Friday, July 30, 2010

Short Stack fires back

So here's the update on 5'1 guy. I sent him a very polite email saying that I think he's got a great personality but I just don't feel we're compatible / would be a good match. I didn't hear anything for 3 days. Ok, some guys respond, others just take the blow off. No big deal. This morning, I woke up to the following email:

I would have normally thanked you for such honesty and for not wasting my time. Or at least not so much of it. But then a few days ago I had the brilliant idea of befriending you on Facebook. I didn't find you, but I found a page for this cute, LITTLE blog you write. Get it? Little? Of course you do.

Wait, I "rejected" you and THEN you tried to friend me? Seriously?

He then lists all of the ways I "insulted" him and follows up with:

Wow, just call you butter. You're on a roll.

Oh, snap!!!

He's very sensitive about me saying that little guys aren't sexy:

Considering the fact that I am in great shape, have my own place, a paid off car, am gainfully employed and have all my shit together, I am willing to bet a lot of women find this little guy sexy. What is wrong with you?

What's wrong with me? I have to date 99 more losers. That's what's wrong with me!

You must be at least 5'8 to ride this attraction:

Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much of a line to climb aboard. If "*this* attraction" was at a water park, it would get shut down. The water is much too shallow. See, I'm good at this game, too.

Ooh, who wants to go to Splish Splash??? I hear they have a kiddie section!!!

And his closing argument:

I hope you don't get sick of coffee. It's going to take a hell of a lot more than 100 cups for you. By the way, coffee goes great with donuts. Better yet, munchkins.

Munchkins!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! I'm gonna be laughing all the way to the bank!!!

Ok, ok, I get it. He's probably been dealing with short jokes all his life. And I don't want to be one of those mean girls who gives him a complex or anything but come on! Dude, you just gave me WAY more writing material. I mean, I was prepared to let it go but this stuff is priceless! He deserves special mention on here for being the cockiest, most arrogant guy I've dealt with in a LONG time. Honestly, if someone said "thanks but no thanks" to me after talking for a while, I woulda just let it go. In fact, I polled 15 of my girlfriends this morning and only 1 said it'd be ok to "friend" someone after the fact. But then to write back to my blog, dissecting every single line and firing back at me for "making fun of you"...he just made himself the easiest target in the world!!!

Now I know that many of you readers are wondering why I'd publish such nonsense from a "cup" about myself. Just to show you that I can take it as well as I give it. I don't mind taking the criticism as easily as I dole it out. I know that this project isn't for everyone but every ridiculous encounter like this brings me one step closer to hopefully finding someone sane. And taller than a 3rd grader. Just sayin.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Twisted Steel

He's sweet, he's funny, he's full of cheesy pick up lines. After several messages, emails and texts, we finally catch up on the phone. He tells me that he works for the Yankees and he'd love to take me to a game sometime. Wow, kind of a generous offer for a first date, but I'm not one to say no to a baseball game. I say "how will I recognize you?" and he replies, "I'll be the 5'1 guy holding the tickets, waiting for the gorgeous blonde girl to join me."

*Crickets chirping*

I'm sorry, what did you say?

"Listen, I don't want you to think any less of me (if I thought any less of you, you'd be a Munchkin) but you should know that I'm only 5'1."

Wow, ok so I did hear that right.

"I mean, I know you're 5'9 and that's not a problem for me (of course it's not a problem for you --- you come up to my boobs). I'm just wondering if my height is an issue for you." do I answer this without hurting his little feelings?!?! Dammit, see, there it goes, starting already with the short jokes. The puns, the not-so-hidden innuendos. You can't possibly be serious. 5'1???????

"Hey, I just tell everybody that I'm 61 inches of twisted steel and sex appeal." (Who thinks little guys are sexy?!?! Raise your hand now...)

Really?!?! Twisted steel and sex appeal??? That's your motto? Ok, I'm gonna laugh at you now.

"If it helps, I don't need a booster seat and I can go on most of the rides at Disney World." (Dude, did you say MOST???)

Perhaps Space Mountain is more lenient than I am but you must be at least 5'8 to ride *this* attraction. Sorry Short Stack. Better luck in the Junior department.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

He's History

Alright, many of you have been asking about the last few entries. I know that they're not my usual style (and by that, I mean mushy / romantic / optimistic.) I got a little sappy about The Jew from Brooklyn and The Historian --- yes, they are the same guy. He is also Red Mango food poisoning guy and further still, the man who blocked my phone calls and emails for no apparent reason. As you are all asking for closure, I'll tell you what happened and then I shall speak of it no more.

He apologized. He begged. He pleaded. He groveled. He promised he'd do better. He felt awful. He showed remorse. He swore never to over react again. He ensured me that we'd talk any and every time he felt insecure in the future if only I'd give him the chance. He told me he'd spend the rest of his life making it up to me if I'd let him. (We have noticed that he's got a flair for the dramatic, yes???)

