to ask for?