Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stop stalking me, Andy.

Sometimes you receive a message from an online suitor and you get the feeling that he's written it once or twice before. As in, there is nothing personal about his message at all. Like, he says he loves what's in your profile. But he doesn't specify what. Or he says you're funny. When you know there was nothing even remotely humorous in your profile. This guy's your typical cut and paste robot--no rhyme, no reason. Just a see-boobies, email boobies, cut, paste, send, kind of guy.

And then sometimes you get the same cookie cutter message from the same guy...three one month! As in, he is such an online predator that he can not even distinguish you...from you. He's so busy cutting and pasting, dropping and clicking, that he can't be bothered to track the girls he's already once harassed.

And to this predator, I reply...
Andy. This is the 3rd time you've written me in even fewer months. And each message has been some version, if not an exact replica, of the message prior. Either you've got a terrible memory or you're spamming me. It is bad enough that the world is full of enough bozos that I've been driven to advertise myself online. And now you, Andy--you've tried to buy me three times without even checking out the merchandise. If you've put down an offer on me, you've clearly put offers down all over the place--at every 99 cent Ebay shop for girls there is. And Andy, let me tell you--I'm not of the 99 cent variety.  So, Andy, kindly cease & desist. Because if I should get one more email from you, Andy, the comeuppence you may get from will hold no candle to the wrath you'll face form me. You have on your hands, Andy, One Angry Single Girl. And there ain't no anger angrier than that of a girl who's put herself out there with some degree of authenticity and humility--and gotten cut, pasted, and enraged in reply.

Thanks for understanding. And, Andy, watch your back.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Softcup. Or, how vaginal dams are saving relationships across America.

There comes a time in every new relationship when a woman needs to tell a man: I am a real human woman. I can prove this because I am currently bleeding out of the very orifice you wish to penetrate this evening. This scenario is real. It is awkward. It happens every goddamn month to every goddamn woman I know.

Later on, when a couple's entered the 'comfort' stage (you know--when you start eating Cheerios in bed and move the granny panties to the front of the drawer again), there come alternative means to coping with menstruation and your horny boyfriend. Option A. Get messy. Grant permission to enter the floods. Option B. Tell your man he can take care of himself for 3 damn days a month while you get familiar with a pint of Rocky Road and wail to a marathon of Lifetime movies.

But the first time your 'time of the month' happens to coincide with your 'time to go on a date' can be uncomfortable, especially if you've already slept with your new friend. How do you explain that you can't have sex this time even though you had sex last time without offending him, making bizarre excuses (sick, um neighbor at home?), or being honest (and do you really want to talk anatomy on the 2nd date?).

Well, this week I came face to face with this very quandary. I had a 2nd date planned with my most wonderful smoocher from last week, didn't want to cancel, but didn't want to face facts. Lo and behold, I came across a tweet from fellow dating blogger, The Urban Dater, introducing me to an alternative to the horrors of...[shudder]...womanhood. Softcup, alternatively dubbed 'Instead,' is meant to, well, cup your situation up there. This seemed genius. We love to defeat nature! We hate wrinkles! We hate our real hair color. And we HATE our periods! Cup that stuff up up there and save it--I want to have sex, dammit!

Well, the Softcup isn't as easy as all that, friends. Like all of man's solutions to nature--botox, store-bought hair dye, and-apparently-'Instead,' shit gets messy. I didn't feel comfortable with what I suspected might be leakage halfway through the date and I plugged up with alternative means and made an excuse to leave his apartment early.

But I have high hopes for Softcup on future, more confident, evenings out. I have 12 more of these puppies at home (14 come per box, but I wasted one doing an ooh & ahh-filled  demo for a friend) and I will not waste my money, if nothing else.

Future Softcup users beware: taking the cup out is not as easy as putting it in. As I described earlier on my Twitter feed:
[Taking it out] was like bobbing for an apple. Except I was drunk. & the apple was a slippery rubber ring. & the water was my vagina.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rules for online engagement.

I am an online dater. I am not proud. I am not loud. I am not always confident that what I am doing is right. But online I am. And online I’ll stay…til my membership to expires in 5 weeks or I find a boyfriend. Whichever comes first.

While shopping for a partner online may seem like a whole lot of fun and games and browsing for chinos on J Crew, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not just shopping—you’re being shopped for. And creating an online dating profile that represents you—the real you—but not all the bad parts of the real you—just the alluring, attractive, amazing parts—is both a crucial and challenging task.

I was asked recently for tips of the trade (if dating is still my trade in 5 years, remind me to shoot myself). And seeing as I’m a good friend, a dedicated blogger, and have some time on my hands between dates at the moment, I’m all too happy to oblige.