I spoke to many of you and my friends at home asking if you all thought he deserved a second shot at a relationship. Not just a cup. Not just a date. But something real, deeper, more meaningful than all the brave souls who came before him. If he ought to have the possibility of becoming someone significant in my life.

I got the following responses:

"It's really early on in the 'relationship' for him to be fucking up like this. Seems like a tale of what's to come."

"Give the poor bastard another chance. He obviously just got scared off because he likes you so much."

"I say kick him to the curb. He doesn't deserve a second shot at making you happy. He's already made you miserable after one lousy week."

"If you're this upset about fighting with him, he must be really special. Take some time to heal from the hurt, then forgive him and move on."

"I don't think that any guy who makes you cry after a month of talking is worth keeping around to see what further damage he can do."

"Sweet pea, you've already told us his name. I think that means you like him. Maybe take a step back and just 'date' casually for a little bit before getting in too deep again. But ultimately, he's man enough to admit he made a big mistake. That says a lot about his character."

"Men are stupid. Nuff said."

For this completely conflicting and utterly unhelpful advice, I thank you all. However, ultimately I decided that we did, in fact, share a rare bond that should be explored further and that everyone makes mistakes. I wanted to be the one who graciously accepted an apology and doled out forgiveness by the bucketload.

Do unto others, right?

Wrong. Within 24 hours he'd gone completely cold again. I called to ask if we were meeting on the day and time we'd chosen to talk in person and he didn't answer. Texted me with the harsh reply "I think I'll pass but thanks anyway. Good luck with everything."

Excuse me?!?!

My response: Wow, I guess I was right about you being a coward. I can't believe I wasted so much time on you. Thanks for letting me know you're not worth it.

In case you're wondering, I'm totally over it. Plenty of Fish in the Sea, right?

OK, we go again!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We've been talking almost every day for a month. Literally, I just checked back to the website we first made contact on and it says June 15th. So we took a l-o-n-g time in the "getting to know you" process. He knows my favorite music. My cats' names. My preferred road trip destinations. We've swapped dating horror stories and most-loved restaurants and future goals. I've told him a lot about myself, including that I'm "seeing" other people. In other words, he knows about the blog.

At first, he was totally cool with it. Told me that while he didn't think he'd find anyone else more special than me out there, he completely understood keeping our options open just in case. He knew that he was by no means my boyfriend and therefore had no right to be jealous or opinionated when it came to dating around. Still, I offered that I wouldn't go out with anyone else without letting him know first. This seemed to quell the green monster lurking inside him from escaping and running rampant on the villagers. I got comfortable with how at ease he seemed about the whole situation. The calm before the storm only lasted a week.

And it was a BIG shitstorm.

He was sick over the weekend and told me he just needed time to sleep it off. That, to me, translated as "I feel like crap, please leave me alone, I'll call you when I feel better." I know that when I'm sick, the last thing I want is to hear from everyone on the planet asking how I'm feeling. There's nothing worse than puking your guts out all night only to be awakened by a phone call in the morning after you only just fell back asleep. So I gave him some space to breathe for a day.

I have to tell you that we texted on Friday and emailed on Saturday but not nearly the usual volume to which we'd become accustomed. I figured he was in and out of consciousness and as I didn't want to disturb his slumber, I didn't call until Sunday night. He'd sent me a message earlier in the afternoon asking me to a party this coming weekend. I was trying to reply when I dialed his house phone and got the machine. (Insert adorable message here.)

I quickly wrote out a follow up text simply stating that I took his not answering to mean that he was feeling well enough to go out again, which I hoped he was, or that he was still sick and in bed, which I hoped he wasn't. My text message bounced back to me. "The AT&T subscriber you are trying to reach is unavailable at this time."

Huh. That's weird.

I typed out a rough email which basically said, Hey, I just tried texting you and it came back to me. Is your cell phone working???

The email was quickly returned with the dreaded Mailer Daemon Failure Notice. "The recipient you are attempting to contact is not accepting messages from this sender."

What the fuck???

Now I'm worried. He lives alone. Anything could have happened and I can't get through! Oh my gosh...what if he's really, really sick?!?! Should I drive up there? I don't know where he lives. Should I call the police? What would I say? "Um, hi, yes, I'm talking to this guy and he's not answering any of the messages I left him and I can't get through and he was sick so maybe could you please go check on him? He's 36 years old and lives by himself. I'm just really worried."

Cause that wouldn't get me laughed at...

Alright, I'm giving this one last chance. I'm calling his home phone back. Maybe if he hears how concerned I am he'll pick up or at least I can leave a message and he'll call me and...Wait...Why is the phone off the hook now???

