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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boondock Bride

I would say that I'm generally a romantic person. I go out of my way to set the mood for love whenever the opportunity arises. I attempt to make even the daily, mundane activities with a partner more fun, exciting, intimate, and add in affection as often as possible. My emotions are written all over my face and my friends tell me I have "HEART FOR RENT" practically tattooed on my forehead. Except that I'm not looking to rent it out. I'd like to meet someone who's interested in a lease-to-own option with a balloon buyout following the courtship. Anything to avoid foreclosure!

That being said, I know what I'm looking for in a partner and what I'm willing to offer. It's taken me a long time to say that I know who I am and what I will / will not compromise on. The bigger things in life. The important things. The stuff that really matters. Like his choice in movies.

I know that this sounds crazy but think about it: could I really be with a man who didn't laugh at Mel Brooks? Never in a million years! I'm sorry but if you don't find Spaceballs or Men In Tights to be the funniest movies of all time, I assume you have no sense of humor and I cannot date you. If you didn't practically pee your pants while watching Robin Williams: Live On Broadway, again, we have zero future. And if you don't consider anything directed by Rob Reiner in the most romantic movies ever category, just keep on moving.

I didn't think that this would be such a big deal to me until I started writing to a certain boy on okcupid. Things were going so well between us. Shooting back message after message, playing the get to know you game, firing questions at each other in the hopes of discovering those little commonalities that would become the basis for our relationship. We have similar tastes in ice cream flavors (mint chip), favorite months of the year (September / October), places we want to travel (cross country and up the West Coast), awesome comfort food (mac n cheese and pizza), and even how we prefer to spend our free time (weekend road trips.) Then I asked him what movie he'd pick if he could only watch one for the rest of his life. He answered Good Will Hunting. I'm in love already! Boston is my favorite city (besides New York...calm down!!!) and there are so many quotable lines from the film, it's just a fantastic choice all around. He asked me the same question and I said The Princess Bride. HE'S NEVER SEEN THE PRINCESS BRIDE!!!

I know what you're thinking. How can that be? Everybody and their brother knows "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." There are even t-shirts with the Hello My Name Is... badge complete with that quote! (Thanks The movie is filled with sword fighting, adventure, war, romance, comedy, a giant, four white horses and Fred Savage as a little kid. You can't ask for anything more than that! And yet my guy had never seen this 1987 masterpiece. I'm not sure I can date someone who when I say "Inconceivable!" does not automatically respond with "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Alas, we seem to have gone our separate ways in terms of allowable time between internet messages but never fear, I always have a backup conversation going! This guy was really nice, an accountant (big surprise for me), and lived close by. We met for a quick bite to eat and started talking about the little things that make us happy. Of course, music, tv and movies are always mentioned in someone's "interests" columns and he told me that his favorite film of all time is Boondock Saints. Which, of course, I have never heard of.

He was pretty upset that I'd seen nor heard of this movie. Actually, upset is an understatement. He was angry, outraged, indignant and offended that I had never seen this movie. He told me that he couldn't date someone who'd failed to watch Boondock Saints and insisted that we head back to his house immediately to view it. He added that if I didn't LIKE the movie, we would never work out but if I did like it, there was even a sequel we could catch up on. Oh, and I could make him dinner while I was there.

My response? "And then you wake up!"

I mean, come on. Who doesn't date a person just because they've never seen your favorite movie? Oh... wait...

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cold Feet

I am not the easiest person in the world to sleep with, and by sleep, I literally mean share a bed. This is because I have the coldest feet on Earth. Something happens when I jump between the covers. I no longer have limbs attached to me. I have two blocks of ice south of my ankles and ten tiny toecicles. It's torture for anyone who dares to snuggle me and also means that the most frequent visitor to my bed is a heat pack. My father tells me that when he was little, they wrapped hot baked potatoes in tin foil to keep the foot ends of the bed warm. Then they'd eat the potatoes for breakfast. Personally, the idea of toe jam as my morning meal makes me more than a little queasy but it is a brilliant concept. Warm feet are far more desirable no matter how you get there.

