Tuesday, January 21, 2014

hi how are you

Tonight, I got this message on OkCupid:

hi how are you

No capital letter, no question mark, no hint that he had read my profile or knew anything about me. I get it. A man has to send out a hundred messages to get one or two in return. But for the love of all things internet, at least pretend to give a shit about the girl you're writing to! I get dozens of messages like this a day. I'm not kidding you, dozens. So I finally broke down and sent a reply to the annoying online guy I usually ignore and delete. Here's what I wrote back:

Dear Random Stranger,

I apologize in advance because this is not your fault, but since you asked how I am, I'm going to tell you.

I am sick and tired of guys messaging me with crappy one liners. Stuff like "hey how are you" or "hi beauty how's your day" or "pretty smile and nice eyes" or "I want to know more about you." There are SO many things about me in my profile which you CLEARLY did not take the time to read, let alone comment on.

Did you see if we have any favorite movies in common? Or that we like the same music? Or that we want to travel to any of the same places? Or that I speak several languages and have multiple degrees and a very busy schedule working an awesome job and therefore I do NOT have time to respond to guys who can't take sixty seconds to scan my profile AT ALL to see whether or not we would be a good match. The fact that my description states in no uncertain terms that I do not date smokers EVER and your profile picture has a cigarette hanging out of your mouth is evidence enough that you don't give a shit how my day was or how I am or even who I am because all that matters is that you saw a decent enough looking girl in a photo and figured you'd cast your net pretty wide for the best chances of success.

On behalf of all woman everywhere, please stop doing that. We are fed up! We are not numbers. We are not statistics. We are real people with interests and hobbies and passions and friends and careers and it is seriously annoying when guys like you think that we can be won over without you making the slightest effort. If you are going to be on an online dating site, perhaps try finding a girl you actually like and sending her something real. Maybe even answer a few of those questions on your own profile because your non-descript vagueness is obnoxious in the worst way.

Again, I apologize for the rant but guys like you are the reason that girls like me are single.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dating for Pleasure


I have been following you and your stories for a long time...it seems like you’re always going on dates...I have not been asked out on a serious date for over 2 years now...I get men 20 years younger or 20 years older asking me out...i have tried dating websites and everything in between...how do u get so many dates? 

Just Curious

Dear Curious, 

First of all, half of the dates I go on are hardly dates at all. Sometimes, I'll just meet a guy out somewhere and we decide to continue hanging out after the party / beer garden / improv show / christening etc. I'm not even kidding. I've met people randomly at all these places. I meet guys everywhere, because I always have fun doing whatever it is that I'm doing. I recently met someone while volunteering at a local farm. I met someone in the cereal aisle at stop n shop. I met a guy on the train. Scratch that - two guys! I am always meeting friends of friends, and people are constantly keeping me in mind to introduce to some "great guy" they know. The secret is, I'm not afraid of admitting that I'm single AND LOOKING. Sometimes, people assume you're single by choice. They think you're a strong, confident, capable woman who doesn't need a man. And to be clear: I don't NEED one. But I WANT one. I know that I love being social and going out on dates. I know that I want to be married and have children someday, and that requires a male in my life. When you allow people to see that you want to date for pleasure, you'll be shocked at how the guys just kinda come out of the woodwork. Also, I'm not shy at all about walking up to a total stranger and telling him I think he's cute. No joke, I have shocked friends when we're out by approaching a hot (yet inevitably nerdy) guy and striking up a conversation about whatever is relevant at the time. Usually, I have a back up witty line in my pocket, like "Hey my friend bet me $10 that I wouldn't come over here and talk to you" or "My friend bet me $10 that you're single and I said there's no way cause you're too cute to be single!" That way, you have an automatic in and you find out in the first five seconds if they're available or not. I flirt with guys every place I go. The farmer's market is the best because you already know you have something in common --- healthy eating and a passion for the outdoors. Fairway or Trader Joe's or Whole Foods are excellent alternatives in inclement weather. I go on group trips like whitewater rafting and hiking and game nights and trivia, just to have something to do so it's not awkward when you're sitting across the table from each other at Starbucks and there are lonnnnnng pauses. I am also online. I almost forgot how terrifying it was going out with someone new! (Almost!) I think that the key online is not being afraid to be your most authentic self. If a guy doesn't like you, he doesn't have to message you, but if he does like you, you'll both know that he likes the REAL you, not some watered down or trumped up version of your best PR self. Don't be afraid of details. Guys like specifics. When it says "what is your typical Friday night like?" I actually list the last 5 Friday nights. At a low key pub with my girlfriends, going to bed early because I'm running a 5K the next day, chilling in the Hamptons with a bottle of wine and a great view of the water, on a road trip to New England, eating a delicious sushi dinner and catching up catching up with colleagues etc. This lets them know that I'm active, I don't sit home watching movies, eating Oreos and doing my laundry (I save that for Wednesday nights!) Just because I'm single doesn't mean that I don't get to have a life! I don't say yes to every guy who asks me out but I do try to be adventurous and take a chance on someone who might surprise me. Two of my girlfriends married guys they didn't think they would like online but were pleasantly intrigued when they actually went out. So you just never know who's gonna be around the corner. I dress up every day like I'm about to meet the man of my dreams. It's worth the three seconds to swipe on lip gloss before I head into the supermarket, or the post office, or the library. You never know who you're gonna meet. Hope this helps! 

Hugs, Kimberly

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Irish Accent and a Park Bench

Some nights at the bar are unforgettable. Other nights, you wish you could scrub your brain with a hard brush and hot bleach.

The girls and I were spending our usual Friday night at the old man's pub, drinking cheap cocktails and making fun of our exes. A couple of guys hang around throwing darts, some others smack talk each other at the pool table. They linger and leer at the out of place group of giggling girls squished into the only oversized wooden booth. A few young and eager overgrown teenagers shove their hands in their pockets and avoid eye contact at all costs. We don't fit in and that's precisely why we hang out there. No chance of being distracted by checking out available men.

One "older" gentleman (read: older than me, but by no means "old") breaks free from the pack and sidles up to our foursome. He slides into the worn leather seat next to me. Why is it always next to me? I have to give him credit for being so brave. It takes a lot of courage to approach a girl surrounded by her friends, but he does it the right way - he buys a round of drinks. I appreciate a man who buys me a drink for sure, but a man who buys drinks for all my friends clearly read the playbook. Well done, sir.

The man's hair is slightly gray, but not in a grandfather kind of way. More of a salt and pepper sexy celebrity sort of way. What is it about guys getting older that makes them look more distinguished and therefore desirable? He's well dressed in a button down and jeans that fit in all the right places. I'm a sucker for a guy in jeans! Blame it on the country music. He's pleasant and funny and tells us how he's a forty-four year old divorced father of four girls, and proceeds to show us the cutest pictures of them. He's now looking to start his life over with a woman who wants him for him, who wants real love, and a passionate life. I'm not usually one to date a man with a built in family, but this guy is charming as hell and possibly worth getting to know better.

Wait for it...

Upon hearing Bella's British accent, he asks me if I can do an Irish accent. While I lived in England for five years and have been known to put on an occasional English or Scottish accent, my Irish can only be described as wholly unbelievable. Why does he want to know?

"I've always had this fantasy of making out with a beautiful woman with red hair and an Irish accent."