I consider myself an intelligent human being. I evaluate the situation and make a decision based on the evidence around me.

Exhibit A) he didn't pick up when I called
Exhibit B) my texts got bounced back
Exhibit C) my emails got bounced back
Exhibit D) the home phone which rang previously is now mysteriously off the hook

I could chalk Exhibit D up to being on the other line, but who doesn't have call waiting in 2010??? No, this reeks suspiciously of me being rejected. A feeling I am fortunately not used to nor do I ever hope to encounter again. I write another message from a different email account basically saying the following:

I have tried texting, emailing and calling you tonight to see how you are feeling. I am seriously concerned that you have fallen very ill, all of your technological devices have failed and you are in distress with no hope of contacting the outside world. The alternative theory is that you just don't want to see me anymore and don't have the balls to tell me to my face. So which is it? Are you dead? Or just ignoring me?

The reply was along the lines of "I'm crazy about you and I freaked out. I can't handle the thought of you dating any other guys. I like you so much that it's making me insane. Everything I say, I worry will end up in the blog. Everything I do, I worry will end up in the blog. No matter how much I fall for you, I worry that I'll become just another number to you. You're the best person I've met in a long time and I could really see a future for us together. But I can't focus on being with you while you have this writing project going on. I'm sorry, I just can't see you anymore."

*Note to the reader: this is not his actual email, rather I have paraphrased it as best I can. He specifically asked me NOT to copy & paste what he wrote into the blog and I'm trying to respect his wishes. Despite his being an absolute coward.*

My reply was along the lines of: Forgive me being a ditzy blonde, but what exactly about you being crazy about me means that we can't see each other? I'm sorry, it just doesn't make sense in my head. PS: Does this mean that you actually BLOCKED my phone number and email completely???

He wrote back: "It's been a really long time since I've felt about anyone the way I feel about you. My friends and family know about you. My work knows about you. I would just hate for this to turn into an ugly battle so I'm ending it here. I am so sorry. You're a great girl. I just hope you don't scare off any more really great guys like you scared off me."

Let's just be clear here, folks. When my status updates were all about him, he "liked" them. When my posts were praising how sweet and wonderful he was, he actually shared them with his friends. Some of you reading this right now know exactly who I'm talking about and the only way you found my blog at all is because he told you he was really interested in me. Until the time of this incident, I hadn't written about him at all. I especially hadn't written anything negative or derogatory in any way. That's because, as I previously stated, there was nothing wrong with him.

That being said, I guess we finally found the flaw. His lack of communication skills are terrifying. When you have an issue in a relationship, no matter how fledgling that relationship may be, you bring it up to the other person and discuss it like mature adults. You don't throw a hissy fit and stomp and scream and pout and run the other direction because you thought you weren't getting your way and didn't bother to talk to me about it. That's the most irresponsible thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

But he's crazy about me. Hmmm...I guess only time will tell about that.

And this is when a VERY upset Kimberly promptly tucked herself right back into bed for the entire afternoon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picnic at the Mansion

"Do you want to come see my mansion?"

Is this a statement any woman could resist??? I think not. Of course, it's not HIS actual mansion. He runs a Historical Preservation Society on the North Shore of Long Island which restores and rebuilds old homes to their original glory. We're talking houses from the 1700's & 1800's. Really cool stuff. Would I like a personal tour? Absolutely!

I drive up on a beautiful, sunny afternoon armed with a picnic basket and a blanket. He can't really leave the grounds for lunch so I'm bringing lunch to him. The backyard is large enough to have 200 people but today, there are only 2 of us. I bought cherries, strawberries, blueberries, baby carrots, hummus, tortilla chips, crackers, Alouette cheese spread, mixed nuts and chocolate hazelnut cookies. I have also stashed away a delicious bottle of ice cold Reisling that I know he's going to love. I picked it up at the winery last week and upon sampling, knew I could not walk out of there without half a case of vino. I bought 5 bottles of liquid goodness but only one Reisling, so it feels really special to share it with him.

As I pull up to the mansion (which it quite literally is, even by today's standards) I am blown away by the front porch. It's white with flowers potted everywhere and white railings and rocking chairs swaying gently in the summer breeze. Flags are flying from the ceiling and I get the sense of being transported back in time. I hug him hello and think that this is exactly the sort of home I would want to live in someday. You know. If it had more than one bathroom.

There is a rose waiting for me on the old writing desk in the formal parlor (I can't even believe I just wrote that sentence.) It's a faded white rose with pinkish tips and I appreciate the gesture so much. The card reads, "To say you are amazing is an understatement. I'm so glad you're in my life."

Well if the 107 degree heat didn't melt me, his words surely did.

