First of all, this is very “You’ve Got Mail” --- I half expect to hear the AOL dial up modem tones, and there should be flowers delivered to my door any minute. I've always thought daisies were the friendliest flower :-) I can only hope we meet one day in the park to discuss classic romance further. I'll be the girl with her nose in the book, holding a rose and waiting for a man with a dog!
Secondly, I hope you're ok with me publishing your email? You're absolutely right --- people need to be reminded what real romance is, and what dating could and should be. Let me take a moment to apologize on behalf of my gender as well. I know the girls you're talking about and they're all callous bitches. They think it's ok to drag a man's heart through the mud for a few free dinners and a night on the town. They're on The Manhattan Meal Plan. If you've never heard of it, that's when you date a whole bunch of different guys on different nights so you get to experience all the delicious restaurants the city has to offer. I should probably take a tip from those girls, they do very well for themselves. But personally, I'd rather curl up with Chinese food and Netflix on the couch with a guy who's crazy about me than eat out at the snazziest restaurant in NYC with a boy I've barely got lukewarm feelings for.
That isn't to say I don't like being treated nicely or taken out to do amazing things. I do, very much. But I've found that no matter what you're doing, it's the company you keep that's the most important. My ideal Sunday is at the farmer's market with a great guy, strolling through a sunny afternoon, then making dinner together and dancing in the kitchen while The Big Broadcast is on the radio. Does that sound unrealistically demanding? I don't think so. But there are guys who would rather pay for a meal out because they don't want to put in the effort, energy, or time required to get to know that girl. The girl who is so happy just being. I just want to BE with someone...the right someone.
I know that there are women who want the fancy dinner out on the first date. Frankly, I think it's too much pressure. Having to get that dressed up and sit across the table from you like we're on a job interview. Wondering what to wear? What can I order? Is this too expensive? Is he paying or am I? How much can I really afford? I don't want to drink too much so he doesn't think I'm a slob or a crazy drunk lady. Are we comfortable enough yet to share a dessert? Should I even order dessert? What if he thinks I'm fat? Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Funny enough? Interesting enough? Is he looking at the other women here wishing he was with them instead? Does he think the waitress is cuter than me? Does he expect me to sleep with him right away if he pays for dinner? Do I even want to be here for him right now, or am I just won over by the lobster and champagne? Or in my case, Applebee's 2 for $20...
I didn't fall for Camaro guy because he had a Camaro. I thought he was cute and kinda funny but it turns out we had nothing in common and he was boring as hell, so I ended it. See: *Camaro* See also: *A Ride in the Batmobile* See also: *The Beginning of the End*
Same with martinis all over New York City guy. He didn't really want to get to know me. He wanted a tall blonde to take out for drinks after work so he had an excuse to go to the bar and / or was in dire need of a therapist...and possibly a sponsor! Read: *I'm Allergic to Boring*
Same with super successful real estate guy. He was not funny, treated wait staff poorly, and the thought of kissing him literally made me cringe. He had the huge house upstate I would've killed to live in, more money than I'll make in my life, but he was just abrasive and I couldn't stand to be around him. I promise you that some girl scooped him up in a heartbeat because he could afford the life she wants to live. Me? I'll take laughter and family over money and possessions any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Maybe this is why it's taken me 100+ cups to find someone I enjoy dating and want to continue spending time with? Guys don't seem to know what to do with me. I'm a conundrum. I would suggest walking the HighLine from top to bottom. You pretty much know by the end if you want to grab lunch with the guy or just push him off the bridge! I love strolling through Chelsea Market: tasting, smelling, trying new things. We don't have to spend a fortune to have a good time. The point of dating is to get to know the person you're with, not impress them with how much money you have or what you can buy for them.
Do you want to know my favorite date of all time? It's a New York secret, so you better not tell anybody! Go to the Met on a Friday or Saturday night. First off, "suggested donation" is just that --- you can give $1, $5, $10 or whatever you want. They’re open late so even if it’s nasty weather out, you’ve got a veritable indoor playground. You then take turns showing each other your favorite parts of the museum. Bonus points if they don't have favorite parts, cause I've got half the place mapped out! There's usually live jazz or a string quartet playing in the second level plaza. The Temple of Dendur is so tranquil and quiet. The new American Wing surrounded by Tiffany glass and with original 1920's street lamps is my happy place. The Chinese Moon Garden is the most serene setting I've ever been in - you will actually forget you're in New York. And at sunset, you take the secret elevator to the 4th floor for rooftop martinis over Manhattan. It's the best view of the city and you can just sit and enjoy each other's company with a classic cocktail.
Maybe it's cheesy? Maybe I am inherently flawed and I've been dating all wrong this whole time? To me, the perfect man wants to explore Central Park and the most expensive thing we buy all day is a hot pretzel. Sorry, clearly I'm obsessed with food --- but the kind you share while sitting on a park bench though, the kind you can walk and eat. When was the last time you sat next to a girl licking an ice cream cone and didn't want to smile? The sound of her laughter echoing off the skyscrapers. Her face bright from the afternoon sun. That's the kind of romance I'm talking about. The kind you create memories around. The kind that lasts throughout the ages. Ten years from now, I won't be able to tell you what restaurant some guy took me to, but I will be able to tell you exactly how he made me feel on a date. Just like you, all I want to feel is special.
I don't even know if you live in New York. You could be in Seattle for all I know, so these dates may not apply to you at all but I'm sure you can come up with something equally awesome wherever you are. I guess I'm just hoping that you have a little bit of faith that not all women are shallow, gold digging, materialistic bitches. Some of us want the simplest things in life. Some of us just want to be appreciated, noticed, cared for, protected and loved.
To be honest, I would've liked Camaro guy better with a pick up truck. Maybe then he'd be into country music and treat me with respect. That's probably an over generalization, I just find that cowboys are a bit kinder than urban men. I'm jaded from too many years of drunk assholes in bars and online dating profiles being 100% bullshit. I'm starting to think there are no real men left in the world. Perhaps that's why the girls you speak of have their guards up? We've been hurt so many times before, it is damn near impossible to imagine it won't happen again.
There are so few stories about single girls in their 30's meeting the man of their dreams and living their happily ever afters. I used to watch Sex & the City thinking that I loved it for it's writing. Now I know that I love it for its brutal honesty about relationships. Being single at this age isn't the death sentence it once was, but it sure feels lonely. That's why I have 80,000+ readers. They relate to me. My story is their story. They get it. They're living it. And God help them, they're counting on me to be the one that makes it work, the one who sees it through. They're counting on my Cinderella transformation to find love despite all odds. I don't have the heart to tell them that I'm scared. That I don't have all the answers. That I don't know how this story ends. I just know that I'm not a quitter and I will never, ever give up until I've found precisely what I'm looking for. Someone who sees me, knows me, loves and accepts me... exactly as I am.
Clearly, I also watch too much Bridget Jones' Diary. They should just rename it Kimberly Spice's Diary. Same sad story. Fewer fake British accents. Not nearly enough Colin Firth.
Rooting for you,
Kimberly / Kathleen / ShopGirl423