Friday, December 31, 2010

As the ball drops...

Dear Readers,

Please forgive me for I have sinned. It has been fourteen days since my last blog post.

The holidays are a time to be with the ones you love. I, for one, always took this to mean a romantic sort of love. The kind where your boyfriend / fiance / spouse showers you with gifts and attention, plies you with alcohol, conspires against your ridiculous family with you, snuggles you by a crackling fire, makes you breakfast in bed, and kisses you at midnight. Songs such as "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" perpetuate my frustration at not having someone to share these moments under the mistletoe. On long, freezing winter days when I'm stuck outside shoveling heavy, wet snow, digging out my car and trying to locate my front steps, I yearn for a sweet, warm body to go inside with, sip hot chocolate, and take an afternoon nap.

I guess I thought that this project would lead me to sharing these experiences with a tall, dark and handsome man (or in my case, not a midget, dork and moderately good-looking). I assumed that by dating as many people as I could in one year, I would find my knight in shining armor. Failing that, I'd at least meet someone NORMAL. I always assumed that 100 Cups of Coffee would have the Hollywood ending that you and I have been hoping for. Now here's the truth...

When discussing my disappointment with a dear friend, he pointed out to me that I'm doing exactly what I set out to do. I cried that I thought the project would be over by now, that I would've met someone amazing, that we'd be riding off into the proverbial sunset together. But that, he gently pointed out, was never the goal. The goal was to go out on 100 dates. Meet new people. Try different things. Expand my horizons. Get out of my comfort zone. Open myself up to the possibilities I never considered before. And I am doing ALL of those things!

I refuted this statement (half-heartedly) by claiming that I never REALLY wanted to go out on 100 first dates. It's exhausting! Getting to know all these people, their in's and out's, what makes them tick, finding out their interests, hobbies, family life, favorite radio stations. I could be running a small company by now with all the intel I gathered! Leave it to a woman to start out dating and end up taking over the world! Yet he just laughed and said that when I set my mind to something, I'm the girl to go out and DO IT. If I wanted to be exceptionally choosy, meet the man of my dreams and marry him right away, I probably would have. But that was never the point. Thus I have taken a holiday break from the crazies and losers but starting in the New Year, I can guarantee you I'll be back with a passion.

Through this year, I have discovered a lot about myself. I know so much more about me, dating, what I want, what I don't want, what I'm willing to settle for, and what I can't live without. I know what qualities I need in a partner and what constitutes a deal breaker for me. I have found exceptional strength in having to walk away from people I truly cared about and gained confidence when I felt I was making the right decision. I have made new friends. You, the readers, have been more supportive and caring that I could've possibly imagined. I've given away some great goodies and have even more amazing prizes planned for 2011. I couldn't think of a more fortunate life than being able to write full time nor a more satisfying dream than seeing my name in print. Just knowing that this blog, my insane dating life, these words have touched each of you somehow is an amazing gift for me and all I could hope for this year. So I have revised my holiday outlook.

The holidays are indeed a season to spend time with the people you love. This love is formed in friendships, old and new, family ties, and acquaintances you may have never met but care so deeply about. It is a time to perform random acts of kindness, surprise someone just to see the smile on their face, and give generously expecting nothing in return. I might not have kissed anyone under the mistletoe or at midnight on New Year's Eve (there's still time!) but the love I feel is overwhelming from every angle.

Wishing you all a LOVEly New Year!

~Kimberly Spice

Friday, December 17, 2010

No Guarantees

September 5th, 1995

My first day at a new high school. First period, Global Studies. I have a nun as my teacher for the first time in my life. I'm wearing a button down white shirt, pleated gray skirt, stockings and loafers. My blonde hair is long and straight with thick bangs. I am nervous and have no friends yet. The teacher asks us all to open our textbooks but I don't have one so the girl sitting at the desk in front of me turns around to share hers. Sister History Teacher begins calling on people to read the chapter out loud and suddenly, I hear a shy, angelic voice from across the room. He reads aloud a paragraph about World War One and while I could not tell you who started that war or the years it was fought, I could tell you exactly what he looked like that day: dark blonde hair curling slightly in front of his face, same white button down as me, gray pants (lucky boys!) and the sweetest face I've ever seen. I stared at him long after his turn to read was over and when the bell rang, I asked the girl in front of me what his name was. She said B_____ and offered to introduce me. I had my first girlfriend!

Turns out he ran track, swam, sang, and was in all honors classes. We caught up with him in the hallway and she said "B, this is my new friend Kim. Why don't you show her around to her next class. Poor girl is lost!" Thus began a second friendship that has lasted fifteen years.

I think back to that day and how different it might have been. What if my lame ass school district had bothered to provide me with a textbook? I never would've had to share DJ's, thus sparking our conversation. What if the teacher hadn't called on B to read that day? I never would've heard his voice or looked twice at him. For while he was then (and is now) very good looking, he doesn't carry himself with the confidence that attracts a lot of attention. Still, the chain of events led to us becoming very good friends, one of only a small handful of people I've never lost contact with, nor had to reconnect with on facebook.

I will say this: Facebook is amazing for bringing you back to the people you missed in your life but there's something extra special about those you never lost touch with. Friends you counted on all the years between then and now. I count these people amongst my highest blessings.

Anywho, nothing much happened between us in high school. Sure, we always flirted and it seemed like we were forever on the edge of something happening but the timing was always off. Once, in junior year, he told me that he wanted to kiss me and we should meet by the theatre after school. I spent eight periods in absolute angst when I finally spilled the beans about our first kiss plan to DJ during gym class. She looked crest fallen and admitted to having a crush on B for the last three years. Of course, I didn't kiss him that day out of loyalty to my friend but the next several weeks, it got harder and harder to see him in class without feeling like I'd missed out on something amazing.

Senior year we had another "almost but not quite" moment. The Overnight Retreat to Shelter Island is the big event for the Senior class and we were all super excited to go. Thirty-two boys & girls on one bus, headed away together for the weekend? Let's just say hormones were raging. Yes, we had religious chaperones and separate sleeping quarters and they made us do stupid things like hug trees and write letters to our older selves, but that trip was primarily about who was dating whom. I had a mega-crush on a boy we'll call C and we were both on the trip. It had been intimated that we'd make some sort of move to get together that weekend. (I had the notes from math class to prove it!) We walked on the beach together collecting shells, feeling the sand beneath our toes, playing tag football with friends and snuggling by the fire indoors. Yet when it came time for us to declare our "like" for each other, B stepped in and told C he had major feelings for me. Again, not wanting to disrespect his friend, C backed off, leaving me still single and waiting for my Prince Charming to sweep in.

Despite B saying he felt strongly about me, he never made a move. I have very cuddly pictures of us together from junior prom, senior prom, ring night, a whole bunch of theatre performances, and various graduation parties. Not once during all those times did he attempt to kiss me. It was extremely frustrating! I have always reasoned with myself that it was for the best though, because our friendship might not have endured the last decade and a half had we been romantically entwined. My guy friends mean the world to me, not because they were some fleeting romance all those years ago, but because each of them have always been true gentlemen around me and treated me like a princess.

Funnily enough, this is the first time in fifteen years that B and I are single at the same time. I got married right out of college and he dated someone seriously for the last four years. They only just split six weeks ago. Needless to say, the hurt is still very fresh and I've been trying to stay as supportive a friend as possible, while still giving him room to grieve. We've always been the kind of friends to hang out and do things together like go to the movies, play pool, go bowling, head to a party, have dinner. He comes to see all of my improv performances in the city and I go to his musicals on the island. A few weeks ago, he invited me to a hockey game and we had so much fun! I was therefore not surprised when he asked if I wanted to go see American Idiot with him on Broadway last weekend. He had an extra ticket and theatre is my passion so of course I wanted to go!

Let me rephrase: His ex-girlfriend bought tickets for his thirtieth birthday a few months back with the intention that they would see it together. I was technically taking her place. Awkward! In his defense, he told me that I was the third choice of companion. He'd asked each of his brothers if they wanted to go but neither one could. Enter Kim!

He asked her first if she was cool with me going and the response was "Sure, that's cool. Just do me a favor. If you guys live happily ever after down the line and get married and have babies and stuff...don't count this as your first date cause that would be really weird!"

Well, Green Day isn't known for their romantic ballads so I don't think we'll be choosing our wedding song from them. Yet I can't help wondering why that thought would even cross her mind?

I consulted the wisest person I know: my friend Shari. Her thoughts were that we are really cute together, very natural, completely sweet. We're snuggly and comfortable and have lots of shared history. He's pretty much got his head on straight and his ducks lining up. He's stable and secure and generous and kind and considerate and good looking and talented and smart. Why wouldn't I like him?

Oh crap. Is she right? Am I falling for a friend? I mean, it makes sense and we are great together but he broke up with a girl he loved only six weeks ago. That is not enough time to recover and I am no one's rebound. I also don't want to be counted amongst the twenty-two year old floozies guys my age tend to "date" after a break up. He is, of course, not ready for another relationship nor is that what I'm looking for right now. I have at least eleven more guys to date until this "project" is over and I can get my head around things. Is this a case of bad timing or general stupidity? Why does it feel like high school all over again?

B & I sat down to talk about this situation honestly where he admitted he'd always liked me but that now was not a good time for him to start anything serious (Thank you, Captain Obvious!!!) He's afraid that if we tried something and it didn't work out, he'd be devastated about losing my friendship.