He leads me through room after room of antique pieces, all donated by people who live in the area. They're all original to the time period, but none are original to the house. His entire job as curator of this living museum is to collect, organize, restore, rebuild, revamp and make gorgeous this once functional home for use as an educational facility for children as well as a meeting place for adults. He's done a pretty phenomenal job so far. It takes a lot of patience to bring history to life and I'm fascinated by the process. We all know I have a major dorky side, right?

He shows me where the original house stood and how it was only a kitchen at one time. There are Colonial era wooden kitchen utensils and a cast iron beehive stove. The hearth is still working (but is too dangerous to allow full access to the general public). The dried flowers hanging from the exposed rafters are all from the garden outside. The whole place feels like I've been transported somewhere else on the planet at some other point in time. There is nothing modern in sight and I suddenly feel awkward wearing jeans instead of a long skirt like women always did. I wonder if we have the right idea with all our feminine liberation or if they had a good thing going? Then I read about how many ladies got their dresses caught in the flames of the hearth fires while stirring soup to feed their families with upwards of 9 children each (all given birth to with no painkillers) and I begin to think my jeans might be a modern invention worth having after all.

At the conclusion of the tour, we stroll out to the back gardens where he already has his mother's quilt laid out for us to sit on. We hungrily tear into the picnic basket and begin munching our way through the fruits and nuts. He pours the wine while I spread cheese on crackers. It's hot and muggy out but the shady protection of the trees makes it tolerable to be outside. I can imagine the young girls who lived in this home at the height of the Victorian era having tea parties right where we are now. Enjoying peppermint ice cream and petit fours and tiny tartlets with freshly picked berries. Sipping their zesty orange iced teas out of dainty cups (instead of the white wine we're drinking out of plastic mugs...)

That's when I ask him what sorts of events they host here. He tells me about the fall festival, Halloween party, black tie gala...and that they're looking to start having tea parties. I am the tea party queen! I know just about everything there is to know about tea parties. I want to open my own tea house someday. I start throwing ideas at him. Menu ideas. Decoration ideas. Games and crafts and themes and...Ok I got a little carried away. But he was staring at me so intently, like he was really absorbing everything I said.

And that's when his boss happened to walk out back to find us picnicking in the yard. Not that it's a problem by any means. It was just ironic timing because my date explained to the President of the Board of Trustees that I am an expert in all things tea and had many, many ideas for their Ladies Guild to use at their upcoming events. We chatted for a while and he asked me to submit my thoughts via email as there was a committee meeting the next day. After careful consideration, they named me events planner for the house.

I got a date AND a job out of this!!!

I was only trying to help out with the preservation of the home and volunteer some of my time and knowledge. Treasures like this are hard to come by and I don't want our children growing up in a community with very little history to offer them. They should be surrounded by more than just shopping malls. I certainly never expected anything to come of my crazy tea drinking but I'm super excited that it did. Nice guy, cool job, great mansion...a girl could get used to this!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Jew Grows in Brooklyn

There's nothing wrong with him.

That's all I can think during our emails, texts and phone calls. I'm anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop like it has with all the others when I finally tell myself that maybe it's ok to relax. Maybe, he's just a really good person. Maybe I got lucky this time.

He offers to take me out for dinner on a Saturday night. I have learned from experience never to give up my weekends for just a "cup" but I have the distinct feeling that he may be a whole lot more than "just a cup" so I agree. He offers to take me out to this little hole-in-the-wall Italian place in Huntington with only 12 tables. The kind of restaurant where there's hardly even a menu. The chef is the owner. You just tell him what you want and chances are, he can make it for you.

Unfortunately, we come to find out that the restaurant has changed hands recently and the quality of the food has declined rapidly. He asks if I wouldn't mind instead checking out this little Mediterranean place in Garden City. The Wild Fig.

Are you kidding me? I already have a rewards card there!!! Apparently, so does he. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

I pull into the parking lot a full 5 minutes early (I know, I was shocked too) and I send him a text to say I've arrived. No response. I send another. Still no response. I call. Twice. No answer both times. Great! I've been stood up by the first guy I was looking forward to going out with. Well, screw him. I'm going in for some baklava and freshly squeezed lemonade. I don't care if I have to take it home and watch TCM on my couch tonight, phyllo dough will be involved!!

Wait, I think that's him.

He's standing patiently on the sidewalk, just waiting for me to arrive. Not wanting to be rude during dinner, he left his phone in the car. Wow. He's considerate. I'm not used to that. I'm used to guys who not only have their phones on them, but leave them out on the table during a meal. Reply to texts, answer phone calls...while we're eating together!!! At least I know that with his phone safely tucked away in his vehicle, his mother can't call during our first date.