Here are some key tips for marketing You (yes, you are a good for sale for all intensive purposes) on the digital meat market:

Your Profile Picture(s).

• No matter what they tell you, it is permissible and actually advisable to look at least as good, if not better, in your picture than you do in real life. In real life, your date will get to learn about all the wonderful non-physical parts of you that really matter. At first glance, he can’t see your kindness and bubbly personality. All he can see is that chip in your tooth and your kinky hair.
• If you’re worried that your one glamour shot picture may not represent you accurately and you want to offer a more honest glimpse at the goods, you’re right. Post a few pics. But the more, the merrier does not apply either. There is such a thing as too many pics on your profile. More than, let’s say, 10 can indicate narcissism. And it’s not all about you. Yet.
• Shots of you with just one other person of the opposite gender is not a good look (for a hetero profile, that is). I don’t care if it’s your best friend. Your brother. Your oldest mate. No one wants to see what may be competition in a picture with his future romantic interest.
• Beware your captions. They’re likely not as clever as you think they are.

Your Age.

• Guys. Girls. Everyone. It is not okay to lie about your age. More importantly than it showing you to be a liar, it will undoubtedly, absolutely, 100% get found out if you make it into a relationship. And then you won’t just appear a liar. You’ll appear pathetic and insecure. Also, how young are you aiming for your date to be that you feel you need to lie about your own age to score him? Avoid the drama. Your age is one of the few things you can’t change about yourself. Own it.

Your Interests.

Don’t check off Interests because you want to attract others who care about those things. Do you think someone else’s elevated interests will rub off on you? Someone’s karma transfer over? We are who we are. Our mates can help open our perspective. They are not meant to be the people we wish we were ourselves. If you want to start having ‘coffee and conversation’ (a good beginner’s interest for those of you used to checking off ‘loafing on the couch watching Housewives’), go out and grab a goddamn cup of coffee yourself. Feigning Interests doesn’t make you interesting.

Your About Me. And Who You’re Looking For.

A lot of folks feel that describing themselves in the ‘About Me’ section of dating sites is akin to forced bragging about themselves. False. Telling the facts about yourself is, in itself, not pretentious. It’s your tone that makes it so. You can share that you have a zest for life, are smart, have an Ivy League education, and enjoy watching tennis, and come off sounding absolutely delightful. Or, you can end up sounding like Muffy of Muffy and Buffy at the Snoot Town Country Club. Reread your statement. You should be able to decipher which side of the bragging line you come out on. If you have any sense of self-awareness that is. And if you do, feel free to throw that into your About Me section as well. Most everyone enjoys a self-aware partner.

As for the bit about what you’re looking for—well, what are you looking for? If you’ve gone online, chances are you’ve tried dating in ‘the real world.’ And found results to be less than ideal. Here is your chance to be specific about what you want in a partner. And hopefully you will have evaluated this before you put pen to paper. Does it matter to you that your new friend is a family person? Say it. Is it crucial that he be financially stable (please tell me you’re no longer dating couch surfers, readers?!)? Then write that ish down. You have literally paid your dues in order to shop for partners that suit your specific needs and desires. And there is no point in being coy about it.

Your Body Type.

No one’s saying a multiple choice selection process to describe your physique is kind. Or fair. Or even accurate. Take me, for instance. I’m probably not what you’d call a girl with ‘more to love’ by general American standards. I might even be considered amongst the smaller population, in fact. But, I don’t live in America at large. I live in Los Angeles. And in Los Angeles, I am not ‘slender.’ But do I say I am? Yeah, I say I am. Because no man thinks he wants to date a ‘curvy’ girl. So, let him meet me to find out that he does.

That all being said, I’m not encouraging blatant misrepresentation here [or in any part of your profile]. Saying you’re slender if you are, in fact, obese—count this amongst things that are not only not okay, but will also score you reactions resembling: aghast, horrified, and disappointed on Date 1. And that’s not good for your date. Or for your self-esteem.

I met a man recently whose last match had shown pictures of herself 65 pounds slimmer than the current reality. That date lasted 40 minutes. And I think that was kind of him.

Your Pets.

When I first filled out my profile I said I loved dogs. I didn’t have one, I said, because I didn’t have room in my studio apartment. A year later, I looked back at this and realized it was a blatant lie. I do not have a dog because I do not want a dog and, to be honest, I prefer that my partner not have one either. A boyfriend with a dog means to me: having to leave dates early to care for said dog, viewing endless albums of pictures of dog over dinner and having to feign interest and even excitement, sleeping in my man’s bed with a dog in between us, possibly drooling on me, and having to share my man’s attention with a hairier, shorter bitch. I’m not interested.