I am clearly blonde. And American. There is no mistaking either of these things.

"So I was thinking that if you could at least do the accent, I'd be willing to overlook the red hair."

Gee, thanks buddy.

"Anyway, in this fantasy, the woman would bend me over a park bench, pull my pants down, and lick my ass. I don't want to do this with anyone else, but I think I could get really into it with you. There happens to be a bench right outside the bar. So what do you say?"

What do I say??? What the fuck is there to say? There is No Good Answer to that question. There are no words to respond to that request. First of all, if someone is licking your ass, wouldn't she be entirely too busy to speak? Secondly, why a park bench? Third, what exactly about my pre-school teacher persona makes you think for a split second that I'm going to take you outside and lick your ANYTHING?!?!

I downed the rest of my Cosmo, and finished off everyone else's, just to wash down the shocking image of Divorced Dad's Bare Ass Bent Over a Park Bench. Now, I cannot help but shudder every time I hear an Irish accent. I am forever traumatized when I walk past a park bench, and haven't been back to that old man's pub since.

I've always said this blog should be subtitled: You can't make this shit up.

*Note: Please pardon my use of the word "shit." This is why I'm single.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Disney Vs Travers

Ahhhh, Christmas. A festive time for church by candlelight, homemade cookies, brightly wrapped presents, a beautifully lit tree, and escaping your family as soon as possible after the dishes are cleared. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. We really are a closely knit group. But I can only handle so much before I need to run away to the comfort of friends who don't gift me too-small sweaters and wildly inappropriate greeting cards. Thus began the tradition of going to a late movie showing on Christmas Day with my best friend, Jenn.

Jenn has been a huge supporter of my blog from the very beginning. Although I've known her for her entire life (Yay church friends!) we really reconnected through Facebook, and even more so when I started writing this blog. You may know her as the girl who puts up with me every Monday night for my guilty viewing of The Bachelor. She got me to run a 5K at the Bronx Zoo for my birthday last year. Feel free to read Butterfly Garden for an intimate look at our day there. What Jenn is best known for though, besides being an awesome friend, spoiling her baby niece and nephew, and baking all things Red Velvet, is being the most stubborn cynic I have ever met.

Have you ever looked at a friendship and thought "How in the hell do we make this work?" That would be Jenn and me. We are polar opposites. I want a boyfriend. Jenn is staunchly single. I want to get married. Jenn is happy whether she ever walks down an aisle or not. I want babies (as my ovaries begrudgingly remind me every month!) Jenn calls them parasites who suck the life out of you for nine months and drain your bank account for the next thirty years.

Neither one of us is right and neither one of us is wrong. There's no judgement in our friendship. She accepts that I am a Disney princess loving / happily ever after believing / romantic fairy tale living / someday my prince will come hoping / tall blonde who dreams of riding off into the sunset, popping out a few young'uns and baking chocolate chip cookies every day after school. I accept that Jenn is a skeptical / cynical / poker of fun at all the holes in my John Hughes directed life who sees herself buying an apartment and traveling the world before settling into a relationship she may or may not ever seal with a ring and a ceremony. I enjoy online dating. She dreads it. I get excited for dates. She'd rather stay home in pajamas watching Netflix. I try on the last name of every man I go out with (usually before the first date) and have china patterns picked out before we finish dinner. She wouldn't take a man's name IF she decided to marry him and she'd probably design her own collection of dishware because she's a fabulous artist. Any man who ends up with Jenn has his work cut out for him. He's got a lot of walls to break down and a lot of sarcasm to cut through before finding out that she's just about the kindest, most generous, loyal, loving, wonderful person you'll meet. But I've had thirty years to get to know that about her. I worry that any guy will be able to see past her rock hard exterior in time to fall in love.

The funny thing is, Jenn doesn't worry about that at all. She is unapologetic in not needing a husband and kids in her life. I want a family. She wants to further her career. Those are the choices we single women are allowed to make and we should support each other no matter what. I am happy for my friends when they figure out the things that make them happy and fiercely strive to achieve their dreams. That's the best kind of friendship a girl could ask for.

So on Christmas Day, me being the eternal optimist that I am, dragged Jenn to see Saving Mr Banks at the movie theater. I adore Mary Poppins as a film and as a character, although the books portray a much darker back story. Without spoiling too much for you (GO SEE IT if you haven't already!) PL Travers wrote Mary Poppins largely based on her own family. Walt Disney found his daughters reading it one night, giggling as little girls are want to do. He promised them that he would turn their precious Mary Poppins into a beloved feature film for children and adults all over the world to enjoy for generations to come. It took him twenty years to convince Travers to sell him the rights to the book so that he could keep this promise to his daughters. She was demanding. She was outrageous. She was inappropriate. She made endless lists of what Disney could and could not do in the film. Costumes, locations, names, accents. She wanted NO animation and NO music. She didn't even want Dick Van Dyke! Can you now imagine anyone else playing Bert? He's a classic! Basically, Travers as a writer was a filmmaker like Disney's worst possible nightmare. She hated everyone and everything. She was impossible to work with. Although she eventually did relinquish the rights to the books, she hated with a passion the film that Disney created in the end. The movie we all grew up on and love with all our hearts. The iconic music we know, the songs that get stuck in our heads, the legend that Mary Poppins became. PL Travers hated it all.

During the film, Walt Disney is almost always smiling. He makes every concession to Travers that he possibly can. He is jovial and in full form while working with her, Don, and the Sherman Brothers as a team to make this film a reality. Disney is patient and peppy and always a gracious host. He's charming yet sincere, accommodating yet dedicated. More than once, we hear Walt ask "What can I do to make you happy?" The truth is that Walt was getting sicker by the day and Mary Poppins would be his swan song, although no one really knew that at the time. Walt Disney has long been my hero and Tom Hanks portraying him on the big screen made me fall even deeper in love with everything the man strived to create. The empire Walt built has inspired princesses and pirates and heroes and goodness in children and adults all over the world. I'm starting to get sentimental here, but you get my point. I can't imagine living in a world without Disney, and I wouldn't want to.

By comparison, PL Travers (not her real name) was a crochety old witch who I spent almost two whole hours despising. It's not often that I get such a visceral reaction to a character on screen, one whom I simply cannot abide. I suppress my negative feelings about people in general, something I'm trying to pay closer attention to, but this Travers pushed every button I have inside me. She grated on my last nerve and I could almost say that I hated her. The beauty of Saving Mr Banks is that you're supposed to hate her! She's trying to stop one of the best films of all time from being made! But in the next breath, the movie reveals her childhood, where Mary Poppins came from, where Mr Banks and the children came from, and you cannot help but feel a stab of sadness at what this poor girl survived at such a tender, young age. Don't worry, you'll hate her again in a minute when they flash forward to London 1961 and she makes obnoxiously snarky comments to the secretary. If you're anything like me, you may want to reach through the screen and punch her in the face for treating everyone in the world like a second class citizen.

As the credits rolled, I was still wiping my tears at the powerful emotion of it all. A little girl's relationship with the father she loved so much. A storyteller desperately trying to share this wonderful character with the world while keeping a twenty year old promise to his children. A mother's gut-wrenching desperation of being ill-prepared to raise her babies in the desolation of Australia's outback. A limousine driver whose easy nature and gentle, friendly demeanor endeared him to the audience in a surprising way, despite his supporting role. I danced in my seat, I sang along (quietly I promise!), I cheered for Walt Disney and I couldn not stand PL Travers.