Cause we know how that story ends :-)

He asks me if he looks like his picture to which I reply "I don't know. I never look at the pictures ahead of time. I just go by personality." Which is true. If I see a photo I really like, of course I'm more likely to reply to a message (or initiate one) but I'd much rather see if our personalities mesh first. Attractiveness is important, but getting along is absolutely essential.

He asks what online dating horror stories I have. I tell him I have a lot. After a few brief descriptions of my recent escapades, he says "you should write these down." I tell him I am writing them down, I have a blog. He wants to know if I'm 100 Cups of Coffee.

Oh. Crap.

How do I answer without scaring him away? Well, the truth is usually the simplest explanation so yes, I am.

"What number am I???" he wants to know.


"Wow, so you have 39 more losers to get through?"

"Yes, is that a problem?"

"Well, no, I'm just wondering what happens if you meet someone (whose number is maybe...61) and things work out. Do you have to finish the hundred cups? Or can you just rename it 61 cups of coffee? People love a Hollywood romance!"

"Personally, I'd really like to finish. Of course if I found someone I really got along with, I'd put the project on hold and focus on them, but I would only hope they'd be understanding that this is the process I'm going through. I call it 100 Cups of Coffee. Most people just call it dating."

"Ok, I fully support your project. I think it's great what you're doing and I will even help you find 39 other guys out there to have coffee with. As long as you know that I want to be the last man standing. Oh, and I wanna read your blog."

Confidence. I like that!!!

We share the hot appetizer sampler (my favorite) and a chicken gyro pide. ('s the Turkish version of pizza.) I don't normally share food (on a date or ever) but I'm pretty comfortable with him and he puts me right at ease with his humor and smile. He's quick witted, funny, intelligent, successful, sweet and immediately disarming. It feels more like having dinner with an old friend than someone I "met" on the internet. There are no awkward silences, no uncomfortable pauses, no "so how was your weekend" moments or discussion involving the weather. It's just fun, pleasant, exciting conversation that lasts until we realize we are the final two people left in the restaurant. Wow. Did not see that coming.

We decide not to hold the wait staff up any more by having dessert out instead of in. He asks if I'd like to grab an Italian ice as there's a place not too far from here. He insists on "being a gentleman" and paying the check which of course I appreciate but never expect. It is a nice change of pace from boys who struggle to offer me a glass of wine, let alone an entire meal. Still, you can see that his generosity is heartfelt and it makes him happy to treat me to dinner. His eyes sparkle as he talks about his friends, his family, his job. He has an infectious laugh that I can't help but share. It's all going so well.

Then we are faced with the decision: take two cars or one? I have only let one other "cup" drive me anywhere, and in my defense, he was driving a Camaro. How could I have passed that up??? This guy has a sensible Infinity which is really nice but hardly qualifies as the Batmobile. We spot fireworks in the distance and he asks if I want to find out where they're coming from. One car it is and off we go.

He's a safe driver which I'm relieved to learn. None of the ridiculous antics you see from most guys with sporty cars these days. He's got a GPS with his own voice programmed in (so cool) and Sirius satellite radio with 6 country stations (a passion we share). I guide him in the direction I'm pretty sure the fireworks are coming from and we chat as he drives. I am not used to being the passenger in anyone's car (let's just call it control issues) but I'm fairly relaxed on this ride. He's charming in a way I haven't found most online guys to be. Maybe it's confidence, maybe it's age, but he's just so easy to get along with.

The fireworks end before we arrive at their origination point, which is fine, because there's a Ralph's ice shop nearby. We look at the menu for what feels like ages as I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices I am faced with. I settle on Cannoli / Tiramisu and he gets Graham Cracker / Vanilla. We find a park nearby and talk for what feels like hours.

He has 2 cats (I have 3). We both love country music and Sinatra. We have the same favorite Beatles song (who else loves Eleanor Rigby???) His parents live in Florida but he sees them a few times a year. He was raised in Brooklyn but moved out to Long Island a while back. Spent most of his adulthood on the North Shore, yet still calls the city home. He was raised Jewish but doesn't find himself believing in their teachings anymore. He is considering converting to Christianity and wonders if he might accompany me to church sometime.

This is good. This is really good. I know he doesn't want to say good night (I'm hesitant as well) but it's getting late and I may turn into a pumpkin soon. This has so far been the best first date I've been on since Train Guy stole my heart many months ago. How does one walk away from the best first date of the year? Make plans for a second date of course!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Red Mango of Death

***Reader Beware: This blog does not have a happy ending***

So we take some time to get to know each other. Ok, a lot of time. And on almost everything, we share similar beliefs. Except when it comes to ice cream.

Now, those of you who read the Explosive blog understand why my recent lactose intolerance has made me wary of any activities including dairy. Yet I stand firm in my devotion to Rita's frozen custard and Italian ices. I have grown up at Carvel and Friendly's. And every break-up I endure, I can rely whole-heartedly on my two best friends, Ben & Jerry.