Here's the thing about that: if we dated and it didn't work out, yes, it would be awkward. If we dated and it did work it, yes, it would be fantastic. So what chances are we willing to take? I can't promise that things will go our way. I can't promise that one or both of us won't get hurt. I can't promise that this won't end really awkwardly. There are no guarantees in relationships or in life. My ex husband promised to love me forever in front of all of our family and friends...until one day, he didn't anymore. It's always sad when relationships end and people break up (ok, it's mostly sad. There are some couples you're just waiting to jump up and cheer for when it's finally over!) Yet the question remains: what risks are you willing to take in the name of Love?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coffee To Go, Part Two

Why I drove 600 miles to get my picture taken


The deep fried lobster chapter

In 1999, something magical happened. I went to the prom. No, not my prom (that was in 1998) but a friend's prom. We'd dated in the summer of '97 and he asked if I would go as his date. Always up for a good time and having a beautiful emerald green dress on hand, I said yes. I met a group of people there that I became very friendly with very quickly. I got closest to one girl in particular. When her boyfriend tickled her in the limo, her dress strap popped off! Oh the horror! We ran around the Marriott Marquis in search of a sewing kit before the prom started and I fixed her dress, no problem. Surviving such disasters brings people closer together. Alright, I know it's not like we made it through an earthquake or anything, but trust me, at 18, your dress popping open in Midtown is considered an emergency.

A decade later and we're still in touch. Sure, we've seen our share of rainbows and storms. Life has happened to both of us. She's married now to one of those high school friends and they have a beautiful little boy together up in Cape Cod. She started her own family photography business in their gorgeous neck of the Massachusetts woods and I went to visit in the hopes of having a fabulous photo of myself taken. I was by no means disappointed.

From the moment I got there, it was tea and girl talk. We hugged like old friends do and somehow, the time we hadn't seen each other faded into the background. It was as though we'd had pizza and gossip all the yesterdays before. There's a comfort in hanging out with people who knew you back when you barely knew yourself. Sharing inside jokes that only someone who was at a certain party in the year 2000 would find funny. Hearing about how her world has changed by becoming a wife and a mother. Knowing that your paths are different but the connection is still strong. I felt incredibly blessed to sit at her kitchen table, overlooking acres of dense wooded hills, watching her son play, thinking about how far we've both come.

We did have serious business to get down to and once her wonderful husband came home from work to hang out with the toddler, we wandered into the woods to take some photos. I have this dream that one day, my books will be published and I am in dire need of a fabulous picture of myself. I'm more often behind the camera than in front of it, so I enlisted the help of a professional for the shot. The first thing she did was make me crouch down in a field of wildflowers at sunset. Yes, I know how that sounds. But I'll tell you something - the very first picture she took of me is still my favorite!

She made me do other ridiculous things like lie down in the grass, hide behind some tall wheat stalks, and hug trees. I climbed up on rocks, straddled logs, and played peek-a-boo behind some ginormous branches. Everything I felt stupid doing in person (while she told me dirty jokes to get *real* smiles out of me) looked incredible on film. I shall not doubt her professional methods again!

We worked up quite an appetite in the Autumn dusk so we trudged back to the house to collect her husband and kid. I would like to add at this point that if all my friends were married to such kind, funny, caring, considerate, hard-working, generous men as she is, I would be VERY happy being a bridesmaid in all of their weddings. He's the kind of guy you just can't pick on (well, maybe except for his comic obsessions and video game playing - but I think that's more the rule than the exception!)

We packed ourselves into the car with their toddler listening to Jack Johnson on my iPhone. I've pretty much cemented my title in his mind as Aunt Music. The boy will probably never know my name. He'll just look at me and point to my phone for more music. Somehow, I'm ok with his. Whatever makes the kid happy.

They took me to their favorite little seafood place which closed for the season only a week after we were there. The restaurant was literally next to the Coast Guard station so of course, I took a picture and sent it to my brother! Inside, I ordered deep fried lobster and french fries which came with clarified butter. If my personal trainer is reading this, please accept my deepest apologies on behalf of my arteries. I am more than a little ashamed to admit that I dipped both the lobster and the fries into the butter and IT WAS GOOD!!!

Pretty sure my cholesterol level will not forgive me for that meal well into the next decade, but totally worth it!

You know those moments when you look around at the people next to you and think: I am so lucky! This was one of those moments. Ever since these friends moved four hours north, I haven't realized just how much I missed spending time with them until this take out dinner right now! We talked and laughed and they even tried to set me up with one of his hot co-workers who lives in Salem. I am totally ready to move to New England for a gorgeous Patriots fan (Sorry Jets peeps!) They even took a quick picture of me with the camera phone and texted it to him. Amazingly, it's a total cleavage shot. Completely unintentional, but couldn't hurt my chances!

We spend the rest of the night eating cheesecake around the kitchen table, teasing each other about old times, and scrolling through my online profile. They both laughed uncontrollably at the messages from The BirdMan of Bergen and threatened to disown me if I actually agreed to a date with him! I snuggled into the guest room for a peaceful night's sleep and in the morning, my girlfriend and I hit the beach for one more photo shoot before I got back on the road.

This time, I did everything from walking barefoot in the sand to laying down on the boardwalk (another boob shot!) My favorite moment came when a VERY cute fisherman was walking past as she had me hanging my feet over the edge of the wooden walkway. He stopped and asked us if this was an official modeling contract, if he'd violated some sort of set. We giggled and she snapped a couple photos of me next to him. Then he looked right at me and asked "Do you want to hold my pole?"

Ho. Ly. Crap. You can't make this stuff up!

He walked away, shaking his head in disbelief that those words had actually come out of his mouth when she shouted after him "This is Kimberly and she's single!!!" He laughed and I blushed and we ran back towards the car. Before we got in though, I left him a note (his was the only other car in the parking lot) that said "Hope to run into you on the beach again sometime. You seem like a great catch!"

Yes, I know how cheesy it was telling a fisherman he was a great catch. And no, in case you're wondering, he hasn't called.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Coffee To Go, Part One

This is the story of how I took 100 Cups of Coffee on the Road


Why I drove 600 miles in one week for Red Velvet Cake Bites, deep fried lobster, and popcorn

Let me begin by saying that in the fifth grade, my teacher assigned everyone in our class a pen pal. This was some random kid in another school across the country that we would exchange letters with every week. I looked forward to these letters with so much enthusiasm, even though I'd never met the little girl writing them. I adore getting mail and as a kid, you really only receive birthday cards from your aunts and if you're lucky, postcards from bunkmates at summer camp (and even those peter out once fall starts and they go back to their school friends.)

About a year ago, my ex-boyfriend's new wife found me on facebook and we chatted a few times. She's really nice and they have the cutest little family together. While he will always be my first love, he is her Prince Charming and I'm incredibly happy for them. She started reading my blog and commenting on the posts. To this day, she has not missed one single entry. The girl knows how long it's been since I last wrote. She looks forward to waking up every morning and reading about my dating disasters with her (actual) cup of coffee. It's part of the routine and if she goes too long without a posting, I WILL hear about it!

This has never happened to me before. I was shocked by how fiercely loyal, supportive, encouraging, and kind this woman was seeing as we'd never met in person. She quickly became my pen pal, my confidante, and my true friend. I could tell her anything and vice versa. We'd commiserate about Dancing with the Stars (really, HOW did Bristol get so far???) and share our shock over Grey's Anatomy (did anyone see last season's finale coming? I didn't!) We'd even swap stories of what we were baking and taunt each other with the delicious smells of our respective kitchens. This is girl heaven!

We eventually took our relationship to the next level. I sent up birthday gifts for the children and she sent me a gorgeous plaque for my office wall. It hangs just above my computer every day as a reminder of why I'm writing this blog. Soon, we started texting and she's programmed into speed dial on my iPhone. One day, I needed to get the hell out of dodge and planned a road trip up to see some friends in Massachusetts and my little brother. I asked if I could stop over to spend time with her (and her husband). She was thrilled and excited. I'd been a little nervous to ask cause it felt like a first date but she was as warm and welcoming as ever.

I insisted I did not need anything fancy, I'd live on cheese and crackers for dinner. She scolded me that her children eat a balanced, nutritional meal and I would too! Wow, sorry mom!!! When I arrived (after six hours instead of four) she had roasted a freakin turkey with three vegetables on the side. Oh. My. God. Not only is she raising a pre-schooler and a one year old while being pregnant with baby number three, but she cooked a holiday feast and had dessert in the freezer.

If you'll excuse me, I need to go feel inadequate now!

Yet she didn't make me feel small at all. I busted out more gifts for the little ones (books of course) and she gave me a tin of her homemade red velvet cake bites. After dinner, I made us tea and when the kids went to bed, we swapped stories of lives lived abroad. We snuggled up into opposite ends of the couch and watched Dancing on tv while eating ice cream. (She remembered my favorite kind of ice cream from a blog post. Hello Stalker!!!)

All in all, it was the most comfortable, wonderful evening I could've spent with any one of my girlfriends.

When her husband came home after a very long day at work, he was a little taken aback to find both of us relaxing in the living room. He joked that it was like the Axis of Evil, two very smart women in the same room. We all chatted for a while and after she went to bed, he and I stayed up til four in the morning just catching up.

I know what you're thinking. She went to bed and left him alone with a girl he used to date until four am??? But it's not like that. You see, they have such a profound respect for each other and their marriage that there was NO chance of anything awkward happening. They trust each other implicitly because they both know the other would simply never break that trust. Never. No chance. No way. No how.

This is a foreign concept to me. I am an inherently skeptical and suspicious person. I have a very jealous nature. Yet she just wished us both good night and sailed upstairs with nary a worry in her mind. Someday, I aspire to be like them.