Jenn was precisely the opposite.

Jenn loved Travers. She loved how stubbornly she rebuked Walt Disney's happy, smily, entirely too chipper and cheerful nature. She loved how Travers stood up for what she wanted at every turn, defending her masterpiece and not letting anyone take her say away from her. She loved how sharp and witty and biting Travers was, how unyielding in her ways, how fierce in her fight. Travers had a mean streak in her that she was unafraid to lash out on anyone around her, but it came from a place of unhealed pain. She needed to forgive herself. She needed to let go.

As we left the theatre, I hugged Jenn, teary eyes and emotional from Christmas and the movie and being single on yet another holiday. Her reaction was to laugh, pat me on the back and say "You alright there, Disney?" I stared at her blankly for a moment before she explained. "That movie was about us. You're optimistic and hopeful and obnoxiously cheerful. Like, seriously, all the time. And I'm kind of a bitch and you know you want to hate me but for whatever strange reason, we just work. You're Disney. I'm Travers."

They might be the weirdest nicknames two best friends can have for each other, but they suit us perfectly. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go fly a kite!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mashed Potatoes of Love

This is a dating blog about mashed potatoes. Allow me to set the scene:

Fade in on Kimberly, 32 years old, world traveled, well educated, having an excellent hair day despite the Polar Vortex in New York on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. Beside her is a bowl of Trader Joe's crispy snap peas, her attempt at putting away the sea salt and turbinado sugar coated chocolate covered almonds. She has a steamy cup of Tazo Passion tea in a pink and white swirled Shopaholic mug on her extra large desk, the aromas of passion fruit, rose petals, hibiscus and orange peel lingering in the air. Spread between five bookshelves, her desk, her dresser, her night table, and even her bed are hundreds of cookbooks, food memoirs, and several year's worth of back issues of Food Network Magazine, Cook's Country, Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and Tea Time. She has chef crushes on Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Rocco DiSpirito, and Giada DeLaurentiis. She has gone to great lengths to discover the best arancini in Brooklyn, the best sushi in Queens, and the best cupcakes on the Lower East Side. She plants an ever expanding garden each spring, harvesting broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, snap peas, cucumbers, edamame, corn, eggplant, zucchini, strawberries, Roma tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, and purple striped heirloom tomatoes all summer. She takes great pleasure in stalking her neighbor's fig tree to find the fruits at their ripest. She shops at local, organic markets. She volunteers at a farm on her days off from work. She believes in sustainable agriculture and picking vegetables at the height of freshness. She bakes as often as possible, spoiling her colleagues with irresistible calories. She pores over restaurant menus, absorbing every word, memorizing dishes she will attempt to recreate at home. She instagrams her favorite meals.

In short, Kimberly loves food. It is a part of her life. A part of her soul. Reading about food, writing about food, taking pictures of food, making, sharing and eating food are passions she could never survive without, nor would she want to try.

Fade back to dinner on a snowy Saturday night. A fancy restaurant. Candles on every table.  Dark wooden chairs. A fireplace roaring. Jazz music in the background. A floor to ceiling wine vault behind the bar. Large windows to watch the flakes drifting downwards. The magic and mystery of a first date.

Sitting next to me is a man who orders a plain hamburger, no cheese and a Corona, no lime.

How can this be? He makes so much money (SO much money!) He drives the snazziest Mercedes I've ever seen. He dresses well. He smells good. He's overweight for sure but he's trying to hide it. He gets major bonus points for choosing the classiest restaurant in town on a Saturday night. I want to eat just about everything on their menu. Maple glazed salmon with fennel apple slaw, candied walnuts and sweet potato puree. Shrimp over rosemary grits with thick bacon and baby tomatoes. Wild mushroom risotto. Lobster mac n cheese. Brick chicken with boursin potatoes and brussels sprouts. Caramelized onion flatbread with arugula, truffles, and taleggio cheese. My mouth is watering from the moment we sit down. How can he possibly order a hamburger???

Also, this is a wine cellar! The whole place is built around what meals pair with the wines they serve. He doesn't eat anything on the menu besides the hamburger and he doesn't drink wine. At all. So he'll have a beer please. And no lettuce, tomato or onion necessary on the burger. No cheese. No condiments. And a knife to go with it ... because he cuts his burger up and eats it with a knife and fork.

I know what you're thinking. I'm being too picky. Too harsh, judgmental, critical, you name it. It's not the burger that I questioned necessarily. It's that ordering a burger in a gorgeous French restaurant is like ... well it's like ordering a Corona in a wine cellar! You can have those at a backyard barbecue. Why would you want them here?

Potato Man tells me that his mother struggled to feed him as a child (which you would never guess from the looks of him now). She was always trying to make him try new things but he deemed himself "a picky eater" and has stubbornly remained that way well into his thirties. He's gotten away with not eating new foods this long. Why start now?

Kimberly: So if I was going to come over and cook for you, what would I make?
Potato Man: I don't know. Pasta?
Kimberly: What kind of pasta do you like?
Potato Man: The kind in the blue box.
Kimberly: *shakes head* No, I mean what size? What shape? What kind of sauce?
Potato Man: Ummm, the sauce from a jar?

I can see we are getting nowhere fast with this line of questioning but then he brings up this gem.

Potato Man: My mom comes over on Sundays and cooks dinner for me. I usually have leftovers for the whole week.
Kimberly: Do you cook on nights that you don't have leftovers?
Potato Man: I can make just about anything in the microwave. Sometimes I use the toaster oven. If I don't feel like cooking at home, I just stop off somewhere on my drive back from work.
Kimberly: Where are your favorite places to stop for food?
Potato Man: Oh, you can find a McDonald's on almost every corner.

He's slowly killing me. I now understand why he's overweight. Also, he's kind of a mama's boy!

Kimberly: So you don't cook at all in your new home? But you built a beautiful kitchen all by hand. You've got state of the art appliances and all the counter space a person could wish for.
Potato Man: Yeah, right now my fridge mostly stores beer and my freezer is full of mom's leftovers.

I'm dying to run away but he insists I order dessert. In this place? You don't exactly have to twist my arm. I choose cinnamon sugar doughnuts filled with dulce de leche inside and a dark chocolate espresso panna cotta on the side. He declares when the dish arrives that he doesn't eat dessert, especially anything the consistency of pudding. He has a pudding aversion. Kill me now.

I insist that he must at least try one of the doughnuts as they are delicious and it can be his Something New for the day. He cracks it open, scoops out the dulce de leche, brushes off the cinnamon coating, takes a bite and says they're "not too terrible." For the record, those doughnuts were freakin heavenly!

Ok fine. Maybe I was being a little hard on him. The poor kid is out on a first date. He's nervous. He made an effort to take me to a nice place. When I asked him (politely, I swear!) why he chose this French wine cellar if he could only eat a hamburger here, he replied very kindly "Because it's the best and you deserve the best."

Aaaaaaaand I'm officially a bitch. Maybe I didn't give the kid a real chance? Maybe I was too busy criticizing his choices to really get to know him? Which is how I found myself on a second date with him three weeks later.