This guy is a big time fan of Ralph's and Red Mango, two places I've never been. I know what you're thinking: "How can you have skipped going to Ralph's your whole life???" The plain and simple answer is that I don't know. It just wasn't on my list of things to try. Now that I've had it, I can say that it's yummy. But it's still not Rita's.

As for Red Mango, I don't really class frozen yogurt as food. I mean, I eat yogurt for breakfast (or at least, I used to) but frozen? I don't really see the need. Why eat frozen yogurt when there's ice cream in the world? It just makes no sense to me.

Yet he insists I'm gonna love it so off to Red Mango we head. I know that there are several in NYC but apparently, they are now opening up on Long Island, so we don't even have to travel that far. I am shocked when there is a line out the door and down the block for this stuff. Looks promising! Maybe I've been wrong all these years and frozen yogurt holds the key to my future?

We go in and wait behind about a hundred teens and twenty somethings, all of whom I feel older than (and my date feels ancient.) I know that technically I am still twenty-something (29 counts, dammit!!!) but I don't live in the age of Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch. I don't know who Justin Bieber is or who won American Idol this season. I'm long past the age of subscribing to Tiger Beat and Seventeen magazines which means that I'm entering a new phase of my life. And possibly that I'm too old to order frozen yogurt.

Why are these kids even out at 10:00 on a Thursday night? Where the hell are all there parents?

Great, now I'm old AND grumpy.

But I digress.

He instructs me on how to properly order my Red Mango frozen yogurt, insisting that I start with Original and then pick a few toppings I want mixed in. Seeing that there are no rainbow sprinkles available for consumption, my optimism deflates slightly. I remain bold and choose Cinnamon Toast Crunch (yes, your favorite childhood cereal) and some Ghiradelli chocolate chips (for a grown up touch). He gets strawberries and Mochi.

*Mochi (Japanese: ) is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. ---Thanks Wikipedia!!!

Let's review, shall we? Glutinous rice pounded into a paste. Does this sound delicious to anyone else??? I think not.

Now I know that there are some serious Red Mango lovers out there and many of you may be offended by reading this post. I might lose some of your affections when I tell you that what I put in my mouth that night tasted like it should've been coming out instead of going in.

Here's a breakdown of our conversation:

ME: "It's sour."
HIM: "It's yogurt, not ice cream. It's supposed to be sour."
ME: "No, I mean it's really, REALLY sour."
HIM: "You're just used to sweet things. This'll grow on you. I promise."
ME: "I'm sorry, I don't think I can do it anymore. Maybe if I just eat the toppings around it."
HIM: "I feel bad. Do you want to order something else?"
ME: "No. Absolutely not. It's not even worth going in to save the chocolate chips. I'm done."
HIM: "I feel really awful. Can I take you to Dunkin Donuts instead?"
ME: "Yes please!!!"

We wound up walking over to Starbucks, where I washed the taste out of my mouth with a Passionfruit Iced Tea.

The moral to the story is this folks: I received an email from my date the next day which read...

So, I think you may not have liked red mango for a reason beyond the fact that it tasted awful. I was literally up all night with the worst stomach pains, cramps, queasiness, and discomfort you could possibly imagine. I slept until 1, and was woken up with the feeling that someone inflated my stomach with a air pump. I was doubled over all night, and couldn't lay down, stand, anything. I'm waiting at the doctor now, it still hasn't gone away hours later. I wonder if I got food poisoning or something from that desert?

I have a feeling we're crossing Red Mango off the list for good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Credit Check

There are a lot of things to consider when entering a new relationship. Each other's past relationships, family matters, friends, various activities, work schedules, trust issues, kissing styles and favorite movie genres. There is a lot to be said for getting to know one another over many, many cups of coffee during which time funny stories about vacations, college days and childhood blunders emerge throughout the conversation. You may take into consideration when pondering a potential mate what their plans and goals are for the future, where they'd like to travel to in the world, and how neat / messy they keep their home. Down the line. Way down the line. But how soon would you talk about money?

I'm not talking about the friendly banter of who's going to pay for the drinks / I'll get the next round bull shit. Honestly, if he can't afford to buy you a glass of wine, honey, you're wasting your time. If you do go out to dinner and want to split the bill, or you pay the check and I'll leave the tip, I'm all for that. I do have old-fashioned values and enjoy being taken care of as much as the next girl. By the same token, I'm a modern, independent, strong, stubborn woman who would rather stand on my own two feet than depend on some man to provide for me, which he will, more likely than not, fail at doing anyway. (Us divorced gals think like that.) I'm just saying that money isn't a topic of conversation that I normally approach in the first date. I mean, we've got about 30 minutes to get acquainted before one or both of us wants out of this uncomfortable situation, so let's chat about stuff that makes us who we are. The little things at the core of ourselves. The scar on my knee from summer camp circa 1997 (rogue nail sticking out of a bathroom door). The fact that I don't eat blue M&M's (just on principle). How proud I am of the garden I'm growing this summer (pictures to follow). But dollars and cents? Really?