As much as it pains me to say it (because I've always been the wiser of us two) he made some very good points that night. With respect to my dating life, he suggested that I was going about things the wrong way. I was looking at this whole process with a defeatist attitude. That I might be better served by being a little more selective in whom I date, thus rendering me with better outcomes. While that is true, the purpose of going out with a hundred guys is to say yes to as many people as possible. It's about finding out who I want to date and who I definitely DON'T want to date. (You can argue that I've found more Don'ts than Do's!) Yet he assured me that I am a smart, beautiful, funny, outgoing girl (I'm still 16 in his mind) with a lot to offer and that I'll make an amazing wife someday. I just need to find the right husband.

Wow, dating advice from a boy who broke my heart fourteen years ago. It's like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Sadly, I know he's right and he bet me $10 that I'd be in a serious relationship by this time next year on one condition: that I stop actively looking. No more dating losers because it's funny. No more charity cases. No more going out with guys who aren't worth my time. I'm just supposed to let it happen.

So if anyone knows a cute, available, normal single guy, please let me know and I'll text you my location. This way, we can run into each other accidentally on purpose. I'll share my $10 with you!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Creature

It's probably a bad sign that his friends call him "The Creature."

Some of them also call him "The General" and I don't have the heart to ask why. Most likely, I should never know this information. It'll make the date more palatable.

I only agreed to go on this adventure as a favor to a friend. This guy had just gotten divorced and needed dating experience with someone kind to boost his confidence. Might I suggest that I am NOT that person???

He's someone I knew in high school but haven't seen since. We only socialized through mutual acquaintances thus losing connection after college. He had a radio show I remember hearing about and it was so funny (in a bad way) that I wrote a play based on his character - Dr Love. Sadly, my script never hit Broadway but I got a good giggle out of writing it!

It all begins when my friend (whom I may end up de-friending after this) "inadvertently mentioned" (read: totally did it on purpose) to the guy that I was going on one hundred dates this year. He "accidentally suggested" (read: intentionally planted the seed) that this guy be one of my dates. See: train wreck waiting to happen; see also: recipe for disaster.

Of course, within a day, I receive a facebook message (curse you modern technology) just dropping a line to say hello. Please note that when a person you haven't seen or spoken to in years writes to you, it is NEVER "just" to say hello.

We exchange a few hey, how are you, what's your life like, catching up messages and then he friends me. Great. Now how do I say no? mother always told me I was too nice and would get myself into trouble. I HATE it when she's right!

Yes, I accepted his friend request and before I knew it, I'd agreed to a date Wednesday evening. He did pick an Italian place I'm fond of so I figured at least the food would be good. I should tell you though that when I got dressed for the date, it was in jeans and a sweater with ballet flats and my hair in a braid!. For girls everywhere, this is the tell-tale sign that you are not interested in said boy. Normally, I'm in a cute top with skinny jeans or leggings and boots, hair blown out straight and long. In the summer, I'll make the effort to wear a sundress and sparkly flip flops. In this outfit, I certainly didn't look like I was hitting the gym, but it wasn't much of an upgrade from what I'd wear to the dentist.

Perfume for the evening was a heavy spritz of Eau d'Impending Doom...

We meet at the restaurant and he greets me at the door. Let me rephrase. A much heavier, shorter version of him meets me at the door. I did not recognize the poor guy and if he hadn't held the door open and said "Hi Kim," I would've walked right past him. Bad sign number one.

He launches into a tirade about his day at work, what he does for a living (something corporate and with computers - I still don't understand) and we haven't even ordered wine yet! I'm trying to concentrate on the menu but all I keep hearing him say is "meat platter" which I'm pretty sure will be a debacle (what with me not eating meat and all). I ask for the wine tasting (all white) and he does the same (all red). A compromise is made on eggplant parm as the appetizer. As I'm about to scoop a giant slice of tomato sauce and vegetable into my mouth he asks "So why'd your marriage end?"

Wow. Divorce as a topic of conversation in five minutes or less. GO!

I try to come up with a gracious answer because what he's actually saying is "Why did your husband leave after seven years? Were you really that terrible of a wife?" and there is NO good response to that question. I settle on the standard "He decided he didn't want children" which is completely true and doesn't slander either of us in either way. Fortunately, he re-directs to how much he's looking forward to being a father someday. Unfortunately, he uses it as a platform to launch into why his psycho bitch of an ex-wife cheated on him, left him, had him evicted from his own apartment and he met the guy she was messing around with on the street just last week.

Yeah, that's the story I wanted to wash down my appetizer with. Please continue regaling me with how she signed up for online dating while you were still married. No, really, I want to hear all about it. (Not.)

Back story: I did a little research after the fact to find out that while the bitchiness of his ex is indisputable, the "guy" was her best friend, there was never proof of anything illicit between them, and he got evicted cause he was such a dirty mess after they split that the landlord just couldn't take it anymore.

"All I want is someone to curl up with on Sunday mornings, eat bagels and read the newspaper."

Yes, I know that this sounds great. In theory, it's a fabulous idea. Except for a few minor details: 1) If I'm in bed on Sunday morning, there is a 98% chance that I'm still sleeping. 2) If I'm out of bed on Sunday morning, it means I made it to church on time. 3) One of us would have had to get out of bed in order to get the bagels in the first place. 4) I hate crumbs in my sheets. 5) Who actually reads the newspaper anymore? It's way too depressing.

Oh, and did I mention he was Jewish? So definitely not coming to church with me. Trying to get me to convert over an entree? Not gonna happen, buddy.

Then he ties it all neatly together. Jewish + children = he already has names picked out. How do I know this? Because he brought up his dead grandparents! I am all for honoring loved ones by naming the next generation with respect to those who came before us. Perhaps we should wait to do this til ... oh, I don't know... the thirty-second date???

Other topics of conversation include his estrangement from his father, why he drives a Subaru and not a Mercedes, how he doesn't see why strip clubs are a bad thing, and a computer animated movie from 1984 that he has the DVD of in his car and I absolutely MUST watch it. Um, no, but thanks anyway.

His nomination as king of the non-sequitor was sealed with the quote of the night: "I'm anti-celery." Really? Anti-gun? Sure. Anti-abortion? I get it. But anti-fibrous vegetable? I don't think that's a political platform anyone has run on.

He then asks me about my writing, specifically about the dates I've gone on and how bad they've been. He wants to know how this one compares. I tell him I'll hold off answering until the date is over. He wants to know if he "gets" a second date. Again, I tell him I'll reserve judgement until the end of the night (which cannot come soon enough). I then inquire as to why he'd even want to date me knowing that I'm writing about it and also knowing that I've dated his friend. I mean, I certainly wouldn't want to go out with anyone who went out with one of my friends. His response was "Anything he can do, I can do better."

Annie, Get Your Gun. And please PLEASE shoot me!

Monday, November 22, 2010

And Get Over It

What is it with me and crossing bridges to date these men???

My day begins as any other. I take the train into Manhattan, except that this time, I don't get off at Penn Station and walk. Instead, I take the A train down to Brooklyn and get off at the huge signing saying "Exit Here for the Brooklyn Bridge!" Guess they got tired of tourists getting lost...

Anywho, I am well prepared for the walk today as I'm sporting my sparkly white Shape-Ups and comfy clothes. Am casually sexy in a wide-belted button down over tank top with jeans and lots of jewelry. I figure if I'm gonna meet my death on the Brooklyn Bridge, I'm going to look good doing it! He scoops me up in the park before the entrance to the bridge and senses my mixture of excitement and sheer terror. I know that I said I was looking forward to this moment but I might've bitten off more than I can chew! Seeing the expansive structure above us, I worry what I've gotten myself into. But my date assures me that I'll be fine, it's completely safe up there, and he'll hold my hand if I get scared.

Ok, now I'm definitely in!!!

I stop to take a couple of photos along the way which, incidentally, is really hard because there are like a million other people doing the same thing! Excuse me, but do they not know that this is my shining moment?!?! Rude...

We climb what I think is less than a dozen stairs and are deposited onto an easy looking concrete ramp. There are people walking, jogging, riding their bikes, pushing strollers and we pass three - yes THREE - separate wedding parties taking newlywed photos with the gorgeous view of Manhattan at sunset in the background. The romance is overwhelming. Yet I cannot help but think to myself: If I were married for less than an hour, is this where I'd want to go to get the bottom of my dress all dirty? I think not. But maybe it's special to these couples so my date and I comment on their outfits, their limos, and the hideous dresses in one party. Hot pink and grey strapless striped mini skirts? Well that's one bridezilla who hates her girlfriends! PS: The 80's called. They want their prom back!

We make it to the halfway point of the bridge with only one close call. I almost became road kill when I accidentally walked into the bike lane and nearly caused a pile up of seismic proportions. I did not see the clearly delineated border between the area for those who walk and that for those who ride. Let's just say I shall not be crossing that line again in the future. My date shall also know better than to ever let go of my hand again!

He takes several photos of me with cool skyscrapers in the background because let's face it, no one would believe I did this without proof. We keep trying to take a good one of ourselves but wind up getting more concrete than face in the pictures. He gets in an awesome shot looking straight up at the steel cables which I try to reproduce and get massively dizzy. Bad idea, so we grab a bench and watch the world go by for a while before standing up again. As we near the end of the bridge, I look back and realize the magnitude of what I just did. I know that millions of people cross this bridge every day but for me, it's something I've always been scared of, too afraid to do. This date, in fact this whole project has helped me get over fears that have been holding me back my entire life. Of course it helps to have someone holding your hand the whole time...

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge - awesome

Crossing one more thing off my bucket list - priceless

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Build a Bridge

I am combining two of my favorite axioms: You take the first bite with your eyes + Take a picture, it'll last longer = Pizza photo!!!