The geek (Trekkie, Mets fan, virgin) and I met up one last time because I thought he deserved a fair shot. He's really quite good looking and I couldn't shake the image of his sweet face from my mind. His eyes appear as though God took a beautiful, bright, blue sky and added milk. I've never seen anything like them. He's got a great body, thin but athletic, muscular and strong. I WANTED to want him and I promise you that I gave it every last chance I could. Yet he's still terrified of me...

He made no attempt to hug me when I first arrived, nor did he make any physical contact thereafter. I noticed that he usually tries to keep a minimum of three square feet of space between us, kinda like the nuns at a Catholic school dance. If I encroached even six inches into his kinosphere, he'd back up slightly as though I was a vampire waiting to drink his blood. I can only imagine the fears going through his mind, worst case scenarios for letting me get too close. It became painfully obvious that this situation would most likely never improve and it was time to let him go for his own good.

You see, my mother recently told me that there are plenty of other fish in the sea but I've hooked this one now and am just letting him dangle. It would be cruel and unusual to leave him hanging from the pole, choking on the bait, floundering around the deck, bleeding from the gills, gasping for air. (You see where I get my flair from.) She insisted I throw him back into the ocean and let him swim away. Too much longer and he'd just float back up to the top of the water, never to recover from his wounds. There are some big fish you catch and keep. There are some fish that are simply too small and need time to grow. This one is a throwback.

Unfortunately, he told me (while visibly shaking) that he's now informed his parents that he's seeing a girl. They were so happy to hear that he was dating someone they almost threw him a party. He was so scared to tell them because no one has ever taken as much time to get to know him as I have. And now I see why. Exhibit A) He almost didn't come out to meet me for our date because his mother insisted she needed new flower boxes made for the windows on her shed and sent him to Home Depot for the wrong sized brackets twice. Then he got into a fight with the table saw, escaping with huge bruises to his chest and ribs. Handy to have around when it comes to building stuff, but spooks easily when anyone approaches his work space...including his own father! Exhibit B) He told me (without looking me in the eyes) that he really likes me. His head knows it, his heart knows it, and he's just trying to get his stomach to come around. I teased him that I was hoping to graduate from water bottle dates and get a lunch or a dinner date with him soon. He shied away and said that it most likely won't happen because he's afraid of eating in public. Excuse me? Well on top of the nervous stomach, he gets STAGE FRIGHT in restaurants. Oh, and also he doesn't like to eat anything cooked by someone he doesn't know because he might get food poisoning and die. Seriously. He's eaten at Olive Garden and Applebee's before. That's about it. He doesn't know real Italian food or real any food for that matter because he's too freaked out to eat anywhere but home. This does explain why he cooks every night but offers little hope for a dating future.

With this, I know I have to end it with him. I'm a girl who loves her food, dining out, restaurants, the entire eating together experience. While I'd love a man to cook for me at home (and I for him) I can't imagine not being able to run to the diner together at midnight or grab a slice of pizza before a movie. I love dressing up and having a delicious meal and bottle of wine at a casually elegant place, not too formal or pricey: just good. He can't offer me that. When I think about the nerdy stuff, the lack of experience, the hesitation to get close to me, the mommy issues, and the fear of food in public, it's more than I can take. I know that I get cold feet at night but it's clear to me now that he has cold feet all the time. Besides, my cold feet are only in bed and that's just one more place we'l never be together.

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Have Faith

There has been much activity on my facebook page lately from women who all want to know one thing: is HE out there? Does love exist? Is there really such a thing as a good guy? The honest answer is that I don't know. But I hope so.

The point of this project when I began it was just to get myself back out there. To see who else was in the world and give them a chance. To discover what qualities about a man I can and cannot live with. I've learned a lot about myself in the process and I think that the main thing that I've discovered is that I do believe in true love. Despite all the heartbreak, despite all the bull shit, despite all evidence to the contrary, the indisputable answer for me is YES. I know that love exists. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have felt it with my heart. And I've been lucky enough to bear witness to my friends and family as they experience it first hand.