Last night, Potato Man suggested we go to the Cheesecake Factory. Sure, it's a step up from the 2 for $20 menu at Applebee's but it's overrated, always crowded, and I've been there a bajillion times with friends. It's not very dinner-date-y (just my humble opinion.) So I suggested a place very close to the CF but with a much more exciting menu. I love tapas, so I thought maybe we could get a couple of small plates and share them. He could try a few new things without making a real food commitment and I could avoid another hamburger disaster. He checked the menu out online and gave me the all clear, so we agreed to meet up.

After we actually sat down was another story altogether. For starters, he didn't even look at the menu. When I asked him if everything was ok, he said "Yeah, I just know what I'm having." To me, half the fun of going out to a restaurant with another person is looking over the menu and Oohing and Aahing over dishes together. Talking about what looks good, what sounds good, spying on other people's plates as the waiters pass you by, wondering if you should have whatever they're having. Debating the merits of Spanish chorizo and parmesan croquettes versus pot roast smothered cheese fries with gravy. Fried pickles versus eggplant fontina fritters. Asian short rib mini tacos versus Brie and pineapple wontons. His answers were as follows: I don't eat sausage, gravy, pickles, eggplant, anything in a taco shell, and what is Brie?

He'd never heard of Brie!!!

I know, I know, not everyone spent the same time in Paris as I did and I swear that I am not trying to be a pretentious ass here but who in 2014 does not know what Brie cheese is??? They sell it in Stop & Shop for crying out loud. Brie is no longer the exotic Parisian treasure it once was. Brie is so far removed from being foreign these days, it's practically domestic! How can I date someone who's never eaten Brie???

Finally, I choose the most inane appetizer on the menu, imploring him to try one thing with me. Mashed potato spring rolls with cheddar cheese and bacon. They come with sour cream, which he does not use. Sour cream goes against his No Condiments Rule. He takes a small bite of one little potato roll and declares that he likes cheddar cheese and bacon, but he does not like mashed potatoes.

I give up and let him order his hamburger, plan and Corona, no lime.

He asks for no lettuce, tomato, or onion on his burger. He takes his pickles off while making the face of a five year old handing over a huge booger. He picks up his knife and fork and proceeds to cut up his hamburger and eat it. At this point, I gulp down my Reisling and all my harsh words with it.

For dessert, (you knew I was getting dessert, didn't you?) I glance over my choices: Molten chocolate lava cake, rustic caramel apple pie, pecan peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream, lemon blueberry buckle over butter cake, warm sticky bread pudding with cream cheese frosting, banana toffee pie in a cookie crust...The list goes on and on. I sigh a deep exhale of disappointment and disillusion that this "great guy" I've been talking to for almost four months turns out to despise all the things I love the most. It is clear that we have nothing in common, and worse, nothing to talk about. He is all about clubs, parties, sports, beer, cars and television. I am all about books, music, food, and travel. In a sentimental nod to my love for far off places, I choose the beignets with chocolate, raspberry, and creme Anglaise sauces. I figure that in a last ditch effort to enjoy my time with Potato Man, I will close my eyes as I bite into the beignet and imagine being back in the French Quarter at Cafe Du Monde, a rich cup of hot chocolate nearby, powdered sugar falling into my hand, the warm Louisiana sun on my face and jazz music hanging in the air.

When Potato Man asks the waitress for our dessert, he orders baguettes instead of beignets. I do not have the heart to correct him and neither does she. Upon their arrival, he exclaims "Those look just like zeppolis" and he picks one up to eat it. My excitement returns. Would he? Could he? Two bites in, he decides that a beignet is not, in fact, a zeppole, and puts it down.

No, my friend. A beignet is not a zeppole, jello can never be creme brulee, and you and I are done dating. Check please.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I'm Feeling 32

When you are single on New Year's Eve in New York, there are a million things you could be doing. Head into Times Square to brave the cold and the crowds, wait for the ball to drop and hope your face ends up on television. Scrounge up an invite to a friend's party and get drunk on cheap champagne. Go to a restaurant or club and dance the night away with strangers. Or you can settle in for a lobster dinner with your parents, mix your Cosmo too strong, and kiss your cat at midnight.

Guess which one I did???

My holiday wasn't nearly as depressing as it sounds (and believe me, I know how it sounds!) The truth is that I have a nasty cold and was just as happy to curl up with a box of Kleenex and a pair of plaid flannel pajamas I bought in a clearance sale at Old Navy earlier this week. I would have been miserable at a party where everyone knows everyone, or people are coupled off with a significant other to kiss. I couldn't possibly risk kissing someone anyway without taking the chance of sneezing on them! And even if I could, I am past the age of random hook ups being even remotely satisfying. Instead, I shall leave one night stands and jaeger bombs to the twentysomething size two stiletto clad girls in too tight dresses nipping at my sensible heels. They need to sow their wild oats more than I do. My oats these days are mostly about lowering my cholesterol and incorporating more fiber into my diet anyway.

So how does one spend the last night of 2013? Personally, I spent it the way I would any other occasion as a single thirty-two year old trying to ward off symptoms of becoming Bridget Jones. Most days, I'm really happy with my life, my friends, my job, my apartment, my writing. Other days, I think I'm one branch of mistletoe away from overdosing on vodka and singing along to Celine Dion in my skivvies. Everyone I know is getting engaged, married, or pregnant during the holidays. I'm just getting drunk.

And so it came to pass that I found myself flipping through the channels last night, landing on When Harry Met Sally which happens to be the perfect New Year's Eve movie. As I sat with Cosmo in hand and cat on lap, I imagined myself opening the door at 11:55 to discover the man I love waiting on my doorstep. He would make a heartfelt speech about his deep and abiding feelings for me, how we're perfect for each other, how happy I make him despite our quirks and qualms and complications. In my head, we argue back and forth a bit before the clock strikes twelve and he grabs me and kisses me because he never wants to let go of me. And we spend all of our New Years together for as long as we both shall live.

Then I remember that my life is not directed by Rob Reiner. I pour another drink and flip on another Meg Ryan film. Because if you're going to wallow in your own stubborn independence, you may as well have good role models.

When Sally finds out that her ex is getting married, she freaks out and asks Harry to come over in the middle of the night. (Which he does and they sleep together. Sorry --- spoiler alert!) In the midst of her tears, Sally exclaims "And I'm gonna be forty!" as though this signals the end of the world. Harry says "When?" to which Sally replies "Someday!" Harry pointedly reminds Sally that she will be forty "In eight years!" Do the math: I am the same age now as Sally in that movie!

This got me thinking about being thirty-two and single. I am the same exact age as the controlling Sally, the spiraling Bridget, and even my beloved New York icon Carrie Bradshaw. Forgive me for saying it but does anyone else remember when 32 was OLD?!?! Now it feels like I'm living the music video for the parody of Taylor Swift's "22" *Note: In case you've been hiding under a rock since last April when the song came out, watch the video here: I'm Feeling 32* My newsfeed is clogged with pictures of other people's babies, I'm totally broke, and all I want to do is eat blocks of cheese in my sweatpants with a box of wine, a good book, and an obscenely early bedtime. I even joined Weight Watchers and went to the dentist. Ok, fine... I've been *meaning* to go to the dentist!