I began talking to a self-proclaimed "foodie" from Brooklyn and we hit it off immediately. We both have the same crushes on celebrity chefs: Tom Colicchio, Giada DeLaurentiis, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Symon, Eric Ripert. He dreams about Daniel Boulud. I fantasize about being adopted by Paula Deen. He has the KitchenAid stand mixer I've been lusting after for years. I have an immersion blender, perfect for homemade soups! He prefers cooking. I prefer baking. He does elegant sauces and pretty plated dishes. I do homestyle, rustic, family meals. He's influenced by French and Asian chefs. I am in love with all things Mediterranean. We are the perfect compliment to each other, like chocolate and hazelnut, gracefully married to make sweet, smooth Nutella.

I'm sorry, I was talking about a date, wasn't I?

He entices me to Brooklyn with the promise of the *best* pizza on the planet. I have seen Grimaldi's on Food Network many times. It seems to be the only Brooklyn pizza worth featuring (feel free to argue the point!) He tells me we've got a full day of culinary adventures ahead of us. Just one problem: I have to go to Brooklyn!

I know that I am a Long Island girl and *technically* we reside on the same land mass. That being said, Brooklyn is an outer borough of New York City. It's hardly suburban and frankly, I'm a little intimidated. He suggests we meet mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, which drops my fear factor and the wait on line at Grimaldi's significantly. If this is what being adventurous is all about, sign me up! Plus, it's no secret that I'm willing to travel for food. Seriously, offer me anything delicious and I'll cross state lines to reach it!

But I digress.

We meet at Grimaldi's and join the already growing line outside. There is a bouncer-type older gentleman herding the crowd and he goes over the rules for everyone queuing on the sidewalk. Cash only, no credit cards. Pies only, no slices. He's got a table for two ready now. NOW, people, move it. Wait five more minutes. Table for three, go! Wait five more minutes. Table for four, go! Wait ten more minutes. We idle near the street with the rest of the mid-week lunch crowd, having plenty of time to make small talk and get to know each other. The excitement and anticipation is building, as is my hunger. I skipped breakfast this morning to leave room for all the yummy pizza I was sure to consume. Bad idea. The smell of the fresh herbs, melting mozzarella and rising dough is making my stomach growl loud enough for all of DUMBO to hear! (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass - very cool area. You should check it out sometime!)

Finally, it is our turn and without looking at the menu, we order one regular pie and two cream sodas. It takes ages to cook but I don't mind. I'm highly entertained watching all the dough tossing in the prep area we are seated directly next to. I stare at these well-oiled machine-like men who have their routine of dough patting, cheese slapping, sauce spooning, and basil breaking down to an exact science. It's like a deliciously choreographed dance repeating over and over. Total food porn.

When our meal arrives, we stop for a moment to soak in the enormity of the occasion. This place is a legend. Autographed photos of really famous people cover the walls in every spot that doesn't boast a medal or award the restaurant has won in some food competition. The humblest of foods, the simple pizza, originally a leftover meal made for paupers, has become a shining star in it's own right. Here I am, about to enjoy the most revered pizza of all with a very tall, good looking boy who might be just as yummy as the plate of food in front of me.

I am not disappointed... in either the pizza or the boy!

We practically bounce out of the place, having demolished our meal and proud of the fact. Deciding it would be best to walk off the obscene amount of calories we just consumed, he takes me for a stroll along the riverside, heading towards the bridge. Unfortunately, I *always* have room for dessert and I happen to know that the Jacques Torres chocolate shop is just around the corner. We sit in the quaint sidewalk shop at a tiny cafe table, feeling very Parisian and artsy. I cut the tiny truffles in two so we can share samples that slide down my throat a little too easily. Every piece melts on the tongue as though meant for my mouth only. I am in foodie heaven! My date comments that he's never had a woman make "yummy noises" so early on in a date before without having to work for it. I would blush, but my cheeks are too busy savoring the sweetness as the last little piece of candy disappears.

He tells me how pretty I am when I'm relishing my food and he feels like maybe I forgot he was here? Perhaps I need a moment alone with my dessert...Ok, maybe now I'll blush!!!

We sit for a while in the park while the sun begins to set over Manhattan. I totally get why people live here now. You actually have an amazing view of midtown without all the gridlock! It's unseasonably warm and we contemplate taking the water taxi across to South Street Seaport to grab dinner. I know what you're thinking. How can you people possibly have room for more food? Yet somehow between all the walking, talking, sitting and sunsetting, we do! Sadly, we've missed the last water taxi by a mere five minutes and are forced to scrounge up cool cones at the Brooklyn Ice Cream factory and watch the rest of the sky change colors from our spot at the edge of the river instead of on it. He did ask if I'd prefer to just cross the bridge on foot and while it's totally on my bucket list, I imagine I might want more appropriate footwear for the occasion. He suggests we do that on our second date which is precisely when my stomach the best way possible!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Allergic to Boring

4 dates, $400 and 0 laughs later...

His profile reads: "I am allergic to facebook" which is possibly the most intriguing sentence I've ever read. I am addicted to facebook, which is probably why I never should've signed up in the first place. Facebook is the vortex of all my free time. I sit at the computer and am instantly sucked into a black hole where my hours simply disappear inexplicably. At least I've given up the games. Quit cold turkey. There simply weren't enough hours in the day to tend to my farm, my cafe, my fish tank, not to mention my actual friends! I could choose sleep or facebook... suffice it to say I was tired for a LONG time!

But I digress.

Our conversations online are sporadic at best. He has a full time job where he's constantly on call and it drains the life out of him. He barely has an available waking moment which is why he signed up for online dating in the first place. He doesn't meet anyone in real life because he's constantly chained to his computer. That being said, he's a very good looking guy. He's six feet tall, has deep, dreamy eyes, an incredibly fit body, and slightly curly dark blonde hair that I would totally run my fingers through if it wasn't held together with maximum strength hair product!

We grew up only a few towns apart (I adore Massapequa boys!) but now he lives on the Upper West Side. He's got his own apartment facing Central Park where he goes running every day (or at least, every day he isn't stuck in the office.) It's the only time he does not carry his BlackBerry around with him because he's cracked a few too many of them on the Central Park pavement. Figures it's safer leaving the expensive device at home. Besides, he's been known to answer emails and phone calls in the shower, at least let the boy get a run in!

At this point, I am sufficiently convinced that he's a workaholic but he promises me he's looking for a new job come next year. I was already married to a man who averaged an 80 hour work week. I am not interested in dating another, thank you very much. He assures me that he's sticking out this position through holiday bonus season and then he's sending out resumes and going on interviews. Six years with this company is enough that he knows there's no bigger future there for him. Managing director of internet security sounds very impressive as long as you don't take into consideration all the sacrifices he's made to get there! Forgive me, but I'd rather shower in peace!

I admire his drive, determination and dedication. Most of my friends haven't approached this level of success by 29 (and in some cases, older!) I would love to afford my own apartment near the museums but for most of us, it's a fantasy. Not that a man's bank account is his most impressive feature, but it's nice that he can treat to drinks and I don't have to worry. He's very generous in never allowing me to pay and we went to some pretty swanky bars in midtown. Then again, he consistently matched my two martinis with four of his own, citing a "rough day at the office" each time. Really? Why do I get the sense that this is an ongoing thing...

Date #1: Meet at fancy bar on 7th in midtown. I look cute in a sweater dress and tall boots with heels. He's business casual with a button down and loafers, fitting right in with the "drinks near Penn station" crowd. I order two French Kiss martinis. He orders four Captain & Gingers. We talk about music, weekend plans, and what brought us to online dating. Confess the bare minimum of relationship histories, give general background on our family lives, mention religious upbringing and there are no red flags. He's polite, intelligent, and attractive. He gives me a one-armed hug and a kiss on the cheek when we part ways, saying that this was fun and he'll call me to do it again soon. Score!

Date #2: Meet at a fancy bar on 5th in midtown. I look cute in a purple plaid button down and tall boots with heels. He's business casual with a button down and loafers, fitting right in with the "happy hour lounge" crowd. I order two chocolate peppermint martinis. He orders four chocolate raspberry martinis. We talk about our towns, friends we might have in common, high school days and our favorite spots on Long Island. He doesn't know much about the city seeing as he's lived in it for less than a year and 90% of that time has been spent en route from his apartment to his office and back again. I give him the walking tour of Flatiron / Chelsea and he tells me all the places he'd like to go but has never been. I shift my bag to the outside shoulder in case he tries to hold my hand but no such move is made. He gives me a one-armed hug and a kiss on the cheek, saying he had a nice time and we should do this again soon. Score!

Date #3: Meet at an Asian restaurant. I look cute in a black and white wrap shirt with black slacks and heels. He's business casual with a button down and loafers, fitting right in with the "dumplings before dark" crowd. I order hot green tea. He orders a bottle of warm sake. This is the first time we actually share a meal, although I realize quickly that we have very different tastes. I am allergic to peppers. He loves spicy food. He's allergic to shellfish. I could make a meal out of shrimp cocktail. We talk about his boat, the friends he shares it with, going fishing with his dad. I tell him about my summers in the Hamptons, my family's passion for being on the water, my brother in the Coast Guard. We swap stories of fishing, clamming and crabbing before I realize he doesn't eat any of it. He just likes being out there, spending time with people close to him, relaxing, having a few beers (a few?) and being able to breathe. He gives me a one-armed hug and a kiss on the cheek, saying he'll call me this week to let me know what days he's free to meet up again! Score?