I wasn't always a bitter, jaded, divorced girl on the brink of turning 30 with no job, no boyfriend, living back at my parents' house scraping money together to repay student loans. This is a whole new level of crazy for me. In fact, sometimes I still find it hard to believe that just five years ago, I was married to a wonderful man whom I thought was in love with me, living in Europe, running off to Paris, Rome or Barcelona for the weekend. We had a beautiful home, a sunroom, six kittens and a car that drove on the wrong side of the road. He'd sing me Beatles songs to help me fall asleep at night. Each morning when he rolled out of bed, he'd flip his pillow so I could snooze on the cool side. I remember watching out the kitchen window as he mowed the tiny lawn we put all of our weekend energy into fixing up. I made sandwiches and iced tea and we ate them together while sitting on the bench he built me for our second wedding anniversary. We drove out to his friends' homes on Sundays or hosted dinner parties at our place where I attempted making a full English roast. By the way, Yorkshire pudding is extremely difficult to master if you didn't grow up eating it and / or have an aversion to cooking with cow fat. But I didn't care. I was young and in love and wanted to make the national dish of my husband's country even if it freaked me out to do it. I now know that I don't like to cook recipes that call for "drippings" of any sort.

I fell in love with my ex husband when I was 20 years old. We were married just a few weeks after my 21st birthday. It's a very different feeling now, trying to date again, to get back into the swing of new relationships or just meeting people in general. I met my ex completely by accident. You see, I was doing an internship abroad and my plane left on September 10th, 2001. (I'll let your brain wrap around that math for a minute.) Another 24 hours and I never would have left New York. I remember the last thing that my mother said to me as she walked me to the gate (because you were still allowed to do that then) was "Don't come back with a boyfriend." So I didn't. I came back with a husband. Being 20 years old meant that when I met a man, I fell in love with him in three weeks flat. Happened every time. In fact, my mother was joking when she said it because those exact same words had come out of her mouth the day she dropped me off at college and three weeks later: BAM! Boyfriend. So it was no surprise to anyone how quickly he and I courted. Six weeks later, I found myself under the Eiffel Tower at midnight next to a boy with a cute accent holding a rose he'd bought off a riverboat on the Seine. I didn't know much then (I don't know much more now) but I did know that when a boy proposes to you at midnight under the Eiffel Tower, YOU SAY YES. That's what you do!

How that cute couple in Paris became two people who could hardly stand to look at each other a few short years later still boggles my mind. How we went from "can't get enough of each other" to mere roommates is still a mystery. How we managed to stop writing love letters by air mail every single day and wound up as man and wife who never really listened to what the other was saying astounds me. How did we get there from here? How come we could never find our way back?

There are people out there who fight, gamble, drink, cheat, lie, steal, hit or in some other way abuse their spouses. I will not pretend that this was the case with us. We were supposedly trying to get pregnant for the last two years of our relationship. We left England to make a life on Long Island so that we could raise our family here and I could be closer to home. (His mother always hated me anyway. I didn't want to be anywhere near that woman.) Every month, it would turn out that I wouldn't be pregnant (again) and I remember my aunt saying to me each time "Have faith." What she meant by that was that I should just be patient and let it happen. But that's not what it equated to in my head. I literally translated "Have Faith" into my quest for a baby girl...named Faith. I wanted it so badly that I thought I could make it happen. I figured that if I threw everything I had, everything I was into our marriage, I could save it somehow and we'd have a beautiful baby together and live that happily ever after we'd been chasing for 6 years. He had a different plan.

My husband came home one day and told me that he no longer wanted children. This was a shock above shocks to me. It was the final blow among an already straw-heavy camel. His drinking too much and working too much had been a problem lately but I overlooked all of it as best I could. He neglected me at every turn and no matter how loud I cried out for attention, he ignored my pleas. But this? This got my attention. His bags were packed and out of the house in a matter of three days. I've seen him twice since, both times in court.

Many of you reading this have similar stories. Perhaps you were with someone and simply fell out of love. Perhaps you were with someone who had an addiction, or stopped noticing you, or decided they didn't want to be a parent (sadly for many, after you'd already had the child!) Perhaps you were with someone who just wasn't who you thought they were. And you broke up. And you lost faith.

But here's the kicker: You can have that faith back again. I know that your heart has been broken. I don't know how many times or how or why but I do know that it has. I know that it sucks completely and totally and this may be the hardest fight of your life. It doesn't matter how old you were when it happened. It doesn't matter how long ago it was. It doesn't matter how many days / weeks / months / years you've allowed yourself to grieve / mourn / eat pints of Ben & Jerry's. If the three greatest things are faith, hope and love (thank you cliche wedding reading) than you have to have faith. You have to be hopeful. And you have to believe in love.