So here's how it went down. We were talking about me how he has been living in his apartment with a guy for a few months now, but it's only temporary. The other guy needed a roommate and my date offered to help him out for the time being. But he's looking to buy a house in the future, once he has someone to settle in with. He can afford the down payment and has great credit to grab a mortgage at a low rate. How do I know this? He busted out his financial records to prove it to me.

Yes, you read that right. I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

There it all was in black and white (nothing in red, I might add.) He showed me his bank accounts (all 6 of them), his stock portfolio (very diverse and profitable), his student loans (all paid off), and all 3 major credit reporting agencies full score evaluations. He even had the breakdown of his inheritance from all grandparents and when / where the money had been / will be spent, along with his own life insurance policy information. He was ready, willing and able to make the transition from renter to owner and was looking for a great girl to do that with.

I know what you're thinking: do it you silly girl! Jump. Run. Whatever you want to call it. Get the hell out of your parents' house and go live with this money mogul. He can provide a life for you. He can support you and all your dreams for the future. Here he is, offering to build a home for us...

On the first date...

And that's what the rest of you are thinking. You don't know what makes him laugh or if he can quote Spaceballs or what his favorite flavor of ice cream is. You don't know what kind of mood he's in when he wakes up in the morning or how he likes to relax on the weekend or what section of the newspaper he reads first. You don't have a clue what his family life was like growing up or what his siblings names are (assuming he has any) or which way he hangs the toilet paper. Over or under? These are very important questions that need to be answered in every relationship.

But again, not on the first date!!!

So where does that leave us, dear reader? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I want to know that you can afford my glass of Chardonnay, but I don't need to know that you can afford homes in the following zip codes. I want to know that you don't mind taking me out for a meal, but I don't need to know your weekly grocery budget. I want to know that we can have a night out at the theatre without breaking open your piggy bank, but I don't need to know how much spare change you deposited last month. There must be a happy money medium. Right???

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Financially Stable

So this one blows my mind.

I'm talking to this guy and he's really nice. Seems like a genuine, honest, down to Earth person with a solid head on his shoulders and a good heart. He runs a charity company in memory of his dad who passed away from cancer. Lives in Long Beach and works in the city. We spent many days sending emails / chats / texts back and forth getting to know each other to the point that I really thought I could trust him. We'd just started spending time together when I was comfortable enough to send a "good morning" message simply to say hi and I'm thinking about you. Who doesn't want to hear that, right?

What I got back was completely unexpected.

I think you're a really cool girl but I'm looking for someone who's financially stable. Good luck in your search. Take care.

Excuse me???

Let me be clear, I have student loans like everyone else my age. I don't own a home yet (also like everyone else my age). And I'm not bragging about pensions, savings plans, stock options or IRA's (I actually have NO idea what that stands for.) But I bought my own car. I pay my own bills every month. I have several business ventures going quite well for me at the moment and I'm *clearly* writing a soon-to-be million dollar bestseller. You want to walk away from me because I don't have a "real job"?!?!

How shall I put this...I got married very, very young. I lived in Europe for several years and traveled places most people only dream of. I've had gelato for breakfast in Rome, baguettes with Nutella in Paris, and deep fried Mars bars in Edinburgh. I can point you in the direction of the best pubs in London, show you how to jump off cliffs in Wales, and teach you how to order churros and hot chocolate in Barcelona. I've traversed the continent by train, ferry boat, and even cable car. I lived a fascinating, exciting, exhilarating life abroad.

And then I got divorced.

And laid off.

And sick.

Do I live with my parents now? Yes. Will I live with them forever? No. Why did I have to move back home? Because I'm studying for 3 Master's degrees which was more important to me than keeping my former married apartment.

Did I have a full time job? Yes. I worked 40+ hours a week with a great salary and full benefits. I was terminated because private schools can fire you whenever they want for whatever reason they come up with. Will I go back to teaching? Maybe. But I much prefer having a life of my own.

See folks, the thing about being your own boss is that it's kind of addicting. I never have to call in sick on a day when I don't feel good. I never have to ask to take a vacation day or worry that I don't have time to use up, because my time is just that: MY time. I don't report to anyone (other than you, dear readers.) I don't have to apologize for anything. If I get my work done, I get paid. If I don't, no one loses out but me. I'm responsible for myself. This feeling is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. Wouldn't you rather be with someone who can bring you a picnic lunch just about any day of the week because I'm not stuck in some depressing cubicle somewhere???