Date #4: Meet at a different fancy bar on 7th in midtown. I look cute in a tunic and leggings with tall boots. He's business casual with a button down and loafers, fitting right in with the "swanky hotel bar with the mistress before heading home to the wife" crowd. This place is a mix of middle aged to older men smelling like hedge fund money and younger women with push up bras and Brazilian straightened hair smelling like hyenas on the hunt. It's disturbing in a way only New York can offer. I am hit on three times in the five minutes before my date walks in. Note to self: If I ever want to pimp myself out for free drinks and bar snacks, this is the place to do it! I order two Cosmos. He orders four Bombay dirty martinis. We talk about work, work, and more work. By the fifth time he checks his BlackBerry, I make a new rule. No more office talk or looking at email until the date it over. I know that this is a risky move but I'm getting very sick of being overshadowed by his job! I'm interesting and exciting and intelligent and sexy and he needs to be distracted long enough to appreciate that! He survives a full thirty minutes before "something important" comes up he has to respond to so I excuse myself to the ladies room. I take a good long look in the mirror. I'm cute as a button. I'm smarter than the average bear. I'm sweet and funny and outgoing and bubbly and this date is boring the shit out of me! He has not said anything remotely interesting in four whole dates. He has not made me laugh at all. He has not made any attempt to kiss me, or even touch me. Seriously, not one hand hold, not one brush against my arm, nothing. The only physical contact he's made with me was when he got onto his bar stool and accidentally brushed my leg. He profusely apologized! I don't think I can do this anymore. I know he told me he was shy and nervous and took a while to warm up but a month? Who takes a month to get comfortable enough to face the person you're talking to? As much as I enjoy a good martini in a pretentious bar, the time has come for this ship to sail. For the first time, I do not offer to pick up the check or leave the tip. We grab our coats and I hail a cab. He gives me the requisite one-armed hug and kiss on the cheek, saying he'll call me this week to set something up. But I do not look back.

Dates: 4
Drinks: 18
Cost: $400
Displays of affection: 0
Times I laughed: 0
Times he mentioned work: Countless

Time to move on? Priceless...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Picky, Picky

Here's a little nugget of fun for you:

I started talking to this guy online about a month ago. We always had decent email exchanges and he seemed (as they all do) normal at the time. His pictures were all of his face and he was by no means bad looking. Some might even say mildly attractive. While there were no full body photos, he told me that he goes to the gym every day. Every single day. The only time he missed was when he had the flu for a week (and only for the safety of other clients.) Otherwise, he's there working out for 30 - 90 minutes. That's an average of 7 hours at the gym every week. That's 364 hours per year. Who the hell has more than 15 straight days of spare time to get on a treadmill or lift weights? Honestly, wouldn't you rather take a vacation? But I guess he gets more for his membership than I do. I did the math. I pay $60 a month for my gym membership. If I go once a week, that's $15 per session. If I go twice a week, it's $7.50 a session. He goes EVERY day. Which means that for the same monthly dues, his workouts only run him about $2!

Why am I throwing all these numbers at you? Because when we finally got on the phone, I asked him "Why the obsession?" He replied, "Well the first 60 pounds came off pretty quickly. I really have to work for the rest."

He had 60 pounds to lose and he's not done yet? Hmmm, this requires more investigating.

Me: Wow, that's really impressive. It must've been hard for you to lose all that weight.
Him: Nope, it was pure fat. It just kinda melted off.
Me: Oh, so what inspired you to finally get rid of it?
Him: I don't know. Just realized after the heart attack that I wasn't quite as healthy as I thought.
Me: Heart attack? Isn't 30 a bit young for a heart attack?
Him: It's more common than you think. I'm better now but I still have a long way to go.
Me: How much further is your goal weight?
Him: 120 pounds.
Me: You want to be 120 pounds?
Him: No, I want to lose another 120 pounds.
Me: On top of the 60 you already lost?
Him: Yes. So that would be about 180 pounds. I might stop there, depending how I look and feel.
Me: That's a lot of weight.
Him: There's plenty more where that came from!
Me: How are you feeling about it all?
Him: I'm starting to not recognize myself. This is the first time I've been less than 400 pounds. I don't know what I'll look like at 300. And I can't even imagine myself at 200.
Me: It's a big goal. You're very dedicated to go every day.
Him: Yeah well, I have a lot of free time on my hands.
Me: What do you do besides going to the gym?
Him: I work.
Me: Right. What else?
Him: Not much.
Me: Do you go out?
Him: Not really.
Me: Do you hang out with your friends?
Him: Nah. Don't really have too many friends.
Me: Do you have activities you enjoy doing?
Him: Nope. Just work, the gym, and tv. I like to curl up with my cats. My cats are my best friends.
Me: Wow, so when you said you were too busy to go out on a date this week or next, what was that about?
Him: I don't know. I guess I'm kinda scared of dating.
Me: Then why'd you sign up for the dating website?
Him: Cause I can't find any girls I really like. I think I'm too picky.

Just to be clear: the 400 pound cat lover with no friends thinks that he's single because he's too picky?!?!

I believe it's time to hang up now.

The BirdMan of Bergen

Dear Random Online Person,
You have a very relaxed profile. It was so nice to read. No pressure, just a pleasant way to find out a little bit about you. Thanks for seeming normal and kind. ~Kimberly

Hi Kimberly,
Thanks for writing and thank you so much for the kind words--I really appreciate it! Well I am kind, and I'd like to think I'm normal--but since I like birds so much I guess some people would disagree!--and that's ok with me :) You seem like a warm and friendly person--so if you'd like to chat more I would like that. -R

Warm and friendly, that's me! I just adore the adjectives you use to describe yourself. Honest, loyal, kind, affectionate, respectful. They're so refreshing in a world full of "Hit me up" and "where my ladiez at?" It's really nice to see a man who's not afraid to just be a really good guy :-) I have to tell you that I also love the outdoors and try to spend more time out than in. Your birding hobby fascinates me although I should confess now that I am positively terrified of pigeons. Traumatizing experience, will tell you someday. For now, suffice it to say that it's been 12 years and my friends still make fun of me, but I swear I thought I was going to die that day!!! -Kimberly

Hi Kimberly,
Hope you had a good weekend. Beautiful weather we are having--I love this time of year. (except for the ragweed) Ha!--funny about the pigeons (well probably not funny to you) Most people have a pigeon horror story--so that is ok. I forgive you if you don't like pigeons--but I like them. -R

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love being able to finally wear my sweaters and jeans again (without having to put on a heavy jacket and snow boots). The coolness in the air at night without all the gross humidity and stickiness of summer. I can't wait for the leaves to start changing so I can take weekend trips upstate to the wineries and apple picking. There is nothing in the world like Autumn in New York. What was the best part of your weekend? Anything fun and exciting coming up in your schedule this week? ~Kimberly

Hey Kimberly,
Last weekend I helped lead some trips for the annual Meadowlands festival of birding. Of course a reported showed up for my trip on Sun so a few horrible pics of me ended up in the local papers... Nothing too fun and exciting. I have seen some very good birds lately. This time of year is exciting birding-wise for me as you never know what will show up next. Yesterday I saw 2 rare birds: a Yellow-headed Blackbird and 2 Buff-breasted Sandpipers. Tomorrow I'll do some birding in the morning and then watch my (pathetic) Cowboys play. Sometimes I wish I wasn't a huge fan--since all they do is disappoint me--oh well. -R

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll have any chance at competing for your attention over the birds ... you certainly know how to make a girl jealous :-) Congrats about the featured article! That's so exciting for you. And not to worry. NO ONE looks good in newspaper pictures. Promise! Kimberly
PS: I totally feel you on the Cowboys front. I was born a Mets fan. Rooting for the underdog is my specialty.

Hey Kim,
So my current situation is that I've had a 2nd meeting/date with someone--but I'm not quite sure if we are on the same page or not--so it's currently up in the air as far as if we are "officially dating" or not--since I honestly don't know. I'm telling you this since I don't want to leave you "in the dark" about anything and because I respect your time and don't want you to miss meeting someone else in the meantime. Having said that I WOULD be interested in meeting you at some point--whether or not I'm "in a relationship"--as I think it's hard to find people like you and I'm betting that in addition to making a good girlfriend you would also make a very good friend...Of course that is if you want to--no pressure at all... -R

Honestly, I don't usually call dating "a relationship" until the third date or beyond. At that point I would cease conversations with anyone else I was talking to because it seems like a good point to become mutually exclusive. I'm happy that you're enjoying getting to know someone and if it goes somewhere, that'd be great for you. I won't hold you back but I also won't make you feel guilty like I'm holding my breath waiting for you on the other side of the computer screen. Is that a fair compromise? And yes, in my experience, "at least it can't get any worse" are famous last words. If I told you stories about guys I've met so far, you'd laugh so hard it would hurt! I'm definitely liking getting to know you as well because you seem normal! You know, minus the whole bird infatuation :-) J/k everyone has to be passionate about SOMETHING!!! ~Kim
PS: You're right. I am a wonderful friend. And an amazing girlfriend... 

Hello Kim,
How have you been? So......I never made it to the 3rd date w/ the woman I mentioned. Even though things seemed to be going well--I guess it was one-sided, as she didn't feel "the chemistry." Anyway--since I'm officially "available" now I'd love to keep talking if you feel the same way--and If you'd like to talk on the phone sometime that would be nice too. You should know that I am looking for someone who completely understands and accepts that I'm passionate about birds and sports and that they are my "escape" from the everyday stresses of life--and that it doesn't mean that they are more important than the person I'm with even if it may occasionally seem so (and the "cherry on top" would be someone who would actually watch a game w/ me or go on a birding outing w/ me (once in a while--not all the time of course!)
Now that's not too much to ask for is it?!? -R

*Note to the Readers: It is at this point that my curiosity wins out over my common sense. In the interest of writing (as I'm assuming we've all determined by this point that BirdMan is just writing material) I decide to call him. He messages me his number and I try with all my might to keep a straight face throughout the conversation.*

Highlights from our phone call include:

You know what they call me around these parts? The BirdMan of Bergen!
(I think I knew your father...are you the son of Alcatraz?)