I know that a lot of the dates I've been on don't seem like they're going to be the man of my dreams. I will grant you that nose picking guy isn't on my short list of possible Prince Charmings. I can see how many of you might think that I should just give up right now, join a spinster club, take knitting lessons and buy the entire series of House on dvd. I choose to carry on. In the face of all the losers, geeks, nerds, dorks, dweebs, psychos, crazies, druggies, liars, midgets, stalkers and heart breakers, I still believe that there is that needle in a haystack if only I'm patient enough to keep searching for him.

So many of you reading this are in the same position I am where you just don't know if he's out there or you're ever going to find him. So many of you are tired and want to give up and I GET THAT. I know, believe me, I understand and I'm right there with you. There are days when I want to throw in the towel. Five minutes later, I'll get an email from a reader who says that I'm so brave or I'm an inspiration or that I motivate her to go on and you know what? That's why I'm doing this. You are not alone in the world of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dating. I'm in it too and it sucks. You know it. I know it. But that's what my aunt was saying all along. You have to have faith. Faith that it will all work out someday. Faith that there is a person out there who will love you just for you, exactly as you are right now. Faith that your dreams will come true if you believe in them hard enough. Faith that all the Disney movies we watched as young girls weren't complete lies and that he may not ride in on a white horse, but there is a man out there who's ready to sweep us off our feet if we are prepared to let him. Faith that I will be a mother to a beautiful baby girl someday and no matter what her name is, she will exist solely because I never gave up hope. Because I never gave up on love.

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Revenge of the Nerd

Alright nerds, I've heard what you had to say and most of you think that I was entirely too harsh on my geeky little friend the other night. Most of the emails I've received in the past seven days are along the lines of "Dorks need love too...Give the poor Trekkie a chance." Never one to turn down an opportunity to be the bigger person, I have taken your advice and met the 32 year old virgin for a second date. See for yourself:

The day after the Mets games, I awoke to a text message that read, 'Good morning, beautiful.' Knowing that this man had never actually complimented me before, I responded 'Awww, you think I'm beautiful??? (Blushes.)' He replied, 'Of course I think you're beautiful. Hasn't anyone ever told you that you're beautiful? How do you not know that you're beautiful?'

Easy, killer. I was being facetious.

I have to drive way the hell out East on the island that night in the pouring rain. As if it being Friday at rush hour wasn't bad enough, throw in some inclement weather and you've got a recipe for disaster. By disaster, I mean that Long Island traffic is at a stand still. I call him when I get on the parkway just to chat and he manages to direct me on an alternate route where I take a few miles out of my way on a detour but manage to save about three hours of time driving rather than sitting in bumper to bumper. Who knew that dating a computer geek could come in so handy? He totally saved my ass from showing up late to work so now I owe him. Alright, fine, he gets a second chance.

When I ask if he'd like to catch up for an hour after work one night, he tells me that he doesn't consume adult beverages. I say that I know, we talked about how he doesn't drink any alcohol. I'll admit to loving a trip out to the wineries on the weekend but if that means arriving with my own designated driver, so be it! He says no, that's not entirely what he meant. Yes, it's true that he doesn't drink alcohol but he means ALL adult beverages including coffee, tea, soda, etc. So wait...what does he drink? Choices are apparently limited to water, juice, Gatorade, Capri Sun, and hot chocolate.

I know what you're thinking. I miss those little foil pouches with the lethal straws too but we're in our 30's now people (alright I'm 6 months away but it's still pretty close!) This means that we are a minimum of two generations too old to be drinking out of juice boxes. I'm sorry to break it to you. Kids today think that the 1980's are retro and cool in a way that we thought sock hops were kitsch and classic but that doesn't mean you're going to see me walking down the street in a poodle skirt or sharing an egg cream at the soda fountain anytime soon.

But I digress.

We get to Starbucks and I order a Venti (that's a large) hot chocolate with a shot of peppermint and whipped cream on top. Whoever thought up mint chocolate as a combination should be sainted. Are you listening Catholic church??? (On second thought, I kinda hope you aren't...) He orders a Tall (which is actually small) hot chocolate with no other flavors and no whipped cream. Hold the phone. You're telling me that you only drink beverages for people typically under the age of 6 and yet you're not even going to get the works? Forgive me, but I don't trust ANYONE who doesn't have their hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini marshmallows. It's unAmerican. And I'm pretty sure illegal in at least 48 states.