The point is that I have four months left of being thirty-two and I plan to make the most of it. I intend to see 2014 not as another year of feeling sorry for my single self, but to DO something about it. My mother has taken over my online dating profile (more on that later!) I have begun running and doing yoga and swimming and riding my bike. I read more than I watch television. I write more than I check facebook. I eat salads more than I eat candy (most days!) All in all, I'm set up to have a fairly happy and healthy year. The only thing missing is that man on my doorstep. So who wants to call Rob Reiner for me and put in a good word? Even after a long, complicated, drawn out, crazy battle of a relationship, "when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!"

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Armenian Pianist

Time for a little follow up on my earlier December blog, The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

I met #12 - The Armenian Pianist on OkCupid, like the majority of my online dates.
Pros: He sent me a message that was smart, funny, insightful, and showed that he had actually taken the time to read my profile. He was thoughtful and sweet and complimentary - all the things a man should be.
Cons: He's younger than me, shorter than me, not the best looking guy I've ever seen, and he lives in New Jersey. Sigh...you can't win them all.

Still the Armenian Pianist was determined to win me over and after several long emails back and forth (a good sign), he told me that he would really like to get to know me better and could we please talk on the phone (another good sign.) When I messaged him back with my phone number, he called right away.

Let me take a moment to explain to anyone who isn't familiar with online dating etiquette. You never call first. Everyone goes from emailing to texting to calling to actual in person dating. He skipped a vital in between step! I was comfortable hiding behind my computer screen but he wanted to skip the phone screen and go straight to voice? I panicked, but I answered.

The Armenian Pianist has a higher voice than I do. Sigh...

It turns out that he was just as sweet on the phone as he was online, almost too much so. The Pianist was so very happy to talk to me that he wanted to talk to me all the time. I'm not kidding. ALL the time. After the first phone call, he texted incessantly and worried if I didn't respond right away. He called and if I didn't pick up, he would leave a voicemail asking if everything was ok. He freaked out if he thought that I didn't want to talk to him, that I was mad at him, that we weren't going to date after all. He hated that I couldn't meet up right away. I explained that I have a broken foot and can't walk or drive on it yet. He asked if I really had a broken foot, or if that was just an excuse because I had no intention of meeting him.

Dude. Calm your shit down!

After hearing his stories about relationships gone wrong, I realized that the poor kid was just nervous. I've had my heart handed to me in a trash bag before, with a note that says "I ran over this with a Mack truck. Good luck putting the pieces back together." I'm exaggerating slightly here but you get my point. He just didn't want to get hurt again and if anyone understands that, it's me.

The Pianist traveled from New Jersey to Long Island by train to have brunch with me on a Sunday as he was nervous about driving someplace he's never been to before. Also, he doesn't like bridges or tunnels. (You're living in the wrong area, buddy!) Besides, he didn't know how long it would take him to get here and he didn't want to be late. So instead he walked to the bus stop, took a bus across town, walked to the subway, took a subway downtown, got lost in Penn Station, and took a train out to me. He was over an hour late. Oh the irony!

As soon as we met, I realized that these nerves of his wormed their way through every part of the Pianist's life. Sure, everybody gets the jitters before a first date, but he truly obsesses over everything. His work, his family, the cut on his pinky finger, the static on the radio station, whether the scarf he's wearing makes him look fashionable or gay, if he's been eating too much cheesecake lately, what his plans will be for the holidays, how much sleep he's getting, how much water he's drinking, what movie he's going to watch tonight... The list goes on and on. He's a worrier. He's a panicker. He's an overthinker. And he's starting to grate on my nerves.

I met the Pianist at the train station and we wandered over to the Cheesecake Factory to lunch. The five modes of transportation he took to get out to me plus the hour he got lost in Penn Station meant that their brunch menu was over, which was our original plan. Instead, we chose tapas - appetizers and small plates to share - where he admitted to despising the Cheesecake Factory.

There are thirty million other restaurants we could have gone to! I offered him oodles of choices, but he told me that whatever I wanted was fine. Why did he let me pick the one place he "hates more than all over chain restaurants combined?!?!" Because "it's not about where we go or what we do or what we eat. I'm just happy to be sitting across from a woman who's so much more beautiful in person that she is in her pictures," he said. I was about to say "Awww, that's so sweet" when he followed up with "Seriously. It's distracting." And looked away.

Shaking my head.

Thankfully the very cute waiter came over to take our order at that moment. He gave us a bread basket (oh carbs how I love you!) and said "Hi, my name is Josh and I'll be taking care of you today." Josh had the kind of smile that young guys auditioning for the part of an extra on a daytime soap opera flash at a casting agent and the demeanor of a Southern gentleman. This is precisely how I like my waiters. Attractive, attentive, and polite. Before I could say anything, the Pianist grumbled the dishes we'd chosen at him, thrust the menu into poor Josh's hands, and dismissed him. What the hell was up with that?

"Oh I'm sorry," he snarled at me, "Are you sad that Josh is gone? Do you want me to get him back here so you can flirt with him some more?"

"What the hell are you talking about?" I stared at him quizzically. "All I did was smile at him!"

"Well I'm your date, you should be smiling at me, not flirting with the waiter. Unless you like him more than me. Do you want me to leave?"

"I smile at everyone!" I beamed back at him, trying to turn the situation around. "That's just who I am. I'm a nice person to everyone. Besides, I think it's extra important to be kind to the person who is serving us food, don't you???"

The Pianist bowed his head a little, clearly shamed by my Pollyanna approach to the world. He apologized, claimed to be teasing me and asked if we could start over.

He wanted to know everything about everything. My whole life story. What I do for work, what my family is like, what my past relationships have been. Normally, I have no problem sharing. In fact, I've been accused of being an oversharer (Guilty as charged. See also: this blog!) but the way he was asking seemed scrutinizing instead of caring. Like when he asked about my divorce, I told him that it was an amicable split after several tough years together and he responded "Your voice got quiet when you talked about your ex husband. Why is that? Do you still see him? Talk to him? Have feelings for him?" (Answers: No one has ever told me I'm quiet, no, no and no.) Or when I was talking about the difficulties of ordering food in other languages while living in Europe, and making sure that in Italy, I got peaches instead of fish (peche versus pesce), he asked if I could please be less adorable. (Answer: No, I cannot.)

In our three hour lunch together, the Pianist seemed uncomfortable, fidgety, ants-in-his-pantsy. The worst part though may have been every single time he brought up points. Such as, he's never seen Roman Holiday, my favorite Audrey Hepburn film. "Uh oh, do I get minus points for that?" Or when I complimented his sweater and he replied "Should I have worn a button down instead? Minus points?" Or when he told me how to survive on his music career as a piano player, he subsidized income with teaching piano lessons and working at a grocery store. "So now you know, I worked at a supermarket until this summer. Minus a lot of points?"


Dating is not about points or keeping score. If any grade was given, it would be on a curve. We are all nervous, we are all learning. We are all trying to make the best of an awkward situation. The only thing you can do is acknowledge that it's weird and crazy at times and try to laugh at yourself and each other. But please, for the love of all things holy, stop expecting to be handed a report card at the end of the evening!

I give this one a B flat.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

I've been posting several cryptic status updates on Facebook recently about the numerous suitors in my crazy dating life. Since going back online, I've had some super weird horror stories (which I'll save for a later entry) but for now, I thought you'd enjoy a more in depth description of the men I'm talking to.