When would you like to meet? I have to plan it around the sparrows and work.
(Does it frighten anyone else that these two things are in the same category of importance?)

Oh, I can't meet you in the city. I don't go to New York.
(What? You live 30 minutes away. It's even faster by train!)

The big city scares me. I wouldn't know where I was going. Maybe you could meet me at the train station?
(What are you, five years old? Do you need me to hold your hand when crossing the street and cut the crusts off of your PBJ sandwich?)

Ooh, even better, you could just come meet me in Jersey! You drive, right?
(A - yes, I drive. I'm a grown-up. B - No fucking way am I crossing a bridge, or rather TWO bridges, to meet you for a first date. Sorry.)

Needless to say that the whole awkward time we were talking, many, many uncomfortable silences filled the air. He was nervous and stuttered often and I wondered how the other girl made it through two whole dates with him. What's sad is that his profile really did sound promising but he simply couldn't hide the crazy factor very well (or rather, at all.)

Men, the lesson here is this: If you have an unusual obsession, that's great. I am not advising you to change who you are. But girls really don't need to know about it until MUCH later on. Keep your inner geek in check until you have at least secured a date with us. If you want to slowly start revealing the skeletons in the closet, give us time to absorb them and accept you for who you are. Please understand, however, that should you bombard us with psycho babble about said obsession from Day One, you will be sitting home alone with your birds / Legos / comic books / video games / action figures for a very long time. Good Luck! Love, Women Everywhere

Monday, November 1, 2010

Adorably Feisty

The fates have turned on me lately, sending ex boyfriends my way instead of new ones. The winds of change have blown the dust off the past fifteen years of broken relationships and sending the remnants flying right back in my general direction. This is precisely how I found myself at IHOP sitting across the table from a man who broke up with me in 1999 because (and I quote) I "made [him] too happy."

I had been crushing on this boy for a while but we were always only ever friends. He had a girlfriend in high school and another in college. I guess you could say that I was his graduation summer romance. (Don't we all have one of those?) Then one day, the world changed. He professed feelings for me that I'd always assumed were one-sided in my direction and we had the most wonderful thirty days together. It was a month of pure bliss. I felt like I'd fallen for my best friend and could not have been happier. He's ridiculously smart, I mean the kind of smart that impresses the pants off people. He's kind and sweet and considerate and always a gentleman. He's the sort of guy that any girl would be lucky to date (Are you listening single women? He's still available!) I fell pretty hard that summer and was consequently crushed when he told me he was going back to his high school girlfriend. I didn't understand it then. We had only just put our names together on a birthday card for his baby cousin. No one had EVER included my name on the card as part of a couple before, which I took to mean we were super serious about each other.

*Note: Did you see that episode of Sex & the City where Carrie and Big have a joint card on a wedding gift? He freaks out that they're "too serious." Or the episode of FRIENDS where Ross and his flavor of the month make Christmas cards together? That's my idea of love! It's especially funny when Chandler and Monica get married but still don't send out holiday greetings together because "I don't think we're 'there' yet." Too true!*

Anywho, I'd gone from being the other name on the birthday card to being the girl who made him so happy he couldn't function. He was not at all used to the level of attention I paid to him or how involved we were in one another's lives. He'd gotten quite comfortable in his last relationship and didn't know how to be himself without her. They only lasted the rest of the summer until everyone went their separate ways for college and then it was Splitsville once more. The damage to us was already done though. We went back to the Friends Zone and have stayed there ever since.

There have been some mild flirtations in the years since my divorce and I'll admit that the feelings never quite went away. He's never given me reason to doubt his sincerity as one of the good guys or that he has the purest of intentions for any woman fortunate enough to date him. Not that this man is a saint by any measure, mind you, and he does have his idiosyncracies like all guys do. He has a habit of staying in with a bottle of single malt scotch on nights when social plans fall through. I dare not estimate the amount of hours he's spent playing video games online. And his penchant for comic books and hand-drawn animation boggles my mind. I simply can't reconcile these factors with his level of intelligence and professional success but they're there all the same.

Deciding to have a weekend of indulgent debauchery, he messaged me first thing Friday morning to join him for Stuffed French Toast to kick the festivities off right. Knowing that I have a weakness for breakfast foods and nowhere to be during regular business hours made him sure I'd say yes. (Seriously, if I can put butter, maple syrup, or whipped cream on something, I will eat it!!!) We hit the IHOP and I was pleased to start my day off with a hot chocolate. He ordered black coffee and we toasted to me being (and I quote) "an internet sensation!" Yeah, he might get bumped up to favorite friend status for calling me that! He requested Stuffed French Toast as promised and I got the Pancakes stacked with Cinnamon Roll icing in between. Listen, if we're going to have an indulgent moment, I'm going all out!

We discussed both of our single-people lives, both of our upcoming 30th birthdays, his full-time work and my lack thereof, families, friends, vacations, dreams...the usual catching up. He's planning a trip to Vegas for his approaching milestone year. I have just less than six months left and am thinking something much more low key. (Let's hope the surprise party gods are listening!) As he paid the check and we headed for the door, the hostess pointed out a basket of Dum-Dums on the counter. Happy Halloween! Let the candy eating begin. I chose Root Beer flavor because I'm boring and predictable. He picked up Grape. Just as I began to walk away, I heard "Awesome!" and turned around. He'd discovered a blue lollipop deep in the bucket.

Blue? Who the hell likes blue anything? There are no blue foods in nature so I am highly suspicious of anything colored blue. I don't even eat the blue M&M's which my father swears don't taste any different but I refuse to consume simply on principle. He looks at me and says "Don't you know about my affections for anything blue?" Um, no...enlighten me.

"I love blue things. I'd love to date a girl with blue hair!"

I am blonde.

"Even better if she was an Asian girl."

My tan is comparable to that of the vampires in the Twilight series. While I don't sparkle in the sunlight, I'm obscenely pale. Almost reflective.

"Preferably a petite Asian girl with blue hair."

Petite? I'm 5'9! A few more inches and I'd qualify for Amazonian...

"Yup, a petite Asian girl with blue hair who loves Halo. That's my dream woman."

Halo? Is that a show, a band or a game? Have no clue.

Me: Can I ask you a question? If you have a desire to date petite Asian women with blue hair who love Halo, why on Earth did you ever date me? I'm the polar opposite of everything you just said!

"Cause you're feisty. I like that."

Me: I'm feisty? What does that mean?

"You know, you're like hard core. Energetic. Ready to kick ass. Dominating. Feisty."

Me: Wow, no one has ever called me that before. I kinda like it. Seems super confident. Very intimidating. (At this point, I make my "strong" face and flex my non-existent muscles. Then I start clapping and jumping up and down in my seat because we're going to Barnes & Noble.)

"Ok, now you're not feisty. Now you're just adorable."

Me: Adorably feisty!!! (Make "mean" face again.)

He laughs and continues driving to B&N so I can get my nerd on. I might not have blue hair but I do have an attitude!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to be a bitch

If you ask any of the boys I'm currently dating, they will tell you I'm the kindest, sweetest, gentlest, most loving person they've ever met. If you ask of the boys whose hearts I have broken in the last 15 years, they'll likely tell you I'm an evil bitch. Occupational hazard?

I know this because I ran into an ex on the street today. I don't mean that I rammed him with my car (much as I've envisioned that fantasy a few times, it never involved this particular person.) I mean that I was walking through a quaint little Long Island town on my way to the cafe for lunch with a friend and there he was... talking to a girl. Not just any girl, mind you. A very PRETTY girl.

Bear in mind that this boy and I had a mild summer romance ten years ago. I was 20 and he was 28 which at the time seemed like a HUGE age difference. I was halfway through college and he was an "adult" already. (I'm using the term loosely here. We all know that men and women don't mature at the same rate, so we were probably equals on the grown up front!) We re-connected through facebook a few years ago and got to talking, emailing etc. I saw him a few times in person before he expressed wanting to rekindle our decade old romance. I had a boyfriend then but that did not stop his affection for me. He was thoughtful and considerate and our friendship felt completely natural. When he repeatedly expressed wanting more than I could give him, he thought that I was being cold and callous which was never my intention. I didn't want to see him get hurt and had to cut off all communication with him because he started getting spiteful and mean. Drama avoidance lesson #1: Defriending someone for your own good!

Anywho, I was wandering the aisles of my local grocery store yesterday sans make up, messy bun in hair, sweatshirt over no bra (which I NEVER do anymore but it was just one of those days) and I thought to myself: What if someone saw me? Worse yet - what if someone I used to DATE saw me? That thought scared me enough to grab only the basic necessities, hit the express self checkout line and run for the safety of my car. You'd have thought I learned my lesson yesterday? You'd be wrong.

Here I am again today, not really feeling too bothered to dress up. I promise that I was properly attired with undergarments this time but it was kind of a t shirt, sneakers and jeans day. I showered and dried my hair this morning but then tied it back in a messy braid so I'm not really sure why I wasted the energy. I'm walking down the street thinking it's just lunch with an old friend when I see HIM standing outside of the restaurant. I don't know how I recognized him with his back to me but it was one of those "Oh, crap..." moments that happens in slow motion. I had to go right past him and the pretty, well-dressed, beautifully accessorized woman he was chatting with. Insert over abundance of feigned confidence here!