Another friend of mine was fibbed to by her now boyfriend who said he liked cats. When they moved in with each other months later, it turned out that he not only disliked them, he was allergic. They stayed together, but she ended up cat-less. A bummer.

So, what I’d encourage here is: honesty. If you’ve got a furry friend, let your potential mates know up front. If you’ve got an aversion to all things that walk on 4 legs, best to let others know that too, even if it does make you seem a little cold and heartless. Cold sure, but not a liar.

Honesty is the best policy.

As a general rule: be honest, be honest, be honest. From what you’re looking for (long-term relationship vs. short term tryst), to your education (we live in a digital age—he will find out if you didn’t graduate from Harvard, friend), to the things you share about yourself (if you’re not funny, don’t say you’re funny. I assure you he will figure this out within 10 minutes of date 1. I’m sure you have other lovely traits you can highlight instead.)

And be honest with yourself as well. About what you want, but also about who you are. If you are looking for something magical and wonderful and exciting, be the person who will attract this kind of mate—in other words, be magical and wonderful and exciting yourself. In the search for someone else, never stop working on Numero Uno—you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Every side of the bed is mine.

For 5 years, I've slept on one side of the bed--the right side.

This morning I woke up in the middle of the bed.

I went back to sleep.

I woke up in the middle again.

I take this as an affront from my subconscious. My sleeping self seems to think it's time I hoped for someone to fill the bed's other side.

My waking side says to f*ck off.

Maybe I just need a bigger bed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's in his bloody kiss.

When I was 10 years old and in summer camp—a disastrous 2 months for so many reasons, one of which was a cold, swampy lake—my fellow campettes and I made the following song our summer anthem: ‘It’s In His Kiss.’ The song instructed us young and impressionable campers that if we wanted to know if a boy liked us, we’d find the answer in his kiss. If a relationship was going to last, it was in his kiss. If the sex was to be blow-your-mind awesome, it was decidedly to be foreseen in his kiss. (This last interpretation, perhaps, came a bit later in life.) Meanwhile, at the tender, undeveloped, still carrying baby fat age of 10, I had not even held a boy’s hand, let alone kissed one.

Well, today—many [many] kisses later—and I can vouch for the fact that there’s some truth to this old adage which we got to know through Cher's wailing version of the song. A kiss doesn’t indicate just levels of lust, but it can translate passion, it can show care, and it really, truly can express love. When a fellow kisses you, you can feel sparks fly or you can feel bombs drop.

All this is to say: I had the most amazing kiss. ever. last week. He is a man I met on And for every rule I ever thought I knew about online dating—that it wasn’t possible to have that chemistry, the kind you have when you meet someone in real life and discover for the first time that you don’t want to keep your hands off each other—I was wrong. I was so wrong. I was a blithering idiot and it was proven last Thursday night at a bar in Downtown where I kissed Ryan [whose last name I still do not know] and thought my head might explode from time standing still and life reaching levels of bliss which had never been dreamed possible.

I’m not saying I found love in Ryan’s kiss. I mean, we hardly know each other (which is not to say we didn’t get to ‘know’ each other a bit better later on in the evening. cause we did). But we found something that was so special in its pure, physical perfectness for each other—a matching kissing style, tempo, head tilt just so—that I would see him again 100 times over, just to remind myself that that kiss is out there somewhere.

Will this perfect kiss get in the way of other relationships I’m exploring now? Maybe. Okay, probably. But I want it again. At the risk of sabotaging my feelings for other partners who may be more suitable in every other way for me, I will seek out that kiss again and again and again til our lips fall off or one of us marries or state line divide us.

I don’t know what it is. But it’s in his bloody kiss. And I want it again.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do. Twice.

Wow, how 3/4 of a year flies by when you're dating, breaking up, testing cougar status, falling into despair, embracing singledom, turning 30, and remaining utterly, eternally single.

It's hard to believe I last wrote in February. Do you know what happened in February that caused my hiatus from sharing woes? I fell in love. Well, no, that's not really completely accurate. I found a fellow who fell in love with me and boy oh boy did I love that he loved me. (Ego is responsible for no small percentage of life's disasters.)

And there was an end date on this tryst--I was about to travel for several months on work. Jordan was here for work and therefore leaving. We were 2 ships sailing and crossing and having great sex in the night and we knew that we'd end up on disparate shores so gosh, how we were able to recklessly enjoy climbing aboard each other's decks (have I taken the metaphor too far? stop me any time now).