I use the term "men" rather loosely!

Suitor #1:
Name: JJ
Height: 6'3
Job: Engineer
Lives: Long Island
OkCupid Match:a disappointing 69%
We shall call him JJ, mostly because that's the nickname only his sister is allowed to use. From anyone else, he hates it. Kinda like me with Kimmy. You can call me Kim, Kimberly, or Kimba, but for the love of all things holy, PLEASE do not call me Kimmy. (Unless you're my little brother. He calls me Timmy. Cutest thing ever!)
JJ and I have been dating for several months. We met online and his writing hooked me above anything else. He's extremely intelligent, dedicated to his work, well read, super nerdy, and very tall. Our dates have included pizza and Man of Steel, a day at the beach, and a swanky dinner with his friends among countless others. We are so very good together. I knew I loved him fairly early on, and would happily give up my single girl status for a real relationship with JJ. Since he isn't "ready" to be exclusive / committed to me, he said that he's "totally ok" with me talking to other guys. I happen to know that he is NOT ok with this, but if that's what he wants me to do, than I'll do it. Enter the rest of the Suitors.

Suitor #2:
Name: My Colleague's Father's Business Partner's Son --- you may have already read about him in the earlier blog entry, My Future Husband.
Age: 29
Height: 6'0
Job: Construction worker
Lives: owns his own home on Long Island
OkCupid match: No clue, although I would love to find out!
My teammate at work wanted to set me up with #2 over a year ago, and through a series of circumstances, we never met. He finally got my number and we've been texting for several weeks. We've had a few good phone calls, but the most disappointing thing was that he was a smoker. Instant deal breaker for me. I thought that my teammate would have known that, but he offered to quit after talking to me one time. He said that it was a bad habit he was looking for a reason to get rid of anyway, and he really liked me. If he quit on the spot, would I be willing to give him a chance? He asked her for my address and sent the most beautiful bouquet of pink flowers I've ever seen. Roses and lilies and daisies - all my favorites! There was a huge box of Harry London chocolate truffles along with the flowers, and the card read "Just wanted to make you smile, the way you make me smile every day."
Status: ACTIVE

Suitor #3:
Name: Dan
Age: 38
Height: 6'0
Job: IT for a legal firm in NYC
Lives: Astoria
OkCupid Match: 82%
Dan and I were talking earlier this summer, before I got scared of men (which really means I just didn't want to get hurt again!) He sent great messages, full of witty remarks and insightful humor. He's smart and easy to talk to and made me feel instantly comfortable. Before I took my profile down for several months, I sent Dan this message: "Hey, I've got some personal stuff going on right now, so am taking my profile down for a while. If you're still on here when I reactivate it (which for your sake I hope you're not), you'll be the first person I message." Wouldn't you know it, a few months later I updated my profile and within 24 hours of logging on, Dan wrote to me. He said, "Hey, I really hope that you took the time that you needed to sort everything out. I checked every couple of days to see if you were online again. I missed talking to you. Welcome back." And just like that, Dan and I started communicating every day. He's even easier to talk to now that I know him better. We share loves of bacon, jazz, Cards Against Humanity, New York City, farmer's markets, and country music. Dan and I take pictures of our food and text them to each other all the time. He calls me from the grocery store to say things like "I have pasta and eggs at home...what can I make with that?" and I talk him through the aisles to create something delicious. Our first phone call was while he was wandering the supermarket, and it felt so normal. It felt like us.
Status: ACTIVE

Suitor #4:
Name: Steve
Age: 32
Height: 5'11
Job: Gas fireplace repairman
Lives: Long Island (way out east)
OkCupid Match: 89%
Steve and I started talking about our shared love of tea. The first time he texted me, we had both just sat down to a hot cup of Trader Joe's Pomegranate White Tea! Of all the teas in the world to be drinking at that moment, fate threw us into the same steamy cup. I took this as a good sign, and we had quite a few hour-long phone calls. Steve gave me his last name so of course I facebook stalked him. (Sorry people but it's 2013 --- knowledge is power!) There were several photos of him with a small child, but he'd never mentioned a kid before. His twitter handle was on there, so I looked that up too. The most recent tweet was "My crazy bitch of an ex wife who hates me with the fire of a thousand suns is stalking my twitter feed. Go fucking figure!" There were a few other explicit tweets about only getting 4 hours a week with his son, her being psycho, the world generally sucking ass... I try not to judge anyone based on their social media, but that seems like too much baggage for me to handle right off the bat. Sorry, Steve.

Suitor #5:
Name: Mike
Age: 36
Height: 5'11
Job: Printer
Lives: Long Island
OkCupid Match: 73%
What I like the most about Mike is that he's one of eight children. He has fourteen nieces and nephews. He knows all their names, all their birthdays, and is incredibly close with his family. Mike is looking for a woman who fits in with their Irish clan, wants babies, and (he admitted) is insanely beautiful. He is excited about being a husband and a father, and works two jobs to save up to buy a house soon. Mike is a planner, living for his future. I worry that he wants to skip over the present part of life, like dating and courtship and head straight into choosing curtains together. Honestly, this is usually where I start out too, but I'm at the point where I want to get to know someone, *really* get to know them before picking out china patterns and baby names together.

Suitor #6:
Name: Chad
Age: 35
Height: 5'7
Job: Something with computers I think
Lives: Owns his own home on Long Island's North Shore
OkCupid Match: 75%
Chad is a hard core nerd who loves superhero movies, comic books, and gaming. He has all the newest electronic equipment, fixates over advances in technology, and loves playing with cool gadgets. Basically, Chad is right up my geeky alley! I've dated this kind of guy before with mixed results. Sometimes they know how to talk to girls, sometimes they don't. Chad wants to be in a relationship though, and he knows when it is time to focus on a girl and not on a game. He has a lot of potential, and I'm oddly optimistic about him!
Status: ACTIVE

Suitor #7:
Name: Peter
Age: Old
Height: Tall
Job: Banker
Lives: In Brooklyn
OkCupid Match: I don't remember. I already blocked his profile
Peter from Brooklyn started off so sweetly. He would send messages like "Hey beautiful, how's your day?" *Note: I am a sucker for any guy who calls me beautiful, sweetie, cuteness, sexy, etc* He commented on the section of my profile warning guys not to "hit me up for casual sex" because I will not respond. He likes that I was brave enough to put it out there. I seem like a woman who demands and deserves respect. He is very impressed by me. After giving Peter my number, we texted for a day or so and then he called. At midnight. Why are you calling me at midnight??? I didn't answer. The next day, same thing, except that he called me at 1 am. What the fuck? You don't know me that well, dude. Peter begins texting me every day, telling me that he misses me, he can't wait to see me, he feels really close to me, he wants to be with me... I had to block his number.

Suitor #8:
Name: Jon
Age: 34
Height: 5'3
Job: Court clerk
Lives: Long Island
OkCupid Match: 84%
Jon sent such nice messages about country music, the League (find it on Netflix - it's hilarious!) and the Mets that I must have overlooked that small detail about his height when reviewing his profile online. He's 5'3!!! I'm 5'9. I think I may have to give him the super polite brush off... Tall girl problems!

