Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Days like today fill me with dread. Being single has its ups and downs throughout the year but there is one particular time of year when a girl needs a boyfriend / husband more than ever...Snow shoveling day.

The actual, physical act of shoveling snow sucks BIG time. I understand that as a resident in the NorthEast region of America, winter blizzards are par for the course. Although the accumulation rates have skyrocketed in the years since my divorce. Coincidence? I think not. Mother Nature is an angry beast who clearly had her heart broken in the past and plans on doling out retribution to the rest of the world. How better show one's disdain than blasting Arctic winds and burying vehicles and homes alike under mounds and mounds of heavy, wet demon fluff?

The after-wrath of such a storm wreaks havoc on a single girl mentally, physically, and emotionally. We all hope the the magical snow-moving elves have secretly dug out our cars and sidewalks for us, not to mention a pathway out the door to get to said places. We hide under our dark covers, secretly wishing that a task force of gorgeous men with snow-blowers, shovels and plows appeared in the night and that maybe, just maybe, if we stay in bed long enough, they'll have time to finish the job. Most likely however, unless you are plying your neighbors with freshly baked cookies and / or sexual favors, you are left to do the drudgery yourself. You come in after hours of back-stretching, muscle-burning, wind-swept hell to defrost a little and regain feeling in your outer extremities. You have to peel off layer after layer of cold, wet clothing, only to find the stray piece of ice has broken loose from your hair and slid down your one remaining layer of protection. There is no one to share a warm shower with, no one to indulge in a steaming mug of chocolate with extra marshmallows and whipped cream, no one to massage your tendons back in place.

This sucks.

During a January storm, single girls can be found on the couch, curling up with a bag of Lindor truffles and Mrs Doubtfire on cable television. While I appreciate the alone time, I occasionally make the mistake of glancing in the direction of my hourly news source: Facebook. The status updates from my coupled friends are all the same: "So lucky I have a wonderful husband to keep me warm tonight," "Cuddling with my baby in the blizzard - sooooo romantic," and my personal favorite "The power hasn't gone off yet but we're gonna light candles and pretend it has! Ooh, it's cold outside but it's hot in here :-)"

This really sucks.

It's not so much that I want a boyfriend really badly. It's just that I took for granted all those times I had one. Being single has made me appreciate being in a couple that much more. Times when I didn't have to do certain things for myself. There are women in my life who are strong enough to handle everything on their own and then some. They put my to-do list to shame. I admire their unwavering courage and aspire to imitate their brave outlooks.

Yet I cannot help thinking that winter would be much more manageable with a boyfriend and a snowblower!

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Scared Me At Hello

"You're so great! Why are you single?"

Dear coupled-off people,

When you begin conversations with phrases such as this, it does NOT make me envious of your two-by-two life together. It makes me want to punch you in the face.

"I know this fantastic guy. If you can get over the ever so slight hunchback, he's an absolute sweetheart."

Again, you arrogant assholes, please stop trying to set me up with the scraps at the bottom of the loser barrel. Just because he's single and I'm single does NOT mean we are compatible in any other way.

"Oh my gosh, my friend just finished dating this man who secretly has a wife and kids in Poland. He was hiding them from her for months. She couldn't deal with it but I think you're a much stronger woman and now the cat's out of the bag, right? Do you want me to give him your number?"

Once more, a ring on your left hand makes you superior to me in no way, shape or form. If I wanted to swim at the shallow end of the gene pool for mating purposes, I can find my own way there. Thanks.

Fast forward to present day and I find myself asking everyone I know if they have a single guy friend to set me up with. He's still living at home in his parents' basement, watching Family Guy and working at Stop N Shop? At least he has a job! He's had no long term relationships in the past and a penchant for watching porn on a nightly basis? Great, will probably be very creative in bed! He's out on probation for a crime of unknown specificity? I'll take it! Standards have not just been lowered, my friends. They've been thrown out the proverbial window!

This whole concept of saying "yes" to everyone led me into some very unfamiliar territory. I've had to instill a whole mess of trust into acquaintances who've offered up their unattached male specimens for further investigation. One such male creature I managed to frighten off in less than ten seconds, a new record for me!

One of my fabulous improv teammates and her boyfriend love to read my blog and chuckle to themselves about not missing life as a single person in New York. I don't mind this because they're both totally supportive of everything I do and read my blog religiously. (Much appreciated!) She came to practice one day and said "Ok, my boyfriend has this co-worker he wants to set you up with. I'm just warning you - don't do it! He thinks this guy would be great for you because he's English and your ex-husband was English. That's the only connection and I'm just saying: Disaster. Waiting. To. Happen!"

*Note to self: while the accent is always appealing, I really must stop falling for foreigners.

The intriguing part of this scenario for me was how dead-set against it my friend was and how excited about the prospect of setting me up with someone her boyfriend was. After four years of dating and two years of knowing me, how could they have such differing perspectives? It made me all the more itchy to find out about this guy.