But, as happens whenever a man likes me just a tad too much--just a hair over the edge of the usual dismissive, cold, moody emotions I usually contend with in my preferred breed of asshole lovers--I turned on him. And fast. His shoes--they were gross. The way he chewed his gum--it was foul. His hair--what was he, a middle school teacher from Iowa? Dis-gust-ing.

And so I went off to travel the country for work and live my Eat Pray Love summer throughout the midwest. And do you know what the Midwest has to offer, friends? Men. Young, handsome, willing men. And I forgot about poor Jordan like a girl forgets her underwear at her one night stand's house (the kind of forgetting where you sort of remember but hate to face the hassle of calling for their retrieval).

But Jordan had not forgotten about me. That's the problem when one doesn't break things off when she knows she ought to--when she knows she wants to. So Jordan wanted to call me. Jordan wanted nightly phone calls. Jordan wanted to...say what!?...visit me. Oh hellll to the N.O. Not on the Love section of my Eat Pray Love adventure. And so I broke it to him gently. On the phone. That a visit was not best. I'd need to think about things.

To me: think about things = we're dunzo. This ship has sailed. This ship has a new set of sailors and we're having a party up in Cabin 1 so don't come a knockin when the ship's a rockin.

To Jordan: think about things = we're going to think about things. Um, idiot.

One week later, he called. 'I don't feel like you've been thinking about things,' he says. 'Think about whaaa...[oh, shit, right]...oh, yeah, um. Okay, I thought about things. It's not really going to work out Jordan. Sowwwwy.' Click.

That's how you break up with someone twice, my dedicated, equally passive aggressive readers. You break up once, but not really. You break up again, for reals, and break hearts that kinda probably didn't need to be broken. But wasn't it so much easier? On you? Not to man up and do it right on round one? Yeah. Pretty much.

Tear for the heart broken. Thanks for that it wasn't mine.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Single Suggestion: what to do when the online dating game has one weak player

One reader wonders what to do when the volleyball game that is online dating messaging gets stale due to one player's soft spikes and weak serves. (Okay, perhaps the metaphor is not so great.) OSS [hopefully] answers in this week's installment of One Single Suggestion.

Q. I’ve got an online dating question for you. I saw a guy's profile, sent him a wink/flirt/nudge type thing, got a quick line back which I took as a good sign because if he wasn't interested, he'd ignore me outright. So even though his quick response didn't include questions about myself, I wrote back and asked a question or two to get the conversation going. We've now been going back and forth in this same way for about a week...he's still not asking about me, but he's keeping the ball rolling by replying and is always complimentary about something, so it's not a lost cause -- some guys aren't good at email, right?

I don't want to be the one who makes all the effort here. Any clues or hints I should drop to get him to just ask me to meet up? Or, do I just drop it since he's maybe he's just not that into me given the nature of his notes? What is my next step here?

- Tired of Email Vollying

A. Sure, some guys aren’t good at emailing. Some girls aren’t either. And yes, it’s clear that he’s interested in you or--you’re right--he wouldn’t keep contacting you. Unless he’s seriously bored. And who can be that bored with reruns of Full House still on the air?! But, Tired, compliments and interest do not a fair and balanced relationship make. If he can’t rev up the effort to ask you about yourself now in the courting stages, nor actually ask you out, will he be engaged and proactive later on? Will he hold open the door on the first date? Will he ask you how work is going on the 2nd? Is he the type to suggest meeting each other’s families down the line? Will he ask you how you like your pudding and oatmeal when you’re old and feeble and living in a senior center in Boca Raton together? No, probably not. So, you can take your chances and suggest a first date. Or you can hold off on a guy who’s interest in you is equal to your interest in him. And will treat you like the cat’s meow that you are today, tomorrow, and in 50 years when he’s still excitedly asking you out to early bird dinners and Scrabble dates.


Have a dating doozy of your own? Email your dating queries, woes and what-should-I-dos?! to

Monday, February 21, 2011

How I unintentionally brought SEXY back to Tuesday.

I went out with Ed last Tuesday night. Tuesday nights are guaranteed to spell out unsexy. U – N – Nothing sexy happens on a Tuesday – Ever. Unsexy. We had a nice time, sure. A really fun, great conversation kind of evening. Over a glass of wine and spaghetti, we talked about home and family and college with ease and some humor.

I actually wanted to transfer to another school after freshman year, I said, hoping to be vague about my first year indiscretions which had led me nearly to leave my small university.

Freshman slutties? he asked in reply, assuming me to be one of those girls who’d spent freshman year disrobing half the lacrosse team.

I had been.

No, I wouldn’t say quite that, I said. Because there is no time to reveal to a man that you’re dating that you ever had the ‘slutties’—the first date being the worst of all times to make such a disclosure. We all just make mistakes freshman year. This wasn’t a lie. This was just an omission of truth. Plus. ‘Freshman slutties?’ It doesn’t even have a ring to it. Not like ‘freshman fifteen,' a typical first year weight-gaining phenomenon I had also understood well. I’ll think on it.