Alright, fine, I will TRY to stop judging men based on food and beverage consumption but it's not easy. We sit down and I swear I almost choke on my first sip because he takes off his jacket to reveal a baby blue t-shirt sporting a picture of a ship in a bottle. But it's not just any ship. It's the StarShip Enterprise. In a bottle. He tells me he bought it on so for those of you who are reading this thinking "Where can I get an Enterprise in a bottle t-shirt?" ... that's where! They have all sorts of apparel in the category I like to call Geek Chic. My teammate's boyfriend just bought her a shirt that says "I <3 my geek". No, the symbols don't make a heart. They're just the symbols. Which is what makes it dorky...duh!!!

Oh, and then he tells me I should probably do some shopping on there because if I ever accompany him to a geeknic, I'll want to dress the part.

Yes, I was scratching my head at that one too. A geeknic is where his friends who are all Linux system users get together for a picnic, talk computer stuff and play horseshoes. No, I could not make this shit up if I tried.

Where was I? Oh right, we had gotten started on talking about his family and his sister is getting married next weekend. He's already invited me to the wedding. I politely declined as I really do have to work (and thank goodness for it!) He told me that his sister started dating the man she's about to marry in August four years ago but he didn't meet the family until November. Point being, should this develop into a relationship, I ought not to get my hopes up about meeting anyone he's related to anytime soon. If his mother were to meet a girl he was seeing, she would immediately start planning the wedding and naming future grandchildren (hopefully not Tiberius!) He's never brought a woman home to meet his parents before. No pressure...yeah right!

My favorite part was when he hinted that I could come over when his parents were away and he'd make dinner for me which sounds incredibly sweet. But, he added, "You can't sleep over because I have a twin." Me: "Brother?" Him: "No, bed."

32 and still sleeping in a twin bed??? Yes, well apparently he could have gotten a larger bed but it wouldn't have left any room for his dvd collection which takes up massive amounts of space. "Oh, and when you come, you can see the 18" Yoda I made entirely out of Legos! It's on my headboard."

Is anyone else picturing Steve Carell right now? Cause I'm getting kinda scared.

I find that I do more listening than talking during this meeting and an hour passes by without me even realizing the time. I've got to run off to a business meeting so he walks me to my car and I notice the plate on the back of his truck says LCARS. What the hell does that mean? According to Wikipedia it stands for Library Computer Access / Retrieval System. Yet another Star Trek reference. Big surprise.

By now, dear readers, you're thinking one of two things: 1) Run away screaming and never look back! or 2) So the guy is passionate about sci-fi. Who cares?

I vacillate between agreeing with both of these sentiments and can't seem to choose either as a definitive statement. On the one hand, his dorkiness overwhelms me. On the other hand, his eyes are the same color blue as that t shirt and I find myself inexplicably drawn to him. There's some sort of nerdy magnetic forcefield pulling me in that I can't seem to ignore. My girlfriend told me that I'm not attracted to him. I'm intrigued by him. I'm like Jane Goodall watching monkeys in the wild. I want to observe nerds in their natural habitat as though on a dating safari. And while I've met my share of wild animals, geek is a whole new beast with much of his behavior waiting to be explored further. Is it possible that he not only dresses like a human occasionally but holds the capacity to act like one?

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Warped Romance

I have a warped sense of romance.

Tonight I watched Zac & Miri followed directly by the last half hour of Shakespeare In Love. I'd wager that if you asked "most" people which movie was more romantic, they'd choose the latter. Obviously, Shakespeare knew what he was doing when it came to writing love stories but I'd like to throw it out there that he is followed in close second by Kevin Smith. Hear me out.

In Shakespeare In Love, Will and Viola are forbidden from seeing each other due to their place in society, the taboo of his profession, and her engagement to another man. None of their circumstances prevent them from developing feelings for one another though and despite all the obstacles in their way, the passion never subsides. Their relationship is short-lived as she is sent off to the New World with her new husband, a man whom she can barely tolerate (although I'd argue that any girl reading this now would swoon over Colin Firth himself!) Perhaps their story seems so incredibly romantic because they are so swiftly parted without Viola every knowing that Shakespeare spends most of his time divided evenly between the playhouse and the pub. She never has time to see his faults or let his annoying habits (like biting those ink-covered nails) get on her last nerve. Their love remains pure, her face un-aged, sweet memories preserved in a bubble forever, ne'er to be tainted by time or treason.