Attempt #1: I am driving my friend into rehearsal when she says "Wanna have a four way?" Ummm, ok this is new but sure! "No silly, not like that! I'm gonna call my boyfriend and he's at work with his friend. This way you two can talk!" Alright, hold on. Let me put on lipstick! (Yes, I know it was over the phone. And yes, I was kidding...sort of...) She puts her boyfriend on the phone and I say hello. He grabs his friend to talk on speakerphone and there is dead silence. I say hello again. No response. Boyfriend comes back on the phone to say that friend froze and had to excuse himself to the men's room. Wow, I scared him at "hello" - Failed.

Attempt #2: Friend and her boyfriend are out at a fancy company dinner. Co-worker guy is also there. As we are all in the city, I suggest meeting up for a drink after. She mentions this to him, he grabs his coat and hails a cab, not to be seen or heard from again until Monday morning. Failed.

Attempt #3: Friend and I are performing in a show this coming Saturday. Her boyfriend will be in the audience playing the supportive role (as he should be!) I asked if he'd be inviting co-worker guy and the response was: "I asked him, but it's too social. He doesn't do well with people." Failed.

Strike 3 dude. Sorry but you're out. Guess I better keep the hunchback as a contingency plan?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Curious George

The holidays are the perfect time to meet someone new, mostly because your friends are all having parties. I have figured out the exact science behind these meetings so here it is: When your coupled-off friends throw a shindig, it is both their right AND their responsibility to invite as many single people as they know in the hopes that some of them will pair off together. This dynamic duo may last for one drunken make-out session or might form an actual relationship in the future. Either way, couply people LOVE to see more people being couply.

You see, when you're single and the rest of your friends are paired off, they don't really know what to do with you. You're this weird mystery they can't figure out. You're a great person; you're funny and smart and good looking. I mean, you have to be otherwise why would they even be friends with you? But couples don't understand why their "great" single friends are still single, so they play matchmaker at every available turn. What better time to get set up than during an egg nog induced stupor?

I was at one such party just before the changing of the years. There were a few cool people I knew and even more that I'd never met before. One guy we shall refer to as Curious George came right up and introduced himself to me. Took my hand and held it for a moment too long while staring into my eyes. I assumed that the chardonnay had thrown off my sense of time so I smiled graciously back at him.

Curious George asked what I did for a living (standard opening question) to which I replied that I am a writer. He said, "Really? What do you write about?" I didn't have time to answer because the peanut gallery behind me religiously follows my blog and informed Curious George that I was going on 100 first dates this year and writing about the experience. He replied (all the while looking me straight in the eyes) "Oh, so you're single?" I nodded yes. He asked what constituted a first date. I said, "Usually there is some sort of meeting spot. Possibly food or just a shared activity." He then asked if I'd like to go on a date with him. Um...sure, ok. "How about right now?" Um...sure, ok.

At first, we headed into the kitchen which had magically cleared out, but there was nowhere comfortable to sit and chat so he asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I checked with my hostess first to make sure this guy wasn't a total creeper and could be trusted to stroll around the block with. She assured me he was a little intense but otherwise, perfectly normal. I grabbed my coat and another shot of liquid courage and out the door we went.

He shivered when we got outside, remarking how cold it had gotten (duh, it IS December in New York) and suggested we drive around for a while instead of walking. All of my "don't get in the car with strangers" lessons kicked in and I would like to personally thank my third grade teacher for instilling this concept into my brain with such urgency. I said that it was definitely chilly but an otherwise beautiful night so we should get our blood pumping with a good walk as planned. (I had also told my friends that if I wasn't back in 10 minutes, to come out and find me!)

We looked at the houses with Christmas lights up and Curious George said, "I've always admired how the lights shimmer and twinkle against the dark night sky. There's something really magical about them, you know? Like crystals shining in each and every snowflake."

Ok, first of all, WHO TALKS LIKE THAT??? You are not Lewis Carroll and this is not 1864. Yes, it's all very poetic and I'm assuming you're trying to impress the writer girl but come on! If you're also trying to get laid, you need a new approach, my friend.

We moved on to a few more houses and he asked me what styles of decoration I like. I prefer classically elegant, more Victorian and simplistic in appeal than all these plastic reindeers and blow up Santas. I have never been a huge fan of the inflatable moving snow globes that adorn lawns these days. A few green garlands, red bows and white lights will do just fine for me, thanks. He then launched into a diatribe about wanting his own home with a beautiful wife and family inside, the warmth of love around each of them, keeping everyone warm.

Dude, CUT IT OUT! You're scaring the poor girl who agreed to a walk around the block, not a future planning session with a total stranger. PS: What's with holding my hand? Keep your mitts in your pockets where they'll be warm and kindly stop suggesting marriage while you're at it!