The next day it came to me. Frosh floozies! It was perfect. It had alliteration. It had pizzazz. I texted my inventive catchphrase to Ed. He’d surely appreciate my ingenuity a day later.

That’s great, he wrote back. Glad to hear you’re still thinking about it. But I think we could get a little dirtier.


At what point had I indicated that I was ‘that kind of girl?!’ Had my mere allusion to sex the evening before made him think that I was a promiscuous, loose, sexting type of lady?? I was insulted. I was offended by his presumption about my character. I mean, I am a sexter when the mood strikes and the situation warrants it. But for godsake, at least a kiss usually precedes that kind of raunchy writing.

I asked a male friend about my predicament this weekend. A lovely, respectful, married man whose opinion I trust. Well, you brought up sex, he said. The conversation which followed was inconsequential. What it came down to, it seemed, is that a girl’s not safe mentioning even the word sex around a virile man. He will mistake this for an advance. He will mistake you for the kind of girl who slinks around in lingerie and puts her number up on bathroom walls. Ugh. Men, the lesson was learned, are all likeminded and that mind spells S-E-X. Even with a nice girl. Even on a Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Single Suggestion - a new advice feature.

As my dating adventures continue and my wisdom regarding dating and relationships grows infinite and vast, it would seem selfish if I hoarded these divine secrets of singlehood for myself. Therefore, I introduce to you...

'one SINGLE suggestion' will be a semi-regular (my commitment issues never cease) write-in dating advice feature of the 'one SINGLE story' blog.

Our first reader query appears here. Ooh! Ahh!

Q. I've been talking to this guy online and we've exchanged about 4 e-mails each, but the last one he sent didn't leave me much to work with. He hit on a couple things we had previously talked about and then answered a question I had asked, but didn't ask me anything in return. Done? Do I even try to keep the convo going? Don't even know what I would say at this point.

- Reader in Need

A. I say NO, not done yet. He wrote back and that is all the motivation you should need to write him again. I have found that after a 4 to 5 email banter back and forth, it becomes more fun to start opening up about yourself (cause we live in a me me me society) and it becomes easier to forget general e-dating etiquette--which says to always end with at least one or two questions back to the other person. If you are interested in seeing him, I'd swoop in now and suggest an in-person meeting. Too many emails can kill the excitement anyway. Sort of just like the way video killed the radio star.


So, don't be shy now. Email your dating queries, woes and what-should-I-dos?! to I may have some sage advice to offer you in return for your troubles.

N.B. In a relationship already? No worries. Though I haven't had a successful relationship myself, I can probably help yours. Promise. Fire away with your questions too, coupled friends.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tales of the motorcycling Buddhist Beau.

29 years ago I was born to Jewish parents and have since taken every opportunity to prove that I am not, myself, Jewish. I dropped out of Hebrew School. I’ve claimed atheism. I’ve dated outside my faith. So, so many people outside my faith. Commonly known in some circle as Goys, non-Jews have always shone a little brighter for me. I’ve dated every kind of Goy and then some. I’ve dated black Christians. I’ve dated Irish Catholics. I’ve dated half Asian Episcopalians. I’ve dated WASPs from the suburbs of Northern California.

And so when I recently began studying Buddhism, it seemed natural that I should add Christian turned Buddhist to my list of non-Jewish romantic partners. I spotted Joe from across the circle of chairs on Day 1 and decided that he was probably the cutest little practicing American Buddhist I could ever hope to meet. Smart, calm, the kind of person who doesn’t waste words or get excited very easily. He also had some nice ink on his biceps and the sweetest blue eyes. Done.

Before our weekend of classes was complete I’d orchestrated a means to get my email to him if he wasn’t going to ask for it. Cut to the success of my manipulation and a dozen or so emails later and Joe and I were on our way to a first date—class extra credit if you will. Joe planned the kind of picture perfect date that most people only dream of. He picked me up on his beautiful Harley motorcycle at 9 am. He had with him an entire outfit for me that screamed safety and zero sex appeal (but what a sweet gesture). And he had a whole itinerary planned that involved crossing county lines, riding along the California coast and a perfectly timed sunset at the park. Score. Score, score and a million times score.

Something about Joe’s authentic nature brought out the same in me. I want to see you again, I told Joe as he was dropping me off 12 hours later. When your midterms are over. (Joe’s back in school to study social work. Be still my easily swooned heart.) I’d like to see you before then, he replied. Oh, my achy breaky Buddhist love organ.