Suitor #9:
Name: Darren
Age: 29
Height: 5'7
Job: Not sure he has one
Lives: Somewhere
OkCupid Match: Whatever they gave us was too high
Darren started out so witty, so funny, so promising. We only exchanged a few emails before moving on to text and then a phone call. Poor kid didn't stand a chance. He said things like "So on our two online personality tests, we got the exact match. You're my exact counterpart. You're exactly who I'm supposed to be with." I was shocked that he had taken the same personality tests as I had (part of the OkCupid site) and he responded that he had actually taken twelve or more personality tests, but on the two that I took, we were an exact match! EXACT! He then went on to ask me what country London was in (England) and if England was part of Europe (yes) and was Europe, just like, one big country then? (Ummm, no.) Also, did I ever think about if the South had won the Civil War? Would we still be the United States of America, or would we all be Southern? Would the Southern states each be their own country, like Texas?

Suitor #10:
Name: Andrew
Age: 36
Height: 6'3
Job: Banker
Lives: Long Island
OkCupid Match: 91%
On the outside, Andrew looked like a gentleman. He wore a suit and tie to work at a respectable location, he had good family values, and made excellent conversation. Until he got my phone number and began texting me pictures (or as he called them "reasons") I should want to be with him. There was only one reason, and I guarantee you, as impressive as that reason might be, I am going on the assumption that I am not the only girl he was sending those photos to.

Suitor #11:
Name: Jonathan
Age: 33
Height: 5'10
Job: Movie theater manager
Lives: Long Island
OkCupid Match: 89%
Jonathan seems really sweet, but he's kind of quiet and hard to get to know. I can't tell you too much other than he travels to see his family on holidays, he worked his way up at the movie theater from usher to shift supervisor to manager, and he loves to walk.

Suitor #12:
Name: The Pianist
Age: 31
Height: 6'0
Job: Concert Pianist and Piano Teacher
Lives: New Jersey (ugh)
OkCupid Match: 93%
The Pianist is incredibly accomplished, educated, cultured, well read, and well traveled. He spends most of his time in Manhattan and chose to live in New Jersey for the view of NYC. He could've lived in Brooklyn for the views of our fair skyline, but he prefers the illusion of suburbia amidst the big city. He is also a fan of cheap gas, low taxes, and a wide variety of malls. He plays piano at everything from corporate events to private parties to concert halls. He teaches students from the youngest protege to the collegiate elite. He's kind and thoughtful and keeps in contact just enough so that I know he's thinking of me, but not so much as to scare me away. He's Armenian, which I knew nothing about except that the Kardashians are Armenian. (I apologize in advance to the entire country of Armenia that the Kardashian clan is the only thing we know about your country! Actually, I didn't even know that much. The Pianist told me!) He's wonderful so far and I am very excited to get to know him better.
Status: ACTIVE

Suitor #13:
Name: Nick the Dick
Age: an overgrown adolescent
Height: gutter
Job: annoying people
Lives: in a dark and dirty place
OkCupid Match: this is just ridiculous
Alright, I know that I said there were twelve dates of Christmas, but I had to throw this one on for good measure. Poor, unlucky thirteen. Nick was charming enough online but as the saying goes, "Good on paper, shit in real life." Nick skipped over the texting part of the online dating progression and called me as soon as he got my number. He was very talkative (too much so!) and I couldn't get a word in edgewise. He told me that he doesn't believe in love being all "doves and butterflies and singing and shit. Love isn't like that. It's crap most of the time. You've just got to find someone you can tolerate." He also said that when raising children, "it's best to just put a sack over their heads sometimes so they shut up and listen. You know what they say about violence: if it's not working, you're not using enough of it!" And finally, when he asked what my weirdest online dating experience has been, I told him about the guy last week who wanted to pee on (with?) me. Nick's response was "so I guess letting me take a shit on you is out of the question, cause you're a prude?"

Friday, August 30, 2013

Maybe I'm the Problem

I love Taylor Swift. She does what I want to do, which is write amazing break up stories that motivate / inspire / comfort / propel girls all over the world into healing their hearts and moving on. Granted, her stories are set to music and some of them overtly suggest revenge, yet I'd still say we have the same goals in mind. Poor Taylor, no matter how many super hot celebs she dates, she still hasn't found the love of her life. Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner, Harry Styles, Connor Kennedy... Taylor's relationships are all over the tabloids (which thankfully mine are not!) but each one spurs another hit single about love gone wrong / boys are stupid / I'm still fabulous. 

Yet for all my country loving, I'm pretty sure that if all of T Swift's ex boyfriends got together and wrote a song about her, it would be called Maybe You're the Problem.

Throughout my 100+ dates, I've gone out with a man who's never left Brooklyn, a guy who threw up sushi and still tried to kiss me, a one armed prison guard, two separate men who put me on the phone with their mothers, a guy who cried when I told him I didn't have butterflies, three die hard Star Wars fans, a guy who believed in post death polygamy, and a man who wanted to go to the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show dressed as Brad and Janet...except that he wanted to be Janet. 

I know that those were not my fault. But on this date, I may have been the problem. Hear me out. 

Firstly, you should know by now that I think Bald is the New Black. I find bald guys very sexy, especially with facial hair. I can't explain it. They're just hot. 

Secondly, you should know that I fall hard and fast for a man who can make me laugh. I mean a real, true, honest to goodness, authentic laugh. Not a chuckle or a giggle or a "tee-hee, that's kinda funny!" What I want is a guy with a great sense of humor who gets me. Preferably one who isn't afraid when I honk. (In case, you haven't heard it, I seriously honk when I laugh. Ask my girlfriends how many nice restaurants in Manhattan we've gotten dirty looks at! I even got kicked out of a Cosi once. True story.)

Dennis and I started talking online through OkCupid. He is very tall, very bald, and has big, bushy facial hair. He is one of only a few men with whom I could appropriately use the term "hulks around" in lieu of "walks." He's huge. I love that. 

We got into a conversation about improv in New York City, and Dennis knows all the same people I know. In fact, Dennis has a podcast and has interviewed several friends who I perform with. Our paths had never crossed, but I started listening to his podcast and it turns out, Dennis is hilarious. He is an excellent host, always supporting the strength of his guests. He is a great writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed our OkC messages. He is also a really sweet guy who takes care of his grandma a few days a week. I have a soft spot in my heart for guys who love their grandmothers. Basically, Dennis is awesome. 

A good friend of his was going to a concert on Sunday afternoon and could not use season Mets tickets, so Dennis asked if I would like to go to the game. Knowing what huge Mets fans we both are, this was the perfect date. I like any date where I can wear jeans and a t shirt! Throw in a hot pretzel, some cute baseball players, and a nice guy by my side and I can't imagine a better afternoon. 

When I arrived at the Home Run Apple (a classic New York nod to the old Shea Stadium) to meet Dennis, I recognized him immediately. Dennis is unmistakeable. He is bigger than his pictures led me to believe, and his bald head and dark beard are easily distinguishable features. Dennis stands out in a crowd. If you knew him, you'd spot him immediately. If you didn't know him, you might back away. He's kind of intimidating. 