I wonder if she would have minded being married to a drunk pauper for the rest of her life, scrubbing the sweat from other women off of their marital bed as he scraped by for rent money while posing as a poet.

Then we have Zac and Miri, two friends who have been by each other's sides through thick and thin (he's thick and she's thin.) They have survived living together for many years, much of that time spent working minimum wage jobs, scrounging up whatever spare change they can find in the hopes of not getting their power turned off the night before Thanksgiving. They know every last embarrassing detail about one another, from her granny panties to his lack of ambition. It takes being apart for them to realize just how much they really do love each other and how much they hated being apart. I argue that finding someone you can stand even when the water isn't running and there's no heat in the apartment is a far better fate than a fleeting affair that ends with an urgent kiss and a sweeping exit.

You see, real love isn't like the movies and if it is, it's closer to Zac & Miri's version than to Shakespeare's. (Yes, I know that he wrote plays but I'm referring to the entertainment media in general.) While real romance exists, it happens on such rare occasions for most people that a floor picnic with takeout Chinese food passes where once only sonnets under a balcony would suffice. No one makes grand gestures anymore. We're lucky to be graced with thoughtful consideration.

Last night, my mother and I came home from a long day in the city to find that my father had put a fresh pot of coffee on and set up her mug so it was ready when she walked in the door. That's considerate. My dear friend just gave birth to triplets (God bless her) and her husband stayed by her side through the entire process, tending to her and all of their brand new babies' every need. That's considerate. My sister's husband leaves a note for her every morning saying that he already fed the dogs or washed the dishes or cleaned the snow off her car so she could sleep in a little longer. That's considerate.

My new friend today told me that her date Friday night took four phone calls from another woman during their dinner together. That's NOT considerate. My ex used to throw his dirty clothes in the vicinity of the hamper, never quite making it actually into the actual laundry basket itself. Again, NOT considerate. Then there is the story of the boy who greeted his wife when she walked in from a fourteen hour day at work by asking what she was making him for dinner. Sooooo NOT considerate.

You see, men, I don't think that you realize what woman really want from you is not necessarily romance but simple consideration. Do we love getting flowers? Of course we do. Do we appreciate when you make an effort to seduce us instead of assuming sex will happen whether or not you've showered today? Yes, we're definitely more in the mood when you don't smell particularly offensive. Do we enjoy little gifts or surprises for no reason? Absolutely. I'm not telling you to stop those things. What I'm saying is that if you ask a woman what her idea of romance is, she will likely not say making love under a waterfall. She will say that you putting the toilet seat down so she doesn't fall in during her 2 am bathroom run was romantic (aka considerate). That you making her a cup of tea, listening to her when she talks, or sending a text message that simply says 'I'm thinking about you' is the most romantic thing you could do.

In my latest poll, I asked you all to vote on the most desirable quality in a partner. Not one person said attractiveness. Sexy got a couple of votes, outnumbered by smart and funny. But considerate was the most popular answer by far. We love it when you plan a night out at a fancy restaurant with wine and chocolates, dinner and dancing. We love when you get dressed up in your good suit and take us to a Broadway show. We sincerely appreciate the rose petals on the bed and Frank Sinatra on the iPod. But the thing we want the most is just for you to notice us, make us feel special and important, treat us nicely, and let us know you care.

Dear Mr Shakespeare, I have always been a fan of your works but I believe that you may be the root of much disappointment in this world. Young girls who read your plays have a skewed vision of romance. They believe that it is all sonnets and prose and iambic pentameter. They think that men's tongues should be flowery and overflowing with poetry. These girls do not understand the way you painted life in Elizabethan England has no place in modern New York. Therefore, dear bard, I believe that were you alive to write now, your scripts would take place during the commercials of the Jets game where a man takes out the garbage without being asked for that is the most romantic...nay, considerate thing a person could do.

Copyright Kimberly Spice 2010