Date No. 2 with Joe is planned for tomorrow. While some other gentlemen have entered the picture in the last week (oh, I have so very much to catch you up on friends!), stay tuned for tales of my motorcycling Buddhist beau…

Hear this, Gals: Ballsy is better. Guys don’t always have metaphorical balls that mirror their real ones. Sometimes you need to make the first move. Or at least gently guide them toward making one themselves.

Listen up, Guys: Sometimes the nice guy does win. Gentle is good. Authentic is awesome. Sweet can be sexy.

[Image via LIFE]

Monday, February 7, 2011

Harry and his magical, vanishing social skills.

Over messaging, I will cut prospective suitors some slack. Not everyone writes with as much furor and gusto as your One Single blogger friend. And maybe it's not that the communications are awkward necessarily, but rather that the writing is just not that great. Which I'm learning to forgive a bit. After all, a writing snob does not a happily coupled woman make. And bad grammar doesn't always mean a bad date.

So, when Harry was a bit, okay, awkward over email, I was able to rummage up enough redeemable qualities within his messages to ignore the glaring social suckiness and arrange a date. Redeeming quality number one? He had been the first person to write to me over Match and I held a grateful little place for him in my heart. Lesson learned. Gratefulness is not synonymous with real desire. It's actually a sort of pathetic reason to accept a date.

Harry's Downfalls (in no particular order--they all sucked).

* During our initial phone call and in our subsequent first and only meeting, Harry would allow the most terribly pregnant pauses--the kind that one could drive a semi through. Was I interrupting? Was there a better time for me to call? Was he just a weird mute? Ah, yes, the latter.

* Once on the phone and once again in person (this guy learns no lessons), Harry answered my attempt at small talk questions with don't worry about it. Don't worry about it? Yeah, I'll show you not worrying about you all the way to never speaking with your sorry ass again.

* Harry chose a spot for lunch. I arrived on time. The kitchen was closed. Harry was 15 minutes late. Negative point. Negative point. Negative point.

* Harry had circles under his eyes. Like crack addict circles under his eyes.

* Harry scratched his stomach. Under his shirt. Skin bared. More than once during lunch.

* Harry looked at my almost finished salad and commented wow, you ate a lot. To which I replied--a tip, Harry? Never again tell a girl on a first date that she eats a lot. Negative point (x15).

* I earned a $158 ticket during our date. If this was a not a sign from God (or the LA City Parking Department) that I shouldn't be on a date with Harry, I don't know...

* Harry suggested that perhaps I might be interested in joining him and his friends a couple of days later for the Super Bowl. Because I was sort of dying to see what a group of people who identified themselves as friends with this man would be like, I said I'd think about it. A day after (and the following day too), I received voicemails from Harry's friend via his phone in which said friend put on fake accents, made up fake characters and left me nearly incomprehensible prank messages.

Oh, Harry. Oh, Harry Harry Harry. Bad. Move. All of them really--bad, bad moves.

Tip to Chicks: When a man fumbles over email, proceed with caution. When he fumbles over the phone, really reconsider a date. When he fumbles within the first five minutes of your first date, do yourself a favor and spare yourself a parking ticket and just--walk--away.

Tip to Dudes: Don't be weird. It's so, so easy not to be weird. Just don't be.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Don't stroke his ego or his back.

Derek and I didn’t have the most fantastic of online dating email dialogues. I wouldn’t say that our conversations had evoked in me feelings of chemistry or even excitement to meet him. But our chats were stimulating in the way that a history textbook is stimulating—the material is interesting, the delivery is dry, and you feel as though you ought to learn more.

I met Derek at one of my favorite restaurants in LA and I immediately realized that the restaurant was going to be forever tainted for me by this date. Derek was about 15 pounds heavier than his pictures would have indicated. Derek was doofy. Derek was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. Derek was the kind of man you found yourself talking as though he was a child.

Everything improves after half a bottle of wine though and by the end of dinner Derek was seeming entirely tolerable and slightly charming.

Derek asked me to continue the night with another drink elsewhere. I was tipsy and couldn’t think of any reason not to. By the time I finished drink number one at the following establishment, I was finding it harder to aim for my mouth with the straw and my hand was playfully grazing Derek’s shoulder. Bad. Move. Even tipsy, I knew this. You never want to give a wrong signal to a guy like Derek. It was time to go home.

I had one drink too many that night and came within too few inches of Derek’s personal space. He was hooked.