Sigh...sadly he prefers the sort of woman with a "regular" job, not the independent venturer that I am. To each his own, I suppose. Still, I cannot help but consider the irony of writing this soon-to-be best selling memoir which will afford me the financial freedom I so crave and including his story in it. As it happens, his rejecting me brought me one cup closer to the end goal of reaching my 100 disastrous dates in the hope of finding true love. And one cup closer to my dream of being a published author. And one cup closer to laughing about the day that this future millionaire was rejected for not being financially stable.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Larger than Life

He's gorgeous. Like "holy crap" gorgeous. Like "he's never gonna write back to me cause he's too good looking" gorgeous. Like "snowball's chance in hell of being seen together in public" gorgeous.

Yeah. THAT gorgeous.

So you can imagine my surprise when he actually writes back?!?! Sending him a message was a total shot in the dark. I scour the internet for promising men, nice looking men, smart, funny, witty, successful men. But I am never on the lookout for hot men. It's just not my style. I think I'm a relatively cute girl. I've got great hair, nice smile, decent body, above average personality. Yes, I know I'm being modest here, but let's face facts: I'm no supermodel. We've already established that I'm your typical girl-next-door who's neither beauty queen nor trailer trash. Yet it still surprises me when a hot guy writes me to lil ol' me.

There is statistical research that people choose mates they feel are on the same level of attractiveness as themselves. Hence beautiful people marry other beautiful people. Average looking people generally couple up. And ugly people simply shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

On internet dating sites, studies have shown that women message / wink at men below their attractiveness level based on a number of other qualities (financial stability, humor, family) and men message / wink at breathtaking women they wouldn't normally have the confidence to approach in real life (for superficial reasons). This disparity means that really pretty girls end up dating really average guys simply because that's who the messages are flying back and forth between. The better looking the guy, the fewer messages he typically receives. Girls are honestly afraid of being rejected by someone they think is cuter than they are. Some of these hotties are genuine Jersey Shore meatheads who don't deserve a second glance anyway (other than possibly posting their picture on your wall for nocturnal lighting purposes.) But other great looking guys are missing out on having a wonderful girlfriend when they truly have more to offer than just a 12 pack washboard abs.

How can you tell which is which? You can't. Hence, shot in the dark. Send a message. Take a chance.

Despite all the research that shows I will most likely end up with a dorky boy at the end of this, I am still holding out for someone I find myself physically attracted to. At least a little. I know that beauty is only a light switch away, but I find making out in the park on a sunny afternoon just as romantic as a starlit stroll on the beach. I don't need a Greek god, just someone I can stand to look at. But this guy is too cute to be true.

His messages are lighthearted, pleasant and intriguing. He writes more than monosyllabic answers to questions I throw at him without giving me his life story in iambic pentameter. He's kind and considerate and asks me to meet him in the city. So I do.

We go for your average sandwich and Snapple in Times Square, which is a bit out of my way if I'm honest. My typical travels are from Penn Station to Chelsea so I hardly spend time in midtown anymore. Yet he insists that we MUST meet in Times Square at this particular bistro and I figure he's got a good reason (like the best grilled cheese on the planet) so that's where we wind up.

What's odd about it is that he keeps glancing at the window. Smiling at strangers both inside and outside the store. I'm as polite and friendly as the next New Yorker (which isn't saying much in the city) but this is ridiculous. Am I missing something?

After 30 minutes of nondescript conversation, I'm ready to be on my way. Granted, he's nice to look at (really nice to look at) but I'm past the staring and drooling phase of dating. While he's the first man I can imagine sleeping with (insert picture of rippling biceps here), this is not a romance novel with Fabio on the cover, it's my life. We've yet to find anything we actually have in common or discover something we both really want to do together. I'm about to thank him for his time when we step out of the shop and I realize what he (and the rest of Manhattan) has been staring at throughout our lunch. It's a 40 foot billboard of a drop-dead gorgeous guy in his underwear.
Correction: MY DATE in his underwear.

Every part of him (and I do mean every part) is larger than life. His chest is a perfect specimen of Roman architecture. His arms should be featured on the cover of Men's Health magazine (and probably have been.) His face is gleaming in the sunlight for all of 42nd street to see. And the tiny trail of dark hair leading down his tummy towards his Calvin Kleins heads right towards his...

Well, use your imagination.

"They didn't airbrush me at all you know."

He stares up at the advertisement waiting for me to comment. Say something, Kimberly, anything. Say anything please!!! But I can't. There are no words for this moment. I am completely and utterly speechless.

"My junk looks huge, right?"

Ho. Ly. Crap.

I think this is why I should stick to nerds.