I waved for a second til he noticed me then I plastered a big smile on my face. He looked really taken back and hesitantly let out a "Hey, Kim..." which might as well have been "Hey, Adolf...what are you and Saddam doing here?" He looked equally as comfortable when Adolf (aka, me) hugged him and flashed those pearly whites. (Crest WhiteStrips, as recommended by my dentist.) Then I turned the charm onto the bejeweled brunette by his side as though noticing her for the first time. Extending my hand and offering up my biggest beauty queen smile, I introduced myself to his companion. She looked from me to him then back again before taking my hand. She had to shift the keys, cell phone and doggie bag she was carrying just to greet me so small victory there. (Yes, I'm THAT shallow.) Then I pulled the ultimate evil girl maneuver. "Pretty necklace!"

Every woman knows that when confronting the enemy, there is only one possible option. You can't suddenly make yourself better dressed than her or instantly appear to be having a better hair day. You must, therefore, come across as a nice person. Brace yourselves girls, for if you have not yet run into an ex who is now with someone else, this will happen to you eventually. And you too, will fire off a compliment at a woman you have never met and hope never to run into again for the sake of appearing to be casual, cool, calm, and collected. Like it doesn't phase you in the least to introduce yourself by name to this stranger instead of "Hi, I'm the girl he was sleeping with before you."

*Note to the readers: I have, in fact, introduced myself to other women as "the girl he was sleeping with before you." I do NOT recommend this tactic in the least. It is remotely self-satisfying for approximately thirty seconds and the arrogance quickly deflates out of you when you see the sparkling ring on her left hand or some such thing. Your better bet by far is to play off the "Oh, isn't this a funny coincidence bumping into you here and by the way, my life is fabulous!" Pay a quick compliment, blow an air kiss and GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. You will embarrass yourself otherwise!*

I walk as fast as my Shape-Ups will take me into the little cafe and slink down into my chair while the attentive waitress cautiously offers me a menu. I probably look like I just committed a murder and needed a hideaway while the cops talk to eyewitnesses. I am heaving a big sigh of relief when he walks in! Just like that, saunters in off the sidewalk and back into the cafe where he'd only finished lunch with his date five minutes before. Oh. My. God. Why is he trying to torture me???

I pretend to be engrossed in my menu and not noticing him order a hamburger at the counter. (Yeah, right. Good cover.) He turns and plays the same fake "Oh, I didn't see you there" move that I JUST played on his new girlfriend. I plaster the Crest smile back on my lips and he takes this as a cue to sit down next to me. Great. This isn't weird at all.

He says he'll only stay a minute. He just ordered a hamburger for a homeless man outside who was begging for money to get something to eat. Instead of giving the guy cash, he offered to buy him some lunch. Yeah, right. I mean, I've done that before (corner of 21st and 6th...same guy is there every Thursday) but I've never seen anyone else do it. Is it possible he's that good of a guy? Or is he skeevy enough to use a homeless man as an excuse to talk to me?

Just then the very clearly "residentially challenged person" walks into the restaurant and the guy tells him his burger will be up in a few minutes. He'll bring it out when it's ready.

Alright... NOW I feel like an asshole.

We start catching up on each other's lives. He remembers so much stuff I'd forgotten we'd ever talked about. He's sweet and funny and bows his head down a little when bringing up the way things ended between us. He tells me he was hurt and upset when I cut him off and took it really hard. Then he looks right at me and says "Wow, your eyes are really green today." Feeling more and more like an asshole every minute...

Then he smirks and says, "Speaking of green, what was that little move you just pulled out front?"
Me: (blushes and looks back at menu) "I don't know what you're talking about."
Him: "You. Outside. With the girl. 'Pretty necklace!' Big smile. Batting eyelashes. What the hell was that?"
Me: "Nope, sorry, wasn't me." (Big smile. Bats eyelashes.)
Him: "Yeah, right. Ok fine. But I don't think I've ever seen you so jealous before in my life."
Me: "Moi? Jealous? I don't think so. She was pretty. Seemed nice."
Him: "Nice? You did not take two seconds to get to know her. You were too busy auditioning for Miss Congeniality."
Me: "I'm happy you're dating her."
Him: "I'm not dating her. She's a friend."
Me: "Oh." (Asshole...)
Him: "Who are you meeting for lunch?"
Me: "A friend." (Which is true!)
Him: "Ok. Well call me when you're ready to be friends again. Really. Anytime."

With this, he walks outside, hands the homeless man his burger and heads off to work. And I am left feeling, for once, like the bitch my ex'es called me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Speed Dating, Round 2

After realizing that Speed Dating, Part 1 has been my most popular blog entry thus far, I decided to take on the project for a second time. Why? Because clearly my readers enjoy watching me torture myself!

Speed Dating, Part 2 took place uptown at a swanky "fast food" joint which only one week previously boasted clients such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Matt Dillon (no clue if they were there at the same time but this is New York...I wouldn't put it past them!) PopBurger has many locations and VERY good food (more on that in a minute). As I entered the building, there were signs saying "Event Upstairs" so I climbed the institutional staircase to the second floor which was labelled "Private Party". Judging by the loud disco music and number of happy hour drunk people dancing, I guessed that this was not my scene. I continued climbing the ever frightening staircase of doom to the third floor, pulled open a very heavy metal door and discovered what was almost certainly where I'd spend my evening. An equal mixture of single men and women, awkwardly milling about the room, completely unsure what to do with themselves. It looked like a junior high school dance twenty year reunion! The overpowering smells of too much cologne, french fries and nervousness mingled in the air, creating the signature scent of speed dating everywhere.

I approach the bar and see a very pretty blonde girl standing there handing out name tags. I check in and scan the pile for my own. While running my eyes over the men's name badges, I stop dead in my tracks and grab the girl's arm. "What's the matter???" she asked me. "OLEG!" I practically cry. "What's wrong with Oleg?" she pondered obliviously. "He's an asshole!" I exclaim. I then recount the entire story to her of my previous experience with speed dating and what a jack ass this guy was. *Please refer to Speed Dating blog 1 for more details.* I simply stated that should he actually show up tonight, I would excuse myself to the Ladies room for our 6 minutes together. And if he said ANYTHING even remotely rude to me, I would walk out of the entire event immediately and demand my money back. She wrote on the back of her program in big, bold, block letters: "OLEG = ASSHOLE!!!" and assured me she'd keep him away from me at all costs.


What I should also probably mention is that this poor girl was dealing with three catastrophes at once. Oleg the asshole being the least of her problems, the people at PopBurger had triple booked the room! There was a corporate meeting and a happy hour ladies event going on at the exact same time our speed dating was set to occur. There were not enough tables and chairs for everyone to sit at and some people wound up standing. Others wound up at the bar. Still others were forced to meet in the awkwardest position of all: at / on the pool table in the middle of the room! I swear that had I been forced into dating at the pool table, all hell would've broken loose but the event coordinator already sensed that I was no one to be trifled with so I got the first available table and a cushy seat. I did feel several stabs of guilt throughout the night watching these women attempting to position themselves as "casually sexy" leaning against the billiards balls. Normally I do quite well against felt but tonight didn't seem like a great time to try it. I was wearing 4 inch heels with a mini skirt and did not dare risk toppling over for all the young, single, professional world to see. My dress was far more low cut that the last event and I'd applied night-time makeup, although I kept my signature ponytail. Can't conform totally, right?

Alright, on to the dates! The bell rang and the hostess announced it was time for everyone to take their seats (or loosely interpreted version of the word.) Here we go!

Date 1: Ted - fact or fiction? His name tag read Ted E and when he introduced himself, he told me that Ted was not his real name. It's Theodore. Theodore Edwin. Theodore Edwin Bear. But his friends call him Teddy Bear. Cute. (Barf noises.) I asked Ted E Bear what he does for a living. He told me that it was top secret government work which he'd love to discuss with me but "they might be listening." The perks of his job include international travel. I asked where are his favorite places to travel to. He replied "Couldn't tell you that. I only really spend time in the airports wherever I go." Uh huh... So what does Ted like to do when not working? He's big into sports "especially water skiing." I'm sorry, I don't think that's really a sport. DING! Oh well, time to move on.

Date #2: Joe - Wow. That's literally what I wrote down next to his name on my program. WOW! He's a sales manager from New Jersey who moved up here from Florida to pursue his career dreams. He's climbed the corporate ladder faster in six months of NYC life than almost ten years down south. When I asked him what sorts of sales he managed, he hung his head, no joke, and practically whispered "Cigarettes." Before I could give him an inquisitive glance, he implored "But please don't judge me! I have to do what I have to do to pay the bills and they pay really well. I don't smoke and I don't agree with smoking. In fact, I hate it, I think it's disgusting. That said, the company puts food on my table and a roof over my head and I can't argue with that, can I?" Yes, I see, your logic is impermeable. Changing topics quickly, he asked what I do for a living. I smiled and said that I was a writer. He said "That's fantastic! Pitch your book idea to me." Alright...why the hell not? So I pitched him my idea for Hello Single, Goodbye Waistline: a breakup memoir with recipes. He loved it. Said that he's never heard of anything like it. Thought it was a brilliant idea. He then said "I just know it'll be a big hit because you simply radiate success!" Did I mention that he was the best looking guy in the room? Just as an added bonus... DING

Date #3: Alec - stares a lot. You know all that construction work they're doing at Penn Station on the 8th Avenue side? This guy (supposedly) manages that project. Frankly, he seems a bit young for the task but ok, I'll bite. He made pretty intense eye contact throughout our entire conversation to the point that I'm not really sure what he was saying. I was too busy contemplating whether this was a date or an interrogation. DING