Now, when I go out with men I meet online I go in with an assumption that he is seeing just as many other chicks as I am dudes. I mean, that’s why we go online right? To check out as many fish in the sea as possible? Well, either Derek prefers fishing in small ponds or I am just that good of a catch. Because Derek has called or texted me or both every day for the last week and a half. And while I would have considered a second date with Derek—we both have a shared interest in art and eating after all—I am now afeared that he might ask me to move in or propose were I to get too drunk and hold his hand.

A word to the ladies: if you don’t think a fellow’s up your alley, don’t stroke his ego or his back on the first date. Men are easily mislead by such advances. Not unlike lab mice by blocks of cheese.

Hey guys: even if a girl gives you what you think might be a good sign on the first date, stay attuned to other signs after—like unreturned calls.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lessons in miscommunication. (Or, games we play.)

[via a close friend who has managed to get it right (she's married) via A Cup of Jo]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Patience is not a virtue. Waiting for Date No. 2.

It's been a while since I've last chronicled my adventures in un-romance and dating disasters. This is in large part due to the fact that I've been on so many dates and corresponded with so many new men this week that I can no longer keep track of their names, let alone remember to tell you all about them!

I'll get to the week's juicy tidbits and tadpoles later. But in the meantime, let me share this story and subsequent sage advice with you daters.

Last Sunday's date. You'll remember him as the fellow I didn't have much chemistry with but hey that could develop over time but time would take him calling and setting up a 2nd date. You remember, yes? Well I didn't hear from...we'll call him Jed...all week. And I thought, hey no biggie. Onwards and upwards you know. Then on Thursday night--this is 4 nights after our initial meeting for you slow counters out there--he texts (not calls, but texts) me:

'btw it was good to hang out with you on Sunday night...'

Okay, let me start here. 'Btw???' 'By the way' indicates an afterthought. And no one makes this highly eligible bachelorette out to be an afterthought. No one puts me in a corner. Secondly, yes, I know it was good to hang out with me. I was there. And I give good date. I give great date, in fact. And thirdly, you want it? Come and get it. Ask me out again (over the phone would be best now, but I'll take a text with abbreviations and emoticons if necessary). But ask or get off the pot.

I could likely attribute Jed's  iffy communication skills to the fact that he's a mere 26. But I had high hopes that his maturity level might match the fullness of his facial hair. Which is quite scruffy and lovely.

I'll give Jed til tomorrow to get his young act together. If not, my patience will retire and his name will exit my cell phone directory. To make room for new names, of course.

Note to the Ladies: Your date did not lose his phone. He's not working that hard. He has indeed likely passed many phones this week and had opportunity to call.

Advice to the Gents: Okay, so you're not ready to go on Date 2 yet. You don't have time. Maybe you're not sure you even want a Date 2 yet. That's okay. If you think you might ever, ever want to get with this. Keep the doors open. Cause otherwise, us wise ladies are gonna slam 'em in your face.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The morning after [the first online date].

As those of you who've been reading the blog or eagerly following me on Twitter know (wait, what? you don't follow me on Twitter? Oh, you must fix that before we go on. Go here. Now.), I went on a date last night. The first fruit of my online dating labors. And a good looking fruit. Sort of like a ripe apple. But I digress.

I met this fellow on a small, new dating site--the kind that seems appealing because it's cool and it's quirky and the ratio of cute, normal looking dudes is slightly higher than on other sites, but is in reality so new and small still that the guy you recognize from work has now appeared 3 times in your matches.

So, I could tell you all about the date. But all I need to tell you for the purposes of the conundrum in which I now find myself is the following:

* We had a pretty good thing going over email before meeting. He'd write. I'd write longer. He'd write again. I'd write a novel. And so on and so forth.
* We have similar humor. Both on paper and in person. And that's saying a lot. How many times have we all met hysterical people [or so we thought] only to meet them in person and find out they've got Dead Face Syndrome (a very serious condition in which one's face is in a constant state of appearing constipated) or is, worse yet, just totally and utterly awkward. If the 'we' is 'me' in this query, than this has happened often.
* We had a good f-cking time on our date. Conversation flowed. Laughs were shared. Eye contact was made (I made sure of this with deep, long stares into his eyes that may have rightfully freaked him out). There were less than 5 stand-out awkward pauses (this is record breaking, really). And we discovered more things in common than 2 strangers generally discover in each other.
* The end of the date began just as it started--with a hug.

The conundrum is then of course--was there chemistry? Can a date be good without the romance being great? I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes. But even so, part deux of the conundrum--shouldn't we at least give it a second date to be absolutely, 100%, let's never say never, fair chance? Which leads right into part 3--why hasn't he called?!