Finally, we got back to the party after what felt like the most ridiculous ten minutes of my week (definitely a trip down the rabbit hole.) He thanked me for my time, lifting my hand to his lips to kiss it. He admired my fingertips for a second before saying "You have a lovely manicure."


I left my coat on when I got inside, thanked the hostess for having me over and told my friends to call me with plans for the New Year. I couldn't keep a straight face long enough to say good-bye to Curious George as he promised to call me so we could go on another date again soon.

Whoops, I forgot to give him my number. Oh darn...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Losers

Just wanted to share with you a few of the emails I've gotten this week. Apparently, every loser in the Tri-State area has now signed up for online dating and most of them have messaged me. Hand-selected for your enjoyment:

From Dart42:

I'm the Prince of Persia. And I totally don't do drugs. Like ever. Except for tons of cough syrup. Cuz that like legal and stuff.

From Not2Serious:

I like you. You're fun, lighthearted, and goofy. You don't take yourself so seriously, and don't have a stick up your ass about life and people. If you do have a stick up your ass about life and people, message me anyway. I'll probably just annoy you though.

From LOTR36:

Me: So what are you doing with your life?
Him: Contemplating Nobel Prize winning sexual algorithms.

From Ahmed:

You cute. I like get to know you. You want talk me too? We good together. I see you soon cutie.

From Luvable_Dork:

I like to watch movies, go for walks, read books, read comics, play video games, shoot pool, play mini-golf, shop. I'm looking for that special someone. Someone to settle down with and have kids. Now I'm not looking to get married on the first date or anything, but I want something long term and serious. I'm quite funny. I can be goofy and silly at times, but hey its fun. I currently work at Walgreens until I write a book, make a movie, or develop time traveling technology.
My favorite things are: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Slaughterhouse 5, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Twilight, Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare and Poe, Star Wars Trilogy, V for Vendetta, Alice in Wonderland, Across the Universe, What Dreams May Come, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Runaways, Watchmen, Mallrats, Shaun of the Dead, Halloween, My Name is Bruce, The One, Casablanca, Monsters vs Aliens, Dazed and Confused, Harry Potter, Twilight, Wallace and Gromit, Ricky Bobby, Anchorman, Nirvana, The Offspring, Green Day, Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Glee, Weird Al, Coheed, Tenacious D, Brad Paisley, Beatles, Ozzy, Johnny Cash, Dethklok, Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters, and Blink 182, Glee, House, Law & Order SVU, Modern Family, Buffy, Angel, The Office, Batman TAS, Ed Edd N Eddy, ATHF, Harvey Birdman, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Venture Bros, Futurama, One Life to Live, Ace of Cakes.

Gee...I don't know who to write back to first!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Peppers of Death

We could not be any more opposite than if we were literally Night and Day.

This is what I'm thinking as I get to know a man I really like. There are so many redeeming qualities about him, so many wonderful things I look for in a partner. He's generous and kind and considerate and sweet and thoughtful and funny and smart and has amazing friends and a great family and a stable job... and we do not have one single thing in common. Not. One. Thing.

Exhibit A) He loves spicy food. Burn your mouth off hot food. Mexican restaurants. Red pepper flakes, chili and cayenne in every dish. I am allergic to peppers. Should I ever attempt to walk into a Chili's, please have 911 on speed dial cause the only way I'm leaving that place is in an ambulance. Hopefully with the ability to breathe and a cute new EMT boyfriend.

Exhibit B) He's influenced by Eastern tradition and cuisine. Loves Thai, Indian and Asian cultures. I am very Mediterranean, fond of French, Italian and Greek ways. He prefers to eat his meals with chopsticks. I get nauseas at the thought of sushi, curry, or bubble tea. He hates chicken parm. I will eat anything with melted cheese on it. He wants to travel around the world. I need look no further than Europe. Perhaps a hot man with an accent will take me home with him and teach me how to make fresh pasta?

Exhibit C) Netflix: In my queue are Valentine's Day, The Tudors, The Other Sister, Sabrina, and Babies. In his queue is Zombie Strippers, Bitch Slap, and Tron. On my iPod is country music. He's convinced that all country music is about one's truck, wife, dog, and gun (NOT true btw!) Marry Me by Train is my new favorite love song. He would like to punch Pat Monahan in the face if given the opportunity. I have an iPhone. He has a POS. Something tells me that romance was easier before the invention of modern technology.

The list truly goes on and on and every time I ask a question, I get the exact opposite answer to what I was hoping for! We can agree that Frankie, Dino and Sammy were the best of the Rat Pack but beyond that, there seems to be no compromise. He cracks Wookie jokes left and right while I have never seen the original Star Wars. I laugh every time someone makes a "ruckus" whereas he doesn't know who the basketcase, the princess, the nerd, the jock and the rebel are! (Bonus points if you do.)

Is this a case of disparity in upbringing? Is it the timeless battle between the sexes? Or do some equations simply lack a common denominator?