Date # 4: Nick - Strong Island. Yeah, yeah, we've all heard it. People make fun of Long Island all the time and that's ok. I can give it right back. What surprised me was that this guy is actually FROM Long Island and insisted on dissing my hometown right to my face. Excuse me, you grew up ten minutes away from my house! You lived two stops away on the Babylon branch of the LIRR until eight months ago. But suddenly you move into an apartment on the Upper West Side and think your shit doesn't stink? Really??? Ok smart ass. I'm going to sit here uncomfortably silent until you figure out to shut your stupid mouth. One minute...two minutes...three minutes... DING

Date # 5: Kenny - best line ever. Me: "So, Kenny, what do you do for a living?" Kenny: "I'm not a computer nerd, I just work in the industry." Best. Line. Ever. DING

Date # 6: Sai It - don't say it. Steering clear of the "what do you do?" line of questioning (as I knew I'd never get a better answer than Kenny's) I asked Sai It what he was looking for in a woman. He replied, "An upstanding citizen." Excuse me? "I want a woman with good morals, good values, an excellent sense of self, someone who understands the importance of family, has good friends, a great career, is well maintained, doesn't cause a lot of drama, does the right thing, always know what to say, makes nice meals, would be a good wife and is really good in bed." DING

Date # 7: Jeff - really, really drunk. Alright, so how this works is that all the girls are given numbers and the guys migrate to those positions every time the bell rings (it's very Pavlovian.) So if you were at Table 2 and the bell rings, you'd move to Table 3. Get it? Well Jeff had just finished at Table 14 and I was seated at Table 1. Somehow, he got lost. The event space is smaller than my childhood bedroom and yet he managed to get lost. I'm sitting there, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for a guy to approach me and there is no one walking this way. I pull out my phone and start texting a friend something along the lines of "this is bull shit..." when he wanders over holding a fresh drink in his hand. He stopped at the bar before coming to see me. ARE YOU KIDDING??? We only have six minutes together and you wasted four of them getting a whisky sour? I shall sit here for the remaining two minutes ignoring you because you are clearly not worth 120 seconds of my time. Yes, it's a temper tantrum move but he absolutely deserved it. Then, instead of attempting to be polite and apologize, Jeff does not take up the chair across the cocktail table from me. He smushes in next to me on the comfy bench! "You mind scutching over, love?" OMG you soooo do not get to call me "love" you rude moron! Toasting me with his already half empty glass, he slurs "I didn't plan on getting this drunk but I'm already mostly there so I'm just gonna go with it. Can I take you home?" DING DING DING DING DING

The break comes just in time. I was about to commit murder.

Insert the most amazing burgers, fries and onion rings I've ever tasted in my life. Totally makes up for the rest of the evening. Oh wait, we're only half done. Crap! Better eat another burger to even out the pros and cons...

Date # 8: Brian - aka Sammy Davis Jr. This kid looks like he fell straight out of a Rat Pack time capsule. White shirt, skinny black tie, black jacket... he's even got one of the phone sex voices belonging only to singers from the 1940's. As we ruminate on his likeness to famous crooners, we circle around topics such as 80's films, pop culture, and dating in the big city. Like playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it all comes back around to Sammy Davis Jr and just then - DING. I know nothing whatsoever about this man but those six minutes were fun!

Date # 9: Josh - funny and cute. That's all I wrote down. He was sweet, sincere, funny and cute. I have no recollection of any other details from the evening because all he did was make me laugh. I like that in a man. DING

Date # 10: John - the photographer. I tend to meet a lot of photographers and they always fascinate me. He tells me about his work, where he lives in Brooklyn, the places he likes to take pictures of best, where his favorite walking spots are... DING! Oops, I forgot to talk. Oh well...

Date # 11: Daniel - the scientist. I can't quite place his accent which is a novel dilemma for me. I lived in Europe for 4 years and could pick out just about any accent from the continent. I could even narrow down where in England a person was from. But I cannot figure his out. It's driving me mad! I finally break down and ask him which was a good idea because as it turns out, his accent is a muddled concoction of Dutch, Irish and Russian. Yeah, I never would've gotten that. I ask him about his work and he enlightens me on the inner workings of his high tech science lab in which something very boring and mathematical goes on ...Zzzzzz... DING

Date # 12; Romeo - and no I did not make that up. He smiles at me and shakes my hand, instantly putting me at ease. Romeo says, "Kimberly, nice to meet you. You're very beautiful." Awww, thanks. "Your eyes sparkle in the candlelight." Wow, that's sweet. "You have the most gorgeous long, blonde hair." Thanks, I grew it myself. "Your face is heavenly, like an angel's." Ok, now we're getting creepy. "Kimberly, how tall are you?" Um...5'8 - 5'9. "You'll probably make me feel like a small man but do you mind standing up?" Sure, why not? This can't get any weirder. He's 5'4. Ok, maybe it can get weirder. "Wow, you are so tall, you must be a model." Nope, sorry dude, so far removed from the life of a model, it's not even funny. "Kimberly, how old are you? I guess 22." I'm 29 which is older than you are, Romeo and besides, the age range for this event is 27 - 37 so why not guess something realistic?!?! "May I kiss your hand?" What the - DING

Date # 13: Dario - mi amor. Dario takes my hand (after I wiped it off from the creepy Romeo poser) and kisses it gently. Sensing the Italian moves being played on me, I let him know that I'm onto him. "Piacere, Dario." He recoils at someone speaking his language and spews a tirade of rapid fire Italian at me, only ten percent of which I understand. I'm sure I lose the majority in translation but blush, bat my lashes and say thank you without dropping his gaze. I then politely explain that I only speak a little bit of Italian but could we please spend the rest of the date in English? He tells me all about where he's from, what he's doing in New York and what he's looking for in a woman... all in Italian. Guess he didn't understand what I was saying any more than I understood him. Baptism by fire. DING

Thus brings me to the end of the evening. Drunk Jeff stumbles over again and says he's sorry for missing our date. Perhaps we could catch up more over breakfast tomorrow if I want to spend the evening at his place now. I walk away. Joe is entangled in a group of women vying for his attention and I'm better than waiting for secondhand scraps so I avoid that vulture club. I grab another burger on my way out the door and thank the hostess for a fun evening. She says "Hey, I still have Oleg's name tag here. I guess he never showed up?" So there's that!

Friday, October 22, 2010


So the follow up (and what I hope is the ending) to the Trekkie Virgin saga is that I got a text message from him today. Mind you, it's been two whole weeks since our third date and I've heard nothing. There hasn't been a peep from him which I was grateful for cause it kinda let me off the hook from having to break his heart. I HATE hurting people's feelings, even if they're people I barely know and owe nothing to. I don't like doing it. I've been raised to be a sweet, kind, generous girl with room for everyone in my heart. Seriously, my mother is terrified of how many stray kittens or homeless people I will bring home on just about a daily basis. Plus, I've had my heart broken enough to know that it isn't a pleasant feeling for anyone and I would not want to be the source of unnecessary pain. Especially for a man who is clearly as fragile as this poor, awkward boy.

You can understand my sense of relief when he simply stops calling and texting. On the one hand, I did tell him about my writing on the third date and was relatively sure he'd read it and given up hope that I was serious about wanting a relationship with him. On the other hand, I was slightly miffed that he hadn't even bothered to send a "thanks, but no thanks" message. I wanted to know either way so I could close that chapter in the book and move on. Although he did save me the trouble of being the one to say "this isn't gonna work out". I've felt very conflicted.

You can imagine my surprise when he texted me out of the blue today with "Good morning, beautiful. Sorry I've been incommunicado lately. I caught a cold and it's been a rough week...or two... I have a meeting tonight at 8."


First of all, you're going to fall off the grid and blame a cold??? Really??? I've had a sniffly nose and a nasty cough since last Friday also but seriously, you would not have been able to pry my phone out of my hands. I still talk to my friends online and answer emails and send messages. I still show up to places I'm supposed to be and I'm guessing he didn't call out sick from work so he's seriously telling me he was too busy sneezing to talk to me after three dates?!?! This is unacceptable.

Secondly, if you are going to ignore me for this long of a time period, don't I (at the very least) deserve a phone call and an apology? LIke a real one... that doesn't involve details about the board meeting schedule for your bowling league! Honestly, men have NO class anymore. Whoever said chivalry was dead probably invented that theory approximately 30 seconds after online dating was created. Because it sucks the romance out of...well...romance!

My response to him (cause I know you were wondering) was "Hey, I didn't hear from you for two weeks so I assumed we weren't dating anymore. Sorry :-( " and I've heard nothing back. You'd think he'd inquire if we could still date or if I started dating someone else but no such happenings. This man never made a move to kiss me, touch me, or otherwise encroach on my personal space, to the point that the Holy Ghost always had a place between us as though at a Catholic school dance. He took no initiative and perhaps it's because he was scared to make a move but men, if you're listening, confidence is sexy! Women love guys who are not cocky, arrogant or full of themselves (because let's face it, the world revolves around girls, not boys) but that know who they are and aren't afraid to show it. Men who carry themselves with pride and possess some level of self-esteem. If you're going to hang your head, stick your tail between your legs and crawl into the shame corner, why on Earth would we want to mate with you? We like strong, smart, sexy male specimens who walk tall without strutting like a peacock or pounding fists on their chests like hairy apes.

So the next time you ask "What does it take to impress a girl?" don't focus on your outfit or your haircut or your salary. Think about your attitude and demeanor. We can smell fear. If you act like a scaredycat, we'll know and will most likely run the other way. If you are confident in who you are, even if you're a 32 year old virgin with a penchant for science fiction fantasies, you do stand a chance with even the prettiest and smartest of girls. But for heaven's sake, pick up the phone and call her!

Not you, Mets fan. We are SO over!

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010