I've always been a forward-thinking, independent woman of the 21st century. But, if for centuries before this one, the man courted the woman with some degree of success, maybe the 21st hasn't gotten everything quite right. And maybe I shouldn't have to be the first one to write post-date. And that's why I've given my texting thumbs a break today and steered clear of my date's initial in my phone's contact list. Cause no second date is bad. But being the loser in the game of post-first date chicken is worse. Much, much worser.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Online dating. Last resort or new beginning.

I have spent the last 10 years making fun of online dating. The following are the truths I held to be self evident which both justified my mockery and defended my refusal to engage in the act.

  • Shopping for partners in catalog form, I reasoned, was as calculated, pragmatic and utterly unromantic as it could get. It was counter to everything so wonderful about the concept of 'love at first sight.' It gave new meaning to the term 'meat market.' It was not the kind of start to a relationship that one would be proud to tell her child about 10 years down the line. ('I met your father in a search for tall, slender-to-built Jewish men. Earning $150,000 or more a year. In the legal profession. Within 5 miles of my zip code. I spent $44.95 on membership to and the cost of a profile headshot to find him.')
  • The only men who I'd find on a dating site would be far too eager to settle down. And men who were looking to settle down were certainly not my type. Oh no. I far preferred men with no interest in marriage at all who I could then spend months trying to convince that they did want to marry--to marry me, in fact. Men who wanted to settle down and went on dating websites wore collared shirts and went to nightclubs on the weekends and had mommy issues.
  • I was not sure I wanted to settle down. Sure, I wanted a boyfriend sometimes. Sure, I thought dating was fun. But in the same way that I had no desire to 'shop' for me, the idea of a man shopping for me was ever more horrifying. I didn't want to be pegged by my height, judged by my photo, skipped over because my profile was sassy when it should have been sweet.
So, as you may have figured out, I recently gave the idea of online dating a second thought. The open-mindedness arrived somewhere between flu-like symptoms and congestion...and a fever-induced revelation that I was ready to settle down. Oh, and the frequent rise of pregnancy, toddlers, and exposure to 'mommy bloggers' may have been a cause as well.

And while online dating is not easy--they may screen for nudity in profile pics but they do not screen for IQ it's become abundantly clear (horror stories to be shared later, don't you worry)--I have signed up. Ohmigod, that was hard for me to say. And I have told some friends. And my mother. I still feel so wary about it that confessionals seem the only way for my made up screen name, emails with strangers and [dare I say] excitement about some of the guys I've started talking to, not to become a deep, dark, mortifying secret.

In that spirit (yeah, I guess it's the spirit of embarrassment), I'm telling you too. Later on, I'll walk you through tips for the game--but, in the meantime, I'll share with you that my first date, the fruit of an online dating site, is tonight. Wish me luck and check in later for tales of horror, humor and perhaps a little romance.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's gonna be as good for me as it is for you.

I know that those of you who read yesterday's first post have already gotten way too excited for this blog, bookmarked it on all your internet browsers and shared the news of its inception with your friends. A chronicle of some stranger's dating life? In all its sad, miserable, funny, awesome detail? Amazing! A chance to be a fly on my wall? To be a voyeur--a spectator of someone else's dating doozies? How great!

Well, the news gets better than that. This won't just be a diary of my dreadful dates. This will be a guidebook of the dos and donts of romance for you, friends. There'd be no point in my going through it all without sharing a bit of the learned wisdom with you after. And by you, I mean the ladies and the gents. Girls--this is a no-brainer for you. But boys--listen up too. Because I'm prepared to tell you what y'all are doing wrong here. It takes two to tango. And neither gender is winning the dance competition when it comes to dating.

Stay tuned for all the awesome knowledge you can handle.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Single Story.

29 years ago a baby girl was born. By the time she turned 5, her parents had divorced. By the time she was 10, she'd seen more animated Disney romances than she could count. And by 15 she still hadn't kissed a boy.

See, when a girl has no particular romantic role model at home and Cinderella teaches her that men show up on horses with slippers, she gets the impression that she doesn't need to do much to catch one of these fellows falling from the sky. She just needs to stand on the right spot of ground while he's falling.

And until my late 20s (okay, the cat's out of the bag--I am that baby girl. shocker) I was just fine waiting around for Mr. Right to approach one day. Until then I'd continue to date the occasional Mr. Wrong, sleep with the not-so-infrequent Mr. Right Now, and not give my romantic future much thought.

Well, now I've got the distinct impression that my approach toward my dating life has been mostly, if not all, wrong. The evidence, of course, is the fact that I am still single while close friends, former classmates, and Natalie Portman have gotten engaged and are on their way toward marital bliss and long-lasting, meaningful partnerships.

I've realized that waiting around is not enough. I've got to take an active role in my dating destiny. And you, friends, are welcome along for the ride.