Despite appearances, Dennis is very easy to talk to, comfortable, laid back, and completely genuine. It helped that we already knew a lot about each other, having spoken online, on the phone, and stalked each other's twitter feeds. He knew about the blog going into the date so I didn't have to awkwardly bring up the fact that I write about my relationships. In fact, we were able to compare awful dating experiences which I never get tired of doing. Although I like to believe that crappy guys are the reason I'm still single in my 30's, I hear just as many horror stories from my single guy friends about psycho girls they've gone out with. Turns out, everyone is a little crazy!

Dennis and I stayed in our seats for the first few innings, chatting about our favorite Mets memories, players, and games. We talked about bad dates, living in New York, and our families. We spoke about all the friends we had in common, improv comedy, and great shows. We talked about my blog, his podcast, and Tony Danza. Then we got up to walk around CitiField and take in all the amazing views. 

You can watch a Mets game from just about anywhere in the stadium. If you ever want to get tickets but there are only seats way up in the nosebleed section, don't you worry! Buy them anyway and watch from the bridge. Or the bar. Or any of the clearings which offer a 360 degree view of the field. Which is exactly what Dennis and I did. 

Along the way, we ran into several people Dennis knew. Apparently, he's like the Mayor of CitiField. There were people he knew from his hometown, people he knew from the city, people he knew who were friends of friends, and people he knew just from going to Mets games. There were even people he knew from Twitter who he'd met in person at a game! Dennis is incredibly social and the kind of guy that people like to know. I was really happy to be there with him, although I was getting the feeling that we were heading deep into the Friend Zone. Any romance that might have been in the air was overpowered by ice cream and disappointment. 

Should I not have worn my hair in a ponytail? Should I have worn a tighter Mets t shirt? Should I not have referred to Ike Davis as my baseball boyfriend? Should I not have talked about bad dates I've been on? Where did I go wrong? I've pulled all my adorable moves. I've touched his arm several times to let him know I'm interested. Why isn't Dennis flirting with me???

Having lost the game, the Mets cleared the field and the barriers were laid out for little kids to run the bases. Honestly, this is my favorite part of going to a Sunday afternoon game. I love watching the little ones run out onto the track, and I always imagine taking my kids to do that someday. I excitedly begged Dennis to walk down to field level with me, which he did with an appeasing smile. We lied to a guard or two to let us down behind the first base dugout for prime viewing. Then we kicked back in two front row seats and I pointed out every single super cute child in their teeny tiny Mets outfits running, waddling, and toddling around the field. 

Every. Single. Kid.

Looking back on it now, I probably should have picked up on the fact that Dennis is younger than I am, and possibly not looking to start a family in the immediate future. I can see from his point of view that I may have come across with a slight case of baby fever, which frankly, I'm not denying that I have. I maybe should have said thank you for the ice cream and walked out to the parking lot with him, rather than force him to sit through ten more minutes of nineties music playing through the loudspeakers. I should have known that this date turned into a really cool friendship and nothing more. And you know something? That's ok. Dennis is still a great guy that I'm happy to have met, and I'm someone he'll tell stories about: the crazy girl who wanted kids on the first date. 

Maybe I really am the problem!

To follow Dennis Has a Podcast, click here.

UPDATE: To listen to 100 Cups of Coffee featured on Episodes 172 & 173 of Dennis Has a Podcast, click here!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sealed With a Kiss

The following story is why I can no longer date Mormons. Let me explain:

I met Josh online and he was wonderful. He was incredibly smart, running one of the largest high tech cyber security companies in New York. He was funny, very witty and full of sparkling conversation. He was sexy, drove a motorcycle and full of suggestively flirtatious comments while never crossing the line. He was divorced like I am, and it turns out we got married within a few months of each other and divorced within a few months of each other. It helps to date someone who understands your relationship history because they've been through something similar. It also helps when he's got his gorgeous green eyes all over your dress and never stops smiling.

Before I knew Josh's last name, I entered him in my phone as Josh = Keeper. I left it that way even after I found out his last name. Josh just felt like the kind of guy I wanted to keep around. He would text me the sweetest things during the day, and I couldn't get my mind off of him. The feeling was mutual.

Josh and I had an awesome first date. It was that scene from a romantic comedy where you can't hear the dialogue, but there's music playing in the background. You see a montage of subway rides where the boy holds the girl's hand to steady her on the train car and then doesn't let go. You look through the restaurant windows and see the couple laughing and smiling. You seem them feeding each other dessert. You see the time lapse photography of the sun sinking behind the trees as daylight fades and attraction grows. You watch the distance between them shrink and you start screaming at the screen "Dammit, just kiss her already!" You see her dress floating around her legs and his fingers intertwined with hers and you squeal a little in delight when he finally stops on the corner and kisses her while they wait for traffic to cross. You want to be wherever they are when they're sipping cocktails on the roof and he's pointing out famous New York buildings down below and constellations up above of the few stars visible over Manhattan at night. You want to be her. You want to be with him. And then the music fades and the sound comes back on. You overhear this conversation:

Kimberly: So tell me about your last relationship.

Josh: Well, I had a ring on her finger in under 30 minutes on our first date.

Kimberly: *Chokes on her cocktail*

Josh: We had known each other for two years. I was dying to date her but couldn't ask her out. After our mission trip was over, I finally got her to go out with me. I knew that I wanted to marry her so I proposed in the first half hour.

Kimberly: How did you know that you wanted to marry a girl you'd never dated???

Josh: I'm Mormon, she's Mormon. I knew we had the same upbringing and values. Plus I was desperate to have sex and needed it to happen pretty quickly. Since we had to wait til we were married, I wanted that to be as soon as possible. 

Kimberly: So why'd you get divorced?

Josh: She got selfish and materialistic towards the end. Then she started drinking and partying, was cheating on me, got pregnant, and I finally kicked her out.

Kimberly: Wow, that's a rough story.

Josh: Rougher yet, we are technically still married. 

Kimberly: I don't understand. I thought you were divorced?

Josh: I am legally divorced but I'm still spiritually married. She is my celestial wife. We are an eternal family. Our union was sealed in the temple and therefore cannot be broken in this world.

Kimberly: You're reeeeally losing me now.

Josh: When Mormons marry, we marry for life. Not just this life, but the next life, and the one after that. So when I die and become god of my own world, she will still be there by my side.

Kimberly: *Nods head silently, starts drinking faster, looks around for quickest escape route*

Josh: I really like you and I see this going well. But you should know that if you and I were to get married here on Earth, and we died, you would join me in the after life as one wife and she would be there, technically also as my wife. That's where polygamy is ok. After death.

Kimberly: So you're saying that I have to worry about sharing you with another woman for all eternity while you're a god of your own planet and we have a weird little after life threesome?

Josh: Basically...yes.

Just for the record, I am inherently jealous of the ex girlfriend / ex wife of any guy I'm dating "here on Earth" and there is no possible way I could handle having to deal with here "for all eternity." Also, I can't date a man who truly believes he's going to be god of his own planet someday. That's just too much power for one man's head. I'm gonna ask him to take out the trash or do the dishes and he's gonna be all "Sorry, babe, I can't. Too busy practicing to be my own god!" So Josh turned out to not be a Keeper after all. Such a shame. I was really looking forward to a ride on that motorcycle.

*Note: Before you think I'm making this up, judging Josh for his beliefs, or badmouthing an entire religion, feel free to do your own research on sites such as these:
Ask Mormon Girl
From Man to God